GOP establishment

Cruz Wins Iowa, But What’s Next?

Who will occupy it next?


The results of the Iowa caucuses have shown us several important things; 1) that everybody hates the establishment of both parties, 2) no one trusts the media anymore, and 3) pollsters have no clue how to conduct polling in the fast-paced world of smartphones and social media.

Ted Cruz easily won the Iowa caucuses on the Republican side, despite being behind Trump by as much as 20-points in some polls taken just before the caucus, and despite the entirety of the GOP establishment doing their best to take him down. In fact, it is arguably the low regard among the GOP establishment in which Cruz is held that gives him such popularity among the base. Despite being hated by the establishment, Cruz’s net favorability leads all Republican candidates with a rating of +45% (61% favorable, 16% unfavorable) among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, according to a recent Gallup poll. Establishment favorite Jeb Bush has a net favorability of -1%.

Ted Cruz Trumps Trump In Iowa

This is Y-UUUUGE!

Despite being down as much as 21% to Trump in some polls, despite (or because of?) record turnout in Iowa (which pundits predicted would mean a Trump victory), despite being savaged by the GOP establishment, despite attacks from Iowa’s popular 6-term governor, and despite his principled refusal to bow to King Corn and back away from his calls to end corn subsidies…

Ted Cruz emerged victorious in Iowa, completely changing the dynamic of this race.


Last night’s winners:

Ted Cruz – wins Iowa when the odds were against him, and now goes into the South Carolina and Nevada primaries with momentum, the highest favorability ratings of all GOP candidates, and more cash on hand than the next four candidates combined.

Marco Rubio – Rubio surged late and almost beat out Trump for 2nd place, and this can only help him going into New Hampshire. How long will it be before the GOP establishment pressures Bush, Kasich, and Christie to get out so they can consolidate around Rubio to prevent a Cruz nomination?

Conservatives – last night proved that having a conservative candidate who is unapologetic in his conservatism, optimistic in his outlook for the future, and who has a history of standing on principle is a great draw at a time when politicians in general, and the GOP brand and establishment in particular, have favorability ratings just below hemorrhoids.

Strange Bedfellows Lead to the Iowa Caucus

With the Iowa caucuses less than a week away, on the Republican side this is shaping up to be one of the strangest nomination processes of my lifetime. Late last year, Scott Walker was the presumptive front-runner until he declared, after which his campaign imploded in a rapid and spectacular way. Jeb Bush was likewise a favorite, but having spent well over $100 million he is almost within the margin of error in most polls. Marco Rubio was the next hope for the establishment, palatable to them and most of the base, but his participation in the Gang of Eight immigration amnesty effort has damaged him. Ben Carson is imminently likeable and moral, but his near-comatose demeanor does not inspire confidence that he is ready for a dangerous world.

Chris Christie has been dogged by his anti-gun stance and his post-Sandy tarmac bromance with Obama. Rand Paul has not been able to recreate the fervor among his base that his father was able to. Carly Fiorina has great debate performances but is invisible in between. John Kasich comes across as an angry scold having a seizure. Rick Santorum? Mike Huckabee? No chance for either, but maybe they’ll get a good book deal for their efforts.

No, Obamacare will not “fail” if we just get out of the way

Now that the anti-Obamacare defund “strategy” (such as it was) has been tried and failed, many on the right are suggesting we get out of the way and let it be implemented in full, on time, as written, so that it can be allowed to fail on its own. The theory is that when it doesn’t work, runs out of money, and breaks the insurance system, the public will demand its repeal just in time for a Republican president to be elected in 2016 and do just that. This, like “repeal and replace” and defund before it, is an unwise and short-sighted strategy.

What precedent is there for a government program, especially an entitlement, failing and just ending? Social Security is out of money, but no one will touch it. Medicare is out of money, Obamacare cut doctor payments rates under it, but no one will dare to truly reform it. Welfare was reformed, not ended or repealed, in the 1990s. Food stamps have exploded. Medicaid doesn’t work either, but was expanded under Obamacare. But we somehow think that if Obamacare runs out of money or doesn’t work as well as it was intended, it will just go away, unlike every other program ever?

It May Have Never Been About Defunding

Many conservatives who consider themselves the real Republicans have been grousing about those damn Tea Partiers; you know, the ones Ted Cruz was trying to appeal to when he filibustered against Obamacare? A calculated risk — because he and probably everyone else  knew defunding was never going to happen — that led almost directly (no offense to a friend of mine who keeps trying to separate the two things) to the nearly two-week shutdown that ended with celebratory high-fives as bureaucrats skipped their way back into work this week.

Just shut-up rabble rousers, they said in kinder terms, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn among them. Because you managed to make us all look bad and get us nothing in return except repeated lectures from the Reid-Pelosi-Obama trifecta.

I make no claims to be a Tea Partier but (with apologies), I don’t hold with Grover Norquist’s assertion that Cruz et al should apologize to their fellow conservatives:

“They hurt the conservative movement, they hurt people’s health care, they hurt the country’s economic situation and they hurt the Republican party,” he says. “And a lot of congressmen and senators are not going to win because we spent three months chasing our own tail — or at least, parts of the conservative movement spent three months chasing their own tail.”

Today in Liberty: Intel agencies conducted warrantless searches for Americans’ communications, Halbig case could gut Obamacare

“I think that you can’t start to pick apart anything out of the Bill of Rights without thinking that it’s all going to become undone. If you take one out or change one law, then why wouldn’t they take all your rights away from you?” — Bruce Willis

Today in Liberty: House GOP set elect new leaders on June 19, gun control group caught lying about shooting numbers

“Governments constantly choose between telling lies and fighting wars, with the end result always being the same. One will always lead to the other.” — Thomas Jefferson

— House Republican leadership schedule for June 19: And they’re already taking shape. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who was dealt a stunning and overwhelming loss on Tuesday, will step down from his post at the end of July. That move is expected to open up two top leadership spots — Majority Leader and Majority Whip. Things are moving quickly, but current Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) seem to be emerging as two main candidates for Majority Leader ahead of the June 19 conference election. Whatever happens, however, House conservatives could be serious players in what is a delicate process, and that could be good news for Hensarling.

Today in Liberty: Rand Paul calls for unity, Harry Reid wants to bring back earmarks

“We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” — Hillary Clinton

— Tillis tops Brannon, grassroots in #NCSen Republican primary: North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis crossed the 40 percent threshold to avoid a July 15 runoff against Raleigh OB/GYN Greg Brannon tonight. With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tillis garnered 45.7 percent to Brannon’s 27.1 percent. Tillis was backed heavily by establishment elements like Republican strategist Karl Rove and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Brannon rallied support from Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee as well as FreedomWorks and talk radio show host Mark Levin. Tillis’ outright victory is a setback for the “wacko bird” caucus in Washington, which has sought to thwart big-spending, compromise-at-all-cost Republicans. The Republican nominee will face-off against embattled incumbent Kay Hagan in the November election. The Real Clear Politics average gives Hagan only a slight lead over Tillis.

Today in Liberty: Rand Paul targets nominee over drones memo, young Millennials offer hope for GOP

— Busy week on Capitol Hill: Republicans will hold a vote on a contempt resolution against disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner as well as hold a vote to call for a special prosecutor to investigate the tax agency’s targeting of conservative groups. The lower-chamber may also vote on a measure to establish a select committee on Benghazi. The Senate, however, is likely to vote on some sort of measure to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the only question of which is whether it’ll be binding or a nonbinding “Sense of the Senate” resolution.

Chris McDaniel: We need more responsible people running the government

Chris McDaniel

The Republican Senate primary in Mississippi has become ground zero for the battle between the GOP establishment and the grassroots.

In one corner there is Sen. Thad Cochran, who first went to Washington in 1973 and has fallen in love with the smell of the marble on Capitol Hill. In the other is state Sen. Chris McDaniel, a conservative seeking to shake up the status quo.

McDaniel, 41, is the one conservative primary challenger who has a legitimate shot of taking down an incumbent Republican. He’s saying the right things on the campaign trail, pushing fiscal conservative ideas and constitutional principles that appeal to base voters in Mississippi.

What helps McDaniel’s case is that Cochran has become one of the most squishy Republican in the Senate. The long-time Senate Republican recently earned a dismal 63% rating from the American Conservative Union, far worse than GOP colleagues facing primary challengers.

It would seem that McDaniel’s message is making headway, though polling out of the state has been scant. The most recent poll, conducted by Harper Polling, found Cochran’s lead in the race has fallen to 17 points from 23 points in December. Other polls, however, have found that the race is within single digits.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.