Republicans

Comparing Sarah Palin and Marco Rubio

Late last week on CBS This Morning, John McCain was asked about the eventual GOP Vice Presidential nominee. He said, jokingly, “I think it should be Sarah Palin.”

After that comment he followed up with a line about how we have great talent in the GOP and that he’s sure Romney will make the right decision in the end. In the video of the interview, it’s clear that McCain was joking, but how much of a joke was it?

When McCain selected Palin as his running mate, she was a mostly (nationally) inexperienced politician whose presence on the ticket was to excite the Republican base and to pander to a demographic group (women) that the GOP needed to appease in order to win the election.

After the joke about Palin, McCain was quick to mention Florida Senator Marco Rubio as a qualified candidate who is in the top tier of potential running mates for Mitt Romney, but what kind of a choice would that be? At first glance, it could look pretty good, but compare the similarities between Rubio and Palin.

Rubio would be a nationally inexperienced politician whose presence on the ticket would be to excite the Republican base (Tea Party) and to pander to a demographic group (Hispanic voters) that the GOP needs to appease in order to win the election.

Rubio getting the VP slot on the ballot wouldn’t shock many people, and I’d speculate that it could even be a safe bet. Still, when you consider the reasons for picking Rubio to the reasons for picking Palin in 2008, you can’t help but wonder if the Republican Party has learned anything in the last four years.

2012 Elections: Forget the President, It’s Congress That Matters

It appears that the 2012 race for President is all but set. Mitt Romney will very likely win the Republican nomination and he will face Barack Obama in November. For those of us concerned about restoring liberty, the rule of law and the  Constitution, and getting a grips on our debt and economic crisis; this is not a joyous prospect. Neither man has a record of leadership on those issues and in fact, both men have proven time and time again to be advocates of more government, more spending, and more debt. No matter who is elected President, I’m not optimistic that our serious issues, especially concerning the debt and the economy will be addressed. We need to look elsewhere to at least hold the tide against more spending and more debt. We need to really pour our energies into the Congressional elections and electing more Constitutional conservatives and libertarians.

Every even numbered year, we have the chance to change the entire makeup of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. Imagine what kind of difference we can make if we elected Constituional conservative majority in the House and give Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee some more company in the Senate this go around. The only way to do that is get involved. Find a Constitutional conservative candidate in the primaries and back them and volunteer for them. If there isn’t one in your district, consider running yourself. Granted, it maybe too late in many states to do this for 2012, but consider it for 2014.

Why I Choose to Remain With the Republican Party

It’s the one question I’m asked more than anything else: “Why do you stay with the Republican Party? You seem like more of a Libertarian to me.”

It’s a fair question, I suppose. There are a lot of issues where I don’t agree with many of my Republican friends: I think we should end the war on drugs; I think we should cut way back on the military aggression we show the world; I think government revenue should exceed government expenses; I think the federal government should be strictly limited to the powers expressly given to it in the Constitution.

There’s some common ground to be found with my fellow Republicans, for sure. And it’s those days that being a Republican is easy. When we’re on the same side of the talking points, it’s all good. But when we disagree, the name calling starts, the rumors start working their way through the rumor mill, and idiocy abounds. It’s those days I have to remind myself why I choose to remain in the Republican Party.

I have good friends in the Libertarian Party who offer constant reminders that they welcome my views of limited government and increased individual responsibility. When you look at the Libertarian platform, you’ll see that somebody like me lines up really well with the vast majority of a Libertarian’s beliefs about the role of government.

But even though I know I’d be welcomed enthusiastically into the Libertarian Party, and even though certain people who I used to think were friends have resorted to juvenile behavior when they disagree with me, I choose to remain in the company of these people. Here are a few reasons I have decided to stay with the GOP:

If offered, Rand Paul should decline VP slot

I was more than a little frustrated with our very own Jason Pye last week. During my lunch break on Monday, I was sitting in a Chick-fil-A working on an idea for a post about the possibility of Rand Paul on the GOP ballot this fall as a Vice President candidate. The rumors flying about the alleged Romney-Paul alliance have also included the thought that Mitt would get Dr. Paul’s support if Rand were the VP on the ticket, and that’s an interesting possibility to consider.

My rough draft and basic outline were scrawled on that napkin, and I was going to finish the post Monday night. Before I sat down to write it, I took some time to catch up on the blogs I read regularly and found that Jason had already written the same content I had just drafted at lunch. It’s like he had eyes in Chick-fil-A reading over my shoulder. (If you know Jason, you’ll know that’s not too far outside the realm of probability.)

I don’t want to just kill the post idea, because it’s a good discussion to have. I also don’t want to plagiarize what Jason wrote. (I’d never hear the end of that.) So I’ve decided to make this post a follow up to Jason’s. To recap Jason’s post, Jason said he likes Rand Paul but doesn’t think he should be a VP candidate because Paul doesn’t have national influence and is still “rough around the edges” politically.

Rand Paul is a great senator, and not just because he is Ron Paul’s son. He can be counted on to regularly stand firmly for principles of limited government. That’s about all I ever ask for in a politician. I know he’s not perfect, but when it comes time to take a stand and show some backbone, Rand does a great job. One day I hope to see Rand Paul run for VP (or even President), but I’ve got to agree with Jason: it’s not yet Rand’s time.

Rick Santorum wants to kill porn

Porn, particularly internet porn, may well find itself an endangered species should Rick Santorum somehow find himself as President.  How do we know this?  Well, because he’s said as much apparently:

Santorum says in a statement posted to his website, “The Obama Administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws.”

If elected, he promises to “vigorously” enforce laws that “prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier.”

As the above linked article points out, porn is a tricky thing.  Obscenity laws are very vague, with no real legal definition that one person can point to and things be clear that whether something is obscene or not.  Instead, it uses things like “community standards”, which are also incredibly vague.

That’s not to say Santorum wouldn’t have any success.  However, whether he has success or not is rather irrelevant.

Take a look around for a moment.  We have a nation that is falling apart.  The constitution is practically on life support, and Congress is doing it’s best to pull the plug on it.  American citizens can be detained indefinitely thanks to the NDAA.  There are constant assaults on the internet through laws like SOPA.  Now, the Secret Service can declare anywhere it wants as being off limits to free speech, and speaking your mind can constitute a felony.  And where does Rick Santorum’s line in the sand fall?  Apparently, on yet another action that involves consenting adults.

Why the GOP race is over — It’s the math, stupid

Various people are debating whether having Gingrich in the race helps or hurts Romney’s chances of reaching 1,144 delegates and clinching the GOP nomination. Many of Santorum’s supporters think that Gingrich is robbing him of delegates that he needs to stop Romney, while Gingrich supporters are arguing that splitting the delegates makes it more difficult for Romney to win. The fact is, it does not matter, because barring finding Romney in bed with a dead girl or live boy, as Edwin Edwards once put it, he has clinched it mathematically.

Taking a look at the current standings, estimated by TheGreenPapers.com we have:

  • Romney: 493 - 51%
  • Santorum: 235 - 24%
  • Gingrich: 157 - 16%
  • Paul: 77 - 8%

That’s 962 decided delegates with 1,324 remaining.

With that many delegates remaining, how can it be over?

Well, there are two ways to allocate the delegates that remain. One is by a proportional system where each candidate gets some amount of delegates that are in proportion to each candidates share of the vote. So, if 30 delegates are at stake and three candidates split evenly, each would get 10. The other is winner take all, where the person securing the plurality (the most) of the vote gets all of the delegates.

The winner take all states that remain are: DC, MD, WI, DE, IN, CA, NJ, UT.

If a single candidate gets a majority in the following states, is it winner take all, but proportional otherwise: PR, CT, NY.

Let’s assume that Gingrich and Paul stay in and therefore PR, CT and NY will stay proportional.  Of the WTA states, Romney is all but assured victory in DC, DE, CA, NJ, and UT. Together, those are 298 delegates. Being as generous as possible and giving Santorum the other 125 WTA delegates we have:

Mitt Romney, Evangelicals, and the Mormon Issue

Several times recently I’ve found myself in discussion with some of my Republican friends about Mitt Romney and the Mormon issue. The argument presented is that Romney can’t win the general election because evangelical voters – specifically those in the South – won’t vote for him because he’s a Mormon and that somehow the red states in the South will become possible Obama victories because of Romney’s faith.

I’m not going to get into the differences between the religious beliefs of evangelical voters and Mitt Romney; that’s a conversation for a different place at a different time (with someone much smarter than me). I would, however, like to address this notion about evangelical voters and their assumed behavior at the polls.

There’s a part of this argument that is valid: the part that takes place in the primary elections. It’s fair to assume that Romney is losing votes in the primary election because of his faith. I’d even make the argument that it’s a part of the reason Rick Santorum has been doing so well lately (though why they pick the liberal Catholic over the liberal Mormon is beyond me). The difference comes when we’re talking about a general election instead of a primary election.

In the primary, Romney will take a hit on being a Mormon just like Ron Paul loses votes over his stance on foreign policy. It’s the same way Newt Gingrich will lose votes because he is (or was) a pretentious, two-timing slime ball, and Rick Santorum will lose votes because, well, because he’s Rick Santorum.

But when November comes around, if Mitt Romney’s name is on the ballot, he’ll get the vast majority – if not all – of the evangelical vote. People who insist otherwise are deceiving themselves. Here’s why:

Recapping Super Tuesday

If you’re like me, you went to bed before the Alaska, Idaho, and North Dakota results started to tricke in. It wasn’t hard to see at that point that last night was a good night for Mitt Romney, though he didn’t deliver the “knock out” punch to end the race quickly. We’re probably going to see this thing drag out between he and Rick Santorum for at least the rest of this month.

Had Romney won in Tennessee, it would be a different story. However, exit polls showed that socially conservative voters came out pretty strong in that state. Additionally, Romney’s win in Ohio was very close. So while he may get to claim the state and it certainly helps with momentum, it shows that he is still just getting by.

Santorum is going to keep trucking. As he said last night, he won a few states and got “silver medals” in others. His biggest issue is money. While his team says they’re willing to take the race all the way to Republican National Convention in Tampa in August, he may not have the resources to get that far.

Of course, Santorum’s biggest obstacle isn’t Romney, it’s Gingrich. Conventional wisdom says that if Gingrich drops out that Santorum will be the beneficiary. That’s probably true, but only to a certain extent. Gingrich was defiant last night, but the writing is on the wall. He’s not going to win, especially after five last place finishes. Yes, he won Georgia, but he didn’t get the 50% needed to take all of his home state’s delegates.

Ron Paul’s strategy of focusing on caucus states hasn’t panned out the way his campaign had hoped. Granted, Paul was strong in several states last night, but he still doesn’t have a win in either a caucus or a primary. But as we’ve said before, Paul’s support has grown substantially since his run four years ago and he can no longer be ignored by Republicans.

It’s Super Tuesday: Is the end of the race around the corner?

It’s Super Tuesday, and hopefully the beginning of the end of the long and disasterous primary for the Republican Party. No one can deny that this cycle has been interesting process; well, most party primaries are. But this one has been especially painful to watch — especially recently, when the economy is the most pressing issue for voters, but some of the GOP candidates are focused on wedge social issues.

It’s hard to predict what will happen tonight, but observers say that Mitt Romney will have a good night and Newt Gingrich may re-establish himself if he manages to win more delegates that Rick Santorum, which looks like a very real possibility. On the other hand, we’ve seen so many twist and turns in this primary, would anyone be surprised to see a last minute surge for Santorum in Ohio or Gingrich not win Georgia by as substantial of a margin that polls indicate?

These three candidates — Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum — are a collective mess. While Gingrich generally respected amongst GOP voters and manages to gain enough support to remain relevant, national polls show him as toxic against Barack Obama.

Santorum isn’t much different. Polls show him doing decent in head-to-head matchups against Obama, but that’s largely because voters aren’t familiar with him. His socially conservative message isn’t one that will push independents to Republicans, and his numbers would fall even lower.

Hanging with Gary Johnson

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to hangout for a few days with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson while he was visiting Georgia for the state Libertarian Party convention.

As you may know, Gov. Johnson left the Republican Party just after Christmas to seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president. During his run for the GOP nod, Gov. Johnson was excluded from all but two debates, and when he did get to participate, he wasn’t treated as a serious candidate.

The treatment of Johnson was certainly odd. He has more executive experience than any of the other candidates seeking the Republican nomination. Moreover, he has a solid resume, including a stellar fiscal record; as evidenced by his scores from the Cato Institute and the fact that he vetoed 750 bills — more than the other 49 governors combined.

In fact, I still don’t quite understand why the Tea Party movement couldn’t get behind Johnson, who was clearly the most fiscally conservative candidate running for the GOP nomination. He was, or should have been, their candidate. A limited government Republican that had a proven record of winning in a two-to-one Democratic state.

I had planned to vote for Gov. Johnson in the March 6th Republican primary. His fiscal record and consistant support for personal liberty made him the best candidate in my eyes. When he dropped out, I planned to vote for Rep. Ron Paul.

Back at the beginning of the month, I accepted the role of state director in Georgia for Gov. Johnson’s campaign, which included preparing for his visit — booking media and events for him to speak at, etc.


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