Tea Party

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.

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.

House Republicans should get behind the OPTION Act

As you can imagine, there has been a lot of discussion about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. And while the budget would, if passed, repeal ObamaCare, it doesn’t replace it. This, along with other aspects of the proposal, has been a sticking point for many conservatives.

On Tuesday, Rep. Ryan said that he didn’t include a replacement for ObamaCare, for which costs have doubled, in his budget because there is no consensus amongst House Republicans as to what their model for health care reform should be.

Given all of the problems with ObamaCare, many of which were laid out in an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), proposing such a comprehensive budget proposal without at least some foundation of replacement proposals is odd. It’s even more odd when the budget was unveiled during the second anniversary of the health care reform law and the week before it’s due to come before the Supreme Court.

However, Rep. Paul Broun, MD (R-GA) has introduced the OPTION Act (H.R. 4224), a patient-centered health care reform replacement. According to Broun’s office, the OPTION Act would repeal and replace ObamaCare with a reform package that would protect the interests of patients:

The Loss of Andrew Breitbart: A Fan’s Perspective

It has been just over a day since I got the Fox News alert that Andrew Breitbart had unexpectedly passed away overnight, and I am still shocked by the news.  Despite having never met the man, and not one to ever really be affected by news of celebrity deaths, I feel like I have lost a friend.

As a bit of a news junkie, I can’t tell you exactly how long Andrew Breitbart has been on my radar, for a number of years at least, but it wasn’t until the past year or two that I really began to realize the boldness and creativity that I admired so much in him, and am so sad to see taken from our movement.  There are quite a few of us who believe we are doing our part to advance freedom and protect individual liberties, but Andrew Breitbart made things happen.

His book, Righteous Indignation, spoke to me so profoundly that having initially purchased it on my Kindle, I went out and bought a few hard copies so that I could loan them out to friends because I thought it was that important that they read his message.  If you haven’t read it yet, you must, I like to think it helped me see the big picture in terms of who controls the information we, as Americans, are bombarded with from so many different angles.  And I will never forget that summer day last year when I sat in my living room, glued to the television set, as I watched Andrew Breitbart at the podium of what was meant to be a press conference held by Anthony Weiner to address the Breitbart exposed Weiner-gate scandal.  It was so spectacular and unbelievable, despite the fact that I was sitting there watching it with my own two eyes, I could not believe what I was seeing.  He was my hero that day.

Prolonging the GOP race could come at heavy price

For the last several months, conservatives have rebelled against idea of Mitt Romney winning the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. The reasoning various, but the substantive concerns are that he has no core convictions given the frequency in which he changes positions and also that his core legislative achievement, RomneyCare, served as the blueprint for ObamaCare.

During the course of the campaign, several candidates have been driven by conservative and Tea Party support, but have all fallen back to Earth for various reasons, including lack of experience, understanding of policy basics or uninspiring campaigns. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry have all been a vehicle for the anti-Romney vote. However, we’re now in February, four states have gone to the polls, and that trio is longer in the race.

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have been vying for conservative support, but neither have been able to win over enough support long enough to do any significant damage. And while Romney doesn’t have the nomination locked up, there is little doubt that he is the frontrunner. That’s not to say his nomination is inevitable, but it certainly seems likely.

For their part, anti-Romney conservatives, a significant chunk of the Republican base, continues to fight back against this in hopes of dragging out the primary process until the summer. However, conservatives are running into a couple of problems that may be a recipe for disaster come November.

Massachusetts Governor criticizes Tim Thomas for skipping White House event

Tim Thomas sure stirred up a hornet’s nest, didn’t he?  The Boston Bruin’s goalie made a personal decision to not meet President Obama.  He said his piece on Facebook about why he decided to forego the meeting.  Fair enough. Of course, Governor Deval Patrick seems to feel that Thomas was lacking “courtesy and grace”:

Governor Deval Patrick struck a disappointed tone today as he commented on Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas’s decision not to attend a White House event earlier this week honoring the Stanley Cup champions.

“He’s a phenomenal hockey player and he’s entitled to his views, but it just feels to me like we’re losing in this country basic courtesy and grace,” Patrick said.

I didn’t think much of President Bush’s policies – two wars on a credit card, prescription drug benefit that we couldn’t afford, deficit out of control – but I always referred to him as ‘Mr. President.’ I stood when he came in the room,” Patrick said in his monthly appearance on the “Ask the Governor” segment on WTKK-FM.

“There are rules to live by so I don’t want to make more of this than is deserving. I guess I’d prefer to pay more attention and offer more commentary when there are acts of grace as opposed to the reverse,” he said, moving onto the next topic.

Interesting.  Please note the part in bold.  Obviously, Thomas simply must have said something horrible. Luckily, we can go to the tape, so to speak…or at least Thomas’ Facebook page.  There, Thomas says this:

Mitt Romney Will Have to Work for Libertarian Support

It’s become pretty clear that Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.) isn’t going to win the GOP presidential nomination. Following his fourth place showing in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, Paul’s campaign announced that it would concentrate its efforts on the fourteen remaining caucus states. Even in the unlikely event that Paul sweeps the caucus states, he will receive no more than 500 delegates* — far short of the 1,144 needed to win the nomination. The best Paul can hope to accomplish through this strategy is a brokered convention at which he would unquestionably be rejected as the GOP nominee by the party establishment. Even this outcome is unlikely. Like it or not, it’s time to face reality: Ron Paul will not be the Republican candidate for president.

This leaves libertarians with a choice. We can choose to support either former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), or former Governor Gary Johnson (L-N. Mex.).

5 Reasons Obama Should Stop #SOPA & #PIPA With Veto Threat

Given President Obama’s first instincts to centralize power in Washington and expand his own executive power, it might seem unlikely that he would issue a veto threat against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). But we might be able to persuade him if we speak in language that is well understood at the White House, which is the language of reelection. While the Obama campaign might think backing SOPA/PIPA will help the president’s reelection efforts by way of generous campaign contributions from Hollywood, the White House might want to consider that signing SOPA/PIPA into law could damage his chances of reelection in at least five important ways.

1. SOPA/PIPA will alienate independents. No question about it, independents love and are well-informed about threats to their civil liberties. The Obama campaign might want to remember an ACLU poll from 2007 that showed a large majority of independents insisting that the next president should restore civil liberties that were eroded during the eight years of the Bush administration. That President Obama largely hasn’t restored those civil liberties hasn’t gone unnoticed. Maybe that’s why new polling shows Ron Paul and Mitt Romney beating Obama and even Rick Santorum nipping at his heels among independents. Many independents are independents precisely because they don’t trust either party to protect their civil liberties. Obama can kiss those independent voters goodbye if he signs SOPA/PIPA into law.

Ron Paul has a good shot to win in Iowa

With his poll numbers in rising, some pundits, observers, and veteran Republicans are noting that Ron Paul may have a real shot of winning in Iowa. The National Review’s Robert Costa explains:

Rep. Ron Paul rarely makes news, and his candidacy is frequently ignored by Beltway reporters. But headlines, his aides say, are overrated. In fact, the Texas Republican’s low-key autumn was strategic. As Paul’s competitors stumbled and sparred, he amassed a small fortune for his campaign and built a strong ground operation. And with January fast approaching, his team is ready to surprise the political world and sweep the Iowa caucuses.

“This was a movement when he first started running in 2008,” says Trygve Olson, a senior Paul adviser. “Now it’s turned into a highly professionalized campaign, but the energy from that last run is still there, and at the heart of what’s keeping up his momentum.”

The latest polls back up that confidence. In the influential Des Moines Register poll published over the weekend, Paul placed second. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, captured 25 percent of likely Iowa GOP voters, but Paul garnered 18 percent, two points ahead of Mitt Romney, who in 2008 placed second in the caucuses.

If Paul wins Iowa, the upset could upend what many politicos say is a two-man race between Gingrich and Romney. According to state GOP insiders, a Paul victory is a real possibility. In background conversations, many say Paul is much stronger than outside observers believe, with deep and wide support among a frustrated electorate. With Herman Cain’s departure from the race, operatives see Paul potentially collecting a quarter of caucus attendees.

Why Newt Gingrich is likely to be the GOP nominee?

The emergence of Newt Gingrich as frontrunner for the Republican nomination is without doubt very odd. Many pundits thought that Gingrich’s campaign dead in the water after making some incredibly dumb comments about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan. We were all wrong, apparently.

It’s not like the conservative base has embraced Gingrich. After all, Herman Cain excited the base at the beginning of the race. But that eventually moved to Michele Bachmann, who had her brief time in the limelight and won the Ames Straw Poll in mid-August. But after Rick Perry jumped in the race, Bachmann became a distant memory. After Perry proved himself to be an incapable debator and gaffe-prone, where did the support go? Not Gingrich, but back to the inexperienced and unproven Cain.

But now with Cain tapering off again, it’s Gingrich — not Rick Santorum or Ron Paul — who is reaping the benefits. Why? As I noted recently, it’s because GOP voters remember him and respect him as a some sort of intellectual conservative (laughable, I know, given all the statist policies he’s supported).

The reason conservatives aren’t flocking to Paul are sort of obvious, though I don’t expect his average supporter to grasp them. Paul isn’t a neo-conservative, so he doesn’t appeal to warmongers defense-minded GOP voters. While he is personally opposed to gay marriage, he is also a defender of the Tenth Amendment and opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment. And let’s face it, he doesn’t come off as that great of a debator. Sure, his ideas are sound on paper and in practice, I believe. But when it comes articulating them, he just isn’t that great.


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