We Tea Party types kept our mouths shut for 20 years and voted Republican as the Party nominated George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, and John McCain. We bit our tongues as our president waxed wise about “compassionate conservatism” and Karl Rove talked of a new Republican era. But they won two elections in 2000 and 2004, so we gave them the benefit of the doubt that they at least knew how to “win.” We were hoping to get two steps forward for every step backward.
But what were our forward steps? What did we “win”? Republicans spent more. They regulated more. They expanded programs we Tea Partiers had hoped to eliminate. And they invented a whole new $8-trillion entitlement that none of us asked for. We weren’t looking for purity at all, but simply one iota of a difference from Democrats.
“But you can’t expect to elect a Jim DeMint in Vermont.” No, but we did elect Jim Jeffords. How did that work for us? Arlen Specter? Charlie Crist? How many times do you expect us to kick Lucy’s football?
So stop looking at the mote in the Tea Party’s eye, and start looking at the beam in your own.
Marking the highest point in the Gallup poll’s ten-year history, 60% of Americans said they think Democrats and Republicans aren’t doing “an adequate job of representing the American people” and do “such a poor job that a third major party is needed.”
The poll surveyed 1,028 adults from Oct. 3-6, just days into a federal government shutdown that has lasted a full two weeks.
Just 26% of Americans said the country’s two major parties were representing Americans.
Self-identified Democrats and Republicans were equally likely to see the need for a third party—49% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans said they saw the need for a third party—but a full 71% of Independents supported the idea of a third party.
At an event in Birmingham, Ala. Monday night, former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson revealed that he had received a visit from the Internal Revenue Service following his much-noted remarks at a National Prayer Breakfast earlier this year.
“I had my first encounter with the IRS this year, unsurprisingly after the prayer breakfast,” Carson told an audience that at the annual Business Council of Alabama Chairman’s Dinner, according to a report from Cliff Sims of the Montgomery, Ala.-based Yellowhammer News.
Carson’s February speech February made him a conservative darling for criticizing President Barack Obama’s 2010 health-care reform law, while Obama was sitting just a few feet away.
During the event, which also featured former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Carson spoke about the potential presidential candidacy of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. relations with Russia and the Environmental Protection Agency.
On Sunday, Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, said that Republicans in Washington were savaging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) behind Cruz’s back before Cruz’s appearance on the program to discuss defunding Obamacare.
In an appearance on Washington D.C.’s Fox 5 to preview his Sunday show, Wallace said, “I will tell you I have never in my time in Washington seen a party so upset with one of its own members.”
He said he had been flooded with opposition research on Cruz–from Republicans. Later on Fox News Sunday, Wallace said these “top Republicans” gave him “unsolicited research and questions” to “hammer” Cruz.
“Since we announced that Ted Cruz was going to be on the show, I’ve been getting background research and questions going after Cruz not from Democrats but from other Republicans,” Wallace said on Fox 5. “They really feel he has put them in this corner that they can’t get out of gracefully and they’re not very happy with him.”
In an exclusive op-ed for Breitbart News on Saturday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has also been savaged by establishment Republicans, urged Cruz to stay strong in the face of inevitable attacks from fellow Republicans and suggested they compare “shiv marks” the next time they meet:
“We’re now, once again, subjected to the “anonymous sources” backstabbing game. The Capitol Hill cowards are rushing to anonymously denounce Senator Cruz to any reporter with a pad and pen.
Welcome to our world, Ted. The same people have been denouncing conservatives like me for years (right after they ask for help fundraising for themselves or endorsing the latest candidate they’ve suckered into paying their exorbitant consulting fees). We can compare shiv marks next time we meet, my friend.”
Barack Obama’s second cousin once removed, is laying the groundwork for a potential Republican primary challenge against Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts next year.
Milton Wolf has been gauging support, sources told POLITICO, sending an email to GOP activists the last week of August asking them to get in touch if they want more senators like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul.
Wolf, a 42-year-old practicing radiologist, accused Roberts of raising the debt ceiling, bailing out Wall Street and supporting earmarks. He noted that Roberts said recently that he does not see a way out of using military force in Syria and endorsed former Kansas Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be secretary of Health and Human Services.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is bracing for double-digit defections in the Democratic caucus on the resolution authorizing military strikes on Syria, which will get a vote this coming week.
The Syria resolution presents Reid with one of the biggest tests of his leadership this Congress and the outcome has significant effects for President Obama’s domestic and foreign policy agendas.
Failure of the measure in the Democratic-controlled upper chamber could spur House Republicans to pick a fight with the weakened president over the budget, as well as embolden the regimes of Iran and North Korea.
“The president’s team has really given him a tough one this time but, as always, when the president asks him to do something, Sen. Reid quickly tries to get it done,” said Jim Manley, a former senior advisor to Reid.
With already four Democratic senators saying they will likely oppose the measure, the pressure is building on Reid to reach out across the aisle.
“If this vote were to fail, it will have huge consequences not only for the president’s domestic policy but also his foreign policy and for the people of Syria. This is about as high stakes as you can get,” Manley added. “How’s Iran and North Korea going to react to a defeat? How are House Republicans going to deal with the debt limit?”
Everyone knows the RNC leadership believes there were too many debates last time around and intends to cut the number in half for 2016. And by now everybody has heard of the group’s decision to shut out NBC and CNN from sponsoring debates if those networks go forward with Hillary Clinton documentaries that many Republicans believe will be little more than campaign commercials.
But what has gotten less attention is that Republicans are fundamentally re-thinking their whole debate system. And that could result in a very different kind of GOP race in the next few years.
The biggest change under consideration is a move to break the connection between debates and television news organizations. Under today’s system, news networks sponsor almost all the debates. They control the moderators, content, and production, and in the end exclusively broadcast the program.
That leads to the inevitable issue of who will ask the questions. “The RNC has to pick credible, challenging, realistic, independent moderators,” says Fleischer. The field of choices, he adds, is wide open. “It could be a conservative radio personality, a conservative columnist, a former White House aide or presidential campaign aide, someone who has been there before.”
Surely a better system is possible. The current system of primaries, caucuses and national conventions is the result of reforms initiated by Democrats in the late 1960s and constantly fiddled with, mostly but not entirely by Democrats, ever since.
The resulting system is replete with oddities. Nothing in the Constitution says that Iowa and New Hampshire vote first, but they do. Any politician thinking of ever running for president wouldn’t dare suggest otherwise.
And one that is particularly troublesome for Republicans, which bothers Anderson, director of the conservative 2017 Project, and Cost, a writer for the Weekly Standard.
It doesn’t “reflect the interests and values of the nationwide Republican electorate,” they say, but gives too much influence to elite donors, the media, the early-voting states, professional campaign consultants and independent voters.
College campuses are known for proudly proclaiming their refusal to tolerate discrimination against any minority group, but try telling that to a conservative.
Few would disagree that conservative professors are an endangered species on campus, which is why the University of Colorado Board of Regents is scheduled to consider Thursday a resolution that would prohibit discrimination based on “political affiliation or political philosophy.”
Regent James Geddes said the proposed policy change is aimed at bringing more diversity of intellectual thought to the university, which has a reputation as a bastion of liberalism in its faculty and student body.
“It’s my view that academic freedom is of paramount importance, and unfortunately in many disciplines at the University of Colorado, they end up with high-quality people who think alike,” Mr. Geddes said. “If the other side is not present, then the environment for a rich exchange of ideas is simply not there.”