Mitigating the Suck

I campaigned for Jody Hice and Barry Loudermilk in Georgia. They both said they were opposed to John Boehner as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Today, the both voted for him, having previously voted against him in the Republican Conference.

They both stood behind that as their justification to vote for him today, but their constituents thought otherwise. For an hour on the radio in Atlanta tonight, donors of theirs, voters of theirs, and other supporters called in to say they felt betrayed and that we had all been played.

I don’t blame the voters. These guys had promised to oppose John Boehner. It was their first act and they broke their promise. But they are not somehow suddenly not my friends. They are good men. They just flinched at their first time on the firing line.

While they should and will be held accountable, they also deserve some measure of grace. If I believe in a God of second chances, then I need to give second chances. But there is more than that and I think a lot of conservatives lost sight of it.

Republicans are playing a short game. Cycle to cycle they want to hold a majority and must win the fights necessary to hold that majority. Their entire operation is built on election cycles. Conservatives are not playing that game. Conservatives are playing a longer game to move the country in a particular direction.

The votes of congressmen for John Boehner, when they had promised to vote against him, do matter and their faltering out of the gate is discouraging and disappointing to so many who helped them, stood by them, defended them, and thought they were making a change for the better. But this one vote is not singularly, monumentally important in the long term. There are other fights on other days that will also matter.

A practical side of this is that these guys are now elected. They will be there for two years.

Should they be thrown out of the conservative movement for this vote today? What about next week when they might be with us? Should we not let them find some redemption, some chance to learn their lesson, and some chance to get it right? We, in the conservative movement, do not institutionally have those attributes of power the Leadership does. We do not have the mechanisms of fundraising and perks of power they have. The allure of Leadership sucks away the souls of many. Turning our backs on friends because we are disappointed at their first vote — however big we may see it — just makes it even easier for them to drift permanently away.

A number of these guys waffled on their first venture out to the firing line. They campaigned and broke their promise. Remind them of that. Hold that up. But do not deny them the opportunity to vote right on other measures. Do not make them feel so un-welcomed that they stray permanently.

A number of others showed real leadership. Congressman Gohmert, again, showed he was willing to stand and fight. Congressman Jim Bridenstine showed the attributes of the new leader of the House conservatives. Congressman Meadows showed he will stand to defend liberty even when the odds are against him.

Put more bluntly, do not put your faith in men, particularly politicians. Our job is to mitigate the suck in Washington and, over time, change it. I have no doubt a number of the men who disappointed us today will be with us on other votes and are still net improvements over many of those they replaced — men who would not have just voted for Boehner today, but caved to him on immigration and so much more in the future. Conservatives win in small numbers made large over time, not in silver bullet votes that slay the leviathan in one vote out of the gate.

This morning, major news headlines from multiple outlets contained the Republican Leadership’s talking point. John Boehner had it in the bag, there would be not even twenty votes against him, and because of that he could now permanently ignore the paper tiger that is the conservative base of the party.

Instead, just as I predicted filling in for Rush Limbaugh on December 26th, there were twenty-five votes against Boehner. Others caved, but will not want to be ignored. The Republican Leadership woke up this morning thinking that they had just wetted a conservative paper tiger. Instead, they realized it remains a force to be reckoned with in the House, with numbers greater than they thought, and the base that trained the tiger is now even more pissed off.

Happy governing. Conservatives, slowly but surely, continue to mitigate the suck.

Mitigating the Suck

I campaigned for Jody Hice and Barry Loudermilk in Georgia. They both said they were opposed to Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BoehnerN/AHouse Republican AverageSee Full ScorecardN/A as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Today, the both voted for him, having previously voted against him in the Republican Conference.

They both stood behind that as their justification to vote for him today, but their constituents thought otherwise. For an hour on the radio in Atlanta tonight, donors of theirs, voters of theirs, and other supporters called in to say they felt betrayed and that we had all been played.

I don’t blame the voters. These guys had promised to oppose Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BoehnerN/AHouse Republican AverageSee Full ScorecardN/A. It was their first act and they broke their promise. But they are not somehow suddenly not my friends. They are good men. They just flinched at their first time on the firing line.

While they should and will be held accountable, they also deserve some measure of grace. If I believe in a God of second chances, then I need to give second chances. But there is more than that and I think a lot of conservatives lost sight of it.

Republicans are playing a short game. Cycle to cycle they want to hold a majority and must win the fights necessary to hold that majority. Their entire operation is built on election cycles. Conservatives are not playing that game. Conservatives are playing a longer game to move the country in a particular direction.

The votes of congressmen for Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BoehnerN/AHouse Republican AverageSee Full ScorecardN/A, when they had promised to vote against him, do matter and their faltering out of the gate is discouraging and disappointing to so many who helped them, stood by them, defended them, and thought they were making a change for the better. But this one vote is not singularly, monumentally important in the long term. There are other fights on other days that will also matter.

A practical side of this is that these guys are now elected. They will be there for two years.

Should they be thrown out of the conservative movement for this vote today? What about next week when they might be with us? Should we not let them find some redemption, some chance to learn their lesson, and some chance to get it right? We, in the conservative movement, do not institutionally have those attributes of power the Leadership does. We do not have the mechanisms of fundraising and perks of power they have. The allure of Leadership sucks away the souls of many. Turning our backs on friends because we are disappointed at their first vote — however big we may see it — just makes it even easier for them to drift permanently away.

A number of these guys waffled on their first venture out to the firing line. They campaigned and broke their promise. Remind them of that. Hold that up. But do not deny them the opportunity to vote right on other measures. Do not make them feel so un-welcomed that they stray permanently.

A number of others showed real leadership. Congressman Gohmert, again, showed he was willing to stand and fight. Congressman Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Jim Bridenstine91%House Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard91% showed the attributes of the new leader of the House conservatives. Congressman Meadows showed he will stand to defend liberty even when the odds are against him.

Put more bluntly, do not put your faith in men, particularly politicians. Our job is to mitigate the suck in Washington and, over time, change it. I have no doubt a number of the men who disappointed us today will be with us on other votes and are still net improvements over many of those they replaced — men who would not have just voted for Boehner today, but caved to him on immigration and so much more in the future. Conservatives win in small numbers made large over time, not in silver bullet votes that slay the leviathan in one vote out of the gate.

This morning, major news headlines from multiple outlets contained the Republican Leadership’s talking point. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BoehnerN/AHouse Republican AverageSee Full ScorecardN/A had it in the bag, there would be not even twenty votes against him, and because of that he could now permanently ignore the paper tiger that is the conservative base of the party.

Instead, just as I predicted filling in for Rush Limbaugh on December 26th, there were twenty-five votes against Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BoehnerN/AHouse Republican AverageSee Full ScorecardN/A. Others caved, but will not want to be ignored. The Republican Leadership woke up this morning thinking that they had just wetted a conservative paper tiger. Instead, they realized it remains a force to be reckoned with in the House, with numbers greater than they thought, and the base that trained the tiger is now even more pissed off.

Happy governing. Conservatives, slowly but surely, continue to mitigate the suck.

The post Mitigating the Suck appeared first on RedState.

An Interesting Choice for Republicans: With Their Base or With Obama

The CROmnibus is in chaos thanks to so many Republicans opposing the rule. That exposed the underlying weakness and it showed the Democrats just how much turmoil the GOP leaders were causing for themselves.

Now Boehner is struggling to get it passed and wants Democrat votes to help get it passed.

This puts Republicans in an interesting position. With Barack Obama now coming out to endorse Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BoehnerN/AHouse Republican AverageSee Full ScorecardN/A‘s plan that funds Obama’s Amnesty, will Republicans stand with Obama or with the GOP base that just gave them their biggest majority since World War II.

That the GOP leadership is begging Democrats to support their plan should tell you all you need to know about how bad it is.

The post An Interesting Choice for Republicans: With Their Base or With Obama appeared first on RedState.

The Funniest Part of the Washington Post Story on the Democrat Meltdown

The Washington Post has a long story on what went wrong for the Democrats. Basically, as Ron Fournier notes, there are two progressive parties now, the Democrats and the Obamas. The Democrats are going on record (!!!), not background, to attack the President and his team.

The funniest part of it?

This:

Lawyers negotiated for months over legal minutia, with Obama’s counselors insisting that the president appear only as a guest and do no donor solicitation, which would have violated federal law. After Obama appeared at two Senate Majority PAC events — June 17 in New York and July 22 in Seattle — the president’s lawyers demanded that no staffer follow up with the donors for at least seven days.

That’s right. The President hid behind lawyers instead of just saying no to stuff he did not want to do.

Key Takeaways from Campaign 2014

Republicans are going to have the largest House majority they’ve seen since 1946. They have won gubernatorial races, congressional races, and Senate races in blue territory. The GOP not only held Florida, Kansas, and Maine, races they were expected to lose, but they gained Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts. They picked up the State House in Minnesota. The GOP did very well in a wave. I was actually kind of wrong. I expected a wave at the state and local level, but did not think there would be one at the national level. There sure was.

In all of this, there are some lessons to learn from the day.

First, two years in a row many pollsters got it wrong. Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, and more all saw polling deviate greatly from the actual returns. They simply over-corrected too much from 2012. We are entering territory where pollsters are going to be less and less useful.

Second, the Republican wave was too great to have been just their effort as opposed to a rejection of Democrats. Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida held on. Republicans picked up legislative houses in states like Minnesota. These were races that had not looked great for them. There is no issue the GOP rallied around other than being the anti-Obama party. It paid off. Voters, once they taste socialism, reject it in America. They have rejected it. More than 25 of the Senators who voted for Obamacare have now been thrown out by the voters since 2010. The GOP should remember that. They should also remember that the voters clearly believe government itself is the problem and not just Democrats in charge of it. If the GOP wants to lock in gains, they need to show the American people that freeing them from the shackles of government is a winner.

Third, the GOP needs to do to Senate Democrats what Senate Democrats did to them. [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] is trying to sound conciliatory now. After blocking the GOP and refusing to reach across the aisle or across to the other House, the GOP needs to shut down the Senate Democrats.

Fourth, it turns out social issues are not killers for the GOP after all. Abortion Barbie went down in Texas. Sandra Fluke went down to defeat in California. But the pro-life Amendment 1 won in Tennessee. The default against social issues among rich GOP donors is not the default among the public. Republicans do not need to run on social issues, but they sure as hell do not need to run away from them.

Fifth, Campaign 2014 is another textbook example of media bias. According to the national media, Kansas and Georgia were going to turn blue. Kansas because of [mc_name name=’Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000307′ ], but more importantly because Gov. Sam Brownback decided to force through “unpopular” tax cuts. For weeks, Chuck Todd has been gearing up to claim tax cuts are no longer a winning issue for the GOP. But Sam Brownback got re-elected, as did [mc_name name=’Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000307′ ], and the Kansas Democrats lost seats in the state legislature. The media ignored so much in Kansas. In Georgia, the media bought into the Democrats’ narrative that the state was going blue. In fact, both Nathan Deal and David Perdue won without runoffs. Neither Jason Carter nor Michelle Nunn improved the Democrats’ position from 2010. In fact, in baseline races where there was no heavy partisan activity, Georgia Republicans averaged 58% of the vote. In Florida, Rick Scott beat Charlie Crist. Were you to believe the media for the past three months, there was no way Scott could get re-elected.

Likewise, the media spent months salivating over Democrats Allison Grimes, Wendy Davis, and Michelle Nunn. All three women lost. Meanwhile, the GOP is sending the first black female Republican to Congress with Mia Love. They’re sending conservative legend Barbara Comstock who won in Northern Virginia. And they’re sending veteran Joni Ernst from Iowa. Ernst, by the way, ran one of the best campaigns in America. But the media ignored the Republican women, focusing instead on the fashion choices of losing Democrats who stroked their world view.

By the way, not only did Wendy Davis lose the gubernatorial election in Texas, but her State Senate seat flipped to the GOP’s tea party candidate, Konni Burton.

Sixth, since the election of Richard Nixon in 1968, Democrats have proclaimed a pending demographic collapse for the GOP. They are at it again overnight. This year is alleged the best the GOP will ever do because of demographics. Demographics is not and never will be destiny, nor is there such a thing as a permanent political majority. But the Democrats and meida, but I repeat myself, will find comfort where they will.

Seventh, the Democrats have a real problem. It is clear now that the Democrats’ coalition is actually Barack Obama’s coalition. As I have said repeatedly, that coalition turns out for Barack Obama, but not for Democrats.

In the Washington Post, [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ]’s Chief of Staff is on record lashing out at the White House. But in the New York Times, Barack Obama claims he has not been repudiated. In fact, liberals believe that the Democrats who did best are the ones who vocally defending Obamacare. They believe that! To win in 2016, Democrats must repudiate Barack Obama. But if they do, his base might not show up for them. If they don’t, the rest of America will reject them again.

Democrats already on the march claiming they’ll be just fine in 2016 might want to slow down. When a President is resentful his party did not stand with him, he is not likely to honestly recognize he has been repudiated. If he believes he is right, he is most likely to think he just needs a better class of voters. Should President Obama try to get that better class of voters with amnesty, he will only do more damage to the Democrats.

Democrats will now say 2016 will be fine. But history is against them. It is exceedingly rare for an incumbent party to win a third Presidential election. More troubling, Democrats in support of big government are going to have to make Barack Obama be the fall guy. They cannot distance themselves from big government.

More than twenty-five of the Senate Democrats who supported Obamacare have now been driven from office. Across the nation tonight, Democrats have seen massive political casualties. The war on women got trumped by the war on coal and deep anger toward Obamacare. But if the Democrats try to make this Barack Obama’s defeat, they will see what others are now forced to see. The Democrats’ coalition has always been Barack Obama’s.

Distancing themselves from Obama will just make their fight over his coalition nastier. Embracing Obama will make their 2016 outlook more difficult. 2016 is no sure thing for Hillary.

Eighth, the economy still matters. Jobs are a real issue in America and there is a deep pessimism about the future. If the GOP can show a path forward, they can win more.