Republican Leadership Would Rather Negotiate with Democrats than Conservatives on Obamacare

Within hours of SwampCare being pulled by Speaker Ryan, Republican leaders in the senate were signaling full retreat on any conservative plan to repeal Obamacare. Both Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) stated openly that the response to conservatives stopping SwampCare was for House and Senate leadership to work with democrats to craft a new bill…not stand with conservative members who are working to fulfill the promise of full repeal:

Many commentators and Republican members have claimed that conservatives allowed ‘the perfect to become the enemy of the good’ or that conservatives are unwilling to negotiate. The insidious nature of these lies can be found when the bill is examined and the process understood. While Speaker Ryan may claim that his bill gave conservatives “80%” of what they want, non-partisan analysis of the bill from groups like the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Heritage Foundation have detailed the yuge flaws in the ACHA.

TPPF’s Chip Roy (Sen. Ted Cruz’s former Chief of Staff) released a statement following the bill’s death sheds light on the conservative reforms necessary in a true repeal bill.

While the Freedom Caucus has been lambasted by leadership as unwilling to negotiate, the truth of the matter is that Rep. Meadows and his colleagues worked at every turn to amend the bill into one they could in good conscience support. These attempts were thwarted by House leadership at every turn. Furthermore, moderate Republicans like Reps Frelinghuysen and Comstock (not members of the Freedom Caucus) who refused to support the bill and lent the final death knell.

While Senate leadership may be looking to their left for help, we do have a small cadre of conservatives who stand by their promise of full repeal. They’re under no illusion that it will be an easy process but their promises of the last 7 years have been sincere. They know the importance of repeal in many cases because it was the passage of Obamacare that catalyzed their election:

Thursday afternoon, Sen. Mike Lee summed up the reasons that the bill failed and the path forward for repeal. Watch the video below:

It’s Time For National Firearms Reciprocity

Rep. Richard Hudson introduced H.R. 38, which grants Congressional consent and mandates all states to allow automatic reciprocity for concealed firearms carry. This solves an intractable problem as some states move to Constitutional carry while others maintain different licensing standards. Sen. John Cornyn has introduced the Senate version, S. 446.

I live in central Georgia. I currently can’t drive to my boyhood home of New Hampshire and carry a pistol while driving there. There’s just no way to get there. I can get all the way to Pennsylvania and then I’m stymied by New York and New Jersey.

I can drive all the way to Utah but I can’t get to the west coast. Until last year, I couldn’t even drive through South Carolina, despite having a valid Georgia Weapons Carry License (GWCL). To get said license, I had to get fingerprinted, fill out similar forms to the federal Form 4473, and pass a background check. Plus I had to pay the State for the privilege of them sending me an ID card.

I also have a Georgia driver’s license. It’s good in all 50 states. The standards for getting said driver’s license vary from state to state. In some states, the test is much more difficult than in others. I haven’t had a driving test since I was 17, in New Hampshire. But Georgia issued me a driver’s license without making me a take a new road test (I took a 10 question “duh!” traffic test 25 years ago).

You know where I’m going with this. Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution (the “Full Faith and Credit” clause) requires states to recognize each other’s public Acts, Records and judicial Proceedings. This is most evident in areas like fugitives, where you can’t cross over from Georgia into Alabama as an escaped prisoner and ask Alabama for asylum.

There are no explicit federal laws requiring states to recognize each other’s driver’s licenses because no state has (so far) refused to do so. The 1958 “Beamer Resolution” gave blanket Congressional consent to all state cooperative agreements or compacts dealing with highway safety. The federal government has the power to do the same with firearms licensing.

Today, 13 states, in one form or another, use Constitutional carry–they rely on the Second Amendment for citizens’ rights to bear arms. No state needs to recognize reciprocity for the Second Amendment. Yet I can’t get to Vermont or New Hampshire to exercise this right if I’m driving through New York, where carrying my gun is illegal.

Some states follow the U.S. Constitution. Others don’t. The federal government has the Constitutional authority to mandate interstate cooperation on firearms. The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) allows interstate carry of concealed weapons by a “qualified law enforcement officer.” It does this without restricting private property rights, or the rights of property owners to restrict firearms on their premises.

If the federal government can regulate police officers right to carry in any state, they can regulate everyone’s right. Last I checked, there was only one class of citizen in the United States. “Law enforcement” is not a class of citizenship, it’s a job description. Training requirements vary state by state, just like they do for driver’s licenses. If LEOSA is Constitutional, then H.R. 38 and S. 446 are also Constitutional.

Of course, the easiest solution to the “who can carry a gun” mess is for all states to dispense with silly permitting requirements, that criminals don’t follow anyway because they are universally excluded from eligibility, and go with Constitutional carry. But until that happens, it would be nice to be able to drive from Georgia to any other state while exercising my right–identified by a state-issued GWCL–to carry a pistol.

Driving is merely a privilege. Self-defense is a right. It’s time for Congress to pass national firearms reciprocity.

The Curious Case of Cruz’s Freudian Tweet

Yesterday I happened upon a tweet from Ted Cruz linking an article in Conservative Review by Daniel Horowitz, titled “Why conservatives will need a new party if/when Hillary wins.” Not having time to read it immediately, I mentally filed it away for later. I did think it a bit curious that Cruz would tweet this, given his commitment to get Trump elected and keep Hillary out of office.

When I went back later, looking for the tweet, it was already gone. I scratched my head, thinking maybe I misread “Ted Cruz” or it was tweeted by one of the sneakier parody accounts on Twitter pretending to be everyone who matters. Then I saw this:

So the tweet was real. But Cruz claims someone “unauthorized” tweeted it. Or actually that statement was very lawyerly crafted: “didn’t come from anyone authorized to use the account (that they know of).” That could mean the account was outright hacked–but the hackers had a funny sense of humor, tweeting something that seems so obviously to be what Cruz really thinks. It could also mean that Team Cruz knows exactly who tweeted it, but that person was not authorized to use the account (that they know of).

Without knowing exactly who is authorized to use the @tedcruz Twitter account, and who at Team Cruz knows the entire list of those names, it’s impossible to judge the veracity of their statement. But it is telling that Team Cruz never repudiated the contents of the tweet, only that it wasn’t from anyone authorized.

The piece by Horowitz skewered Cruz’s fellow Texan Senator John Cornyn:

Republicans like Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas. (F, 42%) already have a game plan in place if and when Hillary is elected: make Hillary’s presidency a great success. In other words, nothing too different from the GOP’s modus operandi during the Obama presidency.

Here is a revealing tweet from an Austin Statesman reporter covering John Cornyn’s speech to a local Chamber of Commerce this week:

Thus, Cornyn’s biggest agenda item for a Hillary presidency is to grant her George Soros’s top policy agenda — jailbreak — which will help create a permanent Democrat majority. These people have no sense of the fact that even if Hillary wins she will have no mandate, Republicans will control the majority of state governments, the House, and very possibly the Senate. In a constitutional system that is working properly — with a party that cares to exercise its power appropriately — Hillary’s presidency should be dead on arrival. Yet, GOP leaders are already planning to greet her with tailwinds instead of headwinds.


Horowitz goes on to indict the GOP-controlled Congress as a whole, asking “for how much longer will they continue doing the same things and expecting different results?” and providing the answer in “the opportunity for a clean break from the past.”

Maybe this was a Freudian tweet. There’s certainly no love lost between the two Texans. Cornyn has even declared he won’t endorse Cruz in 2018. So much for GOP unity. Cornyn slammed Cruz for his “vote your conscience” appearance at the Trump Coronation Republican National Convention.

“You don’t come to the convention after you have lost the nomination and not support the nominee,” Cornyn said in an interview on Fox News Radio. “I think the right thing to do would be to stay home. I think it was a mistake and I don’t know what it means in terms of his future, but I think he miscalculated.”

Possibly, Horowitz struck just the right tone to let Cornyn know what Cruz really thinks but can’t say with his outside voice. Unauthorized, of course.

The Chamber Of Failure Never Fails To Accomplish Nothing

After grandstanding and shouts of “do something!” the Senate had four gun control options on which to vote Monday night. This was part of the brokered deal to end Sen. Chris Murphy’s filibuster following the Orlando [omitted, now restored] terror shooting.

None of them passed. Absolutely nothing was accomplished. As per usual, the Senate is back to square zero. The good news: At least the Democrats didn’t get their way.

  • Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R) measure to add funding to the FBI’s existing National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS): FAILED 53 to 47 (needed 60 votes).
  • Sen. Chris Murphy’s expanded background checks and requirement for private sales in gun show parking lots to be subject to the checks (what Democrats call the “gun show loophole” and everyone else calls “private property” or “de-facto gun registration”): FAILED 44 to 56.
  • Sen. John Cornyn’s (R) eminently reasonable and commonsense plan to delay gun sales when a buyer pops up on a terror “watchlist” and allow prosecutors to show probable cause before a judge to block the sale (aka “The Sixth Amendment”): FAILED 53 to 47.
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reanimated zombie from 2015 that would summarily block gun purchases for buyers who pop up on whatever “watchlist” the government chooses (aka “Due Process–fuhgetaboutit”): FAILED 47 to 53.

Most politics-watchers call this “gridlock” along party lines. But for the Senate, it’s what the military has for years referred to as SNAFU. Everything is copacetic on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, another ISIS terrorist is getting ready to buy a gun–somewhere–and the FBI can’t do anything because to the Obama administration, [omitted] isn’t considered important, only gun control.

Reason No. 7,375 Why Ted Cruz Should Never Apologize To The Senate

A group of senators want Ted Cruz to make nice with his fellow legislators, or they won’t be his friends. They’re not his friends anyway (with a few exceptions like Mike Lee), and have done everything they can to stop him, almost handing the nomination to Donald Trump–and the election to Hillary.

Here’s another reason Cruz should never apologize.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a man noted for his calm and stoic demeanor, delivered an impassioned speech on the Senate floor reiterating the point he made mere hours after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month — that the next president should have say over who filled Scalia’s chair.

“The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates, whoever that might be,” McConnell said. He said he repeated that point to Garland in a phone conversation on Wednesday.

As McConnell spoke, he was flanked by members of his leadership team, Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas and Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming, as well as Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, a former Judiciary chairman himself.

Sen. Cornyn was the chief messenger to Cruz that he needs to kiss McConnell’s ring.

Worse still, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa wouldn’t rule out “a conversation.” Grassley, on Feb. 14, said “it only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court Justice.” Two days later, he backtracked. “”I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decisions.” And now, Grassley “hasn’t ruled out” meeting with Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

Grassley, as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has nearly single-handed authority to block the nomination, or to allow hearings to begin. Once hearings begin, as they say, the camel’s nose is in the tent.

This is just another in a long string of betrayals from our Republican congress. Ted Cruz shouldn’t apologize. The GOP-controlled senate would rather have Donald Trump lose in a landslide to Hillary than put Cruz in the White House. It is they who should apologize to voters, and when Trump destroys the GOP and they’re at home lamenting their losses, they’ll learn.

John Cornyn Should Ask Trump To Apologize Not Cruz

Ted Cruz’s fellow Texas Senator John Cornyn is urging Cruz to smooth things over with his senate colleagues.

That message — to smooth things over with Senate Republicans in a private session — was personally delivered by fellow Texan and McConnell’s chief deputy, Sen. John Cornyn, who spoke with Cruz by phone after the candidate won their home state’s primary earlier this month.

“I actually made that suggestion to him when I talked to him last,” Cornyn said when asked if he thought Cruz should apologize for his McConnell remarks. (A spokesman later said that Cornyn did not seek an apology but urged Cruz to speak directly to the Senate GOP Conference.)

Calling McConnell a liar on the floor of the senate stung, and broke the honored tradition of saving the shiv for the press room while maintaining a fake decorum on the floor. It’s a ridiculous tradition (and hasn’t always been that way, read your U.S. history).

But why should Cornyn reserve his criticism for Cruz? Donald Trump has done more damage to decorum and civil political discourse than any serious candidate in the last half century. The rap sheet of Trump’s disgusting comments and attacks is far too long (and too well known) to detail here.

Yet the senate has no standard for Trump–he’s exempt from all rules applied to everyone else.

I agree that Cruz should do what he can to get along with his fellow senators on a personal level. But the optics of such a move when Trump can call Rubio “little Marco,” and Cruz “lyin’ Ted,” not to mention what he said about Lindsey Graham would make Cruz look like a milquetoast while making Trump look like a hero for being an uncivilized boor.

Maybe that’s what Cornyn and his senate friends want, otherwise they’d ask Trump to smooth over his own statements.

Senator Cornyn Needs to K.I.S.S. This Idea Goodbye

I appreciate Senator John Cornyn working on a bipartisan solution to stem the border crisis, but I do not understand why people in Washington can’t remember to K.I.S.S. their policy proposals — Keep It Simple Stupid.

We cannot just secure our border, we must have a comprehensive plan. We cannot work on our healthcare, we must have comprehensive socialism. Washington, not “we” to be fair, does not do comprehensive anything well, but always wants a comprehensive solution.

Senator Cornyn and Democrats, instead of keeping their solution simple, are just further empowering the President who has created this problem.

They’re going to call their bipartisan solution the HUMANE Act, or the “Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency Act”. Wow. So if we oppose their bad idea we are inhumane.

The proposal does not close the major inducement to the present crisis. In 2012, President Obama created the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (“DACA”) program without congressional approval. The K.I.S.S. approach would be for Congress to shut this down, seal the border, and quickly send back everyone who has crossed over. In fact, this bipartisan proposal does not even shut down DACA. But it does allow illegal immigrant children to hire lawyers paid for by you to petition judges appointed by Barack Obama for permission to stay in the United States.

More troubling, this law would require that

the Secretary of Homeland Security … submit to the appropriate congressional committees a comprehensive strategy for gaining and maintaining situational awareness and operational control of high traffic areas

but give two years. Doing this when Eric Holder only the other day claimed “the immigration laws are being enforced” is papering over the issue.

At the same time, the legislation steals border security metrics from the comprehensive immigration legislation the Senate and President love while not putting a single additional boot on the ground for border security or putting up even one foot of fencing on the border.

So there is no repeal of DACA, no more border patrol agents, and no fencing — just two years of dithering.

This is not a border security bill. It is an amnesty supplemental.

End DACA, secure the border, and send them home. Keep it simple.

The President is the one refusing to require DHS, ICE, Border Patrol, etc. to enforce the law. He should demand they enforce immigration laws instead of lying that they already are. The President is the one whose administration lied years ago and swore to Congress the border fence was complete and the border was totally secure. He should redirect funds and resources currently available to fix the border. The President has the power to send in national guard. He should.

The pro-amnesty forces are the ones who promised that illegal surges would never happen again while laughing at us for predicting that promises of amnesty would lead to more illegal entry. We should be morally outraged that the President and pro-amnesty forces have encouraged these children to go through these horrific conditions with some the victims of human trafficking, gangs, and sex trade. When you announce you will reward illegal behavior, it shouldn’t be a shock you get lots more illegal behavior that leads to tragedy.

If people on the right and left really value immigrants and want more to come and be part of the American dream, they wouldn’t encourage them to do so illegally, subject to violence and abuse, and forced to live in shadows. Immigrants have long wanted to come to the US precisely because it’s not like the lawless places they flee. We are supposed to be a country with the rule of law that keeps its citizens safe. For the sake of future immigrants, we should seal our borders, enforce immigration laws, and overhaul the embarrassingly bad legal system to make it easier to come here legally than illegally.

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Lessons of the Week from Texas to CPAC

Without any galvanized or united tea party/conservative opposition pitted against a 12 year, popular incumbent, 40% of Texas Republicans still voted against John Cornyn. Put it to you this way — RedState did not oppose John Cornyn and one of our own front page contributors did work for him on this campaign. And without anyone really campaigning against him, 40% of Texas Republicans still wanted somebody else.

That was Tuesday.

Get to CPAC on Thursday and Ted Cruz electrified the crowd. Contrast Cruz with McConnell on stage. McConnell got the crowd excited about his gun, but otherwise got a very subdued reception.

I didn’t see their speeches, but I hear Marco and Mike Lee did fine. It’s the old guys who aren’t even able to get the old guys out of their chairs any more. Even the old conservatives are ready to move on from the old faces, but the old faces are bitterly clinging to the levers of power.

It is pronounced in the hallways when the crowd stops to chat. It is pronounced in the applause lines. It is in the quiet hum of the older, longer time attendees and the buzz of the young.

They have grown tired of the old guard. Theirs is a palpable angst about the future of the GOP without a house cleaning. If it does not happen in the primaries, these people will no doubt turn out in 2014 anyway. But what about the next two years of infighting leading into 2016? If the conservatives cannot clean up their house in 2014, by 2016 they may not even bother engaging.

Twenty years of “Stop Hillary” runs on inertia, not passion. It’ll take something, but there may be nothing if the GOP does not start listening to its grassroots.

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