Rubio is more Tea Party than ‘establishment’

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

I continue to read, in both the lamestream media and conservative outlets like Fox News, that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is competing with Jeb Bush in the “establishment” subprimary for the Republican presidential nomination. Well, if “establishment” donors want to help a principled conservative like Rubio win the nomination, I’m fine with that, but don’t burden Rubio with the “establishment” label. It’s false.

Let’s remember Rubio’s rise to national prominence. In 2010, when the Republican establishment wanted then-popular (and then Republican) Gov. Charlie Crist to take the open Republican-held senate seat vacated by Mel Martinez (and appointed successor George LeMieux), Rubio challenged Crist from the right. When polls showed Rubio ahead, Crist pulled out and ran as an independent. Rubio won. In the senate, Rubio teamed up with two other newly elected principled conservatives, Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT), joined two years later by Ted Cruz (R-TX), to form a solid conservative bloc in the dysfunctional, moderate U.S. Senate.

Rubio was a conservative hero. He still is.

Most conservative disappointment in Rubio stems from his joining Sen. John McCain and six others (the notorious “Gang of Eight”) to support a bad plan for so-called immigration reform. Rubio’s motives were based in the feelings of his base in the conservative Cuban-American community. To his credit, he listened to the bill’s critics who attacked him for his position, he realized that the bill was a mistake, and he backed off. While it’s best to have instincts that make you right the first time, I also appreciate the ability to see one’s mistake, admit it, and fix it. Rubio did.

My initial choice for president in 2016 was Gov. Scott Walker. I don’t know why his support evaporated when Donald Trump entered the race, but it did, Walker bowed out, and that’s that. Every day I am more convinced that Rubio is the real deal. If you subscribe to the Buckley Rule, the most conservative choice in the current field who is electable is Rubio. He is not “establishment.” If establishment types want to support him, that would be a great help in securing Rubio’s win, and it would be a great first step on the part of the establishment to make peace with the Tea Party.

Impact of disappearing LGBT identity politics

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Today’s Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage in every state has an unexpected side effect. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (the LGBT community), heretofore distracted by wedge issues dealing specifically with their sexual orientation, are now freed from their single-issue devotion to the Democratic Party. Issues that matter to the rest of the electorate are now more relevant to LGBT voters. Many will conclude that Republicans now represent a better choice.

Over the past several elections, Democrats drew LGBT voters into their smokescreen of identity politics by playing on their fears of repression by Republican-led governments. Maybe those fears were justified, or maybe not. But as of today, it doesn’t really matter, because the reason for those fears is gone. Any kind of discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation, including their right to marry each other, is now illegal. Done. As passe as anyone having to sit in the back of the bus. People who oppose gay rights, whether a conservative Republican or a religious African American, can no longer hurt them. The Democrats’ single issue has evaporated.

Now other issues, which have long determined the votes of non-LGBT voters, can and will be considered by LGBT voters without being overcome by suddenly irrelevant identity politics. In addition to LGBT voters (about 4% of the electorate), many other voters under age 40 (Millennials and the youngest of Generation X) have been sympathetic to their cause and voted accordingly. LGBT voters and their young sympathizers may now be up for grabs. On some of these issues, the remaining relevance of sexual orientation actually tilts in favor of Republicans.

Take, for example, national security. Long a strong suit of the Republican Party, this issue is currently of prime importance. The inept efforts and lackadaisical attitude of the Obama Administration in general and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in particular, towards the rapidly growing threat of Islamist extremists have the nation feeling less secure. These policies and attitudes permeate the Democratic Party. Every Republican presidential candidate (with the possible exception of libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul) offers the nation greater security than Clinton or any of her intra-party challengers. The LGBT community is keenly aware that the Islamic extremists who threaten us don’t merely discriminate against gays, they execute them!

On the domestic side, tax policy is a key battleground. By and large, the LGBT community enjoys higher incomes and wealth than the nation as a whole. LGBT voters may come to resent Democrat tax policies singling out higher incomes as the source of their “revenue enhancements.” Also, as same-sex couples act on their opportunity to marry, they will see the fundamental unfairness in the tax code’s “marriage penalty.” Republicans have long tried to end it, while Democrats have labored to preserve it.

Younger voters may now pay more attention to the economy. They are the ones most affected by job competition from illegal immigrants, by being forced to settle for part-time employment without health insurance, by being forced to buy health insurance they neither want nor need, or by having insurance from work but no real health care because of high deductibles they can’t afford.

In addition, married voters tend to vote more Republican while single voters tend to vote more Democratic. Married voters with minor children are especially more Republican. As gays and lesbians marry and add adopted children to their families, they will find themselves subject to the same financial and social concerns that influence current married couples to support conservative Republican candidates and policies.

Here in St. Louis, the Supreme Court’s decision coincides with the first day of Pride Fest, the annual LGBT celebration. With fortuitous timing, the only political party organization to have a booth on the fairgrounds is the Republican City Central Committee. Perhaps these new developments will enhance the party’s outreach.

What Missouri Republicans can learn from Scott Walker

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

I just read Unintimidated by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (co-authored by former Bush-43 speechwriter Marc Thiessen). It was an enjoyable read, which I highly recommend. It provides a blueprint that should be followed by whoever the Republican presidential nominee turns out to be. Walker’s experience in Wisconsin also offers important lessons for whoever runs for Missouri Governor next year.

Walker is best known for taking on Wisconsin’s corrupt public employee unions, but that’s not the point of this post. Collective bargaining reform was right for Wisconsin because, as Walker points out, public employee union abuses were so over the top there and a direct cause of the financial crisis Walker inherited from his Democratic predecessor. Walker noted that his reforms probably wouldn’t have passed if the need hadn’t been so critical, because people are more willing to make tough choices only when there are no easy ones available that will work. More informed people than I need to ascertain whether Missouri is ripe for collective bargaining reform, but my gut feeling is that it is not. But Missouri, after eight years of Jay Nixon, has many problems that could benefit from Walker-style reforms. Republicans should nominate someone who is sufficiently principled, creative and savvy to identify Missouri’s worst problems and, more important, propose conservative solutions to fix them.

Walker’s lessons have more universal application that the just the substance of collective bargaining reform. Unintimidated explains these lessons (and others), and Walker’s experiences that led him to his conclusions, in much greater detail than my brief summary, and conservatives interested in learning from them should check out the book.

Missouri’s Republican gubernatorial nominee can especially benefit from the following six lessons from Walker’s success:

Be principled. If the policy is right but the public doesn’t like it, educate the public and persuade them that it is right. Care more about getting things done than getting reelected. Independent voters respect the courage to stand on principle. Walker observes, “If you back away from your principles, you not only lose your base, you also lose the one thing that attracted these independent voters to you in the first place.” If the policies are right, the public will see that eventually, and reelection will take care of itself.

Be positive. Run a campaign based on hope and optimism. Refute the opponent when you must, but make specific, positive proposals to make things better the centerpiece of the campaign. Walker contrasted how President Obama had won in 2008 with a positive campaign of hope and change, while Mitt Romney had lost in 2012 by dwelling on criticism of Obama instead of emphasizing how he would make things better.

Be decent. The Democrat playbook calls for demonizing the Republicans. Union protesters in Wisconsin compared Walker to Hitler and slave masters, vandalized the state capitol, venues where Walker spoke and the homes of Republican legislators, and terrorized their families. Walker refused to respond in kind, and stayed above the fray, even in the most trying circumstances. “In the end,” Walker noted, “the contrast between our conduct and their outrageous behavior helped turn public opinion in our favor.”

Be bold. Attack the identified problem with direct, not half-hearted, solutions that actually solve the problem. A big crisis is a chance to do big things. Timidity is the enemy.

Be fair. To persuade the voters, we need to move their hearts as well as their minds. Walker won the people when they thought his reforms were fair, and he nearly lost them when they thought they weren’t fair. Demonstrate how your proposals will make things better for ordinary people. Point out where unfairness results from the policies you are trying to change, and emphasize how savings brought about by Republican reforms will provide the resources to strengthen public services, improve education and lower taxes.

Be a leader. Leadership is a function of all of the above. Walker explains that independent, reform-minded voters want leadership in times of crisis. “They don’t care if it is Republican leadership or Democratic leadership. If you step forward and offer a reform agenda that is hopeful and optimistic, they will give you a shot. And if you have the courage to follow through and keep your promises, they will stick with you.” Demonstrate empathy by trumpeting the fairness of Republican reforms. Resist responding in kind to abusive Democrat attacks. A surprising number of people, upwards of 10% of all voters, cast their ballots for both Obama and Walker, in spite of their political differences.

If the lessons sound familiar, it’s because they were successfully employed by President Ronald Reagan. His leadership and bold policies ended the inflationary cycle born in Lyndon Johnson’s administration and nurtured and worsened by Nixon, Ford and especially Jimmy Carter, and Reagan’s much maligned massive tax cuts (“trickle down economics”) launched two decades of unparalleled prosperity.

Walker reminds us of how those lessons are still viable today. And of Reagan.


NE Clinton swingersTMI Department: The National Enquirer (which first broke the John Edwards story) quotes an Arkansas state trooper on then-Gov. Clinton’s security detail.

It’s not an image I want before dinner. Maybe it will help me lose weight!

Election returns: What to watch for

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

What happens early will probably foretell results for the rest of the night.

The first significant result will be Kentucky. A McConnell win is expected, so if he loses, so have Republicans nationally.

The next significant poll closings (6 p.m. Central) are New Hampshire, Georgia and Virginia. If Michelle Nunn wins Georgia outright without a runoff, Republican hopes for the senate are dashed. Most likely outcome there is a Republican lead below 50%, with final decision deferred until January 6, after Congress convenes.

Good signals for Republicans in these early states include: David Perdue winning Georgia outright without a runoff or a Scott Brown win over Jean Shaheen. A Republican win in the Virginia senate seat would signal a huge Republican wave.

Also, see if the mainstream media even mentions the solid reelection of black South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott.

6:30 poll closings include West Virginia and North Carolina. Republican failure to capture the Democrat seat in West Virginia probably means the Democrats keep the senate, because West Virginia is supposed to be “in the bag” for Republicans. Republican Thom Tillis upsetting Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina would pretty much assure Republican control of the Senate with a cushion.

Republican senate wins in both New Hampshire and North Carolina probably foreshadow a 10-seat Republican pickup on the night.

Everything else is later. The probable Republican takeover of the Alaska seat probably won’t be confirmed until Wednesday morning.

If isolated states here and there (e.g., Colorado) go Democratic against the wave, it may be a sign of a stolen election, as suggested by my previous post.

Here’s the full list of when the polls close in each state. NOTE: All times are listed in Central Time. States designated by * have multiple closing times, as they include more than one time zone.

5 p.m.

6 p.m.
New Hampshire
South Carolina

6:30 p.m.
North Carolina
West Virginia

7 p.m.
New Jersey
Rhode Island
South Dakota*
Washington, D.C.

7:30 p.m.

8 p.m.
New Mexico
New York
North Dakota*
South Dakota*

9 p.m.
North Dakota*

10 p.m.
North Dakota*

11 p.m.

Are Democrats poised to steal the midterms?

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Something weird is in the air this election season, and I don’t like what I smell. I think it’s a rat.

Most factors point to a big Republican win in the midterms, with the GOP expanding its majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and, more significantly, wining control of the U.S. Senate. Republicans appear poised to take the six net (8 takeaways minus 2 givebacks) Democrat-held seats necessary for a 51-seat “Biden proof” majority, and a Republican wave raising all GOP boats as little as 2 more points would give them 10 net new seats (rescue the two vulnerable seats, plus 2 more where incumbent Democrats are currently slightly ahead) and insulate their senate control against the loss of a few vulnerable seats in 2016.

Yet, something’s in the air. President Barack Obama exudes confidence in the midterm results. He even went out of his way to brand reluctant vulnerable Democrat senators with his mark, stating publicly that his policies are on the ballot because all those Democrats voted for them. Why would as politically savvy a politician as Obama do such a thing? He must be positioning himself to take credit for their wins. What does he know that we don’t?

My fear is that the fix is in.

What could dishonest Democrats possibly do to overturn a massive nationwide Republican wave? Old-fashioned ballot box stuffing, for starters. One way involves hoards of lower-level (i.e., not important enough to be recognized) political operatives voting in the names of others in several hand-picked polling places staffed by party-loyal clerks who won’t challenge their signatures. (In many inner city areas, thee aren’t enough legitimate Republicans to staff polling places, so Democrats fill those slots with their own people, and the bi-partisan checks and balances are out the window.) The operatives vote in the name of a registered voter who the party is confident won’t show up to vote themselves. Voters over age 90 (or known to be incapacitated, or even dead) who haven’t voted in several consecutive elections are a prime source for names. (For examples, see here and here and here.) This is what voter-ID laws are designed to prevent, and it’s why Democrat lawyers fight so hard to get judges to overturn or delay implementation of those laws.

Ballot stuffing, part deux, takes place after the polls close and corrupt Democrat pols get a feel for whether more needs to be done. If more votes need to be manufactured, the election judges take care of it. (As I noted above, many inner city polling places are staffed exclusively by Democrats.) They don’t have to guess who isn’t going to vote, because they have the official list of who really did vote and, more important, who didn’t. Filling out paperwork for those who didn’t vote turns those nonvoters into straight Democrat ballots that count. This can be time consuming, especially if a lot of votes need to be manufactured. But they’ll take whatever time is necessary. Ever notice how the most Democratic precincts are always the last ones to turn in their ballots for tabulation?

Close contests in areas that have significant concentrated pockets of super Democrat support are most vulnerable. Rogue precincts in liberal college towns and inner-city parts of Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro can keep North Carolina’s seat in Democrat hands. Little Rock and precincts along the Mississippi River could save Arkansas for the Democrats.

Colorado’s all-mail ballot is tailor-made for fraud. Corrupt politicians are busy voting phony ballots right now. And if they fall short, count on them “finding” new uncounted ballots a few days after the election. It worked six years ago for Al Franken.

Georgia and Louisiana could be a two-part affair because of runoff laws. Democrats may try to steal these elections on election day by creating enough phony ballots to give the Democratic candidate the majority necessary to avoid a runoff. Or the fun could be repeated at (or deferred until) the runoff, when fewer legitimate voters will participate. By then, results from other states will have determined whether these contests will be decisive for senate control. If they are, there will be tons of money, lots of lawyers and plenty of experienced locals to make sure the senate stays under Harry Reid’s thumb. Atlanta provides a treasure trove of inner city votes to manipulate, and plantation country in southwest Georgia can provide backup if needed. In Louisiana, Republicans will need to overcome creative voting in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

But some old-fashioned fraud may not be necessary for Democrats if high-tech voter fraud can provide an election day surprise or two, especially under the radar in totally unexpected places. This worries me because of what happened on June 10, 2014, in the Republican primary in Virginia’s 7th congressional district. Underfunded Tea Party challenger David Brat upset House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in an election that pre-election polls had universally showed Cantor winning by 13 to 34 points. Brat succeeded where virtually all other (and better funded) Tea Party challengers across the country had failed, and no one seems to know why. With no disrespect to Brat, whom I believe will be a fantastic, principled congressman, I believe Brat was the innocent beneficiary of manipulated vote tabulation on the part of Virginia Democrats. I suspect that VA-7 was a successful test run for a much bigger national prize on November 4. Fast forward to last week’s early voting in the Chicago area, when an observant Republican candidate “caught” his touch-screen voting machine changing his vote from Republican to Democrat. That candidate got that machine pulled out of service (just a “calibration error,” nothing to see here, move along), but what about all the other rogue machines that ordinary people don’t notice? (Say Goodnight, Bruce Rauner. You’re toast.)

Low population states with low-visibility, seemingly uncompetitive Republican-favored senate contests are prime targets for scattered “calibration errors,” because these states have even fewer voters to overcome than VA-7. Possible targets include Alaska (where the senate race is close), as well as seemingly safe states like Montana and South Dakota. Are they as “safely out of reach” as Eric Cantor seemed to be on June 9? And while Oklahoma and South Carolina are larger and would require more fraud to overturn, they are also tempting targets because they are “twofers;” both have two senate seats on this year’s ballot. Democrats would especially love to eliminate South Carolina’s black Republican Sen. Tim Scott, because his presence contradicts their racial narrative.

While blatant voter fraud such as this seems like it would be too risky to try, don’t bet on it. When you don’t know ahead of time what’s going on or where to look, vote fraud is hard to detect and even harder to prove. The only witnesses are people who were involved. Even among innocents, the communities where voter fraud takes place have a long “don’t snitch” tradition that intimidates witnesses, especially vulnerable elderly people. Deadlines for challenges are too short to put together evidence, and confidentiality laws prevent much evidence from being discovered. Furthermore, the Obama Administration has a history, from its onset, of refusing to prosecute the few who are caught. Remember the New Black Panthers case in Philadelphia? And if all else fails, Obama himself, with his pen and his phone, is around for two more years to issue pardons.

For the sake of the country, I hope I’m dead wrong. I want people holding up this article and laughing at me on Election Night. But Obama’s cocky, seemingly misplaced confidence worries me. What does he know about the midterms that we don’t?

Don’t be fooled! Obama will dictate amnesty

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

In a high-profile Rose Garden appearance in June, President Obama promised to announce by the end of summer unilateral measures on so-called immigration reform (i.e., amnesty for illegal aliens) if Congress did not enact immigration reform legislation. But this weekend, at the urging of vulnerable Democrat senators and congressmen, the Administration announced that it would delay taking such executive action until after November congressional elections.

The political purpose of the delay is avoid having voters react to the imposition of amnesty in the November mid-term elections. With voters overwhelmingly opposed to amnesty, that reaction would be overwhelmingly against Democratic candidates.

Democrats’ cynical, simplistic theory is that voters won’t be outraged by what hasn’t happened yet on Election Day, and that otherwise unmotivated conservative voters won’t find the urgency to vote in the mid-terms. Obama and his political advisers think voters are too stupid to figure out that his outrageous action on amnesty will still occur anyway, right after the election, when it will be too late for voters to react. That’s what “until after November congressional elections” is all about. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

Conservatives need to make sure that their like-minded friends, relatives and co-workers are aware that Obama plans to impose amnesty by executive order, without approval of Congress, and of the Democrats’ sneaky plan to hide their true intent.


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