On Morning Joe today (where you go to find out what the left wants to say) there were two stories that seemed unrelated but taken together could mean an awful lot.

The first was a story out of Florida, the Transformation of Charlie Crist is now complete:

Charlie Crist is running for Florida governor as a Democrat.

The worst-kept secret in politics was confirmed Friday afternoon when the Republican Party of Florida spotted Crist’s official filing with the state Division of Elections.

The former Republican governor turned Democrat plans a formal announcement at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Petersburg’s Albert Whitted Park, 480 Bayshore Drive SE, but the state GOP beat him to the punch.

Crist is a poster boy for what I described last week when talking about political parties as fraternal orders:

It’s not the Elks, the Eagles or the Lions club. All are decent clubs that do good things but there really isn’t much of a difference between one or the other,

A political party isn’t supposed to be like that. A party has a platform and a particular beliefs. In theory a person joins and supports a political party because of those common beliefs and values and votes for one party over another because he or she wants to advance those ideas or values.

If people are however in a party because it happens to be the club they joined then belief and principles becomes “flexible” because the purpose is to serve the “club” rather than the people.

Crist doesn’t care what club he belongs to as long as it brings him power and status.

Joe Scarborough is likely right on the money when he said Rick Scott will eat him alive but you never know.

Our second story is not of a governor’s race but of a Senate Race, more specifically a Senate primary in Texas:

Texas tea party activists eager to send another firebrand in the mold of Ted Cruz to the Senate have launched a movement to draft evangelical historian David Barton to run against Sen. John Cornyn.

Barton, who hosts a daily radio broadcast, has wide name recognition and respect on the religious right as a Constitutional scholar dedicated to restoring the America the Founding Fathers envisioned, though his scholarship on that point has been widely discredited in the world of academia.

Given how far left the world of Academia is today that would be a positive plus in a Texas primary

Political analysts doubt he could take down a candidate as well-funded, well-known and widely endorsed as Cornyn. But they’re not willing to count out an insurgent from the right — not after watching Cruz come from nowhere two years ago. Barton has deep political roots, having spent nearly a decade as vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party. He is a skilled orator. And he’s got the stagecraft down pat: He travels the country to deliver rousing tributes to patriotism, often in red, white and blue Western shirts.

Now Cornyn is certainly a lot stronger than David Dewhurst and has a huge power base to draw on so normally this would be not be that bad a situation but there is one piece of his past that is about to be highlighted:

May 2009

A week after saying he wasn’t taking sides in the high-profile GOP primary in the Sunshine State, Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, endorsed Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

That didn’t sit well with the base and caused at least one blogger to decline an invitation to a conference call when he was informed any question on that endorsement was off limits:

Since that was the case, I declined to attend the teleconference. Going on the line with John Cornyn and not being able to talk about the Crist endorsement would be like doing a teleconference with Blago right after he appointed Burris and being unable to ask him about it.
I included these lines in my reply email to Mr. Cornyn’s staffer,

One thing he might want to think about though: If today, in May, he’s scared to take questions from his own side on this issue, how ugly is it going to get if he lets this build up for a few months?

It’s not too late for him to say it was a mistake to endorse anyone and publicly change his mind. It will save the NRSC millions in endorsements and will make that primary fight considerably less ugly.

It provoked outrage from bloggers

It smacks of a deal cut to get Crist to skip a re-election campaign to go after the Senate seat. While Crist’s popularity is an asset, Crist’s positions on issues are going to give conservatives and even moderates some angst in the party. Crist openly supported the Porkulus plan, which would have put him with Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins as the only Republicans in Congress who did. Cornyn himself fought against Porkulus. So why is the NRSC endorsing Crist over Marco Rubio 15 months ahead of the primary?

A lot of outrage

The attempt of NRSC Chairman John Cornyn and Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer to fix the Senate primary for their buddy, Charlie Crist, was the last straw in a long series of similar moves by the Republican establishment, which had been meddling in the primary process for years, although never so blatantly as in this Florida Senate race. When GOP insiders think they can hand-pick the Republican candidate 15 months before the primary, something has gone seriously awry in the party machinery.

It helped start the Not One Red Cent movement had democrats openly asking if they should just vote Crist

And when Cornyn was re-elected as GOP chair:

Please tell me exactly what justifies any need “to be fair” to John Cornyn? Thanks to his blundering interference in Florida, Charlie Crist walked off with more than $10 million in GOP donations.Why should Cornyn and the NRSC get a free pass while on their failures, while over at the RNC, political director Gentry Collins resigned and presented a specific indictment of the organization?

That was the last straw.

Now imagine 4 years later a GOP primary in Texas featuring John Cornyn against a strong Tea Party favorite with national name recognition at the same time that Charlie Crist is running for governor of Florida as a Democrat after switching parties and endorsing Barack Obama in 2012.

The ads write themselves.

I’ll give the last word to John Hawkins who Nailed it in 2009.

Mark my words, this is likely to get much nastier over time.

If I was Cornyn I’d be afraid:

Update:  And the bad news just keeps coming:

How on Earth does an allegedly seasoned GOP political operator like a Josh Holmes think it wise to run to the Times with what amounts to a jack-booted attempt to stifle both free market capitalism and political dissent? Those are supposed to be core values for the GOP. Yet, here we see a DC GOP establishment on display at its worst—saying, in effect, “If you engage in a form of commerce we don’t like, we will try to destroy you! If you attempt to exercise your First Amendment right to free speech to say something with which we disagree, we will try to destroy you!”

I think Dan Riehl  would rather be writing about the Obama administration trying to gimmick Twitter to silence dissent but instead we have this:

I’m ashamed to think that a party to which I am connected is even thinking in such terms within its inner circles.

THAT is the message Holmes sent to the base here. And whether the Beltway GOP likes it or not, it’s the only one an increasingly restive base is going to take away from all this. And that’s only the beginning of why this is so bad for Mitch McConnell, now likely facing an emboldened and even more empowered primary challenger back home in Kentucky.

This is as stupid as it gets.

I’ve always fallen within the camp that says that reforming the GOP from within, returning it to its anti-establishment roots, has the highest probability of success. There are plenty of other fringe parties afoot in the U.S.; adding a Tea Party to those ranks will succeed in widening the fringe, while simultaneously making the Democrat’s mopping-up operations easier.  And that position’s irrefutable, as we watch the elected Tea Party reformers like Cruz, Paul, Lee in the Senate do two things (1) inspire the base, and (2) receive fatwahs from the elite.

It’s really simple, does the GOP want conservative new media writing stories like this or would they rather have us hitting democrats?

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday and Normally I’d be a tad worried as I’m only $2 on the way to my $305 paycheck.

But last week started the same way and ended with my 2nd best week ever.

Granted by this time next week I’ll have to cover the cost of both Chris & Vin as well but if 15 of you kicked in $20 It would be a magnificent week.

Hey Guess what Charlie Crist decided he now believes as of yesterday:

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who throughout his long political career has been staunchly pro-gun rights, said Wednesday that after the Connecticut school slayings, he now backs controls

That quite a switch but the explanation is simple:

Crist recently became a Democrat and is considering a challenge to Gov. Rick Scott, who long has favored gun rights. Scott has refused to comment on gun measures after the Connecticut shootings, saying it is too early to debate.

Javier Manjarres is not amused

Is there a phonier political opportunist in the country than Charlie Crist?

A reminder the NRSC endorsed Charlie Crist 15 months before the senate primary after which he left the party and eventually joined the Democrats, but until that moment the GOP Establishment sure loved Charlie and that love had more than a political cost:

During a single three-month span of that year, Republicans contributed $4.3 million to the doomed campaign of Charlie Crist.

How’s that workin’ out for ya?

and that money was not only lost it terms of what was done, but in terms of what could have been done: Jimmie Bise:

Divide $500,000 into $4.3 million. That’s how long I could run a hypothetical conservative news site with the money dunderheaded conservatives gave Charlie Crist in just three months.

On the other hand let me remind of a poll that the GOP Establishment didn’t have any use for, a fellow named Rick Santorum. I remember (and videoed) him saying this in New Hampshire:

America is a melting pot, not a salad bowl. America is a set of values by which we hold together. That’s what holds us together, but there is a different point of view. Some have suggested that no America shouldn’t be and is wrong to be, one thing. It needs to be many things. It needs to be what any everybody wants to do. Out of one many. If that’s the case then is anybody surprised that we have trouble getting anything done for the one, the country?

Lisa Graas yesterday reminded of these words before the DeMoins Register saying this:

But as Rick Santorum told the editorial board of the Des Moines Register back during the primary, most politicians think of the issues as “little silos” and if one of the “silos” is not popular, the politician can just kick that silo down and take a new position. He sees “the big picture” of where our rights come from, and the very limited role of our government in defending only those rights.

I come back to Santorum’s answer on Gay Marriage in Concord NH against a Hostile College Crowd, he didn’t duck, he didn’t flip he explained and educated:

The GOP Establishment didn’t like Rick Santorum, they didn’t like his willingness to talk on key issues, he didn’t duck, dodge or hide. That scared them. Mitt Romney didn’t scare them or the consultants they invested in. The GOP established sure liked Mitt Romney…

…..right up until the day he lost.

Perhaps conservatives should consider a different set of investments, rather than enriching consultants by spending on pols who are so changeable we should invest in selling our ideas to the people they would benefit:

the only hope to go to the people.

Go to the Latinos and Black Americans, explain WHY conservative economics work for them. Explain why an open border hurts THEM and theirs and explain why the entitlement society makes them peons and slaves to the state as sure as if they were in the plantations of South America or the old South.

Go to women explain WHY not only conservative economics works for them but WHY conservatism in social issues benefits them, their children and themselves.

Let Americans know that WHY a strong America makes them safer than a weak one, make the case and do it every single day.

That is a better investment than any dollar to any superpac

This is what new media does, as Stacy McCain put it

For the $4 million that the permatanned RINO Charlie Crist collected during that single three-month span of 2009, you could fund eight spiffy little New Media operations for a year (or four such operations for two years). And FEC contribution limits do not apply to people making “investments” in news operations, so that the rich Republicans would not be restricted in their generosity toward New Media, as they are toward political candidates.

Why is a Media Matters & Think Progress or even a Brett Kimberlin funded? How does the left manage to push this agenda from the web to the MSM and why do they succeed? because as Stacy McCain put it

Soros has figured this out. Rich Republicans have not.

Guys it’s time to figure it out.




Update: NRSC not NRCC corrected

And just think if we had listened to the GOP establishment he would be senator now instead of Rubio:

As Republicans gather in Tampa to nominate Mitt Romney, Americans can expect to hear tales of how President Obama has failed to work with their party or turn the economy around.

They’re tales I tell you Tales! All is well.

But an element of their party has pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they’ve proven incapable of governing for the people.

and the GOP embraced that element by nominating…Mitt Romney!.

Look no further than the inclusion of the Akin amendment in the Republican Party platform, which bans abortion, even for rape victims.


Which never bothered me during all the years I was in the GOP until just now of course.

The truth is that the party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve.

They failed to elect me! I was leadership the voters deserved DAMN IT!!

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I seem to recall the Morning Joe crowd fawning all over ole Charlie and the NRSC endorsing him. GOP donors sunk millions into his coffers. What did Stacy McCain say about that?

It was my friend Jimmie Bise Jr. who pointed this out in September 2009: During a single three-month span of that year, Republicans contributed $4.3 million to the doomed campaign of Charlie Crist.

How’s that workin’ out for ya?

Jimmie has calculated — and I agree with his calculations — that you could run a pretty spiffy little conservative New Media operation for $500,000 a year if you knew what you were doing. But the problem is connecting (a) people with $500,000 to (b) people who know what they’re doing in terms of online news.

If we had listened to this crowd Charlie Crist would have been Barack Obama’s Goto republican in the senate. The “goto” Republican on every MSM TV show when they needed to paint the party as the problem in DC, he would have been the Arlen Specter of the south, the “goto” republican who could be counted on to appear on any network to hit the party until Pat Toomey beat him.

If you want to know why we need to primary guys like this, even if it occasionally costs us a seat, this is it.

As for Crist himself. Democrats backed him over their own candidate in a last ditch bid to stop Marco Rubio and like the useful idiot he is, Charlie is paying them back in the only coin he has left. He will get one more round on the Morning Talk shows before he fades, only to be pulled out when they need an “ex-republican” on a panel with an occasional appearance on liberal talk radio.

Note to NRSC and GOP establishment: Charlie Crist is your Solyndra, you were picking winners and losers a year before the primary and this is what your $4.3 million dollar investment got you.

If you are a conservative and would like to make an investment with more bang for your buck, might I suggest an alternative….




Update: Glenn Reminds reminds us Crist predicted a huge loss for Obama when still in the GOP primary I guess this endorsement is his way of proving himself right.

Update 2: If the left is actually thinking Crist might bring them votes in Florida, think again:

Crist represents no constituency other than himself.

In the 2010 Senate election, Crist ran as a sore-loser independent after it became obvious Rubio would win the GOP nomination. Exit polls showed that not only did Rubio overwhelmingly with the Republican vote (87% to 12% for Crist), but Rubio also won among independent voters (51% to 38%). Charlie is an “independent” who doesn’t appeal to independents, and actually got most of his votes from Democrats.

Think Jon Huntsman in NH without the daughters.

Update 3: Stacy links back and Legal Insurrection notes we should think

And as you read it, give another round of thanks to the Not One Red Cent group which back in May 2009, when the Republican establishment in the form of the NRSC was backing Crist, fought to get Marco Rubio attention and support.

Never forget if it wasn’t for the Not One Red Cent/grassroots crowd instead of a young dynamic Latino man who was in contention for the VP spot on the ticket you would have a member of the ScozzafavaHuntsmanCrist caucus.

Update 4: Cross Posted at the Minority Report with an editor’s note:

Please remember that Charlie Crist wants us to accuse him of being a liberal. Calling him a liberal will only play into his hand. He hopes it will divert attention away from his record and his years of calling himself a Conservative. It’s important to remind people that Crist has made a career out of bashing the Democrat Party and everything President Obama stands for.

Steve makes an excellent point, Unlike say a Huntsman or a Dede Crist’s history is not all that moderate, he is bending left here because he’s burned his bridges on the right by his independent run and sees a chance to revitalize his dormant career by being the “Conservative for Obama”.

Update 5: My post has inspired the following image:

I didn’t have a horse in this race myself. I heard good things about Ann Wagner and people I respect supported her (big tea party favorite). Other people I respect as well supported Michael Steele (on the he was in charge when we won theory).

The problem? The RNC is having is grass-roots fundraising problem. The conservative grass-roots does not like the idea of hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on, shall we say, less that loyal conservatives/republicans (read Dede Scozzafava, Charlie Crist). Combine this with the internet and the ability of individuals to give cash directly to candidates the actually like, and poof the RNC becomes irrelevant.

Establishment republicans who really don’t like the rise of the tea party (because they understand a true anti-spending movement decreases the perks and the power that are the rewards of office) wanted to keep their favorite out of the chair. Those big donors are looking for a return on their investment. The tax payer spigot being turned off is the last thing they want.

The winner Reince Priebus as a former Steele is likely a safe choice who can hopefully navigate the shoal between those rocks that Steele didn’t.

The thing about being a party chairman is that by definition you have to support any person with a (R) next to their name. If the leaders were really devious they could have supported Wagner and then hit her if she didn’t give moderates the time of day.

The real smart move would be to build a structure to advance republican thought. Such a move would create republicans. The National party could rather than funding candidates, steer funds to groups closer to the ground while allowing the sub groups such as the tea party to give to specific candidates perhaps using funding in an emergency manner to push a close or promising candidate over the top.

It’s a tough job but if we win, there will be plenty of kudos to go around. It all depends of if the idea is to advance a philosophy or to get a meal ticket. The choices made by the party will tell us which goal really counts.

…is that you can’t afford to get any particular interest upset or offend any race like so:

Democrats had hoped that when Mr. Crist abandoned the GOP for an independent run, it would split the Republican vote and propel Mr. Meek into the winner’s circle. With four weeks to go, no one believes that now. Mr. Meek, who is African-American, polls strongly only with black voters

Take a close note of that sentence, democrats understand that particularly in an off-year election with Barak Obama not on the ballot dumping the Black democratic nominee is going to outrage African-Americans not only in Florida but nationwide. Can you imagine the call ins on the Tom Joyner show?

Allahpundit may be nervous but I’m not. I HOPE democrats are stupid enough to do this. It might make the race closer in Florida but it will be the last straw in a series of provocations of democrats taking Black America for granted at election time and discarding them.

Can you imagine the speech Allen West will be able to give in that situation, if he was a race card man?

Allah take my advice, leave the hand wringing to the David Frums of the world go right through them they’re demoralized as hell.

Young Ezra’s column is more about parties than Crist but the title is a little off.

Crist is no enigma. He is very easy to understand. Just another pol who can’t imagine life as an ex-elected official.

the point of the article is actually not bad, based on party you can guess how someone will vote pretty closely, but on Crist it is even easier.

If elected he will support whoever and whatever keeps him in office and in gravy.

Bank on it.

Memorandum thread here.

…and I think he will be a spectacular senator but I think this press release is silly:

Nearly 18 months after he campaigned for the $862 billion failed stimulus with President Obama, Charlie Crist tells NBC in Tampa Bay that he’s “not surprised” that there was waste in the stimulus program, though he is not “aware of” any. This is a stunning admission from a leading cheerleader of the stimulus program. Unfortunately for Floridians, it is just the latest indication that the Obama-Crist stimulus has failed.

By all means highlight Crist’s support of the horrible stimulus plan and hit him upside the head with it, but hitting him for saying he is not surprised that there is waste in the program?

C’mon Marco, we are all conservatives here. The Stimulus is a federal program, the surprise would be if there was NO waste in it. That is one of the reasons why both Crist & the stimulus should be opposed.

What is stunning is not Crist’s admission of stimulus waste, what was stunning is support for it and that voters would elect him after that fact.

…as Morning Joe broadcasts from Pensacola.

Now Joe is from Pensacola so it makes sense but no tough question has headed Crist’s way from these guys. Like for example is he buying any of those booms from Maine, they’ve known about them for a little while now, has Crist purchased any to protest the beach?

Just askin’

Update: In fairness they had Marco Rubio on for a segment or two as well. No sign of Kendrick Meek.

On Morning Joe now the panel is trying to say that Charlie Crist has chosen the perfect time to run as an independent because this year an independent streak is running through the country. Am I actually hearing these people saying this?

There is a revolt over the administrations fiscal policies that Crist supported and they are claiming that this is going to favor him? Show me how a sitting governor is going to run as an outsider.

Just a clue. There was a candidate in January named Kennedy in Massachusetts who ran as an independent and managed to get all of 1%.

These people are just making fools of themselves.

…than nobody is going to.

If this questioning was taking place at Gitmo the ACLU and answer would be providing him lawyers.

The only softball came from Jon Meacham of Newsweek.

Only the letter next to his name has changed. They aren’t buying this at all.

Update: You know for days they were building this up as a real possibility and a real game changer but once they had in front of him on it’s as if they just couldn’t keep a straight face. They treated him as if he had no credibility.

But the moment he was off camera again suddenly he is, as Barnicle put it “a man among boys” and a strong candidate. It’s like a switch was suddenly turned back on once he was gone.

I guess the facade just wasn’t possible when he was shoveling it to their faces, but once he was gone the template came back.

Update 2: Did Eugene Robinson et/al just see the same interview that I did? For God’s sake they were there!