I know someone who is environmentally conscious, minority-empowering, and socially aware who also happens to be extremely conservative. Her “bleeding heart” has been tempered by reality. She knows there are problems that need to be addressed but she’s not so naive to believe the gut response for action is the right way to address most situations. I know all of these things because she married me a quarter century ago. I also know she’s not an anomaly.

My wife had been a lifelong Republican up until recently when she realized that the GOP is the slightly-less-big-government alternative to the Democratic Party. We both gave the Tea Party a shot and helped get as many conservatives elected as possible in recent years, but the Tea Party’s influence is waning with the Establishment solidifying its power over the party that once belonged to Coolidge and Reagan. That’s why we became Federalists.

For conservatism and/or classical liberalism to break through the stranglehold the Establishment’s Democratic-Republicans have over DC, we’ll need to embrace a more intellectual tone and understanding of several issues that are normally associated with liberals. We need more small-government-loving, freedom-defending conservatives in office and we need them there quickly, but conservatives can’t do it alone. It’s time to start recruiting people who are conservatives at heart but who believe their only option to promote the issues important to them is through the Democratic Party.

Here are three issues normally considered to be liberal beacons that conservatives can and should commandeer:

Save the environment… locally

There was some excitement among conservatives when new EPA chief Scott Pruitt started espousing Federalism in the government’s approach to the environment. In reality, he didn’t go quite far enough since he was promoting cooperative Federalism. What we really need is dual Federalism at the EPA where the state and local governments focus on their own areas while the EPA itself fades into nothingness; they should be cut to the point of only handling interstate challenges where the actions of one state have an impact on another. These cases are few and far between.

Those who believe that saving the environment is important almost always lean towards the Democratic Party. What these people don’t realize is that the environmental plans pushed forth by the Democratic Party are generally ineffective and invariably wasteful of time, money, and resources. The conservative/Federalist methodology to clean up the planet should focus on the local environment. Instead of spending billions on decrees from Paris, environmentalists should be mobilizing their local communities to promote recycling programs, clean-up initiatives of local water supplies, and energy awareness campaigns. Instead of laying down rules from DC, the states should be making decisions about what’s best for their own land, air, and bodies of water. After all, they know their own environment better than any Washington bureaucrat.

When environmentalists are shown the benefits  working within their own areas of influence rather than allowing the federal government to dictate, many of them will come to the conclusion they’re not wasteful Democrats. They’re small-government Federalists.

Empower minorities… with equality

Let’s face it. Affirmative Action is a broken notion. It may have been necessary at one point, but today the best way to empower minorities is to make sure they have equal footing. Every American citizen should be just that: an American citizen. Race should play no part in whether someone should be given government assistance for education, priority for employment mandated by DC, or special treatment through government programs.

Many in the Republican Party, in an effort to attract more minorities, are embracing ideas that support or resemble the tenets of Affirmative Action. When then-candidate Trump went after Justice Antonin Scalia for telling the truth about Affirmative Action’s effects on minorities, we saw the playbook that the future administration and his party would be using. They worry that if they don’t keep entitlements and programs that benefit minorities in place, they’ll lose elections.

As a minority, I know I’m not alone in not wanting a “helping hand” from the government because of my race. I don’t need it and to insinuate that I do is an insult. There’s a difference between fighting discrimination and elevating people based upon their race: one protects minorities while the other hampers them (even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time). Neither discrimination nor Affirmative Action have a place in this country anymore. Instead, we need to allow all races the equal footing they deserve to find success the American way.

The strategy the GOP is using to push left in regards to minorities is a losing play in the long term. Democrats will rebound with minorities in the coming elections because they’ll go even further to the left by giving primacy to minorities. The proper conservative message isn’t to say, “here’s more for you and your race.” It should be, “here’s equal footing, now go make it happen.” There will always be those who want any advantage they can get and chances are they’ll always be Democrats no matter how far left the GOP goes. What we’ve seen is that the message of true equality resonates much better with a good portion of minorities who would never be Republicans but who aren’t interested in what the Democrats are selling them.

Support social programs… through private organizations

When the topic of “social programs” is brought up, it’s common for people to divide along party lines. Democrats generally want more social programs while Republicans generally want fewer. To the Democrats, they’re essential. To the Republicans, they’re a waste. In a way, they’re both right. In another way, they’re both very wrong.

While there are some social programs that are absolutely not necessary, some are truly essential for the well-being of many Americans as the Democrats contend. On the other hand, they’re also a burden on taxpayers; many should be eliminated as the Republicans contend. The reality is that the vast majority of them should be transitioned to the public sector.

Republican politicians will argue that they’ve been saying that for some time and they’re correct. The problem is that they’ve done absolutely nothing to push this concept forward since the mid-1980s. Yes, they say it. No, they don’t do it. They don’t even try. It’s just part of their campaign spiel.

Fiscal and social conservative citizens and even a very small handful of lawmakers realize that privatizing most of these programs will have three effects: the burden will shift from taxpayers to fundraising (forced funding versus voluntary funding), community-based initiatives with centralized oversight and assistance (dual federalism in action in the private sector) will reduce corruption, and the overall effectiveness of the programs will generally improve. There will be some failures. There will be some corruption. Both will be reduced compared to what we’re seeing from DC-run social programs today.

There are more conservatives in America who don’t realize they’re conservative because they’ve fallen for the false narratives of both major parties. The Democrats keep saying “if you believe in this, you’re a liberal,” while the Republicans generally agree. If we expand upon the message that small-government Federalism is a better fit for addressing many issues associated with liberalism, we’ll find that more people realize they were conservatives all along.

Last year, I was very encouraged by much of what the GOP platform stated. Yes, I’m one of those weird people who actually read it. Apparently, most of our elected Republican officials in DC either didn’t read it or dismissed it after they won. There are key elements that are getting missed.

Before anyone says “it’s too early to judge,” let’s take a few things into consideration. “Reducing the Federal Debt” is a big one that’s highlighted on page 8 of the platform. It discusses spending restraints as “a necessary component that must be vigorously pursued.” Thus far, the only proposals coming out of Congress have been to increase the debt. They promised to reduce it and I’d even accept it if they just kept it in check but with budget talks reaching a head at the end of the month, it’s almost certain that they’re going to raise it. Why put that in the platform if you’re just going to do the opposite?

“Defending Marriage Against an Activist Judiciary” is a big part of the platform, as is defending religious liberties. So far, nothing positive in this regard has even sniffed the President’s desk and actions from the administration seem bent on keeping the new status quo in regards to both marriage and religious freedoms. Judge Gorsuch was a nice addition, but his presence on the bench will not be able to defend marriage if Congress doesn’t give him something to defend.

Then, we get to the least discussed promise in the platform. “Federalism as the Foundation of Personal Liberty” outlines states’ rights and how the 10th Amendment must be brought to prominence once again. Other than Scott Pruitt at the EPA, no other efforts have been hinted at by any Republicans in DC from Congress to the White House. In fact, there have been direct attacks on the concepts of Federalism within the administration as they discuss imposing Washington’s will on the states when it comes to crime, immigration, and trade.

One of the most popular Republican issues of the day is how to handle sanctuary cities. I’m not a supporter of these havens of illegal immigration, but there’s a proper way for the government to reward states who crack down on sanctuary cities rather than harm those who do not. Mandates from DC that do not include sufficient compensation are tyrannical and force states to comply or feel the wrath of the fed. That’s not how the founders intended it, nor is it necessary to achieve the end results. We can rid our nation of sanctuary cities through federal assistance. When DC uses mandates and punishments to push their agenda, the end result is never good even if the intentions are righteous.

Don’t get me started on their stated platform promise to balance the budget when we have a trillion dollar infrastructure project to pay for on top of everything else that’s been flying around DC for the past three months. At what point to do we stop accepting that the Republicans are slightly less liberal than the Democrats? When are we going to tell them that being better isn’t good enough?

The GOP platform is nothing more than a piece of digital paper. The Democrats are even worse. It’s no coincidence that the Federalist Party’s idea for holding politicians accountable to the platform is getting attention from both major parties. If our elected officials are unwilling to fulfill the promises they sign, why should we believe they’ll do anything they say?

If you google “RNC Univision” you get 229,000 results, most of them criticizing the GOP’s decision last month to not include Spanish-language TV channel Univision on its presidential debate schedule. “Republicans need Univision”, decries Adrian Carrasquillo. “Univision is the country’s fifth-largest TV network, reaching 94 million households,” rattles off Raul Reyes, and on and on.

The simple truth is that Univision is a soap opera and game show outlet, and quite raunchy at that. On World Cup years they score big on soccer, too, which they did last year, hence “reaching 94 million households.”

“But Fausta, Mitt did well in the 2012 Univision debate,” you’ll say. Indeed he did, but not without being interrupted multiple times by Jorge Ramos, Univision’s Mexican anchorman and pro-illegal immigration/open borders advocate.

You may recall that Ramos was asking Pres. Obama about white privilege last December, thereby piling on the irony, considering how Ramos made $75million (US dollars, not pesos) in combined earnings in 2014 alone, and is as white as the next Swede.

The Univision news shows feature sensationalist headlines read for the most part by young nubile women showing a lot of leg and cleavage, for which I am in the wrong demographic. Lots of gruesome photos and videos, too, and, when possible, the perpetrator’s mother tearfully declaring “he’s such a good son.” In fact, the last time I sat through an entire news program from Univision was during the 2012 presidential debate.

“But the RNC should reach out to Latinos,” goes the argument. Again, Univision fails, as Ruben Navarrete points out,

Univision has long tried to have its flan and eat it too. It pretends to be the network “for” Hispanics, but it’s not owned or controlled “by” Hispanics. In 2006, Univision Communications was acquired for $13.7 billion by a consortium led by Saban Capital Group. Its founder, billionaire Haim Saban, is a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton, and his wife, Cheryl, was appointed by President Obama as a U.S. representative to the United Nations.

Of course Univision spokesman Jose Zamora would have you believe that “Anyone who wants to reach and engage Hispanics will have to do it through Univision,” ignoring the fact that, as Navarrete mentioned, 80 percent of Latinos consume their news in English. Saban and his partners are now asking $20 billion for Univision (an amount higher than the GDP of a dozen countries in our hemisphere, if one is to believe Wikipedia); no wonder they want to be perceived as the gateway to engaging the Latino audience.

Yes, the RNC must reach out to Latinos, but they must do it in the communities, and emphasizing the positive, American values that we all share, not while being browbeaten by advocates passing as newsmen when Univision is not showing soaps and soccer.

If all the RNC wants is top ratings, they’d do better at ESPN.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

As you may have already heard, the absent senators in Wisconsin are being held in contempt and not just by voters:

Republicans voted, 19-0, to find the Democrats in contempt of the Senate and issued orders to Wisconsin law enforcement to detain them.

“We simply cannot have democracy be held hostage because the minority wants to prove a point,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).

The Senate voted in the morning that absent Democrats would be in contempt of a Senate rule requiring attendance if they did not return by 4 p.m. When they didn’t return, the Senate reconvened and Fitzgerald signed for each missing senator an “order to detain (in the nature of a warrant to arrest and deliver).”

Additionally the protests at the Capital has come at a cost to the voters, literally:

State officials said Thursday that damage to the marble inside and out the State Capitol would cost an estimated $7.5 million.

Cari Anne Renlund, chief legal counsel for the state Department of Administration, said in Dane County court that estimates of damage to marble includes $6 million to repair damaged marble inside the Capitol, $1 million for damage outside and $500,000 for costs to supervise the damage.

Much of the damage apparently has come from tape used to put up signs and placards at the Capitol.

Meanwhile two different recall efforts are under way in Wisconsin. Two weeks ago recall efforts were launched against some democratic senators for fleeing the state. Now the Union supported democrats are launching counter recall efforts against republicans who stayed and they are putting some serious green into it:

The Wisconsin recall effort is only a day old, but it’s going strong. The state Democratic Party has launched a website called Recall the Republican 8 to coordinate events. They have volunteer and contribution pages. There’s also a separate ActBlue page set up for the recall. A separate effort to air a powerful TV ad from the PCCC and DFA, filmed on the day of the 100,000-plus protests last Saturday, has already raised over $225,000.

I suspect a lot of help for union families could be done with 225k but leave that aside for a moment. Let’s look at the arguments:

This past weekend, constituents of Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, gathered in an effort to recall her.

“She let it out of committee. She had a chance to look at the bill and say, ‘This reaches too far,'” Darling recall organizer Kristopher Rowe said Saturday.

Or as State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate puts it:

“In 60 days you can take Wisconsin back by recalling the Republican senators who have decided to push Scott Walker’s divisive attack on the rights of workers and his assault on schools, universities and local communities,”

While on the other side:

“You’re not representing me if you’re not in the Capitol to vote,” said constituent Amanda Cabrera, as she signed the petition.

“Vote yes or no, whether they agree or not, but they need to be in Madison,” said constituent Sandra Dolye. “If (Wirch) can’t do his job, he should get out.”

That’s all you need to know about this: Republicans want to recall people for playing Hooky. Democrats and Unions wants to recall people for showing up.

When the initial Bush tax cuts were proposed the making of the tax cuts temporary was a compromise that democrats and liberal republicans managed to forge to keep their constituents happy. If they could not stop the Bush Tax Cuts they could at least make them expire thus giving some consolation to their progressive followers.

Although Bush over and over suggested the Tax cuts be made permanent he could not manage to find the votes.

Now we come to 2010. The economy is bad and unemployment is rampant and now Democrats who were so proud to keep the Bush tax rates from becoming permanent find themselves trapped once again!

Once again the left is screaming “tax cuts for the rich” and their supporters are screaming for them not to cave in figuring that even after the republicans take control in a month they will not have the votes to get it passed.

Meanwhile Republicans are pushing to make the Bush rates permanent.

And so the white house and their advisers are leaning toward compromise, another extension, maybe two years of the Bush Tax Cuts. And thus the trap is set again.

The smart thing for the administration would be to pass the cuts NOW and make them permanent for several reasons.

1.  This will take the issue off the table, every time they simply extend the “Bush tax cuts” it sets up democrats in an election years to defend increasing taxes on business. (You know the folks who actually hire people.)

2.   As long as they are not permanent they remain the “Bush Tax Cuts”. Once they are permanent then they just become the US tax rates. Keeping them temporary keeps them associated with republicans and George W. Bush.

3.   If a democratic congress passes the tax cuts, then they not the republicans will get (and actually deserve) credit for the positive economic results. If it is passed once republicans are in power, republicans will get (and deserve) the credit for the results.

4.  If they are not passed and the economy gets worse (as the result of the tax hike) Republicans can directly blame democrats. Great issue for 2012.

5.   And finally if this is done NOW, then democrats have two years to placate their base. It will be over and done with.

Making the tax rates permanent would be not only the right thing but also the smart thing. That’s why I’m positive the democrats will fall right into the trap and simply vote for an extension at best. Given the chance to do the right or smart thing, the Democrats can be counted on to miss the boat.

I wonder if George W. saw all of this coming years ago and actually intended to set this trap for the left?

Update:
Crooks and Liars thinks the democrats have the GOP right where they want them. I’m telling you it’s just too easy. How do we ever lose elections to those guys?

While everybody has been so fascinated by the rating for Sarah Palin’s new show (which broke all of TLC’s ratings records) I found the following story at the same site much more interesting.

According to months of data from leading media-research company Experian Simmons, viewers who vote Republican and identify themselves as conservative are more likely than Democrats to love the biggest hits on TV. Of the top 10 broadcast shows on TV in the spring, nine were ranked more favorably by viewers who identify themselves as Republican.

Even more funny is what the article says about shows democrats:

Dems are more likely to prefer modestly rated titles.

Like Mad Men.

The Emmy favorite has struggled to get a broad audience on AMC. It scores through the roof with Democrats (does anyone in Santa Monica or on Manhattan’s Upper West Side not watch it?), but it has one of the weakest scores among Republicans. The same is true for FX’s Damages, Showtime’s Dexter, HBO’s Entourage and AMC’s Breaking Bad.

And this quote made me laugh out loud:

That also goes for the soft-rated, critically beloved 30 Rock. Its score is highly polarized in favor of Democrats. The only show on NBC’s Thursday night comedy block that Republicans rate highly (slightly better than Democrats, even) is The Office … which happens to be the one bona fide hit in the bunch.

30 Rock is not a bona fide hit? You’d never know that from watching Morning Joe or MSNBC.

Let’s put it another way, if your desired audience is the critics rather than the general public, you are a likely a democrat.

This reminds me of the old Crime is down and prisons are full bit. Our friends on the left couldn’t figure out that crime was down because we were locking up criminals!

The point is that if you make shows that appeals to conservatives odds are you are going to have a hit because we are a center/right nation. If you decide to make a show that appeals to the MSNBC crowd, you will be the darling of Hollywood and the papers but don’t expect to get the same ad rates that NCIS and company manage.

Remember you can make a living with a niche market, you can’t win elections with one.

Adrienne links to this post at the national Catholic Register that explains it all

As it turns out, the Republicans wanted the base to get involved—just not so much. What they really wanted is for real conservatives to turn out to vote but certainly not run. Newly involved fiscal conservatives are finding out that the Republican party wants their votes, just not them.

Welcome to the club.

This is the position that culture-of-life conservatives, like me, have found ourselves in for a generation. I know that many culture-of-life conservatives feel that the Republican party has expected us to get out and vote for candidates of their choosing in return for the privilege of lip service to the life issues we care most about. But many of us COL conservatives have come to the conclusion that much of the Republican leadership does not really care about these issues, at least not enough to really do anything about it.

Now fiscal conservatives find themselves in the same situation.

I keep coming back to this post that Smitty put up a bit ago:

But something happened to DeMint in these leadership seminars that would change the course of his life. The gatherings were entirely focused on the means for concentrating and preserving political power: How to milk K Street lobbyists for political contributions; how to place earmarks into appropriations bills so they would be deemed essential to the folks back home.

One day, DeMint had had enough. He rose up in a seminar to question why representatives of the party of smaller government were so focused on earmarks and political fundraising. Why aren’t we talking about reforming the federal tax code or addressing the health care mess?

Midst laughter, someone shouted, “You’ll catch on to the system, DeMint.” But DeMint never did.

If your only belief is that you need to be elected so you can grease your friends and have power, we aren’t interested in you. To quote Adrienne:

All this talk about Christine O’Donnell not being electable is making me tired. The elitist snobs in the Republican party wanted the people of Delaware to nominate the RINO incumbent Mike Castle because they would have you believe Ms. O’Donnell doesn’t have a prayer of winning the election. Well, so be it!

It is something I talked about before:

Pubic office wasn’t meant to be a meal ticket, it is meant to give the best possible governance by advancing idea and policies for the public good. I’ve read the resolution and it looks good to me.

The party has to decide if principles are more important than the approval of the MSM.

And if principle won’t do it consider: Conservatives are a huge source of Republican funding and have been sending back fundraising solicitations with colorful comments. What is more important? A happy MSM or a happy voter base?

What’s the use of being elected or re-elected if you don’t stand for something?

this took place on capital hill. The panel consisted of Dan Riehl Melissa Clouther and Stacy McCain Tabitha Hale. Each talked about interactions between congressional offices and bloggers:

Hale Riehl, and Clouthier

Melissa made some serious points saying:
Bloggers will notice things first, they can give good hits to a local congressman on the issue. A local blogger can connect the congressmen with grass roots.

Framing is very important when the MSM is the conduit for information being released it will not be used in a manner that favors a republican/conservative
thus it is vital to have the blogger relationship so that the positive message is released otherwise the lack of coordination keeps us playing defense.

I could not agree more, why should you provide fodder to organization that not only oppose you but help sustain them?

Dan Riehl brought bluntness to a new level but spoke some common sense:

To the press: you think we are idiots, we think you’re idiots but we need to work together as we’re on the same side. We need to be on the same page and beating democrats.

You can’t ignore and neglect us, step on us and we will step on the foot.
No one person is that important but our mass and aggregate is important.
If you are a press person establish a relationship with a couple of bloggers.

If you want for example to get a video out give it to a blogger, he will post it, others will link and the MSM will get it from them, you get the attention, the blogger gets the hits, win win.

Tabitha Hale talked about facilitating bloggers (as she has for me.) The purpose of these events is to put faces with names, working and getting the dialogue started. Right now it tends to be the entire blogosphere vs Washington.

This actually sounds a lot like my have fedora will travel stuff, my example. Lets say a congressman is planning a bill to say reverse a green regulation that will allow a local factory to continue without layoffs. If he goes to the media, it becomes a story about the experiment with a republican as a foe. If he goes to a blogger like me and if his supporters can finance a trip to the district that can be a week of stories and post, all about said job, here and at the Examiner. A week worth of stories that he can reference and instead of the media creating the template we do.

Remember the NYT is being read in most districts, a blogger appearing locally can create news locally where the congressman’s voters actually are. By the time the MSM strikes, the narrative is out there.

Any takers?

Just heard Michael Graham talk about Barack Obama as the best creator of conservative voters ever.

Just now was able to get the Net will update as able

Jeff Perry now going up Crowd gave him a rousing round of applause. Let the group in a cheer against both Obamacare and Amnesty

Joe Malone now coming up gets a good reception.

Ray Kasperowicz gets a huge round of applause when suggesting impeachment against Eric Holder.

Mary Z. Connaughton up if you’ve seen my interview with her you know what see is saying tonight. “This is OUR year”

Here is the final slideshow update

The Results of the Straw poll are here

Update: Redundant slideshows removed

In this post concerning the tea parties and the GOP:

Here is the point, and I think this generalizes beyond NY-23 to the rest of the country: the GOP won’t take the Tea Party seriously until the Tea Party is the GOP.

One questions why the GOP establishment would be so willing to throw away a group of involved voters who match their beliefs. The answer may in fact be that their belief in fiscal conservatism and restraint is phony, that their belief is in their own power and a promise not to blow as much as the other side.

Actual spending cuts and spending restraint and tax reform decreases the power of the federal government. The goal of the establishment is apparently not to restrict such power, but to enjoy it.

The GOP doesn’t seem to understand that they are playing with fire. The tea party is going to give them two years to prove their bonafides. If they don’t you will see an actual tea party 3rd party.

I think Rush understands this which is why he constantly implores the GOP to take the conservative path.

What can we do about it? Smitty has the solution:

Get off the beanbag and support your local version of Doug Hoffman, or your sins of omission will result in a pocket-picking, and you’ll be at fault.emphasis mine

I think Bill Gunn put it very well in this interview last week jump to 3:34:

Money Quote: “If a republican is a big government republican I’m not going to campaign for him.

That is the tea party all over. The question is will republicans figure it out and act accordingly or will they destroy themselves and throw away the chance to create a lasting majority?

We will see.

BTW apparently great minds think alike, Sissy Willis put up a post making the very same argument.

Unfortunately for the Johnny Roccos of the GOP, the old way of doing business isn’t working anymore. It happened in the Massachusetts special election that sent Mr. Brown to Washington, and it’s happening again. The national GOP is being disintermediated via the Internet. No wonder they’re upset. The people’s choice, Joe Miller — endorsed by Sarah Palin and with major funding from the Tea Party Express — is battle ready

The question becomes, is the GOP establishment willing to destroy the party to keep it? So far the answer hasn’t been encoraging