Now that we have entered the first full day of President Donald Trump’s second year in office it’s a good time to ask this question.
Is Trump a conservative?
“Yes,” is my firm answer.
Fascinatingly, Trump doesn’t talk about conservatism much, nor did he as a candidate. Contrast the president with the dozens of Republicans elected to Congress since the Tea Party wave of 2010 who talked a tough game on issues such as ObamaCare, illegal immigration, and shrinking the government. But once in power, many of these GOPers backed away from strong conservative stances on those issues.
But here we have a president in Trump who didn’t campaign as a conservative but who is governing as one.
Trump’s first major move in office was to nominate Neil Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. So far Gorsuch has been a solid conservative voice on the nation’s highest court. While there have been some qualification issues on a few district court nominees, the president has nominated a solid group of conservative jurists on the district and appellate levels. As for the latter, Trump set a record for the most appellate nominees confirmed in a first year of office.
Our military, with the aid of allies, has had great success against the Islamic State, to the point where we can say that it’s likely that ISIS has been defeated. A strong national defense is the backbone of any conservative playbook.
And last month the Republican tax cut bill was signed into law–which has already fattened the wallets of Americans. Included in that bill was the elimination of the unpopular ObamaCare individual mandate, which may lead to the unraveling of the signature law of Trump’s predecessor.
The cut in regulations and taxes have spurred an unprecedented rally in the stock market since Trump’s election.
Yesterday, although by video hook-up, Trump became the first president to address the annual March for Life rally.
On his radio show last year Mark Levin called Trump “the most conservative president since Reagan.”
As he is on so many things, Levin is correct.
America has a conservative president again—one who didn’t campaign as one.
It’s an inconsistency I can live with happily.
Today there is a government shutdown–why? Because Trump is standing up for conservative policies.
For all the talk about how the base needs to cooperate with the establishment more, it’s worth remembering that the base almost always does its part on Election Day. It’s the establishment that is less reliable in returning the favor.
Earlier this year just before the NH primary the popular Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker endorsed Chris Christie as his candidate for president. Despite an active robust campaign Christie went on to be decisively beaten in NH and dropped out of the race two days later.
Some wonder why Chris Christie did so poorly, too crowded a field, not enough money but one of the things that I think cost him was his record.
No not his record as Governor, given the situation in his state he’s actually done pretty well, no I mean his record as head of the NJ GOP
Since Christie is so popular and won re-election so decisively one would naturally expect he brought success for the party with him. After all , if he is the poster boy for the GOP nationally he would be the model to elect party members following his lead all over the state right?
Despite Christie’s 60 percent showing on Tuesday, Republicans didn’t make up any ground in the state Senate.
I suspect more than a few Tea Party members took note.
And that brings us to Charlie Baker.
Charlie Baker has been a pretty good governor his handling of the big snowstorm last year, showed what competent leadership can do. His no drama administration has been a welcome contrast to Deval Patrick and his approval ratings reflect that contrast. It’s no wonder that the National Journal story about him was titled The Most Popular Politician in America.
Given the state of the GOP in Massachusetts and with 11% registration and a state house with veto proof majorities in both chambers for democrats (house 125-35 Senate 34-6) one would think Charlie Baker might use some of that political capital to build the party, recruiting GOP candidates across the state to contest these races and perhaps narrow those democratic supermajorities that he is facing.
Strongly conservative factions of the Massachusetts Republican Party, a constituency that Charlie Baker courted in his 2014 gubernatorial race, are now the target of the governor and his political team in their campaign to take firmer control of a sharply divided state GOP.
Baker, in an unprecedented foray into an intraparty squabble, is using the March 1 balloting for the GOP’s governing state committee to muscle the conservatives out of any significant influence and to replace them with moderate Republicans.
And some of the people he is opposing are folks that he can directly link his narrow electoral victory to
For example, Baker and Polito endorsed 29-year-old Neil St. Clair, a newcomer to the party, for a committee seat now held by conservative activist Steven W. Aylward of Watertown.
Aylward, who did not want to comment, was a leader in the 2014 campaign to repeal automatic increases to the state gas tax, a battle that brought a swath of antitax, pro-Baker voters to the polls. Baker even credited Aylward with playing a key part in his razor-thin victory over Democrat Martha Coakley.
Adding to the insult is that Baker’s choice, St. Clair, recently moved to Boston’s Back Bay from New York, where in June 2011 he had registered as a Democrat. St. Clair, who registered as a Republican last fall, said he is drawn to Baker’s moderate Republican brand and has offered to help. He is vague about how the Baker endorsement came about.
So Charlie Baker is supporting a newly converted Democrat for state committee vs a GOP activist who is directly responsible for the defeat of the hated indexed gas tax.
I’ve received one of those Baker mailers, they are supporting two people who I’ve never heard of over the local activists who have been working like dogs to advance the GOP in the area and stood by the party and defended it when conservatives were talking about staying home.
I can’t think of anything that would enrage the activists who have spent the last six years giving their time, effort and money to support the party than this effort to push them out of the way. If these suggested committee people are such excellent choices why not instead use the strength of the party to run them for state rep and state senate. After all if 19 of those 52 people managed to win seats currently held by Democrats in the house then the party would be able to sustain a Baker veto.
Furthermore let’s say Baker plans to recruit local candidates once he purges the grassroots activists from the party. Once that happens who is going to do the grunt work that said activists did? After all Jeb Bush has already demonstrated that big money can’t compete with committed volunteers.
On that subject we have a special election coming up in my district where Republican city councilor Dean Tran is facing Democrat Counsler Steven Hay for the seat vacated by Democrat Steve DiNatale. At the state party site Kristen Hughes had this to say:
“Dean Tran has been a consistent and hard-working advocate for Fitchburg taxpayers for years, and will be a trusted leader for the 3rd Worcester on Beacon Hill. The MassGOP is ready to work with Dean as our nominee in this election, to send Governor Baker a strong partner from Fitchburg and Lunenburg.”
You might think that a popular sitting GOP governor might bother to say a good word Mr. Tran yet the mailer which talks about the March 1st election doesn’t say a word about the special election taking place that day or the candidacy of Consular Tran.
If the party wants me and people like me they’ll have to earn me. When the GOP can convince me that they are serious about growing the party, when they convince me they are serious about treating the tea party et/al as valued members as opposed to a source of temp labor and occasional funds. I’ll be happy to return to the Republican Party in as public a fashion as I’ve just left it.
Apparently they are happy to keep people like me out and maybe throw a few other under the bus. I guess Neil McCabe was right:
after he is elected, conservatives may think they won something. But, rather with Baker and his collaborator Republicans, it means all is lost.
And people in the GOP establishment wonder why Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are winning primaries and their candidates are not.
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You can find lots of other examples like these. It’s the type of coordinated, multifront action that seems right out of the “The Party Decides.” If, like me, you expected something like this to happen to Trump instead of Cruz, you have to revisit your assumptions. Thus, I’m now much less skeptical of Trump’s chances of becoming the nominee.
Now let’s look at Pastor George Kelly’s of my magnificent seven’s piece Is he or She a Conservative. It’s the piece that precedes the one you’re reading now on this blog and notes the records of four candidates Rubio, Cruz, Trump and Carson. It’s Rubio & Cruz that I am thinking of here.
Senator Marco Rubio possesses a lifetime (ACU) score of 98%. One would venture to say that Mr. Rubio’s impeccable conservative credentials should be beyond dispute.
Alas, this is not the case.
Senator Rubio committed for many Immigration Hawks the unpardonable sin by supporting the GANG of 8’s Immigration Reform measures. For this he has obtained the wrath of Boarder Security Conservatives.
Nevertheless, Mr. Rubio has been in the Senate for four (4) years and his voting record and public service testify that he is a True Conservative.
State Representative Marco Rubio was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives when he mounted a race for the US Senate and ran against former Republican Governor Charlie Crist.
Mr. Rubio ran as a Tea Party Conservative; this writer is shocked and somewhat baffled over how anyone could call Marco Rubio “an establishment Republican.”
I’ve actually wondered that myself, I think what’s cost Rubio has been his attempts to spin what he did (or rather the spin of some of his supporters) instead of just saying. Boy I tanked that didn’t I? Pastor Kelly continues with Ted Cruz (who I’ve endorsed)
A look at Senator Ted Cruz of Texas’s (ACU) scores is equally impressive: Senator Cruz has a lifetime rating of 100%! This is an astounding voting percentage (two years of Senatorial service).
Mr. Cruz is an intellectual wonder who graduated with distinction from both Princeton and Harvard Law School.
A similarity of both Senators reminds Conservatives of how far they have come since President Obama became President: Both of these Senators are products of “The Tea Party Movement”; and both men ran against the Republican establishment.
A brief look at the two young Senators (Rubio & Cruz) is a testimony to the Intellectual and Political transformation that has affected our nation since William F. Buckley, Jr. founded “National Review” in 1955.
As the old song states, “You’ve come a Long Way Baby!”
Both Misters Rubio and Cruz are certifiably “CONSERVATIVE!”
Now lets consider one other thing. As Mr. Silver the party establishment is going all out to destroy Ted Cruz in Iowa. At the same time the big money superpac for THE establishment candidate Jeb Bush who is floundering in both Iowa and NH and currently running 4th in his home state of Florida has been on an advertising blitz in NH going all out attacking not Donald Trump the leader, not Ted Cruz, not John Kasich who is supported by the Sununu family one traditional Bush family allies but Marco Rubio.
This tells me one of two things.
The Establishment GOP is still looking to nominate Bush and the plan is to take out both Cruz and Rubio early so that Jeb can be the only candidate standing as an alternative to Trump, the they can go all in against him. Cruz gets the big guns attention because of his huge hard money advantage and incredible existing grass roots ground game in half the primary states already & Rubio is left to Jeb’s moneybags on the theory that without a strong Iowa/NH showing he’ll can’t sustain his campaign long enough to make it to florida or be a threat afterwards leaving it Jeb vs Trump once again with the full might of the GOP ready to fight on Jeb’s side.
Under no circumstances can a conservative with the voting record of either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz be allowed to be president. Forget that both would be the first Hispanic to lead a major party ticket, forget Rubio’s gang of eight stuff. We can’t take the chance that a tea party candidate be the head of the party particularly ones so solidly opposed to abortion.
Given the inability of anyone to land a punch on Trump (although Cruz’s latest ad is devastating) It’s possible that #1 is only Jeb plan. After all the GOP establishment might be pragmatically thinking that they can’t stop Trump and the time to join is now while they can get something for it rather than later when it means nothing and his cooperation with their priorities will carry a higher price.
But given what I’ve seen of the GOP establishment in Washington , Massachusetts and particularly NH I think #2 is a pretty safe bet.
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Ted Cruz: In 2012 we searched out and found the one person on the face of the planet who had actually designed & implemented a program just like obamacare and that’s who we nominated as our presidential candidate. Literally there are seven billion people on the planet and you could walk up to anyone one of them and say “Excuse me Sir have you designed and implemented a program like Obama care”
Man in Crowd: Not lately
Cruz: Then you would make a much better candidate. Lunacy!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if Romney is the nominee I will have no problem voting for him over Obama, but lets ask the question: If you are a GOP candidate running for congress against Obamacare do you really want the author of Romneycare at the top of your ticket? Do you want to be asked why you support the author of Romneycare while running against Obamacare? I don’t think so.
But on the day before the election I made this point concerning Romney vs Obama
I bit the bullet and pushed for Romney even though as I recalled that in Massachusetts not only did he have no coattails but when Gay Marriage won 4-3 for all his conservative religious beliefs he was dead silent (how that’s working out for ya GOP)
It is the Christians who get out the vote, folks. We are the base of the Republican Party. We were ignored (and even hated) by the establishment. Some will try to say that the ORCA failure is itself to blame. No. It’s that Mitt Romney relied on it in the first place, instead of seeking the help of the socially conservative base of the party, that he lost. No “moderate” candidate will ever win for the GOP, least of all one who treats us little people as if we don’t matter.
And yet what did Lisa Graas do?
I voted for Mitt Romney. I voted for the whole Republican ticket. I could have done far more than simply vote for him. He never asked. He didn’t want my help. So, he lost.
Well now the GOP isn’t even waiting for the primaries to be finished for the mask to slip:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to challenge some House Republicans in primary elections, frustrated after much of its agenda has been stymied by a small pocket of conservative GOP lawmakers.
The influential and well-heeled business group is already eyeing several races, but the plans are still in their infancy and the targets have not yet been decided upon, according to more than a half dozen Republican sources on K Street and Capitol Hill.
I’m trying to imagine the effect on conservative morale next spring if we end up with a double whammy of Jeb Bush cruising towards the nomination while the Chamber of Commerce sets about zapping House conservatives like Jim Jordan, Raul Labrador, and Tim Huelskamp. If you thought Jebmania turnout on the right was looking ferocious before, wait until the last stumbling blocks to comprehensive immigration reform have been primaried into oblivion by country-clubbers.
Normally the final GOP argument is the supreme court but given what we’ve seen from John Roberts I don’t know that I’d trust a Jeb Bush to be better when it comes to the Supreme Court either.
The real question is why the are letting the cat out of the bag early. Could it be because they are afraid that an actual conservative might be nominated and they want to make sure any such conservative has no support?
One year ago drivers in the United States in general got an unexpected gift from the laws of supply and demand. The US fracking boom which has caused the US to become the #1 energy producer in the world forced a reaction by the Saudi’s that dropped the price of fuel in the US in general putting money in everyone’s pocket that they didn’t expect, not just for drivers but for everybody who buys a product delivered by a truck.
As I noted in a piece earlier this year on Watchdog rather than celebrate this drop the Obama administration and others have tried to reverse this trend
These new rules, along with taxes proposed in various states, have the potential to do what the Saudis have to this point been unable to do: curtail the energy boom that has been the engine of the recovery thus far. As Investors Business Daily wrote “This war-on-shale action mirrors the administration’s war on coal, with EPA rules impossible to meet economically and sometimes requiring technology that doesn’t even exist.”
And to be sure Gas prices have slowly started to increase again. The station where I fill up dropped to $1.99 a gal at their low and was charging $2.53 as of my last fill-up.
With a national election on the horizon and terror threats in the news many in the state might have forgotten the fight that prevented annual automatic gas tax hikes for going into effect.This price increase hasn’t caused an angry reaction most likely because those now paying an average of $2.71 were paying nearly a dollar gallon more a year ago. But if you’re a Massachusetts consumer grateful about that .90 a gallon you’re not paying this year, make sure you remember a debt of gratitude you owe to a few other people.
In 2013 The Mass legislature passed a .03 increase in the State Gas tax and included with the flat increase indexing the tax to inflation meaning we would get a tax increase every single year without a vote by the legislature. As I put it at the time:
We get one chance to stop the indexing of gas tax increases forever, just one because if this budget is passed with the indexed tax it will not only never be repealed but it will be used as a political tool for years to come
I could see a bunch of 81-79 votes for repeal with every pol in electoral trouble voting with that 79 &beating their breast over the failure to repeal the tax.
Luckily for the state some people didn’t take it sitting down Mass GOP chair Kristen Hughes stood out with Tea Party members in 2013 publicizing that gas tax indexing.
and former GOP Congressional Candidate Marty Lamb who derided the attempt to increase gas taxes “to infinity and beyond”.
Instead of big names they relied on a group of hard working grass roots activists and it paid off. Despite being outspent nearly 30-1, the opposition of the largest paper in the state and then Governor Deval Patrick the group managed an improbable 53-47 victory leading to Holly Robichaud and Tank the Gas Tax being awarded the “Ballot Measure Campaign of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants
But the real winners are the Massachusetts drivers and consumers who are not dealing with an extra tax increase on Gasoline every single year. Each one of them owes Ms. Robichaud, Mr. Lamb, Ms. Hughes and all those activists who gave freely of their time to keep the government out of their pockets a debt of gratitude
After the repeal passed I gave a warning:
The folks at the statehouse will learn from that result and be smarter next time. They’ll make small gradual changes, and reach into your wallet more subtlety, not stealing over their weight or attracting attention.
Let’s hope that if they do there are people ready to take up the fight once more. Big Government is never stopped by accident, it comes from hard work.
One of the reasons why you often see reporters bored when they are following a candidate is they tend to hear the same message and speech over and over again.
It make sense, like comedians on tour in the days before youtube, as long as the audiences are the different the message will always seem fresh to them and they react accordingly, but if you are assigned to a single person for days, weeks or months on end, the message doesn’t change.
However there is an advantage of hearing a message over and over. If you listen carefully you might either pick up a nuance or something might click that you didn’t hear the first time.
For example consider last weekend where I covered Senator Ted Cruz at threedifferentevents. At all of them he talked about his father coming to this country, how he had been oppressed in Cuba and came here and noted that if America falls where will we go to?
When I heard it the 2nd time it reminded me of the trek of Clara Csiong who I interviewed back in 2010.
She fled China to Cuba when the communists took over and then when Castro brought communism to Cuba for America. recognizing Barack Obama for what he was she joined the Tea Party: “This time I stay and fight”
How many people came here fleeing oppression over the 40 years who have that same thought?
That’s why we’re here, because we love our kids and we love our grandkids and we’re not prepared to look them in the eye and tell them we sat idly by while the greatest country in the world was taken.
I hear the echo of Clara saying five years earlier:
“I stay and fight.”
But Clara is not the only memory that comes to mind I hear when the Senator speak. At his 2nd stop that day he was asked about the GOP Establishment he began his answer with the question
How many people here are frustrated with the Republican establishment?
Every hand in the crowd went up.
It brought to mind that same rally where I met Clara when I asked a the crowd a question:
“Who here trusts the GOP?” Not a single hand went up, but people over and over promised me that if the GOP spent like the democrats they would be back to throw them out too. No wonder the GOP is scared of the tea party.
Two Hours earlier he was asked a similar question at the WRKO town hall. “Why conservatives should trust him?” Watch the question and the answer.
You know what You shouldn’t trust me, don’t trust any politician. What you should do instead is say: ‘show me, don’t tell me show me.’ I had a former boss who used to say ‘If i’m ever accused of being a Christian I’d like there to be enough evidence to convict me. The same is true of being a conservative, if you’re really a conservative you shouldn’t have to tell anybody because you will bear the wounds of standing for your principles and if you haven’t taken any shots you haven’t done it.
He elaborated further:
Every one of us should ask any candidate who shows up in front of us: ‘You say you believe in these principles? Great! Show me. When have you stood up and fought for them, when have you bled for them and what have you accomplished?’ As the Scriptures say: You will know men by their fruits
And when he gave that answer it reminded me of a song associated with by Audrey Hepburn (but actually sung by Marni Nixon)
Those words could be sung to almost any GOP candidate courting a voter with the promise of conservatism before a primary election:
Tell me no dreams filled with desire, if you’re on fire show me!…
…Sing me no songs, read me no rhymes, don’t waste my time, Show me!
And if I’m thinking and hearing this, there are likely a lot of other voters hearing and thinking the very same thing.
Closing thought: This is a comedy skit, attack ad or a web video just waiting to happen and a good chunk of the GOP field should be very afraid of the moment it does.
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Mrs Cooper:You know how your daddy used to say that you can only fish for so long before you got to throw a stick of dynamite in the water?
Mrs Cooper:Well, I’m done fishing
The Big Bang Theory The Luminous Fish Effect 2007
I’m done asking people to vote for the GOP, I’m done compromising on issues dear to me and I’m done pushing candidates that are willing to say one thing when they want my vote but not willing to act once they have power.
The party seems to forget the reason they have a congressional majority is not due to their own actions but the actions of others.
In 1994 it was Rush Limbaugh and the conservatives he energized with the help of Hillarycare that motivated voters who previously did not turn out to finally give the GOP their first congressional majority since the 50’s.
It 2010 it was the TeaParty and people who had not gotten involved before energized by the president Obama push for Obamacare and led by Sarah Palin, the one person besides Limbaugh who was not calling for appeasement of Obama that gave the GOP majorities all over the nation just in time for the redrawing of congressional maps.
And it was conservatives again who after being spurned by Mitt Romney & Co and staying home in 2012 gave the party one more shot to do what they promised in 2014.
This abortion bill debacle was the last straw for me. I left the Democrats 20 years ago when it became clear that a Catholic who actually believed in his faith was no longer welcome, if the GOP doesn’t want social conservatives then it’s time for us to go.
The time to take over the GOP (state by state) or set up a real third party (let’s call it the conservative party, like NY state), is NOW, after a historic election that demonstrated the ineptness of the “Wizards of Smart”.
The time NOT to talk about and vote for a third part candidate, or stay home and pout about rules that work against you is DURING an historic election, when one of the evils is immeasurably worse than the guy you can’t quite warm to.
If we successfully set up a conservative party, and win some seats, we can choose to align with Republicans or even endorse their candidate as a tactical matter on a vote by vote basis.
This VERY week Committees should begin forming in every state to create State conservative parties.
THIS VERY WEEK: True believers should be determining exactly legal steps need to be done in each state to be recognized.
This very week, activists should be sounding out potential candidates and writing a statement of principles embracing the following:
1. Fiscal conservativism & responsibility
2. Social conservative & personal responsibility
3. Defending the Judeo Christian values that made America great
As for funding this, if we can’t find conservatives willing to kick in I”m sure our friends on the left would be delighted to provide the seed money to get things going in the hope of splitting the GOP.
This has to be started NOW so that by say April of this year we are in a position to be able to act.
Now I can hear people say: “DaTechGuy, this is crazy, you’ll just be handing elections to the Democrats who are even worse. Haven’t you said time and time again you have to vote for the best choice on the ballot?”
Yes I have and on a pragmatic level if the choice in 2016 is Bush vs Clinton I’d much rather have Bush nominate a squish to the Supreme Court than Clinton nominate a radical but this misses the point.
If we have things in place by this summer, well before the primary season for 2016 everything changes for one simple reason that Mike pointed out in his original e-mail. A point I want to emphasize:
There is absolutely nothing stopping a Massachusetts Conservative Party or a Ohio Conservative Party or a North Carolina Conservative Party from nominating the candidate that wins a GOP primary as their choice for a state district, a House district, a Senate Seat, a Governorship. Nor is there anything preventing a national conservative party from nominating the GOP presidential nominee as the choice of their party.
Now put yourself in the place of the GOP both on the national and the state level.
If they see such parties forming, particularly in states that are close, are they more or less likely to frustrate the conservative agenda in the House & Senate and fuel the anger that generates them?
Say you are a member of Congress, perchance one who scuttled the Abortion bill, or is pushing for higher Gas taxes or supporting common core and you see this happening, are you more or less likely to anger conservatives who might choose to run a candidate who will cut into your base?
Say you are a state party preparing to fill a open congressional seat, are you likely to push a RINO that will guarantee a Conservative Party candidate on the ballot or will they find a more conservative candidate that, while not being a Ted Cruz or a Mike Lee would have enough appeal to conservatives to keep them in their camp?
Imagine you’re a state GOP with a strong conservative already sitting, are you to consider a primary challenge to might cause the state conservative party to split off?
Now obviously both human nature and the law of averages tell you that this will not always be enough to motivate the GOP to “Do the right thing” and there will be occasions when our running a candidate will be enough to give a Democrat the odd house seat in a marginal district or even cost us a Senate Seat such as in NH but consider the following:
Right now the GOP has the largest majority it has had in the house for a century. So if Democrats take a few seats or even 10, it will not give them the strength to advance the liberal agenda.
Additionally what if there had been a 3rd party candidate running in NH instead of clear field. Might some of those conservatives who stayed home have been enough to not only increase the GOP majority in the statehouse or perhaps give some help to Marilinda Garcia who was ignored by the national GOP?
Would not both the state party and perhaps a candidate such as Kelly Ayotte who had the support of Conservatives like Palin in 2010 seeing thousands of votes for a Conservative candidate in opposition to Brown think long and hard before antagonizing said party before she has to face voters?
Now there are some who might see new party structure as a chance to become regular guest on media, others who figure getting in on the ground floor of a party will mean power in the long run, still others see this in terms of profit and an easy paycheck. A new party will always attract such people.
In the long run it doesn’t matter to me any more than if a congressman votes the right way out of principle or out of expediency. I’d say if the world was full of angels we would not be need government but as I recall Satan started his career angelically.
So lets just say this: if we are advancing conservative principles for the good of our country our society and children, that’s fine with me.
But remember we have only a short window to get this done, if we wait too long then we won’t be able to influence the GOP congress into conservatism, or the GOP candidates into conservatism, all we’ll be able to do is help Democrats win, which is’t the point of the exercise.
We get started now or we wait till Jan 2017. There is not an acceptable 3rd choice.
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As a Massachusetts conservative watching the national media go wild about the election of a Republican Governor completely ignoring the lack of coattails (hell the lack of coat) is a source of frustration.
Charlie Baker is a nice guy and he means well but his election is not likely to have more than a cosmetic effect
The best way to explain the problem is to think of Baseball and the difference between buying a championship and building a dynasty.
In Massachusetts there are two conflicting views of the party, the establishment that is interested in the top of the ticket. It produces for those at the top patronage and excellent resume fodder in the hopes of getting a national political position.
Because of that goal they can’t take the time to build a farm team, every year that passes brings up a crop of people in Red States vying for those same jobs with resumes filled with actual positions in government.
They need that governorship today, they can’t wait around for the GOP to start winning seats in the statehouse, in fact a strong GOP controlled house and or senate will simply mean a crop of rivals with strong resumes in government as well.
Then there is the grass-roots Tea Party activists. They aren’t looking for a job from the government. They are looking to be able to keep their own jobs and business intact and be able to afford to have a decent life to raise their children here without either being hit in the pocketbook or because of their religious & social values.
For them it’s the bottom of the ticket that matters since until there is a change in the state senate and house all a GOP Governor can do is delay the day of reckoning.
So the idea is to start at Single A, city councilors, school committees. Recruit candidates to fill those spots. Then in four or five years those people can run for mayor, country offices, register of probate etc. the Double AA of electoral politics at the state level while a new grew group of people are recruited for the single A offices. After a few years the AA polls will start running in the state house and senate and positions like secretary of state & AG and within a few years viola you have a full slate of viable candidates not only for the Governor’s office but for congressional and senate seats.
Until the Massachusetts GOP decides to embrace the base GOP leaning votes will continue to leave the state and sooner or later there won’t be enough left to allow even a Republican as socially liberal as Charlie Baker won’t have a prayer ever again.