Posts Tagged ‘GOP’
September 29th, 2015 at 11:45 am
Political Realignment in America’s Future?
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CFIF Contributing Editor Ben Boychuk discusses how today’s Republican Party resembles the Whig Party of 1850, why Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson are popular candidates, and more.

Listen to the interview here.

May 21st, 2015 at 12:25 pm
More GOP Debate Improvements

Add Daniel Henninger to the list of conservatives offering up new ideas to get the most out of the upcoming GOP presidential debates.

With as many as 19 Republicans possibly running for president, “something more is needed this time” than just a one-size-fits-all gabfest.

“In addition to the traditional debates, the candidates or their supporters should underwrite a series of smaller debates/conversations,” writes Henninger. “Divide the 19 into groups of four or five candidates, randomly selected. Pick the issues, and go at it. Give voters a chance to see who these mostly interesting people are and how their minds work outside the confines of a 60-second timer.”

In my column this week I lay out a proposal to randomly assign candidates into debating pairs so debaters can get more than the usual four to six minutes to speak. Henninger’s idea to put groups of four or five together may be more workable with such a large field. Either way, the key is to give every candidate sufficient time to make his or her case for the nomination.

There are several ideas for improving the quality of debate this go around. Let’s hope the people in charge of the process take some of them to heart.

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July 31st, 2014 at 1:10 pm
House Passes Bill to Sue Obama

The House of Representatives made history today when it passed a bill allowing Congress to sue the President of the United States for failing to implement a federal law, reports the L.A. Times.

The legislation authorizes House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to file suit in federal court demanding that President Barack Obama enforce ObamaCare’s employer mandate, which requires companies with 50 or more full-time workers to purchase ObamaCare-compliant health insurance or pay a penalty.

House Republicans have been critical of President Obama’s unilateral delays in enforcing the mandate – now scheduled to go into effect in 2016 – because it spares Democrats and the Obama administration substantial political pain. If the law is so great, Republicans reason, then it should go into full effect.

As with other anti-ObamaCare measures to pass the House, this bill has virtually no chance of clearing the Senate where Democrats are in the majority. Still, it’s very presence helps Republicans draw a clearer contrast over where each party stands on the rule of law; in particular the president’s ability to pick-and-choose which parts of a statute he will – as he swore upon taking office – to faithfully execute.

July 24th, 2014 at 12:07 pm
For GOP, Successful 2014 Could Pave the Way for an Even Better 2016

There’s reason to be cautiously optimistic about a conservative ascendency on Capitol Hill this year.

Unless something unexpected happens, the House of Representatives looks safe to remain in Republican hands after the 2014 midterm elections.

The real question is whether the GOP can wrest control of the U.S. Senate. The party needs to pick up six seats – and defend all those it holds – to unite with the House against President Barack Obama’s liberal agenda.

How likely is it that Republicans can pull off the takeover?

“To win six or more Democratic seats, Republicans start with the best possible candidates in West Virginia (Rep. Sherry Moore Capito), South Dakota (former Gov. Mike Rounds), and Montana (Rep. Steve Daines),” writes Fred Barnes. “These open Democratic seats are regarded as near-certain GOP takeovers, but they wouldn’t be if Republicans were stuck with second-tier candidates or worse.”

In political jargon, first-tier candidates are people who can interact with the media well, raise money, avoid unnecessary errors and gaffes and generally present a likeable personality to voters.

In order to win control of the Senate, Republicans also need to compete in slightly more difficult races.

“Then there are the four red states with Democratic incumbents–Louisiana, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Alaska,” says Barnes. “Once again, Republicans are blessed with able, attractive candidates. As a result, all five races are tossups or lean Republican.”

Controlling both legislative chambers would give Republicans the ability to show Americans a sharper contrast with Obama’s policies. For the first time since the president took office, the GOP – and in particular the conservative intellectual leadership that drives the party’s policy agenda – would be in a position to pass alternative solutions for job growth, health care, etc. Having two years to work out the details would be an excellent test drive for ideas ahead of the 2016 presidential contest when contenders could adopt the most popular proposals.

Come Election Night, we’ll see whether that process of refinement begins or is once again put on hold.

January 28th, 2014 at 4:36 pm
GOP Senators Unveil ObamaCare Alternative

Yesterday, three senior Republican Senators introduced a set of ideas that could eventually turn into the upper chamber’s Obamacare alternative.

The proposal – coauthored by Senators Tom Coburn (Oklahoma), Richard Burr (North Carolina) and Orrin Hatch (Utah) – is a welcome companion to the repeal and reform plan put forward by the House Republican Study Committee (RSC).

The plans share some important elements. Both would repeal Obamacare (though the Senate plan would reinstate certain Medicare changes). Both limit medical malpractice awards in an attempt to cut down on junk lawsuits. And both would increase access to various tax-shielded vehicles like Health Savings Accounts.

An interesting divergence is over whether to allow consumers to purchase health insurance across state lines. The RSC bill does, while the Coburn-Burr-Hatch proposal does not. If allowed, consumers would have more choices, including access to cheaper out-of-state plans for those living in high regulation states.

On the other hand, there is the possibility that insurance companies might cluster in a low-regulation state, leading to a domino effect where all states cut back on coverage requirements or risk losing companies to more business-friendly states. Stripped down health insurance is fine for young and healthy people, but hardly adequate for older and sicker persons. If enough people are priced out of the market, expect the liberal solution to be expanding government programs to cover them.

We know, because that’s one of the arguments liberal defenders of Obamacare used to justify its passage. As Republicans deliberate on how best to reform Obamacare after it’s repealed, figuring out a way to avoid that trap should be high on the priority list.

January 6th, 2014 at 3:53 pm
GOP’s ACA Alternative is Here

I’ll add an Amen to what our friend Quin Hillyer preaches at National Review Online today.

Quin writes convincingly about the opportunity Republicans have to take control of Congress by uniting behind the Obamacare alternative proposed by the House Republican Study Committee (RSC).

The short, snappy piece is worth reading in its entirety, but here I want to draw attention to two points I’m glad Quin made. First, there must be an agreement among the DC GOP leadership to adopt the RSC’s framework for reform. Doing so would commit the party to a conservative version of reform that, as Quin demonstrates, will be an easy sell during the campaign season.

Second, that this strategic decision must be joined to an equally unified agreement to abandon any version of comprehensive immigration reform this year. Just as Obamacare is an internally divisive issue among Democrats, so too is immigration reform among Republicans. In a year where Obamacare is already the dominant issue, there is no reason for Republicans to voluntarily drive a wedge between their members on immigration by reviving an issue that’s currently dead. Instead, GOP leaders should try to divide and conquer the Democrats with votes on Obamacare alternatives they can’t afford to oppose.

Conservatives at the RSC have put forward a viable plan. It’s up to GOP leaders to decide whether they want to spend 2014 defeating Democrats, or fighting their own members.

October 29th, 2013 at 4:38 pm
GOP Attacks Obamacare in Awesome/Outrageously Dated New Ads

The Republican National Committee has launched a humorous and biting four-part commercial series to “expose the deep flaws of Obamacare.”

In keeping with its long tradition of being on the cutting edge, the clips parody Apple’s 7-year-old “Get a Mac” ad campaign. (Apparently the GOP couldn’t figure out a way to look even more out-of-touch by criticizing Obamacare by spoofing “Where’s the beef?,” or by dusting off Spuds MacKenzie or Max Headroom to make the point.)

In the RNC’s commercials, two guys representing “The Private Sector” and “Obamacare” square off much in the same way Justin Long and John Hodgman did as Mac and PC back in the good old days when Obamacare was just a bewildering scheme floating in the vacant expanse between Barack Obama’s goofy ears.

The first commercial, “Down” will air during tonight’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central.

The ads will appear primarily in the Washington, D.C. market. If you’re fortunate enough not to live in the greater Baltimore-Washington Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area, have no fear. The videos are available online here, here, here and here.

Hopefully the ads will help spread distrust of Obamacare and represent another step in building the critical mass necessary to eliminate the program.

There is a bit of irony that the RNC is spending millions on ads trying to overturn – or, at least, overhaul – Obamacare when, if the organization had done its job in years past, Obamacare would’ve never been created in the first place.

April 18th, 2013 at 6:51 pm
House GOP to Follow ‘Regular Order’ on Immigration Bill

Robert Costa says that if the Senate passes the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, the House of Representatives stands ready to put the brakes on the latest piece of “must pass” legislation. Their mechanism: Regulator order.

“Regular order” allows House Republicans to dictate the pace of legislation and makes “grand bargains” of any sort harder to pass. Consider immigration. Several sources close to the leadership say that even if the Senate passes something on immigration, the bill will be immediately sent to the committees, and then either sent back to the Senate with changes, or rewritten in a bicameral conference committee. This means that the chance of the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill coming to the House floor, as is , is nearly non-existent. House Republicans would first have to mull it, schedule hearings, and then tinker with its legislative language .

That tweaking process could take months, which is just fine with many Republicans, who’d like the public to have as much time as possible to chew over the controversial elements of Obama’s prized bills. The caucus consensus is: The more time Congress takes to consider a bill, the more time the public has to sour on its components.

Unlike ObamaCare where Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic majority rubberstamped the Senate’s rewrite of the nation’s health insurance market, House Republicans want to make sure they know exactly what’s in the Gang’s immigration bill before voting on it.

If necessary, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is even floating the idea of breaking the Gang’s carefully balanced 1,500 page bill into separate pieces. That way, the most popular measures – such as enhanced border security measures – would likely become law, leaving less desirous elements out until supporters can figure out a way to sell them to the American people.

For a caucus that runs only one-half of one branch of government, regular order sounds like a good strategy to employ.

April 12th, 2013 at 1:28 pm
ObamaCare Crack-up Looms as Next GOP Messaging Disaster

Don’t look now, but with ObamaCare failing to deliver on its promises before it even takes effect, Democrats are already starting to lay the blame on the one party least responsible for this policy monstrosity: Republicans.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services and the point person for ObamaCare’s implementation, told a Harvard School of Public Health audience that instead of saying, “let’s get on board, let’s make this work,” Republican opponents coerced her into fighting “state-by-state political battles.” Sebelius complained, “The politics has been relentless,” according to Investor’s Business Daily.

This from the woman whose refusal to honor the conscience rights of religious employers elevates the right to “free” contraception over the First Amendment.

But just because Sebelius’ charge that ObamaCare’s completely foreseen failure is actually Republicans’ fault is laughable to anyone who knows the facts, don’t assume that the GOP communications apparatus can be counted on to frame those facts effectively.

After all, this is the same universe of consultants and staff that got outmaneuvered last election season on liberal talking points like the GOP’s “War on Women,” and Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment.

If the Left wants to present Sandra Fluke and “The Life of Julia” as exemplars of modern feminism, why can’t the Right counter with the common sense observation that what liberals really want is a government sugar-daddy who pays for sex and then subsidizes any consequences thereafter?

And rather than deny that 47 percent of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes, why don’t Republicans instead hit back with the explosive growth of food stamps and the unprecedented extension of unemployment benefits in the Age of Obama?  Throw in the Obama Phone mentality, and people will start to understand that there are real costs to the liberal vision of welfare.

All this to say I hope Republicans have learned their lesson about how to contest Democratic smear campaigns.  It would be a shame if when ObamaCare comes off the rails next year the GOP fails to capitalize electorally because no one clearly makes the case that only liberals are to blame for the mess they created.

December 5th, 2012 at 5:34 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: The Last Temptation
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez. 

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

May 3rd, 2012 at 8:16 pm
More Paul than Romney Delegates at GOP Convention?

On Monday, I shared a story about how Ron Paul’s fervent supporters are outmaneuvering the Romney campaign in the state-by-state process of selecting delegates to the GOP’s nominating convention in Tampa, FL.

Here’s more evidence from the Washington Times:

Exploiting party rules, loyalists for the libertarian congressman from Texas in recent days have engineered post-primary organizing coups in states such as Louisiana and Alaska, confirming what party regulars say would be an effort to grab an outsized role in the convention and the party’s platform deliberations.

In Massachusetts, the state where Mr. Romney served as governor, Paul loyalists over the weekend helped block more than half of Mr. Romney’s preferred nominees from being named delegates at state party caucuses — even though Mr. Romney won his home state’s primary with 72 percent of the vote.

And from the Las Vegas Sun:

In a letter delivered Wednesday to GOP Chairman Michael McDonald, the RNC’s chief counsel said if Ron Paul delegates are allowed to take too many slots for the national convention, Nevada’s entire contingent may not be seated in Tampa.

John R. Phillippe Jr. said that while his letter is not binding, “I believe it is highly likely that any committee with jurisdiction over the matter would find improper any change to the election, selection, allocation, or binding of delegates, thus jeopardizing the seating of Nevada’s entire delegation to the National Convention.”

Clearly, the RNC fears that mischief at the Sparks convention this weekend could result in Ron Paul delegates taking Mitt Romney slots and then not abiding by GOP rules to vote for the presumptive nominee on the first ballot in Tampa. So they are trying to force McDonald to ensure that actual Romney delegates fill 20 of the 28 national convention slots, thus removing any mystery of who they will vote for.

H/T: Teagan Goddard’s Political Wire

April 30th, 2012 at 5:37 pm
GOP Convention: Ron Paul Revolution?

The Daily Caller explains the (tortured) delegate math that is giving GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul – yes, he’s still running – control of state delegations to the national convention; and with them, the ability to impact Mitt Romney’s march to the nomination.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul claimed another come-from-behind caucus victory this weekend, announcing that approximately 74 percent of the delegates to Louisiana’s state GOP convention will be Paul supporters.

Louisiana has a unique system of selecting delegates to the Republican National Convention. Twenty delegates are selected based on the results of the state’s March 24 primary and another 26 delegates are based on the outcome of the state’s caucus process.

If you’re confused it’s probably because you remember that Rick Santorum won 49 percent of the Louisiana primary vote back in February.

And that’s not the only Santorum victory that ultimately went to Paul:

Earlier this month, Paul won 20 of 24 delegates awarded by Minnesota congressional district conventions. Paul had received a significant 27 percent of the vote in the state’s Feb. 7 caucuses, but Santorum had won nearly every county in a major blowout.

According to The DC, Paul is also on the verge of winning a majority of the GOP’s delegates from Iowa, even though he came in third behind Mitt Romney and Santorum in the Hawkeye State.

Moreover, there are as many as six other states where Paul is poised to control a majority of delegates even though he didn’t win a majority of the primary votes cast in any of them.

If you, like me and perhaps Mitt Romney’s crew, considered Paul’s campaign an afterthought, it may be time to move the Veepstakes chatter to the backburner and ask a much more interesting question – What, exactly, does Mr. Paul want in exchange for his endorsement at the GOP’s Tampa convention?

December 8th, 2011 at 9:14 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Trump Debate
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 18th, 2011 at 8:11 am
Podcast: Iran, GOP Presidential Field, ObamaCare and More
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In an interview with CFIF, Ken Blackwell, American Civil Rights Union Senior Fellow and contributing editor for, discusses the potential for an Israeli strike against Iran, the strengths and weaknesses of GOP presidential candidates and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review ObamaCare.

Listen to the interview here.

October 14th, 2011 at 2:44 pm
Perry Getting Hit from the Right

The hits just keep on coming at Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry.  The governor of Texas is in increasingly hot water as he tries to parry away charges that he’s soft on illegal immigration and insider tax breaks for friendly corporations.

In Texas, Tea Party activists are demanding that Perry sign an executive order or call a special session of the state legislature to pass an Arizona-style law authorizing state police to check a person’s immigration status.  On the business front, Perry’s use of a governor-controlled “emerging technology fund” is drawing criticism for producing more misses than hits for taxpayers told that tax holidays for some would create jobs for many others.

Perry can’t run away from his record.  He can, however, enhance it with better defenses of it.

We’ll see if he’s up to the challenge.

October 7th, 2011 at 12:31 pm
Assessment of the GOP Race (Short Version)

The GOP presidential nomination campaign is a highly volatile thing, with one exception: No matter what happens, Mitt Romney coasts along in the high teens or low 20s, unmoved in the polls by all the other sturm und drang.Right now it is Herman Cain who, like a super ball, is bouncing extremely high — just as Rick Perry did before him, just as Michelle Bachmann did before that, and just as Cain himself did (to a slightly lesser extent) in the Spring. Of the others in the field, Ron Paul will keep his 10-12 percent of support no matter what, but will never exceed that, and thus has no prayer. Also prayerless are Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, almost certainly Bachmann (who has fallen almost off the map), and others like Buddy Roemer and Fred Karger.

Does that mean it is now a three-way race between Cain, Perry, and Romney? No.

Romney and Perry both have the money and clout to stay in all the way. Cain has mojo going for him, along with a winning personality, but his campaign organization is an absolute mess and he also is finally about to get vetted, for real, for the first time. He may or may not have staying power.

Meanwhile, three others still have a shot. Person one is MYSTERY MAN, meaning a still-possible, as-yet-unknown, entrant into the field. If Cain falls as fast as Bachmann did (not likely, but possible) and if Perry still hobbles along without regaining his polling momentum, there is still room for somebody with a certain profile to enter the race and catch fire. It would need to be somebody already well known or somebody unique. The three who come to mind are, 1) despite his protestations, Jeb Bush; 2) Rudy Giuliani; and 3) Bobby Jindal, once he wins re-election as Louisiana governor on Oct. 22 with about 83 percent of the vote. The latter would need to find a way to gingerly extricate himself from his endorsement of Perry, but he’s clever enough to do it if he wants.

Person two, surprisingly, is Newt Gingrich, who has been slowly and steadily gaining polling strength, returning from the absolute dregs into which he had cast himself with his ill-considered slam of Paul Ryan’s budget followed by sheer mendacity, and then cussedness, about what he had said. Would Republicans really be foolish enough to rally around a man he repeatedly through the years has bashed conservatives in harsh terms, who few people with whom he served in Congress trust entirely, who can be abrasive as heck, who has led the GOP into deep unpopularity in the past, and who has a sordid personal history? Well, some people long have called Republicans “the stupid party.” Gingrich has reinvented himself as everybody’s favorite uncle in the field, and attention spans are so short that a few good debate performances (see: Herman Cain) can make people go gaga no matter what a candidate’s history is.

Longshot-but-still-possible person three is Rick Santorum. Why? Hasn’t he consistently ranked well down in the polling single digits? Yes. But he also is the only one who has performed well in almost every debate. He also is the only one who has outperformed expectations in both major straw polls so far, beating Cain, Perry, Romney and Gingrich in Iowa (finishing fourth overall) and beating Paul, Gingrich and Bachmann in Florida (again finishing fourth overall, with a decent 11 percent of the vote).  And he has a history, on election day, of outperforming expectations. He won in major upsets his races in 1990, 1994, and 2000, and beat another incumbent when redistricted into a district with a Democratic congressman in 1992.

So, the question is, who, if anybody else, can catch fire? Whether Cain stays high, or whether Gingrich, Santorum or Jindal emerges, the main challenger(s) will need to contend with the steady Romney regardless. Stay tuned for more twists and turns.

September 13th, 2011 at 12:57 pm
Thoughts on Last Night’s Debate

In addition to agreeing with Jennifer Rubin, here, I have the following, ultra-summary, reactions to last night’s debate and the state of the GOP presidential nomination race:

Herman Cain: When he talks foreign policy, he seems completely lost. When he talks economics, he is wonderful. He’s also incredibly likable. If he doesn’t get the nomination, he should be Secretary of the Treasury. His combination of practical business experience and chairmanship of the Kansas City branch of the Federal Reserve gives him great qualifications for that position.

Michelle Bachmann: You gotta love her passion and principles. Not so much her knowledge. She is actually way out in right field to say that Romneycare is “unconstitutional.” It’s not — not at the state level. The problem isn’t that it violates the Constitution; the problem is that the individual mandate tramples on liberty and completely upends the American understanding of individual choice and personal responsibility — not to mention the practical drawbacks of Romneycare as a whole.

Newt Gingrich: He shines in most of the debates. But his personality, temperament, and philosophical benders are probably not suited to the presidency.

Jon Huntsman: Condescending, unctuous, and with a nasty streak. And unconservative to boot.

Rick Perry: As I wrote last night, the man had a very bad evening.  I saw multiple other analysts say the same. He needs to improve his game, and fast, or else he could enter Fred Thompson-ville. (I like Thompson, by the way; this is in terms of political trajectory, not personal candidate preference.)

Mitt Romney: Plastic.

Ron Paul: When he’s right, he’s really right. But when he’s wrong, he’s in outer space, in fact in another galaxy. He was hurt politically very badly last night by Rick Santorum’s apt criticism of Paul’s goofball statements relating to 9/11.

Rick Santorum: Okay, I’m a big Santorum fan. This is the third straight debate in which I am hardly alone among pundits in saying that he really was impressive. Isn’t it time people stop saying: “He did great; too bad he can’t win,” and instead start saying: “He did great; maybe he might have a chance to win”?

July 21st, 2011 at 2:33 pm
Dominoes About to Fall for Texas GOP

Roll Call reports that Texas Republican Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has entered the race to replace retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX).  The field is already crowded, with former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, an ardent conservative, angling to be the Lone Star version of Florida’s Marco Rubio.

Dewhurst’s substantial personal wealth and four statewide electoral victories (3 as Lt. Gov., 1 as land commissioner), are prompting some to say he’s now the frontrunner.  With Governor Rick Perry mulling a bid for president, this could signal a major shake-up of Texas GOP politics as two of the state’s highest profile jobs come open for the first time since 2002.

November 18th, 2010 at 9:27 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The GOP’s Short Honeymoon With Voters
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 9th, 2010 at 8:12 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Voters Watching the GOP
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.