The GOP establishment gives another chairmanship to a RINO

First, the Republicans reward Michigan Rep. Fred Upton for banning the light bulb, by putting him in charge of energy.  Now they reward Illinois Rep. Tim Johnson for voting against farmers’ property rights, by putting him in charge of–you guessed it– farming.

Tim Johnson (RemoveRINOs’ Queen of Hearts) will head the Rural Development Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee.  While this is far from a stellar position, the irony is just as palpable as in Upton’s case.

The bill Johnson voted against, an overhaul of the Endangered Species Act (HR 3824, 109th Congress), would have reimbursed property owners when the ESA infringes on their ability to develop their property.  And as Nancy Marano and Ben Lieberman of the Heritage Foundation point out, the bill also would have done away with “flawed critical habitat designations, strengthening scientific standards, and returning decisions to the state and local governments that are better suited to address them. As well, [the bill] would serve landowners by increasing openness and accountability across ESA processes and improving the protection of private property rights.”  The American Conservative Union listed this legislation among its “top 25” watershed votes of 2005.

Despite Johnson’s turning his back on such a fundamental liberty as the right to own property, the Republican establishment apparently sees nothing wrong with putting Johnson in charge of a subcommittee that, as stated in Illinois’ News-Gazette “deals with issues such as rural development programs…and family farming matters.”

On the surface, it’s mind-boggling that anyone, let alone a Republican, could vote against such an innocuous piece of legislation.  But if you’re looking for motive, here’s an interesting tidbit.  According to Marano and Liberman, one of the many benefits of the legislation is that it would result in fewer lawsuits.

And according to opensecrets.org, guess who was the number one donor to Johnson’s 2004 campaign?  You guessed it.  Lawyers.  $32,458.

So thank you, GOP Establishment, for taking the power of the Tea Party mandate and squandering it on still another hollow-souled, Tuesday-Group moderate.

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Correction: Anti-Demint quote incorrectly attributed to Lindsey Graham

An apology is owed to both our readers and the office of Lindsey Graham for a November 5  post incorrectly asserting that Lindsey Graham had, in a Politico article, criticized Senator Jim Demint as “selfish” and a “loser.”  While Graham was contemptuous of the Christine O’Donnell campaign,  the direct references to Demint were made by a “high-profile Senator” who chose to stay anonymous.

Thou dost protest too much, methinks…..

Did anyone notice that from Wednesday to Thursday, Christine O’Donnell’s deficit against Coons was cut in half. If it slipped by you, it may be because the 26% deficit that the pundits were tossing around on Tuesday had been grabbed, more or less, from thin air.  On Thursday, Rasmussen released a poll showing her down by 11%, which is consistent with its poll from earlier in the month.

An 11% deficit is by no means insurmountable in a Republican year when each day brings more bad economic news for the Democrats.  O’Donnell is part of an exciting, growing movement.  As a Democrat, Coons is an unwelcome member of “the powers that be.”  No matter how blue the state of Delaware may be, if the only people motivated to vote are the conservatives…..then watch out.

So what are the Republican pundits afraid of?  Is it that O’Donnell has had financial difficulties and used to warn youngsters against “lust of the heart?”  Well Coons once supported a doctrine that led to the genocide of 95 million people.

Or is the problem simply that O’Donnell stands for true principles of liberty in a state where such principles are lampooned?

Well the country is in the middle of a shakeup right now, and no one knows exactly where we’re going to be when things settle.  If Charles Krauthammer or Karl Rove think they know, then they are, in a word, presumptuous.  Pride goeth before a fall, and we may be on the verge of seeing two of the biggest topple.

But that’s not what bothers me.  What bothers me is that Rove, after having a day to digest the news of O’Donnell’s win, maintained his defeatist position, even going so far as to provide sound clips on Greta Van Susteren that will be useful to the Coons campaign.  While he claimed he was doing so because Fox News brought him on the show as an analyst, not as a Republican spokesperson–one can only wonder how amenable to that excuse he would have been had Scott McClellen used it when going after the Bush administration.  Then imagine my surprise when turning to National Review Online this morning, I saw a brand new Krauthammer piece, basically repeating his admonitions of a week ago against anyone who has the audacity to violate the Buckley rule and endorse a conservative who, Krauthammer feels, isn’t electable.

Well here’s something you might find interesting, Mr. Krauthammer.  There IS no other Republican in the Delaware senate race today. It’s O’Donnell or Coons.  Between the two, if we were to apply the Buckley rule in a way that’s consistent with your admonitions, we’d have to endorse Coons.  Because if he’s the only candidate who’s electable, then he’s the also the most conservative who’s electable.

But my real problem is that the primary was Tuesday.  Today is Friday.  And the primary season is over throughout the country. There’s no reason for Krauthammer or Rove’s admonitions.  All they can possibly do is help Coons–and to such a degree that I’ll be truly surprised if the Democrats don’t use footage of Rove in their commercials.  So why do this?  Why buckle down on your “checkered past” comments and your “Buckley rule” when they can do nothing but hurt a conservative candidate and help a liberal candidate?  These pundits have themselves acknowledged how important it is we win this seat.

To my knowledge, one thing and one thing only, could account for Krauthammer and Rove’s recalcitrance:

With all due respect, Mr. Krauthammer and Mr. Rove, one more word out of either of you, and I’ll be convinced you’re more concerned with losing credibility than with losing this seat.  You’re protesting too long and too loudly because you can’t bear the thought you might have gotten this one wrong.  When you repeat yourself often enough, it starts to sound to the rest of the world like you’re trying to convince yourself.   It’s a weird part of human nature that causes us to do that.

And I’m trying hard not to draw that conclusion about you.  But every day you undermine O’Donnell you make it harder for me to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Castle vs. O’Donnell: A Mythical Debate

Who should a Republican vote for—Mike Castle or Christine O’Donnell?  By now, the arguments on both sides are as tired as a death-penalty debate in a freshman English class.  So I’ll cut to the chase.  Who should Republicans vote for?  O’Donnell.  Republicans should vote O’Donnell.  It isn’t even debatable.

All you have to do is look at the best-case scenario of a Castle win and contrast it to the worst-case scenario of an O’Donnell win.   And if you’re conservative, an intellectually honest probe can lead to only one conclusion: a worst-case O’Donnell victory is far better than a best-case Castle victory.

Let’s start with the worst-case for O’Donnell. O’Donnell beats Castle and then loses in November.  While there’s every reason to believe O’Donnell’s momentum could carry her to a November victory –for our purposes, we’re sticking only to the worst-case scenario.  In fact, let’s make the worst even worser–O’Donnell defeats Castle, then loses in November and the G.O.P. misses a Senate takeover by a single seat. Would this lessen our chances of reversing Obama’s destruction? Would this upend our conservative momentum?  The answer is an obvious “no.”

Certainly, the lack of Castle’s presence in the Senate would not be the difference in repealing anything—because Obama will veto anything that reverses his “legacy.”  And Castle would not give us a 60th vote enabling an override.  Again, this isn’t debatable. If anyone thinks we’re headed for a veto-proof congress, they’re fooling themselves. And who first made this observation?  None other than Castle himself: “While this president is in office,” he said, “repealing this full law [health care] is not realistic and not the best use of our efforts.”  That hardly speaks to the need to have Castle in office to advance Republican reforms.

So does a worst-case O’Donnell scenario hurt conservative momentum?

Hardly. How does it hurt our momentum when a conservative beats a liberal former governor in a Delaware primary? A one-seat deficit keeps us hungry, a one-seat surplus give us a false sense of being full.

On the other hand, consider how it hurts morale when we have “bipartisan” cap and trade, “bipartisan” gun bans, “bipartisan” tax hikes, card check, sanctuary cities, pork bills, light-bulb bans,  10-commandment bans, drilling bans; “bipartisan” auto takeovers, cash for clunkers, de-funding of missile defense,  granting of drivers licenses to illegals (are we getting demoralized yet), “bipartisan” Bush impeachment investigations, in-state tuition for illegals, votes of no confidence in the surge (hardly a morale-boosting stance), “bipartisan” campaign-finance reform, TARP legislation, a “bipartisan” Disclose Act,  extension of McCain/Feingold to the Internet, doubling of S-CHIP,  a “bipartisan” tax-dollar giveaway to Planned Parenthood…and believe it or not, we’ve barely scratched the surface.  The list goes much further–and all of the above is from Castle’s record of just the last three Congresses.   Indeed we could go much further and still stay within those sessions (if  you’d like to do just that, please click here: Remove Castle).

So now let’s take a look at the other side. What’s the best-case scenario if Castle wins?

Castle tops O’Donnell then defeats Coons, and this gives us a one-seat majority in the Senate.

We’d gain Committee chairs. This would make parliamentarian wonks happy.  We’d be little better off in making actual reforms (see above), but, again, the wonks would be happy.  Better legislation would see the light of day—before being buried in the darkness of Obama gridlock.  And Republicans would be in a better position to send pork home—which would mean, of course, giving up Tea-Party support in 2012.

We’d have a little more clout—which would make it much easier for Obama to find a scapegoat (“It wasn’t me–the Republican majority did it”); despite the fact that this Republican majority wouldn’t be able to truly do anything before 2012.

That’s pretty much it.  I’ve exhausted the good in a best-case scenario with Castle.  So let’s look at what’s bad in the same scenario.

What message will be sent if, come Wednesday, the New York Times’ presumptuous, gleeful boast from an August 5 article is proven true: “Eight House Republicans, After Carrying Climate Effort Last Year, Fend Off Attacks.” Because all cap-and-traders are still standing. And they’ve whooped a slew of conservatives in the primaries.  Any way you look at it, if Castle—the last cap-and-trader to face a primary opponent—wins on Tuesday, then rather than teaching the RINOs a lesson, the RINOs will have taught us conservatives a lesson.   And what’s this lesson?  We’re almost powerless against the liberals in our own party.   Liberal special interests can influence their votes. The media can influence their votes.  We cannot.

Indeed, why should these guys listen to Michelle Malkin or Ann Coulter, when they can obey Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd and still make the Washington dinner circuit?

Moreover, here’s an interesting tidbit.  As the basis for its House rankings, RemoveRINOs chose 73 votes dating back five years–73 of the most crucial, watershed votes for conservatism as determined by the American Conservative Union.  Again…we’re not talking about a vague composite of overall “career votes with party.”  These were the biggies, the non-negotiable issues, the cap-and-trading, tax-raising, speech banning, open-border, gun-confiscation kinds of votes.

When it comes to the 73 ACU votes chosen (hardly a small sample), Castle voted with the Dems 72% of the time. This means he voted with the Republicans only 28% of the time on the issues that matter. Twenty-eight percent.  Take a good look at that number.  Let its image burn itself into your retina.  On the core ACU conservative issues, Castle votes with Pelosi 72% of the time.

What kind of message would a Castle victory send Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and the other weak-kneed  Republicans the next time they face a cap-and-trade bill or a recall of stimulus funds or a repeal of the healthcare monstrosity?

By contrast, what kind of message would Castle’s defeat send these fence-sitters?

Because…my goodness…72% of the time with Pelosi on the ACU issues?? And this is a best-case scenario??

New Ace of Spades: Mike Castle

(Reprinted from April 15, 2010)

Senatorial candidate and Delaware representative, Mike Castle has finally managed the impossible—to replace Olympia Snowe as the Most-Wanted RINO in the deck, the Ace of Spades. A mere two weeks after the 2010 update to the rankings—rankings in which Castle managed to barely stave off Olympia Snowe—the camel has finally been dealt one straw too many; our camel kneels, front legs bent, joints shaking; our camel gives a sickly moo (or whatever sound a camel makes), snaps a vertebra (forgive the melodrama), rolls over on its side, then passes away, a mere memory of what was once a camel.

And what was the straw?

As appeared in a recent issue of DelawareOnline, Castle made the following statement:  “While this president is in office, repealing this full law [i.e., Obamacare] is not realistic and not the best use of our efforts.”

The decision to move Ms. Snowe from the Ace of Spades position has followed weeks of soul searching.

But consider the following:

  • In 2009 only seven House votes were included in the RemoveRINOs updates (our subjective take on the “worst of the worst” from the American Conservative Union’s list).  Castle voted the wrong way on all seven votes. From the Senate, Snowe voted the wrong way on only six of eight.
  • Since 2005, Castle has racked up 51 of the most egregious votes. Snowe has racked up only one more, dating back all the way to 2001 (our senate votes go back further than our House).
  • The clincher: it was awful when Snowe voted Obamacare out of conference—yes, that was awful—it  was even worse than Castle’s vote for Cap and Trade. But, we’re to the next phase, and Castle has made it clear he will not seek repeal. If Castle wins the GOP Senate nomination against O’Donnell and wins in November, he’s just going to be another congressional obstacle.  Period. By so nonchalantly opposing repeal, he has not only made it clear that his election would hurt the repeal movement but that he has little regard for what tea-partiers and conservatives want.

While it’s true that there’s not ultimately an ounce of spittle difference between these two RINOs, both of whom seem to enjoy spitting in the face of conservatives, Castle is every bit as bad as Snowe; and, at least for the moment, he’s worse. This is why when all is said and done, faithful conservative Christine O’Donnell doesn’t need to defeat Castle in the primary; Ms. O’Donnell has to.