FRC Says Santorum Schooled Cain

Herman Cain has been a rising star of the TEA Party social conservative wing of the Republican party, but that rise may have hit a bump in the road.  Cain’s quick answer to the gay marriage issue was in the debate Monday night was that it was a states’ issue.  That answer is not sitting well with the pro-family Christian grass-roots giant The Family Research Council.

In their Wednesday morning update, titled “Debate and Switch”, the FRC scolded Cain and Ron Paul for not supporting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and instead deflecting the issue to the states.

So who does FRC say got that issue right?  Rick Santorum, who explained that a marriage amendment would require 75% of the states to approve.

This leaves the question, will TEA Partiers and social conservatives hold to constitutional principles of the tenth amendment and agree with Cain and Paul on gay marriage?  Or will they see the issue in light of the moral majority and government’s role in promoting the general welfare through promoting the American family?  What do you think?  Leave a comment and let us know which direction you think conservatives will take.

In my opinion, Michelle Bachmann gave a great reply to this that most conservatives can get behind.  Essentially, it is a state issue, unless the courts over rule the people of the states on Federal Constitutional grounds.  Then an amendment is necessary.

Careful, Newt

Newt should know that in politics, you must constantly clarify exactly what you mean. Newt is in hot water over comments he made during the weekend about the individual mandate in Obamacare. What Newt said was “Ive said consistently, where theres some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate youre going to be held accountable.

While this seems pretty clear to me, the media has declared this to be some sort of statement proving that Newt supports the individual mandate. So why would Newt then post a video today highlighting his record of consistently opposing the individual mandate? Probably because he didn’t actually say he supports the individual mandate. Newt said that he supports a requirement where you EITHER have health insurance OR… Media outlets seem to have missed the either, or in his statement.

What Newt said is something that constitutionalists who support individual responsibility have supported for a long time. I wrote about it back in 2009 when the Obamacare debates were hot and heavy. Newt said he supports a requirement that people pay for health insurance or indicate through a bond or some other way that they will pay for their medical care. This isn’t an individual mandate to buy health insurance, this is an individual mandate to pay for the medical care you receive, either through insurance or by other means. Why would Newt say that “libertarians would be happy” with his solution if he supported an individual mandate?

The problem Gingrich will face is that if soundbite Americans, especially those in the mainstream media, can’t figure this out then he will have a hard time getting his message across. Newt needs to learn how talk to Americans like they are idiots. Not because they are idiots, but because pundits are determined to misunderstand him and make their version of what he says the next morning’s headlines.

25% Chance Rand Paul Will Run?

According to Rand Paul, there is a 50-50 chance that one of the Pauls will run for President in 2012. Will it be him? Only if his father, Ron Paul, decides not to run this year. That makes the chances of a Rand Paul candidacy closer to 25%.

Which Paul do you want to see in 2012?

Rand Paul has been considered a top contender for the 2016 primary, among other freshmen like Marco Rubio. But few expect him, Rubio, or any of the other 2010 Republican first time victors to step into the ring, especially after how much criticism Obama has received for his measly two years of experience. The fact that Obama’s inexperience continues to conspicuously display itself won’t help.

On the other hand, Ron Paul had little shot of winning the Republican primary in 2008. If he chooses not to run in 2012, will Rand run to highlight the same conservative constitutionalist issues his father did? Perhaps, but not all the same issues since Rand is more mainstream on foreign policy. In fact, the differences between the two Pauls could be the difference between a fringe candidate with an obnoxious group of libertarian outcasts and a mainstream candidacy by a conservative/libertarian hybrid who could garner a Republican majority in 2012. He could also scrap up some of the anti-war Democrats his father charmed in 2008.

One thing is for sure, if Rand Paul runs it will be a boon to debate buffs who are excited about the intellectual dialogue that a Newt/Romney debate already promises. Having Rand on the stage will also guarantee that conservative constitutionalist issues are well represented.

The Neapolitan Party

Early on in this race, we are starting to see a clear breakdown in the Republican party into three distinct flavors. The question will be whether one candidate can unite the party once the others have melted away.

Can Republicans compromise on one flavor?

The social conservatives are known for their stances on family values, morality, and for some, Christianity. They are the candidates that the Family Research Counsel and American Family Association would love to see win. They are openly supportive of the TEA Party movement and are popular among talk radio listeners and Glenn Beck fans. They are big on national security, small government, and spending cuts, but these stances are drowned out by their social values. They are often controversial and pull no punches in attacking the Left. This flavor includes Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Jim DeMint, Herman Cain, Haley Barbour, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

Then you have the fiscal conservatives. They are proven businessmen. They have cut costs in government, they have balanced budgets, they have produced growth, and many of them have large personal fortunes. They have made the tough, controversial decisions having to do with the size of government, and they have produced incredible results. However, even though many of them are pro-life, pro-family, and generally socially conservative, this does not come out strongly in their campaigns. They are willing to work across the aisle, and sometimes alienate their own party by doing it. Social conservatives don’t trust them, but they enjoy a closet relationship with the TEA Party movement. They are strong on national security and foreign policy. These candidates include Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump.

Finally, there are the libertarians. Although they may live socially conservative lives and oppose things like abortion on a personal and state level, they will die by the principle that such things are beyond the scope of the Federal Government’s regulations. They oppose foreign wars and take a very cynical approach to free trade, the UN, and other foreign entanglements. They oppose the war on drugs and would take a chainsaw to the Federal Government’s authority without hesitation. Secretly, many conservatives love them, but most would not actually vote for them. These include Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

And then there is Newt Gingrich. Newt can be credited with helping bring about one of our nation’s most prosperous times as he worked both across the aisle and strongly against a Clinton administration to balance the budget.

Newt can win the general. Can he win the primary?

Newt also is a dedicated social conservative, who despite his own personal family issues from a decade ago is a strong advocate for socially conservative issues. Newt also advocates for limited government, but certainly not anywhere to the extent that Ron Paul does. Gingrich is smart on foreign policy and thinks outside of the box.

His American Solutions website and conservative crusade starting from when he was considering a presidential run in 2007 have helped to codify and establish the conservative brand going into 2012. He has been a strong TEA Party ally without appearing to be a one dimensional TEA Party candidate.

Could Newt be the candidate who can unite enough of the Republican Neapolitan breakdown to win in 2012? He could certainly defeat Obama in a debate and would have a strong showing in a general election. The question is if he can get enough of the social conservative, fiscal conservative and libertarian Republicans to abandon their favorite in order to unite behind him in the primary.

Palin’s “miscues”

If you watch football religiously like I do, you will notice new terms that pop up and become the buzz word of the season. Last year you couldn’t say “interception” anymore, you had to say I.N.T. This year the word is “miscue”. When the receiver blows his route it is a miscue. When the quarterback spends 15 seconds in the pocket and gets sacked, it’s a miscue. When the running back drops the ball and the other team picks it up and runs back for a touchdown, it is a miscue.

So I thought that I would apply that to the talk about Sarah Palin. For example, on with Barbara Walters, Palin made a huge miscue by announcing that she is definitely interested in running for President. Everyone knows you don’t announce that you are interested in running until after your campaign has made it official that you are in fact already running.

I was slightly more surprised to hear the always thoughtful George Will speak about some of Palin’s miscues on Washington This Week today. Will said one of her biggest miscues was quitting her term as governor and saving the state of Alaska billions in legal fees. After all, we all know from Charlie Rangel that even when ethics violations are true, it’s no reason to quit.

But what I thought was the most interesting miscue George Will noted was that Palin showed up in the audience of Dancing with the Stars to support her daughter Bristol, who has made it to the finals obviously only because TEA Partiers across the country are rigging the telephone voting. In fact, one man was so upset at watching Bristol dance that he shot his TV with a shotgun and then turned the gun on his wife.

Ok, so Dancing with the Stars is not my favorite show either. But really, George? Being in the audience supporting your daughter is “not Presidential”? That is her big miscue?

The answer is yes if you are an establishment elitist. The same is true for her show about life in Alaska. The fact is, while even Christian fundamentalists in Washington did not pick Palin in their straw poll, there are still lots of Americans who relate to her rugged individualism and die hard commitment to family. What seems like a miscue to the pundits can sometimes be what most normal Americans outside of DC are looking for. If nothing else, 2010 proved this. In fact, a majority of Palin backed TEA party candidates won.

Palin may not win the primary. But many of the people who go to the polls and vote for the other guy are the same people who watch her on their TV at night and cheer when she talks about smaller government, states rights, and conservative constitutionalist principles. And even if Palin is not the GOP candidate in 2012, the candidate who wins will be the one who most closely espouses what she represents.

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