Glenn Beck’s Unintentional Newt Endorsement

Let me tell you the best way to help any Republican candidate in this race.  Tell his TEA Party supporters that they only support him because they are racists.  Haven’t we heard that garbage for four years already?  Don’t look now, this time it’s conservative media man Glenn Beck.

Beck, arguing that Newt is as much of a big government progressive as Obama, said that the only reason TEA Partiers were flocking to Gingrich was racial.  Thank you, Beck.  Now TEA Partiers have a new reason to flock to Gingrich.

Now Newt will also have one more item in his arsenal in the General Election when Obama goes after him for not being moderate enough.  Seriously though, do people really associate Newt Gingrich with leftwing liberalism?  Does Beck really think Newt is a social progressive?  No, of course not.  And when it comes down to Newt and Obama, we will see people like Beck, Coburn, Coulter, and others either get really quiet or come out and eat their words.

Before we take Beck’s claim that Newt supporters are racist bigots too seriously, maybe we should find out whether he supports Huntsman or Romney.  Low blow?  Yeah.  How do you like it, Beck?


Trunkline 2012: Tuesday Tidbits From The Republican Presidential Race – 12/06/11

Bookmark and Share  Trunkline 2012 presents you with a news summary from today’s campaign trail which covers, the homosexual agenda’s exploitation of children, Santorum and Bachamnn’s increasing threat to the frontrunners, Santorum’s new print ad, Obama’s confusion with Kansas and Texas, the left’s lies about the facts, and much, much more.

“The issue for Obama in this reelection campaign is how do you persuades your less-than-ardent supporters that he is the better choice than what is out there.” – Larry Scanlon, Political Director of AFSCME

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WH2012 in football terms: We have Rogers, Brady as front runners, Tebow, Brees, Vick, and Rivers also running, and our current QB is Gabbert

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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.

Santorum Goes After Palin For Skipping CPAC

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Former Pennsylvania Senator and potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum went after Sarah Palin today charging that her decision to skip the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference was a financial one. The former Senator told conservative commentator S.E. Cupp, who hosts an online radio show on Glenn Becks website, “I have a feeling that she has some demands on her time, and a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them.” In what seemed to be a suggestion that the former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate’s priorities were with speeches and appearances that were paid, Santorum stated that Palin has “other business opportunities.”

Santorum also took sarcastic aim at the suggestion that Palin had family responsibilities to tend to as well. “I don’t live in Alaska and I’m not the mother to all these kids and I don’t have other responsibilities that she has,” he said. Santorum is the father of 7 children.

Palin has turned down invitations to speak at CPAC reportedly due to an ongoing rift with American Conservative Union president David Keene who has publicly criticized her.

Taking on Palin can be dangerous ground headed into a campaign but Rick Santorum seems to be the one candidate who is not afraid of possibly alienating her large base of followers. As others have tip toed around any public criticism of the highly popular former VP candidate it seems Santorum is not going to shy away from taking on the power of Palin. If she runs it could be a good move as everyone will have to weigh in on her candidacy. If she doesn’t it could put a dent in his being able to grab her many evangelical followers from the likes of Mike Huckabee.

The CPAC conference begins on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Scheduled to appear are Santorum, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, former MA Governor Mitt Romney, IN Governor Mitch Daniels, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former MN Governor Tim Pawlenty, TX Governor Rick Perry, MS Governor Haley Barbour, MN Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and others.

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What Now?

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As the polls continue to show Republicans gaining support amongst the voting public and the TEA party making surprising strides in many primaries the question arises – Where does the GOP go from here?

With many conservative TEA party backed candidates poised to hold seats in Congress is it possible for the establishment Republicans to welcome them and work as a cohesive unit to promote the shared agenda of less taxes, less spending and less government? If there is one thing the old guard and the new lions have in common it is the platform of less, less, less. The dividing point however is the confidence that the voters have in the old guard to stick to the task of doing so. It is that lack of confidence, brought on by the deficit and debt spending of the GOP controlled congress during the Bush administration, that has brought on the meteoric rise of the TEA party candidates and the ouster of established GOP candidates in primary elections.

With that lack of confidence leading a new group of conservatives into the GOP power grid, the Grand Ol’ Party must now fight to instill confidence in the independents that they are moving in that direction in order to be successful in the general elections not only in 2010, but to ensure it continues into 2012. The TEA party conservatives have found success with one simple message: Less taxes, less spending and less government. The GOP establishment must embrace this message and show that they are serious about these issues and cohesive with the TEA party candidates before the voters will have confidence enough to continue to give them their votes into 2012. But any relationship is a 2 way street and the GOP/TEA party relationship can be no different.

As the Democrats go into attack mode, unwilling and unable to run on their votes for the highly unpopular stimulus and health care bills, the TEA party must instill confidence that they are not the far right fringe that the Democrats and the media are trying so hard and spending millions of dollars to paint them as. Taking a page from the Glenn Beck rally’s strategy book, the signs and idealistic t-shirts must go. Whether it be a few far right supporters that take advantage of the situation to get out their message of hate or whether it be plants by the left put in the crowd to give the appearance of radicalism, if they remove the opportunity all together then there will be nothing to debate but the issues. The first amendment is the backbone of our society and I am not suggesting that anyone’s rights be infringed. What I am suggesting is that the main message of less taxes, less spending and less government must be the only message if they expect to compete in a general election forum. In a general election the voting audience is different. They can go either way. The TEA party activists must realize that any opening for the other side or the media to push their message that the GOP is being taken over by far right radicals needs to be eliminated. Their message can win. If it is the message that the public sees.

So what now? Although they have been battling each other in the primary races, the GOP and the TEA party must now embrace each other in order to win in the big show. The GOP must embrace the TEA party to instill confidence in potential voters that they are serious about cutting taxes, spending and the size of government. A confidence that they have lost. The TEA party must embrace the GOP to instill confidence that they are not the far right radical fringe that many believe them to be.

What is known is that the voting public is disillusioned and disappointed in the policies of the Democrats and the White House. Will the Republican establishment work with the new conservative influx of TEA party backed candidates and embrace their ideas? Will the TEA party tone down it’s non-platform rhetoric as it did at the Glenn Beck rally and remove the radical public appearance?

It is yet to be seen but it must be done if they both expect to gain the confidence of the American voter.

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Sarah Palin Flexes TEA Party Muscle

Bookmark and Share   The atmosphere across the country is starting to lean further and further in favor of the conservative TEA party wing of the Republican party.  My state of Florida is a good example where establishment Republicans are suddenly realizing that their best bet to defeat the Democrats in November is to position themselves in support of the anti-establishment TEA party friendly candidates such as Marco Rubio for Senate and Rick Scott for Governor.  Many of the long-time RINOs and moderates are having to decide between supporting conservatism or fleeing to the other side of the aisle where they belong.

In the opposite corner of the country, TEA party conservatism has struck a huge blow to the establishment.  Backed by Sarah Palin, TEA party Republican Joe Miller has upset Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski by a margin of less than 2,000 votes.  Alaskans, like much of the country, are beginning to realize that their states cannot survive on the Federal debt IV forever and need to send Senators to DC who will cut the debt and return individual’s money to them.

Sarah Palin has been increasingly in the spotlight lately, from making speeches with Glenn Beck about our nation’s foundation of faith to being chosen to speak at the Ronald Reagan Dinner in Iowa.  All the signs point to a conservative TEA party Republican primary run for Sarah Palin.

After Murkowski’s loss, the stage is set for a liberal Democrat versus TEA party conservative Republican showdown in several races across the country.  Everyone has underestimated Palin and the TEA party movement from day one.  The day after election day in November may make the 2012 picture completely clear for Sarah Palin.

Palin is not gaining any additional administrative or government experience during this time, but that may make her more attractive to voters who are in love with outsiders.  She is gaining national campaign and ideological experience; something she severely lacked in 2008.  Palin has helped to organize a stunning and somewhat ignored conservative revolution this 2010 primary season.  Murkowski provides an exclamation point on this success.  2010 may be seen as the ripple that became the wave Palin road to the White House.  By the way, she wouldn’t be the first community organizer to win the Presidency.

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Tea, Dr. Paul?

Bookmark and Share     The Tea Party movement is unpredictable.  The Republican establishment has tried to control it.  Conservative commentators have tried to direct it.  It continues to roll on in its own direction.  Being a popular movement, it has far more to do with the feelings and situation of average people: people who feel betrayed by both parties.  Generally it falls within the Republican, Libertarian and Constitution parties, but for all practical purposes its greatest impact is on the Republican Party.

Sarah Palin has tried to brand herself as its candidate in 2012, but she’s soured on some for her endorsement of John McCain in the Arizona primary over a true Tea Partier.  The other front runners haven’t tried to attach themselves to the movement yet, but they’ve tried to echo it.  Since no one knows if it will last until 2012, the majority of front runners don’t want to tie themselves to it.  It could evaporate after the 2010 election cycle, particularly if the economy improves.  If the economy stays weak or worsens, the Tea Party movement will determine both the Republican nominee in 2012 and the Presidency.

That raises the question of Ron Paul.  If there is any candidate the original Tea Partiers of 2007-08 supported more than others it was Ron Paul.  At the time, the Tea Party was mainly against TARP which most of the Republican Presidential aspirants supported.  As the Tea Party movement has grown, it has attracted many people who grew disillusioned by the Stimulus and Health Care bills.  It is a far more diverse group than it was in the beginning.  Once dominated by Ron Paul supporters, it now has Palin, Romney, Huckabee, Jindal, Barbour, Christie and a host of other supporters – most of whom had held their nose and voted for McCain over Obama in 2008.

The core of the Tea Party is split between two groups: the original members and the 9-12 people.  Glenn Beck had been on the outside looking in at the end of the Bush Presidency.  He was one of the few who argued against the TARP program.  He started publicly supporting the Tea Partiers and his followers (9-12 Project people) started to join in.  His key note address to CPAC signaled the shift of the conservative base away from the party leadership towards the Tea Party movement.  Since then, established party leaders have faced challenges from the right in primaries and some of the Presidential hopefuls have gone unusually quiet rather than take sides and risk their futures.

That brings us back to Ron Paul.  Ron Paul was also on the outside looking in during the 2008 primary.  He and the infant Tea Party were considered a bit loony.  The main stream media treated his campaign like a joke and the Republican Party leadership treated it like a cross between lunacy and treason.  Much has changed in two years.  The fringe Tea Party is now the majority according to polls of registered Republicans.  Glenn Beck has grown in influence and has thrown his entire weight and considerable following in with the Tea Party.  He has also grown increasingly closer to Ron Paul’s political position.  They first agreed on the economy.  Then they agreed on government domestic programs.  Now they agree on foreign policy: the one area in which Ron Paul had been excoriated by the Republican establishment in 2008 as being ‘soft on terror’.

The largest group of self-identified Tea Partiers is most influenced by a man who now agrees almost entirely with Ron Paul’s positions.  The original members of the Tea Party who still organize most of the local events already favored Ron Paul.  While nothing in politics is ever certain for any length of time, it isn’t a reach to say that Ron Paul has gone from fringe candidate to serious contender.  Should the Tea Party sentiment continue to 2012 and Beck maintain his influence, Ron Paul may find himself the favorite.  As other candidates try to cozy up to the Tea Party and claim to have always supported it, Paul will be in the unique position of using their 2008 attacks on him against them.  That could be real trouble for any candidate that ran in 2008, particularly Mitt Romney who would have to explain both his support for TARP and his support of State health care while governor of Massachusetts.

Polls taken of self-identified Tea Partiers already have Sarah Palin and Ron Paul in a statistical dead heat for their preferred Presidential candidate.  Again, enter Glenn Beck who is very linked with Palin and will be co-hosting the “Restoring Honor Rally”.  Palin is definitely working hard to make herself the Tea Party favorite and betting the bank on the movement both defining and deciding the 2012 election.  There’s just something about Palin that gives the impression that she may be the current Prom Queen, but will not end up being the Bride a couple years from now.  Like Rudy Giuliani’s 9/11 popularity did by 2004, her popularity seems likely to fade when people just can’t quite see her as “Presidential”.  Just as Giuliani was considered a front runner by many and even did well in polls right up to the primaries but then suddenly collapsed in failure, Palin is this cycle’s ‘crush’ and will likely also look good right up to 2012 before collapsing completely.

But who will the Palin supporters vote for when they find themselves unable to check her name once in the voting booth?  In 2008, Giuliani supporters broke mainly for the ideologically similar but more ‘electable’ McCain and secondarily for Romney (which had more to do with geography than ideology).  Will the Palin supporters break mainly for Ron Paul then in 2012 or will they go for another candidate who slides up to the Tea Party movement between now and 2012 who is more ‘electable’ than Ron Paul?  Or will Ron Paul shake the ‘unelectable’ label now that the prevailing politics have shifted to his position?  It’s anyone’s guess.

One thing is certain: Ron Paul isn’t on the fringe anymore.  If he doesn’t win the nomination, he will certainly be a major factor in who does.  More and more Republican Presidential hopefuls and even some democratic strategists are sounding a lot like Ron Paul.  It may be a safe bet that Ron Paul won’t win the nomination but that someone who sounds a lot like him will.  Ron Paul would then be remembered as a kind of Goldwater-like figure, but someone else would be the next Reagan.  But, as I stated at the beginning of this piece: the Tea Party movement is unpredictable.  It is certainly well within the realm of possibility that Ron Paul will be drinking tea in the Oval Office.

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