From the Conservative HQ website.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Richard Viguerie
From the Conservative HQ website.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Richard Viguerie
The establishment media and Washington’s permanent political class continue to try to sell the idea that taking the fight over defunding Obamacare to the point that it has caused a partial government shutdown is a losing proposition for Republicans because 17 years ago the polls showed that the public held the GOP more responsible than Democrats for such inconveniences as the closure of the national parks and the national aquarium.
Conservatives must continue to think strategically and look beyond this week’s news cycle at what is really at stake in the Obamacare battle. And it isn’t who “wins” or “loses” in the short term according to the vote count on the next continuing resolution; it is which side comes out of the fight having educated the voters, energized and enlarged their base, and branded their opponents as dangerously wrong onhealth care.
In that respect the lessons that conservatives should take away are not those learned in the budget battles with President Clinton in the 1990s, but the battle conservatives fought over the Panama Canal Treaty with President Jimmy Carter—and the Republican establishment—in the 1970s.
Unsophisticated establishment critics will argue that conservatives lost the Panama Canal Treaty fight.
But the truth is, while conservatives lost the Senate vote to save the Panama Canal, 70 percent of the American people agreed with us. And over the next two elections (1978 and 1980), 21 senators who voted on the Panama Canal Treaty lost in a primary or general election. Of those 21 senators, 20 voted with Jimmy Carter and against the conservatives. Many old-time liberals in the Senate such as George McGovern, Frank Church, Tom McIntyre, Dick Clark and liberal Republican Clifford Case (in a primary) were defeated.
We were and are interested in building a movement and getting grass-roots Americans engaged in that movement; the Panama Canal Treaty battle grew the New Right movement in the 1970s and the fight over defunding Obamacare is growing the limited government, constitutional conservative movement today.
In the fall of 2013, dozens of conservative organizations are mailing tens of millions of postal letters and even more emails to educate voters and enlarge their supporter base—all pointing toward 2014.
Know of any Democrat or establishment Republican groups doing anything similar? I didn’t think so.
It is fair to say that the 1980 Republican takeover of the Senate and Ronald Reagan’s landslide presidential election were set in motion, and in large measure defined by the grass-roots reaction to the Panama Canal Treaty vote.
The Viguerie Co. in the late 1970s mailed to tens of millions of Americans letters explaining that national Democrats, by giving away the Panama Canal, had a dangerously weak foreign policy.
Tuesday’s vote on defunding Obamacare is similarly defining.
Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and dozens of Tea Party-backed House members understand that this strategy is not for today’s news cycle. The battle is focused on bringing constitutional conservatives to power by 2017.
And they also understand that the Republican establishment is as great—or greater—an adversary in this fight than are President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. So expect conservatives to redouble their efforts to defeat establishment big-government Republicans in the primaries next year, including John Cornyn, Lamar Alexander and Mitch McConnell as well as establishment House Republicans.
Sens. Lee and Cruz have, through their principled opposition to funding Obamacare, re-energized millions of grass-roots conservative voters who were turned off by the Republican establishment’s content-free technocratic campaign in 2012.
While it was liberals who invented single-issue politics in the 1960s, in the 1970s conservatives became a national political force by adopting the tactic and organizing millions of Americans around single, hot-button issues.
Opposition to Obamacare is the hottest of hot-button issues among conservatives today. So it is past time for limited government, constitutional conservatives to recognize that by returning to single issue politics, they can dominate the 2014 and 2016 elections, and govern America in 2017.
Source: CHARISMA NEWS.
Richard A. Viguerie is the chairman of ConservativeHQ.com and author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause and the forthcoming book, Takeover.
The cable news channel pundits, talk-radio gurus, bloggers, and water-cooler political experts are all are missing the most important point about the latest debate. The rancorous debate’s scorecard is irrelevant.
What matters is that the debates have made Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan look credible and allowed voters to give themselves permission to do what they have wanted to do for several years—fire Barack Obama.
Romney and Ryan looked, acted and sounded qualified and presidential. Both Republican candidates sent voters a strong message that there is a credible and serious alternative to Obama and Joe Biden.
This is terrible news for Obama and Biden—and I am predicting a strong Romney victory in the range of 5 percent to 7 percent or more of the popular vote.
One need only look back to the last failed Democratic presidency, that of Jimmy Carter, to see a similar dynamic at work. Once Reagan established himself as a credible alternative to Carter during their debate on Oct. 28, 1980, very few of the undecided voters broke Carter’s way.
They already wanted to fire Carter for his disastrous stewardship of the economy and foreign policy debacles. When there was a credible alternative, most jumped to Reagan and he ultimately won the popular vote in a landslide 51 percent to 41 percent.
The situation is similar today.
In recent years, Barack Obama has been stuck in the mid-40s in the polls because most Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction and that the massive growth of government he has brought about is a threat to our freedom.
These Americans see Obama and his policies as both failing and frightening.
Yet until there was a credible alternative, especially while Obama continued to be well-liked on a personal level, the president maintained a lead in the polls.
To some extent, merely appearing on the same stage with a sitting president gives the opposing candidate some credibility. That’s one reason Lyndon Johnson refused to debate Barry Goldwater.
In the past two weeks, Romney has emerged as that credible alternative to Obama.
Even though the debates often got down in the weeds, Gov. Romney has come across as presidential and, as Obama once said about Hillary Clinton, “likeable enough.”
Indeed, Romney is rising even among voters that may not be in 100-percent agreement with his positions as stated during the debates.
These voters may not buy every aspect of Romney’s agenda, but they don’t have to.
They know they want to fire Obama and hire a new president, and Romney has impressed these voters as more than capable of handling the job.
While all the experts seem stuck on the horse race or boxing match angle of the debates, the point everyone is missing is that Romney has now done what Reagan did in 1980—established himself as a credible alternative to a president that voters have long wanted to fire.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Richard A. Viguerie and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charisma editorial staff.
Source: CHARISMA NEWS.
There is growing unease among conservatives that the “short list” of vice presidential candidates Mitt Romney has under consideration has too many establishment-type Republicans and few, if any, principled small government constitutional conservatives.
“Conservatives want Gov. Romney to win, but there are millions of independent and right-of-center voters who are disillusioned with business-as-usual in Washington. To attract their votes, Romney needs a running mate who is a small government constitutional conservative, not an establishment insider,” Viguerie says.
“As the names of establishment Republican personalities like Ohio Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Congressman Paul Ryan, or ‘outside the box’ choices like General David Petraeus (whose political views are largely unknown) have surfaced, the names of small government constitutional conservatives, such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have faded into the background.”
Viguerie offered concise critiques of the conservative bona fides of Pawlenty, Portman, Rice, Christie, Ryan, and Petraeus in recent articles on ConservativeHQ.com:
Tim Pawlenty: Prairie State Michael Bloomberg. “Far from being a conservative, when it comes to the nanny state versus individual liberty, Tim Pawlenty is more of a Prairie State Michael Bloomberg than a Reagan Republican,” Viguerie says.
Has Romney Already Chosen Portman for VP? “He [Portman] may be unknown to many Republicans across the country, but in Washington–where he worked in both Bush administrations–he is the ultimate insider,” Viguerie says. “He’s also the ultimate Bush Republican.”
Rice for VP a Slap in the Face to Conservatives: “Given her association with some of the worst neo-con inspired policies of the Bush era, putting Condoleeza Rice at the top of the VP short list is an insult to the conservatives, Tea Partiers, and independents who are looking for a break with the old establishment Republican Washington that Rice represents,” Viguerie says.
Chris Christie–He’s a Brawler, But He is No Conservative: “This cycle it is more important than ever that we make sure Republicans nominate a reliable conservative, not just another business-as-usual Republican politician,” he says. “Chris Christie may be a brawler, but there is no record showing he can be relied upon to put his formidable talents behind many key elements of the conservative agenda.”
Paul Ryan for Vice President? Not So Fast: “Many in the conservative movement admire Ryan’s gumption in proposing a plan to return the federal government to fiscal sanity,” he says. “The problem is the Ryan plan uses the Washington, DC version of sanity.”
General David Petraeus for VP–Patriot Yes, Conservative?: “General Petraeus is a much-admired man who has ably, and sometimes brilliantly, served our country in the best tradition of the American armed forces,” he says. “However, if Governor Romney is seriously considering David Petraeus for Vice President, he cannot and must not be given a pass on a thorough examination of Petraeus’ commitment to the small government constitutional conservative agenda.”
Who would you like to see as Romney’s running mate?
NOTE TO EDITORS: Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, pioneered political direct mail and has been called “one of the creators of the modern conservative movement” (The Nation) and one of the “conservatives of the century” (Washington Times). He is the author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause.
By CHARISMA NEWS STAFF