Newt is shocked, shocked

Newt on Scozzafava:

As other Republicans threw their support behind Hoffman’s momentum, Gingrich argued that the party needed to be more inclusive of moderates if it had a hope of retaking the majority.
He told The Associated Press he was disappointed, and “deeply upset” that Scozzafava endorsed Owens.
“How could she have accepted all that support?” he said, adding later: “I’m very, very let down because she told everybody she was a Republican, and she said she was a loyal Republican.”
Gingrich now backs Hoffman.

Gimme a break. Newt’s a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them.

Good reporting on the NY-23 race

Robert Stacy McCain, Ali Akbar, and Erick Erickson are doing yeoman’s work covering the rise of Doug Hoffman and the fall of RINO Dede Scozzafava in the special election for the vacant U.S. House seat in New York’s 23rd District. Could it be that the NRCC is finally noticing the priorities expressed by GOP’s conservative base?
Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich still appears to be stuck in some alternate universe where you can slap an (R) on a ham sandwich and it deserves his hearty endorsement.

11:35 AM Update: Scozzafava quits. The Other McCain just doesn’t quit.

RomneyCare creator offers advice to Obama

Newsweek’s Katie Connolly interviewed former Massachusetts Governor (and former GOP presidential candidate) Mitt Romney about his experiences with health care legislation yesterday. When she asked him “What lessons can be gleaned from your experience in Massachusetts?”, Romney replied:

After we crafted the architecture of our plan, the first person I went to was Ted Kennedy. He and I met numerous times and what we fashioned was not perfect in either one of our eyes, but we worked together, because only together could we know that we would have the support of all the parties necessary to make it work.
Multi-mouth MittThe states are laboratories of democracy. Well, our state passed a bill. It’s been in place now for several years. Have they studied it? Have they spoken with the Republicans and Democrats in Masssachusetts? Have they spoken with hospitals? Doctors? Have they sent the GAO there to take it apart to see what is working well and what is not? Nobody has given me a call, except Republicans. I’ve received no calls from Democrats saying what do you think about it? What would you do differently if you were to do it today? There’s a whole series of things I’d do differently. And yet, there seems to be such a rush to act. I understand that President Obama wants to get this done in his first term, but more important than getting it done in the first year is getting it done right, before he is out of office. There is time here to get it done right.

What’s Obama supposed to ask Mitt to explain? How to screw up health care through rationing, high taxes, obscene spending, and over-regulation? Both men have mastered those skill sets already.
Connolly also asked Romney “In terms of the reform proposals before Congress, what do you see that you like and dislike so far?”

I’m not happy that the President wants to provide a so-called public option. There is no need for the government to become an insurance company. I’m convinced, as many before me have said, that this is a step towards a single payer system; that it will result in billions, if not hundreds of billions, of subsidies down the road and a new entitlement, which is one of the last things America needs right now. On the other hand I am happy that he is actually working to reform healthcare. It’s important for us to get everyone insured. It’s important that there be an effort made to reduce the excessive inflation in the healthcare sector.

This is just rich. Mitt Romney, the man who orchestrated Massachusetts government’s takeover of its citizens’ health care, is warning about a government takeover of health care?
I think Mitt’s been hitting the medical marijuana.
7:00 Update: We’ve got health care, yes we do! We’ve got health care, how ’bout you?

Won’t anybody ask Rudy why he hates abortion?

Rudy Giuliani keeps repeating variations of this nonsensical statement:

“I’m against abortion. I hate it. I wish there never was an abortion and I would counsel a woman to have an adoption instead of an abortion … But ultimately I believe it is an individual right, and the woman can make that choice.”

I want to know why he hates abortion, but nobody ever asks him that question. No matter how he responds, he’ll make no sense.

  • If he hates abortion because it kills a human being, then he’s arguing that although he hates it, women should still have the right to kill human beings. I’d love to hear him try to untwist that logical knot.
  • If he hates abortion because it ends a “potential life”, then how can he justify any restrictions on abortion at all? A “potential life” by definition cannot be an actual (sacred?) human life, so why the objection? He also has to explain what that aborted thing actually is, if it’s not a life. Calling it a “potential something” isn’t enough. It has to already be something, because it’s not nothing. So what is it?
  • If he doesn’t actually hate abortion and just wants to preserve the legal status quo, then he’s just another liar who’ll say anything to fool the conservative base into voting for him. I would bet a lot of money that this is where Rudy actually stands, but I’d also bet a lot of money that he’ll never admit it.

If there’s any way to make logical sense of Rudy Giuliani’s abortion stance without unmasking him as a liar, I’d love to hear it.

4/13 Update: Hugh Hewitt blew a golden opportunity today.

McCain woos the base with help from … Mike DeWine??

The following e-mail from Mike DeWine landed in my inbox today. The first sentence was enough to instantly seal my decision to vote against John McCain in the Ohio primary, but I can’t resist a mild fisking.

Dear Friend,
You may have heard that I am heading up John McCain’s Presidential campaign in Ohio. I’d like to take a few moments to tell you why.
I have known John McCain for almost 25 years. We both were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. I worked closely with him during our years together in the House and during my 12 years in the U.S. Senate. No one is more qualified to be our next President. [Ed.: Wrong. Fred Dalton Thompson is.]
While our Party is truly fortunate to have such a strong field of qualified candidates, I believe that John McCain has what it takes – the experience, knowledge, and foresight – to lead our Nation. He is decisive. He has guts. And, he leaves no room for ambiguity or uncertainty in his reasoned policy decisions. [Ed.: Yup, he’s unambiguously a squish on everything but national defense.]
I don’t agree with John McCain on every issue. [Ed.: That’s supposed to reassure me that he’s not a RINO like you?] But, I do know that when we elect a President, we elect the Commander-in-Chief. We elect someone who is going to be making life and death decisions every single day. There is only one person I want making those decisions – and that person is John McCain.
The fact is that the future and security of this country hinges on next year’s election. The Presidency requires a person of sound judgment, with an extraordinary grasp of foreign and military affairs – someone who can navigate our country through very dangerous and unchartered waters. Again, that person is John McCain. [Ed.: No, it’s Fred.]
Over and over, John has proven his leadership. He was right about Iraq and the need for more troops. He was also right way back in the fall of 1983. I remember John giving a courageous speech in the House against extending our military presence in Lebanon. He believed our presence would not be sufficient to keep the peace, nor were we prepared to exercise our full military capabilities. Less than one month later, 241 U.S. military personnel lost their lives in Lebanon.
John McCain, like he has so many times, stepped forward. He didn’t sit back. He didn’t cower. He knows both the strengths and limits of our military forces. That kind of understanding is vital if a President is to exercise measured judgment on when and where to use our military to defend and protect our country and our interests.
The bottom line is this: I’ve watched John McCain for years. I know him, and I’m for him. Please join me with your support. Whether it is through a financial contribution or your volunteer efforts, John needs your help. Visit to join the team.
Very respectfully yours,
Mike DeWine
P.S. Click here to make a quick online contribution.
Paid for by Mike DeWine for U.S. Senate and authorized by John McCain 2008. [Ed.: DeWine still has money in his campaign war chest, and he only spends it on McCain?]

Every time I think McCain can’t be any more tone deaf to the conservative GOP base, he out-does himself.

Update: I’m not the only one wincing. Check out VikingSpirit, Nasty Brutish & Short, Return of The Conservatives, and PoliticsExtra.
Update 2: Jerid at the lefty Buckeye State Blog wonders just exactly where DeWine’s disagreements with McCain lie. Good question.

Neither disengagement nor blind loyalty to the GOP

I know that many of us on the center right are very unhappy with the Republican Party, both here in Ohio and on the national level. RINO-bashing is easy partly because so many of them surtround us (God knows I enjoy it myself). But let’s not get carried away by sitting out the November ’06 election in an attempt to “teach the moderates a lesson.”
We conservatives can’t afford to sit out elections when things don’t go our way every time. We have to stay engaged. Our best bet is to neutralize liberals, change moderates into conservatives, and turn conservatives into activists. Our battlegrounds include county party organizations, primary races, and the new media. We won’t win every fight, but if we keep pushing and making steady gains every other year we’ll reinvigorate the center right in the Republican Party.
I usually think of the typical conservative as someone who stands athwart history yelling “stop” (thank you, Mr. Buckley). But if you think about it, that means that it’s not the liberals who are fighting inertia. We are! Government’s default behavior is to slide toward statism and socialism. The public has inevitably learned that it can vote itself largesse from the public treasury*, so it falls to conservatives to stop the slide and drag society back toward liberty.
When we disengage as Steven Kelso is tempted to do, we allow the socialist slide to accelerate. That’s not the smart way to teach moderates and liberals a lesson. We need to constantly persuade and demonstrate and illustrate so that we can recruit enough conservatives to dig in and reverse the slide. We can’t win over the DeWines and the Voinoviches, but we can eventually replace them with folks like Bill Pierce. Jim Geraghty summarizes the strategy nicely here and here and here and here.
I realize that it gets tiring to fight and lose as much as we do, but if we don’t fight we’ll lose everything. Pause and catch your breath, conservatives, but don’t quit.
Cross-posted at the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance

Mike DeWine, Sherrod Brown, or a rusty fork to the eyeball? I’m torn.

In the recent past I’ve advocated support for Bill Pierce, a conservative challenger to incumbent U.S. Senator Mike DeWine. Well, chalk that up to stupid idealism. Pierce is roadkill in the May 2nd Republican primary, based on the results of the latest poll by the Columbus Dispatch, which has DeWine in front with 61% to Pierce’s 1%. With only 34% undecided, RINO Mike is again our standard-bearer by default. I’ll vote for him only because when compared to Sherrod Brown he’s the lesser of two evils. It will still chap my backside to support DeWine, a gutless member of the Gang of Fourteen, but I know better than to let Brown (my current congresscritter) get involved in judicial nominations and foreign affairs.
George Will is watching us here in Ohio, and in his latest column he predicts a tight Senate race between Brown and DeWine. I’m not so sure it’ll be close. DeWine’s lead over Brown grew from 5% in January to a 9% margin in a February 18th Rasmussen poll. Here’s hoping that trend continues.
Two key paragraphs from Will’s column:

DeWine is seeking a third term in an inhospitable environment — the middle of the second term of an incumbent president of his own party. That is when the electorate often experiences “the six-year itch,” the desire to reshuffle the political deck. … The redistricting done for incumbent-protection after the 2000 Census may have made the House almost impervious to the itch … so voters might vent their restlessness in Senate elections. And “restless” hardly describes Ohio’s dyspeptic mood regarding its Republicans, who hold all statewide offices. Scandals and tax increases drove Gov. Bob Taft’s approval rating in one poll to six. He has bounced all the way back to 16. Richard Nixon’s job approval rating was 24 on the eve of his resignation.

DeWine, one of only four senators who supported John McCain in 2000, is a moderate conservative with an independent streak — for example, he has repeatedly voted against drilling in ANWR. This may be enough to annoy some conservatives without being sufficient to distance him from the state Republican shambles. We shall find out late on Election Night when, as usual, the nation will be watching Ohio.

I’m so very, very tired of the Ohio GOP establishment and its candidates. They campaign as center-right conservatives but govern as liberals. The current leadership of the Ohio Republican Party foolishly thinks this state’s voters can be made to march in lockstep behind any old fool as long as the candidate hangs an (R) after their surname. Well, this primary makes me feel like the proverbial critter caught in a leg trap who’s forced to gnaw off a paw to survive. I’ll reluctantly march to the polls this year and vote for RINO Mike, but if the Ohio GOP fields another crop of liberals in 2008 and expects me to step out smartly with two gnawed-off stumps, I’ll cheerfully tell them where they can put this year’s leg.

Update (11:25 PM): Tom from points out that the poll is unreliable, and the Dispatch itself has a sorry history of shoddy polling practices. Here’s the key paragraph I missed when I scanned through the article this morning:

The mail poll of 2,894 registered Democratic voters and 2,874 registered Republicans voters from March 15 through Friday has a margin of sampling error of 2 percentage points.

Notice it was a mail-in poll; those are notoriously unreliable. Also, the respondents were registered voters, not likely voters. That makes a big difference, too. Dave at has more analysis that tracks with BizzyBlog’s.

George Will on Ohio politics

George Will is watching the Ohio governor’s race, and he likes what he sees in Ken Blackwell:

[Blackwell] annoys the establishment because he, unlike it, believes things. He believes that the establishment is proof of a conservative axiom: Any political group or institution that is not ideologically conservative will become, over time, liberal. That is so because, in the absence of a principled adherence to limited government, careerism — the political idea of the unthoughtful — will cause incumbents to use public spending to purchase job security.

He appeals to small-government conservatives by proposing a constitutional cap on state spending, and even leasing the Ohio Turnpike to private investors. His cultural conservatism has won him such intense support from many church leaders, some liberals are contemplating recourse to an American sacrament — a lawsuit. It would threaten the tax-exempt status of churches deemed too supportive of Blackwell.
He appeals to blacks by being black, and because many blacks are cultural conservatives: George W. Bush won 16 percent of Ohio’s black vote in 2004. In Blackwell’s three statewide races, he has received between 30 percent and 40 percent of the black vote. If in November he duplicates that, he will win, and Democrats in many blue states will blanch because if their share of the black vote falls to 75 percent, their states could turn red.

Control of the U.S Senate in 2007 could turn on whether Mike DeWine, a second-term Republican, is re-elected. He does not thrill conservatives, so he needs Blackwell on the ballot to arouse the party’s base.

Blackwell annoys the establishment, alright. More power to him.
I disagree with Will’s remark about DeWine’s reelection being neccessary to maintain a Republican Senate. With Paul Hackett gone from the Senate race, the Democrats are left with ultra-liberal Sherrod Brown. This lefty’s only saving grace among average Ohio voters is his strong support from labor unions. Otherwise, he’s far too liberal for Ohio-wide voters, and is almost certainly unelectable.
That could mean that there’s a good chance that even a new Republican face could defeat Brown in the general election; DeWine isn’t as essential as folks might think. I’m all for party loyalty when it’s a close race, but when the Democrat is unelectable and the incumbent Republican is a RINO, it’s a great opportunity to elect a more conservative Republican.
The conservative base would be wise to get behind Bill Pierce now in the primary election season, and unseat DeWine while the opportunity lasts.

Desperate Specter strongarms constituents?

Hat tip: Jack Fowler on NRO’s Corner
Over in Pennsylvania, Lehigh County Commissioner Andy Roman is claiming his request for help with a railroad project was met with warmth from Senator Arlen Specter’s staff. That is, until Roman said he’s endorsing Pat Toomey, Specter’s opponent in the Republican primary.

Roman insists that [Specter staff member Adrienne] Baker Green changed her tone the moment his support for Toomey was broached.
He said Baker Green chided, “If that is the case, your transportation issue will be a dead issue; you’ll get no support from us.”

Green denies it. Of course.