Tag Archives: conservative

Boehner and Outside Influences


“I am as conservative as they come and there is nothing we have done in this Congress that violates conservative principles.”

That sums it up and sets it up.

Speaker John Boehner made that point last week while criticizing several outside interest groups that have raised havoc with the Republican agenda in the 113th Congress, shut down the government for 16 days at a cost of $24 billion to American taxpayers, deliberately fomented division and distrust among the populous, and prevented the government from governing. Continue reading

Candidates Matter

Reprinted from Mullings.com

Chris Christie won in New Jersey; Ken Cuccinelli lost in Virginia. Whatever can we make of that?

I was in a wonderfully interesting meeting yesterday with a man named Brian Loughnane who is the Federal Director of the Liberal Party of Australia. Under the odd-to-our-ears naming conventions, the Liberal Party of Australia is the center-right party and currently controls the government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

In the course of our conversation at the International Republican Institute offices in downtown DC, we got into a discussion of Tuesday’s election results. I said I could describe the results in two words: Candidates matter. Continue reading

Random Thoughts: RINOs & Rumors


You’re a RINO!

No! You are!

I am not! You’re a big ugly RINO! And your mother dresses you funny!

RINO stands for Republican In Name Only. I got called a RINO because I hung out with “moderates.” It used to be a slam against Republicans who didn’t toe the conservative orthodox line.

I helped former New York Rep. Amo Houghton start the Republican Main Street Partnership, an organization he founded and funded to expand the influence of Republicans (and he hoped, ultimately, Democrats, too), who occupied the center of the political spectrum. Continue reading

Cruz & McCarthy: Yes, No, Maybe So


When Harold H. Velde took the chair of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1953, he vowed to “weed out the communists and their fellow travelers, the pinkos, as they are called” from the departments of State and Defense and promised to serve as a watchdog for “commies” infiltrating the Eisenhower Administration.

The Committee had already made a name for itself. Five years earlier, a young member of the committee from California named Richard Nixon claimed fame by subpoenaing records that led to the imprisonment of Alger Hiss, the prominent and popular wunderkind of the Roosevelt era, who was accused of turning over government secrets to the Soviet Union.

In fact, since its founding in 1938, the Committee was on the leading edge of the anti-communist movement in the United States, a movement founded on legitimate national and international concerns about the global spread of Marxist-Leninism to China and across Russia into Eastern Europe and beyond. The spread of Communism would have profound, lasting ramifications for the free world and especially for the United States, the post-war protector of democracy and policeman of the planet.  Continue reading

In Defense of Marco Rubio

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

Originally printed in The Hill

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is trying to save the conservative movement from itself. The question today is: Will it let itself be saved?

As an upstart outsider, Rubio ran against the Washington establishment and the conventional wisdom to take on a seemingly invincible Florida governor in a heated race for an open Senate seat.

But it turned out that Charlie Crist was a paper tiger, and his campaign collapsed in the heat of the Florida summer, leaving Rubio as the conquering Tea Party hero.

Almost immediately, the new Florida senator and Republican star hinted that he wasn’t entirely comfortable merely being a product of the Tea Party. He wasn’t an isolationist, and he believed in a muscled American foreign policy, a departure from the newly dominant Ron Paul wing of the Tea Party. As a former Speaker of the Florida House of Continue reading

The New York Times: Living in the Dark Ages?


Reading the New York Times on Sunday always reminds me what a technical and professional wonder that newspaper is. For breadth and depth of coverage, good writing, and cultural news, it has few if any real challengers. But it is so afflicted with obvious left/liberal bias in its news coverage (or, often, lack of coverage), and especially in its doctrinaire editorials, it has become a tragic case of  ideological rigidity.

It is as if someone created an automobile that was a miracle of design, performance, and style, with one fatal flaw–it could only turn left.

But how can this be? How can highly educated, articulate, bright, professionally competent, ambitious people who run and staff the Times not realize the blatant prejudice that so often distorts news coverage in what they print and what they fail to print? These are people who worship at the shrine of reason and science, proclaim their own fairness, and believe, as most left/liberals do, that they are simply smarter than everyone else, especially conservatives. Continue reading


Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

This should give a sense of how politically far afield the conservative movement has gone.

The CPAC convention has invited Richard Fisher, the head of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank and big-time Democrat, to address the group while going out of its way to make sure that everybody knew that Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie, the two most popular Republican governors in the country, have not been invited.

Fisher has been invited because he agrees with Bernie Sanders that the U.S. government should somehow break up America’s largest banks.

McDonnell and Christie have been dis-invited because they governed in such a way as to make them the most popular Republican governors in the country. Continue reading

Cafeteria Conservative

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

Karl Rove is probably a cafeteria conservative. So am I.

Cafeteria Catholics are Catholics who go to Mass on a regular, or semi-regular basis, but don’t exactly follow all the rules of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church has a lot of rules. No pre-marital sex. No masturbation. No birth control. No gay stuff. No abortion. No meat on Fridays. No food an hour before you take communion.

Lots of Catholics tend to pick and choose among these rules. The no pre- Continue reading

Obama Performance: Excuses Keep Coming


The first presidential debate Wednesday, Oct. 3  confounded the narrative of the mainstream media that Mitt Romney was a dead man walking and that President Obama was on his way to a significant victory. It rendered that view obsolete, at best.

Never mind that the most recent surveys already had indicated the race had tightened back to something pretty close to a dead heat. In the world where the media and the liberal chattering class reside, only a nitwit could pretend that Mitt Romney stood a chance to prevail. Continue reading

Rosen, Women, and Media Bias


The media coverage of the 2012 political campaigns continues to flood the airwaves, like the Mississippi River in Spring time with inaccuracies, hyperbole, exaggerations, innuendo, and outright falsehoods.

It is too bad the media doesn’t have a Fact-Check.com that does such an excellent job correcting the same drivel from the campaigns and the candidates. Keeping the media honest is more than Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz can handle.  There’s too much to cover.

Just this week for example, there was the saga of Hillary B. Rosen, the liberal Democratic strategist and mouthpiece, who criticized Mrs. Romney for being a stay-at-home mom and condemned Mitt Romney for inequality toward women. Here is what she has been quoted as saying: “His (Romney’s) wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why we worry about their future.”   Continue reading

Giving Thanks For Tony Blankley


“At a time when Americans increasingly fear we are declining and doubt the efficacy of our form of government; at a time when the Chinese are prancing around the world bragging that their model of authoritarian state capitalism is superior to American democratic, private property based capitalism; in this dreary, confused, uninspired autumn 2011—our words “we the people” and “the pursuit of happiness” crackle through the centuries to yet touch the hearts and minds of our jaded, world-weary European cousins.

“Our founding words and ideas are ever young. They are imperishable. And we should not wander from our faith in them. On America’s Thanksgiving Day 2011, we should be thankful for what our founding fathers created and bequeathed to us and to the world. And we should be strengthened to fight for the more complete application of those ideas in the election year that follows this week’s prayerful Thanksgiving celebration.”

Tony Blankley wrote those words just seven weeks before he succumbed to stomach cancer. He died Saturday at 63.

That beautiful Thanksgiving Day message is part of a rich legacy of conservative intellectualism, which he communicated with a wealth of knowledge, historical context, persuasive artistry, and a rare gift for the language.

Tony was born in Britain, but he was a bold and unabashedly proud citizen of his adopted America. He understood her more than most natives. He was like a master fisherman who becomes one with every bend, every current, every seasonal change and every creature inhabiting his favorite mountain trout stream. Tony was one with America. He was a natural, instinctive believer in her primacy and her promise.

Tony was a staunch, historically grounded, intellectually inspired, global view conservative. But he was pragmatic and at times unpredictable.

He seemed troubled by the intransigence and partisan gridlock that was bringing American government to its knees and making governance impossible. He was concerned about the crises we faced and our inability to resolve them.

As the new 112th Congress convened, he sensed the potential for trouble between an Obama White House and a Republican-controlled House of Representatives. He wrote of the dangers of political timidity and the potentially grave consequences of brinkmanship.

Given the choice between trying to govern from the perch of a House majority, or waiting it out until the next election in hopes of winning the White House, Tony chose the former, back in January.

“A principled fight for our prosperity and our children’s future,” he wrote, “must not be delayed another two years, nor should we fear failing to effectively explain our objectives to the broad public.”

Years from now, he mused, if historians were to look back on a crippled American economy, many causes would be noted, but “the central indictment for the catastrophe that ended American prosperity and world dominance will be justly laid at the feet of those Washington politicians who continued to play for short-term partisan advantage, even as the economic earth was beginning to move under their feet.”

As he did in many of his columns, Tony provided historical perspective that gave context and rationality to problems and circumstances misconstrued by other commentators who did not share his insight. While it was and is politically popular to lambast Washington for the failures of government, he saw it, correctly so, as the inevitable result of a deeply and fairly evenly divided national populace that for decades has struggled over whether to resist or embrace what he called “a Europeanized, post-constitutional American economy, government and culture.”

He concluded as well, that in the absence of a public mandate, a divided people needed unifying leadership, visionary leaders who could transform public discord into workable public policy; transforming the will of the majority, even if a bare majority, into something real, and then communicating the wisdom and right of that transformation to the rest of the population.

Tony was a regular participant in a very informal breakfast club of graying communications professionals who met occasionally to commiserate and talk about such weighty issues, mostly with a focus on the long-term solutions (the newgopforum.com website is an outgrowth of the group). I took a lot of notes when Tony spoke. He always had something worthwhile to impart. What I admired most about him, though, was how well he listened and how often he asked questions rather than offer an opinion.

Tony Blankley was an actor, a writer and author, a thinker, a strategist, and a great flack, all accented with sometimes blinding sartorial splendor. He was an incredible talent. But he was never intimidating or pompous. He made you feel welcome and comfortable in his presence. He was always good humored, in a British sort of way. He was genuine and genteel, a true gentleman. He had great character and intellect. In short, he was a class act in a town that doesn’t produce many.

The breakfast group is getting together in a few weeks. We will miss him.

Editor’s Note: Mike Johnson is a former journalist, who worked on the Ford White House staff and served as press secretary and chief of staff to House Republican Leader Bob Michel, prior to entering the private sector. He is co-author of a book, Surviving Congress, a guide for congressional staff. He is currently a principal with the OB-C Group.

Flirting with China Trade War

Reprinted from Townhall.com

For the past few years, fear of China’s predatory mercantilism has been steadily growing in America, both amongst the public and in elite business and political circles. But last week, for the first time, one could discern the genuine possibility that America might actually do something about it — even if it means a trade war.

It’s not that anything new has been revealed about China’s practices, but rather that something new has emerged about the nature of Washington’s opposition to it. Last week, the Senate passed a bill that would force U.S. retaliation against China’s currency manipulations. The bill passed with 63 votes — including 16 Republican votes.

There is nothing new about most Democrats supporting what some might consider “protectionist” legislation. But 16 Republican Senate votes are new and revealing. There was no ideological or regional pattern to them. They included Ohio’s Rob Portman, a solid senior member of the Republican free-trade establishment who served as President George W. Bush’s trade representative and director of the Office of Management and Budget; Maine’s liberals Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins; conservative southerners such as Jeff Sessions and Lindsey Graham; and the Rocky Mountain’s conservative Mike Crapo. Continue reading

Praising Romney’s Flip-Flopping Ways

Reprinted from the Washington Times
October 3, 2011

William F. Buckley Jr., founding father of the modern conservative movement, famously asserted his doctrine of voting for the most conservative candidate who is electable. Let me presume to add an analytic codicil: The GOP and the conservative movement have tended to support the most conservative policies only when they are understood to be conservative and are plausibly supportable by the conservative half of the electorate.

As the ideological center of gravity on various issues has shifted back and forth across the conservative-liberal spectrum over the decades, so inevitably has conservative policy support. I have in mind four examples: abortion, federal aid to education, “cap-and-trade” and individual health mandates.

As a campaigner for Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Ronald Reagan in all his campaigns, starting in his 1966 campaign for governor of California, I can vividly recall that in 1964, Goldwater and the conservative movement were against federal aid to education in its entirety. Continue reading