AMERICA, A SHINING CITY ON A HILL!

"Let us resolve that young Americans will always find there is a city of hope in a country that is free...and let us resolve that they will say of our day and our generation, we did keep faith with our God, that we did act worthy of ourselves, that we did protect and pass on lovingly that shining city on a hill."

Ronald Reagan,
40th President of the United State
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City On A Hill Blog Supports Ted Cruz

City On A Hill Blog Supports Ted Cruz

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Why Cruz Trumps Rubio For Me

Cruz: the consistent & courageous conservative I've been looking for
I grew up in the 1980s watching Ronald Reagan bring America back from the brink of socialist collapse under the malaise of Jimmy Carter.  To be fair, I was only 12 when Ronald Reagan left office.  Most kids my age didn't pay much attention to politics or the President of the United States.

I did.

I couldn't help it.  My mom was a fanatical Ronald Reagan supporter and I was enthralled by his speeches and news clips as my mom constantly told me what a good man Reagan was.  I remember in 1984 riding bikes with my friend and next door neighbor and chastising him for his liberal parents supporting Walter Mondale because Ronald Reagan was so awesome.  I was eight.

Since then I've pretty much read almost every Reagan biography there is, along with his own autobiographies and collections of his notes and writings.  The first presidential election I could vote in, however, was 1996.  I proudly cast my vote for Bob Dole over Bill Clinton.  Back then, I was still a card-carrying member of the GOP.  To me, it mattered if a Republican won over a Democrat even if there wasn't a strong difference between them ideologically.

In New Jersey in 1993, I volunteered for the Christine Todd Whitman for Governor campaign and met Whitman and former GOP Congressman Jack Kemp as he toured Camden with her during a campaign swing.

Since then I supported George W Bush twice.  In 2008 my candidate was Fred Thompson.  He didn't last long.  By the time the irrelevant NJ June primary came around, he wasn't even on the ballot.  McCain had long since locked up the nomination but I voted for Mike Huckabee in protest.   I supported McCain enthusiastically in the general only because of his Vice Presidential selection in the dynamic Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin.

In 2012, I had no candidate in the running.  My primary vote in the irrelevant NJ primary went to Newt Gingrich because I couldn't stomach voting for Mitt Romney until I absolutely had to.

This year, I enthusiastically endorsed Ted Cruz for president.  He remains the greatest chance that I have in my voting lifetime to actually cast a ballot for a true conservative.

You see, I'm tired of voting for people who claim conservatism during elections and then govern as liberals.  I've experienced that with two governors--Christine Todd Whitman and Chris Christie.  I was disappointed with George W. Bush's spending problem after proclaiming to carry the mantle of Reagan.  I'm tired of the Republican party selecting leaders like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell who clearly not only don't believe in constitutional conservatism, but have outright disdain for it.  I'm tired of being lectured every 4 years that people who share my views are extremists who can't get elected and that we all need to unite behind someone who shares as many views with the Democratic opponent as they do with me.

So as I began researching the candidates for 2016, the record of the person mattered far more than their rhetoric.  I'll admit that when Trump entered the race I was wildly entertained and was open to supporting him.  Then I researched him.  And I realized that this man has no governing political philosophy of any kind.  Even during this campaign he continues to toss in liberal positions such as touchback amnesty, enthusiasm for single-payer healthcare, and subsidies for things like ethanol into his political word salads.  And he never advocates conservatism anywhere.  His speeches are merely recitations of his polling numbers and blanket promises to build walls, take jobs from China and make America great again.  Hope and change, anyone?

To be honest, the Trump phenomenon has caused me to question a great deal about the conservative movement and whether or not it is viable or even remotely committed to principles.  I've watched people that I like and respect abandon reason for a cult of personality akin to Obama's creepy 2008 rise.  These are people who adamantly oppose sell-out establishment types and who excoriated Mitt Romney for his flip-flops on issues, and yet they don't bat an eye at the bat-crap crazy daily political contradictions from Trump.  They also shrug away his lifetime of buying and selling politicians and his open embrace financially and via public statements and endorsements of radical leftist politicians and positions.  These are people who are horrified now that Cruz took a loan against his own assets, but have no care that Trump filed bankruptcy 4 times or that he owes millions to a George Soros fronted funding group.

It's beyond comprehension.

So for me, Trump was out.  I looked at the field and was impressed by a number of people and what they had to say.  Most of them, however, fell short in various areas.  Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum are impressive social conservatives, but they lack fiscal conservative bona fides.  They were out.  I can't do another big government conservative.

Moderates like Chris Christie (who has been a disaster in New Jersey), Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and the gang never stood a chance with me.

Carly Fiorina impresses me still in her speeches and debate performances. I remember, however, that she was a pro-choice moderate establishment candidate for senate in California just a few years ago.  I don't see what caused the 61 year old former CEO to morph into Margaret Thatcher in 5 years time.  I want to believe that she's changed, but I gave the benefit of the doubt to countless folks and they've proved over and over again that their campaign conservatism lacked roots in the real world application of holding office.  I'm sorry, I just can't take that chance again.

That left me with Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz.

Rand Paul is awesome on personal liberty and I've supported him throughout his career in the senate.  I just find his particular family view of foreign policy a little tin-foil hat-ish.  I think his views on that front are dangerous and naive.  He's fine as a senator, but I can't make the jump to president for him with those beliefs.  His father's anti-Israel bent is also a factor for me here.

Ben Carson is a nice man.  He probably has a fine demeanor as a doctor.  He's brilliant and he's done wonderful things with his career. He is not, however, good at debating.  I will always be thankful that Carson took the plunge because we need citizen politicians and I think his grace and candor have brought a lot to the race.  I don't think that he has what it takes to aggressively take on the Democratic machine.  I passed on the good doctor.  It's also hard to nail down non-politicians on their actual record.  Is he a full spectrum conservative?  I just can't completely ascertain that.

I like Marco Rubio.  And I would agree with his supporters that he's a conservative.  On almost every issue that matters Rubio has voted the right way.  The main problems that I have with Rubio are with his Gang of 8 role thrusting amnesty upon our nation, his support for subsidies like those for sugar, and his over-zealous desire to data-mine all Americans under the guise of national security.

I could support a Rubio candidacy if he is the nominee, but I can't support someone in the primary who still to this day advocates for amnesty.  I can't pick someone to fight the establishment that always takes a silent back seat to Cruz, Paul, and Lee when they stand up to the GOP leadership.  I can't take a chance on someone who has shown repeatedly that he's willing to back down to party leadership when the going gets tough.  He's a good senator overall, but Rubio is not the candidate I am looking for.

Ted Cruz has been consistently conservative since arriving on the scene.  He has stood up time and time again, at great detriment to his own career, to his own party.  He has articulately made the case for bold color conservatism every day of his political career.  Is he perfect?  No.  There have been some minor votes that have puzzled me, but on all of the issues that matter Ted Cruz has stood for constitutional conservatism.  He has been the kind of leader that Reagan was.  He has an ability to brilliantly respond to any attack and he has a great ability to speak conservatism in a way that everyday Americans can understand.

As impressed as I am with Ted Cruz the candidate, it was Ted Cruz the Solicitor General and Senator from Texas that won me over.  Cruz has shown me that his actions as a public official will match his campaign rhetoric.  Do I expect perfection?  No.  Even Reagan wasn't perfect and made some terrible deals with the Democratic congress.  But Reagan never shied from advocating for conservatism.  And Reagan knew enough to walk away from bad deals.  Even if he had to give something up like spending cuts, he still came away with most of what he wanted.  Reagan was also an aggressively strategic thinker able to outmaneuver his opponents domestically and overseas by thinking outside of the box for solutions and by going to the American people directly.  Ted Cruz understands this and has lived this in his own political career.

So for me, 2016 came down to a question of courage and consistency.  I find both in Ted Cruz.  He is the only formidable candidate that possesses both qualities.  He represents the best chance in my voting lifetime to vote for a true conservative.  Please consider joining me in supporting Ted Cruz for president by volunteering and donating at www.tedcruz.org.






Saturday, January 30, 2016

Final Pre-Iowa Debate Analysis

Rubio & Cruz are best when they are happy warriors...
With Donald Trump absent, the other candidates had a chance to explain their vision for America in the final debate before the Iowa caucus on Monday night.  Here are the takeaways:

WINNERS

For the early debate that was easily CARLY FIORINA.  She blew the other 3 has-beens out of the water.  If her record matched her current rhetoric, she would be in the top tier and a real contender for the nomination.  It's when people, inspired by her Thatcher-like persona and articulation of conservatism, google her and find out that she ran as a moderate pro-choice establishment Republican for Senate in California just a few years ago that her support dissipates.  That said, she has carried herself well in this campaign and should a Republican prevail, she will likely earn a cabinet spot for her efforts.  HUCKABEE and SANTORUM came across as bitter and jealous.  They also soiled themselves by their pilgrimage to kiss Donald Trump's ring.  And then there was that Gilmore dude that had most of America simply saying, "who dis?"

In the main debate, there isn't a clear winner.  Every man on that stage did well with the exception of the wretched mailman's son from Ohio.

For most of the night the winner would have been MARCO RUBIO.  Rubio overall had a very good night.  The reason why I can't crown him the overall winner, however, is amnesty.  Once the border and amnesty portion began, Rubio struggled.  He basically admitted on stage again that he supports amnesty.  He then attempted to portray Cruz as someone who will say anything to get elected and got booed.  He also seemingly got bested by Jeb! Bush, of all people, in one exchange.  That bad portion was enough to deny him outright victory.

Also, someone in Rubio's orbit needs to tell him to stop drinking Red Bull before he goes on stage.  He says great things.  He just says them manically and at the speed of light.  Slow down.  Stop seeming so panicked.  Rubio's a charismatic guy when he doesn't seem like he's twitching from caffeine.  Also, when he gets really antsy his voice elevates in pitch to that of a pre-pubescent boy.  The high nasal quality of his voice at that point deflates any sense of confidence or swagger and makes him seem as if he's a nervous child.  He is an effective communicator, if he can improve on this, he will be even better.

So, yes, Rubio had a good night overall and should be a solid 2nd or 3rd in Iowa after this performance.

TED CRUZ also had a somewhat successful night but this was his weakest performance to date.  He started out with a snappy joke about Trump, “Let me say, I’m a maniac,” he said. “And everyone on this stage is stupid, fat, and ugly. And Ben you’re a terrible surgeon.”  With that, he declared that the Trump portion of the debate was over.  It was funny and engaging.  Later, however, Cruz stumbled in arguing with Chris Wallace and in trying out another Trump joke about leaving the stage after mean questions that fell flat.

Cruz is at his best when he's the happy warrior.  And he regained his stride in the second half turning the media/Trump meme that "nobody in DC likes you" into a bona fide endorsement of his outsider credentials to crowd applause.  He also gave a tremendous answer on dismantling Obamacare and replacing it with free market reforms.  

And one powerful moment that annihilated Rubio's smear that he will say anything to get elected: Cruz took on the 6 term Iowa Governor/career crony capitalist Terry Branstad, and vehemently opposed ethanol subsidies, launching into a spirited defense of the free market.  This is in stark contrast to others seeking the nomination who claim conservatism and support ethanol subsidies to win votes in Iowa.  Trump, for example, not only wants to keep the government gravy train running on those subsidies, but he wants to INCREASE THEM in defiance of all free market and conservative principles.  This shouldn't be surprising since Trump supported TARP and all of the Obama corporate bailouts, and since his own donation history demonstrates that he accomplishes his business success largely by buying politicians to get them to do whatever he wants.  It's remains a head-scratcher that conservatives opposed to cronyism and lobbying support a man who is the living embodiment of both.

Cruz's clear stand on ethanol subsidies showed Iowans that he would not pander for their vote and that he is who he says he is.  But again, while Cruz had some great moments, those early stumbles cost him an outright victory.  I still expect Cruz to take 1st or 2nd in Iowa on Monday night.

JEB! BUSH also came across as more assertive and likable this round.  He seemed to get the best of Rubio in one exchange, and he seemed more credible as a candidate this time.  Records screeched to a halt everywhere when he claimed that he's been the only one fighting Trump all this time because he wanted to defend conservatism, however, as he's largely spent this campaign alienating conservatives at all costs.  That said, he's starting to get a John McCain rising-from-the-politically-dead vibe about him.  If Cruz suffers a defeat to Trump in Iowa, Bush might see his fortunes rise in New Hampshire.

RAND PAUL is great when he talks about liberty.  His exchanges with Rubio took a strong issue for Rubio (national security) and made him a little bit scary on the issue of personal liberty with his rabid desire for all of our personal data, and that weakened Rubio.  Paul, however, comes across as a jealous dude when scolding Cruz and Rubio and that just doesn't play well.  I don't think he won, but I don't think he lost either.  He had more good moments than bad, so we place him slightly above "meh" for this debate.  He's not going to be a top tier finisher in Iowa.  It's time for him to consider focusing his efforts on his re-election to the senate.

MEH

BEN CARSON
 is a nice man.  He's a really nice man.  And he memorized the preamble to the Constitution and made my mom cry when he recited it in his closing. Watching him and his wife afterward was adorable.  He is not, however, even remotely good at these debates and simply does not have what it takes to do this.  He was a great addition to the field and he has a lot to offer America.  He will likely earn himself a spot in the administration of the next Republican.  After Iowa, he needs to re-assess if there is really an opening for him or if he should drop out and endorse someone who stands for his platform and faith.

CHRIS CHRISTIE's routine of bulging his eyes wide and shaking his head as he speaks to the audience about how all that fancy senator talk is too much for him but how wonderfully assertive and active he's been as a governor who does things.  The first time he did that it was effective.  Now it's like a viral YouTube video that you've grown tired of.     The fact remains that Christie is a horrific governor here in New Jersey.  And his signature issue of claiming he'd prosecute the poop out of radical Islam could not be farther from the truth of his record.  (See: supporting a Ground Zero mosque, intervening in Homeland deportation of radical Imam and keeping him in NJ, appointing Shariah law enthusiast to a NJ court, etc.)  His campaign seems to be angling to be Attorney General.  He really, really wants to prosecute people.  

LOSERS

JOHN KASICH
, son of the mailman, is horrifying in these debates.  He might have made some good points, but I zone out every time he starts talking.  His creepy religious-infused enthusiasm for Obamacare is cult-like.  And he basically said we have to keep growing the government because poor people.  He is a disaster and hopefully after New Hampshire will no longer be our concern.  Oh, and did you know he comes from Ohio?  Pundits will claim that Kasich would benefit the ticket because Ohio.  Well, that could be true.  However, if someone puts Christie on the ticket, they still have no shot at New Jersey.  Just because Ohio loves the mailman's son as governor, it doesn't necessarily follow that they want him to ascend to national office.

MEGYN KELLY, CHRIS WALLACE, FOXNEWS, YOUTUBE STARS--Donald Trump was right about Megyn Kelly and these debates.  She wants to be the star and apparently that rubs off on Chris Wallace.  Bret Baier seems immune to it and carried himself with professional composure last night.  The other two clowns again framed their questions around gossipy cat-fight inducing bait.  Nobody cares about who says what about someone else.  Let's ask questions on the issues that matter and let the candidates frame their positions on those issues.  I don't have a problem with Kelly using clips of past statements against candidates, but it was a bit weird that she only focused on two people.  If they were going to do something like that, it really should have been applied to all.

Fox News has also made it clear that they are in the tank for Rubio.  Okay, so Megyn Kelly hit him hard on amnesty, but for the most part ALL POST-DEBATE spin has been that Rubio is a god and the rest of them are all, "losers, nobody likes them, they have zero percent, and are failing bad. Sad!"  Not only did pundit after pundit, all drawing checks from Fox, praise Mr. Rubio, they all seemed to be reading from the same script.  It's as if they all were given bullet points to cover in order to earn their stipend.  And it was not enough to claim Rubio won the night outright, they had to dance upon the grave of Cruz.  As I mentioned above, Cruz had some awkward moments, but he was not the loser of the debate.  All night Rubio and Cruz were soaring above the other candidates.  I don't think the debate helped Cruz, but I don't think it hurt him either.  The Fox pundit version of what happened was so divorced from reality that one could not help but assume it was all part of a coordinated effort to shape the narrative.

And can we talk about allowing YouTube stars to ask questions.  Seriously?  First of all, one of them was an illegal alien, the other (the portly Muslim fashion expert) was a Bernie Sanders activist and none of them had any place in this debate.   Can anyone imagine a staunch Ted Cruz supporter questioning Bernie, Hillary, and that other dude at their next intentionally-scheduled-to-avoid-an-audience debate?

 Debates are not promotional pieces for corporations.  This was not a platform to promote YouTube stars or Google or Fox News personalities.  This was supposed to be a chance for voters, particularly the good folks in Iowa, to see the candidates in person going head to head on issues.  

While I disagree with Trump's decision to sit out of this debate, Fox made his point for him by degrading themselves to be shills for their own careers and for corporate platforms like YouTube.  Voters deserve better.

Did Trump sitting out help or hurt him? I don't know.  Nothing conventional applies to Trump.  He didn't really get any hits on him last night and that was his goal.  With just hours to go until the Iowa caucus, Mr. Trump is sitting on his lead.  An approach that his cult-like followers on social media will celebrate endlessly as being like Reagan (a man Trump despised.)  "Reagan did it too, OMG, Donald Trump is so dreamy!"  Um, yeah, Reagan did do it, and then he lost Iowa to George Bush.  Learn your history, cultists.

This debate didn't change anything.  Trump and Cruz are battling for the top spot.  Rubio is battling for 2nd or a close 3rd.  Everyone else better hope something happens for them in New Hampshire or South Carolina.

IOWA will show America where this race really stands.  If Trump wins, he's likely cruising to the nomination.  If Cruz prevails, Trump will have to fight off establishment folks in New Hampshire and hope that Cruz doesn't ride his wave of momentum to victory in South Carolina.  His Charlie Sheen-like #winning reputation will be gone.

Only a few days left to see what happens next... 






Thursday, January 14, 2016

Does It All Hinge on Cruz V. Trump in Iowa?

With only days left before the Iowa Caucus, things are getting interesting.  Right now as I type this, a bunch of irrelevant losers are debating in the "undercard" debate in South Carolina.  Nobody cares, but these 3 egos (the 4th was too important to attend the loser debate) don't seem to get it that they have zero chance at the GOP nomination for the presidency.

Right now that battle is largely between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.  Trump has the overall advantage with a massive national lead, but Cruz is clinging to a slight lead in the state of Iowa and that could make all the difference.  Nobody else is close enough in Iowa to win, but there could be some folks who fare well enough to improve their standing in the later contests.

The reality is that Iowa is crucially important this year.  If Donald Trump wins Iowa, it truly doesn't look like anyone can stop him.  Cruz will likely put up an admirable effort for another few weeks, but it will be very hard to compete with the host of the Celebrity Apprentice who has dominated the field since day one.  With a victory in Iowa, Trump, already the frontrunner in New Hampshire, would head there with a new head of steam to push him to victory in that state primary a week later.  With two state victories under his wing, Trump would then head to South Carolina where his only real threat to win would be a weakened Ted Cruz.  Should Cruz fail to derail Trump there, his numbers in the following contests would likely continue to decline as the inevitability shine on Mr. Trump begins to glow.

Cruz and/or an establishment choice (the winner of Bush/Rubio/Kasich/Christie) could give Trump a run for his money later on, but given his consistent dominance of the field throughout all of 2015, there's nothing to suggest that Mr. Trump can be stopped at that point.  If Mr. Trump is to be stopped it needs to be early and it seems only Ted Cruz is in a position to do that.  (And if he is stopped, someone will need to put the bat-crap crazy Ann Coulter on suicide watch.)

If, say, Ted Cruz holds on and wins Iowa, he will pick up a little steam heading into New Hampshire and could finish a solid 2nd or 3rd there with Trump likely besting another establishment darling.  Cruz would likely spend a lot of time and energy on South Carolina, and with a victory in Iowa and strong showing in New Hampshire, Cruz would likely win the South Carolina primary setting up a showdown between Cruz and Trump throughout the SEC primary states.  In this scenario it is likely that Cruz will win the nomination.

The wildcard is what establishment candidate comes out of Iowa and New Hampshire--and how strongly they emerge.  After Iowa, "conservatives" Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Carly Fiorina, as well as conservative Dr. Carson and libertarian Rand Paul should drop out of the race.  I'm sure some of them will hang on in complete denial of their lack of relevance, but a good chunk of them should drop out of the race due, if nothing else, to a lack of funding.

After New Hampshire, it will be the establishment's turn to thin the herd.  Only 1 or 2 of the Rubio, Bush, Christie, Kasich gang really has a ticket out of New Hampshire depending on how close they are.  If one of them rises to a close 2nd or 3rd to Trump and Cruz, that person will be the victor of the establishment lane.  If the top 2 of them are relatively close, their battle will continue for another few contests.  It's hard to see how numbers 3 and 4 out of the establishment lane come out of New Hampshire with any kind of relevance.

Right now it appears that Rubio is the strongest in that lane, but Christie is showing signs of life in New Hampshire and Iowa.  Bush is also trending upward.  And PeeWee Herman has as much chance as John Kasich as succeeding in this election, so there's that.

If the race boils down to a Trump vs. Cruz race, polling seems to suggest that Cruz will win handily.  If there is another option (Rubio, Christie, or Bush) polling high enough to matter, that could hand the nomination to Trump.  The establishment darling only has a chance if either Cruz or Trump completely collapses.

So right now, it really does all hinge on what happens in Iowa.  If Cruz can smack down the Donald there, his NH, SC, and national numbers will trend upward and Trump's will likely drop a little.  If, however, the Donald smashes all comers in the Iowa Caucus, he can start casting for Celebrity Apprentice: Vice President Edition as the nomination will likely be his for the taking.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What's A Conservative To Do? On Trump, Cruz, & Rubio

The likely final 3: Trump, Rubio, & Cruz

We are now in the final hours of 2015.  January 2016 will bring a new intensity to the presidential election as the Iowa Caucus will now be only a month away, with New Hampshire and South Carolina's primaries right behind.

Before outlining the choice before conservatives, let's be realistic about the candidates left in the race and their chances.



GOP FINAL 3:

The only folks who have a real chance at the GOP nomination are:

Businessman Donald Trump
Senator Ted Cruz
Senator Marco Rubio

Based on his polling in New Hampshire, there is also still the very remote outside chance for someone like Governor Chris Christie.  It's incredibly unlikely, but IF, and that's a big if, Christie were able to win New Hampshire and topple Donald Trump there, he would immediately emerge as the consensus establishment choice.  Even if he loses but fares better than Marco Rubio in New Hampshire, he could effectively end Rubio's chances and consolidate the establishment support heading into the next set of primaries.  It still seems like the establishment has settled on Rubio as the more electable of the two, so this remains a very small possibility.

Nobody else has a shot.  

THE ALSO-RANS

It's humorous to see how delusional some of them are as they talk of staying in the race unless they don't finish in the top 3-4 in Iowa or New Hampshire when they are currently at 0% in the polls and are attracting no support outside of their immediate families.

Jeb Bush has flopped.  He's spent millions and still nobody is interested in George W. Bush's less intelligent, less charismatic, and less conservative little brother who once was a governor or something.  He's done.  Toast.

John Kasich has devolved from a conservative leader in congress into a left-wing nut-job better suited for the Democratic primary.  He has no chance.

Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson each had their moments.  They flopped.  They are done.  There is nothing they can do to win back their lost supporters.

Rand Paul has no chance at all.  His attacks on Ted Cruz in recent days smack of desperation.  He would do well to return to defending the constitution in the US Senate, where he has a realistic chance of making a difference.

Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and anyone else that I forgot, are languishing around 0-1% in the polls.  It's beyond SNL satire for these folks to believe that they have any chance at all.  They should immediately drop out and support the candidate at the top that most clearly mirrors their ideals.  If not, they should stop saying that this race isn't about them personally, because clearly for them it is.

GOP VOTERS WANT OUTSIDER, CONSERVATIVE NOMINEE:

It's no mistake that we have the final 3 that we do.  Unlike most recent GOP primaries, the grassroots conservative base of the party is in no mood to settle for the the electable next-in-line moderate.  Most voters are passionate about two things--a rock solid conservative, and an outsider willing to take on the party establishment.  There's a reason why the GOP is despised far and wide, and it is largely due to the corrupt, crony capitalist leadership.  Voters in the GOP primary are looking for the following:

1.  An outsider willing to burn the establishment to the ground.
2.  A strong conservative like Ronald Reagan that will articulate conservative ideals.
3.  A combination of 1 and 2.

SO, WHY RUBIO?

So, why is Marco Rubio still in the running?  Well, Marco is an unremarkable conservative.  Looking at his voting record, you can still conclude that he's conservative, so he timidly checks off number 2 on the list.  He's certainly not the most conservative candidate running, but his supporters believe that his baby face and charisma make him the most electable and there could be some truth to that.  As a nominee, he would be more conservative than John McCain or Mitt Romney.  

Rubio, however, fails miserably in the measurement of fighting the establishment.  Rubio has never once led a serious fight against the GOP leadership.  Not once.  The recent trillion dollar funding bill that Paul Ryan cooked up for Obama is a great example of classic Rubio.  On the campaign trail, Rubio claimed he would fight it and opposed the bill.  Then he didn't show up in DC to even vote on the bill.  He's also shown a dangerous propensity for supporting the leadership against the wishes of the grassroots as in his Gang of 8 amnesty debacle.  Folks who are supporting Rubio are likely moderate or slightly conservative voters who don't see the party establishment as a problem.  They still labor under the delusion the party establishment can be worked with as Rubio does.  

The main reason Rubio is still in the race is because of the establishment.  It's own golden children of Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich have gone nowhere.  Rubio is their Ob-Wan Kenobi-like only hope of a nominee that they can control to minimize the disruption to their precious status quo.  That, and only that, is why Rubio is still a contender.  

The choice for most conservatives then comes down to Trump and Cruz.

DONALD TRUMP: BURN IT TO THE GROUND BUT REPLACE IT WITH WHAT?

Trump has been the front-runner because of his style.  He's brash, outspoken, and willing to take on anyone.  Any-one.  Most of the anti-establishment voters in the grassroots eat up his swipes at the GOP like candy.  Most people who support him do so because they believe that he will destroy the GOP establishment and take on the media.  He doesn't just check off the first category for most voters, he obliterates it with an angry twitter rant bomb.  

But would he?  His recent debate performance where he winked and blew kisses to the establishment could signal the Art of the Deal rising as his governing philosophy.  If you haven't read Trump's book by the same name, you should.  It's likely an indication of how he would govern.  For all of the bluster and tough talk, Trump is a dealmaker.  

The problem that many of us have with Trump is his inconsistency.  Nobody can look at the man's track record and conclude that he is a conservative.  Nor can they excuse his dramatic turn-around in his late 60s as just another Reagan political evolution.  He's supported radical leftist politicians for decades.  His supporters argue that he had to in order to do business.  Many of those same supporters decry cronyism and lobbyists, but somehow think it's fine when Trump is the one using his vast wealth to manipulate public officials.  Trump has also expressed his love for eminent domain, calling it "wonderful."  He's refused to defund Planned Parenthood, and had a long history of being, in his words, "very pro-choice."  

Trump's tax plan is something out of the Democratic class warfare playbook.  He's for raising taxes on the rich, even in a market with massive unemployment and no job creation.  When did conservatives decide that class warfare was cool?  And if they did, why not just support Hillary, the queen of class warfare?

And even on Obamacare, Donald Trump is another Mitt Romney.  Single-payer government-run healthcare "could work" Trump declares.  Rather than just being opposed to Obamacare on principle, Trump's opinion seems to be like Romney's, that Obamacare is just bad because Obama doesn't know how to run it correctly.  That sounds like ever socialists defense of socialism--it's failed everywhere it has been tried only because it hasn't been applied correctly.  

Even though his 2016 campaign has been littered with references revealing his support for these leftist policies continues even today, his supporters ignore these vibrant red flags because he will follow-up with angry tweets attacking people pointing out his own words and win his supporters back with his gusto.  Yet, many of these same folks rightfully criticized Mitt Romney for the same inconsistencies as a deal breaker in supporting him that they now shrug off as they feverishly support Trump.  

No, to embrace Trump is to support the idea of burning down the establishment, but replacing it with, at best, an inconsistent moderate, depending on how Art-of-the-Dealy he gets.  (Which, after calling Ted Cruz a maniac for not getting along with the establishment, one has to wonder just how much fight, besides twitter insults, he would put up against the establishment.)  Trump's supporters are folks so burned by the establishment, that they don't care about fealty to their own ideals anymore.  They just want to burn it down in a kamikaze blaze of political glory.

And there is tremendous appeal in that for those of us disgusted with the establishment, who no longer trust the GOP or their leaders and who rightly recognize the GOP establishment as just as much an enemy of liberty and conservatism as the left.

TED CRUZ:  A SOLID CONSERVATIVE & ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT OUTSIDER

But it's precisely because we don't trust politicians, that track records matter.  As much as I might applaud Trump's contributions to this race in bringing up important issues, re-shaping the dynamics, and beating the media and party leadership like rented mules, I cannot in good conscience ignore the rapidly vacillating and contradictory political ideology of Donald Trump over the years and even in this campaign.  I can't just discount his decades of red flags because of a pithy angry tweet to the contrary. 

For a growing number of us, it's not just about burning the establishment to the ground, but also rebuilding with a solidly and consistently conservative foundation.  

Senator Ted Cruz is the only man in this race that checks off both the fighting the establishment category and the solid conservative category with gusto.

No human being is immune to the allure and corrupting influence of power.  No human politician is perfect.  Ted Cruz, however, has demonstrated consistently that he is willing to stand on principle against his party, even when doing so alone.  He has shown the grassroots conservatives what a principled courageous conservative can do.  He is also brilliantly articulate and bold in presenting a conservative viewpoint.  He knows how to turn questions and arguments back on opponents and to make the case for constitutional conservatism in ways that regular voters can understand.

If voters are serious about BOTH fighting the establishment AND electing a solid conservative, Ted Cruz is really the only choice.  That is why I have endorsed his candidacy.

WHERE DOES THE RACE GO FROM HERE? PREDICTIONS...

Cruz wins Iowa.

Trump or Christie/Rubio wins New Hampshire.

Cruz wins South Carolina.

Two-person race emerges from SC between Cruz & Trump or Cruz & Christie/Rubio

It appears that Ted Cruz is likely to win Iowa.  Donald Trump is really the only other candidate at this moment, a month out from the caucus, with enough support to challenge Cruz.  Nobody else has the money or organization to win even if they get an uptick in polling numbers.  Should Cruz win Iowa, his numbers will get a slight bump. (And recent polling suggested that he was already surging in NH and SC and in one national poll he was only 4 points behind Trump.)  New Hampshire will largely determine whether Trump or Christie/Rubio is the alternative to Cruz.  If Trump loses New Hampshire as well, he will likely not recover.

A newly energized Cruz would likely win South Carolina at this point, and we would have a two-person race between Cruz and Trump or Cruz and Rubio/Christie at this point.

Cruz has more money and organization than any other candidate.  Trump has the most free media attention and most passionate supporters.  Ultimately, these two men have the best shot at winning the nomination.  I believe that based on the consistency of his record, Ted Cruz will emerge as the GOP nominee.  The next month will be crucial in determining that outcome.  Game on.













Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Media Skewing Poll Results To Downplay Cruz & Hype Rubio

Well, the establishment and the media are certainly beside themselves with glee over the alleged Rubio surge in today's Quinnipiac national poll.

All of the reporting and tweeting today was largely framed by highlighting Marco Rubio surging into 2nd place nationally.  Amnesty enthusiasts began rubbing their hands together in glee and the party establishment began talking up their last best hope to retain power by proclaiming how electable and surge-y Rubio is.  Fox News, for example, tweeted out a story titled "Rubio Gaining Steam In New National Poll."  From that heading, you would conclude that Rubio is the candidate with all of the momentum.  You'd also conclude that Jeb! Bush is probably on suicide watch because if Rubio takes flight, he's going to drop to Lindsey Graham levels of electoral failure.

Now technically, Rubio is in 2nd place in the Quinnipiac poll.  However, the results for the top four are as follows:


So, the "surging" Marco Rubio gained 3 points in this poll rising from 14% to 17%.  

Wait, what's that?  Trump and Cruz went up by the same amount?

Yes, Trump rose 3 points from 24% to 27% and Cruz rose 3 points from 13% to 16%.  In other words, Trump, Cruz, and Rubio all made equal gains in this poll.  And yet most of the reporting on this poll focuses solely on Rubio.

A more accurate headline would read: "Trump, Rubio, & Cruz Gaining In New National Poll."  That would be accurate.  To highlight Rubio to the exclusion of the other two is a clear indication of the bias and intended manipulation of allegedly feeble-minded conservative voters into buying the "electable" argument that Karl Rove is attempting to brainwash us all with regarding Rubio.

It should also be pointed out that Rubio is not actually a clear second place in this poll.  In the previous Iowa poll where Cruz surged to 23% to Trump's 25% and the third place person was Carson at 19%, one could argue that Cruz was a clear 2nd place.  He was just outside the margin of error.  

Rubio, on the other hand, is 1 point above Cruz and Carson.  Statistically the 3 are really in a virtual tie for second place. But that's not how the media chooses to report this.  That's because they need something to try to stop Cruz's momentum in Iowa.  Highlighting Rubio's ascendency could sway undecided voters to flock over to Rubio instead of to Cruz.  

Voters need to do their homework and analyze the media propaganda if the establishment is to be defeated.  The fact remains that this is currently a 4 person race between Trump, Carson, Cruz, and Rubio.  If the current trajectory for Carson continues, it will quickly turn into a 3 person race between Trump, Cruz, and Rubio.  It certainly seems like that might be the case, but we need some more time to really confirm that.

The alternative to Trump has yet to be determined as the other 3 remain fluid.  Rubio currently holds a slight advantage nationally over Cruz, but Cruz has the clear advantage in Iowa. It's still 2 months out from the Iowa caucus.  While the outcome is uncertain, the panic on the part of the establishment certainly is not.







Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On Cruz & Rubio: The Central Question for the Conservative Movement

Cruz is the man in the arena.  Rubio speaks well & takes orders.
On the surface, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio seem very similar.  They are both Cuban-American first-term senators elected largely with the support of the tea party in elections where they ran as outsiders.  In terms of their voting record, Cruz is more conservative, but in some scoring sites like The Heritage Foundation, Rubio’s conservative voting score is ranked as high as 94%.  Conservative Review’s record for Rubio is a more accurate 80%.

The issue with Rubio’s candidacy is not necessarily a concern of conservative ideological purity.  I do not question that Rubio is a conservative.  His voting record is unremarkably conservative in that it is just strong enough to alleviate concerns from the grassroots on the right, but not too inflexible in order to avoid frightening off establishment supporters.

But those of us who do our homework know that concerns with Rubio are deeper than that. The issue with Rubio’s candidacy is not whether he’s sufficiently conservative, it’s that his sycophancy to party donors and leadership almost always trumps any conservative ideals he may hold.

In short, he may very well be conservative, but he’s demonstrated that he’s a flexible donor-friendly conservative willing to bend his ideals if that curries favor with the party machine or content to participate in show votes to protect the facade of conservatism propped up by the GOP establishment.

Therein lies the major—and hugely significant—difference between Senator Cruz and Senator Rubio.  Cruz is willing to stand in the arena alone to fight the party leadership when it has lost his way, and Rubio runs for the exit.

Mr. Rubio may usually be a reliable conservative vote in the senate, but he lacks the fighter instinct necessary in a president.  His approach to politics is more of a theatric tightrope walk between serving the party machine and throwing scraps to the people who elected him.

That’s not to suggest that some level of compromise is always a bad thing.  President Reagan understood well how to compromise by prioritizing his agenda and ensuring that he got far more than he gave.  (With the noted exception of the 1986 amnesty deal that he later came to regret.)  A leader, a President, needs to possess 3 core traits consistently—to be able to advocate for his convictions, serve the people over party and fight passionately, consistently, and at some cost to his own power and standing to stand on his principles in the arena of politics.

Ronald Reagan could do all 3.  Every GOP nominee since he left the stage has not been able to.  They’ve all either lacked one of those three or been unable to consistently possess all 3.

Ted Cruz unquestionably possesses all 3 as evidenced in his DC battles, his ongoing fight with the GOP leadership, his massive grassroots appeal, his fealty to his campaign promises and the voters who supported them, and his ability to articulate conservatism on the national stage.

Marco Rubio misses the mark a bit.  He can advocate for his convictions quite well, however his political career has demonstrated an inability to stand on principle when it might cost him, and the pattern of putting party over the people.

That’s not to suggest that Mr. Rubio is necessarily a bad man.  He’s a conventional politician. Politicians typically ascend the ladder of power by playing the game, going along to get along, and falling in line when the higher ups demand fealty.  The problem is that the Republican party has long since abandoned any semblance of a genuine conservative vision or ideology.  Their voting base has not.  And so the GOP now views its voting base with contempt and as an unruly gaggle to be tricked into submission via theatrics, public relations propaganda, and silver-tongued spokespeople.

In reality, the party is now simply the other side of the coin of the Democratic party.  Where the Democratic party advances the cause of larger government and feeds itself through crony capitalism, the Republican party does the same through a hybrid of big government and big corporations.

Reagan unwaveringly championed free markets often against the wishes of his own party, and in so doing, he took down the Soviet Union, ended the Cold War, and restored fiscal growth to the United States of America.  The Republican party, by contrast,  is the champion of the well-connected, seeking to rig the system for their crony capitalist masters in order to maintain lifetime power in DC.  A Republican politician that plays this game can expect to stay in DC for decades, some as long as 50 years or so—even well past the point where senility has set in.  These career politicians essentially believe themselves to be nobility, unfettered to any responsibility to everyday Americans and unbound by the very rigged system that they help to maintain at the behest of their masters.

As such, it will not be enough to elect a Republican puppet as president.  A John McCain or Mitt Romney will not do after 8 disastrous years of Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation.  America needs a Reagan.

And by Reagan, I don’t just mean someone with charisma who speaks well.  I mean someone who possesses those 3 traits consistently as Reagan did.  Rubio has proven himself in the role of advocating for his ideals and many well-intentioned conservatives are swayed by his abilities in this area.  But speaking well on conservatism will not cure America’s ills.  Being willing to stand up to your own party, showing America that your convictions will always be paramount, and standing for the people over the ruling class is what is needed.

Much has been made of Mr. Rubio’s support of amnesty via the Gang of 8.  He was a willing participate and a passionate advocate for said amnesty.  Whether that was the true Rubio or not is debatable.  What is not is that his position in that fight was anathema to his voting base and the desired outcome for his party bosses.

When Senator Cruz, Senator Lee, and Senator Paul stand for liberty against the president and against the party leadership, Mr. Rubio is nowhere to be found. When Senator Cruz attempted to defund Planned Parenthood, Rubio was conveniently out of town.  .  When Ted Cruz took the red-eye after a GOP presidential debate to return to DC on the final attempt to stop the bad Iran Deal, Mr. Rubio again failed to return to take a stand. 

When Ted Cruz attempts to shame the Republican leadership into honoring the commitments that they made to the people who voted for them, Marco Rubio is strangely silent.  When Senator Cruz attacks crony capitalism via sugar subsidies and bailouts, Rubio quietly supports those subsidies and tempers his remarks to be more milquetoast and signal his amenability toward working with the party establishment.

In short, while Rubio may hold a conservative viewpoint and be comfortable selling that via well delivered scripted speeches and even more scripted debate answers (how many times do we need to be reminded that his dad was a bartender and his mom was a maid in exactly the same wording?) he is highly adverse to advocating for them in the United States Senate or to the party leadership in any meaningful way.

There is a reason why establishment commentators, consultants, and politicians are now talking up Marco Rubio as the next great hope for the Republican party.  It’s because Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Lindsey Graham have failed miserably.  Rubio is the last standing candidate that they hold sway over.  He is their silver bullet during this anti-establishment, grassroots 1980-style political moment.  And if his stage presence, charisma and youth can convince enough genuine conservatives to back him as the “most electable” candidate, they will have won another election cycle for the status quo.

Some folks have championed Donald Trump as the man to decimate the Republican machine and the corrupt politicians in DC.  He certainly has beaten them like a rented mule this cycle. I definitely understand the appeal of his candidacy.  A simple google search, however, into his legion of political positions on virtually every issue over the years and stretching into this very campaign, shows that his core political agenda is murky at best.  And while he likes to compare himself to Reagan’s conversion from Hollywood liberal Democrat to conservative Republican rockstar, Reagan’s conversion occurred decades prior to his presidency, and he had a lengthy and consistent track record of advocating conservatism.  Mr. Trump does not possess all 3 traits necessary to be the kind of leader that America needs.

It will not be enough to merely replace the current radical in the White House with an outsider with fluid political principles.

This is why the people are starting to wake up to Ted Cruz’s candidacy.  His rise in Iowa and in national polling suggests that voters are beginning to do their homework.  And for millions of voters from my generation and younger, we’ve never had a real conservative on the ballot for president.  We’ve never had the opportunity to vote for someone who believes as we do, can articulate it beautifully to a wide audience, and who is willing to sacrifice his own political career to fight for it.

Ted Cruz is the living embodiment of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “man in the arena” speech.  As the old rough rider so powerfully put it:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

In a party led by cold and timid souls, Ted Cruz is the doer of deeds, marred by the dust of the political establishment, striving valiantly to stand for conservatism and the truth of the constitution.  A man willing to be politically bloodied in order to stand with and fight for the people.  He is the fighter that America needs to reignite the promise of America.

God Bless America

God Bless America
God Bless America

City On A Hill Political Observer Supports Israel

City On A Hill Political Observer Supports Israel
Let us all pray for Israel and stand against radical terrorists and anti-semites that try to destroy her!

American Grizzlies United

American Grizzlies United
City On A Hill Supports American Grizzlies United