The Karl Rove School of Sanctimony

When I read about Todd Akin's unfortunate comments to Charles Jaco, my first thought was uncharitable.  "I could just kill him." Karl Rove Lecturing

"I could kill him," is an idiom. Its cousins include "wring his neck" and "poke his eyes out." Idioms hyperbolize our emotional reaction to an event.

I was angry because Todd Akin gave the left a great talking point in the infamous interview. I like Todd Akin. I voted for him.  I want him to beat Claire McCaskill, and, if not him, someone. So his hideous PR failure Pissed. Me. Off. In fact, I'm still feeling a bit uncharitable, but that's my problem at this point.

Karl Rove attacked Akin almost immediately.

Karl Rove, who directs a lot of campaign money through Crossroads GPS, vilified Akin. Rove promised to pull Crossroads funding from Missouri. He predicted that Akin would lose his race against Claire McCaskill for the US Senate by largest margin in modern history.

All fair and good. Akin put a safe Republican Senate pick-up at risk by his failure to check his tongue. Akin's error put at risk four years of hard work by millions of Americans and jeopardized Todd's favorite causes, including pro-life.

Rove Gone Wild

But at the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove drove right off the rhetorical Chappaquiddick Bridge.

"We should sink Todd Akin. If he's found mysteriously murdered, don't look for my whereabouts!"

Roves comment was not an idiom. It was an original thought. He said "murder," not "kill," indicating intent and planning.

Even more malevolent,  "we should," which Rove said, is not "we could." Could implies ability; should implies duty.  Karl Rove essentially said, "We are obliged to murder Todd Akin."  Or at least to defeat him in November.  (Todd Akin has since accepted Rove's apology, for which I tip my cap to both men.)

So much for Karl's sanctimonious excoriation of Todd Akin.

But he was joking of course.

Or was he?

In charity, we assume Rove isn't plotting Akin's physical assassination. But he might be plotting Akin's political assassination.

Rove implied he prefers Claire McCaskill to Todd Akin.  That's fine.  He's entitled to support whoever he wants for the US Senate.

What irritates me most about Rove's comment, though, is exactly what irritated me about Akin's.  In a world where Republicans are held to a God-like standard by the media, saying idiotic things in public hurts the cause.

Rove committed precisely Akin's sin.

He said something stupid that reached public ears.

For that, Rove deserves the same excoriation he's advocated against Akin.  My guess is, though, Karl's wealthy friends will protect him.

Part 3: Todd Akin Needs to Lead or Get Out of the Way

, member of the United States House of Represe... Part 3 of 3 |  Read Part 1 |  Read Part 2

Before we get too far down the Akin rally road, let's get some solid advice to Mr. Akin.

His principles, his spine, his grassroots do no good if Missouri turns blue.  He cannot advance his causes from his house in Wildwood.  Failure to take the Senate makes Obamacare permanent, at least in our lives.

Todd Akin, wonderful man he is, has a lot of responsibility.  As a candidate, he needs to grow and fast. Particularly following news that he trails Claire McCaskill by 10 percentage points according to Rasmussen.

He hasn't helped himself in the aftermath. He has no message except "I'm sorry."  He is letting the RNC drive the narrative.  He's blaming the "liberal media," but that institution seems happy to let the GOP tear him apart.

If he's content to spend his last half million and then next 10 days apologizing, then he might as well quit now.

Here's what he has to do:

1.  Get out of his bubble and deal with the reality he faces.  He's shut himself off from the messages he doesn't want to hear.  That's human nature.  But to win, he has fight his own inclinations to cocoon.  He has to hear from people who love him but think he should drop. He needs to hear from people who hate him but think he should fight on.  He needs to hear from writers, marketers, and artists who know how to hit the brain beneath the prefrontal cortex.  He needs GOOD COUNSEL, not just "amen."

2.  If he will leave the cocoon he's in, he needs to hear this: as long as the message is about rape and abortion, he's toast.  If he stays on THIS message and stays in the race, he will lose, most of the Missouri GOP statewide candidates will lose, and MIssouri may go blue. Drop the apology.

3.  He needs to bring on people he's NOT comfortable with.  People who will challenge.  Brilliant strategists and wordsmiths who can craft an argument.

4.  He needs to know his 3 points for every press interaction and stick to them.

5.  He needs to STOP EVANGELIZING and start CONNECTING with the people who don't already agree with him on everything.  They have to agree with him on ONE thing.  That's it.

6.  He needs to memorize this: "I am pro-life without exception."  That's the end of the pro-life message.  Every additional word he utters loses 10,000 votes.

7.  He needs to memorize this response to every question about abortion:  "Every child conceived should be born into an America that has room for him or her to grow into a loving family, a good home, effective schools, and a lucrative career of their choice." That's it.  Nothing more. It sets up the case of the economy

8.  Every answer to every question must get back to the economy and the economic wreck advanced by Barack Obama with the enthusiastic support of Claire McCaskill.

9.  He must PROSECUTE this campaign the way a great general prosecutes a battle. Survival's not enough.

10.  He must ignore winnability. That's our job. His job is to make people like him, trust him, vote for him, or stay home.

Every big name in the GOP has called for him drop out. Until he leads, the calls will continue.  I know he's shown great spine, but spine is not leadership. If he leads, they will follow.

He can put people on their heels without being a jerk.  He has it in him.  Apologizing isn't leadership.  Leaders lead. His rival is Claire McCaskill. She is remarkably unpopular.  His nemesis is Barack Obama.  He is loathed in Missouri.

Get the message back on track.  Be a leader.  Win.

There's one question I ask every politician who asks for my support:  why do you want this job?  The answers reveal tons about the person.  Right now, his answer seems to be "because I made a mistake, and I'm sorry."  That's weak.  It's a loser's answer.

I can't feed him HIS answer.  But I can tell him the one's he's got ain't working. Even among some of his staunchest supporters.

Preserving the Republic Is Paramount in 2012

A few weeks ago, I blogged about loyalty to people and loyalty to principles. Both are important. Loyalty to people is an honorable principle. Sometimes, the ideal is paramount. In 2012, we simply must take the US Senate. We must put Claire McCaskill out of office. And we must send a strong conservative to the US House of Representatives from Missouri’s 2nd Congressional district.

Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District has been well served by Todd Akin. Representative Akin is one of the most decent men I’ve ever met, in or out of politics. He was greeting voters at my polling place on primary day two weeks ago. I shook his hand and told him I was here to vote for him.

Last week, I saw Todd, again, at the Victory Field House, where all of Missouri’s Republican statewide candidates spoke. I caught Todd’s attention and told him we should meet again on November 7, because our election day meetings might be good luck. That meeting seems so long ago, now.

Like many conservatives, I cringed when I read his comments about rape on the Jaco Report. I knew he couldn’t possibly have meant what it sounded like he said. And while I say that, I still have no idea what he meant to say that might conform to known reproductive science.

Looking ahead and reasoning backwards, I tried to anticipate the possible outcomes. Congressman Akin can stay in the race and fight. Or he can step aside.

If he stays in the race and loses to Claire McCaskill, many other Republicans on the Missouri ballot will lose, too. Ed Martin, Dave Spence, Cole McNary, Shane Schoeller are all in danger. The state with some of the most effective and vibrant tea parties could see the Democrats sweep.

That cannot happen.

How in God’s name could we lose our state to the party that has as its convention’s keynote speaker an accused rapist, a disbarred lawyer, a serial groper who may well have committed the very crime of which Todd Akin misspoke?

We can’t.

Todd Akin is the victim of a sickening and repulsive double-standard that exonerates Democrats who sexually assault women, who drown women at Chappaquiddick, who avoid impeachment by quibbling over the definition of “is.”

The Tea Party movement has many noble and lofty goals. We exist to restore the balance of power between the government and the individual described in the Declaration and codified in the Constitution. We are adamant about devotion to those principles. We have lost friends over the qualifications and convictions of candidates who, to the uninitiated masses, look pretty much the same. We nit-pick over tiny policy differences because we know those tiny differences blow up into horrible, liberty-destroying legislation and Supreme Court rulings.

But the Tea Party is wise enough to understand America’s peril.

We stand at a crossroads of history in 2012. One path leads to difficult times and sacrifice for a greater future. The other leads to serfdom for generations. Our decision is now, and we must choose the path of sacrifice for a brighter future.

I cannot speak for the Tea Party on this matter; I can speak only for myself.

If Representative Akin steps aside, here’s the best possible outcome I can envision:

  • The Missouri Republican central committee asks Ambassador Ann Wagner to step into the vacated US Senate candidacy. I believe Ann is Missouri’s best chance—America’s best chance—of regaining the Senate. If Ann chooses to make the jump, she will leave a race in which she is all but certain to win, to take on the biggest challenge of her life. She will need all of our support, and she will have all of mine.
  • Missouri’s Republican 2nd District Committee asks State Senator Jim Lembke to fill the vacancy Ann would leave in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional race. Jim Lembke risked his political life by speaking at the very first St. Louis Tea Party on the steps of the Arch, February 27, 2009. Jim Lembke has been THE go-to Senator for grassroots conservatives in Missouri for years. He would honorably and faithfully fill the seat so well served by Todd Akin and Jim Talent. More importantly, anyone with less conservative street cred than Jim Lembke might drive Tea Partiers to the sidelines in November.

Friends may feel differently about how this plays out, as Reboot Congress does. But this isn't about rewards for Ann Wagner or JimLembke; it's about giving America its best chance of survival in a Senate race that's suddenly up in the air.

I know that many Tea Partiers find this hard to swallow. Our nature is to fight, fight, FIGHT for every inch. But this year, this race, requires a strategy to stanch liberty’s hemorrhage. If Todd Akin exits this race and we don't rally around his relief, we will take it to our graves.

I have no idea how the next 77 days will play out, but I hope we all choose the struggle of liberty over the comfort of serfdom. History is watching.

A Tale of Two Taxes

On Monday, we learned that US Senator Claire McCaskill failed to pay property taxes on her personal luxury jet for three years.  Previously, she had charged taxpayers some of the cost of operating her private plane. Before that, it seems, she registered the plane in property tax-free Delaware

On Monday, Claire wrote a $287,000 check without batting an eye. Now, St. Louis County says she owes them another $33,000 in interest and penalties, for a total bill of $320,000. 

L.K. Wood for County Assessor - Saint Louis CountyThen on Wednesday, we learned that small business owner, Chip Wood, the Republican candidate for County Assessor, owes $12k in property taxes on his business in the city.  Wood told KMOX that, with the collapse of the real estate market, his company had to choose among the mounting bills to pay.  Apparently, Wood’s company chose to pay health insurance, rent, and wages to his employees, hoping to catch up on taxes when things turned around.

By keeping his business open, he will pay the city every penny it’s owed. And the depopulating city of St. Louis is spared yet another empty storefront.

Not only is this a difference in degree, it’s a difference in kind.  The difference here is not so obvious, but it is profound:

  • Chip Wood made a difficult economic choice to try to save his business and pay his people with every intention of making the city whole
  • Claire McCaskill hired a team of accountants and lawyers to shield her from every possible tax, and amidst their dodging, dipping, diving, ducking, and dodging they dropped a $287,000 property tax bill.  Oops!

Not all tax stories are equal. I trust that reasonable people realize that a businessman fighting to keep his doors open and his employees employed  is different from a millionaire fighting to fly her luxury jet for free.

P.S.  On April 5, I will L. K. Wood, as everyone should, for County Assessor. He’s the only qualified person in the race.

Pujols or Politics?

I’m torn.

Yesterday, I took part in a demonstration outside Senator Claire McCaskill’s St. Louis office on Delmar.  The future of the republic is important.  We are concerned that Senator McCaskill put her re-election before Missouri jobs by lobbying the DNC to hold its 2012 convention in Charlotte, NC, instead of St. Louis, MO.

Down the road, a group of Cardinals fans held a demonstration outside Busch Stadium.  The future of future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols is important, too.  It appears the Cardinals owners have little interest in resigning Albert.

Both events drew about 25 participants.

If St. Louis is America’s baseball city, and the possible exodus of the greatest ballplayer of our generation draws equally with a tea party event, then is St. Louis also America’s tea party city?

Oh, and the torn part.  The next general election is in November 2012.  Pujols becomes a free agent, effectively, in nine days.  Maybe I should I have been at the stadium yesterday, instead?

Did Orwell Write This Weekend?

Democrats—from Jane Fonda to Senator Bob Brady of Pennsylvania—are pushing to ban words, phrases, and images they don’t like, as P/Od Patriot points out

Yes, we are living in very dangerous times.  And the danger comes almost exclusively from the left.

The White House clearly was prepared for this.  They cared not who was the victim or the perp. They simply needed a crime to justify their assault on the first two amendments to the Constitution.

Brooks Bayne points out the filth of the left. Even Orwell’s pigs showed more decency and character than these modern liberals.

A National Day of Shame

It’s bad enough that five people died, including a wonderful nine-year-old girl. It’s bad enough that a dozen or more people were shot.

It’s bad enough that a deranged man attacked our American system.

But America’s liberal elite turned the tragedy into a national day of shame.  They accomplished this by callously and capriciously blaming innocent political opponents for the violence.  When confronted with facts to the contrary, liberals, including Paul Krugman, CBS News, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, Jane Fonda, Sheriff Dupnick of Pima County Arizona, and others, continued to lie, slander, and libel the tea party, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and conservatives in general.

Liberalism is at war with the American system.

On New Year’s Even, liberal icon Frances Fox-Piven called for a violent overthrow of the American system.  Liberals attacked anyone who criticized Fox-Piven’s hatred.

On December 17, Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill called for violence if Congress extended the Bush tax cuts.  Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Jared Loughner’s murderous rampage, voted to extend those tax cuts.

There is no CNN special investigaing McCaskill’s hateful call for violence. Why not?

Why are liberals allowed to encourage murder while conservatives are vilified even for pointing out liberal hate? Where are the calls for McCaskill’s resignation?  As PO’ed Patriot points out, the leftist media use tragedy as a weapon.

It’s a shameful day in America.

How We've Made a Difference

When you give over most of your private time to a cause, you need some feedback. We got some from former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan on Friday: The Summer of the Angry Mob Meet the Mob--Dana Loesch

Ms. Noonan reflected on the Townhall Revolt which began in St. Louis one year ago. Writes Noonan:

When Rep. Russ Carnahan held a town hall meeting at a community college in Missouri on July 20, he tried patiently to explain that ObamaCare not only would be deficit-neutral, it would save money. They didn't shout him down, they laughed. When Sen. Claire McCaskill appeared before a town hall meeting in Jefferson County, Mo., on Aug. 11, she responded to the crowd with words that sum up the moment: "I don't get it. . . . I honestly don't get it. . . . You don't trust me?" "No!" the crowd roared.

Do you remember what last summer was like?  I do. I remember being at work on July 20 and getting emails and tweets on my phone.  I remember watching that video, then watching it go viral.  It spread across the country. Suddenly, people in every city were flooding politicians' formerly sleepy townhall events:

It was a largely self-generated uprising, and it was marked, wherever it happened, in San Diego or St. Louis, by certain common elements. The visiting senator or representative, gone home to visit the voters, always seemed shocked at the size of the audience and the depth of his constituents' anger. There was usually a voter making a videotape in the back of the hall. There were almost always spirited speeches from voters. There was never, or not once that I saw, a strong and informed response from the congressman. In one way it was like the Iranian revolution: Most people got the earliest and fullest reports of what was happening on the Internet, through YouTube. Voters would take shaky videos on their cellphones and post them when they got home. Suddenly, over a matter of weeks, you could type in "town hall" and you'd get hundreds, and finally thousands, of choices.

Those grainy videos--and some not-so-grainy--came from you.  Darin Morley, Michelle Moore, Adam Sharp, Patch Adams, Dana Loesch, and others.  The video camera became the weapon of choice, and St. Louis became the viral video epicenter of the Tea Party movement.  And we never stopped. Never.

In the heat of August 2009, the action heated up. The SEIU and Russ Carnahan sent thugs to beat us down and intimidate us.  Now, the SEIU enforcers prepare for trial, their apologists accusing the victim of Uncle Tomism.  Barack Obama is considered a Socialist by 55 percent of Americans, and his approval rating is in free fall.  ACORN had been forced to change its name, and the President's party is in danger of losing the House and Senate in November's election.  Strong conservative candidates have upset RINOs in numerous states and races.  And the colors of the American flag seem a little deeper--stronger reds, more faithful blues, and blinding whites. As Ms. Noonan observes:

And yet his [Obama's] poll numbers continue to float downward. He is not more loved with victory. To an unusual and maybe unprecedented degree his victories seem like victories for him, and for his party, and for his agenda, but they haven't settled in as broad triumphs that illustrate power and competence.

Take a moment to reflect on the long, hot August of 2009. Many of us went toe-to-toe with the enemy, day after day. I was five confrontational protests in seven days at one point, and I saw many of the same faces at each of them.  We were defiant yet friendly, confrontational yet civilized.  Outspent $10,000,000 to $1, we forced the Socialist Obama to wait eight monts for his healthcare victory, and then it was watered down.  And it will cost him if we make it.

It's not quite morning in America, but the sun is on the rise.  The left is on the run.  We're ready for the sprint to November and the party afterwards.  Victory is in the air, and I love it.  God help me, I love it so.

Junk Bond

John is a Vietnam veteran and retired business executive.  He loves America and hates to see what’s happened in Washington the past few years.  He believes in liberty and Constitutional limitations on government growth. 

He called the Tea Party just to vent and to see if it’s just him.

Recently, John had called Senator Kit Bond’s (R-MO) office in Washington.  He wanted to know whether stories that Bond had signed off a $659 million earmark for soy bean farmers were true. 

According to John, the Bond staffer who answered the phone was terse, rude, and argumentative.  She balked at being called a “lady,” though she couldn’t think of an acceptable alternative. She hung up on the constituent and veteran twice.  She threatened to call the police if he called back.

John’s offense?  He had the audacity to ask about the earmark and state his view that Bond and his staff are our employees. 

I was not able to speak to anyone at Bond’s office to confirm, but John’s story wasn’t the first like it.  Senator Bond, one of the biggest porkers in Congress, has a reputation for being rude to constituents . . . unless, of course, they come bearing campaign contributions.  Now that he’s retiring from the Senate, even donors are in trouble.

Bond’s local office was more polite to John, but they still argued with him, claiming John’s assessment of Bond’s political career was unfair. 

John contrasted for me his treatment with Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) office staff.  McCaskill’s people were not only polite, they were polite while arguing policy with John.  While John admits he can be short and direct, he felt that never went there with McCaskill’s polite, professional, and enthusiastic staff.

Now, I agree with Sen. Bond on most issues and I disagree with McCaskill on just about everything.  (Same for Tea Partier John.)  Where John and I have more in common with Claire than with Bond is on the point of customer service.  Claire understands how to treat constituents on the phone; Bond simply does not.

Want to know why the Tea Party is viewed more favorably than the Republican Party?  This story tells it all. 

Wake up, GOP.  You’re on the road to losing seats in 2010 rather than gaining them.

And don’t forget to check out my new ebook, Zen Conservatism!  The price goes up $3 on Monday, December 14.

Junk Bond

John is a Vietnam veteran and retired business executive.  He loves America and hates to see what’s happened in Washington the past few years.  He believes in liberty and Constitutional limitations on government growth. 

He called the Tea Party just to vent and to see if it’s just him.

Recently, John had called Senator Kit Bond’s (R-MO) office in Washington.  He wanted to know whether stories that Bond had signed off a $659 million earmark for soy bean farmers were true. 

According to John, the Bond staffer who answered the phone was terse, rude, and argumentative.  She balked at being called a “lady,” though she couldn’t think of an acceptable alternative. She hung up on the constituent and veteran twice.  She threatened to call the police if he called back.

John’s offense?  He had the audacity to ask about the earmark and state his view that Bond and his staff are our employees. 

I was not able to speak to anyone at Bond’s office to confirm, but John’s story wasn’t the first like it.  Senator Bond, one of the biggest porkers in Congress, has a reputation for being rude to constituents . . . unless, of course, they come bearing campaign contributions.  Now that he’s retiring from the Senate, even donors are in trouble.

Bond’s local office was more polite to John, but they still argued with him, claiming John’s assessment of Bond’s political career was unfair. 

John contrasted for me his treatment with Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) office staff.  McCaskill’s people were not only polite, they were polite while arguing policy with John.  While John admits he can be short and direct, he felt that never went there with McCaskill’s polite, professional, and enthusiastic staff.

Now, I agree with Sen. Bond on most issues and I disagree with McCaskill on just about everything.  (Same for Tea Partier John.)  Where John and I have more in common with Claire than with Bond is on the point of customer service.  Claire understands how to treat constituents on the phone; Bond simply does not.

Want to know why the Tea Party is viewed more favorably than the Republican Party?  This story tells it all. 

Wake up, GOP.  You’re on the road to losing seats in 2010 rather than gaining them.