Republicans Lose Because They Don’t Attract Enough Conservatives

For 20 years, the Battleground Poll of States (now the Politico/GW Battleground Poll) showed a freakish consistency about ideology.

2009: 59% Conservative

battleground-d3-2009

2012: 57% Conservative

battleground-d3-2012

 

With almost 60% calling themselves somewhat or very conservative, how could Barack Obama get re-elected? How could Republicans fail to gain the Senate in 2010 and 2012? Come to think of it, how do Democrats win at all?

The answer is simple: being conservative doesn’t make you Republican, but being Democrat makes you a liberal.

Look at responses to question d4:

battleground-d4-2012

Only 40 percent of respondents called themselves Republican (of some type), while 43 percent identify as Democrats.

Now, look again at ideology.  Thirty-seven percent identify as liberal. So Democrats would appear to win over all liberals, all “moderates” and at least half those who don’t know or refused to answer question d3.

Meanwhile, at least 30 percent of self-described conservatives do not identify with the Republican party.

When you look at voter turnout, it seems clear that what Republicans are missing is 30 percent of conservatives.  They just don’t vote.

Why?

Because the Republican Party isn’t conservative in their eyes. So they stay home or vote third party.

Becoming More Liberal Isn’t The Solution

We hear a lot of Republicans saying the GOP must become more liberal. The Battleground Poll seems to disagree. Instead, the GOP needs to become more consistent in its defense of freedom and its promotion of liberty.

That means:

  • Reducing the size and scope of the federal government
  • Ending the Republican love affair with crony capitalism
  • Flattening the tax code until we convert to a simple consumption tax
  • Eliminating income taxes eventually
  • Scaling back the war on drugs
  • Eliminating the Department of Education
  • Reducing foreign investments
  • Scaling back the power of the federal reserve

When libertarian and young voters look at Republicans, we see a party that worships government as much as the Democrats. Republicans are just as quick to hold Congressional hearings on issues that belong to the states alone. Republicans crave the power of committees and brag about bringing home pork to their districts and states.

As I demonstrated, young people can smell a scam more readily than older voters, and they smell one when the GOP talks about reducing government. Government grew under Bush and a Republican Congress. It grew under Reagan and a Republican Senate.

The only real rollback of government power came under Clinton and a Republican Congress with welfare reform.

Republicans Will Never Win Over The Middle

With 57 percent of voters calling themselves conservatives, the GOP has no need to win over the middle. Instead, they need to win over all 57 percent of conservatives.

Even you argue that those 57 percent are unequally distributed, you can’t argue that they all voted in 2012. If they had—and if they had all voted Republican—Romney would have captured a popular vote landslide. But he didn’t.

If the Republican Party were authentically pro-liberty, pro-freedom, and pro-people, it would wipe out the Democrats election after election. But its inconsistency has the GOP on the verge of extinction.

The Best Grilling Of Bernanke Came From Senator Elizabeth Warren And Republicans Should Be Ashamed

I agree with Republican Senator Corker that inflation is a danger in the future. But inflation doesn’t win the hearts and minds of most Americans right now. No one’s worried about it except economists and economics geeks.

The death of the community and regional bank, however, does bother people. As does the printing of money that goes straight into the 5 biggest banks in history . . . and stays there.

The US Government bailed out those 5 “too big to fail” banks in 2008 and it’s been propping them up with our money ever since. That was one of the driving forces behind the birth of the Tea Party movement in February 2009.

Four years later, the Fed, Congress, and the White House still support banks whose managers cannot operate at a profit. And the only Senator to point out the lunacy of this practice is a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts?

I realize that the Democrats are far worse practitioners of crony capitalism than the Republicans. That doesn’t excuse the GOP.

If the Republicans want people to see them as in-touch with the mood of the country, they should attack crony capitalism relentlessly. Republicans must advance sound macro economics, but they must also stress cases that win over voters. Future inflation won't do that, but crony capitalism will.

By failing to gage what messages will work, the GOP is in the odd position of standing for nothing while being perceived as too extreme.

Why The Sequester Is Worse Now Than It Will Be After It Happens

Welcome Dr. Gina Show Listeners! Republicans should announce “the sequester won’t be so bad” and shut up, and science tells us why.

Obama, the Dems, liberal pundits, the press, and even John Boehner are running around yelling about how horrible the sequester will be.

In some deep recesses of our minds, we agree.  “Oh, my God! We’re all going to do die!”

Fear-mongering only works in the future because, in short, nothing is as bad (or as good) as we think it will be when we think about it.

Meet Affective Forecasting and Your Impact Bias

That’s a shorthand explanation of affective forecasting—or predicting how happy or sad something will make us. Marketers and politicians want us to predict our future feelings Dan-Gilbertabout some event and to apply impact bias to that prediction.

Impact bias is the tendency to overestimate how good we’ll feel if we get what we hope for or how bad we’ll feel if we don’t. Here’s a great, short video by Dan Gilbert explaining the importance of affective forecasting.

Obama uses the science of psychology better than anyone, and the Republicans refuse to even consider it a science. This is one of the reasons why Obama beats the GOP at almost every turn.

The Sequester Won’t Be As Bad As Any Alternative

If the Republicans try to strike a deal with Obama, they will do so under the duress of extreme impact bias. In other words, their imaginations will make monsters of the sequester, and their minds will agree to a deal that mostly benefits Obama.

Obama and his advisers study the science of human behavior. Republicans don’t. In every negotiation, Obama has knowledge that Republicans lack – knowledge he uses to take advantage of the GOP.

The losers in these negotiations are the public in general and the young in particular as the GOP trades their future wealth and choices to the President.

So think about something else and let the sequester happen. It won’t be nearly as bad as you think it will when you think about it.

This Is The Infographic That The Whole Republican Party Is Freaking Out About

The 3 million McCain voter who didn't vote for Romney didn't stay and they didn't vote third party. They died. To survive, the GOP needs to stop being afraid of Millennials and tell them truth: they can move out of mom and dad’s house, they can drop out of school, they can quit their dead-end job with the idiot supervisor. But they can’t get away from government and debt.

Read More

The Conservative Base Is Dying And Taking Your Freedom With It *CORRECTION*

Consider these numbers:

  • 9.8 million
  • 11.6 million 16.8 million
  • 55%
  • 61%

Between the 2008 and 2012 elections:

Between those years, neither the GOP nor conservative leaning organizations did anything significant to deal with this demographic cliff. We know the cost.

What was Obama's popular vote margin?  About the same as the difference between deaths and new voters. (1.8 million difference in dead voters vs. new voting age, and 1.07 difference in vote.)

For the next four years, there is only one objective: inform the kids.

On this front, there's a glimmer of hope. According to a Harvard Institute of Politics survey, the youngest of those 11.6 million new voters, are becoming fiscal conservatives:

In one poll, for instance, he found that 42 percent of 18- and 19-year-olds identified as "conservative," compared with just over one-third who said they were "liberal." By comparison, those proportions were nearly flipped for 22- to 24-year-olds: 39 percent said they were "liberal," and a third called themselves "conservative." It was much the same for older twentysomethings.

Obama's disastrous economy has a lot to do with this "schism" between younger and older Millennials. Though 51% of voters blame the nation's economy on George W. Bush, the 18- and 19-year-olds were 14 or 15 when the economy crashed.  They were less aware of the good times of the 00's and more aware of Obama's inability to fix things.

Crush Sensibilities

Knowing these facts--the death of aging conservatives, which will continue, and the matriculation of school-trained Democrat voters--I see no reason to consider the past. It's time to focus exclusively on the future.

The future I see involves a three-pronged strategy to reform conservative politics:

  • Marketing
  • Psychology
  • Messaging

This is a moral duty. I won't waste more of my time placating the sensibilities of the establishment. That's both the GOP establishment and the Tea Party establishment. (Yes, there's a Tea Party establishment, and it stopped helping the situation in 2010.)

I need your help. 

If you want to help advance liberty and slow tyranny, statism, authoritarianism, whatever, then follow this link and tell me. Tell me you want to help.

**UPDATE**

I'm not the only one talking about the Republican problem of targeting seniors instead of talking to kids. Allahpundit:

 The advantage of relying heavily on senior citizens, as the GOP does, is that they turn out reliably on election day. The disadvantage is, er, that they die, just as 18-year-olds — most of whom are pro-Obama — are coming onto the rolls.

The GOP needs a Cadillac-like makeover, and it needs one now.

*Based on data from US Census Bureau

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.

BREAKING: Watch The Kudlow Report at 6 Central Tonight **MARCH 14**

The Kudlow Report I’m honored to return to The Kudlow Report tonight (Wednesday, March 14) at 6:00 pm Central (7 ET) with Larry Kudlow.

I hope to talk about the GOP Presidential primaries, RomneyCare, and the Tea Party movement.

Please watch if you can.  Good ratings for Tea Party guests will only increase the number of Tea Party guests.

Mitt Romney’s Resume Cover Letter

There are some things you just don’t say in a cover letter—or on the campaign trail. A self-aggrandizing cover letter from an NYU undergrad to some Wall Street banks has the whole financial world laughing. The kid’s naïve hubris and ignorance of what employers look for in a candidate earned him public humiliation on an internet scale.   Here’s just a sample of the kid’s self-promotion:

That semester I achieved a 3.93, and in the same time I managed to bench double my bodyweight and do 35 pull-ups

(Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-a-tenacious-summer-analyst-applicant-got-laughed-at-by-goldman-morgan-and-everyone-else-on-wall-street-2012-2#ixzz1loTZYiIe)

Mitt Romney should be even more embarrassed. He’s a lot older and, theoretically, wiser, you know.

mitt-romney-tsa

After Rick Santorum destroyed the establishment’s plastic candidate of choice, Romney’s spokesman gave a remarkably idiotic reason to support Romney: Money and infrastructure.

The reason Romney won’t beat Obama and shouldn’t win the GOP nomination is his hubris and his inability to think like a human being. Romney is the reason that Republican voter turnout is abysmal and why Democrats are now more enthusiastic about voting than Republicans are.

The republic’s greatest threat since the British army of 1812 now sits in the White House.  In 2009 and 2010, the Tea Party resuscitated a comatose GOP and won back the House.  Since then, the inept, elitist, and self-serving Republican establishment has reasserted its thumb-laden hands, chosen an elitist candidate, and killed enthusiasm among those who actually get out the vote and win elections—the conservative grass roots.

If Romney and his elitist Republican friends manage to give Obama four more years to destroy this country, the GOP, not Obama, will face the angry mobs of America’s 60% conservative base.

New Hampshire Exposes GOP’s Diverse Base

Okay, Santorum and Gingrich didn’t get a bump out of their debates over the weekend.  More like the bump got them.

And Ron Paul did way better than I expected. Congratulations to Dr. Paul and Mitt. mitt-romney-fgr

I still think my Saturday night post accurately reflected the national impressions, though.  That’s backed up by this CBS News poll that shows Republicans believe Santorum most closely shares their values, but—and this is a J Lo but—they believe Romney is more electable.

Romney and Santorum bring different perceived strengths to the race as well. Romney is viewed as most electable (and most likely to be the eventual nominee), while Santorum is seen as the candidate who best represents these voters' values - up 17 points since November. Romney is right behind him on this measure.

I have to disagree with their judgment on Romney. Here’s why.

To win, the Republican nominee must do two things: 1) generate more energy within his base than Obama, and 2) he must attract the people who don’t trust unlimited government, but don’t necessarily care for the conservative base, either

Ronald Reagan did that.  Reagan won the support of many center-right factions:

  • Defense hawks (Cold Warriors)
  • Religious right (Moral Majority)
  • Fiscal conservatives (Supply Siders)
  • Strict constructionists (Constitutionalists)
  • Blue collar families (Reagan Democrats)
  • Independents (independents)

But Romney isn’t Reagan.  Romney is much more like John McCain, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, and Gerald Ford—the last four Republicans to lose a presidential election.

The reason those four lost wasn’t because they were bad men.  They were good men.  And it wasn’t really because their policies were out of step with most voters.  In fact, their policies were more reflective of America than those of their opponents.

The reason McCain, Dole, Bush, and Ford lost to Obama, Clinton, Clinton, and Carter was because they failed to pull together that broad conservative coalition. But the biggest reason they lost was that they failed to convince the last two—so-called Reagan Democrats and independents—that they offered a choice. And they failed to inspire the base to spend their vacation pounding the pavement or making calls.

A WSJ story today reveals some crucial facts:

Today's Republican Party has become steadily more blue-collar, more populist and more influenced by voters who act as much like independents as Republicans. All that makes the idea of attacks on capitalist behavior arising from the traditional party of capitalists a little less bizarre.

• Three-quarters of those who voted in the New Hampshire Republican primary had family incomes below $100,000, early exit polls indicated. Almost half had no college degree.

• In a stunning sign of how loose party affiliations have become, almost half of those who turned out to vote in the Republican primary actually identified themselves as independent voters. Big chunks of them went for Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., the least-conventional of the GOP candidates.

• Nationally, when the thousands of interviews conducted in last year's Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls are combined, Americans who call themselves blue-collar workers actually were slightly more likely to identify themselves as Republicans than as Democrats.

• And when the Journal/NBC News poll asked Americans in November who was responsible for the country's current economic problems, Republicans were precisely as likely as Democrats to blame "Wall Street bankers."

When blue collar families and independents see establishment Republicans, they figure they might as well vote the Democrat who will at least throw them some largesse

There a many Americans who want government fixed. They want the Fed managed at least, if not dissolved. They are willing to go through the pain of winding down entitlement programs and realigning powers of the states to Constitutional intent. 

But they won’t go for half measures that create a bunch of pain and confusion but resolve nothing,eliminate no unconstitutional program, shut down no counter-productive cabinet department, and create new layers of bureaucracy through which we all must wade.

Maybe the blue collar voters and independents are wrong about establishment Republicans. Maybe I am, too.  And maybe so many people find Obama dangerous (I do) and anti-American (I do) that they will vote for anyone the GOP nominates. Our desire to avoid bad things is very powerful.

Then again, our desire to move toward good things is important.  If the only choice we on the right offer non-aligned voters is the lesser of two evils, Obama will be win re-election. 

There is no Reagan on the horizon, no Shane character to ride into town and save the day.  We have a choice between Romney, Paul, Santorum, and Gingrich.  Among those last three, I see none with a distinct advantage in gaining the nomination. Unless two quit. Soon.

But the larger problem is with the party itself.  Its establishment seems to have no idea how to inspire, and its insurgents have no idea how to team up.

The GOP’s Predictable Plan to Destroy the Tea Party

Yes, the establishment wants you to go away. Are you going to obey?

politifact_photos_debate

With a little help from The Atlantic and New York Times (of all places), we can put together a strategy to recognize and deflect the establishment’s tactics. 

Put this in your back pocket. You’ll need it before primary season is over.

Establishment Tactic 1:  Never admit membership in the establishment

How To Handle: Never argue about what he establishment is.  Instead, demand super-specific policies that the establishment would hate.  “Then you must oppose TARP and Stimulus. Could I get a quote from you for my blog?”

Establishment Tactic 2:  Kill the Tea Party with kindness

How To Handle:  Whenever someone praises you, thank them.  But if you suspect an ulterior motive, there probably is. Again, demand specificity:  “What would your legislation to unwind Social Security look like?”

Establishment Tactic 3:  Push Candidates to the Left

How to Handle:  You’ve heard it before—run to the base in the primary and to the middle in the general.  I’m not a fan of strict pledges that opponents can use to bludgeon a candidate. But letting the Billy Longs of the world lie their way to Washington to turn left is no way to save the republic. 

Hold out the third party threat.  Hand wobbly nominees a pair of flip-flops at a meet-and-greet.  They’ll get the message.

Establishment Tactic 4:  Make compromise a moral imperative

How to Handle:  A conservative once lamented that if the Democrats sponsored legislation to burn the capitol to the ground, Republicans would offer an amendment to phase the fire in over three weeks.

To combat  this tactic, point out the folly of the idea. If you’re in debt up to your eyeballs, borrowing half as much as you’d like to doesn’t make you better off.  Sometimes, reversal, not compromise, is the right thing.

Establishment Tactic 5:  Take the GOP ball and go home

As I pointed out in a previous post, the establishment is more prone than activists to defect when it doesn’t get its way.  Let them.  When Republicans say “it’s our party, not yours,” smile and nod.  Then run for low-level party position.  Get your friends to do the same.  Show up at township and central committee meetings.  Reagan’s forces took over the GOP in short order.  Tea Partiers can too.

Bonus Point:  Don’t Become the Establishment

Actually, you can’t really avoid that. But remember—new insurgents are born every day.  Someday you’ll be viewed at the powerful interest seeking to exclude the stamp-licking rabble.  Be careful how you use your power and influence.

 

You might have even better ideas.  Please add them to the comments below.

Top 5 Moves for Herman Cain Supporters Right Now

herman-cainHerman Cain is riding a wave of popularity because of his upset win in the Florida straw poll on Saturday.  He’s helped by Rick Perry’s free-fall and Mitt Romney’s establishmentarianism.  But Cain is a huge underdog. That’s okay because America loves an underdog.

Here’s what must happen right now for Herman Cain to win:

1.  Social Media avalanche.  Get @THEHermanCain trending on Twitter, and keep it there for five consecutive days. How?  Simple. Use Hootsuite (or similar tool) to schedule original tweets about Herman Cain, with a shortened link to his site (http://bit.ly/r19euz) and his Twitter handle (@THEHermanCain).  Send 2 original tweets per day—one in the morning, one in the evening.  Post about Herman Cain, with link to his site (http://bit.ly/r19euz) on Facebook every other day (no more). (For more tips on effective social media campaigning, get my $1.99 ebook “Weaving the Roots.”)

2.  Bloggers posting human stories about why Florida voters picked Cain.  Real stories like this one from Byron York:

"I liked Cain, but I wasn't sure he could win," said Zena, from Washington County.  "But after I heard this, I thought it doesn't matter if he wins or not -- I am for this man. He was awesome."

Or this one from the same York piece:

"I couldn't make up my mind," said Thelma, from Panama City, after the vote.  "It was the speech that made the hair stand up on my arms.  It wasn't a tingle down my leg -- it was an emotional excitement that this man knows how to get our country out of trouble."

3.  Add a link to Herman Cain’s official website to your email signature. This is a powerful tool that everyone who sends emails can use.

4.  Attend a local event.  You’ll need to sign up for email blasts from the Cain campaign (http://bit.ly/r19euz) and read them. But don’t just read them. Forward important ones to 5 friends.  (Only important ones. Don’t spam the undecided.)

5.  Donate Money.  I know conservatives and independents hate the idea of money in politics. Without money, Cain cannot compete.  I’ll say it again:  without millions of small donations, Herman Cain will lose.  Of all five must-do actions on this list, this is the most important.  Give whatever you can, then tell the world, “I just donated to Herman Cain online http://bit.ly/r19euz."

In 2008, the Republicans nominated John McCain—an echo.  In 1996, Republicans nominated Bob Dole—an echo.  In 1988, 2000, and 2004 Republicans nominated echoes. (Did I say “Republicans?”  I meant king-makers.)

If you want to make a difference—and blow Obama out of the water in November 2012—don’t give the American voter an echo—give him a choice.

While the Republican presidential field has many good men an women in its ranks, as do many Congressional and state races across the country, most candidates are corporate-sponsored echoes of big government and crony capitalism.

Our grassroots movement has come too far to return now to business as usual.

Last night, I had the rare and wonderful honor of introducing Phyllis Schlafly at a fundraiser for Ed Martin.  Mrs. Schlafly sits in the conservative pantheon with William F. Buckley, Ronald Reagan, Russell Kirk, and Barry Goldwater.  Her 1964 book, A Choice Not an Echo: The inside story of how American Presidents are chosen, laid the blueprint for Ronald Reagan’s near-miss in 1976 and victory in 1980.

In 2012, the GOP can give Americans a choice, or it can destroy itself with mere echoes.  At this moment in history, there is no third way.

 

Note: Views expressed are mine and do not reflect the official position of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition.

What Rick Perry Can Learn From Clark Griswold

In 2001, I loaded my three boys, ages 13, 10, and 8 at the time, into the car and headed to downtown St. Louis. The Cubs were in town, and I planned to introduce my boys to the greatest rivalry in pro sports. We parked (for twenty dollars) and headed toward the stadium. There was only one problem: we didn’t have any tickets. I planned to buy some on the street.

Scalpers were everywhere, but I underestimated the street value of tickets to this particular game. Four tickets together were hard to come by. I had over three hundred dollars in cash, but the few scalpers with sets of four demanded twice that. After forty minutes, I gave up.

clark-griswold-tree-240x300The boys didn’t complain as we listened to the first inning on the ride back to West County. They’d grown accustomed to dad’s ambitious plans falling apart. I’m pretty sure that when I wasn’t around, they called me “Clark Griswold.” And I know their friends did. (Thanks, Facebook.)

I’m reminded of this embarrassing episode every time I hear Rick Perry’s name.

I put high hopes on a Perry campaign earlier in the summer. I thought he was exactly what the country needed. He looks the part, he seemed great with the press, and he’s a former Democrat, just like Ronald Reagan. He seemed to have the right attitude, as well.

Rick Perry, though, is the Clark Griswold of presidential politics. Like my aborted baseballRickPerryDebateexcursion with the boys, Perry’s campaign strategy seems to have stopped with his announcement. His debate performances—all of them—have been dreadful.

This will sound uncharitable and condescending, but I know of no other way to say it: Rick Perry doesn’t seem to know very much.

He might be intelligent in IQ (I don’t honestly know), but he seems to lack the most basic information about important matters like Pakistani nukes and climate scientists. (Would it be too much to carry a card with “Dr. Roy Spencer” or “Roger Pielke Sr” written on it? Really?)

His defense of tuition credits for illegals irritates many, but at least he knows what the DREAM Act is.

It is Perry’s lack of stamina bothers me the most, though. He seems to punch himself out in the first round of these debates. He seemed to punch himself out in the first 72 hours of his campaign, too. I’m afraid that he’d collapse in exhaustion immediately after the GOP convention. Or, if elected, he’d end up in a sanitarium on a Caribbean island recuperating for six months immediately following the inauguration. For such a rugged looking man, he seems fragile.

Take it from a father who lives every day with the guilt of having been less than a perfect parent: Rick Perry doesn’t want to take a job that he can’t handle. Not when the world seems to be crumbling and frightened eyes everywhere look toward Uncle Sam for guidance and strength and ideas and hope.

And if you don’t believe me, just ask Barack Obama.

DISAPPOINTING: Missouri House Leadership Blowing it

I continue hearing reliable reports that the GOP Leadership in the Missouri House keeps its boot on the throat of  Tea Party freshmen.

What a shame.

The party that was flat on its back from 2006 to 2009 rose back to power because of the tea party. But, it seems, the Missouri branch of the party didn’t get the message.  And its Speaker in the Missouri House has become tighter with left-fringe Democrats that with conservatives of his own party.

Maybe tea party legislators need a Tea Party Caucus in Jefferson City.

If the Missouri House Republican leaders don’t get the message soon, their big majority will disappear in the blink of an eye, and statewide Republican candidates will pay the price.

So will our country.