Rodger Cook Best Choice for Southern Illinois

Rodger Cook fools no one into thinking he’s a member of the political class.  He’s not. Rodger’s a human being, like the rest of us.  That’s just one of the reasons that Rodger Cook has earned my personal endorsement in next Tuesday’s (March 20) Illinois primary.*

Rodger Cook with Bill Hennessy

Actually, Rodger’s not so much like the rest of us.  Rodger has served the people of Illinois all of his adult life.  Rodger has been a police officer, a detective, a mayor, and private businessman.  He’s an inventor—creating the world’s first one-page softball score book for keeping score easier.  (I love this idea—you never have to put your beer down!) 

As mayor of Belleville, the largest city in Illinois’ 12th district, Cook ran up an amazing string of promises kept, including improving relations with city workers, expanding the city, and fixing Belleville’s fiscal mess. That last skill will be vital in Washington, DC, for the next two years.

Rodger is founder of Metro East Fellowship of Christian Athletes and long-time member of the St. Louis area chapter.  He has earned the trust and endorsement of numerous conservative, pro-life, and family organizations, including FamilyPAC.  He has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police. 

Everyone in America will thank the people of southern Illinois when they send Rodger Cook to Congress in 2012.

*NOTE:  This is my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition.

Obama’s Surging in the Polls; Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Don’t bother blaming it on poll questions designed to lead respondents.  Never mind that it’s a long way until the election. And stop whining about the White House fudging the numbers on unemployment. The fact is that Obama’s surging at just the right time. His re-election chances are now above 50 percent. His intrade.com chances of winning are near 60 percent. And he’s raising more money than al of the Republican candidates combined.

Election Day Tea Party

Here’s everything you need to know.

Republicans Advertise; Democrats Market:  For decades, conservatives have held marketers in disdain.  They’ve done the same for the fields that support marketing: creative writing, acting, music, art, education, soft sciences, and entertainment.  As a result, fewer and fewer casual voters feel emotionally connected to Republicans.

Unless the GOP figures out how to stop shouting and start connecting, they’ll take a drubbing in November.

Team Obama Will Do Anything to Win: Of course they’ll cheat and break the law. They pretty much tell us so.  That can also work against them. To turn the tide, though, Republicans have to show the cheating, not whine about it.

When Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield's ear, everyone became a Holyfield fan and turned against Tyson. Had Holyfield blamed the bite for every bad thing that happened thereafter, we’d have tired of him very quickly. And if we hadn’t seen the bite in slow motion, we’d never have believed him.

Be patient. Record everything. Show, don’t tell people.  People will the do the right thing.

Commitment Kills Apathy:  (Yes, I’m sort of in this boat myself. Sort of.)  Casual voters take their cues on whom to support from the passionate politics wonks they know. If you’re one of the wonks and you’re showing apathy, you’re sending a strong signal to the causals.  You’re saying, in effect, “Go ahead and vote for Obama; we’ll try again in 2016.”

Two problems with this approach:  first, if your party isn’t ready to field a viable candidate for President every four years, your party should probably disband.  Second, if we give Obama another 4 years, there might not be an election as we know them in 2016.

If you’re still not committed and you’re still not enthused, then buy a ticket for the 3rd Anniversary Tea Party anyway.  Maybe someone there will inspire you.

Of course, you can always just give up and blame someone else.  That’s becoming the new American way.

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.

BREAKING: Santorum Pulls Away with 13-Vote Lead

That’s with 88 percent of the counting complete.

The bigger story: Romney’s underperforming his 2008 results in key counties.  Santorum outperforming Huckabee in 2008. 

iowa-caucus-results

What does it all mean? 

Conservatives and libertarians dominate the caucuses. 

Romney is the choice of the Republican establishment. The cronies poured millions into his campaign even before he declared himself a conservative.  He’s won endorsements from just about every big name general election loser include Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush. (UPDATE: McCain to endorse Romney tomorrow.)

Yet Romney garnered only 25 percent of the Iowa caucuses (as of this posting). Rick Santorum, an afterthought two weeks ago, leads Romney by 13 votes. Ron Paul is in third with 21 percent. The Professor and Mary Ann and the rest, not so good.

So 75 percent want a non-establishment Republican candidate.

Every candidate except Romney is non-establishment in the voters’ eyes, no matter how you might evaluate their ideologies.

All this means that if the race were between Romney and two non-establishment candidates, Romney would lose.

That’s good news for the GOP and for the  country.

For the GOP because establishment Republicans have a weak record against liberal Democrats in the general.

Good for America because the GOP establishment is largely responsible for Republican loses in 2006 and 2008. And, of course, because the most important mission of a generation is changing who occupies the White House this year.

P.S.  You might hear a lot about the 17th Amendment and Cloture between now and South Carolina.