Harry Reid Gutted, Turned Into Shark Bait

Harry Reid Jawbone SC

The 2014 primaries are still months away, but I want to make an early prediction.

I predict that the Democrat-led U.S. Senate will look substantially different next year. In fact, I believe the Senate won’t be Democrat controlled at all.

You see, Republicans smell blood in the water. They’re well-positioned to capture the majority in the 2014 elections, and it has them dreaming of Harry Reid hopping a plane for Nevada.

Truthfully, the math is working against the Democrats. Republicans only need to seize six seats to derail what’s left of the Obama socialist agenda. Meanwhile, the left must defend 20 seats, including seven in states that President Obama lost in 2012.

Better yet, a host of Democratic incumbents have already thrown in the towel. Why fight another grueling campaign when you could retire to fat pensions and lobbying contracts?

But not every race will be so easy. So how will some other important swing states vote come election season?


Democrats control this seat with a weak freshman, Senator Mark Begich. But Obama lost Alaska in both 2008 and 2012, and Begich’s win was a fluke. He won by just 1% of the vote, despite longtime Senator Ted Stevens being under a U.S. Justice Department investigation at the time.

Anti-Obama sentiment will likely be Begich’s undoing. Plus, several strong Republican candidates are vying for the primary, including 2008 GOP Senate nominee and Tea Party favorite, Joe Miller; Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell; and Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan.

Early prognosis: The Republicans pick up this seat (+1).


The president is very unpopular in Arkansas, where he received just 36.9% of the vote in 2012. Obama’s low approval rating will likely bring down Democratic Senator Mark Pryor. On top of that, Pryor voted for Obamacare, which is extremely unpopular in The Natural State.

Meanwhile, we learned from Sen. Pryor’s latest fundraising report that he’s spending more than he’s taking in, which is a terrible sign for an incumbent who’s also behind in the polls. Pryor lost about $200,000 between the third and fourth quarter.

Rep. Tom Cotton, a rising conservative star, will be a formidable challenger to Pryor. Cotton is an Iraq War veteran and a favorite of conservative groups including Club for Growth.

Early prognosis: The Republicans pick up a seat (+1).


Senator Tom Harkin, a fixture in Iowa politics for decades, is finally retiring. So despite the fact that Obama carried the state in 2012, Iowa remains very competitive for Republicans.

However, this will likely be a bruising primary for the GOP. The competitors include former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, a former Chief of Staff to Sen. Chuck Grassley named David Young, State Senator Joni Ernst, and conservative radio host Sam Clovis. On top of that, the former CEO of Reliant Energy, Mark Jacobs, is preparing to enter the race, along with well-known pro-life leader Bob Vander Plaats.

Early prognosis: Republican infighting settles down, and the GOP rides Obama fatigue to victory (+1).


The Pelican State has been trending Republican, even though Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu was re-elected with 52% of the vote in 2008. As a longtime office holder, Landrieu has to be considered the favorite – but it’s not out of the question that the GOP could get the best of her.

The challenger preferred by the GOP establishment is Rep. Bill Cassidy. He will face a tough race from Rob Maness, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and Tea Party favorite, in the Republican primary.

Early prognosis: The Republicans pick up a seat (+1).


Nobody thinks of Michigan as Republican; but because of Detroit’s insolvency, the state has turned to the GOP for fiscal answers. Obama carried Michigan in the presidential race, but the GOP did very well down ticket.

On top of that, longtime Democratic Senator Carl Levin has decided to retire, providing Republicans with an opening. The race was supposed to be a cakewalk for Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, though in reality it’s anything but.

Emerging as a formidable candidate is former Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. In fact, she’s taken a commanding, eight-point lead in the latest poll of Michigan voters.

Early prognosis: Between Detroit’s bankruptcy and a strong Republican candidate, the GOP gets another seat (+1).

North Carolina

Democrat Senator Kay Hagan rode Obama’s coattails into office in 2008 and defeated incumbent Senator Elizabeth Dole.

But in 2012, North Carolina swung hugely Republican. Now, every poll has Hagan below 50%, which is definitely a good sign for Republicans. Optimism is high in The Tar Heel State.

Early prognosis: The GOP should easily win here (+1).

South Dakota

Winds of change led three-term incumbent Democrat Senator Tim Johnson to tuck tail and retire. Popular two-term Republican Gov. Mike Rounds has announced his intention to run, and he should basically be a shoe-in.

Early prognosis: The Republicans will only lose this one if they really screw up (+1).

So there you have it. Six states that could see a decidedly Republican shift in the 2014 elections. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on these important races as the primaries get closer.


This commentary originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

Video: WATCH GOP Pass Resolution In Support Of Sheriff Joe!

A resolution in support of Sheriff Joe Arpaio was passed during the Arizona Maricopa County Mandatory Meeting…

Defining Conservatism Down

Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey (Creative Commons)

FRONT ROYAL, VA — Every New Year, the usual suspects on the Left generously offer their advice on how to preserve and protect the Republican Party.

This time around, two of the liberal media’s anointed “conservatives,” Peter Wehner and Michael Gerson, take their turn.

In several recent offerings, these co-authors attack the Tea Party and insist that, to “save the Republican Party,” rational folks like them must embrace Big Government Conservatism – or the GOP will fail.

But didn’t the Tea Party save the GOP in 2010?

Ah. Be not deceived: as a preamble to their prescription, we are required to acknowledge their view that the Tea Party’s victories in 2010 were an “aberration.”


Because Gerson-Wehner consider the Tea Party to be an aberration.

Its “anti-government fervor,” they write, is “intensely felt.”

Gee. Is that a compliment?

No. Notice how the movement’s principles are reduced to emotions (“felt,” “fervor”), while Gerson-Wehner claim the Olympian summit of intellectual virtue.

Next, the Tea Party is “anti-government.”

This straw man comes right out of Obama’s lexicon, conveniently diverting the public eye from the corruption, illegality, plundering, and other incipiently totalitarian realities of the Washington’s bipartisan establishment.

It is not government, but its corruption, which the Tea Party opposes.

That’s why the Tea Party supports constitutional candidates for – yes – government office.

They intend to do exactly what the Founders expected the “virtuous people” to do: clean it up.

Next, the neocon duo insists that constitutional conservatives fail “to articulate a vision of government,” but then assert that the Tea Party’s “fervor” is “justified by an apocalyptic narrative of American life.”

Stop right there.

The “apocalyptic narrative of American life” is visionary indeed – and it inspires not the Tea Party, but Pastor John Hagee’s “Christians United For Israel,” who very fervently supported George W. Bush.

They advocated ever-wider American wars in the Middle East because, for purportedly biblical reasons, they wanted Armageddon to happen in their lifetimes.

They wanted Bush to help, so they helped him.

In fact, millions of Dispensationalist Evangelicals were indispensable to George W. Bush’s reelection victory in 2004.

Constitutional conservatives, on the other hand, were not.

In fact, conservatives rejected Bush’s war fervor (which nostalgia buffs can watch live on YouTube).

And conservatives actually turned against Bush’s Big Government debacles in the elections of 2006 and 2008.

George Who?

Which brings us to another curiosity: Wehner and Gerson insist that “intellectual honesty is the first requirement of self-renewal.”

Well, gentlemen, let’s be honest, then.

Both of these distinguished authors held important and influential positions in the George W. Bush Administration.

Yet, in well over ten thousand words written to save the GOP from the Tea Party, these two scions of the Bush legacy never mention President George W. Bush!

Perhaps that was unavoidable. After all, in offering to “Save the Republican Party,” they tout the same “Big Government Conservatism” that destroyed the GOP under their old boss.

Alas, with characteristic neocon amnesia, they’ve consigned poor “W” to the Memory Hole.

So what’s the honest truth?

Frankly, the Tea Party has already saved the GOP – from George W. Bush!

Gerson and Wehner, steeped in denial, apparently long to put the party back in the permanent minority – but firmly under Establishment control.

“Intellectual honesty,” indeed.

And yet, there’s a lesson here: Gerson and Wehner are featured favorites of the liberal media precisely because they represent the “Republicanism of Losers” – the “Me Too!” tradition that goes back all the way to Wendell Willkie and Tom Dewey, and runs right up through John McCain and Mitt Romney – losers all.

That’s why Washington loves them.

Caution: Left Turn

Ironically, it’s a wily leftist who comes along to blow their cover.

E.J. Dionne graciously announces that Gerson and Wehner are wasting their time. When it comes to party differences, he writes, there really aren’t any: we all agree already!

And when it comes to Gerson-Wehner, he’s right.

“Why,” Dionne teases, “are we arguing about issues that were settled decades ago? Why, for example, is it so hard to extend unemployment insurance at a time when the jobless rate nationally is still at 7 percent, and higher than that in 21 states?”

“Don’t criticize,” he implies. “You’re one of us!”


The florid prose of Gerson-Wehner cracks at the edges as the stiletto draws near: “It was not some socialist,” Dionne smirks, “but a president named George W. Bush who declared: ‘These Americans rely on their unemployment benefits to pay for the mortgage or rent, food, and other critical bills. They need our assistance in these difficult times, and we cannot let them down.’”

Gerson and Wehner might want to forget Bush, but Dionne won’t let them.

He borrows their own Big Government argument and rubs it in their face.

“We’re all liberals now!”

Well, who could possibly oppose the Bush-Obama consensus then, Dionne asks?

Guess who.

“A substantial section of the conservative movement is now determined to blow up the national consensus that has prevailed since the Progressive and New Deal eras.”

And who is the common enemy of that consensus of the Left and the “Big Government Conservative” neocon “Right”?

The Tea Party.

And how inhuman they are!

“This bipartisan understanding meant that conservatives such as Bush fully accepted that it was shameful to allow fellow citizens who had done nothing wrong to suffer because they had been temporarily overwhelmed by economic forces beyond their control.”

So Gerson, Wehner, and Dionne agree: the Tea Party is indeed a “shameful aberration,” because it rejects what Dionne has generously revealed to us: a “hidden consensus” on “core questions involving social justice” that unites all thoughtful people.

Namely, the welfare state.

Here, however, a sidebar is in order:

Dionne hijacks “social justice” – a legitimate principle of Catholic social teaching – perverts it, and then slaps it gaily on his vision of the welfare state.

Where it becomes a deadly sin.

“Envy used to be just a human failing,” writes economist Thomas Sowell, “but today it is a major industry. Politicians, journalists and academics are all part of that industry, which some call “social justice.”

By turning moral language upside down, Dionne and Co. would have us believe that anyone who disagrees with their ideology is not only unjust, but craven, selfish, and un-Christian.

After all, it would be “shameful” not to embrace their left-wing agenda – right?

And thus, the anointed among us have every reason to condemn the backward, taxpaying naysayers.

This irresponsible bombast stokes not only envy, but its dangerous companion, resentment.

“There are nearly unlimited opportunities to pander to people’s sense of injustice, victimhood and entitlement,” Sowell writes. It’s part and parcel of “the politics of our time – the politics of envy and resentment.”

Dionne’s farcical “hidden consensus” aside, his hidden agenda plainly encourages envy, resentment, and, ultimately, hatred of those hard-hearted Tea Party taxpayers who would callously allow women and children “who had done nothing wrong to suffer.”

Madame DeFarge, call your office. And bring your knitting.

The Not-So-Hidden Consensus of the Neo-Left

Both Dionne and Gerson-Wehner are united in their desire to distract and dissemble. Dionne is as desperate to distract us from the disasters of Obama as Gerson and Wehner are in disowning those of George W. Bush.

This is their common cause. There is an elephant in the room, as well as a donkey.

Nothing happening here, folks – move along.

All three of these characters write for the Washington media establishment – which pays well, but can exact a high cost in character.

Their common purpose is clear: to foment scorn, condescension, and contempt for taxpayers outside the Beltway who have had enough of “Republicans” like Gerson and Wehner and Democrats like Dionne and the bipartisan corruptos they shill for.

Which goes to show that, when the chips are down, the bipartisan liberal establishment will forget its partisan “differences” in the name of that “hidden consensus,” and unite to defend itself against the efforts of people from the rest of the country who want to unplug the Beltway Hot Tub.

So much for “intellectual honesty.”


From Under the Rubble is copyright (c) 2013 by Christopher Manion. All rights reserved. This column is sponsored by the Bellarmine Forum, and distributed by Griffin Internet Syndicate and FGF Books, www.fgfBooks.com.

Christopher Manion, Ph.D., is Director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae , a project of the Bellarmine Forum. See his biographical sketch and photo: http://www.fgfbooks.com/Manion/Manion-bio.html


Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey (Creative Commons)


Video: Arizona GOP Group Censures Senator John McCain

The Maricopa County Republican Party has voted overwhelmingly to censure Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

Members of the group feel the senator has failed to stand behind the Republican Party’s principles and crossed the aisle and voted with Democrats too many times. The vote was 1,150 for the censure and 351 against.

What About John (McCain)?

John McCain Official SC
At a time when most of the American public is veering towards isolationism, not wanting to get involved in any more distant wars, Senator John McCain wears his neoconservative values like his Medal of Honor. Does the 2008 Presidential candidate still have a place in Washington?
John McCain doesn’t like the Tea Party, which may seem ironic seeing as he introduced the world to one of the movement’s pioneers, Sarah Palin. Indeed, one of the Republican Party’s most prominent junior senators, Ted Cruz of Texas, has stated, “I would not be in the U.S. Senate today if it were not for Sarah Palin.” Now, however, Ted Cruz is one of several vocal Republicans that McCain has referred to as “wacko birds” and, while McCain still refrains from criticizing his former Alaskan running mate, the two often find their views on what the future of America should look like diametrically opposed.
On Syria, McCain seemed to be one of the few Republicans who wholeheartedly supported the rebels, despite the fact that a very large number of those fighting Bashar al-Assad were fundamentalist Muslims not so different from Al-Qaeda–a group McCain pledged to pursue to the “gates of hell” in 2007. In a surprising September 2013 interview on Fox News, McCain defended a video of Syrian rebels shouting “Allahu Akbar”, claiming that the battle cry, which literally means ‘God is great’ or ‘God is the greatest’, was the same as Christians saying “Thank God!” On the other hand, Sarah Palin, in response to the Syria conflict, wrote a Facebook post entitled “let Allah sort it out”.
Indeed, unlike John McCain, most conservatives today are not too keen on seeing America embroiled in the politics of some far-flung world region. McCain’s most recent appearance in Ukraine, which has been subject to mass protests since Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an agreement with the European Union, shows the senator’s apparent Cold War mentality. In the occupied main square of Kiev, the country’s capital, McCain took a public jab at Russia, stating “the destiny you seek lies in Europe” (in other words, in the West and not with Russia.) He even warned those listening that the U.S. could take “concrete action” against Yanukovych’s government if any efforts were made to take back the public space and buildings that protestors have been occupying for weeks.
Well-worn East vs. West remarks such as these are not only out of line with geopolitical realities (Ukraine is a country that is very attached to both Western Europe and Russia), but is also out of line with the kind of foreign policy that most Americans want. The U.S. is currently directly engaged in two wars that cost billions of dollars our country does not have. Most conservatives would probably prefer that the U.S. concentrate on creating jobs rather than using money borrowed from the Chinese to maintain futile campaigns in the Middle East. According to a 2011 Gallup Poll, the three most important issues to Republican voters are the economy, the federal budget deficit, and unemployment in that order.
In a recent New York Times Magazine article on McCain, the war veteran admits to questioning whether he is too old for the Senate, and whether he is out of line with the dominant currents among today’s conservative voters. There is no doubt that John McCain is still a leader in the Republican Party, though perhaps not the ‘maverick’ he once billed himself as. The real question is, as McCain declares war on Tea Party Republicans like Ted Cruz, who is likely to win?