The announcement by conservative Republican US senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina that he is leaving the Senate to take the helm of the Heritage Foundation rocked the political world.
DeMint is considered a stalwart of the conservative movement and his resignation at the peak of his power reveals something very interesting – that conservatives and Republicans do not live solely for political power as Democrats do.
Consider that Democrat US senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia died in office after being the longest-serving figure in the history in the Senate (51 years) or that Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts also died in office after serving for almost 47 years – and for 40 years after he allowed Mary Jo Kopechne to drown at Chappaquiddick. Meanwhile Hawaii Democrat US senator Daniel Inouye died in office on December 17. He served in the Senate for just short of 50 years.
These Democrats never give up. Because political power is what they live for. And that is what puts Republicans and conservatives at a distinct disadvantage in political affairs; we are not obsessed with political power nor do we necessarily even desire it. In fact we don’t really like the government all that much. We generally prefer the private sector.
Now Republican South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has appointed US congressman Tim Scott, only one of two black Republicans in the US House, to replace DeMint.
Scott will be the first modern-day black Republican US Senator since Ed Brooke of Massachusetts in the 1970s and would be only one of five blacks ever to serve in the Senate since Reconstruction, including two Democrats who never even served full terms – Obama and his replacement Roland Burris.
Scott is very well-liked among conservatives and his appointment – and possibly his election in a special election in 2014 – carries historic significance. He would be the first black US senator of either party from the South since Reconstruction.
If Scott wins in 2014 he will undoubtedly run for a full Senate term in 2016 when DeMint’s seat would have expired.
Meanwhile intrigue continues to swirl in the US House after Republican speaker John Boehner’s decision to take plum committee assignments away from four conservatives after they bucked party leaders on key votes.
Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Justin Amash of Michigan will lose their seats on the House budget committee while Walter Jones of North Carolina and David Schweikert of Arizona will lose their seats on the House financial services committee.
This is causing a huge stir among conservative Republicans and is part of the ongoing conflict in the GOP over the direction of the party. Boehner’s decision to give in to Obama on tax increases for upper-income Americans, including millions of small businesses, is also causing strain in the Republican party.
The Democrats have no such conflict. Virtually every Democrat in America today is on the far left. There is no dissent in the Democrat party. Thus once again we have proof that the Republican party has a much wider point of view than the Democrats.
Boehner’s action “is a clear attempt on the part of Republican leadership to punish those in Washington who vote the way they promised their constituents they would — on principle — instead of mindlessly rubber-stamping trillion dollar deficits and the bankrupting of America," said Matt Kibbe, president of the conservative FreedomWorks group.
Wrote Huelskamp: "The GOP leadership might think they have silenced conservatives, but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions. This is clearly a vindictive move and a sure sign that the GOP establishment cannot handle disagreement."
These statements are signs of trouble for the party.
Meanwhile, politico.com reported that:
Texas (US senator-elect) Ted Cruz advised the Republican Party to rebrand itself under a banner of ‘Opportunity Conservatism’ during a sweeping speech … that will only stoke speculation about a 2016 presidential run.
Speaking before the conservative American Principles Project dinner at a downtown Washington hotel, Cruz said the GOP’s thumping in the 2012 elections was more the result of poor messaging and communication than the wrong ideology.
“Why did we lose? It wasn’t as the media would tell you: because the American people embraced big government, Barack Obama’s spending and debt and taxes. … That wasn’t what happened. I’m going to suggest to you a very simple reason why we lost the election: We didn’t win the argument,” Cruz said before pointedly lowering his voice. “We didn’t even make the argument.”
Actually, senator Cruz, the Republicans lost because the Democrat party turned out many, many millions of poor, idle, taxpayer-dependent voters and millions of college kids who don’t think about anything except to vote Democrat. Meanwhile Mitt Romney got more than 59 million votes and you can rest assured that almost no Romney voter is on the government dole.
Said politico.com about Cruz:
“We need to embrace what I call ‘Opportunity Conservatism.’ We need to conceptualize, we need to articulate conservative domestic policy with a laser focus on opportunity, on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder.”
While he conceded the party’s harsh tone on immigration was undoubtedly a factor, Cruz cited Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” comment as the main reason (that Obama) performed so well with hispanics.
Again, wrong. Two weeks after Romney was shown making that “47% comment” he surged ahead in the polls with his first debate performance. Because Americans want someone who can lead us, not somebody like Obama who is causing more and more debt and economic shrinkage. Then the Democrats launched a vicious negative campaign that cut Romney’s lead.
Meanwhile Cruz urged the Republican party to push harder on issues like school vouchers and Social Security reform.
Cruz also said: “I’m something that’s not supposed to exist. A hispanic Republican.”
Actually that is incorrect, senator. Thirty percent of hispanics voted Republican in 2012. And there are more elected hispanic Republicans than Democrats, a fact that blows the lid off of the Democrat argument that hispanics always favor Democrats.
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