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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:07 am 
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http://www.redstate.com/

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Conservative Leaders Endorse Blackwell
Posted: 03 Jan 2009 10:10 AM PST
A cross section of conservative leaders today threw their backing to Ken Blackwell for the job of Republican National Committee chairman. The group, which was organized by the Council for National Policy, includes 23 economic, social and foreign policy conservatives.

The 168 members of the RNC will elect the next chairman later this month. Among those signing the letter was Morton Blackwell, a Republican national committeeman from Virginia. Blackwell (no relation to Ken) distributed a list of 37 questions for the RNC chairman candidates. All six completed the survey.

Ken Blackwell’s answers were among the most comprehensive. The former Ohio secretary of state and treasurer has strong ties to conservatives dating several decades. He currently serves on the boards of Club for Growth, National Rifle Association andNational Taxpayers Union, and he is a fellow at Family Research Council. He was vice chairman of the Platform Committee at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

The endorsement followed a 90-minute discussion Friday. I was invited to participate in the meeting and signed the letter. Some of the endorsers, including Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, have already publicly stated their support for Blackwell. Others were encouraged to reach out to grassroots conservatives in hopes of swaying the 168 members of the RNC.

Those signing the letter include:

Gary Aldrich, Chairman, CNP Action, Inc.
Morton C. Blackwell, Virginia Republican National Committeeman
Robert B. Bluey, Contributing Editor, RedState
L. Brent Bozell, Founder and President, Media Research Center
Kellyanne Conway, CEO and President, the polling company, inc./WomanTrend
T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr., Former Domestic Advisor to President Reagan
James C. Dobson, Ph.D., Founder and Chairman, Focus on the Family
Becky Norton Dunlop, President, Council for National Policy
Stuart W. Epperson, Chairman, Salem Communications Corporation
Steve Forbes, Chairman & CEO, Forbes Media
Dr. Ronald Godwin, Vice Chancellor, Liberty University
Rebecca Hagelin, Author and Conservative Columnist
Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union
Tim LaHaye, Founder and President, Tim LaHaye Ministries
Ed Meese, Past President, Council for National Policy
James C. Miller, Past President, Council for National Policy
Tony Perkins, President Family Research Council
Ken Raasch, Chairman & CEO, Creative Brands Group
Alfred S. Regnery, Publisher, The American Spectator
Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum
Pat Toomey, President, Club for Growth
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:47 am 
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You may want to check that link you posted. It has a suspicious name. I clicked on it, and it wasn't good.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:51 am 
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All set now. Try it again. Sorry.
I don't know how it posted that way originally. It is the RedState conservative site.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:58 am 
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This one works:

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Conservative Leaders Endorse Ken Blackwell for RNC Chair

Today, I am truly humbled.

An unprecedented group of conservative leaders united behind my candidacy this morning and announced their endorsement of my campaign for Chairman of the Republican National Committee. I will let the release speak for itself but these are some of the finest leaders in the conservative movement and I am honored to have their support.

Please take a moment to read the important release below. Together, we can lead a conservative resurgence across this country and bring our party back.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

CONSERVATIVE LEADERS ENDORSE
KEN BLACKWELL FOR RNC CHAIR

A broad cross-section of American conservative economic, social and foreign policy leaders has endorsed the candidacy of former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell for chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC).

The election will be at an RNC meeting in D.C. January 28-31.

A meeting of conservative leaders, gathered by the Council for National Policy on November 13, asked Virginia Republican National Committeeman Morton Blackwell (no relation to Ken Blackwell) to prepare and distribute a list of questions for the RNC chairmanship candidates.

All six active candidates, Saul Anuzis of Michigan, Ken Blackwell of Ohio, Katon Dawson of South Carolina, Mike Duncan of Kentucky, John “Chip” Saltsman of Tennessee, and Michael Steele of Maryland, answered the questions. The 37 questions and the six candidates’ answers are posted on the website Townhall.com.

After a review on January 2 of the candidates’ answers and a discussion of their other qualifications, the conservative leaders listed below announced their support of Ken Blackwell and urged the 168 members of the RNC to elect him at their late-January meeting.

Their organizational affiliations are provided for identification only.

The conservative endorsers noted that there were other good candidates, but all agreed that Ken Blackwell is the best choice. They intend to contact grassroots conservatives across the country and ask them to urge the three RNC members from each state and U.S. territory to vote for Ken Blackwell for RNC chairman.

Gary Aldrich, Chairman, CNP Action, Inc.
Morton C. Blackwell, Virginia Republican National Committeeman
Robert B. Bluey, Contributing Editor, RedState
L. Brent Bozell, Founder and President, Media Research Center
Kellyanne Conway, CEO and President, the polling company, inc./WomanTrend

T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr., Former Domestic Advisor to President Reagan
James C. Dobson, Ph.D., Founder and Chairman, Focus on the Family
Becky Norton Dunlop, President, Council for National Policy
Stuart W. Epperson, Chairman, Salem Communications Corporation
Steve Forbes, Chairman & CEO, Forbes Media

Dr. Ronald Godwin, Vice Chancellor, Liberty University
Rebecca Hagelin, Author and Conservative Columnist
Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union
Tim LaHaye, Founder and President, Tim LaHaye Ministries

Ed Meese, Past President, Council for National Policy
James C. Miller, Past President, Council for National Policy
Tony Perkins, President Family Research Council
Ken Raasch, Chairman & CEO, Creative Brands Group
Alfred S. Regnery, Publisher, The American Spectator

Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum
Pat Toomey, President, Club for Growth
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:42 am 
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When I see an endorsement list, it makes me think twice, and ask "why" have they endorsed him? (can't seem to forget this past election season....)

For example, remember who James Dobson endorsed initially, for President? :shock: I do.

I don't know that I'll ever look at an endorsement list the same way again... :?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:15 pm 
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u r my sunshine wrote:
For example, remember who James Dobson endorsed initially, for President? :shock: I do.


If I remember correctly, Dr. Dobson did not endorse anyone early on in the primary race because he did not want to create tension between social conservatives. Some social conservatives supported Thompson, McCain, Romney, etc., and he did not want it to look like he was taking sides. Dobson did endorse Huckabee, though, once everyone else except McCain dropped out.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:49 pm 
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Quote:
I don't know that I'll ever look at an endorsement list the same way again...



In fact some of these don't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about Ken. :? :(

Quote:
Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum
Pat Toomey, President, Club for Growth

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:05 pm 
I just posted about this.

http://jasontcpa.blogspot.com/2009/01/j ... l-for.html

In spite of still being a Chip guy, I have to admit to being pretty impressed by this list. Although I am not crazy about the CFG inclusion. The rest are all top notch social conservatives. I researched Blackwell's record and he certainly appears to be rock solid on social conservative issues.

I am suprised Dobson got involved in an internal party race considering he was so relucant to endorse during the primary before he finally endorsed Huckabee.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:55 pm 
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Southern Doc wrote:
Quote:
I don't know that I'll ever look at an endorsement list the same way again...



In fact some of these don't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about Ken. :? :(

Quote:
Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum
Pat Toomey, President, Club for Growth


I think we should try to be dispassionate when we can.

Just because some persons criticized Mike Huckabee doesn't necessarily mean that if they commend someone else that the other person is not worthy of consideration on their own merits.

Those of us who took the Huckabee plunge may be a little tonedeaf to the fact that Mike Huckabee is a controversial figure.

He has taken positions, or floated ideas (i.e., national smoking ban), or taken actions, which are difficult for some conservatives to understand or overlook.

For example, it has become conservative orthodoxy that liberals raise taxes, and conservatives cut taxes, and/or oppose tax increases.

There are some conservatives who cannot condone tax increases. Just as Mike Huckabee has taken heat over signing tax increases, so has, for example, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana taken heat.

We might say that critics have been unfair to Mike, and Mitch Daniels supporters would probably say that his critics are unfair.

But, some conservatives will say that if we don't blister those conservatives who raise taxes they will become comfortable doing so.

So, Mike Huckabee, and those of us who support him have the burden of showing why raising taxes in Ark. was forgivable.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:49 pm 
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Quote:
I think we should try to be dispassionate when we can.

Just because some persons criticized Mike Huckabee doesn't necessarily mean that if they commend someone else that the other person is not worthy of consideration on their own merits.


Quite right.

But the purpose of endorsements is to affiliate yourself with someone. This list has a number of individuals whom I respect and they give me cause to look with favor on Mr. Blackwell.

It also has the "Republican Party=Tax cuts" gang many of whom have cynically attacked better men and more promising leaders because they would not kow tow to their self-annointed (and unelected) leadership. This is the group Mike candidly labeled "Shitte Republicans" (a less than vertical moment) because he felt their militant defense of their ideology was short-sighted, self-serving, and destructive of competent conservative governance.

Others on this list are family and pro-life Republicans who displayed a shocking pragmatism in the last cycle (though some now admit error) which caused and causes me second thoughts about their judgement.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:39 pm 
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It's not my party (I don't have a party). But for whatever reason, I don't have a great feeling about Blackwell. Obviously, the RNC will do whatever it feels best. But I hope, for the sake of eventually being able to vote for someone again, that whoever you pick doesn't represent the status quo. The Republican Party needs to be like Mike Huckabee. Not just the CFG guys or the like but somebody who has the vision of expanding the number of people that the Republican Party appeals to without compromising on issues of life, faith and taxes. But at the same time, someone with a concern about shedding the rich-guy "we don't care about kitchen table issues" image.

I really liked Ken Mehlman a lot. Anyone know why he left the RNC?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:49 pm 
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Huckabee4President wrote:
u r my sunshine wrote:
For example, remember who James Dobson endorsed initially, for President? :shock: I do.


If I remember correctly, Dr. Dobson did not endorse anyone early on in the primary race because he did not want to create tension between social conservatives. Some social conservatives supported Thompson, McCain, Romney, etc., and he did not want it to look like he was taking sides. Dobson did endorse Huckabee, though, once everyone else except McCain dropped out.
You know, you may be right. :? I know he endorsed Huckabee late, but I was almost sure (but apparently mistaken... ) that he'd supported someone else. My bad.... :oops: And thank you.

I guess what I've learned from this past election season, is that people don't always endorse for the right reasons. Sometimes they endorse because they don't think the other guy has a chance.

So, it's not enough for me to see who endorses someone. I will have to research the candidates myself and then decide. Ya just don't always know where people are coming from... :shock:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:11 am 
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Southern Doc wrote:
But the purpose of endorsements is to affiliate yourself with someone.


Yes. But, the question is what is the nature of that affiliation? IOW, what is the purpose of the endorsement, and how deep of a relationship do the endorsee and the endorser have?

I would hate to have all of Don Young's baggage saddled onto Mike Huckabee. Likewise, I would hate to have an anti_Catholc stigma attached to Mike because of preaching for John Hagee.

I think the thing that one takes away from these endorsements is that Blackwell passes the ideological litmus tests that their organizations use for measure. Anything deeper than that would have to have some evidence, I would think.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:31 pm 
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I would hate to have all of Don Young's baggage saddled onto Mike Huckabee. Likewise, I would hate to have an anti_Catholc stigma attached to Mike because of preaching for John Hagee.


None-the-less that is the political double edged reality of endorsements. Mike did gain and get hammered over these. You gain some support due to an endorser's reputation and you loose some due to an endorsers's reputation. Same thing for Chip (the Mike endorsement hurts and helps) Steele with some of his moderate affiliations and every other candidate.

Frankly I think Norquist, Toomey and RedState are not to be trusted. I say this in sadness because I agree that government is too large and that starving the beast of revenue may be the only viable way to curtail politicians from bribing their constituents with their own money.

But these folks play ball in a manner that has cast doubt on their wisdom and integrity IMHO. Norquist was hip deep into the indian gaming Abramoff lobby scandals (as was Ralph Reed); CFG isn't just anti-Huck, in this state it's deeply tied to a handful of individuals with particular financial stakes in specific governmental actions, and personal political vendettas which have almost nothing to do with ideology or policy; and RedState has also seemingly lost all contact with large segments of their self-proclaimed constituency. It's not just their hateful and contemptuous treatment of Huck (still BTW) it's their general elitistism. They savaged Bush over Harriet Meyers, leading the way to her withdrawl as unqualified [seeing as she was only head of the Texas bar] simply because Bush didn't run his choice past the self-annointed Beltway conservative gatekeepers. I still think it would of been nice to have ONE evangelical Christian from a strict construction movement on the Court (seeing as they represent between 30% and 40% of all Americans). It also might have been nice to bring someone to the Court who didn't go to Harvard or Yale Law (fine schools but we've managed in the past with some pretty fine jurists from non-ivy fly over country). The Beltway wanted one of their own - and got em.

Anyway I actually don't have anything against Ken Blackwell and many of his endorsers are people I still trust and respect. My preference is still Chip, Steele, Blackwell, Duncan (in that order) but I don't get a vote over such things. I am grateful for the good work of many of the conservative activist groups, even those to my left or my right (As iron sharpens iron). My concern is that within this group of self-defined conservative kingmakers are many people who have IMO failed to be true to what I personally would consider some pretty basic conservative ideals.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:50 pm 
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Southern Doc wrote:
Quote:
I would hate to have all of Don Young's baggage saddled onto Mike Huckabee. Likewise, I would hate to have an anti_Catholc stigma attached to Mike because of preaching for John Hagee.


None-the-less that is the political double edged reality of endorsements. Mike did gain and get hammered over these. You gain some support due to an endorser's reputation and you loose some due to an endorsers's reputation. Same thing for Chip (the Mike endorsement hurts and helps) Steele with some of his moderate affiliations and every other candidate.

Frankly I think Norquist, Toomey and RedState are not to be trusted. I say this in sadness...


Good points. But, the way that endorsements cut (pro and con) are not identical in every case.

It is true that Don Young endorsing Mike Huckabee is mixed blessing. If one doesn't know Gov. Huckabee, one is not quite sure if the Young endorsement says anything negative about Mike, or just that the congressman likes him. But, Mike's return endorsement is the real eyebrow raiser. Now, that can evoke all sorts of questions (as it did).

Presumably, one might first infer the CFG endorsement of Blackwell as confirmation of his low-tax/no-tax, and low-regulation pro-growth policies, not a willingness to savage those less than perfect in CFG eyes.

Also, one shouldn't logically infer that Blackwell would only recruit candidates whose first priority is to kow tow to the business wing of the Republican party, because Blackwell is also receiving simultaneous endorsements from pro-family /traditional-values organizations.

All of this does not necessarily make him the best candidate. But, my point is by what reasoning would we get to a conclusion which says the things some don't like about Toomey transfer to Blackwell?

Now, if someone might offer evidence of where Blackwell undermined a social conservative candidate in favor of wall-street type, then a case could begin to be formulated which shows a more unsavory relationship between the endorser and the endorsee.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:35 am 
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But, my point is by what reasoning would we get to a conclusion which says the things some don't like about Toomey transfer to Blackwell?


I suppose by the same reasoning that what we like about Dobson or Perkins is supposed to transfer to Blackwell.

We just went through a cycle where the acid test of the nature of the GOP in relation to economic, foreign policy, and social conservatives revealed much. As a social conservative I was, once again, made abundantly aware that my issues were considered not only least important but a hinderance by many "conservative leaders." I also stood by in amazement and disgust as social conservative leaders turned their backs on one of their own in a pragmagtic play to placate the other two legs of the proverbial stool.

As a Reagan voter I watched, cheered, and hoped, when this coalition came together that the concerns of social conservatives would be addressed and respected. Since then, in spite of seven Republican Supreme Court appointments, Roe is still the law, faith in the public square is under further attack, and Gay Marriage is the seeming "New Civil Right."

We did get a military build-up, the defeat of global communinism, two Gulf wars, the greater war or terror, two major tax cuts (Reagan, Bush), two economic booms (maybe three in how you divide) and two (or again three) recessions. We balanced the budget thanks to a Republican congress which grew spoiled, spendtrift and corrupt, but hardly more socially conservative. Unions were weakened, free-trade promoted, and the dollar stabilized.

Except for the spoiled and corrupt part, I supported all the positions of the GOP leaders and cheered their (our) many successes. But at the end of the day, decade, generation, I find that both the political and fiscal capital to address issues I think of as first priorities never got spent.

Now it looks like the Norquist crowd still holds the whip hand for the direction of the party with all the candidates for RNC chair lining up to subject themselves to examination in this so-called "debate." The "head" of the party will be chosen by the same people who have always chosen "money issues" over "moral." The same people who are surprised that the Republican Party has lost its moral authority.

It also looks like the social conservative leaders are, once again, content to strike the best deal they can to have a seat at the table and an alledgedly sympathetic ear. They will be allowed a seat in return for delivering the lion's share of all Republican votes. The one thing they dare not do is challenge for the position of head of the table.

This is the dysfunctional reality that Mike ran into in the primary and still faces today. With me it is not primarily about Mike. I really, like, admire, and respect him, but it must be bigger than him. He seems to know this too. He is simply the best hope I can see to restoring a vertical moral America not controlled by the old power crowd that has usurped our system of representative government. What's happening with the RNC right now just looks like more of the same from my perspective.

Blackwell may be great and I hope he is. I will remain sceptical though that the fiscal first and social last conservatism will not be threatened by his leadership. If he was a threat, we would have heard a thorough airing of his alledged (but like Mike actually non-existent) fiscal heresy from many of those now endorsing him.

I really am sorry that this mounful rant all seems (and is) so negative and that it has negative implications for Mr. Blackwell. I really do not mean him nor his supporters at HucksArmy any ill will. I've just been down this road so many times now it's really starting to depress me. Meet the new boss, same as the old. I'm a big believer in the old adage that doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is one way to define insanity. It looks like the RNC will escape the 06 - 08 debacles unchanged.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:46 am 
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Southern Doc wrote:
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But, my point is by what reasoning would we get to a conclusion which says the things some don't like about Toomey transfer to Blackwell?


I suppose by the same reasoning that what we like about Dobson or Perkins is supposed to transfer to Blackwell.

We just went through a cycle where the acid test of the nature of the GOP in relation to economic, foreign policy, and social conservatives revealed much. As a social conservative I was, once again, made abundantly aware that my issues were considered not only least important but a hinderance by many "conservative leaders." I also stood by in amazement and disgust as social conservative leaders turned their backs on one of their own in a pragmagtic play to placate the other two legs of the proverbial stool.

As a Reagan voter I watched, cheered, and hoped when this coalition came together that the concerns of social conservatives would be addressed and respected. Since then, in spite of seven Republican Supreme Court appointments, Roe is still the law, faith in the public square is under further attack, and Gay Marriage is the seeming "New Civil Right."

We did get a military build-up, the defeat of global communinism, two Gulf wars, the greater war or terror, two major tax cuts (Reagan, Bush), two economic booms (maybe three in how you divide) and two (or again three) recessions. We balanced the budget thanks to a Republican congress which grew spoiled, spendtrift and corrupt but hardly more socially conservative. Unions were weakened, free-trade promoted, and the dollar stabilized.

Except for the spoiled and corrupt part, I supported all the positions of the GOP leaders and cheered their (our) many successes. But at the end of the day, decade, generation, I find that both the political and fiscal capital to address issues I think of as first priorities never got spent.

Now it looks like the Norquist crowd still holds the whip hand for the direction of the party with all the candidate for RNC chair lining up to subject themselves to examination in this so-called "debate." The "head" of the party will be chosen by the same people who have always chosen "money issues" over "moral." The same people who are surprised that the Republican Party has lost its moral authority.
It also looks like the social conservative leaders are, once again, content to strike the best deal they can to have a seat at the table and an alledgedly sympathetic ear. They will be allowed a seat in return for delivering the lion's share of all Republican vote. The one thing they dare not do is challenge for the position of head of the table.

This is the dysfunctional reality that Mike ran into in the primary and still faces. With me it is not primarily about Mike. I really, like, admire, and respect him but it must be bigger than him. He seems to know this too. He is simply the best hope I can see to restoring a vertical moral America not controlled by the old power crowd that has usurped our system of representative government. What's happening with the RNC right now just looks like more of the same from my perspective.

Blackwell may be great and I hope he is. I will remain sceptical though that the fiscal first and social last conservatism will not be threatened by his leadership.
If he was a threat we would have heard a thorough airing of his alledged fiscal heresy from many of those now endorsing him.

I really am sorry that this mounful rant all seems (and is) so negative and that it has negative implications for Mr. Blackwell. I really do not mean him nor his supporter at HucksArmy any ill will. I've just been down this road so many times now it's really starting to depress me. Meet the new boss, same as the old. I'm a big believer in the old adage that doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is one way to define insanity. It looks like the RNC will escape the 06 - 08 debacles unchanged.
That's exactly my feeling as well, SouthernDoc. Very well put. Thank you!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:44 pm 
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Huckabee4President wrote:
If I remember correctly, Dr. Dobson did not endorse anyone early on in the primary race because he did not want to create tension between social conservatives. Some social conservatives supported Thompson, McCain, Romney, etc., and he did not want it to look like he was taking sides.


Dobson spoke the most warmly about Romney IIRC. I disagree that his primary reason for not endorsing a candidate was to avoid creating tension between social conservatives. I feel it was all about self-preservation--he wanted to be on the winning team IMO, and picking too early could have jeopardized that. Most of all, I think he was afraid of alienating Romney, who I hear contributed mucho moolah to his organization. :P

The truly godly and discerning organizations, such as the AFA, did not hesitate to endorse Mike from early on. I will never look to James Dobson for judgment or discernment again.

Here's something that's pretty ridiculous. Early last year, I sent an e-mail to Focus on the Family telling them all the stuff I said above and more. I also said that I would never contribute to FOTF in the future. And guess what--after that, they put me on their mailing list! :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:49 pm 
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VertiCon wrote:
I think we should try to be dispassionate when we can.


When we can, certainly.

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Just because some persons criticized Mike Huckabee doesn't necessarily mean that if they commend someone else that the other person is not worthy of consideration on their own merits.


True, but I think it's only natural to be suspicious. If these people have showed impaired judgment in the past, why should we trust them in the future?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:09 pm 
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Southern Doc wrote:
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But, my point is by what reasoning would we get to a conclusion which says the things some don't like about Toomey transfer to Blackwell?


I suppose by the same reasoning that what we like about Dobson or Perkins is supposed to transfer to Blackwell.

We just went through a cycle where the acid test of the nature of the GOP in relation to economic, foreign policy, and social conservatives revealed much. As a social conservative I was, once again, made abundantly aware that my issues were considered not only least important but a hinderance by many "conservative leaders." I also stood by in amazement and disgust as social conservative leaders turned their backs on one of their own in a pragmagtic play to placate the other two legs of the proverbial stool.

As a Reagan voter I watched, cheered, and hoped, when this coalition came together that the concerns of social conservatives would be addressed and respected. Since then, in spite of seven Republican Supreme Court appointments, Roe is still the law, faith in the public square is under further attack, and Gay Marriage is the seeming "New Civil Right."

We did get a military build-up, the defeat of global communinism, two Gulf wars, the greater war or terror, two major tax cuts (Reagan, Bush), two economic booms (maybe three in how you divide) and two (or again three) recessions. We balanced the budget thanks to a Republican congress which grew spoiled, spendtrift and corrupt, but hardly more socially conservative. Unions were weakened, free-trade promoted, and the dollar stabilized.

Except for the spoiled and corrupt part, I supported all the positions of the GOP leaders and cheered their (our) many successes. But at the end of the day, decade, generation, I find that both the political and fiscal capital to address issues I think of as first priorities never got spent.

Now it looks like the Norquist crowd still holds the whip hand for the direction of the party with all the candidates for RNC chair lining up to subject themselves to examination in this so-called "debate." The "head" of the party will be chosen by the same people who have always chosen "money issues" over "moral." The same people who are surprised that the Republican Party has lost its moral authority.

It also looks like the social conservative leaders are, once again, content to strike the best deal they can to have a seat at the table and an alledgedly sympathetic ear. They will be allowed a seat in return for delivering the lion's share of all Republican votes. The one thing they dare not do is challenge for the position of head of the table.

This is the dysfunctional reality that Mike ran into in the primary and still faces today. With me it is not primarily about Mike. I really, like, admire, and respect him, but it must be bigger than him. He seems to know this too. He is simply the best hope I can see to restoring a vertical moral America not controlled by the old power crowd that has usurped our system of representative government. What's happening with the RNC right now just looks like more of the same from my perspective.

Blackwell may be great and I hope he is. I will remain sceptical though that the fiscal first and social last conservatism will not be threatened by his leadership. If he was a threat, we would have heard a thorough airing of his alledged (but like Mike actually non-existent) fiscal heresy from many of those now endorsing him.

I really am sorry that this mounful rant all seems (and is) so negative and that it has negative implications for Mr. Blackwell. I really do not mean him nor his supporters at HucksArmy any ill will. I've just been down this road so many times now it's really starting to depress me. Meet the new boss, same as the old. I'm a big believer in the old adage that doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is one way to define insanity. It looks like the RNC will escape the 06 - 08 debacles unchanged.


Extremely well said.

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