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When did you decide to become politically active?

When did you decide to become politically active?

I had the pleasure a couple of weeks ago of meeting with Anne Sorock and Yvonne Ralsky, co-founders of The Fontier Lab.

The Frontier Lab, among other things, utilizes “deep values research” common in consumer products marketing analysis (Anne is a Cornell Business School graduate who concentrated in the field) and applies those principles to politics.  Unlike typical polling, which asks random people to answer a series of questions, they conduct in depth interviews much like a food company would with consumers before marketing a product.

Much of their work has been devoted to the Tea Party movement, and they have produced studies for the Sam Adams Alliance as to what motivates Tea Party members.  In their first study of the Tea Party movment, The Early Adopters, they found, among other things, that a near majority of Tea Party supporters had little or no prior political involvement, and perhaps out of political naïvité, had very high hopes of making a positive impact:

The people involved with these movements are not political junkies or crusty right–wing extremists; 46.9% were uninvolved or rarely involved with politics prior to 2009….

70.3% are hopeful that they are having a positive impact on their country.

This pie chart illustrates how few Tea Party supporters were active prior to 2009:


During our conversation, I related the story, which I have related here before, about the event in October 2008 which caused me to change from passive if frustrated non-political observer, to become active in politics via this blog.

Anne and Yvonne mentioned that my experience was typical of the people who became active only in recent years and self-identify as supporting the Tea Party movement.  In their interviews, a substantial number of people could relate the exact moment or event which triggered political interest.  Here’s the finding from The Early Adopters study linked above:

But what was the click, the “Boiling Point” moment at which they transitioned from uninvolved American to fully engaged activist? Remarkably, this was such a strong experience for many of them that they were able to recount the exact moment this transition occurred.

The Frontier Labs follow up study,  Surface Tension (October 2010), explored the likelihood of tension between Tea Party and establishment Republicans in the presidential primaries.

I thought of my conversation with Anne and Yvonne when I read Ben Domenech’s column, The Conversation With a Florida Tea Partier That Should Scare Every Republican.  The column is worth a full read, but also read the comment by Domenech which gave rise to the column, which more concisely states the problem:

The Tea Party is a collection of people who felt compelled to transition from citizens to activists in favor of limited government and fiscal restraint. Many sacrifice time away from family, work, and life in a desperate attempt to save the nation they love, from their perspective.

This passion burns hot. But it also is just passion. Where cycles of political strife often include longtime activists bemoaning flawed nominees (as we saw in 2008 with McCain, and 1996 with Dole) and threatening to walk away, these are paid professionals who have been actively engaged in politics for decades. The Tea Party is much different, and has a much shorter timeframe of engagement, which may indicate they are more likely to return to their previously disenfranchised state. This could have major ramifications downticket.

Here’s how Rebecca, the person interviewed in Domenech’s column, related her feelings:

“I feel like the people who live politics just don’t understand those of us who don’t. I am a self-identified political junkie. I am enthralled this cycle with how things change so quickly, and I am trying to stay very informed. But I have to be honest, my time is limited. My family, my boys are my everything. Being informed takes time away from them,” she says, whether it’s engaging online, organizing activist responses, pushing back their naps to attend a rally.

“If I don’t feel like I’m making a difference, where is my incentive to take that time from them?” Rebecca asks.

The studies by The Fontier Lab, Domenech’s anectodal conversation with a Tea Party mom, and my own reading of Tea Party leaves, all support my sense that the way in which the Romney campaign has been run — uninspiring but brutally negative and efficient yet dependent upon massive supporting fire from establishment Republican media and politicians — will do great damage.

(added)  If 2010 was the year in which so much seemed possible for the newly politically active within the Republican Party, 2012 is the year in which nothing seems possible within the Party.

We may be seeing the early signs of that damage in the moribund and sometimes lower turnout numbers in states and counties where Romney does well.  We are at risk of heading back to the lifeless, limp political body of 2008.

Those who tuned in in 2009 are tuning out, getting ready to go back to their previous lives, rebuilding walls around themselves.

In 2010, it was appropriate to ask “Do you remember when you decided to become politically active?”

In 2013, the question may be “Do you remember when you decided to become politically inactive?”


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I used to watch Fox News and C-SPAN and just about anything that gave me a balanced view of politics. But I gave up on TV long ago for any news when they lost their balance. Instead, I get most of my news online and talk radio. Even Lucianne’s site has been overpowered by the Romney-ites. So, while I’ve pulled back on the participation, I’ve never lost that fire.

One thing that must change is the GOP Establishment’s power. They must be neutered. They are dragging our country down the drain.

Professor, the spirit of America is born in us. The TEA Party spirit is a manifestation of a deep, strong and abiding drive in every American — born here or come here, because the beacon of FREEDOM and OPPORTUNITY — A CHANCE AT LIFE – is so strong.

You have rightly chosen NEwt as the candidate you prefer. The lineage of what NEWt is offering to provide leadership for runs all the way back to the beginnings of our time on this continent and our time as states and then a nation. George Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, the WWII generation and more.

The call of FREEDOM is in our hearts. The TEA Party energy is here. It is part of what it means to be an American. There is rot, yes, in the body politic. We’ve let Washington and New York develop a corridor of money and power that is getting rich at the expense of the American People.

But we can restore our country. The plans are in the making right now.

We are involved in self-government. Government Of the People, By the People and For the People. No one is here by accident.

Some may be here illegally, but most of them came on purpose to be Americans. That’s why I like Newt’s solution for how we response to illegal immigration. I think it is fair. After all, if we had secured the border and refuse to hire people who were here illegally, the issue would not be so big. We are complicit. Our government failure and our hiring has made us complicit. WE need to be fair about this.) But I digress.

I wrote a comment earlier today at ConservativesWithNewt. It is right on point with this comment from you. I hope I can post it here later.

I have been interested in politics from a young age but not really active until about 4 years ago when McCain selected Gov. Sarah Palin to run as his VP. That really got me engaged. Even though they did not win, she still remains active in getting people fired up about what matters.

Yes, the country is in big trouble. Big, big trouble. It looks like the Establishment Republicans ARE going to lose. Only they will lose long before November.

Because if the American People team up with Newt, and Newt is the nominee, Newt will win in November. And then we can get to work restoring our country and setting things right.

It’s pretty straightforward and we can do it.

As the nominee, Newt will create a team effect with the New 21st Century Contract With America. Congressional and Senate candidates will team up. Voters will know exactly what we are voting for. The candidates will have agreed to exactly what we’re voting for.

When they get to Washington after the election, we will know exactly what they are going to do. We’re going to turn the country back to a Constitutional Republic with a small federal government and power returning home to local communities.

As an American, it is explicit in the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE that YOU are sovereign. THE PEOPLE consent to be governed. THE PEOPLE, in other words, YOU, lend power to the state, not the other way around.

So the state has no power to take away your rights. Period. Becaue your rights don’t come from the state.

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE SAYS, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,

that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …”

DERIVING THEIR JUST POWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED. That is American Exceptionalism. That is what Newt is talking about. We are the exceptional nation because our founding documents state that sovereignty, the power to say yes, comes from God and Nature and is born in each individual. It is the nature of things. It is self-evident. This is our starting point.

When the American People realize that Newt recognized our sovereignty, the People will team up to restore our country to its Constitutional basis. Newt’s plan for restoring our country depends COMPLETELY upon the intelligence and energy of the American People. things are so messed up, we are the only ones with the power to make the elected officials set things straight. Power of the People in government of the people, by the people and for the people.

So here are just a few of the specific plans. We will restore prosperity with a simpler tax code, with LOWER TAX RATES and HIGHER TAX REVENUES (the Laffer Curve); return manufacturing to the United States with changes in regulations and a corporate tax rate of 12.5% (under which, even GE will actually pay taxes, because it will be cheaper than hiring an army of lawyers);

make federal agencies cooperate with, and help, the People, instead of tormenting the People; send Education back home so that parents, teachers, school boards and principals run our schools again;

establish an American Energy Policy so that we can support our engine of democracy without fear of having energy supplies cut off by the an unfriendly power, start making sure that every American from every neighborhood can pursue happiness (which, in the 17th century sense, means wisdom and virtue, not hedonism and acquisition) with education reforms and more jobs from a powerhouse economy;

return power to the individual, the home town communities and the states through enforcing the 10th Amendment (Rick Perry is already working on the plans for how we’re going to do this). And those are just the beginning.

We’re going to offer prizes for all kinds of technical innovation. Tax-free prizes. If someone figures out how to put a space station up, they get the prize. If no one figures it out, we don’t award the prize. Humans are going to the moon, people. The only question is whether it will be the Chinese, the Russians or someone else, or if it will be Americans. Do we seriously not realize that humans are going to the moon? Of course we need to be part of this next frontier. “NEWT’S TOWN HALL MEETING ON SPACE POLICY” – January 25, 2012 – Cocoa, Florida – 33:42

With the Lean Six Sigma training and feedback loop, which people are working on right now, because it’s very challenging to figure out how to allow the millions of Americans to give feedback on what laws are doing to us, we can engage in continuous improvement. The federal bureaucracies will be trained in Lean Six Sigma. The work experience of federal employees will improve. Federal employees will be able to improve the way their agencies do work. Think about that. The way the agencies serve the People of the United States will improve. See the speech, “STRONG AMERICA NOW.”

WE ARE ENGAGED IN A GREAT EXPERIMENT OF SELF-GOVERNMENT. Benjamin Franklin understood this. “A Republic, if you can keep it,” he said. Jefferson understood this. George Washington. Abigail Adams, lest we forget the ladies. Many have given their all that we might live in FREEDOM. Many have suffered and sacrificed for us. Are we going to let OUR grandchildren and children be the ones born into poverty and government tyranny?

Newt understands this. This is actual Power to the People, not some crypto-communist slogan. Real power. Real People.

You can find out about all this and more from Newt’s speeches. This is a list of links to videos of 17 of Newt’s speeches from the past few years.

This is something we can do. This is something ONLY we can do.

We’re aces on this. We’re all-stars. Get your game on. Go play. We can do this.
Dear Professor Jacobson, thank you again for this forum. Please don’t let the MSM et al discourage you. This is just getting started. We can do this. If we are together, who can stop us. Remember, “God protects children, fools and the United States of America.” — a WWII German general said this, as I understand it.

    retire05 in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    You just don’t get it, do you? You scream and shout how our nation is in the worst shape it has ever been in and only Newt can safe us.

    Well, you’re wrong. The United States is not in the worst shape it’s ever been in. We are not losing 6,000 soldiers in one battle, and people are not dying from the dust in the midwest while boiling tumble weeds to make soup as the government slaughters 6,000,000 hogs to drive up the price of pork. The unemployment rate is not 28% no matter how you calculate it. And we are not the Wiemar Republic.

    It has been worse, MUCH worse, and we survived. But we, as a nation, also changed. We have realized that we are no longer safe and secure because there is an ocean separating us from evil. And we have become frighted and want people to guarantee not just our safety, but our security as well.

    Well, news flash, Hope Change, you got sold out a long time ago by your grandparents who exchanged goverment control over their lives for a little financial security that many Republicas warned against. You parents backed that up by sitting quietly by as LBJ installed his “Great Society” and merit and ambition were no longer rewarded. Your church leaders also sold you out as they forfieted the very reason they existed in promoting Christ’s instructions to us; care for the elderly, heal the sick and care for the poor. The American church was all to willing to allow the government to do that for them, all in the name of “social justice” and Americans stood by quietly and did nothing.

    And if you think one man can turn around 100 years of a move toward socialism, you are batting zero.

    Do you really think that Newt can turn back the clock 100 years? If so, why didn’t he do that when he had the chance as an elected offical and Speaker of the House? Where was the legislation that would soften the blow of Roe? Or make the Mexico City Policy permanent? Where was the Balanced Budget Amendment then? Or limits on federal growth that has become a hydra that is out of control? How about legislation that would allow workers to be more in control of their lives by opting out of Social Security/Medicare, knowing, as he surely did back then, that those were nothing but redistribution of wealth policies? Why didn’t he reverse the previous legislation that would not allow counties to opt out of SS/MM like Galveston County, Tx? Or reverse the legislation that required Medicare to become your primary insurer, letting companies off the hook for agreed upon retirement benefits via private insurers? All those things happened before Gingrich’s watch, yet he did nothing to reverse them. And you said NOTHING.

    You know, as I have said REPEATEDLY, that I thing Romney is nothing more than a vanity candidate. But please, don’t feed me the line that Gingrich is some kind of savior of the Republic.

    We are at a cross roads, not the end of the road. And all this fear mongering is not good for anyone. We have to decide what kind of nation we want to be, and considering that one in every seven Americans are on food stamps, I guess we know. We want to be taken care of by an overbearing government that has grown too big for its britches. But tell me, Hope Change, are you willing to forefeit your Social Security/Medicare benefits for the good of the nation? Are you willing to refuse to use public air transportation because the current administration thinks it has the right to violate your 4th Amendment rights? Are you willing to not claim every exemption allowed you by the IRS and contribute more to pay down the debt?

    Because if you are not willing to take a stand, and get othes to stand with you, you are doing nothing but mouthing platitudes to the lemmings who think you are being couragous.

    And no, the spirt of the patriot is NOT born into us. It is taught.

      WoodnWorld in reply to retire05. | February 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Whoa brother, bring it! *CHEER* You have a new fan retire05, VERY. WELL. SAID.

      Hope Change in reply to retire05. | February 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Hi retire05,

      I don’t think I scream and shout. I write too much, maybe. (rueful smile) But I hope I don’t scream and shout.

      If you take another look, you will see that what I say is, the American People can change this and put stop to the political betrayals we are experiencing. The TEA Party energy and the internet make this possible if we will seize the day.

      And only the American People have enough power, courage and brilliance to do it. All we need is leadership. A focal point.

      The whole idea is that what Newt is proposing is a chance for the American People to focus our desire for smaller government and local control and restore our country to the small federal government, Constitutional Republic it is meant to be.

      Our grandparents, mine at least, were raising their families during the Depression years. Times were unbelievably hard for them, at least some of them. They didn’t sell me out. Roosevelt, even, may very possibly have believed that his depredations against our freedoms would result in a “kinder, gentler” America. Communism was a newer idea then, and liars like Lenin, Stalin and Walter Duranty, “the NYT’s man in Moscow” had confused people into thinking that the State could make life better when people were suffering.

      But now, today, at this time in History, it is perfectly clear what happens when the State runs everything. Poverty, suffering, and the feeling that human beings are nothing but power generators for THE MATRIX of the collective. Also corruption, woven into daily life.

      retire05, I agree that we must teach ourselves and our children what it means to be American, what it means to protect FREEDOM. My hero, Ronald Reagan, said many times that freedom is always only one generation away from extinction. That is an excellent point. Thank you for bringing that up.

      But what I’m trying to get at is that even those who don’t know how to find the North Pole on a map have a FEELING that, as an American, they have rights and they, as an individual, matter. Americans do not like being pushed around and don’t expect to be pushed around. What we need, as you correctly point out, is better education about what it means to be American and what we must do to keep our freedoms.

      I assure you, retire05, I believe that you and I are allies in our larger purposes. I’ve liked many of your comments here.

      It seems to me that have a sharp and terrible awareness that we have been betrayed by our political elites. I agree whole-heartedly.

      Through hundreds of hours of watching Newt’s complete speeches, I have concluded that Newt’s ideas, solutions and leadership are the chance of a lifetime for the American People.

      Only the American People can make this happen. Not Newt. Not “one man.” Newt talks about this all the time, in the speeches. It’s the American People who make this happen. And the American People most assuredly CAN make this happen.

      thanks for responding to me directly, retire05. I wish you all the best in life. After all, we’re in this together.

    Tamminator in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Hope Change:
    Thank you thank you thank you for linking the “Victory or Death” speech by Newt Gingrich.
    It blew me away, and made me realize that Newt is the right choice for President.

    I hope everyone goes to the link and watches it.

      Hope Change in reply to Tamminator. | February 6, 2012 at 12:07 am

      Tamminator | February 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm
      Hope Change:
      Thank you thank you thank you for linking the “Victory or Death” speech by Newt Gingrich.
      It blew me away, and made me realize that Newt is the right choice for President.

      I hope everyone goes to the link and watches it.

      Hi Tamminator — it means the world to me to hear that from you.

      “2012 : VICTORY OR DEATH” is an awesome speech. It changed my attitude forever.

      It was a turning point for me in supporting Newt.

      Here’s the link to all the speeches. The link to 2012: VICTORY OR DEATH” is right there.

      Godspeed, my friends.

1992. I first became interested in politics when the Republicans lost the White House for the first time in over a decade. That was also when I discovered Rush Limbaugh.

I also credit, ironically, Newt Gingrich. He was a demi-god in 1994, and I loved him. The Contract with America and the retaking of the House after 40 years was sheer euphoria. Sadly, his years as Speaker became the first time I discovered my inner political cynic. Many here don’t remember those days, but I do.

I’ve been a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and conservative at least since then. So I guess I run against the grain of the typical Tea Party pedigree.

    MerryCarol in reply to Ryan. | February 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Ryan, wow! you could have written that for me as well.

    I can only presume, then, that there are many others like us with identical political backgrounds.

    When the Tea Party emerged, my first reaction was, “Where have y’all been? It’s about time!”

      Hope Change in reply to MerryCarol. | February 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      Hi Merry Carol — you responded agreement to Ryan, who said Newt was an early hero of Ryan’s.

      Of course I don’t know, I have no way of knowing, but I wonder, if you heard the solutions Newt is proposing, just heard them neutrally (instead of Newtrally, I guess), if the solutions themselves would seem like good ideas.

      The way Newt is TALKED ABOUT, as Newt has said, Newt himself wouldn’t vote for that guy. Nobody would. I wouldn’t either.

      But the way Newt is talked about is not what I saw in the speeches, is not what is actually going on. Something truly exciting is going on.

      And I would imagine, dollars to donuts, our goals and wishes for our country are probably very similar.

      Since you are a TEA Party person and also Ryan is, I respectfully wonder. Especially since Ryan once liked Newt. With, sincerely, all due respect.

      (And thank you to Professor Jacobson for providing this opportunity for dialogue with this topic.)

    I’ve been a dittohead since April of ’92.

    WoodnWorld in reply to Ryan. | February 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Same thing. 1992. My family, particularly my maternal grandparents, are old-school, anti New Deal, Eisenhower era Republicans. My formative years happened to coincide with a span the encompassed the early Reagan years, his assassination attempt, Urgent Fury, Iran Contra/Ollie North, Pan Am 101, the rise of Gorbachev, the fall of the Wall, the dissolution of the USSR and ultimately Desert Storm/Desert Shield (an experience that made me convinced I would join the military as soon as I could).

    I can remember listening to the Bush v. Clinton returns over dinner with my grandparents and was as stunned, but not as wounded, as they were as it became obvious that “we” were not going to win. George Bush, in spite of having won a brilliantly executed, relatively bloodless war against Saddam, of being admired and respected for his balance, intelligence, and experience was taken out at the knees by Clinton, who was “more in touch” with the “common man,” and *swoon* was not afraid to play the saxophone (!) on national television.

    That was it for me. I saw what populism could do to do a great candidate, how popularity mattered more than merit and what having a cogent message and a deep bench can do to turn things around, both in an election and with the national narrative. I too found Rush, was elated by our stunning reversal in 1994 and have watched the political process very closely, and cheered on conservatives of every stripe, ever since.

    SeanInLI in reply to Ryan. | February 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    1992 for me as well, but oddly enough, I was working on Gerry Brown’s campaign against Bill Clinton.

    Of course, that was my senior year of college, and the real world soon disabused me of the folly-filled, socialistic notions of my youth.

The day the White House asked that “fishy e-mails”
be forwarded to them was the
the first time I felt afraid of my government and propelled me to take action with tea party rallies first.
Being a Grandmother, I am still and will remain engaged/plugged in as much as possible, sending as much money to support conservative causes as I can.

Are you effing-kidding me?

“Dick Armey: Gingrich campaign turned into ‘first-rate vendetta’ against Romney”

It is about saving America Mr. Armey. First, Romney cries about being hurt by Newt’s superpac and now it’s a vendetta. Really?

Newt was attacked by several so-called conservative pundits, talking heads, book writer bomb thrower, and ex-gop politicos all at the same time. And has since come in second.

If Romney can’t take the little heat Newt is dishing out, how in the heck is he going to take being lashed by the lib media in its full spectrum.

Not looking good for Romney.

He looks more and more like he is about to lose the gop nomination.

Super Tuesday is key. Certo!

    Hope Change in reply to NewtCerto. | February 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I know, NewtCerto. Dick Armey. What, are they turning them into pod people? Dick Armey. Tragic.

    Even if he didn’t support Newt, to turn on Newt in that dishonest way?

    Congressman Armey, what, what, what are you doing?

    Although I guess Newt stepped on his toes back in the day. Maybe that’s the actual vendetta. I don’t know.

    Hope Change in reply to NewtCerto. | February 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    and I agree with you, Newt Certo!

    Thanks for the positive attitude in this chilly hour of uncertainty.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to NewtCerto. | February 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Dick Armey … wasn’t he the leader of the Gingrich coup/vendetta … up till he found out he would not be knighted the new leader, Paxon would. Then Armey turned his vendetta toward the man that sought to replace him … Paxon, by allegedly outing Paxon and Britt Hume’s son. Paxon retired. The coup failed.

I have definitely been tuning out more and more this election cycle. I’ve stopped going to Drudge, Hotair, and several other sites that I used to frequent every day. I go here, Riehl’s site, and sometimes over to Redstate much more often but that’s about it. The insults aimed at undecided conservatives from other supposed conservatives just turn me off. It’s bad enough that liberals insult us, but now we to put up with it from fellow conservatives?

The upside is that I spend more time with my family and just stay away from politics more which also means less television news, and less talk show news. I’ve actually stopped listening to Rush Limbaugh since he seems to be more tepid lately. Mark Levin has been on fire but his show isn’t on when I have free time, so I only catch him in small segments on the internet.

I wouldn’t call my attitude apathy so much as resignation. This election reminds me of the Meg Whitman versus Jerry Brown gubernatorial race here in California. Many conservatives wanted Tom McClintock and didn’t get him, so when Whitman ran against Brown we stopped paying attention. Whitman avoided certain issues that conservatives wanted to have at the forefront. Instead she just focused on jobs and the economy. Whitman just didn’t inspire and excite people. Many still voted for her, but she predictably lost.

I see the reality of what’s happening to conservatism, and I don’t like it, so all I can do is live my life and deal with those things at the local/family level that I have some bit of control over.

    MadCon in reply to MadCon. | February 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Forgot to add that I first became very interested in politics in 2006 when the immigration marches were taking place in California and I saw what was happening to the “Golden State.” I went from being a liberal to a conservative from 2006 to 2008 as I saw the consequences of liberal policies in California.

    creeper in reply to MadCon. | February 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    MadCon, I understand that feeling of resignation all too well. I’m almost at the point where I figure the country is doomed whether it’s Obama or Romney in the next four years and my gut reaction is to let Obama own the looming disaster.

    I actually got active in national politics back in 2004…as a Democrat hoping to forestall another four years of Bush’s wars and spending. Then along came the nebulous Mr. Obama and that was enough to make me switch parties.

    As it turns out, there’s hardly two cents’ worth of difference between them. The only group I see with an ounce of integrity is the Tea Party and they pose such a threat to the status quo in Washington that neither Dems nor Reps will rest until they are destroyed.

      creeper in reply to creeper. | February 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      *edit…Make that “neither Dems nor Reps NOR THE PRESSTITUTES IN THE MEDIA will rest…”

      I consider the media to be a bigger threat to our country than either political party.

      MadCon in reply to creeper. | February 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Like you, creeper, I feel the country is doomed no matter who get’s elected: Obama or Romney. It’s just a matter of how fast the death will be. California is now firmly socialist-democratic, and it is morally and fiscally bankrupt. That’s where America as a whole is headed.

      But I’m not in despair about it since as a conservative, traditional Catholic I have faith that somehow we can emerge a better people. Through “suffering” and pain, good emerges. I don’t know how a better American future will happen and when. Maybe not in our lifetimes but I still “fight” on in ways that I can, for my children and their children.

    Hope Change in reply to MadCon. | February 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I agree that I don’t go to Drudge anymore, nor my beloved InstaPUndit, nor my most wonderful favorite in times of yore, Power Line.

    If you would even watch “2012: VICTORY OR DEATH,” it might inspire you, MadCon.

    The quality of life for future American depends upon us. What is the tiny army with George Washington had ALL gone home before Christmas Eve in 1776, as so many did?

    A friend, who supports Newt, told me recently that in his study of the American Revolution, we lost and we lost and we lost, and then we won. My friend thinks that about sums up how this is going to go for Newt and for us.

    For the sake of our kids and grandchildren, don’t we owe some fire? Something for the truly remarkable life America has given us, that other Americans have given us?

    I don’t mean to criticize, not at all. I was so shattered after the 2008 campaign that I stopped taking in political information for months. Maybe a year. And I was NOT a fan of John McCain. I just didn’t want us to have to learn our lessons the hard way.

    We’re Americans. We’re tough. You’re here because you want freedom. And you want freedom for those you love. The DVD about John Adams can help. The book, Washington’s Crossing can help.

    My most sincere wishes go out to you for all that is best in life. You need to make your own decisions, of course. But IMO, it would be better to fight this out before we’re forced to.

      Hope Change in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      what IF the tiny army

      Thanks for that, Hope Change. The 2008 election was the worst, but then 2010 offered a glimmer of hope for conservatives. Now it seems all the hard work of conservatives was for nothing. But I won’t give in to despair, since my faith forbids it.

      Some background: I was a Reagan Democrat (but was only 17 in 1980 so could not vote for Reagan). In the intervening years I was a liberal Democrat until 2006 when I started questioning some core beliefs of liberalism. By 2008 I had abandoned liberalism and become conservative, yet registered as an Independent since I felt that the Republican party was not very conservative. In 2007 I was troubled by the cult-like ascendancy of the unknown Obama, and voted for McCain in 2008. I’m definitely not voting Obama in 2012, but can I vote for Romney? Still very undecided. It’s a suicidal choice: quick death or a slow one.

        Hope Change in reply to MadCon. | February 6, 2012 at 12:17 am

        MadCon, I posted the link to “2012: VICTORY OR DEATH” below. It’s really worth watching.

        All I can tell you is, if I thought I had to vote for Romney, I would feel the exact same way you say you feel. Just hopeless.

        But IMO, in Newt we have something special, a real chance. At least, that is very much how it looks to me.

        thanks for responding directly, MadCon.

        And another thanks to the Professor for providing this marvelous opportunity for dialogue.

        No matter what, we’re in this together. I’m sticking with the American People. Period, the end.

      Hope Change in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      In the post above, I’m responding the MadCon

    SeanInLI in reply to MadCon. | February 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    MadCon, I’m with you. I’ve tuned out on the Presidential race now that Romney and the elites seem to be getting the better of the race. However, I have resolved to focus on Congress. A GOP House and Senate with Obama will be far better for this country than a divided House and Romney.

    If the GOP elites and the lemmings in Florida and Nevada want Obama with paler skin and Ken-doll hair, let them have him.

I’ve been a political junkie since the early 1980s, when Reagan won and my Congressman, Dave Bonior, was making Marxist waves in D.C.

By mid-2008, I saw where things were going, with McCain and Congressional Republicans more-or-less surrendering without a shot. I tried to start a Tea Party-ish movement that summer with no success. I even came up with pamphlets and mission that sound a LOT like the Tea Party, pushing it hard with all my conservative friends/relatives. Nobody was at all interested.

The TEA Party was a godsend, the right thing at the at the right time. The people who organized it found a way (as I did not with mine) to resonate with others and make it take off. Pray it continues and rescues our great nation.

I had my first real politic event in 1980 when I attempted to get enough signatures to put my father on the ballot as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
I went from house to house.
Besides getting signatures, I got a lesson in politics that I never forgot. I visited some senior citizens who were terrorized by teens from the middle school down the block; I met a retired businessman who now thought he could do some political as sign (small businesses are afraid to offend anybody); I met a whole lot of folks who were afraid to let you in the door.
Eventually, I go the worst lesson. The rules for signature petitions are vague at best, especially before you go the the Secretary of State’s office to find out that one signature from outside the district invalidates an entire page of signatures.

    creeper in reply to Neo. | February 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Well, we can’t have just any American citizen running for office now, can we? /snark

    SeanInLI in reply to Neo. | February 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Things sure haven’t changed. I gave up gathering signatures for “upstart” candidates because the GOP powers-that-be always them lawyer them out of existence.

    The powers-that-be have total control of the system, and there’s no changing it.

As a former liberal socialist, conservatives need to learn to play serious. These people will not play fair. I refuse to debate them because it is useless.

My transformation took place eleven years ago. You can’t save liberals. All you can do is challenge their ideas with yours by persuading those who perhaps aren’t ideologically locked in.

As Newt pointed out, the American people must agree before big changes are made. If you can convince them, it will be successful. The American people have shown they want lower taxes, lower debt, more American made energy, strong American military, and a stronger economy.

People want things that are beneficial and sadly libs have falsely made them think their ideas are beneficial.

It is about big ideas, big challenges, and big solutions that speak to people: lowering taxes to a flat tax of 15%, setting a moon base to collect Helium 3 that could power the whole US for a year, energy independence, paying off debt, and freedom, freedom, freedom are big answers.

Newt Certo!

[…] as William Jacobson writes, many if not most TEA Party folks have never been deeply involved in politics prior to a few […]

Much like the original patriots I suspect the Tea Party Movement to ebb and flow. Like then certain events will cause a spark which will reignite the fire in the movement. The important thing is that the initial spark (a return to Constitutional Principles) has been ignited and continues to smolder within the body politic of America.

It is inevitable that we will become discouraged and that the powers that be will attempt to suppress us, the important thing is that we continue the fight even if far less animated and vocal. So long as we stay informed, choose and support candidates the espouse our ideals the tide will turn. The Reagan Revolution did not start or finish in a cycle, in fact the Tea Party Movement is just another phase of that revolution to take back our nation. One of the best signs I ever saw at a Tea Party rally was held by an elderly gentleman in a lawn chair in DC on 9-12-2010 it said

“It does not end in 2010, it does not end in 2012- It never ends”

The fight for freedom and liberty never ends, that is the cross we bear and that is our duty and should be our joy. Let us not allow the trials of a season be the undoing of a great cause.

I was never politically active, voted for every demon-rat. I didn’t vote in midterm, didn’t even pay attention to them.

In 2008, then the rationcare was crammed down on Americans, I really started paying attention then… then in 2010, I attened tea party rallies out of curiosity, was stunned to find out the MSM’s potrayal was not what it was. Stopped watching the MSM, started reading internet blogs, when it comes to policy, politics and the economy (zerohedge etc)

Now, I consider myself a million times more informed than I was in 2008, and will be campaiging to evict that fraud from the WH this November as well as putting more fiscal cons in the Congress.

The TEA party is waiting, waiting for a real conservative to step up. Santorum is the only real conservative but can’t seem to make headway. Newt is my second choice, Romney my last. Paul is an off the hook liberal. He sounds like a libertarian but is so far to the right he’s left (the room). I will support ABO but the state races are where change can be made. Don’t give up, the TEA party will rise when we have a candidate. BTW, I’ve never been a fan of the Tea Party Express, they don’t seem particularly conservative to me.

One interesting thing:

My Obama supporting mail guy once told me, “I read too much.”

He actually said that.

I’ve always like politics. Written a few essays and commentary at American Thinker.

I was in high school when Reagan was president. I do recall Newt during that time. I don’t remember hearing anything about Romney or Santorum, or Ron Paul though he was in congress until 1984.

    Hope Change in reply to NewtCerto. | February 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    HI NewtCerto— meaning you read too much, or the mail guy reads too much?

    what, because he has to deliver the magazines?

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | February 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I was recently talking to a friend about how the Tea Party movement sorta reminds me of the “Silent Majority” in the late ’60s early ’70s.

Nixon used the phrase the Silent Majority in a speech to appeal to the majority of Americans to come out to vote and take a stand against the college educated counter-culture potheads who were rioting and demonstrating in the streets against the Vietnam War and who were trying to yank the country leftward. Nixon’s appeal worked and the Silent Majority turned out to vote. But they weren’t very active, politically, afterward. I think they figured that once they’d voted and the riots and demonstrations stopped, the country was back on the right path. They had done their duty and the Silent Majority went back to their jobs, families, churches, etc.

We now know that was a mistake. Because the radicals who had been demonstrating in the streets didn’t give up. Instead, they realized they weren’t going to get their revolution through violence, so they changed tactics. They went back to school to get Ph.ds so they could change the world by indoctrinating future generations of college students. And they’ve been pretty successful at it.

The difference between the Tea Party and the Silent Majority is that the Tea Party was a generally spontaneous, bottoms-up, grassroots uprising, where the Silent Majority was inspired by Nixon from the top down.

I’ve read that for a political movement to have endurance it must come from the bottom up. If true, then that gives me hope that if the Tea Party is disappointed either by who the GOP nominee is or by the electoral outcome in November, maybe they will not become disillusioned and give up. They can’t make the same mistake that the Silent Majority did and tune out after one or two election cycles.

The Left will not go away. As Russ Feingold said at an anti-Walker rally in Wisconsin last year, “it’s not over until we win”. That’s their attitude. They NEVER concede defeat.

Rumor has it Michelle Obama is a tea party fan as it gets people off the couch, away from the TV and potato chips, and outside exercising their God-given American rights.

    MerryCarol in reply to LukeHandCool. | February 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Ah, Luke. It looks like you just gave a boost to your son’s self-esteem! I imagine he’s sticking his tongue out at his big sister now.

      LukeHandCool in reply to MerryCarol. | February 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Haha! Like he does every morning, he sneaked up behind me while I was on the computer and saw it.

      He said, “It’s about time.”

      I replied, “Yeah, I put your ugly picture up. Are you happy?”

      One time when I was reading LI, he was looking over my sholder and saw the Professor’s picture and asked me, “Who is that guy? He looks like a secret agent.” LOL!

      Back to the topic, “When did you decide to become politically active?”

      The extent of my activism is turning people on to LI. No other site so closely reflects my worldview (and stylishly immature attitude … not to be confused with simple, declasse childishness).

      Clever segueing I’ve developed:

      “Speaking of car troubles, do you like, dislike, or feel neutral about bumper stickers? Because if you do, you might want to take a look at this blog …. ”

      “Yes, I agree … suing McDonalds because you spilled hot coffee on yourself is ridiculous. You know, there’s this one law professor who writes a blog … ”

      “It’s funny that you mentioned terrorism, because this one professor from Cornell …”

      LukeHandCool (who thinks parenting is something like one part science and nine parts art … and who uses teasing like a paint brush to bring out the color in his children … and who can be stylishly ham-handed in his LI blog publicity efforts … and who will be sure to tell his son, “Some girl named MerryCarol thinks you’re ugly”).

      WoodnWorld in reply to MerryCarol. | February 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Three cheers for successful, intra-family, diplomatic endeavors!

I want to add something else I’ve noticed different from how dems/left operate and how the right operates.

If a repub wins an election, its almost like the cocktail repubs just sit back.

The right needs to realise the left never ever retreats, whether they win or lose. Why don’t the right realise this??
The govt is now massive, for it to be pulled back will require a constant vigilance, and for that there can be no retreat just because an election is won.

So, I’m going to vote for Romney, because I feel he’s the most electable, but then I’m voting for rock solid fiscal cons to make sure to pull the govt back.

Remember it look Washington 5-7 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed for the British to finally give up control over the colonies. It did not happen overnight, and it happened very stragetically with a lot of constant vigilance, this is not about just winning elections, this is about changing course, at the same time, someone who will at least willing to slow the course and then change it is just as important.

But the left NEVER EVER retreats. I don’t know why conservatives and rpeubs don’t get this. When I was still a demon-rat, I constantly got emails, etc even AFTER a dem won an elections.

    Hope Change in reply to alex. | February 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    alex said: If a repub wins an election, its almost like the cocktail repubs just sit back.

    The right needs to realise the left never ever retreats, whether they win or lose. Why don’t the right realise this??
    The govt is now massive, for it to be pulled back will require a constant vigilance, and for that there can be no retreat just because an election is won.

    Alex, I agree with you completely. The Establishment let us put in our money, energy and tears. WE elect somebody. Then they sit back again.

    The first person I myself ever heard talk about the need to defeat and replace the Left is Newt.

    I believe the true fault line between conservatives (- or libertarians – or TEA Party – no label really describes me, I feel, and maybe that’s true for a lot of people — )

    — the fault lines between the sort of Jefferson-Lincoln Americans who want a Republican Party true to American principles, versus Establishment Republicans, are being made clear in this primary.

    The idea that Romney is electable against Obama, IMO, does not stand up to scrutiny.

    The counties in which Romney won in Florida had suppressed turnout. The counties in which Newt won had higher turnout. South Carolina had record voter turnout when Newt won in a record win.

    Romney outspent Newt 5 or 6 to 1. Ads, 65-to-1.

    That is how Barack Obama plans to win in November. That is how the Left run their campaigns.

    The Republican candidate in the general election has to have a strategy different than carpet bombing ads and outspending and suppressing turnout. Think “HOOSIERS.”

    If we think about this for a moment, it is clear. You can’t win the general election by suppressing turnout. And even Romney won’t be outspending Obama.

    Doug Ross over at Director Blue analyses this:

    Here’s a link to Newt’s complete press conference. If you like Newt, it’s great.

    Apparently, CNN said Newt is the Romney campaign’s worst nightmare. They said Newt was on a mission to destroy Romney. According to a post on FreedomsLighthouse.

    But wait — it’s the Romney campaign, as reported in the NYT, I believe — that said that THEY were trying to destroy Newt.

    Newt, in the press conference linked above, said AGAIN that, compared to Obama, Romney is a clearly superior choice. That’s not how someone talks when he’s trying to destroy his opponent.

    Romney is too much like Obama to be electable against him, IMO. Something radically different will beat Obama, though, and that is the team approach Newt is putting together. And the ONLY reason it may work and can work is the American People.

      “That is how Barack Obama plans to win in November. That is how the Left run their campaigns.”

      Sorry, but you don’t seem to understand how much Newt is disliked. I’ll vote for the man, but I cannot stand him, and most of my family is still dems who loathe Obama, and loathe Newt even more — they will not vote for him, Romney and Paul they can stand. Romeny is someone they will vote for.

      Bill Clinton was effective in courting dems, indies and even some repubs, because compared to Obama, Clinton was not very very far left. Romney is not seen as very far right, and that is a good thing, as long as there are fiscal cons in congress to force romney’s policies for fiscal sanity, that too is a good thing.

      People may not like Romney, ok fine, but if you all these fiscal conservatives in congress, how the heck will any govt shrinking policies get through to become law will El Soetero sitting there vetoing everything. At the very least Romney will not veto those policies.

      I find it amazing all these repubs say they will stay home if Romney is the nominee, if you all believe romney is obama, why not just cut to the chase and vote for Obama himself?

      This is not an all or nothing game, conservatives will not get everything all at once, evicting Obama in nomvember is the first step along with having fiscal limited govt policiticans there to pull back on govt’s size.

        WoodnWorld in reply to alex. | February 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm

        “This is not an all or nothing game, conservatives will not get everything all at once…”

        I agree. Absolutely. It has taken us a very long time to get where we are, and will take even more time to get where we want to be. Real change, as opposed to the ephemeral Hopey Change, takes time.

      WoodnWorld in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      I respectfully disagree with both of you. If “we” win an election and you don’t see the efforts of the “Establishment” or “cocktail” conservatives (whatever), it’s because you are either very new to the process, and do not know what to look for, or, you are not looking.

      “The right needs to realise the left never ever retreats…”
      -We DO realize this. We realized it decades ago and have been steadily pushing/shoving back ever since. Welcome to the process! I don’t know if YOU realize this, but since the 60’s and 70’s, “we” have made tremendous progress turning the national narrative around too. No thanks necessary… It has taken time, and a considerable amount of patience but things are looking better (in spite of everything that looks horrible right now, I know) than they ever have before. The problems we are facing right now are monumental, but they can be solved. Only if we win.

      We are on the verge of making gains in the House, taking back the Senate with a significant buffer, placing anywhere from 1-3 nominees on the Supreme Court and putting a Republican in the White House, who will then continue to pack the lower courts with folks that are closer to Republican Red than they are Commie Red. It may not be perfect, it may not appease everyone, everywhere, but it is us moving in the Right direction.

      “The Establishment let us put in our money, energy and tears. WE elect somebody. Then they sit back again.”
      -No one is sitting back, I can assure you of that. You are not the only one putting in time, money, energy, blood, sweat and tears.

      “The first person I myself ever heard talk about the need to defeat and replace the Left is Newt.”
      -If this is true, sincerely, you either have not been listening, or are listening only to those you identify with and agree with. Defeating the Left, and their agenda, has been the only aim for the Republican Party since at least before World War II. As I said above, in spite of the set backs, we are doing much better now than we would have without the alleged “cocktail” conservatives. Admit it or not, like it or not, “we” helped set the stage for you. Many of us are patiently waiting for you to realize who your real enemies are, that “we” can be reasoned with, and they cannot.

      Venting on those of us who have been rocking conservative for years, decades now, will not make your real opponents any less ruthless, or any less committed to enslaving your children and grandchildren. Like it or not, this is a team sport. If you want to switch the bench around and draft some new members who more closely identify with your style of play, do us all a favor and wait until after the Super Bowl this Fall, will ya?

        Hope Change in reply to WoodnWorld. | February 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm

        Hi WoodnWorld —

        I used to think the same, that the whole purpose of the Republican Party since WWII has been to defeat the Left.

        I don’t believe that any more.

        With all due respect for the work you’ve done and the knowledge you have, beyond mine, of the process and hard work people have gone through…

        G. H. W. Bush, via Peggy Noonan, told us “read my lips.” My spidey sense told me that Bush was clueless, but that line, and the “thousand points of light” line convinced me that H. W. understood Reagan, finally. Ha! In comes the Left.

        Then Bob Dole, who I now find out tried to block Reagan’s reforms. In comes the Left.

        The the MSM’s darling maverick, John McCain — their darling, that is, until he was running against a true Leftist. In comes the Left.

        AND where is Boehner. Where are the Republicans per se?????????????

        I WANT to believe. I WANT to believe.

        But I don’t believe anymore.

        It’s a bait-and-switch, that’s all. Tell the rubes what they want to hear and then govern to suit the banks and the power grid all up and down the Eastern seaboard corridor between Now York and Washington, D. C. Mario Cuomo tells us this is the case in the Q & A with Tim Russert at the end: Look Mario Cuomo at 1:55 – 1:57 The whole video is excellent.

        What I heard Newt say was that conservatives win elections, as for example, Reagan won, or Jack Kemp, or whoever.

        But it doesn’t slow down the march of the Left through our institutions. The Left decided to capture the schools at every level, the judiciary, the law schools, the journals, the book reviews, the federal bureaucracy,the nonprofits, the magazines, the graduate schools, as well as the political parties and so much more, long ago.

        Two examples: YOUTUBE VIDEO OF ex-KGB officer YURI BEZMENOV


        So even though we elected Reagan, even though we elected a Republican in George W. Bush, the law schools, journalists, MSM, judiciary, all keep moving leftward, leftward, leftward.

        Newt was the first I heard who stated this problem and that we must not only DEFEAT the Left at the polls, we must REPLACE the Leftist culture in the bureaucracies. Newt’s point is that the institutions are allowed to drift Left without challenge.

        So what was referring to is, defeat and REPLACE. First heard it from Newt.

        It sounds like you’ve been part of a long effort and done and seen lots of hard work. I appreciate anyone who fights for freedom. So I thank you.

        All I’m saying is, I’ve watched these speech videos repeatedly. I have another list of links of Newt’s speeches I’m preparing, with many more hours, many of which I’ve watched repeatedly.

        Newt has ideas and solutions that can work. And if the American People like the plan, it will work.

        This isn’t about going backward. this is about going forward. And we’re going forward to an incredibly exciting time. We can force the government to put all its spending up on line. THINK ABOUT THAT. Transparency. We’re in the driver’s seat.

        The new technologies can put the State in a position to track people in real time. It can put the State is a position to know everything about an individual and store it almost without cost or time limit. We absolutely, positively, must elect constitution-loving and freedom-loving people to our government. Period.

        We can use the potentials of the technology and the future to make government the servant of the people. But it will take the American People taking an active role. Which is why the TEA Party is such a hopeful phenomenon. Looks like a lot of us are up for it.

        WoodnWorld, thank you for your fierce love for our country.

        Upon rereading your comment, it looks to me as if one thing you are arguing is, that if Romney is elected, we will have more conservatives in the House and Senate, and better Supreme Court nominees. Based on what?

        Do you remember Souter? (Actually, Roberts is excellent. And Alito. I will give G. B. Bush that with my sincere thanks.)

        Romney is liberal. He himself said he is a progressive and the people of Massachusetts wouldn’t hold it against him that he was running as a Republican. His wife is quoted as saying that when they jumped in as Republicans, they didn’t eve KNOW any Republicans. Romney was against Reagan. I mean, come on.

        With all due respect for your clear caring and history of commitment to our country, I just don’t see anything in Romney’s record that can make me think Romney would carry more wins to the House and Senate or appoint good Supreme Court Justices.

        I can appreciate your frustration.

        But I’m just done with the charade that the Republican Establishment, the Republican Party per se, is all about defeating the Left. Even Rush Limbaugh knows better than that, and he’s by no means a Newt fan, as far as I can tell.

        Peace. I hope I am showing respect, and my appreciation for all you have clearly done. I want the same vital economy and free people you do. It’s just that I think we can get to those things if the American People implement Newt’s plans.

          WoodnWorld in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm

          Hope- First and foremost, well met and well received. I admire your passion and find myself, not begrudgingly even, nodding my head at a number of things you post.

          Your time and energy deserve a measured and considered approach, one that I will freely try to offer now. Forgive me, it is just after 3:30 in the morning where I am so this may be a little disjointed in places. I mean well.

          Re: “G. H. W. Bush… told us “read my lips”… Bush was clueless…the “thousand points of light” … H. W. understood Reagan…In comes the Left.””
          -I do not deny that GHWB was a patrician, more than a little out of touch with the common man or that many of the things he did, “read my lips” included, were inartfully crafted and inconsiderately delivered. I will even freely concede that Romney’s “I do not care about the poor” echo the same sentiment and uncomfortably remind of us of how these obvious weaknesses can very easily be used against us when “in come the Left.” Statements like these do not help and play right into the enemy, yes enemy, playbook. On this much I am sure we agree.

          Where I might disagree though, is whether this was WHY we lost the election. I think it was much deeper than that. While it may have been an instrument, it was only one contained with a very well orchestrated and deftly timed symphony. It was an early 90’s hit job, a systematic take down of a man who had been a warrior and a patriot for this nation for decades.

          1991-92 was very similar to 2007-2008. Both times the economy took a hit just before a national election and the party in power suffered because of it. Clinton was not kidding when he said, “it’s the economy stupid.” While the scope and scale between the 90’s and this last election are vastly different, the methods were the same and I do not think I am being overly conspiratorial when I say I see intentional economic sabotage in both. Bush, in spite of everything he did right, lost because the economy took a (relatively minor) hit. Now fast forward, literally the DAY after John McCain and Sarah Palin took over in the national polls, polls that had not moved for months by the way, the most recent economic “crisis” hit. The narrative was lost after that, the professional Left pivoted off of the mess to blame us for the collapse, simultaneously redirected their efforts to systematically tear Sarah down, and between the two, the rest is history. In both cases, momentum was checked by economics.

          You mentioned Yuri Bezmenov. I am very familiar with him, and have often shared the very same video you offered here as evidence for arguments I have made about other subjects. I absolutely think it’s relevant. I am (perhaps a very poor) student of history, and I have always been fascinated by the direction this country took just before WWII, during the war, immediately after and throughout the Cold War era. What we are seeing now is a revision, or a “rebranding” of Soviet era tactics. The old, familiar playbook is being dusted off, repackaged and reinserted into American society once again. What’s more, it’s working. It’s working right here. The “establishment” vs. the “grassroots” is really just a 21st century spin on the bourgeoisie vs. the proletariat debate.

          What pisses ME off is the fact that, in my lifetime, we just got done beating these guys yet here their arguments are once again, in our very midst.

          WoodnWorld in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm

          Re: “It’s a bait-and-switch, that’s all. Tell the rubes what they want to hear…”
          I agree that there is a tremendous amount of “bait-and-switch” going on, and concede both parties both will, and have, pushed the boundaries where they can. This needs to stop. Our elected officials need to be held accountable. They will only be held accountable by us though. “They/Those/Them” (whomever you will) have been at this process for longer than any of us. The only differences between the Professional Right, and the Professional Left are that the former needs you and the latter does not. You can influence the former, but not the latter. The former begrudgingly “cares,” the latter does not give a damn. Some of our leaders may consider you, may consider me, to be a “rube,” but they are wrong and, if we are patient, take note of their tactics and work very hard not to make the same mistakes twice, we can turn this thing around. They can only tell us what we want to hear for so long before we either tune out, or learn from the process, and act accordingly.

          Re: “But it doesn’t slow down the march of the Left through our institutions…”
          -I disagree. Professor Jacobson, Glenn Reynolds, Victor Davis Hanson, Thomas Sowell etc. are all perfect examples of the conservative push back on just one of the classic strongholds of the Leftist march. I promise you each one of the conservatives’ classes’ were/are wildly popular, and in their respective fields, are doing their part to shape tomorrow’s minds. Right now, they are doing serious WORK. Very few of them could have survived in the 60’s and 70’s, and if they did, would not have had the freedom, or the ability to speak directly to us the way they do daily with their blogs and articles. We owe them all a debt of gratitude and should not beat up on any of them when one, or the other, does not agree with us on the tactics of the moment. Rather, we should take the long view, think strategically and play for the final victory.

          Yes, it is slow going, and yes, it will take some time to move these institutions in the direction we want them to go. But we are making progress. Winning takes time. Not everyone is fooled by the bait-and-switch. We can do this.

          WoodnWorld in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm

          Re: “Upon rereading your comment, it looks to me as if one thing you are arguing is, that if Romney is elected, we will have more conservatives in the House and Senate, and better Supreme Court nominees. Based on what?”
          -There are a few things I have consistently been arguing:

          First, we stand a much greater chance of losing this election if the Tea Party, or elements of it, stay home if Romney does become the nominee. I argue this is bad.

          Second, I argue that there is no “Us” vs. “Them,” no “Establishment” and no unified “grassroots” element in the United States. I argue that the boundaries are far more fluid than that, power is not that neatly exercised and both are absolutely dependent on us, the people. I argue us dividing amongst ourselves is also bad.

          Third, I argue against the logic of Newt Gingrich (a man I openly admire, someone whose books I both own and have read, a decades long “champion” for conservative causes) being the “anti-Establishment” candidate (largely because I don’t think “it” exists” but mostly because it plays into our enemies’ hands), the “Washington Outsider” (only because we have so openly called him “Our Insider” for so long) or most logical choice for the average American. I have no problems with anyone supporting Newt, for whatever reasons they choose. I do, however, have a problem with anyone going a step beyond it and arguing his is the obvious heir for the TEA Party movement (only because I have worked on “their” behalf, believe in their core mission and reject the hypocrisy that says Newt is, and always has been on our side). I argue this is neither bad, nor good, but rather, that I intellectually reject it.

          Fourth, I argue that I am, as of this moment, and given everything I am seeing from the national trend, unconvinced that Newt, with all of his negatives, will be able to beat Barack Obama in November. Negatives are easy to earn, and hard to erase. Mitt has some “negatives” himself, but I do not believe he is as well known to lefties and independents as he is to us. Most of them did not switch on to the national election until the end, and never gave anyone other than Obama a serious look. Polls support this, the popular vote supports this and anecdotal evidence from Liberal to Moderate friends of mine support this. I argue this is neither bad nor good, neither accurate nor absolute, it just it what it is, accept it or reject it.

          Fifth, I argue that Mitt has an uphill battle, but stands a better chance of beating Barack Obama than anyone else in the field at this moment. Polls support this, the popular vote supports this and anecdotal evidence from Liberal, Moderate and Conservative friends of mine supports this. I argue this *could* be good but see many flaws, and many obstacles between here and there. Should someone else step in, I would give him (or her ) a serious look. Until then, we use the tools (pun intended) we have.

          Sixth, and finally, I argue that no matter what, we should not lose sight of our focus in the House and in the Senate simply because the Republican Primary is taking all of the oxygen out of the room. I DO believe Romney, for many of the reasons listed in the fourth and fifth points, will have longer coat tails than Newt or anyone else. Romney may, or may not, very well be a liberal to all of us but I promise you he is both a Conservative and a Republican to the Left and if some of them, many of them even, are willing to jump ship away from Leftism to vote for him, more precisely, for a REPUBLICAN, I consider it a coup of the highest order, and am both welcome and glad to have them looking at our side for once in their lives. Converting them through Romney, and keeping them through both our back bench officials and the impact of our policies will aid the lasting change, and ultimately the lasting victory, we all are looking for.

          That is what I am arguing.

          Hope Change in reply to Hope Change. | February 6, 2012 at 1:12 am

          Thank you, WoodnWorld for your courteous, reasoned and thorough reply.

          I really appreciate it.

          Would it be true to say that although you respect Newt, you think Romney has a better chance of being elected in the general election?

          I’m genuinely asking.

          Here’s the reason I don’t think that is true. Romney is suppressing turnout in the countries where he’s winning. Newt points out, rightly, I think, that you can’t win the general election doing that.

          Romney’s methods are the same as Obama’s. Romney in the primary is being the biggest, baddest guy in the valley of the shadow of death, the one with with all the money. But Obama will play that in the general election. Goliath will simply meet Goliath.

          And if Romney wins, what do we get? I honestly would rather have it clearly labeled POISON. The harm that liberal “moderate” Republicans to to our country is beyond calculation.

          When Republicans are Liberal Lite, people forget conservative soultions. Hey! We can lower tax RATES and get higher tax REVENUES. All this class warfare is nonsens and it hurts EVERYONE.

          SHOW ME A MODERATE REPUBLICAN WHO CAN OR EILL EXPLAIN THAT. I am sick and tired of watching them all mealymouthed.

          A Moderate REpublican is in charge, and more and more people can’t get jobs and lose their hope and initiative. WHO WILL GET BLAMED? WHO WILL BE CASTIGATED BY THE MSM? Almost half the households now get some kind of government check. Thisis a recipe for disaster. If it’s going to crash and burn, I want it clearly labeled, “brought to you by your local communist-socialist government theorist.”

          When the Republicans are part of this, there is no remedy except, as so many are beginning to say, a third party. But that way lies disaster also! Ohhhhh. (moaning with despair.) The splinters of parties in European nations means the most extreme routinely hold the middle hostage.

          I’m sure you’ve read Angelo Codevilla’s “AMERICA’S RULING CLASS,” but it’s worth looking at again.

          The Establishment Republicans are in on the game. The game is a charade because they are doing it TOO. The Democrats are the big spending, big government guys, right? Except, oh oops, so are the Republicans. And I’m looking right at you when I say this, G. W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress up until 2006.

          Ohhh Ohhh they’re holding the line on spending! oooh oooh they tried (they tried, they tried, they tried, they tried, they tried) to get rid of Fannie Mae — OR DID THEY?
          Dis they talk about it? Did they alert the People? Why, no, no, I don’t believe they did!

          They also don’t get rid of baseline budgeting and they never even explain to the American People what it is when they’re on TV.

          But they’re Republican, so they are anti -spending! Right? OH RLY??

          I don’t buy it anymore and I am just completely fed up. (sorry, retire05.) (Deep breath.)

          Seriously, I could probably run things better and more honestly with a class of first graders. (calming, calming.)

          Newt talks about the wasted opportunity of the election of 2004 in the speech we’ve been talking about today, “2012: VICTORY OR DEATH.” Newt says the Bush team was determined to run a narrow, base-driven campaign against Kerry as Kerry. Newt says in the speech that you couldn’t get the Bush team’s attention because, as far as he could tell, they are so uncomfortable with ideas. So, hmmmm, I wonder why Karl Rove seems to hate the Gingrich candidacy?

          Anyway, also late here. So appreciating this post today and all the comments. This self-government stuff is quite time-consuming, yes? And we don’t even have the offices yet!

          Do you have any idea what the American People can do, linked by the new technologies, to transform the federal government, make it responsive, make it accountable? We can do it.

          WoodnWorld, I am honored and happy beyond words that you took the time to respond to my comments. We are Americans and we love out country, our prosperity, our freedoms, our future.

          We must restore our country. We must, or we are going to have to learn our lessons the hard way. Some of that may be coming up next summer in any case, as the Left tries to intimidate and hang on to their sweeeeeeet ride.

          If you are interested, I would be VERY interested to hear your thoughts on this speech. Also anyone else’s if interested. Here is the link. “2012: VICTORY OR DEATH.”

I hate politics. I am a philosopher at heart and enjoy sharing my insights with others. That changed in 2008, when people proclaimed we were observing a “historical moment”, and with the candidate’s utterance of the phrase “redistributive change”. I am well aware of their implications. Both statements are implicit rejections of individual dignity. Both are antithetical to the principal principle I respect. Both are contrary to the principles underlying the founding of our nation; notwithstanding original compromises. Both are highly incompatible with preservation of individual dignity and therefore must be rejected. Both are sponsors of progressive corruption of individuals and society.

I became involved in the late 70’s, early 80’s, barely out of my teen years. It was when Jane Fonda/Tom Hayden were head of the CED, or Campaign for Economic Democracy. Their municipal laboratory was in a westside, rather conservative community, next to Los Angeles. Here, with a tenant population of 70%, they embarked on enacting an ambitious rent control measure. It failed once, but passed on it’s second round in the initiative process.

Everything about this policy was socialism-plus. And, they were not to stop just at property rights, but eventually infected all areas of public policy in the city.

I became involved with many campaigns attempting to put conservative candidates in place. But, the liberal opposition always ran their candidates as a formidable ‘slate,’ and with Fonda/Hayden and other unnamed liberal sources as their funding, most of it obscured, they handily won every time.

Derek Shearer, one of the head operatives for CED, was also close with Bill Clinton, who used to run on the beach with him when he came to town. I knew, with this DC tie, it would only be the matter of time before our local liberal policies would make it to the national level. And, that’s what happened

What I’ve learned from this disappointing political experience is that running too many candidates dilutes and splits the conservative vote. Also, running candidates who seem inflexible, prone to not compromising on some issues, can easily be undercut and demogauged by the liberal opposition who comes across as sympathetic to the common man. It’s a fine line for a good, electable candidate to walk, in order to make the cut and win an election, especially when the deck is essentially stacked against a self-reliant, smaller government, pro-business agenda.

I no longer do local politics, except to always cast a vote for whom I think is the best candidate.

Susan in Texas | February 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I was never politically active before the rise of the TEA party. Have always done my civic duty by voting, but really didn’t do a lot of research into the candidate’s proffered by the Republican party. What I have discovered since joining the movement is that the GOP is run by elites who care nothing about the common man. The letters I write to my supposedly conservative congressman and senators either go unanswered or are answered with some form letter that usually has nothing to do with my initial concern.

The South Carolina primary really opened my eyes to the sunshine patriots in the establishment. To listen to the venom voiced against the TEA party patriots of South Carolina by people I truly admired, such as Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck, was disheartening. Even the Drudge Report and Fox News have become nothing more than a tool for the establishment. I don’t believe the TEA party is dying. I do believe it has been wounded by traitors to the cause. We need to regroup and find our foothold again. My hope is that Sarah Palin’s keynote speech at CPAC will spark that flame of passion that we need at this critical time.

Donald Douglas | February 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I was a student of political science and then a professor of political science for almost 25 years before I really became active in the “activist” sense, participating and organizing for candidates and to bring about political change. The election of Obama and the left’s silent coup through the Democrat-Media-Complex did it for me.

Nice posting William!

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, but 2008 was an awakening year for me.

It started outside of politics, as I struggled to understand the financial meltdown, and was increasingly tuning out traditional media for alternate media like Mike Shedlock, … the path from Austrian economic style thinking to Tea Party is a short one. His lines skewering standard financial patter (his takedown of standard maxims like “how can sellers ever outnumber buyers?” … “how can their be more cash sitting on the sidelines because of worry” … showed how little intelligence their was in financial shows).

Shedlock’s blog brought me to Michelle Malkin, and once I was linking around, from there to other blogs, including eventually Legal Insurrection.

Obama’s rise and fueled my interest, as well as my dislike of how McCain’s candidacy was run and equal like of Palin (and dislike of how she was treated). Palin’s VP nomination triggered my largest political contribution to date (ever), so I would link that to my political awakening. But I really trace it back to the awareness that the financial chattering class was peddling bullshit as the beginning of my “its all BS” attitude.

From there, it was more reading, the sickening feeling in November and again in Jan, onwards to the growing protests, my participation in the 9-12 Tea Party rally in DC (the first time I ever did something like that), the Obamacare nightmare, the Scott Brown stand (however brief), etc.

Once you tune out mainstream media for the blogosphere, its hard to go back. It reminds me of the old horror movie, “They Live”, with Rowdy Roddy Piper. I’m sure its not the analogy the producers intended exactly, as they were probably of leftist persuasion … but it works for me.

Nothing ever dies on the Internet (yet), and the truth is hard to bury … heaven forbid the day the left gets control of the Internet and starts to deep-hole our collective Internet memory.

Well, I guess I just don’t agree with that. Lots of us are active.

It was TARP.

TARP and especially Obamacare being shoved down our throats was what got me off my couch…ive always voted..but now I now what im voting for or has also allowed me to teach me 15y/o the truth about our not a member of the TP however I support them 100%…they are amazing..perfect? no…however they are the brakes that are needed to stop the man/child in the WH….

Was raised in a political family. Worked in politics many years. I was always a Conservative and tried to work only for other GOP Conservatives. But so many ran to the right and then turned to the left after suckering the Conservative vote. For years, I wondered why no one protested and no one seemed to care, it was lonely out there. I thought Conservatives would never wake up and face the fact that they were being used and abused.

I had just about given up hope and then the Tea Party gave me a flicker of light. People finally were starting to pay attention to what the bums in both parties were up to – I used to be one of those people who believed we could not have a third party because it would split the GOP vote. But now I see that unless we start a new Conservative Party we should only expect more of the same from the RINOs. Funny thing is, if you actually do the math it will be the Conservative Party that rises precisely because we have ideas, ideals and respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. We have the best product, we just need to market it, the Tea Party proves to me there are a lot of willing buyers for it.

But the Tea Party cannot allow themselves to be usurped and deceived if they are to succeed. I will join a new Conservative Party if one is formed and not look back once at my life in the GOP. Believe me, I never thought that would happen and, who knows, I might just end up thanking the Rombots, Ann, Drudge, etc. for helping see that I don’t want to be a part of the GOP they’re selling.

btw the tea party is far from dead …just busy working..check out the exit polls from the primaries so far..those who support the TP is around 66% in the states so far…

The day after Bill Clinton – an obvious sleazeball if ever there was one – was elected president, I changed my party registration from independent to Republican.

I have spent the years since watching the Republican leadership do everything in its power to drive me back out of the party. (Anybody remember when Trent Lott sabotaged the Senate trial after the House impeached Clinton?)

Sometimes I spend a couple years almost ignoring politics because I can’t stand the stupidity. But I always come back.

This election is an example of both what brings me back and what makes me think about leaving the GOP. It is incredibly important that Barack Obama be removed from office, before he bankrupts the country. But if we’re just going to replace him with Mitt Romney – the only elected official in America to have actually implemented socialized medicine – what’s the freaking point?

I’ve been politically active since 1980 when I saw the UN taking over our schools.

I have been with the tea party since it started with the first one on Dec 16, 2007 and I founded the very first STATEWIDE coalition in NH in 2008.

I realize that we have politically inexperienced people joining these new fake tea parties from 2009 (started by opportunist GOP operatives like Meckler, Kremer, Martin, Phillips and Russo) and that is why they push establishment hacks who are hardly tea party worthy in our faces like Gingrich and Santorum. They are clueless.

Romney is buying his way across the country.

But the first and only tea party candidate is still Ron Paul.
Sorry, but if you look at the issues, the tea party was started in 2007 in opposition to BUSH policies, before we ever heard of Obama.

The key issues were Fed Res, foreign policy, bailouts/tarp, and health mandates, patriot act and now NDAA, SOPA/PIPA Agenda 21, Food Safety and Modernization Act (Codex Alimentarius) and more.

If you are a STATE coalition and are still original and untainted by these GOP fakers, please join our mailing list (send requests to the NHTPC website) for state tea parties.

    It’s an interesting point you make, Gadsden, about the legitimacy of some of the tea party groups. I’ve heard of monetary problems with some, and over-expanding egos in others (where egos are supposed to be tamed and circumspect allowing for the group’s message to be heard).

    I also agree that domestically Ron Paul’s positions are the most conservative of the group. However, it is in his foreign policy where he runs into problems with the masses. During these debates, and also in interviews, I have found Paul to actually be more of a wingman to Romney than anyone else. His most recent ‘save’ was dealing with the publically waving off Romney’s ‘poor’ comment as incidental, that was taken out of context and overblown by first the MSM and then Gingrich, himself.

    Perhaps, Paul is partially siding with Romney because he assumes that is who will be the nominee, and Paul wants a speaker’s spot at the convention. Or, maybe he is hoping that his son, Rand Paul, might even be considered for VP on a short list.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to GadsdenGurl. | February 6, 2012 at 4:50 am

    Obama declared his president bid in Feb 2007.

    Tarp was Set 08

    Bailout (GM Chrysler ) Dec 08.

    I call your post bs.

What is most difficult for traditional conservatives is the reality that the real “wins” are few and sometimes far in between. Im thinking back to the first campaign I was involved with in 1964….I was that one Goldwater Republican from CT. Well almost the only one.
Sort of similar campaign..primary season as we see today. Back then the battle was between Goldwater and the Rockefeller Republicans that were similar to today’s Mitt Romney….except they didnt paint themselves as conservative based on their shopping at Brooks Brothers.
I also agree with the poster that mentioned a true Conservative Party…Id be there in a heartbeat if one was viable.

I became a politics junkie in 1978, after hearing how many adults regretted voting for Carter in 1976, and upon getting a subscription to Time magazine. I’ve always voted GOP since 1988. I’ve had my vote stolen twice. The first time in 1996, when absentee ballots sent by soldiers overseas were thrown out because of the US permits Free Mail from Europe, but the states require a USPS date-stamp. The second time when Virginia screwed up the absentee ballot.

Both times the voting procedures were controlled by the GOP, and both times they worked to undermine conservative candidates. The GOP will never get my money.

What I like about the TEA Party is that there are as many folks who’ve registered Democrat and Independent as there are Republicans and conservatives. If the TEA Party launches as a third party, the Democrats may see a similar fractioning and a fourth party formed.

Newt will back Romney if he’s the nominee, a pledge made this morning on Face the Nation. Romney has already said the same about Gingrich.

Crazy as it may sound, my interest in politics began at the age of six when everyone seemed to be wearing an “I Like Ike” button.

For some reason this spurred an interest in me as to WHY they liked him and, though I was forced to suffer through the ridicule of my friends because I was the only one telling them to be quiet during the newsreels at the local movie theaters, this interest into wanting to know who was in charge of MY country has allowed me to convert many people into informed voters rather than Party voters.

Influence, with Patience, CAN Lead to Lasting Political Power:
Re: “Those who tuned in in 2009 are tuning out, getting ready to go back to their previous lives, rebuilding walls around themselves.

In 2010, it was appropriate to ask “Do you remember when you decided to become politically active?”

In 2013, the question may be “Do you remember when you decided to become politically inactive?””

-Again, with all due respect Professor Jacobson, all this says to me is certain elements of the grassroots movement were willing to play an active role, only as long as they saw things going their way. It says to me that many of them were, politely, part-timers in the process, uninterested in learning both the history of the conservative movement and how influence really can be transferred/translated to power, but only over time. It says to me that they are easily dissuaded and easily discouraged. I know better than this.

Take heart! Sink your teeth in. Stick around. The losses always hurt, both on the tactical and strategic levels, but I promise you the victories erase them all and make the entire effort worth everything. We both need you, and want you, in the process. It’s taken a very long time to get to the point where the “silent” masses are switched on, and the Party is better for it. Please don’t let the primary process, which has ALWAYS looked like this, and a single candidate (Newt Gingrich no less, a man whom we have always considered one of the Insiders, one of the Establishment, one of US), be the impetus for your “rebuilding” the walls that were torn away from you by politicos far more ruthless, and far more damaging than we ever could be.

    You’ve missed the point. People aren’t in danger of tuning out because “things aren’t going their way” but because they are getting the feeling that the system is rigged. People are feeling like the fix is in for Romney and being actively involved just makes them useful idiots for the Republican leadership.

    If this feeling continues to grow, the Republicans will lose their base and the party could (theoretically) disintegrate. I don’t think that is imminent but it has potential to grow over the next few election cycles.

      WoodnWorld in reply to irv. | February 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Nah, I got the point. The system IS “rigged.” I don’t deny it. It always has been. Every system is rigged, it’s what systems do. They all have mechanisms for distributing influence. There are always parameters, barriers, impediments, choke points, facilitators, gate keepers and conduits through which that influence is translated into actual power.

      These things take time to build, elections have never been decided at the last moment and it takes even more time to turn things around. If you want to implement lasting change, and remain lawful while doing so, you have to work within the confines of the system to alter the boundaries of that system. There is no question that our system is complex and convoluted. Many Americans are just now getting a sense for how the American political system works, just how twisted and arcane it really is, and they are justifiably indignant.

      Some of the newest converts (not coincidentally the most energetic, the loudest, and most bellicose) got on board with the movement very recently, had a tremendous impact on the national discourse, and feel personally responsible for the most recent waves we all have ridden. While they deserve to feel good about what we all have done, no one person or constituency has a monopoly or ownership of either the party or its victories. Some of you are used to winning, or to being on the winning side and justifiably feel as though when you don’t win, when things aren’t going your way, that success or defeat depends on you. It doesn’t. As someone who has both won and lost, I speak from experience. Whether you win or lose, the “system” goes on.

        Hope Change in reply to WoodnWorld. | February 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm

        What do you think George Washington would say to that?

        No offense.

        The system just is, get used to it?

        If the system just is, and newcomers should just get used to it, what are the changes from within that have been made and that we should be trying to make, that you are saying others are trying to make. The system that just goes on and on.

        The system is turning our grandchildren into debtors before they are born.

        I don’t think so.

          Hope Change in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm

          Sorry for the impatient tone, WoodnWorld. My intention is to always treat you with respect.

          I like what RightKLik said below:

          RightKlik | February 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm

          Let’s not be discouraged. Our enemies may be more numerous and more powerful than we first realized, but “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          WoodnWorld in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 9:11 pm

          You are fine Hope, no worries. I think George Washington would be severely disappointed. I think, to a man, every single one of our Founding Fathers would be disappointed. But, frankly, they aren’t here and that is why it is up to us to fix this.

          We have the means. They gave us a tremendous platform and intentionally designed it to be difficult to change. We have taken a long time to get here and we need to be patient to see our way out.

          WoodnWorld in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm

          Re: “If the system just is, and newcomers should just get used to it…”
          -I do not think newcomers should just get used to it, not at all. On the contrary. I think “newcomers” should learn the system as best they can, try to make as few mistakes as possible, learn from the mistakes when they do make them, and not be ashamed of either the learning curve or the fact that their either will, or have, made mistakes. Most importantly, I think they should read, a lot, and often. I think they should continuously sharpen their skill sets and tirelessly work for the change they want to see.

          No no, do not get used to it. We built this system specifically so the rules could change. Our opponents have been whipping our asses. That has to change. Learn the rules, master the game, do not be afraid to lose, and beat them everywhere and anywhere they stand.

          The system goes on until we reprogram it from within. Status quo never lasts forever.

      WoodnWorld in reply to irv. | February 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Sure, “some” people may be “feeling like the fix is in for Romney” but, currently, no matter what some other people, a plurality of other people (read: citizens, voters, conservatives, Americans or MORE people) in a number of states across America are voting for him. We can rationalize it or explain it any way we want: money raised/money spent, this person or the other not endorsing the guy “we” like, that person or the other not speaking as forcefully as “we” would like against the other guy, tactics employed, operatives deployed, advocates, antagonists…none of this is new. That’s the “system.”

      Re: “If this feeling continues to grow…it has potential to grow over the next few election cycles.”
      -I agree. I sincerely HOPE that feeling continues to grow. With the mess we all are facing now, anyone who becomes either apathetic, or content, with the system or our government in the next few election cycles deserves the result both offer us. I am asking, perhaps not you, perhaps not others, to take a long view on all of this and realize that the fate of this country does not hinge on either Newt or Mitt. I am asking you to realize the “base” is bigger than you and it never agrees with any of us, all of the time. Long term, lasting success depends on our unflagging commitment to change the system from within, whether we win or lose, whether our guy is “up” or our guy is “down.”

        Hope Change in reply to WoodnWorld. | February 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm

        Hi WoodnWorld

        I don’t see we can change the system from within by doing the same thing again with Romney.

        We’ve been at this since 1976 with Gerald Ford.

        The only true conservative in all that time was Reagan.

        Of course, they RUN as conservatives, oh yes. They SAY they are conservatives, oh yes.

        Because they see that that is what the “rubes,” as InstaPundit has it, in the hinterlands, AKA, as Rush says, “the people who make this country work,” WANT TO VOTE FOR.

        The game for all of them, all the consultants, all the slicksters is how slickly they can pull the wool over our eyes.

        I’ve had it. I don’t know what your experience is, and it sounds as if you’ve worked on this long and hard. I respect that.

        But for me, McCain was the end.

        The Establishment fought Reagan every step of the way. Don’t call the Soviet Union an “Evil Empire,” don’t say, “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” don’t develop Anti-Missile systems and if you do, we’ll ridicule it as “Star Wars” no walking away from the trick-trap “negotiations” at Reyavik.

        Dole was against Reagan’s reforms. The Establishment insisted on Dole. I felt for the guy. I really did. But what, what, what was the Establishment thinking.

        Was Jack Kemp still around at that time? Was there no one who believed in and could articulate our vision?

        Then McCain. Seriously. Mr. Maverick, who lovvvved to stick it to any conservative thing the Republicans did. Who was willing to curtail the rights of Americans’ freedom of speech and give the incumbents permanent protection; he, along with Sen. Feingold. Are these mistakes????? Is Senator McCain so out of touch that no one whispered to him that he was curtailing the POLITICAL FREE SPEECH of American citizens? Please.

        And now you want Romney and you promise a more conservative outcome than … what? This economy is going to crash and burn if it doesn’t receive resuscitation, and pronto. Do you want a Depression with a nominal Republican in the White House?

        Do you really think Romney’s slicing and dicing skills, the cutting up of companies someone else built, are enough to undo all the damage of the regulations, the insane tax code, the ridiculous federal laws and regulations we all toil under, the out-of-control federal agencies, the “friends” in banks and congress who take care of each other with taxpayer money just out-and-out funneled to the banks, from the treasury, (and borrowed from China) in the bailouts? Because of market crashes that THEY THEMSELVES caused?

        Do you really think a campaign strategy that is DEPRESSING TURNOUT in the counties in which Romney wins is a winning strategy for November? Turnout is UP in the counties Newt won. Newt’s win in South Carolina set a record.

        OK, retire05. I see that this could be interpreted as shouting. Point well taken. I don’t mean to shout.

        But OMG.

        WoodnWorld, I just can’t do it.

        And especially when an outcome I would dearly love is right here, A CHANCE — the solutions Newt is proposing.

        If we’re going to shrink government, we’re going to have to grow citizens. I choose shrinking government. I choose to grow as a citizen. I’m with Newt.

        I guess we all love our country and we all want for things to be better and also to restore our prosperity and freedoms, for ourselves and the coming generations … for our country, that we love.


          WoodnWorld in reply to Hope Change. | February 5, 2012 at 10:01 pm

          Hope Change, fair enough.
          “I don’t see we can change the system from within by doing the same thing again with Romney.”
          -I don’t see it being easy. I do see it being possible.

          “We’ve been at this since 1976…[t]he only true conservative in all that time was Reagan.”
          -I could argue that in the late 1970’s, Reagan was considered the contemporary equivalent of a RINO. I won’t though. He too came from a very questionable line of work, acting in Hollywood, and a very blue state, California. He ended up being one of the very best, ever, and a personal hero of mine. I am just saying, it’s possible.

          “Of course, they RUN as conservatives, oh yes. They SAY they are conservatives, oh yes…Because they see that that is what they… WANT TO VOTE FOR.”
          -This is what democratic politics is, and always has been. Read Demosthenes, read Cicero. It was as true in Greece and Rome as it is here. They always tell us what we want to hear. The Greek elites told the demos what they wanted to hear, and Roman patricians did the exact same thing to the plebeians, if they wanted to appeal to the popularis rather than the optimates.

          “I’ve had it. I don’t know what your experience is, and it sounds as if you’ve worked on this long and hard…[b]ut for me, McCain was the end.”
          -I worked/volunteered for the man, and believe me, it was not easy for me to hold my nose and do what I had to do, and to focus on the larger threat (which always was Clinton and Obama), let alone vote for the man. I cannot count how many times in my life’s memory, John McCain stuck us in the back for this cause or that “principle.” With John I learned not to take politics personally. Rather than get all bent out of shape, which I did, rather than gnash my teeth, which I did, I learned to be patient and get even. I learned to play the long game, stay focused on the bigger issues and only make tactical withdrawals when I have to.

          “The Establishment fought Reagan every step of the way…”
          -For as many as were against him, on any given issue, at any given time, there were always more for him. His opposition, at any given time, was neither unified nor organized, neither monolithic nor monochromatic. By that I mean, very few opposed him all the time. It would have, over the span of the 80’s been suicide to do so. Find me a Republican, who was not on Reagan’s staff, or was not a Reagan appointee, that supported him 100% of the time and I will give both you and that person a medal. The fact is, given everything he faced in the 80’s, it made good politics to oppose him from time to time, if not good sense.

          “Do you want a Depression with a nominal Republican in the White House?”
          -No, I do not.

          “Do you really think Romney’s slicing and dicing skills…are enough to undo all the damage of…”
          -I think what we all keep arguing is someone needs to take a meat cleaver to the Federal Government, and then follow-up with a scalpel to finish the job. Yes, I really do think Romney’s skills, and past experiences, *might* be exactly what we need to reorganize a bloated and inefficient system. Hell, if he is half as good at taking out Obama as he has been every other opponent he has faced, and a quarter as good at taking a tactical hatchet to Washington as he did in business…

          “Do you really think a campaign strategy that is DEPRESSING TURNOUT in the counties in which Romney wins is a winning strategy for November? Turnout is UP in the counties Newt won. Newt’s win in South Carolina set a record.”
          -A campaign cannot depress turnout. Only the people can do that. I do not fault anyone who wants to sit the primary out, or is turned off by the ugliness of it all. I do, however, fault anyone who will do the same in the general election. You are a Patriot, this is clearly not you.

          “WoodnWorld, I just can’t do it…If we’re going to shrink government, we’re going to have to grow citizens. I choose shrinking government. I choose to grow as a citizen. I’m with Newt.”
          -I respect that. In the primary, do what you feel you must and a pox on anyone’s house that tells you otherwise. I trust when November comes, we will do what we need to and that is all that matters to me. I meant what I just said, and what I said earlier. I do believe you are a Patriot, and admire both your passion and conviction. With citizens such as these, we cannot lose.

Let’s not be discouraged. Our enemies may be more numerous and more powerful than we first realized, but “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

huskers-for-palin | February 5, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Hey William, lets watch after the election and see how many Rombotts/apologists are here after November once the deed has been done.

As to your question, I got involved (after a long period of apathy…Bush 41, Dole, Bush 43) when a certain lady from Wasilla stepped on the stage in August 2008. Force once, someone NOT from the Ivy League can have an impact on my conservative beliefs. Palin provided the motivation for me switch my party affiliation from Independent to Republican, fund raise for Tea Party candidates and organize at the local level. No other candidate has EVER done that since my college days when Reagan was running for President.

Sure enough, she has drawn out a lot of RINOS and the depths of the MSM-Democratic influence (Breitbart was right). People who I thought were worth my time are now off my donation list.

Once the GOP primaries in Nebraska are over, I plan to go back to my original political affiliation (Independent).

BannedbytheGuardian | February 6, 2012 at 5:03 am

Anyone who has an interest in history cannot but be interested in politics for politics is just the present case. Tomorrow it is history.

I began reading Viking stories at about 9. Then I read & memorised the early history of Britain which of course is the Vikings as well.

Then France at the Battle of Agincourt took my attention . Then Napoleon & Russia.

Then back to Greece & Rome & the classics. Herodutus The Pelopanesian War The March of the Goths .

Back to the future I only took an interest in USa politics Oct 2007 when I decided to follow the election.

I like this blog because I like Mr Jacobsen’s mindset.

It is the only one I post on though I follow the conversations on a few.

PS I believe USA will fall.

The studies by The Fontier Lab, Domenech’s anectodal conversation with a Tea Party mom, and my own reading of Tea Party leaves, all support my sense that the way in which the Romney campaign has been run — uninspiring but brutally negative and efficient yet dependent upon massive supporting fire from establishment Republican media and politicians – will do great damage.

William, your argument is predicated upon the belief that there exists someone else in the contest that is far better, and far more appealing than Romney. There is not! Gingrich has been in the race since day one but only gained traction after Bachmann scared establishment type people off, Perry utterly floundered, Cain imploded, and Newt berated a couple of debate moderators. He has been and is, in essence the least palatable candidate of the all the non-Romney candidates throughout the entire primary.

Furthermore, I think you are categorizing Tea Party types too conveniently to support your argument. We are motivated by a multitude of things, some more important than others. Of those running, Michele Bachmann was my first choice because of her tax law background. But equally important was her stance against the economic lunacy that is Cap and Trade and all the AGW garbage behind it. (Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, former Senator Ken Salazar – now SecInt – and our current President killed the investigation of our state oil shales. And that has a direct effect upon my business in engineering on the Western Slope.) Newt’s book A Contact with the Earth along with his partnering with Nancy Pelosi really turned many of us off.

As I have said before, I will take Palin’s advice and cast my vote for Santorum tomorrow just to extend the debate. I’m not fond of any of the remaining candidates, but they are not the problem – President Obama is. And your thinking that Gingrich is some magic elixir locked away by the evil Romney campaign and establishment Republicans is just wishful thinking.