Archive for ‘Charlie Crist’

June 11, 2009

Corleone Conservatives

Not long ago, a conservative operative sought to explain the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s decision to make an early endorsement of Gov. Charlie Crist in the Florida primary. The key, he said, was to understand the self-interested motives of top Republican senators:

“All they care about is getting their chairmanships back, and they don’t care how they get there,” said the operative. “They don’t want to spend any money, so they were looking for a self-funder.”

Anyone who has spent much time in Washington — and I’ve been here since November 1997 — can understand this. Influence is everything in Washington, and the GOP is currently at a low ebb of influence, on the wrong end of a power dynamic of Democratic dominance comparable to 1993 or 1977, if not indeed to 1965.

In such a situation, Republicans are like Fredo Corleone getting slapped around by the Democratic Moe Green:

First of all, you’re all done. The Corleone family don’t even have that kind of muscle anymore. The godfather’s sick, right? You’re getting chased out of New York by Barzini and the other families.

The desire of leading Republicans to recover their power — their influence, their prestige in Washington — is perfectly understandable. Like Fredo, however, the Beltway GOP leadership is weak, stupid and cowardly, seeking to curry favor with an implacable enemy by disrespecting their own family.

By picking Crist 15 months ahead of the Florida Republican primary, John Cornyn and the NRSC showed disloyalty and disrespect to the GOP grassroots, effectively declaring to the Moe Green Democrats, “Yeah, Moe, we’ve learned our lesson. We can’t disrespect you. We’re your friends. Look, we’re going to nominate an Obama-loving, stimulus-endorsing sellout.”

In this scenario, the conservative base of the Republican Party is cast in the role of Michael Corleone. And that’s what the Not One Red Cent movement is about.

It’s not about Charlie Crist. It’s about respect.

No more Fredos. No more Arlen Specters. No more “leaders” who try to attain power by selling out the people who elected them to office.

Next time you see some “conservative” pundit telling Republicans to be moderate — to be reasonable, to compromise core conservative principles — think of yourself as Michael Corleone when Tessio approaches him at the Godfather’s funeral to set up the Barzini meeting. And think about the beautiful moment when Michael finally confronts that traitorous punk Carlo:

Barzini is dead. So is Phillip Tattallgia. Moe Green. Slacci. Cuneo. Today I settled all family business. So don’t tell me that you’re innocent. Admit what you did.

Good-bye, Carlo — and good-bye, Tessio, too.

NOT ONE RED CENT!

UPDATE: Matt Lewis is not Fredo.

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May 25, 2009

The Gay Elephant in the NRSC’s Room

Over the past week, I have repeatedly heard from Republicans troubled by the rumors that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s choice in the 2010 Senate primary, is gay.

At age 52, Crist had never wed until he married Florida businesswoman Christine Rome two weeks before Christmas last year. Those who profess concern about “civility” would say — or at least, should say — that the rumors are thereby disproven. But . . .

Let me share with you a message I received yesterday from someone I don’t know, and who wishes to remain anonymous:

I have no interest in creating a fuss for you or us. Just asking some questions, if you know what I mean and I think you do.
How are you/we/they going to handle the persistent rumors that Charlie Crist is gay? The first conservative blog to raise this issue is going to be slammed by the MSM, the Democrats and Crist’s Republican supporters for rumor mongering and the politics of personal destruction. But these rumors ain’t going away. LGBT groups have already raised the specter of hypocrisy about Crist being safely in the closet while denying gays access to marriage.
If Crist is gay and had sex with a man, what are the odds we are going to hear about it? If so, I would wager that any revelations will come out after he has won the nomination.
If Crist is gay but has been celibate his entire life, until, you know, he married a woman, what impact will the rumors have on conservative voters in Florida?
If Crist is not gay but the rumors persist, again, impact on conservative voters?
Mark Foley Redux?
On the other hand, what negative impact will a public discussion of the topic by conservatives have on the Rubio campaign?

Well, there you go. If I am “going to be slammed by the MSM, the Democrats and Crist’s Republican supporters,” let the slamming begin.

This message, as I said, came to me from someone I don’t know, but people I do know have said much the same thing: No matter what the poll numbers show, no matter how much money Charlie Crist can raise, no matter what the probability that Crist could win the general election, these widespread rumors indicate potentially serious trouble.

And don’t think that liberals haven’t noticed. My tipster forwarded a link to this Huffington Post story:

Crist’s increasing shift to the right on social policy may be canceled out by the documentary film, Outrage, which reports on persistent rumors that Crist is a closeted gay man — even as he states positions against marriage rights for LGBT people and his support for Florida’s ban on adoption by LGBT folks. (Florida’s law is the only such adoption ban in the country; some 4,000 adoptable Florida children languish in foster care.) As shown in Outrage, which opened nationwide just days before Crist announced his Senate bid, the allegations of Crist’s accusers are likely to rankle not only the right, but stand to alienate voters who may not care whether their governor is gay or straight, but who do care about his veracity and integrity — or lack thereof.

The tipster also sent me this Miami Herald story:

Outrage dares to name names, alleging that politicians of various degrees of power — including Idaho Sen. Larry E. Craig, California Rep. David Dreier and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist — have supported bans on gay marriage, gay adoption and AIDS-support bills from the relatively safety of their closets.

OK, this is not a story that really interests me, either politically or personally. But as my tipster says, you can bet good money that it’s a story the MSM are going to be very interested in — if and when Crist gets the Republican nomination.

The Huffington Post story references the reporting of Broward-Palm Beach New Times columnist Bob Norman. (Who seems to be turning “Is Charlie Crist gay?” into a career.) Critics will say that Norman repeats second-hand gossip, but (a) the gossip is very specific, and (b) Norman at least had the decency to call Crist and give him the opportunity to deny the gossip.

Norman names two people, one a Republican staffer who reportedly claimed to have had sex with Crist, the other rumored to have been Crist’s male partner. Norman then linked to a Miami Herald story reporting that the alleged partner was a convicted thief who had worked on Katherine Harris’s 2006 Senate campaign.

All of which may mean absolutely nothing and is irrelevant to the more fundamental problem of the NRSC trying to pre-empt an open-seat GOP primary by crushing the hopes of the notoriously studly Marco Rubio. But . . .

Did NRSC chairman John Cornyn and Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer take any of this into consideration before endorsing Crist? Surely, Greer must have been aware that these rumors had been dogging Crist for years.

If these rumors had not already been publicly aired by the Huffington Post and Florida media, I would have disregarded the anonymous tip. But the story is out there, and to have ignored it under these circumstances would have been a disservice to Republican readers concerned about the Florida Senate race.

May 21, 2009

Texas, Florida Conservative Grassroots Fight GOP Elite Over Crist Endorsement

The grassroots revolt went viral yesterday, the Florida GOP Chairman was forced to back down from his Senate endorsement for Charlie Crist, and now the fire spreads to NRSC Chairman John Cornyn’s Texas:

Key Republicans in Texas are alarmed by Sen. John Cornyn’s decision, as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, to endorse Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in a contested Senate race 15 months before the GOP primary.
“If they’re going to do it in Florida, what’s to stop them from doing it everywhere?” a Texas Republican source told me late Wednesday. “It’s absurd that the NRSC is doing this. It’s an insult to the base.”

Read the whole thing. Meanwhile, for your amusement, I had a little personal score to settle:

When a Georgia boy with a degree from Jacksonville (Ala.) State University comes to Washington as a journalist, he becomes accustomed to a steady diet of insults from the snobs of the Beltway media elite.
Some insults rankle worse than others, however. So it was impossible to resist the impulse to rub that insult back into an arrogant Ivy Leaguer’s face: “Of course, conservative bloggers never do reporting because, as liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias says, ‘What the right lacks are people with the skill to do the job” And since Yglesias went to Harvard, he knows everything.”

Read that whole thing, too. ‘Cause I’m the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Thankyuhvurrrmuch.

BTW, I just realized I’ve been working continuously since 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. After 24 hours, I figure I could use three or four hours sleep, don’t you?

UPDATE 12:50 p.m. ET: Now a Memeorandum thread, as Erick Erickson reacts to Greer’s walkback, saying the Florida chairman “”is glossing over the fact that he tried to use party rules to get Rubio knocked off the ballot. He is also ignoring the fact that he made clear at the RNC meeting that the Republican Party of Florida would be supporting only Crist in the Senate race and only McCollum in the gubernatorial race.”

UPDATE 1 p.m.: John Hawkins analyzes why GOP leaders are so freaking clueless:

[T]he leadership of the Republican Party keeps saying we need to get back to our principles and talks about how important it is to attract more young voters and Hispanic Americans. Then, we get a viable young conservative Hispanic candidate like Marco Rubio running for the Senate in Florida and they arrogantly try to shove him aside to make way for a better-connected, moderate pol who’s more acceptable to the GOP establishment.
Our party leadership goes on “listening tours” where they don’t talk about hot-button issues, say the base needs to get over Reagan, and don’t seem do any real listening.
We get “moderate” Republicans who provide the crucial votes for the Democrats on every key issue. . . .
What it all comes down to is that the Republican establishment is out of touch, doesn’t respect the people who put them in office, and has no principle they wouldn’t compromise for little more than a few kind words from the media.

Read the whole thing.

May 20, 2009

VIDEO: What Charlie Crist Is Up Against

Moe Lane is becoming a believer. As I said at the Hot Air Green Room, everybody who has seen this video is asking the same question: Why in the world would John Cornyn and the NRSC back Charlie Crist against this guy?

Hat tips to Pat and Carol.

BTW, the Not One Red Cent rebellion is growing rapidly: 3,400 visits in the first four days, including nearly 1,400 yesterday, with a boost from Conservative Grapevine.

UPDATE: Now front page at Hot Air, and John Hawkins has just published the petition to the NRSC. If you’re a blogger who wants to sign the petition, e-mail John.

Meanwhile, Matt Lewis reports on the movement, linking to Erick Erickson’s latest “Not One Red Cent” message at Red State.

UPDATE II: Now a Memeorandum thread.

UPDATE III: Dave Weigel of the Washington Independent and Eric Zimmerman of The Hill both report the story. Blogged by Dan Riehl of Riehl World View and at Hyscience.

UPDATE IV: John McCormack at the Weekly Standard offers side-by-side comparison of Rubio’s speech with video of Crist introducing Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Townhall’s Greg Hengler is now a Rubio fan, as is Fausta Wertz.

UPDATE V: K-Lo has a new poll on the Florida Senate race, showing Crist with only 49% favorable among Republicans. Compared to that, Rubio’s relatively low name-ID is inconsequential. How many Americans had heard of Barack Obama 15 months before the 2008 Iowa caucus?

UPDATE VI: The Rebellion Goes Viral! Meanwhile, Matt Lewis sees the video and says:

To be sure, the NRSC’s premature endorsement of Governor Crist would have evoked some negative reaction — even if his primary opponent were some right-wing nobody . . . or a squishy liberal Republican. But with Rubio, the Republican establishment has essentially pushed aside a young, attractive, conservative, Hispanic, highly-qualified, experienced leader.

BTW, you know who has a man-crush on Charlie Crist? Republican “kingmaker” Fred Malek. NTTAWWT.

UPDATE VII: Dad29 and Sundries Shack applaud the Rubio video, Pundette says, “The last two minutes made me cry,” and St. Blogustine says, “It’s Payback Time!”

May 16, 2009

Republicans ‘begging’ Erick Erickson to shut down Facebook protest of NRSC

You may remember my reaction when the “treacherous bastards” at the National Republican Senatorial Committee endorsed Charlie Crist in the Florida Senate race — 15 months before the primary!

Erick Erickson of Red State started a Facebook group to protest the NRSC’s endorsement of Crist, and Erick just sent this message to group members:

Subject: They are listening
I’ve been getting all sorts of emails begging me to shut this group down.
Instead, please consider inviting ten friends each.
The NRSC will not listen to us unless we help shut down their fundraising. You can help.
Thanks,
Erick

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP.

Meanwhile, there is a new blog HQ for the grassroots anti-NRSC protest: NOT ONE RED CENT.

UPDATE: John Hawkins of Right Wing News is circulating this petition:

Dear Senator Cornyn,
We the undersigned believe that the National Republican Senatorial Committee should be committed to serving ALL the members of the Republican Party.
Additionally, the NRSC should be focused on defeating Democrats, not Republicans. Towards that end, we believe it was completely inappropriate for the NRSC to endorse a candidate in the Florida primary race.
Therefore, we request that both you and the NRSC alter your position on the Florida Senate race, maintain neutrality, and promise to spend no money directly or indirectly in that race.

Things are getting hot for Cornyn and the NRSC.

UPDATE II: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Please also see my post at Hot Air Green Room: “Behind the ‘Not One Red Cent’ Rebellion.”

UPDATE III: Red Hot at Red State. And a Memeorandum thread. Certain left-wing bloggers are laughing, failing to understand what this is about. It is good that they don’t understand.

UPDATE IV: Welcome, Ann Coulter readers!

May 13, 2009

Economics is not a popularity contest

Yesterday I posted about the idiocy of NRSC endorsing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in the Senate race against conservative Marco Rubio.

Greg Sargent, who has apparently gone from Talking Points Media to a Washington Post site, gets all snarky about Rubio’s first TV ad:

Another mark of just how far to the right the GOP has moved:Barely moments after the news broke that Governor and stimulus-supporter Charlie Crist has entered the Florida GOP primary, his conservative opponent already has a new ad attacking him — with an image of President Obama, whose performance is supported by strong majorities and by Independents. . . .
It isn’t every day that a politician seeks to turn a race into a referendum on his opponent’s support for a President with an approval rating in the 60s, but these aren’t ordinary times for today’s GOP.

Let me see if I can explain what Greg Sargent evidently doesn’t understand. It doesn’t matter how popular Obama or his policies are, if his policies bring disaster. Remember how high Bush’s numbers were in 2002?

At this point, Obama is popular for being Not Bush. But there is a sell-by date on that commodity, and I’m betting that the Not Bush brand won’t have much value on the first Tuesday in November 2010.

The biggest problem Obama will face going forward is that the deficit-spending Keynesian approach that he and the Democrats have embraced cannot produce recovery. It never has and it never will. It Won’t Work and The Fundamentals Still Suck.

Greg, try to wrap your mind around what Megan McArdle is telling you about the bond market. And I’d say Megan is a wee bit on the optimistic side. After all, with trillions of dollars in new government debt soaking up so much scarce capital, what will the resulting shortage of private credit do to the already weak housing market? Unemployment is already near nine percent and will not decline soon, and without new buyers entering the market, the mortgage-default problem will likely get much worse in the near future.

None of these economic problems (and I’ve merely scratched the surface) can be solved by pointing to Obama’s poll numbers. As it becomes evident that Obama’s policies are making matters worse, that there is no magic to Hope, those poll numbers will decline, and being seen as associated with Obama’s policies will be political poison.

Snark all you want. Crist is a “dead man walking” politically speaking, and Rubio is making the smart bet by vocally opposing Obamanomics.

Oh, and not incidentally, remember that promise about “tax cuts” for everybody earning less than $250,000 a year? Well, now we have the details. Just a big fat lie:

40% of the value of new “tax cuts for families” is actually new spending, not new tax cuts. . . .
Families with taxable income of $230,000 and individuals with taxable income of $190,000 will see their income tax rate rise. . . .
By limiting tax breaks for the production of domestic energy and a raft of other energy tax hikes, the Obama budget blueprint will raise American families’ energy bills by $105 billion over the next decade. . . .
Small businesses will shed jobs to pay for the higher small business tax rates. The Obama budget blueprint calls for the top tax rate to climb from 35% to 39.6%, and for the second-highest rate to climb from 33% to 36%. . . . These tax rate hikes would be devastating for small businesses, which pay taxes on their owners’ tax forms. $2 out of $3 in small business profits pay taxes at these tax rates.

Good-bye, Hope! Hello, Change!

UPDATE: Thanks to Michelle Malkin for reminding us that the recession has accelerated the impending insolvency of Social Security and Medicare.

Like the lady said, the fundamentals suck. And, as Jimmie Bise reminds us, the Obama administration is “creating jobs” in much the same way Jayson Blair “reported news” — they’re just making stuff up.

May 12, 2009

Those treacherous bastards!NRSC to endorse Charlie Crist?

Politico reports that the recto-cranial inversion cases at GOP-HQ are planning another atavistic blunder:

Even as Gov. Charlie Crist comes under fire from Florida conservatives, he will be getting some important political backing today as he announces that he’s running for the Senate in Florida.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee will be endorsing Crist, according to a senior Hill operative, marking the first time it has taken sides (for a non-incumbent) in a competitive GOP primary this election cycle.

(Via Memeorandum.) Why would any conservative ever send another dime to the NRSC after this? Marco Rubio is the conservative in that primary, and it was Charlie Crist whose endorsement of John McCain help deliver Florida to that dingbat loser.

To hell with Charlie Crist and to hell with the NRSC. Go give some money to Marco Rubio.

UPDATE: At AmSpecBlog, I quote the chairman of the Conservative Republican Alliance:

“In case the NRSC forgot, it was Governor Crist that openly supported the Obama ‘stimulus’ plan, and gave the plan political cover here in Florida,” CRA chairman Javier Manjarres said in a press release. “Why does the NRSC issue an endorsement without even waiting to find out where the respective candidates stand on the issues?”

Here’s Marco Rubio’s first ad hitting Crist:

UPDATE II: Mitch McConnell endorses Crist, prompting John Hawkins to ask:

Can endorsements from Kathleen Parker and Colin Powell be far behind at this point?

Hawkins is calling for Cornyn’s resignation as NRSC chairman. Just don’t send ’em money, whatever you do.

UPDATE III: Oh, good: Now Ed Morrissey hates me, too.

UPDATE IV: Lots more negative reaction from conservatives, including Erick Erickson of Red State, who calls our attention to Dan McLaughlin’s Red State blog post, “Charlie Crist picks a fight Republicans don’t need.”

Dan Riehl is more approving, but perhaps he hasn’t studied the situation in Florida in the detail McLaughlin has. Basically, the old wobbly moderate, Crist, is stepping on the career of the promising Latino conservative, Rubio. It’s the exact opposite of what we need. It’s a triple disaster: Crist will forego a reasonably safe re-election bid as governor, to waste NRSC money running for an iffy Senate seat, creating an expensive GOP primary in the governor’s race. It’s just bad basic politics, all the way around, and only an idiot like Cornyn could think this was a smart move for the NRSC.

Jimmie Bise Jr. at Sundries Shack doesn’t want any of what John Cornyn is smoking.

April 25, 2009

Charlie Crist in trouble in Florida?

Months ago, a conservative Florida Republican named Javier Majarres began e-mailing me to complain about his dissatisfaction with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the state GOP chairman, Jim Greer.

Majarres was a big supporter of Lt. Col. Allen West‘s FL-22 congressional campaign. (I profiled West for The American Spectator and blogged about his campaign through the fall.) Manjarres felt that Crist and Greer didn’t do enough to support West.

Manjarres formed the Conservative Republican Alliance, and blogs at Red County. So today, Kid From Brooklyn has a post at the Hot Air Green Room, linking this Orlando Sentinel story:

Before last fall’s election, Crist took time out of his work schedule to campaign for McCain, appearing at rallies, raising money for him in Texas and California and visiting the GOP candidate at his ranch in Sedona, Ariz.
“He was with him so many times I thought he was an adopted member of the family,” said Mitch Ceasar, Democratic chairman of Broward County.
Back home, Florida’s economic crisis was deepening. But Crist did not step up his workload, according to his schedule.

Florida is one of the states hit hardest by the bursting of the housing bubble. There’s been lots of noise about Crist running for Senate next year, but as it is, he might be lucky to be re-elected as governor. Manjarres writes:

Crist’s indecision is, in all likelihood, delaying the entrance of several candidates into either the Gubernatorial race or Senate race. . . .
In my opinion, I think Governor Crist is very beatable in a primary election. If the right conservative candidate steps up and directly confronts him on both his record and his lack of leadership, he will force Crist to answer to the base of the Republican Party in a primary election. I think he could very well lose because he has disappointed those who elected him, time and time again during his tenure. . . .
Governor Crist is a wounded deer who has fallen completely out of favor with the base of the Republican Party — the political cover he gave President Obama by supporting the reckless “stimulus” plan was the final straw for many. [Emphasis added.]

Majarres notes that Dr. Marion Thorpe has declared as a Republican candidate in the Florida Senate race, and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio might also get in the race. There may be a Tea Party conservative rebellion brewing against “me too” Republicans like Crist.