Barack Obama and Ron Paul had something very much in common during the '08 campaign. Both won hearts and minds talking about fiscal responsibility and Bush bashing. The key difference was Obama delivered his fencepost-up-side-the-head attacks on Bush with polished eloquence and Paul, with his tremulous, whiny voice, sounded more like someone's great-grandad sitting on the front porch ranting about issues of the day. Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll last night, at least among the college age attendees that voted. When FOX News announced the results, they were quick to add that many people chose not to stand in line and cast a vote, suggesting the result isn't especially signficant, but you can bet the liberal media and pundits such as the gang on MSNBC's Morning Joe tomorrow will have a boat load of fun with it. They'll be quick to point out that the Republican Party still does not have a shining star at the helm.
Ron Paul is a stalwart against big government spending and along with his libertarian and anti-war points of view, he does have something to offer the disgruntled, especially Tea Party activists. The combination of Ron Paul and an unpopular mainstream Republican candidate (selected for the most part by the liberal media) won the White House for Mr. Obama. So, we want to go that route again in 2012?
There is a growing number of conservative Republicans, especially in the House of Representatives that are getting little press or attention. As Mr. Limbaugh says, you can always tell which Republicans the Democrats fear most because they go after them with full force of their wrath and condemnation. Identify, isolate and destroy. The media has thus far been pretty successful in taking Bobby Jindahl off the national radar, yet the press conference he gave in anticipation of another hurricane instead of making a speech at the '08 Republican National Convention was incredible. He is a man with remarkable leadership and organizational abilities with staunch conservative values, not just in theory, but also in practice. He is also a joke amongst media types.
Indiana offers two conservative Republicans with impressive track records, and either would make an excellent presidential candidate. Mike Pence and Mitch Daniels are often overlooked, but if you YouTube Pence's speech at CPAC a couple of days ago, he looks and sounds very much like the kind of conservative we need. Governor Daniels presides over a state of fiscal reponsibility and black ink. Cross the state line between Illinois and Indiana and immediately you'll see a vast difference in conditions of their roads and highways. In spite of the likes of native Hoosiers such as David Letterman, Indiana has alot to offer America right now in terms of conservative leadership. However, the suggestion that John Cougar Mellencamp may be a viable candidate for Evan Bayh's seat reminds us that even Red states have their share of looney liberals.
We should also be taking a look at young Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He stood up to Obama at the Republican House Retreat a few weeks ago. He has put forth an impressive and extremely workable, affordable alternative to ObamaCare. It is simply a lie for anyone to continue to say that the Republicans offer no plan to health care reform. As always, the Democrats' definition of bipartisanship means Republicans roll over and give them whatever they want without argument.
The newly inaugurated governors of Virginia and New Jersey are both carrying the conservative torch and if they so continue, will have long careers in Republican politics. John Thune and others have much to offer the Republican Party platform. We have stars, but we need to start looking up rather than backward.
God love Glenn Beck, and thanks to him for the hard work in exposing the truth about ACORN and many of the shady characters given jobs as czars in this administration. At the same time, Mr. Beck will do the resurgence of the conservative movement more harm than good if he continues his rant against the Republican Party. We all painfully understand that when the majority voted Obama into office, many were voting against Bush policies and spending. Glenn forgets sometimes that presidents don't have the power to spend, only to recommend spending. Spending, for the most part, spun out of control starting in '07 when power was handed to Pelosi and Reid. At some point, we need to move past the overblown spending in the Bush Administration on initiatives like education and the prescription drug entitlement. Those were Bush's versions of the coveted bipartisanship, and we see where they got him. We get it. Massive spending of money not yet earned, borrowing from China and printing whatever else we need is a really bad deal for America. But we have people that agree with us and that are willing to freeze spending here, and slash it there. We have people ready to govern within strict conservative boundaries.
The Tea Party folks have put forth a third party candidate in Nevada to run against Harry Reid. Ron Paul is obviously still popular among many. History shows us time and again that when one party splits, it also fails. We can try to run Third Party candidates without the funding, clout and backing of the Republican Party and take our chances, or we can look to some bright young stars waiting to be discovered. There are candidates that will govern with the conservative values we want and need. Once they are elected, we must not go back to sleep politically and expect government to take care of itself. We need to stay engaged, continue to organize town hall meetings frequently and write and call our representatives with demands that they adhere to their campaign promises.