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Political News and Commentary from the Right

Can the GOP and ‘tea party’ activists get along?

by Suzi Parker at The Christian Science Monitor

They’ve clashed in some places. But in Arkansas the old guard GOP and the tea party are united, so far, in a bid to oust Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Little Rock, Ark.

Dani Martin makes light of her Facebook group “Bye Bye Blanche.”

“It’s something we’re doing to poke fun at her,” Ms. Martin, a “tea party” activist, says of Arkansas’s senior senator, Democrat Blanche Lincoln. “Blanche likes to use her femininity in defense of what she does. We’re feminine conservative girls; she doesn’t represent us.”

With Senator Lincoln up for reelection in November – and besieged on many sides for, among other things, her hesitant support for national healthcare reform – the contest here will test not only the clout of the energetic but unfocused tea party movement but also how effectively the Republican establishment taps it.

So far, the desire to oust Lincoln appears to be uniting tea party and Republican forces here. If that pattern holds, Arkansas could become the altar for a pivotal political marriage that refashions conservatism in America.

But it may also prove to be the exception rather than the rule. Elsewhere, tea party activists and the Republican old guard have clashed. In Florida, for one, tea partyers recently helped oust the Republican Party state chairman, and the two sides back different GOP candidates for the open US Senate seat there.

Moreover, though the two enjoy jolly relations in Arkansas now, anything could happen by the November election, and state conservatives have a lot of sorting out to do if they are to unseat Lincoln.

No fewer than nine candidates have so far thrown their hats into the Republican ring. Two, businessman Tom Cox, and University of Arkansas official Randy Alexander, have tea party credentials, but tea partyers say members are still weighing their choices. The National Republican Senatorial Committee in Washington, for its part, has not endorsed a candidate.

But in a state where the Republican Party lacks strong leadership, the energy is with the tea partyers. That’s as clear to conservative activist John Allison as the nose on his face.

“We are aggressively pursuing Blanche Lincoln to get her out of office, and that is our common goal” with the GOP, says the tea party member from rural Arkansas. “The most effective thing is to move into the Republican Party instead of splitting a conservative vote. We need to get involved with them and guide them back.”

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January 14, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can the GOP and ‘tea party’ activists get along?

by Suzi Parker at Christian Science Monitor

Little Rock, Ark.

Dani Martin makes light of her Facebook group “Bye Bye Blanche.”

“It’s something we’re doing to poke fun at her,” Ms. Martin, a “tea party” activist, says of Arkansas’s senior senator, Democrat Blanche Lincoln. “Blanche likes to use her femininity in defense of what she does. We’re feminine conservative girls; she doesn’t represent us.”

With Senator Lincoln up for reelection in November – and besieged on many sides for, among other things, her hesitant support for national healthcare reform – the contest here will test not only the clout of the energetic but unfocused tea party movement but also how effectively the Republican establishment taps it.

So far, the desire to oust Lincoln appears to be uniting tea party and Republican forces here. If that pattern holds, Arkansas could become the altar for a pivotal political marriage that refashions conservatism in America.

But it may also prove to be the exception rather than the rule. Elsewhere, tea party activists and the Republican old guard have clashed. In Florida, for one, tea partyers recently helped oust the Republican Party state chairman, and the two sides back different GOP candidates for the open US Senate seat there.

Moreover, though the two enjoy jolly relations in Arkansas now, anything could happen by the November election, and state conservatives have a lot of sorting out to do if they are to unseat Lincoln.

No fewer than nine candidates have so far thrown their hats into the Republican ring. Two, businessman Tom Cox, and University of Arkansas official Randy Alexander, have tea party credentials, but tea partyers say members are still weighing their choices. The National Republican Senatorial Committee in Washington, for its part, has not endorsed a candidate.

But in a state where the Republican Party lacks strong leadership, the energy is with the tea partyers. That’s as clear to conservative activist John Allison as the nose on his face.

“We are aggressively pursuing Blanche Lincoln to get her out of office, and that is our common goal” with the GOP, says the tea party member from rural Arkansas. “The most effective thing is to move into the Republican Party instead of splitting a conservative vote. We need to get involved with them and guide them back.”

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January 14, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health Care Transparency and the 61st Vote

The following is an email from Senator John Thune (R-SD)

Dear Friends,

Thank you to those of you who’ve signed my petition against the Democrats’ health care bill.

I am leading the Republican charge to open health care reform negotiations to public scrutiny and challenging Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to allow C-SPAN to televise the closed-door negotiations going on between Senate and House Democrats and the White House.

During the presidential campaign in 2008 President Obama said of health care reform, “… we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.”

Yet, that is not what has happened.  Instead, the Democrats are negotiating this 2,000 + page bill among themselves and locking Republicans and the American people out.

I’m working to change that.  Read the letter my Republican colleagues and I sent to Senator Harry Reid.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has called into question the savings Democrats claim would result from their bill and has pointed out that health care costs under the bill will actually increase by more than $200 billion.

Of the purported “savings” in the bill, the report uses terms like “unrealistic”, “doubtful”, and “difficult to obtain,” as well as saying that the bill could lead to “price increases, cost-shifting, and/or changes in providers’ willingness to treat patients with low-reimbursement health coverage.”

That’s why I will continue to oppose the bill and will do all I can to see it defeated, along with all 39 of my Republican colleagues in the Senate.

If you want to know what you can do to help, in addition to contacting your elected representatives again, there’s only one additional thing I know of we can do:  help deny the Democrats their 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

One week from today Massachusetts will elect a new Senator in a special election.  Like me, Republican State Senator Scott Brown vehemently opposes the Democrats’ health care legislation and will vote to stop it, work to send it back to the drawing board and try to enact real reform that will lower costs without spending trillions of dollars and raising billions in new taxes we can’t afford.

Please help us defeat this bill by visiting Scott Brown’s website and making an online donation to his campaign today.  I have sent a contribution to him, and I hope you will consider doing the same.

The polls have shown the race in a dead heat.  The Wall Street Journal says of him, “Mr. Brown … has been running against Washington’s blowout spending and has called for a freeze on the wages of federal employees.”  And, “The mere fact that Democrats have to fight so hard to save Ted Kennedy’s seat shows how badly they have misjudged America by governing so far to the left.”

In an editorial the Boston Herald noted, “… if you’re not happy with the status quo, if you think the way business is being conducted on Capitol Hill today is a disgrace and an affront to taxpayers, then you probably agree it’s time for a change.  Scott Brown can single-handedly deliver on that kind of change and the Herald is pleased to endorse his candidacy in the race for U.S. Senate.”

I couldn’t agree more, and I hope that you do also.

Thank you again for getting involved and helping us make a difference.  I sincerely appreciate your interest and support.

Sincerely,

John Thune
U.S. Senator

January 14, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment