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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

The Year of the Freedom Fighter

People close to the Jane Norton campaign are pushing out that Governor Palin will be endorsing Norton on Saturday in Colorado.I hope that is not the case, but all indications are that it is. Governor Palin and I were on stage together Friday in South Carolina for her endorsement of RedState friend Nikki Haley. We’re also together with Rand Paul and others.It is okay to not always be together on endorsement. Fred Thompson endorsed Dan Coats against Marlin Stutzman. That makes him no less a friend.In Norton’s case, it is similar to Fiorina, though to my knowledge Jane Norton has never made the disparaging comments about Palin that Fiorina has. And yes, you Fiorina people, some of the statements about Palin that Fiorina has made in the past make even people who don’t care for Palin uncomfortable.But like Fiorina, Norton is heavily tied into the McCain apparatus to which Governor Palin has shown great and understandable loyalty. Jane Norton is Charlie Black’s sister-in-law. Mr. Black was John McCain’s 2008 political consultant. Consequently, Ms. Norton was John McCain’s state campaign chair for Colorado.I get it.What I don’t get, and do hope the news is wrong, is why Jane Norton would push for Governor Palin to endorse her this Friday or Saturday. Doing so would put Governor Palin in the awkward position of ignoring Colorado’s Republican grassroots activists, the bulk of whom will be convening for the Republican Assembly this weekend. After the Fiorina endorsement caused a wave of muttering among grassroots activists, this would not be a good thing.Ken Buck has the grassroots in his corner. It’s readily apparent across the state. Consequently, Jane Norton is going to bypass the Republican Assembly this weekend and try to collect signatures to get on the ballot. But make no mistake about it, to change the narrative about Norton bypassing the grassroots, she is vying to get a Palin endorsement late this week.I’m sure Governor Palin does not realize what is going on, given that many of us looking at Colorado had to have explained to us the intricacies and timing of the Republican Assembly, but it is this weekend, Jane Norton is skipping it, and her campaign is, I’m told by multiple people including reporters in Colorado, setting Governor Palin up for a very awkward moment — an event designed to put the spotlight on Jane Norton competing with an event designed to showcase the Republican grassroots in Colorado.Hopefully this is all much ado about nothing and Governor Palin will, at best, join Senator Jim DeMint and me in supporting Ken Buck. At worse, we can agree to disagree. There is, however, a larger issue here worth exploring.Many in the Republican establishment are trying to send us back to 1992. That was the much heralded “Year of the Woman” in politics. Never mind that it was the year of the liberal woman. That was the year it was celebrated.This year, however, the GOP seems intent on wanting to have its own. More troubling, they are trying to mix it up with the word “conservative.” More troubling, these campaign types — consultants and party officials — are trying to use good conservative individuals and organizations to help push the narrative. One must wonder if the consultants pushing this are trying to get business for themselves based on who they can get to endorse various candidates. That is the way the game is typically played.If it was really the year of the conservative woman, you would see the entirety of the GOP rushing to Arizona to support Pamela Gorman, then to Tennessee to support Robin Smith, then to Delaware to support Christine O’Donnell, and a good portion would go to South Carolina to get Nikki Haley elected and head over to Georgia to help Karen Handel.You want conservative women? There you have them. And there are others too.Of Jane Norton, Sue Lowden, and Carly Fiorina, Norton is the most properly identified as conservative, but not one of these women has given any indication of being anything other than soldiers of solidarity with the GOP establishment — the one that regularly compromises in favor of bigger government.My old preacher used to talk about “Christ-followers” instead of Christians. His reasoning was pretty simple. Most everyone in the South and a lot of others call themselves Christian, but not all of them actually follow Christ. It’s just acceptable social parlance. In the same way, most Republicans call themselves “conservative” when few of them are.How many are actually freedom fighters? In the grand scheme of things, very few. These alleged “conservative” Republicans routinely enter into compromises with the Democrats in favor of government, not free markets and free people. They nibble at the edges and quibble with the grassroots.We need actual freedom fighters. Let’s not have a “year of the woman” or even a “year of the conservative”. Let’s have a “year of the freedom fighter.”And when you do that, you must look to see who out there has fought for freedom and who can identify others. I would argue the best leader on this front is Jim DeMint.Not only is Jim DeMint a real freedom fighter, he is also in the United States Senate. So if you want to find out from a freedom fighter who would fight for freedom the best in the Senate, why not ask Jim DeMint.If you do, you’ll find him going with Ken Buck, Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, and Chuck DeVore. I’d add Danny Tarkanian to that.And on the House side, add Pamela Gorman and Robin Smith. There are others too, but let’s focus on these for now — if you want a Year of Women, go with Pamela, Robin, and add in Nikki Haley and Karen Handel.You want a year of conservatives, use the full list. Same with freedom fighters.Let’s not look to labels, but to actions. If we do that, we know Jim DeMint has the best track record of identifying the people we need in the Senate.You can agree or you can disagree. But hopefully you can agree with me that too much is on the line this year for campaign schtick about the year of anything other than this being our best chance to push the Congress significantly to the right in a long time. And we should abandon the pretense of worrying about our win-loss record. It was that worry that led Republicans to support Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter — allegedly sure winners.We must push forward with real freedom fighters — not Republicans who call themselves conservative without actually being conservative. There is too much at stake to do otherwise.

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