EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for February 4, 2010
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Remember when a bunch of groups got freaked out about it because it meant that a Republican would be instantly aware of any organized shenanigans designed to muck about with the Census?
And remember when the President hastily pandered to those groups by declaring that Gregg wouldn’t be overseeing the Census?
And remember how Gregg then – and quite rightly – told the President what he could do with his Cabinet position?
Remember all that?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has squandered over $101,000 tax dollars on “in-flight services” on congressional delegations since 2008, according to new documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Expenditures on Pelosi-led CODELs, the group’s report shows, include thousands for liquor, beer and wine. Receipts show purchase of Johnny Walker, Grey Goose, Beefeater, Maker’s Mark, Courvoisier, Dewars, Bombay Sapphire and more, all courtesy of the American tax payer.
During the same two-year period, the entirety of Speaker Pelosi’s travel expenditures, including the use of Air Force aircraft for herself and relatives, cost the Department of Defense $2,100,749.59.
Judicial Watch’s report Wednesday captured the attention of the social conservative American Family Association, who called Pelosi’s expenses an “abuse of taxpayer dollars” in an urgent action alert to supporters.
I’ll tell you bluntly, I will vote for former Georgia Governor and potential Democratic nominee Roy Barnes over Republican John Oxendine, Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner now running for Governor. At least with Roy Barnes we’d get no worse than present Republican Governor Sonny Perdue and would know honestly what we are getting.
John Oxendine is Georgia’s Rod Blagojevich, complete with bad hair. If the Georgia GOP were to nominate him, the party would be committing suicide.
John Oxendine will say or do anything to get elected. His principles and ethics are malleable and blow with the wind. The only thing Oxendine cares about is his political ambition. For all the people who washed their hands of scandal plagued Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, but have Oxendine stickers on their cars, get ready to engage in full Lady MacBeth syndrome should the Ox get elected. It won’t be women bringing down Ox, but it will be scandal. And with it would fall the Georgia Republican Party.
Perhaps it is that the Indiana GOP can do no better than recruiting former Senator Dan Coats to run against Senator Evan Bayh.
I do not dispute that Coats is a rock-ribbed conservative. But, and it is a substantial but, he retired in 1998 to become a lobbyist for King & Spaulding, and the next time anyone saw him, he was trying to convince conservatives that Harriet Miers was a conservative.
That’s not helpful. Yes, a lot of conservatives did the same. But this guy was out of the national spotlight from 1998 to 2005 when that happened, then disappeared again. Certainly he is more active in Indiana and no doubt he is beloved by a lot of conservatives in Indiana.
I don’t dispute that he could rally conservatives. This post has very little to do with Coats and a great deal to do with the Republican Party.
What I dispute is that Dan Coats is a stellar recruit. The GOP has an image problem. Part of the problem is that the GOP keeps picking old white guys. Part of the problem is that the GOP seems dated and therefore out of touch.
Recruiting an old white guy who retired in 1998 does not seem like out of the box thinking. There is a big difference between picking a guy who retired more than a decade ago and picking a guy who lost an election in the last few years. A big difference.
I have no dog in this fight and I don’t plan on taking a side. If Coats is the best, then Coats is the best. If he is the nominee, I’ll send him a check.
But you cannot tell me we can’t do better than bringing back out of the pasture a guy who voluntarily went into the pasture back in 1998.
There are a couple of points to be made about this race and how it turned out. First, Kirk’s win was not the result of some nefarious party or NRSC conspiracy to suppress conservative candidates. Mark Kirk simply was the best representative for GOP primary voters in Illinois, in the considered opinion of those voters. You can’t even blame his win on a failure of the anti-Kirk sentiment to coalesce around a single candidate; Kirk comfortably topped 50 per cent, which means that even if it were a heads-up race between Kirk and Hughes, Kirk would have won comfortably. For many years, Kirk has been successfully cultivating his political fortunes with Illinois voters (yes, even the Republican ones), and his win was deserved on the merits, and was accurately reflective of the Illinois GOP. This is NOT a case where the primary system was short-circuited or where the “establishment” spent a bunch of money to flood out an equally-viable conservative alternative. The primary voters in Illinois have spoken, and spoken loudly, and their choice should be respected.