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Entries in Libertarians (3)

Friday
Aug092013

Patrick Hynes - Rand Paul vs. Chris Christie: A New Hampshire cage match

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/rand-paul-vs-chris-christie-a-new-hampshire-cage-match-95288_Page2.html

Rand Paul vs. Chris Christie: A New Hampshire cage match
Patrick Hynes, Politico
August 8, 2013

It’s never too early to speculate about presidential politics to this Granite Stater’s way of thinking. And the feud between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has given us a sneak preview into what the 2016 Republican presidential primary might look like. How would such a rivalry shake out in the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire?

Paul and Christie lead the field among named candidates in the Granite State according to a recent poll conducted by New England College on behalf of the NH Journal, a news site I co-own and help operate. Senator Paul earned 19 percent of the vote, while Gov. Christie earned 17.5 percent. A huge share of the primary electorate in this July poll — 20 percent — was undecided, however. So, although the field is still wide open, both Paul and Christie start with strong bases of support and should be considered co-front-runners, presuming they both seek the Oval Office in 2016.

What’s more, the friction between the so-called establishment and the grass roots, which the Paul-Christie feud personifies, is especially coarse in New Hampshire these days. The next Republican primary will kick off against a backdrop of legitimate beefs, bruised egos and long-standing grudges between two groups of Granite State Republicans, who actually question whether members of the other side are of the party at all. It’s almost the perfect arena for these two politicians to battle it out.

On the specific cause of the feud, National Security Agency spying, the point would have to go to Sen. Paul. This is just my gut; I don’t have any data to back it up. But New Hampshire never fell under the spell of the “war on terror.” Granite Staters never cottoned to George W. Bush, neither as a candidate nor as president, and the Iraq War was always unpopular here. So while Gov. Christie might have perfectly reasonable arguments for why the government should track our personal communications, he’ll be fighting a built-in New Hampshire distrust of big government. There’s a reason “live free or die” is the state motto.

Now, onto the nuts and bolts of the coming campaign.

Issues: It neither begins nor ends with NSA snooping. Senator Paul’s issue profile is likely to be a considerable strength for him. As a purist, he’s free from the usual catalogue of votes that scuff up a candidate’s image. He’s very much the real deal. That’s not to say Gov. Christie is some typical politician who will be easily smeared. But running a big, diverse state like New Jersey requires compromise, and those compromises make devastating TV ads. Advantage: Paul.

Grass roots: It’s extremely likely that Paul’s grass-roots strength will overwhelm a Christie field operation, as well as those of all other probable contenders. In addition to inheriting his father’s grass-roots legacy, Paul will also benefit from the Free State movement in New Hampshire, which has blended with, though is not completely synonymous with, a very vocal tea party movement. The resulting amalgamation refers to itself loosely as “liberty Republicans” and they are very active, highly motivated and belligerently anti-establishment. They can also be extremely difficult to get along with and their belligerence will turn off some Republican voters. Nevertheless, expect that grass-roots strength in New Hampshire to give Paul a significant leg up. Advantage: Paul.

Mass appeal: But which candidate will have broader appeal? This appears to be an area of strength for Christie — by a lot. This Republican governor is likely to win reelection in bright blue New Jersey in a walk, a feat that is achievable only if he is comfortable reaching out to a broad array of voters and straying from the base. Christie’s willingness to hit the trail and hash it out with voters, even those who disagree with him, will also be a tremendous asset in New Hampshire, a state that prides itself on getting to know, and I mean really know, the candidates. This is important because former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will have a nearly uncontested primary, provided she runs, which means that undeclared voters, who can vote in either primary in New Hampshire, are likely to pull a Republican ballot. Advantage: Christie.

Multicandidate field: Let’s be honest: Paul and Christie will not be the only candidates in the mix. How are the other prospective candidates likely to affect the outcome of this rivalry? In virtually every primary I have experienced, there has been a secondary contest between conservatives to be the consensus insurgent candidate against the establishment choice (in 2012, it was Rick Santorum vs. Newt Gingrich; in 2008, it was Mitt Romney, who was running to the right of John McCain/Rudy Giuliani vs. Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson). But rarely has a consensus emerged. More often, this play-within-the-play prohibits any one insurgent from emerging. An insurgent by instinct, Paul is more likely going to have to deal with this dynamic than Christie, who may find himself vying for the establishment throne with more mainstream candidates like Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Bobby Jindal. That could pose problems for Paul, as each of the 2016 prospects will be showcasing his right-wing bona fides and self-consciously endeavoring to eat into the Kentucky senator’s base of support. Advantage: Christie.

Intangibles: There’s something about Chris Christie, isn’t there? He’s larger than life and often very entertaining. But George W. Bush’s Texas swagger annoyed reserved Granite Staters, and it’s possible that Christie’s boisterous New Jersey attitude will irritate just enough New Hampshire voters to cost him at the ballot box. Meanwhile, Paul is surprisingly unassuming and soft-spoken — two traits that seem at odds with his passion and principles, but might well mirror the personality traits of regular folks here. Advantage: Paul.

So who would win the New Hampshire presidential primary if both Paul and Christie were to run in 2016? With all the obligatory caveats (we don’t know who else would be running, issues change, scandals can erupt, etc.), I would give a slight advantage to Rand Paul.

Patrick Hynes is president of Hynes Communications. He was an adviser to the two past Republican presidential nominees, Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney.

Tuesday
Nov132012

Carolyn McKinney - We let Democrats define the terms of our defeat

By Carolyn McKinney, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire

When Democrats set the terms of the 2012 campaign for state and federal offices, Republican leaders blew their horns about jobs and the economy and counted on their position of strength and the glaring weaknesses in their enemy’s lines to secure victory. Republicans lost because they forgot to tell the troops about the Democratic weaknesses. Democrats took advantage of the oversight and rolled over the field.

Democratic victories last Tuesday quite simply reflected a tactical failure of top-ticket Republicans to defend the party’s message. This wasn’t a failure of Republican principles, but a failure to define and defend Republican principles. Democrats successfully distracted voters with complete fabrications of reality, and Republicans let them do it without response.  

Predictably, Republican Party leaders assumed that the people had enough of the social issues and wanted to focus on the economy instead—and by in large, Republicans successfully governed on economic recovery issues during the past two years. Democrats understood the visceral nature of social issues and successfully tarnished liberty as the enemy of their carefully crafted relationship between business and government. Republicans didn’t respond, despite the prescient need. They thought that by ignoring the problem it would go away.

Even if it was a good idea—and I strongly contend that it is not—the Republican Party is never going to rid itself of social conservatives, and it won’t dismiss the libertarian faction either, if the libertarians don’t dismiss themselves, first. Due to the way the two-party system has been solidified in state and federal law, neither group has anywhere else to go if it wants any influence, and neither will the Republican Party have any influence without these two groups.

The only solution is for the Republican Party to fully embrace its platform, which is actually more conservative and libertarian than anything else. Had Republican leaders chosen to explain the Republican Party to voters, they just might have received some votes.

In other words, a “big tent” Republican Party includes moderates and the socially agnostic, but let’s be clear: the tent is held up by conservatives and libertarians. There is no tent without them. There’s just Democrats and Democrats-lite. I contend that New Hampshire truly wants neither—and so goes the nation.

Enough with the rhetoric, here’s some realism: Faced with the ludicrous and fallacious Democratic idea that Republicans want to end all abortions and take contraceptives away from women, Republicans should have explained that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land until it’s overturned. And at the same time, they should have explained that there are alternatives to abortion; that women deserve other options, such as child care services, especially if they’re going to college (tuition certainly does pay for it already). 

Republicans should have turned the tables on Democrats: “Who are the real extremists? Who removed from their platform the goal that abortion be ‘safe and rare’? Who supports living children being murdered when their body is already outside the womb? Who supports letting infants die on a surgical table because their abortion went wrong? Who wants taxpayers to foot the bill for this stuff? Really? Even if they morally object? Doesn’t a human being have an inalienable right to life, endowed by his or her Creator? So, tell me again why Democrats oppose Republican proposals to decrease the number of abortions in favor of alternative solutions that both respect women and favor life.”

Without a doubt, Democrats had the extreme agenda, but we didn’t tell voters about it! 

Let’s be clear: We Republicans can change some of our policy positions to more consistently represent the principles in our platform. On immigration, for instance, there millions of inalienably free human beings who simply want to live a better life in America, but our laws don’t allow it. While Republicans are known to support the rule of law, we are also known to be a group that favors Judeo-Christian values, which include love and charity. We must craft a common sense solution that balances the rule of law and the reality that these illegal immigrants must be treated with the dignity that we must afford to all human beings. We also must recognize that the large illegal immigrant population contributes to our economy in important ways, and we need to stop catering to the people who resist a common sense policy that allows for the free trade of labor across national boundaries. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for citizenship for all; that’s something that has to be earned. But a guest worker program would certainly go a long way to help the market meet its needs for labor without sacrificing national sovereignty or identity, and it would also be more conservative.

The bottom line is this: Republicans need to unite around their platform or they’ll all be lost to the isolation of their own personal perfection. There’s no doubt that herding cats is difficult, but that is the task for those who lead people who want to be free. Let’s hope they get it right next time, for the sake of us all.

Friday
Feb122010

Should The Tea Party Form A Third Party Or Be Absorbed By The Republican Party? 

Fellow Conservatives, Libertarians and members of the various Tea Parties;

 

Although I am a member and District leader on a local Republican Town Committee; I think it would be foolish to become a third party or be absorbed by any party, Republican or Democrat.

We have political muscle and we've flexed that muscle, now even the Liberal Progressive news media is paying attention, as well as President Obama and those incumbents who are at risk. 

The two party system is too well entrenched; they’re just a vehicle or a means to getting people elected, too often they are insider groups of people having their own agenda, collaborating together in the background.  The politicians (players) have been exploiting the voters through the system; using whichever party will grease the skids for them.  As Glenn Beck said; the progressives (liberals) have infiltrated both parties.  It’s happened right here in my home town.

Let’s not re-invent the wheel, let’s continue to become a solid, united, coalition of INDEPENDENT, conservative and libertarian citizens bargaining with both parties, using the leverage we have in our sheer numbers.  Let’s get both parties to “reach out to us” bringing forth candidates that aspire to the same goals we do, and if they do not bring forth worthy candidates, let them know that we will solicit, groom, and present our own candidates to challenge theirs.

Unfortunately politics has become a corrupting force. Politicians are chameleons changing their color or positions to suit those whom they happen to be addressing at the time.

Often when you join a party hoping to bring forward some new and original ideas, that might be considered “rocking the boat” you’ll find that you might be intimidated by suggestions that you be a “team player” (go along, to get along). Try to buck the system, the establishment, and you’ll be marginalized or ostracized.

Both parties welcome new worker members but the hierarchy does not want to be displaced.

The whole country, the world is looking at our movement; who knows we might even inspire people from other nations to take control over their governments.  We need to continue to build, to educate, and to keep the momentum going.

 

Nick Fortunato

"The great pillars of all government...[are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible."