Tag Archives: GOP

Mark Caserta: Candidates should avoid brokered convention

11 Mar

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

  • 3.11.16

In addition to being plagued with mammoth egos and juvenile behavior, the Republican Party is certainly in a political pickle right now. And it could get much worse.

Now, I plan to support the GOP nominee and the constitutional process – period. Besides, in my estimation, any of the four remaining candidates are more qualified than either of their Democrat opponents.

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The problem is the voters may not be the ones choosing! The GOP could be facing their first “brokered convention” in nearly 70 years.

What is a brokered convention? Here’s how it works.

During the primary and caucus season, a candidate seeks to win enough votes to be awarded a simple majority of the available delegates during the first official vote of the party’s nominating convention. For the Republican Party, the magic delegate number is 1,237. Of the GOP’s 2,472 available delegates, the majority are “pledged” delegates, meaning they will be bound to vote for a particular candidate at the convention.

Here’s where it could get nasty.

If during the first vote at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18-21 the delegates are split among candidates and there is no clear majority, the convention is then considered “brokered.” The Republican National Committee will then press the proverbial “reset” button, releasing all delegates from their pledged candidate and enabling them to cast a vote for the individual of their choice.

A “no holds barred” nomination process then ensues with self-serving party leaders bartering back room deals to wangle a candidate they feel could garner the necessary delegates. Subsequent voting would then take place until one candidate receives a majority.

Now, here are some points to consider regarding this process.

First, it renders months of primary and caucus voting null and void, taking the American people completely out of the process, which could have huge ramifications.

Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, for all intents and purposes, are out of the race. A brokered convention, controlled by the so-called GOP “establishment,” would be their only hope of winning the nomination.

And this same establishment hates businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz. A brokered convention would most assuredly not result in either of these candidates receiving the Republican nomination.

Additionally, given the poor caliber of the Democrat candidates, I believe the jury is still out on their presumptive nominee. While Democrat leadership certainly doesn’t want to show its “down card” this early in the process, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry or former presidential candidate Al Gore could easily step up as party “benefactors” and become formidable candidates.

My political “Xanadu” rests with Rubio and Kasich dropping out after the March 15th primaries, reducing this to a two-man race. I believe the changing dynamics would result in a Cruz nomination before the GOP could orchestrate a brokered convention and sidestep voters.

Regardless, unless the equation changes, a brokered convention may be inevitable. And the American people would just watch from the sidelines.

Here’s hoping candidates simply do the right thing.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident.

Mark Caserta: Republicans must support their nominee

22 Jan

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

1.22.16

As I watch members of the GOP cannibalize their own day after day, I can’t help but wonder if we might be witnessing the total collapse of the Republican Party as we’ve come to know it.

Following President Obama’s final State of the Union address last week, the Republican response was given by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Now, typically, the response is used to offer the GOP perspective of the state of the union, often in stark contrast with the president’s. But this address was very different.

 

A significant portion of the governor’s speech took aim at Republican leaders and their rightful ownership of the dysfunction of Washington.

“We as Republicans need to own that truth,” she added. “We need to recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership. We need to accept that we’ve played a role in how and why our government is broken.”

 

Well spoken, empress of the obvious. While confession is good for the soul, only substantive solutions will change the ebb and tide of this political storm.

 

But then, and possibly for the first time ever in a state of the union response, Haley and the GOP establishment she represented proceeded to challenge the Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump, and his hardcore stance on immigration.

 

“Immigrants have been coming to our shores for generations to live the dream that is America. They wanted better for their children than for themselves,” she said. While the immigration system must be repaired, she said, “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation. No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.”

 

While I’m no fan of “the Donald,” how can the GOP be so short-sighted! Heaven forbid that Trump would indeed win the Republican nomination, but stranger things have happened. What if he’s successful at carrying this torch to his final destination? What if Americans really feel they’ve exhausted all other options? Where will Republicans be then?

It’s very telling that not only are half of Americans willing to give a neurotic liar and a professed socialist a shot at the presidency in order to perpetuate their progressive, leftist regime, a significant portion of the right are considering a paradigm shift in their conservative mentality simply to get our nation back on track. Hence, the Trump factor.

 

The one condition most Americans can surely agree upon is the state of our nation is in no way being improved by the listless group of elected officials who have lied and bamboozled their way into office only to sell their constituencies down the river. And the GOP is falling exceedingly short in presenting a unified front with real solutions to our nation’s woes.

 

And if Republicans refuse to support their party’s nominee in 2016, it may indeed be the end of the Grand Ole’ Party in the U.S.

 

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Republicans simply lied to the American people

1 Oct

Voters were betrayed

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

10.1.15

Last November, Americans sent a stern message to Barack Obama and the Democrats when they handed Congress over to the Republicans. Promises were made for GOP “guns to be a-blazin” when they controlled both legislative bodies. No doubt, these vows impacted the huge Democratic losses.

So what has our Republican-controlled Congress accomplished for the American people since gaining control? Well, it’s as though the elections never happened!

Let’s look at a few of the promises turned foul.

 BOEHNER MCCONNEL
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Virtually every GOP candidate running in 2014 promised to do everything possible to repeal Obamacare, beginning with its defunding. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged that he, too, would support defunding and repealing the president’s signature healthcare law. A 2013 Newsmax article by Todd Beamon shares McConnell’s commentary from an exclusive interview.

“I don’t think it was a waste of time,” the Kentucky Republican said. “The American people do fully understand that still, not a single Republican in the House or Senate favors this awful new law — and if they will send us enough additional new members to get rid of it, we will.”

But when Republicans had their chances through defunding efforts, leadership buckled. McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner even criticized members of their own party who pushed the effort. A May blog in “The Hill” by columnist Brent Bozell went as far as to say “Boehner and McConnell could cost the GOP the White House in 2016”.

And as with Obamacare, the Republicans running in 2014 promised voters they would put a stop to Obama’s unconstitutional executive order granting amnesty to millions who entered the country illegally. Even now, a vast majority of voters who gave Republicans the Congress are still against Obama’s illegal actions, including 42 percent of Hispanic voters born in the United States, according to a December 2014 Gallup Poll.

But once again, Republicans sold out the American people. After a timid attempt to defund the part of the Department of Homeland Security bill that funneled taxpayer dollars to fund Obama’s illegal actions, members of the GOP argued within their own party, while Democrats stood firm. In the end, the “cromnibus” funding bill that included paying for illegal executive amnesty passed with GOP support.

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 Conservative voters were also promised by Republicans in the last election to pass a ban on abortions past the 20-week mark. For the first time since the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban was enacted in 2003, there was opportunity to restrict the murder of the unborn. The bill had already passed The House once in 2013.

But at the last moment, a number of Republicans withdrew their support claiming they feared it would alienate too many Americans, especially women, even though the majority of Americans support the ban according to a 2013 CBS News poll.

So what needs to happen? Well, part of it already has. John Boehner, sensing mutiny in the GOP camp, is resigning as House Speaker. I believe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should be the next to go.

It’s time for honest leadership — with a backbone.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Next president must meet these criteria

13 Aug

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MARK CASERTA: FREE STATE PATRIOT EDITOR

Aug. 13, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

So, which candidate do you like for president in 2016?

Usually, as the presidential election debate season begins, friends and family will begin asking me questions akin to the one above. Most of the time I’ll accommodate them with whom I believe possesses the best qualifications for the job, but this year is different. With so many qualified GOP candidates, it’s just too early to say.

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But from a conservative’s perspective, any candidate on stage last week at the GOP debate in Cleveland would be better than the “community organizer” we have now. As we all should be doing, I’ll simply be watching and listening the next few months to the platforms of the candidates so I’ll be prepared to make the best choice.

However, I waste no time sharing who we don’t want in office. The best the Democrats have to offer so far is a scandal-ridden Hillary Clinton and the self-declared socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who’s gaining on Hillary in some polls.

But I don’t believe the Democrat Party’s eventual nominee has yet emerged. I believe someone will have to step up to salvage the party’s 2016 chances. Perhaps, the “king of gaffe,” Joe Biden, or the great “flip flopper” John Kerry will be the one. But right now, Democrats are quaking in their boots at the thought of challenging a highfalutin Clinton for the presidency. It is, after all, her turn.

Our nation has been on a slippery slope for over 6 years. It’s imperative we choose the right candidate for our next president, for the next president surely will have hands full redressing America from Barack Obama’s “fundamental change.” These are some inherent qualifications we must demand.

Our next president must have integrity. I’m amazed at the lies we’ve been told by President Obama, yet his own party never calls him out. Remember the “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan” promise? We must demand the next president be truthful with the American people at all times!

Our next commander-in-chief must be savvy in military and foreign affairs. We must regain the respect around the globe that our inept “diplomatic” policies have destroyed. Currently, our enemies don’t fear us – and our allies don’t trust us. We should adopt Ronald Reagan’s policy of “peace through strength,” not peace through appeasement.

Jobs and the economy must be a priority. Our next president must understand business and economics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 46 million people or 15 percent of the population are living in poverty. And the labor force participation rate is the lowest it’s been since 1978. Yet, Democrats continue to leverage deceptive numbers regarding both the economy and the unemployment rate. It doesn’t matter that good-paying jobs are becoming exceedingly scarce and families are hurting.

Finally, the next president for whom you vote must be a God-fearing man. Progressives are tenaciously attacking anything that remotely resembles morality and God’s Word.

They must understand it will take more than a man to return America to greatness.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Rand Paul blisters Obama and Clinton, calls for GOP diversity

21 Sep

RAND USE

By Cathleen Decker contact the reporter

Fewer than 50 days before an election that may give Republicans control of the Senate as well as the House, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Saturday skipped past those contests entirely to focus on one in which he may play a more central role — the 2016 presidential race.

Paul, the featured speaker at the California Republican convention, made no mention of the party’s national advantages this year. He blasted President Obama and potential Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton as insufficient present or future commanders-in-chief. He insisted that the GOP must dramatically expand its reach in order to win presidential contests — a strategy that coincides with his pre-presidential efforts.

He accused Obama of confounding the Constitution when he expanded Obamacare, moved against overseas targets without specific congressional authorization, and announced plans — since delayed — to use executive action to change the nation’s immigration laws.

“It is a terrible tragedy, it is a danger to us as a country, and we need to do everything we can to stop him from abusing our laws,” Paul said. He said later, “We have a president who basically has created a lawless atmosphere in Washington.”

Speaking about Clinton, he used her famous 2008 primary ad, which argued that she more than Obama would be the president capable of answering a phone call about a middle-of-the-night crisis:

“I think she had a 3 a.m. moment. She didn’t answer the phone, and I think it absolutely should preclude her from being [president],” he said after detailing what he termed her failings leading up to the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. (His final word was obscured by applause from the strongly anti-Clinton crowd.)

HILLARY

Those were the easy targets, however.  Paul’s more passionate appeal was one that he has forwarded across the country in such unlikely venues as UC Berkeley. Paul’s argument — that the party needs to expand from its older and white base, groups amply represented among the delegates — was framed as one that could reverse the party’s long record of thumpings in California and its national presidential losses.

We’ve got to go out and we’ve got to broaden our party, and when we do, we’ll be a national party again. We will win again.- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

“When our party looks like America — with earrings and without earrings, with ponytails and without ponytails, with tattoos and without tattoos — when we look like the rest of America — white, black, brown — we’re going to win again,” he told an audience gathered near LAX. “We’ve got to go out and we’ve got to broaden our party, and when we do, we’ll be a national party again. We will win again.”

Paul suggested a freshening of the GOP message — he did not, he said, mean to suggest that the party “dilute” its principles and “be more like Democrats” — in order to attract young voters and the Latino and African American voters who have spurned the party in California and elsewhere.

He specifically cited issues he has pressed for months, including the NSA’s mining of data from cell phones, what he termed excessive sentences for drug use and expanding the ability of voters to cast ballots.

“What you say or do on your cell phone is none of the government’s damn business,” he said.

But as he made his argument there was a bit of a reality check in the room — Neel Kashkari, the party’s nominee for governor.

The child of immigrants from India, Kashkari has conducted an unusual campaign: He spent time posing as a homeless person to underscore his criticism of Democratic policies on poverty, and he marched in a gay rights parade in San Diego.

And he remains the longest of long shots in November, trailing Democratic incumbent Jerry Brown by 21 points among likely voters in a recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

The same poll found that state Republicans were the antithesis of Paul’s vision of a diverse party: 74% were white and only 25% either Latino, African American or Asian.  (Among Democrats, half were non-white, far more similar to the state overall.) Almost 6 in 10 state Republicans were 50 or older, meaning that the party serves to suffer as its members are replaced by younger voters who are far more likely to be Democratic or nonpartisan.

In an interview after his speech, Paul lauded Kashkari’s candidacy and described him as someone who “could be the face of a new GOP.” But when reminded of Kashkari’s distant second-place standing, he acknowledged that change could be slow in coming, even if the Republican party follows his advice.

“We became the minority party in California over, what, 20 years?” he asked. “It didn’t happen  overnight. To reverse it takes a while, but I think he’s saying and doing all the right things.”

“Without trying,” he added, “we’ll never win. “

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For political news and analysis, follow me on Twitter: @cathleendecker

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