Will GOP Senators Hold Firm to Let Voters Determine Scalia’s Replacement?

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

As Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral services take place this weekend, the political clash over his Supreme Court seat is heating up.

Thursday evening, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley penned a joint op-ed in The Washington Post laying down a bright line: “It is today the American people, rather than a lame-duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election, who should be afforded the opportunity to replace Justice Scalia.”

This comes in the wake of a grassroots movement spearheaded by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, #NoHearingsNoVotes, also highlighted by the Post.

Hewitt’s strategy emphasizes the need not only to reject any Obama nominee but to do so as a matter of principle in order to let the people decide whether to flip Scalia’s vote, because a Democrat replacement for Scalia would be the deciding vote on issues ranging from partial-birth abortion and gun confiscation to religious liberty and issue advocacy around elections.

Hewitt explains in a direct call to activists on YouTube that because the principle of letting the people’s voice be heard on such monumental civil rights matters is the winning message, the identity of the nominee is irrelevant. Thus there should not be hearings, which in any event would be a pointless fiasco on which Democrats would try to capitalize.

The Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative court advocacy group, announced an initial outlay of $1 million of ad buys in swing states encouraging senators to flatly declare no nomination will move forward so that the people will have a voice on that issue when they vote for president in November. Continue Reading

This Is Why Republican Voters Hate the GOP

Believe it or not, I still run into a lot of well-meaning people who just do not understand the degree of frustration among conservatives around the country.

So, as we go into the season of peace and goodwill, I’ll take one more opportunity to explain why so many conservatives and conservative-leaning independents are so frustrated and fed-up with Washington, D.C.

It gets back to what we have been fighting against for decades and continue to fight against now: We never seem able to get anything done.

Republicans control the House and Senate, and yet Barack Obama is getting virtually everything he wants. Take the budget deal as one example. It was a great deal for liberals. Nancy Pelosi said she supported it because Republicans “were willing to concede so much.”

Senator Ted Cruz has an essay in Politico castigating the congressional leadership for repeatedly caving in to Obama’s demands.

For example, consider this quote from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the man most likely to replace Harry Reid as Senate Democrat Leader next year: “Sen. McConnell wants to see the Senate work. But the good news for [Democrats] is, to make it work, he has to do basically our agenda.” According to Senator Cruz, this is largely what Senator McConnell has done on at least two dozen occasions.

“Since taking control of the Senate, Republican leadership has joined hands with a majority of Democrats to thwart their own caucus’ efforts to stop the Obama agenda 24 times,” Senator Cruz writes. “During each of these 24 votes, this so-called Republican majority successfully passed legislation with a majority of Democrats in support and a majority of Republicans opposed.”

And the pundits just can’t understand why Donald Trump is leading in the polls! Continue Reading

McConnell Quashes Rumors: Reconciliation Bill “Will Contain a Defund of Planned Parenthood”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Earlier this week, The Washington Post speculated that Senate Republican leaders might be considering abandoning their attempt to defund Planned Parenthood in order to obtain passage on a reconciliation bill repealing some pieces of Obamacare.

Yesterday, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell assuaged worried pro-lifers, stating adamantly that the defund language would not be dropped from the bill:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday dispelled speculation that Republicans might drop a provision defunding Planned Parenthood from an ObamaCare repeal package.

Senate Republican leaders initially wanted to vote on the ObamaCare repeal bill this week, but they’ve had trouble rounding up enough votes in part because moderates have balked at the Planned Parenthood language.

McConnell, however, held course Tuesday and vowed it would not be dropped to make the bill more enticing for Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

He told reporters the repeal package “will contain a defund of Planned Parenthood,” adding, “we’ll be moving to that after Thanksgiving.”

As Marjorie Dannenfelser wrote last week, this bill — as it is immune to a Democratic filibuster — represents an incredible opportunity for pro-life legislators to force President Obama into an uncomfortable position vis-à-vis his support for the ever-controversial Planned Parenthood.  With this goal so close to being achieved, it’s time for GOP leaders to stand firm and capitalize.

Paul Dupont is the managing editor for ThePulse2016.com. Continue Reading

Cruz Is Right: When You Fight, the Polls Change

Ted Cruz made an important point in an interview with Chuck Todd yesterday: the political dynamic changes when leaders are willing to fight on an issue.  This is why the truce strategy, in general, on social issues is so idiotic. It not only assumes people will keep voting for you if you do nothing and say nothing when a fight emerges; it assumes there are no voters to be gained, and no minds to be changed, by elevating the issue to one you are willing to fight about.

If not on defunding Planned Parenthood, then surely on the late-term abortion ban:

TED CRUZ: Why do you think John Boehner’s stepping down? He’s stepping down because the American people are furious with Republican leaders that don’t do what they promised. And you know, it’s interesting. I do townhalls all over the country. And I asked folks, “Okay. We have Republican majorities in both houses for ten months now. What on Earth have they accomplished?” Every town hall you do that, the answer is always, “Absolutely nothing.” And — and usually I respond and say, “You know what? It’s worse than that. It would have been better if it were nothing. In fact, what the Republican majorities have done, we came back right after the last election, passed a trillion dollars cromnibus bill, filled with corporate welfare report. Then Republican leadership and — and leadership joined with Harry Reid and the Democrats to do that. Then leadership voted to fund Obamacare. Then they voted to fund amnesty.

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Rand Paul: Name Calling Is the Reason Ted Cruz Can’t Get Anything Done

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

On Fox News Radio last week, Senator Rand Paul was asked about presidential rival Senator Ted Cruz’s failure to get a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Paul said that while he also disagreed with McConnell’s Planned Parenthood strategy, the “snub” was an understandable result of Cruz insulting leadership in public:

Ted has chosen to make this really personal and chosen to call people dishonest in leadership and call them names which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the senate, and as a consequence he can’t get anything done legislatively. He is pretty much done for and stifled and it’s really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem. I approach things a little different, I am still just as hardcore in saying what we are doing is wrong, I just chose not to call people liars on the Senate floor and it’s just a matter of different perspectives on how best to get to the end result.

Paul went on to say he also had a “strong disagreement on tactics” with Congressional leadership, and criticized outgoing House Speaker John Boehner’s comments on advocates of a government shutdown being “false prophets.”  According to Paul, predicting defeat before trying is a bad negotiating tactic:

I think he mistakes what can be done and what can’t be done. I am not saying we can get everything we want but I am saying don’t start by saying we are not going to get anything.

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Fiorina: Boehner and McConnell Should Go If They Can’t Do These Three Things

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (photo credit: John Pemble via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

At a campaign stop in Bedford, N.H., on Sunday, Carly Fiorina said House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are “good men” who have been “captured by the status quo.”

According to TIME, Fiorina identified three things that if Boehner and McConnell can’t accomplish, they need to be shown the door:

1.) Pass a ban on abortions after 20 weeks and defund Planned Parenthood. The 20 week abortion ban is supported by a large majority of Americans, including women. In January, House Republican leadership backed down from a vote on the bill on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade after a small group of Republicans revolted. The House passed the bill in May. McConnell has promised a vote in the Senate on the bill but has taken no action yet. As for Planned Parenthood, this is a battle that just last week McConnell surrendered before it even began, but Ted Cruz is not going to let McConnell get away with waving a white flag. Fiorina said a defunding measure should be attached to the upcoming government funding bill, saying, “If President Obama is prepared to shut down the government because he cares so much about Planned Parenthood, then let him do that. But I think this gets to the core of our nation’s character, and I also know that the vast majority of Americans agree with me on that.”

2.) Secure the border. Continue Reading

Cruz Takes Down Planned Parenthood, DOJ, McConnell at Pro-Life Rally

Ted Cruz delivered an impassioned speech on the Capitol Hill steps today in which he called for the defunding and investigation of Planned Parenthood.  The video of Cruz’s full speech is below:

First, he addressed the turning point the videos represent in the debate over abortion:

These are videos of Planned Parenthood officials laughing, swilling chardonnay, and casually, callously, heartlessly bartering and selling body parts of unborn children.  I would encourage every American to watch these videos.  Regardless of your views on the right to life, even if you are a supporter of abortion, I would encourage you to watch these videos.  And just ask a very simple question: Are these my values?

Cruz went on to call for a criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood, blasting the inaction by the Justice Department as unprecedented:

Today, the U.S. Department of Justice should open an investigation into all of those individuals.  Today, the U.S. Department of Justice should open an investigation into whether Planned Parenthood nationally is a criminal enterprise breaking the law.

[…]

The Department of Justice has had a long tradition over the centuries of fairly and impartially applying criminal law and enforcing criminal law regardless of partisan allegiance.  How sad is it that almost no media observer thinks there’s any chance that the Department of Justice would investigate whether Planned Parenthood senior officials have violated federal law?

Today, the Obama Justice Department is operating as little more than a partisan arm of the Democratic National Committee.  When you have multiple officials caught on tape apparently confessing to multiple felonies that carry with them long jail times, justice must be served. 

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