Coping With the Sound and Fury

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The sound and fury really took off in September of 2008. That’s when Treasury secretary Paulsen told the US Congress they needed to get him about a trillion dollars with no strings attached to avert a financial crisis worse than the Great Depression. Eventually after the stock market took a nose dive downward of about 700 points Paulsen got it. The sound and fury was enough for the Republican nominee for President, John McCain, to suspend his campaign and Obama was elected. The sound and fury has continued over his first term and into his second term. We seem to go from one crisis to another. Just can’t let a crisis go to waste.

Sometimes there is hand wringing over things that seem dubious with respect to actually being a crisis. CPAC annual convention is about to happen, and writers at National Review are worried that CPAC has empty chairs by not giving GOProud and Chris Christie a forum at their convention.

Another “crisis” reported by National Review is how in a closed meeting Eric Cantor warns of civil war amongst House Republicans. This warning concerned how Republicans are divided on voting on the Violence Against Women Act. The Senate-passed version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) violates Articles II and III of the Constitution.

On Fox New Sunday panel Bill Kristol has his hands wringing over how Obama is weakening Republicans quite a lot.

Well, he can try and, look, I — I would be happy if Republicans came out of this, but I would say the evidence now is murky. I think that Obama is a little overconfident, on the other hand, last week, the Violence Against Women Act, which was passed by the Senate, the House brought up its version, it was defeated on the floor of the House, there were Republican defections, and then 80 Republicans joined almost all the Democrats to pass Democratic legislation in the House. If you are Barack Obama, all the media can say, (inaudible) to be very tough, not enough of this. He just got one of his pieces of legislation through the House and once again divided House Republicans. Speaker Boehner could not hold the majority on final passage. Couldn’t — the Republicans provided enough votes for Democrats to pass Democratic legislation. And he is sitting there thinking, I can do this on piece of legislation after legislation. He’s weakening House Republicans quite a lot, and that is what he wants to do.

Let’s say amen to my dear friend Vassar and his thoughts about the sound and fury in national politics.

Since the election I’ve been pounding this one thing home. National politics are almost irrelevant from this cultural perspective. Boehner, Reid, the whole lot of them. You want to drown yourself in their comings and goings, fine. Just strike me from your contact list.

Any good news starts at the grassroots level. In Texas Ted Cruz started with a 2% voter support for US Senate, That support grew large enough for him to win the primary against establishment Republican Lt. Gov. Dewhust and win the general election. Ted Cruz knows how to cope with all the sound and fury.

In some respects politics is a blood sport, and there is not always a clue whether someone will fold like a lawnchair under all the sound and fury or stand firm like Stonewall Jackson. The political opponents to Tea Party conservatives are going for the jugular, and nothing good will come from letting them just have their way.

Club for Growth 2012 scorecard is not the only way to evaluate how Republicans cope with the sound and fury. Listed below are 14 Republican House members that have poor scores on the 2012 scorecard, and yet they are not part of the 80 Republicans Kristol referred to joining with all the Democrats to pass Democratic legislation in the House. I’m not listing the 25 Republican House members who are part of those 80 and received excellent grades on the 2012 scorecard. It is just one vote. While we shouldn’t drown ourselves in the comings and goings we should keep score of who stands firm like Stonewall.

Cook’s PVI

Member CFG Score
R+9 Kristi Noem-R SD-0 64%
R+15 Ed Whitfield-R KY-1 64%
R+15 Brett Guthrie-R KY-2 64%
R+16 Martha Roby-R AL-2 62%
R+13 Doc Hastings-R WA-4 61%
R+9 Mike Rogers-R AL-3 59%
R+8 Rick Crawford-R AR-1 58%
R+11 Jeff Fortenberry-R NE-1 58%
R+26 Robert Aderholt-R AL-4 57%
R+13 Don Young-R AK-0 57%
R+16 Steve Womack-R AR-3 56%

R+24 Frank Lucas-R OK-3 56%

R+14 Jo Bonner-R AL-1 54%

R+16 Hal Rogers-R KY-5 54%

cross-posted at Unified Patriots

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