News tagged as 'Michael Patrick Leahy'

The Coming Conservative Landslide

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

Wishful liberals and Chicken Little conservatives who watch the weekly fluctuations in the presidential polls have concluded that President Obama is a shoo-in for re-election. They point out that Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee, can’t connect with women, has a large likability gap and is slightly behind Obama in most national polls as well as in the key swing states of Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

The despair of faint-hearted conservatives deepens when they contemplate President Obama’s disastrous performance in office. His record of fiscally reckless extremism is unparalleled in American history. In three short years, federal spending as a percentage of GDP has climbed from 20% to 24% while the national debt has exploded from $10 trillion to $15.5 trillion. By the end of his term, Obama will have increased the national debt by a staggering 67%.

Add to this record President Obama’s continual disrespect for the Constitution, his unceasing regulatory attacks on free enterprise and small businesses, his rhetoric of class warfare, his deceptive demagoguery and his spendthrift economic policies that have fattened the wallets of his political cronies but created so few jobs that millions of Americans have simply dropped out of the labor force, and many conservatives can offer only one explanation for Obama’s current lead in the polls.

America, they conclude, must have lost its can-do spirit of rugged individualism and replaced it with what Governor Chris Christie recently called an attitude of “paternalistic entitlement” championed by a coalition of political elites, acolytes in the mainstream media, crony capitalists and an ever-growing dependency class.

Conservatives across the nation should be of good cheer, however. The United States remains a center-right nation. This November, voters will choose common sense over fiscally reckless extremism in what will be a landslide conservative victory. Republicans will retain the House, gain the Senate and win back the presidency with a 2-to-1 Electoral College margin.

You can read the rest of the story at The Daily Caller.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and ElectionDayTeaParty.com. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was recently published by Broadside Books. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.

Santorum Rhetorically Aligns with the Tea Party, But Substantively Rejects Free Market Principles

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

On February 25, 2012, at the Chattanooga Tea Party’s Liberty Forum, Rick Santorum delivered one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard on the nature of the Constitution and the future of our republic. For those of you who missed it, you can watch all 50 minutes of it here. As Mark Fitzgibbons noted in his American Thinker article this past Friday, the speech marked “Santorum’s Intellectual Evolution to a Strong Constitutional Conservative.”

Santorum deserves great credit for engaging with the Tea Party movement and rhetorically aligning with our three core values: (1) constitutionally limited government, (2) fiscal responsibility, and (3) free markets.

Unfortunately, Santorum subsequently demonstrated that it’s one thing to rhetorically align with those values and quite another to do so substantively.

Prior to hearing Santorum’s Chattanooga speech, I had criticized him severely for his poor economic policy. Specifically, I agreed with the Tax Foundation when it gave his tax policies a D+, citing his especially egregious proposal to try to pick “winners and losers” by giving all manufacturers special tax breaks. Earlier last month, before the Chattanooga speech,  Santorum announced his “Economic Freedom Agenda,” which included a proposed that while all other corporations should  pay income tax at a rate of 17.5%, manufacturing companies should pay no corporate income tax at all.

This Hamiltonian strategy of promoting an industrial policy in which the federal government picks winners and losers is antithetical to the tea party’s third core value of free markets. As I argue in my new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, there is great evil in a tax code that authorizes the government to take money from certain groups of citizens and give it to other groups. Santorum’s proposal to offer special tax breaks for manufacturers is but another example of two centuries of politicians trying to take from one group and give to another. Before 1913, they used tariff laws. Since 1913, they’ve used the federal tax code.

Every time the federal government promotes policies that subsidize the activities of one group over another, our country’s scarce resources are misallocated.  We end up using too much corn to produce ethanol, so food prices go up. We subsidize solar companies who make products no one wants, and they go bankrupt. And we give high income earners tax credits to buy electrical vehicles manufactured by state-run General Motors, and there’s so little demand for Chevy Volts, production has to be halted.

After the Chattanooga speech, Senator Santorum gave us reason to hope that his intellectual evolution to constitutional conservativism had moved beyond mere rhetoric and into the realm of action. In last Monday’s Wall Street Journal,   Santorum noticeably omitted his “zero income tax on manufacturing” proposal, mentioning  only “repatriated” manufacturing profits earned in foreign countries by domestic manufacturers.

Many of us in the Tea Party movement took notice. Had Santorum decided to align with our core value of free markets?

Alas, this omission of proposed manufacturing tax breaks appears to be nothing more than a weak attempt to avoid criticism from the many free market conservatives who read the Wall Street Journal.

Santorum finally confirmed last week that he stands by his Hamiltonian views of offering manufacturing tax breaks at the 1:22 mark in this interview with John Harwood of the New York Times and CNBC:

What are we to make of this unfortunate decision by Senator Santorum?

Time to turn our attentions to Governor Romney as well as Senator Santorum. After all, Governor Romney finally started engaging with local tea parties in his hard fought Michigan primary victory.

Where Santorum has actively engaged with the Tea Party to great effect, the response to Governor Romney has been tepid at best. Romney has steadfastly refused to repudiate RomneyCare, supported the TARP bailouts, and aims low when it comes to spending cuts (his official position calls for cutting federal expenditures to 20% of GDP, but only recently he cautioned against making any immediate spending cuts.)

While Senator Santorum has done well with Tea Party friendly rhetoric, his specific proposals have been little better than Governor Romney’s. Rhetorical flourishes are meaningless unless accompanied by the corresponding actions.

The race for the Republican nomination is not over quite yet, and the Tea Party needs to give both of these candidates yet one more chance to align with our core values.

Given the abysmal state of the Republican Party’s get-out-the-vote infrastructure, it’s going to be up to the Tea Party movement to drag the Republican Presidential nominee across the finish line to victory. As the eventual nominee  will be relying upon us to secure their Electoral College majority in November, Governor Romney and Senator Santorum should begin to align both their rhetoric and their substantive policies more closely with our core values.

Let’s hope that both these candidates begin to do just that.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

 

Why is Santorum Rising?

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

Recent polls show former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum rising. Some national polls of Republican primary voters show him in the lead, other show him closely behind Mitt Romney. Many polls show him competitive in a head to head race with President Obama. In the remaining primary states, he currently has a slight lead over Romney in Michigan, and is within striking distance in Arizona. Both states hold primaries a week from tomorrow.

Why is Santorum surging, Romney stalling, Gingrich sliding, and Paul holding steady?

His success comes more from his strategy of engaging voters in a one-on-one retail approach than it does the specifics of his policies. While he appealed to the strong current of evangelical voters in Iowa, and laid out a very credible foreign policy approach, we can’t ignore his Big Government approach to spending and social issues.

If we were to look to a seventeenth century figure in the Anglo-American culture who Santorum’s policies most resemble, it would be the authoritarian Christian communitarianism of Massachusetts Bay Colony’s first governor John Winthrop to whom we would point, not the Christian natural liberty of English libertarian John Lilburne.

The Cato Instititute’s David Boaz recently pointed out Santorum’s poor track record of support for the limited government ethos that defines the Tea Party movement.

Michael Barone notes that Santorum’s deft explanation for his endorsement of RINO Arlen Specter over conservative Pat Toomey in the 2004 Republican Senate Primary in Pennsylvania (Specter’s re-election was critical, Santorum said, because he was needed to usher Alito and Roberts on to the Supreme Court) was only half of the story. Barone points out that Santorum, the political operative with 16 total years in Congress, owed his 1994 election to the Senate to Specter’s support.

Santorum’s tax proposals, however, are so bad that the respected Tax Foundation gave him a D+. Instead of simplifying the tax code, Santorum would maintain its present complexity. Worse yet, he favors the Hamiltonian strategy of picking winners and losers through the tax code, providing a variety of incentives to favored industry. Manufacturing, which struggles in his native Pennsylvania, gets special tax benefits.

Comparing Santorum’s policies to those of his two main competitors–Gingrich and Romney, Santorum is only slightly less Hamiltonian. Santorum distinguishes himself from these two in one key regard — he opposed the TARP bank bailouts of October, 2008.

Why, then, does Santorum enjoy more than a 2 to 1 advantage over both Gingrich and Romney among Republican primary voters who consider themselves tea party supporters?

There are three reasons:

1. Santorum is authentic and consistent in his views.

2. He is likable and approachable.

3. He genuinely engages with local tea parties around the country.

Romney, for reasons that continue to remain a mystery to me, appears to be following a strategy of actively avoiding the Tea Party movement. To my knowledge, he has never addressed an actual tea party rally or local tea party group. In December, he spoke on the phone at a tea party tele-town hall with other Presidential candidates, but that appears to be the extent of his direct communication with the Tea Party movement.

This remoteness–an odd strategy to keep Romney in a “bubble” away from potential supporters–seems to permeate his campaign. In Ohio last week, for instance, Attorney General Mike DeWine withdrew his endorsement of Romney and endorsed Santorum. “He doesn’t write, he doesn’t call,” DeWine said of Romney.

Gingrich, who has a long and twisted history with the movement, has, until recently spoken at numerous tea party rallies, but has never really actually modified his policies according to communications he’s received at these rallies, at least as far as I can tell. And where Santorum appears friendly, upbeat, and approachable, Gingrich appears a bitter, scowling, intellectual elitist. Santorum is blue collar, Gingrich is academic cap and gown.

This Saturday, for instance, Santorum will be the featured speaker at the Third Anniversary Celebration of the Tea Party movement to be held in Chattanooga Tennessee, hosted there by the local tea party. Romney turned down a similar invitation, giving Santorum an open running field to garner tea party support around the country. This is not the first time Santorum has spoken to local tea party groups. Last week he was a featured speaker at a tea party gathering in Ohio. Clearly, Santorum has realized the value of showing up and engaging with tea parties, especially in states like Tennessee and Ohio, where Super Tuesday primaries will be held on March 6.

The lesson from Santorum’s recent success should be his tactics more than his message. Retail politics works. Television ads, robocolls, email blasts and the like are increasingly “white noise” –irritating background ignored by most voters.  The election of 2012 will be decided more by neighbors talking to neighbors they trust than it will be traditional media. Age old person to person  grassroots politicking is experiencing a resurgence. And that’s a good thing for the country.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Lack of Tea Party Presidential Contender in 2012 Due to Candidate Development Timeline

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

Washington pundits on both sides of the ideological spectrum are suggesting that the lack of a bona fide Tea Party presidential candidate in the 2012 election cycle means the power of the Tea Party movement is on the wane. Talk show host Laura Ingraham made the argument recently in an appearance on ABC.

Ms. Ingraham needs to get out of Washington more.

That none of the four remaining Republicans in the race to win the party’s Presidential nomination currently align more closely with the three core values of the Tea Party movement (constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets) is an indication of one key truth:  it takes longer than one Presidential campaign cycle to develop a candidate with the complete set of attributes necessary to compete at the Presidential level.

As a point of comparison, take a look at the 63 Republican freshmen members of the House of Representatives elected in 2010 who have been referred to as “The Tea Party class.” A careful look at their voting records in the 112th Congress indicates that they haven’t voted much differently than their Republican colleagues who were elected before 2010. In truth, only a handful of these 63 are not “establishment Republicans.”

Fast forward to the race for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012.

As I’ve argued before, the two candidates most aligned with Tea Party values — Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain — performed poorly over the course of the campaign, despite temporarily boomlets that gave them each “front runner” status. Why did they fail? Simply put, neither candidate possessed the full set of attributes necessary to compete at the Presidential level.

But look for things to be different in 2016 and beyond.

The Tea Party has a pretty strong bench. At the top of that list are two Senators elected in 2010 who align very closely with Tea Party values: Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

What Ms. Ingraham has missed is this simple fact: At the grassroots level, the Tea Party continues to grow in strength. We’re building a get-out-the-vote infrastructure that will elect candidates at all levels of office in 2012 who are closest to our core values. And in each successive year, as Tea Party candidates move up the development curve and are ready to serve at higher levels, look for the movement to have even greater electoral success.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

The Lying Liars at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

The special election to replace disgraced Congressman David Wu in Oregon’s 1st Congressional District has given the lying liars at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee a chance to test out their 2012 master plan. The components of the plan are clear. Make false claims about the principles of the Tea Party movement. Add the word extremist. Carpet bomb the Republican candidate with massive spending on advertising, calling the candidate a “Tea Party extremist,” then attach positions to the movement that have nothing to do with the movement.

From its inception, the Tea Party movement has supported three core values: constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets. As I write in my new book, Covenant of  Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, the motto of those of us who started the movement has always been “Save the republic first, then let the traditionalists and non-traditionalists duke it out over social issues.”

Social issues have never been part of our agenda.

But the lying liars at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee desperately need to include social issues in their attack plan, so they just falsely place social issues in their “fake Tea Party” agenda. Rhetorically, it’s the same as creating a fake Twitter account.  The apparatchiks at the DCCC are shameless in their lying ways.

Case in point:

Here’s the lie Jesse Ferguson, a “spokesman” for the DCCC, recently told about the Tea Party movement:

“There is no doubt that races across the country will be about a contrast between Tea Party extremism that protects the ultra-wealthy versus defenders of the middle class and Medicare.”

Here’s another dishonest dirty trick from the DCCC, deployed recently against the Republican challenger, Rob Cornilles, who is seeking to win the special election in Oregon’s 1st Congressional District:

A fake Twitter account, @TPartyCornilles, sends out comments such as, “Will Republican Rob Cornilles try to run from his extreme Tea Party anti-choice record in tonight’s debate?”

One clever element of the DCCC strategy of false narrative. They’ve tried to pin the incompetence of the Republican House leadership on the freshman class of 63 newcomers, largely elected with Tea Party support.

“But public sentiment has since shifted, with Tea Party-sanctioned Republican freshmen in the House of Representatives taking much of the blame for standoffs over the extending debt ceiling, extending payroll taxes and other issues in 2011.”

The Tea Party movement is prepared to respond to these lies point by point. Expect to see an onslaught of falsehoods from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where the words “extremist” and “Tea Party” will be inseparable in every statement they make.

But the voters in America are not so gullible as the Democrats think. Americans are intelligent and fair minded. The extremists in America today are the lying liars at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the various arms of the Democratic Party establishment. These groups will knowingly spread a false narrative about the Tea Party movement with an ever increasing fury until their defeat at polling places across this great land on November 6, 2012.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

 

About That Brokered Convention Idea

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

Ed Morrissey, writing at HotAir today, dismisses the idea of a brokered Republican Convention as fatally flawed:

“consider the hole from which this nominee would start. Ten weeks from the election, the party would have a nominee for which no one had cast a ballot in a primary, who has raised no money, who has built no organization, and who has articulated no platform before getting drafted at the convention.  Put that up against the re-election campaign of Barack Obama and his $250-$300 million campaign fund and more from unions and the entertainment industry, and it would be a prescription for political suicide – and not just for the presidency, either.”

Morrissey makes a good point, but consider this:

The first product of a brokered Republican convention was Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

The most recent brokered Republican convention in 1940 produced Wendell Wilkie, who gave President Roosevelt a much tougher battle than Thomas Dewey would have done that year.

Of course, 2012 isn’t 1860, or even 1940.

But let’s face it, while the four surviving candidates are light years superior to the current incumbent, none of them have an outstanding record of consistently supporting the three core values of the Tea Party movement: constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets.

While Morrissey is right that the nominee emerging from a brokered convention would experience some logistical disadvantages, and could be, from a Tea Party perspective, no better than the current crop, I say let the fight in the free market of political ideas continue.

The longer this battle goes on, the more time the Tea Party movement has to build its get-out-the-vote infrastructure. And everyone knows the Republican Party get-out-the-vote infrastructure is so abysmal its virtually non-existent. And who knows? One of the four candidates might smarten up enough to realize that their best chance of winning the nomination is to align their future policies with the core values of the Tea Party movement.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

 

The Warren Buffett’s Secretary Tax Relief Act of 2012

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

I agree with Debbie Bosanek, Warren Buffett’s secretary.

It’s unfair that she pays a higher marginal tax rate than her boss.

Since she and Mr. Buffett have yet to make available their tax returns for the past four years so that we can accurately assess their claims about their tax rates, let’s for the moment take her word that she pays a 35.8 % tax rate. We don’t know how she calculates this–whether it’s her marginal tax rate or her effective tax rate, whether it refers to taxable income or gross income, or whether it includes FICA payroll taxes as well–but for the sake of argument, let’s assume it’s simply her marginal tax rate on taxable income. At the 35% marginal tax rate, this puts her taxable income at $379,150 a year, clearly among the top 1% of earners in the country.

Her boss, Warren Buffett, claims to pay a 17.4% tax rate. Again, since he hasn’t released his tax returns, we don’t know exactly what this means, but for the sake of argument, let’s say he’s referring to his effective tax rate on taxable income.

The solution to this terribly unfair treatment of Ms. Bosanek is obvious.

We need to pass The Warren Buffett’s Secretary Tax Relief Act of 2012, which would reduce income taxes for every American so that no one pays an effective tax rate in excess of 17.4%. This is approximately the effective tax rate that Ms. Bosanek would pay today if she earned what the average secretary to a CEO earns–a little over $67,000 annually.  Ms. Bosanek is a victim of the current tax system because she’s such an outstanding and valuable employee to Mr. Buffett. She’s being penalized for excelling.

The problem, you see, is that Ms. Bosanek is penalized by the highly progressive nature of our current income tax system.  The marginal tax rate jumps from 15% to 25% for every dollar of taxable income in excess of $34,500. Then it jumps to 28% for every dollar of taxable income in excess of $83,600. It jumps further to 33% for every dollar of taxable income in excess of $174,400, and then to 35% for every dollar of taxable income in excess of $379,150.

Come to think of it, the easiest way to solve this problem of fairness would be my proposed Warren Buffett’s Secretary Tax Relief Act of 2012. Under this new tax law, we would establish a single flat income tax paid by all Americans that sets our tax rate at 17.4% of every dollar of taxable income earned, from the first to the billionth.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book,Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Buffett and His Secretary Can’t Get Their Story Straight on Taxes

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

Chalk this up as the first strategic blunder of the Obama campaign. The poster-child of their class warfare narrative, Warren Buffett’s secretary, has just made a tax claim that, if true, reveals her to belong in the top 1% of income earners in America.

The Obama campaign communications team–in this case, ABC News–joined forces this evening with Warren Buffett and his secretary, Debbie Bosanek, to selectively release some information about their personal tax returns. Note that neither Mr. Buffett nor Ms. Bosanek took the transparent approach of  releasing their complete tax returns for the past four years for review by the entire public, as I called on them to do yesterday.

Here’s what they claimed in the ABC  report: “Bosanek pays a tax rate of 35.8 percent of income, while Buffett pays a rate at 17.4 percent.”

It’s hard to interpret this statement without additional information. Do they mean “effective tax rate” or “marginal tax rate” ?

When they say “income,” do they mean total gross income or taxable income?

Since the top marginal rate on taxable income (which kicks in when taxable income exceeds $379,150) is 35%, it’s impossible that Ms. Bosnak’s claim that she pays a tax rate of 35.8 % applies to her taxable income. Since taxable income is always less than total gross income, the claim is even less credible for that measure.

Despite these factual inconsistencies, Bosanek doubled down, putting herself forward as the face of Obama’s tax inequality mantra:

I just feel like an average citizen. I represent the average citizen who needs a voice…Everybody in our office is paying a higher tax rate than Warren.

If she’s really paying a marginal rate of 35%, she’s earning over $379,150 per year in taxable income, which places her in the top 1% of income earners nationally. If this is true, Ms. Bosanek is anything but an average citizen. An average citizen–say someone who earns the median salary of a secretary to a CEO, which is $67, 791, according to a 2011 survey conducted by Certified Compensation Professionals–pays a much lower effective tax rate on taxable income than Ms. Bosanek. Assuming this average citizen took about $15,000 in deductions, she would pay an effective tax rate of 17% on taxable income of $52,791, the same rate Mr. Buffett claims to be paying.

Whether Ms. Bosanek is in fact in the top 1% of earners, or her claims, along with those of Mr. Buffett, are simply not correct is something no one will know for sure until both Ms. Bosanek and Mr. Buffett release their personal tax returns for the last four years.

In either case, as the story continues to unfold it will be painfully obvious to most voters that the Obama campaign’s attempt to portray Ms. Bosanek as the sympathetic face of tax inequality has backfired badly.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book,Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Time for Warren Buffett and his Secretary to Release Their Personal Tax Returns

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

The political theater of the Obama Administration continues at this evening’s State of the Union Address. Debbie Bosanek, Warren Buffett’s personal secretary–you know the woman who has become the poster-child for President Obama’s attacks on the “unfairness” of the not progressive enough tax code–will be seated in the  First Lady’s box this evening. Buffett has repeatedly lectured to us about a tax code in which his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does.

Ms. Bosanek, who until recently had only been thrust into the public dialogue over “fairness” and redistribution by her publicity seeking and political favor hunting boss (note how his Burlington Railroad company benefits financially from the President’s decision to halt the Keystone Pipeline) has now thrust herself into the national debate.

Fair enough.

Now that she’s voluntarily participating in the public arena, I call on both Ms. Bosanek and Mr. Buffett to release their own personal tax returns for the past four years. Let’s see what their tax rates really are. This is an important political argument that will be a central theme of the Obama campaign for the rest of the year. Having made the claim on behalf of the Obama campaign, it’s time for Mr. Buffett and Ms. Bosanek to demonstrate its veracity.

I suspect we’ll find that Mr. Buffett has benefited significantly from his own lobbying of Congress. And I’m curious to see exactly how much higher Ms. Bosanek’s tax rate is than Mr. Buffett’s.

The analysis of their personal tax returns is likely to be highly educational for the entire country.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book,Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

 

 

Pawlenty’s Wrong: Gingrich Can Beat Obama

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

In light of the drubbing Mitt Romney received Saturday at the hands of Newt Gingrich, failed Presidential candidate and Romney surrogate Tim Pawlenty asserted today that Newt Gingrich can’t beat Obama.

The dramatic increase in voter turnout in South Carolina’s Republican primary (up 35% in 2012 from 2008) tells us otherwise. This morning’s news about Gingrich’s 9% lead in Florida from Rasmussen Reports confirms the trend. At the moment, the energy in the Republican race for the nomination is behind Gingrich.

As I’ve noted in this space previously, there are plenty of reasons for the Tea Party to doubt Gingrich’s record as much as Romney’s. But the Romney surrogates who focus on alleged electability problems are missing the key point of this battle.

Voters in South Carolina were well aware of Gingrich’s shortcomings. Yet they voted for him in part because, as Ann Coulter notes disapprovingly, they want someone who can take the battle to Obama.

If Governor Pawlenty wants to make the case why tea partiers should vote for Romney he should focus on the much more fertile ground and explain–if he can–why Romney policies are more in alignment with the tea party’s core values of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and constitutionally limited government than Gingrich’s.

As it stands now, Pawlenty’s argument is just “white noise” — an irritating sound in the background you just want to go away.

Whether Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, or even Rick Santorum or Ron Paul secure the Republican nomination, this much is clear to me based on the tremendous turnout in South Carolina. Whoever the Republican Party nominates will defeat President Obama in November, 2012, provided they earn the support of the Tea Party movement.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book,Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .