‘Duck Dynasty’ Star: ‘If We Don’t Turn To God At A Pretty Rapid Clip, We’re Going To Lose The United States Of America’

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‘Duck Dynasty’ Star: ‘If We Don’t Turn To God At A Pretty Rapid Clip, We’re Going To Lose The United States Of America’

"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson greets fans in the Duck Commander Compound at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson greets fans in the Duck Commander Compound at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

 NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Republicans are poised for successful midterm elections, but many of the party’s most conservative activists are looking ahead to something bigger.

“We need to save this country in 2016,” Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus told the opening session of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference on Thursday.

The annual event has grown into an opportunity for rising GOP stars to address some of the most conservative rank-and-file party faithful who influence the presidential nomination process.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal kicked of the list of White House hopefuls, delighting delegates by skewering President Barack Obama as “the most ideologically liberal” and “most incompetent president of our lifetimes.” Delegates will hear Friday and Saturday from tea party hero Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, 2012 presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and others.

Jindal previewed what his presidential campaign pitch might look like, should he run, explaining his statewide private school tuition voucher program, privatization of the state’s public hospital system and a series of tax cuts as examples of a conservative renaissance in his state.

Jindal noted that the Obama administration sued unsuccessfully to block the tuition program, a move the governor called “cynical, immoral, hypocritical.” He also used some barbs at Obama to take indirect swipes at some of his potential White House rivals like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

“We’re watching on-the-job training,” Jindal said, because “we have a president who’d never run anything before.”

Governors, he said, make the best presidents, pointing to Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat Bill Clinton.

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made a surprise appearance, helping introduce Phil Robertson, patriarch of cable television’s “Duck Dynasty.” Robertson has become a cultural icon for many conservative because of his outspoken Christian faith and commentary on sexuality, including opposition to same-sex marriage.

He mostly stayed clear of partisan politics. He blasted separation of church and state and called abortion a “blight” on society. He drew applause and shouts of “Amen” in calling for a national Christian revival and describing himself as a “Christocrat.”

“If we don’t turn to God at a pretty rapid clip,” he said, “we’re going to lose the United States of America.”

Neither Rubio nor Paul is scheduled to speak at the three-day gathering. Two of Jindal’s fellow governors — Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin — also are skipping it.

The conference comes as Republicans campaign to win complete control of Capitol Hill for the final two years of Obama’s tenure. The GOP is favored to retain its House majority and has a strong chance of winning a Senate majority to control all of Capitol Hill for the final two years of Obama’s term.

But delegates here, many of them festooned in red, white and blue, were brimming with talk of 2016.

While Priebus joined in the cheerleading, the chairman reprised his frequent call for the party to get better at the nuts and bolts of campaigning — from corralling a free-for-all primary process to reaching into minority communities that overwhelmingly support Democrats — before even thinking about who the 2016 nominee should be.

“We have a tale of two parties,” Priebus said. “We have a midterm party that doesn’t lose, and we have a presidential party that’s having a hard time winning.”

He noted obvious voter demographics that show Republican nominees must attract more young and minority voters. But public opinion polls also suggest that the party’s conservative positions — and its candidates’ emphasis — on issues like immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage are liabilities with some of the very groups they want to win over.

The chairman avoided saying the party should change any of its positions. “It’s not my job to write legislation,” he said, though he added later that “we could emphasize different things,” such as expanding school choice or loan programs for minority entrepreneurs. Whatever the policy, he said, “we have to show up and make the argument,” rather than concede swaths of the electorate.

Roy Luke, a retired Air Force master sergeant from Augusta, Ga., said the party’s problem is “more about image than substance.”

Luke argued that younger voters are eager to hear economic growth arguments from Republicans, while religiously conservative Latinos agree with the party’s socially conservative stances. “These are all Republicans,” he said, emphatically. “They just don’t know it yet.”

 

Republicans are winning the shutdown fight, and Democrats know it.

Obama on Benghazi

 

Obamacare or the Debt Ceiling

 

By: Erick Erickson (Diary)  |  October 7th, 2013 at 12:20 AM  |  190

 

Republicans are winning the shutdown fight, and Democrats know it.

People turning on the news this week came away with the knowledge that it was about Obamacare and kept hearing that Democrats wouldn’t negotiate. They also learned that for some reason the President didn’t want Word War II veterans to tour their own memorial, and Harry Reid won’t turn the funding on for cancer clinical trials at the NIH. Oh, and the rollout for Obamacare is one big glitch.

Late yesterday came word that the Amber Alert system has been shut down, but Barack Obama’s federally funded golf course remains open. Catholics are openly fretting that priests on military bases could get arrested for performing mass — at the very least they are prohibited from doing so.

The President had to invite Congressional Leaders to talk, Harry Reid had to sit down with Dana Bash of CNN to explain himself, the shutdown coverage overall started to recede by Friday, and the Democrats began to shift the conversation to the debt limit.

The polls are shifting against the Democrats. They will continue to shift as more and more Americans realize that this fight is fundamentally about the letter they just received informing them of massive premium increases.

But the problem is that the expiration of the debt limit is on October 17th (or thereabouts, as the President manipulates it) and both Democrats and Republican Leadership have an incentive to merge a “grand bargain” to increase the debt limit with a continuing resolution that funds Obamacare. Both sides get to change the conversation–one to protect an unpopular law and the other to minimize political risk by reverting back to the norm–and get past two critical leverage points with a blend of GOP and Democrat votes.

The result will be no substantial changes to Obamacare. It will be funded in its entirety. Sure, they will repeal the medical device tax and maybe add the Vitter language to have the illusion that Congress is going to live under Obamacare. Nothing real though.

Don’t believe me? Listen to the reporting. Its all grand bargain and debt limit. The negotiations do not include Obamacare.

So the question is do we want to stop Obamacare or do we want to stop the debt ceiling increase? My view is that we cannot do both at the same time. We might dare to dream, but the debt ceiling will be increased one way or the other.

Right now the GOP is holding up very well in the press and public opinion because it is clear they want negotiations. The GOP keeps passing legislation to fund departments of government. It has put the Democrats in an awkward position.

But the moment the GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, we are going to have problems. Remember, the last time you and I wanted the GOP to fight on the debt ceiling, the attacks from our own side were particularly vicious.

They’ve been vicious over the shutdown too, but now that we are here, the water ain’t so bad and only a few ankle biting yappers continue to take shots at conservatives from the GOP side.

It will not be so with the debt ceiling. And the GOP will no longer seem very reasonable. The debt ceiling fight will become an impediment to undermining Obamacare.

It is what Republican leaders want. They are hoping for us to be recalcitrant and angry over the debt ceiling increase. They want to appear to shove us off by raising it. They know they can’t fight us on Obamacare because the public hates Obamacare. But they know they can on the debt ceiling because of the specter of default.

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So what should we do? I think somebody like Steve Scalise, who chairs the Republican Study Committee, needs to propose a short-term debt limit for a few weeks and attach to it the Full Faith and Credit Act that ensures the Treasury Department prioritizes interest payments in the event the debt limit is ever not increased. This would buy us some time to finish the fight to defund Obamacare and set us up well to fight the next long-term debt limit increase to the death by removing some of the President’s scare tactics. How do Republican Leaders not adopt and push such a proposal? How does Obama not accept it without looking completely unreasonable?

Regardless, the only path to victory in this shutdown is to keep our fire on Obamacare and our focus on the defunding effort. We can still undermine Obamacare, but we need to resist the attempt to merge this with the debt limit and hold the line on the continuing resolution. Otherwise we will lose on both.