It’s always refreshing to hear someone state the truth bluntly, and even more so when that person happens to be running for high political office.
As Americans in the twenty-first century, we’re naturally conditioned to hearing a load of well, fill-in-the-blank, from politician X in state or district Y, claiming to be the solution to everyone’s system-fostered problems. They’ll toss out standard campaign platitudes and swear, if they’re given the opportunity, to go to Congress or state legislature or school board or county governing body to fight for and safeguard our rights and interests.
The politicians’ attitudes inevitably change upon actually reaching their destination. Besieged by waves of lobbyists, paid protesters from leftist organizations, sob stories from real citizens or the leadership of their own party dangling reelection funds in front of their noses, the competing appeals become overwhelming and the poor souls melt into the establishment like Rambo camouflaged in a mud wall, rarely to be seen again unless to stick a proverbial knife in our back.
Ohio conservative Josh Mandel isn’t like the standard politician and he’s not shy about saying so. Former Marine Mandel is running in next year’s Ohio GOP primary to seek the party nomination to replace retiring RINO Senator Rob Portman. Portman, you might remember, having been George W. Bush’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, was viewed as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney in 2012. This fact suggested Portman was a fiscal watchdog, which certainly hasn’t turned out to be the case.
Rob’s record of establishment sell-outs is long, but one recent one stands out. Portman was one of the notorious nineteen GOP senators who voted for the badly mis-labeled “bipartisan” infrastructure bill that has since become law. Portman also voted earlier this year to establish a congressional committee to study the January 6 riot (which failed due to a filibuster in the senate).
Needless to say, by the looks of it, Mandel would be a huge step-up in quality from wishy-washy ruling class Rob in the Buckeye State. Mandel has often been compared to Donald Trump, which the would-be senator appreciates, at least when it comes to Trump’s fighting spirit and boat rocker mindset.
David M. Drucker reported at The Washington Examiner (as part of the publication’s Restoring America series):
“Mandel has distinguished himself in the race for the Republican Senate nomination in Ohio by training most of his fire not on Biden and the Democratic majorities in Congress, but almost exclusively on so-called ‘RINO’ (Republican in Name Only) members of the GOP. Majority parties, especially majority conferences in the House and Senate, always have at least a few centrists. There simply are not enough red states or districts to produce majorities otherwise. Mandel begs to differ.
“’The soggy Republicans — that’s one side of the party,’ he said. ‘I don’t think the party should be going that direction. I want to go to Washington to be reinforcements for anti-establishment fighters.’ Which Republicans meet Mandel’s standard? Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and especially former President Donald Trump.
“Mandel, 44 …said charges that he is mimicking Trump are unfair. Nevertheless, he is unrepentant about his approach. ‘I just try to be real and be myself. A lot of people don’t realize that I’ve been anti-establishment, and have been a blow-up-the-system type guy, from day one,’ Mandel said, citing his intraparty battles in Columbus with then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich when he was the state treasurer. ‘My being unapologetic about Trump — it’s because I love the way he fought for the little guy and took on squishy, RINO Republicans.’”
Hear, hear! Mandel, like Trump, clearly says what he means and means what he says! If he’s proud of his intra-state battles with RINO extraordinaire John Kasich, we certainly should count him as one of us. When paired with Josh’s impressive list of politicians who he’d emulate -- Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump -- true conservatives can’t wait to get behind his campaign.
The battle to pinpoint the real enemy in Republican politics has raged for a century. Too many times we turn on conservative media and the focus instantly concentrates on what senile Joe Biden or Chris Cuomo or Rachel Maddow or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said to infuriate lovers of limited government. The aforementioned leftists make it easy to pick on them because practically everything that comes out of their mouths is either a flat out lie or twisted to please a leftist interest group or specifically designed to inflame right-minded folks.
But what about the RINOs Mandel was talking about? Oftentimes the real “enemy” isn’t found powwowing with “Chucky” Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, or attending Barack Obama’s mask-disdaining hypocritical 60th birthday party at his seaside estate on Martha’s Vineyard in August. No, the turncoats are entrenched in a GOP leadership that refuses to punish those who defy the caucus -- and the grassroots -- to grandstand for themselves and please the establishment class.
The RINO list is lengthy. Rob Portman above. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Bill Cassidy and Ben Sasse (among others, which certainly includes Minority Leader Mitch McConnell). On the House side there’s Don Young of Alaska (who at 88-years old is the longest serving member of Congress, having started his political day job the same year Joe Biden did in 1973. Young is perhaps the GOP’s biggest spender), notorious Liz Cheney the figurehead of RINOs and losers who thumb their noses at real Republicans because of decorum and bad manners as well as the on-his-way-out weenie Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
Kevin McCarthy has been slightly better than expected in his short term as Republican House leader, but there are signs he’s reverting to his establishment roots and ways. There already were pitifully low expectations to begin with for the Californian, so it’s difficult to get real upset over his lack of backbone and refusal to heed the calls of conservative bomb-throwers like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert to take the combat to the leftists.
Why is there a need for anti-establishment types like Mandel, Cruz, Jordan and Taylor-Greene? Because for too long Republicans have talked like conservatives at campaign time and then morphed into “bipartisan” compromisers and sell-outs who value “getting along” and “cooperating” more than fighting for the Constitution and its guarantees of liberty and limited government.
The myth of the political center is just that. There’s simply no room for concession on most topics if you believe government exists as a necessary evil. If American politics has devolved into a partisan zero-sum-game it’s because the Democrats have veered sharply to the left and the GOP establishment has stood by uselessly while the federal government has grown way beyond its original purposes -- to handle foreign relations and ensure fairness in trade between states. And to guarantee basic fundamental rights, like those listed in the first ten constitutional amendments, otherwise known as the Bill of Rights.
Donald Trump ran in 2016 because the party leadership of both factions -- and this certainly includes the GOP -- had forgotten the “little guy” and ceded America’s national priorities and sovereignty to global concerns. The concept of American exceptionalism was revived and nurtured under Trump; Americans want to be like Americans, just like Britons favor their own country over others. Is the concept so difficult?
Trump was one of three message carriers in the 2016 presidential race, the others being Ted Cruz, and for the Democrats, Bernie Sanders. The rest of the candidates either echoed the outsiders or migrated towards the “let’s get along” centrists. If you don’t believe it, can anyone remember what John Kasich stood for other than stopping the name-calling and meeting in the middle? Marco Rubio was a Jeb Bush wannabe.
Conservatives liked Trump and Cruz (the two top vote getters in the GOP primaries) precisely because they represented a stark departure from the establishment’s dominance of the GOP. In his characteristic style, Trump turned his rhetorical guns on Jeb Bush, outwardly criticizing the Bush family’s neoconservative foreign policy and globalist views.
Cruz also took issue with the ways of the party bluebloods. And he was the only competitor to separate himself in the large field who wasn’t already universally known.
I don’t know the dynamics of the Ohio Republican U.S. senate primary race, and it’s yet to be seen if prominent conservatives will endorse Mandel (again). But it’s encouraging to see someone like Josh speak his mind without fear of being destroyed by the ruling class. America has more than its share of outspoken leftists.
America doesn’t need a Republican party as much as it needs a place for conservative candidates, representatives, senators and limited government advocates, people who don’t back away from a fight and aren’t the least bit hesitant to name names when the situation calls for it. Conservatives love Trump because he embodies all of those qualities. We need more like him.
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