Thursday, April 16, 2015

NH Republicans in Disarray

We are approximately 10 months away from the NH Primary and the fun has begun. Candidates are visiting the state, some on a fairly consistent basis. They’re confining their energy to the bottom half of the state – as usual. They don’t bother much with the top half until they have to massage us for votes.

The Tea Party sprang into action in 2007. They espoused a sort of glibertarian philosophy; a lot of hard line fringe GOP mixed with some aspects of libertarianism. A lot of this was supported by low information voters who were willing to bellow about taxes, but wanted big gummint to leave their Medicare alone.

Political activists used the Tea Party (and the huge money behind it) to create a schism in the Republican Party, on both the state and national level. The Tea Party has bonded with the liberty crowd. In NH that includes Birchers and Free Staters. We’ve seen the old school Republicans in some areas forced out of office by libertea types. Nowhere is the divide more apparent than in the NH House, where the old school Republicans are in constant conflict with the libertea crowd, led by former Speaker Bill O’Brien. They’ve been a constant and deliberate source of obstruction and delay during House voting sessions. For months the libertea crowd has been carping about how Speaker Shawn Jasper (a conservative Republican) is really a DINO (Democrat in name only) because he was shrewd enough to use Democrats to help him win the speakership. In spite of all the acrimony, somehow Jasper and O’Brien kissed and made up (don’t dwell on the graphics of that) and passed a thoroughly odious budget that reflects the desire of the libertea crowd to “take the state back.” All the way to 1776, it seems.

This weekend, the Republican Party is having the “First in the Nation Leadership Summit” at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua. Both declared candidates, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio will be present. Also expected are likely candidates Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, the Donald, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, and Lindsey Graham.  Other speakers include John Kasich, Joe Scarborough, Frank Lutz, Scott Brown, Fred Barnes, Betsy McCaughey and Kelly Ayotte.

This is a two-day event that is already sold out. They have a slick website, where one can look at the agenda, the speakers, and the various events, including a focus group with Luntz and a media panel that includes Drew Cline of the Union Leader. There was ever any doubt about the Union Leader’s loyalty to the GOP – but it’s nice to see it there in black and white. 

The NH Young Republicans will be having their somewhat controversial convention during this summit. It seems that all of a sudden, at the last minute, applications for 70 new dues paying members of the NH Young Republicans appeared, funded primarily by GOP operative David Chesley, who is going to be Rand Paul’s NH campaign director. This is all about influencing who will become the next chair of the organization.

The day after this Republican shindig is the Summit of Grassroots Activists by the 603 Alliance. It’s at the same venue, and includes at least one of the same speakers, former NY Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey. McCaughey was the lieutenant governor during George Pataki’s first term. He ditched her when he ran for his second term. There are only two female speakers listed at their event, both imported from out of state, McCaughey and Sharron Angle, failed US Senate candidate from Nevada.

From the 603 Alliance website, “A group of conservative activists joined together to create an organization---a movement---an alliance--- of like-minded constitutionalists and conservatives with the goal of impacting who wins the New Hampshire First in the Nation Primary.” That’s exactly how it is written and punctuated.

It’s the libertea crowd. The names of the Steering Committee are listed, but not much else. There’s a press release promising that this event is going to produce a loud bang, much like the shot heard round the world, on the day of their summit. The loud bang potential isn’t obvious from the website, which is dark, unattractive, and rife with florid rhetoric. Given how many Free Staters claim to be in the IT field, one would think they could have come up with something more appealing.

Their speaker list: Betsy McCaughey, Sharron Angle, Andrew Hemingway (former NH gubernatorial candidate), NH State Rep. Bill O’Brien, Aaron Day, who is Chair of the Republican Liberty Alliance and moved to NH as a member of the Free State Project. He’s also the Chairman of the Atlas Society, a group of folks who never grew out of their adolescent obsession with the fiction of Ayn Rand. NH State Rep. Dan Itse who fancies himself a constitutional expert, libertea blogger Mike Rogers, former NH GOP Chair Jack Kimball – businessman and UN conspiracy theorist, and Jason Sorens the founder of the Free State Project.

The Free State Project announced it was moving to NH in 2003, because NH was such a fine, liberty loving small state. They’ve given many reasons over the years, but all are variations on that tune. The tune was meant to distract, something the FSP is very skilled at. They talk about how peaceful and peace loving they are all the time, to distract us from the fact that they’re armed miscreants, coming to NH with the intention of taking over and dismantling our state government. They’ve told us for years that they aren’t political – when the opposite is so obvious. And yes, they told us they chose NH because it was so free. Horse hockey. They chose NH because of the primary. This is their big bid for influencing the primary process. This is the FSP coming out party.

It will be fascinating to see how the schism works this weekend, and how many of the GOP leadership summit speakers and participants hang around to be part of the 603 Alliance Summit. My money is on Rand Paul.

Published as an op-ed in the April 17 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper


conservativenh said...

Sorry Susan but there is NO 'huge money' behind the tea party in NH. You should know this by now. Just because they donated to your recuperation fund, well that was charity.

susanthe said...

Please go back and reread. Nowhere did I say there was huge money in the NH Tea Party.

Alan Jones said...

Liberal fascism is alive and well and has reared it's ugly head in NH in the form of Susan Bruce.

Liberal fascists are easy to identify: they try to belittle their political opponents with juvenile insults and taunts; they conjure up wild, unsubstantiated claims about said political opponents; they try their utmost to stifle free speech that runs contrary to their viewpoint. In your case: check, check, and double check.

I know, I know: you're going to put on a brave face and state you don't care what people think, but I think you do; I believe deep inside of you there is a gnawing inferiority complex that is only partially soothed by the hateful and (often) wildly incorrect nonsense you spew on this blog.

I guess it is true what they say about Liberals: they're all for free speech so long as they are the only ones talking.

You're pathetic and people are laughing at you: I guarantee it.

susanthe said...

Let's your "rebuttal" you use juvenile taunts, make wildly unsubstantiated claims, and play junior shrink, all in an attempt to bully me into silence. How odd - that's what you accuse ME of doing!

That the "shot heard round the world" was only heard by 100 people is hardly my fault. The FSP was a damp squib at best, even in a roomful of serious political nut jobs.

Given my alleged propensity for using "wildly unsubstantiated claims" it should have been easy for you to provide an example of even one, Bob.

Pro-tip: time for a new alias. Women talk about this one behind your back. They know who you really are, and that this is your identity for trolling women.