Beltway ‘Conservative’ Blowhards Do Little to Impact Iowa Republican Opinion



Reeling Conservatives I was over at The Bean Walker and noticed an op/ed by David Mastio at The Des Moines Register.  Who is David Mastio you may ask?  I’m not familiar either, but (see update below) He is the “Senior Editor for Online Opinion” at The  Washington Times, and obviously he thinks we should care about his opinion regarding who Iowa Republicans support in 2012 and who we give our money to.

He chastises Iowa Republicans, and what is our crime?  Not only did Iowa Republicans give Sarah Palin a high approval rating in a recent Iowa Poll, but we also spent too much money on her book, Going Rogue: An American Life, as well as, time waiting in line for her book signing in Sioux City.  I’m also sure he’s wondering why establishment darling, Mitt Romney, still isn’t as well liked as Palin or Mike Huckabee here in the Hawkeye State.  As he peers down his nose at the unwashed masses who identify with the Republican Party of Iowa the Iowa Politics “expert” Mastio bloviates:

Once I thought there couldn’t be anything dumber than the Democrats’ combo of a giant auto bailout and "Cash for Clunkers." We’ll squander untold billions, but completely fail to change the reality that there are fewer and fewer auto jobs, factories and dealers. When U.S. sales plummet from 17 million cars a year to around 10 million, there’s not much a bailout can do other than slow the rout.

I was wrong. Iowa Republicans have come up with something worse. Call it "Cash for Quitters." A whopping two-thirds of self-identified Republicans have a positive view of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, according to the Iowa Poll, and, as a result, they’re willing to line up in the cold by the hundreds while shelling out cash for her new book.

But every dollar that goes to Palin – in book sales now or campaign donations later – is a dollar that can’t be used to help a Republican who actually has a prayer of being president.

What is his reasoning?  Because she left office early.

There’s no getting past the fact that Palin is a quitter. In more than two centuries, nobody has ever been elected president when their only turn in high office was aborted in the middle just because doing the people’s work got to be too much of a drag.

Now if she decides to run, a big if, no doubt that will be an item of discussion.  But to say “doing the people’s work got to be too much of a drag,” tells me that Mr. Mastio doesn’t have a clue about what was going on in the State  of Alaska, and he further proved it by writing:

Conservatives can say a lot of bad things about Bill Clinton, but one thing we can’t say is that he ran from a fight. When voters took the House of Representatives and the Senate from his party, he still came in to work. When Republicans impeached him, he didn’t give up and walk away, he bombed the former Yugoslavia. Liberals can say a lot of nasty things about George W. Bush. Even if he was a dumb warmonger, he kept right on dumbly warmongering, no matter what voters or the Democrats threw at him…

…If anything, politics in Washington, D.C., is tougher than the game they play in Juneau. If Palin can’t handle cold politics on a glacier, she’s not going to fare much better in the hot politics of the D.C. swamp.

In many ways, the 1994 elections did President Clinton a favor.  He got to govern from the center which is what he wanted to do anyway.  As far as his impeachment, fair or not, it was his behavior that led to that point.  Let’s not paint President Clinton to be an innocent victim or holding on to his position as not running from a fight.  I’m glad he was able to function and continue to accomplish the role of Commander-in-Chief.  As did President Bush… that is precisely the point.

Juneau is not D.C., and Governors do not have as much protection, or in many ways, power to continue to govern when their administration is in gridlock.  Governor Palin accomplished her agenda in the 2 1/2 years she was in office.  She stepped down to make sure that agenda would progress under an administration that wasn’t having frivolous ethics charges & FOIA filed against them left and right.  Her administration was in gridlock, and the state was wasting taxpayer money.  Governor Sean Parnell, so far, has had a pretty smooth tenure.  When she stepped out of the Governor’s Mansion she was able to take the fight to the next level.

She wouldn’t have been able to speak out on the health care debate, cap and tax, climate change, Afghanistan, and common sense conservatism in general if she were still Governor.  She wouldn’t be able to campaign in 2010 for good candidates, why?  Until the Alaksa Executive Ethics Act is addressed she’d still be incurring more complaints and incurring more debt (which this book I’m sure helped her pay off since her legal defense fund is frozen due to… you guessed it, another ethics complaint).

Perhaps wasting taxpayer money in order to be in a better political position is ok with Mastio.  That shouldn’t surprise us as he’s used to operating within the Beltway and that is how the game is played.  We in Iowa, if I can be bold enough to speak on behalf of those who do have a favorable opinion of Palin, are sick of politics as usual.

If she decides to run, and Iowa Republicans give their backing to her it won’t because of “just hope.”  It will because we see her as the real deal, and that we believe she has the right policies and experience to undo the damage that has been done.  It’ll be because we trust her over plastic, change as the wind blows, type of candidates like Mitt Romney.  Snarky and condescending op/eds won’t do much to change our mind.

In the meantime, I encourage all Iowa Republicans to continue to “waste” their money by purchasing her book or by donating to SarahPAC.  It will be money better spent than sending it to anyone Mastio supports.

Update: Full disclosure, Dave Mastio emailed me to remind me that I do *know* him, we are connected on Facebook.  But I must have forgot, I’m still waiting for his excuse since I’m such a memorable guy.  So feel free to friend me on Facebook so I can forget that I’m connected to you as well, LOL.  I’m so lame.  So I shouldn’t have said I wasn’t familiar.  I’ll have to take a cut in pay now.

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  • http://www.washingtontimes.com/iowa Dave Mastio

    I didn’t bloviate. Not one bit.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @Dave Mastio, Oh you didn’t write the first two paragraphs of your op/ed? Did you have a ghost writer?

  • http://www.washingtontimes.com/iowa Dave Mastio

    Joking, Shane.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @Dave Mastio, That’s good I was afraid the definition was changed on me… :)

  • http://motorcitytimes.com/mct/ steve

    I think Liberal Democrats should worry less about Sarah Palin and more about what Obama, Reid and Pelosi are inflicting on our nation.

    At the rate the Democrat triumvirate is going the only one that will still be around in 2012 will be Pelosi (the kooks in San Fran will never kick her out) and she will be a member of the minority.

    The only problem will be how much damage will be done between now and 2012.
    .-= steve´s last blog ..The Winter Solstice: It’s Not Just For Pagans Anymore =-.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @steve, I agree, this guy who wrote the article is a supposedly a conservative, he does write for The Washington Times and it is largely conservative. I can see not being in favor of her candidacy, but his op/ed for me being an Iowa Republican, condescending.

      • http://motorcitytimes.com/mct/ steve

        @Shane Vander Hart, Like you said, if you don’t support Sarah Palin (she hasn’t announced her future plans) fine. Go support someone else.

        But, there is no need to keep echoing the Liberal Democrat talking points ad nauseam. This is especially counter productive coming from a supposed conservative.

        It’s important to remember Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

        I think this is more great advice from Reagan that we need to remember going forward. The way things are going (health care, and whatever else is coming down down the pipe from Washington) we are going to need all hands on deck to fight this in 2010 & 2012.
        .-= steve´s last blog ..5 Days ‘Till Christmas: Brian Setzer Sleigh Ride And Pictures Of Christmas Lights =-.

      • http://www.washingtontimes.com/opinion Dave Mastio

        @steve,

        People trot out Reagan’s 11th Commandment only when it is convenient. When a Republican Congress and Republican President went wild with spending and vastly expanded entitlements, they deserved to be criticized. When they raise taxes after promising not to, they deserve to be criticized. When a republican senator sleeps with a staff member’s wife and then tries to give the husband a six figure payoff and set him up in a lobbying job, he deserves to be criticized. When Republicans quit rather than fight, they deserve what’s coming to them.

        The problem isn’t too much criticism, it is not enough.

  • Steven Osborne

    Dave,

    Your article was off base in several areas.

    Firstly, Iowans are not delusional when it comes to picking GOP nominees, in fact, over the past 30 years only two GOP nominees have gotten the nomination without first winning Iowa. Iowa’s track record is pretty good.

    Secondly, you suggest that Juneau politics are somehow stale and boring. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As a matter of fact Alaskan politics is notorious for the corruption and power brokering that goes on among the politicians. The fact that Palin was able to defeat the establishment of both the Democratic and Republican parties in that state, amazed many observers in the lower forty-eight at the time.

    I am disappointed that your analysis of Palin’s potential role in the Iowa caucuses is so clouded.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @Steven Osborne, Well said Steven.

  • http://motorcitytimes.com/mct/ steve

    I don’t see a reply button to reply to Dave Mastio in the comment’s (maybe too many “nests” in the comments”)…

    Dave, I fail to see how more criticism of Republicans during the 2008 elections helps our cause.

    Maybe with a little less criticism and a bit more support of G.W. Bush, McCain and Sarah Palin from our side during the 2008 election cycle we wouldn’t be facing Socialized Medicine, a cratering economy, the upcoming tax increases and a host of other nonsense emanating from Obama and Co.
    .-= steve´s last blog ..Tom Harkin (Democrat-Iowa) On ObamaCare: “Let’s Make History” =-.

  • http://www.washingtontimes.com/opinion Dave Mastio

    I spent a year working for Bush, so I have a lot of sympathy for the guy, but why exactly should conservatives have been behind him? Was it the massive expansion of Medicare through the drug benefit? A huge increase in the scope of the Department of Education in controlling local schools? The creation of a whole new federal agency, DHS?

    And was McCain better? He sold out Republicans on a host of issues and backed Bush on his most liberal initiatives.

    And for swallowing all that we get Palin, who, if McCain won, at best would have been available to run for president in 2016?

    I’d gladly take McCain over Obama any day, but conservatives aren’t going to change Washington and shrink government with leaders who expand it like Bush and McCain.
    .-= Dave Mastio´s last blog ..EDITORIAL: Obama’s failing grades =-.

    • http://motorcitytimes.com/mct/ steve

      @Dave Mastio, I would love to see Republicans get the message and get back to their conservative roots and principles. If all Republicans were solid conservatives like Thaddeus McCotter (my rep and a great guy) and Michele Bachman it would fantastic.

      I fail to see how we can advance our conservative principles and advance the idea of limited government with only 40 senators a solid minority in the house of reps, a Marxist democrat occupying the White House and the very real possibility that we will lose our ideological advantage in the Supreme Court.

      Currently, we are not advancing anything. Right now we are playing ‘prevent defense.’

      One thing that Democrats are good at is politics. You rarely see them throw one of their own under the buss.
      .-= steve´s last blog ..Awesome Christmas Music: The Kinks- Father Christmas =-.

    • http://motorcitytimes.com/mct/ steve

      @Dave Mastio, One other thing I want to clarify. I think we need to positively support candidates we like and not tear down candidates you don’t like (on our side).
      .-= steve´s last blog ..Awesome Christmas Music: The Kinks- Father Christmas =-.

  • http://www.washingtontimes.com/opinion Dave Mastio

    I don’t know about this comluv thing. The Washington Times ran that editorial, but I didn’t write it and don’t want to rob my colleague of the credit.
    .-= Dave Mastio´s last blog ..EDITORIAL: Obama’s failing grades =-.