Kudos to Wisconsin and Ohio Governors-elect Scott Walker and John Kasich.  And kudos to voters of Wisconsin and Ohio for rejecting the boondoggle of high speed rail and rejecting federal taxpayer funding for projects that would have obligated the state to pay costs years into the future.  Kudos to Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and others who led effort to instead have the rejected funds be applied toward federal deficit reduction.  No kudos to the Obama administration which just gave the money away to California and Illinois to waste on new rail programs they can’t afford.  Read about it below.

 

Railing Against Big Government | The Weekly Standard.

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According to poll, voters have mixed feelings about GOP plans to investigate and hold hearings about the Obama administration.  This will be one of the most important roles of House leadership. Investigations will not, in the end, forward the Republican or conservative cause.

Instead, the new Congress should focus on policy differences with the Obama administration and work to change policy.  There will be Committee Chairmen climbing all over one another to get more press investigating Obama.  John Boehner, likely the new Speaker, should shut those Chairmen down.

There are a myriad of Obama initiatives that can (and should) be challenged in the Courts.  It starts with the state challenges to Health Care Reform but doesn’t end there.  It should continue with Arizona’s fighting in favor of our immigration law.  It should do with efforts to fight voter fraud and intimidation.

Beyond those legal challenges which are critically important and may not be resolved for years, it is most important now to lay out clear differences on policy between the new Congress and the Obama administration and the old Congress.  Where limited gains can be accomplished cooperatively, they should be.  But where differences do not lend themselves to compromise, the goal of House Republicans and new “Tea Party-inspired” members should be to demonstrate those differences and articulate them clearly in positive fashion in ways the voters can understand.  They should think of language used by folks like Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp and now Paul Ryan and Jeff Flake – not of divisive, mean-spirited, personal attacks.

Here is the polling data and analyis from Rasmussen.

Voters Have Mixed Feelings About GOP Plans to Investigate Obama.

The game is changing and changing fast.  In 2008, Republicans took a whipping as much because of the economy as anything else.  However, the Obama campaign also put on display the greatest application of electronic campaigning possible.  Obama did benefit from the horrible economy and conservative and independent dissatisfaction with the performance of President Bush and Congressional Republicans.  And Obama was an effective and inspiring orator to many, though with the passage of time, we recognize the vague vapidness of his message.  Without a doubt, Obama’s ability to utilize social media became the gold standard for political campaigns.

Four years earlier, it was the liberal insurgency of Howard Dean that first introduced the modern political world to utilization of electronic means to create a grassroots movement and to raise money.  It wasn’t truly the social networking or new media that we see today.  Generally speaking, political operatives do the same things over and over.  They take what has worked in the past and repeat it until its proven substandard by the new kid on the block.  The new kid on the block generally isn’t the leader of the pack.  If you have the money and resources, you employ those that worked in the past applying yesterday’s methods in today’s and tomorrow’s elections.

Howard Dean was an unknown underdog.  While his campaign ultimately failed to sustain itself (his wild scream in Iowa didn’t help), he demonstrated that an unknown, underfunded candidate can creatively employ underutilized tools to put themselves on the map.  In 2004, Howard Dean used a platform called MeetUp to bring like-minded, motivated people together in a coordinated (and inexpensive manner).  That, in and of itself, was noteworthy.  But Dean took it to another level and successfully raised significant money using the technology.

Social networking in politics was now “on the map.”  Campaigns experimented with it in the next election cycle, but it wasn’t perfected until Obama’s 2008 Presidential primary campaign against the favored Hillary Clinton.  Without his utilization of social networking and electronic communication, the upstart, relatively unknown Obama would never have beaten Clinton in the primary.  Arguably the aforementioned environment would have propelled any Democrat into office in the general election.  But Obama’s “movement” grew exponentially via electronic (and instant) communication with supporters and their ability to grow their network and fully integrate fundraising, messaging, response and grassroots organization was remarkable.  By-and-large, they utilized email and text messaging.

Since then, President Obama has tried to continue his progress but the growth has come to an end with the disappointment and dissatisfaction that so many are experiencing with the Obama Presidency (including many Democrats and independents who thought and hoped they were getting something different with Obama).

Now, it is the right that is maximizing the social networking or new media foundation to instantly communicate and network with one another, organize, raise funds and overcome the filter of the “mainstream media.”  And though it was just 17 months ago that Obama was elected, that social media environment has changed dramatically.  MySpace was the predominant social networking platform, it was primarily young and the general public was hearing disturbing stories of pedophiles and sexual predators prowling the MySpace network.

How many of us were even on Facebook in 2008?  Well now on a worldwide level there are over 400 million Facebook users, 100 million of which access Facebook on a mobile device.  The Facebook we know today did not even exist during Obama’s campaign in 2008.  In 2008, Twitter was confined to the world of techie geekdom and today it boasts over 105 million registered users.  In 2008, many of us who started to get our news online instead of through traditional means did so by visiting and/or subscribing to blogs.  Many predicted the end of blogs with the growth of Facebook and Twitter. In fact, I would suggest the opposite has happened.  Rather than prove to be an alternative to blogs, both Twitter and Facebook have proven to be the network by which blog posts, video and photos are broadcast immediately to the masses.  The significance of blogs has grown, rather than declined because of these developments.

And when a big story breaks, whether it be the unrest related to the Iraqi “elections” or the earthquake in Haiti, you see less of the “Twitterworld” following broadcast news, than broadcast news trying to get information through our networks on Twitter and Facebook.  Additionally, we’ve seen the enormous growth of Google, ads on Google and Facebook (and soon Twitter) that target information and messaging to the most interested audiences and the creation of Google Buzz which hasn’t yet settled in to a comfortable spot in this world.  YouTube is settling in nicely and providing an outlet for messaging that both avoids the “filter” of the mainstream media and is much less expensive and more targeted than traditional advertising.

This world is made for us as conservatives.  While the liberals danced in the streets and celebrated the inauguration of Obama and ascendency of Pelosi and Reid’s influence, the right got angry and got busy.  And so far, we’ve gotten Scott Brown (more important because he’s #41), Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell.  This is no time to stop now.

The left has enjoyed a huge benefit by a mainstream media that at a very minimum tilted to the left and looked distrustfully on those who held conservative views.  Well, FOX News more than anything has provided an alternative for TV viewers exclusively and TV viewers who Facebook, “tweet” and YouTube.  The ability of the left to control, or at least dominate, or at least enjoy much greater influence over the ability of the masses (us) to receive information has diminished more in the last ten years than at anytime in our history.  And notably, it’s declined more in the last year than the rest of the last ten years combined.  That levels the previously slanted (in their favor) playing field.  And that is our greatest opportunity to make something of this movement in opposition to higher taxes, bigger government, less individual liberty and an ever-increasing nanny-state.

Republicans in Congress got “Twitter savvy” far before any of their Democratic colleagues and continued to move forward.  And those of us that are libertarian or conservative in our view of the role of government in society are way ahead and more motivated than our statist contemporaries.  We need to keep going.  Connect with your friends and relatives.  Connect with like-minded, politically active believers who want to make a change to the direction of this country.  Donate online to true, proven conservatives who have put their conservative principles before their allegiance to parties or good old boys networks.  Get your like-minded friends on Twitter and Facebook.  Subscribe to your conservative candidates accounts on YouTube.  And while you watch FOX News or any other outlets, don’t do it at the expense of getting online and discovering the myriad of instant critiques and alternative views that present themselves and put pressure on the media to be more unbiased and honest.  And yes, express your views and share your opinions but try to occupy the moral high ground.  Be principled, be responsible and be ethical.  But if you aren’t out there and you care about the country, get out there.  And get your like-minded friends out there too.

This is our home field.  Let’s own it.