Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TOP STORY >> Lincoln Day dinner assesses GOP gains

Leader staff writer

Saturday night’s Lincoln Day in Cabot was all about the advances that Republicans have made in the county and the state.

The very partisan group also listened to Fox News contributor and Washington insider John Fund expound on the dangerous path the country is headed down.

After the meeting, Fund also gave his insight on the Republican presidential primary. “About 50 percent of the Republicans don’t like any of the candidates. The question will be—will their disdain for President Obama outweigh their dislike for the Republican candidate?”

Fund also predicted that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio would be the vice presidential candidate, “hands down.” He also said the Supreme Court would declare “Obamacare” unconstitutional.

Lucas Minton, chairman of the Lonoke County Republicans, told the crowd of about 300 at Cabot Junior High South that it wasn’t long ago that Randy Minton was about the only Republican in the area.

“He was a lone wolf. I remember when we were up to five Republicans in office, and now we have 25 in office at the local or state level. That’s good news,” he said, adding that there was still room for more Republicans to join in. “We’ve not reached the filing deadline.”

Fund, the guest speaker, admitted to the crowd that even though he was from California, he was considered an eastern city slicker, and for just a minute he thought the fried okra served at dinner were miniature hush puppies. “Just for a moment though,” he said.

Fund hit on a number of state and national issues.

At the state level, he talked about how Arkansas had made advances from the one-party system of the Clinton years to now, when the Republicans have a strong voice. But he warned the Republicans to be vigilant of voter fraud that he say is sweeping the nation, in part, he said, because of Obama Administration rules that make it easy to get on the voter rolls and hard to get off.

“There are cases where there are more voters on the roll than there are people in a county based on the latest census,” he said.

Fund, author of “Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy” and other books, said that 20 years ago in Arkansas, Mississippi County was known for its excessive voter rolls.

“Let’s just say they had some of the most patriotic dead people in the state voting,” he said.

He also pushed for identification checks for voters. “We use picture ID all the time, for driving, checking into a hotel, check cashing. We want it easy to vote, but hard to cheat,” he said, adding that “now it’s easy to vote and cheat.”

He told the crowd that he was not a partisan guy. “I take shots at both sides,” he insisted.

He told the Republicans that they needed to pay attention to the Tea Party.

“That’s a uniquely American phenomenon. They are basically leaderless and not organized. They are just a bunch of Americans fed up and not going to let politicians make all the decisions in a vacuum.

“Politics is too important to leave it to the politicians,” he said.

Exit polling from the 2010 election showed that 36 percent of voters were in agreement or identified with Republicans, 36 percent with Democrats, but 40 percent with the Tea Party.

Fund also told the crowd that Republican power runs in a distinct cycle, and he turned to a speech by Ronald Reagan in 1976 that predicted the cycle.

Reagan was defeated by President Ford for the Republican presidential nomination, but Reagan told his conservative followers that not only would he continue the fight but that he would win.

According to Reagan, Fund said, Democrats take control and the conservatives get squashed when two things happen. “We elect someone who violates our trust and the Democrats then try to govern from the left,” Fund said.

That’s what happened with Richard Nixon. “Because he violated our trust, we got Jimmy Carter, who came across as a moderate, but governed from the left, and when Democrats go to the left, it fails and just doesn’t work.”

Fund said it happened again 16 years later with the elder Bush. “He violated our trust when he said no new taxes and then we got taxed. That got us Bill Clinton. Clinton, in the beginning, tried to govern from the left and it wasn’t working and that gave us the revolt of 1994. Now, Clinton was smarter than Carter, and moved back to the center to get re-elected. But he did have some, shall we say, distractions that occurred,” Fund explained.

Then came George W. Bush, who did a lot of things right, but still spent and taxed too much.

“We got Obama. Remember he campaigned as a moderate, saying there were no red states, no blue states and we all sang Kumbaya and looked for hope and change.”

Fund said that even though Obama campaigned as a moderate, he went hard left almost immediately.

Fund called the birther movement—people doubting Obama’s citizenship—misguided.

“I’ve been to Hawaii. I’ve been to the hospitals and looked at the microfiche of the two state papers. His announcement is in there. He is an American citizen,” he said.

“Rather than look at where he was born, we need to be looking at where he came from. His mentors, particularly Saul Alinski. Alinski did his thesis on the Al Capone mob in Chicago and wrote and truly believed in his book, ‘Rules for Radicals,’” Fund said.

He did make one prediction that had the crowd smiling. “I’ve done bet-my-lunch predictions 63 times and been right every time. My 64th prediction is that the Supreme Court will overturn Obamacare this summer.”