#NCSEN: National Review peddles Rove’s nonsense

karlNational Review — formerly the Bible for upstart conservatives — is lecturing us here in North Carolina for daring to have an intraparty debate and interfering with the establishment’s plans to hand-pick a GOP opponent for Kay Hagan.  “Electability,” we’re told, is what we need to be looking at.  Tillis — we are told — is electable.  Brannon — we are told — is NOT.  

*Never mind that Brannon has regularly polled ahead of Hagan in a general election matchup, and is currently tied with Tillis in the latest primary polls.*  

Every six years, between 1972 and 2002, we were lectured to about how Jesse Helms was unelectable or couldn’t possibly win reelection.  In the end, not even the capo di tutti of the North Carolina Democrat mob, Jim Hunt, could take him out.  Helms ended up retiring — on his own.  


Of course, the names of losing Republican Senate candidates Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Todd Akin are tossed in as reminders of what we could be in for if we fail to follow the advice of Rove, National Review and all of the wise men in DC.  

Here is a great piece from 2010 that makes an excellent argument for placing the blame for failing to retake the Senate squarely on Karl Rove and the NRSC:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee spent $3 million in the week before the election on the ill-fated campaign of Carly Fiorina, despite polling that showed her trailing by 9 points to the tiny Marxist Barbara Boxer (Fiorina ended up losing by… 9.8%).

In the mean time, Ken Buck lost by a tiny margin in Colorado; Nevada’s Sharron Angle lost by a similar narrow vote total, Dino Rossi was edged by Patty Murray in Washington, 27,000 votes swung the election against Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and and Joe Miller is hanging by a thread in Alaska.


In other words, the NRSC’s idiocy — combined with outrageous remarks by Karl Rove on national television — likely doomed four or five true conservative candidates to extinction.

In the post-election debrief, the Nixonian RINO contingent of Whimsy Graham, John Cornyn and the rest of the NRSC’s ludicrous cadre of losers blamed… staunch conservative Jim DeMint, who had funded a handful of Tea Party-backed Senatorial winners like Pat Toomey (PA), Marco Rubio (FL), Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT) and Ron Johnson (WI).

Oh, but that $8 million spent on Fiorina’s campaign didn’t hurt at all — right, boys?

I know one thing: that $3 million spent in the final weeks on those five campaigns could have swung four or five seats to the GOP. But the idiots at the NRSC are selfish, insular Beltway Republicans who are wedded to the status quo.

News flash, boys: we just stamped expiration dates on your foreheads. […] 

National Review was founded in 1955 by the legendary William F. Buckley.  Its founding mission was to “stand athwart history and yell ‘stop’.”   At the time, a battle between left-of-center Rockefeller Republicans and New Right disciples of Ohio Senator Robert Taft and Arizona’s Barry Goldwater was heating up.

In 1960, Buckley was a ringleader in the founding of Young Americans for Freedom — a conservative student group meant to provide a viable alternative to the establishment bootlicking of The College Republicans.

In 1965, Buckley threw his hat into the ring for mayor of New York City.  He ran as the candidate of the Conservative Party against Democrat Abe Beame and Republican John Lindsey (ADA rating of 85 as a sitting congressman).  Buckley saw his run as a protest against the GOP’s leftward drift.  (Sound familiar, anyone?) 

In 1970, Buckley’s brother Jim ran for the US Senate as a candidate of The Conservative Party, challenging the reelection of  Nelson Rockefeller-appointed US senator Charles Goodell (R). Goodell drifted leftward — aiding the Democrats and attacking the Vietnam War.  Buckley pulled off the upset and got a full term in the US Senate.

I “discovered” The National Review in 1987 during my freshman year in college.  At that time, the magazine was at war with Connecticut US senator Lowell Weicker (R), who regularly teamed with Ted Kennedy to frustrate his GOP colleagues and President Reagan.  Buckley argued that a classy, somewhat-moderate Democrat (named Joe Lieberman) was better for his then-home state of Connecticut than an obnoxious, overbearing tax-and-spend Republican in Name Only.  He founded a PAC to oppose the reelection of Weicker, and National Review, editorially, started savaging Weicker.  Lieberman, as you all know, won that race, and went on to serve through 2012.

Bill Buckley is now a resident within St. Peter’s pearly gates, and The National Review has “evolved” from conservative upstart to GOP establishment cheerleader.  The magazine has poo-pooed Ted Cruz’s ObamaCare defunding efforts, and praised Richard Burr’s “alternative.” Now, it’s peddling Karl Rove’s gobbledygook.

It looks like it’s now up to The Tea Party to carry on National Review’s founding mission: “to stand athwart history and yell ‘Stop.”’   The boys and girls at National Review need to remember their history — remember where they came from. 

24 thoughts on “#NCSEN: National Review peddles Rove’s nonsense

  1. National Review and the American Conservative Union used to be major parts of the conservative movement, but are now in bed with the establishment. ACU invited a whole swarm of moderate squishes to CPAC including Christie and McConnell but had not the first presentation on issues like Right to Life. The reason is that its board is now stuffed with establishment hacks. This is also not the first time that National Review has gone over to the moderates since the passing of Bill Buckley. In fact it has come all too frequently. If those establishment fifth columnists at National Review would only look at the polls, they would see that Brannon, Alexander, and Grant all run better against Hagan than Tilli$ does, and that is before factoring in all of Tilli$’ baggage, which the media is holding back for the general election.

  2. Why I never read the National Review or watch Foxy News. Besides, I cancelled my cable TV subscription over 5 years ago.

  3. Saw the article – disappointing, but not surprised they’d have someone take that kind of stance. Their general “establishment” tone is getting fairly irksome.

    I dont mind when they’re “wrong” and in disagreement with “me”… but it’s different when they’re wrong because they dont really know what they’re talking about, like the author of that piece.

    I think even with “that crowd”, Tillis is getting by on name recognition, and they dont understand that for him, that might not be a great thing. (I also feel there is this underlying assumption that after a Tillis-won primary, all those “crazy TPers” will fall in line and let them continue their big-government cronyism with impunity – they feel they have no responsibility or restraint on their behavior – “that” irks me too).

    I’m sure Hagan can’t wait to run against Tillis. Shoot – it might serve “the establishment” guys right if she were to win that race…It’s probably her best shot, at least 🙂

    1. It is not just Tea Partiers who have a problem voting for Tilli$ if he got the nomination. I have been surprised by the number of longtime conservative GOP activists and even not so ideological GOP activists expressing that opinion. It is also not just Brannon supporters. The guy I first heard suggest writing in for John Rhodes if Tilli$ won the primary was actually a Harris supporter who didn’t care too much for Brannon but could vote for him in November, but drew the line at Tilli$. I am also hearing that among independents I know who usually support Republicans.

      Tillis with his power bully style and lack of any discernible political principles has offender a wide swath of GOP supporters in his career, and would reap that harvest if he is the nominee.

    2. Atnor, always good to see you. I have to judge the GOP field by one simple test, who will lead to smaller government after the election is over? Brannon has too narrow a base to attract the independent voters needed to send Hagen home. Till is has a track record of shrinking government power. That should give him the appeal to Indy voters who will deliver the win in November.


      1. The polls say otherwise. Brannon has rather consistently run better than Tilli$ in a general election matchup with Hagan. Brannon has also had better favorable / unfavorable numbers than Tilli$. The establishment bunk that progressives like Tilli$ run better than conservatives like Brannon does not reflect reality. You might ask Jesse Helms about that one if he were still here. Voters react to specific issues not where one generally sits on the political spectrum. Indeed, in the most recent independent poll, the only GOP candidates running even or better than Hagan were Brannon, Alexander, and Grant.

        Off year elections are turnout elections, and the candidate who wins in November is the one who motivates his base to turn out. A progressive like Tilli$ who is so far to the left on so many issues (green energy, amnesty for illegal aliens, Obamacare, reparations, etc.) will not motivate the base to turn out. Many GOP activists I know who would turn out for other races say that TIlli$ turns them off so much that they will leave that race blank on their ballot or write in for a conservative.

        1. Maybe Walt needs to research the Civitas Conservative Effectiveness rating, where Tillis consistently got D’s and F;s up until he became Speaker and did not cast enough actual votes to be rated at all. That is a progressive, NOT a conservative.

      2. Hiya, Walt, good to “see” you too 🙂

        I’ve got a similar measure when evaluating candidates – who (if any) would (best) advance those principles of smaller, limited government?

        In this race, I think Brannon is tops in that regard. I’d say he polls well against Hagan, often better than Tillis does. I think in a head to head, more widely watched matchup, that would only improve.

        One of the problems with Tillis is I dont think that even if he were to beat Hagan (and I think he’s the weakest candidate to run against her)… once in office, I fail to see any indication that Tillis would actually advance those principles. He seems like a cookie-cutter example of a big government, “establishment” (to use the current buzz word) Democrat-lite guy, more owed by special interests than principle.

        I’ve also long abandoned the “choose the lesser of two evils” game… imho,

        1) I can only control what “I” do, not what the GOP does. If they run candidates I support, I’m happy to vote for ’em. Otherwise, I vote for someone else I can support, or I dont cast a ballot at all in that race.

        2) It assists the “establishment” wing of the GOP’s sense of entitlement, to take votes for granted – so they feel comfortable assuming that once they flick off those “smaller government” kooks and get to the general election, everyone will “fall in line” and vote for their Dem-lite pre-selected guy. So, they can do what they want with no accountability or consequence because “hey, we arent Democrats, amirite?” 🙂

        My experience is that doesnt advance principles of smaller government in any meaningful way, and actually hinders the ability of small government candidates to make it through and affect meaningful change (much like the situation lots of candidates have now).

  4. It’s so clear – Tillis has so much baggage the mainstream media (Dems) want him to win because Kay Hagan, the liberal media will “make him a laughing stock”!!!

    Proof has now shown he has
    1- lied about the college he went to
    2- lied about jobs he has had
    3- lied about the claim he was an “owner” of Equestra Bank. Records show he has $15,000 in shares. ( I guess I’m an “owner” of Apple Inc because I own some shared of Apple stock.

    ….. And this is just a start… The list goes on and on.

    I wouldn’t hire him to mow my lawn.

    WAKE UP republicans!!!!

    Voting for Tillis in the primary is basically a vote for Dem Kay Hagan!!!

  5. National Review is right: Tillis is electable. Brannon, the naturopathic snake oil peddler, is not.

    And that’s a good thing, because Tillis is a conservative, and Brannon is not.

    Brannon is a RINO, who tried to persuade people to vote against Romney & Ryan in the 2012 General Election. A vote for Romney/Ryan, he said, was “a vote for tyranny.”

    That’s crazy talk. We certainly don’t need someone like that in the U.S. Senate.

    1. “Brannon is a RINO, who tried to persuade people to vote against Romney & Ryan in the 2012 General Election. A vote for Romney/Ryan, he said, was “a vote for tyranny.”

      I think he has somewhat of a problem with overheated rhetoric. Or maybe he said that in order to endear himself with the Mormon voters.

      And then I saw something about him saying that down in Georgia and Florida they wanted to abort babies up to 3 months old. I called my brother-in-law who lives in Columbus, GA, but he ain’t heard nothing about it. He said that if it was true then he figured he would hear something about it sooner or later and let us know.

      1. So I take it your brother in law is in tune with every iota of what’s going on in GA. I guess you are not familiar with the partial birth abortions and the movement behind such things that exists in every state. Just because your b-i-l isn’t aware of it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Sounds like just another attack on a constitutionalist candidate in favor of a Rovian candidate.

      2. Well, not exactly.

        Regardless of what you think about the legislation in Florida he was referencing (the wral article doesnt mention an explanation of the Georgia reference), I think some people are overreaching and missing what seems to be an entirely different, yet clear, point he was making in that speech.


        Some in the media seem really over-eager to spin Brannon negatively… which is just a little odd, because for most of the people doing it, you’d think just complaining about his actual conservative views would be enough for them to screech about…

    2. Dave, as usual you drink the establishment kool aid.

      Romney was a real dud of a candidate, and we threw away the 2012 election by nominating such a lousy candidate. And Ryan has now shown his true colors by becoming a major cheerleaders for the left on amnesty for illegal aliens and surrendering all the principles he once claimed to have on budget / spending / debt matters in that really lousy sellout budget deal with Patti Murray. Yes, I held my own nose and voted for them, but I cannot criticize those who were unable to do so. Romney was never a conservative but as his campaign manager stated was more of an ”Etch-a-Sketch” candidate. Ryan has turned out to be just as phony.

      To beat Hillary in 2016, we need to run a Reagan style candidate, not a McCain or Romney style loser.

      If you can call Tilli$ a conservative, you would probably do the same for Obama. Tilli$ supports a ”pathway to citizenship” (amnesty) for illegal aliens and tried to get legislation through the House to give illegals North Carolina drivers licenses. Tilli$ strongly pushed legislation through the House to establish a North Carolina state Obamacare exchange (which the Senate fortunately defeated) and called Obamacare ”a good idea”. Tilli$ has consistently supported green energy boondoggles like the renewable energy mandate, being one of the few Republicans to vote for Senate Bill 3 when Democrats pushed in through and using his power and influence as Speaker to spike a Republican attempt to repeal it in the last session. Tilli$ used his influence to severely water down the Voter ID legislation, which had to be toughened back up in the Senate. The list could go on, but I would refer you to the Civitas Conservative Effectiveness Rating, on which Tilli$ kept getting D’s and F’s until as Speaker he did not cast enough votes to be rated. This represents a full blown progressive Republican, NOT a conservative.

      There’s not a dimes worth of difference between Tillis and Hagan. Tillis would not know what a political principle is if one jumped up and bit him but he is always for sale to the highest bidder among the special interests. But Brannon, unlike Tillis, does stand for conservative principles and is not a rent boy for the special interests.

      1. Raphael, how can you just make stuff up like that??

        It’s not Tillis who supports amnesty, it’s Marco Rubio.

        Tillis never expressed support for ObamaCare, either; you just made that up.

        Supporting a State ObamaCare exchange was entirely different from supporting ObamaCare. What we got by letting the feds run it is just two insurance companies to chose from in Eastern NC, and a Blue Cross monopoly in Western NC. Do you think that’s a good thing?

        Your characterization of HB-786 v3, the bill with the provision for drivers licenses for illegals, is wildly inaccurate, too. The bill was nothing like your caricature of it. It did not support amnesty for illegals, at all.

        NC cannot deport these illegals; that’s the job of the (uncooperative) feds. If you want immigration enforcement, then (unlike Brannon!) you’d better work to elect Republicans at the federal level. The State Legislature can’t do it.

        So don’t be mad at Tillis for not being tough enough on illegals. It’s not his fault.

        IMO, HB-786 v3 could have used some tweaks, but it has a lot of good provisions, some of them quite innovative. You should read it before jumping to conclusions. Here it is:


        These special temporary drivers’ licenses for illegals would have been very different from normal drivers’ licenses, and they obviously would not have facilitated illegal voting or other impersonations of legal residents or citizens. Just the opposite, in fact. Here’s a quote from the bill:

        “(u) …a restricted drivers permit or a restricted identification card issued under subsection (t) of this section shall do all of the following:
        (1) Be printed in a vertical format that distinguishes them from the horizontal format.
        (2) Bear an identifying number for the license holder assigned by the Division, the first character of which shall be a letter that is only assigned to restricted drivers permit holders and restricted identification cards.
        (3) Bear a distinguishing mark or other designation on the face of the permit or identification card clearly denoting the limited duration of the permit or identification card and clearly distinguishing it from other forms of licenses of limited duration and identification cards of limited duration.
        (4) Bear the permit or identification card holder’s thumbprint in a manner that is electronically readable by properly equipped law enforcement officers and agencies.
        (5) Bear a clearly legible statement that the permit or identification card (i) is not valid as a means of demonstrating eligibility for voter registration or for public benefits, (ii) does not legitimize the holder’s presence in the United States or the State of North Carolina, and (iii) is not valid for any other purpose.”

        In addition, one of the requirements to get one of these restricted licenses would have been:

        “(t)(5) The applicant meets all other requirements for a drivers license, including proof of financial responsibility. For purposes of this section, the insurance policy that is the basis of proof of financial responsibility shall have been prepaid for a period that is at least as long as the entire period during which the restricted drivers permit will be effective…”

        Please read that. This bill does would not help illegals vote or obtain amnesty, but it would have helped keep a few of them from driving without insurance.

        Do you want illegals driving around without insurance in NC?

        Anyhow, back to the original topic… yes, I agree that Romney was a weak candidate, and more of a moderate than a conservative. He certainly wasn’t my first choice, but he was enormously better than Obama… a fact which somehow escaped Greg Brannon.

    3. Uhhh… Dave you really need to check your definitions. Snake oil peddler… that’s a little strong to call a practicing MD who has devoted his life to the study of medicine. Romney & Ryan were unelectable and both are big government neo-cons. Why would any self-respecting independent want to vote for bigger government? I think I hear someone channeling Rove.

      1. The basis for my characterization of Brannon as a snake oil peddler is his peddling of “neutraceutical” and “bioidentical hormone replacement” remedies, which are the modern equivalent of snake oil. Peddling that stuff is sleazy, especially considering that he’s an M.D. who should know better. If he does know better then he’s crooked, and if he doesn’t then it reflects very badly on his judgment.

        What kind of an MD rejects the Germ Theory of disease? Greg Brannon, that’s what kind, at least in part.

        The Germ Theory holds that most diseases are caused by microorganisms. But Brannon wrote on his web site, “Most disease come from a lack of education on proper nutrition, exercise, supplements, and bioidentical hormone replacement. Medi Weightloss Clinics® and Dr. Brannon offer the education and treatment you need to become the ‘New You’.”
        Ref: http://pages.citebite.com/q9q8n1d7bkis

        I can forgive the fractured grammar, but not the snake oil peddling.

        That said, he’s not as bad as his idol, Ron Paul. At least Brannon doesn’t chum around with Alex Jones, and pander to white supremacists and 9-11 Truthers, as far as I know.

  6. Let’s keep cool heads. National Review has always been an “establishment-approved” conservative magazine. for years they were subsided by CIA and literally carried by their PBS TV show. Whenever the establish needed them, they would join in or fall silent. We don’t refer to the establishment as INSIDERS for nothing. They control and influence far more than one can imagine.
    Brannon cannot win unless …we smarten up and do it real quick. With anyone else in that seat, we will look back and consider it as a loss opportunity. We must have a “movement” that includes everyone not already addicted to the administrative state or dead from the neck up.
    It will begin, in earnest, when the NC GOP gets back on track. There is a long way to go and not much time. United we should stand.

    1. Marm wrote, “National Review… for years they were subsided by CIA…”

      This sort of delusional nonsense is why so many conservatives think the Ron Paul / libertarian crowd is a bunch of drug-addled anarchists.

      1. I am not a libertarian or Ron Paul follower, but it is the knee jerk support of progressive Republicans like Thom Tillis that makes us traditional Jesse Helms conservatives realize that establishment flacks like you are nothing but kool aid drinkers.

Comments are closed.