Friday, January 14, 2011

Maligning Conservatives

I am Eric Odom, hear me roar....

Looks like Odom's first attempt at maligning conservative presidential candidates for 2012 is Mike Huckabee. But who will be next? Odom tells us it will be Romney and Gingrich that he goes after. Don't worry Palin fans, Odom is one of you. He didn't vote for the McCain/Palin ticket in the 2008 general election. Instead he took his vote over to the libertarian party and cast a ballot for Bob Barr. He still likes Palin though and joined the ThankstoPalin website.

Who is Eric Odom? Should we care? What type of influence has he had on the Republican party and is he trying to be a king maker?

After leaving the Republican party in 2008, Odom stated that he would only return if they met his demands. Paraphrased by Dawn Teo, the demands are listed as:
  1. Give Odom their blessing.
  2. Expel from any future party support or praise any Republican Congressperson who votes for health care reform.
  3. Stop being camera whores.
  4. Stop asking for money.
  5. Promote (Odom's) Tea Party websites on the GOP website.
  6. Stop paying professionals, and hire real activists.
  7. Stop holding "idea camps"; stop asking for ideas; and stop co-opting activists' ideas.
  8. Start really attacking Democrats.

  9. So he is coming back and is ready to steer the Republican party on its "Right" course. That is a good thing as we discovered that the tea party had a great message of cutting taxes, reducing the deficit, limiting government, and giving the rights back to the people. But is Odom really a Republican or is he just using the Republican party to gain power for himself? As we can see by the title and first two sentences of a letter that he wrote to his fellow libertarians in November 2009:

    It's time to take over the GOP

    I know many of my fellow Tea Party activists are going to hate me for this, but it’s time to face reality. The Republican Party must be our vessel in 2010........

    As a libertarian who voted for Bob Barr in 2008, I find it very difficult to state this in a public manner, but I will now be joining the Republican Party. Not because I trust Republicans or believe the existing establishment properly represents me. Not because I think the Republican Party has brought upon us the full protection of our individual rights and liberties.

    No, it’s because I believe the Democrats are literally trying to destroy the free-market fabric of this country. And I believe that if we spend even another week working towards a third party for 2010 and 2012, we commit ourselves to certain doom.

    I’m in no way advocating that we as a movement stand behind the existing Republican establishment. I am, rather, suggesting that we become the establishment.

    As Erick Erickson and so many others have rightfully pointed out… we have the numbers. We have the people, we have the passion, and we have the organization. What we don’t have is unity.

    I know many of us in the movement have different goals. Some are to weaken the two party stronghold. This is understandable and a good long term goal.

    But look, if we screw around and let dangerous Democrats walk all over us in 2010 and 2012, we’ll never again get the opportunity to do ANYTHING as free Americans.

    Love or hate the Republican Party… it’s our only vessel in the short term. We either unify through it and make a stand strong enough to stop this madness in government, or we fracture over third party efforts and meet uncertain political demise.

    This choice is ours to make. I’m making my choice now.

    -Eric Odom

    Fair enough. As someone who went to several tea party events myself, I hope that by my attendance, the Republican party loses their spending ways and becomes the fiscal conservative influence that it use to be. But am I willing to fracture the Republican party and end up giving the election to Obama just to prove that I have influence? Apparently Odom thinks that is a means to the ends ("we fracture over third party efforts and meet uncertain political demise.") Take Odom's support of Christine O'Donnell in the mid-term election of 2010. Some would say that it was better to have a conservative who could not win than a moderate who could win. But was O'Donnell the best conservative to put in place for the general election? Or should the Republicans put up a much better qualified candidate? Clearly the voters did not think highly of her credentials. The lesson learned from the state of Delaware is that if the Republican party wants to win, they need to put up a conservative candidate who has experience, a proven track record, and the ability to get their message out. Marco Rubio, the new senator of Florida is a good example of finding that type of candidate. But Odom goes beyond wanting to endorse and promote a conservative candidate, he wants 100% purity or nothing. He is willing to fracture the Republican party, get behind a third party candidate, and lose the general election. For what? And who is to decide what is the true definition of conservative? Walter Cantrell in his piece What is a True Conservative? states that:

    Whenever you hear anyone asserting that they are a “True” anything you can bet they are saying it with an air of condescension that is meant to establish themselves as sole experts on what that trueness actually involves. You can also bet it is meant to set a very narrow definition which excludes anyone that doesn’t fit within their views. So when someone says that they or someone else is a True Conservative then what do they mean? It means they want to set themselves up within the conservative movement as the power brokers that get to determine who is and isn’t fit to be called a conservative and who can run for political office under that label.

    Perhaps Odom is not afraid of Mike Huckabee winning the nomination, but more afraid of that he is not the Lion King. He clearly wants to be the King Maker for 2012. On his website he lists his credentials as a web strategist who is working to develop infrastructure for activists within the liberty movement. As stated in the article, Tempest in a Teabag, Though Odom has no intention of supporting the current crop of Republicans (and proudly asserts that he will work to defeat many of them), he is making his 2010 stand from within the Republican Party, "Love or hate the Republican Party, it's our only vessel in the short term. We either unify through it and make a stand strong enough to stop this madness in government, or we fracture over third party efforts and meet uncertain political demise."

    As Odom continues his strategy to take down potential presidential candidates using his 200 web domains and his youtube videos, he misses the opportunity to work together with those candidates to build a better 2012 platform. Instead he tears apart at the message, creates a bloodbath, and thereby increases the chances for another Obama victory. Perhaps when we are stuck with another four years of Obama's dismal economic policies, he will realize that the Republican party wasn't just a vessel he could use, but a ship willing to let him assist in navigating through the rough waters.


Pablo said...

I don't know who Eric Odom is and I don't care. My advise is to just ignore him and maybe he will go away.

Ellie said...

TC, I can't believe I actually agree with something you wrote. I have to go. I think the sky might be falling in on me even as I type.

Good advise, Pablo.

Right Wingnut said...

I agree with everything he said in his recent statement. It's not much different than what Reagan once stated. (Although Reagan said it much more eloquently):

Once we have established this, the next question is: What will be the political vehicle by which the majority can assert its rights?

I have to say I cannot agree with some of my friends -- perhaps including some of you here tonight -- who have answered that question by saying this nation needs a new political party.

I respect that view and I know that those who have reached it have done so after long hours of study. But I believe that political success of the principles we believe in can best be achieved in the Republican Party. I believe the Republican Party can hold and should provide the political mechanism through which the goals of the majority of Americans can be achieved. For one thing, the biggest single grouping of conservatives is to be found in that party. It makes more sense to build on that grouping than to break it up and start over. Rather than a third party, we can have a new first party made up of people who share our principles. I have said before that if a formal change in name proves desirable, then so be it. But tonight, for purpose of discussion, I’m going to refer to it simply as the New Republican Party.

Huckabee 2012 said...

FROM HUFF POST just now...

Huckabee Praises Obama For 'Easily His Best Speech,' Slams 'Sleazy Opportunists'

Huff Post:

"On Friday morning, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee tried his own hand, praising the president for giving "easily the best speech of his presidency" at the Tucson memorial service, before lashing out at "sleazy opportunists" who blamed it all on ideological opponents."

From his radio program:

First of all, congratulations to President Obama for what was easily the best speech of his presidency. He struck the exact proper tone in noting that while this does give us an opportunity to reflect upon the importance of being civil in our disagreements that it is wrong to assign blame for the personal violent actions of a mad man to other people's political speech.
Whether out of bias or a quest for controversy or maybe just out of habit some members of the chattering classes went chasing blindly after an angle that would stir the most heated responses and they lost sight of the real story and that is the worst possible failure for a journalist. Even now after the president spelled it out for them many are still making the same mistake and missing the point about the president's appearance at the memorial.

It is not about politics, whether it is going to raise his approval ratings or boost his reelection chances, and it certainly isn't about sleazy opportunists who leapt to blame a senseless tragedy on the political speech of whatever side they disagreed with. No, it was about 20 people in Tucson.... I can't believe that some people have to be continually reminded of this but some things really are bigger than politics and this is one of them. And all Americans should be grateful to our president for saying it beautifully.

Huff Post:

"What separates Huckabee's statement from Palin's is, basically, the timing. Both took umbrage with the press; Palin with a bit more spite. Both took time to offer condolences for the tragedy. But whereas Huckabee waited for Obama to speak before making his formal statement (he had commented on the shootings before), Palin preempted the president's address. In the process, she drew sharp and unflattering contrasts while Huckabee comes off as a touch gracious."



OhioJOE said...

Quoting from Huff Post? I am sorry, but I just lost a bit of respect for Mr. Huckabee again. He overdid his praise of Mr. Obama.

As for the post at hand. Due to their shenanigans, The GOP has burned many bridges over the last year or two. I will consider voting for them in 2012, but my vote in not guarenteed. The party needs to illustrate that it has learned some lessons.

Right Wingnut said...


You, and Huffpo ignore the fact that Huck spoke in much, much harsher terms (even calling the shooter a left-winger) a day before Palin's statement. I appreciate what he said to CNN yesterday, but Right Speakers are not as dumb as your average Huffpo reader.

Mike Huckabee: Loughner a 'whack job nut maggot'

Huckabee 2012 said...

Huffington has about 14,000,000 more views per month than this site and C4P combined.

Huck wants to be President of ALL of America not just the far righties.

Right Wingnut said...

They probably do. How many Huffpo readers do you believe will vote for Huck?

How many page views does C4P get? How about Hucks Army? Just asking, because I don't know. Sounds like you do...

Eric Odom said...

For the record, and you could have openly contacted me at any time, I pretty clearly have stated in the past that the ONLY reason I voted for Bob Barr is because I live in the state of Illinois and Barack Obama was going to take the state no matter what.

In that scenario, I didn't have to hold my nose and vote for John McCain. If I were in Nevada at the time, however, I would have voted for McCain.

There are a ton of assumptions in this post. This is not uncommon for bloggers to do. Heck, I've done it myself.

My hope, though, is that you agree that it's ok for us to disagree on Mike Huckabee.

I simply shared the opinion of our staff. We do not have a dog in the fight (at least not yet) and will likely support whoever comes out of the primary to oppose Barack Obama.

Eric Odom said...

As a follow up, I didn't "join" the ThankstoPalin website, I started, maintained, paid for and managed it.

And with regards to your assertion that I need to attack Dems... we spent half a million dollars against Harry Reid in 2010. We ran two TV ads and a blitz of radio.

We also ran radio ads in support of Joe Heck (who won) and we strongly supported Adam Kinzinger (who won) and Allen West (who won).

This post seems to be all about your outrage that our organization would dare disagree with you.

Sure hope that isn't the case. When it comes to Mike Huckabee... we may not be on the same team. But when it comes to Barack Obama, I'll be right there fighting alongside you.

Anonymous said...

As Texas Conservative was trying to say, Eric, is that as Conservatives we need to work together, not try to tear each other down because YOU KNOW Mike Huckabee can't beat Obama. Mike Huckabee is not an Establishment candidate. The Establishment hate him as much as Sarah Palin.

If we all come after the three top tier candidates, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, we will giving the Democrats ammunition that they will use against our nominee. It sounded like you were going to use the Tea Party and try to take down Huckabee, Romney and Gingrich. Rather than your organization acting like a kingmaker, why not let the voters decide when these candidates campaign. If you trash all these candidates who are right now the people who can beat Obama, you are helping the Democrats when the general election comes around.

There are no perfect candidates. They all have baggage, but the people of America will decide who THEY want to be the Republican nominee, not the Tea Party or the Establishment. Eric, call off your dogs and let the public decide.

Bill589 said...

If Huff Post says something good about a supposed Republican/conservative, that is a very bad sign.

If a supporter has to go to Huff Post to find something good about their Republican candidate, that I think is worse.

OhioJOE said...

Hey Anon:

You might want to call off your own dogs if you want to make nice with Conservatives, just saying.

TexasConservative said...


Thank you for reading my post and taking the time to give a thoughtful response.

The premise of my post was to say that maligning any and all of our potential candidates will result in a victory for Obama.

Huckabee has said himself that a Republican primary bloodbath will result in a weakened Republican general election candidate.

My piece was not about Huckabee because as you indicated, you would take on Romney and Gingrich later. It was about the expectation to find a 100% pure candidate. It will never happen and it shouldn't because not all conservative voters cast their ballot based on the same policy issues. In fact, some don't base it on policy at all and use electability, strength of message, and likability, to determine who gets their vote.

In the way that you have set out to be involved in shaping the discussion, you have acted as a hitman. No dog in the fight? Perhaps, but you seemed pretty happy about the 16,000 opened emails on your hit of Huckabee.

We don't need a 100% purity kingmaker. We saw that it can backfire during the 2010 midterm elections. Keep up with the maligning, keep trying to be king maker and instead of a Republican victory in November 2012, we will have 4 more years of Obama.

Right Wingnut said...

Tex Con,

With all due respect, can you point anything that was factually inacurate in Eric's "hit" of Huckabee?

Contrast this with what is said by dozens of GOP establishment figures (with much larger audiences) about Sarah Palin on a daily basis. I have a hard time finding sympathy for your argument.