April 29, 2016

Conservation is Conservative

Maddow: Wrong About Us and Our Name

All conservatives out there who believe Rachel Maddow gets her facts wrong, is prone to exaggeration, and indulges in misrepresentation for its schlocky entertainment value, please raise your hands.

Well, Maddow did it again in her nightly tirade April 5. She said our organization’s new name, ConservAmerica, indicates that we’re giving up on the Republican Party. Maddow also couldn’t resist a puerile cheap shot—likening the name ConservAmerica to the name of a shady mortgage dealer.

Since Maddow didn’t bother contacting us to get our side of the story—journalism 101, folks—we’ll put our side of the story out there.

But it's different when liberals make stuff up.

ConservAmerica is a Republican organization. Always has been. We were founded in 1995 to restore the Republican Party’s great conservation tradition, which is grounded in the timeless conservative ethic of stewardship.

The name change reflects the need to draw more recognition to the inherent connection between conservation and conservatism.

Maddow—highlighting her partisan tendencies—didn’t report our stated reason for the name change, but simply made up her own reason.

Real conservatism is about prudence and responsible stewardship. We want to make that case more strongly. Our mission is the same, and whether Rachel Maddow cares about the truth or not, we are as Republican today as we were last week.

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  1. MorinMoss says:

    It’s clear that you’re being oversensitive to Maddow’s mischaracterization and deliberately overlooking what her actual point is.

    You may be a Republican organisation but you don’t appear to have the support of the party leadership, unless your platform to protect the environment includes disbanding the (Republican-created) EPA.

    Perhaps you should go watch the segment again.

    • Rob Sisson says:

      MorinMoss- Thank you for your comment. We are a grassroots organization, with members all across America. Polling shows that traditional Republicans and conservatives support strong conservation measures. No serious member of the party–including leadership–advocates dismantling the EPA.

      If Maddow wants to really compare and contrast, then she should compare President Obama’s record on environmental issues with those of Mitt Romney while he was governor of Massachusetts. (I’ve posted a list on my personal facebook page as a Note). Romney, hands down, is the better conservationist. Politics is an ugly business, and what people say during campaigns or when in the minority to draw distinctions between themselves and the other side are largely hot air. The important measuring stick is what people do when they are in position to actually do something.

      Thanks again for your comment, and I hope you’ll be part of the discussions at this blog in the future!

      • MorinMoss says:

        While I support your efforts and overall goals, outright denial, whether of climate or of reality, gets little sympathy.

        Kindly explain why nearly every one of the entrants in this most recent Republican nomination race were flip-floppers on climate change despite most of them being believers as recently as a few years ago.

        Considering that Romney seems to be the date that your party chose because it was better than going to the dance alone, it’s highly speculative that he’ll be a strong conservationist. although since he appears to have held every possible position on every possible issue, who knows what he’ll say or do next.

        About the EPA, here’s what Romney had to say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kjPAIu9KxI (“out of control” sums it up)
        And his recent promise to build the Keystone pipeline with his bare hands? Jes’ a li’l politickin’ wit da rubes?

        But never mind Mitt; he’s not yet president and isn’t likely to be unless he gains ground with Hispanics and women, leaving your group in a precarious position – if the GOP continues their dogged opposition incl filibustering practically anything that Obama supports that doesn’t suit corporate interests, what pressure will ConservAmerica bring to bear to convince the Republicans in Congress to put America’s environment first?

        Finally, I can find not a single mention of the Deepwater Horizon or the Gulf of Mexico on your site – does the worst marine spill in American history, barely 2 years past, not rate a mention?

        • Rob Sisson says:

          Our primary system is unfortunate, in that it requires candidates to run toward the edges of the parties. When the Dems have a contested primary, it is the same for them, too.

          Republican Gov. Snyder, in Michigan, is approaching his state’s version of EPA in a similar fashion. Since the late 60’s, environmental regulation has gotten out of control in the manner in which it is enforced. Rather than act as a partner with businesses–helping them do things right from the get go–our bureaucracy has created an impenetrable maze that not only drives the cost of doing business way up, it also depresses economic activity. Our goal should be strong environmental quality with excellent customer service. Somewhere along the line, we forgot that government is supposed to serve the people.

          Less than a month ago, we migrated from our old web site, which had 17 year’s worth of information and opinions to this new blog format. This format gives us the ability to have discussions with folks like you! We also wanted a fresher, more contemporary look. We also are focusing on three major policy areas: energy, water, and public lands.

          In our conversations with members of Congress, they get environmental protection and truly care.

          Again, please surf to my personal (Rob Sisson) facebook page. I’ve posted Romney’s actual conservation accomplishments as governor of Massachusetts. They dwarf anything President Obama has done in four years in the most powerful position in the world. Actions speak louder than words.

          • MorinMoss says:

            A superficial comparison between Romney & Obama doesn’t tell the whole story – unless you can demonstrate that Romney was demonized and doggedly opposed by the Massachusetts Dems from the day after his election.
            How many times was he filibustered during his governorship?

            Considering the attitude demonstrated in Congress over the last decade, I have to wonder just how many truly caring Congressional members you can rely on.

            And pinning your hopes on Mitt-the-Chameleon is likely to end in frustration. Mitt doesn’t have the support or admiration of most of the influential party members.
            Being disliked by both parties, he’d be the Emperor with no clothes and would find himself either unable to get anything done or have to make huge concessions.
            And if the Democrats exact revenge for the Teapublican opposition of the last few years, it’ll be another Crippled Congress.

      • Rob-
        Are you seriously suggesting that if I am to cast my vote in the next election for a party that will look to protect the environment that I cast that vote with Republicans? You are correct in saying that as Governor, Mitt Romney demonstrated concern for the environment. But even you must admit that since running for President he has waffled on that stance.
        He now emphasizes that the world’s climate has changed throughout history, and says “we should not take extreme measures when we are unsure of human role in global warming.”
        Unsure? That ends it for me. Science is saying we are very sure, and getting more sure everyday.
        And quite honestly, Mitt is only part of the problem. Even if he was to act like Governor Romney (which he repeatedly tells his base he will not- is he deceiving them?), and even if he wanted to take action on environmental issues, he too would be faced with (a most likely) skeptical Republican House, and a Republican minority in the Senate who will filibuster any attempt at strengthening environmental efforts.

        I too have been disappointed in President Obama’s track record on the environment, but it is not negligible. Fuel efficiency standards, blocking Keystone for now to be sure that environmental impacts are studied, investment in green energy, moratorium on drilling in Gulf after BP disaster.

        Let me ask you, would President Romney put a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf after that catastrophe? Please. Even if he wanted to, he would be so criticized from Joe Barton, Rand Paul, John Shimkus (who quotes the Bible in the House to denigrate environmental efforts), Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, Jim DeMint, Chuck Grassley, and many many many others. You know that League of Conservation Voters releases a scorecard every year, and almost all who score 100 are Democrats and those scoring 0 are almost always Republicans.

        Romney will stand up to them? Not a chance. And as key Republican thinker said:
        “We’re not nominating a candidate to tell the party what direction to go. All of them ran as Reagan Republicans. We know what we’re doing and who we are — we just want a guy to sign the bills. We’re electing a coach of a team that knows the plays.”
        That tells you how Governor/President Romney will be steamrolled on the environment.

        • Forgot to attribute that last quote:
          Grover Norquist.

        • Rob Sisson says:

          Hi Jim- Thank you for your comments and questions. All are good! No, what I’m saying is that people should wait on endorsements and “deciding” until the general election plays out. I’ve been around long enough to know that candidates for either party say some pretty extreme things during primary races to try to cater to the respective base. I do not expect a President Romney to just go with the flow of the congressional leaders you list. Romney will approach governance in a thoughtful, deliberative manner, based on facts; just as he did as governor of Massachusetts and in the business world.

          Regarding the LCV scorecard, I know that many of the votes scored are cherry picked…procedural votes or votes with other amendments or with language not pertinent to environmental issues. “Gotcha” votes, we call them. Not to diminish its importance or relevance. Unfortunately, in Congress, there is rarely a straight forward vote.

          There are 12 bills pending in Congress, right now, introduced by Republican lawmakers, to extend significant protections to public lands. Other than through ConservAmerica, though, you probably haven’t heard about those.

          It’s our job to be the voice for grassroots Republicans who believe conservation is conservative. Our job isn’t to cheerlead poor policy put forward by the right, nor is it our job to tagalong with progressive command and control policies. To many, it certainly must seem like threading a needle. To us, it is a wide open market ready to explode.

          • Thanks, Rob for responding.
            Please let me know of the 12 environmental initiatives you speak about. I would like to check them out, follow them, and I would like to track how votes go.
            You may be able to find minor faults with LCV, but when the results are so extreme it clearly says something.
            I remember when GW Bush was running for President the first time, he campaigned on reducing carbon. One of the reasons I voted for him. Big mistake.
            Again, I applaud your efforts…keep up the good work.
            But you will have a long way to go in convincing me that a general vote in the Republican direction is a vote to protect the environment. Alas, I think it is a vote in the opposite direction.
            But I am willing to listen.

  2. Rob Sisson says:

    Thanks very much Peter! You do a great service to the cause by correcting the vast amount of misinformation purposely introduced to the marketplace of ideas.


  1. […] right, for the right reasons, I like to give them their due. The folks I’ve met from ConservAmerica, formerly Republicans for Environmental Protection are the kind of mainstream republicans that I […]

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