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Top 10 Conservatives of 2013
Townhall.com ^ | December 31, 2013 | John Hawkins

Posted on 12/31/2013 5:49:58 AM PST by Kaslin

Honorable Mentions: Justin Amash, Glenn Beck, Jim DeMint, Trey Gowdy, Bobby Jindal, Heritage Action, Louie Gohmert, Darrell Issa, Hobby Lobby, Sarah Palin, Jeff Sessions, Steve Stockman, Scott Walker.

10) Mike Lee: Lee is Robin to Ted Cruz's Batman and whenever there are conservatives fighting the Democrats or the Republican Establishment, he's right in the mix. Replacing Bob Bennett with Mike Lee turned out to be the biggest upgrade since Ronald Reagan took over for Jimmy Carter.

9) Mark Levin: Granted, Levin's push for an Article Five convention is a longshot, but it's a serious idea in an environment where the Democrats and Republicans all too often come across as preschoolers arguing about who gets to play with the toy truck next while the school burns down.

8) James O'Keefe: Who would have ever guessed that one guy with a gaggle of interns, some secret cameras, and a few tricks taught to him by the late, great Andrew Breitbart would be more at doing effective at breaking big stories that humiliate entrenched interests than the New York Times or Washington Post?

7) The Senate Conservatives Fund: In a world where everyone from the GOP leadership to Karl Rove to the Chamber of Commerce to the NRSC laughs at the idea that conservative voters should actually have any influence on the Republican Party, the Senate Conservatives Fund is doing more to keep the Party honest and responsive than anyone else out there. If not for groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund, Heritage Action, Freedomworks, Americans for Prosperity and the big Tea Party groups out there, the Republican Party would spend all of its time fighting for higher spending, amnesty for illegal aliens and corporate tax breaks before it started working hand and glove with the Democrats to massage the kinks out of Obamacare.

6) David Vitter: One of the dirty little secrets of Obamacare is that Republicans like John Boehner worked behind the scenes with Democrats to get exemptions from the law for themselves and their staffs. Little people like you may have to suffer under Obamacare, but they secured a nice, fat subsidy for themselves. David Vitter unapologetically insisted that Congress and its staff should live under the same laws they forced on everyone else and he took a lot of heat for doing what any lawmaker worth a hill of beans should be doing.

5) Rick Perry: It's too bad Rick Perry had a couple of bad presidential debates early on in 2012 before he elevated his game because he's arguably the best governor in America (It's "arguably" because Scott Walker isn't too shabby either). He's a fearless, aggressive conservative and he is to job creation what Peyton Manning is to throwing touchdown passes.

4) Rand Paul: He humiliated Barack Obama with his drone filibuster and there are undoubtedly NSA snoops that spit on the floor every time they hear his name. A lot of people in the conservative movement talk about "liberty," but Rand Paul fights for it in the Senate.

3) Wayne LaPierre: After the Sandy Hook shooting, Democrats were demanding gun control and as per usual, Republicans like John McCain couldn't wait to surrender in the face of slanted polls showing Americans were anxious to get rid of our guns. Then, Wayne LaPierre and the NRA showed up. They didn't fold because Democrats said mean things about them. They didn't throw their principles out the door for the sake of political convenience. Instead, they stood firm, offered up a better idea to protect schools (Armed guards) and they stopped gun control dead in Congress. They were effective, they were smart, and they won, thanks to Wayne LaPierre.

2) The Robertson Family from Duck Dynasty: The Robertson family isn't political per se, but they are conservative Christian capitalists who've done an amazing job of promoting God, family and guns while becoming the #1 reality show on cable television. When Phil Robertson was suspended for simply stating what most Christians believe about homosexuality, the family stood with him and they won. TV Shows like Duck Dynasty don't last forever, but the lesson should. When Christians stand together for what they believe, they win.

1) Ted Cruz: Why Ted Cruz for conservative of the year? Because not only has he filled Jim DeMint's role as the leader of conservatives in the Senate, he's tough, he's smart and he's willing to fight, which is more than can be said for John Boehner, anybody in the Senate leadership, or our last two presidential nominees.

Although Cruz didn't win the defund fight, it's hard to miss the fact that the GOP could have easily wrung concessions out of the Democrats on the issue if we had competent leadership and the claims that the GOP would be badly damaged by the battle all turned out to be 100% wrong. Moreover, because of Cruz's efforts, every Democrat in the Senate is now on the record voting in favor of Obamacare, voting against a delay and voting for an Obamacare subsidy for themselves and their staffs. That will probably be worth a couple of seats in 2014.

Like Jim DeMint before him, Cruz doesn't win every battle, but the fact that we have men like him in there fighting for us keeps conservatives from giving up hope.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: 113th; 2013review; conservatives; tedcruz; top10

1 posted on 12/31/2013 5:49:58 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Glad to see the Senate Conservative Fund included. We all should pour our support there. It is too important not to.


2 posted on 12/31/2013 5:58:38 AM PST by jch10 (The Republican Party cannot win without the TEA Party. Too bad only the Democrats know it.)
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To: Kaslin

All too often some of the best are the ones no one has ever heard of. To me, Kerry Bentivolio is one of the best tea partiers in the house.

He took the seat vacated by Thad McCotter against the GOP hand picked candidate. They asked him to leave the race so he whooped her.


3 posted on 12/31/2013 5:59:25 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Kaslin

Pretty good list in a year that has been really tough on conservatives.

Unusual not to see Sarah Palin on the list, but now that I think of it, these ten have done more than she has.


4 posted on 12/31/2013 5:59:50 AM PST by kidd
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To: Kaslin

God bless Ted Cruz!


5 posted on 12/31/2013 6:01:01 AM PST by iowamark (I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy)
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To: Kaslin
One can disagree with the relative rankings-and I do, Mike Lee, for example, should be much higher on the list for his contribution and original thinking in the fight to defund Obamacare-but the sentiment is about right.

Other quibbles, I would substitute DeMint for The Senate Conservative Fund, keeping the list to people to avoid running down alleys of policy. The Robertson family probably does not belong on the list but if one insists on inserting them somewhere they certainly do not belong at number two because their contribution was mostly passive and the commotion was not generated by them but by conservatives generally.

I think Mark Levin should be elevated list not just for his innovations with respect to article 5, but for the effectiveness of his polemics generally. I think he is the best on radio and has done more than anyone since Rush Limbaugh to provide conservatism with a coherent intellectual framework for every man.

You say potato I say potatoe…


6 posted on 12/31/2013 6:03:49 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: nathanbedford

Agreed about Levin.


7 posted on 12/31/2013 6:06:29 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Kaslin

I would swap Trey Gowdy for Levin. Levin really didn’t “DO” anything. I think his convention idea is way too dangerous a chance to give the establishment control of rewriting the constitution. I would give it to Gowdy for being the nation’s #1 upcoming constitutional conservative and a powerful media spokesman.

His takedown of the NYTimes over the Benghazi article is simply the most recent example.

Levin is very, very good, but Levin is Levin, a radio personality with a shtick that defines him.


8 posted on 12/31/2013 6:08:19 AM PST by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: cripplecreek
I just checked at votesmart.org on Kerry Bentivolio and could not find much about him, only that he is from Michigan, was elected in 2012 and is due for reelection in 2014.

Being that you are also from MI I can understand that you feel he is the best

9 posted on 12/31/2013 6:15:01 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

I’m in the next district over from him but I keep an eye on the congressmen from all over Michigan.

Bentivolio didn’t waste any time settling in before he started voting against John Boehner’s wishes. Dan Benishek who took the Stupak seat sold out almost immediately. I think he shines Boehner’s shoes.


10 posted on 12/31/2013 6:22:19 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: jch10

Agreed. I try to send a hundred bucks a month. But, I am deluged with so many political money solicitors that I’ve decided the SCF is probably the
most honest and since the Senate is this country’s biggest problem the SCF is where my money is going in 2014.

Harry Reid has done more damage to this country than Obama! Without Reid, Obama’s options would be severely limited.


11 posted on 12/31/2013 6:26:42 AM PST by Cen-Tejas (it's the debt bomb stupid!)
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To: Kaslin

I think I would’ve put Louis Gohmert in for Rick Perry. While Perry may very well be the best governor, he is overseeing TX turn purple. If TX goes blue, conservatism will have lost a huge battle.


12 posted on 12/31/2013 6:42:10 AM PST by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: Kaslin

IMHO, we can’t go wrong with Paul or Cruz. Walker and Perry aren’t too far behind. I prefer Rand and Cruz because they are brilliant and amazing debaters.


13 posted on 12/31/2013 6:50:53 AM PST by MattinNJ (It's over Johnny. The America you knew is gone. Denial serves no purpose.)
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To: Kaslin

La Raza Rick has been a mediocrity from the get-go. This list is highly dubious.


14 posted on 12/31/2013 6:56:16 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Tax-chick

You had my vote, but unfortunately you didn’t make the list again this year.


15 posted on 12/31/2013 7:10:00 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: Kaslin

As Obamacare continues to collapse, Ted Cruz is gonna start looking real good to a lot of people. Not only Conservative Republicans.


16 posted on 12/31/2013 7:16:58 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Scoutmaster

Thanks! I didn’t even have a baby this year!


17 posted on 12/31/2013 7:50:24 AM PST by Tax-chick (The superpowers ascribed to "feminists" make me wish I was one.)
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To: Kaslin

Excellent list and great picks. I’d also like to add Sarah Palin (although it may seem cliche to always add her in), she destroyed the vile Martin Bashir without even doing anything, and that is a big victory in itself.


18 posted on 12/31/2013 7:54:46 AM PST by Viennacon
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To: cripplecreek

Stupak was and still is a baby killer


19 posted on 12/31/2013 8:01:01 AM PST by Viennacon
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To: Cen-Tejas

Harry Reid is no worse than 90% of democrats....he’s just at the top....if he left tomorrow an equally stupid POS would take his place.


20 posted on 12/31/2013 8:14:59 AM PST by ontap
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To: Kaslin
A fairly good list.

My change would be to promote Scott Walker to one or two at the top of the list.

.

21 posted on 12/31/2013 5:41:41 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: Kaslin

I would not even include Jindal in “Honorable mention”.


22 posted on 12/31/2013 8:45:46 PM PST by Theodore R.
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To: Theodore R.

And why not? What do you have against him?


23 posted on 01/01/2014 4:09:08 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: kidd

Actually she is on the honorable list at the top of the article


24 posted on 01/01/2014 4:10:30 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

It’s rhetoric and not reality with Jindal. He uses one time money to “balance” the budget. He is a big spender but he does talk a good line on anti-abortion. He is also covertly for Mary Landrieu; won’t support Bill Cassidy, the likely opponent.


25 posted on 01/01/2014 8:33:57 PM PST by Theodore R. (People in TX in 2014: Cornball and George P.!)
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