Bye Bye Pawlently

Sunday, August 14, AD 2011

Tim Pawlenty is the first casualty of the Republican primary contest for President, with his announcement today of his dropping out.  I am not too surprised.  His only hope as a candidate was to win the Iowa caucuses.  His attacks against the frontrunner in Iowa, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, in the debate last week proved completely ineffective.  His loss in the Saturday Aimes, Iowa straw poll, coming in a distant third after Bachmann and Ron Paul (R. Pluto), demonstrated that his hopes in Iowa were minimal.

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53 Responses to Bye Bye Pawlently

  • Pawlenty’s campaign was a dud from the get go. Like Fred Thompson in 2008, T-Paw’s candidacy never was.

  • Always find the writing, opinions, and ideas on this blog to be interesting and well-reasoned.

    That said, I also find it extremely disheartening to see the flippant disregard to the candidacy of Congressman Ron Paul. Your notation of “(R. Pluto) after his name is a childish and snide knock at a solidly principled candidate for president.

    If you are looking for a candidate that has a decades long pro-life record, Dr. Paul is one.

    If you are looking for a candidate that has a decades long fiscally conservative record, Dr. Paul certainly qualifies.

    If you are looking for a candidate whose actions throughout their career demonstrates unwavering fidelity to rule of law, individual freedom and liberty, and the God-given rights of every human being, Dr. Paul stands out well beyond every Republican and Democrat candidate for this office.

    To tag him (R. Pluto) is to join Rush Limbaugh and his “nuts on parade” diatribe against the only candidate who truly espouses peace and freedom. This doesn’t make sense to me on a blog that otherwise seems to write in favor of these fundamental human principles.

  • What the hell is the purpose of a “straw poll” more than six months before the caucuses, which are themselves six months from the convention.
    Why does our election process from the “starting to begin to consider forming a committee” stage to finally actually casting ballots have to be so ludicrously elongated?

  • “That said, I also find it extremely disheartening to see the flippant disregard to the candidacy of Congressman Ron Paul. Your notation of “(R. Pluto) after his name is a childish and snide knock at a solidly principled candidate for president.”

    Nope, it is an accurate statement about Paul. The man is a headcase on foreign policy and his type of thinking would be begging for a nuclear Pearl Harbor.

    A typical Paul divergence from reality was when Osama bin Laden was taken out:

    “Ron Paul says he would not have authorized the mission that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, and that President Barack Obama should have worked with the Pakistani government instead of authorizing a raid.

    “I think things could have been done somewhat differently,” Paul said this week. “I would suggest the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed. We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and he’s been in prison. Why can’t we work with the government?”

    Well maybe it was because we knew that sections of the Pakistani military are in bed with the Jihadists and have been protecting Osama. When it comes to foreign policy Paul inhabits a dream world made up of wishful thinking, isolationism, conspiracy mongering and raw ignorance.

    http://www.captainsjournal.com/2011/05/16/isolationist-fever-ron-pauls-delerious-statements-on-bin-laden/

    Beyond that, his ignorance on a great many subjects that he insists on pontificating on, including the Civil War, is a wonder to behold. The Congress will be a better place when he is out of it in 2013.

  • “Why does our election process from the “starting to begin to consider forming a committee” stage to finally actually casting ballots have to be so ludicrously elongated?”

    Probably because those candidates who start early have tended to be the ones elected since the Sixties. That, and the huge amounts of money required to run a race, which takes an enormous amount of time to raise.

  • H. Bunce, if you are looking for a candidate who has ever superintended a corps of people larger and more complex than his office staff, Ron Paul is not that guy.

  • I’m with Bunce on this, McClarey. Ron Paul is only a headcase insofar as he aspires to return us to the days when we didn’t feel compelled to meddle in every part of the world where we might have had some tangential interest – and the US will be done as a nation before that ever happens, I am convinced. And one of the reasons is that nationalist idolators and military adventurists with far more public exposure than yourself share in your casual and cavalier disregard for ideas that you can’t actually defeat in a debate. Or, lestways, I haven’t seen anyone with gumption enough to even try, let alone succeed. Why bother, when dismissal or snide comments like yours and Art Deco’s are so much easier?

  • Wolfie, Paul yearns for the days when America could hunker down behind two vast oceans and let the rest of the world go to the Devil. His complete nonchalance about a rogue regime like Iran obtaining nuclear weapons amply demonstrates that he does not understand what we are facing in the world and does not wish to. Although I almost wish I could be there after a smuggled nuke takes out an American city to hear President Ron Paul explain how he will solve the problem by issuing letters of marque and reprisal!

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/fisk5.html

  • I’m kind of disappointed to hear that Pawlenty dropped out… I was thinking that he might be a good president precisely BECAUSE he wasn’t the greatest campaigner nor was he a highly polarizing figure. The last thing we need is another president of EITHER liberal or conservative persuasion who cultivates a cult of personality or a “political savior” image. Just find someone who can do the job.

    In other GOP campaign (sort of) news, I just found out that the Sarah Palin bus tour stopped at the Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield this morning. Nope, did’nt see her (would have been at Mass at the time anyway), didn’t even know she was in town until she was gone and the local newspaper (www.sj-r.com) posted a story on its website.

    The newspaper invited people who may have seen her at the museum to post comments to the story, but needless to say, NOT ONE comment so far is from anyone who actually saw or met her, it’s all Palin haters and Palin defenders arguing back and forth as usual.

  • As for Ron Paul, perhaps he, like Newt Gingrich, is half genius and half crazy — and you can’t always figure out which half is in charge at any given time. He might do well as a lower level economic adviser to a GOP administration, and might come up with some good ideas; just be sure he isn’t in a position where his bad ideas will do actual damage.

  • “…nor was he a highly polarizing figure…”

    Please speak for yourself — the man’s an ex-Catholic.

  • This is sort of unusual for me.

    I’m about 88% in agreement with AD on this one: “H. Bunce, if you are looking for a candidate who has ever superintended a corps of people larger and more complex than his office staff, Ron Paul is not that guy.”

    Absolutely! Currently, America is experiencing the horrors attendant with a president whose prior executive/superintending experience consists of organizing sit-ins, and aiding and abetting government frauds, i.e., Rezko.

    I’m starting to think the Swiss model: everyone knows not to attack us (ICBM’s, nuke trident subs, ABM) and keep our nose out of everybody else’s business. That may be appropriate for American peace and prosperity. The Swiss franc is the envy of the world, too.

    I recently converted to the gold standard. If you oppose central planning, collective control of the economy, or the Washington/Wall Street five trillion dollar a year money ring, Rep. Paul may the best man in the areas of fiscal and monetary policy.

    The 12% where I disagree with AD above is wherein I believe the federal government should be THAT small and THAT simple.

  • “Nope, it is an accurate statement about Paul. The man is a headcase on foreign policy and his type of thinking would be begging for a nuclear Pearl Harbor.”

    No, sir, it is wildly inaccurate. It doesn’t make sense to oppose the clumsy and destructive interventions by government domestically while simultaneously supporting the same clumsy and destructive interevention internationally.

    It is interesting to juxtapose your above statement with this one… “Well maybe it was because we knew that sections of the Pakistani military are in bed with the Jihadists and have been protecting Osama. When it comes to foreign policy Paul inhabits a dream world made up of wishful thinking, isolationism, conspiracy mongering and raw ignorance.”

    The Pakistani’s possess nuclear weapons, are corrupt (according to your statemtent, and I agree with you), worked closely with jihadists, and apparently were protecting/harboring bin Laden. Given this, shouldn’t we be warring with Pakistan first before we begin the war with Iran?

    Dr. Paul’s book, A Foreign Policy of Freedom, is his collection of statements and positions regarding American foreign policy both before and after 9/11. In my opinion, it is a stunning book that shows a grasp of foreign policy that rivals any office holder since the beginning of our republic. I’m sure you disagree, but it thoroughly refutes your claim of “wishfull thinking, isolationism, conspiracy mongering, and raw ignorance”. Raw ignorance?! For God’s sake, the man understands more about what brought our country to futile wars from Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan to Libya (and beyond) than any potential Republican presidential candidate and certainly Barack Obama.

    When I was a young boy, the argument was we must fight and die in Vietnam to prevent the “dominoes from falling” to communism. 58,000 dead Americans later, Vietnam was a communist country. 40 years after that, we trade with them, we are tourists in their country, we invest in Vietnam. In short, we engage with them peacefully whether we like their form of government or not; whether they continue to oppress their own people or not.

    Fast forward to 2011, think about this Vietnam lesson, and ask whether we should be engaging Iran, Pakistan, Libya, and every other nuclear or non-nuclear country we currently vilify…or should we be bombing and killing them?

    To say Dr. Paul is an “isolationist” is a thoughtless smear. To say he is ignorant of reasoned foreign policy is contrary to fact. To say he engages in wishful thinking is the opposite of his entire record since his first term in 1976.

    You obviously don’t agree and I respect that opinion. To drop in the childish (R. Pluto) even further degrades that opinion.

  • “The Swiss model”

    Yep the Swiss model works! All you need is a United States of America to defeat Nazi Germany and deter the Soviets from conquering Europe subsequent to World War II. Which nation T.Shaw do you propose as the US if the US becomes Switzerland?

  • “Given this, shouldn’t we be warring with Pakistan first before we begin the war with Iran?”

    No Pakistani leaders have promised to use nuclear weapons against Israel and the US unlike Iranian leaders. Pakistan also isn’t supplying weapons to Hamas and to kill American soldiers in Iraq as Iran is doing.

    “40 years after that, we trade with them, we are tourists in their country, we invest in Vietnam. ”

    And the Church is persecuted, the Vietnamese know no political freedom and over a million Vietnamese fled their country, risking their lives on the high seas. Why it’s Nirvana!

    Ron Paul’s foreign policy is quite simple. Retreat to Fortress America and let the rest of the world go to Hell. His foreign policy, if implemented, would be a disaster for the US and the rest of the world. Fortunately he will never get the opportunity to learn how little his delusions accord with the real world.

  • Maybe if he would have had something other to stand for other than bashing Obama.

  • “No Pakistani leaders have promised to use nuclear weapons against Israel and the US unlike Iranian leaders. Pakistan also isn’t supplying weapons to Hamas and to kill American soldiers in Iraq as Iran is doing.”

    Pakistani leaders and the nation’s population as a whole is deeply influenced by Islam and Pakistani’s have made innumerable statements condemning and threatening Israel. And just where are the sanctuaries and support (weapons among them) currently for Al-Qaeda and Taliban? The answer is Pakistan. Who is killing Americans in Afghanistan? Al-Qaeda and Taliban.

    “And the Church is persecuted, the Vietnamese know no political freedom and over a million Vietnamese fled their country, risking their lives on the high seas. Why it’s Nirvana!”

    Come on, this is a complete and total straw man argument and you’ve always been better than that on this blog. Did 58,000 American dead prevent Church persecution, no political freedom, or any of the other misery of life in Vietnam? No, it didn’t and I never intimated that this country was any sort of paradise. What has helped some since the end of the war, and may do much more in the future, is American trade, tourism, investment, interaction with the Vietnamese people. It can do so much more effectively, and morally I might add, than American guns and bombs. THIS is the foreign policy advocated by Dr. Paul.

    It can do the same for Iranians, Libyans, Somalis, Pakistanis, ……

    “Ron Paul’s foreign policy is quite simple. Retreat to Fortress America and let the rest of the world go to Hell. His foreign policy, if implemented, would be a disaster for the US and the rest of the world. Fortunately he will never get the opportunity to learn how little his delusions accord with the real world.”

    This is a gross mischaracterization of Dr. Paul’s foreign policy positions. In fact, it is completely the opposite of his 30+ years of speaking and voting on all these matters. Each of us, and generations yet unborn, are facing a debt burden that is unpayable and immoral. This is due in large part to NOT following Dr. Paul’s exhortations against American empire building. And this doesn’t even begin to calculate the staggering human cost of our current course of foreign policy, advocated by all the other Republican candidates.

    Don’t take my word for it, and certainly don’t take the MSM word for it. Find out for yourself by investing a few hours in reading what he has to say. If you find no merit in what he actually says, then so be it. At least you will be clear in what Dr. Paul’s ideas are. Agree or disagree, one could not help but respect the man and his adherance to the principles of freedom and peace.

    He may not get the opportunity to implement his policy views. And that is too bad for my children and yours.

  • “Pakistani leaders and the nation’s population as a whole is deeply influenced by Islam and Pakistani’s have made innumerable statements condemning and threatening Israel.”

    They have never threatened to nuke Israel and the United States. Additionally, elements of the Pakistani military have been fighting against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban for years. This places them in a different category than Iran. It is precisely an inability to make such distinctions that makes Ron Paul such a buffoon on foreign policy. That, and his belief that the solution to our conflicts overseas is simply to abandon the field to our enemies and to retreat to our shores.

    “Did 58,000 American dead prevent Church persecution, no political freedom, or any of the other misery of life in Vietnam?”

    The Church was certainly not persecuted while American troops were in Vietnam, the South Vietnamese enjoyed far more political and economic freedom and over a million South Vietnamese had not had to flee their homeland to escape Communist tyranny. There are real life consequences when we give up, take our marbles and go home, and the consequences for the Vietnamese who fought beside us during the Vietnam War were dire. Ron Paul and other isolationists simply refuse to deal with the real life consequences of their preferred solution to foreign policy difficulties which is always US retreat.

    “Don’t take my word for it, and certainly don’t take the MSM word for it. Find out for yourself by investing a few hours in reading what he has to say.”

    Oh I have been following Ron Paul and reading his writings long before he came into the public limelight in the last decade.

  • The constant name-calling against Ron Paul by mainstream GOP members only reveal how childish and morally bankrupt they are. Instead of honestly debating him, they simple appeal to the voter’s base nature.

    Ron Paul scares the establishment because he’d actually shrink the size of government, and not just talk about it. Who here actually thinks a theoretical Republican president would rollback the size and scope of D.C? God forbid they actually passed a balanced budget, let alone wrote one.

    On foreign policy, the GOP won’t be happy unless they are blowing up somebody on the other side of the planet. War is their solution to every problem, it seems. They love war, and slurp it up from the public trough like it’s an ice cream sundae. They love war just as much as liberals love the welfare state. Fact.

    But you know, I could let that all slide if only the opposition were capable of being mature, decent human beings. You know, Ron Paul has some strong rhetoric, but I can’t recall him ever singling out a person and calling him names. Maybe he’d do better in the polls if he actually did.

    People like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachman and Rick Perry honestly give me the creeps. I would rather sit out the election or vote third party than be morally culpable for the whirlwind these crazies would stir up.

  • “Ron Paul scares the establishment”

    No one is scared of Ron Paul Anthony, because no one believes he will ever be President. He is simply a clown who has a cult who adore him and who stack internet and straw polls for him. He is the GOP Lyndon Larouche and his act got old a very long time ago.

    He is also a hypocrite when it comes to government spending as his long time love affair with government pork projects indicates:

    http://washingtonindependent.com/104609/ron-paul-one-of-only-four-house-republicans-to-request-earmarks-for-2011-budget-updated

    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2007/07/ron-pauls-personal-pork-projects.html

  • Looking at the GOP field so far, I’d say Barry has little to worry about.
    Paul comes off as a wacko, Romney as an empty suit, Bachmann as Palin lite, Cain as an overachieving pizza maker, Santorum as a yawn, Perry’s “that’s fine with me” on homo marriage as wishy-washy, Gingrich is yesterday’s news, and Pawlenty proved he’s a RINO and irrelevant.

    As for the straw poll, only George W. Bush, winner in 1999, came out first in the general election. The other winners all went nowhere (George H.W. Bush, Pat Robertson, Bob Dole and Phil Gramm – they tied in 1995 – and Mitt Romney).

  • You still haven’t made a single argument. You’ve just got schoolyard name-calling, like any old bully or pundit.

    The man says what he believes, believes what he says, and has the voting record to prove it. Paul is far from perfect, but he has my respect, and for that he’ll get my vote in the primaries.

    I’m sick and tired of the chattering classes telling us all what to think, and Paul’s candidacy is for people sensitive to this growing and constant problem. I genuinely hope he causes migraines for the GOP.

    I have zero confidence that the GOP is capable of putting in a president who will change the nation’s course for the better. I’m 100% confident that should any of the mainstream candidates get in the oval office, we will get more of the same: more war, more spending, and steady decline.

  • “You still haven’t made a single argument.”

    Rubbish Anthony. I have made arguments as to Ron Paul’s insane foreign policy and his love of pork. You have chosen not to respond to the arguments.

    “I genuinely hope he causes migraines for the GOP.”

    No, even as a purely gadfly nuisance candidate Ron Paul is completely ineffective. I would like to see him run on a third party ticket with Dennis Kucinich (D. Neptune), however, for the sheer entertainment value.

  • D-Neptune. Priceless, Don. Paul, R-Alpha Centuri

  • Looking at the GOP field so far, I’d say Barry has little to worry about.

    Gallup has some handy historical statistics published, covering the entire post-war period. Given B.O.’s level of public esteem at this date, should he be returned to office it would be…an innovation. And that is presuming the current unpleasantness in the Eurozone does not draw us into the maelstrom.

  • Joe Green.

    I’m having quite a laugh here. You say Ron Paul (R – Alpha Centauri)
    Don says Ron Paul ( R – Pluto).

    At least, Alpha Centauri is a remote galaxy – Pluto is essentially a non-existent planet.

    Take your pick 😆

    I’m sure Ron will be happy with his retirement package in a few years.

  • “Yep the Swiss model works! All you need is a United States of America to defeat Nazi Germany and deter the Soviets from conquering Europe subsequent to World War II. Which nation T.Shaw do you propose as the US if the US becomes Switzerland?”

    That was the. This is now.

    I don’t relish debating “What would have happened if Custer had machine guns” possibilities.

    War and peace are tough for me.

    Today is a BIG (Feast of the Assumption!). I love this Feast.

    History: Today in 1971, President Nixon (he robo-signed signed my commission) officially closed the Treasury gold window. He took the US off the gold standard. Gold was $35 an ounce. By 1974, gold was $195 an ounce. By January 1980, it was $800 an ounce. Nixon ended the gold standard to assist with the misguided wage and price controls regime.

    The government can’t central plan or collectively control the economy with the gold standard. Since 1971, the world has experienced 39 hyper-inflationary episodes . . . and umpty-umph recessions.

  • “That was the. This is now.”

    Human nature doesn’t change T.Shaw, and I do not think that the challenges we face abroad will vanish if we decide to retreat to a Fortress America.

    In regard to Nixon, it always amused me that he was hated so by Liberals, as his Presidency indicated that he was one of them, a fact noted by conservative critics of the Nixon administration at the time. His moniker of “Tricky Dick” was well earned, but his main trick was putting a conversative facade over what was a RINO essence.

  • I think it is difficult to discern a set of political principles from Richard Nixon’s career that would fix him at a particular place on our domestic spectrum. Garry Wills attempted it in Nixon Agonistes, but his framework told you more about Wills than about Nixon. I suspect the man was a careerist reacting to the world around him. Both he and Spiro Agnew had a vigorous (and, one suspects, genuinely felt) antagonism to the liberal establishment as a subculture, but they carried with them little or nothing in the way of plans for dismantling the liberal establishment’s policy architecture (beyond dismantling goofy initiatives like the Office of Economic Opportunity).

  • Nixon was a big government man through and through Art. Wage and Price controls, the EPA, expansion of domestic federal spending, these and more underlined that Nixon, no less than Johnson, was a believer that large Federal spending was the key to bettering society. His downplaying of human rights as a consideration of US foreign policy and his China policy, indicated that his anti-Communism was skin deep. He opposed abortion publicly, but privately supported it in some circumstances, a stance he embraced openly in his retirement.

    His antipathy for his liberal critics I think was always more because they hated him and wouldn’t let him be a member of the club. He thought there was some snobbishness against his humble background, and I think he was right on that. Nixon in many ways was a fairly conventional liberal Republican in the Thomas Dewey mode. His initial campaigns for the House and Senate in which he pretended, for political expediency, to be a conservative set a pattern by which he was misunderstood throughout his political career by opponents and supporters.

  • With the loser GOP field we have, Obama is headed for a second term. Not one of them could beat him in a general election, regardless of the “polls”. As the old saying goes, Americans deserve the government they want, good and hard.

    As for US foreign policy, it is soon to be irrelevant. Collapsed countires cannot do much foreign policy – we are about to become as relevant as Argentina (only with a crappier soccer team – on the bright side, our wines will still be as good).

  • I do not think that the challenges we face abroad will vanish if we decide to retreat to a Fortress America.

    Kind of begs the question – would we have to face these challenges abroad if, um, we weren’t abroad? Donald, this just seems to be a particualr blind spot for your otherwise pretty spot on analyses.

  • I was not inside either Nixon’s head or Agnew’s head. I merely note that both men were in their way practitioners of bourgeois virtue in their mundane lives, both came from petit bourgeois backgrounds (w/ both fathers in small business), and (until they were well into middle age) lived on (and saved from) their earnings; neither man had much in the way of social connections. A characteristic of liberal opinion of the age was to belittle (from several different directions) the achievements and tastes of men such as Nixon and Agnew. Wills does that in spades in Nixon Agonistes, even sneering at Sprio Agnew’s dog. I do not think either man wished to join a club populated with the likes of Garry Wills and Arthur Schlesinger.

  • Nixon was essentially a morally bankrupt career politician (but I repeat myself). No more nor less than about 90% of our political class.

  • Similar predictions were made cmatt about the inevitability of a second Carter term in 1979 when looking at the Republican field. Reagan was especially written off as an over the hill politician who was far too conservative to be elected. That is why we have campaigns, to see if our crystal balls are working well or not. Considering that Obama is now descending into the thirties in approval in polls that I think understate Republican strength, I believe whoever the GOP nominates will have an excellent chance of giving Obama an early start on his true career: World Celebrity For Life.

  • “I do not think either man wished to join a club populated with the likes of Garry Wills and Arthur Schlesinger.”

    Agnew the corrupt small time politician I do not venture an opinion on. Nixon certainly did. Hence his churning out turgid tomes in retirement to be taken seriously as an elder statesman by the chattering classes who despised him. Nixon was partially successful in this, as the “moderate” Nixon was a useful stick with which to belabor current conservative Republican politicians.

  • With the loser GOP field we have, Obama is headed for a second term. Not one of them could beat him in a general election, regardless of the “polls”. As the old saying goes, Americans deserve the government they want, good and hard.

    Again, Gallup has made available some historical statistics. Several of our recent presidents have recovered in public esteem sufficiently to be returned to office: Truman did, Nixon did, and Reagan did (a task at which Messrs. Carter and Ford failed). Obama will have to recover more territory in less time than any of them (bar, perhaps, Carter). That is not something you would rule out without qualification, but not something you would expect, either. (Most particularly with the Eurozone mess).

  • That is why we have campaigns, to see if our crystal balls are working well or not.

    That’s not why we have campaigns.

    I think Nixon and Agnew were more interesting (and tragic) figures than you say. They both had a great many assets, unfortunately put to ill use.

  • Which nation T.Shaw do you propose as the US if the US becomes Switzerland?

    China. Not because it will want to, but because it has the most to lose/gain from instability as it conquers the world. And frankly, is the only one that can at this point. We won’t like it, I’m sure, but not too many actually “liked” the Pax Romana either (for that matter, there are many dissenters of the “Pax Americana” as well). But these things do not happen by choice, they happen by force, and I am afraid we no longer are in a position to exercise significant force politically, economically or militarily for much longer. We had our run, it was a decent one (although rather short-lived), thanks for all the fish.

  • Kind of begs the question – would we have to face these challenges abroad if, um, we weren’t abroad?

    Yes, and that is the problem with Ron Paul. He fancies international conflict as a function of the discretionary decisions of policy-makers not so wise as he. No problem with self-esteem there.

  • “That’s not why we have campaigns.”

    You are too much of a literalist this morning Art! 🙂

    I have never had any use for Nixon. I think the man did great damage to the nation and the GOP. His one saving grace is that the men he defeated in 1968 and 1972 would doubtless have done even greater damage to the nation.

  • I believe whoever the GOP nominates will have an excellent chance of giving Obama an early start on his true career: World Celebrity For Life.

    I would love for that to be the case, provided his replacement truly is a better candidate and not something the same or worse.

    As for Ron Paul’s alleged craziness, well, as Mr. Joel sings, he may just be the lunatic we’re looking for. We’ve tried just about everything else, why not give him a shot?

  • “China. Not because it will want to, but because it has the most to lose/gain from instability as it conquers the world. ”

    Please. China will be doing well if it can hold together mainland China, and not have it disintegrate into warring parts, a fairly frequent occurrence in Chinese history. The aging Communist bureaucrats who run China realize this, even if outside observers from the West are blind to it.

  • “As for Ron Paul’s alleged craziness, well, as Mr. Joel sings, he may just be the lunatic we’re looking for.”

    If the times call for Ron Paul, put me in suspended animation now.

  • Far be it for me to make predictions, but I can easily see a Perry/Romney or Romney/Perry ticket defeating Obama/Biden next year.

  • How about just for giggles, Palin-Bachmann. That would complete the maternalization of America.

  • Another Liberal media gotcha moment about Bachmann, taking one stupid quote and blowing it up into a headline:

    “She didn’t sit down to visit with us and eat with us,” attendee Mel Shaw, 57, told the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper. “She came into the room like she was Madonna or something, a big star appearing before all us little people. She didn’t want to answer questions. That’s not the way we do politics here.”

    Complete story can be found here:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44142133/ns/politics-decision_2012/

  • Whew! I was not praising Nixon. My attempted “point” was about taking the US off the gold standard, nothing else, 40 years ago today.

    PS: the gold standard was invented by one of the most intelligent men that ever lived. The man invented Calculus.

    Mitt Romney named the Obama (Palin-copycat) bus tour: the “Magical Misery Tour.”

    Obama cannot run on his horrible record. His orc minions must demonize the opponent.

    By the way: Gallup poll finds Obama’s approval rating is down to 39%, and disapproval is 54%.

    “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with” Nixon.

  • A couple of hours ago i watched the ABC interviews etc. the day after the Iowa straw poll – Pawlenty pulling out etc., and Perry, although not there in Iowa, presenting himself as a candidate. Much of the show also focussed a lot on Michelle Bachman.

    Now from an outsider just looking at Perry and Bachman, they both look great, speak great, have their successes – Perry benefitting from the current economy in Texas and its growth from escaping Californians, low internal costs etc. etc.

    I know its far too early to make any sort of call, but right now, I don’t think that would be a silly ticket – Perry/Bachman. I feel that the US isn’t quite ready for a Madame President at this time, but who knows?
    My 2 cents.

  • Pingback: GOP Presidential Poll for August | The American Catholic
  • Ron Paul should be president … of Russia.

    Seriously, from hacking Estonia’s government to invading Georgia (advancing beyond the boundaries of Abkhazia and South Ossetia) and probable interfering with Ukraine’s elections, it seems to me that the Rus could use some isolationism.

    And the fact that someone here wants to give world leadership over to the People’s Republic of China – a nation that forces abortions, persecutes Christians, jails dissidents, and was founded by a man who killed more people than Hitler and Stalin combined – is deplorable. It’s hypocrisy worthy of Biden or Pelosi.

    (You could almost say it’s the unofficial credo of “paleocon” foreign policy – OK for thee, but not for me.)

    I’m not sure who my favorite GOP candidate for the White House is (O Santorum, why must you approve waterboarding?) In any event, I think we should get together and start a grass-roots movement to put Ron Paul in the Kremlin! 😉

  • I think the country is indeed ready for a woman president, but it must be a conservative or moderately conservative woman who is more accomplished and less eccentric than Bachmann.

  • Too bad we can”t turn the clock back 30 years and get Maggie Thatcher over here. I have nothing against eccentricity although it didn’t help Adlai Stevenson, for one.

Gingrich and the Fine Art of Political Suicide

Thursday, May 19, AD 2011

Newt Gingrich is the fastest GOP presidential candidate political suicide since Mitt Romney’s old man George Romney cratered in the Republican Presidential primaries in 1968 after claiming that he had been “brainwashed” into supporting the  Vietnam War.  Gingrich has received near universal conservative condemnation for attacking Paul Ryan’s budget plan on Sunday on “Meet The Press” on NBC and seeming to endorse a form of ObamaCare.  How ironic that Gingrich, who has always prided himself on his futuristic innovative thinking, was done in by attempting to appease non-conservatives on a low rated show of the increasingly irrelevant lamestream press.  The new media, talk radio, blogs and conservative outlets on the net, ran with it, Gingrich is now political toast and he simply can’t believe what has happened to him in such a short time span.

In response to this, Gingrich released this incredibly delusional statement:

The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.

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21 Responses to Gingrich and the Fine Art of Political Suicide

  • Newt Gingrich is a new Catholic convert. I suspect that he has thus been taken in by the blathering about social justice and the common good that goes on in what passes for theological thinking within much of the Church in the West. I could be wrong, but why else would such an ostensible conservative as Gingrich sell his soul like this?

    I will now remind all the liberal readers of one immutable fact: there is NO social justice, NO common good without righteousness and holiness, repentance and conversion. You do the later before you get the former. The Kingdom of Heaven is about saving souls, NOT feeding bellies. Should we as Christians feed bellies? Absolutely! BUT that is NOT the goal. Jesus Christ is the goal.

  • “I could be wrong, but why else would such an ostensible conservative as Gingrich sell his soul like this?”

    Gingrich has always been like this Paul, at least since he became Speaker of the House after the 94 election. He has always wanted to hunt with the hounds and run with the foxes. The problem for Gingrich is that he has been out of politics since the nineties when his adultery with his present wife blew up his second marriage. He didn’t realize how swiftly things move now with the new media and how many regular Republican activitists watch every political move in microscopic detail on the net. Futurist Gingrich simply couldn’t adapt to changing technology and the irony is rich.

  • I’m Catholic, but I could never vote for Gingrich. He has too much moral baggage, and he’s a recent convert who needs to do a little more growing up before he aspires to higher office.

  • I thought Gingrich was going to be the #1 guy this coming election, then he opened a can of worms with this one. Unless Rick Perry does indeed run for Presidency, we may be stuck with Mitt Romney.

  • Gingrich is living proof that one can be rather bright and have all the judgment of a stunned duck.

    WIN!

  • As long as he lives there exists the fervent hope that he (and all of us!) confesses; does penance , amends his (our lives) life and through good works glorifies Almighty God, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, who lives and reigns with God the Father Almighty in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

    That Gingrich “hound don’t hunt.” Newt placed himself squarely in the “politics of personal destruction bear trap.”

    The dems have nothing positive about which to “brag.” So they will as usual 24/7 and with $$$ billions in free campaign air time provided by their MSM propaganda organs, assassinate Gingrich’s character.

    Why must the GOP eat its children and serve as an echo chamber for lying, liberal detractions?

  • Gingrich is living proof that one can be rather bright and have all the judgment of a stunned duck.

    What else is there to say?

  • Gingrich made to many enemies when he was Speaker when he opened his mouth.

    His own mouth got him into trouble and delivered a golden egg to those he rubbed the wrong way (too many times).

    . . .that and he underestimated how the new media, as Don said, has transformed politics from a weekly news cycle to a second-by-second news cycle.

    He’s nearly ruined his campaign, if not destroyed it.

  • I could vote for a new Catholic, a new ex-Cathoic, a bad Catholic, or anyone else who has not lived his life in perfect standing with the Church. Given a choice between two identical candidates, I’d vote for the Catholic, but a candidate’s religion wouldn’t be among my top ten considerations.

    How about the rest of you?

  • I would have voted for a Protestant Ronald Reagan a 1,000 times and never for a Catholic Ted Kennedy. It is the positions of a candidate, and their character and leadership skills, not their religion, that determines my vote. (I doubt if I would vote for a public atheist, although my guess is that their political positions would differ enough from mine that I would not vote for them in any case.)

  • I voted for George Bush in 2004 primarily BECAUSE John Kerry was Catholic. I would have voted for almost anyone over John Kerry because I didn’t want a President claiming to be Catholic while also supporting abortion.

  • but a candidate’s religion wouldn’t be among my top ten considerations

    1. To what extent does the candidates formal affiliation influence his thinking and behavior?

    2. One’s understanding of creed and code influences one’s thinking on social questions. To what extent are the candidates conclusions within a range of permissible conclusions?

    3. To what extent are the candidates views when getting down to the brass tacks congruent with views that might have been reached beginning with the premises of the Church?

    4. What does the candidate’s affiliation indicate to you about how he will approach questions as yet unaddressed?

    Affiliations of all kinds are salient bits of information about how and what a candidate thinks, what he fancies is respectable, and to whom he wishes to appeal.

  • Art, those are some good questions. In a perfect world, my answer to all four would be “Bill Bennett”. I don’t think that there are many politicians with an integrated set of principles which animate their faith and political beliefs, though. So I think that with regard to the first question, the answer is going to vary a lot.

    With the second and third questions, I’d bet that a random evangelical or Mormon would be as likely to govern consistently with the Catholic Faith as a random Catholic would. They might not catch every nuance, but they’d be more likely to be clear on the basic rules of civilization.

    I’ve been thinking in terms of policy so far, but your fourth question opens the door to another consideration, character. I know that’s not exactly what you asked about, but the unexpected mistakes an elected official makes are more often matters of character than of unforeseen policy issues. I wish that we could judge a man’s character by his creed, but there are too many people like me who believe all the right things but can’t be trusted to do anything right.

  • but a candidate’s religion wouldn’t be among my top ten considerations.

    I wouldn’t necessarily put a candidate’s religion in my top ten considerations, but in others situations I might.

    That the politician had recently had a high profile change in religion (depending on how he explained it) might tend to push it up on my list of considerations, whether positive or negative.

  • I’d just like to denounce everything Pinky said (that jerk!). If the head of the budget committee is exchanging letters with the Archbishop of New York, maybe more people understand the relation between religious and political thought than I typically assume.

  • In the blink of an eye, Gingrich morphs from maverick, to the wizard of oz, to the leader of the tinfoil hat brigade.

    I am very impressed. That must have taken some work!!!! LOL.

  • As a lifelong Catholic, I can’t for the life of understand what part of Catholicism (other than to Catholic Vote) that fits with Newt Gingrich’s personal and political views. The part of the Trinity I worry about with him is Three Wives and Three Faiths.

    I find him part of a growing segment of Elitist Converts to Catholicism for nothing more than political gain,,,,, whose experience they feel can help the catholic Church add new members to dwindling parishes.

    As a Graduate Student of Politics interested in the effect of Religion in Politics, when Newt entered the political arena, he was moved to convert from Lutheran to Southern Baptist who was baptized by Influential Southern Baptist Leader G. Avery Lee.

    He entered the Catholic Church after his marriage to politically connected Catholic Callista while creating non-profit organizations aimed at religious conservatives, Renewing American Leadership, or ReAL, appointing to the board evangelical leaders such as Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in California and David Barton of the Texas-based WallBuilders.

  • “Vote Gingrich. Are You Better Today Than You Were Three Wives Ago? “

  • Kurt,,, cute — gives new meaning to “MOURNING in America”, doesn’t it????
    What a mess.

  • Gingrich lost MY potential vote when he abandoned his first wife right after her cancer surgery. I don’t think he can possibly win the Republican nomination, but if he does, you can be SURE the Dems will (hypocritically) play up his moral failings and enough women will be unable to hold their noses and vote for him. Worst possible outcome: a second term for The Obammunist.

1946, 1994, 2010 => 1948, 1996, 2012?

Tuesday, November 9, AD 2010

Picture it: Upper East Side of Manhattan, November 9, 1994.  There is a buzz throughout the halls of Regis High School, and it’s not just because today is student exchange day and there will actually be girls in our school.  The previous night the Republicans had won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, and my friends and I – little Republicans in training that we all were – were quite joyous.

First period was US History, and our teacher knows that I am certainly excited about the election.  So he writes on the board the following:

1994=1946

His point?  As was the case in 1946, the Republican victory would be short-lived.  Republican gains in 1946 were wiped out – and then some – in 1948.  On top of that, Harry Truman was re-elected.  History would repeat itself.

I scoffed at this ridiculous notion.  There was certainly no way that Slick Willy Clinton could possibly earn a second term as US President.  I had been counting the days to his 1996 electoral humiliation since roughly November 7, 1992.  Surely this was the first stage on the road to that inevitable defeat.

Fast forward to November 5, 1996.  Needless to say I was as disappointed on that night as all us Regians were at the end of that November day in senior year. (I mean come on, we’re talking about a bunch of nerdy kids from an all boys school.  It took most of us a full year of college before we could properly talk to members of the opposite sex.)  Mr. Anselme was right.

But not entirely.  Though Bill Clinton had indeed won re-election, the election was not a total repeat of 1948.  The Republicans lost a few seats, but in the end they retained control of both houses of Congress – something they had not done in successive cycles since the Hoover administration.

History is informative, and we certainly should be aware of the lessons of elections past when we think about what will happen down the line.  But we should refrain from assuming that events will necessarily repeat themselves.

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2 Responses to 1946, 1994, 2010 => 1948, 1996, 2012?

  • “Some may disagree with me on this score, but Obama does not have the same ability as Bill Clinton to play Jedi mind tricks with centrist voters.”

    I view President Bubba as probably the worst man to sit in the White House, and one of the best politicians. Clinton also loved politics and campaigning. Obama strikes me as bored with politics now and bored with being President. It is going to be an interesting two years.

  • Clinton also had another major advantage over Obama:

    As a governor, he had to know how to work the legislature. I assume that Arkansas’ legislature was heavily Democrat, but a much more conservative Democrat than the kind that Obama hangs around with.

    Also, Clinton was the head of the National Governors’ Assocation.

    In both of these capacities, he had to learn how to appeal to a broader spectrum, and how to triangulate when necessary.

    Excluding the 2008 Presidential election, Obama has not had to do that kind of work. In the ’08 election, Obama benefited from Bush fatigue and the novelty of electing a minority. Surely, his oratory and charisma were at a peak; but, rather than his skills causing the buoyancy, it was the popular mood that elevated him.

    Obama cannot move to the middle the way that Clinton did.

    The only thing that can save his re-election is if the economy turns around. And, then, maybe not.

Grief Counseling For Defeated Democrats

Tuesday, November 9, AD 2010

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Apparently the staffers of defeated Democrats in Congress are being provided with grief counseling. 

A staffer for a congressional Democrat who came up short on Tuesday reports that a team of about five people stopped by their offices this morning to talk about payroll, benefits, writing a résumé, and so forth, with staffers who are now job hunting.

But one of the staffers was described as a “counselor” to help with the emotional aspect of the loss — and a section in the packet each staffer was given dealt with the stages of grief (for instance, Stage One being anger, and so on).

“It was like it was about death,” the staffer said. “It was bizarre.” The staffer did say the portions about the benefits and résumé writing were instructive.

I have always had a keen concern for the mental health of Democrats in Congress, so I will attempt in this post to give them a few pointers to help them work through their grief:

1.  Denial:  As the saying goes, it is just not a river in Egypt.  Best to deal quickly with this stage.  “The Election was just a bad dream.  We did not suffer the worst rejection at the polls of either party since 1948.  All will be well, all will be well.  Chant together:  Hope and Change!  Hope and Change!  Hope and Change!”  With luck you can get beyond this stage in a few days, certainly by the time the office movers come.

2.  Anger:  Let it all out.   “Blast those lying, knuckle dragging Republicans!  Can you believe how stupid the average voters are!  After all we did for the country!  This nation is doomed!  I’m moving to Canada!”  Turn on Hannity and engage in primal scream therapy at the TV.  Listen to Rush as you dust off that voodoo doll of him and stick pins in it.  After a few days you will get past the teeth grinding stage whenever you think about the election.

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2 Responses to Grief Counseling For Defeated Democrats

One Response to Lame Ducks, Internet Hitler and Olbermann Anger Management Counselor

  • Haha. I don’t know what is funnier, the Hitler video or the idiocy of the VP. Probably the former I suppose, because there’s no real risk of Hitler ending up as President.

State Legislatures go Republican

Thursday, November 4, AD 2010

The video depicts a little bit of excitement on the floor of the Alabama Senate in 2007 between two Senators. 

Lost in the attention paid to the marquee races for the Senate, the House and the Governorships, were the huge Republican gains in the state legislatures:

The Republicans’ 60-seat pickup in Congress – the most by any party in a half-century – appears insignificant when you consider that in the New Hampshire state House, Republicans appear to have gained at least 120 seats.

All told, Republicans gained at least 680 state legislative seats nationwide on Tuesday night, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures, an outcome that could have far-reaching implications for both parties.

Preliminary results indicate that the GOP gained control of at least 19 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers, while holding others where they were already in the majority. Heading into the election, Democrats controlled both houses of 27 state legislatures, while Republicans held both in 14, and eight were evenly divided.

The result is devastating for Democrats in this respect: Many state legislatures control the decennial process of redrawing state legislative and congressional district boundaries. The NCSL now says Republicans have unilateral control of the boundaries of 190 congressional districts.

“2010 will go down as a defining political election that will shape the national political landscape for at least the next 10 years,” Tim Storey, elections specialist with the NCSL, said in a news release. “The GOP … finds itself now in the best position for both congressional and state legislative line-drawing than it has enjoyed in the modern era of redistricting.”

At a minimum, 54 legislative chambers will be under GOP control when they reorganize, the highest number for Republicans since 1952. They will hold 53% of the total number of seats, nearly 3,900 – the most since 1928.

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4 Responses to State Legislatures go Republican

Narrative Failure

Wednesday, November 3, AD 2010

There’s nothing more annoying that excessive crowing over an election, but I can’t help taking just a moment to observe that there’s something which doesn’t quite fit about the idea that the GOP (and in a number of cases, the Tea Party wing of the GOP) did so well yesterday because the electorate was outraged that Obama and congress didn’t tack harder left in the last two years. Yes, it’s true that it was moderate Democrats, in many cases, who lost, but that’s mainly because those moderate Democrats were elected in 2010 in districts which were to the right of them, districts which had previously been held by the GOP. But the fact that Pelosi was reelected while Driehaus lost doesn’t mean that the electorate as a whole wants people on the hard left — it’s because Pelosi’s district is in San Francisco while Driehaus’s was in Cincinnati.

What both rightists and leftists should keep in mind after elections like this one and 2008 as well is that elections in the US are decided by a swing bloc which might charitably be described as pragmatic/a-political (or uncharitably as generally ignorant of political ideology and policy.)

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10 Responses to Narrative Failure

  • I just hope that the GOP keeps its promises and actually offers solutions… I had enough of faux-conservative policies in ’04-’08.

    Having said that, I wonder how happy the electorate would be with a Congress that would actually take deficits seriously…

  • You know, my comment above reads like a liberal bitter about last night’s losses! Sorry ’bout that. 🙂

  • Hi there,

    The reason Oh-Bummer was elected was because of the failure of the Republicans, previously. To the extent that “conservatives” tend to be Republicans, people think Republicans are conservative but the Republican party failed to follow conservative principles and that’s why they lost and Oh-Bummer won.

    Take something like smaller government. Bush greatly expanded government but instead of asking taxpayers to foot the bill, they instead masked the costs of war by borrowing the money. There will be the devil to pay over that; you can be sure. Other conservative principles, similarly. They ignored them and lost the support of their largest faction.

    In addition, they put up some very hard-to-stomach candidates. McCain is insipid, timid, and behaves like a Democrat. Palin was completely a wild card. No one knew what she would turn out to be and she scares the heck out of some people because she seems to be poorly educated and not very careful either.

    If the Republicans do a better job in two years of putting up a candidate we can have faith in and also if they stick to conservative principles in the mean time, they will take the White House back. If not, we’ll punish them again.

    -Paw, Doomer in Chief
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/brierpatch/

  • It was not narrative failure. It was racism and calvinistic, dualistic PURE evil; er stupidty; er treason; er insanity; er . . .

    We will do better next time.

    Chris,

    “I had enough of faux-conservative policies in ’04-’08.”

    I think that would be from 2004 (or 1994) to 2006. The (D) (is for despicables), veritable conservatives, have been in firm control of the congress since January 2007, and the regime spent $3,000,000,000,000.00 more than tax receipts in the most recent two years.

    Did voting out faux-conservatives reduce the deficit or advance true conservativism? I think not.

    If the new crowd does same same as the old crowd, we will vote them out in 2012.

    The part of the electorate that believes it is the government’s duty to provide for them may have reason to be unhappy. The people that pay to provide for the people . . . , not so anguished.

    I love you, Man. You were being sarcastic, right?

  • LWPH will no longer be house leader; a small but important victory.

  • CA Dems elected a dead person.

  • Let’s spread the rumor that Olympia Snowe is going to switch to the GOP.

    The loss of House leadership isn’t a small thing. It’s huge. The Senate can’t do anything on its own but appoint judges. In fact, the Senate can’t do much of anything else without 60 votes. They couldn’t pass cap-and-trade or even the health care bill, really, when they had 59. In the low 50’s, nothing will get through without big negotiation.

  • The idea that electoral losses are caused by being too moderate/centrist are common both on the left and the right. If you think about it, the view is kinda crazy, but it’s more pleasing that the realization that most of the country doesn’t share one’s own politics.

  • Yeah, on the right it’s: Bush forgot fiscal restraint, so he lost the country (ignoring Iraq, Katrina, and the economy)

    On the left it’s: We needed a bigger stimulus; if we had only spent $2 trillion then unemployment would have gone down and the country would have approved.

  • Don’t forget the public option. There was great yearning for that among the populace.

No Final Victories, No Final Defeats

Wednesday, November 3, AD 2010

 

The Republican party had a very good election last night, and the Democrats had a very bad election.  The Republicans took control of the House and have gained approximately 60 seats with around 13 still to be decided.  The House will be more pro-life than at any time in our nation’s history since Roe v. Wade in 1973.  In the Senate the Republicans have gained approximately 6 seats with around 3 still to be decided.  The Republicans have gained at least seven governorships with a few to be decided, and at least 17 state legislative chambers have flipped to the GOP.  By any standards it was a great night for the GOP, and a vote of no confidence in both the Obama administration and the Democrat Congress.  It would be tempting to predict only triumph now for the Republicans and only doom for the Democrats in the future, but it is a temptation to be resisted.

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16 Responses to No Final Victories, No Final Defeats

  • True, but some abiding changes in political economy and social relations were effected in 1861-77, 1933-39, 1947-54, and 1954-71.

    Finessing the country’s problems in public finance &c. will require co-operation between the political parties. That will require (among other things) that the negotiating parties be able to set priorities and have some degree of appreciation for the concerns of the opposite party. The intramural culture of the Democratic Party is infected with social and historical fictions which inhibit the latter and we have seen little evidence that the President is capable of the former or the latter. We are in for interesting times.

  • Cogent as always Art, although I think the more things change, often the more they stay the same. Slavery for instance. The basic argument in regard to slavery was is there a class of human beings that may be treated as property. I would argue that the same basic debate is being carried out in regard to abortion, with unborn children being reduced to chattel. Pro-lifers have often noted the eerie parallels. In regard to the role of the federal government and the states, you could take the arguments of the Whigs and the Jacksonian Democrats, and transplant them to the modern day, re-label them Republicans for Jacksonian Democrats and Democrats for Whigs, and with only very little alteration they would sound like a recent debate on the floor of Congress.

  • “The basic argument in regard to slavery was is there a class of human beings that may be treated as property. I would argue that the same basic debate is being carried out in regard to abortion, with unborn children being reduced to chattel.”

    I once got into a debate with a anti-lifer who insisted that a fetus was an object that the mother was in possession of and not a human. Somehow, through the “miracle” of birth, the “object” became a human; when I inquired as to the process of this he just stated that a human isn’t a human until it’s born.
    I pray for his soul (and the souls of all those who think like he) most days of the week.

    On topic, I’m very glad that the Republicans managed to win just the House (I’d be super excited if it were both Chambers, but one is enough to stop the Obama agenda).

  • New crooks replace the old. Business as usual. Back to bread and circuses.

  • I like Rubio’s quote from last night: “We make a great mistake if we believe that tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican party. What they are is a second chance, a second chance for Republicans to be what they said they were going to be not so long ago.”

  • I think that is the exact mistake Democrats and liberals in general made with 2008. 2008 was not some great embrace of the liberal agenda as MM’s quote above mistakenly thought. It was a repudiation of Republican lip service to conservative principles followed by decidedly unconservative actions. Last night was a clarification of that sentiment, and it seems at least Rubio gets it (also heard Steele saying something similar, but again, that may just be lip service from him). Also, one of the most annoying moments was hearing Steele trying to somehow take credit for the Tea Party, as though he was all in favor of it.

  • Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
    Churchill, November 1942

    If only . . .

  • “If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,”

    That is a constant.

    “Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn out tools;”

    If we work extremely hard, we may avoid that tragedy.

  • As I told my son, who’s taking AP History this year, in 2008 I heard people wondering what party would take the place of the GOP, which would disappear by 2016. And in 2002, I heard people wondering what party would take the place of the Democratic Party. And in 1991, I heard some people joking about Democrats thinking of nominating George H.W. Bush as their nominee in ’92, since he was bound to win anyway.

  • That quote stands. It helps to think in longer terms than electoral cycles.

    If you think this represents a positive endorsement of the Republican party, you are deluded. It was a kneejerk rejection of the ruling power, its perceived arrogrance, and its perceived inability to bring the power of government to end the worst recession since the Great Depression. Sadly for the American political system, that meant…going back to the people who brought you the recession in the first place! What was that about thinking long term again?

  • MM, the first sign of recovery from a mistake is to admit that you made one. Your statement in 2008 indicates that you understand this country and its politics as well as a pig does penance. In your blind partisan joy in 2008 you thought the GOP was headed for the ashheap of history, and, instead, it is the administration of the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history that may be headed in that direction.

    He may recover; Bill Clinton certainly did after 1994. However, I think Obama has more of the ideologue about him, and I doubt that he possesses the flexibility that President Bubba possessed. We shall see.

  • that meant…going back to the people who brought you the recession in the first place!

    Right. Because clearly the recession was caused by Republicans, and not by a bi-partisan attempt to expand access to housing, flawed monetary policy set by the guy who was also head of the Federal Reserve under Clinton, and the actions of millions of private actors. I suppose the expansion during the dotcom bubble should be credited to Clinton, but the collapse of said bubble should be blamed on Bush?

  • The quote doesn’t stand at all, but it certainly does provide yet another example of partisanship, domestic political ignorance, and snide.

    MM is correct that the election does not represent a positive endorsement of the Republican party – in fact, the GOP is probably less popular than the Democrats. But the election certainly was a rebuke to the Democrats, who have overreached.

    And then here come the partisan blinders…..the Republicans brought us into the recession. Well, they did – along with the Democrats, those that took out loans they shouldn’t have, the supposed regulators, and the banks that so outrageously bet with the full faith and credit of the public purse.

    The story of this recession simply can’t be told without this uncomfortable truth being front and center: the effort, since the early 90s, to “expand opportunity” to folks that had no business whatsover purchasing property and taking on huge debt loads in general. WARNING: “RACISM” ALERT”!!!!! HIDE!!!!!

    Events such as the White House Conference on Increasing Minority Homeownership on Oct. 15, 2002 have been pushed down the memory hole with good reason: a lot of our ruling class is complicit, just as the borrowers are complicit.

    Is this the whole story? No. But it’s a very big part of it, and MM’s status-posturing whenever its brought up has comical these past few years (because, of course, he’s not racist!).

    The economy would not be in the tank now, and unemployment would be a lot better, and wages would be higher, if : 1). there was a requirement of 15% down to purchase a home 2). the labor market had not been flooded with low skill labor these past few decades

    You want to be a social democrat in a place with high social capital? Great – me too! Look to Germany, where the labor left deserves a lot of admiration. They are starting to protect their high wage labor markets, and their fiscal policies actually make sense (like Italy, their businesses typically do not take on mounds of debt, and their elites usually do not try to demonstrate their moral superiority too badly).

    Thilo Sarrazin, a leftist, is right. MM, you are a smart guy, but your partisanship and water carrying do tend to get the best of you.

  • However, I think Obama has more of the ideologue about him, and I doubt that he possesses the flexibility that President Bubba possessed. We shall see.

    More to the point, the public finances of the United States are trashed, the labor market has sustained a series of injuries and is suffering from the worst sclerosis it has seen in 70 years, and the lesson drawn from the last thirty months by Messrs. Krugman, Stiglitz et al is that the public authorities were insufficiently profligate. That last will be the Administration’s point of departure; that of the Democratic caucus will be maintaining the pipeline of patronage to their constituencies; that of the Republican caucus will be magical thinking on taxation. This is not 1995, and we have only a few years to turn things around before the bond market cuts us off at the bar.

    going back to the people who brought you the recession in the first place!

    Messrs. Bush, Hastert, & Lott may be faulted for a number of things. Generating an asset bubble with their trusty magic wand was not among them. ‘Fraid allowing deposits-and-loans banks to get mixed up in proprietary trading, prime brokerage, securities underwriting, hedge funds, and private equity was a of bipartisan folly signed into law in 1999. As for Citigroup taking on $55 bn in subprime loans and $500 bn in uninsured foreign deposits, why not query their $15 million/year resident guru, Robert Rubin (D). Dr. Mankiw and Sen. McCain may have wanted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to improve their accounting practices and capital cushions; they were sabotaged by Barney Frank acting at the behest of his boy toy Herb Moses and various other members of the Democratic insider nexus…

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  • If you just put an “I wish” at the beginning of all these political predictions, they make a lot more sense.

TAC Election Night Live Blog

Tuesday, November 2, AD 2010

 

The live blog will start tonight at 6:00 PM Central Time.  I will be listening to Fox due to Michael Barone who is the chief Fox election analyst, and who knows more about each Congressional District than anyone else alive, and browsing the internet to bring you the latest information.  I ask TAC commenters and contributors to chime in with  information and observations.  The picture at the top of this blog will help you keep track of when polls close in each state.  The image is from 2008, but I believe it is still accurate.

Nate Silver over at 538 has put together a handy sheet listing the crucial seats that the GOP needs to win to take the House.  Go here to view it.  This will be an indispensable aid as we watch the returns coming in. 

I will attempt to stay with the liveblogging until control of the House is called.  I am stocking up on pizza and pop to stay awake!  The Senate may not be determined for a few days, as it may come down to what happens in California and Washington, and those races may be close.

Feel free to comment during the day in regard to any rumors that you hear.  Detailed reports as to elections in the areas in which you live are welcome.  I view this as a group project, and all assistance I receive from our TAC community will be welcome. 

Oh, and political passions will doubtless be running high today and tonight, but let us remember that it is only politics and keep a sense of perspective about it.  The issues in contention are important, but politics, and politicians, often go hand in hand with great absurdity.

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53 Responses to TAC Election Night Live Blog

  • I will attempt to stay with the liveblogging until control of the House is called.

    Boy Don, I hope you can manage to stay awake until 8:30. 🙂

  • From your lips to God’s ear Paul! 🙂

  • “until control of the House is called”

    That might happen at, oh, 7:01 p.m. Central Time at the rate things are going.

  • I wish we had the Silly Party instead of the Democratic Party. From a policy standpoint I can’t see how they could be worse, but they just seem so much more human and lively.

  • I just got back from voting. Dwight, Illinois is a pretty heavily Republican town and I can’t recall so many people turning out to vote this early. The polling place for the entire town is at the Saint Patrick’s Parish Hall and the parking lot was full. I have never seen that happen at 6:15AM on an election day, even in Presidential election years.

  • Voted this morning in lovely Montgomery County – also known as my semi-annual exercise in futility. There were about eight-ten voting machines, all occupied, with a pretty decent-sized line. So lots of turnout here, though that just might be the pre-work rush.

  • Election Day is a holiday for Illinois state employees every other year, when there is a general election, so I have the day off. However, I voted early (two weeks ago) so that means I can enjoy our beautiful weather today and our beautiful election results tonight 🙂

  • Pingback: TAC Election Night Live Blog « The American Catholic « Deacon John's Space
  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy): I was told by the election judges for our precinct when I came to vote that they had been momentarily confused when Don voted, because our oldest son (same first name as Don, but different middle initial) had voted via absentee ballot from college. However, another election judge (state employee now, but used to work for Don) quickly straightened them out.

  • Does anyone have any info on early voting returns yet, or do they not release that until the polls close on election day (or get closer to closing?)?

    I also noticed longer lines at the early voting here in the Lone Star State.

  • C Matt:

    They won’t release voting returns in any state until the polls are closed in the respective state. Sometimes you’ll see some exit polls released around 4-4:30, but that’s about the only indication you might get.

  • One addendum: There is info about early voter turnout by party affiliation. Jim Geraghty had the latest data here.

  • Caveat: Jay Cost’s piece this morning says to ignore exit polls. They are done with an agenda, ususally hostile to Republicans. I believe Cost is correct in this.

  • Houston Reporting:

    About 7 people in line in my (temporary) precinct. All for last names ending in A-K.

    The L-Z line was empty, but the voting booths don’t work for both groups of last names.

    Our government in action!

    Made me more determined to vote for a straight Subsidiarity-Party line.

  • Uh oh. No less a personage than Meghan McCain predicts that Charlie Crist is going to win tonight. If she says it, you know it’s gotta be true.

  • One can rely invariably on Meghan McCain to be wrong on any subject under discussion!

  • Snooki Mac makes Paris Hilton look like a genius. However, I think Snooki’s opinions on matters political are somewhat important as, perhaps, they offer some insight into where her old man may be coming from. We’re probably quite fortunate that her dad lost the race for the Presidency in 2008.

  • Regarding the effect of early voting, check out this link:

    http://thecapitolfaxblog.com/2010/11/02/question-of-the-day-1060/#comments

    The races and results posted here are for the two big Illinois races (governor and Senate), but they might hold valid elsewhwere. Long story short, two separate polls show a Democratic edge among those who voted early but an even stronger Republican tilt among those who intend to vote on Election Day.

  • Correction: the polls posted above are for the Illinois governor race only.

  • This has got to be about the 20th time in two days I’ve heard the same radio ad against Jim Moran from his opponent, Patrick Murray in the 8th District of Virginia. Murray has a real shot at an upset, but one would think they could have timed their ad blitz a little bit better. Just how many more voters are they gonna pick off three hours before polls close on election day through radio advertising on talk radio?

  • Well, in WA, we won’t know much for a while. Almost all counties vote by mail. As such, our ballots either had to be dropped off or postmarked by today. In a race as tight as Murray/Rossi, it’ll take a few days to sort out. Maybe we’ll even get to see King County produce many more ballots like they did in 2004 during the gubernatorial race!

  • Well, it’s official: first Senate pickup for the GOP is Coats in Indiana. Rand Paul also wins in KY.

  • Florida has been called for Rubio. This, by far, is the best result of the night, no matter what happens. Good night, Charlie.

  • Two more in Virginia just called – Perrielo and Boucher are both out. GOP up 3 now in the House.

    Also, a good point by Ramesh Ponnuru – considering where the GOP started this year, it is remarkable to think that they are in the position they’re in. That 20 years of Democratic rule appears to be at an end after all of two.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/252097/shifting-standards-ramesh-ponnuru

  • Fox News just called it for Manchin. It’s gonna take a miracle in Washington and California for the GOP to get to ten in the Senate.

    On a happier note, Alan Grayson is done. The US House of Representatives is a much better place without that . . . individual no longer a member.

  • FOX and MSNBC have all made the following Senate race calls: Boozman over Lincoln in Arkansas (GOP pickup), Blumenthal over McMahon in Connecticut (Democrat hold), and Coons over O’Donnell in Delaware (Democrat hold).

  • It would certainly be interesting to see the West Coast come through for the GOP, but it’s unlikely. And the cynical side of me wonders if it may be harder on Obama in 2012 if he can’t claim to have faced a unified Republican congress for two years.

  • This could be a bad night for the Tea Party mama grizzlies. It’s depressing despite the fact that the GOP is doing slightly better in the House than expected.

    Manchin’s win may not be so bad. He’ll probably be one of the most conservative, if not the most conservative, Democrat in the Senate.

  • Lot of talk already of Rubio as GOP VP nominee in 2012.

  • Fox News now projecting that the House pickup will be in the neighborhood of 60. Too early to pop the champagne, but there it is.

  • Congratulations Rand Paul! Now if Boxer goes down, it will make my night.

  • Manchin is basically a win-win for the GOP since he has to run again in 2 years. Either he votes as a conservative to get-relected, or he become a party loyalist and gets beat in 2012.

  • If Boxer goes down, it makes everyone’s night.

  • Local elections are getting short shrift, unfortunately. We’ve already had our first state legislative body flip – the Indianda legislature has gone from Democrat to GOP control. Not a surprise when one looks at the House races there.

    Alas, here in Maryland I am stuck with four more years of Martin O’Malley. The wave is skipping this part of the country.

  • What’s amazing about this election is that people keep forgetting that the Republicans are defending a majority of Senate seats. Even if they “only” pickup 8 Senate seats, that means that Democrats will have won a whopping 11 out of 37 Senate races.

    Come to think of it, there’s your silver lining for the Dems. They’ll only have to defend 10-12 seats in 2016. So at least they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice.

  • I’m a little disappointed that Deval Patrick won. It looks like Massachusetts is going to be another state unaffected by the wave – tonight, that is.

  • Some significant Illinois results:

    — Republican Mark Kirk wins Obama’s old Senate seat for the GOP.
    — Four Congressional seat pickups for the GOP (IL-17, IL-14, IL-10 and IL-11) and a Republican seat hold that had been in doubt (IL-10, the seat Kirk gave up to run for the Senate)
    — Governor’s race not yet decided but incumbent Dem Pat Quinn is running ahead by about 4 percentage points. It appears that indepednent candidate Scott Lee Cohen’s 4 percent of the vote came almost entirely from people who otherwise might have voted for Republican Bill Brady, thereby enabling Quinn to squeak by.

    Almost exactly the same thing happened four years ago when a Green Party protest candidate drew votes away from a Republican challenger and enabled the incumbent Dem (Blago) to win. And that, my friends, is why I never, ever vote third party/independent/write-in against an incumbent I really want to get rid of — I’ll take a “lesser of two evils” challenger any day.

  • So it’s looking like the holdouts for the Dems are California, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Meanwhile Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, and Pennsylvania are all swinging big to the GOP. Hmmm, what do those latter four states have in common?

  • “Hmmm, what do those latter four states have in common?”

    Swing states that went for Obama in 2008?

  • And Jay gets the prize.

  • Elaine, it looks like Joe Walsh might beat Melissa Bean in Illinois 8. He is currently up 1300 with 96% in.

  • I may have spoken a little too soon there. Governor’s race too close to call, now less than 1 percentage point apart; Senate race has about a 2 point spread but it still looks like Kirk will win.

    Also, there may be a 5th GOP congressional pickup: in IL-8, Joe Walsh (R) just pulled ahead of incumbent Melissa Bean (D) with 94% of the vote counted. Bean was expected to win this one and this would be quite an upset.

  • Oops, Don has more up to date results, guess I took too long commenting 🙂

  • Chabot routes Driehaus to take back Ohio 1 — Driehaus was one of the Stupak band of turncoats, and turned on pro-lifers during the election to file an election complaint against the Susan B Anthony list, blocking their advertising.

    Republican Kasich is ahead in the Ohio governor’s race with 95% of precincts reporting, but it’s still too close to call.

  • “Driehaus was one of the Stupak brand of turncoats”

    Speaking of pro-life Congressional Democrats … one of the few remaining specimens of this highly endangered species, Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3), has easily retained his seat with 70 percent of the vote. He voted FOR the Stupak Amendment but AGAINST the final version of Obamacare.

  • And speaking of Stupak, his old seat (MI-1) has gone GOP also.

    On the down side, looks like we’ll have to keep calling Barbara Boxer “Senator” for 6 more years.

  • It looks like the Iowa Supreme Court justices will be ousted. Problem is the governor who appoints them is Democrat Chet Culver. He lost today so whether Iowa will be pro-gay-marriage or anti-gay-marriage justices depends on when the appointments will be made.

  • Ugh. Reid survives.

  • It’s official: Kirk wins in IL; Giannoulias is conceding as we blog.

  • Sean Duffy, pro-life Catholic father of six (and husband to the very fine-loooking Rachel Campos-Duffy), has won a Wisconsin Congressional seat currently held by retiring Democrat David Obey.

  • Boycott Las Vegas (Sodom).

    Boycott Mohegan Sun if the tribal nation is forced to pay taxes to CT (Gomorrah).

    Call a Constitutional Convention to throw them (and DE and MA) out of the Union.

The Incredible Hulk and the 2010 election

Monday, November 1, AD 2010

Last week in a post here, I quoted Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard as follows:

Allocating the undecided voters proportionally, Bruce Banner gets a two-party vote of 54.5 to 45.5.  That’s a nine-point GOP win, in line with a prediction of a historically high Republican caucus, say 240 seats (which is what I actually did predict last week).

Incredible Hulk.  The Hulk has problems with this analysis.  It tosses out what has historically been the best estimator of midterm congressional results, the Gallup generic ballot likely model.  This year Gallup is calling it the “traditional” model, but in every midterm before this, it was the only likely voter model.

Only once in 60 years has the Gallup generic ballot underestimated Democratic strength by a significant amount – by 2% in 2006.  On average, it slightly overestimates the Democrats, by 0.7%.

Here is what he is seeing this morning based upon Gallup showing a 15 point GOP likely voter advantage:

My internal conflict between “Bruce Banner,” who predicts a 1994-style scenario, and “The Incredible Hulk,” who thinks 2010 will be as Republican as anything since the 1920s, has been resolved.

Hulk wins. Here’s why.

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4 Responses to The Incredible Hulk and the 2010 election

  • Nate Silver: “Our model also thinks the spread of potential outcomes is exceptionally wide: its 95 percent confidence interval runs from a 23-seat Republican gain to an 81-seat one.”

  • Silver in full CYA mode. I will be using him in my liveblogging on the election results tomorrow, but he has not been a profile in courage this election.

  • Here in Wisconsin, I can’t wait to vote for Ron Johnson and Scott Walker. If Sean Bielat takes Barney Frank’s job away from him, Sean Kelly gets Obey’s seat, and Ruth McClung (?) manages a win in AZ, I will be truly ecstatic. I expect to have a very enjoyable Tuesday night!

  • Oh let this be the end of Barbra Boxer. I can’t wait to vote against her tomorrow.

The November 2 Election and Joe Biden

Monday, November 1, AD 2010

Assuming the polls are correct, obviously a big assumption, the Democrats are in for a very long election night tomorrow.  In the face of devastating election losses, the Dems can rely upon Veep and beloved national clown Joe Biden!  First, we should understand why the Democrats are looking at the electoral equivalent of a wheat farm in Death Valley.  My favorite living historian Victor Davis Hanson explains what went wrong:

Barack Obama entered office; nationalized health care; ran up record $1 trillion deficits; promised to hike taxes on the rich; pushed cap and trade through the House; took over large chunks of banks, insurance companies, and auto corporations; made hard-left appointments from Van Jones to Sonia Sotomayor — and in 21 months saw his positives crash from near 70% in January 2009 to little above 40%, with the specter of near record Democratic losses in the Congress just two years after the anti-Bush/anti-Iraq sweep of 2008.

All the polls of independents and moderates show radical shifts and express unhappiness with higher taxes, larger deficits, a poor economy, and too much government. In other words, the electorate is not angry that Obama has moved too far to the right or stayed in the center or borrowed too little money. A Barney Frank or Dennis Kucinich is looking at an unusually tight race in a very liberal district not because liberals have had it with them, but because large numbers of moderates and independents most surely have.

Yet if one were to read mainstream Democratic analysis, there is almost no acknowledgment that the party has become far too liberal. Indeed, they fault Obama for not being liberal enough, or, in the case of the Paul Krugman school, for not borrowing another trillion dollars for even more stimulus, despite the failure of the earlier borrowing. In fact, Obamaites offer three unhinged exegeses for the looming defeat: a) there is no looming defeat: the Democrats will still keep the House; or b) Obama did not prove to be the radical as promised; or c) the American people are clueless and can’t follow science and logic and therefore do not know what is good for them.

Do liberals really believe that had they rammed down cap and trade, borrowed $6 trillion instead of $3 trillion the last 21 months, and obtained blanket amnesty their candidates would be posed to ward off Republican attacks this election year? The problem right now with Greece is that it borrows too little, hires too few, and spends not enough?

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2 Responses to The November 2 Election and Joe Biden

  • No doubt a team of liberal operatives are already working to discover if that ice cream store guy has ever had a DUI or a tax-lien or a one-night stand.

  • Truth.

    “In fact, Obamaites offer three”, no four!, “unhinged exegeses for the looming defeat: […]”

    d) the American people are too dull (they need elite liberals/philosopher tyrants to rule their every move) to appreciate the ‘beauty’ of government’s duty to provide for them in their newly-minted states of dependency and desperation (SIGH: If only we had achieved a 25% unemployment rate!).

4 Responses to Unprecedented

Negative Politics 1800 Style

Sunday, October 31, AD 2010

Reason TV reminds us that there is nothing new in regard to negative politics.  The most vitriolic election in US history was probably, as the above video indicates,  the election of 1800 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

The above video is for my co-blogger Paul, not the biggest fan, to put it mildly, of the Third President of the United States.  Jefferson and Adams were accused of every vice imaginable except, perhaps, of cannibalism.   If  television had been available in 1800 the attack ads would have been sulphurous.

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3 Responses to Negative Politics 1800 Style

  • The only real difference is the media available for disseminating information, especially tv and the internet – that and our population is about 75x bigger today than in 1800, so more people = more rancor to spread around.

  • I know Don has seen this… the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL, has a video display of what TV campaign commercials might have looked like in 1860 had they existed. The late Tim Russert appeared in these clips originally (don’t know whether he still does). Needless to say they contain a lot of over the top attacks among each of the four (count ’em, four) major candidates — Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, John Breckinridge, and John Bell.

  • I love those Elaine and I sit through them each year when I am down at the Museum. If they are ever posted on Youtube, I’ll have them up on TAC in heartbeat.

Chris Christie: A Sensitive Guy

Saturday, October 30, AD 2010

A lot of Republicans are going to be elected on Tuesday precisely because the Democrats have no clue in  regard to restraining government spending.  If the Republicans do not wish to find themselves in the same boat two years hence, they must embrace the hardnosed attitude of Chris Christie in taking an axe to spending.  Republican elected officials, look at what Chris Christie is doing in New Jersey, and go thou and do likewise.

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10 Responses to Chris Christie: A Sensitive Guy

  • I love it!

    Christie 2012!

  • But, but, but…
    Democrats are for the working people!

  • It actually is pretty simple. The federal government should only do what they are constitutionally required to do. Under our Constitution the federal government has very few responsibilities. Problem is politics get involved and when things aren’t perfect people look to the politicians and ask why not. Gutless politicians say next time Nanny government will make sure X won’t be a problem. Reality is, life involves problems. When citizens want government to solve all their problems they forget there is no such thing as government. Government is your neighbor. Next time someone say government ought to ______ they are really saying their neighbor ought to _______. Now read that again and think of yourself as the neighbor.

  • He is wonderful. I hope other politicians will look at Christie and realize that you can talk to us voters like we are reasoning grown-ups and you’ll not only survive, but thrive. You don’t have to lie and tell us if you are elected we will get every goody in the world without paying for it (courtesy of “the rich”). I mean, that would be nice, just like it would be nice if I won Powerball and lollipops dropped from the heavens, but no sensible adult banks on any of those things happening.

  • The clip cuts off Christie’s punch-line, where he tells the Democratic Senate leader that because of the criticism he is going to rescind the executive order and let them deal with it, and the leader says “hold on, Governor, let’s not overreact.”

  • “Christie 2012!”

    Whoa, slow down there folks, I understand why you like him so much (I do too) but for cryin’ out loud, he hasn’t even been governor for a year and already you’re talking about running him for POTUS? Nope, let him finish the job NJ residents elected him to do, then maybe ask that question again in 2016. Or 2020, if NJ decides to keep him for another term.

    “You don’t have to lie and tell us if you are elected we will get every goody in the world without paying for it (courtesy of “the rich”).”

    Neither do politicians have to lie and tell us that all our budget problems will be solved purely by getting rid of “waste and fraud,” with no cuts to services relied upon by anyone other than certain despised classes (i.e. Medicaid/welfare recipients, unionized government employees), and no impact on public infrastructure or facilities.

    I’m not arguing, at all, that budget cuts aren’t necessary or that getting rid of waste and fraud isn’t important. I am saying, however, that politicians should be honest about the fact that solving budget crises on cuts alone without tax increases will NOT be painless. Simply promising “no new taxes” is not enough. To his credit Christie seems to have been honest about that as well.

    “Republican elected officials, look at what Chris Christie is doing in New Jersey, and go thou and do likewise.”

    Here in Illinois, Bill Brady, who could be our governor-elect by this time next week if all goes well, has borrowed heavily from the Christie playbook, and Christie has made several campaign appearances in IL on Brady’s behalf.

    However, given the differences in the two men’s style, in their previous govermental experience (Christie is a former prosecutor; Brady is a state legislator and owner of a construction company) and in the constitutional powers they can or would be able to exercise, our mileage may vary.

  • The Democrats are NOT for the working people. They are for power and making people feel helpless. The whole idea of giving people money and foodstamps is on the surface kind but ultimately is NOT. It causes people to live a kind of subsistence life and never helps them get ahead. It says the person is not ABLE to succeed. A kinder method would be to help the person learn work skills and learn to support themselves. It sucks the pride out of people.

  • I am saying, however, that politicians should be honest about the fact that solving budget crises on cuts alone without tax increases will NOT be painless.

    I completely agree, Elaine. I think what is really infuriating is when pols ask ordinary people to sacrifice while making it clear that the political class itself will exempt itself from those sacrifices. Obamacare will not apply to Congress. Kerry votes in favor of taxes while dodging them himself. Al Gore calls on us peons to live a spartan lifestyle while he lives in mansions and flies around the world on a private jet. The obvious discrepancy between how the Ruling Class lives and how they expect the rest of us to live is behind the anger toward the “elites.”

  • I love Christie’s performances on camera like this. He is truly a master of Irish diplomacy, the art of telling someone to go to hell and making them look forward to the trip.

    Indeed, I hear from any number of people, red or blue, that have only disdain for the “my opponent is an agent of Satan” level of political discourse. Tell it to us straight! “Vote for me because my opponent is evil incarnate” so clearly stretches the truth (hey, both of you may be evil incarnate for all I know) as to give up all credibility for you as someone I’d want in office. Any office. “Oh, we can’t cut X. Anyone who’d cut X has no heart.” Yeah? We haven’t got the money anymore, if we ever did. Tell us how to balance the budget. “Waste and fraud” is Washington-ese for “we’re going to pretend.” It is totally meaningless and everybody in the system knows it. It really translates to “we can’t make ends meet politically or financially, so we’ll just borrow the difference.”

    ‘Character before policy’ may not make the political wonks very happy but sometimes I have to vote for someone I disagree with simply because the guy on my side is clueless. Don’t even get me started on people who say things like “I can’t be friends with him because he’s in the other political party.” Talk about Shites and Sunnis! Christie goes down so well because he isn’t into attack, that I see. He has the facts and the other guys have emotion. Remember how, when Reagan was attacked, he’d start with “Well, there you go again…..” and smile as he said it. Same deal.

    I love his line about “I’d love to be the guy going around giving out all kinds of good things. That isn’t when I got to be governor.”

Chester

Saturday, October 30, AD 2010

Something for the weekend.  Chester by William Billings.  During the American Revolution, this was the unofficial national anthem for the new United States.  As we participate in elections it is good to recall the struggles throughout our history that bequeathed to us the freedoms we enjoy today.  We stand on the shoulders of the giants who preceded us, and we should never forget that.

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One Response to Chester

Where They Stand: Gubernatorial Races

Friday, October 29, AD 2010

With all the talk about the upcoming Congressional midterms, local races are getting overlooked.  This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons.  First of all, despite a century plus of actions and efforts to the contrary, federalism is still alive, and state governments still matter.  Second, these races have an impact upon national elections because states will be redrawing their districts in the wake of the 2010 census.

It would be a massive undertaking beyond my abilities and time to look at each state’s legislative elections, though most projections I have heard have the Republicans gaining a massive amount of seats in state legislatures.  Republicans are projected to switch majority control in about five or six states at a minimum.  Here I will be taking a look at each of the gubernatorial elections.

On a side note, it may seem odd to label these elections as pickups and holds.  After all, it’s not as though governors gather en masse and vote, so having a “majority” of governorships seems not to be that big of a deal.  But for the aforementioned reasons, it is important to win as many of these races as possible.  Currently there are 26 Democratic governors and 24 Republican.  Republicans will certainly have a majority after Tuesday.  As is the case with the House, the only question is how big of a majority.

And now, to the races we go:

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14 Responses to Where They Stand: Gubernatorial Races

  • “While the south started voting for Republicans on the presidential level around the time of Barry Goldwater …”

    It was Eisenhower that first got the South voting for Republicans for President. In 1952, Ike won Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida (and, if you count “border states”, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Maryland); in 1956, he won those same states, except for Missouri, and added West Virginia and Kentucky.

    Goldwater was able to crack the deep South, but not for reasons I’d be particularly proud of.

  • The importance of the governerships is that this is the year for reapportionment, and the governor may have a role, depending on the state’s law.

  • I’ll give Maryland one thing. It’s been easier to register my historic sports car with heavily modified and highly illegal V8 engine in Maryland than in DC, my other address of record. DC is more blue than Maryland.

  • Paul, this is the best analysis of the gubernatorial races I’ve read. My only disagreements are in Colorado where I think crazed Tom Tancredo will win, and Minnesota where I think crazy, and certifiable, Mark Dayton will win. Our bottom line totals are precisely the same.

  • Thank you, Donald. I thought it would be helpful to have them all in one place.

    And now tomorrow, all 435 House races.

    Errrr, maybe not.

  • Great observations about New England. All of the states but Maine have elected Republican governors in recent years. I can’t wait for this red state / blue state myth to disappear.

  • Seems to me, Paul, that, quite the contrary, federalism is on the decline as the rights of states have been eroded by a tide of tyranny from the halls of Congress and the White house. Arizona is the latest in a long line of victims.

  • You won’t get much disagreement from me, Joe. SCOTUS has turned the 10th Amendment into a mere “truism,” and the trend has certainly been towards more power in the hands of the federal government. But federalism isn’t completely dead yet, and state government still retain a great deal of autonomy. Hopefully we can reverse the trend in the coming years.

  • There were a couple of polls that had Palladino within striking distance, but then he opened his mouth.

    That is ‘Paladino’. Much of the embarassment surrounding his campaign can be attributed to the behavior of the Republican establishment, who have abandoned him. The New York Republican Party is a cliquish institution, and those chaps react very badly to characters they view as unclubbable. That would enclude Messrs. Paladino and Hoffman, whose potential as candidates was stunted by the behavior of other elected officials and party hacks.

    What is interesting is that some engaging candidates are running for Congressional seats this year, but they did not seem to be able to recruit anyone of note for the state-wide contests. The state party chairman attempted to recruit a Democratic politico from Long Island to run for Governor (for whatever reason). The clubmen on the state committee were not buying and nominated the amiable Mr. Lazio. Mr. Paladino petitioned for a primary and dispatched the clubmen’s choice so thoroughly that it revealed a chasm between them and their voting public (about which I would wager they give not a damn).

    Some time decades hence there may be in New York an authentic political party organized in opposition to the rule of public employee unions and fixers. Right now what there is is a rancid fund raising and patronage mill thoroughly dominated by mediocrities.

  • Yes, here in Illinois, our governors make the license plates, literally.

    In my area of downstate Illinois, it seems like what’s been going on at the national level has filtered down to every other level. At every level, we’ve had Democrats in charge for a while, and they’ve gotten arrogant, wasteful, and sloppy about covering their tracks. Whether it’s Congressman Phil “I don’t worry about the Constitution” Hare putting his foot in his mouth again, or our mayor and top city officials taking an afternoon off for a celebratory golf outing after maintaining their majority in the last election, or our sheriff driving his work vehicle all over the place on personal time; the story is pretty much the same: people who think we can’t live without them, so they can do whatever they want.

  • “the near certainty of a jail sentence upon the completion of one’s term (as Illinois governor)”

    That is particularly true if said governor is a Democrat.

    The last elected Democratic governor to avoid criminal conviction or imprisonment was Adlai Stevenson — yes, THE Adlai Stevenson who ran against Ike twice. EVERY other Democrat elected in the last 60 years — Otto Kerner, Dan Walker, and Rod Blagojevich — ended up being convicted of some crime, although in Walker’s case, the offense for which he went to prison (some kind of S & L loan fraud) occurred long after he had left office and become a private citizen.

    Republican governors have a much better (though not perfect) track record of staying out of jail. In the last 60 years, one (George Ryan) ended up in jail; one (William Stratton) was acquitted of tax evasion charges; and three (Richard Ogilvie, Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar) have clean records. I’d say that bodes better for Brady.

    I think Brady will win in Illinois, though it won’t be a blowout. Democrats can, of course, take Chicago and Cook County for granted, but the suburbs or “collar counties” outside Chicago are still on the fence.

    The esteemed Illinois political blogger Rich Miller of Capitol Fax foresees disaster of Biblical proportions for Democrats downstate. No Democrat, whether running for General Assembly, Congress, or statewide office, is safe south of I-80.

  • “The esteemed Illinois political blogger Rich Miller of Capitol Fax foresees disaster of Biblical proportions for Democrats downstate. No Democrat, whether running for General Assembly, Congress, or statewide office, is safe south of I-80.”

    Music to my Downstate heart Elaine!

  • Don, it should be noted here that if Quinn loses on Tuesday, the 60-plus-year streak of ELECTED Democratic Illinois governors ending up as felons will remain unbroken for at least four more years, since Quinn was not originally elected governor but succeeded Blago after the latter’s impeachment.

    The only other exception to this Democratic-governors-becoming-felons rule was Sam Shapiro — the Democratic lieutenant governor who succeeded Otto Kerner when the latter was appointed a federal judge. Shapiro served only 8 months in 1968-69 and ran for election in his own right but lost. Unfortunate, since he was by all accounts a smart and honest guy.

  • California please vote for Meg Whitman! If Brown wins, this state will become a gay marriage state, there will be extensive embryonic stem cell research, and cap and trade will be implemented, causing more business to leave the state. Schwarzenegger’s troubles in leadership are hurting Meg. If a republican state house is voted in you will see major changes in the state with Meg. Don’t be turned off by her ability to pay her own way. She is a successful, courageous woman ready to serve the people of the state, not labor unions, not extreme environmentalist, not the liberal agenda hurting our schools.

Voting, the Pope and What Really Matters

Friday, October 29, AD 2010

Hattip to Rich Leonardi at his blog Ten Reasons, a blog I read every day.  Pope Benedict in his current visit to Brazil gives all the Faithful in the US food for thought as we go to the polls next Tuesday:

“First, the duty of direct action to ensure a just ordering of society falls to the lay faithful who, as free and responsible citizens, strive to contribute to the just configuration of social life, while respecting legitimate autonomy and natural moral law”, the Holy Father explained. “Your duty as bishops, together with your clergy, is indirect because you must contribute to the purification of reason, and to the moral awakening of the forces necessary to build a just and fraternal society. Nonetheless, when required by the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls, pastors have the binding duty to emit moral judgments, even on political themes”.

“When forming these judgements, pastors must bear in mind the absolute value of those … precepts which make it morally unacceptable to chose a particular action which is intrinsically evil and incompatible with human dignity. This decision cannot be justified by the merit of some specific goal, intention, consequence or circumstance, Thus it would be completely false and illusory to defend, political, economic or social rights which do not comprehend a vigorous defence of the right to life from conception to natural end. When it comes to defending the weakest, who is more defenceless than an unborn child or a patient in a vegetative or comatose state?”

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