‘Tis the season for local campaign literature. I usually toss these things in the circular file, unread. As a minority conservative in a massively Democrat/Progressive county, my votes are invariably wasted anyway. With Open Primaries, though, I’m starting to pay attention to this unsolicited reading material. So far, I’ve heard from Michael Allen, Jared Huffman, and Stacy Lawson. The first two live in a Progressive fairy-tale; the third is struggling to make contact with reality.
Herewith, some quotations from their campaign literature, as they slug it out to become the Democrat nominee for U.S. Congress (taking over Woolsey’s seat) or for California Assembly.
First, a statement from Jared Huffman, who has spent a great deal of time in the California Assembly (emphasis in original), and who now wants to go to Washington:
I’ve spent my whole career working for the public interest. I won major anti-discrimination cases for women and have a 100% career voting record with Planned Parenthood. I fought for our environment as a Senior Attorney for the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC).
As your Assembly member, I’ve overcome gridlock in Sacramento to pass over 60 pieces of legislation — including laws that are creating jobs, expanding renewable energy, keeping our state parks open, and forcing big oil companies to pay for oil spill prevention.
In Congress, I’ll continue standing up for what I believe in. Bringing our troops home. Prioritizing education above military spending. Equality and women’s rights. Creating California jobs, and ending tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs overseas. And fighting big health insurance companies who put profits above our health needs.
I think we can summarize the above easily: If elected, Huffman will (1) pass legislation that funds chimerical green enterprises; (2) support Obama in his fight against the Catholic Church; (3) raise taxes on corporations at home while preventing them from continuing their businesses abroad (bankrupting or downsizing many, I’m sure); (4) de-fund the military while giving more money to teacher’s unions; and (5) help support “The Return of ObamaCare — it’s back, bigger and badder than ever.”
Unsurprisingly, Huffman has gotten the nod from a slew of environmental and union organizations: the California Federation of Teachers, the Sierra Club, the Marin County School Superintendent, the California Labor Federation, the National Association of Letter Carriers, California School Employee Assoc., California Hospital Association, North Bay Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Amalgamated Transit Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Union of Operating Engineers, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Laborers’ International Union of North America, and on and on.
I wonder how many of those union members whose bosses are giving Huffman the nod will still have jobs in three years, after Huffman’s policies (if enacted) have driven away or destroyed private industry, and made the cost of energy prohibitively high.
This being Marin, Huffman isn’t an outlier. California Assemblyman Michael Allen, who is seeking re-election, rings the same bells. His whole platform (in wealthy Marin) can be summed up easily: tax, tax, tax, and spend. I’m not kidding. For every problem, he has a very expensive solution. Here’s his statement from one piece of campaign literature that harps upon the fading California dream:
PROTECTING THIS DREAM MEANS FUNDING GREAT SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES
That’s why, as your Assemblyman, I’m co-sponsoring a new college scholarship program for middle class families and closing corporate tax loopholes to fund education. And it’s why I’m working with the Governor to place a “millionaires” tax on the November ballot to save public schools.
It doesn’t seem to occur to Allen that the State of California and the schools of California were thriving when the government, for the most part, left Californians alone. California’s economic and academic decline coincided so closely with the ascendance of Leftist government in California that the two events cannot be a coincidence.
In another piece of campaign literature, Allen explains that he can help solve the budget crisis (which is very real) because he has “a head for numbers.” First, he explains that as a Former Labor Leader, he’s able to “resolve disputes, kickstart stalled projects and create new jobs.” I wonder how management feels about his boasts. They’re probably too busy packing for Nevada or Texas to talk about their feelings.
Allen is proud of his stance on education. Despite decades of proof that more money has not solved, and will not solve, California’s education woes, he’s all about getting more money to the unions:
Michael Allen stood with teachers and education advocates to stop millions of dollars in cuts to local public schools. He authored legislation to help make college tuition and fees more affordable for middle-income families.
I just spoke with someone today(he knows who he is) who explained that government rules, especially ADA compliance requirements, impose thousands of dollars per classroom on new school construction. How about fixing our schools by putting pressure on the Feds and on Sacramento to stop micromanaging schools? That ought to save some money.
Nor has the Solyndra debacle stopped Allen from pushing the Green government button:
Michael Allen worked with local environmentalists and business to create Solar Sonoma, a group that promotes local access to renewable energy. He started his career as an attorney with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Team on the Warm Springs Dam initiative. He introduced incentives that will help our agricultural community transition to organic farming methods.
If these things (solar energy and organic farming) are so good, shouldn’t the market be moving consumers in that direction without Allen’s help?
You won’t be surprised by Allen’s supporters: California Democratic Party, California Federation of Teachers, California league of Conservation Voters, California Teachers Association, Sierra Club.
Incidentally, both Huffman and Allen have gotten the nod from various law enforcement organizations (police, fire fighters, sheriffs, etc.). I assume this is because these organizations are union organizations and, by default, back the Democrat candidate and, because of past favors, back those who currently hold political office. Otherwise, the endorsements make no sense. I certainly don’t see anything in the candidates’ actual platforms that would improve the quality of life for these organizations’ members.
Stacy Lawson, who is running against Huffman (and others) for Congress, hasn’t yet sent me any literature, but you can see her stand on the issues from her website. Her proud boast is that she’s less extreme than the others running, and that is true. However, in Marin County, less extreme is still a relative term.
On energy, Lawson talks about the economic and national security imperative of becoming self-sufficient, but her ideas are the same failed ones the Democrats regularly tout: namely, conserving and going green. Until something comes along that’s better than fossil fuel, conserving and going green will never offset our legitimate energy needs, unless we are willing to lower our living and production standards to, say, 1950s levels.
On job creation, Lawson rightly focuses on small businesses. She wants to make it easier for them to borrow (potentially replicating the housing crisis, which started when the government forced banks to make bad loans). She also thinks that the federal government should get involved, not by lowering taxes and decreasing the hundreds of thousands of regulations dotting the private sector landscape, but by entering into more contracts with small businesses. I don’t know where she gets that idea. Large companies have huge, expensive departments that are solely dedicated to dealing with the federal paperwork necessary to get and hold a federal job. Small businesses can’t afford to do business with the federal government.
Lawson also advocates a new WPA: Rebuild the infrastructure by having the government build a new one and having the taxpayers pay for it. Considering that America’s Depression had worsened dramatically by 1937, drowned under the weight of Roosevelt’s infrastructure projects, it’s doubtful that this will help the economy.
But will it help the infrastructure? Again, that’s doubtful. In the 1930s, infrastructure was basic: roads and dams. Also, there were few regulations, so that back then an entire dam could be built in the time it takes the Sierra Club to mount its first protest.
Most importantly, in the 1930s, technology was fairly stagnant. That’s not the case today. Just ask yourself this: whatever happened to all the pager companies that dotted the landscape back in the 1990s? With a few small, industry-specific exceptions, they’re gone. Cell phones killed them in less than twenty years. That’s change government can’t handle. Remember, while businesses are facing the problems and opportunities that arise today, government is busy imposing yesterday’s solutions.
I’ll stop here. I like Stacy, who is a nice person. More importantly, and rather sadly, by Marin standards she is indeed the moderate alternative. I may even vote for her in the primaries because the thought of seeing a mini-me Woolsey (that would be Huffman) jet off to Washington in January is simply unbearable.
And that’s the stuff that came in today’s mail (augmented by some internet information). It’s not calculated to uplift a conservative’s spirit, that’s for sure.
You already know how I feel about the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin affair and the Obama Administration and its lap dog-media sycophants ginning up a lynching party to “get” Zimmerman and a few random white people to fill the role pending trial. Zimmerman’s guilt has already been decided in the media’s public square.
Now, via the Wall Street Journal‘s inestimable Kimberly Strassel, comes news that Administration is, in the words of Washington beltway attorney Ted Olson, putting up the names of major Romney donors on “wanted posters” in government offices, releasing their names to the public, and libeling their reputations.
“The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money”, writes Strassel.
I don’t know if you can access this article without a subscription, but Strassel’s “The President Has a List: Barack Obama attempts to intimidate contributors to Mitt Romney’s campaign” article in today’s WSJ points out a litany of presidential abuses of power by the Obama regime, including:
- Making individual citizens the object of his vitriol.
- Personal attacks on corporations and industry segments.
- Legal assaults on constitutional rights of free speech by corporations.
We continue our slouch into the serfdom of Liberal Fascism. Sad to say, I suspect that the large segments of the population that are not cheering these developments are either yawning in general ennui or too glued to the mindless drivel of videoworld to realize how our /their wealth and freedoms are irrevocably slip, slip, slipping away.
A couple of days ago, I asked if the polls show a Bradley effect, with people deploring Obama’s performance, but still being too embarrassed to admit to pollsters that they don’t like America’s first white-black president. Most of you disagreed with me, saying (as DQ did) that Leftists will support Obama no matter what, while other people are just unwilling to dislike the president. That is, they’re not lying to pollsters when they profess a fondness for this failure. They mean it. Keith Koffler certainly thinks they mean it, and that this is going to be a problem for Romney:
President Obama has been at 50 percent approval in the Gallup daily tracking poll for the past two days, a sign that his popularity has genuinely increased since its lows last summer when he had creeped down to 38 percent.
In addition, Gallup finds that Obama leads Romney by seven points, 49-42 percent, with the president’s position improving lately among independents.
That half the country approves of the job Obama suggests not only that he will be tough to beat. It indicates many people are willing to support Obama no matter what the economic conditions, and that some strategist within the West Wing knows what they’re doing.
Think about this. Unemployment is above 8 percent. The economy is sluggish. Iran is on the verge of a nuclear capability. Gas prices are a $4 per gallon. The president has no plan to fix anything. And yet one out of two people think he’s doing a good job.
Read the rest here.
This election will be the first election since California voters decided, in 2010, to turn ours into an Open Primary state. The practical effect of having done so is that the November election, rather than being head-to-head combat between the two parties, will be a run-off between the winners from the June election.
The road to this limited November ballot has already started, with candidates from all parties reaching out to voters. The problem, of course, is that the candidates’ have only just begun their fund-raising, and only die-hard political junkies are really paying attention. Then, in June, the Open Primaries mean that voters can vote for anyone they want, across party lines.
Once the votes are counted, the two candidates who got the most votes go on to the November ballot. Everyone else vanishes from the scene. In states that have a heavy party majority in one direction or the other (as is the case with Bright Blue California), the practical effect is to banish minority party candidates from the November ballot.
Those who support Open Primaries contend that it is an efficient way to ensure that, when people are really paying attention, the majority of voters get to pick from the two most favored candidates, without having the airwaves — and their brains — cluttered with advertisements and speeches from candidates who don’t have a realistic change of winning. Those who oppose the Open Primary process — and I am one who does — contend that it effectively shuts the minority parties out of the political debate.
The point of the primary system is to give citizens who are members of a specific political party the opportunity to pick that candidate who best represents their views. Then, in the Fall season, those cherry-picked party candidates get to go head-to-head, giving voters a genuine ideological choice. This is important even in states that tilt heavily in one direction or the other, because it means that, when voters are actually paying attention, they are exposed to more than just the majority party’s viewpoint.
In other words, if an Open Primary state tilts heavily in favor of one party or the other, the minority party isn’t just precluded from winning (and this holds true even if the majority party has some major scandal over the summer that causes its total collapse). In addition to being banned from the ballot, the minority party is also entirely denied a voice in the marketplace of political ideas. Without a candidate on the ballot, the minority party has no commercials, no debates, no opinion pieces, and no candidate interviews.
In True Blue California, seeing Republicans banished from the ballot entirely has been the Democrat dream — although supporters are careful to frame this one-party outcome in terms of “moderation”:
Carl Luna, a professor at San Diego Mesa College [and, judging by this post, one who leans Progressive, rather than conservative], said the hope is that the new way of voting will increase voter turnout and will lead to election of more moderate candidates.
“Since anybody can vote for anybody, you might have to appeal more toward moderate candidates, toward independents,” he said. “So you get two Democrats who win in one district, they go to the general election and the Democrat that can get Independents and even moderate Republicans to vote for them has a better chance to win.”
Here in Marin, because the ultra-Progressive Lynn Woolsey is finally gone for good (yay!), a multitude of Democrats have lined up to try for her seat. The same cannot be said for the Republican side of the ballot. As is often the case in Marin, it’s been hard to find a Republican candidate willing to do the hard work of campaigning, knowing that the campaign won’t go anywhere. We’ve had good people in the past (for example, Todd Hooper or Bob Stephens), but both men ran knowing full well that victory was unlikely. Ultimately, they didn’t run to win; they ran to be heard.
This year, Dan Roberts is fronting the Republican party’s primary ticket for Woolsey’s former seat in the House of Representatives. (Since he’s the only Republican in the primary, I guess he’s back the ticket too.) I wish him well, I really do, but honesty compels me to say that Roberts doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning.
Two years ago, Roberts’ low melting point wouldn’t have stopped him from having a voice in the November campaign. His presence on the ballot would have brought conservatives to the polling places. He would have run an Op-Ed in the local paper, and his supporters would have sent letters to the editor. Indeed, if the summer bought more bad news for Democrats (skyrocketing oil prices, war in the Middle East, massive Obama administration malfeasance and scandal), he might even have benefited from a Democrat collapse, and pulled out a Republican victory. None of those things, however — whether the opportunity to have conservative ideas heard or the possibility, albeit small, of a turn for Republicans in Marin — will happen.
In November, in keeping with the Democrat dream, California conservatives will be silenced. The ballot will have only the names of the two top Democrat candidates for Marin’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The newspaper editorials and letters to the editor will say nary a word about conservative approaches to the serious problems vexing this nation. There will be no commercials and no speeches. The Free Speech that is a fundamental part of our democratic process (that’s small “d” democratic) will have been smothered and buried in June. And, should the Democrat party suffer a national collapse over the summer, it will still wipe the board in California.
To give more dimension to the anti-democratic tilt of the Open Primary, and of the ethical dilemma conservatives face, I spoke the other day with Stacy Lawson, who is one of the Democrat candidates seeking Woolsey’s old seat. Stacy seems like a very nice gal, whose selling point is that, with her business background, she is the moderate Democrat in the race, one who supports small businesses and true economic growth. She’s pro-Israel, which she correctly identifies as the only true democracy in the Middle East. Stacy specifically disavows ties to the Progressive branch of the Democrat party.
This is all for the good. Except that when you talk to Stacy, it’s clear that, while she doesn’t have the anger that characterizes Progressives (which is why I think she’s a nice gal), her world view is antithetical to a conservative voter’s beliefs. Why? Because she believes government is the answer. Rather than supporting small business by having government back off in terms of taxes and regulations, she believes government should be in the front line of fomenting growth, especially by subsidizing and promoting green energy.
Stacy was kind and polite when I suggested that green energy was iffy and expensive, and that we might do better to promote America’s huge fossil fuel reserves, while focusing on ways to refine and use those reserves in the cleanest way. Nevertheless, it was clear that Stacy thought that my suggestion was a direct road to the old-fashioned, 1970s’ type of river, one that was filled with dead fish and caught on fire periodically. In other words, even thought Stacy is indeed a moderate Democrat, she’s also an AGW, Big Government, vaguely anti-military (that’s where she’d cut the deficit) politician — or, as I already said, antithetical to a conservative voter’s beliefs.
In a perfect world, I would not vote for Ms. Lawson, even though I like her and appreciate that she is, by current Democrat standards, a moderate. In a perfect world, with all due respect to the courageous Dan Roberts, I would also have some real choices in June on the Republican side of the ballot.
But this is not a perfect world. In this, the real world, because Marin is an almost impossible venue for Republicans, and because we now have an Open Primary that allows for only two spots on the November ballot, when November comes, it is a dead certainty that, with the exception of the presidential ticket, my only choices for the House of Representatives (and for any other political office) will be Democrat versus Democrat.
I don’t like being forced to deny my political self (that is, I don’t like being forced to vote against my own party’s candidate), but pragmatism says that there’s an advantage in using the Open Primary to temper the other party so that there is at least one person who is relatively sane on the ballot. This, of course, is precisely what Carl Luna (the professor I quoted above) hoped would happen — Republicans will vanish, but they’ll serve the vestigial function of protecting Democrats from their worst excesses.
So I have a question for you: In June, should I cast a symbolic vote for the Republican Dan Roberts, thereby making a principled stand for my party, or should I vote for Stacy Lawson to help ensure that, when the November election takes place, the top two contenders for U.S. House of Representatives include a Moderate Democrat, rather than two Progressives?
(Incidentally, when it comes to the judges running for Marin County Superior Court this year, I’m not being forced to make the choice between a good Republican who can’t win, and some Democrats, one of whom might be better than the others. There are only two men running for judge: Judge James Chou, a moderate Democrat whom Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed to the bench, and Russell Marne, a self-professed Progressive. As between them, the choice is clear: It’s the moderate, experienced James Chou all the way.)
Sadie’s fed up. Here is her Open Letter to the GOP and current Super Pacs:
As everyone will remind us, in politics, even a day can be a lifetime. With a little more than eight months to go before the elections, so much can change. But right now, this minute, today, are you optimistic or pessimistic when you think about November 2012.
I have to confess to being pessimistic this week. I think Obama is playing Republicans magnificently, and he’s being helped by the fact that the Republican candidates are self-destructing with tremendous rapidity. I know that, once the party coalesces behind the not-Obama candidate, things will calm down as the focus moves from us to them, but the damage now may be irremediable. Obama and his media allies are also doing a magnificent job of turning the Republican v. Democrat divide into a single issue: contraception. Listening to Rush today, I learned that the Democrats are now telling people that the administration’s attack on religious freedom is really about the fact that Republicans want to make birth control illegal. You and I know this is a farce. Those who watch the Grammys and Jon Stewart do not.
Ignorance is so pervasive. I recorded the musical 1776, which recently appeared on TCM. The movie, which was made in 1972, is based upon the Broadway play that premiered in 1969. In other words, it is a product of the Vietnam era.
In many ways, it’s quite a charming movie, which is what I remember from having seen it about twenty years ago. A lot of it is historically accurate, which is enjoyable. Some of the songs are delightful romps. The actors do a good job.
What I hadn’t remembered, and didn’t realize, was that, despite celebrating America’s creation, the musical is both anti-War and anti-Left. The anti-Left reveals itself in the song Cool, cool, considerate men, which sees the bad slave holding states insisting that the Congress go to the “right,” never to the “left”:
Mr. Bookworm paused the song midway through to point out excitedly to my Little Bookworm that even in 1776, the right was the bad side politically. Fortunately, I was there to explain that the terms “left” and “right” didn’t exist at the time, having emerged only during the French Revolution. I also explained that these were not the First Congress’ words but, in fact, were written during the height of the Vietnam War for an anti-War audience. Later, I explained to Little Bookworm that the more accurate terms are statist versus individualist, rather than geographic descriptions of the seating in the French Parliament. I think she got it.
But think about it: Mr. Bookworm is the product of one of the best high schools in the country, two of the oldest, most esteemed universities in the country, and some other fine educational institutions as well. Despite that, he thinks that 1776, the Musical accurately expresses modern political positions and that Jon Stewart is a political prophet.
And that’s why I’m pessimistic. If he’s representative of the informed, educated American, we individualists are in deep doo-doo.
What say you?
(Pardon typos. I’ve got to run, so please decipher this as best you can if it periodically stops making sense.)
UPDATE: Keith Koffler thinks hubris will get Obama.
Does history repeat itself? I fervently hope not.
Ok, I have grudgingly thrown my support behind Mitt Romney. It’s not that I am excited about Romney as a candidate, but I am genuinely excited about the need to get Obama out of office before he does irreversible damage to this country. But, here is where I see a problem:
In one corner, we have a radical Marxist/Progressive, with little to no understanding of human nature and economics, who is on a tear to totally transform society to fit a bankrupt utopian ideology. In the process, he destroys jobs, strips companies of investment capital, destroys human capital, demonizes success, romanticizes failure, takes command of and promptly ruins entire segments of the economy, undermines the Constitution, blatantly disregards the law and does his very best to bankrupt the country while redefining entire segments of the population as dependent wards of the state.
In the other corner, we have a square-jawed, well-coiffed, highly intelligent, erudite and successful businessman who made his mark in an industry demonized and under constant assault by the President. Formerly a Liberal, he now claims to be a Conservative, although large swaths of the Republican party refuse to accept his supposed conversion to conservatism as sincere. He is a nice, rational man who believes in using soft-spoken discourse to sway people and find common ground. Rather than go on a blistering attack in support of the capitalist, free-enterprise economy, he ends up trying to placate the population with his moderation and management credentials, while fending off internal strife within the Republican Party between those that promote strong advocacy of conservative principles and those seeking an accommodationist “middle way”. In many ways, he remains tone deaf to how others perceive him to be and how they react to his awkward choices of words.
This man of whom I speak was Wendell Willkie. He ran against FDR in 1940 and got creamed by 5 million votes. Now, I realize there are many differences between then and now, but take a look at these photos below and please tell me they don’t suggest a spooky echo of the past.
Yay, there’s another Sarah Palin in American politics.
Mia B. Love – mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah.
Those of you that have read my posts and comments (whether you agree or disagree) know that I am a huge Sarah Palin fan. Frankly, there is a certain breed of all-American women that I hugely admire in this country – those descended from the same character stock that stood side by side with their men, gun in hand, ready to fight to the death for their families. This is the type of person that Sarah Palin typifies: strong, confident, articulate with a clear sense of…common sense.
Now, in Utah, we see that Sarah Palin is hardly alone. In fact, she may have paved the way for a new, assertive voice of American women in politics. Here is Mia Love…watch the video, imagine Liberal-Lefty heads exploding, then read the link (h/t Powerline Blog)
Let a million Palins bloom! We may yet win this country back.
Besides, I think Allen West could use some help.
Thoughts during a busy day:
Idle thought 1: I want to have Mewt Gingney for my candidate. Newt Gingrich is a completely principled conservative with, in his past at least, an unprincipled private life. Mitt Romney is an unprincipled conservative with, from the past to the present, what appears to be a completely principled private life. Separately, each is an imperfect candidate. Combined into one super Republican . . . well, wow! If I have to pick one, though, I’d go for Newt, since I’m voting for president, not husband.
Idle thought 2: My mother is not well, and I was at her bedside entertaining her. In keeping with my belief that laughter is the best medicine, I read to her two of my favorite funny posts (here and here), both of which happen to be written by military types. It occurred to me that, while many in our military have extremely well-developed senses of humor, the same cannot be said for the Occupy crowd. Have any of them said anything funny? (Intentionally funny, I mean, not insanely stupid that makes one feel as guilty as if one laughed at a mentally disabled person for an inadvertent joke.)
Idle thought 3: People often try to figure out what it is about the West that made it zoom ahead of all other cultures. I’d like to suggest a trigger for the economic and intellectual explosion: banking. Being able to transport money easily and, even more importantly, being able to rent it, unleashed enormous creative, exploratory and commercial energy. It’s rather striking, isn’t it, that the Occupy movement is directed at destroying banks. In other words, the attack really isn’t against just banks. The attack is at the core of Western intellectual energy and civilization.
I’ll be the first to admit that banks are royal pains in the butt (I’m still sweating from the effort I had to make to assemble the 200 pages of documents I needed to apply for a re-fi), but I’m more inclined to blame controlling Democrat legislation for this insanity than the banks themselves. Banks should be policed for fraud and corruption, but otherwise, they — and we — function best in an open market.
Idle thought 4: I wasn’t in a rush to judgment regarding the Cain sexual harassment allegations, since such claims were a dime a dozen in the 1990s. As the story develops, though, two thoughts occur: if he did it, better we know now than later; and regardless of whether or not he did it, his and his team’s response to the story is appalling, which should concern us regarding his readiness for any upcoming fight directly against Obama. I like Cain, personally, but I have strong doubts about whether he’s ready for prime time. I’d rather see his flame burn out now than in October 2012.
Anything you guys would like to add to my list of idle thoughts?
The Obama administration is headed for a big showdown with judicial accountability next year. Let’s look at the dance list thus far:
1. The “Fast and Furious” gunwalker scandal, involving potential collusion from the top of our government to funnel automatic weapons and explosives to drug cartels operating within and actively undermining a friendly government. Democrats lied, people died.
2. Solyndra: potential crony capitalism whereby more-than half a billion dollars of public monies disappeared and remain unaccounted for within a private company, actively supported by Obama administration officials, that went bankrupt. Who benefited? Where did that money go?
3. Lightsquared: a privately held company in which the President of the United States was a shareholder, that potentially benefited from tainted government testimony to implement a technology that may have put our defense systems at great risk.
Something tells me there will be other scandals to surface as well.
Put it all together and the Obama Administration may find itself in a maelstrom next year… just before election time.
As even major media outlets are acknowledging, this reeks of crony capitalism and the “Chicago Way”. Unfortunately, I fear that the details will go over the heads of most Americans, many of whom would prefer to avoid the facts altogether and worry about their personal economic lives.
Here’s my dilemma: if real crimes were committed, there has to be accountability. If not, crony capitalism and 3rd world corruption will become the new norm and, as Bookworm pointed out, we will inevitably evolve into a fascist state. However, to have accountability, we would need impeachment hearings to get out the truth.
The atmospherics for this would be terrible.
I suspect that most Americans are still emotionally and mentally exhausted from the Clinton impeachment hearings. Now, in the midst of a depression (let’s not kid ourselves otherwise) and a world spiraling into a new round of economic disasters and global conflicts, the American electorate would again be subjected to the divisive, gut-wrenching politics of impeachment hearings involving America’s first black president and attorney general.
Whether or not the Obama administration skates or we engage in impeachment hearings, I see either scenario as lose-lose-lose: for the Democrats, for the Republicans and for the country. We would end up at each others throats and it could tear our country apart.
Does anyone else see it differently? If so, please enlighten me, because I find this prospect to be so very depressing…either way.
Apparently the passions that burned in voters’ breasts in 2010 have yet to burn themselves out in 2011. In a very Jewish district (Jews! The Democrat stalwarts!) Republican Bob Turner took over Anthony Weiner’s seat (although I hope he disinfects it well before he sits down on it).
This election bodes well for 2012, to which I say Thank God! Strong though she is, I don’t think that America can handle too much more Progressive governance.
Your opinions, reactions, comments, jokes, whatever, on this election and the big one in 2012 are welcome here.
Ace has an excellent post up today about the way in which the media invariably frames Democratic and Republican victories: when Democrats win, Americans are intelligently embracing the Democrat agenda; when Republicans win, Americans are acting irrationally, operating from fear, or failing to understand the virtues of the Democrat agenda. As Ace says:
I’d be curious to ask a media type — put Anderson Cooper on the spot, say — if he could name a single election in which Republicans won in which he’d say the public embraced Republican policies, and weren’t simply reacting emotionally to a “flawed Democratic candidate” (Kerry, Gore) or a “poor messaging campaign” (the 2010 midterms) or having “a temper tantrum” (the 1994 Republican capture of Congress).
I don’t think they’d confess that even with Reagan, who is long dead and therefore safe for the Democrats to praise. But the media would say the public was simply reacting to the poor economic and foreign policy record of Jimmy Carter, rather than affirmatively choosing the Reaganite policy prescriptions.
Think about it: in Media Land, it is impossible for a Republican victory to be the product of a principled ideological stand. Republicans never win. It’s simply that, sometimes, Democrats lose. The default setting in Media Land is a Democrat victory.
I actually know a lot about what I call “negative decision making,” since it’s how I ended up becoming a lawyer. Growing up, I always knew that I was going to get a PhD in history. My tenure at Berkeley changed that certainty, for several reasons. First, with a few rare exceptions, the history professors at Berkeley were so dreadful, I simply couldn’t see any virtue in making a history professorship a career goal. Second, having hated my years at Berkeley, the thought of seven more years in academia left me cold. Third, in my senior year at Berkeley, rumor had it that there were only four openings for college level history professors in the entire United States. Paying to study for seven more years, merely so I could end up unemployed, seemed like a pretty poor bargain to me. I decided then and there to keep history as my hobby (which I’ve done, with pleasure), and cast about for something else to do with my life.
This is where I began the negative decision making. Having no idea what to do with myself, since the loss of my lifelong dream created a large vacuum in my head, I promptly entered into a passive-aggressive decision-making strategy. I signed up for a Stanley Kaplan LSAT course. Understand, though, that while this seems like an affirmative act, I wasn’t actually planning at that time to take the LSAT. My thinking, instead, went along these lines: “If I enjoy the LSAT class, maybe I’ll take the test.”
As it happened, I enjoyed the Kaplan class a great deal, as I learned all sorts of interesting test-taking techniques. So, I signed up for the LSAT itself. I didn’t have any plans for law school. Instead, I said to myself, “I’ll take the LSAT test and, maybe, if I do well, I’ll apply to law school.”
Having learned all those cool techniques at Stanley Kaplan, I did very well on my LSATs. By this time, I was well along the law path, despite the fact that I hadn’t yet decided I wanted to go to law school or be a lawyer.
As you can guess, after the LSATs, my next step was, “I guess I’ll apply to law school. If I get in, maybe I’ll go.” I ended up getting accepted to several law schools, most of which I couldn’t afford. Fortunately, I had the good sense to choose The University of Texas at Austin, which I could afford, and which was a delightful place to be a law student.
I spent the next three years partying, studying, and promising myself that, if I graduated, I’d think about getting a job as a lawyer. By this time, of course, the career tide was inexorable. I eventually spent the first four years after my graduation working, quite unhappily, for a couple of prestigious law firms. Only when I’d reach the nadir of professional misery did I finally take an affirmative stance: I went into business for myself. No money, but I’d finally found my way and worked very happily for more two decades.
The point behind my long autobiographical narrative is that I really understand passive, negative decision-making — and I can say with some assurance that this is not what voters routinely do. Certainly there is a craving for something new (or, more accurately, a desire to escape from the old) every four years, and even more strongly every eight years. For the most part, though, voters are actively heading towards something. Having tried Carter-esque malaise and high taxes, they affirmatively seek out Reagan joie de vivre and lower taxes. Eight years of Clintonesque corruption resulted, not a in a running away from Clinton, but in a running towards the wholesome George Bush. In 2010, voters weren’t just repulsed by the Democrat spending spree, they were actively seeking politicians who promised to close the checkbook and hide the pen.
My hope — although the American voters have been erratic of late — is that, in 2012, voters, having tired of Obama’s and the Democrats’ profligacy, whining, national security weakness, etc., will not only reject them, but will embrace strong Republican/conservative candidates. This will not be passive. Passive behavior would see voters sitting out the election entirely or throwing away votes on useless third party candidates. 2012 will be active: having learned a very painful lesson since 2006, when the Democrats took over Congress, voters will be ready to embrace, enthusiastically and intelligently, the Republican alternative. (And don’t tell me this is a pipe dream. I need my dreams.)
We’ve skirted this topic before in Bookworm Room, but never really plunged into it: If you could plan the GOP’s 2012 campaign against Obama, what themes and visuals would you bring into it? This assumes you have a big war chest and carte blanche regarding the many embarrassing and critical things you can bring up about The One. The only restriction is that you cannot attack the man’s person or family, only his actions and policies. (Well, OK, Michelle’s hi-calorie scarf fests are fair game.)
- What would be a great slogan (or series of slogans) that quickly defines the approach the GOP should take to unseating Obama?
- What groups or voting blocs should the GOP especially aim at, and what would be the specific message(s) directed at them?
- What are some photos or videos that you would fold into the campaign?
- How much humor would you inject, and what would be some examples of that humor?
- What would be your preferred media? TV? Newspapers? Radio? Social networks? (Speaking of social networking, how would you use Twitter and Facebook to dismantle the Cult of Obama?)
- A related question: How would you handle the expected refusal of the mainstream media to accommodate some—or even many—of your ads? How would you get around them?
It may be, given the range of good minds here, that we could come up with some ideas worth passing on to the GOP. And just to hedge our bets, given the GOP’s almost reflexive cowardice, we could also pass them on to the Tea Party and conservative 527s.
Get a room full of conservatives together, and one of the things that they’ll talk about is potential Republican candidates. I can tell you that, last night, many were enthused about the thought of Rick Perry jumping in. Others dreamed of a Jeb Bush candidacy. The current “frontrunners” — Mitt, Mitch, Tim, etc. — did not inspire much enthusiasm. Interestingly, there was a lot of hostility to Daniels, who we mostly seemed to view as weak in his principles and suspect in his personality.
UPDATE: Erick Erickson says Perry’s really, truly, really, absolutely not running. Bummer. Here’s the deal: I’m not thrilled about Mitch Daniels, but if he’s the candidate, I’d vote for him as opposed to Obama. I’d vote for Homer Simpson as opposed to Obama.
Since I’m in California, which has always been a late primary state, and since California is now switching to open primaries anyway, it’s always hard for me to get very excited about primaries. The fact is that I never feel I really have any say in them, since the front runners are already decided by the time the primaries get here. I may like or dislike potential candidates, but I observe them rather passively, at least until the race’s outlines start to tighten up.
The current crop of candidates hasn’t given me much of a buzz. I’ve always liked Romney’s intelligence and competence, but RomneyCare means I wouldn’t bet on him to win. His robotic talking style doesn’t help either. Ron Paul’s domestic libertarianism is becoming more attractive to many, but his foreign policy stands are not going to be hawkish enough for a people feeling besieged. Mitch Daniels is playing Hamlet (an arrogant Hamlet, but Hamlet nevertheless), which is not endearing. I haven’t been following him closely enough to know whether I like his policies or not. Tim Pawlenty — well, I don’t know. He’s awfully likeable, and pretty solidly conservative, but I don’t know if he has what it takes in a telegenic age. But again, I’m being very vague right now, because I’m still not paying that much attention. Newt? No. I can’t put my finger on it but, even aside from all the baggage, he simply doesn’t work for me. Chris Christie? I like him. I like him a lot. I think he’s an extraordinary speaker, and he’s shown that he’s a Happy Warrior with great political courage. I’m worried, though, about the stories indicating ties to Islamists. I’d like to see that develop before I embrace him as a candidate. Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio? Love ‘em, but I truly don’t see them running.
And then there’s Herman Cain. Up until about half an hour ago, I didn’t know too much about him, other than that he’s got a business background, solid conservative chops and a witty speaking style. A half hour ago, though, I read Robert Costa’s Introducing Herman Cain, over at National Review. An article like that makes you sit up and go “Wow!” The man’s values and life history — his drive, his solid (as opposed to Marxist) education, his political consistency, etc. — are all very appealing.
I know that people are going to point to his outsider status — no political office, ever — as a problem, but his executive experience strikes me as equally valuable to what Obama brought to the White House. As you may recall, Obama brought a failed social activist history (the dismal Annenberg Challenge), a part-time teaching job, and some senatorial experience that saw him voting present a whole lot of the time. If Cain has the wisdom to surround himself with experienced political operatives, I’m sure he can do every bit as well compared to Obama as an executive, and probably much better.
I’m not jumping on the Cain bandwagon. I’m just looking at the Cain bandwagon.
Since many of you have already started studying the potential GOP candidates much more closely than I have. I’d really like your opinions about all of the potential conservative candidate (whether they’re touted as GOP candidates or Third Party candidates). In fact, if your opinion has a lot of substantive information, both facts and your own opinions, I’ll probably elevate it to a post at Bookworm Room. I may be passive out here in California, but I know a lot of you are in states where it matters.
UPDATE: Can you believe that I forgot Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann? The fact is that, while I admire both, even in a new media age I don’t see either surviving the unleashed savagery of the old media. Independent voters will be so swamped with vicious lies that it will leave them with biases at a subliminal level. I just don’t see either a Palin or a Bachmann candidacy working.
Also, I forgot to ask for you opinion about running mates. For example, I see Cain as a strong domestic leader, but not a strong foreign policy guy. Would it work to pair him with John Bolton or Gen’l Petraeus?
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
Jack Davis put himself on the ballot in the New York-26 special election as the Tea Party election. If you are in that district, please beware the he is a fraud. He is either trying to capitalize on Tea Party popularity, or he is an imposter deliberately trying to destroy the Tea Party brand. As this post explains, every one of his stands is antithetical to what the Tea Party stands for. He is a spoiler. Ignore him.
The GOP has recognized that, as much as anything, the next election starts on the new media. In order to get House GOP members on board with new media, they’ve instituted a contest by which GOP representatives compete for the most YouTube links, twitter friends, etc. In other words, to win the contest, GOP reps have to get their assistants, employees, friends and followers focused on new media.
My friend Lorie Byrd has worked with Renee Ellmers since the very beginning, so I’m going to ask to check out Renee’s YouTube page. But really, check out any Rep you want. The whole point is to facilitate an exciting new media that might get the Grand Old Party back into power.
Background: I live in a building inhabited by a lot of seniors. When they moved in they were younger mid 50′s Democrats. Now, they’re aging Democrats and fear and wincing registers across their faces as if they were wearing — not a yellow Star of David, but something worse, much worse. They’re suffering the humiliation of wearing a fading blue D encased in a circle, which best describes their voting habits.
For most of their lives, they’ve been encased in their own little blue circles, carefully shielded from conservatives. I don’t need shields. Some months ago, when I saw a notice posted in the mail room that a ‘discussion’ group would be forming to talk about local, topical, political headlines and concerns, I decided I would try it out for size. At that time, the give and take was, to use the term, “fair and balanced.” The moderator moderated and even was more than happy to share the direction and scope of the discussions with my input.
I was therefore looking forward to the first post election gathering (we’re about 15-25 people who meet twice a month) as a time to sit, listen and, yes, gloat a little to myself. Sadly, gloating was impossible when the moderator began by reading pure, unadulterated drivel from a “left wing rag.” That just got me mad. When I suggested that it was inappropriate, I was firmly told “don’t dominate the discussion.” Mr. Moderator went off the deep end. (And NO, I did not dignify his reaction with a comment at the time, but waited until the meeting ended and announced to friends of mine and within ear shot of Mr. Moderator’s wife just how incredibly rude and disgusting his behavior was.)
Not only did the Moderator hijack the discussion, which made me angry, I simply didn’t have the heart to gloat at the political “wake,” or in this case, since they were all Jews, a “shiva.” The most appropriate response to the group would have been to bring along a basket full of those black buttons mourners wear. They were beside themselves, blaming the loss on black voters, who did not turn out for Joe Sestak in Philadelphia, etc., etc. How quaint, how predictable. They’re beyond consolation that Pennsylvania went Republican.
Have your ‘blue’ friends and co-workers been exhibiting more/less passionate outbreaks of aggressive behaviors? Are they in need of a crisis management team? Are they stooped over, head held low staring at the tops of their shoes? And do you, like me, have the mildly compassionate urge to hide your gloating and send them a get well and get over it card.
[Bookworm here: To which I'll add that, though we are too good to gloat publicly, I hope that we never become so compassionate in the face of their despair that we're willing to abandon our principles just to make these weenies happy. Thanks for the lovely post, Sadie.]
Democrats are wondering how the pendulum could have swung so quickly in two years. The premise underlying this wonderment is wrong. They perceived a pendulum swing to the Left, only because they managed to run an election that hid from the voters the fact that they were electing an exceptionally left leaning government. As Rich Lowry says,
Just as Obama was taking office, public opinion was shifting to the right. In July of 2009, Gallup found that by a two-to-one margin people said they’d become more conservative in recent years. Gallup noted that “the results are conspicuously incongruous with the results of the 2008 elections.”
In that regard, Gallup’s remark about “incongruity” is just as wrong as the Democrat befuddlement now. You see, Americans never elected the liberal agenda, because it was never sold to them. What was sold to them was a beautiful black man who allegedly communicated well. They liked that. It was the feel good election, where they’d paint magical unicorns dancing across receding waters, all backed by delicately cloud-dappled skies.
The Dems and the media, working together, made damn sure that Americans had no idea what the actual Obama/Dem agenda entailed. Oh, the goals were good — universal harmony, Gan Eden nature, and the promise that all of our children would be above average — but, as with sausage, the voters never got a look see at the insides of these promises.
A few Cassandras, mostly bloggers, hollered out “Ayers,” “Wright,” “ACORN,” etc., but, in true Cassandra fashion, they were roundly and soundly ignored.
This time around, Americans have elected an agenda. I know it’s popular to say that the election was a repudiation of Democrats, but that’s too vague. It wasn’t a vote that said, “we have no idea what we don’t like, but we don’t like it.” (That would be the mirror image of the 2008 election, which had voters saying, “we have no idea what you’re selling, but we’re buying”). In this case, Republicans ran on an explicit anti-Obama platform. No dancing unicorns here. It was strictly along the lines of “We will repeal healthcare; we will strengthen our national security; we will bring federal spending under control; we will lower taxes.”
The Republicans said what they would do, and the electorate will expect them to do it. While people had no idea what they were voting for in 2008, they have a very good idea what they voted against in 2010. All of which is to say that the coming two years are not a time for compromise on the fundamental promises Republican candidates made to the American people. Bringing federal spending half under control is just as bad as not bringing it under control. Weakening the military only half as much as Bawny Fwank originally planned still means a military too weak to defend a nation under siege.
One thing I hope will make the Republicans’ task easier is that I think that, finally, Republicans will no longer be cowed by PC epithets. In the years leading up to this election, you could stop Republicans in their tracks by accusing them of engaging in legislation that would offend the victim group. With the true victims of Obama’s policies being all Americans, those disabling insults should be defanged forever.
Bob Etheridge is demanding a recount against Renee Elmer. Apparently he understood what I said yesterday, which is that a candidate shouldn’t concede before the last vote is counted. He seems to think that he shouldn’t concede even long after the last vote is counted. But still, a recount is his right.
Recounts, though, mean election lawyers, and election lawyers mean big expenses. Renee Ellmers ran a lean, mean campaign from the start. She was never a big money candidate. (No Whitmaning here.) She therefore needs to have a refill on her war chest to make sure that she’s properly represented for this post-election recount. If you still have a few pennies left over after this monumental campaign season, can you spare some for Renee? Thank you.
I feel as if I should say something profound, but I don’t really have that much that is profound to say. I do have a few observations, and then I’ll start compiling a running list of good post-election posts (so check back often):
I’ll repeat what I said yesterday: it irks me when elections are called before the vast majority of votes are counted. Projections are not votes. If my vote is not counted because a projection shuts down the process, I’ve effectively been disenfranchised. That’s just wrong. (And as an extreme example, remember that early returns from Phillie had Joe Sestak winning by a mile. It was only when all votes were counted that it was clear that Toomey won. And a big yay for that, by the way.)
California gave the governorship and the Senate to Boxer. Whitman was an awful candidate, so that’s kind of less surprising in a Democratic state. Fiorina, though? I don’t get it. I liked her and her positions. I think her problem was that she had quite possibly the worst ads in political history, which is really amazing, considering the kind of material she had to work with in Boxer. If you’re going to run that lousy a campaign against such an easy target, I guess you deserve to lose.
On the other hand, since it’s likely that California is going down in flames anyway, especially since California voters turned down Prop. 23, which will allow the economically disastrous Prop. 32 to go forward, better that it goes down under Democrat leadership, which brought it to this point anyway, than under Republican. (And yes, I know that Ah-nold is theoretically a Republican, but he’s such a RINO, the R after his name looks more like a typo than an intentional political designation.)
A lot of conservatives are crowing about Senatorial losses in Nevada, Delaware and, possibly, Alaska as proof that the Tea Party is a failure. I beg to differ. The House races show that the Tea Party is a wild success. The other races show some different lessons: First, with fewer seats up for grabs in the Senate, there was simply less margin for error. With tons of House seats available, voters could weed out the more wacky Tea Party candidates and still elect Tea Party affiliated candidates in droves. In the Senate, despite doing proportionately better than the Dems, there simply wasn’t enough margin to cross the BIG finish line and take over the Senate.
Second, the fact that there were fewer Senate races, and that Senate races are more high profile, meant that the media focused on them with ferocity. As far as the media was concerned, it was “2008 and Palin” all over again when it came to the Nevada and Delaware races. Voters are slowly wising up to what the media is doing, but if you’re told relentlessly by every local and national outlet that the Republican candidate is a freak, and that the Democrat candidate is a genius, that’s going to affect you, even if only subconsciously. I know that, when I’m in the grocery store, old jingles still float into my mind as I debate which brand of hot dogs to buy. It’s hard to resist those subliminal messages, unless you make a hard effort.
Ultimately, the Tea Party did spectacularly well on its first political outing. If it learns from both its failures and successes, it will indeed mark a signal change in American politics.
Finally, I can’t resist sharing with you what my liberal friend said: “Put this day on the calendar. I predict that it will mark the beginning of America’s destruction and the rise of fascism.” My friend is steadily resistant to the notion that fascism, and all other dangerous -isms have one thing in common: Big government.
And now for a list of interesting posts, which I’ll update throughout the day:
Bruce Kesler on the meanings to be divined from the California results.
Big Lizards has some thoughts on California’s outlier status too.
Thomas Lifson notes that California Dreaming, sadly, is becoming a reality — a nightmarish reality.
You can’t go wrong reading Jennifer Rubin’s recap.
Erick Erickson thinks that, even if the outcome wasn’t as good as the most optimistic predictions, it was still a tsunami.
And here’s a link to my own blog: Danny Lemieux explains why he’s optimistic. I feel much better after reading his well-reasoned post.
Fred Barnes has a solid rundown of the Republican landslide. It’s a reminder that the party of “old white men” elected blacks, east Asians, Hispanics, and lots and lots of women, all bound together by two significant common denominators: their love for this country and their believe in individual freedom.
Rosslyn Smith notes a huge trend: State houses have gone Republican (except in California, of course). Considering that states that have Republican governance do better economically, this shows great wisdom on the part of many American voters (except in California, of course).
Victor Davis Hanson helps understand Obama speak, with a funny lexicon.
On its home page today, the New York Times has a very cool, and quite honest, assessment of what happened yesterday, in the form of a bunch of graphics.
An observation based on reviewing the NYT’s graphics: Despite a few aberrant states, the message is clear — conservatism was an overwhelming national trend. Our only hope now is that the conservatives don’t blow it. The biggest thing will be if their years in the wilderness, and especially the Obama experience, have taught them not to drop and pander instantly when their political opponents start accusing them of non-PC behavior (i.e., racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.). That is, those words could always stop conservatives in their tracks. Maybe they’ve now lost their magical power.
Apropos my rant about the fact that the counting should stop only when there are so few ballots left that they cannot affect the outcome, please recall that those ballots most frequently ignored come from overseas troops — the ones willing to fight and die so that the rest of us can vote.
I liked Michael Steele very much when I first became aware of him, and was terribly disappointed by his missteps as RNC chairman. Jay Nordlinger suggests that his performance last night indicates that he may finally have found his footing. I hope that’s true. Like the little girl in the poem, When he’s good, he’s very, very good; and when he’s bad he’s horrid.
If you want an insight into all the wrong-headed things Obama piled into his first post-election interview, read Peter Wehner. I’m not surprised, of course. I’ve been predicting since the Year 0 in the Obama administration that this narcissist will find it impossible to concede that he had something to do with his regime’s failure.
American Digest is getting lots of hits for this list, and deservedly so. It surely explains what’s happening in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, etc.
UPDATE: And if you want something that will make you laugh, this will. I need to laugh. I’m bummed, although not surprised, about California.
UPDATE II: SGT Dave said in a comment that the call for Boxer and Brown was made with only 8% of votes counted (which assertion made sense, ’cause the call came in practically minutes after the polls closed). That really gets my goat. No one should ever concede until the last vote is counted. Statistical projections are not votes.
Last I heard, it appears that Renee Elmers won against the execrable Bob Etheridge, but he isn’t yet conceding. Although it galls me to say it, I think he’s right. Although I sincerely hope he loses, it’s not over ’til all the votes are counted.