January 23, 2007

A New Kind Of Campaign - In Your Face

When I was a teenager, Presidential campaigns were the stuff of C-SPAN watchers and other political geeks. For 2008, the campaign will be a regular topic on the Internet every day with even the most mundane news stories for the next two years. It will likely drive even casual followers of politics buggy.

Look at how many candidates have already thrown the fishing nets out into the waters to try and suck up as much in campaign funds as they can.

Can people deal with this? I wonder. How much of the early effort will translate into actual voting support? Probably very little. Who's really paying attention? And will voters become numb to it by the time Election Day rolls around?

At this stage of the game, it's all about the Benjamins. The next twelve months will determine who is still in, and who it history.

How long will it be until we start seeing campaigns officially begin within the previous election cycle?

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January 08, 2007

Who's Giving To Whom?

The following eight "high-profile" donors are listed as giving to various 2008 Presidential candidates (of both parties). The recipients are: John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Tom Vilsack, Hillary Clinton, Wesley Clark, Barrack Obama, John Kerry and Joseph Biden.

Just for shits 'n giggles, guess who each of these donor's candidate of choice is (answers and link below the fold).

1.) Oliver Stone
2.) Cher
3.) Dennis Hopper
4.) Bill Gates
5.) Kris Kristofferson
6.) Kelsey Grammer
7.) Norman Lear
8.) Candice Bergen

Ready?

Click "read more" to see how you did... more...

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January 03, 2007

"Blog Wars" And The Improbable Candidacy Of Ned Lamont

A week or so ago, I made reference to a one-hour documentary called “Blog Wars” that was to be featured on the Sundance Channel. I had DVR’d it and finally got around to watching it.

Here’s my review.
more...

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Let The Stalemate Begin

The President wrote a rare Op-Ed in the WSJ this morning, extending a hand of cooperation to the new Congress. Bipartisanship? I think he should prepare for that hand to be ceremoniously slapped back. The Left will accept nothing less from their party leaders.

One line in the column warmed my heart in particular:

The majority party in Congress gets to pass the bills it wants. The minority party, especially where the margins are close, has a strong say in the form bills take. And the Constitution leaves it to the president to use his judgment whether they should be signed into law.
It seems he got the memo. He may be a lame-duck, but the President clearly recognizes his responsibility to limit the amount of damage that the Democrats' razor-thin majority can do at this critical time of our country's history.

Capt. Ed, however, is not so sure it will be all that necessary.

He will probably get a lot more practice at vetoing legislation over the next two years now that he has no Republican majority to protect. This may not make much difference to the Democrats, who will probably have a very difficult time passing any kind of legislation, thanks to the weakness and character of their majority. They only can stand to shed a handful of votes on any bill, and the Blue Dogs outweigh that margin by at least a factor of two. Party unanimity will only last a short time; freshmen from formerly Republican districts will not risk their re-election chances by going the full Pelosi. If they do, the two-seat Democratic majority in the Senate will probably not be sufficient to push the bills through any kind of concerted Republican effort to stop them. Bush may not have an opportunity to sign or veto much, outside of normal appropriations bills.

The Democrats know this, and they will concentrate their efforts elsewhere -- such as investigations and House rules changes, where their power runs free of the executive. I suspect we will see a return of the Do-Nothings in terms of legislation, but a long, tiresome slog of probes into every nook and cranny of the White House in order to dig up any dirt that can be used in 2008 on the GOP.

So, starting tomorrow, expect gridlock - and politics as usual.

Hey, it could be a lot worse.

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December 29, 2006

Peggy's Pearls Of Wisdom

On Ford's pardoning of Nixon:

"[H]e threw himself on a grenade to protect the country from shame, from going too far. It was an act of deep political courage, and it was shocking. Almost everyone in the country hated it, including me. But Ford was right. Richard Nixon had been ruined, forced to resign, run out of town on a rail. There was nothing to be gained--nothing--by his being broken on the dock. What was then the new left would never forgive Ford. They should thank him on their knees that he deprived history of proof that what they called their idealism was not untinged by sadism."
Amazing how thirty years of history can help you see the bigger picture.

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December 12, 2006

The Political Polarization Of America

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the many conditions that have created the highly partisan environment that we live in today. Ever since the end of Ronald Reagan's term, it seems that there has been a constant ratcheting up of negativity between the two opposing sides. Yes, politics has always been a contentious subject and of course you can find plenty of examples throughout American history to support an argument that "it's always been this way". But I disagree.

When the next Presidential election arrives, the U.S. will have spent the previous twenty years with an occupant of the Oval Office with either the name Bush or Clinton. Many point to the first term of the elder Bush as about the time that things started to get really nasty. And I tend to agree. But I don't agree that blame lies with Bush 41, Clinton or Bush 43. During this time, a lot of changes have been taking place in the arena of politics. more...

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November 22, 2006

Stress Management For The Holidays

Last year, on the day before Thanksgiving, I posted some advice for those folks who have to face a holiday feast among the politically diverse. What follows is a reprint of that post (with a post-election update):

The Elephant In The Room
November 23, 2005

Or "Being Surrounded By Donkeys On Thanksgiving".

Many of us who are Conservatives and/or Republicans and live in "Blue States" will be going to visit relatives tomorrow. And many of us will come into contact with relatives who are Liberals and/or Democrats openly hostile to President Bush, the war or the GOP in general. more...

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November 10, 2006

Role Reversal

Now is the time for Shadenfreude for the Democrats.

They fought hard, they won. They've earned it. In fact, it really doesn't bother me at all. Because I fully expect it to last for a while. The only segment of gloating that will annoy me is Hollywood, because they will do everything they can to take credit for Tuesday. It's what they do. Because in the little bubbles that they live in, it's all about them.

But after the champagne bottles are empty and the confetti is swept up, Democrats need to face some reality. Charles Krauthammer explains:

This is not realignment. As has been the case for decades, American politics continues to be fought between the 40-yard lines. The Europeans fight goal line to goal line, from socialist left to the ultranationalist right. On the American political spectrum, these extremes are negligible. American elections are fought on much narrower ideological grounds. In this election, the Democrats carried the ball from their own 45-yard line to the Republican 45-yard line.

The fact that the Democrats crossed midfield does not make this election a great anti-conservative swing. Republican losses included a massacre of moderate Republicans in the Northeast and Midwest. And Democratic gains included the addition of many conservative Democrats, brilliantly recruited by Rep. Rahm Emanuel with classic Clintonian triangulation. Hence Heath Shuler of North Carolina, anti-abortion, pro-gun, anti-tax — and now a Democratic congressman.

The result is that both parties have moved to the right. The Republicans have shed the last vestiges of their centrist past, the Rockefeller Republican. And the Democrats have widened their tent to bring in a new crop of blue-dog conservatives.

That's right. They've been given an opportunity to do something that the GOP had been able to do for a while, but ultimately failed to maintain: form a coalition.

This isn't a point of view held only by Conservatives. MSNBC concurs:

The exit polling data indicates that much of their election edge came from independents and swing voters who could very well swing back again if they’re disappointed by Democratic policies.
The way they do this is to comprehend what it means to be a big tent: agreeing that differing opinions are welcome and respected. Even Eleanor Clift sees the weakness of this majority:
This is not a majority made from cookie-cutter liberals. These are men and women winning in districts that were drawn for Republicans. Some are pro-life, some pro-gun, some sound so Republican they might be in the other party if it weren’t for President Bush and the Iraq war. It will take all of Pelosi’s skills as a manager and disciplinarian to forge a coalition out of these philosophical disparities.
But the Angry Left is basking in the glow of victory and they're feeling their oats. You would think that winning would have a cathartic effect on their pent up rage, but there are many examples of how this anger seems to have come out in full force. Jonah Goldberg at NRO got some lovely emails this morning:
A few examples of the more tasteful and mature ones (seriously):

Bush should be dragged out of the White House by the ear and horsewhipped on the South Lawn. We could see if he’s take a little Texas justice. Of course, the voters did that, figuratively, on Tuesday.

And:

This might work, if Georgie wasn't a big pussy. Just like you, Limbaugh and Hannity. All giant pussies who would run away from a real fight in a second but love to spew the tough talk. Grow up all ready and be a real man. You and Georgie need to quit talking tough and playing dress-up.

Or:

Alright Rambo. That was some funny stuff. You're a real man. If you need someone to show you how to shoot that gun....What a maroon.....

Or:

You have hit on something very important, crucial in fact to the current political climate, but well beyond the understanding of the MSM: President Bush is the definition of an "uninitiated male."

What you say is absolutely correct: He needed to kill that bear and throw the pelt not at Helen Thomas but at the feet of his own father. He needed to do it at age 12 or 13.

If you want to see this in action go to any schoolyard and find the bully. He will be the one who mistakes the infliction of pain with the possession of power.

Instead (like millions of other guys) President Bush attempted to initiate himself into manhood by coasting through college drunk and f*****g off. His one shot to have manhood initiated upon him was undone when he went AWOL. With no real sense of masculinity other than one created by pop culture and exploited by his advisors, President Bush became a fake cowboy, even taking the charade all the way to Texas. (The fake cowboy thing is a favorite of uninitiated men; George Allen has the same problem, and for the same reasons: bigshot daddy who didnt help junior kill the bear and insist he eat the heart).

Surounded by people who reinforced this hollow simulation of manhood for their own purposes, President Bush has been permitted to act out of an equally hollow sense of himself. Hence the eternal smirk, the condescension, the dramatic pronouncements that ring so empty ("the evil-doers," "I'm the decider," etc.) True men — not macho cliches — who by force of will or by sheer accident have managed to kill some kind of bear or another, rarely if ever have to speak in such bombastic terms. Young men who are never initiated into Manhood always struggle with an unbalanced relationship to society and to themselves. Too often the result is hobbled careers, toxic relationships, and unfulfilled expectations. And if an uninitiated man is really unlucky, he gets US stuck in Iraq.

Have a nice day.

Nice, huh? Quotes like these are not indicative of the kind of maturity that this country needs.

Democrats have said that problems need to be fixed. Fair enough. But their first order of business is fix their problem - a schism between two factions. One of these factions thinks the quotes listed above are standard for political discourse and the other recognizes how this bile turns off the segment of the electorate who holds the cards - the independents. I suppose you could describe this current conflict as...oh, I don't know...perhaps quagmire is a pretty appropriate term.

I've watched this internal battle with disappointment for some time. And frankly, I find it hard to believe that the former will not dominate the latter. My expectation was that the Democrats of today would ultimately implode and from its ashes a new party would rise - one that would put the national interest over partisan politics. While the Democrats were not in control, this struggle could take place without endangering the safety of our citizens. Now that they are in control, I'm in the strange position of hoping - for the country's sake - that this implosion doesn't happen.

Believe me if Democrats could show some moderation and exercise some real leadership I'd be the first one to give them the credit and congratulate them.

It's easy to be on the outside, lobbing criticism. It's easy to find fault. It's easy to Monday-morning quarterback.

What's difficult is governing. What's difficult is supporting and defending policies that may not be popular.

Now Democrats have the difficult tasks.

And Republicans have the easy ones, as do I.

It's a role reversal.

This blog has never had any mission statement (go ahead and search the archives). But one of my goals has been to emphasize that while Republicans aren't perfect, the Democrats are not the solution. The electorate, however, was willing to give the Democrats their shot. As a patriotic American, I'd love for them to prove me wrong.

I'm not holding my breath.

Now that the landscape has changed, I assume my new role with relish.

UPDATE:
It would seem that the bloodletting has already begun.

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October 10, 2006

Quotes That Need To Be Made Into Campaign Ads

"The United States does not need a multi-billion-dollar national missile defense against the possibility of a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile."
- "would-be House Speaker" Nancy Pelosi,
April 12, 2003
Considering this weekend's developments in North Korea, every voter needs to think about this very carefully.

h/t: Hugh Hewitt

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October 06, 2006

Moving On

When Matt Drudge stops posting headlines in a red 36-point font, you can pretty much guess that a story is losing its juice.

No, it's not completely over, yet. But the frenzy that is Foleymania seems to have worn out even the MSM. What the longer-term impact will be on Nov. 7th is anyone's guess. But I have a feeling it won't be as significant as most people thought it would be back at the beginning of the week.

The key here is that the GOP leadership in the House has closed ranks behind Hastert. If they hadn't, then the new story sucking all of the media oxygen would have been the turmoil they were in - the finger-pointing, the second-guessing, the back-stabbing, leaked anonymous comments, etc. Once again, Republican candidates would have been knocked off message and the MSM would have been framing the debate on behalf of their Dem buddies.

I'm getting the sense that most people - those who even know the whole story - have gotten to the point where they are just sick of hearing about it.

I actually hope Democrats keep trying to make this an issue. Because it'll come across as petty and underscore yet again to undecided voters that they offer absolutely nothing beyond "we're not them".

With five weeks to go - a long time in politics - the GOP's next step is to get back to the three issues that drive their base: fighting terrorism, protecting tax cuts from expiring and appointing judges.

And, oh by the way, if they don't than you could be looking at this: more...

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October 05, 2006

Tradesports...WTF Is Up With That Anyway?

Seriously. It seems that every time I go to a blog these days they're quoting the latest "tradesports.com" rating of a particular race.

Excuse me. But what do these guys know about politics?

I mean, one way or the other, why would you rely on what price a particular politician is ranked at? They're no better than day traders at predicting Jack squat. What sells is based on what a large selection of schmucks interprets the way the political winds are shifting on any given day. Jesus, some people will bet on ANYTHING!

Just because a bunch of lemmings have a "gut" feeling about a particular match-up that makes them a seasoned expert? WTF?

Yeah, I know. People are putting money on this crap so they must be doing their research, right?

How about the dumbass who bet it all back in July that oil prices would hit $100 a barrel. He's looking like a smacked ass right about now.

Take my advice. Whatever their rankings...ignore this silliness.

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Wha-Wha-Whaaat?

Drudge bombshell on Foley mess: Page's IMs a "prank gone awry".

The American Thinker:

Present state of play—the Dems and CREW are implicated; ABC’s Brian Ross has his own Rathergate, the FBI and Ethics Committee are going to find out which Dems were involved and CREW will probably lose their tax exempt status. The Dems have shown themselves to be perfectly willing to use homophobia to win when they have no saleable platform or issues; the Republican base is charged up and once again Soros turned his gold into Dem dross.
The dam has burst!

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Threads Of Foley Plot Beginning To Unravel

From what I'm reading, there'll be a number of twists and turns in the Mark Foley story today. I'm going to hang back and watch.

Most informative posts as of this morning from:
Macsmind

GatewayPundit

A.J. Strata

Wizbang Blog

Suffice to say, Democrats are getting nervous.

More to come...

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September 13, 2006

Novak Slams Armitage As "Deceptive"

Drudge is breaking information included in Robert Novak's upcoming column that finally sets the record straight about Richard Armitage. In short, the Novak asserts that the former Assistant Secretary of State is not telling the whole truth about his role in the Plame affair.

Novak, attempting to set the reocrd straight writes: "First, Armitage did not, as he now indicates, merely pass on something he had heard and that he 'thought' might be so. Rather, he identified to me the CIA division where Mrs. Wilson worked, and said flatly that she recommended the mission to Niger by her husband, former Amb. Joseph Wilson. Second, Armitage did not slip me this information as idle chitchat, as he now suggests. He made clear he considered it especially suited for my column."

Novak slams Armitage for holding back all this time.

What say you, Mr. Fitzgerald?

UPDATE: 3:50PM
Novak's full column is up at the Chicago Sun-Times' website.

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September 08, 2006

The Campaign Begins

Sixty days from now, I and millions of other Americans will go to the polls. We here in CT have a very high-profile Senate race.

I am an ex-Democrat and have been for at least eight years. As such, I (along with about two thirds of registered - and living - voters in CT) did not cast a ballot last month in the Democrat primary. Nor should I have been able to. I strongly disagree with the "open primary" concept.

But the results of that primary election (the rejection of Joe Lieberman by some 10,000 votes) do not reflect the "will of the voters" as Ned Lamont's supporters like to claim. They reflect the vote of registered Democrats (living and dead). Lieberman now runs as an independent. Last time I checked the U.S. Constitution I wasn't able to find any references to political parties.

Joe Lieberman has a right to run as an independent. And he will win or lose based on the will of ALL or CT's registered voters on November 7th. Ned Lamont's supporters should welcome this opportunity if they are so confident in their candidate.

Personally, I believe that Joe will prevail in sixty days. Polls indicate that his approval rating in excess of 60% will translate to a fourth term in the Senate. That being said, you can't take anything for granted in politics. The opposition is determined and relentless. They will do or say anything to win. Their efforts are fueled by organizations like MoveOn.org and the resources that pour into the State on Lamont's behalf come by and large from outside the State.

I could easily just hang back and watch with amusement as the Democrat party engages in intra-party bickering and tears itself to shreds. No matter what, Republicans will NOT pick up this seat. When your opponents fight amongst themselves, it's always best not to interfere.

But I live in CT and this race does mean something to me. I already have to live with the fact that I have one major asshat representing me in the U.S. Senate.

I disagree with Joe Lieberman on most of the votes he casts and almost all of the positions he supports. But I have always voted for Joe regardless of my party affiliation. And I support him this time around for two important reasons: his unyielding integrity and his ardent support for this country's efforts to fight the Islamofascist threat that we now face.

The stakes are just too high.

So I'm signing on as an unofficial - and vocal - supporter of Joe Lieberman for the U.S. Senate. I have absolutely no connection to Connecticut for Lieberman, Friends of Joe Lieberman or any other campaign organization associated with the Senator. But I will be doing whatever I can over the next sixty days to promote his candidacy.

Joe Lieberman.jpg
On to victory, baby!

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September 01, 2006

Mexican Standoff

capt.35da791f788a41baa7901ca622e4da7f.mexico_elections_moev108.jpg


Mexican Lawmakers Block Fox's Speech

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Vicente Fox was forced to forego the last state-of-the-nation address of his presidency Friday after leftist lawmakers stormed the stage of Congress to protest disputed July 2 elections.

It was the first time in modern Mexican history a president hasn't given the annual address to Congress. Instead, Fox handed in a written copy of his report, and his office said he would address the nation in a televised speech later Friday.

Lawmakers breaking the law...well..isn't THAT ironic?

The standoff came six days before the top electoral court must declare a president-elect or annul the July 2 vote and order a new election. So far, rulings have favored ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon, who was ahead by about 240,000 votes in the official count.

Lopez Obrador has already said he won't recognize the electoral court's decision, and he plans to create a parallel government and rule from the streets.

It really is time to start building that border!

Protesters occupying Mexico City's center said they were ready to do whatever it takes to support Lopez Obrador. Fernando Calles, a 26-year-old university professor, said he was ready to fight for the former Mexico City mayor "until the death, until the final consequences."

"We lived 500 years of repression, and now we represent the new face of Mexico," he said.

A 26 year old Uni Professor is the face of Mexico - just like Moveon.org is the face of the DNC. Let me repeat...we really need to seal the border...NOW!


Fox, a former Coca-Cola executive, ushered in economic stability and brought inflation to record lows, but he has been unable to secure a migration accord with the U.S. or significantly reduce poverty.

I would imagine President Fox will soon be consulting The Guide for the Mexican Migrant

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August 30, 2006

Plame-out!

plamey-1.jpg

(Psst...click here to out the source)

Also check out Flopping Aces' inditement.

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July 25, 2006

"Bill Clinton's Image Now More Positive Than Hillary Clinton's"

Says Gallup.

To which, I ask: When was this ever not the case?

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CT Congressional Dems All Backing Joe

I had already known that Sen. Chris Dodd has endorsed Lieberman but the State's two Congressional Dems - Rep. John Larson (CT-1) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) are also backing the incumbent Senator.

The nutroots will say "yeah, sure but wait until after Lamont wins the nomination, then they'll go with the party!".

Wishful thinking on their part.

The Dem leadership - Reid, Pelosi and their ilk - might. They have a lot to lose by pissing off the Left. But Dodd, DeLauro and Larson understand that - one way or another - Joe will be serving his fourth term starting next year. He may not be in their party anymore but they know who they're going to be working closely with for the next six years.

And Dodd, DeLauro and Larson don't have to worry about a backlash from the anti-war Left. Their seats will be safe - especially after Lieberman shows he can win without them.

Hat Tip: CT-CIA

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July 24, 2006

Weird Karma In CT Politics

In all the hullaballo with Joe Lieberman and the Democrats, there are some interesting historical parallels that many have overlooked. Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute (the polling organization in CT) looks back at the last time the anti-war faction of the Democrat party ate one of their own:

Connecticut Democrats have been down this road before. In 1970, anti-Vietnam War candidate Joseph Duffy knocked off incumbent Thomas Dodd, who had been a supporter of Democratic President Lyndon Johnson's policy. Dodd's son Chris Dodd is now Connecticut's other U.S. senator.

But the anti-war wing, although powerful within Democratic primaries, did not represent the political mainstream in 1970. Duffy lost the November election to Republican Lowell Weicker, who is backing Lamont against Lieberman, who defeated him in 1988.

So in 1970, you had a Democrat Senator from CT who was driven off the ticket by the Left for supporting his own party's President. The result was a net loss of one Senate seat for the Dems. The winner of that race becomes a "maverick" and a thorn in the GOP's side for eighteen years and is eventually beaten out by Joe Lieberman for the seat.

Flash forward thirty-six years. Joe Lieberman is being driven off the Dem ticket by the Left for supporting the opposing party's President. The result will likely be a net loss of one Senate seat for the Dems. Lieberman, as an independent, has the capacity to be a "maverick" and a thorn in the Dems' side for the foreseeable future.

Thomas Dodd's son, Chris Dodd, is now CT's senior Senator. Lowell Weicker, who defeated Dodd now supports Lamont. And in both 1970 and 2006, the big loser as a result of the Left's actions is...the Democrat Party.

You just can't make this stuff up.

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