January 30, 2007

Happy Birthday To "Big Time"

Who turns 66 today!

Cheney.jpg

And many more, to the gob-smacking consternation of moonbats everywhere.

And to celebrate, head over to the Ace archives to read the thread "Cool Facts About Dick Cheney" (it's a long one)!

Have a great one, ya big lug!

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January 29, 2007

Why So Glum, Chum?

Some perspective from Geraghty the Indispensible on "the Big Three" GOP Presidential candidates. Not really as bloody awful as some depressed Conservatives might think.

And for the record, Captain Ed asks "What's the rush?" I second that. I can't see jumping on any particular bandwagon this early in the process.

UPDATE:
Last minute thought. The fear and loathing of a Shrillary Presidency could be the single most significant factor in driving Republican turnout in 2008 for a candidate that the base isn't really that jacked-up about.

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January 04, 2007

Harriet Miers Is Leaving The White House

Effective January 31st.

Um, not to be a dick or anything, but did anyone out there - until just now - realize that she was still there?

Seriously.

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December 01, 2006

2008 GOP Field May Be Slim Pickings For Conservatives

Yes, it's 21 months before Republicans pick their next Presidential nominee in the Twin Cities. But in this current era of politics, campaigns for the next election start, almost literally, the day after the last one. And as of now, the three declared candidates (officially and unofficially) are Sen. John McCain, NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and MA Gov. Mitt Romney. And considering the early steps that they're taking, they are getting a jump at hiring the best campaign staff and attracting the early funding.

John Hinderaker at Powerline gives his assessment:

McCain has a conservative voting record, but is widely mistrusted by the Republican base because of his support for restrictions on citizen political activity, his occasional squishiness on issues like tax cuts, and his general willingness to sell out the party when it suits his purposes.

Giuliani is widely admired for his solid stance on the war on terror, his history as a crimefighter, and his leadership qualities and administrative talents. But Giuliani is a social liberal. Not a moderate, a liberal. I can live with that, as long as I'm convinced he will be solid on judges. But can the Republican base? I don't know.

Romney is an impressive guy in many ways, but a relative newcomer to the national scene. His positions on the social issues appear to have "evolved" since he ran for Governor of Massachusetts. And his Mormon faith may turn out to be an issue; I don't know.

In other words, for the GOP's base, each of these front-runners would represent a compromise nominee. George Allen is done and Bill Frist is out. Yes, there is Newt - the Conservative dahling - but as Hinderaker notes he just carries too much baggage: "As someone memorably said, Newt's flaw is that he has never in his life had an unspoken thought. That's fine for an idea man, which is what Gingrich has become since leaving Congress; not so fine in a Presidential candidate."

There are other credible Conservatives out there who can (and will) run but I don't think they'll get very far because the Big Three (as I will refer to McCain, Giuliani and Romney going forward) are already dominating the pursuit of available resources in terms of support, money and campaign infrastructure. The issue of the GWOT will still be of as much importance (perhaps more so) in selecting a Commander-In-Chief in 2008 as it was in 2004. And my guess is that this is what will ultimately unite Republican voters behind a nominee, once the fighting is over.

None of the Big Three are taking anything for granted. And Captain Ed notes that McCain is even poaching support among Republican Governors - Romney's territory.

On the Dems' side there is Hillary and everyone else (mostly candidates who ran before and lost). The x-factor, I suppose, is IL Sen. Barack Obama. NRO's Rich Lowry sees him as a safety net for Democrats who are growing weary of Her Shrillness and all the baggage she brings to the table. But in terms of pure political power, Hillary isn't going to go away and already has everything she needs to claim the mantle in 2008 - everything that is, except the delegates. But she can muscle them to her side during the primaries. As of now, it's her party until she says otherwise. She hasn't spent the last six years padding a resume of Senatorial prestige just to be pushed aside by some untested punk from Illinois.

[Sidebar: This reminds me of the infamous quote from Dr. Evil in the first "Austin Powers" movie: "I didn't spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called 'mister', thank you very much". End Sidebar]

As for the General Election, the winner will depend on the unaffiliateds, the independents, the "moderates". And this is where Hillary has a big disadvantage. These voters are getting sick and tired of having a President that a huge bulk of the population hates. Yes, I mean "hates", as in rage-inducing wrath. During the Nineties you had the Clinton-haters and over the last six years it's been the Bush-haters. So, all things being equal, they will crave the candidate who is the least partisan (or most bi-partisan), the least polarizing and who at least appears to be the most reasonable.

Not convinced? Just approach a friend, relative or acquaintance who is by and large not very politically-charged and start ripping into the most high-profile leaders of either party and watch the "Oh, jeez" eye-rolling. They've had enough of it. In that sense, I think any of the Big Three has a good chance in the General Election. The task for Conservatives is to vote for the one they find most acceptable but line up behind the eventual winner even if he isn't their first choice. The key is electing a Commander-In-Chief who will prosecute the GWOT decisively and aggressively. If we don't have that in January 2009, how much does all the rest really matter?

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November 15, 2006

Just...Stoopid

By one vote, Trent Lott is the new GOP Minority Whip.

Look, as far as I'm concerned, Lott's punishment of stepping down as Majority Leader because of a casual (and badly worded) remark he made honoring a 100-year old man was waaaay out of proportion to the offense and something he heartily apologized for (probably about fifteen times more than was necessary). Especially galling were the attacks aimed at Lott from the party of Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd (KKK-WV).

But Trent Lott is the kind of pork enthusiast who is probably the last choice the Republicans should have made for Whip. Most unwise, IMO.

Dems will have a good yuck over this one. And there's no reason they shouldn't. Maybe it'll take their minds off their own problems. And I have nothing else to add, anyway.

UPDATE:
Paul Mirengoff at Powerline finds a pony.

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November 14, 2006

Time For The GOP To Start Over

Yeah, there's a lot of debate and finger pointing over why the GOP lost last week. Much of that is irrelevant now. The party needs to focus on the future, not the past. It has to start over. Twelve years is quite a run, even more impressive when you consider that the same party held the White House for six of those twelve years. But the run is over. They need to work on starting a new one.

Andrew Cline, in The American Spectator, looks at how the Republican majority evolved (or devolved) during that time:

Hastert presided over a Republican-controlled House that each year became more cynical, more spend-happy, and more obsessed with maintaining power. This is no knock on Republican ideology or principles. The idea of a "Republican culture of corruption" rooted in GOP ideology is nonsense. Democrats displayed the marks of corruption quite prominently prior to 1994. The root of the problem, as always, is the corrupting influence of power.

Somewhere along the road from revolution to "permanent majority," Republican leaders abandoned the core theme that brought Republicans to power: disgust with Washington insider culture.

Essentially, they went from being the outsiders coming in to fix the problems of Washington to the insiders who reinforced the problems of Washington. Republicans often point out that prior to 1994 the Democrats had come to believe that being in control was their birthright - one that dated back to the 1930's. It wasn't and voters let them know in no uncertain terms. Republicans had fallen into the same trap. They weren't entitled to a majority status, but many of them - particularly among the leadership - began to think that way. And worse still, they began to act that way.

Ideology aside, the bulk of voters in the middle - who demand solutions rather than an agenda - got so fed up with Congress that they were willing to take on the risk of allowing Democrats to co-manage our national security. This is a big risk and one that I didn't think they'd be willing to take. I was wrong on that one. And no more than a week later, those voters have already been given reasons to wonder if they hadn't made a huge mistake.

The next two years will determine that. And if by the next go-around voters feel that the country is less safe and less secure, many will feel a strong sense of buyer's remorse. Strong enough perhaps to make them wary of keeping the Democrats in control.

But this in and of itself doesn't mean that Republicans would become the automatic beneficiaries. They can't count on this, nor should they. The GOP needs to return to the idea of fixing problems, some of which they helped create. They need to re-prioritize what issues they will champion. They need to remember that Conservative principles and ideas don't just sell themselves. Like the Contract With America of 1994, voters want and need to see tangible and practical applications of these principles that will benefit them individually rather than move our society and culture in a particular direction.

Last Tuesday, we had a reactionary election because we reached a point where the status quo was no longer acceptable. If Republicans wait long enough, they could find themselves back in control the same way. But we don't have a lot of time here. We're at war with a global Islamofascist ideology that wants Western culture in general and the United States in particular converted or dead.

The Republican party must work hard to heal its wounds and restore confidence with the majority of voters. It's time return to being proactive rather than reactive.

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October 31, 2006

With One Week To Go...

Some optimism from folks who have a lot of specific information that we don't.

Courtesy of Jim Geraghty's "Jedi Council".

I am seeing so many different polls that are contradicting each other in so many crucial races I've stopped looking at them. I think back to 2004 and 2002. My gut says the GOP holds onto both chambers. We'll see.

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October 17, 2006

It's Crunch Time

Meaning, for Republicans, it's time to close ranks and rally the troops. No more of this bitching and whining about immigration, pork spending, the Foley mess or any other secondary issue.

The President called a meeting of the lesser Conservative radio talk show hosts ("lesser" because Rush Limbaugh is in a class by himself). Among them were Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, Laura Ingraham, Michael Gallagher and Michael Medved. Conservatives have legitimate complaints about this Congress as well as the President himself, but their focus needs to be on three issues: Terrorism, Taxes and Judicial Appointments. And these folks need to spend the next 21 days taking to the airwaves, hammering home those very themes. Because when all is said and done, these are the three that matter the most.

Criticism is fine. And it's even necessary much of the time. But an important component of keeping the Congress in GOP hands is unity. Lose that and you'll really see a disaster in the making for this country. And all those other issues will fall by the wayside. I respect the opinions of these pundits, but it's time to see the forest for the trees.

Ms. Ingraham likened herself to a sports fan who nonetheless has occasional criticism of the coach. But, she said pointedly on her show: “I am not an advocate for the G.O.P. I’m an advocate for conservative ideas.”
That's fine, Laura. And I'm with you there. But at the end of the day the GOP is your only vehicle for advancing your ideas. Democrats will laugh at you and do the exact opposite. And it's hard to make progress as an advocate for Conservative ideas when you lose an election to Democrats; putting power in the hands of Liberals.

Radio Guys.jpg

"Alright, gang. This is your coach speaking here. And your coach is telling you to take the ball and run it up the gut!

Losing is for LOSERS!

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October 12, 2006

The GOP Ground Game

There's been a lot of discussion lately about how the Republican's Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) operation was so effective in 2002 and 2004.

How does 2006 look? Read Jim Geraghty's preview.

UPDATE:
...more from Jim.

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October 02, 2006

The Chips Are On The Table

Speaker Hastert has publicly declared that no one in the GOP leadership saw or had knowledge of the Foley IMs. The emails from way back when are one thing. They weren't sexual in nature at all and the parents of the page didn't want them made public. Hastert is either telling the truth or he's one hell of a gambler.

Now if someone on the other side had these IMs and held onto them until five weeks before an election, they had better leave the country or there'll be hell to pay if they're found out.

Lorie Byrd at Wizbang has the money quote here:

If it is learned that a Democrat has been holding those IMs for any period of time for political purposes, the backlash could be as nasty as those disgusting messages.
It would make the Wellstone Memorial backlash seem like a non-event.

UPDATE:
Thanks to Scrapiron for the tip below. The link is here.

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September 27, 2006

GOP Picks 2008 Convention Site?

Republican officials are saying that there will be an announcement later today that the party has chosen the host city for it's 2008 Presidential Nominating Convention: Minneapolis-St. Paul.

It seems the rationale centers on the amount of local coverage that would saturate the states of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Frankly, it makes sense. Of all the "Blue States" that the GOP have a chance of flipping, Minnesota and Wisconsin are probably the most logical (Iowa went for Bush in 2004, barely).

In 2004, John Kerry won Wisconsin by 11,384 votes (50% to 49%) and Minnesota by 98,319 votes (51% to 48%). All three states used to be reliable Democrat carries but the margins have gotten thinner in the last couple of election cycles. Minnesota was the only state won by Mondale in 1984 (it was his home state).

As far as party affiliation goes, the 2004 exit polls showed the following break-down:
IA: 36% Republican, 34% Democrat, 30% Independent
MN: 35% Republican, 38% Democrat, 27% Independent
WI: 38% Republican, 35% Democrat, 27% Independent

Had Bush carried Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2004, the Electoral College result would have been Bush: 306 v. Kerry: 232. That's a 40 vote swing - not insignificant.

It makes no sense to have the convention in a "Red State". Although its debatable how much influence the site has on the election itself, in a part of the country where the margin is so razor thin it can only help.

Any city in the Northeast or on the West Coast would not have made sense (though in 2004, a rebuilding NY City got a major economic shot in the arm by hosting the Republicans).

So if the "Red States" are getting redder and the "Blue States" are getting bluer, it makes sense to focus on the "Purple" ones. My initial impression here is that this was a good move. I can't help but wonder if this is part of a broader long-term strategy of the RNC.

UPDATE:
Captain Ed (a MN native) is pleased. And he also has the scoop on how the Dems lost out:

At the end, though, [Minneapolis Democrat Mayor R.T.] Rybak tried his best to get the Democrats to pull the trigger first. After hearing that the GOP had decided to go with the Twin Cities, Rybak called his party chair and warned him that the Democrats had to act fast if they wanted to get the nod. Dean couldn't get the DNC to make the decision, and the Republicans held the field. This doesn't necessarily mean that the Democrats couldn't also meet here, but it's unlikely, and that means they have given the GOP a golden opportunity to sweep the Upper Midwest in 2008.
Heh.

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July 12, 2006

Bush 41; A Class Act

My first vote for President in 1988 (at the tender young age of 21, sigh) was for Michael Dukakis. What a dumb-ass.

Rhymes With Right comments on a story about a new aircraft carrier named for George H.W.B.

BTW, if you're interested in learning more about what a great guy he really is, I strongly recommend the autobiographical book of his life through his letters, "All The Best". You will be pleasantly surprised.

h/t: Maggie's Farm

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June 22, 2006

Victory Over Politics And Ideological Purity

I've signed on to the Victory wing of the Republican party. I'm sick of Democrats putting politics over national security and certain members of the GOP base threatening revolt if their hot-button issues aren't addressed to their satisfaction. The most important issue we face is the threat of Islamofascism and Terrorism. If Republicans don't continue to win, then this effort will be doomed. So, victory in the GWOT requires victory for the GOP...now and in the future!

victory.jpg

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May 22, 2006

McCain's Freedom Of Speech

This weekend, Senator John McCain attempted to give a commencement address at the New School in New York. He met with some resistance, to say the least.

"Rude college kids and left-wing professors are hardly a new story. But the ugliness of the New School crowd toward Mr. McCain reveals the peculiar rage that now animates so many on the political left. Dozens of faculty and students turned their back on the Senator, others booed and heckled, and a senior invited to speak threw out her prepared remarks and mocked their invited guest as he sat nearby. Some 1,200 had signed petitions asking that Mr. McCain be disinvited."
McCain submitted a copy of the speech for publication on the WSJ's Op-Ed page. The title of the piece is "Let Us Argue: The speech the Angry Left tried to suppress." I read through it this morning and it's a good speech. A very good speech. In fact, here's one of the best parts:
"We have our disagreements, we Americans. We contend regularly and enthusiastically over many questions: over the size and purposes of our government; over the social responsibilities we accept in accord with the dictates of our conscience and our faithfulness to the God we pray to; over our role in the world and how to defend our security interests and values in places where they are threatened. These are important questions; worth arguing about. We should contend over them with one another. It is more than appropriate, it is necessary that even in times of crisis, especially in times of crisis, we fight among ourselves for the things we believe in. It is not just our right, but our civic and moral obligation."
Sen. McCain is talking about free speech - free political speech. So how hypocritical is it that these words come from a man who was the chief sponsor of legislation (McCain -Feingold) that severely curtailed the freedom of political speech in this country?

Note to Sen. McCain:

i-ro-ny n., pl. -nies.: An expression or utterance marked by such a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.

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April 04, 2006

"The Hammer" Takes One For The Team

By now everyone has heard that Rep. Tom DeLay is no longer seeking re-election.

So it looks like the Democrats can scratch TX-22 off their list of target races this year. As Tom Bevan at RCP Blog points out:

"President Bush won the 22nd district in Texas with 64% of the vote in 2004, and with DeLay gone the Democratic nominee, former Congressman Nick Lampson, is unlikely to overcome that structural GOP advantage."
This isn't spin. This is just reality. On top that, Democrats will no longer be able to leverage DeLay's continued presence as part of their "culture of corruption" strategery.

Thanks, Tom. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

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March 22, 2006

Is McCain Inevitable?

That's the question that JP at Americans For Freedom looks at. He weighes the Arizona Senator's pros and cons and looks at the competition for 2008.

Interesting analysis that I mostly agree with. However, I think either Mitt Romney or George Allen can win if they wage strong and prudent campaigns. McCain isn't my first choice as the GOP nominee two years from now, but I would vote for him if he were.

Critics of Romney and Allen cite their lack of name recognition as a major weakness but that can change pretty quickly if either were to beat McCain or end up a close second in the NH primary. It's a long ways away.

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March 05, 2006

Specter Steps Up

Tom Bowler at Libertarian Leanings points us to a story about the group Republican Majority for Choice (RMC) which is placing ads against PA Sen. Rick Santorum in his bid for re-election. The senior Senator from PA, Arlen Specter (who owes his own re-election and current Chairmanship of the Sentate Judiciary Committee to Santorum support in 2004) sits on RMC's advisory board and he's having none of it.

In a letter (reproduced in full at Libertarian Leanings) objecting to these ads, Specter threatens to resign from the advisory board unless the group repudiates them. Specter himself is vociferously pro-choice but he hits the nail on the head with this point:

"I strongly oppose these advertisements. The Big Tent is big enough to include both Rick Santorum and Arlen Specter. The RMC ought not to be in the business of electing Democrats to the United States Senate."

Here, here.

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February 27, 2006

"Big Time" To Retire Next Year? Don't Bet On It.

In what is obviously a trial balloon being floated by some Senior GOP operatives, there is speculation in Insight Magazine - the companion to the Washington Times - that the VP will be "persuaded to step down" after the mid-term elections because he is viewed in some circles as a liability to the President.

OK, a liability to what? Bush's reelection? Obviously not.

Here's all you need to know about this story:

The sources reported a growing rift between the president and vice president as well as their staffs. They cited Mr. Cheney's failure to immediately tell the president of the accidental shooting of the vice president's hunting colleague earlier this month. The White House didn't learn of the incident until 18 hours later.

Mr. Cheney's next crisis could take place by the end of the year, the sources said. They said the White House was expecting Mr. Cheney to defend himself against charges from his former chief of staff, Lewis Libby, that the vice president ordered him to relay classified information. Such a charge could lead to a congressional investigation and even impeachment proceedings.

"Nothing will happen until after the congressional elections," a GOP source said. "After that, there will be significant changes in the administration and Cheney will probably be part of that."

The money quote there is "as well as their staffs". That's really what it's about. Cheney has been a trusted advisor to the President since the announcement that he was to be Bush's VP candidate. Nothing has changed in that respect. The President is excruciatingly loyal to his inner circle, as long as they reciprocate. Nothing Cheney has done can be charactarized as disloyalty to Bush personally.

What you're seeing here is a minor turf war between staffers who think they have more influence than they really do. And the people driving this are those hot shots who would hope to be on the staff of whomever would be Cheney's replacement - giving them an inside track to the Oval Office in 2008.

If anyone is not going to be around anymore after the 2006 elections, it'll probably be that "GOP source" quoted above. Because what he or she did - off-the-record rumor-mongering - is exactly the kind of thing that would get you kicked out of this White House. This little parlor-game speculation will persist for the next year or so, it's come up before. But as Cheney has said he "serves at the pleasure of the President", not some little piss-ant staffer who dislikes him.

Rest assured, Cheney will be Vice-President until Innauguration Day 2009 - much to the consternation of those who see him as the "Anti-Christ".

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February 03, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

Democrats seem to be all excited about yesterday's election of Rep. John Boehner (pronouned BAY-ner, btw) as the new House Majority Leader. They're painting this as a bad thing for the GOP, which makes no sense. Rich Galen in his Mullings column sums up why they're wrong much better than I could.

John Boehner's personality is the polar opposite of DeLay's. Where DeLay is pugnacious, Boehner is conciliatory. Where DeLay is aggressive, Boehner is understanding. Where DeLay is easy to dislike, Boehner is very easy to Â… like.

Once again the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for; you may get it" has come to pass. The Democrats in the House wanted to get rid of Tom DeLay. They did.

They got, in his place, John Boehner, a talented leader who will be very difficult to make into the pro-lobbyist, anti-reform monster the House Democrats are looking for.

Republicans will retain the House in the elections of 2006.

With nothing of substance to campaign on, Democrats' only hope to have a chance at taking the House in November would have been if Republican voters were so fed up with the current leadership (i.e. Roy Blunt who would have been a status quo Leader) that they decided to stay home in large numbers. With Boehner, a Gingrich protege who still remembers why Republicans took Congress in 1994, that's not likely to happen.

The prospect of victory just got bleaker yesterday for Democrats.

Oh, and apparently unemployment dropped to 4.7% last month - the lowest in four years. Heh.

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February 02, 2006

New Blood

Congratulations to Rep. John Boehner on his election as the new GOP Majority Leader.

Boehner.jpg

I was hoping for John Shadegg, but in the long run it looks like it was Shadegg's candidacy that at least kept Blunt from getting the vote count he needed to win on the first ballot. The result forced a run-off and Shadegg bowed out, leaving Boehner the winner 122-109. Had Blunt be chosen it would have been a disaster and more of the same. At least this is a step in the right direction.

Boehner is committed to reform, has no taint of Abramoff and - to his credit - has not introduced one single spending earmark during his entire service in the Congress. Hugh Hewitt posts highlights of his Jan. 16th interview with Boehner.

Now if I can just restrain myself from referring to him as "boner"...

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