David Kirkpatrick

November 4, 2010

GOP establishment v. Tea Party movement

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:24 pm

Not hard to predict, and now it begins …

From today’s Playbook:

RECRIMINATIONS: WHY REPUBLICANS DON’T CONTROL THE SENATE -Jonathan Martin and Manu Raju: “With tea party-backed candidates going down in Delaware, Colorado and Nevada, depriving Republicans of what would have been a 50-50 Senate, a bloc of prominent senators and operatives said party purists like Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) had foolishly pushed nominees too conservative to win … Movement conservatives pointed the finger right back at the establishment, accusing the National Republican Senatorial Committee of squandering millions on a California race that wasn’t close … ‘Candidates matter,’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). ‘It was a good night for Republicans but it could have been a better one. We left some on the table. … If you think what happened in Delaware is “a win” for the Republican Party, then we don’t have a snowball’s chance to win the White House. … If you think Delaware was a wake-up call for Republicans, then we have shot at doing well for a long time.’

“Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott put it plainly: ‘We did not nominate our strongest candidates.’ Had Republicans run Castle in Delaware and establishment favorites Sue Lowden in Nevada and Jane Norton in Colorado, Lott said, … ‘we would have won and been sitting at 50.’ … Another high-profile senator [placed] the blame … at the feet of Graham’s South Carolina colleague, DeMint. … ‘It’s like you’re on the five-yard line ready to score and the quarterback calls the play and some member of your team tackles one of your members and keeps you from scoring. … We came tantalizingly close to a majority … I’m completely mystified by it.”http://bit.ly/br1xoW

Update 11/5/10 — Peggy Noonan piles on.

September 5, 2010

The GOP’s demographic problem

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:25 pm

The Republican Party can legitimately lick its chops getting ready for the upcoming midterms. It would take more than an epic collapse of public opinion to keep November from being an absolute bloodbath for Democrats. Looking down the road, however, things are little more bleak, and the darkest spot is the demographic reality of the United States electorate in the coming decades.

After serious outreach during the first Bush 43 term (largely orchestrated by Karl Rove), the GOP has done nothing to court the Latino vote and a whole lot to alienate Hispanics of all ages. It’s no stretch to say the Republican Party has absolutely destroyed at least three generations of a bloc that otherwise would be fairly sympathetic to a socially conservative pro-business message.

Take a moment to think about all the ways the GOP has turned on Latinos — starting with the extreme immigration stances around the nation — and then ponder these numbers:

  • 62% of Hispanics are under the age of 34.
  • 33% of Hispanics will be under the age of 18.
  • In Texas, California, New Mexico, Hawaii and the District of Columbia, the white portion of the population is already a minority (representing less than 50%).
  • At the DMA, level there will be 19 markets where the minority is the majority. In 15 of them, the dominant minority is Hispanic; in two markets the dominant minority is Black, and in Hawaii, of course, it’s the Asian/Pacific Islander.
  • By 2020, minorities are expected to account for 40% of the country.

See a little problem there? Now the figures above came from an Ad Age blog post and not a political consultant, but that should be cause for even more concern because marketers are not going to fudge demographic numbers since doing so would only serve to reduce the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Political numbers on the other hand are about as reliable as a weather forecast. Pretty much any demographic numbers coming from a political source have been massaged to placate someone. Maybe not massaged a whole lot, but you can bet the numbers have been skewed one way or another.

Going back to the Ad Age piece, Isaac Mizrahi, co-author on a paper covering  how the 2010 census is going to affect marketing, was quoted thusly, ” … in today’s economy, marketing to ethnic minorities may possibly be the competitive advantage they need.” I think we all know the answer to the question of how the GOP has been marketing to minorities, particularly Hispanics. Couple the last six years or so of Republican rhetoric excoriating Latinos with the latest iteration of hard nativism sweeping the party and the long-term prospects of the GOP don’t look so good. Will the 2010 election cycle be the last hurrah for the current GOP? Demographic numbers say yes.

August 27, 2010

From the department of, “no duh” …

… Fox News is a shill for GOP talking points. And that statement isn’t really fair to Fox News because in many ways it’s giving some measure of marching orders to the current Republican Party.

Either way you want to slice that one up, this chart is only the most recent “exhibit A” in the lack of balance (and fairness as far as it goes) in Fox News coverage of issues involving or affecting the GOP:

Mehlmanmention

What this chart refers to is Ken Mehlman, campaign manager of Bush 43’s 2004 successful reelection and subsequent chair of the Republican National Committee, recently announced he is gay. This announcement makes him one of, if not the, highest ranking members of the Republican Party to publicly come out as homosexual.

Although he is being given solid support by party leaders and insiders, this announcement can’t jibe well with the current GOP brand. The party as a whole is fighting the issue of gay marriage tooth-and-nail right now, and the christianist religious right leg of the party considers homosexuality an abomination deserving of nothing less than annihilation.

So what’s Fox News to do? Interview current party chair Michael Steele who said, “His announcement, often a very difficult decision which is only compounded when done on the public stage, reaffirms for me why we are friends and why I respect him personally and professionally.” Or maybe talk to his old boss, George W. Bush, who has also been supportive. Or how about the many GOP insiders in DC and around the country who have no truck with Mehlman’s declaration (or Dick Cheney’s daughter, or any other gay Republicans for that matter.)

No, instead of reporting on this bit of news involving the GOP — you know, the balance part of “fair and balanced” — Fox News just pretends Mehlman’s announcement didn’t happen and spends zero airtime on his coming out statement.

This type of selective reporting does a grave disservice to the Fox News viewers who get no input into the world of U.S. politics outside of the right wing echo chamber. There’s a lot of those people out there, and Fox News execs know it. I even bet some of these people will hear about Mehlman’s homosexuality and claim it’s a plot by socialist “lame-stream” media to sully his image since it can’t be true — Fox News didn’t report on it.

The one-sided reporting from Fox News is bad for the current GOP, bad for United States politics and in the end bad for democracy in America.

Here’s conservative pundit, former Bush 43 speechwriter and administration member; and current GOP apostate and mob-declared RINO, David Frum on the party making the mistake of grabbing a tiger by the tail, “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.”

May 13, 2010

GOP wants to block “Euro bailout”

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:07 pm

This is simply shortsighted, puts the cart before the horse and is, well, really inane. I abhor the idea that US dollars could be used to bailout foreign companies or governments, but the reality is we do it regularly. And whatever code words someone wants to throw around, like “new world order” to offer one example, we actually do live in a global economy where if any of its moving parts — US, Asia or yes, even the European Union — catastrophically fails, everybody else does, too. Ever try to drive a car with one blown-out tire?

From the link:

After a week of preemptive attacks on a possible IMF bailout of Greece, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) introduces the European Bailout Protection Act, aimed at preventing taxpayer dollars from going to a rescue plan.

“This legislation would require that countries like Greece cut spending and put their own fiscal house in order,” says Pence, backed up by other members of the House GOP, “instead of looking to the United States for a bailout. We face record unemployment and a debt crisis of our own, and American taxpayers should not be forced to bear the risk for nations that have avoided making tough choices.”

(Hat tip: Drudge Report)

May 1, 2010

About that Arizona “green card” law

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:48 pm

Here’s the first two bits from today’s Mike Allen Playbook:

The Arizona Republic, the state’s largest newspaper, will publish a full-page, front-page editorial on Sunday calling on state leaders to put politics aside and work toward meaningful immigration reform. The newspaper, a partner in the POLITICO Network, will condemn the lack of leadership it says has been demonstrated by a host of elected officials, including senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, former governor and now Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, as well as other local, state and national officials.

And:

Secretary of State Clinton, the first guest on the new HD ‘Meet the Press’ set, to NBC’s David Gregory (taped yesterday for air tomorrow): ‘This law … is written so broadly that if you were visiting in Arizona and you had an accent — and you were a citizen from, you know, my state of New York — you could be subjected to the kind of inquiry … that this law permits.’

GREGORY: ‘You think it invites profiling? Racial profiling?’

SECRETARY CLINTON: ‘I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. … I think … a state doesn’t have the authority to … try to impose their own immigration law — that is really the province of the federal government. … I don’t want to offer a legal opinion. … I’ll leave that to the Justice Department. But I know the attorney general of Arizona has raised questions about the legality.’

There’s been a lot of discussion about the Constitutionality of the law, the undue and unfair burden it will place on law enforcement officials in the state, and obviously its impact on illegal immigration in Arizona.

Another meme that’s going around and getting traction on both sides of the aisle is it could end up being something of a death blow the GOP nationwide. Maybe even as soon as this electoral cycle, taking some steam out of a likely very favorable Republican November.

I think the GOP lost the Latin vote with wild-eyed nativism during the Bush 43 years, particularly the second term, but any Latinos who had any inkling to vote Republican have most likely banished the thought. This attitude will last at least a generation, or maybe longer, right at a time when the Latino population (legal and voting) is growing around the country.

Now the idea that Bush 43 had some unusual mojo with the Latin vote is way overstated. It was a Karl Rove talking point and point of emphasis because he saw the demographic future and knew it was key for Republicans to court the Latin vote. Cue the crazed and rabid GOPers in Congress who went into an anti-immigration frenzy overriding any efforts by the White House to own the issue.

At the time of Bush’s two elections, the Bush 43 administration publicly touted how he grabbed a historic level of Latino GOP support. That was a lie. I have it on very good authority (a deep insider in the White House at the time) that by the actual numbers Bush 41 claimed a higher portion of the Latin vote than the son, so don’t think the GOP began wasting a golden opportunity in the mid- to late-2000s with that bloc. The real issue is Karl Rove was right. The party desperately needed to begin gaining Latino support to remain a force nationwide in the coming decades.

The anti-immigration zealots in Congress began nailing that coffin shut with abandon, and this legislative move by Arizona just might have hammered the final nail home.

April 22, 2010

The party of “no” pulls gun …

… shoots foot.

Here’s a bad procedural move by the GOP today:

Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked an effort by Democrats to start debate on legislation to tighten regulation of the nation’s financial system, and the two sides traded bitter accusations about who was standing in the way of a bipartisan agreement.

There is some political jujitsu going on right now, and the GOP stands to lose a lot more than the financial reform debate.

Also from the link:

The majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, asked Republicans to agree to begin debating the measure, which would impose a sweeping regulatory framework on Wall Street and big financial institutions. But the Republican leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, objected, saying Democrats were pre-empting negotiations to reach a deal.

McConnell has a great point about negotiations, but his policy of all-out obstruction against all things Democrat in the legislature is working against him here. The Dems are very happy to force the GOP to block this move and substantially raise the floor of compromise. The longer the GOP opposes debate on the bill, the more the party appears to be in the pocket of Wall Street.

Fast forward to November and you’ll find a lot of ads hammering this point home to an electorate very, very sick of Wall Street and all things existing in the rarefied air of high finance. The economy is likely still going to be in the tank by the time election day rolls around and the GOP stands to gain, maybe gain a lot. The one thing it does not need is to be saddled with a tangible partnership with those evil-doers on Wall Street. And that is what has already started with today’s move.

Here’s the New Republic’s Jon Chait three days ago on why the Dems eagerly anticipated this move:

Chris Dodd says the Senate is going to hold a vote on his bill Wednesday or Thursday. Republicans still say they can muster 41 votes in opposition. The ideal for Democrats would be to have the whole GOP vote to filibuster the bill, then have a huge debate, and then have one or more Republicans defect and pass the bill anyway. Then you get an accomplishment and a chance to expose the GOP as carrying water for Wall Street.

April 6, 2010

When David Frum …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:41 am

… isn’t “conservative” enough for the GOP, the term has lost all meaning.

I guest-blogged at FrumForum (then New Majority) at the launch of the site and quickly figured out as a fiercely independent little “l” libertarian, I had essentially nothing to offer the conversation the GOP was getting into. Now it seems the same is happening to Frum himself. The American political term “conservative” has been stretched beyond belief to the point it either doesn’t mean what most people on the right think it does, or more likely it just doesn’t have any true meaning to speak of anymore.

The politics of Karl Rove are not conservative. The presidency of Bush 43 was not conservative in almost every aspect, and the ramblings of Sarah Palin are absolutely not conservative. And these self-described “conservatives” on the right are further and further marginalizing themselves and the party. The GOP should see some gains this electoral cycle, and in a way that might be the worst possible thing for the long-term viability of the Republican brand. A tiny ray of political hope might keep the party from the dramatic re-imagining that needs to happen sooner, rather than later.

March 2, 2010

Bunning quits playing Don Quixote …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:45 pm

… the unemployed regain jobless benefits and the GOP heaves a great sigh of relief. And Bunning’s next opponent has a goldmine of opposition ad material.

From the link:

The Senate headed reached a resolution of an impasse over unemployment pay on Tuesday night after Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, dropped his objection to extending jobless benefits in exchange for a largely symbolic vote on paying for the aid.

Mr. Bunning’s agreement to relent essentially short-circuited an intensifying political battle that had already resulted in 2,000 workers at the Department of Transportation being furloughed without pay and in the temporary cutoff of benefits to thousands of out-of-work Americans.

It came after Mr. Bunning’s fellow Republicans began to air their own concerns about how the Senate blockade had the potential to damage their political brand while also having a direct impact on their constituents. The Senate later voted 78 to 19 to renew the programs.

February 28, 2010

Isn’t this a case …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:38 pm

… of the pot calling the kettle black?

RedState’s Erick Erickson on ridding the GOP of its extremist elements:

The attempt “to clean up our own house,” as Erick Erickson, founder of the influential conservative blog RedState, puts it, is necessary “because traditional press outlets have decided to spotlight these fringe elements that get attracted to the movement, and focus on them as if they’re a large part of this tea party movement. And I don’t think they are.”

February 22, 2010

Greenwald on the Tea Party movement and GOP

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:07 pm

Glenn Greenwald certainly sees a lot more libertarian-minded purity in the Tea Party movement than I do. As a little “L” libertarian watching the movement from afar I see a lot of doctrinaire GOP ideals in Tea Party rhetoric and a whole lot of christianist nannyism to boot.

He does make a very salient point about the disconnect between what the Tea Partiers are purportedly for and what the Republican Party stands for.

From the link:

But that GOP limited government rhetoric is simply never matched by that Party’s conduct, especially when they wield power.  The very idea that a political party dominated by neocons, warmongers, surveillance fetishists, and privacy-hating social conservatives will be a party of “limited government” is absurd on its face.  There literally is no myth more transparent than the Republican Party’s claim to believe in restrained government power.  For that reason, it’s only a matter of time before the fundamental incompatibility of the “tea party movement” and the political party cynically exploiting it is exposed.

February 20, 2010

If you are gay and politically active …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:29 pm

… the GOP is not for you. Really. The Republican Party platform includes explicitly anti-gay planks. I have gay friends who vote GOP for purely economic reasons, but they stay far out of the political trenches. The Log Cabin Republicans have long been relegated to bottom of the party latrine, and a new group — GOProud — joined the festivities at the latest CPAC only to get knee-capped by the National Organization for Marriage.

From the second link:

One of the odd coincidences of CPAC is the location of the National Organization for Marriage’s booth just 20-odd feet away from the booth of GOProud, the upstart gay Republican organization. On Thursday, leaders of both groups posed for an impromptu meeting in view of CNN’s cameras, joking about the possibility of a beer summit. But on Friday morning, the National Organization for Marriage preemptively blasted GOProud in a surprisingly acid press release.

Many reporters, including Politico, have asked us how we feel about the fact GOProud is just a few booths over from us. We welcome everyone’s right to participate in the democratic process, but we have a message for GOProud on marriage: If you try to elect pro-gay-marriage Republicans, we will Dede Scozzafava them. The majority of Americans, and the vast majority of Republicans, support marriage as the union of husband and wife, and NOM is here to make sure these voters and their voices are heard loud and clear.

Now I don’t harbor any ideas that NOM speaks for the Republican Party as a whole, but commenter ACCESSlineIOWA at the Washington Independent link has a very good point on NOM’s “threat:”

Wouldn’t the definition of “Dede Scozzafava-ing” be “Splitting the conservative votes so an even less conservative candidate can with the election?” The big tent has definitely been torn down, and NOM does not play well with others.

February 6, 2010

I’ll bet the GOP media machine …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:02 pm

… wished it’d never tried to co opt the Tea Party movement. And I also bet most Tea Partiers wish Joseph Farah didn’t consider himself an ally of the movement.

Reminds me of an old libertarian joke I blogged about a couple of years ago:

There’s really no libertarian blueprint. That much is clear if you take even a sidelong glance at the big-L Libertarian Party. It’s full of all manner of cranks, malcontents, isolationists, druggies, tax dodgers and then a whole lot of otherwise average people who just want the government to stay out of their way.

I don’t participate in any party activities for a variety of reasons, most importantly I don’t think the Libertarian Party is honestly serious enough to achieve any real policy goals.

Here is a paraphrase of a common joke among party participants — I’ve read this somewhere, but can’t recall where. Maybe on Wendy McElroy’s blog.

(This block quote is just the joke, not a quote from anyone’s blog)

First time Libertarian Party meeting participant, “Oh my god, look at that table of Nazis!”

Old vet, “Yep, there’s always at least one.”

First-timer, “What? Nazis?”

Vet, “Nope, someone who bitches about ‘em.”

January 28, 2010

Cottle on Luntz

Filed under: Arts, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:29 pm

At the New Republic, Michelle Cottle reviews Frank Luntz’s, “What Americans Really Want…Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears“, and pretty much nails down the entire Luntz shtick. Luntz it a pollster who made/makes his fame driving the GOP message. He’s had very real successes to point to, but I’d argue those successes stemmed more from creating a single message that party leaders force-fed down the ranks and enforced message discipline on than the content of the message itself. Luntz works in banalities that would shame Chance the gardener/Chauncey Gardiner.

Cottle sums those banalities up perfectly in her review:
For Luntz, of course, these answers are jewels that provide a window into man’s true soul. But Luntz’s analysis of the data is awash in revelations most generously described as unstartling. Do we really need Frank Luntz and his methodologies to tell us that moms do most of the food shopping in your average American household?  That in recent years there has been a rise in the popularity of organic food?  That younger employees don’t have the same sense of company loyalty as did earlier generations?  And how about this paradigm-shattering observation: “Blackberrys improve the speed of communication, but the devices don’t necessarily improve the quality of communication.” (The helpful italics are his.) Thumbing through Luntz’s dissection of our hopes and dreams, the exclamation that leaps to mind most often isn’t “Aha!” so much as “Well, duh!”

January 22, 2010

Friday video — lessons on Brown’s victory from Cato

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:15 pm

Here’s a quick (a little over three minutes) recap on what Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts means in terms of the current political climate.

From the inbox, an introduction for the clip:

Our video team just produced a short video about the Brown campaign that discusses the real meaning of Tuesday’s election. Cato scholars John Samples and David Boaz contend that Tuesday’s election sent a message to Democrats that they have clearly overreached, but Republicans need to be careful and realize that they’re still not very popular either.

January 20, 2010

Teeth gnashing and hand wringing over health care reform

(Update — bold emphasis added because it seems it takes a sledgehammer to make a fiscal point right now.)

I’m sure there’s a lot of both going on behind the Democratic Party scenes. There’s a lot of both going on publicly along with plenty of finger pointing, blaming and dissembling among the left blogosphere. The simple fact is health care reform in its current Congressional form has not, and almost certainly will not, pass because of Democratic ham-fisted policy making. But the GOP is behaving shamefully and shamelessly as an opposition party with no alternative ideas and zero compromise on a very necessary evil.

Yes, health care reform is a very necessary evil. Honest libertarians can be excused from the argument, but fiscal conservatives are lying to themselves or everyone else when they deny health care reform must occur at some point in the near future. Health care as a percentage of income is becoming unmanageable and health insurance costs are killing businesses both large and small.

Without reform health care in the United States will continue to bankrupt people at higher and higher levels of income, and cause untold suffering and early death for the uninsured. And at a point in time looming very soon it will simply bankrupt the entire nation. I’m no fan of too much government influence anywhere, but after looking over the arguments (and sorting through the hyperventilated crap from both the left and the right) I am convinced reform at the federal level is now a necessary evil. Any fiscal conservative who looks at the numbers honestly will come to the same conclusion.

Some funny (interesting, not hah hah) facts about the situation on the ground now that Brown has taken over Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat: the oft pointed out irony that Kennedy’s old seat will end his signature legislation; the fact the Massachusetts electorate already has a state run plan along the lines of federal health care reform so scuttling the current reform efforts causes them no significant pain; that the new GOP senator voted for the Massachusetts plan, but has declared opposition to essentially the same plan on the federal level; the heaviest opposition to health care reform is found amongst voters who either are already in, or soon will be, the massive federal subsidy of Medicare or Medicaid and basically fear their benefits being harmed in some way. Talk about wanting to selfishly eat your children. No health care reform equals a potentially very bleak future for everyone middle aged on down.

January 19, 2010

Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat goes to GOP

Not any great surprise to anyone who’s been watching the lead-up to this special election. Scott Brown takes over Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat and deals quite a blow to any flexibility the Democrats have with health care reform. By all accounts, Brown’s opponent, Martha Coakley, ran a positively dreadful campaign and even had the embarrassment of leaking a memo today while voting was still in progress with a weak sauce list of excuses why she failed to keep the Senate at 60 Democratic seats.

Another pretty weak move was to hold a press conference — also while voting was still in progress — claiming “voting irregularities” to try and get a fingernail-hold on any hope of stretching the final verdict out a bit further.

All in all the Defeatocrats got just what they deserve in this election. And given the political reality of Massachusetts Brown will likely be perfunctorily voted out of office in 2012.

From the link on the excuse list (second link), Marc Ambinder’s excellent fisking of the memo (Ambinder’s comments in bold):

Claims about Coakley’s Scant Campaigning and Miscues Were exaggerated

— Because of the failure of national Democrats to support Coakley, she was forced to devote significant time to fundraising in December. She also released a variety of plans in December and had a public event nearly every day.

[Coakley had 19 events after the primary through Sunday; Scott Brown had 66.]

January 8, 2010

9/11 didn’t happen under Bush’s watch?

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:18 pm

Man, it sure seems like he was POTUS in September 2001.

This bit of revisionist history — the idea Bush was not president when 9/11 occurred — seems to be something of a right-wing meme. So far it’s come from Mary Matalin, Dana Perino and Rudy Giuliani.

You could make the semantic argument that the terrorist attacks were’t under Bush’s “watch” because he’d only been in office for less than seven months (although there is very solid evidence his domestic defense team knew about the threat and did nothing to act on the intel), but to take one example from above — Giuliani’s — the quote is very direct: “We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama … ” And of course 9/11 wasn’t the only domestic terrorist attack during Bush’s presidency. Two high profile examples are the shoe bomber and the anthrax attacks distributed via the U.S. Postal system soon after 9/11.

This type of political linguistics no longer works in the age of online video. At one time a political actor could make a crazy, carefully worded statement to a small publication, make certain the deeper point and the blatant lie got into the media stream and then later spin your original quote around to explain what you really meant by the words “Bush’s watch.”

Not any more. When that quote is preserved for all to watch online at will — all three links above go to video of the statement in question — there is no way to spin your words unless you want to admit to either being quite confused, ignorant or a blatant liar.

Yes, there is a fringe of the GOP base that will hear these quotes and completely forget the Bush 43 administration presided over the worst domestic terrorist attack in U.S. history, plus a few more to boot. That base won’t win elections. These lies won’t entice any swing voters, and could absolutely force those voters away from the party. That does seem to be what the GOP has become at this point. Catering to a dwindling base at a moment in U.S. political history where the Republican Party could be making great strides back to the fore.

Update — Rudy’s already working to spin this one, but this comment from “dave” from the link is a great response to the entire issue:

According to Rudy, it appears the republicans define “terrorism” much in the same way Clinton defined “sexual relations”.

With that in mind, would you rather be represented by a politician who dissembles about personal behavior with no broader implications, or a politician who does the same on issues of national security?

January 7, 2010

Dems electoral road in 2010 gets a bit more tough …

… with yesterday’s announcements that Senators Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota aren’t going to defend their seats in November. That’s a lot of combined years of Congressional experience stepping back from the table. The Democrats are finding owning all of D.C. isn’t a walk in the park, and holding a governing coalition together is pretty tough.

Make no mistake, the elections are still quite a ways off and political winds blow notoriously fickle, but Obama’s first year in office has been tough on the Democrats. Blue Dogs are under attack both at home in the ballot box and from progressive purists in the blogosphere who are acting no less self-destructively than far-right GOPers who want to purge RINOs from the shrinking Republican tent.

If — and this possibility became a bit more probable with yesterday’s news — the Democrats suffer shockingly large defeats at the polls in November and (gasp!) actually lose control of the Senate, I wonder if the loony progressives who are hell-bent on battling a pragmatic and realistic president from their own party and appear to value ideology over governance will feel some measure of blame?

Probably not, and they’ll still be confused on why they’ll continue to be known as Defeatocrats.

December 1, 2009

Little Green Footballs’ Charles Johnson renounces the right

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:55 am

Not really too surprising given the overall tone of LGF the last year or so, but in a sense the right wing blogosphere lost something of a rock star with this announcement and ten part list of exactly why Johnson is no longer affiliated with right wing politics.

From the link:

And much, much more. The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff.

I won’t be going over the cliff with them.

November 21, 2009

Media figures are truly taking over the GOP

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:59 pm

This isn’t going to end well for the Republican Party.

From the link:

Pundits have used their media stages to encourage political action before, but people like Mr. Beck and Mr. Hannity are taking on outsize roles now, political experts and conservative commentators say. One reason, they say, is the weakened state of the Republican Party.

The media figures’ roles may exacerbate the ideological feuds that are already roiling the party. For the diffuse tea party movement that taps into anti-government sentiments, “the media guys are the closest things we even have to a leader,” said Adam Brandon, the vice president for communications at FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy group.

These efforts are reminiscent of the Contract With America pledge made by conservatives during the 1994 elections, though some Republicans who are uncomfortable with media personalities taking on new political roles note that that effort originated with lawmakers.

November 4, 2009

NewMajority.com has rebranded …

to FrumForum.com.

From the link, David Frum’s take on the move:

From the time we launched the New Majority site, we have had to cope with a problem with our name. Simply put, there are a lot of “New Majorities” out there. There’s one down the road in Virginia, another at the New World Foundation, a conservative 501c4 here, a liberal one there. All this generated serious confusion, but the worst was with the best known New Majority of them all, TheNewMajority in California, because their mission and ours so closely overlapped. That overlap was leading to very unnecessary conflict with people who wanted many of the same reforms that we did.

The best solution seemed to be: a change of name. But to what?

New York-23

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:10 pm

I’m of a split mind on this race and what it portends. Once a third-party (Conservative Party no less) entered the race and actually got enough traction to boot Scozzafava, the GOP candidate with New York state moderate Republican bona fides, I immediate thought this is beginning of the end of the GOP. The three-legged stool has been broken for a while and the 2008 election cycle busted it for good. The question has been how will the GOP regroup. The response so far has been a reduction to a theocratic, angry, white rump of a party with around a quarter of of the voting population willing to admit to even being a member of the Republican Party.

My second mind on this race is I see some sanity from different pundits around the blogosphere who argue not to make too much out of an off-year election in a tiny district.

The issue, now that the election is done, and has been won by a Democrat for the first time in more than 150 years. It’s just one vote in the House, but the national GOP leaders — and sadly that group doesn’t really contain any office holders and is largely comprised of entertainers — happily lost a Republican vote that was going to be a little squishy (and thus a RINO) for a Democratic vote that potentially will never cross the aisle.

The end result is the Democratic leadership has little to fear from a new Conservative Party leaving the GOP and a lot to gain from just that occurrence. The entertainers-in-chiefs leading the current GOP have been proven to be quite toothless in swinging elections and the angry rump of the GOP has been shown they can be quite effective in ridding the party of those less-than-pure RINOs. This group will trade ideology for elections any day believing that as the GOP becomes more “pure” — that is, pure to their thinking — it’ll start winning elections again.

This does not make for a winning combination. It’s telling the big GOP wins yesterday in governor elections did not come from the frothy edge of the right. Sadly for the GOP the frothy edge of the right owns the national spotlight, and as long as entertainers set the Republican standards that will remain the status quo. Money for the entertainers, Democrats in elected office.

October 31, 2009

Is New York 23 a microcosm of the GOP’s future?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:50 pm

If so I see a dead party.

October 23, 2009

Bruce Bartlett comes out in favor of VAT

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:13 pm

Bartlett is an interesting read these days. One of the major supply-siders back in the day, his economic positions seem to have shifted a  bit. He says, and I tend to agree with him, he’s only reacting to the conditions on the ground and his fundamental economic beliefs are no different than when Reagan held the White House. Of course a value added tax was one tax vehicle in the supply-side economic toolbox.

In a move that probably makes the heads of his old pals in the GOP explode, Bartlett writes in Forbes an extended defense of, and recommendation for, a national value added tax.

From the middle link:

few years ago, I concluded that the magnitude of our looming fiscal problem was so enormous that higher taxes were inevitable–and that was long before the recent crisis made matters vastly worse. Moreover, I concluded that the magnitude of this tax increase is so great that it would seriously cripple the economy if accomplished through higher rates on an already dysfunctional income tax system. Reluctantly, I concluded that a value-added tax (VAT) is the best way to raise the revenue that would, in any case, be raised.

When I first made this suggestion in a Los Angeles Timesarticle in 2004, I was building on a large body of tax analysis showing that the VAT is the best known way of raising revenue. When I say “best” I mean that it raises large revenues from low rates and has minimal disincentive effects. In economists’ speak, it has a very small dead weight or welfare cost–the economic output lost by the tax over and above the revenue collected.

Based on the experience in other countries, I estimate that a U.S. VAT could realistically tax about a third of the gross domestic product (GDP), which would raise close to $50 billion per percentage point. If we adopted Europe’s average VAT rate of 20%, we could raise $1 trillion per year in 2009 dollars.

October 21, 2009

The rump keeps shrinking

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:29 pm

Not good numbers for the GOP. Particularly that green line (independents) that is probably made up of quite a few voters who formerly self-identified as Republican.

Party affiliation 9/2008 to 10/2009

Party affiliation 9/2008 to 10/2009

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

Pat Buchanan at it again

Buchanan is a wildcard as a pundit. He has a lot of very good, very serious ideas — and then he drops a load like this WorldNetDaily piece. Buchanan’s extreme prejudice (undeniable and very public) comes to the surface on a fairly regular basis and essentially undermines any serious points he adds to the overall political circus. Even people who agree with Pat on nine-out-of-ten topics are forced to shut their eyes and hold their noses when he cuts loose with the beleaguered white man act.

The title for the linked piece? “Traditional Americans are losing their nation.” And to make certain you don’t get confused about who these “traditional Americans” are Pat gives you this, “Neither they nor their kids ever benefited from affirmative action, unlike Barack and Michelle Obama.”

And a column like this does the GOP no favors. The party really doesn’t need any more help being defined as that old, white and cranky.

About those Oath Keepers? I truly hope they are just one more marginal group the right wing media is fluffing, because if a large number of ex-military and law enforcement are ready to take up arms against the United States of America however many hinges the crazies have to work with just lost a few supporting  posts.

From the link:

In the brief age of Obama, we have had “truthers,” “birthers,” tea party activists and town-hall dissenters.

Comes now, the “Oath Keepers.” And who might they be?

Writes Alan Maimon in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Oath Keepers, depending on where one stands, are “either strident defenders of liberty or dangerous peddlers of paranoia.”

Formed in March, they are ex-military and police who repledge themselves to defend the Constitution, even if it means disobeying orders. If the U.S. government ordered law enforcement agencies to violate Second Amendment rights by disarming the people, Oath Keepers will not obey.

“The whole point of Oath Keepers is to stop a dictatorship from ever happening here,” says founding father Stewart Rhodes, an ex-Army paratrooper and Yale-trained lawyer. “My focus is on the guys with the guns, because they can’t do it without them.

“We say if the American people decide it’s time for a revolution, we’ll fight with you.”

October 16, 2009

Palin and the GOP

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:48 pm

I really don’t understand the ongoing appeal of Sarah Palin to the Republican Party.

The Daily Dish ran this year-long favorable/unfavorable poll of polls today:

Palin's favorables/unfavorables over the last year

Palin's favorables/unfavorables over the last year

Those numbers look decidedly bad. There’s a firm trend line at work. Of course it’s going to hit something of a Maginot Line at 20-25 percent favorables. She has that tiny rump locked up — and really it’s practically impossible for anybody or anything polled to dip below around 15 percent — so Palin fans can be pleased  the current trend lines will eventually level off.

The problem is there’s no reason to expect they will significantly reverse. Certainly not before the 2012 election cycle, and maybe not ever. She’s insanely damaged goods for all but the die-hard, blinker-wearing movement “conservative” faithful.

There is no political redemption for anyone carrying her baggage. Take away every other negative, and boy there are plenty to choose from, and the fact she fled her only major elected post before serving even one term is a killer. I’m discounting mayor of Wasilla and below as “major” elected posts Palin held before the Alaskan governorship.

The fact she’s even in any sort of running for the top of the GOP presidential ticket at this point ought to have the party in a state of panic. Obama may be turning a lot of independent voters off right now, but believe me he would easily outdraw Palin under just about any conceivable set of political and economic conditions the U.S. might be facing in about two and half years.

October 14, 2009

The NYT piece on Michele Bachmann …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:19 pm

… is practically glowing since it fails to point out she’s absolutely batshit crazy.
[picapp src=”0/1/0/c/b2.JPG?adImageId=5636126&imageId=2185836″ width=”500″ height=”364″ /]

October 13, 2009

Is the stimulus creating jobs?

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:05 pm

Depends on who you ask. From this desk chair it doesn’t look like it’s doing all that much, but these numbers do have a way of sneaking up on you.

From the link:

Is the largest one-time economic recovery effort in U.S. history creating jobs?

According to new reports from governors across the country, it is. Republicans in Congress say it’s not, and the debate is getting louder.

September 25, 2009

Right wing bloggers vote for most influential GOPers

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:26 pm

And it takes nine slots to get to the first elected official — Jim DeMint. Sarah Palin clocks in at number two behind Rush Limbaugh.

There really is no mystery why the GOP is becoming so marginalized. Angry volume and right wing media exposure do not mean legislative or electoral success.

To illustrate the marginalization consider this:

In 1987 comedian David Brenner bombed in syndication with about 2.5 million viewers at midnight — which is roughly what Fox, the leading network for political talk shows, averages in prime time.

(Hat tip: NewMajority)

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.