Anyone Else See A Disconnect Here?

Barack Hussein Obama:

  • Voted three times to allow a child who survived an abortion to die on a gurney.
  • Allowed the trafficking of guns into the hands of Mexican drug lords via Operation Fast and Furious, knowing they would be utilized in the commission of crimes and murders, sending hundreds of people to their deaths, including U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry.
  • Forced Catholic and other Christian institutions to violate their consciences by attempting to force them to fund birth control and abortifacients.
  • Imprisoned a Marine for speaking his mind on Facebook
  • Shut down hundreds (1000s?) of GM dealerships and put thousands out of work.
  • Prevented tens of thousands of United States workers from finding gainful employment during the worst recession since the Great Depression- by blocking the Keystone Pipeline Project.
  • Is the consummate narcissist, assigning credit to no one but himself, assigning blame to EVERYONE but himself.
Now, can you please tell me again why you think he’s a “nice guy?”

Whatever Happened to Compromise?

In the previous thread Robin Naismith Green ended a comment with the following question:

Enough blame how about some action and cooperation between the parties?

To which I responded:

Robin, the Tea Party is forcing the GOP to trend to the right at the same time that the Democrat Party has lurched violently to the left. I’m not sure how you get cooperation between such polar opposites. For example, which of the principles that guide your thinking would you be willing to compromise on? Which of our principles do you think we should compromise on. What is the ultimate goal if we both give up a little? Specifically, can you picture a country where we all get along, and how would you accomplish that when we clearly don’t want the same things. Would the ultimate compromise be to make each of us equally miserable?

And then Amazona added:

Good question. But you need to ask the right questions first. For example, the first step toward working together is agreeing on a goal. Cooperation happens when both sides agree on a goal and then only have to find ways to achieve that goal, which usually involves some give-and-take. What we are seeing, and have seen for quite some time, is goals being thrown under the bus in favor of gross and blatant demagoguery.

Example: Let’s say the Left says its goal is to feed poor children. The Right agrees, this is a worthy goal. Therefore, the next step ought to be rational discussion about how best to do this. But what happens is, the Left says there is one way to do this and only one way, their way, which happens to totally contradict the Right’s objective political philosophy, so letting the Left have its way would not be compromise, it would be capitulation.

So poor children do not get fed. BUT….the true goal of the Left is met, which was never the feeding of poor children but the demonizing of the Right, because once the Right has walked away from an entirely dogmatic and unacceptable position the Left can then trumpet its claim that the Right doesn’t care if children go hungry. And this was the intent from the get-go.

So if you truly want cooperation and true compromise, drop the either/or paradigm, and agree that the goals are shared and the only thing left is to figure out how to meet them.

We often talk about compromise.  Compromise used to be the glue that held our government together and made it work.  It was an historic compromise back in 1983 that extended the solvency of Social Security by 2 decades.  But when George Bush attempted to reform and save Social Security again early in his first term, saying publicly that EVERYTHING was on the table, compromise was nowhere to be found.  It appeared to anyone who was paying attention that for Democrats, the campaign value of being able to say that Republicans wanted to destroy Social Security was greater than actually fixing the program for future generations.

So when exactly did compromise die?  And, unless you’re living under a rock, you’d have to admit that, if it’s not dead, it’s at least in a coma.  Many on the Left cite Newt Gingrich as the single individual who banished compromise from the D.C. lexicon, and in some respects, they would be right.  But David Axelrod’s reference to Gingrich as the Godfather of Gridlock notwithstanding, Gingrich’s compromises with Bill Clinton probably accomplished more in terms of historical, meaningful legislation than any Speaker in my lifetime:

So what did Clinton and Gingrich accomplish during this era of (relatively) good feelings? Here are a few notable bills, each of which passed with broad, bipartisan majorities.

Telecommunications Act, 1996 described by the Federal Communications Commission as “the first major overhaul of telecommunications law in almost 62 years.” The House passed the final version of the bill by a 414-16 margin, with 236 Republicans and 178 Democrats supporting it.

Welfare reform, 1996 — a landmark bill to end cash payments and instead encourage recipients to find work. The House passed the final version of the bill by a 328-101 margin, with 230 Republicans and 98 Democrats.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 1996 — a law that allowed people to change jobs without fearing the loss of their health insurance due to pre-existing conditions, as well as provisions dealing with health information privacy. The House passed the final version of the bill by a 421-2 margin, with 227 Republicans and 193 Democrats.

Taxpayer Relief Act, 1997 — which established a child tax credit, tuition tax credits, and penalty-free withdrawals from IRAs for education expenses and first-home purchases, as well as a decrease in the capital gains tax and limitations on the estate tax. The House passed the final version of the bill by a 389-43 margin, with 225 Republicans and 164 Democrats.

Balanced Budget Act, 1997 — a bill that cut spending in order to balance the budget by fiscal year 2002. The House passed the final version of the bill by a 346-85 margin, with 193 Republicans and 153 Democrats.

My feeling is that today’s lack of compromise is the result of two dynamics: distrust between the parties and the wide chasm that separates their respective agendas.  I’m not sure exactly when the distrust factor entered the picture (at least in terms of modern-day politics), but a good guess would be the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA).

The ratio in the final deal — the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) — was $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. It sounded persuasive at the time. Believing it to be the only way to get spending under control, most of the president’s colleagues signed on. He disliked the tax hikes, of course, but he agreed to it as well.

You don’t have to be a Washington veteran to predict what happened next. The tax increases were promptly enacted — Congress had no problem accepting that part of the deal — but the promised budget cuts never materialized. After the tax bill passed, some legislators of both parties even claimed that there had been no real commitment to the 3-to-1 ratio.

So the question remains: how do we get compromise back?  Or maybe a better question: do we want it back?

So Much for “Frontrunners”: Cain Wins FL Straw Poll

From the Washington Times:

Former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain won the Presidency 5 straw poll here Saturday, delivering a blow to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s frontrunner status and a victory for a candidate who has struggled to transform his grassroots popularity into strong showings in national polls.

“Tonight’s winner is Herman Cain,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced. “It shows you something, the road to the White House come through Florida, and it pays to spend time here.”

He received 37 percent of the more than 2,600 votes cast…

Lots of people will say lots of things about this and some of them will be quite well-informed and illuminating.  I’ll say this:  victory in the GOP nomination will go to the guy (or gal) who gets the most votes…no one really knows how it will come out or who will win.  This may be a flash in the pan for Cain (though I think it reflects a reservoir of good will for him in the GOP electorate), but it clearly shows that for all the Perry/Romney/Bachmann talking headism of the MSM (and a lot of the New Media), the GOP electorate has not settled on a candidate.

Here’s a thought – why don’t we let this fine collection of men and women state their positions, hash things out in open debate, and then we voters go to the polls and decide who wins?  Once that has happened, we’ll have a nominee and everyone who isn’t an Obama zombie will then have the duty of enthusiastically supporting the nominee to ensure that Obama leaves office on January 20th, 2013.  That, at least, is how I think it should go.

 

Special Elections

Here are the AP results for the NY-9 race, and the NV-2 race.

The NV-2 race is just about a foregone conclusion – as it turns out, I’ve been up in Reno the past few days and so caught a bit of the GOP advertising:  all Obama, all the time…”don’t send a rubber-stamp to DC”, that sort of thing.  I don’t recall they even mentioned the Democrat candidate’s name.  Expectations are for a double-digit GOP blowout…but Mark Amodei, taking nothing for granted, has been pressing the turnout efforts.

The polls in the NY-9 race just closed a few minutes ago and while polling has been good for the GOP, I do expect a Democrat win…they are pulling out all the stops and the district does have a reputation for voter fraud.  But even if the Democrats managed to squeak out a win, it will be a signal for defeat in 2012 unless Obama changes course.  And if the GOP does pull out a win, just that much more devastating for the Democrats.

UPDATE:  In NV-02, Amodei has 64% against Marshall’s 31%; NY-09, Turner has 51% against Weprin’s 48%; still way early.

UPDATE II:  NY-09, 271 of 512 precincts reporting, GOP winning 53/46; NV-09, 166 of 858 reporting, GOP winning 58/37.

UPDATE III:  AP calls NY-09 for Republican Bob Turner.  First GOP win in NY-09 since 1921.  Dems already spinning it as  meaningless…meanwhile, in private, they are starting to wonder if they should “primary” Obama…

UPDATE IV:  AP calls NV-02 for Republican Mark Amodei.  A crushing victory – 57% to 37%.

Jindal Endorses Perry; Pawlenty Endorses Romney

Getting the Pawlenty endorsement is a good thing for Romney – Pawlenty has excellent social conservative credentials plus a reservoir of support from TEA Party activists.  This will help Romney is his now-uphill climb to beat Perry.  On the other hand, getting Jindal’s endorsement helps Perry with more establishment type Republicans…Jindal is very much the rock-ribbed social and economic conservative, but he’s never been noted as some sort of movement, get out there with the TEA Party activist.

I have to say that the Jindal endorsement will be a problem for me if Perry gets the GOP nomination…my two picks for Veep are Jindal and Rubio; with Jindal as the much-preferred candidate.  Nothing wrong with Rubio, at all – in fact, I hope to vote for Rubio in a Presidential contest one day.  But Jindal’s experience is much greater and I want Jindal to be President one day even more than I’d like to see Rubio as President.  These things will work out as they will…but it will be hard for Perry to pick Jindal due to regional reasons.  On the other hand, Bush picked Cheney and it caused no problem in the long run.

Pawlenty, of course, will certainly remain in the top five of possible Romney VP picks; probably remain in the top ten for Perry, too.  Pawlenty just brings a huge amount of strength to the GOP – and will help any GOP candidate.  Can you imagine a debate between Pawlenty and Biden?  We could make it pay-per-view and raise a billion dollars for the GOP!  Of course, Jindal would mop the floor with Biden, too…the really good news is that we can look forward to having both Pawlenty and Jindal in the next GOP Administration (we do have a wealth of talent which Democrats must envy…whom would Obama dredge up for 2nd Term replacements?  Chuck Schumer?).

Next up may be an endorsement by Jim DeMint…who could end up derailing either Perry or Romney by endorsing the other man.  If he endorses someone else, then it would probably be a wash for Perry and Romney and likely wouldn’t greatly help Bachmann or Cain, as they already have the support of those who back DeMint.

 

GOP Holds 9 Point Lead in “Generic” Ballot

From Rasmussen:

…A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate, while 36% would choose the Democrat instead. That gap is up three points from last week, when Republicans led 44% to 38%…

There has been some talk of late that Democrats – especially in the House – may be able to take advantage of a general public disgust with Congress to re-capture the House.  This is within the realm of possibility, but it is not very likely. There are several hurdles Democrats would have to vault:

1.  2012 will be driven by Presidential politics.  While “ticket splitting” is an old and honorable American political tactic, it still works out that the party most on the outs is heavily punished.  For all the problems the House GOP has, they still aren’t “in charge”.  Obama and the Democrats are.  If people are upset with Obama, they will not in very large numbers choose some of his fellow Democrats down ballot.

2.  The stark fact that America is a center-right nation makes it hard for a liberal party, like the Democrats, to gain traction except when they are completely out of power and the other side is loathed.  2006 and 2008 cannot possibly repeat themselves until a period of exclusive GOP power intervenes.

3.  Re-districting will shore up GOPers and weaken Democrats. For the first time since the 1920 census, the GOP holds the majority of re-districting power in the United States.  In 2012, for the first time since 1932 or so, the GOP will not be playing the political game on the field the Democrats made.  Most people don’t fully realize what a change this will make…we’re just used to things as they were, and aren’t any longer.  A lot of results in 2012 will surpise everyone except those with a strong sense of history and/or a good deal of number-crunching skill to see how the newly drawn districts will play.

4.  At the end of the day, electing Democrats to the House means putting Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair.  I can’t imagine what set of mental breakdowns were required in Democrat ranks to make Pelosi the Minority Leader, but no greater gift was ever handed to the Congressional GOP.  The woman is intensely disliked in the nation and GOPers will crawl on their knees over broken glass to ensure against a return of Pelosi.  She’s also a failure – her “leadership” in returning the Democrats to Congressional power in 2006 was no more than pure, dumb luck in that the GOP was immensely unpopular and made every possible mistake a party can make – a ham sandwich would have won just as big in 2006.  Pelosi’s skills as a leader were revealed in the way she entirely ruined the Congressional Democrat brand in just three years – she’s not the person to craft a winning message and campaign in a hostile political environment.

And this poll shows that, at bottom, the people are more willing to trust the GOP to manage things going forward than they are the Democrats.  This doesn’t at all translate in to blank-check support for the GOP, but it does indicate that when people go in to the voting booth in 2012, they are far more likely to vote GOP than vote Democrat.  With these sorts of numbers, the GOP would win 30 more House seats in 2012…and it would take a massive turn around in Democrat prospects just to hold on to what they’ve got.  Sure, that can be done.  Certainly, the GOP can massively screw up…but it would take two near-miracles for Democrats to regain the House, and I just don’t see that happening.

 

Obama 39%…Ron Paul 38%

More proof that 2012 is becoming an “anybody but Obama” year – from Rasmussen:

…Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul earns 38% of the vote to President Obama’s 39% in the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters. Fourteen percent (14%) like some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) remain undecided…

The reason we’re still wondering if Palin and Christie will get in the race is because it is becoming likely that whomever the GOP nominates, if they are just a credible alternative, will be the next President.  For a Republican, 2012 might be the easiest year to run, ever.

Setting aside the usual “its a long time and anything can happen” caveats, the political dynamic is shaping up to be excruciating for President Obama and his Democrats.  Only a sharp pivot away from liberalism can possibly change things sufficiently by November, 2012…and any such pivot opens up the prospect of ultra-liberals staying home, or opting for a Third Party candidate.  An incredible run of luck can still save Obama’s bacon, but that is just about it.

So, Republicans, choose with care – the guy or gal we nominate is whom we’re likely to be stuck with for four years.  No do-overs.

 

Democrats Go in to Panic Mode

Trying to save Wiener’s House seat – Jammie Wearing Fool has the details:

Maybe the folks in Brooklyn and Queens ought to make this a referendum on the failed Obama presidency. Considering he’s at a meager 36% approval in New York, a victory for GOP candidate Bob Turner would send shockwaves nationwide. So naturally the Dems are pulling out all stops. And you’ll never guess how they’re labeling Turner.

Nervous state Democrats are flooding voters with mailings blasting Republican candidate Bob Turner in the hotly contested 9th Congressional District, upping the ante in the closer-than-expected race to succeed disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner.

With President Obama’s standing in the polls in free fall, the state Democratic Committee’s mailings to Queens and Brooklyn residents accuse Turner of being a “Tea Party extremist” who wants to dismantle Social Security and Medicare.“…

We’ll see if it works – right now, the Democrat leads in polling by 6 percentage points, which you might think is healthy, but Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district by three to one.  This should be a walkover for anyone with a “D” after his name…but it’s not.  Also doesn’t help Democrats that Ed Koch, a true patriot, has crossed party lines to endorse the Republican (who is, by the way, a New York Republican…trying to paint him as some sort of frothing at the mouth conservative is absurd; but lies never present any difficulty to Democrats).

A message does need to be sent to Obama and his Democrats – something which will tell them that if they don’t ditch their extremism, the voters will punish them.  A win or even a close loss in this heavily Democrat, NY House seat would do it.  Whether or not Obama and Co will listen is another matter…