Weekly Musing 7-13-14
Now, More than Ever, It’s A Time for Choosing
Awesome “Peaceful Majority were IRRELEVANT” Heritage Foundation Panelist on Radical Islam
The best, most direct and honest answer I have ever heard about the “peaceful majority”. A must watch!
2014 Senate rankings: Map favors GOP
With four months until Election Day, Republicans are as close to winning the Senate as they’ve been since losing it in 2006.
Six months ago, the GOP path to the majority was narrower: Republicans essentially had to sweep seven races in states Barack Obama lost in 2012 but where Democrats currently hold seats. Unlikely, in other words.
Now Republicans have more options. They’ve landed top recruits to take on first-term senators in New Hampshire and Colorado, nominated credible female candidates in open-seat contests in Michigan and Iowa, protected all of their incumbents from tea party challenges and thwarted more conservative candidates that could have hurt the GOP’s chances in states like North Carolina and Georgia.
With the general election field all but set, Republicans are looking to turn the midterms into a national referendum on Obama. Democrats want the focus to be squarely on the candidates, and they’re spending the typically quiet summer months trying to define Republican hopefuls as unlikeable and extreme.
Establishment Tea – The GOP is coming together, not apart
Reporters and commentators have been drawn to civil-war metaphors in describing the fight between the “establishment” and “tea party” wings of the Republican party for years now, and it has usually seemed overwrought. Then along came the shocking upset of House majority leader Eric Cantor in Virginia, followed by a Thad Cochran–Chris McDaniel Senate primary in Mississippi that was about as pleasant as the Battle of Chickamauga.
The drama of these elections — Cantor’s defeat was literally historic, and Cochran’s victory will generate ill feelings for a long time to come — has obscured the larger story of the evolution of the party. The GOP may well be coming together, not coming apart. Both wings of the party are, in fits and starts, converging on a new synthesis.
The tea parties have almost since their inception been attacking the party establishment for not standing for anything, and the establishment has been complaining for nearly as long that tea-party candidates are not ready for prime time. This primary season, each side seems to be learning the other’s lesson.
Maureen Dowd Just Proved Every Single Conservative Point For Me
Dowd’s column was a masterpiece of liberal thought. It should be framed on every sane American’s wall and included in every U.S. history book for the rest of time. It should serve as a warning of what happens when liberals are in charge. Even Dowd, the queen of liberalism, openly admitted that America has gone to hell.
Imagine buying a beautiful home, in a wonderful, safe neighborhood, with great schools. Then, through a combination of incompetence, ignorance, arrogance and purposeful intent, that home becomes a garbage-ridden, graffiti-covered crack house. In short order, the entire neighborhood goes to hell. The good people escape. Drug dealers and welfare addicts move in. The streets become dangerous. The schools become cesspools of crime, drugs, gangs, and teen pregnancy. Then the landlord, who allowed this to happen (by being the worst homeowner on the planet) has the nerve to complain about how the neighborhood has gone downhill. Can you imagine the nerve?
Well that was Dowd’s New York Times column on July 4. Dowd admits America has become a disaster, a country in shambles, a country in decline. She says we are “scared of our own shadow.” Collapsing. Crumbling. Defeated. We’ve lost our confidence. We’ve lost our swagger. No more hope about the future. A country no longer “exceptional.”
Americans Are Politically Divided and Our Feelings Toward the Parties Show It
How politically divided are ordinary Americans? The recent release of a report on polarization in public opinion by the Pew Research Center has reignited a debate among journalists and academics about the depth of the divisions between supporters of the two major parties. One of the key findings of the report is that supporters of the two parties hold increasingly negative feelings toward the opposing party and its leaders. While some scholars like Morris Fiorina of Stanford University have disputed the significance of these findings, an examination of evidence from the American National Election Studies provides strong support for the conclusions of the Pew study.
The ANES data make it possible to examine trends in feelings toward the Democratic and Republican parties over a fairly long period of time. Since 1978, the ANES has been asking national samples of American adults in every presidential election year and most midterm election years to rate both parties on a feeling thermometer scale. The scale ranges from zero degrees to 100 degrees with zero the most negative rating, 100 the most positive rating, and 50 a neutral rating. Ratings above 50 degrees are considered positive, while ratings below 50 degrees are considered negative.
Happy Birthday, America – John Adams’ letters from Philadelphia celebrate a nation conceived in liberty.
A must read for every American…
Boehner: Why we must now sue the President
Every member of Congress swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So did President Barack Obama.
But too often over the past five years, the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold — at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him.
That’s why, later this month, we will bring legislation to the House floor that would authorize the House of Representatives to file suit in an effort to compel President Obama to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country.
The President’s response: “So sue me.”
Obama’s irresponsible taunt: President increasingly willing to go at it alone The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court late last month that President Obama violated the separation of powers in appointing officials is the type of decision that usually concentrates the mind of a chief executive. Obama, however, appeared to double down on his strategy — stating in a Rose Garden speech on Tuesday that he intended to expand, not reduce, his use of unilateral actions to circumvent Congress.
Summing up his position, the President threw down the gauntlet at Congress: “So sue me.”
The moment was reminiscent of George W. Bush’s taunting Iraqi insurgents over 10 years ago by saying, “Bring ’em on.”
It was irresponsible bravado from a man who was not himself at the receiving end of IEDs and constant attacks that would go on to cost us thousands of military personnel. I imagine some lawyers at the Justice Department may feel the same way about Obama’s “sue me” taunt. They are the ones being hammered in federal courts over sweeping new interpretations and unilateral executive actions.
The Obama Presidency Unravels
The Obama presidency has unraveled. The man who liberal political commentators once said was the rhetorical match of Lincoln is now considered by one-third of Americans to be the worst president since World War II, according to a new Quinnipiac University National Poll. (The span covers 69 years of American history and 12 presidencies.) The same poll found that 45 percent of Americans say the nation would be better off if Mitt Romney had won the 2012 presidential election, while only 38 percent say the country would be worse off.
Another poll–this one from the Gallup organization–finds that in his sixth year of office, the level of confidence in Mr. Obama’s presidency is 29 percent. That’s lower than at a comparable point for any of his predecessors.
But the president’s problem isn’t polling data; it’s objective conditions. While recent job reports have been somewhat encouraging, the deeper trends of the economy remain quite troubling. In the first quarter of this year, for example, the economy contracted by nearly 3 percent (the largest contraction in a non-recession in more than 40 years). Illegal immigrants are surging across the border, with more than 52,000 unaccompanied children detained since October.
Are Democrats beginning to rationalize that losing the Senate majority wouldn’t be as bad as some fear?
Early this year, we saw Senate Democrats throw their House brethren under the proverbial bus with a Jan. 29 story in Politico headlined, “Democrats: Cede the House to Save the Senate.” It noted that Democrats’ hold on their majority in the upper chamber was tenuous, while over on the House side, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was raising money hand over fist despite having little chance of reclaiming the majority House Democrats lost in 2010. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Senate Democrats were trying to redirect fundraising from what they saw as a lost cause on one side of the Capitol to what they saw as a much more important one on their side.
On one level, it was pretty obvious that the odds were exceedingly long for House Democrats and more like 50-50—give or take 10 points—on the Senate side. But these kinds of stories are usually played out in the weeks or final months before an election, not in the first month of the election year. To me, it was both understandable and unseemly, and certainly not very subtle. I could only wonder just how angry House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was with the story, particularly given that I had heard her deliver a very spirited defense of Democrats’ House chances just a few weeks earlier. But as the old saying goes, “Politics ain’t beanbag.”
We saw it again this past week with The Washington Post’s inimitable Dana Milbank writing a column July 4 suggesting that perhaps the Obama presidency might benefit from Democrats losing their Senate majority. The crunching sound you heard was the bones of Senate Democrats under a bus, a pretty fair indication that someone in or close to the White House was beginning to rationalize why such an outcome might not be as bad a thing as some might think—all logic to the contrary.
President Obama has quietly promised Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren complete support if she runs for president — a stinging rebuke to his nemesis Hillary Clinton, sources tell me.
Publicly, Obama has remained noncommittal on the 2016 race, but privately he worries that Clinton would undo and undermine many of his policies. There’s also a personal animosity, especially with Bill Clinton, that dates from their tough race six years ago.
A former Harvard law professor and administration aide, Warren would energize the left wing of the Democrat Party just as Obama did against Clinton in 2008.
Republicans can’t seem to agree on Iraq and Middle East strategies
The crisis in Iraq and broader unrest in the Middle East have exposed a growing rift among Republicans on foreign policy, as skeptics of military intervention have more openly challenged the party’s hawkish posture in the post-Sept. 11 era.
Unfolding events in the region could help shape the fight for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 just as it did for Democrats in 2008, when Barack Obama capitalized on liberals’ distaste for the war in Iraq as he wrested the nomination from front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Even as Americans take an increasingly dim view of President Obama’s handling of foreign policy, however, they have generally supported his positions on the Middle East. Their disapproval of his leadership style rather than his policies has further complicated Republican divisions.
Few Republicans in Congress have been willing to outline specific approaches to confront challenges in Iraq and elsewhere. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who has accused the president of “taking a nap” as Islamic State forces gained strength in Syria and Iraq, has nonetheless resisted questions about specific steps the U.S. should take going forward.
Those who have spoken out don’t always agree, and their debate joins similar internal Republican spats over immigration reform and spending as issues likely to vex the party heading into 2016.
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