Weekly Musing 1-26-14

Weekly Musing 1-26-14

Saul Anuzis


“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”     ―     Elie Wiesel


The Dave Agema Controversy: an unnecessary distraction

For the record….Dave Agema does not speak for me or my party.  I think he should resign for the good of the party and the conservative movement.


The rest is up to him…I’ve made my case clear (as have virtually every party leader and activist)…I’m shifting my energies to helping elect Republicans and defeating Obama and his liberal allies!


Enough said.


The Sleepiness of a Hollow Legend. The State of the Union is a grand tradition—but only if people are listening.

No one’s really listening to the president now. He has been for five years a non-stop wind-up talk machine. Most of it has been facile, bland, the same rounded words and rounded sentiments, the same soft accusations and excuses. I see him enjoying the sound of his voice as the network newsman leans forward eagerly, intently, nodding at the pearls, enacting interest, for this is the president and he is the anchorman and surely something important is being said with two such important men engaged.


But nothing interesting was being said! Looking back on this presidency, it has from the beginning been a 17,000 word New Yorker piece in which, calmly, sonorously, with his lovely intelligent voice, the president says nothing, or little that is helpful, insightful or believable. “I’m not a particularly ideological person.” “It’s hard to anticipate events over the next three years.” “I don’t really even need George Kennan right now.” “I am comfortable with complexity.” “Our capacity to do some good . . . is unsurpassed, even if nobody is paying attention.”


Nobody is!






BARONE: Population declining in states with relatively high dependence on government

This reflects continuing low, below-replacement-rate birth rates and lower immigration than in 1982-2007. Net immigration from Mexico evidently continues to be zero. The nation’s economy may be growing again, but Americans — and potential Americans — are not acting like it. There’s a parallel here with poll results showing that majorities still believe we are in a recession that the National Bureau of Economic Research says ended in June 2009, nearly five years ago. Sluggish population growth is matched by sluggish geographic mobility. The Census Bureau reports that only 4.8 million Americans moved across state lines in 2012 — about half the percentage that did so in the boom years of the 1990s. Americans were similarly immobile, indeed even more so, in the 1930s (the Okies fleeing the dust bowl for California were a picturesque but demographically minor exception). Numbers can seem cold and impersonal, but beneath these numbers is a picture of a pessimistic, risk-averse people. – See more at: http://rare.us/story/barone-population-declining-in-states-with-relatively-high-dependence-on-government/#sthash.5OKmxD0o.dpuf




Conservative Reformers Need To Make DC Listen

So, in short, the folks talking about inspiring ideas are also the ones who ran inspiring campaigns and won despite having the deck stacked against them. The folks who avoided inspiring ideas in order to “not be the issue” ran dull campaigns and lost despite a reasonably favorable electoral landscape. There may be a fact pattern here.


This is not meant to merely be an exercise in claiming credit for past victories. It is critical to understanding why reform conservatism – and there’s plenty of room to debate what that should mean – is tied to what Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) calls the campaign to Make DC Listen.


Douthat wants to ask the question of how the Republican Party breaks free from its allegedly rejectionist base. He’s asking the wrong question. The question is whether the Republican Party can break its cozy relationship with Washington’s Ruling Class of lobbyists, consultants and defenders of the status quo enough to embrace these bold policies, differentiate itself from the Democrat Party of Big Government, and appeal to the vast majority of Americans who have thrown up their hands in disgust.




Mulling 2016, Huckabee Touts Governing Credentials

Moments before addressing a roomful of Republican leaders from around the nation Thursday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee laid out a preliminary case for a possible 2016 presidential bid.


“We need to have people who actually recognize the role of how to govern,” Huckabee told reporters when asked why he was contemplating a second White House run. “It’s not just a campaign, it’s really about being able to govern and experiencing governing in an environment that is not altogether your own party. And certainly, nobody could bring that quite like I could.”


Huckabee, who has stoked speculation in recent weeks about his prospective candidacy, was in Washington to speak at the Republican National Committee’s annual winter meeting.





Companies cut coverage for part-timers, shunting employees to Obamacare

Perhaps more importantly, though, Obamacare could be creating a two-tier system inside the employer-based system. Good coverage is still a benefit, and companies will include it as part of the compensation packages it offers the most sought-after workers. But employees lower down the ladder? Not so much.


“The employer offering of health insurance will be more and more tied to attracting high value workers,” says Bob Laszewski, a respected health care industry expert. “Employers who employ a lot of lower-paid unskilled [workers, like Target,] will more often eliminate benefits and send them to the exchanges. Employers who employ a lot of highly skilled and harder-to-recruit workers will more often maintain benefits.”


And that doesn’t mean just part-time employees. Obamacare could affect health coverage for millions of Americans who didn’t think they would be affected.





Taking the GOP’s temperature on Christie

The collective takeaway? A wide-ranging sense of support and sympathy for the governor laced with a heavy dose of wait-and-see caution.


Here’s what 10 Republicans said about the Christie flap:


Saul Anuzis, Republican consultant: “If he is really involved, when all the facts come out, it will be the nail in his coffin. If he wasn’t, it could be a rallying cry, because people thought he was being unfairly treated by the media. That’s the gut reaction right now by many activists. But if he’s lying, he’s dead.”





The Real Reasons Recruits Don’t Run

I asked party strategists on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Hill for specific examples and life circumstances of people they tried (and failed) to recruit this cycle. Names have been omitted to protect the innocent.


Potential candidate’s father has Alzheimer’s and decided to move in with her.

Potential candidate’s wife “wasn’t up to it.”

Potential candidate has young children and she didn’t want to be away from them so often.

Potential candidate’s wife is a two-time breast cancer survivor whose health didn’t allow the margin for a top-tier race.
Other potential candidates passed for financial reasons. One woman was in the middle of selling her business and would have sacrificed millions of dollars for a one-year stint on the campaign trail with no guarantee of victory. Similarly, another candidate was in the middle of complicated financial transactions. Yet another candidate couldn’t pass up the cushy pension in his current position.





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