Thursday, November 23, 2006

Brit and the Boys Discuss Romney '08

Via RealClearPolitics
While they don't really break new ground, I was startled to see Fred and Mort basically saying his chances were as good anyone else's. They chalk up McCain's current lead to name recognition and the perception that he's "next in line." Fred points out that the grassroots haven't been won over by McCain and there's a real opening there, and there seemed to be unanimous sentiment that Romney's more likely than anyone else to capitalize on the opening.
Monday, November 20, 2006

Newt

Looks like Gingrich is "running" in '08.

Rudy

Even though Rudy leads in early polls, this is why he won't end up winning Republican primary. Race will likely come down to McCain vs. Romney.
Friday, November 17, 2006

Liberals are more generous than conservatives...

...as long as they're spending someone else's money. Here's the proof (hat tip: beliefnet.com).

Some pertinent quotes from the article:

Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks is about to become the darling of the religious right in America -- and it's making him nervous.

The child of academics, raised in a liberal household and educated in the liberal arts, Brooks has written a book that concludes religious conservatives donate far more money than secular liberals to all sorts of charitable activities, irrespective of income.

In the book, he cites extensive data analysis to demonstrate that values advocated by conservatives -- from church attendance and two-parent families to the Protestant work ethic and a distaste for government-funded social services -- make conservatives more generous than liberals...

When it comes to helping the needy, Brooks writes: "For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society. Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservatives for their callousness in the face of social injustice."

Principles

As we discussed in much earlier posts, I get discouraged when I see politicians seem to choose party over principles. This article on CNN.com makes the same point we discussed in detail a while ago: "Many GOP lawmakers feel the party strayed from its conservative roots and that their leaders fostered a culture in which retaining power seemed more important than sticking with principles."

China Rising

I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but I continue to assert that China, not N.Korea, Iran or Syria, is the greatest long term threat to the U.S. Take a look at this article.
Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dems 1, Pelosi 0

Well, looks like Pelosi already lost her first battle: Hoyer over Murtha. Perhaps freshman Dems will be willing to stand up to her.

So, Karl, what cost us the election?

As I mentioned earlier, Karl Rove is apparently waging a whisper campaign, blaming House Republicans' tough stance against illegal immigration for the GOP defeat in the midterms. Pat Buchanan puts the lie to that theory:

According to NumbersUSA, while Republicans lost 11.5 percent of their House seats, or one in nine, the Immigration Caucus of Tom Tancredo, the House hawks, lost 6.7 percent of its complement, only one in 16. Among Republicans given an "F" by immigration hawks, however, fully 25 percent lost their re-election bids, a bloodbath among the open-borders-and-amnesty-now crowd...

The neocons...point to the fall-off in the Hispanic vote for the GOP, from 38 percent in 2002 to 30 percent in 2006, and attribute the drop-off to calls for a border fence. Yet far more serious was the fall-off among white voters, whose support, as Steve Sailer of VDare.com points out, fell from 58 percent in 2002 to 51 percent.

The relevant truth: The GOP vote fell 7 or 8 percent among all voters. But the seven-point plunge among white voters is more ominous than the eight-point drop among Hispanics. Why?

Because the white vote in America, 80 percent of the electorate, is 13 times as large as the Hispanic vote, which accounts for only 6 percent of all voters. It is the defection of its white vote that is killing the GOP.

The Reagan Democrats are going home.

If Bush and Rove think they can win them back with amnesty and a guest-worker program that out-sources immigration policy to K Street, they will end up doing for the national party what Gov. George Pataki did for it in New York.

Ouch.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Trent Lott - Vote-Counting GOP Whip

Great. As if it couldn't get worse, Trent Lott has been elected to the no. 2 minority spot in the Senate. He's purported to be racially insensitive and spending-crazy. We've discussed the detrimental effect of conservatives abandoning the GOP in favor of the Conservative or Liberatian parties, but I'm finding not changing affiliation an increasingly difficult pill to swallow.

One more point on Martinez to RNC

If this was the President's way of reaching out to "disaffected Hispanic voters," as the L.A. Times says, it was a ham-handed and poorly thought out approach.

By picking someone who is so opinionated on pro-guest-worker-amnesty, perhaps the biggest dividing issue for the Republican caucus, Bush guaranteed that the many GOP politicians that want tighter immigration restrictions would fight back. As a result, hispanic voters who, according to the President, want to see an open borders policy, are being reminded that a majority of the GOP caucus is opposed to their agenda. Well played, well played.

Come quickly, '08

Fran Combs, managing editor of the Washington Times, weighs in on the decision to put Sen. Martinez in charge of the RNC. I'm in complete agreement with the WaTimes disgust.

I hate to say it, but it's official: Bush/Rove has jumped the shark. I'm just counting down the days till we're free of these two millstones. And it's not the mid-term electoral loss--it's the fact that they refuse to absorb any lessons and confront reality. On issue after issue--illegal immigration (most importantly), nation-building, failure to confront earmarks/K-street corruption, overspending (where's the VETO pen?), and the failure to open foregin markets and foster fair trade (which is killing us in the rust belt, the biggest swing region)--this President is MIA. And apparently, based on the "architect's" musings, his absence is quite intentional.

If Clinton was a "new Democrat", taking on (in rhetoric, anyway) GOP tax policy and shying away from welfare, Bush is a "New Republican." He's absorbed the Democratic way of viewing the electorate and how to get votes: pay 'em off.

To give him his due, Bush has been good on taxes, and fair on the most important issue: appointing conservative judges. But the same can be said of most any Presidential candidate the GOP has offered since Reagan. And the same will be true after '08, assuming Rudy does not win the nomination (and I'm skeptical that he can).

WaPo Delenda Est

Every once in a blue, even a liberal rag like the Washington Compost has an article that's insightful, funny, and well written.

Today is not one of those days.

However, David Ignatius did manage a first paragraph that was both insightful and funny:

In ancient Roman drama, when the plot got too convoluted to be resolved by mere humans, one of the gods would be hoisted over the stage to dispense wisdom and avert tragedy. The practice was known by a Latin term, deus ex machina, or "god from a machine.'' In our times, it is called the "Baker-Hamilton commission.''
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm starting to get the feeling

...that maybe Iran isn't being completely, totally honest with us.

And behind this curtain we have...

A new RNC Chair! And that's right, he's one of the driving forces behind GUEST WORKER AMNESTY!
Monday, November 13, 2006

A Real Plan for Iraq?

Paul Mirengoff does a decent job of analysis on a plan moving forward in Iraq (hat tip to Michelle Malkin). He clearly distinguishes between directed military operations and policing with a pragmatic inclusion of political sustainability.
Saturday, November 11, 2006

New Dems

Article pointing out that indeed a good number of the newly-elected Dems are conservative on many issues, so I'd be surprised if significantly liberal legislation gets sent to Bush.

The Don Speaks

Patty B has an article up on RCP about what this election really meant. And what it didn't mean. The bold/emphasis below is mine:

...the nation that rejected Bush and the Republicans did not reject conservatism. To the contrary, it seemed to want to punish the prodigal sons for abandoning the faith of their fathers.

What did America vote against?

It voted against Bush's war of democratic imperialism and the mismanagement of that war. It voted against Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham and Mark Foley. It voted against a party that postures as conservative while indulging in a six-year pig-out on the taxpayers' tab, the altarpiece of which was a $250 million "bridge to nowhere."

What did America not vote against? It did not vote against tax cuts or conservative judges or a security fence. How do we know? Because no Democrat in a hotly contested race said he would raise taxes, reject Supreme Court nominees like John Roberts and Samuel Alito or grant amnesty for illegal aliens.

The principal beneficiary of the election may be Nancy Pelosi, but this election was no mandate for an ultraliberal feminist who spent much of the campaign in protective custody so America would not see what they would be getting when they dumped Denny Hastert.

But if this was no mandate for a new "progressive era," as the media are trying to portray it, what was it a mandate for?

The answers are apparent.

The nation agrees with the Democratic Party that the minimum wage should be raised and a cost-benefit analysis done on Bush trade deals that leave Wal-Mart cluttered with cheap Chinese goods, while hollowing out American manufacturing and converting company towns into ghost towns.

The open-borders crowd is chortling that Randy Graf and J.D. Hayworth went down to defeat, but deliberately ignores the far more relevant fact that Arizonans voted even tougher restrictions on state benefits for illegal aliens.

In Michigan, the GOP establishment deserted Ward Connerly's principled battle to end reverse discrimination. But while the GOP went down to defeat, the Connerly ballot initiative, rooted in the idea of equal justice under law for all races, swept to a 58-42 victory. When Republicans desert Reagan Democrats, Reagan Democrats desert the GOP. Which is as it should be.

On social issues, our national division that dates to the cultural wars of the '60s, endures. Embryonic stem cell research lost a huge lead to win a slim victory in Missouri, while the toughest anti-abortion law in America went down to narrow defeat in South Dakota. But gay marriage was routed in every state where it was on the ballot, and pot for medicinal purposes was rejected in libertarian Nevada.


What Patty B charitably avoids mentioning about the pro-embryonic stem cell bill is how dishonestly it was sold to Mizzourans as an "anti-cloning bill", while it was essentially enshrining cloning as a legal mode of research.

So true about the Dems winning by going conservative on judges and taxes. From Bob Casey, to Jim Webb, to Harold "Gun totin' Jesus lover" Ford, to "Look at my flat-top not my record" Tester, to Heath Shuler, this was the approach they took during campaign season. Amazingly, less than a week after the election, their leadership is already doing an about-face. Waxman is already publicly declaring his intention to investigate Bush, and Rangel has said any new revenue sources (tax hikes) are on the table--nothing will be dismissed out of hand. With Conyers, Leahy, Rangel and Waxman runnig high profile committees, I'm pretty confident there will be a conservative backlash by '08: if the GOP heeds the message of '06 that Buchanan laid out in his column.

The first step to see if the GOP "gets it" will be if the House Caucus elects Rep. Pence as the minority leader and Rep. Shadegg as minority whip.

2008 GOP Presidential Strawpoll for Conservative Bloggers

Check it out and cast your votes.
Friday, November 10, 2006

Republicans Strike Again

Mehlman is out. Thoughts that Steele might replace him, or more likely Steele might get a position in Bush's administration next year.

If Repubs want to attract minority voters, may make more sense to make Steele RNC chair rather than Bush's cabinet. I say this b/c Bush already has put the most minorities in the highest cabinet positions of ANY U.S. president in history, but I'm not sure it's translated into votes. The irony is crushing though - Dems talk the talk about helping minorities, but it's Republicans who actually walk the walk and put them in positions of power.
Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mitt on the Election Results

Here's what's posted over at the Commonwealth PAC website:

STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY
November 8, 2006 - Americans spoke last night and Republicans are listening. Americans have not become less conservative, but they believe some Republicans have. As a party, we need to remember who we are and the principles that have always led our party and our country to success.

We must return to the common sense Reagan Republican ideals of fighting for hard working Americans, lowering taxes, shrinking government, curbing out-of-control spending, promoting the traditional values of faith, family and freedom, and providing a strong national security with all the necessary tools to protect the American people and win the War on Terror.

This country wants resolute leadership to tackle tough issues and a positive vision for a better future here at home and around the world. They want leadership that trusts the American people, keeps America strong and moves our country forward.

Americans across the country over the past year didn’t say they want higher taxes. They didn’t say they want more run-away wasteful spending or a Congress that continues irresponsible pork projects. Nobody ever said that this nation needs a bigger deficit.

Americans didn’t say they wanted more activist judges who legislate from the bench and they don’t want less secure borders.

No one said they want more rights for terrorists, nor did they ask that we stop terrorist surveillance … and nobody suggested that we should make life even harder for our brave men and women fighting terror around the world.

We didn’t hear a mandate for a more liberal direction because the Democrats didn’t present one. Americans don’t share those liberal ideas.

What voters told us is that America is stuck and Washington is broken. Voters told us to move forward by embracing our conservative convictions that Americans agree with and value – and we will.

Americans are looking for more fiscal responsibility, less government and sound traditional values. They want leadership and vision with conservative principles. You don’t develop a vision by looking backwards. I’m keeping my eyes on the horizon – where the future is, and where America is going.

Retaking the Senate '08

With a huge plagiarising hat tip to the FreeRepublic blog, here's a great post that I thought deserved reprinting. Contact Occ Obs if you guys are looking for royalties.

2008 senate elections

U.S. Senate Races Open seats

Delaware (Biden-D) - Biden announced in June of 2005 that he's going to run for president in 2008. But watch for Biden to back away from that in the shadow of Hillary.

Retirement watch

Alaska (Stevens-R) - Senator Ted Stevens is old, my friend. Born Nov. 18, 1923, Stevens will be nearly 85 years old on Election Day in 2008. Somewhat of a crybaby, Stevens frequently threatens to retire if he doesn't get his way on various votes.

Iowa (Harkin-D) - Born Nov. 19, 1939, Harkin will be nearly 69 on Election Day in 2008.

Kansas (Roberts-R) - Born April 20, 1936, Roberts will be 72 on Election Day in 2008.

Massachusetts (Kerry-D) - Born Dec. 11, 1943, Kerry appears to be preparing to run for president again in 2008.

Michigan (Levin-D) - Born June 28, 1934, Levin will be 74 on election day in 2008. Rumor has it he won't be running for re-election.

Mississippi (Cochrane-R) - Born Dec. 7, 1937, Cochrane will be nearly 71 years old on Election Day in 2008.

Nebraska (Hagel-R) - Hagel may decide to seek the presidency in 2008. He was born Oct. 4, 1946.

New Jersey (Lautenberg-D) - Born Jan. 23, 1924, Lautenberg will be 84 on Election Day in 2008. He had reluctantly come out of retirement in 2002 as a replacement candidate for the Democrats, and few expect him to serve out the whole term. Look for his announcement after the 2006 election.

New Mexico (Domenici-R) - Born May 7, 1932, Domenici will be 76 on Election Day in 2008.

North Carolina (Dole-R) - Born July 29, 1936, Dole will be 72 on Election Day in 2008.

Oklahoma (Inhofe-R) - Born Nov. 17, 1934, Inhofe will be nearly 74 on Election Day in 2008.

Tennessee (Alexander-R) - Born July 3, 1940, Alexander will be 68 on Election Day in 2008.

Virginia (Warner-R) - Born Feb. 18, 1927, Warner will be 81 years old on Election Day in 2008.

West Virginia (Rockefeller-D) - Born June 18, 1937, Rockefeller will be 71 years old on Election Day in 2008.

In Trouble???

Colorado (Allard-R) - The election doesn't happen for more than three years, but Allard already has a high-profile challenger. Rep. Mark Udall (D) passed on the 2006 governor race to take on Allard in 2008.

Georgia (Chambliss-R) - Georgia Democrats will no doubt give Chambliss a run for his money, considering the nasty 2002 campaign ads he ran in which he questioned the patriotism of Max Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm in the Viet Nam War.

Minnesota (Coleman-R) - If Air America radio talk show host Al Franken lives up to his promise to run for this seat, it could get interesting. If not, Coleman is pretty safe.

South Carolina (Graham-R) - Moderate Sen. Lindsay Graham may see a primary challenge from the right, possibly Charleston developer Thomas Ravenel, who has criticized Graham for brokering a deal with Democrats on President Bush's judicial nomination.

South Dakota (Johnson-D) - Johnson will likely be a top GOP target in 2008, considering his close victory in 2002 over John Thune (R), who later toppled Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D) in 2004.

Safe seats (for now!)

Arkansas (Pryor-D) - Born Jan. 10, 1963

Alabama (Sessions-R) - Born Dec. 24, 1946

Idaho (Craig-R) - Born July 20, 1945

Illinois (Durbin-D) - Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin was born Nov. 21, 1944.

Kentucky (McConnell-R) - Born Feb 20, 1942

Louisiana (Landrieu-D) - Born Nov. 23, 1955

Maine (Collins-R) - Born Dec. 7, 1952

Montana (Baucus-D) - A five-term senator, Baucus was born Dec. 11, 1941.

New Hampshire (Sununu-R) - Born Sept. 10, 1964

Oregon (Smith-R) - Born May 25, 1952

Rhode Island (Reed-D) - Born Nov. 12, 1949

Texas (Cornyn-R) - Born Feb. 2, 1952

Wyoming (Enzi-R) - Born Feb. 1, 1944

Not up for re-election, but may retire

Hawaii (Inouye-D) - Inouye recently coasted to re-election. Born Sept. 7, 1924, he'll be 82 years old on election day in 2006. He's up for re-election in 2010.

Iowa (Grassley-R) - Born Sept. 17, 1933, Grassley will be 73 on election day in 2006. Grassley is up for re-election in 2010.

Kentucky (Bunning-R) - Born Oct. 23, 1931, Bunning will be 77 on election day in 2008. He is up for re-election in 2010.

Maryland (Mikulski-D) - Born July 20, 1936, Mikulski will be 72 on election day in 2008. She is up for re-election in 2010.

Pennsylvania (Specter-R) - Born Feb. 12, 1930, Specter will be 78 in 2008. He's up for re-election in 2010. In Feb. 2005, Specter announced that he had Hodgkin's lympoma and underwent 26 weeks of chemotherapy. Specter appears to be doing well, but he may want to retire before his term is up.

Utah (Bennett-R) - Born Sept. 18, 1933, Bennett will be 75 on election day in 2008. He is up for re-election in 2010.

Implications

Frist has proven to be the most useless majority leader, which I've maintained for a long time. He should go. As mentioned earlier by MB, good riddance to Chafee. Repub in name only, he's not a useful vote.

I think Pelosi is going to have to temper her policies until she has a better handle on who these new Dems are. On the one hand I think in principle they are not as left wing as she is. On the other hand, as newly elected junior members of the House are they really going to risk their entire political career by going out on a limb against her whip cracking? This remains to be seen.

Here are two bills you can take to the bank within 1 month of new inaugurations. First, minimum wage will be increased. Dems have made this one of their most visible priorities, and given the overwhelming support this got as a ballot initiative in many states, I don't think Bush will have political capital to veto it. Second, illegal aliens will be granted amnesty, or at the very least (this is probably more likely) they will implement a guest worker program, whatever that means. Most Dems want it, and Bush certainly does so this can be a real "reach across the aisle" moment for them. How touching.

SCOTUS nomination will remain interesting. I think Bush does have some political capital here for two reasons. First, the country is still leaning conservative (note that conservative does NOT equal Republican). Second, one of the few things he is praised for is Alito and Roberts. So I think he might have some latitude here, but we'll see.

Thanks John McCain

why not just give me a paper cut while you're at it? As Hugh Hewitt noted according to RedState here:

Handed a large majority, the GOP frittered it away. The chief fritterer was Senator McCain and his Gang of 14 and Kennedy-McCain immigration bill, supplemented by a last minute throw down that prevented the NSA bill from progressing or the key judicial nominations from receiving a vote. His accomplice in that master stroke was Senator Graham. Together they cost their friend Mike DeWine his seat in the Senate, and all their Republican colleagues their chairmanships. Senator McCain should rethink his presidential run. Amid the ruins of the GOP's majority there is a clear culprit.

A second loser was Bill Frist. To be the Majority Leader of a majority that did not lead is lethal to his presidential ambitions. Like Senator McCain, it would be easier on everyone if he just exited the stage.

Not big on eating our own just b/c the "moderate" American voter felt like turning left this year, but I think my track record of calling out McCain's self-serving nonsense gives me a little latitude in that regard.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Beastly Rant

I've been traveling for work this week, so I have been unable to post. So here's my rant:

Like SHK and Fredo said, why did Bush wait to can Rummy? Doing it even a few days before the election could have made a big difference. Why? This might have tempered the huge protest vote.

George Allen is an idiot. He could have easily won re-election if he would have campaigned on the issues. As noted earlier, it's a good thing he's not going to mess up the '08 election now.

Many of the Dem gains in the house in red or purple states are moderate or even conservative Democrats (e.g. Heath Shuler). This was a smart move by the Dems. Republicans could learn a lesson from this and support moderate candidates in blue states. They might even be able to pick up a few seats!

As many have said many times, the GOP needs to return to its conservative base. I even heard Bill Kristol acknoledge that the majority of Americans are self-described conservatives.

Lincoln Chafee - good ridance.

Conyers is scary. Mock impeachments in the Capitol's basement?

I can't believe Massachusetts keeps re-electing Teddy Kennedy. Why won't he just go away?

The Dems also did a good job of taking on seats that the GOP thought were safe. Republicans can learn from this too.

Lieberman should send a thank you to the GOP for helping him win re-election. Will he throw his hat in for '08?

On a local topic: Brooke Ellison for NY State Sentate? Her whole campaign was, "I'm in a wheelchair. Vote for me." I have no idea about her position on anything. How does being a wheelchair have anything to do with holding public office?

And my final rant:
The change we need to make in Iraq is to untie the hands of our soldiers. Let them actually fight our enemies without having to ask permission to shoot. I was talking to a stranger at a rest stop this morning. He initiated conversation with me by commenting that we should start learning to speak Arabic based on the election results showing on the TV. During our conversation, I learned that he has a grandson in Iraq. As we talked about this issue, he said that we had the same problem in Vietnam and that it was lost here, not there. All of this COOing crap in the military has to end.

End Rant.

Lessons for '08?

Looking at some of the exit polls as well as how voting on ballot initiatives went, there may be some lessons for Republicans in '08. Here are some thoughts:

1. Scandals, and especially cover-ups, are hideously unacceptable to Americans. Americans increasingly trust politicians and CEOs less and less, and every time a new scandal breaks it just reinforces the belief that those in power are acting illegally or immorally. Moral convictions do matter, especially if you want to get out the conservative vote, but also to attract independent voters. The Republican party cannot tolerate any more Abramoff or Foley or DeLay type incidents. And before everyone starts pointing out that in many cases Democrats have done the same or worse, remember that Republicans must always hold themselves to a higher standard because of MSM bias.

2. Fiscal policy matters. If Republicans in '08 want to make sure that they get ALL of their voters out and don't leave anyone away from the polls, they must take steps to balance the budget, fix trade imbalance, and deal with looming entitlement spending disaster that is social security and medicare for baby boomers. Fiscal conservatives applaud Bush tax cuts, but without equal restraint on spending side they are barely better than tax and spend Dems.

3. The next Republican candidate for President must be far more capable of articulating and defending his policies than Bush. Bush absolutely got slaughtered in press by Dems/MSM on almost all of his policies, especially Iraq. I think that over the past year if he had better articulated why it was in the US's best long-term interests to stabilize Iraq, it would've been less of an issue. In order to also defend against attacks from those who conveniently forget that they voted for the war and now say that the only reason Iraq is in this situation is because of "Bush's" decision, I think he'd probably have to go one step further and explain why removing Saddam from power was the right decision. Since this should be a straightforward argument I'm not sure why they weren't able to do communicate this more effectively.

4. Country still seems to be leaning socially conservative, so this should play into Republican hands. Look at the results of ballot initiatives in many states.

Bottom line, I think Mitt is a homerun on all 4 of these issues. If McCain somehow gets through primary I'd guess he also wins general election b/c a lot of Dems and Indies like him. I do look forward to a very bloody Dem primary: hillary, obama, kerry, gore, etc. will be tearing each other apart.

CNN

Why is CNN.com the only d-bag site to officially call Lieberman and Sanders Democrats? Everyone else, including MSNBC.com, lists tally correctly at this point: 49 Repub, 47 Dem, 2 Ind, 2 undecided. But CNN is calling it 49 Repub, 49 Dem, 0 Ind, 2 undecided. They just want it so badly.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006

As Predictable as Death and Taxes

Democrat chicanery at the polls, that is. I'd love to say I'm clairvoyant just because I predicted this a few days ago, but I have to be honest: anyone with a pulse, who has been watching politics for more than a week, saw this one coming:

Lawyers with the Tennessee Democratic Party will file suit early this afternoon asking that voting hours be extended due to reports of infrastructure problems, a party spokesman said.

"Infrastructure problems", by the way, means that Dem precincts and GOP precincts have the same voting hours. Once Dem precincts are open longer than GOP precincts, the "infrastructure problems" will have been "corrected."

Lawyers had not yet decided whether they would ask that all polls remain open later or ask only that polls in certain regions of the state be open later.

Heh, heh. That's funny.

Pinkerton Gets It

I can't imagine how someone as thoughtful and deliberate as Jim Pinkerton ended up at Newsday. I don't always agree with his opinions, but the guy is always reasoned, measured, and more often than not, correct (by correct I mean in agreement with OccObs).

But today, in a short election-day column, he really nails it. Here's his conclusion:

The Reagan Democrats are looking for a party that takes seriously their concerns about immigration, homeland security, multiculturalism, immorality and de-industrialization, combined with a prudently hawkish foreign policy. Whichever party gets there first in addressing those problems, and then stays there to solve them - that party will be in the majority for a long time.


To Pinkerton, Reagan Democrats = the swing vote. The party that captures their votes will control the levers of power. While I might quibble with him on his perception that they prioritize dumping more resources into our monopolisitic public education infrastructure, I think he's largely right on the priorities of this swing group. By going with amnesty on immigration, Dubai Ports on homeland security, and doing nothing to protect American manufacturing (and even insulting the auto industry when there were questions of a bailout), this administration has definitely aliented this bloc.

The only thing that should keep '06 from being a total washout is the fact that the Democrats offer little in the way of constructive solutions. They are also pro-amnesty, weak on homeland security, and have largely adopted the free-trade-at-all-cost mantra that is hammering the working class in the Rust Belt. The Dems hate the Iraq war (now and not when they voted for it, conveniently), and hate the President even more, and that might be enough in '06 to capture the House or Senate. But as Pinkerton states, neither party has won the hearts of the Reagan Democrats, with the GOP squandering the inroads they made over the past 20 years. But the door is still open: if one party figures out how to capture the Reagan Dems loyalty, there is the potential to forge a governing coalition that is broad and possibly veto-proof.
Monday, November 06, 2006

The Final Countdown

The House, barring some macro-level last minute movement, appears lost. This will set back the nation for years, as the retention rate for Congressmen tends to be around 98% over time, and opportunities to swing the balance don't come along very often. Se la vie.

Of course, I'm more interested in the Senate, especially since it has a bearing on the judicial confirmation process. As the courts have done more damage to American democracy over the past 50 years than any other branch of government, my focus is here.

The Senate could still go either way. TN is leaning to the GOP right now. But that's the only good news. Allen has campaigned a sure win into a likely loss. All I can say is thank goodness it happened now. He would have had a real chance at seizing the Presidential nomination in '08 if not for being exposed this year, and that would have been a much bigger prize to fumble away.

In any case, here are the remaining "toss-up" races (assuming a Corker win in TN). We need one of them to maintain the majority. I'm listing them in order of favorability for the GOP, from most-likely GOP win to least-likely GOP win:

MO (Talent*)
MT (Burns*)
VA (Allen*)
MD (Steele)
RI (Chafee*)
NJ (Kean Jr.)
OH (DeWine*)
MI (Bouchard)
PA (Santorum*)

All we need is one of these seats to retain control in the Senate. RealClearPolitics.com shows the Republican trailing in every single one of these races, but the top three remain within a couple of points. Our best bet is Sen. Talent, but I'm still pessimistic.

Simple and profound

Powerline posted this article with a simple conclusion about why polling often fails to predict the correct outcome: people lie. And not just a small number of people, but an incredibly significant percentage:

Take a look at question number three in the ABC/Post poll: no fewer than 70% of those who answered the telephone said they are "absolutely certain" to vote, while another 11% said they probably will vote. That's not all: when asked about their history, the 70% who said they were absolutely certain to vote were asked whether they always, usually or sometimes vote in off-year elections. The result? 87% said they either "always" (71%) or "nearly always" (17%) vote in midterm elections.

Pity the poor pollster. An overwhelming majority of his respondents tell him they surely will vote tomorrow, and, indeed, always do. But the pollster knows that over the past twenty years, the percentage of registered voters who actually voted in a midterm election has never topped forty percent.
Sunday, November 05, 2006

Iraq War Games

Interesting article here. Apparently U.S. war games exercise in 1999 predicted that even with 400,000 troops, current situation in Iraq was to be expected.

Paul Bremer made a similar observation recently, suggesting that more troops wouldn't help. The most important thing he thought would be to have locked down Baghdad and implemented security and stability immediately after invasion. He felt that first month would've been key to demonstrate that we really had control, and establish order.

As much as I admire the job Rumsfeld et al. did during the actual invasion, I think this is yet another piece of evidence that flies in the face of his constant assertions that "no one" could've predicted what's happening on the ground in Iraq. I am hard pressed to think he is the best suited person for the job of rebuilding Iraq. Actually, in general, I'd be surprised if the same person could simultaneously have the skills to be a brilliant war/invasion strategist and tactician and also have the broad skills required to rebuild and establish the peace. For example, invasions do not (necessarily) require consideration of details such as local customs, history, etc., all of which can play a role in a prolonged rebuilding effort.

Unlike others, however, I disagree with the calls for his resignation. I think he is perfectly suited to be Secretary of Defense. I just think that once the invasion portion ended, ownership of rebuilding should have been transfered to the State Department. In fact, this effort seems to fall exactly in line with the State Department's one-line mission statement: "Create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community."

Down to stretch they go...

Senate appears to be looking good for us.
Friday, November 03, 2006

And so it begins...

"It" being the river of votes for Democrats that come from those who are dead, non-citizens, felons, imaginary, or not entitled to vote for some other reason. It's starting a few days ahead of the election this year.

Then there's the groundwork that the Dems' hacks have to do now so the troops are ready to cheat on Nov. 7.

And Harold Ford is preparing to follow his father to the dark side of the force in TN.

Remember this? How about this? Or maybe this?

After 6 years of W and moonbat hatemongering, there should be plenty of chicanery next week: a whole new generation of angry and impressionable 18 year olds willing to slash tires, forge registration cards, and plant votes early and often.

I'll give anyone out there 5:1 that when the polls close in VA, OH, TN and MO, at least one of those states will have a court-ordered voting extension to keep the machines open--and you can bet it will be a solid democrat district that will require the extra time.
Thursday, November 02, 2006

Some '08 Notes

1) George Will thinks things are breaking just right for Mitt Romney in '08. Here's his conclusion: "...the Republican field is already down to two. That is good for only one of them: Romney."

2) While Duncan Hunter's announcement that he'll seek the nomination has been basically dismissed by the MSM, I think he will be a player come primary time. Some other candidate will co-opt his border security and immigration position before all is said and done.

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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