Benjy Sarlin meets the Jack Bauer Republicans, two candidates turning their checkered Iraq War records into campaign boons.
[Commissioner Gail] Heriot also asked why a more expansive injunction was not sought against the man [who stood outside the polling place]. She worried that access to public transportation could allow him to roam around surrounding counties intimidating voters.
Democrats point out that the station that pulled their ad is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, a conservative-leaning corporation that became infamous in 2004 for an 11th hour election broadcast attacking the anti-war activism of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). And they stand by the arguments in the ad, which are based on Burns' support of the Fair Tax and his signing of Americans for Tax Reform's taxpayer protection pledge. Democrats tell me the ad will remain on the air on the other TV stations that serve the district in Pittsburgh and Johnstown.
Pat Buchanan's column on Elena Kagan is a pretty typical mix of bad faith and racial scare-mongering, but the tone is so strange that it's getting some pushback.
"Farah's fearless perspective stems from his role as a government watchdog with more than 30 years of experience in journalism. He spoke at the February convention and is looking to reprise his role by challenging delegates to band together and overcome the challenges of the left, and in particular, the Obama administration."
Up to now, Whitman had been able to introduce herself to voters without showing a hand on conservative issues.
There are a lot of reasons for this. Obama's tone is not Christie's tone, and Obama's rationale for office was not Christie's. Obama ran explicitly as a uniter, so any swing at the opposition or his critics gives conservatives the opportunity to be "deeply disappointed" at Obama's rhetoric. Christie has less to lose -- despite defeating an unpopular incumbent, he's not all that popular in his state. But the split reaction is interesting.
The political talk was not nearly as captivating in the room as Palin's frank talk about her family. SBA List's Marjorie Dannfelser happily reminded the crowd that "the biggest applause was for Trig."
"There was a widespread misinterpretation, because I voted for the first tranche of TARP, the assumption was that I voted for the second tranche of TARP and the stimulus package and the auto bailout and the omnibus bill, none of which was true," Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) said. "They put it all together with a lot of help and encouragement from the Club for Growth."
There are 550 attendees at the sold-out event, the largest-scale Susan B. Anthony List fundraiser held up to this point in a campaign, and reporters are treating it quite like a coming-out for a group that intervened in Doug Hoffman's NY-23 race, Rep. Bart Stupak's (D-Mich.) decision not to seek re-election, and the primary campaign of defeated Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.V.).
The story is sad but also a chastening one for those who, more than a half century after socialism’s decline, still wish to change America
Before Ganji's speech, Cato Institute President Ed Crane and keynote speaker George Will gave the audience red meat that would have fit comfortably at a Republican event. Crane referred the Obama White House as "the Saul Alinsky administration," and both men portrayed the current economic turmoil in Greece as the natural conclusion to European socialism.
Horne isn't the only 2010 candidate sticking it to liberal college campuses as a campaign tactic. Tom Lucero, who's lagging a bit in his Colorado congressional bid, is running on his record as a regent of the University of Colorado, where he helped prosecute and oust former professor Ward Churchill after the academic referred to 9/11 victims as "little Eichmanns."
Brendan O'Neill mocks Cleggmania. Robert P. George has Kagan doubts. Harvard graduate Michael Barone worries about Kagan's Harvard experience. Rush Limbaugh criticizes a coach who wants his team to boycott Arizona; hours later, Palin joins in. The Humane Society goes...
That makes the 12th, whose voters will make up their minds on the same day that they choose whether to end the career of Sen. Arlen Specter (D), the one that Democrats need to win to protect their narrative. In the Cook Political Report's phrasing, "Republicans have no excuse to lose" the seat.
Thanks in part to the "tea party" movement, Nevada Republicans have a 3-way race in the contest to select a candidate to challenge Sen. Harry Reid (D).
"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."
Last month I wrote about anti-illegal immigration groups pushing a video of a rally where opponents of Arizona's tough new law talked -- in my view -- like particularly ornery tea partyers. That video was the first link in a chain of videos that show pro-amnesty activists getting angry and their opponents seeing, to be frank, anti-white racism. The latest outrage is the new movie from Robert Rodriguez, "Machete," an action film based on a fake trailer from the very fun 2007 film "Grindhouse" that pits Mexican actor Danny Trejo against white racist politicians. The ad campaign was launched with a tongue-in-cheek video of the menacing Trejo sending "a message to Arizona. Cue the outrage, as Texas radio host Alex Jones explains.
The GOP's strength comes without any kind of surge in its popularity. The Democrats have a 37-42 positive-negative rating; the GOP has a 30-42 rating. The tea party, as we've seen in other polls, looks better because of a lower negative rating -- overall it's 31-30. (Interestingly, the lowest recorded positive/negative rating for Democrats in the poll came in July 2006, five months before the party won Congress.) And while I see very, very little evidence of tea party splinter candidates hurting the GOP, there's some hunger for it.
Join me at noon for a live chat right here. I apologize in advance for not answering the questions about why I didn't straighten my tie before appearing on TV that one day....
May 13, 2010; 11:12 AM ET |
Categories: Conservatives | Tags: Business Services, Business and Economy, Christianity, Communications, Religion and Spirituality, Shopping, Television, Wireless
Save & Share:
The $400,000 TV ad buy nearly doubles the amount of money Haley has to spend on the June 8 primary. If she vaults into second or first place and makes a runoff, she gets to compete in a June 22 primary.
Meanwhile, Frances Martel has another take on the glowing TV report about Paul that I spotlighted yesterday.
The new law, Act 100, allows state agencies a limited exemption from Freedom of Information requirements when duplicative requests for information are made by the same person. Although the law covers all agencies, the measure targets people who repeatedly request a copy of Obama's Hawai'i birth certificate.
May 13, 2010; 8:45 AM ET |
Categories: Fringe | Tags: Barack Obama, Birth certificate, Government, Hawaii, Law, Linda Lingle, President, United States
Save & Share:
Washington Monthly blogger Steve Benen, who has a nearly psychic link to the minds of Democratic strategists, did some of the same bashing. But as of yesterday evening, Cantor's office said 7000 activists had already cast YouCut votes, and "YouCut" has quickly become a top political search term. Gimmicks work, although I'd be fascinated to see what would come out on top if the YouCut ballot included more massive programs.
May 13, 2010; 8:32 AM ET |
Categories: Congress | Tags: Eric Cantor, Parties, Politics, Republican, Steve Benen, United States, United States House of Representatives, Washington Monthly
Save & Share:
Reid Wilson finds conservative RNC members bitter over the Republican Governors Association's help for Charlie Baker. No More Mister No Blog* engages in the ever-rewarding sport of debunking a WorldNetDaily conspiracy story -- this one about Elena Kagan. Michael Rosenwald...
The tone of this TV story casts Paul as a rock star and Grayson as a dissembler who awkwardly laughs at the news of the bad poll.
"I'd love to be bohemian about it and say that money's not important, but the more time you spend on a passion project, the less time you have to do other $-generating things, and yeah, money becomes an issue," writes Christian Heinze, the blogger behind GOP12.com
Committee members told reporters that Tampa simply had more resources than Phoenix or the other finalist city, Salt Lake City.
Steele acknowledged that the challenges to long-term incumbents affects both parties, but he argued that Democrats had more to worry about.
"So it gives us a separate claim for standing, a separate statutory basis to claim that the federal statute is in violation of the Commerce Clause. They're similar but different legal arguments. Whether ours is first or last, whether we win or lose, I don't think it affects what happens with the Florida lawsuit."
"I am immediately resigning my membership in NARTH to allow myself the time necessary to fight the false media reports that have been made against me. With the assistance of a defamation attorney, I will fight these false reports because I have not engaged in any homosexual behavior whatsoever. I am not gay and never have been."
In an intro video, Cantor promises an "an up-or-down vote" from House Republicans on whatever item wins the poll. It's an achievable goal, because the items are not as huge as the demands of the tea parties. On the chopping block: $1 million in HUD grants for dissertations, the $260 million presidential election fund, $600 million in "taxpayer subsidized union activities," $2.5 billion in welfare, and $2.6 billion in Community Development Block Grants for the less-than-poor.
Two things. One, Byrne's response doesn't even really answer the ad's attack -- you can fight to teach creationism while still allowing and (horrors!) respecting the teaching of evolution. Two, as Republicans criticize Elena Kagan for a New York/Ivy League life that doesn't represent the one lived by most Americans, here's a reminder of how wide that gulf is.
May 12, 2010; 9:30 AM ET |
Categories: 2010 Election | Tags: Alabama, Bible, Bradley Byrne, Christianity, Faith, Jesus, Religion and Spirituality, Republican
Save & Share:
So look hard at Tampa, envision a keynote address by a Senator Marco Rubio or a Congressman Allen West, and figure out why Republicans might like this.
May 12, 2010; 8:40 AM ET |
Categories: 2012 Election | Tags: Arizona, Mitt Romney, Phoenix Arizona, Republican, Republican National Convention, Salt Lake City, Tampa, Tampa Florida
Save & Share:
"I met with McConnell," said DeMint, "told him about it, told him I fully supported him as leader, and that this was just about trying to get someone up here who believed in constitutional limited government. I told him I don't want to be leader, I don't want to run for president. I'm doing this because I just want to save our country from this reckless debt and I need a few recruits. He seemed to understand that, and we're in good stead."
Earlier today I marked down the 96-0 Senate vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders's (D-Vt.) "Audit the Fed" amendment as a big win for one of Rep. Ron Paul's (R-Tex.) lifelong causes. But that's not quite how Paul sees it.
Rick Scott, spending big in his Republican run for governor of Florida, backs the Arizona law. Americans United for Life links Kagan to an Israeli jurist. Daniel Larison schools Barone on the British elections. David Keene aims at Meg Whitman....
Looking ahead to the presidential primaries, the RNC is reported to be considering a calendar that would result in the most drawn-out GOP contest since 1996.
Alabama gubernatorial candidate Tim James became a minor Internet sensation after running an ad in which he quietly, emotively made the case for English-only driver's license exams. The James campaign basked in the attention, and now it's sending around a clip of a Frank Luntz focus group watching the ad on Sean Hannity's Fox News show.
Is it misinterpreted out there? There are lot of people who are frustrated with spending, taxing, borrowing, bailouts, takeovers, and I think it fits into that overall narrative. That's something that those of us who voted for TARP will have to explain to voters.
In (very brief) conversations with several reporters today, Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) refused to completely rule out a write-in campaign for U.S. Senate -- the only option left to him after losing his bid for the GOP nomination last week.
Democratic retirements have actually failed to keep the pace of retirements in, say, 1994. They've had 17 retirements; Republicans have had 20, albeit most in very safe seats. So 105 of these potential targets are currently held by Democrats.
en Smith has more on the coalition that formed to support this (a similar coalition was built, but failed, to stop the re-confirmation of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke).
David Koch, Charles's brother and a more public benefactor of libertarian causes, took plenty of credit for this at last year's Americans for Prosperity summit in Washington.
Former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman previously described DuHaime as “a huge talent - politically smart, excellent manager, exceptional at grassroots and experienced at building and managing a hundred-million dollar budget."
In Kentucky, it's trying to tear down Rand Paul with a six figure buy. Here's the ad running right now.
If Cahill stays at or around 30 percent support, Baker's task becomes doubly difficult -- the base Democratic vote in the state is always going to be higher than that, and voters will be harder pressed to abandon Cahill as unelectable. Thus, the barrage.
Discard political correctness, make public the declaration of war (Jihad), made against the US on 23 Feb 1998, and fight the war against the United States by radical Islam to win.
May 11, 2010; 8:21 AM ET |
Categories: Conservatives | Tags: Austrian School, GOP, Global warming, Maine, Republican, Ron Paul, United States, Utah
Save & Share:
I'll be on "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" tonight discussing the fall of Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah). And before that I'll be at the Capitol Lounge for my colleague Chris Cillizza's trivia night, Politics and Pints.
If you missed it, here's the video and transcript of Lt. Col. Terry Lakin -- actually, mostly Lakin's lawyer -- explaining why it's worth risking his military career to get the truth about Barack Obama's citizenship. Left unclear -- the utility of having Lakin on in the first place.
It emphasizes that as exciting as this story was, it's simply not repeatable in other states -- Utah's empowerment of the most dedicated activists, which lets them shrink the primary field to their two preferred candidates, is unprecedented.
"The position for which she has been nominated has lifetime tenure, and it is concerning that the President has placed such trust in a nominee that has not been properly vetted through a judicial career, having worked mostly in academia and never before as a judge," Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said of Elena Kagen.
Lisa Marie Stickan takes Audra Shay's job, with the election for Stickan's old job to come in July, and no vote on a new president until the next national convention.
I was one of the people asking Heye to clear this up, and I also asked Michael Zak, the amateur historian who wrote the RNC's "Heroes" Web site -- heavy on the achievements of black Republicans -- what was going on.
The 2007 failure of the Senate to pass an immigration reform was a huge asset to McCain, taking the heat off of an issue that divided him from the GOP base. The return of immigration as an issue to Arizona, in the form of the state's tough new enforcement bill, is proving just as difficult to navigate as reform was in the nadir of McCain's presidential bid.
"I've said that in public before," GOP operative Curt Levey said, referring to leaked audio of a conference call. "It's not a secret that I feel that. If I think we get political advantage from this, why wouldn't we get an advantage from a longer nomination process?"
"There is no doubt that Elena Kagan has exemplary academic and professional credentials," Arlen Specter says. "And she has been a pioneer for women, serving as the country’s first female Solicitor General and as the first woman to be Dean of Harvard Law School. I applaud the President for nominating someone who has a varied and diverse background outside the circuit court of appeals."
Of course, most people have taken "at face value" Obama's certification of live birth from Hawaii, released by the campaign in 2008, as proof of where he was born. Interestingly, Nelson's less-well-established primary challengers don't take the bait, and blow off the question.
The military recruiter argument is peaking right now, something that has to irritate critics like Glenn Greenwald who want to make more substantive critiques of Kagan's record and philosophy. The "rubber stamp" argument is bubbling under, although I don't know how sustainable it is -- yes, polls suggest that Americans prefer nominees with judicial experience, but defining the role of the solicitor general as a "rubber stamp" is a hard sell.
Fried, who voted for Barack Obama, is likely to be one of the most vocal "conservative"* defenders of Kagan, in part because he doesn't ask anything for his endorsement. He doesn't demand that Kagan vote one way or the other on executive power issues. He's just one of the most faithful boosters she's picked up over her career.
On Friday, I noted that anti-gay activist Ryan Sorba, in the process of angling for a role in a CNN documentary, challenged prominent gay conservative Tammy Bruce to a debate.
Kagan did some advisory work for Goldman Sachs from 2005 to 2008. The size of her stipend -- $10,000 -- indicates how far from the action this job was. But it will come up.