Buried deep inside stories on Sen. Evan Bayh’s decision not to seek re-election is potentially bad news for Indiana Democrats:
The timing of the expected Bayh announcement creates a dilemma for Democrats, though, since the deadline for candidates’ petitions to be submitted is Tuesday. That means Bayh’s name could still be on the ballot in May’s Democratic primary — Democrats will have another opportunity to pick a candidate through a separate nominating process. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is considering whether it would be possible for a replacement to be named.
Ballot access laws in the state require a candidate for office to have a nominating petition of 5,000 signatures, which would have been a difficult task to accomplish by noon today, with Sen. Bayh’s announcement occurring yesterday. It’s being reported that Democrat candidate, Tamyra D’ippolito, has the 5000 signatures necessary, but no reports yet of whether or not she turned them into the state in time. No doubt, some sort of candidate substitution law already exists (not sure about that though) or the decision will be made by the state party itself.
Aaron Biterman is the Founder of LibertySlate 2010, which exists to empower voters with information about candidates for Congress who share our commitment to constitutionally limited government and preserving individual liberty in our country. Learn more about LibertySlate 2010 at LibertySlate.com.
It is clear that the “leadership” of the Republican Party has abandoned the principles that made our country great and made our citizens free and independent: Constitutionally limited government, individual liberty, and free-market capitalism.
In 2005, I could sense that the Republican Party was about done with George W. Bush. I decided to get involved in the Republican Party through the Republican Liberty Caucus and work to change hearts and minds in a party that was collapsing before my eyes.
A year later, I developed the concept of LibertySlate. I decided that recruiting and supporting candidates who shared my vision for smaller government and were able to wage primary campaigns against incumbent Republicans was a worthy goal. But 2006 was a tough year and I didn’t find enough candidates to participate in the LibertySlate. Republicans lost sorely in the 2006 cycle, but the few Republicans who had voted correctly were able to hold on to their seats.
In 2007 and 2008, I was extremely active in the Ron Paul for President efforts and was helping the Republican Liberty Caucus keep up with the rapid movement growth that resulted from the Paul campaign. The RLC endorsed over 220 candidates in 2008. Unfortunately, despite that LibertySlate still existed as a concept in my mind, we weren’t able to get it launched in time to have a significant impact in Republican primaries.
LibertySlate 2010 Launched
In editorial for the Washington Post on Sunday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty lays out five policy proposals for real health care reform, which includes incentivizing patients to compare prices, pay for performance for medical providers and opening up interstate commerce between insurance companies (among a couple other ideas):
The health-care reforms proposed by the president and congressional Democrats are meeting stiff resistance because they would take America’s health care in the wrong direction. Runaway costs are the underlying reason that so many citizens do not have access to health care and that our system needs reform. Rather than focus on cost-cutting reforms like the ones I described, Democrats focused solely on expanding access — hoping that more mandates and government spending would somehow circumvent the fundamental issue of runaway costs.
Pawlenty, who is obviously running for president in 2012, I’ve always been skeptical of him. This editorial was actually good, nothing I hadn’t heard before, but well written. He is also doing some good things with the budget in his home state, cutting spending by over $1 billion without increasing taxes. He is, in fact, proposing tax cuts for businesses.
As President Barack Obama plans this health care summit, set as some bipartisan touchy, feely chance for Democrats to save a major part of domestic agenda. Isn’t is amazing how the Obama is suddenly willing to listen to ideas other than his own?
As reported in the New York Post, Trump recently made these remarks at a speech to the members of the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester:
Gore wants us to clean up our factories and plants in order to protect us from global warming, when China and other countries couldn’t care less. It would make us totally noncompetitive in the manufacturing world, and China, Japan and India are laughing at America’s stupidity.
Looks like even Trump, who has openly supported liberals like Barack Obama, has joined the anti-global warming crowd. It is only logical that someone who plays such an integral part of our capitalist economy should question global warming. Trump knows that measures being proposed in Washington to fight global warming will not contribute in any notable way but will in fact destroy much of our already fragile economy.
While speaking at an event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Sam Wurzelbacher (aka. Joe the Plumber) took some shots at John McCain and Sarah Palin:
Wurzelbacher touched on several different points during his speech, and many of them were surprising. He said he doesn’t support Sarah Palin anymore. Why? Because she’s backing John McCain’s re-election effort. “John McCain is no public servant,” he told the room, calling the 2008 Republican nominee a career politician.
I pointed out he’d just be plain old Sam Wurzelbacher of Ohio — Joe the Plumber wouldn’t exist – without McCain. His response was blunt. “I don’t owe him s—. He really screwed my life up, is how I look at it.”
Wurzelbacher said, “McCain was trying to use me. I happened to be the face of middle Americans. It was a ploy.”
Joe the Plumber also had some comments about the attacks against President Barack Obama:
Wurzelbacher also told the room to lay off the extreme personal attacks on President Obama. He said people who question whether Obama was born in the United States or compare him to Hitler “belittle and set back” the conservative movement. “The birthers, the truthers — if people are trying to bunch them [with tea partiers], that would kill us. That just pushes away Democrats and independents who might come out for our cause otherwise.” He said he actually likes Obama, in some ways. “I think his ideology is un-American, but he’s one of the more honest politicians. At least he told us what he wanted to do.”
Over the past 30 years, America has seen Presidential scandals ranging from Watergate to Iran-Contra to Travel-gate, Whitewater, the Lewinsky scandal, and the Valerie Plame affair. We’ve learned the truth about some of the truly nefarious actions undertaken by some of most beloved Presidents of the 20th Century, including the iconic FDR, JFK, and LBJ. And, yet, despite all of that, Americans still have a reverential view of the President of the United States that borders on the way Englishmen feel about the Queen or Catholic’s feel about the Pope.
How did that happen and what does it mean for America ?
Gene Healy does an excellent job of answering those question in The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power, making it a book that anyone concerned with the direction of the American Republic should read.
As Healy points out, the Presidency that we know today bears almost no resemblance to the institution that the Founding Fathers created when they drafted Article II of the Constitution. In fact, to them, the President’s main job could be summed up in ten words set forth in Section 3 of Article II:
he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,
The President’s other powers consisted of reporting the state of the union to Congress (a far less formal occasion than what we’re used to every January), receiving Ambassadors, and acting as Commander in Chief should Congress declare war. That’s it.
A new Pew poll shows that the mindset of voters could be toxic for vulnerable incumbents:
America’s current anti-incumbent mood rivals levels in 1994 and 2006, the previous two wave election years in which the majority party was swept out of power, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey out today on the midterm election climate.
Asked if they would like to see their congressman re-elected, just 49% said “yes” while 31% said “no.” The 31% who currently say they do not want their incumbent reelected is well above the 23% average in the previous 29 Pew surveys.
These numbers mirror an October 1994 Pew survey—taken just weeks before Republicans swept Democrats out of power—in which 49% said their incumbent should be re-elected and 29% disagreed. In February 2006, when Republicans controlled Congress, some 59% said their incumbent should be re-elected while 28% said they should not. Democrats took control that fall.
While the anti-incumbent feeling may be in the air this year, the re-election rate is extremely for House members (90% in 1994, 94% in 2006). Members of the Senate tend to have a higher turnover (92% in 1994, 79% in 2006), but incumbents still find their way back
Former Vice President Dick Cheney supports the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”:
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Cheney said that on matters of military personnel he took his cues from the brass. Now that they felt the time was right to revise the policy that prevented gays from serving openly, he too was comfortable with a change.
“Twenty years ago, the military were strong advocates of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ when I was Secretary of Defense,” Cheney said. “I think things have changed significantly since then. I see that Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has indicated his belief that we ought to support a change in the policy. So I think — my guess is the policy will be changed.
“I think the society has moved on,” he added. “I think it’s partly a generational question. I say, I’m reluctant to second-guess the military in this regard, because they’re the ones that have got to make the judgment about how these policies affect the military capability of our — of our units. And that first requirement that you have to look at all the time is whether or not they’re still capable of achieving their mission, and does the policy change, i.e., putting gays in the force, affect their ability to perform their mission? When the chiefs come forward and say, ‘We think we can do it,’ then it strikes me that it’s — it’s time to reconsider the policy. And I think Admiral Mullen said that.”
We may not agree with the guy often, but give him credit, he’s right on DADT.
Another prominent Democrat has decided to retire:
Media reports say that Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana has decided to not seek re-election.
The Indianapolis Star reports that Bayh is attributing his decision to excessive partisanship that makes progress on public policy difficult to achieve as the motivation for his decision.
Bayh scheduled a Monday afternoon news conference in Indianapolis.
This is somewhat of a surprise considering that Bayh, who briefly considered a run for the White House in 2008 and was rumored to be among Barack Obama’s top choices for Vice-President, would have likely won re-election easily.