Archives for May 2012
Over the last few years, I’ve been explaining to friends, particularly Republicans, that young Americans are increasinly libertarian in their viewpoints. Some of them dismiss it, refusing to acknowledge the rising popularity of libertarianism. However, Jack Hunter notes that, thanks to some recent polling by Zogby, the conservative movement is being somewhat saved by libertarians:
Perhaps one of the dumbest stories in recent memory was last week’s obvious hit job on Mitt Romney. The Washington Post went back nearly 50 years to his high school days with a story claiming that Romney pulled a prank on a fellow student, who may have been gay, by cutting off his hair.
Given everything going on in the United States and the world today, it seems rather silly to run with this as a legitimate news story. Republicans cried foul, and in my opinion, they had a valid complaint. It’s hard to see how this has anything to do with the important issues that voters will keep in mind at the polls in November.
But it’s a big story to some, particularly Romney’s detractors on the Left. MSNBC host Tamron Hall thought it was worth talking about, but her guest, Tim Carney, a writer at the Washington Examiner, said there were more important things to discuss. Hall then cut his microphone off:
Andrew Sullivan posted this fascinating memo over the weekend from a top Republican pollster to Republican party officials and candidates about same-sex marriage. In short, here are its conclusions:
Recommendation: A statement reflecting recent developments on this issue along the following lines:
“People who believe in equality under the law as a fundamental principle, as I do, will agree that this principle extends to gay and lesbian couples; gay and lesbian couples should not face discrimination and their relationship should be protected under the law. People who disagree on the fundamental nature of marriage can agree, at the same time, that gays and lesbians should receive essential rights and protections such as hospital visitation, adoption rights, and health and death benefits.”
That’s right, folks: the GOP should embrace same-sex marriage.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the GOP needs to drop the social conservatism angle if it intends to survive as a viable party.
By all means, if it wants to become the Constitution Party, it may continue to demonize gays and lesbians and agitate against people who desire abortions. But the longer it does that, the less and less support it will get from the general public.
Gradually, Americans have realized that gays and lesbians are people too, and deserve to be treated equally under the law. While I still don’t like having the government stick its hand into marriages, as long as it does, homosexuals and bisexuals should receive equal treatment as heterosexuals do.
If you listen to Big Labor, they say that they have Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker cornered. After some needed reforms to the state’s collective bargaining laws, they launched a successful recall effort against him as payback. But the reality is that they are struggling mightly.
On Tuesday, Big Labor’s favored candidate, Kathleen Falk, lost to Tom Barrett, a former Mayor of Milwaukee who lost to Walker in 2010. To make matters worse for them, Walker managed the biggest turnout in Wisconsin in 60 years. And this, folks, is a special election, not a general primary.
Moreover, Rasmussen Reports shows that Walker is leading Barrett, who Big Labor will no doubt get behind, just a few weeks against of the recall matchup:
A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey shows that 50% of the state’s Likely Voters prefer Walker while 45% choose Barrett. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate and another two percent (2%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
From the New York Times:
KABUL, Afghanistan – The American military claimed responsibility and expressed regret for an airstrike that mistakenly killed six members of a family in southwestern Afghanistan, Afghan and American military officials confirmed Monday.
The attack, which took place Friday night, was first revealed by the governor of Helmand Province, Muhammad Gulab Mangal, on Monday. His spokesman, Dawoud Ahmadi, said that after an investigation they had determined that a family home in Sangin district had been attacked by mistake in the American airstrike, which was called in to respond to a Taliban attack.
Whatever you think about the war in Afghanistan, there is no disputing that this is recruitment fodder for terrorist organizations. In a region where objective information is scarce, the narrative that America is an evil empire is easily spread unchallenged, and when your family is killed by Americans, you seek vengeance. Events like this only serve to aid those we are truly at war with.
On Tuesday, I mentioned the Republican primary election in Indiana, specifically the Senate race there. Longtime incumbent Richard Lugar was facing the possible end to his tenure in the Senate. The election results Tuesday evening brought a smile to my face as Lugar reached the end of his career as a senator. Since Lugar has been in the Senate for six terms, the topic of term limits was brought up by several friends.
It’s easy to see how the argument for term limits would sound good, especially when you consider how terrible Lugar was and how he managed to be re-elected all those years; but reasons against term limits still outweigh the reasons for them.
We don’t really need term limits in the House because unbeatable incumbents aren’t really a problem in the House. Sure, there are some people who have been in the House for a long time, but there’s less of a chance for a Congressman to get out of touch with his district because he is up for re-election every two years. And if he does get Beltway Syndrome, a campaign to beat him on the district level is much easier to do than a statewide race would be.
We noted yesterday that, after a win over Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) on Tuesday, the Club for Growth was preparing to spend $1 million in Texas trying to take down David Dewhurst, hoping that it will boost the campaign of Ted Cruz, who is backed by the Club and other grassroots and Tea Party groups. But things in the Lone Star State were ramped up a bit yesterday thanks to a pair of endorsements for Cruz from Sarah Palin and Ron Paul.
Palin’s endorsment, given her standing in the conservative movement, is obviously more high profile and is being touted heavily by Cruz, both in fundraising letters and on ads on the web (I’ve already seen it several times):
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, have endorsed another Senate candidate in a contested Republican primary: former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz.
Cruz told supporters in an email that he sought her support via a letter.
“We’re proud to join conservatives in Texas and throughout the nation in supporting your campaign to become the next Senator from the Lone Star State,” Palin wrote back.
“Your conservative principles, passionate defense of our Constitution and our free market system come at a time when these cornerstones of our freedom and prosperity are under attack,” she added. “Our shared goal isn’t just to change the majority in control of the Senate, but to assure principled conservatives like you are there to fight for us.”
Ron Paul’s delegate strategy may be the worst kept secret in Republican circles. And while most observers are treating Mitt Romney as the presumptive nominee, it looks as though Republicans are getting nervous that they may have a floor fight at their convention in Tampa:
Paul supporters swept this weekend’s state GOP conventions, picking up 21 of 24 RNC delegates in Maine and 22 out of 28 delegates in Nevada. The twin victories come on the heels of Paul’s surprise delegate wins at district caucuses and state conventions in Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, and Louisiana, as well as a Paul-friendly takeover of the Alaska GOP.
Paul supporters have managed to stage these state-level coups despite significant resistance from local Establishment Republicans, many of whom are predictably reluctant to relinquish their power to the insurgents. So far, however, the Paul campaign has attributed most of the Establishment’s “shenanigans” to local animosities.
But there is growing evidence that the Romney camp — and the national GOP — are stepping up their efforts to prevent an embarrassing Ron Paul uprising on the floor of the Republican National Convention.
In Maine, for example, the Romney campaign dispatched its top lawyer, Benjamin Ginsberg, to oversee the state convention proceedings this weekend. (It’s worth noting that Ginsberg is best known for his work for George W. Bush during the 2000 Florida recount.)
Even if the nomination is not in play, an army of Paul delegates could cause significant problems for the presumptive nominee, who needs a smooth convention to assuage concerns about his ability to unite and energize the Republican base.
Still celebrating Richard Mourdock’s primary victory over Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), the Club for Growth is turning its attention to the increasingly interesting Republican Senate race in Texas, where they’ve just dropped $1 million to knock David Dewhurst from his pedestal as frontrunner:
Fresh off its big defeat of Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the fiscally conservative Club for Growth is pivoting to Texas’s open Senate race, launching a $1 million ad buy against Texas Lieutenant Gov. David Dewhurst (R).
The group is backing former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R), a Tea Party favorite, in the race. Dewhurst has led Cruz in the polls but needs 50 percent to avoid a runoff, and recent polls indicate Cruz and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (R) are likely to keep him below that marker. Recent polls have also shown Cruz with some momentum in the race.
The primary is May 29, and the runoff, if necessary, will be a month later.
The group’s first ad, which is running on broadcast and cable in Austin, Houston and Dallas, slams “moderate tax-raising David Dewhurst.”
As noted in the article above (and here as well), Cruz is picking up some steam, though he is still behind by double-digits with the primary just a little more than two weeks away. But with the Club hopes, with the ad below, that Cruz will be boosted by exposing Dewhurst’s record:
On Tuesday voters in three more states went to the polls to vote in the presidential primary race. The presidential race took a back seat to the Senate election in Indiana and the marriage vote in North Carolina, but despite what news outlets may tell you, the presidential race still isn’t over.
Last night Mitt Romney picked up the win in all three of these states. The Ron Paul campaign, not even fazed by the results, carries on with its quest of picking up delegates in the various GOP state conventions. Some may be starting to see what’s happening; others still remain clueless.
Take, for example, this map showing the winner of the majority of delegates to the national convention. That’s pretty significant, assuming all of those counts are correct. (The actual delegate count is still a bit of a mystery.)
Some people have told me this doesn’t matter since many of the delegates will have to vote for Romney on the first round of voting at the national convention (because they’re bound to vote according to the official distribution from their state party). If, after the first round, nobody has 1,144 votes, additional rounds of voting will take place, and delegates are free to vote for the candidate of their choice.
On the issue of bound delegates, however, there is some interesting information in this Reality Check segment from Ben Swann. There’s some question as to whether or not the delegates can or will be bound in that first round of voting. Honestly, the whole issue of amending convention rules and changing things like that goes way over my head pretty quickly.