As soon as the dismal jobs numbers were announced last week, I started asking what issue would the Obama campaign roll out this week to distract voters from the President’s disastrous record on jobs and the economy.
Over the past few months, the Obama White House has rolled out the President’s half-assed support for same-sex marriage (hey lets let the states vote on it! How Dick Cheney circa 2004), followed by his half-step on immigration (I wonder if Latinos like the taste of crumbs?), and then followed by a trial balloon on marijuana decrim (“Sure my Justice Department has been cracking down on medical marijuana but hey, I need some good buzz”).
Apparently, off shore accounts are the new gay marriage. The Obama campaign team has been all over the tv blasting Mitt Romney for “secretive offshore accounts.” Forget the fact that these “secretive” accounts were discovered because they were listed on Romney’s tax returns and disclosure forms! Never mind the fact that there is nothing illegal about having an offshore account. Apparently, the Obama campaign hopes that by appealing to the worst in people, by appealing to their petty jealousies and by stoking the embers of class warfare, average Americans will forget that the reason they are so jealous of Mitt is because this President has been a disaster at facilitating an environment in which jobs can be created.
The irony of this debate - apparently lost on the average liberal - is that the offshore accounts they vilify are a product of an overly complex and uncompetetive tax code that liberals are hell bent on DEFENDING.
Hope and Change 2008, has been replaced by Smoke and Mirrors 2012. So much for Obama the transformational President.
What all the GOP candidates are after, are so-called ‘delegates.’Elected officials that will broker the convention of either party this fall. Officials are parcelled by the amount of votes, the candidates receive in the primary.
During Michigan’s primary recently, for instance, there were 30 official delegates, state-wide. Two were ‘at-large’ candidates, which meant they could be assigned individually to any winning candidate. The other 28 were ‘proportional’ ones, alotted through 14 congressional districts. During the push for the nominations in Michigan last night, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum spent millions of dollars to influence the voting population; with TV ads, pamphlets, media, interviews, rallies, stickers, and much more. Michigan’s grand sum of politcal expenditure was near six million bucks.
Delegates are what really counts at the GOP convention. What looks to be happening, is that no clear winner will come out victorious. There’s a righteous number: 1444 delegates will win any nominee the victory-nod of the Republican National Committee. Nationwide, 2169 delegates are extended for contestation, until the RNC celebration in Tampa, Florida. From the RN Committee, an additional 117 delegates are added into the mix, ostensibly to keep debate lively and clear-up dead locks. So what appears, on first looks, to be a rather hot-headed and fast paced Republican rocket-launch to the RNC, is more like a jammed or misfired pistol in a duel.
Momentarily, Mitt Romney is in the lead, with 167 total delegates. Rick Santorum is second with roughly half, at 87. Newt Gingrich won only one state and has 32, while Ron Paul has 19 carefully collected delegations. The count may reshuffle at any moment, since constitutionalism and populism together, ring alarm-bells in states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
I remember about a month ago there was a lot of bruhaha about Pennsylvanian Republicans trying to change their contribution to the Electoral College by divvying up the votes based on Congressional districts, like Maine and Nebraska. Naturally, a lot of people got upset with that, with some (like Doug Mataconis and George Will) saying we should keep the Electoral College just like it is now, and many others saying that we should instead move to a National Popular Vote system. Now with Occupy Wall Street taking over our media senses, some of that talk has been pushed aside, with people instead focusing on Wall Street rather than Pennsylvania Avenue.
I would like to go back to the Avenue, however, for multiple reasons. First off, I actually think that a lack of serious political reforms is the reason for much of the discontent we’re seeing in Zucotti Park. Second, we have Congressional deadlock, as always—but in recent years, the vitriol and polarization we have seen has increased dramatically. Third, even with the 2010 GOP landslide in the House, we still have a very high incumbent reelection rate—although it was lower in previous elections, it still stood at 87%. Fourth, we have not seen any new ideas with regards to the major issues of the day: our debt crisis, our flagging economy, our eroding civil liberties, or our overburdening government.
Clearly, the emphasis is on the egg and not the noggin in the egg nog, here.
Very little can be done to change or institute major reform, even though we need it, badly. Part of that is by design. The Founders wanted a system where it would be difficult to radically change it, in order to preserve the liberty they had fought so hard for. In the modern era, that backfired. Instead of preserving liberty, the system is preserving the corrupt bog from which liberty is being drowned in.
I’m often told by conservatives that in 2012, they would support literally anyone but Obama. The basic suggestion is that Obama is so terrible, that a sack of oats would do a better job (Oats/Barley 2012!). By not pledging my undying support for whomever the GOP nominates, then, I am in effect endorsing Obama. Of course, many of these conservatives would change their tune if it were Ron Paul against Obama, but that’s not the important fact here. What matters is the idea that any of the primary candidates would be better than the incumbent.
One of these wannabes is Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota. While governor, Pawlenty established a fairly decent record. There are a number of things that make him preferable in my eyes to his principle opponent, Mitt Romney. Leaving aside his often infuriating pandering to social conservatives, Pawlenty, at least up to this point, has been one of the few mainstream candidates that I could find myself able to support.
But some comments he made on Tuesday have caused me to seriously question this position. In speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, Pawlenty continued what has become a very alarming tendency to embrace the same reckless hawkishness that many conservatives have found themselves criticizing in Obama. Perhaps the most troubling quote from the speech is the suggestion that he would only consult Congress as a “courtesy” when engaging in war overseas. This is a position that makes him even more dangerous than Bush or Obama.
That’s the question that entered my head this morning. Conservatives often accuse libertarians of “supporting” Obama by being critical of Republicans and conservatives. Obviously, this is nonsense, as no one is obligated to withhold criticism simply because of a person’s party. Libertarians are by no means required to even support Republicans, much less ignore their glaring deficiencies and attempts to abridge liberty.
What I’m asking is, is there any situation that could arise to cause a libertarian to actually vote for Obama in 2012? The current crop of GOP hopefuls, with the possible exception of Gary Johnson and perhaps a couple others, looks less than thrilling for libertarians (or really anyone). It is entirely possible that we will end up with a Huckabee, Romney, or other nominee that one could find impossible, or at least difficult, to support. Is anyone’s vote then going to Obama?
Personally, I’d argue that any libertarian who would consider this is, well, nuts. I realize there are some who supported Obama in 2008, most likely because of his supposed anti-war stance. But as the his actions have shown, especially his amplification of the Afghanistan war and his actions in Libya, Obama is most certainly not anti-war. Further, his behavior on the domestic front has been, in a word, horrendous. From ObamaCare to spending levels that would make George Bush blush, he has been anathema to libertarians in nearly every way.
So my question is, are any libertarians even considering voting for him in 2012? If so, what conditions would need to exist? And more importantly, why? I’m honestly curious to see if he retains any support in this segment. I highly doubt if it is significant after the above-mentioned. I just want to know if it still exists at all.
Announcing his candidacy, Johnson released the following statement:
Let’s talk about America.
Today’s mess didn’t just happen. We elected it — one senator, member of Congress and president at a time. Our leaders in Washington, DC, have “led” America to record unemployment, a devalued currency, banking scandals, the mortgage crisis, drug crisis, economic crisis, loss of our nation’s industrial might – and a long list of other reminders our nation is way off course.
Why am I telling you this? Because America is better than this. And because I can help fix it.
I’m a fix-it man.
Before I was governor of New Mexico, I started a one-man fix-it business that I grew into an American dream with more than a thousand employees. My formula for success was simple. I showed up on time, did what I said what I’d do, and knew what I was doing.
I did the same thing as governor, exactly. Within two terms, I’d eliminated New Mexico’s budget deficit and cut the rate of state government growth in half while reducing the state workforce by over 10%, without laying off a single qualified state worker. Saying no to waste, corruption and political games is easier than you think. During my two terms I vetoed 750 pieces of bad, unnecessary and wasteful legislation, and used the line-item veto to save millions of dollars. I was called “Governor Veto,” and accepted that nickname proudly.
“Last night was devastating, no question.” - MoveOn.org
The dust is still settling on last night’s returns. We’re going to hear a lot of analysis over the mid-terms and what it means for both the new majority for House Republicans, Democrats that survived in both chambers and President Barack Obama.
As it currently stands, Republicans gained over 60 seats in the House and six in the Senate. They also picked up at least nine governerships and 19 state legislatures. The states where the GOP made significant gains make up a chunk of the electoral college.
Keith Olbermann and others can deny it all they want, it was a historic night. Newt Gingrich, who was behind the Republican Revolution in 1994, is calling last night “a more decisive repudiation” than what President Bill Clinton faced. The Republican Party will enter the 112th Congress with their largest majority since 1928, during the Hoover Administration, and the largest pick-up for either party since 1948.
While talking politics with a mentor last night, it dawned on me just how ugly the Presidential primary will be. This also makes me question whether there is any candidate that will actually be able to build enough support to overthrow Obama.
1) There is an increasing divide in the Republican Party
Ron Paul might have been a small player in the last primary, but his support has increased over the past two years. Anyone who knows Paul supporters knows that they are extremely passionate about their views and oftentimes find many problems with mainstream (or neo-conservative) Republicans. Many of these supporters will have a hard time voting for a Republican candidate if they have views that are radically different than Paul.
This divide has shown up recently in the differing reactions to the CPAC straw poll (which Paul won) as well as many neo-conservatives lashing out against the non-interventionist foreign policy of Paul.
Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, one of the early front-runners for the GOP nomination, health care will be a much bigger issue than it has been in the past. The more conservative candidate in primaries has the upper hand, as can be seen with Marco Rubio in Florida and Rand Paul in Kentucky. Romney may come off as the strongest leader but his lack of consistent conservative credentials will cause him a lot of trouble in the upcoming primary.
3) Sarah Palin: love or hate?
Their discussion centered around CPAC 2010, touching on the GOProud controversy, Ryan Sorba’s commentary, Bob Barr’s panel, torture, and a dalliance into a discussion on protectionism, free markets, and American jobs.
Dr. Paul takes questions from viewers and answers with his usual candor, including criticism over Obama’s policy of removing troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, claiming it’s not really different from the Bush administration plan. When asked if he plans on running for President again in 2012, Dr. Paul does not rule out the possibility.