Since 2003 a number of states have passed laws requiring some sort of ID to be shown when a person goes to vote. Proponents of the laws present them as a way to stamp out voter fraud; opponents decry the laws as a way to prevent minorities or the poor from voting, as they are most likely to not have acceptable ID. The battles have waged not only in legislatures but in courthouses as well. Wisconsin’s law was just struck down by a judge and Texas’ law is being challenged by the DOJ.
For a libertarian, it seems like both sides of the argument have been a little disingenuous. Voter fraud has yet to be shown to be anywhere near as widespread as Republicans would like us to think, though this could be because it has heretofore gone undetected. And showing a form of basic ID, often provided at no cost to the voter, is a very low bar and one that is gladly accepted when doing numerous other activities - even buying alcohol or getting into a bar.
So we are left to sit outside and try to figure out which side to take. On one hand, for those libertarians who believe in voting, the integrity of elections is very important. We need to ensure that elections accurately represent the will of voters. On the other hand, though, it is important that no one is prevented from voting for illegitimate reasons. If the laws are an underhanded attempt to disenfranchise certain groups, as opponents say, they are problematic.
Like Mr. Favre, who was back on the gridiron playing for a different team just months after his teary farewell from football three years ago, Mr. Trump also appears to be considering suiting up to get back in the game – only this time as an independent.
“It was not an easy decision for me [to drop out of the Republican primary race in May], but I think that it will be an easy decision [to return to the campaign] if the Republicans choose the wrong candidate and if the economy is bad. I think it will be a really easy decision for me to make,” Trump told the Monitor in an interview in Panama City, shortly after inaugurating the Trump Ocean Club, the first Trump hotel and tower outside the United States.
If “The Donald” feels the time is right to get back in the race, look for him to make the announcement on the next season of his reality TV show The Apprentice – his primetime soapbox.
By February 2011, now just over four months away, America will know whether the Republican Party that they have returned to power in the House, along with the increased number in the Senate, truly are a new breed of Republicans (or rather, a return to the traditional Republicans of the past…true limited government, low tax conservatives), or whether we have the same mess as before in new packaging.
To be sure, Republicans are unlikely to accomplish much in 2011 and 2012, at least from an administrative standpoint. Even if they regain a majority in the House (very likely) and Senate (an outside possibility requiring all the stars to align), they are still faced with an opposition president wielding veto power, a president who has vowed that there will be “hand-to-hand combat in Washington” if Republicans win. Despite his lofty rhetoric of ushering in an era of true bipartisanship, Obama’s latest comments reveal what most of us already knew. Namely, that “bipartisanship” to Democrats means Republicans must vote for everything that the Democrat majority passes or be labeled as “obstructionist”.
This is the same president who, shortly after taking office in January 2009, and when facing Republican opposition to the stimulus package, repeatedly reminded Republicans that he’d won the election. Therefore, the implication being, America has accepted his goals and his agenda and there will be no compromises. The stimulus package was rammed through with almost no Republican support (a good thing, because now Democrats have to take full responsibility for its failure), as was ObamaCare (passed with NO Republican support, also a good thing).
Yesterday, Ron Paul purist and anti-war Republican Adam Kokesh lost 29% to 71% to an “establishment” Republican despite outspending his opponent at least 2 to 1.
There is a big lesson here for all Tea Party and “Ron Paul” Republicans: No Republican campaign can win by trying to woo Democrats!
Banking on Democrats voting for you is suicide.
White writing, I’ve received an email from Adams campaign:
The relative numbers do not fully reflect the energy and commitment of those who cast a vote for us. We were an unconventional campaign running against a conventional candidate. The automatic reaction of old-fashioned party-line voters was to vote for our opponent. Every single vote for us was an informed decision and an act of courage by the voter.
I’d like to congratulate the Kokesh campaign on getting out the courageous and well-informed. (He’s to be respected and commended for donating a year of his life to further his ideas - this is something not many people have the gumption for. )
Quite simply, you can’t win by trying to educate voters, you have to find common ground and connect with a base.
Years of tradition and repetition will not be undone by your crusade or principle. In a PRIMARY, working Democrats will have no effect on your campaign (duh?). Voters simply will not cross party lines to vote for your message; the best you can hope to do is drive down voter turnout by appealing to Democrats on issues.
If you are running for the Republican nomination, do not run from Republicans - embrace them, embrace the party, and find common ground. This may not be a popular sentiment on UnitedLiberty.org, but it is the truth - and it is effective.
Since Obamacare was passed, tensions in this country have been running high. Congressmen, especially those who voted for the bill, have been targeted with vandalism and death threats. In turn, many radicals on the left have threatened conservative personalities, issuing their own death threats to Republican congressmen, and used the opportunity to condemn all Obama opponents as racists and fascists among other things. Honestly, we in the opposition have not condemned this violence enough and instead we have sought to change the focus towards things said by the left. In addition, our continued tolerance of such lunatics like Birthers and 9/11 Truthers lends credience to the smears of the left.
For those of you out there who think this is the time for revolution, please consider the following:
1) All political and legal options have not been exhausted. There are Congressional elections in November 2010 and Presidential elections in November 2012. Use this anger and energy to donate money and support candidates who support liberty and who will fix/repeal Obamacare. In addition, many states have filed lawsuits challenging Obamacare and those lawsuits need time to work their way through the courts.
2) The right to free speech and to petition grievances is still in effect. Obamacare opponents can still express their opposition views to the public. Such views are common place on talk radio, the Internet, the newspapers, and as a matter all over the place. Obamacare opponents are not being thrown in jail or being silenced by the state.
3) Obama and the Democrats did win the past two elections and have a mandate. Obama’s election victory in 2008 and the Democratic control of Congress by definition gives them the mandate to pass whatever legislation they want, as long as it is upheld as legal. That mandate can only be revoked by their electoral defeat in 2010 and 2012.
Even before the scandals that have recently hit the Obama Administration, some were already worried that the Democratic Party was in decline. Just last week, Doug Sosnick, a Democratic strategist, told colleagues in a memo that the party is “in decline” and “at considerable risk” when President Barack Obama’s second and final term expires in January 2017.
Sosnick noted that, despite President Obama’s electoral success, “Democrats have lost nine governorships, 56 members of the House and two Senate seats” since he took office. The memo hit before the IRS and DOJ scandals became public knowledge, so there is no measure of the impact of those from the memo. However, there is growing concern from Democrats that the now-scandal plagued White House could cost them next year.
Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, explained the electoral implications of the scandals earlier this week:
The danger for Obama, of course, is that many Americans will start to doubt his administration’s veracity and values. If that happens — and for now it is only a danger, not an inevitability — then the president could well turn into a serious liability for Democrats in next year’s elections.
One of the most interesting debates in American politics is taking place right now inside the conservative movement. There has been a lot of focus on the shellacking Republicans took at the ballot box in 2012. Some are saying that the losses happened because conservatives have grown in influence, while others point out that Mitt Romney, the GOP’s presidential nominee in the last cycle, didn’t present a strong agenda.
Among those in the conservative movement who has been part of this debate is Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who is in the middle of his first term in the upper chamber. Along with Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lee has been among those who are not only working to restore fiscal sanity in Washington, but also a strong voice for the rights and liberties that are guaranteed in the Constitution.
Too often, conservatives are known for their opposition to various policies proposed by the Obama Administration. This has helped the Democrats and the media define them as being the “party of ‘no.’” Instead of focusing on opposition, Lee, who was elected as part of the “Tea Party class” in the 2010 mid-term, presented what he called the “positive case for conservatism” by talking about “what conservatives are for.”
Lee began his speech by noting that both Republicans and Democrats “succumb to easy negativity” and that the gridlock in Washington makes for fodder in the media. Lee explained that this “helps explain why the federal government is increasingly held in such low regard by the American people.”
As Americans were preparing to celebrate the Easter weekend, President Barack Obama quietly signed an executive order that establishes the “Presidential Commission of Election Administration.” This nine-member panel will, according to the release from the White House, make recommendations to promote the efficient administration of elections in order to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots without undue delay.”
During the State of the Union address, President Obama addressed the reports of long lines at polling places around the country, using an example out of Florida, one of the areas of the country that experienced problems.
“We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor. When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours,” President Obama said during his speech to the joint session of Congress. ”And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say.”
Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her,” he continued. “Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read ‘I Voted.’”
The commission, which will have six months to report its finding to the White House after its first meeting, will consider a number of points dealing with voter experience at the polls, including:
“Libertarians will never win.” “Why don’t you just join the Republican Party?” I’ve heard all the reasons I’m “doing it wrong” from people outside the Libertarian Party. “We don’t have ballot access.” “We aren’t able to raise money, because we aren’t bought by special interests.” I’ve heard every excuse inside the Libertarian Party about why we do not win elections. Aside from the ballot access issue and joining the Republican Party, what you’re about to read is also valid for “small L” libertarians, grassroots campaigns of either the Democratic or Republican variety, and nearly any recently “off the couch” activist-turned-candidate. There are obvious exceptions in the case of independently wealthy individuals or celebrities or athletes cashing in on their fame, but these are generally the “rules.” Also, there are “wins” that can be achieved without actually having more votes than the others running, but that is for another day.
The “mistakes” I outline below are not the fault of the candidate, their staff or their volunteers. It is my opinion that they are just unaware of the “mistakes.” The first and most devastating mistake that Libertarians make is that they are not involved in government until they are ready to run for office. They have not attended a single City Council, County Commission meeting, or visited their state legislature to watch them in action, let alone been involved enough to know the players or the game. At the local level, there are many opportunities to get involved without winning an election. This mistake hurts potential candidates for two reasons: no one knows who they are, and they do not have any record on which to run.
Yesterday, Matt posted video of James O’Keefe latest video, showing Patrick Moran, son of Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), bragging about voter fraud. The video immediately setoff a firestorm among conservative bloggers and on social media sites as well as gaining some attention in the mainstream media.
To follow up on Matt’s post, the Washington Post reports that the younger Moran, who was serving as field director for his father’s re-election campaign, resigned shortly after the video came out:
The son of Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., resigned from his father’s campaign Wednesday after a conservative group released an undercover video in which he discussed a plan to cast fraudulent ballots.
The resignation came hours after Project Veritas, an organization led by activist James O’Keefe, released a video showing an undercover operative pitching a voter-fraud plan to Patrick Moran. The plan called for casting ballots in the name of 100 voters who were registered but rarely voted.
In the video, Patrick Moran expresses doubts about the plan but eventually tells the undercover volunteer to “look into it.”
In a statement issued Wednesday night, Patrick Moran said, that “at no point have I, or will I ever endorse any sort of illegal or unethical behavior.”