Every culture has its romantic ideal. In Europe, it’s the knight. In the Middle East, it’s the army of Saladin. In the United States, it’s still the cowboy. The heroic lone wolf, standing for what is right amidst a sea of contradictions and solves the problems of the world all on his lonesome. The outward display of that figure, the six-gun dangling from his hip, his fingertips just millimeters from it, is primarily the work of fiction. There have been far more Hollywood showdowns at high noon than the real Old West.
Instead, the ideal itself, the rugged individualist, has taken a tremendous beating over the years. We are being conditioned to shut up and take whatever is dealt to us. Instead of conditioning people to be Marshal Dillon, our young people are being taught to be the damsel in distress.
Recently, the State of Indiana Supreme Court ruled that a man doesn’t have a right to resist law enforcement entering your home without your consent, or a warrant. It spurred up a firestorm of controversy, but it’s hardly the first move in this direction.
For years, there have been states that have what is called a “retreat first” law. These laws require someone to try to leave the site of a potential violent encounter rather than permitting them to defend themselves. This also includes retreating from your own home should someone break in. You, the lawful citizen, must act in a manner that empowers the criminal element. Thank God Georgia isn’t one of those states.
The moves all push towards creating a nation of docile subjects who turn to the state for the answers to their problems. There are arguments now that guns aren’t necessary because the police will protect us. Of course, the Supreme Court case Castle Rock v. Gonzales says otherwise.
The protests in Wisconsin against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal that would require public-sector workers to pay more for benefits and pensions, though they’ll still be better off than private-sector workers, and reforms that would limit collective bargaining by public-sector unions are still receiving an incredible amount of attention.
In case you haven’t seen it, here is video a speech Gov. Walker gave last night explaining the reasons for the proposal. You can read the transcript here:
Walker, who has been falsely accused of favoring certain public-sector unions, has warned that unless the measures are passed to help ensure that the $3 billion budget deficit over the next two years can be cut, 6,000 public workers could lose their jobs.
Continuing our “Liberty Candidate Series” of interviews, Jason and Brett talk with Marlin Stutzman, discussing the retirement of Evan Bayh (D-IN), Hoosier jobs, energy policy, and fiscal conservatism. Stutzman is one of five Republican candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat this year.
This special edition podcast is the seventh in a series devoted to showcasing liberty candidates nationwide.
After absorbing the news from every outlet on earth yesterday, even our own editor’s take, on the “surprise” retirement of Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh, I have to say that analysts are not considering all the “good” that can come from his retirement from the U.S. Senate. It seems that everyone predicts a Republican to pick up his seat in November. Lately, I have been among the few to see some things that ebb against the accepted flow in analyzing races and situations. This is another such ebb.
I think the reason that Bayh waited until Presidents’ Day to announce his retirement was to prevent someone relatively unknown, like Tamyra d’Ippolito, from garnering the nomination without a primary election AND without their seal of approval by collecting the requisite signatures necessary to get on the primary ballot. The Democrats have an opportunity to select a candidate, since it seems that d’Ippolito did not achieve the 4500 signatures necessary to get on the ballot. If she had, that is the WORST CASE SCENARIO for Democrats. By waiting, Bayh almost assured that the state Democrat Party could spend time vetting, choosing and fundraising for someone “moderate” enough to win the state, but “progressive” enough to fully support the agenda of the party for the next six years. While d’Ippolito likely fills out the latter, there is no chance she can accommodate the former.
Not much has changed over night. Florida has yet to be called, but Romney trails Obama by some 46,000 votes. Whether or not Romney wins the state doesn’t matter, he’ll still lose the Electoral College. Assuming Obama still maintains a lead in Florida, here is how the map looks after last night:
There is a lot to say about the election, much of which has already been said by analysts, but I’ve thrown together a few thoughts on some different points. You don’t have to agree with me, but these are things worth nothing.
House Republicans Will Lose Seats: There was talk of House Republicans adding to their majority in the days leading up to the election. CNN noted during their coverage last night that this was a possibility. That will not happen. Some of the gains from 2010 were wiped out last night, especially in Illinois and New York. In Florida, Rep. Allen West lost his bid for re-election by less than 3,000 votes. Democrats managed to keep some of the seats Republicans hoped to pickup — such as GA-12, where Rep. John Barrow defeated Lee Anderson, and UT-4, a race that looked good for the GOP, but Mia Love was unable to defeat Rep. Jim Matheson. In the end, Republicans will keep their majority, but it will be slightly smaller.
The writing is on the wall for Republicans — they will not take the Senate in 2012. Polls have closed in the races that were being closely watched, but some are still too close to call. As has been noted in previous day, Republican candidates blew their party’s chances in Indiana and Missouri thanks to their comments about abortion in the context of rape. Others, including Sen. Scott Brown and Josh Mandel just weren’t strong enough to compete against in tough states.
Here is how these races stand as of 10 PM (red is for the GOP and blue is for Democrats and the projected winner is on the right with the color of the text being the party in control of the seat after tonight’s election):
Last week, we went over the Senate races that are being watched around the country, noting that it was increasingly unlikely that Republicans would take back that chamber this year. As explained, Republicans thought they had the numbers — and they did, at least on paper. However, the campaigns in states ripe for a takeover haven’t gone that well. Perhaps the best examples of this are, as noted before, Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, both of which came under fire about controversial comments on abortion in the circumstance of rape.
So with that, here are my predictions for the 15 races that have been so hotly contested this year, including any that are expected change hands. The color of the state is the current party in control of the seat (obviously, red is for the GOP and blue is for Democrats) and the predicted winner is on the right with the color of the text being the party in control of the seat after the election.
On Friday, we took a look at the battle for control of the United States Senate, noting that Republicans, who once had high-hopes to gain a majority in that chamber, are very likely to fall short at the polls tomorrow. Their struggles to take control of the Senate can really be highlighted by races in Indiana and Missouri, where the Republican nominees have struggled after making controversial comments about abortion and rape.
Todd Akin’s misstep in Missouri, where he is likely to lose to Sen. Claire McCaskill, who was thought to be the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate, has been well documented. More recently, however, are Richard Mourdock’s troubles in Indiana.
This was supposed to be the year for Republicans to take back the Senate. There were plenty of vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year and an anti-incumbent feeling in the air.
But the races for the Senate haven’t shaped up so well for Republicans. While they only need a net-gain of four seats to take control, they’ve found themselves trying to hold on to what were thought of as “safe seats” thanks to strong Democratic candidates and gaffes by GOP nominees.
As it stands right now, Democrats hold 53 seats in the Senate, including two Independents who caucus with them. Republicans have 47 seats. The list of competitive seats below shows that Democrats will cancel out likely Republicans gains in Nebraska and North Dakota with gains of their own in Maine (Angus King, an Independent, will caucus with Democrats) and Massachusetts. There are still five seats on the board as where polls are too close to give an idea of a which party will win.
Here’s a look at the Senate seats up for grabs (current party in control of a seat is colored, incumbents are in italics):
It’s generally thought that Republicans will not take the Senate this year, despite going up against many vulnerable and unpopular Democrats. The reasons are a mix of gaffe prone candidates and having to run against incumbent Democrats in swing states where President Barack Obama’s campaign is actively competing. But Aaron Blake noted on Friday that there is still a path for the GOP to take control of the Senate:
With six seats listed as “toss-ups” in the latest Fix rankings, a split of those seats would lead to the exact same 53-to-47 Democratic majority that we have today. And for a Republican Party that had designs on regaining the majority, that would certainly be a disappointment.
But with 11 days to go, Republicans also continue to have a very real shot at winning that majority. And that’s because they have something that Democrats don’t: Lots of opportunity.
While the map hasn’t exactly trended in the GOP’s favor in recent months when it comes to the top races (Indiana, Massachusetts and Missouri, in particular), Republicans continue to have plausible opportunities to win in a huge amount of seats that we currently rate as “lean Democratic.”
Recent polls have shown GOP candidates within striking distance — though still trailing — in a bunch of “lean Democratic” states: Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania.