mid-term election

Why Republicans should follow Rand Paul’s lead

The Republican Party seems poised for a successful mid-term election. There has even been talk of a building “Republican wave,” should voter dissatisfaction intensify and solidify, though its far too early to say for sure what will happen.

But if a “Republican wave” does indeed happen this fall and the party takes control of the Senate, a goal that has proved to be out of reach in the past two cycles, GOP leaders and talking heads should be cautious in overstating what it means.

Yes, President Barack Obama is plagued by low approval ratings and rejection of Obamacare, his signature domestic achievement. Voters aren’t too thrilled about the state of the economy or his handling of foreign policy.

But Republicans must realize that electoral success this doesn’t mean that voters have embraced the party, as polls almost universally show. In a two-party system at a time of malaise, the party not in control is the beneficiary of voter anger. This was true in 2006 when Democrats won control of Congress. It was true in 2010 when Republicans gained 63 seats on their way to winning the House of Representatives.

There is no denying that the Republican Party has a very real messaging problem, and party leaders realize it. That’s why the Republican National Committee released a report, The Growth and Opportunity Project, to try to figure out what went wrong in the 2012 election as well as try to find solutions to expand its reach.

Though that “autopsy,” so to speak, raised some excellent points, it alienated many of the grassroots activists that compromise part of the Republican base.

ObamaCare Employer Mandate Penalties Delayed Until 2015

Barack Obama and Jack Lew

In April, the soon-to-be-retired and chief ObamaCare author Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) warned that the looming 2014 full implementation of ObamaCare was on track to be a train wreck.  The Administration finally conceded as much on Tuesday when it announced that it will be delaying enforcement of ObamaCare’s employer mandate until 2015.

The Treasury Department confirmed the delay in a blog post ironically titled “Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner.”

Over the past several months, the Administration has been engaging in a dialogue with businesses - many of which already provide health coverage for their workers - about the new employer and insurer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively.  We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so.  We have listened to your feedback.  And we are taking action.
Accordingly, we are extending this transition relief to the employer shared responsibility payments.  These payments will not apply for 2014.  Any employer shared responsibility payments will not apply until 2015.

Closing out 2010, looking forward to 2011

We’re about to close the book on another year. 2010 was hard fought as we were unsuccessful in beating back ObamaCare. Thankfully, court challenges to the constitutionality of the health care reform law could pose a threat. In just the last month Judge Roger Vinson struck down the law on the basis that the federal government could not use the Commerce Clause to force individuals to purchase health insurance. It also looks like Judge Henry Hudson is prepared to do the same in Florida. And with another annual budget deficit well over $1 trillion, spending remains out of control thanks to single-party control in the Executive and Legislative branches of government.

But we did have some victories for liberty as the Second Amendment finally incorporated to the states in McDonald v. Chicago, outdated “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was repealed and WikiLeaks released another round of documents that helped shine light on what the federal govermment is doing in our names.

Recapping the 2010 mid-term election

“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.

Managing The Expectations Game

Dick Morris needs to shut up.

University of Virginia Center for Politics Director, Larry Sabato, issued some insightful tweets on October 2nd that have gone largely ignored by many Right Wing Pundits, including Dick Morris.

1:15 PM Oct 2nd: Some GOP leaders need a refresher course in basic campaign strategy. Predicting R House pickups of +60, +80, +100 is just plain dumb.

1:17 PM Oct 2nd: (1) It isn’t going to happen;(2) It induces overconfidence;(3) If Rs win a narrow majority or just fall short, big gains look like a loss.

1:18 PM Oct 2nd: You’d think after all this time, people would’ve caught onto the polling game & wouldn’t take polls so seriously. And you’d be wrong.

Meanwhile, Dick is still out there claiming that the GOP will pick up 60+ seats in the house and regain control of the Senate as well.

Prediction: The Republicans will win the Senate, capturing seats in Indiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington state, Illinois and Nevada. And they could prevail in New York, Connecticut, Delaware and California to boot.

The GOP will capture the House by a goodly margin, winning upward of 60-plus seats now held by Democrats. And it could go a lot higher!

To be clear, any combination that includes either a new Speaker of the House and or a New Senate Majority leader will be a victory for the GOP.  But predicting a sixty seat pick up in the house is not only silly, it sets up the Democrats with tools they need to marginalize their defeat.

Dems do not want to talk about ObamaCare

A couple of weeks ago, I told you that a prominent liberal advocacy group was telling supporters of ObamaCare to avoid talking about claims made by Democrats during the debate over the legislation in Congress earlier this year, such as the mythical claims of deficit reduction.

Now, another group, Health Care for America Now, is encouraging supporters of ObamaCare to avoid discussing ObamaCare entirely with voters:

The progressive coalition Health Care for America Now fought hard to pass health care reform. Now it’s fighting hard to help reelect lawmakers who voted for the bill — even if it means not talking about it.

While polls show that health reform has become slightly more popular since passage, it’s still a polarizing issue, particularly in districts where Republicans and conservative groups have bombarded voters with negative ads.

Now, HCAN’s field crews are finding that the best way to support reform-friendly lawmakers is to talk about something else: jobs, the economy or other issues likely to resonate more with voters.

“We want to be flexible in talking about what is most relevant to constituents, whatever issues are most motivational,” said HCAN’s national field director, Margarida Jorge, who organizes a daily call with their partner organizations. “We can have a high level of focus on health care but also understand at times the focus is going to shift.”

HCAN activists say they are not dodging their key issue; rather, they want to keep pace with voter concerns, which have markedly shifted over the past year.

Barack Obama punts on immigration until after the election to help vulnerable Senate Democrats

Make no mistake about it. President Barack Obama’s decision to delay an executive order on immigration has nothing to do with Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) recent statement that immigration reform could happen next year, with a new Congress and, possibly, a Republican Senate. It has everything to do with the mid-term election and concerns of vulnerable Senate Democrats, who have urged the White House to delay action:

Abandoning his pledge to act by the end of summer, President Barack Obama has decided to delay any executive action on immigration until after the November congressional elections, White House officials said.

The move is certain to infuriate immigration advocates while offering relief to some vulnerable Democrats in tough Senate re-election contests.

Two White House officials said Obama concluded that circumventing Congress through executive actions on immigration during the campaign would politicize the issue and hurt future efforts to pass a broad overhaul.
The officials said Obama had no specific timeline to act, but that he still would take his executive steps before the end of the year.

The last two paragraphs in the excerpt above are contradictory. President Obama realizes that an executive order would make it difficult to pass immigration reform in his remaining two years. But he still plans to do something before the end of the year, anyway. That doesn’t make any sense.

There’s at least one Democrat who wants Barack Obama to help out his campaign, and here’s why he may regret it

Charlie Crist is bucking the trend. While most Democrats running competitive races in purple and red states don’t want to come anywhere near President Barack Obama and his administration, Crist, who is running for governor of Florida as a Democrat, isn’t exactly shying away:

While some high-profile Democrats are distancing themselves from President Obama on the campaign trial, Florida gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Crist isn’t one of them.

When asked Tuesday if would welcome the president’s campaign help, Crist responded, “I hope so,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.

“I hope everybody does,” said the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat.

It’s almost like Crist hasn’t learned from that ill-advised hug he gave President Obama in 2009 when the commander-in-chief visited Florida to promote the stimulus bill. Crist was a Republican governor at the time who was also seeking the state’s open Senate seat.

The hug Crist shared with President Obama as well as his general squishiness on issues turned out to be a boon for Marco Rubio. Crist left the Republican Party and became an independent, though one seeking Democrat support. Rubio won the race. Crist decided that he’d give electoral politics another go, this time as a full-fledged Democrat.

Gaffe-prone Hillary Clinton plans join Nancy Pelosi to raise money for House Democrats

Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will spend some time away from promoting her book, making hilarious gaffes, and earning $225,000 per speech to join House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC):

A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee aide said the former secretary of State will join Pelosi in her home district this fall as part of Clinton’s midterm campaign tour. She’s also expected to headline fundraisers for the rest of the party’s major campaign committees, and will kick off her fall campaign schedule with an appearance at Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) annual steak fry next month.

DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) said Democrats are “thrilled and grateful” that Clinton plans to help the party as they fight to pick up seats in the House this fall.

“Secretary Clinton is an extraordinary force for our values and will relentlessly fight to jumpstart the middle class. We’re thrilled and grateful that she is lending her support to our shared goal of electing a Democratic House of Representatives that will put a stop to the endless cycle of dysfunction and shutdowns from this Republican Congress,” he said.

Leftist Hollywood superstars are giving big money to help Democrats keep the Senate

It’s not exactly breaking news that Tinseltown is full of people who are friendly to Democrats. Hollywood elites were big boosters of Barack Obama in both of his presidential campaigns. In 2012 alone, celebrities shelled out nearly $700,000 (and probably more) to Obama.

Hollywood is once again playing a role in an election, this time around writing checks for Democrats as they struggle to keep control of the Senate this fall. One of the main recipients of celebrities’ largess is Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY), who is taking on Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):

[Grimes’] donor list reads like a who’s who of Tinseltown: producer J.J. Abrams, Ben Affleck, comedian Jack Black, “Avatar” director James Cameron, Nicolas Cage, Danny DeVito, Cameron Diaz, [Leonardo] DiCaprio, Jennifer Garner, director Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Jerry Seinfeld, Mike Myers and “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm, all giving $5,200 each, the maximum amount an individual can give to a single candidate in a two-year election cycle.

Other Grimes donors include DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Woody Allen, Ted Danson, America Ferrera, Leonard Nimoy, [Barbra] Streisand, “West Wing” writer Aaron Sorkin, Ben Stiller and Chris Rock.

While several other Democrats have received campaign contributions from Hollywood, Grimes’ campaign has brought in the most, with contributions totalling $100,000, according to The Hill.

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