Republican Party

GOP primary for president an open field

According to a Gallup survey, the Republican nomination for president in 2012 is basically open, with four potential candidates (Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tax Hike Mike and Newt Gingrich) essentially tied for the lead.

Out of the “second-tier” names below, Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour have a good shot at making a run at the nomination.

Personally, I’m going with Gary Johnson for now.

Michael Steele will face opposition in RNC chair race

With his term as chairman of the Republican National Committee soon coming to an end, Michael Steele is faced with a decision on whether or not to run again. But it he does, he’ll have competition:

Former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis announced this morning that he will run to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, becoming the first — though almost certainly not the last — candidate in the race against Michael Steele.

“We cannot be misled by our victories this year,” Anuzis wrote in an announcement posted on his blog. “Chairman Steele’s record speaks for itself. He has his way of doing things. I have mine.”

Anuzis, clearly hoping to emerge as the choice of the anti-Steele forces within the 168 member Republican National Committee added that “I will NOT strive to be the voice or the face of our party” — seeking to draw a direct contrast with high profile (and gaffe prone) current chairman.

This is the second time Anuzis is making a bid to lead his party. He ran and lost in 2009, dropping out after the fifth ballot.

In addition to Anuzis, there are at least four other people making calls to RNC members to test the waters for a bid, according to an informed source on the committee. That quartet includes: Wisconsin Republican party chairman Reince Priebus, who managed Steele’s 2009 RNC campaign, veteran GOP strategist Maria Cino, Connecticut Republican party chairman Chris Healy and former Ambassador Ann Wagner.

You can view a list of other potential candidates here.

First GOP presidential debate announced for Spring 2011

Even though we just wrapped up the mid-term election (though a handful of races are yet to be decided), the presidential election is just around the corner. This was something I noted last week on my personal blog. In case you don’t remember, the first debate for the Republican nomination for president for the 2008 cycle took place on May 3, 2007 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Semi Valley, California.

Yesterday, Politico and NBC announced the first debate for the 2012 cycle will take place “during the spring of 2011” at the same location, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. You can read the press release below.

We’ve compiled a list of potential candidates. We expect more names to be floated out there over the next several months, so we’ll be adding to it. But the obvious names are that you’re going to here are Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Don’t worry about the Constitution, that’s someone else’s job

I’ve heard some pretty bizarre things passing for logic in my time, but the oddest is some of the criticism leveled at one point in the Republican Party’s Pledge to America. That “controversial” statement is the idea that members of Congress should look at the constitutionality of proposed legislation before deciding to vote on it. A radical notion, to be sure.

Apparently, there is a whole school of that that says Congress shouldn’t worry about the constitutionality of a bill because that’s the Supreme Court’s job. They say this despite there being no actual language in the Constitution (you know, that document they ignore because it’s someone else’s job to look at?) that specifically outlines the Supreme Court is to conduct judicial review. Nada. This is a power that SCOTUS has taken on itself, and it needs to be done. Obviously, Congress can’t be trusted to weigh the constitution in its decisions.

I’m not the only one who finds it bizarre either. Jonah Goldberg over at seems to as well. He throws out some examples of some real radicals who made a stand on the constitutionality of things who weren’t even close to being on the Supreme Court:

George Washington vetoed an apportionment bill in 1792 because it was unconstitutional. What was he thinking? If only he had a Ben Adler around to tell him what a fool he was.

Obama Administration to target tea party?

Yesterday, the New York Times broke a story that the Obama Administration is planning to attack the tea party movement by tying it to the Republican Party:

President Obama’s political advisers, looking for ways to help Democrats and alter the course of the midterm elections in the final weeks, are considering a range of ideas, including national advertisements, to cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists, people involved in the discussion said.

White House and Congressional Democratic strategists are trying to energize dispirited Democratic voters over the coming six weeks, in hopes of limiting the party’s losses and keeping control of the House and Senate. The strategists see openings to exploit after a string of Tea Party successes split Republicans in a number of states, culminating last week with developments that scrambled Senate races in Delaware and Alaska.

I doubt there are many tea partyers that won’t tell you what they are trying to accomplish is, as Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks wrote at the Wall Street Journal, “a hostile takeover” of the Republican Party.

Nevertheless, the Obama Administration is denying this report, claiming that the New York Times is “100 percent wrong.” Maybe they are heeding the advice of former President Bill Clinton, which is to engage the tea party movement in open dialogue. Who knows? But attacking them is only going to motivate them more.

The rise of libertarianism in the GOP

This past weekend on Freedom Watch, Judge Andrew Napolitano talked with Nick Gillespie, Virginia Postrel and John Stossel about the rise of libertarianism (meaning more individuals are turning to the philosophy) inside the Republican Party:

Gerson doesn’t understand libertarianism

Michael Gerson, who served as a speechwriter for George W. Bush, is worried about the rise of libertarianism in the Republican Party:

The Republican wave carries along a group that strikes a faux revolutionary pose. “Our Founding Fathers,” says Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle, “they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason, and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact, Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.”

Angle has managed to embrace the one Founding Father with a disturbing tolerance for the political violence of the French Revolution. “Rather than it should have failed,” enthused Jefferson, “I would have seen half the earth desolated.” Hardly a conservative model.

But mainstream conservatives have been strangely disoriented by Tea Party excess, unable to distinguish the injudicious from the outrageous. Some rose to Angle’s defense or attacked her critics. Just to be clear: A Republican Senate candidate has identified the United States Congress with tyranny and contemplated the recourse to political violence. This is disqualifying for public office. It lacks, of course, the seriousness of genuine sedition. It is the conservative equivalent of the Che Guevara T-shirt — a fashion, a gesture, a toying with ideas the wearer only dimly comprehends. The rhetoric of “Second Amendment remedies” is a light-weight Lexington, a cut-rate Concord. It is so far from the moral weightiness of the Founders that it mocks their memory.

California Republicans and the June 8th Primary

California Republicans believe their best chance at keeping the Govornor’s Mansion and taking the Senate seat is with two Women who have very successful business careers.  This is a good strategy.  At a time when budget deficits are on the minds of many Americans, successful CEO’s who know how to run a profitable business will have as good a chance as any at getting elected.

Although I voted for Steve Poisner and Chuck DeVore, I could easily vote for Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina in November.

It was a low voter turnout, with 80.9% of precincts reporting, only 22.2% of California voters came out to the polls. (as of 2:08am PDT 6/9/10)

Regretfully, Proposition 14 passed.  This will make it much more difficult for 3rd parties to make it onto the ballot.  Now, only the top two vote winning candidates will appear on the ballot in the general election.  Thanks to this measure, you cannot vote for a write in candidate outside of a primary.  It could also lead to two Republicans or two Democrats on the ballot for most State and Federal races (excluding the Presidential race).

Maybe Sarah Palin Can Win The 2012 GOP Nomination

One blogger details how it could happen, quite plausibly:

National polling for the Republican nomination has consistently shown Palin in a roughly three-way tie  with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.  However:

Tone Down the Hate

Obama told critics to tone it down in a recent interview:

“Well, I think that when you listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, it’s pretty apparent, and it’s troublesome, but keep in mind that there have been periods in American history where this kind of vitriol comes out,” Mr. Obama said. “It happens often when you’ve got an economy that is making people more anxious, and people are feeling like there is a lot of change that needs to take place. But that’s not the vast majority of Americans. I think the vast majority of Americans know that we’re trying hard, that I want what’s best for the country.”

Sure, I think that this government is spending way too much money and pushing us into debt, but I’m finding the direction the Right is going to be profoundly disturbing. Any bridges that Bush tried to build by reaching out to minorities (both in his campaigns and in his cabinet appointees) and that Ron Paul build by reaching out to younger and more diverse voters is going to be absolutely destroyed if the GOP looks more and more hateful, rural and ethnically homogenous.

I’ve been seeing the ugliness in full display while in Washington D.C. It’s why I do not have trouble believing the claims about racial and homophobic slurs at tea party rallies. Sure, people are in hard times, but they should remember how to be decent. And, yes, there is irony in a secular writer like myself lecturing the most religious people on earth on how to be decent.

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