Republicans

CNN Poll: Romney leads in New Hampshire

A new poll from CNN of Republican primary voters in New Hampshire shows Mitt Romney, who served as Governor of nearby Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, with a significant lead; though we still have months to go before voters from the Granite State will cast their ballots in January.

Even though they include Mitch Daniels, who recently opted not to run for the GOP nod, here are the results of the poll:

  • Mitt Romney: 32%
  • Ron Paul: 9%
  • Newt Gingrich: 6%
  • Rudy Giuliani: 6%
  • Sarah Palin: 5%
  • Michele Bachmann: 4%
  • Herman Cain: 4%
  • Mitch Daniels: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 4%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 4%
  • Rich Santorum: 2%
  • Gary Johnson: <1%
  • Other: 3%
  • No opinion: 17%

Of the names listed, an overwhelming 42% believe that Romney has the best shot at beating President Barack Obama next year. Guiliani and Pawlenty are tied for second at 4% in on particular question. Voters also chose Romney as the candidate has the best suited as far as experience and to handle the economy and budget.

It’s important to note that 43% of New Hampshire Republicans are either dissatisfied with the current GOP field. So again, we’re a long way off from voters making up their minds.

Another big government Republican plans presidential campaign announcement

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, will announce his bid for the Republican nomination for president at some point tomorrow:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) will announce his candidacy for president Wednesday, spokesman Rick Tyler said Monday.

After an Associated Press report that Gingrich would make a 2012 bid official via social media Wednesday, Tyler confirmed it on Twitter.

Tyler said Fox News host Sean Hannity will have the first interview with Gingrich as a declared presidential candidate ahead of the former House Speaker’s speech to the Georgia GOP convention on Friday.

If you’re looking for Republican that has enabled big government, then Gingrich is right up your alley. In Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government, Stephen Slivinski offers insight into the slide that eventually led to the spending spree of George W. Bush and a Republican-controlled Congress. Silvinski gives example after example of how Newt Gingrich sold out of political expedency and threatened members of his own caucus if they didn’t vote how he wanted.

Donald Trump is no friend to free markets

Jonathan Hoenig, a market analyst and defender of free markets, fired some shots at Donald Trump, who is pimping his TV show considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, due to his lack of capitalist principles:

A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found Donald Trump tied with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for second among primary voters as their pick for the Republican nomination for president.

Aside from the attention he has received for questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States, Trump’s primary appeal is undoubtedly his business experience. Given the nation’s festering inflation , exploding deficit and still moribund economy, there’s obvious interest in leaders who promote fiscal conservatism, capitalism and growth. The problem is: Donald Trump isn’t one of those leaders.
[…]
For example, Trump professes to support free trade, yet proposes a 25% tax on imported goods from China to level what he sees as trade imbalances in the global economy. It’s a contemptuous proposal which would immediately punish Americans by raising the price on virtually everything we buy.

Let’s take a step back on the government shutdown

As a libertarian, I’m certainly someone who believes that there are far too many government employees.  We can all agree that there are too many departments, and too many bureaucrats manning them.  It’s easy, then, to begin to look with disdain upon the average government worker, when one views their job as unnecessary and wasteful.  We can begin to see them as expendable.

What is lost in this view, which is in full display now in Washington, is a lack of empathy for the fact that while their position may be of debatable value, the average federal employee is just someone doing their job.  We can argue until we’re blue that they get benefits too lavish, or positions too cushy.  But in the end, they are just like the rest of us, largely living on the week’s paycheck to cover the rent, mortgage and other bills.

We also cannot forget that, in fact, the largest segment of “public sector employees” is our troops whom we ask to fight our wars abroad and support our missions around the world. A large portion of these troops are under age 25 and most likely do not have any significant savings.  They are living by the check as much as your average bureaucrat.  And they would be affected come any government shutdown.

It’s because of this that I’m now coming out AGAINST any shutdown of the federal government.  I appreciate the point Republicans are trying to make, but they must choose their battles wisely.  Going to the mat and hurting thousands of people is simply too great a cost to pay just to make a point.  In the big picture the amount of money at stake is tiny compared to the overall budget.  It is simply not worth the human cost.

Tea Party In Trouble?

 

With TARP taking money from hard working Americans and funneling it to banks that had botched when they financed homes for people with low credit scores at idiotic prices, people were angry.  The Tea Party formed around a populist sentiment of anger at financial mismanagement by our alleged leaders.

However, according to CNN, the movement may have outlived public support for it:

(CNN) — Nearly half of all Americans have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party movement, putting it in the same company as the Democratic and Republican parties, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that 32% of the public have a favorable view of the two-year-old anti-tax movement, which also calls for less government spending and a more limited role for the federal government in our lives. The 32% favorable rating is down five points from December.

The people questioned for the poll who say they have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party is 47%, up four points from December and an increase of 21 points from January 2010. That number is virtually identical to the 48% unfavorable ratings for both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in the same poll.

“This is the first time that a CNN poll has shown the Tea Party’s unfavorable ratings as high as those of the two major parties,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “It looks like the rise in the movement’s unfavorable rating has come mostly among people who make less than $50,000.”

The Tea Party needs to combat that quickly, or else their hopes and dreams for 2012 will go out the window.

 

Republican doesn’t equal Tea Party

The Tea Party.  Love them or hate them, chances are you have an opinion on them.  For many left of center folks, that opinion isn’t particularly flattering.  However, far to often the assertion seems to be made that GOP = Tea Party.  For example, Dana Milbank recently made the assertion in a piece that Reason felt they should address.  Personally, I think they make some excellent points.

Milbank’s extended lead example was the disgusting comment by Kansas state Rep. Virgil Peck (R-Tyro, appropriately enough) suggesting that maybe we oughtta just shoot illegal immigrants from helicopters like feral hogs. Concluded Milbank:

Kansans may be surprised to learn that the immigrant-shooting idea was offered in their names, but they wouldn’t be the only Americans getting unwelcome news from their state legislators now that many Tea Party types have come to power.

When Louis Brandeis called state legislatures “laboratories of democracy,” he couldn’t have imagined the curious formulas the Tea Party chemists would be mixing in 2011[.]

Reading this, you would have the distinct impression that Virgil Peck is a Tea Party kinda guy. But is he?

Ron Paul’s LibertyPAC raises over $700k

On Monday, Rep. Ron Paul’s new LibertyPAC raised a significant amount of money during a Presidents’ Day money bomb as he begins today lay the groundwork for an inevitable presidential campaign announcment:

The revolution is alive and well.

Ron Paul raised more than $700,000 for his PAC in 24 hours during a President’s Day money bomb.

Paul pioneered the online fundraising technique during his 2008 presidential run, and yesterday’s impressive haul shows he still has a significant base of support.

LibertyPAC promoted the money bomb with a web video posted on Paul’s Facebook page which leads supporters to believe the Texas congressman is leaning toward another run for president.

“If we show him enough support, he will announce his official candidacy for 2012,” reads the text that appears halfway through the two-minute video.

Paul’s fundraising ability isn’t in question. His ability to put people around him to run an effective campaign is.

Obama presents a wallet busting budget to Congress

After a couple of weeks of wondering what spending cuts the Republican-controlled House would propose, President Barack Obama yesterday released a budget that spends $3.7 trillion, estimates a $1.6 trillion budget deficit for this year and $7.2 billion in deficits for the next 10 years.

Forget about the rhetoric, look at the numbers.

First, there’s the $1.6 trillion deficit. That figure is the same as the entire budget of the United States in FY1998 (FY1986 in real terms, which is interesting considering the tendency to compare Obama with Reagan). This deficit will supposedly be reduced to $1.1 trillion in FY2012, but that’s probably wishful thinking. As this chart shows, this administration hasn’t been very good at keeping its promises about deficit reduction: The blue line is what the president promised would happen with the deficit when he issued his first budget, and the red line is what he says will happen now.

GOProud, libertarians and CPAC

I read Melissa Clouthier’s post over at RedState on libertarians with interest. The title, “Should Libertarians Be Banned From CPAC” is obviously one that will attract very strong opinions, though she isn’t suggesting that we actually be banned.

Clouthier rightly notes that conservatism is made up of three legs -  fiscal conservatives, social conservatives and “defense hawks”; adding that “Republicans are NOT necessarily Conservatives, although many Republicans are conservative”:

Some politicians hold socially conservative beliefs but don’t like talking about them because it’s icky. More of them, especially in the Senate, are socially liberal.

Republicans killed their brand by nearly abandoning any form of fiscal conservatism. They believed in keeping taxes, but not spending, low. This caused the government to grow and the future debt obligations foisted on future generations to grow with it. The Democrats have since made the Republicans look like pikers in comparison, but the Republicans still have a ways to go to undo their image and action problem.

Clouthier then brings up GOProud, an organization comprised of gay conservatives that has been involved in a high-profile controversy due to their sponsorship of CPAC, noting their support of gay marriage. However, she also notes that GOProud has at least two of the three legs of conservatism by supporting a strong national defense and free markets.

She then brings up the libertarian position on gay marriage by referencing the platform of the Libertarian Party:

Jon Huntsman for President?

Early yesterday, rumblings of a bid for the Republican nomination for president by Jon Huntsman, a one-term Governor of Utah and current Ambassador to China, were growing loud. By the end of the day, Huntsman had resigned his post giving the impression that such a bid was likely:

Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the U.S. ambassador to China, sent a resignation letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, the White House said. Huntsman now is likely to explore a Republican presidential bid, according to supporters.

In a letter hand-delivered to the White House, the former Utah governor said that he wants to return to the United States by May. The letter thanks Obama for the opportunity to serve the country and praises the U.S. embassy staff in Beijing.

If Huntsman won the GOP nomination, he would be challenging the reelection of his former boss. White House officials are furious at what they consider an audacious betrayal, but know that any public criticism would be likely to benefit Huntsman if he enters the primaries.

Huntsman boasts the most foreign policy experience of any of the likely GOP candidates, and would be a formidable entry to the unformed GOP field. He had a fiscally conservative record as governor, opposes abortion and is a strong supporter of gun owners’ rights.

The ambassador has moderate views on gay rights and the environment, which would be an asset in a general election but could be a hurdle in the primaries. In a campaign, Huntsman could be expected to point out that he has created jobs in both the private and public sectors.
[…]
He may form an exploratory committee this spring, with a final decision expected by summer. Allies have begun building the nucleus of a potential campaign.


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