Viewing Category

National Republicans

15
The Tea Party movement may return the Republican Party to power – or ruin it. Whichever, the Tea Party controls the GOP’s future.
 
If Mushmouth Mitch McConnell and Suntan John Boehner become majority leaders in the next Congress, they’ll have no choice but to walk the Tea Party line.
 
That would pretty much assure Obama’s reelection in 2012.
 
This year, the Tea Party has passion – and intensity. It has what Obama’s “Yes We Can” crowd had in 2008.
 
But the Tea Party can be done in by its own zealots – or others. It inevitably gets mixed in with the militia crowd and the states’-rights nullifiers.
 
An aside: Didn’t we settle this argument about the states and the federal government 150 years ago?
 
And another: Who’s the nitwit who decided to ban the Tea Party protesters at the State Capitol from carrying flagpoles?
 
I truly appreciate people who are passionate about politics – and who want to change the world.
 
The Tea Party scares me because it could serve up victory for the GOP this year. But it also offers the delicious prospect of wrecking the GOP china cabinet.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (14) RSS comment feed |

05
There’s a lot of free-floating anger in America today. We saw it throughout the health-care debate. And Republicans are counting on it to fuel big election wins in November.
 
It’s mostly on the right side of the spectrum. I see it in comments on this blog.
 
Frank Rich wrote recently in The New York Times that it’s coming mainly from threatened white men:
 
“The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.”
 
Of course, it’s not just right-wing Republicans. I have Democratic friends who rant about “centrist Democrats” like they were traitors.
 
And Lord knows our side had some bitter things to say about George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
 
But there is a remarkable  level of bitterness – and personal venom – in the Tea Party and its fellow travelers. They even rise to dark threats of violence.
 
Anger is a destructive force in politics. And it usually destroys those who wield it.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (12) RSS comment feed |

26
Extremism in the defense of liberty may or may not be a vice, but it’s a good way to lose elections. And it may be how Republicans blow their chance at a game-changer in November.
 
Judging from their hysterical reaction, the stories about threats and violence have touched a raw nerve among Republicans.
 
They realize that the Tea Party monster they fed could end up eating them.
 
In Utah, Senator Robert Bennett – a rock-ribbed conservative – may not be conservative enough.
 
In Florida, Charlie Crist is getting slaughtered.
 
In Arizona, John McCain is in so much trouble from the right he needs Sarah Palin’s help. That must make him grumpier than usual.
 
This election is the Republicans’ to lose. They may just find a way.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (17) RSS comment feed |

25
In Washington, Republicans vow to fight on against health-care reform.
 
In WakeCounty, school-diversity supporters vow to fight on against the new board’s reassignment plans.
 
In Washington, reform opponents marched on the Capitol, and some spit on congressmen and called them not-nice names.
 
In WakeCounty, diversity supporters protested, demonstrated and even got arrested. There was that striking picture of school board chairman Ron (Archie Bunker) Margiotta being led through the crowd by police and security officials.
 
But none of the diversity supporters have called for brick-throwing or talked darkly of taking up arms, as one letter-writer did here.
 
The last time we saw this movie was in the 60s. Then as now, right-wingers warned that we were headed straight to socialism. Then as now, people protested in the streets over race. And, oh yes, there was a war that got people riled up.
 
Some war opponents even resorted to bombings. Which led Sarah Palin to accuse Barack Obama of “palling around with terrorists.” Is she now encouraging domestic terrorists by urging health-care opponents to “reload”?
 
Americans have a history of getting riled up over big issues. We fought a Civil War over slavery and states’ rights. We rose up in an armed revolution to be independent.
 
We were born fighting. But sometimes some few decide to fight with bombs and bullets, not votes and debates. That’s why we have a string of assassinated presidents and politicians.
 
There is always a dark undercurrent of violence lurking in the American psyche. It has a way of bursting out when emotions are high.
 
Republicans are playing with fire here. If some nut goes too far, the tide of public opinion could turn dramatically against them.
 
Bill Clinton’s post-1994 comeback came after the Oklahoma City bombing. It could happen again.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (18) RSS comment feed |

24
Fred Heineman’s death takes us back to the Republican tidal year of 1994, when a titanic health-care battle led to a Democratic debacle so huge Heineman temporarily unseated David Price.
 
The big difference this year: Obama succeeded where the Clintons failed.
 
It takes three ingredients to make an electoral revolution: (1) One side is energized (2) the middle is outraged and (3) the other side is demoralized.
 
All three elements came together in 1994.
 
Democrats were so demoralized – and stayed home so much – that Heineman won even though he got fewer votes than Price got in 1992.
 
But, thanks to Obama’s health-care victory, Democrats who were demoralized a week ago are energized today.
 
Republicans, of course, are still energized – maybe even more so.
 
And the middle? We’ll see. Obama’s political challenge now is to sell them on reform.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (6) RSS comment feed |

23
There hasn’t been a scene like it since LBJ in 1965: Democratic congressional leaders beaming and clapping as a Democratic President signs a big expansion of the social safety net.
 
The question is whether today’s White House ceremony celebrating health-care reform was the last gasp of the Great Society – or a reprise of Happy Days Are Here Again.
 
But, for now, for Democrats, there’s nothing like a win.
 
The Democratic wet dream is that Republicans overplayed their hand. That Americans will embrace the reforms, recoil against the opponents’ vitriol and turn against sour, hard-faced Washington Republicans.
 
Inevitably, reform will get a bounce in the polls. Inevitably, the Republicans’ repeal mania will fade.
 
Then what?
 
Politically, the best move for Obama and Democrats now is against Wall Street: Take the financial-regulatory bill, turn Obama’s rhetorical gifts on full-blast again and blame Wall Street and big bankers for the economic mess.
 
Let Republicans defend that target!
 
That’s how Democrats might salvage their congressional majorities in November.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (14) RSS comment feed |

22
People always say they want politicians to do what’s right, even if it’s unpopular. Of course, they mean: unpopular with somebody else.
 
Still, by that standard, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi showed a rare level of political guts and perseverance in pushing through health-care reform.
 
Remember two months ago? Scott Brown had just won in Massachusetts. Health-care reform was declared dead.
 
But Obama and Pelosi pushed ahead – despite Republican obstructionism, Tea Party hysteria and a flood of lies, deception and misrepresentation.
 
Now, supposedly, will come the Great Reckoning in November. But I remain skeptical that the November election will be about what happened yesterday. I doubt Democrats will lose much more ground than they would anyway in the natural cycle of politics.
 
Plus, Obama and Pelosi have given Democrats a big political win. It contains specific changes that people will like. They gave Democrats something concrete to campaign on.
 
They did what they thought was right. Even if it was unpopular with some people.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (15) RSS comment feed |

17
A reader commented that it would be “whining” for Obama to blame Republicans for the country’s economic mess, as I had suggested.
 
Question: Was Ronald Reagan “whining” all those years?
 
Through the 1984 campaign – four years after he unseated Jimmy Carter – Reagan’s basic message was that he inherited a mess, it would take time to dig out and “why would we want to go back?”
 
If that’s whining, Obama needs to do more of it.
 
If I was in charge of message at the White House, every speech would start with that whine.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (8) RSS comment feed |

17
Public Policy Polling says that – on health care reform – Democratic Congressmen Bob Etheridge and Health Shuler “both have to decide between voting the way that folks in their party would like them to, or voting the way voters in their district as a whole would like them to.”
 
But I’m not convinced that voting for reform will hurt them this fall.
 
For one thing, PPP also finds that, nationally, support for reform is rising.
 
For another, the picture is likely to be very different in November.
 
People don’t like reform now – in part – because they don’t know what’s in it. Fear trumps facts.
 
If a bill passes, Democrats will be able to talk about specific benefits.
 
If it doesn’t pass, they’ll be able to blame Republicans for everything wrong in health care.
 
Regardless, once the fight is over, Republicans will face the same challenge Democrats face now: how to get people interested in health-care reform when they’re mostly worried about the economy.
 
Health-care reform may be old news in November.

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (12) RSS comment feed |

16
Karl Rove is still playing mind games with Democrats.
 
Pay no attention.
 
Rove claims that, if Congress passes health-care reform, Democrats will lose Congress.
 
Bunk.
 
In truth, Rove fears that Democrats will pass reform, Obama will have a victory and Democrats will have something positive to run on this fall.
 
If the bill passes, nobody will know whether it made health-care better or worse.
 
But Democrats will get a boost of confidence. And Obama will be able to focus on fixing the economy – and explaining how Republicans got us in this mess.
 

 

[Click to read and post comments...]

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (5) RSS comment feed |

Page 55 of 93First   Previous   50  51  52  53  54  [55]  56  57  58  59  Next   Last   
Copyright (c) Talking About Politics   :  DNN Hosting  :  Terms Of Use  :  Privacy Statement