John F. Kennedy lowered taxes, opposed abortion, supported gun rights, and believed in a strong military. And he was a proud Democrat. But would he be one today? Author and talk show host Larry Elder explains.
Did you know that the Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, founded the KKK, and fought against every major civil rights act in U.S. history? Watch as Carol Swain, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University, shares the inconvenient history of the Democratic Party.
How North Korea made the Iran deal inevitable.
Michael Auslin writes: The deal between Iran, the United States, and the European Union on Tehran’s nuclear program, if it becomes operationalized as scheduled, will ensure that Iran will have nuclear weapons by 2025, if not well before. As Michael Mandelbaum has explained , the Obama Administration’s unwillingness to credibly threaten the use of force against Tehran resulted in the abandonment of decades of U.S. nuclear principles designed to prevent the spread of uranium enrichment, combined with the removal of effective sanctions that squeezed the regime.
“With U.S. diplomacy having midwifed one failed deal and generated a new flawed one, the future will almost certainly see the further spread of nuclear weapons to dangerous regimes.”
By any account, the Vienna negotiations were an unqualified success for Iran. The reason for that is simple: America’s failed bipartisan North Korean policy set a model for would-be proliferators on how to negotiate one’s way to a nuclear weapon. Now, the unwillingness or inability of Washington to learn the lessons of the past appears to ensure that regimes desiring to proliferate have a proven roadmap to follow.
“By any account, the Vienna negotiations were an unqualified success for Iran. The reason for that is simple: America’s failed bipartisan North Korean policy set a model for would-be proliferators on how to negotiate one’s way to a nuclear weapon.”
With U.S. diplomacy having midwifed one failed deal and generated a new flawed one, the future will almost certainly see the further spread of nuclear weapons to dangerous regimes.
At almost every step of the Iran negotiations, the Obama Administration repeated past mistakes made by it, the Bush, and the Clinton Administrations. To paraphrase Barbara Tuchman, we are witnessing a nuclear march of folly. In order to prevent future similar outcomes, it’s of paramount importance that we understand the North Korean case.
The first mistake made by successive U.S. administrations, Democratic and Republican alike, in dealing with North Korea was perhaps the fatal one. Each set of U.S. negotiators assumed, or convinced itself, that a deal could be reached that would ultimately persuade Pyongyang to abandon its goal of achieving a nuclear or ballistic missile capability. Read the rest of this entry »
November Surprise: Decisions on Immigration, Iran and Other Hot Issues that were Delayed for Political Reasons will be Coming SoonPosted: October 29, 2014
The problem, as the Founders saw it, is to prevent the president or Congress from acquiring unchecked power, as they will inevitably try to do. The solution was to divide powers between the executive and the legislature and hope that they would be constrained by countervailing institutional interests. But Harry Reid is a “party man,” not a “Senate man.”
Mr. Lipson is a professor of political science and director of the Program on International Politics, Economics, and Security at the University of Chicago.
Charles Lipson writes: With the midterm elections looming, the White House has delayed controversial decisions and appointments. That makes sense politically. The administration doesn’t want to force Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Michelle Nunn, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, or other embattled Democrats to defend presidential actions right now, or worse, to oppose them publicly. But as soon as the voting is done (perhaps after runoffs in Louisiana and Georgia), several big shoes will drop. Here are the most likely ones.
Obama’s Post-Election Policy Blowout
1) Immigration. How many millions will the president let in? On what terms? One hint: The Department of Homeland Security recently ordered more than four million green cards and visas for next year and says it might order another 29 million for future years.
“All of these matters have been high-profile and potentially deeply divisive. That is precisely why the White House is postponing any announcements. When the administration finally does speak, it will unleash a political storm, even if Democrats hold the Senate.”
The cards would give immigrants who are here illegally the right to continue living and working in the U.S. legally—and perhaps receive a variety of federal and state benefits. Should the president unilaterally issue these cards, there will be a brutal debate over the wisdom of this policy, whether it extends to welfare benefits, and whether the president has the constitutional authority to issue so many cards without specific congressional approval.
“If Republicans win, those winds will reach hurricane force, since the president will likely try to ram everything through a lame-duck Congress. If that happens, consider boarding up the windows.”
2) The next U.S. attorney general. The president wants a crusader on progressive causes and a reliable firewall to protect him, just as Eric Holder has done. Rumor has it that he wants Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who has been the point man on racial preferences. Read the rest of this entry »
Derek Hunter reports: Polls show the Maryland Gubernatorial race between Democrat Anthony Brown and Republican Larry Hogan is extremely close, with the most recent poll showing a 2-point race, well within the margin of error. With the race so tight, every vote counts. But there is growing concern that every vote counted might not be how every vote was cast.
“Curiously, there hasn’t been a single report of votes being switched from Democrat to Republican in the heavily blue state, so ‘calibration issues’ seem to only go in one direction.”
Early voting is underway across Maryland, and issues with the voting machines are being reported from throughout the state.
So far 20 complaints have been registered of instances where voters using touchscreen machines say their vote for a Republican was automatically switched to the Democrat. Of the 20 complaints, election officials report, “Twelve of those machines were thoroughly tested and the issue could not be replicated. The remaining eight units were taken out of service.”
One voting official referred to the machines automatically switching votes as a “calibration issue.” Curiously, there hasn’t been a single report of votes being switched from Democrat to Republican in the heavily blue state, so “calibration issues” seem to only go in one direction. Read the rest of this entry »
“Whew! I’m so glad I can get back to work. I was down to my last trunk load of Obamaphones.”
“I got big plans tonight. Couple shots of Crown Royal, and a fine cigar. Then catch a bus to Arkansas.”
“When the Clintons called me with the good news, I knew we were back on the gravy train”
“I don’t see what the big deal is. I still vote the regular way, only two or three times.”
“Hot damn. Lordy lordy. Hot damn!”
“I can’t do anything for Democrats this year cause I’m still on parole, but I’m gonna celebrate anyway!”
“Davis is an example of the perils that await politicians who believe their own hype. The left will soon forget they ever placed so much faith in Davis, and move on to the next flavor of the month who they will convince themselves can finally lead them to the destiny Democrats believe is their demographic due.”
Super-Fundraiser Gwyneth Paltrow Savagely Mocked by Sabo in Parody Obama Posters Displayed All Over Her StreetPosted: October 9, 2014
Sunset Boulevard Heartbreak
Gwyneth Paltrow has had her Hollywood home targeted with a series of anti-Obama posters ahead of a fundraiser that the actress is holding for the president on Thursday evening.
“I’m not sure how healthy bacon is in general, but I know it’s incredibly delicious.”
— The only quote we could find by Gwyneth Paltrow that is 100% right on.
The signs, including one featuring an image of Paltrow with the phrase ‘Obama drone’ on it, are the work of an artist called Sabo who creates street art with a clear Republican slant under the name Unsavoryagents.
“Sometimes Harvey Weinstein will let me use the Miramax jet if I’m opening a supermarket for him.”
— Normal mother with the same struggles as any other normal mother Gwyneth Paltrow
Another poster depicts an image of the President that has been ripped down the middle to separate him from the American flag and features Gwyneth’s infamous phrase ‘conscious uncoupling’ on it.
“Some days I feel like everyone in my world has plugged themselves into my kidneys. I’m so tired.”
— Obama fundraiser Gwyneth Paltrow, having a poopy day.
“I’d rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin.”
— Health insights from Obama supporter and actress Gwyneth Paltrow
On Tuesday Sabo also tweeted that he was seeking ‘a face painter who’s willing to work for free ASAP for the Paltrow project.’
“You know, I use organic products, but I get lasers. It’s what makes life interesting, finding the balance between cigarettes and tofu.”
— More Paltrow wisdom, from 45 Hilariously Ridiculous Gwyneth Paltrow Quotes
A section of Sunset Boulevard will be closed for Thursday’s high-profile event, which is slated to attract some of the entertainment industry’s most prominent names.
[ The short list – 10 Most Annoying Gwyneth Paltrow Quotes of All Time] Read the rest of this entry »
A revealing admission. And further proof that this administration was never about serving the public interest, statesmanship, or governing. The U.S. government has been politicized and subverted to the point where it’s little more than a fundraising and election-rigging machine. One that commands an Army, Navy, Air force, Marines, an EPA, an IRS, ICE, labor department, Federal Reserve, Treasury, and countless law enforcement and regulatory agencies, a rose garden, and endless golfing vacations. And enjoys its own taxpayer-funded, state-of-the-art luxury fundraising airplane.
“…you would have seen Republican candidates do more to make the immigration issue central to their campaign. And in the event that they were successful in their campaign, the concern would be that they would cite their opposition to immigration reform as a reason to their success.”
Here’s a bonus “headline of the day” from Breitbart.com
And here’s some bonus questions. What makes Obama think the GOP can’t campaign on executive amnesty? And did he really think delaying it would prevent his party from losing the Senate? That’s the risk of being political, unpopular, and short-sighted.
From National Review Online:
White House press secretary Josh Earnest bluntly admitted on Wednesday that the reason President Obama chose to delay executive amnesty for illegal immigrants was so Republicans would not be able to campaign on the issue during the midterms. Read the rest of this entry »
That’s Show Business: Harry’s Cynical plot to keep the Senate
Everything you’ll see from the Senate in the next few weeks will be complete bullshit. POLITICO grinds out the story on the Senate leaders’ familiar playbook. Here’s the money quote:
Reid has scheduled votes on a politically populist agenda devised by Schumer aimed at forcing Republicans to block bills aimed at wooing students, women, seniors and the middle class. Democrats have repeatedly put forth bills that have little chance of passing — like on increasing the minimum wage, gender pay equity, contraception access and student loan assistance. And even when there are efforts they actually support — such as Obama’s executive action on immigration — Democratic leaders have lobbied the White House to punt on the issue to avoid hurting their vulnerable incumbents and candidates in red states. Read the rest of this entry »
This article is an example of why Michael Barone is considered indispensable among political reporters and media wonks. Even for the blog surfers and unreformed political news junkies like the rest of us, he’s the guy to read this election year. It’s a long one, worth investing time in. In a sweeping but brisk history of a half-century of party evolution, Barone summarizes both Republican and Democratic party transformations over the years. Read a sample below, for more, read it all here.
For the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone writes: America’s two great political parties are constantly transforming themselves, sometimes in small increments, sometimes in sudden lurches. They respond to cues sent to them by voters — which can range from attaboy! to fuhggedaboutit — and to the initiatives of party leaders, especially presidents.
“When you have a rush of hundreds of thousands of previously uninvolved people into electoral politics, you get a certain number of wackos, weirdos and witches. But you also get many new people who turn out to be serious citizens with exceptional political skills.”
But when the other party has held the White House for an extended period, the transformation process can be stormy and chaotic. Which is a pretty apt description of the Republican Party over the past few years. Its two living ex-presidents, the George Bushes, withdrew from active politics immediately after leaving the White House, and its two most recent nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, say they are not running for president again, although they do weigh in on issues. There is no obvious heir apparent and there are many politicians who may seek the 2016 presidential nomination. More than usual, the opposition party is up for grabs.
“Mainstream media will inevitably emphasize the discontentment in the Republican Party that originated in the second Bush term and flashed into prominence soon after Obama took office. It will tend to ignore the discontentment in the Democratic Party that are raging with increasing intensity.”
As the cartoon images of elephant and donkey suggest, our two parties are different kinds of animals. Republicans have generally been more cohesive, with a core made up of politicians and voters who see themselves, and are seen by others,
as typical Americans — white Northern Protestants in the 19th century, married white Christians today. But those groups, by themselves, have never been a majority of the nation. The Democratic Party has been made up of disparate groups of people regarded, by themselves and others, as outsiders in some way — Southern whites and Catholic immigrants in the 19th century, blacks and gentry liberals today. Our electoral system motivates both to amass coalitions larger than 50 percent of voters. Democrats tend to do so by adding additional disparate groups. Republicans tend to do so by coming up with appeals that unite their base and erode Democrats’ support from others. Read the rest of this entry »
On Wednesday’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer said that Democrats will come to rue their response to President Obama’s executive overreach…
“The president’s job is not, as the president says, to help people — that’s his interpretation of what he does — it’s to faithfully execute the laws that Congress has passed. That is as clear as day. That’s the definition of his job.”
The Hammer: Amnesty via Executive Order an Impeachable Offense, But Impeachment Would Still Be Political SuicidePosted: July 29, 2014
If Obama were to carry out his threat to use an executive order to grant amnesty to millions of illegals, Charles Krauthammer expressed this duality:
“Clearly lawless and it would be biggest domestic overreach of a president in memory…an impeachable offense.”
And later added,
“I would be 100 percent against impeachment because it’s political suicide.”
See how that works? The political paradox for opponents of executive overreach: If a president has the majority of the media working to protect him, and his opponents are defenseless because of this historically unique opportunity — virtually immune to impeachment — why wouldn’t he abuse his authority?
From today’s National Review Online: Talk of impeachment is a “concoction of Democrats,” but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a grander strategy by the White House and its congressional allies, Charles Krauthammer warned.
On Tuesday’s Special Report, he speculated that the Obama administration may be trying to exhaust the idea of impeachment and “softening people up for” when the president uses executive action to grant legal status and work authorization to millions of immigrants in the country illegally…(read more)
For The Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby writes: The Pew Research Center last week released a new survey of American attitudes in the Middle East. The results weren’t surprising. In the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, 51 percent of Americans say they sympathize more with Israel. Only 14 percent feel greater affinity for the Palestinians.
Sympathy Toward Israel Has Never Been Higher
Pew’s findings demonstrate the strength of pro-Israel feeling in the United States. The poll was conducted amid the current fighting with Hamas, but the bottom line hardly changed from Pew’s last survey in April, when it reported that in the 36 years it has been sampling public opinion, “sympathy toward Israel has never been higher.”
[Check out the book “Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel” at Amazon.com]
But below the surface, America’s Israel-friendly consensus is splitting along the same left-vs.-right fault line that has polarized so many other issues. While support for Israel is overwhelming among Republicans and conservatives, it has been shrinking among Democrats and liberals. “The partisan gap in Mideast sympathies has never been wider,” reports Pew, with 73 percent of Republicans sympathetic to Israel in the ongoing conflict, but just 44 percent of Democrats. Respondents identifying as liberal Democrats were five times as likely as conservative Republicans to sympathize more with the Palestinians.
Thus is the Democratic Party losing its way on one of the great moral issues of our time.
For roughly the first third of Israel’s existence, Democrats tended to support the Jewish state more strongly than Republicans did. In a compelling new book, ““Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel”, foreign-affairs thinker Joshua Muravchik writes that during the run-up to the Six Day War in 1967, “Israel was above all a cause championed by liberals.” So heartfelt was this support that even ardent Democratic opponents of the Vietnam War, such as John Kenneth Galbraith and Eugene McCarthy, advocated US military action on Israel’s behalf. Read the rest of this entry »
Reality Check: Charlie Crist’s realization that the Republican party was ‘racist’ just so happened to coincide with the moment Marco Rubio was set to beat him for the Senate nominationePosted: May 7, 2014
…Crist, who had served as Florida’s Republican governor (and previously as attorney general) since 2007, switched to an independent during the 2010 Senate race after it became apparent Rubio would likely win the nomination. In 2012, Crist endorsed President Obama and became a Democrat…(read more)
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, is guilty of encouraging her members to wage an ugly race war
The leaders of the Democrat Party will stop at nothing to consolidate their perks and power while they tear the social fabric of our country apart.
Time after time and on issue after issue, Democrats have made promise after promise to the people they were elected to serve which have come up empty. With no record of accomplishment to run on in November, congressional Democrats and President Obama will face a day of reckoning that could very well return control of the Congress to Republicans and neuter the remaining two years of Obama’s tenure in the White House.
“To a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism. And that’s unfortunate.”
— Race-Baiting Representative Steve Israel (D-NY)
Does Israel offer up any facts to fortify his incendiary charge? No. Where then, does he offer any proof to such an inflammatory remark? He doesn’t because he knows he doesn’t have to. Is this how the leader of the body charged with electing Democrats to Congress hopes to win in November—by alleging that the Republican base is animated by racism?
Faced with such an unthinkable reality, the Democrats marked the 50th anniversary of passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 not by hailing the progress we have made as a nation but to resort to the despicable act of accusing their political opponents of racism to preserve their hold on power in Washington, D.C. Late last week in these pages, I discussed how lack of political civility is destroying the ability of the political process to function in our nation’s Capital.
Scott Bland writes: Ten months from Election Day, uncertainty is the watchword in the House of Representatives. Democrats look very unlikely to pick up the 17 seats they would need to retake the House majority, and they could lose seats, with the generic-ballot average settling into a slim Republican advantage after a tumultuous fall. But the speed of earlier movement against both parties shows why it would be foolish to assume what’s true today will be true in 10 months.
A race-by-race look at the House landscape also helps explain why things are unsettled. As far as we see it, there is only one slam-dunk pickup that either side can more or less count on right now. The GOP’s generic-ballot advantage and a large class of Democratic freshmen in battleground districts (the party picked up eight seats in 2012) has given Republicans a greater number of targets in top races. But recent GOP retirements in some blue-tinged districts have them especially worried—and Democrats licking their chops—about control in certain regions (though one retirement, by controversial Minnesota Republican MicheleBachmann, actually took her seat out of the battleground column and back to safe GOP territory). Strategists in both parties, meanwhile, worry that they don’t have candidates capable of grabbing some of the tougher districts on the table.
Most interesting of all, Democrats have few pickup opportunities in the Northeast, their strongest area, while Republicans will target few districts in the South. That’s because they’ve already won most of them, a long-term trend reinforced by “dual waves” in different parts of the country in 2012. Democrats hold every seat in New England right now, and the GOP Conference is more Southern—and the South more Republican—than ever in the history of the Republican Party.
These rankings place districts in order starting with the most likely to switch partisan control. Thus, some hotly contested races—like Rep. Mike Honda‘s challenge from a fellow California Democrat and Rep. Mike Simpson‘s challenge from a fellow Idaho Republican—are not on this list. This being an early look, we are only going 30 races deep, but there are one or two dozen more that could definitely be competitive in November. We examined a multitude of factors to choose and place battleground districts on this list: public and private polling, candidates’ fundraising ability, advertising patterns and outside group involvement, local media coverage, and months of cumulative reporting andanalysis.
Without further ado, let’s begin with the congressional district most likely to flip from one party to the other this November:
1. Utah-04—Rep. Jim Matheson (D) is retiring
Nothing is certain in politics, but Matheson’s retirement basically cedes the seat to Republicans. Without his brand name, it’s very difficult to imagine a Democrat overcoming the party’s poor performance levels in this state and district. (President Obama just cleared 30 percent here in 2012, making it his 25th-worst district in the country.) Repeat GOP candidate Mia Love, who would be the first African-American Republican woman in Congress if she won, is now the biggest early favorite to become a House freshman in 2015, though Matheson’s decision could spur some more GOP interest in the seat.
The War on Conservative Minorities
Racist and sexist attacks on women and minorities are acceptable, if the targets are conservative.
John Fund writes: Members of both political parties use sharp elbows to rough up and discredit the opposition, but the media are supposed to call “foul” on the worst abuses. But when the media are ideologically opposed to conservatives — especially minority conservatives — the abuses sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
Take what happened last week to New Hampshire state representative Marilinda Garcia, who announced she would challenge incumbent Democratic representative Annie Kuster in a highly competitive district that has switched party control in three of the last four elections.
Democrats were clearly rattled by the 30-year-old Garcia’s entry. Democratic-party communications director Harrell Kirstein said she would inevitably be part of a “reckless race to pander to the same extreme right fringe of the Republican Party that forced the federal government shutdown.” He called her a “loyal rubber-stamp” for the “irresponsible” agenda of former GOP house speaker Bill O’Brien.
Tough but in bounds.
But then prominent Democratic state representative Peter Sullivan, a self-described leader of the legislature’s “progressive” bloc, entered the picture. Using his Twitter account, he compared her unfavorably to O’Brien and conservative state representative Al Baldasaro this way:
She’s Al Baldassaro [Sullivan misspelled his name] in stiletto heels, a lightweight and O’Brien clone.
Bill O’Brien + Kim Kardashian = Marilinda Garcia
She is a right-wing, homophobic, anti-worker shill for the Koch Brothers.
Sullivan’s sexist comments drew fire from some blogs. Twitchy.com noted that describing Garcia as a male lawmaker in “in stiletto heels” suggests she’s merely masquerading as a woman and that Sullivan, with the Kardashian comparison, was “not-so-subtly tying Garcia to a woman who rose to fame as the star of a sex tape.” GOP state representative Jane Cormier said her Democratic colleague “owed all women an apology for bringing sexist and demonizing remarks into the political process here in NH.”
Garcia has a “pretty significant political résumé,” Cormier pointed out. She was elected for the first time in 2006 and currently serves on the House Finance Committee. Previously, she served as co-chair of a House caucus and as a majority whip. In 2010, she received a master’s of public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. As an accomplished harp player, she is an adjunct professor of music at several universities.
An excerpt from Charles Krauthammer’s new book, Things That Matter
Moving from Left to Right
Charles Krauthammer writes: I’m often asked: “How do you go from Walter Mondale to Fox News?” To which the short answer is: “I was young once.” The long answer begins by noting that this is hardly a novel passage. The path is well trodden, most famously by Ronald Reagan, himself once a New Deal Democrat, and more recently by a generation of neoconservatives, led by Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. Every story has its idiosyncrasies. These are mine.
I’d been a lifelong Democrat, and in my youth a Great Society liberal. But I had always identified with the party’s Cold War liberals, uncompromising Truman-Kennedy anti-Communists led by the likes of Henry Jackson, Hubert Humphrey, and Pat Moynihan. Given my social-democratic political orientation, it was natural for me to work for Democrats, handing out leaflets for Henry Jackson in the 1976 Massachusetts Democratic primary (Jackson won; I handed out a lot of leaflets) and working for Mondale four years later. Read the rest of this entry »
Jay Cost writes: When political scientist Harold Lasswell, writing in the mid-1930s, defined politics as the decisions society makes about “who gets what, when, and how,” he might as well have been describing the debate over taxes and spending in the United States today. But what happens when the focus of the political debate changes from who gets what to who loses what? This concept is unfamiliar to Americans, who have enjoyed more than 100 years of (mostly) uninterrupted economic growth. Read the rest of this entry »
RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.
Alex Castellanos writes: Damn those extreme Republicans. President Obama and White House press secretary Jay Carney have found Republicans guilty of extortion and blackmail. Joe Biden, per a report in Politico, once christened Republicans as terrorists.
Liberals have led a media assault, calling the GOP anarchists, jihadists, “gun to head” hostage takers, and the political equivalent of the Taliban. White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer has likened Republicans to suicide bombers “with a bomb strapped to their chest.”
What could be more extreme?
The Democratic Party.
The Senate majority leader hasn’t looked like much of a leader at all.
Andrew Stiles writes: The government shutdown that most Democrats thought would benefit them politically has not gone according to plan.
Sure, the initial polling shows that more Americans think Republicans (44 percent) are to blame than Democrats (35 percent), as most expected. But Democrats have hardly come off looking great. Reports that the Obama administration ordered the shuttering of the open-air World War II Memorial, temporarily blocking veterans from visiting, didn’t help. Top Democrats such as House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz have refused to give up their paychecks during the shutdown. “Negotiations” between the two sides have descended into a war of Twitter hashtags. The White House is trolling for shutdown sob stories.