Scott Brown, Ron Paul and the Future of the GOP

Posted on February 24, 2010. Filed under: 2010 Elections, 2012 Elections, Dems, Elections, GOP, Issues, Political Parties |

The GOP and their teabagging stooges are quite angry today. Yesterday, Scott Brown broke rank and voted in favor of the Senate jobs bill (along with Collins and Snowe). This should not be a major or breaking-story because congressmen USED to vote with their constituents in mind all the time. Voting across party lines is not unusual at all, yet the Tea Party appears to have already given up on Brown. They have filled his website and Facebook page with comments like this one:

“You, Sir, are a RINO Judas. I hope you enjoy your 30 pieces of silver.”

Amazing really. One single vote and he is deemed a Judas. All of this, of course, makes the 2010 election ever more potent. It’s not just about the Dems losing control of Congress anymore. If the GOP does in fact win BIG this fall,  are these “supporters” –those responsible for this apparent conservative revival– going to react in a similar way when a freshly minted congressman decides to vote with his district or state in mind? If they do, then the GOP is going to have a major problem in 2010.

Mike Madden over at Salon has the same thing on his mind. He poses that the GOP is going to have a hard time keeping the support of their new activist base. The platform that the Tea Party wants them to run against –which is the only way they are going to do well in 2010– is one that the GOP was booted out for in 2006.

“…most of the things Republicans say they’ll do if they take power again — cutting spending, increasing transparency, ending earmarks — were exactly what helped voters sour on Republican rule in 2006. To keep the new elements of their activist base happy, GOP leaders will have to stick to their plan. “Keeping the support of tea party activists will require keeping our promises, it’s as simple as that,” one GOP aide

It’s ludicrous to assume the GOP will do any of these things and they know it. That’s their concern. If the Tea Party is this angry about Scott Brown voting with his constituents and “against” the Tea Party, then the GOP is in a lot of trouble. They’re already spitting on Steele on a regular basis using trademark bagger language.

“Michael Steele is an imperial chairman,” grumbled one GOP fundraiser to Politico.

In my opinion, a bagger-fueled 2010 GOP resurgence is going to 1) highlight the fractures between the libertarians and conservatives and 2) splinter the presidential field in 2012 leaving the Dems in a good position. I’m not sure who’ll represent the GOP in 2012, but I can assure you that Ron Paul will be a strong candidate (regardless of party) and if the GOP burns their libertarian bridges, they can both  kiss their 2012 chances goodbye.

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Paul vs Obama in 2012?

Posted on February 21, 2010. Filed under: 2012 Elections, Dems, Elections, GOP |

Only a few hours ago, I made this statement in reference to the Tea Party:
If you wanted to really break it down and see what this is about, draw a line in the sand; on one side is Palin and the other is Paul. They’d follow Palin in a second.
However, I just now stumbled upon this straw poll from the CPAC:
Ron Paul CPAC
Does this prove me wrong? Not really. CPAC is not a Tea Party event and the attendees are certainly more pro-GOP establishment than the baggers are. What this does offer is a solid glimpse as to who the Dems will be up against.
Regardless of this poll, I don’t think that Paul will win the nomination. He’s way too progressive in his social policies to make it past the primaries. I also found it interesting that Huckabee and Gingrich were not on the list. As a Dem, I’m most concerned about Ron Paul (and least threatened). I think he has the best chance of challenging Obama (mostly because of his youth appeal and ability to inspire), but Nate Silver believes that Gingrich poses a huge threat. I’m not so sure I agree.
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GOP Takeover Unlikely

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: 2010 Elections, 2012 Elections, Dems, Elections, GOP, Issues |

American conservatives have gotten themselves very excited over the past couple days as CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) has been underway. The message is the same it’s always been: lower taxes, less government and more national security.

As we know, they’ve also been sounding the jobless and deficit alarm a lot also. Well, not really. It’s more like they set the bank alarm off, ran away and then called the cops when a Dem walked in the door.

Short-term memories are in no shortage when it comes to the GOP and their stooge baggers, but just in case you’ve drank their tea also, take a look at this:


Calling for tax cuts might get teabaggers hard and the GOP establishment something to talk about, but it’s pretty clear that it had a terrible effect on the deficit. Maybe Bush was just a bad president and other GOPers had it right when they tried to give tax breaks?


Nope, but they like to claim that it’s all about the trickle-down effect. If we give tax breaks to the wealthy, then middle-Americans will also be helped because the rich will hire them. Does that pass the smell test? Are they as innocent as they claim?

chart of the day, jobs lost in the bush and obama administrations
The point is that even though the facts are there that prove the GOP cannot effectively run an economy or the country, they still manage pass themselves off as the party of the common man. They have proven to be successful at manipulating the masses over the past year and now they’re claiming they’ll take back control of the Senate. They’re hoping for a 1994-style takeover and even throwing some names for the new “contract” around.
Unfortunately for them, there’s something called statistics and reality that seems to be in their way. Intrade is giving them a 30% chance of a takeover and Nate Silver –master statistician who predicted almost every detail of the 2008 election– has a message as well: Republicans Must Defend Seats Too. The caveat is this enthusiasm gap and unless the Dems pass something tangible through reconciliation, it might be hard. The public likes it when they see the government doing something.

Regardless of whether they takeover or not, the ball is still in the Obama’s court as he’ll have a golden opportunity to sandbag the GOP and follow in the steps of the 1948 election where Truman rain against a “do nothing” Congress.
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The Silver Lining of Bayh’s Retirement

Posted on February 16, 2010. Filed under: 2010 Elections, Dems, Elections, GOP, Media |

And there’s always a silver lining.

The resignation du jour that’s rattling the presses is that centrist, obstructionist Democrat, Evan Bayh has decided to retire. The GOP-favored MSM is playing into Michael Steele’s claim that Dems are “running for the hills.” Of course, being a member of the GOP requires the inability to speak the truth since the GOP faces MORE retirements that the Dems do, but that doesn’t matter when your party has contol of the conversation (as the GOP does right now).

The main obstacle for Dems is not that Bayh is retiring. I believe that to be a godsend since all he did was obstruct progressive policies. I’m no fan of Blue Dogs and couple Bayh with Nelson, then you have a deadly combination for progressives. Some are worried about the timing of this departure which give the Dems until Tuesday (in America) to get another name on the ballot. That’s not great, but there are two great things that will come from this.

1) It forces the GOP to make a decision as to who they’re putting on the ballot. They’re now stuck with two average candidates (Coats and Hostetler).

2) If one thing is true it’s that –nationwide– this election cycle will be an anti-incumbent one. Another truth is that in swing-states we can expect to see a GOP-leaning preference and enthusiasm gap. A new face might be the only thing that saves the Dems.

Unlike the retirement of Dodd, I was thrilled with this one. Bayh did very little to help the progressive cause. Without him, Dems don’t have to comprimise.

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Park Geun-hye’s Chungcheong Gamble

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: Elections, Policy, Political Parties |

Let’s start today off with this:

Enjoy the New Year Holiday. Seize the thief!”

In a confrontation reminiscent Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” and Kayne’s “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.“, former GNP candidate and spokeswomen Park Geun-hye decided to replant the seed of distrust (again) just before the Lunar New Year holiday. Her goal –obviously– was to fuel her inner-party pseudo-support for the original Sejong City Development Plan in hopes of changing the holiday conversation from the traditional “When are you getting married?” to “Lee Myung-bak is a thief.

Of course, much of the argument around this issue has little to do with the Sejong City project. Rather, we’re witnessing the continuation of the battle from the 2007 election when Lee and Park engaged in nasty exchanges in their bid to represent the GNP. She’s still bitter and looking to separate herself from his policies so as to remain a viable candidate in 2012.

As I discussed previously, it’s totally commonplace in Korean politics to split from a party when something goes wrong. I wouldn’t be all that surprised if Park threatened the same here, but since a pro-Park faction already splintered and returned two years ago, it would be pretty futile at this point.

So, let’s take a look at the current dispute and then we’ll make the leap across the pond.

Lee (in an address): “…when a thief breaks in, a family bound for success stops fighting (each other) to repel him first.”

Park (response): “what happens when someone in the family turns into a thief?”

Both camps denied they were speaking of the other, but it’s pretty clear they were both taking swipes at each other. Lee was railing for unification against the Park faction and Park was calling Lee a thief. What did he steal? I assume she believes he “stole” the election by promising to press ahead with Roh’s dream of relocating the nation’s government. She has every right to be angry that he reneged on his promise, but he has not scrapped the whole thing, he simply wants Sejong to be a “business-science hub“.

Still, he’s a “thief” according to Park. Will her gamble work?

According to a recent poll, 60% of the public support the revised version proposed by Lee. Only 37% percent support the original plan that Park is putting her neck out there for.

So, why is she sticking to an unpopular opinion and increasing the attacks?

Just ask the GOP in America.

The GOP has continually rallied against popular measures over the past year, but a faction of the GOP has not only uniformly opposed every proposal, they have even threatened to cannibalize their own regardless of what GOP Chairman Steele wants. They are –of course– the teabaggers.

Like the Park faction in the GNP, the teabaggers account for a sizable portion of the GOP. They are a minority for sure, but they steal most of the headlines with their egregious claims and extreme supporters. Yet, it’s no secret what their short-term goal is: November elections.  The Park faction is after the same thing: June elections.

While there is evidence that the GOP-led Tea Party movement could pick-up some seats, a switch in Congressional power is pretty much impossible. The Pro-Park faction also has some legs to stand on, but it’s unclear whether her support for the original Sejong City plan is a winner. She might be playing on the enthusiasm gap which will also help the GOP this fall, but will Sejong City get people out to vote like the GOP scare-tactics have motivated the American conservatives?

I doubt it and it seems like Park is going to end up garnering more support from a single province –that being Chungcheong. The caveat is, does Chungcheong support translate to a big win?

Yes and Park knows it. Since 1987, Chungcheong province has been known as the “election barometer“. The province has had swaying power in every modern election. Right now, the province is solidly in support of the People First Party. This, however, is not a huge obstacle for Park. The core principle of the party is to oppose the GNP. Park is openly opposing the GNP, so theoretically she could sway a few voters into supporting pro-Park GNPers.

If she can get the backing of PFP leader Sim Dae-pyung or push this wedge issue far enough, then we can all expect a pro-Park resurgence within the GNP and possibly another heated primary in 2012.

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