The State of the GOP

I hear a lot of complaining about the Republican Party these days. I share their frustration. How could it come to this? As the fourth year of the Obama era begins the state of the union is shaky at best. In 2008 an inexperienced leftist who donned a centrist disguise beat a weak opponent partly because the electorate was in such a state of shock that they were willing to ignore myriad red flags. I refer to his ultra-liberal voting record, murky background, radical friends and shady political pals. A lapdog media wasn’t interested in doing any vetting — opting instead to just cheer-lead.

The recent State of the Union was full of the same old stuff: congratulating himself for perceived accomplishments and complaining about Republican obstructionism. It’s pure trash and he knows it – but he’s betting that the American electorate will swallow it once again.
Anyone curious enough to look beyond the pliant press would have found that Obama’s speech was in many instances a word-for-word rehash of his previous “SOTU’s” here:

LINK

Further analysis shows his tax claims to be demonstrably false, here:
LINK

With evidence like that this election should be easy right? Obama is a now known quantity and the mask has been ripped off the entire Democrat Party. They marched in lockstep to shove Obamacare down our throats, bypassing an honest legislative process and ignoring the will of the people, including those in uber-liberal Massachusetts who voted for Scott Brown on that issue alone. They have reclaimed the crown as the biggest spenders – quickly eclipsing the Republicans of the previous era. Annual deficits are now running $1.5 TRILLION and we have nothing to show for it.

We should be planning our election night parties – and yet…

It is a mess. Many are fearful that we’re paving the way for Obama to be re-elected. From a very large field full of flawed candidates we’re left with a clueless Mitt Romney fending off desperate attacks from a flailing Newt Gingrich and the Republican Party seems to be doing the Democrats’ dirty work for them. We’re told by self-proclaimed experts that Romney is the only “electable” candidate and yet the guy has no track record of winning. The one time he did he passed a government-run health care bill that paved the way for the mess we’re trying to get repealed.

While Newt’s failures as Speaker of the House have been misrepresented – and his major victories diminished – Mitt is mostly given a free pass. Santorum is the non-Romney of the month but he is a lightweight punching out of his weight class. Ron Paul is given exactly the attention he deserves: credit for his criticism of our dangerous fiscal / monetary policy and scorn for his dangerously naïve foreign policy. Has anyone noticed that he is attracting the youth vote?

But how did the Republican Party let this happen? Well, let’s think about it for a minute. Who is the Republican Party? It’s the candidates who run as Republicans and the people who vote for them. It’s the current crop of elected officials who still self-identify with the party and caucus with them. Let’s not forget the Murkowskis of the world who are only Republican when it’s convenient, or the traders like Jeffords and Specter who changed teams. It is also the RNC – but they really only get involved AFTER the primaries, funneling money where it is most needed in closely fought general elections.

The candidates are a reflection of what we as voters demand. For too long we settled for mushy compromising centrists like Bush and McCain who did nothing to curtail spending or the rampant encroachments on our freedoms. I am not letting the Republicans in Congress off the hook. Spending bills start there. We have a President – not a king. Obama is clearly irritated by that. But the Republicans have not stood united as a party and held their ground. They should have been there all along saying. “We simply cannot afford this level of spending. We can’t defend our country and fund out-of-control entitlement programs. We cannot suspend the laws of economics to give houses to those who cannot afford mortgage payments. We will destroy our economy if we do.”

Nope. They reached across the aisle and danced around the third rails of politics and took the easy way out. McCain was one of them and Newt Gingrich was too. Romney pretends to “Mr. Private Sector” but he didn’t trust it to deal with the health care industry. It is no wonder attacks on him have stuck.

So the Tea Party was born. They are more loosely organized than the GOP. They do not have the big money yet. They only have a few true believers in office now; young leaders like Marco Rubio. Old phonies like Newt are merely pretenders trying to harness their energy. But the Tea Party activists at least have clear principles: smaller, efficient government; low, flat taxes; balanced budgets: strong foreign policy; free markets.

The debates are a disgrace. Who agreed to this? The RNC? This was a blown opportunity to clarify what the GOP platform is to be. We should be discerning not just where the candidates are different but where they agree. Liberal TV commentators should not be involved. Their slanted, “gotcha” questions waste precious time and give the Democrats advantages they should not be granted. Who lets the other team into the huddle?

Who are the party “leaders” who convinced Chris Christie and Paul Ryan not to run? Why didn’t those candidates seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? If Romney wins and does well, he is odds-on to run again and make it an 8 year wait for GOP contenders. Then maybe the pendulum swings left again. If Romney wins and lacks the will to make the bold moves we won’t get the recovery we need. Voters will tire and be susceptible to more “hope and change”. There are lots of ways that it adds up to a 12 year wait for these rising stars. This is their best chance and our best chance.

Now we are in a primary cycle where the voters are unanimous in their support for “none of the above” Not Romney and not the non-Romneys either. I think a brokered election would be thrilling and historic — but wait – the GOP wants to screw that up too. Their idea of a “White Knight” late-entry candidate?

Jeb Bush. (Crickets)

Are they tone deaf? Sure, I know all about Jeb. He’s the smartest Bush. That is beyond irrelevant. This country is not in the mood for another Bush while still suffering from a great deal of the fallout from the financial crisis that began during his brother’s term. Sorry Jeb.

I am still optimistic. True change does not happen quickly in a world still suffering from an epidemic of incumbency. Only we can impose the term limits that are so desperately needed.

They say we get the government we deserve. I am sure I am not the only one who feels I deserve better than this. I work, pay taxes, get informed, get involved and then vote.

There is a battle for the soul of the GOP. There is a call for return to core principles as opposed to watered-down liberalism or “compassionate conservatism”. The Democrats are in a state of denial about theirs. Obama is being attacked from the left for not doing enough. Incredible. “Moderate” Democrats don’t seem bothered that their party has been taken over by de facto socialists.

The silver lining in this mess is that at least Republican voters are showing that they care about character as this search for the non-Romney goes on. Democrats were too eager to embrace scripted charisma in an empty suit. We can do better. We will. Hopefully soon.

Pat Duggan

Romney Wins But Still a Liberal

The only positive development in the wake of the early primaries is that fewer bad candidates are now running.

The GOP is to blame for this. They lack leadership at virtually all levels. The recent negotiations over the Keystone pipeline were completely bungled with Republicans battling Republicans and seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.

They do not have a cohesive message. If they did it would be clear to all that Mitt’s message doesn’t match. McCain would’ve flunked the same test. Now McCain has endorsed Romney. Is that supposed to soothe our collective anxiety about this deeply flawed candidate?

Romney says his experience in the private sector is what qualifies him for the top office. Then why did he think private industry couldn’t handle health care and insurance?

Romney says his plan was appropriate for states – but not OK at the national level.

Please. Here in Illinois we’ll soon have two consecutive Governors in Jail, with 4 of the last 8 convicted. Our state is broke with unfunded pensions that rank us last in terms of fiscal stability. Yup, just let our corrupt politicians run our health care and insurance systems.

This is area of greatest vulnerability and yet his debate opponents haven’t made the point. Instead, they attack him from the left with talking points that sound like they were lifted from a MoveOn.org rant.

His work at Bain Capital is worth noting. Dysfunctional companies were restructured to make them profitable. Profitable companies create long-lasting jobs. Unprofitable ones come begging for bailouts.

Obama “invested” OUR money in Solyndra. That is a stark contrast that should help any eventual GOP nominee. Shame on the other Republican candidates for attacking free-market capitalism.

I’d like to know if Mitt would work some of that magic on the energy and education departments. Would he fire thousands of bureaucrats and make our government more efficient?

Does Mitt understand that while companies benefit from a hands-on management, government serves best when it interferes least?

Why is Romney considered to be the only one who can win when his election record is abysmal? He has won exactly one election. He then promptly “reached across the aisle” to pass a disastrous health care plan that is driving up health care and insurance costs just as predicted.

The GOP can’t afford this. Romney will only further harm the GOP brand. They need a candidate who believes in small government, the constitution and free markets. A true supply sider would set the economy on the road to recovery. Romney is a big government hack who would engage in more Keynesian nonsense. He has pledged a currency war with China and would further devalue the dollar throwing gas on the inflation fire already burning.

We will likely be stuck with Romney. Our principled criticism should not be toned down. What we want transcends party lines: a balanced budget, smaller, more efficient government, fewer encroachments on our personal freedoms, and government completely out of the housing business. I want to hear it in the debates against Obama. It is the only time both sides pay attention.

The various tea party groups have a lot of work to do. They did not have a candidate in this race –despite claims to the contrary. Bachmann and others may have tried to harness their energy but it is the new leaders, like Marco Rubio, who were elected due to their influence. The time will come for someone like him to grab the brass ring. For Now Rubio and Paul Ryan need to work hard to exert the powers of Congress; first to battle Obama, and later to bring reform with a Republican President. Our economy would benefit greatly from a sense that stability was returning. Tax policy that lasts for two months is unsettling for business and markets. Shame on the GOP for going along with such an asinine plan.

In the meantime we should take solace in the understanding that if it’s Romney, he will merely be our President – not king as Obama seems to think.

Pat Duggan

The Debt Ceiling Charade

The so-called debate over the debt ceiling is going nowhere because the elected officials involved have zero experience in problem solving at any level. The only reason this debt ceiling increase hasn’t been rubber stamped like the last 100 times is that the Republican House is attempting to use it as a bargaining chip. With the Democrats in control of the Senate and Obama in the White House they have very little leverage and seemingly no clue as to how to use what they have.

Part of the problem is that Washington politicians know virtually nothing about negotiating. The result of almost every impasse is a “Washington Compromise”, just one more oxymoron from our capital. As every married man knows, a real compromise requires a tradeoff, some sort of sacrifice. You want to play golf this Saturday? Fine, but you’ll be spending Sunday working on that “honey do” list. You gotta give a little to get a little.

In the Washington alternative universe both sides get everything they want. But the laws of mathematics are not so easily suspended. Who does the giving? The tax payer of course. It is because of this habitual way of doing things that the debt keeps mounting.

It is all made worse due to the static scoring that assumes higher tax rates produce higher revenue. History shows us otherwise. The lowering of tax rates under Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan and Bush II all were followed by increased revenue. Revenues fall during recessions-so let’s stop having them.

The GOP is trying to appear tough right now because they know this is why they won so big in the 2010 mid-terms. They have a mandate to cut spending without raising tax rates. Obama and the Democrats received the same message. Their solution? Stop passing budgets and try to stall until after the 2012 elections.

What should the Republican Party do?

First, get its act together. They are rudderless. There should be a clear plan with a chosen leader to promote it. Plan it before you publicize it. Instead, on the night we pass the “Cut, Cap and Balance” the “Gang of Six” announces a conflicting plan. I am a fan of Tom Coburn. He is one of the few decent people in politics-but he should have his head examined. Why would anyone join a “gang” that included Dick Durbin?

They need to make this a 2012 issue. It goes like this:

We have presented a plan for moving forward. In acknowledgement that the economy is still showing signs of weakness, particularly in the employment sector, we refuse to consider a tax hike. Since government spending requires diverting money from the private sector and prevents growth we are proposing serious spending cuts-not just lower levels of increase. By necessity this includes serious entitlement reform.

If the Democrats in the Senate refuse to work with us-or if the President vetoes this common sense plan-we will have no choice but to pass a series of small bumps in the debt ceiling to prevent a shutdown of government. The American people have made it clear that the growth of government must stop. We agree and we’re willing to take that fight to the polls in 2012.

Pat Duggan

Anybody But Obama Strategy is Working

There’s very little difference in the media coverage about the wide-open field of contenders for the GOP nomination. Sure the liberal media is more condescending in their attitude and quick to calculate it as an edge to Obama-but even the Fox News crew seems unable to view it optimistically.

I see a very obvious advantage for the GOP in all this. As soon as a clear front runner emerges the Democrat’s attack machine will focus all their talents (and yes they’re good at it) on isolating and smearing that candidate’s record. Until that point the focus remains on the still-weak economy and Obama’s increasingly implausible excuses for it. The anybody-but-Obama polls should be a concern for the White House and the Chicago reelection office.

So let’s keep playing the game. Mitch Daniels drops out and Rick Perry of Texas seemed more interested. Sarah Palin is on a bus tour? Nobody seems to know how to handicap that. I’d say she’s not running but doesn’t want to leave the spotlight. Eventually, the spotlight is going to shine elsewhere.

Tim Pawlenty is a solid #2 in the online betting markets at 18.9% today, behind Romney’s 30.4%. That’s way ahead of declared candidates like Paul, Gingrich, Cain and Santorum. Is he getting the kind of attention from the press that warrants? Hardly.

Intrade Link

Published in: on June 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm  Comments (3)  
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Victory in Wisconsin

Polls regarding the recent Republican victory in Wisconsin are close, with some indicating public disapproval of the union busting maneuvers. Take them with a large dose of salt.

Polls can be worded in ways that promote a desired outcome. Emotions are running high and misinformation is being spread.

The public doesn’t officially weigh in until the next election. Between now and then the Republicans will have time to more fully explain the budget numbers. As more tax payers come to understand that public sector unions expect us to pay ever-higher taxes to perpetuate their gold-plated compensation packages, sentiment will shift and solidify on the side of Governor Walker and the elected majority.

The hypocrisy of the “flee-baggers” stands in glaring contrast to the honorable Republicans who cast their losing votes on Obamacare and then looked for constitutional methods to fight back while preparing for the next election-which they won handily. That process continues with efforts to de-fund that Obamanation led by Rep. Michele Bachmann who has helped to expose $105 billion in costs buried in the bill.

The Tea Party energizes new Republicans by demonstrating rock-solid support for this brand of tough, no-nonsense politics.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm  Comments (3)  
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2012 Election Part I: The Candidates

The current outlook for the GOP presidential nomination is unclear, with a large number of possible candidates that seem to divide into distinct groups. First there are the reruns and establishment candidates that include Palin, Romney, Gingrich and Huckabee,. They poll well due to name recognition but all have serious flaws that make them poor choices to challenge Obama and his billion dollar juggernaut. The left wing is enjoying the polls dominated by these sure losers, just as they cheered McCain’s campaign-before they attacked him.

The Tea Party phenomenon tells us that the old school ties will be detrimental to those who ran and lost in 2008. Palin will never be able to overcome the big negatives. McCain ruined her political career. Even Michele Bachmann may be impacted by the anti-Palin venom. Romney does not appear willing to turn his Massachusetts health care blunder into a positive by declaring it a failed experiment-even Obama attacked him for it this week. Gingrich is considered to be a daunting intellect but just recently voiced support of ethanol subsidies. His appearance on a couch with Nancy Pelosi is a perfect TV ad against him. Huckabee is not a serious candidate as long as he is under contract with Fox News. Now he’s taken the “Murphy Brown” approach and attacked Natalie Portman and unwed celebrity pregnancies. I agree with Huck on this one; teenage single mothers in particular are a huge problem. That said, this is not something you want to make a signature issue while the economy continues to struggle.

For many of these political celebrities the rumor of a campaign is something they want to keep alive as they sell books and make their TV appearances. When they officially announce they’re not running they are suddenly not so interesting anymore.

There are the governors like Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour and Tim Pawlenty that are testing the waters to see if their states’ successes can propel them onto the national stage. Barbour projects the wrong image against Obama. To deny this is to deny that the Democrats will stoop to any level and the race card is just too easily played here. Daniels has a serious charisma deficit, voiced support for the VAT, and his state’s health care solutions are troublesome when analyzed. Pawlenty is a candidate who must craft a dynamic message to draw attention and separate from the pack. He will focus on his fiscal record. Charles Krauthammer thinks this could be the year that charisma takes a back seat. Sadly too many American voters are just too shallow.

Lastly we have the not-ready for prime time players, deemed too young or too recently elected to the national level post that gave them recognition. Chris Christie leads here with Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal right behind. All but Christie will surely wait. Christie is adamant that he is not running. Perhaps he can be drafted. Ann Coulter has articulated this by saying he will run “because his country needs him.” It is not too early for Christie but the media will not give him a pass they way they did Obama after just 2 years as Senator.

I expect most of these pretenders to drop out sooner rather than later. The campaign requires early commitment and lots of money-money that will want to back an eventual winner. Polling will force Palin out and I believe Huckabee as well. GOP primary voters should reject Romney in favor of an opponent with free market credentials who is willing to confront the stark realities facing the nation.  It is too late for Romney to become that person-and flip flopping won’t fly.

When the pretenders are removed I think we’ll see Pawlenty give Romney a run for his money.

Obama is vulnerable to say the least. The Presidency is there for the taking. Even disillusioned Democrats will jump over for the right candidate. With the current front runners so riddled with flaws this nomination can be seized by a surprise candidate-if the message is right.

Here is a policy outline to work from: LINK

Published in: on March 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm  Comments (3)  
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2012 Election Part II: Policies

Key Issues and Solutions for the 2012 candidate:

High taxes=fewer jobs. With higher state and local taxes a certainty, $4 gas, and food inflation a current problem, voters know that higher income taxes-or a VAT or other gimmicks-are dangerous for the economy. Our current tax “system” is a drain on the economy. A simplified code with a flat tax or a consumption tax like the “FairTax” should be explored and debated-instead of demagogued by those protecting special interests benefiting from the myriad loopholes in the current 70,000+ page monstrosity.

This key issue will require a conversation on the role of government and the reason for taxes. The role of government at its simplest is to deliver shared services to the constituency and protect our individual rights. We decide what those necessities are and the constitution sets limits on the government that delivers them. Taxes should be collected in the most efficient and broad-based manner possible. Taxes should not be used as a tool of punishment or reward. They are not for social engineering or fuel for class warfare. The GOP needs to take the lead here. Policies that unleash the entrepreneurial energy of Americans work. Don’t let them call it “trickle-down economics”. That has always been a left-wing pejorative. This is free market capitalism plain and simple. The GOP must be the party of economic growth through smaller government.

Spending is clearly the problem and tough talk is welcome. Revenue has been rising except in recessions. This is the time to eliminate entire departments like energy and education. There is a growing understanding that the Social Security system is an unsustainable pyramid scheme. Medicare is even worse. The pension problems experienced by the states are the canary in the coal mine. Unfunded liabilities are a fact that more voters are coming to understand. The party with the courage to say that this emperor has no clothes will get the credit for solving the problem.

Voters are coming to grips with the fact that all the promised benefits simply won’t be delivered, so offer the compromise: real tax breaks in exchange for means testing. Seniors care about more than their benefits checks. They have wealth, income, portfolios, businesses, estates, children and grandchildren. They are patriots. They balance their budgets and expect Washington to do the same. They will accept means testing if it is paired with lower capital gains and elimination once and for all of the death tax.

The Democrats can’t even get Keynes right. He theorized that deficits should be tolerated only during recessions and that they should be eliminated when the economy returned to health. This has been distorted into ever-larger deficits during all cycles. The GOP congress deserves a large measure of credit for the so-called surpluses of the Clinton era but lacks a clear record of fiscal restraint with all three houses under their control. 2012 should offer that chance and the GOP must seize upon it.

Politicians who don’t get it, like John McCain, call it “inter-generational theft” or utter platitudes like, “we are passing this debt onto our children and grandchildren”. Nonsense. The way this ends badly is not with future Americans writing big checks-it is with the collapse of our economy through inflation, debt default, civil unrest and potentially war. Every generation is going to pay the price for decades of fiscal malfeasance and the tipping point is fast approaching. We need to balance the budget now and get on a growth path that allows us to shrink outstanding debt. The unfunded liabilities need to be restructured.

Entitlement reform starts and ends with the admission that the math has been clear all along: Social Security is a government-mandated pyramid scheme. Even if there was a trust fund it would eventually run dry. But it’s worse than that. There is no trust fund. Every penny ever collected is gone, intermingled with the other tax revenues and spent long ago on stupid pork projects.

All the hysteria about privatization and the risks in the markets are exposed as straw men when you realize you could’ve buried those funds in your back yard and generated a superior return in comparison to the government squandering every red cent with the intention of taxing yet another working stiff to pay for your eventual benefits. To understand this scam and still vote for Democrats requires a degree of cognitive dissonance that is simply mind boggling. That Republicans have gone along with this for generations reveals them as spineless co-conspirators. The Tea Party was inevitable.

Health care can only be dealt with by first defining the two very separate issues. Health care is a necessity just like food and shelter. It is a combination of goods and services manufactured or delivered by other humans who have a right to be reimbursed. Profits are a necessary byproduct of this free market exchange. Nobody has a right to someone else’s labor or the fruits thereof. The best way to keep the costs down is to ensure that regulation is limited and reasonable, and competition encouraged. We have been going in the wrong direction for decades. Obamacare just presses the accelerator as we head for the cliff.

Health Insurance is a risk tool that has been distorted into a magical deep pocket to be accessed for every health related incident. Americans need to understand that there is no free lunch here. Insurance only exists if a group of people voluntarily pool their money to protect against an unforeseen event that will only strike a small percentage. Most of us will gladly chip in a few bucks and hope we never need to make the claim because that means we didn’t have the heart attack, cancer, stroke or crippling accident. When we drag scheduled maintenance into the insurance routine we needlessly add a layer of bureaucracy and the accompanying costs onto the bill. That’s why we pay for our own oil changes-not our car insurance company. The arguments about requiring car insurance are straw men-it is only liability that is required. That is injury to others-not ourselves, or our car.

Everyone needs to understand that health care is going to take a certain amount of your budget. If you have 5 kids it’s going to take a BIG chunk. Plan accordingly. If your employer is “giving” you a gold-plated insurance plan that means they are going to need to offset that somewhere else-usually your salary. The public-sector unions are trying to obscure the true cost of these benefits.

As usual, markets work best when allowed to function properly. All we need to do is look at how the health industry functioned before all the massive government intervention. Level the tax playing field. Promote portability and longer contracts. Eliminate the mandates and open the markets. Allow consumers to select catastrophic only plans and the premiums will drop substantially. They can reallocate those dollars to health savings accounts. The result is that incentives are returned to stay healthy and let those accounts grow. This is the “replace” that so many have said a repeal movement needs. But redefining the debate-a debate that we were deprived of by Democrats- is the starting point.

Housing policies are at the core of the Financial Crisis. While Wall Street played a role in the market gyrations there never would have been toxic CDO’s without the subprime mortgages that resulted from left wing housing policies. Investigate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and shut them down. This is an area where the GOP can shine-but they’ve not taken it on in earnest yet. Barney Frank and others are perfect villains. Every single home buyer from the mid 90’s to 2005 paid more for their house due to this. Proper explanation and the Democrats will be dealing with 40 years in the wilderness. Free markets work when we let them. Expose the root causes and its easy to see how letting the government interfere in the health industry would be disastrous too.

A REALISTIC energy policy is paramount. Green / renewable / alternative energy is a warm and fuzzy idea-but decades from reality. Green jobs will not materialize-just ask Spain. With the Middle East in turmoil it is essential for national security that we tap our domestic sources of energy. This will provide real jobs, tax revenue, and help offset the inflationary forces already in evidence. Proper handling of this is a winner in all categories: national security, inflation, jobs and tax revenue. It helps balance the budget. Global warming hysteria is dying down as much of it has been exposed as hype-if not outright myth. The left is admitting that ethanol is a boondoggle. Take the lead. $4 gas is going to hurt. Don’t let the Democrats escape the blame for it. Drill here, drill now, pay less.

Education is a mess despite decades of spending hundreds of billions of dollars. Government programs have not produced positive results. A move toward localized structures and school choice is the obvious remedy and the transformation is already underway. Let’s make it official and shut down the Education Department. Why send our money to Washington so that they can just send it back to the states, diluted by bureaucracy? There are enough successful voucher programs to insist on widespread use. The Chris Christie, no-nonsense approach to unions is the template here. This new paradigm should also end the domination of the curriculum by the likes of Bill Ayers and the radical left.

Illegal immigration is best dealt with through more and better legal immigration. The border must be secured. The Mexico situation makes this crystal clear. Immigrants understand this. The assumption by Democrats that immigrants are pre-disposed to embracing their party and their policies is presumptuous and insulting. Take charge and win voters at the same time.

Foreign Policy under Barack Obama is a failure. He is finding out it is a complicated world out there. This has made for some odd alliances over the years but The United States is clearly one of the good guys on the world stage. Tolerance of, and cooperation with, dictators and other unelected rulers, while frequently necessary does not equate with an endorsement. Repeated apologies for perceived mistakes are inappropriate. Bowing is unacceptable. Mistreatment of allies will require repair. Missed opportunities may not return. These will always be fluid situations that require sound judgment and the ability to quickly analyze a situation and react. Obama lacks this quality. He did not neutralize his own shortcomings by assembling a talented team. Our next President will need solid administrative skills. Obama’s inexperience was given a pass by the Democrats and the compliant media. The GOP needs to present a proven leader who can make the tough decisions. I know there are many that are up to the task.

(Note that jobs are not an item here. When pro-growth economic policies are in place, jobs are a natural result.)

The new GOP needs to adopt these policies and then shape the message for the many demographic groups needed to score big election victories and then hold the majorities through several more election cycles so that these policies have time to take hold and deliver results.

You can see how here: LINK

Or just read on.

Published in: on March 8, 2011 at 8:55 pm  Comments (3)  
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2012 Election Part III: Demographics

Demographic groups and how to reach them:

The youth of America will support the party that doesn’t mortgage their future. The GOP needs to formulate that message in ways that speak directly to younger generation. It is simple math. The GOP should avoid awkward attempts to be cool but terms like “conservative” don’t help either. The youth needs to embrace concepts like new, modern, hi-tech, job-friendly, business friendly, best hope for the future. Educate but don’t patronize. If done right these young Americans will be asking more from their teachers and demanding the other side of the story. We need to counter balance the left wing rhetoric they are exposed to on campus. Business leaders need to step up. GOP: your very future depends on it.

The seniors of America are more than just recipients of Social Security and Medicare benefits. They are investors and business owners and the wealthiest demographic group. And they vote. Many work well into their 70’s and 80’s. They are also parents and grandparents who do not want to leave their families with a bankrupt country. While they are justified in wanting the benefits they paid for they understand that the politicians already squandered them. Compromises are possible here. Means testing in exchange for cuts in capital gains for instance. Mass resignations by those who created the mess would be a nice touch.

The middle class have everything to lose if we stay on this path and everything to gain by getting the economy back on track and the budget under control. They need to feel that their voice is heard. This is what the tea party brings them. The lower income brackets aspire to rise up the ladder. The top brackets know they already pay more than their “fair share” and are sick of seeing it squandered.

Minorities and Immigrants want the very things the GOP can bring: a better economy, protection of individual rights, sane immigration policy and pragmatic policy for energy and education. Many have fled tyrannical regimes and they support a strong national defense and pride in the USA.

Published in: on March 8, 2011 at 8:47 pm  Comments (3)  
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Brain of Newt

Newt Gingrich is brilliant-just ask him.

He is impressive as he dissects the intricacies of various policies. He delivers precise, sound-bite worthy comments. He shreds Obama and his administration’s countless blunders. An Obama / Gingrich debate would be “must see TV”.

I’d buy a ticket to see it.

But he does really stupid things too. Recently he sucked up to the ethanol crowd while in Iowa. Pathetic.

But nothing can top his TV commercial, sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi, agreeing that we just had to do something about climate change. As Jay Leno might say, “What were you thinking?”

Watch it here:

LINK

Newt might run for the GOP nomination for President. I think he’d make the debates lively and bring some needed focus on serious issues. But he’s an egomaniac and blew it when he was Speaker. We have to do better.

Published in: on March 3, 2011 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Obama Pivots Back

Well that didn’t take long. Obama presented his budget proposal today. It is an insult to the intelligence of the American people. Government spending, taxes, deficits and their impact on the economy are of concern to all tax paying Americans-but apparently not to the President. There was no pivot to the center-just pandering to the voters and a compliant media.

I am not going to go into detail on the numbers or post one link. Any reader can simply go to his favorite news page or turn on the TV. The specific numbers simply provide a laugh track.

The government is currently running ANNUAL deficits of 1.5 TRILLION DOLLARS. Obama is proposing overall spending increases on top of an already inflated base to set a new spending record. He is also proposing myriad tax increases, including a hike in rates in two years when he just admitted that would be harmful for the economy. He combines the tax hikes with  puny spending cuts in targeted programs and voila! He claims he will reduce the deficit by 1 trillion over 10 years.

This is Orwellian double-speak. The deficits and debt are increasing. Period.

The GOP should denounce this for the stinking pile of crap that it is. Every serious Democrat should renounce this. The 2012 campaign starts now. Obama just gave the challengers are huge head start.

Pat Duggan

Back to Business?

Charles Krauthammer has declared that ridiculous attempts to blame virtually the entire political right wing, from Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh to the Tea Party for the Arizona shooting rampage shall now cease, the matter being laid to rest based on the quotes of a classmate who said that the shooter “did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right.” LINK

While I agree that the left has failed in this attempt, I doubt they will ever let it go. While I’d bet this tragedy is not a big issue in the 2012 elections, the left will persist in invoking the themes of gun control, violence, and “inflamed rhetoric” and will attempt to leverage them into advancing various items on their agenda including reinstatement of the “Fairness Doctrine” or other methods of subverting the First Amendment to silence conservative voices.

Having already weighed in (LINK) on the many crazed attempts to make this something it is not, I’ll defer to this column that does a good job of accurately describing what really happened LINK. A clearly insane young man (It’s rarely a woman but-Chicagoans remember Laurie Dann) went on a shooting spree, targeting the focus of his obsession with innocent bystanders wounded or killed in the process. The targets of obsession can include co-workers, fellow students, celebrities and other public figures, like politicians. This was not a political act or statement of any kind.

Dr. Krauthammer went further, swooning over yet another Obama speech. Yes, the President said many of the right things for such a solemn occasion-yet I thought he should have halted the applause quickly with a reminder that this was a memorial-not a political rally. The only appropriate spot for applause was the announcement that Gabby Giffords had opened her eyes for the first time. Frankly, I think Mr. Teleprompter is just a little too used to cheering crowds to realize that it is not always appropriate.

Dr. Krauthammer is the leading conservative voice declaring that Obama’s recent moves–from the tax compromise to the appointment of Bill Daley–are a perfectly choreographed pivot to the center, giving him a big boost in his odds for reelection in 2012. With all due respect to Dr. Krauthammer–and I remain a fan, in awe of his talent–he’s gone overboard, with a huge tide of negatives still confronting the administration.

Many self-described centrists / independents still feel hoodwinked now that Obama’s intentionally-vague campaign slogans have been replaced with very specific and very damaging policy moves.

Appointments such as Eric Holder and his outrageous handling of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case remind us of other foolish appointments such as Van Jones.

The worldwide apology tour remains an insult to proud Americans.

Iran and North Korea serve as constant reminders of the failure of his naive foreign policy.

Groping by TSA agents is an everyday insult to American who know who the enemy is and support profiling to neutralize them.

They didn’t like the methods by which Obamacare was shoved through and now they are seeing the actual policy damage playing out while some are granted waivers.

The EPA is going rogue, trying to force carbon regulations after cap and trade was rejected, and the FCC is attempting a power grab via “net neutrality”.

Unemployment is high.  Oil is $91 and gold is $1,380, hinting at inflation down the road.

Foreclosures remain at high and dangerous levels. Record numbers of homeowners are upside down on the mortgages. The housing bubble that was at the core of the financial crisis remains unaddressed. A thorough investigation of Fannie and Freddie is not on the agenda.

Democrats were swept out in the mid-term elections. Obama was spared only because he was not on the ballot. Little has changed and there is a good chance that much of what troubles this nation will only get worse in the next 22 months. In fact the clueless policies of this administration and the remaining Democrats in Congress almost assure it.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pretzel Logic

I am a big fan of the Fox News “Special Report” especially the All Star panelist Dr. Charles Krauthammer. He is brilliant and adept at taking complicated issues and reducing them to clever short bursts of highly quotable commentary. But he is wrong occasionally. Even highly respected fellow panelists like Jonah Goldberg are disinclined to challenge his logic (LINK) although Steve Hayes and Fred Barnes do engage in respectful disagreements fairly regularly. Even those occasions are more typically about the nuances.

As a mere blogger I am even less inclined to call him out but his take on the recent tax compromises is not just wrong-it’s illogical. What he’s talked about the last few nights is spelled out in his column here: LINK

I’ll defer to Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute to do a thorough breakdown of the deal here: LINK

As I have shouted from the rooftops there are no tax cuts-we’ll merely avoid the impending tax HIKES. OK. Extension of unemployment benefits typically leads to extending the  high unemployment rate-so no stimulus there. But where C.K. really loses me is when he calls it a second stimulus and projects that it will lead to economic recovery and a second term for Obama. The first stimulus was a colossal failure so why does he think a second one would work?

If anything I think the GOP has won a solid victory here. They avoided a huge tax hike and if the economy does recover they can claim a role in that victory. They also have a card to play in the 2012 elections: Vote GOP or the Democrats will raise tax rates.

Since the day Obama took office there have been those on the right expecting an eventual Clintonian pivot or move to the center. I’ve sided with the minority who thought it obvious that where Clinton was politically savvy Obama was a pure ideologue, and naive and inexperienced to boot.

Obama is not pivoting. He is losing. He is finding that he is not immune from political realities and the pressures they bring. His press conferences devolved quickly into temper tantrums as he lashed out at the right and left. He is frustrated that he is merely President-not King.

His party has just lost the House and the Senate is weakened as many Democrats fear 2012. As his term nears the end of it’s second year the economy is still struggling with unemployment rising to a 25 year high of 9.8% in the most recent report. He must shoulder the blame now. The time for blaming Bush is past.

When he concedes that raising taxes on the top bracket can harm a fragile economy he reminds us that he exposed his true priorities to Charlie Gibson during the campaign (LINK). An unspecified concept of “fairness” took precedence over revenue growth. He still believes that. Voters don’t.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sarah Palin Can’t Win

I like Sarah Palin, I really do. When oil was spiking to all time highs Larry Kudlow interviewed the Governor of Alaska. She was attractive and intelligent and very well versed in the energy arena. Her track record as Governor is impressive. We need a lot more politicians just like her. She started on the City Council, then Mayor and onto Governor, all while raising a family. She remains grounded.

As the VP derby got into swing her name was tossed about but it seemed Pawlenty or one of the others who’d been fully vetted would get the nod. When McCain made his surprise announcement I was pleasantly surprised. She was then and remains now a better candidate and politician than McCain, who has “reached across the aisle” to sponsor some horrible legislation. Who knows, if he were elected we might have passed “cap and trade”.

She made a splash with her convention speech and her vibrant style. But the buzz didn’t last long. It was evident from the start that this was a campaign stunt by McCain and it failed as miserably as his “suspend my campaign” gag.

Soon we heard she had a pregnant teenage daughter. This alone should have steered McCain elsewhere. Then came the interviews where she couldn’t name the papers she reads. Snotty Charlie Gibson posed the “Bush Doctrine” gotcha question.  As sick as I am of slick politicians who don’t give direct answers I am more nauseated by the liberal media. That said her handling of that was amateurish at best. I prefer not to defend her answer. McCain and Palin both had to know that only Mr. 57 states would be cut any slack and anyone who threatened the inevitability of the chosen one would be attacked mercilessly.

I’ve said that I or many of my friends would make a better President than Obama and I am not kidding. Sarah Palin was the best candidate of the four top ticket nominees. Biden is a buffoon and McCain is not even a good senator. Obama is proving to be the disaster many of us warned of.

Sarah Palin is many things Obama is not. She is an unapologetic, patriotic American. She is a capable administrator with an understanding and appreciation of American business and free market capitalism. She would have surrounded herself with the best and picked a competent cabinet. We will never know how good she could have been.

McCain-Palin lost. It’s impossible to know if a proper VP choice, say Sen. Tom Coburn or Gov. Tim Pawlenty would have made a difference. Frankly, I think a president McCain might have done more harm than good. What further damage would he have done to the Republican brand? What would have been the result of the midterms? Who would win in 2012? Probably a Democrat.

As horrifying as the Obama era has been so far, we can hope to repeal much of the horror-but we’ll need a Republican president to sign the bills.

So what candidate gives us the best chance to take the White House? I think there are several quality candidates who are likely to enter the race-and there is Chris Christie. He is adamant that he is not running. The best reason to think he might be persuaded comes from Ann Coulter: “Because the country needs him.” Christie gives us two big things: the right stances on the issues and an incredible ability to speak bluntly. There are many candidates who can deliver the right message but a Christie / Obama debate would be fantastic television.

First let’s toss out virtually the entire 2008 primary crowd. Mitt Romney can’t seem to admit his colossal health care mistake as Governor of Massachusetts. He is not the guy to champion repeal of Obamacare. Giuliani is a great executive and has an interesting blend of fiscal conservatism and social centrism but he seemed unable to run a national campaign. I doubt he can repair that image. Huckabee is a TV huckster now and would not be backed by the tea parties. Ron Paul is too far out.

Newt Gingrich was not a candidate then and I doubt he will be in 2012. He’s thought to be smart but his ego was and is a problem. Sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi calling for action on climate change is a deal killer. Shame on you Newt. When smart people do stupid things we are left to wonder.

LINK

Pence, Perry, Thune and DeMint. Don’t think so.

From the short list we’ll hear about Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels and Bobby Jindal. I’m ruling Daniels out for his embrace of a VAT tax. That is unforgivable. While his record in Indiana is solid, some of what he tried to do and didn’t, like raise taxes, disqualify him. Jindal can recover from that awful speech. Barbour and Pawlenty are fine. It’s all about the message.

Charles Krauthammer says 2012 will be the year that dull can win. It will be a backlash to the Obama style over substance debacle. I don’t know about that. Charisma matters-but a little can go a long way. It will take a combination of enough charisma and solid, even perfect pitch on the issues.

We need to hear a message about pro-business policies; how low, steady tax rates are essential for the growth that will bring jobs. Our next president will be proud of America and proud to be an American. No more apology tours. He or she will point out that bad government policy led to the economic crisis-not tax rates that were lowered in 2003 and brought years of prosperity and increased revenue.

We didn’t know Bill Clinton just a few years before he became president. Clearly most voters didn’t know enough about Obama before voting for him, no thanks to the mainstream media. It’s possible we will get to know a Pawlenty or other candidate much better in the months to come.

What’s crucial right now is that we avoid recycling the hacks form the past, doomed candidates like Newt Gingrich, Huckabee and Romney. And it is crucial that we do not nominate Sarah Palin.

She is everywhere and not in a good way. There’s the Alaska reality show and her idiot daughter on Dancing with the Stars. Please. She is not helping her image. It doesn’t matter. She is damaged goods. You do not get a second chance to make a first impression.

I don’t care if the GOP base loves her. You win elections by winning the independents. That is what puts you over the top. They voted for Obama in droves. They hate Palin. They think she’s stupid. She’s not. It doesn’t matter. When they vote they don’t have to reveal that they just can’t stand her voice-or whatever.

This country simply cannot afford to re-elect Obama-or will it be Hillary this time? It doesn’t matter. If we don’t repeal Obamacare and get this economy on track we’re in big trouble. We can’t afford a couple more liberals on the Supreme Court. We can’t afford to kick the entitlement pyramid down the road a few more years.

Sarah Palin has a good gig now. She needs to do the right thing and announce right now that she is not running. She should issue a statement that says she will endorse the Republican candidate, whoever that may be. She should express hope that they are free market advocates who believe in American exceptionalism and a strong defense.

The left loves her now because they view her as the unserious, weak and beatable candidate. If Obama breezes into the primaries without a serious challenge from Hillary or another lefty then Democrats can jump over and vote in the GOP primary in many states. The primary system is already a joke. It gave us McCain before we here in Illinois got to vote. We can’t let them pick Palin for us this time.

Sarah Palin is a good American and a good Republican. She needs to bow out now so the serious contenders can duke it out.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Election Recap

I sent a letter to the Tribune today. I do not yet know if they will print it. Brevity is not my strength but it’s essential to have a chance in the paper. Below is my short attempt to recap the election, followed by what I would have liked to include.

The letter:

There is much to take away from the mid-term election results. Sure this was a rejection of Obama’s agenda and the Democrat party but it is not, as some pundits allege, an empty victory for the GOP. They won in key areas where they embraced candidates who espouse the principles that the tea parties advocate: fiscal responsibility, smaller government and respect for the Constitution. Quality candidates like Rand Paul won by large margins. Marco Rubio is a rising star.

Weak candidates lost. Christine O’Donnell was not ready for prime time but her embrace of tea party ideals was not her undoing. Some solid candidates lost close elections while being abandoned by the GOP organization. Sharron Angle put up a good fight but could not overcome the big union push for Harry Reid and the lack of support from her own party. Joe Miller may lose to write in candidate Lisa Murkowski after she lost the GOP primary. The party should have put a stop to that. They will lose control of their own primary system if they are not careful.

Like California, Illinois is late to the party. Public sector unions got out the vote for their Democrats. They know that the first step toward fiscal sanity is pension reform-so they fought it. They have delayed the inevitable. Chris Christie in New Jersey has noted that these same people will thank him some day. The current cuts may be painful but it is the only way to save the system. Illinois newcomers Joe Walsh and Adam Kinzinger are a great step in the new direction. There will be more.

The unaffiliated grass roots organizations are the driving force that is resulting in a new Republican party. They know that George Bush did not clamp down on spending and gave the Democrats an opening. The new GOP will restore fiscal restraint as a key plank. They know that respect for these core principles is what attracts the independents-not mushy moderation. America needs to take big steps forward. The Gop can lead the way.

If Chicago and greater Illinois voters don’t wrest control of their government from career hacks intent on continued borrowing they will face a certain future of departing businesses, higher unemployment and higher taxes at every turn.

End of letter.

The problems wasn’t / isn’t the tea parties-it’s the mainstream party’s inability to harness their energy and the unwillingness to hear the message.

The GOP organizations have treated the tea parties the way print journalists treat bloggers-like something you stepped in.

On election eve I ran into a neighbor who said she’d been hard at work “getting out the vote.” I told her I’d be attending some victory parties the next few days. She furrowed her brow. When I specified I’d be at the local Tea party post-election meeting she shook her head. “They’re just so extreme.” Her concern was evident. You’d think I’d just announced I was on heroin. There was more. She was insulting. I nipped it in the bud. I told her I didn’t appreciate her tone. “I’ve been there-you haven’t” I said. “What is extreme about stopping the deficits and upholding the Constitution?”

She came back with her talking points: two unfunded wars, TARP, stimulus, “tax cuts to the rich”…all of it verified by factcheck.org and the CBO. Never mind that one is a left wing outlet and the other is a typical government agency abused by politicians who know how to game the system. Their Obamacare math has already been exposed as fiction. I assured her I could produce data that showed lower tax RATES can and have produced increased revenue. Even JFK knew that. I noted that top rates had been 70% to 90% for most of the previous century. LINK

“What gives anyone, anywhere, at any time the right to take 70% of anybody’s anything?”

“Well maybe there’s people who need it more…” OK, I said, that’s socialism. There was no need to continue. In fact I knew it would be a complete waste of my time. That’s why I launched Center Debate, to have discussions among the open minded-not hard core leftists convinced that there is no other truth.

I attended the monthly Chicago tea party meeting last night (November 3). It  was a victory party. The guest speaker was Joel Pollack who lost to entrenched, uber liberal Jan Schakowsky in Chicago’s 9th Congressional district. I was SO IMPRESSED by Joel Pollack. He made a short classy speech and then took tough questions for an hour. Smart answers to each. This guy is ready. Now that Pelosi has been dethroned Jan and her flying monkeys can assume a more prominent position in the socialist party.

So what’s next? The various tea parties will continue to meet and work to promote better candidates. They’ll hand out pocket constitutions (an ongoing project here in Chicago). They will continue to influence the reshaping of the GOP.

The GOP needs to put an end to the left wing talking points of “tax cuts to the rich” and “the failed policies of George Bush”. The housing bubble was driven by liberal housing policy and government sponsored agencies like Fannie Mae. This scandal remains unaddressed.

The debate is about tax RATES-not tax cuts. There hasn’t been a tax cut in 7 years. They are not checks handed out. It’s not money that grows on the government tree. It’s OUR money and we get to decide how much we’ll give the government to cover constitutionally-appropriate shared services.

Karl Rove had W’s ear for all those years that he didn’t veto the spending increases, didn’t fight harder for GSE reform and didn’t take on the entitlement mess. We need strategists who can shape a message that these are the issues we need to face now or our very future is at stake.

Chris Christie is the model. Nobody does it better-but it is not un-learnable. Christie may be too early in his job as Governor to take the next step. Rubio hasn’t even been sworn in as Senator-yet and I see him as a future president. Only Obama would be allowed to skip a pay grade.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on November 4, 2010 at 7:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Why I’ll Vote for Republicans This Time

I was raised by Democrats. Politics back then was dominated by Vietnam and Watergate. Nixon would become a perfect villain. I voted for many Democrats over the years but I no longer can. Like Reagan, I did not leave the Democrat party-they left me. When all 60 Democrat Senators voted in lockstep to begin the transformation of our health care system to a socialized model they revealed their true agenda for all to see. I will be voting exclusively for Republicans in this election and for the foreseeable future. I see reason to be optimistic about the party where not so long ago there was none.

Like many, I was not happy with the big spending of the Bush administration-but I knew the role of a Democrat-controlled Congress and had no illusions about what they’d do with Obama as President and potential super majorities. I was not a fan of John McCain and it frustrated me that the Illinois primary was rendered irrelevant. The GOP lost its way, elections, Congress and the White House. They have been slow to change. During the special elections and the primaries the old party establishment made poor decisions, throwing support to deeply flawed candidates. They are to blame for New York liberal Dede Scozzafava, who withdrew and endorsed a Democrat; Mike Castle who lost to long shot Christine O’Donnell and RINO poster boy Mark Kirk.

The Democrats were handed a golden opportunity and threw it away. Independents who were taken in by Obama’s vague slogans and centrist posing were shocked by the far left agenda pushed through after they took control. The atrocious health care bill was jammed through against the will of the majority. Obama’s apology tour was a disgrace. Americans know their history. They also know intuitively that pork barrel spending is not the solution, and calling it “stimulus” doesn’t change that.

The pendulum swing to the right is the result of once-again disillusioned voters running from the Democrat party, and the TEA party’s growing influence over the GOP. The core TEA party message is simple: We balance our budgets and expect Washington to do the same. It is a shot over the bow to both parties: if you don’t heed our message we will form a third party. The GOP is getting the message. The Democrats have attempted to distort the message and smear the messenger. It’s not working. Americans understand the TEA party and are insulted by Obama’s insinuations that we’re not thinking clearly and acting out of fear.

Americans are tired of career politicians who crow about their experience but can’t defend their sorry track record, our massive debt and the entitlement liabilities. The response is that more doctors and businessmen running, and leading in the polls. The battle cry is repeal of Obamacare and more. This is a push for a new GOP-not a replay of either Bush era. We want to end the era of permanent government programs. We are working to bring the GOP back to fundamental policies of free markets and small government. The TEA party is changing the political landscape the way the internet transformed media and Fox changed cable news.

As a Chicagoan I live in a city, county, and state controlled by Democrats. All are in debt and unable to make the tough decisions required to balance their budgets. Record high taxes are driving business to other states and we are hemorrhaging jobs. The incumbents have failed and deserve to be fired. This is not about which party has failed, they both have at times. This is more about the tax payers sending a strong rebuke to the political class and their cronies and regaining the power that the Constitution grants us. We will support the party that best represents those values. Right now the Republican party is our best bet. If they mishandle that responsibility then a full-fledged TEA party may emerge.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on November 1, 2010 at 9:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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The GOP’s Missed Opportunity

The election is a week away and the GOP is poised to grab a whole lot of seats. They will almost certainly seize a majority in the House and will draw close in the Senate. It would take a minor miracle to pull that off, but you never know.

So it appears that they have done well with a basic “We’re not them / we voted against Obamacare” strategy but what did they miss?

They missed a chance to set America straight on what really caused the market disruptions and the key role that liberal housing policy played. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and CRA are all scandals that need attention still. And yes, I wish they’d start quick enough to throw a wrench in the gears of the Rahm Emanuel campaign.

Will they take on this mission after the mid-terms? I suggest they do. If we don’t clarify the causes we will not be able to prevent more of the same.

Pat Duggan

Chicago Tribune Reader Endorsements

The Chicago Tribune endorsed Obama. Oops.

Now they are asking for our opinion.

I’m happy to help. 😉

LINK

Published in: on October 17, 2010 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tea Partiers are Ready for Their First Mid Term Election

Wednesday evening I attended the October monthly meeting of the Chicago Tea Party. Featured speakers were Isaac Hayes, the GOP nominee running against Jesse Jackson Jr. (or Senate candidate #5 in FBI reports on Blago’s attempted seat sale) and recent candidate for the Illinois GOP governor nomination, political commentator and radio fill-in Dan Proft. It was the usual lively event with a call for action in the final month approaching the midterm elections with lots of tight races among an expected overall GOP victory. Isaac is ready for congress despite the Chicago Tribune’s gutless “no endorsement” in that race. Dan Proft did a great job of explaining why we prefer the sometimes less polished candidates that agree with our principles and will vote for them over the slick insiders who only sell us out later.

There was various media in attendance including a videographer for CBS evening news. I heard the poor fellow confessing to the owner of host venue, Blackie’s in the south “Loop”, that he’d forgotten his headset and begging to borrow any kind of replacement. Maybe that is why the few seconds of tape that appeared on the Thursday evening news were accompanied only by a Katie Couric voice over and no interviews-all this despite his non-stop 2 hours plus of taping.

Naturally I Tivo’d and watched  the news cast. It is being promoted as an ongoing series on the final month of the campaign. They did their best to smear the TEA party movement and diminish their impact but I doubt it had any effect. Katie Couric’s numbers are at all time lows. LINK

They tried to jam a lot into their 2-3 minute segment. Lots of internal polls designed to show that TEA party activists are white, male, protestant and inclined to vote Republican anyway. This should come as no surprise. The GOP is hearing the message and embracing it. Despite some party insiders insisting on trotting out the same old RINO’s voters are nominating fresh blood. One poll question mirrored the one asked of the Chicago organizer Steve Stevlic: Would the economy have been better off if we allowed the banks to fail? In the interview the car companies were included. This is a transparent apology for bailout-Obamanomics. Sure the economy sucks but it could have been worse-right?

Overall I would describe the coverage as worthless / harmless. It was slanted but mostly just so superficial as to be a waste of viewers’ time. I guess that was their goal: don’t give the TEA party any unnecessary free PR.

In closing the “reporter” Dean Reynolds sighted one last poll that claimed only “22% of Americans view the movement favorably.”

This is nonsense. More than 50% support the TEA party to some degree and would vote for a candidate they support. LINK

The left is in full tantrum now. They have no rational response to a true grass roots effort that focuses on simple, key issues:

1.    Fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets, like every household and business manages through good and bad times.

2.    Lower spending that reverts back to constitutionally endorsed basics.

3.    Tax rates that are kept low to allow for free enterprise to flourish with a nod to the Laffer curve.

4.    Accountability in government: citizen legislators as opposed to career political hacks.

Two thirds of America supported Obama after his election despite only 53% voting for him. This shows the inherent optimism of the American people. They’re even good losers. Now two thirds don’t approve of the direction we’re heading. 80% don’t approve of congress. This is what feeds the TEA party with energy. This is not racism. These are the same people that knew government run health care was a bad idea when it was called “Hillarycare”. This is about economics. Only the desperate Democrats think these are racial issues.

Pat Duggan

TEA Party Principles

Principles. The TEA party voters have them. Not every candidate is going to be as charismatic and polished as Marco Rubio. But the TEA party movement is consistent in their standards of rejection.

I continue to disagree with Karl Rove and Charles Krauthammer-not for their analysis, Christine O’Donnell has an uphill battle-but for their at-the-finish-line criticism of the TEA party for holding their ground. We would not be pondering a GOP senate majority if not for this grass roots movement, their rallies and their consistent message. To throw all that away at the finish line and throw our support behind a schmuck like Mike Castle would be throwing in the towel and cutting a deal with the devil. We would become those that we despise.

We may lose this battle but we will win the war. It is not the fault of the upstarts that the entrenched organizations couldn’t draft better candidates. The message being sent will echo as we are introduced to the next crop of primary candidates for the 2012 elections.

Despite the Scott Brown shock it was too late to draft better GOP challengers for this cycle. Illinois and the ridiculous Mark Kirk are proof. I’ll vote for him-and I would vote for Christine O’Donnell without hesitation. Just look at her opponent. Sure most of the people reading this post are more qualified for office than she is. Most of the people reading this post are more qualified to be president than Obama.

We do not always get to vote for people we like. In this election more than any other we are voting for policies-or against them. It has always been simple but now the voters are aware. Vote for free enterprise and small government or sink into a socialist hell.

The Union Label

Every day we read stories about public sector pensions; run-of-the-mill civil servants gaming the system to cash in sick days and then retire-at 50-on hugely inflated million(s) dollar pensions. Clueless administrations rubber stamp the deals. Public sector union fingerprints are everywhere and now that the pitchforks are coming out Democrat politicians, especially those running for reelection are being asked, “What are you going to do about this?” The answer? Crickets mostly.

Michael Barone has a great piece here on how this is fracturing the Democrat party. Good.

LINK

Unions ruined GM and now own it. The Democrats are going to find this old friendship to be an albatross around their neck, dragging them under as the TEA party tide rolls in.

Published in: on September 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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