Mitt Romney

Labour = Republican Party?

Liam Hehir at the Manawatu Standard hass cast a critical eye over the Labour party and found that they have remarkable similarities to the Republican party in the US….not in policy rather in form.

No analogy is ever perfect but more and more New Zealand’s Labour Party puts me in mind of the political conservatives in the United States Republican Party. Here are four reasons why.

1. It is in thrall to party activists.

Like the Democrats, the Republican Party selects its presidential candidates by way of primary election. This has the acknowledged weakness that primary voters are disproportionately drawn from party activists. Such people tend to have stronger ideological views than the general voting public.

This creates the temptation to pander to primary voters by flaunting one’s ideological purity.

The danger is, of course, that doing that can alienate moderate voters in the general election.

David Cunliffe is popular with the membership and loathed by the public.

2. It appears to be in denial about polling.

In the months leading up to 2012, polls showed Obama firmly in the lead. Conservative pundits were incredulous. After all, it was obvious to them that the incumbent was a spectacular failure. The polls must have been wrong and it was decided that the reason was over-representation of Democrats in polling samples. In their reporting on the polls, allowances were made for this supposed phenomenon.

The next time a poll shows National with a sizeable lead over Labour and the Greens, head over to thestandard.org.nz. This is New Zealand’s foremost Left-wing website and a gathering place for Labour activists – Cunliffe boosters in particular. I can promise you that you will see dismissals of what is apparently either the thousandth “rogue poll” since John Key took over as leader or a subterfuge by the “corporate media” to ensure National stays in power.

This isn’t helped by at least 3 authors at The Standard actually working in Cunliffe’s office…so cognitive dissonance sets in.

3. It is banking on turning out the base.

“What would be the reason that 3 million voters didn’t show up? . . .

“A number of Republicans are tired of moderate nominees. They’ve sent the Republican Party money for years and said: To hell with it. If you’re gonna eschew conservatism, I’m not giving you any money, and I’m not voting for you.”

Those were the words of Rush Limbaugh, popular American radio host and staunch conservative, in the wake of Mitt Romney’s comprehensive defeat at the hands of Obama. Who needs the middle?

If only the Republicans had offered an even more “severely conservative” candidate, those missing voters would surely have risen up to smite Obama!

The sentiment is echoed by proponents of the “missing million” theory of New Zealand politics.

There simply isn’t a missing million.

4. Its weakness is temporary.

There is a tendency to extrapolate present circumstances way out into the future. Both of Obama’s presidential elections set off vicious recriminations within the Republican Party. This prompted speculation as to whether the Republicans would ever win the presidency again – at least without conceding nearly all matters of principle.

If Labour loses this election (which I think is probable), expect to hear much of the same. After all, it has been more than six years since the party has regularly polled close to 40 per cent. It has been closer to 30 per cent most of the time.

They have been hoping on this for a strategy for 7 years now…how is that working out for them?

 

– Manawatu Standard

There is hope for Labour yet, evidence from US suggests dirty tactics work

The Atlantic has an article that examines dirty political tactics, of the type Trevor Mallard or Winston Peters use on a daily basis, and the evidence that it seems to work.

Karl Rove now denies reports that he said Hillary Clinton may have brain damage. “I never used that phrase,” he said on Fox News. True. What Rove said was, “Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”

In other words, Rove didn’t say Hillary Clinton has brain damage. He hinted it, thus giving himself deniability while ensuring that the slur lingers in the public mind. Which is what he’s been doing his entire career.

In 2004, Joshua Green reported in The Atlantic that Texas insiders accused Rove of spreading allegations that his rival, Republican consultant John Weaver, had made a pass at a young man at a GOP event. Green also quoted an aide to a 1994 state Supreme Court candidate in Alabama who accused Rove of having quietly insinuated that his boss was a pedophile. Similarly, when George W. Bush ran for governor of Texas that same year, rumors swirled about the sexual orientation of incumbent Ann Richards. “No one ever traced the character assassination to Rove,” wrote Bush biographer Louis Dubose, “Yet no one doubts that Rove was behind it.” Most famously, when Bush was fighting for his life against a surging John McCain in South Carolina in 2000, fliers, emails, and push polls accused McCain of having fathered an African-American “love child” (he had actually adopted a girl from Bangladesh) and of suffering from mental instability as a result of his incarceration in Vietnam. McCain staffers, and McCain’s daughter, have accused Rove of orchestrating the rumors; Rove denies any involvement.

Why does Rove allegedly smear his opponents this way? Because it works.

Read more »

Should there be a source shield law?

In the US there is a move afoot to further protect press freedoms by extending protection of sources further.

It is an interesting discussion and one well worth having, especially where sources could suffer a clear and present danger to their well being from those who would seek to identify them.

Geoffrey R. Stone writes at The Daily Beast:

The press isn’t free if it has fear of prosecution for leaks. It’s time to give reporters the same type of privilege attorneys and doctors have.

The Guardian and The Washington Post were each awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service Monday for their reporting based on classified documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. This will no doubt annoy many in the intelligence community who believe that Snowden, The Guardian, and the Post have done serious damage to the national security of the United States.

Unlike most disclosures of classified information, this reporting has not raised any central issues about the legitimacy or value of a journalist-source privilege, because Snowden chose to make no secret of his identity. Nonetheless, the bestowal of the Pulitzer Prize presents a good moment to reflect on the appropriate relationship between the government, the press, and source.

The issue is particularly timely at the moment because Gabriel Schoenfeld, a senior fellow at theHudson Institute and a former adviser to presidential candidate Mitt Romney, recently published an article in the journal National Affairs in which he concludes that for Congress to enact a federal journalist-source privilege would be “a bad idea.” Although I admire and respect Schoenfeld, in this, he is wrong.  Read more »

Is this happening here? Pretty sure it is

In the US demographics and polling data suggests that the Democrats have a problem with young people.

I wonder though if the same could be said here. Like the US it has always been assumed that young people are Labour or Green supporters…the evidence suggests this isn’t necessarily true.

I’d love to compare membership sign ups of Young Nats vs Young Labour vs Young Greens.

A new Pew Research Center report on millennials has been receiving well-deserved attention. For politics, the prevailing interpretation of the report seems to be: Republicans are screwed. Millennials are more liberal and Democratic-leaning than older generations, and because most millennials will outlive those older generations, the country’s future is largely defined by the politics of millennials. And that future, the argument goes, is bad for Republicans.

In fact, the story is much more equivocal. Lurking within this broad category of millennials is a group that isn’t quite as keen on liberalism, Democrats, or President Obama: Millennials who actually entered the electorate during the Obama presidency. These youngest millennials may yet demonstrate why it is dangerous to assume that subsequent generations will be loyal Democrats.  Read more »

R-S-P-E-C-T….really Obama?

If George W. Bush couldn’t spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T would we have heard the end of it? … or Mitt Romney?

It’s all about narrative media want. I doubt you will see this on a left wing blog, or in Sideswipe or any other mainstream news outlet.

Read more »

Labour turns hard left with appointment of tax dodger to Labour’s Chief of Staff

McCarten On CunliffeMatt McCarten has been confirmed as Labour’s hard left union friendly Chief of Staff.

There are a few issues though.

Some commentators have labelled McCarten “brilliant” at campaigning. I’m not sure on that.

In the Mana by-eelction this “brilliant” campaigner managed just 849 votes of the 23,000 cast. On top of that he raided the union piggy bank of employee PAYE contributions in order to fund the campaign and left them with over $100,000 if unpaid tax liabilities.

One wonders if Labour’s new tax policy will mean union members and unions will get tax free status.

Then there are the comments about various members of Labour’s caucus, many of whom he has to now manage.

Let’s start at the top with his comments on his new boss, David Cunliffe:

Cunliffe must have a secret plan he’s not sharing with us because he hasn’t initiated one attack on Joyce for more than a month. He’s awol.  Read more »

A proper apology

This is how you apologise…Aaron Gilmore might still be in parliament if he apologised like this.

Len Brown should take note…it is too late for him, but he might be able to use it the next time he is caught pants down.

A US TV presenter has apologised for poking fun at a photo of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandson.

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry said sorry “without reservation or qualification” to Mr Romney in a series of tweets.

The cable news host and guests made the comments on her Sunday programme about the Romney family Christmas photo.  Read more »

Pale, Male and Stale line stolen from everywhere

Not content with making shit up in his CV, David Cunliffe is now stealing lines from the Aussie media. Here is Cunliffe yesterday.

Cunliffe, who will announce his new shadow Cabinet tomorrow, told Q and A it was a “pretty good start, but there’s more work to do”.

He got lyrical when defending criticism that he and Parker, who are both upper middle-class white males, would not appeal to a broad enough demographic.

“We may be pale, we may be male, but I promise you we’re not going to be stale.”

Since Tony Abbott announced his cabinet line up the Aussie media has been baying the exact same linesRead more »

Didn’t Obama already save Detroit?

Over the weekend Detroit finally declared bankruptcy, pushed under by a debt burden of locked in spending promises and shrinking tax revenues. But during the 2012 presidential campaign we were repeatedly told that Obama had saved Detroit…but did he?

The news that the city of Detroit is declaring bankruptcy may not surprise many observers who were aware of how economic decline, shrinking population, the burden of huge public employee contracts and political corruption was leading inevitably to this outcome. But it might come as something of a shock to the vast majority of Americans whose only thoughts about the subject prior to today were framed by the demagoguery on the issue that came from President Obama’s reelection campaign. As we all recall, Democrats spent a good deal of 2012 telling us that “General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead” and hounding Mitt Romney for saying that Detroit would be better off going bankrupt rather than being bailed out by the federal government. But yesterday we learned that all the sunny talk about what Obama had accomplished did nothing to save the city.

Now will come the weasel words…politicians have plenty of those.

Of course, Democrats will say that when they were talking about “Detroit” last year, they were just using the word as shorthand for the automobile industry and not referring to the Motor City itself. But the memory of the way the president pounded Romney on the issue should do more than point out Obama’s hypocrisy. The collapse of what was once one of America’s great cities should also inform us about the way the liberal project is dooming municipal and state governments around the country as well as Washington to a sea of debt that cannot be sustained. Detroit isn’t just the most spectacular example of urban blight. It’s the poster child for the consequences of liberal governance.   Read more »

When the Media turn on you

This post is not about New Zealand, it is about the US and Barack Obama…but it does have some lessons for New Zealand.

Nile Gardiner writes at The Telegraph, the top ten reasons why Obama’s presidency is in trouble. Number 7 is perhaps the most telling.

7. The liberal media is less deferential to Obama in his second term

The Washington Post, standard bearer of the liberal establishment in the US capital, has labeled the IRS scandal a “horror story” for the Obama administration. Even The New York Times, the de facto inflight newspaper of Air Force One, recently carried a headline on its front page declaring: “Onset of Woes Casts Pall Over Obama’s Policy Aspirations.” The liberal mainstream media closed ranks behind Barack Obama for most of his first term in office, and relentlessly pummeled his presidential election opponent Mitt Romney ahead of the November 2012 vote, in a shameless display of bias towards their favoured candidate. The big liberal newspapers and the major television networks, NBCABC and CBS, have been less willing to bat for Obama in his second term as public opinion has begun to turn against the White House. Clearly, there are some things even the most liberal columnists are finding hard to defend, such as the ruthless targeting of political opponents. Meanwhile, MSNBC, President Obama’s biggest flag-waver on cable news, has seen its ratings plummet in recent months, with Fox News further building its dominance of the ratings.  Read more »