Republican Party

The left wing obsession with private people spending their own money

We have seen this in New Zealand with political donations. The Labour party in particular have taken it upon themselves to obsess over political donations.

This of course famously blew up in David Cunliffe’s face when it was discovered that he was taking secret donations from the top end of town via secret trusts. We won’t hear too much more from Labour any more about trusts and donations.

The Democrats in the US have a similar affliction, despite Barack Obama outspending the Republican by a massive amount and the unions big money being deeply involved in funding the Democratic party.

They too are focused on private citizens like the Koch brothers.

A Quinnipiac University poll in January ranked, in order, the three issues voters cared about the most: the economy, the federal budget deficit, and health care. Not included on the list? Charles and David Koch.

And therein lies the dilemma for Democrats, who of late have turned the full fury and might of their political operation against the billionaire brothers from Kansas. Can they persuade voters to care about two private citizens whom regular people have barely heard of—especially when the country’s still-underwhelming job market has many of those same people more worried about just getting by?

It’s not as if the Koch brothers are peripheral to the 2014 midterm elections. Their most visible political group, Americans for Prosperity, has spent roughly $30 million pummeling Democrats, mostly senators up for reelection, for their support of Obamacare. With good reason, Democrats worry that money has fundamentally shifted the 2014 map in the GOP’s favor, especially in Southern battlegrounds such as Louisiana and North Carolina.  Read more »

Who is vulnerable to a Primary Here?

The Republican party members get rid of senators and congressmen who are RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).

There are seven senators listed that may be primaried by people pissed off that their representative doesn’t reflect their views.

Hard-line conservatives are rising out of the ashes of a weekslong government shutdown, emboldened by the possibility of adding to their ranks in the Senate next year — whether by picking up Democrat-held seats or taking out Republican incumbents.

Just two Republican senators have lost in primaries in the last two election cycles, but that’s not stopping a growing number of intraparty challengers this cycle. Conservative third-party groups and candidates hope to give more backup to folks like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, who led an effort to defund the health care law.  Read more »

GOP gets its funds cut for breaking the no dickhead rule

The donors aren’t happy with the shenanigans by the Republicans in Washington and are pulling the pin on their funding.

On a Monday last month, Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, met with some top GOP donors for lunch at Le Cirque on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The donors, a youngish collection of financial industry types and lawyers, had some questions for Walden, a mild-mannered lawmaker from eastern Oregon known for speaking his mind.

Why, they asked, did the GOP seem so in the thrall of its most extremist wing? The donors, banker types who occupy the upper reaches of Wall Street’s towers, couldn’t understand why the Republican Party—their party—seemed close to threatening the nation with a government shutdown, never mind a default if the debt ceiling isn’t raised later this month.

That excuse isn’t going to wash with the money men, who think the GOP are being dickheads.  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 lines.  Read more »

Lee Atwater’s 5 rules of politics

Everyone who reads this blog knows I have my own Rules of Politics.

Lee Atwater, the GOP supremo also has 5 rules of politics.

He had five rules of politics that he would playfully (or not) repeat to those around him.  Even though they are a little coarse and not particularly idealistic, in the real world — or at least in the real Washington — there might still be some applicability to the rules.

Rule #1.  Be for what is going to happen.  Simply put, always try to pick the winner. If you’re a selfishly motivated, hyper-ambitious career-manager, it helps a lot to work on the campaign of the winning candidate. Enough said.  Read more »

Rift? What Rift? Rand Paul makes a good play

The media are beating up a supposed spat between Chris Christie and Rand Paul.

Well, that was a splendid little war.

Over the past week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul took the GOP’s intraparty bickering to a new level, openly savaging each other on issues of national security, privacy and government spending. When Christie wasn’t challenging Paul to explain himself to the families of Sept. 11 victims, Paul was accusing Christie of demanding federal handouts for hurricane relief and, in an obvious double entendre, labeling the Garden Stater the “king of bacon.”

Both men stepped back from the brink of nuclear-level confrontation on Wednesday, as Paul told a New Hampshire radio station that while Christie started the fight, he’d be glad to “ratchet it down.” Christie dismissed Paul’s barbs as “juvenile” in his own radio appearance.

But Rand Paul has made a brilliant play… Read more »

Great sledge

Frank Rich delivers a lengthy dissection of the problems facing the GOP in rebuilding but starts off with this excellent sledge, one which Leighton Smith will appreciate.

It’s gotten so gloomy that at the annual House Republican retreat just before Inauguration Day in January, the motivational speakers included the executive who turned around Domino’s Pizza and the first blind man to reach the top of Mount Everest. Were the GOP a television network, it would be fifth-place NBC, falling not only behind its traditional competitors but Univision.  Read more »

Marriage Equality is a Conservative Cause

Jon Huntsman writes at The American Conservative about why Marriage Equality is actually a conservative cause:

If conservatives come to the table with solutions that put our communities first, it will go a long way toward winning elections.

But it’s difficult to get people even to consider your reform ideas if they think, with good reason, you don’t like or respect them. Building a winning coalition to tackle the looming fiscal and trust deficits will be impossible if we continue to alienate broad segments of the population. We must be happy warriors who refuse to tolerate those who want Hispanic votes but not Hispanic neighbors. We should applaud states that lead on reforming drug policy. And, consistent with the Republican Party’s origins, we must demand equality under the law for all Americans.

While serving as governor of Utah, I pushed for civil unions and expanded reciprocal benefits for gay citizens. I did so not because of political pressure—indeed, at the time 70 percent of Utahns were opposed—but because as governor my role was to work for everybody, even those who didn’t have access to a powerful lobby. Civil unions, I believed, were a practical step that would bring all citizens more fully into the fabric of a state they already were—and always had been—a part of.  Read more »

Finally! A Republican who makes sense on Marriage Equality

It has taken long enough, but finally a senior Republican has worked out where they should be on Marriage Equality:

A national Republican strategist said in Iowa on Monday that Republicans should speak out in favor of same-sex marriage because the majority of Americans support it and it’s consistent with conservative values.

In private meetings with GOP elected officials and operatives from across Iowa, Ken Mehlman, who was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2005 to 2007 and managed George W. Bush’s re-election campaign, has been urging the politicos to recognize the evolution in thinking and demographic shifts in Iowa and the nation.

“Republicans have an opportunity to both stand up for values that are core to our philosophy — freedom, family values and the golden rule — and to do the right thing politically by allowing adults who love one another to have access to civil marriage,” Mehlman said in an interview with The Des Moines Register on Monday.  Read more »

Piers Morgan vs. Alex Jones – a reader’s thoughts

A reader emails regarding the gun control debate and in particular the Piers Morgan vs. Alex Jones.

So yeah.. just got through reading the reporting about this and finally got time to watch the full broadcast:

To be honest, after watching that, I think most pro-gun advocates need to let that one slide. I’m sure the pro-control crowd, given time to see more than just the highlights and soundbits, will want some distance.

You don’t have to print what I’m saying here, but you’re welcome to if you like - if you want to blog it, that’s your call, cut and paste as you see fit.. grab what you need. If you’re re-printing, just include the statement from myself that I try to live, act and comment from a neutral position – I’ll hear out both sides then make my own judgement. I don’t comment from the left, right, or center, nor do I subscribe to their mailers – only what I personally believe, regardless of political fanboi-ism.

I’ve wavered on my (very ‘not matters much at all considering I don’t have a US citizenship’) opinion of the whole US firearms debacle. I don’t believe that civilians have a “need” for firearms like the “civilian” modified AR-15. I’m highly aware that 70-odd% of firearms violence is caused by hand-guns, not Assault Rifles. I’m well aware that considering it’s political and historical ramifications, the 2nd Amendment must be upheld.

But what exactly are the ramifications of that 2nd Amendment; what did those founding fathers mean; and what do those sacrosanct passages really entitle a gun owner to?

The full debate between Alex and Piers uncovers a lot – and it’s not the conspiracy about serotonin re uptake inhibitors.. or any other crackpot idea that Jones can make some money off now that Ron Paul isn’t being fucked over for his financial benefit.

In case you missed it.. “INFOWARS DOT COM!!!”

Alex Jones is the Alexei/Lucia Maria of US Gun Politics. He’s the example of the absolute worst of the argument, that level that Colbert doesn’t even reach in his satire. The problem is that one side uses reason, the other froths at the mouth- and because the former engages the latter, the latter is enabled.

I’ve spent time among the Ron Paul crowd, arguably the most Republican of the GOP. I’ve spent time among the Obama people, who are the Clinton people, who are the Carter people. And to look at both of their arguments, I see the flaws in both.

The Democrats are reacting, which they should, but in the wrong areas: I personally think they’re on the right track with universal background checks, particularly in the area of mental health, and closing loopholes like the “Gun Show Loophole”. But they’re reacting too late, to political footballs that are simply a hot topic to earn a vote.

The Republicans are reacting, which is, I guess, all they can do.. defend the 2nd Amendment, and manoeuvre around that basic premise. The problem is that their current argument (see Wayne LaPierre’s comments and their notorious press release) falls apart when they compare themselves to other countries – ie: video game consumption per capita.

I think the issue, that nobody wants to address as a potential political landmine, is the question of “Why are Americans so much more prone to deciding to go out in a ‘Blaze of Glory’ by shooting up a school before they top themselves? Is our national culture a bit… ‘fucked’?”