Republican Party

Did Martyn Martin Bradbury advise the Democrats?

Wrongly Wrongson, the blogger formerly known as Martyn Martin Bradbury, got all his predictions dead wrong in the last NZ general election.

But it seems he has taken his own particular brand of wrong punditry and been moonlighting with the Democrats in the US.

The Washington Examiner looks at some of the left wing shibboleths and Democratic myths that they clung to, which resulted in their defeat in the mid-term elections.

As Democratic losses mounted in Senate races across the country on election night, some liberal commentators clung to the idea that dissatisfied voters were sending a generally anti-incumbent message, and not specifically repudiating Democratic officeholders. But the facts of the election just don’t support that story.

Voters replaced Democratic senators with Republicans in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia and likely in Alaska, and appear on track to do so in a runoff next month in Louisiana. At the same time, voters kept Republicans in GOP seats in heavily contested races in Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky. That is at least 10, and as many as a dozen, tough races, without a single Republican seat changing hands. Tuesday’s voting was a wave alright — a very anti-Democratic wave.

In addition to demolishing the claim of bipartisan anti-incumbent sentiment, voters also exposed as myths five other ideas dear to the hearts of Democrats in the last few months:

1) The election wouldn’t be a referendum on President Obama. “Barack Obama was on the ballot in 2012 and in 2008,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in late October. “The candidates that are on the ballot are Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress.” Of course, that was true, but Republicans from New Hampshire to Alaska worked tirelessly to put the president figuratively on the ballot. And they succeeded.

Every day on the stump, Republican candidates pressed the point that their Democratic opponents voted for the Obama agenda nearly all the time. “Kay Hagan has voted for President Obama’s failed partisan agenda 95 percent of the time,” said Thom Tillis, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in North Carolina. Mark Pryor “votes with Barack Obama 93 percent of the time,” said Tom Cotton, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in Arkansas. “Mark Udall has voted with [Obama] 99 percent of the time,” said Cory Gardner, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in Colorado.

On Election Day, nearly 60 percent of voters told exit pollsters they were dissatisfied or angry with the Obama administration. In retrospect, there was no more effective campaign strategy for Republicans running in 2014 than to tie an opponent to the president.

Whoopsy…got that dead wrong.  Read more »

Republicans surge and election turns into rout

The Republican party has succeeded in routing the Democrats and taking the Senate. They also have retained control and extended that control of the House.

They needed 6 seats to take the Senate and grabbed 7. The Atlantic reports:

Republicans took the Senate majority in a commanding sweep on Tuesday, winning nearly every contested race across the country, gaining governor’s mansions and adding to their majority in the House of Representatives. For weeks, pundits had debated the semantics of what would constitute a “wave” election, but when it came, it was unmistakable.

Republicans unseated Democratic incumbents in Senate races in Arkansas, North Carolina, and Colorado, and were leading in Alaska early Wednesday. They easily held onto GOP-controlled seats in Georgia, Kansas, and Kentucky. In New Hampshire, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen barely held on against Republican Scott Brown. In one of the night’s biggest surprises, Virginia Senator Mark Warner, who was thought to be safe, was up only half a point over his Republican challenger early Wednesday. The Louisiana election, in which Democrat Mary Landrieu finished slightly ahead of her Republican challenger, Bill Cassidy, was set to go to a December runoff, which Cassidy is favored to win.

Though Pennsylvania’s abysmally unpopular Republican governor, Tom Corbett, was defeated, Republicans took over governor’s mansions in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts, and were leading by a hair in Colorado. Controversial Republican incumbents Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Rick Snyder (Michigan), Sam Brownback (Kansas), Paul LePage (Maine), Nathan Deal (Georgia), and Rick Scott (Florida), all of whom had appeared vulnerable in pre-election polls, all held on to win reelection.

Ebullient Republicans, many of whom had run relentlessly one-note campaigns focused on the unpopular president, touted the results as a rejection of President Obama and Democratic policies. “This race wasn’t about me or my opponent,” Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky senator who easily won reelection and stands to become the new majority leader, told a ballroom full of supporters here. “It was about a government people no longer trust.”

Much speculation now focuses on McConnell, who has been blamed for singlehandedly stopping most of the Obama agenda for the past five years. (Ironically, the conservatives who want the Obama agenda stopped give McConnell little credit for doing so.) But McConnell now faces a choice about whether continued obstruction will serve his party’s interests. In his victory speech, he mentioned no specific policies but rather struck a conciliatory note.

“Some things don’t change after tonight,” he said. “I don’t expect the president to wake up tomorrow and view the world any differently than he did when he woke up this morning, and he knows I won’t either. But look, we do have an obligation to work together on issues where we can agree. Just because we have a two-party system doesn’t mean we have to be in perpetual conflict.”

Read more »

So far so good for the GOP, plus 3 in the Senate

The Republican party already holds a large majority int eh house and in this midterm election was seeking to gain 6 seats to gain control of the Senate.

They are half way there as counting continues.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Races that could determine Senate control remain too close to call as incumbent Democrats try to fend off GOP challengers in North Carolina and, in a surprise addition to the battleground field, Virginia.

But Republicans have now picked up three of the six net seats needed to seize control of the Senate, with wins in Arkansas, South Dakota and West Virginia.

Democrats, meanwhile, held the New Hampshire Senate seat, depriving the GOP of a prime pickup opportunity.

In Arkansas, Rep. Tom Cotton beat incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, the first incumbent to face defeat. In West Virginia, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito captured a seat the GOP hadn’t held in seven decades, beating Democrat Natalie Tennant. And in South Dakota, former Gov. Mike Rounds won a three-way race against Democrat Rick Weiland and independent Larry Pressler, a former Republican senator.

Like other Democrats, Mr. Pryor was weighed down by an unpopular president. He was also hampered by the shifting political views of his state, which may have no Democrats elected to statewide office for the first time since Reconstruction.

The first endangered Democrat to survive is New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen, who fended off a challenge from Republican Scott Brown , the former Massachusetts senator.

With stakes at an all-time high for both political parties, Democrats and Republicans make an effort to get voters to polls. RNC’s Sean Spicer and DNC’s Mo Elleithee join Tanya Rivero. Photo: Getty

The battle for the Senate also remains close in Georgia, where Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue are each trying to reach the 50% threshold to avoid a January runoff election.

The tightest contest in the country so far appears to be the Florida governor’s race, where former Gov. Charlie Crist and Republican Rick Scott are in a virtual tie with about a third of precincts reporting results, according to the Associated Press.

Read more »

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

Who said the Tea Party are finished and washed up? They just nailed Eric Cantor

Political pundits had written of the Tea Party long ago, saying they were washed up and finished as a political force.

And then they rinsed Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House of Representatives:

Shortly after eight on Tuesday night, Twitter went a little nuts, and so, presumably, did Eric Cantor, the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives. The Associated Press, CNN, and other news organizations had just called the Republican primary race in Virginia’s Seventh District for David Brat, a hitherto little-known economics professor who is associated with the Tea Party wing of the G.O.P. Cantor had become the first House Majority Leader to lose a primary renomination.All over Washington, commentators were called out of dinner; Fox News broke into the O’Reilly Factor; and political reporters struggled to come up with a correct historical analogy. Since virtually no one—or, at least, no one in the world of political forecasting and punditry—had predicted Brat’s victory in the primary, it would be presumptuous, at this stage, to say anything definitive about its causes or its consequences. But here are a few things that can’t easily be contested.

In the 2012 G.O.P. primary, Cantor, who has aggressively courted Tea Party voters, tacitly promoting himself as a conservative alternative to Speaker John Boehner, defeated his opponent, Floyd Bane, by 79.4 per cent to 20.6 per cent. Evidently, Brat, who teaches at Randolph-Macon College, in Ashland, Virginia, wasn’t the sort to be put off. According to the Wall Street Journal, his works include “God and Advanced Mammon: Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?” and “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.” He entered the race at the start of this year, and was determined to make an issue of Cantor’s ties to the Party’s Washington-based establishment. Writing for the Daily Caller, a conservative news site, in February, Brat said:

Congressman Cantor’s profile has been erratic even by Washington standards — flitting from eager establishmentarian coat-holder to self-glorified “Young Gun” and back again. His loyalties, both upward and downward, have shifted in his eager embrace of the Ruling Class. Washington’s only genuine article of faith: maintaining control regardless of how that control affects the life of the folks back home.

Brat fastened onto what was perceived by elements of the G.O.P.’s grass roots to be Cantor’s willingness to compromise on immigration reform and offer some form of amnesty to immigrants who had entered the country illegally. (In Washington, the House Majority Leader was sometimes portrayed as a barrier to such a reform.) This issue galvanized Brat’s campaign, and brought him to the attention of conservative media figures such as Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin, who both expressed support for him. Just this past weekend, Ingraham appeared alongside Brat at a political rally in Virginia, and jokingly suggested that President Obama should have traded Cantor, not five Taliban leaders, for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Brat, meanwhile, kept hacking away on the immigration issue, saying, “A vote for Eric Cantor is a vote for open borders. A vote for Eric Cantor is a vote for amnesty.”

Read more »

US teenager spanks 67-year-old Republican incumbent in West Virginia

I love stories like this, where cunning campaigning youth take out tired old codgers past their use by date.

At 17, Saira Blair is only barely old enough to drive.

But the West Virginia schoolgirl is on course to become America’s youngest state legislator after unseating a Republican nearly four times her age.

Miss Blair ran as a hard-line conservative in her successful bid to defeat Larry Kump, a 67-year-old member of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

The high school student touted her support for gun owners and her opposition to abortion as she charged to an 872-728 victory.

“People saw that you don’t need to wait until you are 40, 50 or 60 to realise our conservative principles are beneficial to everyone,” said Miss Blair  Read more »

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 »