Category Archives: Republicans

Is the GOP being stupid … again?

As the saying goes, I have been around the block a few times … and this political neighborhood is looking very familiar.

I am talking about the tendency of the GOP to win elections every day EXCEPT Election Day. I am hearting a lot of excitement and opitimism these days. Big gains in November are being predicted by pundits of every stripe. Some even say the pachyderm party will take control of the Congress.

Republicans are giddy becasue they believe the current mode will prevail through election day. The Democrats are willing to concede to any extreme prediction in order to make the GOP over confident. That is the Chicago way of politics.

Typically, the Democrats do not campaign seriously until eight weeks before Election Day. That strategy was told to me by a Chicago Democrat operative some 45 years ago, when I was president of my college Young Republicans. For a generation and a half, I have watch the GOP get sucker punched in the Land of Lincoln.

Fool me once, your shame. Fool me twice, my shame. Fool me for 45 years, my stupidity.

Wait until September, when the national Democrat machine, now run by David Axelrod and the Chicago political mob.

The healthcare battle should be a lesson to the ways of the Chicago crowd. Vicory and vanquish. They are without doubt the most partisan and ruthless political characters in America.

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>RECOMMENDATION: The GOP should let Blago remain in office

>Most likely, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will be impeached before all the evidence is considered and testimony taken. The Illinois House, under the leadership of Speaker Michael (I gotta make my daughter governor) Madigan is a hanging jury. Like any kangaroo court, the verdict was predetermined before the articles of impeachment were even drawn up. The impeachment panel is a means to an end, not a deliberative body.

This means that it will be up to the Illinois Senate to hold a mock trial – at which there will be no rules of evidence – and vote conviction or acquittal. This requires a two-third vote of the membership – and that means a few Republican votes will be required to remove the Governor from office.

The fact that it appears that the GOP senators will follow the lead of the Democrat majority is testimony to their lack of appreciation for the democratic process, their disregard for any presumption of innocence, their non-existent party discipline and their abysmal lack of political savvy.

If the Republican leaders had half the testicular virility of the Governor and the political chutzpah of the Democrats in general, they would either abstain or vote against the conviction of the Governor.

On the merits, Governor Blagojevich was duly elected by the people of Illinois. He has been indicted but not convicted of any crime. The legislature would have to both disregard the vote of the people and the highly vaunted presumption of innocence to remove him from office.

What if the Governor is ultimately deemed innocent of all charges? Will he be unimpeached and returned to office? Would his removal by political adversaries be deemed a coup rather than an impeachment? Could he sue for damages?

Since he is indicted, and a judicial process will now move forward, I would rely on a jury of his peers to resolve the question of criminal conduct, and not subject the issue to unconsidered evidence, amateur judgment and political opinion.

I would also remind the public that the leaders of the lynch mob** are the very same people who endorsed his re-election. In fact, the leader of the impeachment effort was his campaign co-chairman.

The Republicans should have no part in this political chicanery.

Okay. Then there is the “other” reason to vote against conviction. It leaves the Governor and the Democrats – friend and foe alike – to hang out to dry for the next two years, or at least until U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald actually convicts the Governor of at least one felony.

The opposition party could be on the verge of total implosion, and the Republicans seem to be on the verge of bailing them out – a move befitting the often designated stupid party.

Now, I know some say it would be irresponsible not to remove Blago so that peace and tranquility can be restored to the governmental process in Illinois. This just means business as usual.

If the Illinois Senate fails to convict the Governor, and the lynch mob sees that their prey has eluded the noose, things will calm down. The critical business of the state will move forward out of necessity. However, the process is likely to be more controversial, more transparent, more open to public sentiment, more bipartisan and more democratic. The idea that democracy is best served by public serenity is bogus. Heated public debated is more beneficial than quiet back room deals.

When I was growing up in Chicago, we used to say that there was no disservice to the public when Mafia members killed each other. Likewise, there is no disservice to good government to have the pre-eminent Democrat party break down into tribal warfare.

Yeah! I think Blago is probably guilty – “probably,” I say. And yeah! I am not a fan of his politics and philosophy. And yeah! I think he is not sharpest knife in the drawer. But I think justice and politics are better served by letting him continue to fill the office to which he was elected by the people (at the recommendation of all those now trying to remove him) until such time as a jury of his peers finds him guilty of the crimes for which he is only accused.

I have to confess … I have a third reason to keep Blago in office. Good theater. This is a political demolition derby. It is awesome. It is spectacular. For the first time in ages, I can’t wait for the next news update. Political conversations and the proverbial grapevine are a twitter with news, speculation, opinions and predictions. I mean … what is more fun than watching arrogant people run around like fools.

Think about this. If they had booted Blago out of office in December, he never could have appointed Roland Burris to the vacant Senate seat. In doing so, the Governor has at once sent a good man to Washington and exposed the hypocrisy and racism of such national Democrats as Senate President Harry Reid. Now Rules Committee Chair Diane Feinstein, who will handle any Senate inquiry into l’affaire Burris, is saying to seat Burris. This gets more delicious by the minute.

For once, I hope the Republicans can be as shrewd and crafty as the Democrats. Hmmmmm. Probably not. Oh well! It was fun while it lasted.

** Yes. I referred to the Democrat leaders as a “lynch mob.” Whether Blagojevich is guilty as hell, or not, is irrelevant to the conduct of his political adversaries. Lynch mobs did not always hang innocent people, but they always circumvented the all important process of justice.

>OUTLOOK: Congress no slam dunk for Dems

>Now that the real election season is started, and what parties and candidates do and say has significance to the outcome, we can expect to see the GOP rev up the congressional election machine. With the presidential race on a track to victory, they can focus some attention on the congressional races — House and Senate.

Rather than allow the Dems to realize their heady dreams for substantial gains in the House and a veto-proof majority in the Senate, the GOP is ready to challenge them in every district and state. Funding will improve as prospects improve.

The “change” theme, so persuasively advanced by the donkey party is about to bite their own ass — in both usages of the word. If you don’t think so, just remember that the public’s opinion of the Congress is lower … yep, lower … than their opinion of the George Bush presidency.

Just as John McCain has burst the Democrat bubble of optimism at the White House level, the GOP has ever opportunity to burst it at the congressional level.

>UPDATE: Hillary’s voters.

>In a previous blog, I suggest that as much as 15 percent of Hillary Clinton’s primary voters could cross over to John McCain. I thought I was being a bit optimistic, but calcualted even five percent as a serioius problem for Barack Obama. Well … was I wrong. A recent poll indicated that as many as 25 percent of the New York senator’s primary support will not vote for Obama. Wow! That is more than a disaster for Obama. That’s the ballgame.

Now granted, they may not all be crossing over for McCain. The poll did not identify cross overs and the stay at homes. Regardless, that is an amazing defection.

It should be noted that the poll was taken after the Clintons’ — Mr. and Mrs. — speeches at the Democratic convention, and before the naming of Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. Can it get much worse?

This all tracks with my unwavering belief that Obama is unelectable without a major … and I mean major … blunder on the McCain side.

>REACT: Palin panics the progressives

>As a political tactic, McCain’s selection of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is working out better than I could have imagined. The now apoplectic progressive democrats are positively in panic. They are piling on. Frankly, I am stunned with the meanness and viciousness of the first round of attacks. Barack Obama must feel like a general attempting to keep his troop under discipline command as they break ranks – running helter skelter across the political battlefield firing verbal assaults at every shadowy target.

They seem to have settled on a Dan Quayle comparison, referring to the young guy selected by George Bush the Elder to be his new-generation running mate, as their best option. Dan who? Right. The problem is, most of the general public have no real specific recollection of Dan Quayle. So, whether the compassion is justified or not, it is rather ineffective.

I am surprised that they did not find a better comparison in Spiro Agnew, the county exec from Maryland who was the surprise pick of Richard Nixon – making “Spiro who?” a political cliché. The allusion is more negative because Agnew was forced to resign in scandal ahead of Nixon. (I still have my Spiro Agnew watch.)

In irresponsible meanness, left wing bloggers, such as Kos, are floating claims that her Downs Syndrome child is really the offspring of her 16-year-old daughter, Bristol, and is only being raised as her child. First, there appears to be too much evidence that that is not the case – so much that Kos (and others) publishing the rumor can only be describe as scurrilous to the extreme.

But even if it were true, Palin might gain from the story. It is a human story to which most non-elitist families can relate. Consider this. A teenager gets pregnant. The child in the womb is determined to have Downs Syndrome. The family comes together to work out the best solution for all concerned. Most importantly, there is no abortion. Not for the benefit of the young mother. Not for the benefit of the family’s public reputation. Not because the child is less than perfect. Instead, the Palin family lives their pro-life values – as the story would go.

If this were the case, the anti abortion crowd will flock to the polls for this woman. Of course, the story appears to be ugly rumor advanced for misguided political purposes by those who accuse Republicans of cruel tactics. Just how low can they go?

In attacking her status in life, a hockey mom without experience on the world stage, the Democrats reveal their true elitism – one of the more serious chinks in the Obama armor. If they want to challenge the experiential credentials of the GOP vice presidential candidate, they will soon discover that she – point by point – supersedes the credentials of the Democrats PRESIDENIAL nominee. Her executive experience is infinite compared to Obama’s none. Her personal story is every bit as compelling.

As an agent of change, she has an impressive record of courageous and successfully confronting the entrenched corruption in her own state AND in her own party. Conversely, Obama never made any attempt to confront and reform the incredibly corrupt Chicago and Illinois political machines. Far from it. He rose with their support. He took money from the most sleazy of their benefactors. He endorsed the worst of them. He played their crass political game with taxpayer money. His poverty-stricken, crime-ridden Illinois senate district shows no signs of hope or improvement from his stewardship. In terms of reform, Obama cannot hold a candle to Palin.

The Democratic attack team proffers that the Palin pick is cynical. She was not chosen for her intellect, political philosophy, position on issues, experience or good judgment. It was simply broad over brains. If you believe the left wing rhetoric (and how could you?), the progressives and feminists are basically saying that this highly intelligent and successful woman is … well … a bimbo. That’s the feminist equivalent of and “uncle tom.” Methinks this tactic is going to backfire.

They say the Palin pick was to shore up McCain’s weaknesses. We used to call that balancing the ticket – and it was considered a smart thing to do. However, if that is the measure to be applied, what does the Joe Biden pick tell us. Hmmmm. That Obama knows nothing about Washington … nothing about foreign policy … lacks experience. He needs to fill in much more substantial gaps than McCain.

In picking Biden, Obama may have boo booed. When you look at the two of them standing side-by-side, the very presidential looking Biden diminishes Obama’s political stature. Biden looks like the real thing. He looks presidential. Obama looks like an actor playing a black president in a television mini-series.

Looking at it another way, why did the candidate offering “change you can believe in” pick a good old boy for a running mate? Maybe it is because Obama is more interested in gaming the system than changing it. Maybe his rise in Chicago’s smarming politics is a better indicator of his passion for change than are the eloquent words he spews on the campaign trail.

More and more, the public is beginning to recognize the thinness of the Obama façade. Beyond a spellbinding speaker and a very lucky candidate, he seems to have nothing to offer. His substance is as ethereal as his words. I once referred to him as the “cotton candy” candidate. After you consume the billowy mass and savor the sweet taste, you realize that there never was much there.

>OBSERVATION: Hillary’s people: Where goest they?

>There is a lot of speculation about the impact of the Hillary Clinton voters. The starry-eyed progressives are now convinced that her 18 million voters will march to the polls in lockstep with the Barack Obama legions – especially since Hillary’s highly predictable and obligatory “ringing endorsement” of her one-time (and maybe still) rival and their own orgasmic overreaction to the Obama acceptance speech.

This is just one element in the ill-founded optimism that drives the progressives in the Democrat party to believe victory is inevitable, and a landslide is likely.

Certainly most of the Clinton voters will vote for Obama. They are democrats to the core. More significant, however, will be the percentage of those who cross over to John McCain or stay home on Election Day. I think this percentage will be higher than the liberal pundits believe.

First of all, not all Hillary voters were Democrats. Left-wing pundits have consistently advanced the belief that Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” was successful in getting potentially hundreds of thousands of Republicans to cross over in key Democrat primaries to defeat Obama in such states as Michigan and Texas. If their contention is more than political paranoia or baseless banter, they have to know that those folks will be back home in the GOP in November.

Then there is the “bitter women” issue. No matter what Hillary says, a number of her women will be unforgiving of the guy who derailed the first ever woman presidential candidate – and in their minds, the first woman president. From anecdotal reporting, these women are definitely out there, and they are organizing for McCain. McCain’s veep choice will most certainly draw more of them to the Arizona senator.

This gets even more intriguing if you consider the possibility that, despite Hillary’s speech, she is privately signaling her people to defeat Obama to keep open her options for 2012 when there again may be no incumbent running. Rumors are already circulating that Hillary’s brother is a McCain recruiter on the q-t. Hmmmmm! How devious.

Then consider the philosophic issue – and it is not all just about women. Incredible as it may seem, Clinton evolved as the conservative candidate. She was the preferred candidate for the conservatives and moderates in the Democrat party. They are likely to find John McCain’s mushy conservatism more compatible to their views than the radical liberalism of Obama. Sometimes it IS about issues.

Finally, there is the big issue. Racism. I know we are not supposed to address this head on, but here I go. A lot of Democrats … and I mean a LOT … are racists. They were supporting Clinton for one reason. Obama is black, and Clinton is not. If Obama continues to be black in the general election campaign (Hey! If Clinton can become the conservative candidate, anything is possible.), you can expect those people will not like him any more now than they did then.

Let’s assume that McCain picks up a measly five percent of the Clinton voters (and I am betting closer to fifteen percent), that’s close to a million votes (and if I am correct, almost 3 million votes). That’s more than enough to decide the election. (Consider this: In 2000, a switch of only 900 votes from George Bush to Al Gore — out of more than 100 million cast — would have put Gore in the White House.)

I suspect that the hard corps Obama insiders, such as the cold and calculating David Axelrod, know the problem. While the enraptured progressive pundits proffer political fantasy as reality, the hard-nosed strategist must be more than a bit concerned.

>LMAO:The politics of Hollywood

>Most politicians seek major Hollywood endorsements. The folks with stars on the door function like barkers at a carnival — to get the crowd in the tent for the main show. Celebrities, however, often start to think they are being solicited for there opinions and knowledge. It is a little like a guy hired to play a doctor on television starting to give out medical advice at cocktail parties.

Whenever we think that movie star endorsments should be taken seriously, something happens to remind us that their opinions are formed in a world fantasy more often than not with the help of reality distorting drugs. To wit: At the recent Democrat convention, actress Dana Delany (right) was asked who she hoped to meet as she traveled the cocktail party circuit. She was hoping to run into Mayor John Lindsay (left) of New York. Uh. Hmm. Maybe someone should tell her that — and break it to her gently — John Lindsay (A) was a Republican, (B) was the FORMER mayor of New York (by many years – 1966-1973), and I say “was” because (C) he has been dead since 2000.

Maybe she remembers Lindsay from some movie portrayal. It isn’t all that easy for those folks to distinguish fact from fiction.

>OBSERVATION: Bobby Cesca needs his mouth washed out with soap

>My favorite ( <–being facetious here) left-wing radical writer, Bob Cesca, proves that no facts, no standards and no common sense will interfere with the vulgarity-laden stuff that dribbles off his pen in the Arianna Huffington “Huff ‘n Puff” Post. I assume he offers up the same inane fecal formula in his blog, which I have never been enticed to read. An occasional sampling of his putrid prose is sufficient. As bad as his perspective and opinions are, it is his immature and profane school-yard language and name calling that really sinks his writings.

His latest screed raises questions about the possibility of the excessive use of mind-altering ingestibles. He contends that the news media (or what he likes to call the “corporate news media”) is biased. No argument there. He thinks they are unfair (Okay, you ready for this?) unfair to (You’re going to laugh.) to Barack Obama. This really is his view despite all the recent impartial analysis that has shown a clear bias in favor of Obama.

Cesca accuses the press of giving John McCain undeserved positive stories, or occasionally being needlessly critical of Obama, only as an arbitrary and artificial means of maintaining “balance.” He takes the view that the long-accepted professional standard of journalistic balance is a “miscalculated rule.” According to the Cesca theory, Obama deserves massive amount of publicity, and none of it critical. McCain, on the other hand, should be shut out unless the story is negative.

In other words, in Cesca’s indoctrinated and uncritical mind, there is nothing good to say about McCain, and nothing bad to say about Obama. Sort of makes Bob’s life simple. But most of us do not live in the isolation booth of progressive thinking. To arrive at this position, I can only believe he has no skill set for intellectual objectivity.

It would appear the cause of his visceral angst is a video of reporters enjoying some relaxed interchange at a barbeque hosted by the McCains at their Arizona ranch. Civility is not a trait Cesca exhibits or appreciates. He is chagrinned that these reporters were not snarling at the McCain family as they filed stories about how the candidate burned the brats and Mrs. McCain stole the potato salad recipe from the local minister’s wife – and how these deficiencies disqualify McCain from being President. Of course, Cesca would have these stories accompanied by a sidebar praising Obama’s Beef Wellington and Michelle’s peanut butter cookies.

I suppose we can be thankful that he and his ilk are as lost in the far reaches of the left wing fog as they are. Between his sophomoric, pedantic and uninspired writing style, and his view of the world as “I am right and you are evil,” his credibility is shackled in Marley-esque chains– each op ed another link of his own making.

His too frequent reliance on the various forms of the f-word to describe and dismiss all who might diverge from his narrow and brittle view places his writing a short step above the graffiti authors, whose talentless publications adorn the men’s rooms walls across the nation. The only thing missing from Cesca’s blog offerings are the ubiquitous crude pubic drawings. One can only assume that Cesca engages in such literary self-humiliation for the attention and platform it has gained him. In that regard, I must admit that Bob has gone quite far with such little to offer.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. (sigh.)

Ed. note to Arianna Huffington: Thank you for providing space for the writings of Bob Cesca (and a few others). You are doing a great service to the nation in exposing the vapidity of contemporary radical thinking (<– oxymoron?). In addition, you use up space that might be used by those truly intellectual liberals of greater skill and persuasiveness. We appreciate.

>OP ED: Why is she still running?

>Why is Hillary continuing to fight for a nomination most observers believe to be lost?

One of the most popular assumptions should be the first to be eliminated. It is the theory that suggests that she is driven by madness – an irrational and obsessive lust for power allowed to run wild by demented denial. Perhaps it is her formative years devotion to the Chicago Cubs that has made her believe that “all but certain” victory is never certain.

I think these are not the reasons.

Clinton & Co. is far too shrewd to become the victim of such gross self deception or unreasonable expectations — and even if SHE has succumbed, it fails to explain the support she receives from savvy party leaders, seasoned political aides, much of the voting public and a crafty “been there/done that” husband. If it is just the matter of a crazy lady, why are there still so many super delegates withholding their daggers? There is more to Lady Hillary’s tenacious quest than personal blind ambition or unbridled optimism.

First and foremost, despite every attempt to cajole her out of the race – to seal the victory – Barack Obama does not have it yet. Close, maybe. All but certain, arguable. But still no cigar. The declarations of demise have been premature. There is still a pulse – weak and fading – but still there. There is always that long-shot possibility and SOMETHING will happen between now and the convention.

If Obama is nominated, as seems most likely, it will be by the slimmest of margins – more of a technical or circumstantial victory than a mandate of any sort. Her popular vote and delegate count are within a hair’s breath of Obama. Despite the popular consensus of inevitability, it is obvious to every politico and pundit in the world that Obama’s calculated lead languishes within the traditional margins of error. The Democrat party is a house divided. Obama is the candidate of only half the party faithful. A sea change based on some shocking disclosure is always possible – and with numbers so close, it may not take a very big shocker to crate that sea change. It would appear that out of 300 million Americans, it will only take about 150 super delegates to decide on the Democrat candidate.

Though her maladroit allusion to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy was never intended to mean that she included Obama getting knocked off as a victory strategy. It is true, however, that with months to go before the convention’s coronation, many things other than assassination can happen. Obama’s Chicago political machine background is far from fully vetted. There are other issues and other “friends” that can bring revised judgment on the junior senator from Illinois. Maybe there is a blockbuster scandal hidden beneath a rock that Clinton has uncovered.

But even that seems too little of a hope to warrant the expending of both cash and political capital at rates necessary to maintain forward motion. What makes the most sense is 2012.

In all likelihood, Clinton and her people know that she is not going to get the nomination this year. They also know that there is not likely going to be some dramatic event to pull the rug out from under Obama. Never know, but odds against.

It is safe to assume that Clinton still wants to be president, and if 2008 is not going to put her into the race, then the next best thing is to go for it in 2012. Suddenly her seemingly Quixotic campaign makes sense. She builds political infrastructure – lists, donors, endorsements, friends, knowledge, new registered voters.

She also shows political muscle. How many candidates can win primary after primary against the “inevitable” candidate. Several pundits suggest, to their bewilderment, that she is losing bargaining strength with the Obama folks. The prospects of a vice presidential nomination have diminished as she pressed on. She may have put her self out of consideration for Secretary of State of Attorney General. She may have lost Obama’s clout to make her head of the Senate – replacing Harry Reid. What these pundits fail to appreciate is that Clinton has absolutely no interest in bowing to bargain with Obama. She is going after independent political strength.

A lot of Democrats express concern that the never ending Clinton campaign is hurting Obama’s chances in the General Election. Exactly! An Obama defeat would mean an open nomination in 2012. And who would be in the strongest position to take that nomination? You got it. Lady Hillary.

I think Clinton shares my view that Obama is not electable in November – so what harm in making that a bit more certain. In fact, the more decisive the defeat, the less likely she will have to battle him again for the nomination four years hence.

Clinton knows that a signification portion of her voters are never going to vote for Obama. He is too liberal and too black. Many of those new voters she is recruiting in the latter primaries will be McCain voters with Obama heading the ticket.

If it is McCain in 2008, the next presidential election is a good opportunity. Not only will the Democrat nomination be up for grabs, but the normal second term prospects for an incumbent president are altered by McCain’s age. He could easily be a one termer.

So, methinks rather than being mad as a hatter, Clinton may be sly as a fox. While Obama campaigns for 2008, Clinton has already begun the 2012 campaign.

>OBSERVATION: Hillary is peddling the wrong argument

>In her effort to pull the rabbit out of the hat at the convention, Hillary Clinton repeatedly advances the argument that she is more electable than Barack Obama. If this were what the super delegates were considering, she would have a chance. Unfortunately for Clinton, that is not the deciding factor for the super Ds. They already know she is the most electable of the two.

The super delegates will likely put Obama over the top, but not because they think he is the stronger candidate. They will select him under the pressure of racial intimidation. They will rather risk losing this one election than lose the lock-step loyalty of their captive black constituency over the longer run.

They fear retribution, and not without cause. Black leaders and journalist are warning (threatening?) that the failure to give the nomination to Obama could result in an explosion of pent up frustration. The implication is clear. The African-American community will go ballistic if Obama is denied the nomination in the back rooms of the convention. There is more than a hint of violent protests.

However, the super delegates are less worried about a flare up of urban rioting than the long term impact of blacks staying at home on many elections days to come – or worse yet, accepting the courtship of the GOP. Even a small percentage change in party loyalty will have an enormous impact on all future elections at all levels.

For the Dems, however, it is a bit of a Hobson’s Choice since there is every reason to believe that their “other” mainstay constituency – the non-black working class currently owned by Clinton – may slip over into the Republican column on Election Day if they are denied their candidate. The super delegates are betting that the Clinton crowd will be less angry in rejection than the Obama crowed and less likely to stray for too long — and they are probably right.

For all the abuse she took, Geraldine Ferraro was right. Obama would not be where he is if he were not running as a black man. Instead of electabilty, Clinton needs to convince the super delegates that Obama’s nomination will be more disastrous for the party then her nomination. So, far no one is buying that.