Posts Tagged 'elections'

Don’t Blink

This Saturday morning, July 23rd, the Senate was originally scheduled to vote on Cut, Cap and Balance, the Republican plan to cut $111 billion out of this year’s deficit, trim $4 trillion over ten years, and present a balanced budget amendment to the states.  Instead, Harry Reid moved the vote up to Friday morning, calling it a waste of time and the worst piece of legislation to ever come to the Senate floor.  It failed to pass on strict partisan lines.

Senator Schumer called the bill “Cut, Cap and Kill” because he insisted that the bill would kill Medicare.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz declared in the House of Representatives that the bill would kill seniors and that it was the Paul Ryan plan on steroids.   The only problem is that in three different places Cut, Cap and Balance specifically exempted Medicare and Social Security from cuts and caps.  Had Republicans known, some of them might have been a little bit more up in arms about the bill.  It was actually a very good compromise.  It cut and cap wasteful spending on liberal social programs and government bureaucracy, not hot buttons like military, Social Security and Medicare.

Perhaps that is a more reasonable explanation of why Harry Reid went back on his promise to allow debate on Cut, Cap and Balance and instead moved the vote up.  Perhaps someone in the Senate actually read the bill and told Reid what was in it.  And then, as if scripted, suddenly news outlets started declaring a deal between Boehner and Obama that was so close Reid needed to get this bill off the floor and stop “wasting time” on it.  The only problem is there was no such deal.  Somebody was lying to provide the sense of urgency needed to cut off debate on Cut, Cap and Balance before it got out that Democrats were lying about it killing Medicare.

This has become the name of the game in budget talks.  Neither side is willing to give in because both sides know that 2012 elections hang in the balance.  The difference is that Republicans have actually gone so far as to write a good compromise bill.  Democrats can’t vote yes on it, not because it “kills Medicare” or kills seniors.  They can’t vote on it because passing Cut, Cap and Balance would destroy Democrat re-election hopes for 2012.  It would be a huge Republican victory because Republicans came up with it.

On the other hand, Democrats can’t write a plan of their own.  They haven’t submitted a budget in over 800 days, and they can’t submit one now or that will also destroy their chances of getting re-elected in 2012.  Democrats can’t write a bill that says “We want to raise taxes so that we don’t have to cut spending as much” and still win in 2012 because the vast majority of the country doesn’t want Democrats to raise taxes so that they can spend more.  They are spending enough already, and we are taxed enough already.  On the other hand, Democrats can’t write a plan saying “Ok, no higher taxes, just cuts” or they will lose their class warfare base.  The liberal base of the Democrat party does not want a bill that doesn’t raise taxes on the “rich”.  It’s not about raising revenue, it’s about punishing upper classes more.

Republicans submitted a plan and it was a good plan.  Obama has signaled that he is willing to let the country default on its debt rather than compromise with Republicans.  Democrats have proven that they are the party of no on a budget deal.  If Republicans end up caving in order to save our credit rating, I hope Americans get the right message.  It doesn’t mean Republicans are wimps and we need to get rid of them.  It means they can only do so much with just a majority in the House.  We need to give them the Senate and the Presidency in 2012 if we expect anything to get accomplished.

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How Third Party Candidates Will Help TEA Party

I’m sure you read the title of this blog and scratched your head.  I assure you I am not crazy.

In 1992 and 1996 Republican candidates who leaned moderate were defeated by Bill Clinton.  In neither election did Clinton get 50% of the popular vote.  In fact, George W. Bush and Al Gore both came closer to 50% in 2000 than Clinton ever got.  In both the 1992 and 1996 elections, Republicans were hijacked by the third party candidacy of Ross Perot.    Perot was a spunky, debt-conscious candidate who predicted many of the troubles we face today.  Though some conservatives would have preferred Perot to George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole, it was from these elections that we had ingrained in our minds that a vote for a third party was a vote for the Democrat.

In 2006 the electorate shifted.  We had RINO Republicans in office, who had easily ridden George W. Bush’s coat-tails and the architecture of Karl Rove.  Conservatives did not like these RINOs and moderates couldn’t tell the RINOs from the Democrats and didn’t like our hundred billion dollar deficits.  In 2006 conservatives stayed home.  Or, in some cases, they voted for the third party candidate.

In this case, I am not talking about a conservative third party candidate, but I am talking about the 2006 re-election of Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut as an independent.  Joe had lost to his radical leftist opponent Ned Lamont, and decided to leave the Democrat party and run on a third party ticket.  In this race, moderate Republicans dumped their no-chance-in-hell (or any other blue state) candidate and voted with the moderate Lieberman.  Lieberman won.

Lieberman’s victory against the radical wing of his party, assisted by moderate Republicans, has given hope to moderates everywhere.  When Marco Rubio went from double digits behind Charlie Crist to the obvious winner, Crist dropped the Republican party and ran as a third party candidate.  Rubio still leads him and his opponent by double digits in a state Democrats gave to Obama in 2008, and the other Senators are a true blue Democrat and a moderate Crist appointed Republican.

You can’t blame RINOs for being upset about their upset losses to TEA party candidates.  Basically, they have been fired by the people in their party.  They didn’t expect it; their bosses in the party kept telling them they were awesome.  Crist will be giving up his Jim Greer expense account and his wife won’t be able to use tax dollars to go to Disney World or partying in NYC anymore.  Murkowski won’t get the lobbyist attention anymore.  Castle is left friendless and embarrassed in Delaware.

So what has changed since 1996?  Now the moderate is the third party.  Instead of the conservative vote being split between the candidate who can win and the candidate who we like, while the moderates and Democrats give the Democrat the victory, conservatives will be united against a candidates whose electorate will be split between radical Democrats and moderates.  Did I mention that Rubio holds a double digit lead over Crist and Meek?

Gallup shows that conservatives make up the largest group percentage-wise in this country.  They accounted for 40% back in 2009 when the deficit was only a trillion dollars and people still thought everything was Bush’s fault.  Moderates accounted for 35% and liberals took 21%.  That leaves “don’t knows” of 4%.  When Republicans were acting like moderates (safe word for mildly liberal), Democrats won.  Why not?  It was 50% to 40%.  Moderates looked at both parties, asked what’s the difference, and then voted for the party that wasn’t pretending to be something it’s not.

But split the liberal and moderate vote, and conservative TEA Party Republicans have a 5% advantage over their RINO opponents.  Still think I’m crazy?  The latest Reuters-Ipsos poll has Marco Rubio at 40%, Charlie Crist at 26% and Kendrick Meek at 21%. Sounds like Gallup got it about right.

So, Conservatives, call Lisa Murkowski and Mike Castle and encourage them to start write-in campaigns.  The moderates in this country need someone to vote for.


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