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Posts Tagged ‘2010 midterm elections’
January 18th, 2011 at 5:36 pm
Obama’s WSJ Op/Ed: Change of Heart, or Just More Political Deception?
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

The nation’s capital is abuzz today over President Obama’s Wall Street Journal commentary, “Toward a 21st Century Regulatory System.” Astonishingly, Obama actually praises America’s free market system as “the greatest force for prosperity the world has ever known” while promising regulatory reform:

I am signing an executive order that makes clear that this is the operating principle of our government.  This order requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth.  And it orders a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.  It’s a review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules, the result of tinkering by administrations and legislators of both parties and the influence of special interests in Washington over decades.”

Whether Obama speaks honestly, or simply seeks to deceive the electorate in anticipation of 2012, lies beyond our powers of divination.  The available evidence, however, justifies extreme skepticism.

One cause for doubt stands out immediately.  In identifying examples of the federal regulatory state run amok, the best Obama can do is point to saccharine, saying that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits it for consumption in coffee while his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labels it a “dangerous chemical.”  That’s it?  That’s the best example he can cite?

Just one month ago, Obama’s own Federal Communications Commission (FCC) flagrantly defied two-to-one public opposition, a unanimous Court of Appeals and a bipartisan group of 300 members of Congress by voting to regulate the Internet via “Net Neutrality.” Obama claims in his column that he aims to prevent “regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive,” but that’s exactly what “Net Neutrality” will do.  The FCC seeks to regulate an Internet sector that has thrived over the past two decades precisely because the federal government has refrained from interfering with regulations such as this.  The result will be fewer incentives for continued Internet investment, expansion and innovation, as well as declining service as capacity fails to keep pace with demand.

Additionally, Obama’s Labor Department seeks to impose “card check,” which will end secret ballot voting in union elections, and his EPA seeks to impose global warming carbon cap-and-tax regulations.  Both of those agenda items failed miserably in Congress even when controlled by Democratic supermajorities, but Obama’s regulatory agencies now seek to impose them anyway.

So Obama talks a good game in today’s op/ed.  But unless he issues an immediate cease-and-desist order on “Net Neutrality,” card check and cap-and-tax, his words will prove just as meaningless as his other broken promises.

January 3rd, 2011 at 11:05 pm
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest … and Into the Washington Post’s Offices
Posted by Troy Senik Print

File E.J. Dionne’s new column paying nominal tribute to the incoming Republican class of congressmen under articles we didn’t finish. The reason? This passage:

There is already a standard line of advice to Speaker-to-be John Boehner and his colleagues that goes like this: Democrats overreached in the last Congress by doing too much and ignoring “the center.” Republicans should be careful not to make the same mistake, lest they lose their majority, too.

This counsel is wrong, partly because the premise is faulty. Democrats did not overreach in the 111th Congress. On the contrary, they compromised regularly. Compromise made the health-care bill far more complicated than it had to be and the original stimulus bill too small. Democrats would have been better off getting more done more quickly and more coherently.

Seriously, folks … he gets paid for this.

January 3rd, 2011 at 11:11 am
The Price of Soft “Bipartisanship” – Schwarzenegger Departs With 22% Approval
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In October 2003, tough-talking optimist Arnold Schwarzenegger unseated bland public union yes-man Gray Davis as Governor of California in a revolutionary special recall election.  Today, Schwarzenegger departs with a depressed 22% approval rating that serves as a warning for Republican newcomers in Congress and across the 50 states against the perils of go-along-to-get-along “bipartisanship.”

During his first two years in office, Schwarzenegger maintained a confrontational demeanor that California desperately needed as it hurtled toward its current disastrous state.  In March 2004, for instance, he famously ridiculed California’s milquetoast political class as “girlie-men.”

Unfortunately, four common-sense and ultimately necessary ballot initiatives that he supported failed in November 2005.  Instead of sticking to principles, Schwarzenegger opted for “bipartisan” political expediency and personal survival.  What followed was a shameful litany of global warming bills, ObamaCare-like proposals, lack of leadership and tax hikes.  His capitulation provided a short-term payoff via reelection in 2006, but ultimately proved disastrous for himself and the state.  Today, despite Schwarzenegger’s early promise, California is in even worse shape than when he entered office.  And jaded voters witnessed yet another sad example of a politician who promised to change the political culture, only to allow the political culture to change him.

Schwarzenegger’s failure, however, provides a helpful cautionary guide for incoming Republicans this new year.  Namely, sacrificing the principles that got you elected at the tempting altar of “bipartisanship” will only deepen our nation’s current difficulties and eventually doom you politically.

December 21st, 2010 at 11:10 pm
Joe Manchin Off to a Cowardly Start in the U.S. Senate
Posted by Troy Senik Print

West Virginia’s Joe Manchin was one of the most unlikely success stories of the 2010 midterm elections. Despite hailing from a state where President Obama’s approval ratings were hovering in the high 20s during election season, the conservative democrat relied on a combination of personal popularity and ideological distance from his party’s liberals wing (you may remember the campaign ad where he literally blew away the cap and trade bill) to claim a narrow victory in November.

Because Manchin is filling out the remainder of the late Robert Byrd’s term, he will have to face a re-election campaign in 2012 — and face a heightened level of scrutiny from West Virginia voters in the interim. But the man who claimed that he would boldly confront his party when necessary is instead skipping town every time a tough vote comes up. Thus, Manchin was conveniently celebrating an early Christmas with family in Pennsylvania over the weekend instead of casting a vote on the DREAM Act or the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Depending on how he voted, Manchin would have inevitably alienated either his liberal colleagues in Congress or his conservative constituents back home.  When pressed on his absenteeism, Manchin offered this feeble excuse to the West Virginia Metro News:

Manchin stresses before he left Washington he spoke with the sponsors of both bills and let them know he would not be present for the vote and how he would have voted if he were present.

“I was up front when I knew I would not be here on Saturday. I put that in the Congressional record because I didn’t want anybody to think that I wouldn’t make a vote or had intentionally missed a vote because it was a controversial issue,” the senator said. “I think that anybody who knows me, making decisions has not been hard for me.”

Let’s be clear: the only decision Manchin made was to not discharge his duty as a United States Senator. He can claim his intentions were clear (for the record, Manchin claims that he would have voted against both bills), but intentions and actions are two different things. And as Manchin well knows, the difference is that an actual vote can be used against you in campaign ads. If he doesn’t have the stomach for scrutiny, then he doesn’t have the stomach for the job.

November 30th, 2010 at 9:20 pm
Misguided Obama Quote of the Week
Posted by Troy Senik Print

“The American people did not vote for gridlock”

That was President Obama following his White House meeting with senior congressional leaders (including heretofore marginalized Republicans) earlier today. A few things are wrong with this:

1. Of the many tasks for which Barack Obama is demonstrably unqualified, interpreting election results is clearly towards the top of the list.

2. To the extent that the 2010 midterm elections can be boiled down to a single trend, it wasn’t the American people voting for anything — it was them voting against Obama’s agenda.

3. The American people don’t vote for process. They saw the country headed too far to the left and wanted to stop it. While the electorate may not think gridlock is ideal, they would probably prefer it over another two years like the ones we just had.

4. It’s amazing how many Democrats are spinning the 2010 elections as a mandate for the two parties to work together (not that this is a particularly innovative narrative for parties that crawl back into the minority). The 2010 election saw disgust for the two major parties at an all-time high and faith in our political institutions at an all-time low. This is just a hunch, but I don’t think the resulting message was “we’d like to see more effective cooperation between the party we hate and the party we really hate”.

November 19th, 2010 at 12:42 pm
Video: A Midterm State of Denial
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses Democrats’ response to the midterm elections and the current state of denial of Party leaders about the message sent by voters on November 2.

 

November 17th, 2010 at 2:56 pm
Dem Operatives Credit Tea Party for 2010 Wins

A survey of Democratic 2010 campaign operatives shows 64% of those polled said the Tea Party was a source of enthusiasm for the GOP, not division.  Perhaps now the politicians and pundits trying to blame tea partiers for everything from falling short of a GOP Senate majority to racism will now find a new hobby.

The limited government movement continues to pick up steam as the newly empowered congressional Republicans aim to rein in federal spending.  But while Tea Party members may favor GOP candidates, don’t be surprised if failing to make progress on spending reform leads to more contested GOP primaries in 2012.

H/T: Politico

November 15th, 2010 at 4:04 pm
TODAY’S LINEUP: CFIF’s Renee Giachino Hosts “Your Turn” on WEBY Radio 1330 AM
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CST to 6:00 p.m. CST (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her show “Your Turn.”  Today’s star guest lineup includes:

4:00 pm (CST) Virginia Scharff, author of “The Women Jefferson Loved”

4:30 pm (CST) Susan Ferrechio, Chief Congressional Correspondent for The Washington Examiner, New Congress

5:00 pm (CST) Sheriff Larry Dever, Immigration

5:30 pm (CST) Timothy Lee, Center for Individual Freedom, Deficit/Economy/Judges

Please share your comments, thoughts and questions at (850) 623-1330, or listen via the Internet by clicking here.  You won’t want to miss this!

November 12th, 2010 at 8:54 am
Podcast: Party Like It’s 1995?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Interview with Quin Hillyer, senior editorial writer at The Washington Times and senior editor of The American Spectator, on this year’s midterm elections and what voters expect going forward.  Note: this interview was done November 1, one day prior to the midterm elections.

Listen to the interview here.

November 8th, 2010 at 10:08 pm
White House Denial Watch, Day 6
Posted by Troy Senik Print

It’s been clear ever since President Obama’s irritable East Room press conference the day after the midterm elections that the White House is in deep denial over its refutation by the American electorate.

What’s shocking, however, is just how much the bunker mentality is getting noticed even in Democratic circles. A new Politico story by Mike Allen & Jim VandeHei entitled “President Obama Isolated Ahead of 2012″ brings an administration dead set on standing athwart reality into sharp relief. The piece, well worth reading in its entirety, is filled to the brim with damning testimonials about the Obama White House’s incompetence on basic politics. One of the more glaring quotes:

… Business leaders, even the few who continue to be Obama-friendly, say they are convinced he is hostile to free markets and the private sector. Some of these executives have balance sheets flush with cash but are reluctant to add jobs or expand in part because they don’t trust Obama’s instincts for growth.

“He used anti-corporate, confrontational rhetoric too for legislative gain and kept doing it after folks found it gratuitous,” a top executive said. “During health reform, it was the bad, evil hospitals. . . Same with financial regulation: It was fat cats, greed, corruption.”

Other executives complained that Obama did not do enough outreach, even after the friction became clear. And executives who did get an audience complain that he is too often behind a podium, not doing the off-the-record question-and-answer sessions that would make them feel more involved and maybe promote understanding between the two sides.

If only two-thirds of this article is true, Obama’s administration is closer to the hapless Jimmy Carter’s than even his most dogged antagonists have realized.


November 6th, 2010 at 4:10 pm
Reason TV Helps the Door Hit Keith Olbermann

The folks over at Reason.tv have a wicked sense of humor.  Their latest target is newly (and indefinitely) suspended pundit Keith Olbermann from MSNBC.  Apparently, all it took was $7,200 in near meaningless campaign donations to Democratic candidates to finally convince the network that Olbermann was too partisan to be on-air.

Here’s a sample of some his classic work:

November 5th, 2010 at 11:39 am
This Week’s Liberty Update
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Center For Individual Freedom - Liberty Update

This week’s edition of the Liberty Update, CFIF’s weekly e-newsletter, is out. Below is a summary of its contents:

Lee:  2012 May Be Even Brighter for Conservatives Than 2010
Senik:  Four Surprising Lessons from the Midterm Elections
Ellis:  Election Results for Candidates Profiled by CFIF
Release:  2010 Midterm Elections: Net Neutrality Winners and Losers

Freedom Minute Video:  The Way We Were: A Look Back at Liberal Rule, 2009-2010
Podcast:  International Author Shares Diary from World War II
Jester’s Courtroom:  How Not To Rob a Bank

Editorial Cartoons:  Latest Cartoons of Michael Ramirez
Quiz:  Question of the Week
Notable Quotes:  Quotes of the Week

If you are not already signed up to receive CFIF’s Liberty Update by e-mail, sign up here.

November 4th, 2010 at 10:29 pm
Newt Gingrich Leads the Charge out of the Midterm Elections
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Whether or not you think he’s a viable presidential candidate in 2012, there can be little doubt that — on his best days — former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is one of the most intelligent, articulate defenders of conservative thought around (full disclosure: I used to write radio spots for the Speaker). Last night Newt delivered a tour de force performance on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, analyzing the midterm elections and their effects on President Obama. Some video highlights can be seen below. Newt’s best line of the night, however, didn’t make it into the highlights reel. Scroll down beyond the video for the line that had the Fox camera crews cracking up on air:

VAN SUSTEREN: But I just don’t get it, I mean, because he did run on change. And he delivered change. And now the American people — and they told him almost from day one they didn’t like his change, and he didn’t even notice it, and he’s still (INAUDIBLE) and so now he comes (INAUDIBLE) today — I don’t get it!

GINGRICH: Greta, Greta, Greta, Greta, if somebody offers you a chance to go to Disney World and you get all excited, and they promise to take you to Disney World, and then they didn’t quite tell you that, by the way, the way they’re going to get there is they’re going to crash the plane into the park…(LAUGHTER)

GINGRICH: The fact that they were going to take you to Disney World may not have been quite as attractive as you thought. Nobody in America thought we were going to elect a president who would be this far to the left, pass this much spending, build up this big a deficit, try to impose Washington on every doctor’s office, every hospital, every medical decision in America. And the American people now said, Got it. If that’s the change you meant, we’re going to send you a signal that that’s the wrong change.It’s all right to be for change, but you ought to be for the right change, and he didn’t get. Now, what worries me is with two more years, I wonder what it’s going to take for him to begin to realize it’s not about us, the American people, it’s about him.

If ever anyone deserved the title “the speaker” … 

November 4th, 2010 at 6:16 pm
Another Encouraging Sign For Conservatives In 2012
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In this week’s Liberty Update commentary “2012 May Be Even Brighter for Conservatives Than 2010,” we note that there are reasons why 2012 might bring even more conservative change than this week’s results regardless of the political climate two years from now.  In the Senate, Democrats must defend 23 seats, many of those in red states like Montana, whereas Republicans need only defend 10 (most of which are in red states like Wyoming, Utah and Texas).  And in the House, post-census redistricting in states that elected Republican governors and legislatures this week may add even more seats to the 60+ they won two days ago.

Here’s another encouraging (and related) factor for conservatives.  The same post-census realignment that will facilitate more conservative wins in the House will also alter the Electoral College, thereby affecting the 2012 presidential race.  How significant that effect will be one cannot yet say, but every point will count if that White House contest is as close as two of the previous three have been.

November 2nd, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Beware Early Exit Polls

With Election Day turning into Election Night, early exit polls are being touted to proclaim winners and losers in a host of contests.  As we wait for the dust to settle the Washington Post has a terrific piece on why it’s better to wait awhile before declaring victory.

November 2nd, 2010 at 10:02 am
“Dewey Defeats Truman” – This Date in History Provides Cautionary Tale
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

By all accounts, American voters have regained sobriety and will deliver resounding victories for conservatives today.  This date in history, however, provides a cautionary tale for anyone even thinking of not voting because they assume that victory is in the bag.

Today in 1948, political pundits were so certain of a Thomas Dewey victory over Harry Truman that the Chicago Tribune prematurely published its infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline.  Need another cautionary tale?  How about the 2008 Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken?  There, Franken and his election attorneys somehow contorted an election night deficit into a narrow recount victory, possibly with the help of felon voters.  Nobody’s laughing now that the chronically unfunny Franken routinely makes a mockery of his Senate seat.

So don’t take anything for granted.  Too many people have fought and died to protect your right to affect this nation’s course, and too many people have worked too hard to provide alternatives to the bland “same ol’, same ol’” choice.  You don’t want to be kicking yourself tomorrow.

October 30th, 2010 at 3:03 pm
More Dem Opposition to Obama

After publishing today’s denunciation of President Barack Obama as the reincarnation of Richard Nixon, self-professed liberal Democrats Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen don’t need to guess if they’ll be getting a White House Christmas card this year.  The duo doesn’t break new ground with their criticisms of the president, but they do enlarge the chorus of commentators disturbed by Obama’s style.  From the section recounting Obama’s sins against campaign decorum:

Indeed, Obama is conducting himself in a way alarmingly reminiscent of Nixon’s role in the disastrous 1970 midterm campaign. No president has been so persistently personal in his attacks as Obama throughout the fall. He has regularly attacked his predecessor, the House minority leader and – directly from the stump – candidates running for offices below his own. He has criticized the American people suggesting that they are “reacting just to fear” and faulted his own base for “sitting on their hands complaining.”

Is it possible that the man who ran the longest presidential campaign in history is already looking to extend the record?  If so, 2012 can’t arrive soon enough.

October 30th, 2010 at 2:36 pm
Ever Heard of the American Constitution Party?

If former GOP House Rep. Tom Tancredo can overcome his current 5 point gap to become Colorado’s next governor, we’ll all need to brush up on the principles and policy preferences of his new political home: the American Constitution Party.

As would be imagined, the ACP is in-line with Tancredo’s stance on border security, and regulating the number of immigrants.  The party also seemingly provides a home for Christian libertarians.  If Tancredo pulls off the biggest surprise of the 2010 midterm elections it will be fascinating to see whether the ACP can get any of its platform through Colorado’s soon-to-be Republican legislature.

Oh, the sub-plots this election cycle!

October 30th, 2010 at 1:46 pm
Retiring Democratic Rep. Details Where Dems Went Wrong

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund, retiring Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) shares some thoughtful insights about what went wrong for Democrats the last two years.  From appallingly bad advice from so-called strategists (e.g. “voters don’t care about deficits”) to an “authoritarian” leadership that demanded blind loyalty from members, Baird’s interview could be read as a warning to the incoming Republican majority.  Common sense in rules and policy is a non-partisan winner.

Most revealing are the ideas Baird has for tackling entitlements:

In his new book, “Character, Politics and Responsibility,” Mr. Baird argues that in order to afford caring for the needy, liberals will have to challenge “unsustainable entitlements.” “I would eliminate the concept of entitlements and move to needs-based social insurance,” he says. “The key is to both promote personal responsibility while lowering expenditures by not promising or giving money or other benefits to those who don’t need it.”

Too bad Baird won’t be around to make that case inside Congress.

October 29th, 2010 at 3:18 pm
Net Neutrality: Leftist Website Desperately Attempts to Create False Consensus
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

A group calling itself the “Progressive Change Campaign Committee,” which sounds so 2008 and even employs the same font and shade of blue as Obama’s “Organizing for America” page, is attempting to portray a false consensus in favor of new federal Internet regulation.

The group trumpets its success in getting 95 Democratic House and Senate candidates to sign a pledge favoring Internet regulation via so-called “Net Neutrality.”  But notice an interesting thing about those 95 candidates.  Namely, not a single one is in a race labeled “Solid Democrat,” “Likely Democrat” or even “Lean Democrat” by the Cook Political Report.  Not one.  Of the 95, 79 are in races labeled “Solid Republican,” with 11 in either “Likely Republican” or “Lean Republican,” and only five in races even labeled “Toss Up” by Cook.

In other words, this pledge is a “Hail Mary” by desperate candidates and Internet regulation advocates.  It also reflects the fact that significant majorities of Americans surveyed oppose new Internet regulation by the federal government.  The last thing the Internet needs right now is for the federal government to turn it into the tech version of ObamaCare, and voters shouldn’t be deceived by this sort of silly season antic.