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Political Roundup for December 13, 2012

by: shamlet

Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:00:00 AM EST


We seem to be starting the great wind-down of political news before the holdiays.

Congress:

KY-Sen: We have our first McConnell D challenger, some dude Ed Marksberry, who took 32% of the vote against Brett Guthrie in KY-2 in 2010. Somehow I don't see him clearing the primary field.

MA-Sen: Brown says "We may obviously meet again" in his farewell speech to the Senate. This is a change in tone for him from his earlier statements which conveyed a thinly-veiled desire to get the heck out of DC.

IL-2: This race may be decided on Saturday as a cabal of insiders will try to unite behind a candidate for the special election. There is no guarantee they will reach a consensus, though, as the presumed front-runner, State Sen. Donne Trotter, was arrested for trying to bring a gun onto a plane.

CA-15: Democrats have their first confirmed target of 2014... and it's a fellow Democrat, Rep.-elect Eric Swalwell. State Sen. Ellen Corbett and mega-fundraising attorney Ro Khanna, who were preparing for an epic primary clash upon Pete Stark's expected 2014 retirment, don't seem to be shying away from taking on the congressman-elect who dared upset their plans by removing Stark involuntarily. Khanna doesn't rule it out, while Corbett is openly soliciting support.

GA-4: Honestly, I think Hank "Guam is going to tip over!" Johnson's case of foot-in-mouth disease might be the most serious of any member of Congress.

States:

IL-Gov: A laundry list of names, including outgoing Rep. Joe Walsh on the R side and John Atkinson, who ran an abortive IL-3 primary challenge to Lipinski last year, as a possible Quinn primary challenger. Interestingly, this article speculates Mike Madigan may be headed for the exits, a necessary prerequisite for a gubernatorial bid by Lisa.

WATN: Former D-turned-I MA Treasurer Tim Cahill had a mistrial declared in his corruption trial after 7 days of deliberations. Cahill was on trial for allegedly buying ads for the state lottery that were really designed to boost his gubernatorial campaign. AG Coakley has not decided if she will try Cahill again.

shamlet :: Political Roundup for December 13, 2012
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I can think of a current congressman with more serious foot-in-mouth disease
Of course this one won't be a Congressman come January.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

Johnson is terrible
I really do dislike politicians, like Johnson, who haven't got a single clue about science, but will spout whatever comes to the tops of their heads. Johnson is certainly not alone in this, but he is a major offender.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
I still think
mentioning abortion & rape in the same sentence is worse and two senate candidates did that this year. (At last one of them a sitting member of the house)

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
Morning Thoughts
MA-Sen: He's just holding each door open with a well-placed foot.

CA-15: Pols don't like to have their plans interrupted. I expect Swalwell to crush them. He's a giant-killer.

IL-Gov:Joe Walsh, please don't run. Also, I still don't understand why Lisa can't be Governor while Mike is Speaker (though I'm happy that she's kept out).

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)


IL-Gov
She can. I think a lot of pundits on the right see her reticence as weakness or protecting her father from a potential future corruption probe, given her position as the state's top prosecutor. If there was evidence of corruption in her dad's part, she would be forced to refuse herself from the investigation anyways, so this line of attack is rather moot anyways. I personally just see her as an incredibly cautious, much like Capito in WV, where she sits on the sidelines in seemingly obvious advancement situations.

In fairness to Attorney General Madigan, the main two pieces of evidence against her are easily explained away. Passing in Governor in 2010, where she would have had to primary a sitting governor. If you primary a sitting governor and lose, your political career is certainly over. The other was Senate in 2010, this one was a case where she didn't want to face a primary against a fellow statewide elected official, just to face the only Republican capable of winning statewide in Illinois in the general election. I don't really blame her for passing on these two races.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.


[ Parent ]
Kirk only ran
when Lisa passed, remember. He announced something like a week after she declined. She would've had a cakewalk for the Senate seat, even in 2010... and there was no way Quinn, who was only popular for a few minutes in 2009 by not being Blago, would've ever beaten her in the primary. Hynes was too unknown and too uninspiring to pull it off but Lisa would've thumped him.

R, WV-1

[ Parent ]
If Lisa is as cautious as some suggest
Wouldn't she wait for her father to move on? I can only imagine his continued presence as Speaker could only harm her chances at winning higher office, particularly the Governor's Mansion. It was my understanding he is not particularly well-liked, and many would feel uneasy with 2/3 of the state government run by Madigans.

Baker '14
R, MA-3


[ Parent ]
CA-15
So Stark still didn't call to concede. In the article.

Stark's 48% make it clear that an overwhelming majority of Democrats voted for him. Shame.  

25, Male, R, NY-10


GA-4 favorite comment
So if all the Marines stationed in Guam were midgets, would there be a lessor chance of Guam cap sizing and tipping over?

By the way, putting partisanship aside, nothing wrong with the rhetoric.  

25, Male, R, NY-10


Obama pollster: GOP has a tolerance problem
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/P...

I tend to think both parties suffer from this, but I think the Republicans get defined more into a corner on it than the Democrats.

28, Republican, PA-6


Both parties do
Both parties tend to have an issue area where they believe they are on the side of the angels, and there are not rational arguments other than self-interested greed against them. In these areas they tend to practice a sort of ratchet politics, effectively attempting to pass legislation that structurally will never be reversed.

Where the parties differ is where they are fanatical. For tall the talk about socialism, the Democrats are genuinely fanatical on social issues, while the Republicans are on economic. In our society, this makes the Republicans look a whole lot meaner than Democrats, since whether ratcheting Gay Marriage is anyway aggressive is in the eyes of the beholder.

The other problem is how the GOP defines economic conservatism. Under Bush, Fiscal Conservatism become synonymous not with creating new wealth so much as protecting the economic privileges of an increasingly cranky baby boomer generation. In fact, on closer examination this has always been a problem with Republican economic policy to an extent, but in the 1980s Baby Boomers were younger and actually more economically mobile. In any event, the result is that any message about the deficit or long-term changes Ryan wanted to run on was undermined by the visual impression that the Republican ticket was that of 50+somethings  wanting to "take the country back" and "restore it to its rightful owners" with that aimed at everyone. Even Ryan, who should have been appealing to younger voters, became "Grandma's favorite grandson" basically not the ideal of what 25 year olds wanted to be when they were 45, but rather what older voters wished their son was.

I think any racial component of this process was actually quite incidental, and due to the predominant age group. Boomers are not per se racist. They did support Civil Rights. But they didn't grow up interacting with more than a token or two members of another race or background, and therefore tend not to no them. They will welcome token representatives who fill the Ryan role - ideal example - hence Allen West/Tim Scott, but they are prone to seeing nonwhites as a group as a bit of an other. And the idea of sharing political power, rather than using their own to help the less fortunate, seems "wrong".

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Wrong
I have not encountered many young people who view Republican economic policy is extreme.  The people I hear call Republicans extreme rarely mention Republican economic policy.  It is almost always mention Republican social policy.  Older people I encounter typically mention Republican economic policy as being extreme.  If anything, I get the feeling many think Republican economic policy is kind of wishy washy.

In addition, I have not encountered any babyboomers with the racial mentality you are expressing.  They have always been concerned with protecting their own interests whether they are on the right or the left.  The Democratic manifestation of this is unlimited public sector benefits at the expense of younger government employees.  It is pure greed that drives the baby boomers on the right and left.  The west will be a better place once they are out of power.

28, Republican, PA-6


[ Parent ]
Yeah
I'm obviously in a bit of a progressive bubble to say the least (grew up in a D+12 or so Bay Area suburb, now I go to Berkeley), but it's always GOP social issues people think are extreme.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
Maybe it's just where I'm from . . .
But "Republican economic policy is extreme" is considered to be a given fact among the political left and much of what counts as the "Center" here.  Though admittedly, it does come more from the elderly (Who remember Barry Goldwater as well as Ronald Reagan) than the young.  That might only be because younger people are far more likely to see the Republicans as socially extreme (partial-birth abortions would probably get 50% of the vote here).

Though yeah, the Baby Boomers really are the base cause of alot of America's structural problems, mostly because they were the first major demographic to be aggressively pandered to, as an age demographic.  Even my fairly liberal Baby Boomer parents agree that their generation screwed everything up for the subsequent ones.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-14

Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
On Long Island
It's certainly Social issues that people I talk to think the GOP is extreme on if anything.

32/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Admittedly
The Bay Area and Long Island are both relatively wealthy suburban areas.  It's certainly possible that people from Washington County PA view the GOP as extreme on fiscal issues rather than social ones, just due to cultural differences and existing biases.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-14

Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
It's Not "Extreme"
Its more that they view the party as generally being about "entitlement". I think the economic policies, rather than being extreme are arguably not extreme enough. A real free-market based policy position would have some appeal. Instead, the GOP's efforts to brand itself as that with Paul Ryan's selection were undermined by the need to pander to boomer entitlement syndrome.

The same thing happened to McCain. Both McCain and Romney had interesting things to see in June. By the last two weeks, both were holding rallies of entitled 50 and 60 something boomers and using phrases like taking the country back, and any sort of ideological content within economic policy had been buried by a more direct promise to transfer power from one group of "entitled"(ie. welfare lovers, young perpetual students, implied minorities) to another(aging boomers). Once Republican economic policy stopped being about reform and became just as much about redistribution, but different redistribution, it rapidly polarized voters along the lines of who would win-lose in each side's redistribution.

My argument is not that GOP fiscal views were seen as extreme. Rather that there has been a tendency in both 2008 and 2012 for them to become sectarian, and that this sectarianism means that a number of groups have a vested incentive not to vote for the party because they are being directly targeted.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Cahill
Is Treasurer the office the leads to the most statewide officials going to jail?  I would guess so.  We have not had one go to jail recently in Pennsylvania, but we did have one kill himself on TV to avoid jail time.

28, Republican, PA-6

I agree with a lot that is written here
RTW effect on unions.
http://www.theatlantic.com/bus...

25, Male, R, NY-10

Agree as well
The most troubling thing for unions is how the supposedly left-wing youth are the most anti-union demographic.  Unions more or less protect entrenched interest and throw the young to the wolves.  So many young teachers who are far more effective than their older counterparts were laid off because of union rules.  For some reason the Republicans refuse to exploit this issue.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
I didn't know
that unions were required to negotiate for everyone in the workforce. I don't like that. I actually don't know that I support RTW anymore. It doesn't seem fair that some workers should get something for nothing. I think the fairest thing would be not to make people join unions but also not to make unions negotiate for everyone.

[ Parent ]
It's not that straight forward
Research it.

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
It's confusing
A number of websites, including Wikipedia, appear to indicate you do.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

NRO claims you don't.
http://www.nationalreview.com/...

I imagine that most conservatives and libertarians don't think a union should be required to provide anything to people that don't pay them. If there's a benefit to being in a union, only union members should get that. Thus, if non-members aren't getting as much, they can see they should be in a union.

Of course there are pratfalls for this. If a company can hire non-union for less money, they may do so. If non-union people are more likely to get hired, then why join the union? Sure, you may get less but if you don't get a job, you have nothing. If the skilled people join the union, then there'd be a benefit for the company to hire union members. Unions claim their workers are more skilled and more productive.

I can see why it benefits a union to be "exclusive bargaining representatives." If they know that they'll have to take free riders to be exclusive that's their problem.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
Those don't contradict each other
Unions have the right to sign non-exclusive contracts, but they rarely do so. When they sign exclusive contracts, meaning no other union or labor representative can negotiate with management, they have to negotiate fairly for all employees, whether or not the employees are members of the union. I think that's fair, and I can still support RTW.  

[ Parent ]
I think this is a real burden to manage
People talk, salaries are discussed. Having two tiers of salary is very hard to pull of and maintain a functional work environment.

I mean people's salary naturally diverge with performance and tenure, but I know for my team we start everyone at the same level for equal positions. It causes problems otherwise.


An anti-public union, market-loving moderate.


[ Parent ]
Salaries for same positions
I've worked in advertising for a long time and this has never been a concern for any company I've worked for. People have always had different salaries based on whether they were promoted internally or hired from the outside, if they were hired in a period of high demand or low demand. and if they get an outside offer and the company wants to match. I'm not aware anyone was very concerned that someone else doing the same job was making more.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
The answer is it depends on where
Most RTW work laws however, are opposed on the left because they are seen as a tax on Union membership by creating a free-rider problem. This is one of those places however where the simper functioning of the market make an ideal situation impossible. Basically there is no way to have a functioning system of Unions representing only part of the work-force, and if they represent all of it, yet payments are voluntary, some asshole is going to insist on being a freerider. On the other-hand, if Unions are allowed to collect dues from everyone, the small minority of people who genuinely object will be denied freedom of association.

It really comes down to who do you think there are more of - free-riders or convinced libertarians. Liberals tend to think the latter don't really exist in unionized workplaces - that every worker who objects to union membership or supports RTW is a greedy free-rider for whom no sympathy is deserved. They tend to think non-union supporters of RUTW either have an ideological agenda of crushing unions and reducing America to a serfdom, a greedy one of exploiting workers, or a political one of undermining the political power of the Democratic party.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Unions and politics
I disagree that that the system can't work with unions representing only part of the workforce since that's what exists now in many businesses.

In entertainment the most skilled people are members of guilds. Some of the guilds have closed shop agreements with producers, with varying rules on who you can hire that's not a member. The guilds don't take people off the street. In order to become a member you have to work a certain number of days and you can only get that on productions. When making a film you have a choice. If you decide to get the best people you have to abide by union rules. If you don't want to go union, your cast and crew may be less skilled.

Liberals will always assign the most sinister of motives to their opponents. What their motives are shouldn't make a difference. Romney got 40% of union households. Of course I doubt all 40% are evil geniuses who want to reduce America to serfdom while greedily exploiting workers. They just disagree.

Now they may want to undermine the political power of the Democratic party, but isn't that what all Republicans want to do? Unions want to deny that any of their members aren't strong advocates of the Democratic party. Yet they still throw all their support behind Democrats and are shocked when members object.

In 2008 I met several teachers who told me that their union had decided to put its money and effort out to oppose Prop. 8. While they were Republicans they didn't object to the union spending money on things they perceived as liberal if they benefitted teachers. They wanted to know what Prop. 8 had to do with teachers' interests. They were told that the board felt that it was their responsibility to help their allies in progressive causes. Clearly they were angry.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
Exactly
Unions are like every other institution in American society, dominated by the baby boomers.  This leads unions to oppose anything that undermines the babyboomers including merit based layoffs, loosening tenure, pension reform, and changes in work rules.   Unions protect established workers not workers in general any longer.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
Yes, the Free Rider situation is very problematic.
+1

An anti-public union, market-loving moderate.

[ Parent ]
Third category
Workers who dislike union rules.  For instance, at many union shops it is illegal for the management to give out bonuses for good performance.  Workers who are more productive aren't allowed to collect on their good work if they are part of the union.  One doesn't have to be a die-hard libertarian to object to that.  

The free-rider "problem" stems from the fact that the NLRA requires that if a majority of workers votes to unionize, then everyone has to be subject to the same rules, whether they are union supporters or not.  So this problem is one of labor's own devising.  


[ Parent ]
It was also brought in
To prevent the situation where companies attempt to reduce Union support by offering lower salaries in bad economic times to non-union applicants.

Basically, the current existence of Unions is the result of a legal compromise which effectively institutionalized the banning of "Scabs". In the 1880s, Unions only became viable not because they organized or went on strike, but because they physically sent to the hospital anyone who tried to work while on strike. This was because owners could always, if worst came to worst, find someone to do awful jobs under awful conditions, or import foreign workers.

Conservatives today look at these compromises and see them as immoral. But all compromises are. I think there is value in having a balance between management and workers, and if that means restricting the ability of management to hire whoever they chose at whatever wage they want, that is something that is needed. Especially because I am sure people here would not favor GM being able to import 40,000 Nigerians at minimum wage.

I say this as someone currently being screwed by similar visa rules in another country, so having a vested interest in free movement of labor. But really this is not an abstract issue. People here were mocking the violence and threats earlier this week. But people's livlihoods are at stake in these issues, and it is not somehow horrifying or wrong for people to become extreme or even violence in defense of them. I am not someone who believes that violent resistance to bad governments is wrong in all cases. If governments lose legitimacy, either because they represent only one racial group(South Africa under Apartheid) or one interest group, I do not see how it is possible to condemn people for resisting. Hence why I can personally understand individual Palestinian resentment of ISrael while also realizing that as a whole groups like Hamas are an extension of Iran, not legitimate(and they are legitimate) Palestinian grievances.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Some interesting numbers from Israel
Recent polls show that the same thing that happened in the US where liberals prefer to describe themselves as moderates happens in Israel as well. A poll showed 20% of Israelis consider themselves Right wing, 26% moderate Right, 26% centrists, 12% moderate Left and 7% Left. Without undecided the breakdown is 21%:28%:50%, we see that most "centrists" vote for Left wing parties. Meanwhile, Netanyahu is on his way to get reelected, the only question is what the coalition would look like.

Also, today the AG has announced the closure of the main corruption case against Avigdor Lieberman but charged him with a smaller case which means he could stay in politics but would still face the court and heat from the press.


Could you
explain the circumstances that led to Labour replacing Kadima as the party of the center-left in Israel?

From researching online I can't find much information. Most likely I would assume it has to do with Mofaz becoming leader, particularly since Livni's splinter group polls so well, but the party seemed to hold up fine in the polls for some time after he was leader before swiftly collapsing several months later.

The other correlation seems to be their brief participation in government in May and June, since they first fell below 10 projected seats during that period and were very low by the time of their leaving, briefly recovered after leaving government, but then continued to decline. I don't know to what extent that's related though, or why.

(-9.38, -7.49), libertarian socialist, KY 01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."


-- Stanisław Lem


[ Parent ]
Several things caused it
The major tumble to about a dozen seats came during Livni's tenure. She was a disaster at controlling her party, Constant infighting, attempts to split and join Likud and her absolute failure as opposition leader.
Then Mofaz crushed her in the primaries. They aren't normal primaries. You have to pay dues to participate and it's run exclusively by local machines. The machines (mostly Arab villages) flipped to Mofaz. These people don't even vote for Kadima in the general election. Then it was unchanged. Then Mofaz tried his futile brief coalition entry to save his party from an early election that was going to erase 2/3 of his party and it hurt him a lot. He lost any leftist credibility.
Then Lapid opened a party which took away a lot of his voters.
The thing that made Labor gain from their votes as well was Yachimovitch winning the Labor primaries. She's an incompetent nothing. She was a radio host. But she's clean nonetheless and it helped that she took the original and traditional leftist voters.
Then Livni opened her own party and caused another shift within the leftist voters, hurting Lapid, taking some from Labor and nothing was left from Kadima at that point. Even before her announcement. Kadima is struggling at the elctoral threshold at the moment.

Too much and complicated info? I know.

25, Male, R, NY-10


[ Parent ]
No, you both did an excellent job explaining, thank you.
So, as I understand it, joining the government cost Kadima credibility with center-left voters, and the voters who supported the government were already happy supporting the parties that had already been in government, leading to Kadima's first big drop in support. Kadima left the government to attempt to regain its center-left voters, but the remaining centrist and center-right voters wanted to stay in government and the center-left voters wouldn't trust them anymore, so they ended up being mistrusted by everybody.

So, extrapolating from what you and ThomasD have told me, would it be correct to assume that Yesh Atid, where Kadima's government-supporting centrist voters seem to have gone, wants to work with PM Netanyahu after the election?

(-9.38, -7.49), libertarian socialist, KY 01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."


-- Stanisław Lem


[ Parent ]
It does, Lapid has already announced he wants to enter
the third Netanyahu government (1996-1999 was the first, 2009-2013 the second).

[ Parent ]
No
The first big drop happened because of Livni's incompetence and massive unpopularity. She's a caricature of an empty suit (skirt) egomaniac. That is when 2/3 of the 28 seats evaporated in the polls. Kadima was in opposition from day one. Only joined for a few months 3 years in. They entered the government to gain time. Didn't work. Only worsened their already bad situation.

And yes, Mofaz is a joke, mistrusted by every person in Israel. Yes, he was once chief of general staff. Then, Hasheten ala lo larosh. ThomasD, maybe you can translate that.

25, Male, R, NY-10


[ Parent ]
Your English is better than mine
and some phrases should be left untouched and untranslated.

[ Parent ]
Well, there are several reasons
the first big drop was during Livny's time as Kadima has been a very weak opposition to the government. Kadima was designed to be a government party in a 1 party system with 40-50 seats, sitting in the centre of the political arena. That plan has gone off script when Sharon had a stroke and was replaced with Olmert who was not really popular and has gone to the deep Left as PM.

He was replaced with Livny that decided the concentrate her 2009 campaign on turning to the Left base and drain Meretz and Labour out of voters, officially becoming the main party in the Left. In 2009 Kadima was for the first time in the opposition and their members were not happy about it, a lot of them wanted to join and during that time Livny has been a weak leader of both the party and the opposition (making a lot of enemies). Also Mofaz was second in Kadima's list in 2009 after barely losing to Livny in the primary by 400 votes in an election with a lot of fraud charges so the whole time she was leader he fought her and looked to replace her.

Kadima's force eroded in the opposition, when Barak has left Labour and was replaced by the more popular Yechimovich, Livny was still leader and Kadima had 8-12 seats in the polls (down from 28 in the 2009 elections). Then Mofaz won the primary by a blowout (62-38) even though he's less popular in the public then Livny and she left the party altogether. In May Mofaz lost his credibility once and for all as he entered the coalition (after calling Netenyahu a liar just months earlier, harsh words even in Israeli politics, and also said he wouldn't enter the coalition beforehand) to avoid the public verdict (had he not entered the elections would've been held in September) in a move all have criticized. 2 Months later He got out of the coalition but the damage has been done (not to mention his erratic behaviour didn't do him any good). Today most polls show Kadima not passing the threshold, some give it 2-4 seats, barely passing. Also Yachimovich has done most things right, avoiding foreign policy debates whilst claiming "Labour has always been a centrist party" and running on a social-democratic ticket and not a peace ticket no one's gonna buy.


[ Parent ]
2 more things
Lapid's entry has erased most of Kadima's voters and by the time Livny entered herself with her own party Kadima as already on the ropes. When Livny entered she didn't took votes from Kadima (there wasn't any) mainly from Lapid and Labout in about 2/1 ratio (two thirds from Lapid, one from Labour).

[ Parent ]
Basically,
Kadima was a collection of opportunists collected from a wide range of parties with opposite ideologies. It disintegrated when it's raison d'etre disappeared on the boring benches of the opposition.
The coalition in Israel was very unified which means that being in the opposition was a boring, boring thing. No power on anything. Not even filibusters that you have here. Zero.

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
And when you add the infighting
and the rise of Labour you get to the poing where a party can lose 28/28 seats in 4 years.

[ Parent ]
Thank you very much.
If I can ask another question, where has Livni positioned her new party politically? It seems she was the one who positioned Kadima on the center-left, but glancing at polling data, it seems Yesh Atid has suffered more from her new party than Labour.  

(-9.38, -7.49), libertarian socialist, KY 01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."


-- Stanisław Lem


[ Parent ]
Livni
Is now viewed as left, not center-left. Some of Lapid's supporters were left as well but didn't like the uber-socialist (not just a slur, a proud fact) Labor. Those went to Livni afterwards. Lapid is a bigger empty suit. He basically is a good-looking TV show host and the son of a famous/infamous late Israeli politician.

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Also
Livni is acting as if she's further left than labor on security issues which Yachimovitch is ignoring so to not hurt her with center-right (security) socialists that support Labor. So leftists (security) are supporting her.

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
This shows
how bad and confusing much international reporting on Israel is; I've seen HaTnuah described as a "centrist" party, but clearly in the context of Israeli politics it's one of the most left-wing!

Thank you to you and ThomasD for taking the time to help me learn about the Israeli political scene today.

(-9.38, -7.49), libertarian socialist, KY 01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."


-- Stanisław Lem


[ Parent ]
She's considered left-wing
Not most left-wing. Of course, she presents herself as centrist and the media buys it. She's not very leftist, just enough leftist for Israeli standards. Real leftist (far-left) is Meretz which has 3 seats.

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
The real problem for Smith is not a Dem primary
but an indictment. Now that he's cross the Dem party establishment watch for the legal knives to come after him. That's what happened to Espada & Monseratte. Once they left the safety of the Dem party there is no incentive to protect them legally. I'd be shocked it Smith makes it to a primary without some kind of indictment brought against him.

[ Parent ]
New York CDs
New York numbers aren't broken down by district yet, but I did some back of the envelope estimates based on the county vote. I'm sure it'll vary with some districts, but it'll give a good idea.

NY-27: Romney 57.0%-41.2%, Collins 50.8%-49.2%
This looks a bit high and my formula probably overestimates Romney in Erie County. I think it'll come in around Romney 55-56%. Still, Romney really cleaned up here. There's no reason that Collins can't hold this district for the next decade.

NY-25: Obama 58.6%-39.5%, Slaughter 57.4%-42.6%
It was wishful thinking that Brooks could win this.

NY-24: Obama 57.3%-40.8%, Maffei 48.9%-43.4%
This district is mostly Onondaga county and Obama nearly hit 60% there. I know some people think Buerkle was an underachiever, but Republicans don't win districts like this.

NY-23: Romney 50.1%-47.9%, Reed 51.9%-48.1%
If you want an underachiever, you have one here. Reed wasn't seriously challenged and his district is around R+3.

NY-22: Obama 49.2%-48.8%, Hanna 60.0%-40.0%
I know Democrats didn't mount a major challenge to Richard Hanna, but his win was impressive.

NY-21: Obama 51.4%-46.9%, Owens 50.2%-48.2%
It's a swing district, so eventually a Republican will beat Bill Owens.

NY-19: Obama 51.4%-46.7%, Gibson 53.5%-46.5%
My numbers are estimated, so this district might not end up so similar to NY-21, but a 7 point win here is an achievement.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


NY-21
NY-21: Obama 51.4%-46.9%, Owens 50.2%-48.2%
It's a swing district, so eventually a Republican will beat Bill Owens.

Tell that to Randy Altschuler. I think there's a good chance we beat Owens in a midterm, but it's rather ridiculous to assume that we'll surely beat Bill Owens some day.

From the old IL-10/new IL-09, living in PA-07
The GOP's roadmap to restored relevance: more Steve Litzows and fewer Steve Kings


[ Parent ]
Clarification
I'm equating NY-01 to NY-21 in saying that Democrats can, in fact, survive in swing districts.

From the old IL-10/new IL-09, living in PA-07
The GOP's roadmap to restored relevance: more Steve Litzows and fewer Steve Kings


[ Parent ]
What makes Gibson's win impressive
Was that 60% of NY19 was new terrain to him.
Reed's tepid performance might be due to new terrain too, but I think Ithaca is going always be a floor for future Ds
We aren't winning NY24 or NY25 unless Obama gets less popular in the upstate metro areas; Romney for some reason was a huge underperformer there  

[ Parent ]
NY-19
I find it hard to believe that Obama underperformed by that much here. Obama got 54% in 2008.

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
NY-19
In 2008 Obama won 52.9%-45.3%. It was D+0.2. These numbers are D+0.6. The district could certainly be more Obama. Gibson's splits two counties with Tonko and I could've given Tonko too many Obama votes. Since Gibson did so well, however, I doubt it moved too far to the left.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
GA-4
Well, he's still a major improvement over the previous person who held that seat.  Just to give you an idea of how "unlucky" Dekalb county's been with its congressmen.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-14

Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


Lucky ITO
They keep on voting for them. Same with IL-2.

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Denise Majette
actually seemed to be pretty good in comparison to McKinney and Johnson, but she gave up the seat in a completely unwinnable race against Johnny Isakson.

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
Chuck Hagel Secretary of Defense
According to bloomberg.

25, Male, R, NY-10

Excellent Choice
I'm a big Hagel fan.

32/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Not sure how I feel about that
nice for my state to have such a high-ranking cabinet member, but obviously I don't care much for him. Since a nominee's home state Senators usually play a big role in introducing the nominee to the relevant committee(not that he needs any introduction), it's going to be a little awkward considering his recent political moves.

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
Can't they just get Nelson to do it?
He's still a Senator till January after all.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-14

Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
The confirmation hearings won't be until the next Congress
Even if Obama did try to get Hagel confirmed now, it would never happen because of the fiscal cliff. Given the tone of GBRS' comment, I'm guessing relations between Johanns and Hagel are frosty, and Fischer will be too new to advocate on someone's behalf.

[ Parent ]
I think the awkward part is because
Hagel endorsed Kerrey, not Fischer.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
happens all the time
And it's never that awkward.  Whitman and Torricelli were obviously on opposite ends of everything, and he gave a very nice, polite, warm introduction for her when she was headed to EPA.

[ Parent ]
but they were in opposite parties
I think it's more awkward that Hagel pointedly endorsed a Democrat over Fischer.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
That's basically my point
The fact that Hagel is(or was) a Republican makes it all the more awkward since he endorsed Kerrey over Fischer and never publicly endorsed Johanns to succeed him either.

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
Has the potential to be interesting
I'm not a fan of politicizing appointments, so IMO it should go through, but at least there might be some entertainment value from it.  

Libertarian-R New MA-5.  

[ Parent ]
Meaning Kerry for State, probably
Back in the day, I was often irked by Hagel's rhetoric on the Bush administration's foreign policy but, at this point, I can't say he's that bad a pick. I never thought Obama would consider a hawk, anyway.

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
Chuck Hagel to be SecDef
NT.

27, R, PA-07.

Mississippi state Rep. switches to GOP
Jason White of West, MS(Holmes County). Republicans now have a 65-57 majority in the MS House.  

42, R, NE-1.

Do you have
His background? District background? 2007, 2011 results?  

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Thanks!
I like such articles. All in one!

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
First elected in 2011
No Republican opponent in general. His district is being combined with another(which currently has a Democrat who won narrowly in 2011) for 2015 elections.

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
Above article
New district is dark red.

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
He was probably going to go down in flames in 2015.
His district went from R+low to R+20ish, and it's in a rural but non-Yellow Dog area. I believe that my redistricting series had it rated Lean R (my rating, not Grady's). I'll probably finish that series over Christmas Break.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Second-safest Gov in America IMO
after Matt Mead. Yes, even beating Cuomo.

R, WV-1

[ Parent ]
Why ahead of Cuomo?
Democrats have won statewide in TN (06) more recently than Republicans in NY (02) and Cuomo has higher approvals If I remember correctly.

Both TN Dems and NY Republicans are in disarray as far as producing statewide electable candidates.

32/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat


[ Parent ]
Cuomo could lose a primary
and TN hasn't had a governor defeated (or even seriously challenged) for re-election since they started allowing governors to run for 2 4-year terms.

Any Democrat who could win should wait until 2018.

R, WV-1


[ Parent ]
minor exception in TN for when the current governor is a crook
Ray Blanton

And even after he lost to add insult to injury he was ousted three days before normal inauguration day.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.


[ Parent ]
Credit Johnny Mac?
NBC reporting that Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration for Secretary of State.

25, Male, R, NY-10

McCain's job
Obama statement says Rice will continue to serve as U.N. ambassador.

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Philly to close 1 out of every 6 schools
http://www.philly.com/philly/e...

28, Republican, PA-6

You're missing an "L" at the endof the link
Here's the fixed one:

http://www.philly.com/philly/e...

But yeah, this is to be expected.  There's just not that many kids living in big cities anymore, because of how bad their education systems are.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-14

Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
Twitterverse thinks Kerry gets SoS
Scott Brown may run
http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2...

Bill Weld might too
http://bostonglobe.com/opinion...

Joseph Kennedy won't
http://www.thesunchronicle.com...

He could've conceivably started his campaign before assuming office.


R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


At 32, JKIII probably think it's better succeed Warren.
I don't think I quite realize how young he is. Warren is 63, so even if she's a lifer in the Senate JKIII should still be young enough to comfortably succeed her (as he will almost definitely be younger than she is now.) If she runs for President in 2016, it will just speed up the process.

As it is now, despite his last name and copious fundraising ability, there's no reason to get involved in a messy -- and potentially damaging (especially if he loses, which would be a real possibility) -- primary with one or more statewide officials or other congressmen, who will no doubt have more established political bases and machines.

Besides, voters just don't like job hoppers. Even if he has ambition for higher office, it makes more sense to wait.

(-9.38, -7.49), libertarian socialist, KY 01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."


-- Stanisław Lem


[ Parent ]
*thinks


(-9.38, -7.49), libertarian socialist, KY 01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."


-- Stanisław Lem


[ Parent ]
Larry Sabato's very long list
http://www.centerforpolitics.o...

Larry Sabato has a laundry list of reps who could be vulnerable in 2014, over 30 in each party. There are some definite targets there, but others are in D/R +4-5 districts and sailed to re-election in 2012. Certainly some could be in danger if conditions change or the seat becomes open, but that scenario could apply to seats that aren't on the list.

This year there were 48 races where an incumbent ran and the race was decided by 10 points or less. That's a pretty big spread for saying a race is competitive and some of those races were competitive because the incumbent was put into a seat that favored the other party. They likely won't be competitive again.

The field may favor Republicans, since the out party is usually favored in mid-terms, but it's too early to know that.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


MI-1, MI-3, MI-11
Benishek will always have a tough district.

Amash beat the best candidate for the dems.

Bentivolio's trouble will probably be in a primary.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  


[ Parent ]
I'm not entirely sure about MI-1
Benishek just won against one of the Democrat's better recruits in a pretty good Democratic year, and will now have two terms of seniority under his belt in a district that values that.  I honestly think he'll wind up in the "Safe unless Wave" category, particularly since he's shown to be a pretty good incumbent.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-14

Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"


[ Parent ]
Agreed
Gary McDowell was the right kind of Democrat to win the district. He's lost twice, so it's probably unlikely he comes back for another try and if he can't win it, there may not be anybody else who has a better chance except in a wave. I don't know that Benishek can be considered truly safe even outside of wave, but I think he's pretty close to it.

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
Dems have a good bench there
McDowell was a good candidate and it was a good dem year - but not in MI-1. Romney did very well up north.

If Benishek has a top dog constituent service record like Stupak's reputation was, he'll eventually be safe, but that takes time to develop.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  


[ Parent ]
TN 4
Only on the list since Sabato is also including incumbents vulnerable in a primary.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
GA-Sen; A sign that Handel is running?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...


29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

AR-Gov; McDaniel internal has him up big in primary, but vulnerable in general
http://talkbusiness.net/2012/1...

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

Yes, all about name recognition


[ Parent ]
Ugh
http://www.nationalreview.com/...

If anyone wants to know why it is hard to recruit blacks, look no further.

28, Republican, PA-6


WTF
Huh? He's trying to find a problem with RGIII?

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
I Googled
I'd never heard of Parker but apparently he's an embarrassment.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/b...

ESPN said, his comments "were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps." He's even making Stephen A. Smith uncomfortable.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/...

Robert Littal of Black Sports Online isn't a fan.

http://blacksportsonline.com/h...

Would 1st take talk about Andrew Luck's whiteness if he voted for Obama?

I'd like to think that RGIII isn't losing fans if he voted for Romney.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
This doesn't surprise me at all
I remember Rob Parker when he wrote for the Detroit News.  Parker has been obsessed with race for a long time.  One topic he constantly brought up was the number of blacks in sports journalism and how companies have a duty to increase that number regardless of their qualifications.  He got in big trouble with the paper in 2008 for reporting that MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins got into some fight around campus.  The Cousins family proved he wasn't even there at the time of this alleged fight.  Shortly after the false Cousins report he got fired from the Detroit News for asking then Detroit Lions head coach Rod Marinelli at a press conference if he wished he regreted who his son-in-law was.

The fact that Parker has appeared so much on ESPN after his embarassing time in Detroit is proof that affirmative action is alive and well.

Republican in deep blue MI-14


[ Parent ]
Random Though - Griffin for Congress '22?
If he is a Republican, he could head back to Texas as home area of Killeen-Temple could very well get a new seat come 2022 from the tails of TX-17/25/31.

R, WV-1

[ Parent ]
*Sigh*
You've mentioned before that you're anything but a sports fan, so I'll cut you some slack. RGIII will be 32 then, well within the prime years of his playing career.
To put that into perspective, Tom Brady's 35, Peyton Manning's 36, and Brett Favre was an exceptional quarterback well into his upper 30s.

From the old IL-10/new IL-09, living in PA-07
The GOP's roadmap to restored relevance: more Steve Litzows and fewer Steve Kings


[ Parent ]
to be fair
You picked 3 of the biggest QB superstars in the last 20 years.  RGIII is having a great year and could become one of them, but he also could get injured and/or retire before 30, like many first rounders.  

I'd mention that the sighing is a little condescendingly annoying to read as well, but I wouldn't deny you the right to represent yourself publicly any way you choose.


[ Parent ]
OTOH
Heath Shuler had a brief Redskins career before entering politics :)

[ Parent ]
Heath Shuler
Heath Shuler would have lost to Charles Taylor without Taylor's significant ethics issues.

Additionally, Shuler's NC-11 wasn't exactly a district with a deep Democratic bench, other than the bold progressives(!1!1!) in Buncombe County who were a bad fit for NC-11 as a whole.

The nomination was basically his for the taking since he was in the minority party in the seat, and he subsequently rode to narrow victory in the general election against a weakened incumbent in Charles Taylor in a good year.

This speculation is ridiculous, of course, but I suppose RGIII could win a primary as the Waco candidate in a Waco/Killeen based seat, but it'd have to have Waco in it.

From the old IL-10/new IL-09, living in PA-07
The GOP's roadmap to restored relevance: more Steve Litzows and fewer Steve Kings


[ Parent ]
He's from Copperas Cove
at the west end of Temple/Killeen.

R, WV-1

[ Parent ]
Sorry, not the west end of the metro
but a suburb of Killeen nonetheless. I legitimately always get Copperas Cove mixed up with Lampasas.

R, WV-1

[ Parent ]
Some problems
There are a few problems with that idea.

1) Pretty much no-one in Texas is a Baylor fan unless they went to Baylor. As far as college teams go, most are either a fan of the Aggies or the Longhorns.

2) That part of the state is outside of Houston, which means it overwhelmingly favors the Cowboys as its NFL team of choice. Since you're not a sports fan, I won't blame you for not knowing that all teams in the NFC East (which includes both the Cowboys and the Redskins) hate each-other, so they may not like the idea of voting for someone who played (potentially) his entire career with the Redskins.

3) Waco is still likely to be in TX-17 come 2022, as my end of the district, while a high growth area, will not grow enough to be part of a district that is suburban on balance without McLennan County.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17


[ Parent ]
Heh
If Waco and College Station are still in TX-17 in 2032, imagine a Johnny Manziel v. RGIII open seat GOP primary after both of them have (hopefully) completed wildly successful NFL careers.

From the old IL-10/new IL-09, living in PA-07
The GOP's roadmap to restored relevance: more Steve Litzows and fewer Steve Kings


[ Parent ]
As a Giants fan I would support Griffin for Congress '14
Heck I would even be happy if Obama named him Sec of State or if Haley picked him as Sen from SC! Anything to get him off the Redskins!

[ Parent ]
Tom Brady for US Senate
Heh.

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Rob Parker is a joke
While I agree that it is hard to recruit blacks due to tribalism factors, Rob Parker isn't the barometer. Every black person I know - including democrats - think he's a joke along with his white buddy Skip Bayless. Now maybe part of that is due to us all being Spartans, but I don't know anybody who takes Parker seriously.

ESPN is a joke. I prefer BTN.

As far as RGIII goes, I have never heard any political statement one way or the other from him. I hope he does well, but hope Kirk Cousins gets a chance to start somewhere. Go Spartans.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  


[ Parent ]
Immigration Reform
http://www.politico.com/story/...

Obama and the Democrats are in permanent campaign mode. The Democrats' number one goal in the fiscal cliff talks appears to be increasing taxes by a small amount, not dealing with the deficit. They know that a tax increase will be electoral gold and will hurt any Republican who votes for it.

If the Democrats were serious about immigration reform you'd expect to read that the President had met with pro-immigation reform Republicans like Marco Rubio and Raul Labrador at the White House finding common ground.

Yet Democrats are afraid that any immigration reform bill could improve Republican prospects with Latinos at the ballot box. This article makes no mention of Republicans until the second page and even then it's that Republicans will be opposed to it. There is a mention of Lindsay Graham but he's mentioned as a "key player," not someone that Obama has met with.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


More Spectulation Its Scott
Fits News is more wrong than right usually, but is right sometimes
http://www.fitsnews.com/2012/1...

SC1-Charleston

As long as Andre Bauer doesn't run again
It seems like most of the names being mentioned seem solid. I still prefer Sanford, but the more I read about Tempelton, the more I like.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Can I ask why you prefer Sanford?
She brings more to the table than an average political spouse, but with the depth and talent of the SC bench I can't see any argument for her being the best choice.

[ Parent ]
Sure
Keep in mind I'm talking about SC-1. When it comes to the issues, her reputation is pretty solid, in the same fashion as Mark. When it comes to optics, she's female and garnered a lot of sympathy nationwide for what Mark did to her. Therefore, she could be a lot more helpful to us nationally than just another firebrand, white male from the south.

Don't get me wrong, Gowdy, Mulvaney, etc...are great, but they don't help us beyond their votes and the ideological direction of the party, which is a lot in itself, but we need to portray a better message. And getting better messengers is a big step in the right direction. Getting more national figures, particularly women - in addition to ethnic minorities - can help us a great deal more than something we already have plenty of - uncharismatic white guys, many of whom are just backbenchers.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3


[ Parent ]
How Republican have no message
http://www.politico.com/story/...

When Republicans oppose raising taxes on the rich, they are for the rich and against the middle class. When Democrats oppose making people who can afford to pay for their own healthcare pay for it, we get crickets. If our government concentrated on only helping those that needed help, we'd get a lot closer to a balanced budget. Why can't we use this as an election message?

If you're 23, wouldn't you be upset that you're getting stuck with debt so that someone who is 73 and still earning $80,000 gets a handout?

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


23 year old
No offense to anyone, but most 23 year olds are doing good if they have a perceptual horizon that reaches the next election, much less the next half-century. Speaking of which, I was amazed when I recently went back and read a novella I wrote when I was 19, and I framed a 28 year old character practically is if I was writing about a senior citizen..

Anyway, to answer your question, someone who is 73 and receiving Social Security and Medicare is someone who probably paid into the system for about five decades. So, the answer is generally no. The reason why they're called "entitlements" is because people consider themselves "entitled" to receive them and the reason why they consider themselves "entitled" is because they paid into the system for some five decades.

To answer your question differently, poll after poll has shown that the major concern of young voters is not whether they're getting stuck with debt so that senior citizens can get Social Security (which is still solvent) and Medicare (which is also still solvent), but rather whether the rising national debt means Social Security and Medicare won't be there when they're 73.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
That proves my point
The Republican message has been that the baby boomers are borrowing money from China, and elsewhere, and sticking young people with the bill. Yet young voters don't perceive that. They perceive Republicans are trying to take away their Medicare and Social Security. Our messaging stinks.

Our 73 year old has been paying into Social Security and Medicare for five decades. He's also been paying 3-4 times that much in Federal income taxes. Yet he's not entitled to every see a dime of the Federal income taxes, but is entitled to get money from Social Security and Medicare. There's no difference between the money when it's deducted from his paycheck and it all goes into the U.S. Treasury when the company sends a check. I don't see why that 73 year old is entitled to one but not the other. Add to that we don't limit him to only what he's contributed. His Social Security and Medicare won't be cut off when he reaches that amount. So really he's just been paying taxes and it's not his money.

I have family members who are in their 70's and they have been successful. They don't have mortgages and they live very nice lifestyles. They don't need a Social Security check and they can certainly afford to pay more money for medical insurance than I can.

I'm sure at least one of them makes more than $250,000 a year. So Democrats are insisting he isn't paying his fair share and needs to pay more, but aren't insisting that he stop taking checks from the government. There's a major contradiction here and Republicans need to point this out.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
Well
I can't argue with you on that. Republican messaging has been abysmal when it comes to reforming entitlements. I think a lot of that has to do with the GOP's inherent aversion to entitlements in the first place. It's tough to come up with a coherent, compelling framework on how to reform the entitlement system if what you really want to do is get rid of it altogether. To be sure, the GOP has been shifting its stance over the years, from back when the goal was to 'shrink government to the point where you could drown it in a bathtub,' but that just makes it even more challenging. The GOP is in a liminal space right now where it can't settle on a unified message. Historically, the GOP is extremely effective when everyone's on the same page. Right now, they're not.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
Again, you show it's the messaging
Instead of "we need to find a way to have a system that will remain solvent" the message people are getting is that we want to get rid of them. While Republicans do have an aversion to entitlements they don't want to get rid of them. I doubt you'll find many people saying they do. People like Social Security and Medicare. The very poor need Medicaid. We need to make sure we can afford to provide that.

The Republican party has never had a goal to "shrink government to the point where you could drown it in a bathtub." That's a quote from Grover Norquist, who, despite what Democrats say, has never written any part of the Republican platform. We'd like to shrink government to a size we can afford. We wouldn't object to the big Democratic programs if you had a reasonable way to pay for them.

I realize that compared to the Democratic party it may seem like the Republican party has historically been on the same page but that's rarely been the case. We've had two ex-Presidents come out of retirement to run again because we had warring factions within the party. About the only times either party has agreement on most issues has been when they were the out party in the Presidency and both Houses.

I've been in this party for 28 years and I haven't been on the same page as a lot of people for most of them.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


[ Parent ]
The NY Times' scathing profile on Mayor Booker
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12...

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at http://twitter.com/polibeast

We knew this article was coming
Not that it isn't true, but I see jealousy and envy of his opponents and colleagues in every word.
I'm not one to believe that urban garbage dumps can be fixed easily or at all. Not being corrupt is all that is demanded from politicians in Brooklyn, Queens, Chicago, Detroit and Newark. You also have to play it right unlike Fenty in D. C.  

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
NYC-Mayor: Quinn off to a shaky start
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12...

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at http://twitter.com/polibeast

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