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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Politicians Sitting In Beach Chairs As The Demographic Tide Rolls In

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/13/2008

Mark Steyn comes up with the classic metaphor of our times:

“capitalism [is] the real “agent of change.” Politicians, on the whole, prefer stasis, at least on everything for which they already have responsibility. That’s the lesson King Canute was trying to teach his courtiers when he took them down to the beach and let the tide roll in: Government has its limits. In most of the Western world, the tide is rolling in on demographically and economically unsustainable entitlements, but that doesn’t stop politicians getting out their beach chairs and promising to create even more. Thats government “change”.

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Posted in Economics, Politics | Comments Off on Politicians Sitting In Beach Chairs As The Demographic Tide Rolls In

Bloggers Prefer A Thompson Hunter Ticket

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/11/2008

Right Wing News has done another Rightosphere temperature check on the Republican race for the Presidential nomination. Over half preferred Thompson as the Republican candidate — these folks must have been very happy with last nights debate, were Thompson finally woke up and realized politics ain’t bean bag and you can’t win if you don’t play. RWN’s does some helpful breakouts on relative preferences among the candidates, so do check out the temp check.

The two candidates the bloggers don’t like are McCain and Huckabee. I’d pick it strongly the other way, but bloggers actually prefer McCain over Huckabee. My view is that Huckabee would be a better President down the line, definitely more conservative, and more tolerable to have in the news and on your TV set for 4 years — a big consideration. I don’t like McCain, I don’t trust McCain and I don’t believe McCain. I don’t believe his heart is in the right spot (John McCain loves John McCain), I don’t trust his judgment, and I don’t like the way he thinks about issues. And I actually think Huckabee has a good case defending his record as governor of Arkansas — conservatives actually believe in solving problems at the state and local level, and Arkansas historically has had terrible schools and public infrastructure. Huckabee didn’t do anything for the Republicans in Arkansas, and I don’t like his record on crime, but his record on illegals isn’t nearly the worst in the country. He did leave his state with a large budget surplus, which is much better than most Republican chief executives today. I’m at the point of thinking we need to give Huckabee a break. One reason Romney isn’t doing that well is because he’s nit-picking Huckabee’s record, and he’s not taking on his opponents at a principled level — Huckabee is right to respond “What would you do” when faced with court orders and a terrible school system.

UPDATE: This is news — Human Events endorses Fred Thompson. This race might have been a completely different one if Thompson had decided he really wanted to be President a few months ago, instead of only last night.

Patrick Ruffini suggests the Arkansas governor will have to make a similar decision, “[Huckabee] seems to be running for Mr. Congeniality at times. Huckabee’s path to the nomination lies in convincing conservatives why John McCain was so unacceptable to them to begin with. He has to make a decision about whether he’s running for President or Vice President.”

Posted in 2008 | Leave a Comment »

Why Weren’t We Told?

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/10/2008

The Ron Paul campaign is turning out to be a disaster for the limited government movement of Ronald Reagan and the Founding Fathers. Many of us have been appalled by Paul’s bizarre talent for twisting strong arguments into stupid arguments — and his penchant for casting his views in a deceptive form designed to attract left of center voters. But now a dark and disturbing chapter in Ron Paul’s political career emerges, and it isn’t pretty. (Paul responds here.)

And what a lot of us reasonable ask is, why didn’t anyone report this story to the electorate months ago? A young couple who contributed to Paul seem to hold Virgina Postrel and other “old time” libertarians responsible for this failure. For her part, Postrel passes to the buck to the current writers and editors at Reason magazine. I’d like to suggest, however, that the big failure here is one in the news profession at large. One of the best funded and most energized campaigns in the country with close to double digit support — and the press couldn’t be bothered to investigate and report on who this guy is and what his background might be.

All that said, I do think that Postrel’s correspondent has a point. No matter that prominent libertarians like Postrel have busy lives, other interests and non-libertarian careers, one has to ask how hard is it to post a heads up on your blog tipping folks off to these skeletons in the closet, if they were long known to you? Even if its not our current career to investigate and report on public officials — its something of a duty as a citizen to give your fellow citizens a heads up on something like this, if you happen to be one of the few prominent people in the country who actual has knowledge of the matter.

If the distributed knowledge system of the blogosphere is going to make a difference, that’s one way it’s going to have to work.

UPDATE: Ace unloads and Steve Horwitz makes some useful distinctions. It looks Horwitz and some others had been raising red flags about Ron Paul in the blogosphere for a while.

UPDATE II: It turns out the difference between Virginia Postrel and Reason editor Nick Gillespie is that Postrel knew about Paul’s past and Gillespie didn’t. Maybe Postrel should have dropped him a note.

UPDATE III: Ron Paul answers questions from Wolf Blitzer on the matter. His account of all this comes across as very weak, and it’s fairly obvious that rather than come clean on what happened he’d rather sweep all this under the rug. My guess is that it ain’t going to stay swept. Glenn Reynolds and one one readers give their reactions here.

UPDATE IV: Ed Morrissey points to evidence uncovered by Matt Welch suggesting that Ron Paul is just lying about all this.

Posted in 2008, Economics, Ron Paul | Leave a Comment »

Hillary’s Spinsters vs. America’s Children

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/09/2008

If you look at the polls, Hillary Clinton’s strongest voting block is the aging boomer woman, without a full time job, often without a husband, without children in the home — and very often without any children at all. And if you’ve been paying attention you’re fully aware that these soon to be government-dependent voters are winning a titanic power struggle for the future of America. This from Robert Samuelson:

The big lie of campaign 2008 — so far — is that the presidential candidates, Democratic and Republican, will take care of our children. Listening to these politicians, you might think they will. Doing well by children has now passed Motherhood and Apple Pie as an idol that all candidates must worship.

Actually, these are throwaway lines, completely disconnected from reality.

Our children face a future of rising taxes, squeezed — and perhaps falling — public services, and aging — perhaps deteriorating — public infrastructure (roads, sewers, transit systems). Today’s young workers and children are about to be engulfed by a massive income transfer from young to old that will perversely make it harder for them to afford their own children.

No major candidate of either party proposes to do much about this, even though the facts are well-known.

Hillary’s Spinsters like to hear all the empty emotional rhetoric about children, but what they really like is the Daddy State which keeps them comfortable, promises to fix the problems the media has them worrying about, and indulgently spends money on their latest caprice, whether charitable or self-centered. The only thing is, when these ladies start dying off, the children of their nieces and nephews will be left with the crushing burden of gigantic taxes and a collapsing social infrastructure. Good work Hillary. Good work gals.

UPDATE: Don’t miss Tom Maguire on The Hillary Effect.

Posted in 2008, Economics, Hillary Clinton | Leave a Comment »

Exit Results — The Hillary Clinton Voter

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/09/2008

The Composite Hillary Voter — an aging Catholic woman without children who only rarely attends Mass, lacks a college degree, takes in $20-40 thousand, does not work full time, registers Democrat and votes liberal. And if you don’t believe me, look for yourself or check out some of these numbers:

* Obama beat Hillary in the 18-39 age bracket. Hillary beat Obama in the 40+ group.

* Hillary polled better with women who were not married (51%) than with women who were married (45%), and she polled better with women who didn’t have children that she did with women who do have children. Women without children made up 36% of the Democrat vote, and Hillary took 50% of that vote. But only 20% of Democrat voters were women with children, and among these Hillary took a lower 44% of the vote.

* Catholics made up 34% of the Democrat vote, and Hillary took 45% of that vote. And if you break that down, 25% of the vote consisted of Catholics who do not attend weekly services. Hillary took 47% of their votes, but only 36% of the 9% of the voters who attend Mass weekly.

* Obama beat Hillary among those who work full time. Hillary beat Obama among those who don’t.

UPDATE: Here’s another account of the Democrat exit polls, and here’s one from Real Clear Politics.

BONUS — The Many Voices of Hillary Clinton.

And has anyone noticed that Hillary Clinton checks out the TV camera at least four times in the midst of her emotional confessional about how hard it is to be a woman running for President?

UPDATE: See also Tom Maguire on polling and The Hillary Effect.

Posted in 2008, Hillary Clinton | Leave a Comment »

Anti-Bush Vote Powers McCain Victory

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/08/2008

Mitt Romney won the vote in New Hampshire among those who are enthusiastic or satisfied with the Bush Presidency — unfortunately a majority of Republican primary voters are angry or unsatisfied with the Bush Presidency and among these voters John McCain crushed Romney. The candidates who have attacked Bush policies and the conduct of the government are doing well — McCain and Huckabee — the candidates who are defending Bush policies and the Bush Presidency are also rans. Perhaps a theme is developing here.

More poll results:

* Mitt Romney won among voters who approve of the Iraq war, John McCain won among those who don’t approve of the Iraq war.

* More than half of all voters wanted the next President to pursue policies more conservative than those of President Bush — and Mitt Romney defeated John McCain among those voters.

* John McCain crushed Romney among voters who wanted the next President to pursue policies to the left of President Bush.

* More than half of voters in the Republican primary favored some sort of amnesty for illegal aliens — and these voters voted overwhelmingly for John McCain.

* Mitt Romney won among those who oppose amnesty.

If you go by the NBC News poll, here’s a quick profile of the typical Romney voter — a conservative Republican who is optimistic about the American economy, opposes amnesty, supports traditional marriage, and approves of the war in Iraq.

And according to the poll, the profile of the typical McCain voter looks something like this — a liberal or moderate Republican or independent who is pessimistic about the American economy, disapproves of the Iraq war, supports civil unions for gays, and supports an amnesty for illegal aliens.

UPDATE: CNN’s reporting of the polling numbers tracks my own reporting of the NBC results on McCain and his big anti-Bush, anti-Iraq vote. See now also CNN’s Bill Schneider on “The Bush Effect”. A snippet: “Roughly half of Republican primary voters had a negative opinion of the Bush administration, and those voters significantly went for Arizona Sen. John McCain by nearly a 2-to-1 margin .. So while Romney tried heavily to be the candidate of change in the closing days of the New Hampshire campaign, voters overwhelmingly believed that McCain better represents the change candidate.”

Let me suggest that if Mitt Romney really wants to win this nomination he’d be advised to tell the American people that the next President of the country will have to step up and do a better job that the current President — and explain to us why and how he’ll do a better job of it that Mr. Bush. Do that and he’ll get the nomination. Don’t do it and I’m not so sure.

UPDATE II: The mainstream conservative press is starting to pick up on some of the polling data I highlight here. But their is one thing I neglected to mention — the extent to which anti-Mormon religious bigotry continues to be a major factor in the Republican campaign:

Finally, there’s this troubling data. McCain won among voters who care “a great deal,” “somewhat,” and “not much” whether a candidate shares their religious beliefs. The only category Romney won is those people (33%) who said that care “not at all,” where he beat McCain 38-33. This accords with Iowa, where Romney got beaten among those who cared “a great deal” and “somewhat,” and had his best margin over Huckabee—39-2—among those who cared “not at all.”

Posted in 2008, Bush, McCain, Romney | Leave a Comment »

Sowell Likes Romney, Hates McCain

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/08/2008

Worth quoting: “[McCain’s] track record in the Senate is full of the betrayals of Republican supporters that have been the party’s biggest failing over the years and its Achilles heel politically.”

It would be a disaster if non-Republicans from New Hampshire gave GOP party members John McCain as their standard barrier. Who came up with this idiotic system anyway?

Also, Pete Wehner holds an Irish wake on the very fresh grave of the Clinton era in Democratic Party politics.

UPDATE: Winning the sweet spot of the Republican party — the Reagan mainstream — is more than enough to win the GOP nomination:

[Romney’s] appeal to Reagan conservatives .. isn’t going to fade because Iowa evangelicals and New Hampshire Independents favor Mike Huckabee and John McCain respectively.

“But he’s the governor to the state just south of the New Hampshire. He should have won!” If he wins the Republican vote, he will have won the key to the long campaign: The endorsement of the party members whose nomination he seeks.

[Four] other reasons to laugh at the “Romney’s finished” chorus of analysts:

1. The Luntz focus group: Assume the reactions of those Alpha Republican activists across the country who watched it from start to finish are the same as the Luntz group. Are they going to let their best candidate be retired by Granite State independents?

2. The rise of Obama: Really, do you think 71-year old John McCain can come close to the phenom from Chicago? Even as concern over the war fades because of the success of the surge? The fall debates will see a respectful Obama listen intently to the elder statesman and promise to consult closely with him, and then he’ll turn to the audience and talk about a new era of change that will include the best of the generation that has served us so well and so bravely. If McCain tries to get tough with Obama, the Saturday night McCain emerges, and the GOP is toast. If he smiles at Obama and comments on his youth and inexperience, everyone will hear their grandpa saying “When I was a kid….” and tune out. Turn out the lights on the GOP at that moment ..

3. Resources .. Do you think the Club for Growth is going to throw in the towel and abandon its agenda because older New Hampshire independents admire John McCain’s heroism?

4. As Rush explained at length about Huckabee yesterday, and as John McCain’s debate performance Saturday night displayed again, these are not mainstream Reagan-Bush Republicans equipped with the positions and temperament for a serious run in November. The Huck’s departures from the GOP core beliefs were detailed by Rush. The amnesty debate and a series of other splits with the party disqualify McCain unless you believe that ideas really don’t matter within the GOP. The longer those debates continue, the harder it becomes for MSM to keep up its protective shield around the two anti-agenda candidates.

Posted in 2008, Romney | Leave a Comment »

Voting Has Started In California

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/07/2008

Not only have folks in California begun voting by absentee ballot, but people can also vote at the polls themselves before the official “primary” date at selected spots. In California voting is no longer a one day event, but a weeks long process.

Posted in 2008, California | Leave a Comment »

Republicans Back Romney In NH

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/07/2008

Meanwhile, McCain supporters jump ship for Obama — which tells you a lot about the relative nature of support for John McCain and Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.

[UPDATE: Bad tip from Michelle Malkin deleted. The Man Who Should Be President — Duncan Hunter — rips ABC and Fox News and lets everyone know he’s in not leaving the race any time soon.]

Posted in 2008, Romney | Leave a Comment »

Press “1” for English. Press “dos” for John McCain.

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/07/2008

I don’t doubt John McCain would like to make this sort of political entrepreneurship against the law.

Posted in 2008 | Leave a Comment »