Political Hay

Political Hay

Welcome to the Panderosa

By 5.7.14

It’s no more attractive when Republicans try to buy votes with special interest legislation than when Democrats do it. At least when Democrats do this they actually get votes. The latest exercise in ethnic pandering by Republicans in the Florida Legislature is not likely to win candidates of that party a single new vote, but does create pressure for further legislation that would damage the state and the nation.

Political consultants, establishment graybeards, and the breathless media have convinced most elected Republicans and wannabe elected Republicans that if they would just get over the retrograde and hateful notion that there is any useful distinction to be made between people who are citizens of the United States and those who are not (particularly those who are not but who have Spanish last names) that voters with Spanish last names will begin to vote for Republicans where they wouldn’t before. There’s not a shred of evidence to support this, and considerable reason to believe it’s not so.

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Political Hay

There’s Method to Hillary’s Methodism

By 5.2.14

While much of the world had its eyes on Rome where Pope Francis canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II last weekend, a group of United Methodist women in Louisville did something of the same for Hillary Clinton.

The one-time First Lady told an Apr. 26 assembly of the United Methodist Women that being with them was like a “homecoming.” That’s about right. The group is a full-fledged member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and campaigns for many of the issues in Clinton’s wheelhouse.

But policy wasn’t on Mrs. Clinton’s mind that morning; not yet. She told the Women that the sight of her father on his knees in prayer every night left a “very big impression” on the Park Ridge, Ill. native.

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Political Hay

His Own Worst Salesman

By 4.29.14

“Don’t sell the steak—sell the sizzle.” — Elmer Wheeler

At the beginning of April, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal put forth a 23-page proposal seeking to answer critics of Republican efforts to terminate Obamacare. Titled “The Freedom and Empowerment Plan: The Prescription For Conservative Consumer-Focused Health Reform,” it distills several conservative ideas on health care into a few big ones.

Among them:

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Political Hay

Changing Immigration Politics in Colorado

By 4.28.14

Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO) tells a personal story: “I was visiting a high school in Kit Carson, Colorado when a young woman came up to me asking about in-state tuition for non-citizens. ‘I’m graduating at the top of my high school class, but my parents brought me here illegally when I was five years old and without in-state tuition I can’t afford college,’ she told me.” Gardner’s answer — that for several reasons this really needed to be dealt with as part of broader immigration reform — left him feeling unsatisfied even though it accurately represented his view.

He continues: “Five years later, I went back to Kit Carson and sat down in a little restaurant for a quick bite. And who do you think ended up serving me? The same girl who five years earlier was the valedictorian of her high school.” Gardner’s conclusion — and how could it be otherwise? — is that this cannot be the best outcome for the girl, for her family, or for the State of Colorado.

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Political Hay

The New American Fascism

By 4.22.14

It is the New American Fascism. And make no mistake — the perpetrators are proud of it. Let’s begin with dates and names.

August 7, 2008: The New York Times reports that

Nearly 10,000 of the biggest donors to Republican candidates and causes across the country will probably receive a foreboding “warning” letter in the mail next week. The letter is an opening shot across the bow from an unusual new outside political group on the left that is poised to engage in hardball tactics to prevent similar groups on the right from getting off the ground this fall.

Led by Tom Matzzie, a liberal political operative who has been involved with some prominent left-wing efforts in recent years, the newly formed nonprofit group, Accountable America, is planning to confront donors to conservative groups, hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions.

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Political Hay

Liberal Media Silent on NBC CEO

By 4.10.14

So in the wake of the Mozilla/Brendan Eich kerfuffle? When push comes to shove on business executives who give money in the name of what leftist gay activists are calling homophobia? Forced to choose between a powerful liberal media insider — aka the Rick Santorum-supporting NBC/Universal Chief Executive Stephen Burke (a $2,000 contribution to Santorum’s losing Senate re-election bid) — and gays? The liberal media fell suddenly silent.

Whatever happened to MSNBC’s famously gay hosts Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts? And MSNBC reporter and Brendan Eich critic Adam Serwer? Or Media Matters and its gay leader David Brock? America Blogs gay activist John Aravosis? Or Michelangelo Signorile, the editor-at-large of Huffington Post’s Gay Voices. Or Bob Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment? And, yes, where is Tina Fey?

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Political Hay

The End of French Socialism?

By 4.3.14

The French Socialist Party took a whipping last Sunday, as the second round of the municipal elections gave a large win to the center right UMP party. The media, caught flatfooted as they predicted a standoff with some gains for the conservatives and significant ones for the extreme-right National Front, continue to miss the point, which is that the system of alternating center-right and center-left republicanism is not under threat, even if voters are disgusted with the inability of the Paris elites to deal with important issues.

However, notwithstanding that the French and British press are full of references to the “blue wave,” as conservative landslides have been termed in France since the First World War, the truth is that this is no signal of a conservative takeover of the world’s fourth, or is it fifth now, economy. The rascals were thrown out in towns and medium-sized towns, pop. 50,000-100,000; the other rascals stayed put in the world-class cities, Paris, Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux.

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Political Hay

Rand Paul and the Washington Aquarium

By 3.28.14

Earlier this week, a debate was held in Great Britain between Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, head of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), over the future of the European Union. Clegg took the pro-EU position while Farage argued against the super-state. UKIP, best described as a libertarian populist party, has experienced a meteoric rise in British politics recently, thanks to the rakish Farage and spreading anti-EU sentiment. It’s finished ahead of the ruling Conservative Party in several off-year elections, each of which seems to hurl British establishmentarians into fresh paroxysms of shock.

Yesterday they were shocked anew. After most analysts proclaimed either a Clegg victory or a tie, snap polling found the British public thought Farage won the debate 57 percent to 36 percent. The Guardian reported that the results “sent a wave of surprise around the ‘spin room’ of politicians, aides and journalists.”

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Political Hay

Mau-Mauing Paul Ryan

By 3.24.14

Watching the Left and various race-baiting Progressives going after Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) reminds me of Tom Wolfe’s use, back in the 1970s, of the phrase “mau-mauing,” or intimidation, by the politically correct, directed at anyone who does not conform to their notions of reality. The process does not engage on the level of argument, but simply involves the impugning of the victim’s motives or character. It routinely results in a kind of liberal fatwah being issued against the offending party, denouncing his or her deviation from conventional pieties.

The offense in question involves statements Paul Ryan, the current House Budget Chairman, made on Bill Bennett’s radio show in which he spoke of a “tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and culture of work.”

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Political Hay

Republican Teatime

By 3.21.14

Several writers are clattering around with wooden carts and shouting for Tea Partiers to bring out their dead. “I see a Tea Party whose influence is gradually declining, not increasing,” writes Molly Ball. “The Tea Party’s Over,” editorializes Josh Kraushaar. “Talk of a tea party takeover of American politics – or the Republican Party – has faded of late,” observes Chris Cillizza.

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