Political Hay

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.”

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.

Political Hay

Scott Wagner Beats the GOP Establishment

By 3.20.14

“The inmates are in control of the asylum.”
Pennsylvania State Senator-elect Scott Wagner

First, it was a Florida congressional race. Now? A Pennsylvania special election for the state Senate. The Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania scores a major win — and yes, the winner says he heard about Obamacare. Scott Wagner is a Pennsylvania state Senator this morning. It wasn’t supposed to happen.

In a stunning upset, the York County businessman, taking a stand against the state’s political establishment of both parties, made state history by winning a special election for the Pennsylvania state Senate — in a write-in landslide, defeating both the Republican and Democrat nominees.

Wagner captured 48 percent of the vote. His Republican opponent, a state representative with the backing of the local and state GOP, received 27 percent; the Democrat 26 percent.

Political Hay

David Jolly’s Next Problem: Boehner and McConnell

By 3.13.14

So David Jolly wins the House special election in Florida this week by defeating a Democrat who pledged to fix Obamacare, not repeal it. But there’s more.

Jolly won the GOP congressional nomination in the first place by defeating State Representative Kathleen Peters in the GOP primary. And what was Peters promising? Said Peters:

“I do not think that we should take a stand and say absolutely repeal it. Not unless we have a plan and a proposal to replace it.”

Peters lost, Jolly won. Democrat Alex Sink made the same pledge as Peters. Jolly won again.

And what is John Boehner’s GOP House set to do? They’re going to fix Obamacare.

Yes, you read that right. Reports Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn (hat tip Taegan Goddard here), bold print supplied:

GOP Now Trying to Fix Obamacare Instead of Repeal

Political Hay

Rand Paul’s Young Voter Strategy

By 3.11.14

On Saturday, for the second year in a row, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul won the Conservative Political Action Conference’s (CPAC) Straw Poll. Receiving 31 percent of the vote, Sen. Paul nearly tripled his nearest competition, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

The internals of the poll — which no news organization seems to be discussing — mesh well with a new Pew survey of the Millennial generation to explain Senator Paul’s apparent presidential campaign strategy: to energize and win young voters in much the same way that Barack Obama did in 2008.

It’s a difficult task, getting people in their 20s and 30s to vote for a Republican, but it may be the GOP’s best hope to win a presidential election in the near future. If CPAC is any measure — and it is — Rand Paul seems to be well on the way toward being the choice of younger voters, at least younger conservatives and libertarians.

Political Hay

Hillary Touts Her Methodist Roots

By 3.10.14

Hillary Clinton will address the quadrennial General Assembly of United Methodist Women next month, brandishing her credentials as a lifelong Methodist. It’s not clear if she’s been active in a Methodist church since leaving the White House in 2001. For eight years she and her Baptist husband attended Washington’s Foundry Church, whose then pastor, a renowned liberal theologian, vigorously defended Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

But undoubtedly the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State was deeply shaped by her Methodist upbringing in a Chicago suburb. A liberal youth minister was influential, as was a radical Methodist youth magazine she read devotedly as a teenager. As First Lady, she recounted having saved every issue, and cited as particularly formative a 1966 article by anti-war activist Carl Oglesby, which evidently helped shift her from a Barry Goldwater Republican to a 1960s progressive.

Political Hay

Why the GOP Makes Sense for Millennials

By 3.7.14

Democrats and Republicans are battling to win the millennial vote, and so far the Dems are winning. Young people aren’t interested in a party that brands itself as the “party of no,” and they’re turned off by messaging about social issues that don’t mesh with their own beliefs. In fact, only 18 percent of millennials say they belong to the GOP, while 31 percent call themselves Democrats.

This week, as conservatives from across the country have convened in Washington for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the GOP can send a strong, unified message to millennials. Rather than focusing on what divides our nation, Republicans have an opportunity to speak to this generation about the massive, ever-growing debt that threatens our future — and what we can do to fix the problem.

Political Hay

CPAC Turns 40

By 3.5.14

As soon as attendees at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) check into their hotel rooms, they will see evidence that the 2016 presidential campaign has already begun. Room keys at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center are emblazoned with the face of Dr. Ben Carson and the slogan, “Run Ben Run!” This promotion is provided by the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, which has already raised nearly $3 million to encourage the famed heart surgeon to pursue the Republican Party presidential nomination.

Political Hay

A Colorado Earthquake Shakes D.C.

By 2.28.14

An earthquake hit Colorado politics on Wednesday afternoon, and the tremors are being felt in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Cory Gardner, a second-term Republican from the small town of Yuma on Colorado’s eastern plains, announced (or at least it was reported that he was about to announce) his intention to seek the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Mark Udall rather than seek an essentially certain re-election. [Update: Gardner made it official at an announcement in Denver on Saturday morning.]

Gardner’s move puts Udall, already struggling against barely-known Republicans, in a position where the next polls will likely show him losing his seat to the quarter-century-younger Gardner.

As is typical of Colorado Republican politics lately, the Republican field contending for the Senate seat was, while not a complete disaster, an uninspiring group of at least seven candidates, most of whom had little name recognition and even less money.

Political Hay

Reagan’s Heirs: The Tea Party

By 2.25.14

Julian Bond was succinct: “Obama is to the Tea Party as the moon is to werewolves.” So bayed the ex-NAACP chairman about the Tea Party a while back. The Sarasota Herald Tribune began its reporting on Bond’s speech this way:

Civil rights icon Julian Bond lashed out at Republicans and the Tea Party movement during a speech here Sunday night, comparing them to the southern Confederacy and declaring both a threat to the gains made by blacks since the 1960s.

It might be said more accurately that the Tea Party, just as was once true of Ronald Reagan, is to the Left as the moon is to werewolves. It has elicited one long howl of lies, reminding vividly that the dependency on untruth is a characteristic of the Left.

And what is it specifically that the Tea Party, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this week, represents that causes all this leftist baying?

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