Political Hay

Political Hay

The Overrated Candidate: The Case Against Jeb Bush

By 12.29.14

Politically, Bushes are, like the value of the Ivy League degrees most of them have, vastly overrated. Jeb Bush, who recently, to the surprise of no one, all but announced he would run for president, is no exception.

Ever since Jeb established an “I’m Thinking About Running for President Committee” (translation to English: I’m running for president) a week or so back, the conventional wisdom, whooped up by the chatterati and the various great mentioners, is that this latest Bush is a lock for the Republican nomination for president in 2016. They also say he’s that party’s best hope for reclaiming 1600. He’s probably neither.

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Political Hay

Should Jeb Bush Switch Parties?

By 12.18.14

Listening to all the stories about Jeb Bush and his angst over the conservative base of the Republican Party, the question occurred: Why doesn’t Jeb ease his conscience and his donors' wallets and just switch parties? Go now, become a Democrat — and then form an alliance with the wife of the man the Bushes affectionately call their “brother from another mother.” That being the woman George W. Bush has dubbed as being “like my sister-in-law” — Hillary Clinton.

After all, the Bush/Clinton alliance has already been on display, as I unknowingly noted in this column when Governor Bush presented former-Secretary Clinton with the Constitution Center’s “Liberty Medal” last year. As Breitbart reported at the time:

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Political Hay

In Defense of the Senate Revolt

By 12.16.14

Never has the fundamental flaw of Ratchet Republicanism been more perfectly illustrated than in this Washington Examiner editorial that appeared after Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee led a revolt in the Senate over the weekend. The editorial, headlined, "Senate Republicans need to decide whether they're led by McConnell or Cruz," said:

Every army has disagreements among its leaders, but they must agree on tactics to effect their strategy. Every football team must agree on the next play if it is to work. In the Senate, caucus leaders are chosen precisely to make such decisions. The weekend's events demonstrate that some Republicans are not playing on the same team. This was not a simple, common occurrence of senatorial independence, but rather open defiance of caucus strategy — a decision by junior officers that their own tactical decisions take precedence over those of generals who were chosen for the job.

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Political Hay

Cromnibus’s Winners and Losers

By 12.16.14

If you want to know how your tax dollars will get spent next year, the answers are in Cromnibus—the 1,695 page bill that Congress hurriedly passed last weekend to fund the federal government through September 2015. 

Republicans won big with Cromnibus, along with farmers, political parties, incandescent bulb users, Blue Cross insurers, kids who like salt, cops who hate body cameras, African profiteers salivating over Ebolacare aid, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Losers include the Obamas, the U.N., the IRS, insurance companies, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Green Climate Fund, and Hillary Clinton.

Cromnibus is a monster to read. Almost no one did (except me). They had no time. Speaker of the House John Boehner broke his promise to give members at least 72 hours notice before voting, instead of ramming it down their throats, as he criticized his predecessor Nancy Pelosi for doing.

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Why Wouldn’t Warren Run for the White House?

By 12.15.14

Once the dust has settled with the $1.1 trillion Crominbus spending bill it will be clear that Elizabeth Warren is running for President in 2016.

Let’s face it. If you’re a Democrat, especially if you’re a liberal Democrat, a so-called progressive or a plain dyed-in-the-wool socialist, 2014 has been a terrible year. The thrill is gone with President Obama. Obamacare has proven to be such an albatross that no self-respecting Democrat wants to acknowledge they ever voted for the man. 

But with Warren’s performance during the Crominbus debate, 2014 ends with light at the end of the tunnel. The Left has found its faith again and with it its new Anointed One. With her anti-Wall Street rhetoric, Warren managed the extraordinary feat of simultaneously distancing herself from both President Obama and Hillary Clinton. Why wouldn’t Warren run for the White House?

Of course, Hillary is the elephant in the room. Or should I say donkey?

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Political Hay

It’s the Branding, Stupid

By 12.12.14

Kathleen Sebelius sees Obamacare as “working.” It just suffers from “a very bad brand.”

The former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services told Politico, “Obamacare, no question, has a very bad brand that has been driven intentionally by a lot of misinformation and a lot of paid advertising.”

The translation into Gruberese reads: “The American people are too stupid.” The 58 percent that favor repealing the law have been manipulated into their opinions—and not, alas, by PajamaBoy or Magic Johnson public-service announcements.

“I think we may need to call it something in the future different,” Kathleen Sebelius-Gruber concludes, “but it is working.”

The proponents of change recalcitrantly clinging to discredited ideas remains a universal political paradox. Miserable people want to bring change to everything but the one thing that would bring happiness: themselves. Transform one-seventh of the economy? Do it yesterday. Change my mind? Never.

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Political Hay

Does the Democratic Party Have a Future?

By 12.11.14

In a rather wistful, even elegiac piece in the December 2, 2014 edition of National Journal, political analyst Charles Cook describes how leading to last month’s election, the Democratic Party “paved the way for their own defeat.” Describing as “noble” such priorities as “health care, the environment, and civil rights,” Cook notes that “an argument can be made that it is because Democrats have subordinated their traditional focus on helping lower- and working-class Americans move up the economic ladder” that there has been a “decline in support for Democrats among certain groups.”

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Mayor de Blasio Plays the Race Card

By 12.9.14

There is no other way to say it. The mayor of New York judges others by skin color, making of him just one more leftist politician for whom this kind of attitude is a long and despicable tradition. Yes, yes, Mayor Bill de Blasio is married to a black woman. And so what? The key component is judging by skin color — and anyone of any color can play the game. The mayor — like Attorney General Eric Holder and, sad to say, President Obama himself — is all in.

Says de Blasio when discussing New York City's finest: “Our police keep us safe, and yet there's been, as I said, not just decades of problems, a history of centuries of racism that under gird this reality.”

A history of centuries of racism? And who, pray tell, might be responsible for that? What Mayor de Blasio won’t say is that it was his political ancestors. It comes so naturally and obsessively to leftists that they play the race card with the ease of drawing a breath. 

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A Post 9/11 Priority for the Lame Duck Congress

By 12.9.14

Among the several legislative issues remaining on the plate of the 113th Congress before it ends on December 31 are several high-profile items such as the tax extenders package, renewal of the moratorium against discriminatory Internet taxes, and even continued funding for the federal government itself. But one important issue that has been under the radar is reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which backstops private insurance companies in case of catastrophic terrorist attack.

TRIA was put in place a few months after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center—an attack that caused an enormous $23 billion in insurable losses. As you might imagine, private insurers immediately stopped writing terrorism risk insurance after such losses, but because such insurance coverage is necessary to secure financing for major construction projects, the gap in terrorism risk insurance threatened to throttle investment in commercial construction and further add to the economic damage after 9/11.

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The Cautionary Tale of Elizabeth Lauten

By 12.4.14

Elizabeth Lauten did something dopey. Say again, dopey. Criticizing President Obama’s children — daughters sixteen and thirteen — was dopey. Presidential children, particularly minor children, are generally considered to be off limits. Ms. Lauten, the communications director for Tennessee Congressman Stephen Lee Fincher, took a social media poke at the two and is today jobless as a result.

There is a lesson in this for young conservatives. This is how the Left operates. What Lauten did, as mentioned, was dopey. Silly. But a front-page piece in the Washington Post? Breathless firestorm coverage from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, USA Today, Politico, the Huffington Post, and on and on through the roster? Well, no. Did she have to resign her job? Of course not. Suspended or disciplined in some fashion? Yes. But allow the firestorm to consume her career? No.

Yet those two things have come to pass. So what is the lesson for young conservatives?

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