Political Hay

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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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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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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