Political Hay

Political Hay

Charlie Exposed

By 8.12.14

In a fine piece of long journalism, Tampa Bay Times reporters Adam Smith and Michael Kruse provide Floridians with everything they need to know about Charlie Crist in a bit more than 10,000 well-chosen words. It’s not a pretty picture. But then regular TAS readers already know this, as do Floridians paying the slightest attention.

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Political Hay

Extraordinary Irresponsibility

By 8.7.14

In yet another uninspiring performance by our unengaged and unengaging president, this time a press conference at the end of a three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., Barack Obama discussed, among other things, the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas which, according to The One, “we” have achieved.

It’s not entirely clear just how “we,” meaning the president, his feckless Secretary of State John Kerry, and his utterly incompetent foreign policy team (but at least they’re loyal — the most important characteristic for employees of any petty dictator), helped achieve anything other than the emboldening of Hamas, which led to the death of many more of Hamas’ human shields. Obama further asked how “we build on this temporary cessation of violence.”

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Political Hay

Memo to Republicans: Start Winning Now for November

By 8.6.14

The November elections could be watershed. The Republicans have a very good chance of taking the Senate, which would be a complete rejection of the Obama years and set the stage for winning back the Presidency in 2016. Then we could get back to the America we all know and love — the one that Dinesh D’Souza portrays in his brilliant movie (and for which he’ll probably end up going to prison). American politics tends to move back and forth in cycles and this particular one seems to be coming to an end. If Republicans can win back control of the government in 2016, we can revive private enterprise and private initiative, the economy will explode, and the long eight-year nightmare of government growth under Obama will be over.

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Political Hay

Headless Elephants

By 7.29.14

Last week, amid alarm bells going off in Gaza, Ukraine, and on the Texas border, and while he golfed and attended campaign fundraisers, President Barack Obama saw his approval rating as measured by Gallup drop to 39 percent. Some 54 percent of the venerable polling firm’s respondents registered active disapproval of the president’s job performance, an indication that America is coming to a consensus around the idea that Obama is a failure in office.

This comes with a flurry of mainstream media reports speculating that Obama has checked out of his job, and a growing acceptance of the narrative that the president simply doesn’t care anymore.

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Political Hay

Florida Hearts Hillary

By 7.28.14

I know, I know, it’s early. But as of now the elves at Quinnipiac say Mz. Hillary leads all of the likely Republican presidential candidates for Florida’s 29 electoral votes in 2016. (29!) Recently reliably red, Florida now trends deep purple. It went narrowly for the little hustler from Chicago in 2008 and 2012.

If Quinnipiac is measuring the Florida political universe correctly, and the presidential election were held last week, La Clinton would have beaten Jeb Bush 49 to 42. She would have bested Marco Rubio 53 to 39, Rand Paul 53 to 37, or Chris Christie 54 to 33. 

Asked who they fancy for their presidential nominee, 21 percent of Florida Republicans go for Bush, 18 percent for Rubio, 10 percent for Ted Cruz, 8 percent for Paul, 7 percent for Mike Huckabee, and 6 percent for Christie.

On the Democratic side, Clinton essentially runs the table, with a few shut-ins favoring Joe Biden (what a dull country we would be without our eccentrics), and the odd Cherokee doing a war dance for Elizabeth “Crazy Left” Warren. All non-Hillary alternatives remain in the mid-to-low single digits.

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Political Hay

What Texas Has to Tell Us About How Immigration Will Play Out in 2016

By 7.28.14

So whose job is it, exactly, to stem the tide of illegal entries into a state? Someone sneaking across the Rio Grande from Mexico is entering both the state of Texas and the United States of America, but if the authorities take notice of his presence here, the federal government will claim jurisdiction, preempting, for the most part, anything Texas might have to say about the nature of the hospitality extended to the unauthorized visitor

The problem is that the federal government seems insufficiently interested in preventing illegal immigration. This is what finds us in the second decade of the twenty-first century with between seven and twenty million illegals among us. If that seems an absurdly broad range, consider that illegals do not exactly raise their hands for the census. You therefore get those who don’t consider illegal immigration a pressing problem citing the lower figure, while more concerned voices cite the higher. If we split the difference at about fourteen million, that’s between 4 and 5 percent of all the human beings in the United States.

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Political Hay

The Vindication of Barry Goldwater

By 7.24.14

How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power?
Senator Barry Goldwater writing in The Conscience of a Conservative (1960)

July, 1964. Fifty years ago this month. The Republican Party nominates Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater for president. The resulting uproar was somewhere north of hysteria. And that was just from the GOP establishment of the day. Followed famously by a November landslide Goldwater “defeat” in which the Arizonan carried a mere five states in his race against Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.

Goldwater was the first conservative Republican to win nomination since the 1924 selection of Calvin Coolidge (the vice president who had succeeded Warren Harding after his death). From 1928 all the way through 1960, every GOP nominee from Hoover to Nixon was drawn from the progressive/moderate wing of the party.

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Political Hay

Hot Topic

By 7.18.14

In a column for the Washington Examiner, John L. Casey joins the herd that has gigged Republicans generally for being climate-change “deniers,” and Marco Rubio specifically for his recent climate comments, which were in fact the very soul of reasonableness. 

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Political Hay

Border Chaos Changes Election Year Politics

By 7.17.14

In a Gallup poll released Tuesday, the percentage of Americans who say that immigration is the nation’s most important problem reached 17 percent, the highest level in eight years and the second-highest ever recorded by that polling organization.

It’s easy to scoff at the fickleness of the American public, taking a long-term problem such as immigration (legal or otherwise) from rating as most important by 5 percent of the population to 17 percent of the population in just a few weeks, notwithstanding the images of young unaccompanied children flooding into Texas. After all, border security and immigration didn’t suddenly become three or four times as important as it was just a month ago. It’s just that the symptom has alerted people to the disease of a lawless situation encouraged by a lawless president and an ineffective immigration system.

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Political Hay

No U-Turns

By 7.15.14

The Netflix documentary Mitt ought to be required viewing for American voters, and particularly the low-information types who cast their ballots for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election. Mitt chronicles the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and in it one can see the effects a long and grueling presidential campaign can have on a candidate and his family.

One can also see the chasm between who a man really is and what he’s portrayed to be by his political opponents and the media. The Romney in Mitt is a man America would happily choose as its president: successful in business, faithful to God, blessed with family, easygoing with friends, and possessed of the intelligence and skill to serve in a high executive role. He’s funny and down to earth. The Romney clan is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

He’s a man you can root for.

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