Political Hay

Political Hay

The Obama-Lite Side of Rand Paul

By 8.28.14

The target was Hillary Clinton. Calling the famously liberal former Secretary of State “a war hawk,” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) added in a recent Meet the Press appearance: “You know what? We are tired of war.… We’re worried that Hillary Clinton will get us involved in another Middle Eastern war, because she’s so gung-ho.”

One has to wonder. Was Rand Paul’s real target Hillary Clinton? Whom he correctly blames for the Benghazi fiasco? Or was it, as it strikes… Ronald Reagan? Not to mention conservatism and the timeless idea of what Reagan termed “peace through strength.” Reagan’s formulation long ago captured by Edward Gibbon when he wrote of the Roman Empire: “They preserved peace by a constant preparation for war…. they announced to the nations on their confines that they were as little disposed to endure as to offer injury.” There was nothing said about being “war hawks” or, for that matter, “neo-cons.”

Political Hay

Spent Forces

By 8.27.14

It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that the trend away from party affiliation is gaining steam. In January a Gallup poll showed no less than 42 percent of respondents identified themselves as independent voters, with both Democrats (31 percent) and Republicans (25 percent) operating at 25-year lows of party affiliation.

And it’s not difficult to understand why voters are giving up on the parties. Put simply, American politics as practiced by the two parties is stale, dishonest, and mind-numbingly stupid, and with a country in decline on the world stage, an economy coughing and wheezing amid an epidemic of bad policy from both parties, and a culture that glorifies all the wrong things and ignores the right ones the public is throwing up its hands.

Political Hay

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mitt Romney?

By 8.22.14

He wuz robbed. Admit it, you neo-cons, paleo-cons, compassionates, country clubbers and decline-to-states: right now, in a just, moral, ordered universe, Mitt Romney should be President.

He was right on Iraq and Benghazi, right on healthcare, immigration, and Russia. But he was so mendaciously smeared that voters possessed the ludicrous mindset that Mitt didn’t “care about someone like me.” Feckless Republican operatives allowed data-mining splashed with voter fraud to seal the defeat.

Twenty months later, numerous polls indicate significant voter remorse. This genuine sentiment has naturally provoked calls of “Run, Mitt, Run!” But, to other Republicans still traumatized by a loss that didn’t have to happen, the grace and decency of the man are his ultimate disqualifiers for a coming 2016 cage match.

The positive argument for another run is, like the man, straightforward:

Political Hay

Climate Dodge Ball

By 8.21.14

Tampa

Democrat Charlie Crist wants to be governor of Florida. He says global warming/climate change is one of the most important issues facing the state and the nation. He promises drastic action to cut greenhouse gas emissions if he is elected in November. He’s wrong about this. The actions he wishes to take would be disastrous for the Florida economy and would do nothing to improve Florida’s environment.

Republican Rick Scott, who is Florida’s governor and would like to be re-elected to this post in November, just wishes the issue would go away. He inartfully ducks questions on the issue, often using the pathetic dodge that he “is not a scientist,” and therefore can’t be expected to have a view on whether the Earth is warming and that terrible things will follow if we don’t ensure that the planet stays at a more seemly temperature.

Political Hay

Lehmberg Democrats Drunk on Their Own Power

By 8.19.14

You might not have seen the arrest or jailhouse videos from Rosemary Lehmberg’s DWI episode when it happened in the spring of 2013, but there’s a good chance you saw them over the weekend. If you still haven’t, we can fix that by having you click here and here.

That Lehmberg, district attorney for Travis County, Texas, isn’t at least as famous as Toronto's crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford is no surprise. Given how sloppy and belligerent she was during the arrest, not to mention her staggering blood-alcohol level of .239 (three times the legal limit), it is a bit odd that she was a virtual unknown outside the state of Texas until over the weekend.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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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