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While trying his best to put out the fire caused by his tweet calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rep. Winkler’s attempt at damage control is pathetic at best. Based on his quote in this article, Rep. Ryan Winkler doesn’t think people should judge him by words he said were made in haste:

Asked if he believes his use of the term on social media will hurt his future political career, he said: “I don’t know. I hope people judge people on the merits of what they do in public office and not on the firestorm of a term that is used hastily but with no malintent.”

The thing is that most of Rep. Winkler’s statements are flippant, spur-of-the-moment comments. Few of his statements are thoroughly thought through. Few of his statements are taken seriously in terms of policy. That type of statement is part of his hit-and-run tactics of communicating. (Some might say he’s better at agitating than at communicating.)

Still, that isn’t the most cringe-worthy statement in the article. This is:

Winkler, who had been considering a bid for secretary of state, has called off his plans. He said it was a decision he made before “Uncle Thomas” started trending on Twitter and making headlines around the country, although not one he had voiced publicly.

I can smell the stench from that BS in St. Cloud, which is amazing considering it was made in St. Louis Park, more than 50 miles away.

The reality is that Rep. Winkler’s tweet ended Rep. Winkler’s bid for higher office in the future. I don’t think Rep. Winkler hates minorities, though I agree with much of what Michelle Malkin wrote in this article:

This Ivy League-trained public official and attorney relied on smug bigotry to make his case against a Supreme Court justice who happens to be black. “Uncle Thomas” wasn’t a typo. Denigration was the goal, not an accident. It was a knowing, deliberate smear.

While I don’t think Rep. Winkler hates people of color, I think he’s been exposed as a less-than-serious politician who lives by the code ready — fire — aim.

Rep. Winkler can now join Tarryl Clark in living in anonymity after supposedly being the DFL’s rising star.

Last week’s fiscal cliff deal brought reality crashing down on some unsuspecting people’s heads, according to this delightful, tongue-in-cheek column by Joseph Curl.

Using quotes from a comment thread on DemocratUnderground, Curl’s article shows how uninformed some Democrats were about President Obama’s tax increase. This is a perfect illustration of how uninformed they were:

Some in the thread argued that the new tax, or the end of the “holiday,” which makes it a new tax, wouldn’t really amount to much. One calculated it would cost about $86 a month for most people. “Honeycombe8,” though, said that amount is nothing to sneeze at.

“$86 a month is a lot. That would pay for … Groceries for a week, as someone said. More than what I pay for parking every month, after my employer’s contribution to that. A new computer after a year. A new quality pair of shoes … every month. Months of my copay for my hormones. A new thick coat (on sale or at discount place). It would pay for what I spend on my dogs every month … food, vitamins, treats.”

I’d like to welcome these fools to the Democrats’ middle class squeeze tax increases. This tax increase isn’t likely to change Honeycombe8′s voting habits. I’d be stunned if it did. Still, the Democrats, starting with President Obama and including Sen. Reid and Nancy Pelosi, can’t fight their tax increase fever. With that trio of ideologues, it’s always about ideology, It isn’t about what’s best for America.

Last week, I wrote a 2 part series about how the DFL isn’t the party of the people anymore. (See here and here.) DC Democrats are just as out of step with the people as the DFL is here in Minnesota.

Here’s another dose of reality for the left:

The Twittersphere was even funnier.

“Really, how am I ever supposed to pay off my student loans if my already small paycheck keeps getting smaller? Help a sister out, Obama,” wrote “Meet Virginia.” “Nancy Thongkham” was much more furious. “F***ing Obama! F*** you! This taking out more taxes s*** better f***ing help me out!! Very upset to see my paycheck less today!”

Though the Democrats’ anger is sky-high, that hasn’t led to clear thinking:

Of course, dozens of posters on DemocraticUnderground sought to blame it all (as usual) on President George W. Bush. “Your taxes went up because the leaders need to dig us out of this criminal deficit hole we are in which has been caused because taxes were too low during the Bush years. Everyone has to help by spreading the wealth around a little. Power to the correct people!” posted “Orinoco.”

This is typical Democratic stupidity. Spending has skyrocketed during the Obama administration. Economic growth has lagged, thanks directly to President Obama’s policies. Revenues have dropped because he’s attacked industry after industry.

Let’s repeat this fact: these deficits are the direct result of President Obama’s policies. The ACA is killing jobs by giving small businesses who employ fewer than 50 people an incentive to not hire additional workers. The EPA is killing jobs, too. Last year’s regulations have led to 98 coal-fired power plants to either close their doors or to announce their shutting.

There’s just one thing to say to people who were foolish enough to vote for President who now are upset that he’s raised their taxes: You bought it. Now you’re paying for it. You’re getting what you deserve.

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It’s obvious that Ryan Winkler is either the most ignorant, loud-mouthed DFL legislator or he’s totally dishonest. Rep. Winkler tweeted this during Thursday night’s speeches:

First time tuning in to RNC. Romney speech seems fine but it occurs to me GOP wants to go back to Founders: white, male property owners.

I believe Rep. Winkler when he said that Thursday night was his “first night tuning into the RNC” because he doesn’t have a clue about the racial and ethnic diversity within the GOP. Chuck Todd appreciates the GOP’s diversity:

Anyone who watched this convention knows that the GOP is filled with tons of talented newcomers and that there’s tons of diversity within this group of newcomers. Brian Sandoval and Susana Martinez wowed crowds with their speeches. That they’re Hispanic just adds to their appeal with the general public. Add them to Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley, the first governors of Indian descent, and it’s pretty obvious that the GOP is a principled big tent political party.

That’s before talking about soon-to-be US Senator-Elect Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. That’s before talking about rising rock star Mia Love, who should defeat Jim Matheson in Utah’s 4th District.

Had Rep. Winkler paid attention to the delegates in the hall, he would’ve seen a hugely diverse crowd. It’ll be difficult for the Democrats to be more diverse than the GOP’s delegates.

The TEA Party has helped grow, not to mention energize, the conservative movement. They’ve attracted men and women into the movement. Apparently, the TEA Party’s principles of limited, constitutional, government resonates with people of all ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds.

Rep. Winkler hasn’t figured it out that ABM’s charicature of the TEA Party doesn’t match reality. The Left’s charicature of the TEA Party isn’t even close to reality.

When it comes to the national stage, the so-called party of diversity are more like the Neanderthal Party. Their image of the GOP is severely outdated.

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Last week, Republicans jumped all over Michael Steele for getting drawn into the artificial Rush controversy. I thought it was a disgusting sight, frankly, because we were attacking a great spokesman for the Republican Party. Granted, he made a mistake but it wasn’t the type of mistake that deserved calls for him to step down as RNC Chairman.

Today, I found Patrick Ruffini’s post on the subject. Here’s the part of Patrick’s post that I most enthusiastically agree with:

Michael Steele made a tactical mistake in getting drawn into this argument, but I still want him to be a successful RNC Chairman. Steele was elected Chairman as a fresh face and a reformer, a basic orientation the Republican Party will need to embrace in 2010. He remains one of the most compelling public faces of the party. If I were a Democrat, I would rejoice if Michael Steele were somehow made less relevant. Moreover, his challenge of the party’s blind support for incumbents, conservatives’ #1 frustration with the RNC, is probably more relevant to his leadership as Chairman than his Rush comments.

AMEN Brother Patrick!!! It’s time we figured out that Michael Steele’s unwillingness to just blindly support traitors like Benedict Arlen is exactly the right mindset for the RNC to adopt at the time when that mindset is needed most. It’s time that the GOP became the party who supports people who best embody conservative principles. More importantly, it’s time the GOP morphed into the party that won’t support the Arlen Specter and Linc Chaffee types.

It’s also important that we keep Michael Steele around for his prioritizing outreach to minority communities. The GOP has a chance to make longterm inroads with the various minority communities. Let’s be clear about this: I’m not suggesting that we abandon our conservative principles. Quite the opposite. It’s time we put a greater emphasis on sharing our conservative principles with minority communites.

Our goal should be to expand the GOP into every part of America. That’s the basis for the 435 District Plan.

As enthusiastically as I agree with Patrick’s earlier opinion, I passionately agree with him on this:

Taking a step back, and it’s easy to see why the Obama team must be rejoicing. Some of the Republican Party’s most charismatic and influential voices are being attacked…from within. Conservatives appear flailing and divided, embroiled in controversies against the leading talk show host, the party chairman, and one of the party’s rising stars.

I could deal with the “flailing and divisive” narrative if it were aimed at public embarrassments, like Bunning, or against more expendable, transactional pols, people whose removal would not hurt the cause and in fact could help it. We should be highly vigilant, however, when the attacks are aimed at people who would be significant public scalps for the Democrats, and who are not easily replaced.

The sooner that Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and Michael Steele are the image that the GOP projects, the sooner we’ll return to being a truly national majority party. None of these political figures are flawless but they each appeal to demographic groups where the conservative message is routinely rejected without the people giving it a second thought. If we want to have a truly national party, we need to appeal to every demographic group.

I suspect that many of the attacks against Michael Steele are disgruntled, formerly entrenched, staffers who now find themselves looking for employment. Similarly, I suspect that many of the attacks against Rush that originate within the GOP are coming from blueblood Republicans who don’t know a thing about main street conservatism other than it isn’t country club conservatism.

If we want to move forward, it’s important that we hold our fire on influential people like Bobby Jindal and Michael Steele. Having them play significant roles in today’s GOP is nothing but a net positive.

That’s the biggest reason why I agree with Patrick Ruffini.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The end is coming quickly for Roland Burris. The Wednesday edition of the Chicago Tribune is asking for Sen. Burris’ resignation:

The benefit of the doubt had already been stretched thin and taut by the time Roland Burris offered his third version of the events leading to his appointment to the U.S. Senate. It finally snapped like a rubber band, popping him on that long Pinocchio nose of his, when he came out with version four.

Let’s see if we have it right: Burris had zero contact with any of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s cronies about his interest in the Senate seat being vacated by President Barack Obama— unless you count that conversation with former chief of staff Lon Monk, and, on further reflection, the ones with insiders John Harris, Doug Scofield and John Wyma and, oh yeah, the governor’s brother and fund-raising chief, Robert Blagojevich. But Burris didn’t raise a single dollar for the now ex-governor as a result of those contacts because that could be construed as a quid pro quo and besides, everyone he asked refused to donate.

The story gets worse with every telling.

Enough. Roland Burris must resign.

By the time that the story broke that Sen. Burris had tried raising money for ousted Gov. Blagojevich, the envelope had been pushed too far already. It’s time we said what’s on everyone’s mind: Why did Rod Blagojevich pick Sen. Burris? He’s a man of few recent qualifications. He’s run and lost his most recent attempts for elective office.

The most likely reason why Blagojevich picked Burris is because he was just about to launch a massive PR campaign. Blagojevich picked Burris at least in part because of skin color. Simply put, Blagojevich knew that Harry Reid wouldn’t deny an African-American the seat formerly held by President Obama.

After all the fuss, Roland Burris is today’s version of a dead man walking. His political life is essentially over. It’s time for him to slide into retirement so he can become a hero of the Nutroots.

Good riddance.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The day Harry Reid said that they wouldn’t seat Rolad Burris to replace President-Elect Obama in the Senate, I predicted that the political fallout would be so high that they couldn’t carry it out very long without paying a steep political price for it. Charles Babington says it best in this AP article:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Democrats who thought they could push away Roland Burris misjudged the racial fallout, underestimated public reaction and wound up on shaky legal ground.

The blunders began when the Democrats, including President-elect Barack Obama, insisted they would not seat Burris as the Senate’s only black member because the appointment came from a governor accused of trying to sell Obama’ former seat. On Wednesday, they all but admitted being outflanked by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, praising Burris and suggesting he soon will be a senator.

This outcome was predictable from the instant that Bobby Rush stood up at Gov. Blagojevich’s press conference where Gov. Blagojevich announced Burris as Obama’s replacement. In fact, I said at the time that it was a brilliant political move on Blagojevich’s part.

I don’t think that the Democrats suffered any lasting damage because of this incident. Rather, I think this is just another indicator of Sen. Reid’s incompetence. I think it’s proof that Sen. Reid’s political instincts are second to just about everyone’s.

Instead of focusing on Burris and racial issues, Sen. Reid thought he could reject Burris on the grounds that Gov. Blagojevich was corrupt. It’s apparent that Reid misunderestimated Gov. Blagojevich’s willingness to fight. Gov. Blagojevich essentially played chicken with Reid and Reid caved.

Check out this collection of brave-sounding predictions that didn’t come true:

Top Democrats’ response was quick and nearly unanimous: Burris would never be seated because of the governors’ misdeeds.

“Anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative” and “will not be seated by the Democratic caucus,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his top deputy, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Obama said, “Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat.”

Senate Democrats are famous for being blowhards. They’re also incompetent. Now that the entire world knows that they run the show in Washington, they won’t get away with blaming Republicans when things go wrong. They won’t get away with it because there won’t be enough Republicans around to blame.

Let’s see how ugly it gets now that the Democrats have the spotlight all to themselves.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

It’s safe to say that Dave ‘Mudcat’ Saunders isn’t part of Barack Obama’s target audience. That’s why Sen. Obama does poorly with blue collar workers. This article highlights why Sen. Obama will have a challenge in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Virginia.

“Sometimes they remind me of another bunch from Chicago, the Blues Brothers: they seem to think they’re on a mission from God.”

He is scathing about the reliance on registering new voters. “If that’s how he runs his campaign, he is going to lose. I’d rather bet on those who voted before. When he stands up and says that I’m gonna get 30 per cent more black voters, I’m gonna get 30 per cent more of my people to turn out for me, what is Joe Six-Pack thinking?”

Mudcat suggests that John McCain could win Michigan while holding Ohio and Florida. And, unless Mr Obama changes course, “he ain’t gonna win Virgina either”.

While the media swooned during Sen. Obama’s trip, I kept saying that European types weren’t who he needed to win over. I kept saying that Sen. Obama needed to start making a connection with blue collar workers. Frankly, I don’t think he’s capable of making that connection.

I’ve always been skeptical of candidates that base their victories on dramatically increasing voter turnout with a specific group. President Bush’s 2004 vote total was dramatically bigger than 2000 because he increased his turnout within a number of groups. Across the country but especially in Ohio, Georgia and other Bible Belt states, additional attention was focused on church-going African-Americans and with blue collar workers.

President Bush focused on the Hispanic vote in the desert southwest, helping him flip New Mexico from blue to red. President Bush kept Pennsylvania close by focusing on culturally conservative Catholic voters. That’s who he focused on in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, too. President Bush also focused on security issues, which helped win over the Security Moms cohort, too.

The Bush-Rove plan was to increase turnout of many different groups by noticeable amounts, thereby not leaning heavily on one group. Compare that with the Obama campaign’s reliance on dramatically increasing turnout of campus liberals, high income liberals and African-Americans. That’s a narrow list of groups. That’s also putting alot of high expectations on those groups.

This paragraph is why I think Sen. Obama’s strategy will backfire:

Along with his Confederate flag bedspread, the stag heads on his walls, his preference for profanity over punctuation, he would horrify what he calls the “northeastern elitist, Metropolitan Opera wing of the Democrats.”

It’s safe to say that Mr. Saunders is a fan of either Howard Dean or John Kerry. I’d bet good money that he’d get along just fine with John Breaux or Zell Miller. Those aren’t the type of folks that Sen. Obama can count on to turn out en force this November. In fact, I’m betting that they’re the people that McCain’s campaign is targeting.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Rev. Eugene Rivers told the Boston Globe that it was inevitable that Sen. and Mrs. Obama would leave TUCC. I agree, though I suspect for different reasons. Here’s what Rev. Rivers said:

Rivers said on MSNBC that it must have been a “very difficult, heartwrenching decision” for Obama, who announced over the weekend that he and his wife Michelle are leaving Trinity United Church of Christ, where he became a Christian, where they were married, and where their two daughters were baptized.

“It was inevitable given the current political context,” said Rivers, who has added his commentary to many of the religious controversies this presidential campaign.

I agree with Rev. Rivers that it must’ve been a “very difficult, heartwrenching decision.” What I don’t get is what “the current political context” had to do with Sen. and Mrs. Obama leaving. They shouldn’t have stayed there in the first place, regardless of the current political context. Rev. Rivers doesn’t explain why politics should play a role in choosing a church. The fact that it was a consideration speaks loudly about the Obamas’ decisionmaking process.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Based on this op-ed, it’s safe to say that Geraldine Ferraro won’t be writing a check to the Obama campaign anytime soon. Here’s how she tied into the Toy Messiah:

Here we are at the end of the primary season, and the effects of racism and sexism on the campaign have resulted in a split within the Democratic Party that will not be easy to heal before election day. Perhaps it’s because neither the Barack Obama campaign nor the media seem to understand what is at the heart of the anger on the part of women who feel that Hillary Clinton was treated unfairly because she is a woman or what is fueling the concern of Reagan Democrats for whom sexism isn’t an issue, but reverse racism is.

The reaction to the questions being raised has been not to listen to the message and try to find out how to deal with the problem, but rather to denigrate the messenger. Sore loser, petty, silly, vengeful are words that have dominated the headlines. But scolding and name calling don’t resolve disputes. The truth is that tens of thousands of women have watched how Clinton has been treated and are not happy. We feel that if society can allow sexism to impact a woman’s candidacy to deny her the presidency, it sends a direct signal that sexism is OK in all of society.

While I think Ms. Ferraro is being a bit melodramatic, she raises a valid point about how Sen. Obama has used words to belittle Hillary. His use of words like petty, silly and others is flippant and disrespectful.

Certainly, Hillary is tough enough to withstand the shots. It’s just that, at some point, people will take it personally after their candidate is hit with such words. It also isn’t smart to continually use such negative words if you want to win over your opponent’s supporters.

It should also point out that Sen. Obama has relied on that type of language partially because he’s such an empty suit. He can’t counter with anything incisive that rebuts Hillary’s attacks.

That isn’t Ms. Ferraro’s only complaint, either:

Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama’s historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you’re white you can’t open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama’s playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They’re not upset with Obama because he’s black; they’re upset because they don’t expect to be treated fairly because they’re white. It’s not racism that is driving them, it’s racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don’t believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory “Our Time Has Come” they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.

What Ms. Ferraro is pointing out is how frequently the Obama campaign has labeled their fellow liberals as racists. Based on this, I’d say they’ve reached a new stage of anger, which I’m titling the ‘They’re mad as hell and they aren’t gonna take it anymore’ stage. This group of liberals have always considered themselves as enlightened on racial and sexual issues. Now they’re being called racists and it isn’t sitting well with them.

Welcome to the world that Republicans live in on a daily basis. The media and other liberals have always thought that to be Republican is to be racist. They’re so convinced of that that they accept it as an article of liberal faith. They don’t need to even discuss it.

Isn’t it ironic that the year when Democrats’ top contenders are an African-American senator and a former First Lady, they end up with a shouting match with shouts of racism and sexism? (I’d use a stronger word than ironic if it existed.)

That’s the price you pay when you play identity politics.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

I’ll give Juan Williams credit for talking about the Obamessiah’s race-related problems. It’s something that Democrats better come to grips with. Here’s the heart of Juan Williams’ article:

Hillary Clinton, down to her last straw, is making the case that she is the better candidate to run against the Republicans because, unlike Barack Obama, she can win white Democrats.
She is right. But because she is daring to touch the hot button of racial politics, she is being told to shut up or risk being charged with exploiting racial tensions for political advantage.
The facts are stubborn, however. Since his phenomenal win with 33% of the white vote in nearly all-white Iowa, Obama has been unable to get a firm grip on white Democrats. He has won a majority of these voters in only six states, the biggest of which is his home state of Illinois. Clinton has defeated Obama among white voters in key states such as California, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Exit polls show Clinton winning an overwhelming average of 57% of white Democrats since the February Super Tuesday elections.
If you think none of this is a real issue for Democrats as they try to win the White House, then listen to Republican guru Karl Rove. Citing Obama’s inability to get more than 30% of Catholics or working-class white voters in a big state such as Pennsylvania, Rove recently wrote: “Defections like this elect Republicans.”
And now we are heading into a general election with an even larger group of white voters in play, key independents and suburbanites in “toss-up” districts that swing between Republicans and Democrats.

It would be wrong to think that this problem is all because of Jeremiah Wright. I think Obama’s problem stems as much from his SF fundraising speech as it stems from Jerremiah Wright. The combination of the Wright videos and the fundraising speech are a toxic mix that’ve sucked the air out of Obama’s campaign, especially with white voters.

More than anything, Obama has a credibility gap. The polling doesn’t show it yet but it will before the conventions. Sen. Obama’s credibility will take another hit once Stanley Kurtz’s article hits the airwaves. Kurtz’s article adds to the growing impression that Barack Obama is just another slick politician, not the postpartisan, post-racial candidate he’s been telling people.

Wright founded Trumpet Newsmagazine in 1982 as a “church newspaper”, primarily for his own congregation, one gathers, to “preach a message of social justice to those who might not hear it in worship service.” So Obama’s presence at sermons is not the only measure of his knowledge of Wright’s views. Glance through even a single issue of Trumpet, and Wright’s radical politics are everywhere, in the pictures, the headlines, the highlighted quotations, and above all in the articles themselves. It seems inconceivable that, in 20 years, Obama would never have picked up a copy of Trumpet. In fact, Obama himself graced the cover at least once (although efforts to obtain that issue from the publisher or Obama’s interview with the magazine from his campaign were unsuccessful).

I’ve maintained for some time that the Wright controversy isn’t going away. I’ve also said that it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about Jeremiah Wright the last month of the campaign. Wright will continue hurting Obama because the damage is already done.

Because we don’t know that much about Obama, it’s possible to sway opinion of him. We can’t do that with Hillary. We know more than enough to form an opinion of her. Each time we hear about Wright’s radical politics, we ask whether Obama knew about the latest controversial statement. Anytime that questions surface that question Sen. Obama’s integrity, it’s more likely that he’ll take a hit. Be prepared to be disgusted while you read this Wright diatribe in the May, 2006 issue of Trumpet Magazine:

We need to educate our children to the reality of white supremacy.

We need to educate our children about the white supremacist’s foundations of the educational system.

When the levees in Louisiana broke alligators, crocodiles and piranha swam freely through what used to be the streets of New Orleans. That is an analogy that we need to drum into the heads of our African American children (and indeed all children!).

In the flood waters of white supremacy…there are also crocodiles, alligators and piranha!

The policies with which we live now and against which our children will have to struggle in order to bring about “the beloved community,” are policies shaped by predators.

We lay a foundation, deconstructing the household of white supremacy with tools that are not the master’s tools. We lay the foundation with hope. We deconstruct the vicious and demonic ideology of white supremacy with hope. Our hope is not built on faith-based dollars, empty liberal promises or veiled hate-filled preachments of the so-called conservatives. Our hope is built on Him who came in the flesh to set us free.

Hillary can win voters that Obama can’t get in his wildest dreams. Obama’s been underperforming amongst whites since the Wright tapes surfaced. If the Democrats want to give away this election, all they need do is nominate Obama.

Awhile back I wrote about Karl Rove’s electoral map. Against Hillary, McCain started with a base of 214 EVs. Against Obamessiah, McCain starts with 260 EVs locked down. That doesn’t give Obama any margin for error. We all know that he’ll commit more unforced errors as the head-to-head matchup takes center stage.

One last thing that’ll weigh Obama down is Michelle Obama. She’s more dispiriting than Obama is uplilfting. That won’t play well either.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative