Archive for the ‘Kennedy’ Category
If you’re like me, you enjoyed this morning’s debate when Newt Gingrich, then Rick Santorum, dismantled Mitt’s argument that he isn’t a career politician. Byron York quoted Rick Santorum’s exchange with Mitt in this Examiner article:
Early in the debate, after Newt Gingrich attacked Romney as virtually unelectable, given his record as a “Massachusetts moderate,” Romney responded that he governed as a “solid conservative” in Massachusetts. “I’m very proud of the conservative record I have,” Romney said.
That was too much for Santorum. “If his record was so great as governor of Massachusetts, why didn’t you run for re-election?” he asked Romney. “I mean, if you didn’t want to even stand before the people of Massachusetts and run on your record, if it was that great, why did you bail out?“
“I was in a 71 percent Democratic district,” Santorum continued. “I had a 90 percent conservative voting record. It was a hard thing to do. My district was more Democrat than the state of Massachusetts, and I stood up and fought for the conservative principles. I didn’t do what Gov. Romney did in 1994 [when Romney ran for Senate against Sen. Edward Kennedy]. I was running the same year he ran, in 1994. I ran in the tough state of Pennsylvania against an incumbent. Gov. Romney lost by almost 20 points. Why?
Because at the end of that campaign, he wouldn’t stand up for conservative principles, he ran from Ronald Reagan, and he said he was going to be to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights, on abortion and a whole host of other issues. We want someone when the time gets tough, and it will in this election, we want someone who’s going to stand up and fight for the conservative principles, not bail out and not run to the left of Ted Kennedy.”
That’s what’s called drilling the frontrunner right between the eyes. Mitt didn’t have a defense against such accurate specific accusations. That’s why Rich Lowry, part of the NRO editorial board that’s twice endorsed Mitt Romney, wrote a post about Romney taking on water in this morning’s debate:
Romney had a tough start. Santorum had a very pointed question on his decision not to run for re-election in 2006, “Why did you bail out?” Romney responded with what Newt rightly called “pious baloney.” On this question, Romney simply can’t admit the truth—he didn’t run for re-election because he might have lost and, more importantly, he wanted to run for president. Romney absurdly characterized leaving office to run for another office as returning to the private sector. I’m not sure how much voters will be outraged by any of this. They probably assume every politician wants to run for office. But the exchange got to a certain falsity in Romney’s self-presentation that plays into more important doubts about his sincerity.
The other notable exchange came at the end between Romney and Newt on the Superpac ads. Here again, Romney was less than forthcoming. He said on the one hand that he hadn’t seen the ads and then immediately related some of the most damaging charges in them (carefully leaving out one of the most dubious ones, I believe).
What do these exchanges have to do with this post’s title? They have to do with Mitt’s need to run away from substantive, verifiable, accusations. Mitt wants the public to think that his reason for not running for re-election had to do with his desire to rejoin the private sector.
Sen. Santorum phrased things so exquisitely that Mitt was trapped. He left for exactly the opposite reason. He left to run for president rather than getting defeated for re-election.
Since 1994, Mitt Romney has run for the U.S. Senate, to be Massachusetts governor and twice ran to be POTUS. He’s run for election 4 times in 17 years. Does that sound like the resume of a man who cherishes his time in the private sector?
Here’s a little background on Mitt’s parents, George and Lenore Romney:
George Wilcken Romney (July 8, 1907–July 26, 1995) was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973. He is the father of former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney and the husband of former Michigan U.S. Senate candidate Lenore Romney.
Mitt Romney comes from a low-profile political dynasty. While the Romney family isn’t as high profile as the Bush or Kennedy families, they’re certainly a political dynasty, albeit not a terribly successful one.
Should we belief that a man who’s wanted to be a U.S. senator, Massachusetts governor and POTUS really loves being a private citizen and a captain of industry? I think not.
Once again, Mitt Romney is admitting that he can’t compete with Newt Gingrich on the battlefield of ideas. By going this negative, Gov. Romney is saying that he isn’t confident that his vision for America isn’t appealing enough to win.
Romney campaigned in early voting South Carolina, where tea party activists have given Gingrich a strong lead in polls. Romney told reporters that many voters now are just beginning to pay attention to the race and will turn on Gingrich after they learn about his time in Washington and his role with mortgage company Freddie Mac, a quasi-government agency.
Gingrich’s consulting firm collected $1.6 million from the company.
“I think as tea partiers concentrate on that, for instance, they’ll say, `Wow, this really isn’t the guy that would represent our views,”‘ Romney said after a town hall meeting with South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott. “Many tea party folks, I believe, are going to find me to be the ideal candidate.”
That last line is laughable, especially when they see Mitt praise Ted Kennedy for his contribution to Romneycare:
Newt sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi. Mitt collaborated with, then praised, Ted Kennedy in putting Romneycare. I’m pretty certain that actions are infinitely more important to TEA Party activists than empty gestures.
Mitt’s praising Ted Kennedy for his behind-the-scenes work on Romneycare is confusing because Mitt’s admitted that Romney doesn’t control health care costs. He said that that wasn’t its goal, saying that getting everyone insured was the goal.
TEA Party activists know that a) Mitt isn’t one of them and b) that Mitt’s priorities aren’t the TEA Party’s priorities. It’s never been TEA Party activists’ goal to collaborate with Ted Kennedy, the biggest of the big spending Massachusetts liberals, on the precursor of Obamacare. That’s what Mitt did.
What’s almost as disgusting is the fact that Mitt’s attempting to be a person he isn’t. It’s just Mitt’s most recent attempted ‘transformation’ to fit his campaign’s needs.
Mitt’s team isn’t stupid. They know that he’s never connected with TEA Party conservatives. That’s why Mitt’s attempting to be something he isn’t. It’s one thing to say foolish things or make mistakes. It’s quite another to attempt to be something that you aren’t.
The biggest requisite to being a TEA Party activist is being conservative. The next biggest requisite is being yourself. If there’s anything that TEA Party activists won’t tolerate, it’s a pretender. We want the real thing, not a charlatan who plays a conservative when it’s necessary.
It isn’t a secret that I’m a Newt guy. It isn’t a secret that I’ve criticized Mitt. After reading this article, I have to respond. Here’s what Mitt said that started things:
Drawing a strategic contrast with the man now besting him in the polls, Mitt Romney took steps to define himself as the consummate Washington outsider with an unblemished record as a family man.
“I don’t have a political career,” Romney told the Republican Jewish Coalition on Wednesday, calling himself a private-sector creature and the opposite of a Washington insider.
Technically speaking, Mitt isn’t a career politician. That’s because he’s lost too many times to be a career politician. In 1994, Mitt lost because he couldn’t get far enough to the left of Ted Kennedy.
In 2002, he won election as Massachusetts governor. When he announced that he wasn’t running for re-election, he started running for president. He’s still running for president. When Mitt lost in 2008, it was because he couldn’t get to the right of Sen. McCain.
When he lost the 2008 race, it was clear that a) GOP activists didn’t warm to him and b) GOP activists weren’t likely to warm to him anytime soon. People simply don’t trust him, partially because he’s still defending the individual mandate and Romneycare during debates while insisting that Obamacare is wrong for the nation.
Calling himself a man of the private sector is a major stretch.
The issue isn’t black and white for Romney, who served as the governor of Massachusetts, ran for president in 2008 and has been campaigning for the 2012 nomination almost from the day President Obama was inaugurated.
But embracing an anti-Washington, individualist persona affords Romney an opportunity to differentiate himself from Gingrich, who served in Congress from 1979 to 1999 and, as a former House Speaker, is widely considered a GOP establishment figure.
Embracing “an anti-Washington, individualist persona” doesn’t afford Mitt the opportunity “to differentiate himself from Gingrich”. Portraying himself as a pure-as-the-driven-snow-DC-outsider will cause him to be the object of ridicule with GOP activists. At this point, Mitt’s target audience must be GOP activists in Iowa and New Hampshire.
These aren’t wet-behind-the-ears novices. They’re people who pay attention to politics. GOP activists know that Mitt’s been running for office a long time. They know that it’s been a decade since he’s worked in the private sector.
Prior to Mitt running for governor, he was hired to run the Olympic Games in February, 1999. He hasn’t been in the private sector since. After running the Winter Games, he ran for governor in Massachusetts and getting elected. After Mitt announced that he wasn’t seeking a second term in 2006, he essentially started running for president. Now it’s late 2011 and Mitt’s still running for president.
In short, he hasn’t worked in the private sector in almost 13 years.
It has become increasingly urgent for Romney to take advantage of lingering animosity toward Gingrich and present himself as the fresh-faced alternative for voters who see Gingrich as part of the problem with a gridlocked Washington.
Mitt the CEO is on full display again. He isn’t a Washington outsider but that’s what he thinks people are looking for so he’s repackaging himself yet again to win favor with voters. Mitt apparently hasn’t figured out that his multiple repackagings are why people don’t trust him.
That, more than anything else, is why he didn’t connect with GOP activists in 2008 and why he’s failing this time, too.
If Mitt doesn’t win this time, it’ll be because people have decided that they can’t trust him or predict who he’ll be a year from now.
Bob Vander Plaats is a undeniably a heavyweight amongst social conservatives in Iowa. That’s why his statements this weekend sting Mitt Romney. Additionally, it says Mitt isn’t a serious contender in Iowa. Here’s what Vander Plaats said:
“Romney was the only one who stiffed us,” influential Iowa social conservative leader Bob Vander Plaats complained after a presidential candidate forum organized by the family values-focused organization he runs in the state.
“I think that’s gone with his persona and how he’s treating, Iowa, which happens to be a swing state. And he wants to win the presidency, which tells me that he lacks judgment,” Vander Plaats told reporters. “And if he lacks judgment I think people all across America have to say, ‘is he the right candidate?’”
Vander Plaats isn’t the only Iowa Republican who isn’t happy with Gov. Romney:
Romney’s absence was also felt at an event hall in nearby Altoona, Iowa where the state’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstad was celebrating his 65th birthday at a fundraising dinner.
“I would’ve preferred if Mitt Romney had came, had come to the event,” Branstad told ABC News at his party where he mingled with the same six candidates who spoke at the earlier forum.
It was the latest in a torrent of criticism directed at Romney by Branstad, who has been scolding the former Massachusetts governor for spending far less time in this state than he did as a presidential candidate four years ago. The governor said he was “assured that Romney is intending to be back this coming week and spend a lot more time here,” but offered no words of praise for the candidate who ranks third in support among Republican voters here, according to a poll released last week.
Mitt’s hiding from Iowa voters is stupid. Whether he realizes it or not, he’s writing Iowa off, both for the caucuses and in the general election.
Shame on Mitt for not embracing a robust 50 state strategy. That’s what confident candidates do. Hiding from serious talk shows, starting with Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, Meet the Press with David Gregory and the other Sunday talk shows says that he’s too intimidated by the media.
Whoever is the GOP nominee will get hit with the Obama smear campaign barrage. Newt gets that and isn’t hiding from it. Instead, he’s preparing himself for the inevitable barrage.
By comparison, Mitt’s strategy has been timid, like the weakling who’s afraid of his own shadow. Mitt’s defense of his strategy is timid or worse:
In an interview at the party, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, hardly mentioned Romney’s name, but the influential congressman ticked off a list of reasons why several of his opponents were better positioned to chart a path to victory here. Iowa holds the country’s first presidential caucuses, the results of which will help shape expectations for the rest of the primary season.
From more than 1,000 miles away, Romney defended his decision to skip both Republican events in Iowa on Saturday.
“We’ve had a couple of events in Iowa I’ve been there several time I’ll be there this coming week,” Romney said after a campaign event in New Hampshire, which took place at roughly the same time his rivals assembled together in Des Moines. “I’ve said form the very beginning we intend to play in Iowa and I want to do very well there.”
People understand that Mitt’s actions don’t automatically match his words. Saying that “from the beginning, we intend to play in Iowa and I want to do very well there” is meaningless if it isn’t backed up by actions. He’s only made 4 appearances in Iowa since jumping into the race since June. What’s with that?
Mitt’s unwillingness to take a stand or to lead is infamous:
“Whether it’s the debt ceiling debate, the Ohio ballot initiatives, or military action in Libya, Mitt Romney has been either unwilling or unable to offer a clear position on issues important to voters,” said Tim Miller, candidate Jon Huntsman’s spokesman. “Leadership requires taking a stand on tough issues, even if it carries political risk.”
Huntsman’s campaign isn’t the place where Mitt’s taking criticism from:
For as long as he’s been the Republican front-runner, Mitt Romney has avoided taking firm positions on high-stakes Washington spending debates.
This week’s example: The former Massachusetts governor’s refusal to endorse or oppose a deficit-cutting plan introduced by members of his own party, with a key deadline looming. Romney’s cautiousness builds on the play-it-safe approach he has employed on issues ranging from Medicare overhauls to debt-ceiling negotiations, drawing criticism from GOP rivals and raising questions among uncommitted Republicans.
“It’s a risky move to not take a position,” said Michael Dennehy, a New Hampshire-based Republican operative who led Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid four years ago. “When there’s going to be intense scrutiny in these final seven weeks, voters are going to want to see someone who is showing their capacity to lead.”
Mitt could continue with his general election campaign strategy because the previous non-Romneys didn’t have the talent and staying power and star presence that Newt has. Now that activists are making final decisions or are preparing for making their final decisions, people will focus on three things: vision, fight and leadership.
Saying that Mitt isn’t a leader isn’t accurate. It’s more than accurate to say that he hasn’t displayed an overabundance of leadership during the campaign. Saying that “and I’ll get it done” during debates sounds nice but where’s the proof?
At some point, Mitt will have to show he’s willing to go all in. He’ll have to prove that he’ll take fight for conservative principles. Signing Ted Kennedy’s health care legislation into law isn’t proof that Mitt will fight for conservative principles.
Not staking out detailed principles on the debt ceiling fight isn’t proof that Mitt will fight for conservative principles, either.
Technorati: Bob Vander Plaats, Mitt Romney, Debt Ceiling Debate, Ohio Ballot Initiative, Newt Gingrich, Vision, Leadership, Conservatism, Iowa, New Hampshire, Primaries, GOP, The Barrage, Election 2012
If there’s a theme that’s emerging this election cycle, it’s that We The People, through the help of the TEA Party, is turning inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom on its ear.
The conventional wisdom says that Mike Castle was the only Republican who could win Vice President Biden’s U.S. Senate seat in Delaware. The last couple days, outside-the-box analysts like Dick Morris and Newt Gingrich have said that they think Christine O’Donnell can win Biden’s seat.
Glenn Beck framed it perfectly when he questioned the validity of the CW that a self-described Marxist would trounce a fiscal conservative. I’ll admit that O’Donnell wouldn’t have a shot if the economy wasn’t struggling as badly as it’s struggling. It’s time that we figured out that this year isn’t like any other year in U.S. history.
This morning on FNS, Nina Easton pointed out that 6 weeks before the special election, Scott Brown was 25 points behind and was best known for posing nude in a magazine. He was considered an empty suit. Now he’s a U.S. senator.
When Ted Kennedy’s seat is won by a candidate who pledges to be the vote to kill health care, it’s time to discard the old paradigms.
People have never been so starved for honesty. Never have people been this starved for accurate information about specific issues as the times we’re living in. In fact, people are most starved for genuine conservatives who say what they mean and mean what they say.
They want people who campaign as conservatives to govern as conservatives. In case people haven’t noticed, they’re rejecting unprincipled politicians like Arlen Specter, Lindsey Graham and Charlie Crist. In general election polling, they’re rejecting liberals like Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold and Patty Murray.
At no time have I seen more people this informed and demanding that politicians listen to them. When Rick Santelli took to the floor for his now famous rant, people were appalled. That’s what got them informed and engaged.
Here in Minnesota, that’s led to the gubernatorial candidates to not only put together budgets but to have the Department of Revenue score their budgets. Now Sen. Dayton’s budget has been exposed. Even though he’s got 100 percent name recognition, his slide is starting and it’s bound to get worse.
It’s time for the parties to understand that we’re living in a issue-driven political environment. That’s because politicians aren’t trusted, which led people to do their own research.
That’s a huge shift. Prior to Santelli’s rant, politicians didn’t fear the people. They worried about gaining their votes but they didn’t fear the people. After the GOP primaries, they’re now paying attention. After November, we’ll have their undivided attention. Those that won’t listen will be swept away.
Technorati: Spending, Bailouts, Rick Santelli, Glenn Beck, We The People, TEA Parties, Conservatism, Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist, Lindsey Graham, Conventional Wisdom, Elitists, Primaries, Election 2010
If ever there was a campaign tactic that’s doomed for failure, it’s the tactic that the Wisconsin Democratic Party is deploying against Sean Duffy. Here’s what’s being reported on the Democrats’ stunt:
The campaign for the Wisconsin 7th District House seat being vacated by retiring Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey took a strange turn on Friday as the state Democratic Party claimed to have obtained a copy of Republican candidate Sean Duffy’s as yet unannounced economic plan.
“The Democratic Party of Wisconsin on Thursday got its hands on Sean Duffy’s economic plan in advance of its planned release next week and found that, in it, Duffy has applied his life lessons of getting drunk on television and being a mediocre political appointee,” the Wisconsin Democrats’ press release said.
This smacks of desperation. Sean Duffy has garnered endorsements from Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, which means that they see Duffy as a serious candidate with a legitimate shot at winning. RCP rates WI-7 as leans Republican.
According to this article, this isn’t the Democrats’ first desperate attack against Sean Duffy:
Recently the campaign got ugly and desperate when The Democratic Party of Wisconsin sent out a press release on April 14, 2010 attacking Sean Duffy for being a white supremacist and used racial overtones to do it.
The press release stated, â€œDuffy was scheduled to appear at a Wausau Tea Party event Thursday alongside white supremacist Alabama militia Col. John Eidsmoe (Eidsmoe since canceled).â€ It continues, â€œBut even before not answering questions about the Tea Party scandal, Duffy was not answering questions about his unexplained role at a Wisconsin Dells resort where he reportedly fled the scene after his wife got into a shoving match with GOP rival Dan Mielke. Shortly thereafter, his campaign manager either quit or was fired.â€
Wisconsin Democrats know that this seat is lost if they can’t muddy Sean Duffy through a prolonged smear attack, something that I’m familiar with as an observer of the Dayton family’s attempt to buy the gubernatorial election for Sen. Dayton through a series of dishonest ads against Tom Emmer.
The Democrats, whether they’re located in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania or Ohio, know that they’re running uphill into a stiff headwind. They’ve been told to run away from the legislation they’ve passed. This administration’s economic policies have stunk up the joint. That’s the context in which this race is set in.
Is it any wonder that the Wisconsin Democratic Party is hurling one smear after another at Sean Duffy? It pains them to think that the seat that David Obey has occupied the last 20 terms will soon be held by Republican Sean Duffy. It’s the Wisconsin equivalent of Martha Coakley losing Ted Kennedy’s seat.
What’s great to see is that the Duffy campaign gives better than it gets. check this response out:
Duffy for Congress campaign manager, Matt Seaholm fired back with a press release. It stated, â€œIn response to the baseless claims of racism thrown at Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy, Duffy for Congress campaign manager, Matt Seaholm, said the Democrat Party of Wisconsin (DPW) owes the Republican congressional candidate and his family an apology. Today, the DPW and its Chairman Mike Tate accused Duffy, who is married to Rachel Campos-Duffy, a Mexican-American, of being a white supremacist.â€
Seaholm said, â€œSean Duffy is proudly married to a Mexican-American and together they have six wonderful children. The DPW crossed the line by blatantly playing the race card and insulting the Latino community. The Democrats owe the Duffy family an apology and Mr. Tate should resign immediately.â€
That’s stunning. That isn’t just a response. That’s a Game. Set. Match. type of response. Seaholm’s reply didn’t just counterpunch. It delivered the knockout blow that takes that subject off the table for the rest of this election cycle. You can’t respond more forcefully or more completely.
In that exchange between the Democrat Party of Wisconsin and Matt Seaholm, Seaholm is the clear winner. That doesn’t mean that it’s the last cheapshot that the Democrat Party of Wisconsin will throw at the Duffy campaign. They’ll definitely throw more cheapshots at him. I’m not worried, though, because it’s obvious that the Duffy campaign will consistently get the upper hand in these exchanges.
I suspect that this race is like other races across the country. The Republican is leading the race but they taste victory so intensely that they’ll continue campaigning like they’re 2 points behind with 3 weeks left in the campaign.
Put differently, it’s better to be a Republican than a Democrat and Republicans will keep outworking Democrats through till Election Day.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
This past weekend, numerous liberal bloggers wrote that Sen. Dayton supposedly put Rep. Emmer in his place at the Game Fair debate after Rep. Emmer asked Sen. Dayton this question:
Tom Emmer: Senator Dayton you talk about deathbed conversions. Ive explained why I do the things I do. If you could just explain to me and everybody else here in the state of Minnesota, how is it that you can have an F rating from the NRA and you can sit up here and tell us that youâ€™re gonna defend sportsmenâ€™s rights, youâ€™re gonna defend my right and my childrenâ€™s right to hunt and fish in this state when you got an F from the NRA? Have you had one of your own deathbed conversions? Well, we wont call it deathbed, but one of your own conversions that youâ€™re sharing with us today?
Here’s Sen. Dayton’s response:
Mark Dayton: Well, I had a D rating from the NRA in 1982 when I ran for the Senate. I had a two- an A rating in 2000. There were two principal votes you can look em up when I was a Senator. One was banning Cop Killer bullets. And one reason that I have the endorsement of the Minneapolis Police and Peace Officers Association, Representative, is because I respect the law enforcement men and women. I was on a ride-along last week to, as I’ve been several times with a police officer in St. Paul. And those guys wear bulletproof vests every time they go out there. Men and women. And anybody who wants to go out there and see them put their lives on the line to protect us.
And when the police chiefs and the police officers of this state and this nation send to us and say, Those bullets are made to kill us, then yeah, I’ll vote to ban em. Does that prevent a law-abiding hunter or fisher, a hunter in this state from, from going out and hunting and fishing? Absolutely not.
How many of you, how many of you own Cop Killer bullets and use em against police officers? Raise your hand. How many ever fire a Cop Killer bullet against a police officer in this state? Raise your hand. Nobodyâ€™s, Representative Emmer, nobody. Nobody. And they shouldnâ€™t ever happen.
Not being one to accept a politician’s answer as Gospel fact, I called the NRA about Sen. Dayton’s cop-killer claims. I read the bill’s language. Suffice it to say that it’s frightening. Here’s the provision that likely got the NRA upset:
SEC. 5. ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION.
(iv) a projectile for a center-fire rifle, designed or marketed as having armor piercing capability, that the Attorney General determines, under section 926(d), to be more likely to penetrate body armor than standard ammunition of the same caliber.
That’s extremely slippery language. First off, it doesn’t say that the projectile would penetrate body armor. The threshold is met if it’s “more likely to penetrate body armor than standard ammunition of the same caliber.” Next, the “Attorney General determines, under section 926(d),” whether the projectile fits the vague description proposed in the legislation. Third, they’re talking about “a projectile for a center-fire rifle, designed or marketed as having armor piercing capability.”
Let’s break this down for people. Just about any rifle cartridge has “armor piercing capability” if it’s a full metal jacket bullet and if the range is close enough. An FMJ cartridge from a 7mm Weatherby Magnum at 50 yds. likely could penetrate armor. I know that a 7mm Remington Magnum will go through a 1/2″ thick railroad plate with ease because I’ve seen it happen.
Let’s flip this question right back to Sen. Dayton. When was the last time that Sen. Dayton heard of a bolt action rifle be used to kill cops? While I’m sure it’s happened somewhere sometime, I’m betting that it wasn’t used in more than .001 of a percent of the cop-killings in the last thirty years.
What’s clear is that many rifle cartridges would’ve been outlawed had this amendment passed. Thankfully, it was defeated by a 64-31 margin:
Alphabetical by Senator Name Akaka (D-HI), Yea, Alexander (R-TN), Nay, Allard (R-CO), Nay, Allen (R-VA), Nay, Baucus (D-MT), Nay, Bayh (D-IN), Yea, Bennett (R-UT), Nay, Biden (D-DE), Yea, Bingaman (D-NM), Nay, Bond (R-MO), Nay, Boxer (D-CA), Yea, Brownback (R-KS), Nay, Bunning (R-KY), Nay, Burns (R-MT), Nay, Burr (R-NC), Nay, Byrd (D-WV), Nay, Cantwell (D-WA), Yea, Carper (D-DE), Yea, Chafee (R-RI), Yea, Chambliss (R-GA), Nay, Clinton (D-NY), Yea, Coburn (R-OK), Nay, Cochran (R-MS), Nay, Coleman (R-MN), Nay, Collins (R-ME), Nay, Conrad (D-ND), Nay, Cornyn (R-TX), Not Voting, Corzine (D-NJ), Yea, Craig (R-ID), Nay, Crapo (R-ID), Nay, Dayton (D-MN), Yea, DeMint (R-SC), Nay, DeWine (R-OH), Nay, Dodd (D-CT), Yea, Dole (R-NC), Nay, Domenici (R-NM), Nay, Dorgan (D-ND), Nay, Durbin (D-IL), Yea, Ensign (R-NV), Nay, Enzi (R-WY), Nay, Feingold (D-WI), Yea, Feinstein (D-CA), Not Voting, Frist (R-TN), Nay, Graham (R-SC), Nay, Grassley (R-IA), Nay, Gregg (R-NH), Nay, Hagel (R-NE), Nay, Harkin (D-IA), Yea, Hatch (R-UT), Nay, Hutchison (R-TX), Nay, Inhofe (R-OK), Nay, Inouye (D-HI), Yea, Isakson (R-GA), Nay, Jeffords (I-VT), Nay, Johnson (D-SD), Nay, Kennedy (D-MA), Yea, Kerry (D-MA), Yea, Kohl (D-WI), Yea, Kyl (R-AZ), Nay, Landrieu (D-LA), Nay, Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea, Leahy (D-VT), Nay, Levin (D-MI), Yea, Lieberman (D-CT), Yea, Lincoln (D-AR), Nay, Lott (R-MS), Nay, Lugar (R-IN), Nay, Martinez (R-FL), Nay, McCain (R-AZ), Nay, McConnell (R-KY), Nay, Mikulski (D-MD), Yea, Murkowski (R-AK), Nay, Murray (D-WA), Yea, Nelson (D-FL), Yea, Nelson (D-NE), Nay, Obama (D-IL), Yea, Pryor (D-AR), Nay, Reed (D-RI), Yea, Reid (D-NV), Nay, Roberts (R-KS), Not Voting, Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea, Salazar (D-CO), Nay, Santorum (R-PA), Nay Sarbanes (D-MD), Yea, Schumer (D-NY), Yea, Sessions (R-AL), Nay, Shelby (R-AL), Nay, Smith (R-OR), Not Voting, Snowe (R-ME), Nay, Specter (R-PA), Nay, Stabenow (D-MI), Yea, Stevens (R-AK), Nay, Sununu (R-NH), Not Voting, Talent (R-MO), Nay, Thomas (R-WY), Nay, Thune (R-SD), Nay, Vitter (R-LA), Nay, Voinovich (R-OH), Nay, Warner (R-VA), Nay, Wyden (D-OR), Yea
The vote wasn’t even close. Is Sen. Dayton prepared to accuse people like Patrick Leahy, Jim Jeffords, Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of voting against protecting police officers? Seriously, these senators don’t have a history of being stalwart supporters of the Second Amendment.
Sen. Dayton, despite all his huffing and puffing on the issue, voted to essentially outlaw rounds that big game hunters use each year. What’s most aggravating is that the Attorney General would have the final say in determining which ammunition is on the list.
Sen. Dayton’s statement that the MPPOA wanted these bullets banned doesn’t mean that they should’ve been banned. Certainly, you take the MPPOA’s recommendations seriously but that doesn’t mean they’re infallible. In this instance, they weren’t. Had Sen. Dayton done his due diligence, he would’ve known that the bullets he voted to ban had a legitimate hunting purpose.
There’s a reason why Sen. Dayton had a failing grade. Voting to outlaw bullets that sportsmen use each year is a major reason for Sen. Dayton’s failing grade from the NRA.
Thursday afternoon, Megyn Kelly aired Part II of her interview with J. Christian Adams. (Follow this link to watch Part I, this link to Part II.) Following Part II of her interview of J. Christian Adams, Megyn then interviewed legendary civil rights attorney and former RFK confidant Bartle Bull because Bull was an eyewitness to the NBPP’s threats and intimidation.
Before getting into today’s interviews, let’s recap what we learned yesterday. We know from the Election Day video and from yesterday’s interview that 3 members of the NBPP, including one of their high-ranking officials, Minister King Samir Shabazz, intimidated white voters, threatened people by saying “now you’ll know what it’s like to be ruled by a black man, Cracker”, and attempted to intimidate election officials.
We also know that the cases that were dropped were reviewed by Eric Holder, though it isn’t known if he signed off on dismissing the cases. We know that Steve Rosenbaum and Loretta King, 2 Obama administration political appointees, ordered that the case be dismissed after the DOJ prosecution team won a conviction.
Finally, we know that the DOJ issued a statement saying that “the facts and the law don’t support the case.” This statement was issued after the DOJ prosecution team had won a conviction. What’s telling is that the trial judge didn’t rule that the law didn’t apply or that the facts presented as evidence didn’t measure up to the case.
Now, onto Megyn Kelly’s interview of Bartle Bull. Here’s a snippet of the interview:
BULL: The fact is that Mr. Adams was trying to enforce the law and, for the first time in our lifetime, the power of the administration of the United States of America was working against the Voting Rights Act. They were protecting the people who were abusing the law. What I saw, for example, was this guy, King Samir Shabazz, who was the head of the Black Panther Party — he’s the one with the baton — he’s the one who said to me and to a man who was with me “Now you will see what it means to be ruled by the black man, cracker.”
KELLY: So when the Department of Justice comes out, after winning this case, and says “the facts and the law and the evidence just aren’t there to pursue this prosecution any further?
BULL: They were absolutely there. That’s what they were afraid of. You’re a lawyer. You understand this. I’ve been a lawyer all my life and the reality of it all was the section of the law was Section 11 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965…
KELLY: Voter intimidation…
BULL: Voter intimidation…And the fundamental point to me is Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy did not die to have uniformed thugs blocking the doors to polling places with weapons. And for the first time in our lifetime, the national administration is protecting the abusers rather than the voters.
BULL: Because they want to maximize the vote. The New York Times reported one week before the election, on October 27, 2008, the New York Times reported that ACORN had registered 1,300,000 voters, of which, the Times said, 35 percent of which were fraudulent. That’s over 400,000 ACORN voters. And this was an effort to protect those illegal voters and you do that by intimidating the poll watchers who were challenging them. And that’s what was happening.
KELLY: Why would there be…J. Christian Adams sys there is now, in the wake of this Black Panther case being dropped, there is a mandate at DOJ, that the DOJ doesn’t want the world to know about, that no voting rights cases, no voter intimidation case, from this point forward, if the defendant is black and the victim is white.
BULL: I have no way of knowing if that’s the case but I know that the president of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama, has violated his oath of office to enforce the laws of the United States because he’s not enforcing the Voting Rights Act, which he swore to do.
KELLY: Is that incredible to you? As someone who has spent his life devoted to enforcing civil right laws, to…
BULL: It’s a staggering outrage and it’s exactly not the cause that people like Martin Luther King died for. He died to help people to vote. I was in Mississippi working on helping people to vote, where people risked their lives to vote, and here the administration is challenging that system.
KELLY: You know they seem to be trying to discredit Mr. Adams by saying he’s a conservative and he doesn’t like Mr. Obama. That seems to be what they’re suggesting. And he’s been critical of the administration. You konw, where does that leave us?
BULL: It leaves us in a terrible situation where the government is deciding which laws it will enforced based on its political opportunities in the next election. I think this next election will be very dangerous because all those illegal ACORN voters will are on the books all over the country and now, we’re going to be intimidated from challenging their false votes.
KELLY: Do you have an agenda?
BULL: I have the same agenda as I had in the 1960s in Mississippi. I have the same agenda as I had in 1968, when I was Bobby Kennedy’s New York state campaign manager, the same agenda I had in 1976, when I was Jimmy Carter’s New York state campaign manager, and that is to have decent and intelligent government and fair voting all over the country.
It’s long past time to express our outrage and tell the federal government, OUR EMPLOYEES, (After all, they’re supposed to work for We The People) to enforce the laws consistently regardless of race, political leaning or any other factor.
It’s time that we told this administration that we’re demanding that theyput aside their political grudges and their racial prejudices and consistently enforce this nation’s laws, especially as it pertains to the Voting Rights Act.
What the Holder Justice Department is engaged in is nothing short of evil. It can’t be described as anything less than willful corruption.
Here’s a not-so-bold prediction: this scandal isn’t going away. It will be with us quite awhile. This story will get front and center attention Tuesday when Christian Adams testifies before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. I expect that’s when some bombshells will drop.
At minimum, Holder should’ve investigated why the Black Panther case was dropped after Adams’ team had won a conviction. I’d further investigate why Thomas Perez said that “This is a case about career people disagreeing with career people.” In this MainJustice article, Perez admits that “the decision to drop the case” was “a judgment made by then-Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Loretta King.” Here’s what I found out about Ms. King:
Assistant Attorney General (Acting)
Presidential Appointment Requiring Senate Confirmation
Civil Rights Division, Office of the Associate Attorney General, United States Department of Justice
There’s nothing indicating Ms. King was a career attorney at DOJ. There’s sufficient information indicating that she was a political appointee.
Based on the information compiled, the political appointees in Eric Holder’s Justice Dept. are corrupt and dishonest. Additionally, they’ve ordered that 3 convictions be dropped before the 3 racist thugs could be sentenced.
Finally, Holder’s political hacks have been criticized by one of the most respected civil rights attorneys in U.S. history, Bartle Bull. He’s criticized these political hacks because they didn’t have the view that he did, which is within earshot of the racist thugs from the NBPP.
It’s time to call Holder’s DOJ what it really is: Corruption, Inc.
Technorati: Crime, Corruption, Eric Holder, Loretta King, Thomas Perez, Steve Rosenbaum, Jerry Jackson, King Samir Shabazz, black Panthers, DOJ, President Obama, Democrats, Civil Rights, J. Christian Adams, Bartle Bull, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Justice
Cross-posted at California Conservative
I’ve said more than once that Gov. Pawlenty would make a great president. This Time Magazine article talks about one of the potential matchups, Gov. Pawlenty vs. Mitt Romney:
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a possible contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, has announced he will join a growing number of states challenging the legality of the health reform law.
This further distinguishes Pawlenty from another top contender for the nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Romney, you may remember, launched state-based reforms in Massachusetts that are very similar to the Democrats’ federal health reform plan. Info on Romney’s probably futile attempts to distance himself from this fact here and here.)
Pawlenty’s move was not unexpected given that Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democrat, declined to join the suit despite the governor’s urging. But Pawlenty also publicly twice rejected the idea of instituting an individual mandate for insurance in his state, while this is a major tenet of Romneycare. Although 2012 feels far away, with the 2010 congressional elections bearing down on us, Pawlenty appears to have already laid some crucial groundwork. Of course, that’s only helpful if health care is a top issue in the 2012 GOP primaries.
Health care isn’t going away because the GOP will probably be still trying to repeal Obamacare. That won’t help Mitt Romney because health care is a major vulnerability for him:
Reading Collins’ piece, I was suddenly taken back, as if in a dream, to a more wondrous time, for me at least, during the 2008 Iowa Straw Poll at Ames. Back then, Romney was on a different tack, arguing that his past embrace of Ted Kennedy’s health care vision for Massachusetts was something of a badge of honor. This really happened. I have video, though I must apologize for the shaky camera work and poor audio quality.
It’s quite a stretch to go from bragging about consulting Ted Kennedy about Romneycare to calling for the repeal of Obamacare:
Obama calls his accomplishment â€œhistoricâ€; in this he is correct, although not for the reason he intends. Rather, it is an historic usurpation of the legislative process; he unleashed the nuclear option, enlisted not a single Republican vote in either chamber, bribed reluctant members of his own party, paid-off his union backers, scapegoated insurers, and justified his act with patently fraudulent accounting. What Barack Obama has ushered into the American political landscape is not good for our country; in the words of an ancient maxim, â€œwhat starts twisted, ends twisted.â€
His health-care bill is unhealthy for America. It raises taxes, slashes the more private side of Medicare, installs price controls, and puts a new federal bureaucracy in charge of health care. It will create a new entitlement even as the ones we already have are bankrupt. For these reasons and more, the act should be repealed. That campaign begins today.”
Notice that Mitt doesn’t condemn Obamacare’s individual mandate. That’s because Romneycare relies on an individual mandate, too. That’s a big deal because Gov. Pawlenty rejected including indivdual mandates in his health care recommendations:
Again in a report dated Feb. 1, ’08, another health care group advising Pawlenty — the Health Care Transformation Task Force — suggested that individual mandates be part of the solution.
Cal Ludeman, the commissioner of the MN Department of Human Services, and state Rep. Thomas Huntley (D) co-chaired the commission.
The task force made the following recommendation: “Require that all Minnesotans obtain health coverage by January 1, 2011, unless: No insurance that meets affordability standards is available; and No subsidy is available to make available insurance policies affordable.”
Pawlenty has trumpeted his gubernatorial record frequently on the stump as he’s been increasing his visibility, including what has been done in the state on health care. While Pawlenty may have bucked his then-advisers’ recommendations that he work toward mandates, political adviser Phil Musser emphasized that it simply means the governor has been consistent in his long-standing opposition to mandates.
Even if health care isn’t an issue, the difference between Gov. Pawlenty and Mitt Romney couldn’t be more stark. Mitt Romney apparently thinks that it’s ok for the government to order people to buy things whether they want the product or not. Gov. Pawlenty has consistently rejected that policy.
Instead, Gov. Pawlenty has signed real health care reform. Gov. Pawlenty’s plan relies on people being smart health care shoppers. During his CPAC speech, Gov. Pawlenty posed this question (I’m paraphrasing here):
If I told everyone in this room that they should go out and buy a TV set and that they should send the bill to the Governor’s mansion, how many people would go out and buy a 12″ black and white?
The principle is simple: If the patient only deals with a co-pay, they won’t pay as much attention to how often they visit their doctor or the emergency room.
Gov. Pawlenty thinks that Minnesota’s system of telling public employees that they’ll spend less if they go to a hospital or clinic that is less expensive. In other words, the state contribution stays the same whether they go to an expensive hospital or whether they go to a less expensive hospital. By making people spend some of their money, people have an incentive to be spart health care shoppers.
I’d submit that Gov. Pawlenty’s plan is anchored in the time-tested conservative principles of personal responsibility and fiscal restraint. Romney’s plan isn’t anchored in those principles. Instead, Romneycare’s anchoring principle is government telling people what to do. Romneycare’s anchoring principle sounds like a liberal principle to me.
That’s why I’ve often said that I think Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are history and that Gov. Pawlenty, Gov. Daniels and Gov. Palin are frontrunners if they choose to run in 2012.
Technorati: Mandates, Mitt Romney, Ted Kennedy, President Obama, Big Government, Liberalism, Tim Pawlenty, Health Care, Personal Responsibility, CPAC, Conservatism, Election 2012
Cross-posted at California Conservative
My first reaction after reading Steve Benen’s post was “Keep believing what you’re writing.” Here’s what I’m talking about:
For all the palpable anxiety in Democratic circles, there’s still time. Sinking poll numbers are largely the result of inaction, Americans want to see results, and they’re not getting any. If Dems run for the hills, matters will only get worse.
It isn’t about the Democrats’ tactics. It isn’t about the Democrats’ communications strategy. It’s about their failed economic policies. It’s about the damage that the Democrats’ health care policies would’ve caused if they would’ve been implemented.
When I hear Democrats say that people only have a negative opinion of their health care legislation because they haven’t correctly communicated the provisions in the bill, I question whether they watched the videos from August’s townhall meetings, where informed citizen after informed citizen ‘educated’ their legislators.
I recall Claire McCaskill telling the audience that President Obama never endorsed a single-payer health care system. I loved it when someone from the audience hollared “It’s on YouTube.” It isn’t that we don’t know what’s in these bills. It’s that people like Betsy McCaughey, Keith Hennessey and King Banaian read the bills and published specific language from the bills on their websites.
We knew what was in the Democrats’ health care bill. We rejected the tax increases, the individual mandates and the fines for not buying health insurance policies that the federal government approved.
Another thing that Democrats should do is keep sending President Obama into races where Democrats are currently in trouble:
President Obama kicks off what might be called his “Save the Senate” tour this week, heading west to campaign for two embattled Democrats trailing badly against Republican challengers, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
With high-profile Democrats already bailing out of re-election campaigns, Sen. Evan Bayh’s decision on Monday to drop out of the race in Indiana brings the number of retirees to five, Mr. Obama is putting his popularity and fundraising prowess on the line as he tries to help his party hold the majority in the Senate.
If President Obama does for Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray what he did for Martha Coakley and Jon Corzine, we’ll owe President Obama a big debt of gratitude for tying Democrats to his radical agenda.
Finally, I hope DNC Chair Tim Kaine told the truth when he said this:
“In the two governors races, and Massachusetts things didn’t go our way,” he said. “We know it’s going to be a challenging and tough cycle. Historically it always is. But we’re not panicked people. When a couple races don’t go our way, we don’t panic. If we would, we never would have won the White House in ’08.”
What a buffoon. Things didn’t just not go their way in a couple of statewide races. They got manhandled in states that they’ve owned for years. Independent voters rejected their policies by margins of 2:1 and 3:1. They lost Virginia, a state President Obama carried by 8 points, by almost 20 points. They lost Ted Kennedy’s seat by a healthy margin. In all 3 states, the swing from President Obama’s margin of victory to this year’s election was approaching 30 points.
Tim Kaine can act nonchalant all he wants but candidates are panicking. Byron Dorgan, Evan Bayh and Christopher Dodd didn’t suddenly retire because they saw nothing but smooth sailing ahead. (No, I don’t buy this weekend’s polling that showed Bayh ahead by 15+ points. Rasmussen’s polling showed him in a dogfight with John Hostettler and trailing Mike Pence. I’ll trust Scott Rasmussen’s polling. PERIOD.)
Unless President Obama abandons his radical agenda, Democrats will have to plenty to worry about. People want common sense leadership, not Alinsky-style radicalism.
Technorati: Tim Kaine, DNC, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, President Obama, Ted Kennedy, Saul Alinsky, Radicals, Christopher Dodd, Byron Dorgan, Evan Bayh, Democrats, John Hostettler, Mike Pence, Indiana, Republicans, Elections 2010
Cross-posted at California Conservative