14 Feb 2018

Partisan Realignment and Third Parties
It's Third Party Season! With the 2018 mid-terms and 2020 presidential elections far enough in the future that candidates are not yet locked in, third party hopes spring eternal in the centrist breast. A hope that there just might be a viable alternative to the usual Republican and Democratic choices they find so disheartening. A hope that it might be different this time. And you know what? It just might be ... Thesis: In the United States, third parties always fail. But, on rare occasions in our history, with the right conditions, a New Party can successfully gut, destroy and replace one of the two major parties. This could be that time. Here are two steps necessary to make a New Party a Major Party: Step One: Do not call your New Party a "Third Party." Calling it a "Third Party" guarantees failure.  History tells us that U.S. Third Parties always fail. Meaning they: Do not fulfill the political objectives of their supporters. Never bec...

13 May 2011

Some interesting polling data from the New York Times, showing that the trend is moving towards a majority of GOP voters being supportive of either civil unions or gay marriage, suggesting that this may not be as much of a liability in GOP primaries as some people think. This does not mean that there is no risk at all for Mr. Huntsman. Civil unions had gained currency as a centrist alternative between gay marriage and no legal recognition. But both advocates and opponents of gay rights are increasingly turning their attention to marriage itself, meaning that everyone from Mr. Huntsman to President Obama may have to pick sides. In polls that present a choice between gay marriage and no legal recognition — with civil unions removed as an alternative — most Republican voters continue to gravitate toward the latter option, with 27 of Republican voters supporting gay marriage but 71 percent opposed in a recent CNN survey. Another problem is the Repub...

20 Apr 2011

It`s funny how in a moment`s notice things can change. Sometimes I think that Washington and our politicians are like teenagers. One minute they like this person, then this person is talking about this person, so they can`t like this person. Their likes and dislikes shift like the wind. I am talking about these crazy antics in the Republican side of Washington and their struggle to find their candidates for the run for President. So, this is the earliest I have called this, but here I go! It`s the official start of the silly season! We tried to hold it off as long as we could. But this season is like Xmas season to retailers. By the way, I anticipate Xmas will be bumped back to Oct. When retailers get wind that early political money is floating around they are going to want to throw the Xmas shopping season in before politician start begging Americans for their money. And before all the billions are dumped into TV and billboard ads. So, the bi...

09 Mar 2011

The Boston Globe reports that Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), may get a primary challenge as he runs for a full term in 2012. Senator Brown, as we all know, provided a catalyst for nascent Tea Party movement with his unexpected win in the special election to fill out the remaining two years of Senator Kennedy's term, but he hasn't been right wing enough for them. That same Tea Party movement now looks ready, and eager, to turn upon its own. This may be fueled by Senator Brown's statement that he does not consider himself a member of the Tea Party. Senator Brown, who is on a book tour and has revealed he was sexually-abused as a child, is remarkably calm about his prospects for next year, saying "whatever happens, happens". However, it must be noted that the Republican Party will be extremely hard-pressed to find someone, other than Brown, who will be able to win in this bluest of blue states in the year when an incumbent Democratic president will...

07 Mar 2011

Agree with them or not, John Boehner and the republicans have proposed $61 billion in budget cuts. Being democrats, their opponents across the aisle aren't a fan of how big those cuts are, or where the cuts come from. None of these responses are really noteworthy. But what does stick out is a talking point, apparently being used by the President and other democrats in the administration and on the hill, that the counter offer of $10.5 billion is somehow meeting them half way. Only in the strange world of ideologues would meeting someone one sixth of the way amount to anything near half way. This is one of those instances where political spin goes so far as to just come off as flatly dumb. It might convince the choir, but will it do anything but attract scorn from anyone else actually paying attention? I just don't get these people sometimes. In their post on this, Factcheck.org hits the nail on the head: The Democratic claim to be meeting ...

22 Feb 2011

Ok, so today I am going to shoot my comments straight from the hip. See, when target shooting it is best to take aim and hit the bull`s eye the first time. Now if you are unsure about your skills you can pick a different gun. Folks that can`t hit the target use guns that are rapid fire, so odds are you are bound to hit your target at some point. So why am I giving you all advice on how to be direct and right on target? It`s my theory that folks that pussy foot around and beat around the bush tend to waste folk`s time and with as little time as we all have on this earth, I think it is important to get to the point... hit the nail on the head and hit the bull`s eye. So, now that I have totally confused my readers as to whom or what am I talking about... And it`s Birthers! It`s been proven and most folks know this issue of our President not being born in the USA is just plain SILLY. Of course, after a while even the funniest joke can become st...

17 Feb 2011

With the demographic shifts coming down the line in the next few years both parties look to lose support. For example, older people tend to lean more conservative, and our population is aging, so that could help the GOP a bit in the next few decades, before that levels off after the baby boomer generation. The other big demographic shift is among Latinos. This issue isn't quite so cut and dry, as Doug Mataconis, on over at Outside the Beltway, noted recently, Latinos aren't nearly as monotlithically on the democrats' side as the black community is, but the latino community's soft support of Obama isn't driving them to the republican party. This tell me three things... that the latino community knows how much the democrats take them for granted (they could have pushed some form of immigration reform through last year if it was really a priority), the republicans have something to really worry about in coming years, and the center has an opening he...

10 Feb 2011

Lee Drutman, on over at The Progressive Fix, has a great post looking at how the republicans are beginning to have some difficulties working together... not just with democrats, but with members of their own party. Four weeks in, and not everybody in the Republican caucus is going along with what was supposed to be routine vote to temporarily extend anti-terrorism provisions in the Patriot Act. Though surely the bigger issue is that the party’s most conservative members are demanding $100 billion in domestic cuts instead of the mere $40 billion originally planned. My prediction: this is but a preview of a coming internecine war within the Republican Party. The reasons for this are straightforward. By taking back the House on the wave of the mad-as-hell Tea Party voters, Republicans got a radical faction that demanded and frankly expected something big and revolutionary to happen. And if they didn’t get that something big and revolutionary they w...

29 Jan 2011

Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza, at Washington Posts The Fix, ask a good question here: Do Republicans try to be more bipartisan and risk making Obama bulletproof in 2012? Or do they keep being the "party of no" and try to create a second-straight referendum on the Democratic Party? It might not really be a decision at all. A lot of a Congress's and a president's approval ratings have to do with the perception of the economy. If things get better, it's going to be harder for Republicans to keep blocking everything and blaming the Democrats. If they don't, that strategy may continue to work. For now, it's going to be an interesting dance for the GOP. And it will be interesting to see if perceptions of Obama and the GOP continue to rise in tandem. Its really not going to be easy for them. As the post describes, the GOP has seen its numbers climb since it took the rhetoric down a few notches. If the economy keeps improving and they really go aft...

21 Jan 2011

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has a short white paper out, breaking down the Republicans' spending rules, which they dub CUTGO. The idea is supposed to be that they will not just pay for any new spending, but should have to find spending cuts to do so. There are some genuinely good ideas here, such as creating lock boxes to make sure funds freed up by budget trimming go to deficit reduction, not new spending. Al Gore jokes aside, the rules are a complete sham. They make it harder to spend more on things they don't like, but make it easier to dig an even deeper deficit hole on tax cuts we cannot afford. Page three on the document embedded below is a good summary of what is wrong with this. Read the whole thing if you'd like to get a peek into what the GOP really plans on pushing the next couple years, and how we're lucky they don't have a monopoly on power like they had before 2006 (same with the Dems... their PAYGO rules were ...