Tag Archives: 2010

The TEA Party can win primaries. Can they win general elections?

It would be nice if the TEA Party represented a definable belief system.

Yes, I know that the TEA Parties share three common beliefs:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Constitutionally Limited Government
  • Free Markets

But this is a lot like saying that you believe in mom, apple pie and God. I fully support all of the above.

Reality however is that we mostly know what the TEA Party protests against. And we know about their willingness to trash fellow Republicans that are otherwise deemed conservative by virtue alone of their American Conservative Union (ACU) ratings.

As to WHAT the TEA Partyers actually believe and would like to see done in the real world: the reality is that there is no ‘there’ there.

If elected what would they do?

If elected what could they do?

At some point the TEA Party must come to terms that just as they dislike ‘policies’ they themselves must be willing to offer policies.

Policies require 51% of Congressional votes. If every TEA Party candidate was elected would they even have 2% or 3% of Congress’s members?

How responsive would western Republicans (non social conservatives) and New England Republicans (moderates) be when it comes time for cooperation?

The general elections will be very different than the Republican primaries. It is not like anyone believes the TEA Party to be any more than an element of the Republican Party. Surveys of TEA members show that they plan to vote 90-97% Republican … so TEA itself makes no effort to reach out to the center.

November will be interesting.

STRONG TEA Party primary victories could actually cause the Democrats to make a comeback in November — heresy I know but with 99% of Republicans being RINOs in their own party then I’m sure that all of the (dis)unity will cause people to think twice.

I write this as a libertarian conservative independent. Identifying wrong and bad is good. Getting people to believe that you are the right person for the job to fix the problem is harder. Since we have no clue what TEA Partyers are offering as policy, my vote will go to those that offer details.

As an independent some of my votes are going to Democrats and to RINOs. I am not willing to trade normal gridlock for even more gridlock and more chaos. Five minutes after the November elections are over, TEA Partyers and their ultraconservative allies will immediately start their 2012 campaign with intent to evolve the Republican Party from the Party of No to the Party of Hell No!

No thank you.

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Coffee, Tea and Me – 2010 Craziness

Surely 2010 will go down in American history books as one of the more interesting years in American history.

2010 is in many ways a lot like both 1884 and 1992.

1884 gave us the Mugwumps – conservative and moderate Republicans that revolted and openly distanced themselves from the official choices of the Republican Party. In many cases the Mugwumps actively worked against Republican candidates, this includes even the Republican nominee for president. Unlike today, Mugwumps were a top down revolt of Republicans already elected that thought the party was on the wrong path.

1992 — how quickly we forget the anger that existed, to include real concern about our national debt. National polling shows that Americans were much more “angry” at the government back in 1992, significantly much more angry. That anger got channeled however through the candidacy of Ross Perot who stepped forward and very explicitly challenged the political establishment — with charts and predictions in hand Ross Perot made a difference. We later got “Contract with America” which turned out to be: vote us in, we promise to use all of your favorite buzzwords,  and then we’ll do what is best for the party.

Ross Perot got my vote and the vote of 19% of America in 1992.

The lessons of 1884 and 1992 are that populist movements to reform government are usually shortlived. They can linger on for a few years; Ross Perot later formally founded the Reform Party which actually won some elections. We have some few remaining elected officials here in Virginia that are officially Reform Party … this is now a party footnoted in history.

Without structure and organization there is no future for a movement. Perhaps even with structure there is no future; witness the inability of the Libertarian Party to connect, or the Constitutionalist Party — the “fastest growing party in America”  as it bills itself … I don’t think so.

So here we are at 2010. Anger we have plenty of, but alas no Ross Perot to represent us or any central personality capable of convincing America that someone with a name cares. There is no cross-generational Ronald Reagan, whom we literally had decades to know and to mature with and to evolve with. 2010 is all about chaos, impending financial entropy on a scale that we cannot yet imagine … although some are trying hard.

2010 is all about having to represent ourselves against the machine — and the machine is both red and blue.

Tea or coffee? Coffee or Tea?

Until now I have been uninvolved in the TEA Party movement. I don’t do anger. Anger blinds you and makes you do silly stuff. I’m a solutions person. I have never let not knowing what I am doing get in the way of achieving something. Until recently the TEA Party movement has largely been against and not for anything. That is changing.

The TEA movement is maturing, and now that the Republicans (Romney/Rove/Steele) have informed TEA Partyers that they really are Republicans and that they should act accordingly, there is more sober thought among TEAers to consider what comes next. Conservative Texas’ voter thumping of TEA candidates has also caused many TEAers to pause and to reflect.

Now comes this new creature: the Coffee Party. The premise of Coffee is that government is not the enemy. It may not have the answer, but it is not the enemy.

We are the government. If it is wrong then we are wrong. Coffee suggests that ‘we the people’ should focus our energies on helping guide government by being both its watchdog and by being involved. We must do more than be angry. We must be part of the solution.

So for me I will now get involved in both. Although many in TEA distrust Coffee, and certainly Coffee is in reaction to TEA, we are at a crossroads in American history. They both are a distraction and yet they both may hold answers.

One thing is certain: 2010 is the chapter that follows 1884 and 1992.


BTW #1 – some good did come out of 1992. Congress seriously took up the challenge to pass a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. 1995 was the closest that Congress has ever come to voting yes and then allowing the states to consider and to vote on this amendment. That said, the vote was 65 Yea and 35 Nay in the Senate. Here is a brief history of past attempts to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment.

BTW #2 – Republicans claim to be serious about passing some form of a Balanced Budget Amendment if only we give them the chance. Really? Those two wild and crazy South Carolinians Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint (both R-SC) introduced a Balanced Budget Amendment in 2007. Surely you remember!? Don’t you? Surely you do. Anyway, Republicans always run to this ploy when politically in trouble. I believe that Graham and DeMint were serious about it — but where was the rest of the party?


This post by Bill Golden, aka Bill4DogCatcher.com, an independent  observer of American political life, economics, and workforce issues.

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Jobs | Finding Jobs in Nearby Communities. How to Identify Opportunities.

You should expect that the job market will remain tight through late 2012 or into 2013.

When jobs drop in your community then you should look to other communities in your region. This is just common sense — but often easier said than done.

Researching jobs in other communities can be difficult, starting with the question of which communities have jobs.

My advice is to make use of the trends data made available by the U.S. Government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The amount of data provided by the BLS can be both daunting and dense to find and to understand. However, there is a graphical clickable map that will quickly help you find current trends data about your community.

Just click the map below to jump to the BLS’s live version.

Once you select an area on the map you will jump to a page of statistics about your state. The nearby community information that you really want is at the bottom of the page.

Even in this bad economy you can sometimes find happy surprises. For example, Roanoke, Virginia’s unemployment rate has actually improved since May 2009.

Employers: Have jobs? Advertise 3 jobs per month for free! Just visit USAJobZoo.com and sign up. No strings attached.

Get more info: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Republican Gains & The Pelosi Barometer … If 2010 Were Today

A recent Gallup Poll shows that Republicans made some significant gains in brand identity over the summer (1). Republican-friendly voters have risen 3%.

Per Gallup, 42% of Americans now identify themselves, or lean, towards being Republican. Republicans started 2009 off with just 39%.

Republicans last held a 42% identity ranking in late 2006 — so while the most recent 2009 numbers are an improvement, this is also the same level of public support as during the disastrous 2006 elections.

History: Based upon the 2000 and 2004 elections, Republicans must run at least toe-to-toe with the Democrats in voter party self-identification popularity to have a chance at winning. With voters almost evenly splitting their loyalties in 2000 and 2004, only Florida’s questionable votes pushed Republicans over the top in 2000, and Ohio slid in at the last minute in 2004 to give Bush a win over Kerry. In each election Republicans were virtually tied with voters equally identifying with each political party (2 point difference in 2000, 0 point difference in 2004). (1, 2)

Curent Poll Interpretation: After a brutal summer of debate in which Republicans and friends were constantly on attack against the Democrats, the Democrat’s current lead of 6% essentially means: Republicans would soundly lose if an election were held today.

Other polling puts the current situation into more specific perspective. If the 2009/2010 elections were held today (3):

  • Senate: Republicans would lose 2 seats (Kentucky and Ohio) and gain 1 seat (Colorado).
  • House: Republicans would gain 2 seats; winning in Idaho, Maryland and New Hampshire but losing Alabama.
  • Governors: Republicans drop one governorship: winning in Michigan and Virginia, but losing in Hawaii, Rhode Island and Nevada.

The challenge for Republicans is to attract more independents, just as it is for the Democrats to do so. Neither political party can win without the independent vote.

Many Republicans are counting upon 2010 to upset the Democratic control of Congress. History suggests that it should.

About Republican chances in 2010, David Moore of Pollster.com (aggregator and analysis of various polls) has a different interpretation: “It would be a political miracle if the Democrats did not lose seats in the 2010 Congressional elections, yet the polls so far suggest that scenario is doubtful at best.” If Moore is right then Republicans must reach out to even more independents, and Democrats too, if it hopes to keep in 2010 what congressional seats it already has.

The Pelosi Barometer: Perhaps one of the most interesting barometers that I pay attention to is the popularity of Nancy Pelosi. More than any other Democrat, ultra-conservative Republicans and their allies love to attack and to mock Nancy Pelosi. Bad news for ultra-conservatives: her popularity is rising, and rising faster than that of Republicans. So while the Republicans have moved forward by 3% with the general public since January 2009, Nancy Pelosi’s popularity has risen 7% just since August 2009 (4). With numbers like that, Republicans should have a lot to think about.

Sources:

1 – Washington Post, Morning Fix: Republicans’ Independent Gains?, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/morning-fix-republicans-indepe.html

2 – Pew Research, Fewer Voters Identify as Republicans, http://pewresearch.org/pubs/773/fewer-voters-identify-as-republicans

3 – Pollster.com, Likely Voters and Mid-Term Elections, Part I, http://www.pollster.com/blogs/likely_voters/

4 – Rasmussen, 57% View Pelosi Unfavorably, But That’s An Improvement, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/congressional_favorability_ratings

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Maryland Republicans: $703 In The Bank & No Plan for 2010

Being a curmudgeon, I tend to be a bit grumpy about politics.

I’m not a good cheerleader. I believe that too much cheerleading leads to failure to look both ways when crossing the road … and when that happens: Splat!

It also bothers me greatly when there is no apparent sense of introspection as to how one got whereever they are.

Up in Maryland, the state Republican Party is running on fumes with $703 in their bank account per the last public accounting, and they have yet to publicly name  a single figure as probably running for state office in 2010.

In the last two elections Maryland Republicans encountered a real smackdown by voters. Republicans now hold only 36 of 141 seats in the House of Delegates and 14 of 47 in the Senate.  At national level, Maryland Republicans have just one house member.

State Republicans seem to be of two minds:  one group believes that it can capitalize on President Obama’s falling poll numbers, and the turbulence caused by the health care debate. That’s it? No call to action? No state initiatives? No ‘Maryland of Tomorrow’ vision? Bang Obama and hope people think that is worthy of their vote?

The second mindset is represented by Vincent Pacelli,  running for county commissioner in Carroll, “I think success should be defined not necessarily by who’s in Annapolis but by what happens at the local level.”  Carroll County is one of the very few Republican counties in the state (51% of registered voters).

How refreshing. I could like Vincent Pacelli. Compete on ideas and show that Republicans understand what the voters want by dealing with realworld local issues.

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Sarah Palin Says Enough Of Partisanship … Will Campaign For Moderate & Conservative Democrats Across the USA In Areas Where Republicans Have All But Lost

Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) said earlier today that she shared former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s view that Republicans, now trailing Democrats and Independents in registration in many states, should back moderate to conservative Democrats in congressional districts and states where Republicans stand almost no chance of winning.

This is indeed a new Palin.

Sarah Palin should be congratulated for putting country before party.

Governor Palin views the electorate as embattled and fatigued by nonstop partisanship, and she is eager to campaign for Republicans, Independents and even Democrats who share her values on limited government, strong defense and “energy independence.”

It appears that she is joining her husband and son who are not Republicans, and are officially registered as “nonpartisan”.

This will put further pressure on the Republicans to become relevant.

Prediction:

If Sarah Palin follows through on this it will set back the Republican party 8-10 years in its efforts to reemerge as a national leader. This move would so strengthen the Blue Dog Democrats, who are currently doing a better job of being good conservatives than the majority of Republicans, that we could find ourselves once again in a land where you can be anything you want to be just so long as it is a Democrat … I’m not exactly predicting the generational reemergence of the Democratic party but Sarah Palin could contribute to that effect if she follows through. We’ll see.

For more info, see Washington Times article
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/12/palin-stump-conservative-democrats

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