Tag Archives: midterms

American Thinker: The Left Keeps Losing Everywhere

Many conservatives look at their first chance to defeat the left in six years when nervous Democrats try to explain away Obama’s disastrous leftward lurch. The left is not only looking at a big defeat in America in two months, it has been getting slobber-knocked all over the modern industrialized world.

Read via American Thinker: The Left Keeps Losing Everywhere.

Expect a Lot of Obamacare Talk Between Now and November – The Campaign Spot – National Review Online

The National Republican Senatorial Committee assesses the results in Missouri:

Yesterday’s election results in the key swing state of Missouri — particularly the success of Proposition C — are more than just evidence of voters’ overwhelming opposition to President Obama’s costly and unpopular health care takeover. A closer look at the numbers reveals further evidence of the massive enthusiasm gap that fired-up Republicans and fiscally responsible Independents currently enjoy over Democrats with just 90 days until Election Day.

In their respective primaries, Republican nominee Roy Blunt received roughly 145,000 more votes statewide than his Democrat opponent Robin Carnahan, despite the fact that Blunt faced eight opponents while Carnahan faced only two. Blunt even won nearly 500 more votes than Carnahan in St. Louis County, the state’s most heavily Democrat region.

Show Me State voters also approved Proposition C — which attempts to shield Missourians from the Washington Democrats’ mandate to buy ObamaCare — by a massive 71-29 margin. Recent surveys show that 61 percent of Missourians oppose the Democrats’ recent health care law. Notably, Carnahan has fully and enthusiastically endorsed President Obama’s health care overhaul, and she voted against Proposition C.

As one of the President’s chief priorities, there’s no doubt that his health care bill will be among the key issues that voters weigh this November. With our national debt skyrocketing to a record $13 trillion and unemployment still burdening middle class families and small business owners, President Obama and the Washington Democrats’ decision to ram this massive health spending bill into law will certainly motivate Republicans, Republican-leaning, and Independent voters this November.

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via Expect a Lot of Obamacare Talk Between Now and November – The Campaign Spot – National Review Online.

GOP Candidates | National Republican Congressional Committee

Here’s a useful, cool map showing Republican candidates country-wide.

GOP Candidates | National Republican Congressional Committee.

FT.com / US & Canada – Obama faces growing credibility crisis

FT.com / US & Canada – Obama faces growing credibility crisis.

Mort Zuckerman: Obama Is Barely Treading Water

The president’s problem is simple: the economy and jobs

By Mortimer B. Zuckerman

Posted: July 2, 2010

The hope that fired up the election of Barack Obama has flickered out, leaving a national mood of despair and disappointment. Americans are dispirited over how wrong things are and uncertain they can be made right again. Hope may have been a quick breakfast, but it has proved a poor supper. A year and a half ago Obama was walking on water. Today he is barely treading water. Then, his soaring rhetoric enraptured the nation. Today, his speeches cannot lift him past a 45 percent approval rating.

There is a widespread feeling that the government doesn’t work, that it is incapable of solving America’s problems. Americans are fed up with Washington, fed up with Wall Street, fed up with the necessary but ill-conceived stimulus program, fed up with the misdirected healthcare program, and with pretty much everything else. They are outraged and feel that the system is not a level playing field, but is tilted against them. The millions of unemployed feel abandoned by the president, by the Democratic Congress, and by the Republicans.

The American people wanted change, and who could blame them? But now there is no change they can believe in. Sixty-two percent believe we are headed in the wrong direction­—a record during this administration. All the polls indicate that anti-Washington, anti-incumbent sentiment is greater than it has been in many years. For the first time, Obama’s disapproval rating has topped his approval rating. In a recent CBS News poll, there is a meager 15 percent approval rating for Congress. In all polls, voters who call themselves independents have swung against the administration and against incumbents.

Even some in Obama’s base have turned, with 17 percent of Democrats disapproving of his job performance. Even more telling is the excitement gap. Only 44 percent of those who voted for him express high interest in this year’s elections. That’s a 38-point drop from 2008. By contrast, 71 percent of those who voted Republican last time express high interest in the midterm elections, above the level at this stage in 2008. And these are the people who vote.

Republicans are benefiting not because they have a credible or popular program—they don’t—but because they are not Democrats. In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, nearly two thirds of those who favor Republican control of Congress say they are motivated primarily by opposition to Obama and Democratic policy. Disapproval of Congress is so widespread, a recent Gallup poll suggests, that by a margin of almost two to one, Americans would rather vote for a candidate with no experience than for an incumbent. Throw the bums out is the mood. How could this have happened so quickly?

The fundamental problem is starkly simple: jobs and the deepening fear among the public that the American dream is vanishing before their eyes. The economy’s erratic improvement has helped Wall Street but has brought little support to Main Street. Some 6.8 million people have been unemployed in the last year for six months or longer. Their valuable skills are at risk, affecting their economic productivity for years to come. Add to this despairing army the large number of those only partially employed and those who have given up their search for work, and we have cumulative totals in the tens of millions.

Many people who joined the middle class, especially those who joined in the last few years, have now fallen back. It’s not over yet. Millions cannot make minimum payments on their credit cards, or are in default or foreclosure on their mortgages, or are on food stamps. Well over 100,000 people file for bankruptcy every month. Some 3 million homeowners are estimated to face foreclosure this year, on top of 2.8 million last year. Millions of homes are located next to or near a foreclosed home, and it is the latter that may determine the price of all the homes on the street. There have been dramatically sharp declines in home equity, representing cumulative losses in the trillions of dollars in what has long been the largest asset on the average American family’s balance sheet. Most of those who lost their homes are hard-working, middle-class Americans who had lost their jobs. Now many have to use credit cards to pay for essentials and make ends meet, and they are running out of credit. Another $5 trillion has been lost from pensions and savings.

But it is jobs that have long represented the stairway to upward mobility in America. For a long time, it was feared they were vulnerable to offshore competition (and indeed still are), but now the erosion is from economic decline at home. What happens as those domestic opportunities recede? Middle-class families fear they have become downwardly mobile and have not hit the bottom yet. The financial security that was once based on home equity and a pension has been swept away.

In a survey just released, the Pew Research Center explored the recession’s impact on households and how they are changing their spending and saving behavior. Nearly half the adults polled intend to boost their savings, cut their discretionary budgets, and cut their debt loads. The report concludes that the present enforced frugality will outlast the recession and its overhang. Fully 60 percent of those ages 50 to 61 say they may delay retirement. What does that mean for the young would-be employees entering the labor force over the next few years?

The administration’s stimulus program, because of the way Congress put it together, has created far fewer jobs than anyone expected given the huge price tag of almost $800 billion. It was supposed to constrain unemployment at 8 percent, but the recession took the rate way above that and in the process humbled the Obama presidency. Some 25 million jobless or underemployed people now wish to work full time, but few companies are ready to hire. No speech is going to change that.

Little wonder there has been a gradual public disillusionment. Little wonder people have come alive to the issue of excess spending with entitlements out of control as far as the eye can see. The hope was that Obama would focus on the economy and jobs. That was the number one issue for the public—not healthcare. Yet the president spent almost a year on a healthcare bill. Eighty-five percent in one poll thought the great healthcare crisis was about cost. It was and is, but the president’s bill was about extending coverage. It did nothing about the first concern and focused mostly on the second. Even worse, to win its approval he accepted the kind of scratch-my-back deal-making that suggests corruption in the political process. And as a result, Obama’s promise to change “politics as usual” disappeared.

The president failed to communicate the value of what he wants to communicate. To a significant number of Americans, what came across was a new president trying to do too much in a hurry and, at the same time, radically change the equation of American life in favor of too much government. This feeling is intensified by Obama’s emotional distance from the public. He conveys a coolness and detachment that limits the number of people who feel connected to him.

Americans today strongly support a pro-growth economic agenda that includes fiscal discipline, limited government, and deficit reduction. They fear the country is coming apart, while the novelty of Obama has worn off, along with the power of his position as the non-Bush. His decline in popularity has emboldened the opposition to try to block him at every turn.

Historically, presidents with approval ratings below 50 percent—Obama is at 45—lose an average of 41 House seats in midterm elections. This year, that would return the House of Representatives to Republican control. The Democrats will suffer disproportionately from a climate in which so many Americans are either dissatisfied or angry with the government, for Democrats are in the large majority in both houses and have to defend many more districts than Republicans. In any election year, voters’ feelings typically settle in by June. But now they are being further hardened by the loose regulation that preceded the poisonous oil spill—and the tardy government response.

The promise of economic health that might salvage industries and jobs, and provide a safety net, has proved illusory. The support for cutting spending and cutting the deficit reflects in part the fact that the American public feels the Obama-Congress spending program has not worked. As for the healthcare reform bill, the most recent Rasmussen survey indicates that 52 percent of the electorate supports repeal of the measure—42 percent of them strongly.

It is clear that the magical moment of Obama’s campaign conveyed a spell that is now broken in the context of the growing public disillusionment. Obama’s rise has been spectacular, but so too has been his fall.

Sestak White House scandal called ‘impeachable offense’

Sestak White House scandal called ‘impeachable offense’.

Obama Defeats Specter

The American Spectator

By on 5.20.10 @ 6:09AM

Wait a minute.

Let’s back up and stay focused on why, exactly, Arlen Specter lost this race — and had his career ended.

Two words: Barack Obama.

Story time.

Last April, in 2009, Senator Arlen Specter, then the Republican senior Senator from Pennsylvania, stopped in Harrisburg for a meeting with a group of Pennsylvania conservatives. This was a fairly routine thing for Specter to do. He had had a career’s worth of disagreements with conservatives, but he had also had some serious agreements. While his famous opposition to Robert Bork is prominent among the former, among the latter was his fierce support for Supreme Court nominees Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Sam Alito. Less publicized but equally strong was his support for Reagan and Bush lower court nominees, support that was critical due to Specter’s long-running role as a senior member or chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In the past, Specter would eagerly walk into the lion’s den and dazzle with his command of the issues and his candor. Furious conservatives would relent, grit their teeth, shake their heads in begrudging admiration — and life would go on. After Specter came close to losing his 2004 re-nomination to then-Congressman and conservative champion Pat Toomey, things appeared to have settled in, with the recognition that Specter would get his one and presumably last term — his sixth. Toomey had given repeated signals that he had no intention of taking on Specter again and was instead focused on a race for governor. Specter was in the clear for an uncontested re-nomination to that sixth term.

But on this April day, trouble was in the air. You could almost smell it.

In February, Specter was only one of three Senate Republicans (Maine’s Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins the other two) to break ranks and support the Obama $838 billion stimulus package as it passed the upper chamber on a 61-37 vote. Barely a month into Obama’s term, Americans were uneasy — and this was months before the explosion that was ObamaCare.

Sitting across the table from Specter, I listened in silence as he was peppered with questions about his stimulus vote. The people in this room were furious. There was no being dazzled here today. There was no silent gritting of teeth. This was something else entirely.

The stimulus vote had taken place in the Senate on February 9. And this very day — April 15th — Pat Toomey had announced he had changed his mind about running for governor. Spurred by the overwhelmingly bad reaction to Specter’s vote for Obama’s stimulus, Toomey had changed course and plunged into the Senate race.

On the spot what had once been a sure-thing re-nomination for Specter — by Republicans — was under siege.

The meeting over, I asked for an interview. Like a lot of Pennsylvanians, I have known Arlen Specter a long time. He is tenacious, a fierce competitor. The pluperfect example of the unglamorous underdog who wins simply because he persists and refuses to give up. Over the years he had lost races for district attorney of Philadelphia, mayor of Philadelphia, Senator from Pennsylvania, Governor of Pennsylvania. Even for president. And each and every time, like Philadelphia’s favorite fictional fighter Rocky Balboa, Specter had gotten up and climbed back into the ring, finally winning a Senate seat in 1980 on the undisputed coattails of Ronald Reagan. He would serve for thirty years, becoming the longest serving U.S. Senator in Pennsylvania history.

But there was something going on here this morning, as the atmosphere in that roomful of conservatives had just attested. The questions were barely polite, sharp. The atmosphere tense. No one could understand why Specter — or any rational, thinking person — would sign onto Obama’s so-called “stimulus.” Everyone thought it not just a waste of money but dangerous, a threat — a serious threat — to the American economy that was (correctly, as it turned out) but a precursor to even more reckless spending and indebtedness to come.

We stepped outside the building. I scrambled for notepaper and pen. Specter said he would have an aide tape the whole interview and e-mail the audio. He wanted to talk.

The polls that April morning, the very day of Pat Toomey’s formal announcement, showed Specter getting trounced. And I do mean trounced. Pennsylvania Republicans — reflective of the people we had just left in that room — were furious with him. Yet Specter was determined, not in the least an unusual posture for this man.

He began by launching on Toomey. What I was listening to was a virtual declaration of political war. Even standing there looking at him face to face I had no idea how much I was underestimating the situation.

“I’ve been sitting back for the last six years taking insistent criticism from him,” he seethed. “The campaign is underway and I intend to fire back. It’s hardball. Hard hardball.”

Toomey had spent the years between his 2004 loss and today’s announcement to run against Specter again as the president of the supply-side oriented Club for Growth, a group dedicated to raising money to defeat candidates — Republicans included — who had abandoned the success of Reaganomics, the classical principles of economic prosperity that had provided an almost unbroken record of a quarter century of economic growth from Reagan through the end days of George W. Bush. Specter pounced on the Club.

Said Specter evenly:

“Toomey represents the Club for Growth which has engaged in cannibalistic tactics. When they fought [recently defeated GOP Senator Lincoln] Chafee in the Rhode Island primary, spent all his money, beat him in the general, that cost us control of the Senate. In the Senate…we would have controlled the Senate had we retained Chafee’s seat in 2007 and 2008.”

I had written a book several years earlier detailing Specter’s resolute fight for a conservative Bush nominee to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, detailing his opposition to the hard-left interest groups that sought, in their typical fashion, not simply to defeat the nomination but destroy the nominee. Specter had stood up to them — from Ralph Neas and Nan Aron to the National Organization for Women. In 2008 I saw him at another of these meetings and he greeted me with a grin: “Are you going to write another book and make me the hero?” Everyone had laughed.

No one was laughing this morning, but knowing of my interest in placing conservatives on the court, Specter segued into the issue in an almost stream-of-consciousness moment.

“Bush left 13 circuit judges on the table and I think about 24 district judges on the table who could have been confirmed had we had Republican control and I had been the chairman [of the Senate Judiciary Committee],” he said, angrily underlining what he felt was the Club’s role — which is to say Toomey’s role — in losing control of the Senate in 2006.

Meanwhile, even as we stood in the cold air of a gray April morning, Specter’s campaign was on television going after Toomey. Toomey was guilty of having worked on Wall Street, selling “risky derivatives and swaps.” Most negative political ads of this type feature an announcer’s voice whispering dark, accusatory somethings about the opponent, the candidate himself or herself never seen. Not this time. This time, there was Arlen Specter himself, bluntly accusing Toomey, saying “it’s derivatives and swaps that have now plunged us into this financial mess.”

Clearly, Specter had no intention of backing away from that stimulus vote. He would try and make the case that the whole economic mess was Toomey’s fault — an argument that had just fallen flatter than a run-over pancake only moments ago in a roomful of conservatives.

No matter. The same day a letter had gone out to Toomey, signed not by the usual campaign aide but by Specter himself. The letter was as in-your-face as the TV commercial, accusing Toomey of being — an investment banker.

Specter shifted gears once again, looking me steadily in the eye as he finished venting about judges. This time he brought in the 2006 defeat of then-Senator Rick Santorum. “There’s no way Toomey can win a general election,” he said. “You know that the Santorum experience is conclusive on it. Toomey is to the right of Santorum. Santorum’s lifetime conservative record is 88, Toomey’s is 97. Santorum spent $31 million [in his losing 2006 race against Democrat Bob Casey, Jr.], two-term senator, number three in leadership and he lost by 18 points.”

Now he tried another approach. “The only check and balance on the Democratic sweep with the White House and the House is 41 of us in the Senate. Because if Toomey is the Republican nominee and my seat goes, the Democrats get 60 votes. And they run rough shod on increasing taxes and bringing card check and a lot of other things that are anathema to Republicans.”

His last words, delivered with a sudden wry smile, were about sending Toomey a message. “After this I’m going to send a tough one.”

The message came thirteen days later. It was stunning. He had given no clue of it that day in Harrisburg — or in retrospect, maybe he had and I just didn’t have the wit to pick up on it.

Standing in front of microphones in the Senate press gallery in Washington, the man who had won his first Senate election as a Republican on Reagan’s coattails in 1980 said this of his support for the Obama stimulus:

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

And with that, whether Specter understood it or not when he chose to cast his vote as he did, Barack Obama had taken his first political casualty as president.

Only months earlier Arlen Specter was poised for an easy re-nomination to a sixth term as a Republican. There was no one of any real stature on the horizon on the Democrats’ side seen as capable of beating him — Pennsylvania Democrat Congressman Joe Sestak included.

But going out on a limb for Obama was a limb too far.

By August, Specter was making his usual round of town hall meetings across the state. These events had historically been quiet affairs over the years, a scramble by Specter aides to fill rooms on hot summer days and nights when most Pennsylvanians are on vacation or working or would rather watch the Phillies or the Pirates with a cold beer.

Now, all hell had broken loose.

The meeting in Philadelphia, with Obama Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius at his side, had erupted on television screens across the nation. This was Philadelphia — Arlen Specter’s home turf, his base, a town filled with Democrats — and the cameras showed angry Philadelphians yelling and shaking indignant fists. They were furious — this time not just over his stimulus vote but his support of ObamaCare.

Not long afterwards, on August 11, the Senator came to bucolic, nearby Lebanon, the epitome of small town Pennsylvania. I drove over to see the spectacle. And it was that — a spectacle. There was no way to get inside his town meeting — the line stretched literally around the block. An astonished local cop told me there were at least 1,000 — that’s one thousand people in the streets of this small town. I had no doubt.

A flashy red convertible that reminded of Stephen King’s Christine, the novel about a car possessed by the forces of the supernatural, slowly made its way through the main blocks. Taped to its sides were huge sides that read “Dump Arlen” or some such. The driver was greeted as a conquering hero to thunderous applause. All morning he circled, getting huge applause upon every re-appearance.

Homemade signs bobbed everywhere, including one directed at Speaker Nancy Pelosi that read:

I am not a Nazi
I am not a Mob
I am not a Wacko
How dare you…

I walked the streets, tape recorder and video camera in hand. The accusation was flying, beginning with Pelosi, that the presence of crowds like this one was nothing more than “astro turf” or rented crowds. So I asked. Were you told to come here? No, came the answer, repeatedly and emphatically. No, no and no again. The very question they found insulting, with one sign making the point clear: “If it’s Astroturf why are you trying to mow it?”

Said one middle-aged woman to me when questioned, clearly furious: “I’m a wife, mother and a homemaker. I don’t even know anybody in the insurance business. I really resent the fact that Nancy Pelosi has deemed me a mob and a Nazi!”

Lurking, several people in the purple shirts of the SEIU appeared, vastly outnumbered. All but one refused to talk.

Inside Specter’s townhall meeting, things were barely much better. As with the crowd outside, Pennsylvanians had come from all over the area. The Senator was berated, the anger of his constituents as palpable on television screens that night as it was in person outside on the streets.

“You have awakened a sleeping giant,” a 35-year old Katy Abraham told Specter, to the indignant applause of the crowd.

Actually, Ms. Abraham was only half right. The sleeping giant is indeed awake. He now roams the land from Massachusetts to New Jersey to Virginia to Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

But the man who awoke that sleeping giant wasn’t named Arlen Specter.

The man who awoke the sleeping giant that is the American people is the same man who snuffed out Arlen Specter’s career — a career once on track to an effortless re-nomination and probable re-election as a Republican.

That man’s name is Barack Obama.

Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He has worked on the nominations of seven Supreme Court nominees. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com.


Tea Party at the Post Office – Fred Schwarz – The Corner on National Review Online

Tea Party at the Post Office – Fred Schwarz – The Corner on National Review Online.

ZERO FUND OBAMACARE at DickMorris.com

ZERO FUND OBAMACARE

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann

03.30.2010

We don’t have to wait until we have a Republican in the White House to rid this nation of the shackles of Obamacare. We can do it next year if we win simple majorities in one or both houses of Congress.The Obama health care bill was an authorization measure which established a program and set down its parameters. But authorization bills are not appropriations. Each year the Congress must act on appropriations for each department and agency in the government. If no funds are appropriated, nothing can be spent.So if Republicans take the House where appropriations have to originate – and especially if they also take the Senate – they will have the capacity to zero fund Obamacare, appropriating not a dime for it in their spending bills. Indeed, they can and should include a specific amendment to their appropriations bills banning the expenditure of any of the funds on Obama’s health care program.In the wake of the passage of the health care bill, states are filing lawsuits and talk of repeal is in the air. Both are useful efforts. But litigation takes time and the key challenge – to the constitutionality of the requirement that everybody buy insurance – cannot even begin until it takes effect in 2014. And repeal will obviously be impossible as long as Obama wields the veto from his Oval Office. It would be impossible mathematically for the Republicans to get a two-thirds majority in the Senate and unlikely in the House, so an override is out of the question. Repeal will have to wait until 2013, after Obama’s defeat in 2012.But zero funding can happen immediately after the Republicans take Congress. All this makes the elections of 2010 critical. If we can stop this bill from getting off the ground, it will be possible to repeal it when we take over the White House. But if the Democrats keep their majorities, the program will be so entrenched by the time we defeat Obama that its repeal would be unlikely.

via ZERO FUND OBAMACARE at DickMorris.com.

Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen – If Democrats ignore health-care polls, midterms will be costly – washingtonpost.com

Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen – If Democrats ignore health-care polls, midterms will be costly – washingtonpost.com

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