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Operation Old TEA Bag: The Democrat’s Hail Mary Pass

Bookmark and Share    The recent special election in New York’s 9th Congressional District did more than just elect a Republican to a seat that  hasn’t been in the hands of the G.O.P. since 1923. It also shed some light on the desperation of Democrats and what direction they will throw the ball in when they try to salvage their 2012 election fortunes with a last minute Hail Mary pass.

In the race that pitted liberal incumbent Democrat Assemblyman David Weprin against retired businessman, Republican Bob Turner, Democrats struggled to find the issues that their candidate could run on to win voters over. Initially they did not even do that. At first it was assumed that as always, whichever Democrat they ran, would sail to victory and succeed sex texting addict Anthony Weiner. But then in August, Democrat polling showed something strange. It showed that Democrat Weprin was not getting the amount of support that Democrats usually get. This then suggested to them that they actually had a real and competitive election on their hands.

So they got to work and started to develop the issues they would campaign on.

What they found was that Weprin and Democrats had no positions on the issues that would excite voters and convince them that Weprin was their man. Even in a relatively liberal district like the ninth, there were no issues which Democrats held a popular position on.

There was the issue of gay marriage which Weprin recently supported the passage of in the New York State Assembly. But with a heavy Hassidic Jewish population in the ninth, legalizing marriage between two people of the same sex was far from popular.

There was the issue of our national debt. On that issue, Weprin held a typical Democrat line which supported big government and big government social programs. But even in a left leaning district like the one that spans the working class neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, voters know that our debt has become a deepening crisis for our nation and as such, they understand that more government spending is not realistic. That left Weprin with the opportunity to use the traditional liberal language of tax increases to pay for all the spending. But in the middleclass communities of NY-9, tax increases, even for those who earn $250,000 or more, doesn’t really go over well. The ninth congressional district is comprised largely of those people in the middle……the ones who get hit from both ends and are not poor enough to benefit from government social programs, but are not wealthy enough to take advantage of the tax loopholes and credits that the political establishment has arranged for. So these people did not want to hear the Obama “make the rich pay their fare share” rhetoric. Many of them are afraid that a liberal definition of “rich” would include them.

There was the issue of immigration. However on that issue, Weprin has a liberal “Dream Act” position that does not solve the illegal immigration issue that impacts on his district’s residents. They do not want their money going to fulfilling the dreams of illegal immigrants. These people, many of which remember seeing the World Trade Center from their windows and worked within its shadows, want our borders secured.

So like many other issues, that was out.

There was Israel. After all, with a population of Jewish voters that is disproportionately larger than in many other districts throughout the nation, as an Orthodox Jew himself, Weprin could certainly and convincingly argue his support for Israel and ride high on the popularity of that point. Unfortunately though, being a Democrat, most voters linked Weprin to President Obama’s unfriendly policies towards Israel. And Weprin’s argument to voters that they should trust him on israel because he would fight for Israel from within, didn’t have wings.

Short of a total condemnation of President Obama by Weprin, the Jewish vote in his district simply viewed Weprin as a congressional rubberstamp for Obama’s polcies.

The further Democrats went down the list of issues important to the middleclass voters of the ninth, the more they realized that there were no issues which allowed them to present a position that they could derrive district-wide support for.

So what is a candidate with a competitive election ahead of him to do?

Why, resort to the liberal playbook, of course!

That meant scare citizens. That meant to try and distort the Republican position to preserve Social Security and Medicare for those on it and those expecting to soon  be on them.  It meant denying the Republican position to preserve those programs for future generation with reforms that will strengthen Social Security and medicare. It meant do your best to make vulnerable senior citizens believe that if a Republican won, they would deny them the money that many seniors have come to rely upon.

That was a good start but Weprin and his Democrat strategists and Washington puppet masters needed something else to attract some voters outside of the senior citizen demographic. That’s when the orders from Washington came down. And that is when the strategy to run against the TEA Party came into play.

So in early August Operation Old TEA Bag went into effect. That is when Weprin campaign spokesperson Elizabeth Kerr first argued the following:

“Bob Turner’s doing anything he can to distract voters from his plan to end Medicare as we know it, which would cost seniors in Brooklyn and Queens an extra $6,400 every year,” .

And from there, the tactics to scare senior citizens began

Then when the news that Standard & Poor’s had downgraded the country’s credit rating because of fiscal uncertainty came out and  dominated the headlines, Weprin’s campaign defined Bob Turner as a TEA Party extremist and charged that because of their “irresponsible demands”, “Republican Tea Party extremists” facilitated the downgrade and the fallout from it.

From that point on, the Democrat campaign for Congress in NY-9 began.

It was a constant barrage of trying to make the TEA Party the enemy that voters had to unite against.  It was a never ending campaign to define Bob Turner as the TEA Party candidate. In Between those lines of attack was tossed in the same old scare tactics intended to frighten senior citizens that predate the Reagan Administration.

For his part Bob Turner campaigns argued;

“Career politicians like David Weprin have taxed and spent this country into a crisis. They have jeopardized the entire social safety network by irresponsibly borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend,”

And as one Turner campaign aide put it;

“Businessman Bob Turner is running to protect Social Security and Medicare for every American over 55 years old and to put those essential programs on a sustainable path for everybody younger than that.”

But Bob Turner didn’t just defend himself against Operation Old TEA Bag. He spent most of his time denouncing the Obama policies that even urban, middle-class Democrats have lost faith in. Like the days of Ronald Reagan, Bob Turner found himself addressing a new generation of Reagan Democrats. Democrats who do not appreciate the condition of our nation and do not have faith in the direction their Party is heading in under a liberal President.

Yet as the campaign continued and the polls tightened, D.C. Democrats from the DCCC, DNC, and from the state and local Party apparatus, double-downed on their last hope……Operation Old TEA Bag. Even when only days before the special election was to take and polls showed that Turner turned the tables and was now ahead of Weprin, Democrats found themselves desperately trying to make a success of their fear campaign of senior citizens and their efforts to make the TEA Party the common enemy.

The plan was perfect. It even concluded on a  high note…….a recorded phone call from former President Clinton which tied the TEA Party and Medicare together as he stated “and he’ll oppose the TEA Party plan to destroy Medicare” [see the video below].  But ultimately, what Democrats thought was the perfect strategy, proved to be as unsustainable and useless as their economic policies.

Like driving a car on empty it was a last ditch, desperate attempt to run a camping not on any issues,  just on fear. The only problem is that in the end, senior citizens were less afraid of distortions about Bob Turner than they were of the truth about the current direction our nation is headed. In the end, the voters of the ninth district decided that the TEA Party was not their problem. Democrats were.

Unless  Democrats start singing a different a tune, they will still be the problem in 2012.  And just as Operation Old TEA Bag did not work for them in CD-9,  it will not work for them in the 2012 elections.from the top of the Democrat ticket , to the bottom of the ballot.  However, with little else left in their playbook, I expect the Democrats to do little else but resort to scaring senior citizens and trying to run against the TEA Party. 

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Governor Chris Christie Hospitalized

Bookmark and Share New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the man that many national polls show Republicans wish could be their presidential nominee was rushed to Somerset Medical Center by his security detail early on Thursday. While in route to a bill signing ceremony regarding open space legislation, the Governor experienced difficulty breathing. Early reports indicated that the detour to the hospital was simply an intentional “abundance of caution”.

Early reports from Governor Christie’s spokesman Michael Drewniak suggest that all indications are that “the governor will be OK.” Christie’s deputy chief of staff, Maria Comella, told The Associated Press that the Governor is “fine and in charge.”

Meanwhile Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno is reportedly in his office and Christie’s wife, Mary Pat, is at her husbands side in the hospital . So far everything on Christie’s schedule for Thursday has been cancelled. This includes his monthly appearance on NJ 101.5 for the “Ask the Governor Show”

Christie, who is 48, overweight, and suffers from asthma for which he uses an inhaler, is said to be undergoing a breathing examination, along with an EKG to rule out heart problems, as well as blood tests and chest X-rays to look for pneumonia or other infections. There is no word yet on any changes to his Friday schedule.

The Governor, who has been in office for only 18 months, has taken Republican circles by storm with his frank talk and bold leadership on spending cuts, entitlement reforms, and an unusually courageous approach to unions which have historically run the show in New Jersey. While Christie has repeatedly declared that he is not ready to run for the White House, Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney recently went public with his desire to seriously consider Christie as a running mate in 2012.

As for the rest of the Republican presidential field, there has not yet been any reaction to the news of the Governor’s hospitalization, but Texas Governor Rick Perry, a potential candidate for President did offer the following tweet in his Twitter feed:

Our prayers are with Governor Christie.”

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DNC Ad Attacks GOP With CPAC

Bookmark and Share  In what can only be viewed as a sign of things to come, the Democratic National Committee is returning to their attempts at demonizing Republicans by trying to paint their conservative base as heartless fiends and maniacal evil scientists who would dare to experiment with such things as the ability for the free market to improve quality and life in America. In a video put out this week by the DNC, clips from CPAC, the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

The video uses clips of cheering CPAC audiences as speakers talk of replacing the E.P.A, abolishing the Board of Education and allowing people to opt out of Social Security. After the evil Republicans have their say, Steny Hoyer and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz are spliced in as they discuss how Democrats are making sure that America is competitive enough to insure is a stronger economic future. The video then goes to a clip of President Obama from his State of the Union Address in which he discusses the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans and how as a nation “we do big things.”

What the ad does not tell you is that for Democrats, those big things are big government and big government programs which replace the American entrepreneurial spirit with bureaucratic mandates and regulations that have a return on the dollar that is less than the cost required to implement.

Another interesting thing to point out is that, the way I see it, the DNC seems to also be banking on President Obama’s supposed great oratory skills as means to appeal to the hearts and minds of the American voter. Not that there is anything wrong with that. A President should be able to do so, but one must be able to tap into American sentiments if they wish to be successful at such attempts. One must be Reaganesque if they wish to do that. The problem is we knew Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan. Nice try though.

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CPAC Fills Keynote Position With Congressman Allen West

Bookmark and Share    This weekend’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference was originally suppose to have former Alaska Governor and G.O.P. vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin  give it’s closing keynote address.  Unfortunately with only a few days notice, Palin informed CPAC that a “scheduling conflict” would make it impossible for her to deliver the address.

Palin is sponsoring a Friday evening event at the conference, so her inability to deliver on her speech, is most likely due to circumstances beyond her control and not some kind of intended sleight.

Nevertheless, CPAC was left with the task of trying to find someone who was both willing to give the closing speech and

Rep. Allen West

 able to make it a powerfully memorable speech that would end the CPAC convention on a high, inspiring note.

Well they have done it.  In fact, with no offense to Sarah Palin, they have probably wound up with a speaker more powerful and articulate than Palin……..newly elected Florida Congressman Allen West.

Now I must reiterate that I really do not mean any offense to Sarah.   In 2007, I was an early activist in the draft Sarah Palin for Vice President effort.  And after the presidential, I even named my new cat Sarah-cuda, or Sarah for short.  So I appreciate Governor Palin and know her abilities.  But when it comes to Allen West, I can’t help but admit that he is probably one of only  a handful of new generation republican leaders who offer the G.O.P. the type of leadership that can keep the Party and more importantly, the nation, strong.

Sarah-cuda

In  previous POLITICS 24/7 posts, I blogged about the virtues of Allen West.  The most recent one highlighted him as one of the ten most promising freshmen in the 112th Congress.

One of the most exciting things about West is his ability to not just articulate the conservative cause, but to excite and inspire you with it.  West is a true believer.  He is a true believer in independence, personal responsibility, including the responsibility to be personally charitable and he is a believer in American exceptionalism.  Allen West believes in peace through strength and limited government.  He believes in free markets that are not held back by undue government regulation and he has true faith in state rights, not to mention God and country.  And when Allen West is given the chance to address those beliefs within the context of the conservative cause, few have more of an ability than him to make you believe that the blood that courses through his veins is red, white and blue, not just red.

That said, I urge all of you to make it a point of catching Congressman West’s CPAC ketnote address, this Saturday, February, 12th, 2011.  He is sure to make you proud to be a Republican and even prouder to be an American.

In addition to Rep. West, CPAC will be featuring dozens of scintillating speakers.  Many of them are potential and likely candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.  The schedule is as follows;

  • THURSDAY, February 10:
    10:00 AM: Michele Bachmann
    1:00 PM: Newt Gingrich book signing.
    2:00 PM: Rick Santorum
    4:30 PM: Paul Ryan
    6:15 PM: A reception co-sponsored by SarahPAC.
  • FRIDAY, February 11:
    10:30 AM: Mitt Romney
    1:30 PM: John Thune
    3:00 PM: Tim Pawlenty
    3:30 PM: Ron Paul
    4:00 PM: Rick Perry
    4:30 PM: Herman Cain
    7:30 PM: Mitch Daniels
  • SATURDAY, February 12
    9:30 AM: Haley Barbour

Allen West should bve delivering his speech at around 5:30 PM EST on Saturday. 

In  the meantime, POLITICS 24/7 invites you to join with our sister site, White House 2012, and participate in its newest poll.  Each year CPAC holds one of the most most highly anticipated and watched presidential straw polls of the year.  POLITICS 24/7 and White House 2012 would like to know who you think the winner of their poll will be. 

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