Tag Archives: partisan politics

Big Tents Are Good For Circuses

By Mike Duminiak

 Bookmark and Share     Whether it comes from the mouths of Democrats or Republicans, you will hear the same basic statements about their party and their platform. You will hear that it is a “big tent” party with diversity of opinion, but united in wanting to MikeBIGtentmake the United States a better country. That same statement could be used to define everyone as one large group – diversity of opinion, but united in wanting to make the United States a better country. It is, in other words, meaningless.

Once upon a time in America, parties were formed on the basis of ideology. Today parties exist primarily for political power. Social conservatives are in bed with social liberals. Fiscal conservatives are in bed with fiscal liberals. The party to which they belong doesn’t really represent their views, but rather some compromise platform that no one really truly wants. Then each candidate campaigns pretty much independently. Even the Presidential candidates often depart from the party platform. The party is a tool during elections and then a club used to maintain order the rest of the time.

Whether it was Joe Lieberman or Arlen Specter giving their respective parties fits, the fact that people so out of step with the party platform were still counted as members of the party was and continues to be a joke. The Republicans currently consider themselves to be lucky that the Democrats don’t have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. They don’t? When three Republican Senators repeatedly side with the Democrats, only a fool counts them in his column.

Ideologically there are four major groups when it comes to domestic policy:

1. There are the social and fiscal liberals. They believe in big government social programs and spending. They see government as the agent by which all people in the country can be made equal not only of rights, but also of material wealth. At the extreme, this is socialism. Example: Barack Obama

2. There are the social and fiscal conservatives. They believe in a government that mandates traditional values, but steers clear of social programs and spending. They see government as the defender of traditional social values by law, but not one that controls the economy. At the extreme, this is facism. Example: Pat Buchanan

3. There are the social liberals and fiscal conservatives. They believe that people should be free to do pretty much anything they want in their private lives. They oppose big government programs favoring a private sector approach to problems. They see government as a limited caretaker of mainly international issues, but should be kept out of domestic affairs beyond settling disputes between individuals. At the extreme, this is anarchism. Example: Ron Paul

4. There are the social conservatives and fiscal liberals. They believe in enforcing traditional moral values not only through law, but also through government social programs. They see government as both a defender and a promoter of traditional social values. At the extreme, this is totalitarianism. Example: George W. Bush

These definitions are very generalized, but give the approximation of the major categories. The Democratic Party is made of primarily groups 1 and 3 with some of 4. The Republican Party is made primarily of groups 2 and 4 with some of 3. Where the two party memberships overlap, these are called ‘moderates’. In truth they are not really moderate at all, but rather a whole different philosophy.

The result of these differences is not a stronger, more representative party. It is a circus. The term ‘big tent’ probably wasn’t intended to be so applicable to the circus inside, but it is. Rather than develop a platform based on an ideology that is shared, the two major parties develop platforms based on whatever it takes to hold the disparate groups together. A voter who looks at a party designation and tries to use that to divine the likely actions of a candidate if elected is as likely to be disappointed as not.

Meanwhile in the various State legislatures and Congress, pork spending and other self-serving deals are made to maintain party political power or to break it when what the majority of the party wants and what its disparate members want do not match. The end result is usually bad government at higher cost. If each ideology were independently negotiating, there would be compromise. But since they are locked into only two power structures, instead of compromise we get intrigue. Each side tries to out-bribe the other to capture the votes of those disenchanted with either alternative. Eventually one wins and pushes through a bill the majority dislike that was loaded with pork to make the sell-out worthwhile.

All in all, the people would be better off if the two major parties broke apart and four parties rose in their place. Then people could actually vote based on their ideology instead of for some compromise party in which the person you elect may not even do what they campaigned upon. In the mean time, the two big tents continue to house the political circus run by an overabundance of clowns.

Stars01.gif picture by kempite

Mike Duminiak is a guest blogger for POLITICS 24/7, an active leading Republican candidate on U4Prez.com and a Republican candidate for mayor of Port Matilda, Pa.  You can read more about Mike by checking the “About the Authors” section of this blog

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JUDD GREGG WITHDRAWS NOMINATION FROM OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

antgreggBookmark and Share    Earlier today, the previous post in fact, POLITICS 24/7  suggested that if Presdient Obama does not have faith in Senator Judd Gregg’s ability to properly carry out all of the responsibilities of the Commerce Secretary, than he should withdraw Gregg’s nomination for the job.

The controversy swirled around President Obama’s attempt to take responsibilities for the census out of the hands of the Commerce Department because Gregg is a Republican.

President Obama’s call to put the census in the hands of the White House and under the direction of his partisan chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, did not exactly assure people that the census would be anymore non-partisan under him than Senator Gregg.

Well in what is becoming a norm for the administration, another cabinet nominee has declined the nomination.

Senator Gregg claims that ideological differences over the stimulus package make it clear that he is not in sync with the administration and that he was apprehensive over the President’s attempt to take responsibility away from the department. White House officials have yet to respond.

Either way, the move is good one.

It was apparent that President Obama did not have confidence in Senator Gregg and that there would be too much second guessing of him if he were to actually become Secretary of Commerce.

This is the second nominee for Commerce Secretary to withdraw their nomination.

Governor Richardson of New Mexico withdraw weeks ago after it was disclosed that he was under investigation for selling state contracts in turn for campaign donations.

As it stands now, commerce seems to be a problem for the administration.

Hopefully they can get their act together and find someone who they can trust to do the job without taking the department’s responsibilites away  in order to serve partisan political agendas.

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KARL ROVE IN CHARGE OF THE CENSUS?

Bookmark and Share    If that were true, liberals would be jumping out of their shoes and throwing them at the White House with a sense of fury unparalleled in political history. antcensus_bureau_sealIf it were true that a partisan Republican architect of political strategy were to be put in charge of a process that much of our government will be based on for a decade, people would be calling for investigations, hearings and heads on a plate.

Well that is what people are beginning to do. But not because Karl Rove is implementing some sort of partisan designs on the census but because Rahm Emanuele is being called upon to do so.

Rahm Emanuele is an undeniable partisan politician who first came to fame as a member of the Clinton administration.

He rose through the political ranks as a fundraiser for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and as a diehard, Chicago, clubhouse, Democrat, Emanuele never had a problem in insuring that all things political went his way. Such is why when he became a Chicago congressman, the Democrat party turned to Emanuele and made him the Majority Whip, the guy that whipped Democrat votes into line.

So partisan is Emanuele that a few years back he mailed a dead fish to pollster who published poll results that Emanuele did not like because they failed to show his Democrat candidate ahead by as much as he wanted.

Rahm Emanuele is so driven by partisanship that one night, shortly after Bill Clinton was elected President, during a dinner, Emanuelle started rattling off a list of names which he considered to be political enemies and to punctuate his intentions he stabbed the table with a steak knife each time , as he said “Nat Landow! Dead! Cliff Obama TransitionJackson! Dead!” etc…..

This is the man who President Obama wants to hold sway over the non-partisan and non-political census process.

The census takes place every ten years and it determines just about every statistic regarding the American population and government funding to that population. Based upon population shifts, it also determines how new congressional district lines are drawn and that dictates influence of everything from who your representatives are to how much sway your state has in electing a president.

Until now, responsibility for how the census is conducted and how census figures are determined was under the responsibility of the Commerce Department. However now that President Obama has nominated Judd Gregg, a Republican Senator, to be Commerce Secretary, liberals have yelled at President Obama and protested a Republican being involved in the census process.

In response to their cries, President Obama stated that the White House will supervise the census.

That means that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuele will be in charge of it and that brings up quite a few problems.

First of all, it demonstrates a lack faith in President Obama’s choice for Secretary of Commerce.

By taking responsibility for the census away from the Commerce Secretary, President Obama is in essence claiming that he does not trust Senator Gregg’s ability to do the job properly. If that is the case, why did he choose Judd Gregg for the job? Was this another example of the bad job of the Obama administration’s vetting process?

If it is not an indication of Gregg’s inability to do the job right than it is a blatant attempt to put the non-partisan census process in the hands of  diehard partisan operative Rahm Emanuele.

Either way this another dent in the creation of what is suppose to be the most ethical administration in history.

The census process has not even begun to get off the ground and already the Obama administration is tainting it. The President has made it clear that he is going to make the census a top priority and now he is making it obvious that he will try to make it a political process that favors Democrats.

It is a slick move on behalf of President Obama. After all, under the Commerce Department, everything that they do to establish census procedures needs to be approved by congress. Not so in the White House though.  The White House staff can operate secretly and does not require congressional approval. That means that under the direction of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuele, census figures can be established any old way.

After seeing five different administration nominees already get caught up in scandal, it is not very comforting to see the new administration actively participate in political slights of hand that taint a process that we will have to live with for a decade.

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CENSUS MAKERS ARE FOOLS

A famous Norwegian explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register.

His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely saying,

I must have taken Leif off my census“.

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WHO WILL LEAD REPUBLICANS BACK INTO POWER

As the GOP recovers from a drubbing at that ballot box that served them with an eviction notice at the White House and a foreclosure on many seats in the house and senate, a reorganization is in order.

Crucial to a successful reorganization is the selection of it’s next national chairman.

Florida Senator mel Martinez

Florida Senator Mel Martinez

After the losses which cost them their majorities in the house and senate during the 2006 midterm elections, the powers that be, hastily installed Florida Senator Mel Martinez as the new chairman. At the same time they also elected Mike Duncan, a veteran political strategist and former Treasurer General Counselor to the RNC, to run the “day to day operations” of the national committee. In other words Duncan was actually the Chairman and Senator Martinez was to be the face of the party.

It was an arrangement that did not last long.

A few months into this arrangement, Senator Martinez stepped down and Mr. Duncan had the title all to himself. Not that it mattered. Whether it was his fault or not Republicans were outspent, out argued , outmaneuvered and voted out.

Outgoing RNC Chairman Mike Duncan

Outgoing RNC Chairman Mike Duncan

I will not blame Mike Duncan for the hemorrhaging of Republicans in this election cycle. That began before he took office, less than a year ago, and it simply continued for the time period that he was in office as chairman. It is more than likely that no individual chairman of the RNC could have prevented the losses Republicans suffered but we do know that the chairman did not help prevent them from happening.

So I do not blame Mike Duncan but I do harbor ill will to the party officials who gave up after 2006 and installed quick replacements to head up the Republican party. It was quite apparent that the party was simply trying to just get through the last two years of President Bush’s term in office. The RNC leadership were more like caretakers than leaders. They did not seek to adopt a leadership that was cutting edge and enthusiastic about revolutionizing the capabilities of the party organization and preparing us for the mother of all elections, the presidency.

It is the same complacency that helped cost Republicans their majorities in congress. Elected officials lost the anti establishment thinking that won them favor back in 1994. After becoming “the establishment” they slowly began to forget that government was there to work for the people not for the people running government.

So here we are saluting a new President-Elect, a new Democrat President-Elect. One who will be partnering with a majority of legislators who are also Democrats.

It might sound depressing to fellow Republicans but the truth is it is that for a number of reasons it is not depressing:

  • Can’t Get Much Worse -We have just about bottomed out. It truly can’t get much worse so the prospects for improving our numbers in the next election are good.

 

  • Liberals Gone Wild -With Democrats in total control of government, there is little to hold them back and prevent them from showing their true colors. When those true colors come out, Americans will realize that the direction they offer is too sharp a turn to the left for their tastes. The last time they had total control was in 1993 when Bill Clinton was President. After two years of liberals gone wild, Americans gave control, of both the house and senate, to Republicans for the first time in forty years. It was something that Republicans could not achieve on their own. It took the combined left leaning radicalization of today’s Democrat party to bring that about and it is about to happen again. In fact the greatest challenge that the new President will face comes from his own party. He will be struggling against them and fighting them in an effort to lead from the center rather than the left.

  • The War – Although the economy helped push the war off the front burner, the changing tide of the surge in Iraq also made the war less of an issue because violence and combat was down and it was being won. The war in Iraq did not help Republicans in this election cycle but not because it was unnecessary, as democrats claim,  but, as I explain in the link referenced here*, Americans became weary and leery of the war. While the surge was delayed and the administration wavered, violence spiked as a result of a resurgence of radical Islamic terrorists in Iraq. That is when Democrats successfully exploited a declining resolve to continue an effort that people were beginning to think was becoming a quagmire. Since the increased deployment of troops into Iraq, the situation improved and there is light at the end of the tunnel. As a result, despite the cries of candidate Obama to end the war, President Obama will not be withdrawing all of our forces from Iraq anytime soon.  Now that he has seen the national security data that demonstrates the dangers of his misguided promises as a candidate, as a President he will not be so quick to screw things up. Ultimately Republicans will be proven right on the issue.

 

  • The Economy – Typically our economy goes through cycles of growth and contraction every ten to fifteen years. More accurately, just about every 11 years, we encounter economic turmoil brought on by the cumulative effects of industrial shifts, world events and other related circumstances. That being said, it is how we maneuver through these cycles that determines their severity and the length of time that we endure them. The liberal propensity to raise taxes and redistribute wealth during these times does not help. Those policies simply deepen the crisis and draw out the cycle. If the knee jerk, liberal tendency towards more taxes and an expansion of government does occur, Republicans will be able to stem their losses and start increasing their numbers. The current crisis that we are experiencing is not a result of Republican economic policy. It is a result of their complacency and unwillingness to differentiate themselves from liberals when it came to spending. Our own President had no problem with cutting taxes, a good thing, but he also never cut spending and neither did fellow Republicans in congress.

All of this allows for those Republicans, who are in office, to offer alternatives to the counterproductive liberal agenda that will undoubtedly dominate national policy. To effectively achieve that, Republican members of congress need to reestablish their fiscally conservative roots and inherent sense of an offensive strategy when it comes to national security. The fact that, as Republicans, we choose to eliminate threats rather than tolerate them will be made much clearer with liberals in control and it must not be ignored.

Now that Republicans are not in control we now have the luxury that Democrats had. The luxury of not having to defend our leadership. Democrats will now have the chance to be held accountable for everything that happens. They will have to take blame for the results of increasing taxes, increasing unnecessary regulations and increasing the size and cost of government. With their leadership comes responsibility. With responsibility comes credit as well as blame. After eight years of taking blame for all that is not liked, Republicans can now luxuriate in being able to place blame on Democrats as they have done to Republicans.

But while those Republicans elected to congress do their job by providing alternatives to liberal policies and maintaining their role as the loyal opposition, our political leaders must hit the ground running.

The question now is, who is best suited to reorganize and reinvigorate Republicans? The person needed to rally Republicans must be articulate. But a good speaker is not all that we need. The person who is made the new chairman of the party must have a passionate desire to advance the cause, incredible organizational skills, the ability to delegate responsibilities to the right and most qualified people, endless energy and stamina as well as creativity and resourcefulness and a proven record of success.

The new chairman needs the same type of vision and commitment to conservative principles that the freshmen members of congress who were elected in the 1994 Republican revolution had. The new chairman must have a vision which understands that the best government is the government that gets out of the way and allows freedom to flourish by defending it at home and abroad and by insuring that opportunity is available to all.

Currently, there are seven frontrunners. They include:

Steele

Mike Steele

Michael SteeleGOPAC , former Lt. Governor of Maryland and unsuccessful candidate for US Senate in 2006.

Chuck Yob

Chuck Yob

Chuck Yob – Successful Michigan businessman, GOP fundraiser and Michigan National Committeeman

Saul Anuzis

Saul Anuzis

Saul AnuzisChairman of the Michigan Republican State Committee

Alec Pointevint

Alec Pointevint

Alec Poitevint – Georgia’s Republican National Committeeman

Katon Dawson

Katon Dawson

Katon DawsonRepublican Party Chairman of South Carolina , the state that had the best performance for Republicans during this election cycle.

Jim Greer

Jim Greer

Jim Greer – Florida’s Republican party Chairman

Chip Saltsman

Chip Saltsman

Chip Saltsman – A former Chair of Tennessee’s GOP and the former campaign manager of Mike Huckabee’s failed candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee

Speculation has not only Huckabee’s former campaign guru on the list, Mike Huckabee himself is rumored to be a potential contender. So is one of Huckabee’s former opponents for the GOP presidential nod, Mitt Romney.

Of all these names the one person who I believe could do the most for the Republican National Committee is Mitt Romney.

antrom11

Mitt Romney

Romney has been successful at every job that he has undertaken. He is passionate. He is articulate, savvy and has an eye for recruiting those who are the best at their jobs. Mitt Romney could do wonders for the party. He would be able to provide the GOP’s highly rated, get out the vote, 72 hour program with great improvements and he would create a top notch center for Republican organization, communications, fundraising and creative strategy.

Problem is that I want Mitt Romney to be able to run for President. I am looking forward to either him or Sarah Palin being our 2012 nominee. Becoming the political leader of the party does not help him establish the bipartisan image that a Presidential nominee needs. If he did as a good a job for the party as I think he would, having been the chairman of the party he rebuilds, could help him get the party’s nomination though.

However, I feel that a truly smart RNC chairman would involve Mitt Romney and utilize his expertise. Doing so would keep Romney free to expand his nonpolitical credentials while still allowing for his Midas touch to assist behind the scenes.

As for the other names mentioned, Mike Steele, Katon Dawson and Jim Greer are the only names that really interest me. Each of them have demonstrated ideological superiority to one extent or the other and have achieved outstanding results for Republicans.

Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich

Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich

One name not mentioned but is at the top of my list, is former Maryland Governor Robert Erhlich. After losing reelection in the 2006 GOP sea of change, Bob Ehrlich has not been discussed much. That is a shame because he happens to be one of the best in the newer generation of conservative politics. He was the first Republican to be elected governor of Maryland in almost 60 years. Through it all Ehrlich maintained his principles and conservative ideology. Not once did he try to win favor by acting like a democrat. Instead, he successfully implemented conservative ideology into government application. He also happens to be articulate and effective in his ability to explain and deliver the conservative message.

 

Sometimes referred to as a Kempite Republican, Bob Erhlich could be just what we need to rekindle our spirit and rally the cause.

Whoever the grand poobahs of the GOP hierarchy install as chairman, it is my greatest hope that they recruit the right people to carry out the mission that is ahead.

Patrick Ruffini

Patrick Ruffini

People like political Internet champion Patrick Ruffini who could incorporate the most cyber savvy organization politics has ever seen and Ralph Reed who is a master at reaching out and organizing the grassroots.

Ralph Reed

Ralph Reed

Being the minority party is not a problem to be feared. Becoming the minority is what we needed to fear and now, we are there.  So the worst is over. Now we have the chance to take advantage of what Democrats took advantage of for a long time, minority status and the ability to place blame on the powers that be that comes with it.

From here we can only come back, and if we take the right steps, we can come back quickly. To do so will require that our first steps be the right steps . In this case that would be done by picking the right person to map out our future and recruit the brightest lights to help illuminate the fast track to the reinvigoration that the party is capable of.

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Q: What’s the problem with Barack Obama jokes?


A: His followers don’t think they’re funny and other people don’t think they’re jokes.

 

 

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