Category Archives: Elections

Huckabee, ‘Forrest Gump’ Of The GOP

Conservatism, Constitution, Elections, Neoconservatism, Republicans

A “confidence trickster worthy of a P.T. Barnum circus” was how this column captured Mike Huckabee’s appeal. It must be conceded that Charles C. W. Cooke of National Review captures even better the forced and contrived, “cornpone” appeal of the man who will be vying to stand as the Republican’s nominee for the presidency. While I reject the writer’s crass, almost bereft of principle pragmatism; and although unable to tell whether Cooke prefers Mark Levin’s worldview to that of Calvin Coolidge—perhaps our only libertarian president—I liked his depiction of The Huckster:

Among the panoply of rightward-leaning politicians who are currently flirting with running for the presidency is one Mike Huckabee, a former pastor, governor, television host, and author who has of late been preparing for office by converting himself into Larry the Cable Guy. Huckabee is touring the breadth and width of the country in support of his new book — the alliteratively titled God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy — the purpose of which seems to be to establish its author as the unparalleled down-home candidate within the 2016 primary. Unlike so many in Washington, Huckabee claims, he is firmly on the side of “Bubbaville” rather than “Bubbleville”; of the “catfish and cornbread crowd” rather than “the crepes and caviar set”; and of those who “come home tired at the end of the day” rather than those who “burn tires in the street.” Are you tired of the incumbent set? he seems to ask. Then you know what to do.

By taking this approach, Huckabee is essentially attempting to become to the Right what the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson have become to the Left: namely, a proxy figure who can be used as shorthand by the lazy and the lost to signify their allegiance to a set of cherished cultural values. “We like the simple life,” Huckabee announces in his book. “Status is a Ford 150 truck; luxury is crawfish étouffée and slaw on your pulled-pork sandwich; and privilege is front-row seats at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.” And unlike those “misfortunate” souls in “Manhattan, the Washington Beltway, or in Beverly Hills,” we know the joy that one can get from wading “in chest-deep water to hunt mallards.” Insofar as it goes, there is nothing wrong with this. Indeed, I like many of these things too. But the self-conscious spinning of local tradition into a national political aesthetic is invariably irritating, and, typically, electorally counterproductive. There are many wonderful things about the world Huckabee is attempting to represent. But surely, just surely, it is possible for a southerner to run for high office without dressing up as Forrest Gump? …

… Whatever cultural renaissance Mike Huckabee might believe is necessary in the United States, it will be up to civil society and not to the political classes to bring it about. Unless conservatives wish to join the Left in its Wilsonian quest to glue politics to absolutely everything, our would-be emissaries really need to make up their minds …

MORE.


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Too Earnest, Too Attractive, Too Macho, Too Moneyed, Too White, Too Christian

Elections, Ethics, Republicans

“Romney’s repeal-and-replace statism was irreconcilable with this writer’s libertarianism. … Romney was wrong on China. Wrong on Iran. Wrong on Russia. Wrong on Foreign policy, in general. Wrong on almost everything. Yet as incongruous as this may seem, Mitt Romney is a fine man—a man with great personal virtues, if profound flaws in political philosophy. Ann Romney, herself a delightful lady, is a lucky woman. Romney is a great provider, is fabulously devoted to family and faith, is consistently generous and charitable to all those around him, and brilliant in all endeavors, academic and entrepreneurial. … Unlike Obama’s university transcripts, Romney’s would have stood up to the scrutiny that never came.” (From “No Country For Old, White Men.”)

And whatever you think of him, Romney is still doing what he believes is best for the country he loves.

According to National Journal, despite bowing out of the 2016 race to rule, Mitt “Romney’s push forward had been his belief, … that other establishment candidates—Bush, Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio—aren’t up to snuff. But his Friday remarks indicate that he thinks his presence in the race would be more damaging to his goal of electing ‘a conservative leader to become our next president.'”

Romney is right about the rest of the Republicans in the 2016 race to rule; they’re a repulsive lot.

More about Romney the man:

… Money was Mitt’s Mark of Cain. So were his wicked work ethic and whiteness.

Romney was booed when he wooed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Enough to provoke the ire of blacks, Latinos, ladies of all hues, the halt and the lame was the mere hint that the too-white-to-like Romney would slow down the gravy train.

Lickspittle Republicans were as eager as the Democratic representatives of these identity groups to lambaste Mr. Romney for being too attractive, too macho, too white, too Christian, and too rich. No one could have failed to notice that Mitt Romney resembles the “Mad Man” played by Jon Hamm, in the eponymous AMC series. Both men are tall, dark and handsome, with the kind of picture-perfect, quintessential American good looks. Both hide their feelings and are spare with their emotions. When they show their softer side–it actually means something. Each is dutiful and dependable.

Such qualities, once considered desirable in a man, now offend the dominatrixes who run the nation’s newsrooms. “He’s a very private man; and that’s a liability.” “How can you get me to vote for him, if I don’t like him?” “He needs to humanize himself.” And, “Can he [even] be humanized?” demanded one CNN ghoul by the name of Gloria Borger on the eve of Halloween. Mitt Romney was inhuman: That, very plainly, was the premise of this harridan’s rhetorical question.

“Ann Romney’s job, and she’s been pushing for this in the campaign, is to kind of humanize him,” noodled the banal Ms. Borger over and over again, for the campaign’s duration.

This was the menstrually inspired miasma that emanated from TV studios countrywide.

Thus did Mitt Romney come to embody elements in Aristotle’s definition of a tragic figure:

* The “tragic hero is of noble birth and displays a nobility of spirit.” (Check)
* The character must be a person of stature. (Check)
* The protagonist is pitted against forces beyond their control. (Check)
* The character must be neither totally good nor totally evil.
* An error of judgment or a weakness in character causes the misfortune. (Check)
* The character must be responsible for tragic events. (Check: Romney’s failures ushered in four more years of epochal evil.)
* His action involves a change in fortune from happiness to misery. (Check)
* Subject is serious. (Check)
* He struggles courageously until his fall. (Check)
* Though defeated, he gains a measure of increased wisdom.

Mr. Romney’s pathos-filled election concession speech crystallized these tragic elements.

We “left everything on the field,” he said. “We have given our all to this campaign.”

Indeed, the prototypical Greek tragic figure “struggles courageously until his fall.” …

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Is Voting Democrat A Job ‘Americans’ Won’t Do?

Democrats, Elections, IMMIGRATION

This cartoon is funny (doff of the hat to Myron Pauli for much needed comic relief). But are poor immigrants solely responsible for Democratic electoral victories? It’s hard to tell from this recent Gallup poll breakdown by political affiliation, although it’s entirely possible.

Why RU

An average 43% of Americans identified politically as independents in 2014, establishing a new high in Gallup telephone poll trends back to 1988. In terms of national identification with the two major parties, Democrats continued to hold a modest edge over Republicans, 30% to 26%.


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2016: A Year Of The ‘Big Erection’

BAB's A List, Bush, Democracy, Democrats, Elections, Republicans

By Myron Pauli

“The voters outside looked from Bush to Clinton, and from Clinton to Bush, and from Bush to Clinton again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” So ends Orwell’s “Animal Farm” with creatures; man and pig changed to voters, Bush, and Clinton or was it Clinton and Bush – does it matter? Yessir, 2016 will be a year of the “big erection” as the Chinese might put it. DEE-MOCK-RUSS-SEE – that time-honored institution that has produced such statesmen as Diem, Maliki, Yanukovich, Thieu, and Karzai. This is where the creatures (voters) choose WHICH egomaniac will rack up new deficits, plunge them into new wars, and protect us from new demons.

A more cynical person might mention that the classical definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results – but WHY expect anything different? The spin doctors will assure us that all is brand new – New Deal, New Freedom, New Frontier, New Clinton, New Bush, New Nixon, New Chrysler, and New Coke. And each election cycle will bring new buzzwords to excite the creatures: “Read my lips, no new taxes”, “Bridge to the 21st Century”, “3 AM phone call”, “Hope and Change” – yessir, a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, 40 acres and a mule!

For those who don’t buy off on the new brand of soapsuds, there is always the OLD paranoia. We know that Romney was planning to enslave all blacks had he won in 2012. FEAR gets the more cynical creatures into the voting booth. Hillary will turn us all into Muslims. Bush will rape all women and subject them to coat-hanger abortions. Eeeek and more eeeek.

For the poor suckers of a “progressive” bent, they always get suckered into thinking that the Democrats will once and for all end inequality and racism and whatever in America and empower the poor. Well, boys and girls, where do the Clintons raise their campaign dollars – at the Bingo parlors or in the Hamptons? The “progressives” love the idea of protecting the chickens only to find out over and over that (gasp! and surprise!) foxes guard the chicken coops! Well, Citicorp and Boeing and Kaiser and Archer Daniels Midland have to protect their investments in the Welfare-Warfare State. Any real dissidents like Kucinich will be slightly tolerated if they don’t disturb the primal order.

And what of the poor suckers who call themselves “conservatives” who vote for the same old Republicans? Sometimes, you hear how Bush is a “RINO” – a “Republican in Name Only” – which is mythical nonsense. From Prescott to GHWB to GWB to Jeb to Jorge Prescott – the Bushes have been solid Republicans for generations. It is “nutcase” libertarians like Ron Paul who are the true RINOs – so out of place in the bankster-bailout statist Republican Party that their name cannot be placed in nomination and their votes cannot be allowed at the conventions. The last real insurgent to win was Goldwater and then half the party went trashing him during the general election: Yes – Papa Romney! By 1980, Reagan was reduced to “aw shucks” and “there you go again” with Baker, Shultz, and Bush keeping him in line to pumping up defense contractors. Heck, Blackwater and Bank of America and Carefirst and Cargill have to protect their investments in the Welfare-Warfare State.

Notice how regardless of who wins, Gruber gets his consultant fees and Goldman-Sachs gets pumped up by the Federal Reserve. TSA, HUD, CIA, NSA, NASA, and the rest of the alphabet soup will moan how they are only getting a 5% increase instead of the 10% they need to fix all of America’s urgent problems. The bureaucracy goes on. Fox News and MSNBC talking heads scream at each other. The partisans will get some rhetorical red meat on occasion “you are either with the terrorists or against us,” or “if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon” or “shatter that glass ceiling” which you either love or hate as if it makes a damn difference. Rosencrantz and Guilderstern, Scylla and Charybdis, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Bush and Clinton. Welcome to the New World Odor!

******
Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.


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UPDATED: Anything For A Bag Of WH Swag (Here is How You Reach Across That Aisle)

Elections, Republicans

They met with President Barack Obama and walked away with a bag of swag. This is the life. What more can you wish for, as a newly elected Republican senator or congressman?

Pray tell if this insipid little, go-along-to-get-along fellow does not follow the motto just outlined. He is Cory Gardner, GOP senator elect for Colorado, to replace Mark Uterus (who ran a gynocentric campaign), in conversation with Chris Wallace:

WALLACE: I want to start with the question that I asked Senator-elect Capito. Do you think — from what you’ve heard since the election, do you think the president gets what voters were saying on election night?

GARDNER: Time will tell.Look, what I saw on Colorado election night wasn’t so much about Republicans or Democrats, but it was a rejection of the failed ways of Washington. Democrats happened to be in charge of the Senate, and the — and the president. So, the fact is, if the president doesn’t recognize that people are dissatisfied with the direction of Washington, then he’s going to have a challenge over the next couple of years.

WALLACE: What message, Senator-elect, do you think voters were sending Republicans? Do you think it was a mandate? Or do you think in a sense, it was kind of hold your nose and they dislike you less than they dislike the president and the Democrats?

GARDNER: Well, the mandate was this — people don’t like dysfunction, they don’t like gridlock, they don’t like the way that Washington is working. And so, in two years from now, if Republicans don’t prove that we can govern with maturity, that we can govern with competence, we’ll see the same kind of results two years from now, except it will be a wave going back the different — a different direction.

WALLACE: In your campaign, you reached out to Hispanics who make up 14 percent of voters in your state of Colorado. And you did very well in a lot of the areas of Colorado where they live. Since the election, perhaps the biggest issue has been the president’s statement, his determination that he’s going to sign the executive order differing to deportation of millions of people who are in this country illegally now.

Here is some of the debate over that issue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

OBAMA: What I’m not going to do is just wait. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve shown a lot of patience.

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO: I believe that if the president continues to act on his own, he is going to poison the well. When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Senator-elect, do you worry that Republicans are going to once again be seen, when all this is over, once again be seen as anti-Hispanic and anti-immigration?

GARDNER: I think what we have to do is make sure that we work with the president, show a willingness in the House and Senate to work together so that the president can ultimately do the right thing. The right thing for the president to do isn’t going around Congress, but it’s working with Congress. So, I think that’s the challenge this new era of goodwill, so to speak, presents itself for us. We have to make sure that the president is willing to do the right thing. And that means the Congress, the House and Senate, are willing to show an effort to work together. I think, ultimately, that’s how we have immigration reform, and we have to continue our outreach efforts in every community in our country, in every community in states like Colorado, to make sure that they have the confidence that we’re going to look out for them and be a strong voice for them, regardless of where they’re from.

WALLACE: But what’s going to happen when the president — and he says he’s going to do it sometime before the end of the year — signs this executive order, goes around Congress?

GARDNER: Well, I hope the president, between now and whenever that is — will change his mind, will decide to do the right thing.

WALLACE: And if he doesn’t?

GARDNER: And that means that Mitch McConnell and Leader Boehner — again, we have to encourage him to do the right thing. I don’t want to speculate about an executive order that may or may not exist.

But the bottom line is this: we know we need immigration reform in this country, because the system isn’t working in what we have right now.

But the president — to encourage working together, to encourage a way to go forward, if he does this, then I’m concerned that he won’t be doing the right thing, and that would hurt our ability to move forward the next two years. Let’s do the right thing, let’s work together, let’s find solutions.

That’s what the people of Colorado are looking for. In large part, that’s why we were able to achieve victory, because we present to that positive, optimistic vision for this country. And that’s what the president needs to do.

WALLACE: Well, let’s talk about doing the right thing on immigration. The Hispanic vote did not play a big role in the midterms, but you know, as well as I do, they’re going to play a very big role, because Hispanics tend to vote more in presidential elections, they’re going to play a big role in 2016.

How do Republicans get on the right side of the immigration issue for what is the fastest growing voting bloc in the nation?

GARDNER: When you look at the issues that the Hispanic community cares about — you know, in Pueblo County, Colorado, I essentially tied Senator Udall, that’s one of the largest Hispanic populations in the state, and what of the largest counties in the state, and we did it because we talked about issues that mattered to every community, including the Hispanic community, whether it’s education, growing jobs and opportunity, making sure that children aren’t trapped in a failing school system.

WALLACE: But sir, specifically on immigration —

GARDNER: That’s the kind of message that we have around the state.

WALLACE: Specifically on immigration, aren’t Republicans going to have to do something when it comes to legalization of the millions who are already here?

GARDNER: Well, I think when it comes to immigration, we’ve talked about border security. Let’s start with border security, as so many people are asking for. But border security in and of itself is not complete unless you have a meaningful guest worker program to go along with it, to create that way for a legal avenue of labor.

We have to make sure we’re fixing the exit/entry systems, making sure we’re addressing E-verify systems. Those are things that Republicans can and should do right now. That I think is something that the House, the Senate and president can work together.

So, let’s do the right thing. Let’s take those steps where I think there is a broad agreement that we can get behind and make sure that we are doing the right thing.

WALLACE: Finally, and we have less than a minute left. For all the talk about the Republican Senate, you’re going to find out very quickly, I know you already know it, but I suspect you’re not up fully up to how frustrating it’s going to be. You’re going to need a lot of Democratic votes to hit that 60-vote super majority to get anything done.

Any thoughts about how to break the gridlock in the Senate?

GARDNER: I worked closely with Gary Peters, senator-elect from Michigan, done a lot of energy efficiency worked with Ron Wyden from Oregon. It is about relationships. It’s about putting those things on the president’s desk that have broad bipartisan support.

Let’s start first with putting those kinds of solution, like the Keystone pipeline, like repeal of the medical device tax on the president’s desk. Let’s show that we can do it with Republicans and Democrats and prove to the American people that Washington learned its lesson and that will ultimately help Republicans in 2016 when it comes to our nominee.

[SNIP]

What do you imagine creepy Cory means when he say the GOP should “govern with maturity … with competence”?

UPDATE (11/10): Here is How You Reach Across That Aisle: “to paraphrase one hardcore tea partier’s fighting words, the only time you want your representative to reach across the aisle is to grab a Democrat or an errant Republican by the throat.”

And throttle.


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The Sovereign Agrees To … A Bourbon Summit

Barack Obama, Constitution, Democracy, Democrats, Elections, Founding Fathers

“The Sovereign Agrees To … A Bourbon Summit” is the current column, now on WND:

Barack Obama’s remarks on the results of the midterm congressional elections of 2014 were, well, remarkable. What else was the upheaval in the balance of power between the White House and Capitol Hill if not a repudiation of President Obama and his policies? Republicans gained control of the Senate. In the House they won the “largest majority since World War II, 246 seats in 1946, when Harry Truman sat in the White House.” There were major gubernatorial gains as well. Yet the message the president took away from the defeat of Democrats country-wide was that he needed to “get the job done.” He had not been busy enough.

Semantic sophistry being Obama’s forte, the president attempted to delegitimize the results of the midterm elections. A master of divide-and-control tactics, Pharaoh quickly blamed his party’s electoral ousting on a minority: those who voted. “To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too,” he said.

Luckily for him, Obama did not cry racism—although he had sent race RoboCop Eric Holder and his federales to election stations across the country to ensure that anyone who wanted to vote could, and that if a voter were asked for an ID, informed of a citizenship requirement, hadn’t been provided with “bilingual assistance” or a ramp for a wheelchair—this disenfranchised soul could quickly dial into a hotline to register a complain of “intimidation, discrimination, obstruction,” and racism, naturally.

Having faulted a misguided minority—the few who voted—for rejecting his regime, the president proceeded to reaffirm the policies just repudiated. “[M]ore Americans are working. Unemployment has come down.” [So has participation in the labor force: more than 102 million Americans are not working.] The “minority” that voted were informed, too, that “more Americans have health insurance” [because those who don’t need it, 19- to 25-year-olds, have been forced to purchase it; and the rest of us are paying for them and other indigents in exorbitant deductible and cost-sharing ploys]. “… Our deficits have shrunk [due to crippling taxes, and as the national debt balloons to $17.9 trillion]. Yes, “our economy is outpacing most of the world,” but that’s due entirely to the resilience of America’s private economy and a dearth of the same drive elsewhere in the world. …

… Read the rest. “The Sovereign Agrees To … A Bourbon Summit” is now on WND.


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