Democrats

The Contradictions of Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Moving from political obscurity as the gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to the media’s flavor-of-the-month Democratic presidential candidate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced last week that his campaign has raised over $7 million since launching his exploratory committee in January. “Mayor Pete,” as he has asked his constituents to call him, is the first of [...]

What If Elections Don’t Matter?

  What if Democrats and Republicans were two wings of the same bird of prey? What if elections were actually useful tools of social control? What if they just provided the populace with meaningless participation in a process that validates an establishment that never meaningfully changes? What if that establishment doesn't want and doesn't have [...]

The Mythical Middle in American Politics

  Why did the Democrats run Bob Casey Jr., in Pennsylvania in 2006 against Sen. Rick Santorum? Why did President George W. Bush win a higher percentage of the African-American vote in Ohio in 2004 than he won nationwide? Why did Proposition 8 win in California in 2008, while Sen. John McCain was losing the [...]

The Weakness That Saps the Strength of GOP Candidates

  A presidential campaign exposes candidates' strengths and weaknesses. The strengths they're eager to tell you about. So let's look at the weaknesses. Start with Rick Santorum, whose poll numbers in New Hampshire and South Carolina have been surging since (by last count) he lost the Iowa caucuses by the Chinese lucky number of 8 [...]

China Trade: Myths vs. Reality

  Republicans and Democrats, liberals as well as conservatives, have bought into anti-Chinese trade demagoguery. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that tariffs against China are a "key part of our 'Make It in America' agenda." During his 2010 campaign, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called his tea party-backed Republican challenger, Sharron Angle, "a [...]

A Democrat Reaches Across the Aisle on Medicare

  It's highly unusual in a presidential debate for two Republican candidates — the two leading in current national polls — to heap praise on a liberal Democratic senator. But in the Fox News debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday night, both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney had very good words to say for Oregon's [...]

Obama, Romney Change Tacks in Week of Political Risks

  It was a week of risk-taking in the 2012 presidential race. Barack Obama, his job approval languishing in the low 40s, delivered a much heralded speech in Osawatomie, Kan., framing the choice between the parties in class-warfare terms. That's a risky strategy. Democrats haven't won a presidential election on class warfare since 1948, when [...]

Barack Obama, Class Warrior?

  Someday, when today's adults are old and gray, their grandchildren will sit down and ask, "What did you do in the class war?" You may not have noticed, but it seems we are in the midst of one. On this point, Republican candidates and officeholders are in agreement. Newt Gingrich accuses President Barack Obama [...]

Obama Pursues Rich and Poor, Not White Working Class

  Has Barack Obama's Democratic Party given up on winning the votes of the white working class? Thomas Edsall, the longtime Washington Post reporter now with The Huffington Post, thinks so. Surveying the plans of Democratic strategists, Edsall wrote in The New York Times on Nov. 28 that "all pretense of trying to win a [...]

Loathing Conservative Christian Candidates

  Time magazine didn't mind ruffling feathers in religious America with a cover this summer that asked "Is Hell Dead?" Never mind that America is overwhelmingly Christian. Then Time found only one letter worth plucking out to feature in large, bold type from a man in Dallas: "Hell is easy to define. It would be [...]

Put Tax Breaks for Mortgages, Local Taxes on Table

  Supercommittee members Sen. Pat Toomey and Rep. Jeb Hensarling are taking flak from some conservatives for proposing a deal including increases in "revenues," and a Washington Post reporter had some fun insinuating that they were backing a tax-rate increase. As this is written, no one knows what the supercommittee will do (or not do), [...]

Tea Partiers, Like Peaceniks, Upset Political Order

  It irritates members of both groups when I note the similarities of the tea party movement that swept the nation in the 2010 election and the peace movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. But they are similar. Both movements represent the surge in political activity by hundreds of thousands, even millions, of [...]

The Real Scandal

  The real scandal in the accusations against Herman Cain is the corruption of the law, the media and politics. Let's start with the law. Some people may think the fact that the National Restaurant Association reportedly paid $45,000 to settle a claim made by one of its employees against Mr. Cain is incriminating. Most [...]

Obama Team Split on How to Rally Unruly Coalition

President Barack Obama obviously is scrambling in his attempt to win re-election. He has proclaimed himself the underdog and has given up his pretense of being a pragmatic centrist compromiser in favor of harsh class warfare rhetoric. But it's worth taking note of what he has squandered. In 2008, Obama won 53 percent of the [...]

Obama Is Just ‘Being There’

  Which past leader does Barack Obama most closely resemble? His admirers, not all of them liberals, used to compare him to Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. Well, Obama announced his candidacy in Lincoln's hometown two days before Abe's birthday, and he did expand the size and scope of government. But no one seriously compares [...]

The End of a Political Career

Exit Newt Gingrich. Well, not quite yet, officially. On his Facebook page, Gingrich says he will endure "the rigors of campaigning for public office" and "will carry the message of American renewal to every part of this great land, whatever it takes." Without, however, the assistance of his 16 top campaign aides, some of whom [...]

President Whatever Finds Things Not Going His Way

Barack Obama is a politician who likes to follow through on long-term strategies and avoid making course corrections. That's how he believes he won in 2008, and since then he's shown that he's not much into details. So he was happy to let congressional appropriators fill in the blanks in the 2009 stimulus package, and [...]

Democrats abandoned their religious outreach in 2010

Dan Burke at the Religion News Service reports that the Democratic religious outreach that worked so well in 2008 was largely abandoned in 2010. In previous elections, the Democratic National Committee hired staffers for Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and evangelical outreach. This year, those jobs are not filled, said the Rev. Regena Thomas, the DNC’s director [...]

Counting Chickens, Hatched or Otherwise

The last few weeks of Election Season news almost always leave me feeling overwhelmed and unsure as to what we will see when Election Day comes to an end, and this season is no exception. On the one hand, I find myself inundated by articles about the GOP’s potentially unprecedented lead amongst likely voters and [...]

Can the Bishops Fix the Health Care Bill?

When the health-care bill passed, the bishops' reaction was twofold: disappointment at federal funding for abortion, while universal care was applauded. For some, including myself, the sound of the bishops' clapping was far too loud given the immense tragedy of our federal tax dollars being committed to support abortion under the guise of "women's health [...]

Does anyone like Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court?

Lots of buzz today about President Obama's pick to replace Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court -- Elena Kagan. Conservatives are understandably nervous about her record on abortion; Steve Ertelt at Life News quotes Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony list, saying: "In the past Kagan has been a strong supporter of the [...]

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