The members of the 112th Congress must heed this message if there is to be any hope of repairing the shattered bonds of trust between the American people and their elected leaders. And that begins with the speaker of the House, who as leader of the institution must lead by example.
One of the biggest losers in Tuesday's elections was the pollster Scott Rasmussen, whose polls were an average of 5.8 percent off the mark in 105 Senate and gubernatorial races -- almost always to the favor of Republicans. "Rasmussen's polls were quite biased, overestimating the standing of the Republican candidate by almost 4 points on average," writes polling expert Nate Silver.
Islamic terrorism will not be a back-burner issue for long, as Friday;s news shows. With debt exploding, joblessness climbing, growth stagnating, and sharp tax increases looming, the economy has dominated the midterm campaign that finally ends on Tuesday. National-security concerns have flown under the radar.
Government planners have created a stagflationary growth recession. On the eve of the midterm elections, a third-quarter GDP report showing a meager 2 percent growth rate is the final nail in the Obama Democrats political coffin.
An outfit called Alaskans Standing Together has released a poll taken by an outfit called Hellenthal and Associates. It purports to show Lisa Murkowski leading Joe Miller by 43.5 to 29. Democrat Scott McAdams trails with 23 percent. As I said yesterday, I don't believe the Hays poll that had Murkowski 11 points up on Miller. Similarly, I don't believe the Hellenthal poll that has Murkowski up by more than 14. I do believe, based on what I've heard about internal polling, that Murkowski was probably ahead of Miller at the time these polls were taken.
To the speaker, health-care reform was a hill worth letting her members die for. After ordering Pickett s charge, Robert E. Lee reputedly mingled on the Gettysburg battlefield with his soldiers fortunate enough to have survived the debacle. It s all my fault, he said. Will Nancy Pelosi have a similar moment of regret after next Tuesday, when -- whether Republicans take the House or not -- many of her troops won t be coming back?
The beauty of this year's campaign is that it actually has a point. In a radio interview that aired Monday on Univision, President Obama chided Latinos who sit out the election instead of saying, We re gonna punish our enemies and we re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us. Quite a uniter, urging Hispanics to exact political revenge on their enemies -- presumably, for example, the nearly 60 percent of Americans who support the new Arizona immigration law.
We quoted Jay Nordlinger's comments on Bill Clinton campaigning for Democrats around the country at length here. Jay was disgusted by Clinton's wayward relationship with the truth in just about his every utterance.
Mike Huckabee has blasted Karl Rove and the "Republican Party establishment" for the "elitism" and "country club attitude" that he claims has driven Republican criticism of Christine O'Donnell. Huckabee says that he too was the victim of the such elitism when he ran for president. In Huckabee's view, both he and O'Donnell suffer because they "didn't go to the right school and [attend] the proper cocktail parties on the D.C. social circuit."
Democrats can call their opponents paranoid, but that won't save them in November. In an increasingly desperate attempt to develop a narrative for the coming Democratic collapse, the Democrats have indulged themselves in what for half a century they ve habitually attributed to the American Right: the paranoid style in American politics. The talk is of dark conspiracies -- secret money, foreign influence, and big corporations, with Karl Rove and, yes, Ed Gillespie lurking ominously behind the scenes. The only thing missing is the Halliburton-Cheney angle.
A new Rasmussen poll has Christine O'Donnell trailing Chris Coons by a 51-40 margin. This represents a significant improvement over polls that, prior to the O'Donnell-Coons debates, had O'Donnell behind by 16 to 21 points. However, Rasmussen's previous poll, taken three weeks ago, showed O'Donnell behind by 9 points.
Mr. Carville and the Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg went further in their criticism in a polling memo over the weekend, writing that Mr. Obama was too focused on the wrong underlying argument. They say he could help win over undecided voters with a promise to change Washington on behalf of the middle class and to oppose Republicans who support tax breaks for big companies that export jobs.
With a federal deficit of $1.3 trillion, $13.6 trillion in federal debt, and a congressional budget process in shambles, 56 Democrats and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) on Wednesday called on an independent commission to look for substantial reductions in one particular area -- the national defense budget. "The United States cannot sustain a military budget that costs nearly as much as the rest of the world s defense budgets combined," Paul said.
Delaware Republican Mike Castle, who was upset by Christine O Donnell in the GOP Senate primary, won t be endorsing anyone in the race. Castle, a popular politician in his state, told CNN that because his primary fight was so "nasty" he does not want to get involved further in the race to win Vice President Joe Biden's old seat.
I watched most of tonight's Delaware Senate debate between Chris Coons and Christine O'Donnell. Coons was articulate and polished, but O'Donnell was also articulate, and she was much sharper on the issues. In my view, she won the debate handily.
Republican Senate nominee Christine O Donnell of Delaware said in a 2006 debate that China was plotting to take over America and claimed to have classified information about the country that she couldn t divulge.
A famous phrase politicians and their advisors ought to remember, goes something like this: "When your enemy is tying his own noose, leave him alone." With about a month to go to Election Day, one question is whether or not the GOP has interrupted the Democrats as the Democratic leadership was tying its own noose. Less metaphorically: are the much-discussed "Pledge to America" and the "Ryan Plan" about to become targets of opportunity for Democratic candidates on the campaign trail?
Four hundred organizations, including all the major labor unions, the NAACP, the Sierra Club, Code Pink, the Green Party, the Communist Party, the United Methodist Church, Planned Parenthood and hundreds more were not able to turn out as many people as Glenn Beck.
DeMint belongs to the theological wing of the party better pure in belief and action than victorious. McConnell belongs to the pragmatic wing losers neither legislate nor educate. My experience has been that theologians do better in churches and seminaries than in the hard, messy work of legislating. An analogy might be the Democrats decision to nominate Bill Clinton for the presidency. He was not from the theological wing of the Democratic Party yet was able to pull the party from left to center, leading eventually to the Democratic reinvigoration of the mid-2000s. Now, the 'progressive' wing of the Democratic Party is upset because their doctrines, presented as articles of faith and woe to any who deviate, don t seem to be dominating legislative outcomes.
There is no more important task for conservatives and Republicans than getting a conservative majority in Congress in the November elections. As in 1994, Republicans have recruited an impressive roster of candidates to take the battle to Democrats in currently Democratic districts all across the country. Here are a few races I would like to draw attention to with links to the candidates' contribution pages and invite my John and Paul to add on as they see fit. The limitations of this list reflect the limitations of my knowledge, for which I apologize in advance.
With primary season over, the stage is now set for an epic fall election. The massive electoral repudiation that increasingly looks likely for Democrats is not, however, why this vote will be historic. It will be historic because it is the most intense battle yet in the Fifty Years War between conservatives and liberals for possession of America s political soul.
Mike Castle issued a statement tonight to the effect that he will not mount a write-in Senate campaign in opposition to Christine O'Donnell, who beat him in the Republican primary. That distinguishes him from Lisa Murkowski in the "sore loser" category.
Lisa Murkowski is waging a write-in campaign to maintain her Senate seat. In her quest to maintain the gift her father dutifully bestowed on her she now opposes the duly nominated Republican candidate as well as the Democratic candidate. The latest poll in the race suggests that here it could be close, though some appropriate adjustment has to be made to discount Murkowski's number for the problem created by having to write in a vote for her.
President Obama is crowing about his small-business bill, signed into law on Monday. "It was critical that we cut taxes and made more loans available to entrepreneurs," he said. Trouble is, small businesses and community banks don't want Obama's $30 billion program. That's right. They don't want it.
When touting his policy successes, President Obama tends to lapse into "we" speak. You know, "we're building wind turbines and solar panels and bio-diesel plants" or "we want to invest in . . . high-speed rail and broadband." The "we," of course, is a small number of enlightened government bureaucrats dispensing our tax dollars with all the aplomb of a hedge-fund manager investing in the next big thing.
By the numbers alone, Delaware is a tough state for GOP candidates. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 100,000 in a state with only 620,000 voters. The last time the state went for the Republican presidential candidate was 1988, and it hasn t sent a Republican senator to Washington since 1994.
Immediately below Paul Mirengoff describes one despicable Democratic congressman (Alan Grayson) waging a despicable campaign in search of a winning message, or at least a suitable bogeman. Southern California Rep. Loretta Sanchez is another despicable congressman waging a despicable campaign. Sanchez faces a strong challenge from Republican Van Tran. In the case of Sanchez, the bogeyman is her opponent. He's a native of Vietnam, you see, having left Saigon with his family shortly before South Vietnam fell to the communists in 1975.
All over America, Democratic congressional incumbents are struggling to stave off the tide that threatens to sweep them out of office and out of power. There's a flailing quality to their efforts, as they search for a winning message or, at least a suitable bogeyman.
Hoping to lift some of the gloom that that threatens to drive away their donors and keep their rank-and-file at home, the Democrats have released internal polling in selected races that they claim shows the Party's electoral prospects are not nearly as bad as many believe. But the most probative recent poll result I've seen comes from the non-partisan Pew organization. It shows that independent voters currently favor Republicans over Democrats to nearly the same extent that they favored Obama over McCain in 2008 and Democrats over Republicans in 2006. Those margins produced significant victories by the Dems in both cycles.
Christine O'Donnell's campaign went off the rails today when Bill Maher announced that he has previously-unseen clips of O'Donnell from the late 1990s when she appeared several times on his show. In one clip, she says that she once "dabbled into witchcraft."
You can't play out the "what ifs" with any certainty, but it seems pretty obvious to me that if the tea parties hadn't been around, doing what they do, the GOP, the conservative movement and the country would be in far worse shape today. It's hardly as if the folks in the White House or over at the DNC are suddenly sleeping a whole lot better because they might hang on to the Vice President's former senate seat, while probably losing the president's, Harry Reid's, Russ Feingold's and maybe even Barbara Boxer's. And, even if this costs the GOP a senate majority, most political observers know that winning back the senate matters less than destroying the filibuster-proof majority. And the GOP will do that with room to spare (thanks to the tea parties).
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) rejected criticisms Wednesday of the GOP nomination of conservative Christine O Donnell in Delaware, suggesting he d rather lose the race than see the moderate Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) became the next senator from the state. Mike is not going to vote with us in on things anyway, DeMint told reporters in the Capitol. Mike supports the bailouts, the stimulus, financial reform. Win or lose, we re fighting for the right cause.
PAUL adds: The conventional wisdom, reflected by polls, is that Ayotte is a solid favorite to win in November, while Lamontagne is a slight underdog. Unlike O'Donnell, Lamontagne is a "viable" candidate. But the ideological gain from nominating him is considerably less than the ideological gain from nominating O'Donnell in Delaware.
Today, I had the opportunity to put into practice William F. Buckley's much discussed rule which calls upon conservatives to vote for "rightwardmost viable candidate." In the Maryland Republican gubernatorial primary, that candidate was former governor Bob Ehrlich, who is neck-and-neck in the polls with incumbent Democrat Martin O'Malley.
The madness continues, as activists who support Christine O'Donnell in the Delaware Senate primary have stepped up their attacks on Mike Castle by alleging that he voted to impeach President Bush. That will come as a surprise to those who wonder how they missed such a vote, but Dan Riehl assures us that it is true. Not only that, he explicitly ties this claim to radio talk show host Mark Levin's attack on us; he titles his post "Paging Powerline." He says that he would "like to hear from Powerline as to why they are supporting someone who signed on to such 'moonbattery' and did such damage to our country."