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The Tea Party’s Empty Dance Card

11:27 am in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

Well there you have it, another onetime Tea Party favorite has dropped out of the 2012 race to be America’s president thereby shrinking the field of “viable” candidates that a Tea Party true believer could vote for this coming November. In fact one should even ask the question of whether or not there is a candidate still in the race that a true Tea Party member could legitimately support. Political columnist E.J. Dionne, to some degree, asked a similar question in: “Where are the Republican populists?” Quoting Dionne: “Members of the Tea Party insisted they were turning the GOP into a populist, anti-establishment bastion. Social conservatives have long argued that values and morals matter more than money. Yet in the end, the corporate and economically conservative wing of the Republican Party always seems to win.” That will leave members of the movement with a truly tough choice this November: Is there any candidate left in the race for which a real Tea Party supporter could vote without a compromising of one’s principles? Unless a third party candidate favorable to the Tea Party emerges, not exactly a development that would guarantee victory, the choices available to Tea Party members will be reduced to voting for a moderate Republican in Mitt Romney, not voting, giving up on the presidency and hoping that a rear guard electoral effort will maintain the House Tea Party Caucus or voting for Obama as a protest. The last choice is something the true believers would never do.

Presently it appears that rank and file Tea Party members have already started to compromise their principles. A recent Boston Globe article, “Tea Party’s opposition to Romney weakens” states: “The Tea Party and its dislike of the Massachusetts health care plan and Romney’s moderate record as Bay State governor were considerable impediments to his candidacy throughout 2011. But none of the Tea Party’s darlings – Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, or Gingrich – has been able to sustain a surge, highlighting limitations of a nascent movement that couldn’t extend its 2010 congressional successes onto the presidential stage…The latest polls suggest a good number of Tea Party supporters are getting behind the party’s most likely nominee [Romney], despite qualms about his record, because their overriding goal is removing Obama from the White House.” Likewise, just as the G.O.P.’s 2012 field is unsettled so are members of the Tea Party when it comes to who they currently support: “CBS reports that voters who identify with the Tea Party movement are similarly divided, with 29 percent supporting Romney, 28 percent supporting Gingrich, 18 percent supporting Santorum, and 12 percent supporting Paul.”

The fact that almost one third of the Tea Party members are backing Romney shows just how far principles on the hard right have eroded at this point in time. Likewise real conservatives would take umbrage with Newt Gingrich’s claim that he is the only true conservative in the race. Gingrich has a track record of clashing with conservatives on many issues. He called Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget reform ideas “right-wing social engineering”, has supported health care insurance mandates, been rather liberal in his views on accommodating illegal immigrants, admitted that climate change is real and needs to be addressed and even criticized the far right publicly on the issue of ideological purity saying: “You can have a very, very intense movement at 20 percent. You can’t govern. To govern, you’ve got to get 50 percent plus one after the recount.” And now in what could be a Herman Cain like moment Gingrich’s second wife is going public in her criticism of him in an expose that is hardly flattering and which will do nothing to endear him to social conservatives, particularly women.

Thus for the Tea Partiers we’re down to just two alternatives, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. If Ron Paul is anything it’s unelectable. His isolationist stance on foreign involvement and libertarian views on drug use are an anathema to the Republican establishment and most likely to the majority of the electorate as well. Paul’s libertarian views can be summarized as follows: “Paul believes: Gays should be allowed to marry; America’s foreign policy contributed to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks; U.S. defence spending should be slashed by 15%; Drugs like marijuana, heroin and cocaine should be decriminalized, and the United States should not come to Israel’s aid if it starts a shooting war with Iran.” With views like these we can effectively dismiss Ron Paul as a serious candidate for president.

That leaves us with Santorum and his acceptability to the Tea Party. One problem Santorum has always had is that he’s been a one trick pony, his overarching theme has been one of social values, something that helped him tremendously in Iowa. “CBS News entrance polling showed that Tea Party conservatives who participated in the caucuses largely supported Santorum. Among those who said they support the Tea Party movement, 29 percent caucused for him, compared with 19 percent for Paul and 19 percent for Mitt Romney.” But Iowa is atypical of the larger political landscape, its whiter, more evangelical, less urban and less affected by the Great Recession due to a strong demand for its agricultural produce. Just how well do the Tea Partiers know Rick Santorum? Since Iowa it’s come out that he was a master at earmarking federal largesse for western Pennsylvania, supported Medicare Part D, was a regular supporter of foreign aid and voted for No Child Left Behind, a federal program that “greatly expanded the federal government’s role in education.” Referencing a Ron Paul advertisement, Santorum is “another serial hypocrite who can’t be trusted.” It targets Santorum for voting five times to raise the debt ceiling, voting in favor of the notorious “bridge to nowhere,” and taking lobbyist cash, among other things.”

A good synopsis of Rick Santorum’s career on Capitol Hill can be found in Sheryl Stolberg’s recent article “Santorum Rose Quickly From Reformer to Insider” Quoting Stolberg: “But a look at the arc of Mr. Santorum’s political career, from his days as a fresh-faced College Republican to his bruising defeat for a third term in 2006, reveals a side of Mr. Santorum beyond that of reformer and abortion foe. He emerges as a savvy operator and sharp tactician, a climber who became a member of the Washington establishment that he had once railed against.” Thus can any true believer in the principles of the Tea Party movement consider Rick Santorum to be a bona fide upholder of the movement’s agenda? Not really. Does Santorum fit the description of a Beltway outsider who can be trusted to champion the agenda of the Tea Party movement? Not in the least, that is, if you want to be honest about whom Santorum is and what his past track record is all about. Once you peel the onion down a few layers past the exterior of standing up for family values what you’re left with is a professional politician and that’s hardly in line with the general tenor of the Tea Party movement.

Conservative columnist David Brooks points out much of what comprises Santorum’s world view is not exactly congruent with Tea Party principles. ”His worldview is not individualistic. His book, “It Takes a Family,” was infused with the conservative wing of Catholic social teaching. It was a broadside against Barry Goldwater-style conservatism in favor of one that emphasized family and social solidarity. While in Congress, he was a leader in nearly every serious piece of antipoverty legislation…He is not a representative of the corporate or financial wing of the party. Santorum certainly wants to reduce government spending. He certainly wants tax reform. But he goes out of his way in his speeches to pick fights with the “supply-siders.” Now many on the far right consider Brooks a “progressive” Republican but few would say the same of Erick Erickson who runs the ultra-conservative political blog RedState and who’s article “What a Big Government Conservative Looks Like” states: “Rick Santorum is a pro-life statist. He is. You will have to deal with it.  He is a big government conservative.  Santorum is right on social issues, but has never let his love of social issues stand in the way of the creeping expansion of the welfare state.  In fact, he has been complicit in the expansion of the welfare state… Santorum is a conservative. He is. But his conservatism is largely defined by his social positions and the ends to which government would be deployed. But he has chosen as the means to those conservative ends bigger government. We see big government conservatives most clearly when they deviate from the tireless efforts of people like Mike Pence and Jim DeMint and the others who were willing to oppose George W. Bush’s expansion of the welfare state. Rick Santorum was not among them.”

So with the abovementioned in mind, am I going out on a limb in pointing out that the Tea Party movement is effectively without a viable candidate for 2012? I don’t thinks so, not if by “viable” you mean a candidate that will put the principles of limiting big government’s influence in our daily lives at the forefront of their policy agenda and who actually has a chance at appealing to that vast raft of independent voters and being elected. If the CBS poll numbers are indicative of anything they show that three quarters of the Tea Party movement’s respondents are supporting a candidate other than one who espouses true Tea Party principles in either positions taken on past policy or personal behavior. Which get us back to E.J. Dionne: “Think about Romney’s rise in light of the overheated political analysis of 2010 that saw a Republican Party as being transformed by the Tea Party legions who, in alliance with an overlapping group of social and religious conservatives, would take the party away from the establishmentarians.

Certainly some of the movement’s failures can be attributed to a flawed set of competitors and the split on the right, especially Paul’s ability to siphon off a significant share of the Tea Party vote. That has made a consolidation of its forces impossible…But there is another possibility: that the GOP never was and never can be a populist party, that the term was always being misapplied, and that enough Republicans are quite comfortable with a Harvard-educated private-equity specialist.” If E.J. Dionne is correct, and I believe he is, then the members of the Tea Party movement have a rendevous with reality in Novemeber that will leave then feeling jilted with regard to having a true candidate in the race and, if a Republican wins the presidency, with having that old sinking feeling of having been used for their votes with little propsect of seeing their agenda advanced by the professional politicians who run the Republican Party.

Steven J. Gulitti

1/20/2012

 Sources:

Perry suspends campaign, endorses Gingrich; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdvje9Fr-uY

What doomed Rick Perry’s campaign; http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/19/politics/perry-rise-fall/index.html

Where are the Republican populists; http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/romneys-rise-puts-the-lie-to-a-populist-gop/2012/01/18/gIQAoPqG9P_story.html

Tea Party’s opposition to Romney weakens; http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2012/01/19/opposition-from-tea-party-begins-fade-mitt-romney-gains-support-more-conservatives/JrU4fS9Gy5BF44dEfEkQoM/story.html

GOP Race Remains Fractured, Tea Party Supporters Divided: http://www.decodedscience.com/gop-race-remains-fractured-tea-party-supporters-divided/9673

Gingrich Has Record Of Clashing With The Right; http://www.npr.org/2011/11/29/142868567/gingrich-has-record-of-clashing-with-the-right

Newt Gingrich wanted ‘open marriage,’ ex-wife says; http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/19/politics/gingrich-wife/index.html

Paul’s candidacy thrives on the unconventional; http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Paul+candidacy+thrives+unconventional/5776016/story.html

Can Rick Santorum claim the Tea Party mantle?; http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57354522-503544/can-rick-santorum-claim-the-tea-party-mantle/

Santorum Rose Quickly From Reformer to Insider; http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/us/politics/santorum-rose-quickly-from-reformer-to-insider.html?_r=1&hp

Workers of the World, Unite! http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/opinion/workers-of-the-world-unite.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

What a Big Government Conservative Looks Like; http://www.redstate.com/erick/2012/01/09/what-a-big-government-conservative-looks-like-2/

Rick Santorum and the Tea Party; http://thepoliticalzealot.com/2012/01/09/rick-santorum-and-the-tea-party/

For the Radical Right, a Defeat in New Hampshire

10:46 pm in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

Tonight’s outcome in New Hampshire represents a significant setback for the fortunes of the Tea Party movement along with the rest of the radical right as Republican moderates have captured the bulk of the votes cast in the contest. When you combine Romney’s take with that of Gingrich and Huntsman what you see is that collectively Republican moderates received a total of 65.6% of the total vote count. Conversely those candidates who are popular with the radical right were only able to secure 39.3% of the votes cast. That means that two thirds of the voters voted for a candidate that’s not likely to do anything for a radical conservative agenda or its supporters other than use them for their vote and thereafter bid them farewell a la Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). See the graph from Associated Press below.
 
While nothing is ever cast in stone in the world of American politics, no candidate in modern times who ever won both the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary failed to win his party’s nomination. Suffice it to say that the leadership of the Republican establishment can only be much relieved by these results as it suggests that voters may be moving back to the center after having flirted with the Tea Party and the radical right. That Tea Party affinity may have produced dramatic electoral gains in 2010 but it has also created gridlock in Washington, a tarnished image of the Republican Party and electoral defeats in 2011. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Republican establishment, which is well aware of the Congressional G.O.P’s low standing in the eyes of the public, attributes much of that low standing to the impact of the Tea Party caucus on Capitol Hill. Now with Mitt Romney’s fortunes apparently on the rise the Republican leadership can only hope that he can power past right-wing radicals in most of the remaining primaries thereby rendering any prospect of a Tea Party backed candidate moot. With that development the Republican Party can plan a campaign to defeat Barack Obama in November that would have been otherwise futile had a Tea Party backed candidate been the front runner.
 
In a prescient article that appeared before the 2011 elections, Matt Bai interviewed uber-Conservative William Kristol who said a “large number of Republican primary voters, and even more independent general-election voters, will be wary of supporting a Republican candidate in 2012 if the party looks as if it’s in the grip of an infantile form of conservatism.” Bai himself noted the following: “Given such fast-deteriorating conditions, [in the economy] many Republican veterans have come around to the view that they aren’t really going to need the perfect presidential candidate, and perhaps not even a notably good one. With Chris Christie having taken himself out of the running — again — earlier this month, the field of candidates now appears to be pretty much set, and none of them are likely to inspire any reimagining’s of Mount Rushmore. But maybe all the moment requires is someone who can pass as a broadly acceptable alternative — a candidate who doesn’t project the Tea Party extremism of Michele Bachmann or the radical isolationism of Ron Paul. “If we have a Rick Perry versus Mitt Romney battle for the nomination, it’s a little hard to say, ‘Ooh, the party has really gone off the rails,’ ” Kristol told me just after Perry entered the race, a development that essentially ended Bachmann’s brief ascent. Establishment Republicans may prefer Romney to Perry, but their assumption is that either man can be counted on to steer the party back toward the broad center next fall, effectively disarming the Tea Party mutiny.” Well it goes without saying that tonight’s results bring the Republican Party a step closer to the establishment’s goal of a party that appeals to the broad middle of the American electorate, particularly the non aligned independents, while at the same time adding increased downward momentum to the faltering Tea Party movement. Thus it would appear that tonight’s real winners are the old line establishment Republicans and the real losers are the Tea Party crowd, the Ron Paul libertarians and the rest of the radical right.
 
Steven J. Gulitti
1/10/12
 
 
 
Results for New Hampshire Republican Primary (U.S. Presidential Primary)
Jan 10, 2012 (92% of precincts reporting)
Mitt Romney 90,918   39.3%
Ron Paul 52,842  22.9%
Jon Huntsman 38,963  16.9%
Newt Gingrich 21,742     9.4%
Rick Santorum 21,562 9.3%
Rick Perry
1,612
0.7%
Michele Bachmann
 325
0.1%
Other
3,104
1.3%
 
Sources:

The Bachmann Flameout Finale

11:55 am in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

Well there you have it, one of the Tea Party’s own heroines, Michelle Bachmann has finally seen the light on her flawed and floundering pretense of a campaign for the American presidency. Quoting Bachmann: “I have decided to stand aside… I have no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles.” Bachmann Ends Presidential Bid; http://thepage.time.com/2012/01/04/bachmann-cancels-sc-plans/
 
While its true, in her mind at least, that she never compromised her principles, what she should have realized is that she hardly ever answered a interviewer’s or reporter’s question directly which created a semi-comical aspect to almost every Bachmann interview. Choosing instead to use every question as a cue to spout off her own particular version of “Obama is a Socialist/Marxist/Fascist derangement rant”, Bachmann thereby avoided articulating a policy position that would differentiate her from her competition and one that voters could identify with in a meaningful sense. Perhaps Michelle Bachmann didn’t really have much of a policy platform anyhow. At any rate, you would think that Bachmann would have learned a little something from the disaster that was the Vice Presidential candidacy of Sarah Palin in 2008, that the majority of Americans don’t take the Obama as a Socialist/Marxist/Fascist rap very seriously. In the closing days of the 2008 election Palin ran around like a chicken without a head bleating that “Barack Obama is a Sooooocialist.” When all is said and done beyond riling up a certain segment of the Republican Party this sort of rhetoric is a non-starter if you want to appeal to the mass of independent voters who’s support you need to get elected.
 
When you couple Bachmann’s absurd political rhetoric with her constant misrepresenting and mangling of important facts of American history it’s a miracle that she got this far in the first place. Perhaps you may recall that just yesterday she said that she expected to do well in the Iowa Caucuses because “she believes in the one who creates miracles.” Well apparently that certain someone either voted for someone else or he skipped the Iowa Caucuses altogether. In any event one of the most bizarre episodes in recent American political life has come to a close and for the rest of the Republican Party, probably not a moment too soon. While Mitt Romney will certainly benefit from a continued field of pretenders who pander to the far right, they serve to split up the conservative vote and muddle his opponents prospects, Bachmann with such a low vote take hardly served that purpose anyway. Thus for Bachmann to have gone on would have only contributed to the often cited circus atmosphere which has at times characterized the 2012 Republican primary. That in turn would be a net negative for the G.O.P. brand as well as for the eventual nominee. You can bet your bottom dollar that the leadership of the Republican Party and their major financial backers are glad to see the back of Bachmann.
 
S.J. Gulitti
1/4/12

Conservative Pundits Throwing Perry Under the Bus?

9:18 am in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

For the second time in the past two days a prominent conservative commentator has thrown Texas Governor Rick Perry under the bus possibly sending this latest Tea Party darling into a downward tailspin along the same trajectory as that of the faltering Michele Bachmann. This morning on Fox News Sunday veteran political analyst Brit Hume stated: “Perry is about one-half a step away from almost total collapse as a candidate…He still has some opportunity to recover his balance and put in a strong performance. What was so strikingly troubling about — from a Republican point of view — about this performance was that Perry was thought of as a really true conservative. Now it appears he has got this position on immigration which is anathema to a lot of conservatives. So this really hurts him with the base.” Just a few days ago William Kristol in an editorial analyzing the Republican debate in Orlando opined that any number of uncommitted potential candidates would be better than those who took the stage in Orlando.

I believe what we have here is a growing panic among the conservatives in this country as to their movement’s inability to produce a strong candidate that should be able to beat a very vulnerable Barack Obama. Not that I believe that the Republicans have any semblance of a strategy that could actually turn the economy around, but with the overall public dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs being what it is it should be relatively easy to unseat the incumbent. The fact that conservatives keep hoping to find someone better than Mitt Romney speaks volumes as to the consternation within their ranks as to the quality of their field of contenders. Add to that the simmering conflict between the emergent Tea Party movement and what some pundits call the “weakening G.O.P. establishment” and what you have are the ingredients for further internal conflict on the right. Whether or not this conflict burns up so much energy as to hobble their candidate during the upcoming presidential election remains to be seen. After all, any Republican candidate that’s not been vetted by the Tea Party will have to tack to the right in order to win in the Republican primaries. That may very well leave the winner with a track record of public comments that are unacceptable to the independent voters upon which the outcome of 2012 will ultimately depend. Thus the next election may be decided to a greater degree than anticipated on the internal warfare that will eventually erupt within the G.O.P.

Sources:

Hume: Perry “One Step Away from Collapse” ; http://thepage.time.com/2011/09/25/hume-perry-one-step-away-from-collapse/

Hume: ‘Perry is about one-half a step away from almost total collapse’; http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/25/hume-perry-is-about-one-half-a-step-away-from-almost-total-collapse/#ixzz1YyyiJKGN

William Kristol: Special Editorial: Yikes; http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/special-editorial-yikes_594095.html

Bid Bachmann Goodbye‏

2:20 am in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

Ever since Rick Perry entered the 2012 race for president, Michele Bachmann’s fortunes have been heading south, not to South Carolina but into the political basement. The latest USA Today/Gallup poll shows that Bachmann is now polling in single digits compared to Rick Perry who is garnering a 31% favorability rating. That amounts to a 13% drop off for Bachmann since August. Why even her fellow traveler and unannounced potential candidate, Sarah Palin is outpolling Bachmann.

Its not just the polls and liberal media bias that are killing the Bachmann candidacy, to a large degree her problems are self inflicted. Hilary Clinton once said, after committing a gaffe on the campaign trail, that when you consider the thousands of statements that a candidate makes during a political race, a slip up here or there is to be expected. That’s certainly true, but with Michele Bachmann misstatements and mistakes are the rule rather than the exception and need no reiteration. Bachmann’s latest gaffe came as a result of her comments on the suggestion that a vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease could lead to “retardation.” To wit: “As experts quickly pointed out, there is no evidence whatsoever linking the vaccine to mental retardation — and Mrs. Bachmann ended up shifting the focus off Mr. Perry and on to her long-running penchant for exaggeration…her tendency to let her passion for an issue overwhelm a sober look at the facts, resulting in indefensible remarks that, in a presidential primary race, are raising questions about her judgment and maturity.” As it turns out Bachmann had spoke with the mother of a young lady who claimed that her daughter had become “retarded” after receiving the subject vaccine. Bachmann never took the time to look into the story instead preferring to jump to the conclusion, since proven to be incorrect, that the vaccine causes “retardation.” Bachmann’s Senior Advisor, Ed Rollins, was quick to point out the obvious, Bachmann had made a mistake. “People close to the campaign echoed Mr. Rollins. They spoke of their frustration that Mrs. Bachmann, who entered the race with a reputation for making unsupportable statements on cable television, has not found the discipline to win credibility with major Republican donors and influential referees in the conservative news media.”

But its not just in the realm of public misstatements and pratfalls that Bachmann has an Achilles heel, her political track record, or lack thereof is just as big a problem. Bachmann appeared on Meet the Press on August 14th of this year and when David Gregory pointed out that she had never chaired a Congressional committee, had little to show in the way of successful legislation introduced and that her major calling card on Capitol hill is as a hard-line conservative. Bachmann was want for an effective comeback and running true to form she used Gregory’s question as an opportunity to regurgitate her usual talking points thereby avoiding and deflecting the question. For someone who has made a habit of pointing out Barack Obama’s lack of experience her attempts to downplay her own shortcomings on the subject of experience speaks volumes. Needless to say Bachmann’s lack of experience combined with here penchant for political extremism is enough to drive independents away from her candidacy in droves.

So we’re left to wonder at what point will Bachmann finally give up the ghost on this mismanaged and mangled campaign for the White House. After all, by now, it’s a matter of when not if and Bachmann’s inability to connect with major donors will only serve to hasten her exit. On the other hand Michelle Bachmann could become another Ron Paul, perpetually propelled by a small but energetic claque of supporters who buoy her hopes beyond the pale of what can reasonably be expected only to fail repeatedly and to then again resurface in the next political season. One way or the other, Michelle Bachmann is effectively finished in the world of presidential politics. Referencing Jim Dyke, a former communications director for the Republican National Committee, Bachmann’s latest gaffe may be the final nail in the coffin of her presidential campaign.

SJG
9/21/11

Sources:

Poll: Bachmann Support Sliding; http://thepage.time.com/2011/09/19/poll-bachmann-support-sliding/

With Stakes for Bachmann Higher Now, Her Words Get in the Way; http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/16/us/politics/misstatements-shadow-bachmann-in-republican-presidential-race.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

Of God, Bachmann and the Weather

4:29 pm in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

If you really took Michelle Bachmann seriously you would think that all of our recent weather related problems and disasters was the voice of the Almighty. According to Ms. Bachmann: ”I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians…We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said: ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?” Bachmann made the aforementioned comments to a group of Florida seniors suggesting that the “recent natural disasters were God’s way of sending a message to Washington.” “Bachmann Links God, Disasters and Politics”; http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E04EEDD153BF933A0575BC0A9679D8B63&scp=1&sq=Bachmann%20Links%20God,%20Disasters%20and%20politics&st=cse

Well here’s an interesting thought to ponder if you really believe, the way Bachmann does, that weather related disasters are God’s way of telling us something. We here in the Northeast had a few big snowstorms early last winter but February was downright mild for a winter month. July was hot but August was almost autumnal in the end. We just got doused by Hurricane Irene but we haven’t had a major hurricane make landfall here and cause any degree of damage since Hurricane Bob in 1991, twenty years ago. Yeah we had an “earthquake”, I was seventeen stories up on a construction project and didn’t feel a thing. Once in a long while we get a rash of springtime flooding but beyond that, the weather in the “liberal / progressive” Northeast is downright pleasant. On the other hand the southern states have been in a prolonged, almost biblical, period of drought. Tornados seem more and more frequent and damaging across the plains states and wild fires regularly ravage the west and southwest. Texas has had one of the worst summers on record with mammoth wild fires.

So If we are to believe that God often vents his displeasure through the weather, could we then reasonably conclude that he is angier with conservatives than with liberals and “progressives”?After all it is in those sections of the country that are heavily conservative that have, and continue to experience, the worst weather. Based on the fact that the weather in the Northeast and West Coast seems to be a lot better than that in the South, Southwest and on the Plains I guess we give the Almighty a lot less to be upset about and we are more likely to be in his good graces, in a relative sense that is.

sjg
9/7/11

Bachmann in Damage Control Mode Once Again?

7:44 pm in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

This evening CNN announced in a “breaking news” announcement that there was yet another shake up in Michelle Bachmann’s presidential campaign. This time Bachmann’s campaign manager Ed Rollins said that he was stepping down for “health reasons.” Rollins had indeed suffered a stroke a year and a half ago, but that was before he had even signed onto assist Bachmann in her presidential bid. That said why is Rollins’ health such an issue now when it wasn’t an issue just a few short months ago when he joined the Bachmann team? Surely being the venerable political operative that he is, Rollins must have had an idea as to the stresses and strains that go hand in hand with the high tempo of presidential politics. Rollins’ decision in and of itself wouldn’t be that big a story if it were not for the fact that Bachmann’s deputy campaign manager David Polyansky wasn’t leaving the campaign as well, a development that suggests that there is more to this than meets the eye.

Quoting Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza, both of the Washington Post: “Polyansky’s departure at the same time, of course, will raise questions about whether this, in fact, represents a strategic shakeup for a campaign that has taken a back seat in the Republican presidential race since Texas Gov. Rick Perry got into the race. Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll three weeks ago but has struggled to build on that win…The staff changes aren’t the first for Bachmann. Hovering over the departures is Bachmann’s reputation. She, more than most members of Congress, is notorious for the amount of staff turnover in her congressional office, going through numerous chiefs of staff, including some who don’t speak highly of the congresswoman these days. Any kind of departures at the highest levels of a campaign is generally seen as a bad thing.” For the record, Bachmann’s spokeswomen Alice Stewart who confirmed the story to The Washington Post said that this was a “restructuring” not a shakeup.”

Thus it would appear that Michelle Bachmann’s trials and tribulations continue unabated. If it isn’t confusing historical facts, its the revolving door of personnel associated with the controversial congresswoman from Minnesota. Add to that the fact that Rick Perry’s entrance into the 2012 race has contributed directly to Bachmann’s fall off in the polls or the fact that Sarah Palin could join the race at any time and it’s not too big a leap of faith to say that we may already be witnessing the beginning of the end of Michelle Bachmann as a serious contender for the presidency in 2012. The residual question is whether or not Bachmann will be a perennial Tea Party hopeful the way Ron Paul is a perennial Libertarian hopeful, based that is on her small but strident following among the far right fringe of the conservative movement.

sjg
9/5/11

Sources:

Rollins steps down in Bachmann campaign shake-up

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/05/rollins-steps-down-in-bachmann-campaign-shakeup/

Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza: Top Bachmann aides stepping aside

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/top-bachmann-aides-stepping-aside/2011/09/05/gIQAFM1D5J_blog.html

Michele Bachmann’s New Normal: Damage Control

http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_j_gulitti/2011/06/28/michele_bachmanns_new_normal_damage_control

The Health Care Hypocrisy of a Tea Party Candidate

7:50 pm in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

What word would you use to describe a candidate for the U.S. Senate, who just happens to be a Tea Party favorite, that publically advocates repealing health care reform, opposes the regulation of health care insurers while at the same time benefits from health care provided by a federal government agency? If the word hypocrite comes to mind, you just hit the jackpot. Not necessarily intended to be a tongue in cheek quip, but our winner of the hypocrite of the day award goes to Nevada’s Sharron Angle, who just happens to hail from the land of slot machines and crap tables.

Yeah, you read me correctly, this morning’s “Politico’s Morning Score” blew the cover off of Ms. Angle’s dirty little secret and possibly a hole in her campaign to be the next U.S. Senator from Nevada. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly the kind of publicity that the Tea Party Movement is looking for either. Its one thing for the Tea Party Movement to be lampooned by the political highbrows on MSNBC and the Daily Show who can be dismissed as elitist by the party faithful. It’s quite yet another for one of its premier candidates to so seriously stumble just weeks before an election that is supposed to be the movement’s coming out party in the big leagues of electoral politics. Politico’s Morning Score reports: “Angle’s campaign acknowledged to Nevada journalist Jon Ralston Monday that both the candidate and her husband receive health care from the federal government. Spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said in a statement: "Mr. Ted Angle receives his pension through the (federal) Civil Service Retirement System. While it is not supplemented by the federal government, current civil servants pay into the program to pay the schedule of those already retired – much like how the Social Security Program works today.” But there’s more to it than just the machinations of the Angle family, another prominent mouthpiece of the Tea Party Movement, Michelle Bachmann, a regular critic of government health care is also a beneficiary of the very programs she rails against. According to MediaMatters.com:” Angle isn’t the only right-wing Republican to bash government involvement in health care while benefiting from it. Back in May, the Minnesota Independent reported that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a frequent critic of "socialized medicine," was profiting from a government-run health program in Minnesota through her husband’s Christian mental health clinic.” A Christian clinic?, What became of the values of honesty and truthfulness, or are they to be convienently ignored when politics is what’s on the menu?

So there you have it, some of the leading lights of the movement that is supposed to “take back our country” and bring us back to “the values and wisdom of our Founding Fathers”, have found it in their best interest to talk you out of the need for health care reform and insurance company oversight while they and their families are more than happy to benefit from programs they publically oppose. These Tea Party elites, who regularly blast the established Washington elites, have seen fit to insulate themselves and their families from life’s vicissitudes while admonishing the rest of us to” work hard, be frugal and trust in the markets and what made America great in the past." The hypocrisy in all of this is obvious and undeniable. What is not immediately obvious is to what extent these revelations just weeks before the mid-term elections will give the independent voter cause for concern as it regards supporting candidates like Sharron Angle or re-electing a Michelle Bachmann. I doubt it will do much to dissuade the rank and file Tea Party foot soldier, but it may. That said, what the rank and file intend to do really is of secondary import, it’s the independent voter who holds the key to both this election and the next.

Steven J. Gulitti

9/28/10

Sources:

Politico’s Morning Score: http://www.politico.com/morningscore/

Anti-Government Crusader Sharron Angle Receives Government Health Care; http://politicalcorrection.org/blog/201009280002

Sharron angle and Her husband Receive Government Health Care: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?link=225844_Sharron_Angle_And_Her_Husband