Tag Archives: Politics

All Politics are Local?

Tip O’Neil Said it (actually he said, “All politics is local”, but why quibble?), but is it true in our political discussions today? Perhaps I’m just talking about myself, but do those of us who comment on the national political scene really know what’s going on at the local level? Sure, I know my Senators (Rubio and Nelson), and my Representative (Dennis Ross), but what about State, County, and local representation? Am I the only one who pays far too little attention to the people who are representing me closest to home?

I know that JD Alexander is my Florida State Senator, and Ben Albritton is my representative. I voted for both and they’ve been doing a good job. But I have to admit that I know far less about them, and what they’re doing, than I do about those in the federal government.

But it gets even worse.

Eagle Lake GovernmentI live in a very small town — 1.4 square miles and less than 2500 people. I have to admit I only knew the name of the Mayor (J.R. Sullivan), but I couldn’t pick him or any of the city commissioners out of a lineup.

What point am I trying to make? Maybe none. Maybe just a reminder to myself that the small local stage is as important as the big national one. There is also the question of where can I (or anyone else) have greater direct influence? At Freedom Connector they have a group called the Unified Patriots Precinct Committeeman Strategy which lists this as their mission:

Do you want to become a more informed voter? Want to learn how to GOTV? Want to motivate Republicans-In-Name-Only to start following the Constitution? Want better conservative Republican Party candidates with a chance to win the primary and general elections? Become active in the Republican Party. Take command of your neighborhood and get out the vote. Become a Republican Party precinct committeeman. Precinct committeemen elect the leadership within the Party and vote to endorse the Republicans in the primaries. The more conservatives in the precinct committeemen ranks, the more conservative the leadership and the primary winners will be.

And that’s only one way. At the very least, become informed about local issues, officials, and whatever is going on where you live. Get involved. Find like-minded people near you. Get Local.

It’s Almost Time

I’ve figured it out – this feeling I’ve been having for a couple of weeks. This is far from my first election, but this one feels different. I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was that made it feel that way.

Then it hit me. This is the way I used to feel when I was a little kid when Christmas was on the way. It wasn’t that I knew what gifts were going to be under the tree, but the knowledge that there would be gifts. I don’t know what “gifts” will be under the tree when the wrapping starts flying off tomorrow night, but my gut tells me it’s going to be good, and it’s going to be fun.

At this point, there are few, if any, saying that Democrats have any chance of retaining control of the house. It’s not a question of if, but of how many. If you want to play a drinking game tomorrow night (an why wouldn’t you?) how about a drink for every new description of the what this election is like. (Is it like 1994, the 20’s, or some other big swing year? You’ll hear them all starting right after dinner).

The higher the swing in the House, the more likely it is that we’ll see a change of power in the Senate. As I read somewhere (Hotair?) if we gain 70 or more seats in the House, would it then be possible to not take the Senate as well? I think that’s a good point.

But 51 or more seats in the Senate won’t be enough. We’ll have to wait until 2012 to get to the magic “60+”. We can start working on that on Wednesday.

But this isn’t about the math, it’s about the feeling, the atmosphere, the buzz. That all says that something is on the way. We’ll have to wait about 24 hours to find out exactly what it is, but for now feel free to shake the package and let me know what you think is in it in the comments.

Sorta Super Tuesday

The 2010 election cycle starts in earnest today.

Voters go to the polls today in Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio in one of the busiest days on the 2010 primary calendar. The tri-state voting also will initiate a five-week burst of election activity that will see 23 states hold primaries and three states hold special House elections.

Today’s returns will provide the clearest sign to date of the mood of the electorate six months before the midterm elections as well as test the clout of the political establishment and the national parties that have promoted preferred candidates in some contested primaries.

Today, and in the weeks to come, we should get a sense of the real political mood of the country. It’s going to be an interesting 26 weeks.

This Sounds Familiar

This is going to be a bit long, so I’ll post part of it below the fold. It’s a passage from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The scene occurs just over half way through the book. It’s a conversation between Dagny Taggart and a bum who snuck on her train. He’s describing what happened at the place he was working, but see if you don’t agree that it sounds very familiar.

“Well there was something that happened at that plant where I worked for twenty years. It was when the old man died and his heirs took over. There were three of them, two sons and a daughter, and they brought a new plan to run the factory. They let us vote on it too, and everybody — almost everybody — voted for it. We didn’t know. We thought it was good. No, that’s not true, either. We thought that we were supposed to think it was good. The plan was that everybody in the factory would work according to his ability but would be paid according to his need. We — what’s the matter ma’am? Why do you look like that?”

“What was the name of the factory?” she asked, her voice barely audible.

“The Twentieth Century Motor Compay, ma’am, of Starnesville, Wisconsin.”

“Go on.”

“We voted for that plan at a big meeting, with all of us present, six thousand of us, everybody that worked in the factory. The Starnes heirs made long speeches about it, and it wasn’t to clear, but nobody asked any questions. None of us knew just how the plan would work, but everyone of us thought that the next fellow knew it. And if anybody had doubts, he felt guilty and kept his mouth shut — because they made it sound like anyone who’d oppose the plan was a child-killer at heart and less than a human being. They told us that this plan would achieve a noble ideal. Well, how were we to know otherwise? Hadn’t we heard it all of our lives — from our parents and our schoolteachers and our ministers, and in every newspaper we ever read and every movie and every public speech? Hadn’t we always been told that this was righteous and just? Well, maybe there’s some excuse for what we did at that meeting. Still, we voted for the plan — and what we got, we had coming to us. You know, ma’am, we are marked men, in a way, those of us who lived through the four years of that plan in the Twentieth Century factory. What is it that hell is supposed to be? Evil — plain, naked, smirking evil, isn’t it? Well, that’s what we saw and helped to make — and I think we’re damned, everyone of us, and maybe we’ll never be forgiven. . .

Living, Breathing, Inconvenient

Our Constitution: Viewed by the left it is a “living, breathing” document full of emanations and penumbras invisible to the uninitiated. But sometimes a chimera constitution doesn’t even cut it. What do you do when the limits imposed are inconvenient? NP, as the online folks say. Just ignore them.

With the clock running out on a new US-Russian arms treaty before the previous Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, expires on December 5, a senior White House official said Sunday said that the difficulty of the task might mean temporarily bypassing the Senate’s constitutional role in ratifying treaties by enforcing certain aspects of a new deal on an executive levels and a “provisional basis” until the Senate ratifies the treaty.

“The most ideal situation would be to finish it in time that it could be submitted to the Senate so that it can be ratified,” said White House Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction, Security and Arms Control Gary Samore. “If we’re not able to do that, we’ll have to look at arrangements to continue some of the inspection provisions, keep them enforced in a provisional basis, while the Senate considers the treaty.”

Wow! Ed Morrisey gets right to the heart of this.

Uh, pardon me, but how many seats in the Senate does Obama’s party hold? Isn’t it 60? If Obama is simply moving forward with a straightforward, supportable treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear stockpiles in an effective verification system, why couldn’t he get a quick ratification? The GOP gave George H. W. Bush enough support in 1991 to pass the original START treaty, so it’s not as if ratification would be impossibly complicated.

Well, that is, if the deal actually does put in place an effective verification system and doesn’t amount to a de facto unilateral disarmament. With exactly five months to win Senate approval, the effort by the Obama White House in floating this idea now makes it sound like Obama wants to give away the store in order to score some points with his 1980s no-nukes agenda.

Wyatt Earp, Curt, and Mark Noonan have more.

We Are So Screwed

I know that there is still a fight that can be won in the Senate. Let’s pray it happens, because if Crap & Tax is signed into law we are all seriously screwed. Here are my thoughts now. I may have more when I calm down some.

I’m about to fall asleep at the keyboard. More later.

A Story Worth Following

The story of Chrysler dealerships slated for closing may turn out to have a serious political component. Doug Ross is tracking down the political contributions of the majority owners of the dealerships on the list and is finding both anecdotal and factual indications that many of the marked businesses being Republican contributors.

To quickly review the situation, I took all dealer owners whose names appeared more than once in the list. And, of those who contributed to political campaigns, every single one had donated almost exclusively to GOP candidates. While this isn’t an exhaustive review, it does have some ominous implications if it can be verified.

Doug has a link to the lists of dealerships scheduled to close and those that will remain open. He is looking for any help that can be given to sift through the lists.

The examination is very much on going, and the possibility exists that a different conclusion can be reached. However, the early examination points to some very troubling correlations. In any case, this is a story that deserves watching.

If you can…

Here’s why.

After the TEA Party

This time next week the TEA Parties will be over, but the momentum shouldn’t be. All of us need to take the message and the excitement of the TEA Parties and put it into practical application.

The Lakeland Tax Day TEA Party site will remain up and active. Of course I’ll still be blogging here at bRight & Early. But there is much more that can be done. American Majority has launched a new site — After The Tea Party — where you can discover ways to stay involved.

BREAKING: Judd Gregg Withdrawls His Nomination

There is nothing more than a headline at FOX News, not even a link.

Senator Judd Gregg Withdraws Nomination for Commerce Secretary

Sen. Gregg’s statement:

Sen. Gregg stated, “I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.

“However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.

“Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives.

“I greatly admire President Obama and know our country will benefit from his leadership, but at this time I must withdraw my name from consideration for this position.

“As we move forward, I expect there will be many issues and initiatives where I can and will work to assure the success of the President’s proposals. This will certainly be a goal of mine.

“Kathy and I also want to specifically thank Governor Lynch and Bonnie Newman for their friendship and assistance during this period. In addition we wish to thank all the people, especially in New Hampshire, who have been so kind and generous in their supportive comments.

“As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision. I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.”