Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Republican Malaise

Here we are early in the primary season, with the Florida Primary today, and promises of a double digit Romney victory, and it seems that Republican voters are still unimpressed with the field of candidates that remain.

According to the Pew Research Center, Republicans are singularly unexcited about their candidates. They report that the 44% of Republican or Republican-leaning voters dissatisfied with their field of candidates in early January have been joined by additional voters. The opinion group has grown to 52% dissatisfied at the end of January.  

And when asked which of the possible November candidates have an understanding of the needs of average Americans, 55% said that President Obama understands our needs, but Romney is flagging at 39% and even fewer believe Newt Gingrich has his hand on the pulse of American needs.

Republicans, in short are suffering through a malaise that is looking like what Democrats went through in 2010. When you are that unenthusiastic about your candidates, how do you justify dragging yourself to the polls to vote?

I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. This primary season is going to be hopelessly skewed to the right. Only the truly fanatical fringe will bother to show up at their primaries – or ones truly committed to a 1 term presidency for Barack Obama. The latter are Romney voters. The former is anyone’s guess.

And what will that mean in November? Such a lack of enthusiasm for the most probable nominee, Romney, means a walk in the park for Democrats. And I am beginning to sense a growing enthusiasm among Democrats as they begin to smell blood in the water.

The growing Republican Malaise is only good news for Democratic voters.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Conservatives Focus On the Past

OK, when I saw this headline at the Austin American-Statesman, “Perry to address CPAC conference” I had to ask myself this question: Why?

Isn’t he out of the presidential nomination race? Didn’t he prove to the nation that he had no qualifications to be president? That he is an ignorant slob?

Hey, I thought so. But not the case. And the reason this is not the case is that the Conservative Political Action Conference, to convene on February 9th in Washington, DC cannot get past the past.

I read on, and saw the list of invited speakers:
“Other speakers at CPAC 2012, which will focus on training activists and developing strategies in hopes of defeating President Barack Obama in November, include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and many of Perry’s former opponents for the GOP presidential nomination - Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.”

Oh please…Michelle Bachmann? Herman Cain? Perry? SARAH PALIN???

What is it with these people? Each and every one of the above named have either been outted as womanizers, crazies, cranks, or downright fools. CPAC loves them all, though.

But you know who CPAC loves the most? Yep, you guess it. They love them some Ron Paul. Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll in 2011. Ron Paul.

CPAC is about as relevant to this election as Abraham Lincoln’s stance on the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Diebold Leaks Puppet Masters’ Presidential Choice in 2012

This is hilarious. You might remember this group released nearly the same You Tube video in 2008. Their story then was John McCain would win the presidential election because he was the choice of the Dark Masters. Now they are back with the story that the puppet masters have picked Mitt Romney to be our next president.

As I mentioned to the one who posted this video on her facebook page, this wouldn’t be nearly as funny if it weren’t for the fact that there is more than a grain of truth to this story.

Hat tip to Betsy.

A Failure of Magnitude

Poor Mitt. Poor Newt. They haven't a clue, have they?

Nick Anderson Photo: Nick Anderson / HC

They argue about millions when most of us still are thinking of assets in the thousands. How out of touch is that?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Poor Newt – (Almost) Nobody Likes Him

These days the Republican contest for the presidential nomination seems more like high school than a political happening. One after one, the famous, infamous and established have lined up to bash Newt Gingrich to make good and well sure that he is not their candidate in the fall.

First, we hear that 3-time presidential hopeful Bob Dole has nothing good to say about him, this despite the fact that he has been absolutely silent about The Newt.

Up to now that is.

Bob Dole on Newt, courtesy of CBS:
“I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich, but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late. Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway.”
Then there is Tom DeLay. Now Tom DeLay is a one-man band himself so he must know whereof he speaks when he compared The Newt to the Big Dog, Bill Clinton in a recent radio telephone interview.

From USA Today:
“He'll tell you what you want to hear. He has an uncanny ability, sort of like Clinton, to feel your pain and know his audience and speak to his audience and fire them up. When he was speaker, he was erratic, undisciplined.”
But not all of his former colleagues are dismissing The Newt wanting to just go away. One former colleague, Duke Cunningham, R-The Big House, has Newt’s back:
“Jailed ex-Congressman Duke Cunningham wants Newt Gingrich to know he's got the Republican presidential candidate's back.”

“Cunningham apparently has been watching the Republican presidential primary debates while spending 100 months in a Tucson, Ariz. federal prison. Cunningham, a Republican who represented northern San Diego, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion in 2005 in one of the biggest federal bribery scandals in recent memory.”

“Cunningham tells Gingrich in an electronic message he says he sent to the candidate last month that his fellow prisoners, and their families, support Gingrich.”

With friends like that, how can The Newt ever fail to capture the nomination?

Keeping my fingers crossed, Newt.
So all is not lost. The Newt has some support out there after all. Unfortunately none of them, on the inside anyway, can vote. But that’s OK, they have family members who listen to the political views of their incarcerated relatives all the time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Say it Here it Comes Out There

That’s a quote from one of my all-time favorite films “Broadcast News.” It seems that the character that Robert Brooks plays, Aaron Altman, has been left out of a weekend news special when a Libyan air force pilot attacked an American base. He was singularly qualified to be involved in this, having interviewed Moammar Ghadaffi but was stuck at home watching the broadcast on TV. Every once in awhile he thought of something and called his friend who was producing the show, and tell her something that would be immediately relayed to the news anchor. Then he’d watch in amazement as the news anchor repeated what he just said.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that I just posted the other day that Rick Perry was making noise about running for re-election in 2014 and then maybe back for another try for the presidency in 2016. A statement that made me sit back in my chair in utter disbelief.

Clueless Perry had no idea what he had done to Texas and Texans in his abortive attempt to reach way beyond his qualifications to become president. He made himself, Texas, and Texans a laughingstock of the nation. Of the world. There was no way he would ever be re-elected and probably would not survive a primary challenge, I wrote.

Well the Austin American-Statesman just came out with a new poll and guess what. Perry has a lower approval rating in Texas, in TEXAS mind you, than President Barack Obama.

“Almost 1 in 3 Texas Republicans said Perry's performance on the national stage dimmed their view of the governor, and 40 percent said he should not seek re-election in 2014, the survey found.”
And I’m not saying that what I wrote influenced thousands to change their minds about Rick Perry. And a little further down: 
“‘But probably the greater sin is he made Texas look bad to other Americans,’ she said. ‘There were an awful lot of people who said he made the state look bad, and they were unhappy about that.’”
But it sure good and well feels like it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Super PAC Polls Democrats for Jim DeMint


Not 5 seconds after hitting "Publish" on my Blogger edit page for the posting that appears below, the phone rang, and Caller ID said it was from Washington DC. It was one of those "smart" robocalls that record "yes" or "no" answers.

From the tone of the voice I assumed it was a Republican political call - sounded a little like an automaton - and I was not disappointed.

So I lied mostly.

Then after confirming that I was a Republican they asked me whether I would support the candidacy of "a true conservative" Senator Jim DeMint. And of course I told them "Yes." Jim DeMint is arguably the most right wing conservative in the Senate. An uberconservative. What better way to scare the moderates and Independents than run this turkey against Barack Obama?

So heads up, the final four isn't necessarily final. If this PAC gets a go from its poll, who knows, DeMint may just enter the four-ring circus and make it five.

State of the Union is Tonight

President Barack Hussein Obama’s 3rd State of the Union speech will be delivered tonight to a joint congress, the Justices of the Supreme Court, his cabinet and invited guests. Watch parties have sprung up everywhere but it’s a school night and I rarely venture out on a school night, so I will pop my popcorn, get into my “Snuggie,” and watch the proceedings from my cold dark living room.

I wonder what they are going to pull tonight. Will we get another belligerent shout out from the floor from some sleazoid Republican with no manners at all? Will one of the SCOTUS Justices shake his head to indicate that what the President was saying wasn’t true?

Now we know the truth of President Obama’s remark about Citizens United. We are now witnessing the fruits of the Supreme Court’s worst decision in the history of history. Super PACs are pouring millions into campaigns. Ironically, it is affecting the Republican primaries more than anything else, creating chaos as one of the final four rises to the lead, allowing them to be clawed apart by PAC money ads spreading lie after lie. Or sometimes, the truth which for some of the candidates, is not a good thing.

What else? What other truth will be completely denied by the professional liars of the right?

Guess I’ll take a tally.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Jessica Farrar to Perry: Reimburse the Taxpayers

Oh isn’t it sweet irony when our governor, who is a self-professed fiscal conservative, gets called out on the carpet by a Democratic state representative, State Rep Jessica Farrar, a true fiscal conservative, about his not so conservative policies with regard to his abortive run for the presidency.

It’s here at the Chron. Today Rep Farrar sent to Rick Perry a letter kindly requesting reimbursement for expenses incurred in having a state-paid security detail while campaigning for the Republican nomination in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. In a separate issue, it seems Ms. Farrar objects to Governor Perry’s double dipping ways, collecting both a governor’s salary and a state pension.

Perry spokesman Lucy Nashed countered that Perry, as governor, rates a security detail at all times, even when traveling out of state.

Yeah, maybe so, but when traveling out of state with a security detail, Perry must be on state business. He wasn’t. He was on the personal business of seeking higher office. That’s not state business. I recall in times past that Perry’s people justified the security detail’s use that Perry was promoting Texas everywhere he went and spoke. Yeah, except that’s not exactly what happened was it? As a matter of fact, Texans have egg on their faces over the fact that they elected this turkey once, and then re-elected him two more times. This dolt is the longest sitting governor in the state’s history.

This makes Texans look like the idiots that they are. And I’m not saying all Texans are idiots, lots and lots of us did not vote for Perry, ever. But we are all painted with the same broad strokes, so we are all tainted.

Perry. Pay us back. You didn’t promote anything but yourself and you did such a bad job at that that you are out of the race and Ron Paul – who can never win – is still in it with money to spend.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's The Newt in South Carolina

Newt Gingrich had his way against Mitt Romney last night in the South Carolina primary. Pols were saying yesterday morning that it would be Newt by as much as 6%. Now, as I type this, it’s Newt by 12%. So, Okay, Santorum wins Iowa, Romney wins New Hampshire, and now Newt wins South Carolina.  This has not happened in living memory. Republicans are in complete disarray.

Fact: Mitt Romney has something to hide in the way he has paid his taxes or in the way he has hidden his assets in offshore banks. This is doubtless what was going through South Carolinians’ minds in the run up to the election.

Fact: Rick Santorum has ethics problems. While serving in the Senate, he received a mortgage loan at a preferred rate from an exclusive bank run by campaign donors. One requirement for participating in these preferred loans was investment in the bank, something that Santorum has not done. Santorum was also behind a federal earmark for an $8 million to a contractor who also donated to Santorum’s charity.

Fact: Ron Paul is a closet Libertarian who will never, not in a hundred lifetimes, be electable.

And finally, fact: Newt Gingrich is a big-government mainstream conservative. Fact: Newt Gingrich was rejected by his own party and hounded out of office. And fact: Newt Gingrich’s family values should make social conservatives cringe. I am guessing we will be seeing this and similar images on the internet and on TV more than a few times.

You might just now say that this election is Barack Obama’s to lose. Republican candidates can’t have done a better service to the Democratic cause.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Supremes Shaft Texas Primary

Well it isn’t like I didn’t expect it.

When it was announced early today that the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the district maps drawn up by the San Antonio federal court were not going to be used in 2012, I was not surprised. I am fair-minded from time to time and I can see how completely redrawing all of the districts instead of the areas most affecting Hispanics and African-Americans might be seen as unreasonable.

The court ordered the 3-judge panel to follow the template set up by the state legislature and only tweak the areas that were clearly designed to marginalize minority voting strength.

So it’s still a big mess because none of that can be accomplished until the DC court rules, and that won’t be for another 3 weeks or so.

Talk about a mess. Talk about a huge box of tangled hangers. I guess we all get to thank the Supremes for moving our primary date after our scheduled early June state convention dates.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Perry’s In…Then Perry’s Out…Then He’s In Again…Then He’s Out…And He’ll Be Back

Did you hear? Rick Perry finally pulled the plug on his presidential campaign, recognizing what was painfully obvious to every election watcher out there. After “Oopsing” on a nationally broadcast debate, this paper tiger nincompoop governor’s numbers went further south than Tierra del Fuego.

And not a single citizen who watches Perry’s antics were surprised when he imploded.

Again, and again and again.

So after coming in 5th place in Iowa, Perry flip flopped on pulling out, apparently resigned to the fact that 5th place was no place to be, but reversed himself on a morning run, an endorphin-induced euphoria I would imagine. Then in running behind “Others” in New Hampshire, Perry shouts for on high “On to South Carolina!” Insanity at its best.

Or maybe his war chest wasn’t empty yet and he had more loot to spend with his friends.

See, it was very telling that in announcing his exit from the election that a major factor in making this final decision was the fact that his campaign donations were off and funds were running low. It became obvious that his continued presence was due to the fact that he had campaign cash and needed to spend it on his friends and consultants, because that is what Rick Perry does. With Perry, one hand washes the other.

So…no more money, no Perry. For now.

Later today we get a Terminatoresque statement from Perry’s communications director:

“Running for re-election as Texas governor ‘is certainly a strong option as would be maybe doing this again in four years if the president wins,’ communications director Ray Sullivan said after Perry’s announcement.”
Get that? He’ll be back.

But here’s what I am wondering. I am wondering if Rick Perry can even draw enough votes to survive a primary challenge in 2014. He has made a mockery of himself to the nation and the world, and a mockery of Texans who are apparently too stupid to notice that the man they elected to that office three times is dumber than a bag of hammers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Perry: Turkey is a Terrorist State

Oh I love it when my governor, Rick Perry, exposes himself as a complete ignoramus. Actually I hate it. It exposes Texans as even greater ignoramuses for electing him to a third consecutive term – the longest in Texas’ history.
In a recent Republican primary deb ate event in South Carolina, Rick Perry was asked about America’s support of the country of Turkey, mainly in view of the fact that people of the Muslim faith seem to be running it.
Perry wasted no time, characterizing Turkey as a country ruled by “Islamic Terrorists” and not the NATO ally that existed at a time that he was stationed there as a Air Force freight pilot.
An amazingly poorly thought out characterization, as explained by the Turkish Ambassador to the United States.
“Turkey is a secular democracy that has for decades been an essential and trusted partner of the U.S. Our bilateral relations are based on the common values of democracy and respect for human rights, rule of law, and free market economy. Whether in the fight against terrorism or violent extremism, in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria or against the proliferation of WMD, we stand side by side to tackle the many common threats and challenges of our times. Through NATO and bilaterally, Turkey and the U.S. will continue to cooperate day in day out to establish peace, security and prosperity around the world. Contrary to statements during the debate, Turkey receives no significant sums of foreign aid dollars from the U.S. Indeed, Turkey is a strong and growing trading partner with the U.S. in general, and with Texas in particular creating thousands of jobs throughout that state.”
And I have to wonder how Rick Perry ever arrived at the conclusion that Turkey was a terrorist state and all I could find was Rick Perry citing the rate of domestic violence toward Turkish women. Terrorist violence I would guess.

Now, make no mistake, I consider violence toward women like I consider violence toward all people – there is no excuse for it. But equating domestic violence to Islamic Terrorism is just wrong.

And amazingly enough when I googled it to find out what the heck Rick Perry was talking about, using the search terms “Turkey attacks against women” I did come up with an amazing plethora of search results. One of which I embed below for your edification.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sign the CREW Petition. Clean Up the FEC.

The Federal Elections Commission is broken. Three commissioners, Republicans all, absolutely refuse to enforce our campaign laws, laws that are meant to keep our elections from turning into auctions, where government offices are sold to the highest bidder.

Six commissioners still serve on this supposed watchdog organization despite the fact that their terms have expired.

And now with Citizens United virtually guaranteeing an election cycle where money does all the talking we cannot afford to let the FEC remain a dysfunctional government entity.

So CREW and other public watchdog organizations have started a petition on the White House’s petition website. They need to have 25,000 signatures by February 10th in order for the president to respond to the petition. At this writing they are 10 percent of the way there.

Go there and sign the petition. You will have to register at the White House website if you haven’t already. But most importantly, if you haven’t yet registered there why are you even reading this?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Whoa. Waitaminute. A June Primary?

There is no one who thinks that the Texas Primary will be held on April 3rd.  No one. I was at a Democratic Party meetup yesterday and we heard directly from the director of elections for Fort Bend County exactly what would be the timeline should the Supreme Court of the United States deign to come to a decision before February 1st 2012. The timeline is nightmarish.

The things that they have to fulfill statutorily will be squeezed into a schedule so tight that no way, no how, will it ever happen.

Taking me back to learning of the discussion of a Texas June primary among the Justices.

That would be bad.

Guess what. The Texas Democratic Party’s state convention is scheduled to convene on June 6th 2012. Lots of stuff has to happen before a state convention can occur, including the primary, the precinct caucuses to happen on Primary Day, and the Senate District/County caucuses to happen after that.

Delegates to the state convention are picked at the Senate District/County caucuses.

And, OK, on top of that, all of the venues for the state convention have already been contracted to the tune of a half a million dollars in commitments. Commitments that the TDP must fulfill even if it cannot meet those commitments.

SCOTUS, in its infinite wisdom to completely screw up the Texas Primary has also put the Texas Democratic Party between a rock and a hard place financially. This is a story that just does not end, and just does not get better.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Federal Judge Rejects Perry/Gingrich Lawsuit Against Virginia

In an exquisite stroke of irony, federal district judge John Gibney rejected Rick Perry’s argument that Virginia’s state law governing the requirements for qualification on their presidential primary ballot were unconstitutional. This means that Rick Perry will not appear on the Virginia primary ballot, nor will Newt, Huntsman and Santorum be listed.

In his decision, this is what Judge Gibney had to say about Perry and others’ sense of timing:

Perry, ironically, sought an activist federal judge to overturn a state law, arguably a very restrictive law, so he could game the system and gain a place on the ballot. In his own state, his attorney general, Greg Abbott, is decrying the very same behavior of three federal district judges who redrew district maps to be used in this year’s primary election in Texas.

In Virginia, apparently, it is OK to trample on state laws and local policies, but in Texas it is treasonous.

“They knew the rules in Virginia many months ago. ... In essence, they played the game, lost, and then complained that the rules were unfair.”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Newt Nuking Romney

Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican, first uttered when he was running for California’s governor in 1966, seems to be an anachronism these days since Newt Gingrich, the master and commander of the new system of “Cutthroat Politics,” has unleashed a massive media campaign in South Carolina against the leading Republican candidate for the presidential nomination, Mitt Romney.

He is airing a 25 minute documentary on what Romney’s company, that he co-founded, Bain Capital, did to American companies and the jobs of thousands of Americans.

Coming after Romney’s recent comment that he “liked firing people,” this has got to be a blow to the front runner.

And really, no one knows why Newt is doing this. He hasn’t a chance of getting the nomination.

And Rick Perry’s labeling of Romney’s business as “Vulture Capitalism” is even more mysterious. Perry, who received just 1709 votes in the New Hampshire Primary has even less of a chance of getting the nomination than The Newt.

I recall what they did to Jimmy Carter when Ted Kennedy opposed him in the 1980 primaries, and how this made Reagan’s task at beating Carter in November 1980 so much easier.

John McCain handed the presidency over to Barack Obama when he named Sarah Palin as his running mate. Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry may just be doing the same thing this time around.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A June Primary in Texas?

OK, I know that there was a primary election in New Hampshire yesterday, and I know about the results, but in the scheme of things, the results of the New Hampshire Primary are so expected it just doesn’t warrant comment.

Yes, Barack Obama won.

But more importantly, when, exactly, will the Texas Primary Election be held? On a terribly optimistic note, the primary was moved from March 6th to April 3rd. Optimistic in that it was hoped that the wheels of justice would spin expeditiously. An expectation that is sorely lacking in any substance.

The Supreme Court is apparently not willing to decide the case of which Texas district maps are to be used in this year’s elections anytime soon. In court, there was even a discussion of a June primary for Texas.


From Super Tuesday to a ho-hum “the parade has ended” June primary.

Last time the presidential primary in Texas was electric, especially in the Democratic Party where a nominee was yet to become apparent. McCain was all but anointed at that point. But if there is a challenge to the juggernaut that is the Romney Campaign, there is a chance for Texas Repubs to cast a meaningful vote – in March. In June, who cares?

Bad news for the downballot Republican candidates in Texas.

The silver lining is that this news puts Democrats, who also have a non-issue on the presidential primary, on an equal footing – voter turnout-wise – as Republicans. When that happens, only activists and the truly interested/involved show up at the polls. Bad for Republicans. Good for Democrats.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

5th Circuit Court Says Sonogram Law is Constitutional

A 3-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today, only 6 days after hearing arguments, that the Texas Sonogram Law, a personally invasive law with roots in religious doctrine, does not violate a physician’s constitutional right of free speech.

The court, in essence, rubberstamped an out-of-control state legislature that sought to legislate religious doctrine into the doctor’s office.

In truth, most abortions are accompanied by a sonogram simply to help the doctor ensure the safety of the abortion. Look before you leap, in other words. So this law is not a law that encourages proper medical procedures, sonograms are prescribed as a pre-abortion procedure. What this law requires is a state-mandated speech that the physician must perform. A speech that has no medical merit at all. A speech that has, as its one and only purpose, to discourage a woman from going through with the abortion.

Not because of any medical reason. But because of the religious doctrine that life begins at conception. A completely unproved religious doctrine.

Clearly, the Court was influenced by rightist religious dogma that goes far beyond its purview as a secular body.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization that was in the lead to oppose this law, is looking at its options that include asking the entire Court to rule on the case, and also a run at the Supreme Court.

Frankly, I don’t see how this case doesn’t make it all the way to SCOTUS. One way or another, it will end up there.

You know, if everyone would just agree to stop having heterosexual sex with each other, we can have this whole problem licked.

(Just kidding)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Overwhelmed Monday

It's Monday and I know lots of people tune in on this blog on Monday. But I am a little overwhelmed today so please excuse the shortcut as I include my favorite political cartoon of the day. This one says so much about what I think about the New Hampshire primary.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Huntsman’s Zinger

Take a look at this exchange between John Huntsman and Mitt Romney at the Meet The Press/Facebook debate this morning.

Did you see the look of surprise on Huntsman’s face right there at the end? Surprise at the enthusiastic audience reaction? Frankly I was a little surprised at the reaction myself. Republicans, and Newt Gingrich practically invented uberpartisanship. It has been the one reason why I’ve always thought that John Huntsman will never be the nominee: he’s too reasonable and your typical Republican primary voter is not.

Believe me, of the six guys on that stage this morning it’s John Huntsman that President Obama should worry most about.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

New Ron Paul Video Hits Santorum

Ron Paul is doing an invaluable service to the Republican Party in releasing his hit pieces that paints Rick Santorum as a shifty con artist and “serial hypocrite”. Ever below the radar, when Santorum emerged as a front runner in Iowa, the Paul campaign released this video.

Paul is polling around where H. Ross Perot polled back in 1992 when he handed the presidency over to the Democrats in his self-funded race as an independent, and rumors are flying that Paul is still considering the same thing.

One can only hope.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Perry Spin is In

Yesterday I opined that the real reason Rick Perry decided to stay in the presidential race was that he had become the dark horse candidate that would dilute the anti-Romney vote. Today we learn from his staffers that he’s really in it to win. That this guy, who finished in 5th place in Iowa, and is looking to get thrashed in New Hampshire, thinks he can win it all.

Because it’s South Carolina after all. You know, mountain folks that interbreed.

These, Perry’s people are saying, are just the kind of voters that will resuscitate  Perry’s flagging campaign and make him look like the genius that he isn’t.

Sorry, not buying it.

Also out today is a statement from an Iowa “family values” evangelical leader, Bob Vander Plaats. Vander Plaats says that Rick Perry ought to reconsider his reconsideration.

Rick Perry should get out because of his performance in the presidential debates has been, shall we say lackluster, and that Rick Santorum would be a Romney nightmare should he become the single conservative evangelical on the ballot.

And so again, I find myself in curious agreement with this evangelical conservative leader. There’s a 4-way tug-o-war going on to capture the evangelical anti-Romney vote and if Romney keeps on winning, especially in winner-take-all states, Romney will get the nomination.

Romney gets the nomination and evangelical conservatives will all stay home in November.

Not a bad idea.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

He’s Out…He’s Back In…

Texas governor Rick Perry pulled in a mere 12,604 votes in the Iowa Caucus last Tuesday, just a little more than 10% of the total votes cast. Double that of Michele Bachmann who had the good sense to withdraw her candidacy and go back to Minnesota.

And it really looked like Rick Perry was going to follow suit and end his tilt at windmills in a race where he is hopelessly outclassed by a small army of dwarves.

But not 12 hours later, Perry tweets that he is in it at least until South Carolina.

Defying all logic. Well that’s our governor.

But wait, I think I agree, for once, with a Fox News analysis that Rick Perry is now an ally of Mitt Romney and wonder whether that explains the rapid reversal. Here’s the theory.  If Perry could just stay in the race until South Carolina, where he is back on more familiar Southern turf (next to the Yankee Pennsylvanian Rick Santorum) he might be able to draw votes away from Santorum.

Especially the votes of those who would have voted for Michele Bachmann had she stayed in the race. After all, voters who are that masochistic that they will vote for a bat guano crazy congresswoman will have no problem voting for a mentally challenged former A&M yell leader.

But here’s the thing. As long as Rick Perry stays on the campaign trail we Texas taxpayers are still paying for his security detail. A bill that has been upwards of $400,000 per month. Perry justified this expenditure saying that he was taking the Texas message to the nation.

Well now that seems to be officially over. Perry is not in this for a goodwill tour, nor is he in it to win the presidential nomination. He is in it to help Mitt Romney beat off a new challenge in Rick Santorum.

And Texas taxpayers are left holding the bag, as usual.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

25,000 Turn Out for Obama in Iowa

Even though President Obama was unopposed in the Iowa Caucus, 25,000 Iowa Democrats turned out to vote for the president. While this was about 1/5 of the numbers that turned out in the Republican caucuses, it is significant in light of the sure thing that is President Obama’s re-nomination.

But this is the statistic that I am absolutely amazed at.

While 125,000 Republican Iowans turned out to vote in this highly contested caucus of the 7 Dwarves, this is well-shy of the number of Democrats who caucused in 2008: 239,000.

Almost half the number.

The trend is clear. Republicans are fairly unenthusiastic over the list of choices being offered them this time around. I have even heard this personally from dyed-in-the-wool Republican friends that still speak to me.

Clearly, the challenge to the eventual winner of the Republican nomination isn’t going to be persuading Republicans to vote for them. It will be persuading them even to show up to vote.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Rick Santorum: Presidential Candidate and Blatant Racist

When I saw the comment on my Facebook page today, that Rick Santorum said that he didn’t want to “make black peoples’ lives better” I assumed that he was being quoted out of context, because no one in the 21st century says that. Not anymore anyway.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Here is a clip of the statement from CBS News:

Rick Santorum, presidential candidate Rick Santorum is a racist.

But since he’s in Iowa, and since he hasn’t a snowball’s chance in H-E-Double-Hockey sticks of garnering a single African-American vote, and couldn’t care less about the effect of these words in Iowa, a 91% Caucasian state, Rick Santorum is in his comfort zone and can say what he really thinks.

Know which ethnic group collects the most welfare? Whether it is actual welfare or food stamps or Medicaid or Medicare? Taxpayer-supported government benefits?

White people.

African-Americans collect a disproportionate amount of welfare as a percentage of that ethnic group, but in raw numbers their numbers are dwarfed by white people.

A president is a president of all the people. A president doesn’t single out a subset of Americans and accuse them of raw and rapacious laziness for not getting out there and working for a living. A president knows that the ills and, yes, past racist policies of our society have contributed to this trend. A president understands this.

Rick Santorum is no president.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Election 2012 Begins Tomorrow

The only things you hear on the news, besides the latest gaffe by Rick Perry that is, is who is going to win the Iowa Caucus which officially kicks off tomorrow evening. And with that, Election 2012 is officially here.

The Iowa Caucus is just about the strangest thing there is not only because of the process but because Iowa, apparently, does not represent the cross section of American thoughts and politics. It is a really odd state. Results in Iowa practically never reflect national trends and that seems to be the case this year.

Feature a state caucus that threatens to name Ron Paul as either the winner or the one who comes in 2nd (a good sign for Iowa, as opposed to practically everywhere else). Still, I expect Dr. Paul’s numbers to go as polled.

Paul’s following, a Libertarian-leaning group, is exceptionally loyal because they are so doctrinaire – as Paul is. They are not persuadable. So don’t count them in as part of the 41% of potential caucus-goers who say that they could change their minds when they are at the caucus.

At that rate, 41% decided, but changeable, and 49% undecided at this point, the Iowa Caucus is truly anyone’s to win.

My best guess is that Mitt Romney will pull it off with 40 plus per cent simply because of the super PAC dollars being poured into Iowa, immersing the media markets with anti-Newt ads. That and enough Iowans will finally be persuaded that Romney has the best chance to put up a fight to challenge the Goliath that will become the Obama campaign.

Paul will get his 22%. The polls are consistent from week to week and, frankly, you either love Ron Paul or hate him (or he scares the bejesus out of you).

Santorum will come in 3rd with numbers in the high teens. Evangelicals love Rick Santorum and while there is a greater than the 24% (on a national average) proportion of evangelical voters in Iowa, they are going to split their vote. Santorum will get the lion’s share.

Then in the low teens will be Perry and Newt. It still amazes me that there are Iowans who are still considering Rick Perry as a viable candidate.

Spread the rest of the votes out there in the very low sub 10% among the rest. There will be lots of people crossing the room away from the gangs with the low numbers.

So that’s my best guess, but with this caveat – it’s Iowa.