In the wake of the election of 2010, the defining element is chaos. Obama's bumbling international trips, Pelosi's return to power, MSNBC purging yet another anchor to try and show that it's apolitical or centrist or something anyway, and international Democratic infighting have given way to sheer lunacy.
The TSA firestorm should have been seriously addressed by now, and it's a mark of the chaos that the administration and congressional democrats have refused to take it seriously. Meanwhile the bizarre outbursts continue. LaHood's cell phone nanny state ban or Rockerfeller's suggestion that MSNBC and FOX both be banned are a little unnerving, but they're also symptoms of a Democratic party that is unable to break from its nanny state core. Which still thinks government force is the only solution to any problem. And wonders why the public isn't more grateful for it.
It's the definition problem again. MSNBC suddenly wants to be centrist, except it doesn't really want to be centrist. It just wants to be thought of as centrist. The Democrats want to be centrist too, but they don't really know how either.
The trials of Olbermann and Rangel have a common purpose, to demonstrate that MSNBC and the Democratic party can clean up their own house. Except they can't. Olbermann is already back. And Rangel was let off with censure. It's theater, at a time when the public doesn't want theater, they want results. But where are the results going to come from when the problem continues to be embedded in the policies and practices of the people who are in charge.
Brute force nanny state solutions will alienate and anger the public outside the sphere of an imminent crisis. And you can only hear the same message so many times, before you tune out, and look for something else. Power leads naturally to corruption and infighting. And that last one is not just a problem on the Democratic side.
Republicans who are scrambling to apportion blame for the disaster in the Senate can look in the mirror, because everyone has a piece of the blame, from the establishment down to the insurgents. Too many people wanted to win, without considering the consequences. But the arguments are still going on.
Some activists want a Republican party that is disengaged from social issues or national defense, and just focused on financial reform and smaller government. While financial reforms are important, that would leave the GOP as a party without any beliefs, except undoing the damage that the other guys did. That's a fine posture when people hate the other guys, but it's not long term thinking. And it ignores the ideological causes of big government and nanny statism. Which is that it's the product of ideology shaping culture, rather than just bad economics. And you can't fight ideology and culture, with economic reforms.
And the message of smaller government and financial reforms will have a lot less resonance once the economy improves. That has historically been the case. Which means that pursuing the agenda, will require having a bouquet of issues, not just the one.
In more prosperous times, people are more willing to accept government services without counting the cost. Talk of balancing the budget and saving money tends to fall on deaf ears, when there's lots of money all around. It's why the deficit could begin climbing so drastically without much pushback when things were good. And now that things are bad, we also have to think about what the political culture will be like in 2016 and 2020, not just what it will be like a year from now.
But like it or not, we're going to be headed for major Republican infighting in the next two years. And were already beginning to see some of the cards on the table. The road to the convention will be a bitter one, but so will the fight over the party's own institutions. Steele's tenure at the RNC was a predictable disaster. I was never a fan of Steele, and he brought no content or organization to the table. But removing him is only touching off more infighting. And while you can't reform the party without it, a lot of the spats are not about the party, they're about personalities. They're about who will have influence and whose star will rise, and whose will sink.
I suspect that the road to the convention will be highly unconventional. And Palin's own strategy, resigning her governorship, becoming a kingmaker in the primaries and launching a reality show, is the most unconventional of all. But it may take an unconventional strategy to beat Obama. But there's still completely justifiable doubts over whether Palin can win. I was one of the few who proposed her as a VP candidate, before McCain actually picked her. But she still has yet to prove that she can win over skeptical Republican and independent voters. Not to mention Reagan Democrats.
Romney is still waiting in the wings. And unfortunately the odds are good that we'll still have him to kick around in the convention. Romney is Bush without the charm or the national security drive, but with the same liberal politics. And the disdain is much more open. But he's visually credible and that makes him a safe bet.
New York's own Governor Pataki is still hanging around. And Newt Gingrich is too. But despite being a solid thinker, Gingrich has a Nixon problem. A 150 years ago, Gingrich could have gotten all the way up. But today we have TV elections and that makes the odds of him winning very slight. Huckabee is always stalking the margins with his phony smirk.
Then there's Mike Pence, who so far is one of the more sympathetic candidates, who seems to have a good balance of what the party needs. Pence has the best shot of being able to go all the way, who actually seems to have legitimate values and hasn't been turned into a vicious cartoon, the way Gingrich and Palin have.
While all that is still in the future, the battle begins today. And it won't be pretty.
In in the Senate, the DREAM Act is back. And it's not too surprising. The Democrats have lost among mainstream American voters, but they managed to eke out some wins, particularly in the Senate, thanks to aggressive Get Out the Vote program targeting minorities. Particularly Latinos. Those voters are a major reason why Harry Reid is still in the Senate. And those are the voters that Obama will be even more desperately relying on in 2012. Which means pandering in a big way.
But it's not just about the pandering. Moving them through the pipeline creates more voters who owe the Democrats everything.
And the Democrats will collect.
In the overall roundup, Boker Tov Boulder looks at some of Obama's "options" for a truly Imperial rule from the White House.
Tikkun Olam has a great video of Wafa Sultan
Sam Hindu has a very good overview of the situation regarding Israel and Islam, by a way of a comment from HermitLion
Today I would like to talk about the settlements that are causing so much trouble in the middle east, and to the entire world. These manifestations of a ruthless, oppressive occupation, which treads on human rights without any thought, destroys any culture it touches, and warps history itself to suit its own purpose – which is to conquer all who dare stand in its path.
I’m talking, of course, about the Arab settlements in Israel.
Arab settlements in Israel far outweigh Jewish ones, for the simple fact that while Arabs deny Jews the option to live amongst them, Israelis allow its Arab population to proliferate wherever it pleases, though, to be honest, they’re not exactly being asked anymore. After all, the police doesn’t dare upset these gentle souls of the land, and the traitor-leaders are very busy not looking racist before their foreign masters, by maintaining a stranglehold on the Jewish population.
This is how besides invader settlements in Judea and Samaria, there’s East Jerusalem – which was cleansed from Jews by the Jordanian Legion during Israel’s independence war; Hebron – one of the most ancient of Jewish towns, and the resting place of the father of the nation – Abraham; Ramla and Lod (where crime runs rampant, thanks to good Arab citizens); Tiberias and the Galilee; the Negev (Bedouins look less exotic and mysterious when they ride into Beer-Sheba in Subaru sedans, looking for stuff to steal, and harassing anyone in sight); ‘the triangle’, which includes Um-Il-Fachem; Haifa and Acre, which both include mixed populations – the first sees much brazen dissent from its Arab students, and the later has witnessed a couple of pogroms in the past year; Jaffa in Tel-Aviv (where trendy rich leftists come to live, while others protest for the ‘indigenous population’ – as if ethnic purity in neighborhoods is some god given right), and the list goes on and on.
The West Islam and Sharia has an interesting extract from the Eco Marxist conspiracy
The Australian Greens are part of a worldwide movement that is actively engaged in the political process.As their writings state, this objective involves a radical transformation of the culture that underpins western civilisation. As a political party, they should be treated like any other political party and subjected to the same scrutiny.
And the admission is open now
(NZZ AM SONNTAG): The new thing about your proposal for a Global Deal is the stress on the importance of development policy for climate policy. Until now, many think of aid when they hear development policies.
(OTTMAR EDENHOFER, UN IPCC OFFICIAL): That will change immediately if global emission rights are distributed. If this happens, on a per capita basis, then Africa will be the big winner, and huge amounts of money will flow there. This will have enormous implications for development policy. And it will raise the question if these countries can deal responsibly with so much money at all.
(NZZ): That does not sound anymore like the climate policy that we know.
(EDENHOFER): Basically it's a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. Why? Because we have 11,000 gigatons of carbon in the coal reserves in the soil under our feet - and we must emit only 400 gigatons in the atmosphere if we want to keep the 2-degree target. 11 000 to 400 - there is no getting around the fact that most of the fossil reserves must remain in the soil.
(NZZ): De facto, this means an expropriation of the countries with natural resources. This leads to a very different development from that which has been triggered by development policy.
(EDENHOFER): First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.
A manufactured crisis. A global coup. And a massive scam. That's that it all is. And that's what it all comes down to.
Finally, my post on Obama in Jakarta, was the non-council winner in the Watcher's Council vote. Thanks to all those who voted for me.
Joshuapundit's piece on Jews, Democrats And 'Progressives' was the top council pick. And there are some interesting picks here.
Let's split the difference. Any way you slice it, the Democrats have lost between 12 and 15% of the Jewish vote since Prez Zero ran in 2008 when he reportedly got 78%.That's a significant if not decisive erosion in a mere two years.
Observant Jews, especially the Orthodox overwhelmingly vote Republican.Ask yourself - how likely is it that Orthodox Jews would allow themselves to be interviewed by an exit pollster, or have an exit pollster show up at their polling place in Crown Heights or Williamsburg, Monsey or Skokie, compared to a pollster appearing to interview more Left-leaning Jewish voters on the upper West Side of Manhattan or some affluent firmly Democratic suburb? The answer is, not much.
I think it's safe to say that the Democrats lost between 12-17% of their support among Jews. And since Orthodox Jewish woman have one of the highest birth rates in America and are far less involved with abortion on demand and gay marriage than their secular and non-religious Jewish brethren who are having far less children, that's a trend that will continue over time.
Ah, but what about Israel? Rather than look at J-Street's sub-sample of exit polls, let's look at results. The first indication that Alterman is indulging in wishful thinking is simply to note that pro-Israel candidates won out overwhelmingly in districts that were competitive, especially if they had a substantial Jewish population. Florida 22 is a good example, where Lt. Col. Allen West wiped the floor up with Leftist Democrat Ron Klein. They also won out decisively in Red States and even in a number of Blue Ones, like Illinois and New York.
My buddy Omri over at Mere Rhetoric did a neat little statistical survey of how J-Street's endorsees did in districts that were even remotely competitive this year.
All three J-Street Senate candidates lost and out of the competitive House races, J-Street's candidates lost 11 out of 12 races, with three still to close to call. The one race they won, NY23 had the Republican vote split between a GOP and Conservative party candidate. And the other nine races J-Street endorsees won were in massively safe Blue districts.
To summarize, while for many Jews Israel was not the primary issue it weighed in their voting. Especially when the anti-Israel group J-Street reared its ugly head.
Speaking of J Street, there's a great takedown of the latest whining by Soros shill, Jeremy ben Ami over at the Solomonia blog
Lying to and about donors is no new thing for Jeremy. Anyone who's followed the news about the group knows about its Soros funding and the lies Jeremy Ben-Ami told to cover it up. They know about the damage J Street has tried to inflict upon other important, irreplaceable groups like AIPAC. The attacks on individuals who don't share J Street's radical agenda. The attacks on the elected government of Israel. The demonization of those who disagree with them. The money they've gotten from people who could on no account be expected to give funding to an actual pro-Israel group. The support they've given to anti-Israel officials like Chuck Hagel. Their partnership with BDS supporters and terror apologists like CMEP. The fact that Ben-Ami's previous employer was a major pro-Arab lobbyist. The facilitating they've done here in American for such figures as Richard Goldstone and John Ging. The space and support they gave to outright anti-Zionists at their own national conference. The statements made by co-founder Daniel Levy that Israel's founding was a mistake (and there's more from Levy: Israel "Does Everything To Try And Turn" Palestinians Violent). It feels like every day there's more and it goes on and on.
These are not "right-wing smears." They are uncomfortable truths that stack up to a whole lot of substance, so much so that many people, even those who were enthusiastic about J Street at first, are starting to feel that J Street is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Though that may be an insult to wolves.