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Blaming George W. Bush has lost its potency

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:40 pm - September 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Divider-in-Chief

Fred Barnes thinks the president is making a big mistake in going after House Minority Leader John Boehner:

President Obama has fallen into the John Boehner trap. By attacking Boehner last week—emphatically, repeatedly, and by name—the president made himself look desperate. And by treating Boehner as practically an equal, Obama elevated him. Boehner was delighted. Obama had helped him fill the leadership void among Republicans. For the president, that’s a negative twofer.

I agree.  And it shows that this president would rather demonize the political opposition than hold to his campaign promise to be a postpartisan politician who transcended political divisions.

Barnes believes Obama’s attacks are “unpresidential.”  He’s also believes the tactic smells funny, with the whole thing seeming “contrived” and looking “like it was seized upon solely because the campaign is going so poorly for Democrats and nothing else has worked.”  I mean, one big time Democrat is telling the other Roger Simon that “2010 is gone for Democrats.

It’s not just the desperate nature of the ploy that strikes us nor the use of one of the mainstays from the Democratic bag of tricks (the politics of personal destruction), we also note the choice of demon.  The president and his allies in the media aren’t going after his predecessor like they once did.  “What the demonization of Boehner indicates,” Barnes quips, “is that blaming President George W. Bush has lost whatever potency it had. Boehner is the new nemesis.”

Indeed.

My Take On Castle Takedown

I couldn’t express it any better than Kevin Williamson did at The Corner on NRO.

About Christine O’Donnell: No strong opinion about the candidate, though I understand the reservations about her. I do not much weep for RINOs and rather enjoy the sight of them going down in flames.

What this really should communicate, I think, is that the Right needs a lot more Club for Growth–style candidate-recruiting efforts. If conservatives do not like O’Donnell, then they should be out identifying better candidates to run against vulnerable RINOs — because somebody is going to run. These incumbent takedowns are going to inspire a lot of new people to get into electoral politics, many of them without the sort of experience or backgrounds that Establishment types are comfortable with. Power, like nature, abhors a vacuum.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

A warning against ODS*

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:27 pm - September 15, 2010.
Filed under: Obama Watch

David Harsanyi has a great piece today in the Denver Post, both taking issue with Dinesh D’Souza “tortured contention” about the Kenyan roots of Obama’s politics (which Newt Gingrich strangely embraced) and reminding Republicans not to personalize their opposition to the president.

He concludes that “Obama’s political behavior might be alien to common sense and good government, but not alien to the United States.” Indeed. The Democrat is not the first to propose sweeping statist schemes.

He warns that “if Republicans begin incorporating the festering obsession with President Barack Obama’s
birthplace, loyalties, origins or religion into their official argument, they will have blown it.” I don’t think there’s much risk of mainstream Republicans doing that, but this warning bears repetition.

Conservatives should instead

. . . make an uncluttered argument — using the empirical data of a collapsing economy — that less spending, less regulation and less government is the way to create more prosperity. Dragging Third World colonialism into it — and I can say this with near certitude — is a bad idea on a number of levels.

Read the whole thing.

*Obama Derangement Syndrome.

“Boom! Taste My Nightstick” or “Endangered Species”

Posted by Sarjex at 12:36 pm - September 15, 2010.
Filed under: cartoons

Buy a shirt and help send me to CPAC! Questions, comments requests can be sent to sarjex (at) gmail dot com


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Is Reid Compromising DADT Repeal by adding DREAM Act to Defense Bill?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:33 am - September 15, 2010.
Filed under: 111th Congress,DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell)

One thing about Congres which annoys many people who follow politics is how our elected officials (and not just Democrats) add amendments to bills unrelated to the original legislation.  They try and tack their pet projects — or controversial items which could not pass as stand-alone legislation — onto bills which would normally sail through Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is doing just that by adding “the DREAM Act, a controversial immigration measure, to a defense policy bill the Senate will take up next week.

Senate Republican Leaders Mitch McConnell dubbed the maneuver, “needlessly controversial.”

This isn’t the only provision tacked onto the defense bill.  Democrats have already included legislation repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT).  But, at least this repeal is related to a defense bill.

Reid’s ploy to win a few votes in his home state will only make it that much more difficult to push through DADT repeal.

Was Age a Factor in Castle’s Loss?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:12 am - September 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Random Thoughts,Ronald Reagan

When I was an undergraduate and Ronald Reagan was winning the hearts and minds of my generation, a number of left-of-center pundits were befuddled.  They had come of age in the 1960s — or had observed that era with enthusiasm.  They couldn’t understand how a man so old could find such favor with a crowd so young.

A lot of it had to do with the Gipper’s energy.  He just didn’t seem old.  He spoke with passion and conviction.  He could spin a yarn as if he were talking to his neighbors at a backyard barbecue.  When he talked about one man’s difficulties or another’s accomplishments, we believed he was relating the story of a person he knew.

He never lost the common touch.  Not just that.  He was always looking forward, rarely reminiscing about the good ol’ days.  With his face turned toward the horizon, he knew tomorrow would be a better day.

But, Mike Castle in no Ronald Reagan.

And that’s one reason, I believe, he Castle lost last night.  He might be just two years older than the Gipper was when that latter won the White House, but he seems a much older man.  When he speaks, he sounds not like your friend, but like an elected official, a conscientious one, to be sure, but one more versed the arcana of legislation and the legislative process than the concerns of his fellow citizens.

He just looked old.  A nice old man, to be sure, but an old man.  As Ann Althouse asked, “why was a 70-year-old man running for a first term in the Senate?”  (Via Glenn.)

On Monday, I recall clicking on an article about the Delaware Senate race.  Seeing his picture, I first thought the web-site’s editors had substituted an image of more genial Harry Reid.  He had a delightful hint of a smile on a his face, like a grandfather delighting in his grandson’s first steps.  A pleasant smile perhaps, but not the often puckish grin of the Gipper.

And this got me wondering.  Did Mike Castle’s age (he just turned 71) contribute to his defeat last night? (more…)

Sean Bielat to Replace Barney Frank in November

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:03 am - September 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

Republican voters in Massachusetts’ Fourth Congressional District picked businessman Sean Bielat to replace the unhappy Barney Frank in Congress next fall, but the mean-spirited Democrat seems averse to facing his Republican challenger in a head-to-head debate:

He said he is ready and willing to debate any candidate, mentioning that he debated Rachel Brown regardless of the fact that no one expected it to be a close race.

“There are two independents, so I assume all four of us will debate and I think debating is an obligation any candidate for office has,” Frank said.

All four of us, Barney?  Don’t you have the guts to go man0-a-mano with a charismatic Republican?

You can donate to Sean’s campaign here.