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Could GOP Enthusiasm Help Carly Conquer California?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:07 pm - October 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics

Even before reading the most recent poll numbers, I was becoming increasingly optimistic about my gal Carly’s chances to win the Golden State’s U.S. Senate seat.  You see, I find a lot of my fellow Californians are quite enthusiastic for this accomplished woman, including a number of gay men, particularly younger gay men (in their 20s and early 30s).

Meanwhile, Barbara Boxer’s supporters acknowledge that she hasn’t been very effective, but are voting for her, well, because, well, you see, she’s the Democratic candidate and, well, gosh, darn it, they’re Democrats.

To show just how dispirited is the Democratic base, let me relate a reader’s story about conversation he overheard in the heart of West Hollywood.  Of the four gay men at the table, two said they didn’t want to vote for Boxer, with one asking “What has she done for California?” This ticked off the oldest man at the table, leading one (of the two) to concede that he would “still begrudgingly vote for Boxer”. Agreeing that Boxer was a horrible candidate, the other guy didn’t indicate which way he was going to vote.

These aren’t the people who are going to go out of their way to cast their ballots on November 2.

In order to get your base to turn out, Jay Cost writes, “people have to find a reason to care. If they don’t, no amount of mobilizing is going to matter.”  And California Republicans, Patrick Range McDonald acknowledges in the LA Weekly, do seem to care; they “appear more energized than Democrats to vote on Nov. 2.”  He quotes Republican consultant Reed Galen who says, “The regular dynamics of California politics are out the window this year because of the economy.”

The Reuters poll which showed 28-year Washington veteran Boxer clinging to a one-point also showed that Repubilcans have the edge on enthusiasm: (more…)

End DADT, but through Congress, not the courts

The military’s Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) policy is, like many government policies, both gratuitous and counterproductive. It deprives the military of men and women eager and willing to serve our nation, while forcing officials who have better things to do (like defending our country in a dangerous world) to spend time rooting out otherwise qualified (and sometimes even exemplary) servicemembers.

That said, I’m concerned about the recent court ruling.  Like Patterico, I “support the result but . . . hate the way it’s being done.”  As does apparently Defense Secretary Robert Gates:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that abruptly ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as a federal judge has ordered would have enormous consequences. . . .

“I feel strongly this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress and that it is an action that requires careful preparation, and a lot of training,” said Gates. “It has enormous consequences for our troops.”

The defense secretary, who has supported lifting the ban, said that besides new training, regulations will need revisions and changes may be necessary to benefits and Defense Department buildings.

One of the merits of the Obama Administration approach had been to push for legislation which would give the military time to draft new regulations and prepare to implement repeal.  Yet, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to schedule debate on such legislation at a time and in a manner likely to secure passage, they haven’t been able to realize the benefits of this sensible approach. (more…)

Carly Narrows Closes the Gap

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:12 pm - October 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics

Despite the demographics of California favoring the Democrats, despite being outspent nearly 2 to 1 on the airwaves, despite being a political neophyte, Carly Fiorina has now closed the gap with 28-year Washington veteran Barbara Boxer, trailing the Democrat by just one point — in a poll which skews left.  And when you realize that undecideds tends to break for the challenger, this suggests that Carly is now poised to win this seat.

No wonder Ma’am’s been hitting the panic button.  But, my gal Carly needs be prepared, be very prepared, ’cause when Boxer is cornered, she starts rooting around for some dirt in order to smear her rival.

You can help fight Mrs. Boxer’s nastiness by supporting a Republican who, a liberal newspaper acknowledges, has “has campaigned with a vigor and directness that suggests she could be effective in Washington” by clicking here.

UPDATE:  Since the last Reuters/Ipsos poll which had the career politician up by 4, Boxer has spent over $10 million.  So, ten million bucks cost her three polling points?

Ma’am, that’s not a very effective use of your resources.

UP-UPDATE:  Allahpundit thinks Carly’ll soon be able to saturate the airwaves:

If memory serves, Fiorina ended up pulling away in the last few weeks of the GOP primary thanks to a statewide ad bombardment. Boxer’s actually outspent her on TV two-to-one thus far, but I can’t believe that’ll continue when Fiorina’s budget for the race is basically infinite

Let’s hope so.

Where will the surprises be come November 2?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:47 pm - October 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

In every wave year,” Henry Olsen writes in the National Review, “the winning party ends up grabbing seats that just a short time before the election were on no one’s radar screen.” He adds that with “so many Democratic incumbents on target lists [,] it seems futile to search for the sleepers.”

Perhaps.

Given the number of political blogs and web-sites, most prognosticators have pretty much picked through the House and Senate races to find the potential upsets.  While I’ve long been predicting the unhappy Barney Frank’s downfall, rumors of his impending electoral demise now are commonplace on conservative blogs — and even left-of-center newspapers.  People talk about the defeat now of committee chairmen James Oberstar and John Spratt (as well as Frank) as few, thirty years ago, saw the writing on the wall for Al Ullman.

So, we won’t be that surprised if we see those three career politicians go down to to defeat.

But, will there be any surprises come election night?

Perhaps, if the Democrats manage to limit their losses, some might call that a surprise.

And yet, I’m thinking we might see some surprises in the gubernatorial races, with Republicans perhaps scoring upsets in the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Hawai’i and Connecticut contests and independent Tom Tancredo possibly surprising in Colorado.  (But will it be a surprise any more?  The latest Rasmussen poll shows him trailing Democrat John Hickenlooper by 4 points, with Republican Dan Maes getting 12.  If just half of Maes’ supporters decide to support the candidate most likely to defeat the Democrat, Tancredo wins.)  While most polls show Rick Perry up in Texas, he has been Governor now for a full decade and maybe Lone Star State voters will decide, come November 2, that it’s time for a change.

So, it’s in those governors’ races where I think we might see some surprises.  Perhaps, you see other races which might stun us 18 days hence.

Happy Birthday, Bruce!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:38 pm - October 15, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,Holidays

Today marks a certain special anniversary of Bruce’s 29th!

LA Happy Hour this Sunday with GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:37 pm - October 15, 2010.
Filed under: GOProud,LA Stories

Just a reminder that we’re welcoming GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia to Los Angeles this coming Sunday, October 17 at 5:30 PM with Happy Hour in West Hollywood. E-mail me for details.

Did Harry Reid Lose the Election Last Night?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:30 pm - October 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

Given how deep is the animosity in Nevada against Harry Reid (that is, of the slight majority who have a negative opinion of the 28-year Washington veteran), all Sharron Angle, his Republican opponent on this fall’s ballot, needed to do in their sole debate last night was show that she’s not the extremist his camp has made her out to be.

While his nasty ads have upped her unfavorables, such that a majority of Nevadans see her as extreme, those opinions aren’t as deep as their feeling for Mr. Reid.  After all, she’s only been on their radar screen for a few months while he’s been a force in Nevada politics for decades.  It will take longer to reduce his negatives than to cut hers.

The general consensus is that Angle did what she had to do (and then some) last night.  Over at National Journal’s Hotline, Lindsey Boerma and Josh Kraushaar sum it up, “Throughout the Nevada Senate campaign, it was Republican Sharron Angle who looked unprepared for-prime-time. But after last night’s debate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid looked more like the gaffe-prone politician as he struggled to make headway in one of the closest and most consequential Senate contests.”

Ed Morrissey puts her debate performance in context with Reid’s strategy:

The problem with a demonization strategy based on voter unfamiliarity with a candidate is that the candidate usually gets a chance to either confirm or destroy the impression before an election takes place.  Harry Reid gambled on painting Sharron Angle as a nut, but in the end it was Reid who struggled to explain himself in the only debate in the Senate race for Nevada.  Veteran political analyst Jon Ralston, no fan of Angle, declares her the winnersimply by showing Nevadans that she was far from the portrait of a lunatic that Reid had painted

Michelle Malkin reports that “channeling Reagan’s warrior optimism,” Angle responded to Reid’s condescension with a smile, asking “for Nevadans’ votes to restore prosperity and freedom and American exceptionalism. Without notes.” (more…)

Why do left-wing feminists fear Republican Women?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:54 pm - October 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Liberal Hypocrisy,Strong Women

Noting the number of Republican women running strong races across the country, Jennifer Rubin, a strong and wise woman herself, speculates why some left-wing feminists are freaking out:

And these women are threatening to decimate the professional gender grievants’ notion that “feminism” is coterminous with a liberal, statist, abortion-on-demand agenda. The reason, I would suggest, that the left went so nuts over Christine O’Donnell is not simply because she rendered a vulnerable seat safe for the Democrats or because she showed that Tea Party enthusiasts’ judgment is not infallible. It is because she provided solace to nervous liberal feminists  –”See, this wacky dame is what conservative women are all about.” Sarah Palin has proved to be politically astute, Sharron Angle had Harry Reid on the defensive in their debate, and Carly Fiorina is showing that a pro-lifer can be competitive in California; but not to fear — O’Donnell will discredit them all. Or so the theory went.

In fact, she’s done no damage to the GOP beyond her state’s borders and arguably has taken some of the heat off Angle and others.

No wonder that while “national NOW President Terry O’Neill said that anyone who ‘from here on’ calls a woman a ‘whore” should be fired“, Parry Bellasalma, the head California NOW  “TPM in response to a question that ‘Meg Whitman could be described as “a political whore.” Yes, that’s an accurate statement.'”

Wow, just wow.  Ed Morrissey expects

NOW to suddenly embrace the “whore” insult as an asexual description of a lack of honor and ethics, which is exactly how it has been meant when used in the political context by all of the people NOW attacked over the years for using the term.  And in doing so, they will have completed their performance-art meltdown and the exposure of their own lack of integrity and honesty.

How Many Laws Do We Need To Achieve “Full Equality”?

If, like me and the Gipper, you lean libertarian and believe the basic watchword for any political movement should be “freedom” (or “liberty”), you naturally cringe when you hear of an organization turning to the state to mandate “equality.”  While the ideal of equality is perhaps noble in concept, the historical record of the past century has shown that when the state seeks to promote equality, it does so at the expense of liberty (and oftentimes prosperity as well).

Conservative and libertarian political philosophers have long recognized the tension between the two ideals.  Laws to promote equality often nibble at our liberty.

This thought comes to mind every time I receive an e-mail from “Equality California” (EqCA) touting their legislative achievements.  Given how successful this Democratic group has been at lobbying the Golden State’s Democratic legislature over the years, you’d think that they would no longer need to push bills in Sacramento.  By now, that is, they should have passed enough laws to advance gay equality.

But, the laws keep coming.  EqCA mentioned seven in an e-mail earlier this month, four which the Governor signed, three which he vetoed.

Now, to be sure, some laws do indeed advance liberty (such as a bill downgrading “possession of an ounce or less” of marijuana “from a misdemeanor to an infraction.”)

Three days after receiving that electronic missive from EqCA, I received one from Log Cabin, heralding “pro-equality Republicans.” Four days later, they touted a candidate as advocated for equality while running on a “freedom-based platform”. Were they even aware of the contradictions between that supposed advocacy and his platform?

If Log Cabin wishes to be a genuinely Republican organization, it, like the GOP nationally, must understand what freedom means.  It would be nice if, instead of aping the watchword of the gay left, Log Cabin leaders could craft a real gay conservative agenda, one where the guiding principle is the same one which inspired the founders of our nation  — and our party:  freedom or liberty.

NB:  Tweaked the title to make it more concise.

Another Dem lawmaker won’t support Pelosi for Speaker

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:52 am - October 15, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Congress (111th),Pelosi Watch

It’s not a sign of confidence in someone’s leadership when members of your caucus publicly announce that they’re not supporting you.  And now, we’ve got another Democrat running for reelection running away from Nancy Pelosi:

Another Democrat backed off supporting Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for Speaker, saying he’d prefer to see a member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition in the Speaker’s seat.

Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) joined the steadily growing ranks of centrist Democrats who have either pledged not to support Pelosi as their party’s leader, or have been noncommittal about their support for the San Francisco lawmaker.

Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.) has also said he won’t vote for Pelosi, even “promoting that fact in a new campaign ad.” Speaking of campaign ads, this Democrat touts endorsements from groups who “wouldn’t have anything to do with a Nancy Pelosi supporter”:

Now, I’m just a-wonderin’, who this fella voted for for Speaker since his initial election in 2002. Given that Mrs. Pelosi has been the Democratic Leader since Marshall was sworn in, she would have been the Democratic candidate for Speaker in each of his four terms in Congress. Did ol’ Jim buck his party all four times?

In 2008, Oberstar’s District Didn’t Catch “Obama Fever”

A number of bloggers I read on a regular basis have been amazed to see 18-term incumbent James Oberstar, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in for the battle of his life. Not since 1992 has he won with fewer than 60% of the vote. Indeed, that election was the only year his tally was lower than 60%. He first won election in the very Democratic 1974 mid-terms with 62% of the vote.

Two days ago, Jim Geraghty reported, “My old colleague from many years back, Greg Giroux, noticed Oberstar spent $835,000 in the third quarter of 2010, more than 4 times the roughly $200,000 he spent in the same period last cycle.

Citing polls showing that Obertar’s Republican opponent Chip Cravaack was giving 18-term Democratic incumbent and porkmeister Jim Oberstar all he can handle in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District”, Minnesota-based blogger Scott Johnson of Powerline has been all over this story, citing in one post a reader who alerted him to to an editorial in the Duluth News Tribune: “Oberstar-Cravaack debate forced into larger venue.”

Despite Obertar’s lengthy tenure, Johnson notes, “Politico reports that Oberstar in fact has precisely one individual resident donor in the district”.

Taking note of Cravaack’s strong showing against the career politician, Michael Barone cites perhaps the most telling number in this race, the district “voted only 53% for John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008.

Now, you see what I see?  Yup, that’s is.  While Barack Obama in 2008 ran ahead of John Kerry’s 2004 tally in most districts across the country, support for the Democratic nominee was virtually unchanged in Minnesota 8.   People in this district didn’t catch Obama fever.  Seems they just voted for him out of party loyalty.

Mark this one in the Republican column.  You can make Cravaack’s path to Congress a little easier by supporting his campaign.