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Commenters: You Have Been Warned

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:42 pm - January 12, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Civil Discourse

I have had enough.

Dan has a lot more stomach for insulting comments on our blog, but I do not.  I appreciate his attempt to politely suggest that the conversation around here has been degrading and trying to rein it in.  It didn’t work.

So, I’m stepping in.

This policy is STILL in effect:

Commenting and trackback/pingback capability is provided to encourage thoughtful discussion of the ideas posted on this site. We welcome open debate and viewpoints that differ from those of the post authors. That said, we wish to keep the conversation civil and the following policies, subject to change without notice, apply:

  • Remember that the people under discussion are human beings. Comments that contain personal attacks about the post author or other commenters will be deleted. Repeated violators will be banned. Challenge the ideas of those with whom you disagree, not their patriotism, decency, or integrity.
  • The use of profanity stronger than that normally permitted on network television is prohibited. A substantial number of people read this site from an office or in a family environment.

Each individual author is responsible for monitoring the comments to their posts, and ultimately determines which comments merit deletion. Each individual commenter is also responsible for maintaining the civil discourse at GayPatriot.

I will now be editing or deleting comments that violate this policy that have been posted over the past week. No warning, no second chances.

Just stop it.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Gallup: conservatism remains dominant American ideology

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:27 pm - January 12, 2012.
Filed under: We The People

Bruce just alerted me to this Gallup poll showing just stable Americans’ ideological preferences have been since just after Obama took office:

U.S. Political Ideology -- 1992-2011 Annual Averages

Interesting how the percentage identifying as liberals inched during the second half the George W. Bush administration as the percentage seeing themselves as conservative declined, only to quickly rebound once Obama took office.

Independents have also become increasingly conservative in recent years.  In 2008, 30% of independents identified as conservative.  Today that stands at 35%.  At the same time, the number calling themselves moderate fell from 46 to 41%.  Only one in five (20%) independents identify as liberal.

Rudy calls Newt out on his anti-capitalist rhetoric

H/t: Jennifer Rubin.

Anti-gay rhetoric (or social issue focus) doesn’t win GOP primaries

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:54 pm - January 12, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Gay Politics

“Anti- gay rhetoric,” contended the friend of a liberal friend in a recent Facebook thread, “is one of the main points of all of their [i.e., Republican] campaigns.”  Really now?

By and large, Republican candidates have steered clear of gay issues (save when the media bring them up).  And for good reason.  Making such rhetoric the core (or even a peripheral) aspect of your campaign won’t help a candidate muster a majority (or even a plurality in a crowded field) in Republican caucuses and primaries.

Now, to be sure, Rick Perry did raise his opposition to gays serving in the military in a campaign ad* and the media helped made Michele Bachmann’s opposition to gay marriage well known.

A lot of good that did them.

Perry finished fifth in Iowa, Bachmann sixth.  In New Hampshire, he slipped into sixth — barely breaking into single digits.  Rick Santorum’s focus on inability to avoid harping on social issues may have contributed to his failure to translate his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses to a better position in New Hampshire.  He finished fifth, behind Newt Gingrich and ahead of Perry.

As Philip Klein reported in the Washington Examiner:

After coming off of his come from behind near-victory in Iowa, instead of pivoting to his economic populist message, Santorum got sucked into fights about social issues. In Concord last week, he mixed it up with a college audience who opposed his views on gay marriage and drug legalization. It may have been admirable in the sense that it showed he has true conviction, but it wasn’t helpful for competing in a state in which 51 percent of the electorate turned out to be either independent or Democratic.

Factoring out those independent and Democratic votes, Santorum only bumped his tally up slightly to 13% (of Republicans voting in the Granite State’s GOP primary).  Now, to be fair articulating your opposition to gay marriage is not engaging in anti-gay rhetoric.  But, even as polls show that majorities of Republicans oppose state recognition of same-sex marriage, making that the focus of your campaign doesn’t move the dial, even among Republicans.

* (more…)

Karger bests Bachmann in New Hampshire

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:52 pm - January 12, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Here’s a fun little tidbit that the Fred Karger campaign shared these tweet from Politico’s Kenneth Vogel:

After neck-&-neck NH primary night, openly gay candidate @FredKarger beats pray-away-the-gay candidate Michele Bachmann 485 to 347*.

The Minnesota Congressman may have dropped out of the race, but her name was still on the ballot. Calling this “a big win,” Karger points out that last month he had said he “wanted to beat Santorum or Bachmann in New Hampshire.” He’s now off to Michigan where he’s one of seven Republican candidates competing in the Wolverine State’s presidential primary.

So did I, Laura, so did I

Laura Bush wanted Jeb to run in 2012:

Sarasota H-T: Former first lady Laura Bush wishes there were one more candidate in the Republican presidential primary: Jeb Bush.

Speaking to a sold-out Sarasota audience on Wednesday, Bush said she had hoped that her brother-in-law and former Florida governor would have jumped into the race this year.

H/t:  HotAir

“I’d like to see a Republican Party that embraces a lot of the libertarian ideas.”

So would I, Senator DeMint.  That is why I, like you, agree that our presidential candidates need to listen to the Texas Congressman:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said Wednesday the Republican presidential candidates need to listen to Ron Paul and would benefit from integrating some of his libertarian ideas into their platform.

“One of the things that’s hurt the so-called conservative alternative is saying negative things about Ron Paul,” DeMint told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. “I’d like to see a Republican Party that embraces a lot of the libertarian ideas.”

Bruce’s senior Senator put this notion of respecting libertarian ideas in the debate on the direction of the GOP:

DeMint also said that while he didn’t fully agree with Ron Paul – especially on foreign policy – that rejecting libertarian ideology would prevent Republicans from regaining majority party status.

“If Republicans don’t understand the important aspects of what Ron Paul is saying, we won’t be able to exist as a party, certainly not a majority party,” DeMint said. “The debate in the Republican party needs to be between libertarians and conservatives, that’s what our party needs to be about. There’s no longer room for moderates and liberals because we don’t have any money to spend, so I don’t want to be debating with anyone who wants to grow government.”

Now, I have my concerns with Senator DeMint, but at least in his discussion of Mitt Romney’s work at Bain — -and understanding of free-market capitalism — appreciate the ideas which can help strengthen the GOP, increase opportunity and grow our economy.

Puzzled by the president’s reelection strategy

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:15 am - January 12, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Barack Obama obviously has not learned from Bill Clinton.

As the last Democrat to occupy the Oval Office (before Mr. Obama) was facing reelection, the Arkansas native remained above the fray.  To be sure, the Democratic National Committee did run outside the major media markets attacking the the team of Dole-Gingrich; Mr. Clinton went about the business of governing.  He worked with the Republican Congress to enact welfare reform.  Yet, even before we entered the election year itself, the incumbent Democrat plunged into the campaign.

Perhaps, instead of being so combative, Mr. Obama would serve himself better by being presidential, not trying to go around the legislature, but by sitting down with congressional leaders and trying to work out compromises.  Instead of making Congress the enemy, he would treat legislative leaders as his negotiating partners.  And then, if he couldn’t reach compromises to his liking, he could attack them.

It seems, however, that the attacks have preceded (or supplanted) efforts at cooperation.  “Based on what the president and his advisers have said and done in recent weeks,” Yuval Levin writes on the Corner at the National Review, the incumbent seems set on

. . . creating populist confrontations with Congress and then complaining that Washington is broken because Republicans won’t let the president have his way. That’s a strategy that tells the public that the current situation in Washington is untenable and change is needed. Is that not an odd way for a Democratic incumbent president (whose party also controls the Senate) to run against a Republican outsider? It first of all exacerbates the public’s mistrust of government, which tends to reinforce Republican policy proposals (since those generally aim to take power away from government) but to undermine Democratic ones (which generally aim to give more power to government). It also implies that President Obama is having trouble doing his job, which can’t be a great re-election theme.

Indeed.  Levin looks at the paucity of the president’s proposals and asks “why does the president want to be re-elected? . . . What does he want to do with a second term? More of the same?”

Read the whole thing.

Jon Huntsman on paper (& in person)

Just before the polls in New Hampshire closed on Tuesday, I caught my guy on FoxNews.  It was one of the few times I had seen the former Utah Governor on TV.  It struck me that I had come to my decision to back Jon Huntsman almost exclusively based on what I had read in the Wall Street Journal and on the candidate’s web-site.

I was backing the candidate with the boldest and most pragmatic conservative approach to the fiscal mess created by increased spending and an excessive reliance on the federal government to address our nation’s woes, social as well as economic.

And I’ve wondered, as I asked yesterday morning, if the liberals who voted for Huntsman on Tuesday knew his “economic package [had] earned the Wall Street Journal‘s praise” for its bold conservative approach to our nation’s fiscal crisis?  Perhaps they’ve rallied ’round him not for the ideas he has espoused but for the criticism he has leveled.  They like Republicans critical of the GOP.

All that said, we need a bold approach to our nation’s fiscal situation and regulatory leviathan.  Jon Huntsman has offered such an approach.  (As has House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.)  If he makes that the focus of his campaign, he may gain some ground in the polls.  And even he doesn’t win, he may have some impact on the eventual nominee — pushing him to offer an equally bold platform.

Oh, and one more thing.  It would be nice to hear a candidate putting forward a conservative fiscal platform while supporting same-sex civil unions.  These policies aren’t mutually exclusive.  And Rudy Giuliani has, alas, faded from the political scene.