independents

The Strength Of The Movement.

The strength of the so-called Tea Party groups has been that they are entirely the expression of the American people. They are a direct result of the danger that the country is in. It is a popular movement, driven by the will of a people who have been pushed to their limits by an oppressive regime dedicated to an alien way of life which imposes their doctrine of tyranny over every aspect of our lives.

The Patriot Movement has emerged as the heart of the Republican Party, with 60% of Republicans stating that they are Conservative. A not surprising additional 20% of Independents identify themselves as Tea Party members… bad news for the De Marxists who virtually had the independent vote to themselves in the 2008 election cycle.

This oft buried factoid has Democrat planners really concerned over the 2012 Presidential elections… it’s the independent voters who most often determine the course of any tight race in America. As if that wasn’t enough, they’re saddled with what looks like the least saleable second-term President in US history.

I predicted, even before Barack Hussein Obama was elected, that the burnish would soon fade off his shiny armor and his charger would turn to a jackass. Being right has little satisfaction when in the last two and a half years this neophyte emperor has overseen the loss of over two million American jobs and the deliberate assault on the American economy on a multitude of fronts. We all see it, we all feel it. The American mind is focused like a laser.

The Tea Party and the Independents have one more decidedly unpleasant missive for the DeMarxists that they’d just as soon you don’t know… and you won’t see in the slavish leftist media. There’s another block of Patriot Tea Party members comprising another 20%. These are Democrat votes, caught up in the Constitutional Patriot wave which is sweeping the nation. These are  disillusioned Patriotic Democrats who cannot abide what has become of their party and others for whom the name Obama has become anathema.

It’s the so-called Reagan coalition, born again out of the heart of America.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2011

Independents Show Disgust With Obama And Demarxists.

How times have changed. Fifty six percent of voters, identifying themselves as independents, voted to put Barack Hussein Obama in the Presidency. Whether caught up in the glitz and glitter of a campaign choreographed like a Radio City music hall performance, or the historical moment of voting for a black man for President… some certainly voting for Obama thereby willing away the ghosts of slavery past and the much flacked, (at least by the statist press) so-called white guilt.

Other independents who would normally tend towards voting on the right, disgusted by the dismal performance of George Bush and the Republicans, joined the exodus of many Republicans and self-identified conservatives. Many Republicans and conservatives were lukewarm about the candidacy of John McCain, for all the reasons I, and many writers, have stated. Conservatives and Republicans seem to have longer memories than their DeMarxist counterparts, and we’re not nearly as fast to forgive and forget. John McCain was a deeply flawed Presidential candidate, just as he is a deeply flawed Senator… at least from a conservative point of view… and we sure as heck haven’t forgotten about him.

Barack Obama entered office destroying an already destabilized economy. Independents tend to be slightly right-of-center, and as the months of the Obama regime played out the shine started coming off of the independents’ expectations that Obama would indeed be a ‘post racial’ uniter, bringing down barriers between Americans and ushering in an era of prosperity. At least, that’s what you believed if you listened to his repetitive messages. Independents, by July 2010, have come to realize just how badly they’d been snookered.

They’re not likely to forgive or forget either, and Obama’s dismal polling among independents does not bode well for Obama or his Marxist cabal. Thirty eight percent, as opposed to the huge percentile advantage he once held. An eighteen point drop is enough to make all but the most secure DeMarxists extremely nervous. Despite all the diversions and political sideshows, they know that independents quite often swing elections.

As November rapidly approaches, the fact that the growing power of the Patriot Movement, with it’s clear conservative message, is attracting large numbers of independents and disillusioned Democrat voters is looming large. Independents and Republicans are understandably still very skeptical of the Republican hierarchy, who have a bare four months to articulate a message that will convince us that they have the bare-knuckle guts and ability to provide the leadership we’re looking for.

As Obama continues his radical extremist march to forever destroy this country as we understand it, his numbers and policies continue to unravel. The greatest danger we face now is that as the DeMarxists feel the end coming, they will be more and more desperate to complete their agenda.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

NY-23 Across America

What follows may be akin to one of those crazy ideas Dick Morris used to come up with in the Clinton White House, only one in ten of which turned out to be workable -- but when they worked, oh man, did they work.

The key fact that sticks out in my mind about Doug Hoffman's incredible momentum in NY-23 is that his election would not have been possible had he been the Republican nominee. The fact that we may be about to elect a non-squish from New York has everything to do with the fact that he is running as a third-party independent, and not a Republican (even if the Conservative Party is an auxiliary of the Republicans in most elections).

Hoffman as a Republican would have been too obvious a target and the subject of a relentless barrage of negative TV, websites, mail, and phones branding him as outside the mainstream, anti-choice, anti-worker, etc. But politically, Hoffman has managed to avoid all that until five days out, when it's now clear he's the frontrunner. And as Chris Cillizza points out this morning, Hoffman's success in the polls is built on the back among strong support among independents and (primarily) not Republican regulars disgusted at Scozzafava.

This got me thinking: How many points is an Independent party label worth, assuming you're able to vie for Republican votes in a general election? 5? 10? We know that in races with a plausible third party, that candidate automatically tends to earn more independent and moderate support even if they are ideologically indistinguishable from a Republican (Hoffman) or a Democrat (Chris Daggett in New Jersey).

We also know from Daggett's run in a strong-party, machine state that American politics is entering a phase of third party strength which we last saw in the early '90s with Ross Perot and culminating in the Republican Revolution of '94.

This led me to tweet the following this morning:

Brainstorm: what if Republicans were to withdraw from a series of hot Congressional races and run as conservative independents a la #ny23?

I am not one to believe that a situation exactly like Hoffman's is recreatable across the spectrum. Certainly, we would not want to have to take out every slightly wobbly Republican nominee (Scozzafava's problem was that she was very wobbly) with a third party conservative. With 435 House races on the ballot in 2010, the conservative movement won't have the energy to concentrate its Death Star gamma ray on hapless local establishments in every district.

But what if it were to happen peacefully? Or as a concerted strategy to gain votes?

What if you were to have promising Republican candidates running in Democratic-lean seats say, a few months out from the election, "Let me tell you something. I'm just as sick and tired of the Republicans as I am of the Democrats. So, from this moment forward, I'm running as a common-sense, Independent conservative for Congress."

From one perspective, this would not be helpful to efforts to tie the Republican brand to a broader sense of popular disgust at the Obama/Pelosi overreach. On the other hand, it might be a way for conservatives to invade the center, and thus control the high ground politically.

If you're a party person, don't dismiss this just yet. Say you're the NRCC and you haven't found a good recruit against a vulnerable House Democrat. Say the Republican nominee is a joke, or the incumbent is unopposed. Three months out, you go to your star recruit who turned you down a year ago and ask him to run as an independent. It's a three month campaign as opposed to an 18-month campaign. They don't have to quit their law practice or small business. They enter in the last few miles of the race, and you put serious pressure on the joke nominee to step aside, or put out word through local media and talk radio that this is the guy.

Now, I know one could raise myriad issues here. Ballot access for one. The reflexive aversion to third parties. The relative infrequency of unchallenged vulnerable Democrats, especially because 2010 won't be 2008 or 2006. And the prospect of bloody intra-party battles after the nomination has been settled.

All of these risks are arrayed against a few salient facts. First, the rising disgust at incumbent politicians that will play out over the next couple of years, accompanied by a "pox on both your houses" sentiment. Second, a proven history of entire party blocs picking up and moving to third parties when they need to (NY-23, or Joe Lieberman's 2006 re-election). There are two possibilities for an ideological third party candidate -- they can either flop and pose no serious threat (which happens the vast majority of the time because the candidates are nobodies) or dominate (if they are credible).

In a handful of races, perhaps in places where we can't win with the Republican label alone, it might be more useful for the general election to be a strong Independent versus a Democrat rather than a Republican versus a Democrat. At one extreme of the Cook PVI, let's stipulate that the general election against Charlie Rangel was waged with a Puerto Rican small business owner running on the No More Corrupt Politicians Party line with behind the scenes, logistical support from the GOP. At a minimum, that person would stand a better chance than a Republican in that district.

I'm a strong party guy, but I also believe in Sun Tzu's maxim that you do the unexpected to throw your opponent off balance. Strategically unleashing a swarm of conservative independents may be one such strategy for 2010.

Sotomayor Smear Campaign Exposes Current State Of Conservative Movement

As expected, and widely predicted even before the choice of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court was announced, portions of the right wing have been engaging in their usual politics of personal destruction to distort Sotomayor’s record and engage in character assassination. In this case the right is actually divided. Some conservatives see attacks on Sotomayor as part of their grand strategy for 2012 of painting Obama as a leftist, and many other conservatives  just fall into character assassination as a Pavlovian response to any action from a Democrat.

In contrast, some conservatives realize that it is counter to their goal of receiving greater Hispanic support to someone who is probably the first Hispanic nominee. I wonder if any on the right are also beginning to realize the degree to which their reliance on the politics of personal destruction has backfired, with even many who might not vote against them based upon their beliefs now wishing to disassociate themselves with the Republican Party and conservative movement due to their unsavory tactics.

There is far too much material and too little time to quote everything of relevance here so I will try to choose some of the best links. A case such as this is an example of both the blogosphere at its worst and best. At worst the blogs permit the right wing echo chamber to repeat the same lies and distortions, allowing good conservative sheep to quickly learn which lies to repeat. At best the blogoshpere has quickly presented far more actual analysis than has been present in the news media.

To begin, The Scotus Blog has presented a summary of her decisions in posts here, here, and here. Her decisions have often been on narrow, technical grounds and only provide limited insight into her views on the types of issues considered by the Supreme Court (despite attempts by the right to mischaracterize her as having a far left record ). There are some favorable signs with respect to her views on First Amendment rights.

There are many blog posts responding to the character assassination from the right, such as from Adam Server here and hereJohn Cole, Matthew Yglesias, Digby, Steve Benen, Chris Bowers (here and here), Nate Silver, Greg SargentMedia MattersJoan Walsh, Mahablog, and Ta Nehisi Coates. They include responses to some of the more prominent attacks from the right including distorted claims about her decisions being overturned, claims about her competence,  their rants against empathy, and statements taken out of context to claim she is racist or sexist.

Hopefully these links contain the facts with regards to all the falsehoods already being spread by the right wing noise machine–at least so far. The fiction writing ability of the right far exceeds their competence or principles, and we can expect many more comparable lies to be spread.

While conservatives quickly launched a smear campiagn full of misinformation on Sonia Sotomayor, it looks like it might already be fizzling out. There is no doubt that some right wing bloggers and talk radio propagandists will continue to repeat the same lies indefinitely. Those indocrinated in far right propaganda have a tough time shaking it off regardless of how much evidence is presented that they are wrong.  There are still some who claim that Obama isn’t a natural born American citizen and that there is some validity to the discredited claims of the Swift Boat Liars against John Kerry. There are also some signs of rationality as some conservatives realize that, barring some unexpected revelations, none of their false claims will be enough to prevent Sotomayor’s nomination from being approved.

The right wing attacks have been based on limited and distorted evidence and are so weak that even some conservatives are not able to go along. Some such as Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich are making claims that she is a racist–a claim which certainely takes a lot of chutzpah considering the record of the GOP. These claims were based upon taking a few lines out of context from a lecture given in 2001. The simple fact that claims of racism are based upon a single lecture from almost eight years ago should already raise some red flags as to the validity of the argument. Rod Dreher reviewed the statements which earlier had him thinking she was racist in context and conceded,  I was wrong about Sotomayor speech.

They have made an even weaker argument in dishonest claims that sixty percent of her cases were overturned by the Supreme Court. This argument is so deceitful that it might help open a few more eyes as to the dishonest tactics regularly employed by the right wing noise machine. They leave out the important facts that she only had five cases reviewed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court typically reverses 75% of circuit court decisions that rules on. Having three cases reversed is hardly meaningful. This actually represents 2% of her total cases, far less than the 60% number misleadingly cited by the right.

The attackers also claimed that Sotomayor has a far more liberal record than she actually has. Her decisions have offen been based upon narrow technical grounds specific to the individual case  as opposed to ideology. The conservatives who have actually looked at her record are finding that she is far more centrist and far less ideological than they first heard. She has a very limited record with regards to abortion, and opponents of abortion rights found that her record was not what they expected. Steven Waldman wrote:

One has to assume Obama wouldn’t have appointed Sonia Sotomayor without some indication that she’s pro-choice but — based on very, very little information — I wonder if she might not end up being an abortion centrist.

First, in Center for Reproductive Law and Policy v. Bush, she actually ruled against the pro-choice group on Constitutional grounds.

Second, in Amnesty America v. Town of West Hartford, she ruled in favor of the rights of anti-abortion protestors.

Neither of these cases dealt with the merits of abortion. Nonetheless, it’s interesting that in the two cases we know of that related partly to abortion, she took the position that pro-life groups would have wanted (albeit for reasons unrelated to Roe v. Wade). At a minimum, these cases would seem to indicate that, if she is pro-choice, she didn’t let those views affect her view of the relevant law.

While some bloggers and right wing pundits will repeat any attack, the arguments are appearing to be too weak even for the Senate Republicans. Mike Allen reports that any Republican opposition to her is fizzling out quickly:

More than 24 hours after the White House unveiling, no senator has come out in opposition to Sotomayor’s confirmation.

“The sentiment is overwhelming that the Senate should do due diligence but should not make a mountain out of a molehill,” said a top Senate Republican aide. “If there’s no ‘there’ there, we shouldn’t try to create one.”

So far there is certainly no ‘there’ there in the accusations being fabricated by the right. The attacks upon Sotomayor are so weak, and so transparently false, that if they have any impact it should be to increase the backlash against the Republicans. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah for the Republicans to raise charges of racism against others and only their most hardcore supporters can even listen to such claims without chuckling at them. Maybe Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice is on to something and their attacks are being orchestrated by a mole out to further destroy the Republican Party:

In instance after instance since Obama’s 2008 election and the Democratic sweep of Congress, the GOP is proving itself to be not so much “stuck on stupid” as much as “stuck on preaching to its (already convinced) choir.” It seems oblivious to the fact that OTHER voters — from critically important ethnic and age demographics — need to be courted which means being at least partially on the same cultural wavelength. Today’s Republican party is seemingly Super-glued to the slash-and-burn, characterize and demonize conservative talk radio political culture.

It’s hard to imagine that a party that has problems with independent voters and Latino voters so going out of its way to repel voters it needs, unless there is a Democratic mole inside the GOP instigating these comments.

Calling her a racist will get lots of publicity but it’s going to drive many Hispanic voters away in droves. And so will the faces delivering this message: the well-fed, sizeable face of multi-millionaire private- jet-owner Limbaugh, sitting in front of his mike, and the very familiar face of Gingrich. Many Americans (who are not millionaires or who aren’t conservative Republicans) will look at and compare the two GOPers’ life narratives with that of Sotomayor. Even worse: many independent voters, Democrats who may not be enamored with Obama, and moderate Republicans have already distanced themselves from the GOP. This latest barrage at Sotomayor now clearly is part of a pattern: no matter what the issue, the GOP is responding now with demonization in attempts to stir up hot button resentments and/or political rage.

And even worse for the GOP: its unlikely to resonate among the younger voters the GOP will need to regain footing in the 21st century.

So, except for getting nods of approval and cries of “That’s the way, go get ‘em!” from Republicans, what gains will Republicans (via talk shows, Gingrich and weblogs) make in accusing Sotomayor of being a racist — except, rightfully or wrongfully, causing some on the fence to conclude that those Republicans raising the racism issue could perhaps be mistakenly talking about what they are seeing when they look in the mirror?

A mole might be the most rational explanation for the manner in which the Republicans persist in utilizing tactics which drive away rational voters, but unfortunately what we are seeing is the actual mindset of the conservative movement.

Barring any unexpected findings she will be easily confirmed. The manner of the right wing attacks are now one of the most  significant aspects of this story, considering that any pick would have been subjected to similar lies from the right wing. Their distortion of her judicial record is very similar to how the right typically distorts voting records, such as taking an up or down vote on an overall budget and then launching attacks based upon saying a Senator voted for or against a specific item in the budget.

In a democracy  it is an extremely serious issue when votes are being influenced not by the actual facts or serious discussion over different viewpoints but based upon repeated campaigns of distortion such as this. It is important for a democracy to work for the voters to be working from accurate information, not the misinformation regularly spread by the right. It would be both legitimate and healthy for the democratic process if conservatives responded to a nominee with an honest discussion of the areas where they disagreed. Instead they ignore her actual record, as they also do with political candidates, and launch attacks based upon fabrications created by distortions of the record and taking statements out of context.

 

Indies breaking hard for McCain

Jerome Armstrong notes another phenomenon in the polling. Indies are breaking hard for John McCain. First, he notes this picture from Gallup:

Then notes the same pattern in other polls:

CBS: McCain is ahead by 55-25 among Independents.

Hotline: McCain is ahead by 45-32, among Independents.

Here, there are two theories. The first is that these are real independents. The second is that these are disaffected Republicans ("rehab Republicans" in the McCain campiagn's schema of target voters). These would be Republicans who disaffiliated from the GOP but like McCain and, perhaps, Palin. If the second theory holds, we probably will keep these voters. If the second is going on, we won't know for a little while.

But Jerome closes on an important point:

Under this sort of scenario, the only possible way Obama could be ahead, or tied, is if party ID dramatically favors Democrats on election day. It hasn't in any of the recent election years.

 

Targeting Independents and Clinton Supporters to Win in November

As with any election, this year's will be determined largely by that 10% of undecided/independent voters.  Also, judging from recent polls it seems as though a decent amount of Hillary Clinton's 18 million primary votes will be up for grabs in critical battleground states like PA, OH and MI.  I think there's a real opportunity to get some of these folks to cast their ballots for John McCain.  Many of Hillary's voters simply don't share Sen. Obama's values, as Mark Penn noted.  Recall his comments about rural PA voters at a fundraiser in Nancy Pelosi's hometown.  How can conservative bloggers target these two important groups to advance the Republican message?  Make posts on independent blogs?  Which blogs? 

Join Facebook Groups like this and this

Hillary Clinton Supporters for McCain

What are some other sites to post on and circulate, particular to target independent voters? 

Hope is Not A Foreign Policy

Are Democrats building in the center?

A piece by Reid Wilson today at RealClearPolitics attempts to demonstrate that the Democratic Party is building up membership in the center and on the right. But, if 2006 showed anything, it's that the Democratic tent is not big enough to house contrasting views. Liberal activists are still trying to drive out Joe Lieberman.

While it is disappointing to see the GOP reach into New England weakening, I don't think that the problem is mainly that the Party is becoming more conservative. Indeed, the current administration has done more to expand the size and scope of government than several of his predecessors. Take, for example, the doubling of the size of the federal Department of Education and creation of a whole new cabinet department (Homeland Security) by this administration. This does not even mention the Medicare Prescription Drug plan, or McCain Feingold. 

Rather, the problem for the GOP is two-fold: the war, and forgetting he successes of the Gingrich Revolution. On the war, John McCain has credibility and may well win the election. But, on conservative values of low spending, low taxes, free enterprise, and smaller government, the GOP may still lose even if it wins. Fortunately, as the national Democratic Party continues to outdo the GOP in expansion of government and excessive spending, any upsurge of comservative Democrats will be temporary. Even with that, however, the party needs to revive the brand and reinvigorate conservative governance. How soon the RNC figures this out, time will only tell. 

Let McCain Be McCain: Image & Candidacy

Myriad articles have come out recently both critiquing John McCain’s image and delivery, as well as reporting on GOP-insider calls for a new image—a better image—perhaps even a change thereof.  Of course, there is always merit in constructive criticism.  However, I think Republicans would do well to let McCain just be McCain for awhile.
 
Barack Obama is a strong speaker and will capitalize off his oratory advantage during the election.  McCain will most likely not fill a stadium the way Obama can with cheering underage non-voters and liberal sympathizers.  While many have lauded McCain’s mastery of town hall meetings, and welcomed his push joint venues with Obama, I still can’t shake the feeling that some Republicans want McCain to go at it Obama-style, or worse, their own.

Unfortunately, opinion polls and the electorate’s ratings show Republicans as deplorable, unfit for leadership, and out of sync with voters.  McCain has redeemed the GOP in many ways, and quite frankly, the Republican grassroots network saved itself by rising out of the Giuliani/Romney pitfall and picking a strong candidate, who happens to be a Republican.  Given the recent Republican record, hopefully independents and Reagan Democrats won’t hold that against him.
 
Why such a tone from a Republican?  Well, we lost power fair and square back in 2006—I’ll never forget watching a Senate debate on a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning amidst reports of rising energy prices coupled with a then-slightly-weakening dollar.  Let me be clear: I don’t want flags to be burned—but more importantly, I don’t want to lose elections and watch U.S. officials have high tea with Ahmadinejad.

Republicans in the House and Senate, governors, and even those down at the state and local levels would do well to follow the electorate’s cue— re-think your voting priorities, electoral strategies, find what works for you, and perhaps borrow something from the McCain handbook.  In the mean time, let’s give McCain some space.

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