electoral politics

Sep 222012

When a reporter asks questions like this, Romney could respond better.  He should NOT be talking about the campaign or tactics.  As a professional politician he ought to know these things.  But since he doesn’t, I offer a suggestion below:

Scott Pelley: Governor, I appreciate your message very much. But that wasn’t precisely the question. You’re the CEO of this campaign. A lot of Republicans would like to know, a lot of your donors would like to know, how do you turn this thing around? You’ve got a little more than six weeks. What do you do?

via Romney: My campaign doesn’t need a turnaround – CBS News.

Better Romney:  Scott, I wish you would ask better questions so your viewers could become better informed about the issues facing our country.  You haven’t asked me anything about health care reform, or tax reform, or entitlement reform, or how to make government more transparent.  You haven’t asked about how to eliminate crony capitalism from our government programs.  You haven’t asked about how we can create an environment in which businesses can create jobs. You haven’t asked me what our government should be doing to defend the freedoms set out in our Bill of Rights.   Whether or not I run the kind of campaign people like, these are issues that we need to be discussing.

Mar 052012

Grange Hall in Calhoun County

I’m reading “The Granger Movement : A study of agricultural organization and its political, economic and social manifestations 1870-1880” by Solon Justus Buck (1913).  On page 103 Buck mentions one of the ways the Granges used to exert some political influence:

Another favorite method of attempting to influence legislation was that of interrogating candidates for office regarding their position on certain proposed legislative measures.

We could use more of that.   Written Q&A forums are not unheard of these days, but if we had more of them we might get around the tendency of the MSM to ask only the stupidest, most irrelevant questions.    A Tea Party group, for example, could establish an identity by insisting that the candidates for all offices a set of good questions.   The format could include followup questions, to get around the tendency of candidates to provide bland, meaningless answers or to change the subject.

Newspapers would be faced with a quandary.   On the one hand, they desperately need readers.   Q&A like this lend themselves to print more than broadcast, so this would give them a way to compete.  On the other hand, they would interfere with their mission of obscuring information.   But with the internet there is no reason that newspapers have to be the medium.

Here are some questions I’d like to see asked:

  • Is federal funding of NPR and CPB compatible with the first Amendment?
  • Do you support de-funding of Solyndra-type programs in order to end the appearance of corruption?
  • How important is it to replace a myriad of state regulations on insurance, health care, food safety, or any other topic, with uniform federal regulations?
  • Is there a connection between uniform federal regulations and companies becoming too big and monopolistic — too big to fail, even?


Jun 162011

Reason #1 to vote against Mitt Romney:

  • Bush-1 gave us Bill Clinton
  • Bush-2 gave us Barak Obama
  • We don’t want to find out how this pattern plays out

And on a related topic, it’s bad enough that libertarians are socialists’ best friends.   But why do TownHall conservatives have to be 2nd best?   I wish they’d be satisfied with 3rd or 4th.   In the past few days there has been a lot of blather among them about Congressman Tim Whatever and this-or-that presidential candidate.   But there has been not a word  about Tom Coburn’s efforts to eliminate the ethanol tax credit.    An important key to bringing down Leviathan is in the fight between Coburn and Norquist.  But they are letting it go unremarked.    (Coburn gets a Leviathan Ankle-Biter award.  Norquist does not.)

Nov 022010

So far the election results are disappointing in that the polls seem to have been pretty much correct. I haven’t seen any results that knocked pollsters for a loop. It’s best when pollsters err by underestimating the liberal-conservatives, but any kind of messed-up progosis is a cause for joy.

This means voters are telling the truth when pollsters call. That isn’t the sign of a healthy democracy.

Sep 212010

It’s as if Lisa Murkoski had been given an assignment to provide a definition of the term, use it in a sentence, and then act out an example. She gets good marks for parts 2 and 3, but part 1 is missing, so she gets an Incomplete.

…Ms. Murkowski … said over the weekend on CNN that Mr. Miller had only prevailed because of “lies and fabrications and mischaracterization.” She then denounced the “pretty radical things” that the Republican nominee supposedly supports, including “You know, we dump Social Security. No more Medicare. Let’s get rid of the Department of Education. Elimination of all earmarks. …


May 062010

Today I got an e-mail from the Moonbat.org people with the subject line, “John: Save the soul of the Democratic Party.”

And then I read the message and found in the very first paragraph that they want me to send $5.

Isn’t that a lot like the indulgences that Martin Luther railed against?

The Senate primary in Arkansas is our best hope to save the soul of the Democratic Party and win real change in Washington. Every Democrat in Washington is watching to see whether corporate lobbyists or grassroots progressives will prevail. And this is the last chance to help out­ – the Halter campaign is making their final spending decisions in 24 hours. So we need at least 3 donations from Battle Creek today. Can you chip in $5?

Apr 292009

I don’t much care whether the Republican party disappears or keeps going in some form or other, but I care a lot about stopping Obama’s imperialistic power grabs and about preserving human rights. With that in mind, I suggest that it would be far better for the vote on the next such issue to be 60 Democrats Aye, 40 Republicans Nay than it would be to have 59 Democrats Aye, 1 Republican Aye, 40 Republicans Nay. The Democrats are offended when they can’t get some Republicans to vote for their programs; else how are they going to have someone to blame when those programs fail? Arlan Specter will no longer be one of those Republicans who will give them the kind of bipartisan cover they seek.

Apr 172009

Headline: “McCain Strategist Warns GOP Risks Becoming ‘Religious Party’

I’d think the phrase “McCain Strategist” would be the last thing anybody in politics would want on his/her resume or business card. Even something like “Edsel Product Manager” wouldn’t have quite the same stigma. Better to leave a gap on the resume for the time spent on that campaign.

Not that I’m complaining about the way they did their job. If they had been any good at it, they might have suckered me into voting for their guy.

Jan 192009

Here’s a clue: If you think everybody in the room shares your enthusiasm (or dismay) over the ascension of Obama to power, you need to talk less and listen more. If everyone actually does share your enthusiasm (or dismay) you need to be in a room with a more diverse group of people.

I’ve been in rooms with both oblivious types (pro- and anti-) in the past couple of days. I managed to keep my mouth shut and save it for my blog.