Exclusive: Saturday, May 17

by PRESIDENTIAL WATCH May 17, 2008

The Republican Panic

Review & Outlook, WSJ.com

If there is such a thing as a useful election defeat, then Tuesday's Republican loss in a special House election in Mississippi would qualify. Maybe this thumping in a heretofore safe GOP seat will finally scare the Members straight, or at least less crooked.

Democrats won with 54% of the vote in a district that a Republican won with 66% in 2006 and that President Bush carried in 2004 by 25 points. It was the GOP's third special election loss this year, and it has Democrats predicting that November will be another rout of 2006 proportions. Oklahoma's Tom Cole, who runs the National Republican Congressional Committee, captured the GOP reaction when he declared that "There is no district that is safe for Republican candidates."

This is the lesson Republicans should have learned in 2006, but the Members preferred to blame their failure on President Bush and Iraq. House Republicans pooh-poohed their own earmarking scandals, spending excesses and overall wallowing in the Beltway status quo. Rather than rethink their habits, they re-elected the same party leaders and even kept Jerry Lewis as their chief Appropriator. Congressman John Shadegg of Arizona is right when he says that "Since the 2006 elections, Republicans have done absolutely nothing to redefine themselves. We can't even get behind an earmark moratorium bill."

Read article.

The GOP Must Stand for Something

Karl Rove, Online WSJ.com

Tuesday's election results highlighted challenges for both Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans received a hard shot in Mississippi. Greg Davis (for whom I campaigned and who was a well-qualified candidate) narrowly lost a special congressional election in a district President George W. Bush carried four years ago with 62% of the vote. Democrats pulled off the win by smartly nominating a conservative, Travis Childers, from a rural swing part of the district who disavowed Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and hit Mr. Davis from the right.

This blow to the GOP came after two other special congressional election losses in recent months. Republicans lost former House Speaker Denny Hastert's Illinois seat and Rep. Richard Baker's Louisiana seat.

Both of those losses can be attributed to bad candidates. But that only shows the GOP can't take "safe" seats for granted when Democrats run conservatives who distance themselves from their national party leaders. The string of defeats should cure Republicans of the habit of simply shouting "liberal! liberal! liberal!" in hopes of winning an election. They need to press a reform agenda full of sharp contrasts with the Democrats. Read article.

Investigators to Release Reports on Obama's Communist Connections:

Researchers Herbert Romerstein and Cliff Kincaid to present reports on Capitol Hill

USA Survival.org

Two veterans of investigations into Communist influence on the U.S. political process will hold a briefing on Capitol Hill to release two new explosive reports on Barack Obama's ties with extreme anti-American elements, including agents of the Moscow-controlled Communist Party USA. The reports will shed important new light on Barack Obama's mysterious past.

Briefing to release two reports: "Communism in Hawaii and the Obama Connection" by Herbert Romerstein; and "Communism in Chicago and the Obama Connection" by Cliff Kincaid.

The reports are based on direct fact-finding and special access to historical, congressional, and investigatory documents. Read article.

America - We've Got a Problem

Dick McDonald, Dick McDonald.Blogspot.com

America is in a meltdown all caused by making a delusional fanatic into a revered iconic visionary. The Democrat-controlled media is to blame as they no longer investigate but merely promote the agenda of the left. That is why Al Gore has caused such a massive problem in the world today. He created a con called Global Warming, created a financial way to profit from it and then used his liberal media and his political allies to bring the world to its knees - and into deeper poverty.

The cause of this massive problem is simple. In attempting to stop the fiction called "global warming" the media jumped onto the bio-fuel bandwagon. Bio-fuels are made from agricultural products like corn. Tens of thousands of acres of corn production have been diverted from food production to producing bio-fuels - some estimate that 28% of the annual corn production has been made into bio-fuels.

What happens in America reverberates around the world. Higher food and fuel prices have combined to hit the poor especially hard. Many of the poor of this world can no longer afford to pay these prices and some are starving to death - all because of Al Gore and the agenda of the left.

Now those academics, Hollywood celebrities, young indoctrinated kids and all those Democrats who worship at the feet of the "great" Al Gore get ready for a rude awakening. The man will go down in history as one of world's greatest charlatans - a man who conned the world straight into deep poverty while he sat by selling worthless "carbon credits." Read article.

GOP cancer: Party could lose 20 more seats

John F. Harris & Josh Kraushaar, Politico.com

For the past 18 months, ever since the 2006 elections, congressional Republicans have been like a hospital patient trying to convince visitors that he is not really all that sick: a bit under the weather; actually feel better than I sound; should be up and about any day; thanks for asking.

Suddenly - belatedly - all pretense is gone.

The Republican defeat in Tuesday's special election in Mississippi, in a deeply conservative district where, in an average year, Democrats cannot even compete, was a clear sign that the GOP has the political equivalent of cancer that has spread throughout the body. Many House GOP operatives are privately predicting that the party could easily lose up to 20 seats this fall.

Combined with the 30 seats that the GOP lost in 2006, that would leave the party facing a 70-vote deficit against Democrats in the House - a state of powerlessness reminiscent of Republicans' long wilderness years in the 1960s and '70s.

Things are not particularly more hopeful on the Senate side, where most analysts say Democrats have a strong chance of adding five or more seats to their current majority.

Panic and blame-casting for the dire condition were flowing in equal measures Wednesday inside the House Republican Conference and among party elders and operatives outside. Read article.

The Fundamental Problem with the Republican Party

Peter J. Wirs, Townhall.com

This writer has scoured the academic analysis as to what's wrong the GOP. There is a political culture, the customs and norms, that make up both of our political parties. Contemporary historians trace a switch in party culture, although gradual, finally culminated in 1968. The GOP once the party of reform, became the party of insiders. Access to power replaced the power of ideas.

Assimilation and outreach, once the mainstay of Republican politics, is definitely no longer the GOP's strong suit. For example, despite 65% of African-American voters label themselves as conservative or moderate, yet 90% routinely vote for liberal Democrats. The GOP can't even capitalize upon the fact that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a life-long Republican.

And the Republican Party way of doing business is equally short-sighted as finances are concerned. In the last Presidential election cycle 24% or $464 million raised by Presidential and congressional candidates was spent outsourcing to approximately 600, Washington, D.C. consultants the traditional volunteer functions performed by Republican precinct committee people.

There are now hundreds of survey, fund raising and robo-calling firms willing to sell our GOP candidates services, which used to be done by grass-roots volunteers. Why? Read article.

If On the Wrong Track, Why Go Left?

Dennis Prager, Townhall.com

Today's most widely accepted political belief is that because an unprecedentedly high percentage of Americans -- 81 percent -- believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, the Republicans are headed for a major defeat this coming November.

If "headed in the wrong direction" really does mean for most Americans that voting Democrat will put our country on the right track, it is hard not to conclude that America has begun the decline that has ended all great civilizations. For if the Democratic Party -- given how far left it has become -- comes to control Congress and the presidency, America's values will soon stray so far from what they have been since its founding that it is difficult to imagine ever being able to undo the change.

Given that "on the wrong track" is defined as unhappiness with the economy, with President George W. Bush, and with the war in Iraq, let's analyze all this.

First, are the 81 percent unhappy with their own economic status or with the economic direction of the country? They are obviously not the same things. But whichever it is -- and it may well be both -- why do most Americans believe the Democrats' prescriptions are going to help? Why will a huge tax increase on all Americans earning over $200,000, on capital gains for all Americans and on social security (if Barack Obama is elected) help the economy? So 81 percent of Americans are right. We are on the wrong track. But the future of America entirely depends on what track it is most Americans think is wrong, and if they really believe that the radical "change" Obama and the Democrats advocate will be the right track. If so, it may mark the beginning of the end of the America that our parents and their parents and their parents back to America's founding lived in. The left, given its demonization of America's history, would welcome that. Would the American people? Read article.

Too "Complex"?: Part II

Thomas Sowell, Townhall.com

Let's face it. Supply and demand will never replace "need" and "greed" in political discussions of economic issues.

Talking about the "need" for more affordable housing or more affordable medical care is what will get politicians more votes this election year.

Voters don't want to hear about impersonal things like supply and demand. They want to hear about how their political heroes will stop the villains from "gouging" them or "exploiting" them with high prices.

Moral melodrama is where it's at, politically.

Least of all do voters want to hear about the most fundamental reality of economics-- that what everybody wants has always added up to more than there is.

That is called scarcity-- and if there were no scarcity, there would be no economics. What would be the point, if we could all have everything we want, in whatever amount we want?

There were no economists in the Garden of Eden because everything was available in unlimited abundance.

A politician with good rhetorical skills can create a new Garden of Eden in people's minds, though only in their minds. However, that is sufficient, if that vision or illusion can be kept alive until election day, and its failure to materialize afterwards can be explained away by the obstruction of villains.

One of the many ironies of politics is that those politicians who do the most to reduce supply often express the greatest outrage about high prices. Read article.

The pot holes on the high road

Wesley Pruden, Washington Times.com

Taking the high road is the high-minded approach to campaigning, but the high road can lead to disappointing places. That's why successful pols usually look for alternate routes, just in case.

Successful candidates are careful to create the illusion of traveling the high road. Richard Nixon campaigned as the man who would "bring us together." Jimmy Carter would "never tell a lie." Bill Clinton only pretended to search for the high road, taking frequent detours to look for the red-light district.

Here we go again. Barack Obama, fortified with 92 percent of the black vote, talks about transcending race to impose "unity" and "change." (He took the precaution yesterday in West Virginia of showing up with a new flag pin, bigger than the one he wouldn't wear last week.) Cindy McCain, who heard it from her pillow, says her husband had rather lose than emphasize the considerable Obama "negatives."

All this is happy talk for April and May. Mr. Obama must contend with a color problem that won't go away: Voters aren't concerned that he's too black to be president, but that he's too green. Such "experience" as he has is experience only in "activism" in shady precincts far out in left field. Read article.

John McCain and the Global Warming Train

David Limbaugh, David Limbaugh.com

For you McCain supporters who think the only issues that matter are the war and taxes, not to mention abortion and immigration -- all of which are incalculably important -- I urge you not to underestimate the gravity of the global warming issue and the potentially devastating consequences of rolling over on it.

If John McCain were truly a maverick, he would publicly break from the politically correct culture that demands obedience to its global warming narrative. But sadly, he continues to do the opposite.

Liberals have denominated McCain a maverick because he has taken so many positions contradictory to his party's platform and to the conservative ideology that undergirds it. Now that he is the putative Republican nominee, you don't hear much about his maverick nature, but it's certainly not because he's changed his ways in opposing his party.

Last week, he affirmed his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, even though earlier he stepped back from it to curry favor with conservatives. One wonders what other shoes will inevitably drop should he win the presidency, especially because he has indicated he would most likely be a one-termer.

Will he revert to his visceral revulsion to the Bush supply-side tax cuts? Many supply-siders, after taking McCain to the woodshed on the issue, assure us he can be trusted on it.

If so, their efforts will redound to the benefit of the economy and nation should McCain win the election. But some of these same supply-side advocates insist we shouldn't expect him to move rightward on too many other issues.

Sorry, but I reject that zero-sum thinking. Read article.

Newsweek Impugns GOP: 'Merchants of Slime and Sellers of Hate'

MRC.org

In this week's cover story, Newsweek's Richard Wolffe and Evan Thomas juxtaposed Democratic talking points about the sliminess of Republicans ("successfully scaring voters since 1968") and testimonials to the managerial wizardry of Barack Obama ("he has 'grace under fire'") and presented the entire package as an insightful look inside "The O Team."

The eight-page spread, decorated with several behind-the-scenes photographs of the candidate and his top aides, paints Republicans and independent conservative groups as the source of all campaign nastiness. The authors even question whether John McCain, who has earned innumerable media accolades as a champion of more government regulations on free speech ("campaign finance reform") is not perhaps a co-conspirator with those awful conservatives:

"Sen. John McCain himself has explicitly disavowed playing the race card or taking the low road generally. But he may not be able to resist casting doubt on Obama's patriotism. And the real question is whether he can -- or really wants to -- rein in the merchants of slime and sellers of hate who populate the Internet and fund the 'independent expenditure' groups who exercise their freedom in ways that give a bad name to free speech." Read article.


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