Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back in Business - Tea Party Presidential Handicapping

Liberator readers, my apologies for the lack of punditry for the last couple days. I have had a challenging business trip to Charleston, SC with little time to blog. I did sample the local beer tonight, so I look forward to hearing from Dean and Max.

While I was gone, fellow SLOBs Dean and Leslie weighed in on the rapidly changing Republican field, and get out in front of some of my favorite discussion items. First from Dean, is he really warming up to Tim Pawlenty (aka T-Paw) with an article titled Ticking off all the right people? Indeed, Mr. Pawlenty is winning my heart by arguing against ethanol in Iowa, which, as I have lamented before, this is a rare piece of political bravery, and he tops it with pointing out the need for Social Security reform in Florida. From Dean:
We're heartened that Pawlenty is making these kind of statements especially in the territories he is doing so. The timing of them, being the first significant policy statements by any of the prospective GOP field, helps to shape and drive the debate. Energy subsidies and entitlement reform are important topics that we can ill-afford to leave unaddressed.

Temple of Mut points out that there is no "Tea Party" presidential pick, including Palin, I might add and that the Republicans in Congress aren't acting on their promises. If what was reported about Boehner is true, then I may have to rethink my support to date. Debt limit ceiling vote will be a crucial test. She also implores us to take another look at Palin and warns that giving to Bachmann's PAC may not be wise. In the same article, I am also scooped on the Grand Jury report that reached the same conclusion as I did that the new City Hall project was hyped.

Meanwhile, the top headline on Google news is that the top issue in New York 26 special congressional district election that went Democrat is medicare. Left Coast Rebel gives the lie to this tomfoolery. The Democrat winner got 47% of the vote, the Republican 42% and the so-called Tea Party candidate 9%. Hardly a ringing endorsement of liberalism, if you ask me. The Republican party needs candidates who can excite the Tea Party and their base. This didn't appear to be the case. In this climate, I give Pawlenty even more points for pushing on entitlements.


  1. I'm going to have to get you on that last point. This is a seat which the Democrats had picked up exactly 6 times since Andrew Jackson, almost half of which were in the 19th Century The 2010 vote went 73% GOP. Even in the much less GOP friendly year of 2008, the Republican Candidate picked up 55% of the vote. Americans appear to like their Medicare, and if the Tea Party is going to get anything done they're gonna need to play with others. That said, I am a partisan Democrat, so disregard my thoughts on GOP strategy.

  2. Calivancouver, I can't speak for B-Daddy but I'm pretty sure a civil, well-reasoned assessment of GOP strategy from a partisan Democrat would not be unwelcome.

    Re: entitlements. Yes, everybody loves entitlement but that doesn't change the math of the impending insolvency of programs like Social Security and Medicare.

    Reform always seems to be such a great political term except when it comes to entitlement programs. That needs to change.

  3. B-Daddy... almost forgot - thanks for the link and welcome back.

  4. No, the math on medicare has not changed. However, the Ryan scheme does not appear to be one that the electorate will buy. Especially considering how similar it looks to Health Care Reform in 2010. There are a number of things that can be done with Medicare in particular and entitlements in general, that don't involve phasing it out, to control the general rise in health care costs, including better deploying the existing systems market power.

    As for Republican strategy, my two cents. The state party can't be the national party. If it tries to be the national party, it will be a semi-permanent minority, and will get nothing done. As someone who values accountability, I would rather the Democrats win, but not as easily as the Tea Party is trying to make it for them. Tack to the center, disassociate from the national party, and accomplish something efficient, without scaring everyone away. The state would be better off with its politics disassociated from national politics anyway. Dean, if you want to know what I mean, look into the British Columbia Liberal Party.

  5. Calivancouver, I welcome your comments, thanks. It makes me a better writer when I am challenged.

    With regards to tacking to the Center, I think that the problem is the toxicity of the Republican brand name among Asians and Hispanics in California. The Republicans actually could win many more of those votes because they share the values of many of those voters. Look at the demographics on the Prop 8 vote for example.