Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Don't Forget the Middle

This article by David Hill, in The Hill (no relation), seems to be something that both parties should remember, or will pay the price come November. The base is important, but the base by itself only guarantees that the party won't disappear int history. It is the middle, independent voter that keeps the majority party in the majority.

My guess is that issues like immigration, gay marriage etc, which the GOP have been, or will be, addressing will serve more to alienate them than to attract them. Right now the middle voter would like to see that the government can work, and if it can't, then the argument for a divided government probably makes a lot of sense. Why let one party keep control, when a split will minimize the damage?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

William Jefferson's Side of the Story

It is true that the facts look bad for Rep. Jefferson. And the condemnation, mocking and calls for resignation are starting to pour in. After all, most Congressman do not have $90,000 in their freezer, and even those that do aren't on videotape collecting the money. (That said, perhaps every Congressional challenger should insist that incumbents allow inspections of their freezers as a campaign tactic. I am pretty sure that $90K would not be the weirdest thing that was found.)

But, as for Jeff, he has said that we should wait for his side of the story. And I think that everyone is missing the clear "Traficant defense" that Jeff is going to be using against these allegations. It is pretty clear that he was conducting his own investigation into bribery and foreign governments. After so many failures of intelligence, and the overall general incompetence of the current administration, is it any wonder that a Congressman, especially a Democratic Congressman would decide that he should do his own freelancing? I think that this defense could be a winner. And if it was, just think of the future generation of "Congressional investigations"it could inspire.

(Full Disclosure - I did a small amount of consulting for Jefferson in the early 90's when he was considering a Senate bid. I had no contact, however, with anyone from Nigeria.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened in PA Last Night

No, not the beginning of a joke, but perhaps the beginning of a headache of GOP leaders. In PA primary voters turned out two established politicians because of an outrage over a pay raise a year ago. Trust me, this is not going unnoticed in DC right now. There is anger out there in GOPland and the Republican leadership has five months to turn it toward Democrats and away from them.

PS - Another GOP house seat is also in play. Apparently having an affair, being accused of domestic abuse by your mistress and then acting like everything is fine is not exactly OK with the GOP base.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ahhh, What Might Have Been

For a look at how things might have been different, click here.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I Didn't Really Think It Was Going To Happen

But the latest poll has Junior's job approval in the 20's. (29% according to a Harris Interactive poll, sponsored, I think, by the Wall Street Journal.)

It is only two points lower that the NYT/CBS poll, by psychologically it is huge.

UPDATE - At some point this WH has to do something dramatic to stop this free fall. Changing the CoS or getting a new Press Secretary might seem like a big deal when you are living in the WH bubble, but it doesn't really register with normal folk. Right now this administration is perceived as out of touch, inept, incompetent, secretive, stubborn and possibly corrupt.

Attempts to "rally the base" with fights about judges or gay marriage are going to fail, not because the issues don't resonate with the conservative base, but because why would that base think that this administration would be competent enough to do anything substantively, as opposed to just politically. Unless there is a dramatic action by the WH, we might actually be looking at a continued slide in the polls. Without a change, does anyone really thing that an approval under 25% is out of the question?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

One Step Closer

Junior is pushing his brother Jeb as a potential President. (Which in fairness he has done before, and the anecdotal evidence has always suggested that the Bush family considered Jeb to be the President in waiting and not Junior. But Junior won his campiagn for Governor in 94, Jeb lost.)

In Jeb were to run in 08 (which I doubt) we could have a Bush - Clinton race. If he decides to wait, he could possible succeed Hillary, resulting in a Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton-Bush presidency line.

Is there anyone outside of Chappaqua or Houston that likes either of those options?

Monday, May 08, 2006

2008

Since the beginning of the 2008 Presidential race is only 6 months away (one day after the 2006 elections), Charlie Cook has run down the pros and cons of the contenders. It is a good glimpse of the field, including some names that you might not have expected.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Finally, Junior and I Agree on Something

"I would say the best moment of [my presidency] was when I caught a 7.5 pound perch in my lake."

-- President George W. Bush, quoted by Reuters.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Hookers

That is the buzz for why Porter Goss is out at the CIA, at least here, here, here and here.

OTB is till buying the "White House shakeup" line, for now.

(And I though that sex scandals were a Democratic thing. At least the right has Patrick Kennedy to kick around.)

CIA Director Resigns

The sudden resignation of Porter Goss seems a bit abrupt to me. Usually these things are proceeded with rumors of the event and not announced suddenly. Especially with the CIA, if Goss wanted to quit, you would think that the administration would have someone lined up to take his place already. Strange.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Life in Prison - About Right

Zacarias Moussaoui got a life sentence for the role he played in 9/11.

This strikes me as about right. I have never been convinced that he had any role in the plot. He always struck me as someone had a mental illness, and not someone who would be trusted to play an role in such an important operation. But he pled guilty and this is the appropriate punishment.

Others, however, strongly disagree.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Another Day . . .

More bad poll numbers for Junior.

Both the latest CBS and USA Today/Gallup polls had him at his lowest numbers yet. (34% and 33%, respectively.)

[It is always important to compare numbers from the same polls to get an idea of how poorly this President is doing. He is down two points in the USA Today poll from the last polling, with is disapproval up 4. This is obviously within the margin of error, but when at the numbers keep falling, it isn't too hard to see a pattern. Regardless, in every poll I have seen, Junior is at his lowest level.]

Short of a major change (firing Rumsfeld, replacing Cheney, announcing a withdrawal date for Iraq) it is hard to imagine Bush climbing up into the 40's before Election Day. In fact, they may need to do something dramatic just to keep him from falling into the 20's.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy May Day!

I've been trying to find something to right about this morning, but nothing has moved me.

Possible topics that haven't moved me to write a full post are the NFL draft (Houston was insane for not taking Reggie Bush); the WH Correspondence Dinner (didn't watch it, but I am sure that some people thought it was hilarious, other thought that it was bomb); Bush apparently didn't order the CIA to take out Zarqawi in Iraq before the war, despite the CIA knowing where he was (hindsight in these things is always 20/20 -- of course we would have taken out bin Laden if we knew then what we know now, but we didn't. Maybe this will quiet down the "Clinton could have killed bin Laden" crowd, but I doubt it); gas prices are still crazy (but meaningful solutions have been pushed aside for political posturing); there is an immigrant "boycott" that will be going on today (the whole thing seems a little silly and counterproductive); and, for course, November elections are only six months or so away.

Maybe one of these will inspire a longer post, but for now I will just wish everyone a happy May Day.

(UPDATE - Oh yeah, there is also Rush Limbaugh's plea bargain, err . . . I mean, settlement or agreement or something else that isn't a plea bargain, because only criminals agree to a plea bargain, not someone who is not guilty. And that $30,000 isn't a fine, it is a reimbursement! You really have to have drunk the Kool-Aid to buy into that one.)
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