Tonight’s GOP Presidential Debate will be Newterrific!

Alas, I think it is the GOP which will end up newtered.  Certainly the debate is going to be entertaining reality television like nothing Donald Trump ever envisioned.  It used to be a grand old party, but it is embracing the devil now. . .









There’s plenty to read about the debate, and about recent grumblings among the GOP about Gingrich’s successes.  Here’s a conservative chastising all sorts of GOP governors for letting this happen.  And here’s Mitt Romney’s “too little, too late” attack ad against the newterer.  Here’s the source of the picture above, from the extreme right wing Washington Times, in which they compare Newt Gingrich to Sauron the Dark LordDavid Frum also weighs in about how Newt is the disaster the GOP has been building to for a long time.  For once Mitt Romney, the man so embarrassed by his wealth that he he makes his earlier flip flops appear the epitome of stability, is right, that Newt Gingrich is “highly erratic.”   

The real problem for the GOP?  The nationwide numbers show Gingrich is closing rapidly on Romney, and the Florida numbers are showing a Gingrich win by nearly the double digits with which he took South Carolina.  Oh the HUMOR!!!!

Meanwhile, back at the White House, all is “No Drama Obama,” which should be just fine for the next ten months.

Workers’ share of national income plummets to record low

Check out the chart below, which was compiled by the Labor Department and posted this week by conservative writer David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

Click for full size image

As you can see from the chart, over the past thirty years, the share of U.S. national income taken home by workers has plummeted to a record low. With the exception of a period from the mid-1990’s until the year 2000, the share of U.S. national income taken home by workers has been on a steady downward track, begging the question, “why?”

Is this sharp downward decline in the share of U.S. national income taken home by workers a result of the decline in the bargaining power of organized labor?

Is increased competition from foreign workers and the advent of “free trade” agreements to blame?

Is it a coincidence that the downward trend was interrupted and actually reversed during the years of Democratic President Bill Clinton?


Who won last night?

With the exciting(for some of us) primary election going on in Wisconsin last night, sometimes we forget that there were many primaries last night throughout the country not just ours. We saw in delaware how one of the first true “tea party” candidates, Christine O\'Donnell won the Republican nomination much to the great dismay of the republican party.

Here in Wisconsin, the self made(with the help of his in-laws and our government) success story Ron Johnson proved that while money might not buy love, it sure bought the votes. Running a campaign shielded from voters, he amazingly won handily.

Former Bush speech write David “axis of evil” Frum, writes that the real winner in the primaries has been President Obama. He writes a pretty hard hitting column here. Some highlights:

Many vulnerable Democratic congressional candidates got their dream opponents (the latest example is Christine O’Donnell – unfortunately, just one of many, way too many, examples). So the GOP gains in November will be smaller than they could be. Furthermore, a lot of those gains will be easily reversible. In 2012 Obama will be on the ballot, and that will almost certainly increase the Democratic turnout (just as in 2008). Many Republicans who manage to squeak by this year will not survive 2012. And it can be even worse than in 2008 since not only will a lot of newly won Republicans seats be in danger, but some long-held seats will be in play as well, because in this year’s primaries retiring GOP congressmen and even some incumbents (not only moderates but also real conservatives like Bennett in the Senate and Inglis in the House!) were replaced with candidates who may be too conservative for their districts.

The Senate seats that the Republicans threw away (the seat in Delaware has just been added to this list) will now be in the hands of Democrats for 6 years, and some of them will not realistically come into play again for much longer than that.

But there are still even worse and more lasting effects – which we will never be able to quantify. We will never know how many talented young people contemplating entering Republican politics (especially in swing states) will decide to pursue other career options instead because of all the ugliness they saw in this primary season (nor how many congressional Republicans will retire earlier than they otherwise would). But we can be sure that conservatism will be suffering for decades because of their decisions.

Waterloo indeed!

Back in July of 2009, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) famously said health care reform would be President Barack Obama’s “waterloo,” noting, “If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” As David Frum, a former GWB speechwriter, noted in an entry on his blog on Sunday, health care reform was in fact Waterloo, but not for President Obama:

A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

Abject and irreversible failure indeed.