GreenMountainPolitics1 gets around. We hustle harder, hold forth longer and pass judgment faster on hunches, gut feelings and prejudices than any of our MSM counterparts.
Are we borderline reckless?
You bet. There ain’t no sissy corporate brake on this operation.
We call it like we see it and see it like we call it.
And, we will travel in pursuit of our punditry.
Which is how we found ourselves tonight at an event in Dedham, Massachusetts where well over 100 McCain supporters showed up at American Legion Post #18 to stick their tongues out at Mitt Romney.
Just kidding about the tongues. But the size and energy of the crowd was truly bitching.
And, if that seething mob had their way, U.S. Senator John McCain will teach former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney a valuable Mark Halperin Trade Secret – The way to win in 2008 is by making sure you carry your home state.
If anyone doesn’t understand what I’m talking about please give private citizen Albert Gore a call.
John McCain should do very well in Massachusetts.
While we’re just not ready to call Massachusetts for the Senator yet, take a good hard look at the picture I’ve posted above.
The crowd at the Post was about that large. Just better dressed and cleaner. Also, there was no brown Acid (that I knew about)
And it’s in Big Love’s back yard.
That ain’t nothing.
Also, we’re learning that Love is not a terribly popular guy in Massachusetts.
Or, as I heard it put so eloquently at the Post bar by a hard drinking 108 year old Veteran, “Romney? What’s he done? The Olympics? Good Christ, if I had an unlimited budget I could have saved the Olympics to.”
Then Gramps shot a whiskey.
With over 600 days to go until the election, Post Bar wisdom and one event crowd don’t mean much.
But they ain’t nothing.
Leading us to ask - is Big Love about to be GORE’d?
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
We like John Edwards. How can we not?
We've liked him ever since we interviewed him in New Hampshire last month.
We've argued that if the Democrats are smart they will make him their nominee.
And, even though he just built a house the size of an airport in North Carolina, we think that Edwards truly cares about America's poor and is ready to do something about it. That goes a long way with this "leans Right" independent who feels the current wealth-gap is one of the most disgusting and destabilizing issues we face as a nation.
The Politico's Roger Simon seems to agree.
Simon clacked a good read on the "new" tough talking John Edwards in yesterday's Politico.
Simon wrote that Edwards has 3 things going for him politically as the race for 2008 gets underway - the primary calendar, the Iraq War and "authenticity".
Edwards told Simon:
"When we went to war, Senator Clinton and I both voted for it and Senator Obama was not in the Senate," Edwards told me recently. "I have since said I was wrong, and I take responsibility for that. I have not heard Senator Clinton say that."Touche!
Should she say she was wrong? I asked.
"That is a moral decision she has to make," Edwards said.
Hillary, Obama and Edwards are all against the planned troop surge in Iraq. Hillary and Obama want a cap on troops in Iraq but are not now in favor of cutting off funds for the surge. (Obama is not ruling it out if it is the only option remaining.) They both favor passing a resolution indicating opposition to the surge.
Edwards, who wants an immediate cutoff of funds for the surge, thinks the resolution is a sham.
"What is the point in saying we are just against it?" Edwards said. "It is useless. It is exactly like a child standing in the corner and stomping his feet."
In our opinion, all Edwards needs to do to secure the Democratic nomination is to continue to outflank Hillary on the War. We've been saying it for weeks.
Team Hillary is well organized, well financed and possess a candidate with awesome political skills. But Clinton's stance on how to move forward in Iraq is too far to the Right for her Primary.
Her most critical political weakness is about to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the full glare of day by the "anti-timidity" lights that Senator Russ Feingold is currently setting up in the Senate.
The New Left and the Net Roots are going to savage her.
In spite of his populist soul, John Edwards is going to love every last second of it.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Examining this photograph of Hillary Clinton and John McCain taken at a military ceremony in Texas yesterday, GreenMountainPolitics1 has to assume that Senator McCain did not get the John Weaver/Mark Halperin memo.
Therefore, we were not surprised to read our new friend Jon Martin's piece, GOP Right Sees Lemons in White House Race, in today's Politico (which also made Drudge. Nice Jon).
Contemplating the current field of Republican presidential candidates, Rush Limbaugh sounded like a man with malaise.Good Conservatives are clearly upset. And when Good Conservatives are upset I'm upset because this New England Yankee is proud to claim several friends as Good Conservatives.
"To be honest with you, there's nobody out there that revs me up," he confessed to his audience of several million conservative sympathizers on his radio show last week, "so why should I pretend there is?"
What for much of the past year has been an undercurrent of grumbling on the right about the top tier of Republican contenders -- Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani -- is lately on the rise in both frequency and volume. Limbaugh's sour note is the most striking of examples.
From consultants to bloggers to talk show hosts, there is a climate of suspicion -- at times bordering on contempt -- among conservative activists about their 2008 choices.
Just not you Rush.
The only two things that you prove is that small men can master radio and that if you're a pill-popping hate monger who uses a servant to buy illegal drugs, well, you're most likely going to get caught.
Not that it was your fault.
But we digress.
While we are unapologetic supporters of Senator John McCain, we understand that there are members of the Republican Party who are "Anyone But McCain" and who are looking for an alternative.
It's what politics is all about.
And so far the only alternatives to John McCain have been Governor Big Love and Hiz Honor.
But there is hope.
Hope, Arkansas to be exact.
GreenMountainPolitics1 asks, yet again, what about former Southern Fat Boy Mike Huckabee?
We've been following the former Arkansas Governor for months and we like what we see. I mean, we really like what we see.
We think Huckabee is the most legitimate "Anyone But McCain" candidate out there and has a far better chance of winning the Republican nomination than either Love or RUDEy.
And, Governor Huckabee's politics aren't really our politics, which means that Governor Huckabee should be picture perfect for my friends on the Right.
Watch Huckabee on The Daily Show. A true social conservative who gets loud cheers and applause on a liberal New York City comedy show? That's something.
Read Huckabee's transcript from last weekend's Meet The Press. He talks easily about abortion, gay marriage, personal faith and why (shudder the thought) good fiscal conservatives are sometimes forced to raise taxes.
And while the shakedown machine Americans For Tax Reform might disagree, Pete Peterson and I would like to go on the record and say that tax and spend Democrats are just as bad for our economy as borrow and spend Republicans.
We will not argue that Governor Huckabee has an easy road. He will need to fight Big Love and Hiz Honor to raise $15 million by the end of this quarter. He will need to fight them for campaign staff.
But Huckabee's candidacy is for real.
The Anyone But McCain crowd could do themselves a large favor and realize who they've already got.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Granite State Quickie: Hunter And Tancredo Are In, Huckabee Is Really In, Big Love Attacks Brownback For Mitt-Flopping & The Bloody Sox Backs McCain
When there isn't time, a quickie will have to do.
On Saturday, GreenMountainPolitics1 attended Congressman Tom Tancredo's announcement that he is seeking the Republican nomination for President.
Our new friend, Phillip Elliot of the Associated Press, has the story here.
We were disappointed that we were unable to ask Mr. Tancredo, "Congressman, you have proposed building a cement wall around the entire United State. Where do you start?"
Maybe next time.
GreenMountainPolitics1 also covered Duncan Hunter's announcement today in Newington that he is seeking the Republican nomination for President.
The former Chairman of the House Armed Services committee held his campaign rally at the corporate headquarters of Wilcox Industries.
The picture we took this morning of the campaign rally is stuck to the top of this post.
Hmm. Wilcox Industries.
From Wilcox's website:
Wilcox is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of high quality tactical equipment for use by Special Operations units within the United States.Within the United States?
Would the Manchurian Candidate movie be as fun if the Manchurian Corporation had been totally up front about its plans to put their man in the White House?
Former Southern Fat Boy and successful Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, dazzled on Meet the Press yesterday.
Huckabee announced that he was running for President. The transcript of the show can be found here.
I've said it before, I'll say it again, Mike Huckabee is John McCain biggest rival for the Republican nomination.
Huckabee just needs to raise $15 million dollars in the next 4 months.
In yet another example that Mitt Romney is a tool shed, Big Love has attacked Sam Brownback for Mitt-Flopping on abortion.
Eyeon08 has the story here.
Sam Brownback is many things to many people. One thing that Senator Brownback is not is soft on "faith based issues".
Love's concern that "true" conservatives in the race take supporters directly away from his campaign is justified, but we feel that if Love should be more concerned about Huckabee than Brownback at this point.
Then there is the issue of the pot calling the kettle black. It's called Mitt-Flopping for goodness sakes.
Finally, Curt Schilling, Red Sox pitcher and owner of the most famous bloody sox in history, is backing John McCain for President.
Schilling made the comments on Sports Talk Radio this morning and the audio may be found here.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
GreenMountainPolitics1 is a humble operation.
Our mission is simply to cover (cover simply) the New Hampshire Presidential Primary while making smart people laugh along the way.
We were on the ground in Manchester 1 month before the '06 election and we will stay here, reporting everyday on whatever we damn well please, until the night of the '08 Primary.
It's going to make one kick ass book when we're done. Think Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail without the drugs and a dash more sobriety.
But back to being humble. And we are.
Because we're not even a dot com for goodness sakes. We're on Blogspot.
New Media might be upending everything it touches in the '08 election, but our simple Blog is happy just to let out a mighty "eep!" every once in a long while.
So, we try to tread lightly in the Granite State. We are only guests after all.
And, as I told Senator Sununu at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee Annual Meeting yesterday, "GreenMountainPolitics1 doesn't do character assassination. It's just not that funny."
Sure, we have opinions, play favorites (McCain, Edwards, Huckabee, Dodd) and belittle villains (Governor Big Love).
We're satirists not reporters. While we're independent minded, we do have opinions. We've always been up front about that.
And, as a independent minded satirist who doesn't do character assassination (usually), I was looking forward to covering Rudy Giuliani's speech at the GOP State Committee in Manchester yesterday.
The State Party was even nice enough to give me press credentials for the event.
I spent the 24 hours before the Giuliani speech doing what I what I always do before a big political event here in New Hampshire - studying up on the candidate by bringing together past news stories, blog posts, audio and video files that I might like to use in my own post.
Making smart people laugh is hard work.
And, when I walked out of the Palace Theatre yesterday afternoon, I had a great post on Hiz Honor. We're warming to Rudy (especially his wife, Judith, who looked beautiful and spoke articulately yesterday).
But we're not going to post it. Because Hiz Honor's campaign staff "sucks".
And having "sucky" campaign staff in a small state like New Hampshire is pure political poison.
And yes, one "bad" apple will spoil the whole barrel.
As I mentioned earlier, I was credentialed by the State Party to cover the event as a Blogger. I even got a nice, large cardboard card that I hung around my neck that said PRESS.
I was loaded to Blog.
Which is exactly what I was doing, quietly, out of the way, about 15 feet away from Hiz Honor in an area of the Palace Theatre reserved for, well, reserved for press.
When, all of a sudden, a blond blur of Blackberry, Gucci, Neiman Marcus and Prada bustled over to me and chirped, "What are YOU doing here?"
And then, without letting me even answer the question, Gucci continued, "YOU can't be down here!"
The pure "power" I heard behind the chirp forced me to turn from the conversation I was having with the USA Today and AP photographers about the joys of my CyberShot camera and address Gucci's "a-little-too-overweight-tummy-for-that-shirt" heaving mass of responsibility.
"I'm press," I responded. Nicely. Holding up my press pass.
Gucci's jeweled snout snorted, "Oh? With who?"
"I have a Blog. I'm covering the New Hampshire Primary.."
Gucci didn't let me finish, "Bloggers aren't allowed down here. This area is for press."
I held up my press pass again. Nicely.
Gucci actually started to check her Blackberry as she continued the conversation, "You can't be up here," she repeated herself.
It was then that I knew Hiz Honor was going to be the first candidate whose campaign staff, and not the candidate himself, was going to be the subject of my post.
I smiled in spite of myself. Arrogance is bad enough. Arrogance without cause sends me around the bend.
And, when forced to get down in the muck, I will dance.
"Is this a Giuliani campaign event?" I asked.
Gucci looked up from her Blackberry, confused. "No," she said.
I let her think about it for a second. "Well, the State Party gave me a press pass and this is the press area isn't it?"
Gucci's lips pouted, "I guess."
"Right. So, I'm staying." I went back to my conversation with the greatly amused photographers.
Gucci slunk off. Most likely bemoaning New Hampshire "hicks".
Fair warning to the Giuliani campaign - New Hampshire is a small state where everyone knows everyone else. This is not New York City and we don't expect to be treated like we are in New York City.
A humble Blogger with a simple Blog might not mean much to your earned media strategy.
But when that humble Blogger, slighted by an obnoxious broad on a power trip, tells the story over and over to high applause from his new friends in The Gang of 500 (limited watering holes in Manchester you may suppose) and all the NH Hampshire activists who read his blog every day, the storyline starts to stick.
When smart people laugh, they remember.
And the rumor around the Granite State campfire is that lots of smart people are laughing about the unfounded arrogance of the Giuliani campaign staff.
Mr. Mayor, if your campaign staff is treating credentialed (and polite) members of the BlogSphere like this, how do you think they're treating Mom and Pop main-street?
You might want to sort that out.
And, if Katie Levinson wants to apologize for the way she behaved yesterday, it would be appropriate. Even if all I've got is a simple Blog and have never worked for The Terminator.
Friday, January 26, 2007
The 2006 Congressional mid-term election was about one issue, Iraq.
Specifically, the Democrats took majority status in both Chambers of Congress by promising to "change the direction in Iraq", "hold the President accountable for his mistakes in Iraq", and "bring our troops home from Iraq".
Making campaign promises is easy. Actually following through on your promises, that's the hard part.
It seems to us that after the Democrats took control of Congress they forgot how to "deal" politically with President Bush, which is strange because Pelosi and Reid have been watching Bush for six years.
Rule #1 (and the only one you need remember), while there is only 1 Commander-in-Chief (not 536), the Congress does have the power to "check" that Commander-in-Chief with its "Power of the Purse".
And, cutting off W's money is the only way your going to "check" him. There are six years of examples behind that statement.
This "forgotten truth" will have to be re-learned quickly if the Democrats actually intend to keep their Iraq campaign promise to the American people.
Then again, the Democrats might not intend to keep their 2006 Iraq campaign promise.
For example, Pelosi and Reid's recent reaction to the President's proposed troop surge was a stunning example of "Gee, we really haven't been paying that much attention to the way The Cowboy Governor has operated over the last six years."
Or they're playing victim to a politically selective memory.
Harry Reid told Politico Online that his plan to stop the troop surge was:
"Right now, the most important thing is to tell the president that what he has done with the escalation is wrong. And that's what we are doing, bi-partisanly."You go Harry.
George, Harry thinks you're being a bad boy and he wants you to stop!
The Senate's Majority Leader is going to give the President a stiff talking to. That should work. It sure has in the past.
Nancy Pelosi's "talking point" quip describing her conversation with the President on the surge was just as disingenuous and nauseating. As reported yesterday on Daily Kos:
In an interview, Pelosi also said she was puzzled by what she considered the president's minimalist explanation for his confidence in the new surge of 21,500 U.S. troops that he has presented as the crux of a new "way forward" for U.S. forces in Iraq.The Grandmother Speaker was "puzzled" because The Cowboy Governor seemed absorbed in his own alternative universe? Where has she been again?
"He's tried this two times — it's failed twice," the California Democrat said. "I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?' And he said, 'Because I told them it had to.' "
Asked if the president had elaborated, she added that he simply said, " 'I told them that they had to.' That was the end of it. That's the way it is."
Remember, Pelosi is Speaker because she has a large, beautiful family and smells nice.
The sick truth about the Democratic Party Leadership is that they do not intend to do anything about the War in Iraq between now and the '08 election. They never have.
Sure, they'll have hearings, pass non-binding resolutions, write really, really strong Op-eds in the Washington Post and watch gleefully as public opinion about the war continues to crater.
So what? That only helps the 7,000 Majority staffers who work on Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, Bush will simply yawn and put more troops into Iraq. Bush knows that the only way to stop the Lord's work is to cut off the Lord's funding.
Of course, Congress has that power. But there is real doubt that they will exercise it.
Take a good, hard look at the Democratic Party. Most of them voted for this war when it started. And most of them haven't done anything since except whine, moan, hand-wring and Monday Morning Quarterback since.
Even when the won the majority in 2006.
Even when the vast majority of this country doesn't support an escalation of the war and wants the troops home "soon".
Pretty pussy and NOT what the Party promised the voter in '06.
But there may be hope for the Democrats on the horizon.
Senator Russ Feingold, a fierce anti-war critic, announced recently that he was exploring ways to cut off funding for the War and force Congress to vote on the issue.
Reid and Pelosi are not happy (neither is Clinton but I bet Edwards is just fine). Reid and Pelosi are screaming that Feingold's actions will cost them the election in '08.
They should shut-up.
For the same reason that I don't believe McCain's clear support of the troop surge will cost him the '08 election, I don't think clear support for cutting off funding will cost a Democrat (or Republican) the '08 election.
Voters like clarity and strength of conviction. They might not agree with what you are saying, but they like to feel like they know where you stand and that they can trust you. It's the "character thing".
McCain and Feingold are two of the few people in this whole debate who voters know exactly how they stand. That means something. Especially in a situation where there are no good answers or known outcomes.
Second, cutting off funding for the War doesn't mean the troops don't get the bullets and body armor they need, it simply means that the money runs out and the troops get on a plane and come home.
Cutting off funding for the War doesn't make you anti-troop. That's a red herring (being tossed around by both sides).
The bottom line is that Senator Feingold is sacking up and starting to do exactly what it is the Democratic Party promised the voters they would do in '06 but has failed to do thus far - hold the President accountable and change the direction in Iraq.
On the strength of his convictions and his willingness to do what he said he would do regardless of the political costs, he deserves our respect, even if we disagree with him.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
We are currently lost in the thicket of the '08 pre-primary primary.
Up is down. Down is up. And, in the blink of an eye, a man from a place like Hope, Arkansas can charge in from nowhere and seize the nomination at the very last second.
It is 22 months to the Presidential election, 11 months to the first Presidential primary and all idle speculation about which candidate will be their Party's nominee - let alone the eventual winner - is just that. Idle.
We push on anyway.
Conventional wisdom holds that the more endorsements a campaign has the stronger the campaign becomes. The stronger a campaign becomes the more inevitable their nomination seems. The more inevitable a campaign's nomination seems the less likely potential rivals are to run against that candidate.
We've watched as '08 candidates have snapped up as many activists/Governors/CEOs/legislators/Judges/former Bush campaign staff/former Kerry and Gore campaign staff/Little League coaches in Keene, NH/teachers in Charleston, SC as they can get their hot little mitts on.
Then comes the inevitable campaign press release trumpeting the "catch".
In the olden days, Statesmen would retire to their porch and wait patiently for the "people" to ask them to run.
Maybe have a cup of hot mulled cider as they waited. So civilised.
This new pre-primary primary always seemed a bit silly to us.
Then we got a press release from Mitt Romney' campaign gleefully proclaiming the endorsement of Former Speaker Dennis Hastert and now we know that the pre-primary circus isn't just silly - it's downright moronic.
Said ABC news on Hastert's endorsement of Governor Big Love:
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told ABC News following the State of the Union Tuesday that even though he did not speak with any of Romney's rivals, he is backing Romney because he believes that he is the only one who can survive "the crucible" of a presidential contest.Can anyone, and I mean ANYONE, imagine a process where Dennis Hastert's endorsement of your candidacy is announced by anyone other than your opponent?
Our political process has some problems. We'll be the first to admit it.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Early Wednesday morning, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS showed video of Rep. Michele Bachmann's exchange with President Bush Tuesday night. The video shows Bachmann grabbing onto and holding the president for almost 30 seconds.But guess who is COMPETING with that crazy Republican Congresswoman for the President's attention?
Within hours, that video was blasted all over the Internet and viewed almost 250,000 times before the lunch hour. It was linked on national news Web sites and blogs across the country, a New York Times blogger even wrote about the story.
Peter has finally held the President accountable for something.
I sometimes wonder which is worse for our Republic -
A out-of-touch (control?) Chief Executive operating with complete disregard (utter contempt?) for majority opinion?
Or a newly elected Congressional majority who moan, after being swept into office to stop a out-of-control Chief Executive, that it's really "not as simple as all that"?
Freshman Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) might very well argue that a neutered (self-neutered?) Legislative Branch poses a greater threat to our Democracy than a out-of-control Chief Executive.
In any event, he set out to take care of both when he gave the Democratic Response to President Bush's State of the Union last night.
Webb's speech staked out positions on two fronts.
The first dealt with creating a more progressive economy. Webb said:
When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared. When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.As an Independent who leans right, I support addressing America's wealth gap. While I do not blame Bush and the formerly GOP dominated Congress for creating the problem, their fiscal priorities greatly exacerbated it.
Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth, even though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world. Medical costs have skyrocketed. College tuition rates are off the charts. Our manufacturing base is being dismantled and sent overseas. Good American jobs are being sent along with them.
In short, the middle class of this country, our historic backbone and our best hope for a strong society in the future, is losing its place at the table. Our workers know this, through painful experience. Our white-collar professionals are beginning to understand it, as their jobs start disappearing also. And they expect, rightly, that in this age of globalization, their government has a duty to insist that their concerns be dealt with fairly in the international marketplace.
In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy - that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base. Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today.
And under the leadership of the new Democratic Congress, we are on our way to doing so. The House just passed a minimum wage increase, the first in ten years, and the Senate will soon follow. We've introduced a broad legislative package designed to regain the trust of the American people. We've established a tone of cooperation and consensus that extends beyond party lines. We're working to get the right things done, for the right people and for the right reasons.
Creating a more progressive economy will be a theme that Democratic candidates for President will make political hay out of in 2008. And rightly so.
The second position that Webb staked out last night was on the Iraq War.
Webb, as everyone knows, is an opponent of the War (the initial invasion, the way it was managed, keeping troops there any longer).
Which makes Jim Webb a darling of the Anti-War Establishment (The New Left). He should be. As he said last night:
The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable - and predicted - disarray that has followed."Showing him the way."
The war's costs to our nation have been staggering.
The damage to our reputation around the world.
The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism.
And especially the precious blood of our citizens who have stepped forward to serve.
The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military. We need a new direction. Not one step back from the war against international terrorism. Not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally-based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities, and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq.
As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.
These Presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.
Translation: I will go to the floor of the Senate and offer a bill that cuts off funding for the war when it becomes apparent that this sissy non-binding Resolution Reid/Clinton/Pelosi are pushing does jack squat.
While I support the proposed troop surge it is clear that Senator Webb at least has the power of his convictions - quite unlike other freshman Democrats elected in 2006 to "change the direction of the Iraq War" and "hold the President accountable".
Last night Webb promised to do exactly what it was that he was elected to do. The Anti-War Establishment cheered. So did John Edwards.
Hillary Clinton not so much.
Get ready to watch a huge split in the Democratic Party over what to do about Iraq.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Bush State Of The Union Might Actually End Up Helping John McCain - First Time A Republican Not Hurt By The President's Inability To Shut-Up
There is a joke being told around New Hampshire about John McCain's support of President Bush's proposed troop surge in Iraq -
"President Bush has used up all his political capital for Iraq and so now he's spending John McCain's."
It's not very funny.
But, it's accurate.
And, as one of the most unpopular President's in history is tied (fairly and unfairly) to one of the most popular Senator's in history, McCain's poll numbers have suffered.
In New Hampshire, McCain's popularity among likely NH "independent" primary voters has dissolved. Granite State independents don't support the President's escalation of the Iraq War and they just don't support John McCain's support of the escalation.
Yes, the NH Primary is 12 months away. Yes, McCain is still the one to beat in NH even after his recent slide. But the drop is alarming.
McCain wants (needs) those independents back. And not just in New Hampshire.
But the Straight Talking Senator is not going to waiver in his support of the troop surge. He feels that the surge is the right thing to do (we agree) and has repeatedly said,
"If my support for doing what I feel is right in Iraq costs me the Presidency so be it."He ain't bullshitting. The Senator doesn't play politics with national security. Not after the sacrifice he's made protecting this country. Not when he knows that two of his own children will be joining the fight in Iraq shortly.
They ain't no Senator's sons.
But, McCain still needs the independents back if he is going to win the Presidency. How might he bring those independents back?
Well, Green is the new Red, White and Blue.
After the Iraq War, we believe that meaningfully addressing Global Warming by overhauling our national energy policy will be topic #2 on the presidential candidate's agenda in 2008.
Independents love talking about this issue. Independents vote on this issue.
The good news? Senator McCain has a long history of voting for the environment as this 2004 fundraising letter from the Environmental Defense League attests:
We've also learned that some energy industry lobbyists are stepping up their opposition to the bill, realizing that Senators McCain and Lieberman are dead serious about forcing another vote in this session of Congress. This is on top of the ongoing campaign by the big polluters to discredit some of the world's leading scientists and muddle the science of global warming. That's why it's so urgent that we be able to respond with effective organizing and advertising in these final countdown days.That's some real Straight Talk. It's also inoculation against the Democrats plan to try and use Global Warming as an issue against the Republican nominee for President in '08.
I believe we can astound the pundits and deliver a total of 51 votes for the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act in the Senate test ahead. Against all odds, and against the intense lobbying of our opponents, we were able to defy the pundits' predictions and come within striking distance of a majority last October.
But since the vote could come up any day now, every minute counts. We are nearing the home stretch and must now redouble our efforts. So even if you've made a generous gift recently, please consider making an additional contribution today. Click here to link to our secure online giving page.
Quite frankly, the stakes are so high for the environment that we simply must succeed. I hope you will help make history.
But, as much as John McCain needs the independents to fall in love with him all over again because of his green tendencies (and they will), he can't isolate the GOP base at the same time.
Which brings us back to Bush's State of the Union tonight.
Tonight the Commander-in-Chief, who just can't seem to shut-up and go away, is actually going to do something that is politically useful for McCain . Bush is going to give the Senator political cover on the Global Warming issue with the GOP base:
The main uncertainty is what Bush will say about energy and the environment. Amid much talk about climate change and energy security, the president and his aides have promised unspecified "bold" ideas. Officials have ruled out binding caps on emissions of greenhouse gases, despite support among Democrats and some corporate executives who came to Washington yesterday. But they told allies that Bush will advance ideas for greatly expanding ethanol as an alternative to oil, and some insiders expect changes in fuel efficiency standards for vehicles."Bold" ideas on Global Warming? Bush? Not a chance.
But whatever Bush does end up saying will be all the cover Senator McCain needs bust out his sterling Global Warming credentials with the independents and not have to worry about the GOP base defecting from his camp at the same time.
Terry Nelson is loading up the targeted mail trucks right now. With 100% recycled paper of course.
Monday, January 22, 2007
When my good friend Phil Baruth over at Vermont Daily Briefing is right, he's right (even though he's always Left).
The same may be said of The Note's Mark Halperin (who's always right without being Right or Left), Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post (who leans Left even when he's right but we still love his sharp media commentary) and Dan Balz also of the Washington Post (who breaks all the right political stories while managing to lean towards both John Weaver and Robert Gibbs at the same time).
And, when the Gang of 4 is right together, as they are today, Monday Morning Clacker sits up and takes notice.
Today the Gang of 4 all wrote about the effect New Media is having on two traditional institutions - The Mainstream Media and American Style Politics.
The Gang of 4's theme: New Media is slashing Mainstream Media's throat, forcibly taking American politics to bed and changing the whole world as we know it.
Baruth's Vermont Daily Briefing post is on the "transparency geeks" at the Sunlight Foundation who are helping end government corruption one interactive website at a time:
Transparency geeks begin from a seemingly simple proposition: political information — of any and all sorts — must be free. If it is not, then it must be busted out of whatever institutional lock-up currently confines it.
Once free, the information will then rat out its captors — expose potential corruption, in other words.
It’s pretty much the plot of every A-Team episode from 1983-1987.
Except, you know, with software instead of Mr. T.
It's no wonder Phil is known around these parts as "master scribe of the liberal dinner party set." He's hillarious (even when his "Leftist at any cost" tendencies make me want to scream).
Baruth goes on:
The mission of the Sunlight Foundation, according to their website, is to “reduce corruption, ensure greater transparency and accountability by government, and foster public trust in the vital institutions of democracy. We are unique,” they go on to add, “in that technology and the power of the Internet are at the core of every one of our efforts.”Using the internet to watch over the people's interest. I love it. I'm sure Capitol Hill hates it.
Which is generally a good way to judge that you're doing something right.
Meanwhile, over at ABC's The Note, Mark Halprin Noted Howard Kurtz's Washington Post story, which has a slightly different take on the benefits of New Media to our Republic:
Kurtz's tour de force story — tracking the right-wing Freak Show's first-of-many attempts to muddy up Clinton (and Obama), in this case using the Washington Times-Fox News conveyor belt — leaves out the key talk radio piece. So: has the Clinton campaign found a way to track right-wing talk radio?Both Halprin and Kurtz have been tracking New Media's explosion into American politics for some time.
And, what an explosion it has been. New Media is the foundation upon what the Political Freak Show is built - The Drudge Report, Blogs, talk radio, shady websites and stealth YouTube videos - until you have such a combustible media environment that Kurtz writes:
There once was a time when major media outlets refused to touch unsubstantiated allegations. When Gennifer Flowers sold her account of an affair with Hillary Clinton's husband to the Star tabloid in 1992 -- allegations that turned out to be true, at least in part -- some news organizations went with it and others shied away for days. These days, the time elapsed between a flimsy charge from some magazine or Web site and amplification by bigger media outlets is often close to zero.From zero to hero and back again in the speed of bytes.
But, it's not all bad. Really.
Dan Balz's piece in the Washington Post highlights the ways that '08 Presidential campaigns are adapting and even thriving in the New Media environment:
Not long ago, an anonymous video on the Internet would have elicited little more than amusement from the candidate under attack. But the 2006 midterm campaign -- in which then-Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) saw his hopes for reelection, not to mention the White House, torpedoed by his now-infamous "macaca" moment captured on a widely seen video -- changed the rules.Bypassing the filters of the mainstream media? Taking your message right to the people? The unwashed mob?
But if last year was the year of the rogue videographers, the already-underway 2008 presidential campaign is likely to be remembered as the point where Web video became central to the communications strategy of every serious presidential candidate.
Playing defense is only one use of Web video. Equally important, the candidates and their staffs see Web-based video as an inexpensive and potentially significant tool for telling their campaign story without the filters of the traditional media.
Call it the YouTube effect, and it is only growing. The video-sharing site, which less than a year after its founding was bought by Google for $1.65 billion, has revolutionized the transfer of information via video, spawned a number of imitators and forced candidates to recalibrate choices, from their announcement strategies to their staffing decisions.
Good heavens. Is that OK?
Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton thought so. They are the first major presidential candidates in the history of politics to announce their run for the Presidency via their website and not through a traditional press conference.
Which must have driven Rupert Murdoch crazy.
And I've always believed that asking "does it drive Rupert Murdoch crazy" is a good way to judge whether or not your doing something right.
New Media. It's here. And it's fantastic.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
John Weaver, Senator McCain's senior political advisor, said it best when he commented Saturday on the Democratic field for '08, "The Clinton, Obama, Edwards chain match will be hard to avert my eyes from, speaking as a pure spectator of course."
John Weaver as political spectator?
Setting aside Weaver's tongue in cheek, the Big Three will be interesting to watch. Very interesting indeed.
And, with a mere 2 years to go before a new President is sworn in, we at GreenMountaintainPolitics1 have already passed judgement on which of The Big Three we believe should be the Democratic nominee in '08.
Our claim that John Edwards is the Democratic candidate best positioned to win a general election is not an endorsement of Senator Edwards or his policies (though we do like Senator Edwards quite a bit).
We are simply talking electability and we are doing it from the cheap seats. No more, no less. Like always at GreenMountainPolitics1.
But what about the Democratic Dark Horses?
What if one of the Big Three were to falter? Or, GASP, one of the Big Three was convinced by his Party not to actually run (Obama) and another's campaign blew apart under the weight of it's own mass (Clinton)?
Then the Big Three would be down to the Single One.
Who would step up to challenge that Single One for the Democratic nomination?
That question brings us to the part in this movie where the little boy playing the part of Chris Dodd throws his hand into the air and yells, "I would! I would!"
Senator Dodd would like the opportunity to challenge that Single One.
And, after seeing him last night at The Lazy Lion Cafe in Deerfield, NH, we think he might do a good job at it to.
Of course, Dodd's path to the Democratic nomination is still hard to visualize. There is a lot of high profile talent throwing elbows just to be considered the Party's "second-choice" right now.
We all already know that Senator Biden and Governor Vilsack are legitimate 2nd tier candidates waiting for one of the Big Three to falter. GreenMountainPolitics1 looks forward to interviewing those two rascals later on the NH campaign trail.
We all already know that Governor Richardson is running for the Vice Presidency and not the Presidency (although his stint at DOE will make even a VP slot tough for the otherwise attractive candidate).
Dodd is running into a crowded field. And he knows it.
However, he told the crowd at the Lazy Lion Last night that he would prevail once voters hear his ideas and witness the leadership he has shown in the U.S. Senate for the last 25 years.
"I have a lot of confidence in the voters of this state to sort this out," Dodd stated.
Confidence in NH voters aside, we here at GreenMountainPolitics1 think that Dodd has one advantage over both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (but not John Edwards, Vilsack or Biden) - Dodd's stance on the Iraq War.
Let me nuance that a bit - Dodd's plan to move forward in Iraq.
Let me nuance that a bit more - Dodd's plan to move forward in the Iraq War that will please the "Get Out of Iraq Now" left. Or, as Democratic Strategist Dick Morris calls them, The New Left.
And, being able to appease and work with the New Left is no small thing. Especially for a primary.
Last night at the Lazy Lion I watched Senator Dodd do something interesting.
When I asked him about what his plan for Iraq he initially gave the fairly standard "We need to win the Presidency in '08 so we can't allow our Party to be tagged as too soft on National Security by exercising Congress' Power of the Purse and forcing the President to bring the troops home so I really don't have a new way forward please don't tell my base" Democrat answer.
In other words, Dodd initially talked mushy yip-yap about "troop-caps" and "Congressional Oversight" and "Sense of the Senate".
And mushy yip-yap that all is.
Remember, if you are against the troop surge AND you are against cutting off funding for the whole war by DEFAULT you are staying the course in Iraq.
Which means that you're not only part of the Iraq problem, but also that you're a weak-kneed sap who doesn't have the strength of your own convictions.
It's a common theme of ours over here at GreenMountainPolitics1.
Mushy yip-yap - much like what Candidate Clinton has been spooning out when she is asked about Iraq.
And Candidate Obama isn't just giving a mushy yip-yap answer on Iraq, he's giving a mushy QUESTION to the question - "We need to find a new way forward by asking..."
Of course he doesn't have an answer to that question either.
Who's on first?
However, I wrote that mushy yip-yap was how Dodd initially answered my question on Iraq.
When I pushed him with a follow-up question, Chris Dodd left the Reid/Pelosi/Clinton/Obama talking points on the war and told the crowd what he really thought Congress should do.
Clacker: "Senator Dodd, isn't it true that when the rubber hits the road, the only way that you can "hold the President accountable" and "bring a new direction in Iraq" is through exercising Congress' power of the purse? Isn't everything else just showmanship and window dressing?"
Dodd: "Well, I hope it doesn't come to that. I hope that President Bush listens to what the voters said in the election of '06, but yes, I think you are right. We have to go after this thing in stages. And, if we reach the stage where the President is not listening to the Congress then I would support exploring ways to cut funding for the war."
Finally! A Democratic candidate other than Edwards who is is ready to put their money where there mouth is when it comes to the Iraq War.
And, while GreenMountainPolitics1 totally disagrees with Dodd's (and Edwards) position (we wholeheartedly support the surge), we respect his (and Edwards) clarity and conviction.
Because we know that if you claim you want to bring American troops home from Iraq and end the American occupation then you must support cutting off funding for the whole war.
There is no other way. Everything else is mushy yip-yap, surging or staying the course.
And, for now, it looks like Dodd is avoiding the mushy yip-yap on Iraq. Which is why we think he has a (small) chance in the Democratic Primary.
Let the cage match begin.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
As a political satirist, I am on a constant quest for information regarding political goings-on from which to spin my merry prose.
For the last 3 months I have been going steady with The Note, Hotline and Drudge. I see John Distaso once a week. Every few days I check in with James Pindell.
Beautiful dates all, but I always felt that I was still missing something.
Last night I discovered that I was.
His name Bill Siroty, an Amherst doctor and one man clearinghouse for political buzz. His website NH News Links is excellent and well organized.
It's a satirist's dream.
Said the Concord Monitor:
Siroty, an Amherst doctor, is the man - and laptop computer- behind New Hampshire News Links, a daily political roundup used by hundreds of reporters, activists and information junkies. That following is about to get a lot bigger, and not just because of the 2008 primary. Last month, The Hotline, a Washington, D.C.-based tip sheet, recruited Siroty to feed a web-based collection of politically pertinent news.
Siroty relies heavily, of course, on New Hampshire and national newspapers for his headlines. But an innate ability to birddog good stories - plus a little help from Google News - allows him to cross oceans with his links. He once included a Prague paper's profile of John Kerry, and he routinely gets e-mails from reporters in Great Britain and beyond.
Feel the junkie buzz yet?
GreenMountainPolitics1 has just added another clacker to its daily Harem. We suggest that you all think about doing the same.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
We've all been there.
A warm Wednesday night on the rooftop bar at the Hotel Washington in July (hey, someone has to hold down the fort in DC during the summertime when real power players scatter to the wind).
You've got a hot date. She seems interested - genuinely interested - as you drone on and on about fetching Senator Hatch a towel in the men's room at "fill in the blank location".
You're starting to stop thinking about September's Senate hearing on raising the minimum wage and starting to think about making some naughty in the nation's capitol.
Life is good.
Life is DAMN good.
Then your hot date's phone goes off in her purse.
No, don't worry. It's a July night in an off-election year in DC. What real power broker is actually working?
Whoever is on the other end of that text message/email/phone call doesn't have the juice that you have. You are safe.
You take a swig of your Kettle One and try to relax.
Then you actually see your hot date's phone and you break out in a full blown panic!
Her PDA is cooler and newer than yours!
This. Is. Not. Good.
You seriously consider firing your assistant for allowing this happen to you.
You are so shaken that you forget about making naughty.
We've all been there. Hey, it happens.
So, don't let it. I have discovered a solution.
Be the first on your political block to own the coolest gadget ever - Apple's iPhone
It's like having twelve inches of show for the locker room. Only better. Because it's a PDA. And in DC you live on your PDA.
You've always knew that you were cooler than those drips in the Office of the White House Counsel. Now you can prove it.
And, you might get to make naughty after all.
Many thanks to T-Love for inspiring this post. The iphone looks dope. I can't wait to get it. I linked to Apple's countdown page in anticipation.
Greenmountainpolitics1 generally chooses not to Blog the rumors we hear (and are fed) while skipping along the front-lines of the '08 New Hampshire Primary.
I am a political satirist not a gossip columnist.
However, every so often I simply can't help myself.
A few months ago I was tipped that Rudy Giuliani was trying to hire David Carney of Norway Hill Associates as a consultant for Giuliani's fledgling New Hampshire operation.
My post on that may be found here:
Then, a few days ago a friend of mine in Governor Perry's office in Texas told me that Carney was currently setting up meetings between Giuliani's campaign and Perry's '06 campaign staff (Carney is senior political adviser to Rick Perry).
New Hampshire by way of Texas? Better make sure you lose the San Antonio twang before you go knocking on a Concord door.
So, is David Carney working for Rudy Giuliani?
It would be a very good pick-up for Hiz Honor if true.
Tongues are a wagging.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Dear Democratic Party,
You guys (and gals) are out of your (well intentioned) minds.
Today Barack Obama announced he was filing exploratory paperwork and considering a run for President. You need to stop his silliness right now.
Barack is as ready to be President of the United State as George W. Bush was in 1999. Yes, that's right - George W. Bush.
Remember 1999? Bill Clinton was at the end of his final term and Clinton fatigue had settled over the country. The Republican Party, so tired and disgusted after 8 years of Bill, was desperately searching for someone, anyone, who was the anti-Clinton.
Along came the plain speaking Cowboy Governor of Texas who talked of compassionate conservatism and restoring dignity to the office of the Presidency.
Restoring dignity, ah what a campaign platform!
The Republican Party (and then the whole country) brushed aside questions about the Cowboy Governor's lack of experience: "Experience? Shit boy, W has had two terms as Texas' Governor and their ain't nothing finer than Texas!"
Then the Republican Party (and then the whole country) brushed aside questions about the Cowboy Governor's campaign platform: "Issues? Shit boy, W has said he's for restoring dignity to the Office of the Presidency. Ain't that enough? What are you, a Log Cabin Republican?"
We all know how the Cowboy Governor worked out.
Which brings us to Barack.
In 2007 this country has a serious case of Bush fatigue. Both political Parties (and everyone in the country with the exception of Barney and Laura) are looking for an anti-Bush in '08.
Along comes the plain talking Senator Hunk of Illinois who talks of "a different kind of politics" and the nation's "hunger for change".
Said Senator Hunk when he filed the exploratory paperwork today:
"I certainly didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago. I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics. So I've spent some time thinking about how I could best advance the cause of change and progress that we so desperately need."Hallelujah! This HAS GOT to be our man! What depth. What detail. What Compassionate Liberalism!
Obama's for C-H-A-N-G-E!
Give me a C...
And, just as the Cowboy Governor was a proud hick beloved by his hick loving activist base, Senator Hunk is a proud African-American beloved by limousine liberals activists who would no longer have to snag token black friends from corporate America if Barack were to run.
Ah the irony.
And so my Democratic Party friends I ask you, can we really afford another 8 years of Compassionate anything?
To put it another way, what are Obama's issues? I don't know and you don't either.
In the world we live in, having a President who is policy-lite is not a good thing.
Write Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod a letter and tell them how you feel. They'll still love you in the morning.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan.
Five weeks after I first wrote about the Democratic Party's Iraq problem and three days after Dick Morris wrote a column titled, The Coming Democratic Civil War, The New York Times is finally getting into the act.
The Old Grey Lady ran an article Sunday titled Democrats are Unified In Opposition To Troop Increase, But Are Split Over What To Do About It.
The Democrats are split about what to do about Iraq? No kidding?
Don't tell John Edwards about any inter-party hand wringing.
John Edwards is the only Democratic candidate for President clearly articulating his opposition to the troop surge AND calling for 50,000 troops already in Iraq to come home immediately.
How long before his clear articulation of the principles of the New Left makes him the darling of the MoveOn.org crowd? Not long.
Edwards opposition to the Iraq War escalation might end up being wrong (John McCain has his fingers crossed) but right now his position is looking pretty damn good politically.
All the other Democrats not so much.
Remember, if you oppose the troop surge and you oppose cutting off funding for the whole war (aka bringing the troops already in Iraq home immediately) you are staying the course.
Right now Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Kerry, Clinton, Dodd, Biden, Richardson and Vilsack's plan in Iraq is to stay the course.
Much to the disappointment of the New Left.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Democrat Party strategist Dick Morris is smart. Dick Morris is also kinky.
He readily admits that he hires prostitutes to suck on his toes while having late-night phone strategy sessions with the President of the United States.
I say "readily admits" because one of the hookers told a newspaper about Morris' fetish back in the late 90s, embarrassing then President Clinton and forcing him to fire his longtime adviser.
In less than two months, Morris was back advising Clinton in secret. You can always eat lunch in this town again.
So, when Dick Morris speaks, folks tend to listen. Even now.
And this week Morris wrote a column entitled "The Coming Democratic Party Civil War" and people listened.
Some Highlights -
Reacting to Bush’s planned “surge” in troop strength, the Democratic leaders in Congress, savoring their victory, are contemplating taking only symbolic steps to protest Bush’s war policies, a timidity that will highly displease their leftist boosters. The liberal activists who funded and impelled the Democratic victory in 2006 did not focus on winning a Congressional majority so that it would take merely symbolic action. Symbolic action would have been appropriate for a minority party, but the backers of a party in the majority expect something more.Symbolic action? The Democrats are the majority party now?
They (Reid/Pelosi) are not ready for a constitutional confrontation with the Commander-in-Chief over his wartime powers. So, instead, they are going to hold hearings during which a parade of former generals will voice their misgivings and air their disagreements, past and present.Hearings? We already had them, it was called the Iraq Study Group. But won't the left be pissed?
But this theater is not going to appease the left. They did not elect Democrats to Congress so they could hold hearings. They expect laws not shows. Their frustration will become increasingly apparent as the Cindy Sheehans of the world react to the increased troop commitment in Baghdad.Did I mention that I am a huge fan of Cindy Sheehan?
As long as the Democratic Party could be counted upon to represent the left on Iraq, protests against the war were channeled through the political process and were aimed at electing a Democratic Congress. But now that the Democratic leadership has, in the eyes of the leaders of the left, “betrayed” them, look for protest to overflow the bounds of partisan politics and go into the streets.Like on Church Street in Burlington?
The full article can be found here:
GreenMountainpolitics1 has been hot on the idea of the Democratic Party being torn between their hawkish party leadership and the newly elected Anti-War Establishment for several weeks.
We wrote about it here:
The Democrats are in a tight spot alright.
Those in the tightest spots? Freshman Democrat House Members elected by the anti-war vote but lacking guts to stand up to Pelosi and do what they promised the voters at home they would do - CUT OFF FUNDING FOR THE WHOLE WAR AND REALLY CHANGE THE COURSE IN IRAQ.
Remember, if you're not supporting the surge and your not cutting off funding for the whole war, you're staying the course. That's not a new direction. That's timidity compounded by stupidity.
Vermont's freshman Peter Welch is about to find that out the hard way.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Is Jon Stewart Leaving Senator McCain for Mike Huckabee? The Former Baptist Minister Kills On The Daily Show
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Monday Morning Clacker Attacked On Web By Mitt Romney Supporters, Forces Clacker To Seek Sanctuary In Virtual Church
Alright Romney supporters, it's time you and I had a "Come to Jesus" conversation.
I am a political satirist. It says so right on my Blog Profile.
I make fun of everybody.
I make fun of myself, which is hard to do because I'm almost perfect.
I even make fun of Men Of The Cloth, as I know Mitt Romney is. And, let's be honest, calling Mitt Romney Governor Big Love to tease him about his Mormon faith is funny. It really is.
It's also endearing. It makes Mitt/Love seem human to Primary voters in New Hampshire. Voters tend to like that.
And, more good news, good natured teasing takes voters' minds off the fact that Big Love hasn't really taken any positions on the issues.
That's not mean. It's truthful. I was there.
I'm sure Mitt Romney will have a lot to say to New Hampshire voters over the next few months, just as soon as Love and his advisers sort out just what that is.
In the meantime, go with the GreenMountainPolitics1 flow. Stop blowing up my email box with hate mail and just have fun!
Jim Merrill and Jamie Burnett (The Two Js) are opening up Love's NH office. It's a time of celebration! It's Pioneer Day in January!
Now, can I get a ticket to the office opening?
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
This is a picture of Governor Romney and two of his wives.
Just kidding. Governor Big Love only has one wife. I think.
But seriously, Love is getting ridiculous.
Totally. Absolutely. Ridiculous.
Governor Mitt Romney is being accused, again, of flip-flopping his positions. This time it’s his position on Iraq.
I guess Romney wasn't content with only trying to put out flip-flop fires on gay marriage, abortion and stem cell research.
Robert Bluey at Human Events Online has the Iraq flip-flop story here:
Two weeks ago, Love told Bluey that he would wait to see what President Bush had to say about Iraq before weighing in with his own thoughts on the troop surge proposal.
A week before that, Love told a gathering in New Hampshire exactly the same thing. I wrote about Love’s trip and lack of an answer on Iraq here:
The big problem, for Romney, is that he is the only serious contender for the GOP nomination in 08’ who did not take a position on the Iraq troop surge.
Well, until Love put out a statement in support of the President’s troop plan this morning that is.
Love’s statement in support of the President’s plan was released before the President released his own plan.
Just like Romney said he wouldn’t do.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
An Anti-War Advocate From 2003 Comments On Why The McCain Doctrine Is Good Policy In A Terrible Situation
Here we go. Tomorrow night President Bush will announce that he is putting more American troops into Iraq. Along with the troop increase, Bush is expected to unveil new diplomatic and economic efforts in the Middle East.
Chattering Classes start your engines.
I hate the Iraq War. My vocal opposition to the war before the conflict started cost me a good job with the Central Intelligence Agency. The debt load that this country is taking on to fight this war will cost my children even more.
I’m one of the lucky ones. In America, we generally all tend to be. For all intents and purposes, this war has cost us little.
And when I say “us” I’m referring to the people who spend their weekends wandering through the mall, closely monitoring Paris Hilton’s latest relationships and complaining, loudly, when gasoline prices at the pump jump 50 cents as their SUVs only get 15 miles to the gallon. Us Americans.
Life is good for us, which is why we went along with this war in the first place without asking too many questions. That, and we were (or is the word I’m looking for “are”?) stupid and lazy.
It’s true - 5% of the world’s population lackadaisically consuming 25% of the world’s resources on a daily basis doesn’t make you smart and active.
Which is why the Republican majority went along with Bush’s insane plans to invade Iraq. Which is also why the Democratic minority went along with it, and the mainstream media to (I’m looking right at you Judith Miller, you coy little fox, playing up your freedom of the press jail time in the vain hope that we would forget that you allowed yourself to be spoon-fed news about Iraq by Cheney’s office. Naughty.).
Anyway, I got my tax cuts, didn’t you? Let’s all have another doughnut.
Now I’m not saying that this war has been cheap, good heavens no! Just because this war didn’t cost us much doesn’t mean that it didn’t cost someone else quite a lot.
Several hundred billion dollars spent, several thousand American troops killed, thirty thousand American troops injured and a quarter-million of Iraqis killed is not “cheap”.
The true cost of the conflict increases exponentially when you consider that starting this war in the first place was never in our national security interests. In fact, it was on this very point that the CIA and I parted ways (I exacerbated the break by snottily depositing Brent Scowcroft’s Wall Street Journal Op-Ed saying the exact same thing on my case worker’s desk).
Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11, no connection to non-state actor terrorist organizations, no weapons of mass destruction and, believe it or not, was actually a stabilizing force in the Middle East in terms of keeping pumps to the world’s largest oil patch on and flowing.
And keeping those pumps on is in fat America’s national security interest.
Iraq was not our problem until we made it our problem.
And then our insane invasion made Iraq our problem.
So here we are.
We have three options about what we as a country are going to do to move forward in Iraq (even after Senator Biden holds hearings we are still only going to have these same three options).
Option one is to stay the course and continue to do what we have been doing in Iraq.
Option two is to re-deploy all of our troops immediately. It will take about 6 months and must be facilitated by the Congress cutting off funding for the war, which they can do.
Option three is to put in more troops. A lot more troops. This is the McCain option. It is the only option.
Senator McCain's recent editorial on sending more troops to Iraq:
“There is no guarantee of success in Iraq. We have made many mistakes since 2003, and these will not be easily reversed. But from everything I have recently witnessed, I believe that success is still possible.
Even greater than the costs incurred thus far and in the future are the catastrophic consequences that would ensue from our failure in Iraq. By surging troops and bringing security to Baghdad and other areas, we will give the Iraqis the best possible chance to succeed. Our national security, and that of our friends and allies, compels us to make our best effort to prevail, and to do it immediately.”
Senator McCain’s full editorial may be found here:
McCain is right. The man is a patriot who is an expert on national security.
And, no one said maintaining an empire was easy. Or pretty. Still want another fast food hamburger to chow down in your SUV fat boy?
America asked for this carnage and now we have it. There is nothing left to do but cry. And kill.
Posted by Monday Morning Clacker at 3:45 PM
Monday, January 08, 2007
GreenMountainPolitics1 gets tipped great political insight. GreenMountainPolitics1 gives great political insight.
In other words, we are the perfect date. We give and receive. With pleasure.
A few weeks ago GMP1 was tipped that Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (who will be the former Arkansas Governor as of tomorrow) was having good success raising money for a potential 08' Presidential run. The post that I wrote on Huckabee's fundraising may be found here.
If anyone is going to actually be able to challenge John McCain for the GOP nomination I think it will be Mike Huckabee (Giuliani is not getting in and Big Love will flame out before Iowa).
What's not to like about Mike's chances? Huckabee has an excellent track record as a Governor of a southern state, is a former Baptist minister, seems to have no trouble raising money and has solid conservative credentials.
Furthermore, newly sleek Huckabee is a former Southern Fat Boy who connects with voters on the campaign trail by swapping tales about weight loss.
I'm not kidding. And, I'll be damned if it doesn't work.
I am not alone in my reading of the 08' GOP tea leaves. Karen Tulmulty writes in this week's Time Magazine:
As a result, many conservative activists are looking with new interest--and urgency--toward putting their muscle behind some of the lesser known candidates who are thinking about running. One who is getting good buzz as he makes the rounds of activists is retiring Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist minister regarded as one of the nation's most successful Governors. "At this point, if there is a candidate out there that has a chance to come out of the weeds as the dark horse, it wouldn't surprise me at all if it was Governor Huckabee," says Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's policy arm. Huckabee says he senses that conservatives feel "a need to coalesce around a person whose record matches his rhetoric."
Not bad press. Not bad at all.
The full article from Time may be found here.
This New England Yankee will be watching that Good Old Boy real close over the next few months as Huckabee's dark horse campaign takes shape.
Friday, January 05, 2007
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer Complains, "Iraq, Iraq, Iraq! All People Want To Do Is Talk About Iraq! Where Has All The 06' Love Gone?"
Thursday, January 04, 2007
John Cox Has A Strong Conservative Voice And Wants To Be President - So Why Is No One Paying Attention?
My job as a political commentator of little note and low regard is to opine on every presidential level event occurring in New Hampshire between now and next January's primary.
I love my job, much as I love my own opinions.
Which is how I found myself - happily found myself - at John Cox's official New Hampshire office opening last night.
"Who is John Cox?" you might ask.
John Cox is a candidate for the Republican Party nomination for President in 2008. His website may be found here.
"But why haven't I heard of him?" you might ask as a follow-up question.
In the 2008 Republican Primary there is John McCain and there is everybody else. So far, "everybody else" has meant Rudy Giuliani and Willard Romney.
Sorry, I meant Mitt Romney.
But why should the "Anyone But McCain" crowd self-limit itself to Romney and Giuliani?
After hearing John Cox last night I would argue that Republican Primary voters not partial to John McCain (you know who you are) take a good, hard look at Cox.
First, you know where Cox stands on the issues.
Second, Cox is a true Conservative.
Unlike Romney and Giuliani.
I've been watching Romney and Giuliani closely for 6 months and they have said pretty much zilch on any issue of importance today.
Don't believe me?
Test the next Giuliani/Romney article that you read to see if there is any policy "meat" in it.
In other words, does Big Love or Hiz Honor take a position on an issue beyond saying, "Republicans need to get back to our roots".
Chances are they don't.
Chances are the article will be about a campaign hire/fundraising/inside-baseball strategic move/etc.
News coverage of our modern presidency is too often about the mechanics of a presidential campaign and not about the issues.
Which brings us back to John Cox.
At his New Hampshire office opening last night Cox spoke for 20 minutes about what he personally believed in and what he would do as President.
He spoke about reforming the tax system and getting rid of the IRS to make America more business friendly and create jobs.
He spoke about how he would make changes in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries to provide Americans with better, lower-cost drugs and health care.
He spoke about how he has always been (please note Mitt Romney) pro-life after being raised by a hardworking mother whose husband left her shortly after Cox was born.
He spoke about defending the institution of marriage.
He spoke at length about the need for free trade.
He spoke about returning fiscal discipline to Washington and vowed to veto any spending bill that was not balanced.
He spoke of the need to secure America's borders against illegal immigration and vowed to prosecute any American businesses who employed illegal immigrants.
Finally, and this was my favorite, he spoke of the need to secure Iraq's oil pipelines, which would help create jobs in Iraq and stabilize the country allowing American troops to come home with "victory".
Who would help secure the oil pipeline? Haliburton, "because they are some of the best oil minds in the world."
A candidate who speaks freely and well of Haliburton on the stump - that my friends is a good conservative.
While I did not agree with all of what John Cox said last night (Monday Morning Clacker tends to be an Independent who is just as likely to vote in a Democratic Primary as a Republican Primary) John Cox must be given credit for being clear, concise and articulate on conservative issues.
And, being clear, concise and articulate on conservative issues starts him well ahead of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani.
I think the Anyone But McCain crowd will start to take notice.