Archive for the ‘Hope and Change’ Category

Politicos of all stripes are busy these days gaming out the 2012 electoral map. Most of the projections I see tend to agree with the Washington Post’s theory that Mitt Romney has a very narrow path to the 270 electoral votes required to win. While they may very well be correct, I think they’re going about their projections all wrong.  In fact, I think most everyone is analyzing the electoral map all wrong because they’re using a very shaky starting point – they’re starting with the wrong map.

Most people are using the 2008 map as the baseline when really they should use the 2004 map as the baseline. It was an anomaly that Obama won Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, Colorado, and so forth. It wasn’t quite an anomaly that he won Florida, but almost.

Let’s look at the voting history of a couple of those states.

Ohio went for George W. Bush twice.

Florida went for George W. Bush twice. Yes, in 2000 Florida was very close (to say the least) but four years later, GWB easily carried the state.

Indiana went for Obama in 2008. The last Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state was LBJ in 1964.

North Carolina isn’t exactly a solid blue state either. Before 2008 the last Democrat to carry the state was Jimmy Carter in 1976. The state party is awash in scandal, the Democrat governor is leaving office in disgrace, and state unemployment is at 9.7% which is well above the national average.

Colorado isn’t exactly a lock for the President either. The last time it went blue was 1992, and even that was an anomaly. Clinton lost Colorado in his 1996 re-elect. Before ’92 the last Democrat to carry CO was LBJ in 1964.

This year, President Obama can’t look at these states as though he has some sort of institutional advantage in them and expect that they’re his by default. Yes, Mitt Romney will have to work very hard for those states, but the institutional and historical advantages are on his side, not Obama’s.

Furthermore, the president will have to spend a lot of extra money defending some states that are traditionally deep blue. Wisconsin and Michigan have both trended red in statewide races since 2008. Both states have new Republican governors. Wisconsin has a new Republican senator. Wisconsin also re-elected a state Supreme Court justice (David Prosser) in a statewide election against the mighty and all-in union opposition. If ever Wisconsin was capable of going for a Republican, it’s now. This will be all the more true if Gov. Walker wins the recall and holds the seat.

Pennsylvania just hired a Republican governor and a Republican senator. So, it’s far from impossible for Republicans to win statewide races in PA. Obama will have to have massive turnout in Philadelphia and Pittsburg to overcome the Republican tide in the rest of the state. According to Bureau of Labor statistics, Philadelphia unemployment was 5.3% at the time Obama was elected in 2008. It’s 8.4% today. It makes sense that a lot of people in that area who voted for him last time around will either vote Romney or stay home this time.

So, in addition to defending his 2008 gains, Obama is going to have to spend an inordinate amount of time and money defending states that he should already have in the bag.

Last time around, Obama benefitted enormously from being a “blank slate” and from the fact that people wanted to be part of the historical tide of electing the first black president. Those are two advantages he no longer has. In addition to having lost those advantages, the President’s reelection effort has to overcome a slew of unpopular “accomplishments”, an out of control EPA that people increasingly despise, the possibility of two major Supreme Court losses in June, and an economy that is sluggish at best.

He won’t be able to count on the historic level of turnout he saw in 2008. He won’t be able to count on young people voting in droves because, let’s face it, they’ve been hit hardest by this economy. And he won’t be able to count on seniors coming out for him since they’re getting screwed by his Medicare cuts.

Bottom line is, the 2004 electoral map is a much likelier baseline to start from than the 2008 map, and that does not bode well for the President.

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Lots of important stuff being taken up on the House floor tomorrow:

H.R. 5160 – Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010

H.Res. 1272 – Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the May 4, 1970, Kent State University shootings

H.Res. 1157 – Congratulating the National Urban League on its 100th year of service to the United States

H.Res. 1312 – Recognizing the roles and contributions of America’s teachers to building and enhancing our Nation’s civic, cultural, and economic well-being

H.Res. 1149 – Supporting the goals and ideals of National Charter School Week, to be held May 2 through May 8, 2010

H.R. 2421 – Mother’s Day Centennial Commemorative Coin Act

H.Res. 1295 – Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mother’s Day

H.Res. 1247 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that public servants should be commended for their dedication and continued service to the Nation during Public Service Recognition Week, May 3 through 9, 2010, and throughout the year

H.R. 1722 – Telework Improvements Act

H.Res. 1301 – Supporting the goals and ideals of National Train Day

H.Con.Res. 247 – Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the Greater Washington Soap Box Derby

H.Con.Res. 263 – Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the District of Columbia Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run

H.Res. 1278 – In support and recognition of National Safe Digging Month, April, 2010

It’s a good thing we pay Members of Congress $174,000 per year.  You can see how very much they deserve it.

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Big day planned in the House of Representatives tomorrow:

H.Res. 1307 – Honoring the National Science Foundation for 60 years of service to the Nation

H.Res. 1213 – Recognizing the need to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, supporting the ideals of National Lab Day

H.Res. 1310 – Recognizing the 50th anniversary of the laser

H.Res. 1231 – Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United States Television Infrared Observation Satellite, the world’s first meteorological satellite, launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on April 1, 1960, and fulfilling the promise of President Eisenhower to all nations of the world to promote the peaceful use of space for the benefit of all mankind

H.Res. 1269 – Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first use of the telescope for astronomical observation by the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei

H.R. 24 – To redesignate the Department of the Navy as the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps

H.Res. 1132 – Honoring the USS New Mexico as the sixth Virginia-class submarine commissioned by the U.S. Navy to protect and defend the United States

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Looks like Obamacare is going to cost John Deere an extra $150 mil this year.  Wonder how that’s going to impact their workforce?  Think they’ll be doing a lot of new hiring?  Let me tell you right now, this is just the beginning.  As a direct result of Obamacare, companies will start cutting back on insurance plans, instituting hiring freezes, and laying people off.  This is just the start, it only gets worse after this.

“Deere Says New Health Care Reform Law Will Increase 2010 Expense By $150 Million After-Tax

MOLINE, Illinois (March 25, 2010) — Deere & Company announced today that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law this week will adversely impact its expenses for fiscal 2010. As a result of the legislation, the company’s expenses are expected to be about $150 million higher on an after-tax basis, primarily in the second quarter. This impact was not included in the 2010 outlook for net income attributable to Deere & Company of approximately $1.3 billion disclosed in the company’s first-quarter earnings report on February 17th.”

Read the whole thing here.

H/T Instapundit, er, that is, The Corner.

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I can’t recall a time in recent memory that I’ve been prouder of a Republican leader in Congress.  His impassioned speech on the floor of the House last night represented very well the will of the majority of Americans regarding Obamacare.

Yesterday, the day that the House of Representatives passed the Senate’s nationalized healthcare bill, is a day which will live in infamy.  I am so proud that the Republican caucus in both houses held firm and held together in opposition of this national travesty.  We have not seen that kind of party unity in a long time – not even on Cap & Tax.  Now going forward every mess created by this  legislation; every delay in care, every increase in costs, every shortage of doctors and hospital beds, belongs to the democrats.  They own it.  They own our healthcare system and every future flaw therein.

I do hope that we will be able to repeal this mess, though I know how unlikely that is.  I do believe Republicans have a chance at gaining a majority in the House in November’s elections and a very slim chance at gaining a majority in the Senate.  Even if we gain majorities in both houses – which I say again is a very slim chance – there is no chance that we would have a veto-proof majority.  So even if Congress acts to repeal, Obama would veto and Congress couldn’t override it.  This means the path to repeal is a bit longer.  The best shot we have  is for us to take back both houses of Congress this November and then increase our majority in 2012 so that if Obama is re-elected we can override his veto and if he is not re-elected we can work together with his successor to effectively repeal Obamacare before most of the provisions of it have been implemented.

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For the past few days it seems like I’ve been looking at the whip counts on the upcoming healthcare vote every few minutes to see what changes there have been.  It’s getting tiresome.  The democrats need 216 votes to pass the bill in the House and they currently hold 256 seats.  That means they can pass this bill – or any old bill at all – without so much as one single republican vote.  Many have called the republicans the “party of no” or labeled them “obstructionists” simply because they are standing on principle – as though they should simply roll over and vote for things they don’t believe in just to be conciliatory.  Those labels purposely miss the very point that democrats don’t need a single republican vote to pass legislation in the House of Representatives.

So why has the Senate healthcare bill not passed the House yet?  It’s because – and only because – Speaker Pelosi has not been able to rally enough support within her own caucus to pass it.  Period.  Some democrats object that the bill doesn’t go far enough to the left – it isn’t progressive enough for them – so they want to scrap it and start over.  Some democrats know that this bill is a poison pill that will almost certainly cost them their reelection in November.  Some democrats, a group of about a dozen pro-life dems led by Rep. Bart Stupak (MI), would normally support the legislation but oppose it because they don’t want to vote for a bill that will allow federal funding of abortions.  This last group is probably the most stalwart of them all and has been the most difficult for Madam Pelosi to corral.

At the end of the day I know that if it weren’t for the abortion language, the Stupak group would support the bill and it would have already passed and been signed into law.  They have been under tremendous pressure to cave on the principle of life upon which ground they have firmly based their opposition.  When asked what these last couple weeks have been like, Rep. Stupak said it has been “a living hell.”  I can only imagine the pressure he has been under as the president and other party leaders have twisted his arm and tried to bully him into supporting the this legislation.  The pressure must be tremendous.  And yet, on the issue of life, Rep. Stupak has held firm and stood his ground.  I respect that very much.

I work for a republican member of Congress.  I have never in my life voted for a democrat or donated money to a democrat campaign.  If Rep. Stupak holds his ground, and if his coalition successfully blocks this bill from passing the House, I will walk down to his office in the Rayburn House Office Building to shake his hand and I will mail in donations to his reelection campaign for both the primary and general elections.

That is change I can believe in.

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Rasmussen, the most accurate polling firm during the 2008 election cycle, has pegged Barack Obama’s “strongly disapprove” rating at 43%.  The interesting thing about that number is that it’s the same as President Bush’s “strongly disapprove” rating when he left office.

Something tells me that’s not the change Barack Obama hoped for.

H/T Instapundit

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