Sunday, March 15, 2015

With Friends Like These.... The Tom Cotton Letter Saga

No wonder the GOP is unable to set the agenda in Washington DC. Not only is the party saddled with incompetent, timid leadership that doesn’t have the self-respect to get out of the way. The party is also saddled with a pundit class that lacks new ideas and, often, helps the opposition. A perfect illustration of how conservative pundits undermine Republicans is the reaction of luminaries like Charles Krauthammer and Michael Gerson to the now famous – some would say infamous – Tom Cotton letter to Iran.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Getting Out of the Immigration Quagmire

The number of Republican self-inflicted wounds over the issue of immigration keeps growing. At this pace, it may be warranted to set up a clock - much like the US National Debt Clock - to track them. Last Friday, just hours before funding for the Department of Homeland Security was about to run out, Republicans were able to postpone the eventual capitulation for a week. A foreseeable outcome from the moment that Mitch McConnell announced he would not shut the government down.

McConnell had the best of intentions in declaring that he would avoid shutdowns or playing games with the debt ceiling. He wanted to demonstrate to the American people that the Republican Party was ready, willing and able to govern. However, if McConnell is unwilling to use the power of the purse, why get into a confrontation with the White House over DHS funding? The best way to avoid having to get out of a box is not to get in it in the first place.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Falling Out of Love with Pope Francis

Ever since his election, Pope Francis has enjoyed immense popularity in all corners of the world and across the political spectrum. Conservatives, liberals alike have sung the praises of the new Pope with his approachable manner and warmth. However, lately Pope Francis has run into a bit of rough waters and the magic seems to be fading.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We Just Had A Seinfeld Election

Republicans worst fears were confirmed Thursday night. Barack Obama is still president and will be president for the next two years. Republicans are also leaning the bitter lesson that there is no such thing as lame duck as long as the president has veto power. What was supposed to be a time of electoral triumph for John Boehner and Mitch McConnell has quickly turned into the first test of whether the GOP can govern.

It wasn’t supposed be this way. On Election night, McConnell extended a hand of cooperation to Obama. The next day, McConnell made it clear that government shutdowns and playing with the debt ceiling were off the table. Boehner also reached out to Obama in the name of the American people wanting both parties to work together. All was for naught as Obama dismissed the election results and, figuratively, kicked sand in their faces.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More Than Just A Pair Of Pink Shoes

The articles keep on coming. One after another pointing out what went wrong with the Wendy Davis campaign. Chock-full of advice about how she could have won.

The consensus seems to be that she needed to be more "centrist". Wendy made funding public education the centerpiece of her agenda. Is there a more "centrist" issue than promoting public education? It is such a "centrist" issue that Greg Abbott also ran on promoting public education.

Let's be clear. To have a remote chance at winning, Wendy would have had to dress up in camo, pick up an AR-15 and head to the Texas-Mexico border. Only after apprehending a couple of unauthorized immigrants trying to sneak into the United States could Wendy make the case that she is not a flaming liberal bent on turning Texas into the dreaded California. In other words, Wendy Davis never had a chance.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Finding Common Ground With Putin

When the Crimean crisis broke out this past winter, the White House's favorite talking point, at the time, was that Vladimir Putin needed an "exit ramp". The Obama Administration either believed - or was trying to spin - the Russian stealth invasion of Crimea as impulsive act on the part of Putin. All that was needed to resolve the crisis was to provide some face saving measure for Russia. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined in the "Putin-doesn't-know-what-he-is-doing" chorus.

Six months later, the conflict in Ukraine opened a new front this past week and over the weekend Putin called for negotiations  on the "political organisation of society and statehood for southeastern Ukraine." It is quite clear that Putin's actions were never the result of impulsive or irrational behavior. He is an opportunist who saw the chance to expand the territory of the Russian Federation and took it. It is also clear that Obama and Europe are the ones who need an "exit ramp".

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Making John Wiley Price Stronger

Well, that was stupid. Commissioner Mike Cantrell's resolution calling for a suspension of fellow Commissioner John Wiley Price failed to even make it to a vote. Cantrell - the only Republican on the Dallas County Commissioners Court - failed to get a second on the motion. Of course, the hardcore Dallas County GOP partisans will claim that it was a worthwhile pursuit because it shows that Democrats don't care about ethics. Some would even go as far as claiming that, by not supporting the resolution, it shows that Democrats are a corrupt lot. Pure nonsense. If anything, this entire non event only made John Wiley Price stronger.