Friday, October 30, 2015

Do We Really Need More Republican Debates?

The ratings are in and the CNBC Republican Debate scored much lower than the previous two debates. Maybe it was the World Series competing for the same time slot. Or maybe, with the holiday season just around the corner, voters are taking a break from politics. Who knows? In any case, after Wednesday night's debacle is it really necessary to have more debates?

What was billed as a debate about the economy, turned out to be the latest media attempt to ridicule and incite fights among Republican candidates. The debate was disorganized, unprofessional, the moderators made up in arrogance what they lacked in competence. Plenty of articles are floating around the internet about how CNBC was the real loser of the night and there is no need to add one more.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The GOP Establishment's Dilemma

Well the GOP establishment has finally got its wish. After topping all national and state polls for over 100 days, Donald Trump is trailing Ben Carson in Iowa and in the latest CBS News/New York Times national poll.

Although Carson is not the establishment's dream candidate by any stretch of the imagination, Republican strategists believe that he is a much easier target to tear down than The Donald. Besides, there are real doubts as to whether Carson is seriously seeking the presidency. He is currently on a book tour and his campaign seems more focused on fundraising than anything else. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Fiorina.. the GOP's Wendy Davis?

The GOP establishment relief is palpable. After watching Perry, Graham and Jindal crash and burn, Carly Fiorina is the first of their hitmen to take on Donald Trump and survive.  More than survive. She is moving up in the polls. Of course, Fiorina did get a helping hand from Trump when he made his comments about her face. That gave her the opportunity to stand on the debate stage and – with righteous indignation – repudiate The Donald. It was a softball, but Fiorina still gets credit for knocking it out of the park.

Sensing a breakthrough, the GOP establishment immediately put in motion its propaganda machine and within a few hours puff pieces starting appearing on conservatives’ favorite cable news channel. Reliable establishment pundits like Jennifer Rubin hailed Fiorina as an acceptable “outsider”.  It is not so much that the donor class has given up on a Jeb! administration. It is just that Carly is a convenient transition vehicle as the rebellious GOP base moves from its Trump infatuation to eventually supporting the Bush Dynasty. Use Fiorina to get Trump out of the way. Once The Donald is back in his Fifth Avenue tower, the GOP establishment will take Fiorina down so that only Jeb! will be left standing. A pretty devious, albeit transparent strategy.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Setting Latinos Up for Failure

The Jorge Ramos Martyr for the Freedom of the Press Tour is well underway making stops at every news outlet. The self styled champion of the Latino community has been claiming that Donald Trump expelled him from a press conference because he was afraid of tough questions. A claim that is easily discredited by the fact that Trump allowed Ramos back and allotted him more time than any other reporter in the room. But then again, Ramos also claims to be a journalist when he is really more an advocate when it comes to the issue of illegal immigration.

If Mr. Ramos' intention was to slay the Trump dragon on behalf of Latinos, he is no Saint Jorge (sorry, I couldn't resist). His refusal to wait his turn and interrupting a fellow reporter did nothing to advance his cause; but it did reinforce the negative stereotype of Latinos cutting in line and demanding special treatment. Ann Coulter couldn't be happier and gleefully twitted:
"At least Jorge Ramos is consistent. Whether a press conf or a nation, he thinks Mexicans can barge in & demand rights that aren't theirs."

Saturday, August 22, 2015

On Second Thought, I Am Glad Trump Is Running for President

The third time was supposed to be the charm. Surely Donald Trump taking on one of Fox News' brightest stars would spell his demise. Nate Silver dutifully produced his little charts and declared that Trump won't win a war against Fox News"". Smelling a hint of blood (no pun intended), Carly Fiorina tweeted that she stood by Megyn Kelly. GOP strategists praying for an end to the Trump campaign smiled with evident relief.

Two weeks later and once again the "experts" are shown to be trapped by their own biases as the Trump candidacy marches on. Nate Silver has learned that Fox News viewers are not mindless robots that will digest whatever Murdoch feeds them. Megyn Kelly is on vacation while her image as America's sweetheart is a bit tarnished after risqué photos of her and a raunchy interview with Howard Stern circulated social media.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Libertarian Moment That Wasn't

Poor Lindsey Graham. It turns out he didn't have to bother running for president after all. The much anticipated "GOP's libertarian moment" never materialized. Rand Paul's presidential campaign is in free fall. Graham's visions of challenging Rand on foreign policy during a debate also failed to materialize as the long serving Senator from South Carolina could not muster enough polling strength to make it to the prime time stage. But Graham is still trying to make himself useful but attacking the latest threat to the GOP establishment: Donald Trump.  Say what you will about Lindsey, he is a reliable foot soldier for the DC status quo.

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.