Jeb Bush is finally getting to appoint some Florida Supreme Court justices and has changed the balance from 7-0 Democratic to 5-2. Keep in mind, though, that these appointments wouldn’t have altered the outcome in Gore v. Harris, since the justices that the Bush appointees are replacing voted the right way in the 4-3 decision on a statewide recount. Fortunately, Bush will be governor for 4 more years, wiith a solid 2/3 majority in both houses of the state legislature, and might be able to change the composition of the court from the most liberal supreme court in the country to a somewhat moderate court.
Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) is looking increasingly likely to throw his hat into the 2004 presidential sweepstakes. Graham, like most successful Florida Democrats, likes to portray himself as a “moderate.” He was elected governor and then senator largely on his unflinching support of the death penalty.
However, Graham is in reality a far-left liberal. His entry into the race is interesting because, of all the presidential candidates in the race, he’s the only one who voted against the Iraq resolution. That gives him a leg up in the Democratic primaries, but he’ll make a lousy opponent to Bush in the general election and may well suffer an electoral defeat of George McGovern proportions.
I heard Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) call for a new draft on CNN, but I couldn’t believe my ears. Now the congressman has made it official with a New York Times op-ed and says he’ll introduce legislation to draft young people into the military.
There’s absolutely no chance Rangel’s bill will pass, but it’s still an extraordinary move. Everyone in charge of the military, including Donald Rumsfeld, has said that there’s no need for a draft and the US has all the troops it needs. Rangel’s motives, as he proclaims openly, are pure class warfare. He wants to reintroduce the draft because he thinks that, if white middle class kids are forced into service, public opposition to war will increase.
The argument is this close to treason. It’ll be interesting to see how Democratic presidential candidates respond when they’re asked questions about it.
Bruce Fein says in the Washington Times that president Bush isn’t being given credit for the legislative successes he has achieved.
It’s worth wondering how a Republican president could be so successful in pushing legislation. Traditionally Republicans oppose liberal legislation that expands the size and scope of government, such as Campaign Finance Reform. Inevitably, Democrats accuse the Republicans of “ignoring the problem.” This plays very well for the Democrats with the problem-solving American voter.
Bush’s bold move has been to appropriate this approach to push conservative legislation. Consider his tax cut package in 2001. When the budget ran a surplus, Bush suggested returning it to the people. When the economy weakened and the surplus evaporated, Bush turned around and pushed for the tax cuts to stimulate the economy. He was able to portray the tax cut legislation as solving a problem, which worked well with the American people (tax cuts, of course, also have inherent political strength.) Similarly, Bush will doubtless push tort reform as a means to lower the cost of health care. As long as he can portray conservative legislation as a means to solve problems, he will get much more support for it than he otherwise would.
The GOP is making giant strides among rural voters:
Just a decade ago, Democrats were running neck-and-neck with Republicans for the votes of rural America.Why is this increasing polarization betwern urban and rural areas good news? Because, in the Senate, most seats are in small or rural states. California has just as many Senate seats as Georgia. This geographic advantage will play well for the GOP in 2004.
This year, rural voters supported Republican congressional candidates by a 60 percent to 36 percent margin, according to an analysis of polls done after the November election. It was the third straight election in which the GOP has carried rural America by at least 59 percent.
As recently as 1988, Democrats won 56 percent of the rural vote. In 1992, the two parties split rural areas. In 1996, GOP candidates were favored by a relatively small margin, 52 percent to 48 percent.
My 2004 Senate analysis from late November is here. I’ll have an updated analysis every couple of months.
Goodbye, VNS. And Good riddance.
I’ve called potential presidential candidate Senator John Edwards (D-NC) a “wildly gesticulating, empty-headed, pretty-boy trial lawyer.” Yet another article, this time in theNY Times, suggests that other people may think so too. Is Edwards’ ego so large that he really thinks he can run for president? Wait, forget I asked.
How Gore’s withdrawal hurts the Democratic nominee in 2004
Here’s how Al Gore’s withdrawal from the 2004 presidential race could hurt the eventual Democratic nominee. If Gore had stayed in the race and the nominee had beatenhim, the nominee would have earned a reputation as a giant-killer. His stature would instantly soar and he might have been able to narrow the stature gap with president Bush.
However, without Gore in the race, all the Democratic candidates are largely unknown to the American people. The field is like the “seven dwarfs” Democratic fields of the past. In a time when voters are worried about terrorists bombing their neighborhoods, are they going to trust such a candidate?
And how Bush’s advisors help Bush in 2004
Given a choice between George W. Bush and John Kerry for president, Kerry might be competitive as a wartime leader. However, consider the advisors Bush has surrounded himself with - Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Don Rumsfeld. These people inspire confidence. When Kerry (or any other Democratic nominee) is considered alongside president Bush, Bush’s advisors will certainly be part of the consideration. This is one of those rare cases where a president benefits simply by surrounding himself with the right people.
Young, spoiled South Koreans are protesting at the American embassy, demanding the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea. This after they just elected a “progressive” president who ran on an anti-American platform.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If the South Koreans are stupid enough to yell “Yankee Go Home!” maybe yankee should go home. We could use those 37,000 troops on our borders with Mexico and Canada.
After the Seattle Times editorialized in support of Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), it got plenty of hot feedback from its readers. As you can see on the Letters page, every letter on this issue castigates the paper. Here’s one:
Your editorial defending Sen. Patty Murray is the most blatant, partisan editorial I have ever read outside of Pravda. It just proves how extreme-left your paper is.Murray would have been a shoo-in for re-election in 2004, but this controversy will make speaker-slaying Republican George Nethercutt competitive if he chooses to challenge her.
As a former Marine officer who served his country well, it offends me greatly to have a senator who is so anti-American as Murray get away with such treasonous and stupid comments.
She and your paper will be widely quoted by al-Qaida and Saddam. Our military-service people who are in harm’s way protecting Murray will not have their morale enhanced by this.
Robert Johnston, Camano Island