Target Centermass

11/8/2006

Post-election Blog Reactions

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:15 pm

Here’s two of my favorites from my blogroll: Bill Whittle and Ace. Let’s just say that they’re quite different in tone, shall we?

By the way, while your over at Whittle’s digs, be sure to kick up your feet and muse over this fine essay.

11/7/2006

Election Night 2006

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:45 am

Well, it’s not looking good for the Republicans. As of this writing, they’ve lost the house and the senate still hangs precariously in the balance. If there is any saving grace, it is only that it has not been the bloodletting that some have predicted, though it has been worse than I’d hoped.

I do have a few thoughts on the night that I’d like to share.

  • We have a handful of talented Republicans that have lost or may still lose that I still expect greater things from because of their worthiness. Chief among these are Maryland’s Michael Steele and Missouri’s Jim Talent.
  • This election, in my opinion, showed less as a referendum on Iraq and more as a testament to the continuing strength of the mainstream media. For an example, please check the ability of the MSM to trump up stories about Foley and Macaca while downplaying frozen bribery money and improving economic trends. If right wing blogs made a ripple, it was generally unnoticed by the masses during the tempest.
  • In many ways, the GOP congressional leadership deserves this for their spineless behaviour. After the 2004 election, serious reforms should have moved forward; instead, the likes of Frist and Hastert fiddled.
  • On the bright side, the Dems are now in positions of leadership. Okay, that’s not much of a bright side but it could be key for 2008 so bear with me. The party of Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers and Charles Rangel now will be expected to actuall lead. No more 20/20 hindsight on military efforts, no more constant second guessing, and a year of constant investigations is a loser approach heading into the next presidential election cycle. The Dems will now have to actually present something — anything — and it will have to be a serious proposal. They will have to turn their Iraq drawdown and timeline slogans into something that is not a cut-and-run defeat and, believe you me, John Murtha’s Okinawa statements will not see the light of day in any serious attempt. Right now, I’d like to issue the Dems two challenges: first, let Rangel, destined apparently to be chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, bring forth his draft legislation that he has repeatedly submitted rather than letting it continue to languish as an email threat; and second, match the Republicans on their own internal ethics rules. After that, lead away and let’s see where you try to take us.
  • Well, at least tonight’s results should lay to rest the claims of a fascistic Bush-Rove state that several on the far left had claimed … but it won’t.

That’s it for now. Good night folks, and let’s see what tomorrow may bring. I ain’t optimistic about the path we’ve chosen right now.

Election Eve 2006

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:18 am

Why yes, I’ve voted.

Re-elect Rick Perry for Texas Governor

Re-elect Kay Bailey Hutchison for Senator

Re-elect Sam Johnson for Congress

Sadly, I don’t expect any of these races to be competitive. Tomorrow should be an interesting evening in a great many other races across this fine nation … and maybe just the beginning of a drawn-out ending to the ’06 midterm elections.

10/12/2006

TX Gov Race: Bell Calls on Kinky to Drop Out

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:36 am

In what can not in any way be considered a high point for the Democrat party in Texas, its gubernatorial candidate is beseeching an independent to bail out of the race in hopes of becoming a viable candidate against the Republican incumbent.

Democratic nominee Chris Bell is trying to persuade independent Kinky Friedman to quit the race for governor, but Mr. Friedman insisted Tuesday that he’s in to stay.

Mr. Bell left a voice mail message on Mr. Friedman’s personal cellphone Tuesday, asking for a meeting at the mystery writer and former bandleader’s ranch near Kerrville, Mr. Friedman said.

Mr. Bell later confirmed he sought a meeting so he could try to talk Mr. Friedman into dropping out of the four-way race, which is in its home stretch. The election is Nov. 7.

“I had hoped to talk to Kinky privately, but now that it’s been reported by the Dallas Morning News, I’m going to ask him publicly: Please join me in defeating Rick Perry,” Mr. Bell said in a statement his campaign issued late Tuesday.

“Kinky and I agree on some very important issues and our supporters all have a lot in common: they want change.”

Mr. Bell credited Mr. Friedman with energizing voters but made it clear he thinks only he has a chance to win.

“Now is the time for us all to unite,” he said. “So I’m asking for Kinky to join me.”

Bell campaign aides said that Mr. Friedman performed poorly in Friday night’s candidate debate and that Friedman supporters have told the Democrat that they’d support him if he could persuade Mr. Friedman to step aside.

Interviewed as he headed to evening campaign events in Dallas, Mr. Bell acknowledged that Mr. Friedman is siphoning votes away from him and Republican Gov. Rick Perry.

“He’s taking from both,” Mr. Bell said. “But he’s taking more from me.”

Mr. Friedman, campaigning in Brownsville, said of Mr. Bell and his advisers: “They’re desperate and scrambling.”

Asked whether he would consider the Democrat’s request to step aside, Mr. Friedman said: “No. You’re kidding … for Chris Bell? What do you take me for?”

[…]

To drop out is unthinkable, he said: “I’d be letting a lot of people down.”

But he took delight in Mr. Bell’s message that the independent is taking a toll. “What can it possibly mean other than that we’re killing him?” Mr. Friedman said. “We’re getting all of the liberals. We’re getting all of the conservatives.”

As I’ve recently shown, the most recent polling does not support Friedman’s assertion that he’s getting all of both liberals and conservatives but does support the notion that Bell and the Democrats need help badly.

For what it’s worth, I thought Bell performed well in the one and only debate last Friday, almost as well as Perry and far outshining the embarrassing representations of our state put forth by Friedmand and Carole Keeton Strayhorn, an independent that has deserted both parties when it seemed opportunistic to do so. It should also be noted that a sudden gift of one cool million dollars may help salvage Bell’s campaign into a somewhat solid second place. Bell had been trailing badly in cash on hand, with only $62,000 compared to Perry’s $9.2 million, Strayhorn’s $5 million and Friedman’s $827,830. Despite the boost, that’s also not to be considered a high point for the Democrats in the Lone Star state.

10/5/2006

Poll: Perry Leads Governor Race amid Voter Hostility

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:01 pm

The lastest polling results in the Texas gubernatorial race have been released and Republican incumbent Rick Perry continues to hold a broad lead in a crowded field.

Nearly two-thirds of Texas voters want one of Gov. Rick Perry’s challengers to beat him in the upcoming election, but none of his opponents has enough support right now to win, a newspaper poll shows.

The statewide poll conducted for The Dallas Morning News found that 38 percent of likely voters back Perry’s re-election in the Nov. 7 election.

It found 18 percent support independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn, 15 percent support Democrat Chris Bell and 14 percent support independent Kinky Friedman.

“There is an anti-Perry vote, and clearly somebody should have been able to beat him. But the anti-Perry vote is split three ways,” said pollster Mickey Blum.

The poll had a 3.5 percent margin of error and showed 14 percent of respondents as undecided. Two key points should be kept in mind when looking at these results. First, a plurality is all that is needed to win so there is no hope for any in the field to force a run-off. Second, the poll did not include Libertarian candidate James Werner, quite probably knocking off some of the undecideds. Because of these two factors, Perry’s 20-point lead over his nearest rival is quite substantial with only 32 days remaining in the campaign.

All of the involved camps immediately tried to spin the results in their favor. First comes the following from the Governor’s campaign:

Perry campaign spokesman Robert Black said the governor will take the election with more than the 38 percent shown by the poll.

“Come Election Day, that number is going to be quite a bit higher because people are going to look at the record,” Black said.

Stating that the governor will take more than the poll shows is merely stating that he will pick up at least some of the undecideds. Barring a dramatic change in the campaign, that seems a very safe minimum bet.

The Bell camp also addressed the poll results.

Bell’s campaign spokeswoman, Heather Guntert, predicted Democrats will back the party’s nominee on Nov. 7. The poll shows he is “vulnerable,” she said.

That’s some pretty sloppy writing there, as I assume Ms. Guntert was referring to Perry as vulnerable. Unfortunately for Ms. Guntert’s cause, Bell’s poll results are probably not too far below his name recognition figures right now. In fact, should Bell not garner 20 percent of the final balloting, the Democrats run the risk of being classified as a minor party under Texas law and be forced to jump through more hoops to get their candidates on future ballots.

Strayhorn’s campaign chimed in on the poll.

Brad McClellan, Strayhorn’s campaign manager, said Strayhorn will win if Perry stays below 40 percent, adding: “People don’t want four more years of the same.”

Again, barring a dramatic development, the numbers don’t add up for this claim. Perry could actually lose ground and still win by a healthy margin.

Finally, a Friedman campaign official threw in the Kinky spin.

Friedman’s campaign said the poll doesn’t reflect Texans who don’t normally vote but will turn out to support Friedman.

“These polls don’t mean much to us, but if Kinky is polling at 14 percent among likely voters, we’re happy,” said spokeswoman Laura Stromberg.

Yes, Kinky will get out some that would not have otherwise voted; likewise, he will draw some from the established parties and possibly be particularly damaging to the Libertarians. That said, his is an entertaining but hopeless candidacy.

Related — Campaign Sites of Declared Candidates:

Rick Perry (R, Incumbent)
Chris Bell (D)
James Werner (L)
Carole Keeton Strayhorn (Ind.)
Richard “Kinky” Friedman (Ind.)

8/24/2006

Beauty Quote of the Day

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:51 pm

… and a darned good editorial to boot. Okay, so actually it’s two days old, but I just found it.

Investor’s Business Daily has an editorial that begins by looking at the Democrats’ rearranging of the 2008 state primaries and caucases in hopes of “adding diversity and geographical balance” and countering the electoral failures of 2000 and 2004. The story goes on to state that the Dems actual problem is not scheduling; nor is it diversity or balance. Quite simply, it is their message on security, and it may have an effect in the pending 2006 balloting long before much of the nation turns a weary eye toward ’08.

In 2000, Lieberman was the Democrats’ choice to balance the ticket, both geographically and ideologically. A mere six years ago he was the man the Democrats wanted to be the proverbial heartbeat away from the presidency.

That was then. This is now. And now Lieberman is politician non grata for actually believing that politics should stop at the water’s edge, that our enemies are the Osama bin Ladens and Hassan Nasrallahs of the world, not Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove.

2004 nominee John Kerry ripped Lieberman over the weekend,branding him on ABC’s “This Week” as “out of step with the people of Connecticut.” Which presumably is why polls have him leading the man who won the Connecticut primary, Ned Lamont.

[…]

But Lieberman realizes that winning the war in Iraq means more than winning the next election.

[…]

The American people may not be happy with events in Iraq. But they do know, especially after events in Lebanon and the foiled British bomb plot, that we’re in a war in which failure is not an option and for which repeating “Bush lied” is not a strategy.

Americans will not put in power a party that accepts the proposition that global warming is a greater threat than terrorism, that thinks Wal-Mart is a plague on the poor and that wants to repeal the job-creating, economy-boosting and deficit-cutting Bush tax cuts.

They will not put in power a party that thinks death is a taxable event and that success should be punished. They will not pass the reins to a party that denies us access to energy reserves offshore and in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and which thinks energy independence means building windmills and hugging caribou

The editorial expresses more confidence than I feel about a public that is inundated by our media with bad news at the expense of almost all progress — hey, the building that does not burn is not news, nor is the school that is built or the NCO academy that is now entrusted over to Iraqis.

Yes, there’s some great quotes above, but the key one is as follows:

This is a party that thinks Dunkirk was a British redeployment and that doesn’t understand why Bush doesn’t just sit down and make nice with nuclear madmen like Korea’s Kim Jong-il and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

Make no mistake — that is a money shot and it landed right on the back of Congressman John Murtha (D-IsForDefeat), friend of Code Pink and advocate of a retreat … err… redeployment from Iraq to Okinawa. Here’s a couple of good links related to that quote: Dunkirk and Diana Irey.

Yes, the editorial is more optimistic than I feel. Still, it is hopeful that America may see the limp-wristed strategy that the Dems offer, cloaked in bold hindsight but little forward-looking detail, for what it is: defeatism and withdrawal. It is less hopeful that the American public will recognize that Iraq is a hand that we cannot fold on yet — no, we’re not all in, but we have to realize how our enemies will recognize our tossing in the cards. We have redeployed in the past after being bloodied, as Murtha now advoacates, from Viet Nam in ’73 and ’75, from Lebanon in ’84 and from Mogadishu in ’94. It must be noted that each of those retreats have been cited by our current enemies as signs of our weakness and used effectively as rallying cries to the expansionist cause of radical Islam.

Hat tip to McQ at Q&O, who adds some good thoughts of his own.

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