Music Night: Past is Present

My daughter and her family visited Eugene for something called the Oregon Country Fair last week. It is what I would describe as a counter culture hippie fest with lots of music, vendors, and costumed participants. At one point they made it over to the stage where Peter Yarrow was performing. He asked all the young children to come on stage before breaking in to ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’. My four year old granddaughter was right up front, next to Peter, when he stopped in the middle of the song and took the mic down to her, as she was mouthing the words. He says to her “I wrote this song fifty years ago. How do you know this song?” She turns to him and declares. ” I don’t know, I just know it.”

Priceless moment.

The Watering Hole: Tuesday April 3, What to watch out for..

…tonight:

As Romney seems to be The Inevitable one now, there are a few things that we still can watch out for in the primaries.

Turnout. If I am correct turnout will be low. As in: Really Low. Mitt Romney is not an inspiring candidate at all, not for the Republican base. Nor for anybody, except maybe for those making 200’000 plus, I dare say.

Santorum is just running his mouth now, but not much else. I can’t see any indication that the Santorum supporters are fighting back, I cannot see much trace of them anymore in the comments sections where they used to hang around.

Paul? Well, nuff said.

Gingrich? Well, nuff said indeed.

Watch out for other races, too. Incumbicide is rampant right now. There may be a few surprises coming on this side.

…in November:

That no Republican gets the White House for a while. Honestly, if it is only to avoid further activist Supreme Court judges.

A whole set of polls can be found as usual here at realclearpolitics. Nevermind they are really conservatives, when it comes to politics I want to see what the other side is thinking and be prepared for the worst case.

This is our Open Thread. What do you think?

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, 2-22-12: A Limerick for Your Thoughts?

The candidate Richard Santorum,
Touts the ’vangelical forum;
He’d ban birth control,
With great vitriol,
To women who like sex, he’d whore’m.

Mitt Romney is just such a blast,
Once you get over his past,
He’s on every side,
Like the ever-changing tide,
Schizophrenic’s the role he’s been cast.

Now Newt Gingrich, what can I say?
Shut the government down in his day.
It’s not his fault,
He rubs wounds with salt,
And derides all who stand in his way.

Libertarians stand by Ron Paul,
And surely he gave them his all,
Legalize pot,
Smoke all you got,
But his poll numbers still fall.

The drop-outs are there by the score,
Cain, Palin, and Bachmann and more,
Perry said “Oops”
While Palin did loops,
And Cain’s 9-9-9 hit the floor.

Dear Friends, here’s the GOP pool,
Each one sounds a 1 percent tool,
But lest you should dread,
Tis our Open Thread,
Where Comments are really quite cool.

The Watering Hole: January 24 – Damage Control

Newt has them in a frenzy it seems. The GOP establishment is bringing out their heavyweights to try and do damage control. After Chris Christie calling Newt Gingrich an embarrassment on “Meet the Press”, now Tim Pawlenty has come out with a similar message:

“This is somebody who has had so many incredibly unfortunate and questionable activities while he was speaker, post-speaker, that he’s not somebody that I think can carry the banner for the Republican Party and the conservative movement forward as a nominee or as a future president,”

To the rescue of Gingrich comes, of all people,  She Who Shall Not be Named. Calling Chris Christie a “rookie” and accused him of “lack of self-discipline”.

WOW!

Gingrich tends to autodestruct, Romney could try the “No Drama” approach that your President does so irritatingly well, so why does the uproar come so early in the game?

There’s an unCivil War within the GOP raging. And for once it is not along the lines of evangelical purism against liberalism, it is along the lines of fiscal purism. The rebels couldn’t care less whether Gingrich had married three wives and a goat, or Romney entered marriage as a virgin, they care about The Deficit, The Debt and Big Government.

You do not have to follow the link to the article, if you (understandably) don’t want to give them any views on their website, but it was an article in redstate.com that made this clear to me:

There is general philosophical agreement among both Republicans and conservatives about all of this. Where the fault line lies is in exactly how far we are willing to go to do something about it. Many people who got into politics as good conservatives, and still think themselves good conservatives constrained by the limits of practical possibility, are at a loss when it comes to meaningful ways to tame Leviathan. For reasons, some good (the need to use political power to protect national security, preserve control of the courts and restrain regulatory overreach), some less so, they have thrown in the towel on the central issue of the day. That is who we speak of as the “Establishment.” Others – not always with a sense of proportion or possibility, but driven by the urgency of the cause – seek dramatic confrontations to prevent the menace of excessive spending from passing the tipping point where we can no longer save room for the private sector. They are the Outsiders, the ones challenging the system and its fundamental assumptions. The analogy of a Tea Party is an apt one: the Founding Fathers had much in common with the Tories of their day, but disagreed on a fundamental question, not of principle, but of practical politics: whether revolution was needed to protect their traditional rights as Englishmen from being eradicated by the growing encroachments of the British Crown. As it was then, the gulf between the two is the defining issue of today’s Republican Party and conservative movement. (whole article if you want to here)

The cause for fiscal purity is made with precision in that article and Gingrich obviously knows how to tap into that feeling. He could even spin being kicked out as a Speaker into a story about having been a “Maverick” all along (rings familiar eh?). Romney may still come out on top of it, but at what price remains to be seen. Santorum won’t be in the picture very long for the very reasons I have stated, the race is not about religious purity anymore. Paul, yeah well, he can prepare for his run in 2016.

My projected scenarios, being a European Elitist I am by nature an insufferable know-it-all, would be:

Romney wins. He is at best a lukewarm candidate and will not fire up the GOP base at all, but the “Anybody but Obama” crowd will have to be reckoned with. The prospects of President Romney won’t give Democrats a good reason to go vote, even grudgingly, for Obama. Voter turnout will be low on both sides and this could lead to a closer race than comfortable for Obama. But Obama wins.

Gingrich wins the nomination. Obama wins.

Gingrich wins more primaries, but autodestructs and leaves Romney fatally hurt at the roadside, so a brokered convention will pick a third candidate. Unlikely, Gingrich’s candidacy will be propped up for some months and left to lose. If only, because any Republican insider worth his/her salt, especially the younger ones, will wait out another stretch (hey, it is only four more years) and run then. Obama wins.

How will the Republican internal struggle end? Depends on who has more money on their hands. The Koch Brothers and their associates or the establishment’s funders.

This is our Open Thread. Let’s discuss, or let’s vent, or let’s turn this into a caption contest, or, or, or. It’s your thread folks, use it.

The Watering Hole: January 3rd, I O Waaaaahhhh

First of all: A Happy New Year to All the Critters, Zoosters and Visitors here. May it turn out well for you.

I am beginning to get the election bug again. I can tell by the number of times I check in to the realclearpolitics.com website. They may be leaning a little to the right, but I prefer it to getting a little over enthusiastic about President Obama’s prospects.

For today’s IOWAcaucus the polls stand at:

Romney 22.8
Paul 21.5
Santorum 16.3
Gingrich 13.7
Perry 11.5
Bachmann 6.8
Huntsman 2.3

My five cents? Romney has not managed yet to get any significant lead, though he has spent a lot of money to not thoroughly drop into oblivion in Iowa. Still on a national level Gingrich still leads by 27.4 to Romney’s 25.2 with Paul a not so close third at 12.2. Not a really good return on investment from Romney’s side up to now. He is the unwanted frontrunner. The only worse is Perry, who is obviously too thick to get God’s message to muster some self respect and get the fuck out of the race.

In 2008 Huckabee won Iowa and McCain came in only fourth, so winning there doesn’t necessarily make you the inevitable candidate. But somehow it rang in the short but very upsetting stint of one Alaskan, done to get support from the increasingly demanding right wing base. Noteworthy: Romney came in 2nd and held more support (2008: 25%) than he does today.

Personally I do not count Santorum out for the Iowa caucus. His win would be a harbinger of a new rise of the right wingers inside the right wing and as I expect there is some kind of uncivil war going on in the GOP between the Tea Party leftovers and the GOP establishment, Iowa will have a huge impact on the eventual platform of the candidate.

I go even further. The decision whether your country and its form of government will stand or whether parliamentary oligarchy will be your future is starting tonight in Iowa.

As an afterthought here’s our very own poll:

This is our Daily Open Thread. Let us know your thoughts.