Political Short Shots Posted by: McQ
on Saturday, May 20, 2006
John McCain found his popularity tested in a commencement speech at NYC's New School:
The Madison Square Garden crowd cheered loudly as Jean Sarah Rohe said McCain "does not reflect the ideals upon which this university was founded."
It was university president and former senator Bob Kerry who had extended the invitation to McCain:
"Sen. McCain, you have much to teach us," Kerrey said toward the beginning of the ceremony, drawing a smattering of boos and hisses.
Ms Rohe was apparently aware of remarks McCain had made at a Liberty University commencement address which we highlighted here. She said:
"He will tell us we are young and too naive to have valid opinions," Rohe said. "I am young and though I don't possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that pre-emptive war is dangerous. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction."
But apparently pre-emptive remarks are OK (as well as being young and naive). McCain, of course, did not disappoint:
"When I was a young man, I was quite infatuated with self-expression, and rightly so because, if memory conveniently serves, I was so much more eloquent, well-informed and wiser than anyone else I knew," McCain said.
So were we all.
Embattled Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman finds himself in a Democratic run-off for the first time in his career:
Democrats endorsed Sen.Joe Lieberman's bid for a fourth term Friday, but an anti-war challenger collected enough delegates to force the senator into his first primary fight as an incumbent.
Ned Lamont, a wealthy Greenwich businessman who has sharply criticized the moderate senator for supporting the war in Iraq, will face Lieberman in the Aug. 8 primary.
"I'm a proud Democrat, and I'm going to carry the battle forward," said Lieberman, who has not faced a primary challenge since being elected to the Senate in 1988.
"They are saying this war was a mistake and bring the troops home," he said.
I think Lieberman will take the primary and the general election no matter how many silly commercials the Kos Kids make with Lamont.
Speaking of pre-emptive attacks, it appears that Democrats may be targeting Sen. George Allen's Senate seat in '06 in hopes of dousing his presidential ambitions in '08:
Conventional wisdom suggests Mr. Allen, with high poll ratings and a memorable record as a conservative governor in the mid-1990s, will win re-election handily in November.
But national Democrats hope the Allen seat will be swept away in a national wave of anti-Republican sentiment, even in Virginia, a traditionally "red state" where Democrats have been making inroads.
"Virginia has been growing increasingly purple over the last several years, a fact that was punctuated by Governor [Timothy M.] Kaine's victory this past November," said Phil Singer, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
The question is, will we actually see a national wave of anti-Republican sentiment form? As Paul Begala has asked, without a coherent message how are Democrats going to excite and motivate enough voters to pull the lever for them and sweep popular incumbents like Allen out of office? Certainly not on some "we can do better" or "the Republicans are corrupt" platform.
The vote for New Orleans mayor has ended and I predict one of the bald guys will win. It has been an interesting race:
There is great suspense over the result, because the large number of evacuees, voting with absentee ballots and at satellite polls, have made surveys unreliable. With more than 12,000 absentee ballots already received and more expected, they may well decide the outcome late Saturday night.
I'll just say this: if New Orleans re-elects Ray Nagin, they deserve everything they get in the future.
English as our "official language" has been voted on and approved by the Senate. My guess is the House will have little problem doing the same:
After an emotional debate fraught with symbolism, the Senate yesterday voted to make English the "national language" of the United States, declaring that no one has a right to federal communications or services in a language other than English except for those already guaranteed by law.
The measure, approved 63 to 34, directs the government to "preserve and enhance" the role of English, without altering current laws that require some government documents and services be provided in other languages. Opponents, however, said it could negate executive orders, regulations, civil service guidances and other multilingual ordinances not officially sanctioned by acts of Congress.
I guess one could call this the "counter-protest" to the "Day without Gringos" in Mexico. In reality I have no problem with such a declaration since it is more symbolic than anything. It's a statement that we have an existing culture and we expect those who come here to adopt, adapt and enhance it, and not the other way around.
Is this the death knell of "multiculturalism"? One can only hope.
First Lady Laura Bush swooped into arguably the most Democratic state in the nation yesterday to boost the Senate candidacy of incumbent Republican Lincoln D. Chafee and urged a crowd of GOP stalwarts to work hard for his reelection.
Last night's two-tiered fundraiser at the Providence Biltmore — $500 per person for the reception, $2,500 for a private photo session with Mrs. Bush — harvested more than $150,000 for Chafee's campaign.
If you are sure you're immune to surprise, then the following shouldn't raise you blood pressure at all:
The Senate has by a 50-49 vote allowed a provision to remain in the Immigration Bill allowing illegal aliens to claim Social Security benefits.
Just for grins you ought to know that Lincoln Chaffee was one of 11 Republicans that voted for the amendment.
While that's bad enough, you'll love some of the reasoning:
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, said it would be unfair to deny illegals the benefits. "We should not steal their funds or empty their Social Security accounts," he said. "That is not fair. It does not reward their hard work or their financial contributions. It violates the trust that underlies the Social Security Trust Fund."
What "social security accounts", Sen. Leahy? They're illegal.
Oh, and what Social Security Trust Fund?
Next thing you know you'll want to give them "in state" tuition for college.
UPDATE (Dale): Uh, here in California, we already do.
Fred Barnes warns Republicans that if they don't pass some sort of immigration reform before the election this November, they can kiss the House goodbye. And he makes an interesting comparison to support his prediction:
The last time the public was this engaged in a policy issue was 1994, when President Clinton's health care plan was being debated. But there was a critical difference then. Once the idea took hold that there was no health care crisis in America—there still isn't—health care reform began to fade. It turned out to be postponable.
Immigration reform is not. There really is an immigration crisis.
Barnes claims the consensus among the majority of Americans is not in line with the recently passed House bill:
The American people are not on the side of the House Republicans who favor toughened enforcement and nothing more. On the contrary, a national consensus has formed around what the president calls "comprehensive" immigration reform—that is, impenetrable border security plus earned citizenship and a temporary worker program.
Barnes says that a refusal by the House to compromise with the Senate version which ends up killing immigration reform for this year may trigger a Democratic "1994".
The reason Democrats are hoping for a "national wave" to unseat Allen is because their two candidates are too busy fighting like schoolchildren over who is the party’s "bestest friend."
And the purpling of Virginia has been somewhat overstated. In the last election cycle the Dems went from holding two of the three top offices to one (with the only candidate from blueish Northern Virginia being handily defeated). And yes, while we’ve had two Democratic Governors in a row, both would probably be considered "too conservative" to run in Maryland. On the Republican ticket, that is.
While the GOP is doing everything in its power to lose the Senate and House, I would advise the Democrats who are checking the "win" column for Virginia to use a pencil for now.
and I would disagree with Barnes that the GOP is at risk if immigration reform isn’t passed. I think the bigger danger to the GOP is if they don’t stop the wrong immigration reform from being passed. As Tancredo said on TV a few nights back, better to have no reform than the abomination (my word, not his) that was proposed by Bush.