Category: #2012already

January 31, 2012 Shana Roberson

Today Floridians will make a choice that will affect the rest of the country as they head to the polls to vote for a republican presidential candidate.
In typical presidential primaries, this choice was left to states earlier in the game, as candidates dropped after results came in from Iowa or New Hampshire.
Then, republicans watched the drawn out democratic primary last election cycle, and apparently liked what they saw.

December 1, 2011 Shana Roberson

The search for an articulate and conservative nominee with little to no baggage has concluded and been found wanting. Republicans are left with their own version of the “lesser evil” vote in the primaries that begin in just over a month.

October 25, 2011 Shana Roberson

Last Tuesday marked the beginning of a three-week break in Republican presidential candidate debates. That’s a good thing for everyone, including the candidates and the voters.  Everyone needs a timeout.

October 11, 2011 Shana Roberson

Last week Republicans and Democrats fought over who would get to vote on a bill that wouldn’t matter.

For their part, Republicans wanted a vote on Obama’s original jobs bill because was certain to fail. It would fail because Democrats would not vote for it, which would be particularly embarrassing for Obama.

Democrats changed the rules of the Senate in order to not allow that vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) is scheduled to bring up for vote a modified version of the bill that includes a 5.6 percent tax increase on Americans who earn over $1 million that would take effect in 2013. This bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, but even if it does it won’t stand a chance in the House. The intention of this bill is not to create new legislation, but rather to embarrass Republicans who have promised not to vote to increase taxes on the wealthy.

What does all this political maneuvering mean? It means, once again, that our legislators are less interested in doing something to improve the country than they are in getting re-elected. It means that, as the Labor Department announced last week there were not enough jobs created to match population growth, our Congress still has yet to act on behalf of those 9.1 percent that are unemployed. Perhaps they are going for entertainment value so that those who don’t have a job have something to watch on TV?

This show comes after a potential government shutdown earlier this year that was also the result of political theater. The crisis over the debate ceiling was also political maneuvering. Each side wanted their votes to go on record for one thing or another before they were willing to pass “compromise legislation.” That’s the reason everything came down to the last minute.

So this time, Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) have commenced this latest round of political maneuvering, and will continue to do so for a while, until they finally reach the point, if ever, that they sit down to put together a bill that might actually have hope of passing both houses. That scenario is unlikely until after 2012.

That bill might include tax reform, spending cuts or other initiatives that both parties can agree on. There is a misconception that there are no such initiatives. That is simply untrue.

Take a look at what the super committee proposes next month to see what those initiatives look like.

But for now, look at the similarities between what Congress is “accomplishing” and what the Occupy Wall Street movement is “accomplishing.” They are both loud and they are both active. They are both getting media coverage. But neither group is actually getting anything done.

Last week Obama talked about the do-nothing Congress.

“I would love nothing more than to see Congress act so aggressively that I can’t campaign against them as a do-nothing Congress,” said the president.

He needn’t worry however; he will definitely be able to campaign against a do-nothing Congress. And so will the Republican nominee.

 

September 28, 2011 Shana Roberson

President Obama is already out clarifying his agenda to the American people. Raise the taxes on the rich, make them pay their fair share, and we will make a positive move toward solving the deficit problem. For a man who is on record saying he wouldn’t raise taxes in a recession and who resisted his party in continuing the so-called Bush tax cuts, this latest rhetoric can only mean one thing.

It’s campaign season.

But it may not be what you think. Most think Obama is trying to court the middle class for the 2012 vote. I submit to you that he is trying to court his base back to his side as he draws nearer to next November.

Obama’s base has been extremely frustrated with his administration with issues ranging from Guantanamo Bay to extending Bush tax cuts. But now New York and Nevada elections foreshadow a possibility for a Republican, filibuster proof majority in the Senate. Add to that calls for an open democratic primary and a James Carville op-ed that called for the White House to “panic” and you’ve got an administration on a mission.

And that mission is taxing the rich. When the facts and figures are lined up, it’s at least debatable whether doing so would help solve the deficit problem. Furthermore, history has shown that raising the capital gains rate results in less revenue, however counterintuitive that may seen. That’s part of the reason President Clinton lowered the rates in order to balance the budget during his term. So the issue isn’t really economic. It’s political.

And that’s how you know that Obama is in trouble for 2012. He’s starting his campaign as if he’s in a primary—a primary against himself. True, there is no likelihood of Obama facing a challenger, though whispers of “Hillary” surround him. No, Obama has to find a way to channel 2008 Obama, as those who were bright eyed and eager to vote for him in 2008 question doing so next time.

That doesn’t mean his opponents will have an easy ride to victory in 2012. When it comes to fair share, their hope is to define the issue by saying that the rich do pay their fair share and that raising taxes on the rich will be detrimental to the economy and job creation. We might even all be able to deliver their speeches for them at this point as they beat them into our heads, over and over.

While an Associated Press fact check article did show that American’s making over $1 million are paying an average of 29.1 percent in federal taxes, the other arguments are getting stale.

Many small business entrepreneurs are saying certain taxes they’d have to deal with once they get to a profit-making point are the last things they are looking at when deciding to make the plunge. Additionally, the federal health care mandate has more people struggling over hiring decisions than do taxes. Furthermore, investors are less inclined to look at tax rates when deciding on a portfolio. They’re focused on the business (front) end of the investment, not the tax end. That means the Republican idea of taxes hurting the small business is also at least questionable, and they haven’t yet made the argument believable to the American people.

The uncertainty of the economy is probably the biggest problem for job creation and investment. Republicans need to redefine themselves, going from “defenders of the rich” to “master job creators.” A move that is less and less likely as things heat up once again in Congress and as that November date in 2012 looms ever closer. Even though we’re likely to see no legislation on the issue of fair share, neither side is being successful at convincing voters with their class warfare arguments. So they will continue. Whichever side can both clarify and convince the American people of their point of view will win the election. And then the really tough work will begin. Proving they were right.

September 21, 2011 Shana Roberson

With nearly 20 debates set for just the Republican primary season, keeping track of the candidates can get messy. For the last two weeks, the focus has been on seeing how newly entered Republican candidate for President Governor Rick Perry will fare in the land of a thousand candidates.

There are a lot of points to be drawn from the vast field of candidates, but the one that most conservatives should be upset about and most liberals should be happy about is this:

The two frontrunners each have fundamental problems in their conservative bona fides. And what’s left over in the field isn’t pretty either.

With two debates marking his debut to the American audience, Perry is worse for wear among conservatives who are likely to vote. Why is that?  After defending his stance on allowing illegal immigrants in Texas to say in-state tuition and also disregarding conservative calls for a border fence, Perry has one strike.

Next, Perry used his executive authority to require young girls to receive a vaccination for a sexually transmitted disease to decrease their risk of getting cervical cancer. Perry has said that was a mistake, and it’s probably the least offensive mistake he could make in the eyes of most Americans. But the fact of the matter is that it’s another strike against conservative values.

Then there is the combination of him previously being a Democrat, supporting Al Gore in 1988 and his (refreshingly honest) statement on New York’s recent legislation on gay marriage.

“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me,” Perry said.

These issues would help Perry if he were to face up against Obama, but they present a challenge for him in making it out of the Republican primary. Even if Perry makes it past the conservative test, conservatives should be savvy enough to realize that Perry is going to look a lot like Bush up against Obama. That’s like giving away whatever advantage they might be going in with.

Next on the list is Governor Mitt Romney. Romney is not well known for being extremely conservative as it is. Having overseen an individual mandate-driven healthcare system in Massachusetts, Romney lost all conservative credibility possible. To make it worse, the program isn’t doing well in one of the most liberal states in the union AND Romney continues to defend it as “what was right for Massachusetts.”

Almost any other approach to his involvement with the individual mandate would be better suited to his run against Obama. If the program were doing well, he could stand up against Obama strongly.

Other candidates have issues that come in second only to the fact that they can’t break through in the polls or fundraising the way the front-runners can.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) has some momentum this summer, but has been on a decline for the last several months. What makes Bachmann strong with the Tea Party makes her unelectable versus Obama.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich seems to be running as head coach of the candidates, perhaps vying for a cabinet position if a Republican wins in 2012. He also gave himself a black eye early with a “misunderstanding” on his position with the budget plan created by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will never be elected (google his border fence comments last debate), but his presence does keep the candidates in conservative check.

The other candidates have a variety of issues, the biggest of which is their inability to break out of the pack.  They all have a lot of clean up to do if they want to earn the votes that begin being cast in February.