Thursday, June 23, 2011

In War Criminal News . . .

John Yoo criticizes the Obama administration for not going through proper process in deciding on the legality of their actions in Libya. Of course, Obama, who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, is more qualified than most presidents to make up his mind on these issues.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More Rats Fleeing from the SS Newt

In today's Newt News, his two top campaign fundraisers resigned today. That makes 18 senior staff people who have resigned from Gingrich's floundering campaign over the last three weeks.

The departures of fundraising director Jody Thomas and fundraising consultant Mary Heitman were the latest blow for the former House speaker who watched 16 top advisers abandon his campaign en masse earlier this month, partly because of what people familiar with the campaign spending described as a dire financial situation.

People don't realize it yet, but this presidential campaign is the end of Newt Gingrich as we know him. Newt's whole America Solutions empire is premised on the idea that Newt Gingrich is a creative guy who has real influence in the Republican Party and the American government as a whole. But now that Gingrich is embarrassing himself so thoroughly on the campaign trail, it's gradually coming out that Newt doesn't have any influence and hasn't had any influence since he resigned as speaker in 1998. It turned out that Newt Gingrich was exactly what his worst critics said along--a megalomaniac blowhard who couldn't be trusted with anything.

Sooner or later, Newt's going to get hit with a new reality. After his presidential campaign ends sometime after he gets 5% in the New Hampshire primaries, people are going to stop buying Newt's movies, videos, books and pamphlets, they're no longer going to participate in his projects, and are going to stop coming to his web sites. Sooner or later, America Solutions is going to either be dramatically downsized or go bankrupt.

My bet's on the latter.

That doesn't mean that Newt's going to starve or Callista won't be able to afford more platinum hair die. There's always room for a megalomaniac blowhard to hustle for a hard-earned buck on the right.

It's just that most of us aren't going to hear about it.

Jon Huntsman Throws His Snowball into the Deep Pit

In one of the most insignificant presidential campaign announcements of 2011, Jon Huntsman has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination.

The media gives Huntsman a lot of play because he's a "different kind of Republican" who has moderate views on social issues and served with Barack Obama as ambassador to China.

But Huntsman is almost as bad a no-hoper as you can get.

First, Huntsman doesn't have much name recognition among Republican voters. Of course, that's not necessarily fatal. But the easiest ways to pump up name recognition for an ambitious GOP politician are to drop about $100 million into advertising or make firebrand pronouncements about how Barack Obama is destroying the country because he isn't a real American. Huntsman comes from a wealthy and prominent Mormon family, but doesn't seem to have the ability to drop 50 or 100 mill like Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Likwise, he just came off a sting as Obama's ambassador to China. So, he can't make himself into Obama's "enemy from hell" either. Making things worse, Huntsman has no juice with the religious right, no cache with foreign policy neo-cons, and very little connection with the Republican religious establishment.

So, what is Jon Huntsman's constituency?

At first glance, it looks like Huntsman is going to compete for Mitt Romney votes. I should be clear that Huntsman's not going to compete with Mitt Romney for Romney votes. Huntsman has absolutely no chance of competing with Romney at this point. Instead, Huntsman is going to compete with Tim Pawlenty for the "I agree with Romney, but would never vote for Romney" vote.

That's the only competition Tim Pawlenty is going to win all year.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Rick Perry Bubble

Texas Governor Rick Perry is thinking of running to be the third president of the Confederacy--after Jefferson Davis and George W. Bush.

My impression of Rick Perry is that he's not all that smart. I've always disagreed with people on the left who thought George W. Bush and Sarah Palin were stupid. Both of them are bright, clever people who decided on ignorance as a life strategy.

Rick Perry strikes me as more like George Allen and Mike Pence--just kind of dumb.

That doesn't mean that Perry couldn't be president. His political consultant Dave Carney certainly has a good idea of the niche Perry could occupy in the presidential primaries as someone who would “take the wood to Obama.”

About 40% of Republican voters didn't think Obama was born in the U. S. until he produced his "long-form" birth certificate.

That constituency is looking for someone who would be particularly aggressive toward Obama and Perry could fill the bill.

But Perry could also find out that the media and primary voters are going to expect to make an instantaneous transition from breathy anticipation of a Rick Perry candidacy to charismatic fulfillment of their expectation.

If Perry is not up to that, there's a good chance that he'll drop like a Fred Thompson stone.

For what it's worth, my initial opinion is that Perry doesn't have what it takes.

Nail-Biting Day for Gay Rights in New York State

It looks like a big vote on legalizing gay marriage is coming up in New York State today.

I'm on my second marriage, all of my brothers and sisters are either on their first or second marriages, and one of my aunts has been married five times.

It's a crime that none of my gay friends in Kentucky or Pennsylvania can say the same.