Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

LinkSwarm for December 19, 2014

Friday, December 19th, 2014

I trust everyone reading this has already heard about Sony Picture’s spinelessness in cancelling their release of The Interview, and Paramount’s even more-spineless refusal to allow theaters to show Team America: World Police in its place. This would be good reason to avoid paying for any Sony or Paramount products any time in the near future. And Cuba is a topic for another time. So here’s a quick look at the rest of what’s been happening the week before Christmas:

  • Obama’s taunting political opponents over how impossible it will be to overturn his illegal alien amnesty actually increases the chances it will be overturned.
  • Vermont can’t afford to pay for its socialist health care system.
  • Voters “prefer dysfunction to the alternative scenario of Democrats running both the White House and Congress.”
  • Democrats accept bribes to oppose Voter ID laws. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • It may be too late for investor’s to move money out of Russia in the wake of the ruble’s collapse, mainly because they already have.
  • Here are eight campus rape hoaxes that bear remarkable similarities to the Rolling Stone UVA rape hoax.
  • Was the entire hoax fabricated because one of “Jackie”‘s friends rebuffed her romantic overtures?
  • And the entire sad affair seems to have moved into farce now that it appears “Jackie” actually copied a Dawson’s Creek script for some of her catfishing.
  • The “campus rape epidemic” is “a male demonizing Gothic fantasy nurtured by several decades of hardline feminist theory”:

  • Meanwhile, in the real rape culture, the Islamic State hands out brochures on how jihadists are allowed to rape prepubescent girls.
  • The ex-wife of the Sydney gunman sought refugee in the U.S. right before she was murdered. “He was abusing her, having her wear the hijab, did not want her to talk with anybody.”
  • Executive director out at Texas Democratic Party.” Really? After such a swell job? (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • Amongst the Wikipedia editors.

    I am not exaggerating when I say it is the closest thing to Kafka’s The Trial I have ever witnessed, with editors and administrators giving conflicting and confusing advice, complaints getting “boomeranged” onto complainants who then face disciplinary action for complaining, and very little consistency in the standards applied. In my short time there, I repeatedly observed editors lawyering an issue with acronyms, only to turn around and declare “Ignore all rules!” when faced with the same rules used against them.

  • Pro-gun control Austin City Council candidate defeated.
  • Wonder why so many UT insiders went after Wallace Hall when it was obvious Hall was right? Maybe it’s because they’re involved in the scandal up to their eyeballs. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • Science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle has suffered a strike. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
  • Democrats Hate the South, And The South Hates Them Right Back

    Monday, December 8th, 2014

    With the defeat of Mary Landrieu, the Democratic Party no longer has a single national office holder anywhere in the South. In fact, with South Carolina re-electing Tim Scott, “there are now more black Republicans than white Democrats from the Deep South.”

    Moe Lane says we shouldn’t be surprised by this turn of events:

    It’s not demographics, and it’s certainly not gerrymandering, and shoot, it’s not even Barack Obama. It’s that the people who run the Democratic party [expletive deleted] hate the South.

    And Southerners have noticed. It really does astound me that the national Democratic apparatus apparently thought that they could defecate on an entire section of the country for fifty years and still get that section to vote for them at the end of it.

    And least you think that Lane is exaggerating liberal contempt for the South, along comes Michael Tomasky to provide an outstanding example of what Lane was talking about.

    Practically the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment. A fact made even sadder because on the whole they’re such nice people! (I truly mean that.)

    With Landrieu’s departure, the Democrats will have no more senators from the Deep South, and I say good. Forget about it. Forget about the whole fetid place. Write it off. Let the GOP have it and run it and turn it into Free-Market Jesus Paradise.

    And there’s your window into the Democratic Party’s id. The most economically dynamic part of the country is a “Fetid Free Market Jesus Paradise.” Tomasky has some advice for the Democratic Party: “At the congressional level, and from there on down, the Democrats should just forget about the place. They should make no effort, except under extraordinary circumstances, to field competitive candidates. The national committees shouldn’t spend a red cent down there.”

    I heartily endorse this strategy for the Democratic Party (with the exception that they should continue to pour money down the rathole that is Battleground Texas). Because what could possibly go wrong with that strategy? Besides Republicans making significant inroads among Hispanic and black voters in those states?

    It’s also revealing that Tomasky quotes (approvingly) that Democrats are “not going to ever be too good on gays and guns and God.” Well, good thing only 73% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. And unremitting hostility to gun ownership hasn’t exactly been a surefire electoral winner for Democrats…

    It’s not just national-level Democrats either. The Statesman notes that there will be only seven “non-Hispanic white Democrats in the Texas House and Senate when the 84th session of the Legislature convenes in January.” That piece also notes that “In 1983, white Democrats held 21 of the 31 state Senate seats and 85 of the 150 House seats.”

    In this really interesting interview with former Texas GOP chair Wayne Thorburn about his book Red State: An Insider’s Story of How the GOP Came to Dominate Texas Politics (which I’m going to have to pick up), he talks about how liberal Democrats actively drove conservatives out of their own party so they could take control of it:

    Q The most ironic part about “Red State” for me is how Democratic liberals actually encouraged their followers to vote Republican as a way of driving conservatives out of their own party. That doesn’t appear to have been too smart in the long run.

    A For many years beginning in the 1940s Texas politics consisted of contests between conservatives and liberals in the Democratic primary. The more ideologically committed liberals saw themselves as the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,” meaning that they were more in line with the northern wing in control of the national party. To gain control of the Texas party they needed to drive conservatives out of the Democratic primary, something that could be done only if the Republicans were a viable alternative. Thus, some prominent liberals endorsed a GOP candidate when the Democrats had nominated a conservative. This pattern began with John Tower in 1961 and continued on to include George H.W. Bush when he ran against Lloyd Bentsen for the U.S. Senate in 1970. Two old sayings come to mind: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” and “Be careful what you wish for.” The liberals succeeded in gaining control of the Democratic Party by 1976 when the contest between Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford drew nearly a half-million voters into the GOP primary. Two years later in 1978 their candidate knocked off Gov. Dolph Briscoe in the Democratic primary. The result of that, however, was the election of William P. Clements as the first Republican governor in 104 years. What the liberals failed to recognize was that most Texans were conservatives and to them ideology trumped party tradition and loyalty. As the Texas Democratic Party became more clearly liberal, the Republican Party was seen as the only conservative alternative in the state.

    In short, it was the intolerance of liberal Democrats that drove voters away and turned Democrats into what Instapundit has dubbed “a dying regional party”…

    Postscript: Actually, that first link says there are no more white Democrats holding office in the Deep South, however they define that. But there are still two white Democrats in the U.S. House from Texas: Lloyd Doggett and Beto O’Rourke, both of whom (I think) represent majority minority districts.

    LinkSwarm for December 5, 2014

    Friday, December 5th, 2014

    Let’s jump into it:

  • IRS cites taxpayer confidentiality in defying a federal judge by refusing to hand over documents showing it violated taxpayer confidentiality by sharing that information with the White House.
  • By 2020, some 90% of Americans will be forced onto ObamaCare exchanges.
  • So left-wing stalwart magazine The New Republic just let several long-time editors go, reduced their publishing schedule from 20 issues a year to 10, and put a former Gawker-person in charge as editor, which is just short of putting up a sign reading “Dead Magazine Walking.” John Podhoretz traces their decline to the age of Obama:

    I think the answer is that there never was any Obamaism to champion; there was no serious vision of America and the world being laid out by the administration that provided fertile ground out for intellectual cultivation, for voices on the outside to make sense of that serious vision and help it cohere into an argument. (In the 1980s, ironically, it was the New Republic‘s own Charles Krauthammer who did just that in explicating the “Reagan Doctrine,” though even more ironically, he did it in the pages of Time Magazine rather than in TNR.)

    What there was, instead, was the increasing reliance on the cheap-shottery of the Internet era—in which TNR and others were driven more by a kind of grinding loathing of the Right than by an effort to create a more effective and serious Center-Left. The magazine foundered because liberals foundered, because Obamaism was a cult of personality that demanded fealty rather than a philosophy that demanded explication.

    Also: I was unaware that The Weekly Standard had twice the circulation of The New Republic. And you should check out the rest of that piece, not least for the perfect title…

  • And speaking of Podhoretz, his New York Post piece on why Hillary’s supposed cakewalk to the Democratic nomination is a sign of party weakness is well worth reading: “Hillary Clinton has no natural claim to her party’s nomination. She’s not even an especially gifted politician. Aside from the spectacular incompetence of her 2008 campaign, she is as gaffe-prone as Dan Quayle and as awkward as Bob Dole.”
  • For the left, the truth no longer matters. “For the Left, this is all tribal, white hats vs. black hats. Fraternity members and police officers are, in their view, by definition on the wrong side of every dispute.”
  • Mary Landrieu isn’t just going to get beat in Saturday’s runoff, she’s primed to get slaughtered, trailing in the latest polls by 24 points.
  • European “austerity” isn’t.
  • The European economic crisis has gotten so bad that traditional left-wing and right-wing parties are thinking of teaming up to thwart newly ascendent Euroskeptic parties.
  • Fracking is kicking Putin’s ass. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Battles with jihadists kill 20 in Chechan capital of Grozny. I guess December is rerun season in Russia as well…
  • Wisconsin might be getting ready to pass right-to-work legislation. Hey Wisconsin unions: How’d that whole “recall” thing work out for you? “You come at the king, you best not miss.”
  • Evidently teenage boys have too many cooties to be taken in at the Salvation Army. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • How PBS lied about Ferguson.
  • The Rolling Stone story of an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity continues to unravel. If there was an actual gang rape, the perpetrators should be arrested and tried. If not, Rolling Stone has some editorial house-cleaning to perform…
  • Breitbart demolishes Lena Dunham’s “raped by a Republican” story. Plus this nugget from a liberal college administrator “‘Asking whether or not a victim is telling the truth is irrelevant,’ Ms. Hess proclaimed. ‘It’s just not important if they are telling the truth.’”
  • On the same theme:

  • Andrew Klavan on #GamerGate and the immense gozangas on display in Soul Caliber. Nice shirt! (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • The UK announced they’re finally going to pay off their World War I debt. Governments come and go, but sovereign debt is almost immortal…
  • Another day, another 36 people killed by jihadists in Kenya.
  • In Denmark, “27 percent of male descendant of immigrants from non-Western countries aged 20-24 years were convicted of an offense in 2013.”
  • Shakespeare First Folio found.
  • Newly discovered Ayn Rand novel to be published.
  • And speaking of Rand, her longtime disciple/lover Nathaniel Branden died at age 84. I’m sure he would be deeply offended at the suggestion he’s gone on to the afterlife…
  • Detroit man steals ambulance to go to a topless bar.
  • I have no joke here, I just like typing Vegan Strip Club Riot.
  • LinkSwarm for November 28, 2014

    Friday, November 28th, 2014

    Here’s a small LinkSwarm to tide you over for Black Friday:

  • 62% of voters oppose Obama’s illegal alien amnesty.
  • Barack Obama: Troll in Chief.
  • “If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.”

    The Democrats, if they had any remaining intellectual honesty, would hold their convention in Detroit. Democratic leadership, Democratic unions and the Democratic policies that empower them, Democrat-dominated school bureaucracies, Democrat-style law enforcement, Democratic levels of taxation and spending, the politics of protest and grievance in the classical Democratic mode — all of these have made Detroit what it is today: an unwholesome slop-pail of woe and degradation that does not seem to belong in North America, a craptastical crater groaning with misery, a city-shaped void in what once was the industrial soul of the nation. If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.

  • “The group toward whom [Obama]‘s shown the greatest contempt, however, is low-skilled American workers, particularly blacks.”
  • “At what point do we stop enabling the grievance industry to override our core constitutional protections?”
  • Did Obama prevent Missouri from deploying the National Guard to prevent Ferguson rioting?
  • Communist agitators stirring up a civil rights protest sounds like a bad ‘60s flashback, but that’s just what happened last week in Ferguson.”
  • Jim Webb’s career show’s how badly Democrats have been hollowed-up in the Obama era:

    Consider: There will be only five red-state Senate Democrats left in the next Congress if, as expected, Sen. Mary Landrieu is defeated in next month’s runoff. Even more striking, there will be only five House Democrats left representing districts that Mitt Romney carried in 2012. The once-influential Blue Dog Caucus of fiscally hawkish Democrats is all but extinct. Republicans now boast twice as many blue-state senators (10) and five times as many blue-district representatives (25) than their Democratic counterparts in red territory.

    While lots of ink has been spilled charting the GOP’s drift rightward, the Democratic Party’s move toward ideological homogeneity has been shorter and swifter.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit, who notes “The Democratic Party has become an aging, regional party with a diversity problem.”)

  • It’s not that the Vietnamese communist leadership is good, it’s just less bad than all the other communist leaderships.
  • Ann Althouse is right: They really did choose a superbly illustrative picture for this Chuck Hagel resignation piece.
  • Only 50% of climate scientists think climate change is human induced.
  • Who should be Secretary of Defense? “America needs Dick Cheney. Now more than ever.”
  • You could read this Penny Arcade as a parable about Islam. Or trusting Obama.
  • LinkSwarm for November 21, 2014

    Friday, November 21st, 2014

    Here in Austin, we’re enjoying a temporary respite from Winter in November, but I don’t expect it to last long.

    Links!

    All the lies of ObamCare:

    The growing impression that politicians don’t play straight with their constituents is completely toxic, particularly to Democrats, who actually want to use government to improve people’s lives. It’s one thing to downplay unpalatable choices made in the law; it’s another to never disclose the consequences of legislation until it’s too late for anyone to react. Combine that with the moustache-twirling of a Jonathan Gruber, saying that the idiots should be happy for what they got, and you have basically every conservative stereotype about liberal elites confirmed.

    Also: ObamaCare is designed for people buying insurance through it to get a nasty sticker shock in year two. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • House Republicans file suit over Obama’s unilateral actions on ObamaCare.
  • The administration is lying about ObamaCare signup numbers. Again.
  • “Why Texas Could Remain a Republican Stronghold for Another Generation.”
  • “The president’s promises have been proven to be worthless…How many illegal immigrants want to come out of the shadows and identify themselves to law enforcement based upon this promise?”
  • Jay Carney admits that with his illegal alien amnesty, Obama is doing something he previously called unconstitutional.
  • Mickey Kaus thinks the courts could very well act quickly to squash Obama’s illegal amnesty, much as they did with Harry Truman’s steel mill seizures.
  • Aaron Worthing thinks illegals will pass on Obama’s amnesty as a bad deal.
  • “These illegal aliens are willing to do the work that Americans will no longer do — namely, vote Democrat.”
  • How desperate are the Democrats? They’re saying Republican opposition to Obama’s illegal alien amnesty will lead to ethnic cleansing. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Top Obama bundler arrested on child rape charges.
  • Lefty lawyer Alan Derschowitz on Harvard’s kangaroo court sexual assault rules: “Harvard’s policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense.”
  • How come Bill Cosby gets convicted in the media for rape allegations by Bill Clinton gets a pass? “There is more sympathy for a white southerner like Clinton than a black comic like Cosby.”
  • A giant leap backward for woman-kind.
  • Price of ground beef hits record highs.
  • Oh lovely: Microsoft is deploying Daleks.
  • A Real Texas Speaker’s Race? Don’t Count on It

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

    Despite a broad consensus that he’s too moderate and holding up important conservative legislation, conservatives in the Texas House failed to unseat Speaker Joe Straus in both 2010 and 2012. Since then, one Straus ally after another has fallen to more conservative challengers in the primaries. Will this session finally be the one where Straus is replaced?

    Well, conservative are certainly going to try to oust Straus from the speaker’s chair. “Scott Turner, the freshman state representative challenging Joe Straus for House speaker, affirmed on Tuesday that he will insist on a floor vote on Jan. 13, the first day of session, come what may.”

    Michael Quinn Sullivan makes the case for ousting Straus. (One would think that if Sullivan was as powerful as liberal reporters make him out to be, Straus would have been out of a job in 2011. But for all Sullivan’s considerable influence, Straus has managed to survive repeated attempts to kick him oust him.)

    And Texas Tea Party groups are threatening to hold Reps accountable if they vote for Straus as Speaker again. Indeed, the North Texas Tea Party said as much on their website. Unfortunately, they decided to do so in an overheated and poorly-formatted screed interspersed with ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FOR EMPHASIS. Guys, you’re not posting on a BBS in 1984. Things like this make it entirely too easy for the opposition (in this case Straus-backing RINOs and their media enablers) to dismiss you out of hand.

    However, as much as it pains me to report it, the more I read the tea leaves, the more I think Straus survives the challenge this time as well.

    Conservatives were less than thrilled when Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, who owes his seat in large measure to running against Straus and beating Straus ally Vicki Truitt in 2012, announced he was supporting Straus for speaker.

    Then Sarah Rumpf wrote that still more Republicans announced they were backing Straus:

    Joining Capriglione are Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton), Phil King (R-Weatherford), Myra Crownover (R-Lake Dallas), James Frank (R-Wichita Falls), and Drew Springer (R-Muenster), who emailed the release to Breitbart Texas with a short message that it was “from leading North Texas conservatives on our position on the 84th session.” Straus was first elected Speaker in 2009, largely on the votes of the Democrats and moderate Republicans in the House. Since first taking up the Speaker’s gavel, Straus has faced criticism from various conservative groups and grassroots activists who view him as more of a moderate.

    Now comes news that Straus theoretically has enough votes in the bag to stay speaker:

    The list of House Republicans who have publicly backed Straus in the past week include Trent Ashby of Lukfin, Cecil Bell of Magnolia, Giovanni Capriglione of Southlake, Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches, Myra Crownover of Denton, Tony Dale of Cedar Park, Marsha Farney of Georgetown, James Frank of Wichita Falls, Larry Gonzales of Round Rock, Jason Isaac of Dripping Springs, Kyle Kacal of Pearland, Phil King of Weatherford, Tim Kleinschmidt of Lexington, J.M. Lozano of Kingsville, Doug Miller of New Braunfels, Morrison, John Otto of Dayton, Chris Paddie of Marshall, Tan Parker of Flower Mound, John Raney of Bryan, Ron Simmons of Carrollton, Drew Springer of Muenster and Paul Workman of Austin. Three newly elected Republicans who will join the Legislature in January — Dade Phelan of Beaumont, Gary VanDeaver of Clarksville and Rick Galindo of San Antonio — have also pledged support to Straus.

    Et tu, Tony Dale? It’s disappointing that all three Williamson County Representatives (Dale, Larry Gonzalez and Marsha Farney) are backing Straus.

    At this point, it’s beginning to look like conservatives will need to knock off Straus in the 2016 Republican primary to get rid of him…

    Democratic Failure In Texas: Even Worse Than You Thought

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

    I wanted to put up a link to this Wayne Thorburn Politico Piece on the Democratic Party’s 2014 failure in Texas. The piece focuses on the many missteps made by Battleground Texas, such as the decision to send out-of-state Obama activists rather than hire within, the decision to go all-in on Wendy Davis rather than build an organization from the bottom up, and failure to share information with the Texas Democratic Party.

    But the part I found most striking was the description of just how badly Democrats did in lower-level races:

    This lack of a bottom-up strategy was particularly glaring on Dec. 9, 2013, the filing deadline for 2014 candidates. Far from attracting a number of qualified and vigorous candidates to the Democratic banner, Battleground and the party ended up ceding much of the field to the Republicans without even a whimper. In fact, Democrats failed to recruit anyone to run on their ticket for more than 40 percent of all state legislative positions on the ballot. The end result would be almost a two-to-one Republican majority in both the Texas Senate and the House. Even more depressing was the party’s showing at the county level. Democrats could not find anyone willing to run for County Judge (chief elected official in the county) in 165 of Texas’ 254 counties, ceding almost two-thirds of all counties to the Republicans without an election. Thus, by 2015, while the Democrats will retain the county judge in four of the six largest counties, the GOP will hold all 29 suburban county judge positions, 18 of 21 in the other metropolitan counties scattered around the state, and 150 of the 198 small town county courthouses. Of all the major counties in Texas, only Dallas, Bexar, El Paso, Jefferson and Travis, along with the border counties of Webb and Hidalgo, will have a Democratic county judge.

    And even more depressing than that was the fact that not a single Democratic candidate could be found who was willing to run for any county office in 86 counties—more than one-third of the total. These 86 included the heavily populated suburban counties of Denton, Johnson and Parker (outside Dallas-Fort Worth), Montgomery (suburban Houston) and Comal (north of San Antonio) as well as the other urban counties of Bell (Temple), Randall (Amarillo) and Grayson (Sherman). As the saying goes, you can’t win a game if you don’t field a team.

    LinkSwarm for November 14, 2014

    Friday, November 14th, 2014

    There’s been so many people offering up so much information on “GruberGate” that I assume anyone reading this blog has seen coverage of it already. The fact that Jonathan Gruber not only lied to the American voters he called “stupid” about ObamaCare, but also got paid $400,000 to do it certainly adds insult to injury. As does the fact that both Nancy Pelosi and members of Obama’s MSM praetorian guard like Vox’s Sarah Kliff are now lying about Gruber’s central involvement in ObamaCare despite having cited him in that capacity earlier.

    In other news:

  • Some really interesting nuggets of midterm statistical analysis from Sabato’s Crystal Ball. (Hat tip: SooperMexican’s Twitter feed.)
  • Republicans did very well picking up governorships, including some in deep-blue states.
  • Scott Walker just keeps winning.
  • More on the theme: “Does Walker sizzle? Not exactly. Is he a particularly charismatic speaker? No, he isn’t. But does he sit upon a throne made of the skulls of his enemies? Yes, yes he does.” (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Britain is poised to silence “extremist” speech. And who gets to determine what’s “extremist”? Why, the government, of course!

    Last month, May unveiled her ambition to “eliminate extremism in all its forms.” Whether you’re a neo-Nazi or an Islamist, or just someone who says things which betray, in May’s words, a lack of “respect for the rule of law” and “respect for minorities”, then you could be served with an extremism disruption order (EDO).

    Why do I get the impression that people pointing out Pakistani Muslim involvement in the Rotherham child rape scandals will be among the first targeted by this new law?

  • It’s not just the British who fail to investigate sex crimes: New Orleans police only investigated 14% of sex crimes.
  • Professional feminists have spent more time and energy denouncing video games than the sale and rape of girls in Nigeria and Iraq.”
  • “Honest, decent and intelligent people rightly perceive feminism as a limitless doctrine of fanatical hatred….Feminism isn’t about equality. Feminism is about hate.”
  • “Twitter has empowered leftist feminists to have a censorship field day.”
  • Just when the authoritarian left thought they had finally won the culture wars along came #GamerGate.
  • Time has a poll on which word should be “banned” in 2015. “Feminist” not only gets the most votes, it pretty much gets as many votes as all the rest combined.
  • Ted Cruz was right about the shutdown. It turns out that showing Republicans are opposed to horribly unpopular Democratic programs is popular with voters. Who knew?
  • Fake Maine hate crime ends up with accuser charged with “reckless conduct with dangerous weapon and driving to endanger.”
  • Democratic state Rep. Ron Reynolds’ barratry case has been declared a mistrial.
  • Islamist suicide bomber kills 50 at a high school in Nigeria.
  • Via Dwight of Whipped Cream Difficulties comes this Jim Schutze piece on how The Texas Tribune’s vaunted independence meant bupkis when it came to the Wallace Hall case.
  • China Vows To Begin Aggressively Falsifying Air Pollution Numbers.”
  • Price manipulation in the gold market?
  • Correction: Last week I gave the impression that Republican Carl DiMaio had won his California U.S. congressional race. That is what the early returns indicated, but he ended up losing a close race.
  • Here’s a dog story that will make your blood boil.
  • Battleground Texas Pledges We’ll Be Able To Kick Them Around Some More in 2016

    Thursday, November 13th, 2014

    Battleground Texas says we’ll have it to kick around in 2016:

    The head of Battleground Texas is telling supporters that despite an Election Day-shellacking, the group plans to stay put for the next round of elections in 2016. In a memo posted on the group’s website, executive director Jenn Brown says Battleground Texas is analyzing what went wrong. “I know that the losses last week were tough, and there has been a lot of negativity in the aftermath of the election. But I want you to look forward with me. Because we have work to do,” said Brown.

    Funny how pouring tens of millions of dollars into a state, only for Democrats lose even more badly than they did four years ago, might be perceived as “negative.”

    Also: “[Wendy] Davis raised money for her campaign field operation and Battleground Texas spent it. According to campaign finance reports, nearly $400,000 went to a Chicago consulting firm, 270 Strategies, headed by Jeremy Bird, who helped create Battleground Texas.”

    So no matter how badly Davis did, I guess the campaign was a rousing success for Bird.

    That piece also says that Battleground Texas can work with millionaire lawyer Steve Mostyn’s Ready for Hillary super-PAC. I’m having trouble thinking of scenarios where Hillary could win Texas that don’t involve the phases “complete breakdown of civilization” and “widespread cannibalism”…

    And Here Come the Wendy Davis Campaign Recriminations!

    Thursday, November 13th, 2014

    You don’t have such a high profile campaign flame-out as Wendy Davis for Governor without either some spectacular mismanagement within the ranks of the campaign, or a truly abysmal performance by the candidate themselves. While Wendy Davis certainly turned in an awful performance, it alone wasn’t the epic meltdown (I’m thinking Edmund Muskie’s tears or Rick Perry’s 2012 brain freeze) needed to derail a campaign all by itself.

    No, the Davis campaign offered up a veritably ecology of dysfunction.

    When a campaign fails this dramatically, the insider recriminations start popping up on why the disaster wasn’t their fault to keep the debacle from staining their own resumes. And now we have the first example from the Davis campaign.

    “Consultants for Democrat Wendy Davis warned her campaign months ago that the Fort Worth senator was headed for a humiliating defeat in the Texas governor’s race unless she adopted a more centrist message and put a stop to staggering internal dysfunction.”

    I once saw Staggering Internal Dysfunction open for No Controlling Legal Authority at Lollapalooza…

    “The warnings are contained in two internal communications obtained by The Texas Tribune and written at the beginning of the year by longtime Democratic operatives Peter Cari and Maura Dougherty.”

    So it would be Cari and Dougherty who want the world to know that “this huge, stinking debacle wasn’t our fault!”

    “Addressed to then-Campaign Manager Karin Johanson, the memo warned that the Davis campaign had ‘lurched to the left,’ was failing to communicate a positive message and offered virtually nothing to the swing voters the senator would need to win statewide.”

    Karin Johnson would be pushed out of the campaign on June 11. And just because the advice comes from two Democratic campaign operatives trying to save their own bacon doesn’t mean it’s not true.

    “The Prism consultants concluded that the campaign was either desperately broken or that the hierarchy had decided to portray Davis not as a Texas moderate but rather a ‘national Democrat, appealing to liberal donors in the mistaken belief that there is a hidden liberal base in Texas that will turn out to vote if they have a liberal candidate to support.’”

    Liberals are particularly good at this specific type of self-delusion.

    The Davis campaign was always going to have a particularly difficult challenge: how to suck up big-buck donations from the national pro-abortion network while still appearing moderate enough to get elected in Texas. It was probably an impossible one, but the Davis campaign certainly could have done a much better job than they did. Instead they made mistake after mistake and launched a series of dishonest and counterproductive attack ads against Abbott. (In this the Davis 2014 campaign made the same mistake as the Dewhurst 2012 campaign, preferring to run attack ads based on nothing rather than any sort of positive ads whatsoever.)

    Davis was the wrong candidate at the wrong time who ran the wrong campaign in the wrong state.

    Expect more recriminations of this type to surface in the coming weeks…