Posts Tagged ‘Elections’

LinkSwarm for July 25, 2014

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Time for another random roundup of news and links:

  • Jimmy Carter looks like frickin’ Bismark next to the feckless dorm-room intellectual currently haunting the golf courses of the greater DC area.”
  • Even Thomas “What’s The Matter With Kansas” Frank calls Obama “ineffective and gutless.” (Warning: Salon Liberal Whining Ahead.)
  • Liberal law professor Lawrence Tribe thinks that ObamaCare is probably doomed due to the Halbig decision. “I cannot see how this Court could do anything other than decide the same way as the DC Circuit did. The statue is clear on its face.”
  • Even “ObamaCare Architect” MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber said the same thing back in 2012: “What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”
  • Mark Steyn on the Halbig ruling:

    As to Mr Earnest’s point on “what Congress intended”, who can say? No Congressman who voted for the bill read it. Presumably, some legislator’s staffer wrote that actual line about “established by the State”. If we could locate him among the vast entourages of the Emirs of Incumbistan, we could ask him what his “intention” was. Until then, calibrating the competing degrees of deference to a corrupt bureaucracy, a contemptuous executive, a politicized judiciary and a feckless hack legislature brings to mind Samuel Johnson’s line about arguing the precedence of a louse and a flea, with a tick and a cockroach thrown in.

  • Missing from my Gaza roundup: “Shalom, motherf****r.” “I will not apologize for surviving.” (Hat tip: Josh Perry.)
  • Bill Whittle makes the case for Israel:

  • Obama won’t help arm Ukraine because he had a key role in disarming them.
  • Democrats plans for November: All race card, all the time.
  • 50 years of Democratic rule and now Detroit is cutting off people’s water. “Just goes to show that nothing is so expensive as when it is ‘free.’”
  • “That’s not funny.”
  • Republicans should stand firm and let the Export/Import Bank corporate welfare boondoggle expire. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Che Guevara, racist:

  • Maureen Dowd is never so readable as when she’s slamming the Clintons.
  • “Canadian Candidate Drops Out After Masturbation Video Surfaces.”

  • Sarah Palin endorses Joe Carr against Lamar Alexander in Tennessee senate primary. I don’t think anyone who watched Alexander’s “Lamar!” flannel flameout in the 1996 Presidential race has ever really trusted him since…
  • A New York City cupcake truck seems a little unclear on who their clientele might be. (They’ve since deleted both this tweet and the one where they implored people not to “snitch” to cops when they see crimes committed…)
  • Evidently nobody is actually reading Thomas Piketty’s book.
  • In praise of Power Girl’s boob window.
  • Wendy Davis’ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

    Friday, July 18th, 2014

    This has not been Wendy Davis’ week.

    First Greg Abbott’s campaign announces that he has more than $35 million cash on hand. Since Abbott was already the prohibitive favorite, hearing that he’s shattered Texas gubernatorial fundraising records wasn’t exactly a ray of sunshine for Team Wendy.

    Second, a Dallas Morning News headline proclaims that “Hollywood luminaries, labor and trial lawyers fuel Wendy Davis campaign.” Thus reminding everyone yet again that Davis is a liberal media darling whose fundraising occurs out of state because she’s far more popular in Hollywood than in Texas.

    Now even the Democrat-friendly Texas Tribune is debunking her fund-raising numbers:

    Instead of $13.1 million in cash on hand as claimed, the reports Davis and her allies filed show there was actually $12.8 million in the bank at the end of June, a difference of about $300,000.

    Meanwhile, the $11.2 million Davis claims she raised over the latest period — an amount she said was larger than the $11.1 million Abbott raised — contains over half a million dollars in non-cash “in-kind” donations and counts contributions that could benefit other Democratic candidates.

    One of the biggest sources of non-cash donations: a $250,000 in-kind contribution from country singing legend Willie Nelson. That’s how much the red-headed stranger told the campaign he would have charged for a free concert he gave at the senator’s Houston fundraiser, the campaign said.

    The lower-than-advertised cash figure and non-traditional accounting methods raise questions about how much money can be accurately attributed to Davis for the latest period.

    Also this:

    It was the cash-on-hand figure from Battleground Texas that came in lower than advertised. In the press release, the Davis campaign said Battleground would report $1.1 million in the bank. But Battleground told the Ethics Commission it only had $806,000 in the bank.

    That’s a double-dose of good news: The hopeless Davis campaign is sucking up money that might go to competitive races nationwide, and the well is running dry on Battleground Texas, which might conceivably be able to swing a few down-ballot races with better funding.

    And the general election is four months away…

    “Greg Abbott Shatters Record, Reports $35.59 Million Cash on Hand for Campaign”

    Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

    That’s the title of the press release the Abbott campaign just sent out. Details from that release:

  • $35.59 million cash on hand for the fundraising period ending on June 30th – the highest cash on hand amount ever reported by a Texas candidate.
  • Since January 1st of this year, Texans for Greg Abbott has raised $16.6 million.
  • For the current reporting period running from February 23rd-June 30th, Abbott reported raising $11.1 million.
  • Greg Abbott’s fundraising is coming from Texas: 95 percent of Abbott’s contributions came from within the state.
  • That last line is a direct jab at Wendy Davis’ Hollywood fundraising trips. The farther she goes from Texas, the more they like her…

    The fat lady isn’t just warming up, she’s already striding out on stage in full Valkyrie gear…

    Texas Statewide Races Update for June 23, 2014:

    Monday, June 23rd, 2014

    Some Texas statewide race news to start your week with:

  • Her campaign manager twitched her whiskers, then jumped off the USS Wendy Davis. Speaking of which, remember her old logo?

  • Of the move, liberal MSM fossil Paul Burka says it’s about time: “The Davis campaign has been a disaster.” Also:

    Democrats have already started describing the Republican slate as the “Abbott, Patrick, Paxton ticket.” There is always a “be careful what you wish for” component to these races. Patrick in particular is a very shrewd operator who has widespread support from the conservative base. He is a dangerous opponent. Democrats who underestimate him do so at their peril.

  • The fact that Greg Abbott is kicking Wendy Davis’ ass in polls is no surprise. The fact that Dan Patrick is kicking Leticia Van de Putte’s ass by an even bigger margin is.
  • Davis’ political obituary is already being written: “Privately, many of her supporters are resigned to her losing. And, already, some political operatives are pondering how she can stay politically relevant beyond November.” As I’ve said before, I think in 2015 she’ll host her own show on MSNBC.
  • Don’t give up, Wendy Davis! “Republicans needed her to be sucking up Democratic donors’ dollars all year long.”
  • Davis continues to raise funds where she’s most beloved: outside Texas.
  • More on that theme.
  • Abbott’s first ads against Davis are running in Spanish during the World Cup. It’s a sign of Abbott’s strength that he feels no need to secure his own base, so he can cut into Davis’ base right out of the gate.
  • Davis and Van de Putte are getting together to celebrate the one year anniversary of her abortion filibuster on Wednesday.
  • Abbott and Davis agree to two debates.
  • Abbot is not a big fan of corporate welfare.
  • Leland Yee Update for June 5, 2014

    Thursday, June 5th, 2014

    I’ve been busy with other things, so until Dwight covered it, I didn’t realize that indicted California state senator Leland Yee’s suspended campaign still came in third in the race for California Secretary of State, pulling in a quarter-million votes.

    Yee finished ahead of ethics watchdog Dan Schnur, a former chairman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, who framed his campaign around cleaning up Sacramento. Yee also finished ahead of Derek Cressman, a Democrat and former director of the good-government group Common Cause.

    “Sure, he’s been indicted on a gun trafficking and murder-for-hire scheme, but I really liked his opposition to banning shark fin soup.”

    Alternately, maybe all California voters just naturally assume that all Democratic office holders in their state are crooked.

    In other Leland Yee news:

  • California’s Senate Rules Committee refuses to release his legislative calendar. because you puny peasants have no right to know what slimy deals your betters are making behind closed doors.
  • The presiding judge has ordered the material released to the defense attorneys sealed, as per Yee’s wishes, but over the objections of the lawyers for Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

    “There are sensitive materials identifying numerous individuals who are not believed to have engaged in any criminal activities, but who were nonetheless captured on FBI surveillance or documented in FBI reports, for example after being introduced by charged defendants to undercover agents. Such materials, if improperly disclosed, could be used to besmirch these otherwise innocent individuals,” noted the April 8 motion for a protective order.

    Chow’s lawyers, Tony Serra and his team, who claim their client is innocent, take issue with this reasoning.

    ”He knows the politicians, the celebrities who were investigated and through this order of his gagging us, there’s an implication he’s almost protecting their reputation,” Serra said about Breyer.

  • More EU Election Fallout

    Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

    It’s hard to know just how much weight to put in widespread gains by Eurosceptic parties in EU elections, mainly because the EU decision-making process seems so opaque to outsiders. Even if Eurosceptic Parties had won significant majorities, you get the impression that they would be like Patrick McGoohan’s character on The Prisoner after he got elected #2, issuing orders and flipping switches to no effect whatsoever:

    Even were the Eurosceptics to form a coalition, power would still lie in the Council, or, some feel, in the permanent unelected EU bureaucracy. The entire apparatus seems designed specifically to thwart popular will and keep all power in the hands of the continental elite.

    More reactions to the election:

    Roger Kimball:

    The architects of the EU envision a European superstate in which national identity is subordinated to the abstraction of “Europe.” The regime would be internationalist but only titularly democratic: the real power (as has been traditional on the continent) would reside in a technocratic elite, not the people. But the people, it seems, have just awakened to this reality and it turns out they don’t like it.

    One take-away from yesterday’s election is this: when conservative parties cease providing a natural home for the community-binding sentiments of patriotism and national identity—when, that is to say, conservative parties cease being conservative—those parts of the population not indentured to the apparatus of dependency look elsewhere.

    John O’Sullivan in National Review:

    These results are merely the latest evolution of a very ominous long-term trend for the Tories. As Anthony Scholefield and Gerald Frost pointed out in their 2011 study Too Nice to Be Tories, the Conservative Party has been steadily losing one region of the United Kingdom after another in the last 40 years. It used to be able to depend on nine to twelve Unionist votes from Northern Ireland for its parliamentary majority; it gets none now. It won half the Scottish seats in 1955; the last three general elections each returned one Scottish Tory to Parliament. It wins eight seats out of 40 in Wales. And from the 158 MPs elected from the North of England, the Tories got 53.

    This is a dreadful record, but it could get worse. UKIP is now starting to replace the Tories as the main challenger to Labour in northern working-class constituencies. The new party takes votes in particular from culturally conservative and patriotic working-class men whom both major parties have abandoned in their pursuit of urban middle-class progressives. UKIP may therefore be a threat to both parties, but the local elections suggest that it is a bigger threat to the Conservative party.

    All this leaves Cameron with difficult choices:

    Either he does the electoral deal with UKIP that he now says he won’t do, in which the Tories agree to support UKIP candidates in a given number of seats in return for UKIP’s not fielding candidates elsewhere. In London, for instance, that would give UKIP an electoral base of something just above 40 percent — in Britain as a whole an even larger one.

    Or he contrives to lose the Scottish referendum on independence, which would remove only one Tory from the House of Commons but 41 Labourites and 11 Lib-Dems.

    France’s ruling class are in a panic following the strong showing of Le Pen’s National Front.

    Here’s a piece from the Jewish magazine Tablet in 2011 suggesting that Marine Le Pen has worked to purge the party of the antisemitism her father exhibited. Maybe.

    Could UKIP and Eurosceptic parties even form a majority coalition in the European parliament? Possible but doubtful.

    Then there’s the question of who would lead such a coalition, Nigel Farage or Marine Le Pen. Anglo-French rivalry is not exactly unknown…

    Final Statewide Race Runoff Update

    Monday, May 26th, 2014

    Tomorrow is the Texas primary runoff, so now would be a good time to find your voting card and confirm your polling place.

    A final roundup of runoff tidbits:

  • The Dallas Morning News says that Dan Patrick is poised to win due to his staunch opposition to illegal immigration. Oversimplified, but not entirely wrong. They also say Patrick has done a good job connecting with Ted Cruz supporters.
  • The end for Dewhurst draws nigh.
  • Dan Branch would have raised more money for the Attorney General race than Ken Paxton…were it not for the $1 million loan from Midland oilman Tim Dunn via Empower Texans PAC. Now you see why so many liberal reporters call Michael Quinn Sullivan the most powerful figure in Texas politics.
  • Talk show host Dana Loesch endorses Paxton. Less a move-the-needle endorsement than a reminder that conservatives are united on Paxton’s side.
  • Hey, that union Branch lobbied for totally wasn’t a member of the AFL-CIO…at least when he lobbied for it.
  • Governor Rick Perry took the unusual step of endorsing Sid Miller for Agriculture Commissioner over Tommy Merritt.
  • Some controversy over Miller’s campaign loan repayments.
  • On the Democrat side of the Ag Commissioner runoff, Kinky Friedman is running against an invisible opponent. “In the May 27 runoff the choice for the party’s faithful is either Friedman or Jim Hogan, a former dairy farmer who hasn’t campaigned for the office or even has a campaign website…Hogan could not be reached for comment because a phone number listed under his name was out of service and the Democratic Party of Texas did not respond to a request for other contact information.” Also, win or lose, Kinky said this is his last race.
  • Hogan seems to be taking a very Zen approach to campaigning.
  • One website has tried to fill the Jim Hogan void.
  • Here’s a Texas Tribune piece on the runoff between rich guy David Alameel and Larouchite Kesha Rogers for the Democratic Senate nomination. Fun as it would be to see Rogers upset Alameel, I don’t see it in the cards.
  • Finally, just in case you were unclear, Texas Monthly‘s Paul Burka is very upset that Republican primary voters continue to prefer actual Republicans over Republicans who act like Democrats once in office.
  • Here is who I will be voting for tomorrow (all of whom I expect to win):

  • Dan Patrick for Lt. Governor
  • Ken Paxton for Attorney General
  • Sid Miller for Agriculture Commissioner
  • Wayne Christian for Railroad Commissioner
  • What UKIP’s Big Election Win Means

    Saturday, May 24th, 2014

    The UK Independence Party (universally known as UKIP) won a big victory in UK Council and European Parliament elections.

    I’ve been struggling with how to frame the significance of UKIP’s victory without committing the sort of ghastly “distant observer” mistakes that Europeans do when analyzing American political results (such as the British liberal who confidently assured me that Texas was becoming a blue state).

    Fortunately, Peter Oborne in The Spectator has done the task far better than I could have, so I’m going to break with blogging tradition by quoting whopping great swathes of his analysis.

    When [UKIP head Nigel Farage] emerged as a force ten years ago, Britain was governed by a cross-party conspiracy. It was impossible to raise the issue of immigration without being labelled racist, or of leaving the EU without being insulted as a fanatic. Mainstream arguments to shrink the size of the state, or even to challenge its growth, were regarded as a sign of madness or inhumanity — hence Michael Howard’s decision to sack Howard Flight for advocating just that during the 2005 election campaign. The NHS and Britain’s collapsing education system were beyond criticism. Any failure to conform was policed by the media, and the BBC in particular.

    Meanwhile, the three main political parties had been captured by the modernisers, an elite group which defied political boundaries and was contemptuous of party rank and file. As I demonstrated in The Triumph of the Political Class (2007), politicians suddenly emerged as a separate interest group. The senior cadres of the New Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem parties had far more in common with each other than ordinary voters. General elections were taken out of the hands of (unpaid) party activists and placed in the hands of a new class of political expert. Ed Miliband’s expensive American strategist, David Axelrod, who flew into London on a fleeting visit to the shadow cabinet last week, is an example.

    In this new world, the vast majority of voters ceased to count. The new political class immediately wrote off all voters in safe seats — from unemployed ship-workers in Glasgow to retired lieutenant colonels in Tunbridge Wells. Their views could be disregarded because in electoral terms they were of no account. This callous attitude brought into existence a system of pocket boroughs in parts of Scotland, driving traditional Labour voters into the hands of the SNP and (as can now be seen clearly with hindsight) jeopardising the union. The only voters that political modernisers cared about were those in Britain’s approximately 100 marginal seats — and even the majority of those were considered of no significance. During the 2005 general election I went to see the co-chairman of the Conservatives, Maurice Saatchi, who boasted that barely 100,000 swing voters in the marginal seats mattered to him. Saatchi reassured me that the Conservative party had bought a large American computer that would (with the help of focus groups) single out these voters and tell them what they needed in order to make them vote Conservative.

    The majority of national journalists, for the most part well-paid Londoners, were part of this conspiracy against the British public. They were often personally connected with the new elite, with whom they shared a snobbery about the concerns of ordinary voters.

    Immigration is an interesting case study. For affluent political correspondents, it made domestic help cheaper, enabling them to pay for the nannies, au pairs, cleaning ladies, gardeners and tradesmen who make middle-class life comfortable.

    These journalists were often provided with private health schemes, and were therefore immune from the pressure on NHS hospitals from immigration. They tended to send their children to private schools. This meant they rarely faced the problems of poorer parents, whose children find themselves in schools where scores of different languages were spoken in the playground. Meanwhile the corporate bosses who funded all the main political parties (and owned the big media groups) tended to love immigration because it meant cheaper labour and higher profits.

    Great tracts of urban Britain have been utterly changed by immigration in the course of barely a generation. The people who originally lived in these areas were never consulted and felt that the communities they lived in had been wilfully destroyed. Nobody would speak up for them: not the Conservatives, not Labour, not the Lib Dems. They were literally left without a voice.

    To sum up, the most powerful and influential figures in British public life entered into a conspiracy to ignore and to denigrate millions of British voters. Many of these people were Labour supporters. Ten years ago, when Tony Blair was in his pomp, some of these voters were driven into the arms of the racist British National Party and its grotesque leader Nick Griffin. One of Britain’s unacknowledged debts to Nigel Farage is the failure of Griffin’s racist project. Disenfranchised Labour voters tend to drift to the SNP in Scotland and Ukip in England.

    Read the whole thing.

    Mark Steyn has some choices quotes on the meaning of UKIP’s victory as well (as he almost invariably does):

    A casual observer might easily assume the election was being fought between Farage’s UKIP and a Tory-Labour-Liberal-Media coalition.

    (snip)

    The British media spent 20 years laughing at UKIP. But they’re not laughing now — not when one in four electors takes them seriously enough to vote for them. So, having dismissed him as a joke, Fleet Street now warns that Farage uses his famous sense of humor as a sly cover for his dark totalitarian agenda — the same well-trod path to power used by other famous quipsters and gag-merchants such as Adolf Hitler, whose Nuremberg open-mike nights were legendary. “Nigel Farage is easy to laugh at . . . that means he’s dangerous,” declared the Independent. The Mirror warned of an “unfulfilled capacity for evil.” “Stop laughing,” ordered Jemma Wayne in the British edition of the Huffington Post. “Farage would lead us back to the dark ages.” The more the “mainstream” shriek about how mad, bad, and dangerous UKIP is, the more they sound like the ones who’ve come unhinged.

    UKIP is pronounced “You-kip,” kip being Brit slang for “sleep.” When they write the book on how we came to this state of affairs, they’ll call it While England Kipped. A complacent elite assured itself that UKIP would remain an irritating protest vote, but that’s all. It was born in 1993 to protest the Maastricht treaty, the point at which a continent-wide “common market” finally cast off the pretense of being an economic arrangement and announced itself as a “European Union,” a pseudo-state complete with “European citizenship.” The United Kingdom Independence party was just that: a liberation movement. Its founder, a man who knew something about incoherent Euro-polities, was the Habsburg history specialist Alan Sked, who now dismisses the party as a bunch of “fruitcakes.” As old-time Perotistas will understand, new movements are prone to internecine feuds. UKIP briefly fell under the spell of the oleaginous telly huckster Robert Kilroy-Silk, who subsequently quit to found a party called “Veritas,” which he has since also quit.

    But Farage was there at the founding, as UKIP’s first-ever parliamentary candidate. In 1994, a rising star of the Tory party, Stephen Milligan, was found dead on his kitchen table, with a satsuma and an Ecstasy tab in his mouth, and naked except for three lady’s stockings, two on his legs and one on his arm. In his entertaining book, one of the few political memoirs one can read without forcing oneself to finish, Farage has a melancholy reflection on Milligan’s bizarrely memorable end: “It was the sad destiny . . . of this former President of the Oxford Union to contribute more to public awareness — albeit of a very arcane nature — by the manner of his death than by his work in life.” That’s to say, the late Mr. Milligan more or less singlehandedly planted the practice of “auto-erotic asphyxiation” in the public consciousness — since when (as John O’Sullivan suggested here a while back) the Tory party seems to have embraced it as a political philosophy.

    At the time, Milligan’s death enabled a by-election in the constituency of Eastleigh. Farage stood for UKIP, got 952 votes (or 1.4 percent), and narrowly beat the perennial fringe candidate Screaming Lord Sutch of the Monster Raving Loony party, which, in a perceptive insight into the nature of government, was demanding more than one Monopolies Commission (the British equivalent of the Antitrust Division). While waiting for the count, Lord Sutch said, “Oi, Nige. Let’s go for a drink, shall we? The rest of this lot are a bunch of wankers.” In the BBC footage of the announcement of the results, Mr. Farage appears to be flushed and swaying slightly. Let Kilroy-Silk split to form a breakaway party called Veritas; Farage is happy to be in vino. He is a prodigious drinker and smoker. I can personally testify to the former after our Toronto appearance. As to the latter, not even Obama can get away with that in public. But Farage does.

    The wobbly boozer turned out to be the steady hand at the tiller UKIP needed. He was elected (via proportional representation) to the European Parliament, which for the aspiring Brit politician is Siberia with an expense account. Then, in 2010, Farage became a global Internet sensation by raining on the EU’s most ridiculous parade — the inaugural appearance by the first supposed “President of Europe,” not a popularly elected or even parliamentarily accountable figure but just another backroom deal by the commissars of Eutopia. The new “President” was revealed to be, after the usual Franco-German stitch-up, a fellow from Belgium called Herman van Rompuy. “Who are you?” demanded Farage from his seat in the European Parliament during President van Rompuy’s address thereto. “No one in Europe has ever heard of you.” Which was quite true. One day, Mr. van Rompuy was an obscure Belgian, the next he was an obscure Belgian with a business card reading “President of Europe.” But, as is his wont, Nigel warmed to his theme and told President van Rompuy that he had “the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk.” A few days later, having conferred in their inner sanctum, the Eurocrats ordered Farage to make a public apology. So he did — to low-grade bank clerks for having been so ill-mannered as to compare them to President van Rompuy. He was then fined 2,980 euros (about $4,000) for his impertinence, since when he has referred to the European president as Rumpy-Pumpy, a British synonym for a bloody good shag.

    (snip)

    As I understand it, at some point in the last decade a Labour prime minister exited 10 Downing Street by the back door and a Conservative prime minister came in through the front. And yet nothing changed. And the more frantically Tory loyalists talk up the rare sightings of genuine conservatism — Education Secretary Michael Gove’s proposed reforms! — the more they remind you of how few there are.

    And, even more than the policies, the men advancing them are increasingly interchangeable. I lived in London for a long time and still get to Britain every few months, but I can barely tell any of these guys apart. They look the same, dress the same, talk the same. The equivalent British shorthand for “the Beltway” is “the Westminster village,” which accurately conveys both its size and its parochialism but not perhaps the increasingly Stepfordesque quality of its inhabitants. The Labour, Liberal, and Tory leaders all came off the assembly line within 20 minutes of each other in the 1960s and, before they achieved their present ascendancy, worked only as consultants, special advisers, public-relations men. One of them did something at the European Commission, another was something to do with a think tank for social justice — the non-jobs that now serve as political apprenticeships. The men waiting to succeed them are also all the same. There are mild variations in background — this one went to Eton, that one is heir to an Irish baronetcy — but once they determine on a life in politics they all lapse into the same smarmy voice, and they all hold the same opinions, on everything from the joys of gay marriage and the vibrant contributions of Islam to the vital necessity of wind farms and the historical inevitability of the EU. And they sound even more alike on the stuff they stay silent on — ruinous welfare, transformative immigration, a once-great nation’s shrunken armed forces…

    (snip)

    On the Continent, on all the issues that matter, competitive politics decayed to a rotation of arrogant co-regents of a hermetically sealed elite, and with predictable consequences: If the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable ones. As noted, Farage is too funny to make a convincing fascist, but, with the great unwashed pounding on the fence of their gated community, the Westminster village have redoubled their efforts.

    (snip)

    On the Continent, on all the issues that matter, competitive politics decayed to a rotation of arrogant co-regents of a hermetically sealed elite, and with predictable consequences: If the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable ones. As noted, Farage is too funny to make a convincing fascist, but, with the great unwashed pounding on the fence of their gated community, the Westminster village have redoubled their efforts.

    (snip)

    Farage is a close student of the near-total collapse of the intellectually bankrupt Canadian Conservative party in the early Nineties, and its split into various factions. The western-based Reform party could not get elected nationwide, but they kept certain political ideas in play, which moved the governing Liberals to the right, and eventually enabled them to engineer a reverse takeover of the Tory party. UKIP, likewise, is keeping certain important, indeed existential questions in play, and it’s not inconceivable that Farage, who regards himself as a member of “the Tory family,” could yet engineer a reverse takeover of whatever post-Cameron husk remains half a decade down the road.

    Again, read the whole thing. (Which should be taken as a given for any Steyn piece. And since I’m swiping enormous chunks of his prose today, also consider buying some of his stuff.)

    One sign of how scared the political establishment is of UKIP is that the government is actually funding an advertising campaign against them.

    Here in the United States, both Republicans and Democrats should take a good, hard look at UKIP’s rise. Many of the “forbidden” topics UKIP is raising there (big government, control by a small cabal of elites, immigration) are animating the Tea Party (and even, to some extent, parts of Occupy).

    More Signs of “Dewhurst Disgust”

    Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

    More fallout from Jerry Patterson’s release of Dan Patrick’s mental health information from the 1980s to aid David Dewhurst.

    David Jennings of Big Jolly Politics, who was notable for being perhaps the only conservative blogger in Texas to back David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz in 2012, has declared that “the despicable attacks on Sen. Dan Patrick make me sick.”

    I’m sickened by the type of attacks that the guy I support, David Dewhurst, has put out in the last two months. The worst possible thing he could have done was take on Jerry Patterson and let him have control of his campaign, which is why I coined the term “Dewtterson”…. You don’t have to support Dan or vote for him to know that what the Dewtterson campaign, along with one compliant media outlet, has done to Dan is just plain wrong.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

    The Dallas Morning News, also not Dan Patrick fans, have said that Patterson and Dewhurst say the latest developments “scrape moral bottom.”

    The Houston Chronicle joins in: “Dewhurst should be ashamed. This pathetic attempt at attacking a political opponent scrapes the bottom of the barrel.”

    Lynn Woolery is moderating a Dewhurst/Patrick debate in Salado tonight, and has a list of questions that (thankfully) focus entirely on current events, rather than things that happened in the 1980s.

    In other Lt. Governor’s race news:

  • Patrick announced he’s raised $4 million between February 23 and last week. Patrick also spent “$3.75 million on statewide media advertising and says he has $400,000 in cash remaining before the May 27 runoff.”
  • Missed this earlier: Ron Paul endorses David Dewhurst. Unlike other recent Dewhurst endorsements, that one might actually give him a point or two, or at least prompt another look from the Paul faithful.
  • Ugly Campaign Against Dan Patrick Gets Uglier

    Monday, May 19th, 2014

    Someone should contact the David Dewhurst campaign and inform them the the calendar doesn’t read 1989 anymore.

    There’s been yet another attack on Dan Patrick dating (like all Dewhurst’s attacks) from the golden age of hair metal. After Jerry Patterson endorsed David Dewhurst, he released documentation to reporters indicating Patrick sought hospitalization for depression.

    It’s impossible for an outsider to determine whether Patterson released the records on his own against Dewhurst’s wishes or whether Dewhurst is using the time-honored method of using surrogates to do his dirty work. However, the revelations obviously fit into the overall Team Dewhurst “stuck in the 1980s” attack strategy.

    So ham-handed and irrelevant are these latest attacks on Patrick that even people who aren’t wild about him are turned off by the tactics. “If anything, David Dew­hurst is only ensuring that Dan Patrick will win by a larger margin than he might have otherwise.”

    Even before the mental health revelations, Evan of Perry vs. World said that David Dewhurst did not deserve re-election This is significant in that he has been very critical of Dan Patrick throughout the campaign.

    In some future political science class, Dewhurst’s 2012 campaign against Ted Cruz and 2014 campaign against Dan Patrick are going to be dissected as outstanding examples of how not do negative advertising…