Fortitudine et Prudentia

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Medicare Albatross

In News and Opinion on May 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm

The 26th District in Upstate NY is not Democrat country.  

In the past 160 years the self-reliant people of The Snow Belt have sent a Democrat to Congress a mere three times.  To say this district is Republican through and through is an understatement, there isn’t many more reliably Republican Districts in America.  Today is the end of a long campaign to fill the vacant seat left by Republican Congressman Chris Lee who resigned among controversey. 

Assemblywoman Jane Corwin is the heir apparent to the Republican Dynasty Upstate but she is having a rough go of it.  Mrs. Corwin’s opponent is supposed to be Democrat County Clerk Kathy Hocul and Tea Party annoyance Jack Davis but her real opponent is the Medicare overhaul that the Republican led House of Representatives passed this year.  The Pathway to Prosperity hangs around her neck like a slain Albatross and it’s dragging her down.

The last Sienna poll gave the Democrat a 4 point lead in a district House Democrats didn’t think they would be competitive in until recently.  New York Democrats seized on Corwin’s endorsement of the Medicare overhaul and haven’t relented.  Evey meet and greet with Hocul, every media ad, every mailer has had one theme; Medicare, Medicare, Medicare and its working.   See the ad below.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPa8teSoLwg&feature=related]

The race has Republicans scared and Democrats energized.  Because of the national implications for the upcoming 2012 elections the worry is this is a referendum on the Ryan Plan and the money is flowing in as well as the endorsements.  This has become quite an expensive race, generating over $2 million dollars of activity. The National Parties have both pumped in over $250,000 each.  Karl Rove’s PAC, American Crossroads, has dumped upwards of $600,000 into the race and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has shown up personally to fundraise for the Democrat.  There isn’t any ad time left on TV or Radio to buy.   Endorsements have come in from Governor Cuomo and Paul Ryan for each respectively,  the voters are over saturated with robocalls from Bill Clinton for Hocul and Chris Christie for Corwin.  All the Big Guns are out.  This is a no holds barred/all hands on deck election.

With all the money pushed into this election and all the high-profile political players involved it’s obvious the stakes are as high as they were in the special election that brought the Republican Scott Brown to the Senate from liberal Massachusettes.  Unless Corwin can buck the polls and take upwards of 55% of the vote in a district that is 93% white and with a median income of $43,000 a year this race will be a bad omen for GOP prospects in 2012.

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Newt Against The Machine

In News and Opinion on May 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm

When Newt Gingrich referred to Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan as “right-wing engineering” I think all the political junkies in America simultaneously spit out their proverbial peanut butter cookies.  Then when the onslaught of the Conservative Machine began manifesting itself on talk radio, in op-ed pieces and all the way down to curt handshakes in Iowa Gingrich couldn’t spit out 1,000 mea copes fast enough.  He was apologising to everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Paul Ryan when that was the last thing he should have been doing.  Someone forgot to tell The Former Speaker in politics when you’re put on the defensive it’s time to go on the offensive. 

So the question to Newt is, would you rather look like the smartest guy in the room or an apologist? 

If Gingrich wishes to look like an apologist then by all means continue the apology tour circa Obama 2009.  But if he wants to win the nomination now is the time to go against the machine.  Ryan’s Medicare plan is hugely unpopular among Americans, 65% flat-out oppose it and they want to hear smart alternatives from smart people.  The American people haven’t had their ears tuned so finely since The Great Depression and that’s exactly what Gingrich needs, an attentive audience ready to get down to the fine points.  For a man with Big Ideas he should be using this media focus to explain his alternative ideas not apologise and fall in line.  The voters see the Republican field as bunch of identical Pols in lock step with Ryan’s plan and they’re not very excited about it.  Newt can be the alternative, the candidate of ideas.  

If polling has any merit it tells us there is a silent majority in America that Medicare matters to a lot, and they may have been glad to hear there is an alternative to Obama’s Big Government and Ryan’s RoadMap to Ruin.  Now if only Gingrich would stop apologising and explain to us what that alternative might be he may be rewarded with a Presidential Nomination.