Stories by Fred Bauer

Fred Bauer is a writer from New England.  He blogs at A Certain Enthusiasm.

The Road Ahead

January 4th, 2012 at 8:44 am 7 Comments

In the wake of the Iowa caucuses, what matters now is not the exact order of Romney, Santorum, and Paul; the numbers are very close. What does matter is the range between the candidates. Iowa gives us basically a tie between Romney and Santorum, with both at around 25%. Ron Paul comes out a strong third at around 21%. Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann, and Huntsman, who did not even campaign in Iowa, fall far behind.

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Don’t Blame Romney for Ballot Trouble

December 27th, 2011 at 12:43 am 41 Comments

The Republican Party of Virginia is on the verge of the appearance of a significant scandal. Allegations, fueled by a post by Richard Winger at Ballot Access News, are swirling, suggesting that the Virginia GOP changed the rules for the validation of signatures in October 2011:

But what has not been reported is that in the only other presidential primaries in which Virginia required 10,000 signatures (2000, 2004, and 2008) the signatures were not checked. Any candidate who submitted at least 10,000 raw signatures was put on the ballot. In 2000, five Republicans qualified: George Bush, John McCain, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, and Steve Forbes. In 2004 there was no Republican primary in Virginia. In 2008, seven Republicans qualified: John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Alan Keyes [Not actually on the 2008 ballot--FB].

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Real Reaganites Don’t Demonize Their Opponents

December 23rd, 2011 at 12:25 am 26 Comments

Ronald Reagan’s speech at the 1980 Republican National Convention provides a welcome jolt amidst the atmosphere of the current Republican nominating contest. Instead of hypocritical invective and mindless tribalism, Reagan offers a fundamentally optimistic and cooperative narrative of America.

Though this speech has moments of anger, it is not, at heart, an angry speech. Consider some of these lines near the opening:

I know we have had a quarrel or two, but only as to the method of attaining a goal. There was no argument about the goal. As president, I will establish a liaison with the 50 governors to encourage them to eliminate, where it exists, discrimination against women. I will monitor federal laws to insure their implementation and to add statutes if they are needed.

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Wall Street Ties Won’t Sink Romney

December 21st, 2011 at 12:38 am 15 Comments

Some on the right are concerned that Obama would slam Romney as a denizen of Wall Street and that Romney’s wealth would prove a hindrance in the general election. While some worries about Romney’s business background are more the product of sympathy for other candidates than anything else, there is an element of real anxiety to them, and they are not completely baseless.

However, there are numerous reasons not to overestimate the potential effectiveness of White House attacks on Romney over Wall Street connections.

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Will Newt Win? Lets Ask President Giuliani!

December 7th, 2011 at 1:30 pm 21 Comments

Though Newt Gingrich seems to be styling himself as the inevitable nominee, a look back at the polling in during the Republican primary race in late 2007 suggests that Gingrich’s camp should not get too confident yet.

In December 2007, no polls seemed to show McCain as the frontrunner. Instead, Giuliani and a fast-rising Mike Huckabee tended to dominate in polling.

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President Romney Won’t End Conservatism

December 5th, 2011 at 7:00 am 44 Comments

In an interview with Laura Ingraham, George Will despairs of the choice between Gingrich and Romney as GOP frontrunners:

Ask yourself this: Suppose Gingrich or Romney become president and gets re-elected – suppose you had eight years of this…What would the conservative movement be? How would it understand itself after eight years? I think what would have gone away, perhaps forever, is the sense of limited government, the Tenth Amendment, Madisonian government of limited, delegated and enumerated powers — the sense conservatism is indeed tied to limitations on federal authority and the police power wielded by Congress — that would all be gone. It’s hard to know what would be left.

In a column, Will doubles down on this line of criticism.

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The Alternative to Rick Perry: Trickle Up

October 26th, 2011 at 8:05 am 53 Comments

Perhaps the greatest single threat to both conservatism in American life and the nation’s economic vitality is not Ivy League professors or Hollywood elites or a sinister “progressive” conspiracy but the economic decline of the middle class. Take away hope in the churning of the free market, and you push many citizens considerably closer to the state as a provider.

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Immigration Attack Could Backfire on Perry

October 19th, 2011 at 2:28 pm 31 Comments

In the short term at least, it seems hard to deny that yesterday’s debate was good to Rick Perry. The leading un-Romney contender, Herman Cain, sank underneath withering attacks on his 9-9-9 plan; his inability to defend the details of this plan with anything other than assertions that his opponents are wrong reinforced impressions that he still has a lot of policy areas to brush up on.

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Scott Brown’s Path to Victory

October 4th, 2011 at 1:45 pm 25 Comments

The recent UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll of the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race has some sobering news for Scott Brown: among registered voters, he has a slim three-point (41-38) lead over Democratic frontrunner Elizabeth Warren. Other polls have also suggested that this could be a close race.

However, there is plenty of good news for Brown here. 54% of voters think that Brown met or exceeded their expectations. His favorability/unfavorability ratings remain a healthy 52%/29%, respectively. Massachusetts voters don’t hate Brown, and they’re willing to give him a chance. Moreover, this race is still very fluid. Over 20% of voters are undecided, giving both Warren and Brown plenty of room to grow.

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A Template for a GOP Economic Plan

September 28th, 2011 at 11:36 pm 23 Comments

America is now coping with the debt binge of the past decade and stagnating incomes across the board. Trying to provide some cushion for those left economically behind may be a good short-term strategy. But policy makers also need to work toward a restructuring of America’s economic architecture. Unless America’s economic vitality is restored, all plans to reduce the weight of the national debt are moot. A perpetually failed American economy will lead to skyrocketing debt levels, an ever-diminished standard of living, and a weakening of the ability of the United States to project power across the globe.

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