If You Had One Midterm Election Wish?

October 25th, 2010 at 8:39 am | 107 Comments |

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Everyone has their predictions for the upcoming midterms.  Here at FrumForum we asked our contributors to share not what they expect will happen but rather their Election Day hopes. David Frum is hoping for a Meg Whitman win in California, while David Jenkins and Jim DiPeso from Republicans for Environmental Protection are wishing for a Joe Miller defeat in Alaska.  Former USAID general counsel John Gardner has his fingers crossed for a Barney Frank loss.  Former deputy White House chief of staff Les Francis is pulling for a family member and Heartland Institute’s Eli Lehrer has his hopes pinned on a Democrat.


My own attention is fixed on the California governor’s race. That may seem a strange thing to say about a race where the Republican candidate has run the coldest, most content-free campaign perhaps ever seen.

But the fact is: there’s no rescuing the U.S. economy without putting California back on track. Arnold Schwarzenegger did not succeed. Jerry Brown will not try. Meg Whitman is the only available hope for this all-important state to govern itself in a sustainable way. If she loses, the path to recovery for all of us becomes more tangled.

- David Frum is editor of FrumForum.


*  *  *


The Boxer-Fiorina California Senate race matters most to me, as it most starkly places the two differing philosophies of how much some believe government can and should do (Boxer) and a practical knowledge of how difficult it is to do big things (Fiorina, who has actually done several).  If I could wish something for Fiorina’s campaign, I’d wish it was more palatable to electorates to simply state that elections are about electing – choosing – who is best fit to rule, and even putting aside Boxer’s laughably empty record (though the laughter comes with the pain of knowing almost anyone could have done better) Carly has proven she can think better, organize her efforts better, and execute a plan better than her opponent.  That would be outstanding for California, and great for America.  She’s just better, and I wish people could see that the potential ability to work the job after the election counts much more than the tactical gamesmanship all politicians are drawn into by the electioneering process.

- Jeffrey L. Cimbalo is a lawyer living in Virginia.


*  *  *


I’ll be watching Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown’s California gubernatorial.  Brown was an unmitigated disaster in his two-term reign; his ”radical chic” conceits worthy of a character from a Tom Wolfe novel.  He stiffed the taxpayers for the equivalent of about 5 teacher/police salaries to guard his vacant governor’s mansion so he could ”de-Nancy-fy” his “glitzy” predecessors’ lifestyle while living in his futon-furnished apartment.  And as far as “lasting harm” goes, appointing Rose Bird and writing busing/quota laws so outrageous even the federal courts struck them down — that’s a tough act to follow.  Brown knew exactly what he was doing.  What kind of egomaniac runs for president after only one year as governor and when younger than JFK?   Personally, I think he makes Jimmy Carter look good.  I sincerely hope California’s voters are smart enough to see through this manufactured “housekeeper-gate” furor.

As for what I wish, it’s the same thing I always do: That those who would presume to lead us would obey the Hippocratic (instead of hypocritical) oath, and “first do no harm.”  E.g., whatever you do, just don’t do anything to make things worse than they already are.  Sadly, I’m not holding my breath.

- Telly Davidson is the author of the forthcoming satirical novel, Pop Culture.

 

*  *  *


To my mind, no race is more important than that of Carly Fiorina’s challenge of Barbara Boxer.  Boxer, unlike her Democratic colleague Diane Feinstein, is neither smart, nor accomplished.  She has been dismissive of military men when they have used the services’ “ma’am” designation in testimony before her.  She is a strident voice for abortion on demand, and even in one memorable debate, infanticide.  Boxer is in short all that is awful with the far left in this country.  She also comes from a major state where no culturally conservative Republican has won statewide in 18 years.

Carly Fiorina who challenges her has been a success in Silicon Valley and made the kind of money there that would make Croesus weep.  She is running on an economy that has turned the once Golden State to tin.  Nevertheless, she is also culturally conservative and has not retreated even in deep blue California.  Fiorina is running behind.  Republican leaning voters have left the state in droves in the last decade.  It may now be impossible for a full spectrum conservative to win there.  But if I’m wrong and Carly beats Boxer it will be the triumph of merit over mediocrity and will make up for nearly any loss Republicans suffer that evening.

- John Vecchione is a litigator in Virginia.


*  *  *


I want to see Lisa Murkowski bury Joe Miller in the Alaska Senate race. Here’s why:

Unqualified. Miller’s ideas about constitutional interpretation are neither consistent with American history nor practical in the 21st century. He is a deconstructionist and lacks potential for growth in the job.

Hypocrite. Miller’s words about reducing government payments to individuals do not square with his actions accepting government payments to individuals.

Destructive. Miller has proposed turning Denali National Park and Preserve into a mining camp.

Simply appalling. Miller’s comments suggesting that the U.S. emulate the Stasi for securing the borders were the last straw.

Let’s make history. It would be fun to see Lisa join Strom Thurmond in the record books as only the second person elected to the U.S. Senate via write-in.

- Jim DiPeso is Vice-President for Communications of Republicans for Environmental Protection.


*  *  *


Race That Matters Most: Probably the Nevada Senate race.  In 2010, Republicans had the chance to take the Senate seats of Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Harry Reid.  We took Kennedy’s when the Tea Party worked cooperatively with a liberal Republican.  Mark Kirk has a pretty solid chance of winning President Obama’s old seat.  The Tea Party threw away our chance to win Biden’s seat by nominating O’Donnell.

In Nevada, the Tea Party voters nominated a very radical candidate, and could possibly prevent the Republicans from knocking off the Democrats’ Senate floor leader.  As a Republican, I hope Angle wins, but it’s sad to think of how easily we could have taken Nevada without spending tons of cash (cash the NRSC could have sent over to, say, West Virginia).

My Single Wish: Thanks to a devastating Republican landslide across the country, Congressman Jim Moran is retired by the voters of my current district, Virginia’s fightin’ 8th!

- Zac Morgan is a former Bush Administration political appointee and is currently attending George Mason University School of Law.


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For me, the race that matters most is Mark Kirk’s Senate bid in Illinois, because the GOP caucus is going to need voices of moderation given the influx of Tea Partiers. I would wish that Kirk never felt the need to embellish his already impressive military record as it may prove the difference between victory and defeat!

- Clifton Yin was the youngest Asian-American delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at Georgetown University.


*  *  *


The race between Rand Paul and Jack Conway in Kentucky. I still remember the day after Paul won and argued with a straight face on MSNBC that the Civil Rights Act was problematic because Title II infringed on negative liberty.

People forgot how this split the libertarian movement and exposed the consequences of adopting the Tea Party’s outlook on life.  Cato Unbound held a symposium to discuss the issue, and some of the published essays enthusiastically endorsed Paul’s view.

Some intellectuals in America who are sympathetic to these sorts of arguments usually come out of the same vein that views Abraham Lincoln as being too much of a centralizing force in politics and nurtures a peculiar sympathy for secession (don’t forget that CPAC had a panel entitled “Abraham Lincoln: Friend or Foe?”). Despite Paul’s recent overtures to the Republican establishment, I wonder how much intellectual damage has already been done by his view of the world.

Voters in Kentucky of course, will not be evaluating him on this. Conway’s recent barrage of ridiculously desperate attacks have recast the election as being about whether or not Paul’s college antics make him ineligible for public office. The desperation is palatable. When is the last time that a Democrat attacked a Republican for wanting to cut funding to faith-based initiatives?

As long as we are allowed to make impossible wishes, I my own is that Adrian Fenty would win a write-in campaign for mayor in D.C. It won’t happen, but in a fair world, it would.

- Noah Kristula-Green is an editor at FrumForum.


*  *  *


The race that matters the most to me:  A safe seat at this point, but John McCain.  Why?  We need his voice on Afghanistan and on so many domestic issues where he has shown leadership in the past.  As the party switches to focus on the presidential election, it will be good to have an elder statesman and former presidential nominee taking a leadership role in the Senate and the party.  Among the tossups, a Dino Rossi win in Washington and Chris Dudley becoming governor in Oregon could begin the Republican revival in the Pacific Northwest.

One magic wish:  Sean Bielat defeats Barney Frank in Massachusetts fourth congressional district.  Why?  Just because it’s the right thing to happen.  A fresh new voice with military and business experience.

- John Gardner served as General Counsel of the U.S. Agency for International Development and as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Staff Secretary for President George W. Bush


*  *  *


In Indiana I am, among other activities, a founder of Indiana Equality (and long time acquaintance and supporter of Governor Daniels.)

The race which has most occupied my attention in Indiana is Republican Kurt Webber’s bid for the Indiana State House in district 86.

In that race, I’ve endorsed a Republican candidate to gain the support of the gay community in Indianapolis.  And this past week, Webber was endorsed by the Indianapolis Star over his incumbent Democratic opponent.

- Chris Douglas is managing director of C.H. Douglas & Gray Wealth Advisors


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I wouldn’t mind seeing my local congressman, Rep. Charlie Rangel, replaced.  But I don’t think it’s gonna happen; at least not in 2010.

- Andrew Gelman is a professor of political science and statistics at Columbia University


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Most important to me personally is the race for New Mexico Governor.  A Republican Hispanic female is running against a Democratic female (and incumbent Lieutenant Governor of the state).  If Susana Martinez wins, she will be the first female Hispanic governor in the nation’s history.  The impact of that victory could be very important for inclusive Republicans.

One single wish: Raese in West Virginia Senate wins.  His success would show other moderate Democrats that following the Democratic D.C. caucus line leads to disaster, a fact that may increase the possibilities for moderate consensus building later in the 112th Congress.

- Steve Bell is former Staff Director of the Senate Budget Committee and now Visiting Scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.


*  *  *


The race that matters most to me this cycle is the Senate race in my home state, Pennsylvania. I would love, someday, to see PA light up Republican red again, especially in a presidential contest. I was all for John McCain asking beloved former PA Governor Tom Ridge to be his running mate in 2008. I can’t understand why the GOP doesn’t devote more resources to winning the state’s 21 electoral votes.  There’s more to Pennsylvania than just Philadelphia, and much of it, even Pittsburgh, is receptive to a conservative message.

But Pat Toomey, this year’s Republican candidate for Senate, is an inveterate RINO hunter, a tax-cut idolator, and a living embodiment of “epistemic closure” who seems to think that his ideological convictions trump empirical evidence (As the New York Times reported recently: “Mr. Toomey brushed aside a question from a local reporter who pointed out that real income for American workers dropped after the Bush tax cuts, saying he did not believe the data.”). His organization, the Club for Growth, finances primary campaigns against Republican incumbents who don’t tow their free-market absolutist line. In other words, Toomey symbolizes everything that’s wrong with the GOP today.

Joe Sestak, on the other hand, was a Vice Admiral in the U.S. Navy, an able and effective congressman, and is by all accounts a thoroughly honorable public servant. While some of his political positions (despite his military history, he is a strict supporter of gun control) are troubling to me, it is doubtful that he would have enough clout as one junior Senator to single-handedly effect much change on those issues. Nor am I concerned about the mathematics of adding one more Democrat to the Senate – it doesn’t much matter as long as the Dems have between 51 and 59 seats, which they almost certainly will. Toomey, on the other hand, has done more than enough harm to both the Republican party and the country without a platform in the Senate to further his agenda.

This one’s easy. This election, I’ll be checking my first “D” on a ballot. With the way the polls have been swinging in Sestak’s favor this week, it might not be a fruitless gesture of protest against a thoroughly unpleasant GOP alternative. I can only hope.

- Shawn F. Summers is an editorial assistant at FrumForum and an undergraduate at Georgetown University.


*  *  *


Living in California, I have been forced to put up with Barbara Boxer’s liberal policies that have affected America’s national security. Ignoring the outrageous spending programs of this Democratic Congress, Boxer has been quoted in the Los Angeles Times that to reduce the debt the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should be terminated.  As a matter of fact, she repeatedly voted against funding for our troops in times of war, including against body armor for our soldiers on the front lines.  She was only one of two Democratic Senators that voted to condemn President George W. Bush.  She did not want to extend the wiretap provision of the Patriot Act and in 2007 voted to end the Iraq surge and redeploy troops.

These are only a few issues which show how Barbara Boxer’s positions put our country more at risk while fighting the War on Terror.  My wish is for Carly Fiorina to win the Senate seat so California can send a person to Washington who helps America’s national security and doesn’t endanger it.

- Elise Cooper was the West Los Angeles co-chair for McCain-Palin 2008.


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I’ve never been to Kentucky (unless you count a few minutes between planes in the Greater Cincinnati Airport) but from the New Jersey suburbs I choose the Kentucky Senate contest. My wish is for Rand Paul to win. This is not because I am an enthusiast for the candidate — who seems to have inherited a conspiracy-minded ideology from his father, given it not much thought, and then modified it for political expediency. Rand Paul’s remarks about how “In 1923, when they destroyed the currency, they elected Hitler,” struck me as a notable descent into inanity.

Until recently, I would’ve hoped for a Rand Paul defeat, to deal a blow to dogmatic and dumb tendencies within current-day conservatism. Then I saw Paul’s Democratic opponent Jack Conway in an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN the other night. It became clear that Conway, there to defend a low-blow ad about Paul’s religion, represents attack politics, stale pandering and a brittle entitlement-state mentality. (Conway went after Paul not only over “Aqua Buddha” but also Medicare deductibles.)

Listening to Conway made me a Paul supporter, something Paul himself had failed to do. Better a somewhat weird quasi-libertarian Republican work-in-progress than a business-as-usual big-government Democratic bull artist.

- Kenneth Silber is a senior editor at Research, a magazine for financial advisors, and blogs at Quicksilber.


*  *  *


I’m particularly interested in vulnerable Republican incumbents who are at risk of losing their seats in an otherwise Republican cycle. This means congressmen who owe their seats to fortuitous circumstances like Rep. Charles Djou(R-HI) and Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA). Republican Bob Dold is running to replace Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) in a D+6 district, and he may not be moderate enough to convince voters to elect him there. Mike Castle’s former seat is also up for grabs, and Democrats look to be running away with it.

New York is also producing some very capable Republican congressional candidates: ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth; businessman and Princeton/Harvard Business School grad Randy Altschuler; former Deutsche Bank Managing Director for Trouble Assets Matt Doheny; and former FBI special agent and Gulf War veteran Michael Grimm.

Senate-wise, I’m surprised there hasn’t been more buzz about Dino Rossi, the Republican challenging Washington Senator Patti Murray. He’s been within the margin of error for a whole handful of polls, and could very well take the race in this type of political climate.

- Tim Mak is a reporter for FrumForum.


* * *


The one race that matters most to me this election is the gubernatorial race in Texas.  I support Bill White, the Democratic nominee for Governor.  (Full disclosure – Bill White is a friend of mine and I’ve been active in his campaign.)  If I was allowed one single wish on behalf of one candidate, it would be for Bill White to win.

I’m a centrist Democrat, so partisan and ideological loyalties partially inform my views on this.  That’s not the whole story, however.  I believe that Bill White has a better understanding about where Texas is today and where it needs to go than the current Governor, Rick Perry.  Texas is a vast, diverse state and in many ways the issues facing Texas today are the ones the rest of the country will face also, including immigration, ethnic and cultural transformation and the transition from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.  Bill White also has extensive experience as a successful attorney, businessman and mayor of Houston.  As mayor, he showed great leadership when dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita (which hit areas neighboring Houston) and with Hurricane Ike, which hit the city head-on.

Also, if White wins, it will send a message to the leadership in both parties that ideologically moderate candidates who work in a bipartisan manner (as he did when Houston’s mayor) can win and should be supported.

- Mark R. Yzaguirre is an attorney in Texas.


* * *


I was born in Southern California, right outside of Camp Pendleton.  I can’t really say I was raised there; I moved to Northern Virginia right when I was starting kindergarten.  But five or six years in any place will make an impression, and you can still hear a touch of California in my voice.  And, if my wife Monica keeps producing fiction writing at the rate that she’s doing now, I have a feeling I’ll be going back.

Unfortunately, I think the state government there is hopeless.  The current governor is trying to grow the economy through a bizarre environmentalist protectionist industrial policy (sorry, Jim DiPeso!), and is also acting out a procedural revenge against a Republican party that spurned him for it.  The legislature is, with Michigan, devoting itself to making the best case possible against term limits.  I’d be more enthusiastic for the gubernatorial candidate if I could shake the feeling that she’s really just running to “instantly become a leading candidate for vice president in 2012,” which is not what California needs right now.  The state-level party needs to get it together, and if Jerry Brown ends up actually winning the governorship back, that may well just drive the point home.

On the federal level, I think the Republicans are missing opportunities in the House races, and that’s hurting the top-ticket races, but I can’t really quantify that.  California, though, has one thing going for them this year: a chance to perform a valuable service for the nation in electing Carly Fiorina to the Senate.

She was considered a weak candidate by the base and by Republican centrists, who coalesced around DeVore and Campbell respectively in the primary race, but the things about her that bugged them were the things I liked.  Did she fire people as head of HP? Did she rub her colleagues the wrong way in a company dominated by a powerful family? Well, that’s exactly the kind of person I want in federal office and in the Republican Party!

She did what she had to in gathering support from issue organizations like the SBA List (which works to elect female pro-life candidates) but instead of running as the true conservative, she ran as a person who appreciated the support from true conservatives.  That’s the way to run in a deeply ideologically-polarized California, and there is no candidate that I wish the very best more than Carly Fiorina.

- T. Joseph Marier blogs at Going Noble.


* * *


The two races that I’m interested in happen to be in the state where I now live and my home state.  The first is the governor’s race in Minnesota (my current residence), where it’s a three way race among Mark Dayton, a traditional lefty Democrat; Tom Emmer, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin and has a hard right, anti-tax message; and Tom Horner, a lifelong Republican who is running under the centrist Independence Party banner.  Right now, Dayton leads in the polls with Emmer in a distant second and Horner third.  Horner has received the endorsement of most of the state’s newspapers, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  A number of moderate and moderate conservative Republicans, including two former GOP governors, have backed Horner.  Horner and Emmer seem to be splitting the center-right vote, with Dayton taking the center left and some independents.  The news here is that Emmer has not been able to solidify the vote among Republicans, but the polls seem to bear out that Horner might not be able to seal the deal either.  The fracturing of the GOP in Minnesota might bring the first Democrat to the Governor’s mansion in 25 years.

In Michigan (my home state), the story is that a moderate Republican, Rick Snyder, will most likely win the governorship.  He was able to beat back two conservative candidates including a Tea Party candidate.  He hasn’t really hidden his moderate credentials and has focused on reviving the state’s economy.  He also has the blessing of former Governor William Milliken, a moderate, pro-choice Republican who backed Obama in 2008.  Michigan has a history of moderates within the party, but the conservatives have been ascendant for the last 20 years or so.  A Synder win would signal that moderates in Michigan might not be dead yet.

- Dennis Sanders is an ordained minister living in Minneapolis.


* * *


The race that matters most to me is the Senate contest between Senator Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina. My single wish in that race would be for them to debate the specifics of immigration and healthcare reform.  The candidates should be asked to explain the intended and unintended consequences of our current border security policies.  On healthcare, both candidates should debate the impact of healthcare reform on the system, and the cost in dollars those reforms will have on working Americans

- Hank Adler is an assistant professor of accounting at Chapman University in California.


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I have three races that matter too me:

My oldest daughter, Kirsten Francis Carr, is a candidate for the school board in Morgan Hill, CA, so that’s a big one in our family,

Then we have friends involved in two statewide races: Eliot Cutler is an independent candidate for governor of Maine and Kamala Harris is Democratic candidate for Attorney General of California.

All three would be superb public servants, people of whom the great majority of us would be justifiably proud.

- Les Francis, a Washington, DC-based political consultant, served as chief of staff to Representative Norman Mineta and as Deputy Assistant and Deputy White House Chief of Staff to President Carter.


* * *


I would choose the Alaska Senate race with the wish that Joe Miller would come in third, showing that even in a red, libertarian-minded, western state like Alaska, Tea Party candidates are unelectable in a general election.

- David Jenkins is Vice President for Government and Political Affairs for Republicans for Environmental Protection.


* * *


In Illinois, Mark Kirk has run an utterly miserable campaign that does not do his record or his abilities justice.  However, I am convinced that Kirk is the real deal and the type of leader that, if elected, would show that the thoughtful, moderate wing of the Republican party can still provide solutions to our country’s serious problems.  In Washington, Dino Rossi is the same sort of thoughtful conservative that Kirk is.  If  both Kirk and Rossi could somehow pull out victories, the thoughtful wing of the Republican minority would grow to more than Lindsey Graham and Scott Brown.

On the gubernatorial side, I will be cheering for Meg Whitman in California and Rick Scott in Florida on Election Day.  While both are in some trouble, I hope that at least one of them pulls it out.  While I am not Scott’s biggest supporter, he is a true businessman at heart and it would be interesting to see whether either of these business leaders can work their magic in states desperately in need of help.

Finally, as I alluded to earlier, I hope that every single voter in Delaware writes Mike Castle’s name on their ballot and that I never again hear Christine O’Donnell’s name after Election Day.

I also hope that after presiding over a successful cycle, Michael Steele will step down and Norm Coleman will take over the RNC chair.

- Jeb Golinkin is an editor and reporter for FrumForum.


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If there were one race that I could decide, it would have to be the Massachusetts race pitting the acerbic and wholly entrenched incumbent politician Barney Frank, against Marine and businessman challenger Sean Bielat.

Throughout the mid 2000s Frank (all claims of intelligence aside — both from himself and the fawning mainstream media) was the principle congressional gate-keeper for the corrupt and hopelessly inept Fannie and Freedie Mac. Fannie and Freddie acted as the federal government’s contribution to the sub-prime mortgage and housing collapse of 2008.

Which is worse? Frank’s ideological stubbornness which prompted a man who has never made a payroll to deem “affordable housing” (to wit, easy credit) a “right” and thus compelled him to consistently and publically turn a blind eye to repeated warnings that these GSEs were headed towards insolvency?  Or his arrogance in refusing to accept even a modicum of culpability for a crisis he blames on everything but his pet institutions; institutions he continues to bail out to the tune of billions in taxpayer dollars.

A man who has been safe for so long that he has shown consistent disdain for any opposing views (even from his own constituents), Frank is the epitome of the career congressmen.  He must finally be forced out of the bubble that is Washington and into the world he has helped to create.

This is his first serious challenge in decades and he has suddenly shown a softer, gentler Frank. A lifelong Democrat who is now voting for Bielat said it best about this arrogant blowhard of a man who would be eaten alive in the private sector where success is measured in achievement and accomplishments, not longevity. The constituent went to Frank’s office with questions about the healthcare bill. At the time Frank thought his seat a birthright for him and cared little for what she had to say:  “I felt like he was so confident he would be reelected; he was so confident it was his seat, I didn’t matter. I wasn’t anybody.”

Frank is one election away from being a nobody as well.  That would be my wish.

- Brad Schaeffer is co-founder and CEO of INFA Energy Brokers, LLC and an energy analyst to Fox Business News.


* * *


The race that matters most to me is for mayor of Louisville, Kentucky.  I wish that the Republican candidate, Hal Heiner, would win.  He is a smart, hardworking, and honest guy who has done great things on the city council promoting fiscal prudence, transparency, and accountability.  Hal has run a clean, issue-oriented campaign.  Louisville’s city government has been dominated by Democrats seemingly forever and the outgoing administration of Jerry Abramson (now running for lieutenant governor of Kentucky) has been arrogant, incompetent, and scandal-ridden.  The media focus has understandably been on Kentucky’s wild U.S. Senate race, but big city governance matters, too.

- John David Dyche is an attorney and writer in Louisville.


* * *


Let me begin with some background: I’m a committed conservative Republican and three people I consider personal friends are running for office in November. Since all of my personal friends seem sure to win and more than a few Republican candidates in close races (e.g. Sharron Angle) would have my vote but not my enthusiasm, I’d say that the most important race is the one for governor of Florida.  In that race, for the first time in my adult life, I’m supporting the Democrat: State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. In her term as CFO, Sink has shown that she’s the adult in the room and stood up to Gov. Charlie Crist’s wrong-headed, self-serving populism on everything from insurance to taxes.  Her opponent, Rick Scott, would probably make a pretty good governor but a Sink victory would be important as a symbol as well as for what it would do for Florida and the country. A Sink victory would show Democrats that they can win by calling for fiscal responsibility and, at the same time, deliver a stern rebuke to a (formerly) Republican governor who wrongly wrote off conservative principles.

- Eli Lehrer is a Senior Fellow and National Director for the Heartland Institute.


*  *  *


If I were allowed one single wish, I’d wish for DeMint’s defeat because I think his uncollegiate behavior toward other Republican senators is very destructive in the long run.

- Andrew Pavelyev is a scientist in Charlotte, NC.


*  *  *


I’m not really following the elections very closely and do not care who wins.

- Bruce Bartlett is a columnist and blogger for The Fiscal Times.


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107 Comments so far ↓

  • pnumi2

    CD-Host

    “I think it’s a fair analogy…”
    How do we justify dropping the bombs on Japan and then continue a ground war to Moscow. We incinerate Hiroshima to prevent the slaughter of more American troops and now let’s have a Napoleon for dessert.

    “This gets into macro economics and not politics…”
    Even worse than that, it gets into Wall Street’s modus operandi.

    “We could have easily shot…”
    You and I have fundamentally different views about the importance of the psychology of the citizen/investor during a recession/deflation/depression.

    Pass on derivatives

    “You think that way you lose wars…”
    This goes back to the psychology of the citizen/investor . Hit him every day with a new bankruptcy on t.v. and see what you get?

    ‘So break it.”
    If generals fight the last war, you’re fighting two wars from now. There’s a clock ticking. Or a derivative ticking.

    “Hundreds of traders handling thousands of trade…”
    I thought you guys didn’t like large government. Do you want to put them on commission?

    “Let’s say you revise 5 per person a day…”
    See my answer above. Are these mortgage experts or robo signers? You could find out from Country Wide to which telemarketers their old employees went.

    “Sure let me give you an easy example…”

    I think the main differences between our view of the economy today is summed up by the expression, “The sooner the better.” I get the impression that some of your solutions to our problems are more finely crafted, but require more time to implement. I’m more of the ‘it’s okay to drip the paint on the carpet as long as we finish painting tonight’ guy.

    When we are done with this employment nightmare, say hello to the currency mess.

  • ktward

    CD.

    I mention that there is an ugly racist/nationalistic contingent within TeaP, and that’s pulling the race card? How about it’s just a fact. I did not suggest the entire TeaP movement was racist and/or nationalistic.

    CT = Conspiracy Theory.

    I’ve seriously no idea why you assume that I’ve somehow called you any kind of pejorative name, and I certainly didn’t call you an anti-semite.

    But I am calling it quits on this thread. This horse is long dead.

    Peace out.

  • CD-Host

    pnumi2 –

    I think the main differences between our view of the economy today is summed up by the expression, “The sooner the better.” I get the impression that some of your solutions to our problems are more finely crafted, but require more time to implement. I’m more of the ‘it’s okay to drip the paint on the carpet as long as we finish painting tonight’ guy.

    Actually most of my stuff would have happened very quickly in days. Like taking control of the bonfire. President asks which banks are willing to play ball. Those that do get a $500b deposit the next day from the treasury. Done they are fine.
    Then he leaks the names of the ones that didn’t and how he is worried about a run or the accounting problems….
    Investors get the message very quickly about directing their capital flows where the president wants them.

    Week 2, lets say the Clinton plan he buys up 3 months on every defaulted mortgage in in the USA in exchange for a senior claim (i.e. we are getting are money back in 99.99% of the cases) from those “ball playing” banks. The ones that aren’t playing ball their debt doesn’t get covered and they are locked out of securitization.

    It can go lightening fast. You just don’t get any deniability about having caused outcomes.

  • CD-Host

    I’ve seriously no idea why you assume that I’ve somehow called you any kind of pejorative name, and I certainly didn’t call you an anti-semite.

    I’m happy to let this thread die. But if you were being serious, here are some sample quotes from just your last post:

    – to revert our country back to a brand of uber-Right conservative ideology that reflects long antiquated and divisive paradigms to the right of even JBS. No wonder Frum has no love for Palin. Under the ugly historical terms in which you paint her motivations and inspiration, what Jewish person would? Or, for that matter, anyone outside of TeaP’s ugliest racist/nationalistic contingent?

    – a drastic backward path to revisit some of our most abhorrent days of Con ideology.

    – I admit, my initial impressions were that you were an exception to the Palin rule, so to speak. After all is said and done on this thread, I can’t help but wonder that you’re not simply an exceptionally articulate and diplomatic example of the Palin rule.

  • pnumi2

    CD-Host

    I understand your argument but you haven’t convinced me.

    I certainly agree that ending the mortgage nightmare is a priority. But I would have to say that an even more important priority — the most important priority — in the teeth of such a recession as we are in, is an exploding increase of demand.

    And that demand should occur at the bottom of the economic chain and work it’s way north.

    Unemployment compensation, WPA type projects at both the federal and state levels, tax credits for the middle class workers. Tax credits to employers for hiring is a good tool, but not that effective in the first wave. Bridge building, dam building, etc. are not really effective stimulative projects any more. The huge earth moving equipment and Caterpillar’s other products does the work of too many men. Plus there is a commitment to future spending that may have unintended consequences.

    Money has to got to get into the empty pockets of the workers. Reducing the mortgage payments of some is helpful but it doesn’t do anything for those at the bottom who do not own their homes. All that the people have to do during a recession of this magnitude is worry and watch t.v. Watching stories about more bankruptcies and firings, only make the people cling to the few dollars they have left.

    Putting government money in their pockets and maybe getting some work in return from them is the best thing we can do. And at night, when they are home because they can’t afford to go to Starbucks anymore, feed them stories about the stock market climbing the wall of worry. I think that it still works.

    Soon after the election next week, the market’s Santa Claus rally will start; a little early this year. 401(k)s will expand.. It will be better for the economy than 100,000 modified mortgages. And all compliments of Wall Street.

    Live by Wall Street, die by Wall Street.

    And maybe live by Wall Street again.

  • CD-Host

    Unemployment compensation, WPA type projects at both the federal and state levels, tax credits for the middle class workers. Tax credits to employers for hiring is a good tool, but not that effective in the first wave

    Fine with me. Its hard to inject enough into unemployment and WPA.

  • pnumi2

    CD-Host

    “Actually most of my stuff would have happened very quickly in days. Like taking control of the bonfire. President asks which banks are willing to play ball. Those that do get a $500b deposit the next day from the treasury. Done they are fine.
    Then he leaks the names of the ones that didn’t and how he is worried about a run or the accounting problems….
    Investors get the message very quickly about directing their capital flows where the president wants them.

    Week 2, lets say the Clinton plan he buys up 3 months on every defaulted mortgage in in the USA in exchange for a senior claim (i.e. we are getting are money back in 99.99% of the cases) from those “ball playing” banks. The ones that aren’t playing ball their debt doesn’t get covered and they are locked out of securitization.

    It can go lightening fast. You just don’t get any deniability about having caused outcomes.”

    Reconsidering everything, your idea is probably the best to increase consumer spending.

    I’m sure the banks won’t have any problem cooperating if FDIC threatens to suspend non-cooperating banks from their insurance program through some sort of program revision. (“When the unemployment rate exceeds 8%, the banks shall cooperate….)

    Just the public threat of loss of insurance should get all the banks lined up.

    Then the IRS’s computers can separate 2009 returns by those who had mortgage deductions and those who did not. Those who did not and were under an income of, say, $20,000 would get, say, $300 per household member per month for 4 months. Those who did take the deduction, whose mortgages were say, $250,000 or under would get 4 months of payments up to, say, $1500 per month. And an additional stipend of, say, $200 per month for 4 months could also be distributed.

    The gov could use debit cards and direct deposit for distribution of these funds and will stand in first position for the $6,000 it paid on each mortgage.

    WPA is too out dated. Unemployment insurance too limited. And Social Security’s one time payment of $250 is too small and just goes Merck, Rite-Aid and Safeway.