Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Romney and Santorum: Dead Heat in Michigan Polls

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Close in Michigan

This shouldn’t have been close.  In 2008, Mitt Romney won in Michigan by nearly double-digits.  The very idea that the son of a Michigan governor should happen to find himself in this position demonstrates how thoroughly many conservatives have tired of establishment candidates.  What should have been a walk-over won’t be, and instead we’re likely to see a terribly close contest that may come down to the wire.  If Romney loses in Michigan, he might as well go home, because if he can’t win here, and convincingly, I don’t know how you can argue he will ever beat Barack Obama.  There’s also an Arizona primary on Tuesday, and at the time of this writing, that contest is not nearly so tight, with polls indicating a big Romney lead.

After getting the endorsement of another Republican governor, with Jan Brewer endorsing him over the weekend, but she seems to have more pull with Arizonans than Nikki Haley demonstrated with South Carolinians.  There is also a healthy Mormon segment of the vote in Arizona, so taken together, Romney probably will maintain that edge.  Let us also remember he has the endorsement of US Senator and former Presidential candidate John McCain, who was able to stave off J.D. Hayworth in a primary challenge in 2010.  I expect that he will win there comfortably, but if it closes up significantly, it will hint at the continued weakness of Mitt Romney.

Romney needs to win Michigan on Tuesday, but conservatives need Rick Santorum to win.  There is certainly reason to believe Santorum could pull it off, not merely because of the closeness in the polls, but also because he’s doing particularly well among evangelical Christians in the state.  Naturally, Romney has a significant cash advantage, as he has had throughout this primary season, but as has been seen in some states, that advantage doesn’t necessarily equate to victory if the grass-roots activists in a state begin to push for somebody else.  If Romney can pull off an unexpectedly large victory in Michigan Tuesday, he’ll certainly retake the initiative, but if it’s very close, or worse, he loses entirely, it may be a show-stopped.  Tuesday’s  returns will offer us a good deal of insight into the rest of the primary season.  If it’s close, it’s not over by a long-shot in the run-up to Super Tuesday, and if it’s a blow-out, it may well signal a consolidation in favor of the victor.

Limbaugh: Establishment Republicans Scared to Death

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Cultural Conservative v. Moderate

Romney is looking weak in Michigan.  Rush Limbaugh opened his show on President’s Day with a monologue on the GOP panic over the rise of Rick Santorum and the diminution of the “inevitable nominee” Mitt Romney.  What Limbaugh has identified is a trend we’ve been watching for some time, whereby the GOP insiders are doing everything they can to put Romney over the top.  It’s true to say that Romney is in trouble, but he’s clawing his way back a bit in Michigan, as the media continues to hammer on Rick Santorum, suggesting that he’s too conservative.  It’s not clear that Rick Santorum is really so conservative as they pretend, and it shows the problem the establishment has with its man Mitt:  While they try to convince us that Romney is conservative, they detest cultural conservatism.

The juxtaposition is laughable.  On the one hand, the GOP establishment tells us Mitt is a conservative, Romney himself saying he was “severely conservative,” but the conservative wing of the Republican electorate knows better, simply by examining his record. Romneycare is merely the most egregious example of Romney’s flat-out liberalism, but it’s far from the only one. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum is too conservative on social issues, although the fact that he is really doesn’t make him a well-rounded conservative because he stood with a number of big-spending plans, like the Medicare prescription drug program implemented by President Bush.  If nothing else, what this should provide to you is a template for which leg of the conservative stool the GOP establishment would like to be sawed-off.

Abortion? They don’t want to talk about it.  Matters of faith or conscience?  They’re simply not interested.  Questions of moral concern?  They won’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.  They run shrieking into the night rather than confront such issues, and the reason is simple:  When it comes to these issues, important to a vast swath of the GOP electorate, they only pay lip-service but never deliver.  These are the people who know they cannot nominate a pro-abortion candidate, so they trot out candidates who will claim they are personally pro-life, while their voting or governing history indicates something different.  I will never forget how at the end of their respective presidencies, the two former Bush first ladies each in their turn came out to speak their minds on abortion, parting company from their respective husbands.

This is significant, because what it should demonstrate to you is how these RINOs are culturally distinct from the conservatives whose votes they know they need.  This is particularly true with respect to Christian conservatives who live out their professed faith as best they can.  The GOP establishment considers them rubes and bumpkins, and pawns in their struggle to maintain power.  This is the deadly secret of the GOP establishment, and it’s the basis of their secret fear: They hope you will not notice that theirs is a philosophy that avoids the discussion of cultural conservatism because they see it as divisive.  They’re right:  These issues are divisive, but what they divide is the establishment from the greater body politic that is conservatism.

This is the meaning of their view of a “big tent.”  They think the big tent should take anybody, and accommodate its rules, traditions, and values to any who wish to join in, but the problem with that is the mush that is made of those things by this procedure.  More, as cultural conservatives begin to realize that their views are no longer respected, they begin to slip away out under the tent flaps, unwilling to be associated with the amoral circus to which they are then witnesses.  As Rush Limbaugh said today, to the establishment Republicans, a guy like Santorum, a devout Catholic, is some kind of “three-eyed monster.” This is undeniably true, and it’s why you shouldn’t be surprised, if you’re a conservative Christian, that they view you in much the same way.

To them, your faith and your adherence to it are evidence that you’re faulty, and that you should be ignored, but they’ll pander to you just enough that you’ll vote for them if it comes to it.  This is what they’re hoping is true with Mitt Romney, and that in the end, they can scare you away from real conservatives.  To them, religious convictions should be abandoned at the exits of your church.  They want Christian votes, but that’s as close to them as they’re willing to stand. Their push for Romney is more evidence of this bias, because Romney’s record on cultural issues has been flaky at best.  If Romney fails to close the deal in Michigan, they may look to somebody altogether new, who has a somewhat more “acceptable” view to Christian conservatives.  If so, it’s likely to be another Bush family friend, if not Jeb Bush himself, as they hope to freeze out cultural conservatives.  Their approach is basically in opposition to mainstream conservatism, the goal of which is and ought to be to get the most conservative nominee possible who can win.  The GOP establishment wishes to get the least conservative nominee they can make to pass muster with Christian and cultural conservatives in the GOP, because they wrongly surmise that this is the path to electoral victory in the general election.  They’re wrong.

 

 

Michigan Edu-crats Know Better Than Parents

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Face of the Nanny State

Thursday, my inbox took a long time to refresh.  Somebody sent me a video along with some background information.  The story comes from Michigan, where Debbie Squires is the Associate Director of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association.  Apart from the ten-dollar title, Squires is another blooming edu-crat who believes that the educational establishment knows what is best for your children.  In fact, by listening closely to what she has to say, you discover that she also thinks that she and other professional educators know what is best for you.  This smarmy, arrogant testimony before the Michigan House Committee on Education evinces a deeply rooted contempt for parents, tax-payers, and also for children.

Here’s the video:

This is simply astonishing. What we have here is an admission that they believe they know better than you, know your children better than you, and should have absolute control over education, without respect to dissent, political or social minorities, or any other input.  She has said here that if you don’t like the curricula or policies of schools, your only recourse is to go to the polls and vote.  That is your public education establishment telling you that they don’t need to be responsive to parents directly, but only indirectly through the electoral process.  I have a suggestion for the people of Michigan, and for anybody else who encounters this attitude among such people: Vote for elected officials who will fire the edu-crats.

In my own life, raising my own daughter, I have run into such people.  The only proper response is really to remove your children from harm’s way, which means to get them out of the clutches of people who see you as an obstacle.  Education doesn’t belong to these professional nit-wits, and I am tired of the smarter-than-thou position they most frequently adopt as they preach from the bully pulpit parents and taxpayers have provided about their superiority in knowing how best to educate our children.  If they’re so damned good at it, why are our kids doing so poorly when measured against the rest of the industrialized world?  The attitude Ms. Nanny State expresses is far too common among those who say they are professional educators.

My wife and I were our daughter’s first teachers.  She learned how to count, and how to read, and how to spell, and do mathematics from us.  She arrived on her first day in public school more prepared and more focused on learning than her peers, because her mother and I knew the secret to education without having the benefit of even a higher education at that point in time in our lives.  We didn’t need an edu-crat to tell us.  We didn’t need a social worker to guide us.  We simply did as we had thought would be prudent in preparing our daughter to step forward.  This idea that “professional educators know best” has become a racket, and unfortunately, I think it has gained ground as too many parent have surrendered their sovereignty and their authority over the question of the content of the education their children will be delivered.  All too often, it is based on lowest common denominators of class progress, meaning that the best and brightest are held back by the least prepared or least able.

After three generations of telling parents they don’t know best, and shouldn’t be involved, the education establishment has managed to push enough parents away from the process of educating their children that they can now claim: “Well, parents aren’t involved anyway.”  It’s true.  Most parents deliver their children to the gaping maw of the public school system with the uncritical, unthinking indifference that is required for people like Ms. Squires to subsist in the system.  She’s not accustomed to having her authority challenged, but I will assert that if parents were so-inclined, they can educate their own children to a higher proficiency and to better result than any combination of teachers in the public school ever will.  After all, if I’m a decent parent, I don’t need the state or its edu-crats dictating the education of my child.  I know the needs of my child, and if I don’t, it calls into question the legitimacy of my claim to my competence as a parent.  Maybe that’s the point in all of this.

Note: Thanks to ‘Jake’ for the video, and also to ‘Tom’ who just indicated to me this story may have gotten first coverage on the Blaze, here.

Media Mocked By Debate Audience – Perry Mocks Perry

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Debate in Michigan

CNBC hosted the Your Money Your Vote Republican presidential debate on Wednesday night in Michigan. After repeated attempts by media questions intended to raise issues about Cain and the sexual harassment allegations against him, and being repeatedly booed by the audience, the moderators finally went on to the topic that had been promised to be the focus of Wednesday night’s debate:  The economy.

The various candidates seemed to respect the wishes of the crowd, whether through conscious decision beforehand, or by sheer political instincts given the reactions of the crowd to these off-topic questions.

To me the funniest moment in the debate came when Rick Perry said he would shut down three departments of government, and then went to list them:

Rick Perry:  “Education, commerce and uh, uh, um, uh”

Ron Paul: “Oh my.”

Later in the debate, Perry said:

“Energy! That’s the one I couldn’t remember earlier.”

Of course, while Perry suffered from memory lapses, Romney suffered from sheer babbling. In answer to a follow-up question about Romney-care, he said:

“People have a responsibility to receive their own care…”

What?  What does that mean?  How can one not receive one’s own care?

I think he was basically caught flat-footed, and didn’t have a rehearsed answer, so strung together a few syllables. It was utter nonsense, every syllable.

Romney also avoided the direct answer on the Payroll Tax cut question, not wanting to be cornered there either.  Romney is an eel, and I refuse to vote for him under any circumstances.  This lack of courage, and this unabashed pandering that characterizes Romney surely damns his candidacy in my view.  Gingrich also squirmed away on this question.

Michele Bachmann had the right answer ready on the payroll tax, and I was happy to see her confront it bluntly.

Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich had the right answer on student loans, while Rick Perry tried to escape this one too.

Herman Cain simply doesn’t know enough to be President.  His answer on market volatility and uncertainty demonstrated this thoroughly.

Perry needs to go home.  No offense, but Rick, you’re not helping yourself at all. Jon Huntsman was right to call Romney out on the tariff pandering, but at the same time, he didn’t really offer any viable solutions of his own.

The entire debate was interesting and lively, but I would rather see the format of the Cain-Gingrich debates applied to other pairings.  I’d like to see Gingrich take on Perry, and Bachmann take on Romney.  I would like to see Cain take on Paul, and you can pair Huntsman with Santorum, because after all, everybody else needs a night off, and these two guys can’t buy attention.