Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty
It is time to move on from the Eric Cantor Years. Mr. Cantor sealed his own fate years ago when he gerrymandered his own district and then proceeded to not take care of the constituints in THAT district.
The funny thing about Cantor's plight is the relative close proximity Virginia is to Washington D.C. compared to most of the other Congress members who have to take long flights to get home to their districts.
Cantor was all about money and had the backing of his party and the Wall Street players. He outspent his primary opponent 6-to-1 ($5 million+ - to - $122,00+). It seems absurd that Cantor lost his race by 12 points.
If John Boehner though he could just coast through until the end of the year and then retire from Congress by handing his Speakership off to the heir apparent Eric Cantor??? You know the answer to that question now.
That is why I believe that Golden Boy Paul Ryan WILL be the next Speaker of the House. The gerrymandered House seats appear safe and the GOP will retain the House.
Politically, Paul Ryan is both the Tea Party AND establishment guy. He appears to be the ONLY member of the entire Congress who could grab enough support.
Cantor is "Dead Man Walking" in his lame duck seat. Watch these guys turn their political backs on him. He has no power cards to play. Look for him to get a cozy Wall Street job sooner than later.
Ryan may or may not have White House aspirations, but I believe he is smart enough to know that Hillary Clinton looks unbeatable in this next cycle.
If Boehner were to align the cards properly and then step down next January, you will see a huge groundswell of support for Mr. Ryan.
Ryan has submitted dopey GOP budgets for years that he KNEW would never be enacted. This last time he teamed up with democrat Ms. Murray in a show of bi-partisan agreement, signalling his ability to work with the democrats and NOT step on the toes of the Tea Party folks.
Paul Ryan will be the next Speaker of the House, if he doesn't do something stupid like run for President in 2016.
"We don't leave our soldiers behind"
What has happened to America?
Long gone are the days of ticker tape parades for returning soldiers. With this recent Bowe Bergdahl fiasco, the Republicans are managing to politicize something that should be a non-partisan issue.
I find it reprehensible that Sgt. Bergdahl is being vilified when he is in a hospital being debriefed after five years in captivity. These swaps have happened throughout the history of our country. Many Gitmo prisoners (more than 500) during the Bush administration were released without political fanfare. It has been estimated in news reports that 30% of those released prisoners returned to the battlefield.
The Obama administration has released an underwhelming 60-or-so prisoners during the five years in office.
Why are the Republicans making political hay out of this one?
Here is what I think:
They lost the White House. They are losing Benghazi. They have lost the IRS. The NSA is too confusing for most Americans. Fast n Furious was a no go.
Shame on John McCain for saying on Anderson Cooper's AC360 in February that the swap of THESE 5 Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl was “I would be inclined to support such a thing, depending on a lot of details,” and NOW AFTER that very deal was struck: “It is disturbing that these individuals would have the ability to re-enter the fight, and they are big, high-level people, possibly responsibly for the deaths of thousands,”
This kid was a disillusioned deserter, but we don't leave personnel either on the battlefield or in captivity. The 5 Taliban bad guys were not going to be prosecuted in our courts, thus were going to be released at the end of the year anyway. Our WAR ends at the end of the year and these guys were going to be returned.
Look. President Obama has not always communicated very well with Congress or the Press, but we really need to let the Commander in Chief do his damn job. We gave Bush and Cheney cart blanch getting us into Iraq and Afghanistan.
I really hope the general public sees through the bullshit McCain, Ayotte, Graham, McConnell, Rubio and the rest of these GOP hacks are spewing and the press gladly reprints, etc. The press has turned a blind eye to the facts of these prisoner exchanges, BECAUSE they need to sell ad space and fill up their papers with stories of what the politicians do and say.
I really believe WE THE PEOPLE need to see through this and understand that these Taliban guys were going to be released after December 31, 2014 when OUR war in Afghanistan ends. Obama used the common "Signing Statement" that Bush and Clinton used many times to justify the procedure.
The mistake Obama made was not including Feinstein, McCain, Graham, Chambliss and the gang in the operation. If they had been informed, they would have been part of it and we wouldn't be in this "Berdalghazi" Scandal.
One last thing. The Taliban is NOT Al Qeda. The Taliban is alive and a big part of the equation in Afghanistan. We are likely negotiating much bigger deals with them right now. That is why Obama has been very quiet, right?
"Obamacare is now the law of the land."
John Boehner, November 2012
John Boehner uttered those words the day after the 2012 Presidential Election and President Obama was re-elected. Boehner still let his caucus shut the government down nearly a year later.
What will Mitch McConnell and all the House Republicans do in their upcoming elections after bashing the hell out of the ACA for years?
McConnell is toast. His state (Kentucky) has signed up more than 400,000 previously uninsured citizens for health insurance through that state's KYNect, which is PART of the Affordable Care Act. They are one and the same and the Kentucky media outlets are hammering that point in print and on TV and radio.
McConnell's opponent Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has distanced herself from Obama, who is at 29% Approval in the state polls (as is McConnell). Grimes has vowed to help "FIX" the ACA.
There it is. The one and only answer the REPUBLICANS will use in their elections in 2014. They will all have to eat their past words and vow to "FIX" Obamacare.
The Ads may look something like this:
"Hi I'm (insert name here), when I came to Washington (insert years here) ago I vowed to repeal Obamacare. The Democrats ramrodded the ACA down your throats in the dead of night. Now I'm pledging to you to "FIX" this terrible law. Please donate as much as you can to my campaign and together we will fix the problems in Washington."
You mark my words, this has to be their strategy. The Democrats are already embracing the ACA slowly. Look at Louisiana Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu:
"I’ve continued to urge our governor to expand Medicaid. I’ve called it the 252,000 people in our state who work hard every day, in fact they work hard all week, some of them work 40 or 50 hours a week, have no access to health insurance because they fall into the ‘Jindal Gap.’ Governor Jindal has refused to expand health care opportunities even though the $16 billion that is our money, he’s leaving it in Washington for other people to use instead of using it for our own hospitals and nurses and doctors and healthcare." (courtesy Washington Post)
Landrieu is the blueprint for the Democrats who face tough GOP oppostion. She is accusing her state's governor of a lot of things and the people are starting to listen. She is gaining in the polls.
To summarize. Dems will have to run towards the ACA and the GOP will have to run towards "Fixing" the ACA, right?
"In 2016, would you prefer to be called 'Madame President' or 'Mrs. President'?" a moderator reading questions asked Hillary Clinton. Clinton chuckled and placed down her mic, shrugging her shoulders
as she exited the stage to cheers from the audience.
(From a Huffington Post article April 10, 2014)
I know I have gone on the record saying I wish she wouldn't run, because it will be very difficult in this climate for her and history says the road for HER will be pitted with political landmines.
It don't matta.
She will run and she will win big when she does.
The Right Wing Political Establishment will do what they always do and demonize her and Bill Clinton all the way to the end.
Let's go through the potential opponents and current landmines she will have to manuever to get to the White House.
On the Democratic side:
Joe Biden will have to do a lot of soul searching from now until Mrs. Clinton announces her candidacy. He wants the job himself and probably feels a bit of entitlement. His 1988 candidacy was derailed by plagiarism charges from speeches he gave using phrases and wording from Neil Kinnock, leader of the British Labour Party at the time.
We are a long way off from 1988 and Biden has done a lot of service to his country, but compared to Hillary Clinton, he is not formidable. He has served the Obama administration with dignity and diligence, but his time has long passed to be President.
Elizabeth Warren is THE populist choice, but she is in the Hillary Clinton camp. I have written it before and I will say it again right here. She should be on the ticket with Clinton. Two STRONG women. The northeast angle may keep that from happening. They both reside in the northeast.
If I were Hillary, I would still take a long look at Warren as second banana. States like Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia and Michigan could be swayed by Warren's message of helping citizens. I feel it would be a strong ticket with THESE two women on it and Clinton could keep Warren on the "Clinton Message" and not so much the "Warren Message."
Okay. Time to discuss the "Clown Car" and the establishment GOP candidates.
Rand Paul is the best far right candidate, but his message of Libertarianism will not sell in swing states. He has no foreign policy experience.
Ted Cruz has no political skills moving towards the center. Paul does. Cruz will likely be toast very early in the process.
Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul may just cancel each other out as the primaries move along.
Chris Christie seems to be a non factor with scandal surrounding him on several fronts.
Jeb Bush is the MOST appealing GOP candidate. It will be fascinating to watch him re-establish the old guard Republican party. Bush appears to be on a path to NOT catering to the right wing.
He recently stated his views on immigration. He is married to a Latina and speaks fluid Spanish. Bush looks to be on a course to be middle of the road and unapologetic about it. If he can buck the trend of the current far right Republican politics, he will give Mrs. Clinton a tussle.
Bush would win Florida and the southern states in a close election.
The question of voter suppression could be interesting in that Bush may start to push back on those conservative legislatures who continue to make it harder for its citizens to vote Democratic.
The way I see this playing out is Clinton v. Bush II. If that campaign materialized, it would be very close. Jeb Bush will have to restructure the Republican Party to be a more center right party. That will be very difficult to do, but he may be their ONLY hope to regain the White House.