Posts tagged Tea Party
The President’s annual State of the Union address has evolved over time. As we’ve noted before on these pages, the Constitutional mandate only specifies that the President must, according to Article II, Section 3:
… from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient …
That is, on occasion, he must tell Congress how things are going, and what he wants them to pass as legislation. There’s no requirement of a speech, no requirement of it being annual, and no requirement of it being any particular time of year.
But traditions form, and the live, televised annual speech before Congress has become the standard. President Bill Clinton turned them into theretofore unseen spectacle, in a manner he reprised at last year’s Democratic National Convention.
And, along the way, the opposition party’s responses to the State of the Union Addresses became part of the tradition as well. Until recently, that meant a single opposition speech. Beginning in 2011, though, Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater, MN) gave the first Tea Party response, distinct from that of the Republican Party. (more…)
It’s a battle on which filistro has spilled much digital ink, but we’ve just witnessed another round. Does the Republican Party have a policy problem or a message problem? Does the Party need to shift to the left or to the right, and do they need to clean up their messaging?
The answers were all over the map, depending on whom one asked.
Ari Fleischer sees a “tale of two parties”, but he views the bifurcation as between the Governors’ mansions and the national offices, rather than between the establishment and the Tea Party. He also notes a growing demographic issue that is working in the Democrats’ favor: “Demographic changes in America are changes in the Democrats’ direction. We have to figure out how to make it come our way.” His solution is to explain to people with more pigment that they should focus on the social conservatism they have in common with the GOP, and ignore the racial hatred so many white Republicans feel toward them.
It’s not just liberals who see the racist vein in the Republican Party. (more…)
Back in May, I predicted a series of likely budget confrontations facing Congress late this year or early next: the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, the need to again raise the debt ceiling, expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the sequestration of funds mandated by the last debt ceiling deal, the annual October 1 end of the fiscal year, and possible moves on spending, Social Security, and Medicare. Last week, I gave an update dealing with sequestration, and another update this week on votes concerning the Bush tax cuts.
These important issues might go in unexpected ways. Yesterday, in a relatively quiet no-drama bipartisan deal, leaders of both Houses and both major Parties reached agreement to keep the federal government running until after the November election. It’s but a six-month continuing resolution, which means they’ll have to come back to the subject next year, but they got it done two months early instead of waiting until well after the last minute.
Anger unites these otherwise disparate movements. Anger over the worldwide financial crisis, huge compensation packages paid to those who failed to exercise fiduciary restraint, and the subsequent $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Plan (TARP) bailout of banks deemed “too big to fail”.
In 1913 Europe, a series of treaty alliances amongst unstable parties ensured that once a match was set, all hell would break loose — and did. The match was the June 28, 1914, assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. A month later, the Guns of August were mowing down young men worldwide.
Ninety-eight years later, almost to the day, a spark may have been struck, the spark which lights the hydrogen-filled dirigible of the financial crisis’ bad actors.
Democratic and Republican state conventions were held in Utah Saturday, April 21. Each party chose candidates for statewide and multi-county offices.
On the Democratic side, things were pretty calm. The Democrats don’t hold much power in Utah politics, and there were no major controversies. I’ve been to past state Democratic conventions, and the overall air is like a high school pep rally for a losing team that everyone is compelled to attend. The Democrats only have one Congressional seat — more on that later — and have not been a significant force in state politics since 1966. Currently, the State Senate has 22 Republicans and 7 Democrats, while the State House has 56 Republicans and 17 Democrats. All the Democrats are from the Salt Lake and nearby Park City areas, with the exception of one lone Democratic State Representative, Christine Watkins, who lives in Price, in the coal-mining east-central part of the state.
There is much more activity on the Republican side. Remember that in 2010, U.S. Senator Bob Bennett was unable to make it past the second round of balloting which sent now-Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Tim Bridgewater into the primary, which Senator Lee won.
Could the Tea Party repeat this feat in 2012, with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who has served for 36 years?
Yesterday, Michael posted up a list of important ballot initiatives and elections to watch. Today, let’s recap what we know as of this writing (2 am EST) and what’s still out there.
Sixty/forty splits were the order of the day, with many initiatives being decided by that margin. Only a couple of races are close: a Washington state transportation tax initiative and control of the Virginia State Senate. We will be watching those through the day Wednesday, but the Virginia race in particular may not be decided for a week or more.
The title color indicates my best guess of whether the results favor the left (blue), the right (red), or neither/mixed (gray).