Tag Archives: Ted Cruz

Contested Convention?

30 Apr

The presidential primary season is winding down with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton getting close to clinching the nomination in each party.  The only chance the Republicans have of stopping Trump from winning the nomination is to deny him the amount of delegates he needs heading to the convention.  Hillary Clinton is well on her way to winning the nomination and will likely clinch before the convention.  If Cruz and Kasich prevent Trump from getting the delegates he needs to clinch the nomination we will see something we haven’t seen since 1976, a contested convention.

In the old days the presidential nominations were decided at the conventions.  There are pros and cons with the two systems.  The old system produced better candidates but it was less democratic.  We use to have better presidential matchups like Dewey vs. Truman or Stevenson vs. Eisenhower.  In 2000 and 2004 we had Bush v. Gore and Bush v. Kerry.  In some ways I prefer the old system, but the primary process also gives an outsider a better chance.

We are left with an interesting situation now that the primaries are almost over.  The two candidates leading their party’s nomination have very high unfavorable ratings.  Donald Trumps’ unfavorable ratings are higher than Hillary Clintons’.  The Republican Party establishment sees this and are understandable worried.  Donald Trump is blowing an otherwise winnable election for the Republicans.

The top two candidates in the Republican primary are literally the last two candidates that they wanted as their nominee.  Senator Ted Cruz can probably count the amount of friends he has in the Senate on one hand and Trump has seen very few if any endorsements from anyone in congress.  Both Cruz and Trump would lose the election to either of the Democratic candidates if the election were held today.  It is possible but I don’t see that changing much in the next several months.

Donald Trump is doing the opposite of what he should be doing if he wants to win in November.  In 2012 Mitt Romney lost the Hispanic vote by a large margin.  Trump is on track to do even worse.  Donald Trump’s approval rating among women are among the lowest of any candidate in history.  There will be a likely revolt within the party if he wins the nomination which would lead to many voting third party over Trump.  Only one of the factors I mentioned above could cost him the election.

The Republican Party is faced with a problem heading into the Convention no matter what.  If they try to take away the nomination away from Trump than his voters could stay at home, if Trump wins the nomination he could cost them the Senate.  There has been talk that Trump could cause the Republicans to lose complete control of congress.  The only way that could happen is if the Republicans have another election like 2006 or 2008.  That is a possibility but I am skeptical that could happen at the moment.  The Republicans don’t want to take that chance but they are running out of options fast.


Dirty Campaigning

31 Mar

There have been few if any clean election campaigns. Thomas Jefferson once called John Adams a hermaphrodite (look it up).  Many people remember President Lyndon Johnson’s infamous daisy ad or George W. Bush’s Swiftboat ads against Senator Kerry.  Dirty or negative campaigning has been going on for some time.  Recently though, we have been digging further to the bottom.

This year’s presidential race is now down to 5 candidates. All of the candidates have been attacking each other but one feud has gotten particularly ugly and that is between Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.  It started before the Iowa caucuses when Trump went after Cruz to try to close the gap between them in the caucuses.  Recently it has escalated over each other’s wives.  I think that as long as the candidates significant others don’t make overwhelmingly controversial statements, they should be off-limits.

I understand why Ted Cruz is upset but he is certainly the wrong person giving the message. Senator Cruz hasn’t done much in the Senate besides obstruct and be a demagogue.  He accused former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel of getting money from North Korea without providing the slightest bit of evidence.  Before the Iowa Caucuses’ Senator Cruz spread rumors that Ben Carson had dropped out.  He also sent out a borderline illegal letter to voters in Iowa impersonating the Secretary of State’s office in Iowa.  The Republican primary race has devolved further since then.

Donald Trump’s supporters and rallies are worse than Trump himself has acted. People are being kicked out of rallies for doing nothing other than being different.  Trump’s rallies have become even worse over time.  Some of his recent rallies include people getting kicked out for protesting.  There have been outbreaks of violence by his supporters and even his campaign manager.  That is not how campaign rallies are suppose to happen.

Donald Trump is doing next to nothing to quell the violence in his rallies. He is even encouraging violence at his rallies.  Trump’s opponents have been calling him out on this.  I don’t blame a candidate for all of their supporters but it is the candidates’ job to tone down the rhetoric.  On the Democratic side there have been disagreements on approach and policy, but nothing compared to the rhetoric on the Republican side.

I mentioned in my previous blog post that Donald Trump has been able to get this far partially because of the racism that exists in the Republican Party. In some ways it goes beyond that.  In 2008 we saw the birth of the Tea Party (yes, you read that correctly).  At Sarah Palin’s rallies, she would say, “What do we know about the real Barack Obama?”  People in the crowd shouted, “Terrorist, kill him!”  Sarah Palin stood there and smiled.  Senator McCain quelled some of the anger at their rallies.  It was from those rallies that the Tea Party were born.

Right now there are three candidates running for president on the Republican side. Two out of the three have most of the Tea Party support.  Donald Trump’s rhetoric matches what the Tea Party have said in the past.  In the last presidential election the Tea Party candidates lost.  They are making a comeback in the Republican primaries with a disastrous effect on their party.  The Tea Party cost the Republicans control of congress in 2010 and 2012.  This time it could cost them the presidency and control of the Senate.  Donald Trump is the current front runner for the Republican nomination for president.  As bad as he is for the Republican Party he is worse for the country.  I have no confidence in Donald Trump’s temperament as a candidate, because judging by the way Trump runs his campaign rallies; he’s not fit to run our country.

2016 Preview

31 Jan

Tomorrow will begin what will be an incredibly busy election year.  The Iowa Caucuses will be followed next week by the primary in New Hampshire.  We certainly won’t know who the nominee of either party will be in the following weeks, but we will see the candidates list start to narrow.  It is likely that this year both nomination fights will go on longer than usual.

Senator Ted Cruz seemed like he was going to win Iowa until Donald Trump went on the attack.  Most of the Republican candidates are placing their bets on other primaries and caucuses.  Ohio governor John Kasich and former Florida governor Jeb Bush need to place in the top 3 or even 4 in the New Hampshire primary or one of them may drop out.  Donald Trump will probably win Iowa and has a good chance of winning New Hampshire.

The Democratic primaries will most likely be a two person race towards the end of the primary process like it was in 2008.  I think that Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will split Iowa and New Hampshire.  (Bernie will probably win New Hampshire, while Hilary could squeak out a win in Iowa)  There are some similarities between the 2008 democratic presidential primaries and there are some differences.  Hilary Clinton is better prepared this time around.  She has locked up many endorsements heading into this year.  In 2008 she underestimated Barack Obama and the support he got in his party.

This year Bernie Sanders is running with fewer endorsements than Obama had in 2008.  That doesn’t mean Bernie Sanders doesn’t have a chance at winning the nomination.  Bernie Sanders has energy in his campaign that Hilary Clinton does not.  Senator Sanders also faces a tougher road then Clinton after Iowa and New Hampshire.  Martin O’Malley is at this point a long shot for the Democratic nomination for president.  He isn’t raising the money that his opponents are and he isn’t catching on with voters like his opponents.

Something that is sometimes overlooked this year are the U.S. Senate elections.  The Democrats are in good shape to take back the Senate this year, especially if Donald Trump were to win the Republican nomination for president.  Republican Senators in IL, WI, OH, and NH are vulnerable not to mention potentially close races in FL, KY and PA.  As I have said before, politics are constantly changing so we won’t know for sure what will happen until Election Day.  It’s going to be in interesting election year.

2015 Blog Intro

30 Jan

One crazy year in politics ends and another begins.  This year will bring new battles for immigration, health care and more.  I don’t think anything substantial will get done this year but one can always hope.  By March, we will know some of the 2016 contenders and get a glimpse into their platform.  The only area where I think significant things will happen will be in foreign policy.  Keep an eye on Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as their votes this year will be an indicator on what they will run in 2016.

President Obama’s executive order on immigration has put the GOP in a tricky situation.  While the Republicans are mad at the president for his executive order, they can’t do much to undo it.  It also puts the GOP at risk of losing another presidential election unless they change their stance on immigration reform, which I don’t see happening.  Senator Marco Rubio is especially in a bind because he is now in a position where he has to criticize President Obama’s executive order while praising key elements of it.

The Affordable Care Act will also be center stage again when The Supreme Court reviews another key part of the law.  If the law survives another Supreme Court decision and a Democrat is elected president in 2016 The Affordable Care Act will likely remain law of the land for a long time.  If more people are covered under the law, then it will be harder for Republicans to attack it during a presidential campaign.  The Republican primary however will be a competition on who hates the Health Care law the most.

The Keystone XL pipeline is being debated right now, as it has been for several years.  It has passed both the House and the Senate but won’t survive President Obama’s veto.  It will likely be another issue debated in the next election.  The biggest issues in the next election will probably be the economy and income inequality.  Some GOP 2016 hopefuls are already talking about income inequality.  Above all this year be on the lookout for different candidates announcing who will be running for president next year.

Cruz’s Gamble

30 Sep

As many of you know we are facing a government shutdown and a possible default on our debt.  We are facing a budget stalemate mainly because of one senator, U.S. senator from Texas, Ted Cruz.  While the House of Representatives has already tried and failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Senator Ted Cruz has taken it one step further.  He is threatening to shut down the government unless President Obama and the Democrats delay or defund the Affordable Care Act.  This is an extreme political threat, even by today’s political standards.  The Democrats never issued a serious threat to default on our debt when Bush was president.  The Democrats never demanded President Bush pull out all of the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan or push the country to a default.

Ted Cruz and the Tea Party are threatening to damage the economy unless they get their way.   There really isn’t  a different way to describe this other than a temper tantrum by the Tea Party.  There is no way President Obama or the Democrats will go along with this.  I don’t believe Ted Cruz cares about his party or about the U.S. economy.  I think he is doing this because he wants to solidify his status as the new Tea Party senator and use it to run for president.  If he thinks that this gamble will benefit him in the long run he is sorely mistaken.

If we default on our debt, our economy will take a huge toll as will the Republican Party.  Many mainstream Republicans know the risk Cruz is taking.  There are moderate Republicans that want to do something but are afraid of being primary challenged.  Senator Cruz knows what he is doing is dangerous but he doesn’t care.  He cares about his own ambitions and doesn’t care if the country he claims to love takes an economic hit.

I have no problem if any senator is against the Affordable Care Act or has different views than me.  I do have a problem if they are determined to threaten the U.S. economy unless they get their way.

Chuck Hagel’s Nomination

20 Feb

As many of you know former Republican senator Chuck Hagel has been nominated to replace outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.  I think he would be a great choice for Secretary of Defense.  I know this has already been said but I think that his experience of fighting in a war also gives him more awareness than most as to the price of war.  I’m aware that he has made some controversial statements in the past, but I do not believe that disqualifies him from being Secretary of Defense.  He has apologized for his remarks and I believe he was sincere in his apology.

The center of the attack against Hagel in the beginning was that he referred to the Aipac Lobby as the “Jewish Lobby.”  This past comment was misguided, but by no means does it make him an anti-Semite.  I am a Jewish-American and I don’t believe he had or still has any ill intent when he made that comment.  The other comment he made in the past was that he referred to someone as, “aggressively gay.”  He has apologized for his naïve comment and his apology was accepted by James Hormel last month; the same person of whom Hagel was talking about.

Brett Stephens of the Wall Street Journal was one of the first people to attack Chuck Hagel’s nomination.  In an article he wrote in December of last year titled, “Chuck Hagel’s Jewish Problem”, he accused the former Senator of anti-Semitism for his past quotes.  I reject this accusation against Chuck Hagel because of the lack of evidence behind it.  (I’m not even sure that Brett Stephens himself believes this accusation.)  I think that the reason Brett Stephens doesn’t support Hagel, is because Stephens wants a secretary of Defense who sees bombing Iran as the only course of action for Israel.  It’s pretty low for someone (Brett Stephens in this case) to accuse another person of racism simply because Hagel doesn’t agree with him on every issue.

The confirmation hearing was as bad if not worse than that which was said before the hearings.  Senator John McCain went after Hagel asking him about the 2007 troop surge in Iraq and only directing him to answer the question yes or no.  Senators James Inhofe and Ted Cruz went as far as to suggest that Iran was supporting Chuck Hagel’s nomination (with little to no proof mind you).  Their accusation was so out of order that even McCain slammed Ted Cruz for his accusations.  To accuse a former war hero of working or being supported by our enemies is beyond reprehensible in my opinion.

Last week, Hagel’s nomination was filibustered (the first time for any defense secretary nominee).  Some senators said that they were simply trying to get more information about the Benghazi attacks from last year, which has nothing to do with Hagel.  Other senators said they simply needed more time to debate former Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination.  I hope that this is simply a stalling tactic and that it isn’t another attempt for the GOP to block someone that they don’t agree with.  I have no problem with any senator voting against Hagel, but I believe it is unnecessary to filibuster his nomination.  There have been some people comparing this to George W. Bush’s nomination to Ambassador of the UN John Bolton.  I don’t believe it is fair to compare John Bolton’s nomination with Chuck Hagel.  John Bolton essentially wanted to dismantle the UN.  Chuck Hagel on the other hand would never try to dismantle our defense department.

I still think former Senator Chuck Hagel will be confirmed as our next Secretary of Defense.  At least I would hope so.  I would hate for him to get blocked because of baseless accusations or his opposition to the war in Iraq.  We need a Secretary of Defense who knows what it is like to fight in a war, and I hope Chuck Hagel gets confirmed soon.