Political Strategy Notes
Raven Clabough has a round-up at the right-wing rag, The New American arguing that Dem leaders are almost giddy at the prospect of Newt getting the GOP nod. Sen. Harkin says a Newt nomination would be "heaven-sent." Rep. Barney Frank: "I never thought I'd live such a good life that I would see Newt Gingrich be the nominee of the Republican Party." Clabough also has an interesting report on Newt's unhinged self-image, e.g.: "I have enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I'm doing it" and "I am now a famous person. I represent real power." According to Clabough, he has also described himself as an "advocate of civilization, definer of civilization, teacher of the rules of civilization, leader of the civilizing sources."
Jordan Michael Smith mulls over Newt's foreign policy at Salon, and concludes it is characterized by "violent grandiosity, faux intellectualism and missionary zeal," which sounds a lot like Bush II's eight years of disaster.
At Bloomberg.com Seth Stern and Heidi Przybyla have a refresher course "Gingrich House Ethics Complaint Echoes in Criticism Lodged Today." Contrary to Newt's assertion that he was a victim of partisanship, the authors note "the House voted 395-28 to approve a settlement that concluded Gingrich twice misled the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct's investigative subcommittee and required a $300,000 payment to recover some of the probe's costs...In the final tally, 196 Republicans supported the rebuke of their own speaker, while 198 Democrats backed it. Twenty-six Republicans and two Democrats opposed it."
Sure looks like Mitch is scared of the peeps.
Steven Rosenfeld makes the case at Alternet that the "GOP Can't Erase Dems From Political Map," despite their big wins in 2010. "Regardless of how miserable the 2010 election was for Democrats - losing a US House majority and the GOP gaining 63 seats, as well as winning majorities in 20 state legislative chambers and 16 governor's races - it does not appear that the GOP will be able to draw enough new political lines to lock down Democrats for a decade, as many party activist had hoped."
"Caitlan Halligan Lost, and So Did You" is the title of a post at The Atlantic by award-winning legal commentator Andrew Cohen, concerning the GOP's obstruction of President Obama's nomination of a legal "superstar," Caitlan Halligan to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Says Cohen: "...Republican senators now have lowered the standard for what constitutes "extraordinary circumstances"...that would warrant rejection. In Halligan's case, The Washington Post reported, it was her participation in a lawsuit against gun manufacturers that evidently did her in. Either that or it was her position on detainee rights, which is consistent with Supreme Court precedent (but not current Senate politics)."
Lest Dems get too giddy, Rhodes Cook cautions at Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball that "2012 Republican Race: The Field May Not Be Closed," since the GOP primary calendar is not as front-loaded as in years past.
Elizabeth Warren is up 7 points, 49-42, over Sen. Scott Brown in a new University of Massachusetts at Lowell/Boston Herald poll -- "a 10-point swing in Warren's favor in less than two months," according to Joe Battenfeld's Boston Herald report on the poll.
Do not bet the ranch on any of this making much of a difference.
In his Common Dreams post, "Words That Don't Work," George Lakoff warns progressives to avoid getting hustled by a Frank Luntz's bait. Says Lakoff: "There is a basic truth about framing. If you accept the other guy's frame, you lose...To attack "capitalism" in this [Luntz's] frame is to accept "socialism." Conservatives are trying to cast Progressives, who mostly have businesses or work for businesses or are looking for good business jobs, as socialists. If you take the Luntz bait, you will be sucked into sounding like a socialist. Whatever one thinks of socialism, most Americans falsely identify it with communism, and will reject it out of hand."
Steven Shepard reports at Hotline on Call that "Gallup Poll Shows Narrowing Enthusiasm Gap." As Shepard explains: "Forty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting, compared to 44 percent who say they are less enthusiastic. In a mid-September survey, 58 percent of Republicans were more enthusiastic, while just 30 percent said they were less enthusiastic."