Some seasoned pundits who make a living attempting to ascertain actions of politicians were taken aback last week when Trump fervently raised the birth certificate issue regarding President Obama.
According to the conventional wisdom Trump would be expected to challenge former Massachusetts governor Romney for the more tidy and orderly Republican vote, those who follow the maxim of Calvin Coolidge that "The business of the country is business."
Trump instead invaded the province of Mike Huckabee without so much as a knock on the door and fought him tenaciously for the Tea Party vote. After the initial shock waves wore off pundits began to analyze the surprising behavior of the mega rich property developer from New York City.
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What was at stake and continues to be the major issue that Romney confronts as a Republican presidential aspirant in a party where a major ideological confrontation is in vigorous progress is the direction of the party.
The contrasting force to former Massachusetts Governor Romney is former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. This confrontation, as in so many others, finds at least quasi-historical precedents.
A tenacious battle for ideological control of the Republican Party occurred in 1964. This was a period when a prominent Eastern wing existed. It was headed by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, who waged a no-holds-barred battle for the Republican presidential nomination with Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.
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Each year, it seems, the Grand American Puppet Show is getting longer, and the assortment of characters more diverse and talented. This time the curtain was lifted in the middle of 2006, more than two years before the Grand American Puppet Choice Day--er, excuse me, Election Day. The first two characters to appear on stage were New York Senator Hillary Clinton, representing the Democratic Party, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, representing the Republican Party.
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Under the Lee Atwater and latterly Karl Rove technique words, as exemplified in George Orwell's prescient masterwork "1984", are instruments to be used for selfish political gain. Their meanings are essentially irrelevant but for their sword-like thrust in making political points.
For instance, while Senator John McCain becomes demagogue of the moment for the Republican Party attack machine in asserting that Democratic candidates seeking the presidency are advocating "surrender in the Iraq War" the first point to encounter is the definition of the word "surrender."
In fact, McCain has asserted that America should remain in Iraq for perhaps "one hundred years" if necessary to complete its mission.
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By RB Scott
Note: RB Scott, a former staff writer and editor at Time, Life, People and Sports Illustrated, reports frequently on national politics.
As the barrow pit alongside the campaign expressway collects more roadkill (Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich, Fred Thompson, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, Jim Gilmore, and Tommy Thompson; and last night Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards while Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul ran into heavy oncoming traffic), the grinding primary election process seems as determined to set a few new precedents as it is to extrude a very predictable result: another election and inauguration of the least objectionable.
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This is what the front page of pollster RasmussenReports looked like on Saturday afternoon.
According to Rasmussen polling, in a telephone survey of 800 likely voters, Obama pulls further ahead of Romney by 9 points (vs Clinton ahead of Romney with a shorter lead of 5).
Barack Obama also is leading John McCain now by a bigger margin than Clinton does. Obama bests McCain by 5 points, vs Clinton edging McCain by just 2.
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Then Romney won going away in Michigan; a win that injected caffeine into his Postum and added more green to his already bulky bankroll.
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It must have been more difficult thant I thought to keep track of all the new names. That's the only reason I can think of to explain why this reporter devised their own naming strategy to keep track of the candidates. Aside from that, it seems they got all the high points.
Follow me below the fold for the 9-years old rendition of a fight between Sarge, Wrinkles, Bunny Ears, Oily, Beagle Eyes and Carrot Face...
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While seeking not to upset the vital religious right constituency, other more moderate conservative types needed to be kept within the Republican fold. Their support also needed to be retained to stand any chance of triumphing on the national scene.
A student of history, Rove certainly correlated this challenge alongside that perennially faced by his idol Richard Nixon when he sought the presidency. As the saying then went, Nixon would "fly right for money and fly left for votes."
This was the game Nixon needed to successfully play given the existence at that time of a more progressive Eastern Republican wing that had to be placated alongside more conservative element in the Midwest and west, along with the then opening opportunities in the south.
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Given the venue in which such a dire warning was delivered, it was virtually certain that a strong response would be forthcoming. It came from Mike Huckabee and seemed appropriate considering where the Arkansas governor stands in the Republican field.
Huckabee is attempting to demonstrate that he deserves the support of the red meat rightists who diet regularly on Fox News and diatribes by drug-addicted Rush Limbaugh while Rudy Guiliani and Mitt Romney backpedal and work overtime to re-define themselves after having to adopt what the hard right deemed heresies they embraced to voters in New York City and Massachusetts to get elected.
Guiliani and Romney are therefore compelled to make the case that they surely had not previously pandered to Eastern voters, but have since seen the true light and embraced principles that would prevent Pat Robertson from gagging, a good first step to displaying legitimacy with the party's stalwart rightist base.
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The response was good enough that it is clear I should try and make this a weekly thing. The idea is to highlight articles/infromation/videos , new or old, that are important, under-reported and/or forgotten. And to provide YOU to post articles that YOU think need more attention. This week I will review last week's articles, YOUR suggestions from last week, and present a new set of articles that I think deserve more attention. And if you think I forgot anything, please post in the comments! New articles come first, last week's articles are at the end.
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Which then made me realize that I already have some articles on some other Republicans that should get more attention. So, here is what might be a regular thing I do: highlighting the articles that Republicans DON'T want you to see. Please feel free to add more in the comments. I may pick up on some of them for my own blogging. And feel free to spread the word on these articles.
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When then political novice Romney, son of former Michigan Governor George Romney, ran against dynastic Senator Ted Kennedy in 1994 his opponent, attacking what he perceived to be a flip-flop pattern on the issue of a woman's right to choose, referred to his position as "multiple choice."
Romney protested but the name stuck and is being cited with increasing frequency. While Romney lost in his first try for office in the Bay State to the venerable Ted Kennedy, his second effort resulted in being elected governor.
In all of Romney's Massachusetts efforts he did his utmost to sell voters on the idea that his brand of Republicanism blended with the progressive tradition of the state, which in the past elected Eastern Establishment names such as Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr, Leverett Saltonstall and Edward Brooke to the senate and more recently William Weld as governor.
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Despite Rove's enthusiasm he recognized that he could not accomplish this feat independently. The important thing about promoting an incurious and inarticulate buffoon-like figure such as Bush to the presidency was a willingness to please the neocon power structure and that he did.
To invest Bush with the kind of manufactured machismo that typified Ronald Reagan, who had earlier been fine-tuned by the corporate establishment all the way to the presidency, some early steps were taken.
Like Reagan, Bush developed a "man's man" image by becoming an instant cowboy as arrangements were made for him to purchase his Crawford, Texas ranch, the first step toward becoming the Lone Star State's governor, an important pivotal position en route to Washington.
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Now Guiliani has the religious right and the South's NASCAR dads to be concerned about. They fit solidly into the Republican Party's national constituency, and already there are strong warning signals being sounded that the former New York City mayor will not be able to rally the party's core constituencies.
With the Virginia Tech tragedy becoming a major national focus this week, the subject shifted abruptly for the need to monitor gun purchases. There was no better time than the present for Guiliani to assert himself in a manner to assure those who might otherwise dismiss him as a Republican national aberration due to positions he advocated in New York.
Guiliani sounded the same note that has been heard so many times through the years by the gun lobby as he solidly embraced the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, proclaiming that the Founding Fathers in their wisdom saw fit to grant the citizenry the right to bear arms and not be infringed upon in that pursuit.
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