The Conversation

Politics: Policy issues, legislation and political topics of all sorts.

Are you ready for... Jeb Bush 2016?

Mar 5, 2013 8:55 AM PT

And more to the point, is he ready for it?  The day after he gave a big Today interview to test the 2016 waters and chart a distinct course on immigration, he was already disavowing his own book on immigration.  Which leads me to wonder why the just-released book is still on the shelves, or how Bush can leave his name on it.  I feel a great swell of pity for his co-author.

What does everyone make of Jeb Bush?  I've tried to resist the knee-jerk impulse to dismiss him out of hand because America will never vote for the third installment of a dynasty, or never vote for anyone named "Bush" again.  That sort of simple Crackerjack-box political wisdom is usually wrong, especially in a year when Democrats are straining mightily to get people to vote for another Clinton... and her horrific performance on Benghazi will be far fresher in memory than anything G.W. Bush did.  (Of course the media will keep trying to bury Benghazi, but we won't let them, and that "what difference does it make?" sound bite of hers should make every single American's blood run cold.)

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5 political realities of the 113th Congress

Mar 4, 2013 1:10 PM PT

1. Benghazi is a serious problem for the Obama administration. Four Americans, including the brave ambassador, were killed--and Obama did nothing, except lie to the public afterwards. Benghazi is every bit the scandal many of us thought it was at the time, as Bill Kristol recently noted, and Congress has real leverage to investigate what happened and hold the administration accountable. The confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director is one pressure point; Congress can also set up its own investigative apparatus to probe for the truth. The Obama administration has no defense on this issue, save for the feeble charge that Republicans are hell-bent on politicizing Benghazi--after Obama himself politicized it by falsely blaming an anti-Islamic video.

2. There will be no new taxes and no new hikes in tax rates. Obama and the Democrats are insisting on new tax hikes and new revenues from closing tax loopholes. There's a slim chance they will get the latter, but zero chance they will get the former. Speaker of the House John Boehner would immediately lose his job for entertaining tax hikes after leading a (partial) retreat on tax hikes in the fiscal cliff talks in late 2012. The GOP majority itself would likely not survive any vote for higher tax rates, or for higher revenues without serious spending cuts. Republicans' hands are tied--which, ironically, gives the party unusual leverage in budget talks.

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I beheld a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Sequester

Mar 4, 2013 8:07 AM PT

David Harsanyi's new book, Obama's Four Horsemen: The Disasters Unleashed by Obama's Reelection is out today.  He posted a hefty excerpt over at Human Events, where he and I are two of the primary horsemen.  Based on this, I think he wants to be Death, and I'll be War.  

He's using the apocalyptic metaphor to describe a very serious paradigm shift covering the eight years of Obama, coupled with the rapid approach of unsustainable government disasters set in motion long before Barack Hussein Obama was born.  Like most great disasters, this one is a matter of timing; it's a one-two-punch that will shatter all the seals of Big Government Revelations at once.  (The Bible calls for seven seals, but due to sequestration we can now afford only five, and they're forged from recycled Solyndra solar panels.)

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Young Voters Talking, Will GOP Listen?

Mar 3, 2013 3:50 PM PT

In a recent NPR article/broadcast, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus says he's meeting with groups of voters, including Hispanics, Asians, and youth, who have voted Democratic in the past. 

After several years of the GOP telling young voters that they will be footing the bill for Obamacare and growing entitlement spending.  It's no surprise that many put much more emphasis on fiscal issues rather than social issues.  From the article:

During the 2008 election, I was registered Republican," he says. "Technically, I still am registered a Republican, but I definitely identify myself more with the Libertarian party."

Leone is a fiscal conservative, but when it comes to the GOP, he thinks the party needs to take a different approach to some issues.

"They need to change their outlook, especially on social issues, which is why I identify myself more as Libertarian," Leone says. "But I think that they are still very much in the right in terms of economic issues, the Republicans are."

Young voters are quick to raise social issues such as same-sex marriage. They are far more likely than other age groups to approve of it.

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The Floodgates Open: More Accounts of White House Thuggery Emerge

Mar 3, 2013 3:18 PM PT

 In the wake of last week's brouhaha between journalistic legend Bob Woodward and the Obama White House, other reporters have come forward to talk about their own experiences with the controlling and sometimes abusive administration.

Maureen Callahan of The New York Post talked to a number of reporters - some on the record - and some off,  and they had interesting stories to tell.

“I had a young reporter asking tough, important questions of an Obama Cabinet secretary,” says one DC veteran. “She was doing her job, and they were trying to bully her. In an e-mail, they called her the vilest names — bitch, c--t, a--hole.” He complained and was told the matter would be investigated: “They were hemming and hawing, saying, ‘We’ll look into it.’ Nothing happened.”

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Star Wars vs. Sip Wars

Mar 1, 2013 2:00 PM PT

In response to Why Obama Wins: 'Star Wars' Gaffe Becomes Genius Meme:

That's somewhat reminiscent of the way Marco Rubio jumped on the "water sip gaffe" and played it for laughs, which was definitely the right strategy.  The difference is that I don't recall Rubio trying to build a policy-political theme into his response, like portraying the sequester as a tiny sip from a giant water bottle or something like that.  He played off the Sip of Doom as a matter of personality, and to that extent seemed generally successful.

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