Archive of Articles in the "2010 Elections" Category

The Tea Party Is Dead! Long Live The Tea Party!

[ Posted Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 – 17:23 UTC ]

Today's article title is meant as commentary on the media's overreactions to the first big round of primary election results (announced last night), and not any sort of supportive call to arms. Just to be clear up front, in case anyone was expecting a very different sort of article. It really should read "The Tea Party Is Dead / Long Live The Tea Party," since it represents a clear dichotomy in how pundits reacted to the primary results. Since the Tea Party candidates didn't do very well (and even that's putting it charitably) in this first big round of primaries, many are now proclaiming total victory for the Establishment Republican faction of the Republican Party, and an absolute rout of the Tea Party faction. The second way of interpreting the results warns that rumors of the Tea Party's death are premature, and that what really happened was that the Tea Party's takeover bid for the entire Republican Party is now a complete success. The Tea Party won, this way of thinking goes, because they have now become the Republican Party.

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Tea Party's Influence On The Wane?

[ Posted Monday, April 28th, 2014 – 17:27 UTC ]

Over the course of the next two months, the Tea Party movement may become to be seen (to mix a few metaphors) as more of a paper tiger than the tail that wags the Republican dog. To put it a little more concretely, the Tea Party may be losing some of its outsized influence over the Republican Party. It is still too early to state with any degree of certainty (since the Tea Partiers have shown themselves to be impressively resilient on previous occasions), but if Tea Party power is indeed on the wane it could signal a turning point in modern American politics.

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GOP's Post-Mortem Post-Mortem

[ Posted Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 – 17:34 UTC ]

Has it really been a whole year since the Republican Party put out their "post-mortem" document, which tried to identify why they got shellacked so badly in the 2012 election? Since it's not a big date on my political calendar, the one-year anniversary kind of snuck up on me, I'll admit. But since the Republican National Committee used the term "post-mortem" in the first place, I guess it's now time for a post-mortem on the post-mortem (insert your own zombie or "dead man walking" joke here, if you must).

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Tea Party Primary Problems

[ Posted Monday, February 24th, 2014 – 18:10 UTC ]

As we enter into what political wonks call "primary season," the next few months are going to prove instructive as to the relative strength in the Republican Party of both the Tea Party and the Establishment Republican factions. The Tea Party rode high in the 2010 election cycle, and was again influential during the whole 2012 race, but one has to wonder if the luster of the Tea Party's shine is beginning to wear off -- even among Republican primary voters. The next few months will tell, as sitting Republicans either win their primaries or are dethroned by their Tea Party challengers.

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America: Legalize It!

[ Posted Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 – 17:22 UTC ]

Gallup just released a poll showing a large majority -- 58 percent -- of the American public now thinks marijuana should be fully legalized for adult recreational use. This is somewhat stunning news. The "somewhat" part is that this is really only a continuation of a decades-long trend towards acceptance in public opinion. The "stunning" part is how quickly it is now happening. In fact, it might be fair to say that we may only be a year or two away from marijuana legalization reaching a political "tipping point" from which there will be no going back. I wrote earlier this year that gay marriage can now be seen to be over this "tipping point" -- it's hard to now imagine going back to the days of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense Of Marriage Act. Legalizing marijuana hasn't hit this point of no return yet... but it certainly can be glimpsed on the horizon.

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Will The 113th Congress Actually Get Some Things Done?

[ Posted Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 – 18:05 UTC ]

It is fashionable nowadays for pundits to decry the partisan polarization in Washington, and to bemoan how "broken" Congress is. Nothing will get done with such divided government, such conventional wisdom dictates. We're in for a long and bitter two years of legislative gridlock. I try to be an eternal optimist (while still staying within the bounds of reasonableness), and I can't help but wonder if this thinking may turn out to be wrong. Perhaps -- just perhaps, mind you -- the 113th Congress will be able to actually get a few important things done.

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Will Colorado Legalize Pot?

[ Posted Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 – 17:11 UTC ]

Are Colorado voters going to pass Amendment 64 in November, which would legalize recreational (not just medicinal) marijuana use for all adults in the state? The bigger question, should this come to pass, is what is the federal government going to do about it?

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Who Threw The Party, And Who Got Occupied?

[ Posted Monday, August 6th, 2012 – 16:38 UTC ]

This is the story of two political movements. As with any such movement, both eventually got to the point where they asked themselves the fundamental question of what they were attempting to achieve, and (more importantly) what methods they were going to use to accomplish their goals. This fork in the road can be summed up as: do we work within the existing system, or is the system itself so broken we should work outside the system in order to reform the workings of the system itself. One group chose one path, the other chose to head the other direction.

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From The Archives -- Dump The Individual Mandate

[ Posted Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 – 15:13 UTC ]

The individual mandate is the least-liked part of healthcare reform. It really has no natural constituency other than insurance companies. There was no call from the public to include this in the final law (as there was with the "public option," in comparison). The Left wasn't in favor of it, and it causes apoplexy over on the Right. President Obama did not campaign on the individual mandate (although Hillary Clinton did, I should point out), so he obviously didn't think it was all that important (or all that good an idea, take your choice) before he got elected. Since the mandate appeared, very few people have bothered defending it in public. Its appearance in the debate was obviously a direct result of demands from the health insurance industry, who will be the obvious beneficiary of the plan.

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Weak Tea?

[ Posted Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 – 17:33 UTC ]

Is the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party becoming irrelevant?

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