National Party News

National Party News

So, how bleak are things?

President Barack Obama and his White House team have kicked into campaign mode, bringing in their version of Dick Morris to right the ship. David Plouffe, manager of Obama's revolutionary and well-respected presidential campaign, will now head to Democratic National Committee headquarters to make sure a trusted eye is overseeing the 2010 midterm elections.

Most Democrats expect a day of reckoning this November, with a likely loss of more than 20 seats and a feared loss of 40, which would flip control to the GOP. Plouffe isn't promising anything, but he made the case that "November Doesn't Have to Be A Nightmare" in an op-ed he penned for The Washington Post over the weekend.

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The Democrats: Losing because they're lost

As I get directions from my car's GPS, I often wonder what the turn-by-turn instructions would be like if the woman inside the device had emotional issues like:

Narcissism: "I don't care which way you turn. It's all about me." (A lot of us TV types own this one.)

Then there's ...

Multiple Personality Disorder: "Turn left! Turn right! Go straight! Go back!"

Let's not forget ...

Clinical depression:
"It doesn't matter which way you go, you're not going to get where you want to anyway."

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A fight less reported

I know you have heard by now the Democrats are having trouble holding the seat held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy for more than four decades in deep-blue Massachusetts. I know you have heard they may not be able to pass healthcare reform after nearly a year of agonizing negotiations, political horse-trading and partisan warfare. I know you have heard how the House-passed cap-and-trade bill won't make it out of the Senate, how vulnerable Democrats are retiring and how sinking polls numbers for President Barack Obama and his party could lead to even more departures and make losing the House a strong possibility.

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Time for the Declaration of Independents

Maybe this is the year. After all the decades of lip service to the idea of third-party or Independent candidates, perhaps the time has come. Heaven knows the Democrats and Republicans have done their part to make the idea appealing.

The two major parties have way more in common than their loyalists would like to admit. There is jealousy, dogmatic infighting, downright buffoonery. Then we have egotistical turf battles, corruption, incompetence and general chaos. And let's not forget the lineup of mediocre or worse hacks the Big Two select as candidates. For those who celebrate bipartisanship, there is plenty of it.

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The Republicans’ war on Palin

The Republicans need to learn one thing before February. If they keep sending out their longtime apparatchik Steve Schmidt as designated Single Combat Warrior against Sarah Palin, they will lose.

His recent comments on “60 Minutes” about Palin’s statement that her selection as John McCain’s VP was part of “God’s plan” was — nudge, nudge — pneumonic scorn that, in the context of the other reports edited by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, quite obviously intended to caricature Palin’s simple and sincere expression of Christian faith to an “upscale” secular audience.

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Banana Republicans

Last summer the extremists who have taken control of the Republican Party brought guns to town meetings, shouted down speakers and tried to physically intimidate members of Congress. Last fall the Republicans in the Senate took obstruction to new heights with tactics reminiscent of college pranks. Throughout 2009 Republicans in Congress voted against everything with a unanimity akin to the pseudo-parliaments of the banana-republic days of Latin American strongmen.

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John McCain, the Gray Champion

“President Obama is leading an extreme, left-wing crusade to bankrupt America.”

This is not from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or the winged monkeys at Fox. Not from tax protester Rick Perry, not from Sarah Palin, not from RINO hunter Ted Nugent.

It is from John McCain in a recent fundraising appeal.

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Time for a Tea/third party?

The old adage about third parties in American politics is that they’re like bees: They sting once and then they die. Ralph Nader and Ross Perot altered election outcomes. But neither could get a third party going. I have little doubt that the Tea Party will have a substantial impact on the 2010 midterms and even the 2012 presidential election. The bigger question is, Will they become a permanent force in American politics that can challenge both Democrats and Republicans, or will they fizzle?

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Faked them out

How ironic that as soon as Michael Steele, the RNC chairman, announced that the Republicans didn’t have a chance to capture the House, Byron Dorgan and Chris Dodd announced that they were quitting the Senate.

Steele is brilliant. His strategy must have been to fake them out. Tell the Democrats that we don’t have a chance to win so they feel more comfortable in calling it quits.

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2010 rising karma: Palin, Perry, Romney, William Daley. Palin will be nominee.

History turns in a moment: Harper’s Ferry, Trafalgar, Dien Bien Phu. The Democrats may have seen such a moment with Sen. Ben Nelson this week in Nebraska, so it might be worth marking that page. At year’s end it is worth looking forward to what is likely to rise ahead. These four will be key: Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and William Daley.

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