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Conservative Blogs



Early Numbers Looking Good

NRO's Jim Geraghty reports some cautious optimism for the GOP

Read it here.


Political Upset of the Decade?

Not far from me in the 30th Congressional District, comprising much of Dallas, TX, there is a potential upset brewing that is interesting. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson is a typical incumbent in a heavily Democratic district and has never been seriously challenged since she took office two decades ago.

Lately, though, she has been embroiled in an ethics scandal. She allegedly funneled Congressional Black Caucus Foundation money, supposedly set aside for college scholarships for students in her district, to relatives and staff relatives. Worse, she said that she did so because no one in her district was "worthy" of the money.

Rep. Johnson is facing a serious challenge from Pastor Stephen Broden. He has all the tools needed to win a race like this-- a fresh voice, a serious demeanor, and an unimpeachable position in the community. There was a report that Broden's internal polling had him down only about 6 points recently. That is astounding considering Rep. Johnson routinely gets 70%+ of the vote.

Broden's effort may be hindered by his rhetoric, though. It came out late yesterday that he spoke way too approvingly of revolution:

"Our nation was founded on violence; the option is on the table. I don't think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms."

"We have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary."

For Broden this could prove to be costly because he cannot afford any missteps in order to pull off an upset of this magnitude. 

Here is a typical, fiery Broden speech:


The Next, Obligatory "Can Mitch Daniels Win?" Column

Michael Barone-- following the lead of Ross Douthat, David Brooks, and others-- has written the latest column about Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' ability to potentially win a presidential election. 

Here's a sampling of Barone's writing:

He thinks voters may be ready to support such changes because they've had a searing experience with debt and their lives are changing. Younger people may be ready to put up with lower Social Security benefits for high earners because they've seen that some companies' new hires aren't getting the pensions and benefits their elders got. "There's nothing radical about this. It's already happened all over the place."


Anyone Else Not Buying This?

The very intelligent but often derided (for incorrect predictions, particularly in the area of foreign policy) Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard has an interesting take on the story about White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel leaving his job to run for Mayor of Chicago-- his lifelong dream.

Kristol's not buying.

And, I think he's on to something. First of all, Kristol points out there is really no record of Emmanuel expressing his fondness for the mayorship of Chicago before. On Fox News Sunday, he said, "I love how the whole media has decided to accept Rahm’s story that he’s always wanted to be Mayor of Chicago. He grew up in the suburbs, went to college in New York, worked in Washington D.C., went back to Chicago in 1999. I think you could Google Rahm Emanuel and never find him saying a word about being Mayor of Chicago until it conveniently became his lifelong ambition so that they could give him a nice excuse for leaving the White House."

Not so fast, the site Mediate counters that a Google search reveals this Jonathan Alter quote from early in September, before Mayor Daley announced he would not run again, "After his dream of being the first Jewish speaker of the House was thwarted by his taking the job of White House chief of staff, he switched his goal to City Hall."

See? Rahm wanted to be mayor before Daley announced he was leaving.

The problem is that as connected as Obama-Axelrod-Jarret-Emmanuel are to Chicago, one would think somebody had some knowledge that Mayor Daley was seriously considering not running again. Secondly, if the dream is to be Mayor of Chicago, wouldn't it be less time-sensitive now that Daley's stepping down? Such an iconic figure dominated the position for so long-- the next guy's not going to do that. So why not wait until the next guy's done? Or the next guy? Or run against one of the next guys?

White House Chief of Staff is an immeasurably more important job nationally than Mayor of Chicago. Chief of Staff is arguably the second most powerful job in the country next to the one that comes with an electoral college win and launch codes. 

Chicago is one of the country's Top 3 cities, and no one would argue the mayorship of it is unimportant. But to give up the second most powerful job in the country, voluntarily, to chase it down when there is no time-sensitiveness to it seems bizarre. It strikes me as analogous to being Nick Saban's top assistant or coordinator at Alabama (in real life it is Kirby Smart), and then leaving right before conference season to take the head coaching job at your old high school.

You can't blame people for suspecting Rahm may have been pushed out or left out of his own frustrations. 


The New Road to Serfdom

British politician, and perhaps the world's foremost elected classical liberal, Daniel Hannan is out with a book called The New Road to Serfdom. I'm always skeptical when politicians "remake" classic works, so I will wait until I read the book to render any judgment. 

NRO published an excerpt here.

Here's a sampling:

"The tea-party movement is the latest manifestation of this tradition: a popular fronde that is unaffiliated but conservative, political but skeptical toward political parties, angry but focused. You occasionally read that the tea parties were synthetic, that the crowds had somehow been artificially put together, that the rage was fabricated. In fact, the tea-party phenomenon is an example of that rare beast, a genuinely spontaneous popular movement."