Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

08/13/2009 (4:16 pm)

A Little Good News

Arlen Specter, as predicted, is heading for trouble at home. He’s up for re-election in 2010, and he just switched over to the Democratic party because he knew he was going to lose the Republican primary to Pat Toomey. The electoral numbers in PA looked to favor any Democrat over Toomey by about 55 – 43, as recently as June.

But guess what? Thanks to the Stimuluspaloser and ObamaGesundheitsfursorgevollpacken (that would be “cramming health care wherever”), the electoral numbers have changed. Pretty dramatically.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Pennsylvania voters shows 48% would vote for Toomey if the election were held today. Just 36% would vote for Specter while four percent (4%) prefer a third option, and 12% are not sure.

These figures reflect a dramatic reversal since June. At that time, before the public health care debate began, Specter led Toomey by eleven.

Just 43% now have a favorable opinion of Specter while 54% offer an unfavorable assessment of the longtime GOP senator who became a Democrat rather than face Toomey in a party primary. Those numbers have reversed since June when 53% had a favorable opinion of him.

The current figures include 15% with a Very Favorable opinion of Specter and 36% with a Very Unfavorable view.

Toomey also has a solid lead if the Democratic candidate is Congressman Joe Sestak, although not quite as large a lead. Sestak currently trails Specter in polls of Democratic primary voters by about 13 points.

Pennsylvania is somewhat of a world unto itself, but a shift this large over specific legislation usually means a similar shift elsewhere. This does not get the US out of the woods, but it looks like there’s a growing chance that at least the House could turn Republican in 2010, and the Democrats’ Senate majority should shrink. It is not unusual for the opposition party to gain in a mid-term election, but it is unusual for the gain to be showing up so early in the President’s tenure. Obama and ObamaCare are not very popular.

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August 13, 2009 @ 8:09 pm #

It will not be long before Specter is listed as Specter (W-PA) where the W stands for “whatever.”

As you said, it is unusual for the gain to be showing up so early in the President’s tenure, but it is also unusual to have a President who has gone out of his way to alienate so many people quite so rapidly. This has been truly spectacular and breathtaking. I think he intends to reign forever, so that there is no need to ever win another election, only to smooth talk the rubes into being quiet while he and his team roll over all of them.

August 13, 2009 @ 10:49 pm #

I’m with Dr. D. Obama seems to think he is in the presidency forever, some constitutional lawyer he is.

Do you remember back to the D-Day memorial they had and in the beginning of his speech he started with “I am not the first president and PROBABLY, won’t be the last…” That to me just wreaks of his arrogance and assumption that he may want to be there indefinitely.

He is a calculating SOB who needs to be promptly removed in 2012, if not sooner.

Specter sucks too.

August 13, 2009 @ 11:10 pm #

These polls are cautiously heartening. I would certainly rather see that Obama and Spectre are taking a beating than otherwise, but my feel is that these polls are as fickle as the American Idolized/Oprahfied people out there who participate in them.

The Dems know this is their centerpiece and will be relentless in trying to jam something, almost anything, through the sausage maker so they can tack pork and other onerous provisions on later as the public’s attention shifts to something else.

Anyway, we’ll take whatever good news we can get.

Sorry to be so cynical tonight. My sports town just signed Mike Vick. Ugh.

August 14, 2009 @ 9:14 am #

Excellent article by a conservative economist (one of Reagan’s supply siders):


Thanks to Joe for the link.

August 14, 2009 @ 11:58 am #

Baloney. That article is making the assumption that the people are going to town hall meetings to protest the recession. They aren’t. They’re going to protest the Health Care bill. Yes, the deficit is part of the protest, but that doesn’t appear to be the major focus of the resistance to the bill.

The cause of the recession is a completely different issue.

August 14, 2009 @ 11:14 pm #

Hey Suek,

Where did you see that in the article? It was not specifically about Health Care…it was about why Health Care and everything else were handed to Obama in such a freakin’ mess.

And why we’d be in no functionally different of a situation had McCain been elected. It was just that screwed up already.

August 15, 2009 @ 10:24 am #

Hey darkhorse,

Here’s where SueK saw that in the article: the very first words of the very first paragraph:

Where is the evidence that everything would be better if Republicans were in charge? Does anyone believe the economy would be growing faster or that unemployment would be lower today if John McCain had won the election? I know of no economist who holds that view.

The subject of the article is how conservatives’ rage is misplaced because THE ECONOMY would be just as bad under Bush. The clear assumption is that the rage is about the economy.

And the article is even wrong about the economy — he’s correct as far as the deficit and the TARP funds, but the Democrats have since passed an additional $800 billion “stimulus” bill that basically paid off Dem supporters, helped nothing, and cemented the fate of the nation’s credit rating. And now, they’re trying to add another $1 trillion — nah, let’s tell the truth, it’ll probably be more like $3 trillion — worth of debt for health care, and a King Kong sized tax on anything produced using carbon (which means anything tangible), and after that, who knows? Yachts for everybody? Mountains of ice cream?

But it’s beside the point. The rage is about power; Obama is pulling a coup d’etat on the Constitution, and people are properly fighting back.

August 15, 2009 @ 10:56 am #

And now that I’ve gotten a little deeper into the article, I want to slap Mr. Bartlett across the face with a tax code manual. The current recession is the result of the bursting of the housing bubble. The Bush administration saw it coming years in advance and attempted to address it, but were thwarted by Democrats in Congress aided by a minority of Republicans. The mechanics that led to the bubble were put in place decades before the Bush administration, by Carter and Clinton, possibly with some help from Milton Friedman, and lots of lesser players as well. The crooks at the head of Fannie and Freddie were Democrats, protected by Democrats, doing what Democrats do.

Bush certainly did plenty of things that helped the economy along in the wrong direction, and I have no problem blaming him for those. But to blame Bush for the current recession is something like blaming Robert E. Lee for the Civil War; he’s prominently involved, but the attempt to make him the cause is so obviously and completely off base that it can only be explained by personal animus.

August 15, 2009 @ 11:23 am #

I’ve found this blog interesting on the economics. I can’t honestly say I understand what’s going on – as a matter of fact, Denninger attributes it in large part to just plain law breaking and corruption. If you do a search on “prosecutions” (I think) on his blog, you’ll come up with some interesting articles.

There seem to be two major problems – first, laws are irrelevant if they’re not enforced, and second, prosecution is really difficult because of the knowlege level of the jury pools and the intricacies of the financial laws involved. In fact, I suspect that prosecutors themselves probably don’t have enough financial education to understand what should be prosecuted. From what he’s posted, it appears to me that Bernie Madoff _should_ have lots of company.


August 15, 2009 @ 11:57 am #

Here’s another financial blog (link below) I’ve been reading – again, trying to get a grip on what’s happening in the economy.


I can’t honestly tell you I understand what’s happening or what happened to cause the massive problems. The deficit spending is obviously one cause, and it seems to me that even worse is the fact that certain funds which were supposed to be “trust” funds – like social security and medicare – but instead have been placed in a status that allows Congress to use those funds for general budget expenses is even more of a problem. If businesses used the accounting practices being used by the Federal Government, their CFOs would be in jail. As it is, we not only have the deficit spending, but we’ve created obligations for the future based on “savings” accounts that have been or are being used for current working expenses.

So not only are our financial regulators allowing banks to perpetrate fraud, but the Federal government is doing the same thing.

Our gooses are cooked. (Our geese? are cooked???)

We’re in trouble. BIG trouble. All we need now is for the Chinese to succeed in getting the international currency switched to something other than the US dollar.

August 15, 2009 @ 2:10 pm #

Actually, SueK, you’d better hope the Chinese do succeed in getting the international currency switched away from the dollar. If they don’t, the world economy is going to collapse when the dollar collapses — as it is nearly certain to do. They’re not doing that out of spite or animosity, nor as a tactic to conquer, but simply to protect themselves.

The switch would not be bad for us in itself; the reason we speak of it with concern is that it indicates that the level of confidence in the dollar has fallen dramatically. This, in turn, will make it increasingly difficult for us to refinance our debt.

August 15, 2009 @ 4:16 pm #

>>If they don’t, the world economy is going to collapse when the dollar collapses>>

Hmmm. Still another thought to consider.

What makes you think that the world economy won’t collapse in any case?

What does “collapse” mean? (in a practical sense)

August 17, 2009 @ 12:13 pm #

“The Bush administration saw it coming years in advance and attempted to address it, but were thwarted by Democrats in Congress aided by a minority of Republicans.”

As I’ve said before, this would be far more believable if Bush wasn’t so quotable taking credit for the effort to expand home ownership:

“And so I let out a goal. I said over the next decade, we want there to be 5.5 million new minority homeowners.” Then Bush informed his listeners of what he’d helped to achieve: “Last year, we did a pretty good job. There’s now 809,000 new minority homeowners in America.”

August 18, 2009 @ 4:45 pm #

As I’ve said before, this would be far more believable if Bush wasn’t so quotable taking credit for the effort to expand home ownership:

This is a strange objection. The Bush administration’s efforts to rein in Fannie and Freddie are a matter of public record. Simply because a politician makes a boastful claim about his achievements, does not constitute sufficient reason to dismiss what actions that person took. Quite the contrary, in fact; we’re supposed to pay closer attention to what they do than to what they brag about. Unless, of course, it serves the goal of Bashing Bush to reverse the sensible course, in which case, of course, it is Much More Important to Bash Bush. This, from the objective and unbiased darkhorse.

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