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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Enough With The Circular Firing Squad Already!

    By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
    Posted on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 02:39:33 PM EST
    Tags: Pete Hoekstra, republican senate nominee, Paul Ryan, republican presumptive vice-presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, republican presumptive presidential nominee, disagree and commit (all tags)

    It's been said often enough, and I believe it to be true, that in any given partisan election campaign, the real choice is frequently in the primaries.  Once the general campaign is joined, we're stuck with whoever survives the primary campaign, like that or not.  After the primary election results are certified to be so, our job at that point is to rally behind the nominee and do what we can to get them across the finish line in November; or, if our consciences cannot support that, then to at least do no harm.  (Yes, there are exceptions, such as Roy Schmidt) but this is the general rule.

    In Michigan's case, we have a Junior Senator who needs to be unseated, and we are one of the eleven "battleground" states in the contest to unseat the President (the others being: CO, FL, IA, NC, NH, NV, OH, PA, VA, & WI).  Yet, judging by some of the posts and comments on this site and elsewhere in the week since the August primary, we seem to be more interested in undermining our own nominees than we do in taking down the incumbents.  That's gotta stop.

    "Disagree and Commit" is a philosophy used in many successful organizations across the spectrum of industries, sports, and non-profits.  The point of the philosophy is that there will naturally be disagreement when it comes to strategy, implementation, or even political nominations.  By giving all of the involved parties a fair chance to put their arguments out on the table and honestly hash out their differences (however vigorously may be necessary) and expose reality to public view, it's much easier to obtain buy-in and commitment to moving forward with the ultimate decision (or, in this case, the nominee).  Conversely, "pretending to agree" by remaining silent about one's concerns, and then ultimately failing to implement the decision (or support the nominee), is never a good idea; worse still are those who actively or unwittingly sabotage the strategy, because they never really bought in in the first place.

    Case in point is the Michigan Republican U. S. Senator Primary.  From the Mackinac Conference (22 - 25 September 2011) through GOTV Weekend (03 - 06 August 2012), it can be fairly said that there was a considerable amount of "airing out" of opinion as to whom the nominee to challenge Senator Stabenow should be.  Between tea party groups, tea party "umbrella groups," county parties, coalition organizations, and "kingmakers" of every stripe there was all kinds of input as to whom we ought to be voting for and why, or as to whom we shouldn't vote for and why.  In the final analysis, when the ballots were counted, Pete Hoekstra had received 52.06% of the 765,681 total ballots cast on the Republican side of the senate primary.  (The second-place finisher, Clark Durant, received 32.22% of the ballots cast.)

    And so, like the matter or not, Pete Hoekstra is now the Republican nominee to challenge Debbie Stabenow for Michigan's Class 1 Seat in the United States Senate.  Yet in the days immediately following the primary, there were several articles and comments on this site (and they're still circulating on various tea party comment threads and discussion boards) questioning whether or not Hoekstra has what it takes to beat Stabenow.  Some question the "fire in his belly," and many are still regurgitating the meme that there isn't any difference between the two.  I think that perhaps the perception that Pete doesn't have the necessary gumption may be more reflective of post-election exhaustion, as in how burned-out most of us are the day or two immediately following the climax of a year of hard work, but I think that the other fallacy requires a bit more attention.

    The "overlap" between Pete Hoekstra's time in Congress and Debbie Stabenow's combined time in both chambers of Congress is from January 3rd, 1997, to January 3rd, 2011, fourteen years in toto.  The "tree within the forest" that formed the basis of the primary attacks against Hoekstra, principally by claiming that he's no different than Stabenow, focuses on, in my estimation, no more than one percent of the total votes cast and policy positions taken during that fourteen year period.  Now, I am by no means saying that those challenges aren't valid (I agree that there are some questions that need to be answered), but what I am saying is that, when we step back and look at the rest of the forest, there are some obvious and significant differences between the two.  And I think that those differences are going to come out in the open during the general campaign.

    Of the 33 U. S. Senate seats up for election this year, there are there are 21 Democrats, 10 Republicans, and 2 Independents (caucusing with the Democrats) in the incumbent mix.  The Republicans need a net pickup of a mere 4 seats in order to become the majority party in the upper chamber.  Of the 16 seats that are considered available for pick-up (ranging between "likely flip" and "vulnerable"), 11 of those seats are occupied by Democrat incumbents.  Michigan is one of those seats (though Stabenow is currently the least vulnerable of the eleven, she's still vulnerable).  The point is that, strictly on the numbers, we have a net pickup of at least six seats for the good guys if we do this right.

    And before we get too bogged down into whether or not Pete can be trusted to "stay on the reservation" when it counts, consider this:  The very first vote that will be cast by everyone who gets elected to the U. S. Senate this coming November, along with those in the other two senate classes, will be for Caucus Leader.  If the Republican Party accomplishes a net pickup of the minimum four seats needed to become the majority party, then the vote that the freshmen republican senators will be casting will be for Majority Leader.  The Senate Majority Leader sets the legislative and executive agenda of the Senate, has priority in obtaining recognition to speak on the floor of the Senate, and manages the day-to-day business of the Senate, so this is no trivial thing.

    Should the Republican Party obtain majority presence in the Senate, it is by no means guaranteed that Mitch McConnell, Senior Senator from Kentucky and current Senate Minority Leader, will be seated as the new Senate Majority Leader.  See, many of these freshmen, along with a few currently in office, are much more likely to want Jim DeMint, Junior Senator from South Carolina, seated as the Majority Leader.  I'm quite certain that Pete Hoekstra would be among that number.  Whether Hoekstra will have the opportunity to cast that vote or not may be a matter of some debate at this point; but for what it's worth, I'd like to point out that the total "republican" turnout two Tuesdays ago was about 57.18% of the total votes cast in the primary (765,681 ÷ 1,321,501), while the total "democrat" turnout (555,820 ÷ 1,321,501) was 42.06%.

    Carrying this over to the presidential race provides a similar mindset.  On this site, as well as on tea party forums and comment threads, true conservatives have fairly and rightly ripped Mitt Romney on his record, not to mention some of the tactics used to win some of the early primary states, with plenty of video and document evidence to back it up.  In like manner, there has been some criticism leveled against his pick of Paul Ryan for the running mate nomination.  However, unless there's a really unexpected surprise at the Republican National Convention later this month, Romney and Ryan are going to be the top of the republican ticket going forward into the general campaign.

    I know that there are some third-party activists who want us to believe that there's so little actual difference between the two major parties that we'd be better off voting for someone like:

    • Tim Hoefling (America)
    • Merlin Miller (American Third Position)
    • Virgil Goode (Constitution)
    • Jim Carlson (Grassroots)
    • Jill Stein (Green)
    • Rocky Anderson (Justice)
    • Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
    • Tom Stevens (Objectivist)
    • Rosanne Barr (Peace and Freedom)
    • Andre Barnett (Reform)
    • Peta Lindsay (Socialism and Liberation)
    • Jerry White (Socialist Equality)
    • Stewart Alexander (Socialist USA)
    • James Harris (Socialist Workers)

    . . . which I view as a bad idea for many reasons, the first of which is that only the Green Party and Libertarian Party currently have ballot access in enough states to pull down a majority of the Electoral College (the Constitution Party may have enough states, if write-in access is included in the calculus).  The second reason is that no third-party candidate has actually won a presidential election since 1864, when Abe Lincoln had to run for re-election on the National Union ticket; and no third-party candidate since George Wallace (1968 on the American Independent ticket) has picked up so much as three electoral votes at the ballot box.

    I realize that the "two party system" is on paper a false dichotomy, because other choices do exist.  But the brutal reality of the third parties, in anything further up the ticket than county sheriff, is that the political parties are much like Big Ten Conference Football was from 1968 thru 1992.  Sure, there were ten teams on paper, but the way things were, it was the "big 2 and the other 8" . . . with very few exceptions.

    < "Rule of Law" Should Be More Than Just A Slogan | Principles And Political Androgyny >

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    Actually.. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by JGillman on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 03:04:14 PM EST
    We haven't been hard on ol Pete here.

    If Pete and his acolytes thought that we were hard (none / 0) (#2)
    by KG One on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:44:28 AM EST
    ...just wait and see what the democrats (and anyone with "reform" or "socialist" in their party's name) have in store for him.

    There are a number of us who don't care for him simply because of his flip-flopping (just one example).

    But, I can tell you first-hand from behind enemy lines, those people simply HATE him with a passion!

    I mentioned before that, for the most part, the candidates in this race have been, by and large, congenial towards one another and have taken this race seriously, and not like an anointment, as Pete did.

    With the exception of one candidate (cough, cough Pete Hoekstra), I would have no problem in supporting any another candidate for this race.

    Full disclosure: Yes, I did support and voted for Clark Durant.

    But, it's one thing to call someone out on their hypocrisy. It's another to expect us to flat-out capitulate on our principles because of the "it's the best choice that we've got"-argument.

    It's THAT line of thinking that got us to where we are at today.

    When everything finally collapses, just how do you intend to explain to your kids/grandchildren, "Well, the candidate I supported wasn't nearly as bad as the other person who wanted the job."

    That answer will definitely bring them a lot of solace.

    If this post were written by anyone else, I would've have discounted it right away as the blue-bloods trying to save their sorry skins this November.

    But based on what you have written in the past and the people I have asked about where you stand, I believe that you are sincere about what you have written and are trying to do the right thing (no pun intended).

    Based upon his own record, Pete Hoekstra has already lost this race because he has alienated the very same people he trying to get to support him.

    Nothing will change that.

    However, if there is any good to come from this race, it's that after it is over, the party elites will finally realize the need to have a "Come to Jesus" meeting with the Tea Party and other Conservative Groups that consist of the base they are trying to organize and see what WE want in a candidate in '14.

    No more smoke filled back room decisions on whose turn it is to run.

    The elites want our support?

    Then the elites had better come to the realization that they need us more than we need them!

    Ya might wanna... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Corinthian Scales on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:56:09 AM EST
    ...do some refiggerin' on your incumbentitis numbers, KRH.  I understand, it's the signature anti-incumbent meme infatuation of John's, so just a lil' update... the postmenopausal beast has been in an elected Office for 37 years if'n you take into account her Ingham Co commission start.  That translates to her 62-year-old nasty ass being on the gummint tit for 59.6% of her life, or 84% of her eligible for Office adult life.  Yes, that means, at least John Dingell, was 29-years-old before being anointed by Dimocrats to his current 57 years (only Office), or 66% of his adult life of tit suckling gummint pay, gold plated benefits, and Ruling Class exemptions of Law.

    Outside of all the other in this topic: feh, not impressed.  Taking into consideration this is coming from a StatNat loyal opinion, and the best that's offered is "I'm quite certain," that if elected, a rookie Senator of already questionable record will buck mealymouthed Mitch from his thrown is beyond gullible.  Hell, it's even gullible for anyone to think that goonion mentality seniority based congresscritters would take that vote.  But, if Pete is willing to go on record stating so, then I would be willing to consider that as wooden-shoe gospel.  The man would not back down on doing TARP again, so he seems to hold to his word no matter how stupid it may be.

    Bottom line: The GOP ticket is frilliantly douchetastic at best.

    OABTW Ann, nice try...

    "It's been managed by a blind trust since before Mitt was governor, you know, 2002 forward," Romney said. "And so, you know, I'll be curious to see what's in there, too."

    ..., but even your hubby says you're full of sh!t.  Papa George set the disclosure standard, deal with it.

    Legacies are a b!tch.

    Both Party's today are very indistinguishable.  They know that too.

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