Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cruising the web

I missed seeing him on Tuesday, but you can watch Michael Barone's analysis of the Massachusetts election on PJTV. I don't know why they didn't have him on Fox News Tuesday night to talk about where the results were coming from as they came in and what that meant, but he has some interesting things to say about the demographics that Brown won. One point that Barone makes is that he, the author of the Almanac of American Politics, had never heard of Brown two months ago and now Brown is a well-known national figure and Barone can envision the tea partiers coalescing around such figures.

I haven't had much use for Glenn Beck. I find his show almost unwatchable as he dramatizes his every little statement whether or not I agree with his basic point. So I wouldn't have known about this latest kerfuffle if it hadn't broken into the blogosphere. Yesterday, he decided on both his radio and tv show to make a long riff on Scott Brown's comment about his daughters being "available." Beck ended up saying that he wanted a watch on Brown because this would end up with a "dead intern." Say what? Brown makes an off-the-cuff joke about his daughters and suddenly Beck thinks that he's going to be cheating on his wife with interns? That's just tasteless and over-the-top. I cringed for his daughters when Brown made that joke, but that's between him and his family and the girls don't seem to mind and just want people to "mellow out." Exactly.

Obama interviews with George Stephanopolous and says that people are angry about Bush's presidency and that why they decided to vote for a Republican in Massachusetts. Or something like that. it's going to be a long election year if the major response the Obamanians will have to criticism is to try and twist it around to be a criticism of Bush.

And notice how he pretends that he doesn't know if Republicans even have proposals for health care. This supposedly post-partisan president hasn't even bothered talking to them or listening to what they say when they speak and write about their proposals? Or asking Pelosi and Reid to allow the Republicans to proceed with their proposals instead of negotiating only amongst Democrats and Olympia Snowe?

An interesting contrast to the Obama interview is to read Jay Cost's analysis of the blunders that Obama has made in the past year. Cost focuses on three: Obama's lack of bipartisanship, his outsourcing his agenda to Pelosi and Reid, and pursuing an agenda that doesn't fit the times as people are deeply worried about the economy and government spending. Stephanopolous brings up those criticisms in his interview with the President and Obama's responses are simply defensive and insufficient.

Sarah Durand analyzes the plans of Democrats to pollute voter registration rolls so that they can cheat in future elections. They're organized and have a agenda and Republicans should get clued in and start fighting back.

The WSJ has some good advice to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about awarding his "Race to the Top" federal grant money to the states. Don't award it to states that have made pretenses at reform but still are blocking the expansion of the charter school movement. My state of North Carolina is one of those that refuses to raise its cap on charters. And New York state wouldn't raise its cap because of the protests of the teachers' unions so it won't be able to apply for the grant money.

Amy Walter warns Democrats
that, if they take away from the Massachusetts election the lesson that they should have attacked Brown sooner, they will be making a big mistake. As she points out, they were plenty active in attacking Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie in their races and those attacks backfired. They just turned people off and seemed distractions from the very real concerns of the voters.