Monday Milestones

So much for the Pub establishment reports that Romney leads in Florida.  In the wake of the South Carolina primary, the latest Florida polls have Gingrich leading Romney by 8 points.

An InsiderAdvantage poll released late Sunday shows the former House speaker leading his main rival former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Sunshine state with 34 percent support from likely GOP voters to Romney’s 26 percent.—Hot Air

Gingrich leads Romney in all areas except for those who are democrats or non-conservatives.


Today is the 999th day without a budget being passed.  All such attempts, since the Spring of 2009, have been halted by Harry Reid in the Senate.  The democrats call the ‘Pub controlled house, “The Do-nothing Congress.”  Truth be told, it is the “Do-Nothing democrats” that have been the obstructionists in Congress.

1,000 Days Without a Budget: Facts on the Senate’s Failure

Tuesday, January 24, will mark the 1,000th day since the U.S. Senate has passed a budget—an egregious dereliction of duty on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D–NV) watch. By enacting continuing resolution upon continuing resolution (short-term measures to keep the government running, spending money at the current rate), the Senate has taken a pass on leading, all to the detriment of the poor and middle class.
The budget process forces Congress to set priorities to protect the people’s money and put it to its appropriate use. Instead, the Democrat-controlled Senate has abdicated its responsibility. The result? The deficit is soaring, causing a looming tax burden and injecting uncertainty into the economy, leaving jobs and economic growth on the table. It’s no wonder the U.S. economy’s growth is so tepid.
As the 1,000th day nears, here are some facts about America’s budget and why the Senate must take action to be stewards of the people’s money as the Constitution requires:
  • The last time the Senate passed a budget was on April 29, 2009.
  • Since that date, the federal government has spent $9.4 trillion, adding $4.1 trillion in debt.
  • As of January 20, the outstanding public debt stands at $15,240,174,635,409.
  • Interest payments on the debt are now more than $200 billion per year.
  • President Obama proposed a FY2012 budget last year, and the Senate voted it down 97–0. (And that budget was no prize—according to the Congressional Budget Office, that proposal never had an annual deficit of less than $748 billion, would double the national debt in 10 years and would see annual interest payments approach $1 trillion per year.)
  • The Senate rejected House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R–WI) budget by 57–40 in May 2011, with no Democrats voting for it.
  • In FY2011, Washington spent $3.6 trillion. Compare that to the last time the budget was balanced in 2001, when Washington spent $1.8 trillion ($2.1 trillion when you adjust for inflation).
  • Entitlement spending will more than double by 2050. That includes spending on Medicare, Medicaid and the Obamacare subsidy program, and Social Security. Total spending on federal health care programs will triple.
  • By 2050, the national debt is set to hit 344 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
  • Taxes paid per household have risen dramatically, hitting $18,400 in 2010 (compared with $11,295 in 1965). If the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire and more middle-class Americans are required to pay the alternative minimum tax (AMT), taxes will reach unprecedented levels.
  • Federal spending per household is skyrocketing. Since 1965, spending per household has grown by nearly 162 percent, from $11,431 in 1965 to $29,401 in 2010. From 2010 to 2021, it is projected to rise to $35,773, a 22 percent increase.
Despite all of these blatant red flags, the Senate has utterly failed to execute the most basic, fundamental function of governance at the worst possible time—when the country’s fiscal house is in disarray, the U.S. credit rating is in continual jeopardy, entitlement spending is ballooning, defense spending is on the chopping block, and the economy is in shambles.

There are many points to the Libertarian philosophical platform that I like.  I like small government. I like more power to the states. I want more control over the Fed and I would like an audit of the practices and policies of the Fed as well.

However, I do not agree, I vehemently disagree, with Ron Paul’s isolationist foreign policy.  Isolationism lead us to be attacked at Pearl Harbor. Isolationism weakened our Navy and allowed the German wolf-packs to roam our shores and sink ships within sight of the Jersey shore. Before WW2, there were less than 20,000 Marines in the USMC.  Isolationism weakened our military to the extent that when we entered WW1, we didn’t have enough rifles to arm new recruits. We didn’t have enough machine guns to support our troops and we had to buy arms from France and Britain. Isolationism gives the perception, true or not, of weakness and weakness, real or not, draws predators.

I surf the web and I see people spout Ron Paul’s isolationism and when the faults and flaws of that philosophy are presented the Paul supporters attack their opponents instead of presenting countering facts.  Ron Paul, in a new isolationist ad says the US now starts wars. We didn’t start this war. Evidently Ron Paul has forgotten the attack on the World Trade Towers, on the Pentagon, and the crater in a Pennsylvania field. He voted against the War on Terror.  That act alone reflects his isolationist view. “If we ignore them, they’ll leave us alone.”  He was wrong then and he’s wrong now.

Ron Paul preaches that the Founders were Isolationist too.  Again, he’s wrong.

The Myth of Isolationism, Part 1: American Leadership and the Cause of Liberty

By Marion Smith
December 6, 2010

To begin, it is helpful to define what is meant by “isolationist.” The term isolationism applies to a policy of abstaining from economic and political relations with other countries. By this definition, the best examples of isolationist foreign policies are offered by 17th century China, 18th century Japan, 19th century Korea, or 20th century North Korea. Considering America’s vibrant commercial engagement and interconnectedness to economic markets abroad, America’s diplomatic interaction with foreign powers, and America’s cultural affinity with Europe, it is clear that the United States of the 18th and 19th centuries cannot accurately be called “isolationist” if the word is to have any meaning at all. To be sure, there have always been isolationist and protectionist voices in American history, just as there have been advocates for imperialism; yet, those few moments, particularly in the twentieth century, when the United States exhibited isolationist tendencies stand out as aberrations in America’s engagement with the world. They are not reflective of a consistent foreign policy tradition that harkens back to the Founding.
Most people, however, mean something quite different from “isolationism” when they assert that the United States was or should remain uninvolved politically and militarily in foreign affairs. Their position can be characterized more accurately as “non-interventionist,” which is understood as a foreign policy of political or military non-involvement in foreign relations or in other countries’ internal affairs. A number of people believe that the Founders prescribed a foreign policy that prohibits military action except for defense and restricts American diplomatic or political engagement with foreign countries as a matter of principle.
The argument for non-interventionism is often backed up with quotes from the Founders and supposed examples of non-interventionist policies from America’s early history. Two such examples that are often cited are Washington’s 1793 Proclamation of Neutrality in the war between France and Great Britain and the 1823 Monroe Doctrine. Properly understood, however, these early foreign policies were not dictated by isolationist or non-interventionist impulses, but rather were prudential policies guided by the Founders’ affection for republican self-government and their desire to preserve the country’s sovereign independence.
Throughout the 19th century, moreover, the United States provided invaluable support to other peoples around the world who were attempting experiments in self-government similar to its own. The U.S. supported the peoples of Latin America, Greece, and Hungary as they fought for independence. Far from contradicting American political principles, such actions were in fact wholly consistent with them. The United States was not founded to be a solitary fortress or to remain isolated from world affairs. When Washington noted America’s “detached and distant position,”[6] he was acknowledging a geographical reality, not defining a foreign policy principle.

There is much, much more at the website. Go there are read the entire essay for the real truth about our Founder’s foreign policy. It wasn’t isolationists. We weren’t strong enough to defend ourselves.  The War of 1812 is proof of that weakness.


The Kansas City MO School District has been stripped of their accreditation by the state. There is a proposal to reform the school district that includes stripping tenure from the teachers—especially those who fail their students. 

School reform proposals are in limbo in Missouri General Assembly
Some lawmakers fear that controversial measures could stall efforts to help the Kansas City district.

The Star’s Jefferson City correspondent

Read more here:
Missouri lawmakers are facing increasing pressure to deal with a potential flood of student transfers stemming from the loss of accreditation in urban school districts like Kansas City’s.
But looming over this year’s legislative session is a pledge by House Speaker Steve Tilley, a Perryville Republican, that any plan to deal with school transfers to suburban districts, or adjustments to the state’s school funding formula, be coupled with ideas that have doomed previous reform efforts.
Those include controversial measures such as expanding charter schools, eliminating teacher tenure (emphasis mine: Crucis), basing teacher pay on student achievement and offering tax credit vouchers to parents who want to send children to private schools.

Read more here:

As expected, the teacher’s union is outraged.

A question was raised in response to this union outrage.  Why should teachers have tenure in the first place?  No other profession has such a provision.  

I worked twenty years as an engineer for one of the country’s largest telecommunications companies. I didn’t have tenure. Farmers work all their lives tilling the fields and tending herds. They have no tenure.  The clerk at your neighborhood convenience store, arguably one of the most dangerous jobs in the metro, has no tenure.  Why should teachers?

They would say it protects their academic freedom.  From what?  You mean the marxist tenets being taught at UMKC and the latest farce being taught there in the Economics department?  That’s at the university level, not the local Kansas City district. (I would argue that tenure should be stripped from all education levels in the state and make those institutions answerable to those who pay their salaries—the taxpayers.)

It’s time to strip tenure, the protection of the ideologue and the incompetent, from the district.  Then, maybe then, the children of Kansas City will receive the education they need.

Aunt Anna May

When the mail arrived yesterday, it contained a letter from my cousin Donald.  I didn’t need to open it to know its contents.  My Aunt Anna May had passed.  She died on Sunday, January 7, 2012, just a few months shy of her 99th birthday.  This last Christmas card from her son, Donald and his wife Faye, told us she had been placed in a nursing home.  She had been mentally sharp all her life…until the last few months.  I knew what was coming when I read their Christmas card. I just didn’t expect it so soon.

Aunt Anna May was the survivor of five siblings, my mother, Rosalind, the oldest, my aunt Clara, my uncle Bill, and her twin sister who died as a child during the Flu Epidemic of 1918-1919. Aunt Anna May also buried two husbands, Loy Light and Frances Lamastus.

I hadn’t intended for this post to be an obituary. I wanted to record some of my memories of her before those, in time, faded.  She lived a rough, tough life on a farm from the days before tractors until the death of her first Husband, Loy, in the 1970s. She lived near my Father’s farm in Franklin County when she married her second husband, Frances.  When Frances died unexpectedly a few years later, she returned to her family farm and lived near Donald and Faye.

My most vivid memory of her was from a visit made one weekday when I was in grade school. School had just ended. My Grandmother, who lived with us, wanted to go down to the Aunt Anna May’s family farm near Cairo, IL.

It was a warm, sunny morning when we pulled off the highway onto the gravel road that lead to the farm. It was a short drive, about a half-mile, past the Olive Branch Baptist Church and over a ridge.  When we topped the ridge, we could see the farm and a cloud of dust in the field on the opposite side of the road from the farm-house.

Uncle Loy and Aunt Anna May were planting beans.  Uncle Loy was driving the old, green, John Deere tractor. Behind the tractor was a modified horse-drawn planter.  Aunt Anna May sat on the planter to operate it and to raise the planter and guide arms at the end of each row.

She wore an old floppy straw hat, worn jeans with torn knees, and a long-sleeved blue work shirt.  Her ensemble was finished with a red bandanna tied around her face. When we met her, the dirt around her eyes were reminiscent of the face of a raccoon.

Anna May looked more like her father, tall and slender. She never had a weight problem. She did add a few pounds in the last decade or so but that was compensation for all the decades when she needed a few pounds and didn’t have them.

Another memory was a visit we made one weekend. There was a church reunion on Sunday. When we arrived, Aunt Anna May was in the back yard, standing over a stump with her hatchet, killing chickens for the Sunday dinner.  She’d grab a chicken, CHOP!, toss the chicken aside and grab another.  There were two-three chickens flopping, running around without heads and a few more in a small wire cage.  Next to her was a cauldron of boiling water over a fire.  The water was to scald the chickens and make plucking the feathers easier. It was a familiar scene.  At home, on similar occasions, Mom and Grandma would do the same. One difference was that Mom and Grandma preferred to wring the chicken’s neck instead of wielding a hatchet.

Aunt Anna May and Uncle Loy didn’t have much money. One Christmas they came up and brought me a present.  It was a hand-made bow and arrow set. Uncle Loy made the bow by hand from a limb off an Ash tree.  Aunt Anna May made the arrows using turkey feathers and Indian arrow heads they found on their farm.

In 2001, we visited her bringing our daughter Jennifer and our year-old grandson, Andrew.  We spend the day visiting with her, Donald and Faye, talking and watching  a dozen or more Hummingbirds flying around a trellis and an attached Hummingbird feeder.

She was my favorite. Oh, how I miss her.

Protect the Internet: No SOPA, No PIPA

I completely forgot about the net boycott yesterday. I’m adding my small piece at day late, as usual.  There has been at least a bit of success.  Senator Roy Bount (R-MO) dropped his sponsorship in a news release yesterday.

KANSAS CITY, MO. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement today regarding the Protect IP Act:

“American innovation is a cornerstone to our nation’s economic growth, and job creators have lost $135 billion in revenue annually as a result of rogue internet sites.

“While I believed the bill still needed much work, I cosponsored the Senate version of the Protect IP Act because I support the original intent of this bill – to protect against the piracy of lawful content.

“Upon passage of this bill through committee, Senate Judiciary Republicans strongly stated that there were substantive issues in this legislation that had to be addressed before it moved forward. I agree with that sentiment. But unfortunately, Senate Leader Harry Reid is pushing forward with legislation that is deeply flawed and still needs much work.

“That is why I’m withdrawing my co-sponsorship for the Protect IP Act.

“The right to free speech is one of the most basic foundations that makes our nation great, and I strongly oppose sanctioning Americans’ right to free speech in any medium – including over the internet.

“I continue to believe that we can come to a solution that will cut off the revenue sources for foreign websites dedicated to counterfeiting and piracy that steal American jobs, hurt the economy, and harm consumers. But the Protect IP Act is flawed as it stands today, and I cannot support it moving forward.”

Success, one step at a time.

A Post-Constitutional country

Mark Levin has a new book out, Ameritopia: ‘We Now Live in a Post-Constitutional Country.  I heard him being interviewed the other day on the radio and later on Fox’s Hannity show.

“I believe to a great extent we now live in a post-constitutional country, where much of the Constitution is ignored or evaded,” Levin told

From the events starting with Obama’s election, we have watched him and the democrats abuse and violate the constitution. The latest abuse was Obama’s “recess” appointment to install three union goons to the head of the NLRB and to appoint the head of the new Consumer Protection agency.  The problem was…the Senate wasn’t in recess.  In fact, the Senate hasn’t recessed since 2006 when Harry Reid used the tactic to block recess appointments by George Bush.  In the case of the Consumer agency, the law clearly states the head must be confirmed by the Senate. There is no provision for a recess appointment for that office.

In an interview with CNSNews, Levin discussed his new book.

The book, released Monday, compares the Utopian and unworkable schemes laid out by political philosophers from Plato to Thomas Hobbes with the vision of natural law, God-given rights, and individual liberty that inspired the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
“Utopianism is not new,” Levin writes in “Ameritopia.” “It has been repackaged countless times—since Plato and before. It is as old as tyranny itself.  In democracies, its practitioners legislate without end.  In America, law is piled upon law in contravention and contradiction of the governing law—the Constitution.”

The core of Utopianism and most assuredly true with the left in America is the subordination of the individual to the larger society.  The individual cannot be allowed any means to oppose or ignore the dictates that govern the Uptopia. In the views of the Utopiaist, the individual is nothing more than a small, obedient cog in the greater machine.

That view is contrary to the concepts of the Founders and to their vision that is completely contrary to the ambitions of the Utopia dictators.

“What I want the readers to understand, what I want the public to understand is, this is not new and it’s going to destroy us,” said Levin. “It’s going to destroy us because it is an attack on the individual. It is an attack on the nature of human beings.”

I would strongly suggest you go to the CNS website, read the article and watch the videos.  It will be an education.

Tuesday’s Thoughts

Politicizing the Girl Scouts.  I was scanning some news sites when I came across the article below.  The Girl Scouts are using the same tactics as are unions—money flows upwards to the central organization where it’s used to push a political agenda.  In this case, one element of that liberal agenda is supporting abortion.

There are a number of youth organizations, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the 4-H and other similar groups whose primary task is supposed to be providing moral and philosophical principles for living.  Most of these encircle family, God and community.  Now, the morality that is being taught is that of the liberal political line…like supporting abortion and Planned Parenthood.

Left-wing political agenda undermines girls, families
When our sweet little neighbor in her brown camp uniform came knocking on our door this year, we had to say no. I told her mother that I didn’t want to hurt Katie’s feelings, but I couldn’t support the Girl Scout cookie sale anymore because I’d learned too much about the organizers’ agenda, primarily their support for abortion and partnership with Planned Parenthood.
I worried that my “political” stand would cause uneasiness between us, but her response put me at ease: “Well,” she said, “they do use unpaid child labor to make their sales, and the troop only gets 10 percent of the revenues anyway.”
True. According to the Girl Scouts’ website, the lion’s share of the money goes not to the troop but to bureaucrats up the chain of command in multicounty councils. The national office gets a piece of the pie, too, in the form of royalties based on gross annual sales volume – about 200 million boxes per year.
It’s a sacrifice, because I love the cookies and the cuties who sell them, but enough is enough.
I remember the Girl Scouts being flaky way back in the early 1970s. When I was a Brownie, I was told to recite some chant and step over a mirror. If I had known the word, I would have called it “pagan.” Even an unchurched girl of 7 could smell a rat.
Several years ago. a quarter of the Girl Scout councils nationwide admitted to partnering with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s abortion giant. When questioned about the affiliation on NBC’s “Today Show,” Girl Scout CEO Kathy Cloninger had no compunction in confirming it.
Heard enough? There’s a lot more at
Earlier this month, a young Girl Scout employee, Renise Rodriguez, made the mistake of stopping by the office to do extra work on her own time in a T-shirt bearing the words: “Pray to End Abortion.” A supervisor ordered her to turn the shirt inside out or leave the office. She left, for good.
So should we all.

There is much more at the website, but frankly, I’m embarrassed to add them to my post.  Frankly, it’s horrifying what the Girls Scouts are doing.  I’ll no longer support them in any form.

Union thuggery. Public Service unions like the SEIU are back in the news again.  They are openly hiring thugs to invade offices and commit other “non-violent” acts.  I suppose those non-violent acts would be like those in St. Louis when the SIEU didn’t like what they heard from a black Tea Partier who asked embarrassing questions to democrat Russ Carnahan’s so-call Town Hall meeting.

The SEIU, gloating of their past successes are making such acts a matter of policy now.
The SEIU is looking to hire someone to lead members in nonviolent civil disobedience. In other words, someone who has no problem invading buildings or getting arrested.
The SEIU is looking for someone
to lead non-violent protests. In other
words, someone who has no problems
invading buildings and getting arrested.
The SEIU is looking to hire someone to lead members in nonviolent civil disobedience. In other words, someone who has no problem invading buildings or getting arrested.
Something questionable is going on when a state chapter of the Service Employees International Union advertises on the SEIU national website a “Lead Internal Organizer/Home Care (LiA)” position paying up to $65,000 a year for somebody with the following qualifications:
• Train and lead members in non-violent civil disobedience, such as occupying state buildings and banks, and peaceful resistance.

• Plan and execute strategic direct action field plans including banner drops, bank takeovers, and capitol occupations with membership, other local unions, and coalition partners.

• Execute field plans for special campaigns including contract campaigns, ballot initiatives, COPE contributions, general membership growth and the broader campaign to fight for a fair economy.

(For those not familiar with SEIU nomenclature, “COPE” stands for Committee on Political Education, which the national union describes as the “300,000 SEIU members, staff and retirees who contribute an average of $7 a month.” That at least explains the source of some $25.2 million of SEIU’s beaucoup campaign money for Democrats.)

Since by SEIU’s own words, it is assisting in takeovers of government buildings and violating private property and related activities that have no bearing on “traditional representational duties,” we wonder if the next president and his appointed attorney general will ask if “SEIU” has anything to do with “RICO.”

In other words, SEIU is hiring goons to go after whomever opposes the SEIU and their other public service union buds.
Conservative Victories. There were three conservative victories in the Courts this last week.  

  1. In Texas, a federal appeals court upheld the state’s sonogram law, which requires that women seeking abortions view a picture of their baby before having the procedure. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling, which had issued an injunction, preventing the law from taking effect. 
  2. A Marion Superior Court judge in Indiana upheld that state’s school voucher law. Judge Michael Keele rejected arguments from opponents that the nation’s largest school voucher program is unconstitutional because parents might send their children to religious schools.
  3. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC. At issue was whether a church or religious organization could hire and fire ministers according to their theological beliefs and teachings.
There was little coverage of these and most of that coverage was about the unanimous SCOTUS decision supporting “Ministerial Exception.” “Ministerial Exception” is that portion of the 1st Amendment that prevents the government from interfering in the internal operation and doctrine of a church.

Opinion recap: A solid “ministerial exception”

Closing the courthouse door much of the way, but not completely, to workplace bias lawsuits by church employees who act as ministers to their denominations, the Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously gave its blessing — for the first time — to a “ministerial exception” to federal, state, and local laws against virtually all forms of discrimination on the job.  The Court’s ruling, which only Justice Clarence Thomas said did not go far enough, did not order courts to throw out all such lawsuits as beyond their jurisdiction, but it left them with only a narrow inquiry before the likely order of dismissal would come down.  As soon as the denomination makes its point that it counts an employee as a “minister,” within its internal definition, that is probably the end of the case.  And the employee could be anyone from the congregational leader, on down to any worker considered to be advancing the religious mission.
The decision, with the main opinion written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., was clearly one of the most important church-state rulings that the Court had issued since its 1990 ruling, in a case involving a Native American church ritual of smoking peyote.  In that case, the Court allowed the government to apply “neutral and general” laws to some religious practices, but the Chief Justice on Wednesday said that did not control the new ruling — in the case of Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (docket 10-553).
The Roberts opinion dismissed as an “extreme position” the plea of EEOC to limit any “ministerial exception” solely to workers who perform “exclusively religious functions.”  While the opinion said the Court was “reluctant to adopt a rigid formula for deciding when an employee qualifies as a minister,” the opinion went on to describe some key factors that courts are to take into account in judging whether a given denomination has proved its claim to the exception.
In this particular case, involving a parochial school teacher in Redford, Mich., who spent most of her work time on non-religious duties, the Court found these to be decisive factors: that she was formally commissioned or ordained as a “minister” in the Lutheran denomination’s internal practices, that she did perform “important religious functions” in addition to her teaching of lay subjects in the classroom, and that her non-religious duties, however extensive, did not make a difference.   The Chief Justice said the Court was unsure whether any church employee would ever do exclusively religious chores.

The central opinion was, briefly, that the government must have hands-off when it comes to internal church practices and doctrine.  This does NOT provide a blanket ban on suits involving church organizations.

While all nine members said they joined the Roberts opinion, Justice Thomas made it clear in a separate opinion that he did not fully embrace it.
The Roberts opinion said in a final footnote that is likely to take on added significance as time goes on, that the “ministerial exception” was not “a jurisdictional bar” to all such lawsuits claiming workplace bias.  Rather, the Chief Justice explained, it is “a defense on the merits.”  Thus, such lawsuits can be filed, and the worker who is suing will make a claim that he or she is the victim of discrimination, and then the denomination gets to answer that the case cannot go further because it considers the employee to be a “minister.”

All-in-all, it was a good week for conservatism.  Not all judicial decisions are liberal.

Huntsman drops out, endorses Romney.

Well, duh!  I’m sooo surprised Huntsman will endorse Romney. Neither are conservatives, both are big government advocates and both want to be a part of The Ruling Class. Neither have the moral strength to stand up to the Establishment of either party. The ‘Pub establishment is confident that Romney will be their rubber stamp.  He has not a forceful personality and he’s shown no inclination to lead from the front.  When the wind rises, he’s a willow bending with the wind.

That is not what we need for a President.  Unfortunately, it’s very likely that is what we’ll get.

Byron York, writing in the Washington Examiner, has these observations.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC — A number of Jon Huntsman’s core positions were deeply conservative.  His pro-growth economic plan was nearly everything the Wall Street Journal editorial page could have wanted.  He was strongly pro-life.  Strongly Second Amendment.  Yet conservative Republicans stayed away from his candidacy in droves, and the few people who were attracted to the Huntsman campaign were moderate Republicans, independents, Democrats — and the media.
Why?  Huntsman’s problem was that, whatever his position on some key issues, he sent out political and cultural signals that screamed NPR, and not Fox News, that screamed liberal, and not conservative. Even though conservatives agreed with Huntsman on many things, they instinctively sensed he wasn’t their guy.  It wasn’t hard for them to figure out.

As he began his campaign, Huntsman hired as his chief strategist John Weaver, the man who ran the 2000 John McCain presidential campaign in which McCain went almost out of his way to alienate Republican voters while trying to appeal to independents.  It was an early sign Huntsman might have a problematic relationship with the Republican base.

Last summer, Huntsman invited photographer Annie Leibovitz to take pictures of him for a spread in Vogue, which accompanied a fawning profile by liberal journalist Jacob Weisberg.  The article set out in large ways and small how Huntsman didn’t quite fit in on the Republican campaign trail.  For example, this is how Weisberg described Huntsman visiting a diner in a small South Carolina town: “Surveying the motley crowd with an ironic expression, he begins, ‘All I can tell you is that I never thought I would be making an appearance at Mutt’s BBQ.'” Huntsman was never a candidate who could seem completely at home at Mutt’s, or with motley crowds.
Beyond that, Huntsman made no effort to be diplomatic about the ways in which he differed with some parts of the Republican base. “To be clear,” Huntsman said in a tweet on August 18.  “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming.  Call me crazy.”  The point is not that Huntsman had to be a creationist or climate skeptic.  The point is that he managed to say it in a way that appealed to people on the left and irritated people on the right.
On election day in New Hampshire, I appeared on an NPR program and said that there was a certain boutique quality to Huntsman’s candidacy — that he was seeking to appeal to a small, specialized segment of the electorate.  It was an effective way for Huntsman to define himself but not a very effective way to win.  A short time later, a woman named Carol, from Hanover, New Hampshire, phoned in to disagree.  “He doesn’t seem very boutique-y to me,” she said.  But she noted that the only place she had heard him was Vermont Public Radio, and then she described what she had done that morning, on election day: “I’m an independent.  I went in, I registered Republican, I voted for Huntsman, and on my way out the door I switched back to independent.”
Appealing to Carol, and not to the Republican base, was no way to win the GOP nomination.  Huntsman probably knew that all along, but he finally surrendered to reality on Sunday night, when he sent out word that he’s out of the Republican race.
Huntsman was the darling candidate for the left. Unfortunately for Huntsman, Romney fit the world-view of those lefty voters better than Huntsman. When the lefties crossed the aisle to vote in the ‘Pub primary, they voted for Romney.

It’s the McCain presidency all over again. Been there, done that, do not want the t-shirt…unless it’s Sarah Palin’s.

Takin’ a sick day

I seemed to have picked up some bug and I’m not feelin’ too whippy.  See y’all next Monday.