Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Last Call

Josh Kraushaar makes the case as to why Mark "Appalachian Trail" Sanford is in real trouble in this special election against Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

Sanford’s personal problems are the biggest reason the seat will be in play. There’s a long list of House seats flipping in the wake of scandal: Anthony Weiner saw his Queens district flip to Republicans in the wake of his sex scandal. One month after winning a Republican primary in March 2006, an indicted Tom DeLay opted not to run for reelection, recognizing there was a good chance he’d lose despite representing one of the most Republican seats in the country. That same year, Rep. Don Sherwood couldn’t overcome the blowback from news that he choked his mistress, coughing up his ruby-red district in northeast Pennsylvania. All those seats were considered safely in one party’s corner, until scandal struck.

Second, special elections are notoriously unpredictable.  Democrats won several seats in the heart of the Deep South in 2008 off-year elections, and Republicans picked up a seat in Hawaii just before the 2010 midterms. Like all special elections, the race will turn on which side can generate more enthusiasm from the base.  Given Sanford’s high unfavorable ratings, it’s very possible a lot of Republicans will choose to stay home, giving Democrats an opportunity to win the turnout battle.

Third, even though the race is taking place in South Carolina, the Charleston-based district favors country-club Republicans over social conservatives. That could play to Sanford’s advantage -- these voters may be more forgiving of his sins -- but it also suggests they’d be more receptive to voting for a moderate Democrat than their more evangelical counterparts in the western part of the state. The district nearly elected an openly gay businesswoman, Linda Ketner, who took 48 percent of the vote in 2008 against then-Republican Rep. Henry Brown.

I honestly think a lot of Country Club Repubs are going to be horrified to be represented by Sanford.  The guy's damaged goods, and if you're playing the influence game, honestly, how much clout is Sanford going to have on the Hill if he wins?  Meanwhile, Colbert Busch is a business-friendly Democrat, and frankly as Kraushaar says, a lot of them will be okay with that on the social stuff anyway.

We'll see, but I stand by my theory that for this race to be a tossup in a blood red district shows just how awful of a candidate Sanford is.

North Carolina's Turn On The Rack, Again

Boy, North Carolina Republicans are really going straight for the insaneotrons, aren’t they.

A bill filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.
The bill grew out of a federal lawsuit filed last month by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. In the lawsuit, the ACLU says the board has opened 97 percent of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers.

But FREEDOM and DON’T TREAD ON ME so we’ll ignore the First Amendment part that says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” and all that.  But it gets even more awesome, now with LIBERTY:

House Bill 494, filed by Republican Rowan County Reps. Harry Warren and Carl Ford, would refuse to acknowledge the force of any judicial ruling on prayer in North Carolina – or indeed on any Constitutional topic:
“The Constitution of the United States does not grant the federal government and does not grant the federal courts the power to determine what is or is not constitutional; therefore, by virtue of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the power to determine constitutionality and the proper interpretation and proper application of the Constitution is reserved to the states and to the people,” the bill states. “Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion.”
The Tenth Amendment argument, also known as “nullification,” has been tried unsuccessfully by states for more than a century to defy everything from the Emancipation Proclamation of the Civil War to President Obama’s health care reforms to gun control.

So yeah, Tenth Amendment nullification, the South’s favorite “I can’t hear you Washington lalalalala” argument since 1828.  At this point we’ve got people actively saying that the Union doesn’t matter, that 150 years of precedent and a war fought over the issue doesn’t matter, and that states can do what they want so screw you.

It doesn’t actually work this way.  Or at least it didn’t before President Thugheart X Reparations came to power in his illegal Kung-Fu and waffles junta.  Now all of a sudden we’re dusting off the Fort Sumter gameplan again.  Sure, let’s keep up that outreach, GOP.

And lest we think this is a nowhere bill written by a couple of dinks from Salisbury who will get politically disappeared, it seems the GOP here is quite serious about passing this, as we see at the end of the article:

Eleven House Republicans have signed on to sponsor the resolution, including Majority Leader Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, and Budget Chairman Justin Burr, R-Stanly.

This one could get ugly.

Time To Police Yourselves, Folks

The GOP assault on government services continues, as a Georgia town compels residents to own a gun to protect themselves.  We can't afford cops while we're cutting taxes for the rich and destroying government services, we'll just make you defend your own homes from criminals.

The town of Nelson, Georgia, followed through on its proposal to require residents to own a gun Monday night following a unanimous vote by the city council.

WGCL-TV reported that the law will apply to heads of household, with exceptions built in for the disabled, mentally ill and those objecting to gun ownership for religious reasons. Convicted felons will not be allowed to own a firearm.

“If anything should happen that they would need to use a firearm, [now] they are backed up by their government, their city government,” council member Edith Portillo told the station.

Now, the city council says the ordinance is symbolic and won't be enforced, mainly because Nelson, Georgia has about 1,500 people and city council members outnumber the number of cops.  Or in this case, cop.  Singular.  (He's overworked.)

But the whole point is now, if there's any issues with crime, Nelson City Council can say "Well, did you have a gun in the home?  You didn't?  Guess that's too bad."  How long before this law becomes not "symbolic" but actual law, and in a place much larger than Nelson?

Won't be long in red state America, folks.


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