- The Washington Times - Monday, April 26, 2010

HEAD COUNT

It could have as much traction as the annual CPAC straw poll, perhaps — and certainly draw press attention. Tea Party Nation, which organized the “tea party” convention in Nashville earlier this year and now plans an even larger version at the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas in July, will stage its own straw poll to gauge front-runners for multiple offices. But creating a third and possibly divisive political party? Not likely.

“Our endgame is electing a conservative Congress in 2010 and a conservative president in 2012. The convention will be a major step in helping the conservative movement present a unified front as we move towards the November elections,” organizer Judson Phillips, tells Inside the Beltway.

“I don’t think this is encouraging a third party. I think the majority sentiment in the tea party movement is to try and move within the existing two-party system. We would like to get this country back to conservative values, as opposed to trying to start a third party. I think most people realize how futile a third party effort would be,” Mr. Phillips continues.

Nominations are open; early names include Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Reps. Ron Paul of Texas and John A. Boehner of Ohio; Govs. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Haley Barbour of Mississippi; Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Lou Dobbs and Liz Cheney. Names can be submitted at the website (www.teapartynation.com).

NEW AND IMPROVED

Republicans have their own gauge afoot, meanwhile.

“Our Republican senators are the last line of defense against the left-wing machine. Which part of their liberal agenda should we fight hardest to stop?” asks Rob Jesmer, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

He’s talking tax increases, gun control, health care reform, illegal immigration, a repeal of the Patriot Act, national energy tax, federal bailouts, unionization — and all the other issues that are like fingernails screeching on chalkboard for many Americans.

The NRSC is seeking to establish the “New Republican Agenda” with the public’s help with a survey gauging the importance of assorted policy screechers on the domestic and foreign fronts. Find it here: www.nrsc.org/agendasurvey. Organizers hope it has legs - and teeth.

“Answers to the survey will help Sen. Mitch McConnell and Republican leadership develop the foundation of our 2010 campaign strategy to take back our Republican majority in the U.S. Senate and end one-party rule by the Democrats in Washington,” Mr. Jesmer adds.

BUMPER PATROL

“Send the bankers to Guantanamo.”

(Bumper sticker spotted in Ellicott City, Md.)

NECK AND NECK

The party-affiliation gap is at its narrowest in five years, says a Gallup poll of 4,095 adults, conducted from January to March.

“The advantage in public support the Democratic Party built up during the latter part of the Bush administration and the early part of the Obama administration has all but disappeared,” says Gallup analyst Jeffrey M. Jones. “During the first quarter of 2010, 46 percent of Americans identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic, while 45 percent identified as or leaned Republican.”

A six-point rise in Republican support since the first quarter of 2009 is due “entirely to a growing proportion of independents who lean to the Republican Party, rather than an increase in the percentage of Americans who identify as Republicans outright,” Mr. Jones adds.

THAT EXPLAINS IT

Barack Obama is more irritating than the other nuisances on the left. Nancy Pelosi needs a session on the ducking stool, of course. But everyone with an ugly divorce has had a Nancy. She’s vexatious and expensive to get rid of, but it’s not like we give a damn about her. Harry Reid is going house-to-house selling nothing anybody wants. Slam the door on him and the neighbor’s Rottweiler will do the rest. And Barney Frank is self-punishing. Imagine being trapped inside Barney Frank,” says Weekly Standard columnist P.J. O’Rourke.

“The secret to the Obama annoyance is snotty lecturing. His tone of voice sends us back to the worst place in college. We sit once more packed into the vast, dreary confines of a freshman survey course,” Mr. O’Rourke continues. “At the lectern is a twerp of a grad student — the prototypical ‘A’ student — insecure, overbearing, full of himself and contempt for his students. America has made the mistake of letting the ‘A’ student run things.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 64 percent of Americans think that recent judicial rulings on religious issues have been “more antireligious than the Founding Fathers intended.”

• 21 percent say religious rulings “correctly interpreted the U.S. Constitution.”

• 61 percent favor prayer in public schools.

• 60 percent favor having the federal government recognize a national day of prayer.

• 46 percent say the U.S. Supreme Court has been “too hostile” to religion.

• 13 percent say the court has been “too friendly” to religion and 33 percent say neither characterization is accurate.

Source: A Rasmussen reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted April 21-22.

Clandestine asides and churlish observations to [email protected] Follow her at twitter.com/harperbulletin.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide