Tag: Elections

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America rib Democrats for their new “Better Deal” agenda which looks a lot like their old agenda. The hysterics continue at Pennsylvania Avenue following the resignation of Sean Spicer and the hiring of Anthony Scaramucci, with more possible changes on the horizon for Jeff Sessions and other characters; Jim and Greg remind Americans of Scaramucci’s not-so-conservative political past. It’s unclear what the Twitterverse expected from Discovery Channel’s “Great Gold vs. Great White” event in which Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps “raced” a great white shark, but they are outraged by the use of CGI in place of a real shark — much to Jim and Greg’s amusement.

David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America point out former FBI director James Comey’s evaluation of how untrustworthy much of the media was when reporting on Russia and the 2016 elections. They also discuss the major political disaster that befell British conservatives in the snap election Thursday, badly weakening the party and strengthening the position of the Labour Party’s far-left leader. And they decry Bernie Sanders’ blatant disregard for Article VI of the Constitution (“no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States”) when questioning President Trump’s nominee for deputy budget director about his Christian beliefs.

Welcome to this special, Corbyn-Might Maneuver edition of the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast with our British-Irish-U.K. correspondent William Campbell coming to us (naturally) from Berlin to give us the lowdown on the shocking outcome of the British Parliamentary elections.

William is staying up until three in the morning just so we can podcast the news before anyone else! And here is our scoop: Britain is a bloody mess! The Tories failed miserably. But Labor didn’t win either. So what does *that* mean?!? Do they call another election? Can Jeremy Corbyn actually become Prime Minister? Is the Brit’s answer to Bernie Sanders ready for the job?

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss President Trump making good on his promise to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and the liberal hysteria that followed. They’re also analyzing the very close run-off election between John Ossoff and Karen Handel in a normally red district in Georgia. And they express their disgust with Kathy Griffin as she plays the victim following the fierce bipartisan backlash in response to her photo stunt depicting her holding President Trump’s bloody head.

Hoover senior fellow Russell Berman, a specialist in the study of German literary and cultural politics, takes us through the aftershocks of the French presidential election. Is German chancellor Angela Merkel breathing a sigh of relief or, despite the nationalist setback in France, does her future and that of the European Union remain in doubt?

Theresa May Officially Announces Snap Elections

 

First, the big news: Parliament is happily dissolved! Less than a year after the amazing Brexit vote, snap elections have officially been scheduled for June 8. That’s within a year of a new government: and within two years of the previous general election.

The last time the British electorate voted twice within four years was 1974: Labour beat the Tories twice that year. That, of course, led to the ouster of the Tory loser and the rise of the Great Lady to Tory leadership. If you believe statesmanship is called forth in such troubled times, you might see Theresa May as the confident warrior this time around. At any rate, three important elections in two years add up to a good show of both British moderation in politics and the seriousness of the political changes. It is hard to disagree with the PM: This is the most important election in her lifetime.

Politics in the Social Media Age

 

On September 26, 1960, American politics left the radio age behind. In the first-ever televised presidential debate, radio listeners considered Richard Nixon the winner. But television viewers, while hearing the same audio, contrasted Nixon’s dark countenance with the sunny disposition of John F. Kennedy — and came away with the opposite conclusion. If there were any question that TV imagery would shape political campaigns, it was laid to rest four years later, when Johnson used TV advertising to define Goldwater in the public eye, and demolished him at the voting booth.

In a similar way, politics’ television age ended with another presidential debate: Obama vs. Romney, October 16, 2012. With eerie parallel, those watching TV thought Romney won decisively, dominating the substance. Meanwhile, those who consumed their news via the new communications medium — Internet social media — took away a very different impression. They learned that Obama would keep a steady hand on the wheel of state, whereas Romney would wage wars on Big Bird and women alike (keeping the latter in his special binders). Moreover, if there is any doubt that a new age has dawned, one need look no further than the 2016 election, in which Hillary’s TV domination was inadequate to overcome an opponent with mastery of social media.

We are already seeing the practical implications of this shift. PACs and super-PACs, which amassed large sums to buy TV time for candidates, are giving way to issue-advocacy groups such as the NRA, which reach dedicated supporters through social media campaigns. Parties, already weak, see their ability to control narrative and messaging further erode. However, the rise of social media is leading to a more significant change in our political life: It is changing political culture itself. Political strategists, take note; as Peter Drucker purportedly observed, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss the pressure mounting on the Democratic National Committee to spend big on every special House election, despite long odds in most of them.  They also unload on University of California-Berkeley administrators for cancelling a speech by Ann Coulter over security concerns instead of cracking down on students and faculty threatening to disrupt the event.  And they address the latest twist in leftist conspiracy theories, as liberals contend Rep. Jason Chaffetz decided not to seek re-election because he’s being blackmailed by Russia.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America not enjoy watching the quixotic Jill Stein recount come to a whimpering end but applaud Michigan for using the episode to push for stronger voter ID laws.  They also groan as Donald Trump says he doesn’t need daily intelligence briefings.  And they wade into the growing furor over what role Russia played in hacking the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta – and what to do about it if it’s true.

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I have long been a fan of political podcasts, thoroughly enjoying the information, and the medium itself. However, one of my few complaints has been that it’s very hard to find in depth coverage of European or Canadian politics… So I decided to change that by starting a podcast that would focus on the politics […]

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For months (it seems like years) I’ve been encouraging, pleading and hoping that people will come together over the new Trump presidency. I didn’t intend for people who were Never Trumpers to become excited Trumpers, but rather to get on board and give him a fair chance. I’ve hoped people will take a dispassionate view, assessing […]

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This election has been very liberating. I have been quite negative about it, but in fact the biggest positive is that it has indeed liberated me from becoming emotionally invested in the ballot box. I understand how that can happen. Back in 2000, I was emotionally invested in that election. The recount drama got me […]

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Thoughts on Tiamat this Electoral Eve

 

The maples, wicks of autumn, go to cinder from the top down, the blaze on most trees past its prime, now mostly scattered at our feet. The plant kingdom burns brightly as it plunges into wintry darkness. A plunge into some outcome or another awaits us tomorrow, too. We can estimate what it might be – and we should. But as Ricochet Member @rodin reminds us, “none of us will ever know (or at least [not] for a long long time) whether the way we cast our ballot was better than the alternative.”

All this fall, I’ve had an unknown greater than the outcome of this election hanging over my head – or at least greater to me. One reason it’s greater is that I’m more responsible for it. However I vote, whatever I say, the outcome of this election is largely out of my hands. This other thing, though, is very much in my hands, or it’s supposed to be, and so the moral weight I bear for its unknown nature is far greater than the weight I bear for my vote.

Don’t Reward Bad Choices: Vote Third Party For President, Republican for Congress

 

shutterstock_495755698We have come to an election in which there seems to be no way to win. At first glance, the election seems binary and the two choices we are given are unthinkable. In Hillary Clinton, we have someone very probably guilty of crimes not merely of corruption but crimes that endangered our national security. No one that really cares for the country should vote for her to be president. Turning to the Republican alternative, you find Donald Trump. His ignorance of policy issues and his reckless, ignorant, and dangerous foreign policy pronouncements should give you pause about his fitness for office. Looking at his character, you find even more horrifying information. He is a man of  privilege who gained success from gaming the system and legal tricks, and his sense of entitlement leads to his mistreatment of women and gross statements about their treatment at his hands. How can such a man lead a nation like the United States?

Politics is not generally binary and this election is no exception. There are ways to do good with your vote and help our country despite Trump and Clinton. No matter who becomes president we will need Republicans in Congress to put a brake on their excesses. Senators Ben Sasse, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Kelly Ayotte, and many other honorable men and women need to the leaders in the Senate. Voting for the Republican Senate candidates (and hopefully having them often out-perform Donald Trump in the election) will send a powerful message to Washington. It will give the Senate Republicans the mandate and confidence to oppose the wild excesses of the president.

Even on the presidential level, there are ways to send the message of disapproval. In a blue state, vote Jill Stein to split the liberals in your state; in a red state, vote for Evan McMullin or Gary Johnson to remind the Republican party that the Democrats’ nomination unfit candidates for office is no reason for the Republicans to follow suit. Vote to keep the House because of Paul Ryan’s great work there and House Republicans’ many stands for freedom over the last six years.

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I’ve been ruminating about a post-election post for several days, and decided I’d rather write now and plant some seeds. One part of me wanted to lecture people who’ve been a source of dissension and insults; but I realized they won’t read this post anyway. Then I thought I could provide a “how-to” on how […]

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Now that we are right on top of the elections lets make some predictions with some hard political analysis.  I don’t want this to be another Never/Ever Trump thread no need to rehash that stuff here. So Clinton or Trump is going to win Nov. 8th.  Trump has some momentum and it looks like it […]

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On my morning walk I was listening to Victor Davis Hanson being interviewed by Peter, Rob and James on the Ricochet Flagship podcast. One point that VDH made caught my attention. He said that there were a number of political writers who were consulting to the current presidential campaigns, and he thought that was inappropriate. He […]

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Ask An Expert: Being an Election Judge

 

polling_placeI have served as an election judge off and on since 1996. What is an election judge? The guy (or gal) in charge of a polling place. The judge runs a team of four to 12 election workers who operate a polling place where you vote. I like to think of the election workers as the first line of defense for representative government. Without election workers, you do not have polling places. Without honest election workers, you do not have honest elections.

There are three types of workers at a polling place: a judge, an assistant judge, and two to ten clerks (typically two to six). The judge runs the place, the assistant judge serves as the deputy, and the clerks actually certify the voters and hand out and collect the ballots (though, in most cases today, they hand out the code to allow the voter to cast a vote at an electronic machine).

What do you have to do to become an election judge? Typically, have served as an election clerk. How do you become a clerk? The first step is to join a political party.