It's easy in American politics to stake out positions to the far right and the far left. The difficulty is then attracting moderate voters to those positions.
Republicans already have the far-right votes. And they will never attract the far-left votes. They need to attract the slight-left voters, and Democrats need to attract the slight-right voters.
The November Election will result in a Congress that is gridlocked. Many Americans think this is the best result. The President could not get much of his agenda passed when his party controlled the Senate and House. After the election, left wing proposals which do not contain strong bi-partisan support are doomed.
This comment implies that it is "difficult" to stake out a moderate position.
'The Accidental Politician'
(Robert Costa, National Review Online, June 14, 2010)
Sharron Angle, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in Nevada, visited National Review’s offices in New York this afternoon. A former home-school advocate who calls herself an “accidental politician,” Angle says she’s running because it’s her “patriotic duty.” Here are some excerpts from the interview:
— Why she’s running: “I was the first one to enter the race against Harry Reid,” she says. “We needed someone in direct contrast to Harry Reid.… I knew that in order to bring out that independent voter, you had to have the contrast. You had to say we’re not the same as the Democrats, that we really have a true contrast, that we’re someone different. That’s why I jumped in the race.… It’s just been a phenomenon.”
— On her primary win: “It became focused with the Tea Party Express endorsement,” she says. “The first endorsement that we got that was of great consequence was from Gun Owners of America. We knew that was of great consequence because it reached across party lines in Nevada. We’re pretty much a 90 percent Second Amendment state. We knew that we were now reaching into constituencies with independent voters as well as Democrat voters. Then this tea-party movement, that was moving across party lines. Then we got Phyllis Schlafly, and she was moving across party lines for us. Same thing with Mark Levin, the talk-show host. When those four really solidified, now we had conservatives from every passionate voter base.… That’s when we thought this thing was really doable.… I give God a lot of credit. Most everything has a providential side in American history.”
— On accusations about her sympathy to Scientology’s prison policy: “First, the disclaimer. I’m not a Scientologist,” she says. But she says the attacks bring up a bigger point. “What we’re seeing here is a very slippery slope. Whenever religion becomes the focal point — we saw this during John F. Kennedy’s race and also, to some degree, in Mitt Romney’s race — whenever this becomes the focus, we Americans should be very, very concerned. We have a First Amendment that guarantees us all the right to worship as we please. We as Americans should, even if we don’t agree, should defend their right to have that right. It shouldn’t come into play in any political arena.”
— On Social Security: “We have seen Harry Reid raid Social Security,” she says. “They’ve been using this Social Security lockbox as a slush fund for years and years, for every program and every entitlement and every big-government idea. Instead of making our senior citizens feel secure in Social Security — they’ve paid into it in good faith, we have a contract, they should be able to collect — they have a big IOU. I’d like to save Social Security, allowing that lockbox to be filled up and the key clicked.” She calls Reid’s attack ad “nonsense.” Beyond the lockbox, Angle is open to the idea of personal accounts: “Social Security and Medicare should be personalized in a way so that it cannot be raided any longer.… I’m not sure exactly how that looks, but I’m not opposed to personal accounts. I’m not opposed to free-market solutions to those kinds of things. I think Paul Ryan has some proposals on the table that I think have some merit. I don’t pretend to have all of the fine-tuning of the solution; I just know that the solution can’t be an open bank account for the government to keep using.”
— On abolishing the Department of Education: “I was an educator,” she says. “I did public [school teaching], I’ve done private, home school, tutoring for juvenile justice. I’ve taught adults at community college. So I have a broad base. I also sat on a school board and served for four terms on the education committee in my state, so when I speak, I feel that I have a broad background to speak from. The Department of Education is a policy machine in Washington that sends down one-size-fits-all that fits no one, like No Child Left Behind, and generally it’s unfunded mandates to the states. Education is always best when you get all of the stakeholders involved and working toward that same commitment. That happens best at the local level. Education that happens the closest to the classroom, with the children, with the teacher — that’s where you’re going to get the best education, right there. Anything bureaucratically, administratively, these layers and layers, it just diminishes the involvement of the stakeholder in the first place. They feel like their voice is not being heard because there is too much of a loud clamor from the top.…We need to begin the cuts at the departments and agencies that are the least essential for the federal government to be involved in. I don’t think that the Department of Education is one of those essential involvements of the federal government. I think it could be done very well at the state level.… Even at the state level, I would encourage them to do it closer to the local level, if possible.”
— On Harry Reid: Reid, she says is “ruthless.” He can be “very difficult.… Harry Reid is the master of the carrot and the stick. We’ve known that for a long time in Nevada. I think the nation got a real good taste of that during Obamacare when he began to do what he does best, which is ‘let’s make a deal.’ I put nothing past him.… [He is] part and parcel of the corruption pervasive in the Washington, D.C., machinery…we’ve just had our fill.”
— On the GOP: “I like Senator Tom Coburn and the way that he votes. I also like Senator Jim DeMint. Both are stellar, stellar senators. When I ran for Congress, I had the great pleasure of meeting Congressman Mike Pence. I certainly admire him. I also admire Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her voting record.” Does she want Washington’s help? “Of course,” she says. “That’s why I’m back here [in New York and in Washington on Tuesday]. I wasn’t here just to talk to the National Review [she laughs]. I have a meeting this evening with big donors here in New York.… Tomorrow, we go to Washington, D.C., to meet with Senator Cornyn, Senator DeMint, all of the senatorial committee. We’re meeting with the NRSC, the RNC, all of that…officialdom. We’re meeting with everyone. We know that everybody has been kind of divided over what’s happened in the past year, but it’s time to unite and it’s time to go forward and it’s time to gain some ground that we haven’t had for almost 20 years. That’s the ground the makes us the shining city on the hill. We need to be back there.”
— On that supposed website shutdown: “I think you’ve misunderstood,” she says. “What we did immediately after our win was we put up a splash page that said ‘send money.’ At the bottom, you could have seen a button that said ‘issues’ and one that said ‘biography.’ So I was really still there, all my issues were there, I was still there, but it wasn’t the main focus. The main focus was ‘send money.’ That’s the page that we’ve been running.… This idea that I’ve been running from the press? I have been doing between five and seven interviews every day since I won. So that’s pure nonsense. It’s difficult to sort through all of the requests.… I’ve been going to, what I feel, is the donor base. You have Mark Levin, and Lars Larson, and even Rush Limbaugh’s show came out and said ‘send money to this woman.’ The traffic got so great that we could not receive all of it.… We know this is a national campaign.”
I think I get what you are trying to say, that politicians find it difficult to stake their elections on moderate positions because they need to play to their base,
but that isn't the case. You won't see much moderation in a primary contest, but you will in general elections.
In any case, I assure you that what you consider to be a "moderate" position is thought to be left leaning by quite a few people, because you believe "moderate" and "reasonable" are synonymous, and you also believe Liberal thought to be reasonable.
One only needs to spend time on A2K to know that you are no moderate. This is fine of course, unless you want to imbue the term with unquestionable value, and then lay claim to it.
I've never claimed to be a moderate, and while it would be wrong to claim that members of the Tea Party movement are moderates it is, at least, equally wrong to claim they are crazy conservatives.
Senate race: Sharron Angle's conservative credentials wins support of activist army
(By Anjeanette Damon • Reno Gazette-Journal • May 30, 2010
For former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, what some have labeled as her quixotic bid for the U.S. Senate is more than a political campaign.
She likens it to a crusade.
"We're called as Americans to be vigilant to protect our liberty," she said in a recent interview. "At some point in each of our lives, we're called to service to defend and protect our Constitution."
In Angle's eyes, the country is under attack and she's willing to go to battle.
"What is a little bit disconcerting and concerning is the inability for sporting goods stores to keep ammunition in stock," she said. "That tells me the nation is arming. What are they arming for if it isn't that they are so distrustful of their government? They're afraid they'll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways?
"That's why I look at this as almost an imperative. If we don't win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?"
Since leaving the Nevada Assembly, Angle has worked relentlessly and unsuccessfully to win higher office, believing that her staunch conservatism and band of devoted supporters would be enough. She has come close.
In 2006, she came within 421 votes of winning a Republican primary against then-Secretary of State Dean Heller for the 2nd Congressional District. In 2008, she nearly toppled Republican legend state Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, in a primary.
Each time, she's been outdone by a better funded, better organized campaign that has been able to systematically turn out just enough voters for victory, largely by convincing the electorate Angle is too marginal for the general election ballot.
This year, however, with Republicans whipped into an anti-incumbent fury by the Democratic majority , Angle sees an opportunity unlike any other campaign year.
"I know that in the past, the political machinery has come to bear," she said. "Sometimes, I have won; and sometimes, I have lost. But that's really what the fight is. When you're in a war, sometimes you lose a battle or two."
This year, Angle counts among her soldiers an army of tea party activists, who have gathered in boisterous crowds by the thousands to protest the Democratic majority.
She won an endorsement from the Tea Party Express, a national political action committee created by longtime Republican operatives to organize the demonstrators who show up to the protests.
That endorsement, coupled with a series of significant campaign stumbles by the race's front-runner, Sue Lowden, has put Angle in serious contention for the GOP nomination.
At least one poll conducted by a Democratic organization had Angle leading the field in the final weeks of the campaign. In the most recent Las Vegas Review-Journal poll this month, she was within five points of Lowden. In April, she trailed by 40 points.
Her emergence as a front-runner, however, has highlighted the weaknesses that have led to her defeat in prior races.
Angle is criticized for a dogmatism that has prevented her from building strong enough coalitions to pass any significant conservative reform. She built a reputation on being the lone 'no' vote on important legislation, a reputation she wears as a badge of honor.
And she has put forward ideas that critics have painted as too fringe to be acceptable to most voters, such as trying to implement a drug-treatment program for prisoners developed by a Scientologist and used in Mexican prisons that relies on therapeutic massage and sauna treatments.
Her Republican opponents have sought to undermine her conservative credentials, pointing to spending bills she has supported while opposing the taxes needed to pay for the new programs, and her decision to twice support measures that would have increased lawmaker salaries.
But Angle is certain her conservative record will bring her victory, in both the primary and against Reid.
"I have already begun to build this conservative coalition that can reach across party lines into independent and Democratic circles," she said.
This is almost too sad Finn. I expect more from you. Let's be clear here. Your opinion is that there are NO crazy conservatives? I'm asking for your opinion here.
Also, you did not answer my question: "What political positions are right of the Tea Party? Who are the people right of the Tea Party?
You seem to be in denial about where the Tea Party falls on the Left-Right scale. You admit it's not moderate, but seem squeamish to admit that they are on the far right. So, I'm assisting you Finn. You need help to back you your claim. If the Tea Party is not on the far right, who is further right of them so we can calibrate where you think they are.
RALEIGH, N.C. — Republican congressional candidate William "Bill" Randall is suggesting that the Obama administration and BP conspired to intentionally spill oil in the Gulf, resulting in 11 deaths and the worst environmental disaster in the nation's history.
Randall, who has aligned himself with the tea party movement, readily acknowledges that he has no evidence that what he says is true. But that is not stopping him from making the claim as he campaigns in the June 22 GOP runoff to face incumbent Democratic Rep. Brad Miller on the November ballot.
"Now, I'm not necessarily a conspiracy person, but I don't think enough investigation has been done on this," Randall said at a media conference on Tuesday. "Someone needs to be digging into that situation. Personally, and this is purely speculative on my part and not based on any fact, but personally I feel there is a possibility that there was some sort of collusion. I don't know how or why, but in that situation, if you have someone from a company violating a safety process and the government signing off on it, excuse me, maybe they wanted it to leak.