Boehner’s shortcomings, not GOP dysfunction, were his downfall

Featured image John Boehner’s resignation has sparked another round of claims from the mainstream media that the Republican party is hopelessly divided and incapable of governing. These claims, one suspects, are presented more in delight than in sorrow. There’s no question that there deep divisions exist within the party about tactics and, to a much lesser degree, policy. But the MSM’s spin on Boehner ignores the possibility that his problems as Speaker »

Live from Council Bluffs, it’s John Kasich

Featured image Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports on appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa for us. Yesterday Dave attended the appearance of Ohio Governor John Kasich in Council Bluffs, Iowa: Why would Power Line readers be interested in John Kasich? In the first place he has decent poll numbers. The Real Clear Politics average has him at 10 percent or fourth in New Hampshire. Nationally, Bloomberg has »

Whatever happened to that deep Republican bench?

Featured image Fox News offers a new poll of the Republican presidential field (scroll past the Pope Francis stuff to get to the GOP race). The poll shows Donald Trump still in front with 26 percent support. He’s followed by Ben Carson at 18 percent. Then come Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio at 9 percent; Ted Cruz at 8; and Jeb Bush at 7. This poll is more favorable to Dr. Carson »

Two Clues for the GOP

Featured image Two news items from the Gallup Poll folks ought to be providing a screaming clue to the GOP: Item #1: Half in U.S. Continue to Say Gov’t Is an Immediate Threat PRINCETON, N.J. — Almost half of Americans, 49%, say the federal government poses “an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens,” similar to what was found in previous surveys conducted over the last five years. When »

Fiorina and Rubio surge, as Trump and Carson slide

Featured image Debates matter. That’s not a scoop. Yet many doubted whether Marco Rubio’s quality performance last week in California would help him, and the doubts weren’t unreasonable. After all, he had debated very well in Cleveland, yet received no significant bounce. This time, though, Rubio has been rewarded. A new CNN/ORC poll shows him at 11 percent, up from 3 percent less than two weeks ago. The poll is of Republicans »

The Coulter case

Featured image Ann Coulter had an idiosyncratic reaction to the prime time GOP candidates’ debate at the Reagan Presidential Library this past Wendesday. Israel came up too frequently to suit her taste. She somehow found it fitting and appropriate to tweet the comment below. Coulter has stood by her comment, as in this Hollywood Reporter story. How many f—ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States? — Ann »

Poll: Fiorina leads in New Hampshire

Featured image A poll by an outfit called Voter Gravity has Carly Fiorina leading the Republican field in New Hampshire. She’s at 22 percent, four points ahead of Donald Trump. Ben Carson, John Kasich, and Jeb Bush all hover around the 10 percent mark. I put little stock in this poll. However, since Wednesday’s debate I’ve been thinking that Trump’s fellow “non-political class” members could land a one-two punch against him in »

The second time around

Featured image Senate Republicans oppose the catastrophic deal into which President Obama has entered with Iran, yet they have been unable even to secure a vote on the merits. Senate Democrats including Minnesota’s own Al Franken (who undoubtedly thinks it’s a good deal) and Amy Klobuchar (who knows better but acts out of pure political calculation) have blocked a vote on the merits of the deal by means of the filibuster. The »

Some thoughts about tonight’s debate

Featured image My main thought about tonight’s debate is that Jake Tapper did a horrendous job of moderating. As John says, he devoted way too much of the first portion of the debate to bad questions about Donald Trump, presumably in the hope of perpetuating the food fight and, perhaps, making candidates look bad. By doing so, Tapper froze out part of the field. The freeze out was exacerbated by the fact »

Debate Post Mortem

Featured image Tonight’s debate got off to an awful start, with Jake Tapper asking a series of bad questions that were all about Donald Trump. But as the evening went on, it got a lot better. I think the overriding impression for anyone that saw it to the end is that there are vigorous arguments going on within the Republican Party, and only within the Republican Party. It is hard to imagine »

Trump fails the straight persona test

Featured image Donald Trump has tried to explain away this comment he made about Carly Fiorina: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president.” Trump claims he wasn’t talking about Fiorina’s face, but rather her persona. When Trump denied that his comment about blood pouring from Megyn Kelly was a reference to menstruation, there was an outside chance he was telling »

Donald Trump and the loyalty oath issue [UPDATE: Trump takes the pledge]

Featured image The Republican National Committee has asked GOP presidential aspirants to sign a statement pledging not to run for president next year unless nominated by the Republicans. The entire field, except for Donald Trump, made that pledge last month during the first GOP presidential debate. Trump will meet today with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to discuss the loyalty oath issue. Trump has scheduled a new conference for this afternoon. There are »

Iowa poll: Trump 23, Carson 18; Clinton 37, Sanders 30

Featured image A brand new Bloomberg-Des Moines Register poll of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa finds Donald Trump in the lead with 23 percent. Ben Carson runs second with 18 percent. Carson is the second choice of 14 percent; Trump ranks second for 9 percent. In three polls taken earlier this month, Trump led Carson by an average margin of almost 8 points. Thus, Carson has gained on Trump. But Trump will »

Empire populism

Featured image The Republican party of Kentucky has approved a rule change that will allow Rand Paul to run for president while seeking reelection to the Senate. That’s the good news for Sen. Paul. The bad news is that, according to the RCP poll average, Paul’s share of the GOP vote stands at 4.3 percent. This puts him a three-way tie for 8th place with Mike Huckabee and John Kasich. That’s quite »

We oughta look at Donald Trump, but through which lens?

Featured image There’s a scene in the movie Rocky (the original) in which heavyweight champion Apollo Creed is fooling around in his hotel suite while a television in the background shows a news report of Rocky training in a meat locker, pounding in earnest on dead animal flesh. Creed’s trainer says, “Hey, champ, you oughta come and look at this boy you’re gonna fight on TV. It looks like he means business.” »

Electability, Shmelectability?

Featured image In an article called “All the Electable Republicans Are Losing,” Kristin Soltis Anderson points out that the candidates whom the polls deem most likely to beat Hillary Clinton are faltering in GOP polling. She has in mind Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, both of whom are struggling, while candidates presumed to be unelectable, like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, have surged. The title of the article is somewhat misleading. Kristin »

Live from Council Bluffs, it’s Bobby Jindal

Featured image Continuing his series on the appearance of the presidential candidates in Iowa, Nebraska attorney Dave Begley files this report on Bobby Jindal in Council Bluffs yesterday. Dave reports: I first saw Bobby Jindal in Council Bluffs, Iowa on July 1. At that time and after the first debate I was concerned about the effectiveness of his presentation because of his rapid delivery. He has slowed down his delivery considerably and »