I try to stay away from the “slash and burn” posts that tears down politicians but instead I refuse to pass on calling attention to the histrionic and often synthetic personas politicians offer to the public; until, that is, a dose of reality forces them back to reality.
If you hadn’t heard, Representative Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) was arrested on Sunday for DUI while driving in Virginia late in the evening. Apparently a police officer observed the Congressman barrel through a red traffic light. After being pulled over, Rep. Crapo was given a roadside test which showed he had not only been drinking, but according to the State of Virginia, he had exceeded the .08 drinking limit, the Congressman had .110.
The only thing about this story that may come as a surprise to many of the Congressman’s constituents and family and friends is, Crapo, a Mormon and member of The Church of Latter Day Saints, has said publicly more than once that he, doesn’t drink. Soooo, maybe the Congressman would like to take the opportunity over the Christmas recess to explain this quandary he has currently found himself in.
Typically, indiscretions such as these will barely make the news considering its the holidays and everyone attends after hour socials and holiday functions and may go a bit too far and possibly become a bit more jolly than the local laws would prefer, but when you build your persona on purity and look to others that “partake” as less than pure, beware of posts like this from the PoliticianNextDoor.com. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Recently, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor framed the election this way:
“This election is going to determine whether or not the very moral fabric of our nation will be upheld, or whether it will be torn apart”.
In a year when evangelicals have been muted from the lack of a prominent republican with strong religious ties, morality has not been used as a bludgeon across the heads of Dems. Perception is often merely an uncorrected truth as is with the morality argument implies democrats are less religious than republicans.
The last decade brought evangelicals out in droves with the departure of the Clintons from The White House following the years of presidential scandal in the Oval. The rise of Christian Conservatism was used to twist every domestic policy against liberals during The Bush II presidency.
The absence this election cycle is the one demographic missing in action (MIA) that typically carries the water for conservatives. What’s different this year? The GOP Primary served as a shot in the foot of each potential candidate who would have enjoyed the army of Christian foot soldiers ready to mobilize against Obama and his late stance on same sex marriage.
The Primary pitted one evangelical against another pushing them all further and further right of their own party platform causing even middle class conservative voters to worry were they too extreme leaving an opening for Romney, a Mormon, to find a niche for his moderate religious tone to rise and float.
The likes of former Pennsylvania Senator, Rick Santorum, a Catholic, even framed his candidacy as a Christian Conservative positioning himself to the right of everyone, hung around longer than most before conceding to Romney. To bow out to Romney was more a religious challenge and defeat considering most had not believed the Mormon faith was not legitimate. Yet, they all fell at the foot of Romney’s Mormonism.
With that said, where are the “Focus On The Family” conservatives, where are the Pat Robertsons’ of the right this year? Where are the PACs financed by the former Bush supporters who were known as his Rangers, responsible for individually bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars? In fact, where are all the Bush clan loyalist who could direct fortunes and profiles to the GOP nominee?
Morality has not registered on any ticker of any poll conducted this election cycle. In fact, any mention of a morality argument has been met with a muted response by both flanks of the political spectrum. History has a short memory. Who would have thought, Former President Bill Clinton would be the savior of the Obama mantle and single handedly carry the Democratic Convention on his back this year? “…moral fabric…” Mr. Cantor? Morality is not on the radar.
Republicans have bet the election on the economy, and on Sunday, the Boston Headquarters admitted that course is a dead end. Democrats have focused protecting social entitlements in the face of a weakened economy as a way to keep from talking about the unemployed, not to mention the unemployable.
The jury is still out on whether the republican’s bet on the economy as the sole line of attack initially was the best approach to their path of victory. The costs however are already mounting considering the party ceded defense and foreign policy to President Obama and the democrats, areas long dominated by conservatives.
First Lady, Michelle Obama has carved out a military following with her focus on military families during a time when Americans are war weary and exhausted with the costs each service member’s family pays for the absence of their loved ones. These concessions may serve as a nail in the republicans’ messaging coffin.
Because there is no religious standard bearer at the top of either ticket, evangelicals have had to hold their nose and speak with gritted teeth as they profess their selection of Romney. Republicans have poorly replaced their weapons of morality with an irrelevant view about “religious freedoms” as if democrats have spoke against freedom of religion.
The polls that track American’s enthusiasm are finding that republicans are simply against Obama as opposed to being for Romney which is why when polls show the gap widening in favor of Obama, republicans become more concerned.
The rationale is this, Obama’s base is waking up following the conventions and Labor Day as expected which has caused a significant, solid bounce out of the gate for the President while Romney has seen nothing greater than a 2% adjustment, yet not found in enthusiasm. The polls are consistently showing Romney’s support is more about being the Un-Cola (anti-Obama and less Classic Coke (pro-Romney).
Recently, VP candidate Ryan appeared at the Values Voters Summit Conference in the nation’s capital this past weekend, but it served as one the few events trumpeted as a morality based event by conservatives still looking to convince evangelicals into Romney’s corner of the ring. House Leader Cantor is looking to help anyway possible, even by attempting to reintroduce morality into this election as often as Romney has been reintroduced to voters. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
With the state’s senior Senator, Harry Reid also serving as the Senate Majority Leader and a democrat in The White house, you would think that Nevada, rich with unionized labor would be safely out of the grasp of the GOP and the Romney-Ryan ticket…not so.
Although President Obama has sat at the top of just about every poll conducted this year, there are vulnerabilities that plague his chances to comfortably put the state in his win column like harnessing the nation’s highest unemployment rate, there are no guarantees.
The President is doing well among his second largest voting block, Hispanics, the largest block of his base in Nevada due to their overwhelming growth. One hidden advantage to Obama, a rarely spoken of Libertarian Party which has managed to make it on the ballot in 47 states including Nevada. Former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson has surged in the state as of late keeping the state in the toss-up category and unlikely to go for Romney, an unexpected jewel the GOP would love to get away from the Dems.
What makes this a huge get, not to mention a competitive race is the states large Mormon population. Mitt Romney, if elected, would be the first Mormon to ascend to the presidency and if Nevada’s Mormon faithful could help the republican make history, they would be beyond honored.
Romney’s only challenge will be Clark County (Las Vegas) and Washoe County (Reno). Both were easy gets for Obama in the last cycle- two-thirds of the state’s votes came from these two counties. With Senator Reid’s enormous mobilization efforts, Romney’s got some work to do, but since the battleground is set, Dems cannot be careless. That’s my story and um sticking to it.