Sunday, December 15, 2013

Practicality, Discipline Could Net Ten Senate Seats for GOP

Oh, the promises of 2014!

Obamacare's rough start are cause for glee in Republican circles. A law that was passed without one Republican vote! Broken Presidential promises! Massive misrepresentation! Could it not get any better?

Without question, the GOP could retake the Senate this November. Democrat Senators in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina are in deep trouble. Open seats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia will likely result in pickups.

It could get even better! Scott Brown is hinting that he might return to his home state and challenge Jeanne Shaheen for the New Hampshire Senate seat. Shaheen, a solid supporter of Obamacare, is taking some heat from constituents over "sticker shock." Brown is not only a "ninth generation Granite Stater," he is a true moderate. Shaheen, a native Missourian, is considered a "rubber stamp" for the Obama agenda.

Gary Peters, the choice of the Democrat Establishment is expected to be the nominee to fill retiring Carl Levin's seat in Michigan. As of now, Grand Rapid's own, Terri Lynn Land is the GOP front runner.Polls suggest that the race will be a photo finish. The stars would point to a close Democrat win. However, if Congressman, Mike Rogers decides to run, all bets are off!

In Iowa Tom Harkin is retiring. State Senator, Joni Ernst is silently backed by Governor, Terry Branstead and may be the most electable. But the Republican field is crowded and if no candidate receives at least 35% of the primary votes,the nominee will be chosen by a state convention. Democrats have apparently settled on Congressman, Bruce Braley. This could be a very close race! If Obamacare continues to sputter and Republicans nominate a "non-controversial" candidate such as Ernst, another pickup is possible.

There are other races to not dismiss, such as Virginia, Minnesota and Colorado. But these ten seats would totally change the dynamics in the U.S. Senate. Of course, Republicans would be required to hold all of their current 45 seats. That's doable. But there can't be any more Angles, Akins and Mourdocks!

It comes down to discipline. Why waste resources to recall Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell? Do not Reublicans have bigger "problems" than Lindsey Graham? The Tea Party may have saved the Republicans after the disaster of 2008. Their next hurdle is learning how to understand the meaning of "a lessor of two evils."

Democrats are disciplined. And, they are unified. They know that their best chance of holding the Michigan and Iowa seats lies in uncontested primaries.

Odds are Scott Brown would trounce Jeanne Shaheen in a general election. But he would still need to gain the nomination of his party.

So, the opportunity is there! The prizes include, but are not limited to, "repeal of Obamacare!" It's probable that a fifty-five seat majority, would be successful in gaining enough "across the aisle" votes to override a Presidential veto.

And the nightmare would be no more!

And there's more!

Dodd-Frank would likely be next on the repeal docket. More court appointments, Mr. President? Forget it! And then it would be time to begin impeachment proceedings! Starting with Mr. Holder and Ms. Rice!

Like the 2012 Presidential race, this is the Republican's to lose! They have the best issue of a generation. The key will be learning from previous Senate and Presidential selection mistakes. If they can do this, they will get everything they want.

And more!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Solving "Dads' Dilemma" Could Capture the Elusive 5%

In our previous post on EFA, we discussed a fifteen-plank platform that would define the goals of the majority of Americans. At the root of the argument is the acknowledgment that "some things were better left to the states." However, there is one national adjustment that merits dialog.

A sad, typically "brushed under the rug," American reality is how Dads are are often given the shaft in a custody decision. While the landscape may have slightly improved over the past thirty years, it's not where it needs to be.

As one Ohio man put it, "women want equal rights; until they go into a courtroom in a custody fight. Then they want to talk about the ages of the children and the nurturing attibutes of the mother."

This would be consistent with suggesting that "women can't be hired for management positions because they might become pregnant, requiring a leave of absence." There is no doubt that any company who published such a standard would be "knee deep" in ligitation.

A close friend who had endured the horrors of a divorce and custody fight saw a double standard that was deeply ingrained in the American psyche. As he phraised, "I have a brilliant little girl and I have a equally brilliant little boy. I want my daughter to have the same prospects as my son."

This translated to education, a profession, management preferences and income, "But," as he reminded, "if my son ever goes into a court room in a custody fight, it's only fair that he be playing on a level field."

In other words, what's good for the goose is good for the gander! Alas, equal rights are truly a double edged sword.

These frustrated fathers have watched silently as our two political parties have shunned all efforts to bring about any relief. For different reasons, of course!

Democrats unknowingly are following the formula outlined in the "The Naked Communist," a book that appeared in 1958, which sought to replace the father with government. For more information about this work, please visit

Republicans remained mysteriously silent. Some were simply too traditional to imagine that a father might actually be the better parent. No doubt, the party leadership reminded everyone that the GOP was already in the hole with female voters. In Karl Rove's words, Dads' dilemma was a "toxic issue."

Yet, there are millions of men who would support a plank that proposed adding heterosexual men to the Civil Rights Act of 1968's protected list. Two things would happen if were to happen:

(a) The platform would be recognizing marriage as an act between a man and a woman only. This would effectively paint Democrats in a corner. If they attempted to duplicate the idea, they would alienate their large gay contingent. If they removed "heterosexual" from the wording, they would be clearly affirming their support of gay marriage. Opposing the act entirely could cost them dearly with voters they could not afford to lose.

(b) Without question, the act would lure young, minority voters away from the Democrat party. This would especially be the case with African American males under 50. It would likewise win Democrat leaning male millennials, already disgruntled with Obamacare and the job market.

Half the battle in any election is turnout. Would this issue mobilize heterosexual males? Count on it!

Fox New's Bill O'Reilly recently elaborated on a poll that showed a drop in marriage since 1980. As O'Reilly put it, "men are losing interest in marriage.They watch a wife tire of them, then divorce them, taking their estate and children in the process." In short, what's the point.

Those "rocking years," when children are small and father and mother are typically confined to the home, aren't easy! Couples either make it or don't. As women entered the work place, there became less incentive for them to stay married. In the fifties, women enjoyed fewer options.

Were things better in the fifties? Depends on your point of view. Women have made great strides in the work place. No doubt some of our finest leaders and contributors are female.

The change came because we determined that our society would be best served with duel income households. We could then maintain a standard of living that was slipping away due to the hidden tax of inflation. Dads' Dilemma amounted to collateral damage.

Sadly we have concluded that this true but "toxic" issue is best left undisturbed. However, the question has been suppressed. It has not gone away. Bringing it to the forefront could impact as many as five percent of the swing voters. Remembering how close elections have been in recent times, this is no small consideration.