The marijuana strategy

No less than 17 states will be voting on legalizing marijuana, either for medical or recreational use, on Election Day, 2016.  (For details of the various state initiatives, see this.)  Democrats are reportedly counting on left-leaning younger people who don’t normally vote coming to the polls to legalize marijuana, and while they are at it, casting a vote for the Democratic presidential candidate.  (The Democrats are apparently unaware of libertarians, who tend to vote Republican.)

The Democrats are counting on the stoner vote to carry battleground states like Ohio and Florida, both of which will be voting on legalizing the weed.  Meanwhile, of the Republican candidates, only Chris Christie and John Kasich are making a big deal of opposing it.  Even social conservative Ted Cruz says he would leave it up to the states.  And libertarian Rand Paul positively supports it.

What do you think about this?  Should Republicans make it an issue?  What does this strategy tell us about today’s Democratic party?  Do you think the Democrats’ strategy will work, or will the measures bring out just as many Republican voters? [Read more...]

So where are the Democratic debates?

There are, as of this date, five candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination:  Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb.  Why aren’t they debating like the Republican candidates are?

There will be some Democratic debates–six of them, the smallest number in a modern race without an incumbent–but they will be late in the primary season at unusual times that would seem to guarantee the smallest audience.

Could it be that the Democratic National Committee is trying to arrange a coronation of Mrs. Clinton, rather than a legitimate contest between all of the candidates?  Those candidates think so, as do lots of grass root Democrats, who have been protesting at the DNC headquarters. [Read more...]

What about Joe Biden?

There are strong indications that Vice-President Joe Biden, in light of Hillary Clinton’s stumbles and legal problems, is seriously considering a run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Democrats, would you rather have Biden than Clinton?  What about if Elizabeth Warren is his running-mate, as is widely speculated.

Republicans, would you rather have Biden than Clinton?  As someone to run against?  As President of the United States?  Would you consider voting for him in the event that someone you really dislike gets the GOP nomination?  Would Elizabeth Warren as his running mate change any of this? [Read more...]

Democrats surging to the left–as is the country?

Democrats in Congress voted against the wishes of their own President in in opposing the free trade bill, which has advanced thanks only to Republicans.  Meanwhile, the socialist Bernie Sanders has all but caught up with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and Iowa, attracting some of the biggest crowds of any candidate so far.

Political columnist Dana Milbank says that President Obama and Hillary Clinton may be “on the wrong side of history” (an old Marxist line often used by the president, the assumption being that “history” is inexorably headed to the socialist utopia).

Mr. Milbank also says that the country itself is trending to the left, out of revulsion for conservatives.  Do you think that is true?  Or would a far-left Democratic platform–assuming Mrs. Clinton goes there to fend off her primary challengers–would be the best hope for a Republican victory? [Read more...]

Jim Webb makes Democrat #5

Jim Webb has announced that he is running for the Democratic nomination for president, the fourth candidate challenging Hillary Clinton.

Webb may be one of the most interesting and complex candidates in the race:  Secretary of the Navy for Ronald Reagan, former Senator from Virginia, a Viet Nam War hero, a novelist, a scholar.  Webb is a staunch defender of the military who is anti-war, a populist, someone who is running to the left of Mrs. Clinton who nevertheless has some  conservative positions.  The author of an excellent book on the Scotch-Irish, Webb is an advocate of the Democrats’ old constituency of “the common man,” who in the midst of the recent backlash against the Confederate flag, tried to explain the complexities of that symbol in Southern culture.

Any of you supporting him?

[Read more...]

Martin O’Malley enters the Democratic race

The rock guitar-playing former governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, announced that he is running for president as a Democratic alternative to Hillary Clinton.  He is running to the left of Mrs. Clinton, whom he accuses of supporting wealthy special interests.

Democrats, would you rather have Mr. O’Malley than Mrs. Clinton, who is supposedly more conservative than she is?  Republicans, would you rather have Mrs. Clinton than Mr. O’Malley, since she is supposedly more conservative than she is?  Or does personality, for better or worse, trump policy? [Read more...]