Tancredo Open to 2012 Run as an Independent

Over at Think Progress, Matt Yglesias points to this article on the website World Net Daily, home to the über-insane, hyper-paranoid, unabashedly vitriolic, openly hateful right-wing fringe, in which former the anti-immigrant Colorado Congressman Tommy Tancredo notes that he is open to mounting an independent run for the White House in 2012.

Former Colorado congressman and Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo told WND today that if no one to his liking emerges in the 2012 run for the White House, he will consider another bid for the GOP nomination and would not rule out becoming a third-party candidate, as a "last option."

Tancredo, known for his strong stance against illegal immigration, spoke to WND after a Dutch newspaper published an interview article in which he said he didn't view the GOP's 2008 vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, as "presidential."

Tancredo told WND that if Republicans "end up repeating the mistakes of the past" he would run again.

"I am convinced that we've got one more shot at this before the Republican Party comes apart at the seams, if they really don't get it right," he said.

'I'm willing to be sort of a team player, although I certainly have no strong philosophical commitment to the Republican Party," he added. "It's just a mechanism … not a thing with which you can have some great affinity."

"Last Option" sounds about right. I'm guessing that is Tancredo's goal is to revive the Know-Nothing party of the 1850s. Matt Yglesias finds the possibility of a Tancredo run on a third party ticket plausible and while I don't disagree that such lunacy is indeed plausible, a Tancredo run isn't likely to win 2 percent of the vote nationally. Nativist movements in the United States are nothing new but when they have arisen in the 1850s, 1880s and 1920s, they have always met with electoral failure.

Such a run is even more quixotic than any of Ralph Nader's runs and while I never discount the insanity of Tommy Tancredo it is also fair to point out that he is an offensive joke of a man. Ultimately Tancredo is a single-issue candidate on an issue that is frankly a third tier issue at the moment.

Whatever the faults of the United States and the American people, I've lived in this country long enough to realize that the overwhelmingly number of Americans are not a hateful people by nature and while Tancredo is consumed by irrational fears and hatred, his fellow citizens are not. Tancredo is doomed to failure of unprecedented proportions because we are better country than he thinks we are.


The Insanity of the Lambs

With former GOP Congressman Tom Cambell switching from the race for Governor to the race for the Senate seat in California, he clearly poses more of a challenge for Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and sometimes registered voter, than he does for State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who is the darling of the Tea Party set. Well, she's not leaving anything to chance apparently. In an Internet-only ad that could only be described as insane, Carly Fiorina has yet again demonstrated that she's ready to set new lows for the California GOP. And here, I thought that Chuch DeVore was the lunatic of the bunch or should I say flock.

But these are desperate times for Carly the billionairness and destroyer of corporate valuations. According to a Public Policy Institute of California (pdf.) poll conducted in mid January, Tom Campbell is leading both Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore in the race to win the Republican nomination for the right to challenge Senator Barbara Boxer in the fall.

Campbell polls 27 percent among likely voters compared to 16 percent for Fiorina and 8 percent for DeVore. But there's still 48 percent who haven't focused or made up their minds. The margin of error for primary voters is 5 points.



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Stormy Weather Ahead

Despite a Republican boycott of the proceedings, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer approved climate change legislation today. If you think the healthcare debate was contentious, you ain't seen nothing yet. This battle promises to be far uglier. Brace yourselves for stormy weather.

Eleven of the 12 Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to approve the measure. Only Senator Max Baucus from coal-rich Montana voted against the bill. None of the seven Republicans who sit on the committee were present for the vote because of an effort to derail the legislation tactically. The legislation had been tied up in the committee by the Republicans, led by Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who said the bill’s impact on the economy hadn’t been adequately studied. They boycotted most of the panel’s meetings this week to try to prevent a vote until the Environmental Protection Agency reviews the bill further. Such stalling tactics speak to the character of the GOP. As Senator Boxer noted, "The Senate can’t be paralyzed."

From Politico:

With Republican boycotting the proceedings, Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) relied on a little used interpretation of committee rules to move the legislation. Traditionally, two minority members are required to conduct committee business.

Boxer said that she passed the bill "in full accordance with long-standing committee and Senate rules."

"This is not a procedure we wanted; it's a procedure that's available to us," said Boxer. "The majority has to be able to do its work...otherwise the whole Senate could come to a screeching halt."

Republicans called Boxer's move the "nuclear option," warning that it violated decades of committee precedent.

"I am here to appeal to you and the members of the committee," Sen. Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the committee, said in a brief statement. "In the history of this committee, we have not been able to find a time when the bill has been marked up without minority."

A Republican committee member visited the committee daily this week to deliver a short statement laying out GOP objections to the process.

Top Republican committee leaders and several moderate members -- including climate bill leader South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham -- have sent letters this week in support of the boycott.

Eleven Democrats voted for the bill, enough to give the legislation a majority of the 19 members on the committee.

Montana Sen. Max Baucus was the only Democratic to vote against the bill, citing concerns about the agriculture provisions included in the legislation.

But Baucus vowed to use his post as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee to pass a climate bill.

The boycotting of proceedings in order to bring the Senate and the business of the people "to a screeching halt" is the last option available to the GOP. They will destroy the country if need be in order to get their way which is to do nothing at all. The only thing James Inhofe cares about is the energy industry's profits. This is a man who believes that global climate change is "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." The GOP will stop at nothing to derail any climate legislation going forward and we should be prepared for such.

The problem we face is that given Senate rules, a few Republican votes will be required to pass climate legislation because at least a few Democrats have reservations. Both Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota have said they are opposed to cap-and-trade. And both Senator Max Baucus and Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia are concerned that cap-and-trade legislation will hurt their coal-dependent states and won’t support the measure in its current form.

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CA Senate 2010: Carly Fiorina Is In; DeMint Endores DeVore

Oh this is too good to be true. A failed CEO wants to run for the United States Senate even as she admits that she has "not always been engaged in the electoral process." Translation: I don't vote. Way to go there Carly.

At any rate, Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of the Palo Alto-based computer giant Hewlett-Packard, joined the race for the seat currently held by Senator Barbara Boxer with an announcement in an opinion piece in the Orange County Register. She writes incredibly:

Admittedly, I have not always been engaged in the electoral process, and I should have been. For many years I felt disconnected from the decisions made in Washington and, to be honest, really didn't think my vote mattered because I didn't have a direct line of sight from my vote to a result.

Be honest there Carly perhaps you were just lazy or too tired after running a venerable company into the ground. It's unadulterated manure for you, a college-educated, corporate-trained master of the universe type, to suggest that you didn't think your vote didn't matter. You might note that David Packard, one of the founders of H-P, served in government during the Nixon Administration. Oh, but there's more:

Throughout my career I've brought people together, and I've solved problems. And that is what is needed in our government today. People who are willing to set aside ego and partisanship and instead work to develop solutions to our problems.

Oh Carly, you're such a gift from god. An ego is all you have, well that and undeserved millions at shareholder expense. Solved problems? I'm a Hewlett-Packard shareholder. I haven't forgotten what a mess you made. The stock was $52 dollars a share when you took over. When you were fired in 2005, it was $21 a share. You were given a $21 million severance package and named one of the Twenty Worst CEOs of all-time. Now, that's a distinction you truly earned. I'm also a former stock analyst. Let me rate you a "Sell and Dump."

In her announcement, Fiorina recites the usual litany of GOP complaints - the government taxes, spends and regulates too much. We have heard this since time began. Try something new.

She thinks that she is onto something when she suggests that we "put every government budget and every government bill on the Internet for every citizen to see." Carly, let me buy you a clue at the US House of Representatives or the Library of Congress' Thomas Service or perhaps the one for the body you aspire to join United States Senate. Seriously, you can't be this dumb or incurious, can you?

Until now, Senator Boxer's only announced opposition was another gift from god, California State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. A military officer and businessman from Irvine in Orange County, he has been aggressively campaigning for months, positioning himself as the only true nutcase, excuse me, conservative in the race. And is in the NY-23 and down in Florida, the GOP appears headed for a nasty fight. It is failed failed money against a wingnut who once longingly wrote a book about a world war erupting in the Taiwan Straits. Today, uber-conseravative Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina endorsed the uber-nut DeVore. From The Hill:

"Chuck DeVore is a proven, tested conservative who is gaining momentum. He's the kind of leader who we can count on to stand up for common-sense conservative principles in the United States Senate," DeMint said on a conference call Tuesday evening. "If grassroots conservatives get behind him, he can win the primary in June and go on to defeat Barbara Boxer in November."

DeMint's political action committee, the Senate Conservatives Fund, has also endorsed fellow arch-conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). DeMint himself has endorsed Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), with whom he shares a media consultant, for an open Senate seat. DeMint also backed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in New York before enough pressure mounted to force the more liberal GOP nominee out of the race.

One of the most conservative members in the upper chamber, DeMint is also one of those least willing to compromise on Republican ideals. He offered a tepid endorsement of McCain in 2008 after his candidate, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R), dropped out of the presidential sweepstakes, and he has said he would rather have 30 pure conservatives in the Senate than a majority of centrists.

Help make Jim DeMint's wish of just 30 pure conservatives in the US Senate come true and help out Barbara Boxer.

It should also be noted that Senator John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told ABC News that the NRSC will not spend money in a contested primary. That may open the door for candidates like Rubio in Florida and DeVore in California. I'd expect the Club for Growth to raise funds on their behalf.

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Democratic Congress to Obama "Move in My Direction"

If all it takes is singing a little Bananarama to the President-elect, we should do this more often because it worked. Via Politico tonight comes word that the President-elect and his economic team have agreed to "make changes to its stimulus proposal based off of concerns senators raised last week at a meeting with the president-elect's senior aides."

The Obama team told about 35 Senate Democrats gathered at Sunday's meeting that it would grow the size of an energy-tax incentive package and modify proposed tax credits for individuals and for businesses that hire new employees, according to meeting attendees. Also, with lawmakers raising concerns that the first half of the $700 billion of the financial rescue law was badly mismanaged, Obama's team signaled it would lay out precisely how it would spend the second half of that package, which Congress is expected to consider as soon as this week.

Below the fold some rather happy Democratic legislators.

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