Yes, the Republicans are not only winning the health care debate, they are slaughtering the Democrats. If the army is shooting at buffalo, the Republicans is the army and the Democrats are the buffalo dropping dead. You can walk on the carcass of dead buffalo from Maine to Alaska, down to San Diego, across to Miami and back to Maine without ever stepping on the ground.
Every time the Republicans take control of the White House, they get what they want even if they don't have a majority in Congress. You can count on the Democrats caving in. Every time the Democrats get control of the White House and 60 percent of Congress, the Republicans get what they want. The Democrats compromise, the Republicans say no, the Democrats compromise again, the Republicans say no, the Democrats compromise again and so on and so on until the Republicans win a complete victory.
If the current trends continue. The Republicans will take over Congress in 2010. The Democrats just don't get it. Trying to placate the center never works. By not pursuing your beliefs and playing the "median voter theorem game" that Democrats love to play, they lose credibility with the voters. Great leaders such as FDR and (unfortunately Reagan) don't compromise until the end. They bargain hard and get most of what they want.
Bill Maher is right, Obama must become more like George W. Bush. I also believe that Democrats must become more like Republicans. Democrats must learn how to become better bargainers. They try to seek accomodation and compromise too soon and end up not achieving anything. In contrast, Republicans fight hard for what they believe in, and usually win. Reagan and George W. Bush got most of what they wanted even when they did not have the majority of Congress. Democrats lose and blame it on that they had only had 59 percent of Congress. History suggests that most legislation is passed within the first two hundred days of a new presidency. The best opportunity for Obama for meaningful legislative change is running out.
I predict that Congress will pass individual mandates with no public option and hail it as historical universal health care legislation. In reality, most of the uninsured will ignore the new law and not buy health insurance. However, in the short run, some of the uninsured will be scared into buying health insurance. This increase in demand will cause health insurance premiums to soar as they did in Massachussetts. The end result will be that the number of uninsured will drop only slightly.
I think you are misinterpreting my comments. What I'm saying is that the Fourteenth Amendment states that fundamental rights pertain to the states. There was a time when people took a fundamental right as one of the first nine amendments to the constitution. But the Supreme Court said no. For example, the Court did say that the right to a jury trial was a fundamental right, but having 12 jurors was not a fundamental right. My reasoning is that if the Supreme Court rules that the Right to Bear arms is an individual right, then it should be a fundamental right. If it's not a fundamental right, then what is the standard applied? If the Seventh Circuit says that the Second Amendment is not incorporated into the states, then it's also saying that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right. I think the Seventh Circuit decision will be reversed by the Supreme Court. As I've been saying, the better argument is to say that its a fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment, but the right is not absolute.
You still can't go to a crowded auditorium and yell fire, even if in a public university.
In regarding to religion, you have two clauses in the First Amendment: The Free Exercise Clause, and the Separation of Church and State. Thus, I would argue that public schools cannot advocate for a specific religion, but they can't stop its students from believing in a specific religion. Sometimes the two clauses clash.
Then you shouldn't believe in gun control laws at all. I'm suggesting what gun control advocates should argue, not what anti-gun control advocates should argue. But remember, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that Freedom of Speech is not an absolute inherent right.
The analogy shouldn't be taken too literarally. The key is that Freedom of Speech is not an absolute right.
However, what you say is quite interesting. Under the First Amendment, private institutions can curtail speech. Thus, the analogy would be private institutions being able to curtail the right to bear arms.
Now, I'm not sure whether a University cannot curtail speech. I'm sure that a Private University can kick a student out of their school for their beliefs or what they say. Malls can restrict speech, too. However, they cannot curtail protected speech in a public forum.
When the Fourteenth Amendment was first passed, almost every one thought that the first nine amendments to the constitution were the fundamental rights that applied to the states. However, conservative judges narrowed the definition to what a fundamental right is.
Now I suppose one could argue that the right to bear arms is not a fundamental right, even if its an individual right. I think there is a slippery slope here that could render the Fourteenth Amendment meaningless, just like the Ninth Amendment has been rendered meaningless by conservative judges.
I believe that progressives should argue that the right to bear arms is an individual right, but that its not an absolute right. Thus, gun control laws are on solid constitutional grounds.
Progressives should use the First Amendment Freedom of Speech principles and apply it to the Second Amendment by arguing that the individual right to bear arms is not an absolute right. From this perspective, gun control legislation would be on solid constitutional grounds.
For example, under the First Amendment you have no right to yell "fire!" in a crowded theater. Likewise, under the Second Amendment you would have no right to arm yourself with an atomic bomb. Progressives should argue that some type of balancing test should apply to see if a gun control law stands up to scrutiny.
The argument that the right to bear arms is a collective right and not an individual right does not have the support of a majority of constitutional law scholars (At least that's what I've heard). First, the Second Amendment is in the section of Bill of Rights where individual rights are listed, and Second, it was commonly understood in the eighteenth century that without the individual right to bear arms, state militias could not recruit members.
To win the GOP nomination you have to already be well known. Most GOP nominees were previous second place finishers, such as Reagan, Bush, Dole and McCain. For Reagan, the third time was the charm as he had previously ran in 1968 and 1976. George W. Bush is the exception and won the first time around, but he was the son of a president so he was well known. Thus, expect Huckabee or Romney to be the next GOP nominee. The true fight will be to see who will be the front runner in 2016.
In the few abortion rulings that Sotomayor has ruled, she has generally ruled in favor with the anti-abortion groups. However, that may be because she feels that on the appellate court she must follow precedent. My guess is that she will rule to restrict abortions but not outlaw them.
Generally, presidents have a honeymoon period when they first take office. Almost always, their popularity falls over time until there is a game changing event. In this case, Obama took office when the economy was in free fall. Thus, as the economy continues to contract, his popularity ratings will go down. If the economy turns around by early next year, the Republicans will be in deep trouble (like being endangered as a minority party for the next generation); so I wouldn't worry about poll numbers until next year.
According to the Minneapolis Tribune, Coleman is seeking to reinstate the original vote count and argue that the whole recount was unconstitutional on Equal Protection grounds. Thus, Coleman wants to throw ballots out, not count more ballots. Given that the Minnesotat Supreme Court is dominated by Republican, he may just win.
Let Texas annex Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. Make that whole section of the country one state. To keep the number of states 50, lets divide Massachusetts into six equal states. If we did that, then the Democrats would gain quite of few senate seats and electoral votes.