Thursday, October 29, 2015

2.3 New Speaker

1. Hard-liners want the House Democrats to use routine and critical pieces of must-pass legislation as leverage to secure ideological concessions from the White House.
2. Pragmatists do not expect Obama to compromise his core values in order to maintain the basic functions of government. Republican demands that he do so brings the GOP into disrepute.    
3. Paul Ryan wanted family time and relief from the speaker's traditional fundraising obligations. Ryan also wanted the backing of all GOP subcaucuses and he wanted to curb the use of a procedural motion.
4. Several dozen members of Ryan's caucus fundamentally disagreed with him about strategy, and dozens more wouldn't publicly admit that they disagreed with him.
5. Paul Ryan's reputation as a Republican will be that he helps Democrats after he will pass a must-pass bill.

2.2 Future of the Democratic Party

1. Republicans make up 70 percent of state legislatures, more than 60 percent of governors, and 55 percent of attorney generals and secretaries of state. 
2. The Republicans are sure that they will not lose power in the House and are craving an argument about how to use the power they have best. 
3. State legislature elections run the redistricting process for the House of Representatives, so the greatest level of electoral entrenchment is possible. 
4. Seven states are completely in control of Democratic governments. They have Democrats in both houses of state legislature and have Democratic governors. 
5. Republican controlled state governments have restricted abortion rights, spread union-hostile "right to work" laws, curbed voter rights, and laid off teachers and other workers.
6. 24% of the US population is under Democratically controlled government. 
7. Republicans are likely to continue to control legislature, because the natural distribution of population in the United States tends to lead the average House district to be more GOP-friendly than the overall population. Most incumbents are Republicans, and they have large advantages in House elections. 
8. The Democratic agenda is dead on arrival at the federal level. The Republican agenda is to change nothing and just hope for better luck or to shift left on immigration to appeal to Hispanics. 
9. Hispanic votes could add a new demographic to Republican voters and secure their party even more in some new states. 
10. The Democratic party is becoming more liberal on the issues of same-sex marriage, gun control, and raising minimum wage. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

2.1 Trump and Bernie

1. The party decides who the nominee for president will be. Specifically, party insiders have a say in who the nominee will be.
2. During the first debate, FoxNews wanted to discredit Donald Trump by using the debate as a trap for Trump.
3. In the election polls, Republican voters are motivated by a desire to go against the elites of the party. The party insiders usually decide the nomination, but voters want to decide for themselves.
4. Romney was the one most likely to win the nomination, so he won. He had political endorsements and had run in the 2008 election as well.
5. Endorsements showed that party insiders clearly backed one candidate before Iowa, and that candidate always won the nomination. Endorsements were the best predictors of presidential nominees.
6. In this nomination season, the Republican elites are backing Jeb Bush. However, the number of people backing him is relatively low.
7. The major determinant in who becomes the nominee is the status of the candidate. The candidate is typically holding an office in the party or is a national figure.
8. To influence primaries, parties can influence the primary calendar, change ballot qualification requirements, and limit the number of debates. Parties can also back candidates with financial resources.
9. Republican voters do not think that their party is doing a good job of representing their views on major issues.
10. Early polls aren't always predictive, and voters tend to get more reasonable as the primaries begin. Trump's volatile personality could easily get him into trouble with voters. In the end, the Republican insiders will not back Trump, and that could make it difficult for him to win the nomination.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

1.1 Why Boehner Resigned

1. Boehner is stepping down because of the chaos in the House that is difficult to control. Boehner did not want to have to deal with the fight about a possible government shutdown, so he basically got out while he still could. 
2. There is an election in the House to choose a replacement for Speaker of the House. 
3. Conservatives believe that Boehner was unable to deliver conservative policies despite huge electoral gains. Boehner wanted to avoid extreme tactics. Conservatives wanted more than what Boehner would provide for them.
4. The coming government funding showdown revolves around Planned Parenthood. Federal money is going to Planned Parenthood to reimburse them for health-care services, but Planned Parenthood may use that money for other things. This angers many Republicans, because they do not like that the government is indirectly paying for abortions.
5. The Tea Party has teamed up with some Republican conservatives, so they can can promote a Republican to lead the House.
6. Boehner believes that House Republicans already accomplished what they could realistically achieve. They would not push the boundaries that the conservatives desperately wanted to push.
7. Kevin McCarthy, a Californian Republican, is the most likely choice to replace Boehner. I think he may not do a great job, because he is stuck in the same situation as Boehner. He has similar views to Boehner, so the conservatives will be unhappy with him.