The administration's proposal to charge large banks, which enjoy an implicit too-big-too-fail guarantee, is fairly straightforward market economics. Greg Mankiw concedes as much. Then, on the other side, you've got Marco Rubio, conservative dreamboat: Earlier this week, I spoke out against President Obama’s wrongheaded decision to place an onerous and punitive new tax on the financial institutions Americans rely on to loan them money to buy homes, safeguard their money, and fund their businesses.
For all of Washington’s political polarization, the U.S. Senate remains a clubby place. Sure, lawmakers talk smack about the unparalleled malevolence of the opposition, but there is, in general, a high degree of respect for the institution, its members, and its time-honored Way of Doing Things. While the House is known for its ideological cowboys, demagogues, and revolutionaries, the Senate is where bright lines and rough edges tend to get smoothed out in the name of statesmanship and legislative compromise. Clearly, no one told this to Jim DeMint.
Last weekend began with Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, clinging to his job primarily via implicit racial blackmail. Steele’s tenure has consisted of a string of gaffes and managerial blunders, but Republicans had concluded that his color made him un-fireable.
Recent polls show their movement is thought of more favorably by Americans than either the Democratic or Republican Parties. Political independents are said to be attracted more each day. Progressive dissenters against the “pro-corporate” policies of the Obama administration pine for alliances with them. But at the same time, Republican politicians constantly ape their rhetoric and seek to deploy them against their Democratic, and sometimes intraparty, enemies. So the question persists: Is the Tea Party Movement an independent “third force” in American politics?
The trajectory of the Senate race in Florida looks very, very bad for Charlie Crist. His opponent, Marco Rubio, has only one weakness--lack of name recognition--and that is rapidly disappearing. Rubio is perfectly in sync with the current Republican mood, and Crist, who endorsed the federal budget stimulus and favors action to stop climate change--couldn't be more out of step. The latest poll shows Crist and Rubio tied. I predict Rubio will soon pull ahead and never look back. Indeed, I'd be somewhat surprised if Crist is even running in the primary by the time it takes place.
In a piece largely about next month's congressional election in New York's 23rd district, The Wall Street Journal's Naftali Bendavid echoes and enlarges upon some of the points I made in a blog post about the electoral dangers the tea-party movement could present for the GOP: In Florida, Republican leaders were elated when popular Florida Gov. Charlie Crist agreed to run for the Senate. He has adopted policies such as an aggressive approach to global warming that appeal even to Democrats. Those very policies infuriated conservatives, as did Mr.
Last Friday, Florida Governor Charlie Crist tapped his former chief of staff, George LeMieux, to serve out the remaining months of Mel Martinez's Senate term. This is the same Senate seat, of course, that Crist himself is gunning for 2010, if he can just fend off a GOP primary challenge from Marco Rubio. Now, Crist is one of those rare environmental Republicans, and he'd be a decent bet to vote for a climate bill if he were sitting in the Senate right now. So what about his chief of staff?
In recent years, Florida Governor Charlie Crist has been, along with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Connecticut's Jodi Rell, one of the very few truly green Republicans on the national landscape. And I'm not even grading on a curve; Crist really does have a stellar track record. Back in 2007, he signed a series of executive orders to reduce Florida's greenhouse-gas emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, with even stronger targets for electric utilities and state agencies. He's also been instrumental in crafting a deal with U.S. Sugar to buy back and restore parts of the Everglades.
Florida Governor Charlie Crist officially announced this morning that he is running for the U.S. Senate. Minutes later, the National Republican Senatorial Committee endorsed him over Marco Rubio, a former speaker of the state house. Rubio has sought already to cast himself as the more conservative of the two candidates. Most notably, on his campaign website, Rubio has posted an ad linking Crist to Obama.