“Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They’re not having enough of them, they haven’t for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result,” Arthur C. Brooks writes in the Wall Street Journal.
“According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That’s a ‘fertility gap’ of 41 percent. Given that about 80 percent of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections.
“Over the past 30 years, this gap has not been below 20 percent — explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth-voter campaigns today,” said Mr. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Public Affairs and author of the forthcoming “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.”
“Alarmingly for the Democrats, the gap is widening at a bit more than half a percentage point per year, meaning that today’s problem is nothing compared to what the future will most likely hold. Consider future presidential elections in a swing state (like Ohio), and assume that the current patterns in fertility continue. A state that was split 50-50 between left and right in 2004 will tilt right by 2012, 54 percent to 46 percent. By 2020, it will be certifiably right-wing, 59 percent to 41 percent. A state that is currently 55-45 in favor of liberals (like California) will be 54-46 in favor of conservatives by 2020 — and all for no other reason than babies.”
By the calendar
The No. 2 State Department official met with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in midJune 2003, the same time the reporter has testified that an administration official talked to him about CIA employee Valerie Plame.
Official State Department calendars, provided to the Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show thenDeputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage held a onehour meeting marked “private appointment” with Mr. Woodward on June 13, 2003.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has investigated whether Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Mrs. Plame’s identity as a one-time CIA covert operative to punish her husband, former Clinton administration ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who, after a government-sponsored trip to Niger, sought to undermine the Bush administration’s contention that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had sought uranium yellowcake there.
An attorney for the Wilsons said Aug. 22 that, based on the calendar, she was considering adding Armitage to a civil lawsuit accusing Vice President Dick Cheney and two White House aides of conspiring to reveal Mrs. Plame’s identity.
Republican Sen. John McCain, a staunch defender of the Iraq war, faulted the Bush administration on Aug. 22 for leading Americans to believe the conflict would be “some kind of day at the beach.”
The potential 2008 presidential candidate, who a day earlier had rejected calls for withdrawing U.S. forces, said the administration had failed tomake clear the challenges facing the military.
“I think one of the biggest mistakes we made was underestimating the size of the task and the sacrifices that would be required,” Mr. McCain said. “Stuff happens, mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders. I’m just more familiar with those statements than anyone else because it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this task would be.”
Those phrases are closely associated with top members of the Bush administration, including the president, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. McCain was campaigning in Ohio for Republican Sen. Mike DeWine, who faces a tough fight in his re-election bid against Democratic challenger Rep. Sherrod Brown.
Pataki vs. Hillary
“New York Gov. George Pataki stopped by the Monitor last week,” reporter Eric Moskowitz writes in the Concord (N.H.) Monitor.
“Given an opportunity to share his experiences working with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton — and disabuse us of the notion that NewYork’s junior senator is a polarizing figure — Pataki instead issued a rebuke of Clinton,” the reporter said.
“Pataki, who is exploring a Republican bid for the presidency, made no mention of working with Clinton, the perceived Democratic front-runner for the 2008 nomination. Instead, he said she represents what’s wrong with politics today, calling her the embodiment of partisan finger-pointing over bipartisan cooperation.
“ ‘Senator Clinton is one of the most polarizing personalities in American politics, and I think it’s with some justification,’ said Pataki, who called for politicians to seek common ground.
“Pataki said Clinton criticizes without offering solutions. ‘I fear that Senator Clinton has focused more on the negative and on attacking, as opposed to coming up with any positive solutions. In fact, as I sit here, I can’t think of something where she’s said, “Let’s do this together. Let’s set this as a positive agenda.” It’s been more from the outside, criticizing,’ he said. ‘And I just think there’s too much of that in Washington. There’s too much of that in politics.’ ”
Rudolph W. Giuliani says Republican voters want Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008 “so they can vote against her,” the New York Post reports.
“Hillary probably has the distinction of being the bestfundraiser for the Republican Party,” the former New York mayor and possible Republican presidential candidate said Aug. 21 while campaigning in Saratoga, N.Y., for Republican Rep. John E. Sweeney.
“It’s true that she creates a lot of passion on both sides,” he said. “Democrats seem to support her as their main candidate for president — she’s way ahead of anybody else — and it seems like Republicans are just waiting for her to be the candidate so they can vote against her.”
Republicans have lost their way when it comes to many core Republican Party principles and may be in jeopardy heading into the fall elections, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Nebraska Republican, said on “Fox News Sunday” on Aug. 20.
Mr. Hagel, a possible presidential candidate in 2008, said the party today is very different party from the one when he first voted Republican.
“First time I voted was in 1968 on top of a tank in the Mekong Delta,” said Mr. Hagel, a Vietnam veteran. “I voted a straight Republican ticket. The reason I did is because I believe in the Republican philosophy of governance. It’s not what it used to be. I don’t think it’s the same today.”
Mr. Hagel asked: “Where is the fiscal responsibility of the party I joined in ‘68? Where is the international engagement of the party I joined — fair, free trade, individual responsibility, not building a bigger government, but building a smaller government?”
His frustration does not lead him to think Democrats offer a better alternative, the Associated Press reports. But Mr. Hagel wants to see the party return to its basic beliefs.
“I think we’ve lost our way,” Mr. Hagel said. “And I think the Republicans are going to be in some jeopardy for that and will be held accountable.”
Chanting “Try Rove for treason,” Cindy Sheehan and more than 50 other war protesters ambushed a reception before President Bush’s adviser Karl Rove spoke at a fund-raiser at a hotel in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 19.
One woman was arrested during a scuffle with police after Mrs. Sheehan and the anti-war demonstrators rushed toward the closed doors and kept chanting loudly after the guests went into the dinner.
Mr. Rove was speaking at an Associated Republicans of Texas dinner, where ticket prices started at $200 per person and raised an estimated $250,000. He was not in the Renaissance Austin Hotel lobby during the reception, the Associated Press reports.
“I want him arrested. He planned the war that killed my son,” Mrs. Sheehan, referring to Mr. Rove, told the officers guarding the door. Mrs. Sheehan’s oldest son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in 2004.
Police then ordered the group to leave, but some protesters had paid for rooms for the night. Those protesters went upstairs, including Mrs. Sheehan.
One protester was able to slip inside the ballroom during the dinner, but was escorted out after shouting about men and women dying, the Austin AmericanStatesman reported Aug. 20.
“Pat, did you get her check before she left?” Mr. Rove quipped to the group’s executive director, Pat Robbins, as the crowd of 300 laughed, the newspaper reported.
“I don’t question the patriotism of our critics. Many are hardworking public servants who are doing the best they can. Some of them are people looking for a free meal,” Mr. Rove said, drawing more laughs.
Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Going after Rove. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan
Woodward’s source? Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage