Monthly Archives: January 2015

Bloggers and the First Amendment

It has been a year since a federal appeals court ruled that bloggers have the same  First Amendment protections as journalists when it comes to the issue of defamation.

Do you believe that bloggers should be afforded those same protections?


Why Polls Don’t Matter At This Point

The polls listed below should demonstrate to everyone why surveys regarding Presidential hopefuls mean little at this point.  For example, even though then-VP George Bush won his party’s nomination in 1988, Senator Howard Baker who was third in a 1987 poll never ended up running for President.  In 1999, Elizabeth Dole and former VP Dan Quayle dropped out of the running before the January 2000 Iowa Caucus.  The country never had a President Rudy Giuliani or a Republican nominee by the name of Giuliani.  Sarah Palin did not run in 2012.  Neither did Chris Christie nor Mitch Daniels nor George Pataki for that matter.  So why take a poll at this time?  Do they matter?  Do you see any of these candidates emerging as the front runner for the GOP nomination?

The Senate and The Super Bowl

Being a political scientist and a sports fan, I thought it would be interesting to see if there were any political trends as to predicting a winner in the Super Bowl.  For the purposes of this post, I thought I would look at the years when the United States Senate has changed hands (i.e. shift in party majority) and did that correlate to a winner in the following Super Bowl.  Here’s what I found:

1980:  Republicans win Senate; 1981:  Oakland (AFC) defeats Philadelphia (NFC)

1986:  Democrats win Senate; 1987:  New York Giants (NFC) defeats Denver (AFC)

1994:  Republicans win Senate; 1995:  San Francisco (NFC) defeats San Diego (AFC)

2006:  Democrats win Senate; 2007:  Indianapolis (AFC) defeats Chicago (NFC)

2014:  Republicans win Senate; 2015:  ?

I hoped to find a clear correlation between the party winning the Senate and the conference winning the Super Bowl.  That I did not find.  However, what I do see is that when the Republicans win back the Senate, the team from the West wins the Super Bowl, while the team from east of Mississippi wins the big game when the Democrats win back the Senate in the previous year.  So, in all fun and games, let’s just say that Seattle will win the Super Bowl.

First Amendment Freedoms

Federalism and Ideology

What is federalism?  There are several definitions for it, but I like to think that federalism is the sharing and distribution of power and resources between the federal government and the states.  You can also add “…and the local governments” when you discuss the separation of powers between the levels of government.  For the purposes of this discussion, let’s examine two different views.  The first view, the decentralist view contends that the Constitution is a compact among the sovereign states which gave the central government a limited framework to work from.  Those who oppose such a framework would be centralists.  Centralists see the Constitution as the supreme law of the land and that the states are not the representative of the people.  Centralists claim that the representative of the people is the national government.

Where do you stand on the idea of federalism?  Today’s centralists are more of the socialist and liberal variety while the decentralists are more conservative or libertarian in their thinking.

This Week’s Memorabilia — John Anderson

This is a button from the John Anderson for President campaign in 1980.  Anderson was a Republican congressman from Illinois who lost to Ronald Reagan in the Republican primaries that year.  He decided to run as an Independent or in some states a National Unity, candidate.  Anderson polled very well in the Summer and early Fall of 1980, but as the campaign inched closer to November, Anderson faltered.  His campaign finished third behind Reagan and President Jimmy Carter.  Why is it difficult for Independent candidates to win the Presidency?  (None have.)


Do You Follow Politics?