Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat down with CNN’s John King for an interview and criticized the Republicans for being inconsistent and hypocritical since they took control of Congress on Wednesday.

If Pelosi was expecting the Republicans to play nice-nice with them then she really is delusional especially after the way she ran Congress for the last four years running roughshod over the GOP at every turn.

Pelosi makes it seem as if all the Republicans who railed against Obamacare made a pledge to reject government insurance if they were elected.  In fact there were very few candidates that made this pledge.  What they did say was they would vote to repeal Obamacare.

Frankly I don’t blame Democrats or Republicans from accepting the government run health care as it is far superior to what they could get in the private sector.  What they should be doing is not putting themselves above their constituents and creating programs that are better than what the general public can buy or that cost taxpayers more money.

As the Speaker Pelosi was an imperious leader and she shows no signs of backing down from the leadership style that eventually cost the Democrats control of the House and her the top job in Congress.

Remember that 19 Democrats voted against her as the Speaker on Tuesday in a protest to her leadership.  What is even more interesting is that this number was higher than the 13 that bucked the Democrats on Obamacare revealing a chink in the armor.  Rather than criticize the GOP from the get go Pelosi should be trying to mend the fences with her disaffected fellow members before the entire Democrat coalition comes tumbling down.

I did a quick tour today of some of the precincts in my district in Maryland today and much to my dismay I found that the early voting only reinforced the stanglehold Democrats have over state politics.

Voter registration in Maryland runs approximately 2 to 1 in favor of the Democrats and in Montgomery County that advantage is slightly larger in most of the districts.  The result is that Republican candidates such as myself for state office face an almost impossibly high hurdle in an effort to win.

For example in my race for State Senate I calculated that would need the votes of 90% of the registered Republicans and Independents to even come reasonably close to winning.  I didn’t factor in receiving any crossover votes from Democrats as Montgomery County is so liberal that I figured this was not even remotely possible. The Democratic primary was very bitter but rather than vote for a Republican I was told from supporters of the losing candidate that they would most likely not vote in this particular race.

Now back to what I found today in visiting about 40% of the precincts in my district. 

In my old precinct 208 Democrats and 37 Republicans had voted by 10 a.m.  At another precinct Democrats had cast 176 votes to 76 for the GOP by mid-day.  The last precinct I visited showed 370 Democrats and 146 Republicans cast ballots by 3 p.m. 

All of these numbers are above the 2 to 1 ratio and in the case of my old precinct greater than 5 to 1 which doesn’t bode well for any Republican candidate today in the state but is extremely bad news for the former governor Bob Ehrlich who is seeking to recapture the job he lost four years ago.

What makes this even worse for Ehrlich is that he set up a headquarters in Montgomery County with the express purpose of improving his vote totals from four years ago which he considered vital for a victory this year.

Instead based on the early returns he may wind up doing far worse as his campaign has failed to gain much traction in the county and as he has spent less and less time campaigning here election day drew closer which isn’t exactly a sign that he is expecting to win.

With the Republicans expected to regain control of the House of Representatives tonight the Democratic victories will be one of the few bright spots for the party tonight and only reinforce how out of step the state is with the rest of the country.

The state is the epitome of one-party rule and after tonight the Democrats will only strengthen their grip on elected offices as they will be in charge of redistricting and will inevitably divide Republican voters up into even smaller chunks than currently exist ensuring that one-party rule will continue for at least another decade.

Yet even with this stanglehold on the electorate by the Democrats there were a couple of bright spots today in my travels.  One was that for the first time in some 42 years of observing precinct activity was the very noticable lack of effort by the teachers union in the county.  If nothing else  one could always count on a show of force by the teachers to push their liberal union backed candidates for the school board. On the surface it may be a non-partisan race but in reality the board is very political.  Yet in visits at a dozen precincts there was only one that had an active educator handing out literature. 

The other somewhat hopeful sign was that not all the precincts had manned Democrat party tables.  For a county with a very active Democrat base this was shocking to see.  In fact at one precinct their was only a box of sample ballots in a box on the ground and no person in sight to hand them out.

Maybe just maybe the enthusiasm gap that the media has spoken about has reached all the way down to the state political level which could prove to be problematic for the Democrats at some time in the future if it accelerates unexpectedly giving the Republicans a chance to snag a few seats down the line.

This could be one of those historic nights nationwide so be prepared for a long night.

House Republicans for the first time in recent memory banded together last night and voted against the Democratic stimulus bill backed by President Barack Obama.

Even though the passage of the bill was never in doubt with the Democrats firmly in control of the House, President Obama had hoped to obtain some support from the GOP. He even went as far as visiting Republican House and Senate leaders on Tuesday in a last ditch attempt to woo them in addition to keeping up his image of bipartisanship.

In the end though all 177 Republicans voted against the bill and brought 11 Democrats with them which only added insult to injury for Nancy Pelosi and the President.

Democrats weren’t very happy with the GOP’s resolve. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said of the Republicans “They repeatedly are slapping the outreached hand of Democrats who are attempting to work in a bipartisan way” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Exactly which Democrats are reaching out? Certainly not Speaker Pelosi who said on Tuesday that “We had an election which was about our differing views … the American people agreed with us”

Maybe Rep. Wasserman Schultz missed that meeting.

Barack Obama campaigned on the theme of hope and change. Instead the stimulus bill is just more of the same pork barrel spending that Democrats have been famous for. After all what kind of stimulus will be provided for by another $650 million in digital TV conversion coupons?

Regardless of the pork we are now halfway there. The bill passed last night carries a price tag of $819 billion; the Senate version is closer to $900 billion. Yet the Democrats paid little attention to a GOP alternative of approximately $475 billion.

History has shown that government spending to stimulate the economy will have little if any long term effect and will only saddle our children and grandchildren with an even larger debt burden that they can’t possibly hope to repay in their lifetimes.

For the Democrats at this point it’s all about making sure they maintain control and not what is best for the country.

The Democratic party which has been celebrating a resounding victory in last month’s election has hit a bump in the road with two post November losses.

Just last week Sen. Saxby Chambliss who failed to receive enough votes in November to avoid a runoff soundly defeated his challenger Jim Martin.  While the Democrats and the media were pooh-poohing the Republican victory it served notice that without Barack Obama on the ticket and his lack of involvement in the Martin campaign that a weak candidate can’t win in a Democratic year without major support from the party.

Even more surprising was 41-year old Anh “Joseph” Cao’s victory over Democratic Rep. William Jefferson Saturday in another runoff election.  The GOP was so sure that despite Jefferson’s ethical problems he would win that they didn’t bother to devote any resources to his campaign.   This one probably hurts more than the Chambliss win since it was supposed to be an easy victory for Jefferson in a safe Democratic district.

Granted Jefferson was a wounded candidate having been indicted in 2007 on 16 counts of corruption, but even after the FBI raided his home in 2006  and found $90,000 in cash in his freezer the voters returned him to office.

Jefferson’s ongoing legal troubles were a headache for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and she has tried her best to protetct her colleague while appearing in public to be interested in fighting corruption and deceit in Congress.  Her handling of an investigation of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) is just one example of her foot dragging to protect fellow Democrats rather than urge them to step aside or resign while the investiagtion is taking place.

Just like the Georgia fiasco,  Barack Obama didn’t get involved in the campaign and let Jefferson run on his own merits.  That proved to be a big mistake.

The media has largely ignored the significance of these victories  by the GOP, unlike all the attention they gave to the special elections to fill House seats prior to November when they portrayed this as proof of Democratic momentum.  No such pronouncements of the GOP regaining some of the ground they lost in November with these victories were made by the press.  After all why would they want to spoil the coronation of Barack Obama that will take place next month with negative election results?

At this stage it really is too early to see if these races constitute and trend or a buyers remorse on the part of the voters who may have realized that they have given the Democrats complete control of the government.  But it does give a glimmer of hope to the GOP that as long as they can articulate their message to the voters that they can reverse the Democrats recent momentum and bring back some parity to Congress in 2010 and beyond.

At a debate sponsored by BGR Holding, Inc.  Republican strategist Ed Rogers faced off against fellow BGR associate and Democratic strategist Michael Meehan to discuss their views on the election.

Rogers started off by saying that as far as the elction goes “It’s not good for McCain but it’s not over” a statement that he repeated often during the hour long session today in Washington, D.C.  In looking at the difficulties that McCain faces Rogers said that he is facing three big hurdles.  The first is that only twice since 1850 has a two-term president (excluding FDR) been succeeded by a member of his own party.  Second, he is saddled with an unpopular president whose approval ratings are at 17% lower than Richard Nixon’s when he resigned.  Third and maybe most important of all is the fact that campaign with the most money has the advantage.  Considering that Obama has just announced raking in $150 million in September and is buying ads everywhere he will have maximum exposure during the last 2 weeks of the campaign while McCain struggles to match him.

The one reason that Rogers thinks that McCain is still in the race is that Obama has not been able to get above 50% in the polls and said that a front runner loses by staying below 50% and allowing his opponent to hang around.  Add in the fact that the last Democratic presidential candidate to get 50% was Jimmy Carter and you can see why he is still somewhat optimistic.

For Meehan’s part he was confident but cautiously optimistic.  After having worked on the Kerry campaign he know how quickly predictions of victory can turn sour and stopped short of calling for an Obama victory.

On the other hand he did point out that the Democrats are in great shape.  They have added over 300,000 voters to the rolls in North Carolina and another 687,000 Democrats in Florida giving them the possibility in a close race of winning both states.  Meehan added that traditionally 85& of newly registered voters do vote and those numbers alone in Florida could be enough to tilt the state to Obama.

Meehan mentioned that after being on the short-end of taxes for 25 years , McCain gave that issue back to the Democrats with his healthcare proposal that would tax benefits and for which Obama has been hammering him on in a countless number of ads.  Now the Democrats can play offense for a change on this issue and it is working.

While Meehan mentioned that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scares the living daylights out of him he is grateful that McCain didn’t use this against Obama as in polling earlier in the year he discovered that this was a key issue with voters.

And yet despite all the stumbles in the debates, in defections from some conservatives in the media and outright policy fumbles McCain is still within striking distance.  This has led to a strange declaration by Obama on the campaign trail telling supporters that he could still lose while the polls show he is gaining momentum at precisely the right time.

The truth of the matter is that no one really knows how the election will turn out.  Polls are based on sample of about 1,000 people and there is no lie detector hooked up to them when they answer questions.  So while the outlook for the GOP seems bleak there is still a glimmer of hope that voters will wake up and smell the coffee and vote for a divided government in November.

At the California state Republican convention  in Anaheim this past weekend politicians were scarce but none was more notably absent than Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who has seen his popularity plummet across the state.

Schwarzenegger who is term limited has had a rocky relationship with the GOP faithful in California ever since he emerged on the scene as the candidate to replace Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.  Back then the conservatives in the party were suspicious of Schwarzenegger’s true poiltical leanings but seemed willing to place their trust in him in order to mreclaim the governor’s mansion.  By 2006 when it came time for Schwarzenegger to run for a full term the conservatives were proven right about his liberal leanings but couldn’t find a legitimate candidate to challenge the still popular governor.

Yet the bloom has now come off the rose for all voters, as Schwarzenegger has watched over a worsening budget deficit and has openly embraced Democratic state legislators and their liberal agenda.

Still until fairly recently the governor made regular appearances as the state party convention and was still a popular draw, but it looks like the conservatives at least may have had enough of Arnold.

To be fair Schwarzenegger didn’t miss much this weeekend as for some inexplicable reason there were no politicans with booths except for the McCain campaign which is the first time I can recall seeing that in 19 years of attending this event.  Hopefully the lack of party business was largely the reason for the low attendance and not any general malaise on the part of Repiblicans statewide.

If there was any enthusiasm it was for t-shirts bearing the image or name of Sarah Palin.  Vendors selling those goods saw their products literally fly off the shelves and only underscored the difference Palin has made since joining the ticket.  I spoke with one vendor  selling Palin Flower Power t-shirts for women and she said that she has seen a resurgence of enthusiasm for McCain after the Palin announcement and she counts herself in that group.

California was once a state that the GOP could contest and stand a reasonable chance of winning, but as more immigrants take hold the state has turned blue enough that the RNC rarely makes much of an effort in the state which only hurts the down ticket and further strenghthens the Democrats grip on national offices.

I know many Republicans who are discouraged enough to not even bother attending the state convention but that is a defeatest attitude that won’t help the party at all.  There will be  a battle for the governor’s mansion again in 2010 and the GOP had better start girding for that fight right now or it will be lights out.