August 9th, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Is another religious, conservative Republican governor from Texas the answer to our prayers?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The great Yogi Berra said, "it's like deja vu all over again."
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/08/09/art.rick.perry.jpg caption=""]
What we have here apparently is another religious, conservative Republican governor from Texas who wants to be president.

Only this one's last name isn't Bush.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is expected to strongly signal his intention to run for president in a speech in South Carolina on Saturday.

Perry's announcement is timed perfectly to upset the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames which is also on Saturday. Although Perry's name isn't on the ballot in Iowa, supporters are waging a write-in campaign.

After the speech in South Carolina, Perry is off to New Hampshire and then to Iowa to headline a fundraiser Sunday night.

The tea party favorite already has a certain appeal among conservatives who are looking for more options in a pretty sad Republican field. Working in Perry's favor, the Texas economy is doing better than most. Almost 40% of all the new jobs created in the U.S. since the recession started are in Texas. The state also has a balanced budget.

But Haven't we been here and done this? We already lived though eight years of a Christian evangelical governor from Texas in the White House... and we're still in therapy from the trauma of that little experiment gone awry.

This past weekend, Perry addressed believers at an all-day prayer vigil in Houston. Perry asked God to help comfort Americans stung by the troubled economy. He also prayed for President Obama.

He did all this in a stadium that was less than half full. And what about that separation of church and state thingy?

Here’s my question to you: Is another religious, conservative Republican governor from Texas the answer to our prayers?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Conservaives v. Liberals • GOP • GOP Ticket • Religion • Republican Party • Republicans
September 22nd, 2010
04:49 PM ET

Why do Palin and O'Donnell attract so much attention?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It feels like Sarah Palin all over again.

Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell burst onto the national stage with her upset win in the primaries; and suddenly everyone can't seem to get enough of her.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/22/art.odonnell.jpg caption=" U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell smiles at supporters before doing a television interview at her Senate primary night party on September 14, 2010 in Dover, Delaware. "]
This is despite the fact that O'Donnell has some big question marks on her resume - just like Sarah Palin. She's come under fire for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal expenses-just like Sarah Palin.

O'Donnell has also been in the spotlight for saying years ago she "dabbled in witchcraft" and had one of her first dates with a witch "on a satanic altar." And she's used her views on abstinence to rule out masturbation.

After her last-minute cancellation of two Sunday show appearances over the weekend, O'Donnell announced Sarah Palin advised her not to do any more national media interviews, and instead focus on local media.

Based on Sarah Palin's disastrous interviews with Katie Couric, that's probably not bad advice. I wonder if it means O'Donnell is as poorly informed on the issues as Sarah Palin was.

It all sounds so familiar. Palin's resume is littered with goofy comments like saying you can see Russia from Alaska or not being able to name a single newspaper she reads.

Palin quit as governor of Alaska midway through her first term. She often refuses to talk about lots of issues with the media, unless it's with the F-word network - which pays her.

But none of that seems to matter. Sarah Palin has become a huge celebrity who is seriously being talked about as a possible presidential contender. Just what we need. Remember the McCain campaign?

Here’s my question to you: Why do people like Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell attract so much attention?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


February 18th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

What do you see as future of the Tea Party movement?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Sarah Palin is telling Tea Partiers they have to pick a party - either Republican or Democrat.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/18/art.tea.jpg caption="FILE PHOTO: Tea Partiers protested Congress' and Pres. Obama's health care reform efforts back in September."]
Speaking to Republicans in Arkansas, Palin started by praising the Tea Party, calling it a "grand movement" that she loves because it's "all about the people."

But she was quick to say tea party candidates won't win in our two-party system unless they join an established party. No surprise which one Palin thinks they'd be better of with.

Meanwhile there's a new poll that sheds some light on who actually makes up the Tea Party movement.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows activists are mostly male, rural, college-educated and overwhelmingly conservative.

The survey shows about 11 percent of Americans say they've actively supported the Tea Party either by giving money or going to a rally; and another 24 percent say they favor the movement but haven't taken any actions to support it. That's a total of 35 percent who could be described as Tea Party supporters. Not an insignificant number....

Which is exactly why it could be a problem for the GOP. If the Tea Party movement succeeds in getting candidates on the ballot, they could wind up splitting votes with the Republicans - and ultimately help the Democrats win.

Which is probably why Sarah Palin is asking them to pick a side. Meanwhile not such a great turnout for Palin at that Arkansas event. Reportedly less than half of the lover level seats were occupied in the 18,000 seat hall and the entire upper level was covered in black drapes.

Here’s my question to you: What do you see as the future of the Tea Party movement?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?


April 15th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

What to do about rise in right-wing extremism?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Yet another sign that when economic times are tough, things can get ugly: A new report suggests that right-wing extremism in the U.S. may be on the rise. The Department of Homeland Security says these groups might be using the recession and the election of the country's first African-American president as tools to recruit members.

The Department of Homeland Security says membership in extremist groups like this may be increasing.

They say there's "no specific information" on planned violence by domestic right-wing terrorists; but real-estate foreclosures, unemployment and tight credit could all lead to a "fertile recruiting environment." There's even the possibility of confrontations between these groups and government authorities.

The report says many right-wing extremists are antagonistic toward President Obama and his perceived policies on issues like immigration, expanding social programs to minorities and restrictions on owning guns.

It also points to concerns about anti-Semitism, saying some people are blaming the loss of jobs and home foreclosures on a conspiracy planned by a "cabal of Jewish financial elites."

The report cites "lone wolves and small terrorist cells" as the biggest threat - because their low profile makes it hard to catch them before they act.

The Southern Poverty Law Center agrees that President Obama's election may have boosted membership in some groups, but questions the link to the economy.

Meanwhile at least one conservative radio talk show host suggests that this report is meant to step on free speech and First Amendment Rights - which the Department of Homeland Security denies. It's probably worth pointing out that the Obama administration also issued a warning about left-wing extremists in January.

Here's my question to you: What should be done about a potential increase in right-wing extremism?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


May 9th, 2008
05:20 PM ET

Why are conservatives happier than liberals?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Conservatives are happier than liberals.

A study published in the journal "Psychological Science" says it's because conservatives are better at rationalizing inequalities.

Regardless of someone's income, marital status or church attendance, people with right-wing ideologies report greater satisfaction with their lives than those with left-wing beliefs. Researchers found that conservatives also score highest when it comes to the ability to justify inequalities.

For example, a conservative might support the idea of a meritocracy – that if you work hard and perform well, you'll move up the economic ladder… and if you don't, you probably won't. But the study shows liberals tend to be troubled by this. Inequalities take a greater psychological toll on liberals, apparently because they can't rationalize away the gaps in society and thus end up more frustrated by them.

The study goes on to say that this research can be applied to areas other than economic inequalities. One example is that feminists may not be as happy in their marriages as more traditional women because they're frustrated with the division of domestic chores.

These latest results go along with a Pew poll from 2006. It found 47% of conservative Republicans described themselves as "very happy”, compared to only 28% of liberal Democrats who felt that way.

This, then, is our burnt offering for a rainy Friday.

Here’s my question to you: A new study says conservatives are happier than liberals. Why?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?