Free Markets, Free People

Republicans

1 2 3 28

I apologize for Tennessee’s Senator Squish – Lamar Alexander

I don’t get Tennessee politics, even though I’ve lived here almost my entire life. I watched the transition from Democrats to Republicans staring in the 1960s, and I’ve seen the state legislature become one of the most right-leaning in the nation.

In fact, Tennessee’s battle against a state income tax is often credited as being a proto Tea Party effort. A GOP governor (Don Sundquist), who ran promising there would be no income tax, tried to conspire with Democrats and GOP squishes to pass one surreptitiously. Marsha Blackburn’s reputation was made as the whistleblower that started the pushback, and eventually the measure was defeated. Despite gloom and doom predictions from the political establishment about how Tennessee was going to sink into the swamp (or something like that – I don’t really remember the details of their dire predictions) Tennessee has done quite well since then economically and fiscally.

So we have a pretty good limited government base here. Yet statewide offices always seem to go to squishes. Our current governor, Bill Haslam, has to be dragged along by the legislature to get anything done to reduce government power. One senator, Bob Corker, was instrumental in Obama’s sellout to Iran, and to my knowledge has never come out foursquare for anything that seriously advanced the cause of limited government.

And then there’s Lamar! (The exclamation point is a remnant of his failed presidential campaign in the 1990s.)

While governor of Tennessee, Alexander did put a few reforms in place that were moving in the right direction. His educational initiatives, requiring teachers to actually have a degree in something besides basket weaving and papier-mâché, were good.

But as Senator, he fancies himself as the wise old man “balancing everyone’s needs, blah, blah”, and has never come close to any serious limited government measures. In fact, when an establishment GOP member is needed to squishify an effort at limited government and halt its progress, Lamar! is often the volunteer.

Today’s example is over repeal of Obamacare. Lamar wants to decide precisely what the replacement will be before the repeal.

Moreover, there is already some intraparty turmoil over the repeal timeline, starting with Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee. He’s pressing to have a replacement plan ready before tackling repeal, which could significantly delay things, given that Republicans are far from a consensus on what kind of replacement they want.

The Tennessee Republican has notably began swapping the words “repeal and replace,” used by Republicans for years, to “replace and repeal.”

“There’s an eagerness to address it, so I think there’s no doubt we’ll start immediately to replace and repeal Obamacare, but the president-elect has said that the replacement and the repeal need to be done simultaneously, and that means to me that we need to figure out how to replace it before we repeal it,” he said.

As a Tennessean, I apologize that this squish is risking one of the most important steps the new GOP administration needs to take. Anyone who understand how things get done in DC, as Lamar most assuredly does, knows what this will do. The entire effort will be bogged down as Democrats and their media allies excoriate any Republican who intends to vote for repeal. Every special interest with any connection to healthcare will flood DC with every lobbyist they can hire.

If Lamar gets his way, the possibility of failure of repeal will be used as the lever to get everything the political class and their industry allies want in the replacement bill. It’s unlikely to be significantly better than Obamacare in the end

Now, as I said, Lamar has to know this! He’s not stupid, and he’s been in politics a lifetime. Therefore, he *wants* that feeding frenzy of special interests involved in the repeal. He wants to risk sabotaging repeal to get goodies in the replacement for his donors and buddies, and of course hopefully to get some praise from the New York Times and Washington Post as the “elder statesman bringing sanity to the process, etc. etc.”.

Lamar is hooked into all the big donors for the GOP in Tennessee, and a lot of those are in healthcare. Nashville and surrounding areas is one of the major healthcare business centers in the nation. Of course they want their place at the goodie table. And Lamar is all too happy to give it to them – it’s what he’s done the whole time he’s been in DC.

I hope Trump finds a way to get around this squish and his Senate allies. I have a feeling the Obamacare fight is going to set the tone for a lot of things to come. If the establishment GOP squishes find out they can sabotage any serious efforts at reining in government, that will be the pattern for the next two years at least.

We know the Dems haven’t figured this out yet, but has the GOP?

A short history lesson from Dr. Marylin Singleton (email).  This is why it’s a dumb idea to propose doing away with the electoral college:

Message to protesters: the candidates were campaigning for each state’s electoral votes (the number of congresspersons and both senators), the system set forth in our Constitution. The Electoral College treats the states as equal sovereignties and keeps large states from swallowing up the small states.

It is the fight for electoral votes rather than popular votes that results in no one ever having to campaign, for example, in deep dark blue California where the ballot offered the choice between two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate. The skewed voting patterns of California’s 18 million registered voters could account for Clinton’s extra votes.

Majority rule sounds moral but majority rule is not automatically democratic. As Ben Franklin said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner.”

Our country’s founders knew that the “divine right of the majority” was just as bad as rule by “the divine right of kings.” In Federalist No. 10, James Madison argued that direct democracies are “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” In a direct democracy, the individual, and any group of individuals who are in the minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of the majority. If the majority votes to take away your land, you lose your land. If the majority votes to outlaw your business, you lose your business.

This isn’t “new”, or “scary” and certainly not “outdated”.  It is “minority protection”, which, given their supposed focus on minority rights, would be a priority for the left.  But instead we get “wah, wah, wah, change the game, wah!”

Meanwhile, the “dumber than a box of rocks” party, aka the GOP, apparently missed the significance of last week’s vote. It apparently didn’t register as a “anti-business as usual” vote. Not that anyone should be surprised.  They still don’t get it:

 Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday persuaded Republicans to postpone votes on bringing back legislative earmarks until 2017 after reminding members of President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington.

House Republicans were set to hold a secret ballot on changes to their internal conference rules that would have allowed lawmakers to direct spending to projects in their districts under certain circumstances.

You simply cannot fix “stupid”.  Tone deaf, out-of-touch, and clueless are also all good descriptors.  I certainly won’t be surprised if they manage to lose a majority in two years.

Autopsy?  What autopsy?  We know why you awful, sucky deplorables voted for Trump.  It wasn’t out fault!

You could try to figure out where you went wrong losing so many voters who you used to have sewn up. The idea is to figure out how you might be able to prevent similar results in the future. Some call it a “post-event analysis.” In the Army – for the goatee n’ scarf gang, that’s the one that fights on the ground – we call it an “after action review.” Coroners call it an “autopsy.”

And you’ll never, ever do it. Why? Because you are liberals and you already have your answers.

Everyone is racist.

Everyone is sexist.

Everyone is stupid.

Everyone but you, that is. You, the ones the racist, sexist, stupid people beat like a NFL player’s wife.

And speaking of the NFL, have you noticed how its own autopsy of its own dying ratings also seems to have a predetermined outcome, one that studiously avoids any unwelcome conclusions?

Yup.  The NFL and the Dems doing exactly the same thing – ignoring the obvious and inconvenient facts for the simple and convenient lie.  Democrats.  Wilderness.  Some assembly required. Works for me.

Interesting.  I think, in reality, the majority are just glad this election is over and are willing to at least give Trump a chance.

According to GallupFifty-one percent of U.S. adults say they are “more confident” in President-elect Donald Trump’s ability to serve as president based on his statements and actions over the past few days. The percentage “more confident” in Trump a few days after his election is similar to ratings when Bill Clinton and George W. Bush won their respective elections in 1992 and 2000.

It also points out that the majority of Americans have both accepted and are settling in to give the Trump presidency a go.  Of course that’s the honeymoon period all presidents enjoy and unlike recent presidents, more people have voiced a lack of confidence in Trump that with previously newly elected presidents.  What’s going might extend the honeymoon for Trump depends on how long the tantrums continue on the left.  Most Americans like to give a person the benefit of the doubt and unless Trump really does some awful and stupid things (which isn’t necessarily unlikely), they’ll give him a chance.  If the left continues with its whining, crying and hate, they’re more likely to continue to give that chance.  We’ll see.

Is it me?  Or did the pictures of Hillary Clinton look like those of someone who’d been on a week long bender?

Meanwhile in Turkey, Erdogan attempts the old democratic authoritarian stamp of approval (ala Chavez, Hitler, etc.):

Erdogan and his supporters argue Turkey needs the strong leadership of an executive presidency, akin to the system in the United States or France, to avoid the fragile coalition governments that hampered its development in the past.

Opponents see the proposed change as a vehicle for Erdogan’s ambition, and fear it will bring increasing authoritarianism to a country already under fire from Western allies over its deteriorating record on rights and freedoms, especially after widespread purges in the wake of a failed military coup in July.

The AKP, founded by Erdogan a decade and a half ago, is aiming to hold a referendum on the issue next spring and is seeking support from the nationalist MHP opposition order to win parliamentary approval for such a vote.

My guess is if they don’t get the support or the approval, they’ll find another way to make it happen.  Always trust your basest instinct when it comes to politics in any country.  While the public stamp of approval would be wonderful, its really not necessary … to an authoritarian.  Ah, history …

Slate- Labor news you can love: Unemployment claims fall to lowest level since 1973“.  Sigh.  Yes, but what’s the labor participation rate?

In other news, for some alone time is great time.  And especially for the highly intelligent:

There’s no fighting it – humans are innately social creatures. But while it’s widely accepted that socialising makes us happier, this might not be strictly true if you’re highly intelligent.

Evolutionary psychologists from Singapore Management University and the London School of Economics and Political Science found exactly this when they studied more than 15,000 young adults.

They concluded that, while people generally feel happier when they spend time with others, very smart people are an exception to this rule.

So all my “excess” alone time seems to be a good indicator.  Or it could just mean I am a loner in reality.  Lol.

~McQ

May you live in interesting times …

I think we’ve got “interesting times” covered right now, don’t you?

I’ve been reading a lot the last few days because I find this election to be endlessly fascinating.  Oh, it’s like any other election cycle in the sense it has now devolved, on one side, to finger pointing, mea culpas and “I told you so, but you wouldn’t listen” articles where the author attempts to avoid blame for his or her side losing. Oh, and the “it wasn’t the message.  It was the messenger” crap you always see. And, on the other side a series of “this is why he won” pieces where the author is sure he has hit upon primary reason we now await a Trump presidency.

The childish temper tantrums by the special snowflake brigade are new, but not particularly surprising given who is throwing them.

I still feel that, with a very few exceptions, neither side has figured it out completely. Nor will they.  They are, and remain, to out of touch to do so.   The party hacks dearly want to figure it out because they think it will assure victory the next time (assuming they properly “message”). And they honestly believe that in the long run, if they have the right data, manipulate it properly and positively focus group the resultant message they are sure to win.  Each side wants to discover and repeat whatever the magic formula for victory was this time and the other side wants to discover why their current magic formula didn’t work so they can avoid it next time.

As usual, neither will be successful.  Why?  Because they still won’t have a clue about what the people want (and really don’t do much to find out).  And if they do, they’re likely ignore it because it really isn’t what they want.  Hey, the GOP did it for three election cycles until they finally had Trump forced on them.  And, while they have a vague idea why, they still haven’t quite put their finger on it. Thus all the “why he won” articles.

Like this:

Trump won because of a cultural issue that flies under the radar and remains stubbornly difficult to define, but is nevertheless hugely important to a great number of Americans: political correctness.

More specifically, Trump won because he convinced a great number of Americans that he would destroy political correctness.

Yeah, no.  While PC is odious and totally un-American, it isn’t the reason Donald Trump won.  Oh, sure, his supporters would love to see it destroyed and appreciated him confronting it, but it is hard to believe this was the single-most important reason people voted for DT.  In fact, I’m sure it was barely on anyone’s radar screen.

Then there is the article headlined “Trump won because college educated Americans are out of touch“.  Well, again, no.  They were just as out of touch when Barack Obama won, but he still won.  The fact that the author is finally noticing that is a plus (btw, read the article, he really makes some good points about academia’s cluelessness and its inability to assess it’s own obvious shortcomings.)

No, it’s a combination of frustration and anger at being ignored and, frankly, being left behind while government catered to all of these whiny special interest groups and called those who were frustrated and angry names – you know, like “racist” or “homophobe” or “xenophobe” if they had the temerity to think differently than the in-power political culture thought they should think.  And if they said anything, if they spoke up,  they were given the added label of “fascist”, the irony completely lost on the bomb throwers.

You could see the anger and frustration building for years.  For years.  It wasn’t hidden. About immigration.  About the economy.  About jobs. About government intrusion.  About unemployment.  Taxes.  Regulation. Corruption. The healthcare fiasco.  About all sorts of issues.

Our betters simply ignored or refused to do anything  meaningful about any of that.  Or they tried to paint a rainbows and unicorns picture of what anyone could see was a crap sandwich.  Or they simply lied to us. All of it aided and abetted by a corporate media with an agenda.

So now they get to deal with a Trump presidency.

And they have richly earned every single day of it.

~McQ

 

 

Peace, love, tolerance and the left

“I refuse to be lectured on “peace”, “tolerance” and “embracing differences” by people who are wrecking cities and beating people in the street”. -Declan Finn

Finn has it right and I agree.

Watching the children that comprise the left in this country throwing a tantrum because the election didn’t go their way is simply to watch what comes naturally to them. When they win an election its all “we won”, “get over it” and “elections have consequences”.

Well, karma’s a bitch isn’t it? And here, given the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their principles, they do – riot, protest, cry, whine, demand safe spaces, refuse to cooperate and refuse to acknowledge the validity of the election process. Disgusting, infantile display … but not surprising.

Oh, and Leftyfornia wants to secede.  Please, take Oregon and Washington with you.  Once the three of you go bankrupt because no federal money is keeping you afloat, we might think about taking you back – if you renounce the blue model of governing.

Meanwhile reality called and it is giving the left a post-mortem that will likely make them very uncomfortable:

The truth is, most of Trump’s voters voted for him despite the fact that he said/believes awful things, not because of it. That in no way excuses it, but I have to admit I’ve spent eight years quietly tuning out news stories about drone strikes blowing up weddings in Afghanistan. I still couldn’t point to Yemen on a map. We form blind spots for our side, because there’s something larger at stake. In their case, it’s a belief that the system is fundamentally broken and that Hillary Clinton would have been more of the same. Trump rode a wave of support from people who’ve spent the last eight years watching terrifying nightly news reports about ISIS and mass shootings and riots. They look out their front door and see painkiller addicts and closed factories. They believe that nobody in Washington gives a shit about them, mainly because that’s 100-percent correct.

Pretty good points made.  The final line is the clincher.  That’s why.  The “political establishment” on both sides has let the majority of Americans down for decades.  To quote the incompetent occupying the White House’s favorite preacher, those “chickens have come home to roost”.  This was as big an anti-establishment vote as was Brexit.

For those who claim there is nothing good that can come out of the election of Donald Trump, I beg to differ.  Something already has.  The Clinton’s have been pretty much permanently retired from politics.   Thank you, Lord.

And of course, the joker who would be King only has a few months left to further wreck this country.  Like most would be kings, he “govern(ed) as though his opinion was the only one worth considering.”  You can see the result for yourself. More of that sort of thinking is likely to be put into action with a “pen and a phone” in his (thankfully) closing months..

“Look out for the executive orders, the ‘midnight’ regulations and, perhaps most controversially, the pardons,” The Washington Times warns. “As President Obama runs out the clock on his eight-year tenure, analysts say, he still has plenty of business left undone, and they expect him to follow the lead of other presidents and issue a series of rules, to add to his list of executive orders, to continue his record-setting pace of commutations and perhaps add a controversial pardon or two into the mix.”

Frankly, I think you can count on all of this. His legacy, such that it was, is in the crapper anyway, so, why not?  Hillary is counting on him. And, of course, the left will support everything he does.

But what will they do when the shoe is on the other foot?  Ann Althouse’s son says:

“Democrats have been arguing for years that President Obama should have the power to get a lot done on his own, without going through Congress: executive orders, going to war, etc. If President Trump exercises similarly broad powers, remember: Trump didn’t build that!”

~McQ

 

Danger – exploding heads!

I’m still laughing over the stunned looks on the MSNBC hosts faces last night.  The elite were steamrolled and they’re still trying to figure out why?  Let me give you two quick reasons:

  1. Hillary Clinton was a deplorable candidate (thought I’d toss the word “deplorable” at her since it was one she used to characterize the half of the US voting population she despises).  I cannot think of a worse candidate for any major party.  She almost lost to a back bench socialist, and would have, had the primary not been rigged.  She’s never, in her political life, had an approval rating above 48%.  Drop on the email scandal, the appearance of Justice Department manipulation and collusion in the investigation, not to mention Wikileaks and she was destined for the mat and a 10 count.
  2. Donald Trump, like Obama 8 years ago, was the beneficiary of the perfect political storm. How so?  This revolution on the right has been brewing for over 10 years.  The GOP was absolutely deaf to it.  The Tea Party really kicked it off and it worked hard to put GOP politicians in office that would take on the size of government and the out of control spending at a minimum.  Well it did that and what did these politicians do?  Nothing. They gave it lip service for a while, but in the end, they didn’t even try. Obama and the Dems, on the other hand, were expanding both the size and intrusion of government by every means available and continued to spend us into the poor house. The Republicans essentially colluded in this travesty.  Enter the primaries.  The constituency that makes up the right made it clear that establishment GOP members need not apply.  Donald Trump had figured that out and understood their frustration (Paul Ryan finally figured it out and said in remarks today, “Donald Trump heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard.” – Duh!). He appealed to that frustration.  The establishment GOP was clueless.

Result?  President-elect Donald J. Trump.

The Republicans – and the Democrats – got exactly what they had earned by ignoring the “deplorables”.

Certainly there are lots of other reasons that can be tossed on the pile.  But the obvious “demand for change” that was blithely ignored by the GOP is one of the majors.  Horrible Hillary was just the cherry on the top of the cake.

Then there’s this:

To suggest that Trump voters are worried about anything real is to invite scorn from certain corners of the mainstream media. The “economic anxiety” tweet, a special brand of sarcasm that mocks the suggestion that Trump supporters are buttressed by economic forces, has entered the online lexicon. Many cannot stomach the fact that people are driven to Trump by anything besides racism.

Yet the decline felt in certain corners of the country isn’t just about economics; it’s about every element of life — from family to life expectancy to the drugs that have infected communities. The feeling that so many of America’s opinion leaders see your concerns as the product of stupidity at best, or racism at worst, confirms the worst fears of many. They already worry that the coastal elites don’t care about them, and many among those elites seem happy to comply.

This was a total and complete repudiation of what are commonly known as the “ruling elites”.  They have been rebranded as the “out-of-touch elites” with this election.  They are as stunned as anyone.  Why?  Well the title to the article cited is “Life Outside the Liberal Bubble”.  It details why this victory by Trump has caught the left completely off guard.

And you ought to scroll through the rest of the NYT opinion pieces you’ll find on that linked page.  All full of gloom, doom, hate and angst.  Trump hasn’t even taken office and the world is ending.  If you think “Chimpy McBush Hitler” was bad, wait until the leftist hate machine gets over their shock and focuses on their newest target.

Oh, and Paul Krugman?

So we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight. I suppose we could get lucky somehow. But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened.

Because, you know, things didn’t turn out as another elite expected.  Whatta maroon.

Why were the elites so wrong?  Because people see the results of their meddling and are finally angry enough to do something about it.  And not just here.  Trump is just a beneficiary of that anger.  The anger has been boiling for quite some time:

What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligentsia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policymaking goons.

People are simply tired of the prescriptions of the self-described “intelligencia” with no skin in the game and no accountability for the usually dismal outcome of their prescriptions.  And they are deathly tired of the 1-5 listed above.  But they’re stuck, for the moment, with this group. They also know that government, because of its size and intrusiveness, is a problem not a benefit.  They hold these nabobs responsible and want out from under their “guidance” backed by government.  It’s not a far fetched wish and certainly not one I’m at all unsympathetic with.

However, the IYI still hold sway today.  We have one that shows up here every now and then to lend us his “expertise”:

The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities — most people have proper jobs and there are not many openings for the IYI.

Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry.

Sound like anyone we know?  Time for a purge.  Will a Trump presidency be the beginning of such a purge (and I mean purge in the most benign sense)?  Who the hell knows?

Finally, stay tuned for an avalanche of hypocrisy on the left as they start to gin up their opposition to all things Trump.  Executive orders, an Obama staple?  Taboo.  They’ll begin yammering about the sanctity of Congress … and the Constitution.  And they’ll be as obstructive as they can … that’s already the declared stance of one “progressive” group.  And you have to love those out there on the left claiming Trump has “no experience”!  Yeah, and the last guy just had a mountain of it, didn’t he?  At least Trump has “run something and done something”.  All Obama has “done” is head this country down hill in a free fall.

But enough.  Disclaimer – I did not vote for Donald Trump, nor Clinton, but I did vote.  My candidate of choice wasn’t especially attractive politically either.  But I could not find it in myself to enable either of the two top contenders.

Water under the bridge.  Georgia went exactly as expected – to Trump.  Now, given the fact that the country has spoken pretty emphatically, I wish him the best and hope like hell he can rise to the job.  Just as importantly I hope he can begin to unite and heal the divide this country now suffers – if the left will let him.

~McQ

So now what?

Now that it seems it will be Trump or Clinton – two sides of the same coin.  No.  Two of the same side of the coin.  What is America, you know the country that the Obama administration left badly listing to port and rudderless, going to do now with that … choice?

As I and many here have pointed out, it’s not the politicians fault that those are our choices, it’s the voter’s fault.  They do what is necessary to get elected and stay there – the voters enable both of those things.  And then don’t pay attention to what’s going on, become party bots and go to the polls to pull one lever or another … as instructed.

I’m also enjoying a bit of irony.  Mainly at the expense of those who, in the past, have always told me that a vote for a libertarian candidate or being not willing to vote for the prevailing GOP candidate is as good as a “vote for the other side”.  Now that it appears that Trump will be the GOP’s candidate, I’m hearing a completely different tune from many of them.

The GOP has been known for quite some time as the “stupid party” and that moniker seems quite accurate and appropriate at the moment.

As for the Democrats, well they have an equally disgusting choice as their candidate.  She’s a criminal and as big a con artist as is Donald Trump.  She is, in the parlance, a grifter.  She, like the joker in the Oval Office at the moment, has never accomplished a thing in her time of “public service”.  In fact, the only thing she has going for her right now is she’s a woman – for the first “woman president” vote.  Of course we’ve just suffered through almost 8 years of that sort of first and apparently the country has a masochistic streak that is yet unsatisfied.

I mean either one of these idiots is an abysmal “choice” so it is clear that if either is elected we’ll again be led poorly and ineptly right toward the abyss.

It’s the perfect ending for a once great republic – regardless of who wins, we’ll end up being led off the cliff by a NY liberal.  How … apropos.

In the meantime, the libertarian party’s membership is booming.  Of course those coming on board are no more libertarian than Donald Trump is conservative.  But then, its about the only reasonably agreeable and calm port the defectors can find in this political sh*t storm.

~McQ

The GOP’s plan to have a brokered convention

Or, let’s pretend we follow the rules when it is to our advantage, but let the people believe they’re a part of the process otherwise:

Political parties, not voters, choose their presidential nominees, a Republican convention rules member told CNBC, a day after GOP front-runner Donald Trump rolled up more big primary victories.

“The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That’s the conflict here,” Curly Haugland, an unbound GOP delegate from North Dakota, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday. He even questioned why primaries and caucuses are held.

Haugland is one of 112 Republican delegates who are not required to cast their support for any one candidate because their states and territories don’t hold primaries or caucuses.

Even with Trump‘s huge projected delegate haul in four state primaries Tuesday, the odds are increasing the billionaire businessman may not ultimately get the 1,237 delegates needed to claim the GOP nomination before the convention.

That last line, of course, is the out.  No 1,237 delegates, no automatic nomination, regardless of what the majority of the electorate want.  Of course, that electorate is largely ignorant of “the rules”.  As for the 112 “at large” delegates, also known as the “fudge factor”, anyone want to guess who names those delegates and to whom they’re beholding?  Clue: it isn’t a candidate the establishment doesn’t want.

So:

This could lead to a brokered convention, in which unbound delegates, like Haugland, could play a significant swing role on the first ballot to choose a nominee.

Ya think!

And this is where the smugness creeps in (like this fellow really wanted the rules “to keep up”):

“The rules haven’t kept up,” Haugland said. “The rules are still designed to have a political party choose its nominee at a convention. That’s just the way it is. I can’t help it. Don’t hate me because I love the rules.”

Of course, if Trump hits the delegate total before the convention, it’s all moot.  But, the Republican version of the Democrat’s Super Delegates build in a fudge factor that could be the difference between a Trump nomination and a brokered convention.  And once the convention gets past the first ballot, it is anyone’s ballgame … well, except Trump.  The establishment, would again, rule. The people?  Well, get over your frustration, your betters will decide what’s best for you … by the rules!

So?  So anyone who thinks that the parties would really leave the choosing to “the people”, get a clue.  Both sides have “rules” that help the process deliver an acceptable candidate to the established party.

Because, well, you’re not to be trusted with such a decision.

~McQ

 

The SCOTUS circus

Of course, everyone with the IQ of an onion knows it’s coming.  Harry Reid and Barack Obama, who last filibustered a SCOTUS nominee, insist that the GOP forget all of that and dance to their tune – i.e. do it and do it now.

But, as Charles Lipson points out, even onion heads know that the following is reality:

No. 1: No nominee for the high court can get through the Senate before the election. No one.

No. 2: President Obama and the Democratic candidates for president know that. So do Republicans. All God’s children know it.

No. 3: Since the nominee will not be approved, Obama will use the opportunity to advance other goals. He will propose someone who burnishes his own progressive credentials and shows why control of the court depends on the November election. Putting Senate Republicans in an awkward position would be a nice bonus. But the target is November.

Exactly.  It is all about political theater now and that is going to be what we are going see from now until November.  Lipson has a couple of other points, but it is point 7 that sums it up:

No. 7: All the rest is political theater, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

This is now all about political gain in November and Bollywood will have nothing on the actors in this little play when it is finally time to cast those votes.

I should put a caveat when speaking of people with the IQ of an onion understanding all of this.  That doesn’t apply to the GOP Senate which is already fraying at the edges.  Apparently such a lofty IQ is not a prerequisite of duty as a Republican in the Senate and because of that, it wouldn’t at all surprise me if they don’t cave and play the Democrat’s game.

Because, you know, if they do this time, maybe the media will like them.

~McQ

New Hampshire

While the polls may not have been exact as concerns the numbers for each winner, they certainly did predict the winners for each party … or losers if you prefer.

Found a few things interesting.  This for instance:

Senator Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton among nearly every demographic group in the Democratic New Hampshire primary, according to exit polls.

He carried majorities of both men and women. He won among those with and without college degrees. He won among gun owners and non-gun owners. He beat Mrs. Clinton among previous primary voters and those participating for the first time. And he ran ahead among both moderates and liberals.

Even so, there were a few silver linings for Mrs. Clinton. While Mr. Sanders bested her among all age groups younger than 45, the two candidates polled evenly among voters aged 45 to 64. And Mrs. Clinton won the support of voters 65 and older. And, though Mrs. Clinton lost nearly every income group, she did carry voters in families earning over $200,000 per year.

So what’s Clinton’s answer?  A staff shakeup.  And remember, it’s not the candidate, it’s that they’re just not doing a good enough job getting their message out there.  Oh, and not enough pandering.  So that’s about to change:

Staffing and strategy will be reassessed. The message, which so spectacularly failed in New Hampshire, where she was trailing by 21 points when she appeared before her supporters to concede to Bernie Sanders, is also going to be reworked – with race at the center of it.

Clinton is set to campaign with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, unarmed African-Americans who died in incidents involving law enforcement officers and a neighborhood watch representative, respectively. And the campaign, sources said, is expected to push a new focus on systematic racism, criminal justice reform, voting rights and gun violence that will mitigate concerns about her lack of an inspirational message.

“The gun message went silent in New Hampshire,” remarked one ally close to the campaign. “Guns will come back in a strong way.” She is expected to highlight the problem of gun violence as the leading cause of death among African-American men as she campaigns in South Carolina on Friday.

Heh … so when in trouble, revert to racism and sexism.  Why now?  Two words “South Carolina” where 60 percent of Democratic voters are African American?

And guns!  Evil, nasty, terrible guns. Don’t forget guns. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

By the way, a quick read of Salon tends to solidify why the Queen is having problems among her own constituency (besides being a terrible candidate that is):

Only Bernie Sanders has harnessed the full power of an electorate disgusted with politicians yet to disclose the transcripts of million dollar speeches. Nothing defines establishment politics better than a Democrat who takes money from the same interest that harm core constituencies of the Democratic Party.

Hillary Clinton has accepted campaign contributions from two major prison lobbyists, Wall Street, and the oil and gas industry, yet promises progressive stances against all these interests.

They’re not quite as stupid as Madam Clinton would like to believe.  And by that I mean they’re not buying the Clinton assertion that she’s not establishment and she is going to go after Wall Street.  Actions/words.  Guess which are highlighting the truth in the matter?  Just wait till Sanders names Elizabeth Warren as his running mate.

On the GOP side, the only surprise to me was Kasich.  As Real Clear Politics noted, it may have been his “back to the ’60s” message that resonated in New Hampshire:

In one sense, Kasich’s emergence from the pack was New Hampshire’s most interesting development. Objectively speaking, he may be the most qualified candidate on the Republican side. He’s in his second term as governor of Ohio, perhaps the GOP’s most crucial state, and is a former congressman who helped balance the federal books in Washington when he was chairman of the House Budget Committee.

At times, Kasich sounded like he was running for office as a 1960s Democrat — a Jack Kennedy Democrat — and he even quipped that maybe he should be running in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary. But his message resonates with a significant slice of working-class Republicans and crossover independents. He also talks about the obligation of his party to the poor and working class, using arguments that are both practical and faith-based.

“If you think about the American home, which is the family, we know the family is only strong when the foundation is strong,” he said. “That’s why we will wake up every single day to make sure that every American has a job in the United States of America to help their families and their neighbors.”

Or it could be that those who voted for Kasich weren’t very enamored with Cruz, Rubio, Bush and Trump.  We’ll see if this 2nd place finish has any legs in SC.

And how out of touch is the Republican establishment?  This out of touch:

In late January, the New Hampshire Republican Party held a gathering that attracted GOP officials, volunteers, activists, and various other members of the party elite from across the state. At the time, Donald Trump led the Republican presidential race in New Hampshire by nearly 20 points, and had been on top of the polls since July.

What was extraordinary about the gathering was that I talked to a lot of people there, politically active Republicans, and most of them told me they personally didn’t know anyone who supported Trump. Asked about the Trump lead, one very well-connected New Hampshire Republican told me, “I don’t see it. I don’t feel it. I don’t hear it, and I spend part of every day with Republican voters.”

Yes, friends, they’re still in the denial stage.  What is it they don’t seem to realize?

This:

“But this phenomena is the result of 25+ years of failed promises and lackluster leadership over multiple administrations from both parties. People have had it, and those in power don’t want to accept the reality they can no longer maintain the status quo.”

Chickens.  Home.  Roost.

As for the rest of the field?  Well, many of them are in the denial stage as well.  Time for them to shuffle off the stage.  Of course they can remain in the denial stage for as long as their money holds out, but then reality gives them a good slap and they’re gone.  I expect to see Christie, Carson, Fiorina, and yes, Jeb Bush, finally fold their tents in the next week or so.

There is a sort of political revolution in motion right now on both sides.  That’s because party politics in the last few decades has taken priority over the good of the country.  The two parties still haven’t figured that out.  So the voters are very pointedly making it clear they’re completely dissatisfied with the status quo even if they have to elect someone so bad that they may do worse harm to the country than one of the establishment candidates.  Apparently the voting public is tired of the bait and switch game the establishment has been playing for years.

Time to pay the piper I guess.

~McQ

Equally Clueless

Yesterday it coalesced for me that the pundits and loyal party members of both the Republican and Democratic parties are completely clueless about what’s happening in the world outside of the Beltway or their echo chamber living accommodations.

For the Democrats there’s this piece in the New York Times.  The authors have queried numerous high level Democratic leaders and mouthpieces across the country and they’ve all concluded that the biggest problem Hillary Clinton is facing isn’t that she broke the law or jeopardized national security with her mail server antics, it’s that she just hasn’t handled it well when explaining so everyone shrugs, says “what difference at this point does it make” on her behalf and lets her get on with her ascension to the Presidency of Clinton II as foretold in prophecy.

If any of them think she’s actually committed a crime it’s not very evident.   No, the problem is she hasn’t said the words that will make everyone understand why it was okay for her to have her own server and personal email system (she gave herself permission) and why all that stuff about various levels of national security law being broken is irrelevant or worse yet invented by the Republicans to tarnish her glorious achievements as First Cuckquean, Senator and Secretary of State.  You may pick some other reason as long as it won’t result in criminal prosecutions, can be explained with a few rounds of “mea culpa now let’s move on”, and will result in her accepting the nomination for her party and her ultimate swearing in as President.

Surely you understand the worst thing she’s done is she’s joked about it!  Although no laws were broken she should still take it seriously, probably because the slugs they think they’re dealing with as voters want her to take it seriously even if it’s not serious. Granted it’s just a Vast Right Wing conspiracy manifesting itself (again) as a Republican attack on her candidacy but she still mustn’t make bad jokes over it.  Instead she might consider saying “I’m sorry”. That would make it all better and it would get the press off her case and soothe their fears that Joe Biden might be their candidate in 2016.

Then read the comments section of the article where further hilarity will ensue, you might go read many lead articles in nationally syndicate media outlets as well.  The excuse making and denial is epic.  National security concerns are; contrived, overstated, inappropriate, really not necessary, or all in all clearly exaggerated.  Perhaps some minor law was broken by some unnamed unknown non-entity who is, you can be sure, not Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Come on America! Any good Democrat can tell you unless you’re part of the G.W. Bush White House and your name is Lewis “Scooter” Libby classified data isn’t a reason to start some crazy witch hunt to find out who knew what when and did what with secret information!   Valerie Plame’s secret identity, now that’s some TS/SCI classification stuff!  On the other hand Satellite intelligence that would demonstrate we can read this article from space as I write it on my monitor in Texas, through the window behind me and over my shoulder not so much.   Come on….how is that a secret! Sheesh! (I exaggerate…..maybe).

For those of us who at least have a passing understanding of security clearances, I think we have all acknowledge regrettably the woman is unlikely to see jail time over this, because “Clinton”.  But the idea that if she just says she’s sorry she can go on with her Presidential bid is a bit much.    The reason she didn’t deal with it sooner is because she knew she broke the law and she never expected to be called on it. Who exactly was going to call her out? Obama Justice, State or FBI?   While she was breaking the law the House and Senate were busy crafting and frog marching ObamaCare through the halls of Congress.  Like Nan and Harry were going to allow us to peek into Hillary’s doings or dare to do it themselves.

But the wheel has turned.

The Dems need to find another candidate because this one is once again fork tender.

 

One the Republican side it’s all Trump, all the time.

The latest mosquito boat tactic the GOP mouthpieces have formulated is essentially “if you support Donald Trump, you’re a racist” and the implication from the linked article here is Trump supporters are looking forward to shooting some brown people too, I’m just sayin.  They remind us Trump is a racist because only a racist would want to deport people who are here illegally.  Only a racist would consider deporting children of these same people after they’re born on American soil, so by extension only a racist would support him. Got that all you racists?

Never mind that racist thing is merely the reverse of the Democratic strategy that’s kept Barack Obama in the White House for two consecutive terms.   Hey, it probably worked.

The 14th is cited as automatically granting birth location citizenship.  None of these people want to discuss the perfection in contradiction then offered in explaining why Congress felt it had to pass an Act in 1924 to grant the birth location right to American Indians though the 14th Amendment passed in 1868.   The 14th was extent for 56 years yet Congress went and addressed the issue again specifically in 1924 because? Yeah, go figure, Native Americans had to have a special act because they weren’t considered citizens although physically born in the US, which, sans Congressional act, sounds exactly like any child of people who sneak in illegally yesterday and are born here today.

Robert Tracinski wants you to know if you’re supporting Trump it’s likely you’re not only a racist, but you’re probably a moron and did I say ‘fanatic’, well yes, you’re possibly a fanatic.

George Will, I think, has given up trying to scare you with the Ronald Reagan Democratic talking points from 1979 (NUKES!!!!! HE’LL KILL US ALL!!!!) and joins in to remind us that (racist) white voters need to get some color mix in their party voting plan to get a President elected and that’s why Trump the Racist isn’t a good choice.

Sometimes mentioned is that many people who might vote for Trump aren’t really ‘in kids’ who vote in most elections and the implication is you probably don’t want to hang around with those kids do you?

Other writers, less interested in trying to tell you you’re a white racist b*****d (but probably still a US Citizen) and more interested in appealing to your rational side point out Trump is; hardly conservative, blindingly undiplomatic, rather bullying, and generally has the personality one associates with a circus ring master.

Not sure I’m a ‘writer’ but I’m in that group, and yet I’m not trying to dissuade you from any Trumpish feeling you possess because, well, read on.

The last one I will mention is Mark Salter, who I think accurately describes Trump as a narcissist and demands to know what your excuse is for supporting him.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” he asks.

I want it noted for the record that Mr. Salter worked for John McCain as a senior advisor on his Presidential campaign – I do that so I can laugh about winning campaign strategists as well as making it clear I believe Mr. Salter, who I have absolutely no personal acquaintance with, is a ruling class GOP Gentry hack.

I also chose Mr. Salter for last because he’s almost got a clue about why you might be, at this time, cheering for Trump, even if you’re not actually supporting the man.

“Politicians and pundits are making excuses for you. They say you’re so sick of bad government and polarized politics that you’re willing to take a chance on making Donald Trump the most powerful man on Earth.

My emphasis there – see, he does sort of understand.   Part of bad government I think is being lied to by your leaders. I think we’re sick of being lied to by our elite elected servant-masters in addition to being sick of our ever expanding, and often badly managed, government. And I personally find being lied to by ‘real’ Republicans more sickening than being lied to by Democrats. So he almost gets it.

For Mr. Salter and the other clueless Ruling Party hacks, leaders and mouthpieces I’ll demonstrate with a single word why Trump gets cheered on by otherwise rational conservative voters. Nota bene, we don’t appreciate being lied to and then being called racist moron fanatics.

We already get that from the Democratic Party, thanks.

I submit for your consideration Speaker of the House of Representatives and squishy GOP leader, Ruling Class business as usual John Boehner, and his view of conservative Presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Jackass.

Yes, Orange John prefers Senators like Mitch McConnell and John McCain and they’d all really rather you prefer Jeb Bush, or if not Jeb then maybe Marco Rubio, who it appears can be controlled.  Both candidates have spoken in favor of the forms of Scamnesty that Trump is actively campaigning against.   Jeb doesn’t think the country that built the Panama Canal can handle building a wall across its southern border if it wants to.    And they’re all convinced since we can’t possibly deport 11 million people ALL at once in one afternoon in time for supper, we mustn’t bother discussing, let alone trying, anything of that nature at all.

They can’t see their get along, go along, bought and paid for by big money special interest plans of riding the big government train to socialist third world hell is what inspires a considerable portion of Donald Trump’s support.

So to help the clueless GOP Ruling class campaigners I leave this tweet from “Empire of Jeff” to explain where a lot of Trump’s conservative support probably comes from.

 

“You “conservative” “pundits” still don’t get it: Trump isn’t our candidate. He’s our murder weapon. And the GOP is our victim. “

1 2 3 28