At George Washington University, a toxic combination of identity politics and ignorance:
[UPDATE: Because I have some of the smartest readers in the world (and yes, maybe I'm a little biased), may I strongly recommend that you read not just my post, but their comments, which raise objections and suggestions.]
Last night, I got to hear Trevor Loudon, the New Zealander who believes, as Ronald Reagan did, that America is truly a shining city on a Hill and the world’s last, best hope against global totalitarian rule. It is this belief that has taken Trevor from his once quiet life in New Zealand to America, on an endless round of research and talks, all aimed at convincing ordinary Americans that their country is at risk (as is the world’s security), but that Americans can turn it around and revitalize a constitutional America.
Trevor’s talk was eye-opening and exciting. He devoted the first quarter of his talk to detailing how significant numbers of Congress people are currently members of communist organizations or were once open communists (who, significantly, have never repented and reformed). In the second quarter of his talk, Trevor explained the communist long game, one that started in the 1960s or before, which enabled communists to infiltrate and co-opt American institutions. In the third quarter, Trevor got started on amnesty, which is the Left’s single most important initiative. Finally, when we were all completely depressed, Trevor offered the most revolutionary idea I’ve ever heard for winning the White House in 2016 (but we have to start working on it now, or maybe yesterday.)
I’ll never be able to replicate Trevor’s passion, knowledge, or oratorical brilliance, but I can offer you a short summary of each part of his talk. I urge you to read this entire post, because it will inform you and inspire you in ways you may not have previously imagined. If you can’t wait to see what the idea is, just scroll down, because I’ve marked clearly where I’ve spelled out Trevor’s revolutionary idea for re-taking the White House.
The communists in Congress: It’s become fashionable of late to deny that communism still exists (“Communists? Hah! It’s just a handful of Russian KGB agents and a few old hippies in San Francisco. Even China isn’t communist any more.”)
Alternatively, scoffers will acknowledge that communism is still around, but assure people (especially ignorant, vulnerable young people) that it’s essentially harmless. This latter argument effectively erases the 20th century, along with the murder and enslavement of tens of millions of people behind the Iron Curtain, in China, in Vietnam, in Cambodia, and in Cuba, not to mention large swathes of Latin America and Africa. Modern communists, we’re told, are just nice people who want to save us from the economic depredations of capitalists as well as the moral and social slavery of traditionalists, especially religious traditionalists.
Because we’ve been told for the past four decades that American communism is a harmless chimera, we currently have 51 House members and 14 Senators all with strong, documented Communist ties. As Trevor said, while these people couldn’t pass the FBI investigation necessary to become a janitor at Fort Hood, the fact that they won an election (often through fraud and voter manipulation), means that they were able to walk right through the front door of our government. They now hold the levers of power controlling taxes, the military, national security, the border, education, etc. They dictate government policy and their goal is antithetical to the America created under the Constitution. Rather than being a government of limited powers, they are working to create a government of absolute powers.
Many of the names Trevor recited will be familiar to you because the media routinely gives them a lot of airtime to explain why Progressive plans (which are just re-labeled communist ideas) are good for America: Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Charles Rangel, Sheila Jackson Lee, etc. — they’re all on the list. You can read about these people in Trevor’s newest book, THE ENEMIES WITHIN: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress. There, Trevor provides detailed evidence documenting Congress peoples’ ties to communist groups, communist front groups, communist individuals, and communist liaisons.
Even Trevor acknowledges that it makes one sound like a conspiracy theorist to call all these serving members of Congress communists or fellow travelers, but the documentation is there. This isn’t a case in which Trevor is trying to convince a room of people wearing tinfoil hats that “Nancy Pelosi was in San Francisco on July 7, 1967, a mere four days after Mr. Communist Bigshot gave a speech in Minneapolis in which he said, ‘July is a great month in San Francisco, because it’s not so hot,’ which was clearly a coded reference telling her to subvert more of America’s youth by selling acid in Haight Ashbury.” That kind of imaginary dots connecting invisible lines is true conspiracy stuff and Trevor doesn’t traffic in that garbage.
Instead, what Trevor offers are verifiable facts: Membership records and newsletters from openly communist organizations or communist-front groups, decades-long close associations between Congress people and open members of the Communist Party, etc. No imaginary dots or invisible lines here. These are cold, hard, very unpleasant facts. So yes, more than a quarter of the American Senate has strong and documented communist ties, and these Senators, because the Democrats control the Senate, hold powerful positions in our country.
The communist long game: None of what’s happened since 2008, says Trevor, is a coincidence. Every single part of the current Democrat agenda originated, not in small town, old-fashioned American Democrat Party outposts, but, instead, in hardcore communist circles. For example, Quentin Young, who died recently at around age 90, was a physician and an open communist. Indeed, he was so open that, during the Vietnam War, he traveled to North Vietnam and offered his medical services to the Vietcong (those would be the same Vietcong who were killing American soldiers and torturing American POWs). Young was also Obama’s next door neighbor and his personal physician. Young was also Obama’s adviser on Obamacare. Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?
The most significant example of the communist long game is America’s unions. Up until the 1990s, the AFL-CIO, America’s most powerful private sector union, was headed by rabidly staunch anti-communists. The AFL-CIO’s platform specifically stated its opposition to communism. That all changed in 1995 when Thomas Donohue took over the AFL-CIO’s presidency from Lane Kirkland. The anti-communist platform went out the window, and the AFL-CIO was suddenly inundated by openly communist members. With that membership change came a push to get communist or communist-friendly people into government.
With the AFL-CIO’s reversal on communism, and its open-door policy for communists, something happened that we oldsters never saw before the mid-1990s: Unions became integral parts of the Democrat election process. More money than ever before went from unions to politicians. Union works devoted themselves to “get out the vote” efforts, handling everything from registering voters (living or dead), to canvasing, to getting people to polls (legal or illegal), and to staffing polls. What this meant was that every Democrat elected due to union efforts owed the unions big time — and what the union leaders demanded were political acts entirely consistent with demands that communist had been making for decades: socialized medicine, socialized student loans, socialized banking, etc.
Amnesty: Today’s communists are interested in socializing this and that, but they actually have one absolutely overriding goal: amnesty. It’s not because communists (aka Progressives aka socialists aka leftists) love Latin Americans more than the rest of us do. Heck, it’s not about love at all. It’s about creating a permanent Democrat majority. Texas is the pivot point: If Democrats can turn Texas blue (which also means that Arizona
and New Mexico and other still-reddish Southwestern states will turn solid blue), it will become numerically impossible for Republicans to take the White House, not just in the short term, but in the long, long term . . . maybe forever, because a solid Democrat majority will change the rules to preclude anything but a one-party White House and, if possible, Congress.
Again, this is not a conspiracy theory. Trevor detailed speeches and writings from people involved in the amnesty movement (including Antonio Villaraigosa, the L.A. mayor who turned LA into an illegal refuge), boasting about the 8 million new voters they are planning on having in order to change forever America’s political identity.
When conservatives oppose amnesty, it’s not because they hate Latinos, anymore than the Democrats love them. It’s because conservatives understand that the point behind amnesty isn’t to reward “acts of love” or to be charitable or to preserve human rights or to prove we’re not racists. Instead, its our recognition (based on Democrat admissions) that amnesty is dedicated to a single goal: destroying America’s two-party system through a tidal wave of newly legal, permanently-Democrat-Party voters. Opposing amnesty is about preserving constitutional government, not about discriminating against the illegal aliens that the Democrats (with the president’s cheerful collusion) are inviting into America and into the voting booth.
But . . . but . . . what about the Republicans who are supporting amnesty (a group that includes most of the Republican leadership)? Surely amnesty can’t be so bad, given that it’s not reasonable for these people to commit political suicide, right? Wrong. The Republican leadership owes as much to the American Chamber of Commerce as the Democrat Party owes to the unions. The Chamber of Commerce doesn’t care about Left or Right, constitution or totalitarianism. It cares about the bottom line, and the bottom line is always better if labor is cheap.
I am absolutely not calling Chamber of Commerce members Nazis, but it’s worth remember from a political, not genocidal, perspective, that one of the reasons German industrialists supported the Nazis was that they got free slave labor and they got to keep their profits. The cheapest labor in America is the illegal alien or newly legalized citizen with no English and no skills. Trevor says that it’s no coincidence that the most pro-amnesty Republicans are the ones who receive the most money from the Chamber of Commerce.
That explains the RINOs and GOP’s support for amnesty? But what about the fanatical, hysterical union support for amnesty? Doesn’t illegal immigration and amnesty hurt union members for the same reason that the Chamber of Commerce likes it, by lowering wages? Yes. And the unions, both leadership and members, understood that right up until 1995. The old leadership’s opposition to communism wasn’t just ideological, it was pragmatic. Open borders lowered wages and otherwise depressed working conditions for ordinary Americans.
The new union leadership, though, doesn’t care about its members’ well-being. Members are merely cash cows subject to mandatory dues that ultimately pay for the union members’ own slaughter.
There is hope for the future: By the time Trevor finished the first 3/4 of his talk, all of us listening were depressed. I looked around and saw slumped bodies and sad faces. Not to despair, though, since Trevor held out hope and, as I said, offered a revolutionary idea for a Republican comeback. He broke this last part of his talk into three segments: the Tea Party, Reagan’s victory, and what we can do.
The Tea Party: In 2008, all the ducks were in a row for a complete, irreversible Leftist takeover of America’s political system. What stopped it, Trevor said, was something unforeseeable, and that black swan was the Tea Party’s organic and meteoric rise.
Thanks to the Tea Party, the Democrats only got 2 years of legislative victories and, since then, they’ve been on the defensive. At every level — local, state, and national — Tea Partiers roared out their disapproval at this, the greatest flowering of the American communist party.
No wonder that the backlash was so immediate and so vicious (racist, racist, war on women, Islamophobic, homophobic, racist, racist). The Tea Party had to be destroyed and quickly too. Trevor attended a major socialist/communist party event and said it was dead boring. All they did was talk about how terrible the Tea Party is and how it could be destroyed.
Trevor said that we in the Tea Party are feeling demoralized now, since Obama took back the White House in 2012. What he says we’re missing, perhaps because we’re too close to things (unlike a New Zealander, who gets a long view), is how big our victory was. We’re like “Baby Supermen,” he said, because we don’t realize the type of power we have. Instead, we focus on our losses and then retreat to lick our wounds, yielding the floor once again to the indefatigable left.
Tea Partiers also have a problem with the GOP itself, which bitterly resents the upstarts who disagree with the GOP’s “go along to get along” policies and, most especially, with its Chamber of Commerce-funded press for amnesty, cheap labor, and a permanent Democrat majority. There is hope, though.
Reagan: Trevor reminded us that, when Reagan emerged from California in 1976 and strode onto the national scene, the GOP hated him. The Ohio GOP refused to let him speak there. Essentially, the Grand Old Party, which Reagan later owned, blackballed him, denying him the 1976 primary, which went to Gerald Ford. Reagan, however, spent the next four years coalition building like mad. With his sunny personality; his gift for taking complex subjects and presenting them in simple, but not simplistic, terms; and his unabashed love for America, he brought everyone under his umbrella. He won by a landslide that originated with his newly cohesive base, revitalizing America.
Trevor acknowledged that things are different now. Obama and his team will have had eight, not just four, years to pursue their agenda (even with the Tea Party operating as a counterweight and drag). The news and entertainment media are intractably in the bag for the Left and will throw themselves into the breach in 2016, especially for a Hillary/Michelle ticket. And we’re having conservative civil war headed by the GOP’s desire to destroy the Tea Party.
Ah, that GOP. That nasty, weak, corrupt, amnesty-loving GOP. We Tea Partiers would like to see it gone, just as the GOP would like the Tea Party to vanish. There’s an unpleasant reality, though, that Trevor says the Tea Party must acknowledge: We don’t have the time — just 2.5 years until 2016 — to put together the election infrastructure that the GOP already has. Moribund and corrupt though it may be, the GOP is the only game in town for winning elections. The task, then, is to preempt and co-opt the GOP, just as Reagan did.
The Tea Party also needs to stop trying to convince independents to get on board. Trevor pointed out what we all know: You don’t win elections by getting lukewarm support from fundamentally disinterested people. You win elections when your base is incredibly excited and the lukewarm people want to join in the fun (as happened for Obama in 2008). The GOP, Trevor added, will also want to join the fun, primarily because the institution cannot afford to walk away from the seat of power. It happened in 1980 with Reagan and it can happen again.
The main problem the conservative base has is this fragmentation and internal hostility, which extends beyond the GOP versus Tea Party fight. Libertarians, social conservatives, and Evangelicals are also part of this cranky, disparate mix of people who are definitely not statists, but still can’t hang together enough to create a political wave advancing constitutional freedoms. The big question, then, is How can we bring these disparate groups together, enthusiastically, to win in 2016, which will be our last chance at wresting the country from the communist-backed Democrats?
Here’s Trevor’s revolutionary idea
Trevor has what I think of as a brilliant, inspired, out of the box, crazy, entirely possible idea. To build a coalition, you need to promise something to everyone. That seems impossible when you consider how the various conservative groups have such vastly different issues. One person cannot possible be all things to all conservative voters. TREVOR SAYS THAT ONE PERSON DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ALL THINGS. The next Republican candidate should identify his running mate and cabinet now, to make sure that the GOP doesn’t suck all the money out of the system by 2015 and then funnel it to Romney (part II) or Christie, neither of whom can excite the base and, therefore, neither of whom can win.
Here’s as much of Trevor’s dream ticket as I can remember. It should be promoted, in its entirety, from the get-go (say, starting next month, or maybe yesterday):
President: Ted Cruz, a committed conservative who can talk brilliantly (and a man who happens to be Hispanic).
Vice President: Allen West, a committed conservative, a military commander (and a man who happens to be black and I adore him).
Treasury Secretary: Rand Paul (Tea Partiers and libertarians get their fiscal conservatism)
Secretary of State: John Bolton (the neocons get their national security)
Energy Secretary: Sarah Palin (Tea Partiers — and most Americans — get their cheap energy)
Labor Secretary: Scott Walker (Right to Work across America)
Attorney General: Mark Levin or Trey Gowdy, deeply committed constitutional conservatives
Education Secretary: A strong supporter of homeschooling
And so on, down the line, with the Republican ticket being fully formed from top to bottom. Every conservative will know heading to the voting booth that the Republican ticket offers something to him or her personally. That gets out votes.
Someone pointed out that the obvious problem with this list, which is the fact that all of these people want to be president themselves, and will not want to be subordinated to Cruz or West. Instead of joining forces, they’ll simply form the same circular firing squad that they formed in 2008 and 2012, and mow each other down again, with the Democrats cheering them on from the sidelines.
Yes, Trevor, acknowledged, some people are going to have to sacrifice their immediate presidential dreams in favor of presenting a strong united front. While the notion of self-sacrifice isn’t usually high on a politician’s list, perhaps they can be brought to see that a little self-sacrifice now provides long-term selfish benefits in the future. By following his radical campaign plan, all these talents and egos can win in some way in 2016, setting the template for each of them to strike out on his or her own in 2024. Alternatively, they can selfishly commit political and party murder-suicide in 2016, forever ending any possibility that a Republican will take the White House.
Trevor emphasized repeatedly that this revolutionary idea — running a president, veep, and entire cabinet in one fell swoop — must be done now. Any delay means conservative money is gone, the circular firing squad forms, GOP money rescues Romney or Christie from the bloodbath, the base stays home, the independents stay home, the Democrats win again, and America becomes a permanent socialized state that has abandoned all of its allies around the world, and serves as a materiels-supplier to the world’s dictators.
If you think this is a good idea, act on it: Share it with your local conservative groups, put it out on Facebook, make clever posters, contact conservative leadership. Do whatever you can do. We have a very small window of time, and very limited resources, to reverse a trajectory that, if not changed by 2016, will be fixed forever.
My son, who is taking a general science class, explained to me why I’m aging. “Mom,” he said. “Your cells keep reproducing over and over again, but they’re like a bad photocopy of the original. You see, the original was good, but if you make a photocopy of that, the photocopy isn’t quite as good. And if you photocopy the photocopy, the new photocopy is going to be even less good. [I hope all of you are with me here.] So, by the time you’re old, all your cells have been copied too often, so they’re really bad quality, and that’s why you go gray and get wrinkles.”
I have to say, that strikes me as a damn fine articulation of the problem the mirror reveals to me every day. It’s still me, but the copy quality is increasingly abysmal as the years go by.
The failed copy problem plagues things other than cells. Monarchies, for example, often have the failed copy problem. In century after century and nation after nation, one sees a tolerably decent monarch (at least decent enough to acquire and hang onto the throne) succeeded by increasingly inept heirs who often lost both throne and life (e.g., Louis XIV, Louis V, and Louis XVI; or Russia’s Nicholas’s).
England, the country about which I’m most knowledgeable, had a couple of miserable dynasties. James I, who inherited from Elizabeth I, was a personally revolting man (he never bathed), but a fairly astute politician. His son, Charles I, was such an arrogant pipsqueak, he sparked a civil war that saw him lose, first, his throne and, second, his head. Charles II was an understandably cynical man who did whatever was necessary to hold onto both throne and head so that he could die in his own bed. His brother, James II, didn’t even have that kind of sense, and managed to lose the throne a second time, which is really unforgivable for a single dynasty.
That was the 17th century in England. The 18th century brought its own miserable collection of dynastic disasters, all named George, the first who was stolid and completely Germanic George I; the second who was a nonentity, the third who was a pathetic madman who lost America, and finally the fourth, who was a much-loathed, reprehensible rake. And don’t get me started about Elizabeth II (dignified, if nothing else) and her son, Charles, an unprincipled fruit loop who is known to worship at the global warming altar and who may well be a Muslim convert.
America’s political dynasties have the same problem. Take the Kennedys, for example. The political dynasty started with John, who was all shiny and pretty and polished. It then devolved to Teddy Kennedy, a man even his most devoted fans couldn’t deny was alcoholic, had the obesity of the dissolute, and was generally morally corrupt. The current generation of Kennedy’s has all of Teddy’s vices without his old-generation cachet. They’re drug addicts, alcoholics, depressives, and otherwise troubled, defective people.
The Bush’s aren’t much better. We started with George Sr., a very good and brave and accomplished man who was, nevertheless, a merely decent politician and then worked our way to George Jr., a very good and principled man who really tried to break conservativism’s back with that “compassionate” stuff (which just turned it into mushy Leftism).
The true devolution is appearing in Jeb Bush, the third iteration in that political clan. He’s proving to be such a blurry, failed copy that we may as well head this photocopy directly to the recycling bin. How else to explain his no-borders support for illegal immigration on the ground that it’s an “act of love,” because it’s about family, and not really a crime at all? Funnily enough, I never hear “love” advanced as a defense for the guy who forgoes a job in favor of robbery as a means of putting food on the table.
Paul Mirengoff correctly notes that some illegal aliens, unlike most other criminals, do contribute to society. That, however, is not an argument for excusing blatant law-breaking on “love” grounds. The only real “love” we’re seeing here is Jeb’s love for power, as he hopes to become the third Bush in office.
My Leftist friends are shrieking in horror at the thought of another Bush in office. I have to agree with them. Now if only I can convince them that Hillary Clinton, too, is nothing but a pathetic, failed photocopy of their beloved Bill.
CPAC brought to the front the ideological war Ted Cruz, a committed Tea Party conservative, and Rand Paul, a libertarian conservative, are waging against each other. I think both have many virtues and serve the constitution very well in Congress. Indeed, I thought Ted Cruz did a good thing when he took his stand against Obamacare last fall. Nevertheless, I don’t want either one as a presidential candidate. Both are provocateurs and, while that’s important for getting messages across and rallying the troops, being a provocateur is not the same as being a leader.
So, what is my current dream ticket for the 2016 Presidential election? Scott Walker for President and Allen West for Vice President.
Scott Walker’s travails and triumphs in Wisconsin told us a great deal about the man: He’s a principled conservative; he can stand the heat without getting ruffled; he’s stalwart; and he’s an extremely good manager, especially economically. In other words, absent such further evidence as may develop in the next two years, he’s perfect chief executive material. Moreover, to date, the worst that the media has been able to discover about him is that, in college, he started campaigning for student office one day early. I think the American people will forgive that.
As for Allen West, there are two reasons I like him. First, I just do. It’s the same way I like Keanu Reeves. It happens at a visceral level that I can’t articulate. But the other reason I like West is because he’s got what it takes to be a Veep preparing to be a president: He’s a principled conservative; he’s a fiery fighter; he’s stalwart; and he understands command. If he’d also had a successful term as a governor, I’d readily put him on the top of the ticket. We’ve learned the hard way, though, that being president is not a good place for on-the-job training in political management.
So, here’s my dream ticket, based on information available today (subject to change as new information becomes available):
Please chime in with encouragement, derision, new facts, and alternative suggestions.
Can you imagine how different American history would have been if Edward Kennedy had read The Art of Manliness blog and learned how to escape from a sinking car? There’s a very good chance that, without a negligent homicide in his past, he might have been president. After all, in Democrat circles, he was considered the Kennedy’s last fair-haired boy, and that was despite the blood on his hands.
As is too often the case, Republicans are busy snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Despite the fact that the Obamacare debacle has been playing out before Americans’ eyes for more than three weeks, the RNC has done absolutely nothing to capitalize on the fact. Jonah Goldberg suggests at least sending out a letter:
If I was writing it, I would say something like, “The president vowed to you on numerous occasions (see attached document) that you could keep your insurance and that you would save money under the Affordable Care Act. This was untrue. Whether it was a well-intentioned mistake or a more deliberate deception, what the president and his party told you was flatly untrue, and we said so at the time.”
I then might go on to promise something like “the party will do everything it can, within its power, to alleviate the burden the Democrats have imposed on you and the country. We are of course limited by the fact that the president and his party control the agenda in Washington. If you think we’re due for a change, we’d love your support. If you think these changes are good for you, your family or the country, then obviously we politely disagree. If you think — as we do — that there’s got to be a better way, we hope you’ll give us a fresh look.”
That’s a nice letter. Without condescension, it reminds voters that the Republicans predicted and tried to stop this train wreck, it offers that Republicans will do whatever is in their power to help remedy the situation, and it reminds voters that the best remedy is a Republican majority in 2014 and again in 2016.
Goldberg’s good advice notwithstanding, Republicans are silent — or, if they’re not silent, they’re still engaged in a bloody internecine war that leaves innumerable openings for Democrats to blame everyone from Cruz, to Bush, to Nixon, to generic Republicans for Obamacare.
Last night, 60 Minutes, while coyly keeping both Hillary’s and Obama’s names out of the story, revealed what conservatives have long known about Benghazi: it was a carefully planned al Qaeda attack; al Qaeda warned everyone and his mother that it would take place; embassy security in Benghazi was a joke; the administration had been told repeatedly about the attack and about the security situation; and the administration did precisely nothing before or during the attack.
Now that 60 Minutes has broken the wall of silence, this should be a headline story in every paper and on every TV show in the land. But of course it’s not. And with the exception of Lindsey Graham, who’s doing some huffing and puffing, Republicans are sitting there with their thumbs in their mouths.
John McCain is going one step further, and praising Hillary to high Heaven. (Could it be that McCain is being Machiavellian here? One could argue that McCain hasn’t abandoned the idea of running for president in 2016. He wants an opponent who will be easy to beat and, with the Benghazi albatross around her neck, McCain thinks she’s that opponent. Did I just hear you say that’s an insanely stupid idea that gives McCain too much credit? I think you’re right. Forget I ever said it.)
We tend to see the Democrats as winning through lies, chicanery, media manipulation, and outright fraud (not to mention the whole IRS thing). I do think, though, that we have to acknowledge that it’s not just that the Democrats win elections. The Republicans lose elections.
McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012 were both abysmal candidates under any standards. This isn’t to say whether they would have been good or bad presidents (although I suspect either would have been significantly better than Obama). The problem began and ended with their campaigns: both were boring speakers; both were flat-footed debaters; both were utterly incapable of articulating core conservative values that bind together everyone from libertarians to the fading Reagan Democrat coalition; both failed to recognize the internet’s importance in their campaigns; and both were afraid to get their hands dirty in dealing with a black man (although McCain has always been happy to fight his own political family).
My feeling now is that if Chris Christie or Ted Cruz throw their hats into the ring, and if they can survive the inevitable circular firing squad from fellow Republicans fighting in the primaries, one or the other will top the ticket. This has nothing to do with whether they’ll be good presidents (although I’m sure each would be substantially better than anyone the Democrats dredge up). Both, however, will be good candidates. Unlike McCain and Romney — and unlike Obama, Hillary, and Warren — these guys are so fast on their feet that they can wow people by giving extemporaneous speeches without teleprompters and notes, and they’ll never fall into “um” or “uh” land the way Obama, McCain, and Romney did. Debates will be enjoyable blood baths, with the Democrats doing the (rhetorical) bleeding.
When it comes to articulating a conservative position, Cruz will have the edge over Christie. Christie has proven that, for the most part, his conservative beliefs begin and end with defanging the unions. I respect that, I really do, but it’s going to leave him rudderless and speechless when it comes to articulating ideas that can actually win people over to something grander than union bashing.
Both will have to tone down their arrogance. Unlike Obama, who floated through life on an affirmative action cloud, both these men are indeed smarter than most people, and they have the resumes to prove it — not just jobs obtained, but actual accomplishments. Since the media will not be able to portray them as idiots, as it did with George Bush and John McCain, it will have to go the Romney route with both: they’re evil plutocrats, a la Snidely Whiplash, just dreaming of ways to tie the American people to some foul capitalist railway track to let them die. Since both tend to be arrogant, they’re going to have to find some humility, or else this media charge will stick and destroy them.
Significantly, they’re both guys who live for the fight. Christie’s going to have a bit of a hard time overcoming his bromance with Obama, but Cruz is going to come out swinging, and will take no prisoners regardless which Democrat ends up representing that ticket.
The fact that both Christie and Cruz are lawyers is disappointing. It would be splendid to see someone other than a lawyer in the White House. As an ex-military guy, Allen West would be a delightful addition to the presidential roster, but I just don’t see it happening. I think the world of him, I admire his principles, I believe he’s a fighter, and he’s a good speaker, but even by the low standards Obama set, a two-year tenure in the House probably isn’t going to convince the American people to elect West president.
Do you have predictions for 2016? I know it’s a long time away, but it’s worth thinking about now, both because it’s a pleasant diversion from depressing headlines and because the headlines about Obamacare, Benghazi, and the economy are tarnishing the Democrat brand.
Assuming that the Republicans can stop fighting each other and start riding the anti-Democrat wave, what should they do? And who would you like to see getting groomed for the 2016 White House?
The two top names currently being bandied about for the Democrat presidential slate in 2016 are Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. Democrats are saying that Hillary is “inevitable.” I recall them saying the same thing in 2008, and that was before she had the Benghazi albatross hanging about her neck. My suspicion is that, just as happened in 2008, were she to run, the media would roll out the red carpet for her, and she’d soil it within a few months.
No matter what Hillary does, she cannot get past the fact that, at some visceral, lizard-brain level, people who are not true believers neither like nor trust her. And I do mean visceral. We here are informed about what a squirrelly person she is, both personally and politically, whether one looks at Benghazi, lesbianism, political and economic ties to antisemitic Arab leagues, or whatever else. Most Americans neither know nor care. They just don’t like her.
And what about Elizabeth Warren? Well, Americans neither know nor will they care that Warren’s Senatorial race proved that she’s a liar. As Democrat politicians get caught in increasingly egregious lies, it’s rather ironic that people care less, not more. “That’s just what politicians do,” they say, when what they really should be saying is “That’s what Democrat politicians do, so why the Hell are we voting for them?”
I’m embarrassed to admit this about the American people, but I suspect even Obama’s manifest, gross, far-reaching lies about Obamacare will eventually get nothing more than shrugs from Americans. Those who are ideologically blind will even add “The Republicans made him do it.” So Warren’s lies won’t get her.
I suspect that what will destroy Warren in the end is the same thing that wiped out Hillary: she’s not likable. Exactly like Hillary, Warren is angry, smug, and condescending. Obama is too, but he was clever enough to hide that on the campaign trail. Hillary couldn’t and Warren can’t.
My own outdated experience with having Warren as a law professor some decades ago is that she’s also a terribly bad communicator. Like Obama, she does fine with the prepared speech, but she’s incoherent when she’s off the cuff. And unlike Obama, she’s not black nor does she have a photogenic smile nor “ripped abs” to help her out. Ask her the right question, meaning an important question for which she doesn’t have a pre-packaged answer, and all you’ll get is a boatload of angry BS.
William Jacobson, of Legal Insurrection, thinks as I do about Warren, and therefore devoutly hopes that she runs, because he’s assuming that she will collapse before a Republican candidate. I’d like to agree with him, but I fear greatly that Republicans will, as always, destroy themselves. With our luck, rather than having Ted Cruz, or Bill Lee, Alan West, or even Chris Christie (whom I’ve come to dislike but whose still more conservative than not) on the ballot, Republican primaries are going to result in our having John McCain on the ballot. Indeed, with Open Primaries now in major states such as California, the best tactic the Democrats could use would be to put John McCain or Lindsay Graham or some other self-hating “conservative” on the ballot against Warren or whomever else the Democrats run with.
Yesterday I directed your attention to one of the angriest editorial opinions I’ve ever seen in the normally temperate Wall Street Journal. What I missed was that Daniel Henninger, who’s also a normally temperate writer, also leveled a huge mortar round of ugly facts against our President:
We should admit the obvious: Barack Obama is the most anti-political president the United States has had in the post-war era. Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter (even), Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush. All practiced politics inside the tensions between Congress and the presidency that were designed into the system by the Founding Fathers. Not Barack Obama. He told us he was different. He is.
Mr. Obama doesn’t do Washington’s politics. Disappointed acolytes say it is because he is “passive.” That underestimates him. For Mr. Obama, the affairs of state are wholly a function of whatever is inside his mind.
Some things remain in his mind, like the economic benefits of public infrastructure spending, which appeared one more time in Monday’s post-Navy Yard speech on the lessons of the financial crisis and Congress’s obligations to agree with him. Some things enter his mind and then depart, like red lines in the Syrian sand.
From where he sits, it is the job of the political world outside to adjust and conform to the course of the president’s mental orbit. Those who won’t adjust are dealt with by the president himself. They are attacked publicly until they are too weak politically to oppose what is on his mind.
This is the unique Obama M.O. For historians of the Obama presidency, this September has been a case study in the 44th president’s modus operandi.
Please read the whole thing here.
As with climate change, I feel vindicated — but a fat lot of good vindication does me. The damage is already done whether to our economy or our national security.
Voters duped by a Leftist media first gave us two years of unbridled Progressive politics, then at least four years of divided politics (2010-2014, or maybe 2016), and another three plus years of Barack Hussein Obama. Eight years is a long time within which destructive forces can do their dirty work. The turnaround won’t be instant and won’t even be eight years. If conservative principles do take hold again, it may take decades to undo the damage. And given the current infighting amongst those who call themselves Republicans, it looks as if the somewhat more conservative party in America is once again setting up its circular firing squad.
Sometimes I think that the only thing that will save the Right in 2016 is the fact that Democrats are also going to have a presidential primary. No matter how the actual election goes, I’ve got the popcorn and chocolate ice cream ready for the delightful spectacle of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren, three of the worst liars in politics today, squaring off against each other.
Rich Lowry wrote a great article today about the Democrats’ enormous frustration with Ted Cruz: Cruz ought to be one of them, since he’s manifestly brilliant and hyper-educated . . . except that he refuses to be one of them. I especially liked this bit:
Democrats and liberal pundits would surely dislike Cruz no matter where he went to school, but his pedigree adds an extra element of shocked disbelief to the disdain. “Princeton and Harvard should be disgraced,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell exclaimed on MSNBC, as if graduating a constitutionalist conservative who rises to national prominence is a violation of the schools’ mission statements.
It almost is. Princeton and Harvard aren’t quite the École Nationale d’Administration, the French school that trains that country’s political class, but they are close.
Andrew Stiles assembled a list of quotations from Democrats anxious to destroy Cruz before he gets a solid footing as a national candidate. They realize that he’s Obama’s mirror image — Ivy League-educated, intelligent, a minority, and appealing to the masses — except that in Cruz’s case, he actually is intelligent and has the Ivy League grades and the work resume to prove it. More than that, Cruz has a great deal of experience with the federal government, something Obama lacked.
Cruz is, in other words, the un-Sarah Palin. He cannot be demeaned in order to be destroyed. Because Cruz’s credentials hold up to scrutiny, and because he’s been very careful about making his life an open book, unlike the secretive Obama, Democrats are left with two lines of attack: Cruz isn’t really a minority (because he doesn’t support Democrat policies, which is the litmus test for all minorities) and he must be insane or evil:
The liberal media are obsessed with Texas’s freshman senator Ted Cruz. The most recent outbreak includes a Daily Beast hit piece about his “creepy” college years at Princeton, as well as a flurry of articles about whether his Canadian-American dual citizenship could complicate a potential run for the White House in 2016.
“I don’t think he should be defined as a Hispanic,” former governor Bill Richardson (D., N.M.) said in response to a question about Cruz’s view on immigration. Richardson later said his remarks were “misinterpreted.”
I’m not just relying on pundits, of course. From everything I’ve seen of Cruz, he is admirable: He’s personable; able to articulate conservative principles in clear, accessible language; consistent; funny; and just all around an appealing candidate, at least for true-believers.
Having said all that, here’s the one thing that worries me about Cruz — he seems to be a bit of a hot-head, who likes to make waves but doesn’t always think through those wave’s consequences. Here’s Lowry again:
None of this is to endorse all of Cruz’s tactical judgments or to deny he can irk his own side of the aisle at times.
His push to defund Obamacare this fall is a grass roots-pleasing slogan in search of a realistic path to legislative fruition. Cruz never explains how a government shutdown fight would bring about the desired end. The strategy seems tantamount to believing that if Republican politicians clicked their wing tips together and wished it so, President Barack Obama would collapse in a heap and surrender on his party’s most cherished accomplishment.
In a field dominated with exciting, fairly young conservatives — Cruz, Mike Lee, Allen West (and even Rand Paul) — I think Cruz is someone to watch, admire, and appreciate. Can’t you just imagine heads exploding all over if there were a Cruz/West ticket? Having said that, though, I’m not inclined to manufacture a ticket this early in the game, nor do I like the idea of putting a ticket together just to watch Progressive heads explode. I want to wait a year or two, and then hope (devoutly) that the media hasn’t destroyed every viable conservative candidate by nitpicking over bullying incidents in pre-school or silly spoonerisms on the campaign trail. And then, since I’m assuming a Biden versus Hillary fight on the Left, I want to throw my wholehearted support behind any candidate who can defeat either of those two.
Sometimes distance provides perspective. My travels meant that, rather than being enveloped by news as I usually am, I read it only intermittently, and often through the New York Times’ filter, since that was the only news to which I had access for many days at a time. The few stories I was able to follow put me strongly in mind of the Gettysburg Address, and how far away from those principles our current government has come. Some of this is directly attributable to the current Democrat presidency, and some is an unpleasant by-product of a bureaucracy that has taken on a life of its own, independent of its creators’ ideas and energies.
Lincoln’s genius was that he was able to reduce to the smallest number of words the revolutionary principles that drove the Founding Fathers, as expressed in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Do we still have a government “of the people, by the people [and] for the people?” No. Our political and bureaucratic classes no longer believe that the people have anything to do with their continued existence (that is, they do not view themselves as parts of a government “by the people”); they do not believe that they have anything in common with the people whose lives they dictate (in other words, they are not part of a government “of the people”); and nothing they do benefits the people who are trapped in their web of laws and regulations (so that they are not part of a government “for the people”).
America has ceased to be a representative democracy and has, instead, become an oligarchy: We, the People, are controlled by a proportionately small number of people who claim all entitlement to themselves and who, through laws, lawlessness, and unbridled bureaucracy (with a bureaucracy made up of people entirely beholden to the oligarchy for their continued well-being), control every aspect of our lives. This oligarchy is separate from and unrelated to the constitutional, representative democracy Lincoln believed was the necessary underpinning for a nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
A handful of stories upon my return forcefully brought home the vast chasm that has formed between “we, the People” and those who no longer represent us but who, instead, simply govern us.
1. The people have long loathed ObamaCare, and by a significant and unchanging percentage too. Even the President’s water carriers are getting nervous. Those charged with enforcing it against us will not use it for themselves, nor will those who imposed it upon us. It is a product of the oligarchy, with the benefits, but not the burdens, flowing solely to the oligarchy. It was imposed upon the People, not through a true democratic process, but through dirty political dealing. This is neither government by the people nor for the people.
2. Despite the stagnant economy, the high unemployment, the rise of part-time jobs (i.e., no living wage), the number of young people stuck at home, and the continuing bankruptcy of our country’s business and economy, our President and his family continue to live like Nero or Marie Antoinette. The Nero analogy was most recently demonstrated with the story that Obama is golfing while the world burns down around us. The Marie Antoinette analogy can be seen in the endless round of A-list partying and multi-millionaire style vacations the Obamas enjoy, using our money (White House facilities for parties, taxpayer-funded air transport and security for offsite pleasures), even as ordinary citizens struggling to make ends meet. Obama, however, is worse than either Nero or Marie Antoinette, or any other analogous political figures (both historic and present day) who rob from the people to fund their lavish personal lifestyles. This is because Obama is the only one of these figures who is — in theory, at least, an elected representative who is supposed to be only first among equals. Obama’s grandiosity, however, shows that he no longer considers himself one of the people. Worse, he is abetted in this historic break from a constitutional presidency by a ruling political and media class that has a vested economic and social interest in breaking with a constitutional republican democracy.
3. The current government has abandoned the notion that government belongs to the people (“of, by, and for”) and holds, instead, the belief that the people and everything that they possess belong to the government. Rep. Keith Ellison, a black, Muslim convert who is a darling of the Left, articulated this sentiment with startling clarity: “The bottom line is we’re not broke, there’s plenty of money, it’s just the government doesn’t have it. . . . The government has a right, the government and the people of the United States have a right to run the programs of the United States. Health, welfare, housing – all these things.” Government unions are a subset of this mindset. In private industries, both management and the unions are negotiating with real money, real products, and real labor. In the government sector, they negotiate with other people’s money regarding intangible products and services that are of dubious value. (Think about the fact that California alone has more than 500 different agencies, a spectacular percentage of which are duplicative, and an even larger number of which do not serve the California taxpayers, but instead are directed at steering special interest groups into the government fold.)
4. The bureaucracy has become an entity of itself. It is no longer a subset of American government. It is its own special interest group, and it advances its own agenda. This fact can be attributed in significant part to government unions which, as noted above, sever government employees from the Peoples’ economic and practical needs. Moreover, as the IRS scandal shows, the government bureaucracies no longer need political guidance to go after citizens who have the potential to disrupt their bureaucratic livelihood. With little or no prompting from the political class, the bureaucracies abandoned their obligation to impose the law impartially and, instead, attacked what they perceived as threats. If this seems familiar to you, you have only to think of innumerable science fiction books or movies (e.g., Terminator III), in which robots become sentient and turn on their human creators.
5. Our next election is already predetermined. Sadly, Myrna Adams makes the best argument for why Hillary Clinton will win in 2016 — and you’ll notice that none of her points have anything whatsoever to do with the will of the people or the state of America and the world, either now or in 2016. Instead, Adams points to the political machinery which has broken down, with the dial perpetually set to “Democrat.” Neither Hillary’s and her teams’ lack of any accomplishments to speak of nor the fact that Hillary herself is an undistinguished and inspiring human being will matter. The oligarchy, made up of politicians, monied interests, government bureaucracies, media players, and academics, has spoken. It’s Hillary’s turn now. After all, in 2008 and again in 2012, Obama was a candidate without accomplishments or, when off the teleprompter, charisma. The robots — er, oligarchs . . . er, political class . . . er, media — anointed him and he won. “We, the People” — our needs, desires, and existence — have become entirely expendable.
In the next election, democracy will be just as meaningful as it was in the old Soviet Union when 100% of the voters “freely” cast their votes for the Communist party candidate. The Soviet Union was a nominal democracy in that the people “voted,” but it totally by-passed Lincoln’s requirement that a government worth saving must be “of the people, by the people, [and] for the people” in order to ensure that a nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” shall not “perish from the earth.”
It turns out that, when Dr. Ben Carson gently chided President Obama’s policies during the National Prayer Breakfast, he was holding back. When he gave a speech CPAC, where he could freely speak his mind, Dr. Carson was more direct: If a hypothetical “somebody” in the White House “wanted to destroy this nation,” he would “coincidentally” do exactly what Obama has already done.
In the lead-up to his stunning accusation against Obama, Dr. Carson repeated a point he made during the National Prayer breakfast, which is that the national debt, standing alone, is well on its way to destroy America:
We’re reacting to what we see as our fiscal woes without planning for the future, without really caring about what is happening to the next generation. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to understand that if we continue to spend ourselves into oblivion, we are going to destroy our nation.
It was clear that he next intended to imagine what a good presidency would look like. After his first sentence, though, the audience response was so strong that he realized he would have to use a different way to address the issue of White House leadership:
Let’s say you if you could magically make it into the White House (interrupted by wild and sustained applause at the thought of Dr. Carson in the White House). I take it back!
Rather than discuss what a good presidency would look like, Dr. Carson asked the audience to think about a bad, destructive presidency and how it would play out:
But let’s say somebody was there and they wanted to destroy this nation. What would you do? Let me tell you what I would do. First of all, I would create division among the people. I would have everybody pitted against each other because a wise man by the name of Jesus once said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” And then I would encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country. And then I would undermine the financial stability of the country, and drive us so far into debt that there was absolutely no chance that it could recover. And I would weaken the military and destroy the morale of the military. That’s what I would do and I guarantee you it would work. Now, the question is, it appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now. And the question is, How do we stop it. Can we stop it?
In that simple hypothetical, Dr. Carson managed to sum up every domestic policy that the Obama administration, working with a Democrat legislature, has enacted: a White House that colludes with the media to harass, demean, insult, and misrepresent every conservative person or conservative idea; a massive stimulus that benefited only preferred political players, followed by constantly rising government expenditures; and fundamental changes to the military by allowing homosexuals to serve openly and women to serve in combat units.
It’s unclear whether Dr. Carson, who has never held political office, is ready simply to dive into the White House in 2016. That’s not really important. What is important is that Dr. Carson is one more reminder that the up-and-coming generation of politically active conservatives has young stars – people like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Allen West, and Ben Carson — who will reach their political peak in waves that wash over every election in the next sixteen years.
(Written by Bookworm; first published at Mr. Conservative)
I’m still reading scattered posts castigating Mitt Romney for being a bad candidate or running a bad campaign. I understand the need to analyze failures to identify remediable errors, but we’re making a huge mistake focusing on the end of the campaign, rather than the beginning. One could say the beginning of the campaign is the Republican primary that resulted in a nice, bland, classic Republican technocrat. It’s the voters’ fault Romney went head-to-head with Obama. But that conclusion still doesn’t reach far enough into the past to explain Romney’s failure.
Romney failed because the American public has been trained to vote against Republicans. This isn’t as random or obvious a thought as it seems (although I’ll concede that it is pretty obvious). It has special meaning for me, because I’m getting together with some conservative gals who have ties to recent Republican candidates. One of them is married to a man who, some time ago, tried to displace Lynn Woolsey in the House of Representatives. Woolsey will be retiring this January, but she’s probably quite satisfied that she can look back at decades of far-Left Progressive politicking in Washington. Two of the others with whom I’m lunching are gals I last saw at a lunch for Elizabeth Emken, who lost to Dianne Feinstein.
Both Republican candidates were fabulous by any normal standard: intelligent, attractive, principled, and honorable. In the 1940s, they would have been central casting picks for the good guy’s perfect political candidate. Both of them ran against incumbents who didn’t even bother to campaign. I’m not guilty of hyperbole when I saw that. Neither Woolsey nor Feinstein did anything beyond putting up a few signs. Both women knew that the Republican candidates weren’t worth fighting.
Woolsey’s and Feinstein’s certainty — which proved to be correct — clearly wasn’t because the Republicans were lousy candidates. Woolsey and Feinstein could afford to do nothing because they knew that there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in Hell that California and Marin voters would vote for a Republican. The Democrat political takeover is so complete that even God himself, if he ran as a Republican, would lose.
The late, great Andrew Breitbart understood that the problem isn’t politics, it’s culture. Politics is just the final step in a culture’s trajectory. Roger Simon exhorts conservatives to focus on the culture and force a change as quickly as possible:
As the late — and increasingly lamented — Andrew Breitbart pointed out repeatedly, “Politics is downstream from culture.”
Just how downstream we saw in this year’s election. Virtually every accusation made by the left toward Republicans and conservatives (sexism, racism, greed, etc.) was prepared and nurtured in the realm of culture. That was the earth in which the lies grew and prospered. And those lies, more than any facts or policies, were responsible for a liberal victory in a year — with unemployment at 8 percent and a deficit at 16 trillion — that should have been a Republican rout.
Put simply, give up on the culture and you lose forever. (It’s hard enough with the media and the educational system rigged the way they are.)
So my point is quite simple. Quit bitching and start doing.
Roger’s right. Run for the local school board or town council (neither of which require you to state party affiliation). Get onto the community college board. Stop going to popular movies that have anti-American themes. You can live without seeing the latest action flick, but the movie producers cannot live without your money.
On Facebook and at parties, politely argue with vapid Progressive conclusions. I did so the other day on Facebook, and got an arch liberal to agree that the UN is a despotic organization that should be done away with. I don’t think he’d ever thought about that before. And I did it all by politely questioning conclusions that the Progressives in the debate couldn’t support and by advancing facts that they couldn’t deny.
We keep thinking that, because our ideas are sound, they don’t need explanation or promotion. In the meanwhile, the Progressive Left has long understood that, because it’s ideas do not work well in the real world, but only in the Petri dish of the Leftist mind, they can become ascendant only through relentless promotion. What we never realized was that most people don’t think, they just “know” — or think they “know.” But really, they’re just like a shopper buying one brand of peanut butter over the other because the brand she selects has a better jingle that has formed part of a permanent soundtrack in her mind.
We need to start jingling folks — every one of us, in every way we can. We can’t all be Andrew Breitbart, but we can be soldiers in his cultural army.