There Is No Such Thing As “Too Conservative”

Eleven seconds after Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for President, the left and media (ptr) declared he couldn’t possibly win because he was “too conservative”.

Of course, any conservative – especially the ones that provide a legitimate threat to the Democrats, or are endorsed at any rate – will be labelled “too conservative”.

Sturdevanted:  The mainstream media, and parts of the GOP establishment, and for that matter my moderate-Democrat father – are fond of practicing “Sturdevanting”; thinking that all our nation’s problems would be solved if the GOP became “less extreme” and the Democrat Party remained squirrel!   If we just had a GOP like the good old days – the Gerald Fords and the Dave Jenningses and the Arne Carlsons – who were willing to work with the Gus Halls and Rudy Perpiches and Paul Wellstones (and indulge their most wacked-out “progressive” pipe dreams), all would be just hunky dory.

Of course, there’s method to the madness; so much, in fact, that it’s The Law.

Threat Reduction:  Berg’s Eighth Law to be exact: “The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected”.   (There are a number of corollaries, ending with the Reagan Corollary, which is pretty germane today: “The Media and Left (pardon the redundancy) will try to destroy the conservative they are most afraid of”).

Now, Ted Cruz isn’t my top choice; as I noted the other day, he’s behind Walker, Jindal, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio on my list, so far.

And there may be reasons he can’t win; being “too conservative” isn’t one of them.

And by “too conservative”, I mean in a modern American context; proclaiming oneself king, calling for the re-establishment of the Holy Roman Empire and the re-institution of flogging in the Navy are pretty much off the table, realistically.

But in that American context?

Mitt Romney didn’t lose because he was too conservative; he outpolled Obama among “independent” and “moderate” voters.  No, Mitt lost because 400,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and Colorado stayed home.  400,000 Republicans that had showed up for previous elections, but decided they had better things to do on a Tuesday night.

And they didn’t stay home because Mitt was too conservative.

Kevin Williamson at NRO notes that Sturdevanting, and other violations of Berg’s 11th Law, have a long, storied history:

“Reagan can’t win, Ford says.” That’s the 1976 version. The 1980 New York Times version, with the nearly identical headline: “Ford Declares Reagan Can’t Win.” Ford was really quite sure of himself: “Every place I go, and everything I hear, there is a growing, growing sentiment that Governor Reagan cannot win the election.” New York magazine: “The reason Reagan can’t win. . . . ” “Preposterous,” sociologist Robert Coles wrote about the idea of a Reagan victory. The founder of this magazine worried that Reagan simply could not win in 1980, and several National Review luminaries quietly hoped that George H. W. Bush would be the nominee. There were serious, thoughtful conservatives who thought in 1980 that their best hope was to have Daniel Patrick Moynihan run as a Democrat that year, while many others were looking to ex-Democrat John Connally to carry the conservative banner on the GOP side. Things have a funny way of working out differently than expected. (And then much, much differently.)

And of course, if you’re a conservative, there’s another angle to it:

Will he be the nominee? Good Lord, who knows or cares at this point? It’s a question mainly of interest to Ted Cruz and his rivals, and maybe to their sainted mothers. That we are so fascinated by the possibility is further evidence of the corrosive cult of the presidency — we conservatives should know better than to wait for the anointing of a savior.

Take that, Ron Paul supporters.

Anyway – is there such a thing as “too conservative?”  Maybe. Is anyone to the left of Mike Huckabee the one to tell a conservative/republican/libertarian what that means?

No.  Not at all.

Signs

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Presidential elections are coming up. Hilary Clinton is the Democrat front-runner and Scott Walker the Republican front-runner for President. It’s so hard to know who to vote for. Let me help you out:

The last time Hilary Clinton drove a car was 1996, when Magic Johnson was playing, Don Shula retired and Taylor Swift entered grade school. Hilary’s been chauffeured around in limousines ever since.

Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, rides a Harley.

That’s all you need to know.

Although to be fair, when your constituency includes Milwaukee, it’s probably a good idea to ride a Harley even if you hate them.

But the larger point is valid; do you remember how people castigated George HW Bush for not remembering what the price of a gallon of milk was, after 12 years in the administration and of not being allowed to go near a grocery store by the Secret Service?

Paper

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals exclaim that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s lack of a college degree proves he lacks knowledge.

I knew a guy who was frighteningly well educated. He could tell you why it rained, when it was going to rain, what made it rain . . . he just didn’t have enough sense to come in Out of the rain.

Knowledge is not wisdom.

Knowledge is learned in college; wisdom is won in the world.

I wish our current President had more worldly wisdom and not so much college knowledge.

I sincerely hope our next President does.

Joe Doakes

Anyone still talking about where they went to college more than five years after they graduated, unless there in an academic field, probably has nothing to be proud of in their post-college life.

Anyone who barbers about where someone went to college, unless that person is operating on the child or building their bridge, is probably an idiot.

By Degrees

I have a college degree.

And other than writing for some portion of my living for pretty much my entire adult life, I’ve never really “used it”.  My BA was in English, with minors in History and German (and two courses short of a minor in Computer Science, although it was the type of computer science that is pretty obsolete today).  Most of what I use for a living, I picked up on my own – and yes, college certainly helped me “learn how to learn”, which has been the stated justification for humanities degrees among the independently-non-wealthy for decades.

So college was good for me; I’m glad I went.  But a degree doesn’t say all that much about a person.

Least of all an “elite” degree.  The best thing an Ivy League degree says about a person is that between the ages of 14 and 17, they knew enough to play the paper chase with enough excellence to punch all the tickets that “elite” school recruiters were looking for, because they had a sense of the importance of that most important byproduct of an “elite” education; access to the alumni directory.  And that’s the best thing it says.   The other things it says – legacy admission, overentitlement, educational stage parents – are less salutary.

In the meantime, many of the greatest Americans – from Abraham Lincoln to Bill Gates – had no college education (at the least).

So after eight years of stonewalling about Barack Obama’s college transcripts, the media is suddenly obsessed with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s college career – which was cut short when he dropped out to start his career.

Will that scupper Walker with the American people?  Charles CW Cooke says there are a couple sides to that question:

How effective the approach would be during a general election is anybody’s guess, for at present Americans exhibit a strange and inconsistent attitude toward their dropouts. In theory, this is a nation that was built by the rebels and the nonconformists — more specifically, by the recalcitrant revolutionaries of Valley Forge, the chippy entrepreneurs of the frontier and of Silicon Valley, and by the ambitious Lincolnian auto-didacts who looked at their conditions and sought to improve them on their own terms.

Indeed, many of the great advances in human history came from the self-taught autodidact.

In practice, however, America is becoming increasingly rigid and Babbit-like. When a given individual makes it without school, we lavish him with praise and with adulation and we explain his rise with saccharine appeals to the American spirit; when our own children suggest that they might wish to dropout, however, we tut-tut and roll our eyes and make sneering jokes about Burger King.

There are, of course, two Americas:

This is no accident. Rather, it is the product of an increasing tendency among college-educated Americans to regard the letters after their names as a distinguishing mark that renders them as part of a special, exclusive class. By willfully conflating their established educational achievements and their presumed intellect or societal worth — in Dean’s words, their “education” per se — these people extract every last ounce of social value from their investment, and make it appear as if the only way to compete with them is to join them…Sorry, Mr. Walker, you have the wrong colored dot on your forehead to run for higher office.

I think a person whose life has been focusing on accomplishing things would make a nice switch from a President with all sorts of credential who has accomplished nothing.

Hope

Generally, I keep my powder dry as we ramp up to big endorsement challenges.  And this year might be as good a year as any to keep mum.

But I’m not.  Among a small short-list of GOP candidates I’d like to see running for the Presidency – Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, maybe Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio – the top of my list is Scott Walker.  I’m a Walker guy, and I have been since he survived his recall.

The biggest concern people have had so far about Walker is that “he’s not charismatic enough” – yet another thing that has made me long for the days before television screwed up American politics.

But there is ground for hope that worries about Walker’s charisma may be exaggerated.

Low Information

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I stopped for lunch at the Maid-Rite in St. Cloud. The St. Cloud Times article says Michele Bachmann is preparing to oppose Hillary’s run for president. The woman behind the counter wishes Michele Bachmann would just go away. “Obama could say snow is white and Bachmann would say it’s not.” But Obama would not say that: he’d say white snow is a micro-aggression against brown and black people; therefore Minnesotans are racist. I don’t mind having someone speak up against that attitude. Joe Doakes

The left seems to have trouble with the logical initial terms of most arguments.

Jebbed

Nate Silver – in a piece entitled “Is Jeb Bush Too Liberal To Win The Republican Nomination In 2016” – answered the question halfway, after providing a nifty visual of Republicans rated (according to Silver’s choice of ratings on indices: voting recordsdonor base and public statements on the issues.

Here’s the list:

Quibble with the methodology if you want (Mike Huckabee is not “to the right” of Rick Perry or Bobby Jindal, much less Ronald Reagan).

But it does provide an interesting jumpoff point for a conversation; is the GOP screwing up again with the “Jeb is Inevitable” meme? 

The whole point behind John McCain was his “electability”.  Ditto, to an extent, Mitt Romney – both of whom, you may recall, lost. 

As Limbaugh put it yesterday:

So we are, in a blog here at FiveThirtyEight, we’re ranking Jeb Bush against four other men who have lost or failed to succeed in getting a nomination or did get the nomination but lost the election. Now, isn’t there a lesson there? The establishment keeps telling us, “No, no, no, you Tea Party people, look at what happened to Barry Goldwater, we’ll get creamed. You people are extremist kooks! America thinks the Tea Party is a bunch of kooks, and if we have a nominee coming from you, why, we’re gonna get creamed. We’re gonna have a landslide like Goldwater.”

And, of course, the retort is, “Yeah, well, the people you are nominating, I don’t see a W next to their names at the end of the process. You guys can cite one: Barry Goldwater. We can cite every one of your nominees. They lose, every one of them.” But, nevertheless, the process continues here to rank Jeb and other Republicans on this imaginary chart of conservatism.

Upshot: the more I watch Scott Walker, the more I like him.

Letting Slip The Dogs Of “Blech”

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

So those of you who follow this post through to the bitter end will be ten feet tall and armor plated in about fifteen minutes.

There’s an election in two years – and the Democrat Party has decided to try to kick off the battle via the medium of the popular song.

There are three contenders, and they’re all pretty freaking awful.

But American needs to know; what’s the worst of the noxious bunch?

Let’s meet the offenders.  Then let’s get down to voting.

Contender #1 – The Hillary Clinton Country-Western Song: This is Hillary’s opening bid for popularity in a part of the country that would rather catch a stream of projectile diarrhea than vote for Hillary Clinton.

It’s got everything that people in America’s heartland look for in a leader: central-casting “country” people; folksy abbreviations on videos (“Learnin’ Hindsight’s Always Right”, “‘Cuz Our American Dream’s At Stake”), because we like our videos to do their local patois the same way Hillary Clinton does it in her speeches – clumsy and patronizing; clunky, greasy references to inside-the-Beltway chanting points (“let’s smash that glass ceiling!”, indeed).

Hard to pick the biggest groaner; for my money, it’s the moment around 1:50, where the hot babe on the motorcycle gives the guy a ride on the back. That’s right, guys – you’ve been living in two-income families for a generation now, but deep down inside you’re all still sexists!

You just know some consultant – in my mind’s eye, “he” looks like Pajama-Boy – got major kudos for this idea. Maybe even got it stolen by a bigger consultant.

The video reportedly cost the Hillary PAC a million dollars to make.  I have a hunch most of it went to AFTRA fees for the guys in the band – the only four males in Los Angeles would could pull of “Country Western Band”.

Or is the worst song…

Fauxcahontas’s Faux Faulk Frenzy:  On the surface, it seems like Elizabeth “I Lied About Being Cherokee” Warren’s song couldn’t be any more different;  lazily-written, badly-sung pseudo-”folk” music is as organic to the cultural left as Whole Foods, Terry Gross or Gluten-Free Coffee.

And whomever produced this atrocity got some of the surface anti-glitz “glitz” as right as Hillary’s crew got “country” wrong.  ”Run Fauxcahontas Run” has lots of the veneer of bad coffeehouse folk music; the big chorus stretches eleven syllables to cover fourteen syllables of rhythm; the dork-fingered guitar-playing sounds so much like it’s being played by a Sylvia-Plath-obsessed Vassar women’s studies major…

…that you know it can’t be.  It takes professionals – session musicians earning triple the musicians union scale – to play that badly, that well; it takes a professional singer to to edge that close to sounding like a lesbian slam poet without serving into pure caricature…

…as much as the lyrics do.

Before It Was Hilarious:  Of course, the control for this experiment was this little ditty from 2008, a classic hymn to The One…

…complete with adoring crowds chanting, Nuremberg-style, in the background.

Nothing more needs to be said, right?

Please?

A Time For Choosing:  OK – so what is the worst Hymn to a Candidate ever?

What’s the worst candidate hymn?

 
pollcode.com free polls

This may be the most important vote you take this year.

Obama’s “Working Class” Problem

Who could have seen this coming – an administration that, for all of its chatter about “shovel ready jobs” and “infrastructure”, is hog-tied to its allegiance to academia and liberal plutocrats, having big trouble with working class voters, especially white ones? 

As the price of fuel, staple foods, education and healthcare skyrocketed, all that talk of blue-collar work evaporated. 

Glenn Reynolds writes:

That was actually an original part of Barack Obama’s stimulus plan, but it was derailed by feminists within the Obama coalition who thought it would produce too many jobs for men. Christina Romer, then-chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, reported: “The very first email I got … was from a women’s group saying ‘We don’t want this stimulus package to just create jobs for burly men.’ ”

Well, if you’re offended by jobs for burly men, you probably won’t do well with working-class men, or with the working-class women who are often married to burly men. And, as Joel Kotkin notes, many other Obama policies — promoting urban density, which creates fewer construction jobs; fighting oil and coal extraction, thus targeting industries that create high-paying blue collar jobs; and even opening up immigration, which drives down wages for the working class — all seem designed to punish people who work for a living, even as expanded benefits for the poor seem designed to reward people who draw government checks for a living.

The parallels in Minnesota are – or should be – tantalizing to conservative Republicans; the DFL is even more the lapdog of urban academia and plutocrats than the national party; I’m not sure how Rick Nolan beat Stewart Mills, and I’m not sure he’ll do it again.  And when Collin Peterson finally retires in the 7th CD, that district will be Republican for a generation or two…

…entirely on the dynamics in Reynolds’ article.

Convention Plans

We’re already down to convention-planning time. 

And while the Democrat National Committee is pondering New York, Philly and Columbus, Ohio, Kevin Williamson has a more appropriate idea:

The Democrats, if they had any remaining intellectual honesty, would hold their convention in Detroit. Democratic leadership, Democratic unions and the Democratic policies that empower them, Democrat-dominated school bureaucracies, Democrat-style law enforcement, Democratic levels of taxation and spending, the politics of protest and grievance in the classical Democratic mode — all of these have made Detroit what it is today: an unwholesome slop-pail of woe and degradation that does not seem to belong in North America, a craptastical crater groaning with misery, a city-shaped void in what once was the industrial soul of the nation. If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.

Not, he points out, that New York and Philadelphia aren’t headed in the same direction…

The Faint Glimmer Of Hope

Living as I do in the Fourth CD, watching wave after wave of excellent candidates go forth to do battle in Saint Paul (Sharna Walgren, Tomy Hernandez, Teresa Collett) and across the river in Minneapolis in the 5th CD (Doug Daggett, Chris Fields), it’s easy to get discouraged.  It feels sometimes that there just is no hope.

And then you see a story like this

…and you suck it up and you carry on for next cycle.

Our Gullible Left

Nobody is going to “impeach” President Obama.

Oh, some fringers will write angry demands for impeachment; some overwrought but underinformed people on the far outskirts of the political mainstram will take up the call, wave their signs, buy their T-shirts and bumper-stickers – the usual stuff.

But there’s not going to be an impeachment, because it is legally and practically impossible.  While the House might hypothetically be able to write, vote on and pass “Articles of Impeachment” – sort of what an indictment would be in a criminal case – the Democrat-controlled Senate would never vote to impeach a sitting Democrat President. 

The GOP on Capitol Hill knows this.  So does everyone on both sides who paid attention during civics class. 

That’s a class that apparently doesn’t include a lot of wealthy, ignorant Democrats (ptr):

President Obama and the Democratic Party are presently peddling a conspiracy theory that Republicans have a secret plan to impeach him from office. Their reason for selling this theory is nakedly self-interested: to raise money from gullible donors and drive turnout from excitable but poorly informed voters who may be unhappy with the President’s job performance but remain personally loyal to him.

 

Democrats, of course, are just cynically exploiting anything that can help them gain partisan advantage. What is much more disappointing is the media playing along with this agitprop campaign, in particular by hounding Republican candidates across the country to discuss impeachment and then turning their answers into “Republicans talking about impeachment” stories even if they strenuously deny that they’re interested in such a thing (or, as commonly happens, if they duck the question or offer vague answers designed to avoid alienating voters who might very much like to see the President impeached or at least see something tried).

It reminds me of the “when did you stop beating your wife”-style beginnings of the “War on Women” meme two years ago; the Democrats and media (ptr) began wagging the public dog on the issue, conjuring up a non-existent movement just in time for election time.

Expect an avalanche of this in the next two years.

That’s Rock And Roll

In the whole history of pop music, the whole “hypstr chicks warbling out-of-tune protest-y songs over campfire-style guitar-strumming” is the third worst genre ever hatched (behind only “hypstr chicks warbling out-of-tune protest-y songs over plinky pianos” and, worst of all, “hypster chicks warbling out-of-tune protest-y songs over ukuleles”).  Wanna call that part of the “war on women?”  I’m OK with that.  The genre is that bad.  Someone’s gotta say it.  I’ll take the hit for the betterment of humanity.

On the other hand?  If you are a progressive, this song is the call to action you need…:

…because if you are a “progressive”, Elizabeth Warren – Cherokee chieftain that she is – is the only intellectually honest choice for President in 2016.

You don’t have to believe me. The out-of-tune chick warbling partly in-tune over the politely-strummed, co-op-approved campfire guitar has spoken.

Polling

A recent Quinnipiac poll shows that 33 percent of Americans pick Obama as the worst President since World War 2.  Dubya comes in second at 28 percent. 

So let’s try it this way:  Let’s rank the presidents since WW2.

In the comments, respond with your rankings of the presidents since WW2, in order from worst to best

Here’s the complete list:  Re-order them and leave them in the comments.

  • Truman
  • Eisenhower
  • Kennedy
  • Lyndon Johnson
  • Nixon
  • Ford
  • Carter
  • Reagan
  • George HW Bush
  • Clinton
  • George W Bush
  • Obama.

My vote is below the fold.

Continue reading

Two Patties Of Sizzling Ugh

A friend of mine from South Minneapolis emails.  The bad news?  :

Oh great, my favorite local bar and burger place where I have taken many of you is now world famous. The POTUS just had a “Jucy Lucy” at Matt’s. Crap. We’ve been going to this place for decades and now…the place will be known in every corner of the earth. Best kept secret burger joint now will be even more busy. Dang.

The good news?  At least he didn’t go to The Nook.  You thought it was hard to get into Matt’s even before the POTUS’ visit?

Contempt Of Populace

They say that dissatisfaction with the status-quo – everything from trite “anti-incumbency” to a genuine disgust with the power-mad “House Of Cards”-like ways of Washington (which Obama certainly didn’t invent, but which he’s moved front and center as the defining feature of his reign) will be the driving force in this fall’s election, and possibly 2016 as well.

To ensure that it is, I submit to you a few exhibits that show with crystalline clarity the contempt Obama’s Washington establishement feels for the electorate, whom they seem to believe couldn’t wipe and wash without their help:

The Master Of The Universe:   bit here, about yet another vapid, vacuous Obama staffer “slipping up and telling the truth” about his, and the Administration’s, view of the unwashed masses; it’s Tommy Vietor, one of the Administration’s spokes-drones:

“Iraq is just a ploy to distract you from Bergdahl which distracted you from the VA scandal which distracted you from BENGHAZI. Idiots,”

Seething contempt for the bitter, gun-clinging Jeebus freaks who’d dare question their betters?  The little prick is soaking in it!

Look at his picture at the link above; you can tell the little fop went to Georgetown, hasn’t had a job outside politics in his life, and doesn’t even look out the window when he’s flying to the west coast.

He’s not the poster-child for tearing down the establishment – but only because there are so many other options.

The Brahmins:  Juan Williams indulged in another of the left’s parlour games, “Let’s Compare Degrees!”, on “America’s Newsroom” last week; I’ll add emphasis:

WILLIAMS: It comes in a week in which she said they were dead broke when they left the White House, and that set off conservative blogs, and now this one coming from Rush Limbaugh. I don’t know if he wants to test his Mensa score versus Hillary. I mean, you know, she’s a big-time college grad. But I think what he’s trying to do is he’s trying to deflate a balloon here in that what he said later in that monologue was that Hillary Clinton is supposed to be the brightest woman ever, the most competent woman, and therefore she can be president, and he wants to take down that whole structure right now.

Did you see what Hillary! accomplished during her term at State?

No?

Neither did anyone else.

Williams indulges the liberal conceit that believes the name on ones diploma confers, by itself, excellence.  But most Americans know that the best thing, indeed the only good thing, that an “elite” education says about a person is that between the ages of 14 and 18 they lived a life that was perfectly calculated to win the attention of an admissions committee, knowing that four years of playing the paper chase would give them the one thing of value that attending an “elite” institution really confers; access to the alumni directory.  And that’s the best thing it says about a person; in most cases – Hillary!’s among them – it means they were born into “Legacy” status (and if you read that and think “informal aristocracy”, you’re only wrong about the “informal” part).

For this good of this country, anyone with with an “elite” degree – or for that matter, anyone who’s been out of school more than three years who still talks about where they went to school – should be disqualified from public service.   As should anyone who refers to “Mensa” score unironically.

Pay no attention to the utter lack of accomplishment, peasants.

“The Clinton Years”

To:  The American Electorate
From: Mitch Berg, Guy Who Was Of Cognitive Age In 1992
Re:  The “Clinton Years”

All,

Michael Barone, writing about the putative Hillary Clinton juggernaut:

It seems that Clinton’s standing reflects less on current judgments of Obama and more on rosy retrospective ratings of the presidency of Bill Clinton. Voters may not be eager for a third Obama term, but might like a third Clinton term.

Now, many of you weren’t adults – or at least not paying attention to politics – between 1992 and 2000 (especially in Minnesota, considering who we elected goverrnor in 1998).  You may have been fed a lot of gauzy beatifics about “the Clinton Years”; they were prosperous and peaceful.

Let’s be clear on why that was.

Twang:  Bill Clinton was a Democrat – but he was no Barack Obama.  He was part of the “Democrat Leadership Conference”, a moderate, business-friendly caucus of Democrat pols and advocates.  The DLC has, by the way, been completely extinguished; there’s no  room in the modern Democrat party for such moderation.

Shriek:  But Hillary was not.  Nobody mistook her for a moderate; she was the fire-breathing liberal of the couple.  And for the first two years of Clinton’s first term, many of her pet initiatives – including “Hillarycare”, which in those innocent days before Obamacare seemed like a grotesque power grab, nationalizing 1/7 of the national economy.  The first two years of Clinton’s reign were not much further to the right than Obama’s.

Pow:  The 1994 elections put a stop to that; the GOP took control of Congress for the first time since the ’30s, in a reaction to the Clintons’ “progressive” overreach.  In response, Clinton swung to the right, triangulating to the GOP’s right on issue after issue – essentially neutering all of Hillary’s “progressive” ambitions – to save his presidency in 1996.

During his last six years in office, Clinton was more fiscally conservative than George W Bush.

Poof:  As a result, between the 1994 landslide and his self-inflicted sex scandals, the best thing about the “Clinton Years” was that government was deadlocked between a Congress that was conservative, and a President that was frantically trying to act conservative.

Jing!:  Of course, deadlocked government works best against a background of overwhelming prosperity.  And the US was prosperous during the mid-late nineties – mostly because by 1994, the economy had shifted from Cold War priorities to full-scale civilian production, the so-called “Peace Dividend”.  All those Cold War-period innovations in technology  started filtering into the civilian market, driving frenetic booms in technology, equities, and consumer spending.  We enjoyed the first genuine peacetime boom since the Roaring Twenties – nation’s economic blender switched to “puree”.

The end of the Cold War was, of course, predicated on the end of the USSR – and that was largely the work of Ronald Reagan.

Bill Clinton didn’t govern anything like Ronald Reagan.  Hillary would be much less so.

The Good Old Days Are Gone For Good:  It’s not the nineties.  The GOP doesn’t control Congress – and any circumstances that lead to a Hillary! win would likely also lead to a blunting of any GOP effort to retake the Senate or extend control of the House – as Barone points out in the piece I link above, people are much more likely to vote straight tickets than they were 22 years ago.

So while the Democrats and media (ptr) will flog the idea that Hillary would be a return of Bill which would lead to a return of their gauzy, soft-focus version of “The Nineties” – it’s just not true.  Hillary is not Bill; without a conservative Congress, it’ll be like having Maxine Waters running things.  And Obama has seen to it there will be no surge of productivity when he leaves office.

We will get an expansion of government power; Obamacare will become un-repealable (even as its most onerous provisions finally kick in – and you really ain’t seen nothing yet).  And government debt will zoom under paleo-”progressive” Hillary!, pushing the nation further and faster down the road to the inevitable financial cataclysm.

That is all.

America’s Bargain

SCENE:  As America decides its political course for the next few years, an omniscient narrator asks an illustrative, rhetorical question.

THE OMNISCIENT NARRATOR:   So, American electorate:  if you have a choice between being beaten to death, or living a normal life, which do you pick?

THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE:  Those are the choices?

THE OMNISCIENT NARRATOR:  Yep.  Beaten to death, or normal life.

THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE:  And when you say “beaten to death”, you mean…

THE OMNISCIENT NARRATOR:  …pummeled with baseball bats until you bleed to death from multiple blunt force injuries.

THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE:  Huh.  Life, or getting beaten to death. Let me think.

THE OMNISCIENT NARRATOR:  Take your time.

THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE: Can we settle on just getting pummeled until we get badly injured?

(And SCENE)

Of Convenience

Let’s look at two of the biggest fringe movements in Minnesota politics today:

First;  the “Ron Paul” faction in the GOP.  Mostly in the GOP, anyway; they skitter back and forth between the GOP, the Libertarians, and the “Splendidly Above It All” party.  (And bear in mind – I agree with 80-90% of what Ron Paul says). 

Then – the “Independence” Party; the party that has had precisely two elected officials and two unelected ringers in its entire history; Ventura and liberal-Republican Senator Sheila Kiscaiden, who left the GOP in 2002, and skipped onward to the DFL in 2006 (In addition to Dean Barkley’s month in the US Senate, moderate Iron Range DFLer Bob Lessard joined the IP for his lame-duck term).  The party hangs on to relevance – its “major party status” – by dint of the fact that it manages to eke out over 5% in at least one state-wide election every four years. 

The party was founded, essentially, by “good government” moderates; fiscal sorta conservatives and social mostly liberals.  And that’s who they’ve run for office; among the endless stream of trivia questions that are the Indy Party gubernatorial candidates, we’ve had:

  • 2002 – Tim Penny.  Former moderate DFLer who got left in the middle as the party swung to the left. 
  • 2006 – um, who knows?  I coulda swore they nominated someone, but even Wikipedia doesn’t say.  Peter Hutchinson – a moderate Democrat education industry thinker/bureaucrat.
  • 2010 – Tom Horner, former liberal Republican who, in his entirety, was intended as a spoiler to the Emmer election.  And it worked. 

So what does this tell us?  Ventura – Libertarian In Name Only.  Barkley and Penney – fiscal moderates who epitomized the IndyParty’s loooove of tinkering with the wheels and levers of government.  Lessard and Kiscaiden – a moderate DFLer, and a liberal Republican who turned DFLer when the IndyParty ceased to amuse her.  Horner:  a big-government IR-era not-conservative-at-all Republican in the Arne Carlson mold. 

It’s a party that – to the extent that it has principles – is all for “good government” (best described as getting the biggest bang we can for our ample tax bucks) and social liberalism. 

But in a scene straight out of one of my dramatizations, they’ve endorsed a Ronulan; Hannah Nicollet, who after months of talking about running for Senate, stepped over to the Governor’s race:

“We anticipated we were going to have a Senate endorsement battle, but Hannah Nicollet recognizing that we did not have a candidate who was up for endorsement for governor talked to her family, talked to advisors and came to the leadership before the endorsement started and asked if she could seek the endorsement for governor,” said party chair Mark Jenkins.

Nicollet backed libertarian former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul for President in 2012. She saidshe still supports the majority of that party’s fiscally conservative, socially liberal platform.

So a “libertarian” “supports” the “majority” of a party whose platform traditionally reflects the desire of big-government wonks to play with the wheels and knobs of goverment – which is ostensibly anathema to Ron Paul and, supposedly, the libertarian-Republicans that the IndyParty is courting with bald-faced desperation? 

Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t personally find some resonance with some of Ms. Nicollet’s policy stances.  I do.  But then, I’m a libertarian-conservative, so that’s not a real stretch.  What is a stretch is that the Indy Party – founded by and for people who like to marinade themselves in the sweet smell of “good government” – have suddently had a sincere conversion to “libertarianism”. 

So what could possibly be behind this seeming change of political heart on the IndyParty’s part? 

I’m going to guess “a sizeable donation from Alita Messinger and her DFL-supporting deep-pocketed friends, suitably laundered to conceal the appearance of a paid spoiler”. 

That’s a guess.  Nope, no evidence.  Not yet. 

Just speculating, here.

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