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.

Continue reading

Front Runner?

Scott Walker.

He’s conservative.

He’s got a killer track record.

He’s got killer approval ratings, and has them in a state perhaps even more purple than Minnesota, notwithstanding (or – ahem – because of) his tough, conservative stances on vital issues. 

He’s withstood four years of the most scabrous liberal and media (ptr) campaigns in the history of American politics (not directed at a woman or minority conservative, anyway), and come out stronger than ever

Revealingly, Walker fares well in an electorate that does not seem particularly conservative and that, if anything, appears to be slightly to the left of American voters in general. Among those surveyed in the WPR/St. Norbert’s poll, 48 percent had a favorable view of President Obama; 50 percent had an unfavorable view. Obama generally fares worse than that in national polling. In addition, Wisconsin’s liberal Senator Tammy Baldwin had a positive rating — 44 percent approve; 33 percent disapprove.

In this context, Walker’s popularity is particularly striking. 59 percent approve of his performance, while only 39 percent disapprove.

And despite the left and media’s (ptr) attempt to sand-bag his accomplishments (for instance, the left’s meme claiming Minnesota is “doing better” than Wisconsin, which depends entirely on ignoring the structural differences between manufacturing-heavy Wisconsin and service-heavy Minnesota, or Wisconsin’s commanding lead over MN in climate for new businesses), he’s got his own constituents basically on board - especially amazing considering the manufactured rancor of his first 18 months in office:

 Walker’s approval numbers basically track the right direction/wrong direction numbers for his State. 57 percent said that Wisconsin is moving in the right direction, while 38 percent said its moving in the wrong direction. By contrast only 32 percent believe the United States is moving in the right direction. 63 percent think we’re moving the other way.

If the GOP has a brain…

…well, Jeb who?

Progressives: Your Choice Is Clear

I’d like to address this to this blog’s Democrat readers – especially of the “Progressive” variety.

You’ve got to be bummed.

I mean, your guy Obama was elected in 2008 – but he got elected in large part because he positioned himself as a “moderate”. 

And what are you looking at in 2016?  Hillary?  A moderate, Democrat-Leadership-Conference holdover!

If you care about true progressivism, your one true choice is clear. 

Bernie Sanders For President

And I am here to help you. 

 

Not To Dig Too Hard For Analysis…

…but I noticed an interesting pattern in the voting in the Shot In The Dark straw poll yesterday.

Scott Walker jumped out to a sharp lead, early in the morning, closely followed by Ted Cruz 

Then – along about noon or so – Rand Paul put on a surge, at one point tying Cruz for second place.   This surge ended in the wee hours of this morning.

Then, early in the AM, Walker got another surge. 

Not saying this says anything about relative demographics.  But some people might.

In The Wake…

…of the Instapundit straw poll that showed a convincing (if meaningless) lead for a ticket I’ve quietly dreamed about, I figure that’s an idea I should copy.

So here we go; the first Shot In The Dark Straw Poll.

(and not likely the last one of this campaign).

Who would you like to see running for President?

Who do you support for the GOP Nomination for President in 2016?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Polls open until probably tomorrow sometime.

Seven Arguments

This year may be one of the greatest opportunities for the conservative movement in recent memory.  Greater than 2010?  The polling says “why not?”.  Greater than 1994, in terms of reversing an unstoppable liberal juggernaut?  Maybe.

And maybe not.  Because the GOP – meaning the party, but including some of the parts of the conservative movement that speak from within the platform of the Grand Old Party, continue to show a complete inability to portray conservatism in a form that could attract the unaligned middle class.

And while the insurgent parts of the party – the Tea Party, mainly – can do better, no single Tea Party contender seems to be able to articulate a vision on more than a few issues, consistently and clearly, that resonates with middle class voters.  Now, a few may be enough – Obamacare is a deal-breaker for many people, gun-grabbing for others, and a few Americans even have the foresight to be terrified about long-term entitlement debt.

Victor Davis Hanson – the smartest person in any room he’s in – articulates middle-class approaches to not one, not two, but seven vital issues.   If I pulled one quote, I’d have to pull the whole thing.  I’m just going to commend it to  you for your attention.

And I humbly suggest certain GOP candidates read them, internalize them, and use them on the trail.  Stat.

Genes

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I was thinking of changing careers to become a writer but the Blue section represents an income of zerowhereas the $100,000 group is the sliver of Green.  Odds not looking so good to be a paid professional.  I think I’ll keep pelting Mitch with emails; he can publish what he likes and delete the rest.

The crazy thing about American copyright law is they assume nobody will write or sing or paint without guaranteed income from the performance.  But my experience is you can’t stop people from writing and singing and painting, just for the pleasure of it.  Sure, it’d be nice to make a few bucks to support the hobby, but artistic spirit is wholly unrelated to business management.  Mitch couldn’t stop writing even if he had to pay out of his own pocket for the privilege of keeping up the website to post his writings. [Wait, he does?  Well there you go, proves my point].

Which, by the way, is how I know Barak Obama didn’t write his own books.  He’s not a writer.  He’s a talker.  A very good talker, yes, but oral storytelling is a completely different artistic ability from writing.  Mitch can’t stop writing.  Obama can’t stop talking.  That’s just in their character.

And that makes me wonder . . . Hilary will be the next President.  What’s in her character?  What is it that she just can’t stop doing?

Joe Doakes

I was thinking of changing careers to become a writer but the Blue section represents an income of zerowhereas the $100,000 group is the sliver of Green.  Odds not looking so good to be a paid professional.  I think I’ll keep pelting Mitch with emails; he can publish what he likes and delete the rest.

The crazy thing about American copyright law is they assume nobody will write or sing or paint without guaranteed income from the performance.  But my experience is you can’t stop people from writing and singing and painting, just for the pleasure of it.  Sure, it’d be nice to make a few bucks to support the hobby, but artistic spirit is wholly unrelated to business management.  Mitch couldn’t stop writing even if he had to pay out of his own pocket for the privilege of keeping up the website to post his writings. [Wait, he does?  Well there you go, proves my point].

Which, by the way, is how I know Barak Obama didn’t write his own books.  He’s not a writer.  He’s a talker.  A very good talker, yes, but oral storytelling is a completely different artistic ability from writing.  Mitch can’t stop writing.  Obama can’t stop talking.  That’s just in their character.

And that makes me wonder . . . Hilary will be the next President.  What’s in her character?  What is it that she just can’t stop doing?

Joe Doakes 

Oh, what difference does it make?

Doakes Sunday: Prediction Time

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Prediction January 24, 2014:  Hilary will win in 2016.

Why shouldn’t she, the contest already is going by default.  She would have crushed McCain in 2008 if Black didn’t trump Woman in the Democrat Victim Hierarchy, making Obama the walk-on starter instead of the woman who nearly wheedled her way to the nomination.

Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey who shut down the bridge to punish his own public, is a fat slob and an arrogant jerk.  That plays in New Jersey but nobody else likes him and soccer moms won’t vote for him.

Rand Paul is young, handsome and slender but his father is Ron Paul who is a Libertarian kook.  The Pauls are hated not just by the media, but by the old guys in the mainstream Republican leadership and big business who see free-trade as a threat to corporate crony favoritism.  Neither group will do much to support him.

Jeb Bush is a Bush and we’re tired of them.  Ted Cruz is a racist, Scott Walker broke the public employee unions, Mario Rubio sounds too Mexican . . . the Republicans simply don’t have a candidate.

George Bush was the last Republican who will be elected President until the inevitable crash comes.  Meanwhile, Hilary in 2016.  I should get my button now.

Joe Doakes

Too many Republicans think “perfect is the enemy of good enough” is an obscene phrase.

Look Back In Anger

Do you remember the puddles of smug joy that the clacque of jabbering Ivy League frat-boy buffoons and sorority-sister buffoonettes that run our governent squirted when they signed Obamacare?

Byron York sure does – and he documents the descent from the End-Zone Happy Dance of March 2010 to the paranoid catatonia in the West Wing today:

[The] Democrats who gathered in the East Room of the White House for the signing ceremony could barely contain their joy. They cheered, they laughed, they shouted, they pumped their fists, they wouldn’t sit down. They chanted “Fired up — ready to go!” as they had at Obama campaign rallies. When the president recognized Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House, the chant turned to “Nancy! Nancy! Nancy!”

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Pelosi, of course, would be swept out of the speakership in the Republican landslide a few months later — a result that was based, in part, on the voters’ unhappiness with Obamacare. And today, some of the other Democrats in the East Room are now afraid for their jobs — because of the voters’ unhappiness with Obamacare.

After an effusive introduction from Vice President Biden, Obama turned almost immediately to the task ahead. “It will take four years to implement fully many of these reforms,” he said, “because we need to implement them responsibly. We need to get this right.”

At the time, no one had any idea just how ill-prepared Obama and his administration were to actually do the job they set for themselves. Three years later, approaching an Oct. 1, 2013, deadline for the establishment of the Obamacare exchanges, the administration was still scrambling to finish even the most basic tasks. What followed was disaster.

Read the whole thing.

Show it to your friends who are losing their coverage.

Let them get angry.

Rescued From Pre-Thanksgiving Doc Dump

It’s only the SCSU Poll – a poll we’ve pretty well shredded in the past for its systematic bias toward the DFL.

But even that can’t varnish the fact that it’s a whole new campaign for the DFL in Minnesota.  Approval ratings of everyone but Amy Klobuchar are in the toilet.  How in the toilet?:

Minnesotans came down in the middle on Franken and Dayton, two Democrats who will stand for re-election next year. Franken got a 51-degree rating, while Dayton was at 49.

Respondents are feeling cooler toward Obama, rating him at 46 this year, down from 54 in SCSU’s 2012 survey.

And that’s just the warm-fuzzy poll.  When you get into job approval, it’s even dodgier for the DFL incumbents:

Reflecting national polls, the president’s job performance ratings also dropped from last year and returned to 2010 levels. This year, 38 percent of Minnesotans rated him positively, compared to 47 percent in 2012.

For Dayton, less than half the respondents (44 percent) gave him positive marks this year, while a slight majority (52 percent) rated him negatively.

Franken had a low approval score of 39 percent, while 57 percent approved of Klobuchar’s performance.

The media will, of course, do their best to rehabilitate the DFL, Dayton and Franken over the next 11 months.  But they’ve got their work cut out for them.

Who Told You This?

Obamacare will have “death panels”, just like Sarah Palin said.

This according to Ted Nugent:

“It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled,” Halperin told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV. 

Oh, they’re not called “Death Panels” – but, as we discussed in the past, HMOs are built around the idea of “Case Management”, which means “make sure the cost of the care is commensurate with the benefit received”.  Don’t don’t transplant the liver of a 21 year old into a 70 year old alcoholic diabetic who’s already past their life expectancy if there’s  a 30 year old who’d benefit more, for an extreme example.

And no, it wasn’t Ted Nugent.  It was that noted conservative tool Mark Halperin.

Rudymentary

Christie’s Real Weight Problem – the punditry’s baggage of Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 bid

Does Chris Christie have a Rudy Giuliani-sized lump on his body politic?

While the fat jokes about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie started long before he was elected (recall Jon Corzine’s much-maligned ad from 2009), Christie’s political weight has been the only thing in the governor’s mansion packing on the pounds in recent months.  Thanks in multiple parts to a weak Democrat challenger, a compliant press corps, and a Democrat-leaning special election held weeks earlier, Chris Christie’s 22% margin of victory in ultramarine blue New Jersey has vaunted him to the top of the incredibly-too-early-to-reasonably-speculate GOP sweepstakes.

Christie’s critics suggest his numerous derivations from conservative orthodoxy and penchant for picking fights with his own party spell his early primary doom – presumably because they’ve never met Mitt Romney or John McCain.  But the early line of attack that does seem to be gaining some traction with the only segment of the electorate who cares this early – the punditry – is that Christie is too east coast, too combative.  Too Rudy Giulianiesque: Continue reading

Filibuster Notes

As this is written, Ted Cruz is still filibustering. 

A couple of observations. 

On the one hand, a friend of mine – a disaffected Republican and Ron Paul supporter – snarked something like “Hey, Ted Cruz is filibustering Obamacare!  Western Civilization will be saved!  Oh, wait – no, we’re still screwed”. 

So let me get this straight; when some people launch quixotic grandstanding windmill-tilts against big government, taxation, spending and creeping statism, it’s a statement of rock-solid principle, but when others do it for the same reasons, it’s snark-fodder? 

I’ll have to chew on that one for a while.

Grandstanding:  As Michael Medved pointed out yesterday, the filibuster is, tactically, pointless.  The Senate – and its majority of Democrats – will support the President.  Period. 

Politically?  Medved among others also had a point:  Obama wants the government to shut down.  He benefits when he (and a compliant media) can pin pain on smaller government.  And while the sequester was a complete squib for him, a shutdown would provide an endless parade of calumny for the media, his Praetorian Guard, to force-feed the “for the children” voter segment. 

And that’s not the only reason a shutdown benefits Obama.

The Great Diversion:  Think about it.  Obama’s been in office almost five years.  What does he have to show for it?

  • An economy that is creating nothing but part-time jobs (unlike all previous recoveries – a sort of economic,ex post facto”Berg’s Seventh Law”).
  • Thousands of American guns sent across the border to the narcotraficantes, resulting in the deaths of American cops and Mexican children.
  • Four Americans dead in a terrorist attack, who had the misfortune to be attacked in a place that apprently was serving as a hand-off point for a black-bag weapons-smuggling operation sending arms to a movement that is rapidly being taken over by Al Quaeda – leading to a year worth of stonewalling that looks more and more like a coverup.
  • The Middle East is in worse shape than it’s been since the 80s, and our stature in the world has shrunk since Dubya left office.
  • And a bold trip to where even Nixon never went; the Obama Administration appears to have used the IRS to stifle conservative political dissent.

And even if you get all of those out of the way, what is Obama left with?  Obamacare – a law with some popular provisions that needed to happen via one mechanism or another (portability, dealing with pre-existing conditions) but is, as a package, about as popular as mandatory ice-water enemas. 

What would better serve Obama’s purposes than to divert attention away from everything he and his Administration have done?

A government shutdown, I suspect, strikes this blog’s audience (as it does me) at first blush as a great idea.  But it plays right into Obama’s hands.

So Cruz should stop filibustering and take a nap – right?

But Not So Fast:  As we  noted earlier this morning, Americans are fundamentally conservative.  They don’t identify with the GOP at the moment – at least in part because the mainstream GOP, the Beltway GOP of the consultants, doesn’t reflect the conservative principals that Americans support. 

And they didn’t last year – which was why conservatives stayed home on election day, handing another term to Obama.

The Tea Party wave of 2010 went back underground. 

But it’s still out there.  The Gallup and Rasmussen polls show it. 

And while Ted Cruz’ filibuster isn’t going to defund Obamacare, and it’d probably be a very bad idea to let it shut down the government, it could be – if the GOP is smart enough, and I have doubts about that – a key step toward doing something that all of the GOP consultants in the Beltway can’t do and don’t really want to; mobilize the vast unwashed base of Tea Party conservatives, people who don’t like to identify as Republicans  but see perfectly well that Obama and our idiot Congress have us on the road to Palookaville.

Booker Is The New Obama

Steve Lonegan, the GOP hopeful running for the New Jersey Senate seat against Newark mayor Corey Booker, mentions the civic issues that dare not speak their names:

“They had another murder in the streets of Newark yesterday; a 20-year-old girl shot to death in the streets of Newark. There was another shooting not far from there,” Lonegan told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“That puts them at close to 50 deaths this year in the city of Newark. I mean it’s like becoming the murder capital of New Jersey. Violent crime is actually up now since Sharpe James was mayor – up above last year of the James administration.”…Lonegan also ripped into Booker on education and employment, saying that Newark’s high school dropout and unemployment rates were appalling.

Not that Newark has ever been Atlantis, but if crime and dropout rates are both rising since the “third way” mayor and, in some circles, the political Son of The Light Worker took office, that’ll call for drastic measures.

Like the media blacking out all evidence that maybe Booker isn’t the next coming. 

Just like they did for Obama.

Planning

Joe Doakes of Como Park writes:

I think Republicans should send Paul Ryan around the country talking to Kiwanis and Women Of Today groups, starting tomorrow. He’s been vetted and has no skeletons. He can talk like a human: not too wonky, not too smarmy. He can pick three problems facing the nation and explain why it’s going to be a bitch to fix them but it’s got to be done and here’s how we need to do it. Face-to-face, he can rebut the mainstream media slander.

If Democrats learn of it and have a Clinton moment where they adopt our ideas and save the country – wonderful.

If not, we run Ryan next time and watch him steamroll Hilary.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

I’ve seen worse ideas.

Revolution On Eternal Repeat

I’ve been a huge Dinesh D’Souza fan since I read his Reagan: How An Ordinary Man Became An Extraordinary President over a decade ago; it may have been the best Reagan bio ever.

And I got a chance to see 2016 over the weekend.  It didn’t disappoint:

The movie’s thesis is…

(Spoiler Alert: I’m going to talk spoilers below the jump, although to be fair I think much of what’s in the movie has been in the public domain; this is just the first high-profile place I’ve seen it all collected into one coherent thesis)

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