Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Trump's Clinton Comments: The Canary In the Coal Mine

     I have gotten to the point recently where the chewed up red meat that dibbles from the mouth of Donald Trump goes in one ear and out the other. But his recent comments about Bill Clinton's infidelity as a reason to keep Hillary out of the White House is exemplary of what is wrong with some of my brethren on the Right. It is a meaningless statement, and a non-starter as a political strategy for winning the White House next November.
     Primarily I could care less about Bill Clinton's infidelity to his wife, that is between him and her, and has no place in the political debate to choose our next president. I fail to see how the former president's sexual peccadillos has any bearing on whether the voters should consider his wife for president. There are many more substantive reasons not to consider Hillary Clinton for the highest office of the land. For Mr. Trump, or anyone else for that matter, to take the focus off the real issues and place it on the salacious but politically irrelevant, is a losing strategy.
     Germane to my argument is the fact that Bill Clinton is not running for the office of President of the United States. So any criticism of him is misplaced and gratuitous to any meaningful debate about the upcoming election. Especially when that discussion is framed by the inarticulate ranting's of a silver-spoon-in-the-mouth billionaire who wants to bully his way to the presidency. Those who follow this buffoonery of attacking a former president as a means to argue against the election of his wife, are traveling a path only inhabited by fools and charlatans.
    Additionally, Bill Clinton, like it or not, is still very much liked by a large swath of the American public. A large enough swath that anyone hoping to win the presidency would be wise to steer clear of harsh criticism of the former Commander in Chief. But then Donald Trump's entire campaign has been based on avoiding the real issues as he weaves his political theater into the likeness of a mindless reality TV show. This may quicken the pulse and glaze the eyes of his emotionally charged devotees, but this slim minority of the voting public is not enough to deliver him the presidency.
     The recent comments by Mr. Trump, and the Pavlovian response to it by his votaries, is the canary in the coal mine of a Republican loss in 2016. If more people on our side do not wise up and end their destructive love affair with Mr. Trump, and choose a more substantive candidate to support, we are sure to wake up the morning after with Hillary in the White House.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Are Things As Bad As They Say?

     I am going to state right from the beginning of this post that I disagree with everything President Obama has done and the reckless way in which he has appropriated Liberty in this country in order to advance his Leftist agenda. That being said, I am sure there are those who will read what follows and call me an Obama supporter, a Rino, a tool of the "establishment", etc. But as the man said, "Facts are stubborn things." Much of the economic mayhem that has become part of the Radical Right's rhetoric is misleading at best, and un-conservative at worse. As I have stated prior on this page, conservatism is not only about what one believes, but the truthfulness in which those beliefs are presented.
     If one listens to talk radio exclusively for any length of time, one would surmise that the country is in the depths of a depression unseen since the 1930s. The fact is that the economy has recovered at its slowest pace since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, but it has recovered. This is not the result of any Obama policy, but in spite of them. That is the great thing about American business and capitalism, it will always find a way to survive and thrive. Just look at the number of companies that are still around today that were founded during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
     In my own life I have seen that the unemployment rate, while maybe not as good as the Obama administration has reported it is, is certainly not as bad as some on the radical Right try to convince people it is. I lost my job of 11 years last November, and even though I live in northeast Ohio where the unemployment rate is higher than much of the country, I was able to find five different jobs and have settled on one I feel is best. A luxury that those unemployed in the 1930s only dreamed of having. 
     I have also witnessed dozens of help wanted signs in just a ten to fifteen mile radius of my house. Evidence, however anecdotal, that still shows an improving economy. Again, in spite of President Obama, not because of him. Some of the jobs available are good paying careers. I recently had a conversation with the manager of my local Panera's and she said they are in need of managers for all the new locations they are set to open. They can not find enough people interested in rising from associate to assistant manager to manager and are now placing people directly into the management program.
     Now as for the 93 million people unemployed in this country that those on the radical Right are want to repeat as proof of a depressed economy. Almost 11 million of that number are disabled Americans, another 10 million are working aged people that have retired on a union or other pension. So while there are still far too many individuals living on tax payer money, we are no where near the level of financial collapse as Greece, to which the mavens on the radical Right like to compare us. The misery index, which is arrived at by adding the unemployment rate and the inflation rate, is around 8%. A far cry from the almost 23% it was when Ronald Reagan was elected president.
     As I have said some reading this will assume I am supporting Obama simply for stating the truth. And therein lies the problem with the new conservative movement, what I call the Alinsky conservatives. The truth in their hands is as malleable as it is in the hands of the Left. They have fallen under the spell of the ends justify the means, which is cause for great concern among Reagan conservatives like myself.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Washington Post Cruz Cartoon: American Version of Charlie Hebdo

      Recently we were treated to the American version of Charlie Hebdo, the French publication that was protested and had several of its employees killed by radical Muslims who took offense to the printing of cartoons of Muhammad. This parallel incident involved Ted Cruz and his supporters after an inflammatory cartoon was printed of the Republican presidential candidate and his children by the Washington Post. And while Mr. Cruz and his automaton supporters did not protest outside the offices of the Washington Post, or shoot anyone inside (not yet anyway), they did become quite emotionally exercised over the cartoon.
      The response by the senator-hoping-to-be-president and his wild-eyed devotees was of course not physically violent. But it was born of the same instinct to take extreme umbrage with any little criticism, that motivated radical Islamists in the French incident. After all, both incidents involved a published cartoon that was unflattering to men who their respective votaries characterize as prophets. And insomuch as one lived 14 centuries ago in the Middle East, and the other lives in American modernity, the similarities in the knee-jerk emotional response to defend over such a seemingly inconsequential item as a cartoon seems uncanny.
      Senator Cruz shamelessly using his children as a human shield in campaign-related videos, then crying foul when his political adversaries call him on it, seems not only hypocritical, but unbecoming of the timber needed to be a good president. Mr. Cruz would do well to study Ronald Reagan, and how he responded (or more to the point did not respond) to much worse criticism about him in both cartoons and parody. Or if the Texas senator is incapable of thinking back that far, he could study the non-responses to such nonsense by George W. Bush. President Bush suffered much greater indignities at the hands of political rivals in media, and employed a tactic which seems sorely missing from Mr. Cruz's political arsenal, he ignored them.
      The emotionally charged Cruz zealots would be well served to read some history of this great nation. In the early decades of the republic, newspapers in many ways were more partisan than the media is today. A political adversary's family members were routine fodder for political criticism. Now I am sure that some of the more radical members of my own political ideology will call me a traitor, libtard, troll, Hillary supporter, or myriad other childish insults that those who are insecure in their beliefs use to stifle the free speech of others who disagree with them. It chagrins me greatly to see some on my side using this tactic of the Left designed to shutdown speech they fear, it engenders even more solicitude in me that it is aimed at those on their own side politically.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Rarified Air of Principles

     It took just about six weeks for the long knives wielded by the delusional absolutists in the conservative movement to slice to ribbons the new Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. The source of their manufactured angst is the recently passed Omnibus spending bill, which for everyone's information was already in progress when Mr. Ryan became Speaker. But forget that, and the fact that these delusional absolutist "conservatives" have completely ignored the concessions the new Speaker extracted in the compromise. These transmogrified conservatives breathe the rarified air of their own regurgitated principles as they stand on the summit of their values which precludes them from engaging in the hard work of participating in the battle in the valley of reality below them.
     The omnibus bill just passed is not a great bill, but neither is it the proclamation of treason that many so-called conservatives have characterized it as being. The kind of spending bill these delusional absolutists want is one which does not exist outside the land of Oz. With a radical Leftist in the White House, and nowhere near a veto-proof majority in the Senate for Republicans, I am not sure what these deluded folks expect.
     Speaker Ryan was able to secure more military spending, a reduction on the burdens placed on business over the last 7 1/2 years, and a revocation of the president's very harmful ban on foreign oil sales. This last item was the century's pariah to free society in the opinion of the same conservatives who now do not dare applaud its passing. It is odd how their values are based on what political agenda they are pushing. When the president instituted his ban, these phony conservatives saw it as a political crowbar to use against him to illustrate how he was ruining the country. Now that Speaker Ryan has had the ban lifted, these same people ignore it because they are so filled with hate for anyone they label as "establishment."
     Is Paul Ryan going to be a good Speaker of the House? I do not know. But neither do I think anyone can judge that from only six weeks in office and the completion of his first legislative duty presented to him already in progress. The point is that if and when the Republicans win the White House, and if they retain control of the Senate and House, and a spending bill like this one is passed, then I will concede that the Speaker has not done a good job.
     I am chagrined that so many on my side have lost their reason and think somehow that it is possible for Republicans to just ram through the bills they want without regard to the Democrats in congress or the president who has veto authority. It borders on hypocrisy for some conservatives to bemoan the Left having their way with public policy through the courts because they can not do so legislatively, and then demonize congressional Republicans for not taking liberties with the constitution to implement what they want.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New Poll Dispels the Trumpkins' Fantasy

     A new Gallup poll has been released which shows the favorability ratings of all the presidential candidates, Democrat and Republican. The general public has a favorable view of a candidate that has a positive rating, i.e. a higher percentage of the general electorate has favorable feelings about the candidate than do have negative feelings about the same candidate. As Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise! Surprise!" Donald J. Trump has the lowest favorability rating of all the candidates by far. Coming in at a whopping negative 27%. His closest rival is Hillary Clinton at 14%.
     This, in addition to his vacuous policy positions and unlikable persona, is the main reason I have said from the beginning that Republicans would be foolish to nominate this Titanic candidate, which would result in an inevitable sinking of GOP hopes to control the White House after next November's general election. No candidate can win the White House when they are so disliked by so many across the large swathe of Americans who will go to the polls and cast their votes.
        Some Trump supporters who would speak quickly to dispel this latest poll by Gallup (which supports many other polls on the subject from the beginning of this campaign) are also just as quick to proffer polls that show Mr. Trump far ahead of his opponents in this race. What the Trumpkins refuse to admit, even to themselves, is that while The Donald enjoys rabid support among about a third of Republican primary voters, the other two thirds are virulently against the real estate billionaire. Not to mention that his rabid votaries only comprise about 10-12% of the general electorate.
    In every polling and survey that has been completed in the last 25 years the electorate is one third Democrat, one third Republican, and one third independent. Which means that Mr. Trump's support among Republican primary voters is one third of one third, or about 10-12%. Further complicating Mr. Trump's chances for winning the White House is that the opposition to his candidacy is almost as rabid as the support for it. I am not sure how the Trumpkins figure the electoral math that results in the election of their candidate when his appeal is restricted to a very narrow segment of the voting public.
     But yet the overly emotional and irrational Trump devotees continue to manufacture a fantasy land where a candidate that is looked upon so dis-favorably by such a large percentage of the population can somehow get those individuals to hand him the keys to the most powerful office in the country, if not the world. But then there are those who believe we never landed a man on the moon, that Elvis can be seen daily eating a Burger King, that the CIA assassinated JFK, the terrorist attacks of 911 were an inside job, and aliens from another planet have landed and are controlling world events.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Trump Fantasy Politics League

     For those of you not familiar with fantasy football, it is an activity participated in by those with an over abundance of testosterone in which they delude themselves that they own a team by choosing players from different NFL teams and then benefitting from their combined performance every week in real games. Watching Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency puts me in mind of this fantasy activity, only it is politics and not football that his supporters are using to feel more relevant than they actually are.
     The latest gem for Democrats unearthed for them by Donald Trump is his statement about legally castigating an entire group of people in America based solely on their religion. Mr. Trump's suggestion that Muslims, even those born in this country, should have their freedom of movement restricted based on their faith, is not only unconstitutional, but morally reprehensible. Can anyone say, "Japanese/American interment during World War II?"
     Beyond the obvious unconstitutional nature of the Trump "solution" to radical Jihad, is the unworkable practical application of such a policy. His suggestion that we simply ask a person's religion as they are entering or re-entering the country, and if they claim to be Muslim we simply refuse entrance, is as ridiculous as constructing a team of all the best NFL players and pretending they are an actual team.
     Maybe Mr. Trump believes that terrorists who are willing to blow themselves to bits as a way of killing Americans would somehow have the honesty to tell the truth about their religion. But no reasonable person grounded in reality would even begin to entertain such a foolish notion. But that is the beauty of the Trump fantasy politics league, reality never has to have a place at a political table festooned with the red meat of irrational thought.
     Mr. Trump sites some fairly dubious polls that suggest that a majority of Muslims in this country support violent Jihad against their fellow Americans. One data point from the poll suggests that 51% of American Muslims would choose to live under Sharia law if given the choice. The question is deliberately misleading because it does not in any way suggest that those same Muslims would replace American law for all with Sharia, only that they would be governed in their lives by it, much the same way Catholics are governed by Cannon law in their faith.
     In the final analysis I am not sure if Mr. Trump actually believes what he says (what sensible person could?) or if he just knows there is a certain segment of the Right that gobbles up his outrageous statements. Either way Mr. Trump and his devotees have played into every stereotype the Left has proffered about conservatives over the last few decades. And this is truly the most dangerous aspect of the Trump campaign, i.e. that many moderate American voters will be drawn to the Democrat nominee rather than risk voting for such a radically un-American candidate such as Donald Trump.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Mis-Directed Efforts of Republicans

    Some have called me a Rino, traitor, Libtard, and worse, all for being a voice of reason. It is okay though, when one places their thoughts via the written word into the public arena, one must expect to be pilloried by ignorance. As for reason, it is something sorely missing from much of modernity's public debate. One can argue, and rightly so, that reason has been missing from the maniacal mantra of the Left for some decades now. But making an enemy of reason seems to have become an instrument of an increasing amount of debate from the Right. This, to my chagrin, seems an unstoppable force among the more fanatical.
     To say that fanaticism feeds irrationality to ends that always result in more fanaticism, is a given. To Witt: the response of some Republicans and conservatives that seems to be a bathing in "solutions" that make them feel good without really actually having a chance of doing good. The latest of these vapid solutions is the legislation being proffered in congress to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
     Do not mistake my position, as I am sure some of you will do purposely as to feed your target of derision, I am four square against the Muslim Brotherhood and acknowledge that they are a terrorist-sympathizing organization. However, any legislation that aims to officially label them as such by an American government controlled by Barack Obama and his Leftist brethren in the Democrat Party, is at best self-congratulatory and at its worst political masturbation. I am a realist and am more interested in solutions, not "taking stands" that simply make me feel more superior to my political opponents.
     The fact that President Obama will immediately veto any attempt to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, and further that Republicans do not have the votes to override such a veto, makes it a ridiculous waste of time. I know, I know, the theory is to pass it and make the president take a stand against it and show the dichotomy between what they believe and what we believe. This is the worst possible motive for passing legislation through the U.S. congress, especially with this president who will not suffer one scintilla of political harm by vetoing this or any other legislation that comes from the Republican majority in congress.
      Instead, the Republican Party should work hard to maintain control of the House and Senate after next year's election and take control of the White House. Then real change can be affected. They can also work to strengthen, as much as is possible through their constitutional authorities, the ability for the military and intelligence communities to fight radical Islamist terrorists. Passing useless legislation that is bound for the veto trash heap is not productive in any way to making this nation more secure against the threat of terrorism.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Hypocrisy of Mark Levin

     I was driving home late from work last night, and as if my stress level was not high enough from the day's machinations, I decided to listen to talk radio's biggest hypocrite, Mark Levin. Not that I disagree with much of what the former Reagan aide says, albeit the tactics he uses to say them bares no resemblance to arguably the greatest of our presidents of the last 100 years, if not our entire history. Last night Mr. Levin was falling all over himself, and quite noticeably slobbering over his guest, Senator Mike Lee, over the bill that passed the senate to repeal much of ObamaCare.
     I am certainly not a defender of the horrible piece of socialist legislation passed by Democrats with not even one Republican vote in either the Senate or the House, known as the Affordable Care Act. But the current Senate bill to repeal it, and more importantly Mr. Levin's sycophantic support of it, illustrates a real hypocrisy in the approach of the "conservative" author and talk show host. In the over 40 bills passed by the House of Representatives under the leadership of John Boehner that aimed to repeal ObamaCare, not one was free of Mark Levin's derision.
     Mr. Levin mocked the former Speaker and his colleagues for wasting time on showboat legislation that was only going to be vetoed by President Obama, or die in the Democrat-controlled Senate at the time. But he seems gleefully supportive of Senators Lee and Cruz's bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even though it is headed for the same fate as all the House bills passed that aimed to do the same thing. I must surmise that Mark Levin's conservatism is not based on what value is advanced, but who advances it. 
     The fact is that Mr. Levin is so slavishly devoted to Mr. Cruz and Mr. Lee, and by extension their supporters, he is afraid to judge them by the same harsh standards he uses on those Republicans he calls, "Rinos," "traitors," and a slew of other derogatory sophomoric terms. His support for the Cruz/Lee bill, when he has been so dismissive of the Boehner House attempts to pass the same type of bills, shows a hypocrisy, that while being a major part or Mr. Levin's definition of conservatism, has no place in the edifice of conservatism built on the constitution, and by men like Ronald Regan, William F. Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, et al.
     I have written before about this new movement in the conservative arena whereby some pundits like Mark Levin have taken up the mantle of half-truths, fact-manipulation, and alternative-reality-building so successfully employed by the modern Left. If we as conservatives are to show a better way forward we can not simply employ the same tactics of the Left to advance a different message, but must engage honest and ethical methods to win hearts and minds. It appears that those like Mr. Levin believe conservatism is all about what one says and not what one does.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rino is Language of the Left

     There is a scientific principle that states that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. This theory also applies to our politics of late. As a result of the violent lurch to the Left that the current administration specifically, and the Democrat Party in general, has taken in recent years, there has been an equal and opposite violent lurch by some on the Right. And while their respective goals may be dissimilar, the methods they use to achieve them remain siblings of each other.
     I have written prior on this blog about my dismay over the conservative movement being hi-jacked by those who have a desire to hold Democrats to the letter of the U.S. constitution, yet criticize congressional Republicans for not twisting and wrestling authority for themselves from that document in order to push back against the Leftist agenda being implemented by President Obama, et al. As a conservative I believe the law, and in this case the constitution, applies equally to all who live under its authority. Some of my more radical brethren feel that in order to save the constitution we must first abandon constitutional principles.
     Many so-called conservatives have wrapped themselves in the constitution while at the same time choosing to expect those on their side to live by a different set of standards simply because the other side has taken liberties with that most precious of documents. The most disturbing aspect of these so-called conservatives is that they have adopted the tactics of the Left in marginalizing and demonizing, not their political opposition, but those on their own side. Democrats and other Leftists could not have better friends than some in talk radio and elsewhere in Right-Wing media.
     The favorite derision proffered against not sufficiently "conservative" enough Republicans is the term Rino (Republican in name only). But those who use this term have adopted the language of the Left, Rino being a term first implemented by Democrats against Republicans they considered too conservative. It was a quarter century ago when the derogatory term Rino first entered the American political lexicon, placed there by Democrats who were trying to alienate the conservative wing of the Republican Party from their more moderate brethren.
     It is disheartening to see some in the conservative movement fall victim to the Lefts modus operandi of "feeling good" instead of "doing good." This sickness of the Left that has infected some on the Right has spawned support for candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who are all about making their devotees feel good by saying the right things, instead of actually presenting a way forward for doing good for this great nation. It is odd that the term used so many years ago by Democrats to describe too conservative Republicans, has been adopted by those who claim to be conservative against those they claim not to be conservative enough.