Consider the events of 2016. Republican primary voters were angry, and maybe just a little vengeful, at all the Republican failures they saw to advance conservative policies and keep promises they made back when they ran for re-election. Some of them saw Donald Trump as the “outsider” who would kick the doors down and dismantle the swamp and the swamp things controlling it in DC. This is the change they sought.

Many people voted for Trump to stop Hillary, and because of the Supreme Court picks.  I don’t blame them for this.  But we must shed this binary choice mindset and hold our political parties accountable for their obvious failures.  We must realize, as the great band Swirling Eddies once sang, “Evil is still evil, man – on the left or on the right”. Stop settling.  Stop with the lesser of two evils – or Trump vs. Hillary is merely the genesis of spiraling decline down this slippery slope.

We were told that #NeverTrump was all wrong, and that Trump would totally break that evil establishment, yo.  And yet…

Nothing has changed.

While we should be grateful that Justice Gorsuch has turned out to be a good SCOTUS pick, there’s much more that we should hold Trump accountable to do. There are many things we should hold the GOP accountable to do, including serious tax reform, completely repealing Obamacare and keeping promises made to the voters during re-election season.

But unless the GOP “leadership” gets some serious shock therapy in the form of crippling losses…

Nothing will change. They will still keep promising all the things, and delivering none of those things.

And the average GOP voter will keep enabling this dysfunction, because they are afraid to pay the price of surrendering Congress and the WH to the Democrats.  Make no mistake, the damage that could be done by giving back the levers of power to the left could be devastating.  But is this a sacrifice we need to make to wake the GOP from its slumber, and help it to recognize that the way they do business just isn’t working for the country or in their best interest re: winning elections?

Shock therapy may be the only thing that brings this dead party back to life.  It’s worth considering.

Like I’ve previously said, I’m done with the GOP, but for the people who still care about it, there’s only one way to save it.  It must be completely broken to be rebuilt. If you’re still hanging on to this party, ask yourself what the ROI is.  What have they done for you lately? If you’re here for all that limited government, Constitution, free market stuff, this isn’t the party you are looking for, at least not anymore. If the policies the Republicans push are merely Democrat-lite, it’s time to go.  Head for the lifeboats.  Free yourself.  Be an activist if that’s what drives you, but understand that this party has failed you, and don’t be a prisoner to a party label.  Fight for principles, not for political parties.  Keep your integrity and make the tough choices.  We are all accountable to Someone greater than ourselves, and He doesn’t grade on a curve.

smart move

Barack Obama and his team of advisors don’t really want to pick Hillary as VP.  We all know this.  So how does he deny her a spot on the ticket without alienating her supporters?  Simple.  Jackie Calmes reports in the Wall Street Journal that they would ask Bill to disclose donors to his presidential library, and both of them would have to go through a thorough vetting process (that could potentially disclose more skeletons in the Clinton closet) in order for her to even be considered as a potential VP.   Looks like a deal-breaker to me. Genius move.

no concessions

Silly Democrats. You thought that Hillary would just fade into the background after Barack clinched the nomination. Ok, so it was only a small percentage of your party who actually believed that, but still…the rest of you had to be surprised by the tone of her non-concession speech.

Thanks Hillary. Your speech distracted all of us from how totally uninspiring John McCain’s speech was.

not so fast

You know that conventional wisdom that this overwhelming Democratic turnout in the primary will lead to certain electoral success in November? Not so fast. The Washington Times found some researchers who insist that’s there’s no coorelation there. Jay Cost of Real Clear Politics says that, at best, the connection is unproven, and that the financial advantage Obama currently enjoys would have more significant impact on John McCain’s chances in November than the Democrat primary turnout numbers. I agree.

It’s not that the enthusiasm shown by the Democrats for their two candidates (but mostly for Obama) shouldn’t be a cause for concern for Republicans going into the general election in November.  What we have seen so far is that nothing is guaranteed for the Democrats, unless John McCain succeeds in completely alienating the rest of the conservatives who were resigned to voting for him with his stupid climate change nonsense.  I’m not ruling out that possibility, by the way.  McCain is trying very hard to separate himself from George W. Bush, and he might just succeed.  I can see how this would be a strategy his internal polling might suggest, but he won’t win with just Democrats and independents.  He still needs conservatives and other Republicans, even though he would like to pretend we don’t exist.

Obama will lose a significant amount of his appeal if he selects Hillary as VP.   She represents what has become the old politics.  It’s not 1992 anymore.  Many Obama supporters weren’t even paying attention during the Clinton years (with a few notable exceptions). He doesn’t need her, and she makes him less electable than he is now.  You can’t talk about the new politics and embrace a Washington insider like Hillary.  I know the Democrats want to end this process, but this isn’t the way to do it.  He can withstand the attacks that the Clintons have thrown out there.  She hasn’t put a glove on him, even with all this bad publicity he has gotten lately.  Obama can wait for the nomination.  He knows that he will eventually win it.

More disturbing for the Republicans and John McCain is that all these side issues that are affecting Obama will be old news by the time the election rolls around.  We need a better game plan than the Clintons had, and a candidate willing to make the case against Obama.  Is McCain that guy?  Stay tuned.

still alive

Hillary Clinton got her needed Pennsylvania win over Barack Obama, and the final margin will probably be around 8 points. It does give her enough of an argument to keep going in the race, and many Republicans hope she will prolong this contest a few more months, even though we know that Barack will prevail in the end. It is surprising that even with all Barack’s strengths as a campaigner and his overall charisma, his lead is not expanding by a much wider margin over Hillary Clinton. Hillary is right when she says that Barack can’t seem to close the deal with Democrats. It should be a no-brainer for them, with all the negatives Hillary’s carrying around. She has stayed in this race long enough to expose some of Barack’s weaknesses, and that’s another reason why Hillary isn’t giving up yet. She’s holding out hope that he will make a more serious mistake than the minor gaffes we have seen from him so far. It could happen. However, it’s a hard case to make to the superdelegates that she will be the strongest candidate against McCain in November if she loses the popular vote and the delegate count to Barack Obama.

Update: The final numbers are closer to 10 points.  It still may not make much difference to the final outcome, but Hillary’s still in and not going away any time soon.


From the very quotable Andrew Sullivan:

The Clintons have always had a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward, propelled by a bloodlust for Republicans or uppity Democrats who dare to question their supremacy. You can’t escape; you can’t hide; and you can’t win. And these days, in the kinetic pace of the YouTube campaign, they are like the new 28 Days Later zombies. They come at you really quickly, like bats out of hell. Or Ohio, anyway.

Heh. There’s something to this analogy, though. It’s hard to believe that Hillary Clinton, who has wanted this job her whole life, would easily surrender her claim to the throne to Barack Obama. As Sullivan points out, the Clintons have been fighting and clawing to gain political power for themselves their whole political lives. Why would it be different now? Hillary and Bill have (so far) refused to believe that the Democratic party has moved on from Clinton nostalgia. This is a wise choice for the Democrats. Despite the overwhelmingly positive views of them by a few lib holdouts, the average Dem knows that their future isn’t with the past. The Clintons aren’t the guiding force behind the party anymore, and it’s a hard realization to make for both of them.

Even though the Clintons don’t have as much political power now as they think they do, it’s still enough to keep Barack from scoring a decisive knockout in the early rounds. Hillary is not to be underestimated. That zombie-like quality she has to keep surviving when people keep counting her out makes her a tough opponent — both to Barack and to John McCain. That’s why I question the wisdom of Republicans who crossed over to vote for Hillary in TX and OH. Did they really want to take the chance that she would get the Democratic nomination? She has destroyed all of her former Senate opponents. Anybody remember Rick Lazio? Jeanine Pirro? Rudy Giuliani (whose Senate and Presidential campaign was over before it began)? Don’t expect her to take it easy on John McCain.

The strategy that works against those evil Republicans doesn’t work against the Man of Hope. Until recently, she hasn’t been able to land any punches on Barack Obama. Wouldn’t it be ironic if that red phone ad questioning Barack’s readiness to be Commander-in-Chief ended up hurting him in the general election? Hillary has no choice but to go for the jugular if she still wants to win. But it’s a tough balancing act she will have to do here. Saying that Barack isn’t as qualified as herself and John McCain is dangerous if she isn’t 100% + sure she will win the Democratic nomination. Whatever happens in this Democratic contest…it will be a lot of fun to watch from the sidelines.

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barack questions hillary’s experience

About time someone did. This, from the CBS news blog(h/t: kos):

“I have not seen any evidence that she is better equipped to handle a crisis,” he said. “If the only criteria is longevity in Washington, then she’s certainly not going to beat John McCain on that. “

He goes on:

One of the things that I hope people start asking is what exactly is this foreign experience that she’s claiming? I know she talks about visiting 80 countries. It’s not clear, was she negotiating treaties or agreements or was she handling crises during this period of time? My sense is the answer is no.

Heh. Of course they are both less experienced than John McCain. Does this matter as much to Democrats as it does to Republicans? Byron York suggests that it does not.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll, finished a couple of weeks ago, asked Ohio Democrats to name the most important issue in their choice of a presidential candidate. Thirty-four percent said the economy and jobs. Thirty percent said health care. Nine percent said the war in Iraq, by which they most certainly meant a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops. Three percent said ethics and honesty in government. Three percent said “change.” Two percent said education. And one percent said terrorism and national security. (The Post and ABC asked the same question in Texas, and the answers were similar; one percent named terrorism and national security as the top issue.)

Those numbers are supported by the experience of just walking around in Ohio. I ask a lot of people why they support, or don’t support, Hillary Clinton, and no one tells me it is because she would be a better or worse commander-in-chief than Barack Obama.

The economy will be a major issue for both parties. The depth of the misery is debatable, but Republicans cannot afford to ignore the economy and talk about national security 24/7. Most voters aren’t single-issue voters, even though Republicans see national security as a primary reason to vote McCain over Hillary and Barack. McCain needs to show that he has an alternative plan to deal with the other concerns of voters, including health care and the economy. National security and the fear of liberals screwing up the country wasn’t a good enough argument in the ’06 midterm. It won’t be enough in November.

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it’s over

Hillary continues to struggle in these debates. She had some substantive things to say, but her attacks on Barack Obama did not achieve the desired objective. They didn’t change the mind of Obama voters. It doesn’t matter that she may know more on foreign policy, or that she has a detailed health care proposal. She is, and will always be, the kind of Washington insider and divisive figure that cannot be a agent of change. Barack Obama offers not only a clean break from President Bush, but also a clean break from the D.C. Democrats and from the Clinton nostalgia that has held the Democrat party captive since Bill left office. In some ways, the change Obama offers is radical. But most of his ideas aren’t new or original.  They are the same Democratic boilerplate policies that have failed in the past, and will continue to fail in the future.

The media has called this race for Obama, and they will continue to be biased and ask Hillary tougher questions.  You saw some of this last night in the debate.  Hillary got the majority of the hard questions, and Obama was able to dodge his few tough questions and emerge unscathed from the encounter.  The only hope Hillary Clinton has was for Barack to stumble, and so far he has not.   All her arguments for herself and against Obama have fallen flat.   Texas and Ohio will have their say, but Barack Obama will still be the Democrat nominee, because the Democrats are ready to move on from the 90’s.

There have been many articles written about the failures of the Clinton campaign to get Hillary to the nomination with all the built-in advantages she had in the beginning.  I don’t argue that Hillary’s team has run the most competent campaign.  They have made mistakes.  However, Hillary Clinton is (and always was) a flawed candidate, and it’s a credit to her team that she’s made it this far. I really did want the pleasure of voting against her, but if the Democrats end up rejecting her and picking Obama instead, I will be ok with that too.

McCain must get his game face on, because the media will continue to give Obama favorable coverage.  He needs to have a better game plan against Obama than Hillary did, or he will suffer the same possible fate as she does now.

nader and the dems: the love affair continues

The nation collectively yawns as Ralph Nader announces to Tim Russert that he is once again running for President. Time to re-think which candidate is the most liberal. The Democrats still blame Nader for contributing to Al Gore’s loss in 2000, and they tried to keep him off of the ballot anywhere they could in 2004. Apparently he hasn’t forgiven those Dems for actively working against him. He says that Barack Obama doesn’t have a challenging record. Nader’s into recycling… he recycles the same attack lines used by everyone else against Obama and the same criticisms of corporations that John Edwards already made earlier in this campaign. There’s nothing new to see here, and Ralph Nader won’t get any Republican or Democrat votes this time either. The Dems will be happy with Obama and the Republicans have no reason to vote for Nader over McCain — he’s much more liberal than either of the Democrats or McCain.

Hillary and Barack are not amused by this.

Hillary: “Wow, that’s really unfortunate. I remember when he did this before. It’s not good for anybody, especially our country”.

Barack: “Ralph Nader deserves enormous credit for the work he did as a consumer advocate. But his function as a perennial candidate is not putting food on the table of workers.”

I am amused. Nader’s time has passed, but if he hangs around to annoy the Democrats, that’s enough reason to cheer his doomed candidacy.

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It’s all a matter of priorities. What we consider important in a President determines how we will vote.  I know I have been ignoring the Democrats lately, and I fully intend to remedy that in this post.

If you believe you have too much control of your own life, and would like to give some of that control to the government, vote for a Democrat.

If you believe that your fellow citizens should be paying for your health care, and that it’s the right of all Americans to have government-funded health care (no matter how much it costs), then vote for a Democrat.

If you value experience over change (and you are a Democrat), vote for Hillary.

If you think that George Bush has irrevocably hosed the country,and that it doesn’t matter who’s President because the problems in this country are unfixable – then you probably need to take a break from politics for awhile.

If you can’t handle any of the pieces of good news coming out of Iraq, don’t worry, Hillary and Barack will fix that soon enough.  I do think that, despite what Hillary says, she would take a wiser course on troop withdrawals than Barack would. Hillary has tacked left and right on the war in Iraq, but I suspect that once the war is her responsibility, she will act differently than she claims now.

If you are pro-choice, vote for a Democrat.

If you value change for the sake of change, vote for Barack.

If you think your taxes are way too low and that the rich aren’t paying enough, vote for a Democrat.

If you hate corporations, who employ people and create jobs in addition to making a profit, McCain, Hillary, and Obama all have a little red meat for ya.

If you care more about making a statement to the national Republican party instead of settling for someone who will give us more of what conservatives want than either Democrat, don’t vote — and no matter who wins, you can’t complain about the result. By the way, how did that work in ’06?

But if you care what happens to Iraq, and you want to see more justices on the Supreme Court like Alito, Roberts, and Thomas — vote for McCain.

If you are willing to settle for less than Reagan (and you should), then McCain is the best of the non-Reagan group.

I’m not saying that McCain should get a pass for all those dreadful pieces of legislation bearing his name.  I’m just pointing out that yes, there are significant differences between McCain and the Democrats opposing him in this election.

Conservatives have a decision to make.  It’s not about falling in line with the wishes of the Washington elites or the talk radio pundit class who disagree with the Washington elites.  We have to decide what is in the best interest of our country at this point in our history with the problems we face as a nation.  I think McCain is the candidate we should support.  I’m not thrilled about the choice, but it’s not just about me.  It’s not only about Rush, Levin, or Ann Coulter.  It’s about all of us.  We should be making decisions on that basis, not merely in our own self-interest.