Both Political Parties’ Establishments Don’t Get It

Donald Trump’s election to the presidency was as clear a clarion call as there could be that “business as usual” was no longer acceptable to the voters. The GOP Establishment seems to be utterly deaf to the message.

We’ve seen this reality play out from Trump’s first announcement of his candidacy right through to the present day.

During the election primaries, none of his opponents thought he had a slightest chance of actually winning the nomination, an incredulousness shared by the party machine. They mocked and belittled him, refusing to take him seriously. They were utterly stunned when he went on to actually win that primary.

But did that win alert the GOP that something profoundly different was going on this time around? Nope.

Many of Trump’s former opponents refused to endorse his candidacy, a few even threatening to endorse his opponent, Clinton. The GOP’s candidates for other offices continued to run on the promise to “repeal and replace Obamacare” in their own campaigns, repetition of a 7-year-old party campaign theme. But clearly, most of them didn’t take Trump’s campaign seriously, either.

How do we know this? Because when the most shocking and unexpected event took place, and Trump actually won the General Election, nobody was prepared to actually move forward and fulfill the promises they’d campaigned on for many years.

Having secured both chambers of Congress and the White House, was the GOP now prepared with a “shovel ready” plan to actually live up to and fulfill that years-old campaign promise of getting rid of Obamacare?

Not even close. They had absolutely nothing, because, as a party, they’d banked on the idea that Trump had absolutely no chance of actually winning the election.

In scientific parlance, this is what’s called “stupid”.

Compounding the problem, that stupidity continues, with no sign of abating. The “Never-Trumpers” are still in full roar, glorying in their “moral superiority”, reminiscent of Nero fiddling while Rome burned, utterly oblivious to the voices of that plebian mass in fly-over country that elected Trump. Elitist snobbery personified.

On the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton’s defeat was sending the same message to the Democrat Party, with the same result: deafness and denial.

When the campaign season opened the Establishment Democrats deemed Clinton the ordained candidate, and no other “mainstream” Democrat even threw their hat into the ring.

And then along came Bernie Sanders, the Democrat equivalent of Trump, an “outsider” who wasn’t even a member of the Democrat Party, having been elected throughout his career in the House and Senate as an “Independent” who only caucused with the Democrats.

To the consternation of the Establishment Democrats, Sanders’s candidacy put the coronation of Clinton in serious jeopardy, to the point that party officials conspired with Clinton campaign people to cheat Sanders out of any chance of winning that party’s nomination. Needless to say, the Sanders supporters were outraged by this when it became publicly known.

Once Clinton had secured the nomination, the DNC and her campaign apparatus evidently felt so confident of her chances of winning, and so scornful of Trump, that they decided to concentrate their campaign on the coastal urban centers and special-interest coalitions that in reality were already in the tank for her, utterly and completely ignoring everyone in “fly-over country”, as well as the masses of people who were ardent and now-outraged Sanders supporters, essentially wasting their time, energy, and resources.

Then the unthinkable happened. Trump actually won.

The result? A Democrat party in complete disarray and dissension, to the point of being in a shambles. A schism over what the meaning of such an unexpected and catastrophic loss means.

The Clintonistas are welded to the idea – really just an excuse – that it was “the Russians” and Comey at fault, unwilling to accept that Clinton was a terrible candidate who ran an incompetent campaign.

The Establishment, with a very few exceptions, can’t seem to decide whether their message to the electorate was too far to the left, not far enough to the left, too married to “corporate” interests, or what.

The very few who seem to get it have said that their party needs to take a serious look at the direction they’ve taken and the policies they’re promoting, and that it could be that the emphasis on social engineering – letting men use the same bathrooms as little girls, amnesty for illegal aliens, and the like – taking priority over bread-and-butter concerns about jobs and the economy may just be a very big mistake. The far-left culture-war policies that play so well in the coastal blue regions and some other major urban areas don’t go over at all well in areas outside of those enclaves.

Unfortunately for the Democrat party, if they want to be relevant on a national scale moving into the future, those voices really are being lost in the wilderness.

I think voters are clearly signaling to their respective parties that the old “Establishment” way of doing business isn’t going to cut it anymore. In the case of the GOP, that means they’ll no longer accept empty campaign promises that aren’t followed up with serious and concerted effort to actually implement the promised policies if elected. For Democrats, it means dropping the obsession with Social Justice and class warfare, and directing attention to matters that are of more concern to average everyday Americans.

Will anyone in either party “Establishment” pay any attention?

I don’t think Trump is the causative agent of any of this. The success of his primary campaign, and Clinton’s failure to beat him in the general election, are merely symptomatic of a greater dissatisfaction in the body politic, and the results of the last election – from primaries to general election – were the overt expression of that exasperation.

What’s truly interesting is how both parties are suffering at the same time from the same kind of malaise and disaffection. How this will play out at the polls is anyone’s guess.

Or in the streets.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

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Gary Johnson Will Not Be President!

distress flag

 

Neither will John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, nor the Green Party’s Jill Stein. That’s just a fact of life, and we’d all better get used to it.

In the 2008 election pitting McCain against Obama, I voted for Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate. I also quit my lifelong membership in the GOP and re-registered as “Decline To State”, this state’s version of Independent. That was because I saw McCain as only very slightly less “progressive” than Obama, a view I still hold to this very day.

There was also the potential benefit in a McCain loss that the GOP – which had already meandered to the Left over the post-Reagan years – would learn a valuable lesson from such a defeat and mend their errant ways.

Well, that clearly didn’t happen, as the Establishment GOP kept to their chosen path, the result of which has finally been a populist uprising resulting in the nomination of outsider Donald Trump as their nominee. Good, bad, or indifferent, that’s the way it is.

I wish I could go into that polling booth in November and cast my ballot for someone else, but I can’t if I want my vote to have any actual relevance, and wishing I could won’t change anything. If wishes were horses, beggars would be riding instead of walking.

The further reality is that even if Trump hadn’t thrown his hat into the ring I’m not sure I would have been able to vote for a real conservative anyway. Over the last decade plus, the Establishment GOP has constantly crept ever-further leftward, scorning the true conservatives in their ranks. How else to explain the nominations of John McCain and Mitt Romney? That, too, is a fact, and further proof that the Establishment GOP is not just stuck on stupid, but super-glued in place. The GOP is in reality the PSP – the Perpetually Stupid Party.

So where does that leave us?

The two major parties have named their candidates, and one thing we know for certain: come January either Clinton or Trump WILL be taking the oath of office as President.

In Trump we have an unknown. A guy who CLAIMS to be conservative, yet has a record of backing leftist causes and policies. An unmitigated blowhard. Someone not familiar with the details and minutiae of policy. Absolutely no record when it comes to elective experience or voting history.

Basically, he’s a pig in a poke. We don’t really know what we’d be getting. He could end up being great; he could end up being an absolute disaster. His presidency could fall somewhere in between. Who knows?

His choice of Mike Pence as his running mate gives me a sound basis for the hope that he’ll follow through on his vow to select solid conservatives as his appointees, both judicial and otherwise. And judicial appointments, particularly to the Supreme Court, are a huge but neglected issue this election.

no hillaryThen there’s Clinton, certainly not an unknown. In fact, we know FOR CERTAIN what we’d be getting with her, and frankly, it’s an outright disaster for this country. An unindicted federal criminal with a pathological bent for lying. A scandal-ridden crone married to a convicted perjurer and accused serial rapist who’d be re-occupying the White House. A corruptocrat whose policy decisions can seemingly be bought with large “donations” to her sham “foundation”. A woman who can’t point to a single policy success in her term as Secretary of State, and whose big claim to qualification for the office is that she has a uterus. A leftist ideologue who’s vowed to continue, and even expand upon, the disastrous policies of Obama. A die-hard anti-gun fanatic. A woman who will, with absolutely no doubt, appoint the most leftist jurists she can find to nominate to the Supreme Court, changing the dynamic of that institution for decades to come.

For me the defining moment came while I watched FBI Director Comey spend 14 minutes detailing Clinton’s criminal actions, then spend about 1 minute declaring that the FBI would recommend that she NOT be prosecuted for those actions. I was absolutely stunned. As far as I was concerned, that moment defined the depth of the corruption of the Dem/socialist party, and the Obama/Clinton cabal in particular. It’s an outright and blatant corruptocracy.

So there you have it. A summary of two candidates, one of whom WILL be the next President of these United States. It’s certainly clear, at least to me, that no matter how bad a President Trump MAY turn out to be, Clinton would DEFINITELY be orders of magnitude worse.

We conservatives pride ourselves on voting our conscience and our principles. But I think there’s one overriding principle that overshadows all others: the ultimate future of our country. I believe this is the single most important presidential election at least in my lifetime.

I’ve made my decision. In spite of everything I’ve written over the last year, in light of the issues I’ve outlined here I’ve decided to cast my vote for Trump.

What about you?

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal )

I Believe Hillary Clinton Is An Unindicted Felon… (For Now)

Way back in the Stone Age, when I was in the Army, I worked in Military Intelligence and had a Top Secret security clearance. Unless in the intervening decades the rules regarding the safeguarding of classified materials have become incredibly relaxed, there’s no doubttop secret in my mind that Hillary Clinton is unquestionably guilty of violating the applicable laws regarding the handling of such materials.

But I’m not interested in focusing in on that particular aspect of the matter. The news coverage has made much of the fact that the FBI and other investigative entities (inspectors-general, etc.) have been carrying out their own inquiries into these matters, and that the results may be referred to various prosecutorial bodies for criminal indictment and prosecution.

All of this has led to speculation of what would happen if the FBI (or another agency) made a criminal referral – meaning a submittal of the evidence with a recommendation that criminal prosecution take place – to the Justice Department (the appropriate agency as this is a federal matter), which is currently run by an Obama appointee, Attorney-General Loretta Lynch.

Clinton herself – a lawyer, it must be noted – has put forth two excuses for her actions. The first is that none of the material was “marked” with a classification when she illegally handled it through her private email server. This is legalese for saying “yes, I actually did it, but pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”, because in reality the law itself doesn’t make any such distinction. If material is even POTENTIALLY classifiable it must be treated as if it IS classified until the matter is clarified and ultimately determined.

vast right wing conspiracyHer second excuse is the hoary time-worn Bill Clinton Era “vast right-wing conspiracy” nonsense. According to her, unnamed conspirators are ginning this entire controversy up to derail her presidential aspirations. The problem for her again, just as it was when her husband was President, is that it’s simply an absolutely ridiculous claim that would require completely unrelated – and beyond improbable – groups of people to coordinate their efforts, all while operating sub rosa, none of whom actually know each other, involving the press, government officials, elected officials, the FBI and all the hundreds of agents THERE working on the case, to coordinate their efforts while making sure that there’s not one single leak about the existence of such a conspiracy. Not to mention that such a conspiracy would have to include such conservative bastions as the New York Times, LA Times, CNN, and USA Today.

And, oh yeah… Fox News.

Now that we can leave Fantasy Land behind, let’s take a quick look at what these investigations mean in the REAL world.

If, as I expect, the FBI refers the case to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, Obama and his minions will be faced with three possible courses of action.

1.  Submit the case to a Federal Grand Jury to secure an indictment, and prosecute Clinton on the charges. Perhaps appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case to avoid any appearance of impropriety. This would be the proper course to take, and regardless of thegrand jury outcome Obama would immunize himself from accusations of favoritism or corruption. As Clinton herself stated during her January 17th debate with Bernie Sanders, no one is “too big to jail”. Certainly David Petraeus can attest to that fact, and his offenses were far less egregious.

2.  Quash or ignore the criminal referral. Try to bury it. Exercise “prosecutorial discretion” and refuse to act on it. There are several problems for Obama and Lynch with this course of action. The most obvious is that it would rightly be seen as an act of pure politics, overtly corrupt in nature, and both Obama’s and Lynch’s reputations and legacies would be permanently tarred by such an act.

Had this scandal simply faded away over time, that tactic could have worked. As with other scandals in this administration, it would have become “old news” not worth pursuing, and it was “time for everyone to move on”. But that hasn’t happened, and at the rate the revelations just keep on dribbling out, I don’t think it ever will until some kind of action takes place as a result.

Further, there are a lot of people in the FBI, people of real principle, who won’t let the matter drop if the Obama people refuse to act on a legitimate criminal referral. I have no doubt that under those circumstances details would “leak” to the press and various congressmen. All of which would result in the sliming of Obama’s name along the lines of Nixon’s Watergate episode. Frankly, I don’t see an egotist like Obama allowing the actions of Clinton to affect his own perceived “legacy” in such a negative manner.

3.  Obama could issue a blanket pardon. This action comes attached with all the negativePardon 2 implications for Obama of the previous option, with no upside for him. I think that it could still allow Clinton to legally continue her run for office, but I can’t imagine her actually getting anywhere as a pardoned felon, or even misdemeanant. As outrageously ambitious as she is, I think even she would withdraw from the race at that point. Even for Dem/socialists there are some things impossible to overlook or ignore, and a blanket presidential pardon for crimes of this nature is one of them. Her dream of becoming President would be dead.

In my estimation the fundamental underlying issue that’s going to determine how this matter proceeds is Obama’s own overarching self-interest and egotism in preserving his goal of being viewed favorably by history. Far from being a man who takes responsibility for the failures of those in his administration, he’s known for being quick to throw anyone under the bus if their actions reflect badly on him. I fully expect a prosecution to move forward.

This doesn’t bode at all well for Clinton’s political ambitions, but for once – in this instance – Obama’s ego actually could work to the benefit of the country as a whole. Even if it’s in spite of himself.

 

©Brian Baker 2016

Trumpists = Clintonistas

The critics use terms such as “demagogic ideologue” with “no specific policy proposals”, while the cheerleaders say things like “savior of the country” and “America’s best hope”.

Name that candidate.

trump clinton

Yes, that’s right. As painful as it is to write, and maybe even more painful to read, I’ve come to the conclusion that all the rabid hysteria in support of Donald Trump reminds me of nothing so much as the same kind of rabid hysterical support Clinton gets from those on the Left.

In both cases, their supporters have to convince themselves that their candidate’s history is irrelevant. In Clinton’s case, a boatload of scandals, improprieties, and corruption. In Trump’s case a checkered past of being literally all over the map on the political issues, being a big monetary supporter of the “other” party, being a member of several parties other than the GOP, and always serving his own self-interest first and foremost, before any other consideration (in that respect being very Clintonian).

A couple of weeks ago I wrote my first essay on the Trump phenomenon, and I have to say that I was very surprised by the pushback I got from several fellow bloggers and web-friends whom I normally consider to be very reliable conservatives. In that essay, and the one I wrote on the night of the first GOP debate, I pointed out many of Trump’s flaws as a candidate, including his many character failings. Yet many of these people, whom I generally consider to be very level-headed, were willing to simply ignore all of this because they’d either fallen under his spell, or convinced themselves that his basic character – his nature – didn’t matter in this instance.

I remember the 1996 election cycle in which Bill Clinton ran for a second term, and how that was the first time in the modern political era that “character” became a notable issue. Since that time, it’s one the GOP and conservatives raise regularly in criticizing their opponents, but somehow, this time, in the case of Trump they’re more than willing to ignore that very same quality when the question is directed at Trump, while at the same time using it to disparage Hillary Clinton.

What is one to make of this… inconsistency?

Here’s my assessment of their characters: both are egotistical megalomaniacs with a strong sense of entitlement; both are populist ideologues – he allegedly on the Right, she clearly on the Left – who are long on populist rhetoric and short on policy specifics; both have histories of political expediency to advance their own self-interests; both have improperly exercised their personal power, at the clear expense of others and with utter disregard for the consequences to others, merely to further their personal positions and ambitions; both are cynical manipulators; both have flip-flopped on their professed positions on policy issues; and neither one is trustworthy.

According to reliable polling data (Quinnipiac) each of them enjoys broad support from their respective ends of the political spectrum, but that support is undermined by their low ratings for honesty, likeability, and trustworthiness. In other words, a mile wide and an inch deep.

Trump is the Right’s Hillary.

That’s my assessment of their characters; my opinion. Now, if you’re a Trump supporter, look deeply into your own heart of hearts, and ask yourself these questions: Am I wrong? Do you trust Trump? Is he someone you’d have over to your home for dinner? And if the answers to those questions are “No”, then how are you any different from a Clintonista?

If next November’s election night rolls around and we’re looking at a picture like the one at the top of this essay, this country is well and truly screwed.

©Brian Baker 2015

 

(Also published today at my local newspaper, The Signal: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/141085/)

 

Now I Know How Alice Felt In Wonderland

Well, Hillary Clinton finally “recovered” from her head trauma injury or whatever, and deigned to appear in Congress to testify on BenghaziGate. She put on quite the show, too, with much wailing and tears and shouting and gnashing of teeth and table pounding.

It reminded me of the old law school adage that goes: “When the fact are on your side, pound on the facts. When the law is on your side, pound on the law. When neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound on the table”.

Well, that she did. If we see her wearing an Ace bandage in upcoming pictures, we’ll all know why.

clintonAt one point in her histrionics, when asked about why she and others were busy blaming the slaughter on that silly video that no one had seen, she screamed: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Well… of course, THAT’S not the right question. The RIGHT question to ask is what difference it made at the time. At the time, Obama was trying to take the credit for killing bin Laden and solving all our problems in the Middle East with his dazzling diplomacy and military brilliance. The idea that BenghaziGate was due to al Quaida loyalists attacking our diplomatic mission would have destroyed that narrative, betrayed him as the incompetent fool he is, and endangered his chances at re-election. So we, the people, were lied to.

As to what difference it makes “at this point”: well, Nixon was undergoing impeachment proceedings NOT for the Watergate break-in… but for lying about it after the fact, Miss Self-Righteous Sanctimony. As was your own husband, Mr. Bill “I Never Had Sex With That Woman” Clinton, who was impeached NOT for “not having sex” with Monica Lewinsky, but for lying about it after the fact, and in fact committing perjury.

THAT’S why it matters “at this point”, Hillary, you nitwit.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

In other news…. In my last essay I published an email exchange between my congressman and me highlighting his – and the GOP’s – failure on the issue of the debt ceiling.

Weeellll… the hits just keep on a’coming.

This last week or so, the GOP in all its continuing idiocy seems to have decided to really gulp the socialist’s Kool-Aid and not only jump on the scamnesty for illegal aliens bandwagon (known as “comprehensive immigration reform”), but hitch up the horses, polish the woodwork, play all the instruments, and lead the parade.

60383b09-5fe5-3c06-9309-dd3707a28c5c

With Schumer… What does that tell you?

They’ve trotted out their pet “minority” apologist to sit in the driver’s seat: Marco Rubio, in the role of Judas goat. Of course, you have John McAmnesty riding shotgun, with Lindsay Graham on trombone, the Chamber of Commerce hitting the piano and drums, all while the socialist cheering section sits on the sidelines laughing their butts off.

These knuckleheads claim that we have to bring the 11 million (surely a ridiculously low estimate) illegal aliens “out of the shadows”. The first thing that popped into my mind was: are we planning on bringing all the child molesters “out of the shadows”, too, by legalizing kiddie sex? If not, why not, if that’s your big rationalization?

ANYhoooo… supposedly, we’ll get a “secured border” first, after which the illegals will get a “pathway to citizenship”. Then they’ll all magically turn into Republicans, apparently.

Really! I’m not kidding! That’s REALLY what these idiots believe!

First of all, I’m old enough to remember 1986, and the Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty which Reagan signed into law, promising amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens in return for… drum roll, please … a secured border, tighter controls, and employer sanctions for hiring illegals! Whoa! Déjà vu all over again! The same thing we’re hearing NOW!!!

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Reagan later regretted signing that bill into law, knowing he’d been bamboozled, because the only thing we ever got out of it was the amnesty. Now here we are, 27 years later, with THREE TIMES as many illegal aliens as we had before Simpson-Mazzoli, having the same damned discussion with the same damned rationalizations, excuses, and empty promises.

This is an absolutely IDIOTIC idea. Why does immigration reform have to be “comprehensive” at all? Secure the damned border FIRST. And only THEN do we even start talking about anything else.

These moronic GOPers are like a bunch of lemmings, running right over the cliff with the Dumbocrats steering the way in committing national suicide, with the deluded and stupid idea that they’re somehow going to win over minority voters. That ain’t NEVER gonna happen while the leftists can keep playing the “race card”. It just ultimately creates an even larger pool of voters dependant on government handouts. And guess who THEY’RE gonna vote for. This is just expanding that “47%” demographic that Romney was pilloried for correctly pointing out.

thCA1VYQ35Stupid Republicans.

© Brian Baker 2013