Sunday, March 30, 2014

"America's Forgotten" Could Swing 2016 Election

Much has been written about America's "working poor." Yet it seldom went further than some "brushover" condolences and vague statistics. Do we know who these Americans truly are?

Henry Olsen evidently does! In his June 6th, 2011 National Review article, "Dangerous Dissaffection," he introduced the "Dissaffecteds."

According to Olsen's research, 77% are white. 89% do not have a college degree. Two-thirds are classified as "Independents." Most have leaned Republican in recent times. Pundits often describe them as the "blue collar swing vote."

The majority of these Americans earn less than $30,000 per year. 44% are parents. 63% of their households were impacted in a major way by the recession. 71% had a household member unemployed in the past year.

Per Olsen, 28% gave favorable ratings to Barack Obama. Only 22% had said that they would vote to re-elect him. This was at press time of the article. Could something have changed between May 2011 and November 2012?

It certainly wasn't the perception of the two parties. Republicans are viewed favorably by a wide margin over Democrats. In that same survey only 14% of those polled indicated their satisfaction with the federal government. Only 19% said that they "trusted the government to do the right thing always or most of the time."

At first glance, these voters would appear to be firmly in the Republican camp. However, negative vibes toward the left, doesn't necessarly translate to "staunch conservativism." Republicans discovered this in 2010; when they experienced election losses in some solidly Republican districts. So, what makes these people tick?

Perhaps it amounts to a better understanding of what they deem important! Most staunch conservatives see "a balanced budget through the elimination of government programs" key in economic solidity. Not so with these voters! Most would rather keep their programs and see a balance budget as a lessor priority. Primarily because, their perception of our political leadership is cynical at best! They need and count on their Social Security and Medicare! When any politician hints of entitlement reductions, they assume that they will be taking most of the brunt!

Opposition to entitlement reform isn't necessarily consistent with oppostion to lower taxes. Most side with Republicans on the need for both lower taxes and less liberalism. But conservative support does not extend to being the world's commissary! In layman's term, "taking care of Americans here at home, first!" As in, "charity begins at home!"

Olsen's findings revealed that while 59% of staunch conservatives seek program cuts, only 17% of Disaffecteds do. Only 34% of staunch conservatives wanted a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes, 65% of Disaffecteds did. And get this! Only 15% of "Disaffecteds" polled wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare for the purpose of deficit reduction. This was the smallest percentage of any of the Pew typologies. It was actually eleven points lower than voters classified as "solid liberals."

Here is another hint. Disaffecteds are not wild about free trade! New York-26 reflected as much when Tea Party alternative, Jack Davis made it an issue. These same voters swung several traditionally Democrat districts to Scott Walker in Wisconsin in 2010, only to do "a 180" and back Democrat candidates in a Supreme Court election the following year.

Is Disaffected synonymous with the Tea party? No. In fact, 67% have no opinion of the Tea Party, highest of any Pew group. While 72% of staunch conservatives supported the Tea Party, only 19% of Disaffecteds did.

Indications are that Disaffecteds have a slightly more favorable view of labor unions as compared to staunch conservatives. This is further reflected by the tally of 57% who indicated that "free trade" agreements were bad for America.

In short, Disaffecteds can be classified as "somewhat conservative," but not "very conservative." They decidedly find more common ground with conservatives than liberals. But, they are wary. Talk of "austerity measures" amounts to "what little they have will be taken from them." Or, as Olsen phrased, "Republicans cannot reform entitlements if they are seen as motivated by money or as imposing their abstract vision on hard-pressed Americans'reality."

Amazingly enough, Disaffecteds have been pretty much ignored by both parties. In spite of the fact that these "blue collar whites" make up 40% percent of the electorate!

Republicans produced a 2012 ticket that combined "Mr. Grey Poupon" with "right wing social engineering." It might explain how Barack Obama jumped from 22% to a second term!

Conversely, Disaffecteds aren't impressed with Democrats' promise of a "$10 minimum wage and a handout." Smart money suggests that they will not favor a Hillary Clinton
Presidency, unless the Republicans revert to the type of nominee produced in 2008 and 2012.

Much to the chagrin of Democrats, Obamacare may not make the cut with these voters. At best, some see it as a "wash." Most, however, view it as a "backdoor" cut to Medicare, thus a deal breaker.

Indications suggest that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Democrats in general don't have "their back." That's why they are open to Republican alternatives. The key will be to assure them that they won't be left holding the bag; on the short end of the stick!

Specifically, "make Social Security solvent and protect Medicare from expected pillage resulting from the Affordable Care Act." If Republicans can convince Disaffecteds that they mean business regarding these two concerns, they're in!

Any promise of "returning jobs to American shores" scores points with Disaffecteds. Pew polls suggest that while they may have protectionist leanings, they might be open to cuts in the corporate tax, if it produces more jobs.

Any talk of good paying jobs, such as energy sector jobs, not requiring a lot of education hits their hot button! Reducing a bloated federal government payroll will be applauded by these voters. Most become outraged when informed of the public to private wage/benefit disparities.

These Americans need a champion, a president who they can relate to. Ronald Reagan called described them as "ordinary people who did extraordinary things." His was based on genuine empathy for the average guy.

Do we have any candidates who can make that kind of connect with this critical, yet seemingly forgotten segment of America? For starters, what differentiated Ronald Reagan from the four Presidents who have since served in the White House?

Disaffecteds are obviously not "blue bloods." Thus, Ivy League credentials don't impress them. If anything, a President like Reagan lacking in such a pedigree might be seen as a plus!

Immigration reformers should be especially careful with these Americans. "Across the board Amnesty" is seen as a greenlight for increased competition for what few jobs have been available to them.

While Olsen's research reveals a mild oppostion to "overseas military adventures," it is suspected that many Disaffecteds are veterans. No doubt a lot served in Desert Storm and Viet Nam, not to mention Irag and Afghanistan. Reagan's explanation of "peace through strength" was understood and largely supported.

Republicans can win the 2016 Presidency, if they can connect with these oft-forgotten Americans. The questions are "how" and through "whom?"

In a personal way, Reagan presented a message that linked peace and prosperity to Federalism. When he proclaimed that "government, not people had lived too well," they listened. When he proposed to "reduce the cost of government," they correctly linked that reduction to wage cuts and layoffs for federal workers, not entitlement cuts. When Reagan talked about inflation as the "most cruel of taxes," they put it all together.

Defining Jeffersonism, then differentiating it from Democrat and Neo-Con Hamiltonism might be considered "too cerebral." It will depend on the messenger. The message itself is fairly cut and dry.

Hamilton was for the Partician. He believed that decisions of government were best left to the rich, powerful and the well educated.

Jefferson was for the common man. He concluded that the best defense against an American nobility was decentralization.

Today's Democrats and Republican "New Conservatives" share the Hamitonian paradigm. In a nutshell, it's either "you're not significant" or "we know what's best so do as you are told."

It effect, the key to winning the hearts, minds and votes of America's forgotten may be as simple as reminding them that they are not forgotten. Solvent Social Security and Medicare, affordable college tuition and real health insurance reform top their wish list. Also included are accessible money for mortgage financing and the basic services such as fire and police protection.

The Jeffersonian argument that "all can be better handled at the state level" will be welcomed and supported by Disaffecteds.

Closing the deal with Disaffecteds will be as easy as "believability." As with Reagan, they must first like the candidate. Then, they must be able to relate to the candidate. Finally, they must see evidence of a candidate's previous success.

Disaffecteds are not "low interest" voters. While overly cynical, they are more familiar with issues than one might think. When they conclude that a candidate can "walk the walk," as well as "talk the talk," they will happily jump on the bandwagon!

In recent times, Republicans were evidently not paying attention to this huge voter contingent. "Why" is a question for another day and a different post.It might have something to do with party leadership.

Democrats may have taken Disaffecteds for granted. Or, maybe the real truth is, they don't fall under the auspices of one of the Dems long list of special interest groups.

In any case, these "ordinary people," could yield "extraordinary" results at the voting booths! The question becomes, "has America's political establishment become so far removed from America that they fail to see "who" truly is America?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Is Rick Perry Electable?

My brother, a solid conservative, broached me with the inevitable question.

Yesterday, a native Kentuckian who had recently fled Chicago's liberalism, voiced comparable concerns. As she surmised,"I've got no problem with Governor Perry. I know how he believes and I know that he's done a good job in Texas. But could he keep from tripping over himself in an election campaign."

She was taken aback when I revealed the fact that he had undergone major back surgery on the eve of the 2012 primary. Her response was, "Oh, that explains everything!" In other words, "I can accept that. Do you think everyone will?"

It is not that Governor Perry did anything irreparable! He promised to eliminate three Washington D.C. departments. Then, he forgot one of the three departments that he proposed to eliminate! On national TV, no less! Following the debate, Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standand predicted that Perry's campaign had ended that night. At the time, I thought Kristol was overly presumptuous. In the end, he proved correct.

Adoph Hitler, of all people, proclaimed a truism that may be worth noting: "Short memories have always been an innate attribute of the masses."

It is encouraging that Perry drew applause from his fiery speech at CPAC convention, earlier this month! A friend in Nevada thought, "Perry was on his game. Too bad he didn't come off that way two years ago!"

Fortunately, tomorrow is another day! Better yet, only Republicans seem to remember that debate gaffe of 2011. And, of course, it was a gaffe and nothing more. The question becomes, "can Republicans move past it and focus on what's really pressing? After all, this is supposed to be about "who" is best qualified to be leader of the free world. Not, "who" is the "slickist debator!"

The response given to my brother was, "Do you think that Perry can win the same states that Mitt Romney won?" Predictably, he said "yes."

A Kansas City conservative told me that, while he likes Perry he considers the Texas Governor, "a regional candidate." What he wasn't able to map was "how much of the country" is included in that region! In other words, what states could he win, over and above the states that Romney's losing effort delivered?

There are signs that the Perry camp may be attempting to determine the boundaries of that map. Unlike Mitt Romney, Perry has drawn strong support from Hispanic voters. His 44% tally in the Texas 2010 Gubernatorial election should be remembered. This is almost certainly better than Scott Walker or Rand Paul would deliver!

Those close to the Governor will tell you that Perry has his own "Dream Act" on the drawing board. It will almost certainly be "left" of Tom Tancredo's "unconditional deportation for all," much to the chagrin of those on the far right of the issue. Many recall how Perry was "booed" at a Tea Party sponsored debate when he defended the Texas legislature's near unamimous approval to waive out-of-state tuition requirements for children of illegal aliens.

Immigration reform is actually not the most pressing issue for Latin surnamed Americans, according to some the latest research. Firmly ahead are both "the economy and jobs" and "currency stability." Perry is clearly riding point on both.

As one Perry supporter concluded, "Dan Patrick talks about an "invasion from the south." Not only is it antagonistic, it's ignorant!Immigration reform doesn't translate to "how to get around the law!" It about fixing a broken system. And, to suggest that this is Hispanics' only interest, is insulting, if not demeaning! It's like Democrats insinuation that women vote solely on, "reproductive rights."

Colorado is one of the more heavily female states, percentage of population wise. It is also taking the lead on recreational Marijuana development. And it is 18% Hispanic. At first glance, it would appear destined for the "blue" column.

Could Perry's recent advocation of "decriminalization" have anything to do with this? Perry also cited Marijuana as a "state issue," in accordance with the 10th amendment. Both positions were noted by Rocky Mountain state residents.

New Mexico is 47% Hispanic. Nevada is 25%. Both have Hispanic Republican Governors.

Unlike Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, the majority of Florida's Hispanic population(27% of the state's total) is not Mexican. Most hail from Carribean, Central and South America nations, as well as a large percentage from Europe. Sunshine state insiders predict that Perry would need to do as well as Jeb Bush did with these voters to win Florida.

Marco Rubio could make an impact with all four states if he were Perry's running mate. While some Republican "birthers" might howl, a predictable sequence of outcomes will unfold.

(a) Florida goes from "toss-up," to "leaning Republican."
(b) Nevada goes from "toss-up, slight leaning Democrat" to "toss-up,slightly leaning Republican."
(c) New Mexico goes from "leaning Democrat" to "toss-up."
(d) Colorado goes from "toss-up, slightly leaning Democrat" to "toss-up, slightly leaning Republican."

Florida is an easy read! Rubio is loved by the large Cuban population and admired by practically all of the state's Hispanic voters. Jeb Bush would endorse the ticket. While there are deep enclaves of Democrat voters within the state, it would be difficult to win if they tallied less than half of Florida's Hispanic votes.

Perry's position on Marijuana almost certainly neutralized some down votes in Colorado! Rubio would be of help with many of the "low interest" voters. In the 2010 Florida Senate election, he received 58% of the "female under 40" vote. A similar outcome would push the state solidly in the "red" column.

Nevada will be close. But Perry's staunch "10ther posture" should pay dividends with the recreation community. Rubio actually lived in the Silver state. Childhood accounts of his life as the "son of a bartender and a hotel maid," will resonate with Nevada's Hispanic community.

Like Florida, Nevada and Colorado, New Mexico last was carried by a Republican in 2004. Where Perry might receive as much as 40-45% of the Hispanic vote in the "Land of Enchantment," Rubio could push it above 50%. Without question, he could articulate the Republican alternative as well as anyone in America. Especially on Spanish language television and radio.

The message would be simple: "Perry's economic report card and the record of job creation in neighboring Texas can work for the entire country."

To the surprise of many, "unconditional amnesty" is not supported by the majority of Hispanics. In fact, it's disdained! Marco Rubio would expertly compare Perry's plan to Democrats and in doing so, dismiss any and all reservations that might be held toward the Republican alternative.

The "grand counterpunch" would amount to Obama's anemic economy with the promise of "more of the same," from his successor. New Mexico is a poor state. Many New Mexicans have relatives living south of the border. The idea of a hidden Democrat plan to devalue the currency as a deficit reduction measure, could be masterfully presented by Rubio. The specter of inflation and subsequent currency devaluation has haunted generations of Hispanics.

All intangibles suggest that this Republican ticket would do no worse than a "split" of the Hispanic vote in all four states. It might yield a majority! Yet, merely a "split" would be a disaster for Democrats!

Thus, by recovering Colorado,Florida,New Mexico and Nevada, the electoral count would climb to 252, assuming that the states won in '12 stay home! That is still 18 votes short. But, it should answer the original question, "is Rick Perry electable?"

From Democrats perspective, this scenario represents an electoral problem. Even if they managed to hang on to Ohio, Republicans could clinch the Presidency by winning Virginia and Iowa. Both states have heavy Evangelical numbers. Unlike Mitt Romney, Perry would be able to mobilize them.

Ultimately it will come down to the GOP's ability to win those four key swing states. Jeb Bush might win them. Many would argue that both Rubio and Ted Cruz could win all four. Could we say the same for any of the other potential suitors?

So, is Rick Perry electable? Perhaps the better question is, "is any candidate more electable than Rick Perry?"

The country appears to be burned out on Bushes! At best, Jeb would have a difficult time uniting the base. This is Perry's strongest suit. The Tea Party will turnout. The Establishment will open up their coffers. The religious right will mobilize.

Marco Rubio will turn 43 in May. As Perry's running mate, he would bring Immigrants and Millennials to the party. He would likewise be positioning himself for a future Presidential run. His being on the bottom of the ticket could translate to "two or three" percentage points in the Republicans favor.

Unlike Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz was not born in the United States. This essentially precludes him from the Presidency.

When evaluating the question of "electability," it becomes fairly subjective and opinionated. Perhaps a more productive question would be that of voting practices. Do we really trust these machines? And what about photo I.D. cards? How are they "discriminatory?"

Then there are the debates! Are we certain that it is necessary to even have them? Based on the past two elections, the big winner was the media. Republicans have been far too agreeable on moderator selector. Not to mention debate sponsors!

It would appear that these issues should be on the top of Republican "wish" lists. Regarding electability, the first consideration should be "which candidate will be most effective if elected President?"

Should the conversation go there, the original question will return:

"Why not forgo the primary and ask Governor Perry to be the Republican nominee?"

Sunday, March 16, 2014

American Down, Not Out, Long Awaited Leader in Our Midst!

A plague is upon America.

Actually, it is more like a growing sickness. It's called hopelessness. Our people are giving up. The passion that lead to the founding of this great country is gradually giving way to cynicism and apathy.

It is easy to blame Barack Obama. He certainly hasn't been that "uniter" of men as promised. In fact,he has proven to be opposite of what was advertised on the campaign trail.

At best, he will be remembered as the facilitator of the "left wing status quot." Didn't John McCain predict that he was "running for Jimmy Carter's second term?" At worst, he will be remembered for his efforts to "grind America down."

I recall the President saying that he wasn't the "candidate of fat cat, Wall Street bankers." Words and deeds are two different things, totally separate." Or, at least that's what the Russian say. Concretely put, the gap between rich and poor has widened more during Barack Obama's watch than any other Presidency in history!

The more politically astute admit that "all of this is above Obama's head." One Nashville insider rendered some profound history: "the powers" met with Obama's parents years before he ran for the White House, mapping out his future Presidential victory. It was all part of a grand plan. The "long range goal" was to "bring America in line" with the rest of the world. In other words, to "lessen" America.

I recall a Pennsylvania friend, the son a CIA operative who described our current American system as "red team versus blue team, playing for the same university." He advised me to "forget about saving the world or bringing about significant change." Just accept it and "try to make a couple of bucks and enjoy your children."

As the eternal optimist, my retort was, "are you sure about this." He was. And, when I watched the 2012 Presidential campaign unfold, his insight was clearly manifested.

Another great conservative, who resides in Nebraska refers to them as the "string pullers." Any positive reform will never have a chance because the "string pullers" will not allow it! But wait! We shouldn't talk about these things! It's how one gets killed!

Strangely enough, some are talking about the roots of our predicament. Fortunately, the "fat cats" never have taken Ron Paul seriously. Nor, did they consider G. Edward Griffin's writing, "The Creature from Jekyll Island," any more than a "right wing ranting" from an unbalanced opportunist!

A growing number of Americans are taking note, however. They are younger and yes, slightly naive. Or, that's what the Establishment has long concluded. The assumption is that the Millennials will reach age 40, realize that the situation is beyond remedy and eventually take the advice of the son of the ex-CIA Operative.

I recall a Lexington, Kentucky Broker-Dealer who reminded, "we're talking about career politicians. John Boehner spoke to our group just last week. He asked us for ideas." Yet, with every idea or suggestion, it had "already been proposed" or "they were working on it." He ruefully acknowledged, "then, they'll be off to Washington, D.C. for more of the same."

Judson Wheeler Phillips, the owner of Tea Party Nation, a nationally renowned conservative blog, recently published a thoughtful post on "eligibility." The question was, "did Obama's father change his citizenship?" Evidence suggests that he did. And, even if Obama changed it back, would this not have disqualified him for the presidency?

This revelation would indeed be the ultimate political hot potato! As a longtime Lousiana friend predicted, "they" wouldn't allow it to come up because, "we'd be talking about a civil war." In other words, "what Americans don't know won't hurt them!"

In essence, "our Democracy has become an Oligarchy."

History has proven that all Democracies eventually become Oligarchies. Yet, the United States was not founded as a Democracy. Our forefathers thoughtfully created a Republic. Confused? Perhaps we should define both "Republic" and "Democracy."

Definition of Republic- "A political order where the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and represenitives responsible to them."

Definition of Democracy? There is no clear consensus! Are we referring to "Direct Democracy? Representitive Democracy? Constitutional Democracy?" For the sake of clarity we'll define Democracy as "by the people; rule of the majority."

In theory, the latter would sound more inclusive. But, as Benjamin Franklin pointed out, "tea is typically too hot to drink when first poured into a cup. Therefore, one first pours a part of what's in the cup into the saucer before drinking it."

In other words, our ultimate protection from an American nobility is the slowness of the system created by our founders. A prime example is the U.S. Senate. The founders designated United States Senators to be elected by the individual state Senates. The 17th amendment changed that. Today, U.S. Senators are elected by the people directly. Isn't that preferable?

At first glance, it might be. What's unseen is the reduced authority granted to the individual states that resulted from the 17th amendments ratification.

Many Americans seek to abolish the electoral college. Wouldn't that be a more true measure of the will of the majority? Sure it would be. But, the power would be ultimately concentrated in seven or eight states. Smaller states would in effect, be relinquishing their voice in Presidential elections.

This question is not something new! Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton waged an endless debate on "how much" power should remain in Washington and how much should be administered at state level.

Hamilton wanted a stronger central government. In his mind, the average American lacked the education and general knowledge to self govern. Jefferson wanted to protect future Americans from the same social and political aristrocracy that they had left behind in England. The necessary antidote was the 10th amendment.

What does the 10th amendment have to do with checking a gradual shift from Democracy to Oligarchy? Possibly everything!

Hamilton's vision of America amounted to more centralized control. This, in itself, creates a country more susceptible to influence from the few, the rich and the powerful. Hamilton was the voice of these entities.

Conversely, Jefferson spoke for the common man. He determined that their best protection from oppression was de-centralization. He feared that a big and powerful government could create "what they had fled Europe from!"

Sadly, much of Jefferson's insight has been forgotten. In Washington D.C., we see today, what he feared the most: Ultra-wealthy, well connected, political aristocrats, who have made "governing" their careers. They have been largely supported and facilitated by a burgeoning bureaucracy.

It has been the Oligarchs who have perpetuated the life spans of these careerists. As Griffin coined, "it takes only about $125,000 to buy a Congressman." And so it goes!

Is this the end? Not hardly! As another "Agency" acquaintance stated, "we're going to get move involved in these upcoming elections. The place to be is in Texas. It could get messy in, say Miami."

A prediction? A possible warning?

It would stand to reason that de-centralization, as Jefferson implied could alter the present scenario. Yet, much of the country would vehemently oppose a more literal interpretation of the 10th! And, less we forget, this discussion was previously taken up in 1861!

This is 2014. There is apathy. There is dispair. There is a measure of hopelessness, mixed with a historical amount of cynicism. Underneath it all is anger. Amazingly, this anger could quickly become "joy,' when the right path is shown by that long awaited leader.

Is this leader in sight? Actually, yes! And, is it ever obvious! Yet, as with the Jews and Jesus Christ, true messengers are often spurned due to their simplicity and familiarity!

The Democrats have it all together. They have a plan.They have a compliant, well organized machine, situated in the nations' nerve center. They have millions of loyal "subjects" who ask for no more than day-to-day subsistence.

The Republican Establishment has largely abandoned it's base. The watchwords have become, "Do as you are told," because it's about a "lessor of two evils."

Perhaps the underlying rationale held by these "leaders" is that "even the blue team" would be more predictable than selecting any Jeffersonian alternative! I am certain that Colin Powell would support this conclusion. So would my friend in Pennsylvania!

Are we talking secession? Are we talking an outright revolution?

For the former, no. For the latter, yes, in a manner of speaking!

The "revolution" insinuated would be a revolt against what amounts to a departure from what America was originally meant to be. In truth, we were founded as a Republic, not a Democracy. Decades of manipulation, starting with a near breakup of the union, placed us on this path. What we have today, is what our ancestors fled from when they immigrated to America.

Only a committed Jeffersonian can bring about this reversal. Only a leader who has seen the "opposite" side of the fence, can include "all" of America, and not merely part of it. Only a person of maturity and wisdom is capable of destroying an entrenched system that must be destroyed.

This isn't just about ideas and aspirations! To pull it off, there will need to be more than basic resolve! Executive experience is an imperative. So is on-the-job exposure to both economic and cultural diversity. And, most importantly, previous success beyond comparison!

Obviously, I am referring to Governor, Rick Perry! Not only for our 2016 Presidential election, but our "uncontested Republican nominee!"

We may get one last chance at reclaiming our Republic as we know it. It is time to set our differences aside and unite. If we can't we will, at best, be forced to settle for reclaiming a portion of it. At worst, we may lose our identity altogether. This is the verdict that so many fear.

As the American story unfolds, we are experiencing a "blight" that has stricken the very foundations of our soul; our psyche. Was it administered intentionally? Maybe! But, our fate hasn't been sealed. Or, at least, not yet!

Our salvation is two-fold. We must return to our original Judeo-Christian principles that inspired our founders. Of equal importance is the conclusion that Jefferson was right and Hamilton was wrong!

Each state should be seen as a separate laboratory, in peaceful competition. The end result: Strong states. Strong states make for a strong nation.

Best of all, government is "closer" to the people. Politicians are more accountable to their constituents and less so to special interests and lobbyists that have descended upon Washington, D.C. like vultures on a road kill.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

CPAC Defines Conservatism; Clueless on Path to Victory

While there were some sticky spots, this past week's CPAC convention was a refreshing respite from today's troubled America.

Conservatives clearly defined their vision. It amounts to "reducing the size, scope and cost of the federal government."

The convention contained some emotional, even rabble rounding speeches. Ted Cruz rankled a few old guardsmen, suggesting that some were not sufficiently conservative. There was a lot of thoughtful panel dialog. Perhaps most impressive was the distinction of Democrat and Republican perception of women.

Sarah Palin wrapped things up with her typical fiery, plain spoken rhetoric. A straw poll was taken. The result unfortunately pointed to a 1964 repeat for the GOP.

Republicans have literally everything going for them. A sick economy. A mountain of unpopular regulations. A partisan health care plan that will bankrupt the nation. A growing world perception that America is weak and indecisive.

Best of all, there is an approaching midterm. Several "red state," Democrat Senators are anticipating termination. There are a half dozen open Senate seats in winnable states. A ten-seat, Senate pick-up would not be impossible!

The wind is definitely blowing in Democrats' face. But they have one advantage. They are united.

While some say that Hillary Clinton may not run, don't count on it. Even if she were reluctant to do it, the pressure from the party machine will be overwhelming. And, for good reason! What other front line candidate would Democrats have? Joe Biden? Andrew Cuomo? Moonbeam?

So, let's assume that Hillary is the opponent. She will have a "monster" warchest, courtesy of near unanimous Union patronage and left wing PAC generosity. Her game plan will be simple: "Scare the daylights out of Americans with predictions of apocalypse from Republican extremes."

Unfortunately this strategy is "tailor made" for CPAC straw poll winner, Rand Paul!

Michael Dukakis made a memorable statement in his losing bid for the the 1988 Presidency. "This is not about ideology. It is about competence." The only problem for Dukakis was that a closer look at his watch as Massachusetts Governor revealed incompetence!

When you talk the talk, you better be prepared to walk the walk!

Surprisingly enough, a clear plan to send Hillary Clinton to Martha's Vineyard permanently, just surfaced!

In a previous post, we explored Mrs. Clinton's actual public service accomplishments. They are essentially non-existent. A lackluster Senate tenure. A failed Presidential run. A stint as Secretary of State that remains shouded in controversy.

As first lady, she authored "Hillary Care," which resulted in the Democrats losing both House and Senate in the '94 midterms. A decade earlier in Arkansas she was deeply involved in what was labeled "the Whitewater scandel." Had her husband not been Governor, she might have forced to relocate to Pine Bluff, the home of Cummings Prison Farm.

Without question, Hillary Clinton is beatable. But Republicans won't beat her on ideology. Nor, will grandiose drivel proclaiming "my way is better than your way because..." score points with America. Like 1980, America is tired and frustrated. Unlike 1980, the nation is overwhelming cynical.

If you plan to "talk the talk, you better be prepared to walk the walk." In other words, we want more than promises. We want to see previous results."

A "report card" comparison would be something new in a Presidential election. And for a tired, frustrated, overwhelmingly cynical" America, it might be just what the doctor ordered. It is definitely not what Hillary Clinton wants!

While Rand Paul could make his case for being a committed conservative, like Hillary he has no Executive experience. Thus, it's "my way is better than your way because..." You could throw Rick Santorum into this same hopper.

Marco Rubio would attract new members to the Republican Party. As a result,Democrats see him as "dangerous." Ted Cruz isn't exactly the "apple" of the Establishments' eye. The constitution requires that a President "be born in the United States, live in the United States 14 consecutive years and be 35 years of age." That's it!

In essence, Rubio is eligible to be President. Cruz is not. Period. Those who consider "Minor versus Happersett" the final word on eligibility may also think that "Dred Scott" and "Brown versus the Board of Education" were thoughtful and conclusive SCOTUS decisions.

Scott Walker has scored some victories in a deep blue state. So has Chris Christie. But could either win their home state in a general election against Hillary? In Walker's case, "possibly." In Christie's case, "not likely." No President has ever been elected when not carrying his home state.

Jeb Bush? It appears that the Tea Party is defiantly against the former Florida Governor. While the Establishment loves him, could he mobilize the base? He would be a more difficult opponent for Hillary. But would he represent "same old, same old" in Washington D.C.? Yesterday's CPAC message reflected intense anger at the entrenched political establishment. Even though Jeb is neither his father or brother, he has the name. His Florida report card as Governor was better than average.

In short, Republicans have several suitors who could make their Presidential case. But, if the nomination were to be determined solely on a previous report card, the hands down choice is Rick Perry. In fact, it is so overwhelming, that the Republican's smartest option may well be to forego the primaries and "ask" the Texas Governor to be their nominee!

Crazy? Not hardly. Perry's track record as Governor of Texas may be the most successful in U.S. History. What will stand out most significantly is the fact that "for every two full time jobs created over the past five years, one has been in Texas." That means that the "other job" was created by the remaining 49 states collectively?

Believe it!

Perry's message of "10th amendment rediscovery," reflects this past week's
CPAC message. And, he actually has run a "lab" that proves that it works!

Under Perry's leadership, the Texas Educational report card has been superlative. The test scores prove it! Not only has Texas benefited from Charter Schools and voucher programs, but there are now ten Texas colleges and universities offering four-year tuitions for $10,000.

Texas' Environmental record is equally noteworthy. It stems from the truth that this important duty is better handled from Austin and not Washington. Leading by example is the key to unlocking the riches in states such as Alaska, Kentucky and West Virginia. Perry has done this splendidly.

Republicans can turn the 2016 election into a question of competence, with the candidates' actual record as evidence. On this field, Hillary Clinton is seen for what she is. "The Woody Allen of Politics."

Woody Allen? Wasn't he wildly successful as an actor? Isn't he a rich man? Yes. But every single movie that he was involved in lost millions! Today, he is referred to as the "most successful failure in show biz!"

Okay. Perry has been a wildly successful governor. His approval rating stands at 55%, after nearly 14 years on the job. Ted Cruz called his performance "terrific." We can even throw in the fact that he is the only front tier candidate with military experience. Don't forget that he flew F-130's in the Air Force. His tour included several Middle East sorties.

Impressive! But do voters even get that deep into a candidate's credentials? Barack Obama is proof that they don't! Wouldn't all of Perry's accomplishments go unnoticed, except for those who had already decided to vote for him?

Maybe not, if three things can happen.

First of all, the Tea Party must get behind Rick Perry. After all, he is the most qualified spokesman for their cause. This could happen with one simple overture. It amounts to this. Ted Cruz would journey to Kentucky and endorse Mitch McConnell. In exchange, McConnell would agree to withdraw his name from consideration as Senate Majority Leader if re-elected. Republican Senators would agree to name Cruz Senate Majority Leader. Cruz would endorse Perry for President.

Secondly, Republicans would ask Perry to be their nominee, foregoing the primary. This decision would be based on "not repeating the calamity of 2012."

Finally, Perry would annouce his selection of Marco Rubio for running mate prior to the June convention.

Rubio is an incredible orator. Jeb Bush called him the "best" that he has ever seen. He would canvas the country touting Perry's Texas record. He would remind America of Hillary's lackluster performance, starting with Healthcare and ending with Benghazi. He would be joined by popular swing state Governors. In the end, Marco Rubio would define Perry and with it, himself.

Republicans would accomplish three goals with this strategy.

(a) They would be defining their nominee and not allowing the media to do it. The media called Perry, "George Bush on steroids." The two men are actually quite different, as are their ideologies.
(b) They would be laying the groundwork for Marco Rubio as Perry's 2024 successor. The party would be recognizing Rubio as a "president in waiting," similar to the "Jim Bob Fisher-Bobby Bowden, Florida State University coaching scenario."
(c) They would be sending a clear message to the Tea Party. It would amount to "you are an important part of the conservative movement and we are going to include your leaders in the most important positions. All we ask is that you be team players."

Division is the biggest single enemy of the GOP. Failure to conquer it, will result in a Hillary Clinton Presidency. Even though she is a deeply flawed candidate, her party is unified behind her. She has near endless financial resources and enjoys support from a highly partisan media.

Republicans can win only if they unify. It begins with examining which candidate best represents the objective, "to reduce the size, scope and cost of government," and has "most effectively implemented" these standands while on the job.

That is, unquestionably Rick Perry.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Replacing GOP "Old Guard" About Timing, Individual State

February 28th, Mississippi Democrat, Travis Childers annouced that he was entering the 2014 Senate race. The incumbant is 76-year-old Thad "The Shrimp" Cochran.

Cochran has more than Childers to contend with! The Tea Party has launched a lethal challenger in 41-year-old Chris McDaniel. McDaniel's message is simple: "Pork barrel politics" is not the future.

Historically, lawmakers from poor states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and West Virginia have convinced their people that the "gracious hand of Washington" was their salvation. As Kentucky Governor, Steve Beshear put it, "we receive two dollars
from Washington for every one dollar we send to Washington." Jay Rockefeller has echoed the same sentiments in West Virginia. Ditto for Bill Clinton when Governor of Arkansas.

Cochran represents the old style Southern politician. The objective was to siphon federal money into state coffers. The more, the better! Who could find fault with this!

I recall in 1980 seeing a bumper sticker while driving in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. In bold letters it screamed, "Tax Mississippi Free!" In other words, let's find a way to generate revenue here at home. Federal money always comes with strings attached.

At that time, the rage was legalized casino gambling. When the idea was first introduced, it seemed preposterous. Today it is reality.

Growing up in Arkansas, the slogan was "Thank God for Mississippi, because if it were not for Mississippi, we would be 50th; instead of 49th!" Arkansans were constantly reminded by cagy career politicians, John McClellan, Bill Fulbright and Wilbur Mills
that their meager prosperity was the fruit of the "gracious hand" of Washington.

Bill Clinton represented the next generation of "gracious handers." Attending American University on a Fulright fellowship, he exceeded all hopes and expectations of his mentors. Today, Bill resides in New York City, a living legend of the small town boy who conquered the world. Surprisingly, however, the state didn't begin to take off until Mike Huckabee took over.

Chris McDaniel is not promising how much Washington "pork" he can procure for the Magnolia state. He is talking about the 10th amendment. He is stressing the positives of Mississippi's vast oil and natural gas reserves, it's timber and great farmland. His message is simple and to the point. "We can run our state better from Mississippi than bureaucrats can run it from Washington, D.C."

Unlike Fulbright, Thad Cochran is not a liberal Democrat! He loves his state and has worked within the system to better the lives of Mississippians. His camp maintains the postion that if Republicans regain the Senate, Thad will be in position to take over chairmanship of the powerful Senate Appropriations committee. In short, he will be able to "get more stuff" for Mississippi!

From the Tea Party point of view, this thinking is "what's wrong with Washington." More spending, more chits, more government! McDaniel's response is "less government, less interference and more local control" are excellent trade-offs.

Where Clinton's Arkansas was all about procuring the maximum help from Washington, Huckabee turned to the people of Arkansas. The farmers were asked to increase their yields of rice and soy beans because eager buyers were waiting in China, Japan and South Korea. The overnight business boom of Washington and Benton Counties in the Northwest corner of the state, now rivals Clinton's career achievements!

Still, conservatives must be patient. As one Rick Perry supporter noted, "it took years to fall into this way of thinking. It will take time to fall out of it."

In other words, "gradual evolution." It is time to replace Thad Cochran with Chris McDaniel. Because, Mississippi isn't going to elect Travis Childers, or any Democrat for that matter.

If it would work in Mississippi, why not in Kentucky?

Two reasons: Unlike Mississippi, Kentucky still has a Democrat Party. True, Barack Obama received only 37% of the vote. But, we must remember that Bill Clinton won this state in both '92 and '96. Like Arkansas, many of the old "courthouse" Democrats have died or are dying out. As with Arkansas, they are being replaced by conservative newcomers from Midwestern states.

Yet, while Democrat numbers dwindle in Arkansas and Kentucky, the machinery remains in place. While the Democrat brand is slightly tainted, the bureacracy remains indefinitely "blue!"

DNC National thought that Attorney General, Jack Conway represented the ultimate opportunity to place a "true believer" in an increasingly "red" state. The PAC money flowed in to the Bluegrass state. Conway spent a good deal of time on the West Coast cultivating the friends of Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman.

Fortunately for Kentuckians, his Republican opponent, Rand Paul was well funded. Through extensive television penetration, Conway's ideology was revealed. Paul defeated him going away. From the defeat, Democrats learned that a well funded opponent can and will take a campaign from "image to ideology."

In many ways, Mitch McConnell mirrors Thad Cochran. He hasn't been in Washington quite as long as Cochran, but he has likely made more enemies. And, unlike Mississippi, Democrats have a potent party machine in Kentucky. Plus, they have an attractive "true believer" in 35-year-old, Allison Lundgren Grimes, currently serving as Secretary of State.

As with Cochran, the Tea Party has decided that Mitch must go. Matt Bevin has emerged as as McConnell's replacement. Two differences should be noted. The first is money. Where is Bevin's money coming from and would it continue to flow in a general election?

The second is media. The Louisville Courier Journel and the Lexington Herald Leader are arguably two of the most Liberal Newspapers in America. Both are overwhelming anti-McConnell. They will manufacturer a dozen or more subtle angles in endorsing Hillary Clinton Disciple, Allison Lundgren Grimes.

There are recent polls showing Grimes currently in a "deal heat" with McConnell. Never mind that 18% of the sample came from Louisville liberal, John Yarmouth's district, 15% came from Franklin County and 17% came from Fayette County. Interestingly enough, half of the samples came from three of only four counties won by Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential election...

Democrats acknowledge that McConnell has a massive war chest. Big enough to define Allison Lundgren Grimes in the manner that Jack Conway was defined: "a rubber stamp for the Obama Adminstration's agenda." The hope is, the Tea Party ideologues will become so focused on "ditching Mitch," that they will lose sight of the main Republican priority of 2014: To regain a Senate majority.

Kentuckians are constantly reminded by the state's entrenched Democrat bureaucracy, "for every dollar we send to Washington, two we receive." What they fail to mention is "the vast mineral wealth" that Kentucky possessses. Coal, Oil, Natural Gas are in abundance.

Kentucky is also the geographic center of the Eastern United States. The rivers that connect the state are impressive. The state likewise has great agricultural resources. Last but not least, the Commonwealth of Kentucky is one of the most beautiful spots on the planet.

The question becomes, "why" is Kentucky so poor? In reality, it should be one of the more prosperous states. As Commissioner of Agriculture, John Comer pointed out, "the state could have canneries throughout the state. But FDA regulations make it difficult, too expensive."

Berea based MACED has hired Administrators from Boston and New York. They have then placed these "all knowing experts" in front of the locals in an effort to convince them that "departure from the coal" business is in everyones' best interest."
Especially when there are government entitlements such as Food Stamps and Obamacare available.

Mitch McConnell, unlike Thad Cochran has been forced to deal with both an entrenched Democrat bureacracy and hostile media. While he reflects the old "siphon our share of the D.C. money into our state," his time for departure is not yet upon us. We must remember that Mitch came in under Ronald Reagan's watch. Cochern took the oath the same year Jimmy Carter did.

In a general election, McDaniel will beat Childers by fifteen points. If this were 2024, the same verdict would await Allison Lundgren Grimes at the hand of Matt Bevin.

Unfortunately for Republicans, Kentucky in 2014 is not Mississippi in 2014. Unlike Mississippi, Democrats could steal a win if Grimes is allowed to face Bevin and not McConnell in the general election.

In essence, "patience" must be the watchword, in states such as Kentucky. To get to where Mississippi is, there must first be a grassroots campaign to win both houses of the Legislature. Arkansas was successful in doing this. Kentucky and West Virginia should be next.

Many House and Senate Democrats in both states are "D.I.N.O.s"(Democrats in name only). These "D.I.N.O.s" must be persuaded to change party affiliation. If it worked in Arkansas and Mississippi, it can work in Kentucky and West Virginia.

We must also find a way to replace Democrats with Republicans in state bureaucracies. Former Kentucky Govenor, Ernie Fletcher attempted to do this. His downfall came with immature staffers and their lack of discretion. Unfortunately, this part of the riddle may take years to remedy.