Sunday, April 27, 2014

Perry-Cuomo Debate Could Spawn Democrat Dream Ticket

To the surprise of some, a Hillary Clinton Presidential nomination isn't welcomed by all Democrats.

Last week, Texas Governor, Rick Perry challenged New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo to a one-on-one debate. All issues would be on the table. The Perry camp proposed to hold the debate in New York this past week. Cuomo never responded.

As of late, Perry has been scouring the Northeast inviting business' to relocate to Texas. High tax New York has been a target. In an effort to counter these defections, the Empire State has launched it's own overture; effectively waiving business taxes for ten years for companies relocating to New York.

Perry's motivation is two-pronged. A debate with Cuomo would allow him to further showcase the benefits of Texas, it's business friendliness and reasonable cost of living. It would also create the perfect opportunity to quell doubts of his debating ability.

The 2012 Republican debates were none too kind to Rick Perry! In addition to receiving arguably the most "hard ball" questions from the moderators, he caught it from both the right and the left; from fellow Republicans!

Mitt Romney took exception to Perry's description of Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme." This was true. Romney, a strong debator translated the label to insinuate that Perry opposed Social Security. This was untrue.

In his recent book, "Fed Up" Perry had questioned the solvency of Social Security. One of the MSNBC moderators reminded that Karl Rove had labeled Social Security a "toxic issue." Suddenly Perry was debating almost the entire Republican field, as well as the debate moderators.

Next up was the HPV Vaccine and Michelle Bachmann pounced on it! Perry manfully admitted that it was a mistake. The goal of the vaccine had been "to prevent cancer." His "pro life" argument seemingly fell on deaf ears. In typical Bachmann style, the "gadfly" Congresswoman(Donald Trump's word) colored fact with fiction in blasting Perry. Ironically, the legislation was never actually implemented.

From there it was the tuition tax waiver for children "illegally in the country through no fault of their own." The Texas legislature decided by vote of 177 to four, to treat these Texas high school graduates as Texans, exempting them from out-of-state tuition for state colleges and universitites. Perry signed off on it.

Romney, Bachmann and Rick Santorum demagogued Perry mercilessly! The real damage came when debate sponsor, the Tampa Tea Party booed Perry. Republicans may have lost the general election that night.

It is never easy debating a multitude of opinions, simultaneously. But that is what Perry did. The tuition question required simple 10th amendment logic. It was a decision that was Texas' alone. Romney, Bachmann and Santorum believed that Perry should have vetoed the bill. Never mind the fact that there was a near unanimous Congressional consensus favoring waiver!

In the end, Republican faithful concluded that Perry was a poor debator. Some softened their scrutiny when they learned of Perry's back surgery the previous summer. Sadly, in the minds of many, the ability to debate has become more important than actual job performance. A successful debate with Cuomo would lay to rest any and all concerns.

Why would Andrew Cuomo entertain Perry's overture? For starters, it presents the chance to tell America that New York is serious about job creation. Company departures due to both taxes and other reasons are problematic. Just last month Remington Fire Arms announced that it was moving it's plant and 2000 jobs to Alabama. The state's restrictive laws on firearms and Cuomo's apparent contempt for the 2nd amendment are cited as "motivations."

A high profile debate would give Andrew Cuomo the platform to position himself as the alternative to Hillary Clinton. He of the "correct" mindset where social issues are concerned. And, he has Executive experience, something that Mrs. Clinton lacks.

Democrat primaries traditionally have presented alternatives. In most cases it was establishment versus challenger. In 1968 Hubert Humphrey held off Henry "Scoop" Jackson. After losing the general election to Richard Nixon, the former Vice President returned in '72 but was upset by George McGovern.

We recall Ted Kennedy's unsuccessful challenge of then seated President Jimmy Carter in 1980. And who could forget Walter Mondale's "where's the beef" question layed on Gary Hart in the 1984 primary.

By 1988 the party has slipped further to the left. Al Gore was considered the "conservative," Jesse Jackson the "liberal" which landed Massachusetts Governor, Michael Dukakis in the coveted center.

Sporting three consecutive general election losses, Democrats faced a dilemma. Mario Cuomo, considered the frontrunner, shocked party members by staying out of the race. This opened the door for Bill Clinton and his promise of a "New Democratic Party" with a "new kind of Democrat." Aided by Ross Perot's third party candidacy, Clinton won, not receiving 50% of the total vote.

In 2000 Vice President, Al Gore assumed the frontrunner mantle, holding off New Jersey Senator, Bill Bradley. We know the story of 2008. For Andrew Cuomo to emerge as Hillary's rival for the nomination would not be inconsistent with history.

Worrisome for the Democrat Establishment is "what if" Cuomo gained early traction with the base? Nationally defining his America versus that of Rick Perry's might be all that was needed! In politics it is all about perception. And money. Cuomo would have both.

Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren is already seen as a "true believer" by party ideologues. Her jumping on Cuomo's bandwagon would be viewed as "the coming together of two great progressive minds." Suddenly it would be the "future of the party versus the past." The true "pulse" of America versus the "status quot." Warren is currently being mentioned as a Presidential possibility.

Could this development realistically materialize? Heavens yes! To Progressive purists Cuomo-Warren would be the dynamic duo, the ultimate "Crusaders for Social Justice." Especially in comparison to "Wall Streetish" Hillary Clinton. Today's "Progressives view Hillary in much the same manner that the Tea Party views Jeb Bush: "watered down."

A Cuomo-Perry debate would vividly portray the contrasting visions of America. But it wouldn't be about Liberal versus Conservative, rather "how much autonomy" should the individual states be afforded?

This is obviously not the debate that Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush would seek in their envisioned face-off.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Probable Hillary Nomination Creates Opportunity for GOP

All signs indicate that America's power structure has settled on a Jeb-Hillary face-off in 2016. There is certainly comfort in such a scenario. Yet, today we have a different America; an America more divided than ever. Extreme ideologies create a spawning ground for a multitude of outcomes.

In an October issue of "The Nation" magazine, Richard Kim labeled a Hillary Clinton candidacy as "no new ideas here." Kim surmised. "It's hard to imagine a Democrat of national stature more ill-equipped to speak to the nation's populist mood."

Are we suggesting that there might be "trouble in paradise" for Democrats? You bet!

According to Berkeley economist, Emmanuel Saez, "the top one percent captured 95 percent of all income gains in the so-called recovery, while the bottom 99 percent barely gained at all."

Not a good report card for Democrats, considering that they have held the White House since '08 and the Senate since '06. In fact, it's evidence that the status quot may be worth voting against. Doesn't matter whom the option might be. Even the "right" Republican could garner consideration.

Kim's article reveals several counts of "Crony Capitalism." Topping that list was Doug Band, Bill Clinton's former body man, "who managed to turn his lowly position as jacket holder and BlackBerry keeper into a consulting business that afforded him $8.8 million in Manhattan real estate."

With 2014 moving toward the one-third point, few strong alternatives to Hillary are appearing. Joe Biden draws more guffaws than praises; from his own party members! Andrew Cuomo is feared to bring about another Bush-Dakukis verdict. Martin O'Malley is too much of an unknown.

The far left embraces Massachusett's Junior Senator, Elizabeth Warren. And why not! She thinks that a $25 per hour minimum wage is salvation in America. Her knowledge of business and economics is comparable to Mike Ditka's expertise in home economics!

Kim's conclusion: "If Hillary wins the nomination it will likely be because she scared off potential insurgents and shut down the debate early."

That's what generally happens when you have a monster war chest and elite connections. The problem is you must take care of those who helped you. It's called "the spoils system."

Hillary supporters point to polls, showing her running far ahead of all Republicans. They speak confidently that she would be a first; an experienced woman with credentials. But has anyone really put those "credentials" under a microscope?

In short, Republicans may face a very beatable Democrat in 2016. Their challenge will be to nominate a real alternative to Hillary Clinton. The pattern has been to nominate someone safe, preferably a moderate who appeals to swing voters in the suburbs of Philadelphia and Chicago. Herein lies the problem.

Unless Illinois finds a way to expell Cook County, the state is out-of-reach for Republicans in 2016. Pennsylvania could go "red;" if the Catholic Church would endorse the Republican candidate. But it won't! In spite of it's vehement opposition to both abortion and same sex marriage, like all contemporary churches, the numero uno concern has been "preserving and protecting tax exempt status!"

Can Jeb Bush defeat Hillary Clinton? Yes. But, he is not the only Republican who could.

There was a brief window in 2012 when it looked like Rick Santorum might shock the world. His supporters were openly talking about New Mexico Governor, Susanna Martinez as a possible running mate. The power brokers were actually becoming alarmed.

Two Roman Catholics against a gay rights advocate, holding a twenty-year seat in Jeremiah Wright's congregation, did not bode well. Eventually, even a stagnant institution such as the Roman Catholic Church must make a stand! The Establishment's saving grace was Mitt Romney. His LDS affiliation made it politically correct for the GOP to keep religion out of the discussion.

Perhaps Christians are content with the status quot. Going to a service and hearing a mealy mouthed sermon on "grace and fellowship," is safe. Discussing real issues, such as the "moral decline of America" is laced with pitfalls and fraught with peril!

Winning the 2016 election may be as easy as "mobilizing Evangelicals while simultaneously reaching out to Catholics." The majority of the latter continues to vote Democrat, in spite of Democrats embracement of same sex marriage and government funded abortions!

Americans are seeing a nationwide decline in overall moral standards. The difficulty of arresting this decline amounts to "bigness." The country is simply too large to instigate a resurrection of values from Washington, D.C.. It must be orchestrated at the state level.

This is why Jeb Bush would not be the best choice. While having a good heart, this sincere man may hold too much of a "big government orientation" to embrace a "bottom up," resurgency. For illustrative purposes, imagine the following scenario:

"Alabama passes a law that legalizes classroom prayer in the public schools. A member of the student body complains. The ACLU sends attorneys to halt the practice. Their argument of "separation of church and state" is challenged. Alabama contends that the 10th amendment gives them the right to allow prayer in both the school and the individual classroom. The Governor summons the state militia, mandating that the ACLU representitives be escorted to the state lines."

What would a President Jeb Bush do in this case? In fact, this is a good question for every Republican candidate. Isn't the President sworn to uphold the Constitution? The question is, "does the 10th amendment supercede subsequent rulings that would infringe on an individual state's right?"

We know that Hillary Clinton would say, "definitely not!" It's probable that Jeb Bush would concur. But what about America? Would Americans support a state's individual preference for such a question?

This is where Conservatives can introduce the solution: "Birds of a feather should flock together."

Perhaps most of Massachusetts would oppose this hypothetical action in Alabama. Conversely, Alabamans might not support "Mass Care;" or abortion on demand clinics that surround African American neighborhoods in Chicago and New York City.

Good, bad or indifferent, this is how the framers set up America. Or, as Rick Perry suggested, "move," to states more reflective of one's own values!

Hillary Clinton's inside track creates a wonderful opportunity for Republicans. They can play it safe with a Bob Dole, John McCain, or Mitt Romney. Or, they can reach out for a disciple of real change.

It begins with finding an issue that transcends.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Why Democrats Fear Marco Rubio

Arianna Huffington called him "the Obama of the right."

Bill O'Reilly described him as "a moderate."

Birthers say that he is not "a natural born citizen."

Judson Phillips, the owner of renowned Tea Party Nation blog, recently said a friend called Rubio "a Democrat wearing a Republican suit."

Conservatives grind their teeth when thinking of his role in the "Gang of Ocho."

So what gives? Has the Marco Rubio of 2010 morphed into something of a different persuasion?

For those who have read his book, not to mention followed his votes, you know. Marco continues to be one of the most reliable conservative voices on the hill. Yet, his position on immigration reform is moderate. Especially when compared to that of Tom Tancredo!

Rubio does support the Dream Act, up to a point. He favors a "path" to citizenship for children illegally in the country, through no fault of their own. He draws the line where extended family members are concerned. This is decidedly to the right of George W. Bush, Jeb Bush and John McCain.

Rubio recently introduced "the War on Poverty." It smacks of Federalism. He is critical of Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society." He touts vocational education. His vision follows the Chinese proverb, "give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life."

Some recall 2006 when then House Speaker Rubio introduced a "Tax Swap," that would have eliminated property taxes for all homesteaded Floridians. In 2008, he supported Governor Mike Huckabee's "Fair Tax" proposal.

An advocate of Supply Side Economics, Marco Rubio speaks of his admiration for Ronald Reagan. Largely influenced by his Grandfather, Rubio took the American Dream literally. He has always seen small business as the key job creator. He lovingly talks of "business' being started in bedrooms and basements."

Born in Miami in 1971, most of his life was spent in West Miami, an enclave of middle class, Cuban Americans. There was a six-year hiatus, when the family moved to Las Vegas. He speaks fondly of life there as "the son of a bartender and a hotel maid."

Marco Rubio loves football. An avid Dolphin's fan, he actually attended his freshmen year on a football scholarship at a small college in Missouri. Later, after meeting Michael Irving in the tunnell of Pro Players stadium, and noting his size, he decided that a future in the NFL was out of reach. His wife, the former Jeanette Dousdebes, was later a Dolphin's cheerleader.

From Tarkio college, Rubio transferred to Santa Fe Juco, before finishing at the University of Florida at Gainesville. He then attended Law School at the University of Miami. In the end, he had a monster student loan debt on his back and continues to make the $900 per month payment.

His book, "An American Son," details his 2010 Senatorial campaign against then Governor, Charlie Crist. Those close to Rubio's camp will admit that there was a lot of "bad blood" that remained afterward between them and Stuart Stevens. Stevens managed Crist's and later Mitt Romney's campaign.

Many recall Rubio's extremely late endorsement of Romney. Both Dick Morris and Karl Rove urged Romney to take Rubio as his running mate. Most suspect that there still may be lingering bad feelings from the Senate campaign.

In retrospect, Rubio's not running with Romney may prove to be a blessing! The two men's backgrounds and ideologies are quite different. In fact, Rubio's positions on states rights and the 10th amendment are more reflective of Rick Perry's.

Like Perry, Rubio is a strong social conservative. A devout Roman Catholic, he has been more inclined as of late, to attend the Evangelical,"Christ Fellowship" church with Jeanette. His book reveals a man of deep faith and a strong relationship with Jesus Christ.

Where Democrats are most concerned is how Rubio is perceived by the "low interest" voters. As one Louisville Kentucky based, Democrat strategist coined, "he doesn't fall into your classic Republican stereotype. Against Hillary Clinton, we could end up with a 2008; in reverse!"

America has traditionally favored the underdog. In November 2016, Rubio will be 45 years-old. That's older than both John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton were when they ran in 1960 and 1992 respectively. In 2016, Hillary Clinton will be 69.

Worse still for Dems is the perception that Rubio is a true Centrist. Conservatives say that they don't trust him. Birthers say that he is not eligible to be President. Even Fox News calls him a Moderate.

By the same token, immigrants adore Marco Rubio. To Millennials, he is a "rock star." It must also be noted that in the Florida Senate race he received 58% of the "female under 40" vote. All three groups were won decisively by Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Will Marco Rubio run for President? I think it's safe to say "no," if Jeb Bush throws his hat into the ring. However, if Jeb passes, the possibilities are excellent.

Jeb was Marco's original mentor, calling Rubio "the greatest orator that he had seen." As with immigration, the two greatly differ on Education. Jeb is vocally supportive of "Common Core." Rubio opposes it, agreeing with Perry that the best solution for the Department of Education is "abolishment."

As Rubio pointed out in his book, Obama was "a compelling figure, with an extraordinary gift for public speaking." Yet,"hidden beneath his centrist message, was a decidedly left-of-center policy agenda. His personality and language gave the impression of moderation. But his ideas and voting record revealed a dogmatic, big-government liberal."

Yet, the low interest voters gave him the keys to the White House!

It is certainly understandable why Democrats fear Marco Rubio.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bridging the Republican Divide

Are we talking about an impossibility? Maybe.

It depends on how much Republicans want to avoid a Hillary Clinton presidency. The problem is, some party members might secretly be more comfortable with Hillary than some of the Republican contenders!

Does anyone recall Rick Perry referring to Mitt Romney as "Obama lite?" Most probably didn't catch what amounted to a mild slur. In effect, he was pointing out actual similarities between ideologies. Romney was "left" of the base, in fact "so left" of the Tea Party that he essentially ignored them.

You wonder if the Fortune 500 companies cared who won! We do know, that when Rick Santorum began closing the gap, their coffers opened wide on behalf of Governor Romney! They were likewise contributing to the Obama campaign.

There is also the argument of knowing "when" to take a chance and when to play it safe. "Playing it safe," generally always points to supporting the moderate or sticking with an unpopular incumbant. In the case of Delaware in 2010 and Kentucky in 2014, it makes sense. But in other instances, such as Mississippi in 2014, it's an excuse.

Look at Alaska. Even with no Sarah Palin the field is crowded. Joe Miller, the Tea party favorite defeated Lisa Murkowski in the 2010 GOP primary. An Establishment backed write in campaign kept Lisa Murkowski in the Senate.

Miller is back in 2014 and facing two Establishment Republicans.

Karl Rove likes Dan Sullivan. On paper, it would be difficult to do much better! A Marine Corp vet, Sullivan graduated with a B.S. in Economics from Harvard prior to taking a J.D. from Georgetown University. Condoleeza Rice has joined Rove in endorsing Sullivan.

Mead Treadwell, a product of Harvard's business school, is the current Lt. Governor and is showing a slight lead in some early polls. He recently shook up his staff.

Miller's resume is equally impressive. A graduate of West Point, he received his law degree from Yale.

Miller is the youngest of the three hopefulls at 47. He is originally from Kansas. Sullivan is 50-years old and from Ohio. Treadwell, the oldest at 58 hails from Connecticut.

Alaska is a "deep red" state. Mitt Romney won it by 14 points in 2012. Incumbant Democrat,Mark Begich has largely been a "rubber stamp" for the President's Agenda. Obamacare is especially unpopular in the "Last Frontier." Polls indcate that he would lose to any of the three Republican options.

The question becomes, "what" distinguishes Sullivan from the other two candidates and "why" is Karl Rove vigorously raising money for his campaign? Perhaps this is a non-factor. But, it should be noted.

Like his former boss, Condi Rice, Sullivan is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Is this significant? Maybe. While George W. Bush was not a member of this globalist organization, Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Henry Paulson and Dick Cheney are, or were. Maybe it's merely a coincidence.

To google CFR reveals some big names! Starting with Bill and Chelsea Clinton. Hillary was a member until this year.

Let's wind the clock back to 1980. Establishment favorite, George H.W. Bush had won Iowa and was leading in the New Hampshire polls. Ronald Reagan was on the ropes. Then, he produced leaflets, citing(accurately) Bush the Elder's membership in the Tri-Lateral Commission. Did it change the game? We may never know. What we do know is that Reagan won the New Hampshire primary and went on to clinch the nomination, taking Bush as his running mate.

In a previous post, we briefly reviewed Russian history. It was implied that "New Conservatives," were actually "evolved Trotskyites." Are we suggesting that the Republican Establishment is composed of "New Conmservatives?"

No. But, the crossover is alarmingly consistent. It begins with an apparent preference for big government.

Rand Paul defined the divide. In his book, the "Tea party Goes to Washington," he described New Conservative(Neo-Con) desire for a "large, Washington D.C. based government, whose purpose is to advance and facilitate conservative principles." According to Paul, "Constitutional Conservatives" seek "a more literal translation of the constitution." In effect, they are the "strict constructionists."

So what! Who cares! Aren't we splitting hairs?

No. In actuality, we are getting to the real "meat" of the conservative argument. For years, the Republican Establishment has been a haven for New Conservatives. Originally, these Republicans were considered liberals by many, if not most, Southern Democrats. With the Democrats' gradual exclusion of them, these "boll weevils" flocked to the GOP. Their new best friend was Ronald Reagan.

The Republican Party welcomed their numbers. Their ideas were another thing!

Those ideas did not fall totally on deaf ears! Traditional Republicans in Midwestern, Great Plains and Mountain states realized that they had an ideological, if not spiritual connect with these former "Dixiecrats." It began with an understanding of Reagan's "New Federalism" and the need for it's implementation throughout America.

Obviously "Federalism" calls for decentralization of govenment. This contradicts the basic psyche of New Conservatism.

Probably the most glaring exhibition of "New Conservative" versus "Constitutional Conservative" came in the 2010 Texas Gubernatorial Primary. It pitted, "Constitutionalist," Rick Perry(yeah, he was an ex-boll weevil) against "Neo-Con" Kay Bailey Hutchinson. Texans were exposed first hand to the true contrast. New Conservatives were none too pleased with the outcome!

It might also be noted that Karl Rove headed up "Team Hutchinson."

Is this impasse too deep? For some, possibly. But, definitely not all! Certainly not Rove! It comes down to "desire and willingness." Republicans must possess a strong desire to win elections. Secondly, there must be a willingness to "read the tea leaves" and change accordingly.

The party base is no longer in the East. In fact, today's GOP has become the party of the "South, Plains and Mountains," with the "Midwest on the cusp." The Demographics of the county have changed. Republicans must reach out to "non-W.A.S.P.S" if they want to again be the majority party.

From there the debate moves to the question of "Hamilton or Jefferson."

Alexander Hamiliton believed in a strong central government, run by the best educated, most affluent. In his opinion, this could be done more effectively from a central point, the fewer involved the better! It is surprisingly reflective of today's political culture in Washington, D.C..

Thomas Jefferson was for the little guy, the common man. His argument stemmed from the desire to "not have an American nobility," as Europe held. Jefferson believed that the greatest protection from such a fate was decentralization of government. In short, bring government closer to the people!

Certainly no conservative would appreciate being compared to Leon Trotsky. Yet, Trotsky was a decent human being, when compared to Joseph Stalin! Needless to say, the two men loathed each other. Yet, while their methodologies were quite different, their ideologies were one in the same. It can be summerized as follows:

"Big government is the best government. Big government is best facilitated from one central point. Big Government is most effectively administered under the auspices of the privileged few!" It is not even necessary that all of this "privileged few" be actual countrymen."

When viewed in this light, a recoil is predictable. And that may be what it takes to whip the Republican Party into shape! After all, the alternative is a Hillary Clinton Presidency! For those not having a problem with that outcome, it may be time to print exit VISAS!

My guess is, the bulk of the party will stay home, later acknowledging that "Republicans such as Colin Powell, Charlie Crist and the late Arlen Specter" were never needed; were actually the problem!

Having experienced this "cleansing" the GOP can move on to drafting a winning 2016 Presidential ticket. The determination must be based upon three criterior:
(a) "Constitutional Conservative," not "Neo-Con."
(b) Demographically expanded appeal.
(c) Adequate resources to mount a fifty-state campaign.

Will not there be some leaders who combine the tendencies of both brands of conservatism?

Not really. In truth, that would impossible! A "Constitutional Conservative" is like gold. It won't mix. You either believe in Jeffersonian principles or you don't!

Neo-Cons took the wrong road when they forget the most sacred principle;
"that small government is the best government." When they did this they became vulnerable to Socialist corruption. In the end, they forgot the most sacred axiom in a free society:

"When people fear government, you have tyranny. When government fears the people, you have liberty."

Ultimately, those favoring big government will depart in favor of their true "soul mate," the Democrat Party. Arlen Specter did. So did Charlie Crist and Lincoln Chaffee. Good riddance! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

The misguided but well intended will likely retrace their steps, analyze and evaluate, returning wiser and more effective.

Will this be an immediate thing? No. It didn't happen overnight and may take years. Reformers must be cognizant of this reality. And there is one very positive offshoot of our revelation!

Where Neo-Cons may be "evolved Trokskyites," today's Democrat's represent Trotsky's rival, Joseph Stalin! For those who doubt this connection, I would encourage you to view Congressman, Curtis Bower's 93-minute documentary, "Agenda-Grinding America Down." It all fits.

Meanwhile, the true believers, the true lovers of liberty will effectively bridge that divide. Impossible? Sometimes all it takes is a "gut check." In this case, "remembering who we are."