Why Trump?

Forget Super Tuesday.  The Florida Republican Primary is March 15th and I cast my absentee ballot for Donald Trump, and nobody is more surprised than I am.  If you had told me a few years ago that he would have been my candidate, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t…couldn’t have believed it.  The loudmouthed TV guy; the birther?  That’s my candidate?  Clearly a lot of things have changed in the past couple years to lead me down this path.

First of all, Trump isn’t a perfect candidate; far from it.  Prior to his entering the Presidential race, I was aware of who he was, but wasn’t otherwise interested in him or his mixture of business and celebrity; the Trump brand, or his show, The Apprentice.  And I particularly wasn’t interested in his birtherism.  I hate conspiracy theories and I hated the fact that a PUMA inspired Democratic conspiracy theory from the 2008 Democratic Primary race got pinned on Republicans.  Too be sure a lot of people on the right fell for that malarkey, but Trump garnered a great deal of publicity by promoting it and playing it as if it was a well crafted publicity stunt, which I suppose to him, that’s exactly what it was.

Trump has continued to say things that are ridiculous on its face even this far into the Presidential race. Trump’s claim during the CBS debate that Bush lied about WMD in Iraq is absurd.  However Rush Limbaugh’s theory, that it was a play for Democratic votes in an open primary state, does, have a ring of plausibility.  In any case, I don’t regard it as a factually correct statement and that debate highlighted much of the criticism of Trump as legitimate, that he’s a thin skinned hot head who shouts before he thinks.

But…in spite of all of those flaws and many others, I voted for Trump in the primary.

The reasons are multiple, but I can jot down a few bullet points:

Trump might win; no other Republican can: For Conservatives, it’s over.  I’ve noted multiple times that the demographic time bomb has gone off and all things being equal, Republicans won’t win another Presidential race.  Donald Trump is the rare bolt of lightning that might actually flip that script. He’s bringing new voters into the primaries and has a good chance of doing that during the general election.  He also has a platform that has cross party appeal. Would I like to have a more standard conservative to vote for? Sure, but we’ve already crossed the Rubicon on the ability of such a candidate to actually win a general election. It’s not a choice between Trump and Cruz, it’s a choice between Trump and Hillary.

If I ever want to see what a Presidency by someone who owes absolutely nothing to donors, this is my only chance. Given the freak out of GOPe, it’s obvious that many in the Republican establishment would much prefer a Hillary to a Trump.  With Hillary, you get the same old same old, but with Trump, he owes no one in the establishment anything.  It’s a totally unprecedented state of affairs in the political world; a President who actually owes nothing to the donor class.  Imagine, ambassadors and other appointees selected because of qualifications instead of donations?  We’ve never had anything like that, and are unlikely to have that again in my lifetime.  So just once I would like to see how that would work in real life instead of fantasy.

Economic Nationalism. When Trump declared his candidacy, his political platform blew me away.  He actually had a platform that was popular, and was untouched by any of the other multiple candidates; no amnesty and protecting jobs from bad trade deals.  It seems a program ripe for cherry picking by one of the other candidates, yet no one did, because, as I predicted, there were no donors who were going to fund such a campaign.

No Amnesty, no how. I’m done voting for amnesty supporting Republicans. Sorry Rubio, but I’m not giving you another chance to betray me.  Ted Cruz might not betray me on amnesty but he also would never be President.  If through some miracle he were to get the nomination, he would go down in Goldwater like flames in the general election. But Trump bet his campaign on immigration, so I think he means it.  I want the wall, and I don’t care if it has a giant T on it.  The Cucks won’t build it, but Trump might.

I’m sure a Trump vote will be a hard vote to swallow for many conservatives, but think about this:  What have conservatives actually conserved?

Nothing.

They’ve lost every battle, for decades.  We’ve had multiple Republican Presidents and Republican lead Congresses, yet government is bigger, more controlling, and more expansive than ever.  No promise Conservatives have made has lasted beyond Election Day.  So I’m really not risking anything.  Look at the Republican Congress and Senate I helped vote in.  They’ve been busy as bees helping pay for Obamacare and fulfilling President Obama’s budget requests.  So if that’s what I get with a Congress with a larger Republican majority since before the Great Depression, I don’t see that I’ve got anything to lose.

But potentially a lot to gain.

 

Scott Walker: No Amnesty and Limiting Legal Immigration?

I think I’ve enjoyed the Donald Trump Show as much as anyone.  I love his brashness, they way he commands the media, the way he takes control of every interview, and the best part, he never, ever apologizes.  I love the way he infuriates the Republican Party, the establishment Republicans, and most of all, the hated donor class, which has for all intents and purposes wrecked the Republican Party agenda for years.  I hope the Donald Trump Show gets picked up for another season and brings us the laughter and joy that comes from watching media experts get it wrong over and over and watching other politicos squirm.

So as much as I enjoyed the two debates and The Donald’s over the top performance, there was a little noticed bit of news that zeroed in my attention like a laser.  A response to a question to Governor Scott Walker about his change of position on immigration:

“There’s international criminal organizations penetrating our Southern base borders, and we need to do something about it. Secure the border, enforce the law, no amnesty, and go forward with a legal immigration system that gives priority to American working families and wages.”

As Walker made clear on Hannity, “gives priority to American working families and wages” means lower legal immigration. Walker’s immigration position has been slip sliding away from the standard Republican boilerplate of Secure The Border!/also pass amnesty, for several months under the guidance of economic nationalist and immigration guru Senator Jeff Sessions. But this is the first I’ve heard of any sort of definitive statement on a total rejection of Amnesty and actually limiting legal immigration.  However this has made so little news that most people, even those following the campaign closely, might not have picked up on it.

Right now, Walker isn’t really able to capitalize on it because Trump is sucking all of the oxygen out of the room.  Plus, he’s not really a super charismatic guy and I often get him confused with former SNL and 30 Rock actor Chris Parnell

Is this Walker?

Chris Parnell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or is this Walker?

Scott Walker2

 

 

 

 

 

Who can tell?

With Ted Cruz also recently stating a definitive no on amnesty, this makes quite a difference between this group of candidates and the 2012 crowd, which except for Mitt Romney, all had some sort of amnesty plan, even the “conservatives.”  Why the difference?

I think it’s the Trumpenkreig.

As The Donald continues his long march through the Republican Party’s institutions, burning and pillaging as he goes, he is pushing the Overton Window a bit on immigration issues, making the formally forbidden to speak of (no amnesty) permissible. As I had hoped, Trump is pushing changes in what’s allowable for Republican candidates to say.  Some go overboard, like Mike Huckabee’s crazy statement about Obama holding the oven doors open for Israel. But with both Cruz and Walker just saying no to amnesty, Trump is forcing Republican candidates to stop being mealy mouthed and take a position.

This is good news in my opinion, so I’ll go pop some popcorn (extra butter) and continue enjoying the Donald Trump Show.

Six seasons and a movie.

 

 

 

Tea Party Defeats Itself

Just like with the Fiscal Cliff, the House drove us right to the brink until the Senate grabbed hold of the steering wheel, with the news that the Senate has put together a deal to end the government shut down, at least for a while.

As I predicted two months ago, there was no plan, nor any strategy for using the budget CR to defund Obamacare. Everything that happened, from the media spin, to plummeting poll numbers, to final defeat was all perfectly predictable.  There was never any reason that President Obama would negotiate.  He was never going to negotiate on defunding Obamacare. In fact, it’s obvious that he would have been perfectly willing to let us go right through the debt ceiling.  In fact, that could have worked to his advantage.  Any economic upheaval that would have been brought about by stopping the government’s ability to borrow more money could be blamed on the Republicans.  The 2016 campaign slogans write themselves.  Republicans broke the economy, Obama came in and fixed it, and Republicans broke it again.  Are you voting for the breakers or the fixers?

The only thing not predictable was how poorly the Obama administration bungled their handling of the shut down.  Between Harry Reid’s War on Cancer Kids to the administration’s fake and unnecessary closing of the nation’s monuments and other static displays that are normally opened 24/7 without being manned anyway, including the World War II Memorial; which lead to the unpleasant sight of Park Police strong arming elderly national heroes. How badly have you bungled when you pick a fight with cancer kids and World War II veterans in the same week?

Even the administration’s high fiving themselves on the fact that they were “winning” didn’t make them look too smug, since they were in fact winningConsidering that a government shutdown could only help the administration, there was really no way for them to lose, and that’s what irritates me the most; the Tea Party picked a fight in which there was no option that would have allowed them to win.

Although Ted Cruz is given most of the credit/blame for this debacle, I think a good portion of that has to go to talk radio.  Senators Cruz and Lee have appeared on Hannity multiple times talking up their “Don’t Fund it” strategy, but they never exactly explained how the strategy was going to actually achieve its goal of defunding Obamacare.  At no time did Hannity or Rush, who also was in favor of charging this windmill, question how this was supposed to succeed.  That’s a question I’ve been asking for two months and the reason I never got an answer is because there never was an answer.  Meanwhile talk radio egged it on.  On September 25th Hannity had Rand Paul on as a guest, who explained to Hannity that there was no mathematical way there would be votes to defund Obamacare.  Hannity seemed stunned and surprised that Rand couldn’t insure this strategy would work.  As recently as October 3rd, Rush was insisting that the Democrats were imploding on the issue.

The only thing that imploded was the Republican chances of winning the Senate in 2014.

Republicans Cannot Be Trusted On Immigration

English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership...

English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Senator Ted Cruz said last week, “I don’t trust Republicans.”

I agree.  Although Cruz was talking about budget negotiations, to me it applies to the issue of immigration more than any other issue.  That’s because so many Republicans are not only prepared to vote for amnesty, they are actively campaigning for it, even though it is not only damaging public policy, but damaging to those same Republican’s political futures.

At least with the Democrats, I perfectly understand their motivations for wanting amnesty, and frankly, from their perspective they seem totally logical to me.  It’s bad public policy for the nation, but its great political policy.  For the Democrats, out of a possible 11 million new voters 10 to 15 years from now, 9 million will vote for Democrats.  That’s enough to turn the rest of the Southwest, including Texas, deep blue.  Without Texas, the Republicans are no longer viable as a national party.

And from a policy perspective, that adds 11 million more citizens in which ¾ of them don’t even have a high school diploma and virtually none of them have the high tech skills required for the 21st century workplace.  That means most of them will live and die below the mean income level, and will be major consumers of social programs.  That’s voting gold for the Democrats.  The Democratic Party was never stronger as when FDR saw “one third of a nation, ill housed, ill clad, ill nourished.”  Importing millions to fill that gap helps create the very conditions of income inequality and widespread poverty that is the fertile ground for Democratic power.

But what do the Republicans get out of it?

That is the real head scratcher.  Of course there are some aspects of big business that do use unskilled and semi skilled labor that really like the downward push on working class wage rates that increased numbers of unskilled workers provide.  Certainly the Wall Street Journal Opinion page is filled with pro illegal immigration editorials.  But for most businesses interested in immigration, the demand isn’t for millions of unskilled workers but for hundreds of thousands of skilled workers, which current immigration law limits to a mere trickle.

Politically, it seems to make even less sense.  There isn’t any evidence that pro illegal immigration positions help Republican candidates.  A recent CIS study showed that Latinos in pro-immigration Republican Districts were no more likely to vote for Republicans than Latinos living in anti-illegal immigration Republican Districts.  Certainly it didn’t help Senator John McCain in his 2008 Presidential bid.  And of course, what is the political advantage of ensuring that your political party remains a minority party for the foreseeable future?

And yet…  Republicans, including conservatives, are falling all over each other to support the Gang of 8 bill.  Fox talker Sean Hannity even hosted a one hour special for Marco Rubio last Friday that did little more than pimp the bill with friendly “questions” and a generally pro bill agenda.  Hard as I try, I can’t see a rational reason to support this.  Bad public policy, bad political strategy… what am I missing?

My suspicion is that I’m not missing much, and that the real problem with Republicans is that they think they can buy Latino votes with the bribery that has proven so successful for the Democratic Party for decades. But the Democrats can’t be outbid.  There is no line that Republicans can draw that Democrats won’t cross to buy more votes.  Republicans were just as delusional in 1986 when they accepted a “one time’ amnesty with the promise that this would be the last one and that Latinos would now love Republicans.

Instead we lost California permanently.  Well, if Republicans regard Texas as an embarrassment they can’t wait to be rid of, they are well on their way.  The Democrats won’t be embarrassed by Texas at all once they own it.

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