Tag: Republican Party

Gutting the 401k: The Stupid Party Strikes Again

 

There are days when I think that the mainstream Republicans have a death wish. First, after years of promising to repeal and replace Obamacare, when they get a majority in both Houses and a cooperative President, they do nothing. Nothing in that regard, next to nothing in any other regard. A Supreme Court Justice, yes. A handful of Appeals Court judges. Otherwise, niente. It is as if they are happier in the minority than in the majority.

And when they come to tax reform, what is their big idea? To cut corporate taxes, which would be a boon, and to make up for the revenue losses that this would entail not by cutting expenditures but by gutting the 401k . The fact that their proposal that tax-free contributions to this retirement-savings vehicle be cut to $2400 a year has Wall Street up in arms bothers me not one whit. It is not the task of the US government to feed the greed of a particular industry.

An irony of Donald Trump: in the process of besting Hillary Clinton, he also divided conservatives into three camps. So contends Tevi Troy, a best-selling author and political analyst who worries about the lack of an intellectual presence in the current White House.

Welcome the the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for September 13, 2017, it’s the You Gotta Be Blind edition of the podcast with your hosts Todd Feinburg, Boston/Hartford radio guy and Mike Stopa, a.k.a. Mr. All-Things-Nano. This week we analyze the transmogrification of the Republican Party. Obviously there’s a big food fight going on. How did the once radical, Ayn Randist acolyte and Eddie Munster look-alike (I just threw that in) find himself all of a sudden as the face of the GOP establishment? Mitch McConnell we understand. He was made for the role. But Ryan’s self-image (surely) is as the rowdy, uncontrollable disrupter plugging Tooheys and moochers faster than you can say where is John Galt? Who exactly is the establishment? Why are they at war with Trump (aside for personality factors)? We will discuss.

And then, Stevie Wonder takes about thirty seconds to transform a charity fundraiser for victims of the two recent hurricanes into a political platform. Stevie! Not you!?!? We thought he had more gravitas than that. Beyonce, on the other hand, thinks that earthquakes are caused by climate change. What one thing does Hollywood – whose denizens have everything man or woman could want –  lust for that they just can’t seem to find? We will reveal.

Rock the Vote!

 

Amidst news of moderate Senate Republicans reneging on their long-made promises to repeal ObamaCare and President Trump publicly chastising his Attorney General, speculation has swirled about the 2018 race for the United States Senate in the state of Michigan. Debbie Stabenow, who has held the seat since defeating Spencer Abraham in 2000, is likely to seek re-election to a fourth term. Among her possible Republican opponents may be one Robert James Ritchie, better known to the world as rap, rock, and country recording artist Kid Rock.

*record scratch*

Kid Rock?! That’s right. The loud and proud Michigan native issued a press release on July 26 in which he stated he is exploring a possible candidacy:

What does Ronald Reagan’s brand of conservatism mean for the GOP today? In this AEI Events Podcast, Henry Olsen, author of “The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism,” joins AEI’s Karlyn Bowman and Jonah Goldberg to discuss his understanding of Reagan’s political odyssey.

Henry Olsen’s presentation is followed by two panel discussions, in which experts discuss the “true Reagan” and the future of the Republican Party. The first discussion features Mr. Olsen and Craig Shirley (author of “Regan Rising: The Decisive Years, 1976-1980). The second panel includes Mr. Olsen, Mr. Shirley, Jonah Goldberg (AEI), and Ruy Teixeira (Center for American Progress), and is moderated by William Galston (Brookings Institution).

Member Post

 

So, the American electorate actually went ahead and voted to make Donald J. Trump the next president of the United States.  Ever since Trump announced his candidacy and was (shockingly, to me) taken seriously by influential “conservative” media figures, I’d been hoping against hope that this result would not actually come to pass.  Of course, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Victor Davis Hanson talks about the just concluded 2016 presidential election and its implications for the future.

An Open Letter to the NeverTrumpers from a Sympathizer

 

I am not here to condemn the NeverTrumpers. I share their instincts. Donald Trump is — I will not put a fine point on it — a swine. I followed him in the tabloids haphazardly in the mid-1990s when I was a visiting professor at Yale and took coffee each morning at a Lesbian-operated place in New Haven where the tabloids were always lying around. He was then and is now a man who revels in adultery. I was not surprised about his conversation with Billy Bush. I would even bet that he had similar conversations on the links with Hillary Clinton’s husband. He is seventy years old, and he is still engaged in the kind of banter typical of eighth-grade male hot dogs. Put simply, like Charming Billy, he never really grew up. But, unlike the Big Dawg, he has almost no impulse control. If you attack him for anything, you will set him off, and you will get schoolboy taunts in return. The man is desperately insecure.

He is also no conservative. He has no understanding of the road that we are on fiscally. As a businessman, he borrowed and borrowed and borrowed, and his lawyers arranged things so that, when his enterprises went bankrupt, someone else was left holding the bag. If he becomes President, that someone else is apt to be you and I.

Can the GOP Survive a Trump Win?

 

donald-trumpThe New York Times tries (unsuccessfully) to hide their gloating over what they believe to be an upcoming loss by Donald Trump in the upcoming Presidential election, and asks the question, “Can the GOP Survive a Trump Loss?” But what if Trump wins? What then for the Republican Party?

I know there are people who’ll say “That’s ridiculous to even consider. There’s no way Trump is going to win this.” and they may be right. The thing is, though, that for over a year now, Trump has been winning the battles he was supposed to lose.

He wasn’t supposed to be the front-runner for the nomination. He was.

Victor Davis Hanson points to a future in which many of America’s key political, social, and media institutions will erode as a consequence of the 2016 election cycle.

New Face of the Republican Party

 

barbara-comstockSomething quite startling happened in a close House race in northern Virginia this year. The Washington Post endorsed the incumbent Republican, Barbara Comstock. Comstock has been a familiar figure in the region for decades, but not in a way that would typically earn the Post’s admiration. In the 1990s, as chief counsel to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, she made the Clintons sweat with investigations into their Hydra-headed scandals. She served three terms in the Virginia House of Delegates, winning each time in a district that leaned Democrat. In 2014, she ran for and won a seat she now holds by a 16-point margin.

In a year when the two major party presidential nominees are dismaying and demoralizing, it’s a relief to pay tribute to a politician who is honorable, able, and worthy.

Comstock knocked on 10,000 doors in each of her races for the House of Delegates, and was dogged and diligent about constituent service. From transportation to cyber security to snow emergencies, she filled her district’s inboxes with helpful information and offers of assistance.

The Conservative Movement is Dead; Long Live the Conservative Movement

 

national-review-anniversary-william-f-buckley-r “Only a few prefer liberty — the majority seek nothing more than fair masters.” Sallust, Histories

I have been thinking about what went wrong with the Conservative movement and why in a year where the Democrats nearly handed us the election we failed to capitalize yet again. It dawned on me that so much of the commentary focused on the Republican Party, conservatives in general, the failure of our gatekeepers, our “betrayal” by the establishment, and the inadequacies of the various candidates. What I want to do is look at the Conservative movement and see how it is doing.

The first question I want to answer is what the Conservative movement was and then I want to make the case for why it died and why we need it again. William F. Buckley is widely and, I think, correctly seen as the founder of the Conservative movement. He started the movement in reaction to the progressive consensus of the time that we had moved past the founding documents of America and that we had the capability of remaking society. This progressive consensus was that we could retain democracy and some of the rights promised in the US Constitution but, at the same time, we needed to abandon the restrictions on our power that the Constitution had put in place because we knew so much more than before and there was so much more that we could control. In other words, Liberty was not an important value when it was possible to know what was best for people and we had the ability to guide people to good outcomes.

Should Conservatives Create the Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Party?

 

life-liberty-and-happinessIf a rump Le-Pen-style Republican Party emerges (oozes out?) after this election, freedom-loving Americans like me will knock the dust of the GOP off our sandals and start anew. What would be a good name for the next conservative party?

I know it’s long but what about the Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Party?

We could trade the “Republicans” label for “Pursuers” or “Lifers”? What about “Liberals”? This LLPH Party could be the official name and use “Liberty Party” for short and then go about reclaiming and rehabilitating the (classical) “Liberal” label.

Three Cheers for Infrastructure Spending!

 

240673_road_construction_ahead_c898a8e8-fbe8-47ea-b492-4497f91421f4-prvOne of Hillary Clinton’s campaign proposals is for additional infrastructure spending to the tune of $250 billion over five years. According to the Clinton campaign, this program would be paid for by “business tax reform. It’s not clear what “business tax reform” entails, but it sounds to me like higher taxes on corporations and high income earners. Clinton claims this would create tens of thousands of jobs, stimulate the economy and fix a failing infrastructure.

Anyone who’s been paying attention during the Obama years should not be surprised by this proposal. It has been a recurring theme throughout his term in office. Infrastructure spending was a major component of the 2009 Stimulus Bill accounting for $105 billion of “shovel-ready” public works projects in the approximately $900 stimulus package. Obama and congressional Democrats have continued to call for additional infrastructure spending as a stimulus despite the fact that the 2009 stimulus failed in its stated goals of 1) keeping the unemployment rate below 8% (I believe it peaked at a tick above 10%), and 2) in providing economic stimulus (GDP growth has bounced around between 1% and 2% through the Obama years). Even Obama eventually did admit that there were no “shovel-ready” projects.

You would think this would be an easy issue for the Republican presidential candidate to oppose by noting the historical failures of public works projects in stimulating economic growth, and the need to get our fiscal house in order what with the federal government debt over $19 trillion and rising and annual deficits of hundreds of billions that will only rise without major reforms of our entitlement programs. However, you would be wrong. Republican presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump has called Clinton’s proposal “a fraction of what we need” and has at various times called for either doubling or quadrupling of Clinton’s proposal to either a $500 billion or a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. Trump would pay for this massive spending increase by borrowing via the selling of bonds, stating in his usual blustering fashion “We’ll get a fund, we’ll make a phenomenal deal with low interest rates and rebuild our infrastructure.”

Member Post

 

I’m done with the hypocrisy and principle detachment of this election cycle. You stand for something or you don’t, you can’t just flip principles on and off. The Kentucky GOP condemned and called for the withdrawal of a candidate for the KY House this week. This occurred as the result of the candidate making posts […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

This outcome has been a long time in the making, but recent events and numerous inquiries have forced me to become definitive on the question. No, I am no longer a Republican, meaning I’m not affiliating with the Republican Party. This realization is painful as I’ve considered myself a Republican since I was 16 years […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

The political news coverage and conservative pundits have been focused on the political horse race and personalities and not so much on issues.  One wonders where to turn this year so that we do not, as stated in the 2008 Democratic Party platform, “mortgage our children’s future on a mountain of debt.” Scary charts depicting […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I started out as a Democrat – after many years, the light bulb came on and I changed to Independent – then I started to feel sick and checked into political rehab. I came out a Republican. I have voted Republican since 20000. I’m starting to feel queasy again. I am finding myself on sand […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.