Tag: Republican Party

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After Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump the Against Trump edition of the National Review came out it seems that a new wave of infighting between conservatives has broken out, now that it appears a probability that Donald Trump will be the Republican Nominee. Among this mess has been a particular claim that I want to address. The […]

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Attention Republican Candidates: Here’s How You Make Free Markets Cool

 

Last week, SpaceX changed the rocket launch business for good, and probably cut the cost of access to space in half. But that’s a subject for another conversation. Instead, watch the video below made by SpaceX employees, which celebrates the free market, space, vision, competition, and the benefits of daring. It also makes SpaceX look like a really great place to work.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYUDQh2RSbw

SpaceX is cool. Not just because they are great engineers, but because they how how to promote themselves and — most importantly — because they are having fun. The Millennials I know love SpaceX, and Elon Musk, its founder, is a rock star for the under-40 generation. If Republicans want to spread the message that governments create dull, gray bureaucracies while private industry creates excitement and dynamism, they could learn a lesson from SpaceX marketing.

David Frum and “The Great Republican Revolt”

 

Jeb BushThe GOP plotted to restore the Bush dynasty, but instead triggered a class war. That’s the thesis of David Frum’s latest piece for The Atlantic, “The Great Republican Revolt,” which is really worth reading:

The angriest and most pessimistic people in America are the people we used to call Middle Americans. Middle-class and middle-aged; not rich and not poor; people who are irked when asked to press 1 for English, and who wonder how white male became an accusation rather than a description.

You can measure their pessimism in polls that ask about their expectations for their lives—and for those of their children. On both counts, whites without a college degree express the bleakest view. You can see the effects of their despair in the new statistics describing horrifying rates of suicide and substance-abuse fatality among this same group, in middle age.

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Well, not quite. But there are some indications the GOP Establishment is beginning to do what some have us (ahem) suggested they do a long time ago; stop attacking the front-runner and try to figure out why his campaign is resonating. This is according to a leaked memo from NRSC Executive Director Ward Bake . […]

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Why I Admire the Democratic Party

 

shutterstock_238956442I will stipulate that the policies of the Democrat Party are both fiscally irresponsible and socially destructive. I will stipulate that Democrats lie to advance their destructive and irresponsible policies. I will stipulate that Democrat politicians are by and large corrupt, irresponsible, and often display a disturbing hostility toward Constitutional rights.

Having said that, there are things one cannot help but admire, even envy, about the Democrat Party versus the Republican Party.

1. Democrat Leaders Don’t Attack Their Own Members.

Corporate Climbers and the GOP Establishment

 

shutterstock_55052476In a small organization, everybody cares about now it is doing. After all, it cuts their paycheck, so all the employees have a direct incentive to care for it. But the bigger an organization becomes — and this is equally true whether it is private or public — the less important its immediate survival becomes to each employee. Its continuity and health is more and more taken for granted as the prospects of bankruptcy become ever more remote. Instead, what looms larger and larger in everybody’s mind is their individual place in its hierarchy. It is much more lucrative to be an executive in a large ailing company, than to floor sweeper at a corporate success story.

This leads inevitably to the flourishing of a particular type of creature: the corporate climber. This person doesn’t give a whit about how the outfit he works for is doing, but is solely focused on the next rung in the org chart. The proliferation of corporate climbers is a problem for all organizations that are successful for too long. The danger is magnified because the company can do well for a long time – coasting on its laurels – before the moral rot becomes apparent. Unfortunately, often by the time it is noticeable, not only will the CEO have become a self-interested striver, but also was the man he replaced, and the man that man replaced.

The best example of this is Rick Wagoner, the former CEO of General Motors. He ran the company from 2000 until its bankruptcy nine years later. In 2007 – the year before bankruptcy — his salary was $1.5 million, with a total compensation of $14.4 million. After the company failed, he retired with an exit package worth $10 million. In other words, if the rot is deep enough, it doesn’t even matter if the organization fails completely; the man most responsible for its failure will still draw generous benefits.

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Have you ever encountered soap that doesn’t produce a lather?  It works. Hands that smelled like wet dog before had no scent after rinsing. But I couldn’t tell from the look or the feel that the soap was covering my entire hands and doing its job. Without the lather to show me the work in […]

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The Impending Death of the Republican Party Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

 

ObamaYoungIt is a time of great change in American politics. Long-established voting patterns have been disrupted. Messages that resonated with the previous generation fall flat on the ears of the young. One political party is losing the under-35 vote so severely that their ability to win future presidential elections is in doubt. Strategists scramble to find ways to make their party appeal to these young voters, who have been raised in an era so very different from that of their parents. The year is 1989.

It is said that history doesn’t repeat itself, but that it does rhyme. In the case of parties losing the youth vote and then fretting about their future, the same word has been rhymed with itself, as if the song of history was written by Kanye West. Before conservatives begin passing out the Kool-Aid or making evidence-free demands about how the Republican Party must change to appeal to young voters, it would benefit us to gain some historical context.

Our journey begins with a New York Times op-ed written in 1988 by a pre-midlife crisis E.J. Dionne.

There Is No Long Game

 

shutterstock_180292460During his excellent speech before Congress, Sen. Ted Cruz repeated a common complaint of Republican voters:

The American people were told, “If only we have a Republican majority in the House, things will be different.” Well, in 2010, the American people showed up in enormous numbers and we got a Republican majority in the House. And very little changed. […] Then the American people were told, “You know, the problem is the Senate. If only we get a Republican majority in the Senate and retire Harry Reid as majority leader, then things will be different.” Well, in 2014, the American people rose up in enormous numbers, voted to do exactly that. We have had a Republican majority in both houses of Congress now for about 6 months. What has that majority done?

While debating the possibility of de-funding Planned Parenthood the other day, a fellow Republican insisted we needed total control — a Republican president and a Republican majority in both houses of Congress — for that to happen. Appropriations are not a significant authority, apparently. Since Roe v Wade, he told me, Republicans have enjoyed such total control for only two years, under President George W. Bush. That’s two out of 40 years. In order to prevent about a million children from being slaughtered every year, I’m being asked to wait for an electoral scenario which has only happened once in my lifetime.

Playing the Long Game in the Culture Wars

 

shutterstock_262016981In the end, strongly religious people will win the culture war because they have babies and those babies do not grow up to be atheists. Between 70% and 75% percent of the children of Evangelicals do not leave the faith when they grow up. With an average birthrate of 2.5 kids per woman, that means that Evangelicals will be a growing segment of the white vote over the coming decades and will gain modestly over all, even assuming the kind of immigration foreseen in the comprehensive immigration reform bills of the last decade or so. Moreover, evangelicals are effective in evangelism, getting nearly 11% of their members from adult conversions, and the retention rate for conversions is very high. So, going into the future, Evangelicals grow and do not shrink. Right now,  American’s elementary schools are filled with far more religious people than they had with the Millennial generation. If demography is destiny, as the Democrats say, liberals are in a for a rude surprise starting around 2030.

Who else is benefiting? Mormons gain very little from evangelism but they have lots of children and have incredibly high retention rates. In the early 20th century, Mormons were just 40% of the population in Utah.  Now, it is 58%. Over the next decade or so, Mormons will make the purple states of Colorado and Nevada a bit more red. This is all form Mormons having a lot of children who stay Mormon.

Who is losing the demographics game? Mainline protestant churches. They are having fewer children and their retention rate for their children is only 50%. All the groups that grow from evangelism — especially the secular “nones” (who grow more from evangelism then any other group in the United States) and Evangelicals — take from Mainline Protestants, liberal Catholics, and immigrants. That’s one reason why so many evangelical leaders like open or nearly open borders. So, when you hear about social conservatives getting older, what they are talking about is the Jimmy Carter voter who always thought the idea of Same Sex marriage was icky is getting older and dying.

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Count me as one of those lapsed members who finally came back. No fatted calf expected, but I did pick a rough week to rejoin, didn’t I? During the months of my hiatus my father passed away. He had suffered from Alzheimer’s for years and had been in hospice for a while, so this was […]

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The scenario: You’ve just been given a magic machine.  It has two buttons.  When you press the red button, you get to name the one foolish thing that Republicans could do between now and November 2016 that would be guaranteed to end the most important political alliance–and the magic machine will make sure they won’t do it.  (You get to name the most important alliance–SoCon and FiCon, Con and […]

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Why I Vote Republican

 

I am not arguing that all of you should vote Republican.  I am (1) giving an explanation of why I do, and (2) asking those who don’t why they don’t.

The Explanation: I could put it this way: on life, marriage, religious liberty, the meaning of the Constitution, rule of law, separation of powers, the national debt, health insurance, and economic growth I do not trust the Republicans to be correct; but on these things I do trust the Democrats to be wrong. As such, I vote for the least bad option in the generals, and I vote for the best option in the primaries.

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In her latest column, Ann Coulter torches the Republican Party and its so-called leaders for threatening to cave on amnesty: Poll after poll showed Americans ranking illegal immigration as the No. 1 most important problem facing the nation. We haven’t changed our minds. Last week, an Associated Press-Gfk poll showed that Obama’s single most unpopular […]

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Breaking Promises: A Political Reality

 

shutterstock_238234630After McCain was defeated in 2008, I thought it was time to lend myself to the local Republican Legislative District and I became a precinct captain; I simply filled out a form, volunteered, and began attending monthly meetings. At first, I simply watched and listened to all the would-be politicians who were visiting, looking for support and contemplating election, re-election or a possible run for the next step in a political career. I must tell you, it was underwhelming. Not to say that the folks I met were not glib and earnest — they were — but there was also something a little desperate about them, perhaps too much of a need for validation. Whether they were running for constable or governor, it all seemed a little too cloying and shallow. Local politics was something of a racket, and everyone seemed to have an eye on Washington as the likely final, unimpeded road to perpetual ego validation and decent money.

Those in the game all pretty much said the same thing: governing is hard. But it’s not really hard. Tedious perhaps. What is hard is keeping promises made with other people’s money. Promises are easily made, but as Lady Thatcher once so eloquently put it, eventually you run out of other peoples’ money when it’s time to keep them.

When Bernie Madoff’s investment scam started to crumble, running his so-called investment group was hard. Things got really tough at Enron when their investment schemes started to unravel. Ask any investment bank with third-tier tranche investments in 2008 if life was easy and you’d get a resounding “no!” Imagine what it was like at Smith Barney when management found out they’d overvalued billions of dollars in strips and stripped treasuries. Once the envy of Wall Street, Jack Welsh shut down the entire investment bank and they all got fired. Or how’d you like to be the risk manager at AIG when you found out that all those annuities you purchased were actually credit default swaps, guarantees of underlying corporate debt and mortgage portfolios and you had to make good on billions of potential defaults?

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What now for the democrat party? Are they still relevant as a party? Is the democrat party dead? Is liberalism dead? Will they work across the aisle with the new, overwhelmingly victorious majority? Will they change? Evolve? Will they take a long hard look at what the party stands for, follow the will of the […]

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What Should We Expect From A Republican Senate?

 

It looks like the GOP will take control of the Senate. That’s a good thing. However, based on a number of conversations I have had over the past few weeks with conservative activists, I think a large segment of the Republican base is going to find the next two years deeply disappointing.

Even if Republicans win every senate race in play, they will not the have the supermajority required to either break a democratic filibuster or override President Obama’s inevitable vetoes. Let’s face it: Republican control of the Senate is unlikely to result in the repeal of Obamacare, entitlement reform, or securing our borders. Absent a Damascene conversion on the part of the President, substantial conservative policy making its way into law is simply not in the cards. So what can conservatives reasonably expect from a GOP Senate over the next two years?

I Care What People Say. And Peter Should Not Gloat.

 

shutterstock_112011077I’m writing this before the polls have opened, but — by the close of the day — either Republicans will control Congress or the entire modern polling enterprise will be understood to be a complete fraud from top to bottom. I’m pretty sure it will be the first, though the second would certainly be interesting.

My interpretation of this putative victory — and I don’t think this is controversial — is that we’ve got a nation of disgusted, fed-up Americans on our hands, not an electorate that’s suddenly enamored of gloating Republicans. In other words: we’ve got one shot at this. If we screw it up, it’s the last shot, and not just for us.

I spoke this morning to an American, Uncle M., whose judgment about life and politics is sound. I said — cautiously — that perhaps there might be some movement after the election toward solving a particular absurdity in US tax code, though we’d been alluding to a wide range of problems. Uncle M. said, in his calm way (he is not prone to drama), “Nope.”