Five down, 21 to go.

Well, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but Oklahoma House Majority Whip Gary Banz says he’ll be at the Reagan Amendment Summit.  I’d be surprised if he’s not joined by others in Leadership.  The oil and gas industry is very powerful, or so I’m told, in the Oklahoma legislature.  The Kochs, and all that.  Those guys are going to love the Reagan Amendment.  That’s going to be helpful in Oklahoma, which has no federal land to speak of.  When you think about it this is an energy industry wet dream. That has its downside of course.  Our most implacable opposition will from the environmentalists, and they’re going to try to smear us as the running dogs of Big Oil.

As far as I know, no one involved in our effort has gotten a nickel from the oil industry, and I’d like to keep it that way.  We’re not looking for their money.  It would be used against us.  But if these guys want to explain a little reality to some of these chicken hearted Oklahoma legislators, the ones who are afraid of the Birchers, that would be O.K.

Like Alaska and Idaho, Oklahoma has issues which the Federal Land Commission which will have to be worked out.  They don’t have Indian Reservations, but they have a lot of land that is under some sort of tripartite sovereignty, with the feds, the State of Oklahoma, and the Indians each having a share.  It’s complicated, but it can all be worked out.

I called Gary because he’s a leader of the Assembly of State Legislatures.  Scott Bedke made the suggestion, and it was a good one.  They’re having an Executive Committee meeting in June that I won’t be able to get to.  The main meeting will be in Salt Lake on November 11th, and I can make that.  I don’t how the Reagan Amendment fits in with their thinking.  They’re dealing with Convention Procedure.  It may have no effect on it.  But it’s a big group of leaders from around the country, and I’ll get a chance to talk with a lot of people I haven’t met.  The Reagan Amendment Summit will have already occurred, so we should have a pretty good idea of where we stand.

I haven’t been able to get ahold of incoming NCSL President Curt Bramble, so I called our Utah sponsor, my friend Kraig Powell. He liked the Reagan Amendment.  He had some questions, of course.  It’s a lot to digest. He said Bramble is on the road, trying to renew conservative interest in NCSL, now that he’ll be the President.  I guess a lot of conservatives have been staying away, and he’s getting them back.  The Reagan Amendment Summit will be helpful to him in that respect.  I think he’s going to like it, a lot.  It might even somehow wind up on the official agenda of the NCSL meeting.  I’m going to ask, anyway.  Kraig asked me to lay it all out in an email, which he’ll forward to Bramble.  Then he’ll try and set up a conference call for the three of us.

The best part of what I’ve been doing these last 18 months is making friends.  When we decided to move back to California I got out a map and drew a line 100 miles East of the Bay Area.  That’s as close as I wanted to get.  So we wound up in Sonora, a nice place, rural.  We’ve been here fourteen years.  Neither of us has made one friend since we’ve been here.

So a little over a year ago I flew back to Salt Lake to meet Kraig and testify for our bill.  I talk about it here on the blog, back in the posts from March of 2014.  I really liked Kraig a lot.  In fact, I met a lot of people I liked.  Kraig told me I needed to talk to some of these guys at lunch, so I show up in the main plaza of the Capitol and sit down with around ten of them.  We eat lunch, and one guy says he’s going up to Petersburg, Alaska to shoot a black bear.  He starts complaining about the cost of Alaska guides, and that got my goat up.  I was friends with some of these guys.  From the NRA.  I tell him you don’t need a guide for black bear, and he says he knows that, he was talking about brown bear.  We kind of got into it on the whole guide business, so I decided to change the subject and talk about my hunting career.

I went out and got a moose.  Busted my ass packing that meat out, and butchering it.  That’s a lot of work.  I get the meat home and my wife won’t cook it.  Wasn’t wrapped in plastic, didn’t come from Safeway.  So Binky the polar bear, down at the Alaska zoo, got my moose.

They kind of liked that story, so I told them a few more.  I’ve got some good ones, if I do say so myself.

I feel like I made some friends in Utah.

The tea party

Where is it now?  Five years ago CNBC’s Rick Santelli, God love him, went off on an on-air rant and started a movement.  Only in America.  Where are all the people who organized and worked  and helped take the House of Representatives from Nancy Pelosi?  Some of these organizations are still around, but I don’t think the movement is anything near to what they used to be.  Where is the energy, the determination to do something, to try and take the country back from the statists who are so disdainful of the Constitution and the tradition of American liberty?  Are these people discouraged, worn out, disillusioned, or what?

I didn’t follow the Tea Party that closely.  But I never heard them talk about Article V.  Like most professional politicians, they had no idea what it was, and what it was for.  It’s too bad.  Article V and the Tea Party were made for each other, a match made in heaven.  Article V is where the Framers gave power to the people. But that power must be exercised through their state legislatures.

These legislators, with few exceptions, have their finger on the public pulse.  They spend some time every year, or every other year, in their Capitol, but the vast majority are not professional politicians, or even lawyers.  They’re ranchers and teachers and real estate agents.  They have normal lives and are members of their communities just like everybody else.  They go to church, PTA meetings, and ball games.  They’re close to the people they represent. They listen.

Biddulph and the rest of the Task Force want the Tea Party to turn out on April 15th at the South Carolina and Oklahoma Capitols.  Those legislatures are balking at passing our bill, and need to know it has the support of their voters.  Think of all the work the Tea Party has done.  Some of it paid off, a lot of it didn’t.  Now they have a chance to do something really big, change the direction of the country not with laws, or elections, but with the Constitution that they all love.

It’s a matter of communication, of course.  If they knew, and understood, how this all worked I have no doubt they would rejuvenate themselves and join the fray.  I’m convinced this will happen, and soon.  It makes too much sense not to.  Perhaps the Reagan Project has a role to play.  We’re working on it.

Apropos of nothing, here’s story for you.  I’m a freshman at Cal in 1962, and a big conservative.  I ordered a Barry Goldwater sweatshirt from National Review and wore it a lot to class.  I’d sit in the middle of the front row of Wheeler Hall looking at this socialist lecture me in Political Science 101.  There were like 600 students in the class.  It was a complete waste of time.  I learned nothing.

I wore it to my Speech class too, but it only had about 30 students.  I didn’t quite understand what I was supposed to learn in it when I signed up for it.  At the end of the semester I still didn’t know.  It was all horseshit.  The Professor was a twitty little bastard, and I could tell he didn’t like my sweatshirt.  So one day, as an exercise in the art of speech that he was teaching us, he goes off on Goldwater.  He said, “What do we really know about anybody?  Take Barry Goldwater.  What do we really know about him?  We know he’s from Arizona, where he’s the senior United States Senator…..”  At this point I interrupt him, and say, “Actually, he’s the junior Senator from Arizona.”  I was probably smirking at him when I said it. I was kind of a cocky kid.  He really didn’t like that.

The son of a bitch gave me a “D”.  I never was much of a student.

Who’s on first?

According to Fox News First, a daily racing form on the presidential derby, today the R’s are ranked:

Bush, Walker, Cruz, Rubio, Paul, Kasich, Fiorina, Perry, Huckabee and Christie.

Biddulph is going full steam ahead on Tax Day rallies on the steps of the Capitol in Columbia and Oklahoma City.  We want a presidential candidate at  both of them.  Bush and Christie are bad choices, mainly because they’re not popular with state legislators in these states.  Everybody else is fine.  We need to give Kasich first dibs.  He’s earned that.  If he declines we want Perry in South Carolina.  Sponsor Sen. Larry Grooms will do the invite.  John  Steinberger is the main man in South Carolina, and he thinks Grooms supported Perry in 2012.  Perry does have the remnant of an organization there, and is probably trying to rebuild it.

In Oklahoma sponsor Rep. Gary Banz will make the call.  We’ll see who he wants.  They’re all fine.

Looking forward, we should be able to get presidential candidates at all our major functions, including the Reagan Amendment Rally in Seattle on August 3rd.  Leaving out Bush and Christie, which I believe we should do, we’ve got at least eight to choose from.  They will all  be looking for venues to campaign in, an issue to embrace, and allies on the ground.  We’ve got it all.  Of course, the way I look at it the first candidate to wrap his arms around the Reagan Amendment will be the one to watch.

That’ll be the smart one.


It’s a word that doesn’t belong in politics.  Any time somebody starts talking about Manifest Destiny, or “demography is destiny” they’re just making a prediction, and trying to make it sound important.  Nobody has a rendezvous with destiny.  It’s bunk.

A destiny is doom, something preordained, inevitable.  It’s for those who don’t believe in free will.  Some forms of Protestantism, such as Calvinism, preach it, call it predestination.  You are either destined to be part of the elect, or you are damned.  These people don’t have much faith in the Lord.  They don’t think He is capable of giving us free will, making us masters of our own fate.  I was taught that God was omnipotent.  That he gave us the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden, and left us free to fall, or be saved.

That’s my version of Christianity.  150 years ago it was called muscular.  It’s a fighting faith.  The Lord’s not going to save us.  We have to do that on our own.  My wife and I went to see “American Sniper” a while ago.  Chris Kyle was a Christian warrior.  This country’s going to be fine.  There aren’t a lot of Chris Kyle’s out there.  But there’s enough.  We just can’t let them die in political projects, like nation building.  No American blood should be shed building another nation.  I get very angry when I think about it.

Those of us on the civilian side have work to do of our own.  Things like the Reagan Amendment don’t just happen, in acts of spontaneous combustion.  That’s not how politics works.  Things happen when people make them happen.  This new website is a platform for, among other things, asking for help.

Follow along, and contribute if you can.

The competition

Doug Sosnik is a designated Deep Thinker in the Clinton Machine.  He’s a big picture guy, and is taken seriously by some.  He’s got a thumbsucker up at Politico saying, essentially, that in the long term Hispanics are going to bury the Republicans.  Some day soon, but definitely by 2040, we’re doomed.  Yawn.  The only interesting thing in his piece is his admission that this might not happen in 2016.  To me it sounds like he’s making excuses in advance for a campaign he’s afraid is going to lose.

Reading this thing put me in a good mood.  I try and keep up with everybody’s thinking on the left and right.  The Reagan Project is a political movement that operates in today’s political environment.  It’s all about politics, and it’s good to know what the other side is thinking.  If Sosnik is any indication, it’s not much.  When you start making political predictions 25 years out, based on the continuation of current demographic trends, and an unvarying continuation of the political effect of those trends, you’re nervous about today.  It’s something you’d rather avoid discussing.

We’re running with the tide.  They’re fighting it.  The playing ground has tilted.  I see evidence of it almost every day.  It’s almost as though I can feel it.  I could be wrong, and I’m well aware of that.  So I’m constantly looking for counter indications, something that doesn’t fit my narrative.  What could I be missing?  Not much, according to Dr. Sosnik.

Like yesterday, I can remember the wave that brought Reagan in.  Once the Iranian hostage crisis happened, the wave began to build.  Some old guy from Montana, I think his name was Ralph Winterood, the Reagan campaign’s western states coordinator, came up to Anchorage in the summer of 1979 to figure out who he wanted running the campaign in Alaska.  The people who ran it in ’76 screwed up.  I was involved, and I watched it happen.  These guys were real amateurs.

I’d done my part, as a district chairman.  In fact, I’d kicked ass.  My wife and I were living in some dumpy house in Spenard back then, in low rent District Nine.  Solid Democrat district, with the Republican District leadership firmly held by the Ted Stevens people.  Stevens supported Ford.  So I did a little community organizing, took over the district, and sent eight  out of eight Reagan delegates to the state convention.

I guess Ralph heard about that.  He had me up to his room at the Captain Cook and asked me to be state chairman.  I asked him if Reagan was too old, and he said you ought to be around him.  He’s raring to go.  So I accepted, and was involved a little with the national campaign.  Not much, really.  We had Alaska in the bag.  But I watched what was going on like a hawk, and  I saw it coming.  I felt it coming.

Just like I do today.