Anchor Babies

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Supreme Court understands politics, and its decisions often reflect political realities.  It is one of three branches of the federal government, and when it acts against the desires of its co-equals, the legislative and executive branches, simultaneously, it treads cautiously.

This is the argument for passage of a statutory interpretation of the 14th Amendment with respect to anchor babies.  Such a statute would state unequivocally that the language of the Fourteenth Amendment does not support birthright citizenship.  Rob Natelson has a piece in Today’s AT in which he dispassionately analyzes the relevant law, and concludes that without such a statutory interpretation the Court would most likely rule in favor of birthright citizenship.

I emailed Rob, asking him if he thought this approach had merit.  He replied that, legally, it did not, but in the real world it does.  Since we live in the real world it should be pursued.  Tomorrow I hope to meet with local staff of my Tea Party Congressman, Tom McClintock, and request that the Congressman introduce such legislation.  If it became law, signed and enforced by the next President, it could have a substantial impact on how a legal challenge to anchor babies would be resolved.  This idea is not new, and legislation may have already been introduced.  If not, I fully expect McClintock to do it.  Stay tuned.

Kindly Dr. Carson is surging in Iowa, and this is meaningful, somehow.  Really?  It just proves we aren’t ready to get serious.  If I was polled, I might pick the Kindly Doctor, just because I like him so much.  Send a message, in this case a positive one.  It has nothing to do with anything beyond that.

Like everyone else, I look at the polls for clues about what’s happening.  But, for God’s sake, how many times does it have to said  — polls five months before the first votes are cast have virtually no predictive value.  But if a poll agrees with what I think I’m seeing with my own eyes, I consider it a form of validation.  And what I’m seeing is the death of Jeb!’s campaign.  It’s over.  He’s toast.  We can thank Donald Trump for that.  Jeb! never had a chance, but the Donald did us all a service by dispatching him early in the cycle.

Thanks, Donald.  Whatever else you accomplish is gravy.

You learn things on the internet.  I’m in the Comments section at AT and some guy says Trump is very popular in the black community.  He’s referenced, positively, in a lot of rap.   Maybe they like his support of affirmative action.   No, just kidding, they like his swag, his cockiness, his whole shtick.

I’ve always gotten along with blacks.  When I was a kid in Richmond my buddy and I wandered into the black part of town, and some kids started throwing rocks at us.  So I started to go for them, and take them on.  They were about our size.  But my friend wouldn’t go, so we walked away.  “Them are n……s,” he explained.  That didn’t make any sense to me.  So what?  They threw rocks at me.  I want to kick their ass.

That’s always been my attitude toward blacks.  Treat them no worse, and no better, than anyone else.  Show them respect as fellow Americans.  Do not condescend.

I got my license on my 16th birthday, and my car the day next.  Naturally I had to figure out a way to get beer.  I heard somewhere that if you asked the right kind of black guy, they’d buy beer for you.  So I drive into the black part of Berkeley and find a big liquor store at a busy intersection.  There’s fifteen or twenty black guys hanging out there, drinking from half pints of whisky.  They seem like O.K. guys, so I get out of my car and ask one of them to buy me a six pack.  He says, “Sure” so I hand him a five and in he goes.  I feel a little awkward standing there with these guys, mainly in their twenties and thirties.  I say something about Willie Mays, but they’re not interested.  Out come the guy with my six pack and the change, which I tell him to keep, and thank him.

I did this all the time. I guess it wouldn’t be smart for a white boy to do it today.

Things were better when I was a kid.

The Sad Sixteen

Perfectly coiffed and attired, the lovely debutante’s sixteen suitors gathered around her in the drawing room, all vying for her attention.  Punch and cookies are served.  Suddenly the Donald saunters through the door, dressed in a suit of white leather with an American fag emblazoned on the back of his jacket, bedecked in golden chains.  He’s got Elvis all over him.  His yellow hair is in an outrageous pompadour, a cigarette is hanging from his mouth, and he smells of whiskey.  He lowers his head and leers at her.  “What do you say, Babe?  You like to  ride?” he asks, impudently.  To her suitors’ amazement the debutante runs out the door with him, and hops on the back of his Harley.  As the television cameras roll, he looks back to his rivals, snarls “Losers!”, and does a wheelie in the driveway, sending her beautiful long legs flying in the air, as she holds tight to him, her golden hair tossing in the wind.  Together the sixteen look out the window in astonishment, as the roar of the Harley slowly fades into the distance.  This will be the lead on all the networks tonight.

Jeb! is the first to speak.  “Wheelies are illegal.  It’s called exhibition speed, and he ought to get a ticket.  They’re not even wearing helmets!  I’m calling 911.”

Kindly Dr. Carson says, “I’m afraid he might have been drinking.”

Seven in the back of the room complain bitterly among themselves.  They are all, but one, titled nobility, either sitting or former Governors and Senators.  “She never even looked at us,”  they mutter to one another.

Walker of Wisconsin is forlorn.  “I’ve got a Harley, too!” he cries.  “And I don’t get intimidated!”  He curses himself.  He should have worn his own leathers, black and manly.  But in his heart he’s desolated.  He knows he’s no Donald.  Maybe it’s the hair.

Texas Ted is unimpressed.  “You call that a wheelie?  You ought to see me rolling down the interstate on my Hyabusa, doing 90, I shift into third and pop a wheelie while I break 100.  I’ll show her who knows how to ride.”

Dr. Paul and Kindly Dr. Carson huddle together, concerned that they may have been exposed to second hand smoke.

Darkly handsome Don Juan of Florida is gazing at himself in the mirror.  “What’s not to like?” he whispers to himself.  Surely she’ll be back, and he’ll get the chance to dazzle her with sweet words and his pearly whites.  Maybe I should ditch the Vespa, though, he thinks.

Suddenly Georgette, the debutante’s spinster aunt and chaperon, bursts into the room, clutching her Bible.  She had been sewing quilts for the poor with her other church ladies upstairs when she heard the commotion.  A devout member of the Church of the Perpetually Offended, she berates the suitors for their timidity, and demands that they take action against the Donald.

When she leaves the Bear of New Jersey asks Johnny of Ohio, “What does she see in that guy, anyway?  He’s crazy.”

“Sometimes, girls just want to have fun,” he replies.  What Johnny doesn’t say is that the Donald has something she wants, and while she’s unlikely to stick with him, the one she settles on better have some of it himself.  You won’t win her heart without it.

“Bull!” says the Bear.  “”When they get back let’s all get together and kick his ass. We should do what Georgette says.”

“Yeah!”, says Jeb!  “I took jujitsu back at the Phillips Academy!”

“Not so fast,” says the Parson of Arkansas.  “I hear he’s pretty tough.”

Dr. Paul isn’t buying it, pursing his lips and saying,  “I’ve got moves he’s never seen.”

Kindly Dr. Carson asks if they all can’t just get along, and is ignored.

“Did I tell you guys I can’t be intimidated?”, growls Walker.

Soon almost all of them have joined in a discussion of how they’re going to beat up the Donald.

Only Texas Ted and Johnny of Ohio hold themselves apart, eyeing one another warily.  Each has their own plan for dealing with the Donald, and winning the debutante.  They are the smartest of the suitors, and know the Donald has weaknesses that they can exploit.  He’s been in a lot of fights, and has made a lot of enemies who want to take him down.  She’s only flirting with the Donald.  It’s just a fling.  Beating him up won’t impress her, it will just upset her. She’ll settle down and get serious once she actually has to choose.

They think.

Wisconsin bland

Close to two years ago on this blog, in December of ’13, I wargamed the Republican nomination and decided it would come down to Kasich, Walker and Paul.  I got one third of it right.

What it Takes, by Richard Ben Cohen, is by far the best book written about Presidential campaigns.  The title is instructive.  It takes a lot, and not everybody has what it takes.  Rand Paul doesn’t believe in his own campaign.  He is not convinced, in his heart, that this is his moment and he is the man.  He’s fading fast, and the more he lashes out at Trump the faster he’ll sink.

Walker suffers from a Personality Deficit Disorder.  I was told two years ago by Wisconsin State Rep. Chris Kapenga that he would be seeking professional help, but there’s no sign of it.  He just gave a big foreign policy speech, at the Citadel, I believe, which was truly awful.  Reading haltingly off a teleprompter, he tried to be Churchillian, and looked like a doofus.  I just saw him on Meet the Press, and he’s the same dull washed out cipher he’s always been.

Steve Kaminski and Bill Schreck were two of my Alaska buddies from Wisconsin.  They resemble the Wisconsin politicians I’ve seen lately:  Kapenga, Walker and Ryan.  They’re all diffident.  They are a little bland, soft spoken.  They think it’s unseemly to draw attention to yourself.  Seeking the spotlight is disdained.  They’re great guys, but they’re not leaders.  It’s a Wisconsin thing.

Walker’s other problem is that he’s not that bright.  He agreed with Trump on anchor babies without really understanding the issue.  When someone on his staff explained the Fourteenth Amendment, and how the courts have interpreted it, he foolishly back tracked, unaware that a good legal argument can be made that Congress can statutorily interpret the Amendment in a way that eliminates anchor babies.  He looked bad not only because he flip flopped, but because he wasn’t sophisticated enough to see the correct political answer.

So I’m replacing Walker and Paul with Cruz and Rubio.  When Rubio announced he’d give up his Senate seat I knew he was a man to contend with.  That showed me some political courage, and good sense.  Anyone who wants to be a U.S. Senator for life shouldn’t be in the Senate.  And Don Juan, as I affectionately call him, has “it”, whatever “it” is.  People, women especially, like this guy.  He’s manly, but not macho.  He’s sincere, but not sugary.  He’s a Latino Reagan, and that’s the highest praise I have.

Rubio didn’t make my first list because he’s a junior Senator just in his 40’s, and new to the national stage.  Everybody likes the guy, but he needs seasoning, and our experience with Obama makes us gun shy with a one term Senator running the country.  He’s the obvious choice for VP, and when we win Florida he will have done his job for this cycle.

I have trouble warming up to Cruz, but he’s shown me something in the last few weeks, in the way he’s dealt with Trump.  He and Kasich have done it perfectly, and it’s extremely important that they did.  As I get to know the Tribe of Trump in the commenter section of AT and elsewhere, he is the one Republican they might accept if the Donald bails.  Like everyone else, Texas Ted figures Trump will crash and burn, and he’s setting himself up as Trump’s fallback candidate.  Tricky business, but if he pulls it off he will have demonstrated the kind of political skill that wins the White House.  Inviting Trump to his anti-Iran Treaty rally was very smart, as was Trump’s acceptance.

Another knock on Cruz is his lack of executive experience.  But Trump’s rise may mean the qualifications game is different this cycle.

But I really don’t like Cruz.  I think it’s because I can’t detect one shred of humility in this guy.  He’s the guy in the tux on the wedding cake, just like Dewey.  A buttoned down, robotic, tightly wrapped figurine of a man, as spontaneous and joyful as a mannequin.

Sometimes you wonder if writing a blog is a waste of time, and then, this morning, on the editorial page of the Queen, I find validation.  Mo Dowd, one of the Queen’s chief lieutenants, and the liberal arbiter of the politically chic, referred to Jeb! as Jeb!  My heart fluttered.

I have arrived.

The Tribe of Trump

A lot of people  — hell, just about everyone  — have seriously underestimated the Donald.  Not only is he not going away, he keeps getting stronger.  He’s walking on a wire, forty stories up, and instead of losing his balance he’s becoming more sure footed.  And, as the center of attention, he’s loving every minute of it.

He most resembles Silvio Berlusconi, and, unless we’ve become Italians, won’t be elected.  Politics is a joke to Italians.  They have known for decades that all their politicians are liars, thieves, and scoundrels, so they don’t take them seriously.  We’re on the road to Italy, but we’re not there yet.

Any serious political analyst needs to look closely at Trump’s Tribe.  No Republican can win without them.  While Trump won’t be elected President, if he can convince his Tribe to back the Republican nominee, he will win the election.  In a landslide.

Like most people, I assumed the bulk of his support came from Tea Party types, but that’s not true.  If you separate Republican poll respondents into five categories, very conservative on one end, and moderate/liberal at the other, Trump has virtually identical support in each quintile.  And Nate Cohn thinks Trump may be getting a lot of votes from “irregular voters”, people who sometimes don’t bother to vote.

This, combined with what I’ve learned from my budding acquaintance with my commenters at AT, leads me to believe that Trump is something entirely different from past candidates.  Comparing his rise in the polls to the ones experienced four years ago by Bachmann, Perry, Cain and Gingrich is pointless.  Trump is different.

He’s not a politician, he’s a celebrity.  He’s got a little Elvis in him.  He’s not playing by Washington rules, but by Hollywood rules.  Hollywood rules are for celebrities.  Because they’re famous, people want to know all about them, and are more forgiving of their faults.  I don’t know if Trump has made the cover of America’s most influential magazine, People, but he soon will.  He’s been at the celebrity business for most of his adult life, and he’s a master, none better.

This is the main thing I’ve learned about the Tribe of Trump:  they love the guy.  It doesn’t matter what they hear about him, they don’t care.  He’s got balls, he tells it like it is, he’s rich and successful, and yes he’s got balls of titanium.  A lot of these people swear  — swear!  — they will not vote for any other Republican.  They aren’t upset with the Republican Party.  They hate it.  They are like a woman scorned.  In most cases they’ve swallowed hard and voted for Bush, and McCain, and Romney and they feel seduced and abandoned.  They say, never again, and they mean it.

Only Trump can bring them back.  If Trump turns his back on the nominee, and refuses to endorse him, it could be fatal.     (Forget a third party run.  Trump’s candidacy will last until March, at least, which would be too late to do a third party properly.)

I haven’t been keeping track, but I believe Cruz and Kasich are the only two plausible candidates who haven’t criticized the Donald.  Maybe it’s no coincidence that Cruz and Kasich are the two smartest guys in the race.  Eventually, when Trump exits the stage, he will either do it alone, or in the company of his Tribe.  A lot will depend on how he feels he’s been treated.  That’s what he says, and there’s no reason not to believe him.  It’s like that old Elvis song:

Treat me nice.

I did a piece for AT today, but will submit it tomorrow, and either publish it or link to it on Monday.  They may not go for it.  It’s a parody of sorts, and they’re really not into that.  But, it’s pretty good, so we’ll see.  I had this idea for a cartoon, but I can’t draw, so I had to do a word picture.  I see the Donald, all decked out like Elvis, on a Harley, doing a wheelie, with a beautiful girl (the GOP) in the back seat, her long legs flying in the air, blonde hair streaming in the wind, as all his rivals watch from the sidelines.

In fact, when I was dating my wife I had a motorcycle, a 350 cc Honda, which is sure as hell no Harley, but I could do wheelies.  She’s riding in the back, with a skirt on, and we’re at a stoplight in downtown Walnut Creek, California when I decide to get off the line real fast.  I overthrottle, and up the front end goes, up to a 45 degree angle.  Babbie’s hanging on for dear life, her bare legs kicking up in the air, her hair flowing.

She didn’t even get mad.

Movement on a number of fronts

Lauren Enns has secured the support of Bryce Christiansen, chair of the Utah College Republicans.  They played an important role in winning passage in Utah.  Bryce is very active with the national college YR’s, and believes he can convince other college YR leaders in target states to duplicate the success which was achieved in Utah.  This is something which should have been done long ago.  I tried to reach out to college YR’s in Montana and elsewhere without success.  College YR’s are perfect grass roots lobbyists for our cause.

Lew Uhler has talked with Greg Casey in Idaho, and will follow up with efforts to get to Sen Bart Davis.  Lew is having a 40th birthday party in D.C. for the National Tax Limitation Committee on Oct. 20th, and hopes to have Sen. Enzi in attendance.  If Enzi goes, I’ll go.  I think he’s our best shot at Nicholas and Wyoming.

Man of mystery Sen. Chris Kapenga has gone radio silent.  He’s given assurances that he’s got Wisconsin covered, but we’d like to hear from him.  Chris, give us a call!

Dave Guldenschuh represented us at a Heartland Institute meeting in Dallas, which went well.  They have been distracted in the past by the Compact approach, but are apparently coming to their senses.  They could be a big help if they want to.

John Knubel continues to work at setting up a revived 501(c)(3), and is making progress.  Dave and Susie Biddulph are picking up the tab, as usual.  He has gotten the ear of old acquaintance David Boren, President of the U. of Oklahoma.  He is apparently willing to work with Gary Banz on getting Oklahoma next year.  Boren has the clout to put us over the top there.

John Steinberger, acclaimed unanimously today as a new Co-founder, advises that Sen. Tim Scott is hosting town halls for all Republican presidential candidates in South Carolina.  Trump is scheduled for September 23rd, and we’ll do all we can to get BBA supporters to show up and ask him if he supports using Article V to get to a BBA.  This is the way we can break through to all these candidates — town halls, where they take questions.  If we were better organized we’d have supporters asking our question in every town hall in the country.  As my grandmother used to say, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Bill Fruth and Dave Guldenschuh will team up for a do over in Mississippi next year.  Their Resolution dates from 1975, and may have some technical flaws.  Nothing that couldn’t be overlooked by Congress, but a distraction we don’t need.

Biddulph went to the big Americans for Prosperity meeting in Columbus last week.  There were 4,000 people there, but he did manage to speak to those at the very top of the Koch political empire.  Because the father of the Koch brothers was a militant Bircher, we have explained our lack of support from AFP as a result of the brothers Koch taking a cue from their father.  The runaway convention bugaboo.

They didn’t know anything about us.  They haven’t shunned us because of some Birch inspired superstition.   They never heard of us.  These guys are neck deep in conservative politics.  If there’s any thing going on, they would know about it.  We continue to work in the shadows.  This has got to stop.

This is completely ridiculous.  I informed Biddulph and the rest that my personal involvement is going to be in spreading the message on the internet, not field work (which I’m not that good at, anyway).  This blog is a start, and it’s gaining in circulation.  Over the next couple weeks I’ll continue to submit pieces to AT, and will attempt to spread them across the internet.  If we ever got the word out on what we’re up to we’d be half way home.

It’s hard to know who reads my stuff at AT.  About a third of the numerous commenters are smart and thoughtful.   Another third are smart as well, but very hard right, as far right as you want to go  — no compromise.  And then there’s the Trump people.  These are good people, my kind of people, patriotic people who are scared to death about the future of their country.  They are not politically sophisticated, but they’re not stupid, and only a few are abusive.  If we can get them to the polls in ’16 we’ll get a landslide.

Even though he won’t be the nominee, Trump can win the election if he brings these people to the polls.  He should be satisfied with that.  It would be a service to his country.

We could make America great again.