Not with a bang, but a whimper

That’s how Bush 3 exits the race.  At a town hall in South Carolina he opened up his heart.  He wished to run a campaign of joy, but people are being mean to him and calling him names, and he just doesn’t have to put up with it.  He has better things to do.  And he’ll soon be doing them, it seems.  He continues to run TV ads to no effect.  Nothing he does has any effect  He’s not connecting, and he knows it.

He’s scaling back his operation, explaining, “We’ve made an adjustment in our campaign.  That’s what leaders do.”  How pathetic can you get?  We’re supposed to admire him for adjusting to reality?  That makes him a leader?

He doesn’t know what to do, and neither do Bush 1 or 2.  It’s too early to go negative, and too many people to go negative on.  He’ll stick around for a while, hoping for something to change.  Sure, the media candidates will fade.  But there is no reason whatsoever to think this will boost Bush.  There are just a whole lot of Republicans, far more than a majority, who do not want another Bush.  And we’re not going to change our minds.

Trump peaked right after the second debate, and now he’s starting to slide.  His childish reaction is a big bright tell.  He can’t take it.  His contrast between his Presbyterianism and Carson’s Seventh Day Adventism is a sign of desperation.  No one believes Trump is serious about religion.  Everyone can see that Carson is a devout man.  When Donald Trump starts talking about religion he makes a fool of himself.  I’ll say it for the first time:  his balloon is starting to leak.  He will not handle it well.

Apparently Ross Douthat of the NYT is a Reagan Project reader, based on his column today.  Actually in the past few days I’ve seen a lot of people coming around to the Matador.  I can see Marco in a bull ring, with a red cape and sword, all dressed up in his matador outfit.  He looks the part.  You can’t imagine Parson Cruz that way.

I don’t think Marco wants front runner status.  Too soon.  But as a number of people have pointed out, it won’t be long before the money guys figure this thing out.  Rubio’s the best they’re going to get.  Walker, Christie, Kasich and Bush 3 aren’t going to make it.  Unless you want Cruz or a media candidate, he’s your guy.

Since we’ll be running against Hillary we know what we’re in for  — one of the dirtiest campaigns ever.  We need to fight fire with fire.  I need to get in touch with a PAC, and start working on some material.  I’d like to fly down to New Orleans and get some video of Paula Jones telling her story.  It could be a killer of a 60 second spot.  You could raise the money to place the ad based on its quality.  There are a lot of other ads that need to be made, like showing Hillary lying to the parents of the heroes of Benghazi.  There’s no reason to hold off.  Now’s the time to do this stuff.  They beat Dole up in the spring of ’96.  He was beaten before it started.  They ruined Romney in the late spring of 2012.  His reputation never fully recovered.  We can do the same thing to Hillary, now that we know she’s the nominee.

When Paula Jones filed her suit against Clinton back in the mid-90’s I was the only local conservative talk show host in Alaska, and I talked about her case a lot.  At first she was represented by some small town real estate lawyer, and set up a legal defense fund.  I did all I could to get my listeners to donate.  I might have sent a check myself.  I had a regular biweekly column in the Anchorage Daily News, and I wrote an article about Paula, but they wouldn’t run it.  The only other column I ever wrote that was rejected was about affirmative action.

Anyway, I’d like to go down and introduce myself to Paula.  I bet we’d get along just fine.

They expected us to be adults

Like the rest of the Constitution, Article V is skimpy on details.  The Framers assumed the men and women who succeeded them would be competent enough to work things out themselves.  So when the first Amendment Convention meets, it will need to set its own rules and establish its own procedures.  There are precedents from other conventions of states in our history, however.  We expect Professor Rob Natelson to be submitting a piece to American Thinker on this subject soon.

The bottom line is that every such convention in American history has adopted the one state, one vote principle.

Some of those involved with the Assembly of State Legislatures believe a new standard should be used in order for an Amendment Convention to offer an Amendment proposal, that the states voting in favor must represent a majority of the Electoral College.  Task Force member Mike Stern believes in this idea.  The rest of the Task Force voted unanimously in opposition.

Mike’s a lawyer in D.C., and he thinks if the proposed Amendment lacks that kind of support coming out of the Convention, Senate Democrats will oppose sending it out for ratification.  They’ll say it does not have majority support, is thus antidemocratic, and should be killed.  He thinks this would be their best political line.

I’ll try to put this gently.  Mike should stick to practicing law.  His understanding of politics is, let’s say, incomplete.  He hasn’t really thought this through, politically.  I’ll leave it at that.

The Task Force will do all it can to defeat any proposal, from any source, that differs one iota from the principle of one state, one vote.  The people at ASL who are pushing this are doing it with the best of intentions, but it is an extremely misguided move.  Hopefully it will die in Salt Lake next month.

John Knubel came up with the idea of having Admiral Owens call West Virginia Speaker Armstead on our behalf.  This is a seriously good idea.  Even House Speakers take calls from former Vice Chairs of the Joint Chiefs.  If this works we may ask Admiral Owens to call Hugh Leatherman in South Carolina.

The more I think about it, the more positive I feel about our chances.  Look at our opposition.  Hillary Clinton.

When Romney lost I was so pissed off I wanted to go back to Alaska and lead a movement for secession.  Then I settled into a period of deep depression.  I get wrapped up in these things personally.  The year after Romney lost was the most depressing year of my life.  And then October of 2013 came, and the roll out of Obamacare.

And I was born again.

The Eve of Destruction

Twice before in our history the governing political consensus has shattered, replaced by a new one only after a national catastrophe.  And that’s precisely where we find ourselves today.

That’s according to James Pierson’s Shattered Consensus, a thoughtful analysis by a thoughtful man.  From Jefferson to the Civil War the Democrats were the party of the governing consensus, but their inability to solve the slavery issue brought the Republicans into power.  Until the Great Depression, Republicans represented a new consensus, but their failure to control the excesses of laissez faire capitalism brought their downfall.  The new Democratic consensus prevailed until the present time, but it too has shattered, and there is no consensus in this country today.  Piereson thinks we must suffer a market collapse, or a major recession, or a terror attack before a new one can be formed.  In the process we are going to have to accept a lower standard of living.  In his view the new consensus will feature a return to federalism, economic growth, and the downfall of the public sector unions.

It’s important to clearly appreciate what Piereson is saying.  It doesn’t matter who wins the White House.  Even if we hold all the reins of power, the Presidency, the House , the Senate, the Supreme Court  — it still won’t be enough.  To deal with our intractable problems we need a national consensus, and we won’t get one unless we suffer a great calamity.  We’re a 50-50 nation right now, at war with one another, with no victory for either side in sight.

So I guess we just sit around and await the inevitable Civil War or Great Depression to give us the chance to get things right.  Or maybe we could use Article V to avert such catastrophes.  Our choice.  Maybe we ought to at least give it a try.  I don’t think a decline in our standard of living is something we should settle for.  If the first Amendment Convention is a success, others will follow, and the sclerotic federal government can be cut down to size.  Prosperity would follow.  But if we don’t use Article V, I think Piereson is right.  Congress has degenerated into a bipartisan parliament of whores, and will never clean up its mess without an outside intervention.

Piereson’s a very bright guy, and he makes a number of interesting points.  Today it’s a commonplace that Democrats are most passionate about conserving their gains than anything beyond them.  I didn’t know that Richard Hofstadter was saying that back in 1955.  He also describes contemporary liberalism as essentially punitive, which is quite true, when you think about it.  His most interesting observation is that the celebrated tolerance of the left is really nothing more than nihilism.

Fruth has been updating his Article V BBA campaign brochure, using the latest numbers from CBO and elsewhere.  He says it just keeps getting scarier and scarier.  I guess we’ll never be able to convince all the low information voters of our peril.  But you’d think serious people of all political persuasions would understand that this is an existential threat.  One which Hillary and the D’s should be forced to confront.  Unless she’s indicted she’s the Democrat nominee.  Shouldn’t someone in the media ask her what she plans to do about this problem?   But I’m being naive.  Since when does a press secretary pose hard questions to its candidate?

My review of An American Son is up at American Thinker today.  Here’s the link.  Internet commenters, and not just at AT, are an odd lot.  Some people just can’t disagree, they have to insult and ridicule.

Lew Uhler’s 40th birthday party for the National Tax Limitation Committee was quite a success, and I’m very glad I got to attend.  There were some quite promising opportunities which presented themselves, and I’m optimistic that Fruth is going to be able to get not only Wyoming but Idaho.  That should get us to 32, where the Republican nominee  — whomever it is   — will carry us across the finish line.  Even the most dimwitted of the candidates will realize the political appeal not only of the BBA, but, more importantly, of Article V.  So I’m feeling good.

Lew and I have the same Congressman, Tom McClintock, who just recently left the House Freedom Caucus.   Tom is as smart and conservative as anybody in Congress, and he couldn’t see their political end strategy.  He spoke briefly at Lew’s event, and his words were music to my ears:  “It’s starting to feel like 1979.”  Actually, though, I think he’s underselling our position.

I think it’s starting to feel like 1919.

In the belly of the beast

I just submitted a book review of Rubio’s An American Son  to American Thinker.  I’ll print and link to it if they use it.

I read it on Kindle on the flight back to D.C.  I also read part of Shattered Consensus by James Piereson.  This guy’s been reading my mind.  He gets it.  We’re on the cusp of an historic political realignment, the likes of which we’ve only seen twice in our history, occasioned first by the Civil War, second  by the Great Depression.  The first realignment made Republicans the dominant political party for a lifetime, the second did the same for the Democrats.  I’ll finish the book on the way home, and will write a review for AT.  It’s an important book.

The question for our time is if we have the ability to avoid another national catastrophe.  The Civil War and the Great Depression could have been avoided by political leaders with the requisite talent.  The Democrats of the mid 19th century, and the Republicans of the early 20th, didn’t have the skills that were needed.  National calamity was the result.  We’ll all find out soon enough if our current crop of politicians has what it takes.  Hint:  it involves Article V.

I took Uber from Reagan to my hotel, my first try at it.  Lord, what a wonderful service.   My black driver asked me if I was coming from the Congo.  I asked him if I looked like I came from the Congo, and he laughed, and said that’s where he’s from.   We had a good chat.  He brought up global warming and I was telling him all about it when the ride ended.  I went out for a beer and ran into a couple Macedonians who were working their way around the world.  I’m starting to feel pretty cosmopolitan.

Lots of construction in D.C.  Not a good sign for the rest of the country.

House R’s are in closed caucus tonight, so we probably won’t see too many Representatives this evening.  Lew thought Paul Ryan might stop by, but he’s trying to decide if he wants to be Speaker, so that’s not happening.  I’m glad I’m here, regardless.  I have a little reproduction of Houdon’s bust of Washington that I want to present to Lew tonight.  The plaque reads “To Lew  Uhler.  The Founder of our Movement.  From the Reagan Project”.  I gave one to Biddulph in San Diego, and hope there’s an appropriate moment tonight.  It’s funny.  Here I am a 70 year old man, and I’m paying homage to an elder statesman.

But then Lew Uhler’s one of a kind.