The 60% Solution

Who decides?  In an absolute Monarchy, one person, the king, decides.  In a true democracy the voters decide, directly.  In a Constitutional Republic, such as the United States, the elected representatives of the people decide.

Sometimes these representatives choose to ignore the mob, and vote their conscience instead.  Politicians who have that kind of courage are rare, and they often pay a steep price for standing on conviction.  When the Radical Republicans tried to impeach Andrew Johnson in 1868, seven Republican Senators refused to vote for conviction.  If one of the seven had caved, an important feature of the Constitution  — the independence of the Presidency   — would have been destroyed.  None of the seven was ever elected again.  When a group of Southern Democrats defied FDR, who had just won an overwhelming reelection landslide, and refused to vote for his Court packing scheme, they again saved part of the Constitution, the independence of the Judiciary.  This defeat was effectively the end of the New Deal, but these Senators stood on principle, and beat their own President.

The delegates to Cleveland will also be elected representatives of the people.  The RNC has declared that they do not have independence of judgment.  If they acquiesce, they give up their role in our system of government, and are mere instruments of the direct democratic system the RNC has put in place.  But the RNC has no authority over them.  It cannot force them to abide  by its dictates.  But if they choose to obey, and rubber stamp Trump, they assure the destruction of the Republican Party, the election of Clinton, and four years of either paralysis or a sharp move to the left. This country can’t afford either.  If they make this choice, they will bear the responsibility. They will have abdicated their role in our system of government.  Until their last breath, they will bear that burden.

Clinton would nominate at least two Supreme Court Justices, two more Ginsburgs or Sotomayors.  We’d have at a liberal majority that could last for decades.  Goodbye, Second Amendment.  Hello, judicial tyranny.  What Clinton can’t pass through Congress she’ll accomplish by executive order, just as Obama has.  But the new majority on the Supreme Court will defer, and the Constitution will be a dead letter.

Those are the stakes in Cleveland.  It may not be clear to everyone yet.  But we’ve got almost three months to make it clear.  The nomination of Trump is the death of the Republican Party, and a guarantee of a calamitous Clinton Presidency.  The stakes are that high.  We’ll see what those delegates in Cleveland are made of.

One thing I’ve read is that if Trump is nominated, it will mean he gets to take over the Republican Party.  Not true.  The Republican delegates to Cleveland will decide who controls the Party, not Trump.  If they have the courage to do it.

They can start by voting in one of their own as Chairman of the Convention.  Paul Ryan is not a delegate, he’s not one of them.  He’s John “Lucifer” Boehner’s boy, and as such he has no business at the podium.  I’d nominate Curly Haugland of North Dakota.

Then they can vote to require that the Presidential nominee must get 60% of the delegates to win the nomination.  They are completely free to do it.  They could make it 2/3 if they want.  They can do any damn thing they please.  They’ve got the votes.  And if you don’t vote, you don’t count.

Up until, I believe, the 1920’s the Democratic Party required 2/3 to nominate.  It’s a perfectly defensible position.  A Presidential nominee should have the support of a broad section of the Party, and not be a regional or other divisive figure.  It makes perfect sense.

All it takes is courage.



The only Rule that counts — Rule 1237.

Curly Haugland, Republican Committeeman  from North Dakota, says every delegate in Cleveland will be unbound, and he’s right, of course.  The RNC says they’re bound, but the RNC has no authority in the matter.  The highest authority in the Republican Party is a majority of delegates to a National Convention.  They can do any damn thing they please.  If a majority of them can organize, they run the whole show  — up to and including the selection of the Chairman of the Convention.  Paul Ryan’s role is provisional.  He’s not guaranteed the job.  This is the most unusual year in politics that anyone has ever experienced.  Things that have never been done before may be done this year, including an uprising of the Republican grass roots in Cleveland.

There will only be one rule at this Convention —  Rule 1237.

After 2012 the wizards at the RNC came up with a set of Rules designed to assist in the nomination of a moderate, or “mainstream” Republican, like Romney and McCain.  Those rules have never been ratified by a majority at a National Convention, and are therefor provisional only.  A lot of State Parties don’t like being dictated to by the RNC.  That’s why North Dakota and Colorado opted out of presidential preference contests at their caucuses.  So any rule that a majority of States don’t like can be thrown out  by the Rules Committee of the National Convention, subject to ratification by the full Convention.

The Republican Parry, as an institution, is in trouble.  Pew has it viewed unfavorably by 62%, favorably 33%.  I think the nomination of Donald Trump would kill it off.  I’d consider joining the Libertarians.  The RNC has screwed the pooch.  And if Trump were to be nominated these knuckleheads would bear some of the blame.  They tried to rig the system against someone like Cruz, and wound up with Trump instead.  I don’t think a lot of the delegates to Cleveland will be in a mood to rubber stamp whatever the RNC feeds them.  They’re incompetent.

I had a good talk with Rep. Ken Ivory of the American Lands Council today, and made my apology, which he graciously accepted.  Ken and the Council have accomplished a lot more than I realized.  They’ve made some serious progress.  Ken asked me to head up the effort to have our federal lands Resolution included in the National Platform, a task which I’m happy to perform.  It’ll be like eating chocolate ice cream.  It will also give me a chance to get to know delegates from all the Western States, the ones on the Platform Committee.  Relationships like that can come in handy.

Cruz has a big speech tomorrow at the California State Convention.  It’s his best chance to introduce himself to the voters of California.  He’s also got to keep his eye on Indiana, so it’s a balancing act.  There’s one California issue he should address, and if he doesn’t I’m going to pass it on to Joseph Semprevivo.  It’s a no brainer, and a good one.

1968 was a brutal year.  One of the very worst.  We had George Wallace and street riots in Chicago.  I can’t recall mob violence playing a role in Presidential politics since.  This is not good for Trump.  He, personally, has incited violence.  This is all part of what Trump brings to the table.

Who wants that?

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Two days ago I wondered how Cruz could exploit the anti-establishment mood of the GOP, and the country, given that he has been fighting the powers that be since he was elected to the Senate.  Trump is part of that establishment.  As Fiorina pointed out, he’s just the flip side of Clinton.  He has corrupted politicians  his entire career.  He learned it all at his father’s knee.  You pay off politicians, and you get rich.  That’s how the game is played.

The media won’t tell this story, yet.  Wait until he gets the nomination, if he does.  Then it will be non-stop.  He’ll be raked over the coals, mocked and  ridiculed.  Every crooked deal he’s been involved in, and they are legion, will be examined with a fine tooth comb.  Politico had a piece a few days ago, that no one paid any attention to.  It was about a stock analyst who pointed out that Trump’s new Atlantic City casino was going to be a bomb.  Trump got him fired, he was proven right, sued, and got a nice fat settlement.  If he gets the nomination, that’s above the fold for the Queen of the Hive, the New York Times.  Not just yet.

And then along comes the Loser, John Boehner.  I’m trying to think.  When he was elected Speaker in 2011, what did he accomplish?  He had almost five years in one of the  most powerful positions in the federal government.  He could have been a leader.  He achieved nothing.  Why are all the Trump people so pissed off at the Republican Party?  Because a lot of them helped Boehner get his majority in 2010.  And they helped give him a Republican Senate to work with in 2014.  He did nothing.  He refused to fight.  He was weak.

If Trump gets the nomination the Republican Party may be effectively dead.  The Boehners and the Bushes and the Barbours killed it.  Trump will be winning the nomination of a ruined institution, if he wins.

To me, personally, the GOP died in Mississippi two years ago, when Thad Cochran was reelected over a talented young conservative Congressman, Chris McDaniel.  Haley Barbour and the  Chamber of Commerce pulled it off, with a little help from that great political thinker, and whore, Brett Favre.  The money beat the people.  I was so pissed off I began to take an other look at campaign finance reform.  Maybe if you eliminated outside money coming in to a state.  I’m ready to join Wolf-Pac, and support an Article V Campaign finance reform amendment,  if they ever realize that McCain-Feingold is not the reform we need.

Totsugeki raigeki, or Tora! for short, means blitzkrieg, and that’s what I think Cruz needs to do in the next four days, at every stop he makes.  Attack, attack, attack.  Boehner has given him the perfect opening.  He can explain why Boehner hates him.  Not for who he is, but for what he’s done.  And that was tell the America people that the Emperor  — John Boehner and the Republican Congress  — was not only naked, but had no balls.

Everybody hates Congress, and damn near everybody in it.  Cruz needs to channel that anger, and explain that Trump can be a texting buddy with Boehner because they’re both part of the system.  The system that made Trump rich, and Boehner the Speaker of the House.  Of course they’re going to get along.  It’s Ted Cruz who wants to rock the boat, and that’s why he’s hated.  It’s not because he’s arrogant.   Very few on Capitiol Hill aren’t.  He’s hated because he calls them out, and exposes them for what they are — whores.  A Parliament of Whores, as P. J. O’Rourke put it.

The Powerline blog had a poll out in Indiana showing Trump up two.  It’s supposed to be a good poll.  If that’s true, there’s still time for  Cruz to pull it off.  If he goes, hard, on offense, at every stop, every day.

I didn’t get to Fairbanks.  Travel problems — a price for living where I do.  It’s worth it.  I did have a long talk with the new head of the American Lands Council, Sen. Jennifer Fielder of Thompson Falls, Montana.  That’s real country, right up against the Idaho Panhandle, not far from the Canadian border.  It’s like Alaska, where she lives.   She’s still working closely with past President, Rep. Ken Ivory of Utah.  I’m joining their group, and hope to get involved with their summer offensive.  They have great things planned, and Jennifer impressed the hell out of me on the phone.  One bright woman.  I’ve rarely been as impressed as I was with her.  I hope to get to meet her and her husband.  Babbie and I spend time in Montana every year, and maybe we could come by and have lunch.

I owe Ken Ivory an apology.  I expected him to lead the charge in the Utah Legislature for the Article V BBA, but he took a pass, and handed the ball off to Rep. Kraig Powell.  Kraig did a magnificent job  — he’s a Great Living American — so it’s not like Ken’s decision hurt us.  But I thought less of him for it.

But that was wrong.  Ken was working on American Lands Council business, and after talking to Jennifer Fielder I can see why.  They’re on to something, and have come up with a good plan.

I’ll apologize in person the next time I see Ken.

If you’re a Republican, what the hell are you doing in Rhode Island?

Trump beats expectations, with low turnout, in the least Republican part of the country.  So it’s over.  Not quite.  We’ve yet to hear from the Hoosiers.

Legend says that after a particularly violent fight between two Frenchmen in frontier Indiana, a fellow French immigrant walked into the saloon, saw an ear on the floor, and said, “Whosh ear?”  Thus, hoosier.

It bills itself as the crossroads of America, and it is in the middle of things.  Under complete Republican control, its State government is something of a model for the nation.  Gov. Ducey of Arizona, for instance, sought out the counsel of former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels when he won election.  Daniels’ successor, Mike Pence, has built upon his predecessor’s achievements, and the State of Indiana is well governed.  By Republicans.

In this it resembles Wisconsin.  Maybe the Hoosier Republicans aren’t as pissed off as the ones in Rhode Island   — whoever they are, the poor bastards.

The media is on the Inevitability Train, but I’m not getting on.  And I don’t think the Republican delegates meeting this weekend in Dewey Beach, Harrisonburg or Fairbanks are getting on either.

This thing’s far from over.  Patriots never give up the ship.

The best line of the campaign came from Fiorina today, calling Trump and Clinton opposite sides of the same coin.  The Corruptor, and the Corrupted.  That’s a great line, Carly.  Keep it coming.

How low can we go?

We’re about to find out, in the ten remaining primaries after today.  If the American people continue to sleepwalk their way to a second Clinton Presidency, we will have descended from the greatest President of the 20th century, to the wholly inadequate Bush 1, to an Arkansas snake oil salesman, to the clueless Bush 2, to the anti-American Obama, and finally to the enabler of the only sexual predator to win the Presidency.  That’s not just downhill, that’s going over the cliff.

Of all the billionaires who piss their money away in politics, the Kochs are unquestionably the most worthless.  One of them is now cozying up to Clinton.  What have they accomplished with all their billions?  Not one damn thing.  They don’t donate to anybody.  They keep total control over their political operations, to make sure they’re not taken advantage of.  Well, they’ve succeeded at that.  But that’s their only success.  Oh, well, it’s only money.  And the country.

I think Cruz wins Indiana, keeps Trump short of 1237, and wins an open Convention.  But it’s too close for comfort.  I feel like I’m going broke, overestimating the intelligence of the American people.  I have to confess, I didn’t realize how ignorant people were about how our political process works.  People are actually outraged that some state parties have chosen to select their delegates by caucuses rather than primaries.  They obviously don’t know the difference between the two.

And why should they?  But when a raging demagogue tells them about it, and convinces these poor people they’re being cheated, they don’t know any better.  So they believe anything he says, because they believe in him.

Guys like Trump have been around forever, and forever will be.  The reason he’s having the success he is is because of what the politicians of both parties have done to this country.  They’ve lied to people about immigration for 30 years.  And the people understand that, and they hate every damn politician in the country for letting it happen.  Voting for Trump is an act of revenge against the political class.  They’ve actually got it coming.

On a brighter note, when I take my walk in the woods this evening I’m going to hoist one to a GLA  — a Great Living American, Rep. Gary Banz of Oklahoma.  Gary was a high school Civics teacher, who got into politics because he believes in all the things he taught his students about the Constitution.  He’s been in ten years, and will be term limited at the end of this session.  He’s a fervent advocate of Article V, right up there with me.  He’s been trying to get the Article V Balanced Budget Amendment passed in the Oklahoma legislature for at least four years, maybe longer.  Oklahoma is a very tough state for Article V.  I think Guldenschuh said that’s where Birchers are born.  Gary had to fight tooth and nail, doggedly, year after year.  After all that effort, his colleagues rewarded him a big “thank you” for all his service, and passed the BBA Resolution, making Oklahoma our 29th state.

The Trump Squad doesn’t think people like Gary exist.  I’ve sat in more than one airport lounge and had some stranger tell me that every politician in the country is a crook.  I tell them that I was a politician, and I wasn’t a crook, and they allow for exceptions.  But it’s a widespread attitude, and a testament, in my mind, to the deserved contempt of Congress.

The thing is, Cruz fought these people from the day he was sworn in, and he gets no credit for it.  And that’s his fault.  He needs to take on the political class, not just Trump.  He needs to channel some of that anger that voters have toward the same people he’s fought in the U. S. Senate.

Exactly how you do that is a good question.