Reagan, Trump and 2018

In 1982, two years after Reagan’s election, the Republicans lost 36 seats in the House, and they don’t look much better heading in to 2018.  Is next year a Democratic one, and are Republicans doomed to lose, not only in Congress, but in state legislatures as well?  If so, Article V may have to wait until 2021.

It’s entirely possible that Republicans will do far better in 2018 than everyone seems to think.  Everyone thought Trump would lose in 2016, and everyone was wrong, so it could happen again.

The most important difference between 1982 and 2018 will be the economy.  Reagan’s tax cuts had not yet taken effect in November of 1982.  They were being phased in, and the economy was yet to recover.  And Paul Volcker at the Fed was still squeezing inflation out of the economy, which caused a lot of economic pain.

Right now the economy is growing at around 3.5%, and 4% growth in 2018 is realistic.  Good economic times are coming, and the Republicans will get the credit.  This is what the bull stock market is predicting, and an economic boom, more like the Roaring 20’s than the 1980’s, could do wonders for Republicans.

And next year may also be the year when people on the left accept the fact that Trump was elected, and will serve at least four years.  As the puny indictment of General Flynn shows, the whole Russia story is a joke, and will vanish.

Meanwhile the left continues to beclown itself with its excesses.  The Democrats are now fully allied with socialism, and radical leftism in all its guises.  This will be spectacularly on display next summer, as the pro-abortion lobby goes absolutely crazy over Trump’s nomination to fill retiring Justice Kennedy’s seat.

If it’s another Gorsuch, as it surely will be, Roe v. Wade will be overturned, affirmative action abolished, and 60 years of liberal Supreme Court rulings will be under review.  The spectacle of these crazed leftists and feminists and justice warriors opposing the nominee will take us all back to the 60’s.

And the 60’s ended well for the Republicans.


Die Tannenbaume Schadenfreude

Yet another early Christmas gift, in the gayly wrapped carcass of Matt Lauer, to park under the old yuletide tree.  And, behold, still another ruined phony, Garrison Keillor, to set beside the remains of Weinstein and Rose and Conyers.  Smirking, preening leftists, every one.  And at the crown of the tree the head of  Bill Clinton, with his shit eating grin.   And, you’ve got to believe, more to come.  What a Christmas!

“The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small.”   Sextus Empiricus


The Trillion Dollar Tax Reform

Spending your children’s money is an easy way to solve problems, and the Congress of the United States, waving high the banner of Republican, seems ready to resort to this tried and true solution.  Obama made us comfortable with trillion dollar deficits, and it will now be the bipartisan norm.  Every law of economics declares that this cannot be sustained.  But it continues, and the wolf of inflation is not yet at our door.  What gives?

It seems to me that the age of the internet is a cornucopia of wealth production, or economic efficiency, or productivity if you will, and the bounty of this harvest is overcoming old economic truths.  There is so much wealth being created, in countless and often unseen ways, that the debasement of the currency is offset.  The printing press is just keeping pace with the flow of new wealth.

So the idea of a balanced budget, or a constitutional requirement thereof, lacks all urgency, and the campaign to reach 34 states is at a stand.  Kentucky and South Carolina are within reach, so we may have 30 by the end of 2018.  To get those last four states a great deal of money is needed, and until it is raised it simply won’t happen.

Since the Democratic Party has become the party of government, and George Soros, a Balanced Budget Amendment will only happen with Republican legislatures.  We are, at the moment, at high water for Republicans, with 32 states under control, and two with one Republican chamber.  In the current political environment, this dominance will be extremely difficult to maintain.  If we lose the Colorado Senate next November, the path to 34 will be blocked.

The election of 2020 will, in this scenario, be the critical time for the BBA.  It will need to be a Republican wave, bringing in new Republican majorities in places like Maine and Nevada.

So the Reagan Project stalls, and waits upon events.  2018 seems to be lining up as a Democrat year, but that can change.  When Justice Kennedy retires in June the fight over his replacement will be epic.  The next Neil Gorsuch will be the fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the left will go berserk, to the benefit of the Republican brand.  And the GOP may benefit from strong economic growth, and the small scale of our wars abroad.  Anything can happen.

Which brings us to Trump the Improbable.  You must give the devil his due.  No one in American history has done what he has.  When he ran for President he took on every power that was, Republican and Democrat, and he beat every damn one of them.  At this point, you’d be a fool to sell him short.


Congress makes the case for Article V

If Congress can’t fix the health care system, and can’t pass tax reform, and can’t pass a budget, what can it do?  It can get almost all of its members reelected.  Which guarantees that the next Congress won’t accomplish anything either.  The legislative branch of the federal government is broken, except for its ability to maintain its own power.  Elections don’t matter.

The only answer is, of course, for the states to use their power under Article V to stage an intervention.  But we’re told that’s too dangerous, because the states can’t be trusted.  They’ll abuse their power, and undermine our constitutional rights.  So what we really need to do is elect better people.

I’ve been having the same argument for over 30 years, and it’s starting to sound stale.  But, just maybe, Congress is so obviously cocked up that people realize something has to be done.  The Phoenix Convention of States will, hopefully, give the whole effort a second wind.

I wasn’t on the floor, but the feeling I got from watching the proceedings was that these state legislators were beginning to function together as a self conscious unit.  It was like the first day of a legislative session, with members gathering at the Capitol from all the far corners of the state.  They meet, they organize, and they start acting like a legislature.  You may be from Idaho, and you’ve got South Carolina on your left, and New Hampshire on your right, but you’re all part of the same team.  It’s a good feeling.

If there was a sense of camaraderie, it could be the start of something big.  For this to amount to anything, there has to be another Convention of States in 2018, with 30 or more states in attendance.  Then things could really take off.  In the mean time, the Phoenix Correspondence Commission will need to keep the flame alive.  It should be organizing soon.

Meanwhile, we’ve got the spectacle of Congress to provide us with a daily dose of dysfunction and deficits.  The only consolation is that the worse it gets, the better the case for Article V.

Will any Republican candidate for the U. S. Senate, in a contested primary,  want to be associated with this dysfunction by supporting Mitch McConnell for Majority Leader?  The way things are headed Sens. Flake, Heller and Wicker are going to be toast.

What can they say?  Vote for me, and get more of the same?  Not a winner.

The only way to run for Congress in 2018 is to run against it, and damn near everybody in it.  They’re all corrupt, incompetent, or both.  They’re creatures from the swamp, and they need to be discarded for a fresh start.  One by one.

In today’s political climate, why would you even want to run for Congress, unless to overthrow the powers that be?

Unless the swamp somehow appeals to you.

Why do you want to be a United States Senator?

The authors of Shattered, the inside story of Clinton’s 2016 campaign, tell a story of a campaign without a cause.  Hillary felt it was her turn, that she’d earned it, and was entitled to the Presidency.  She had no other rationale for her candidacy.  Throughout her entire campaign, she was angry and frustrated that no one could come up with a convincing reason she should be President.  She practically comes out and says it:  why can’t somebody tell me why I’m running?

Presidential campaigns without causes don’t do well.  In 1980, when Sen. Ted Kennedy couldn’t come up with a reason he was running against President Carter, he was doomed.

Senate races are different.  Being the most highly qualified candidate is often enough.  But in a Republican primary between two roughly equal conservative and qualified candidates, the winner will be the one who can communicate a message, frame an issue, draw a contrast.

Roy Moore won because he had a message.  He will be an agent of change within the Republican caucus.  He’s not going to the Senate to join the club.  He’s going to drain the swamp.  And that starts with deposing the King of the Swamp, Mitch McConnell.

Offhand, I can’t recall this happening before in American history.  When has a Senate Majority Leader been so unpopular in his own party that promising to oppose him is a winning issue in Republican primaries?  But then, when have we had one with a 9% national approval rating?   And back home, his approval is just 18%.  

What we saw in Alabama we’re going to see again in Mississippi, Arizona, and Nevada.  The incumbents in these states are tied to McConnell, and he’ll spend most of his remaining money defending them.  In states where the seat is open, like Tennessee and possibly Utah, will any of the leading Republican candidates even want any of McConnell’s money?  You take the money, you pay the price.  Worth it?

In open seats, or in seats where an incumbent Democrat is being challenged, who wants to be seen as Mitch McConnell’s man?  Ask soon-to-be-former U. S. Senator Luther Strange about how that works out.

Or would you could ask Roy Moore, the anti-McConnell.  Soon-to-be Senator Roy Moore.