2016 Election • America • American Conservatism • Americanism • Conservatives • Deep State • Donald Trump • Editor Picks • Featured Article • Greatness Agenda • Republicans • Section 1

GOP Leaders, Remember Trump Ran Against Your Pieties … and Won

Politics is a team sport. It’s a basic truth of republican government—one that was even written into the nation’s founding document. The signers of the Declaration of Independence all agreed to “pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” In short, they would stand together or hang separately, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin. The stakes were high and they knew they had to rely on each other.  Still, every team has its stars and in politics that is the president.

After years in the political wilderness, Republicans have honed their skills as an opposition party to a fine edge, but their electoral success requires that they govern. With control of both houses of Congress and the White House, Republicans need to close the gap between theory and practice quickly.

President Trump acts decisively, reflecting his entrepreneurial background, and expects similar alacrity from Congress. The American people entrusted the GOP with a level of power not seen in nearly a century and they expect results. This is especially true of the party’s most loyal supporters who are tired of excuses from their elected representatives. That sense of frustration, even betrayal, set the stage for the accession to power of Donald Trump.

Remember that Republican voters categorically rejected the party’s dream team during the primary in favor of an outsider who happily overturned many conservative pieties. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Donald Trump ran against the congressional leadership of his own party and won.

 Read the rest at The Hill.

Government Reform • Healthcare • Obamacare • Section 1

Repeal Obamacare & Add a Side of Free Markets

When the misnamed Affordable Care Act passed into law in 2009, the GOP promised to repeal it. Finally, in 2016, the voters granted the Republican Party the majorities that it had long sought—as well as control of the White House. In keeping with their promise to overturn the ACA, the GOP focused their legislative agenda on first replacing Obamacare. And, it was a flop. A majority of Republicans cared little for replacing Obamacare. They simply wanted it gone. But, the GOP leadership convinced themselves that the American people wanted more than simple repeal.

You see, according to the thinking of most conventional elected Republicans, it is not enough simply to be opposed to something. Politicians also have to be for something! There is something to this in that voters expect politicians to know and understand their principles and priorities. But it is not always necessary for Republicans to offer a policy just because Democrats have offered one on a subject. Sometimes the best policy can be no policy at all. But too many Republicans believe that once an entitlement takes hold it is impossible to get rid of it. The people would punish the party that dared try to do so.

The Beltway Logic is wrong. Sometimes simply being opposed to a bad idea is more than enough.

But, the Captains of the Conventional Wisdom who command Conservatism, Inc. would press on and say, “we can’t just be the party of ‘no.’” So, they’d rather us be the party of “yes, but…” After all, it’s bad symbolism to simply be opposed to something. As George Carlin would say, let’s leave symbols to the symbol-minded. In all of this talk about replacing Obamacare and Free Markets, we miss the entire point: average folks in America are getting squeezed by the ACA. What’s more, the ACA is set to implode under its own weight very soon, meaning that many more Americans are likely to suffer as they are left without any kind of health insurance whatsoever. And, since the Trump Administration has indicated that healthcare reform is now dead, many more Americans will suffer when the ACA does finally collapse.

Medical caregivers are required to take the Hippocratic Oath which states, “First, Do No Harm.” Similarly, lawmakers should craft laws that do the least amount of harm to the American people as possible. A repeal and replace concept, while it made for fanciful sloganeering, was the worst possible way to go. If what Ben Franklin said about politics being the “art of the possible” is true, then repealing and replacing is simply impossible. It’s one or the other. Especially in today’s toxic partisan atmosphere.

Further, the American people want their healthcare costs to go down. The GOP has maintained that its aim was to lower healthcare costs on most Americans. Repealing the ACA, which caused health insurance premiums to skyrocket would have fulfilled the GOP’s goal nicely. It was also something a majority of Republicans could get behind. What’s more, had Congressional Republicans focused on removing interstate barriers to the health insurance trade, they would have drastically lowered healthcare costs for most Americans. By neither repealing Obamacare outright nor removing the barriers to interstate health insurance trade, the Republicans have betrayed their supporters.

Plus, the bill they were working on passing was shaping up to be one of the most complex, massive bills in history.

When I worked in Congress, we passed the “Read the Bills Act.” Put simply, this was a law that required Congressmen to actually be given a reasonable amount of time to read and understand the bills that Congress voted on (before those bills were enacted into law). Talk about a novel concept! This was in the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s mind-boggling statement that Congress had to pass the gargantuan Affordable Care Act “to know what was in it.” On top of failing to reduce healthcare costs, then, the Ryancare bill (Obamacare Lite, as many rightly described it as) defied the spirit of the Read the Bills Act. It was all around bad governance.

In crafting something so complex (and by demanding that Congress vote on it in such short order), Paul Ryan essentially did the very thing that earned such justly deserved opprobrium for Nancy Pelosi seven years prior. Ryancare was the result of Washingtonian “wisdom” getting the better of our elected leaders. It was also a case example of why the Trump Administration cannot rely on Congressional Republicans for much in terms of crafting legislation. Frankly, there are too many divisions among Congressional Republicans. The Ryancare bill was not what Mr. Trump had campaigned on. Next time, President Trump should remember that politics is the art of the possible and it is impossible to get Congress to pass a law as controversial and complex as the Ryancare proposal was.

So, next time, Mr. President: we’ll take the repeal of Obamacare, with a side of the Free Market—but hold the replacement.

 

Administrative State • Cultural Marxism • Democrats • Identity Politics • Immigration • Section 1

A Rape in Bureaucracy’s Bedroom

 

In one of the wealthiest, most highly-educated counties in America, two illegal immigrants raped a 14 year-old girl during school hours. The crime occurred March 16 at Rockville High School, a few blocks from where I live in Montgomery County, Maryland.

The nationally reported crime cries out to have its true national significance exposed, in the supine mentality the locals have displayed. Rockville, with just under 70,000 residents, is the second largest city in Maryland and is just north of Washington, D.C.. Along with other cities and counties in Maryland and Virginia, it constitutes the bedroom community of the national bureaucracy–the administrative state. Boasting a median family income of $95,000, Montgomery (MoCo) is the 11th-wealthiest county in the U.S. The sophisticated attitudes of its politically influential denizens help shape national attitudes.

Life is pleasant in the well-regulated People’s Republic of MoCo. Its million residents enjoy highly ranked public schools, which people selective universities. Parks and novel ethnic restaurants are abundant, as are the subway delays and traffic gridlock.

 

Occasionally harsher realities intrude as in this month’s rape. Appropriately, the perpetrators’ illegal immigrant status and their ages (17 and 18 in the 9th grade), have drawn attention. But what’s truly remarkable is the supine reaction of the local government and many of my neighbors, who voice their opinions on the neighborhood website.

The bizarre reaction to the crime displays the mentality of the citizen-subject of the administrative state, in particular the sanctimony, unquestioned multiculturalism, and supine deference to political correctness, which lead to the worship of the Queen of Denial.

The neighbors say in their first reactions: counsel kids on consensual sex. Assume your kids could have done something that horrible too!  

They say, don’t dwell on the immigration status of the rapists. Keep politics off the neighborhood website! A resident interviewed by Tucker Carlson was disparaged for posting her interview about the crime on the website, and thereby politicizing it.  

They say, there is nothing abnormal here: An 18-year old in 9th grade. It happens all the time! At my daughter’s classes at another MoCo school, I saw girls and boys play in integrated physical education classes. In touch football she, along with most other girls, sensibly shied away from the football and the charging boys. The “game” was quite a farce, but what did the boys learn by blocking and hitting girls?  

They say, the schools are peaceful. But MS-13 killings have rocked the area, including one involving a 17-year old girl from another MoCo high school in a neighboring town. The mother of one MS-13 victim had moved from Central America to flee the gangs.

They say, this episode shouldn’t affect the current welcoming policy. This supercilious attitude comes through full-throated in the statements of the MoCo Superintendent of Education and the President of the Rockville City Council, complete with denunciations of racism. Of course some local publications have defended officials or simply failed to report dubious statements harmful to the cause of multiculturalism.

Do the local bureaucrats feel captured by hostile natives? MoCo has become a majority-minority county, reflected in its schools. “The school district in 2016-2017 is 30 percent Hispanic, 29 percent white, 22 percent black and 14 percent Asian,…”  In the County non-Hispanic whites are around 45%, with Hispanics and blacks at 19% each, and Asians at 17% (all as of 2015).

MoCo’s dependence on federal spending has produced more sanctimonious liberalism, in Christopher Caldwell’s fine phraseology.  MoCo seeks to parry Trump’s threat to withhold federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions while continuing to preen their moral superiority.  A county spokesman contends there will be cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on “serious” cases but otherwise police will continue the policy of not checking on immigration status.

Jessica Vaughn, Research Director of the invaluable Center for Immigration Studies,  observed that “When Northern Virginia cracked down around 2005 … many illegals moved to Montgomery County, where they knew they would be treated more leniently.”

On the national level the reliable MoCo liberals are carved up to supply Democrat votes in three congressional districts, including the infamous third district that sprawls from beyond Baltimore and runs north past the immediate zip code to my east. MoCo subjects are reliable cogs for liberal planning purposes.

Unfortunately for the sanctimonious, the Rockville horror took place just as sanctuary state legislation passed the overwhelmingly Democratic Assembly. The anti-Trump Republican Governor Larry Hogan vowed to veto the bill. Some plucky Chinese immigrants have had enough and lobbied against sanctuary status, pitting them against the Chinese-American establishment.

When the lawyer for one of the rapists announced that he would argue (against the police report) that the sex was consensual, the allegation was met with outrage from the citizens and silence from the sanctimonious. But he was simply following the initial reactions on our neighborhood website about consensual sex. He also echoed local government officials that his client “is being used as an unjust scapegoat by the opponents of recent immigration practices.”

The attorney is also chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Immigration Law section.

The icing on the cake: MoCo is where newly anointed Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez won his only elective office, as a member of the County Council. His proposals (for unionizing domestic workers, among others) were so radical he could not have won reelection so he went on to other, appointed offices. He was also a founder of CASA de Maryland (originally known as the “Central American Solidarity Association of Maryland”), which describes itself as the State’s largest Latino and immigrant rights organization.  

With the sheepish acquiescence on display in this month’s child rape, MoCo shows itself for a flock of useful idiots for the administrative state. Bureaucracy’s bedroom gives decorum lessons to the elite that comprises the national bureaucracy.