Why is it that so many politicians in recent decades (beginning, I suppose, with Ronald Reagan) have said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the party left me”? I am one of those. I used to be a rather prominent Democratic politician in Rhode Island: I was once the majority leader of the state Senate (1998-2000) and in 1992 the (alas, unsuccessful) Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. But over the years I have become thoroughly disillusioned with the Democratic Party.
A more vivid, quite literal illustration of how socialism and the liberal-mindset works would be hard to find.
Illustration one: the California drought. As reported here in the New York Post, California is “withering” in a drought. Reports the paper:
Experts predict California reservoirs have less than a year’s worth of drinking water left. An emergency law passed last week forces local cities to conserve water immediately. The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which supplies many of these elite enclaves north of Los Angeles, will have four weeks starting next month to cut water use by a staggering 36 percent.
It was a smear. A political hit job.
The headlines were everywhere, particularly here in the home state of Pennsylvania’s Congressman Bill Shuster. Shuster, who represents the state’s 9th District, serves as the chairman of the powerful U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette headlined the story this way:
Legislation tainted by Rep. Bill Shuster’s relationship with airline lobbyist, critics say
The Allentown Morning Call gasped:
PA Congressman Bill Shuster admits to ‘personal relationship’ with airlines lobbyist
Donald Trump wrote the book on deal making. Literally.
Back there in 1987 Trump’s The Art of the Deal was, as Trump books tend to be, a number one bestseller. It was a primer on — what else? — how to do a deal. The man who built a global empire and gained a reputation almost thirty years ago for “an unprecedented education in the practice of deal-making” gave readers a “streetwise” look at how to do a serious deal. To do it well, to make it good — to get what you want.
Now, in an exclusive conversation with The American Spectator The Donald talks about President Obama’s negotiations with Iran over nuclear weapons — and makes plain Obama has violated several of what his long ago classic on deal-making called “Trump Cards: The Elements of the Deal.”
Where did Obama go wrong? The President violated the basic Trump rule that to get a good deal “use your leverage.” Wrote Trump:
So Liz Mair is gone. The GOP consultant thrown under the bus that is the Scott Walker campaign. But before we get to the Mair story?
Once upon a time the people who worked for a presidential candidate were, believe it or not, longtime loyalists. Think JFK’s brother and campaign manager Bobby Kennedy. Ronald Reagan’s Ed Meese or Lyn Nofziger, Jimmy Carter’s Hamilton Jordan and Jody Powell, George W. Bush’s Karl Rove or, to go back even further in time, FDR’s Louie Howe.
The world changed. Long ago. Somewhere along the line the people working to elect candidates became “operatives.” In the vernacular “hired guns.” Racing around America and indeed the democracies of the world with a set of skills — good skills without question — with loyalty to no one except their own career and gaining professional reputations that in turn earned them a pretty penny. There was nothing necessarily wrong about this — the world turns.
He fired himself. And he’s looking for a new job.
Donald Trump has announced he is departing from NBC’s The Apprentice — the show that entered “You’re fired” into the American popular lexicon — and he’s headed for New Hampshire. His goal: to fire the Obama agenda…with an eye to becoming the Republican nominee himself.
The announcement of “The Donald J. Trump Presidential Exploratory Committee” came yesterday. Said Mr. Trump:
For all the accusations that House Speaker John Boehner has been engaging in partisanship by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress concerning Iran’s nuclear ambitions, it is the Obama administration and congressional Democrats who are making a partisan issue of Netanyahu’s speech.
The Obama White House has gone in full Alinsky mode on Netanyahu — whether it’s Press Secretary Josh Earnest and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki questioning Netanyahu’s honesty, National Security Adviser Susan Rice claiming the speech would be “destructive” to U.S.-Israeli relations, or Secretary of State John Kerry admonishing Bibi for supporting the War in Iraq. Kerry’s admonition is precious considering that he too once supported the same war. But no matter. Netanyahu is the target and he has been frozen, personalized, and polarized.
Barack Obama has one final year to realize that the National Prayer Breakfast just isn’t a good venue for him. Obama’s track record at the annual function has been little other than disastrous, and another president—one with a more hostile media and a less dedicated constituency—would have been ruined already by previous catastrophes.
Obama’s problems with the National Prayer Breakfast began in earnest in 2012, when the keynote speech at the affair was given by author Eric Metaxas. The speech Metaxas gave in advance of Obama’s own address was a tour de force and an indictment, though a polite one, of Obama’s position on abortion and other social issues as decisively anti-Christian. Metaxas stole the show and left Obama giving a speech that had been thoroughly repudiated from the same podium just minutes earlier, about how Christianity included essentially the same moral framework as Hinduism or Islam.
In 2002, current House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) was a 36-year-old rookie state legislator trying to make a name for himself as an opponent of middle-class tax increases and corrupt legislative slush funds used by Louisiana’s worst political actors to buy votes. Scalise railed against such public sector abuses of taxpayers to anyone who would listen, and his advocacy ultimately gained him notoriety and the approval of the voters in suburban New Orleans; in 2008 he was elected to his current position with an overwhelming 75 percent of the vote.
But one of the speeches Scalise gave during his barnstorming days in the legislature has now returned to haunt him, likely thanks to some Democrat party smear merchants and a lightly-read left-wing Louisiana blogger looking for street cred.
In the end, Mary Landrieu actually did a little better than expected. With polls showing her down as many as 26 points to Bill Cassidy less than a week prior to Election Day, the final 56-44 result in Cassidy’s favor almost reads as a moral victory on her part.
But U.S. Senate seats are not won on moral victories, and thus Saturday marks the end of Landrieu’s eighteen-year stint representing Louisiana on Capitol Hill. Many wags are calling it the end of an era—namely, that of the Southern Democrat as a mainstream political entity. With Landrieu’s loss, there is no longer a viable Democratic Party anywhere in the Deep South with the apparent capability to win a statewide race of any major importance or capture a majority of a state legislative body. Of former Confederate states, Democrats now hold Senate seats only in Virginia and Florida.