Beyond the Cusp

December 1, 2013

What Should Americans Expect from 2014 and 2016 Elections?

It is understood and natural that all the stops will be removed for the 2016 elections by both parties as there will be no incumbent running for the Presidency and thus far there is no definitively obvious candidate for either the Democrats or the Republicans and the third party situation is currently fluid as the Tea Party block of mostly conservative and Constitutionally supportive group is currently being pushed aside by some in the Republican Party and could either form a third party with a fairly large base for such a venture or take the helm of one of the existent third parties such as the Libertarians or the Constitution Party, the latter not all that concerned with just the Constitution and more bent towards the Christian right lately. Before we get to the 2016 elections there will be the small matter of the 2014 election coming up in the coming year, so let us start with that.


If the political landscape continues on its current trajectory, it will be difficult deciding which of the two major parties will enter the 2014 midterm election more damaged as both are taking a beating at their own hands. The Democrats have what has become a ball and chain attached to them called Barack Hussein Obama. Where the President’s coattails may not have reached all that far but they had the effect by the Democrat Party out in full force with the additional troops and organizational tools, information, voter lists and campaign cash at the party level which may have made the difference in some of the tighter races. With the disastrous rollout and diving popularity of both Obamacare and its main supporter, the President, the Democrats will enter the start of the races at the end of the summer limping rather than running, but do not expect that deficit to continue long enough to make a huge difference if the press reverts to its default cheerleading for the Democrats as if they were part of the actual campaigns. Granted that the new media does provide some additional possibilities for other voices to be heard but thus far the Democrats have proven more adept at using the Internet than the Republicans. Likely the most important influence over the midterm election will be whether the Republican Party has reached some degree of accommodations in accepting the Tea Party segment of their base and have found some common ground and allowed for Tea Party candidates to run with the full support of the entire machinery and facilities available to the “mainstream” candidates on the slate of ballots. If the Republican Party elite continue with their denunciation and demonizing of the Tea Party they may find out that far more of their base is sympathetic and allied with the positions and candidates from Tea Party influence such as Senators Ted Cruz, Jim Inhofe and Mike Lee and Representatives Louie Gohmert, Paul Broun, Cynthia Lummis, Tom McClintock, Pete Sessions and Jim Bridenstine than to the establishment Republicans such as John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and the like. But if the Republican Party establishment continue to threaten the Tea Party membership of the party they may chase away the support of not only the Tea Party members but many among the more conservative Republicans who might see such attacks as against their beliefs as well.


As far as what the results from the 2014 midterm are concerned, should the Republicans hold on or increase their majority in the House of Representatives then nothing will really change as far as legislation getting passed and such obsessions from President Obama such as Cap and Trade similar to the plan put forth by Vice President Al Gore which would place stringent caps on pollution and especially greenhouse gasses giving cleaner companies credits which they could then market to other companies who were exceeding their allotted quotas so as to incentivize companies to clean up their environmental side. The system, where workable in theory, would necessarily be abused and used to punish certain industries especially those using coal and promote favored industries such as biofuels. The Cap and Trade system would give the biofuel companies massive numbers of credits which they could in turn sell to those companies using carbon based fuels such as oil and coal and by selling their Cap and Trade credits they would be made economically viable and would spend most of their efforts into selling their credits for the highest possible rate and mostly end up ignoring the production of useable energy. The end result of such a system inevitably makes for higher, even skyrocketing, prices for energy making, as President Obama said during the 2008 Presidential campaign, “Under my plan, of a Cap and Trade System, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket, even, (and) regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal fired plants, (you know) natural gas, you name it whatever the plant were, whatever the industry was, they would have to (ah) retrofit their operations, that will cost money, they will pass that money on to the consumers.” The only matter then would be whether or not the Democrats retained their majority in the Senate. Should the Democrats retain their majority, it would be expected that the Cloture Rule would remain changed as was done with the so-called nuclear option which would mean that the Senate would act more like a rubber stamp for the President’s appointments other than for the Supreme Court than it would an advise and consent body as intended and defined by the Constitution. That is not to say that the nuclear option was un-Constitutional as the Senate may pass any rules it feels necessary by a simple majority vote and all would be as the Constitution lays out the rules of the Senate being established by that body. There will only be a change if the Republicans can take control of the Senate but even then they might choose to allow the rule change to stand in anticipation of winning the Presidency in 2016, which brings us to that election.


The 2016 election for the Congress will pretty much follow the same patterns as described for 2014 with the only modifiers being whether the Presidential elections drive any measurable excitement in one party more than the other giving that party a useable advantage in funds and strong base turnout or if the Presidential race appears to be closely contested and there is a visceral, obvious and real difference between the two major party candidates and not just the cosmetic difference as we have seen in the past elections over the past twenty years. Once again for the Republican Party much will depend on whether or not they have come to some mutually acceptable agreement joining the centrists and the Tea Party and other staunch conservatives, which make up a goodly proportion of their base, or if these voters feel disenfranchised and their causes which they feel strongly about ignored or even opposed by those responsible for making party policy and the Republican platform. Currently the Democrats in theory have what is normally considered a leg up as they hold the White House and thus if they run the Vice President he will have the advantage, presumably, of the former President’s support and good name recognition and early platform as the White House can make sure he gets a fair amount of face time with the Press and before television cameras and radio microphones. The Democrats may have a second candidate with former Presidential support should Hillary Rodham Clinton run, her husband Bill Clinton would be a great asset during the campaign as he probably would have higher approval numbers than his wife. Many have claimed that the nomination is Hillary Clinton’s for the asking, but we have all heard that song before and it did not play to completion last time around when President Obama won out over Hillary Clinton in the primary elections. Still, before Hillary Clinton would decide to run again, she would definitely have to address her strong negative resulting from the mishandling of a number of items from the last time she ran and her time as Secretary of State. Her mishandling at the State Department include, but are not limited to, her inability to negotiate a continuation of forces treaty with Iraq which many blame for the current devolution into violence in that nation and its sliding into Iranian orbit without an American presence and the need for support by the Shiite government and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as well as Benghazi and the death of four Americans including the Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, as well as an aide and two former Navy SEALS. Meanwhile the Republican Party will need to first and foremost figure out who they are. Their big-tent approach has appeared to possibly be a major factor in their recent losses both in Presidential election and in some Congressional races. There are those who claim that the Republicans need to move placing a large difference between their platform and policies and those of the Democrats while others claim that in order to defeat the Democrats the Republicans must entice the middle of the road voters and even some more conservative Democrats to vote for their candidate as the polls and voter registration rolls show the Republicans at a deficit compared to the Democrat voter numbers. What would need to be considered as an outside condition that might make a huge difference in tactics, choice of candidates and planks in their platform is what is the makeup of the unaligned and independent voters. There are as many theories as to the makeup of these groups as there are pundits with each having their own slant and percentages. The consensus here at BTC is that the Republicans have misjudged not only the weight of the conservative numbers among the unaligned and independent voters, but have also misjudged the number of voters among their own party who are definitely conservative. We feel that the Republican Party’s sliding to the left to be as similar as they possibly can to the Democrats is simply a recipe for disaster and as long as that is their policy, they are doomed and may as well pack it in and go to the country club and play a round of golf, at least then they will have had some fun and have something worth talking about.


The results of the 2016 Presidential elections will only be of importance if a true conservative wins the election. Should one of the “Compassionate Conservatives” win as the Republican candidate then all the American people can hope for is a replacement of Obamacare with a softer, gentler government healthcare plan rebranding basically the same horrendous system under a Republican’s name, say like maybe Romneycare? A liberal or progressive, they mean the same thing in American politics as they are simply brands worn and not really defining characteristics as most liberals are not libertarian and most progressives are not selling new ideas or progress but reselling the same old ideas that have been their stock and trade for the past century or more. Even an honest conservative might not make much of a difference unless they have a solid base of same-minded support in both houses of Congress, otherwise very little will change as the ideologues will block any true reforms which scale back the powers and intrusions into every corner of American life and society which the Federal Government has usurped over the past two centuries. What would be a saving grace for the United States would take a near miracle and at least a decade but it has been America’s charmed existence that she has gotten just those miracles at the time she needed them the most, and she could use one very soon. The last miracle was the election of President Ronald Reagan to follow and clean up after President Jimmy Carter. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a very large supply of such communicators who are both conservative and a Constitutionalist on the horizon, and no they do not have to be Republicans, though such a Democrat would really be a pleasant and unexpected surprise as they would still get the vast majority of the people who vote for the Democrat because my family has always been Democrat. Even with a Congress and President that are true and stringent Constitutionalists who have the energy and desire to scale back the Federal Government within the boundaries placed in the Constitution, we suggest they begin with applying the Amendment X to the overwhelming piles of regulations and simply repeal Amendment XVII and return at least some of the power which was intended to remain with the States through their legislatures and governor deciding how their US Senators were to be chosen. Those stats which desire to continue to allow the direct election of their Senators are free to choose such a method and those who wish to retain that power to the state’s governance can choose that manner. Then there is the other branch of government which is the slowest to change, the courts and, in particular, the Supreme Court. That is the reason this is a challenge that will persist and take longer than any one man is permitted the White House as President. The courts have been a difficult problem to rectify as the appointments are for life or until the particular judge wishes to resign or is making such a mockery of his position that the Congress invited him to step down though impeachment is not an easy procedure purposely. The challenges currently facing the United States will be difficult to rectify as they require a dedication and persistence in their efforts by the American electorate and the ability to keep their eye on the end goal and pass the importance of their effort on to the younger Americans to continue the effort. Anything short of restraining the government and placing it on a budgetary crash diet and soon will result in the United States falling prey to the same economic difficulties as are currently plaguing the European Union except instead of failing countries as in the European Union the United States will have bankrupted states, cities, municipalities and counties and a Federal Government wallowing in too much of its own debt to be of any avail. The Chinese curse that wishes for one, “to live in interesting times,” may apply to the next decade or two more than anybody will have cared for after the times have passed.


Beyond the Cusp


October 5, 2012

My Big Surprise from Presidential Debate One

I watched the first Presidential Debate of the 2012 Election Cycle with low expectations and not expecting anything that might actually change my despair of the coming day I had felt I had little choice. Where I will not jump to any conclusions or dance with joy, but I now have found a glimmer of hope. It just might be that those who had tried to dispel my exasperations about Mitt Romney winning the Republican nomination may have had a valid point, though they likely did not state it as well as Candidate Romney did during the debate. This was after an even earlier piece of discouragement when John Bolton, our once recess appointed United Nations Ambassador, announced that he had no interest in running for the Republican nomination race for President. After that I had some lesser amounts of hope of which none was ever placed in Mitt Romney. Much of Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts did not inspire any evidence of a great conservative constitutionally guided leader. What it had shown me was a pragmatist who would lead only as far as the possible and not take on the big challenges of pushing monumental change. The one thing I believe we need right now in the United States is a monumental transformation returning us to the original intentions expressed in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights respectively and in that order of importance.

What I expected from the debates was Mitt Romney touting an economic plan to make an environment where businesses could flourish and people would be rewarded for choosing to invest and risk their time, treasure, and efforts in order to pursue their dreams and establish new ventures, businesses and opportunities. Well, I definitely got that performance from Mitt Romney. As far as President Barack Obama was concerned, I fully expected a better showing despite his previous problems when having to speak without his little friend the teleprompter and answer questions off the cuff or defend his positions when challenged. What I saw instead was a wondrous destruction and dismantlement of the President who appeared unprepared for any confrontation. President Obama almost appeared as if he had expected assistance from the moderator to cripple any thrusts by Romney and permit the President to give his typical long winded, delusional answers which leave people impressed despite having garnered no information or knowledge from another extensive, tendentious, overly-long, vacuous oration relatively devoid of substance. We did not even get a performance worthy of this description. Instead President Obama came across disconnected, distracted, distant, and unable to connect with the audience, the questions, or the conversation. The debate was between a prepared and on his game Mitt Romney against an unprepared, distraught and off his game President Obama. It was not a fair representation of the best of both candidates, but this too was not the surprise which rocked my view of Mitt Romney.

Those who have read Beyond the Cusp likely know the Tenth Amendment almost by heart as it is one of our favorites among all the integral documents which were written by inspired men during the events at the beginnings of the United States. We have even claimed at one point that simply by a dedicated review of every piece of legislation, every law, and every regulation with regard to the Tenth Amendment would restore the intended balance of powers between the over-bloated Federal Government and the disempowered individual State Governments and the People of the United States. When Mitt Romney mentioned the Tenth Amendment in its proper context I almost fell off my chair. He followed this up by mentioning the importance of State rights and empowerment. And then came his stating the Founding Fathers reasoning for empowering the States over the central government, that each State would be better able to serve the individual and distinct needs of their residents than any program fashioned by a distant Federal government in Washington DC. He also hit the point that by empowering the individual States to address problems we set forth fifty separate experiments with each one taking a potentially different tact to address and fill the needs and problems on any issue. Romney pointed out that through this method the individual States which were most effective, efficient, cost-efficient and versatile means of serving the public could then be copied and even refined further as other States adopted the items from all of the State efforts which proved to be the most suited and promising. This grasp and apparent affection, dare I say love, with the Tenth Amendment and his display of his full and complete understanding of all the intricacies spawned by the Tenth Amendment was close to inspiring. The remaining debates just got more interesting and likely very important. I can only hope that Mitt Romney can incorporate more of the intricacies and implications from the original intentions of those geniuses who crafted the Declarations of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and especially the Tenth Amendment. The one last particular I would like to hear out of Mitt Romney would be his dismissing Romney Care as something he did as a Governor and something allowed by the Constitution and something he would be prohibited from retaining as Obama Care as that is an offense and contradiction to the Constitution. No more repeal and replace, simply applying the Constitution and relevant limitations to remove this onerous conglomeration of obscene and illegal amassing of power by the Federal Government.

Beyond the Cusp

September 10, 2012

Thoughts on the Upcoming American Choice

President Barrack Obama stated during his acceptance speech that, “It will be a choice between two different paths for America. A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.” He could not have said it any more plainly and could not have nailed the truth about this election any more honestly. Actually, the one thing that must be said about President Obama is that he often says exactly what he is planning to do in broad and sweeping terms fashioned to make them appear so tempting and attractive mainly due to the fact that he allows space for each person to fill in the gaps and adjust his thoughts so they mesh perfectly with your thoughts. That is what was so appealing of his first campaign slogan of “Hope and Change.” Barack H. Obama never went into any details of exactly what it was he desired to change or where his hopes would take the Americans and their country, the United States. Some claim that now, after almost four years, we have a much clearer definitions for “Hope and Change” than during the 2008 campaign. This has made the President more attractive to one group and less so to another. The two factions of the American populace have been equated with one side being mostly made up of unions and those who favor a socialist view relying heavily on government to address any social problems and the other has been related to the Tea Party and made up of strict interpretation of the Constitution, smaller government and relying on individuals to address any social problems.  The election will define which group is the larger of the two.

The group more likely to support President Obama being reelected to a second term is the ones who believe that reliance on government is the best way to solve the needs of the society and the people. Like President Obama, these people believe that everybody having a fair and equal chance to make it in today’s world must be guaranteed by government intervention such that in the end there is an equaling force making the society equitable. They have a belief that for the most part the economy is like a big pie and if one person takes a double helping of pie then two other people will only get half a slice and that government needs to assure that everybody gets a fair and more even piece of the economic pie. They believe that greed will drive businesses to do whatever it takes to make more profit with absolutely no regard for who gets hurt, crushed even, or what affect they place upon the environment. That is why they are in favor of more and more regulations in order to guide and steer those who would otherwise wreck the planet in the name of profit take the correct attitude and minimize any adverse effects on the planet. There is a fear that if not for the government watching over businesses carefully that he leaders in industry would act with little regard for the health of the workers and that it takes government to assure that even the lowest person in the workplace receives sufficient wages to meet the basic needs of life. These people look to Europe and envy their healthcare systems and support Obama Care and would like to take it one step further and have the government take complete control over the healthcare industry. They will claim that only through government takeover can we assure that every single individual receives top notch healthcare and nobody goes without. They will sight the huge numbers of citizens who do not have health insurance because they have recently changed jobs and will likely receive coverage if they choose within a year or them who cannot afford to purchase health insurance. This group believes that without government society would cease to operate with any degree of fairness or equality and the people would end up divided into two groups, those few who have almost all the wealth and comfort in life or the majority who would be destitute and near starvation with no healthcare or other necessities of life. For the reason of making life fair and all people equal, they call upon government to smooth out life and remove any roadblocks and other difficulties which people would likely fail at if left to face them unaided.

The Tea Party oriented group, which includes Constitutionalists, Capitalists, Religious Conservatives, and others who likely had not supported President Obama in 2008 and had read things they disapproved of into the campaign of “Hope and Change.” These are the people who believe that government should do only that which are required to allow people to pursue their own paths and be as little felt in an individual’s life. They believe that government exists simply to give everybody the same starting point, the same opportunity to succeed and not assure that everybody succeeds. They feel that by trying to assure that everyone succeeds that government, by necessity, must take from those who are the most successful and give to those who failed and that by assuming such a role government is rewarding failure and punishing success. The capitalists within these groups feel that the economy is not simply one big pie which everybody gets a share of; they believe that those who produce continue to make more and more pies therefore allowing for everybody to receive more because the amount of pie is constantly being increased and is not a set amount. The Constitutionalists are the ones who make heroes out of the Founding Fathers equating them with inspired brilliance unequaled through all of political history. They will tend to quote them, each one crediting their own favorite, as having said in some form that, “The government that governs best governs least.” One point that many in this camp would support is that, as President Reagan said, “…government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” The Constitutionalists believe that the present day government has gone completely wild and take actions and jurisdiction over countless things which were forbidden by the Constitutional limitations. These are strong supporters of the entire Bill of Rights emphasizing often Amendments II,IV,V,IX and X and call for the repeal of Amendments XVI and XVII getting rid of the Income Tax and the direct election of the Senate returning control of the Senate to the State Legislators or whatever method each State might choose for themselves.

The idea of competition as a constructive force is something which both Capitalists and Constitutionalists will portray as a constructive driving force behind their philosophies. This is fairly obvious for the Capitalists as Capitalism is dependent upon competition as a limit on prices as when two or more businesses have to compete for customers, the one vital point very often is price such that whichever one can sell the product or provide service for the lower price with all else being basically equal, the lower price competitor will sell the most product or provide the majority of the services. The Constitutionalists will point out that by allowing the individual States to control the largest possible amount of governance over the Federal Government taking the lead, and then the fifty different States will act as fifty experiments in how to meet the needs and requirements of their citizens. In time a few States will be found to have the best ideas and the others will adopt the most appropriate and efficient of these methods. And as the other States adopt the technique proven by others will also make some modifications and some of these will be seen as an improvement which can then be made available even to the State originating the most efficient base approach.  The one thing that all of these people in this camp will agree is that the federal government has grown into an unmanageable behemoth which needs desperately to be put on a diet and trimmed down to size by reducing its size, power, scope, and influence even to include doing away with some of the Federal Government’s departments. As to how much or how far to restrict and trim the Federal Government is a matter where there may be numerous differing opinions and is where many are able to point to give evidence of hypocrisy. What they find is each group want the Federal Government to hold on to particular items which they support and these differences are the points of contention which often break the conservative groups apart and makes having an universal platform near impossible. One example to make the point is those who believe in the “Right to Life”. Where the entire group likely can find common ground against abortion and possibly even work something out considering birth control, they will break into two separate camps when addressing capital punishment. A large percentage of the Right to Life people support the death penalty as they are also “Law and Order” supporters while another large percentage extend the right to life to include being against the death penalty. There is no way to bridge this divide and any candidate running for office when addressing this issue is in a no win situation, whichever side they choose a large portion of their Right to Life supporters will disagree.

Which side is more aligned with what it means to be American of these two very different and separate groups? Well, that will completely depend on this upcoming election and everything else that follows. Everyone who is calling this a critical election which will determine much of the future of the United States are partially correct. This election will very likely set a course of the United States for the next decade or two. What is frightening is that an argument can be made that with the choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, whoever wins the election may not take the country in as diametrically different direction as we are being led to believe. One point which may place a spotlight on the exact reasons why this is likely true concerns Obama Care, also known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which has been given as the perfect example of the difference between the two parties in this election. It is not necessary to point out where President Obama stands on this program, it is his signature legislation despite the fact that he did little to write it and likely did not even make any huge contributions beyond pushing it through Congress by any means required. But where does Mitt Romney stand on The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? All one needs to do is read the message on the front of the podium at which he stood when making the promise to address The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act first thing should he be elected to the Presidency. The podium signaled Mitt Romney’s real intentions where it said Repeal and Replace Obama Care. When considering this position one is tempted to ask the same question as should have been asked of Obama concerning Hope and Change. What exactly do you mean by Replace Mr. Romney? Will anybody ask this before they vote or will we once again elect somebody because we foolishly hope he means the same thing we do when he says Repeal and Replace?

Beyond the Cusp

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