Beyond the Cusp

October 1, 2017

So You Didn’t Think We Were Serious?

 

Back about a year ago, the Republican base went to the primaries and chose what had to be the most vulnerable, most crazy, most eccentric whack-job out of the entire list of seventeen candidates. Then the Republican base turned out in numbers sufficient to elect that very Whack-job President of the United States. Still, the establishment did not believe that perhaps the base finally was not going to take it any longer. Then, until yesterday, this same group of Republicans elected every single person that President Trump backed until the choice of Roy Moore instead of Luther Strange, and Roy Moore was the outsider in that race. The one time Trump sided with the Republican leadership and backed their candidate, he lost and the outlier, the more unusual candidate wins. Perhaps there were two messages in the Alabama election, one to President Trump demanding he stay with the story that won him the election and go for everything he promised because they have his back and the other was to the Republican leadership demanding they get with the program and start with repeal and replace Obamacare, complete Tax Reform, no easy path for DACA or any other illegal immigrants and all judges had best continue to be like Gorsuch, true conservatives who will not wilt with time. The Republican base, their mainstream, regular Joe and Jill are demanding that they be listened to and that they demand changes from business as usual. Number one is that the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare be kept. Second is complete and total Tax Reform like President Trump promised on the campaign. Lastly, no amnesty for illegal immigrants as promised, none. No more Mr. and Mrs. Nice voters, that is their promise.

 

The Republican Party has not had a real majority since Newt Gingrich and the contract with America. The Republican base is now believing that the promises made by President Trump and the claims made by Republicans over the past several years are the new contract with America and are expecting action, not infighting and main players in the Republican Party deciding that their ego means that they cannot allow Trump to succeed. The professional politicians may have decided that Trump must fail in order to teach the electorate a lesson about sending a non-political professional to Washington and expect them to accomplish what they promised. These professional lifetime political hacks are insisting on teaching the public a lesson about how the political structure works and how only those who have paid their dues and served lower offices and worked their way up the ranks are to be permitted to run for the Senate, for President. But they have miscalculated in thinking that they are going to teach the public a lesson.

 

The people know who these people are though after a few important lessons they decided to play things closer to their vests. During the first vote to repeal Obamacare there were seven Republicans who voted against the three plans including Lamar Alexander, Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Rob Portman and a selection of others which voted against at least one of the three plans. Since then there have been two who have submarined any hopes for repealing and replacing Obamacare, John McCain and either Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski. The last two are very liberal Republicans who come from states which will reelect them so they are safe and John McCain is doing this largely because of his principles. He was against Trump from the start, in the closing of the primaries and probably secretly desired his loss in the general election and was a “Never Trump” leader through and through. He has decided to make it his life’s purpose to see to it that President Trump becomes an embarrassment in order to make sure that no outsider ever again tries to enter politics without paying their dues and working within the system. For Senator McCain it is all about the system, the system which has kept him and his cohorts on both sides of the aisle in power safely spending other people’s money until the national debt of the United States has cleared twenty-trillion dollars and is a threat to every man, woman and child in the United States.

 

The people have had enough, well, at least many Republicans. These are not the elites within the society, they are the regular people who have worked in a factory, a mill, a coal mine, or some other job which where it may not have been the most satisfying occupation, it paid the bills, put food on the table and kept a roof over that table. They have watched as the coastal elites and their corrupt functionaries from both parties have taken a once functional country and changed the face of the nation through bribery to gain votes and turning neighbor against neighbor and breaking the nation into bands of special interest groups each one pitted against the rest and used to keep the same people who caused the problems in office promising ever more government in order to fix those exact problems their last great idea caused.

 

Let us take healthcare as our example. Way back when the entire insanity started, they came up with Medicare for the elderly to be taken care of against rising healthcare prices. Why were the prices rising? Well, it might have had something to do with increasing regulations, restrictions, and paperwork which slowly forced the neighborhood doctor to need to hire an assistant to handle the paperwork and then another to file even more paperwork and then they made it all but illegal through regulations for a doctor to operate from their home. The doctors then would join and have a clinic which brought more regulations and paperwork. Then they went after the insurance companies forcing increases in rates and that influenced healthcare costs. The huge lawsuit monetary rewards forced hospitals and insurance companies to settle without going to court even if they were not at fault, as they could not afford to risk a trial. Then along came Medicaid and medical costs jumped even higher. During President Clinton’s first term, they attempted to pass Hillarycare but public protests prevented that from passing. President Obama got a very similar plan passed by using the Democrat supermajorities in Congress all without a single Republican vote. Everyone has seen how well that has worked out but still there are parts of that disaster which people are demanding be kept because they give something for nothing. Now, in order to repair the damage done by Obamacare they want to have the government take over healthcare completely because that has worked so well absolutely nowhere. Every nation with such plans has virtually no military and is totally dependent on the United States for their protection. What they do have is long wait lines, rationed care, and a crumbling healthcare system with moribund of any advances in medical care and treatments. Total government healthcare has been an unmitigated disaster and will drive the United States to complete and utter financial ruin where there will be no funds left for infrastructure, no military funding, almost nothing but healthcare which will still be underfunded and taxes will need to double or more. And all that the people have to do is sacrifice one of, if not the best, healthcare system in the world. It is currently mortally wounded and if Obamacare is not repealed and healthcare returned to the public realm, then that will bring the end of the United States in more ways than just healthcare.

 

The system is broken and it is going to take drastic measures to roll back the Federal Government and put the genie back into the bottle. The promises of something for nothing sound wonderful and if you are on the receiving end and in the bottom forty-five percent of the tax bracket and pay no taxes, then it really is something for nothing. If, on the other hand, you are in the top twenty-five percent of earners, you know, the super-wealthy, those making over $75,000 a year, then it is not something for nothing as you get to pay for yours and two other peoples something for nothing and often you do not even get to have your something. The sad thing is even if the people wise up and come to their senses and realize that they are being had because if only they would pay their own way, then prices would fall, taxes would fall and eventually the debt would start to be paid. The first step is to minimize the ever-increasing deficit spending which adds more than half a trillion dollars to the debt each year. Once the deficit spending has been curtailed which will require sacrificing programs, often popular programs, then work can begin on the actual debt. One of the first realizations which the people must reach is that the government cannot raise children better than parents, cannot help the needy better than charities and religious institutions, and that private will always be an improvement over public programs. Finally, the best means of addressing any problem is locally, even down to each individual neighborhood. The entire idea of the United States Constitution was for each state to be more powerful than the Federal Government with the Federal Government addressing things with restrictions placed upon it by the Constitution as stated in the Tenth Amendment which states,

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Tenth Amendment

 

The simplest explanation of the concept put forward by the Tenth Amendment is that primarily each person is most responsible for his or her own business. Next up is the family which is supposed to assist the individual especially with things they are not able to handle alone. Next would be the neighbors, the community, your religious institutions, the city government, county government and finally the state government would each handle those things beyond the lesser level. The system is presumed to work best which is closest to the people and the problem. The final step of having the Federal Government handle a problem is the system of last resort. The Founding Fathers believed that if each locality tried to take care of the every day activities and problems there would be literally hundreds of differing systems and the ones which worked the best would be copied and used until somebody tried and found something better but that things would be kept at the lowest governmental level such that the people could keep a close watchful eye on their governance. That went away with the onset of the progressives and their egalitarian movements which put forth that the level of government which could affect the widest good should be tasked with doing so. That turned the Tenth Amendment on its head and basically started the idea that everything was to be handled by Washington D.C. and that the States, Counties and Cities would only be required to do those items which the Federal Government would task them to do and otherwise behave and wait for the big boys to handle their problems. That led to one size fits all solutions which were not tailored to localities in any manner and often resulted in waste and the more local governments having to fix things which they should have done themselves and thus would not have been anywhere near as broken. But why mess with such a perfect way of making even more of a mess.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 22, 2017

Did the Republicans Out Maneuver the Republicans?

 

President Trump made a miscalculation at the beginning of his term which he is unlikely to make again. He believed that as he had won the Presidency that he was now the leader of the Republican Party. He assumed that the Republican Party was very similar to the Democrat Party which he knew rather well having seen them operate for many of his years. He believed that the Republicans would be assisting him with his agenda. He now knows that his assumption was not quite valid. There were Republicans who believed that they had the right to control the Republican Party and that they were going to force President Trump to allow them to control the agenda no matter what it took. Their first stand was over repeal and replace of Obamacare where they prevented all three proposals from passing and brought President Trump to his realization that there was a sufficiently sizeable group of Republicans who did not care about the good for the American people, they cared solely about their power and control. They would sacrifice the Republican Party from holding the White House if it meant they could impose that they were the real powerful members of the Republican Party. They had everything figured out, they would hold the promises made by candidate Trump hostage until President Trump submitted to their control. Then they would dictate policy as they were meant to do. One felt particularly cheated because he should have been the Republican in the White House the past eight years but he was robbed by President Obama. Then they threatened to foil President Trump’s tax reform plans unless he allowed them to take charge and do what was the right thing to do. These rebelling Republicans were a motely group of very liberal Republicans plus a few very angry Republicans who despised that this upstart who has never held any elected office or paid his dues to the Republican Party was now the President and leader of their party, that is their party. They were not going to bow before this upstart and he was going to bow to them and they would finally dictate and make things right, make them how they had always believed they should be, finally achieve those things they knew were necessary.

 

President Trump is a different kind of politician, a business politician who believes in making deals as necessary. When he realized that because of this small band of aggravated Republicans who were bent on refusing him any victory, President Trump did the only thing which makes any business sense, he went to work with the Democrats. He offered the Democrats hope for a deal but first they had to prove they could produce the votes by giving him something he badly needed, raising the debt limit. The Democrats gave President Trump his debt ceiling increase and the will to achieve more things which they hold in common. There are Republicans who have accused and thought that President Trump would be right at home amongst the Democrats. Now there will be howls from the Republicans about President Trump joining with the Democrats and deserting the Republican Party. The discussion will be interesting between the Republicans and President Trump as each one accuses the other of betrayal. Which one honestly betrayed the other will depend upon one’s own views and probably which side your political bread is buttered. It might even just come down to which of the two main characters in this grand opera you believe is the better person, President Trump or Senator McCain. What comes next will prove to be telling and it will depend heavily on whether President Trump actually cares about working with the Republicans or now feels he has new friends he can depend upon.

 

Senator McCain versus President Trump

Senator McCain versus President Trump

 

The one thing, which we can tell President Trump, is that the Democrats suffer from an ideological block that only permits them to serve their own purposes. Then President Trump also needs to know that those renegade Republicans who appeared to hate his becoming President with so much passion that they refused to do things even that they had promised for the last seven years to their own constituents are just as untrustworthy. But it is very likely that the President already has this game figured and will work with whomever wishes to play ball with him and assist him in getting certain ideas pushed through to fruition. This may mean working with the Democrats on Tuesdays and Thursdays and working with the Republican on Mondays and Fridays and working with a combination made up from both parties who are simply interested in advancing what is best for the people of the United States on Wednesdays. In such a scenario, we predict that Wednesdays would be outstandingly productive. But the real question is what is the immediate path the President might try as neither party has a proven record or appears completely committed to his ideas and programs.

 

President Trump is going to need to prove that he really can perform the art of the deal. The question will be with whom he will be dealing. President Trump will most likely move to have the Republicans take a shot at passing his tax reform plan, something they will probably demand not be as deep a cut or that so many of the loopholes and deductions be removed. The Democrats would be even more averse to working with President Trump on any form of tax reduction unless he would agree to raising other taxes or enacting Single Payer Healthcare, otherwise known as Medicare for All. The Democrats have always been the deal makers where their half of the deal always has to be enacted first and too often their agreement to enact more later often does not come to fruition. At least that has been the record in their past, especially when it comes to amnesty for illegal aliens (undocumented immigrants) and closure of the border to prevent additional illegal aliens (undocumented immigrants). Fortunately, the President’s next major fight will be tax reduction and reform. This would be an area better suited to working with the Republican Party. That would be a good starting point for President Trump if that is his next venture, but he should also enlist any willing Democrat assistance available just in case the Republican rebellion is still in vogue, then the tax program could still have a good opportunity for passage. Wherever President Trump’s agenda plans may be, he might be required to enlist the willing on each program from both parties in order to bring his campaign promises to fruition. The immediate problems facing President Trump is finding a coalition of the willing from both parties and proceed with the work at hand. To do anything less would be disrespectful of those who elected him to accomplish those items he promised during the campaign. The voters did not care who President Trump works with, they just wanted him to work on those items he promised. They do not even care if he believes in that which he promised, they just demand that he deliver or he will have only one term. Then again, after the way President Trump has been treated, he may not desire another term which makes him even more of a problem as then he has nothing to lose by doing whatever he feels is necessary. At least things will be interesting, and that is very good for those who write about politics.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 18, 2017

Republican Party Committing Electoral Suicide

 

It seems there are two Republican Parties today. One is the elite, loyal guard who are what one might call the core of the presumed power structure. The other are the ones who win despite the party mostly ignoring their needs and election campaigns where they receive minimal help but run populist campaigns knocking on doors and speaking at every church, synagogue and every society which will allow. The power structure have campaign chests which if theirs and the Democrats’ were combined, the United States could probably put a good sized dent in the national debt. They are reelected because they have much of their district or state in their pocket and all the media give them good coverage always speaking respectfully of them. These long-time Congressional denizens also make up the core of the “Never Trumpers” who are making life near to impossible for the President. With the party split like this, it is not difficult to see a disaster in the making. And now the Republican “Never Trumpers” have decided that their opposition to the President surpasses the good of the Party. They refused to work with President Trump on repeal of Obamacare and are now rising for a fight over Tax Reform. When President Trump decided to pass the controversy over the repeal of President Obama’s DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to Congress rather than acting unilaterally, they decided they would refuse to act. Facing such stubborn refusal for cooperation from his own Party, President Trump did what he was all but forced into, he made a deal with the Democrat Party and now you should hear the howling. Those very same “Never Trumpers” are accusing the President of treason against the Party. But that is politics as usual, push somebody away and refuse to work with or even listen to them and then when they decide to work with other politicians who promise to be more receptive, then they are a traitor and are compromising your position and chance for reelection.

 

These head games and power struggles within the party are toxic, nothing less. The voters watch what is happening and eventually they are sickened and turn away. The Republican Party cannot understand why they can never hold a majority in the Congress for more than a couple of election cycles while the Democrat Party can do so often for decades at a time. One can only wonder if the Republicans ever take a moment from their internal squabbles to watch the Democrats in Congress. When there is a vote on any major legislation where the Democrat voters have shown a preference, the Democrats invoke Party solidarity and almost the entirety will vote as one. The Republican base of support gave a voice of support and preference over the past six years since Obamacare was passed that they wanted it repealed. The Republican base has always supported tax code simplification and lower taxes. They have always supported fewer regulations. President Trump has made a ruling that for every regulation enacted, that department must retire two regulations. President Trump has repealed numerous regulations which were invoked by Presidential edict by President Obama by using the identical power to revoke them. President Trump agreed to permit the Congress to consider three separate means to choose between to repeal Obamacare, and they chose none of them largely because the Republican Party could not enforce Party unity while the Democrats were the epitome of Party unity. Then they threatened an entangling argument over tax reform and rate lowering just because President Trump needed it and they hate President Trump and believe he is a false Republican. President Trump has tried to represent the Republican conservative agenda but apparently, that has not been good enough and that is why they are opposing exactly the things they had promised they would work on to their constituents.

 

Never Trump Republican Core

Never Trump Republican Core

 

Of course, they are playing the usual games and each taking a turn to vote for everything while in the end voting against them all so when asked they can claim they supported the exact things they defeated. We have explained this game before where they have more than one of the same bill so each can vote for one while voting against the others thus defeating important bills but being able to say on the campaign that they voted for the best version of the legislation and it was not their fault it failed, it was those other Republicans. They make it so they can all have the same excuse and depend on nobody being able to understand the backhanded dealings they use to deceive their constituents. That has become the whole new game, fool the voters into believing that you are doing as they desire while serving to enlarge the government and give more power and wealth to the top five percent, and both parties are playing the same game. The difference is that the Democrats are at least slightly more honest as they purport to serve the ever greater government, the Republicans are supposed to be for limited government. For those old enough, this can be confusing as in our youth the Democrats were for less government and the Republicans were for more government. We guess that is also part of the political cycles. There are all forms of political cycles. There was a time when the Republicans voted as a block much of the time and the Democrats were the party of the loud arguments. That was back when the Democrats wanted smaller government. Apparently, if you desire to make government smaller, then you argue because everybody wants to make government smaller by taking from the other places while keeping all the government which enriches your voters. The problem is to make government smaller, you have to take away from somebody and the best method would be to have everybody volunteer to surrender something such that everybody invests in a smaller government. But it will never work because then there will be arguments that one only lost fifty jobs and my district would lose two-hundred jobs and that is not fair. When you are a politician, you can demand that everything be fair as long as they are more fair for you and yours.

 

The Republicans were given a mandate by those who elected Donald Trump to be President. They stated four or five basic things that they insisted be accomplished. They demanded Obamacare be repealed, taxes be lowered, regulations be repealed, government be shrunk, and that the Republicans work together and accomplish this immediately if not sooner. This has not happened and unless it does before the end of the year, then the voters will be very upset. There is a reason why the Republican Party does not dominate the Congress year after year. It is not because they do not have the voters potentially. The problem is that the Republicans have upset so many voters who have let their registration slip away and never returned to the voter rolls. Their actions have even sent such a distracting and fractured message that some conservatives have simply never registered believing that it really does not matter because no politician ever actually represents true conservatism. The Republicans just have this ability to appear as if they are in a constant state of confusion leading to indecision followed by the inability to accomplish anything of consequence which their voters demand of them. This leads to frustration for their voters and this also leads to them turning away from political news and stop voting. Part of the problem can be represented through the Congressman who represents the first Congressional District in Oklahoma, Jim Bridenstine. He won a populist primary to win his first term by walking much of the district going door-to-door meeting the constituents. When he came up for reelection after winning by a near record vote his first term, the Republican Party should have rushed and supported him but instead they ran a Party functionary against him in the primary elections. Jim Bridenstine defeated this Republican challenge in an embarrassing and overwhelming manner and has served to the current time. Jim Bridenstine now leads President Trump’s list to become the next head of NASA which makes sense, as he is an Air Force veteran and also has a degree in administration. Perhaps this is yet another Republican conspiracy to replace him in Congress. How is that for a wild conspiracy theory. Perhaps it is the Republican secret plan to lose the seat to the Democrats, except this would be next to impossible. On the other side, a Democrat from this district would be more conservative than a Republican from Massachusetts.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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