The Amnesiac GOP – Party of Dismantling

[Edited May 8, 2016…]

I have been gestating an idea in my head for about a week.

A comment on a Thomas Friedman article in the NY Times Trump and the Lord’s Work by one Mary Scott included this, which ties in with my developing thinking:
“Four years after the Republicans regained the House, they’d produced the least productive terms since we’ve been keeping track.”

My conjecture is that the 62 years from 1933 to 1995 left that party scarred.  That was when the GOP had 58 years of being a minority party in Congress. The other four years brought the country the Red Scare and the McCarthy era.

Scarred how?  No, not by McCarthy or by other red baiters.  Participants in those like Roy Cohn and Richard Nixon.  Scarred by simply being a minority party too long.

IN AMNESIA

Because of two full generations of resisting the actions (solutions enacted to perceived problems) of the Democrats – I want to ask the question:

Did they forget how to govern?  62 years is a LONG freaking time to never run things.

Majority parties and minority parties have to do things differently.  Majority parties initiate bills. Minority parties find reasons to resist against those bills.  Majority party members scan the horizon for both problems to solve and the solutions to those problems. Minority parties do neither; their members have no need to look ahead and see what is going on.  They are too busy trying to put the brakes on.  Simply put, majority parties are gas pedals, while minority parties are brake pedals.

But what happens when a party is in the minority for a very long time and then finds itself in the driver’s seat?  Can it shift gears and become the initiators, the gas pedal instead of the brake?  Can it govern AS an initiator? Or does the braking mentality continue?

LET’S TAKE A LOOK

What kind of laws do Republicans pass?  HAVE they passed?

What kinds of actions have Republican Presidents taken?

Laws repealing other laws.  Laws trying to undo Democratic Party past actions.

Examples:

  • Union busting actions like Reagan’s PATCO dissolution in the 1980s, in violation of the Wagner Act (a New Deal law allowing collective bargaining) which allowed for the proliferation of unions.
  • Stifling the regulatory agencies – partly by installing Directors who were antipathetical to the very regulations the agency exists to enforce.
  • 62 attempts by the U.S. House to repeal the ACA (Obamacare) – all unsuccessful.
  • Repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, the law prohibiting commercial banks from engaging in investment banking practices.  Within 9 years the Crash of 2008 occurred.
  • Abolishment of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 by a Reagan-appointed FCC Chairman.
  • 62 or so attempts by the House to repeal the ACA, Obamacare.

It is not difficult to see in this the genesis of the “tax and spend Democrats” phrase that has been parroted down the years. To be only standing on the sidelines and unable to generate anything of their own, while the Dems did all sorts of things from the New Deal to the New Frontier – Did that emasculation have an effect?  I know that Republican fathers and grandfathers have imbued the Republican mindset into their offspring – including hatred of all things FDR.  But did those fathers and grandfathers ALSO fail to transmit ANY idea that governing includes RESPONSIBILITY to solve new problems that arose? Continue reading

THE MAGIC NUMBER SAYS THAT THE BERN IS DONE

I’ve known all this for some time now.  Hillary Clinton has it in the bag.  Sanders does NOT have a path to victory.

It is my opinion that Sanders is well aware of it, but refuses to let his people know how bad it is.

Here is the MAGIC NUMBER 639.

WHY? She now has 1744 delegates, INCLUDING the superdelegates that Sanders is humping for RIGHT NOW.  He is humping for them because he knows those votes of those delegates COUNT.  He will be lucky to flip 5.  Out of Hillary’s 475.  WHOOP DE DOO.

So, when Hillary gets 639 more delegates, she will have 2383. When she DOES, she will have won.  CAN SHE?

A piece of cake.  Based on the latest polls, she will get about 789 from WI-NY-CA-PA-NJ-CT-MD-RI-DE-NM-PR-DC, and there ain’t a lot Sanders can do about that.

Can he cut it down by 100? Maybe.  But too little, too late.

For those who can’t count it up, 789 is 150 MORE than the 639 she needs to clinch. So if she gets that many (as it seems) she will have 150 more than the 2383.  That makes 2533.

CLINCH!

When she CLINCHES, IT’S OVER.  BERNIE LOSES.

And those 789 aren’t all.

There are another 288 or so for her in not-so-friendly states like ND-SD-WY-MT-IN-OR-GU-WV-KY-VI. She will get those because of the proportional primaries that the Democrats run.

She will then have 2821, more or less.

And THOSE aren’t all, either. THEN there are the 217 uncommitted SUPERDELEGATES, who, once she gets really close (like after PA) will start committing to Hillary. Expect 200 of those for her. She will THEN have 3021 give or take a few.

Continue reading

WE’RE #6, HEY! WE’RE #6! — Voter Turnout Rates – Again

Politifact did a puff piece on Bernie Sanders today, Mostly True: Bernie Sanders’ claim about America’s ‘lowest on earth’ voter turnout.

“Today, the United States has, sadly, one of the lowest voter turnouts of any major country on earth,” Sanders claimed.

Of all the claims candidates make during a primary season about the least controversial is voter turnout rates, but Politifact chose that to focus on.  I suppose that ones that are data-based are the easiest to tackle, and with a puff piece they maybe didn’t want to work very hard.

But they didn’t get it right.  The only source for their data can be the census.gov website, and I have that data myself, having written about it twice recently.  THE BIG LIE ABOUT VOTER TURNOUT (I MEAN IT)There it is again: In 2012 86.8% of registered voters DID vote, but. . ., and The Golden Ballot Award for 2012 – Who Will Win in 2016?

AMAZINGLY, Politifact says this:

“Last May, the Pew Research Center ranked the United States 31st among 34 developed countries in voting turnout. The center examined votes cast as a percentage of countries’ estimated voting-age population.”

Now, what is wrong with this statement?  Say someone is 25, a legal immigrant, and living in New York City. Is that person voting-age population”?  Yes.  Is there ANY legal chance he can vote?  No.

YOU CANNOT USE VOTING-AGE POPULATION TO DERIVE THESE VOTING RATES, POLITIFACT! Continue reading

Delegate math says. . .

Okay, let’s do a little delegate math…

Democratic primaries…

What Does Clinton Need to Close It Out?

She’s closer to winning it then the News Media is telling us.

Hillary Clinton has 1,160 pledged delegates plus 465 PLEOs (superdelegates) for a total of 1,625 total delegates. Ignore the Sanders people who think the superdelegates will switch en masse.  They are misunderstanding both delegates math and human nature.  They REASLLY don’t know who those superdelegats are.  Which is really dumb, because it is even on Wiki, right down to their names – all of them.  A simple google turns it up.  How lazy can so many people BE?

So to get to the required 2,383, she needs 758 more pledged delegates. Once she gets there no superdelegate who prefers her (467 right now) will possibly change his/her mind.  To do so would be political suicide – pun intended.

So, she needs 758, and there are a total of 2,278 delegates of all sorts remaining. Of those, 2,053 are pledged delegates available in the primaries and caucuses.

Let’s see what she needs to do to get her 758 out of those 2,053 pledged delegates available in the upcoming 29 contests.

That 758 is 36.92% of the 2,053. That certainly sounds damned doable and, frankly, EASY.  She is now pulling 58.5% of ALL votes thus far cast.

There is no need to look at what Sanders needs. If SHE gets those 758 delegates, it’s all over, period. Continue reading

Democratic Primaries – It’s All Over But the Shouting

It’s Over.  As good of a campaign Bernie Sanders has run – principled, sticking to the issues, mostly very respective of his opponents, and inspiring to a high degree – it is going to end up short of winning the Democratic nomination.

There were certainly moments when it seemed possible.  But in the end, no.  No cigar, no coronation, no brass ring, and no chance to battle a Republican in the fall.

Throwing a Scare Into Clinton

Before I started looking at the numbers – the state polls – it seemed like the upstart, brand new Democrat  Bernie Sanders was going to give Hillary Clinton a real tussle.  The scuttle on the street was that Sanders had a huge surge of new hyper-active participants and was going to have a huge wave behind them.

I have thought all along the Clinton was the strongest nominee possible, and in this year of anticipated Tea Party vs GOP bigwigs civil war on the other side of the aisle, it seemed that if the Democrats were going to have a relative outsider come in and get the nod, a real chance to take advantage of the chaos on the other side would be lost.

I Had to Go See What the Score Was

So, fretfully, I started looking up what the polls were saying.  How strong WAS the Sanders Surge?

The numbers are available in at least two convenient places.  One is at Real Clear Politics, here. The other is at Wikipedia, here.

Immediately I was surprised by how WIDE the margins were for Hillary over Sanders.  Scrolling down, in state after state, Sanders was, apparently, getting his butt kicked, to put it mildly.  For every state Sanders led, Hillary was leading in 3 or 4.  In addition, knowing the lay of the politics of Presidential campaigns, I knew which were swing states and which were BIG states.  At that time Sanders was not leading in any of those – except New Hampshire.  NH IS a swing state; it’s not a big state.

So, a picture came into focus of Sanders leading in lily white rural states. Eventually, what I affectionately call Kumbayah states joined Sanders’ stable of rural white states – CO, WA, OR, MN.   That was about it.

So, even before Iowa and New Hampshire opened up the primary season, it was apparent that Clinton was going to pull ahead with South Carolina and keep pulling ahead.

In a Week, the Lead Will Be Over 370

Now, about half an hour before the polls close in Michigan, all of that has come to pass.  In one week 5 good sized states – FL, IL, MO, OH, and NC – will vote, with all but one of those in the bag for Clinton.  Missouri might go for Sanders.  With no polls since last August, who knows?  But I currently show Clinton on net picking up about 74 delegates in FL, 72 in IL, 33 in OH, and 13 in NC.  NS has a fairly old ‘latest’ poll, and if that goes either way, I’d guess more toward Clinton. That is a gain of about 192 more delegates.  Added to the 180 or so she is ahead already, that would give her a legitimate lead of about 372 delegates.  And that is before the superdelegates.

They Say That Catching Up Is Hard To Do

372 may not sound like  much, but ask Sanders’ numbers guys – that is NOT easy to overcome in a proportional voting primary system.  Sanders so far has only 3 state wins with margins of over 10 delegates.  The largest is only 16.  Even at 16 per state in the future, that would take 23 states to catch up. Continue reading

I LOVE the Smell of Napalm in the GOP Mourning

From a DailyKos post yesterday:

As Michael Grunwald pointed out in an incisive Twitter rant Tuesday, it’s exactly this type of blind partisan crusade absent a shred of intellectual honesty that primed the GOP base for an ideological wild card like Trump.

“My basic critique of the GOP was that it wasn’t on the level. It wasn’t about conservatism. It was about politics and power,”

How can so many students of all of this miss the history and not understand that this — NONE of this — is by accident or spur of the moment, or congress by congress decision making?

This all began with the Powell Memo in 1971, a list sent to the President of the US Chamber of Commerce by Lewis Powell VERY shortly before Nixon nominated him to the Supreme Court.  (Does that or does that not give ANY kind of hint how actually political the SCOTUS is?)

In the memo was a manifesto for “taking back the country from the Liberals”, in all — ALL — aspects of control.  They included  the White House, the Congress, the judges at all levels, the university professorships, and most decidedly, the news media.  All of it was in recognition of the fact that all those since the New Deal had been centers of power and information — and teaching — and interpretations of the laws, as well as simply controlling what legislation occurred – Liberal legislation, Democratic legislation.

Since 1933, the Democrats had controlled Congress for all but 4 years – 34 out of 38 years.  The majorities were often filibuster-proof, so the conservatives had NO influence.  And when they DID, they went crazy with people like Joe McCarthy and the McCarthy hearings.  That gave voters strong incentive to not make the mistake very often of voting in Republicans. Continue reading

When Bernie Fails, What Are the College Kids Going to Do?

Who are the college kids going to vote for, between Hillary and Trump?

Anyone who thinks Trump gets their votes is out of his batshit crazy mind.

So, 50% stay home? Wow, that would be a shocker. They are going to throw a temper tantrum and hold their breath till they are purple, with the craziest GOP candidate ever looming out there and Scalia’s replacement on the line? Great citizens there.

There are TWO reasons for voting.  One is FOR something.  The other is AGAINST someone and something.  (I know, brilliant. . . No one has ever thought of that before…)

They will NEVER get their free tuition if the Dems don’t win. This election is THE turning point.

They want more Liberal.  Fine.  Not now, but it’s coming.  “PATIENCE, my Pretties!”

More Liberal (eventually) probably means one step at a time, Hillary now, and build a Democratic sanity back into government. The government isn’t dysfunctional BECAUSE of the Dems, but in spite of the Dems’ best efforts to STOP the idiocy and criminality and deregulation.

Eight years of Hillary will mark 24 out of the last 32 years that we had a Dem in the WH. ONLY that and the years we had Dem majorities in Congress were sane years. Not perfect, but not insane.

The Repugs are self-immolating before our eyes. This is a GREAT opportunity to make BIG inroads into the majorities in Congress. The Senate is more or less a lock for 51 or better. The House – in the House we need 30 wins. That’s tough.

Which is why we need COATTAILS.

It might be worth noting that in 2006, Bush’s last off-year election, when the GOP brand lost credibility, the Dems won 32 and took over. The GOoPer brand isn’t any more popular today than then. And if Trump really DOES have a ceiling of 35-40%, and if the establishment Repugs are talking LOUD about bailing on this election (if not the party), this is a royal opportunity.