Category Archives: Republican(s)

Can the GOP survive Trump’s never-ending obsession with himself?

Someone recommended this blog post to me. I think Mr Goldberg’s analysis is pretty good. I will quibble on a few points (see below). mrossol

By Jonah Goldberg,  October 15, 2021

       
   

(Photograph by Scott Olson/Getty Images.)

Dear Reader (including whoever put the lime in the coconut and shook it all up),

As Jerome Powell whispered, don’t worry, baby, this will be transitory.

What I mean is that this Friday “news”letter marks the end of third party week. And I’m really not going to jump back into the weeds on that subject anyway. (By the way, I’ve opened up the Wednesday G-File to the masses in case you want to get in on the action.)  

I don’t really mind people thinking I’m wrong about the tactical and strategic stuff. One of the ways you figure out what’s right is by kicking the tires on what’s wrong. I don’t mind people thinking I’m wrong about the philosophical stuff, either. I’m just more willing to stand my ground on principles than I am on prudential questions like, “Will it work?” If it wouldn’t work, why would I want to do it in the first place? (Great line.. mrossol)

Think of it this way: Say my kid is suddenly really ill and I think it’s appendicitis. I say to the E.R. doctor, “You gotta operate right now!” If the doctor responds, “Um, it’s food poisoning. You don’t cut people open for that,” I’m not going to get all huffy and insist he bust out the scalpel, because doctors know more about the icky stuff inside of people than I do. But if the doctor says, “Let her suffer. Suffering is good for the soul. Besides, it’s my lunch break.” Well—as I’d probably have to explain to the cops and maybe the jury—I’m going to have a more forceful response.

In other words, if you disagree with me about my proposed solution to the problem, that’s cool; let’s talk it through. But if you disagree with me on whether or not there is a problem in the first place, we’re gonna have a very different conversation.  Agree- mrossol.

So here’s the funny thing: Nobody wants to have that conversation (although I’m sure some MAGA types are going full Gorka on me—never go full Gorka). But among people worth listening to, there’s a lot of agreement on the diagnosis and a lot of disagreement on the treatment. I particularly like the rich cocktail of stoicism, cynicism, and hopefulness in Erick Erickson’s take. It’s like getting a motivational greeting card from Werner Herzog. He writes:

It’s all gross and unseemly, but I think what is happening now is a passing fad. A large group of people came into politics inspired by Trump. They don’t really know what they’re doing in politics or how it all works. Now the billionaires who want in on the action are throwing money around and they’re getting played by the grifters and bled dry. The island of misfit toys is trying to lead them all. The professional establishment operators are experts at playing all sides and the odds are in their favor. They’re not conservatives. But they aren’t really crazy either.

But note that the Calvin Coolidge-esque resignation about the problem isn’t a denial of the problem’s existence. Remember one of my favorite quotes from Coolidge: “If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.” Erick’s position seems to be that the problem I identify is likely to be one of the nine that goes into a ditch on its own.  I agree – mrossol.

I sincerely hope he’s right. But I still disagree with Eric on a few things. For instance, I’m still not fully convinced my idea wouldn’t work. I worry more about the role of small donors than I do about the really big ones. J.D. Vance may be attached to Peter Thiel like a sucker fish, but unless the fat cats are laundering money through a bunch of dummy accounts, buffoons like Marjorie Taylor Greene and political appetites in a skin suit (looking at you, Josh Hawley) are raising a ton of money through small donations.

Donald Trump, third party of one.

But you know what does give me hope? Donald Trump. The other day, he issued a fantastic statement:

If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ‘22 or ‘24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do.

I love this statement so much it makes me want to take off my wedding ring, suck in my stomach, and ask it to go to Bermuda with me. Ha! mrossol.

All week I’ve been hearing from people—smart people, dumb people, sincere people, performative Twitter jackass people—that it’s bad, wrong, traitorous, stupid, misguided, or insane for me to actively try to hurt the GOP because of my personal obsessions. “Don’t you understand,” friends and foes alike ask, “that you’ll single-handedly give total power to the Democrats and they’ll print a whole roll of trillion-dollar coins, invoke prima nocta in red states, mandate that face masks be surgically sewn into our faces (causing the starvation of millions), make skim almond milk the only legal form of dairy, and give nuclear weapons to the Taliban? Is that what you want you RINO cuck TDS-besotted jackass? Is it?”  I don’t think this is what Goldberg is doing. mrossol

Okay, I’m paraphrasing and exaggerating just a bit for effect, but you get the point. In all of this, I’m the one who needs to compromise with the “freedom flu” crowd for the greater good; I’m the one who needs to stop relitigating the past; I’m the one putting my concerns ahead of the real issues that affect real Americans; I’m the one who needs to be a sober-eyed grown-up about politics.

And then in comes Trump, making waves like a stumbling drunk who didn’t see the hot tub until too late, literally saying that Democrats should win every election uncontested unless everyone “solves” the object of his batshit bullshittery. The single most important thing for Republicans to address isn’t critical race theory, vaccine mandates, the border, the supply chain cock-up, inflation, or anything having to do with foreign policy. It’s their commitment to a claim that was shot down by every court that looked at it, not to mention Trump’s own attorney general(s).  So I agree that what the Republican’s single most important issues are NOT.  But what I disagree with is that Goldberg (and others like him) seem to suggest, if not outright saying it, is that the election(s) of 2020 were 100% legitimate, honest, and that there is nothing “wrong” with process.  They are willing to believe something that is very, very unlikely.  mrossol

At least my solutions are aimed at the future and grounded in real policy stuff. I’m trying to figure out how to make the GOP better, more successful, and conservative in the long run. Meanwhile, Trump’s stolen election fantasy is simply and entirely about his own selfish id, his unrestrained narcissism, and his complete lack of concern with anything approaching real issues. He might as well be venting about how the time travel in Back to the Future really didn’t make much sense, given how little this stolen election nonsense has to do with not only reality, but stuff that might be helpful for the GOP. In other words, my alleged “Trump obsession” isn’t the issue or even a problem. But Trump’s very real and deranged Trump obsession is.

It already cost the GOP control of the Senate by losing Georgia. Now Trump proposes losing the whole country if his ego isn’t stroked. But damn you, Goldberg, be a team player!

By the way, what in the name of Thor does Trump mean by “solve” anyway? Does it mean “make him president again before the midterms”? Does it mean a do-over of the election? Does it mean a 500-foot-tall carnivorous purple bunny that craps cold fusion reactors that smell like chocolate?  Because that makes as much sense.

Look, even if a joint investigation of the Claremont Review of Books, Gateway Pundit, One America News, and the MyPillow coupon sampler could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the election was “stolen,” you know what happens next under the Constitution? Nothing. Biden would still be president. Unless of course you think that such fraud should be punished by impeachment and removal. Fair enough. Have fun getting those 67 votes in the Senate. But let’s say you do. Know what happens then? Kamala Harris becomes president. Well, she was obviously in on it, too, so she has to go. Okay, then Nancy Pelosi becomes president. Maybe you should stop there, because next in line is Pat Leahy. And after that, John frick’n Kerry. But you know who isn’t on even the extended list of those next in line to become president? Donald Trump. (It’s amazing how many people who have “constitutional conservative” in their Twitter bio don’t understand this.) Agree. Not sure there is a “solve”. mrossol

In other words, who needs a third party to punish the GOP when you have Donald Trump running around punching every team player in the groin with a spikey iron gauntlet? Charlie Cooke and my other friends at National Review who disagreed with my call for a third party are right that if the Sanity Caucus within conservatism cost the GOP control of Congress or the White House, they’d get blamed. And that would ultimately hurt the causes I care about. So just letting the cultists play out their auto-erotic masochism, as Erick suggests, makes sense.  

My only objection to this scenario is that it hasn’t worked. Trump cost the GOP Georgia’s two Senate seats. Trump lost the presidency and both houses of Congress. He swapped many of the most reliable and valuable voters in the GOP coalition for the least reliable and valuable ones.  Partially agree, mrossol.

(Before a bunch of eggheads who pretend to be the authentic voice of the working class when they’re not talking about post-liberal integralism get all worked up about this claim, let me make clear I’m not talking about the value of these groups as human beings, but as voters. College educated suburbanites turned out reliably for the GOP in places where their votes were decisive. Rural voters and voters without college degrees—many of whom are already in red states—turn out less and less reliably, particularly when Trump isn’t on the ticket.)

Anyway, sorry for the long parenthetical. Where were we? Oh, right: Trump has hurt the GOP and continues to hurt the GOP in tangible ways. Yet where are the grown-ups saying, “Okay, it’s time to learn our lesson”? Normally, the faction responsible for wrecking the party hands over the car keys to the faction that gets to say, “I told you so.” Some Republicans did say it, finally, after the January 6 riot.  Like the word “stolen” isn’t the right word to describe the 2020 election, “riot” is not the right word to use for January 6.  It validates all the lies that the left and Dems are leveling at citizens who think different then they. mrossol.

Such Republicans can be divided into two groups. Group A—the House and Senate members who voted for impeachment—is on defense. The House members are being purged. The senators are keeping a low profile. None of them have the whip hand in restoring the GOP to sanity. 

Group B? Well, that’s pretty much everyone else. Nearly all of them have backtracked or apologized in word or deed. Lindsey Graham said he was done with Trump nine months ago. Now he wants to draft Donald Trump for president. Heck, Trump unleashed a mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence” on a vice president who was so loyal for four years he made a Stepford wife look like a randy swinger. We use the term “lynch mob” figuratively a lot in politics. But Trump sicced a literal lynch mob on Pence. And now Pence is attacking [checks notes] the media for making such a big deal about all this.

So again, I’m hoping that Erick is right and this will all fix itself in due course. I’m just skeptical, because for five years I’ve been told, “This can’t last,” “The grown-ups will fix it,” “Trump wouldn’t dare,” “The rank-and-file GOP would never tolerate that,” and “You’re making way too big a deal about this stuff,” etc.  Agree. I don’t think this will fix itself. mrossol

All of those claims were wrong. And the wrongness only seems to be intensifying.

Canine update: Lots of people want to know about Pippa’s medical travails, so here’s the latest. One surgeon told us if her ankle got worse, she’d need surgery to pretty much fuse the joint. She’d still have a limp, but it wouldn’t be painful anymore. We decided it was time and brought her in for a consultation with a different surgeon (the first one is on leave). He’s skeptical that surgery is needed. This might be great news, or it might not. He thinks she might have Lyme disease or some other tick-borne illness, because she seems to have joint pain elsewhere as well. Maybe it’s all treatable with medicine and no surgery (which would be great). Or maybe it’s not (which would be terrible). We’re doing the tests, hemorrhaging the money, etc. We love the sweet, crazy girl. I promise to let you know the outcome.

Meanwhile, I’m on a plane to visit my daughter and I’m pretty giddy about it (the daughter-seeing, not the flying). The dogs are having a sleepover at “Aunt” Kirsten’s house. They love it there. Meanwhile, Gracie is staying home with a personal attendant who will also keep an eye on the house. I’ll be back on Tuesday, but the Fair Jessica will be on a business trip for a while (she’s an assassin), which means it’ll just be me and the quadrupeds for like 10 days.

Link to post.

Share

Texas Governor Issues Executive Order Banning Vaccine Mandates by Any Entity

By Mimi Nguyen Ly  October 11, 2021

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday issued an executive order that bans vaccine mandates by any entity, including private employers, in the state.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a statement upon issuing the order.

The executive order (pdf) states, “No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.”

“I hereby suspend all relevant statutes to the extent necessary to enforce this prohibition,” Abbott wrote in the order.

He also added the issue as an agenda to the third special legislative session which is currently convened until Oct. 19, to give lawmakers the opportunity to pass a law to similar effect.

“The executive order will be rescinded upon the passage of such legislation,” Abbott wrote.

President Joe Biden in September issued a directive to compel private companies with over 100 employees to have their workers be vaccinated or tested weekly. Once in force, companies face $13,600 in fines per violation.

At the time, Abbott called Biden’s move “an assault on private businesses” and said that “Texas is already working to halt this power grab,” joining more than a dozen states in resisting the mandate.

The text of Abbott’s latest executive order, GA-40, reads, “in yet another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ s continued recovery from the COVID- 19 disaster.”

It adds, “countless Texans fear losing their livelihoods because they object to receiving a COVID-19 vaccination for reasons of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.”

The governor noted in his executive order that the Texas legislature “has taken care to provide exemptions that allow people to opt out of being forced to take a vaccine for reasons of conscience or medical reasons.”

Abbott previously in June signed into law a measure that bans government entities and private businesses from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for service or entry. Businesses that don’t comply with the law will not be able to enter any state contracts and will be ineligible to receive a grant.

A previous executive order Abbott signed in April did not cover private businesses with regard to vaccine passports.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/texas-governor-issues-executive-order-banning-vaccine-mandates-by-any-entity_4043807.html?utm_source=Morningbrief&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mb-2021-10-12&mktids=651f3475548f8989f507e025f83b639c&est=vwH5eBqJZUNdvSOaWprLRvV6e/0MR9UXLlM+U6hryxfdwFU/xvA4a0JP4n/p9w==

Share

Tim Scott: A man for our time

It was excellent. “The first reason I am where I am is because I had a praying mother.” He also stated his becoming a Christian was decisive in his life. I was impressed with this man. mrossol

WSJ 4/30/2021

Sen. Tim Scott gives the GOP response to President Biden’s joint session address on April 28.

PHOTO: PRESS POOL
 

The worst job in Washington is delivering the out-of-power party’s rebuttal to a President’s address to Congress. Invariably the poor soul looks small in comparison to a President addressing all branches of government and the American people from the well of the House.

Until Tim Scott.

On Wednesday the junior Senator from South Carolina offered the Republican response to Joe Biden’s the-era-of-very-big-government-is-back speech. He laid out what the GOP is against in the Biden agenda, but also what it is for, and the principles behind it. He also called out progressive hypocrisies, such as those who call him “Uncle Tom and the N-word” because he is a black Republican. Underscoring his point, that same night “Uncle Tim” was trending on Twitter until the platform shut it down Thursday.

 

The most electrifying moment came when he squarely addressed an issue now tearing the nation apart. “Hear me clearly,” Mr. Scott said. “America is not a racist country.

Most Americans know this. But too many of our leaders are unwilling or afraid to say so publicly. He made clear he was not saying America is perfect, or that racism is totally behind us. Even as a Senator, he said, he knows what it’s like “to be pulled over for no reason” or “to be followed around a store while I’m shopping.”

What he objects to are those who wield race as a political weapon, hoping “to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.” He called out Democrats for blocking even a debate on his police reform bill last year after the death of George Floyd.

 

But the bulk of his message was about hope. “This should be a joyful springtime for our nation,” he said. American families deserve “better” than what the President is offering—and then he went on to define better:

“Just before COVID, we had the most inclusive economy in my lifetime. The lowest unemployment ever recorded for African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. The lowest for women in nearly 70 years. Wages were growing faster for the bottom 25% than the top 25%. That happened because Republicans focused on expanding opportunity for all Americans.”

America’s “best future,” he said, “won’t come from Washington schemes.” He called President Biden a “good man,” but went on to say that what we need more than a multi-trillion dollar tax-and-spending plan is “common sense and common ground.” If he has hope in America’s future, it’s in part because he has seen what American opportunity can do for ordinary citizens, taking his own family “from cotton to Congress in one lifetime.”

In sum, Sen. Scott offered an optimistic Republican vision that stresses the dignity of work, individual freedom over government dependence, and belief in the principle of equal opportunity for all to rise.

That message is especially timely for a GOP that is still divided over Donald Trump, who wants the party to continue fighting over the 2020 election. That’s a loser’s game. Mr. Biden is trying to jam a super-sized government agenda through Congress with narrow majorities and no mandate. America needs a vital opposition party to make a principled case against that agenda and focus on the future. Mr. Scott showed them the way.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/tim-scotts-gop-revival-message-11619735889?mod=opinion_lead_pos2

Share

A New Coalition to Advance U.S. Global Interests

WSJ 4/28/21  By Elliot Abrams

The U.S. is at a critical crossroads when it comes to the defense of American freedom, security and prosperity. Around the world, the U.S. faces significant national-security threats. Chief among them are revisionist powers, the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and transnational terrorism and crime—all made more dangerous by renewed great-power competition with, and myriad threats posed by, the Chinese Communist Party.

None of these challenges will disappear if America abandons the international role it has maintained since World War II as the superpower leader of the free world. Each threat requires U.S. leadership if the country’s security, economic interests, and values are to be protected. That is why today I am joining with 75 other national security scholars and practitioners to launch the Vandenberg Coalition, a new network committed to advancing a strong and proud American foreign policy.

The coalition brings together people representing diverse approaches, experiences and political views. All share a belief in the U.S. role in world affairs and a deep concern that the Republican Party needs to adopt a forward-looking foreign policy for today’s unprecedented security environment—an approach that draws on the best successes of all previous administrations while learning from the failures. Those of us joined in this effort split during the Trump years: Some (including me) served in the administration; some were “never Trumpers.” But we were never divided over the importance of American global leadership, and today we reassert that unity in advancing U.S. national interests.

Vandenberg’s philosophy is based on six principles:

First, American security depends on leadership. The U.S. must remain the most powerful and influential nation in the world. Tempting though it may be, threats won’t simply go away if America retreats into isolationism. On the contrary, these challenges are likely to get worse.

Second, a strong America is a safe America. The U.S. must have a well-funded, effective military and security infrastructure to protect its people and deter aggression.

Third, strategic cooperation serves U.S. interests. Robust alliances among sovereign nations and the strategic use of multilateral institutions advance American security. The U.S. alliance system is a huge asset that must be strengthened.

Fourth, free and fair trade advances the prosperity and security of the American people. The U.S. must sustain its defense industrial base, lead efforts against predatory economic practices such as intellectual-property theft experienced in recent decades at the hands of China, and promote respect for the rules of international trade and commerce.

Fifth, we support a proud U.S. foreign policy that champions American values without apology.

Sixth, foreign policy should be responsive to all Americans—not only those in Washington or with the clout to hire lobbyists. The effect of trade deals on employment, for example, should weigh at least as much on policy makers as their effect on the corporate bottom line.

The coalition will promote this foreign-policy approach through vigorous engagement with elected officials, candidates, policy makers and the public. Our governing board, advisory board, and staff represent an array of universities, think tanks and previous administrations. This includes the highest levels of the Trump administration, both Bush administrations, and the Reagan administration. Our board itself shows this: It is comprised of Eric Edelman, Matt Pottinger, Kristen Silverberg, Kathryn Wheelbarger and myself. Vandenberg is a coalition in the truest sense, unifying a range of men and women in common cause to advance the principles and policies that we believe will strengthen our nation and protect Americans.

Mr. Abrams served in the White House and State Department in the Reagan, George W. Bush and Trump administrations. He is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-new-coalition-to-advance-u-s-global-interests-11619649120?mod=opinion_lead_pos7

Share