Category Archives: Politics

Political commentary (i.e. rants) from Ed Ruth

The Trump Running Mate Question

I continue to watch in dismay as many of the people I consider to be great conservative minds flounder each week as they write articles about Donald Trump. Half of their articles are about trying to convince the GOP base to vote against Trump and the other half of their articles seem to reflect their confusion as to why none of the base is listening to them. It is clear that many of these astute minds have been going to DC dinner parties for too long and would do well to go live in “fly over” America for a while to regain perspective. The latest of these articles are being written as commentators across America are accepting that Republican voters have decided that Trump will be the nominee and are starting to discuss who his Vice Presidential running mate might be.

George Will is one of my favorite writers and I had high hopes when I saw he’d written a new article titled “In case of Trump nomination, break glass“. I had hoped that perhaps he was referencing the so-called “glass ceiling” and was going to reference that wisdom of perhaps choosing a female running mate to shore up his supposed problem with women voters. Instead, I read an article about how the GOP should help him lose in November so Republicans can preserve their 162-year old party identity. It’s a shame really. I respect George Will but have to conclude that he’s been “inside the beltway” for too long and can’t see that conservative voters and like-minded independents are drawn to Trump specifically because they no longer fit into that old party identity.

Next, I read a National Review article titled “Weighing Trump’s Running-Mate Options” with hopes of a more balanced outlook on potential Trump running mates. Instead, it’s just a rather simplistic analysis of running mates suggested by Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza’s recent article. Both articles accurately suggest why several possible candidates would not be helpful and both articles fail to mention several much more likely candidates. Both articles correctly mention Iowa Senator Joni Ernst as one smart possibility and both correctly mention that Ohio Governor John Kasich is basically throwing paper plane-folded resumes in Trumps direction but those are about the only smart comments in either article.

It is reflective of their deep dislike of Donald Trump that so many good writers are ignoring the many more likely candidates for the Vice Presidential running mate position. My first pick would be South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a popular female conservative governor of Indian descent. Showing South Carolina much love, I would also suggest that their Senator Tim Scott, a well-liked black conservative who is also an awesome public speaker, would be on the short list of potential nominees. Governor Susana Martinez, the female governor of New Mexico, would also be a very good pick. Also look at Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada. And closing out my wish list would be the ideal candidate, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Any of these would bring solid conservative credentials to the ticket and eliminate many of the supposed negatives that Trumps blunt speaking style have generated.

The GOP establishment has spent the past week starting to come to terms with the fact that Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. And some are starting to see that he even has a better than even chance of beating Hillary Clinton in the general election. They are starting to notice that Trump is consistently bring in crowds of over 10,000 wherever he goes while Hillary Clinton’s events usually generate a few hundred. They see that Bernie Sanders has damaged her with the youth vote and that she is no where near as popular among black voters as the liberal media portrays her to be. This has every possibility of being a wave election that Trump rides to victory because of the dissatisfaction among all Americans with both major parties. I wonder when many of the more established conservative columnists will notice.

Ed Ruth

Trump on Abortion and Misspeaking

There is a reason that “polish” and “politician” sound so much alike. Politicians spend an entire career perfecting the art of controlling their words to hide their actual feelings and positions on any and all issues. Believe it or not, your favorite politician pays big money to polling firms and focus group companies so they can steer their message in a way that will gain the most votes. Then, like a movie star practicing for a roll, they practice their lines so they don’t slip up when making a public appearance.

Donald Trump is not a professional politician. If you ask him a business related question, he can talk at length and in depth about the issue. But when you ask a question about a social issue, especially a social issue like abortion which very few people have an absolute feeling on one way or another, then you’re opening Trump up for trouble. Which was exactly the intent of Chris Matthews, the MSNBC TV personality that asked him the question.

I call Chris Matthews a TV personality because I would never think of calling him a journalist. He gave up many years ago the mantle of an unbiased journalist. He’s about as far left as you get and why any Republican presidential candidate would agree let him do an interview, I do not know. If I were a GOP presidential candidate, I would agree to do a Chris Matthews interview when Hillary Clinton agreed to an interview with Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity.

Donald Trump is running as a pro-life Republican candidate but he has decades of comments in print and on TV showing his pro-choice views. He says his views have changed over the years and that he is now pro-life with conditions related to the safety of pregnant women. It’s a pretty mainstream way of thinking and should serve him well with women voters in the general election. Liberal reporters know this and have been targeting him as a women-hater because capturing a large portion of the woman’s vote is the only chance Hillary Clinton has of being elected president.

Not being a professional politician is one of Donald Trump’s strengths. But there are weaknesses that come with that benefit. One of them is that he is not trained to look into a camera and lie to us like so many politicians do on a daily basis. If we truly want to get away from having professional politicians Who can lie to us without batting an eye, then we have to give nonprofessional candidates the benefit of the doubt and let them clarify a position when they misspeak.  

Time for Conservatives to Unite Behind Trump

  With the March 15, 2016 primary behind us and with Marco Rubio dropping out after his defeat in the Florida Primary, Republicans are now at a point where they need to look for a way to unify. The misguided efforts by some conservatives to create a brokered convention situation will only lead to a President Hillary Clinton. To avoid this horrifying outcome in November, conservatives need to begin immediately to take actions that will create a united Republican Party that can provide our candidate with solid support at all levels.

One of the first actions that need to be taken is that conservatives need to stop demonizing Donald Trump. Whether you like him or not, Donald Trump has a better than even chance of becoming the Republican nominee and we don’t need any more prominent Republicans or conservative media personalities making videos for future Hillary Clinton commercials.

Next, Republican leaders need to be very public and make it very apparent to the public that the Republican nominee will be either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz and that no brokered convention will involve anybody but one of those two as the nominee.

At this point, my preferred outcome would be that Trump and Cruz continue with more civil primary battles and end up with Donald Trump 100 or so delegates short come convention time. Being short the number of needed delegates would make Trump willing to negotiate and being so close to having the required number of delegates would make Republican leaders willing to negotiate Trump can come together with Republican leaders and come out of the meeting room with the agreement that Donald Trump will be our nominee and that an acceptable conservative will be his vice presidential running mate. Cruz or Rubio would have been ideal but I think there’s too much bad blood there now. I think the next best option would be picking Ben Carson as his running mate but others like SC Governor Nikki Haley, NM Governor Susana Martinez, OH Governor John Kasich or Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. This would unify the party more than any other option.  

Trump could then also announce the Republican leaders that would be members of his foreign and domestic policy teams. With a solid conservative as his running mate and experienced teams of advisers at his side, Trump would unite conservatives to his nomination and he would be able to begin running against Hillary Clinton from a position of strength
If there’s one thing conservatives of all types can agree on its that anyone will be better than Hillary Clinton as our next president. We have to unite behind the “Anybody but Hillary” line of thought. That means it’s time for us to unite behind Trump and position him as strongly as possible to beat her in November.

The Reason For Donald Trump’s Success

I’ve been thinking a lot about Donald Trump lately. He’s got some of my otherwise non-political friends very fired up and ready to vote for him. I like some of what he says but some of his comments seem off the wall. I haven’t been able to really see why he’s been so successful in this presidential campaign other than the obvious fact that people like his bluntness. They like that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. I get that but it wasn’t enough to convince me to join the Trump bandwagon.

I’m still not there but a recent article by Tucker Carlson rings true on why he’s so popular and why he may very likely be our next president. Carlson gave several reasons that explain Trumps popularity and I agree with every one of them. They boil down to a) The establishment Republicans have failed us by never doing what they say they are going to do; b)He speaks many truths that many people feel but never hear from our elected leaders and c)He is a “doer” with a history of getting things done and he can make change happen because he has worked both sides of the aisle to build his business career. It is this last part that I find myself so completely in agreement. The best line of the article is “Anyone can peer through the window in envy. It takes a real man to throw furniture through it from the inside.” This is why I find myself joining with some many others around the country in saying that, while he may not be my first choice, I can definitely now see myself voting for him in the general election.

Yes, Donald Trump’s comments sometimes make me cringe. Yes, I disagree with some of his views completely. But as President Reagan famously said “If I agree with someone 80% of the time, they are my friend”. So I say, “If I agree with Donald Trump 80% of the time, then I could vote for him for President”. I still wont say he’s my first pick…I still think Marco Rubio would be a better pick. But I don’t agree with Rubio 100% of the time either.

Ed Ruth

John Quincy Adams on Immigration and American Values

John Quincy AdamsI highly encourage everyone to read this excellent letter from John Quincy Adams (at the time, Secretary of State) written in response to a letter from a well-to-do German who had written to him and said he would move to America if he was guaranteed a job. It is striking commentary from one of our earliest leaders and shows valuable insight into immigration as it was intended for our country. 

 It encompasses two main points. First, that all are welcome but they must get here of their own volition, at their own expense and with nothing promised other then the freedom and equality guaranteed to all. And second that all immigrants should come here with the understanding that they are coming to a country and embracing it’s morals and values. If they are going to be offended by our morals, traditions, or general way of life than they should not come here.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-john-quincy-adams-1444256936

Carson and Rubio would be Unbeatable

With Ben Carson leading in most GOP presidential primary polls, it seems likely that he will be a contender for the length of the campaign season.  Soon America will be distracted by the holiday seasons and the poll numbers will likely settle down without much change for a month or two.  When the early primary elections occur in the early part of next year, we will start to get a much clearer picture about who is the more likely GOP nominee.  If it is Ben Carson, then picking a running mate like Marco Rubio could make him a favorite to win the general election.

Ben Carson is an incredibly motivating speaker.  His personal story and his professional accomplishments make him a very likeable candidate.  And his calm and consistent manner project a presidential gravitas that Donald Trump is seriously lacking.  An outsider not tied to the Washington establishment, he has all of Trump’s outsider benefits with none of his gaffes or un-presidential bluster.  In addition to being energizing factor among the GOP base, Ben Carson could also offer the possibility of attracting a significant percentage of the black vote.   Black voters who have voted Democrat in past elections have been economically hit very hard over the past several years of the Obama administration and might be more open than normal to looking at a Republican alternative.  The brilliant retired brain surgeon is too successful and capable to ever bring up how his race might be a benefit in the general election but it would indeed be such a benefit.

Barring an unlikely indictment or a hereto for unknown health problem, Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee.  She hopes to maximize advantage among female voters looking to elect the first female President of the United States and to keep the advantage among black voters that President Obama enjoyed in both of his elections.  But repeated polls over the past several months leave both of those in doubt.  One of the worst kept secrets in Washington DC is that she plans on choosing HUD secretary Julian Castro as her running mate as a strategy to get more of the Hispanic vote.  Ben Carson could easily eliminate any advantage she might get from this maneuver by selecting Marco Rubio as his own running mate.

Selecting Marco Rubio as his vice presidential running mate would offer several advantages. First of all he’s a much higher profile candidate then Julian Castro. Most people outside of Washington DC have never even heard of Julian Castro where is Marco Rubio will continue to be building his national profile throughout the candidate selection process.  Also, as a Florida Senator, Marco Rubio would very likely guarantee a GOP win of Florida’s electoral votes.  Julian Castro is a former three-term mayor of San Antonio, TX but it is highly unlikely that a very Red State like Texas would end up voting for Hillary Clinton regardless of who she picks as a running mate.  And Marco Rubio could match Julian Castro word for word in the very likely large amounts of Spanish commercials and public events likely to happen during the election process.

Republicans are not as comfortable as Democrats in using identity politics as a tool in elections.   And both Ben Carson and Marco Rubio are gifted and talented enough to never need to stoop to using race or ethnicity for political benefit.   If they were to become the eventual nominees for the GOP, it would not be because of their race or backgrounds but rather because both have incredible abilities and offer a leadership vision that America badly needs.

Ed Ruth

Third GOP Had a Few Winners; Liberal Media Big Loser

The third GOP Presidential Debate, held last night on CNBC, had few big moments for the candidates but several long minutes of public defeat for liberal media.  The candidates were repeatedly asked questions that could be described as “unskillful” if one were trying to be overly polite to the moderators.  But several of the candidates stepped up to the challenge, calling out the moderators and delivering lines that should help them in the polls.

Donald Trump showed that he has evolved as a candidate.  He was much more disciplined than in the past but was still able to give better than he got from both his fellow debaters and from the moderators.  He won because he did no damage and may have helped his campaign by showing he’s got more substance than many have accused him of having.  No damage and some benefits makes him the debate winner because he’s already leading or basically tied with Ben Carson in most polls.

Ben Carson did well but didn’t seem to have much fire.  His answers were careful and humble on a night when many others were making risky comments and even some attacks to increase their profiles.  I don’t know that he hurt his campaign but I can’t really see where he helped it either.

Marco Rubio had a great night and may have positioned himself as leader of the mainstream candidates.  He was attacked by Jeb Bush and beat back the attack handily.  He was attacked on his finances by the moderators and slapped them hard while turning it to his advantage by speaking to the voters about how he was not born rich and how he feels voters financial struggles because he shares them.  A solid performance with several great moments that will undoubtedly be rebroadcast in the coming days.  This should help him with donors and make it so his campaign has no problem financing for the long haul.

Ted Cruz also had several great moments during the debate.  Some were substantive but his best lines were his attacks on the liberal media, including the debate moderators.  This debate will keep Cruz in the campaign for the long haul as well.

Carly Fiorina had a few good moments but was unfortunately not given enough time to really shine.  The moderators seemed to have made a point of not asking her or Donald Trump many questions so as to give the other candidates more time.  That is unfortunate as she is one of the best candidates on the stage.  Low contributions may make her leave the campaign at some point but she’s a solid candidate for the VP slot if she does end up dropping out of running for the top ticket.  If she does get some bump in the polls from this debate and can increase her campaign coffers, then she too will be in for the long haul.  But I don’t think she had enough time in the spotlight last night to do either.

The remaining candidates, Kasich, Huckabee and the lower tier candidates (Graham, Jindhal, etc) are on borrowed time.  They don’t have the money they need to last more than a few more months.

The big story for the night other than the candidates performance was the embarrassing performance of the moderators.  Their bias was clear from the get go and they didn’t even make an attempt to hid it.  Their questions were unworthy of the event for the most part, shallow attempts at either demeaning a candidate or pitting one against another.  In the end, they only made themselves look bad and further diminished whatever remaining credibility they may have had among conservative viewers.

Ed Ruth

 

 

Dem Debate: A Hillary Win Because No One Threw Punches

During the very boring liberal lovefest of the first Democratic presidential debate there was very little that could be called surprising or shocking.  With CNN deciding to format the debate in a way in which there would be no direct conflicts between candidates there was little opportunity for fireworks. So it was without surprise that Hillary dominated the debate and had the liberal audience screaming with joy at every sigh and smirk.
It was not surprising that former Governor O’Malley of Maryland and former Virginia Senator Webb (Flip Flopping Lincoln Chafee isn’t even worth mentioning) did nothing to bring their campaigns out of mediocrity.  The only thing they really could have done would be to publicly call out Hillary Clinton on her dishonesty and only  Chafee, who has no traction at all, made even a slight attempt at that during the debate.   O’Malley and Webb seemed to understand that if they even attempted to draw any blood from Clinton’s weaknesses that the liberal crowd would boo them into submission.  Neither seems to really want the job of president. So they’ve  achieved their goal of becoming a minor footnote in history.
So with no opportunities for anything surprising coming from the other candidates, it was up to Bernie Sanders to bring any life into this debate.   But he came at Hillary with padded gloves during every opportunity for conflict during the debate. And his biggest cheers came when he said the only shock of the night…he said that everyone is tired of hearing about the ‘damn emails’ and wants to hear about “the real issues.”
This is a standard line for any politician who is trying to get the media to stop talking about a scandal. It is highly unusual for the lead competitor of such a candidate to make such a statement.  Regardless of who is making the statement, it is disgraceful. Is Bernie Sanders really saying that we should ignore a lack of integrity and willful breaking of the law?  Is he really saying that we should ignore the intentional breach of national security because he thinks people are tired of hearing about it?
Hillary Clinton did not return the favor, coming at Sanders strongly on what she called a weakness of his when it comes to gun control.  She attacked him on socialism saying she believed in the power of small business, a cornerstone of capitalism.
Not that she had much competition in the first place, but all of the other candidates might as well throw in the towel after this debate.  They’ve shown they will not seriously go after Hillary Clinton, an already very damaged candidate.  If they are not going to even try to engage her on lying,  her “I play by different rules” attitude and her use of her position as Secretary of State to make the Clinton Foundation gobs of money in direct violation of the law.  If they aren’t going to bring up her failure and her cover up in the Benghazi disaster.  If they aren’t going to say that America deserves a better leader than one most associated with the word “Liar”, then they do not deserve a chance to be President either.  America can do better than the whole lot of them.
Ed Ruth

Bernie Sanders Wrong: USA Not Founded on Racism

Democrat Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders recently said our nation, “in many ways was created, and I’m sorry to have to say this, from way back, on racist principles, that’s a fact.”   The fact is, Sanders and many liberals that like to say this about America’s Founding Fathers are wrong.

This great New York Times article destroys the myth that the founding fathers were racists and that our country was founded on racist policies.   Published by the very liberal New York Times, no liberal can claim political bias in this article.  It is factual and detailed in covering the process in which the South tried to instill slavery into the Constitution but were blocked by the Founding Fathers of this country.  I highly recommend this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/16/opinion/constitutionally-slavery-is-no-national-institution.html?_r=1

 We have every reason to be proud of our country which was intent on ending slavery from it’s very beginnings

Ed Ruth

America, The Rule of Law and a Republican win in 2016

CAMERON CARDOW, CAGLE CARTOONS

The Orange County Register recently published an editorial on the slow but sure loss of the rule of law in America.  It should be read by all who are concerned with the direction this country is going.  In one short article they discuss the amazing damage to the rule of law that has occurred in this country since the 1970s and particularly during the Obama administration.  It describes how the law today is now something that can be molded by whoever is president into a heavy hitting ideological weapon.   Liberals have cheered this on during the Obama administration saying the president has no choice but to do these things since Congress will block him if he doesn’t.  Those cheers will change to shrill rage should a Republican win in 2016.

Let’s imaging for a moment that a Republican actually does become president in 2016 and that he (or “she” if the wonderful Carly Fiorina were to win) decides to use the executive power exactly as their predecessor has done:

First, they’ll pick an Attorney General who is himself or herself a partisan activist and who will protect both the president and anyone under them that shares their ideology regardless of whether or not they are actually breaking the law.   Then the president will put into the IRS and other agencies new leaders who will use their power to punish those of the opposing ideology.  They will be able to do so without worry of repercussion since any investigation would have to be approved by the Attorney General.

Next, the Republican president will be able to repeal Obamacare easily with the Republican majorities in the House and Senate.  They will use the same reconciliation process that Obama used to pass it.  And to those who say it’s too late because it will cause pain to millions who depend on Obamacare for coverage, the president will answer that they are just relieving America of a law that has never been popular and which forced millions out of coverage they were happy with in the first place.

The hesitation to use the “Nuclear Option” and other relics of past Senate restraint are now gone so the Republican president will use that lack of restrain the same way Obama and Harry Reid did to force through laws that previously would never have passed.   The EPA will be gutted.  The Obama administration has shown that the EPA in the hands of a liberal administration is too dangerous to be allowed to continue to exist.  It will have to be dismantled to a point where it would basically have to be restarted from scratch by any future Democrat president.  It’s a shame that an organization created by a Republican president to protect the environment became so corrupted by ideology that it must now be done away with completely.

The IRS is almost in the same boat as the EPA.  A Republican president would never allow the IRS to target liberal groups and to actively work against the free American election process as President Obama did with Lois Lerner.  But that does not mean nothing will be done to the IRS.  No, the best way to counter the IRS so that it cannot be used as a political weapon is to permanently defang the agency with massive tax reform.  A simplified tax code would remove most of the IRS’s investigative and punitive capabilities.  It would also boost the economy in many ways.  That’s a win-win for the next Republican president.

Then there’s the international policy.  When is a treaty not a treaty?  When the president of one ideology has a Congress controlled by the other ideology, that’s when!  Forget the Constitutional requirements of passing a treaty through Congress.  All you have to do is declare that it’s not a treaty.  Then you can pretty much enact any foreign policy you want without worrying about Congress or that pesky Constitution.  And don’t forget that the Secretary or State won’t have to worry about doing illegal.  Hillary Clinton has already shown that a ideologically protective Attorney General can even shield Cabinet-level administration officials from investigation.

And this article would be dreadfully incomplete if we didn’t discuss the greatest tool the Obama administration used so effectively and that future presidents will wish to copy wholeheartedly:  The threat to shut down the government!  That’s right, the president can now tell the Congress that he or she doesn’t care a bit about their supposed Constitutionally empowered control of how tax dollars are spent.  Congress will either pay for what the Republican president wants or he or she will not sign the spending into law.  Then the cameras will show how evil Congress is for not “doing their job” in paying for the government.   So a Republican president will now be able to push through and expensive border wall, Keystone pipeline, etc without too much trouble.

That’s of course assuming the media will cover a Republican president the exact same way they’ve provided cover for President Obama when he did the same thing.  I almost couldn’t type that last sentence because I was laughing so hard at the idea of the media being fair to a Republican president.  But even that doesn’t matter as much as it has in the past thanks to President Obama.

Despite the cover the liberal media has provided for the Obama administration again and again, this administration has shown utter disdain for the news media class.  Instead of being “the most transparent administration in history”, we have had an administration that has closed out the media and created layers of secrecy like none before.  A Republican president has in the past always known the media weren’t with them but they also knew they had to be somewhat kind and respectful to the news media in order to keep on message with the public.  But with the Internet providing so many alternates and with the Obama administration example of how to close out the news media, a Republican president will not have to worry about the liberal media as they have in the past.

Basically, a Republican president will be able to use the powers of the Executive Branch, drastically enhanced as they have been in the Obama Administration, to push right wing ideology as far as they wish for four to eight years.  And then the next Democrat will do the same in the opposite direction.  How exactly does a country survive such drastic swings with pulling apart?  The answer is that it doesn’t for long.

Ed Ruth