1917, 1932 And 2016

The following is a guest post by Richard Lowery, Jr.

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I remember once reading an article describing how prominent past events are reinterpreted as contemporary conditions change and that historical milestones are reduced or increased in perceived significance with the passage of time.   I forgot who wrote the essay, but I think it was either Jonah Goldberg, Niall Ferguson or the comedian Carrot Top.   The unrecalled writer provided as examples the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and 1932 Saudi Arabian monarchy’s promulgation of Wahhabism.

If you were to ask the average New York Times editorial board member 30 years ago to comment on the 1917 Bolshevik Revolutionary Debutante Ball, then you would have been instructed to regard it as a highly prominent galactic event – almost equaling the birth of Margaret Sanger.    But with Marxist-Leninism having subsequently been flushed down the historical toilet, it can now be viewed as a nightmarish cul de sac that will thankfully grow more distant in the rearview mirror. (1)  Sane human beings that are equipped with neuron synapses that properly fire electrical signals between their two ears no longer believe in Marxist principles a’ la Das Kapital; exceptions include hold outs skulking about American college faculty lounges, a couple of U.S. Catholic nuns and one French Parisian mime that performs on the Pont de l’ Alma entrance side to the Luxemburg gardens.  (If you are ever in Paris – ask the mime to do his interpretation of how the World’s workers will unite to control the means of production.  You may not agree with it, but it is a brilliant performance.)

Conversely, until recently the Saudi Arabian Royal brain trust’s 1932 proclamation – that true believers should be adhering to the Wahhabism Thing with all its fanatical accoutrements – was viewed as having the same impact as the Des Moines, Iowa Rotary Club’s November 1932 meeting minutes.   But with Islamic nut jobs currently coming out of the woodwork beheading scores of infidels, blowing up cities, advocating for an Islamic world conquest to establish a planetary caliphate and what not, the 1932 proclamation has been moved up a bunch of notches on the importance scale.

carrot-top

Carrot Top:  Historically Insightful? I can’t remember.

On the morning of Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2016 on or about 6:00am Eastern Time the smart people thought that the Republican Party was out of date, out of touch and out the door.  On the following morning of Wednesday, November 9, 2016 on or about 6:00am Eastern Time the smart people thought that the Republican Party was out of date, out of touch but had taken over the control room and had barricaded itself behind the control room door.    During every election season we are told that this election is the most important election ever with far reaching impacts ranging from influencing sunspot development in Andromeda Galaxy to snack food consumption in the Outer Hebrides.  So is 2016 – in the long run – going to be 1917 or 1932?   Honest people who do not reside in rubber rooms and wear straight-jackets to Sunday brunch should admit that they really don’t know.  It depends a lot on Mr. Trump.  Here are some opinions of mine to factor in as we stir our pots of prognosticatory bouillabaisse.

The Tight 2016 Election Factor:

It was a close one.  There have been four other U.S. elections where the winner has won the Electoral College, but did not win the popular vote and they are listed below.   As a courtesy, please note that I have underlined and highlighted the election winner in a blue color that has a shade somewhere between a Midnight Blue and Navy Blue.  The hue is lighter than an Oxford Blue, but too dark to be considered Zaffre.  And no way is it Sapphire Blue!

1824: John Quincy Adams vs. Andrew Jackson

1876: Rutherford B. Hayes vs. Samuel J. Tilden

1888: Benjamin Harrison vs. Grover Cleveland

2000: George Bush vs. Al Gore

None of them were transformative in nature.  Two of them saw the losing candidate win the next election. (Jackson 1828 and Cleveland 1892)   Razor thin edges present challenges to do big enduring things because every cat in your corner needs to consistently – over long periods of time – be herded in your desired direction and since you do not have many cats to spare in your feline inventory, a couple of renegade cats can cause you to cough up fur balls.   Too many fur balls and you ball up your ability to make a long term impact.

 

The Demographic Factor:

Which brings up demographics and how they allegedly doom the GOP.  Perhaps this issue was over-stated this time around, but at the moment they still do not favor Mr. Trump and a little higher turn out here and there among the Democratic Party faithful and we would now be talking about the enduring legacy of the Clinton Family and how their power allows them to join the five families of the New York Mafia.   Andrew Jackson – the populist – ultimately rode the crest of long term 1830’s demographic changes that favored his party.  Meanwhile, Mr. Trump – the populist – encounters demographic changes – at least as understood now – that do not favor his party.   Mr. Trump has turned many rules of thumb on their heads.  Here is another one he will need to upend.

 

The Hillary Revulsion Factor:

Which brings up Mrs. Clinton.  She stinks.  A lot of people think she stinks.  People that voted for her thinks she stinks.  Even John Podesta thinks she stinks.  According to the WikiLeaks goons Mr. Podesta said that Mrs. Clinton smelled like “cabbage, urine and farts” which are not three winning attributes for any candidate.  There were large groups of people that held their nose and voted for Mr. Trump and not because they liked him.   It was because on a pungency scale of 1 to 10, he rated an 11, but Mrs. Clinton rated a 14.   Voting for someone and then throwing up after you emerge from the voting booth is not the recipe for a long term relationship.  In fact, I hereby declare that if the bland but apparently honest Democrat Evan Bayh – who got trounced in the Indiana senatorial race – had been the Democratic candidate for President, he would have won.

 

None of this is to say that Mr. Trump cannot be transformative; in fact there appears to be some post-election energy generating in Republican and some conservative quarters.    But grinding down some of his harder edges might go a long way in supplementing the Trumpian ranks and as a starter I recommend that the Trump Transition Team hire the Clinton minion who used a hammer to smash Mrs. Clinton’s BlackBerry phones to perform the same act with Mr. Trump’s Twitter devices.   My dart throw guess is that 30% of American voters view Mr. Trump as a Satanic Nixon with Hitlerian tendencies who dines on live baby seals for supper.  About 20% don’t like him but are mad at the Democratic Party for forcing them the pull the lever for Mrs. Clinton.  Around 20% voted for Mr. Trump, but were then compelled to go home to take a shower.  That leaves roughly 30% who are all in and have signed up for Cult Trump.   He is going to need more people in his corner to give him staying power.   More people means a bigger tent which means more compromises which means risking dampening the enthusiasm of his base.  Yet Mr. Trump’s gravity defying Teflon suit has worked wonders so far…

Most events are beyond the control of a U.S. President, but they can take advantages of opportunities and situations to “make” their own luck.  Much will depend on whether Mr. Trump truly possesses Reaganesque strategic judgement and Rooseveltian political navigation skills as to how history views him:    Will it be like the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution or the 1932 Saudi Arabian Wahhabi Proclamation?

Ultimately, we may need to get Carrot Top’s opinion.

 

Frightfully Yours,

Richard J. Lowery Jr.

 

  • One recalls the inane Lincoln Steffens remark upon his return from a visit to the USSR during the era of the Stalinist genocidal purges and collectivist economic ruin: “I have seen the future and it works.”  Poor Mr. Steffens, people like me are always bringing up this quote when we want to illustrate the sophisticated blockheadedness of our intellectual betters.

 

Well Here’s A Little Bit Of Good News

I’m still a bit skeptical that Donald Trump is going to govern as a conservative, but this here is a step in the right direction.

Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign.

Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, is spearheading Trump’s transition plans for EPA, the sources said.

Ebell is a well-known and polarizing figure in the energy and environment realm. His participation in the EPA transition signals that the Trump team is looking to drastically reshape the climate policies the agency has pursued under the Obama administration. Ebell’s role is likely to infuriate environmentalists and Democrats but buoy critics of Obama’s climate rules.

Ebell, who was dubbed an “elegant nerd” and a “policy wonk” by Vanity Fair, is known for his prolific writings that question what he calls climate change “alarmism.” He appears frequently in the media and before Congress. He’s also chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition, a group of nonprofits that “question global warming alarmism and oppose energy-rationing policies.”

Ebell appears to relish criticism from the left. (Read More)

Hahaha! Fantastic!

Hat Tip: Proof Positive and Red State

Hillary Clinton Blames FBI Director For Her Defeat

Testy-Hillary-150x150

Hillary Clinton blamed her stunning defeat in the presidential election on FBI director James Comey, because heaven forbid progressives ever look within to figure out why they fail.

Clinton told her supporters on Saturday that her team had drafted a memo that looked at the changing opinion polls leading up to the election and that the letter from Comey proved to be a turning point. She said Comey’s decision to go public with the renewed examination of her email server had caused an erosion of support in the upper Midwest, according to three people familiar with the call.

Clinton lost in Wisconsin, the first time since 1984 that the state favored the Republican candidate in a presidential election. Although the final result in Michigan has still not been tallied, it is leaning Republican, in a state that last favored the Republican nominee in 1988.

Comey sent a letter to Congress only days before the election announcing that he was reinstating an investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information when she used a private email server while secretary of state from 2009 to 2012. (Read More)

Oh yeah, it wasn’t her smug sense of entitlement, lifetime of scandals, putting national security at risk, or rotten personality. No, it was Comey. It’s almost laughable.

Oh, and if you think the Clinton’s are going to just fade off into the sunset, think again. Rumor has it that they are grooming Chelsea for a Congressional run.

Happy Veterans Day

Sorry I’m late in posting this, I had to have some dental surgery today and got behind on everything. But I didn’t want the day to go by without wishing all of our veterans a Happy Veterans Day. I am forever grateful for your service and sacrifice. Americans may have our political differences, but it’s the work you all have done that makes that possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Oh The Irony

All of those liberals out there weeping openly and protesting the election of Donald Trump. Conservative Trump supporters out there celebrating, and some even rubbing the faces of Clinton supporters in her defeat. Little do they know that a Trump presidency may be just a continuation of the Obama presidency, only with his own party controlling Congress to help him out.

I really hope I’m wrong but here are a few clues:

At Times, Trump May Tap Unlikely Ally in Congress: Chuck Schumer:

When Trump delivered his acceptance speech early Wednesday morning, the only policy proposal he mentioned was his desire to rebuild “our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals.” Such a plan is at odds with the fiscal restraint enforced by congressional Republicans, but echoes Schumer’s own statements.

Trump has also talked frequently about cracking down on China for manipulating its currency, something that Schumer has spent years trying to persuade presidents to pursue.

Later Wednesday morning Trump called Schumer, who congratulated his fellow New Yorker on his improbable victory.

“It is time for the country to come together and heal the bitter wounds from the campaign,” Schumer said in a statement.

Trump, 70, a Manhattan real-estate developer, had long been a patron of Schumer’s political operation, donating thousands to his previous campaigns and to Senate Democrats in years past, before he embarked on his presidential bid. (Read More)

I wish that was all, but it’s not.

NOT KIDDING: Trump already backing off full repeal of Obamacare:

Trump isn’t even president yet and he’s already waffling on a full repeal of Obamacare. Why? Because Obama made an appeal to him. (Read More)

I really, really do wish that was a joke.

Oh, and he’s not going to rip up that Iran deal after all. But don’t worry, he’ll renegotiate. Maybe he’ll call his old pal Chuck Schumer for some help with that. Or maybe if Obama asks him nicely he will just forget about it and leave it in place.

And here is a list of the people Trump is considering for top White House positions. Appointing top staff based on personal political loyalty and not experience or principles sounds just like business as usual in Washington, DC to me. But again, I hope I am wrong, and if I’m not wrong, I hope Trump supporters are going to be willing to hold him accountable.

People Need To Take A Breath And Get A Hold Of Themselves

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Good grief. The massive temper tantrum since Trump won the election has been incredibly over the top. Granted, he wasn’t your traditional candidate and did come off as somewhat unhinged at times, but still. This is a bit much, even for the safe space crowd.

I will be the first to admit that I was alarmed and upset when President Obama won in 2008, and again in 2012, but I certainly didn’t go screaming through the streets about it. The Tea Party movement which came about later was peaceful, and more about people being fed up with the direction he was taking our country.

And there is no need to go back and point out my many posts opposing the nomination and candidacy of Donald Trump. I was never for him. But he will be our next president and I accept that. It is what it is and I’m hoping that the Trump we saw when he graciously delivered his victory speech is the Trump we will see in the Oval Office. I hope I was wrong about him and that candidate Trump was just a genius at the art of political war and will stop his late night tweeting for good.

Anyway, people really need to just take breath and get a hold of themselves. An acquaintance of mine on Facebook, who I know professionally and normally seems pretty smart, wrote that she felt scared because she’s gay. Someone else then posted a picture of Trump holding a big gay pride flag, and rather than expressing relief my acquaintance told her friend to find out the truth and posted a link to Hillary Clinton’s website. Then tonight she posted a link to a petition asking the Electoral College to throw out the votes of red states. Seriously, here’s part of it:

On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win. However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine – which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!

We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton.

It goes on from there. Most disturbing, this call to throw away millions of votes has 1,332,812 supporters as of this writing.

I try not to get to political on Facebook but I threw in my two cents:

Asking Electoral College to throw out the votes of red states? What next? Outlawing voting for all but progressive democrats? We live in a republic, not a pure democracy. These are the sorts of attitudes that brought about Trump’s victory. I didn’t vote for him, but he won. The sky didn’t fall. Just like it didn’t fall when Obama was elected. Although health insurance premiums have skyrocketed while private sector wages have been stagnant we survived that. It’s amazing how your perspective changes when you get out of your little echo chamber and start listening to all sides. Things become a bit less scary and while you still may disagree on policies you might learn that the other side isn’t out to get you. I challenge all of my friends who are upset over the election results to try to understand why people voted for Trump. It isn’t because they are racist or misogynistic. They’re mostly tired, sick of politics as usual, and hoping for a brighter future. Just like you are.

I don’t know if it will help anything with my little bubble of friends on Facebook, but I hope it does. And I really mean what I wrote about getting out of our echo chambers. It was my opposition to Trump that caused me to tune in to more liberal radio and TV news programs for the first time in years. Okay, not MSNBC or uber-liberals who are just wacky. But I do try to hear all sides of things. And although I haven’t become more liberal, it does help me understand how the other side thinks, at least those on the other side who don’t deny reality. Now if only we can get the other side to do that.

Part of the reason I stopped blogging so much is that I realized that politics was taking up just way too much of my life. It’s still important to pay attention and be informed, but it isn’t everything. By not making politics the center of my life anymore I’m happier and healthier. Things didn’t go the way I wanted, except for the part about Hillary Clinton not being our 45th president. I still worry about the future, just like everyone else. But instead of crying about it I will pray every day that Donald Trump is aware of the enormous challenge that awaits him and that he rises to the occasion.

Now everybody should just chill. Trump’s supporters should resist the urge to be smug and rub Clinton’s supporters noses in it. That only makes things worse. And Clinton’s supporters need to listen to her and President Obama when they talk about a peaceful transition and accepting the results of the election. It’s over, she lost. If the Democrats had nominated a halfway decent person without all of Hillary’s baggage things might have gone their way. Instead of acting out, they should be looking within to ask themselves why they nominated such a flawed candidate. They should ask themselves why they watched with nary a peep Obama’s massive overreach on health care and executive power that people responded to Trump the way they did.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for the moment. If any of you reading this are veterans, thank you for your service and have a happy Veterans Day. You all mean so much more to me than any politician ever will.

 

Post Election Musings

This is a guest post by Richard Lowery, Jr. Sorry I’m a day late in posting it, I’ve been busy with work and life.

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My top ten post- election random musings regarding last night’s results.

  • I was totally wrong last night. I had bought a lottery ticket at the gas station and did not get one number correct.
  • My congratulations to President-Elect Trump and his supporters for their enthusiasm, efforts and success.
  • One does have to hand it to Mr. Trump for his defiance of the normal laws of electoral physics. Trump should rightfully bask in his accomplishment, but he should also keep in mind the Herb Stein maxim that, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”  Difficult times will arrive when he re-enters into the orbit of normal political gravity that govern the other members of mankind.    All eyes (including a hostile, seething media’s) will now be on Mr. Trump – so deflection by pointing at Mrs. Clinton or the sinister activities of Ted Cruz’s father – will become more difficult.   Mr. Trump, sir – you are front and center now.  You might want to add a few epidermal layers to that thin skin of yours.
  • I cannot deny that I took great pleasure last night watching Mrs. Clinton slime off into the sleazy sunset. Clinton is now free to set up roomfuls of personal e-mail servers in the underground bunker at Fort Clinton.    Yet there are mixed emotions regarding Mr. Trump’s victory.    It is like winning a ticket for a cruise.  But did we get booked passage on the Queen Mary or the Titanic?
  • Who could have ever guessed that Anthony Wiener and his perverse texting psychosis would have impacted a presidential election?
  • I ate two bags of barbecued flavored potato chips while watching the election returns.chips I wonder if I would have had less of a stomach ache this morning if instead I had eaten two bags of regular flavored potato chips.
  • I cannot deny that I took great pleasure last night watching the shell-shocked facial expressions on the commentators at MSNBC, CBS, ABC, et al… But they did power through the broadcasts.  I wonder if the TV network staff gave them Zoloft suppositories during the commercial breaks.
  • Trump needs to implement early and quick on a couple of big items during his brief post-inaugural honeymoon to live up to his action figure status. (a)
    1. Pick a cultural item to keep his supporters at bay. Go build some kind of wall somewhere, anywhere – even it is just around the Clinton Library.   This will keep the Trumponion base happy – for a bit.
    2. Pick an impactful “real” economic item that will truly “drain the swamp” to kick in some solid economic growth that will buy him time. Maybe drastically simplify the tax code which will release the Keynesian animal spirits in all of us and cause the serotonin levels of K Street lobbyists to plummet to the lows currently being experienced by Chris Mathews.    (Perhaps the K Street lobbyists could try some Zoloft suppositories that were used by network folks last night.   Market tip – go long on Zoloft suppositories futures.)  A 4+% expanding economy will keep his critics – like me – off his back and growth can cure lots of things.
    3. If he needs to do something on trade – then make it symbolic like challenging the Chinese to a tag team taco salad eating contest. But do no economic harm.  Economic laws still apply after elections and someone needs to repeatedly whisper into his ear the following words:  “Smoot- Hawley, Smooth-Hawley, Smoot-Hawley…”
  • How long will his base stay with him? At some point – reality will hit that fan when he cannot give them all the things that he promised.   Superman, King Midas, The Great Houdini, Don Corleone and the entire cast of Fantasy Island could not collectively give his base all the things that he promised.  Even God from heaven above might need to clock in some overtime to give his base all the things that he promised.   When he does not quickly pull several thousand rabbits out of his hat, then will they still love him in the morning?   Obama’s base kept on loving him even when he did not deliver.  Let’s see about Mr. Trump’s.
  • I cannot deny that I took great pleasure last night eating two bags of barbecued flavored potato chips – even if it did cause me to wake up with a stomach ache.

 

 

  1. Trump has been on several honeymoons so he should understand this concept.

 

Frightfully Yours,

Richard J. Lowery Jr.

Let’s Hope Trump Surprises Us Again

trump-wins

Well, I was wrong about Trump not being able to beat Hillary Clinton. He did, and with any luck we won’t have to hear too much from her going forward. I have to admit, it’s been kind of fun watching the left freak out. I feel only mildly bad for them because they certainly haven’t had an ounce of sympathy for conservatives over the past eight years. That lack of empathy for, or understanding of, anyone who doesn’t tow the progressive line is a big reason Trump won. They will never understand that, but it is interesting how they are suddenly very concerned about the president having too much power.

So, here we are, the day after Trump surprised the world by pulling off the biggest electoral upset in a lifetime. I hope he surprises us again and governs as a conservative. I hope he honors the pledge he made last night to seek guidance from others and finds a way to unite the country. I hope the Obama economy doesn’t come crashing down on him and the Republican Party.

Congratulations to all of Donald Trump’s supporters. I am happy for you, and I pray that you have been right about him all along and I have been wrong. We shall see.