Archive for the ‘ Politics & Government ’ Category

Cruz-Fiorina 2016

Donald Trump was supposed to be at the top of the news cycle yesterday with what he called a major foreign policy speech, but Ted Cruz deflated that with the bold announcement that Carly Fiorina had agreed to be his vice president should he receive the nomination.

Cruz-Fiorina Ticket

It was a bold move, one that no presidential candidate still in the hunt for the nomination had tried since Ronald Reagan did it in 1976. Reagan waited until the convention to do so; Cruz chose an appropriate time, the day after Trump’s wins in the eastern primaries, designed to lessen the effect of those wins and regain the narrative in this race.

All the usual suspects are dismissing this move as some kind of cheap trick, but I think it is brilliant, both in the image it projects and in substance.

First, the image: by putting a woman on the ticket who has a business background, Cruz capitalizes on Trump’s woman problem (they don’t like him all that much) and has someone conversant with the business world who can take on Trump’s supposed acumen in that area (if by acumen, you mean four bankruptcies and a fraud case going to trial over the fake Trump University).

I’m not one for identity politics. Having a woman on the ticket is not the big thing for me. But having a woman with principles is.

That’s the second half—the substance. Fiorina impressed me throughout the campaign with her solid pro-life stance, her command of facts, and her ability to verbalize those facts intelligently. The combination of Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina is, in my view, a ticket with a higher level of intellectual firepower and devotion to principle than we have seen in a long time.

Trump, of course, ridiculed the selection. That’s his standard operating procedure for anything he feels threatens his dominance. He’s busy touting his latest endorsements: Bobby Knight and Mike Tyson. Interesting endorsements. Knight, as longtime basketball coach at Indiana University, was infamous for his temper tantrums during games, making a name for himself by throwing chairs. He was his own Trumpertantrum before anyone heard of the term.

Knight also raised a furor once when he commented that if a woman knew she was going to be raped, she should just relax and enjoy it. Really. And Tyson? He was convicted of sexual assault back in 1991 and served jail time for it.

These are celebrity Trump endorsers; they kind of mirror the “best people” Trump always says he surrounds himself with—bullies and thugs.

So, back to Cruz and Fiorina. I applaud what Cruz has done here. He has taken the reins and shown courage as he continues his quest to keep the Republican party from committing suicide. May that quest be successful.

Keep Calm, Carry On, & Pray

Well, now we can put those states behind us. You know, those northeastern states that everyone knew Trump was going to win last night, and which he did. Those are states where the majority of Republicans believe more like moderate Democrats than real Republicans, and regardless of who the nominee is for the Republicans, none of those states will go for that nominee in the general election anyway.

We have two kinds of Republicans nationwide; last night was one type, but another type awaits in the midwest and the west. Cruz had his run of victories prior to the last week; Trump now has had his. The landscape changes to places where Cruz has a solid chance for another run.

Everyone pretty much gives Cruz Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana. He’s also looking strong in Washington. Indiana next week is the key. A Cruz victory there—and he is pulling out all the stops—would start the primary ball rolling in his direction again. The goal is to keep Trump from getting that magic number of 1,237.

Right now, those who are only superficially involved in analyzing this campaign season are perceiving a Trump juggernaut, and the media would like to perpetuate that perception. But perceptions change. If Cruz takes Indiana and those other states I mentioned, all talk of a Trump train that cannot be halted will itself come to a halt.

Then it will all come down to California.

When I was in New Zealand a few months ago, I saw a sign in a home that said, “Keep calm and carry on.” The genesis of that phrase was unknown to me at the time, but I have since learned it was a motivational poster created by the British government as WWII approached. The goal was to raise the morale of the public.

It’s time to apply that slogan to the current campaign. For those of us supporting Cruz, we need to keep calm and carry on.

I think I’ll also add this: keep calm and pray for the nation. We are at a crossroads.

Prayer-Fervent

Trump’s New Math

Donald Trump apparently has been scoring in the polls by constantly claiming the rules for winning have been rigged. Some have pointed out that it is true: Trump has won 37% of the vote but has more than 40% of the delegates.

That’s probably not what he means. But it’s the truth.

He’s also come up with a new type of math. He declares that even if he doesn’t get to 1,237 delegates, he should be given the nomination anyway because he is ahead. Although the rules—you know, that unfair, rigged system—say a candidate must have a majority, not merely a plurality, of the delegates.

Special Ed

You know what else is unfair? You have to win by two points in tennis.

Win By Two

I remember, from my youth, one tennis pro who always complained, whined, and threw tantrums. His name was John McEnroe. I’m getting those same vibes as I watch Trump play the political game today:

Trumpenroe

Some people are all uptight over a contested convention. They seem not to realize that contested conventions used to be the norm. And they produced some good nominees.

10 Contested

The only thing that makes a contested convention this year a potential problem is that if Trump loses, he and his followers may create havoc, thereby making it a very difficult path for the one who eventually gets the nomination.

When Ted Cruz calls Trump’s outbursts Trumpertantrums, he is speaking more truth than has emanated from the Trump camp this entire campaign season. Frankly, Trump is an embarrassment, morally and politically.

Please don’t fall for this walking unreality show. Take this election seriously.

Why I Support Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz at KS CaucusIn this heated Republican nomination battle, I wholeheartedly support Ted Cruz. My support is not, as others have indicated, a choice between two flawed candidates; rather, I firmly believe Cruz is a committed Christian constitutional conservative who seeks to reverse the course of the last seven years.

My first knowledge of Cruz was in 2012 when he ran for the nomination for the Senate in his home state of Texas. His Republican opponent was the sitting lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst. Cruz startled the political world with his upset victory. Today, Dewhurst has endorsed his once-rival for the Republican presidential nomination, stating, “I want to make sure that we have a good conservative in the White House next January.”

Although a first-term senator, Cruz has taken a leadership role against the Obama agenda, much to the chagrin of the Republican leadership in that legislative body. I’m not sure his tactics have always been the best, but I can excuse failed tactics when I perceive that someone’s principles are solid; at least he, unlike most of his Republican colleagues, attempted to roll back Obamacare.

Cruz also once stood in the Senate and accused Mitch McConnell of lying to his fellow Republican senators, saying that McConnell had gone back on a promise not to make a certain deal with Obama. That earned Cruz McConnell’s enmity but showed he was willing to challenge his own leadership on the issue of integrity.

When he was the first Republican to announce his candidacy, and he did so at Liberty University, I admit I wondered if that was a political stunt designed to hoodwink conservative Christians. Now I believe it was a sincere effort to let that voting bloc know just who he is and what he wants to do as president. I also believe it was a wise move, as it provided a jumpstart to a campaign few saw as ready for prime time.

As Cruz stood on the stage in the debates that followed, surrounded by sixteen other candidates, it took a while for him to carve out his message—too many voices. At first, my pick was Scott Walker because I appreciated how effective he has been as governor of Wisconsin. When he chose to withdraw from the race, it came down, for me, to a choice between Cruz and Rubio. Although I liked Rubio, Cruz came across as much more consistent and, frankly, as more effective in debate.

That’s when I listened more closely to Cruz’s words and policy positions, and concentrated on his character. As I learned more about him, I became convinced his Christian testimony was genuine, a factor reinforced when I also listened to his wife, Heidi. If she is simply putting on a Christian “show,” she is one of the best actresses in the country. Her faith is the real thing as well.

Cruz is well-spoken, fully knowledgeable on the issues, and projects the kind of seriousness and lack of circus atmosphere that I want in a president. Neither has he descended into the gutter with Donald Trump, no matter how outrageous the latter has become in his personal attacks.

Ted Cruz 4I know that candidates can promise a lot and not be able to deliver, but when Cruz says he wants to repeal every word of Obamacare, he has a track record of attempting to do that very thing. When he declares that he will reverse every single unconstitutional executive order Obama has put into effect, I believe he will do precisely that. Why? He is devoted to constitutional authority and the limits placed on the federal government in that document. He understands that our liberty depends on the rule of law, the federal system, and the separation of powers.

Cruz’s Christian faith makes him a staunch advocate for the pre-born. When he says he will defund Planned Parenthood, he speaks from personal conviction, not political expediency. His Biblical morality is necessary in a time when we are a gender-confused and sex-crazed nation. He knows what real marriage is and what it is not; he knows which bathroom people ought to use.

Doesn’t that last statement reveal the depth of deception rising in our nation right now? Whoever thought anyone would have to affirm that?

Ted CruzTed Cruz will not be a progressive ideologue like the man who currently resides in the White House. He will not be a tinpot dictator who has used the system all his life to get what he wants at everyone else’s expense. Yes, I’m talking about the so-called “frontrunner” for the Republican nomination. A Trump nomination will doom the Republican party to defeat in November.

Hillary Clinton has to be the worst candidate the Democrats have ever put forward. Never has anyone been so eminently beatable. Cruz is the man who can carry Republicans to victory over Clinton. All Republicans have to do now is give him the chance to prove it.

Reject the phony candidate; choose Ted Cruz, the real Christian conservative constitutionalist.

Cruz: “Have We Gone Stark Raving Nuts?”

Donald Trump 4Donald Trump can’t help himself, apparently. That’s because his true self keeps showing up. And what shows up certainly is not Republican.

Yesterday, he Trumpeted two more of his beliefs. First, he said the Republican platform should be altered to soften the statement that the rights of the unborn should always be protected. Second, he weighed in on the North Carolina restroom battle on the side of the transgendered.

Abortion first: Trump believes the Republican platform is too harsh with that statement, that it doesn’t include exceptions. He thinks it ought to specifically state that abortions should be allowed for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

I know that many Republicans feel the need to add those exceptions. I don’t. The child is still the innocent party here. Take the life of an innocent child when the conception came about through rape or incest? Why? What did the child do that should allow society to murder him or her? As for the life of the mother, what mother would say about a born child, “I want to save my own life; take the life of my child instead”? Jesus told us that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another.

Transgender restroom issue: North Carolina wisely declared that no man claiming to be a woman should be allowed to use a woman’s restroom. Permission to do so opens the door (so to speak) to perverted men who make the claim for the sole reason of wanting to be near their victims. Frankly, this is insane.

What Trump said about this is rather hard to decipher because he doesn’t speak intelligently enough to complete his sentences. His thoughts keep jumping around in a confused manner. If you take the time to try to piece together his disjointed comments, though, it’s clear he comes out on the side of those who want those restrooms to be available to self-proclaimed transgendered persons.

Ted Cruz 3To his credit, Ted Cruz immediately pounced on this, not merely for political advantage—although he ought to receive quite a bit for responding to Trump’s outrageousness—but because he firmly and deeply believes in what he is saying. He began with a comment that all rational people are at least thinking:

“Let me ask you, have we gone stark raving nuts?”

But he didn’t simply stop with that soundbite. He explained further:

Grown adult men, strangers should not be alone in a bathroom with little girls. And that’s not conservative or liberal, that’s not Republican or Democrat, that’s basic common sense. But you know a few months ago, Donald told us he could be the most politically correct person on Earth, and I guess he’s showing us what that looks like. I am waiting with anticipation for the new baseball caps: “Make PC Great Again.”

Let’s be honest here: There is only one person in the race right now who can realistically be called a genuine Republican; only one person who is truly conservative across the board in his beliefs. Cruz is consistent. He deserves our support.

A couple of days ago, Trump misspoke when referring to 9/11. He called that fateful day 7/11. Did I miss the media uproar over that? What if Ted Cruz had made that mistake? What do you think would have happened? It seems our media will let Trump get away with anything.

7-11

As I said in a previous post, I’m getting tired of having to point out the dangers of Trump all the time. I would much rather be clear about why Cruz is the best nominee, not only among those left in this bizarre race, but why, from the start, when there were seventeen candidates, he always was the best choice. I plan to expand on that in a more positive post next week.

Trump’s Difficult Path Unchanged by NY

Donald Trump and his media allies (Fox, because they are blinded by the Trump persona, and the others, because they know he will lose in a landslide to Hillary) are attempting to turn his New York primary win into some kind of final judgment on the Republican nomination.

NY Loves Me

If you, like me, believe in a Ted Cruz nomination, let me offer some down-to-earth reassurance: New York didn’t change the difficult path Trump faces toward getting 1,237 delegates.

First of all, everyone—Cruz included—knew Trump was going to walk away from the New York primary with a big win. That was no surprise. There’s a reason why politics in the state of New York includes a conservative party that can’t stand the Republicans: New York Republicans, by and large, are some of the squishiest in the nation. Cruz’s oft-despised comment about New York values is actually pretty accurate.

NY Values

More New Yorkers voted in the Democrat primary than they did in the Republican, and Cruz tellingly noted that he got more votes in his home state of Texas than Trump did in his home state of New York. In the general election, New York is a lost cause for Republicans no matter whom they nominate.

Next week will be another boasting time for Trump and his media, as he will take the majority of delegates in other East Coast primaries, but after that, his momentum will come to a screeching halt. The Pennsylvania primary, even if Trump wins overall, may not yield the majority of delegates because 54 of that state’s 71 are unbound and can vote for whomever they wish at the convention. Cruz’s team says they have locked up the majority of those.

What we witnessed in Wisconsin and Colorado will come back into play as the Cruz ground game pulls out all the stops. Trump’s ground game is virtually non-existent, and where it does have a semblance of some organization, it has proven woefully and embarrassingly incompetent.

Not In Colorado

May 3 is the Indiana primary. Cruz already has been lining up sympathetic delegates for a second ballot at the convention (as he has been doing in all the upcoming states). The Cruz campaign is bringing in all the people and strategy it used in Wisconsin, and although there are some differences between those two states, there is more in common with Indiana than there are differences. If Indiana governor Mike Pence—who truly can’t stand Trump—comes on board with a Cruz endorsement, everything shifts in Cruz’s direction there.

Then there are many states after that where Cruz is expected to win outright: Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and possibly even New Mexico.

One statistician has predicted that even if Trump should get up to 120 delegates of the 172 available in California, he will still fall short of that magic 1,237.

No Republican convention, on a second ballot where delegates are free to choose whomever they wish, is going to nominate Donald Trump.

Of course, that is why he complains so much now, as he looks forward.

Game Rigged

He says the game is rigged, but in reality, he’s not even playing the same game. He depends completely on personality and large rallies, ignoring the “real reality” of how a nomination is won.

Trump and his people have issued threats of all kinds that if the party doesn’t treat him nicely, there will be consequences:

Elephant Gets It

All of that is perfectly in line with the thuggish Trump persona and the type of “best people” he has hired to orchestrate his campaign.

This man as the Republican presidential nominee would be a total disaster. Thankfully, he’s not the lock on the nomination that the media narrative would have you believe.

The Presidential Contest: An Update

Do you know how tiring it is to write about Donald Trump all the time? I mean, how often can one repeat the same things with respect to his character, policies, and complete unfitness for the office of president?

So, in case you were wondering if I can think about anyone else on the political scene, here’s a reminder that I can be an equal-opportunity critic.

Take John Kasich, for instance. He used to be a solid conservative, or at least I thought he was. During this campaign, he has come out as a candidate who seems to have no problem with same-sex marriage or forcing Christian businesses to participate in them. He also thinks North Carolina went too far in ensuring that men don’t go into women’s restrooms. All while using the name of Jesus as the reason for his views.

John Kasich is a no-go for me. Of course, he’s a no-go in this election cycle anyway; he just doesn’t realize it yet.

Best Chance

On the Democrat side—a side that can never earn my vote at any time due to its blatant anti-Christian policies—we have Bernie Sanders challenging Hillary Clinton, winning state after state while she continues to pull away because of so-called “super delegates” who have lined up for her.

Not that I want Sanders to get any traction, mind you. The fact that an outspoken socialist who sounds more like Karl Marx than anyone else can get such an adoring following is a chilling portent for our future as a nation.

Rare Portrait

Hillary, of course, is no better; she’s just a disguised socialist who tries to appear to be something else. It’s actually kind of funny, in one sense, to see Sanders and Clinton criticize each other when they are virtually identical in ideology. At least Sanders is honest about his beliefs and past actions; Hillary has to do her best to hide both:

Misrepresenting

From the start of this campaign, she has felt as if it is “her turn,” and that no one else should even be considered for the nomination:

More Inevitable

We’ve also been told by the highest authority in the land that she will be a great president:

Clinton Jeopardy

Well, that should seal the deal.

And then there’s that small matter of a possible indictment for criminal activities . . . but we’re not supposed to think about that.

Speaking of a sense of entitlement, I must return briefly to Donald Trump, who has become an expert at whining. Everyone is just so unfair to him. Why, all those delegates going over to Cruz in places like North Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming is theft, total corruption. Never mind that Cruz played by the rules to win those delegates; Trump doesn’t like rules.

Art of Delegate

Yes, Trump will have what the media will call a “good week” or two with primaries in the east, but Cruz’s victories in the west (more are probably coming) and his ability to line up delegates to vote for him on a second ballot at the convention may keep Trump from the nomination after all.

Never in presidential campaign history have I seen two presumed frontrunners in worse shape.

The Front-Runners

Getting back to the prospect of a contested convention on the Republican side, I have no qualms about that. I have a sense of history, and I know what contested conventions can produce:

Contested Convention

In fact, a contested convention this year is the only hope for keeping the Republican party on track because it’s the only path right now that can deny Trump the nomination. And denying him the nomination is paramount for the health of the party and the nation.