Trump? We Should Know Better

I will attempt today not to vent my frustration but to have a calm, rational post about Donald Trump. For the past six-plus years, I’ve been distressed with the foolishness of the American voter overall for putting Barack Obama in the White House. That distress is almost equaled by the possibility of Hillary Clinton returning to that address. Yet almost as frustrating is the boomlet for Trump among potential Republican primary voters.

You all should know better.

Trump’s meteoric rise in the polls is astounding, to be sure. When asked why they support him, many are saying it has nothing to do with the issues but merely admiration for someone who speaks his mind so boldly.

Nothing to do with the issues? Is that how Republicans display their political/governmental knowledge?

Supporting a candidate should be based on two things: where he/she stands on the issues; the character of the individual.

Trump is a new convert to all the “right” side of the issues for voters angry with the path this nation is on under Obama. As I noted in a previous post, he historically has been pro-abortion, in favor of a government-imposed healthcare, soft on illegal immigration, etc., etc.

On the character side of the ledger, his many divorces, his superficial Christianity (which is the same as a non-existent Christianity), his tendency to say whatever just happens to enter his brain, and his incessant boasting about his wealth and his intelligence should send warning signals to all. He reminds me of the central character in this old tale:

Humpty-Trumpty

When the fall comes, it will be disastrous.

I’m particularly distressed over evangelical Christians rushing to Trump’s side. Where is the discernment that is sorely needed for this upcoming historic election? Bruce Jenner (yes, I’m still using his real name because he is still a man regardless of his protestations to the contrary) says he is a Republican. Does that mean those of us who take Scripture seriously should look the other way because that puts him “on our side”?

Dream Ticket

A dream? No, more like a nightmare.

Then there’s Trump’s not-so-subtle insinuation that he had better get this nomination or else:

Be Nice to Me

If that should happen, we will have to endure another four to eight years of radicalism in the White House.

I sincerely hope the Republican electorate awakes from its stupor and begins to see more clearly. The outrage over the Obama years and the weak Republican leadership in Congress should not drive us to commit intellectual suicide. Voting primarily on emotion will be our downfall.

The Senate & Planned Parenthood

The Senate’s vote on the bill to defund Planned Parenthood went the way most people expected. Fifty-three senators, mostly Republicans, voted to end the debate and move to a straight up-and-down vote on the funding. That’s a majority. But, according to Senate rules, 60 votes are needed to get past the debate stage. A grand total of two Democrats voted to go on to the vote.

Two.

Senate Chamber

Now, some of my conservative friends will spend all their time critiquing the Republicans for this. Please know that I’m aware of how the politics of this works. Not all of those Republicans who voted in favor of taking the vote are really on board in their hearts. They knew this strategy wouldn’t work, but they are now free to tell their constituents they voted in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. It helps keep them in office.

Same for those two Democrats who come from more conservative states—Indiana and West Virginia. They can now boast of their conservative credentials and win reelection.

I also know that Mitch McConnell, supposed leader of Senate Republicans, denied having the defunding effort attached to another bill, which would have made it far easier to pass. Did you know that his wife, Elaine Chao, is on the board of the Bloomberg Foundation, which is stridently pro-abortion and sends millions to Planned Parenthood? (By the way, Jeb Bush was on the board of that same organization until he started his run for the presidency—more on that in a later post).

Yes, I know all of this. Yet there still is a significant difference between Republicans and Democrats on issues like this. And this vote is better than the one held in 2011, when the Democrats controlled the Senate and only 42 senators voted for defunding.

Why all the ire toward Republicans when only two Democrats, for political reasons, voted against Planned Parenthood? Put the onus for this failure squarely where it belongs.

Besides their worldview ideology, some Democrats don’t want the campaign financing they get from Planned Parenthood to end. I have no problem saying at this point that the Democrat Party is in bed with pure evil.

All the Services

By the way, the bill wouldn’t have cut a single dime from what is sometimes euphemistically called “women’s health.” All it would have done is shift the money to other organizations that don’t perform abortions. So the real reason here for opposing the bill is not “women’s health” but false ideology and financial ties to Planned Parenthood.

Just remember what this organization really does:

Good Price

On Second Thought

Of course, it’s not the politicians only who are downplaying the ghastly, grisly, and ghoulish practices revealed in the latest videos. They have their helpers:

Nothing to See

So this current attempt to move our society a step closer to sanity has failed. But I am not in despair. I think the cause has been aided by all the attention brought to it, despite the efforts of evil men and women to distort, falsify, and deceive the public. Now is not the time to fold our tents and go away. Now is the time to push forward with even greater boldness.

Obama: Everything’s So Much Better Now

President Obama made some astounding statements in a speech yesterday, claiming that he has rescued the economy and that the United States is now the most respected nation in the world because of his foreign policy.

Well, that kind of covers the whole ground, doesn’t it?

It’s also ludicrous.

Yes, the stock market is booming, but keen analysts worry it’s another one of those artificial bubbles. When they break, things go sour quickly. And the GDP this last quarter actually contracted, meaning negative growth. Well, that had to be the weather that caused it. The Soviet Union used that excuse for seventy years.

Yes, the unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in the Obama years, but that doesn’t take into account the unprecedented number of people who have dropped out of the workforce (which naturally lowers the percentage of unemployed) because they can’t find the jobs they want. No worry, the government has taken measures to ensure they will be taken care of.

Obamacare is an ongoing disaster, hopefully to be put to rest by the Supreme Court very soon.

Then there’s that little matter of doubling the national debt in a mere six years, an achievement no other president has ever been able to accomplish. The fact that we have any economic growth at all is due to entrepreneurs marching forward in spite of this administration’s attempts to drown us in red ink.

Obamanomics

We’re no longer involved in wars? Fantasyland again. One can pull out troops and declare a war is over, but that doesn’t stop the other side from continuing the war. Iraq is ready to crumble; Afghanistan is heading the same direction; the entire Middle East is ablaze while our president does virtually nothing.

What is he bequeathing to his successor?

Laying the Foundation

By all rational standards of measure—which is not how Obama measures things—we are in far worse shape on his watch than we have ever been, both in domestic policy and foreign affairs. His stature in the world is not what it was when he began, when the whole world seemed awash in his “hope and change” rhetoric.

Stature

Another indicator that things are not as he believes is the rush on the Republican side to replace him. Republicans know most of the country now sees through his spin.

Presidential Derby

The choice to be made by Republicans for their presidential nominee is one of the most crucial in my lifetime. May wisdom prevail.

The Deeply Flawed Candidate

The Hillary Clinton coronation is off and running. In her recent swing through Iowa in her campaign van, she kept talking (whenever she would deign to speak to anyone) about how she is the champion of the average American. She demonstrated this by stopping at a Chipotle in Ohio on her way to Iowa, where she spoke to no one—she wasn’t even recognized by the employees.

When she arrived in Iowa, her van parked in a handicapped spot, as if she had no need to follow the rules. But, of course, she is a Clinton; those rules don’t apply to her. There is a great discrepancy between the image she is trying to promote and the reality of who she is:

Champion

Wherever she went, she castigated those who make too much money—you know, all those CEOs who are taking advantage of you. Never mind that she makes more than most of those CEOs. You’re not supposed to pay attention to that:

Speech a Week

She avoided the media, yet those in the mainstream media don’t seem to care. They have already made their choice for 2016, and it’s quite obvious:

Match Hasn't Started

If the media were to be truly honest about her, this is the kind of report you would see:

Campaign 2016

Her views on CEOs are not the only views that are extreme. Speaking out in support of Common Core, she actually said that education is “the most important, non-family [emphasis mine] enterprise” in the country. Education is a “non-family” enterprise? No, Mrs. Clinton, it is the most family-centered enterprise that exists. Parents are the ones responsible for the education of their children, not the state. But, you know, it takes a village. I’m trying to remember—who said that once and wrote a book about it?

Then there’s her consistent position on abortion, which she considers something that should never be limited. Rand Paul, one of the declared presidential candidates on the Republican side, recently challenged DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she, and the Democrat party as a whole, really believes it is right to abort a near-term child that could weigh as much as seven pounds. Her answer was, in short: yes. That is the mentality of the entire Democrat party leadership now, and fully reflects Hillary’s position.

Not Viable

The latest controversy (there are always controversies surrounding the Clintons, usually of their own making) is the donations given to the Clinton Foundation by foreign countries and corporations in exchange for preferential treatment when Hillary was secretary of state. A new book on that subject is being released in a couple of weeks. The New York Times got an advance copy and is already pointing out the problems. That’s the New York Times, mind you—a source that normally will give every benefit of the doubt to progressive politicians.

Republicans should not be afraid to challenge her. She is not royalty who will automatically be swept into the White House. She is a deeply flawed person and candidate. They should be chomping at the bit to take her on:

Ready for Hillary

Whoever the Republicans choose must be steadfast in principle and able to communicate those principles effectively. That kind of candidate will be far more appealing to the average voter than a scandal-plagued Hillary.

An Agenda at the Clinton Library

I conducted research at the Bill Clinton Library this week for my project on spiritual advisers to presidents. In the documents, I found what I expected to find, namely that some of those spiritual advisers were decidedly liberal in their theology and politics, thereby giving “cover,” so to speak, for the policies Clinton put forward, including his agenda for the acceptance of homosexuality in our society as normal.

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The research room staff was professional and nice to work with. The cafe is absolutely superb; wonderful atmosphere and truly great food. The museum is also professionally arranged and is set up in such a way that you can easily go from one exhibit to another with some continuity.

The political agenda, though, is of different spirit than what I’ve seen at other presidential libraries. Naturally, any presidential library is going to showcase what the supporters believe are the strengths of that particular president. What makes the Clinton Library unique is the way it attacks his political adversaries. This showed up especially in the exhibit about the impeachment. Search though you may, you will not find one word about anything he may have done to lead to that impeachment. No, it was all a witch hunt.

I took some pictures to illustrate. Note how they even emphasize some words with highlighting. I didn’t do that; they want to draw attention to certain phrases. In this “explanation,” it is the Republicans who have an ideological agenda (which Clinton, of course, never had) and who refused to compromise, causing government shutdowns. I have a different interpretation of that period, but I’ll not inject it right now. What I want you to see is how the controversy is framed here.

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Then there’s this one:

20150416_095258

Now we learn that the “New Right” is responsible for an increase in personal attacks. Nothing, however, is said about Clinton’s personal behavior that might have led to what his partisans consider “personal attacks.” Notice that most of those attacks were merely based on “rumors and accusations” without foundation. Republicans are charged with trying to undermine Clinton’s popular policies by pushing the “politics of personal destruction.”

That phrase even gets its own heading:

20150416_095402

Visitors to the museum now find out that Clinton’s motives, morals, and patriotism were unfairly questioned. Excuse me?  On the morals issue, I think there is some basis, is there not? By linking that with patriotism, though, it makes all the accusations appear ridiculous. Note the words highlighted in this one: “character assassination” and “new, aggressive tactics,” as if politics has always been of the highest integrity, but now the evil Republicans have changed all that.

The slant is so blatant, without any acknowledgement that there may have been some basis for investigations and possible impeachment, that it is historically unsound.

May I suggest a book that spells out the valid reasons for the impeachment proceedings? My book, Mission: Impeachable–The House Managers and the Historic Impeachment of President Clinton, while now out of print, is still available as a used book on Amazon. I interviewed all thirteen of the congressmen who argued for his impeachment, and you won’t find animosity in any of their stories. They felt they were simply doing their duty to remain faithful to the Constitution.

I also came across this interesting letter from Mother Teresa to Hillary Clinton. It is very nice and complimentary, primarily because that was her character. Yet they had a profound disagreement on abortion. Read these words, and when you get to the last line, I think you might be able to see something behind those words, if you know about this disagreement.

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When she writes, “There is so much good you can do if you listen to God in the silence of your heart,” I think she is hoping God will reveal the truth to Hillary about the holocaust of innocent lives in the womb. Thus far, that plea has gone unheard. Listening to the Spirit’s promptings has not become part of her life.

The Campaign Begins

No primaries have taken place yet, but everyone knows the 2016 campaign has begun. Over the weekend in Iowa, where the first test will occur about this time next year, a parade of Republican presidential hopefuls took to the stage at the Freedom Summit to share their vision for what America should be and how they would handle the transition away from the Age of Obama.

Scott Walker Freedom SummitAccording to the reports I’ve read, the two standouts from the event, which was largely attended by the most conservative of the Republican electorate, were Texas senator Ted Cruz and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Everyone expected Cruz to go over well with the crowd; they didn’t know what to predict about Walker. Yet the courageous governor, who has made reform after reform in a state that isn’t known for its conservative politics, and who survived a recall election as well as winning re-election, surprised many. He was both forceful and personable.

Some who were calling Walker the Dark Horse of this campaign are thinking he may be in the top tier after all. This is all very early, of course, so all prognostications are tentative. Everyone realizes that just one misstep can spell disaster for any candidate. Ask former Texas governor Rick Perry about that.

Two notable no-shows for the event were Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. You can judge whether that was smart or not.

On the Democrat side, however, there is no race whatsoever. Yes, Joe Biden makes noises occasionally; Elizabeth Warren, senator from Massachusetts with virtually no government experience, is the darling of the radical radicals (I use that term because it’s really rather difficult to distinguish anymore the difference on the Left), but I don’t see that happening. Do you think the rest of the country might also hesitate to put another inexperienced person at the helm after what we’ve seen the last 8 years?

So, barring a physical problem (and some have speculated there may be one), Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat candidate.

Old Maid

One could say she’s experienced, to be sure. But how successful has she been? Her chief claim to fame, while not necessarily a claim to competence, is that she was First Lady during her husband’s reign. But what did she really accomplish in that role? It’s hard not to acknowledge the only reason she has the press she does is because of who she is married to.

As a senator, no one can point to any landmark legislation she championed, and again, the reason she even won that seat was due to Bill Clinton’s coattails among Democrats.

Then there was her stint as secretary of state, with the infamous “reset” button with Russia and the whole Benghazi fiasco, blaming it on an internet video and sending the poor man who made it to prison. What a sterling resumé.

King of Hill

Then there’s her laughable comment that she and Bill were broke when they left the White House. She’s also expressed deep concern for income inequality while simultaneously raking in huge amounts herself for paltry speeches.

Hillary Income Inequality

If universities complaining about costs want to pay her those princely sums, that’s their call, but it’s pretty foolish.

Already the polls show she is far ahead of any Republican challenger in a general election. That, though, is primarily a name-recognition factor. She’s shown in the past she can be a terrible campaigner. If Republicans choose, for once, a strong, articulate candidate who stands on principle, that fluffy lead can vanish. And if the electorate doesn’t lose its mind again, there is hope.

President Hillary Clinton (you don’t know hard that was to write) is not inevitable.

Needed: A Republican Spine

The new legislative session is underway. President Obama, even before any piece of legislation was introduced, already indicated his staunch position of using the veto for nearly everything a Republican Congress wants to pass. Should that be considered a preemptive strike?

The president doesn’t like the idea that Congress can have a say in things. That pesky Constitution just keeps getting in his way. His “Reagan Moment” is slightly different than the original:

Tear Down This Wall

The Republicans, meanwhile, had their own little scrape within: an attempt to deny John Boehner the Speaker’s chair. It didn’t succeed, and I knew it wouldn’t. Many on the Right are so disgruntled with Boehner that they almost can’t stand the idea of his continuance in that position.

Personally, I would like a different congressional leader as well—in a perfect world. However, the opposition to Boehner was disorganized and doomed from the start. It takes more than being a conservative firebrand to be put in charge. One also needs the organizational skills and the ability to project a vision and create unity. None of the challengers had those qualities, apparently. What’s even more interesting is that Boehner’s voting record is more conservative than some of those challengers.

Speaker Boehner, though, seems to have gotten the message, both by the election results and the abortive attempt to remove him. He allowed conservatives to shape the legislation to overturn Obama’s executive amnesty. It passed the House and is now before the Senate. The House also passed, with significant Democrat support, the Keystone pipeline bill. Both bills will probably be subject to a presidential veto, and it will be difficult to override the vetoes. What that does, however, is put Obama on the record as opposing measures that many Americans want to see made law.

Will Republicans in Congress continue to chip away at the Obama legacy? It will take real leadership based on principle:

Human Spine

Then, over the last weekend, we got the news that Mitt Romney might be running again. I made it clear last time around that he was not my choice, but that I had no real option but to support his candidacy—it was the only possible way to remove Obama from office.

Although I think Romney is a nice person, I’ve never trusted him to be consistently principled in a conservative philosophy of government. I still have a hard time believing he got the nomination after being the face of Romneycare in Massachusetts, which was the model upon which Obamacare was based. The now-infamous Jonathan Gruber was the architect for both.

If Republicans go for the squishy middle once again in 2016, I predict failure once again. This will be Romney’s third attempt for the presidency. If he falls short this time, does that mean he’ll finally stop trying?

Romney 2036

After a while, one tends to become a joke.

Whom should the Republicans nominate in 2016? Well, my thoughts on that will have to wait. We’re not close enough yet to know for sure who’s really serious about running. But when we get to that point, I promise I won’t stay silent.