Archive for the ‘congress’ Category

By John Ruberry

I was around for the 1994 and the 2010 Red Wave elections. And for the most part, they were pretty awesome, particularly the first one, when the Republican Party bulldozed the Democrats and captured the Senate after eight years of Democrat control, as well as the House of Representatives, after a record 52-year reign by the Dems. And while the GOP didn’t win the Senate in 2010, the Republicans gained an astounding 63 House seats in what is now known as the Tea Party election. 

After both midterms, conservatives salivated at the prospect of the next presidential election. In 1992, Bill Clinton was victorious, it was believed, because George H.W. Bush ran a lackluster campaign–that was true–and votes for third-party candidate Ross Perot siphoned enough support from the GOP conservative base to elect the Democrat. In 2008, the feeling was that John McCain never had a chance against Barack Obama after the Great Recession market crash two months before Election Day. But McCain ran a lackluster campaign too. 

Overconfidence, bordering on hubris, kicked in for the GOP after those Red Waves.

As of this writing there will be a Democrat majority in the Senate in the next Congress, and maybe, a razor-thin Republican majority in the House. 

Bubba had a come-to-Jesus moment–having Dick Morris in his camp helped–and Clinton after the ’94 midterms pivoted to the center by declaring, “The era of big government is over.” The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, widely-known as the Welfare Reform Bill, offered tangible proof.

After what Obama deemed “a shellacking” in 2010, Obama, as he does best, talked a good game–but he didn’t pivot. With no hope of getting unpopular legislation, such as cap-and-trade passed by the new GOP House, he channeled his charisma to win in 2012–as conservatives seethed. And ObamaCare didn’t go into effect until 2013.

Besides over-confidence hindering their White House chances, Republicans nominated country club-flavor Republicans, Bob Dole and Mitt Romney, for president in 1996 and 2012, respectively. In essence, their campaign was, “I’m not the other guy.” Yawn.

As of this writing there will be a Democrat majority in the Senate in the next Congress, and maybe, a razor-thin Republican majority in the House. 

Election denial.

It’s time for the GOP to look at what went wrong this year, starting with election-denial. As I wrote in March, Joe Biden versus Donald Trump was not a free and fair election. Big Tech and media meddling in regard to suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story, in my opinion, was the foremost reason. Richard M. Nixon was the victim of a suspicious presidential election tally in 1960. I was a child in 1968 and 1972, but I don’t recall reading about Nixon mentioning the 1960 race at all during his ’68 or ’72 successful presidential runs.

Deal with it. The Dems won in 2020 and we lost. Move on. If Trump runs in 2024, that needs to be his message. Most of the candidates in close races who said that Biden stole the election from Trump in 2020 were defeated. Election denial is toxic for Republicans.

The big winner in the midterms was Florida governor Ron DeSantis. He’s not an election denier and he has a solid list of accomplishments to point to after four years in office.

The new election playing field.

I loathe mail-in voting, “election season” instead of Election Day, and ballot drop-boxes. But these things aren’t going away. To prevail, Republicans have to adapt and find ways to perform better on the new playing field. Mail-in voting is a good place to start. Increasingly, the GOP is the party of private sector jobholders. Let’s say you’re a construction worker raising a family who is told by his boss, “Hey, I need you at this worksite tomorrow in Nebraska–it pays well.” But that worker hasn’t voted yet and Election Day is two days away. Meanwhile, in Blue Illinois, Election Day is a holiday for government workers.

What if it snows on Election Day? That happened in a Republican area in Nevada last Tuesday.

Shortly before Election Day in 2016, my mother was hospitalized. She had voted in every presidential election since 1956, but mom wasn’t able to vote for Trump, much to her disappointment. We need to reach out to seniors and, gently of course, convince them to utilize mail-in or early voting. 

Republicans need to build on its increasing support among Hispanics and reach out to Asians. The GOP is the party of law and order. However, the media wing of the Democratic Party labels the phrase “law and order” as racist. So Republicans need to rebrand and become, let’s say, the “safety and security” party. Safety and security is an appeal that will resonate among all racial groups.

Tribalism.

If the increasingly frail and mentally feeble Joe Biden runs for reelection and wins renomination–the Democrats won’t have a strong campaigner like Clinton or Obama on the top of the ticket in ’24. And Biden has already said that he won’t pivot, as Bill Clinton did, to the center now that the midterms have passed.

Woo-hoo! We’re gonna win!

Slow down there, cowboy.

Republicans face disaster if they underestimate the support Biden will enjoy from the tribalist base of the Democrats. That tribe will vote every candidate who has a “D” next to their name. In the Chicago area, I live among millions of these people. They might wise up one day. Maybe they won’t. But as Dan Bongino said numerous times in the last week, “Things are just not bad enough yet for a lot of people to wake up from the Kool-Aid slumber.”

And it’s not just Illinois that is afflicted by Dem tribalism. Pennsylvanians chose a cognitively challenged far-left US Senate candidate, John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke this spring, over a mentally nimble Republican candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz. True, Oz could have run a better campaign. 

Ronald Reagan, in his 1984 landslide win over Walter Mondale, won 49 states. But in the popular vote–yeah, I know, the Electoral College declares the victor–Mondale still collected more than 40 percent. In 2024, even if Biden is in worse physical and mental shape than Fetterman is, he’ll do much better, courtesy of tribalism, than Mondale did, in both the Electoral College and the popular vote.

Fetterman, if by some other-worldly convergence ends up as the Democrat nominee for president in 2024, could match Mondale’s popular vote percentage. I am dead serious about that. Tribalism is a tough nut to crack.

There is much to think about and much to do for the Republican Party. But at least the GOP won’t be overconfident in 2024. That might be the best news out of this Red Ripple election.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

The warning signs have been there for many weeks. Shortly before winning the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, John Fetterman had a stroke. How severe was the stroke? We don’t know, because Fetterman, who appears to be morbidly obese, hasn’t released his medical records. 

But he’s a solid leftist Democrat, and that’s all that his party leadership and the people working on his campaign need to know. But can Fetterman perform the job as senator?

His brief public appearances have been filled with gaffes and non-sensical statements, such as this one, made during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, in response to this question, “I just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing?” Fetterman’s response was, “I’m doing fantastic, it’s not about kicking balls in the authority or anything.” Earlier this month Fox News reported that since his stroke, Fetterman had participated just four interviews with a national media outlet-all with MSNBC. Possibly in reaction to that story, Fetterman reached out to NBC. Dasha Burns interviewed him–and the candidate was aided by a teleprompter. As part of her report, Burns said that Fetterman had issues engaging in “small talk” prior to their interview. There was no teleprompter until the cameras were switched on. 

The left-wing Twitter blue-check media army attacked Burns; Fetterman’s wife said that she should face “consequences” for doing her job, which in this case was providing information to Pennsylvania voters so they can make an intelligent choice on who to vote for in the Senate race.

Fetterman’s campaign says as a result of the candidate’s stroke–oh, once again, where are those medical records?–he suffers from auditory processing challenges. And if Fetterman doesn’t improve, how will he be able to understand what is going on in a Senate committee hearing?

Last week’s sole debate between Fetterman and his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, was a debacle for the Democrat. 

“If this had been a boxing match,” Laura Ingraham said of the debate on her Fox News show, “the referee would have called this in the first sixty seconds.” Fetterman’s opening remark was, “Hi, good night, everyone.” Like his other post-stroke campaign appearances, the debate with Oz was another gaffe-fest for the Democrat. Fetterman was particularly ghastly when trying to explain his position on fracking. His campaign blamed the closed captioning on the candidate’s teleprompter. The network that broadcast debate strongly dismissed that complaint.

But to leftists, none of this stuff matters. That’s because Fetterman is “right” on all of the issues, well, maybe not fracking anymore. Maybe. He’ll vote “correctly,” the leftists believe, presumably with the help of his teleprompter, on the Senate floor. After all, under the protection of pandemic restrictions–they were overblown in my opinion, but I want to stay on topic–a frail and obviously mentally feeble Joe Biden was able to win the presidency while hiding in the basement of his Delaware home. 

If the basement bunker tactic worked for Biden, leftists probably believe, it can work for Fetterman too. 

But we are in the middle of a disastrous presidency, which includes a humiliating military defeat, high inflation, and a likely recession.

Back to Pennsylvania and Fetterman: If it were Dr. Oz who had suffered a stroke, state party leaders, and possibly his campaign staff, would call for, perhaps quietly, Oz to step aside in time for a replacement candidate to appear on the general election ballot. While conservatives of course have core principles, our side consists of many more pragmatists. That’s how we roll. For instance, how many conservatives do you find in academia? Or in the arts? The Democrats are the party of noble intentions. The GOP is the party of good results.

And Dems continue to hammer away on unworkable and unpopular polices, such as attacking fossil fuels, confronting inflation with even more government spending, and conducting catch-and-release so-called prosecution of criminals. Philadelphia’s Larry Krasner is one of the worst proponents of such prosecutorial malpractice.

Which means the hardcore support by the left for John Fetterman makes sense. A twisted sense, that is.

When you vote in this year’s general election–vote for pragmatism. Vote Republican.

As for you Pennsylvania voters–you need to say “good night” to Fetterman.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Official Merrick Garland portrait

By John Ruberry

America has endured some terrible attorneys general, Eric Holder, who served under Barack Obama and was held in contempt of Congress over the Fast and Furious scandal, John Mitchell, a Richard M. Nixon AG, who became the only the second US cabinet official to spend time in a federal prison, and Harry M. Daugherty, the leader of corrupt “Ohio Gang” during the administration of Warren G. Harding. 

And finally, there is Merrick Garland, once heralded as a moderate after Obama nominated him to succeed Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court in 2016. Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t hold confirmation hearings on Garland. Donald Trump was elected president later that year, he nominated Neil Gorsuch to the SCOTUS bench, where he is now part of the conservative majority. 

Garland is the worst US attorney general since Daugherty.

Who was Daughterty? He was a minor political figure in Ohio who gained power as a behind-the-scenes kingmaker. A drinker like Harding, hey, like most Americans in the early 20th century, Daugherty got involved in the prohibition movement for political expediency. And he’s the man who worked the famous “smoke-filled room” at Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel to win Harding the Republican nomination for president in 1920. In Harding’s words about his successful election, “We drew a pair of deuces and filled.”

Although Harding’s cabinet had some magnificent choices, Charles Evans Hughes as secretary of State and Andrew Mellon as head of the Treasury Department, the Harding cabinet included Daugherty and Albert Fall, secretary of Interior. Fall accepted bribes as he sold cheap oil leases on federal land in what became known as the Teapot Dome Scandal, which led to a prison term for him, a first for a cabinet member. Daugherty, if he investigated it at all, barely looked into Teapot Dome. 

Daugherty’s assistant at Justice, and his roommate, was Jess Smith, who probably allowed alcohol owned by the federal government to be sold to bootleggers. Smith committed suicide a few months before Harding’s death in 1923.

Besides corruption, the Ohio Gang was known for its alcohol-fueled poker games at its de facto headquarters, “the Little House on K Street,” in Washington. Yes, there was a two-tiered justice system then.

And that’s been the charge against Garland’s Justice Department. No, not the poker games, but a two-tiered justice system. Don’t get me wrong, the January 6 rioters deserve punishment, even though most of them are probably guilty of nothing more than trespassing. 

Jim Banks, who Nancy Pelosi prevented from serving on the House January 6th Committee, summed up Garland’s hypocrisy perfectly. 

From the American Thinker:

Citing the Justice Department’s lenient treatment of left-wing rioters compared to the harsh treatment of Jan. 6, 2021 rioters at the Capitol, including many who “are not accused of entering the Capitol or committing violence,”

Rep. Jim Banks (R.-Ind.), in a two-page letter dated June 14, 2022, accused Attorney General Merrick Garland of leading “a two-tiered system of justice” at the Department of Justice. Congressman Banks asserted: “Violent rioters who are likely to vote Democrats [sic] are often released with a slap on the wrist, or less, while January 6th defendants are prosecuted to the harshest extent possible.”  

Asserting that “the unequal application of justice is an injustice,” Mr. Banks accused the attorney general of politicizing federal law, thereby assaulting “the basic American principle of equal justice under the law.” 

Then there is Hunter Biden, a Chicago-style influence-peddler. Garland is from the Chicago area; he surely knows a lot about mediocre people like Hunter throwing his weight around as he enriches himself and his family.

Just now on Fox Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, US Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told the host, “We have a two-tiered justice system, one that will treat with kid gloves, or cover up for, Democrats and their powerful friends, the elite–and the rest of Americans. And I think we are seeing that big time with Hunter Biden and all of his very suspicious [financial] transactions.”

Ever since the Supreme Court draft on Dobbs v. Jackson was leaked, the case that overruled Roe v. Wade, there have been protests, in violation of federal law, in front of the homes of conservative justices. So far no one has been charged, even though there is voluminous video evidence that had been aired by news outlets and on YouTube that includes clearly recognizable faces. Announcements of protests are posted on social media.

Is Garland quietly cheering on these illegal protests? Don’t forget, it was Garland’s office that asked the FBI to investigate parents protesting school boards over the teaching of Critical Race Theory, citing unnamed threats.

Last month former Trump White House advisor Peter Navarro, who was 72 years old at the time, was put in leg irons by the FBI, after being indicted on contempt of Congress charges. “Who are these people? This is not America,” Navarro said during his first appearance in federal court. “I was a distinguished public servant for four years!”

Navarro, who has not faced prior legal troubles, is hardly a flight risk. 

Earlier this year, former Illinois House speaker Michael Madigan, who served in that role for four decades–and the former chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party–was indicted on a slew of corruption charges. 

Who wants to make a bet with me that Boss Madigan, also a septuagenarian, was not put in leg irons after his indictment?

Daughtery was later asked to resign as attorney general by Harding’s successor, Calvin Coolidge. He faced trial twice on unrelated charges. Both trials ended with hung juries. 

Garland will face tough questions next year, as congressional investigations led by Republicans will zoom in on the many debacles created by the Biden White House. Look for Garland to answer in the same fashion as Nixon’s Watergate co-conspirators did during the Watergate Senate hearings. “I don’t know” was a common response, as was “I don’t recall.”

Maybe, just maybe, Garland will answer questions about whether he plays poker at boozy parties in Washington.

John Ruberry regular blogs at Marathon Pundit.

For the last several days you have been hearing the media talk about how there is trouble in Republican Land. Harry Reid is saying how the speaker has to abandon the Tea Party (My latest in the Examiner on the subject is To Tea or not to Tea btw) Schumer is going on about “extremism” and CNN is going on and on about how unpopular or ineffective the Tea Party is.

Yet for all of the noise you are hearing what do we see?

Les Gosule at the Twin City Tea Party 3-28

Locally a good turnout at the tea party meetings to see Sheriff Lew Evangelidis talk about his first 100 days, Les Gosule on Melissa’s bill and a plethora of Tea Party activities in the works.

 

For a dying movement clearly in Central Mass things are still happening.

Meanwhile on capital Hill here come the cuts 33 billion:

Biden confirmed the new target on spending cuts, putting the best face on the deal for Democrats and in his trademark style, trying to add a little punch to the administration’s stance— still hampered by Obama’s detachment from the budget fight.

But I thought all of these cuts were “draconian” and “extreme“? If this is the public number where will the final one be? Yet it is democrats trying to put the “best face on it”.

Meanwhile in Wisconsin the Unions are leaning on small business:

Members of Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, have begun circulating letters to businesses in southeast Wisconsin, asking them to support workers’ rights by putting up a sign in their windows.

If businesses fail to comply, the letter says, “Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means ‘no’ to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members.”

Hey, I thought the Unions were winning and the Governor was unpopular? If you are winning why play the “Nice business you’ve got there, shame if anything would happen to it.” card.

And the Democrats who are so sure publicly that the budget confrontation will roll back those 63 seats the republicans gained are suddenly not so sure:

NOW, THE DCCC HAS BEEN FORCED TO FOCUS ON ONLY 14 DISTRICTS: “The Democratic Party is taking aim at 14 freshmen Republicans in the House, of 87 elected, whom it deems the most vulnerable…We’re way too early in the cycle to start trying to predict what the results will be on Nov. 6, 2012. “But it’s pretty remarkable that we’re not hearing much talk about Democrats retaking the House in 2012,” Geraghty says.

14 seats they think the republicans and Tea Party folk are so unpopular they can pick up a whole 14 seats?

But why worry, after all President Obama is still polling well…isn’t he?

President Barack Obama’s approval rating and prospects for reelection have plunged to all-time lows in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Yeah but he’s The one™. We in the MSM know republicans are in trouble and not democrats, because if Democrats were in trouble they’d have to receive open government awards in secret or something.

President Obama finally and quietly accepted his “transparency” award from the open government community this week — in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House on Monday.

How can this be? After all it’s not like he’s like Johnson or Nixon secretly putting the CNN into foreign countries to overthrow people or something?

And I’d be willing to bet that these CIA operatives aren’t the only American boots pennyloafers gators shoes of indeterminate structure on the ground in Libya. We’ve previously reported on the insertion of A-10′s and B-1′s into the conflict. Typically, such aircraft require some tactical assistance on the ground. That’s usually Air Force enlisted personnel; it’s a segment of the AF special operations called combat control.

I haven’t linked to Andrew Sullivan in ages, but his reaction is simply so funny that it deserves a link:

It’s so surreal, so discordant with what the president has told the American people, so fantastically contrary to everything he campaigned on, that I will simply wait for more confirmation than this before commenting further. I simply cannot believe it. I know the president is not against all wars – just dumb ones. But could any war be dumber than this – in a place with no potential for civil society, wrecked by totalitarianism, riven by tribalism, in defense of rebels we do not know and who are clearly insufficient to the task?

Andrew as a certain Time Lord once said: “you can’t be a successful crook with a dishonest face, can you?”

So to those in the GOP who are worried about fighting back because the media says we’re in trouble I say this:

“Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell”!.

Update: Here is the solution for democrats. Tax increases! That’s going to fly really well.