Posts Tagged ‘Kasich’

My Disgust with GOP Politicians

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

cruz_statementOn Friday evening, as the staged riot at the UIC Trump event was in full swing, Ted Cruz came out to make a statement, that was carried live in several media outlets.  That statement began by briefly blaming the protesters, but then shifted immediately into blaming Donald Trump for the violence, asserting that he had created an environment ripe for violence, by effectively inciting it. First, let’s listen to Senator Cruz’s statement Friday evening:

I can’t describe how disappointed I am at this “blame the victim” meme being advanced in this video by Ted Cruz.  Naturally, both Rubio and Kasich made similar remarks to media, and it frankly disgusts me that they reverted purely to opportunists seizing on a chance to attack Donald Trump.  While it is true that it would seem at least superficially factual that Trump may have encouraged some violence with the “punch him in the face” remark during one of his rallies, the truth is that the statement “punch him in the face” is being considered here out of context.  What do I mean by “out of context?”

Consider that you’re throwing a party, or hosting an event, and ne’er-do-wells invade your event with the express purpose of causing trouble, or of creating mayhem.  As they’re being escorted out, or frequently as they’re being apprehended, they become a whirligig of flailing fists to either combat their removal, or to slow their removal or otherwise cause harm to others.  In this sort of context, some of these people would deserve, and would have earned a “punch in the face.” It’s not an aggressive use of force that Trump seems to have been advocating, but something of a response or defense against some of these very nasty folk who are stirring up trouble, intentionally, and by design of their attendance at the event of a person they obviously do not support.

If I support a cause, for instance, the Tea Party, and I attend the rally of a Tea Party group, I’m there to honestly support the cause and otherwise participate honestly in an event.  If I go to a rally of Planned Parenthood supporters, knowing I truly detest everything for which Planned Parenthood stands, secreting myself by disguise of clothing or signage, but then interrupt the program, and become violent as I am forcibly removed from the premises, I’m not a “peaceful protester” nor am I anything but what Trump has termed “disrupters.” I have used deception to gain entrance, and then by force of my active presence and demonstration against the purpose of the rally, I have placed the other rally attendees, security teams, and the host(s) of the rally in the position of having to use physical force or its implicit threat to remove me in order to continue the event for which they have every right to carry out as scheduled.

The people actually creating the “atmosphere” or “environment” of violence are not, in such a scenario, the host(s) of the event, the security staff, nor even other attendees who may wish to confront me or assist in my removal.  In such a scenario, the sole responsibility for violence lies with the person who instigated the incident, in my example above.  This is not really a logical controversy, and Ted Cruz is a smart enough fellow to have known better.  So are Marco Rubio and John Kasich.  Instead, they leaped opportunistically into the situation without regard for the truth.  In Chicago, at the scheduled UIC Trump rally that was ultimately canceled on Friday night, the responsibility for all of it, every bit of any violence, the rampage, and the canceling of the event, every stitch of it, lies solely with those who organized and participated in the riot for the purposes of interrupting, interfering, or otherwise diminishing the event for all those who were attending in good faith.

Ted Cruz had the opportunity to say that.  He had the chance to step in front of the cameras and microphones and be a champion of free speech, and to absolutely castigate the parties who were involved in this mob-oriented treachery.  Instead, what Senator Cruz did was to attack the victim(s).  Instead, what Senator Cruz did was to lend cover and excuse culpability of all these ne’er-do-wells who intentionally attended the event, using disguise and deception, for the explicit purpose of stifling the free speech of Mr. Trump, along with any other speakers scheduled, and naturally the crowd that was gathering to listen to him.  It excuses the damage done to attendees’ vehicles by the rampaging hordes of ne’er-do-wells and provides them with an out for their actions.

This is extremely disappointing to me.  Senator Cruz is an attorney, a man who proclaims his thorough-going support of the US Constitution, and yet I am to believe that he does not see this distinction?  It’s not as though Trump supporters were or are parading through the streets of Chicago looking for a fight, or that Trump himself were leading such a parade, aggressively seeking out protesters to confront and attack as a matter of aggression.  These supposed “incitements” to violence that Ted Cruz and the others have been citing all occurred within the confines of venues reserved by the host of the event in question, and solely for the participation of the invited, sincere participants.

This is no different from the very nasty habit of current public schools and their widespread “zero-tolerance” policy on violence, in which they make no moral or logical distinction whatsoever between the attacker and the victim who defends his or her person from the attack.  Trump never said “go out in the streets, find those protesters, beat the hell out of them, and punch them in the face.”  That would be an actual incitement to violence.  That would be an aggressive appeal for an “atmosphere” or “environment” of violence, and that would be disclaimed by every sane and rational person. I am fairly certain that if Mr. Trump ever exhorted his crowds to such behavior, he would in short order find his crowds dwindling in size, but that’s not what he’s done, and Ted Cruz knows it, and so do all the other people who’ve been attacking him on this front over the last week or more.

Good and decent people know that they should not go into somebody’s birthday party, wedding reception, public meeting, church service, or any other sort of event and create disturbances of any sort.  They also know that if they would undertake to do such things, they risk making of themselves targets for a highly emotional and direct response that may become physical in the attempt to remove them. This is not rocket science.  This is common decency, and I think it speaks volumes about the character of candidates Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich, all who made similar statements on Friday evening, that the opportunity to attack their party’s front-runner “trumped” all other considerations in the formulation of their statements.  It’s utterly despicable, and I can’t support people who displace blame onto the victims while letting the perpetrators off the hook in any way. Period.

Stupor Tuesday

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

cruz_v_trump_ftHere we are on another Super Tuesday election, and once again, there’s no clear answer to our troubles. Some things, however, do seem clear and unambiguous to me. Marco Rubio is unacceptable by any measure. His support of amnesty with the “GangOf8” immigration reform bill disqualifies in my view. There is no circumstance under which I could support Rubio.  Dr. Carson is finished, no matter how long he remains in the race. From here to the convention, I don’t think there’s any chance for his numbers to improve, and I don’t believe he’s a serious candidate.  Governor Kasich is running a pointless candidacy also, perhaps in some ways worse than Carson’s. Kasich should run for the exit, but he’s stubbornly remaining in the race so that he can be beaten in his home state of Ohio, perhaps slightly less thoroughly than Rubio will be flogged in his home state of Florida.  This leaves us with two remaining, plausible candidates.  At this point, considering any of the others is an exercise in futility.  I guess it comes down to what you believe, who you believe, and what it is that you think the election of 2016 will actually mean for the country.  This is where conservatives must wear their thinking caps and consider the whole of the race, and not just the immediate gratification of the primary vote.  It’s enough to make one consider intoxication as a potential antidote.  Myself, I’m in a bit of a stupor over it all.

Ted Cruz appears to be the most solidly conservative in the field.  He is not, however, without problems.  His support for increasing H1-B visas is very troubling to me, as is his support for fast-track authority(TPA) for the TPP for whomever may be sitting in the Oval Office.  There is no doubt that the TPP is a terrible deal for the American people, transferring wealth and sovereignty out of the country and essentially locking the US into a perpetual disadvantageous trade contract that imposes severe restrictions on our own economic independence.  I oppose the TPP for this and many more reasons, and I don’t understand why Senator Cruz, a self-professed “constitutional conservative,” would go along with such a deal.   I also don’t believe he’s been entirely honest with us about his role on the spiking of the “GangOf8” legislation.  It’s clear from video available that he wanted to do something (other than deportation) with the eleven or twelve million illegals(and I suspect many more) who “live in the shadows.”  All of these things are bothersome and worrisome to me.

Donald Trump has ever been a liberal, and in many respects, this makes him worse.  He’s also made a career of marketing himself like a carnival barker.  His failures over the course of his whole career are legion, but that in and of itself isn’t necessarily damning: At least he was willing to take risks.  The problem is that in so many of these cases, he took risks with other peoples’ money, and squandered it.  One might argue that this is the nature of business, just as one might argue that paying off politicians is just a part of doing business, but I don’t see how we’re any better off having the briber rather than the bribed running the country.  His position on social and moral issues certainly seems less than solid too.  His continued support for Planned Parenthood is quite troubling to me.  I also find his mouth to be a volcano of bilge, with cursing o’plenty, although it seems in the last week or so that he’s cleaned some of this up, perhaps in recognition that it hurts him. That makes me wonder if a victorious Trump would return to form soon after.  He has a long history of saying things that are despicable in any context in which I’d care to be included.  His talk about his sex-life and his descriptions of women, and all the rest of his endless, lifelong debauchery seems to me a disqualifying problem.  The New York Times, certainly not the most reliable source, implies that it has in its possession “off-the-record” taped conversations with Trump that may indicate that he’s a good deal more flexible on immigration than his campaign rhetoric indicates. As he explained to Hannity on Monday night, “everything is negotiable.” Many of his larger problems won’t be revealed, conveniently, until the Republican Party is saddled with him as their nominee, by which time he may be embroiled in court over a lawsuit against him and “Trump University.” Mostly, the problem with Donald Trump is that he hasn’t done or said anything to relieve me of the fear that he’s completely untrustworthy, not just on social issues, but primarily with respect to his signature issues on which he has provided little specific detail.

Let us conservatives accept from the outset that there are no perfect candidates.  Still, we should be able to discern who is more perfect.  We should be able to rely on their records. Others rely to some extent on the character of those who have endorsed these candidates, although I think in many cases, this has led to a wholly unsatisfactory outcome in many instances.  I can think of a dozen or more candidates the Tea Partys have been urged to support who upon election, turned out to be more of the same, and often pro-amnesty jerks.  Marco Rubio is a grand example of the type, but he is hardly the only one.  The truth is that conservatives have been betrayed in one form or fashion in election after election, to the extent that many of us feel shell-shocked by it.  On the one hand, we have a Republican establishment that is clearly a syndicate of global elitists, who will side with their cohorts in the Democrat Party to ruin and wreck conservatives any time we can manage to get a leg up, but on the other hand, we have a situation in which it seems that the mathematics give us just two plausible outcomes.

If Rubio, Kasich, and Carson remain in this race, it helps Trump. If they get out, it helps Cruz.  Rubio cannot and will not be the nominee. The math in no way supports him.  This leads one to question: “Why are these guys staying in, when none of the three have won a state, or even seriously threatened to win a state?” Now we get to the nub of the issue.  We have had it told to us all through this primary season debacle that Cruz and Trump(along with Carson) are the outsiders.  Is this really the case?  We’re told that Rubio is an establishment stooge, and it makes plenty of sense, right until you ask: “Why is Rubio still in this race?” No Republican who hasn’t won Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina(first three contests) has ever gone on to win the nomination. History isn’t lying, so why is Rubio staying in?  It must be for another purpose, and I think we can take a reasonable guess at it.  Who is hurt by Rubio enduring in this race, and who is helped?  Based on the available polling data, there is a strong dislike of Trump in the Rubio camp. Cruz would likely capture something on the order of ninety percent or more of Rubio’s support, depending upon whose numbers you believe. In the Cruz camp, Rubio enjoys no such advantage. If Cruz were to exit, roughly half of his support would go to Trump and half to Rubio, with a few here and there for Kasich or Carson. What this means, in fact, is that the only two people presently having any chance at the Republican nomination are Trump, and Cruz.  This means that with every passing day in which Rubio, Kasich and Carson stay in this race, Trump becomes all the more inevitable.

With all of this in mind, we must ask reasonably once more: “Why is Rubio staying in?” It is the presumption of many that he is the “establishment track” candidate, but the GOP establishment isn’t going to back a guy they know has no chance of winning unless they’re using him to split the vote on behalf of a candidate they believe can win. Who would that be?  Cruz? Kasich? Carson? Or Trump?  Even if his financial backing flees, I suspect Rubio will stay around in order to secure a VP slot on somebody’s ticket.  I wonder who that might be.

Let’s look at that again: Trump has a long and storied history of supporting liberal Republicans and a whole host of Democrats.  If Rubio’s candidacy was genuinely anti-Trump, as he now pretends is the case, why would he stay in? In a head-to-head in Florida, Rubio loses to Trump, and Trump walks away with all ninety-nine delegates because it’s a winner-take-all state. Cruz, by contrast, could actually beat Trump in a head-to-head absent Rubio. That would give Cruz all the Florida delegates, and place him on the fast-track to the nomination.  What you can learn from all of this is that the people who are still bank-rolling Rubio via the SuperPACs aren’t doing so because they think Marco can win, but because they actually want Trump, and will use Rubio’s continuing presence to split up the vote that would otherwise go almost entirely to Cruz.

Do you see the point here? Given the nature of Donald Trump’s support from the endorser-class, one might have concluded he was the only genuine outsider, but the question we must now ask, as Rubio is being used as a lever to depress Cruz is: “Who is spoofing whom?”  I believe the real establishment candidate is he who benefits from the continued presence of somebody other than himself in the race. Who is that? Does Cruz benefit from Rubio, Kasich, or Carson remaining?  No.  Does Rubio benefit from Cruz, Carson, or Kasich remaining? No. Does Trump benefit from Cruz remaining in? No.  Does Trump benefit from Rubio, Kasich and Carson’s remaining in, so long as Cruz is an active candidate? YES!

There are only two viable candidates remaining in this race. I will not tell you how you ought to vote.  You’re all grown folk, and you hardly need me to offer you advice.  What I will tell you is that what I see implicit in the numbers is that Rubio, Kasich, and Carson are remaining solely to be spoilers.  The question must be only: “For whom?” Only Trump and Cruz have a shot at winning this race.  The question before you is whether you will a.)support Cruz, b.)support Trump, or c.)support one of the spoilers who gives/helps give it to Trump. Of course, you can also sit home. As I said, this has been a disturbing primary season, and any conservative would probably be somewhat justified if they wanted to just drink their frustrations away, but escape into an inebriated stupor won’t solve the problem.  Conservatives must now think, and think carefully, in order to choose.  Wait until the day after the general election in November to imbibe. By then, we may all need a drink.

 

Editor: This column was supposed to auto-post at 7am this morning, but for some reason failed. My apologies to readers. I usually vote on the way in to work, didn’t this morning, after work, my precinct ran out of ballots while in line, still waited 20 minutes after polls closed, fairly certain my precinct was strongly pro-Cruz.