Monday, November 28, 2016

Go West, Young Man!

I am sitting outside Gate D-19 at Dulles Airport, awaiting my flight to San Diego where I'll do a little client work for a few days. Sorry to disappoint, but I am not rigged in my tracksuit and trainer get up, as I have a follow on engagement in LA later in the week that requires me to be in business suit. So I decided to travel in said suit, with blazer carefully folded into the suitcase along with everything else.

I fly to LA on Thursday night, hang around a hotel lazily on Friday, and then attend the annual Reagan National Defense Forum at the Reagan Library. I usually run into a lot of friends from the National Security business there, and the day's events are always top-notch.

I do not like Dulles Airport. No, I do not. You either ride one of those silly buses to your terminal, or you ride a monorail that drops you a half a mile from your terminal and you get to walk the rest of the way. The dining options remain terrible, and the United lounge servicing the "D" terminal is clear at the end of one side of the building, and my gate is at the other. So, I am sitting at the gate sucking up an electrical receptacle powering this laptop up for the flight. I have plenty of work, but I suppose I'll read and watch movies.

I land at 1845 hrs SD time, and since I won't eat on the plane, I'll be ravenous. There is a Ruth's Chris right up the street from my hotel, so I think that will be my dinner choice tonight.

Just a check in today, I'll write tomorrow if I have anything interesting to share.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Castro FINALLY Goes To Hell

I'm going to make this short and sweet: Fidel Castro was a ruthless thug who ran a communist dictatorship that murdered a greater percentage of his people than Stalin, controlled their lives to a greater extent than North Korea and spied on them more efficiently and effectively than East Germany. He was a paranoid killer who's only peers were Stalin, Hitler, Zhou En lai, Mao and Pol Pot. May he rot in hell.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Jeb Bush on the Future of the Republican Party

Jeb Bush has a nice piece up at the Wall Street Journal, and in it he gets fully behind an Article V Convention of the States. To remind, Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides the means for its alteration by future generations, and it says:

"The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate."

To explain, if a super-majority (2/3) of both chambers of Congress determine that an amendment is desirable, it is then sent to the States where 38 of the 50 must ratify it for it to amend. The Constitution has been amended using this method for all 27 of the existing amendments.

An alternative method would be for 2/3 (34) State Legislatures to call for a Constitutional Convention of the States in which Amendments could be proposed completely apart from the wishes of the national legislature. Those amendments would then go to the States for their ratification, and again, 38 of the 50 would need to ratify amendments for them to take on the force of law. Such a means of amending the Constitution has never been used.

The Founders specifically insisted on this latter method because of a fear that the Congress might itself become too tyrannical, and that there would need to be a method of amending that could occur utterly outside its authority. Initial discussions at the original Constitutional Convention did not include this "federalist" method of amending, but some who watched the sovereignty of the several states decline in that proceeding insisted on its inclusion.

With Republicans in control of 32 state legislatures, it is time for the Article V movement to switch into high gear. R's should market this as a means to update the Constitution THE RIGHT WAY, rather than having unelected judges legislating from Federal benches. They must remind people that 38 States would STILL have to ratify anything that came out of the Convention. They will need a few States where they don't control the legislatures to pitch in on this effort, so it cannot be seen solely as a way to push a conservative agenda. Attach items issues like term limits to the discussion, things that cross party lines for popularity.

Jeb is right on this.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Ready for The Turkey
It is a little after 8, and I am in the kitchen staring out at the Miles River while the dogs go through their morning rituals. A glass enclosed gas fire is kicked up next to me, and it just became hot enough to excite the small fan which propels its goodness outward. I slept in this morning, until just a few minutes ago really, after bedding down at 9:30. A solid effort on my part.

In about two and a half hours, the cooking will begin. The Kitten has planned a gluttonous repast to celebrate this day of Thanksgiving, and we and the Kittens will be joined by an additional six family members living closeby. This year, we have the added treat of hosting The Kitten's mother-in-law, who is also grandmother to the Kittens and mother to The Kitten's late husband. She is a delightful woman, and she has made me welcome in her world from the moment I entered it. We share a great interest in news events, and the two of us can sometimes bore the rest of the house with our chatter.

The Kittens are both here, and it is renewing to hear the laughter that comes from their scheming upstairs. Not that they are scheming right now; it is far too early for that. This is the 10th Thanksgiving that we have celebrated together--as I woke this morning I gave The Kitten a little squeeze as I rendered thanks for the three of them--properly named Catherine, Hope, and Hannah--for having allowed me into this wonderful family.

The Kitten has a well-thought-out plan, complete with timetables and forethought into how to manage the use of the oven, five cooktop elements, and the grill. Here is today's menu:

Roast Turkey
Grilled Local Duck Wapped in Bacon with a Blackberry and Balsamic Sauce
The Kitten's Famous Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce
Sweet Potatoes
Oyster Casserole
The Kitten's Famous Dressing (or Stuffing)
Brussel Sprout/Broccoli Medly Drizzled with Light Sauce of Balsamic and Honey
Dinner Rolls
Pumpkin Cheese Cake Pie
Pumpkin Pudding Pie
Pumkin Pie
Vanilla Ice Cream

We have a great, well-equipped kitchen, but an undertaking of this magnitude requires forethought into how all the tools are managed, and The Kitten has it down to a science. My contributions include, all things turkey, gravy, and duck. Also, the Brussel sprout dish and the peeling of the numerous potatoes that go into her decadent mashed potatoes. I remember an early Thanksgiving, together, when the little Kittens chatted about their mother's mashed potatoes with reverance. I dismissed it of course, as the hero worship of children for their mother--but when I tasted them, they were confirmed.

We are shooting for Supper at 1700 hrs, which means the long lead item (Turkey) gets started at about 1100 (out of the oven at 1615, in at around 1145). I have a 23 pound fresh Butterball, which I will cook breast side down (as is my recent custom). Doing so results in a bird that is not as pretty as a breast up version, but the breast meet comes out perfect. After the Turkey goes in, I turn to the mind-numbing job of potato peeling, before heading out to the grill to cook the duck, which is then refrigerated until the guests arrive, and is used as an appetizer. In the past, we have had several more appetizers, but this year we concluded that while they were delicious, they made us (me) full before the meal even started.

The house is quiet as I wrap up this post. The dogs have concluded their morning hyperactivity and have settled down for naps. I hear the hot water heater, so someone in the house is up and about besides me. Soon, breakfasters will be all around, and the television will be turned on to the Macy's Parade. Not much TV football watching goes on in this house on Thanksgiving, so I sneak out to the ManCave for quick nips at the games.

To conclude, I want to wish anyone who reads this a Happy Thanksgiving, and I'll share what is rolling around in my mind as the general theme for this evening's Grace with you as a way to extend its blessings.  Be well, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Dear Lord,
We thank you for this day, and for our lives.
We ask that you be with us this evening as we enjoy our family's love and this bountiful meal.
We know that there are many across this country today who do not share in the bounty, and who
are suffering in body, or in spirit.
We ask that you be with them this day, and all days.
We ask that you be with those whose jobs keep them away from home, and to return them to their loved ones safely.
And we ask that we be worthy of all of your blessings each and every day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

NOT Good Policy, NOT Good Politics

I like to think I understand politics, most of the time. Generally speaking I realize making an effort to get along, meeting your opponents halfway and being a magnanimous, all around swell guy can pay great dividends. The election is won, no reason to be vindictive or seek retribution. I get it. 

But Trump's decision to give Hillary a pass confuses and confounds me. Number one the promise Trump made to us that no one is above the law and justice will be done REGARDLESS, still rings in our ears. Hillary flouted the law. She set up a private server to avoid government oversight so as to sell access and favors through the Clinton Foundation. That much is clear as a bell to anyone who cares to look. We know it and the Democrats know it. So what's the problem in pursuing an investigation?

"Well Hammer we have a tradition in American politics where the winner never goes after the loser. It's tradition. We don't want to look like a banana republic dictatorship. Even though the law was broken, just let it go. We'll all be better off." 

Sorry, can't subscribe to that way of thinking. The law is the law and this isn't about the Democrat nominee or partisan politics or Donald Trump. This is about our national security and the RULE OF LAW, prosecutorial discretion does not apply. Mr. Trump upon taking office should have his Justice Department, with Congressional oversight, appoint SEVERAL special prosecutors. One to examine the Clinton Foundation and their role in Hillary's email server, one to ferret out the IRS abuses, one to examine "Fast and Furious" and one to look at the NSA and their spying on the American people. This is just my short list, I could think of others.  

"But Hammer, the animosity this would cause! Do you really want to put the country through all that?" Uh, let me think...HELL YES! The Hammer doctrine has always been good policy makes for good politics. Can you imagine the revelations to come from these investigations? I would argue we have seen only the tip of the iceberg. We have a compliant, corrupt media that refuses to tell us anything detrimental or embarrassing to BHO and his cohorts. We have members of the current administration taking the 5th before Congress. There is a lot there, if we would only look. We could drip drip drip extremely damaging information almost daily for the next four years. At the end of the day these investigations would most likely culminate in prosecution and conviction at the highest levels of the Democrat elite. Either that or we'd have a two hour highlight reel of the Democrats exercising their right against self incrimination. We could break the back of progressivism for a generation. The public would see all the nefarious dealings of this corrupt, vile administration and at the very least, Schumer would be playing nothing but prevent defense for the foreseeable future. Why would we NOT do this?

But let's say we don't. Let's say Trump takes the easy way out. What message does that send? It tells me and his most loyal supporters Trump is full of shit, and everything he's said is now questionable. In other words CW will be proven right. It also sends the message to the leftists that you can do anything you like no matter how heinous or outrageous, and if you do happen to get caught the conservatives will be too scared to take you on. This decision gives them aid, comfort and POWER. 

Jesus H. even the timing is wrong. If Trump wants to give Hillary a pass why would he announce it now? He's just letting BHO off the hook. Why not wait, see how this plays out. Obama could very well pardon Hillary in which case problem solved. The Republicans don't look weak, Hillary's guilt would be acknowledged by the current administration and there would be no backlash for our cowering Republicans to worry about. Waiting just gives Trump more options, and the fact he can't see that is more than a little disturbing. 

Trump should do as Obama with not a care for the feelings, input, council or reputations of his opponents. Elections have consequences. Trump needs to build bridges WHEN IT'S IN OUR INTEREST not to appease the radical left and their corrupt media. We as conservatives need to go on offense and advance our agenda forcefully and vigorously. We won! We won BIG and we need to start acting like it. I see absolutely no need for compromise. Extend the hand of friendship to the #nevertrump-ers, but the progressives get nothing. This is good policy AND good politics.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mattis and Romney

Talk this weekend on The Twitters was of visits to the North Jersey Whitehouse of Mitt Romney and Jim Mattis to call on President Elect Trump. The rumors are that Romney is being considered for the Secretary of State, and Mattis (former Marine four-star and Marvel Comics Action Hero) is being considered for Secretary of Defense.  These would be inspired choices, and there are strong cases for each. But the strongest case in my view is for each man to be in the other job. Here's why.

Jim Mattis used to be called "the Warrior-Monk" while on active duty. There is no doubt, but that he is a tough, Marine. But he's also a deep, deep, strategic thinker. When I think of who I would want looking across the negotiating table with our friends and allies ALIKE, I can think of no one I'd rather have there making our case than Mattis. This is after all, the job of the Secretary of State.

Why Mitt at DoD?  DoD is a huge series of interlocking businesses, and Mitt knows how to run big things.  He will have the gravitas to deal with the generals, admirals, and White House Staff.

I don't expect to be asked about this by the Trump team, but I leave this suggestion here for anyone who might be listening.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pardon Me While I Gloat

What'd I tell you? What the hell did I tell you!? Don't remember or refuse to remember? I said way back in December of 2015 Trump would win with a solid South and a few "rust belt" states like Michigan and Ohio. Now who's your Daddy? Who is your God-damned DADDY!? Bow down and kiss my lily white SOUTHERN ass because I got it right (and won) and you didn't. 

You want to know why I got it right? Well I'll tell you, I'm a working class stiff that's why. I don't live in a palatial estate on the Mary-Land eastern shore. I'm not an attorney. My domicile is not in a huge population center nor do I get my news from Twitter and/or Facebook. I wouldn't give two shits for what Cher or George Clooney or Labron James think. I am a son of the working class just one generation away from sharecropping. I'm the guy who does the dirty work, the slubb who has been ridiculed, slandered and REPLACED by immigrants because the elites don't like my voting patterns. I am the guy who ALLOWS the elites to run things because I am too busy earning a living and providing for my family AND PAYING TAXES. But the elites grew too big for their britches and screwed it all up, so an attitude adjustment and a little remedial education is required. If they behave themselves we might, I say MIGHT let ‘em back in the game. But they have a lot of work to do, well see how it goes. One question though; wonder how they like me now? 

Ok, that's out of the way so let me tell you what I want to happen with our new President, not necessarily what will happen, just a Hammeratic 'to do' list.

1. BUILD THE WALL! If Trump loses his nerve or Congress won't go along or an earthquake devastates the Rio Grande Valley or Martians land in Lafayette Square or for WHATEVER REASON Trump DOES NOT build the wall, then all is for nought. At that point in time it's over. Trump will lose all credibility. Every criticism, every insult, every disparagement directed at Trump by the #nevertrump crowd and the radical leftists masquerading as the mainstream will take on new life and THAT will become Donald Trump. He will no longer be in control of his agenda, the country or his own destiny. Building the wall is PRIORITY ONE! 

2. Get trade sorted. Nobody wants a trade war. Nobody wants to NOT trade. Countries that trade tend not to go to war. But unfair trade is as bad (or worse) than no trade. Is China more amenable to our interests because of the massive and growing trade deficit we have with them? Of course not! The richer they become the more aggressive and belligerent. Transferring our wealth and technology out of country at the expense of the middle and working classes is a globalist scheme that has been rejected. Fair trade absolutely yes, NAFTA and TPP (as written) forgetaboutit. Them days are over. 

That’s it. Now there are other things on my list of course; tax reform, the VA, repeal and replace Obamacare, all extremely important. But the aforementioned are Trumps signature issues, the rest can wait awhile. The reason I put the wall at #1 is because it is tangible. Everybody in the country can see and touch a wall, they'll know it's being built (or not) and can see for themselves. That why this thing has to be built properly, under budget and quickly. Trump is the wall and the wall is Trump. The opposition understands this fact. He is going to face a full court press from all sides, he MUST withstand the temptation to back off...even a little. If he follows through and get it done the next issue will be easier, a lot easier. Winning begets winning, losing begets losing. Ask GHWB what happened to him after he reneged on his "read my lips, no new taxes" promise. Vince Lombardi said there were only a few plays in a game that decide the outcome, and so it is with politics. Trump has the ball and in this opening drive he has to score, that's all there is to it. 

So you may now go back to reading the WSJ and watching Meet the Press. Just keep in mind, they got it wrong too. 

Pence Booed at Performance of "Hamilton"

The concept of Broadway theater is much more appealing to me than the reality of Broadway theater. As far as entertainment goes, Broadway gets considerably more press than it deserves, if one were to work in the number of Amercians who actually avail themselves of the entertainment. But because it is New York, and because New York considers itself singular and because New Yorkers tend to drink their own bathwater, Broadway--or a play in New York--has made the national news.  It seems that both the audience and the cast at last night's performance of "Hamilton" decided to avail themselves of the opportunity offered by the attendence of the nation's Vice President Elect to boo, and lecture, said attendee.

Great. Going to the theater is a political act.

The phenomenon that is "Hamilton" (which I have not seen, but which I think I might wish to see) has exposed an entirely new generation to a man I consider to be -- behind Washington -- our greatest Founding Father. His bootstrap story, his battlefield bravery, his energy, his genius, his ideology--all are worthy of being celebrated in every generation, even if this one's go at it insists on "hip-hop" as the method of transmission. Whatever it takes, I suppose. But it strikes me that maybe too much hip hop and too little substance is being absorbed by Hamilton audiences, and its actors aren't taking the time to understand the man they are dramatizing.

Little doubt that many attendees are now casually dismissing the Electoral College as an instrument of racism--without having read Federalist 68 and its rationale therefor--written by--you guessed it-- Hamilton.

Little doubt that many attendees are now taking to their fainting couches at the prospect of Trump wielding Presidential power--power explained by Hamilton in Federalist 70 . He was in fact, the leading proponent of a powerful Executive throughout the Constitutional Convention.

Putting aside the history and political science, what happened last night was just plain rude. I realize that we are a coarse society, and the recent election did not help that one bit. But we can and should be better.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Big Fat Friday Free For ALl

What's the matter, Chum? Were you With Her? Did you lose your first night's deposit on that Shee-Shee room in DC for the Inaguration? Did the ultra-competent Irish air transit system lose your luggage?

Bitch about it, folks. That's what Friday is for.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Now Comes the Business of Governing

As the left of center world takes to its safe spaces for grief counseling atop plush divan chairs, the hard business of governing begins. I see five areas where the Trump Administration is likely to focus its early efforts, and the seeds of conflict on the Hill are sown in each.

No matter what else he does, PE Trump needs to deliver on his immigration message. It seems to have been the main rallying cry, and fire that got his whole candidacy moving. I actually believe that he'll be able to get something done on this pretty quickly--it might not be everything his most ardent supporters wanted, but it will be much more than there is today. Plus, I'm not sure his most ardent supporters are all that concened with scorekeeping details.

The second priority--and I think for PE Trump--far behind the first--is infrastructure investment. This is one where he'll run up against a good bit of resistance from the Republican majorities, but perhaps not enough to blunt it, especially given how much this subject acts as catnip to Democrats. Fish gotta swim, builders got to build. President Obama's "stimulus" passed with token R support in 2009, with much of the resistance being ideological. We'll see if R's have Road to Damascus conversions on this. Requirements for union labor or prevailing wage contracts--also catnip to D's--will also enliven this issue. There are real arguments against this on the right, and they will likely be heard.

Healthcare Reform came late to the Trump Campaign, and while it will be a HUGE Congressional priority, I imagine the PE will be somewhat more likely to move slowly on this front. He's already indicated support for keeping some Obamacare provisions (adults under 26 staying on parent insurance--this one has become middle class candy--and pre-existing coverage--which means keeping the individual mandate), so we'll have to see what direction this heads in.

Next is reform of the Veterans Administration. I honestly think PE Trump came to see this issue very clearly on the campaign trail, and if there is a swamp to be drained, I think he sees this one as at the top of the list.

Finally, there is rebuilding the military. I think this one is going to be toughest for him, simply because of the expense of doing anything other than token efforts. With his infrastructure plan almost certainly costing a good deal, there simply may not be a lot left over for defense. Debt financing could obviously cover much of the bill, but here he'll run into ideological problems on the right--because they hate debt--and on the left, because they won't want debt to pay for defense.

A lot to think about here--2017 is going to be an incredibly interesting year.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Why an Electoral College?

Because Mrs. Clinton appears to have won the popular vote, many Dems and Liberals are once again shouting from the highest parapets that the Electoral College should be abolished.

By way of enlightening readers a little rusty on just why the brilliant founders gave us this gift, I offer this transcript of a speech by former Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Additionally one could read Hamilton on the subject in Federalist 68.

Autumn on the Shore

My little hamlet of Easton here in the People's State of Maryland celebrates the mass slaughter of winged game birds annually duing this weekend, in what is called The Waterfowl Festival. The Kitten's mother--who owns the land surrounding our bit of it--allows a few local gentlemen to use her fields for their hunting, and just a few seconds ago, I heard the first reports from their field pieces. Fall is begun on the Shore. I love this time of year.

I'll get out a time or two myself and take a crack at the transiting birds, and we'll have a healthy supply of gooseflesh over the Winter from that and from offerings from friends. I usually do some to pick on before Thanksgiving, and our annual New Years Day gathering feasts upon it and The Kitten's tasty oyster stew.

We have a full weekend of fall activities, what with the festival, a horseshow for kitten #2, and a Pig/Oyster Roast tomorrow afternoon for a local politician with a very bright future.

Life goes on in my little slice of Heaven.

Oh, and speaking of Heaven--welcome back to the digital pages of this blog The Hammer, fresh from his consistently predicted victory over the forces of evil in the recent election.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Look Who's Back

That's right friends, the Hammer is back in town (and it wasn't easy). It took several months of a relentless campaign of ridicule, hate and intimidation until CW finally gave in and said (I suppose), WTF have I got to lose? After all, the poor man's candidate(s), party and dignity have gone by the wayside this election, how could I possibly make it worse? We all feel his pain, but not really. His political instincts are on a par with Mathew Dowd's speaking on This Week this week "Hillary Clinton has a 95% chance of winning with a larger coalition than BHO". Yeah right Mathew, ya friggin' moron! This is the kind of shit one overhears from lesbians chatting at the gas pump while filling their Harleys.

Well it is what it is and I want to thank CW for this opportunity to piss off and embarrass his beltway buddies. I will endeavor to do my best. Be seeing you soon and I leave you with this quote.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

My Senate Run Ends

Folks, a number of you were in on the fact that I was considering (seriously) a run for the US Senate in Maryland in 2018. I decided last night to walk away from that quest, and here is the text of what I sent out in a newsletter:

"I took a lot of time over the summer thinking about the 2018 Senate race in building a “Theory of the Case”. Essentially, the question was “what would justify the long-shot candidacy of an inexperienced man, in a heavily Democratic state, who has lived only ten years in MD, and who knew few people in the state outside his own town?”

That (admittedly thin) case was built around a central proposition—that Hillary Clinton would win the upcoming Presidential election, that in the first election in her off-year Presidency her party would take a beating, that the Democrats wouldn’t necessarily want to spend money (at least early on) to shore up what was generally an “in the bank” state, that a popular Republican Governor would be on the ballot, and that Obamacare would have had two more years to fester, creating additional problems for the Democratic incumbent.

Under these circumstances, a perfectly run, well-financed, and “lucky” Republican could have a small chance.

Donald Trump’s victory Tuesday dramatically alters the landscape. The Party on the hotseat in 2018 will be the Republican Party, with whom my brand of conservatism is somewhat out of fashion. Obamacare will not be an albatross to hang around the Democrats’ neck, as it will by then have been reformed. 

And so, I simply can’t justify all the sacrifices that I and people I love would have to make for this run to happen. I tried to bring method and planning to the decision, so that in the end, my case for running was more than “I’d really like to be a Senator”. The tentpole planning supposition of that method and that case has now fallen, and all I am left with is the desire to be a Senator and the desire to make things better. I will always think these noble impulses, and if I were independently wealthy, nothing would stop me. But I am not, and so I bring this process to a close.

Thank you so very much for having taken me seriously for the past few months, and thank you for being a part of my life.

Bryan McGrath

Some Thoughts on the Day After

I climbed atop my treadmill yesterday morning at 0507 and turned CNN on to see 289 votes in the chryron for Donald Trump in the Electoral College. I shook my head and said (to no one in particular) "son of a BITCH!". Then I went to my computer to check the Senate and saw that R's had held the line there. As I processed the news, three things became instantly apparent:

1) the utter depression that I felt after the Romney loss was nowhere to be found. I had little personally invested in this election, and was not supportive of either candidate.
2) I was encouraged by the fact that the Republicans will have the entire political apparatus of the government for two years (at least) and I began to think about all the good things that come come of it.
3) There was incredible cognitive dissonance from the Hillary folks about not only her personal integrity, but the extent to which her long years in the public eye, much of it negative, had impacted her candidacy.
4) I wondered how much President Obama and Secretary Clinton wished that they had that White House Correspondents Dinner back--the one in which the President and others went after PE Trump HARD--and what I consider to be the likely day of his official (unofficial) candidacy.

At some point in the day, I watched President-Elect Trump (henceforth PE Trump) give his acceptance speech and later, I watched President Obama give his Rose Garden chat and Secretary Clinton give her concession. All three rose to the occasion.

I thought about the Obama Presidency. How free of scandal it was, how the President really was an examplar of much that is good about our country. Also, how profoundly unsuccessful it was, and how thoroughly repudiated it was by the Trump victory. The two things I think he will try to hang his legacy on--the Iran Deal and Obamacare--are already in tatters and await only the Inaugural to administer the lethal dose.

Additionally, I thought about how the incredible rise in identity politics in the last eight years generated an equally powerful counterforce, one saying, "we are not racist because we believe in law and order, we are not racist because we believe the nation's borders should be secure, we do not hate because we want our daughters to use rest-rooms with other women only, and we think the Little Sisters of the Poor should not have to subsidize practices in their employer provided healthcare plan that they consider abhorent." I realize that many readers in cosmopolitan areas look at the foregoing and scoff--but LOOK at the county by county election map and infer how widespread the popularity of these views is.

Things are about to get very, very interesting.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

President Trump

At no point in this election cycle did I get it right on Donald Trump. You could have been perfectly predictive on his fortunes had you simply read what I wrote and then thought the other thing. My job initially was to get Marco Rubio nominated. Then it was to see anyone by Donald Trump as the nominee. Then it was to encourage as many Americans as possible who read or hear me to beleive that neither he nor Hillary was suitable for the job, and that they should vote for someone else. On every point, I was wrong, and I failed. But that was my job as I saw it.

Now that I have failed and my fellow citizens have spoken, it is my civic duty to support the President wherever I can. On any issue where his preferences and mine align or are even close, I'll support him. Where we disagree, you'll hear about it. But he is going to be the President. My President, and he will lead the country I love with an unusal ardor.

I am happy for Donald Trump's supporters, especially the Hammer. He--as opposed to me--was right from the start on this.

That the Republicans kept the Senate and the House is good news. To the extent that the President-elect puts forward policy proposals that are aligned with traditional Republican principles, I think he'll enjoy success, as he should. Where his policy proposals are misaligned with prevailing Republican views, I think he'll find more difficulty.

Expect the Democrats in the Senate to a wall of opposition, and they'll use every parliamentary proceedure in the book to butress it. All of the stuff R's said about Supreme Court picks will be repeated--how the Senate is under no obligation to confirm, etc.

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