Trump-Clinton: Bad choice?

April 25, 2016

Have we ever had an election where both the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates were flawed? And the voters had to choose between the lesser of two evils?

How about 1884?

The American people had to choose between a corrupt politician and a misogynist.  Both presidential candidates were seriously flawed.

Grove Cleveland and Charles Blaine, the misogynist vs. the corrupt politician.

Grover Cleveland and Charles Blaine. The misogynist vs. the corrupt politician.

The misogynist was member of a law firm in Buffalo, New York. He and his partners shared the sexual favors of a young lady. When she became pregnant our erstwhile, future, presidential candidate, stepped forward to assume paternity.  It was the gentlemanly thing to do since his law partners were married.

When one of his law partner’s died, he assumed guardianship over his daughter, a risky proposition that turned out as one might expect. When the young lady became a teenager they fell in love and at age twenty-one she finally married him.  He was forty-six.

Meanwhile, the corrupt politician ran a pay to play scheme that hampered his political career and made winning the presidential nomination of his party quite problematic. In one transaction that later became public, future presidential candidate, Congressman Charles G. Blaine, received the equivalent of $1.5 million in today’s money. In return he helped a railroad obtain a federal grant.

Today’s critics may see this as a modest bribe when compared to the alleged accumulation of $1.5 billion taken in by the Clinton Foundation. A great deal of the later was allegedly raised from foreign governments and foreign businessmen while Mrs. Clinton was serving as the United States Secretary of State.  In his New York Times bestseller, Clinton Cash,  Peter Schweitzer carefully tracks the long list of transactions.

In the end, the Republicans nominated Charles G. Blaine anyway.  And the Democrats nominated Grover Cleveland. In this case, Cleveland, the misogynist won.

Incidentally, Cleveland became the only president to be married in the White House while in office. He married his 21 year old ward, Frances Folsom. Sensitive to the public outrage Cleveland did not kiss the bride at his wedding. But the nation soon took to the couple and became enchanted with Frances who was the youngest First Lady in American history.

Grover Cleveland is ranked by historians as a very good president and by some as a great one. He lost the White House in 1888 but was returned to power again in 1892, making him both the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, forever confusing history students on exactly how many men have served as president.


How Trump beats a rigged convention?

April 18, 2016

4/18/2016

“That’s not fair!” Donald Trump supporters say. They are complaining about the fact that millions of votes are ignored as the GOP establishment continues to try to rob him of the nomination by stacking the delegate process.

What an irony.

In 2012, former governor and GOP Rules Chairman, John Sununu, said the exact same thing to Andrea Mitchell of NBC news. Ron Paul was successfully winning delegates at State Conventions, in spite of the GOP establishment efforts to stop him. The establishment printed false slates, changed meeting locations and closed down District Conventions when they were losing. It was all captured by cell phone and is available to see firsthand.

Even so, the Ron Paul insurgents arrived at the 2012 RNC in Tampa with more than 500 delegates and alternates.

When Paul won almost all of the Iowa delegation Sununu was furious. “That undermines the votes of a million Iowans who went to the Caucus,” he said, “And that’s not fair.”

Sununu, the poster boy for the GOP establishment, is now trying to run an insurgency against the frontrunner, Donald Trump.  Sununu made it clear from the beginning that the establishment wanted anybody but Trump. But now, the outsiders are the frontrunners and the establishment is using Ron Paul tactics.

DW SUNUNU

President George H.W. Bush, John Sununu and Doug Wead in the Oval Office in 1990.

THE CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE IS THE KEY

To understand how Donald Trump and Paul Manafort can shut down the Sununu – insider insurgency at the RNC in Cleveland, take a good look at how they, themselves, shut down Ron Paul when the situation was reversed.

In 2012, the GOP establishment used the Credential’s Committee to strip Ron Paul of his duly elected delegates and had them bodily thrown off the floor of the Convention.  The Governor of Maine was so heartbroken for the young people from his State who had worked so hard for a year to get to the RNC that he left with them out of solidarity.  The media mostly ignored it.

Andrea Mitchell of NBC asked John Sununu if the establishment was afraid that their heavy handed tactics would cost them party unity in the general election.

“Well, let’s understand, fundamentally, what the concern of the Party is.” Sununu told Mitchell. “Iowa’s a great example. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum each had about 35% of the vote. That’s 70% of the vote. And the rest was distributed among the rest of the candidates.  Ron Paul’s numbers were close to single digits.”

This was totally false but went unchallenged by Mitchell. In fact, the actual vote was Santorum 24.6%, Romney 24.6%, Paul 21.5%, with the other seven candidates falling behind.

When asked by Mitchell how they could justify removing the duly elected delegates Sununu said, “They go and cram the next part of the [Iowa] Caucus and they come away with all of the Iowa vote. That undermines the votes of a million Iowans who went to the Caucus. And that’s not fair.

“And so they like to abuse the process, in my opinion, when it serves them but when people follow the rules as we did here they get upset with the Rules Committee.

“But the vote we had here that they are concerned about was 78 to 14. They really have nothing to complain about.”

Sununu failed to mention to Andrea Mitchell that Romney security operatives routed the bus carrying the opposition Rules Committee members all around Tampa for hours, keeping them from arriving at the Convention in time to vote on the issue. This included not just Ron Paul delegates but any Rules Committee delegate not approved by the Mitt Romney-John Sununu-Ben Ginsberg team.

Today, ironically, Sununu is encouraging the establishment leaders to play the same Ron Paul game. Ted Cruz and all of the other “Never-Trump” operatives are encouraging the establishment to take delegates at the State Conventions and laughing at Donald Trump supporters who are now saying exactly what the establishment was saying four years ago, “That’s not fair!”

SUNUNU NOW RE-WRITES HISTORY

Meanwhile, Sununu is revising the narrative of what happened in 2012. Now Sununu is telling reporters that the reasons behind Rule 40(b) were to speed up the Convention because of an impending hurricane. When Fox News anchor, Bill Hemmer, recently asked about the rule Sununu could hardly believe his luck. Hemmer didn’t even seem to notice or care for the reasons behind the change.

This revised narrative is important because the establishment wants to justify what was done in 2012 and keep Trump from responding the way they did.

Trump’s solution?

Like Sununu in 2012, he can seize control of the Credentials Committee and throw the establishment delegates off the floor of the Convention.

It is the old story. “Hurt people, hurt people.” The victims of abuse become the abusers themselves.

And like Sununu he will conclude that when they are confronted with the prospect of a Democrat president they will come back into the fold.

Don’t count on it. If Republicans want to win someone must break the cycle of abuse.


Ron Paul’s lost delegates: Why they may decide the 2016 GOP nomination

April 15, 2016

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are locked into a death embrace for delegates to the Republican National Convention. The showdown seems headed to California. But there is another block of delegates, big enough to settle the contest on the first ballot. I will call them the lost delegates and whoever finds them first just might be the nominee.

 I am talking about the old Ron Paul delegates from the Tampa Convention in 2012. Several hundred of them are even now still in place, re-elected and headed to the 2016 RNC in Cleveland. They are scattered across several States and who they chose is up in the air.  You can call it the Ron Paul Primary.

Here’s what I’m talking about.  In 2012, candidate Ron Paul led an insurgency campaign to try to get his name nominated at the convention. He wanted a chance to speak in prime time about the issues of corruption that concerned him. The RNC blocked him at every turn, changing the rules to stop him and using the Credentials Committee to disqualify many of his duly elected delegates.

The Ron Paul campaign, with its stealth delegate strategy came far closer to success than the GOP establishment has ever admitted. Without strong arm tactics in the Credentials Committee they would have succeeded, even with the Rule change of 40(5).

John Sununu, Chairman of the Rules Committee in 2012, stood on the Convention floor and told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “It’s not fair.” And Sununu added, “A million voters are disenfranchised in Iowa.”

It is the very charge that Donald Trump is now making about Colorado and Wisconsin. But the situation is reversed. The outsider-insurgency campaign of Donald Trump has won the votes of the people and Sununu and the GOP-insider establishment bosses are trying to steal the nomination from him by using Ron Paul’s stealth delegate strategy.

Overlooked in this battle is the fact that many of those very Ron Paul delegates are still in place, duly re-elected to attend the RNC in Cleveland, Ohio. They were elected at precinct, county and state conventions. In 2012 there were almost 500 of them, both as delegates or alternative delegates. In some states, particularly Iowa and Missouri some have dropped out of the party, disillusioned, but in other places, including many of the Plains and Mountain States they have actually grown and spread.

No campaign has really successfully supplanted these people. Cruz has been recruiting his own folks but hardly made a dent in the old Ron Paul delegates still in place. This means that several hundred of them will be going back to the RNC in Cleveland, voting for either Trump or Cruz. I get emails from them constantly asking for my opinion about whom to support.

Some are voting for Ted Cruz because they see him as the more conservative. Others think he is a tool of the insider bankers, noting that his whole political career was launched by a loan from Goldman Sachs and that his wife worked for the bank.

“What’s the difference?” they ask. Voting for Hillary whose son-in-law works for Goldman Sachs or voting for Ted whose wife works for them?

Some support Donald Trump, seeing him as the target and victim of the same insider, money corrupted, GOP establishment that maliciously blocked the Ron Paul supporters and had them physically removed from the Convention floor, tearing up any poster or placard of support for their man.

Either Trump or Cruz can win this Ron Paul Primary and with it cobble together another 100 or so delegates from across several states. For Trump it means enough to win on the first ballot. For Cruz enough to stop that from happening.

Whoever identifies these delegates first and has the most compelling argument for their support will have an advantage.

All the focus will be on New York Tuesday and California on June 7, 2016. But the silent, unseen, “Ron Paul Primary” may be just as important.

 


THE POWER OF IVANKA TRUMP

April 13, 2016

A guest blog by Camille Wead,

first year law student. Doug Wead’s daughter.

Camille Wead

Camille Wead, Editor of Law and History.

The Power of Ivanka Trump

Do not underestimate the power of a pregnant woman.

From the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge’s celebrity appearances to pregnant Kim Kardashian’s six-inch stilettos, if these past years have taught us anything it’s to never underestimate the powers of a pregnant woman.

But while the media has portrayed these women as beautiful ticking time bombs, sitting at home, waiting for their babies to be delivered, making occasional appearances, we average television viewers know the truth. These women are found to be more powerful at their most vulnerable stages of life, than at any other time. They work hard and encompass more than just fashion and hair, but surprisingly politics as well.

Ivanka Trump founded #womenwhowork a movement that celebrates hard working women that balance their different roles between their relationships as mother, professional, and business woman.

This hard working mentality doesn’t stop during pregnancy. With the due date coming closer, the very pregnant Ivanka traveled with family to support her dad’s ever growing 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign success.

She has attended every debate, every win, and every loss, all while keeping up business meetings for the new Trump hotel in the District of Columbia.

One would think that with all the many ongoing business appointments, a pregnant mother would stay at home, nesting before her new baby is born.  One must ask why a woman would take on so much?

Truth be told most daughters have the hearts of their father and in this case Ivanka is not only close to the famous presidential candidate, she is his secret weapon.  Donald Trump openly admits to the relational bond and recently joked, “No, he would not be taking her on the ticket as his vice presidential running mate.”

On March 27, 2016, Donald Trump appeared on an interview for ABC television. He was in full defense mode as opponents were attacking his wife Melania. His secret weapon, Ivanka was nowhere to be seen. The Donald looked harried and distracted.

Ivanka Trump with Theodore

Ivanka Trump with Theodore

That same day, right on cue,  Ivanka Trump gave birth to her new baby boy.

Historians had been comparing Donald Trump’s “outsider,” anti-corruption, presidential campaign to Theodore Roosevelt’s trustbusting.

From her hospital bed on April 3, 2016, Ivanka Trump posted the news on Instagram. The boy would be called Theodore.

 

 

 


Who is the GOP establishment?

April 11, 2016

You hear a lot of talk about the GOP establishment delegates and how they plan to steal the nomination from frontrunner, Donald Trump and maybe even Ted Cruz too. But who exactly are they?

It’s a political jungle so I will describe some of the fowl as metaphors. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

#1) The Backyard, Short-Winged, Sparrow-Darters.

These are folks who owe their position to the higher party leaders. They do what they are told and in return get to hold onto their positions. Some are respectable County Chairman. They invariably end up as delegates to the National Convention. They don’t make any money out of the arrangement but occasionally get a deal tossed their way from big donors. They get all the booze they want at the Convention.

Surprisingly some support Trump, some Cruz but most will do what the party bosses say.

#2) The Lofty, Thin-Crested, Priebus.

These are the big party bosses who shoulder the burden of raising serious money for the GOP, some from companies that benefit by the arrangement. Nowadays they are so busy trying to get the party re-elected to Congress that they depend on the Sununu’s listed below.

#3) The Goldman-Sachs-Beaked-Osprey.

These are big donors who pay $10,000 for a picture with a political star that everybody else gets free of charge. I once wanted to give money to a presidential candidate who was a close friend. His campaign manager scoffed, ”Don’t do it,” he said, “He will think less of you for it.”

Most of them want an outside candidate who needs their money.

#4) The Drop-Jowled, Break-Nose Sununu.

These are big leaders who help run the party from behind the scenes. They can deliver large donations to the party and to the candidates. They fear that Trump will disrupt their Washington money making machine.

Most of them are angling for an “open” convention which translates as a “closed convention” where they can pick Paul Ryan.

#5) The Snap-Ripper Rove.

These are political operatives who make money as “brokers.” They bring money and candidates and delegates together but keep a lot of the money for themselves.

You will see them all over TV – never divulging who they favor (a new face?) because they may be telling multiple candidates and donors that they should be THE ONE.

“Really your father should run for president. Maybe not this time. But hey, Trump had no political experience either. Your daddy is a heck of a lot smarter than Donald Trump – and richer.”

“I know. Daddy, I told you so. I keep telling him he should run for president.”

Most of these birds thrive on chaos. They don’t care who gets the nomination as long as they get paid. Some of these birds are near starvation and others are so fat from feasting that they can hardly lift off the ground.

#6) The Full-throated, Perkin-Plucked, Thrush.

These are evangelical Christians who raise money from the faithful to “represent” them on Capitol Hill. Some Thrushes will support anyone who will arrange for serious money to be donated to their nonprofits.

In 2012 some solemnly told their followers that Catholic Rick Santorum was the perfect presidential candidate. In 2016, when Santorum couldn’t get them any big donations, they shamelessly dropped him like a hot rock.

Most of the Thrushes came late to Ted Cruz and are scrounging for money on the edges of his campaign.

#7) The Smart-beaked, narrow nosed, VanderSloot.

These are Mormons initially brought in by party leaders years ago to help assure the Romney nomination in 2012 and to help the GOP balance the undue power of evangelicals.

Later, some in the RNC establishment felt that they had gone too far.  And so they tried to take back some of the power that had gone to VanderSloots in the Mountain States. For example, they tried to change Nevada into a Primary so that the LDS would have less power. And they tried to stop Arizona from changing into a Caucus for the same reason.

The VanderSloots wouldn’t mind seeing an opening for Mitt Romney, short of that, they will join the coalition to help stampede the convention for Paul Ryan.

#8) The Feulner-Feathered Weyrich.

These are conservative Catholics who have been longing to get one of their own nominated from Rudolph Giuliani in 2008, to Marco Rubio in 2016.

Some of them get research money for their think tanks, sponsorship for their seminars and advertising dollars for their publications from corporations who in turn get corporate welfare direct from the federal pig trough.

Most of them want Paul Ryan to win a contested convention but realize it will take a “Hail Mary” to make it happen.

Finally, behind all of these delegate-birds listed above are the big corporations whose special needs drive the process.


Coming Monday, who is the GOP establishment?

April 9, 2016

Today I received a remarkable email from a very powerful friend with much influence. A public figure you have seen on television.

Here’s what he wrote me….

So Doug at Christmas Time I sat with my Congressman from —————- and he said we’re already talking about a brokered convention with Ryan coming out as  the nominee that’s why he took the Speaker job. Now this guy was a Rubio supporter but predicted everything that’s happened!

I said, “Get real.”

He  said, “No it’s going to happen.”

Could this possibly happen Doug?

Coming Monday.

Who is the GOP establishment?

The curtain is pulled back.

 


Cruz wins Wisconsin, Trump wins nomination

April 6, 2016

Cruz wins Wisconsin but Trump wins the nomination. Here’s why.

The narrative on national television says that establishment Republicans will seize control of the Rules Committee at the RNC and they will open the convention to nominations from the floor.

It’s an unlikely scenario and even if it happens there’s a bigger problem. Any change in the Rules must be ratified on the floor of the Convention where Trump and Cruz delegates will shut it down.

Trump doesn’t want a new face in the competition, someone who hasn’t gone through the rigorous debates. That face would be a clean slate and voters could project what they want on it. And Cruz wants to be the only Trump alternative, which is his only chance to win.

Remember when Rule 40(b) was changed in 2012? When it went to the floor of the Convention, Chairman, John Boehner said, “In the opinion of the Chair the Ayes have it!”  Remember the uproar?  And that was over Ron Paul giving a speech.

Just imagine the bedlam if this convention’s chairman, Paul Ryan, tried to do that in Cleveland where the Trump and Cruz delegates dominate the floor? He would be betraying the two front runners of his own party. It wouldn’t work. The noise would be deafening.  His political career would be over forever.

So the Rules changes that everyone is salivating over on television this week are not likely to happen because even if they were changed in Committee they would not be ratified by the whole convention. There’s more. The Establishment must not only take control of the Rules Committee it must take control of the Credentials Committee or conceivably lose control of both. The Credentials Committee has the power to seat and unseat delegates that are being chosen at conventions. It will settle any challenges and decide what was fair at the respective State Conventions.

In 2012, this Committee arbitrarily removed duly elected Ron Paul delegates and replaced them with establishment Republicans. This is where Paul Manafort will earn his pay. If the establishment was seen to be pushing a third candidate at the RNC you could expect the Credentials Committee, dominated by Trump and Cruz, to start replacing delegates with their own. They could even bleed the establishment from the Rules Committee.

I know it sounds funny that Trump and Cruz would be working together but it is very likely in this scenario.  Trump would say we will take ten more out of the Minnesota delegation and give you ten more in Missouri.

Now, these new delegates will have to vote on the first ballot according to the state rules of their party just as the establishment delegates they replaced but in Committees and on the floor of the Convention they would vote as directed by their Trump-Cruz whips.

That’s why a multiple ballot convention would only belong to Trump and Cruz and not lead to Kasich or a “new face” as some are now claiming.

Finally, one last thing about the so called establishment. It is not monolithic. We are learning that many support Cruz and surprisingly many support Trump. The idea that John Sununu, Ben Ginsburg or Karl Rove can direct them is false.

So if the race is down to Trump and Cruz, which both men want, how does Trump win in the growing face of the “never Trump” movement?

Let’s start with money. Trump was outspent 10-1 in Wisconsin. At some point he can start to spend money to defend himself.

The next contest is in New York. With all the attention given to Trump’s insults you may have forgotten that Ted Cruz had one of his own, denigrating “New York values” in a national debate.

The decision will ultimately go to California.

Martha McCallum of Fox News said something very poignant this morning. It just seemed to pass by everybody unnoticed. She said, “There is momentum in the delegate gathering process too.” It was a very savvy observation.

Just as there is power in sequential Primary-Caucus wins, history shows that there are advantages to having the most delegates going into a convention. If Cruz needs 500 more delegates to win and Trump only needs 200, he will have a huge advantage.

Win or lose, the colorful billionaire, Donald Trump, has much to offer an uncommitted RNC delegate who has already had his picture taken with four presidents. A Christmas Party at Trump Towers in Manhattan may be even more memorable to a delegate than yet another Christmas Party at the White House.


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