The Big Lie about the RNC

July 19, 2016

Thanks to recording options I have been able to follow the Republican National Convention on many different networks and all of them are perpetuating a big lie about Cleveland.

The report is that this convention is unprecedented for not including two past presidents from their own party, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush. The implication is that the division at this convention is unprecedented and will lead to a loss in November.

Donald Trump may, indeed, not win in November. But if so, it will be more likely because of slanted, false, and sometimes incompetent, media coverage than a divided party.  Here are the facts.

The absence of the two Bush presidents is not new. Neither George W. Bush, nor George H.W. Bush were present at the last Republican National Convention in Tampa in 2012 when Mitt Romney was nominated.

Nor was either one present at the RNC in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2008 when John McCain was nominated.

In some cases this false narrative is the result of sloppy homework. Maybe it is the result of faulty memories, they did show a movie about George W. Bush and dad at the 2012 Convention, and they allowed a satellite connected speech by George W. Bush in 2008 but the reality is this has less to do with Trump, Romney and McCain than it does about George W. Bush and his unpopular war in Iraq and the economic collapse during the last year of his presidency.

Such moments are not limited to Republicans. Former President Harry Truman was so upset over the likely nomination of John F. Kennedy that he resigned as a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. And in 1972, former President Lyndon Johnson was nowhere to be seen at his own Party’s Convention in Miami Beach. Former President, Jimmy Carter, has been sometimes honored, sometimes marginalized at his Party’s Convention, depending on the polls.

In some cases this false Trump-Bush narrative is pure, deliberate, misinformation.

One network host was careful to select his words, saying, “For the first time in forty years there has not been a Bush at a Republican National Convention.”

He obviously knew full well that the story being repeated by pundits and fellow hosts, that the Bush presidents were absent for the first time, was false. Thus, he helped keep alive the idea of unprecedented exclusion and division without repeating the bogus facts. And the host could technically claim he had spoken the truth, without taking the time to correct his colleagues.

Americans have pretty much accepted the end of journalism in this country. We are now in an era that is not entirely unlike the Soviet Union during communism. Facts are open to change. Some thoughts or ideas are forbidden and never spoken aloud. Parents must have private conversations with their children about issues and must be careful even then. Media targets can be blindsided, without an opportunity to respond. And if all of this is happening to domestic events that are in full view, just imagine the misinformation about issues worldwide?

So, here you go, a gift of love to my tiny, well informed, WordPress audience. At least you shall know. George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush are not in Cleveland. But they were not in Tampa or St. Paul, Minnesota either. And that big voice vote brouhaha on the first day of the Convention? It has happened exactly the same for most of my lifetime.

Chaos in Cleveland: The Trump Riots

July 17, 2016

Massive riots coming to the Trump Convention in Cleveland?

The conventional wisdom – no pun intended – is that this year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland will be a mirrored image of the Democrat National Convention in Chicago in 1968.

In Chicago, the Vietnam War was the issue and young Democrats battled police in the streets to protest their own leaders, who were in power. It resulted in a divided party.  The Democrats lost the White House in the 1968 election.

In Cleveland this week, street riots may have the opposite effect. If young Democrats – or Black Lives Matter protesters – battle police outside Quicken Loans Arena it will only unify the Republican Party. And if they hurt or bloody innocent people, it may turn thousands of new voters to Trump.

There is an irony in all of this.

The RNC in Cleveland, like the RNC in Tampa in 2012, is designated a “National Special Security Event,” which means that the security is ultimately handled by the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security.  In 2012 the FEDS spent $50 million on security in Tampa.

Pundits all over television are hearkening back to the 1968 Democrat National Convention in Chicago and saying that if there are riots Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich will be the one to call out the National Guard but in fact, in this post 9-11 America, President Barack Obama will be in charge of security at the RNC, and if he runs it the way he runs the IRS or the Veterans Affairs, it really means that nobody will be in charge.

So in Cleveland, you can conceivably have federal officers – answering to the Obama administration – trying to control African American protesters outside the Trump Convention and the national media will blame those “hateful” Trump Republican policemen on the street for any protester that gets hurt.

On the other hand, if the Obama DHS fails to do its job and there are images of bloodied Trump supporters in downtown Cleveland, the Democrats can kiss the state of Ohio goodbye in a general election.

It is very complicated and there are many moving parts to this scenario.

The media, of course, will spin this with their biased partisan slant but in election years they tend to do too much and it backfires. Their audience is often insulted by the rigidity of their message and start rebelling. That happened in 1980 when the national media tilted so far against Reagan that the nation elected him president in a landslide.

And this time there is the Fox News Channel which will gladly pick up any stories that the networks leave laying on the bloodied streets of Cleveland and thus the lion’s share of the national audience and advertising revenue.

For the moment, the national media is content with keeping the Clinton NGO scandal out of the news and promoting the idea of a fractured Republican Party. For example, it is making a big deal out of the fact that the two Bush presidents will not be attending the 2016 RNC in Cleveland.

They conveniently neglect to remind their viewers that the two Bush presidents didn’t attend the 2012 Convention in Tampa either.  That the absence is not about Trump any more than it was about Romney.  It is about winning and the last Bush presidency is a drag on those chances.

So here comes the Cleveland Convention. If Black Lives Matter fails to register on the Richter scale their movement is over and their money will dry up. If they don’t show at Trump’s Convention, where will they ever show again?

And if they do show they must be heard to matter.

And President Barack Obama and his DHS and Secret Service will be swinging the batons and firing the rubber bullets and holding up the fences. While the national media will blame it all on Republicans. And in this explosive mix may come the story that will rivet the nation and decide the election.

Remember, Trump’s rise to the national stage was propelled by the murder of Kate Steinle, 32, on a San Francisco pier by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported back to Mexico five times and kept coming back. “Dad, help me, help me,” she called out, as she lay dying from the random attack.

Donald Trump’s unlikely election as president may come from a few seconds of video on the streets of Cleveland this week.  Let’s pray that there will be no Kate Steinle offered on the altar this time.

RNC in Cleveland: What the Kennedy’s can teach Trump?

July 15, 2016

Doug Wead on Brad-cast, the Brad Friedman Show. What to expect at the Republican National Convention.

Doug Wead on PBS tonight

July 12, 2016

See Doug Wead on PBS tonight at 8pm EST and again at midnight EST. “The White House.”

pbs white house

What made Obama president? His absent father.

June 13, 2016

Here it is, the timeless formula for great leaders. Good or bad. Thomas Jefferson or Adolf Hitler. But you are not going to like it.

Most great figures in history were “mama’s boys” with an absent father. But here is the key. It was not good enough to be absent. The prisons of the world are filled with men who are “mama’s boys” with absent fathers. The father must also be seen as heroic or successful in the eyes of their son.

It is a fascinating study.

This video from 20o8 discusses the uncanny similarities between the presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama and their fathers.

Trump and the seduction of Sheldon Adelson

June 3, 2016

Will Sheldon Adelson get snookered by the same failed Political Machine?

In early 2015, a group of well connected GOP consultants began raising  $100 million in large checks from their well-healed buddies on the promise of buying the White House.  We are serous operatives, they argued, and we can use big dollars to bend the will of the grassroots with the power of big money and big advertising.

Their efforts went down in flames.  One hundred millions spent on slick advertising went for naught. And, all of that money was being flushed down a Florida toilet – save the tens of millions “earned” by those well – connected consultants, of course.

Through this colossal failure, and other lower profile failures, one thing has become clear: All the money in world cannot buy elections. Ask President John Connally.  But it does buy expensive sports cars for political players.

Here’s how it works. If a political hack buys television commercials he gets a 15% commission. So political hacks sell television to their big donors. And they do everything they can to put the donors in the position where they have no choice but to do television. A late developing PAC, for example, has no time to build the right database. Television is all they can do.

Consider the June 1, 2016 announcement that former Chris Christie operative, Ken McKay, has tapped California hedge fund billionaire, Tom Barrack, to let him start a Trump Super PAC. It turns out McKay is currently employed by the Trump campaign and must undergo a legally required 120 “cooling off” period. The PAC cannot spend any money until October, rendering it completely ineffective. But hey, who cares? A few million is not a bad payday.

Take Bill Kristol, of the Weekly Standard. He wants to run a third party candidate he says, because neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton are good alternatives. I know Bill, and worked with him in the White House. He is no dummy. He knows full well that his candidate won’t win but hey, one might as well make a little money.

This November the key to a close presidential election is in the hands of three million voters in seven key states. The hardest job will be to find those three million voters and turn them into “true believers.” The PAC that does that will be the PAC that makes a difference.

Enter mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. Mr. Adelson is perhaps the single most generous donor to Republican causes, and someone deeply respected. As in the case of Donald Trump, Mr. Adelson did not become one of the world’s most successful businessmen by accident, in fact, it could easily be the other way around, with Adelson running for president needing Donald Trump to help a worthy PAC. So he knows the history I outlined above.

Sources say Mr. Adelson plans to spend as much as $100 million helping Donald Trump win the White House. Facing the mammoth Clinton machine.  Mr. Adelson’s generosity will be sorely needed.

But, the money must be spent smartly, engaging American’s at a grassroots level through channels that have already been built over time through hard work and elbow grease. There is no easy astroturfing here.

Hearing the call of another $100 million dollar PAC and seven figure paydays, establishment consultants are now lining up to convince Mr. Adelson and his confidants that they are the best ones to spend his money and take their 15% cut. But these consultants are all from the same tribe, cut from the same cloth as all Washington consultants, and know about grassroots politics.

I have a prediction. I want to say a bold prediction, but with so much evidence backing me, I fear it is rather easy to follow. If Mr. Adelson gives his generous support to a PAC run by status quo Republicans, it will do little to help Donald Trump and instead be squandered.

Mr. Adelson may be shopping for the “right” DC consultants to spend his money, but that is a quest akin to finding the Loch Ness Monster. These consultants know only one thing, big advertising, big money and big commissions.

I for one hope Mr. Adelson and his advisers will look outside the box and find a vehicle with a real grassroots networks, committed to engagement with real Americans. The TV commercials are the easy part. Donald Trump needs this help a lot more than DC Consultants need another sports car. And America cannot afford a President Hilary Rodham Clinton.


Trump is Reagan

May 18, 2016

Many comparisons are now circulating on the internet comparing Donald Trump to General George S. Patton, to former President Ronald Reagan and many others. In posts earlier this year I compared him to Andrew Jackson and  Theodore Roosevelt.

It was my humble privilege to appear on the speaker’s circuit with Ronald Reagan, talking with him backstage and writing his campaign biography when he ran for president.

The Charity Awards, which I helped organize, was really begun at a dinner in his home in 1979, the week before he announced what would be his successful run for the White House. Here’s my take on Trump as Reagan.

Trump as Reagan:

Both men were once Democrats.

Both men were once in show business.

Both men were divorced.

Their stand on the issues is remarkably similar. Both men are pro Life and in the exact same way. Both men defend the Second Amendment. And both men want to reduce spending and taxes.

Ronald Reagan was hated by the mainstream media. Slate once ran an article with the subtitle, “The Stupidity of Ronald Reagan. And so too, they hate Donald Trump.

You will notice that both Reagan and Trump are very strategic in their thinking, they don’t get into the details.

Both men put American jobs first and that makes them unpopular in other countries like Mexico, China and European countries who want those very jobs.

Most dramatic of all, both men are straight shooters.

For example, Ronald Reagan said he wasn’t so sure that it had been the right thing to withdraw support for the Shah of Iran. This statement caused an uproar and was seen as irresponsible. The whole world was outraged. Especially the American media. What was he doing? He was speaking against the newly formed Democratic Islamic State of Iran.

Donald Trump said we should have a temporary ban on Muslim immigration until we can figure things out.

Both men are unashamed in their support for a stronger and safer America. “Make American Great again,” says Trump.

There are some dramatic differences between the two men. Reagan was humble and self-effacing. He went out of his way to avoid personalizing his issues. But in his own way, using humor, he would always counter punch. Perhaps his greatest moment was when they hit him on the age issue.

General Patton talked trash to the enemy, the way Muhammed Ali baited Sonny Liston and it was very effective. It worked.  It is similar to Trump talking about Isis.

Reagan was sometimes as brash as Patton and Trump. When he was being sworn in as president Iran promptly released the hostages rather than face the consequences.

Machiavelli once said, “It is sometimes a wise thing for a prince to affect madness.” Nixon used that very device to bring the North Vietnamese to the peace table.

General Patton appeared spontaneous in his remarks and it sometimes got him into trouble but in retrospect he was right about the fact that we would one day have to face Russia anyway and if we had been stronger in dealing with them in 1945, we now know, that Hungary, Czechoslovakia and most of the Balkans could have arguably avoided the nightmare of communist rule where hundreds of thousands of people were imprisoned.

The comparisons of Donald Trump to General George S. Patton are the most problematic for the candidate.  I’m not saying that they aren’t true, I just want to point out that Patton couldn’t get elected to anything and couldn’t even keep his job as general – even though he was one of our most tenacious and brilliant commanders. In his army career, Patton’s political skills eventually failed him.

Patton once said, “It is a popular idea that a man is a hero just because he was killed in action. Rather, I think, a man is frequently a fool when he gets killed.” It did not go over very well.

When war hero, Senator John McCain called the thousands of Arizona citizens who had rallied to meet Donald Trump as crazies, Trump shot back, “He was a hero because he was captured. I like people who were not captured.”

Both men have been accused of profanity. Patton said you can’t run an army without profanity.

The one virtue that all of these Trump comparisons have in common is their penchant for strong leadership.  Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, George Patton, Ronald Reagan were all dynamic leaders.

One of George Patton’s most famous quotes declared, “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” It is vintage Trump.

If you live long enough, history comes back around.


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