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.

 


Exposing the corrupt reasons why “the establishment” fears Trump and Sanders?

April 4, 2016

Why does the GOP establishment fear Donald Trump? And the Democratic establishment fear Bernie Sanders?

Money.

 

Both political parties depend on large donations from banks and corporations. So too do candidates running for office.

What do the banks and corporations get in return?

Money right back at ya. Big money. Directly and indirectly. Money through the Federal Reserve, money through the Export-Import Bank and most of all, money by creating artificial monopolies through selective enforcement of regulations.

First there is direct corporate welfare. This is not the biggest source of income, in fact, it is the least, but it is the easiest for the public to understand so I will begin there and tell more in later posts.

Billions of dollars are given to companies directly from the U.S. Treasury. In fact, twice as much money goes to corporate welfare than to welfare for the poor. The latter is a point that Bernie Sander’s supporters like to make.  Look it up yourself.

These grants are smothered in honorable language, “to create jobs, to stimulate the economy, to protect the environment, to redress past wrongs,” the list goes on and on. Special interest groups, some of them well-intentioned, promote these “causes” but in the end, the establishment corporations make most of the money.

There are sometimes very compelling and logical reasons for corporate welfare. When I was in the White House a major company wanted millions of dollars to compete in France. They said that the French saw their company as a cultural invasion and so the French government was subsidizing their own.  

But whatever the reason, the bottom line is this, the big companies get money from the government for their business and YOU don’t.  If you start a company you are on your own and worse, you will be subsidizing your competition with your very own tax dollars. 

Oh yeah, once they get that money they turn around and give it back as donations to the politicians and political parties that helped them get it. 

When you read that the establishment is backing Marco Rubio or now, reluctantly, Ted Cruz, that is where some of that backing comes from. When there was a misquote from the Chairman of Goldman Sachs saying he was fine with either Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton as president, that was why it was so widely believed. And that’s why it raised eyebrows when Ted Cruz forgot to report a $750,000 loan from Goldman Sachs that launched his political career. 

Forget about liberal and conservative. Think in terms of insider and outsider. 

When I worked in the White House conservative businessmen came in to make sure I was onboard for federal dollars going to their companies.

“This is our chance,” they explained. “We are in power. The liberals do it.  We have to do it too.”

I also had publishers of conservative magazines and presidents of think tanks come in and lobby me for money for these same “conservative” companies. It didn’t take long for me to see that the companies who got government money were the companies who bought advertising in those same “conservative” magazines and who financed the retreats for their think tanks and gave them research grants.

This is how the liberal-conservative equation has become compromised. Liberals will push for environmental legislation but then exempt companies that give them money. Conservatives will criticize fraudulent welfare abuse but award money to companies that overcharge for worthless services.

Yes, there are good people in the middle of this. People who believe in their cause. Private contractors who give good service to the public, government servants who give their lives to help others. But the poor continue to get poorer and the rich continue to get richer.

The Democratic establishment doesn’t trust Bernie Sanders who would answer corruption with government run socialism.

Socialism is the poor man’s way to “game” the system. They will get YOU to pay for their rent, their food, their education. It’s popularity shows how hopeless the public is about corruption.

The Republican establishment doesn’t trust Donald Trump who keeps saying that Washington is stupid, that it should be run like a business, that contracts should go to the lowest bidder. But there is a reason why they don’t go to the lowest bidder. Corruption

Trump’s answer is a return to free enterprise, supply and demand, the American Dream.


Strange bedfellows: Why Trump and Cruz need each other now

April 2, 2016

Today the airwaves are full of false reports from experts telling us how the Republican National Convention might become open and might nominate a new name. Karl Rove claims that this might happen. Respected pundits speculate about it.  But it simply will never happen and let me explain why.

To put another name into play will not only require the betrayal of Donald Trump, it will require the betrayal of Ted Cruz. And while the Republican Party will not likely survive the former it certainly cannot survive both.

Here’s how it works.  Rule 40b requires that a candidate must have a plurality of delegates in eight states to be nominated.  This is the so called “Ron Paul Rule” put in place by Mitt Romney, John Sununu, Ben Ginsberg and others seeking to block Ron Paul from being nominated in 2012.  When Ron Paul actually closed in on a majority in eight states they contested some of his duly elected delegates and threw them off the floor of the RNC.  This so saddened the Governor of one of the states involved, seeing these GOP young people disenfranchised, that he protested the action and walked out with these young people.

At present, only two candidates have reached the eight state threshold for the 2016 RNC. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.  Under the current rules they are the only candidates who can be nominated. Thus reports today that some will vote for Rubio on the first ballot or that Kasich is surging among delegates is irrelevant. If delegates vote for a candidate that is not nominated, and because of State GOP rules some will do so, they won’t be counted. Thus Sharon Johnson of Arizona voted for Pat Buchanan in 1992 but it did nothing.

Ahhh, you say. But what if the Rules Committee votes to change Rule 40b? What if they changed it to a one state requirement to nominate? Or to no states and allow nominations on the floor?

To do that the Rules Committee would have to be controlled by delegates who want that to happen.

After the Rachel Maddow show a few weeks ago the media seems to better understand that the delegates pledged to Trump are not really people who necessarily support Trump.  Many of them support Cruz. Maybe even most of them. And some support Rubio or Bush or Romney or Ryan.

But it is safe to say that a majority of the delegates on the Rules Committee support either Trump or Cruz. They do not support Karl Rove or Ben Ginsburg or John Sununu or other GOP establishment Republicans. (Monday read a post on this blog about why the establishement fears an outsider.)

To win this battle the establishment Republicans must not only betray Donald Trump they must also betray Ted Cruz. They must convince a majority of the delegates on the Rules Committee to open the convention to someone else.  Someone not Trump and not Cruz.

It ain’t gonna happen.

Ted Cruz will not order his delegates serving on the Rules Committee to vote to open the convention to another name.  He will want to keep this as a decision between he and Trump. It is his only chance to win.

The corrupt GOP establishment may eventually do the unthinkable. Force the unity of the Republican Party, with them on the outside looking in.

 


How Trump Wins?

March 29, 2016

What does Donald Trump need to do to nail down the Republican Nomination?

The last thing one would expect.

Money.

The last remaining, major piece in the Trump campaign is a successful, powerful, independent Super Political Action Committee to answer the bombardment which is only beginning.  And that requires money.

No matter how rich Mr. Trump may be, no one has the liquidity to toss another $1 billion into the fight. Only a PAC, supported by Trump’s best friends and masses of supporters can raise the money to close the deal for the nomination and keep him in the running in a general election fight that promises all of the attrition and violence of the Russo-German front during World War Two.

But why a PAC? Why not his own presidential campaign? Because a donor cannot give more than $2700 each to his campaign and the ways around it are mined with legal issues. But a donor can give as much as he or she wants to a PAC. And it will take big money to force the anti-Trump GOP establishment to back down and to beat Hillary Clinton.

What will a PAC do for him?

#1) It will help organize his ground game and get Trump loyal delegates to the RNC. This requires identifying Trump supporters and turning them out to the remianing District and State Conventions where they can contest for delegate spots to Cleveland.

If this doesn’t happen soon, Cruz will continue to put his people in place as he has done in Georgia and Louisiana and is in the process of doing in Arizona. At best, one could see a convention that cheers more for Cruz than Trump. At worst Trump could have the nomination taken away.

Even minimal work by a Trump PAC could defeat that. But the clock is ticking. Many State Conventions are already over.

#2) It would end the stop Trump cottage industry.

The stop Trump movement has become the industry of choice for all of the out of work political operatives from the other 16 presidential campaign. And it is beginning to pose a very serious problem. While its negative advertisements and mischief at District and State Conventions were at first only seen as irritants to getting the nomination, they are beginning to move numbers among Independents, Women and other groups that Trump will need in the general election.

For most of the anti-Trump operatives it is not about stopping the candidate it is about paying the mortgage. They gambled on their own candidates and lost. No hard feelings. Now they are making a living working for GOP establishment folk who favor an “open” convention or want to bring Trump to heel and get promises of corporate welfare and the right people in the right places.  But the more they work the more invested they become. And the closer to the general election we get the more money starts flowing to them from Democrat donors and special interests who favor Hillary Clinton.

If a Trump Super PAC starts answering ad for ad, pundit for pundit, calling for unity and exposing their funding, the stop Trump operatives will evaporate like snow on a hot afternoon.

Once again. It is a problem that can be fixed now but too little, too late could spell doom.

#3) It will put in place the massive machinery needed to win a general election contest against Hillary Clinton.

Some things take time. No matter how much money you have or how fast you are working. Donald Trump the builder of hotels knows that very well. And there are things that a PAC should be doing now to make a difference in November.

#4) A PAC can say and do things that the candidate should not say or do.

At some point, Donald Trump must appear presidential and let his PAC become his mad dog. That is its traditional role. But it won’t work if its not seen. And it won’t be seen if it’s not on television. And it won’t be on television if it doesn’t get funding fast.

Finally, there is this.  A PAC offers a donor their best chance to seal their friendship with a future president. Trump decries such arrangements but when the dust settles and Trump takes a survey of who helped him the most he will not miss the large donations that came to the PAC that put him in office.

Most Trump Super PAC’s have received cease and desist letters from the Trump campaign.  The Great America PAC, launched by Eric Beach is an exception and is running full board. It bears watching.

Lots of people are calling for a ban on PACS and resent their influence in presidential campaigns. In the meantime, Trump better get one going or he will be watching the inauguration of Hillary Clinton from the presidential suite of one of his hotels.


Why the GOP Establishment still thinks they can take out Donald Trump

March 24, 2016

Yes, I know. It’s getting late. He is way ahead.

Even if he should not get all of the delegates he needs – and he will – there are many options, many deals he can make to win the others.

Not to worry. Just start thinking about the general right?

Wrong.

There is a reason why the GOP establishment is still holding out and why they think they can still steal the nomination from Donald Trump. They will hit the four areas where he is weakest.

Here’s how it will work.

1.) They will continue to amass delegates that they personally control. These include Cruz-Rubio-Kasich delegates but even more importantly, old Mitt Romney delegates who were recruited by State and County Chairmen in 2012.

If you don’t understand how it works, look at this video from the Rachel Maddow Show.

Remember, the delegates are people who are elected at County, District and State GOP Conventions. They have to vote according to the rules of their State Party but those rules change from State to State.

Take for example Florida. The delegates must vote for the winner of the Florida Primary for the first three ballots of the RNC and then they are free to vote as they wish but only for officially nominated candidates.

Other states say that their delegates must only vote for the winner of their primary or caucus on the first ballot.

Donald Trump just won the Arizona Primary but he currently has no effective ground game in Arizona to win all of the delegate slots at the State Convention on April 30. The makeup of that Convention will be determined by District Conventions happening this week. Most of the likely delegates I have personally talked to favor Ted Cruz.

Meanwhile, the Ted Cruz campaign just pulled off a coup in Georgia over the weekend.

2.) They will fund anti-Trump Super Pacs which will go unanswered.

The anti-Trump movement has become a cottage industry with hundreds of loose political operatives raising money by trashing Trump. It is growing exponentially. It’s a way for the pundits to pay the mortgage.

Trump supporters have created their own Super Pac, Make American Great Again. It will counter the organizing at the State Conventions and eventually answer ad for ad but they must move fast. They are way behind.

Trump hasn’t helped matters by constantly reminding folks that he is funding his own campaign.

The result? People aren’t invested. Voting patterns show that a person who donates to a campaign is 50 times more likely to vote for the same person.

If the Trump Super Pac doesn’t get big funding fast, the anti-Trump Pacs will start running millions of dollars of unanswered ads which will spill over into the general election. But the more immediate threat to Trump is that they could help the establishment take away the nomination by setting up the following scenario.

3.) The establishment will begin a series of media leaks to hurt Trump.

Wait a minute. What can hurt him? He is “the Teflon Don.” No scandal, money, sex or mafia can touch him.

Yes, I know.

But as Ronald Regan learned in 1976 and Pat Buchanan learned in 1992, the media can be almost nice to you during the nomination process when you are a Republican outsider. They turn vicious when you appear to be winning.

Public opinion can be powerful. Remember, the duly elected president of Ukraine was overthrown by demonstrators in the street? The whole Trump phenomenon began when an illegal immigrant who had been deported back to Mexico five times shot and killed a 34 year old woman in San Francisco.

The media drumbeat against Trump will be incessant, fed by special interests and designed to get a Trump reaction.

As the negative stories hit some of his supporters will start saying to themselves, “Well, even I have a problem with this one.”

And then they will say, “If there is one more thing like that I might just not vote at all.”

But still the attacks will keep coming.

It is in this atmosphere, with alleged scandal after scandal, GOP leaders will start calling for “An open convention.” They will say, “Let these delegates vote their conscience. Turn them loose. Let the people decide.”

The national media will agree.

Of course an “open” convention would be an insider, establishment convention run by delegates who do the bidding of the bosses.

#4) In this atmosphere the Convention will vote to change the rules and allow its own delegates to be unbound.

At present, Rule Number 40(b) limits nominees to candidates who have a majority in eight state contests. And as the distinguished Morton Blackwell quotes, “Only candidates who meet the eight-state threshold required to receive votes that count on the first ballot can receive votes that count on subsequent ballots.”

But the Rules can be changed at the Convention. The threshold can be changed to five states, as it was before 2012 Romney operatives decided to block Ron Paul from nomination. It can even be changed to none.

Such an “open” convention could turn to Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney or others who are more acceptable. The Trump train will come to an end.

Is it likely? No.

At the moment, such a scenario could easily be stopped by defeating the first two steps but Mr. Trump’s campaign has done too little too late. They are leaving money out on the table in a room full of thieves. It is not likely to stay there for long.

If you keep hearing party leaders speaking generously about an “open convention” you know that they are still trying to stop Trump. Only when they start talking about “rallying around the front runner” will you know that he has the nomination secured.

(Coming soon: Simple steps Trump can take to solidify his nomination. Why does the GOP establishment rage? What do they want?)


Not so fast: Trump may still need Rubio to win.

March 14, 2016

3-14-2016

Anything may happen but as of this moment Donald Trump is headed to victory in Florida tomorrow night and that will go a long way in clinching his position as the Republican nominee for president. It will crush Senator Marco Rubio who will have been beaten in his own home state.

But not so fast. In a curious way it might make both men more dependent on each other than ever before.

There is a general assumption that what Trump has done to win the nomination has diminished his chances of winning the general election. Obviously, Mr. Trump will have to revisit Women, Hispanics, Blacks and any other alienated constituencies. The general consensus is that Trump will need a woman on the ticket, as his vice presidential nominee, or else a whole lot of potential Trump voters will sit at home. And his choice would most likely be South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley. But there are some compelling reasons behind a Trump-Rubio ticket as well.

Rubio? Who can’t even carry his home state? The reasons are complicated.

In 1960 the Democratic Party found itself in a similar dilemma. They had started the political season with an army of potential nominees.  One by one they were eliminated. The first to drop out was  Illinois Senator Adlai Stevenson, the party elder statesman. He had already run twice and lost. The early front runner, Senator Estes Kefauver, of Tennessee was next to go. And then the so called “Happy Warrior” Minnesota Senator, Hubert Humphrey, who lost the West Virginia Primary to young Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Toward the end of the nominating season the numbers had been reduced to three serious contenders. Senator Kennedy, Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri and Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas. Johnson was considered by many as the most experienced and the most likely to win against a Republican in the general election.

Kennedy won the nomination but the party was deeply fractured.

The Johnson campaign workers were especially bitter toward Kennedy, an upstart, son of a millionaire, who was a Catholic. No Catholic had ever been elected president.

Kennedy wisely divined that he needed Lyndon Johnson as his vice presidential running mate. His own supporters were furious. And Johnson’s supporters were apoplectic. In the end it took the strength of will of both men, individually, to pull it off.

Johnson knew that Kennedy  would not win without him. But Johnson humbled himself and accepted the second spot on the ticket and eventually both Kennedy and Johnson became U.S. presidents. Even politics can be a game of inches.

Notwithstanding Marco Rubio’s failure to win his own state of Florida, it is still very possible that Donald Trump will not win a general election without his support. It is less an issue of region and home state as it is demographics.

Trump has offended Hispanics and Rubio is Hispanic.

Trump is a Presbyterian who needs a Catholic on the ticket. Rubio is Catholic.

Trump has been publicly opposed by Mitt Romney, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They are key to carrying the Mountain States, including swing states such as New Mexico and Colorado. Rubio grew up as LDS and is a favorite of Romney.

Trump needs Florida to win. Although Trump is likely to beat Rubio in the Florida GOP primary tomorrow night, Rubio is a native of Florida and might make the difference if it comes down to Florida as it did in 2000.

And Trump needs to unite the Republican Party. No one has taken more abuse from Donald Trump than Marco Rubio. If Rubio can forgive Trump, then Cruz, Romney, Ryan and everybody else will have to fall into line.

Finally, if Senator Marco Rubio losses Florida Tuesday, he will need Donald Trump too. His future political career will depend on helping to heal the Republican Party. A successful nationwide campaign as the GOP vice presidential nominee will restore his relevancy.

In 1964 establishment Republicans badmouthed their own nominee, Barry Goldwater and he went down to defeat. But one GOP public figure stayed true and faithfully supported the nominee of his party. That man, Richard Nixon, won the nomination himself four years later and was elected president that same year.

Will Donald Trump make the offer? And would Senator Marco Rubio accept it if he did? That discussion is still months away. And at this moment it is as unlikely as it was for John F. Kennedy to take on Lyndon B. Johnson as his running mate.

(See this dated assessment from one year ago. Who knew that Trump would trump both Bush and Rubio?)

 


Where will the Libertarians go? Trump? Cruz? Rubio? Kasich?

March 8, 2016

My inbox is full of Libertarians who like Donald Trump? Worse. Some like Bernie Sanders. What gives?

First Donald Trump.

Yes, I know, he is a billionaire who has worked the system for years. He openly admits to giving money to politicians to grease the skids. He says he approves of torture because it works. He would “knock the hell out of Isis.” He appears openly flexible about the U.S. Constitution. He sees no urgent need for criminal justice reform. So why do many Libertarians like him anyway?

Because he is an irritation to the ruling class of the American elite who are seen to be gaming the system. The word is that many of these insiders don’t trust Trump. They are afraid he will mess things up. Even the neocons don’t like him. They aren’t getting private assurances that he will keep funding their companies with taxpayer money.

It is a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Okay, understood. But why are so many young people who support the Libertarian Movement now crossing over to Bernie Sanders?

Because socialism is the poor man’s way to game the system.

They know they can’t work the Export Import Bank. The won’t get a $100 million, zero percent interest loan from the Federal Reserve. They can’t get regs exempted for their lemonade stand.

For them the American Dream is dead. And they have lost all hope of reform or an end to the corruption.

Consider, Barack Obama, a liberal African American president. First he appointed Timothy Geithner as Secretary of Treasury.  He had been President of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City. To add insult to injury, he hadn’t paid his Social Security and Medicare taxes for three years.  As Leona Helmsley once reminded us, “Only little people pay taxes.”

Then Obama loaded the FED with the very same folks that Bush, McCain or Romney might have picked.  Why have elections?

Under Obama the rich got richer and the poor got poorer at a record rate.

Hillary Clinton? You may remember that she invested $1,000 in the commodities market and less than one year later took out $100,000. She refuses to release transcripts of her private speeches to Wall Street banks. Her daughter married a Goldman Sachs banker. Her Clinton Foundation has amassed $1.4 billion in a “pay to play” political access gambit.

Meanwhile, the national media giants cover for it all. They are funded by advertising dollars from the insider corporations who are in turn funded by the taxpayers and poor people whose wealth is quietly diminished by “quantitative easing.”

So  for some, socialism is the last resort. As I said, the poor man’s way to game the system. They will get YOU to pay for their rent, their food, their healthcare, their education.

Don’t hold your breath though. Most young people are too informed to buck the trend of history by dabbling in socialism. Bernie is not going to win.

Why not Ted Cruz?

He is seen by many as the Manchurian Candidate of the established elite. He launched his Senate bid with a $750,000 loan from Goldman Sachs and thought nobody would notice. His wife worked for Goldman Sachs.  Libertarians are quite certain that this man will not end “crony capitalism”. He must be their fallback guy, their, “Let me run as a conservative” guy. “Nobody will notice your loan and I can win the Evangelicals.”

And hopefully none of those Evangelicals will remember that verse in the Bible that says “the borrower is servant to the lender.”

Why not Marco Rubio?

He is seen as the establishment’s choice. The  media is too eager for him which makes him suspect to some Libertarians. Much of the Bush money has been moving to him. But how can you trust a broke Senator whose house went through foreclosure? How is he going to stand up to the oligarchs who run the country? He doesn’t even pretend to be bothered by crony capitalism. He embraces it.

So according to my inbox, many of my Libertarian friends are ready to vote for Donald Trump. But not their wives. Just the men. They are hoping that he will be so brash, so bold, that he will actually try to improve employment and trade and if some of the establishment have to wait for their new hotel to go up in the Bahamas, well, that’s the price they pay for getting overconfident and letting the Donald slip by them. But how can he win?

(Coming soon. The impossible task. How Donald Trump can actually win the general election.)

 

 


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