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Mike Pence may be needed for Brett Kavanaugh vote

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Brett Kavanaugh found himself nominated for the Supreme Court during an election year. This is sure to rally the butthurt among Democrats who bemoan the Merrick Garland nomination. This was the case back in 2017 when President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the bench. Only this time, the circumstances are less favorable for Republicans.

Fewer Republicans

Breaking it down, the GOP lost a seat held by Senator Strange to Doug Jones, courtesy of the disaster that was Roy Moore. Jones victory resulted in a -1 for the Republicans and a +1 for the Democrats in this vote. Though, he may be a wild card. Inconveniently, the GOP will be -1 again with the absence of John McCain. McCain, being too ill to perform his duties to the State of Arizona, is selfishly clutching the Senate seat and the crucial vote in a gridlocked Senate. Perhaps the nomination by Trump will result in increased pressure on McCain to resign. This is possible seeing that Brett Kavanaugh was a major insider to the second Bush administration. John McCain could, though unlikely, make the flight just for the vote. Though McCain is an untrustworthy Senator, for Conservatives, the ties to the Bush administration make it more likely he would support the nomination and fly out to do so. Otherwise McCain could retire and the Arizona governor would appoint a temporary replacement.

But assuming there is none of this and present circumstances remain in place, this is a -1 for the GOP. This of course means that there will be 99 votes consisting of 50 Republicans and 49 Democrats (current Independents counted as Democrats). The simple majority favors the Republicans, but that is too simple for politics in DC.

Insert Wildcards

On the Republican side we have multiple wildcards. The least concerning of which is Senator Rand Paul. Rand Paul will raise concerns but is likely to vote in favor of the nomination. So far, he’s had this much to say:

John McCains seat is another GOP wildcard. The most concerning of wildcards may be Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, who are among the most leftist Senators in the GOP. Murkowski is most likely to defect. But looking at history, they both voted in favor of the Gorsuch nominations. Similar to the Gorsuch nomination, if Murkowski and Collins had voiced their oppositions, the three Democratic defectors may have stayed with party lines. It’s a tough gamble to expect them to vote nay, but it is possible out of defiance they would not vote.

In confirming Neil Gorsuch, three democrats defected: Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. All three are in red states. All three are facing an election. Manchin’s election prospects are dim as he is facing a very formidable opponent. Heitkamp is also facing an opponent who can win a statewide election. The same cannot be said of Joe Donnelly in Indiana. Doug Jones is perhaps a wild card, if only because he wasn’t around to vote on Gorsuch. But I don’t consider him one in the next roll count.

But to count again, excluding wildcards we are at 48 Republicans, 46 Democrats, 5 Wildcards and 1 Absentee. Again a simple majority bodes well for the GOP, if the five wildcards split nicely. Democrats would need 4/5 of the wildcards to vote no. Upfront, the most likely is Donnelly. But perhaps the others will accept their political demise and vote no anyway. Perhaps they abstain and an even number results in a tie. In which case, Mike Pence will do the honors of casting a vote for Brett Kavanaugh.

For the Kananaugh nomination, expect bitter politics, and don’t be surprised if we wait until January

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Socialism will win in 2020 regardless of who occupies the White House

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Socialism will win in 2020 regardless of who occupies the White House

With his announcement on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — an old, rich, white male who believes that most of America’s ills are caused by old, rich, white males — became the one-millionth member of the Far-Left to be added to the list of Democrat nominees for president of the United States in 2020.

Excitement over Bernie’s announcement was palpable as his campaign crushed his fellow leftists by raising nearly $6 million in the first 24 hours of online fundraising.

The field for the Democrat nomination is crowded, but the major players in the race so far are: Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Sen. Corey Booker. The remaining 999,996 candidates are, most likely, simply auditioning for a cabinet position in the new Democrat administration. Still, it’s no secret that every candidate is running on a platform that could have been created by the Democrat Socialists of America.

Despite the election-season rhetoric Trump spewed in his State of the Union address about how “America will never be a socialist country,” the socialism marches on — often with the help of the Republican party and those I refer to as Conservative Socialists.

Since there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats — #Unibrow — I don’t think it’s likely that the socialist agenda will be stopped in 2020, even if the Republicans take back the House and Trump gets re-elected.

For example, in an interview with Bloomberg Politics in 2016, Bernie Sanders was asked what changes he would bring to the Party if he were to become president:

“Five, 10 years from now — different party. You’re going to have a workers party. A party of people that [sic] haven’t had a real wage increase in 18 years, that are angry.”

What was Donald Trump’s response? He didn’t need one because the above interview was with Trump, not Sanders. Not surprising since Trump’s policies in the areas of wages, trade, social security, and other economic and non-economic issues in 2016 were nearly identical to those of the Workers Party. Additionally, Trump and Sanders were so similar in these and other areas that they could have run on the same ticket.

Or take Sen. Elizabeth Warren . . . please! Her campaign recently announced a plan to provide federally financed universal child care to be paid for with money she plans to raise from a new “wealth tax” on the rich. The plan would provide “free daycare” for the “poor” while others would pay no more than 7 percent of their income.

Would Trump oppose her plan? Let’s return again to 2016. It was during his campaign that Trump and his socialist feminist policy advisor, Ivanka, released a child care and maternity leave plan that would provide six-weeks of paid maternity leave along with tax credits and other incentives to pay for child care.

By the way, paid family leave is a Democrat priority for 2020, and as we know all too well by now, Ivanka — with help from Daddy and the GOP — is on the verge of making paid family leave a reality.

Democratic socialism is fun to ridicule and it’s tempting to dismiss it, but it’s a very real threat to America’s survival. And despite claims to the contrary by Trump, the GOP, and the so-called conservative media, it looks like it’ll win in 2020 … regardless of who’s in the White House or who controls Congress.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

 


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Culture and Religion

Returning to sanity, the greatest benefit of limited government

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Returning to sanity the greatest benefit of limited government

The ever-expansive government born of collectivism results in power for the elite and insanity for everyone else.

How did we get to this point? How did we get to a situation where reading the news is akin to trying to drink from a fire hose in attempting to take in the events of the day?

There were times in the not so distant past were this wasn’t the case, when we could go about our business not having to waste time with such concerns. This is clearly a vestige of a political movement that wants to impose expansive government on every aspect of our lives. The elite of the collectivist Left would prefer a society driven to distraction intimately involved in everyone’s private life. The only way we can survive this is by reversing course back to a point where government and society doesn’t control every aspect of our lives.

Colleague JD Rucker started this conversation with his article on limited government in continuation to the insane situation we find ourselves. Two important points being that we need dispense with tribalism and that Liberty can only survive when the government is limited.

Individualism vs. Collectivism, Limited vs. Expansive government, Liberty vs. Tyranny

In the engineering field, any analysis of a situation begins with basic equations and principles. In this case we begin with the two primary sides of politics, the individual and collectivist mindsets corresponding to Limited and Expansive government models.

  • Those trying to conserve Liberty: Libertarians, Conservatives and true Liberals are on the political Right of the individualist mindset.
  • Those trying to expand government for their own benefit in property and power: Leftists, socialists, communists, fascists, Statists, etc. are of the collectivist mindset.

To be sure, there are those who would prefer to keep these discussions in a far more complicated realm. Their motivation showing a desire to confuse the issue and obscure their actions. One cannot analyse any form of technology without delving down to the underlying equations and the same holds true for politics. If the examination shows one side is motivated by a desire for power, then this is the conclusion, no matter how certain factions would like this to be concealed.

Liberty is maximized when government is minimized

The critical point in this analysis is that expansive government is antithetical to freedom.

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”
Thomas Jefferson

This theoretical expression is borne out by practical reality. Authoritarian systems are clearly bereft of freedom. One would be hard pressed to demonstrate that national socialist worker’s party Germany or the old USSR were paragons of Liberty and human rights. Even the present day examples of socialist Venezuela or communist North Korea are more akin to open air penitentiaries than places of freedom.

Supposedly the argument is that free college, free housing, free health care, free food, free childcare and even free money is ‘freeing’ to some – but not all. The problem is that all of this is funded at some point by other people’s money, with the bite hitting ‘progressively’ lower and lower as people of the higher classes figure out methods to stop their property from being stolen. None the less, there will be those who will effectively be reduced to involuntary servitude, the opposite of being ‘Liberated’.

The problem has always been one of those who wish to get something for nothing and those who desire power no matter how it’s obtained. Without strict limitations on government, such people will always find a way to empower themselves at the expense of everyone else. Therefore, those people have to be constantly monitored, else they implement some new program here or a new tax there.

It becomes a rhetorical law of attrition, were people just become worn out trying to keep the power hungry in check. They may get upset at one issue, only to overlook another that crops up somewhere else.

Do you trust the government?

This is the critical questions of our time. Most people will answer that they don’t, albeit for differing reasons. However the central theme still remains.

  • If one does not trust the government, then why would anyone want it larger with expanded power?
  • If one does not trust the government, then why would anyone want it in control of one’s health care?
  • If one does not trust the government, then why would anyone want it to have a monopoly on the use of force?

We could go on and on, but the point is clear, a government that is inherently untrustworthy should only have limited power. This is why the strict limitations on government reveal the sheer genius of the founding fathers and the superiority of the American system of limited government.

The preservation of sanity by limited government

A government with strict limitations as to it’s proper functions [such as formulating and imposing budgetary restraints on itself] as well as what it cannot do doesn’t have to be watched 24/7. The citizens can be assured that they can go about their business without worrying that the government will grow out of control.

This is why we need to get back to a government that lives within its bounds and budget. This is why politicians of all stripes should have limited power in a limited governmental system. That is the only way to conserve Liberty and our sanity.

 


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Neither conservatives nor Democrats killed the GOP in 2018, it was suicide

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Neither conservatives nor Democrats killed the GOP in 2018 it was suicide

As the GOP continues with its postmortem examination of the 2018 election, party leadership is desperately looking for the killer responsible for the death of the former party of Reagan instead of admitting that it was a suicide.

Last week, the Republican coroner in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, determined that the party’s loss to Nancy Pelosi was due to conservatives who attempted to keep their promise to repeal Obamacare. In reality, Republicans killed their chance to retain control of the House by paving the Democrats’ road to victory with asphalt made out of the GOP’s broken promises.

In the U.S. Senate, faux-conservative Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — Liberty Score® 62% (D) — took a more nuanced approach since the GOP managed to maintain control of the “upper house.”

In an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press, Johnson classified the GOP’s demise as an occupational fatality — the result of being forced to do work in an unsafe workplace environment where Republicans failed because they didn’t have control of Congress.

For the uninitiated, the GOP had control of both chambers from 2014-2018 and held the trifecta of power (House, Senate, president) for the first two years of Trump’s presidency.

When asked in the interview why the GOP didn’t do more about issues like financing the border wall when they held the majority over the past two years, Johnson replied:

“You said we controlled both chambers. We didn’t. We had a majority in the Senate. So you don’t control it. We needed Democrats to support us and they’ve been unified in trying to thwart this president’s number one issue in the campaign, which was to secure the border.

“So no, we didn’t have control. We needed Democrats, we never had any cooperation from Democrats, which is regrettable.”

Considering that he works for Mitch McConnell — the man who pledged to “crush” conservatives and once blamed talk radio for his failures — it’s a pretty safe bet that Johnson got his talking points from Mickey.

The Republican Party we once knew is deceased, but it wasn’t murdered by conservatives and/or Democrats. The GOP killed itself.

Come to think of it, when you consider that Trump controls the GOP, you could say that their death is actually the result of an assisted suicide.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

 


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