Losing with humility

The Donald recently gave the ungracious concession speech I can remember after his loss in Wisconsin. This a clear sign of his immaturity and petulance. Contrast that speech with the words of Bear Bryant, one of the great winners in college football and a man of character:

“It’s awfully important to win with humility. It’s also important to lose. I hate to lose worse than anyone, but if you never lose you won’t know how to act. If you lose with humility, then you can come back.”

Trump competence on display

We have alternate boasts from The Donald that he is an independent thinker and doesn’t rely on council for his big decision and that he only hires the best. This story seems to belie the second claim: “Trump’s campaign, by contrast, seems to be a whirlwind of incompetence and egotism“.

The Donald seems to be winging this entire campaign. His interview with Washington Post showed no thought or depth on any issue. Similarly his interview with Chris Mathews and the abortion question. He hasn’t thought through the execution of any issue beyond “Make America Great Again”. He didn’t assemble an competent campaign team and now whines about being cheated. The rules haven’t changed since 2012 – a majority, not a plurality is required to claim the nomination. Trump is the one demanding rule changes, not the GOP, at this point.

Our two worst presidents of modern times – Carter and Obama were both nano managers; Trump seems of the same mold. Unwilling to admit what they don’t know, unable to build a team of strong, competent individuals to implement a clear policy they flail in the minutia and whine, incessantly.

Common values

It’s unfortunate that Otto Warmbier is facing fifteen years in a North Korea prison at hard labor, however, it is hard to feel much sympathy for this foolish individual. He made two poor choices – a) going to NK and b) petty theft, and is now discovering that choices have consequences. He will also discover that not every country has the same system of due process as guaranteed under our constitution and nor the same standards of punishment.

These two concepts seem to escape so many westerners these days. The steady indoctrination of multi-culturalism, the litany of U.S. oppression and PC speech codes have created a generation incapable of realizing that not everyone in the world shares western values.

Singapore consistently scores very well on indices of corruption and transparency. The legal system in Singapore is based on the British system and would be considered very fair by any standard. First time visitors to Singapore are always impressed with the cleanliness of the country. Crime is low and graffiti is virtually non-existent. This is not an accident or serendipity. Singapore takes their laws seriously and rigorously enforce them.  Prosecutors in the U.S. ignore serious offenses, as in Ferguson and Baltimore for just two recent examples, sending a message the U.S. is inconsistent at best enforcing laws. So assuming that all countries behave as the U.S. or other western countries is a bad assumption.  Westerners have learned this the hard way. Why would anyone assume that North Korea, not as transparent as Singapore, nor with a legal system based on any recognizable western standard have the same standards of due process or be as lenient as the U.S.?

Life is hard; its harder if you’re stupid.

Voters feel betrayed by GOP pt 87,432

Here is one more manifestation of why more than 50% of voters in recent primaries felt betrayed by the GOP. Less than three months after the budget resolution Paul Ryan described as a “crap sandwich” we have another bust-the-bank budget.

The GOP needs to take a principled stand on real spending cuts. The liberal MSM will always portray the GOP poorly. Life is tough. Go around the MSM, develop and execute a proactive communication strategy instead of responding to Democrat sound bites.

We can’t keep spending beyond our means and must reduce the deficit. The GOP leadership is not serious about this issue.

Voters feel betrayed by GOP..

I have said for some time now that McConnell and Boehner would do more for the rise of third party than any democrat. Two articles today reinforce this point. The first was an exit poll of voters that showed more than 50% of voters in Ohio and North Carolina felt betrayed by the GOP. The second story is a discussion of the current budget battle in Congress.

The defeat of Eric Canter, the number of Tea Party supported freshman and now the rise of Donald Trump don’t seem to register or faze the GOP leadership. We cannot sustain $19,000,000,000 (don’t spell out trillion so people understand how many zeros are in this number) in debt.

I think Trump is an appalling candidate and would be a terrible president, although better than Clinton, but it is nice to see the betrayal chickens coming home to roost.

Could this campaign get anymore screwed up?

This is a rhetorical question. The way this campaign season has gone so far the answer must be yes it will.

MoveOn.org provided the impetus for the fascist cry-bullies to shut down the Trump rally in Chicago yesterday. This brilliant strategy allowed the vulgarian candidate to claim the high moral ground and dominate the news coverage going into the super Tuesday primaries.  The Sanderista cry-bullies have cast a pall over their candidate, confirmed their fascist tendencies and created support for their nemesis. A perfect trifecta of stupidity.

The Trump campaign seems to be approaching the Rolling Stones Altamont concert as a model. Trump encourages violence against protestors; some supporters act out this rage and his campaign manager is accused of violence against a Breitbart reporter. The GOP war on women just carpet bombed its own.

After 80 bajillion debates that were largely food fights we get some discussion of issues and discover the leader is clueless on policy or details. We just have to trust him to make good deals.

I saw one Tweet that summarized the GOP campaign and my thoughts “.. When the campaign began it was an embarrassment of riches; now its just an embarrassment.”

Out of touch GOP establishment

I have said for a long time that Boehner and McConnell would do more for establishment of a third party than anything the Democrats would do. Dazed and confused GOP establishment

Republicans promised to build a wall along the Mexican border, fix illegal immigration, balance the budget, rein in the IRS, cut waste and fraud, defund Obama’s illegal executive orders. But every time they’re handed the controls of government, they invent some new excuse for not delivering.

The last budget that Republicans in the House and Senate passed did the opposite of everything the GOP leaders pledged when trying to get these people’s votes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seemed to be sending out an email to every Republican voter: Sorry, we lied.

Now McConnell and all the rest are getting their comeuppance. Voters are taking the party back from the incompetence, arrogance and corruption of Washington. ‎

The Case Against The Donald

Its probably useful to discuss what we need in our next president before discussing any candidate in particular. This will help clarify the choices. What I’m looking for is a combination of personal character and policy positions. We are not looking for a saint and I think it is important to keep in mind Reagan’s philosophy that he would rather accept 80% of what he wanted than 100% of nothing. With that my wish  list:

Personal Character – Obviously an individual must have a large ego to even think of running for president; the trappings of office, the motorcades, Air Force One, do nothing to assuage that ego. However in our republic the executive branch is just one branch of our government, arguably with more direct authority than the others.  No more “I have a pen and phone”, no more government by imperial edict. We need a president who understands the constitution and will work within it. We badly need a president who will not weaponize the bureaucracy against his opponents.

We need a president of all Americans not just the majority who elected him. Insulting and denigrating opponents and continually ascribing bad faith motives to almost half the country will not reduce the polarization in our country.

The U.S. does not have king. This means the president has ceremonial as well as executive responsibilities. This means representing the U.S. with grace and dignity abroad and undertaking a certain amount civic PR at home.

The president must have thick skin. On a good day for most presidents a third of the U.S. do not approve of his performance; on a bad day, two-thirds won’t approve. This is life as the president. The president should not give in to personal pique.

Policy Positions – The first priority should be repeal of Obamacare. This has been a disaster, not improving access to health care in any practical sense and contributing to the sluggish economy. Obamacare was sold on lies, bribes and legislative legerdemain. Unfortunately we can’t have an Emily Litella moment – “Never mind”. Obamacare broke the previous system so repeal must be accompanied by legislation to fill these gaps.

Our federal government is too large. We need to shrink government. Talk about eliminating waste and fraud is not sufficient. An efficient Dept of Education or Energy will not contribute directly to either education or energy in this country. If we disbanded the Dept of Education and disbursed its current budget to the public schools in the U.S. each school could receive about $1400 per year. For most districts this would be more than a 10% increase in their per student budget. The Dept. of Energy has more employees (direct and contract) than ExxonMobil but doesn’t directly produce a BTU of energy for the nation.

We have to take control of our deficit spending. Our current debt of $19 trillion is unsustainable. If interest rates rise debt maintenance will devastate our already struggling economy.

Obama has seriously weakened the U.S. military, through both attrition of senior flag officers and reduced materiel. The next president must restore our military to its position as the foremost military power in the world. Russia and China will continually test our resolve; we may not be interested in radical Islam but radical Islam is interested in us. I would rather fight ISIS or Al Qaida in Iraq than the U.S.

If you look at the requirement above you can see there is not a democrat in the race who merits consideration. The GOP is different. I was very excited when the campaign opened with the quality, quantity and diversity of the GOP candidates. We had a number of successful governors, especially Perry and Walker, a young field with Cruz and Rubio, and a diverse field with business and medical backgrounds in addition to the career politicians. What happened? We now have a charlatan vulgarian leading the field. Debates are no more informative and dignified than play ground taunts.

Case against Trump

Trump supports a single payer healthcare system and coverage of pre-existing conditions. While magnanimous coverage of pre-existing conditions is extremely expensive. This is a key contributor to the high cost of Obamacare. Once medical insurance moves away from an actuarially sound basis covered by premiums the expenses rise exponentially. A look at the waste, fraud and inefficiency of medicare and medicaid suggest a single payer system will be worse.

Trump is well described as having started life on third base and thinks he hit a triple.  He consistently states his net worth much higher than other estimates such as the Forbes annual 400 list. This he ascribes to the value of his “brand”. Good will and and the value of a brand are real and important – consumers pay more for an Apple iPhone than a comparable Android but Donald’s valuation of his brand seem excessive. Based on other, more objective, analysis, such as Forbes, suggest Trump has slightly out performed the market. This over rated business acumen pales in comparison to others such as Bill Gates or even Richard LeFrak, Trumps fellow NYC real estate tycoon. Failed businesses are not bad per se; entrepreneurs fail often and move on but Trumps failures are closer to scams not failed entrepreneurship. Trump U is a perfect example of attempting to capitalize on his “brand” without offering anything of value. It is unrealistic to expect Trump to do anything to restore fiscal sanity in our government.

There is no reason to think Trump views government as tool large. He is the ultimate insider, understanding very well how government works and it works fine for him. Not so much for the rest of us.

Trump offers sweeping statements with no real policy specifics and ever changing details. The idea that Mexico will pay to build a wall on the border is ludicrous. Mexico will not pay to shut-off an important revenue stream.

Trump is temperamentally unsuited to be president. He is very thin skinned and a litigeous bully. Is this the type of individual we want in charge of the IRS? His insulting behavior and name calling will not restore the dignity of the office and offer little hope for reduced polarization.

The liberal press have been very happy to feature Trump and his buffoonery. The believe Hillary can easily beat the vulgarian and hope he is the GOP candidate. Thus their over the top coverage of his nonsense while ignoring any serious policy discussion from the other GOP candidates.

Trump deserves the scrutiny now he will face this fall. Only modest scrutiny will demonstrate he is the wrong candidate.