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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Forgive Me For A Bit Of Politics

Links: A. Real Clear Politics Senate Polling
           B. The National Debt In Dollars

As the Fall of 2014 wraps itself around me, and Halloween is just around the corner, I find myself anticipating some trick or treating a few days after October 31. . . at least in Washington DC.  The mid-term elections are almost upon us, and one would expect the Republicans to be excited.  Normally mid-term elections favor the party who does not occupy the White House.  At first, this particular mid-term election seemed like a no-brainer: a president who at the moment appears to be unpopular; an economy that can't seem to get out of second gear; and more Democratic seats up for grabs than GOP seats.  In fact, I recall watching a few CNN politico-talking heads predicting that the Republicans would wake up November 5th 2014 with somewhere between 53 and 55 seats in the U.S. Senate!  I had to admit, when I examined the Senate seats in contention, I was convinced the GOP might hit the 55 mark as well.  But hey, through most of October 2012, I was convinced that Mitt Romney was going to be president.  What do I know?

Taking Control of the Perception as well as the Congress
Lets get one thing out in the open up front.  Yes, I am hoping that the Republicans take control of the Senate and keep control of the House of Representatives.  I'm not a rabid conservative who waxes poetically about the good ol' days of Ronald Reagan.  On some issues I'm conservative, on others I'm not.  The reason I am supporting the GOP in the mid-terms has to do with two issues: immigration and the national debt.  In a post earlier this week I laid bare the immigration issue for all to consider.  If Harry Reid continues on as Senate Majority Leader, we can expect to hear the Democrats and the Obama Administration persist in their claims that: "the Republican Congress has no ideas" and "the Republican Congress does nothing".  These claims continue to be made even as Harry sits on a very large pile of House Republican-sponsored Bills that will never see the light of day.  I'm not saying that the answer to our problems will be found in Harry's pile of Bills, but I would like the process to proceed as The Founders intended.  What we have now is Obama preparing to rule by decree, using the "lazy" and "do-nothing" Republican Congress as justification.  C'mon, folks on the other side, you can't think that this is healthy for our political system.  If the shoe were on the other foot, and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell were sitting on a huge pile of Democratic-sponsored Bills so President Romney could rule through Executive Action, people would be screaming in the aisles.  I believe that if the GOP takes control of the Senate, President Obama will think twice about using Executive Action to reform the immigration system.  Everyone will be asking, why doesn't he just wait until the New Year and see if the new Congress is willing to work together?

Seven Trillion Dollars in New Debt
The issue of the National Debt usually makes temperatures rise.  I remember in the late 80s and 90s, it was fashionable to say, "accruing national debt is good for the country".  I never did get an explanation, but I went along with it like all the other shlubs.  As for recent figures, I'm using the numbers provided in Link B because they seem to be a bit conservative, and I want to be optimistic.  On January 20, 2009, the National Debt was 10.6 trillion dollars.  Today, the National Debt is 17.6 trillion dollars.  In six years alone, we have added seven trillion dollars to the National Debt.  Prior to that George Bush was able to fight a two-front war for five years and the price tag, including National Guard, military equipment et al, did not come close to seven trillion. So what did be get for our seven trillion "extra" dollars in these recent six years?  This money disappeared into that empty hole labeled, "Entitlements".  To put it plainly, the number of people in the United States who suddenly were deserving of a U.S. Treasury Check once a month, just exploded.  That seven trillion dollars was spent creating an entirely new generation of people who are dependent on Uncle Sam.  Why does this bother me?  I have no kids.  By the time the bill collector shows up, I will be dust.  But I do have grandnieces and nephews, and friends with grandchildren, and President Obama has been taking THEIR credit card out of his wallet whenever budget time comes around.  He is spending your grandchildren's money.  What is so hard for some people to understand?  Its not racial, its not ethnic, its not about rich or poor, and its not really even political.  You know what it is?  Its unforgivable, that's what it is.

Those are the two reasons why this year I'm hoping the GOP takes control of the Senate.  What really fascinates me is that the trends in national elections are beginning to repeat themselves.  The Republicans start looking strong, and then a few weeks before the actual election, polls start to change and the media detects "something in the air".  By November 4, the Republicans will have managed to screw-up another election that was "in-the-bag" just a few weeks previously.  I don't buy it.  The media creates this narrative and supports it by disseminating selective polling results (Foxnews does it too, folks).  But all of the conversation is just window dressing; what matters are the actual votes that are cast on November 4.
  • Georgia.  As I look at the polls (both those that lean left and those that lean right), Georgia is very close to electing a young white female Democrat to the Senate.  Huh?  For all purposes, Georgia is one of the reddest of red states.  Just take a look at their General Assembly.  The young lady happens to be the daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, but is that enough to get Republicans in Georgia to vote Democrat?  "Hey down there in Georgia! Do you have any clue how important this election is?"  Let's talk about Kansas and North Carolina.
  • Kansas.  Most Kansans have historically been proud of being known as the most conservative state in the nation.  Don't look now, but the intelligent people of Kansas are about to be hoodwinked.  A liberal Democrat is running as an Independent.  A Tea Party candidate may also be in the mix, and the people of Kansas do seem to be in the mood for changing incumbents.  When they had the chance to retire Pat Roberts in the Republican Primary (he probably had no opposition), they didn't.  Mr. "Independent" Greg Orman probably kisses a framed photograph of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz before he goes to bed at night.  And the good people of Kansas are falling for it, hook, line and sinker.
  • North Carolina.  I won't spend much time on North Carolina.  The race is close, but Republicans always seem to lose close races here, at least lately.  I know North Carolina.  I was born in North Carolina, for goodness sake.  I can't imagine the Tarheel State sending a liberal Democrat back to the Senate for six years.  Come to your senses, North Carolina!
You too, Louisiana.  If you vote for Orman, or Nunn, or Kay Hagan, you are voting to keep Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader.  I have some concerns about Kentucky as well, but I reckon I've made my point.  Republicans will not take control of the Senate at the November 4 mid-term elections.  If the Republicans are having trouble in states like Kansas and South Dakota, I can only pity the poor souls who are running in Michigan and Minnesota.  The Democrats will keep control of the Senate, and the Republicans will retain control the House of Representatives.  And if I'm correct, and Obama is allowed to paint the "Republican" Congress as ineffective and inept, he will feel justified to swing that Executive Action hammer in all sorts of directions.  Addressing the immigration issue will be his most important use of Executive Action (for now).  Then, once Amnesty is in place, the stage is set for the death of two-party politics in the United States (and in my lifetime, no less).  Granted, the undocumented individuals have to meet the requirements and follow through with certain obligations, and that may take a few years.  But regardless of whether its 2014 or 2018, adding even ten million votes to the Democratic ticket will be enough to end competitive politics in the USA.

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