LIFE IN THE ASYLUM
WHY IS THIS SO HARD?
Where is Ronald Reagan when we need him? Why is his Eleventh Commandment such a hard concept to remember and to follow?
[For readers who don’t recall the Eleventh Commandment, see the picture.] But what did Reagan ever do that would make it a good idea to emulate any of his concepts? How about this: from the very founding of the Republican party in Abraham Lincoln’s day, there have been only two back-to-back Republican presidential landslide victories. Want to guess who holds the record? Stupid old Ronald Reagan (1980, 1984). What about Ike, you say? Close, but no cigar.
But . . . but . . . 1984 was soo long ago. How can we expect our younger, union teacher-educated Republicans to know or remember such things? If only there was some kind of new technology (we could call it “the internet”) where we could learn about such things. If we did have access to such a wonder, we could discover that “mainstream”, “establishment”, “moderate” Republicans did not want any part of Ronald Reagan. They insisted in 1976 that Gerald Ford was the best candidate. He, after all, was moderate, steady, and “electable”. Especially since, during his partial term as the “accidental president,” he had given us “WIN Buttons” and a lifetime Supreme Court seat for the awful John Paul Stevens. Ford went on to stumble his way through a terrible campaign and gave us four horrible years of Jimmy Carter.
Thank God the “establishment” Republicans are always there when we need them. After we barely survived four years of Carter, they tried very hard to give us either Ford again (believe it or not), or George H. W. Bush. Fortunately Reagan won the nomination, but in their wisdom they named H. W. as Reagan’s running mate, because H. W. was moderate, steady, and electable, which, of course, Reagan was not.
After two landslide election victories and two very successful presidential terms, Reagan was Constitutionally limited and had to step down. The “establishment” nominated H. W. to run for what only the totally clueless (including H. W.) did not realize was Reagan’s third term. Bush did win, and went on to break his pledge not to raise taxes, and to give a lifetime Supreme Court seat to the awful David Souter. After four years the nation realized it had not gotten Ronald Reagan’s third term, and in 1992 handed the White House to the libertine Bill Clinton.
This brings us to the real point of this article: one of Clinton’s first political masterstrokes was naming his wife and a secret committee to devise a secret national healthcare plan (Hillarycare) to be shoved down the throats of unwilling Americans. Enter Newt Gingrich. Gingrich, a “bomb-throwing” “backbencher,” devised the Contract with America and in 1994 astonished the political world by engineering the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives for the first time in forty years. Even Ronald Reagan had been unable to accomplish that. Under the circumstances Hillarycare was never even brought to a vote.
Gingrich was elected Speaker of the House and accomplished some notable things, including a very successful welfare reform, the first balanced budget in thirty years,
and forcing Bill Clinton to state: “The era of big government is over.” But thank God
the mainstream Republicans were still there when we needed them. The 1996 presidential election loomed and we needed a moderate, steady, and electable candidate. How about Bob Dole? After all, it was also his turn. Dole, a decent person and wounded war veteran, muddled his way through a losing campaign, later going on to make a number of memorable erectile-dysfunction TV commercials.
Meanwhile Gingrich, surprisingly enough, had made a lot of enemies among the moderate, steady, and electable people of both parties. He resigned from the House before the 2000 election ushered in two terms of the “compassionate conservative,” George W. Bush. Bush did some good things and some very bad things as his eight
years ground by.
In 2008 there was no incumbent candidate for president, but thank God we still had the services of the “main-stream” Republicans. Once again we needed a moderate, steady, and electable candidate, even better if it’s his turn. Enter the truly inept John McCain. Has anyone started to see a pattern here? McCain, inexcusably, almost literally gave
us President Obama. Obama has given us a nightmarish first term, including lifetime Supreme Court seats to the awful “wise Latina” and the awful Elena Kagan.
And here we are. Another presidential election looms. At last we have learned our lesson. We need a candidate that is moderate, steady, and electable, even better if it’s his turn. The description answers itself: Mitt! He’s rich, preppy, looks good on the cover of GQ, and really, really wants to be president. What could go wrong?
Mitt, you may recall, gave the long-suffering people of Massachusetts the gift of Romneycare, a literal model for Obamacare. Has he acknowledged any error over this? Not a bit. He bursts with paternal pride at this “accomplishment”. The key difference, you understand, is that with Romneycare, you won’t have to go to Washington to beg some bureaucrat for permission to see the doctor of your choice, you will only have to
go to your state capitol.
Governor Mitt was also bursting with pride in a press release dated December 7, 2005 (an ironic way to commemorate Pearl Harbor) when he bragged: “Massachusetts is the first and only state to set CO² emissions limits on power plants…the toughest in the nation”; and that in enacting those regulations he had elicited input from “experts” such as “John Holden” (sic – Holdren). That name may ring a bell - John Holdren, a dangerous left-
wing lunatic, today holds the post of Obama science czar. Click around on Google and take a look at some of Holdren’s “expert” ideas. Has Mitt acknowledged any error over this? Not a bit.
Paul Rahe summarizes Mitt well: “He is not an especially well-educated man. He is the son of a businessman, and he is himself a business-school product. He understands management; he believes in management; and he is ready, willing, and able to manage our lives for us. Like many Republicans of similar background, he has given next to no thought to first principles.”
For obvious reasons the likely Republican primary voters are simply not enthralled with Mitt. Stupid people! Reenter Newt, who comes into the primaries on a shoestring budget. He is not poor, but he is not rich in the Mitt sense. He takes part in every one of the seemingly daily candidate debates. And all he does during each of those debates is give by far the best answers to every question put to him. When the questions can be answered he answers with knowledge and erudition. When the question is ludicrous, [as many are, e.g., tell us what you would do to fix the economy – you have 30 seconds] he chides the questioner (as no other candidate does). When the premise of the question is completely bogus [Have you stopped beating your wife?], he challenges the premise, while other candidates try to fumble their way to an answer.
Newt suggests (correctly) that we need to get a runaway judiciary back within its constitutional bounds. Everyone else freaks out: “Crazy!” “Dangerous!” Unfortunately, Newt (not a lawyer) has read Article III of the Constitution and either the others have
not, or worse, they don’t care what Article III says. Read it. It is barely one page long. Newt says a runaway court like the Ninth Circuit could be abolished. Article III says: “The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” This
is what is known as the plain language of the Constitution: Congress may establish a Ninth Circuit, and Congress may disestablish the same Ninth Circuit.
The likely primary voters began to notice the difference in the candidate’s debate performances. Seemingly out of nowhere Newt’s numbers began to rise, and he became
a serious challenger, perhaps even a likely winner over the Mitt. Once again, the nation turns its lonely eyes to the “mainstream” Republicans. Newt must be stopped. What Eleventh Commandment? This is war! We can’t count on the left to destroy Newt, we have to do it ourselves. Mitt, Michelle, Rick, and the why-won’t-he-just-go-away Ron Paul, get together in the Green Room with the left-wing moderators for fully coordinated attack-Newt sessions. Attack Newt videos and billboards spring up like mushrooms.
And here is, at least to this writer, a real surprise: some of the most vitriolic attacks come from people one may have thought were reliable conservatives. George Will. Charles Krauthammer! Ann Coulter!! Mark Steyn!!! What is going on? Perhaps some of these folks just aren’t who you thought they were. Mark Steyn relies on anti-Newt statements from John Sununu. You may recall John Sununu as the brilliant advisor who pushed H. W. Bush to break his no new taxes pledge, costing him reelection, and to nominate the awful David Souter to the Supreme Court. Mark, we love you, but John Sununu?!
Newt is not the perfect candidate. Ronald Reagan may not have been the perfect candidate. In reality, there is no such thing as the perfect candidate. The terrible failing of the United States in 2008 was that 53% of the voters were seduced into believing Obama was the perfect candidate. Now we are running out of time. We have to take the best that is available. There was a moment when Abraham Lincoln desperately needed a general who would fight and could win battles. When he noted that Grant might have those qualities, his advisers objected that Grant was reportedly a heavy drinker. Lincoln replied [Pick one]: A) “That man has too much baggage!” or B) “Find out what he drinks; I want to send a barrel to each of my other generals.” For us, this may well be one of