A Brokered GOP Convention?

As Allahpundit noted, my God, it’s full of page views…so, what the heck, I’ll look over Sean Trende’s analysis, too:

… in truth, I’m actually hopeful about this year’s campaign, because I think it could be unlike anything we’ve seen in a very long time. I think the Republican Party really could wind up with a brokered convention – that is, a race where no candidate receives a majority of the delegates by the end of voting. In fact, it might well be the most likely outcome, if only because no particular outcome is particularly probable.

This race is intriguing not just because of one possible outcome. It is interesting because it is difficult even to formulate a workable theory of the race. Charlie Cook uses a brackets metaphor, while Jim Geraghty and Larry Sabato think of the race in terms of tiers, but all of these have problems. Instead, I see a race that is largely chaotic. It is one where an unusually large number of candidates have perfectly plausible paths, if not to the nomination, then at least to lengthy runs deep into the balloting process.

This is because 2016 really is the deepest GOP field in a very, very long time. In fact, it isn’t even close…

It is, indeed, that. In fact, in terms of talent, the GOP has an embarrassment of riches. Contrast this to the pathetic state of the Democrats – to-be-69 year old Hillary; and if the Democrats pass on her they’ve got the intellectual and achievement powerhouses of Biden, Warren and O’Malley to choose from. None of the Democrats can hold an intellectual or achievement candle to even the weakest GOP contenders. The bad news is that the Democrats are still favored to in in 2016, even if worn-out, hacktastic Hillary is the nominee. But, still, there is that chance the GOP can win, so the GOP contest is worth winning and thus we see the large field of contenders. Will it wind up brokered? One is wary of disputing someone like Sean Trende, but I’ll say there isn’t a snowball’s chance in heck of it happening.

To be sure, Trende is right in that each of the contenders represents a certain segment of the GOP base and as the total vote is widely divided, even someone commanding relatively small support could battle far into the primary process and the sum total of all this is that no GOPer obtains a first-ballot, nominating majority and thus a brokered convention. I just don’t think it will work out that way.

The reason I don’t is because there is Scott Walker, and to a lesser extent, Bobby Jindal. Both are successful governors who battled the left and won. Both are youthful (especially compared to the Democrats), energetic and have great biographies. Both, as far as can be told, haven’t so much of a touch of scandal behind them and neither of them bear strong and public connections to the Establishment money-bags of the party. While both have plenty of good points for both Establishment and TEA Party to like, they also neither frighten overmuch the Establishment nor disappoint overmuch the TEA Party base of the GOP. Both are credible with social conservatives without being tied to positions which can turn off independent voters. They can credibly run as anti-government outsiders while being enough on the inside to garner support from low-information-voters who don’t want a war against government, per se. Each of them is a potential Reagan in the sense of being able to bridge the gaps and form a grand coalition for victory – with Walker having the better shot at this due to his epic battle against – and victory over – the forces of the left. In the end, one of the two men seems likely, to me, to slip in and start winning enough early victories to start an avalanche of support to fall their way in time to secure the nomination on a first ballot.

There are a lot of people in the GOP contest – and one must have at least some sort of egoism to even desire to be President, so a lot of GOPers who can’t win the contest will stay in when they really shouldn’t. A lot of money will be spent – and ink spilled – as various forces and factors try to take control and impose their will. But in men like Walker and Jindal, we have the sort of leaders, I think, who can impose their will upon the throng…just as Reagan was able to do in an equally fractious time (people forget that Reagan was despised by many in the GOP). And I think that either man can beat Hillary, or whomever the Democrats nominate. Not easily. Not in a walk over. But the trick can be done – because both men can unify the disparate elements of the GOP while retaining more than enough cross-over appeal to make an aged Hillary representing a corrupt and worn-out Establishment a loser.

The Democrats’ “Eat the Rich” Plan, Romney, Jeb and 2016

The Democrats have unveiled a new plan – tax the rich! Yeah, what a surprise – but this time it isn’t to provide goodies for the poor, but to shovel cash at the middle class. I guess that someone in Democrat-land crunched the polling numbers and realized that Hillary (a) can’t count on Obama’s 2012 coalition showing up for her and (b) that without some Democrat inroads into the middle class, Democrats are toast in 2016. While the Democrats plan is stupid, it is also rather smart, especially in light of conventional wisdom.

You see, the ultimate source of any Democrat victory on the national level is to garner a substantial majority of voters who don’t really know anything. The now-infamous “low information voters” who are the only thing standing between Democrats and electoral oblivion. By crafting a plan where rich, evil Wall Street types will be taxed to provide benefits to the middle class, the Democrats are trying to set themselves up for 2016 as the party fighting for the people – and the Republicans are fighting for the Wall Street fat cats. That Democrats are in the hip pockets of billionaires doesn’t matter – mostly because their most visible billionaires are famous in Hollywood…no matter how rich you point out these people are, the LIV types look kindly upon it because they made their money in entertainment, which is ok, because we all like to be entertained. But making your money in high finance? Hardly any of us do it, and none of us are entertained by it. In service of this plan, the Democrats are counting on the GOP nominee being Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney…because even though Romney and Bush aren’t rich by the standards of Democrat super-rich liberals, they are rich and they got their money in financial deals. In other words, Wall Street got them their money. No matter what one thinks of either man, they will be easily cast as tools of the Enemy…and easily so because every news report about them will include references to their Wall Street connections…while nary a story about Hillary will even mention her vast wealth, let alone how she got it.

Among a host of other reasons, this is why we must not go for either Romney or Jeb. Fine men, both of them: but both of them are sure-losers…and losers by big margins. They simply cannot escape their background and their background will be used to paint them in the worst light…and people who don’t really know all that much will vote in droves for Hillary, because the MSM has painted her for a year as someone “who cares about people like me”. To defeat Hillary, we need someone who is (a) not rich, (b) not well known at this time on the national level and (c) who can fight it out toe to toe with an unapologetic battle of ideas. As readers here know, my first choice is Bobby Jindal. Second up is Walker and final choice is Cruz. And the more I think it over – even with my belief that Jindal would be the better President – I’m leaning towards Walker…a great, blue collar background, not rich, not Establishment, successful governor, fought the left tooth and nail and won…teamed up with someone like Governor Martinez of New Mexico, he might be unbeatable.

Everything that Democrats and their MSM lap dogs will do over the next 22 months is geared towards one goal: getting Hillary in the White House. They’ll do whatever it takes – even throwing Obama under the bus, if they think it best. But no matter what they do with their own side, all efforts directed at us will be to paint us as mean, cruel, cold, rich, stupid, out of touch and unworthy of being in power. Ever mistake we make, every boneheaded comment, any scandals which emerge, will all be used – and blown massively out of proportion – in the service of making the GOP and all connected with it stink the public mind. That is all going to happen no matter what – but let’s not hand them an advantage by nominating someone who is easy for people to dislike. Let’s not go back to the Establishment well and hope that this time being moderate will bring us victory…let’s find ourselves someone who has beaten Democrats again and again and again and who is so us-folksy that the worst smear campaign in the world won’t work. Let’s, in short, look for our next Reagan…whether he’s Walker or Jindal or Cruz or someone not yet on the radar, let’s find him (or her!) and get this thing done right.

Jindal: Eliminate Income and Corporate Taxes

Here’s some free market red meat for ya:

Gov. Bobby Jindal is proposing to eliminate Louisiana’s income and corporate taxes and pay for those cuts with increased sales taxes, the governor’s office confirmed Thursday. The governor’s office has not yet provided the details of the plan.

“The bottom line is that for too long, Louisiana’s workers and small businesses have suffered from having a state tax structure that is too complex and that holds back economic prosperity,” Jindal said in a statement released by his office. “It’s time to change that so people can keep more of their own money and foster an environment where businesses want to invest and create good-paying jobs.”…

I’ve always been wary of a sales tax and have preferred a flat income tax but lately I have been coming around to the sales tax – and not just to eliminate the income tax, but also to eliminate property taxes (at least on single-family homes:  it irks me that after working hard to buy himself a home an American only gets to keep it as long as he shovels money at the government).  There is a lot to be said for going to a sales tax, but I like it best because it discourages consumption and encourages savings – and savings, not spending, is what leads to genuine economic growth.

Our current model, of course, is spending – spend, spend and then spend some more.  And when people don’t have enough to spend, get the government to borrow and/or print up some money to spend because all spending is good, all the time.  To those who still hold to this as correct, I answer:  Greece.  If spending works, then Greece should be prosperous…but they’ve got 26% or so unemployment.  By saving money we set aside genuine wealth which can then be invested – with great care – in the creation and expansion of successful enterprises.  Investment would become real investment, not Wall Street gambling where pinheads try to guess which way the market will go.

While I know our liberals will go ballistic over the concept of eliminating corporate taxes, this is simply because liberals are too blind to understand that every penny of corporate taxes is paid by the consumer.  Corporations don’t pay taxes – even if you see a corporate check made out to the IRS, rely on it that whatever they paid this year will be tacked on to next year’s products.  They can also wiggle out of tax burdens by bribing politicians and regulators to set up the tax code in the corporation’s interest.  By eliminating corporate taxes we’d not only get lower prices on corporate goods and services but we’ll also make our nation a magnet for foreign investors looking to park their money in a low-tax haven.

Jindal is clearly trying to round out his profound reforms of Louisiana politics – but I also hope he’s got an eye on 2016.

How to End the Argument Over Birth Control

From the Wall Street Journal via Hot Air:

…As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others. And parents who believe, as I do, that their teenage children shouldn’t be involved with sex at all do not deserve ridicule.

Let’s ask the question: Why do women have to go see a doctor before they buy birth control? There are two answers. First, because big government says they should, even though requiring a doctor visit to get a drug that research shows is safe helps drive up health-care costs. Second, because big pharmaceutical companies benefit from it. They know that prices would be driven down if the companies had to compete in the marketplace once their contraceptives were sold over the counter.

So at present we have an odd situation. Thanks to President Obama and the pro-choice lobby, women can buy the morning-after pill over the counter without a prescription, but women cannot buy oral contraceptives over the counter unless they have a prescription. Contraception is a personal matter—the government shouldn’t be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman’s employer to keep tabs on her use of it. If an insurance company or those purchasing insurance want to cover birth control, they should be free to do so. If a consumer wants to buy birth control on her own, she should be free to do so…

That is Bobby Jindal.  Have I mentioned that he’s smarter than the next 100 Republicans?  And also smarter than the next 1,000 Democrats?  Just make birth control an over-the-counter medication.  Personally, of course, I think the whole concept of “birth control” to be the most idiotic of twaddle – but its not for me to decide for anyone else whether they want to participate in it.  And if we make it over-the-counter then its like going to buy Nyquil when you’ve got a cold…just go buy it.  And as Jindal points out, if we make it over-the-counter the massive competition for market share which will result will drive down the cost of birth control to the point where if you can’t afford it then its likely because you blew all your money on drugs or gambling.  This takes it entirely out of the debate – no need to mandate it for religious institutions; no need to worry if a woman working at a religious institution should get coverage because any working woman will be easily able to afford it entirely on her own, without the risk of forcing religious people to participate in what some believe to be an evil.  Problem solved.

Now, of course, our liberals won’t sit still for this – and they’ll naturally start to demand that abortion be covered by all insurance plans, but that is a fight we can win as America is becoming increasingly pro-life.   But, meanwhile, by applying our free market principals as well as our demand for individual liberty and freedom of conscience, we can totally destroy this argument which did so much to fuel the Democrats absurd claims of a “war against women” this year.

Jindal to GOP: Don’t be Stupid

Well, that is a bit harsher than he actually was – but its the gist of it.  From Politico:

…“We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything,” Jindal told POLITICO in a 45-minute telephone interview. “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”

He was just as blunt on how the GOP should speak to voters, criticizing his party for offending and speaking down to much of the electorate.

“It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that,” Jindal said. “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”…

While our liberal friends were quite dishonest in their characterizations of what, say, Akin said, the fact remains that Akin got in to trouble because he clearly never thought the matter through.  If you are to be a pro-life fanatic (as I am) then you’d better figure out precisely why you are and what your answers are to all conceivable questions.  Heck, for a Christian this is actually a Biblical command (see 1 Peter 3:15).  Because Akin had not thought the matter through he was unprepared for a question which was obviously going to be asked because the DNC wanted their by-lined Democrats in the MSM to ask such questions (the correct answer to that question can be found here, because I’ve thought about it).  Because of boneheaded answers we are at least two Senate seats short of where we would be had we been smarter…and a bit more smarts and we might have retired Reid as Majority Leader.

Don’t get me wrong – Democrats are even dumber than we are.  But they do have this going for them – low information voters can be easily suckered by Democrats especially when GOPers are acting like idiots.  If we are smart then Democrat attempts to bamboozle will fall flat…because sincerity and conviction on well-presented beliefs do actually trump gutter-political appeals to the lowest common denominator.  Think of Reagan:  bags of sincerity and conviction and beliefs which could not be mistaken…they tried a gutter political campaign against him in 1980 and it didn’t work (hard as it is to remember, but Democrats were portraying Reagan as a filthy rich, drooling idiot who wanted to start nuclear war as soon as he got in to office).

Equally important, don’t let the Democrats portray us as something we’re not.  Like it or not, the GOP was successfully painted as the party of the rich and the big corporations in 2012.  Doesn’t matter that there are more rich Democrats than Republicans; doesn’t matter that corporate America is a happy-hunting ground for sinecure-seeking Democrats.  What mattered is that by not clearly showing that we are opposed to Big Corporation and on the side of small and mid-sized business, we gave that part of the game away to the Democrats, too.

Time to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start bringing to the table those shining ideals which lead us to victory in the past…and without giving the game away by fumbling the ball inside the red zone.

A Campaign for 70 Million Votes

As I’m sure most people have figured out by now, turnout in 2012 was massively off from 2008.  As it turns out, Obama got fewer votes in 2012 than Bush got in 2004.  My prediction of a Romney victory was predicated upon taking the 2008 turnout and re-figuring it for both a loss in Obama voters and a return of Bush voters.  The Obama voters were, indeed, lost – I got that right (though, for full disclosure, Obama lost fewer votes than I projected he would).  The problem for us Republicans is that the Bush voters McCain lost were also lost by Romney – and then some; it seems that Romney got about a million fewer voters than McCain.  Had the 5 million or so missing Bush voters showed up on November 6th, Romney would have won…and we probably would have won a Senate majority, in to the bargain.

The big question is just why did these five million voters not vote?  They voted for Bush.  They are clearly ok with a socially conservative man of financially rich background – they should have had no particular problem with voting for Romney.  But, they didn’t.  Why?  Several reasons:

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The GOP Debate

I’m afraid I took the Mrs out to dinner, so I missed the majority – but Ann Althouse is live-blogging it and Stephen Green is drunk-blogging it.  So, we’re pretty well covered.

I have to say that I’m not terribly interested in these debates…mostly because the only sort of debates I like are those where the candidates ask each other questions.  With such a large number of candidates, I’d have them draw names at random out of a hat (after having drawn numbers out of a hat to decide who goes first).  It’d be a lot more interesting and a lot less scripted than the way debates are done now…and a lot more fun to watch.

The most important thing to remember is that any of the candidates would be a better President than Obama and any one of them can beat him.  I’m still leaning towards Bachmann (she’s right about vaccines in the sense that everyone should decide for themselves and their children on them…but wow wrong on falling for the old scam story that vaccination causes autism) but I’m not absolutely sold on any candidate.  Even Romney is rising in my estimation of late…seems that all the pressure being brought from the right is forcing him on to more conservative ground; that’s good.  My favorite of all favorites is still Sarah Palin and if she gets in, I’ll immediately be an enthusiastic and horribly biased backer of her candidacy…with the proviso, of course, that whomever gets the nomination will also wind up with my enthusiastic and horribly biased support (of course, my double-plus favorite of all favorites is Bobby Jindal…but he ain’t running…he’s holding off until 2016 if we lose next year, or 2020 if we win; and he’s very much young enough to wait).

Anyways, did any of you watch the debate?  What did you think?  Anyone land any punches?