Monday, April 24, 2017

Bob Ehrlich. Eight Tragic years. Obama Babble Returns.

Bob Ehrlich was introduced to me by a friend and fellow memo reader.  (See 1 below)
I sit in my man cave and express myself knowing there are neither consequences nor will I be responsible because nothing I say is going to cause action.

That said, I fervently believe the longer we wait in taking action against N Korea and Iran the provocations will simply grow and the ability to be effective will be more difficult.

Perhaps China is finally going to restrain N Korea's "fat boy" but no one is doing comparably regarding Iran. In my view, time is running out and no matter what Trump does he will be blamed for whatever happens, he will be blamed if the action he takes spread into a wider confrontation (war), he will be blamed for causing whatever deaths occur and I would not be surprised if the Democrats and the press and media would come together and call for his impeachment.

I doubt N Korea will initiate an attack any time soon  but they will continue to push forward towards having  the ability to attack us in a lethal manner and so will Iran.  This is the mess Obama left for Trump and future presidents. He intended for the blood to be on the hands of those who followed him and, in the process, made the eventual confrontation bloodier.

For this Obama was prematurely given a Nobel Peace Prize. Absolutely insane.

Now Obama is returning to the public scene so we can have the "destinktive" advantage of more of his 'wise' advice. The man has nothing to offer but I am sure the mass media will give his remarks extensive coverage because they feel compelled to continue polishing his image as everything he did or failed to do collapses around Trump's feet.

In fact, what he had to say was typical Obama - he blamed gerrymandering special interests and money in politics for his eight tragic years. (See 2 and 2a below.)
1) Time for the GOP to get moving

My previous column ("The Trump Era's 5 Emerging Constituencies") critiqued the emerging political constituencies of the Trump era. Today's chronicles the major challenges confronting our two major parties as a divided nation seeks to find its way forward.

For the Democrats circa 2016 conventional wisdom viewed Hillary Clinton as a slam-dunk winner. Her campaign was to be a reaffirmation of Obama-style progressiveness – and the importance of changing demographics. Most pundits foresaw a celebratory coming of age for Obama's coalition: younger, hip, secular, and very liberal. A large turnout of minority voters (especially Hispanics) would ensure the demise of Donald J. Trump. The flip side was thought to be etched in stone – a death by demographics for the old, white, conservative, fossil fuel powered GOP. That dinosaur had enjoyed a long run. But it was now time to step aside for a new generation sure to dominate presidential cycle voting for the foreseeable future.
On policy, the demonstrated shortcomings of Obama's signature legislative achievements (Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Stimulus) would not deter Democrats from doubling down on anti-market initiatives. Indeed, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was hard pressed to cite a difference between her Democrats and socialism during a now infamous appearance on MSNBC's Hardball in July of 2015. But use of the adjective "infamous" requires further definition; Ms. Wasserman-Schultz's answer was panned only on the right. Few within the Democratic coalition bothered to contest their leader's refusal to answer the question. And all of this prior to uber-progressive Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren assuming rock star status on the campaign trail.
It all sounded so good on paper – and even better when it became apparent Ms. Clinton would run to the left of Obama. In striking contrast to her triangulating husband, she made it clear the "era of big government" was here to stay. No more searching for a middle ground on abortion. No more questioning of sanctuary cities or the open borders crowd. And forget all those private speeches to the captains of investment and industry (at $250,000 per); Wall Street was about to become "Enemy #1" for the American worker.
But left out of the equation (purposefully it appears) was that shrinking yet essential white working class constituency held over from the Roosevelt era. These are the predominately ethnic, Catholic, and socially conservative foot soldiers of a New Deal coalition that lasted for approximately half a century – until Ronald Reagan. Thirty-five years later their remaining affinity for Democrats came to an official end. Too many had suffered at the hands of a no-growth economy. They still believed in The American Dream. They cling to the notion of American exceptionalism. They want a "wall" and a declaration of war against radical Islam. That so many of them lived in the rust belt and were so unhappy with the status quo was relegated to secondary status. Such became the fatal flaw in the Clinton calculus.
The Trump presidency presents Republicans with equally challenging obstacles. The president's direct and sometimes in-artful messaging continues to antagonize some GOP'ers – especially those who have been less than enthusiastic about Trump from the jump. Mr. Trump's propensity to take names and shots at those who oppose him, including Members of Congress he will need in the future, is not an effective long-term strategy.

Moreover, and notwithstanding the above-cited Democratic challenges, rapidly changing demographics and continued cultural permissiveness constitute very real threats to America's center-right party. Approximately two-thirds of a rapidly growing Hispanic constituency is now reliably Democratic. And the ingrained social liberalism of the Obama years is unlikely to change in light of Mr. Trump's lack of interest in most social issues.
Far more daunting for GOP prospects is the vibe of the Trump movement. His rallies were/are more akin to revival meetings. But high octane rhetoric produces high expectations. The customers now expect a return on their emotional (and voting) investment. And a fever pitch is difficult to maintain over four years. What to do?
Well, one sure way to beat an unfriendly demographic tide is to do something productive. Newly sworn in Justice Neil Gorsuch was a nice first step. A willingness to use U.S. military might against the world's miscreants is also a welcome change from Obama's era of disengagement and the start towards tax reform. Reducing healthcare premiums and growing the economy are the real "have to's" this term.
Few will stress over the not-ready-for-prime-time Obamacare "replace" effort once legislation actually moves. Remember: Really big things tend to get done in hyper-partisan Washington when one party possesses the cards.
Time for the GOP to move.
2) Obama holds his first public event since leaving the White House
The former president held a conversation with young leaders at the University of Chicago. Among highlights, he teased that he's working on a new book and told the young audience that if there'd been pictures of everything he'd done in high school, he probably wouldn't have been president.


Obama Blames Gerrymandering, Special Interests, & Money in Politics for Not Getting A Lot Done

President Obama was a likely cause behind the Democratic Party losing every branch of the U.S. government (and most state ones too). The fact that the media won't tell you is that Americans didn't actually appreciate his progressive policies. That's why they lost in such a spectacular way! But, rather than internalizing Americans' distrust in his first major post-presidency speech, Obama blamed gerrymandering, special interests, and money in politics. Oy gevalt! Turns out Obama is just as delusional out of office as he was in office.

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