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Byron York’s article about media reaction to President Trump’s inauguration speech is telling in that it exposes the media’s groupthink. York notes that “Talking to people on the Mall was like entering a universe entirely apart from that of the political commentariat. In the pundits’ world, Trump delivered a pessimistic and foreboding address, one sure to further divide the nation. The adjective of choice was ‘dark.’ ‘Unusually dark,’ wrote The Atlantic. ‘Short, dark, and defiant,’ wrote USA Today. ‘A dark vision,’ wrote the Los Angeles Times. There were many, many more.”

One of the “many, many more” articles or segments that used the term dark was Rachel Maddow’s meltdown, where she said “It was militant and it was dark. The crime, the gangs, the drugs, this ‘American carnage,’ disrepair, decay. You can’t imagine the outgoing president giving a speech like that.'”

I agree with Maddow. I can’t “imagine the outgoing president giving a speech like that.” His style was to paper over things that were going terribly wrong rather than fixing things. President Trump is the opposite. President Trump isn’t into papering over things. He’s into fixing things. I’m betting that the American people will notice the difference between the last administration and President Trump within the first 100 days.

This paragraph from President Trump’s speech was magnificent and transcendent:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

This video provides a nice glimpse into how FNC’s pundits viewed the speech:

They didn’t gloss over things. They just presented things as they were. Finally, when I heard President Trump say that “we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to the other — we are transferring power from Washington, DC and giving it back to you, the American people”, I thought that was worthy of the best stuff that Peggy Noonan wrote for President Reagan. It was positively epic. I could picture President Reagan delivering that line with gusto, too.

President Trump (man, it feels good to finally say that), here’s wishing that you and, more importantly, the nation change directions to a more prosperous reality. That doesn’t mean I hoped President Obama would fail. It’s that I simply didn’t think he’d succeed. That isn’t dark. It’s just reality.

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President George H.W. Bush, aka Bush the Elder, wrote a letter to President-Elect Trump recently. Keeping with typical Bush family rules of dignity, President Bush’s letter was filled with patriotism and integrity.

The letter said “Dear Donald, Barbara and I are so sorry we can’t be there for your Inauguration on January 20th. My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under. Same with Barbara. So I guess we’re stuck in Texas. But we will be with you and the country in spirit. I want you to know that I wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our great country. If I can ever be of help, please let me know.”

It’s apparent that Bush the Elder is the opposite of President Obama. Right until the last minute of his presidency, Bush the Elder’s decisions were about protecting the United States. President Obama’s final decisions have disgraced his already disgraceful foreign policy and national security legacy.

President George H.W. Bush was a great foreign policy president, behind only President Reagan in my lifetime. By comparison, President Obama’s history on national security is second to everyone’s. Bin Laden was killed on his watch. That’s his only national security victory. On the opposite side of the ledger, he traded the Taliban 5 for Bo Bergdahl. He pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq, which led directly to the formation of ISIS. President Obama’s spineless policies towards Syria led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. That led directly to the importation of ISIS terrorists into western Europe and the United States.

But I digress.

Here’s a picture of President Bush’s letter to Donald Trump:

Thanks, Mr. President. You’re a class act.

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This article, written by E.J. Dionne and Joy-Ann Reid, is titled Obama, the orator. It’s a fitting title considering his reliance on speechifying. During his political career, President Obama always could deliver a great speech. It’s what got him elected twice.

What’s amazing, though, was that his oratory didn’t change people’s minds. Obamacare is still just as unpopular as it was the day it was written or the day it was signed. President Obama couldn’t convince a Democratic congress with supermajorities in both houses to pass Cap and Trade.

Dionne and Reid said something that’s worth studying when they wrote “Barack Obama resolutely makes the case for moving forward by referring again and again to the lessons of American history.” Then they mentioned other great orators when they wrote “Over the past century, the list of presidents we lift up as especially gifted speakers is short — Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Obama.”

It’s appropriate that we understand the difference in the wimpy list of accomplishments of President Obama and the lengthy list of accomplishments of President Reagan, then compare their oratory skills. President Obama delivered great speeches but he didn’t change opinions on policies. Here’s something from President Reagan’s farewell speech to the nation:

And in all of that time I won a nickname, “The Great Communicator.” But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation—from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I’ll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.

President Obama’s failed presidency didn’t happen because he wasn’t a good orator. President Obama’s failed presidency happened because he communicated controversial things that the people didn’t want.

President Reagan’s historic presidency happened because he reminded the American people of the foundational principles and priorities first printed in this nation’s founding documents and reaffirmed in speeches throughout the USA’s history. Liberals ridiculed President Reagan for his use of 3″ X 5″ cards during speeches. What they didn’t mention was what was on those cards. President Reagan often wrote a few bullet points on those cards, then emphasized the most important points on the subject of those cards.

President-Elect Trump has a different communication style. Still, he’ll likely be successful because he understands that the U.S. doesn’t need radical transformation, like President Obama talked about. It’s that we just need to apply time-tested capitalist principles again.

Here’s the video of President Reagan’s speech:

Rich Lowry’s article highlights President Obama’s legacy. Saying that it’s a dismal legacy for Democrats is understatement. Lowry nailed it by noting “What was supposed to be the crowning political achievement of Barack Obama’s presidency set the predicate for the unraveling of his legacy. Since before he was elected president, Obama put down as a marker the transformational example of Ronald Reagan. That entailed moving the political center of gravity of the country in his direction; winning re-election; and cementing his standing by securing a de facto third term for a Democratic successor.”

That’s a good observation but he added to his opinion with substantive information when he wrote “His party has been devastated beneath him. It began in 2010, when Republicans took the House by winning 63 seats, the biggest pickup since 1948, and six seats in the Senate. In 2014, Republicans gained another 13 House seats and took control of the Senate. Democrats lost more than 900 state legislative seats in this period.”

The statistics in Lowry’s posts are true. Still, they don’t tell the story like this picture does:

Actually, this picture might be more devastating:

Then there’s this:

Results are still trickling in, but it looks like Republicans will still control an all-time high 69 of 99 state legislative chambers. They’ll hold at least 33 governorships, tying a 94-year-old record.
That means that come 2017, they’ll have total control of government in at least 25 states, and partial control in 20 states. According to population calculations by the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform, that translates to roughly 80 percent of the population living in a state either all or partially controlled by Republicans.

Word it whichever way you’d like. These statistics say the same thing. President Obama had a dramatic negative effect on the Democratic Party over the last 8 years.

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I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that Angie Craig is attempting to tie Jason Lewis to Donald Trump. It’s what a hardline lefty like Craig has to do. When I wrote this post, I highlighted Ms. Craig’s issues page.

Ms. Craig’s issue page identifies her quickly as part Pelosi lefty, part Bernie Sanders lefty. For instance, Craig thinks that the federal government isn’t spending enough on higher education, saying “This includes both encouraging public colleges to find ways to lower costs and increase federal funding for the neediest students, providing incentives for states to invest in higher education and keeping tuition down. We can’t continue to saddle our kids with the tens of thousands of dollars of debt as they enter the workforce.”

Spoken like a true utopian. Craig isn’t done with the leftist ideology. Another bit of low-hanging fruit from the Craig ‘issues tree’ comes from her saying “We have to ensure that there are meaningful, good paying jobs for our graduates and more job opportunities for working families. Congress has lost sight of the fundamentals of growing the economy.”

That’s too easy. President Obama has been in office for almost 8 years but it’s Congress’s fault that the economy hasn’t helped people working for small businesses? It wasn’t a GOP Congress that passed the ACA, aka Obamacare. It wasn’t a GOP Congress that waged war against mining jobs with EPA regulations. Hillary Clinton promised to devastate blue collar states:

It was Hillary who said that she’d put lots of coal miners out of work. Ms. Craig seems to turn a blind eye towards that. I’d love to hear Ms. Craig explain how it’s possible to build a “a sustainable economy and create meaningful, good-paying jobs” while intentionally killing other jobs. Perhaps Ms. Craig would like to explain government’s history of picking winners lately. In Ms. Craig’s mind, is Solyndra a success?

Earlier, I highlighted the fact that Ms. Craig blamed the Republican Congress of losing “sight of the fundamentals of growing the economy.” Personally, I think Ms. Craig should be reminded of this:

Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer who took more than $500 million from President Obama’s stimulus then went bust, sticking taxpayers for the loss, lied to federal officials to secure the loan, the Energy Department’s inspector general said in a report released Wednesday.

But the Obama administration goofed too, and may have cut corners in fully vetting the project because of “political pressure” from top Democrats and Solyndra itself, the investigators said in their report, which took four years to complete.

Is Ms. Craig certain that we should trust the federal government in picking investment opportunities? If she is, then I’m pretty certain that she’s wrong for the Second District. Frankly, her ideas don’t make any sense. ‘Craigonomics’ sounds like the same hair-brained foolishness that’s had the economy spinning its wheels the last 8 years.

If Reaganomics is the picture of a thriving economy, which it was, then Craigonomics is the polar opposite of a thriving economy.

Finally, there’s nothing in Ms. Craig’s issues page that talks about civil rights or fighting terrorists. Doesn’t Ms. Craig think that those things are important priorities? If she thinks those things are important, why isn’t she talking about what her solution is to demolishing ISIS?

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Apparently, this nation has undergone a significant transformation from being a confident nation that loved free trade to being a nation that thinks the middle class gets screwed over by every free trade agreement. It’s sad to see the Party of Reagan getting duped into believing that we’re a nation that can’t compete by our party’s nominee.

Let’s unclutter this argument. Do you trust Donald Trump more than you trust Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman? That’s what this comes down to. Ronald Reagan took over a struggling economy, cut taxes and dramatically reduced regulation while negotiating trade deals. As a result of President Reagan’s economic policies, the US economy created over 20,000,000 jobs in 8 years. In September, 1983, the economy created 1,100,000 jobs.

Compare that with Donald Trump’s record of failed businesses and bankruptcies. That’s right. That isn’t a comparison. That’s more like Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn. It isn’t much of a fight. That’s before getting into Milton Friedman’s lecturing Phil Donahue on the virtues of capitalism and free trade:

Here’s what Milton Friedman told Donahue:

In the only cases in which the masses have escaped the types of grinding poverty that you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, and where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.

Anyone that thinks that Trump knows what’s best compared to President Reagan and Dr. Friedman isn’t dealing with reality. The biggest reasons why jobs have moved overseas are the overtaxation and overregulation, the increase in regulatory compliance costs here in the United States and the lowering of marginal tax rates in other countries. Add into that Obamacare and this administration’s war on cheap energy prices (think Solyndra and Hillary’s statement that she was going to shut down coal plants) and it isn’t surprising that companies are leaving.

Without question, we’ve hesitated to call trading partners out when they’ve broken the agreement’s provisions. That’s proof of political spinelessness. It isn’t proof that trade agreements are counterproductive.

Anyone that trusts a man who opened a casino in flush economic times, then saw that casino go bankrupt, more than they trust the greatest president of the last 125 years and one of the most accomplished economists in modern history is a blithering idiot. I’ll trust President Reagan and Dr. Friedman over Donald Trump any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

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Glenn Reynolds’ USA Today article highlights some points of peril that elitists haven’t paid attention to.

In the opening paragraph to his article, Reynolds writes “So the post-Brexit number-crunching is over and it turns out that the decisive support for Britain’s leaving the EU came not from right-wing nationalists but from working-class Labour voters. This offers some lessons for British and European politicians — and for us in America, too.”

This is potentially significant if you’re Hillary Clinton. The American equivalent to Labour voters are what used to be called Reagan Democrats. Eventually, they stopped being Democrats because the Democratic Party stopped being the party of the little guy. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were the first unabashed friends of ‘Too Big To Fail’ banks. Later, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama caught on and started cashing in with Wall Street.

Meanwhile, it’s impossible to highlight this part of Dr. Reynolds’ article too much:

The result, Mandler writes, is that “For the rest of the country has felt more and more excluded, not only from participation in the creativity and prosperity of London, but more crucially from power. . . . A majority of people around the United Kingdom are feeling like non-people, un-citizens, their lives jerked about like marionettes by wire-pullers far away. In those circumstances, very bad things indeed can be expected.”

Given a chance, these people seized an opportunity to give the wires a yank of their own. A lot of people felt powerless, and the political system not only didn’t address that, but seemed to glory in it.

These Brits’ votes were their way of saying this:

It was their opportunity to tell their country’s elites that they weren’t going to get talked down to anymore. Think of it as the British people’s visceral reaction to the elitists’ control over their lives.

America, of course, faces the same kind of division, as Dana Loesch writes in her new book, Flyover Nation: You Can’t Run A Country You’ve Never Been To. Every once in a while, she notes, a publisher or a newspaper from a coastal city will send a reporter, like an intrepid African explorer of the 19th century, to report on the odd beliefs and doings of the inhabitants of the interior. But even the politicians who represent Flyover Country tend to spend most of their time, and, crucially, their post-elective careers, in Washington, DC.

Simply put, DC and New York have viewed Heartlanders like aliens from outer space. They’re insulated from reality. While he was a presidential candidate, Gov. Walker had it right when he called Washington, DC “68 square miles surrounded by reality.”

Whether Heartlanders experience their own version of Brexit remains to be seen. Is it possible? Without question. Will it happen? I’m hoping.

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Saying that Laura Ingraham isn’t honest isn’t easy for me to say. Still, it’s what I must do after reading her latest pro-Trump spin piece. It isn’t that I disagree with everything in her article. I’d be lying if I said she’s constantly dishonest. Still, I can’t sit silent after she said “I, too, would have preferred an ideal candidate who would unite us and cruise to an easy win over Hillary. Unfortunately, the conservative movement failed to field such a candidate. Much of this is due to the fact that many so-called conservatives, and their enablers in the donor class, wasted their time and money promoting the candidacies of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, two men who were, and are, utterly unacceptable to almost all actual voters in the Republican Party.”

While there’s no disputing the fact that large parts of the GOP rejected Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, it’s equally true that they were significantly more qualified, and more honest, than the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Further, Trump has been rejected by a large percentage of “actual voters in the Republican Party.” He just wasn’t rejected by as many people as Bush or Rubio.

This paragraph can’t go unquestioned:

First, some NeverTrumpers (like the Bush family) violently disagree with Trump on issues relating to immigration, trade, and foreign policy. In each of these key issues, however, Trump represents the traditional views of conservatives like Ronald Reagan, while the supporters of Bushism are locked into an extremist ideology that makes no sense in theory, and has been a disaster in practice.

That’s breathtakingly dishonest. The only other explanation is that Ms. Ingraham is just stupid. Since she once clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, it’s a safe bet that she isn’t stupid.

Saying that Trump’s foreign policy is identical to Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy is like saying that an arsonist’s goals are essentially the same as the firefighters’ goals. First, when did President Reagan ask President Gorbachev to squash America’s enemies? When did President Reagan think it was wise to give the Soviet Union free run in the Middle East? When did President Reagan insist that we were getting screwed by other countries? When did President Reagan insist that America couldn’t compete with the world if our taxes were low and our regulations were reasonable?

The answer to these questions is simple: never.

Further, saying that Trump’s foreign policy is virtually identical to President Reagan’s is saying that Trump has carefully thought through what he’d do. How does that square with Trump telling a rally that he’d “bomb the s—” out of ISIS, then telling a national audience during a debate that he’d get President Putin to take ISIS out?

The reality is that Ms. Ingraham isn’t being honest with her readers or with us. That’s a sad thing because she used to be a person of integrity. I wish that woman hadn’t disappeared.

Donald Trump loves comparing himself to Ronald Reagan. His no-nothing followers have bought into that comparison. That isn’t surprising. That isn’t a fair comparison, though, either. When Trump is exposed as a policy lightweight, which happens frequently, the reflexive response from Trump’s no-nothings is that Trump will hire great advisers. Thus far, there’s no proof that that’s what will happen. In fact, there’s significantly more proof that it won’t happen than proof that it will happen.

The important point worth noting is that Ronald Reagan delegated assignments in carrying out his agenda but he didn’t delegate out putting his agenda together. President Reagan didn’t delegate that responsibility because he knew exactly where he wanted to take the United States. That’s because he wasn’t the policy lightweight that liberals thought he was.

When he called the Soviet Union the “evil empire”, liberals like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry said this was reckless, that we had to make nice with the USSR. A year after President Reagan left office, the USSR disintegrated. Reagan was a great leader because he knew what he was doing.

By comparison, Trump said that he’d become fast buddies with Putin. Trump was foolish enough to state that Putin would destroy ISIS for us. A month after Trump said that, Putin announced that they’d accomplished their mission and that they were pulling their troops out of Syria. Trump looked like a child sent to do a man’s job. The gravitas gap between Trump and President Reagan was shown to be gigantic. Grand Canyon-sized gigantic.

Finally, President Reagan wasn’t the immoral man that Trump is.

This op-ed reminds us that Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party didn’t start smoothly. In fact, it’s true that the Republican Party initially rejected Ronald Reagan’s reforms. Then as now, the GOP preferred policies that maintained the status quo. Then as now, there was a rebel wing to the GOP. Back then, Ronald Reagan was that rebel. That rebel wing of the GOP was idea-driven and idealistic.

Today, the GOP Establishment, in its truest definition, prefers policies that maintain the status quo and that took care of big corporations through corporate welfare, aka crony capitalism. Today, the GOP’s rebel wing has a formal name. It’s called the TEA Party. At its best, the TEA Party is bustling with ideas that would solve America’s biggest problems. At its worst, the GOP has been the party of crony capitalism and corporate welfare.

These days, both parties are guilty of supporting crony capitalism and using the governments’ regulatory authority to limit competition.

In 1981, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (D-NY), called the Republican Party the party of ideas. When Republicans got crushed in the 2006 midterms, Mara Liasson said that that election was “the ideology-free election.” It was a referendum on GOP corruption. It was about Democrats running on criticism alone. They opposed the Iraq War for the wrong reasons but at the right time.

It’s obvious that Donald Trump isn’t an ideas guy. Ted Cruz isn’t the Republicans’ top idea man but he’s a good candidate with a very good campaign organization. That’s why I think Sen. Cruz translates into being the Republicans’ best hope of recapturing the White House.

Sen. Cruz isn’t just comfortable with Gov. Walker’s reform agenda. It’s that he gets the importance of getting government off the people’s backs so they can innovate and prosper. While a well-trained work force is essential, it’s indisputable that a good education is wasted if people aren’t willing to put their capital at risk.

I’m not advocating for a return to the glory years of the Reagan administration. I’m advocating for rejecting Donald Trump so the GOP can return to being the party of ideas.

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