Archive for the ‘Heartland’ Category

Perhaps, Joe Biden shouldn’t think that he’s got the Democrats’ base solidified. After reading this article, it’s clear that his base is split and likely unenthusiastic. By comparison, President Trump’s base is fired up and waiting instructions. Check this out:

Noting the eye-popping voter turnout, Graham credited Democrats for getting more votes than they did in the last cycle. However, Republican voters left no chance for defeat, with a turnout “more akin to, not quite a presidential year, but approaching gubernatorial their rivals at polls,” according to Graham. More than 17,000 votes were cast in the election in which all four council members were vying to protect their seats.

That’s in Virginia. If Biden loses Virginia but flips Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, Trump still wins. That’s a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose situation.

Mrs. Whitsett praised the president at the White House after she recovered from COVID-19 after taking hydroxychloroquine, a decades-old treatment for malaria and lupus that Mr. Trump has touted as a prophylactic or treatment for coronavirus.

Last week, Michigan Democrats censured her:

As a result of her White House appearance, a Michigan Democratic organization censured her. Last week, Mrs. Whitsett filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and several other Democrats, claiming violations of free speech and defamation.

Mrs. Whitsett’s praise for President Trump represents the Democrats’ worst nightmare. She’s African-American, urban and willing to challenge her party elders in a swing state. If that doesn’t represent the Democrats’ nightmare trifecta, what does? If the Democrats want a future, they need someone this articulate, this sensible:

Unfortunately, Rep. Whitsett isn’t considered leftist enough. She’d likely be called Republican lite or something similar to that.

In Pennsylvania, county Democratic leaders rose up to castigate the party’s highest-ranking politician, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California. They also slammed Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who led the impeachment effort against Mr. Trump. It is part of a “Democrats for Trump movement,” according to a Washington Post report, that is causing headaches for the party’s county and state leaders in the Keystone State.

I’ve been operating from the position that this election won’t be about right vs. left as much as it’ll be adults vs. children. Joe Biden has changed his positions more times than a chameleon changes colors. Why would blue collar Pennsylvania Democrats stick with Biden are he names AOC and Bernie Sanders to co-chair his climate change advisory panel? That’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Justin Haskins’ article highlights Biden’s difficulties:

It’s a strategy that has been adopted by virtually every U.S. presidential candidate in modern history: During the primaries, candidates appeal to their base, but after capturing a party’s nomination, campaigns move to the political center to win over undecided voters.

But in this unconventional cycle, Joe Biden is being forced to throw conventional campaigning to the wind. Instead of positioning himself as a centrist, Biden is choosing to move further to the left than ever before to satisfy the demands of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and his radical base of dissatisfied progressives and “Bernie bro” socialists who hate the Democratic Party establishment almost as much as they do free-market capitalism.

Biden is frightened by the prospect of a Bernie Bro rebellion. This means that the Obama coalition is dead. I can’t imagine socialism appealing to affluent suburban voters.

Further, it’s impossible for me to think that the Green New Deal will appeal to Blue Collar America. That’s like a pale of cold water on a hot fire. While it might not put the fire out, it’ll stop it from burning hot. This isn’t the way to unite Democrats. It’s a way to split it in two for a generation.

That’s a Democrat dilemma.

Marcie Bianco intended to lecture Americans throughout this op-ed. She tried lecturing us unsophisticated brutes from the Heartland when she wrote “liberty does not mean what you think it means.” Actually, Marcie, I think it’s you that doesn’t understand what liberty is.

In the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, the men who won our liberty wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

In Marcie’s words, “Liberty is a type of freedom defined and limited by civil society. It is not an unrestrained, unchecked license to do whatever one desires. Rather, liberty is a right constituted by the society — or, here, nation — one lives in.”

While it isn’t unreasonable to think that liberties are unlimited, it is unreasonable to think that liberty is defined only by society. While Bianco cites the Declaration of Independence, she wrote this:

And yet, as the quarantine protests make clear, a popular yet factually and legally inaccurate sentiment has infected the minds of many Americans. To paraphrase, it goes something like this: “This is America, and I am free to do whatever I want!”

That’s offensive. That isn’t what protesters have said. They’ve protested against tyrants like J.B. Pritzker and Gretchen Whitmer, Democrats who insist that it’s logical to say that it’s ok to shop at Walmart but that it’s dangerous to shop at a neighborhood hardware store. On the bright side, at least Democrats are accepting Walmart a little.

The belief that personal freedom is more valuable than the common good factors heavily in right-wing logic. And it has, particularly in the 21st century, been the strategic linchpin of right-wing efforts to squash social and economic justice movements, particularly through race-baiting, xenophobic rhetoric. Such rhetoric, which we are seeing starting to creep into anti-quarantine protests, is designed to stoke the fear of oppression in white American society.

I’ve watched tons of these protests. I don’t know what the hell she’s talking about. The first couple of protests were held in cars. I’d love hearing Ms. Bianco explain when she heard “xenophobic rhetoric.” Better yet, I’d love finding out which protests she attended where she heard xenophobic rhetoric. It’s quite possible that she’s assuming things that she doesn’t have proof for. Where is the xenophobic rhetoric at Karl Manke’s reopening?

The day after Manke reopened, vindictive Democrat Michigan Gov. Gretchen ‘The Witch’ Whitmer revoked Karl Manke’s license. Marcie, I’d love hearing you explain how The Witch’s vindictive action is a good-faith attempt at restoring Karl Manke’s liberty. It’s time to write Ms. Bianco’s article off as the rantings of a spoiled progressive fascist.

It’s long past time for the US to reopen the economy. Dr. Scott Atlas has spoken out against keeping people shut down repeatedly. His logic makes the most sense of any doctor I’ve heard. Saturday night, he said “There should be no fear and panic anymore. We know that. We know who the virus impacts. We know who to protect. And frankly, it’s the same people we should have known from day one, because every third year medical student in the country would have been able to identify that older people with chronic underlying diseases like kidney failure, diabetes, heart failure and people who are immunocompromised are the people to protect instead of just locking down society in a broad, blunt way.”

I wish Dr. Atlas would fax this information to Gov. Walz ASAP. Gov. Walz hasn’t figured it out yet. He’s still pretty much in ‘Chicken Little” mode. In today’s update, Minnesotans are told to take a defensive posture towards COVID-19. In this interview, Dr. Atlas highlights all the different treatments that haven’t happened as a result of statewide shutdowns:

Do we really want to deprive people of vaccinations, biopsies, cancer treatments, etc. just to stop COVID? That’s the price the vulnerable have paid for these Democrats’ one-size-fits-all strategies. Do we really think that COVID is that much of a life-threatening virus amongst healthy people? It isn’t right to think of COVID as a trivial matter but it isn’t as threatening as the MSM, which is filled with Democrats, have portrayed it, either.

Thus far, Republican governors haven’t adopted one-size-fits-all strategies, with the possible exception of Ohio’s Mike DeWine. That’s the purview of the Democrat governors. (Think Walz, Whitmer and J.B. Pritzker.) It’s time we got our swagger back. That being said, that swagger, just like after 9/11, doesn’t return in the blink of an eyelash. It returns a bit at a time.

It requires paying attention to the CDC’s guidelines. It doesn’t require paying attention to the draconian orders of governors like Pritzker, Walz and Whitmer. Those orders don’t make any sense. This doesn’t, either:

Pritzker is an idiot. His order is filled with contradictory items.

AOC and other Democrats hate the Electoral College because they either don’t understand history or they hate the system that the Founders gave us. I suspect that it’s a little of both. Determining presidential (notice that I didn’t say national) elections based on the popular vote would turn elections on their head. I’m writing this post to expose AOC’s foolish plan to eliminate the electoral college.

Our government in DC is called the federal government, not the national government. The federation that the federal government is built from is the federation of states. That’s why our nation is called the United States of America. Each state is sovereign. Without the states’ consent, there isn’t a federal government.

The purpose of the federal government is to represent the states. It wasn’t created to represent just the people. Had the Founding Fathers wanted that, they wouldn’t have formed the states. For instance, when the colonists won the Revolutionary War, France recognized each colony as a sovereign nation.

Apparently, AOC hasn’t grasped the concept that the United States is built on the foundation of each state being sovereign. That’s why each state’s laws are unique to that state. No 2 states have identical statutes on how they pay for education or economic development or whatever the subject. Each state has different laws on what constitutes manslaughter or sexual assault.

AOC’s desire to get rid of the Electoral College is partially because she wants to win more elections but it’s also partially because she doesn’t understand the foundation that the Constitution was built on. When the Revolutionary War ended, the federal government didn’t exist. The colonies eventually created the federal government out of convenience and necessity. It was convenient in the sense that the President was authorized to negotiate treaties and trade agreements rather than each state being required to negotiate separate trade deals. It was built out of necessity in that the settlers needed someone to provide for the national defense.

The Founding Fathers wanted the states to be the “laboratories of democracy.” They wrote the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to keep as much power as close to the families as possible. Here’s the text of the Ninth Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Here’s the text of the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

AOC’s push for electing presidents by popular vote is understandable from a partisan standpoint. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst pointed this out:


In AOC’s mind, the Electoral College is — brace yourself — racist. Actually, it prevents some of the states who created the federal government from being represented by the federal government. That’s beyond foolish.

People pushing the national popular vote initiative aren’t interested in the US’s Heartland, aka Flyover Country. It’s time to push these idiots off the national stage. They aren’t rational human beings. Either that or they’re exceptionally despicable people.

The Electoral College isn’t outdated. It just isn’t wanted by progressive elitists who think of the men and women of America’s Heartland as unsophisticated rubes. That sounds frighteningly similar to Barack Obama when he said this:

Apparently, the AOC wing of the Democratic Party isn’t too happy with the somewhat slightly less crazy wing of the Democrat Party, aka the Senate Democrats. There’s definitely some infighting between House and Senate Democrats, with House Democrats saying that Sen. Schumer wasn’t “able to hold his people” together. Senate aides said “They’re blaming everyone but themselves.”

The House Democrats are stupid if they think their bill had any chance of passing in the Senate:

The report recounted how Democrats had hoped to pass a more liberal bill that would have “eliminated funding for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement back pay as well as for Defense Department border operations” and “further tightened the administration’s ability to shift money around” in order to force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for more concessions.

In what universe is not paying law enforcement for work that they’ve already done a plausible idea? Even if it’s a negotiating attempt, it isn’t something that’d get taken seriously. Sen. McConnell would’ve swatted that proposal aside in a New York Minute.

“The Senate Democrats did us a huge disservice. The benefit to having one chamber controlled by Democrats is you have people who can fight and win. But that requires the people in the minority chamber to also fight, even if they lose,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the Congressional Progressive Caucus chair whose demands reportedly “slowed progress” and rattled more conservative Democrats.

It’s time for progressives to realize that their agenda isn’t that popular. While their agenda might play well in New England and on the Left Coast, the progressives’ agenda doesn’t play well in Great Lakes states or the Rust Belt.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Democrats aren’t united like they were in 2018. Since taking the House majority, significant divisions have appeared. The AOC wing of the Democratic Party is definitely clashing with the Problem Solvers Caucus wing of the Democratic Party. This isn’t as much about ideology as it is about getting re-elected.

The Democrats in the Problem Solvers Caucus have pretty much done nothing except caved to Pelosi’s wishes on everything she’s told them to cave on.

When it comes to diagnosing why Hillary Clinton lost, Chip Englander, “a Chicago-based GOP consultant”, got it exactly right when he said the Clintons’ “intent to try to rewrite the history books is super obvious. The history books are not written by losers. She lost the election because she broke the law and didn’t bother to campaign in swing states. She’s got nobody to blame but herself.”

By comparison, Robbie Mook, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, couldn’t get it more wrong than when he said “if you ask me what is the single greatest headwind we faced in the race … it was the two letters by James Comey.” I won’t deny that those letters produced some strong headwinds. They didn’t happen by themselves, though. If Mrs. Clinton hadn’t tried hiding her State Department emails from FOIA requests by using her own server, there wouldn’t have been a Comey investigation.

The ‘Comey headwinds’, therefore, were Mrs. Clinton’s fault.

In August, 2015, Quinnipiac University asked respondents “the first word that pops into their heads when they think of Hillary Clinton. This word-cloud is telling:

Mrs. Clinton’s spinmeisters simply re-inforce the images that a) it’s never her fault, b) she lives by different rules than the little people and c) Mrs. Clinton doesn’t accept criticism, especially as a presidential candidate.

Mrs. Clinton’s post-mortem:

I could get long-winded but I won’t. What we know about Mrs. Clinton is that she’s dishonest and uninteresting. It’s time for her to leave the national stage — forever.

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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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I appreciate Salena Zito’s latest column because, once again, it’s about what’s important to Beltway pundits and what’s important to real people living in America’s heartland. This week, Ms. Zito’s column focuses on the fight between getting distracted by gimmickry or focusing on fundamentals:

Though he never was called up to serve in Vietnam, Garfein, out of Fort Lewis, Wash., led an armored reconnaissance unit and a field artillery battery. “I’ve always felt a connection to the men who fought in the Civil War.”

His conversation turned to leadership, honoring the past, the government scandals of the last five years and the country’s future: “I was taught at a young age to value your community and to serve it. We need more emphasis on that from those who want to lead our country. “And we need to hold those in power in check; stop chasing the unicorns and start chasing and revealing the truth and demanding competency.”

A week later, more than two dozen reporters chased the next presidential cycle’s first unicorn, Hillary Clinton, around an Iowa community college on her first official campaign stop. The optics of that was as comical as a tiny car releasing scores of clowns into a circus ring. But it doesn’t amuse people like Garfein, who wish the media would chase down government corruption and incompetency with the same gusto.

The ‘reporters’ covering Hillary on the campaign trail are making asses of themselves. They breathlessly told us that Queen Hillary had ordered the burrito bowl from a Chipotle in Ohio. They informed us that she’d ordered the “guac”, though Jon Stewart noticed that they didn’t tell us how many napkins she took:

The media are, for all intents and purposes, Hillary’s puppets. For all the talk about how Hillary won’t get the same kid glove treatment from the media like then-candidate Obama did, it’s looking like the media isn’t exactly fired up to investigate Hillary. While she won’t get the slobbering coverage that President Obama got, she’ll get kid glove treatment.

This week, we saw the Hillary ‘correspondents’ do some embarrassing things. First, they acted like puppets chasing her vehicle around a community college building. This morning, veteran NPR political reporter Mara Liasson told media critic Howard Kurtz “For some reason that I’ve never understood, the public wants to know everything that the Clintons do.” That’s what Beltway reporters think about the people’s appetite for the Clintons? Seriously?

There’s no finer example of the difference between real reporters from America’s heartland and ‘reporters’ from inside the DC Beltway.

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I’ve written before that reading Salena Zito’s Sunday columns is one of my favorite things to do, mostly because she ventures into flyover country. Salena’s columns are more likely to quote people we’ve never heard of than people we’ve heard of altogether too often. Thank goodness for that. We need that realism. This morning’s column touches on something that Washington hasn’t seen coming:

PLEASANTVILLE, Pa. – The homemade sign along state Route 96 in Bedford County could easily be missed if a driver is distracted by the winding curves at the base of the Allegheny Mountains.

“Our country is dying. Please pray for all of us,” it says in blue letters on a white board. A bouquet of slightly wilted wildflowers is tied to it with a blue bow.

The sign doesn’t blame anyone in particular; no political brand or elected official is named, no familiar tagline from social media or cable news is part of the message. In fact, its poignant words (all lower-case, no wild-hare punctuation) and slightly hidden position in some ways reflect the underground populist movement that this column has warned about for months, moderate in tone, big in impact.

It’s undeniable that people of all political stripes want government to work. It’s also true that they want government to listen to them. DC has stopped doing that:

When Eric Cantor lost his primary race Tuesday, it wasn’t because he wasn’t conservative enough for his base.

It wasn’t because of the Republicans’ tea party element. It had nothing to do with immigration reform, or some Democrat conspiracy to flood the polls. And it was not driven by right-wing talk-radio hosts or operatives from Heritage Action, Club for Growth, Citizens United or ForAmerica (which claimed Cantor’s defeat was an “apocalyptic moment for the GOP establishment”).

This was a complicated recipe, according to Republican strategist Bruce Haynes.

“There were more than four-and-twenty blackbirds baked into this pie,” Haynes said, adding that ultimately the loss had everything to do with Cantor: He lost touch with his constituency; he became too Washington, too associated with the D.C.-bubble brand; he forgot how to relate and to be that guy from his district.

Something like that is happening in Minnesota, where the DFL is just waking up to the fact that Iron Rangers are upset that they’re being ignored. They’re being ignored because environmental activists are essentially telling the DFL to ignore the Iron Range.

There’s no question but that these Rangers want a new influx of mining jobs and upper middle class incomes. There’s no question that professional environmental activists hate mining, especially precious metals mining. The DFL is taking the Iron Range vote for granted. That’s the first step in activating populism.

One thing that hurt Eric Cantor the most was that people thought he talked out of both sides of his mouth. He told his constituents that he opposed amnesty, then he supported the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill. Technically, Mark Dayton issn’t talking out of both sides of his mouth. He’s just doing whatever he can to not get either side upset.

Al Franken is even more ‘cautious.’ He isn’t saying anything on the subject. Sen. Franken didn’t mention mining during his 26-minute-long acceptance speech. Mining isn’t mentioned on his campaign website, either.

If there’s anything that Eric Cantor’s loss tells us, it’s that ignoring major constituency groups is potentially disastrous politically.

If the “homemade sign along state Route 96 in Bedford County” was found alongside Highway 53 near Eveleth or Virginia, it would read ‘Our way of life is dying an nobody’s listening. Please pray for us.’

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Political junkies like me have known about Paul Ryan for 5-6 years. The man that will step into the spotlight tonight is the smartest man on policy in DC. That’s why he gets under President Obama’s skin so easily. President Obama’s narcissism won’t let him admit that he isn’t the smartest man in the room about anything.

Ryan steps into tonight’s spotlight as a seasoned veteran of the political wars. He’s most famous for demolishing the ACA during the Health Care Summit at Blair House:

Paul Ryan stepped into the spotlight that day without hesitation, with an outstanding grasp of the health care facts and with an understanding of the American people. When he was done with the GOP’s closing argument, President Obama sat humbled and silent.

That’s the man I expect to see step to the podium tonight.

Last night, Chris Christie talked about telling the American people the truth about adult subjects. Tonight, I expect to hear Paul Ryan talk about the challenges we face. I expect him to talk about why it’s vital that we reverse course ASAP. Finally, I expect him to give a midwestern perspective for what’s at stake if we don’t change course.

I don’t expect him to deliver ‘the plan’ in full, though I’d expect he’ll touch on that.

Finally, I expect him to a) critique the Democrats’ agenda, b) keep the Christie momentum going and c) tee things up for Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech Thursday night.

Paul Ryan is part of the new leadership of the GOP. He’s an expert. He’s fearless. He’s principled. Most importantly, he’s in touch with the American people because he’s from a small town in America’s heartland.

That’s why he’ll connect with the American people.

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