World Affairs Brief, November 7, 2014 Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.
Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief (http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com).
ELECTION RESULTS WILL YIELD NO EFFECTIVE CHANGE
Although Republicans won back enough seats to hold majorities in both houses of Congress the only definitive conclusion about Tuesday’s midterm election was that it was a strong repudiation of Obama and Obamacare. Sadly, neither were on the ballot. The nation is stuck with Obama for two more years where he will use his veto power to crush any hopes of real change, and Obamacare is something the Powers That Be (PTB) will never allow to be repealed. Even Republican control of the Senate is only an illusion of victory. With compromising RINO Republicans like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner in charge of the two houses of Congress, conservatives will get rhetorical support but no effective change. Worse, if the attack on Obamacare and amnesty is anything like Boehner’s no-win strategy during the last government shutdown, he’ll poison the public against ever challenging these causes again.
To recap, Thom Tillis notably defeated Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina while seven other Republicans knocked over their Democratic counterparts, including, Cory Gardner in Colorado, Shelley Moore in West Virginia, Tom Cotton in Arkansas, Mike Rounds in South Dakota, Steve Daines in Montana and Joni Ernst inIowa (the first woman Senator from that state). Another probable is Dan Sullivan in Alaska, leading incumbent Sen. Mark Begich 49.0% to 45.3% with 100% of the vote counted.
In the loss column, carpetbagger Republican Scott Brown (a liberal Republican) who moved to New Hampshire to run in that senate race) lost to Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. Monica Wehby challenged incumbent Democrat Sen. Jeff Merkley in blue state Oregon but lost by more than 16 points.
Ed Gillespie almost knocked off Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, and while the race is subject to a recount, Warner has hired perennial Democratic “fixer”Marc Elias, who is the go-to lawyer for Democrats when challenged by recounts. In the 2008 recount in Minnesota, Elias twisted arms of inexperienced election officials into disregarding states election laws by reconsidering already rejected absentee ballots in order to hand Al Franken the victory over Norm Coleman by a mere 300 votes.
Sadly, none of the Republican winners were solid constitutionalist champions and many even took up liberal or Democratic talking points in order to win, such as talking up jobs and job training programs, equality of pay, appeals to Blacks and Hispanics (pushed by Sen. Rand Paul), as well as underemployment and poverty.
When a party abandons its distinctive conservative roots and begins pandering to the benefit-corrupted majority, it’s a sign that they will continue to compromiseonce in office. It is instructive to look at the last time we had a Republican president and Republican control of both houses of Congress. We still got no change because of the presence of so many liberal Republican senators who kept blocking the real conservative agenda.
The pro-government media also plays a large role in pressuring Republicans to compromise when in power. Whenever Democrats are in power the media always complains about partisanship of the Republicans. But when Republicans are in power, the media suddenly begins to pound the pulpit about bi-partisanship and compromise—priming the public for the expectation that Republicans ought not to use their majority powers to force their ideology upon the public. There was no such complaint by media when Dems used their majorities to push through Obamacare.
The same thing happens during Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the Senate and we’ll probably see that come up as Republicans step into control of the Senate. During Democratic control of the Senate, the media never complained that a Democratic President nominates only liberal candidates who believe in changing the constitution through judicial activism. Yet they rail on a Republican president for nominating a “strict constructionist” of the constitution as “too extreme” and uncompromising.
Let’s take a closer look at the coming legislative battles and how the repudiation of Obama will play into that. Republicans are going to insist that Obama hold off on nominating a new attorney general (a black women, Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn) until after the Senate is seated so they can subject him to their confirmation process. It’s a toss up of whether Obama will comply.
Obama’s number one domestic agenda is to use unconstitutional executive orders to grant as much amnesty as he can so that it becomes fact before the new Senate is seated in January. While Obama claimed he had “heard the message voters sent on Election Day” and was ready to work with Republicans who dealt his party devastating losses, he still threatened to go forward with unilateral action on immigration. “It’s time for us to take care of business,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference.
Boehner promised a tough response if Obama tries to do anything on his own, but that’s just talk. The only weapon Congress has got is impeachment, and all the Republican leaders renounce it.
If Obama gives de facto amnesty to millions of illegals, any attempt by the Senate to undo those unilateral executive actions will be viewed as “taking away” benefits from the poor illegals—now in possession of green cards. That’s got to be the reason the administration has ordered the preparations for printing of 9 million more green cards.
Watch as the NY Times attempts to direct the Republican agenda through analysis and commentary [I’ll point out the hidden themes the Times is pushing]:
Newly empowered congressional Republicans plan on moving quickly to demonstrate that they can effectively legislate, aware that they risk a backlash in two years if they fail to deliver [but Obama’s veto will ensure they can’t act effectively—unless they compromise and giving Dems what they want in the name of “delivering” or “avoiding gridlock”].
They say they will focus on balancing the budget [without shutting down government over the debt limit—which is not possible], restoring an orderly process for spending bills [rather than have one big omnibus bill that few dare vote against], revising if not repealing the health care law and enacting a major overhaul of the tax code — ambitious goals, given years of stalemate and discord.
Before taking up the issue of immigration, Republicans are likely to see what unilateral action President Obama undertakes, and how the country reacts to it. [As long as impeachment is off the table, Obama will continue to do what he wants without fear of reprisal.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a veteran tactician [kind words from the establishment but his tactics have only helped the Democrats] who is expected to succeed Mr. Reid when the 114th Congress convenes in January, has also promised wholesale changes in the way the Senate operates, including a five-day workweek, more floor debate and empowered committee chairmen.
Some Democrats who have been frustrated by the stalemate in the Senate say they are open to cooperating with Republicans [don’t count on that unless the Republicans give in to them].
In gaining control of the Senate, however, Republicans ousted some of the red-state Democrats most inclined to work with them, such as Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, reducing the number of potential Democratic allies.
The real problem, however is that Republicans are still stuck with a number of liberal Republican Senators that often cross over and vote with Democrats. The following Republican Senators voted to fund Obamacare when the House tried to stop it. Alexander (TN), Ayotte (NH), Barrasso (WY), Blunt (MO), Burr (NC), Chambliss (GA), Chiesa (NJ), Coats (IN), Cochran (MS), Collins (ME), Corker (TN), Fischer (NE), Flake (AZ), Graham (SC), Hatch (UT), Hoeven (ND), Isakson (GA), Johanns (NE), Kirk (IL), McCain (AZ), McConnell (KY), Moran (KS), Murkowski (AK), Portman (OH), Thune (SD), and Wicker (MS). Given the unreliability of the foregoing, the Republican majority in the Senate means nothing.
This is the implied threat—compromise or get the blame for gridlock. If Republicans are smart, they ought to give Obama dozens of clear votes on popular issues like the health care mandate—let him veto every one and then the president can be blamed for the gridlock.
Obamacare: Top on the list would be repealing the individual mandate, which is unpopular with the public. [Here comes the excuse:] But eliminating it could make insurance on Obamacare’s exchanges far more expensive, since many young and healthy Americans, whose premiums keep coverage cheaper for everybody else, might choose to go without health plans. [That is already happening even with the mandate. Insurance companies are jacking up premiums even with huge deductibles—they are determined to make a killing either way.]
The GOP would also love to do away with Obamacare’s “risk corridors,” which they’ve very misleadingly dubbed “the insurer bailout.” The provision, which expires in 2016, creates a pool of cash that pays out to insurers [another bailout of the big insurance companies—little wonder they support Obamacare] in the event that they accidentally sign up too many unhealthy patients on the exchanges. It’s funded by fees on the industry, and it’s necessary because health plans are still figuring out exactly how high to set their premiums in a post-Obamacare world—some might undershoot. [NONE are undershooting!]
Lastly, the rejection of Obama in this election is already having an impact on Hillary’s appeal in 2016. Although Hillary wasn’t on the ballot, some Republican candidates have already started including her in the failures of the Obama administration. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who will be running for President in 2016, took advantage of the midterm elections to pan Hillary saying, “Tonight was really a referendum not only on the president’s policies, but really a referendum on Hillary Clinton.” The Democrats’ midterm struggles, he said, represent “an epic failure of the Clintons.” The AP added that,
Clinton is expected to announce her decision around the end of the year. The former secretary of state did not appear publicly Tuesday, but spent recent weeks campaigning extensively for Democrats in competitive races for Senate and governor, appearing at 45 political events during a two-month run through 19 states.
Republicans noted Clinton’s ties to two of the biggest defeats for the party — Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor’s loss to Republican Rep. Tom Cotton and Alison Lundergan Grimes’ defeat to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky. Clinton headlined fundraisers for both and made appearances in Kentucky for Grimes.
Although I fully expect Hillary to be the Democratic nominee, I don’t think she is going to win. Unless the Republicans really poison the waters during the next two years, the antagonism against Obama and the Democrats is only going to increase by 2016, and Hillary will have a real uphill battle.
Remember too, that the best way for the PTB to defuse a groundswell of discontent is to give them a controlled Republican for the next president. Besides, a lot of the powerful insiders don’t like Hillary. Bill was much more compliant as a puppet president, but Hillary would actually try and run the show, which they don’t like.
It is true that those that control the government have the power to alter millions of votes, not only at the local level with electronic voting machines, but now at the national level where more and more states are allowing their final vote counts to be tabulated. I’m convinced they made at least 8 million votes for Romney disappear in 2012 to defeat him (there was no way that 8 million less people voted in 2012 compared to 2008).
They could do that again if they really want Hillary to win, but they run the risk of exposing their vote rigging operation if there is too big of a discrepancy between exit polling and the final results. You’ll notice that for some unknown reason there was hardly any exit polling done in 2008—helping mask the massive vote fraud they were planning at the national tally of state votes.
Personally, I’m glad Romney got defeated. He would have done a lot of permanent damage to conservative values by talking them into amnesty (which he supports), and the neocon agenda of foreign wars. His endorsement of Chris Christie indicates he hasn’t got a clue about the controlled nature of political candidates—he’s just trying to please too many people.