The Washington D.C. based organization tasked with electing Republicans to the United States Senate–the NationalÂ Republican Senatorial Committee–is taking a new and proactive approach in achieving their mission this cycle.Â Part of this strategy has included reaching out early to various political writers and thinkers in Senatorial battleground states–and you guessed it we qualify–to form relationships basedÂ on our shared cause.
Another element of this strategy is being visible early and often with what has become a hallmark of modern political messaging–the web ad.Â Below is an exclusive first look at what I’m being told will be a continuing series of web ads making the case for Republican principles.Â It is very well put together and offers some insight into what kinds of narratives we will see from Republicans not only here in IowaÂ next year–but in all the battleground states in 2014.
The young Republicans you will seeÂ do not appearÂ by chance.Â The Party has an incredible wealth of young talented leaders at the moment and these are the folks who are presently both framing the debate and effectively communicating the Conservative ideology nationwide.Â Â UndoubtedlyÂ this younger generation will exclusively be responsible for the Republican brandÂ over the next 15-20 years–and the RNSC is smart to start highlighting them early.
Well, Barack Obama will be President for a second term. It is now time to take a look around, and prepare for what is likely to happen next. Based on my observations and what Iâ€™ve learned over the years, these are my predictions:
No Housing Recovery
Commentators have been calling the bottom of the housing market â€“ and screaming with increasing urgency that it was time to buy â€“ since 2007. The Fed has cut interest rates to nearly zero, and through quantitative easing has flooded the financial system with new money. This will continue for the near future, especially since QE-infinity was announced earlier this year. There remains no recovery in the housing market, and there wonâ€™t be a recovery.
Bad monetary policy has left the productive bits of the economy in an absolute shambles, and now there simply arenâ€™t enough jobs to allow a recovery in the housing market. This will get worse, not better.
This one will happen sooner rather than later. In an economy that is as sedate as ours the likelihood of reduced unemployment is already pretty slim, and if you consider the looming Obamacare mandates, tax hikes on income, dividends, and capital gains, as well as another four years of an administration that has a penchant for change (breeding uncertainty), I predict that there will be large job losses coming in the very near future.
This one seems to fall into place as well, especially for those laid low by the layoffs which I think are coming. But, even those who keep their jobs will experience marked decreases in their standard of living. In an economy where consumption is king and production â€“ or any sort of value-added economic activity â€“ is outsourced, taxed, regulated, or outright banned, the remaining employment opportunities take on a sort of wistful irrelevance. Many will be nominally employed, but at the same time wholly unable to support themselves, let alone able to assemble savings.
Spike in Utility Rates
All forms of energy are likely to get more expensive over the next four years. Obama has explicitly stated that he intends to bankrupt the coal-generated electricity industry in favor of renewable energy kitsch which can only be financially feasible with massive increases in electricity prices. Expect some coal plants to be shut down in the next term, and expect to pay far more for electricity.
High Prices for Oil and Grain
In a past article, I pointed out that since 1990, the United States has run trade deficits in excess of $9 trillion. This despite the fact that in 1990 the supply of dollars (the M2 metric) was only $3 trillion. In an economy where we can buy foreign goods by printing money, there is no reason to manufacture much of anything. This dynamic will continue for the time-being, and we will import shiploads of consumer goods and pay for it with nothing but inflation. This will lead to even higher prices for oil and grain, which are inflation-sensitive commodities whose production cannot be outsourced.
Feeding grain to livestock is a value-added activity, however, and in an inflationary economy the price of grain will go up, and the ability of the public to buy meat will be reduced, so I am predicting a continued decrease in the number of farmers who bother to raise livestock, as well as a decline in the overall size of the livestock herds in the country.
College Tuition Spikes; Enrollment Begins to Fall
Obamaâ€™s attempts to reform the student loan industry had nothing to do with controlling the costs of college. The government runs most of the student loan industry, and interest rates have been kept very low for Federal loans. This is all designed to get more kids into college, regardless of what it costs, and with no real limit to the amount of credit available to the college-bound, there are no incentives for colleges to control costs.
The luster has begun to rub off of the whole college experience in my estimation. A college degree has become little more than a very expensive lottery ticket, and new college graduates will not see any discernable increase in their employment opportunities, incomes, or future prospects.
Even with the endless propaganda urging kids to attend college, the decision to attend college will not make financial sense for a large number of American kids, and we will begin to see a decline in enrollments, especially in full-time, traditional enrollments.
The news last week thatÂ recentlyÂ hired Yahoo News Washington DC Bureau Chief David Chalian was fired for a truly unbelievable â€œhot micâ€ moment was bad enoughâ€“but digging into his background re-enforces the mess thatÂ likely awaits Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan come debate time.
Chalian was fired for yucking it up with fellow reporters by saying that â€œThey (Republicans)Â are not concerned at all.Â They are happy to be having a party while black people are drowning (Hurricane Isaac).â€Â You can hear the â€œhot micâ€ comment hereÂ along with the, almost as disturbing,Â huge laughs this got from the reporters he was talking to.
In an earlier piece, I made the point that the folksÂ selected to moderate the three Presidential debates and the one VP debate were very concerningâ€“and possibly incapable of approaching this crucial role objectively.Â This revelation regarding David Chalian should win overÂ any ofÂ those who thought I was making too much of this storyâ€“here is why.
David Chalianâ€™s Background
As noted by Tucker Carlson, Chalian was not a mere media foot soldier.Â He had risen through the ranks to become Political Director at ABC news (2007-2010), Political Editor for PBS NewsHour (2010-2012), and had just been hired as the Washington DC Bureau Chief for Yahoo News (November 14, 2011-last week).Â Not too shockingly,Â his professional accomplishmentsÂ include an Emmy nomination for producing Charlie Gibsonâ€™s infamous Alaska interview with Sarah Palin in 2008.Â There is simply no chance that his personal hyper-partisan and crass political viewpoint did not come up in the private job interviews he had with theÂ network brass that eventually hired him.
Worse yet is that, recalling the four news organizations who are supplying the moderators, two of Mr. Chalianâ€™s former employers will be controlling the conversation in what will be the most watched debates in political history.
First, you have the PBS NewsHour.Â Â This is both where Chalian had worked until last November as Political Editor and the home of Jim Lehrer who will moderate the first debate.Â Second, you have ABC News, where Chilian served as Political Director for three years.Â This newsÂ room is providing Martha RadditzÂ as the moderator for the Paul Ryan vs. Joe Biden debate.
This is not to say that these moderatorsÂ share the same despicable viewÂ of Republicans that Chalian was revealed to have, but what it does point to is the internal cultureÂ that thrives in these organizations.Â Simply putâ€“there is a great chance that this bias not only exists in the other â€œjournalistsâ€ who have climbed theÂ totem pole at these networks, but that it will shine through one way orÂ another in the upcoming debates.
Upon being hired by Yahoo News last year, ChilainÂ did an interviewÂ in which he said working with Yahoo would provide, â€œan unparalleledÂ opportunity to deliver high impact, high quality storytelling in what is shaping up to be a really consequential presidential election.â€Â Huhâ€¦I wonder what he meantÂ by â€œhigh impactâ€ storytelling?
The bedrock of winning elections at every major level of politics is building coalitions of supporters for whom you can count on to head to the polls and cast a vote for you.Â Especially in a country as large and non-monolithic as ours, coalition building on some level is a requirement for victory and often explains why politicians are so willing to speak often, but say very little.
A close look at President Obamaâ€™s effort in this area reveals that he has elevated this process to an art formâ€”but far from art, what he has created is an ugly picture beneficial to himself, but terrible for America.
While the Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling on Thursday to uphold the Affordable Care Act certainly carries the negatives of energizing Republicans and leaving him to defend a tax increase, it is foolish not to acknowledge the potential political windfall that he has unleashed.Â He has managed to cement a new member in his group of coalitionsâ€”a group with millions of potential voters.
As we have discussed here before, for decades the Democrat party in America has used the social safety net and the laws of this country to build a formidable coalition of voters.Â The newest members are the up to 33 million people who will now be guaranteed health insurance by virtue of being a breathing American.Â For the first time in history an American president will be able to say â€˜if you vote Democrat you will have (possibly for free) health insurance, and if you vote Republican you will notâ€™, a potent motivator.
The addition of the health care voter coalition can now be added to the two others that he has bolstered recently, in what may be the most cynical and politically motivated two months in American presidential history.
First it was going on record with the news that he had â€œevolvedâ€ on the issue and now supports gay marriage. This was followed by a surprise move to essentially remove the possibility of deportation for young illegal aliens.Â While the gay community is relatively small, bolstering his claim to the Hispanic vote was a huge benefit to his Electoral College math.Â Early next week, we will have a story detailing how the health care law really has more to do with sealing up the Hispanic vote than anything else.
Besides the Latino vote, Obamacare allows the Democrat Party to further stack the deck against Republicans as they try to implement the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid reforms in the Paul Ryan budget over the next few years.Â Top Democrat strategists have to be secretly celebrating, knowing full well that the already difficult politics of reforming these programs just got down right suicidal now that 16 million more people have been added to the rolls.
The Presidents relentless coalition building will continue from now until November.Â With the economy not in position to rebound at all, and the two major initiatives of his Presidency either unpopular (health care) or ineffectual (the stimulus), he really has no other choice.Â I am predicting that sometime in the next few months he will make a shocking public policy jester to the unions, who remain the last sizeable group he has not tried to directly entice.
Though it goes against the grain, at this point I would consider advising Mitt Romney to not moderate on illegal immigration and stay as far right on this issue as he was during the presidential primary.Â The reasons for this are several.
First, it is the law and the right thing to doâ€”we simply cannot be the only nation on earth that doesnâ€™t enforce its borders.Â Though many are quick to forget it, this is a message that resonates with nearly all Republicans, and millions of Independents.Â Second, there is simply no way for Republicans to match what Democrats can offer.Â While Republicans and Latinos have large overlaps in religious beliefs and family values, Democrats are in essence offering citizenship, free or nearly free health care, and an ever-expanding web of financial assistance that delivers from birth to death.
It may be high time to face the factsâ€”winning over the Hispanic community is not going to happen anytime soon, and the more Republicans bend and soften on these issues the more they enrage fellow Republicans and appear hypocritical to Independents.
The irony here is that many of the Republicans who have been hesitant to support Mitt Romney, largely due to their belief that he tries to be all things to all people, are the same people that are urging him to cow tow to the Hispanic vote and moderate his position on illegal immigration.
There are still tens of millions of Americans who still believe strongly that we are a nation of laws.Â Should Mitt Romney take a stand on this issue and add this too often ignored group to his list of coalitions, it may end up being a net positive in November.
In a Representative Democracy, voting for a particular political candidate or philosophy is the most impactful way a citizenry can change their country.Â While the â€œwhoâ€ a person votes for is what actively shapes a Republic, digging into the motivation behind that vote is far more telling, and ultimately reveals far more about ourselves and where we are heading.
As government involvement in Americans day-to-day lives has expanded, the possible motivating factors at play driving each citizens vote has also expandedâ€”and the effects of this have been devastating.Â Boiled down to the most basic level, there are two motivations that influence a political voteâ€”you can vote in what you believe is in the best interest of the country, or you can vote in your own personal interest.
In past generations, before the American government was so deeply involved in the giving business, the vast majority of our population largely had only the best interest of the country as a whole to consider.Â Unfortunately, today nearly half of our citizens have the legitimate option of choosing to vote for their own personal gain at the ballot box.
Not Your Grandfatherâ€™s Democratic Party
Though it sounds crass, the modern day Democratic Party has evolved into a selfish group of constituencies that have something to gain in voting for Democrats and against Republicans.Â While the most obvious entries on the listÂ involve financial assistance from the economic safety netâ€”unending unemployment benefits, housing subsidies, food stamps, Title 19, etc.â€”in recent years this list has grown to include several other things.
Hispanic Americans can now vote Democrat to ultimately allow their friends and relatives who are here illegally become citizens.Â Gay Americans can now vote Democrat to gain the right to marry and the economic advantages that come with it.Â Union members can vote Democrat in order to receive more favorably negotiated salaries and benefits at the bargaining table.Â Those Americans who, for whatever reason, did not have health insurance can now vote a straight Democratic ticket in hopes of retaining it, since they have now been given it.
In large part this massive constituency of selfishly driven voters explains what the mind-boggling national debt has become so out of control.Â Far more than any other issue, not running annual deficits and paying down the national debt are two things that are in the best interest of the countryâ€”and not necessarily in the best interest of each individual American.Â Â The polling data bears this out showing that, even with the national debt north of $16 trillion, only 66% of Democrats cite lowering this number as a major priority.
Contrarians to this line of thinking will make the charge that Republicans vote in their own best interest by voting for politicians who believe in lowering their taxes.Â As usual this charge leaves out one unavoidable factâ€”that the money taken by the government for taxes is earned, and it belonged to the individual in the first place.Â Put simply, voting to keep more of your own money and not giving it away to a largely wasteful entitlement state (especially one with a progressive tax code) is not a greed driven motivationâ€”rather it is a logical one.
What It Means
The selfishly motivated voter is the single biggest reason why European style democracies are self-feeding, self-defeating, unworkable, and unsustainable.Â Yet in spite of the real-time evidence playing out across the Atlantic, a near majority of Americans refuse to change course.Â Increasingly, it is hard not to assume a major reason why American voters are unwilling to do so is that they would be putting themselves out to do so.
The only way to break this cycle is for the Democrat Party to shift away from promising things to an ever-widening group of voters.Â The sad truth though is that they have built a political base only able to stand upright through some combination of deficit spending, large tax increases, and social pandering.Â They have become so politically dependent on various sub-groups that making decisions for the economic good of the country, even if they wanted to, would quickly result in them paying a huge political price and losing elections.
Whenever Americans choose to overlook our national interest and instead vote in favor of their own, neither is well served.