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Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 4: Suhail Khan, A Case Study in Influence Operations
Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 5: The Organizations Islamists Are Using to Subvert the Right
Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 6: Electing Islamist Republicans
Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 7: Advancing the Islamists’ Agendas
Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 8: Team Obama & the Islamists
Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 9: Team Obama & the Islamist Agenda
Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part 10: What’s To Be Done?
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Judge Jeanine Interviews Donald Trump 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate [Part 1 of 2]
Judge Jeanine Interviews Donald Trump 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate [Part 2 of 2]
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Conservative Review – Scorecard
Election 2016 Presidential Polls
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|Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus
||Trump 23, Carson 23, Walker 7, Cruz 9, Fiorina 10, Rubio 4, Bush 5, Huckabee 2, Paul 3, Kasich 4, Christie 1, Jindal 1, Santorum 2, Perry 1, Graham 0
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|Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus
||Trump 23, Carson 18, Walker 8, Cruz 8, Fiorina 5, Rubio 6, Bush 6, Huckabee 4, Paul 4, Kasich 2, Christie 2, Jindal 2, Santorum 1, Perry 1, Graham 0
Who is Ted Cruz?
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz (born December 22, 1970) is the junior United States Senator from Texas. A Republican, Cruz was elected senator in 2012 and is the first Hispanic or Cuban American to serve as a U.S. Senator representing Texas. He is the chairman of the subcommittee on the Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is also the chairman of the United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, U.S. Senate Commerce Committee. On March 23, 2015, Cruz announced during a rally at Liberty University he would run for the Republican Party nomination in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
Between 1999 and 2003, Cruz was the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, an associate deputy attorney general at the United States Department of Justice, and domestic policy advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. He served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to May 2008, after being appointed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. He was the first Hispanic, the youngest and the longest-serving solicitor general in Texas history. Cruz was also an adjunct professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, from 2004 to 2009.While there, he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation. Cruz is one of three Senators of Cuban descent.
Cruz was the Republican nominee for the Senate seat vacated by fellow Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. On July 31, 2012, he defeated Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican primary runoff, 57%–43%. Cruz defeated former state Representative Paul Sadler in the general election on November 6, 2012. He prevailed 56%–41% over Sadler. Cruz openly identifies with the Tea Party movement and has been endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus. On November 14, 2012, Cruz was appointed vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Early life and ancestry
Cruz was born on December 22, 1970, in Calgary, Alberta, to parents Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson and Rafael Bienvenido Cruz.At the time of his birth, Cruz’ parents were working in the oil business as owners of a seismic-data processing firm for oil drilling.
Cruz’s father was born in Cuba, and two of Ted’s paternal great-grandparents were from the Canary Islands in Spain. Cruz’s mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware, of three quarter Irish and one quarter Italian ancestry. His father left Cuba in 1957 to attend the University of Texas at Austin, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005. His mother earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Rice University in the 1950s.
On his father’s side, Cruz had two older half-sisters, Miriam and Roxana Cruz. On his mother’s side Cruz had a half-brother, Michael Wilson (1960 – 1965), who died before he was born. Cruz learned of the deceased sibling from his mother during his teenage years.
Cruz attended high school at Faith West Academy in Katy, Texas, and later graduated from Second Baptist High School in Houston as valedictorian in 1988. During high school, Cruz participated in a Houston-based group called the Free Market Education Foundation where he learned about free-market economic philosophers such as Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Frédéric Bastiat and Ludwig von Mises. The program was run by Rolland Storey and Cruz entered the program at the age of 13. At the same time, he changed his nickname from “Felito” to “Ted” after being teased about it by his peers. Cruz was involved in theater during high school, though chose not to pursue an acting career. He would later say that he did not think he had the talent to succeed. Cruz came to regret not serving in the military, as he respected it “immensely.”
Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1992. While at Princeton, he competed for the American Whig-Cliosophic Society‘s Debate Paneland won the top speaker award at both the 1992 U.S. National Debating Championship and the 1992 North American Debating Championship. In 1992, he was named U.S. National Speaker of the Year, as well as Team of the Year, with his debate partner, David Panton. Cruz and Panton represented Harvard Law School at the 1995 World Debating Championship, making it to the semi-finals, where they lost to a team from Australia. Princeton’s debate team later named their annual novice championship after Cruz.
Cruz’s senior thesis on the separation of powers, titled “Clipping the Wings of Angels,” draws its inspiration from a passage attributed to President James Madison: “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” Cruz argued that the drafters of the Constitution intended to protect the rights of their constituents, and that the last two items in the Bill of Rights offer an explicit stop against an all-powerful state. Cruz wrote: “They simply do so from different directions. The Tenth stops new powers, and the Ninth fortifies all other rights, or non-powers.”
After graduating from Princeton, Cruz attended Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1995 with a Juris Doctor degree. While at Harvard Law, he was a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review, and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review. Referring to Cruz’s time as a student at Harvard Law, Professor Alan Dershowitz said, “Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant.” At Harvard Law, Cruz was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics.
Cruz currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Texas Review of Law and Politics.
Ted Cruz speaking in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Cruz served as a law clerk to J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1995 and William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States in 1996. Cruz was the first Hispanic to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States.
After Cruz finished his clerkships, he took a position with Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal, now known as Cooper & Kirk, LLC, from 1997 to 1998. While with the firm, Cruz worked on matters relating to the National Rifle Association, and helped prepare testimony for the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. Cruz also served as private counsel for Congressman John Boehner during Boehner’s lawsuit against Congressman Jim McDermott for releasing a tape recording of a Boehner telephone conversation.
Cruz joined the George W. Bush presidential campaign in 1999 as a domestic policy adviser, advising then-Governor George W. Bush on a wide range of policy and legal matters, including civil justice, criminal justice, constitutional law, immigration, and government reform.
Cruz assisted in assembling the Bush legal team, devising strategy, and drafting pleadings for filing with the Supreme Court of Florida and U.S. Supreme Court, the specific case being Bush v. Gore, during the 2000 Florida presidential recounts, leading to two successful decisions for the Bush team. Cruz recruited future Chief Justice John Roberts and noted attorney Mike Carvin to the Bush legal team.
After President Bush took office, Cruz served as an associate deputy attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department and as the director of policy planning at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Texas Solicitor General
Appointed to the office of Solicitor General of Texas by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Cruz served in that position from 2003 to 2008. The office had been established in 1999 to handle appeals involving the state, but Abbott hired Cruz with the idea that Cruz would take a “leadership role in the United States in articulating a vision of strict construction.” As Solicitor General, Cruz argued before the Supreme Court nine times, winning five cases and losing four.
Cruz has authored 70 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court. Cruz’s record of having argued before the Supreme Court nine times is more than any practicing lawyer in Texas or any current member of Congress. Cruz has commented on his nine cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court: “We ended up year after year arguing some of the biggest cases in the country. There was a degree of serendipity in that, but there was also a concerted effort to seek out and lead conservative fights.”
In 2003, while Cruz was Texas solicitor general, the Texas Attorney General’s office declined to defend Texas’ sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas, where the U.S. Supreme Court decided that state laws banning homosexual sex as illegal sodomy were unconstitutional.
In the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, Cruz drafted the amicus brief signed by the attorneys general of 31 states, which said that the D.C. handgun ban should be struck down as infringing upon the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Cruz also presented oral argument for the amici states in the companion case to Heller before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Cruz at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC., 2011
In addition to his success in Heller, Cruz successfully defended the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds before the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, winning 5–4 inVan Orden v. Perry.
In 2004, Cruz was involved in the high-profile case, Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, in which he wrote a U.S. Supreme Court brief on behalf of all 50 states. The Supreme Court upheld the position of Cruz’s brief.
Cruz served as lead counsel for the state and successfully defended the multiple litigation challenges to the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan in state and federal district courts and before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was decided 5–4 in his favor in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.
Cruz also successfully defended, in Medellin v. Texas, the State of Texas against an attempt to re-open the cases of 51 Mexican nationals, all of whom were convicted of murder in the United States and were on death row. With the support of the George W. Bush Administration, the petitioners argued that the United States had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by failing to notify the convicted nationals of their opportunity to receive legal aid from the Mexican consulate. They based their case on a decision of the International Court of Justice in the Avena case which ruled that by failing to allow access to the Mexican consulate, the US had breached its obligations under the Convention. Texas won the case in a 6–3 decision, the Supreme Court holding that ICJ decisions were not binding in domestic law and that the President had no power to enforce them.
Cruz has been named by American Lawyer magazine as one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America, by The National Law Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America, and by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century.
After leaving the Solicitor General position in 2008, Cruz worked in a private law firm in Houston, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, often representing corporate clients, until he was sworn in as U.S. Senator from Texas in 2013. At Morgan Lewis, he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice. In 2009 and 2010, he formed and then abandoned a bid for state attorney general when the incumbent Attorney General Greg Abbott, who hired Cruz as Solicitor General, decided to run for re-election.
Cruz speaking to the Values Voters Summit in October 2011
Cruz’s victory in the Republican primary was described by the Washington Post as “the biggest upset of 2012 . . . a true grassroots victory against very long odds.” On January 19, 2011, after U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said she would not seek reelection, Cruz announced his candidacy via a blogger conference call. In the Republican senatorial primary, Cruz ran against sitting Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Cruz was endorsed first by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and then by the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative political action committee; Erick Erickson, editor of prominent conservative blog RedState; theFreedomWorks for America super PAC; nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin; former Attorney General Edwin Meese; Tea Party Express; Young Conservatives of Texas; and U.S. Senators Tom Coburn,Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey. He was also endorsed by former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, George P. Bush, and former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum.
Cruz won the runoff for the Republican nomination with a 14-point margin over Dewhurst. Cruz defeated Dewhurst despite being outspent by Dewhurst who held a statewide elected office. Dewhurst spent $19 million and Cruz only spent $7 million. Dewhurst raised over $30 million and outspent Cruz at a ratio of nearly 3-to-1.
In the November 6 general election, Cruz faced Democrat Paul Sadler, an attorney and a former state representative from Henderson, in east Texas. Cruz won with 4.5 million votes (56.4%) to Sadler’s 3.2 million (40.6%). Two minor candidates garnered the remaining 3% of the vote. According to a poll by Cruz’s pollster Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, Cruz received 40% of the Hispanic vote, vs. 60% for Sandler, outperforming Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney with the Hispanic vote by 6 points.
After Time magazine reported on a potential violation of ethics rules by failing to publicly disclose his financial relationship with Caribbean Equity Partners Investment Holdings during the 2012 campaign, Cruz called his failure to disclose these connections an inadvertent omission.
Cruz giving a speech to the Montgomery County Republican Party meeting held in Conroe, Texas, on August 19, 2013
Cruz has sponsored 25 bills of his own, including:
- S.177, a bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health-care related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, introduced January 29, 2013
- S.505, a bill to prohibit the use of drones to kill citizens of the United States within the United States, introduced March 7, 2013
- S.729 and S. 730, bills to investigate and prosecute felons and fugitives who illegally purchase firearms, and to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms through straw purchases and trafficking, introduced March 15, 2013
- S.1336, a bill to permit States to require proof of citizenship for registering to vote in federal elections, introduced July 17, 2013
- S.2170, a bill to increase coal, natural gas, and crude oil exports, to approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, to expand oil drilling offshore, onshore, in the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska, and in Indian reservations, to give states the sole power of regulating hydraulic fracturing, to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard, to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases, to require the EPA to assess how new regulations will affect employment, and to earmark natural resource revenue to paying off the federal government’s debt, introduced March 27, 2014
- S.2415, a bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to eliminate all limits on direct campaign contributions to candidates for public office, introduced June 3, 2014
Senate bill 2195
On April 1, 2014, Cruz introduced Senate bill 2195, a bill that would allow the President of the United States to deny visas to any ambassador to the United Nations who has been found to have been engaged in espionage activities or a terrorist activity against the United States or its allies and may pose a threat to U.S. national security interests. The bill was written in response to Iran‘s choice of Hamid Aboutalebi as their ambassador. Aboutalebi was involved in the Iran hostage crisis, in which of a number of American diplomats from the US embassy in Tehran were held captive in 1979.
Under the headline “A bipartisan message to Iran”, Cruz thanked President Barack Obama for signing S 2195 into law. The letter, published in the magazine Politico on April 18, 2014, starts with “Thanks to President Obama for joining a unanimous Congress and signing S 2195 into law”. Cruz also thanked senators from both political parties for “swiftly passing this legislation and sending it to the White House.”
According to transcripts as reported by Politico, in his first two years in the Senate, Cruz attended 17 of 50 public Armed Services Committee hearings, 3 of 25 Commerce Committee hearings, 4 of the 12 Judiciary Committee hearings, and missed 21 of 135 roll call votes during the first three months of 2015.
In January 2015, Cruz voted in the U.S. Senate that global warming is real, but not man-made, rejecting an amendment stating that human activity significantly contributes to climate change.
In a March 2015 Texas Tribune interview, Cruz questioned the credibility of environmental advocates concerned about the issue of global warming by saying, “On the global warming alarmists, anyone who actually points to the evidence that disproves their apocalyptical claims, they don’t engage in reasoned debate. What do they do? They scream, ‘You’re a denier.’ They brand you a heretic. Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-earthers”.
Cruz has stated that satellite data shows no global warming in the past 17 years, based on a range of data that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change views as indicative of a short term trend (1998 was a particularly warm year), to deny the longer term warming trend of 360 consecutive months above the 20th century average.
Since being elected, Cruz has characterized the economic policies of the Obama Administration as being misguided. Chiding the GOP over its 2012 electoral losses, he stated that “Republicans are and should be the party of the 47 percent” and has also noted that the words “growth and opportunity” ought to be tattooed on every Republican’s hand.
In February 2014, Cruz opposed an unconditional increase in the debt limit. He said that Republican politicians feared the truth and “they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish, gullible constituents back home they didn’t do it.”
Cruz is a proponent of school choice.
At a Heritage Foundation policy summit in February 2014, Cruz said that energy policy should be a key issue, stating “As much as we need to approve the Keystone pipeline, we need to think far broader than that.” He pushed legislation to lift the 1970 ban on crude oil exports, and abolish the ethanol mandate. Cruz received more than US$1 million in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry since 2011.
Cruz was an original co-sponsor of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, Senate Bill 1 of the 114th Congress, and on January 29, 2015, voted for its passage. It passed the Senate 62-36, the goal of the bill was to approve the construction of the transnational pipeline. Cruz wants Congress to approve the exportation of U.S. natural gas to World Trade Organization countries.
Cruz advocates for “volunteer conservation”, and criticized efforts by the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency to expand regulatory oversight on water use by attempting “to turn irrigation ditches into lakes and rivers and oceans”.
Cruz speaking at the May 2015 Citizens United Freedom Summit
On foreign policy, Cruz has said that he is “somewhere in between” Rand Paul‘s “basically … isolationist” position and John McCain‘s active interventionism.
In April 2015, Cruz filed an amendment to a bill introduced by Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which would require affirmative Congressional approval of any Iranian nuclear dealbefore sanctions relief can occur.
In 2004, Cruz criticized Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry for being “against defending American values, against standing up to our enemies, and, in effect, for appeasing totalitarian despots.” Cruz helped defeat efforts to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, arguing that the treaty infringed on US sovereignty.
In 2013, Cruz stated that America had no “dog in the fight” during the Syrian civil war and stated that America’s armed forces should not serve as “al-Qaeda‘s air force”. In 2014, Cruz criticized the Obama administration: “The president’s foreign policy team utterly missed the threat of ISIS, indeed, was working to arm Syrian rebels that were fighting side by side with ISIS”, calling ISIS “the face of evil”. Cruz has called for bombing ISIS, but is doubtful that the United States “can tell the good guys from the bad guys” in a plan to arm “moderate” rebels, and the plan to defeat ISIS should not be “laden with impractical contingencies, such as resolving the Syrian civil war.”
In 2014, Cruz spoke at an event held by the group In Defense of Christians (IDC). He was booed by the group after making statements considered pro-Israel. Cruz left the stage after telling the audience, “Those who hate Israel hate America. Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason”. Some commentators believe there is a divide in the conservative movement between those who sided with Cruz and Israel, and those who sided with Middle Eastern Christians and some arguing that Cruz’s comments were out-of-bounds. Others who criticized Cruz included Mollie Hemingwayand Ross Douthat. Cruz apologized for questioning the motives of his critics and said that all should be united in speaking out against persecution of religious minorities.
Cruz is a gun-rights supporter. On March 25, 2013, an announcement was made by Cruz and U.S. Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee threatening to filibuster any legislation that would entail gun control, such as the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would require additional background checks on sales at gun shows. On April 17, 2013, Cruz voted against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment. Republicans successfully filibustered the amendment by a vote of 54–46, as 60 votes were needed for cloture.
In April 2015, Cruz stated “what I have been pressing is the Armed Services Committee” to hold hearings on whether service members should be allowed to carry concealed firearms on military bases. He believes that service members should be better equipped to protect themselves from incidents like the Navy Yard and Fort Hood mass shootings. He further added, “I think it’s very important to have a public discussion about why we’re denying our soldiers the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights“.
Cruz is a strong critic of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which he usually refers to as “Obamacare”. He has sponsored legislation that would repeal the health care reform law and its amendments in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
After the launch of the HealthCare.gov website, with which there were significant implementation problems, Cruz stated, “Obamacare is a disaster. You have the well-publicized problems with the website. It just isn’t working.” He called for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign.
In 2014, some claim Cruz unintentionally gave majority leader Harry Reid the procedural opening he needed to allow a Senate vote to confirm Vivek Murthy, who had raised concerns about the health effects of gun ownership, to be United States Surgeon General, though it has been reported Reid intended to push through the remaining confirmations of President Obama’s nominees regardless.
In the summer of 2013, Cruz started a “nationwide tour” sponsored by The Heritage Foundation to promote a congressional effort to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, arguing that Republicans should unite in upcoming Continuing Resolution negotiations to defund Obamacare and with regard to a potential government shutdown Cruz downplayed worries of the political risk to Republicans by citing the results of the 1996 midterm elections.
On September 24, 2013, Cruz began a speech on the floor of the Senate regarding the Affordable Care Act relative to a continuing resolution designed to fund the government and avert a government shutdown. Cruz promised to keep speaking until he was “no longer able to stand”. Cruz yielded the floor at noon the following day for the start of the proceeding legislative session after twenty-one hours nineteen minutes. His speech was the fourth-longest in United States Senate history. Following Cruz’s speech, the Senate voted 100–0 regarding a “procedural hurdle toward passing a stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown”. Cruz was joined by 18 Republican senators in his effort to prevent stripping out a clause that would have defunded the Affordable Care Act by voting against the cloture motion, leaving the effort 21 votes short of the required number to deny cloture.
Cruz is cited in the press as having been a major force behind the U.S. government shutdown in 2013. Cruz delivered a message on October 11, 2013 to fellow Republicans against accepting Obamacare and, describing it as a “train wreck”, claimed the American people remain “energized” around the goal of gutting the law. Cruz stated Obamacare is causing “enormous harm” to the economy. Republican strategist Mike Murphy stated: “Cruz is trying to start a wave of Salem witch trials in the G.O.P. on the shutdown and Obamacare, and that fear is impacting some people’s calculations on 2016.” Cruz said that he “didn’t threaten to shut down the government” and blamed the shutdown on President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.
The Houston Chronicle, which had endorsed Cruz in the general election, regretted that he had not lived up to the standard set by the previous U.S. Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison. After a deal was made to end the shutdown and extend the debt-ceiling deadline, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called Cruz’s actions “not a smart play” and a “tactical error”, and Cruz stated: “I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare. The test that matters… is are we doing anything for all the people that are getting hurt from Obamacare?” In March 2015, Cruz announced his wife would be taking an unpaid leave of absence and would no longer have access to health insurance through her employer, so they purchased private insurance rather than enter the health care exchange.
Cruz opposes net neutrality arguing that the Internet economy has flourished in the United States simply because it has remained largely free from government regulation. He believes regulating the Internet will stifle online innovation and create monopolies.He has expressed support for stripping the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of its power under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and opposes reclassifying internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of theCommunications Act of 1934.
In 2015, Cruz opposed President Obama’s plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, stating that he believes it would cause large scale job loss. When discussing whether or not to have a minimum wage in general, Cruz stated “I think the minimum wage consistently hurts the most vulnerable.”
National Security Agency
Cruz has raised concerns that the National Security Agency has not been effective in its surveillance of potential terrorists while intruding needlessly into the lives of ordinary Americans.
Cruz is pro-life. The only exception to his pro-life views is “when a pregnancy endangers the mother’s life”.
Cruz supports legally defined marriage as only “between one man and one woman,” but believes that the legality of same-sex marriage should be left to each state to decide. On February 10, 2015, Cruz re-introduced the State Marriage Defense Act.Cruz opposes participation in gay pride marches, criticizing Dallas’ Republican mayor Tom Leppert, stating “When a mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride that’s a statement and it’s not a statement I agree with.” He voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which included provisions to extend protection to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. In a speech in Waukee, Iowa, Cruz said that “[t]here is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical teaching on marriage.”
Cruz opposes the legalization of marijuana, but believes it should be decided at the state level.
Cruz advocates the abolition of the IRS, and implementing a flat tax “where the average American can fill out taxes on a postcard”. He opposes the Marketplace Fairness Act, saying that it imposes a burdensome tax that will hurt competition by creating additional costs for internet-based businesses.
Cruz voted against the Water Resources Development Act of 2013, that would have created the National Endowment for the Oceans and authorize more than $26 billion in projects to be built by the Army Corps of Engineers, at least $16 billion of which would have come from federal taxpayers. Cruz voted against the bill because it neglected “to reduce a substantial backlog of projects, to the detriment of projects with national implications, such as the Sabine-Neches Waterway“. Cruz stated that the Corps’ responsibilities were expanded without providing adequate measures for state participation. Proponents of the bill argued that it would provide steady funding to support research and restoration projects, funded primarily by dedicating 12.5% of revenues from offshore energy development, including oil, gas, and renewable energy, through offshore lease sales and production based royalty payments, distributed through a competitive grant program.
Senator Cruz speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Commentators have expressed their opinion that Cruz would run for President in 2016. On March 14, 2013, Cruz gave the keynote speech at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC. He came in tied for 7th place in the 2013 CPAC straw poll on March 16, winning 4% of the votes cast. In October 2013, Cruz won the Values Voter Summit Presidential straw poll with 42% of the vote. Cruz came in first place in the two most recent Presidential straw polls conducted in 2014 with 30.33% of the vote at the Republican Leadership Conference and 43% of the vote at the Republican Party of Texas state convention.
Cruz did speaking events in the summer of 2013 across Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, early primary states, leading to speculation that he was laying the groundwork for a run for President in 2016. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin describes Cruz as the first potential Presidential candidate to emphasize originalism as a major national issue.
Since Cruz was born in Canada, commentators for the Austin American-Statesman and the Los Angeles Times, have speculated about Cruz’s legal status as a natural-born citizen. Because he was a U.S. citizen at birth (his mother was a U.S. citizen who lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years as outlined by the Nationality Act of 1940), most commentators believe Cruz is eligible to serve as President of the United States.Despite many legal experts opinions to the contrary, conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, Orly Taitz, one of the leading proponents of the “birther” movement during Obama’s presidency, Joseph Farah of World Net Daily, and Donald Trump, have stated that Cruz is not a natural born citizen and thus not eligible to run for president.
On April 12, 2014, Cruz spoke at the Freedom Summit, an event organized by Americans for Prosperity, and Citizens United. The event was attended by several potential presidential candidates. In his speech, Cruz mentioned that Latinos, young people and single mothers, are the people most affected by the recession, and that the Republican Party should make outreach efforts to these constituents. He also said that the words “growth and opportunity” should be tattooed on the hands of every Republican politician.
On March 23, 2015, Cruz announced on his Twitter page: “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!” He was the first announced major Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 campaign.
HarperCollins published Cruz’s book A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America on June 30, 2015. The book reached the bestseller list of several organizations in its first week of release.
Cruz with his wife Heidi at a rally in Houston, March 2015
Cruz married Heidi Nelson in 2001. The couple has two daughters: Caroline (born 2008) and Catherine (born 2011). Cruz met his wife while working on the George W. Bush presidential campaign of 2000. She is currently taking leave from her position as head of the Southwest Region in the Investment Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and previously worked in the White House for Condoleezza Rice and in New York as an investment banker.
Cruz has said, “I’m Cuban, Irish, and Italian, and yet somehow I ended up Southern Baptist.”
When he was a child, Cruz’s mother told him that she would have to make an affirmative act to claim Canadian citizenship for him, so his family assumed that he did not hold Canadian citizenship. In August 2013, after the Dallas Morning News pointed out that Cruz had dual Canadian-American citizenship, he applied to formally renounce his Canadian citizenship and ceased being a citizen of Canada on May 14, 2014.
Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government in The Hill, on December 27, 2013, named Cruz “2013 Person of the Year.” Manning stated that “of course, Cruz made his biggest mark when he and fellow freshman Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) led a last-ditch national grassroots effort to defund ObamaCare before the law went into effect fully. Imagine how many Senate Democrats wish right now that they had heeded Cruz’s entreaties and agreed to delaying or defunding it for one year. Now, they are stuck with the law and all its consequences.”
Cruz was also named “2013 Man of the Year” by TheBlaze, FrontPage Magazine and The American Spectator, “2013 Conservative of the Year” by Townhall.com, “2013 Statesman of the Year” by the Republican Party ofSarasota County, Florida and was a finalist in both “2013 Texan of the Year” by The Dallas Morning News and a “2013 Person of the Year” finalist by Time.
- 2012 Republican primary
|Republican primary results, May 29, 2012
- 2012 Republican primary runoff
|Republican runoff results, July 31, 2012
- 2012 General Election
|General Election, November 6, 2012
||John Jay Myers
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Eye to Eye: Ken Follett
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Kenneth Martin “Ken” Follett (born 5 June 1949) is a Welsh author of thrillers and historical novels. He has sold more than 150 million copies of his works. Many of his books have reached the number 1 ranking on the New York Times best-seller list, including Edge of Eternity, Fall of Giants, The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, Triple, Winter of the World, and World Without End.
Follett was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales. He was the first child of Martin Follett, a tax inspector, and Lavinia (Veenie) Follett, who went on to have three more children. Barred from watching movies and television by his Plymouth Brethren parents, he developed an early interest in reading but remained an indifferent student until he entered his teens. His family moved to London when he was ten years old, and he began applying himself to his studies at Harrow Weald Grammar School and Poole Technical College. He won admission in 1967 toUniversity College London, where he studied philosophy and became involved in centre-left politics.
Marriage and early success
He married Mary, in 1968, and their son Emanuele was born in the same year. After graduation in the autumn of 1970, Follett took a three-month post-graduate course in journalism and went to work as a trainee reporter in Cardiff on the South Wales Echo. In 1973 Ken and Mary’s daughter, Marie-Claire, was born. After three years in Cardiff, he returned to London as a general-assignment reporter for the Evening News. Finding the work unchallenging, he eventually left journalism for publishing and became, by the late 1970s, deputy managing director of the small London publisher Everest Books. He also began writing fiction during evenings and weekends as a hobby. Later, he said he began writing books when he needed extra money to fix his car, and the publisher’s advance a fellow journalist had been paid for a thriller was the sum required for the repairs. Success came gradually at first, but the publication of Eye of the Needle in 1978 made him both wealthy and internationally famous.
Each of Follett’s subsequent novels has also become a best-seller, ranking high on the New York Times Best Seller list; a number have been adapted for the screen.
Ken Follett has written 29 books in the past 35 years. The first five best-sellers were spy thrillers: Eye of the Needle (1978), Triple (1979), The Key to Rebecca (1980), The Man from St. Petersburg (1982) and Lie Down with Lions (1986). On Wings of Eagles (1983), was the true story of how two of Ross Perot‘s employees were rescued from Iran during the revolution of 1979. He then surprised readers by radically changing course with The Pillars of the Earth (1989), a novel about building a cathedral in the Middle Ages. It received rave reviews and was on the New York Times best-seller list for 18 weeks. It also topped best-seller lists in Canada, Britain and Italy, and was on the German best-seller list for six years. It has sold 18 million copies so far.
The next three novels, Night Over Water (1991), A Dangerous Fortune (1993) and A Place Called Freedom (1995) were more historical than thriller, but he returned to the thriller genre withThe Third Twin (1996) which in the Publishing Trends annual survey of international fiction best-sellers for 1997 was ranked no. 2 worldwide, after John Grisham‘s The Partner. His next work, The Hammer of Eden (1998) was another contemporary suspense story followed by a cold war thriller Code to Zero (2000).
Ken Follett with his book Eisfieber (English: Whiteout) in October 2005
Follett returned to the World War II era with his next two novels, Jackdaws (2001), a thriller about a group of women parachuted into France to destroy a vital telephone exchange – which won the Corine Prize for 2003 – and Hornet Flight (2002), about a daring young Danish couple who escape to Britain from occupied Denmark in a rebuilt Hornet Moth biplane with vital information about German radar. Whiteout (2004), is a contemporary thriller about the theft of a deadly virus from a research lab.
World Without End (2007) is the sequel to Pillars of the Earth. The book returns to Kingsbridge two hundred years later, and features the descendents of the characters in ‘Pillars’. It focuses on the destinies of a handful of people as their lives are devastated by the Black Death, the plague that swept Europe in the middle of the fourteenth century.
Follett’s next three novels, Fall of Giants, Winter of the World and Edge of Eternity, make up the Century trilogy. Fall of Giants (2010) followed the fates of five interrelated families – American, German, Russian, English and Welsh – as they moved through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the struggle for women’s suffrage. Fall of Giants, published simultaneously in 14 countries, was internationally popular and topped several best-seller lists.
Winter of the World (2012) picks up where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of theThird Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, to the explosions of the American and Soviet atom bombs and the beginning of the long Cold War.
The third novel in the ‘Century’ trilogy, Edge of Eternity, which follows those families through the events of the last half of the century, was published on 16 September 2014. Like the previous two books, it chronicles the lives of five families through the Cold war and civil-rights movements.
Ken Follett’s next project is already underway. It will be the third book in the Kingsbridge series, following on from “The Pillars of the Earth” and “World Without End”. This will be set in Kingsbridge in the sixteenth century, the time of Queen Elizabeth I. The book should be released in 2017.
Appearances and adaptations in other media
Eye of the Needle was made into an acclaimed film, starring Donald Sutherland, and six novels have been made into television mini-series: The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, On Wings of Eagles, The Third Twin – the rights for which were sold to CBS for $1 400 000, a record price at the time – and The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. These last two have been screened in several languages in many countries. Ken Follett also had a cameo role as the valet in The Third Twin and later as a merchant in The Pillars of the Earth.
Ken Follett is a member of various organisations that promote literacy and writing, and is actively involved in various organisations in his home town of Stevenage.
- Chair of the National Year of Reading 1998-99, a British government initiative to raise literacy levels.
- Fellow of University College, London (1994)
- Fellow of Yr Academi Gymreig – the Welsh Academy (2011)
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
- President, Dyslexia Action (1998-2009)
- Chair, National Year of Reading (1998–99)
- Patron, Schools Radio (2007-)
- Chair of the Advisory Committee, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) UK (2003-)
- Board Member, National Academy of Writing (2003-)
- Trustee, National Literacy Trust (1996-)
He is active in numerous Stevenage charities and was a governor of Roebuck Primary School for ten years, serving as the Chair of Governors for four of those years.
On 15 September 2010, Follett, along with 54 other public figures, signed an open letter published in The Guardian stating their opposition to Pope Benedict XVI‘s state visit to the UK.
He has also donated £25,000 to the Yvette Cooper campaign in the Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2015, as well as another £25,000 from his wife Barbara Follett
Follett became involved, during the late 1970s, in the activities of Britain’s Labour Party. In the course of his political activities, he met the former Barbara Broer, a Labour Party official, who became his second wife in 1984. She was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1997, representing Stevenage. She was re-elected in both 2001 and in 2005, but did not run in the 2010 general election. Follett himself remains a prominent Labour supporter and fundraiser as well as a prominent Blairite. In 2010, he was the largest donor to Ed Balls‘s campaign to become leader of the Labour Party, saying “Ed Balls is the only Labour leadership candidate who offers a path to economic growth; his time at the treasury, with low borrowing and high growth, shows he is the true candidate of the centre in this leadership election. Only Ed offers a broad appeal to all voters and is not afraid to stand up to the left wing of the party, much like Tony Blair.”
Apples Carstairs series (as Simon Myles)
- The Big Needle (1974) (a.k.a. The Big Apple – U.S.)
- The Big Black (1974)
- The Big Hit (1975)
Piers Roper series
- The Shakeout (1975)
- The Bear Raid (1976)
The Century Trilogy
- The Heist of the Century (1978) (with René Louis Maurice, others) (a.k.a. The Gentleman of 16 July – U.S.) (a.k.a. Under the Stars of Nice) (a.k.a. Robbery Under the Streets of Nice) (a.k.a. Cinq Milliards au bout de l’égout, 1977)
References and notes
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Story 1: Donald Trump vs. Megyn Kelly Proxy For Rupert Murdock and Open Borders For Illegal Aliens — Illegal Aliens Is A Wedge Issue — The Real Reason The Democratic Party and Republican Party Establishment Loath Donald Trump and The American Voters Like Trump — Videos
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Donald Trump V. Megyn Kelly…
Conservatives grapple with surprise Trump snub
Michael Pemberton, a 65-year-old conservative from Kentucky, started the day in a good mood. He was attending his second RedState Gathering, and ready to hear from 10 of the Republican Party’s presidential candidates. He dug into breakfast — coffee and fruit — and sat down with another conference-goer.
“One of the chaps across me asked, ‘Did you hear the news?'” recalled Pemberton. “I thought he was going to tell me that a sinkhole opened up in Kentucky and I couldn’t go again. But no: He said, they disinvited Donald Trump. I lost my appetite.”
The TV news confirmed it. RedState’s outgoing editor-in-chief, Erick Erickson, made an 11th hour call to disinvite Trump after the GOP presidential front-runner told CNN that Fox News’s Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” when she grilled him during Thursday’s presidential debate.
[Erickson: Trump’s words about Kelly simply went too far]
Pemberton grabbed a sharpie and a note card and scrawled out “I AM DONALD TRUMP.” He affixed it to his jacket with an American flag pin and grudgingly walked into the conference, determined never to come again.
More than 700 activists had signed up for the gathering, and up to a thousand of them had been expected to join Trump at a Saturday night party at the College Football Hall of Fame. On Saturday morning, the reaction to Trump’s exclusion was mixed — and distracting. Annoyance at what seemed to be a politically correct purge competed with annoyance at Trump himself.
“It was really inappropriate to attack Megyn Kelly,” said Richard Fonte, 70, an activist who split his time between Texas and Illinois, and strongly supported Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) for president. “That and the fact that he’s taking the position that he might run as a third party — that would automatically elect Hillary Clinton.”
Fonte’s wife, Dulsey, 68, was even happier to see Trump gone: “I find him crude,” she said. “I have no sympathy for his candidacy.”
Those sentiments had been burbling up on the right, but even 12 hours earlier, Trump’s Republican critics had started to soften their tone, and say that the billionaire candidate had tapped into a well of legitimate voter anger. Saturday’s burst of anger at Trump was jarring; not everyone at the conference could agree what Trump had even said. Was he making a crude joke about menstruation or wasn’t he?
“It’s wrong to exclude him and insult him on what people interpret he said as opposed to what he said,” said Pemberton. “He was saying that Megyn was seeing blood, in her eyes. As far as ‘blood coming out all over,’ the first thing I think of is not a woman’s menstrual cycle. I think of Jesus Christ, thorns on his head, nail holes in his hands, stigmata.”
In an interview with The Washington Post’s Robert Costa, Erickson defended his Trump snub by attacking the overall tone of the candidate’s post-debate rants. The CNN “blood” interview came after a series of jabs at Kelly, which started in the spin room behind the debate stage. To Erickson, it all sounded sexist and dismissive. “I’m not going to have a guy on stage with my wife and daughter in the crowd who thinks a tough question from a woman is because of hormones,” he said.
In a Saturday morning tweet, Trump clarified, saying he was talking about blood coming from her nose. (His campaign had failed to convey this to Erickson.)
His campaign later released a statement, credited to Trump, that ripped into the RedState editor-in-chief personally.
“The guy (Erick Erickson) who made the decision about RedState called Supreme Court Justice David Souter a ‘goat [expletive] child molester’ and First Lady Michelle Obama a ‘Marxist Harpy,'” Trump said. “He was forced to make a humbling apology. Also, not only is Erick a total loser, he has a history of supporting establishment losers in failed campaigns so it is an honor to be uninvited from his event.”
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who opened Saturday’s session of the Gathering, found himself pulled into the Trump frenzy. He did not mention Trump in his speech, nor did Erickson ask any questions about the candidate or his remarks. Yet when Huckabee walked into a short news conference, he hit a wall of Trump queries.
“Rather than say something about the criticism, I’ll tell you there’s not a more professional, more savvy, and more brilliant person in television today than Megyn Kelly,” Huckabee insisted.
He refused to speak on Trump’s behalf. He rejected a question about whether the Trump outrage fed into Democratic accusations that the GOP waged a “war” on women.
“The Republican Party is not engaged in a war on women,” said Huckabee. “The Republican Party is not engaged in saying things about Megyn Kelly. One individual is. I’m a Republican. I’ve been one since a teenager. I think what I say about Megyn Kelly has more gravity.”
It sounded as though Huckabee was attacking Trump, until he got a question about whether the tycoon was too “thin-skinned” to be president.
“I don’t know what his skin looks like,” said Huckabee. “I haven’t been that close. Do we have another non-Donald Trump question?”
A few reporters obliged, asking Huckabee about gay marriage, abortion, and the upcoming block of Southern Republican contests that have become known as the “SEC primary.” Then came another Trump question.
“I’m running for president,” said Huckabee. “I’m not running to be the social media critic of someone else who’s running for president. You guys can ask him all day. Talk to me about issues. Talk to me about my tax plan. Talk to me about Iran. There’s plenty of people who can talk about Donald Trump. I’m the only one who can talk about Mike Huckabee running for president.”
Banned Donald Trump says: I was talking about Megyn Kelly’s NOSE! Tycoon declares war on ‘politically correct fools’ who kicked him out of GOP conference for his ‘sexist’ attack on Fox host
- Trump made remarks about Kelly in a CNN interview over GOP debate
- Frontrunner declared there ‘was blood coming out of her… wherever’
- Comment was widely interpreted as reference to the menstrual cycle
- Blogger Eric Erickson banned Trump from major RedState gathering
- The high-profile event is taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday
- But now, Trump has lashed out, calling critics ‘politically correct fools’
- He claimed on Twitter that he was referring to blood from Kelly’s nose
- His campaign said in release: ‘Only a deviant would think anything else’
- It called Erickson ‘pathetic’ and said being disinvited was an ‘honor’
Donald Trump has publicly lashed out after he was banned from one of the biggest gatherings of conservative activists over controversial comments he made about Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
In an interview with CNN on Friday, the GOP frontrunner appeared to imply that Kelly ‘unfairly’ grilled him about his history of insulting women during a televised debate because she was menstruating.
He remarked that there ‘was blood coming out of her… wherever’, sparking outrage and causing RedState’s Erick Erickson to boot him off the line-up of the high-profile event in Georgia.
On Saturday, Trump took to Twitter to hit back at his critics, writing: ‘So many “politically correct” fools in our country. We have to all get back to work and stop wasting time and energy on nonsense!’
In a later post on Saturday morning, the 2016 presidential candidate added that his remarks about Kelly were not made in reference to her menstrual cycle – but to the host’s nose.
Scroll down for video
Donald Trump taking part in Thursday’s GOP debate, hosted by Fox News’s Megyn Kelly (right). A day later Trump lashed out at the way Kelly had questioned him about his history of insulting women. He said on Friday: ‘You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever’
In a tweet on Saturday morning, the Republican frontrunner hit back with the tweet: ‘So many “politically correct” fools in our country. We have to all get back to work and stop wasting time and energy on nonsense!’
He also rejected claims that he had been referring to Kelly’s menstrual cycle during his interview with CNN, saying that his quote – [there] was blood coming out of her… wherever’ – was actually referring to her nose
Then in a tweet to RedState, he said: ‘I miss you all, and thanks for all of your support. Political correctness is killing our country. “weakness”‘
Trump on CNN: ‘There was blood coming out of her… wherever’
‘Re. Megyn Kelly quote: “you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” (NOSE). Just got on w/thought,’ he tweeted his 3.58million followers.
Trump had taken umbrage to the way Kelly questioned him during Thursday night’s televised debate involving GOP candidates – which was watched by a record 24million viewers.
On Saturday, he also wrote a public message to RedState’s official Twitter page, saying: ‘I miss you all, and thanks for all of your support. Political correctness is killing our country. “weakness”.’
A Trump campaign spokesman said that the controversy is ‘just another example of weakness through being politically correct’ – and Trump will now go elsewhere to spread his message.
‘For all of the people who were looking forward to Mr Trump coming, we will miss you,’ the spokesman told Daily Mail Online on Saturday. ‘Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader. We’ll now be doing another campaign stop at another location.
Meanwhile, a campaign press release sent to Daily Mail Online describes how Trump made Kelly look ‘really bad’ in the GOP debate, saying: ‘She was a mess with her anger and totally caught off guard.’
It continues: ‘Mr Trump said “blood was coming out of her eyes and whatever” meaning nose, but wanted to move on to more important topics. Only a deviant would think anything else.
The release also deems Erickson a ‘total loser’ who ‘has a history of supporting establishment losers in failed campaigns’. Therefore, it ‘is an honor to be uninvited from his event’, it reads.
It even goes so far as to mention a tweet posted by Erickson in 2009, in which the conservative blogger allegedly described Supreme Court Justice David Souter as a ‘goat f***ing child molester’.
And it cites Erickson’s former description of First Lady Michelle Obama as a ‘Marxist harpy wife’.
Erickson has since apologized for both remarks. Daily Mail Online has reached out to his communications team for comment following the release of Trump’s campaign statement.
Throughout Saturday, Kelly, who previously hosted America Live, appeared to be resisting temptation to fight back against Trump’s continued outbursts, remaining silent on social media.
Frontrunner: Trump participates in the first Republican presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Thursday
Moderators: During the televised debate, Kelly, center, asked candidates questions along with Fox hosts Chris Wallace (left) and Bret Baier (right). Trump also attacked Wallace, but much more mildly than Kelly
Jibe: Trump reposted this message from a supporter, which brands Kelly a ‘bimbo’, to his 3.58m followers
Outrage: Trump’s comments sparked a storm of outrage that led to RedState’s Erick Erickson booting him from the high-profile Georgia event’s Saturday line-up. Above, Erickson tweeted this post on Friday night
She is due to appear on MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz at 11am on Sunday, a Fox spokesman pointed out. The interview was apparently filmed in advance on Friday night and discusses Trump’s remarks.
On Friday night, Erickson declared that ‘there are just real lines of decency a person running for President should not [cross]’ and that Trump’s comments about Kelly had been ‘inappropriate’.
‘It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him. But I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong,’ he said.
And on Saturday, Erickson noted on stage – as he kicked off the second full day of the RedState conference – that Trump’s rescinded invitation would likely serve as a distraction for speakers.
TRUMP CAMPAIGN STATEMENT ON THE MEGYN KELLY CONTROVERSY
‘Mr Trump made Megyn Kelly look really bad – she was a mess with her anger and totally caught off guard.
‘Mr Trump said “blood was coming out of her eyes and whatever” meaning nose, but wanted to move on to more important topics.
‘Only a deviant would think anything else.
‘This related to the debate, which because of Mr Trump had 24 million viewers – the biggest in cable news history.
‘According to TIME, Newsmax, Drudge Report, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Hill and many others, Mr Trump won the debate.
‘By the way, the guy (Erick Erickson) who made the decision about RedState called Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat [expletive] child molester” and First Lady Michelle Obama a “Marxist Harpy.”
‘He was forced to make a humbling apology.
‘Also, not only is Erick a total loser, he has a history of supporting establishment losers in failed campaigns so it is an honor to be uninvited from his event. Mr Trump is an outsider and does not fit his agenda.
‘Many of the 900 people that wanted to hear Mr Trump speak tonight have been calling and emailing – they are very angry at Erickson and the others that are trying to be so politically correct.
‘To them Mr Trump says, “We will catch you at another time soon.”‘
He urged the audience and the media at the Atlanta-based gathering to keep their questions to the morning’s keynote guest, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and his plans for America.
But despite his request, there was only one topic on most reporters’ minds at Huckabee’s press conference: Trump.
Huckabee avoided commenting directly on Trump’s explosive comments about Kelly – his former Fox News colleague – while praising her journalistic standards and professionalism.
Kelly, he said, is one of the ‘most beloved people in the building’ at Fox.
‘She is also one of those people you don’t tangle with,’ he said.
He described her as a tough, ‘hands-on’ journalist, who is passionate about her job.
‘It doesn’t matter who you are, she’s gonna try to get to the story,’ he said. ‘And I respect her for that. And she has pressed me hard on many things. That’s fine. That’s what she’s supposed to do. And that’s why she is a successful journalist. She deserves it. She’s earned it.
‘So rather than say something about the criticism, I’ll tell you that there’s not a more professional, a more savvy and more brilliant person in television today than Megyn Kelly.’
During the exchange that incited the all-out assault on Kelly from Trump, the host had asked Trump if his comments about the opposite sex fed into liberals’ claims that the Republican Party is engaged on a ‘War on Women.
But at Saturday’s press conference, Huckabee defended his party from the line of attack, saying: ‘The Republican Party is not engaged in a “War on Women”.
‘The Republican Party is not engaged in saying things about Megyn Kelly.
‘One individual is. I’m telling you what I say about a woman, and I think she’s one of the most remarkable people I know.’
He then took an unprompted swipe at Trump over his evolving views on the issues (the GOP frontrunner has changed his party affiliation multiple times throughout his life).
‘I think what I say about Megyn Kelly probably has more gravity than what anyone else says about Megyn Kelly, not only because I have known and worked with her, but I’ve been a Republican long enough to understand what it takes to be a Republican,’ he said.
And while he wouldn’t take the bait to take a KO shot at Trump, he distanced himself from the candidate’s derogatory remarks about women. ‘I certainly wouldn’t say them,’ Huckabee said.
Asked if Trump should apologize to the media maven, he added: ‘I’ll have to leave that up to him.’
Major conference: Erickson kicks off the second full day of the RedState gathering in Atlanta on Saturday
Erick Erickson’s Twitter response after he disinvited Trump and invited Megyn instead to the RedState event
However, at one point, Huckabee appeared to lose his cool, snapping at a reporter who had asked him why he was declining to criticize Trump’s blatant remarks about Kelly during the GOP debate.
The former Governor of Arkansas cut off the reporter, saying: ‘I didn’t in anyway support them, and I haven’t declined to criticize them… I’m running for president.
‘I’m not running for the social media critic for somebody else who’s running for president.
‘You guys can ask him all day, talk to me about issues,’ he added, listing off some topics he felt were fair game such as his tax plan or the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.
He finished: ‘I’m running for president, not to evaluate one of the other 16 people, or 323 people running for president. So, there’s plenty of people who can talk about Donald Trump.
‘I’m the only person who can talk about what Mike Huckabee’s doing, running for president.’
So many ‘politically correct’ fools in our country. We have to all get back to work and stop wasting time and energy on nonsense!
Texas Senator Ted Cruz was likewise bombarded with questions about Trump’s spat with Kelly at an early-afternoon news conference following his own speech at the conservative gathering.
‘I think every candidate should treat everyone else with civility and respect, that’s the standard I try to follow as a senator,’ he told a reporter looking for a reaction to Trump’s comments about Kelly.
He also refused to weigh in on conference organizers’ decision to disinvite Trump.
‘Well, I think that’s a decision for RedState to make,’ he said.
Cruz spent much of the gaggle filibustering as reporters shouted over each other to ask him questions about Trump, diving into a long statement on the crimes against Americans of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani.
‘We’re not going to solve the problems of this country, we’re not going to defeat the Washington cartel, by obsessing over, the politics of personality,’ he said.
‘This is about real challenges facing the American people. This is about bankrupting our kids and grandkids, defending the bill of rights, and restoring America’s leadership in the world. That’s where my focus has been, and it’s where I intend to keep it.’
He finally commented on the drama with Kelly, but never mentioned Trump by name.
‘I think Megyn Kelly is a terrific journalist,’ he said, ‘and I think she does a great job. I think she did a very good job moderating the debate.’ Continuing, he said, ‘I’m not going to engage in a back and forth on personalities,’ as he tried to get reporters to write about something ‘infinitely more important that the momentary bickering between different political’ candidates – Suleimani.
Keynote guest: Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaking at the RedState Gathering on Saturday
Huckabee shakes hands with Erickson as he steps on to the stage to talk about his plans for America
‘She was a mess with her anger’: Trump’s press office sent this release to Daily Mail Online on Saturday
Before leaving the room, Cruz did take a question on charges that Trump’s disparaging comments toward women were playing right into the hands of Democrats’ ‘War on Women’ attacks on the Republicans.
‘You know I’ve gotta say you’re exactly right that women across this country are deeply dismayed with the direction this country goes,’ he said, noting that as the father of two little girls, he cares ‘very much’ about not only them, but women in America.
That millions of women are in poverty, their median wages stagnate, and single moms are struggling to feed their children, ‘that is the war on women,’ Cruz said.
‘And I look forward to getting back to the sort of environment where small businesses are prospering, and women have every opportunity to achieve their hopes and dreams,’ he added.
Trump’s remarks about Kelly during Friday night’s CNN interview were the latest in a series of upsets in which the politician has turned on female targets.
Following the interview, Trump was attacked by Carly Fiornia, the only woman in the GOP field, who tweeted: ‘Mr. Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse.’ and ‘I stand with Megyn Kelly.’
The latter tweet – and its accompanying hashtag #istandwithmeg – have since gone viral.
And on Saturday, Governor Rick Perry said in a statement to Daily Mail Online that Trump ‘has proven once again that he doesn’t have the temperament to hold our nation’s highest office.’
Questions: Texas Senator Ted Cruz (seen at RedState on Saturday) was bombarded with questions about Trump’s spat with Kelly at an early-afternoon news conference following his speech at the major gathering
Supporters: Cruz, right, has his photo taken with Betsy Shaw Kramer, from Georgia, following his speech
‘Attacking veterans, Hispanics and women demonstrates a serious lack of character and basic decency, and his comments distract from the serious issues facing our country,’ Perry said.
In Friday’s CNN exchange Trump roundly attacked Kelly, saying: ‘I don’t have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly, she came out, reading her little script, trying to be tough and sharp.
‘When you meet her you realize she is not very tough or very sharp. She is zippo.’
When Lemon asked him to expand, he said: ‘I just don’t respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her, I don’t think she’s very good. She’s highly overrated.
‘I got out there they start saying all this stuff… she gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever… you could see she was off-base.’
‘It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him. But I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong
He concluded: ‘She’s a lightweight, I couldn’t care less about her’. Some commentators online criticized Lemon for not asking Trump to explain himself.
However, the disparaging remarks did irk some influential Republicans, including Erickson, who runs the RedState political website.
Trump was due to appear at a special three-and-a-half-hour ‘tailgate’ towards the end of Erickson’s RedState gathering in Atlanta – but was booted from the lineup close to midnight on Friday.
In a response to the blackballing, Trump’s campaign called him ‘weak’, ‘pathetic’ and said they would organize another event.
Most of his rivals, including Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio will be there.
Kelly was asked to fill in for Trump.
In an interview with the Guardian, Erickson said that he thought Trump’s remarks were so objectionable that he has effectively ‘disqualified himself’ from the race.
He added that the dispute would be ‘the beginning of the end’ of Trump’s campaign.
Trump’s dispute with Kelly began with a tense exchange on Thursday night’s Republican contenders’ debate, where he appeared onstage with other 2016 candidates.
These included Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Scott Walker.
The scrap began after Kelly tried to force Trump to address his history of insulting women, whom he has previously called ‘pigs’ and ‘disgusting animals’.
Carly Fiorina and Lindsey Graham, who are also hoping to become the Republican presidential candidate, posted tweets against Trump on saturday
Donald Trump arrives for the GOP presidential debate
She said: ‘You’ve called women you don’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals…’
‘Only Rosie O’Donnell’, Trump intervened, before Kelly could finish speaking.
She continued: ‘No, it wasn’t… Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks.
‘You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?’
Trump attempted to laugh the question off, and said he doesn’t ‘have time for total political correctness’.
He also characterized the insults as ‘fun’ and ‘kidding’ before adding that he’d be ‘very nice’ to Kelly – but could turn on her.
In a later question she confronted him again, this time with past remarks where he’d said he was a Democrat and pro-choice – before asking ‘when did you actually become a Republican?’
Trump began attacking her almost immediately after the debates.
According to the Washington Post, Trump hit out at Kelly immediately in the so-called ‘spin room’ where reporters gather after the contest.
He said: ‘The questions to me were not nice. I didn’t think they were appropriate. And I thought Megyn behaved very badly, personally’.
Donald Trump spoke for the longest period of time at the GOP debate, taking up 10 minutes and 32 seconds
Trump has since threatened to boycott future Fox debates after being treated ‘unfairly’.
He later continued the backlash on social media, repeating a comment by one supporter that branded Kelly a ‘bimbo’. He also asserted that she ‘really bombed’.
Kelly has yet to address the remarks, although she did post messages on her Twitter account noting the debate’s record viewership of 24million people, as confirmed by Nielsen data.
On Saturday, Marcy Stec, the communications director of EMILY’s List – a political action committee that was founded in 1985 and aims to help elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates to office – said that Trump and Erickson are ‘just symptoms of a larger problem’.
‘At its core, the ideology that Republican Party policies are grounded in is a fundamental distrust of women. Republicans have shown us time and time again: They don’t trust women,’ she said.
‘They don’t respect women. They don’t understand women. And even more importantly, they don’t want to… Republicans are simply unfit to address the challenges faced by women in this country.’
She added: ‘Today’s outrage over extreme rhetoric is justified – but tomorrow we’re still going to be stuck with a field of candidates whose collective agenda threatens the health and well-being of women and families. And that is truly outrageous.’
‘SHE’S DISGUSTING’: A HISTORY OF TRUMP INSULTING WOMEN
‘If someone screws you, screw them back’: Trump (seen on Thursday) has a track record of lobbing insults at those he feels have treated him unfairly
Trump has a track record of lobbing insults at those he feels have treated him unfairly, and advises those who buy his books to do the same.
‘For many years I’ve said that if someone screws you, screw them back,’ he wrote in Trump: How to Get Rich. ;’When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can.;
When doing so, he has repeatedly targeted women and their physical appearance.
‘Rosie O’Donnell’s disgusting, I mean both inside and out. You take a look at her, she’s a slob. She talks like a truck driver,; he said in 2006 during an interview with Entertainment Tonight. ‘I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say, “Rosie, you’re fired” from her television show, The View.
During the debate, Trump acknowledged making such comments — but only about O’Donnell.
When Kelly said Trump’s comments had gone beyond O’Donnell and asked about his use of such insults on Twitter, Trump replied that he didn’t ‘have time for total political correctness’.
A review of Trump’s writings, televised interviews and Twitter feed show he’s long used harsh language to describe women – and occasionally men.
In tweets sent last year, Trump called Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington ‘a dog who wrongfully comments on me’ and said she is ‘ugly both inside and out!’
In 2012, Trump wrote on Twitter of singer Bette Midler: ‘But whenever she sees me, she kisses my ass. She’s disgusting.’
Trump has also said the same of men. ‘Little @MacMiller, I’m now going to teach you a big boy lesson about lawsuits and finance. You ungrateful dog!’ he tweeted in 2013 at a rapper who wrote a song titled Donald Trump.
And to former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank in 2011: ‘Barney Frank looked disgusting – nipples protruding – in his blue shirt before Congress. Very very disrespectful.’
During the debate, Kelly also referenced a boardroom scene from Trump’s NBC’s realty show, Celebrity Apprentice, in which Trump was told by one contestant that a female teammate had gotten down on her knees to beg.
‘That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees,’ Trump said in response.
In the book, Trump declared that ‘All the women on The Apprentice flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.’
And he had this to say about women’s victories on the show: ‘It’s certainly not groundbreaking news that the early victories by the women on The Apprentice were, to a very large extent, dependent on their sex appeal’.
On some occasions Trump appears to have recognized he’s gone too far. In April, he retweeted, then deleted, a tweet that read ‘If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?’
Fiorina Fundraising Spikes after Debate
by JOEL GEHRKE August 9, 2015
Claiming a spike in fundraising since Thursday night’s debate, Carly Fiorina threw a punch at Donald Trump while also making an appeal to voters currently inclined to support him.
“We certainly have seen an uptick in financial support. We’ve seen an uptick in support generally and so, it’s very exciting,” Fiorina told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “We’re going to talk to as many people as we can through every medium there is. I will continue to do what I’ve done from day one. I will answer any question. I will talk to anyone. I’m not afraid to talk about anything.The more people get to know me, the more people support me. So, that’s what we’re going to keep doing.”
NBC conducted an online survey that suggests Fiorina and Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) were the two candidates who gained the most support from their debate performances, although Trump still led the field. “22 percent said Fiorina won or had the best performance in the debate, followed by 18 percent who said Trump had the best performance,” per MSNBC. “However, another 29 percent said Trump did the worst in the debate, clearly showing how polarizing he is. When the candidates’ negative performance percentages are subtracted from their positive percentages, Fiorina notched a positive 20, whereas Trump scored a negative 11.”
Trump insulted Fiorina on Sunday following her defense of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who asked the real estate mogul and reality TV star if he could defend making derogatory comments about women. “I just realized that if you listen to Carly Fiorina for more than ten minutes straight, you develop a massive headache. She has zero chance!” Trump tweeted.
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THE 2016 FIELD: WHO’S IN AND WHO’S THINKING IT OVER
A whopping 22 people from America’s two major political parties have declared themselves candidates in the 2016 presidential election.
The field includes two women, an African-American and two Latinos. All but one in that group – Hillary Clinton – are Republicans.
At 17 candidates, the GOP field is deeper than ever. A few Democrats are still assessing their chances at succeeding in a much smaller group of five whose front-runner has been defined from the very beginning.
REPUBLICANS IN THE RACE
Jeb Bush Former Florida governor
Résumé: Former Florida governor and secretary of state. Former co-chair of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Education: B.A. University of Texas at Austin.
Family: Married to Columba Bush (1974), with three adult children. Noelle Bush has made news with her struggle with drug addiction, and related arrests. George P. Bush was elected Texas land commissioner in 2014. Jeb’s father George H.W. Bush was the 41st President of the United States, and his brother George W. Bush was number 43.
Claim to fame: Jeb was an immensely popular governor with strong economic and jobs credentials. He is also one of just two GOP candidates who is fluent in Spanish.
Achilles heel: Bush has angered conservatives with his permissive positions on illegal immigration (saying some border-crossing is ‘an act of love) and common-core education standards. His last name could also be a liability with voters who fear establishing a family dynasty in the White House.
Chris Christie New Jersey governor
Base: Establishment-minded conservatives
Résumé: Governor of New Jersey. Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Former Morris County freeholder and lobbyist.
Governor of New Jersey. Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Former Morris County freeholder. Former statehouse lobbyist.
Education: B.A. University of Delaware, Newark, J.D. Seton Hall University.
Family: Married to Mary Pat Foster (1986) with four children.
Claim to fame: Pugnacious and unapologetic, Christie once told a heckler to ‘sit down and shut up’ and brings a brash style to everything he does. That includes the post-9/11 criminal prosecutions of terror suspects that made his reputation as a hard-charger.
Achilles heel: Christie is often accused of embracing an ego-driven and needlessly abrasive style. His administration continues to operate under a ‘Bridgegate’ cloud: At least two aides have been indicted in an alleged scheme to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as political retribution for a mayor who refused to endorse the governor’s re-election.
Carly Fiorina Former CEO
Résumé: Former CEO of Hewett-Packard. Former group president of Lucent Technologies. Former U.S. Senate candidate in California.
Education: B.A. Stanford University. UCLA School of Law (did not finish). M.B.A. University of Maryland. M.Sci. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Family: Married to Frank Fiorina (1985), with one adult step-daughter and another who is deceased. She has two step-grandchildren. Divorced from Todd Bartlem (1977-1984).
Claim to fame: Fiorina was the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company, something that could provide ammunition against the Democratic Party’s drive to make Hillary Clinton the first female president. She is also the only woman in the 2016 GOP field, making her the one Republican who can’t be accused of sexism.
Achilles heel: Fiorina’s unceremonious firing by HP’s board has led to questions about her management and leadership styles. And her only political experience has been a failed Senate bid in 2010 against Barbara Boxer.
Lindsey Graham South Carolina senator
Religion: Southern Baptist
Base: Otherwise moderate war hawks
Résumé: U.S. senator. Retired Air Force Reserves colonel. Former congressman. Former South Carolina state representative.
Education: B.A. University of South Carolina. J.D. University of South Carolina Law School.
Family: Never married. Raised his sister Darline after their parents died while he was a college student and she was 13.
Claim to fame: Graham is a hawk’s hawk, arguing consistently for greater intervention in the Middle East, once arguing in favor of pre-emptive military strikes against Iran. His influence was credited for pushing President George W. Bush to institute the 2007 military ‘surge’ in Iraq.
Achilles heel: Some of his critics have taken to call him ‘Grahamnesty,’ citing his participating in a 2013 ‘gang of eight’ strategy to approve an Obama-favored immigration bill. He has also aroused the ire of conservative Republicans by supporting global warming legislation and voting for some of the president’s judicial nominees.
Bobby Jindal Louisiana governor
Base: Social conservatives
Résumé: Governor of Louisiana. Former congressman. Former Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation. Former Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Education: B. Sci. Brown University. M.Litt. New College at Oxford University
Family: Married to Supriya Jolly (1997), with three children, each of whom has an Indian first name and an American middle name. Bobby Jindal’s given name is Piyush.
Claim to fame: Jindal’s main source of national attention has been his strident opposition to federal-level ‘Common Core’ education standards, which included a federal lawsuit that a judge dismissed in late March. He is also outspoken on the religious-freedom issues involved in mainstreaming gay marriage into the lives of American Christians.
Achilles heel: During his first term as governor, Jindal signed a science education law that requires schools to present alternatives to the theory of evolution, including religious creationism. His staunch defense of businesses that want to steer clear of providing services to same-sex couples at their weddings will win points among evangelicals but alienate others.
George Pataki Former New York governor
Résumé: Former governor of New York. Former New York state senator and state assemblyman. Former mayor of Peekskill, NY.
Education: B.A. Yale University. J.D. Columbia Law School.
Family: Married to Libby Rowland (1973), with four adult children.
Claim to fame: Pataki was just the third Republican governor in New York’s history, winning an improbable victory over three-term incumbent Mario Cuomo in 1994. He was known for being a rare tax-cutter in Albany and was also the sitting governor when the 9/11 terror attacks rocked New York CIty in 2001.
Achilles heel: While Pataki’s liberal-leaning social agenda plays well in the Empire State, it won’t win him any fans among the GOP’s conservative base. He supports abortion rights and gay rights, and has advocated strongly in favor of government intervention to stop global warming, which right-wingers believe is overblown as a global threat.
Rick Perry Former Texas governor
Religion: Christian (nondenominational)
Résumé: Former Texas governor, lieutenant governor, agriculture commissioner and state representative.
Education: B.Sci. Texas A&M University
Family: Married to Anita Thigpen (1982) with two adult children. His father was a former Democratic county commissioner in Texas.
Claim to fame: Perry boasts that while he was governor between the end of 2007 and the end of 2014, the Texas economy created 1.4 million new jobs while the rest of the U.S. lost close to 400,000. A Perry-led Texas also had the nation’s highest high school graduation rate among Hispanics and African-Americans.
Achilles heel: Perry has a tough hill to climb after his 2012 presidential campaign spectacularly imploded with a single word – ‘Oops’ – after he couldn’t remember one of his own talking points during a nationally televised debate. He also faces an indictment for alleged abuse of power in a case that Republicans contend is politically motivated and meritless.
Rick Santorum Former Penn. senator
Résumé: Former US senator and former member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. Former lobbyist who represented World Wrestling Entertainment.
Education: B.A. Penn State University. M.B.A. University of Pittsburgh. J.D. Penn State University Dickinson School of Law.
Family: Married to Karen Santorum (1990), with seven living children. One baby was stillborn in 1996. Another, named Isabella, is a special needs child with a genetic disorder.
Claim to fame: Santorum won the 2012 Republican Iowa Caucuses by a nose. He won by visiting all of Iowa’s 99 states in a pickup truck belonging to his state campaign director, a consultant who now worls for Donald Trump.
Achilles heel: As a young lobbyist, Santorum persuaded the federal government to exempt pro wrestling from regulations governing the use of anabolic steroids. And the stridently conservative politician has attracted strong opposition from gay rights groups. One gay columnist held a contest to redefine his name, buying the ‘santorum.com’ domain to advertise the winning entry – which is too vulgar to print.
Scott Walker Wisconsin governor
Religion: Christian (nondenominational)
Base: Conservative activists
Résumé: Governor of Wisconsin. Former Milwaukee County Executive. Former member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.
Education: Marquette University (did not finish)
Family: Married to Tonette Tarantino (1993), with two children. One of Mrs. Walker’s cousins is openly lesbian and was married in 2014, with the Walkers attending the reception.
Claim to fame: Walker built his national fame on the twin planks of turning his state’s past budget shortfalls into surpluses and beating back a labor-union-led drive to force him out of office through a recall election. Both results have broad appeal in the GOP.
Achilles heel: Wisconsin has suffered from a shaky economy during Walker’s tenure, which makes him look weak compared with other governors who presided over more robust job-creation numbers. He promised to create 250,000 private sector jobs but delivered less than 60 per cent of them. Also, he led an effort in the state legislature to enact $800 million in tax cuts – putting the Badger State back on the road to government deficits.
Ben Carson Retired Physician
Religion: Seventh-day Adventist
Résumé: Famous pediatric neurosurgeon, youngest person to head a major Johns Hopkins Hospital division. Founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which awards scholarships to children of good character.
Education: B.A. Yale University. M.D. University of Michigan Medical School.
Family: Married to Candy Carson (1975), with three adult sons. The Carsons live in Maryland with Ben’s elderly mother Sonya, who was a seminal influence on his life and development.
Claim to fame: Carson spoke at a National Prayer Breakfast in 2013, railing against political correctness and condemned Obamacare – with President Obama sitting just a few feet away.
Achilles heel: Carson is inflexibly conservative, opposing gay marriage and once saying gay attachments formed in prison provided evidence that sexual orientation is a choice.
Ted Cruz Texas senator
Religion: Southern Baptist
Base: Tea partiers
Résumé: U.S. senator. Former Texas solicitor general. Former U.S. Supreme Court clerk. Former associate deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush.
Education: B.A. Princeton University. J.D. Harvard Law School.
Family: Married to Heidi Nelson Cruz (2001), with two young daughters. His father is a preacher and he has two half-sisters.
Claim to fame: Cruz spoke on the Senate floor for more than 21 hours in September 2013 to protest the inclusion of funding for Obamacare in a federal budget bill. (The bill moved forward as written.) He has called for the complete repeal of the medical insurance overhaul law, and also for a dismantling of the Internal Revenue Service. Cruz is also outspoken about border security.
Achilles heel: Cruz’s father Rafael, a Texas preacher, is a tea party firebrand who has said gay marriage is a government conspiracy and called President Barack Obama a Marxist who should ‘go back to Kenya.’ Cruz himself also has a reputation as a take-no-prisoners Christian evangelical, which might play well in South Carolina but won’t win him points in the other early primary states and could cost him momentum if he should be the GOP’s presidential nominee.
Jim Gilmore Former Virginia governor
Religion: United Methodist
Résumé: Former governor and attorney general of Virginia. Former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Former U.S. Army intelligence agent. President and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation. Board member of the National Rifle Association
Education: B.A. University of Virginia.
Family: Married to Roxane Gatling Gilmore (1977), with two adult children. Mrs. GIlmore is a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Claim to fame: Gilmore presided over Virginia when the 9/11 terrorists struck in 1991, guiding the state through a difficult economic downturn after one of the hijacked airliners crashed into the Pentagon. He is nest known in Virginia for eliminating most of a much-maligned personal property tax on automobiles, working with a Democratic-controlled state legislature to get it passed and enacted.
Achilles heel: Gilmore is the only GOP or Democratic candidate for president who has been the chairman of his political party, giving him a rap as an ‘establishment’ candidate. A social-conservative crusader, he is loathed by the left for championing the state law that established 24-hour waiting periods for abortions. Gilmore also has a reputation as an indecisive campaigner, having dropped out of the 2008 presidential race in July 2007.
Mike Huckabee Former Arkansas governor
Religion: Southern Baptist
Résumé: Former governor and lieutenant governor of Arkansas. Former Fox News Channel host. Ordained minister and author.
Education: B.A. Ouachita Baptist University. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (did not finish).
Family: Married to Janet Huckabee (1974), with three adult children. Mrs. Huckabee is a survivor of spinal cancer.
Claim to fame: ‘Huck’ is a political veteran and has run for president before, winning the Iowa Caucuses in 2008 and finishing second for the GOP nomination behind John McCain. He’s known as an affable Christian and succeeded in building a huge following on his weekend television program, in which he frequently sat in on the electric bass with country & western groups and other ‘wholesome’ musical entertainers.
Achilles heel: Huckabee may have a problem with female voters. He complained in 2014 about Obamacare’s mandatory contraception coverage, saying Democrats want women to ‘believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar.’ He earned more scorn for hawking herbal supplements in early-2015 infomercials as a diabetes cure, something he has yet to disavow despite disagreement from medical experts.
John Kasich Ohio governor
Résumé: Governor of New York. Former chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee. Former Ohio congressman. Former Ohio state senator.
Education: B.A. The Ohio State University.
Family: Married to Karen Waldbillig (1997). Divorced from Mary Lee Griffith (1975-1980).
Claim to fame: Kasich was Ohio youngest-ever member of the state legislature at age 25. He’s known for a compassionate and working-class sensibility that appeals to both ends of the political spectrum. In the 1990s when Newt Gingrich led a Republican revolution that took over Congress, Kasich became the chairman of the House Budget Committee – a position for a wonk’s wonk who understands the nuanced intricacies of how government runs.
Achilles heel: Some of Kasich’s political positions rankle conservatives, including his choice to expand Ohio’s Medicare system under the Obamacare law, and his support for the much-derided ‘Common Core’ education standards program.
Rand Paul Kentucky senator
Résumé: US senator. Board-certified ophthalmologist. Former congressional campaign manager for his father Ron Paul.
Education: Baylor University (did not finish). M.D. Duke University School of Medicine.
Family: Married to Kelley Ashby (1990), with three sons. His father is a former Texas congressman who ran for president three times but never got close to grabbing the brass ring.
Claim to fame: Paul embraces positions that are at odds with most in the GOP, including an anti-interventionist foreign policy, reduced military spending, criminal drug sentencing reform for African-Americans and strict limits on government electronic surveillance – including a clampdown on the National Security Agency.
Achilles heel: Paul’s politics are aligned with those of his father, whom mainstream GOPers saw as kooky. Both Pauls have advocated for a brand of libertarianism that forces government to stop domestic surveillance programs and limits foreign military interventions.
Marco Rubio Florida senator
Résumé: US senator, former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, former city commissioner of West Miami
Education: B.A. University of Florida. J.D. University of Miami School of Law.
Family: Married to Jeanette Dousdebes (1998), with two sons and two daughters. Jeanette is a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader who posed for the squad’s first swimsuit calendar.
Claim to fame: Rubio’s personal story as the son of Cuban emigres is a powerful narrative, and helped him win his Senate seat in 2010 against a well-funded governor whom he initially trailed by 20 points.
Achilles heel: Rubio was part of a bipartisan ‘gang of eight’ senators who crafted an Obama-approved immigration reform bill in 2013 which never became law – a move that angered conservative Republicans. And he was criticized in 2011 for publicly telling a version of his parents’ flight from Cuba that turned out to appear embellished.
Donald Trump Real estate developer
Résumé: Chairman of The Trump Organization. Fixture on the Forbes 400 list of the world’s richest people. Star of ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’
Education: B.Sci. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Family: Married to Melania Trump (2005). Divorced from Ivana Zelníčková (1977-92) and Marla Maples(1993–99). Five grown children. Trump’s father Fred Trump amassed a $400 million fortune developing real estate.
Claim to fame: Trump’s niche in the 2016 campaign stems from his celebrity as a reality-show host and his enormous wealth – more than $10 billion, according to Trump. Because he can self-fund an entire presidential campaign, he is seen as less beholden to donors than other candidates. He has grabbed the attention of reporters and commentators by unapologetically staking out controversial positions and refusing to budge in the face of criticism.
Achilles heel: Trump is a political neophyte who has toyed with running for president and for governor of New York, but shied away from taking the plunge until now. His billions also have the potential to alienate large swaths of the electorate. And his Republican rivals have labeled him an ego-driven celeb and an electoral sideshow because of his all-over-the-map policy history – much of which agreed with today’s today’s democrats – and his past enthusiasm for anti-Obama ‘birtheris
DEMOCRATS IN THE RACE
Lincoln Chafee Former Rhode Island governor
Résumé: Former Rhode Island governor. Former U.S. senator. Former city councilman and mayor of Warwick, RI.
Education: B.A. Brown University. Graduate, Montana State University horseshoeing school.
Family: Married to Stephanie Chafee (1990) with three children. Like him, his father John Chafee was a Rhode Island governor and US senator, but also served as Secretary of the Navy. Lincoln was appointed to his Senate seat when his father died in office.
Claim to fame: While Chafee was a Republican senator during the George W. Bush administration, he cast his party’s only vote in 2002 against a resolution that authorized military action in Iraq. Hillary Clinton, also a senator then, voted in favor – giving him a point of comparison that he hopes to ride to victory.
Achilles heel: Chafee’s lack of any significant party loyalty has turned allies into foes throughout his political career, and Democrats aren’t sure he’s entirely with them now. He was elected to the Senate as a Republican in 2000 but left the party and declared himself a political independent after losing a re-election bid in 2006. As an independent, he was elected governor in 2010. Now he’s running for president as a Democrat.
Martin O’Malley Former Maryland governor
Résumé: Former Maryland governor. Former city councilor and mayor of Baltimore, MD. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Education: B.A. Catholic University of America. J.D. University of Maryland.
Family: Married to Katie Curran (1990) and they have four children. Curran is a district court judge in Baltimore. Her father is Maryland’s attorney general. O’Malley’s mother is a receptionists in the Capitol Hill office of Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
Claim to fame: O’Malley pushed for laws in Maryland legalizing same-sex marriage and giving illegal immigrants the right to pay reduced tuition rates at public universities. But he’s best known for playing guitar and sung in a celtic band cammed ‘O’Malley’s March.’
Achilles heel: O’Malley may struggle in the Democratic primary since he endorsed Hillary Clinton eight years ago. If he prevails, he will have to run far enough to her left to be an easy target for the GOP. He showed political weakness when his hand-picked successor lost the 2014 governor’s race to a Republican. But most troubling is his link with Baltimore, whose 2016 race riots have made it a nuclear subject for politicians of all stripes.
Jim Webb Former Virginia senator
Religion: Christian (nondenominational)
Base: War hawks and economic centrists
Résumé:Former U.S. senator from Virginia. Former U.S. Secretary of the Navy under Ronamd Reagan. Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.
Education: B.A. US Naval Academy (transferred from the University of Southern California). J.D. Georgetown University.
Family: Married to Hong Le Webb (2005). Divorced from Jo Ann Krukar (1981-2004). Divorced from Barbara Samorajczyk (1968–1979).
Claim to fame: Webb is the rare Democrat who can bring both robust defense credentials and a history of genuine bipartisanship to the race. He served in Republican president Ronald Reagan’s defense directorate as Navy secretary, and earned both the Navy Star and the Purple Heart in combat. Webb is also seen as a quiet scholar who has written more than a half-dozen historical novels and a critically acclaimed history of Scots-Irish U.S. immigrants.
Achilles heel: Webb has a reputation as a bit of a quitter. He resigned his Navy secretary post over a budget-cut dispute just 10 months after taking the job, and he declined to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He also attracted bad press for defending the use of the Confederate flag as a heritage symbol for American southerners. Amid a nationwide clamor to remove the flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds, he wrote that Americans should ‘respect the complicated history of the Civil War. … Honorable Americans fought on both sides.’
Hillary Clinton Former sec. of state
Religion: United Methodist
Résumé: Former secretary of state. Former U.S. senator from New York. Former U.S. first lady. Former Arkansas first lady. Former law school faculty, University of Arkansas Fayetteville.
Education: B.A. Wellesley College. J.D. Yale Law School.
Family: Married to Bill Clinton (1975), the 42nd President of the United States. Their daughter Chelsea is married to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, whose mother was a 1990s one-term Pennsylvania congresswoman.
Claim to fame: Clinton was the first US first lady with a postgraduate degree and presaged Obamacare with a failed attempt at health care reform in the 1990s.
Achilles heel: A long series of financial and ethical scandals has dogged Clinton, including recent allegations that her husband and their family foundation benefited financially from decisions she made as secretary of state. Her performance surrounding the 2012 terror attack on a State Department facility in Benghazi, Libya, has been catnip for conservative Republicans. And her presdiential campaign has been marked by an unwillingness to engage journalists, instead meeting with hand-picked groups of voters.
Bernie Sanders* Vermont senator
Base: Far-left progressives
Résumé: U.S. senator. Former U.S. congressman. Former mayor of Burlington, VT.
Education: B.A. University of Chicago.
Family: Married to Jane O’Meara Sanders (1988), a former president of Burlington College. He has one child from a previous relationship and is stepfather to three from Mrs. Sanders’ previous marriage. His brother Larry is a Green Party politician in the UK and formerly served on the Oxfordshire County Council.
Claim to fame: Sanders is an unusually blunt, and unapologetic pol, happily promoting progressivism without hedging. He is also the longest-serving ‘independent’ member of Congress – neither Democrat nor Republican.
Achilles heel: Sanders describes himself as a ‘democratic socialist.’ At a time of huge GOP electoral gains, his far-left ideas don’t poll well. He favors open borders, single-payer universal health insurance, and greater government control over media ownership.
* Sanders is running as a Democrat but has no party affiliation in the Senate.
DEMOCRATS IN THE HUNT
Joe Biden, U.S. vice president
Biden would be a natural candidate as the White House’s sitting second-banana, but his reputation as a one-man gaffe factory will keep Democrats from taking him seriously.
Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator
Warren is a populist liberal who could give Hillary Clinton headaches by challenging her from the left, but she has said she has no plans to run and is happy in the U.S. Senate.
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Keiser Report: Summer Solutions (E792 ft. Prof. Steve Keen)
Keiser Report: The Precariat – The Dangerous New Class (E791)
Keiser Report: Solutions to World Economy Part I (E790)
Keiser Report: Bigger Fannie Freddie are back! (E789)
Keiser Report: Property Bubble (E788)
Max Keiser the impending second wave of the latest mortgage crisis
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|Race/Topic (Click to Sort)
|2016 Republican Presidential Nomination
||Trump 24, Bush 13, Walker 10, Huckabee 8, Carson 6, Cruz 6, Rubio 6, Paul 4, Christie 3, Kasich 1, Perry 2, Santorum 1, Jindal 2, Fiorina 0, Graham 0
|2016 Republican Presidential Nomination
||Trump 21, Bush 10, Walker 8, Huckabee 7, Carson 5, Cruz 4, Rubio 6, Paul 5, Christie 4, Kasich 4, Perry 2, Santorum 2, Jindal 1, Fiorina 1, Graham 1
|New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary
||Trump 24, Bush 12, Walker 11, Kasich 6, Christie 7, Paul 7, Carson 5, Rubio 3, Cruz 5, Huckabee 2, Fiorina 1, Jindal 2, Pataki 0, Perry 2, Santorum 1
|Race/Topic (Click to Sort)
|2016 Republican Presidential Nomination
||Trump 26, Bush 15, Walker 9, Huckabee 6, Carson 7, Cruz 6, Rubio 5, Paul 5, Christie 3, Kasich 3, Perry 1, Santorum 2, Jindal 1, Fiorina 2, Graham 0
|2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination
||Clinton 51, Sanders 22, Biden 13, Webb 1, O’Malley 1, Chafee 1
|2016 Republican Presidential Nomination
||Trump 26, Bush 12, Walker 11, Huckabee 6, Carson 5, Cruz 6, Rubio 4, Paul 4, Christie 4, Kasich 3, Perry 2, Santorum 1, Jindal 1, Fiorina 2, Graham 1
|2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination
||NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl
||Clinton 59, Sanders 25, Biden, Webb 3, O’Malley 3, Chafee 1
|South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary
||Trump 34, Bush 11, Carson 11, Graham 5, Huckabee 6, Walker 10, Rubio 6, Cruz 3, Perry 3, Paul 1, Fiorina 2, Christie 3, Kasich 3, Santorum 1, Jindal 1
|Race/Topic (Click to Sort)
|2016 Republican Presidential Nomination
||Trump 19, Bush 14, Walker 15, Huckabee 6, Carson 10, Cruz 9, Rubio 5, Paul 6, Christie 3, Kasich 3, Perry 3, Santorum 1, Jindal 1, Fiorina 0, Graham 0
Trump campaign: ‘He’s in first place for a reason’
Rand Paul Attributes Trump’s Rise to Temporary ‘Loss of Sanity’
Rand Paul Slams Donald Trump, Calls His Rise In Polls Temporary Loss Os Sanity – Mark Steyn – Cavuto
Trump Mentions Infowars Report During Campaign Speech
Dr. Jerome Corsi: Trump Is The Real Deal
An Honest Conversation About Donald Trump
Why Thursday’s Debate Matters (But Most Don’t)
“I was thinking of setting myself on fire” — that’s how former Mitt Romney strategist Stuart Stevens felt in January 2012. His candidate was in the midst of a marathon of primary debates and he despaired at the draining, repetitive nature of the events, saying they had a “‘Groundhog Day’ quality” to them.
Stevens’ despair about that campaign cycle’s torturously repetitious series of debates highlights a simple but oft-forgotten fact about these events: Candidates may put a lot of effort into preparing for debates, but they don’t usually move the polls. There were 20 Republican presidential primary debates in 2011 and 2012, and even the most knowledgeable political junkies can probably only name a handful of memorable moments from them.
But despite the relative boringness of those debates, there is significant anticipation surrounding Thursday’s inaugural GOP face-off. The sheer amount of media coverage related to who made it onto the prime-time stage, how candidates are or aren’t preparing and what to expect from Donald Trump suggests that this gathering won’t be the snooze that many past debates were. That raises a simple question – what accounts for the difference?
My take is that information makes the difference. Specifically, the 2012 debates failed to move the polls because they typically didn’t provide much new information on candidates, while Thursday’s event could provide a significant amount of new information to the party elite, the media and rank-and-file primary voters.
The 2012 Debates Didn’t Move the Polls
In 2011 and 2012, the Republican primary debates simply did not move the polls. To determine this, I calculated the difference between each candidate’s RCP average on the day of the debate and seven days after for every debate each candidate participated in. The results indicate that in most weeks following a debate, most candidates did not see a big uptick or drop in their RCP polling average. (To view a histogram demonstrating this, click here.)
Additionally, there wasn’t much difference between how much a debate and a typical week on the campaign trail changed polling numbers. To determine this, I calculated the difference between each candidate’s RCP average on every day after early April 2011 and their average seven days later. The mean was -0.24 (it was 0.41 for the post-debate weeks) and the standard deviation was 2.21 (2.47 in post-debate weeks). While debates on average moved candidates in a slightly positive direction and average weeks spent campaigning did the opposite, the magnitude of these changes was small. In other words, on average, debates changed a candidate’s standing in the polls about as much as a week on the campaign trail did.
Candidates were often unable to move polls through debates partially because those debates revealed relatively little new information about them. If Mitt Romney looked wooden on stage or Rick Santorum invoked the culture war, voters and journalists didn’t bat an eyelash. These candidates, their positions and personalities were, in many cases, known quantities at the time of the debate. In a few rare cases, candidates used good performances in debates to earn a second look from voters and the media. Both of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s moments in the sun were fueled at least partially by good debate performances. But the other candidates who surged to the front – Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Santorum, Rick Perry – typically began their ascent by performing well or getting media attention at a non-debate event. And when those candidates fell out of favor with the party, it was usually not a debate that did them in (not even in the case of Perry’s “oops” moment).
But Thursday’s Debate Could Change Things – and That Matters
While the 2012 debates didn’t provide voters with new information, Thursday’s gathering promises to provide information to three key groups – the party elite, the media and voters.
First, this debate will be an important part of the “invisible primary.” There are lots of good articles and books out there on the invisible primary, but here are the basics: In the invisible primary, “party elite” (defined broadly as anyone who uses their time, money or influence to advocate for their preferred candidate – which means everyone from Iowa door-knockers to governors of key primary states) attempt to reach consensus on which candidate to support. These party actors then use their resources and influence to give their preferred candidate a boost before primary voters head to the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. The party elite are not all-powerful – candidates who have won the invisible primary have gone on to lose or nearly lose the nomination, and sometimes the party is too fractured to give any candidate a clear invisible primary win – but the support of these elite actors does seem to matter.
Right now the invisible Republican primary is completely unsettled, and the party elite cannot be happy about Donald Trump’s recent success in the polls. Much of the GOP elite tend to gravitate towards candidates who share their ideology, have a good record of advocating for that ideology in public office and are plausible general election candidates. It would be an understatement to say that Trump fails to meet these requirements. The Donald has never held political office, he donated to Hillary Clinton throughout the 2000s, has flipped his position on health care, abortion and taxes, fares much worse than his fellow Republicans in hypothetical general election match-ups – I could go on, but the point is clear. There are large, powerful elements of the Republican Party with a keen interest in finding a candidate who can at least stop Trump in his tracks, if not go on to win the nomination and the presidency. And Thursday’s debate is one of the party’s first good opportunities to scout out the field for such a contender.
Second, this debate will have an impact on media coverage of the candidates. Specifically, candidates have an opportunity to get good or bad press or to kick off a media-wide “discovery” of a candidate or “scrutiny” of Trump. The first possibility here is fairly straightforward. If one of the well-known and serious candidates – say, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker – performs especially well or poorly in the debate, then they could earn favorable or unfavorable press that changes their standing in the polls.
The second and third possibilities – a candidate is “discovered” or “scrutinized” – are much more interesting. The terminology here comes from “The Gamble” – an excellent book on the 2012 election by George Washington University Professor John Sides and UCLA Professor Lynn Vavreck. Sides and Vavreck studied the 2012 Republican primary and found that many of the candidates who enjoyed a brief moment atop the polls did so because of a media “discovery, scrutiny and decline” pattern. In the discovery phase, a relatively unknown candidate does something that attracts the attention of journalists (e.g. Herman Cain winning the Florida Straw Poll). These journalists become fascinated with that candidate, write a ream of stories about him or her (often neutral-to-positive in tone) and as a result that candidate rises in the polls. These same journalists then write positive stories about that candidate’s rise, and the candidate rockets to an even higher position. Thursday’s debate could focus the media’s attention on a new candidate. For example, if Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a breakout performance in the main debate or if Carly Fiorina dominates the second-tier candidate debate earlier in the evening, the media could “discover” them and cause a subsequent rise in the polls. Of course, this might not happen, but a good debate performance provides a plausible springboard for a media-fueled poll bounce.
It’s also possible that this debate kicks off the “scrutiny” phase of Trump’s candidacy. According to Sides and Vavreck, scrutiny happens after the candidate has had some time atop the polls and journalists decide to really dig into their public record and personal history. Right now Trump is firmly in the discovery phase of his candidacy. The media are still treating him as more of a celebrity than a candidate, so his policy positions and his past are getting less attention than his performance in the latest poll or his most recent bombastic statement. If the media and party establishment begin to scrutinize Trump in the way they would any other politician, it may lead to bad press and a related drop in his poll numbers – the beginning of the “decline” in Sides and Vavreck’s process.
That’s not to say that Trump will definitely be scrutinized after the debate. And the scrutiny may have a muted or delayed effect – part of Trump’s appeal is his aggression towards the mainstream media and political establishment. But it is possible that the debate marks a turning point in how Trump is viewed – and if that’s the case, then it has potentially huge consequences.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, many voters will be really introduced to these candidates for the first time. While the party and the media play a large role in influencing voters, voters themselves matter the most. There are a massive number of ways any one candidate could leverage the debate to speak to his or her desired coalition in a persuasive way, so it’s harder to play these scenarios out. But if a candidate manages to speak clearly, directly and persuasively to their coalition through this debate, that could really make a difference.
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A Summer Story (1988) full movie
A Summer Story
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Summer Story is a British drama film released in 1988. Directed by Piers Haggard, with a script written by Penelope Mortimer, it stars James Wilby, Imogen Stubbs, and Susannah York. In 1902, a young gentleman visiting a rural area has an intense love affair with a village girl. Twenty years later, he is passing that way again. The film is based on the John Galsworthy story The Apple Tree.
In the summer of 1902 Frank Ashton, an educated young man from London, is on a walking holiday in Devon with a friend. When he falls and twists his ankle, Ashton is helped at a nearby farmhouse and stays there for a few days to recover, while his friend goes on. Ashton quickly falls for the village girl who looks after him, Megan David, and she falls in love with him, to the great distress of her cousin Joe Narracombe, who wants her for himself. Ashton and Megan spend a night together, and after that he takes the train to a seaside town to cash a cheque at a bank, promising to return the next morning and take Megan away with him and marry her.
On arrival in the town, Ashton finds a branch of his bank, but it will not cash his cheque, insisting on first contacting his branch in London. While he is delayed, Ashton meets an old school friend, staying at a local hotel with his three sisters, of whom the oldest is Stella Halliday. Thanks to the bank’s delays, he misses the train he needed to catch to make his rendezvous with Megan. During the day that follows, he spends more time with his friend and his sisters, and while Stella flirts with him he begins to have second thoughts about marrying Megan.
Megan then travels to the seaside town looking for Ashton, carrying her luggage for running away. He sees her on the beach and follows her into the town, but when she turns and catches a glimpse of him, he hides.
Twenty years later, Ashton is married to Stella and they are motoring through Devon. They have no children. Ashton visits the farm where he seduced Megan and is recognized. He learns that Megan was heart-broken about losing him and also that she died soon after giving birth to a son, who she named “Francis”, or Frank. He is taken to see Megan’s grave, which is at the spot where he had arranged to meet her. She had asked to be buried there, to wait for his return. In motoring away with Stella, Ashton passes his son, young Frank, who gives him a friendly wave.
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The Ruling Class (1972)
The Ruling Class (film)
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Ruling Class is a 1972 British black comedy film. It is an adaptation of Peter Barnes‘ satirical stage play of the same title which tells the story of a paranoid schizophrenic British nobleman (played by Peter O’Toole) who inherits a peerage. The film co-stars Alastair Sim, William Mervyn, Coral Browne, Harry Andrews, Carolyn Seymour, James Villiers and Arthur Lowe. It was produced by Jules Buck and directed by Peter Medak.
The film has been described as a “commercial failure […that] has since become a cult classic”; Peter O’Toole described it as “a comedy with tragic relief”.
Following the death from accidental asphyxiation of Ralph Gurney, the 13th Earl of Gurney (Andrews), Jack Gurney (O’Toole) becomes the 14th Earl of Gurney. Jack, a paranoid schizophrenic, thinks he is Jesus Christand shocks his family and friends with his talk of returning to the world to bring it love and charity, not to mention his penchant for breaking out into song and dance routines and sleeping upright on a cross. When faced with unpalatable facts (such as his identity as the 14th Earl), Jack puts them in his “galvanized pressure cooker” and they disappear. His unscrupulous uncle, Sir Charles (Mervyn), marries him to his mistress, Grace (Seymour), in hopes of producing an heir and putting his nephew in an institution; the plan fails, however, when Grace falls in love with Jack. Jack gains another ally in Sir Charles’ wife, Lady Claire (Browne), who hates her husband and befriends Jack just to spite him. She also begins sleeping with Jack’s psychiatrist, Dr. Herder (Michael Bryant), to persuade him to cure Jack quickly.
Herder attempts to cure him through intensive psychotherapy, to no avail; Jack so thoroughly believes that he is the “God of Love” that he dismisses any suggestion to the contrary as insane. The night his wife goes intolabour, Herder makes a last effort at curing Jack; he introduces Jack to McKyle (Nigel Green), a patient who also believes himself to be Christ — or as the patient puts it, “The Electric Messiah” — who subjects an unwitting Jack to electroshock therapy. The plan works, and as Grace delivers a healthy baby boy, Jack proclaims, “I’m Jack, I’m Jack”. His family takes this to mean that he has returned to his senses, but in reality he now believes himself to be Jack the Ripper.
Sir Charles sends for a court-appointed psychiatrist (Graham Crowden) to evaluate Jack, confident that his nephew will be sent to an asylum for life. He is once again thwarted when the psychiatrist discovers that Jack was a fellow Old Etonian, bonds with him and declares him sane.
Jack murders Lady Claire in a fit of rage when the aging woman tries to seduce him. He frames the Communist family butler, Tucker (Lowe), for the murder. Shortly afterward, Sir Charles suffers a debilitating stroke and Dr. Herder has a nervous breakdown upon realizing what Jack has done. Jack assumes his place in the House of Lords with a fiery speech in favour of capital and corporal punishment. His colleagues applaud wildly, completely unaware the speech is the ranting of a lunatic, in contrast to society’s reaction when Jack believed he was Christ. That night, he murders Grace for expressing her love for him. Her terrified scream is matched by the sound of a baby cooing “I’m Jack, I’m Jack,” suggesting that their son has inherited Jack’s madness.
O’Toole held the rights to Barnes’s play; Medak approached O’Toole repeatedly about exercising those rights. According to Medak, the project got started one night that he and O’Toole were returning from the theatre, which “meant stopping at every pub between Soho and Hampstead, and it didn’t matter if it was after closing hour because he would knock on the door and just say ‘Peter’s here,’ and every door opened for him”; Later on, at O’Toole’s apartment, the deeply inebriated actor phoned his manager and said, “I’m with the crazy Hungarian and I know I’m drunk but I give you 24 hours to set this movie up.” The next day, Medak received a call from United Artists and a deal was put together to shoot The Ruling Class.
The screenplay was adapted by Peter Barnes from his play with few major changes. It was filmed at a sprawling estate in Harlaxton with the interiors reconstructed on sound stages. It cost around $1.4 million, with O’Toole working for free (he was instead paid a great deal for the big budget Man of La Mancha, released by the same studio later the same year).
It was the official British entry at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival.
The film divided critics. The New York Times described it as “fantastic fun” and Variety called it “brilliantly caustic”, but the Los Angeles Times called it “snail-slow, shrill and gesticulating” and Newsweek said it was a “sledgehammer satire“. Jay Cocks called the screenplay a “snarling, overwrought and somewhat parochial satire on aristocracy and privileged morality”; he called the film “wretchedly photographed…as if it were shot under floodlights”; in contrast Cocks praised the performances by Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe,William Mervyn, Coral Browne, and James Villiers, but reserves most of his praise for O’Toole, saying his performance is of “such intensity that it may trouble sleep as surely as it will haunt memory. All actors can play insanity; few play it well. O’Toole begins where other actors stop, with the unfocused gaze, the abrupt bursts of frenzied high spirits and precipitous depressions. Funny, disturbing, finally devastating, O’Toole finds his way into the workings of madness, revealing the anger and consuming anguish at the source.”
Despite mixed critical reaction to the film, O’Toole’s performance was universally praised and garnered numerous prestigious awards and prizes, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Reportedly, when United Artists, its North American distributor, told producer Jules Buck that it would be cutting the film extensively for US release, Buck punched the company’s London representative and bought the film back. Avco Embassy then bought distribution rights and cut its 154-minute running time by six minutes.
The film was banned by the South African Publications Control Board.
In a review nearly 30 years after The Ruling Class was first released, Ian Christie said the film is “unashamedly theatrical, and it emerges from a particularly interesting period in English culture when theatre and cinema together were mining a rich vein of flamboyant self-analysis. Many stage works of this period cry out for filmic extension—in fact, Medak had just filmed a very different play that mingled fantasy and reality by a writer often bracketed with Barnes, Peter Nichols’ A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. But what makes The Ruling Class exceptional (and difficult for some) are its outrageous mixing of genres and its sheer ambition. Not only are there allusions to Shakespeare and Marlowe, but also to Wilde and Whitehall farce; to the gentility of Ealing Studios, with a plot that distantly evokes that other great black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets, and to Hammer’s gore-fests.”
Awards and nominations
In 1974, following an earlier-than-normal TV screening of the film on BBC TV, which broke a gentlemen’s agreement allowing a ‘window’ of theatrical distribution before any TV screening, the UK‘s Cinematograph Exhibitors’ Association (the theatrical distributors’ association) recommended its members blacklist all future movies produced by Jules Buck.
Embassy Pictures re-released the film in May 1983.
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Angelo Codevilla – Does America Have a Ruling Class?
1. America’s Ruling Class
2. Has Homeland Security Been a Failure?
3. What’s Wrong with the CIA?
4. Are We Winning the “War on Terror”?
5. The Superiority of the Founders’ Foreign Policy
America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution
The only serious opposition to this arrogant Ruling Party is coming not from feckless Republicans but from what might be called the Country Party — and its vision is revolutionary. Our special Summer Issue cover story.
By Angelo M. Codevilla – From the July 2010 – August 2010 issue
As over-leveraged investment houses began to fail in September 2008, the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties, of major corporations, and opinion leaders stretching from the National Review magazine (and the Wall Street Journal) on the right to the Nation magazine on the left, agreed that spending some $700 billion to buy the investors’ “toxic assets” was the only alternative to the U.S. economy’s “systemic collapse.” In this, President George W. Bush and his would-be Republican successor John McCain agreed with the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. Many, if not most, people around them also agreed upon the eventual commitment of some 10 trillion nonexistent dollars in ways unprecedented in America. They explained neither the difference between the assets’ nominal and real values, nor precisely why letting the market find the latter would collapse America. The public objected immediately, by margins of three or four to one.
When this majority discovered that virtually no one in a position of power in either party or with a national voice would take their objections seriously, that decisions about their money were being made in bipartisan backroom deals with interested parties, and that the laws on these matters were being voted by people who had not read them, the term “political class” came into use. Then, after those in power changed their plans from buying toxic assets to buying up equity in banks and major industries but refused to explain why, when they reasserted their right to decide ad hoc on these and so many other matters, supposing them to be beyond the general public’s understanding, the American people started referring to those in and around government as the “ruling class.” And in fact Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to dominate and fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class.
Although after the election of 2008 most Republican office holders argued against the Troubled Asset Relief Program, against the subsequent bailouts of the auto industry, against the several “stimulus” bills and further summary expansions of government power to benefit clients of government at the expense of ordinary citizens, the American people had every reason to believe that many Republican politicians were doing so simply by the logic of partisan opposition. After all, Republicans had been happy enough to approve of similar things under Republican administrations. Differences between Bushes, Clintons, and Obamas are of degree, not kind. Moreover, 2009-10 establishment Republicans sought only to modify the government’s agenda while showing eagerness to join the Democrats in new grand schemes, if only they were allowed to. Sen. Orrin Hatch continued dreaming of being Ted Kennedy, while Lindsey Graham set aside what is true or false about “global warming” for the sake of getting on the right side of history. No prominent Republican challenged the ruling class’s continued claim of superior insight, nor its denigration of the American people as irritable children who must learn their place. The Republican Party did not disparage the ruling class, because most of its officials are or would like to be part of it.
Never has there been so little diversity within America’s upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America’s upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and “bureaucrat” was a dirty word for all. So was “social engineering.” Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday’s upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.
Today’s ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters — speaking the “in” language — serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America’s ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.
The two classes have less in common culturally, dislike each other more, and embody ways of life more different from one another than did the 19th century’s Northerners and Southerners — nearly all of whom, as Lincoln reminded them, “prayed to the same God.” By contrast, while most Americans pray to the God “who created and doth sustain us,” our ruling class prays to itself as “saviors of the planet” and improvers of humanity. Our classes’ clash is over “whose country” America is, over what way of life will prevail, over who is to defer to whom about what. The gravity of such divisions points us, as it did Lincoln, to Mark’s Gospel: “if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”
The Political Divide
Important as they are, our political divisions are the iceberg’s tip. When pollsters ask the American people whether they are likely to vote Republican or Democrat in the next presidential election, Republicans win growing pluralities. But whenever pollsters add the preferences “undecided,” “none of the above,” or “tea party,” these win handily, the Democrats come in second, and the Republicans trail far behind. That is because while most of the voters who call themselves Democrats say that Democratic officials represent them well, only a fourth of the voters who identify themselves as Republicans tell pollsters that Republican officeholders represent them well. Hence officeholders, Democrats and Republicans, gladden the hearts of some one-third of the electorate — most Democratic voters, plus a few Republicans. This means that Democratic politicians are the ruling class’s prime legitimate representatives and that because Republican politicians are supported by only a fourth of their voters while the rest vote for them reluctantly, most are aspirants for a junior role in the ruling class. In short, the ruling class has a party, the Democrats. But some two-thirds of Americans — a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents — lack a vehicle in electoral politics.
Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority’s demand for representation will be filled. Whereas in 1968 Governor George Wallace’s taunt “there ain’t a dime’s worth of difference” between the Republican and Democratic parties resonated with only 13.5 percent of the American people, in 1992 Ross Perot became a serious contender for the presidency (at one point he was favored by 39 percent of Americans vs. 31 percent for G.H.W. Bush and 25 percent for Clinton) simply by speaking ill of the ruling class. Today, few speak well of the ruling class. Not only has it burgeoned in size and pretense, but it also has undertaken wars it has not won, presided over a declining economy and mushrooming debt, made life more expensive, raised taxes, and talked down to the American people. Americans’ conviction that the ruling class is as hostile as it is incompetent has solidified. The polls tell us that only about a fifth of Americans trust the government to do the right thing. The rest expect that it will do more harm than good and are no longer afraid to say so.
While Europeans are accustomed to being ruled by presumed betters whom they distrust, the American people’s realization of being ruled like Europeans shocked this country into well nigh revolutionary attitudes. But only the realization was new. The ruling class had sunk deep roots in America over decades before 2008. Machiavelli compares serious political diseases to the Aetolian fevers — easy to treat early on while they are difficult to discern, but virtually untreatable by the time they become obvious.
Far from speculating how the political confrontation might develop between America’s regime class — relatively few people supported by no more than one-third of Americans — and a country class comprising two-thirds of the country, our task here is to understand the divisions that underlie that confrontation’s unpredictable future. More on politics below.
The Ruling Class
Who are these rulers, and by what right do they rule? How did America change from a place where people could expect to live without bowing to privileged classes to one in which, at best, they might have the chance to climb into them? What sets our ruling class apart from the rest of us?
The most widespread answers — by such as the Times’s Thomas Friedman and David Brooks — are schlock sociology. Supposedly, modern society became so complex and productive, the technical skills to run it so rare, that it called forth a new class of highly educated officials and cooperators in an ever less private sector. Similarly fanciful is Edward Goldberg’s notion that America is now ruled by a “newocracy”: a “new aristocracy who are the true beneficiaries of globalization — including the multinational manager, the technologist and the aspirational members of the meritocracy.” In fact, our ruling class grew and set itself apart from the rest of us by its connection with ever bigger government, and above all by a certain attitude.
Other explanations are counterintuitive. Wealth? The heads of the class do live in our big cities’ priciest enclaves and suburbs, from Montgomery County, Maryland, to Palo Alto, California, to Boston’s Beacon Hill as well as in opulent university towns from Princeton to Boulder. But they are no wealthier than many Texas oilmen or California farmers, or than neighbors with whom they do not associate — just as the social science and humanities class that rules universities seldom associates with physicians and physicists. Rather, regardless of where they live, their social-intellectual circle includes people in the lucrative “nonprofit” and “philanthropic” sectors and public policy. What really distinguishes these privileged people demographically is that, whether in government power directly or as officers in companies, their careers and fortunes depend on government. They vote Democrat more consistently than those who live on any of America’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Streets. These socioeconomic opposites draw their money and orientation from the same sources as the millions of teachers, consultants, and government employees in the middle ranks who aspire to be the former and identify morally with what they suppose to be the latter’s grievances.
Professional prominence or position will not secure a place in the class any more than mere money. In fact, it is possible to be an official of a major corporation or a member of the U.S. Supreme Court (just ask Justice Clarence Thomas), or even president (Ronald Reagan), and not be taken seriously by the ruling class. Like a fraternity, this class requires above all comity — being in with the right people, giving the required signs that one is on the right side, and joining in despising the Outs. Once an official or professional shows that he shares the manners, the tastes, the interests of the class, gives lip service to its ideals and shibboleths, and is willing to accommodate the interests of its senior members, he can move profitably among our establishment’s parts.
If, for example, you are Laurence Tribe in 1984, Harvard professor of law, leftist pillar of the establishment, you can “write” your magnum opus by using the products of your student assistant, Ron Klain. A decade later, after Klain admits to having written some parts of the book, and the other parts are found to be verbatim or paraphrases of a book published in 1974, you can claim (perhaps correctly) that your plagiarism was “inadvertent,” and you can count on the Law School’s dean, Elena Kagan, to appoint a committee including former and future Harvard president Derek Bok that issues a secret report that “closes” the incident. Incidentally, Kagan ends up a justice of the Supreme Court. Not one of these people did their jobs: the professor did not write the book himself, the assistant plagiarized instead of researching, the dean and the committee did not hold the professor accountable, and all ended up rewarded. By contrast, for example, learned papers and distinguished careers in climatology at MIT (Richard Lindzen) or UVA (S. Fred Singer) are not enough for their questions about “global warming” to be taken seriously. For our ruling class, identity always trumps.
Much less does membership in the ruling class depend on high academic achievement. To see something closer to an academic meritocracy consider France, where elected officials have little power, a vast bureaucracy explicitly controls details from how babies are raised to how to make cheese, and people get into and advance in that bureaucracy strictly by competitive exams. Hence for good or ill, France’s ruling class are bright people — certifiably. Not ours. But didn’t ours go to Harvard and Princeton and Stanford? Didn’t most of them get good grades? Yes. But while getting into the Ecole Nationale d’Administration or the Ecole Polytechnique or the dozens of other entry points to France’s ruling class requires outperforming others in blindly graded exams, and graduating from such places requires passing exams that many fail, getting into America’s “top schools” is less a matter of passing exams than of showing up with acceptable grades and an attractive social profile. American secondary schools are generous with their As. Since the 1970s, it has been virtually impossible to flunk out of American colleges. And it is an open secret that “the best” colleges require the least work and give out the highest grade point averages. No, our ruling class recruits and renews itself not through meritocracy but rather by taking into itself people whose most prominent feature is their commitment to fit in. The most successful neither write books and papers that stand up to criticism nor release their academic records. Thus does our ruling class stunt itself through negative selection. But the more it has dumbed itself down, the more it has defined itself by the presumption of intellectual superiority.
Its attitude is key to understanding our bipartisan ruling class. Its first tenet is that “we” are the best and brightest while the rest of Americans are retrograde, racist, and dysfunctional unless properly constrained. How did this replace the Founding generation’s paradigm that “all men are created equal”?
The notion of human equality was always a hard sell, because experience teaches us that we are so unequal in so many ways, and because making one’s self superior is so tempting that Lincoln called it “the old serpent, you work I’ll eat.” But human equality made sense to our Founding generation because they believed that all men are made in the image and likeness of God, because they were yearning for equal treatment under British law, or because they had read John Locke.
It did not take long for their paradigm to be challenged by interest and by “science.” By the 1820s, as J. C. Calhoun was reading in the best London journals that different breeds of animals and plants produce inferior or superior results, slave owners were citing the Negroes’ deficiencies to argue that they should remain slaves indefinitely. Lots of others were reading Ludwig Feuerbach’s rendition of Hegelian philosophy, according to which biblical injunctions reflect the fantasies of alienated human beings or, in the young Karl Marx’s formulation, that ethical thought is “superstructural” to material reality. By 1853, when Sen. John Pettit of Ohio called “all men are created equal” “a self-evident lie,” much of America’s educated class had already absorbed the “scientific” notion (which Darwin only popularized) that man is the product of chance mutation and natural selection of the fittest. Accordingly, by nature, superior men subdue inferior ones as they subdue lower beings or try to improve them as they please. Hence while it pleased the abolitionists to believe in freeing Negroes and improving them, it also pleased them to believe that Southerners had to be punished and reconstructed by force. As the 19th century ended, the educated class’s religious fervor turned to social reform: they were sure that because man is a mere part of evolutionary nature, man could be improved, and that they, the most highly evolved of all, were the improvers.
Thus began the Progressive Era. When Woodrow Wilson in 1914 was asked “can’t you let anything alone?” he answered with, “I let everything alone that you can show me is not itself moving in the wrong direction, but I am not going to let those things alone that I see are going down-hill.” Wilson spoke for the thousands of well-off Americans who patronized the spas at places like Chautauqua and Lake Mohonk. By such upper-middle-class waters, progressives who imagined themselves the world’s examples and the world’s reformers dreamt big dreams of establishing order, justice, and peace at home and abroad. Neither were they shy about their desire for power. Wilson was the first American statesman to argue that the Founders had done badly by depriving the U.S. government of the power to reshape American society. Nor was Wilson the last to invade a foreign country (Mexico) to “teach [them] to elect good men.”
World War I and the chaos at home and abroad that followed it discredited the Progressives in the American people’s eyes. Their international schemes had brought blood and promised more. Their domestic management had not improved Americans’ lives, but given them a taste of arbitrary government, including Prohibition. The Progressives, for their part, found it fulfilling to attribute the failure of their schemes to the American people’s backwardness, to something deeply wrong with America. The American people had failed them because democracy in its American form perpetuated the worst in humanity. Thus Progressives began to look down on the masses, to look on themselves as the vanguard, and to look abroad for examples to emulate.
The cultural divide between the “educated class” and the rest of the country opened in the interwar years. Some Progressives joined the “vanguard of the proletariat,” the Communist Party. Many more were deeply sympathetic to Soviet Russia, as they were to Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Not just the Nation, but also the New York Times and National Geographic found much to be imitated in these regimes because they promised energetically to transcend their peoples’ ways and to build “the new man.” Above all, our educated class was bitter about America. In 1925 the American Civil Liberties Union sponsored a legal challenge to a Tennessee law that required teaching the biblical account of creation. The ensuing trial, radio broadcast nationally, as well as the subsequent hit movie Inherit the Wind, were the occasion for what one might have called the Chautauqua class to drive home the point that Americans who believed in the Bible were willful ignoramuses. As World War II approached, some American Progressives supported the Soviet Union (and its ally, Nazi Germany) and others Great Britain and France. But Progressives agreed on one thing: the approaching war should be blamed on the majority of Americans, because they had refused to lead the League of Nations. Darryl Zanuck produced the critically acclaimed movie [Woodrow] Wilson featuring Cedric Hardwicke as Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, who allegedly brought on the war by appealing to American narrow-mindedness against Wilson’s benevolent genius.
Franklin Roosevelt brought the Chautauqua class into his administration and began the process that turned them into rulers. FDR described America’s problems in technocratic terms. America’s problems would be fixed by a “brain trust” (picked by him). His New Deal’s solutions — the alphabet-soup “independent” agencies that have run America ever since — turned many Progressives into powerful bureaucrats and then into lobbyists. As the saying goes, they came to Washington to do good, and stayed to do well.
As their number and sense of importance grew, so did their distaste for common Americans. Believing itself “scientific,” this Progressive class sought to explain its differences from its neighbors in “scientific” terms. The most elaborate of these attempts was Theodor Adorno’s widely acclaimed The Authoritarian Personality (1948). It invented a set of criteria by which to define personality traits, ranked these traits and their intensity in any given person on what it called the “F scale” (F for fascist), interviewed hundreds of Americans, and concluded that most who were not liberal Democrats were latent fascists. This way of thinking about non-Progressives filtered down to college curricula. In 1963-64 for example, I was assigned Herbert McCloskey’s Conservatism and Personality (1958) at Rutgers’s Eagleton Institute of Politics as a paradigm of methodological correctness. The author had defined conservatism in terms of answers to certain questions, had defined a number of personality disorders in terms of other questions, and run a survey that proved “scientifically” that conservatives were maladjusted ne’er-do-well ignoramuses. (My class project, titled “Liberalism and Personality,” following the same methodology, proved just as scientifically that liberals suffered from the very same social diseases, and even more amusing ones.)
The point is this: though not one in a thousand of today’s bipartisan ruling class ever heard of Adorno or McCloskey, much less can explain the Feuerbachian-Marxist notion that human judgments are “epiphenomenal” products of spiritual or material alienation, the notion that the common people’s words are, like grunts, mere signs of pain, pleasure, and frustration, is now axiomatic among our ruling class. They absorbed it osmotically, second — or thirdhand, from their education and from companions. Truly, after Barack Obama described his opponents’ clinging to “God and guns” as a characteristic of inferior Americans, he justified himself by pointing out he had said “what everybody knows is true.” Confident “knowledge” that “some of us, the ones who matter,” have grasped truths that the common herd cannot, truths that direct us, truths the grasping of which entitles us to discount what the ruled say and to presume what they mean, made our Progressives into a class long before they took power.
The Agenda: Power
Our ruling class’s agenda is power for itself. While it stakes its claim through intellectual-moral pretense, it holds power by one of the oldest and most prosaic of means: patronage and promises thereof. Like left-wing parties always and everywhere, it is a “machine,” that is, based on providing tangible rewards to its members. Such parties often provide rank-and-file activists with modest livelihoods and enhance mightily the upper levels’ wealth. Because this is so, whatever else such parties might accomplish, they must feed the machine by transferring money or jobs or privileges — civic as well as economic — to the party’s clients, directly or indirectly. This, incidentally, is close to Aristotle’s view of democracy. Hence our ruling class’s standard approach to any and all matters, its solution to any and all problems, is to increase the power of the government — meaning of those who run it, meaning themselves, to profit those who pay with political support for privileged jobs, contracts, etc. Hence more power for the ruling class has been our ruling class’s solution not just for economic downturns and social ills but also for hurricanes and tornadoes, global cooling and global warming. A priori, one might wonder whether enriching and empowering individuals of a certain kind can make Americans kinder and gentler, much less control the weather. But there can be no doubt that such power and money makes Americans ever more dependent on those who wield it. Let us now look at what this means in our time.
By taxing and parceling out more than a third of what Americans produce, through regulations that reach deep into American life, our ruling class is making itself the arbiter of wealth and poverty. While the economic value of anything depends on sellers and buyers agreeing on that value as civil equals in the absence of force, modern government is about nothing if not tampering with civil equality. By endowing some in society with power to force others to sell cheaper than they would, and forcing others yet to buy at higher prices — even to buy in the first place — modern government makes valuable some things that are not, and devalues others that are. Thus if you are not among the favored guests at the table where officials make detailed lists of who is to receive what at whose expense, you are on the menu. Eventually, pretending forcibly that valueless things have value dilutes the currency’s value for all.
Laws and regulations nowadays are longer than ever because length is needed to specify how people will be treated unequally. For example, the health care bill of 2010 takes more than 2,700 pages to make sure not just that some states will be treated differently from others because their senators offered key political support, but more importantly to codify bargains between the government and various parts of the health care industry, state governments, and large employers about who would receive what benefits (e.g., public employee unions and auto workers) and who would pass what indirect taxes onto the general public. The financial regulation bill of 2010, far from setting univocal rules for the entire financial industry in few words, spends some 3,000 pages (at this writing) tilting the field exquisitely toward some and away from others. Even more significantly, these and other products of Democratic and Republican administrations and Congresses empower countless boards and commissions arbitrarily to protect some persons and companies, while ruining others. Thus in 2008 the Republican administration first bailed out Bear Stearns, then let Lehman Brothers sink in the ensuing panic, but then rescued Goldman Sachs by infusing cash into its principal debtor, AIG. Then, its Democratic successor used similarly naked discretionary power (and money appropriated for another purpose) to give major stakes in the auto industry to labor unions that support it. Nowadays, the members of our ruling class admit that they do not read the laws. They don’t have to. Because modern laws are primarily grants of discretion, all anybody has to know about them is whom they empower.
By making economic rules dependent on discretion, our bipartisan ruling class teaches that prosperity is to be bought with the coin of political support. Thus in the 1990s and 2000s, as Democrats and Republicans forced banks to make loans for houses to people and at rates they would not otherwise have considered, builders and investors had every reason to make as much money as they could from the ensuing inflation of housing prices. When the bubble burst, only those connected with the ruling class at the bottom and at the top were bailed out. Similarly, by taxing the use of carbon fuels and subsidizing “alternative energy,” our ruling class created arguably the world’s biggest opportunity for making money out of things that few if any would buy absent its intervention. The ethanol industry and its ensuing diversions of wealth exist exclusively because of subsidies. The prospect of legislation that would put a price on carbon emissions and allot certain amounts to certain companies set off a feeding frenzy among large companies to show support for a “green agenda,” because such allotments would be worth tens of billions of dollars. That is why companies hired some 2,500 lobbyists in 2009 to deepen their involvement in “climate change.” At the very least, such involvement profits them by making them into privileged collectors of carbon taxes. Any “green jobs” thus created are by definition creatures of subsidies — that is, of privilege. What effect creating such privileges may have on “global warming” is debatable. But it surely increases the number of people dependent on the ruling class, and teaches Americans that satisfying that class is a surer way of making a living than producing goods and services that people want to buy.
Beyond patronage, picking economic winners and losers redirects the American people’s energies to tasks that the political class deems more worthy than what Americans choose for themselves. John Kenneth Galbraith’s characterization of America as “private wealth amidst public squalor” (The Affluent Society, 1958) has ever encapsulated our best and brightest’s complaint: left to themselves, Americans use land inefficiently in suburbs and exurbs, making it necessary to use energy to transport them to jobs and shopping. Americans drive big cars, eat lots of meat as well as other unhealthy things, and go to the doctor whenever they feel like it. Americans think it justice to spend the money they earn to satisfy their private desires even though the ruling class knows that justice lies in improving the community and the planet. The ruling class knows that Americans must learn to live more densely and close to work, that they must drive smaller cars and change their lives to use less energy, that their dietary habits must improve, that they must accept limits in how much medical care they get, that they must divert more of their money to support people, cultural enterprises, and plans for the planet that the ruling class deems worthier. So, ever-greater taxes and intrusive regulations are the main wrenches by which the American people can be improved (and, yes, by which the ruling class feeds and grows).
The 2010 medical law is a template for the ruling class’s economic modus operandi: the government taxes citizens to pay for medical care and requires citizens to purchase health insurance. The money thus taken and directed is money that the citizens themselves might have used to pay for medical care. In exchange for the money, the government promises to provide care through its “system.” But then all the boards, commissions, guidelines, procedures, and “best practices” that constitute “the system” become the arbiters of what any citizen ends up getting. The citizen might end up dissatisfied with what “the system” offers. But when he gave up his money, he gave up the power to choose, and became dependent on all the boards and commissions that his money also pays for and that raise the cost of care. Similarly, in 2008 the House Ways and Means Committee began considering a plan to force citizens who own Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to transfer those funds into government-run “guaranteed retirement accounts.” If the government may force citizens to buy health insurance, by what logic can it not force them to trade private ownership and control of retirement money for a guarantee as sound as the government itself? Is it not clear that the government knows more about managing retirement income than individuals?
Who Depends on Whom?
In Congressional Government (1885) Woodrow Wilson left no doubt: the U.S. Constitution prevents the government from meeting the country’s needs by enumerating rights that the government may not infringe. (“Congress shall make no law…” says the First Amendment, typically.) Our electoral system, based on single member districts, empowers individual voters at the expense of “responsible parties.” Hence the ruling class’s perpetual agenda has been to diminish the role of the citizenry’s elected representatives, enhancing that of party leaders as well as of groups willing to partner in the government’s plans, and to craft a “living” Constitution in which restrictions on government give way to “positive rights” — meaning charters of government power.
Consider representation. Following Wilson, American Progressives have always wanted to turn the U.S. Congress from the role defined by James Madison’s Federalist #10, “refine and enlarge the public’s view,” to something like the British Parliament, which ratifies government actions. Although Britain’s electoral system — like ours, single members elected in historic districts by plurality vote — had made members of Parliament responsive to their constituents in ancient times, by Wilson’s time the growing importance of parties made MPs beholden to party leaders. Hence whoever controls the majority party controls both Parliament and the government.
In America, the process by which party has become (almost) as important began with the Supreme Court’s 1962 decision in Baker v. Carr which, by setting the single standard “one man, one vote” for congressional districts, ended up legalizing the practice of “gerrymandering,” concentrating the opposition party’s voters into as few districts as possible while placing one’s own voters into as many as possible likely to yield victories. Republican and Democratic state legislatures have gerrymandered for a half century. That is why today’s Congress consists more and more of persons who represent their respective party establishments — not nearly as much as in Britain, but heading in that direction. Once districts are gerrymandered “safe” for one party or another, the voters therein count less because party leaders can count more on elected legislators to toe the party line.
To the extent party leaders do not have to worry about voters, they can choose privileged interlocutors, representing those in society whom they find most amenable. In America ever more since the 1930s — elsewhere in the world this practice is ubiquitous and long-standing — government has designated certain individuals, companies, and organizations within each of society’s sectors as (junior) partners in elaborating laws and administrative rules for those sectors. The government empowers the persons it has chosen over those not chosen, deems them the sector’s true representatives, and rewards them. They become part of the ruling class.
Thus in 2009-10 the American Medical Association (AMA) strongly supported the new medical care law, which the administration touted as having the support of “the doctors” even though the vast majority of America’s 975,000 physicians opposed it. Those who run the AMA, however, have a government contract as exclusive providers of the codes by which physicians and hospitals bill the government for their services. The millions of dollars that flow thereby to the AMA’s officers keep them in line, while the impracticality of doing without the billing codes tamps down rebellion in the doctor ranks. When the administration wanted to bolster its case that the state of Arizona’s enforcement of federal immigration laws was offensive to Hispanics, the National Association of Chiefs of Police — whose officials depend on the administration for their salaries — issued a statement that the laws would endanger all Americans by raising Hispanics’ animosity. This reflected conversations with the administration rather than a vote of the nation’s police chiefs.
Similarly, modern labor unions are ever less bunches of workers banding together and ever more bundled under the aegis of an organization chosen jointly by employers and government. Prototypical is the Service Employees International Union, which grew spectacularly by persuading managers of government agencies as well as of publicly funded private entities that placing their employees in the SEIU would relieve them of responsibility. Not by being elected by workers’ secret ballots did the SEIU conquer workplace after workplace, but rather by such deals, or by the union presenting what it claims are cards from workers approving of representation. The union gets 2 percent of the workers’ pay, which it recycles as contributions to the Democratic Party, which it recycles in greater power over public employees. The union’s leadership is part of the ruling class’s beating heart.
The point is that a doctor, a building contractor, a janitor, or a schoolteacher counts in today’s America insofar as he is part of the hierarchy of a sector organization affiliated with the ruling class. Less and less do such persons count as voters.
Ordinary people have also gone a long way toward losing equal treatment under law. The America described in civics books, in which no one could be convicted or fined except by a jury of his peers for having violated laws passed by elected representatives, started disappearing when the New Deal inaugurated today’s administrative state — in which bureaucrats make, enforce, and adjudicate nearly all the rules. Today’s legal-administrative texts are incomprehensibly detailed and freighted with provisions crafted exquisitely to affect equal individuals unequally. The bureaucrats do not enforce the rules themselves so much as whatever “agency policy” they choose to draw from them in any given case. If you protest any “agency policy” you will be informed that it was formulated with input from “the public.” But not from the likes of you.
Disregard for the text of laws — for the dictionary meaning of words and the intentions of those who wrote them — in favor of the decider’s discretion has permeated our ruling class from the Supreme Court to the lowest local agency. Ever since Oliver Wendell Holmes argued in 1920 (Missouri v. Holland) that presidents, Congresses, and judges could not be bound by the U.S. Constitution regarding matters that the people who wrote and ratified it could not have foreseen, it has become conventional wisdom among our ruling class that they may transcend the Constitution while pretending allegiance to it. They began by stretching such constitutional terms as “interstate commerce” and “due process,” then transmuting others, e.g., “search and seizure,” into “privacy.” Thus in 1973 the Supreme Court endowed its invention of “privacy” with a “penumbra” that it deemed “broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” The court gave no other constitutional reasoning, period. Perfunctory to the point of mockery, this constitutional talk was to reassure the American people that the ruling class was acting within the Constitution’s limitations. By the 1990s federal courts were invalidating amendments to state constitutions passed by referenda to secure the “positive rights” they invent, because these expressions of popular will were inconsistent with the constitution they themselves were construing.
By 2010 some in the ruling class felt confident enough to dispense with the charade. Asked what in the Constitution allows Congress and the president to force every American to purchase health insurance, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied: “Are you serious? Are you serious?” No surprise then that lower court judges and bureaucrats take liberties with laws, regulations, and contracts. That is why legal words that say you are in the right avail you less in today’s America than being on the right side of the persons who decide what they want those words to mean.
As the discretionary powers of officeholders and of their informal entourages have grown, the importance of policy and of law itself is declining, citizenship is becoming vestigial, and the American people become ever more dependent.
Disaggregating and Dispiriting
The ruling class is keener to reform the American people’s family and spiritual lives than their economic and civic ones. In no other areas is the ruling class’s self-definition so definite, its contempt for opposition so patent, its Kulturkampf so open. It believes that the Christian family (and the Orthodox Jewish one too) is rooted in and perpetuates the ignorance commonly called religion, divisive social prejudices, and repressive gender roles, that it is the greatest barrier to human progress because it looks to its very particular interest — often defined as mere coherence against outsiders who most often know better. Thus the family prevents its members from playing their proper roles in social reform. Worst of all, it reproduces itself.
Since marriage is the family’s fertile seed, government at all levels, along with “mainstream” academics and media, have waged war on it. They legislate, regulate, and exhort in support not of “the family” — meaning married parents raising children — but rather of “families,” meaning mostly households based on something other than marriage. The institution of no-fault divorce diminished the distinction between cohabitation and marriage — except that husbands are held financially responsible for the children they father, while out-of-wedlock fathers are not. The tax code penalizes marriage and forces those married couples who raise their own children to subsidize “child care” for those who do not. Top Republicans and Democrats have also led society away from the very notion of marital fidelity by precept as well as by parading their affairs. For example, in 1997 the Democratic administration’s secretary of defense and the Republican Senate’s majority leader (joined by the New York Times et al.) condemned the military’s practice of punishing officers who had extramarital affairs. While the military had assumed that honoring marital vows is as fundamental to the integrity of its units as it is to that of society, consensus at the top declared that insistence on fidelity is “contrary to societal norms.” Not surprisingly, rates of marriage in America have decreased as out-of-wedlock births have increased. The biggest demographic consequence has been that about one in five of all households are women alone or with children, in which case they have about a four in 10 chance of living in poverty. Since unmarried mothers often are or expect to be clients of government services, it is not surprising that they are among the Democratic Party’s most faithful voters.
While our ruling class teaches that relationships among men, women, and children are contingent, it also insists that the relationship between each of them and the state is fundamental. That is why such as Hillary Clinton have written law review articles and books advocating a direct relationship between the government and children, effectively abolishing the presumption of parental authority. Hence whereas within living memory school nurses could not administer an aspirin to a child without the parents’ consent, the people who run America’s schools nowadays administer pregnancy tests and ship girls off to abortion clinics without the parents’ knowledge. Parents are not allowed to object to what their children are taught. But the government may and often does object to how parents raise children. The ruling class’s assumption is that what it mandates for children is correct ipso facto, while what parents do is potentially abusive. It only takes an anonymous accusation of abuse for parents to be taken away in handcuffs until they prove their innocence. Only sheer political weight (and in California, just barely) has preserved parents’ right to homeschool their children against the ruling class’s desire to accomplish what Woodrow Wilson so yearned: “to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible.”
At stake are the most important questions: What is the right way for human beings to live? By what standard is anything true or good? Who gets to decide what? Implicit in Wilson’s words and explicit in our ruling class’s actions is the dismissal, as the ways of outdated “fathers,” of the answers that most Americans would give to these questions. This dismissal of the American people’s intellectual, spiritual, and moral substance is the very heart of what our ruling class is about. Its principal article of faith, its claim to the right to decide for others, is precisely that it knows things and operates by standards beyond others’ comprehension.
While the unenlightened ones believe that man is created in the image and likeness of God and that we are subject to His and to His nature’s laws, the enlightened ones know that we are products of evolution, driven by chance, the environment, and the will to primacy. While the un-enlightened are stuck with the antiquated notion that ordinary human minds can reach objective judgments about good and evil, better and worse through reason, the enlightened ones know that all such judgments are subjective and that ordinary people can no more be trusted with reason than they can with guns. Because ordinary people will pervert reason with ideology, religion, or interest, science is “science” only in the “right” hands. Consensus among the right people is the only standard of truth. Facts and logic matter only insofar as proper authority acknowledges them.
That is why the ruling class is united and adamant about nothing so much as its right to pronounce definitive, “scientific” judgment on whatever it chooses. When the government declares, and its associated press echoes that “scientists say” this or that, ordinary people — or for that matter scientists who “don’t say,” or are not part of the ruling class — lose any right to see the information that went into what “scientists say.” Thus when Virginia’s attorney general subpoenaed the data by which Professor Michael Mann had concluded, while paid by the state of Virginia, that the earth’s temperatures are rising “like a hockey stick” from millennial stability — a conclusion on which billions of dollars’ worth of decisions were made — to investigate the possibility of fraud, the University of Virginia’s faculty senate condemned any inquiry into “scientific endeavor that has satisfied peer review standards” claiming that demands for data “send a chilling message to scientists…and indeed scholars in any discipline.” The Washington Post editorialized that the attorney general’s demands for data amounted to “an assault on reason.” The fact that the “hockey stick” conclusion stands discredited and Mann and associates are on record manipulating peer review, the fact that science-by-secret-data is an oxymoron, the very distinction between truth and error, all matter far less to the ruling class than the distinction between itself and those they rule.
By identifying science and reason with themselves, our rulers delegitimize opposition. Though they cannot prevent Americans from worshiping God, they can make it as socially disabling as smoking — to be done furtively and with a bad social conscience. Though they cannot make Americans wish they were Europeans, they continue to press upon this nation of refugees from the rest of the world the notion that Americans ought to live by “world standards.” Each day, the ruling class produces new “studies” that show that one or another of Americans’ habits is in need of reform, and that those Americans most resistant to reform are pitiably, perhaps criminally, wrong. Thus does it go about disaggregating and dispiriting the ruled.
Meddling and Apologies
America’s best and brightest believe themselves qualified and duty bound to direct the lives not only of Americans but of foreigners as well. George W. Bush’s 2005 inaugural statement that America cannot be free until the whole world is free and hence that America must push and prod mankind to freedom was but an extrapolation of the sentiments of America’s Progressive class, first articulated by such as Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson and Columbia’s Nicholas Murray Butler. But while the early Progressives expected the rest of the world to follow peacefully, today’s ruling class makes decisions about war and peace at least as much forcibly to tinker with the innards of foreign bodies politic as to protect America. Indeed, they conflate the two purposes in the face of the American people’s insistence to draw a bright line between war against our enemies and peace with non-enemies in whose affairs we do not interfere. That is why, from Wilson to Kissinger, the ruling class has complained that the American people oscillate between bellicosity and “isolationism.”
Because our ruling class deems unsophisticated the American people’s perennial preference for decisive military action or none, its default solution to international threats has been to commit blood and treasure to long-term, twilight efforts to reform the world’s Vietnams, Somalias, Iraqs, and Afghanistans, believing that changing hearts and minds is the prerequisite of peace and that it knows how to change them. The apparently endless series of wars in which our ruling class has embroiled America, wars that have achieved nothing worthwhile at great cost in lives and treasure, has contributed to defining it, and to discrediting it — but not in its own eyes.
Rather, even as our ruling class has lectured, cajoled, and sometimes intruded violently to reform foreign countries in its own image, it has apologized to them for America not having matched that image — their private image. Woodrow Wilson began this double game in 1919, when he assured Europe’s peoples that America had mandated him to demand their agreement to Article X of the peace treaty (the League of Nations) and then swore to the American people that Article X was the Europeans’ non-negotiable demand. The fact that the U.S. government had seized control of transatlantic cable communications helped hide (for a while) that the League scheme was merely the American Progressives’ private dream. In our time, this double game is quotidian on the evening news. Notably, President Obama apologized to Europe because “the United States has fallen short of meeting its responsibilities” to reduce carbon emissions by taxation. But the American people never assumed such responsibility, and oppose doing so. Hence President Obama was not apologizing for anything that he or anyone he respected had done, but rather blaming his fellow Americans for not doing what he thinks they should do while glossing over the fact that the Europeans had done the taxing but not the reducing. Wilson redux.
Similarly, Obama “apologized” to Europeans because some Americans — not him and his friends — had shown “arrogance and been dismissive” toward them, and to the world because President Truman had used the atom bomb to end World War II. So President Clinton apologized to Africans because some Americans held African slaves until 1865 and others were mean to Negroes thereafter — not himself and his friends, of course. So assistant secretary of state Michael Posner apologized to Chinese diplomats for Arizona’s law that directs police to check immigration status. Republicans engage in that sort of thing as well: former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev tells us that in 1987 then vice president George H. W. Bush distanced himself from his own administration by telling him, “Reagan is a conservative, an extreme conservative. All the dummies and blockheads are with him…” This is all about a class of Americans distinguishing itself from its inferiors. It recalls the Pharisee in the Temple: “Lord, I thank thee that I am not like other men…”
In sum, our ruling class does not like the rest of America. Most of all does it dislike that so many Americans think America is substantially different from the rest of the world and like it that way. For our ruling class, however, America is a work in progress, just like the rest the world, and they are the engineers.
The Country Class
Describing America’s country class is problematic because it is so heterogeneous. It has no privileged podiums, and speaks with many voices, often inharmonious. It shares above all the desire to be rid of rulers it regards inept and haughty. It defines itself practically in terms of reflexive reaction against the rulers’ defining ideas and proclivities — e.g., ever higher taxes and expanding government, subsidizing political favorites, social engineering, approval of abortion, etc. Many want to restore a way of life largely superseded. Demographically, the country class is the other side of the ruling class’s coin: its most distinguishing characteristics are marriage, children, and religious practice. While the country class, like the ruling class, includes the professionally accomplished and the mediocre, geniuses and dolts, it is different because of its non-orientation to government and its members’ yearning to rule themselves rather than be ruled by others.
Even when members of the country class happen to be government officials or officers of major corporations, their concerns are essentially private; in their view, government owes to its people equal treatment rather than action to correct what anyone perceives as imbalance or grievance. Hence they tend to oppose special treatment, whether for corporations or for social categories. Rather than gaming government regulations, they try to stay as far from them as possible. Thus the Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in Kelo, which allows the private property of some to be taken by others with better connections to government, reminded the country class that government is not its friend.
Negative orientation to privilege distinguishes the corporate officer who tries to keep his company from joining the Business Council of large corporations who have close ties with government from the fellow in the next office. The first wants the company to grow by producing. The second wants it to grow by moving to the trough. It sets apart the schoolteacher who resents the union to which he is forced to belong for putting the union’s interests above those of parents who want to choose their children’s schools. In general, the country class includes all those in stations high and low who are aghast at how relatively little honest work yields, by comparison with what just a little connection with the right bureaucracy can get you. It includes those who take the side of outsiders against insiders, of small institutions against large ones, of local government against the state or federal. The country class is convinced that big business, big government, and big finance are linked as never before and that ordinary people are more unequal than ever.
Members of the country class who want to rise in their profession through sheer competence try at once to avoid the ruling class’s rituals while guarding against infringing its prejudices. Averse to wheedling, they tend to think that exams should play a major role in getting or advancing in jobs, that records of performance — including academic ones — should be matters of public record, and that professional disputes should be settled by open argument. For such people, the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Ricci, upholding the right of firefighters to be promoted according to the results of a professional exam, revived the hope that competence may sometimes still trump political connections.
Nothing has set the country class apart, defined it, made it conscious of itself, given it whatever coherence it has, so much as the ruling class’s insistence that people other than themselves are intellectually and hence otherwise humanly inferior. Persons who were brought up to believe themselves as worthy as anyone, who manage their own lives to their own satisfaction, naturally resent politicians of both parties who say that the issues of modern life are too complex for any but themselves. Most are insulted by the ruling class’s dismissal of opposition as mere “anger and frustration” — an imputation of stupidity — while others just scoff at the claim that the ruling class’s bureaucratic language demonstrates superior intelligence. A few ask the fundamental question: Since when and by what right does intelligence trump human equality? Moreover, if the politicians are so smart, why have they made life worse?
The country class actually believes that America’s ways are superior to the rest of the world’s, and regards most of mankind as less free, less prosperous, and less virtuous. Thus while it delights in croissants and thinks Toyota’s factory methods are worth imitating, it dislikes the idea of adhering to “world standards.” This class also takes part in the U.S. armed forces body and soul: nearly all the enlisted, non-commissioned officers and officers under flag rank belong to this class in every measurable way. Few vote for the Democratic Party. You do not doubt that you are amidst the country class rather than with the ruling class when the American flag passes by or “God Bless America” is sung after seven innings of baseball, and most people show reverence. The same people wince at the National Football League’s plaintive renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Unlike the ruling class, the country class does not share a single intellectual orthodoxy, set of tastes, or ideal lifestyle. Its different sectors draw their notions of human equality from different sources: Christians and Jews believe it is God’s law. Libertarians assert it from Hobbesian and Darwinist bases. Many consider equality the foundation of Americanism. Others just hate snobs. Some parts of the country class now follow the stars and the music out of Nashville, Tennessee, and Branson, Missouri — entertainment complexes larger than Hollywood’s — because since the 1970s most of Hollywood’s products have appealed more to the mores of the ruling class and its underclass clients than to those of large percentages of Americans. The same goes for “popular music” and television. For some in the country class Christian radio and TV are the lodestone of sociopolitical taste, while the very secular Fox News serves the same purpose for others. While symphonies and opera houses around the country, as well as the stations that broadcast them, are firmly in the ruling class’s hands, a considerable part of the country class appreciates these things for their own sake. By that very token, the country class’s characteristic cultural venture — the homeschool movement — stresses the classics across the board in science, literature, music, and history even as the ruling class abandons them.
Each of the country class’s diverse parts has its own agenda, which flows from the peculiar ways in which the ruling class impacts its concerns. Independent businesspeople are naturally more sensitive to the growth of privileged relations between government and their competitors. Persons who would like to lead their community rue the advantages that Democratic and Republican party establishments are accruing. Parents of young children and young women anxious about marriage worry that cultural directives from on high are dispelling their dreams. The faithful to God sense persecution. All resent higher taxes and loss of freedom. More and more realize that their own agenda’s advancement requires concerting resistance to the ruling class across the board.
Not being at the table when government makes the rules about how you must run your business, knowing that you will be required to pay more, work harder, and show deference for the privilege of making less money, is the independent businessman’s nightmare. But what to do about it? In our time the interpenetration of government and business — the network of subsidies, preferences, and regulations — is so thick and deep, the people “at the table” receive and recycle into politics so much money, that independent businesspeople cannot hope to undo any given regulation or grant of privilege. Just as no manufacturer can hope to reduce the subsidies that raise his fuel costs, no set of doctors can shield themselves from the increased costs and bureaucracy resulting from government mandates. Hence independent business’s agenda has been to resist the expansion of government in general, and of course to reduce taxes. Pursuit of this agenda with arguments about economic efficiency and job creation — and through support of the Republican Party — usually results in enough relief to discourage more vigorous remonstrance. Sometimes, however, the economic argument is framed in moral terms: “The sum of good government,” said Thomas Jefferson, is not taking “from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” For government to advantage some at others’ expense, said he, “is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association.” In our time, more and more independent businesspeople have come to think of their economic problems in moral terms. But few realize how revolutionary that is.
As bureaucrats and teachers’ unions disempowered neighborhood school boards, while the governments of towns, counties, and states were becoming conduits for federal mandates, as the ruling class reduced the number and importance of things that American communities could decide for themselves, America’s thirst for self-governance reawakened. The fact that public employees are almost always paid more and have more generous benefits than the private sector people whose taxes support them only sharpened the sense among many in the country class that they now work for public employees rather than the other way around. But how to reverse the roles? How can voters regain control of government? Restoring localities’ traditional powers over schools, including standards, curriculum, and prayer, would take repudiating two generations of Supreme Court rulings. So would the restoration of traditional “police” powers over behavior in public places. Bringing public employee unions to heel is only incidentally a matter of cutting pay and benefits. As self-governance is crimped primarily by the powers of government personified in its employees, restoring it involves primarily deciding that any number of functions now performed and the professional specialties who perform them, e.g., social workers, are superfluous or worse. Explaining to one’s self and neighbors why such functions and personnel do more harm than good, while the ruling class brings its powers to bear to discredit you, is a very revolutionary thing to do.
America’s pro-family movement is a reaction to the ruling class’s challenges: emptying marriage of legal sanction, promoting abortion, and progressively excluding parents from their children’s education. Americans reacted to these challenges primarily by sorting themselves out. Close friendships and above all marriages became rarer between persons who think well of divorce, abortion, and government authority over children and those who do not. The homeschool movement, for which the Internet became the great facilitator, involves not only each family educating its own children, but also extensive and growing social, intellectual, and spiritual contact among like-minded persons. In short, the part of the country class that is most concerned with family matters has taken on something of a biological identity. Few in this part of the country class have any illusion, however, that simply retreating into private associations will long save their families from societal influences made to order to discredit their ways. But stopping the ruling class’s intrusions would require discrediting its entire conception of man, of right and wrong, as well as of the role of courts in popular government. That revolutionary task would involve far more than legislation.
The ruling class’s manifold efforts to discredit and drive worship of God out of public life — not even the Soviet Union arrested students for wearing crosses or praying, or reading the Bible on school property, as some U.S. localities have done in response to Supreme Court rulings — convinced many among the vast majority of Americans who believe and pray that today’s regime is hostile to the most important things of all. Every December, they are reminded that the ruling class deems the very word “Christmas” to be offensive. Every time they try to manifest their religious identity in public affairs, they are deluged by accusations of being “American Taliban” trying to set up a “theocracy.” Let members of the country class object to anything the ruling class says or does, and likely as not their objection will be characterized as “religious,” that is to say irrational, that is to say not to be considered on a par with the “science” of which the ruling class is the sole legitimate interpreter. Because aggressive, intolerant secularism is the moral and intellectual basis of the ruling class’s claim to rule, resistance to that rule, whether to the immorality of economic subsidies and privileges, or to the violation of the principle of equal treatment under equal law, or to its seizure of children’s education, must deal with secularism’s intellectual and moral core. This lies beyond the boundaries of politics as the term is commonly understood.
The Classes Clash
The ruling class’s appetite for deference, power, and perks grows. The country class disrespects its rulers, wants to curtail their power and reduce their perks. The ruling class wears on its sleeve the view that the rest of Americans are racist, greedy, and above all stupid. The country class is ever more convinced that our rulers are corrupt, malevolent, and inept. The rulers want the ruled to shut up and obey. The ruled want self-governance. The clash between the two is about which side’s vision of itself and of the other is right and which is wrong. Because each side — especially the ruling class — embodies its views on the issues, concessions by one side to another on any issue tend to discredit that side’s view of itself. One side or the other will prevail. The clash is as sure and momentous as its outcome is unpredictable.
In this clash, the ruling class holds most of the cards: because it has established itself as the fount of authority, its primacy is based on habits of deference. Breaking them, establishing other founts of authority, other ways of doing things, would involve far more than electoral politics. Though the country class had long argued along with Edmund Burke against making revolutionary changes, it faces the uncomfortable question common to all who have had revolutionary changes imposed on them: are we now to accept what was done to us just because it was done? Sweeping away a half century’s accretions of bad habits — taking care to preserve the good among them — is hard enough. Establishing, even reestablishing, a set of better institutions and habits is much harder, especially as the country class wholly lacks organization. By contrast, the ruling class holds strong defensive positions and is well represented by the Democratic Party. But a two to one numerical disadvantage augurs defeat, while victory would leave it in control of a people whose confidence it cannot regain.
Certainly the country class lacks its own political vehicle — and perhaps the coherence to establish one. In the short term at least, the country class has no alternative but to channel its political efforts through the Republican Party, which is eager for its support. But the Republican Party does not live to represent the country class. For it to do so, it would have to become principles-based, as it has not been since the mid-1860s. The few who tried to make it so the party treated as rebels: Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. The party helped defeat Goldwater. When it failed to stop Reagan, it saddled his and subsequent Republican administrations with establishmentarians who, under the Bush family, repudiated Reagan’s principles as much as they could. Barack Obama exaggerated in charging that Republicans had driven the country “into the ditch” all alone. But they had a hand in it. Few Republican voters, never mind the larger country class, have confidence that the party is on their side. Because, in the long run, the country class will not support a party as conflicted as today’s Republicans, those Republican politicians who really want to represent it will either reform the party in an unmistakable manner, or start a new one as Whigs like Abraham Lincoln started the Republican Party in the 1850s.
The name of the party that will represent America’s country class is far less important than what, precisely, it represents and how it goes about representing it because, for the foreseeable future, American politics will consist of confrontation between what we might call the Country Party and the ruling class. The Democratic Party having transformed itself into a unit with near-European discipline, challenging it would seem to require empowering a rival party at least as disciplined. What other antidote is there to government by one party but government by another party? Yet this logic, though all too familiar to most of the world, has always been foreign to America and naturally leads further in the direction toward which the ruling class has led. Any country party would have to be wise and skillful indeed not to become the Democrats’ mirror image.
Yet to defend the country class, to break down the ruling class’s presumptions, it has no choice but to imitate the Democrats, at least in some ways and for a while. Consider: The ruling class denies its opponents’ legitimacy. Seldom does a Democratic official or member of the ruling class speak on public affairs without reiterating the litany of his class’s claim to authority, contrasting it with opponents who are either uninformed, stupid, racist, shills for business, violent, fundamentalist, or all of the above. They do this in the hope that opponents, hearing no other characterizations of themselves and no authoritative voice discrediting the ruling class, will be dispirited. For the country class seriously to contend for self-governance, the political party that represents it will have to discredit not just such patent frauds as ethanol mandates, the pretense that taxes can control “climate change,” and the outrage of banning God from public life. More important, such a serious party would have to attack the ruling class’s fundamental claims to its superior intellect and morality in ways that dispirit the target and hearten one’s own. The Democrats having set the rules of modern politics, opponents who want electoral success are obliged to follow them.
Suppose that the Country Party (whatever its name might be) were to capture Congress, the presidency, and most statehouses. What then would it do? Especially if its majority were slim, it would be tempted to follow the Democrats’ plan of 2009-2010, namely to write its wish list of reforms into law regardless of the Constitution and enact them by partisan majorities supported by interest groups that gain from them, while continuing to vilify the other side. Whatever effect this might have, it surely would not be to make America safe for self-governance because by carrying out its own “revolution from above” to reverse the ruling class’s previous “revolution from above,” it would have made that ruinous practice standard in America. Moreover, a revolution designed at party headquarters would be antithetical to the country class’s diversity as well as to the American Founders’ legacy.
Achieving the country class’s inherently revolutionary objectives in a manner consistent with the Constitution and with its own diversity would require the Country Party to use legislation primarily as a tool to remove obstacles, to instruct, to reintroduce into American life ways and habits that had been cast aside. Passing national legislation is easier than getting people to take up the responsibilities of citizens, fathers, and entrepreneurs.
Reducing the taxes that most Americans resent requires eliminating the network of subsidies to millions of other Americans that these taxes finance, and eliminating the jobs of government employees who administer them. Eliminating that network is practical, if at all, if done simultaneously, both because subsidies are morally wrong and economically counterproductive, and because the country cannot afford the practice in general. The electorate is likely to cut off millions of government clients, high and low, only if its choice is between no economic privilege for anyone and ratifying government’s role as the arbiter of all our fortunes. The same goes for government grants to and contracts with so-called nonprofit institutions or non-governmental organizations. The case against all arrangements by which the government favors some groups of citizens is easier to make than that against any such arrangement. Without too much fuss, a few obviously burdensome bureaucracies, like the Department of Education, can be eliminated, while money can be cut off to partisan enterprises such as the National Endowments and public broadcasting. That sort of thing is as necessary to the American body politic as a weight reduction program is essential to restoring the health of any human body degraded by obesity and lack of exercise. Yet shedding fat is the easy part. Restoring atrophied muscles is harder. Reenabling the body to do elementary tasks takes yet more concentration.
The grandparents of today’s Americans (132 million in 1940) had opportunities to serve on 117,000 school boards. To exercise responsibilities comparable to their grandparents’, today’s 310 million Americans would have radically to decentralize the mere 15,000 districts into which public school children are now concentrated. They would have to take responsibility for curriculum and administration away from credentialed experts, and they would have to explain why they know better. This would involve a level of political articulation of the body politic far beyond voting in elections every two years.
If self-governance means anything, it means that those who exercise government power must depend on elections. The shorter the electoral leash, the likelier an official to have his chain yanked by voters, the more truly republican the government is. Yet to subject the modern administrative state’s agencies to electoral control would require ordinary citizens to take an interest in any number of technical matters. Law can require environmental regulators or insurance commissioners, or judges or auditors to be elected. But only citizens’ discernment and vigilance could make these officials good. Only citizens’ understanding of and commitment to law can possibly reverse the patent disregard for the Constitution and statutes that has permeated American life. Unfortunately, it is easier for anyone who dislikes a court’s or an official’s unlawful act to counter it with another unlawful one than to draw all parties back to the foundation of truth.
How, for example, to remind America of, and to drive home to the ruling class, Lincoln’s lesson that trifling with the Constitution for the most heartfelt of motives destroys its protections for all? What if a country class majority in both houses of Congress were to co-sponsor a “Bill of Attainder to deprive Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and other persons of liberty and property without further process of law for having violated the following ex post facto law…” and larded this constitutional monstrosity with an Article III Section 2 exemption from federal court review? When the affected members of the ruling class asked where Congress gets the authority to pass a bill every word of which is contrary to the Constitution, they would be confronted, publicly, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s answer to a question on the Congress’s constitutional authority to mandate individuals to purchase certain kinds of insurance: “Are you kidding? Are you kidding?” The point having been made, the Country Party could lead public discussions around the country on why even the noblest purposes (maybe even Title II of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964?) cannot be allowed to trump the Constitution.
How the country class and ruling class might clash on each item of their contrasting agendas is beyond my scope. Suffice it to say that the ruling class’s greatest difficulty — aside from being outnumbered — will be to argue, against the grain of reality, that the revolution it continues to press upon America is sustainable. For its part, the country class’s greatest difficulty will be to enable a revolution to take place without imposing it. America has been imposed on enough.
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UN ENDORSES IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL WITH 6 WORLD POWERS
The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously endorsed the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and authorized a series of measures leading to the end of U.N. sanctions that have hurt Iran’s economy.
But the measure also provides a mechanism for U.N. sanctions to “snap back” in place if Iran fails to meet its obligations.
Both U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo called the agreement an important achievement for diplomacy, the Iranian promising to be “resolute in fulfilling its obligations” and the American pledging to be vigilant in ensuring they are carried out.
The resolution had been agreed to by the five veto-wielding council members, who along with Germany negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. It was co-sponsored by all 15 members of the Security Council. The European Union’s foreign ministers endorsed the agreement later Monday in Brussels and pledged to implement it.
Under the agreement, Iran’s nuclear program will be curbed for a decade in exchange for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of relief from international sanctions. Many key penalties on the Iranian economy, such as those related to the energy and financial sectors, could be lifted by the end of the year.
Iran insists its nuclear program is purely peaceful, aimed at producing nuclear energy and medical isotopes, but the United States and its Western allies believe Tehran’s real goal is to build atomic weapons. U.S. President Barack Obama has stressed that all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon are cut off for the duration of the agreement and Iran will remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges and get rid of 98 percent of its stockpile of uranium.
Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said “the world is now a safer place in the knowledge that Iran cannot now build a nuclear bomb.” But Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor told reporters immediately after the vote that the Security Council had “awarded a great prize to the most dangerous country in the world,” calling it “a very sad day” not only for Israel but the entire world.
The document specifies that seven resolutions related to U.N. sanctions will be terminated when Iran has completed a series of major steps to curb its nuclear program and the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that “all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful activities.”
All provisions of the U.N. resolution will terminate in 10 years, including the “snap back” provision on sanctions.
But last week the six major powers – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – and the European Union sent a letter, seen by The Associated Press, informing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that they have agreed to extend the snap back mechanism for an additional five years. They asked Ban to send the letter to the Security Council.
Obama told reporters the vote will send a strong message of international support for the agreement as the best way to ensure “that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.” He faces strong opposition in the Republican-controlled Congress and expressed hope that members will pay attention to the vote.
Power, the U.S. ambassador, said the nuclear deal doesn’t change the United States’ “profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian government or about the instability Iran fuels beyond its nuclear program, from its support for terrorist proxies to repeated threats against Israel to its other destabilizing activities in the region.”
She urged Iran to release three “unjustly imprisoned” Americans and to determine the whereabouts of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who vanished in Iran in 2007.
The message that diplomacy can work ran through many speeches from council members.
Iran’s Khoshroo stressed that only if commitments are fully honored “can diplomacy prevail over conflict and war in a world that is replete with violence, suffering and oppression.”
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the agreement “clearly demonstrates that where there’s a political will based on realism and respect for legitimate mutual interests of the international community, the most complex tasks can be resolved.”
“Today, the Security Council has confirmed the inalienable right of Iran to develop its peaceful nuclear program, including to enrich uranium, while ensuring the comprehensive control by the IAEA,” Churkin said.
Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, includes the Treaty Clause, which empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements, which must be confirmed by the Senate, between the United States and other countries, which become treaties between the United States and other countries after the advice and consent of a supermajority of the United States Senate.
Full text of the clause
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…
One of three types of international accord
In the United States, the term “treaty” is used in a more restricted legal sense than in international law. U.S. law distinguishes what it calls treaties from congressional-executive agreements and sole-executive agreements. All three classes are considered treaties under international law; they are distinct only from the perspective of internal United States law. Distinctions among the three concern their method of ratification: by two-thirds of the Senate, by normal legislative process, or by the President alone, respectively. The Treaty Clause  empowers the President to make or enter into treaties with the “advice and consent” of two-thirds of theSenate. In contrast, normal legislation becomes law after approval by simple majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Throughout U.S. history, the President has also made international “agreements” through congressional-executive agreements (CEAs) that are ratified with only a majority from both houses of Congress, or sole-executive agreements made by the President alone. Though the Constitution does not expressly provide for any alternative to the Article II treaty procedure, Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution does distinguish between treaties (which states are forbidden to make) and agreements (which states may make with the consent of Congress). The Supreme Court of the United States has considered congressional-executive and sole-executive agreements to be valid, and they have been common throughout American history. Thomas Jefferson explained that the Article II treaty procedure is not necessary when there is no long-term commitment:
It is desirable, in many instances, to exchange mutual advantages by Legislative Acts rather than by treaty: because the former, though understood to be in consideration of each other, and therefore greatly respected, yet when they become too inconvenient, can be dropped at the will of either party: whereas stipulations by treaty are forever irrevocable but by joint consent….
A further distinction embodied in U.S. law is between self-executing treaties, which do not require additional legislative action, and non-self-executing treaties which do require the enactment of new laws. These various distinctions of procedure and terminology do not affect the binding status of accords under international law. Nevertheless, they do have major implications under U.S. domestic law. In Missouri v. Holland, the Supreme Court ruled that the power to make treaties under the U.S. Constitution is a power separate from the other enumerated powers of the federal government, and hence the federal government can use treaties to legislate in areas which would otherwise fall within the exclusive authority of the states. By contrast, a congressional-executive agreement can only cover matters which the Constitution explicitly places within the powers of Congress and the President. Likewise, a sole-executive agreement can only cover matters within the President’s authority or matters in which Congress has delegated authority to the President. For example, a treaty may prohibit states from imposing capital punishment on foreign nationals, but a congressional-executive agreement or sole-executive agreement cannot.
In general, arms control agreements are often ratified by the treaty mechanism. At the same time, trade agreements (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and United States accession to the World Trade Organization) are generally voted on as a CEA, and such agreements typically include an explicit right to withdraw after giving sufficient written notice to the other parties. If an international commercial accord contains binding “treaty” commitments, then a two-thirds vote of the Senate may be required.
Between 1946 and 1999, the United States completed nearly 16,000 international agreements. Only 912 of those agreements were treaties, submitted to the Senate for approval as outlined in Article II of the United States Constitution. Since the Franklin Roosevelt presidency, only 6% of international accords have been completed as Article II treaties. Most of these executive agreements consist of congressional-executive agreements.
American law is that international accords become part of the body of U.S. federal law. Consequently, Congress can modify or repeal treaties by subsequent legislative action, even if this amounts to a violation of the treaty under international law. This was held, for instance, in the Head Money Cases. The most recent changes will be enforced by U.S. courts entirely independent of whether the international community still considers the old treaty obligations binding upon the U.S.
Additionally, an international accord that is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution is void under domestic U.S. law, the same as any other federal law in conflict with the Constitution. This principle was most clearly established in the case of Reid v. Covert. The Supreme Court could rule an Article II treaty provision to be unconstitutional and void under domestic law, although it has not yet done so.
In Goldwater v. Carter, Congress challenged the constitutionality of then-president Jimmy Carter‘s unilateral termination of a defense treaty. The case went before the Supreme Court and was never heard; a majority of six Justices ruled that the case should be dismissed without hearing an oral argument, holding that “The issue at hand … was essentially a political question and could not be reviewed by the court, as Congress had not issued a formal opposition.” In his opinion, Justice Brennan dissented, “The issue of decision making authority must be resolved as a matter of constitutional law, not political discretion; accordingly, it falls within the competence of the courts”. Presently, there is no official ruling on whether the President has the power to break a treaty without the approval of Congress, and the courts also declined to interfere when President George W. Bush unilaterally withdrew the United States from the ABM Treaty in 2002, six months after giving the required notice of intent.
Scope of presidential powers
Presidents have regarded the Article II treaty process as necessary where an international accord would bind a future president. For example, Theodore Roosevelt explained:
The Constitution did not explicitly give me power to bring about the necessary agreement with Santo Domingo. But the Constitution did not forbid my doing what I did. I put the agreement into effect, and I continued its execution for two years before the Senate acted; and I would have continued it until the end of my term, if necessary, without any action by Congress. But it was far preferable that there should be action by Congress, so that we might be proceeding under a treaty which was the law of the land and not merely by a direction of the Chief Executive which would lapse when that particular executive left office. I therefore did my best to get the Senate to ratify what I had done.
A sole-executive agreement can only be negotiated and entered into through the president’s authority (1) in foreign policy, (2) as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, (3) from a prior act of Congress, or (4) from a prior treaty. Agreements beyond these competencies must have the approval of Congress (for congressional-executive agreements) or the Senate (for treaties).
In 1972, Congress passed legislation requiring the president to notify Congress of any executive agreements that are formed.
Although the nondelegation doctrine prevents Congress from delegating its legislative authority to the executive branch, Congress has allowed the executive to act as Congress’s “agent” in trade negotiations, such as by setting tariffs, and, in the case of Trade Promotion Authority, by solely authoring the implementing legislation for trade agreements. The constitutionality of this delegation was upheld by the Supreme Court in Field v. Clark (1892).
Warren F. Kimball, Alliances, Coalitions, and Ententes – The American alliance system: an unamerican tradition
HAMILTON’S WARNING AGAINST OBAMA AND THE IRAN DEAL – FEDERALIST NO. 75
“An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents.” Thus did Alexander Hamilton warn the American people, in Federalist No. 75, against allowing the president to make treaties alone.
Hamilton, while a supporter of executive power, nevertheless argued for the Senate’s treaty role, because “it would be utterly unsafe and improper to intrust that power to an elective magistrate of four years’ duration.”
It would be unsafe, he said, because even the most virtuous individuals, with the best of intentions, would fall prey to the temptations that negotiations with foreign powers would certainly provide.
How much more so does his advice apply to a president of lesser virtue, such as Barack Obama, who intends to decrease the power of the United States as a matter of ideological conviction, and who seeks narcissistic satisfaction in the attention a deal with Iran would temporarily provide!
Hamilton also anticipated the greed allegedly displayed by Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, whose perambulations around the globe in service of the president’s dubious foreign policy agenda coincided with generous donations from foreign governments to her family’s personal foundation.
“An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state to the acquisition of wealth,” Hamilton warns, prescribing the review powers of the Senate as the remedy.
And lest apologists for Obama argue that the nuclear deal with Iran is not actually a “treaty,” but merely an “executive agreement,” Hamilton leaves no doubt as to the scope of arrangements to which the Senate’s review power applies.
“The power of making treaties,” he says, concerns “CONTRACTS with foreign nations, which have the force of law, but derive it from the obligations of good faith” (original emphasis).
Congress should heed Hamilton’s warning before it is too late.
The President… shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….
ARTICLE II, SECTION 2, CLAUSE 2
Teacher’s Companion Lesson (PDF)
The Treaty Clause has a number of striking features. It gives the Senate, in James Madison’s terms, a “partial agency” in the President’s foreign-relations power. The clause requires a supermajority (two-thirds) of the Senate for approval of a treaty, but it gives the House of Representatives, representing the “people,” no role in the process.
Midway through the Constitutional Convention, a working draft had assigned the treaty-making power to the Senate, but the Framers, apparently considering the traditional role of a nation-state’s executive in making treaties, changed direction and gave the power to the President, but with the proviso of the Senate’s “Advice and Consent.” In a formal sense, then, treaty-making became a mixture of executive and legislative power. Most people of the time recognized the actual conduct of diplomacy as an executive function, but under Article VI treaties were, like statutes, part of the “supreme Law of the Land.” Thus, as Alexander Hamilton explained in The Federalist No. 75, the two branches were appropriately combined:
The qualities elsewhere detailed as indispensable in the management of foreign relations point out the executive as the most fit in those transactions; while the vast importance of the trust and the operation of treaties as laws plead strongly for the participation of the whole or a portion of the legislative body in the office of making them.
Another reason for involving both President and Senate was that the Framers thought American interests might be undermined by treaties entered into without proper reflection. The Framers believed that treaties should be strictly honored, both as a matter of the law of nations and as a practical matter, because the United States could not afford to give the great powers any cause for war. But this meant that the nation should be doubly cautious in accepting treaty obligations. As James Wilson said, “Neither the President nor the Senate, solely, can complete a treaty; they are checks upon each other, and are so balanced as to produce security to the people.”
The fear of disadvantageous treaties also underlay the Framers’ insistence on approval by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. In particular, the Framers worried that one region or interest within the nation, constituting a bare majority, would make a treaty advantageous to it but prejudicial to other parts of the country and to the national interest. An episode just a year before the start of the Convention had highlighted the problem. The United States desired a trade treaty with Spain, and sought free access to the Mississippi River through Spanish-controlled New Orleans. Spain offered favorable trade terms, but only if the United States would give up its demands on the Mississippi. The Northern states, which would have benefited most from the trade treaty and cared little about New Orleans, had a majority, but not a supermajority, in the Continental Congress. Under the Articles of Confederation, treaties required assent of a supermajority (nine out of thirteen) of the states, and the South was able to block the treaty. It was undoubtedly that experience that impelled the Framers to carry over the supermajority principle from the Articles of Confederation.
At the Convention, several prominent Framers argued unsuccessfully to have the House of Representatives included. But most delegates thought that the House had substantial disadvantages when it came to treaty-making. For example, as a large body, the House would have difficulty keeping secrets or acting quickly. The small states, wary of being disadvantaged, also preferred to keep the treaty-making power in the Senate, where they had proportionally greater power.
The ultimate purpose, then, of the Treaty Clause was to ensure that treaties would not be adopted unless most of the country stood to gain. True, treaties would be more difficult to adopt than statutes, but the Framers realized that an unwise statute could simply be repealed, but an unwise treaty remained a binding international commitment, which would not be so easy to unwind.
Other questions, however, remained. First, are the provisions of the clause exclusive—that is, does it provide the only way that the United States may enter into international obligations?
While the clause does not say, in so many words, that it is exclusive, its very purpose—not to have any treaty disadvantage one part of the nation—suggests that no other route was possible, whether it be the President acting alone, or the popularly elected House having a role. On the other hand, while the Treaty Clause was, in the original understanding, the exclusive way to make treaties, the Framers also apparently recognized a class of less-important international agreements, not rising to the level of “treaties,” which could be approved in some other way. Article I, Section 10, in describing restrictions upon the states, speaks of “Treat[ies]” and “Agreement[s]…with a foreign Power” as two distinct categories. Some scholars believe this shows that not all international agreements are treaties, and that these other agreements would not need to go through the procedures of the Treaty Clause. Instead, the President, in the exercise of his executive power, could conclude such agreements on his own. Still, this exception for lesser agreements would have to be limited to “agreements” of minor importance, or else it would provide too great an avenue for evasion of the protections the Framers placed in the Treaty Clause.
A second question is how the President and Senate should interact in their joint exercise of the treaty power. Many Framers apparently thought that the President would oversee the actual conduct of diplomacy, but that the Senate would be involved from the outset as a sort of executive council advising the President. This was likely a reason that the Framers thought the smaller Senate was more suited than the House to play a key role in treaty-making. In the first effort at treaty-making under the Constitution, President George Washington attempted to operate in just this fashion. He went to the Senate in person to discuss a proposed treaty before he began negotiations. What is less clear, however, is whether the Constitution actually requires this process, or whether it is only what the Framers assumed would happen. The Senate, of course, is constitutionally authorized to offer “advice” to the President at any stage of the treaty-making process, but the President is not directed (in so many words) as to when advice must be solicited. As we shall see, this uncertainty has led, in modern practice, to a very different procedure than some Framers envisioned. It seems clear, however, that the Framers expected that the Senate’s “advice and consent” would be a close review and not a mere formality, as they thought of it as an important check upon presidential power.
A third difficult question is whether the Treaty Clause implies a Senate power or role in treaty termination. Scholarly opinion is divided, and few Framers appear to have discussed the question directly. One view sees the power to make a treaty as distinct from the power of termination, with the latter being more akin to a power of implementation. Since the Constitution does not directly address the termination power, this view would give it to the President as part of the President’s executive powers to conduct foreign affairs and to execute the laws. When the termination question first arose in 1793, Washington and his Cabinet, which included Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, embraced this view. All of them thought Washington could, on his own authority, terminate the treaty with France if necessary to keep the United States neutral.
A second view holds that, as a matter of the general eighteenth-century understanding of the legal process, the power to take an action (such as passing a statute or making a treaty) implies the power to undo the action. This view would require the consent of the President and a supermajority of the Senate to undo a treaty. There is, however, not much historical evidence that many Framers actually held this view of treaty termination, and it is inconsistent with the common interpretation of the Appointments Clause (under which Senate approval is required to appoint but not to remove executive officers).
The third view is that the Congress as a whole has the power to terminate treaties, based on an analogy between treaties and federal laws. When the United States first terminated a treaty in 1798 under John Adams, this procedure was adopted, but there was little discussion of the constitutional ramifications.
Finally, there is a question of the limits of the treaty power. A treaty presumably cannot alter the constitutional structure of government, and the Supreme Court has said that executive agreements—and so apparently treaties—are subject to the limits of the Bill of Rights just as ordinary laws are. Reid v. Covert (1957). InGeofroy v. Riggs (1890), the Supreme Court also declared that the treaty power extends only to topics that are “properly the subject of negotiation with a foreign country.” However, at least in the modern world, one would think that few topics are so local that they could not, under some circumstances, be reached as part of the foreign-affairs interests of the nation. Some have argued that treaties are limited by the federalism interests of the states. The Supreme Court rejected a version of that argument in State of Missouri v. Holland (1920), holding that the subject matter of treaties is not limited to the enumerated powers of Congress. The revival of interest in federalism limits on Congress in such areas as state sovereign immunity, see Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida (1996), and the Tenth Amendment, see Printz v. United States (1997), raises the question whether these limits also apply to the treaty power, but the Court has not yet taken up these matters.
Turning to modern practice, the Framers’ vision of treaty-making has in some ways prevailed and in some ways been altered. First, it is not true—and has not been true since George Washington’s administration—that the Senate serves as an executive council to advise the President in all stages of treaty-making. Rather, the usual modern course is that the President negotiates and signs treaties independently and then presents the proposed treaty to the Senate for its approval or disapproval. Washington himself found personal consultation with the Senate to be so awkward and unproductive that he abandoned it, and subsequent Presidents have followed his example.
Moreover, the Senate frequently approves treaties with conditions and has done so since the Washington administration. If the President makes clear to foreign nations that his signature on a treaty is only a preliminary commitment subject to serious Senate scrutiny, and if the Senate takes seriously its constitutional role of reviewing treaties (rather than merely deferring to the President), the check that the Framers sought to create remains in place. By going beyond a simple “up-or-down” vote, the Senate retains some of its power of “advice”: the Senate not only disapproves the treaty proposed by the President but suggests how the President might craft a better treaty. As a practical matter, there is often much consultation between the executive and members of the Senate before treaties are crafted and signed. Thus modern practice captures the essence of the Framers’ vision that the Senate would have some form of a participatory role in treaty-making.
A more substantial departure from the Framers’ vision may arise from the practice of “executive agreements.” According to the Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, the President may validly conclude executive agreements that (1) cover matters that are solely within his executive power, or (2) are made pursuant to a treaty, or (3) are made pursuant to a legitimate act of Congress. Examples of important executive agreements include the Potsdam and Yalta agreements of World War II, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which regulated international trade for decades, and the numerous status-of-forces agreements the United States has concluded with foreign governments.
Where the President acts pursuant to a prior treaty, there seems little tension with the Framers’ vision, as Senate approval has, in effect, been secured in advance. Somewhat more troublesome is the modern practice of so-called congressional–executive agreements, by which some international agreements have been made by the President and approved (either in advance or after the fact) by a simple majority of both houses of Congress, rather than two-thirds of the Senate. Many of these agreements deal particularly with trade-related matters, which Congress has clear constitutional authority to regulate. Congressional–executive agreements, at least with respect to trade matters, are now well established, and recent court challenges have been unsuccessful. Made in the USA Foundation v. United States (2001). On the other hand, arguments for “complete interchangeability”—that is, claims that anything that can be done by treaty can be done by congressional–executive agreement—seem counter to the Framers’ intent. The Framers carefully considered the supermajority rule for treaties and adopted it in response to specific threats to the Union; finding a complete alternative to the Treaty Clause would in effect eliminate the supermajority rule and make important international agreements easier to adopt than the Framers wished.
The third type of executive agreement is one adopted by the President without explicit approval of either the Senate or the Congress as a whole. The Supreme Court and modern practice embrace the idea that the President may under some circumstances make these so-called sole executive agreements. United States v. Belmont (1937); United States v. Pink (1942). But the scope of this independent presidential power remains a serious question. The Pink and Belmont cases involved agreements relating to the recognition of a foreign government, a power closely tied to the President’s textual power to receive ambassadors (Article II, Section 3). The courts have consistently permitted the President to settle foreign claims by sole executive agreement, but at the same time have emphasized that the Congress has acquiesced in the practice. Dames & Moore v. Regan (1981);American Insurance Ass’n v. Garamendi (2003). Beyond this, the modern limits of the President’s ability to act independently in making international agreements have not been explored. With respect to treaty termination, modern practice allows the President to terminate treaties on his own. In recent times, President James Earl Carter terminated the U.S.–Taiwan Mutual Defense Treaty in 1977, and President George W. Bush terminated the ABM Treaty with Russia in 2001. The Senate objected sharply to President Carter’s actions, but the Supreme Court rebuffed the Senate in Goldwater v. Carter (1979). President Bush’s action was criticized in some academic quarters but received general acquiescence. In light of the consensus early in Washington’s administration, it is probably fair to say that presidential termination does not obviously depart from the original understanding, inasmuch as the Framers were much more concerned about checks upon entering into treaties than they were about checks upon terminating them.
- Michael D. Ramsey
- Professor of Law
- University of San Diego School of Law
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