The Demorat and Publican parties appear to believe that since we belong to them they own us and can control us. Until recently, they were right. Now, at least for the Publican Party, not so much.
The Federal Government also believes that we belong to it, that it owns us and that hordes of unelected bureaucrats can and should control us; it’s all for our own good, of course, they would say (but it’s mainly for theirs). Perhaps, if we continue to change the Publican Party, we will have opportunities to change the Federal Government as well. The Demorat Party is hopeless.
Doesn’t thinking about the loving, benign dictators who believe they own us send warm, pleasant tingles down your leg? Or was that just a painful muscle spasm? They don’t mind, so it doesn’t matter.
The Political Parties
Many if not most now belong, or have belonged, to either the Democrat or Publican party. They tend to reward us by selecting the candidates, particularly the presidential candidates, whom they believe can keep or put them in power. They work very hard to save us from having to make such difficult choices. Since we “belong” to them, it must be only fair to accede gratefully to their wishes and vote as directed. At least that seems to be their view.
Until the current presidential election cycle, it worked quite well for the establishments of both parties. This time, it has not worked at all well for the Publican establishment. Despite its efforts to have a congenial establishment member nominated, it has not succeeded. Trump now has about 1,002 of the 1,237 delegates needed to get the nomination on the first ballot; the only other candidate with a significant number of delegates, Cruz, has only 571 and appears to be crumbling in his “must win” state of Indiana, where Trump has a substantial lead in the polls.
Trump is the top choice among the solely self-reported Republicans surveyed, taking 42 percent compared to 34 percent for Cruz and 17 percent for Kasich.
The businessman is also the top choice among the self-reported independents and Democrats deemed likely to vote in the primary, leading Cruz by 10 points among that group.
While Trump holds a 13-point lead over Cruz among men, 45 to 32 percent, his lead among women is narrower — 36 to 32 percent.
According to an article by The Washington Examiner, a generally anti-Trump publication,
Ted Cruz has a problem that a win in Indiana Tuesday may or may not be able to fix.
Not only might he be unable to stop Donald Trump from winning the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican presidential nomination on the first ballot, but Cruz is now so far behind Trump that it will detract from the credibility of a contested convention choosing anyone else even if he is still able to force one. [Emphasis added.]
The Tea Party senator from Texas is well ahead of John Kasich, but is now in Kasich territory. He will likely need hundreds of delegates to switch in order to push him over the top.
That’s not really what Republicans had in mind.
Most reasonable contested convention scenarios assumed a certain degree of closeness in the race. “Donald is going to come out with a whole bunch of delegates,” Cruz explained in February. “We will come out with a whole bunch of delegates.”
Cruz is now 431 delegates behind Trump and 672 short of a majority. He has won 3.2 million fewer votes while Trump’s tally is now higher than Mitt Romney’s at the end of the 2012 primaries. [Emphasis added.]
Are Republicans really still contemplating handing Ted Cruz the nomination in Cleveland? Or worse, Kasich who has won only Ohio? Or some white knight who has received zero votes?
“That’s the meaning of being a delegate,” he said, “is choosing a nominee who can win.”
But the delegates’ role in the nomination process has largely been a formality for forty years. The American public has come to understand their primary votes as deciding the major party nominees. And in practice, that is how it has now worked for decades. [Emphasis added.]
For the nominee selection to be made by ignoring the primary votes at a contested convention,
The delegates would regain their power at the precise time faith in the Republican establishment is at an all-time low and its preferred candidates were all rejected by the voters. Some GOP voters don’t even like the alleged Cruz-Kasich alliance. [Emphasis added.]
And it would all clearly be happening because influential Republicans didn’t like the outcome of the election. [Emphasis added.]
Yes, Trump is at risk of a contested convention because he is a weak front-runner. He is facing higher than normal intraparty opposition at this phase of the campaign.
The alternative is to nominate candidates from other factions of the party that have demonstrated that they are even weaker, people who have been rejected by an even higher percentage of Republicans.
For all the talk of Trump’s inability to win in November, national polling shows Trump with comparable support to Clinton on the Democratic side, with Cruz and Kasich not doing as well as Bernie Sanders.
Even if Cruz wins in Indiana, Trump should have easy wins in most of the remaining primary states and should, therefore, win substantially more than a majority on the first convention vote. If he does not, Cruz and Jeb Bush will be happy; or at least Cruz will be happy until the nomination goes to someone else.
I do not “belong” to any party; I am merely a registered Publican. Being either a member or a registered Publican allows one to vote in Publican primaries when they are generous enough to have them. Party caucuses? In some cases, members considered sufficiently subservient to the party establishment have at least a modest say in selecting the delegates to the national Publican convention. Those merely registered get to gripe if delegates pledged to someone they don’t want are chosen, but that’s about it.
The public has, to a greater extent than I can recall, been focused on this year’s selection of delegates. That may well be due in large part to Trump and his supporters. The public will very likely be no less focused on what those delegates do at the nominating conventions. Assuming that the Publican establishment is aware of that focus and takes it seriously, it may well affect the outcome.
Feral Federal Government
Our selected, and elected, Congresscriters and Presidents get to shape “our” enormous unelected bureaucracies which usurp the role of Congress in legislating. Then, “our” unelected civil “servants” selflessly undertake the difficult task of interpreting the rules they created as well as those the Congress bothered to enact and the President didn’t veto. As noted at The Federalist,
Administrative agencies are creatures of legislation but directed by the executive branch, which has no constitutional authority to pass laws. Their powers derive from statutes that delegate the quasi-legislative authority to issue binding commands in specified contexts. Administrative agencies generally operate independently from Congress and the courts and possess discretionary rulemaking authority.
. . . .
It will take a new kind of president to roll back the administrative state altogether. State resistance alone is no longer enough. Without any pressure from the executive branch, Congress will remain content to pass off touchy political decisions to administrative agencies, which, unlike politicians, cannot be voted out of power. Congress, in turn, can blame the agencies for any negative political consequences of those choices. [Emphasis added.]
We may never recover the framework of ordered liberty that the Founding generation celebrated and enjoyed. But for the sake of our future, and to secure the hope of freedom for our sons and daughters, our grandchildren and their children, we must expose and undo the regulatory regime of administrative agencies. It’s our duty to do so. [Emphasis added.]
In far too many ways, “our”
Feral Federal Government resembles that of the European Union. The de facto seat of the EU is in Brussels, Belgium, where hordes of unelected bureaucrats dictate to the member states and their citizens. The seat of “our” Federal Government is in Washington, D.C., where hordes of unelected bureaucrats dictate to the States and to the “folks” who live there. According to Pat Condell, the EU is on the verge of collapse. Will that also be the fate of “our” own little EU? And of the political parties which empower it?
A more efficient and less costly Federal Government would be nice. A smaller, more efficient and less costly Federal Government, much of the power of which has been returned to the States, will be much better. Perhaps the return of significant powers to the States will even awaken some of the more somnolent States and their citizens. For the most part, people in States far removed from Washinton pay little attention to Federal actions until they have significant direct impact on them. Decisions made locally are more likely to have direct local impacts and to attract higher levels of local interest. “Mere” local citizens seem likely to demand voices in what is to be done and how.
Which of the still viable candidates for President is likely to give us the type of Federal Government I envision? Hillary Clinton and her supporters? They like their party and the Federal Government as they are. Trump and his supporters have done much to diminish the power of the Publican Party establishment. They have broken some stuff that needed to be broken and are rebuilding the system on a more populist foundation. As I wrote last September, To bring America back we need to break some stuff. Perhaps they can begin to break “our” bloated Nanny State and recast it in ways comparable to what they have done to the Publican establishment. Doing so could and should put power back where it belongs, in the hands of the States and of the people.