John Brunner is too decent a man to blame John Hancock’s ineptness for Brunner’s primary loss to Todd Akin. But everybody knows what happened.
Hancock turned the bold and libertarian Brunner into an establishment-sounding amateur. Hancock put Brunner in a straight-jacket, making the most pro-liberty candidate in a field of three sound like Hancock’s idol, Ann Wagner. Brunner, being a first-time candidate and a businessman familiar with delegation to experts, trusted Hancock. And Brunner got burned.
Some cynics I know say that Ann Wagner’s cabal enlisted Hancock to keep Brunner in check. These highly skeptical people think that Brunner’s libertarianism would attract lots of young voters, squeezing out the GOP establishment. I’m not that cynical, though, because Hancock’s campaigns fail the establishment, too.
Before straight-jacketing Brunner, Hancock’s campaign prowess gave us Secretary of State Catherine Hanaway and Governor Ken Hulshof. Or, no, wait. Those two went down in flames, too. In fact, I can’t find a single statewide election Hancock won. Hancock is to campaigns what I am to golf.
Now, Hancock wants to run the Missouri GOP as Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. He promises to raise lots of money for the state party, and it’s likely to come from Rex Sinquefield, the weird billionaire political pimp with a great big blimp.
Look for Hancock to get a big check from Rex in the coming weeks. Hanaway and Wagner will throw their support behind him. Then Hancock will wow the right with Fair Taxes and education reform ideas.But real end game is Sinquefield’s total, personal ownership of Missouri government.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Nice guys finish last.
Updated: the original title said “Congress is for sale.” My mistake. I meant Government.
Once upon a time in America, people built companies by filling society’s unmet needs. To survive, a company relied on innovation, quality, and, of course, good advertising. The best advertisement being word of mouth.
That’s all changed now.
The way to grow a successful company is to get government to protect your market, dampen competition, and require people to buy what you sell.
Here’s who’s paying for the privilege of thwarting competition.
Let’s be honest with ourselves: President Obama’s unilateral, dictatorial action on immigration is not to benefit illegals. It’s to punish American voters for rejecting him.
This is personal.
In two years, the next American president will let this and many other Obama executive orders expire. Executive orders are not law. They expire with the term of the president who signed them. No future president is bound to renew them. And the next president won’t.
So life for the illegals will get worse. Instead of wrongfully believe they’ve been denied something, they’ll correctly feel they’ve lost something. They’ll feel vulnerable and abandoned. All because Obama needed to “get even” with the American people.
Increasingly, Obama’s actions are not just wrong; they’re evil.
Republicans were supposed to lose governor seats. Instead, they picked up nine or ten. That’s huge, because governors become presidents. Executive leadership is different from coalition “leadership,” and governors are real executives. Look for the GOP’s gubernatorial wins to play big roles in 2016 and 2020.
This Morning (New York Times):
Democrats seem to have their best shot in Florida, where the state’s former Republican governor, Charlie Crist, is running as a Democrat against the Republican incumbent, Rick Scott. The polls also show up-in-the-air races in Michigan and Wisconsin, where the Republican incumbents, Rick Snyder and Scott Walker, appear to hold nominal leads.
If the Republicans lose one or two of these races, it will complicate what might otherwise be an impressive performance for them in governors’ contests nationwide. Republican governors in competitive states have no business losing in what should be a good year for the party.
Republican governors in Florida, Kansas, Michigan and Wisconsin fended off Democratic challengers on Tuesday in four hard-fought contests that proved wrong predictions of punishment for incumbents over an uneven economy and fiscal problems.
Republicans also won back the governorships in three Democratic strongholds, Massachusetts, Maryland and President Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois, according to projections after polls closed in most of the United States.
Biggest winner: Chris Christie. At chairman of the Republican Governors Conference, Christie worked to raise money and campaign for both likely winners and for dark horses. They all won. Christie immediately became the frontrunner for President in 2012
Barack Obama. The one campaign he worked on was his buddy’s in Maryland. Maryland’s as blue as a Marine’s dress pants, and Obama’s law school pal, Anthony Brown lost.That red stripe on those on those Marine dress pants got wide, fast.
Abortion. Wendi Davis corralled a lot of Democrat cash in a race to make abortion an issue. She did. And she lost.Big:
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Turns out the only late term abortion in Texas was Wendy Davis’ campaign.
Hillary Clinton. Hillary campaigned for a dozen losers. I’ve said for two years I don’t think she’ll run for president. She’s a terrible campaigner, and she’s more powerful as king-maker. Now, she’s almost limited to that role.
BarackObama. Obama a two-time loser? Of course. Illinois elected Republican Bruce Rauner to end an embarrassing stretch for the Land of Lincoln. Obama’s home state (politically) is Illinois, where the President still enjoys a 50 percent approval rating. But Rauner beat incumbent Pat Quinn.
This election means the GOP nominee in 2016 will rise from the ranks of governor. Christie has the best shot. But don’t count out Scott Walker.
Tomorrow, I’ll write my thoughts on what tonight’s election means to Obama’s legacy. And it might shock you.
I’m sitting at Reagan National Airport waiting for my flight home. I just spent 24 hours meeting the people who keep America free. Well, besides the people in uniform. It’s the Heritage Foundation’s donors and leaders. It’s Heritage Action and its Sentinels.
It’s decidedly NOT the ruling class, the two big parties.
I had the high privilege of sharing a panel with 14 people who work a lot harder than I do. People like Jim Duncan of North Carolina and Kevin Kookogey of Tennessee. These are people who abandoned the safety and comfort of anonymous recline to work on the front lines of our war for America’s future.
Heritage Sentinels–over 9,000 strong–make life on Capitol Hill a little less comfortable for members of Congress. Al French told a story of one Congressman who told a Sentinel, “I’ll have to look up that bill. I don’t know much about it.” The Sentinel said, “What? You voted FOR the bill two days ago!”
The Sentinel program, and Heritage Foundation’s great research and communications, couldn’t happen without donors. Heritage turns down big dollar offers from corporations and chambers who hope to influence Heritage toward the established ruling class. While principles make for great headlines, they also force Heritage to rely on generous private donors. Like my new friend Sylvio.
Sylvio made my trip a blast. He’s a fellow Catholic, originally from Detroit. He worked in the auto industry and retired to Mississippi. One of the most pleasant humans I’ve ever met, and a man who deserve our thanks.
Mostly, I want to thank my Heritage Action leaders: Ben Evans, Jessica Anderson, Russ Vought, and Michael Needham. They all could make a lot more money and live more comfortable, quiet lives outside of the political nightmare of Washington. But they put America’s future before their immediate comfort. The enable and empower the largest grassroots community organizing force in American politics, and future generations should know their names.
Many political observers blame Democrat voter apathy, particularly among African-Americans. The black vote that swelled in 2008 and 2012 with Obama on the ballot shows signs of deflating in 2014 as it did in 2010.
Barack Obama can’t campaign for anyone. When he showed up to support long-time friend Anthony Brown in Maryland last week, the crowd left. Even dedicated Democrats are sick of his shtick.
But this is the most corrupt White House since Nixon. It’s unlikely Obama will let the Senate fall without firing all his ammo. And the only arrow left in the Democrat’s quiver could land in the heart of St. Louis County.
Race and Sex Division Is All They Have
The Democrats rely on race-baiting and sex-baiting. With polls showing women favoring Republicans this year, the sex arrow is broken. That leaves race.
The Justice Department has been leaking evidence from its investigation into Michael Brown’s shooting for a week. It even released the official autopsy to the New York Times. There must be a reason. And that reason could be the election.
In Obama’s cynical mind, he might decide the best chance to energize African American voters is to announce that the Justice Department will not prosecute Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown. The White House would then let career race-hustlers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton blame the Supreme Court’s past rulings on deadly force by police officers..
If the DOJ releases such a statement, look for groups like the New Black Panther Party to descend on key states with close Senate races. They’ll try to use intimidation to drive down turnout while the Democrats’ vaunted election-stealing machine fires up to manufacture a margin of victory for their side.
Is this a cynical view? Yes. But not nearly as cynical as the Obama White House.
From about 1978 until the Monica Lewinsky fiasco, the GOP was called “the party of ideas.” I miss the ideas.
William F. Buckley helped. Buckley liked big ideas and smart people. He liked politicians who gave legs to great ideas and governors with the guts to experiment. Governor Ronald Reagan appeared on Buckley’s Firing Line shortly after the Gipper became California’s governor. Reagan talked about many ideas he was trying or hoping to try. My favorite: allowing states to keep a portion of the federal taxes and fees generated within a state instead of cycling everything through Washington’s bureaucracy.
Jack Kemp, the former congressman, HUD secretary, and football quarterback, championed all sorts of ideas. Some of Kemp’s ideas offend a few modern Tea Partiers, but he at least promoted ideas and tests. He gave the Republican Party (and conservatism) an idealistic, enthusiastic, and optimistic face. Buckley called Kemp “America’s leading enthusiast.”
How many of those exciting ideas from the 80s and 90s began with a Heritage Foundation paper? All of them? Most? Well, Heritage is still there, still pumping out ideas. And Heritage has add Heritage Action to help activists push ideas upon their members of Congress.
What Are Ann Wagner’s Big Ideas
I wonder, though, why so many modern Republican politicians avoid ideas like the plague? Take Rep. Ann Wagner. She’s interested in issues, or so she says. I believe her. She’s very interested in issues involving potential donors. Or issues that Republican pollsters discover a demographic for.
Ideas, though, are another matter for politicians like Wagner. Ideas don’t come with checks. Ideas can get you into trouble. Ideas demand hard thinking to plan and explain, and hard work to promote and execute. Why do all that work when you could be raising funds from wealthy donors, instead?
Sometimes, big ideas become the topic of discussion at candidate forums. Jack Kemp loved promoting his ideas with people unlikely to jump aboard, including Democrats. Or communists. Or anyone willing to discuss big ideas. I can’t imagine Kemp ducking a candidate forum or a debate.
Rep. Ann Wagner, on the other hand, avoids idea sharing, future planning, or philosophical discussion. Wagner won’t show up at a candidate forum with her opponents, Libertarian Bill Slantz and Democrat Arthur Lieber. Mrs. Wagner, apparently, will be busy knocking on doors during the candidate forum next Wednesday, October 22. Those doors, according to her official schedule, are in northern Virginia, where Wagner will be raising money for a candidate there.
When I was young and Republican in the 1980s, the ideas attracted me. Jack Kemp’s enthusiasm and William F. Buckley’s brilliance and Ronald Reagan’s lovable charm made my job of attracting other young voters easy. I remember the 1987 Low Country Stump Days in Charleston, SC. I was surrounded by people in their twenties. We were guided by retirees, but we knew we were the stars because we were young and conservative and full of ideas–ideas we borrowed from Heritage and Buckley and Kemp.
Conservative Names | Liberal Names
I’m not so sure the left has any monopoly on ideas today. Democrats mostly just want to keep blacks poor and Hispanics isolated so that government programs look like a good deal. What bothers me is that so many Republicans treat Fortune 500 companies the same way Democrats treat the poor. It’s all about creating dependency. It’s all about addicting people to government largess. It’s all about becoming the arbiter of happiness so people have to grovel.
The left, though, does a good job of pretending to have ideas. They use photoshop, videos, comedians, and actors to make cynicism feel like philosophy. Cynicism sounds original and smart to a kid.
The liberal names generally sound like a group of women in their late 20s; the conservative names sound like the members of a large bluegrass band from the 1930s.
In the 1980s, I was still playing the banjo, so Ms. Miller’s characterization is only 50 years off.
Young people have a life to look forward to. They’re not so interested in holding onto what they’ve got, because don’t have anything except a ton of debt. They want ideas. They expect those of us who’ve lived to provide some of those ideas.
The reason I can’t vote for Ann Wagner isn’t because she doesn’t go to candidate forums; it’s because she wouldn’t have anything to talk about if she did.
The candidate forum will be held at 7 pm, October 22 in the Meramec Community College Student Center, 11333 Big Bend Road. This is a great chance to meet a candidate with ideas, Bill Slantz.
Maybe this logic sucks, but this is my logic. When I vote, I ignore my positions on issues. Instead, I use my vote to advance two objectives:
I want my vote to improve policy towards liberty.
I want my vote to maximize my political power.
A simple test that I ask myself is this: If I vote for A, do I expect resulting policy to be more or less to my liking? And how should I vote to maximize my power?
Let’s see how this logic plays out in two races: my Congressional District and St. Louis County Executive.
Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District Race
If I vote for Wagner, I expect policy to be less to my liking. That’s because I think Ann Wagner will win her 2014 re-elect no matter how I vote. Therefore, a vote for her will be lost in the sea of votes. Historically, Wagner should get between 60 percent and 65 percent of the vote. There will be about 282,000 votes cast in her race, so my vote would count for 1 in 176,250.
If I vote against Wagner, I expect she’ll still win, but I might be able eat into her margin. If that happens, her power and influence in both Missouri and Washington wane. More of her considerable campaign funds will go to her own re-elections, which means she’ll have less money to buy influence from other Republicans.
To counter that loss of influence, Wagner has a choice: she can move left and hope to pick up support from Democrat voters or she can move right to regain support from liberty voters.
I expect she will do the latter.
Therefore, by voting against Wagner in 2014, I think I will increase my influence, and policy over the next two years will be more to my liking.
St. Louis County Executive Race
Different dynamics prevail in the St. Louis County Executive race. Rick Stream is likely to lose if I, and people like me, vote against him. Further, I believe that there is a 100 percent chance that either Rick Stream or Steve Stenger will win. So, if Stream loses, Stenger wins. Therefore, I expect St. Louis County policy to be more to my liking if I vote for Rick Stream and less to my liking if I vote for anyone else. Which is why I’m voting for Rick Stream.
You can argue with my logic, but it’s internally consistent. I can, in good conscious, vote for Bill Slantz for Congress and for Rick Stream for County Executive. I believe that this combination of votes maximizes my influence, and will improve policy in Congress and St. Louis County.
Missouri Republicans are FREAKING OUT that Speaker Apparent John Diehl could go down to defeat at the hands of conservative/libertarian grassroots activists. The freak-out is over a press conference in Queeny Park at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 30.
I heard of the Stop Diehl project last week. On Saturday, mostly Republican volunteers began a door-to-door campaign in Diehl’s district to block re-election. That door-to-door effort continues through the election. According to Missouri Leadership Project’s press release:
These Republicans want a change in the process by which House leadership is selected because the current method consolidates power and invites corruption. John Diehl’s actions as Floor Leader illustrate clearly how such power can be abused.
John Diehl is the Missouri House Rep from the 89th district. He was designated by GOP leadership several years ago as the next Speaker of the House. Sort of the way crime families identify future Dons. The process disenfranchises incoming House freshmen.
So John Diehl got the nod as the next Don of the House. Or Speaker. Whatever.
The trouble is, the way you get to be Speaker is you raise a LOT of money. Then you spread the money around to other House Republicans in exchange for their promise to vote for you for Speaker. Again, very similar to the mob.
In raising all this money, sometimes Republicans have to cut deals with anti-liberty, anti-freedom, anti-conservative cronies. Examples: the companies that make touchscreen voting machines, the companies that make red light cameras, and the publishers who make billions from Common Core. According to Missouri Leadership Project:
The “Speaker Presumed” solidifies his official election by distributing money he received from special interests to the campaigns of other representatives, who then feel beholden to him. The result is a “pay-to-play” political insider environment that squeezes citizen involvement out of the legislative process. Clearly illustrating this political pay-to-play environment is the fact that Diehl’s campaign receipts swelled to around $1,000,000 since he became the heir apparent to the Speaker position.
Those crony capitalists have low expectations for the politicians they buy. The politicians rise to positions where they can block legislation, and they block it. They never have to go on the record as supporting the crony companies. They just protect their cronies from competition. For example, on the issue of paper ballots:
As Floor Leader, Diehl blocked the passage of bills with broad popular support – bills that enhanced liberty, election integrity, and the property rights of Missourians. Instead he pushed through bills that increase taxes and benefit special interests. According to Laura Hausladen, with Missouri’s Coalition for Transparent and Secure Elections, Mr. Diehl emphatically stated that he would never allow a paper ballot bill on the floor of the House for a vote, even though that bill had passed the Senate with a large majority.
I believe Mr. Diehl’s words were, “I don’t care what the people want.”
If this strategy works to deny Diehl his term in the Speaker’s throne, Missouri Leadership Project may upset Missouri’s crony capitalism system for a long time to come.
Here’s the press release:
Grassroots Republicans against John Diehl (R-089) to hold press conference Tuesday
ST. LOUIS COUNTY: Grassroots Republicans across Missouri have begun to work against the re-election of Rep. John Diehl (R-089), the current House Majority Floor Leader and presumed Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives for the next two legislative sessions.
A press conference is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 30, at Queeny Park, in Diehl’s St. Louis County district. (South end of the main parking lot reached from the Weidman Rd. entrance)
Leaders of various movements ranging from stopping Common Core, ending red light cameras, election integrity, as well as 2nd and 10thAmendment issues will be available to field questions and explain their concerns about a Diehl speakership.
Rep. Diehl has been the majority Floor Leader the past two years and is the pre-selected pick for Speaker of the House in the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions.
Volunteers began going door to door this past weekend in the 89th District to let voters know why Diehl as Speaker would be bad for Missouri, and ask them to do what only voters can do—see that he does not receive enough votes to win back his seat.
These Republicans want a change in the process by which House leadership is selected because the current method consolidates power and invites corruption. John Diehl’s actions as Floor Leader illustrate clearly how such power can be abused. As Floor Leader, Diehl blocked the passage of bills with broad popular support – bills that enhanced liberty, election integrity, and the property rights of Missourians. Instead he pushed through bills that increase taxes and benefit special interests. According to Laura Hausladen, with Missouri’s Coalition for Transparent and Secure Elections, Mr. Diehl emphatically stated that he would never allow a paper ballot bill on the floor of the House for a vote, even though that bill had passed the Senate with a large majority.
House Republicans pre-selected Diehl as Speaker more than a year ago, so newly elected Representatives are effectively denied a voice in the election of the Speaker they are expected to serve under. The “Speaker Presumed” solidifies his official election by distributing money he received from special interests to the campaigns of other representatives, who then feel beholden to him. The result is a “pay-to-play” political insider environment that squeezes citizen involvement out of the legislative process. Clearly illustrating this political pay-to-play environment is the fact that Diehl’s campaign receipts swelled to around $1,000,000 since he became the heir apparent to the Speaker position.
The Republicans mounting this effort believe that stopping John Diehl from becoming Speaker would give the Missouri House, the legislative body that is designed to be closest to the people, the chance to choose a Speaker who could lead the body to find and implement changes in the power structure of the House, and to eliminate the present concentration of power which they believe has corrupted the legislative process.
The citizens engaged in the effort against John Diehl fully agree with this Thomas Jefferson statement: “It is not by the consolidation or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected.”
When people asked me to get behind Rick Stream, I first wanted to make sure that was the right thing. I remembered that I have a friend who helped Rick a while ago. So I asked her.
Rick Stream is “a quiet leader.”
“I didn’t see him as a politician,” she told me. We were talking about Rick Stream, the candidate for St. Louis County Executive.
The woman was a transition career counselor a decade ago. She was helping people transition from a Department of Defense organization to the civilian world when their operation shut down.
“I worked with Rick for a month, I think. He was sort of a quiet leader. Some of the guys were a lot more vocal and hard-headed, but even the loud ones would respond to Rick. They all looked up to him.”
I asked her what kind of County Executive Rick might be.
“Rick’s boss told me, ‘If Rick said he’d do it, it got done.’ So did the other people who worked with him. He is quiet with a dry sense of humor. Very detail oriented.”
Why did you not see him as a politician?
“Oh, it’s not that he wouldn’t be a great leader. He was definitely very senior with the government, and everybody looked up to him and followed his lead. But he was quiet and thoughtful. He wasn’t one to just jump up and give a speech like most politicians. And he is such a good man. He wanted to help people. I mean, really wanted to help, not just talk about it.”
Why a good man entered the nasty field of politics.
When the career counselor asked Rick Stream what he’d like to do, he told her “well, I’ve always been a history fan. I think I’d like to go into politics.”
“Why don’t you do that, then?” she asked.
So he did. He became a Representative in the Missouri House. He served as chairman of the House appropriations committee. Then he decided to run for St. Louis County Executive against my friend, Tony Pousosa. You probably know that I endorsed Tony.
It’s not easy to support a guy who beat your friend in a primary. So why am I doing this?
My conversation with someone from Rick Stream’s past mattered to me.
It’s one thing to hear political people talk about a candidate. It’s another to hear a report from a woman who knew the man 10 years ago, before he first ran for office. At the time my friend worked with Rick Stream, Rick was in no position to do anything for her.
Now, I know whatever I do to help elect Rick Stream, I’ll be helping a good man who wants to help people, who is a highly competent manager, detail oriented, and respected by everyone who works with him.
St. Louis County, after a decade of Charlie Dooley, is in danger. St. Louis County is in decline. Wages in St. Louis region are flat. Job growth lags most similar size cities across the country. Municipal courts and small town police departments have intimidated, impoverished, and alienated residents through obnoxious and corrupt courts. Ferguson has become a symbol of government failure. And many county school districts are failing.
Rick Stream may not be a flashy, glib politician like Charlie Dooley and Steve Stenger. Thank God. St. Louis County doesn’t need another corrupt narcissist who uses the power of government to transfer tax dollars to friends.
St. Louis County needs:
thriving new businesses,
more jobs with climbing wages,
more quality school choices for parents,
more trust in government, and
an end to rampant corruption.
In November, we will choose between Dooley Light and a respected leader.
This right-leaning libertarian is voting for the respected leader, Rick Stream.
Accountability? We don’t need no stinking accountability.
No, Ann Wagner didn’t actually say that. But her comments to a 2nd District Republican committee meeting on Tuesday gave at least one attendee the impression that Mrs. Wagner opposes the idea of conservatives holding Congress accountable.
Ann Wagner Attacks the Conservative Heritage Action
Rep. Ann Wagner accused the conservative Heritage Action for America of “pitting Republican against Republican” and “never attacking Dems” at the Republican meeting.
I’d like to remind Mrs. Wagner that Heritage Action keeps score on all members of Congress, not just Republicans. Also, the reason Heritage Action and its Sentinels focus their activism on Republicans is because we know the Democrats are a lost cause. Yelling at Democrats doesn’t do a damn thing. (I have direct experience on this. I co-founded an organization that did nothing but yell at Democrats from 2009 to 2012.)
We don’t pit Republicans against Republicans, Mrs. Wagner; we pit members of Congress against their own principles. We hold people accountable, not to our standards, but to the principles people like you campaigned on.
Heritage Action Advances the Policies of Reagan’s Favorite Think-Tank
While no single institution is the sole judge of what is conservative, the Heritage Foundation comes close. Heritage’s white papers were the foundation of the Reagan Revolution. Here are some examples:
With the arrival of the Reagan administration, the Heritage Foundation and other conservative foreign policy think tanks saw a political opportunity to significantly expand Carter’s Afghanistan policy into a more global “doctrine”, including U.S. support to anti-communist resistance movements in Soviet-allied nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. According to political analysts Thomas Bodenheimer and Robert Gould, “it was the Heritage Foundation that translated theory into concrete policy. Heritage targeted nine nations for rollback: Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Iran, Laos, Libya, Nicaragua, and Vietnam“.
And from Christian Science Monitor in 1984 writing about Heritage’s 1,100 page “Mandate for Leadership,” which was something like Reagan’s first administration blueprint:
Like a shadow government – but one with considerable clout – the conservative Heritage Foundation is at work throughout the Reagan administration. Its fingerprints can clearly be seen on the administration’s 1986 budget, now emerging from White House deliberations. And its access in recent days to top government officials, including Cabinet secretaries, has been unprecedented for a private organization.
Since the beginning of the Reagan Administration, the Heritage Foundation has had an incredible impact on Republican policies in America. The right-wing think tank founded by Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner and Joseph Coors is largely to blame for the conservative state we find the country in today.
According to conservative writer William F.Buckley, Jr, Reagan acted upon approximately sixty percent of the three volumes of “Mandates” awaiting him when he took office which is why his Presidency was about sixty percent successful.
It’s safe to say that no other institution or think-tank exercised as much influence over the Reagan Administration as did Heritage. Now why wouldn’t Mrs. Wagner want to touch base with Reagan’s favorite think-tank? That’s exactly the service Heritage Action provides her.
Heritage Action launched in 2010 to help conservative legislators stay true to those first principles. Heritage realized that papers don’t change the world–actions do. But without a leader like Reagan to drive Heritage’s idea into law, its research and policy papers were just Saturday afternoon reading for conservative policy wonks.
Heritage Action’s purpose was to remind self-described conservatives in Washington that we don’t win when we don’t differentiate. And that call to differentiate seems precisely what disturbs Mrs. Wagner about Heritage Action.
Export-Import Bank Is a Silly Hill to Die On
Tell me how Mrs. Wagner differentiates herself from Democrats on Export-Import Bank? Wagner and Democrat Claire McCaskill read from identical talking point memos when they spoke to a St. Louis Public Radio reporter. They both threw out the same laughably false “facts” about Ex-Im and jobs, Ex-Im and “level playing fields.” Ann Wagner asking Heritage to attack Dems on Ex-Im is like a soldier calling for mortar fire on his own position.
Mrs. Wagner continued with some “facts,” like saying Ex-Im “is about 13,000 jobs in district. Jobs in this district. It’s not about Boeing.”
Oh really? Perhaps Mrs. Wagner would show us the research supporting her claim that Ex-Im created 13,000 jobs in her district. Because those would be the only 13,000 jobs Ex-Im created according to a Congressional Research Service report:
A Congressional Research Service report has confirmed that Ex-Im shifts jobs; it does not create them: “Economists generally maintain… that subsidizing export financing does not add to the overall level of economic activity, and subsidizes foreign consumption at the expense of the domestic economy. [Therefore], promoting exports through subsidized financing…will not permanently raise the level of employment in the economy, but alters the composition of employment among various sectors… and performs poorly as a jobs creation mechanism.”
Wagner is also wrong when she tells people, “This is about leveling the playing field in the International arena, and I will always fight for jobs in the district.” Less and 1/3 of Ex-Im’s loans involve competing subsidies from foreign governments. And the largest recipient of Ex-Im loans, Boeing, has stated it doesn’t need Ex-Im.
As I pointed out in an earlier post on the matter, Ex-Im is not a huge program. It is not the worst example of corporate welfare and government interference in free markets. Instead, Ex-Im is an easy win for principled conservatives. A no-brainer that requires no action. It will just go away.
I just don’t understand why Mrs. Wagner would choose the Ex-Im hill to die on?
Hey, Kettle: The Pot Is Calling
What’s more disheartening than the made-up facts was Mrs. Wagner’s silly attack on Heritage Action’s motives. Mrs. Wagner told the audience, which included some Heritage donors and Sentinels, “Heritage is just trying to raise money for itself.”
PSYCHOLOGICAL PROJECTION: A psychoanalytical theory, projection is the process whereby one subject believes they see attributes (both good and bad) in another. The theory views this tendency as a defense mechanism whereby unenviable or unpleasant traits, impulses or ideas are attributed to another. In this way, the projector is able to avoid the unpleasantness in themselves.
— Source: PROJECTION from Psychological Dictionary
Psychologists call it projection. In South St. Louis it was simply “the pot calling the kettle black”.
Here’s Ann Wagner’s fundraising vs. the House average:
Money doesn’t fall into a politician’s lap. She has to work for that money. And she does. Ann Wagner is known as one of the hardest working fundraisers in town. This one and Washington.
While Heritage Action does accept donations, fundraising is not high on its activity list. Accountability is. On that point, Mrs. Wagner seems as ill-informed as she is on the proper role of government and on the “conservative-ness” of the Export-Import Bank.
I realize that Mrs. Wagner has to defend her positions against critics like me. I wish she should do it without the use of fabricated “facts” and psychological projection.