Lifer Republicans have no experience with games of chicken. They were raised on coordination games.
By changing the game to Chicken, Donald Trump greatly increased the chances that phony Paul Ryan’s healthcare will PASS.
Here’s why briefly.
Psychologically, people always think they have more time. Republicans, in particular, believe time is limitless. Lifelong Republicans think they can delay any decision until the decision they want is a given.
That’s a very strong move. And it scared the shit out of Republicans. Even Freedom Caucus snowflakes who accused the President of ignoring them. (Not all Freedom Caucusers are snowflakes. But the pansies who complained about their lack of access to the President should be driven out of the caucus and out of the Congress. They’re weak.) Enough Republicans believe that it’s this or nothing. It’s this or Obamacare forever. It’s this or total failure of the last 8 years of Republican politics.
So my prediction is that this pathetic bill will pass.
I hope, but don’t predict, that House Republicans will remove Paul Ryan from the Speakership. Paul Ryan is a weak and failed Speaker. This bill should have been ready on January 20. Ryan’s selfishness caused this crisis.
For the record, I also hope the bill passes. Not that I like the bill. But I think it can be improved with future legislation. If it fails, we will live with Obamacare for the next 100 years. Too many people worked too hard for too many years to let that happen.
P.S. Nothing in this post should be construed as an endorsement of Paul Ryan. I think Paul Ryan is a disgusting, weak person. But I believe Trump. He walks away from negotiations that are going nowhere. When he says “take it or leave it,” he means. He has a history.
Jim Durbin called me this evening. “Are you excited?” he asked.
Jim was in the crowd at the very first Tea Party in St. Louis, February 27, 2009. A cold Friday. He and more than a thousand other folks took off work and school to see what this protest was all about. Like so many others, Jim knew America needed a change. A big one. A change built on the hopes and dreams and fierce independence of ordinary people. We could no longer trust America’s future to academics and political professionals.
“Excited bout what?” I asked.
“The inauguration tomorrow,” he said.
I’d almost forgotten. Between my never-ending cold and work and family and the Blues’ lackluster home play, so many other things compete for my brain time. I felt bad that I didn’t feel better. Which reminded me of a story we read in 7th grade (was it 7th?) about Christmas spirit and a little kid who didn’t have any.
The kid in that Christmas story was struck by Christmas spirit on Christmas eve. My epiphany struck when I opened some old emails.
These emails were responses to a “thank you” email I sent to Tea Partiers in November. My email thanked them for being part of the movement that culminated in a 1,000 seat shift from Democrats to Republics since 2009 at all levels of state and federal government including, now, the seat in the Oval Office. That email was to thank the people like Jim who no longer trusted academics and professionals to chart a course for America’s future.
As Donald Trump prepares to take office as our 45th President and the first of a kind, I thought I’d share a few of your words with the world. You say it better than I ever could:
Don’t you see that the Tea Party was the precursor of Donald Trump’s election? We laid the groundwork with all those rallies and protests and afterparties. If Trump is faithful to his word and follows through with his promises to us, the ideals that we struggled for will come to fruition. Back in April of 2009 when I went to the Kiener Plaza rally, I KNEW that the Tea Party would be an historic movement, that we could make a difference. God bless you and, yes, Dana too, for helping us to take America back. God bless Donald Trump and God Bless America! — Donna R.
It finally feels good after all these past 8 years. God bless you Bill. — Edward H.
I heard someone recently say what happened to the Tea Party and I said we are the Tea Party. You were such a prominent part of the entire movement. Thank you for the reminders. I have a photo album with many of the events. I truly feel like there is a dark cloud removed from our future. However, we can never take this great country for granted. God has answered our prayers and now we need to be worthy. Thank you for all the passion there is no replacement and money cannot buy it. –Jane P.
Some of us have complained or protested when someone implied that the Tea Party is dead. I don’t think it was ever dead – it went underground and that’s where it continued its mission of upsetting the apple card and unconventional methods of doing things the unconventional way.
Thanks for recognizing that MAGA is and was the ultimate goal of the Tea Party. –Frieda K.
God Bless America and please make it great again! –Judy H.
I received dozens of other notes that mistakenly thanked me. I really didn’t do much, but I appreciate your kind support and kind words.
Shakespeare said, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” Fifteen hours from the moment I write these words, the Tea Party’s dream will rendezvous with its hard-earned destiny. That destiny, far too big for one man to contain, will nonetheless be personified by Donald J. Trump.
On this last night of America’s dark winter, I will tell you that Mr. Trump said it best when he told the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial tonight:
I had something to do with it but you had much more to do with it than I did. I’m the messenger. I’m just the messenger. And we were tired, and I love you. Believe me, I love you.
Thank you, friends. I look forward to laying down our tools of protest so we can pick up hammers and shovels and get to work Making America Great Again!
If your favorite player hits a home run or scores a goal, but your favorite team loses, what have you accomplished?
If an athlete you despise makes a horrible error but the hated team he plays for wins the championship, how do you feel?
In several races across Missouri, some people seem willing to lose the war if it means they can win their private battles. That’s pretty sad, isn’t it?
In the race for governor and the race for US Senate, I hear people working against their own interests for extremely selfish reasons. But the only way to show you’re a consistent person is to elect Trump, Blunt, and Greitens on Tuesday.
Suppose Donald Trump wins but Roy Blunt loses. And a few other Republican Senate candidates lose. It’s possible that President Trump could face a Senate controlled by Democrats. In that case, you won’t get a single piece of legislation you want. You’ll get only what Mitch McConnell compromises with Chuck Schumer. Have fun with that.
Plus, Jason Kander is a far left progressive. He’s opposed to the 2nd Amendment because he will get to keep his assault rifles and side arms. That’s how elitism works, and Kander’s all for different rules for different castes. And Kander loves the lobbyists as much as the lobbyists love Kander. It’s a regular affair with those two.
If Hillary wins, don’t you want every possible Republican Senator to form a firewall?
If you want Trump and Trump’s policies, you have to give Trump a Senate that will enact those policies. Kander won’t do that. Roy Blunt will. So vote for Blunt on Tuesday.
Suppose Chris Koster wins. You won’t ever see Right to Work in Missouri. All the good bills that Nixon vetoed, Koster will veto. All the favoritism Nixon showed, Koster will show. Missouri’s embarrassing fall to the bottom of the economic barrel will continue. That fall might even accelerate. Who knows.
In Chris Koster’s Missouri, failing schools and falling bridges will remain the norm. Fortune 1000 companies will continue to flee our state. And rioters will be allowed to control your streets. If Chris Koster was afraid to do something about Ferguson as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, imagine how cowardly he’d act as governor.
Or you can show consistency by voting for Eric Greitens. Greitens started off as a Democrat, but he realized his philosophy was out of sync with that party’s beliefs. So he embraced the GOP and some of the most conservative GOP leaders embrace Greitens.
As governor, Eric Greitens will sign Right to Work. He will lead his party to make Missouri great again by getting us out of the bottom quintile of economic despair. Greitens will confront riots with all the determination and courage you’d expect from a Navy SEAL war veteran. And he’ll elevate our political discourse like no one else.
Most people want to be seen as consistent. We want people to think we’ll do the right thing even if it hurts. Maybe it hurts you to vote for Blunt or Greitens, but deep down you probably know voting for Blunt and Greitens is the right thing.
Trump will win Missouri by 15 percentage points if you vote. If Missouri voters do the right thing, Blunt and Greitens will win by 15 points, too. If they don’t, it’s because many Missouri conservatives would rather lose the war for America than lose a skirmish for their pride. And that would be so sad.
It’s fun to click a few of those links and reminisce, isn’t it? Like the Post-Debate Power Rankings that listed the candidates chances of winning the nomination. Walker, Bush, and Rubio were ranked 1, 2, and 3. Trump was down with Jim Gilmore and Ben Carson.
Ed Roger of WaPo declared the beginning of the end of Trump. (I did, too.)
At the time, there two basic objections to Trump. One faction felt Trump’s behavior discredited the process. I was in that group. Trump: The Clown is the first section of my book.
The other faction believed Trump a low-information liberal masquerading as a Republican. This group included both strict, orthodox conservatives and hardcore neo-con establishment types. I was part of this group, too. (See this.) The latter group makes up most of NeverTrump.
Those who saw Trump as a clown in August 2015 came quickly to realize he’s actually a perfect reflection of we, the people. And a Master Persuader. I realized this early on, accepting that Trump is probably the candidate we deserve. But I resisted supporting him because of my love of limited government and his history of big government ideas.
To me, the most intellectually honest people in America are those orthodox conservatives who have since embraced Trump. Think of Victor Davis Hanson and Roger Kimball. They know Trump is risky when it comes to conservative ideas, but he’s conservative “enough” and the alternative would be disastrous for America and for conservatives. Therefore, they’re willing to take their chances by endorsing Trump. They’ve put America’s future ahead of their own personal preferences. For that, we should thank them.
I know some NeverTrumpers call us inconsistent sellouts. Some even call us racist, sexist monsters. One prominent NeverTrump believes people like me would use time-machine technology to go back to 1930s Europe to help Hitler and Mussolini defeat the Allies. Then they criticize Trump’s hyperbole.) But we who support Trump see our support as consistent with Reagan’s admonition from the 1960s: America is freedom’s last bastion. If we lose it here, there’s no place to go. Therefore, survival of the American nation and the rule of law trumps a few policy differences. Trump might be a threat to parts of the conservative agenda, but Hillary is a threat to the survival of the country.
Okay. The reason I mention all that Trump stuff is this: Most Missouri conservatives are fully onboard the Trump Train. Even Rep. Ann Wagner changed her mind today and announced she’s voting for Trump. All of my activist friends are onboard the train.
The weird thing is, some of my friends are NOT on the Greitens train. And THAT is wild inconsistency.
I’m not going to tell you you have to vote for Eric Greitens. I’m not even going to tell you that I’ll be mad if you don’t. That’s up to you.
But I will say I cannot figure how any conservative can overcome all of Tump’s flaws to support him but fail to overcome Greiten’s past positions. Greitens is a true American hero and remarkable leader. He’s recognized around the world as a great leader. The Democrats showered him with attention to get him to run as one of them.
But Greitens wanted to be consistent with his core philosophy, and his philosophy aligns better with the conservative faction of the GOP. So he left the party of his youth to become a Republican. And he’s become more conservative even in the two years I’ve known him.
If you want to know what inconsistency looks like, think about these people who support Trump but question Eric Greitens. That’s inconsistency I can’t reconcile.
If you do think about it, you’ll probably expect, like me, that Greitens and Trump will both win Missouri by 12 points or more. If that doesn’t happen, it’ll be because some of us are intellectually inconsistent.