Odds & Ends


Welcome to this week’s edition of odds and ends. This week’s post will be a potpourri of political stories coming out of Washington.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) will declare himself a candidate for U.S. President. His announcement needs to address the following concern: Our current President was a U.S. Senator for two years before he won in 2008. We see that the position was above “his pay grade.” Except for your political philosophy, how will you be any different?

The electorate will be looking for someone who has executive experience. Sen. Cruz has a difficult task ahead of him in convincing the American voter to vote for him when the other Republican candidates have executive experience and the Republican primary voters are looking for someone with executive experience.

Speaking of experience, I think it is time for conservative House Republicans to quit complaining when the establishment strikes back. Recently, the Hill reported how some conservative House Republicans were attacked through political advertisement. The advertising came from a political action committee that supports House Speaker John Boehner. Conservative House Republicans should realize that they are fighting not only Democrats, but also the Gucci class, who cares more about power than they do about the country. Focus on creating solutions toward our problems. Communicate those solutions, work on building support. This is a long battle against the establishment. Expect criticism but remember that good policy makes good politics.

Concerning good policy, I do not understand the hysteria regarding Sen. Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran. A copy of the letter is here. The letter did not undermine the Administration, except to remind the Administration that it would not support a bad deal. The letter reminded both parties, especially the Administration that the U.S. Senate has a role in foreign policy. Our Constitution calls for the U.S. Senate to ratify any treaties between our government. Can someone please explain to me what did Senator Cotton undermined?

Finally, Democrats are blocking a bill to help combat human trafficking because of the Hyde Amendment. For those who are not familiar with this amendment, the Hyde amendment does not allow for federal funds to provide abortion services. It has been standard language for many congressional bills involving federal funds and has gotten bipartisan support throughout the year. Planned Parenthood, a major Democrat contributor, has opposed the bill. The Democrats in turn are using Senate rules to block this legislation.

I know that the Senate is supposed to be the “cooling plate for a hot sauce” to paraphrase The Federalist Papers, but can someone explain to me what is wrong with this bill, besides the abortion provision? If I was advising either Senator Cornyn or McConnell, I am sorely tempted to advise them to bring back the nuclear option and end this nonsense. It is a situation like this that makes Americans dislikes the Congress. Then again, most of our elected officials really do not care if they are liked or not.

  • Arthur, with respect to the 2016 Presidential election, the establishment and beltway Republicans are jockeying and spinning. Think, clients, jobs, and government contracts. Candidates such as Senator Cruz make this crowd very nervous, like Reagan did in 1976. As with anything in life, the unknown unknowns worry the established way of doing things. Being a governor is no guarantee you’ll make a good President. Think Bill Clinton. It will be a solid primary process and, hopefully, a frank discussion about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. I’m looking forward to all the prospective nominees duking it out. The Nation needs it. Besides, it is always a good thing to shake up the Beltway Mandarins.

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