THE ENTERPRISE—AVOIDING THE OBVIOUS, BUT FINDING THE TRUTH
WAITED FOR WISCONSIN RESULTS TO SEND THIS ONE…
No surprises. Cruz campaign Trumped Trump’s non-campaign. Trump scored about the same percentage of voters he did in NH and other places. His base is solid but not growing. He alienates as many people as he inspires. Trump’s motivation is questioned by this article from The Week. I encourage everyone to read and share it. He entered figuring to make a splash and then popped up on top. Now his ego won’t let him back down, even though he has clearly lost some of his early fire and enthusiasm. This is typical for a “performer.” When the audience cheers, they’re energized. When they don’t, they pout.
Cruz is winning by default, but cannot win enough, fast enough. I stand by what I say below. We need a candidate who can defeat the Democratic candidate (Hillary, probably and help hold onto the Senate. GOP must defend 24 Senate seats, Dems only must defend 10 incumbent seats. There is a real chance to lose control of the Senate, which would be a disaster, too.
THE PRIMARY ELECTIONS WILL COME DOWN TO THE WIRE
On the Democratic side, the party is clear—it is waiting to crown Hillary—unless a lot of voters—a big lot—say otherwise. This is very unlikely. The Dems use an old political tool—super delegates—to tilt the playing field in the direction the party leaders choose. Unless, or until Barack Obama and his “In-Justice Department” get off their partisan butts and listen to the huge number of violations (one legal, some criminal, many technical) the FBI is digging up and actually indicts the Democratize front runner nothing much will happen. Sanders is raising enough $$ to stay in it, but he really can’t win it either… (Joe Biden is standing patiently by, wishing he had gotten into the race, in the hope that he’ll be called in as the last minute substitute candidate to continue Obama’s ill-begotten legacy.)
On the Republican side, the circular firing squad that was the primaries is now down to two candidates leading, neither of which is ideal (or worse), and a really good candidate trailing in third place because he won’t say outrageous, foolish, incendiary or stupid things, just to get the vote of angry primary voters or right wing zealots. Who knows how Trump will govern IF he can actually get 1237 delegates, and the convention must recognize him as the winner.
This is a lot like what he says when pressed in interviews. He doesn’t even know. He’ll figure it out then…or later. Trump clearly has not done all of his homework, (and the obnoxious Chris Matthews trapped him—as he is prone to do). Meanwhile, the “holier than thou” Ted Cruz continues to resemble the “Gru” (From the movie Despicable Me), who will never, ever, ever compromise—no matter how worthy the cause nor how great the need. If the term “cutting off your nose to spite your face,” Cruz seems willing to trim his prominent proboscis to stay “pure and unsullied by real world pragmatism.”
I don’t care if he is the favorite of a lot of “loyal” Republicans, (some of whom I count as friends (and whose opinion I respect—usually). I still think Ted Cruz is a phony, a snake, a pretender, and a loser in the general election—IF he ever gets that far. Cruz (a freshman senator) is no more prepared to run the country than Obama was, or than Trump is. He may be a “better person” than Obama, but that’s a subjective opinion. Will I vote for him (or for that matter, for Donald Trump) if he’s the nominee. Sure I will. I’ll swallow hard and grit my teeth, but I will do anything legally possible to stop the reprehensible Hillary Clinton from becoming America’s first (and worst) woman president.
On Principle, who is the best candidate to represent the party?
The theory behind elections is to find the person who best represents the tenor, the positions, the wishes and hopes, and the overall political ideology—positive and negative—of the electorate.
Study the chart below and ask yourself:
IF this poll accurately portrays how Republicans feel about the three remaining candidates, and
IF this poll accurately portrays the likely outcome of the general election…
(I realize this is a poll and those are both BIG IFs)—then how could anyone choose a Republican candidate other than John Kasich?
Polls are not absolute, and positives and negatives are not absolute either. BUT…this is a very stark comparison, and one which the delegates to the Republican convention need to consider seriously, IF NO single candidate gains enough delegates to earn the nomination, until are no longer bound by primary votes.
Delegate choices, based on primaries and caucuses, are actually no more or less than a series of organized polls conducted in voting booths (mostly), and in which the objective or subjective (perceived) ability to lead and govern is often poorly considered. All polls are popularity contests; and so are elections.
HOWEVER, No one can govern, until they can first be elected.
I DECIDED TO REPRINT THESE PORTIONS OF THE NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENT, SINCE THEY ARE NOT MY OPINIONS
But they are well thought out and considered conclusions, even so. [My emphasis is added.]
MILWAUKEE JOURNAL ENDORSEMENT FOR JOHN KASICH
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s editorial board, which noted that it usually doesn’t endorse, highlighted the Ohio governor’s response to last week’s terrorist attack in Brussels. “Kasich had a smart, pragmatic answer. He is, in fact, the only thoughtful candidate with a fundamental belief in long-standing democratic principles who remains standing in the GOP primary field,” the board wrote.
The former congressman and businessman offers Republicans a platform of conservative ideas centered on fiscal responsibility while he offers independents the promise that he will surround himself with expert advisers from various perspectives as he makes informed, independent decisions.
What impresses us most about Kasich is his independence. Unlike Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin and most other Republican governors, Kasich decided to take the additional Medicaid funding that came as part of the Affordable Care Act. The decision meant an infusion of $13 billion for Ohio, which was irresistible for a politician focused on fiscal discipline even in the face of Republican opposition in the Ohio legislature and criticism from conservatives nationally.
Most important, Kasich appears to be the only Republican left in the race who actually could govern if he does win. Trump is Trump — vacuous, unqualified and dangerously ignorant of foreign affairs. Cruz is brilliant but unable to escape the twin straitjackets of ideology and ambition. The author of the futile 16-day government shutdown in 2013 over Obamacare, he also conducted a 21-hour filibuster designed to do one thing: burnish the image of Ted Cruz with tea party conservatives. A team player, he is not.
Republicans and independents who value leadership, dignity, pragmatism and experience should vote for John Kasich next Tuesday.
IT IS IRONIC HOW MANY PARALLELS THERE ARE BETWEEN POLITICS AND BUSINESS
Leaders are essential. Managers are necessary. In that order. Followers are critical, and weak leaders can’t energize them; poor managers waste their efforts.
Candidates are like Brands…and must be marketed. Marketing is often deceptive, either intentionally (or accidentally.)
Gaining consensus is very difficult, often impossible, but decisions still must be made. (By someone)
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS FALL APART BECAUSE THE PARTIES WON’T COMPROMISE TO MAKE A “GOOD DEAL” INSTEAD OF "THE PERFECT DEAL”
The problems in business and politics are so similar because both involve people, their egos, their goals (usually power, influence and money) and their implacable desire to win at all costs. Once you understand (and accept those facts) understanding behavior—in business and in politics becomes so much easier.
AS I GATHER MY WITS (AND MY BELONGINGS) ABOUT ME TO HEAD BACK TO GRAY, RAINY OHIO…I WONDER
Is the economy really OK? There has been a small upward blip in workforce participation. That could be a good sign. Growth still stinks. Nothing will fix that short of a change of administration—-and the right people in charge of the new one. Businesses are still hesitant to spend. Too many uncertainties remain. Whoever wins the election will name the next 1-3 Supreme Court Justices. That fact alone can totally change the character, the outlook and the future of America. That is a BIGGIE. If there is a landslide win (for Democrats), it could shift the power in the Senate too. Then what do businesses have to look forward to? More regulation, taxes, wealth redistribution, minimum wage hikes, punitive rulings from every agency of the government—unfettered by the Constitution? Probably.
Would you invest much of your money with those uncertainties on the horizon?
ROGUE STATES AND TERRORISTS ABOUND, AND ARE GROWING WORSE AMID THE BEFUDDLED OBAMA BEHAVIORS.
Instability in foreign markets grows far worse when unexpected, unprecedented and frightening actions happen around the globe. Who wants to invest much, putting money at risk, in that kind of environment? Not very many companies, I can tell you that. Many companies will spend what they must to support/sustain their business, but bet on growth? No thanks. Bank the money, wherever the taxes are lowest, and wait to see what happens.
UNEMPLOYMENT PICTURE IMPROVING BUT WAGES & GROWTH ARE STILL LAGGING…
All around Europe except for France, and in the US, unemployment statistics say things are getting better. GDP growth doesn’t. Durable goods are down again by 2.8%, but that number is volatile—a few dozen Boeing airplanes that do (or don’t) get sold can yo-yo it up and down. Productivity is weak and has declined almost everywhere. Bellwethers like Caterpillar are seriously down. Note to liberal economists: Dumping money into economies seems to help the stock markets (the rich) more than it does the job markets (the poor). Why? Re-read the prior piece about uncertainty and risk.China is still struggling to hits its artificially inflated growth goals (6+%)—and no one knows if the numbers are accurate or just a fictional portrayal of how this huge country is doing. There are two China’s in the mix—one along the coastal areas, growing and thriving, and another inland, languishing and declining. Americans are largely unaware of anything like this, until or unless something or somebody “big” raises the issue.
SURPRISE—THE AGE OLD MIXTURE OF DRUGS LIKE XANAX/VALIUM WITH OPIODS CAN KILL YOU
After years of prescribing both to patients, research and results are showing that about 1/3 of deaths due to opiod overdoses (percocet/vicodin/hydrocodone/oxycontin) are likely due to taking them in combination with benzodiazepines like Valium or Xanax. WOW! Throw in the use of alcohol at the same time and you have a lethal cocktail, that often has gone undetected as the actual cause of death. BE VERY CAREFUL MIXING DRUBS LIKE THESE.
AMERICAN CYBERSECURITY STILL STINKS
Why? Because Americans are lazy, lax, apathetic, etc. until they get in trouble. Companies are better, because they have IT pros, but the explosion of personal devices—cell phones, tablets, etc. some with minimal security in use, increases the risk exponentially. Worst of all. Americans, especially the government, don’t counterattack suspected hackers—at least not that we know about. Why? Hackers are hard to identify and locate and clear proof of guilt is hard to get. So we sit by, fat, dumb and relatively happy, while enemies steal our data, invade our privacy and pick our (intellectual) pockets millions of times each year. I guess it will take a Cyber 911 to wake up America. That is SCARY.
SO WHAT ARE THE BIG ISSUES BEING CONTESTED?
TRANSGENDER BATHROOMS: Which one to use. Birth or current gender? REALLY? With all the big bad stuff that’s going on… just use the one based on the sex you “look like”—if that is even visibly obvious.
ABORTION RIGHTS: Who should be punished? The Doctors—if what they do is illegal—the erstwhile mothers-to-be, and dead fetuses already suffer their punishment.
AMERICANS are so cavalier about promiscuity and creating life and so willing the terminate life as if it was a bad meal from a restaurant to be thrown in the trash.
Can you spell MORAL DECAY? Ignorance?
PLEASE USE NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
See my prior commentary at http://www.brennerbrief.com/author/johnmariotti/ and my latest commentary at