Opposition Media Grades on a Strange Curve

Don’t you hate it when your optimism proves unfounded?

He entered the New Year riding a wave of what appeared to be unprecedented political support — the most for a Republican in quite a few years. And what happened? Legislative fumbles in the first 100 days, and the second 100 days for that matter, produced story after story in the Opposition Media claiming the legislative honeymoon was over before it began.

Then there was the unseemly internal bickering with other Republican leaders, again extensively covered by the OpMedia. Externally, there were high–profile failures to honor major campaign promises.

And don’t forget the politically tin–eared statements to the media that alienated independent voters and kept critical news coverage going during any lulls between major upsets. This resulted in a collapse in his approval rating with both base and swing voters — possibly a crucial setback to any chance of re–election.

Analyzing this collapse is where the OpMedia’s grading on a strange curve comes into play. This master of political disaster who’s frittered away a huge opportunity is not Donald Trump! In fact, the identity of this reviled politician is someone you don’t expect. But who, you’re asking? The answer to that pressing question can be found by clicking on the link below for my Newsmax column:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/mitch-mcconnell-approval-rating-disapprove-trump/2017/08/29/id/810487/

 

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“Draining the Swamp” Isn’t a Part–Time Job

When the leftists at the Washington Post start offering relationship advice a Republican knows he could be on the cusp of something big. A recent WaPost headline warned, “Trump’s baffling attacks on McConnell could be costly to the president.”

“Cost” here is mainly a function of how often Trump is hoping to eat in the Senate’s invitation–only dining room. Otherwise what’s “baffling” is how long it took the notoriously impatient Trump to sound off.

After six months McConnell has failed to repeal Obamacare, failed to fund the wall, failed to reform the tax code, refused to return the Senate to pre–1970 filibuster rules and dismissed out of hand debating the one change that would do more to correct what’s wrong with Congress than any other: Term Limits.

The real risk to Trump and any hope he has for accomplishments in his first term is the status quo.

Currently Trump has achieved the unthinkable: Bi–partisan cooperation in Congress. Republicans are blocking what Trump wants to do and Democrats are blocking what Trump wants to do.

Something tells me the man who built Trump Tower didn’t win the presidency so he could be Mitch McConnell’s autopen.

Naturally there is division over how to persuade Congress to support Trump. I’m sure the General Staff, or at least the generals, advocate doubling down on the “hearts and minds” strategy to win over recalcitrant Congressional leadership.

Just schedule a few more summits, golf games, White House lunches and Twitter tutorials. Soon Trump will be able to emulate the success our high command has produced in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And continuing this strategy will produce results very similar to Afghanistan. McConnell will continue to be passive–aggressive and the Taliban aggressive–aggressive. Mitch, author of the unread tome “The Long Game,” and the Taliban both plan to outwait their opponents. Their intention is to be around after Trump and the Army are long gone.

The alternative to the appeaser’s long, slow defeat strategy is letting Trump be Trump.

The outsider who said during his inauguration, “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.” The outsider who promised to drain the swamp, not stock the White House with reptiles.

The principle obstacle here is Trump. He is our first ADHD president. Moving an inert mass like McConnell’s Senate requires persistence and focus. So far Trump lacks both.

For example:

On July 27th Trump criticizes McConnell for failure to repeal Obamacare.

On August 8th Trump reverses course and endorses McConnell’s candidate, Luther Strange, in the Alabama special election.

On August 10th Trump lurches back into drive and says McConnell should resign from Senate leadership.

On August 15th Trump repeats his strange endorsement of Strange.

A tortoise like McConnell is immune to whiplash from this back–and–forth, but it only serves to reinforce what the WaPost says, “For some time, it has been apparent that members of Congress do not fear the president.”

That must change. Trump needs to play his “long game” and make opponents pay a price. Trump is holding a rally in Arizona next week, the home of craven media hound Jeff Flake who is conveniently up for re–election in 2018.

That’s the perfect time for Trump to announce he’s personally donating $50 million to the Make America Great Again PAC that will be supporting primary opponents of senators who are blocking the platform on which he won the presidency.

He can consider adding Utah’s Orrin Hatch and Tennessee’s Bob Corker to the list. It’s important that Trump doesn’t make the effort based on these lizard’s opposition to him personally, but rather their opposition to making America great again.

The primary opponents Trump supports don’t even have to win. They just have to make targeted incumbent’s life a living hell and an example of the consequences resulting from betraying the base.

Could it happen? Yes. Will it happen? Probably not.

The Strange endorsement proves Trump’s White House political operation is either second–rate or angling for jobs with the establishment GOP after Trump leaves.

Trump is also notoriously cheap, as his reneging on his pledge to fund his own campaign proved, so funding a PAC to support primary challengers is unlikely.

Finally, Trump has the attention span of a short circuit.

I’m afraid instead of reforming a political system run solely for the benefit of the elites; Trump will wind up being George Bush with an angry Twitter account. Forced to accept whatever crumbs and statist legislation McConnell and Speaker Paul Rino, excuse me, Ryan send him.

Way Past Time to Let Congress Enjoy Obamacare

Every presidential administration reaches a pivot point. Many observers thought Trump’s came when Anthony Scaramucci walked in the White House door. Others thought it came 10 days later when Scaramucci walked out the door.

For me the Scaramucci Saga was just part of the excitement when the circus comes to town.

The pivot point I’m looking for is when President Trump finally learns he has only enemies and bystanders among the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill.

Mitch McConnell, Curator of the Senate, is happy to keep polishing Senate rules, while aging whiz kid Speaker Paul Ryan is proud of slightly reducing the velocity of the socialism–bound train that is the House of Representatives.

Ryan and McConnell have no respect for Trump. He doesn’t have their years of political experience or expertise in the arcane working of the legislative process. The fact the voters know this and elected Trump anyway escapes them.

Neither of these hacks is going to expend a dime of political capital to advance the Trump agenda. Their primary goal is protecting the GOP majority in both houses and maintaining their comfortable offices and the perks that come with leadership. They are both corporate incumbents, not conservatives, and their pitiful legislative records prove it.

Both of these swamp creatures expect to be in Washington, building their federal pensions, long after Trump has returned to Trump Tower for good.

There is no legislative outreach that can bridge the gap between the White House and Capitol Hill. Reince Priebus couldn’t do it and new chief of staff Gen. John Kelly won’t either. The only thing the invertebrates that make up the GOP will understand is negative consequences for their failure to support the Trump agenda.

Fortunately, Trump has just the weapon.

After Congress failed to keep their promise to repeal Obamacare, Trump threatened to make it live under the same rules, regulations and premiums the rest of us must endure.

It’s a little–known fact that Congress exempted itself from Obamacare in violation of the law.

During the frenzy to pass it Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–IA) slipped in an amendment that required Congress to buy its insurance on the exchanges just like the rest of us. Once the bill passed and members learned, to their horror, what was in it, they wanted no part of this leftist moral crusade.

So they created an Obamacare Sanctuary where the law didn’t apply to the people who passed it.

In a demonstration of the utter moral corruption that characterizes our political ruling class, Congress persuaded the Office of Personnel Management to issue a ruling that the 16,000 people employed by both houses qualified as a “small business.”

This allowed members and staff to buy their insurance on the DC Small Business Exchange, UNLESS the officeholder used another sleazy loophole. If staff is designated “non–official” it grandfathers them into the federal Employee Health Benefits program where they continue to receive premium subsidies and access to policies with coverage denied to the rest of us.

Regardless of which dodge the members chooses everyone gets a $10,000 to $12,000 subsidy to pay for their health insurance that is not income based. Meaning while you are selling the bass boat to make your premium, a rank–and–file Congressman making $174,000 a year gets a 12K subsidy for his insurance.

These sound bite patriots don’t feel pressure to repeal Obamacare for two reasons. One, base conservative voters aren’t their health insurance constituency; hospitals and insurance companies are and that’s who is calling the shots. And two, since they’re immune to the punishing Obamacare premiums and deductibles, they feel no personal motivation to keep their word.

Trump can end their lies and duplicity with the stroke of a pen. He can cancel the OPM ruling and throw every last swamp creature into the clutches of the DC Obamacare exchange. No more subsidies and no more special treatment.

Even better, these hypocrites can’t do anything about it. Trump controls, in a manner of speaking, the executive branch and if politicians went to court to try and keep their Obamacare exemption it would be a PR disaster on the scale of Anthony Scaramucci.

Trump should ignore the accommodationists and Congressional appeasers in his office.

A principled revocation of Congress’ special privileges would be a home run with the public; prove to the RINOs that Trump plays for keeps and it could force McConnell and Ryan to honor their promise to repeal Obamacare.

Trump could take a lesson from North Korea’s Kim Jong–un. No one likes him either, but the world worries about what he’s going to do next.

Trump doesn’t need love or respect from Congressional RINOs. Fear of consequences will do nicely instead. Trump should end Congress’ Obamacare Sanctuary now!

Losing the House to Win the Future

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is worried about the failure of Republican governing reality to match Republican campaign rhetoric. Newt told Fox News, “I would say the highest focus ought to be on getting the tax bill through because if we don’t have economic growth next year, I think we’re in real danger of having Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

Big time Texas donor Doug Deason has already told Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell that his wallet is a dry hole until McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan “produce results on health care and tax reform.” And Deason isn’t the only donor heading for the customer service window hoping someone is there to ask for a refund.

Sean Lansing, of the Koch brother’s Americans for Prosperity, told Lifezette there should be “consequences” for repeated failure.

Now that “legislative mastermind” McConnell has failed to “repeal and replace Obamacare” followed by failure to just repeal, it looks like Deason is going to have a long–term increase in his disposable income.

Members of the base like you and I can’t pressure the likes of McConnell and Ryan individually with our wallets, but we can pressure them with our votes in aggregate.

That’s why I propose conservative voters to join together and help make Newt’s fears come true: Let’s “Lose the House to Win the Future.”

The corporate Republicans running the House and Senate view the conservative base, which loyally keeps them in office, in much the same way arrogant Victorian explorers viewed the natives in Africa: Dangerous savages who are useful for toting ballot boxes on their heads, but need to be house–broken before allowed into polite society.

That’s why the bubble–dwelling GOP establishment must be sent a message that will break through the impervious barrier of complacency and arrogance that surrounds their Capitol Hill offices. And Nancy Pelosi is just the person to deliver it.

This requires conservatives to change their voting behavior in November 2018. In the past conservatives held their nose and voted for RINO Republicans, because the thought of the Democrat alternative in office was too terrible to contemplate.

As a result the base was rewarded with accommodationist weaklings who preside over the Vichy government that currently rules us.

Now it’s time to embrace the alternative. Conservatives must refuse to vote for all Republican House incumbents — unless your representative is a member of the House Freedom Caucus. This doesn’t mean you vote for the Democrat.

Instead conservatives will vote for a write–in candidate. Resist the temptation to write in Mickey Mouse. Cartoon character votes, although relevant to the current GOP leadership, will only serve to have your write–in dismissed as a frivolous vote.

Instead I suggest all participants in my “Lose the House to Win the Future” campaign write in Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the genuinely conservative Freedom Caucus. Thousands of write–in votes for Meadows, spread across the country will be an obvious protest vote by conservatives that cannot be ignored by the Rep. Barney Fife’s cowering in DC.

There’s nothing like listening to Speaker Pelosi diesel on about evil Republicans to demonstrate to McConnell and Ryan that serial conservative betrayals come with a cost. Ideally the two founding members of the Can’t Do Caucus will be ruminating on their failures from the backbenches of the respective houses after they’ve been ousted from their pitiful leadership charade.

Meadows and the rest of the Freedom Caucus will be the framework around which a new conservative House leadership can be built — ready to resume power when conservatives vote for House Republicans in 2020.

Let me stress House votes are to be the only change for conservatives. Votes for Senate GOP candidates will remain unchanged, even if your only choice is a nose–holder like media parasite Lindsey Graham (R–MSNBC). It simply takes too long to regain control of the Senate. Besides, just the shock of the House loss may inspire Graham and his ilk to find those conservative campaign promises that have evidently slipped down between the sofa cushions.

Sure Democrat wild–eyed pistol takers in the House will pass gun confiscation bills, grant illegal aliens citizenship and demand Baptists dance at same–sex weddings, but it won’t matter. The same McConnell–sclerosis that clogs the Senate will stop those bills, too.

My “Lose the House to Win the Future” is like the old joke about the farmer and the mule. Before every turn the farmer would jump down from the wagon seat and hit the mule with a 2X4. A passerby saw this and asked why hit the mule, since the wagon made all the turns?

The farmer replied, yes that’s true, but first you have to get the mule’s attention.

Losing the House in 2018 will be the biggest attention–getter possible.

Helping Chuck Schumer Commit Political Suicide

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is preparing to offer Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the gift of a lifetime, but I don’t know if McConnell is astute enough to accept it. Mitch McClellan’s career has been defined by a gopher–like reluctance to risk anything that causes him to stray too far from the safety of his den. (To learn how McConnell earned the nickname “Mitch McClellan,” click here.)

Accepting Schumer’s gift will require Mitch to go head–to–head in the arena of public opinion, which he is evidently reluctant to do since, like most of the Republican leadership in Congress, he doesn’t believe enough in conservative principles to make a compelling case in public.

This is why Trump is president and McConnell isn’t, but that’s another column entirely, which can be found here.

So let me explain another missed opportunity for Republicans to show the American public just how far out of the mainstream Democrats are.

AP reports Schumer “has concluded that denying President Trump his wall is perhaps the surest major defeat Democrats can hand the President in his first year.” And he plans to do it by filibustering the wall.

This is the biggest tactical error Schumer has made since he didn’t object to Fauxcahontas being sworn in.

If only McClellan would exploit Schumer’s gift.

So what can the Curator of the Senate do to exploit Schumer’s gift? All the exciting details can be yours by clicking on the link below and being whisked to my Newsmax.com column. Thanks.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/mitch-mcconnell-chuck-schumer-border-wall-filibuster/2017/03/07/id/777474/

 

Another Year, Another GOP Surrender in Congress

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Timid) is now part of a Republican leadership that controls the Senate, the House and the Presidency. The only Democrats remaining in positions of power are the leftists who have burrowed their way into the permanent federal bureaucracy.

gop-blows-retreat

Conservative Review

Leftist agitators are outraged at the dual prospect of an assertive Trump presidency and the damage the new $15/hr. minimum wage will do to their rent–a–crowd budget.

Even Mexico is quietly investigating what current US construction costs are.

Naturally McConnell’s message to conservatives for 2017 is: Don’t get your hopes up.

The Wall Street Journal reports McConnell “cautioned Republicans against reading their sweep as license to push through a strictly partisan agenda.” McConnell explains, “Overreaching after an election is, generally speaking, a mistake. I don’t think we should act as if we’re going to be in the majority forever.”

This is exactly the kind of preemptive surrender on the part of faux conservatives that drives the genuine article crazy. Cong. Louie Gohmert (R–Defiant) has seen this mentality firsthand. When he first entered the House in 2006 the talk was of the big things the Republican majority was going to accomplish.

So what exactly did the intrepid Gohmert see in his first term and is it relevant to today, or at least this column? You guessed it. You’ll have to click on the link below and be transported to my Newsmax column where you can discover the answer. Thanks for clicking.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/obamacare-planned-parenthood/2017/01/06/id/767256/

 

McConnell & Ryan Join Trump Troika Under Duress

It appears the Trump, McConnell, Ryan honeymoon is over before the marriage was consummated.

term-limits-adSure Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan made the right noises just after Trump’s astonishing victory. On the Senate floor McConnell said, “Speaker Ryan and I have had productive discussions with the president-elect last week and we’re both looking forward to working with him.”

McConnell was even ready to take on Obamacare, “It’s pretty high on our agenda, as you know. I would be shocked if we didn’t move forward and keep our commitment to the American people.”

Yes it’s been on Mitch’s “honey–do” list for almost a decade, just under “defund National Endowment for the Arts,” “zero out PBS” and declare war on North Viet Nam.

I always had my doubts as to the durability of this menagerie of three. As 1 Corinthians 14:8 advices: “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle?”

And as McConnell has proven over the years his whoopee cushion call–to–action inspires neither his troops nor the voters. (For complete details on McConnell’s reluctance to fight for conservative principles see my earlier column here.)

Now that Trump is serious about “draining the swamp” and the denizens thereof, not only is a divorce in prospect — the fight over who gets custody of the GOP is going to be nasty. In a post–election interview with “60 Minutes” Trump declared, “We’re going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren’t happy about, but we’re putting on term limits. We’re doing a lot of things to clean up the system.”

That choking noise you just heard was McConnell gagging on his Senate Bean Soup.

So what’s the time–server’s response and the Trumpista solution? You can find out by clicking the link below and traveling to my Newsmax.com column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/president-elect-trump-mcconnell-paul-ryan-term-limits/2016/11/22/id/760234/

 

Mitch McConnell, Trump’s Uncertain Senate Trumpet

It turns out Donald Trump and Abraham Lincoln have a lot more in common than a passing reference in the second presidential debate. You may recall a leaked transcript from one of Hillary’s closely guarded speeches had her admitting “both a public and a private position on certain issues.”

Hillary explained she was only following the duplicity precedent set by Abraham Lincoln during passage of the 13th Amendment.

Gen. George McClellan & Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McClellan

Gen. George McClellan & Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McClellan

It was an audacious lie, but a lie nonetheless.

As Trump said, “Now she’s blaming [her] lie on the late great Abraham Lincoln…okay, Honest Abe never lied…That’s the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you.”

It’s not surprising Hillary would use the dead to buttress a lie — rumor has it she blames Vince Foster for the email server — what’s surprising is learning Trump and Lincoln both confronted a similar governing situation.

Both lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College. Lincoln and Trump were met with riots instigated by political opponents. Each wanted to take control of the capital, although in Lincoln’s case it was Richmond.

Lincoln’s top priority was success on the battlefield, while Trump’s is success in the political arena, yet both must rely on subordinates who oppose their plans and hold them in contempt.

Lincoln’s burden was Maj. Gen. George McClellan. Trump’s is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McClellan.

Whoops, make that Mitch McConnell.

The parallels between these two timid, ineffective, self–protecting “leaders” and the damage they do their putative cause are remarkable. You’ll be amazed at my insight, but you know what comes next: First you’ll have to click on the link below to be taken to Newsmax.com to read the remainder of the column.

As always, feel free to re–post:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/lincoln-mcconell/2016/11/17/id/759488/