Virginia Governor’s Race Is the Establishment’s Revenge

November’s off–year Virginia governor’s race is what conservatives would have faced in 2016 if Trump had done a Hillary as he descended the escalator for his announcement and wound up in A Place for Mom instead of the Oval Office.

Our nominee would have been a bland, white, country club Republican who talked lukewarm TEA Party. A nominee that would have looked just like “Establishment Ed” Gillespie the caretaker conservative running as the Republican in Virginia.

These off–year elections are supposed to send a message to Washington and specifically the White House. If a Democrat wins nationally and Virginia elects a Republican the following year, the result is supposed to mean voters are angry because Democrats went too far.

Conservative voters dissatisfied with the nominee are given a binary choice by party leadership: Hold your nose and support some housebroken Republican or be personally responsible for electing the Democrat.

This hobbling choice is not limited to Virginia. Conservatives nationwide regularly confront this dilemma as yet another cocktail conservative holds their vote hostage to the Democrat alternative.

After years of just following orders my nose is as pinched as Ichabod Crane’s and I’m tired of it. This year instead of sending a message to the White House, where one of the Javanka twins would no doubt intercept it, I want to move the targeting solution about 3 miles from Pennsylvania Ave. to the Republican National Committee.

Instead of an interparty message, I want conservatives to deliver an intraparty message.

Ed Gillespie is a perfect example of a candidate that feels genuine conservatives are good enough to help him win, but not good enough to influence policy once he’s in office. It would have been difficult to find a candidate more out–of–step with the conservatives than Establishment Ed.

The National Review recently endorsed Gillespie and they unintentionally damned him with faint praise. According to those Never Trumpers, Ed deserves our vote because:

  • He joined the Bush White House when George W was low on friends
  • A Gillespie win will send a message
  • Ed wants to cut taxes
  • Gillespie wants someone to open more charter schools

Big deal. For conservatives, the most important issue in Virginia is transportation: Base voters want new roads for a speedy trip in to work and new enforcement for a speedy trip back to Central America for illegals.

Naturally, Enervating Ed is on the wrong side of both parts. He doesn’t mention roads and Giveaway Gillespie supported the failed Gang of Eight bill. He’s part of the Delusion Caucus that’s convinced surrendering to Democrat demands to import more voters will someone result in GOP victories.

As befits a former lobbyist who made a living torturing innocent words, Gillespie assures conservatives he didn’t support “amnesty” for illegals, he only supports “legalization.” So, let me explain to Gillespie — who only speaks conservative–as–a–second–language —any result allowing illegal aliens to remain in the US is AMNESTY, regardless of how you try to focus group your way out of it.

Ed’s idea of tough–minded leadership on illegals is keeping a lid on how many other benefits the piñata holds.

The Washington Post reports that Gillespie is so concerned about conservatism potentially rubbing off on him that he promised business donors that he won’t champion any cultural issues from the governor’s office. This failure to grasp that politics is downstream of culture is why Ed and his cronies are long run losers.

It also appears that groveling doesn’t sell particularly well. The candidate of the rich is trailing the Democrat in fund raising by a two–to–one margin.

Conservatives next year are faced with a president who is ready to betray his promises on ending DACA for younger invaders and Virginia voters this year have a gubernatorial candidate who is just as soft on the rule of law.

My advice is don’t allow your vote to be held hostage by placeholder Republicans. When my family goes to vote in November we will be sending a message to the RNC in the only manner they can understand. We will be voting for write–in candidates for every spot on the ballot. And it’s going to be the same write–in each time.

For the first name, we will write DACA and for the last name Betrayal. We will no longer go–along–to–get–ignored. The only way Republican leadership will pay attention to the base it relies on for victory is when the victories stop.

My advice for Virginia voters is write in “Senor DACA Betrayal: and take a photo of your ballot. Send the picture to your state Republican Party and another copy to the RNC. Let’s show them voters are angry because the GOP hasn’t gone far enough.

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National Review “Never Trumpers” Hold a Summit

Almost exactly 14 months since the editors at conservative National Review published an entire issue dedicated to being “Against Trump,” the magazine held an “ideas summit” titled “Working on a Path Towards Conservatism.”

This doesn’t exactly represent suing for peace, particularly since panelist Peter Wehner, of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, evidently believes the nuclear attack codes should be put in a blind trust during the Trump administration. Yet it appeared that, at least on the Trump side, there were no hard feelings, since Kellyanne Conway, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and HHS Sec. Tom Price appeared at the two–day event.

That may change after the rest of Wehner’s remarks reach the Oval Office. He had no problem personally attacking Trump by recycling the Opposition Media’s false attack lines.

That’s something that struck me about the National Review crowd. During the primary, when Trump appeared at the Values Voters Conference before an audience of evangelicals and conservative Christians, he made a passing reference to “Little Marco” and the crowd immediately booed him to show the remark was out of line.

Yet when Wehner emphatically declared Trump is “erratic, cruel, vindictive and morally corrupt” no one in the crowd of movers–and–shakers let out a peep. It was as if he was speaking before assembly line workers at the “Don’t Blame Me, I voted for Evan McMullin” bumper sticker plant.

The entire “Ideas Summit” atmosphere was one of lukewarm support for president. I can recall no speakers praising the Trump budget that zeroed out agencies conservatives have railed against for decades, yet the crowd gave Speaker Paul Ryan a partial standing ovation after he spent a half hour essentially asking the audience “are you going to believe me or your lying eyes” with regard to his Obamacare Lite bill.

But that’s not all! Ryan’s performance even reminded me of an all–time classic advertising account executive joke, but to learn which joke, you’ll have to click on the link below and finish my column at Newsmax.com:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/national-review-obamacare-lite-against-trump-paul-ryan/2017/03/22/id/780209/

 

Lies. Damned Lies. And Obamacare Statistics.

Carnac: The software that knows what you want to spend before you spend it.

Carnac: The software that knows what you want to spend before you spend it.

The latest batch of October statistics from the Obama White House credits me with buying a Mercedes, BMW and an Audi. And the best part is it didn’t cost me a dime! All I did was take three test drives and here I am: A GDP–generating fool.

This flexible interpretation of window–shopping and tire–kicking has great potential for the future. I’m thinking about taking credit for job creation when I get a haircut or have my car washed. With just a bit more attention to my personal appearance I could find states competing to offer me subsidies and tax breaks like Terry McAuliffe got from Mississippi.

And wouldn’t you know it, this conceptual breakthrough started with Obamacare and the HealthCare.dud website.

Some of my conservative colleagues complained when Obama minions began counting people who only visited the HealthCare.dud website and selected a plan, but didn’t pay for it as Official Obamacare Enrollees. These stalwarts contend that until the victim has actually paid for the plan there is no sale and consequently no enrollment, regardless of how much they need the insurance or how many hours they wasted on the website.

What’s more, if we let Obama get away with this, soon people who only thought about health insurance would be counted as part of the system.

The private sector equivalent of this new White House statistical interpretation would be Amazon.com counting items still on shopper’s ‘wish lists’ as being revenue generating sales; and then releasing the information to Wall Street so as to drive up the stock price.

Since he’s not president, the result would be Jeff Bezos facing charges, while Obama merely faces a hostile — make that mildly annoyed — press corps that is having trouble coming up with new excuses for the president’s failures.

The conservative objection, while true, misses the larger point. Based on the Phantom Obamacare Enrollee Precedent, when I buy my 2013 copy of TurboTax and fill out the form, I should be counted as having paid my taxes without sending the IRS a check!

I call it my own private sequester. And when you consider how the number of people who take more from the government than they pay in taxes is increasing, it finally puts me on the right side of history.

The Obamacare rollout — or ground out, if you prefer — does have implications for Obama’s future after the White House. If he’s as smart as the MSM assures us, Obama will steer clear of the private sector. That’s because if he tried the same marketing tactics outside of government, he would be subject to fines and possibly jail time.

As Orson Swindle, a Federal Trade Commission member from 1997 to 2005, pointed out in the National Review the HealthCare.dud website is deceptive, misleading and illegal. Jay Carney’s “wild west” indeed.

You may recall a recent furor over airline websites that were allegedly hiding baggage and other add–on fees until just before the consumer purchased the ticket. “Consumer advocates” and other busybodies complained that by waiting until the end of the purchase process to give the consumer a total price, airlines were trying to pull a fast one.

Airlines responded that where else would you give a total price unless it was at the end of the purchase process?

And besides the Carnac the Magnificent software was not ready for launch. Protests fell on deaf government ears and the FTC required the websites to be reprogrammed to sound a klaxon and flash red lights every time a consumer made a choice that would add more than a nickel to the ticket price.

Soon shopping for a big–ticket airfare came to resemble crash–diving in a submarine.

Yet the HealthCare.dud site is programmed to hide any cost information until after the consumer has created an account and been forced to divulge detailed financial information. And even then the information is purposely inaccurate.

As Swindle says, quoting CBS News, “HealthCare.gov contains a pricing feature that tends to “dramatically underestimate” the cost of insurance. The website’s “shop and browse” feature divides users into two broad age categories: “49 or under” and “50 or older.” Price estimates for the first age group are based on what a 27-year-old could expect to pay, whereas as the latter group’s price estimates are based on what a 50-year-old would pay, a practice that inevitably produces wildly misleading results for individuals significantly older than the base age. In some cases, actual premiums are nearly double the projected amount.”

Swindle concludes, “The bottom line is that no private entity would be allowed to get away with what the Obama administration is trying to get away with.”

And we haven’t even mentioned the “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it” shuffle.

The bad news is we have conservative busybodies, too. Rep. Fred Upton (R–MI) — descendant of Civil War hero Gen. Emory Upton — passed a bill in the House to allow insurers to continue to sell policies that the feds have canceled. What’s more, Upton persuaded 39 Democrats to join him in supporting this “bi–partisan” legislation. (Unfortunately for comity in the House, the bill must have passed on the weekend, because I don’t remember any praise for Upton from the MSM for reaching across the aisle to garner Democrat support.)

Too bad this is exactly the wrong thing to do.

If we are to rid ourselves of this Obamacare monstrosity, it will only come after the pressure on Democrats is so great they beg for political mercy. And that will only happen after all those who didn’t take time to read the law, feel the impact of the law.

Interim fix–its to reduce the pain undermine what should be conservative’s long term goal, which is end it, not mend it.