Again, political violence from the Left.

Progressive HateOn Wednesday occurred a tragic shooting of Steve Scalise (R) LA, and three others by progressive activist and Bernie Sanders supporter, James T. Hodgkinson, who opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers practicing for a baseball game to be played today.  It was yet another violent incident perpetrated by a member of the far-left.

In the name of their cause, which has apparently degenerated into blind hatred of President Trump and by extension all Republicans, they have committed many acts of violence from hitting a Trump supporter on the head with a bike lock, to politically motivated riots on college campuses intended to shut down the free speech of conservatives, most notably an incident at UC Berkeley that prevented outspoken Milo Yiannopoulos from a scheduled speech at that campus.

Trump was not particularly beloved at first even among Republicans, who fought bitter primary campaigns against him during last year’s presidential election season.  Conservatives for their part have long since made peace with the fact that he is our President and have showed support where they agree, but have also pointed out where they disagree on many occasions.  For the most part, they are prepared to coexist with Trump nation.

This hasn’t been the case of the anti-Trump legions on the left. Far from coexisting with him and his fellow Republicans, they have deemed themselves a sort of resistance, fighting, all to often violently, against anything Trump has attempted.  They have called for his opposition, his impeachment, his imprisonment, and his death and the death of other Republicans, both implicitly and at times explicitly. The anti-Trump movement on the left has a particularly vicious streak.  So called “comedian” Kathy Griffin recently released a photo of her holding up a bloody, fake severed head of the President.  Even William Shakespeare has been co opted by the the malevolent Left, with a recent live performance casting a Trump doppelganger in the role of a modern-day Julius Caesar, who at the climax of the play is brutally murdered by former supporters to the cheers of the NYC crowd.  If you’re at all in touch with conservative politics, you know the list goes on and on.  That’s just the problem.

While yes, there have been isolated incidents of violence committed by those on the right, but those sorry displays of misguided fervor pale in comparison both in scope and intensity to those committed by the alt-left.  While those acts of violence are both uncommon and roundly condemned by vast majority of conservatives, violent rhetoric and actions have the tacit and not so tacit support of progressives. Malice towards Republicans, especially Trump, is widely and actively expressed by the left, among them was James T. Hodgkinson, who attempted the mass assassination of Republican lawmakers.  It was the evil act of an evil man who pursued to the end an evil, malevolent path of hate.  It’s a path shared by all too many progressives.  While they might not travel it to the farthest destination that Hodgkinson did, they are firmly on it.  If they have a shred of decency and civility, they should abandon that path. They can still protest, advocate, speak all they want against Trump or any politician, but if they want to call themselves civilized human beings they will let go of their hate.  In short, they need to decide what kind of movement they want progressivism to become; one of malevolence, intolerance and hatred, or one of peace, real progress, and coexistence with those who might disagree with them politically.

Trump’s first 100 days evaluation: Good, with some improvement needed.

trump-1st-100-daysAs past presidents have shown, a president’s term can’t be judged by their first one hundred days, Kennedy had a terrible first hundred days, Carter was highly successful at doing the wrong things during that period.  That having been said, it is a good mile marker, an opportunity for course evaluation and correction.  I give President Trump a “B” for his first 100 days. He’s done as well as can be expected for someone with no previous political experience. He’s maxed-out on what a President alone can do in that period. He’s started to dismantle the regulatory state, and has exceeded expectations in the area of foreign policy.  American is back in the business of leading. His administration stumbled a bit on the initial travel ban rollout. He has yet to make any major economic policy.  He (luckily) has not had to deal with any world crisis of the 9/11 or Cuban Missile Crisis magnitude so those remain ungraded.

He has definite room for improvement though. He’s learned the hard way that the Courts are against him, but that is a fixable problem over the long-term. He’d have done better if certain Federal courts actually followed the Constitution. He made a good start with the appointment of Gorsuch to SCOTUS. Where he’s fallen short is when he’s needed the cooperation of Congress. Not getting the healthcare bill on the first try has exposed a need to add dealing with Capitol Hill to his skill set. Like it or not, he’s a politician now and needs to learn how to herd cats. There are also those things that one can only learn by being President, so far at least he’s shown an openness to growing with the job, which is good because the job’s only going to get tougher from here.

Trump has met expectations in some areas, and exceeded them in others, but he’s gone as far as his business skills alone will take him.  He needs to learn how Washington works– not how it should work, but how it really works. He has considerable negotiation skills as we all knew, but now he’s going to have to apply them to a whole new realm of problems and situations that just never occur in the boardroom.  The seeds he sows now with regards to economic policy will take some time to bear fruit, if at all.  It’s too early to judge on that front.  Thankfully, he’s not had to deal with a world-class crisis, although ISIS and North Korea are working hard to provide him with one.  He’s done okay so far but his hardest days are ahead of him.  He’s going to have to continue to grow as a President and he’s not likely to be afforded much time to learn on the job.  On top of that he has many adversaries within the beltway and the media looking to trip him up at every turn, not for the sake of America, but for the sake of damaging his presidency.  That’s not fair, but that’s the reality he faces.  He can and needs to do better despite all that is against him.

The Freedom Caucus won the battle but still could lose the war.

trump-1st-100-daysIf President Trump is correct, Obamacare will implode and the Democrats will have little choice but to join the effort to fix healthcare. Don’t count on them to bring conservative solutions to the table though. The problem for the Freedom Caucus if this happens will be to hold onto the concessions they gained during the last few days. The more Democrats elect to take part in the effort the less chance any further conservative initiatives will make it into any new healthcare legislation. The Freedom Caucus having won this most recent battle, may well lose the war.  The best hope for the Freedom Caucus going forward is to continue to explain to the American people at every opportunity the virtues of their positions on healthcare and build public awareness of them to the point that by the second go-round they seem common sense.  They will need to expand their sphere of influence beyond conservative diehards to the more moderate Republican constituencies and Trump supporters if they are to have any hope keeping their gains in tact much less building upon them in the event that Democrats decide they want a hand in fixing the mess they made with Obamacare when next attempt at healthcare reform is made.

A Bad Call by the U.S. Courts

With the memory of the big football game still fresh in the minds of many, here is an allusion to that sport that explains the recent rulings against President Trump’s travel ban…

Imagine that during a NFL game,  one team’s coach calls a new play.  The play works and the team seemingly scores a touchdown, but the referee throws a flag, calling a penalty.  The coach of the offence team politely beckons the ref to the sideline for a chat.  The coach cites the rulebook to the official saying every element of the play was legal, from the players on the field, to their movements, to their contact with opposing players etc.  The referee says the penalty will stand because he felt the other team wasn’t prepared for such a play, and therefore the play wasn’t fair. The play goes up to the review booth and the call on the field stands and there was no touchdown.

That’s basically what happened this week with the U.S. District Court and 9th Circuit Court reversing the president’s perfectly legal travel ban.  Like the referees in the example, the judges made a call based not upon what the “rulebook” says, but what they thought was equitable.  That is not their job, their job is to know the rules and make sure the government sticks to those rules when enacting policy.  It’s not for them to judge if a policy is good, only that it is legal per statute and the Constitution. It’s for us, the voters to decide if the president’s policy was a good one.  The courts need to stick to their jobs and not assume the responsibilities delegated to others under our system of government.