The Rod Martin Report – January 19, 2018
Trump’s First Year and Winston Churchill
A Note of Grave Caution
DACA, S***holes, and the Real Immigration Debate
A Government Shutdown?
Battles We’re Winning (But the War’s Not Over)
Tomorrow is one year since Donald Trump’s inauguration, an event very few people saw coming, and one which has paid more dividends to conservatism — and to America generally — than anyone dared hope.
In our most recent Rod Martin Report, I outlined some of the last year’s achievements. I won’t repeat that here. Let’s just say that the conservative movement has achieved more in a single year of Donald Trump than we’ve come to expect from an Establishment Republican’s entire career.
That is, in part, due to the President’s willingness to fight. The Establishment is horrified by Trump’s pugilistic style; but of course, that horror is matched by the long pent-up anger of half the country at the Establishment’s unquenchable willingness to surrender, sometimes because they’re fearful, sometimes because they’re beaten down, but all too frequently because even now they do not have the measure of those opposing them.
Indeed, watching Beltway Republicans is, and has long been, eerily similar to watching Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax plot to bring down Winston Churchill in the pre-Dunkirk days of his ministry (so wonderfully depicted in Darkest Hour, easily the best movie of 2017, still in theatres). As one watches, it is all too easy to imagine Jeb! Bush and Bill Kristol marshaling their considerable powers to thwart any effort to bring victory, and to help Mussolini midwife an era of British slavery under the Nazi yoke. Truly not because they’re traitors: absolutely not. But for the sake of propriety, you know.
Trump is not proper. Neither was Churchill, no matter how many “Man of the Century” awards may sugarcoat him. A great many of today’s Evangelical “leaders” would surely have condemned him roundly, back before they were forced to admit in hindsight that he’d saved Christian civilization. He won those awards precisely because he would “never, never, never give up”, no matter how many feathers that ruffled in Westminster (or Canterbury for that matter).
It remains to be seen what Trump may or may not save, just as it remained to be seen in May and June of 1940 whether Churchill was condemning the British people to death. But only the willfully blind can doubt that anything we’d recognize as “Christian” or even “civilization” is greatly endangered, or at least subject to an upending redefinition.
Set against this, Trump’s early results are not so much “encouraging” as impressive, no matter how many naysayers pretend otherwise. And they do pretend: the Democrats fight with reckless abandon, and the NeverTrumpers truly meant “never”, no matter how much the President delivers the things they pretended to stand for — and rarely if ever delivered — all these years.
I say this (as you know) as someone who strongly opposed Donald Trump during the primary. I am as aware of his faults as I am of Churchill’s.
But had Churchill not become Prime Minister, at what was certainly the last possible moment, Britain, and Europe, and possibly the world, would have been lost. And history may well record the same of Donald Trump.
Set against this, it’s important to offer a note of great caution.
A week or two ago, we ran Newt Gingrich’s excellent essay “The Republican 2018 Surprise: Victory”. As only he can, Newt points out the degree to which
the Enemedia is deceiving itself in predicting a 2018 Democrat blowout, sweeping away the Republican House (and possibly Senate) majorities.
I won’t repeat his points, but I will offer a few of my own. After almost a decade of economic sluggishness under Obama, Trump is supercharging the economy. Jobless claims are at a 45-year low, suggesting strongly that the best unemployment numbers in over 17 years are headed even lower. Black unemployment is at its lowest rate ever; Hispanic unemployment is too.
No wonder two new polls suggest that the President’s approval rating among blacks just doubled. Whether they’re right or not, I can’t say: these polls were wrong (in the other direction) throughout the 2016 election cycle. But perhaps that qualifies as a “statement against interest”.
America’s post-war average GDP growth — from 1945 to Obama — was 3%. That doubles the economy every 25 years. Obama averaged 2%, and in his final year dropped to a paltry 1.6%. That turns 25 years into almost 50, meaning vastly fewer opportunities (and jobs) for every American, especially the young, per year. The New York Fed just estimated Q4 2017 growth at a whopping 3.9%, which, if annualized, would double the economy in just 19 years. By any definition, that qualifies as “on fire”. And that’s before Tax Reform.
Meanwhile, with the tax cuts putting real money in 90% of workers’ pockets as early as February, with countless companies expanding U.S. operations because of Trump’s Tax Reform, and with everyone’s pensions and retirement accounts mushrooming thanks to the biggest market rally ever — and the best first-year percentage performance for any President in 84 years — it’s hard to see how most Americans will want to reverse all that come November.
Democrats believed these sorts of results wouldn’t matter to voters in 1984. The 1982-83 recession hit hard. It seemed like a no-brainer that Reagan would be punished for it, at least to leftists who’d not yet listened to James Carville tell them “it’s the economy, stupid.” Reagan won 49 states that year, and Carville (and even his buddy Bill) are out of favor now.
What’s more, early-Eighties Democrats controlled the media to a far greater degree than they do today, when the interwebs keep thwarting their plans. They could tell Americans Reagan was crazy with impunity. And stupid. And a threat to world peace. And a criminal. And a lightweight. And they did, endlessly.
Didn’t matter. Results mattered, results that even saturation-level media opposition couldn’t hide.
“Yeah, Rod, but Russia” you might say. But after more than a year in which the full resources of the U.S. government and the global media have been laser-focused on this #FakeScandal, there is still not one shred of evidence supporting the left’s narrative. Indeed, don’t ask me: ask Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Sad.
“Yeah, Rod, but New Jersey, Virginia and Alabama.” New Jersey is a blue state: duh. Plus, Chris Christie made a mess of it: it tells us nothing about 2018, much less 2020.
We should also be honest enough to say that Virginia is a blue state too, made so by Obama’s (and Bush’s) deluge of new union voters (er, public servants) into Northern Virginia, and Terry McAuliffe’s giving the vote to a quarter million felons (why? Because 70% of felons vote Democrat), just as I warned you. Plus, Ed Gillespie ran a Jeb!-level campaign, with similar results.
And what can you say about Alabama? The Republican nominee was literally accused of raping children (which wasn’t true, but never mind that). Roy Moore’s race only matters for 2018 insofar as Democrats and Establishment Republicans are able to duplicate their duplicity.
“Yeah, Rod, but the generic ballot.” Now here you have a bit more of a point. As of yesterday, Democrats are leading Republicans by 9 points on the question of whether you’d prefer a generic D or R to represent you come November. And that sounds pretty bad…
…except that in October, Fox had that number at D +15. In November, Marist had it D +15 too, and Quinnipiac had it D +14. Right before Trump’s Tax Reform passed, CNN had it D +18 — Democrat 56%, Republicans 38% — and Reuters was D +12.
So after just a month into the Tax Reform era, the RCP average is already at just D +9? Hmmm…. Kinda makes you think those earlier polls were measuring anger at a Congress that failed three separate times to repeal Obamacare, not anger at conservative policies or Donald Trump, huh?
Oh, one more small point I left out. Even before the era of #FakePolls we seem to have entered sometime around 2014, historically, Republicans won the House even at D +5 or better.
Yes, Virginia: they’ve always oversampled the Dems. They’re just more blatant about it now.
So what am I concerned about? This woman; or at least what she seems to represent.
This is Patty Schachtner. On Tuesday, this Democrat won a state senate seat in Wisconsin that’s been held by Republicans for 17 years, and that Donald Trump won by 17 points.
Schachtner won this red district by 11. The question is why.
Turnout is always bad in off-year elections. It’s even worse in special elections like this one: down 75% from November, in fact. In elections like these, if you can turn out your people, you win, because you’re not competing against that much to begin with. If your people are excited, they’ll turn themselves out for you.
In Wisconsin, the Democrats are excited. But as I see it, that’s not the story.
I think the story is not that Democrats were motivated but that Republicans weren’t. Yes, the Dems are out for blood; but are the Rs equally intense? Not on Tuesday they weren’t. And so a “safe” seat flipped, even though the Governor is popular and the President is getting things done.
Anti-Trump Wisconsin talk show host Charlie Sykes predictably blames the President for this, claiming on Twitter that “we are losing independent and educated women in droves.” Scott Walker rightly points out that “we can’t presume” that voters know the things we’re getting done. There’s probably some truth in those points, but they don’t add up to me.
The Republican rank-and-file has a tendency to elect some iconic leader — Reagan, Gingrich, Trump — and then go home, unrealistically expecting the leader to carry on the fight while they go back to their daily lives. Democrats have several built-in advantages in this regard, not least of which is a culture of organizing exemplified in the labor unions, online groups like MoveOn, and of course Alinsky fronts like ACORN. And despite nearly two decades of the internet leveling this playing field, Republicans — who’ve done well with online fundraising and other data-centric functions — have still left serious organizing largely on the table. Some of them think they haven’t. But they’re wrong.
Occasionally, something will motivate Republicans to spontaneously organize. The Tea Party is an example of this. 2016 is too. In both cases, everyday people reasonably and intensely feared that the country they’d known, the Constitution they believed in, what it meant to be an American at all, was about to be “fundamentally transformed” beyond recognition. They responded to that threat even when their Beltway leaders did not, would not, and in many cases derided them for doing so.
But Trump won. And Gorsuch is on the Court. The immediate threat seems more remote now, if you’re not a political junkie at least. And there certainly seems no “immediate threat” to which some no-name state senate candidate feels like an answer.
The (potential) problem is well summarized in this Pew study. Pew was wrong — a lot — in 2016, but we still can’t just dismiss this.
Republicans’ long refusal — and it has been a refusal — to adequately address the organizing gap is catching up. Do I think it will spell disaster in 2018? No, not yet at least. But with the near-certainty that a new Democrat House would consume the Administration’s time with impeachment proceedings and criminal witch hunts, you may be certain that failing to appreciate the importance of your local Congressional race this fall will lead to the end of our beginning, if not the beginning of our end.
All that said, I want you to take 2018 seriously, not panic about it. November turnout concerns me, a lot. But then I see things like this CNN focus group of Ohio Democrats who voted for Trump, and how they feel about him one year later.
You just gotta love the incredulity of the CNN hack.
Turnout may well be a problem. But if these folks — or the 2016 election — are any indication, high turnout could well sweep Republicans to new heights rarely seen by any party. And with Democrats defending 25 Senate seats to our 8, that could be a full-on earthquake.
It’s against this backdrop, perhaps not so much in 2018 itself as 2022 or 2028, that the so-called “Dreamer” deal is playing out. The real reason for that fight, something we already believed, was overwhelmingly confirmed this week by no less than John Podesta’s Center for American Progress.
In a memo obtained by The Daily Caller, former Hillary Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri, speaking for CAP, calls on key Democrats to “refuse to offer any votes for Republican spending bills that do not offer a fix for [so-called] Dreamers” because they are a “critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success.”
So there you have it. Illegal immigration is about stacking the electoral deck, period.
This is what happens when your policies don’t work, your strategy is divide-and-conquer (“identity politics”), and you’ve aborted an enormous percentage of your own future voters.
So who are these so-called “Dreamers” anyway?
Democrats, aided by the GOP’s Chamber of Commerce wing, tell us that these 800,000 or so people (but just today leftist USA Today upped that number to 3.6 million!) are poor children, dragged into America against their will, being cruelly uprooted from the only home they’ve ever known to be sent to (again, this is the Democrat narrative) unbearable s***hole countries.
Yes, I use that term deliberately. Because the entire leftist argument about DACA, and illegal immigration generally, turns on this point: that it would be downright cruel to allow anyone to live in Mexico, or Honduras, or Brazil.
Let that sink in for a minute.
In fact, Mexico is the world’s 15th largest economy. Over 1 million Americans choose to live there full-time, many of them retirees. It’s Carlos Mencia who made an entire comedy routine out of the line “Mexico sucks”, not Donald Trump. And we all know why the Chamber wants illegal immigration: they want more people who’ll work for illegally low wages, regardless of what that does to legal workers trying to support their families.
Perhaps more to the point, the average so-called “Dreamer” is 26 years old.Many are in their 30s and 40s. They’re old enough to “own their own sin”: for years they’ve known their status, and had the ability to do something aimed at ceasing to be a criminal.
They just don’t want to. (And let’s ask some of our preacher friends: why does Romans 13 not apply to this?)
I have no issue with President Trump making a DACA deal, trading legal residency for his Wall (among other things). With a 51-seat Senate, that makes sense; plus, in some cases at least, it would be the humanitarian thing to do.
But make no mistake: such a deal will give Democrats what they really wanted all along: a stacked deck on Election Day intended to erode if not eliminate many of your liberties. It is a tactical retreat intended to win a bigger war, not against immigration but against the illegal sort by which the left intends — in this case and many others — to flood the system to their advantage. And the thirtysomething “children” we’re helping just aren’t that sympathetic.
Democrats used to believe this too, before the abortion holocaust caught up with their voting numbers. Here’s California Senator Diane Feinstein in 1994:
And here’s Bill Clinton, one year later.
Identical comments by Donald Trump, of course, are invariably labeled “vile”, “hate-filled” and “racist”.
So what about that “s***hole” thing?
Well first, he didn’t say it. I realize that’s going out on a bit of a limb since I was not personally in the room. But he didn’t. The initial reports came from “unnamed sources” who admitted they weren’t in the room either. The only supposed eyewitness account is from Dick Durbin, a liar if there ever were one. The upstanding Tom Cotton was there, and says Trump never said it. Others present have no memory of such a thing happening.
Second, this is Haiti:
But more important, third: we’re really talking about three different views of immigration.
There’s the cynical view, of course: the one represented by the Podesta/Clinton memo above. In that view — the one universally held by Dem decision makers — illegal immigrants really are just “undocumented Democrats” who will flood the country with poverty which government “must” address, cheap labor for lefty CEOs to exploit (while the Dems grandstand by “fighting for $15”), and ultimately, voters to replace their aborted offspring. That’s what’s actually happening on the Hill.
Then there’s the bleeding-heart view: the one that actually, in its heart of hearts, believes everywhere in the world except America is a s***hole but would never, ever say something so rude out loud. (It usually also believes that the rest of the world’s being a s***hole is America’s fault, for semi-Marxist reasons it has trouble describing.) This view is represented by more than a few otherwise-sound pastors, whose response to foreign poverty is not to demand economically and morally-sound reforms in those countries, but rather to pretend that 96% of the world’s population can be given a blank check to join America’s 4% without limit and without consequence.
(Note well: refugees are not immigrants. Immigrants come to stay. Refugees need a place to stay until they can go home, unless of course someone is lying about their real intent. I addressed that a couple years ago here, with questions for liberals and separately for Christians.)
I want to stress: I remain pro-immigration. But I’m also pro-water, and yet grasp that too much of it causes drowning.
That brings us to the third view, Donald Trump’s view, not that immigration is bad, but that since only so many can come at a given time (currently 1.1 million legal immigrants per year, or roughly the entire state of Florida just since 9/11), it’s important that those who do come add immediately to American life, rather than immediately subtract from it by landing on welfare.
This is called a “merit-based” approach. Our current system has a merit-based component, but also has a lottery, and (without serious border security), another informal lottery: whoever is successful sneaking across the border. Trump wants more merit, less lottery: a system that serves America’s interests while opening the door to literally tens of millions who qualify.
This is, in effect, no different than the system of university admissions, or the Civil Service Exam, or virtually anything else we encounter in real life. If you qualify, you get in.
So even assuming Trump said what the liberals in the room pretty blatantly think themselves, it’s in this context. Leftists and NeverTrumpers call it racist because if Donald Trump — or you or I — so much as breathe they call that racist too. But Trump’s point is valid, whether or not one happens to agree with it: it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that fewer immigrants (even zero) should get some kind of global quota deal rather than one based on their merit, their already-demonstrated ability to contribute to American society rather than take from it.
And let’s be clear: there are a lot of meritorious people in Haiti, in Sudan, etc. They’re just not as likely to vote Democrat. And that’s what actually offends the left.
By the way, Democrats and RINOs (but I repeat myself) continually claim that Trump’s Wall is a fool’s errand, because “obviously” illegals will just tunnel under it, climb over it, etc. Which makes today’s report all the funnier, that Trump’s “border wall prototypes thwart U.S. commandos in tests”.
Not that it’s exactly rocket science to achieve that, mind you. But it is yet another example of what one might charitably term “liberal logic”, examples of which include the constant refrain in the 1980s that Reagan’s Missile Defense plans could “never work” because no one could ever write, much less proofread, the six million or so lines of code it would take to run it.
As of last count, Microsoft Office runs on nearly every desktop in the world, with about 30 million lines of code each.
As of this writing, there’s a decent chance that Senate Democrats will shut down the government over all of this. They want their way, quite a bit more than did the Republicans who controlled Congress under Barack Obama. Giving the so-called “Dreamers” the vote is, after all, a “critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success.”
But a shutdown is not an entirely bad thing. The Enemedia will, of course, blame the President. But it’s not so obvious most Americans will join them.
And anyway: a government shutdown is a great opportunity to identify all “non-essential employees” for permanent dismissal.
Donald Trump rolled out his first-annual Fake News Awards on Wednesday, which got so much attention that the RNC’s servers actually crashed for over half an hour. Not shockingly, the #FakeNews media called this “a bust” and “fizzling”.
Among the winners: Nobel Prize-winning “economist” and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for his 2016 prediction that markets would “never recover” if Trump was elected (echoing similarly false pre-Brexit scare tactics), and of course CNN’s infamous lie that Jim Comey would testify that he hadn’t told the President he wasn’t under investigation.
Take a minute to watch Greg Gutfeld’s take:
And speaking of #FakeNews — a meme Donald Trump turned on the media just over a year ago, when they began using it not to describe actual fake websites, but completely legitimate websites the left dislikes such as the Drudge Report — it would be very hard to top soon-to-be-former Senator Jeff Flake’s comparison of the President’s criticism of such blatant media abuse to…wait for it…Joseph Stalin.
Memo to the Flakey Arizona embarrassment: if Trump were Stalin, there’d be no one left to criticize, least of all you. Or as my buddy Ty Beard put it, “if Jeff the Flake wonders how his Senate career turned into a pile of molten, radioactive debris, perhaps he should ask himself ‘Do Republican voters want me to attack a Republican president because he’s been mean to CNN and MSNBC?‘
“If he reflects on this long enough, I think the answer may come to him.”
That’s getting close to enough for one Report. I am terribly happy to report that today, Donald Trump became the first-ever President to address the March for Life, which I’m sharing with you here:
That wasn’t just talk either. This week, the Administration announced it was re-establishing religious freedoms for healthcare providers whom Obama forced to conduct procedures violating their consciences. Trump’s HHS invoked what leftists considered a novel legal argument for this change: the First Amendment.
It’s an especially joyous March for LIfe for another reason: a new Marist poll finds large majorities — even of pro-choicers — support significant abortion restrictions. For independents, that number is 78%; for Republicans, 92%.
I’m also pleased to note that Google today announced it’s succumbing to pressure from The Daily Caller and ending its Orwellian “Fact Check” travesty. I can tell you we have a long way to go on that front — even just trying to find links for this Report today was virtually impossible through Google, which now filters out almost anything with which it disagrees — but it’s a start.
A real Russian hacking scandal shot right over the Enemedia’s heads this week, as the Washington Examiner revealed that Russia — whose economy is more oil export-dependent than most — secretly funded an anti-fracking campaign. Fortunately they failed: the United States is on track to produce more than 10 million barrels per day in 2018, 11 million in 2019, up from barely 5 million bpd in 2006. Yes, America is about to be the world’s largest oil producer again, and with exports booming, that’s hurting our enemies more by the day.
Quite a difference from the left’s unending drumbeat that oil was running out almost immediately, and Barack Obama’s ludicrous campaign slogan “you can’t just drill your way to lower prices.”
Once again, #LiberalLogic.
The leftwing L.A. Times wonders aloud “why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?” while Sacramento Democrats worry that Tax Reform’s elimination of the State and Local Tax Deduction (above $10,000, at least) will cause wealthy Californians to notice how high their taxes are and flee the state.
Yes, Tax Reform did a lot to defund the left. The Supreme Court is about to do more, when it likely ends compulsory union dues. (Note that this was the issue on which Antonin Scalia was about to rule when he suddenly and unexpectedly died on a hunting trip.)
Oh, and as if the week couldn’t get any better: a peer-reviewed study by mainstream climate scientists, reported by Agence France Presse, finds the “Worst-Case Global Warming Scenarios Not Credible”.
Not mentioned: AFP and the rest of the Enemedia’s “certainty” that the polar ice caps would be gone “by 2014.”
Yeah, all in all, a pretty good week.
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