President Trump has received a 10% rise in job approval in two important recent polls: Rasmussen (49% approval), Monmouth (44% approval). These presumably reflect popular reaction to the prosperous state of the economy and a well-received State of the Union speech. The Democrats may not have helped themselves by their antics during the State of the Union speech. Nor by Nancy Pelosi’s comment that the millions of wage-earner raises announced in the wake of the tax-reform bill were only “crumbs” — suggesting a Left Coast millionaire lack of appreciation for the pocketbooks of ordinary working Americans.
A columnist for a Las Vegas newspaper (in a column headlined “Democrats are holding a losing hand against Donald Trump”) summed it up in an analogy doubtless endearing to his local audience:
I’ve never seen a hand this bad. In Texas Hold ’em, the single worst hand is two-seven. Your chances of winning are close to zero. Your best play is to fold. That’s precisely where Democrats are right now. They are holding a two-seven. It’s time to fold.
Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform said that “Every two weeks from February to November Americans will be reminded that one party cut their taxes and raised their pay. And the other tried to stop it.” His web site lists “317 companies announce tax reform bonuses, raises, or 401(k) hikes.”
But to keep the good times rolling, some important decisions need to be made, including some retrenchment in campaign promises. Several days of steep corrections in the stock market occurred as market participants realized the inflation danger produced by the post-tax reform deficit and the boost in workers’ wages.
Nuclear and naval expansion and space-based ABM system urgently needed
But a military buildup is urgently needed. The Economist correctly notes “The growing danger of great-power conflict.” The US nuclear arsenal needs to be expanded to meet a dangerous new Russian threat, and China expert Gordan Chang warns that China is bruising to “pull the trigger” — use force — to assert its rule over the South China sea. One Pearl Harbor and loss of the Philippines should have been enough to warn the US that it needs a major naval expansion — fast — if it doesn’t want all of Southeast Asia to fall under Chinese suzerainty as Cambodia has.
The US must also urgently build a space-based anti-ballistic missile system. The ABM system the US has was deliberately crippled by arms controllers in both parties, but especially the Democrats. (See here, here, and here.)
But the deficit must not be expanded further. We’ve already had tens of billions of dollars in federal giveaways in the wake of two hurricanes. Several items on the politicians’ (and the President’s) shopping list must be deferred if not dropped altogether as unaffordable at present, namely, federal expenditure on infrastructure, the farm bill, and paid family leave.
They are equally opposed to the renewal of the U.S. Soviet-style Five Year Plan for agriculture, politely known as the farm bill.
Paid family leave is another budget-buster. Florida Senator Marco Rubio has joined with Ivanka Trump in pushing for this new welfare-state entitlement. The Federalist blames the libertarian and conservative right for originating this and other nanny state proposals.
Oh, and while we’re at it, could Amtrak plrsdr be privatized before it racks up another crash? And the Post Office also, which has been forcing the US taxpayer to subsidize below-cost package delivery for the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, of Amazon and the Washington Post?
The Nunes memo
Fortunately, the Democratic Party and its media acolytes have responded to the four-page Nunes memo thoughtfully and respectfully. Not.
Democrats should be heartened, however, that they have the full support of People’s World, house organ of the US Communist Party.
Former federal attorney Andrew McCarthy, by way of contrast, continues his sober analyses that have been running in the National Review. But he doesn’t think the House Intelligence Committee has “been well-served by comparisons of the narrow FISA abuse detailed in the memo to Watergate — the greatest governmental crisis in modern American history.” He writes:
The memo outlines serious derelictions. Yet we do not yet know whether they are more widespread than the case of Page’s surveillance; nor do we know what other information was presented to the FISA court over the months of surveillance and, critically, whether valuable intelligence about Russian operations against the United States was derived. The memo is a valuable first step. It underscores the continuing need to assess how deeply the FBI and Justice Department were enmeshed in the politics of the 2016 election. But much more disclosure is necessary before we can render a conclusive judgment of how deep the problems run.
We, by contrast, think that the memo as well other revelations (FBI stonewalling, Uranium One scandal, exoneration of Hillary Clinton for her private email server, IRS corruption) do add up to a scandal and crimes worse than Watergate. Had it been Republicans who carried out these acts against Democrats, the press, still largely Democratic, would be screaming “Crime!” and “Impeachment” for the next two years, as it did during Watergate.
Hat tips to Nicomachus and Eaglebeak.
Click here to go to the previous issue of Founders Broadsheet (“President’s SOTU provided good summary of past year’s accomplishments”)