Saturday, June 27, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 26

Killers on the loose in the East, terrorist attacks overseas, Confederate flags and symbols on the verge of disappearance in the South, trade legislation passing Congress, and the once perceived conservative leaning U.S. Supreme Court giving legislative victories to Obamacare and same sex marriage. All things considered, it is been a pretty tumultuous week in June, with the myriad of Presidential contenders mostly sideline players.

The conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama had a good week, despite his persistent job approval number being south of 50 percent. On Thursday, the Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, once again ruled against a legal challenge to the controversial and unpopular national healthcare policy associated with Obama. Just about everyone on the right was very upset at that ruling. The next day, saw the historic step of same sex marriage being basically approved of by the highest court in the land by a 5-4 vote. The reaction on the right was somewhat more mixed, despite all the GOP contenders weighing in with various levels of disagreement. On this vote, Roberts joined the other conservative jurists in declaring what an unconstitutional step the majority took, although few conservatives are willing to grant much of a reprieve to Roberts, who has at previous times cast rulings that greatly angered liberals. On same sex marriage though, it was Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee who cast the deciding vote.

To be brief, I happen to disagree with both of these high-profile court rulings, although the historical decisions of cases such as Dred Scott and Roe vs. Wade are the bigger moral outrages in my mind. As a conservative, I wish these decisions would have gone the other way and I think it bad public policy, as well as bad legally, in my layman's understanding of how the court is supposed to work. However, I think both of these decisions have at least the short term effect of being net pluses for Republicans headed into the 2016 election. For one thing, there will not be the political weapon to be used by Democrats of a bunch of people on Obamacare suddenly losing their coverage. To state the obvious, it was always going to take a Republican President to get rid of and replace Obamacare and this ruling changes nothing to that effect. If a Republican is elected President, along with a willing Congress, the policy can absolutely be done away with, provided my side has something concrete to provide coverage to those who now depend on the government. If a Democrat wins, Obamacare probably stays around and the country will be worse off for it.

The same sex marriage thing is a bit different. I still believe that as a matter of public policy, the traditional marriage structure of one man and one woman is best for society, while I also would support civil unions for gay couples. Society has changed though, and on this matter, pretty quickly. Republicans younger than I, are becoming more and more accepting of legalizing same sex marriage and what has now happened was inevitable. This obviously a proud and joyous moment for the gay community and people on the left have been anything but shy in celebrating this decision. That includes a President and a woman who wants to succeed him, who a very short time ago were saying that they were opposed to legalizing same sex marriage. When the politics (including the campaign finance aspect) changed though, they changed with it, and along with their allies are now acting like anybody who disagrees is a hateful bigot. Conservatives are going to have to realize now that same sex marriage rights are here to stay in America and all of us should now be mindful of efforts to fight people, and institutions, including churches, from exercising their religious beliefs on the matter. In that sense, the fight is probably far from over.

With the court taking this matter off the table, even though as much of the half the country may really disapprove of legalized same sex marriage, the Democrats have probably lost a wedge campaign issue that works for them, just like it worked in the other direction for the GOP in the past decade. In a general election, a Republican nominee will basically have to concede that the matter is settled and the court has spoken, although candidates like Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz have reacted pretty foolishly since yesterday by talking about how the ruling should be resisted or suddenly calling for an elected Supreme Court.

On a separate matter, I will state that I am glad over the past week what has happened in regards to the Confederate flag in South Carolina in the wake of the horrific killings there earlier in the month. The state's GOP leadership has called for the flag to be removed from the Capitol grounds and that seems inevitable, as well as other states now proposing changes to flags as well as monuments to Confederate and KKK leaders of the past. Some "slippery slope" concern is valid, although I also believe that much of what I have heard from some of my fellow conservatives on the matter has been embarrassing. It is long past time for that flag to go from taxpayer backed display and to join other relics of American and world history. I do not want my party to be associated with the flag of rebellion, slavery, and racism and it seems like most of my fellow Republicans "get it." This is a positive development for the country, in spite of whatever way the Supreme Court may have handed out rulings this week. It is also true that Governor Nikki Haley has done a lot in the past couple of weeks now to make her an even more serious possibility for the GOP Vice Presidential nomination.

So basically, liberals are very happy this weekend and I can understand why. They think the country is moving more in their direction and many on the right fear they are right. However, I have always believed that elections are the most consequential political activity in America. With that in mind, the GOP nomination for 2016 will be worth having, as I believe a strong candidate stands a good chance of winning and improving America for the better.

As the turmoil of the past week calms down, we will look again towards the long race for the White House and all the good, bad, and ugly present in the debate. We have now seen Bobby Jindal, formally get in, the first Asian-American to ever be a major party candidate for President, and Jim Webb, a former Virginia Senator and former Republican join the Democrat fray. He has cast himself as a fairly lonely voice expressing approval of Confederate Pride in the party that once represented that very thing.

In the week ahead, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, once thought of as more of a frontrunner will enter the contest, leaving basically Scott Walker and John Kasich as the only unannounced expected candidates.

Polls will continue to be released, both nationally and in key states and they will become a bigger part of the political dialogue. Already, we are seeing that Bernie Sanders is starting to get uncomfortably close to Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. Is Berniementum a real thing?

On the wake of his formal kickoff, there has been a decided improvement for Jeb Bush in GOP polls, but also for Donald Trump, despite his widely ridiculed announcement speech. Is Trump, who continues to make controversial headlines, going to be a real factor in the Republican race?

I happen to think that one of the major stories of the 2016 campaign, which has really not been reported, is the very real possibility that Trump is working secretly with the candidate he once openly supported, Democrat Hillary Clinton, to cause mischief, chaos, and negative reactions, in the GOP primary process.

Without a doubt, a lot of people will think my theory is crazy, but I am not saying this just to joke around. Let us continue to keep an eye out to see what happens. The race, in both parties, is likely to be very interesting, for a political prize that is extremely valuable.


At 9:07 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey, my thoughts:
1.) Jeb will have to get aggressive since he's been off his game & the last time he was on the ballot was in 2002, when he easily won reelection as FL Governor.

2.) Will WI Governor Scott Walker (R) implode like my home state's former Governor Rick Perry (R) did in 2012 ? It's very possible since Walker hasn't had any poor debate performances.

3.) Perry & Graham (the only 2 USAF veterans) will need to aggressively use their military experiences to tell voters that military service is IMPORTANT to become President of the United States.

4.) Trump will implode as will Paul, Fiorina & Carson.

5.) Cruz won't go anywhere because he's too damn polarizing!

6.) Rubio needs to step up his game FAST!


Post a Comment

<< Home