Friday, February 08, 2019

The difference in Republican optimism and Democrat pessimism: A 2019 SOTU Review

Today is Ronald Reagan's birthday. In the years since his presidency, through the Bush (41), Clinton, Bush (43), and Obama years, analyzing State of the Union addresses has been more about endurance than inspiration.

But, surprisingly, that changed last year with Donald Trump's first address, "Our New American Moment." His second address last night was even better than the first. These SOTUs did not follow the worn template of providing a wish list, but instead were a running recap of administration and congressional successes over the last two years.

In both instances, President Trump's remarks strongly contrasted the difference in Republican optimism and Democrat pessimism — Republican advocacy for Liberty and self-reliance versus Democrats' advocacy for dependence, statism, and now unapologetic socialism based on their failed policies of the past.

We concluded years ago that the Democrat Party was not one of the oppressed but of the depressed. And that deranged institutional depression has become epidemic.

Again in his latest SOTU, Trump instilled pride in who we are as a nation. It was framed by unity rather than partisanship. "Victory is not winning for our party," he declared. "Victory is winning for our country." He began and ended his address with calls for unity and he highlighted numerous areas that should enlist universal agreement, largely about America's promise and historical achievements. There were several issues in the middle of his speech that should unify Americans, especially the Trump administration's strong economic record. But the Democrats would have no part in a call for unity.

Trump opened, saying, "Members of Congress, the state of our union is strong." Yet over his shoulder, Nancy "Sourpuss" Pelosi shook her head. Clearly, good news is bad news for Democrats, whose best political hope is to drive the nation into recession before 2020.

Americans may disagree on how to achieve border security and an orderly legal immigration process, but we should all be able to agree that caravans of migrants should not be free to cross our border.

Trump noted, "In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall — but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built." He completely shifted the immigration debate to protecting American jobs and people.

Trump declared, "Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country." That shouldn't be controversial, although socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders and other socialist Democrats looked like they were suffering heart failure.

Record-low unemployment — especially for black and Hispanic Americans — rising wages across the board, and an overall strong economy are not partisan issues; they are facts. Yet in each instance when we should all agree, many if not most Democrats sat on their hands rather than applauding. However, Trump did get almost the entire room chanting "USA, USA" after mentioning the stats on the number of women now in the workforce.

People may not see eye to eye on when abortion is appropriate — there's not much common ground between "never" and "most of the time." But it should be beyond dispute to say that children should not be killed at the moment of or even after birth.

"Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life," Trump said. "And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God."

Notably, Trump did receive almost unanimous approval for what we believe was the best gathering of gallery guests in any State of the Union.

Trump concluded, "We must choose whether we are defined by our differences — or whether we dare to transcend them. We must choose whether we squander our inheritance — or whether we proudly declare that we are Americans: we do the incredible, we defy the impossible, we conquer the unknown. We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction. Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness."

We rate this high among the best modern-day SOTUs, and many who viewed it agree. The Leftmedia network CBS reluctantly reported its findings regarding public approval of Trump's State of the Union: 76% of those watching the speech approved, including a 30% approval rating among Democrats and 82% among Independents. Notably, 72% approved of his immigration plan. (We hope Trump will not derail the success of this SOTU, as is his penchant, with some petulant, dis-unifying social-media post.)

Of course, chief among those not approving were Pelosi and DNC Chairman Tom Perez.

For her part, Pelosi concluded: "It will take days to fact-check all the misrepresentations that the president made tonight. Instead of fearmongering and manufacturing a crisis at the border, President Trump should commit to signing the bipartisan conference committee's bill to keep government open and provide strong, smart border security solutions. ... President Trump must now take concrete steps to work with Democrats to strengthen the health and economic security of families across America. After two years of the president's empty words, the American people deserve real results."

Actually, this is a fine example of Pelosi's "alternate universe" perspective. The Trump administration and Republican Congress have clearly strengthened "the health and economic security of families across America" and, demonstrably, the American people are experiencing "real results."

And for those watching the SOTU, there is now a consistent Pelosi poker tell — when she knows Trump has succeeded where Democrats have failed, she starts doing that smirk thing, as if trying to get the spinach out of her teeth. The Demo/MSM machine was certainly consumed with what it claimed was a teenager's smirk two weeks ago — but not a word on Pelosi's smirk, and all the others on the left side of the room last night.

Predictably, according to Perez: "After attending Trump's State of the Union tonight, I know this for certain: The only way that we will be able to stop his outrageous, divisive agenda is by taking back the Senate and putting a Democrat in the White House in 2020. I am going to fight like hell to make sure we're building the infrastructure necessary to continue to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in the months and years ahead."

The bottom line: There will be no unity in the next two years, because Democrats and their Leftmedia publicists thrive on division and partisanship, the antithesis of unity. They have reconstructed their political platform on a "Hate Trump" foundation, rejecting Rule of Law, the most basic tenets of morality, and America's First Principles.



PURE HATE: Hollywood Lefties EXPLODE Over ‘Criminal’ Trump’s SOTU

Hollywood celebrities lost their minds on Tuesday night over President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. The far-left activists took to Twitter to call Trump a “liar,” “criminal,” and voiced many other nasty opinions about the president.

Activist Alyssa Milano kicked off the night by insulting America, writing, “If realdonaldtrump is serious about uniting us, he should remember one crucial thing: walls divide. #StateOfTheHuman #WeWontGoBack #SOTU.”

Bette Midler wrote, “How’d he get from childhood cancer to school choice? What a leap! Now Ivanka gets her shoutout…now we’re on to abortion…who wrote this stuff??”

Actor John Cusack complained, “Gosh I guess massive numbers of white girls are being butchered darker skin animals – Trump is dark orange red – how many sexual assault allegations against him ? F*ck urself -criminal.”

“Glad to find out that America will never be a socialist country. Wish he could say the same about authoritarianism and fascism,” director Rob Reiner wrote.

Of course, polling indicated that the American people had a much different opinion of Trump’s speech than rich Hollywood liberals.

According to an “instant poll” conducted by CBS News following the address, a whopping 76 percent of Americans who watched the speech said they approved of the president’s message.

In the poll breakdown, 97 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Independents, and 30 percent of Democratic viewers approved of the speech and what Trump said.

In fact, Trump’s speech was so powerful at times that even Democrats stood up and applauded when the president noted the difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration.

“We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens. This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today who follow the rules and respected our laws. Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways,” he said. “I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”



Dems SOTU Rebuttal Offers Only Socialism

Stacey Abrams's speech played more like a campaign ad than a rebuttal to Trump's record.

To give their rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, Democrats chose Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and salacious romance novelist. Abrams lost the governor’s race and then launched a drawn-out attempt to trigger a second election by leveling spurious claims of voter suppression. She was equally lost last night in cognitive dissonance regarding the reality of the nation’s booming economy and its demonstrably positive impact upon millions of Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum, but especially in the middle class.

Abrams falsely asserted, “The Republican tax bill rigged the system against working people. Rather than bringing back jobs, plants are closing, layoffs are looming and wages struggle to keep pace with the actual cost of living.” News flash: This is 2019, not 2009. It’s not a social-media 10-year challenge.

Abrams also blasted Trump’s commitment to border security and stemming the tide of illegal immigration. She insisted that “compassionate treatment at the border is not the same as open borders,” while claiming that “Democrats stand ready to effectively secure our ports and borders” — just “not walls.” Never mind the fact that Abrams is an activist and advocate for noncitizen voting rights.

To put it bluntly, Abrams’s speech was little more than a Democrat campaign ad. All it revealed was just how extreme the Democrat agenda has become. Issues that all Americans were once united on — such as border security, the benefits of a capitalistic free-market economy, and the danger posed by socialism to Americans’ Liberty and individual rights — are now the issues Democrats are using to divide the country.

Increasingly, the only answers Democrats offer voters is Big Government socialism and division based on “identity.” That was all Abrams had to offer. And isn’t it ironic that Democrats tapped a losing candidate to offer a socialist vision that has failed everywhere it has been implemented? But at least Abrams looked better than those two wax figures who responded to Trump’s immigration remarks a few weeks back…



Trump Critics Admit Success of Association Health Plans

Despite early warnings that deregulation would lead to disaster, the truth is the opposite

It seems at every turn, President Donald Trump’s shrillest critics are being forced to eat crow. He was widely mocked during his campaign in 2016, with virtually every pundit declaring he had almost no chance of beating Hillary Clinton … until he did. Critics claimed GOP tax reform would damage the economy; instead, it unleashed massive economic growth and job creation. They said taking a bombastic, hardline stance with North Korean tyrant and Chinese puppet Kim Jong-un would lead to nuclear war; instead, it brought the diminutive dictator to the negotiating table.

And this past summer, when President Trump rolled out new rules allowing individuals, the self-employed, and small businesses to band together and purchase health insurance across state lines, in what he called “association health plans” (AHPs), his critics again scoffed and attacked.

In reality, The Wall Street Journal described the concept for AHPs as proposed by the Health Policy Consensus Group, a conservative coalition of policy experts that included The Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Galen Institute and the Manhattan Institute. The idea was to “drive control of health care almost entirely to the states, reversing [ObamaCare’s] federal mandates that seek to provide basic minimum benefits and consumer protections, which Republicans argue limit people’s choice. … Under the conservative plan, states would receive ACA money in the form of block grants to help low-income consumers buy coverage. Health savings accounts, which let people set aside tax-free money for medical expenses, would be expanded. Insurers could give discounts to people who are young or maintain continuous coverage.”

Democrats mocked the plans as “junk insurance,” and one Leftmedia outlet called it a “flop.”

Andy Slavitt, the man responsible for implementing ObamaCare, was blunt in his denunciation, declaring, “Association health plans are not the solution to any problem Americans have. They won’t make drugs more affordable, they won’t help Americans get health care they need. … When [association health plan members] finally do get sick, they find out what isn’t covered at exactly the wrong time and [then] coverage is more expensive and unavailable. … That’s why 95% of doctors, patient groups, and insurers say it’s a bad idea.”

So … what kind of wine goes best with crow?

As it turns out, the association health plans have been so successful that even the Trump-hating Washington Post conceded this Trump victory.

The Post’s assistant editor, Robert Gebelhoff, wrote, “It’s time to acknowledge that critics may have misjudged one of the Trump administration’s signature health-care policies — ‘bigly.’ … New reports suggest that much of that fear might be overblown — at least for the time being. As The Washington Post’s health policy guru Paige Winfield Cunningham laid out this week, more than two dozen association health plans have been developed since the administration issued its new rule, and so far they don’t look nearly as skimpy as experts predicted.”

You don’t say!

Cunningham elaborates on the “shocking” success, noting, “Chambers of commerce and trade associations have launched more than two dozen of these ‘association health plans’ in 13 states in the seven months since the Labor Department finalized new rules. … And there are initial signs the plans are offering generous benefits and premiums lower than can be found in the Obamacare marketplaces.”

Cunningham continues, “When it comes to these new association health plans, they appear — at least so far — to offer benefits comparable to most workplace plans and haven’t tried to discriminate against patients with preexisting conditions.” She also notes that Land O'Lakes, a farm cooperative that participated in the AHPs, serving farmers in Nebraska and Minnesota, reports savings of 25-35% over plans in the ObamaCare ACA marketplace.

Gebelhoff also reported the findings of the Congressional Budget Office, which predicts significant health coverage gains due to the AHPs, so much so that “an estimated 5 million people will enroll in either a short-term plan or an association health plan every year over the next decade, including more than 1 million people annually who were previously uninsured.”

Gebelhoff concluded by admitting, “So far, it seems these plans could work exactly as his administration promised: By helping offer coverage options for middle-income families who are making too much to qualify for federal ACA subsidies but are still struggling to afford premiums.”

The bane of conservative policies is that they sound harsh or uncompassionate, but the benefit is that they promote freedom and expand prosperity.

“Progressive” policies have the opposite problem. While sounding idealistic and compassionate in theory, in practice they crush the individual under the power of an unmerciful state while spreading poverty and misery to all but those holding the reins of power. To any who doubt that, read up on stories of people eating rats and dogs to keep from starving in the socialist utopia of Venezuela.

With the wonderful success of association health plans, hopefully Americans will reject the leftist propaganda they’ve been fed and allow the free market to bring these same types of successes to education and Social Security.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"The bane of conservative policies is that they sound harsh or uncompassionate, but the benefit is that they promote freedom and expand prosperity."

The benefit of conservative and libertarian policies is that they CA work. They don't always - especially when the Progressive/Left does everything it can to put a wrench in the gears - but success is usually at least POSSIBLE.

The compassionate sounding drivel sold by the Left usually CANNOT work.