Twenty-two years ago, my esteemed colleague Dan Henninger wrote a blockbuster Journal editorial titled “No Guardrails.” Its subject was people “who don’t think that rules of personal or civil conduct apply to them,” as well as the elites who excuse this lack of self-control and the birth of a less-civilized culture.
We are today witnessing the political version of this phenomenon. That’s how to make sense of a presidential race that grows more disconnected from normality by the day.
Two weeks ago, a man began firing shots in a parking lot in Colorado Springs. He moved into a Planned Parenthood facility. Eventually captured, it turns out the man is a lunatic. He lived in a trailer with no running water or electricity. He had a history of violent behavior and crazy theories about the world. But according to the American political left, the man was clearly a Christian pro-life activist.
A few days ago in California, Islamic radicals shot up a Christmas party. Armed with long barrel rifles — not handguns — and an assortment of other instruments of death, they killed more than a dozen people. The American political left, before the facts became clear, immediately started blaming Republicans, the National Rifle Association and Christians. Once it was clear that Muslims were involved, the political left looked the other way.
Elections are not mysterious events subject to the whimsy of unpredictable candidates and voters. They’re actually highly predictable, with a set of variables that influence outcomes in familiar ways.
Because of that, we can say, with reasonable confidence, that a Republican will be moving into the White House in 2017.
That conclusion is based on the results of a data model we created, and is primarily the result of two factors, both related to the challenges faced by “successor” candidates — candidates from the same party as the incumbent. First, a Republican will win because voters typically shy away from the party currently in power when an incumbent isn’t running. In fact, a successor candidate is three times less likely to win. Second, President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are too low to suggest a successor candidate will take the White House.
If we learned anything from Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, it’s that the candidates have no issues with spending money America doesn’t have.
“The race last night was to see who’s going to give away the most free stuff,” Sean noted on Wednesday’s radio show. “The only problem is nothing is ever free.”
So just how “not free” are Democratic proposals?
By far the biggest spender last night was Bernie Sander. The Vermont Senator’s proposals, according to the Wall Street Journal, would cost the American taxpayer upwards of $18 Trillion over 10 years
Vice-president Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan – two of the best in American politics, held in high regard for their work ethic and deal making abilities by both their peers and their constituents – find themselves sharing the same public and private concern about making a step that will forever impact their families.
Biden has been conducting a very public and emotional journey to decide whether he will seek the Democrat nomination for president. Ryan, chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and 2012 Republican Veep nominee, is being called on to run for Speaker of the House after current Speaker John Boehner’s heir apparent withdrew from the race.
My sense is that, when we add to the equation the growing impact of non-white voters, standing strongly for these traditional values — which would put Republicans in stark contrast to Democrats — would be a win-win for Republicans.
My organization, CURE, just convened a meeting in Washington, D.C., of 25 black pastors from around the country, each with an average congregation size of about 1,000, to discuss ideas and policy. These are black Americans but they are also Christians, and it is their Christianity that defines their lives.