Archive for the ‘2014 Elections’ Category

The Case for Runoff Elections

I love the runoff election system, as we see possibly playing out in Louisiana and Georgia.

Why?

The reason can be summed up in two words: Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler became dictator of Germany when his party, the National Socialist Workers Party  (NAZI) won 33.09 percent of the vote.

If elections can be won with less than 50 percent of the vote plus one, we can have situations where the majority did not vote for the winner.

So the majority is then not represented.

Bill Clinton never won as much as 50 percent of the vote.

Reform Party candidate Ross Perot siphoned off 19.7 percent of the vote in 1992 and 8.4 percent of the vote in 1996.

Most likely George H.W. Bush would have won reelection in 1992  if it were not for Perot.

Of course, we can never know for sure what would have happened.

Neither George W. Bush nor Al Gore garnered 50 percent of the vote in 2000.

Al Gore would have been elected President in 2000 were it not for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader.

In the 2014 Senate election in South Dakota, we see the possibility of the election winner receiving only a plurality of the vote.

That’s because two Republicans are now running against one Democrat.

The former Republican U.S. Senator from South Dakota Larry Pressler decided to jump in the race as an Independent.

So it’s possible he’ll siphon off enough votes from the official GOP nominee Michael Rounds and throw the election to the Democrat Rick Weiland — even though Weiland would have little chance in a one-on-one contest with either Rounds or Pressler..

If this happens, the majority of voters of South Dakota will be represented by someone they did not want and would not have voted for, even as their back-up choice.

Democrat Rick Weiland would be the least desirable of the three candidates for a majority of South Dakotans.

Yet, he might win with 35 percent of the vote.

What a runoff election would ensure in South Dakota is that a majority of South Dakotans would have a chance to vote for their back-up choice if their first choice isn’t elected.

Another benefit of the runoff election system is that it encourages people to vote for who they really like — instead of making political calculations on who is the most “electable.”  Because they know they will have another opportunity to vote for their second choice if their candidate fails to make it to the runoff.

I also suspect this runoff election system would diminish the influence of the two major political parties — which would be a good thing in my opinion.  It would open up the political process for more interesting candidates to shine.

We would not be limited to the stultifyingly bland offerings served up by the Democrat and Republican Political Establishments.

Politicians would feel more freedom to make up their own mind on issues instead of bowing to pressure from party bosses to tow the party line all the time. Politics would become less partisan and more interesting.

Imagine how boring the NFL would be if there were only two football teams playing every week.

The NFL is fun to watch because there are many teams.  The season then ends with the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl always involves two teams, not three.

This is how elections should be conducted.

The requirement in Louisiana and Georgia that a U.S. Senator must be elected with at least 50 percent of the vote plus one, or there is a runnoff election between the two top vote getters, is a good system.

Every state should adopt this rule for federal elections, including the awarding of Electoral Votes in the Presidential Election.

There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents the states from holding runoff elections to determine which candidate is awarded Electoral Votes in the event that no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

Under the Constitution, the states, not Congress decide how Electoral Votes are awarded.

If a candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes on Election Day, there would be no need for states that were unable to award electoral votes to hold a runoff election.

But if no candidate is able to get to 270 electoral votes, imagine how exciting it would be to have the Presidential Election decided by a runoff election 30 days later in, say, New Hampshire.

Or to have a runoff election involving many states that were unable to award the Electoral Votes because no candidate was able to win more than 50 percent of the vote in these states — as would have occurred in 1992 and in 2000.

Now this system still does not guarantee that the President of the United States will always be elected with a majority of the vote. If one candidate wins overwhelmingly in a big state like California, but the other candidate wins narrow victories in the other states, it would still be possible to lose with a majority of the popular vote.

There’s nothing we can do about the Electoral College. It’s in the Constitution and there are good reasons for it, having to do with protecting the sovereignty of the states.

No system is perfect or foolproof.

Barack Obama was elected twice with more than 50 percent of the vote.  So America is getting what it deserves with Obama.

But what this runoff system would do is prevent spoiler candidates — like Ross Perot in 1992 or Ralph Nader in 2000. Perot and Nader launched their candidacies not because they thought they could get elected, but mostly to sabotage the campaigns of candidates they did not like for personal reasons.

Federal Elections should not be sabotaged by this kind of mischief.

More importantly, a runnoff election system would prevent what happened in 1933 in Germany, when Adolf Hitler was elected dictator with a plurality of just 33.09% of the vote.

It was quite evident in 1933 that Hitler was a madman.   He had written and published Mein Kampf in 1926. His thuggish Brownshirts used terror to enforce Nazi Party discipline in the period leading up the the election of 1933. The Nazis and Hitler’s Brownshirts were frightening, not popular.

Hitler and his Nazi Party could not have won a majority of the vote if there had been a runoff election system in Germany in 1933.  And we could have avoided 60,000,000 deaths in World War Two — which amounted to the extermination of 2.5% of the world’s total population.

Cantor loss is a great “shot over the bow” of GOP Establishment. Next up is Thad Cochran. Then Pat Roberts and Lamar Alexander.

But will they listen? Probably not.

Not that Eric Cantor is a bad guy. I like him. He used to be a conservative. He often sounds conservative. I’m sure he holds conservative beliefs.

But as the #2 Republican in the House, he got too comfortable as a member of the Washington Political Establishment — the Ruling Class, which almost everyone hates.

This is a great “shot over the bow” of John Boehner and the GOP Establishment.

This means amnesty is dead for this Congress.

Republican Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised he would crush the Tea Party.  I guess that plan is not working out so well.

Next up is Senator Thad Cochran, who will likely lose to Tea Party insurgent Chris McDaniel.

Other Tea Party candidates storming to the fore are Joni Ernst in Iowa and Ben Sasse in Nebraska.

Ernst is tied or running now slightly ahead of the Democrat in Iowa. In a Republican year, my money is on her. Sasse is on the way to an easy win. So he’ll be the next junior Senator from Nebraska.

I would love to get rid of Senator Pat Roberts — the Establishment Republican in Kansas. His primary is on August 5th, and he has a strong Tea Party-backed opponent named Dr. Milton Wolf.

Another GOP Establishment dinosaur who needs to go is Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.  He faces conservative Tennessee state Rep. Joe Carr in an August primary.  Alexander is polling under 50 percent among Republicans.

That said, I would support any and every Republican against any and every Democrat. Every national Republican politician is better than every Democrat politician. Even Susan Collins is better than any Democrat who runs against her.

I want Scott Brown to beat Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire even though Brown is certainly not a reliable conservative. But he will vote to end ObamaCare.

I agree with William F. Buckley Jr’s maxim: I’m always for the most conservative candidate who can win.

A candidate’s viability matters, not just their views.  Christine O’Donnell and Todd Aiken were mistakes, unforced errors that cost us two Senate seats. These candidates were not ready for prime time.

Of course, it did not help that GOP Establishment leader Karl Rove was on the airwaves of FOX News attacking O’Donnell as a loon the night she won her primary battle against liberal Republican Mike Castle. Rove’s attacks on O’Donnell sent the signal to the media that no assault on O’Donnell was out of bounds.

I’m certainly not for a third party because that just splits the conservative vote, ensuring victory for the Left.

But I love it when the Eric Cantors and the Thad Cochrans of the world go down in the primaries to viable conservative candidates — not because I have personal animosity toward them. I’m sure they are very decent people who want what’s best for the country.

But they are not making the case for conservative principles, for limited government, and for returning to the Constitution. They are doing nothing to reduce the size and scope of the federal government.

They are doing nothing to force President Obama to follow the law.

They do nothing to move the ball forward in a conservative direction on any front.

They are bumps on a log.

Often they try to talk us into abandoning our core principles.

We need people in Congress who will push hard for restoring Constitutional government in America and for holding a lawless President accountable to the law.

The truth is people don’t like the Ruling Establishment in Washington — whether it’s Obama or the Establishment Republicans. To most people, these politicians all seem to be part of the same problem — a government that never stops growing.

The richest area of the county today is suburban Washington, DC.

The easiest way to get rich in America today is not to build something, not to manufacture products, but to work for Congress or some branch of the federal government and then become a lobbyist or a member of the media, or some law firm in Washington, DC.

I guess that’s what Eric Cantor will do now — make millions of dollars by joining some lobbying firm on K Street — perhaps team up with Denny Hastert and Tom Daschle.

Republican Establishment types, just like the Democrat Establishment, love working in Washington, DC. They love getting rich for doing nothing by ripping off the taxpayer. They love the perks of power.

They’re comfortable with big government. Their influence and pull inside this big government behemoth is their stock and trade.  It’s how they make a living.

If the government shrinks, they become less important.  They become less of a factor in our lives.

People are fed up with with this Washington behemoth. People want their lives back. I’m sensing a political tsunami coming this way on November 4th.  It’s building quietly.

The “silent majority” appears to have finally had enough of these entrenched career politicians in Washington who are drunk with power.

The silver lining in Obama’s illegal executive actions

The bottom line point of this article is America’s founders did their best to protect us from ourselves. But, ultimately, we get the government we deserve. It’s not like we haven’t had many opportunities to change course.

We’re all familiar now with Barack Obama’s unilateral changing of laws by executive order, or just ignoring laws he doesn’t like, or enacting his own laws out of thin air through his control of the regulatory bureaucracy. Regulations, promulgated by the executive branch bureaucracy carry the force of law.

I have long argued that the President ought to be able to exercise the line-item veto, ought to have substantial power.

I have argued this because what Congress does is send up enormous “ominibus” spending bills, encompassing the entire federal government, or big chunks of it. They then bury all kinds of pork-barrel spending in these spending bills. So the President then must either accept the entire bill, or veto it. Ronald Reagan repeatedly made the case for the line-item vote, so he could throw the junk out of these enormous spending packages.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court ruled that the line-item veto is unconstitutional. I don’t see why.

The veto is a Constitutional power accorded to the President. But that’s what the Supreme Court ruled.

So Congress figured out a way to short-circuit the President’s Constitutional veto authority by sending up these enormous omnibus spending bills in the form of a single law.

The result is the continued explosion of federal spending.

So giving Congress more power is clearly not the answer. Congress’s approval rating is hovering between 12 and 13 percent.

Of course, Obama has gone way beyond the simple line-item veto idea. He ignores border security laws, duly passed by Congress. He ignores his own ObamaCare law — declaring changes to provisions in the law the public hates.

The truth is, most of the changes he’s enacting to the ObamaCare law are a modest improvement to the law. The law is a disaster on almost every level and should be repealed. But the changes he’s declaring on his own, though illegal, are making the law marginally less miserable.

Republicans in Congress have no power to force Obama to follow the law. Nor would they likely exercise this power even if they could enforce the law on Obama. How can you oppose delaying and cushioning the assorted ObamaCare mandates on businesses and individuals?

As things stand now, Obama could strangle a child to death on national TV, and there’s really no enforcement mechanism to bring Obama to justice. His henchman Eric Holder runs the Justice Department. So he’s not going to bring charges against his boss. Plus, Holder is just as radical as Obama — who says he wants to “fundamentally transform” America.

And so long as Harry Reid is in charge of the Senate, no action is possible against Obama. Plus, we would need at least 60 Republican Senators to actually expel Obama from office — more than that, because not every Republican would vote to expel an American President from office.

So impeachment by the House of Representatives is possible, and has happened. But actual expulsion from office is near impossible.

So what we have moved to, essentially, is a parliamentary system of one-party rule.

Under the parliamentary system, whichever party controls the legislature chooses the prime minister.

This has its pluses and minuses.

The plus is that the people get the government they deserve.

The people have multiple opportunities to get the government they want.

There’s the Presidential election every four years.

If Congress is divided, the President can do whatever he wants — declare martial law, confiscate all our property, whatever.

There’s not much we can do about it.

But every two years, Americans have an opportunity to get the President in line if he acts irresponsibly or even tyrannically.

We have an opportunity to rein in Obama in the 2014 November elections.

The truth is America’s founders wanted a robust energetic executive branch. Alexander Hamilton’s view prevailed for the most part. The Constitution corrected the almost non-existent federal government established by the Articles of Confederation.

The federal government was still too weak, which required a Civil War to correct.

We need a strong federal government and a strong Presidency to be a world super-power. Otherwise, we would devolve into tribalism, like Afghanistan. We don’t want that.

But if the President abuses his power, does things the people don’t want, the people have a chance every two years to rein him in.

The problem with a country run by Congress is we get dysfunction — nothing happens. Or, you end up with tyranny by bureaucracy — which is what we have now. Congress is lazy. So it likes to delegate its law-making authority to faceless bureaucrats who are accountable to no one.

But the problem with a country run by a single individual (a king or dictator) is that very bad things can happen — like Adolf Hitler. Henry VIII was no bargain either. Neither was Louis XIV.

The beauty of the American system is that ultimately the people get the government they want and deserve.

We have an opportunity every two years to correct course.

I was stunned that America reelected Obama in 2012. But that’s what happened. That’s the way it is.

Apparently, Americans had not had enough socialism, or did not really understand ObamaCare, or thought they had corrected Obama’s excesses with the 2010 mid-term Congressional elections, which were a landslide for Republicans.

Or perhaps Mitt Romney did not present a compelling case against ousting a sitting President.

Whatever happened in 2012, Obama won — and the election was not all that close.

I like having an energetic President. I like clear choices. This way the people can see quickly what’s really happening. They can then say “yes” or “no.” They can do that every two years.

My sense is that Obama is too radical for America. He’s done a good job of masking how radical he really is. So he won reelection in 2012 against Thurston Howell III.

But now people are beginning to see the real Obama. They don’t like ObamaCare — never have.

They don’t like his war on business — that is, the U.S. economy.

Most Americans like business — the source of jobs and money.

Most Americans like capitalism, the source of wealth — so we aren’t relegated to mud huts.

Most Americans don’t think most jobs should be government jobs . . . because Communism did not work out so well.

Yes, people want a safety net. They want Medicare. The want Social Security. They don’t like to see beggers on the street. But they don’t like socialism either. Most Americans admire Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. They admire achievers. Most Americans don’t want to punish people just because they achieved.

Most Americans understand that Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison made our lives better — much better. Why punish them? Why crush innovators and producers with the heavy hand of government bureaucracy.

They also want a safety net. They want to protect the disabled and the elderly — but they don’t want to reward the lazy and the clueless.

My guess is that America will reject Obama’s neo-Marxism.

What’s great about Obama is he really is offering America a clear choice.

America’s founders did their best to protect us from ourselves. But ultimately we get the government we deserve.

I have no problem with that.

The Conservative Alternative to ObamaCare

Democrats in Congress are panicking even more now than they were before in the wake of David Jolly’s victory over Alex Sink in the special election for the Florida 13 Congressional seat.

Jolly is a political novice who had never held elected office. Sink almost won the governorship of Florida in 2010, falling short by a single percentage point in a Republican wave year. Sink outraised Jolly 2-to-1. Florida 13 has been trending Democrat. Obama won the district in 2008 and again in 2012.

Democrat leaders were 100% certain Sink would coast to victory.  But Sink lost.  Jolly won.

The only thing Jolly had going for him was that he promised he would vote to repeal ObamaCare.

Sink’s message that she would work to “fix” ObamaCare did not cut the mustard with voters.

Americans want ObamaCare ended, repealed, undone, buried, blown up — not fixed.

MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews has now conceded that the GOP will win majority control of the Senate.

The question now is: By how much?

To win the Senate with seats to spare, Republican candidates must be for more than just repeal of ObamaCare. We need to highlight our alternative to ObamaCare.

We can’t pretend the old system was perfect.  It was just a lot better than ObamaCare.  But the shortcomings of the old system could have been fixed easily with a few minor tweaks.

There is one goal of ObamaCare that is worth keeping: And that’s to address the problem of people with expensive pre-existing conditions not being able to get affordable health insurance.

ObamaCare does not actually even fix this problem.

But it could be fixed, easily and relatively cheaply. These people would go into a high-risk pool and would receive a subsidy to cover the difference between what a health insurance policy costs for most folks and what a policy costs for those afflicted with expensive, relatively rare preexisting conditions.

This can be done through a tax credit and/or tax deduction on the federal income tax.

Problem solved.

Republicans need to highlight this solution because the pre-existing conditions argument is ObamaCare’s only argument.

Other features of the GOP health plan should include:

1) Expanding IRA-style health care savings accounts to include everyone.

2) Making all health insurance and health care costs tax-deductible for individuals, so that people are not forced to stay in jobs they don’t like to keep their health insurance.

3) Allowing health insurance companies to compete across state lines to bring health care costs down. This has certainly worked well for electronics and other products.

4) Capping malpractice lawsuit awards, which will also bring health care costs down. (Lawyers are not a popular group)

5) Restoring the $800 BILLION ObamaCare stole from Medicare.

6) We already have Medicaid for the poor. But the working poor could be given a refundable tax credit to offset the cost of buying health insurance.

This plan would fit on a single sheet of paper, in contrast to the 20,000 pages of regulations that have been added to the 2,700-page ObamaCare law.

We then ask voters to choose between this simple one-page plan and the ObamaCare monstrosity.

How to achieve sweeping Republican victories on November 4th

David Jolly’s victory over Alex Sink in the special election for the Florida 13 Congressional seat vacated by has sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party – especially Democrats running for reelection in conservatives red states and districts.
Sink almost won the governorship of Florida in 2010, falling short by a single percentage point in a Republican wave year.

By contrast,  Jolly was an unknown, under-funded lobbyist for the oil industry. Sink outraised Jolly 2-to-1. Florida 13 has been trending Democrat. Obama won the district in 2008 and again in 2012.

Sink should have crushed Jolly, but didn’t – because of ObamaCare.

The voters sent a message.

MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews has now conceded that the GOP will win majority control of the Senate.
The question now is: By how much?

Sink’s message to voters was “Keep ObamaCare, but fix what’s wrong with it.”

Jolly’s message was: “Repeal ObamaCare, and replace it with something that works.”

“Repeal and replace” trumped  “Keep, but fix.”

Republicans should learn from this race.  Jolly’s message is the winning message.

To win the Senate with seats to spare, Republican candidates must be for more than just repeal of ObamaCare. We need to highlight our alternative to ObamaCare.

We should admit that there is one goal of ObamaCare that is worth keeping: And that’s to address the problem of people with expensive pre-existing conditions not being able to get affordable health insurance.

That was a legitimate problem.

It’s also an easy fix. These people would go into a high-risk pool and would receive a subsidy to cover the difference between what a health insurance policy costs for most folks and what a policy costs for those afflicted with expensive, relatively rare preexisting conditions.

This can be done through a tax credit and/or tax deduction on the federal income tax.

Problem solved, cheaply.

Republicans need to highlight this solution because the pre-existing conditions argument is ObamaCare’s only argument.
Other features of the GOP health plan should include:

1) Expanding IRA-style health care savings accounts to include everyone.

2) Making all health insurance and health care costs tax-deductible for individuals, so that people are not forced to stay in jobs they don’t like to keep their health insurance.

3) Allowing health insurance companies to compete across state lines to bring health care costs down.

4) Capping malpractice lawsuit awards, which will also bring health care costs down. (Lawyers are not a popular group)

5) Restoring the $800 BILLION ObamaCare stole from Medicare.

6) We already have Medicaid for the poor. But the working poor could be given a refundable tax credit to offset the cost of buying health insurance.

This plan would fit on a single sheet of paper, in contrast to the 20,000 pages of regulations that have been added to the 2,700-page ObamaCare law.

We then ask voters to choose between this simple one-page plan and the ObamaCare monstrosity.

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