The Difference Between Ideals, Goals, And Plans

The Democratic Party is in huge trouble for two reasons, and this is very bad news. The first reason is that President Trump has occupied most of the politically valuable real estate. The second reason is that the Democratic response has been … well … less than effective. And that is very bad news because I don’t want a one-party state. Competition is invaluable for a democracy, I want someone to hold Trump’s feet to the fire, and meanwhile the Democratic Party is imploding at a rate of knots.

When I say that President Trump has occupied most of the politically valuable real estate, let me explain by example. It is generally agreed that the swing voters in the recent election were working white people in the Rust Belt, where globalization has destroyed jobs, factories, and towns. A number of counties which had gone for Obama in 2008 and 2012 went for Trump in 2016.

Now, suppose that you are a Democratic strategist. What can you offer that crucial bloc of voters?

The obvious thing to offer that voting bloc is jobs … but then President Trump has already been there and done that. During eight years of Obama, and for years before Obama, jobs were constantly being lost. NAFTA was a stupendous mistake, it has cost us tens of thousands of factories, particularly in the Rust Belt.

On the other hand, President-Elect Trump brought back thousands of jobs between election and inauguration, and many more since. At this point there is nothing that the Democrats can say about jobs that anyone will believe. The political real estate called “jobs” is completely occupied by President Trump.

How about social justice, like say childcare and paid family leave? Sorry, he covered that in his speech a couple nights ago.

What about that intangible but important thing called “pride in your heritage”? The Democrats have killed themselves there. Identity politics has a fatal flaw. It requires a villain. If some sub-section of society is doing poorly and you don’t ascribe that failure to the people themselves, you have to blame their failure on someone else.

And for decades in the Democratic party, that villain has been white men. If a board or a bureau or a lunch meeting does something wrong, we hear “Well of course! The Directors were nothing but white men! Why should white men decide things!” Heck, I remember that back in the sixties, according to … well … me, all evil in the US and the world was to be laid at the feet of “The Man”.

I’m not complaining, don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying that after decades of Democratic politicians slamming “The  Man” and blaming white people for the sorry plight of immigrants, refugees, black people, students, earthquake faults, brown people, the economy, Sunni-Shiite violence, and every other thing wrong with the world, it’s hard to get your average white working man in the Rust Belt to believe a word Democrats say …

Then there has been the Democratic Party’s constant drumbeat against Christianity. I’m not a Christian myself, I’m a shamanist, but the endless attacks by the left on various Christian principles have alienated thousands of voters, including myself.

Take as an example the unlucky Christians who firmly state that it is against their most important religious beliefs to make flowers or bake cakes for a gay wedding. Do Democrats truly think that using the legal system to drive those poor Christians out of business and into poverty attracts voters to the ideals of the left? I’m a strong supporter of gay rights, I have lots of gay friends and family, but I know that’s just Democratic cruelty.

So how can the Democratic Party even begin to offer “pride in your heritage” to your average white working Christian family? All the Democrats have done for years is lecture them on some fancied “white privilege” and abuse and even sue them for what they believe.

What else might the Democrats offer? Well, there’s sexual equality … except for the fact that the Clinton Foundation paid women less than men, which tends to defang that argument. Plus, of course, the inconvenient fact that Trump has always surrounded himself with powerful women, including his daughter among many. If Kellyanne Conway had won the campaign for Hillary the Democrats would be putting her face on a postage stamp today … instead, they do everything they can to undermine, insult, and tear her down. Do the Democrats truly think that the people of the US don’t notice the sexual hypocrisy? So again, Trump has already occupied that real estate of empowering women.

Then there is the LBGTQ issue … but again, Trump is the only person to hold up the rainbow flag at a campaign event, and one of the twelve people on his initial transition team was a gay guy. trump-lgbtElton John played at Trump’s wedding, and Trump publicly congratulated Elton in 2005 when Elton got married. So the Democrats are outmaneuvered again. Trump has occupied the LGBTQ message real estate.

Heck, the President even indicated that he understands that a comprehensive immigration plan has to have a way for the Dreamers to obtain citizenship … there goes that issue for the Democrats. He just keeps picking them off.

Given that the President has already occupied so much of the valuable political real estate, I’m in mystery as to what the Democrats might have to offer that the President hasn’t already begun delivering, not talking about but delivering, to the American populace.

So let me toss that question to the assembled masses, whose combined mental horsepower far exceeds my own or any individual’s, this question: If you were the chief Democratic Party strategist … what would be your message?

It’s tough, because the President has already appropriated so many of the usual Democratic talking points as his own. And that brings me to the second reason that the Democratic Party is in trouble, their response to date.

The Democratic Party response to date is probably best encapsulated by the word “RESIST”. This is a horrible strategy based on being the anti-Trump. Hillary tried that and lost. If you want to win, you need to have a clear vision of where you are going, and how you plan to get there. What the Democrats have are ideals and resistance.

The Democratic Party strategists appear to be ignorant of the crucial difference between the items in the title of this post: ideals, goals, and plans. During the election they talked about ideals, while Trump talked about goals. This is a crucial difference.

FOR EXAMPLE. The ideal might be to bring jobs back to the Rust Belt. One of the many goals in that would be to repeal the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the first hundred days. The plan would be to end the TPP by means of writing an Executive Order.

Now, what are the characteristics of goals? Well, goals are yes/no, binary, in that at any instant they are either achieved or not. Goals happen in an instant. A goal might be to lose ten pounds by the wedding to fit into the tux. When the moment of the wedding arrives, either you did lose the weight or you didn’t. Note that to be a valid goal it MUST have a deadline. Otherwise, you can never decide if it is achieved or not.

In addition, goals are more likely to be achieved if they are positive rather than negative. A goal to achieve something is stronger than a goal to avoid or resist something.

Plans, on the other hand, are things that take time, like writing a document or cooking a meal. Plans are what are on “To-Do” lists, tasks, chores, activities. They are the time-consuming things we engage in to achieve our goals.

Finally, our ideals are what drive the selection of our goals, and we can understand them best by listing our goals. Ideals are things that cannot ever be actually achieved, but that we strive for. Equality. World peace. Those are ideals. They don’t have deadlines, they never actually occur.

So to review:

“Create and encourage jobs for the Rust Belt” is an ideal. We can’t say if it is ever accomplished. It is open-ended, no deadline, no threshold. It describes an overarching philosophy or direction.

“End the TPP in the first hundred days” is a goal. It occurs in an instant—one instant the TPP is not ended, and the next instant it is gone. It is a valid goal because it is clearly yes/no, occurs in an instant, and has a deadline.

Finally, “Write an Executive Order detailing the action repealing the TPP” is a plan. It takes time to write and check and review such an order. It can be thought of as a task.

Why is this important in politics? If you ask anyone today what was the platform that Trump ran on, you’ll get lots of answers. Among the things he said he’d achieve in his first hundred days were to end the TPP. Repeal and replace Obamacare. Start to build the southern Wall. Institute extreme vetting. Require government agencies repeal two regulations for every new one. Prevent government employees from lobbying for five years.

Note that each and every one of these is a valid goal. They are all yes/no, meaning that at any instant either they are done or not. When they occur, they will occur in an instant. All of them had a deadline, the first hundred days. They are specific goals.

Not only that, but Trump gave his word that he would achieve all of those goals. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t … but he’s already done some of them, others are started, and he’s giving it his best shot. And because they are valid goals with deadlines, we can tell if he has succeeded or failed.

Note that this is how builders have to operate. You don’t get Trump Tower built by stating and restating the ideals that are guiding the construction. You get it built by setting real goals with deadlines, and then instituting the plans and beginning the tasks to achieve those goals before the deadlines elapse.

As I pointed out above, everybody knew what Candidate Trump’s goals were if he were elected … but what were Candidate Clinton’s goals if she were elected? What was she planning to accomplish, and when would it be achieved? I cannot name a single goal of hers.

Instead, her candidacy was all about ideals. She was for sexual equality. She was also for racial equality, religious equality, gender equality, national equality, ethnic equality, class equality, and likely inter-planetary and trans-galactic equality … but none of those are goals. Those are all ideals. And she was for economic justice, and justice for the Dreamers, and for the downtrodden and for children and for everyone including oppressed gay Muslims in the Middle East. But again, those are not goals, they are ideals. Great ideals, to be sure, wonderful ideals … but without goals and plans, what are they worth? Talk is cheap.

In particular, ideals don’t win elections when the other candidate is putting their name and full faith behind actual goals. And you can be sure that this has not gone un-noticed on the Republican side.

The Democratic Party needs to sit down and have some serious discussions to figure out what they want to get done, and the deadlines before which they think they can accomplish those things. Unfortunately, to date those have mostly consisted of people screaming “WHAT DO WE WANT?” “JUSTICE!” “WHEN DO WE WANT IT” “NOW!” … not exactly the discussion of goals and timelines that is needed, even ignoring the fact that “justice” is an ideal and not a goal …

As the poster child of the current disarray in the Democratic Party let me offer up the Democratic response to this week’s Presidential address. In response they presented the speech of Ex-Governor of Kentucky Steve Brashear.

It was obviously filmed before the President’s speech, so it was necessarily vague. But that wasn’t the amazing part. Despite all of the Hollywood folks who are Democrats, this looked like it had been shot by first year film students. No, not even that good. Here you go.

Really? That’s the best they can do in 2017? When I first started watching it I though he was talking in front of a still picture. It was only when I saw one of the background people blink that I realized they were all alive.

Next, no people of color in the crowd? Yes, the Democrats have belatedly realized that in their haste to include others they were ignoring white people, but the crowd in that cafe was like an anti-racist joke …

Finally, the tone. We’d just come from a grand hall, with a speech full of passion and onions, cheers and tears, and we get … a hip-looking geriatricat sitting down and calmly talking in front of a bunch of people who look like they’re addicted to a mix of oxycontin and botox? That’s the best they have to present the Democratic message?

============

So. Knowing that Trump has taken the good real estate, and knowing the Democratic response to date has been a pathetic “RESIST”, what would I do if I ran the zoo? You know me, I’d figure out some plan. Plus as you may have noticed, I’m sometimes wrong but rarely uncertain … so if they put me in charge, this would be my advice for the Democratic Party.

Bite the bullet and admit that the problem in 2016 was not poor communications, nor the FBI, the Russians, Wikileaks, the Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, or any third party. Throw out all of the explanations and start over with the clear understanding that as the Bard said, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves …”

In addition to fielding a corrupt and unsympathetic candidate, it was the total absence of a message that cost Democrats the election. Everyone knew what Trump would do if elected, but nobody knew what Hillary would do if elected.

Democrats cannot make a living out of “RESIST”. It is a dead-end in a maze with no cheese, nothing for the hungry masses. Forget entirely what the Democratic party is AGAINST, and figure out what the party is FOR.

Remember that the important part is not the ideals. Look, everybody these days is in favor of equality of all kinds, sexual and racial and opportunity and educational and planetary and galactic equality. Everyone wants liberty and justice for all, who doesn’t? The question is not what the Democratic ideals are. The question is what the Democratic goals are, how will they be achieved, and how are they better than Trump’s goals?

Tell the Hollywood stars to stand down. Yes, they have a magnificent microphone to reach the masses … but the optics are horrible. Leonardo DiCaprio taking a personal jet 7,500 miles to lecture us about cutting our carbon footprints is LOSING Democratic voters, not gaining them. And most folks are forced to laugh when Meryl Streep stands up at a glittering award orgy of Hollywood self-congratulation, dressed in thousands of dollars of clothing and dripping with jewels, and to her fellow millionaires in the golden ballroom who like her live in mansions with swimming pools and heliports and have cars with drivers she proudly declaims:

All of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. 

I’m sure all of us in this room, really, feel sorry for poor oppressed Meryl and those vilified Hollywood stars. I know I do … not. Democrats need to tell Hollywood to go back to singing, dancing, and acting.

Speak out loudly, often, and strongly, against the denial and the drowning out of the voices of the opposition. Democrats have a right to go to town hall meetings. They do NOT have the right to stop people from speaking. Democrats have the right to speak. They do NOT have a right to intimidate people into silence through violence. They do NOT have the right to drown out opposition responses with shouting and boos. Those are clear denials of people’s First Amendment rights, and should be denounced strongly by the Democratic party. The failure of Hillary and Obama to speak out against the violence done in their names after the election cost the party thousands of votes. Democrats are vilifying Trump for not decrying anti-Semitism, but I have not heard one Democratic leader speak out against the street violence and rioting of their own supporters. If the Democratic Party is to regain credibility, that silence has to stop. The Party leaders need to speak out against violence, intimidation and silencing wherever it occurs, particularly at town-hall meetings.

Stop telling everyone what various Democrats are afraid is going to happen. People do not follow fearful, frightened leaders. I know that some of my gay friends are afraid of what Trump might do. OK, but that fear is groundless and baseless. Yes, many people are frightened these days. Listening to the news, at times it seems like the entire Democratic base is cowering in terror under their beds afraid of some vague unspecified horror … does anyone think that this improves the image of the Democratic Party? Going on and on about groundless inchoate terror does not make people want to join you in Fearville …

As the then-President Obama told everyone during the run-up to the 2016 election, it was a referendum on his policies. He said “My name may not be on the ballot, but our agenda for moving forward is”, and also “I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them”. And since Hillary had few policy differences with Obama, this was certainly true. So the Democrats need to tattoo this on the inside of their foreheads:

OBAMA’S POLICIES LOST THE REFERENDUM

Not only that, but nationwide during Obama’s presidency, the Democrats lost 1,000 legislative seats, one of the fastest drops in party popularity in US political history. As a result the Democrats are weaker now politically than at any time since 1920!! President Obama had his personal magic, to be sure, he could sell himself … but as he personally was going up, the Democratic Party was cratering.

Now, I see today that Citizen Obama is moving Comrade Valerie Jarrett, his longtime political consultant, into his house in Washington. It appears the Democratic Party doesn’t get it, and obviously he doesn’t get it either, but the Obama/Clinton policies LOST the referendum, and Obama and Clinton are now poison to the party! The more that Obama is involved, the more the Clintons stick their oar in, the poorer the chances are that the party will ever rise again. Citizen Obama is a lightning rod for opposition to the Democrats, and Hillary is even worse. They lost, they lost badly, and to make matters worse, they are greatly hated by the opposition. Not only that but neither one has come to grips with WHY they lost, it’s still all about Russians and Comey to this day. Stop listening to their bad advice, stop following their wrong lead, take their names out of the equation. They have cost the party over a thousand seats, the House, the Senate, and the Presidency … after that, why would anyone pay attention to anything that they say? They are proven losers, and the Democratic Party desperately needs winners at this time in history.

Fire the Democratic media advisers. The official Democratic response of Steve Beshear’s speech was a pathetic joke. Here’s what I would have done, and I’m far from being a media adviser. Hire a town hall. Fill it with both democrats and republicans split half and half just like the hall the President spoke in. Have them watch the President’s speech on the big screen. THEN, once the President is done have the most fiery, quickest thinking up-and-coming Democrat lined up to speak. Beforehand write a number of speech variations based on what the President might say, with different tones and styles. Have that person stand up and deliver an impassioned account of the specific things wrong with what the President said, and see if you can get the Republicans to stand up and applaud.

Wouldn’t you rather watch that than the official Democratic response featuring the non-walking dead?

Finally, and perhaps most important, get some new leaders. The election as the Democratic National Committee Chair of Tom Perez, the creature of the Obama/Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, is bad news for Democrats and great news for Republican. Obama and Clinton represent the worst of yesterday’s Democrats. The Party needs to find new, fresh faces. Hey, the door is open for rich business men and women to run now. There are some strong photogenic Democratic business leaders out there, Mark Cuban comes to mind. Democrats desperately need to find a leader that knows how to set goals and translate those goals into reality. That is the man or woman who people will follow. They will not follow someone saying “We’re terrified, the sky is falling, RESIST EVERYTHING” … they will follow someone who points to a better world and provides a clear vision of how to get to that promised land.

Anyhow … that’s what I’d do if I ran the Democratic zoo. I know it is long, but my problem is that I can’t see my friends driving a bus off the edge of a cliff without doing my level best to stop the impending crash, so I included the details … and as I’ve said more than once, a strong Democratic party is not an option, it is a requirement for a strong body politic.

Regards to all,

w.

PS—When you comment please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING so that we can all understand just what the heck you are on about. Thanks.

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61 thoughts on “The Difference Between Ideals, Goals, And Plans

  1. The Democrats crying “RESIST” is going to also flounder over their portrayal of the Republicans as “The party of NO” a few years ago. The 2018 election season is sure to have lots of campaign commercials showing videos of Democrats blasting the Republicans for obstructing everything and then videos of them calling to obstruct everything.

    Also, it seems as if the plan is now to get all these things done in the first 200 days rather than the first 100 days. Which I think is a reasonable adaptation to the plan given the delays that they are facing in just getting their people in place.

    And finally, I’m a little less worried than you are about the Democrats completely imploding. We have had times in our history where there was only one major party, and the result was battles between wings of the party. If the Democrats were to disappear, I would expect that it would only take a year or two before the Republicans split with no opposition to hold them to together. There are strong divisions in the Republican party already, enough so that Trump is having to be very careful about how he does things in order to keep enough Republican votes in the Senate to pass his agenda. The Democrats did not seem to have a similar problem when they were in charge. (can anyone actually believe that Republicans would stand still for “we have to pass this to see what’s in it” the way the Democrats did for Obamacare????)

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  2. Hi Willis. I take a somewhat different view. The Democratic Party should be allowed to wither and die, if that is what it wants to do. The problem is that the USA has an entrenched 2 party system. This is very weird if you live elsewhere in the Anglosphere, where multiple political parties are the norm. Outside the USA, new parties are formed, old ones wither and die. In the UK and New Zealand, the Labour Parties have decided in recent years, by choice, to move ever further to the “left”, knowing that their share of the vote will shrink. The Democrats in the USA seem to be doing the same. It’s their choice. The problem lies in the lack of other parties to form a valid opposition (which I agree is an important balance).

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      • If you view the record of the Democratic party, you can’t help but see the march to socialism. It is not about equality and upward mobility. It has pressed in the direction this nation has gone – towards a welfare state where everyone shares the same misery. The Republican party has done little different. When you look at the record of the GOP in the last 50 years, at least, you see a march towards a nation where most people share the same level of misery. The approaches are different, to a degree, but the end results is the same. The two headed but basically one party that has controlled the US since the beginning of the 20th century has lost touch with reality and the hopes and dreams of the average American.

        Trump isn’t a Republican nor is he a Democrat. Trump should start his own new party and saddle it with his visions and desires. The GOP isn’t showing up in support of Trump, so, again, he should look towards his own party. And he has to do it sooner, rather than later, because if it isn’t in place by mid term elections, he will never truly have a chance to make a difference in this nation. In time we would be back to a basically 2 party system because the GOP and the Democrats would combine under one name to form the 2nd party of significance.

        But you are right when you say show me what you are for, not against. I’ve always hated negative campaigning, and when a candidate can’t tell me anything about themselves that is worth voting for, only what is wrong with their opponent, it tells me there is a hollow suit running for office, and a hollow suit won’t do anything for anyone but themselves.

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    • The only way I can see a multiparty system is if we go to a runoff or other methods to allow 3rd parties to compete (e.g. ranking choices on ballots). Presently, if you have a third party candidate they take votes away from the major party closest to their positions. Thus we get Ross Perot taking out Bush and Ralph Nader taking out Gore (well maybe not a bad thing). This has prevented me from voting for third party candidates.

      Conversely, I’m skeptical of open primaries and California’s situation where the top two candidates wound up from the same party.

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        • The two party system died with the Warren court’s “one man, one vote” verdict that destroyed the US. Everyone knows, by simply looking at 1800s history, that there are no more corrupt places on Earth then cities since they were either run by the mob or the corrupt city bosses. One man, one vote gave the operation of the states over to the cities. Prior to that, the states had a balance between urban needs and rural needs. Afterwards, the cities ran the states, and since they ran the states, they also ran the parties.

          When the centers of corruption run the parties, they control the candidates that can run for office, usually by not giving any money to those that they do not want elected, or flooding the primaries with candidates that will splinter the vote for the candidate they don’t want – basically how McCain survives the primaries. Is it any wonder that we have so few “honest” politicians since it is an enormously difficult uphill struggle to get past the party to the people? Is it any wonder that Trump is the only candidate that ever ran for a major party that was able to reach the people by going outside the normal channels, and was able to spend enough to compete with the party’s choices? Is it any wonder that the GOP doesn’t support him since the party never wanted him, fought him tooth and nail, and has now joined the Democrats in “resist?” They may not be doing it “in the streets,” but they are “in the halls of Congress,” which is why he will have to water down every program he wants to run to get any support at all.

          It angers me that this group of “self loving politicians” we have in Congress will do everything for themselves while doing nothing for the people that pay their paychecks – yes, the outside money flow is why they are there, and most could care less if they get paid by the people since they don’t need it to survive. That’s one of the problems of electing “professionals” such as big business owners and lawyers – they don’t have to work for a living, so they have plenty of time to “network” with the lobbyists.

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          • It’s very fair to say that the GOP didn’t support Trump, but less fair to say that they don’t support him now (there are exceptions, McCain needs to realize that he lost his bid for the white house). Most of the GOP realize that they have been asking the public for control and now they have it (even if Trump isn’t what they wanted), and so they are in the position to put up or shut up. If they don’t deliver at least a good bit of what they and Trump campaigned on, they are going to be out in the cold.

            self interest applies here.

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  3. but nobody knew what Hillary would do if elected.

    I don’t think that’s true. I expected Hillary to push for the same goals as the last few ex-presidents. Goals that are not communicated clearly. goals that probably only benefit a few. (I fear this sounds somewhat conspirationalist)

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    • Btw, thanks for explaining the difference between ideals, goals and plans. I believe a leader needs a vision (goal), or else she’s just a talking head.

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      • So many politicians, so few leaders. Some politician’s goals are simply to get elected. They get ego and fame, but add little or no value. The problem with representative democracy is the representatives.

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        • The problem with representative democracy is the lack of attention of those that elect the representatives. As it was said by the forefathers, democracy fails when there isn’t a well-informed citizenry, which was why the feds took over education and changed the content of what is taught. Most people have never truly been taught what representative democracy – or a republic – really is and how important it is to be a participant in it.

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  4. Then why is POTUS giving way to the trivial Flynn issue? Why is Sessions recusing? The Trump administration seems to be treading lightly despite the mandate they have. I know it is sort of death by a thousand cuts in the way the dumb-dumb Dems (up-chuck Schumer, the-putz Pelosi) and every MSM come at them. Where are the rest of the elected Republicans in Washington? I guess Trump is truly beholden to no one but the US citizens and every career politician is extremely worried the huge and voluminous trough is going to be reduced in size….terrible shame in such a great and prosperous country that so little ‘gets down’.

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    • > Then why is POTUS giving way to the trivial Flynn issue? Why is Sessions recusing?

      Flynn embarrased the VP early on with statements that caused the VP to say things on national TV that weren’t true.

      that sort of thing is a problem

      As for Sessions, it’s good common sense to avoid putting yourself in a place where you can be assued of tilting the scales in your favor. The decision to recuse himself was a week or so in the making, not a reaction to the days accusations (although I think the timing was bad, I also can’t think of any timing that would be good, the fake news media would pount him no matter what)

      Sessions was involved in the campaign, so it makes sense to have him not involved in any investigations of the campaign.

      David Lang

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      • Sad it’s here but…
        I disagree with you about Sessions tilting scales although lying dems would push.
        I believe the president’s reason was so he could have an AG and also get his spotlight back.
        As long as the AG is the news he gets nothing done but fight active gunfire from the dems.
        Now he can walk around the capital and Trump Tower and do his job.
        His answer to the investigation is, “I don’t know. It’s not my investigation.”
        No story there.
        Now, the AG is free to protect and defend the rest of the US Constitution and find the people he needs to help President Trump MAGA.

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      • >Flynn embarrased the VP early on with statements that caused the VP to say things on national TV that weren’t true.

        Didn’t seem to stop the Obama Democrats. Oh wait, they are unable to feel embarrassment.

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        • If the VP was “embarrassed,” he should resign from the office. His correct action should have been “I believe I misinterpreted what the general said, he did not tell me a lie,” Trouble is, Pence is part of the problem, not part of the solution, since he is “old party” and not truly part of the Trump revolution. Just another of the many compromises that may come back to bite Trump in the long run.

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    • Nice to see your original question was a rhetorical statement. You already knew the reason for Flynn. As for Sessions, if the investigation includes him, he has done exactly the right thing and sent the right signal, by his actions. To make the investigation have the absolute appearance of impartiality, he could not be involved in it. It gives the FBI and the Justice department the opportunity to gain back the public confidence and will help separate the image of this administration from the image of the last one.

      Yes, Trump is not considered “a Republican” by the GOP, thus the official party will “resist” him as much as the Demoncrats do.

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  5. The Democrat Party has no right to exist, time for them to justify their existence. America was not founded as a two party political system, it was an open political system, citizens running for elective office as individuals. That it quickly became a locked two party system is a problem, not a virtue. Representative Republic is what we were founded as, not a democracy as Democrats and leftists continually screech when they lose elections.

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      • The entrenched two party system has long been used by corrupt individuals, elected, appointed and hired, to commit their crimes with impunity. Not just in America.

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  6. The Democrates are not the only ones who need to do some soul searching.

    Trump is not just opposing the Democrat establishment, he is also engaged in tearing down the Republican establishment as well. As the smart businessman that he is, he is attempting to drain the swamp of both Demopublicans and Republicrats. There hasn’t been any real difference between Dem’s and Repub’s since Reagan (and prior to that, Goldwater).

    Does anyone really think that Jeb or Ted or Marco would have had the guts to do, in 4 years, even half of what Trump has done in 40 days? Or would even want to? Probably 30% of Trumps current opposition is from Republicans.

    Both Partie$ have, for a long time, had their agenda $et buy the donor cla$$, (including government employee unions) who $tand to profit by controlling legislation, trade agreement$, energy policie$, etc.

    Exactly as Jefferson feared, too much power has been relegated into the hands of too few people at the Federal level. And members of Congress – on both sides of the aisle – do nothing but the bidding of their donors to keep the money flowing in. After all, if a congressman doesn’t get reelected he’ll have to go out into the real world and get a job! Perish the thought….

    Thank goodness that Trump is rich and old (as is much of his cabinet) and owes nothing to special interests.

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    • The good news is that the Republicans have a number of loud voices reminding them that they have claimed that they weren’t able to do anything without control of X. now they have control of the house, senate, and whitehouse, and as a result will not be seeing the judicial branch stacked against them.

      So if they don’t get _something_ done at this point, they know they will be getting a serious beating from their voters. They may not fully like what is going to be done by Trump, but they know that if they block him too much, they are going to be in trouble.

      Some of them have to learn that perfect is the enemy of better and accept that what Trump is doing, especially in his first year, is not perfect. Yes we are going to have to go after entitlements in the long run, but there’s a lot that can be done to improve things first, and if fewer people are on welfare because the economy has improved, then it will be easier to talk about changes to entitlements.

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      • I would wager that the strength the GOP has right now in Congress will go in a hurry if they “resist” too much. There are more than a few of those elected this past election that got there on the coattails of Trump’s election. You are correct in saying this is the time to perform and produce.

        As for entitlements, just remember an “entitlement” is an unfunded mandate. There is no dedicated tax for the Defense department, for instance, or for State since tariffs are no longer a source of revenue. Interior earns quite a bit of its budget through fees, as does some of the other departments. DHS has no dedicated tax, either, so as a whole, many of the departments can be considered “entitlements.” Social Security and Medicare, on the other hand, have dedicated tax support, so they are not entitlements.

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    • While the MSM likes to characterize what’s going on as political warfare between Republicans and Democrats, I think it more likely to be just the beginning of an emerging conflict between the elites and us common folk who actually foot the bill for all the government programs. It may be the Democrats who are now the target of a more populist movement, but the elite Republicans are not immune to the same sort of opposition.

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  7. You are an optimist. You silently assume that Democrats are a party that sincerely wants to make everybody’s life better. I spent half of my life under Communists. They made grandiose Five Year Plans, everything will be so nice and rosy in mere five years. Next year nothing changed, in three more years no one dared to mention the Grandiose Goals, and then a new Five Year Plan was unveiled with much fanfare. The Party’s only Goal was to feed at the trough. Been there.

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    • Thanks, George, but that assessment of Democrats disagrees with my experience. My friends who are Democrats and Hillary voters are not bad people. You are repeating the mistake of the Democrats, demeaning and dissing the opposition. Democrats are not Communists. By and large, they are like Republicans … that is to say, fools whose intentions are good.

      w.

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      • Thanks for reading my reply. I know I am paranoid, but I see warning signs everywhere. College faculty is 95% Democrat. Mass media carefully select facts to publish. Extremely biased reporting, you have a nice example of CNN aka Clinton News Network in your story Breaking up families. I don’t believe that most Germans, Italians, or Russians in 1930s were bad people. The technique then was to push little by little, so no one would sharpen their pitchfork. Big actions like the Crystal Night came only when there was no opposition left.

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      • Willis, come live in a New England state under a Democrat regime for a while. You’ll find that the leadership is elitist and often criminal at heart. Just as one example, the former Speaker of the House of the RI Legislature is in federal prison right now. He’s just the latest in a long line. Fools, yes. With good intentions? Far from it.

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        • Thanks, Gary. We have plenty of those charming Democratic “leaders” in California. However, I was speaking more of the Democratic voters, many of whom are my friends, when I said that like me they are mostly “fools whose intentions are good

          All the best to you and yours,

          w.

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          • Willis, I may even know some of your friends – they may have been voting Green in 2012, and Bernie in the primaries. My charming girlfriend was in that group. She is a red diaper baby; I still wonder why she tolerated an escapee from the East for years. I had more first-hand experience with the system she advocated, but she never really believed how bad it was. She was not stupid by any means, but, somehow, incomprehensibly for me, she was a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot.

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          • I would agree that the rank and file are not to be confused with their leaders. Same could be said for the Communist party. It is not the party, but the party leaders that are overtly socialist pushing towards communistic policy. The education system has been so distorted that coupled with the MSM, it is difficult for people to actually do the necessary thinking for themselves to understand where the leadership is taking them. The pressure of day to day living for most force them to rely on the least reliable source of information available – the TV talking heads, and equally distorting radio talk shows. It just takes too much time to read, which requires all your attention and can’t be done in “multitask mode.” I don’t agree, therefore, with the statement “fools whose intentions are good.” They aren’t fools, but they trust the wrong leaders, and don’t have time for intentions.

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      • Curious George mentions the Communist system; Willis mentions the Democrat voters.
        “Democrats are not Communists. By and large, they are like Republicans … that is to say, fools whose intentions are good.”
        These views are not contradictory. The Communist system was evil, but I have met real communist workers and they were just working Joes who were a bit naive. Anyone could read a bit of the Communist Manifesto and confuse Idealism with Communism. The Evil Bastards (Chiefio’s term) were the ones who ran the system. Same thing with the Democrats. Voters are ordinary people but I don’t trust the Charming Leaders. Lenin is Out, Communism is Out; being anti-Capitalist and anti-Imperialist is still In. Progressive is In. New boss, same as the old boss.

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  8. The Democratic Party is done. It was decimated not by Trump, but by its own internal, internecine warfare. It now operates as factions with few common goals. The Sanders-Warren socialists. The mainstream more centrist big government cronyism Clinton-Schumer alignment. And the Obama-Perez-Ellison-KHarris-Jarret faction, which brings in Obama’s OFA , and is trying to unite a union labor and inner city sub-factions with their own brand of Communism.

    All the tribalism is on display almost everyday as they try to find a way forward.
    At this point the only thing holding them together is anti-Trumpism. Otherwise they distrust each other.

    The next election cycle (2018) is likely to see a loss of more Senate seats in statesTrump won, like NDak’s Heitkamp, Missouri’s Mccasskill.

    And Obama’s return to politics is going to decimate them even further.

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      • As I stated earlier, IF Trump decides to go for a real party to support him, the Dems and the GOP will combine to become the opposition party. They won’t have the real people support to stay viable alone. What is missing in this country is a real conservative party, and I think there are plenty on both sides of the aisle that would go to a Trump led party since it would be a home for the conservatives. And it would be instilled with the new “tweeting” communication trend, so it could bypass the MSM as means to know what was going on. I think when it comes to the rank and file of both parties, it is the lack of communication about issues and what matters that are killing both parties, but that is intentional on the part of the leadership.

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        • The Tea Party experiment showed that while there are a very substantial number of Conservatives in the country, there aren’t enough of them to beat the Democrats. So until the Democrats implode/fracture, the Tea Party faction will stick with the Republicans so that they have enough of a voice to matter. Once the Democrats fragment, they will split the Republican Party pretty quickly after that.

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  9. Nothing sums up the fate of the Democrats better than the fact that the founder of the Democrat party, Andrew Jackson, is being replaced on the twenty dollar bill by a Republican, Harriet Tubman, leaving the current currency offerings of 3 Republicans (Lincoln (5), Tubman (20), & Grant (50)), along with Washington (1) (no party), Jefferson (2) (Republican-Democrat), Hamilton (10) (Federalist), and Franklin (100) (no party).

    We’ll just have to see what the next crisis is and who responds better in the minds of the voters.

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  10. I was looking for a Democratic Party Mission Statement. The closest thing I found was THE 2016 DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM, 26,574 words. They are for everything good. Maybe the party should reinvent itself, starting with a Mission Statement that does not suffer from obesity.

    A principle of quantum mechanics applies: If your position is everywhere, your momentum is zero.

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  11. Your lining out Ideals, Goals, & Plans is aligned with basic strategic planning or business plans, the terms are a bit different Mission, Vision, Values, Goals, Objectives, and Activities.. That is the way an organization that needs to survive on results or meeting customer expectations survives. The Government and the bureaucracy is driving by process not results. And we are seeing with Trump the clash of a process driving organization with a results driven leader… in the past our elected officials have focused on ideals followed by process..

    To your larger point the spiraling down of the Democrat Party.. I first saw this in the 2012 conventions.. at the Democrat convention were the old guard with a few young people who were the news of the day and not in any position to move up.. the Republican Convention had young elected officials with varied cultural backgrounds as keynoters e.g. Mia Love, & Susana Martinez.. You look at the Republican House Leadership, young, the Democrats have the old guard clinging to their positions.. the Senate isn’t quite there yet, but Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jason Chaffets, Tim Scott, et al are pushing to get there.. On the Democrat side it is Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin.. and you have to go a ways down the chart to get to Mark Warner, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Manchin, Tammy Baldwin, et al who are not pushing the leadership, and some of those are in danger of getting tossed by their states if they go too far with the current Democrat platform or getting shunned if they truly represent their state..

    In my humble opinion if we want to avoid one party rule (as in California), both parties need to be split into either three of four parties that truly reflect their core ideals.. since the there are ideological fights within the parties on their core beliefs, it is nearly impossible to come up with goals and plans and keep the party together.. If that doesn’t happen the Sanders and Trumps of the world will scale to the top of the leadership chain because they present their Ideals, Goals, and Plan, and will be met with resistance from both parties, as neither were a “true” member of the party they were representing on the ballot..

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  12. Mr. Eschenbach,
    I have greatly enjoyed your writings both here and at WUWT.

    You need not worry about the disappearance of the Democratic party. We will always have demagogic politicians who are willing and happy to manipulate voters using the age-old tools of envy and jealousy.

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  13. Excellent post Willis!

    When I have time I may weigh in with my 2 cents worth but it would likely simply mirror your views.

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  14. You forgot one of President Trump’s most important ‘Ideals;’ “Drain the Swamp!”

    A large portion of American voters have caught clue that the Washington Elites, which are comprised of the Democrats and the Republicans and called the Uniparty by some, are in it strictly for themselves.

    President Trump labeled candidate Clinton “Crooked Hillary” and it stuck because enough information regarding the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton’s collusion with the press corpse to screw Bernie Sanders and then Donald Trump managed to escape to the public via the internet. American voters were/are fed up with crooked politicians and the Clintons are the personification of ‘swamp creatures’ cynically enriching themselves at the expense of the American public.

    So what’s a Democrat to do? Bernie Sanders showed that he could run successfully as an unabashed Socialist. If the Democrat party ran honestly as the Socialists they are, they would garner certain percent of support and that would be the extent of their viability as a political party.

    Since the Democrats have not run honest campaigns as Socialists or unabashed elitist-swamp-dwellers, they will eventually be relegated to the dustbin of history, as will the Republican elitist-swamp-dwellers.

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    • Not at all inadvertent, Pops. It’s not only a play on the former President’s gaffe when he ignorantly used the term ‘Marine Corpse,’ but also conveys my opinion that the YSM (Yellow Stream Media, comprised of jurinalists) are dead men walking and they don’t even know it. (h/t Al Gore and his invention of the internet)

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  15. Dam Willis, who’s side are you on??? LOL! Hey a very good review as always. I love the depth on your thoughts and how you put them on paper….keep up the great work and “thank you” for starting your own site. I check it daily and get disappointed when you don’t post…

    Regards,
    D.J.Feindel

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  16. Don’t worry if the Democrat Party dissolves. The Progressives still own the media, academia, and millions dependent on the State. They will continue to make a mess and harm the Republic under a new banner.

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  17. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453469/russian-revolution-centenary-100-years-communist-hell
    November 7, 1917 — Lenin stages a coup and begins the first hundred years of communism (except they didn’t call it that at first, and that there aren’t many communist countries left). Russia and China have become more capitalist and the west has become more socialist.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/03/millennials-think-socialism-would-create-great-safe-space-study-finds.html
    “Nearly 45 percent of millennials polled said that they would prefer to live in a socialist country compared to the 42 percent who said they preferred a capitalist one. Another 7 percent said that the preferred living in a communist country above all.”

    https://motls.blogspot.com/2017/11/among-us-millennials-socialism-beats.html
    “Third, why is it “socialism” that is OK while “communism” remains a marginal direction? I suppose that they imagine communism to be “something like socialism plus the killing of millions of people”. But that’s not really the key to understand the difference between the two words. Socialism is the system one can actually build while communism is some unsustainable utopia that is being promised by those who keep communism.”

    “Democrats are not Communists. By and large, they are like Republicans … that is to say, fools whose intentions are good.”

    Some youth are idealistic, which is to say their intentions are good. They could be naive or they could be fools, or they could be pragmatic. They could also be easily fooled and become tools of someone who uses them. Easy, just promise them utopia. Real soon now.

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  18. “Socialism is the system one can actually build” This is the lie Democrat Party scumbags are using to destroy America. Their intentions are not good, they are to destroy America as it was founded, to destroy capitalism, to destroy modern energy production and manufacturing and modern, high production agriculture. Giving them cover by pretending they are well intentioned but misguided is the height of foolishness.

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    • Exactly. You can build it, but is it what you really want? America was great because it had an individualistic culture that rewarded the work ethic, innovation, meritocracy, etc, and because capitalism was compatible with that. In socialist countries there is a culture which discourages anyone from being outstanding. Attract them with the welfare state, give them the nanny state.

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      • And yet you attribute good intentions to self declared enemies of America, the Democrat Party and other leftists. As for that second comment, got no idea where you are trying to go with it.

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      • I believe this is the sentence you are referring to: “Some youth are idealistic, which is to say their intentions are good.” I can see how that can be confusing. Does “good intentions” mean the same as their intentions are good”? Does “good” mean I think they are good or does it mean they think so? To be clear I mean that they have intentions which they think are good. You and I don’t think so, and the expression “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” might apply.

        There are those who want to destroy the existing system and there are those who want to improve it by some misguided foolish way and there are some who don’t want to change anything except who is in power. See also “noble cause corruption”.

        BTW, “Socialism is the system one can actually build” is a quote from Lubos, who has actually lived under socialism/communism and who is far from being a fan of either.

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    • “Don’t work so hard, you are making the rest of us look bad!” — Have you ever heard that? Maybe in your union? The nordic countries even have a word for that: Janteloven, you can Google it.
      “The Law of Jante is the description of a pattern of group behaviour towards individuals within Nordic countries that negatively portrays and criticises individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate.”
      There’s more.

      Just a thought, individualism is masculine, socialism is feminine, in an allegorical kind of way. And communism is a macho leader and emasculated followers. And fascism is a macho leader and macho followers? Wait, this must be a bad dream…

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