The Federal Page for Fall 2020
I have asked some folks in the 5th District regarding the Republican runoff last August between Stephanie Bice and Terry Neese. I was informed that it was ugly.
State Senator Stephanie Bice has a cumulative voting score in this paper of 58 percent. That’s just right of center. Her voting record makes her an “eh” choice for conservatives in the general election against Congresswoman Kendra Horn. Conservative commentator William F. Buckley Jr. believed conservatives should rally behind the most conservative candidate who can win an election. He didn’t believe it practical to insist on perfection, but just that the candidate be consistently conservative. If Stephanie Bice had a higher rating of, say, 70 percent, she would be a solid choice against Kendra Horn. Instead, she’s milk toast.
Electing Stephanie Bice would be an improvement over Kendra Horn, but not by enough to inspire the rank and file to get out and work for her. They will already be voting for President Trump and Senator Inhofe. Therefore, she may be able to grab on to those coat tails. It would be good to get her out of the State Senate. Two years ago, I supported Broken Arrow State Senator Nathan Dahm for Congress in the 1st District. At the time, I had misgivings; what if he wins and becomes one of 435 members in the House? In the State Senate where he’s one of 48, he has been able to accomplish good things for Oklahoma.
The Bice/Neese runoff may have produced too much blood on the floor for any unity to emerge against an incumbent with the deep pocket support of the Chambercrats.
Morton Blackwell’s Rule 29
What will happen this November in the election? Who knows?
What I do know is Morton Blackwell’s “The Laws of the Public Policy Process,” which are practical, non- ideological rules, should be followed by those who are involved in politics. Mr. Blackwell is the founder of The Leadership Institute (L.I.), which has been the training institute for young conservatives not only in the United States but worldwide. I interned for the L.I. in the fall of 1996. It was one of the great experiences of my life.
Rule 29 states: “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.” In other words, you must offer the voters a viable choice; otherwise they will go with what they know.
Former Vice President Joe Biden will soon be 78 just after the election. He’s alreay older than President Reagan was when he left the White House. And his age is showing. Will the voters choose a man to be president who is clearly in the early stages of dementia? Voters may want off what they perceive as “this crazy Trump train.” In the first presidential debate in late September, President Trump did not fail to get in his own way, at which he seems to be a master. His petulant behavior merely confirms perceptions against him. He is the Muhammed Ali of presidents, and then Ali met Larry Holmes.
Biden’s running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, is not only a far left choice, but a dreadful one. If Biden wins, that Devil woman with her blood-stained fangs will be one heartbeat away from the presidency.
I have a question for many of you. Why do you not have misgivings about Senator Inhofe, who is Joe Biden’s senior by eight years? I realize Senator Inhofe is the only choice in this general election, but should he be running for another six year term? He will turn 86 about the same time this November as Joe Biden turns 78.
In September of 2018, then Judge, now Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh was subjected to the most grotesque of inquisitions. He was falsely accused of attempted rape by a woman whom he probably never even met. The treatment he received galvanized Republican voters that November. While the House was lost for the GOP, the party gained seats in the Senate. Today, with the death of arch-liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the confirmation of Circuit Court Judge and Norte Dame law school professor Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court Justice is all but assured as of this writing. Watching Judge Barrett at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee has to make some skeptics ask, if Trump is such a boob, why would he appoint someone so smart to the Supreme Court? It will be nice to see someone on the high court who did not go to Harvard or Yale.
I have attempted to give my rating on the performance of a sitting president after four years in office. My criteria are based on social/domestic, foreign policies, and communications. This is a long list as he is one of the most consequential presidents we have had in several decades. Communications are a new category.
He gets an “A” for social issues. He is the first president to attend in person the March for Life Rally in Washington last January. He has appointed judges to the federal bench, including three to the Supreme Court, who are vetted for their adherence to the Constitution.
In September, he signed the Born Alive executive order to protect newborns who are planned for abortion. He has done many things to protect the unborn.
A “B” is deserved for his handing of the economy. With his 2017 tax cut and deregulation of businesses he created the most robust ecomony in 50 years. It was a remarkable achievement. In addition, he re-negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) creating the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, a much better deal for American manufacturing. This was a major undertaking on his part. And he has worked on getting a much better trade deal with China, which is why China wants him gone. China’s virus managed to harm severely our economy and may kill his chances at re-election.
The national debt has gotten bigger under the Trump administration. In October the national debt reached 27 trillion dollars! 27 TRILLION! For this debt I drop a whole letter grade on him for the economy. The national debt is a bi-partisan crime for which generations now and in the future will pay.
I give him an “A.” He did what no other president would do: move the American Embassy in Israel out of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Other presidents had promised to do this. He did it. His predecessors’ lack of resolve on this matter stems from Arab resistance to any acknowlegement of Jerusalem as the Jewish capital. And he brokered an historic peace deal with the Arab Gulf states of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates this year, which is astounding. He deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for this achievement, unlike Barack Obama who was given the prize in 2009 for being Barack Obama.
He has also worked to get western European nations to pay more for their own defense, rather than relying on the U.S. to defend them from Russia. America has taken on the role of defending Europe for 75 years now, which is beyond the life span of the Soviet Union. He is correct in insisting it’s time our allies step up and pay for their own defense.
He has erected 182 miles of fencing along the U.S.- Mexico border even when Congress, both in Democrat and Republican controls, would not allow him the funding. He did it by taking some of the budget out of defense spending to pay for the border wall.
He is the first president to take China on as a serious economic and military threat and has worked to re-build our military. It is very possible that COVID 19, the Wuhan virus, is a military weapon unleashed by the Chinese to bring chaos into the world and instability in America. China needs President Trump out of its way.
I would give him an “A +,” but he wasted time and effort on North Korea. Attempting to get the leader of that sad nation to give up its nuclear weapons is like trying to get Lucifer to give up sin. It’s a waste of time. All that came out of those meetings between the two leaders was a series of awful photo-ops.
Communications are a new category for rating a presidency as it is significant in the case of Donald Trump. I give him a “D-” for communications. It may seem unfair to add a new category that has not been used in the past when I have rated presidents, but communications have been a factor in why he may lose re-election. Whether it’s wasting time at the begining of his administration bragging about crowd size at his innaguration or going on a Twitter storm arguing with his then secretary of state about who is smarter, Donald Trump gets in his own way when communicating, and he has paid a high price in political capital for it. He would receive a failing grade, but he does tout his own achievements and has a genuine rapport with his audiences at rallies.
My Final Column
This is my final column for The Oklahoma Constitution. It has been 20 years since I started writing from Washington, D.C. At the time I was a temporary staffer for Texas Congressman Kevin Brady in his Captiol Hill office, answering constituents’ mail. For these past two decades and four administrations I have enjoyed sharing my views with you every three months. Some of my best work has been in these pages. After 20 years I think I should do something else. As a writer, I’ve deceived myself a few times, thinking I was still “in the writing game” because I write something here every three months, but not at any other time. I’m writing my second book now; this one is about Clear Creek Abbey near Hulbert, Oklahoma.
I hope some good writing will fill the pages I leave behind. There is a need for The Federal Page as we need to be aware of many of the votes and other deeds of our congressional delegation.
It has been an honor to write for this important publication in my state, a state that I love. To my readers and to Steve Byas and Ron McWhirter I offer my thanks and gratitude. Thank you.
“It’s only very small groups of people who stand out against any consensus. People who are different in some way, they may be cranks, they may be genuises, they don’t accept what the majority accept.”
– British Historian Lord Skidelsky on free market conservatives in Britian during the post war years of socialism.
Theodore J. King is an Oklahoma native. He spent the summer of 1994 at the Republican National Committee, worked at the National Right to Work Committee, and on the Hill in Washington D.C. In 1999 he worked for Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas and later at the Media Research Center in Alexandria, Virginia. He served as our Washington D.C. correspondent beginning in 2001and continued since his return to Oklahoma. He also writes online for The Daily Caller (www.dailycaller.com) and is the author of The War on Smokers and the Rise of the Nanny State.