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Assault on America, Day 265: If the Founding Fathers didn’t always agree, why should we?

Ben Franklin
In Williamsburg, Virginia, last week I attended a program on Constitution Day (September 17th, for you history-challenged folks) where James Madison -- or the incredibly skilled actor/historian who portrays the legendary Constitution-scribing Virginian -- described the difficulties of compiling and then passing the groundbreaking governing charter that places authority squarely in the hands of the People.

The hastily assembled Articles of Confederation (enacted while the Revolutionary War was still raging, approved in November, 1777 and ratified in March, 1781) weren’t working in the years after the Treaty of Paris was signed, Madison explained, leading to numerous calls to either dissolve the newly formed United States and allow the individual jurisdictions go their separate ways -- or to start anew under a different system granting more authority to the central government vis-à-vis the states.

During the presentation Madison read a passage from Benjamin Franklin delineating the reasons why the wise Pennsylvanian planned to vote in favor of the grand bargain between the competing interests at the convention. Franklin’s note could be summed up as thus: “It (the Constitution) ain’t perfect but it’s as close as anyone’s ever going to get.”

So there you have it. The compromise of all compromises didn’t make anyone happy then or ever since, though for two hundred and thirty-two years since passage (and eventual ratification, which is another story entirely), the Constitution has presided over our turbulent union. With America currently bitterly divided into two increasingly antagonistic factions, one wonders whether such tenuous cooperation can or will last.

Democrats don’t like Republicans and Republicans don’t like Democrats. The liberal party especially despises Donald Trump, and some among them are sowing the seeds of discord so as to make the president appear less in control of his side than he really is. The always good for a chuckle Juan Williams wrote at The Hill, “Fear of a larger jail-break from the cult of enforced silence among Republicans about Trump’s failures is the big reason the president’s campaign officials have pushed state party officials to cancel Republican presidential primaries in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina.

“And that fear explains why the Republican National Committee is withholding polling data on the president from GOP candidates for state and local offices...

“Trump has already thinned the ranks of high-profile Republican voices willing to challenge him on his lack of results and impulsive, autocratic behavior. GOP critics are shut down by the threat of being targeted by one of Trump’s angry tweets or worse — having Trump endorse a far-right opponent.”

Hmmm. Williams almost makes it sound like Trump spends the preponderance of his time scanning the electronic horizon for signs of unhappiness among establishment Republicans, itching to haul out his phone to let loose another nasty tweet against some poor unsuspecting victim. Everyone -- including Williams -- knows there are three announced primary challengers to Trump (Mark Sanford, Bill Weld and Joe Walsh) and as far as I know the head of the party hasn’t ordered a goon squad to prevent them from appearing on liberal cable news channels to articulate anti-Trump brainwaves and ideas.

The Fox News Democrat commentator seems to believe the RNC is sitting on bad polling news for Trump and the president is in worse shape now than he’s ever been, a debatable point but certainly doesn’t appear to be the case. Trump’s Real Clear Politics polling average has remained remarkably stable (give or take a point or two) for a long time, which, if anything, indicates Americans are either tightly bound to the president or can’t stand him in the slightest.

If this weren’t the case there would be large spikes or depressions in the squiggly line, but it just isn’t happening. Trump may not be the most nationally unifying figure the country’s ever seen, but in these post-Obama times, what one person could be? If Jeb Bush had won the 2016 primary -- and then, like Trump, dispatched the Chardonnay-soaked Hillary Clinton in the general -- would his popularity numbers be that much better? How about Marco Rubio? Carly Fiorina? Ben Carson? Ted Cruz? Or… gulp, Lindsey Graham?

Or what if Hillary Clinton had actually fulfilled the prophecies of all the establishment pundits and prognosticators on both sides and sent Trump crawling back to Trump Tower in New York City to live out his days as the world’s biggest loser? Would a President Hillary be enjoying sky-high approval ratings after keeping many of her promises, like appointing liberal Supreme Court justices, pushing through an Obamacare dwarfing government healthcare takeover, unsealing the border (and letting all the illegal aliens flow in) and hiking taxes on the rich…? Would today’s strong economy have led to equally impressive popularity for the first woman president?

But there wouldn’t be a robust economy if Hillary had won, you say… but she’s a woman, okay!

Objectively speaking, is Williams correct and Trump is leading a “cult of enforced silence” against his would-be Republican detractors? If that’s spot-on then there must’ve been a wave of political “interventions” because plenty of GOPers have spoken out against Trump. If they’re merely protectors of the swampy status quo, Trump does hit them back with negative tweets -- and deservedly so. Or if they’re like Mark Sanford and running to settle a personal score (because Trump supported his primary opponent) there isn’t much of a leg to stand on. Or if they’re glory seekers, longtime losers (this pretty much pegs Joe Walsh and Bill Weld), then Trump’s tens of millions of Twitter followers deserve to be told about it.

If Trump’s tweets were formal, boring and mundane, would anyone read them?

Contrary to Juan’s opinion, there are those who disagree with Trump in principled ways and are spared the chief executive’s electronic lash. Senator Rand Paul, for example, has criticized Trump’s budget compromises (capitulations?) and certain aspects of the administration’s foreign policy, yet the former 2016 primary rival and son of libertarian-to-the-core Ron Paul isn’t on anyone’s party blacklist, especially Trump’s. And there are members of the House Freedom Caucus who haven’t been too happy about the GOP’s lack of fight on some issues and have called for the president to be more aggressive in leaning on the wayward Republicans.

Trump seems to get along fine with the principled conservatives in Congress. It’s the wishy-washy establishment weenies who draw his ire.

The conservative grassroots remain in Trump’s camp because he represents them about as well as anyone could these days. Kind of like what Ben Franklin said about the Constitution, Trump isn’t perfect but he’s as good as we’re going to get in this day and age where no one’s completely satisfied and lots of things aren’t what they should be (like the federal deficit and the national debt).

Perhaps Juan would be better served penning columns about the widening schisms within the Democrat ranks where Obama veep Joe Biden’s struggling to hold onto his polling lead against a gaggle of ambitious socialists who want his political scalp (or maybe just “Pocahontas” Warren does). Democrats likely aren’t loving the weakness of their presidential field, and there’s plenty of evidence that trouble lies ahead for them.

Why? It’s looking more and more like a three-horse race for the Democrats, and all the nags are long past their prime running days. California favorite daughter Kamala Harris can’t even keep up in her home territory. Joseph Simonson reported at The Washington Examiner, “Kamala Harris is trailing considerably in her home state, well behind front-runners Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren and even lagging long-shot hopeful Andrew Yang, according a poll of California Democratic voters released Tuesday.

“A survey by Emerson Polling found Biden and Sanders tied for first, with both receiving 26% support. Warren placed third with 20%. Democratic primary voters gave fourth place to tech entrepreneur Yang, with 7% support, while Harris is in fifth at 6%.

“The rest of the field was also far behind the leaders. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke placed at 5% and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 4%. The rest of the field polled at 2% or less.”

People used to say, “As goes California, so goes the nation,” which is becoming less and less reliable as the once conservative Golden State tilts further and further to the left. But today’s Democrats might take some sort of signal from the folks out west since the state will have a big say in who accepts the Democrat nomination next summer. Unlike in years past California’s prominent move to Super Tuesday guarantees party candidates will campaign there and pay attention to it.

Better prepare yourself for a lot of rear-end smooching if you’re a California Democrat voter. And it’s clear her home state will make or break Harris’s candidacy, the flighty newcomer on the national scene who must’ve surmised her skin color and lack of male genitalia made her a cinch to succeed Barack Obama as the head of the party.

Candidates like Harris only wish they had the “troubles” President Trump’s supposedly experiencing with Republicans (at least according to Juan Williams). As time goes on the picture gets clearer -- and Democrats don’t have a clue what they’re going to do. Will they opt for the “safe” choice in Biden, the doddering memory challenged proven liar… or go out on a limb and select a real longshot like Yang?

It sure appears as though “Pocahontas” Warren is the new de facto frontrunner since she seems to be the first or second choice on everyone’s list. The Democrat establishment hates Sanders (because he’s unelectable) and is very unsure of Biden -- so Warren’s almost looking like the one who can consolidate party primary voters into tangible support.

Both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans suffer from the same type of political malady -- the lack of a party grassroots that agrees on everything. The American system isn’t built to satisfy everyone. The best anyone can do is rely on principle and hope the rest falls in line naturally.

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