Here are the prepared remarks for my presentation to the Glacier Country Pachyderm Club on Nov. 13, 2020, on “The State of the Republican Party.”
Presentation to Pachyderm Club, Nov. 13, 2020, Kalispell MT
By Frank Miele
I’d like to center my talk today on the question, “What is the state of the Republican Party?”
There can be no doubt that the state of the Republican Party in Flathead County is strong. The state of the Republican Party in Montana is as strong as I’ve ever seen it. And the state of the Republican Party in the United States — to the fear and consternation of the media — is also strong. More on that later.
But first, a quote from Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president as he was addressing a Republican banquet in 1856, shortly after Election Day:
“We have selected and elected a Republican State ticket,” he is reported to have said. “We have done what we supposed to be our duty. It is now the duty of those elected to give us a good Republican Administration.”
It seems like a simple formula, but it doesn’t seem so easy to practice — at least not until Trump was elected.
Time and again, when Republicans have been elected, whether to the presidency, the Senate, the House or to the office of state legislator in Montana, it seems like they fail to honor the most basic promise of their election — “the duty to give us a good Republican administration.”
John McCain, Mitt Romney, George W. Bush along with many other Republicans seem more interested in being liked than in being leaders — and as a result they are neither well-liked nor able to lead well. That’s because Republican voters who “do their duty” to elect a Republican ticket do not do so in order to see their principles compromised or to see Democrat agendas advanced for the sake of “getting something done.” They instead want to see Republican ideas advanced — and if they fail at this session or during this presidency, they want them to be revisited at the next session or during the next Republican presidency. That is how Democrats govern, and what they promise their voters, and that is why they succeed in moving their agenda forward while Republicans flutter and fail.
My latest book is called “How We Got Here.” Even though the columns in it were written from 2004 to 2018, it is about as timely as it can get. The subtitle says it all: “The Left’s Assault on the Constitution (and the ongoing efforts to defend it).”
I’ll have some copies available after the meeting, but I won’t make you buy the book to find out the plot — we kill the socialist monster, and then it comes back, over and over again. I’m not sure if it will ever end, but one thing is for certain, you had better not relax — and if you love the U.S. Constitution, you had better not leave it alone with a socialist, or you will come back and find out it has been gutted and killed.
I don’t have to tell you that the biggest enemy of the Constitution these days is “the courts.” A perfect example is the Pennsylvania court ruling that decided to allow voting to continue for three days after election day — in contravention of the Constitution’s provision in Article II that the state legislatures are in charge of federal elections.
The second biggest enemy of the Constitution is — well, take your pick: Democrats? Socialists? The media? Bureaucrats? It could be any of them, but I’ll go with APATHY.
We live in a country that too often just doesn’t give a damn. Have you read one editorial condemning the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for its outrageous decision regarding late votes? Heck, even the chief justice of the United States could not be bothered to slap the hand of the Pennsylvania court for its blatant violation of the plain language of the Constitution.
Another example of the pervasive influence of apathy on our civic institutions is Early Voting. Why would anyone want to vote before they have all the information possible? Don’t you want to know that the person you are voting for just admitted to cheating on his wife like the Democrat running for Senate in North Carolina? Or that the presidential candidate you liked had a son who was selling access to his father when he was vice president of the United States? Or for that matter that the former vice president Joe Biden was comfortable taking a share of a deal with the Chinese Communist Party?
It’s sad, and it demonstrates the No. 1 need for Republicans in the short term — to stay engaged. Don’t just pack up your Trump gear and go to lick your wounds. It’s time to take stock of your losses and come back stronger than ever. That’s the lesson of Barry Goldwater’s loss in 1964 and Ronald Reagan’s failure to win the nomination in 1976. Take the energy you have right now and build on it because 2024 is just around the corner, and there are 71 million voters who want revenge. Don’t disappoint them!
In Montana it is now time to give the voters what they demanded — “a good Republican Administration,” in the words of Lincoln. Republican governor — check. Republican House — check. Republican Senate — check. Republican secretary of state — check. Republican attorney general — check. Republican state auditor — check. Republican superintendent of schools — check.
So what are we waiting for? A gilded engraved invitation?
Here’s the good news for Montana Republicans: The RINO-inspired Solutions Caucus is out of business. The solution no longer involves compromising with Democrats to get legislation passed.
For the next four years, the solution should be Republicans in the Legislature voting like Republicans and giving the Repubican governor bills to sign that Republican voters want to become law.
That means anti-abortion restrictions, gun protections, rolling back anti-business regulations, promoting natural resource extraction, school choice — you know the agenda better than I do.
If the Solutions Caucus keeps voting with the minority Democrats, then they deserve to have a new name — I’ll leave it to your imagination what that should be. There are some interesting phrases that come to my mind, but I don’t want to upset anyone present in mixed company.
But, of course, there is bad news, too: We are in a war. Republicans have won one small battle in Montana, a distant outpost far from the center of power in Washington, D.C., but you have big decisions to make.
Even if Donald Trump should eventually lose the battle for re-election, he is not going away, and the movement he started is certainly not going away. Again, the lesson of my book “How We Got Here” is that Democrats have always been dedicated to the long game. They started the progressive movement in the 1880s, gave it a name in the 1900s, passed most of its agenda in the 1910s, and then waited for the seeds to sprout — which they did with poisonous weed-like efficiency over the next 100 years. The popular election of senators gave them a means to control their agenda. The income tax and the Federal Reserve gave them a source of money to fund that agenda, and the rest is history.
Speaking of history, remember when government controlled health care was an impossibility? I’ve read stories from the 1950s when senators were deriding the absurd notion of the federal government taking over responsibility for people’s medical care, yet it just took just 50 years for health care to go from a family’s responsibility to a “human right.” And the Democrats know that once a “right” has been granted, it is almost impossible to rescind, short of revolution or collapse.
Donald Trump has worked tirelessly to rescind the liberal agenda of the Democrats for the past four years — he has done so almost single handedly while being opposed by virtually every facet of society — from the Democrats to the intelligence community to the media to the bureaucracy to even his own Cabinet and his own Republican senators and governors. One man has worked to give us a good Republican Administration, and now his work stands in the balance.
So what will you answer? What will you do?
If you want to know the state of the Republican Party today, you have two choices. You can be the same old Republican Party that Barack Obama led by the nose, or you can be the Republican Party of Donald Trump. Put it simply, you can be good old Charlie Brown letting Lucy pull the football out from under you time after time, or you can be Donald Trump and fight back. Think of him as Peppermint Patty — a scrapper who you want to have on your side.
So that’s where we are right now. Donald Trump is fighting back just like he has had to do time after time for the last four years, and the Republican Party had better have his back.
No, we don’t have to riot in the streets the way that Democrats do when they don’t get their way, but we need to make it clear that the people do not accept the media narrative that Donald Trump lost the election and is a sore loser. We can’t just let Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and the New York Times tell us about how there is no evidence of fraud and how safeguards were in place to ensure election security. Really? Are we supposed to believe anything the media tells us after four years of hearing their endless lies?
So yes, we need to stand strong. We need to honor the American traditions of true peaceful protest and of civil disobedience to let the powers that be know that they don’t own us. The Democrats and Black Lives Matter have disowned and disgraced the heritage of Martin Luther King, but Republicans can honor the role of faith and fortitude in standing up to obvious injustice. We need to stay 71 million strong. We can’t afford to lose one soul if we want to prevail. We need to make it clear to Republican leaders across the country, and especially in the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona that we don’t accept the results of the election and won’t accept them until there is a reasonable explanation for all the irregularities that plagued the night of Nov. 3 and the morning of Nov. 4. Just why did the vote counting stop in all the major cities in those states? Why was Donald Trump ahead by hundreds of thousands of votes when we went to bed and then losing by a convenient margin when we woke up?
Keep fighting. Don’t let the media set the narrative. We the People need to set the narrative, and speaking of which, the supposed loss of Donald Trump is the one piece that doesn’t fit the narrative of election night. You see, Republicans performed remarkably well on Nov. 3. Not just in Montana, but across the nation.
Indeed, that’s why my column today at Real Clear Politics is called “Why Democrats Ought Not Celebrate Too Hard.”
I’ll finish up my remarks by reading from that column.
There is something unseemly about the Democrats’ insistence that the apparent defeat of President Trump in the recent election is a repudiation of Republican policies.
The two key words in that sentence are “apparent” and “repudiation.”
First of all, as everyone knows but the news media refuse to acknowledge, Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory is unofficial, and if there were a plot to steal the election in battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, then Biden’s “apparent” victory could possibly turn into jail time for some high-placed Democrats.
One of the most compelling reasons why the GOP might be able to find evidence of election fraud is that so-called “repudiation” of Trump and his policies that Democrats have been trumpeting for the last two weeks. You know, the repudiation where the alleged white supremacist increased his share of the black vote nationwide from 8% in 2016 to 12% in 2020. The repudiation where “Build That Wall” Trump went from 28% of the Latino vote to 34% in four years. The repudiation where Trump’s support among women ticked upward — and did so among male voters as well.
Either way, I suppose the current status of the presidential election justifies a celebration by Democrats for the time being. Too bad for them — it may be the last celebration they get to enjoy for quite some while.
Up next will be the Jan. 5, 2021, runoff elections for two Senate seats in Georgia. On paper, this looks like a great opportunity for the Democrats to gain a majority in the upper chamber. (If they win both seats, the resulting 50-50 tally would allow presumed Vice President Kamala Harris to break tie votes in her role as president of the Senate.) But this is also a perfect chance for voters in a swing state narrowly carried by the Biden-Harris ticket to express buyers’ remorse.
Democrats are expected to spend at least $100 million to topple incumbent Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, but I suspect that all the money in the world could not entice Georgians to give Biden and Harris their socialist majority in the Senate. Divided government is all that stands between us and the stock market crash of 2021, and Republicans will make sure that everyone knows what’s at stake. Chuck Schumer, who would be majority leader if Democrats prevail, yelled excitedly at a rally, “Now we take Georgia, then we change the world!” This jarring overreach ought to scare the bejesus out of Americans who don’t want to see the Constitution rewritten by a power-mad clique of coastal elites.
If I am right, and Mitch McConnell remains as Senate majority leader for at least the next two years, then the Biden legacy will have to be based on executive orders and Trump policy plagiarisms because McConnell will make sure the new president gets just as much courtesy and compromise from the Senate that Nancy Pelosi showed Donald Trump in the House. Ain’t payback a bitch?
As for Pelosi, does anyone think she will be a powerful speaker of the House in the next Congress? A few seats remain to be officially decided, but it looks like Democrats will have the slimmest majority imaginable with as few as 221 seats. Since 10 of those Democrats did not vote for Pelosi in the last Congress, it is entirely possible that she will be unable to get the 218 votes she needs to return as speaker. Even if she does, her majority will be so tenuous that it will be difficult if not impossible to get through the radical agenda envisioned by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. This is the most important untold story of the 2020 election.
But it gets even worse for Democrats.
Republicans didn’t just gain seats in the U.S. House; they gained seats in statehouses as well. That will strengthen the Republican hand as the legislatures in many states control the redrawing of U.S. House districts, which happens every 10 years following the census. The next census itself could also benefit Republicans if enough people moved out of historically blue states to pad the congressional delegations in states like Texas and Florida.
Without getting into the minutiae, Republicans can expect to gain between a half dozen and two dozen safe House seats going into the 2022 midterm elections, depending on how ruthlessly they wield their power. If so, that would give a President Biden just two years to accomplish his liberal transformation of the nation. In addition, if the House flipped to the Republicans in 2022, it would open up the possibility of using the impeachment power of the lower chamber against Biden in retribution for Adam Schiff’s overreaching attacks on President Trump.
What about the Senate in 2022? That’s the one bright spot for Democrats. Just as they were this year, Republicans will be on the defensive. Assuming that Georgia remains Republican after the Jan. 5 runoff elections, then the GOP would start with a 52-48 majority. Republicans would be defending 21 seats in 2022 while only 13 Democratic seats would be up for grabs. Democrats would only need a net gain of two seats to regain control of the chamber with a Democrat as vice president. It’s too early to game out all the possible scenarios, but it does provide a glimmer of hope for Democrats at the very least.
Nonetheless, when you consider all the components of political control for the next four years, if you are a Republican you have reason to be optimistic. And if you are a Democrat, you have good reason to start making excuses.
Oh, did I mention 2024? The worst nightmare for Democrats is that Donald Trump loses reelection this year but remains engaged with the electorate. With Richard Nixon, it was a joke, but with Trump, it sounds like a convincing campaign slogan: “He’s tan, he’s rested and he’s ready” — and he has unfinished business.
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Heartland Diary is solely operated by Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. If you enjoy reading these daily essays, I hope you will SUBSCRIBE to www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com by leaving your email address on the home page. Also please consider purchasing one of my books. They are available through the following Amazon links. My new book is âHow We Got Here: The Leftâs Assault on the Constitutionâ and is now available in paperback and as an eBook. It is 536 pages long and chock full of research on the progressive movement and the patriotic heroes who have fought against it. My earlier books include “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” and the “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” As an Amazon Associate, I may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases through links on my website. Also please subscribe to Heartland Diary on YouTube by clicking here for News Every Conservative Can Use.Â