Howard Schultz: no love from the Democrats

I’ve been keeping my eye on Howard Schultz. I’ve noticed that he is getting no love from the Democrats, even though he would probably like to head the Democratic Party ticket in 2020.

Howard Schultz is exactly what the Democratic Party needs:  a center-left candidate who is pro-business, and progressive but not revolutionary on social issues.

Schultz, however, recently stirred a backlash among Democrats. He had the gall to debunk Kamala Harris’s unicorn plan to abolish private health insurance overnight, and replace it with a top-down federal government plan. In a country as large and diverse as the United States, socialized medicine would be an unmitigated disaster, and Howard Schultz knows this–as does anyone with a basic grasp of economics.

Schultz was correct in pointing out that the Republicans have tended to ignore the healthcare crisis, whereas Democrats can think only in terms of socializing health insurance. An effective solution likely would involve a role for government; but it would be fundamentally market-based (a dirty word if you’re a Democrat, nowadays.)

The Democratic Party is also currently obsessed with identity-group politics. Democratic strategist Symone Sanders has said that she doesn’t want “white people” leading the party anymore. This racialist sentiment would have been regarded as radical in the Democratic Party of 2000. But not in the Democratic Party that approaches 2020.

The first priority of the Democrats heading into 2020 will be “diversity”. In practice, this  will likely mean a fire-breathing radical like Kamala Harris or Julian Castro.

And if that happens, the Democrats can forget about the suburban “soccer mom” vote.

America is by nature a centrist country. Most Americans are not radicals of either the far-right or the far-left variety.

Ideological indulgence therefore has a cost in national elections. The GOP discovered that in the midterms of 2018. The Democratic Party will relearn it in the presidential elections of 2020.

Kamala Harris and the world’s oldest profession

This across the transom today: Kamala Harris is not the favored candidate of our nation’s sex workers.

Why? She has a history of supporting legislation that either reinforces outright bans on their trade, or otherwise makes it more difficult.

It has been said that social conservatives want to ban sex work because it involves sex, while left-wingers want to ban sex work because it involves money. This might not be too far from the truth.  In any event, the legalization of sex work has few advocates among either of our two major political parties.

One can easily make the case that in a perfect world, no women would be sex workers, and no men would be their clients. In a less than perfect world, however, we allow emancipated adults to make their own choices–even when they make the wrong ones.

You might ask: Would you want your daughter to be a sex worker? I won’t dodge that question. The answer is a resounding “NO”.  But it’s also true that I wouldn’t want my (hypothetical) daughter to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, cohabitate with a man before marriage, or vote Democrat.

Now, are you really sure that you want to use my aspirations for a daughter of my own as a basis for the law?

The law should not be about what we would want for our daughters, but what the state has a right to ban and regulate. And that answer is always: as little as absolutely necessary. 

Goodbye, Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren is twisting herself in rhetorical knots, as she tries to talk her way out of this one:

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic contender for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020, was facing new fallout Wednesday after the Washington Post reported that on a 1986 registration card for the State Bar of Texas she identified as “American Indian.”

The revelation prompted yet another apology from Warren, who told the Post she “can’t go back,” and change her decision but that she is “sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted.”

During a gaggle with reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Warren apologized further for “not being more sensitive to tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty.”

“I really want to underline tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship. It’s an issue of tribal sovereignty,” she said.

Asked why she listed herself as “American Indian” on the form, to begin with, Warren explained “this is our family story” and did not rule out that there may be other similar documents.

“When I was growing up in Oklahoma, I learned about my family the same way most people do. My brothers and I learned from our mom and our dad and our brothers and our sisters. They were family stories,” she said. “But that said, there really is an important distinction of tribal citizenship. I’m not a member of a tribe. I have apologized for not being more sensitive to that. It’s an important thing.”

In the context of 1986 (when people were far less touchy about this sort of thing), this isn’t quite as bad as it sounds.

There are many basically white Americans who have been told that they have a Native American great-great-great grandparent back there in the gene pool.  For some white Americans, there is clearly a bit of romanticism attached to distant Native American ancestry. I don’t doubt that Warren heard such “family stories” while growing up.

That said, my great-great-grandmother’s origins in County Cork, Ireland don’t make me eligible for Irish citizenship. Even if Warren does genuinely have long-ago Native American roots (or believes she does), they are a tiny  part of her DNA.  She isn’t a Native American to any significant degree.

This was obviously a cynical attempt to stretch the truth in order to qualify as a minority, and thereby take advantage of various programs designed for real minorities.

Again, this is something that people used to do all the time. One of my college friends was about 1/8th Cherokee. He listed his ethnicity as “Native American” when applying for graduate school in 1990. No one batted an eye.

In 1986, Elizabeth Warren likely didn’t know that she was going to have presidential aspirations more than three decades hence. Nor did Ralph Northam likely imagine that he would one day be Governor of Virginia, when he posed for that ridiculous photo back in 1984. (Or, as he now says, when he darkened his skin for a Michael Jackson dance contest.)

But these are different times, and there is zero tolerance for any deviation from accepted narratives and orthodoxies regarding the politics of race, sexuality, and gender.

This is true even if you’re a Democrat who wants to soak the rich (like Elizabeth Warren), or make abortion legal until a kid graduates from high school (like Ralph Northam).

Warren and Northam probably won’t be the last two politicians to get bitten by the less uptight 1980s, as we approach the election season of the very uptight year of 2020.

Elizabeth Warren’s $50 million plan

She’s a genius! Elizabeth Warren will solve all the nation’s woes…by taxing Americans worth more than $50 million!

A “wealth tax”! How does she come up with these never-before-imagined plans?

And, of course, the money will be borne down to the Treasury on the backs of unicorns!

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, wants to tax income over $10 million at a rate of 70 percent.

These two are so full of shit, they literally squish when they walk, if you’ll pardon the earthy metaphor.

The math doesn’t work. There aren’t enough mega-millionaires and billionaires to fund the massive government outlays being cooked up in feverish Democratic Party minds.

Also, we live in an age in which both people and capital are mobile.

Once the Democrats loot the fortunes of the megamillionaires who stay in the U.S., guess who they’ll be coming for next…You and me.

I can see America in 2022, two years into the administration of President Elizabeth Warren. From Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will declare that we simply must tax American households with a combined income of more than $100K per year at a rate of 70%…because greed!