Saturday, July 16, 2016

Malloy v. Pence

Governor Dannel Malloy, approval rating 24%, is fast becoming the Donald Trump of Connecticut politics. Known among some commentators as “the porcupine,” largely because of his bristly nature, Mr. Malloy recently unloaded on Governor of Indiana Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s Vice Presidential choice. Mr. Trump very likely will be the Republican Party nominee for President once the Republican presidential nominating convention has concluded its business, and Democrats across the nation are even now busily arranging their bumper-sticker responses. Mr. Malloy, head of the National Democratic Governors Association, has jumped far ahead of the pack.

If Donald Trump is looking for someone who is willing to discriminate, Mr. Malloy told the Hartford Courant hours before Mr. Trump had publicly announced his Vice Presidential choice, "he couldn't do any better. If you want to bring back discrimination in America, the Republicans have a ticket for it." Mr. Malloy added, “I think the positions that the governor [Pence] has taken throughout his political career indicate a deep-seated bigotry toward people who are different than him.”

Mr. Pence and Mr. Malloy have been battering each other with political truncheons for some time, but Mr. Malloy, in his most recent interview, seemed to touch all the bases: Mr. Pence is a bigot, possibly a racist; and in choosing Mr. Pence as his Vice Presidential nominee, the entire Republican party has descended into a discriminatory Hell reserved by progressives for conservatives.

Not satisfied with mere name-calling, Mr. Malloy added, according to the Courant story, that Mr. Pence “had done ‘great damage’ to his own state's economy through passage of the Religious Freedom Recognition Act, which was ultimately scaled back. ‘We know that over $60 million of revenue was lost because of the stand that he had taken,’ he said. ‘We know that people cancelled their job growth in the state of Indiana. It's fairly well-documented. He has a lot to account for.’"

Mr. Malloy certainly has nothing to fear from left of center in-state newspapers, but critical remarks such as these invite invidious comparisons.

The Courant did not fold possibly embarrassing data into its story. While Mr. Pence’s approval rating is low at 40%, it is 16 points higher than Malloy’s at 24%. Indiana is running a surplus of $210 million, and the state’s reserves amount to 2.14 billion. Connecticut has plundered its own reserves, its “rainy day fund,” to pay off recurring debt, leaving pocket change remaining in the fund. Nearly every budget in Connecticut approved by the Democrat dominated General Assembly went into arrears, and Malloy has only lately determined that budget deficits are caused by excessive spending, a shattering revelation for both Mr. Malloy and the Democrat dominated General Assembly.

Mr. Pence has reduced taxes, while Malloy imposed on his state both the largest and the second largest tax increases in state history. As a U.S. Representative for 12 years, Mr. Pence, whose National Taxpayer Union (NTU) rating was 76%, fell solidly in the conservative camp. The NTU does not rate tax-friendly, spendthrift governors such as Mr. Malloy, but citizens of the state do, and Mr. Malloy’s poll ratings are just now at the bottom of the garbage heap. If Connecticut citizens, apprised of available information not included in media reports whenever Mr. Malloy chooses to throw stones in his own glass house, were to be asked tomorrow whether they would prefer Mr. Pence over Mr. Malloy as governor, the probable answer, deduced from Mr. Malloy’s abysmally low poll ratings, might surprise political commentators writing in the most tax-belabored state in the union.

Both candidates for President this year are more than usually unpopular, but for different reasons. Mrs. Clinton, who has a long pockmarked track record in public office, is untrustworthy, and Mr. Trump is a political unknown, a non-conservative and an infirm Republican. Now that Socialist Bernie Sanders has thrown in the towel and endorsed Mrs. Clinton, it is assumed that many of his supporters will drift in Mrs. Clinton’s direction while holding their noses. Mr. Sanders has cast a populist shadow over Democrats, and he is still present in a campaign whose Democratic Party platform has accommodated his eccentricities. Mr. Trump has yet to excite the conservative wing of his party, but his selection of Mr. Pence as his Vice Presidential candidate, however much it may disturb failed progressive governors such as Mr. Malloy, will quiet some fears in the conservative camp.

Both nominating conventions are occurring against a backdrop of Islamic terrorism that continues to astonish and repulse people. A recent inquiry conducted by the French National Assembly  discloses that the Islamic terrorist attack in Paris on November 13, 2015 involved not only a deadly assault against defenseless citizens – but the torture of victims as well. The report indicates that ISIS terrorists responsible for the attack “gouged out victim’s eyes, castrated men, disemboweled several people, and stabbed women in the genitals, among other horrific crimes.”

The ISIS JV team of Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton now has a presence in six Middle-East counties. Libya, following Mrs. Clinton’s overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, has descended into chaos, along with Syria, following Mr. Obama’s premature withdrawal of American troops. And Turkey, once a secular state, is becoming Islamized, like Iran. The good news is that Obama operatives sent into Israel to destabilize the re-election effort of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to depose one of the few remaining American allies in the Middle East. Among Democratic Party operatives assisting Mr. Netanyahu’s opposition in the 2015 elections was Stanley Greenberg, a well-known pollster and consultant married to U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro, who is up for re-election in November.

Mr. Malloy has been curiously silent concerning the failed Obama/Clinton foreign policy.  One expects Mr. Pence will turn up the volume on it.

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