War As A Campaign Strategy And Other Thoughts

One of the recent unwritten rules of an incumbent Republican president running for re-election is that they must have a war for Americans to rally around. It must be a war they are almost certain to win. They must control nearly all stories about the war. We saw this with George W in Iraq, his Daddy with Desert Storm, which ended too soon, Reagan with the great victory in Grenada and to a degree Nixon in Vietnam.

The logic is that Americans won’t vote out a leader who is conducting a war. Np matter how badly. With the next presidential election 22 months away and the polls going south, Dear Leader is most likely looking around for a nice little war where he can show – bone spurs or not – that he can lead the mighty US army to victory over…. WHO? Auditions are now being held.

  • Once again we are shaking the war sabres at Iran. But the question is, can we really beat them or nearly beat them by November of 2020? 
  • What about Venezuela? They are in such a mess that a Boy Scout troop may have a chance. We are already making war rumblings in their direction. It could be a victory AND put the 1% back in charge.
  • How about North Korea? But their guy is crazy too – he may not understand the game.
  • What about some really small weak country like Montenegro? 

Timing is important also. We have to invade and time things to have victory or near victory about the middle of October 2020.


Internet Neutrality Ended January 1st – Good timing if one is wanting to try to control yet another media outlet before the 2020 election. Just saying.


The whole reason behind the government shutdown does not seem to be some higher purpose or major disagreement over policy. The reason seems to be to “break Democrats” before Democrats took power in the House of Representatives. Had it not been a wall along the border it would have been some other flimsy excuse.


By destroying all notes from his meetings with Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump has left himself wide open for all sorts of blackmail and extortion from the Russian leader with absolutely no way to prove otherwise. In other words he is certainly now totally compromised. So what would you like the US president to do for you today, Mr. Putin. Seems like this may have been a trick Putin picked up during his KGB days.


Paul Krugman reminds us that Abraham Lincoln had a team of rivals. In contrast, Donald Trump has a team of morons.


Chief of Staff of the moment, Mick Mulvaney, has a personal debt from a failed business in South Carolina for about $2.5 million. Like so many of his compadres, Mulvaney simply refuses to pay. In the ethics world this would make him subject to extortion and a bad bet to have in a position of power. In Trump world, Mulvaney is just doing what the boss does.


Well when do we hear the one two punch that Republicans want to do to screw over Iowans this session? Punch one will be the dramatic changes in IPERS that Republicans have been drooling over for a while. This will be the one where the money managers will win with new bigger fees for managing accounts. Stay tuned.

Punch two will be ending the property backfill that towns, cities and counties depend on after Branstad and the Republicans cut property taxes to the point where local governmental units can no longer survive without something to replace the missing money. Republicans have been waiting for the right moment to end these replacement (backfill) payments. 

The right time is when Republicans control all levels of government, the election is a long ways off and all the attention is going to the circus in Washington.

If the backfill goes away much of what Iowans think of as what makes Iowa a great place for families will disappear as local governments try to simply put police on the streets. Libraries will close as will pools and parks. Cemetery maintenance will be sporadic. In very small towns fire protection will be hurting as equipment will be hard to maintain and replace without money.

I like to think of this much as I think of Kim Reynolds: Branstad’s revenge.


A couple of ironic notes for MLK Day:

  • Ironic that MLK died supporting the rights of men who worked for the government in Memphis, Tennessee. This year we see government workers once again been used as pawns in a game where the prize for Republicans is a wall that is a monument to their racist policies.
  • Ironic that on the Day honoring Martin Luther King and his lifetime of work for justice for all, another man named King is big in the news for his lifetime policy of racial supremacy.

Please honor Dr. King tomorrow. He lived the stated American ideals and tried to have America live them also.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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