Welcome to the fifth issue of The Outsider Perspective, brought to you by The Beltway Outsiders.
For those new this week, previous issues are up on the website right now. Please feel free to forward this to friends and family. It’s the only way these types of newsletters grow. If you received this as a forward, please sign up here and welcome aboard! The historic Brexit vote is a major shift in geo-politics across the globe. I’ve written a number of things on social media, notably on Twitter. I’ll have more to say about the referendum in column going up over the weekend. I’ll compile things I’ve said with continuing analysis of the new independence for Great Britain. What Britons did was historical and they deserve America’s support more than ever.
This week I’ll be covering the ongoing saga of the Orlando terrorist’s “motivations,” the very poor fundraising numbers from the Trump campaign, and the growing potential of a coup at the Republican Convention. Links follow analysis for those who want to go through them first.
1. Orlando terrorist’s Mateen’s motivations are not unknowable – we know them and need to confront it
After exiting a meeting with prosecutors, investigators, and other officials, Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke to journalists and said: the Orlando gunman’s “motive may never be known.” This coming merely a day after the stunning decision, and reversal, to censor 911 transcript records by removing references to the Orlando jihadist’s pledge to ISIS and its leadership.
Notice that the “motivation may never be know” line came after all proof vanished, as I mentioned last week, of Mateen being full of self-loathing. In fact, the FBI investigation has found no evidence Mateen had gay partners. Even assuming that was not true, there are plenty of gays and lesbians in the United States. They aren’t attacking night clubs or other soft targets. The people doing that pledge allegiance to ISIS, its leadership, and engage in soft target terrorism. The triggering motivation for the bulk of domestic terrorism in the United States is ISIS propaganda brainwashing susceptible members of American society.
Within both liberals and the Attorney General ignore this motivation is stunning and dangerous. Saying that there is an evil sect of radical Islam active in the world does not paint all Muslims within Islam as terrorists. Pretending otherwise, as so many commentators and liberal politicians do is a straw man fallacy. We’re dealing with a set of fanatics set on brainwashing people in our society to conduct suicide missions. These aren’t nihilists, JV, or any other magic word the President uses to avoid confronting the threat. There are easily discoverable motivations with clear ideas attached to them. It’s a fundamentalist sect within Islam that is setting out to kill not just infidels, but other Muslims who disagree with that standard.
The President’s focus on gun control instead of soft target terrorism seemingly leaves people with the impression that a certain level of terrorist threat in our country is acceptable. You can see this in the President’s remarks on gun control when he conflates gun homicides as being more dangerous to American society than terrorist attacks. Removing tools does not stop terrorism. The Boston Marathon jihadists used bomb making instructions from an online al-Qaeda handbook using pressure cookers. Tools are irrelevant to a terrorist. Which makes any insistence of this issue being gun control and not the motivations of local radicalization of a jihadist nonsense. We must confront the issue of self-radicalization if we are to defeat ISIS.
2. Trump’s abysmal fundraising is a danger to Republican officials down-ballot.
Drip, drip, drip… The sound you hear is the sound of water hitting an empty bank vault. Also known as the empty coffers of the Trump campaign’s abysmal fund raising reports filed with the SEC. Readers who have been following this newsletter regular know that I’ve written a significant number of words on the failure of the Trump campaign to raise cash. Trump currently has approximately $1.3 million cash on hand, which means cash he can use right now. There are House campaigns with more cash. The socialist Bernie Sanders has more money. Ben Carson, who has had a suspended campaign for months, has more cash on hand. If you count Trump’s campaign debt, he has roughly $-44 million.
I got a laugh out of Trump supporters I know on Facebook, particularly certain State legislators who were putting up emergency donation links on their pages. They see Trump’s campaign is out of cash and suddenly it’s a problem. Here’s the second problem: the donor class has no reason to donate to the Trump campaign. He continues to “threaten” to self-fund his campaign. The donor class is calling his bluff and sending money to down-ballot races. Trump claimed he could self-fund and no one believes him. Mark Cuban said if Trump was truly as rich as he claimed, Trump would cut a check for $200 million to end speculation. Trump doesn’t have the money and is desperate for cash. Neither his campaign, PAC’s, or Super-PAC’s have the money. RNC officials continue to say the money is coming in. But all donors see is a black hole of growing campaign debt.
There is little reason to donate to a candidate who said he doesn’t need you. Between being broke and falling poll numbers, the pressure for delegates to revolt will grow. As Josh Kraushaar of National Journal put it: It would be malpractice at this point to not revolt. There is no pivot to the Trump campaign. People have said, at least once a month, since last summer Trump would pivot into a better candidate. It has not happened, Trump’s cheap character shines through after every “pivot.” Any expectation Trump will change is based on hope and prayer, not reality.
3. Will the Republican Delegates revolt and start a coup at the Convention?
A very interesting story is developing behind the scenes at the RNC: Chairman Reince Priebus is talking to state GOP officials about a potential push by delegates to remove Trump from the GOP convention ballot. Rough estimates I’ve seen of the number of delegates involved in this push are around 500 strong. If you remember, Ted Cruz placed a number of his people on the Rules Committee of the Convention in the event of a floor fight.
What does this mean? There’s no telling. In order to form a coup to remove Trump, there also has to be a unifying figure with the resources to replace Trump on the ballot. Trump has taken swipes at Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz for being behind this effort. But I’ve seen no evidence of any single force pushing the effort. The third party effort is being pushed by the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, and I’ve seen nothing to connect that effort to a potential delegate coup. Scott Walker has indicated his support for allowing the delegates to vote their conscience.
This could be a way to smoke out the GOP #NeverTrump movement at the Convention by Priebus. But that seems an unlikely move. Unseating Trump has failed several times now. It’s difficult to ascertain if any attempt to stop Trump would work. But the question for delegates is: Is it better to deal with Trump losing in a landslide or kick out Trump for a new person? Either choice has immense risks and the problem for delegates is the risks are nearly equal at this point. Whatever happens, there is not much time left for #NeverTrump or Trump to unify the party against Clinton. It would take a miracle for the GOP to pull off a win in either scenario.
Must Reads and Quick Slants
What I’m Reading
This week I spent time reading the incredible sad and true story of the current mess in Alabama. GQ Magazine wrote: “The Affair of Robert Bentley, Alabama’s Corndog Governor.” The corruption in Alabama politics is astonishing to watch. It’s a bit like watching politics in Illinois. The GQ piece tells the entire story from beginning to end. It’s a sad reminder that integrity and humility take continual work.
What I’m Listening to
The Tim Ferriss Show: “The Interview Master: Cal Fussman and the Power of Listening.”
You may not have ever heard of Cal Fussman. He’s an author and interviewer who has interviewed hundreds of famous people in his life. From Muhammed Ali to Donald Trump to Bruce Springsteen and many more. He’s an incredible story teller as well, helping bring out stories from his famous interview subjects. Listening to him tell stories from his personal life is enthralling as well. He traveling the world for 10 years and met thousands of people along the way.
What I’m watching
A 1990 speech by Margaret Thatcher in Britain’s parliament arguing profusely against giving any powers to the European Union and the need for Britain to retain powers and decisions in the Parliament. Thatcher was eloquent and well ahead of her time.
Thanks for reading!