How the GOP Congress and President Obama became the #1 Problem in America and Made Trump the #1 Solution January 15, 2016 Vol. IX, No. 1 10:13 am NOTE: As I begin my ninth year writing the John Davis Political Report (30th year as a North Carolina political analyst), it’s important for you
How the GOP Congress and President Obama became the #1 Problem in America and Made Trump the #1 Solution
January 15, 2016 Vol. IX, No. 1 10:13 am
NOTE: As I begin my ninth year writing the John Davis Political Report (30th year as a North Carolina political analyst), it’s important for you to know that I do not do any work for candidates or partisan groups. My income is solely from this report, speeches and advising political investors on likely winners. My goal is accurate forecasts. I have no professional interest in whether the winners are Republicans or Democrats. Let me know if you need an objective speaker or consultation on a candidate’s potential. Thanks for reading. JND
Lincoln: Get a barrel of Grant’s whiskey for all my generals!
Last year, January 13, 2015, my first report, Misinterpreting the Mandate: Consequences of the Most Common Mistake Political Majorities Make, was about a Gallup study revealing that the most important problem on the minds of American voters for 2014 was “government leadership -- including President Obama and the Republicans in Congress.”
One year later, the problem is the same. On January 4, 2016, a new Gallup study concluded that for two consecutive years, the Most Important Problem facing the country is “Government.”
We have lost all faith in the establishment in Washington DC, especially the Republican-led United States Congress. According to Gallup’s December 2015 national survey on Honesty and Ethics in the Professions, members of Congress are the last professional group to be trusted.
- Congress has the worst “Low/Very Low” rating (64%) on honesty and ethics
- Only 8% of Americans give Congress a “High/Very High” honesty/ethics rating
Where did the Republican-led Congress go wrong? They put ideological purity ahead of problem solving. And by failing to get the job done, they became the #1 problem.
They were forewarned. Only 16% of voters in a November 2014 CNN survey said that the new GOP majorities in the Class of 2015-2016 in the U.S. Senate and House were a “mandate for GOP policies.” A solid 74% said the GOP majorities were a “rejection of Democratic policies.”
The survey clearly showed that voters wanted Republicans in Congress and President Obama to cooperate more. Fifty-seven percent (57%) said Obama was not cooperating with the GOP enough. Sixty-eight percent (68%) said the GOP was not cooperating enough with Obama.
It’s no wonder that today’s Congressional “job approval” is a disastrous 13.4% (Real Clear Politics), with President Obama’s “job approval” under water at an anemic 45.7%. They have become the #1 problem facing the country today.
But here’s the rub: you can’t get rid of the U.S. Congress. According to Charlie Cook, Cook Political Report, about 95% of the current members of the U.S. House are in safe districts; about the same percentage of the U.S. Senators are in safe states. Odds are the GOP will keep the majority in the U.S. House. They are slightly favored to hold the majority in the U.S. Senate.
So, what are you going to do? The historic level of early interest in the presidential campaign indicates that voters have concluded that their best hope is a new President who has the negotiating skillset and leadership temperament to get disparate ideological factions in the Congress to work together with the White House to solve problems.
It is my judgement that Americans are not likely to put someone in the Oval Office who is a member of the U.S. House or U.S. Senate. Remember, they are the #1 problem. They put the “dys” in dysfunction by not cooperating within their own caucus to solve the great problems of the day; they lack the leadership skills to build consensus with those with opposing views.
Ultimately, the GOP presidential nominee is more likely to be one of the three governors, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush or John Kasich, all of whom have executive timbre but have struggled to gain momentum thus far, or Donald Trump. Trump may be a renegade Republican billionaire with no government experience, but he has mastered the art of channeling the anger of Americans who see a rigged and dysfunctional government as the number one problem facing the nation.
Trump’s appeal reminds me of why President Lincoln liked General Grant.
Long before Ulysses Grant became the legendary Civil War general, he was a ne’er-do-well with a serious drinking problem. Failed in business. Failed at farming.
At the age of 32, while serving as a Captain in the army, Grant was given an ultimatum to resign or face a court-martial because of his chronic drunkenness on post. He resigned.
Then came the Civil War. Brigadier General Ulysses Grant was so successful in winning battles despite his problem with alcohol that President Lincoln is said to have proclaimed, “Find out what brand of whiskey Grant drinks and send a barrel of it to each one of my generals.”
That’s Donald Trump’s appeal. He may be arrogant and crude, but an ever-growing number of voters believe he will get the job done; solve the nation’s #1 problem: government. Further, Trump has built a global financial empire at a time Americans are looking for someone who can solve the #2 problem: the creation of jobs and wealth in the new world economic order.
For two consecutive years, the #1 problem facing the country is “Government.” Trump’s voters believe he is the #1 solution because, unlike the current Congress or president, he is someone who values problem solving over trivialities like ideological and political correctness.
Someone who understands the art of principled compromise. The art of the deal.
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