Category: C. Edmund Wright

Trump versus Bannon: Is Trump Right?


The bubbling tensions between President Donald Trump and his former senior adviser Steve Bannon escalated into an all-out street brawl on social media Wednesday, as excerpts from Bannon in the forthcoming book Fire and Fury circulated.  Of course, the president fired back.  Trump always fires back, and it’s absolutely one reason he was nominated, then elected.  But a sober analysis of his tweeting and responses reaches the inescapable conclusion that he responds at times when he should not.

That I, a reluctant Trump-supporter, would say this draws only derision from the universe of supporters who demand 100% fealty.  But hey, even Milo, one of Trump’s early adopters and biggest supporters over the past two years, understands this dynamic.  In explaining his shocking “daddy” reference to the president, Milo stated that it has to do with the fact that while Trump’s “got your back,” he can also sometimes “make you cringe and embarrass you in front of your friends.”

I agree on all points.  So is Trump right to punch back at Bannon?  Well, yes and no.  I submit that I’m in a perfect position to comment, since I was an associate of Bannon in our fight against the Republican establishment, and it’s relevant that our professional relationship was strained when my support for Trump did not measure up to Steve’s demands.  And it’s instructive that where Steve and I disagree, I tend to be in agreement with Trump – and where I disagree with Trump, it’s often where I do agree with Bannon.

For example, Trump was totally wrong, at least in context, when he replied that “Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates” and rubbed salt into the wound by adding that “Steve had very little to do with our historic victory.”

That’s utter nonsense in context.  Yes, technically, Bannon did not join the team until the primary season was over.  But in proper context, Bannon had a major impact on Trump’s primary campaign success as the executive chairman at Breitbart prior.  It’s why he got the Trump job, for crying out loud.  For Trump to dismiss Steve’s contribution now is to make Steve’s shocking hire in the summer of 2016 look ridiculous.

Consider that for years, Breitbart, not to mention Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity,  The Drudge Report, and other conservative outlets had been pretty much 100% philosophical matches for Ted Cruz, not to mention big supporters of how Scott Walker turned Wisconsin upside-down.

When all of those outlets went all in for Trump, and not Walker or Cruz, in the primary season, it had a major impact on the race.  They were worth some 2 billion dollars’ worth of free positive coverage to Trump in the primary season alone.  A study I conducted of Limbaugh’s transcripts showed about 500 million dollars’ worth of coverage on just his show.

This P.R. was a massive factor, and for those who want to make the “chicken and egg” argument – which is reasonable – I will remind you that all of those outlets, including Breitbart, were all in for Trump before Trump gained his irresistible momentum, and they are perhaps why and how he ever gained it in the first place.

This is what I had predicted in March of 2015, here and in Breitbart: that the Republican who won the “Limbaugh Breitbart talk radio internet primary” would win the nomination, period.  End of discussion.  Trump was not in the race at the time, but he clearly ended up winning that universe overall by a wide margin.  Cruz was the second fave among those platforms by a wide margin.

Not coincidentally, Trump and Cruz were 1-2 in actual voting as well.  And again, the salient point to this is that Bannon had a helluva lot to do with Trump’s win before he officially joined the campaign.  In fact, at the time, the joke was that Bannon had changed employers but had retained the same job: as “Trump’s campaign manager.”

Then there’s the general election campaign itself.  There is no way to minimize the contributions that both Bannon and Kellyanne Conway made to the efforts.  We’ll never know for sure what might have happened, but we do know that Trump’s polls improved mightily after those two took charge and that in the end, the national pollsters were almost spot-on accurate with the popular vote, even if they missed the Electoral College outcome.

Something improved on Team Trump after Bannon took over, and I refuse to believe that it was coincidence.  Steve Bannon is one of the five people on the planet most responsible for Trump’s win.  Trump is numero uno, of course, but Steve is on that list, along with Drudge; Hannity; and the bumbling, boring Hillary Clinton.  Without the efforts of all five, the outcome would be different.  It was that close, and these people were all that important.

So where was Trump right?  Bannon and Alabama.  Forget the specifics of Roy Moore and the accusers for a second, and keep in mind that in general, Steve Bannon loathes the Republican establishment even more than he loathes the Democratic left.  And he guides the content at Breitbart consistently with that emphasis.

The fact is, the despicable Mitch McConnell should’ve never stuck his nose, and his super-PAC money, into that primary in the first place on behalf of Luther Strange.  Trump should not have endorsed him, and Moore should have never entered.  Mo Brooks was a perfectly suitable candidate who would almost always vote for Trump’s agenda, who could’ve beaten Strange – and any Democrat.

Remember: there are ten Democrat senators in Trump states facing election in 2018, and those are easier primaries to win without an establishment incumbent to deal with.  Moreover, the risk of handing the gavel to Chuck Schumer is lessened, not increased, by focusing on these.

But Bannon wants to “burn it all down,” meaning primarily the Republican establishment.  I prefer overwhelming the establishment with numbers by winning the easier primaries.

As for Bannon’s accusations regarding some of Trump’s family and other Trump supporters vis-à-vis Russia and some other issues, time will tell whether he is right or not.  I have no particular insight into those issues, only predicting that the entire Russia collusion story will end up as nothing. 

In the meantime, a Trump versus Bannon fight is not helpful to anyone who wants to keep the socialist Democrat statists in check.  When the fighting is intramural, we get the disaster of Alabama.  When we keep our eye on the ball, we get the tax reform win.  I want more wins, fewer Alabamas in the coming year. 

Edmund Wright is a longtime contributor to American Thinker, Breitbart, and Newsmax TV and the author of WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment LostAgain

The bubbling tensions between President Donald Trump and his former senior adviser Steve Bannon escalated into an all-out street brawl on social media Wednesday, as excerpts from Bannon in the forthcoming book Fire and Fury circulated.  Of course, the president fired back.  Trump always fires back, and it’s absolutely one reason he was nominated, then elected.  But a sober analysis of his tweeting and responses reaches the inescapable conclusion that he responds at times when he should not.

That I, a reluctant Trump-supporter, would say this draws only derision from the universe of supporters who demand 100% fealty.  But hey, even Milo, one of Trump’s early adopters and biggest supporters over the past two years, understands this dynamic.  In explaining his shocking “daddy” reference to the president, Milo stated that it has to do with the fact that while Trump’s “got your back,” he can also sometimes “make you cringe and embarrass you in front of your friends.”

I agree on all points.  So is Trump right to punch back at Bannon?  Well, yes and no.  I submit that I’m in a perfect position to comment, since I was an associate of Bannon in our fight against the Republican establishment, and it’s relevant that our professional relationship was strained when my support for Trump did not measure up to Steve’s demands.  And it’s instructive that where Steve and I disagree, I tend to be in agreement with Trump – and where I disagree with Trump, it’s often where I do agree with Bannon.

For example, Trump was totally wrong, at least in context, when he replied that “Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates” and rubbed salt into the wound by adding that “Steve had very little to do with our historic victory.”

That’s utter nonsense in context.  Yes, technically, Bannon did not join the team until the primary season was over.  But in proper context, Bannon had a major impact on Trump’s primary campaign success as the executive chairman at Breitbart prior.  It’s why he got the Trump job, for crying out loud.  For Trump to dismiss Steve’s contribution now is to make Steve’s shocking hire in the summer of 2016 look ridiculous.

Consider that for years, Breitbart, not to mention Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity,  The Drudge Report, and other conservative outlets had been pretty much 100% philosophical matches for Ted Cruz, not to mention big supporters of how Scott Walker turned Wisconsin upside-down.

When all of those outlets went all in for Trump, and not Walker or Cruz, in the primary season, it had a major impact on the race.  They were worth some 2 billion dollars’ worth of free positive coverage to Trump in the primary season alone.  A study I conducted of Limbaugh’s transcripts showed about 500 million dollars’ worth of coverage on just his show.

This P.R. was a massive factor, and for those who want to make the “chicken and egg” argument – which is reasonable – I will remind you that all of those outlets, including Breitbart, were all in for Trump before Trump gained his irresistible momentum, and they are perhaps why and how he ever gained it in the first place.

This is what I had predicted in March of 2015, here and in Breitbart: that the Republican who won the “Limbaugh Breitbart talk radio internet primary” would win the nomination, period.  End of discussion.  Trump was not in the race at the time, but he clearly ended up winning that universe overall by a wide margin.  Cruz was the second fave among those platforms by a wide margin.

Not coincidentally, Trump and Cruz were 1-2 in actual voting as well.  And again, the salient point to this is that Bannon had a helluva lot to do with Trump’s win before he officially joined the campaign.  In fact, at the time, the joke was that Bannon had changed employers but had retained the same job: as “Trump’s campaign manager.”

Then there’s the general election campaign itself.  There is no way to minimize the contributions that both Bannon and Kellyanne Conway made to the efforts.  We’ll never know for sure what might have happened, but we do know that Trump’s polls improved mightily after those two took charge and that in the end, the national pollsters were almost spot-on accurate with the popular vote, even if they missed the Electoral College outcome.

Something improved on Team Trump after Bannon took over, and I refuse to believe that it was coincidence.  Steve Bannon is one of the five people on the planet most responsible for Trump’s win.  Trump is numero uno, of course, but Steve is on that list, along with Drudge; Hannity; and the bumbling, boring Hillary Clinton.  Without the efforts of all five, the outcome would be different.  It was that close, and these people were all that important.

So where was Trump right?  Bannon and Alabama.  Forget the specifics of Roy Moore and the accusers for a second, and keep in mind that in general, Steve Bannon loathes the Republican establishment even more than he loathes the Democratic left.  And he guides the content at Breitbart consistently with that emphasis.

The fact is, the despicable Mitch McConnell should’ve never stuck his nose, and his super-PAC money, into that primary in the first place on behalf of Luther Strange.  Trump should not have endorsed him, and Moore should have never entered.  Mo Brooks was a perfectly suitable candidate who would almost always vote for Trump’s agenda, who could’ve beaten Strange – and any Democrat.

Remember: there are ten Democrat senators in Trump states facing election in 2018, and those are easier primaries to win without an establishment incumbent to deal with.  Moreover, the risk of handing the gavel to Chuck Schumer is lessened, not increased, by focusing on these.

But Bannon wants to “burn it all down,” meaning primarily the Republican establishment.  I prefer overwhelming the establishment with numbers by winning the easier primaries.

As for Bannon’s accusations regarding some of Trump’s family and other Trump supporters vis-à-vis Russia and some other issues, time will tell whether he is right or not.  I have no particular insight into those issues, only predicting that the entire Russia collusion story will end up as nothing. 

In the meantime, a Trump versus Bannon fight is not helpful to anyone who wants to keep the socialist Democrat statists in check.  When the fighting is intramural, we get the disaster of Alabama.  When we keep our eye on the ball, we get the tax reform win.  I want more wins, fewer Alabamas in the coming year. 

Edmund Wright is a longtime contributor to American Thinker, Breitbart, and Newsmax TV and the author of WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment LostAgain



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Trump, McConnell, Ryan Discover Politics Is Team Sport


Sometimes there can be an unexpected yet undeniable ‘disturbance in the force’ of our politics – where one event or image seems to quietly and quickly shift the entire axis of momentum.  We saw it in 2012, when the love-fest between Chris Christie and Barack Obama on the tarmac after Super-Storm Sandy, including the iconic hug photo, seemed to realign the stars in what seemed like a sure Mitt Romney victory.  I could feel it happening at the time, and I suspect that many of you could, too.  We were right.

I felt the same thing a couple days ago, as President Trump, surrounded by Republicans whom he suddenly seemed to like, and who suddenly seemed to like him, celebrated the sweeping tax reform and tax cut bill victory.  Just a week earlier, the Republican Party and the president were smarting from an internally self-inflicted wound in Alabama.  That was a bottoming out.  The shift was palpable.  It was in the air.  Did you feel it?

The Democrats did, and they immediately went into a deeper apoplexy than normal.  They understood it on a certain level.  More on that later.

For now, it was as if this dysfunctional GOP team, with a coach who didn’t want to coach and two quarterbacks still awaiting spine donors, finally figured out what has been true for the entire history of our nation.

Politics is a team sport.

You don’t have to like that fact, or like your teammates, but it’s true nonetheless.  After the big win, Coach Trump was smiling, and one QB, Speaker Paul Ryan, was giving a speech that came straight out of a Tea Party-Ayn Rand manifesto about what makes America America.  The other QB, the despicable McConnell, had done a pretty darned good job of corralling a Republican caucus suffering from the likes of John McCain and Susan Collins still being in office and having only a tiny majority in the first place.

Credit where credit is due, even if it comes off the tongue with nausea.

The Republicans won.  Trump won, but so did Ryan and McConnell.  It was a team win.  And what we were witnessing is that as with team sports, wins can cover a multitude of sins.

And let’s be adults and admit that there were sins aplenty to go around.  McConnell, along with Karl Rove and Haley Barbour and some others, has been destroying conservatives running for office for a couple of decades. This was the toxic environment that Trump entered in June of 2015 and inherited officially in January of 2017.

The problem is, Trump ran for, and was elected, president.  As nominee, and as president, you are the head coach of your party.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to be.  It doesn’t matter if your hardest-core supporters don’t want you to do that part of the job.  And it doesn’t matter that your party has too many snakes and weasels and weaklings.  You asked for the job, you got the job, and part of the job is leading the party.  It just is.

Trump refused to do that important part of the job, publicly sniping at Ryan, McConnell, and the Freedom Caucus and threatening to “work with Democrats” at numerous junctures.  This caused Obamacare repeal to fail.  Trump, who is philosophically agnostic on health care to begin with, merely “led from behind” on that issue.

It was a loss, and Trump owns it just as McConnell does.  All of the above.

Yes, I know: the Republican establishment have been pulling against part of their own party for twenty years.  I wrote the book about it, and that book inspired Steve Bannon to recruit me for Breitbart, specifically to write harshly about the GOP-E.  So yes, I realize that McConnell might not have wanted Obamacare to be repealed, but he did vote the right way.  And he did again on the tax bill that removes the Obamacare mandate.  He did the right thing, rare as that might be.

Trump showed more leadership on this issue than he did on Obamacare, and he did not take Twitter shots at his own team during the process, which surely was arduous.  The result was a feel-good win, and one that should prove extremely beneficial for all Americans economically and for the Republicans, including Trump, politically.

A huge collateral benefit is that they kind of got the daily double here, neutering Obamacare in the process.

I don’t know if Trump, McConnell, and Ryan can stand each other personally.  And frankly, I don’t care.  They all like to win, and perhaps in all the rancor of the last two years, they had forgotten just how sweet victory is – until this week.  Now the stage is set to rock and roll with the rest of the agenda.

And perhaps they had also forgotten how sweet, and how important, it is to see Democrats lose.  Sure, Hillary’s loss was incredibly satisfying, but that was more a victory over the Hildabeast and Team Clinton than it was anything ideological.  This tax bill, with the Obamacare sweetener, was a mainline conservative crushing of the left.

And the left knows it.  The leftists know that the more people find out about this tax reform, the more they will like it.  They know the economy will roar with this.  They know that the Republicans rediscovered teamwork and the sweetness of victory.  This is why they have been in abject panic mode since Wednesday.

This is analogous to where I parted company with my friend Steve Bannon.  He and I agree on the problem, and it was the basis of our relationship, in fact.  It’s the solution phase where we split.

He wants to burn it all down, ridding the party of the establishment wing, even if it means elevating Chuck Schumer to power.  I want to build the conservative caucus in the party and overwhelm the establishment with numbers.

He seems to hate Paul Ryan above all others in Washington.  I realize that it was Ryan voters who carried Trump to victory in Wisconsin.  Yes, Trump lost the rest of the state badly. 

Bannon wants to defeat incumbent senators in the upcoming primaries.  I want to emphasize winning the ten Democrat seats in Trump states with new conservatives, expanding the majorities, and moving the party to the right.

The Democrats have to defend 24 seats this go-round in the Senate.  The GOP has to defend only ten.  This is a golden opportunity for us to give Trump a big majority in the Senate and to ensure that his agenda moves forward.  It will ensure more victories.

A unified GOP, like the one we saw this week, will pick up five or six or seven Senate seats in 2018.  In 2020, Trump will win re-election, and his agenda will move forward.  A divided GOP will squander this historic opportunity, and America will suffer.

I see that.  Heck, even the Democrats see that.  Will Trump?  Will McConnell?  Will Trump’s hardcore base?  Will Bannon?  Time will tell.

Edmund Wright is longtime contributor to American Thinker, as well as Breitbart, Newsmax TV, and Talk Radio Network. 

Sometimes there can be an unexpected yet undeniable ‘disturbance in the force’ of our politics – where one event or image seems to quietly and quickly shift the entire axis of momentum.  We saw it in 2012, when the love-fest between Chris Christie and Barack Obama on the tarmac after Super-Storm Sandy, including the iconic hug photo, seemed to realign the stars in what seemed like a sure Mitt Romney victory.  I could feel it happening at the time, and I suspect that many of you could, too.  We were right.

I felt the same thing a couple days ago, as President Trump, surrounded by Republicans whom he suddenly seemed to like, and who suddenly seemed to like him, celebrated the sweeping tax reform and tax cut bill victory.  Just a week earlier, the Republican Party and the president were smarting from an internally self-inflicted wound in Alabama.  That was a bottoming out.  The shift was palpable.  It was in the air.  Did you feel it?

The Democrats did, and they immediately went into a deeper apoplexy than normal.  They understood it on a certain level.  More on that later.

For now, it was as if this dysfunctional GOP team, with a coach who didn’t want to coach and two quarterbacks still awaiting spine donors, finally figured out what has been true for the entire history of our nation.

Politics is a team sport.

You don’t have to like that fact, or like your teammates, but it’s true nonetheless.  After the big win, Coach Trump was smiling, and one QB, Speaker Paul Ryan, was giving a speech that came straight out of a Tea Party-Ayn Rand manifesto about what makes America America.  The other QB, the despicable McConnell, had done a pretty darned good job of corralling a Republican caucus suffering from the likes of John McCain and Susan Collins still being in office and having only a tiny majority in the first place.

Credit where credit is due, even if it comes off the tongue with nausea.

The Republicans won.  Trump won, but so did Ryan and McConnell.  It was a team win.  And what we were witnessing is that as with team sports, wins can cover a multitude of sins.

And let’s be adults and admit that there were sins aplenty to go around.  McConnell, along with Karl Rove and Haley Barbour and some others, has been destroying conservatives running for office for a couple of decades. This was the toxic environment that Trump entered in June of 2015 and inherited officially in January of 2017.

The problem is, Trump ran for, and was elected, president.  As nominee, and as president, you are the head coach of your party.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to be.  It doesn’t matter if your hardest-core supporters don’t want you to do that part of the job.  And it doesn’t matter that your party has too many snakes and weasels and weaklings.  You asked for the job, you got the job, and part of the job is leading the party.  It just is.

Trump refused to do that important part of the job, publicly sniping at Ryan, McConnell, and the Freedom Caucus and threatening to “work with Democrats” at numerous junctures.  This caused Obamacare repeal to fail.  Trump, who is philosophically agnostic on health care to begin with, merely “led from behind” on that issue.

It was a loss, and Trump owns it just as McConnell does.  All of the above.

Yes, I know: the Republican establishment have been pulling against part of their own party for twenty years.  I wrote the book about it, and that book inspired Steve Bannon to recruit me for Breitbart, specifically to write harshly about the GOP-E.  So yes, I realize that McConnell might not have wanted Obamacare to be repealed, but he did vote the right way.  And he did again on the tax bill that removes the Obamacare mandate.  He did the right thing, rare as that might be.

Trump showed more leadership on this issue than he did on Obamacare, and he did not take Twitter shots at his own team during the process, which surely was arduous.  The result was a feel-good win, and one that should prove extremely beneficial for all Americans economically and for the Republicans, including Trump, politically.

A huge collateral benefit is that they kind of got the daily double here, neutering Obamacare in the process.

I don’t know if Trump, McConnell, and Ryan can stand each other personally.  And frankly, I don’t care.  They all like to win, and perhaps in all the rancor of the last two years, they had forgotten just how sweet victory is – until this week.  Now the stage is set to rock and roll with the rest of the agenda.

And perhaps they had also forgotten how sweet, and how important, it is to see Democrats lose.  Sure, Hillary’s loss was incredibly satisfying, but that was more a victory over the Hildabeast and Team Clinton than it was anything ideological.  This tax bill, with the Obamacare sweetener, was a mainline conservative crushing of the left.

And the left knows it.  The leftists know that the more people find out about this tax reform, the more they will like it.  They know the economy will roar with this.  They know that the Republicans rediscovered teamwork and the sweetness of victory.  This is why they have been in abject panic mode since Wednesday.

This is analogous to where I parted company with my friend Steve Bannon.  He and I agree on the problem, and it was the basis of our relationship, in fact.  It’s the solution phase where we split.

He wants to burn it all down, ridding the party of the establishment wing, even if it means elevating Chuck Schumer to power.  I want to build the conservative caucus in the party and overwhelm the establishment with numbers.

He seems to hate Paul Ryan above all others in Washington.  I realize that it was Ryan voters who carried Trump to victory in Wisconsin.  Yes, Trump lost the rest of the state badly. 

Bannon wants to defeat incumbent senators in the upcoming primaries.  I want to emphasize winning the ten Democrat seats in Trump states with new conservatives, expanding the majorities, and moving the party to the right.

The Democrats have to defend 24 seats this go-round in the Senate.  The GOP has to defend only ten.  This is a golden opportunity for us to give Trump a big majority in the Senate and to ensure that his agenda moves forward.  It will ensure more victories.

A unified GOP, like the one we saw this week, will pick up five or six or seven Senate seats in 2018.  In 2020, Trump will win re-election, and his agenda will move forward.  A divided GOP will squander this historic opportunity, and America will suffer.

I see that.  Heck, even the Democrats see that.  Will Trump?  Will McConnell?  Will Trump’s hardcore base?  Will Bannon?  Time will tell.

Edmund Wright is longtime contributor to American Thinker, as well as Breitbart, Newsmax TV, and Talk Radio Network. 



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McCain Gonna McCain   


There was a report from Bloomberg of “audible gasps on the Senate floor” as John McCain voted NO on the Obama Care skinny repeal bill. Gasps, really? I would’ve gasped had he done anything different. McCain was simply, predictably, being McCain.  This is the same McCain who continually tries to sabotage Donald Trump. This is the same McCain he’s been for at least 25 years.

McCain and friend, 2013

Consider a little history for context sake:

The Arizona Senator and I first crossed paths during the 1992 Campaign between incumbent George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. McCain was emerging as a media darling during this time, putting his days in the Keating Five Savings and Loan Scandal behind him. The Keating Five? Oh, McCain and four Democrats, of course. Some things never change. Certainly not McCain.

Meanwhile, Clinton’s team of James Carville and George Stephanopoulos had put North Carolina squarely in the cross hairs as a must-win state in 92, and a series of odd events had landed me as Communications Director of NC Bush Quayle.  Thus, as a small government pro-liberty Reagan conservative, I was in the service of a mushy moderate President who was determined to distance himself from Reagan, along with his rhetorically challenged VP.  It was a root canal experience, let me tell you.  

Team Bush was struggling because they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, run clearly to the right of Clinton and expose the differences. When Ross Perot entered the race, he further muddied the waters because his agenda agreed with the conservative agenda about 75% of the time, yet he clearly despised Bush more than he wanted to defeat Clinton. Whatever Perot’s motivations were, the result was that the 92 election was an ideological mess, and Bush was not a man who even understood that, let alone overcame it. 

To make things worse, enter John McCain, who was riding his war hero story, and a questionable passion for the pro-life position, into stardom on the right during this time. A big part of McCain’s self-serving strategy was to ingratiate himself to the liberal media by trashing other Republicans, which he did often. So, paradoxically, he gained credibility on the right, by trashing the right, because he became the only man (ostensibly) on the right that the media liked, and we were desperate on the right to be liked by anyone in the media. Consider: talk radio was new and small, CNN was the only cable channel, and Andrew Breitbart was just starting to emerge from his “hippy dippy” liberal youth (his words).  

The Mainstream Media still ruled the roost, and McCain’s message to them was that Bush “must stop being so extreme,” as in so extremely conservative. The exact opposite was true. Bush wasn’t nearly conservative enough, nor capable of articulating those views on which he was conservative. Clearly McCain knew this, wanted Bush to lose, and to climb the ladder in the vacuum a Bush loss would create.  And the media was all too happy to help. I was forced to try and use whatever media influence in North Carolina I could muster to overcome McCain’s message, which is why I remember it like yesterday.

And yes, I fully understand that now, everybody on the planet is onto McCain’s schtick. Most of that didn’t really happen until at least 2000, and into 2008 and beyond. In ‘92 however, I was on a lonely planet. I even got into a heated dispute with the host on the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show in early 1993 about this. Gordon was still drinking the McCain Kool Aid, as were all of his listeners.

Now back to the future: everyone knows what’s in the Kool Aid now. 

So here we are, with McCain shaking off the effects of cancer to cast a vote that ensures we probably won’t get the same treatment he did. The John McCain who sabotaged the so called ‘skinny repeal’ vote over Obama Care, and who fought openly with Donald Trump months ago, is exactly the same John McCain he has always been. He not only trashes conservatives at every opportunity, he then takes credit for being this courageous “maverick,” even as everybody knows that trashing conservatives to the media is the easiest, most gutless thing a person can do. 

Almost everything about McCain’s carefully crafted image is a lie. It always has been. And now, in a somewhat cruel irony, McCain has access to massive amounts of Obama Care-exempted health care, while voting to make sure you and I remain trapped under this failed disaster. In other words, McCain is just being McCain. This is who he’s always been.

He “reached across the aisle” in the 1980’s to enrich himself while the Savings and Loan scandal was bankrupting average Americans. He reached across the aisle in the 90’s to help Bill Clinton. He reached across the aisle in 2005 and 06 in the name of comprehensive immigration reform. He reached across the aisle to help foist the corrupt Dodd-Frank bill on us.  And on and on it goes. 

Now he’s reaching across the aisle in service of a corrupt, lobbyist contrived and bureaucrat enforced abomination called ObamaCare. Of course he is. This is who John McCain is, and always has been. 

Edmund Wright is a contributor to Breitbart, American Thinker, Newsmax TV, and author of 2013 Amazon Best Selling Elections book, WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost…Again. 

There was a report from Bloomberg of “audible gasps on the Senate floor” as John McCain voted NO on the Obama Care skinny repeal bill. Gasps, really? I would’ve gasped had he done anything different. McCain was simply, predictably, being McCain.  This is the same McCain who continually tries to sabotage Donald Trump. This is the same McCain he’s been for at least 25 years.

McCain and friend, 2013

Consider a little history for context sake:

The Arizona Senator and I first crossed paths during the 1992 Campaign between incumbent George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. McCain was emerging as a media darling during this time, putting his days in the Keating Five Savings and Loan Scandal behind him. The Keating Five? Oh, McCain and four Democrats, of course. Some things never change. Certainly not McCain.

Meanwhile, Clinton’s team of James Carville and George Stephanopoulos had put North Carolina squarely in the cross hairs as a must-win state in 92, and a series of odd events had landed me as Communications Director of NC Bush Quayle.  Thus, as a small government pro-liberty Reagan conservative, I was in the service of a mushy moderate President who was determined to distance himself from Reagan, along with his rhetorically challenged VP.  It was a root canal experience, let me tell you.  

Team Bush was struggling because they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, run clearly to the right of Clinton and expose the differences. When Ross Perot entered the race, he further muddied the waters because his agenda agreed with the conservative agenda about 75% of the time, yet he clearly despised Bush more than he wanted to defeat Clinton. Whatever Perot’s motivations were, the result was that the 92 election was an ideological mess, and Bush was not a man who even understood that, let alone overcame it. 

To make things worse, enter John McCain, who was riding his war hero story, and a questionable passion for the pro-life position, into stardom on the right during this time. A big part of McCain’s self-serving strategy was to ingratiate himself to the liberal media by trashing other Republicans, which he did often. So, paradoxically, he gained credibility on the right, by trashing the right, because he became the only man (ostensibly) on the right that the media liked, and we were desperate on the right to be liked by anyone in the media. Consider: talk radio was new and small, CNN was the only cable channel, and Andrew Breitbart was just starting to emerge from his “hippy dippy” liberal youth (his words).  

The Mainstream Media still ruled the roost, and McCain’s message to them was that Bush “must stop being so extreme,” as in so extremely conservative. The exact opposite was true. Bush wasn’t nearly conservative enough, nor capable of articulating those views on which he was conservative. Clearly McCain knew this, wanted Bush to lose, and to climb the ladder in the vacuum a Bush loss would create.  And the media was all too happy to help. I was forced to try and use whatever media influence in North Carolina I could muster to overcome McCain’s message, which is why I remember it like yesterday.

And yes, I fully understand that now, everybody on the planet is onto McCain’s schtick. Most of that didn’t really happen until at least 2000, and into 2008 and beyond. In ‘92 however, I was on a lonely planet. I even got into a heated dispute with the host on the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show in early 1993 about this. Gordon was still drinking the McCain Kool Aid, as were all of his listeners.

Now back to the future: everyone knows what’s in the Kool Aid now. 

So here we are, with McCain shaking off the effects of cancer to cast a vote that ensures we probably won’t get the same treatment he did. The John McCain who sabotaged the so called ‘skinny repeal’ vote over Obama Care, and who fought openly with Donald Trump months ago, is exactly the same John McCain he has always been. He not only trashes conservatives at every opportunity, he then takes credit for being this courageous “maverick,” even as everybody knows that trashing conservatives to the media is the easiest, most gutless thing a person can do. 

Almost everything about McCain’s carefully crafted image is a lie. It always has been. And now, in a somewhat cruel irony, McCain has access to massive amounts of Obama Care-exempted health care, while voting to make sure you and I remain trapped under this failed disaster. In other words, McCain is just being McCain. This is who he’s always been.

He “reached across the aisle” in the 1980’s to enrich himself while the Savings and Loan scandal was bankrupting average Americans. He reached across the aisle in the 90’s to help Bill Clinton. He reached across the aisle in 2005 and 06 in the name of comprehensive immigration reform. He reached across the aisle to help foist the corrupt Dodd-Frank bill on us.  And on and on it goes. 

Now he’s reaching across the aisle in service of a corrupt, lobbyist contrived and bureaucrat enforced abomination called ObamaCare. Of course he is. This is who John McCain is, and always has been. 

Edmund Wright is a contributor to Breitbart, American Thinker, Newsmax TV, and author of 2013 Amazon Best Selling Elections book, WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost…Again. 



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Free the Big Deductible


There is a near ubiquitous misunderstanding of the function of a deductible in insurance, and it is crippling our national debate on health care. A lot of people in positions of power don’t even know what insurance actually is in the first place, and the fear of the big deductible is a major element of this general confusion. Do not fear the big D. Embrace it.

Now why do I advocate for large deductibles? Easy, and it’s not because I’m some fat cat insurance CEO — because I’m not. For years, I have criticized the abuse of large deductibles in the political discussion of health care, not to mention both the regulation and practice of health care under ObamaCare by bureaucrats and insurance companies alike. We have no argument there. In fact, all this inefficiency and corruption perverts the way a big deductible works in a freer market.

No, the reason I like them is that large deductibles are how the risk management industry can control premium costs, and by reducing paperwork, can reduce marginally the cost of the health care services itself. But this only happens in a somewhat free market. We must free the big deductible for it to work its magic.

How? It’s pretty easy really. There are several components that take money out of our pockets related to our health care, and they include our premium costs, our deductible and coinsurance costs, and any cash for goods or services we pay for items not covered under insurance.

Of those, the only cost we are guaranteed to incur in a year’s time is the premium. Some will say but wait, I don’t pay my premium, my employer does. Uh, no. I hate to break it to you, but your employer only collects your insurance premium, and he or she does so by collecting it out of your salary and other compensation. It may not show specifically on your check stub, but the immutable law of economics guarantees that if you are worth a hundred thousand dollars to your employer, and your health plan costs him, say, 14 grand a year, you’re only going to be paid 86 thousand, including other benefits.

So yes, we all pay, either directly or indirectly. Let’s take this simple example further, and stipulate that an employer health plan leaves our sample family with a two-thousand-dollar deductible. In such a scenario, they will pay a minimum of fourteen thousand dollars a year for health care (via paycheck withholding). If, say, health bills equaled five thousand dollars for the year, they would incur the two-grand deductible expense as well, bringing the total tab to sixteen grand for the year, premiums plus deductible.

Now let’s apply the big bad deductible to this situation. Let’s say the employer plan includes a ten-thousand-dollar deductible, but the premium is only five thousand dollars a year. Under the same example, the employee is still worth that hundred grand to the employer, but this frees up nine thousand dollars more to pay the employee directly. You may say but wait, my greedy boss won’t pay me the savings. Perhaps you’re right, but that’s the fault of the boss’s greed and of ignorance of how this works, not the fault of the big deductible per se.

The laws of economics are what they are, and that’s the point here.

So, if this family incurred the same five thousand dollars in medical costs for the year, the out of pocket would be five thousand against the higher deductible instead of two thousand, meaning they’re three grand in the hole under the big D plan. But remember, they are nine thousand dollars ahead on the premium savings. So under the big bad deductible policy, such a family is six grand to the good versus the plan with the two thousand dollar deductible.

Not only that, but the whole system incurred fewer administrative costs.

Okay, so what if we’re looking at a bad year with a catastrophic claim of several hundred thousand dollars? In this worst-case situation, the high deductible scenario and the low deductible scenario are similar, with the family still having a couple thousand less in total premium plus deductible out of pocket costs under the high deductible plan. With a high deductible, you may or may not win, but you cannot lose (compared to higher premium lower deductible plan). 

Best case? Say they’re extremely healthy for a year (it happens.). They save nine grand on premium, and almost nothing against their deductible. They win big. The insurance company wins, and more importantly, the free market wins. And while you may loathe insurance companies, and most people do, you have to realize that a financially unstable insurance company is of no use for you.

Think about it: if your insurer can’t pay for the EKG and echo stress test, good luck getting your bypass operation paid for. Conversely, the insurance industry, and the entire health care industry, needs people who can pay their premiums without going broke. This is the great misunderstanding. Insurance has become almost totally confrontational, with so few realizing that both sides have to win here for it to be sustainable. (Those pesky laws of economics again.)

And this brings us to back to the almost universal misunderstanding of what insurance is. It is a financial risk management tool, period. Insurance cannot protect your health, or your car, or your house either. The only thing insurance can protect is your assets against the cost of repairing your body, your house, or your car.

This risk is managed by making it predictable, which is done by spreading the risk. You pay six grand in premiums with a ten-thousand-dollar deductible, you can predict that your out of pocket costs will be anywhere from six to sixteen grand in a year, but no more than sixteen. This is true if you have zero claims, or if you have the three-hundred-thousand-dollar cancer issue. The insurers need a few of the zeros in order to be able to pay for the big ones. Economics 101, again.

Yet we’ll never have a national system that really recognizes this. Political pressure means we do whatever we can to lower deductibles, even though that’s the least efficient way to insure anything. People don’t want high premiums either, which means a lot of government aid and tax credits and other stinky complicated things are brought in to satisfy a nation that demands both low deductibles and low premiums. In a lot of ways, we are a nation of people as clueless on health care as Bernie Sanders is on the cost of college.

ObamaCare confused all this by making everything that was working in health care illegal, and by multiplying everything that was failing. The realities of human nature, the driving force of economics, was totally ignored, as they regulated a lot of good plans out of existence. 

The example above uses figures that are not too far off my family situation. We have been enjoying the benefits of a low premium high deductible plan for years. It works for us, our insurer, and our providers. Ours also includes a Health Savings Account option, which makes it even better. But with or without an HSA, insurance simply works better as catastrophic coverage, because it’s more efficient than micromanaging every prescription and minor appointment. We used to have this in the country, and we called it major medical.

We’ll never get back to that, unfortunately. I can only hope that whatever mess evolves from this repeal and replace plan, that it still allows the freedom for those of us who want the big deductible, and the smaller premiums, and less paperwork.

Edmund Wright is a contributor to American Thinker, Breitbart, Newsmax TV, and ghost wrote about ObamaCare and economics for a major talk radio personality during the ObamaCare debate, and has written many articles on the subject for American Thinker

There is a near ubiquitous misunderstanding of the function of a deductible in insurance, and it is crippling our national debate on health care. A lot of people in positions of power don’t even know what insurance actually is in the first place, and the fear of the big deductible is a major element of this general confusion. Do not fear the big D. Embrace it.

Now why do I advocate for large deductibles? Easy, and it’s not because I’m some fat cat insurance CEO — because I’m not. For years, I have criticized the abuse of large deductibles in the political discussion of health care, not to mention both the regulation and practice of health care under ObamaCare by bureaucrats and insurance companies alike. We have no argument there. In fact, all this inefficiency and corruption perverts the way a big deductible works in a freer market.

No, the reason I like them is that large deductibles are how the risk management industry can control premium costs, and by reducing paperwork, can reduce marginally the cost of the health care services itself. But this only happens in a somewhat free market. We must free the big deductible for it to work its magic.

How? It’s pretty easy really. There are several components that take money out of our pockets related to our health care, and they include our premium costs, our deductible and coinsurance costs, and any cash for goods or services we pay for items not covered under insurance.

Of those, the only cost we are guaranteed to incur in a year’s time is the premium. Some will say but wait, I don’t pay my premium, my employer does. Uh, no. I hate to break it to you, but your employer only collects your insurance premium, and he or she does so by collecting it out of your salary and other compensation. It may not show specifically on your check stub, but the immutable law of economics guarantees that if you are worth a hundred thousand dollars to your employer, and your health plan costs him, say, 14 grand a year, you’re only going to be paid 86 thousand, including other benefits.

So yes, we all pay, either directly or indirectly. Let’s take this simple example further, and stipulate that an employer health plan leaves our sample family with a two-thousand-dollar deductible. In such a scenario, they will pay a minimum of fourteen thousand dollars a year for health care (via paycheck withholding). If, say, health bills equaled five thousand dollars for the year, they would incur the two-grand deductible expense as well, bringing the total tab to sixteen grand for the year, premiums plus deductible.

Now let’s apply the big bad deductible to this situation. Let’s say the employer plan includes a ten-thousand-dollar deductible, but the premium is only five thousand dollars a year. Under the same example, the employee is still worth that hundred grand to the employer, but this frees up nine thousand dollars more to pay the employee directly. You may say but wait, my greedy boss won’t pay me the savings. Perhaps you’re right, but that’s the fault of the boss’s greed and of ignorance of how this works, not the fault of the big deductible per se.

The laws of economics are what they are, and that’s the point here.

So, if this family incurred the same five thousand dollars in medical costs for the year, the out of pocket would be five thousand against the higher deductible instead of two thousand, meaning they’re three grand in the hole under the big D plan. But remember, they are nine thousand dollars ahead on the premium savings. So under the big bad deductible policy, such a family is six grand to the good versus the plan with the two thousand dollar deductible.

Not only that, but the whole system incurred fewer administrative costs.

Okay, so what if we’re looking at a bad year with a catastrophic claim of several hundred thousand dollars? In this worst-case situation, the high deductible scenario and the low deductible scenario are similar, with the family still having a couple thousand less in total premium plus deductible out of pocket costs under the high deductible plan. With a high deductible, you may or may not win, but you cannot lose (compared to higher premium lower deductible plan). 

Best case? Say they’re extremely healthy for a year (it happens.). They save nine grand on premium, and almost nothing against their deductible. They win big. The insurance company wins, and more importantly, the free market wins. And while you may loathe insurance companies, and most people do, you have to realize that a financially unstable insurance company is of no use for you.

Think about it: if your insurer can’t pay for the EKG and echo stress test, good luck getting your bypass operation paid for. Conversely, the insurance industry, and the entire health care industry, needs people who can pay their premiums without going broke. This is the great misunderstanding. Insurance has become almost totally confrontational, with so few realizing that both sides have to win here for it to be sustainable. (Those pesky laws of economics again.)

And this brings us to back to the almost universal misunderstanding of what insurance is. It is a financial risk management tool, period. Insurance cannot protect your health, or your car, or your house either. The only thing insurance can protect is your assets against the cost of repairing your body, your house, or your car.

This risk is managed by making it predictable, which is done by spreading the risk. You pay six grand in premiums with a ten-thousand-dollar deductible, you can predict that your out of pocket costs will be anywhere from six to sixteen grand in a year, but no more than sixteen. This is true if you have zero claims, or if you have the three-hundred-thousand-dollar cancer issue. The insurers need a few of the zeros in order to be able to pay for the big ones. Economics 101, again.

Yet we’ll never have a national system that really recognizes this. Political pressure means we do whatever we can to lower deductibles, even though that’s the least efficient way to insure anything. People don’t want high premiums either, which means a lot of government aid and tax credits and other stinky complicated things are brought in to satisfy a nation that demands both low deductibles and low premiums. In a lot of ways, we are a nation of people as clueless on health care as Bernie Sanders is on the cost of college.

ObamaCare confused all this by making everything that was working in health care illegal, and by multiplying everything that was failing. The realities of human nature, the driving force of economics, was totally ignored, as they regulated a lot of good plans out of existence. 

The example above uses figures that are not too far off my family situation. We have been enjoying the benefits of a low premium high deductible plan for years. It works for us, our insurer, and our providers. Ours also includes a Health Savings Account option, which makes it even better. But with or without an HSA, insurance simply works better as catastrophic coverage, because it’s more efficient than micromanaging every prescription and minor appointment. We used to have this in the country, and we called it major medical.

We’ll never get back to that, unfortunately. I can only hope that whatever mess evolves from this repeal and replace plan, that it still allows the freedom for those of us who want the big deductible, and the smaller premiums, and less paperwork.

Edmund Wright is a contributor to American Thinker, Breitbart, Newsmax TV, and ghost wrote about ObamaCare and economics for a major talk radio personality during the ObamaCare debate, and has written many articles on the subject for American Thinker



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