The Real View Feed

An open post to the RNC and state GOP parties with open primaries/caucuses

Dear RNC and Republican State Parties,

Victories by Trump in open primary/caucus states are not a true reflection of the party faithful. Crossover voters are dictating who becomes the nominee, not Republicans for their own party. Open contests are a set-up to failure, they gave us John McCain and Mitt Romney. Should Trump win the nomination, history will repeat itself, the Republican party pulling defeat out of the jaws of victory with the practice of open primaries and caucuses.

Mike Thayer
Publisher, Coralville Courier

Note to future GOP presidential candidates, don't go to Iowa so much at first, do this instead....

by Mike Thayer

The Proverbial Presidential Politics Playbook - start your campaign by visiting Iowa and New Hampshire.  Hit them heavy and often, focus on those two states because they are the first two contests of the election season.

Iowa Caucus HistoryBut guess what?  Hitting the First in the Nation Caucus (Iowa) and First in the Nation Primary (New Hampshire) states first, doesn't really work.  It's all based on the notion that winning early states will lead to victory or at least do well in the state contests to follow.  It's a strategy of "win, place or show so we can build" rather than "build to win."

But if you look at recent history, the Iowa Caucus has only picked the eventual GOP Presidential nominee correctly in 2 of 6 contests and accurately forecast the general election winner just once.  So much for picking first.  The Republican apparatus in Iowa is obsolete and a heavy focus on the state in my humble opinion is not the best course of action.

New Hampshire has been more accurate in picking the eventual GOP nominee, but fails really where it matters - the productivity test  - because the state only delivers 23 delegates.   Contrast that with a late primary state like New Jersey (51)  or California (172).

So why does a big/frequent presence in Iowa and New Hampshire fail presidential hopefuls?   Because typical campaign strategists are still thinking old school.  Do the first states first and work down the list.  Try to build momentum.

That's just stupid in today's 24/7 news cycle.

Sure, spending time in Iowa and New Hampshire generates headlines, but so would visits to any other state.  So why bother to hit Iowa and New Hampshire first just because they're at the top of the list when just about any state on the list will do if grabbing headlines to generate momentum is the goal?  There's media availability every which way and everywhere in every state and it all goes nationwide.

"But Mike" you say, "candidates that skip Iowa pay dearly for it, just look at Rudy Guliani in 2008 for example."  While it's true Rudy's strategy backfired that cycle, it backfired because he virtually ignored Iowa.  That's not what I'm suggesting candidates do at all.

Here's a better strategy for GOP candidates in today's 24/7 news cycle world:  Presidential hopefuls should do an inverse order of visiting states when campaigning, hitting states that are last on the calendar on the primary/caucus list, first....  then start working the list up.   Work from the bottom up, not the top down. 

You know somebody is going to start throwing a hat in the presidential ring pretty much the day after election day 2016, so why not start building grassroots efforts in New Jersey or New Mexico and working your way up the list?  Get those states working early so they can grow and multiply support.  A candidate should start working the bottom of the primary/caucus list, timing the campaigning so that he/she will be in Iowa and New Hampshire hard and heavy when it matters, but not as a sole focus.  Candidates should make their "I'm running for president" announcement in their home state as most candidates typically do, but then travel to a late primary state like South Dakota, THEN visit Iowa.  Hit another late primary/caucus state like New Jersey, THEN visit New Hampshire.  Start getting the grassroots support in Iowa organized, but bundle in a visit to another late primary/caucus state like Montana.  Get rolling on the New Hampshire grassroots network, while also making a quick visit to another late primary/caucus state like New York and so on....  Retail politics in Iowa and New Hampshire is valuable, but it doesn't hold near the value that it used to.  Just look at what visiting all 99 counties in Iowa did NOT do for Rick Santorum in 2016.

GOP presidential hopefuls would be wise to toss out the old '70's era playbook and build a foundation that's nationally based, as opposed to putting together a couple of piecemeal, smaller state-based foundations old school style hoping momentum carries the day.  In today's 24/7 media-hyped world, being the first candidate in the first state means little.  What matters is how strong and sustained a candidate is later on.  Rand Paul focused on Iowa and New Hampshire almost exclusively and he had to drop out of the race just two days after finishing with less than 5% support in the Iowa Caucuses.  In fact, his narrow focus on Iowa and New Hampshire cost him first tier debate time on a national stage.  Again, so much for focusing on being first.  It's better to have a strong March and April, built from a larger, nationally based foundation, than it is to have won Iowa or New Hampshire in February and 'hoping' those victory headlines carry over into more support and victory in the next contest.   Build from the bottom up, not the top down.  Or to put it in construction terms, you have to build a foundation before you can put a roof up.

"But Mike" you say, "your strategy would cost campaigns far more money!"

In raw dollar terms, ok.  But I would argue that campaign contributions would come in even greater amounts to a campaign the expands it's campaign strategy beyond the typical focus of the primary/caucus state of the day.  Campaign contributions come in all forms, small donations, large donations, corporate money, special interest money, PAC money, party leadership money, party election committee money and so on....  With exception to the small donations, contributions are all pretty much flowing in from all across the country and outside the respective primary states of the day.  A heavier campaign focus on a particular state doesn't dictate the flow of money anymore.  Polling does.  Sure, a victory in a state primary provides a spike in donations, but long before primary election day it's national status that matters, driving the bulk of campaign contributions and from a greater variety of sources.  The stronger a candidate is in national polls, the stronger the cash flow.  Everybody likes a winner.  And about those smaller donations from Mom & Pop that are indeed driven by a candidate's presence in a given state.....  Those donations would kick in sooner, rather than later with a work from the bottom up strategy. 

Build it and they will come.....  Just not in Iowa.   A GOP candidate that uses my campaign strategy in the 2020 election cycle wins the day.



Trump isn't a conservative, so why do so many grass-roots Republicans support him?

By Mike Thayer

Real estate mogul Donald Trump is still leading in the polls in the GOP race for the presidential nomination and leading big.  

Background:  When he first entered the 2016 election cycle sweepstakes back in June, he had a meager 4 percent level of support.  He now towers over the rest of the field with over 35 percent support according to Real Clear Politics, the specialists in poll averaging.  That's more backing than Cruz (in 2nd place at 18.6%) and Rubio (in 3rd place at 11.6%) combined.

It's clear there is a very heavy anti-establishment sentiment this cycle and Trump has masterfully capitalized on that, much to the chagrin of establishment strategists, talking heads and the establishment/liberal media types.  Trump's rise to the top has been nothing but puzzling to them.  Their puzzlement is arrogantly ignorant.  In the bigger picture, voters have embraced their version of 'Washington outsider'.  It's why Trump leads, why Ben Carson has enjoyed some spotlight, why Ted Cruz - a man not afraid to chastise those of his own party - is gaining momentum.  It's an 'outsiders' GOP nomination to take because the Republican faithful have largely rejected the career politicians, the establishment types like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Mike Huckabee, all names displaying near or at the bottom of all the polling.  

But why the large groundswell of support for Trump?  He's not a conservative.

Let's take the bandwagon jumpers out of the mix for this discussion, it's an element that exists in every election, both parties. 

What I'm seeing are a lot of smart conservative people getting in line to support Trump.  These people aren't bandwagon jumpers - there's more to their decision than that - it's not just simply 'backing the perceived winner.'   The conservatives I share political thoughts with know Trump comes up conservative-short on gun control, health care, eminent domain, opposes the flat tax and isn't conservative on a number of other issues..... but conservative voters are looking the other way in support of him.  The only logical conclusion to that kind of decision making is that it's emotionally charged decision making.   Emotion instead of fact-based reasoning....  Hmmmm.....

Question:  Is it possible that some grassroots conservative Republicans have become SO anti-establishment - to an extreme point - that they have overlooked Trump's many non-conservative flaws just so they can, 'stick it to the establishment-man?'

Where are the core values in that?

Trump believes in gun control.  How can a conservative support that?

Trump believes in some form of universal, government-run health care.  He slams ObamaCare, but he wants to replace it with TrumpCare.  How can a conservative support that? 

Trump believes in the use of eminent domain, he's OK with taking a person's property, their castle, if it's for the betterment of the business community, a.k.a., if a dozen houses need to be plowed over for a shopping mall, so be it.  How can a conservative support that?

Trump doesn't want to seriously reform this country's tax code.  He doesn't believe in the flat tax or a national sales tax.  How can a conservative support Trump's idea of taxation (more of the same, ADDING to tax code, not taking away)?

Donald Trump has massaged the anti-establishment sentiment well, but the truth is, he's part of the establishment problem, not a solution.  Sure, he's saying all the right things, but his history tells a different story.  It's one of backroom deals, manipulating rules, greasing wheels.  He plays the cronyism game for a living.  How else do you think Trump knows how to politically attack the establishment types so well?  Because he's a player himself.  Conservatives who have vetted Trump, know this.

So given the above, why support Trump then?

Because some grassroots conservatives have become SO anti-establishment, they want to 'teach the Grand Old Establishment' a lesson.  After years of betrayal, of a party that says one thing and does another, of so-called leaders that are more interested in keeping their seat rather than doing what's right, these conservatives seem to think nominating Trump is somehow medicinal. 

They're wrong.

They see how the establishment has publicly shown a disdain towards Trump, which they have embraced.  They see this establishment vs. Trump kind of thing going on and they like it.  Trump sees it and markets it.  The GOP establishment doubles down and wants things their way or no way.  And so it goes.  The establishment doesn't like Trump simply because he's not in their power circle, he doesn't do things their way.  To them he's not polished, he's self-serving, he's not party power focused.   There are only so many seats at the establishment power table and there's no room for a guy like Trump.  The rub is, Trump is going to feed us the very same things the establishment does when it comes to the issues.  He'll just sell it in a different way.  That 'medicine' is nothing of the sort, it's snake oil, it just doesn't have an establishment label.

So would Trump be better than Obama, or Hillary?  The answer to that is yes, but it's a progressive vs. progressive-lite kind of thing.  Would you like to see the American Dream continue to die a slow death via Obama/Clinton style, or just a slower, more prolonged death via Trump?  Would you like to swallow six poison pills, or just three?  The amount doesn't really matter, each dose does the job.  Trump's "Make America Great Again" is a fine line, but it's a sales pitch, not reality.  What Trump is selling isn't medicinal and it won't teach the establishment a lesson.

Donald Trump is not a conservative.  So it is illogical to support him for the GOP nomination.  The support for his candidacy is not the result of fact-based reasoning, it's emotionally charged.

The only other logical conclusion one can make when assessing the support for Trump - is that the Republican party base is no longer largely made up of conservatives. 

Related article:


Why I got rid of the 'R'

REPOST from January, 2015: 
By Mike Thayer

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the greatest president of my lifetime:

I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the party left me.

The House vote on Tuesday to keep John “Establishment” Boehner as speaker was the last straw for me.

I had held out hope that the incoming freshman representatives who campaigned on change would be men and women of their word and stand up to the failed status quo “leadership,” but few did.

I’m not going to ride on a GOP train that refuses to get a new conductor and engineer. The votes for Boehner effectively keep the keys to the White House in Democrat hands in 2016, and all we’re going to get from the mouths of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell is more lip service.

I’m tired of it.

The Republican Party is dead, it stopped reflecting my core values quite some time ago.

These so-called party leaders and potential candidates for president say they believe in smaller government, lower taxes and constitutionally based principles, but their records betray such words: Mitch McConnell, Orin Hatch, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Roy Blunt, John Barrasso, John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Luke Messer, Peter King, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee.

These events which have transpired in the last several years are in contrast to my core values of smaller government, lower taxes and constitutionally based principles:

• Record national debt, now over $18 trillion

• Ever-rising debt limits

• The implementation of Obamacare

• The $800 billion stimulus bill

• The continuing stream of illegal immigration

• The increase in government welfare programs

• The increase in corporate welfare and cronyism

• The gutting and abuse of our military

• The government takeover of banks, insurance companies, mortgage lenders, student loan programs, General Motors

• Out of control IRS, EPA, NSA, Department of Education

• Passage of the $1 trillion “cromnibus” bill

Time and again, Republican leaders have said one thing but failed to do the right thing. We’ve been told that we have to sacrifice and/or muzzle our values because political strategy will win the day, time and again.

I will no longer associate my name with those who are more interested in keeping their seat than doing what’s right for America. I’m done with hoping the party gets back to basics. My days of giving leaders the benefit of the doubt are done. It is pointless to continue voicing concerns to people who have clearly demonstrated they don’t give a rat’s rear end about grass roots folks like you and me.

The Republican Party train is no longer a safe ride. So if you’re looking to effect change in American politics, get off that train and remove the ‘R’ from your voter registration. It’s the first step to finding a safer mode of political transportation.

• Mike Thayer is a political activist and blogger at and Comments:

Swisher mayor makes Syrian refugee crisis political, throws national security and the security of Iowans out the window

Mike Thayer

President Obama has mocked Republicans for wanting to abide by federal law when it comes to properly vetting refugees from Syria.

Now local politicians are following his, um, lead (cough).

Mayor Christopher Taylor of Swisher has made a proclamation and issued a press release saying that despite Gov. Terry Branstad's caution in accepting refugees from Syria without proper vetting, the City of Swisher accepts all Syrian refugees with open arms, no questions asked.

Never mind that members of ISIS pretended to be refugees from Syria so they could get into France and attack Paris. 

Never mind that Gov. Terry Branstad and other Republicans are concerned about how President Obama wants to just willy-nilly resettle more than 10,000 Syrian refugees here in the U.S. by ignoring federal law established for people seeking asylum. 

Republicans are being cautious in considering national security.  Gov. Branstad is doing his job in considering the safety and security of Iowans.  Swisher Mayor Christopher Taylor it seems is putting politics over the safety and security of Iowans.  Talk about exploiting an issue!

Read the mayor's grandstanding press release and proclamation (talk about wasting taxpayer time and money), as if Gov. Branstad is a bad guy for wanting to consider the possible repercussions to throwing safety and security concerns and federal law out the window. 

Download PR_151118_refugees

Download Proclamation_151118_refugees

Related Story:  Obama Mocks Republicans

Related Story: Confirmed: Second Paris Gunman Entered France, Posing as Refugee

Related Story: Refugee ‘Religious Test’ Is ‘Shameful’ and ‘Not American’ … Except that Federal Law Requires It

Related Story:  Governor Branstad orders halt to Syrian refugee resettlements by state agencies

How is throwing caution to the wind an exercise in leadership?  What is bashing the party of opposition and a governor accomplishing, exactly?  Besides goals of driving a wedge and grandstanding that is.....  Implying the governor is prejudiced?  Really Christopher?  Christopher, hmmm, that's a Christian name isn't it?  How Christian of you to cast labels on the governor..... Oh the irony.....  It couldn't be possible at all to you that the governor is just wanting the refugee process to work as it's supposed to, especially given current events huh?  The governor didn't say no to refugees, he basically said, before we gladly take in some refugees, let's make sure we get it right.


More minimum wage hike horse manure from Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan

By Mike Thayer

Rod Sullivan has no shame.  He will say and do just about anything to further his agenda..... More government.

Here's his latest on the minimum wage hike county supervisors have forced upon communities, from his blog Sullivan's Salvos:

*More On The Minimum Wage
         I continue to get questions on the impact of the minimum wage, and I continue to tell people I believe it will be a good thing for the local economy. But I am already seeing several logical fallacies emerging in the arguments I get from opponents.
Because many folks clearly do not understand the difference between anecdotes and data, I’ll clear it up ahead of time. Let’s begin with this example: Some claim an increase in the wage will cost jobs. There are lots of studies out there that show this is NOT true. (But they will keep repeating the lies.) Here is what will happen:
         The minimum wage has not yet changed. Yet some businesses are closing, while others are opening. The same thing will happen after the minimum wage is increased. It is part of the normal churn of our economy. But THEN opponents will have a bogeyman – they can blame the wage increase! In reality, the anecdote of what happens in one business is just that – an anecdote. We will need to review the whole sample before we know if there was an effect on overall employment. (Again, studies show little effect.)

         Similarly, increased wages result in increased consumer demand, which leads to increased economic activity, which leads to increased hiring. So you’ll probably see ten North Liberty businesses hire two extra people each, and ten businesses hire one person each. Then a business will close, and 15 jobs will be lost. Critics will blame the wage increase. But what critics will not say is that there has been a net increase of 15 new jobs in town. Trust me – this line of attack will be starting soon.

Clearly, Rod Sullivan doesn't understand the difference between anecdotes and data, otherwise he would have used some actual data in his blog post to support his claim that "...increased wages result in increased consumer demand, which leads to increased economic activity, which leads to increased hiring."  That's all horse manure and Sullivan didn't cite ONE source!

But that's how Sullivan operates, you're supposed to take his horse manure at face value.  He is a county supervisor after all...  His rhetoric isn't factually based, it's emotionally charged.

Well here's some DATA, which debunks Sullivan's B.S.

Labor Costs

An employer who has 20 employees making minimum wage will see a $10,000 annual increase in wage costs for every 25 cents the minimum pay is raised, according to the Employment Policies Institute. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website, small businesses are least able to absorb the thousands of dollars in additional labor costs that a minimum wage increase creates. Some solutions that small businesses can employ include reducing staff or cutting costs in other areas such as marketing.


The effects of the minimum wage on company bottom lines can cause a rise in consumer prices, according to the Balanced Politics website. The company profit margin is a financial indicator that is reported to share holders and used to determine the financial health of an organization. If small businesses are faced with an increase in the minimum wage, they will need to find a way to absorb those extra costs and preserve their profit margins by raising prices to the customers.

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Hillary Clinton's Benghazi testimony is complete horse manure

By Mike Thayer

No ifs, ands or buts, Hillary Clinton is a liar.  After monitoring her testimony today before the House Committee chaired by Trey Gowdy (R-SC), it is clear that she is guilty of attempting to cover up her ignorance and disregard for the Benghazi compound security and the safety of the Americans assigned to it.

The big take away from today's testimony is her forked tongue.  She told government officials one thing about the attack, but told the American people something completely different.

On the night Benghazi was hit and four Americans were killed, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested that the attack was the result of inflammatory material posted on the Internet, a protest that escalated out of control.  The official State Department position was to blame the murder and mayhem on a video.

But this is what she told her family that same night:  "Two officers were killed today in Benghazi by an Al Qaeda- like group."

Also on the night of the attack, Clinton had a call with the president of Libya. Here's what she said to him:  "Ansar al-Sharia is claiming responsibility."

And here's what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the next day, within 24 hours, in a conversation with the Egyptian prime minister:  She told him this, "We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest."

And yet what was the American public fed for days after the attack?  That a stupid video was to blame.

When the bodies were brought back to U.S. soil, what did Clinton tell the families and the American public?  That a stupid video was to blame.

And just weeks later, what did Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama do?  Produce and release an apology video, blaming a stupid video.  The Obama administration justice department even arrested the producer of the stupid video on trumped up charges.

Clinton's testimony is about cover-up, and a bad one.  It's a complete lack of courage for Hillary to fail to admit she screwed up, a big-time screw up that led directly to the death of four Americans.  Four totally preventable deaths.  Hillary Clinton is not fit to be dog catcher, let alone President of the United States.  Hillary Clinton is not only a liar, but a coward.


Why government grants are stupid

By Mike Thayer

What a process huh?  The city/county/state/fed want you to apply for money YOU sent them!  Think about how silly the government grant process really is, especially at the state and federal levels.  They don't know better than the communities how to spend that tax money, hence an application to provide them details on a project they know nothing about.  Plus, the application process creates a paper trail so they can say, "Look what we did for community 'X'!"  Does it make sense to send so much money to a state capital or Washington and then spend even more money and time filling out paperwork chasing money you sent them?  No, it makes no sense at all.   Community 'X' should be able to say, "Look what we did for ourselves!"  It makes far more sense to keep the bulk of tax dollars in the communities it comes from, no application-grant-processing necessary.


Questions voters need to ask Johnson County Supervisors regarding their proposal to raise the minimum wage

By Mike Thayer

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors wants to hurry up and pass an ordinance raising the minimum wage from the state mandate of $7.25 per hour to a county mandated $10.10 per hour.

What's the rush supes?

They need to answer some very basic questions before they go raising the hourly rate without public input.

Question One:  Why $10.10?  Sounds rather arbitrary.  How did supervisors 'arrive' at that figure?  It just happens to match Democrat talking points and President Obama's executive order giving federal contract workers that amount.  The cost of living in DC is much higher than it is here in Iowa.  Supervisors need to qualify their figure specific to the needs of Johnson County. 

Question Two:  Where is the evidence that raising the minimum wage stimulates the economy or miraculously lifts people out of poverty?  Supervisors haven't cited any because there is no such credible evidence.

Question Three:  How many heads of household in Johnson County earn just minimum wage?  I've asked board member Rod Sullivan this very question and he refuses to answer.  Here was his tap dancing response, provided on the DePressed-Citizen comment board

I'm not concerned about ONLY those earning minimum wage. I am concerned about people earning $7.50, $8, $8.50, etc.  As for "head of household" - what does that mean? Women tend to earn less than men. You can see above that 56% work full time - isn't that a "head of household"? You can see that 84% are over 20 - isn't that a "head of household"? 26% have children - isn't that a "head of household"? They earn 54% of the family income - does that make them "heads of households"?

Sullivan knows full well what head of household means, he's playing games and throwing out a bunch of percentages doesn't answer my question.  Sullivan is afraid it seems to provide the raw number of heads of household in Johnson earning just minimum wage.  And if he doesn't know it, he's proposing a hike in the minimum wage anyway?  Huh?

Question four:  How many employers in Johnson County are hiring at just minimum wage? In looking at various classifieds, jobs boards and making some phone calls, most starting wages are already at the $10/hr level. So what is the point then, of Supervisors passing an ordinance for something that's largely, already happening?

Until these very basic four questions are properly addressed by the board, there is no reason to rush into a wage hike, especially since most employers in the area are already at the $10 an hour figure.  If it ain't broke, don't *fix* it.  There's no need for government to interfere with businesses already meeting a desired standard. 

Additional Reading:  No proof that higher minimum wage boosts economy

Real World Results:  Seattle sees fallout from $15 minimum wage, as other cities follow suit

And never mind that the answer to a poorly paying job is to get a better one. 

The sad state of current affairs

By Mike Thayer

You can't take what the Obama administration says at face value, you just can't.  But when it comes to Iran, when they say "Death to America" you KNOW they mean it! 

DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear program was "very disturbing".

"I don't know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that's his policy," he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television, parts of which the network quoted on Tuesday.

"But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it's very disturbing, it's very troubling," he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei told supporters on Saturday that U.S. policies in the region were "180 degrees" opposed to Iran's, at a speech in a Tehran mosque punctuated by chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".

"Even after this deal our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change," Khamenei said.

John Kerry is an idiot and that deal made with Iran regarding their nuclear weapons program is worthless.

And to further demonstrate that the Obama Administration is inept:

.....during an interview with CNN, White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice admitted Iran might use some of their new money to fund "bad behavior," which is diplomatic code speech for terrorism.

"We should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we've seen in the region up until now," Rice said.

Our so-called leaders knew this stuff - that Iran can't be trusted, that Iran would probably use the new money resulting from a lifting of sanctions to fund more terrorism - and Obama makes this deal with Iran anyway?  

So here's the sad state of current affairs, we can't take what the Obama administration says at face value, but we can with Iran.


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