Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670

Every now and then it’s necessary to break it down. Why does a long time political observer and analyst find it more difficult to talk about politics these days? In Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670.

Rhetorical Partisans

Some say the US hasn’t been this politically divided since 1968. At least in 1968 we were fighting about specific issues. It seems to me we’re fighting over a person in the present time frame.

Demanding Loyalty

Attack Trump. Defend Trump. At any cost. Ideas and principles aren’t important. Commentators are running for office, under the employ of some partisan organization, or supporting a person or point of view. Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670.

Garbage In Garbage Out

Social media, the Internet and so called news sites spew a constant stream of invective, misinformation and outright lies. They are so busy predicting the future they put Tarot Card Readers and Astrologists to shame.

Read It and Weep

Denying our freedom to choose what we think about an issue based on facts, in the quest to demand loyalty is the height of folly. In Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670. We end up shouting at each other; partisan mobs, not an informed electorate.

Sponsored by Reliafund and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670


Podcast 447

Ted Cruz In Saint Paul. This podcast takes you inside a political event in Saint Paul on a cold winter night. From heading out in Mobile Podcast Command Unit 8, to making coffee in Mobile Podcast Command, parked with the media trucks, to trying to sneak into restricted meetings, interviews with Cruz Minnesota Organizer Mandy Benz, State Representative Cindy Pugh, an unidentified (by her choice) Cruz advance planner, to 2nd District Congressional Candidate and old friend Jason Lewis, put headphones on and follow me. The brand new media story line is that Texas Senator and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination Ted Cruz is running second to Donald Trump and therefore ‘could be the guy’. Two months ago the Senator sent his father, this time he came in person, with reporters clustered around the door he was supposed to walk through, while technicians set up cameras on a riser in the back of the small Harriet Island indoor pavilion. As people filled the room, a giant screen showed campaign videos complete with all your favorite national talk show hosts talking about how great Ted Cruz will be when he becomes president. An introduction from a local preacher, more videos, and finally the main event…Senator Cruz throwing ‘red meat’.  Boy, can he sling it! From rescinding Obama’s executive orders, to ‘utterly destroying ISIS’, this crowd loved it. Cruz’ strategy is to organize and concentrate on winning the Iowa caucuses, and use that momentum to win in enough key Super Tuesday states in the mid south, out west and along the eastern seaboard to gain the momentum to win the nomination, and the presidency. Can he do it? Or is he the new flavor of the month. We’ll know when people start to vote in roughly a month. Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 443

Do Something! Sick of Obama? Do something about it. Lots of emails from Bob Davis Podcast Subscribers asking for podcasts answering the President’s address to the nation last night. How about doubling the voter turn out in your neighborhood by organizing your precinct? You can bitch and moan about Obama this, and Obama that, or you can do something about it. In this podcast Political Activist Mitch Rossow introduces his new precinct organizing training program. This is a longer than normal podcast that tells you how to organize your neighborhood to win. We’re not talking about events. We’re not talking about lit drops. We’re not talking about messaging or attending your local Basic Political Unit Meeting. From the caucuses up, every citizen (in Minnesota at least) has an almost open road to become a precinct activist and having a direct impact on the 2016 election cycle. So, people have two choices. They can sit on Facebook and shake their heads, tweet a snarky analysis of the President’s speech, listen to another lecture about Jesus and The American Republic at a Tea Party meeting, or you can actually stand up and do something real. Mitch is ready to do Precinct Organizing Training Workshops. He can show you how to double the republican turn out in your precinct in one hour, and give you the tools to do it. Yelling and screaming, posting on social media, tweeting, being frustrated and angry isn’t going to win the election. Only organizing will. Let’s get to work. Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.


Republican Crack Up. A Republican Majority struggles to nominate a successor to Speaker Boehner. Moderate leadership is losing its grip because 40 ‘insurgent’ ‘freedom caucus’ Republicans refused to support top candidate Kevin McCarthy. Amid controversy over McCarthy’s Benghazi Hearing comments, and allegations of an affair, the collapse of order in the election of a new speaker, the candidacy of Donald Trump and the terrible performance of moderate candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Jeb Bush, one must wonder whether the moderate leadership is finally losing its grip. They have no one to blame but themselves. The moderate leadership of the Republican Party seems more and more out of touch with an increasingly frustrated and angry base. ‘Going along to get along’ seems to be the wrong course of action. What does the base want? Can the Freedom Caucus lead the house? Those are turning out to be much more complex questions. In a free wheeling stream-of-consciousness podcast, we discuss the underpinnings of Republican rank and file political philosophy and find … none. Senator Ted Cruz recently suggested what is needed to change America is a ‘grassroots’ movement, only without organization, there is no movement. Without philosophical underpinnings, there is no organization. Republicans, tea partiers and others on the right might suggest a ‘freedom caucus speaker’ might lead them out of the wilderness. Lead them where? To What? How? Uh….yeah. Thus, the best opportunity to elect a Republican President in years begins to fade, with a moderate leadership that can’t even run an election for speaker of a house it controls, and a rank and file that wouldn’t recognize, or vote for Ronald Reagan today. With this kind of comedy in progress, Democrats never had it so good. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Pride of Homes.

Podcast 404 – Jason Lewis Part 2

Jason Lewis Part 2. (Editor’s Note: Jason and I did this podcast in August, 2015 long before he announced his candidacy for Congress in Minnesota’s 2nd District. Lately my entries describing what is in this podcast have generated controversy for Jason Lewis, because people apparently think these notes are a ‘transcript’ of the podcast. They are not. These notes constitute a blog entry, which explain what is in the podcast. If you want to hear what was said, you’ll have to listen to the podcast. In any case, it is fair to clarify that Jason Lewis said he accepted President Obama’s Iran deal with caveats. Before you criticize, and condemn, it’s only fair that you hear the man out. February 11th, 2016 from Sumter, South Carolina, on the campaign trail.) The second half of Jason Lewis and Bob Davis on the Bob Davis Podcast. This podcast starts with an extensive discussion of President Obama’s Iran Deal, which Jason supports. This leads into a wider conversation about the US Defense and Diplomatic structure with the rest of the countries in the world, and further discussion of Jason’s larger point that the US can’t have big government abroad and small (or limited) government at home. Once we dispatch the Iran and foreign policy questions, the talk turns to politics in the United States, and the media’s role in it. Is the influence of talk show hosts like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck on American politics and its conduct of foreign policy. Other points to ponder include Woodrow Wilson and World War I, conspiracy theories about how the British provoked Wilson and his advisors into World War I, and the knock on problems which later contributed to the causes of World War II, in Jason’s opinion. Considering these foreign policy problems, what’s the political diagnoses by Jason, (who also claims to be a pariah in Republican circles here in Minnesota because of his ‘pacifist’ stance on foreign policy issues). Does the country need a personality who can pull people together, or can people generate a political movement on their own? In Jason’s opinion, Republicans continue to try to appeal to the small base that listens to talk radio, expecting bigger results. He also talks about his ‘semi retirement’, ‘going Galt’, and Minnesota’s economic situation, Governor Dayton, former Governor Jessie Ventura and the Minnesota legislature. We close with a short talk about our talk radio days and the future of media, in particular digital media versus broadcast media, and on demand audio like The Bob Davis Podcasts, and The Jason Lewis Show podcasts available here. Don’t forget Jason’s New Audio Book Power Divided is Power Checked available here. This is the kind of content sorely missing from talk radio these days. (Editor’s Note: It’s a great pleasure to work again — even on a podcast — with someone who knows how to deliver great talk content, and is smart, prepared, and witty!). Sponsored by X Government Cars

Podcast 397

Levy Trump and Cecil. No, it’s not a law firm. No it’s not a children’s book. How today’s news cycle obsessions can become tomorrow’s forgotten story. What is worth your time? From MH-370 to Ebola today’s lead story is tomorrow’s forgotten junk, to be thrown out with the pizza box from last week, and the recycling. Today’s obsessions include a lion who has attained personhood by virtue of a name and a graphic demise at the hands of a opportunistic hunter, who happens to be a dentist from the suburbs of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, and a political candidate who is the leading republican, according to the polls. You’re not allowed to criticize Trump, or you’ll be blocked or shouted down. Fortunately for those who support the New York real estate and casino developer, former TV reality show host and purveyor of Miss America and Miss Universe beauty pageants, there is no criticism of the candidate himself. Oddly enough, people who claim the polls are rigged, also claim the polls show Trump to be the best chance for Republicans to win the 2016 presidential race. Yes, people are making wild claims about Trump’s potential for success. If republicans and the country wants him, fine. But let’s take a look at polling, political polling and the foibles of making predictions about a presidential race which is yet to gel. Not only are there fifty state primary elections or caucuses to get through, there are actually fifty state elections that make up the Presidential election itself. What about Trump as a third party candidate? Minnesota’s Jessie Ventura is offered up as an example. How does one state’s gubernatorial race in the 90’s predict a win for ‘The Donald’ in a three way presidential race? Does it? What about Ross Perot’s experience in the 1990’s. The media spurs uniformed speculation driven by polls that cannot and do not predict Trump’s, or anyone else’s performance in an election more than a year from now. It’s time for a frank discussion about political polling and its limitations, aside from allowing Cable TV news the opportunity to show graphics and charts and make baseless announcements about front-runners and ‘winners’. As far as Republicans are concerned, no matter who is nominated it’s going to be very tough to build a winning election organization with people who are frustrated, angry and scared of the future, and who have not demonstrated an ability to organize, work with each other, or get out the vote in the recent past. Republicans seem to be looking for a personality to lead them out of the wilderness, rather than take it upon themselves to start solving problems and present a viable agenda. Not a good omen for the 2016 cycle. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 335

Political Crossroads. Freewheeling discussion of the big stories from the week. The Hillary Clinton Email spectacle, police shot in Ferguson, Senator Tom Cotton’s letter to the Iranians, and in the wake of his DHS vote and visit to Selma, Congressman Tom Emmer gets the better of the North Metro Tea Party. Police groups say ‘anti government’ sentiment is the cause of a disturbing increase in ambush shootings of officers. Weak minded individuals are influenced by ‘anti government’ types, who then go out and shoot cops. Really? Or, do criminals use popular protests as a justification for their bloodlust? The city manager and police chief of Ferguson, Missouri resigned, provoking a late night, unruly group of people to protest. Shots rang out and two police officers were wounded. Michael Brown’s family and protest groups issued statements decrying the shooting, blaming ‘outsiders’, without knowing whether it’s true. Who can forget the chants at one of Al Sharpton’s protests, “What do we want? Dead Cops”. Yes, words matter, protesters. Surveys show more Americans do not trust their government. Can you blame them? The United States was in fact created by anti government types. Their creation is designed to protect citizens from the government, not the other way around. If you don’t trust the government, you’re American! Democrats think Freshman Senator Tom Cotton is anti American because he had the temerity to challenge President Obama’s unilateral (that means he didn’t consult Congress on it) deal with the Iranians. A deal the President claims will prevent them from getting nuclear weapons. Tom Cotton and 46 other Senators don’t agree, and they wrote a letter to Iran’s government suggesting a future president could obviate the deal, sooner than ten years. Oh The Humanity! The wailing and the gnashing of teeth! How dare the Senate step on the constitutional toes of the White House! And when the Senate hits pay dirt, what does leadership do? Run away as fast as it can. With moderates running the House and Senate flexing their muscles and coming down on ‘extremist’, ‘populist’, ‘upstart’, and ‘radical’ lawmakers, it looks more and more like the so called Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party Movement is waning. The same dynamic played out in the wake of Congressman Tom Emmer’s controversial vote on DHS funding. Pilloried by the North Metro Tea Party, Tom responded on this podcast, and in other media outlets, and despite being called names, shouted at, and threatened with competitors in 2016, the Congressman appears in the mainstream media as a reasonable, hardworking congressman, humbly serving his constituents. Did Emmer win this round with the Tea Party? Squeak all you want, the wheel that gets the grease these days is the one with the votes, and money. As the tea party and libertarian movements falter, and perhaps fade, the political crossroads is one way. The chances of a Bush/Clinton contest in 2016 only increases if this is true. Sponsored by Baklund R&D

Podcast 287

Tom Emmer’s Vote. A vote by a freshman congressman from Minnesota’s 6th district has provoked a Tea Party Tantrum. Congressman Emmer voted for Speaker Boehner. One Tea Party group has lashed out in anger and frustration, expecting Congressman Emmer to have voted with 25 ‘insurgent’ members that nominated Texas 1st District Congressman Louie Gohmert for the Speakership. Rumors have the North Metro Tea Party petitioning Minnesota State Republican Party chair Keith Downey to give Tom a talking to. Downey was unable to win any statewide offices while Emmer managed a fifty-six percent margin in the 6th, so with all due respect to the party chair, why should Emmer listen to him? Moreover, representative Downey is hardly a Tea Party Republican. And what about the votes of other Minnesota Republican Congressmen. Where’s the outrage about them? Many people expressed their disappointment with Emmer’s vote on FaceBook. Unfortunately, much of the criticism seemed devoid of reason. People couldn’t seem to come up with a name to replace Speaker Boehner, even though Louie Gohmert was the candidate. One correspondent actually suggested talk show host Mark Levin, who is of course not a congressman and therefore ineligible. Others seemed confused as to the role of the Speaker. Still others seemed shocked that sending out links to Freedom Works and calling their congressman didn’t suddenly produce the desired result. What are the principles of a conservative? No one knows, or can’t articulate any cogent reply to the question. The missing link between outrage and actual political power is organization. All through election season, candidates trooped around to Tea Party meetings, where they were dutifully received. Tea Partiers sat there and ate their hamburgers and listened to political pablum, thinking it was enough that they were there. Despite a huge victory for Republicans in the US House this year, the best this group can muster is 25 votes against the Speaker? Despite the fact that Tea Party meetings are supposed to be informational, many of them have become little more than cults of personality. Why? Bluntly speaking? There’s little real political work being done amidst all the hot air. Sponsored by Mycompletebasement.com and by Depotstar. (Editor’s Note: Correction: The US Constitution does not require the Speaker of The House to actually be a member of the house, although the speaker always has been a member. Obviously a non member would still have to be elected by members. Thanks to Dean via Twitter for the info.)

Podcast 283 – Craig Westover

Craig Westover. Long time editorial writer for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, and political activist in the Twin Cities and Minnesota, Craig has the chops to be able to discuss the lack of principle underpinning right wing politics these days. Previous podcasts have discussed the so called discourse on social media and our society. Craig sat down with Bob Davis for lunch at a local ‘power-breakfast/power-lunch’ diner, and the result is a dynamic, freewheeling discussion in this podcast. It’s a great companion to the other podcasts decrying a lack of intellect when it comes to some posts and discussions on line, on talk radio and on cable television news services these days. This is a pronounced problem on the right, although it exists on the left as well. So, where does one start to sort it out? Craig starts with arguing from basic principles rather than what might be referred to as ‘issue advocacy’, progresses to Libertarianism, Republican politics, the US Constitution, the Tea Party, the Declaration of Independence, natural law, with some anecdotes about Minnesota politics thrown in. Craig ends on a somewhat positive note, suggesting government may not be necessary after all! If you’re involved in republican politics, job one is going to be figuring out the principles underpinning everything else. You can’t answer the question ‘What IS a Conservative’, or ‘What IS a Republican’ without first articulating some basic principles and working from there, rather checking boxes next to issues, or platform planks. If you want some answers, Craig Westover is a good person to start with. You’ll also end the podcast with a lot of questions. (Editor’s Note: The final podcast of 2014 also includes a shout out to sponsors, listeners and people who have made generous donations, but I did not have my list of names at the restaurant, so I will thank you guys now, both in the podcast and here and name you later. The Bob Davis Podcasts would not be possible without all of you.) Sponsored by Depotstar 

Podcast 254 – Andrew Richter and Jason Bradley

Local Political Organizing. People feel they have no influence in their government. While federal and state politics can be daunting for beginners, the city and town council, village, school board, and planning commissions can be fertile ground to fight city hall, and win. Crystal, Minnesota is a typical suburb of a major city. As recently as 2007, the Crystal City Council acted as a rubber stamp for nationally generated ‘master plans’ pushed on towns whether the people wanted them or not. Light Rail, Commuter Rail, Apartment Buildings, Increasing Densities, Walkable Cities, Bike Paths, and all kinds of so called ‘Green’ initiatives, created by unelected technocrats, and pushed by unelected governing boards, like Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s Metropolitan Council. Many of these towns see increasing costs year after year, higher property taxes, more debt, and unelected ‘professionals’ who pick police and fire chiefs, set priorities, expand staff and increase regulations, oblivious to opposition from the seemingly powerless citizens they are supposed to serve. In 2007, two ‘regular guys’ from Crystal, Minnesota; Andrew Richter and Jason Bradley became involved after asking some pretty innocent questions about projects the city council was considering. They organized their neighbors and laid siege to a City Council meeting. The city council listened to the citizens but passed the projects anyway. That night, Community Solutions Minnesota was born. Seven years later, in the 2014 election, Community Solutions completed a house cleaning of Crystal City Government, getting rid of all the city council members who had ignored the people years before. What did Andrew and Bradley do and how did they do it? In this podcast they tell anyone interested in taking back their city government, school board, planning commission and ultimately state and federal governments, how. Despite fierce resistance these two young men, and the community, in Crystal, Minnesota literally ‘threw the bums out’. If you’re involved in politics you know that at almost every meeting you attend these days, politicians talk and talk, but say nothing of substance. Especially in Minnesota. Especially in the Republican ranks. People are furious at local, state and federal governments that ignore them, but most don’t know what to do about it. Minnesota Republicans marvel at Wisconsin’s reforms while Minnesota’s taxes and regulations keep increasing and Republican leaders talk about ‘working with’ Governor Dayton. Minnesota Republicans wonder how they lost out in the historic 2014 election, again. Here’s how to start and build an organization that generates votes, money, and clout; The kind of political organization that terrifies rich inside consultants, wins elections, and forces politicians to do what the people want and puts the insiders … on the street. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and by Depotstar