What’s Most Wrong in Politics: Consensus building and “getting along”

It was a national embarrassment to have Joe Biden come to Cincinnati and give a speech on bipartisan support to waste 1.4 billion dollars building a new bridge for the vital I-75/71 corridor, bringing with him a whole parade of RINOs and Democrats. That bridge should have been built long ago for a lot less money. The speech by the illegally elected Joe Biden was too late and about all the wrong subjects. I happen to know several of the characters who were with Biden that day in January 2023, well, so I have some perspective on what “bipartisanship” means when Biden says it. Essentially, Biden is in trouble politically. His son is a disaster. The Chinese who have put him in place through election fraud are struggling to put behind them the scam of Covid which they manufactured, distributed, and perpetuated to gain power in the world far more effectively than any military would have, and of course, there’s a new Congress controlled by Republicans who are going to have a chance to conduct many new investigations into Biden’s criminal family and all the sins of the past now that a “Trump Standard” has been set, which no Democrat will be able to live up to. Biden has no other choice but to show up in Ohio with a bunch of boot lickers and try to take the edge off things by showing something that needed to be done, finally getting done. And it was not impressive. To do it, Biden had to sign another 550-billion-dollar infrastructure bill with all kinds of progressive garbage in it. This project is projected to cost another 3.6 billion dollars in the end, likely more, as union cost overruns take a toll and the bureaucrats realize how much they left out of their projections. Instead of being something positive, it was a gross display of everything that was wrong in government. And everyone there looked just pathetic. 

I couldn’t help but think of the irony, and I’ve spoken about Rob Portman quite a lot this year, especially concerning the campaign of J.D. Vance who was just elected to be his replacement. I’ve been hard on Mike DeWine, who was there and I have said the only thing good about him is his wife’s cookies, who, upon meeting them earlier in 2022, she is hard to dislike. And Mitch McConnell from Kentucky has been shown to be a RINO anti-Trumper from the beginning. Sherrod Brown, the other senator from Ohio, is a joke, and another cover-up from the media regarding his messy divorce, which I became involved with while campaigning for Jim Renacci. I had a chance to meet Brown during that story at Miami University, which the media helped him get through, much like they have covered up so many stories with Joe Biden. And then there is Andy Beshear, governor of Kentucky, his election was so close that what we know about election fraud and the methods of his election was very similar to what happened in Arizona this year with Kari Lake. The Democrat Machine cheated to get him elected; only an eternity ago, in this very real war, we didn’t ask those kinds of questions because we didn’t know we needed to. Biden put up on that stage a collection of political misfits on the Ohio River banks across from Longworth Hall, where the popular bridge edges past, and it brought back distinct memories of my life with Rob Portman as he was starting his political career, just how far people fall in life. And knowing all the dreams of Portman from his beginnings, the only thing I could see standing with Biden were political failures using massive amounts of money to save a government that had grown too corrupt to trust. 

During the early 90s, I was very active in Ross Perot’s Reform Party, and Rob Portman was campaigning for a suddenly open congressional seat that had come up in Cincinnati. He was a little older than me at the time, but we got along well and I wanted to help him, so I set up a Sunday night debate on 700 WLW with Portman and a bunch of other candidates for people to hear, which Portman clearly won.  During that campaign, I spent a lot of time with Rob Portman talking about all the reasons he wanted to get into politics and how he wanted to emulate Ross Perot in the Republican Party. Many of our meetings and events occurred across the river from where Biden spoke at Longworth Hall. I could tell many stories about those days involving a reformed Penthouse model married to a wealthy developer and a rag-tag group of political activists who would eventually become the Tea Party 15-16 years later. Along with some of my friends, there are still people who talk about the giant American flag that we hung from the top of Longworth Hall to all who could see it traveling southbound across the Brent Spence Bridge that hung all the way to the ground from the top. Rob Portman was a part of that group of reformers, so I have had high hopes for him over the years. But to see him broken and beaten over the years was sad and pathetic. For him to end his political career essentially sucking air for Joe Biden tells you everything wrong with politics. 

And what is wrong with politics? Well, it’s consensus-building. Once people like Rob Portman accept that getting along with bad people like Joe Biden, Sharrod Brown, Andy Breshear, and China Mitch, rather than actually standing for things, is the start toward expensive political destruction. And Joe Biden, on that day, was actually supporting that flawed premise by showing off all the losers who had been politically beaten and were “working together” in wasting money that should have gone to a project twenty years earlier. The only reason they were all there on that day was that a major political storm was brewing. With all their attempts to get rid of Trump, people still loved and supported Trump, just as people loved Ross Perot many years earlier. And back then, Rob Portman at least said he understood. But once he got to congress for a few terms and then ran for the Senate, the values of Washington D.C. clearly changed Portman. He went from that bright-eyed political reformer who would hang around my rag-tag friends on many political adventures to this washed-out husk of the flesh who propped himself up to an illegal president, showing support for him because the institution of the Senate was more significant than the value of any of them, and that’s where things always go wrong. And it starts with the value of consensus building, with concessions of value where people of good value and bad value compromise with each other, and what people end up with is watered-down, expensive garbage that comes too late and not often enough. All that was on display regarding the bridge announcement in Cincinnati is how corrupt, and costly everything is that a government of criminals can provide only when people are about to throw them all out of power with pitchforks. Ironically, it all started for Rob Portman across the river from where he ended it. And in the end, he was a shell of the person he once had been, and it was very sad but revealing to see it up close, as I had. 

Rich Hoffman

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