"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive." — C.S. Lewis
In an unsurprising (but disappointing all the same) development, Americans have handed control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats for the next two years. Republicans, however, have tightened their grip on the Senate, picking up seats there. My initial thoughts:
Pelosi, Waters and their crew will use their restored subpoena power to make the administration as miserable as possible until 2021. Buckle up for the ugliness. That said, Democrats are probably regretting the precedents Obama’s administration set of ignoring such requestsfrom Congress. Trump won’t have forgotten that. What goes around…
Retaining control of the Senate means the administration can continue building what may be Trump’s most enduring legacy: resetting the Judiciary by appointing judges who view the Constitution through an ‘originalist’ lens and are less likely to engage in policy direction by judicial fiat. The impact of these appointments will be felt for decades.
There will be no funding for a border wall any time soon, unless Trump tries to coopt Defense Department money through Executive direction. At the same time, the Senate will be able to prevent Democrats from undoing very much of the last two years (tax cuts, deregulation, etc).
There are still strong rumors (especially from the “Q” quarter) that ongoing investigations into prominent Democrats may soon yield indictments and the full declassification of the FISA court shenanigans. One theory is that Trump held off pulling the trigger on these so as to avoid accusations of politicizing the investigations during an election cycle. If true, that’s likely a wise move. It also means the Democrats may soon be more on the defensive than their win of the House would normally indicate.
It will be instructive to see what independent counsel Robert Mueller’s next move is. He, too, is said to have held back during the election season. With that over, I suspect he’ll be under increasing pressure from both sides to show his hand and “put up or shut up.”
In short, while disappointing, I don’t yet see last night’s results as a full-blown disaster. As many pundits noted, the President’s party usually loses seats in Congressduring his first midterm election. There is one ominous thing to point out, however. Overall the Democrats ran a much more openly leftist/globalist agenda this cycle… and they still picked up considerable support. That a candidate like Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke could challenge Ted Cruz so strongly in Texas is not a good long-term signal. Nor is having Florida’s gubernatorial and Senate races within a percent of each other. (Related note: the vast majority of Beto’s funding came from outside Texas, something that in my mind should be prohibited. Residents of one State have no business trying to buy elections in another one.) We are a deeply divided nation with two incompatible worldviews vying for dominance through government force.
Demography and the long-term effects of leftist indoctrination in our education system are having the intended effects. That’s why this Trump period is so important. So far it has been the only successful push back against the Left’s “long march” of the past three decades. But unless traditional Americans break the lock the globalists have on the education of the next generation, it’s only a matter of time before an ignorant population rejects the birthright their ancestors worked so hard to achieve.
“When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.” Adolph Hitler, May 1937
God never told us to be tolerant of wickedness in our midst, or to run away, hide, and hope it leaves us alone. He told us to eliminate it. Toleration of evil means eventual submission to it. And the only limits that evil ever recognizes are those that are imposed on it. Tolerance has failed. Conservatism has failed. Moderation has failed.
When Christ encountered the moneychangers in the Temple, he didn’t ‘tolerate’ it for a second. God’s mercy didn’t extend to indefinite ‘toleration’ of Sodom, either (which should be a warning for our society today). And of course moderation has failed. The ongoing and accelerating degeneration of our society is a spiritual battle, and a synonym for “moderation” is… lukewarm.
“Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.” — Billy Graham
The world’s best-known evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham, has died. He was 99.
From the gangly 16-year-old baseball-loving teen who found Christ at a tent revival, Graham went on to become an international media darling, a preacher to a dozen presidents and the voice of solace in times of national heartbreak. He was America’s pastor…
Presidents called on Graham in their dark hours, and uncounted millions say he showed them the light. He took his Bible to the ends of the Earth in preaching tours he called “crusades.” Even now, anywhere a satellite, radio, TV, video or podcast can reach, his sonorous voice is probably still calling someone to Christ…
His reputation was untouched by sex or financial scandals. When anti-Semitic comments came to light as transcripts of conversations with Richard Nixon surfaced, Graham was promptly and deeply apologetic.
He never built a megachurch, set up a relief agency, launched a political lobby or ran for office. Yet he redefined American Protestant life by popularizing Christianity’s core message — Christ died for your sins — downplaying denominational details and proclaiming the joys found in faith…
In 1996, when he and Ruth were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, he once more shared his faith in God with some of the most powerful men on Earth:
“As Ruth and I receive this award, we know that some day we will lay it at the feet of the one we seek to serve.”
In the comments on a story about the L.A. school district passing a resolution declaring schools a ‘safe zone’ for illegal immigrants, there was this gem:
“The democrats that support sanctuary cities are worried about ruining our legal justice system by firing (former FBI Director) Comey?”
I suspect the FBI has more on the Democrats than the Republicans at this point (though the two compete for bottom feeder status). It’s clear the Bureau has been sitting on some potentially explosive investigations for some time.
So it’s hard to believe that removing an intransigent Director is anywhere in the same league as the many cities and States that have openly proclaimed they will defy the law where immigration in concerned.
But then, consistency only makes rare appearances among the denizens of D.C. these days.
“The problem with trying to induce the benefits of nationhood onto Afghanistan is that there’s no nation there. Afghanistan is a more of a blank spot on the map where neighboring nations aren’t.” — Stephen Green, via Instapundit
Many Americans just can’t seem to understand that many people groups don’t wantto live like us, and that our efforts to shape them that way is seen as aggression of the highest order. One cannot make a state where there is no national identity. And for much of the Middle East and Central Asia, identity is found in family, kinsmen and tribe. Lines drawn on a map by outsiders mean nothing, as the Pashtuns of both western Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan have shown.
Same is true of Iraq, an artificial conglomerate of Sunni, Shia and Kurds. Left alone without Saddam as the heavy-handed glue to hold them together, the country would fragment and the Kurds would no longer be the largest ethnic group in the world without its own homeland. While I was in Baghdad years ago, President Bush announced our mission had shifted from toppling Saddam to building a free, united and stable Iraq. A quick wit on our team quickly turned that into a drawing on the wall, with the caption of “pick any two.” That’s still the wisest assessment I’ve ever heard about that instance of mission creep.
Notwithstanding efforts to spread the Gospel, it’s time to let others live as they’ve chosen, and stop bringing so many of them here so we can do the same.
An adult president is going to have to tell the American people that a mandated equality-of-result economy is fossilized, entitlements are insolvent, the debt is unsustainable, interest rates are going up, the medical system is pure chaos, and people have to get over expecting to live off government, not because it is unethical, but because it is untenable.
The problem is, our infantilized society — in which “you hurt my feewings” seems now to be the measure of everything — is increasingly unlikely to elect such an adult. Indeed, rather than re-embracing the values and norms that once made our society thrive, the current generations seem determined to run farther than ever from them. Given that, it’s far more likely the untenable status quo will continue until it simply can’t, at which point we’ll be lucky if there are adults around to clean up the mess and try to rebuild. We’ll be even luckier if those rare adults take on the burden of leadership more out of altruism and a sense of civic responsibility instead of personal ambition.