The morning after

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 requests from 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 Congress during 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

A reminder: vote

…and vote against this kind of thuggary (list courtesy of Instapundit):

Joe Manchin: Struggle Not to “Beat the Living Crap Out Of” Republican Opponent

Hillary: ‘You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.’

Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History.

Plus:

Republican Party Office In Wyoming Set on Fire Two Days After It Opens

Florida County’s GOP Office Vandalized by Gunfire

 

Remember: Jobs, not Mobs.

“What I meant to say was…”

One of the things I most detest about how our primaries and general elections work is that after months of working to make their opponents look like the devil incarnate (i.e. ad hominem attacks rather than careful discussion of substantive policy differences), losing candidates in the primaries suddenly endorse the winners and in many cases become their biggest cheerleaders.

And the political class wonders why the public is cynical and doesn’t take what they have to say very seriously.

www.usnews.com

That Ted Cruz stopped short of endorsing Donald Trump yesterday at the RNC convention garnered him lots of attention, much of it unpleasant.  I’m still not convinced Cruz is everything his supporters hope and wish him to be.  But his advice to the gathered crowd to “vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution” is probably one of the sanest and wisest things to be said thus far this election season.

The center cannot hold

Years ago, I had a conversation with my dad about how neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were any good for the nation; that both were for ever-larger government, just for slightly different agendas and beneficiaries.  Given that the conversation took place in an election year, and that I was actively seeking alternatives, he was quick to remind me that “only two parties have a chance of winning.”

That wasn’t the first time I’d heard that, and in fact was tired of hearing it. So I pointed out that in Germany by late 1932, only two parties had a “chance of winning” (to lead a coalition): the Nazis and the Socialists/Communists.  I asked dad which I should vote for under those circumstances.  He wasn’t particularly thrilled with my response.

My thoughts returned to that conversation last night as I watched the news about Trump cancelling his rally in Chicago (where else?) due to threats of violence.  Whatever you think of the man politically or personally (and I admittedly don’t think much), yesterday’s events are a poor portent for where our society is headed.  The current generation has been indoctrinated by their college experience to shout down and deny a platform to anyone they believe to be “hurtful” (my poor feewings!).  Naturally, that usually means traditional, truly conservative, patriotic and/or Christian speakers — after all, when’s the last time you heard of Noam Chomsky or George Soros encountering unruly protestors disrupting their speeches?  Now this juvenile leftist campus atmosphere is bleeding into our national political processes, aided in no small part by the current administration, which was elected eight years ago while urging supporters to “get in their faces” and “punch back twice as hard.”  After largely ignoring the thuggish rhetoric of Team Obama and the growing intolerance on college campuses, the press has suffered an attack of the vapors at discovering the targets of that approach (a large percentage of whom are now Trump supporters) are rhetorically responding in kind.  In fact, a case could be made (and has been) that Trump is to some extent the GOP’s Obama (must-click link here!) — more an organizer than a thoughtful leader.  That said, I also don’t believe Ted Cruz covered himself in any glory by using the thuggery of leftist activists primarily to attack Trump.  Trump didn’t ‘create‘ this environment, Ted — he exacerbated one that already existed and was largely created by Gramscian leftists.  You missed an opportunity there, much to my disappointment.

With both sides fanning the flames of passion rather than appealing to reason, is it any wonder the physical tensions are rising?  We would do well to remember that the politics of Weimar Germany, to which I alluded earlier, were filled with literal street fighting between supporters of the opposing camps (this is where the oft cited, but rarely understood in context term “brown shirt” comes from).  There are days when I wonder if we are very far from such circumstances in today’s America.  In the same way Northerners and Southerners held each other in increasing contempt and dehumanization during the first half of the 1800s, we’ve had about half a century of the same process between alleged “liberals” and “conservatives” today.  This is complicated further by the fact that ever-larger numbers of people grab onto those brand labels while following a crowd, with no real understanding of what they mean (truly studying history and political theory is, after all, work).

There is more to this, though, than the simple fact many people are hurting as a result of our government’s failings over the last couple generations.  Every election cycle partisans all across the political spectrum are told “this is the mostest importantest election EVER!”  Fears of a reshaped Supreme Court, or radical legislation in Congress, or the “wrong” person holding the inordinate and unconstitutional power of Executive Orders are trotted out to get everyone to hold their nose and vote for “the lesser of two evils.”

And all along, that means they’ve been voting for evil: for ever-larger government that does everything EXCEPT what it’s supposed to do (i.e. protect the people and punish wrongdoing regardless of the criminal’s social status).  And the more government power has grown, the more dependent its various constituencies have become, so that the chance of the opposition gaining control is seen as an existential threat by both camps.  It is virtually impossible today to roll back any of the Federal government’s power, influence and control because of these well-entrenched constituencies.  THIS IS NOT WHAT THE FOUNDERS INTENDED!

I can confidently make some predictions: regardless who wins the White House in November, the federal debt will continue to increase, we will continue to engage in pointless overseas combat with no well-thought strategic framework guiding the mess, immigration will continue to flood our nation with people who have even less knowledge of how things are supposed to work here than do the Americans for whom this system is supposed to be a treasured birthright, citizens (and illegal invaders) will continue to demand more bread and circus services from Uncle Sam, and the government will continue to increase its police powers, destroy the middle class, and dumb down education so that the citizenry can neither fully understand nor effectively fight what is being done to it.  These are not sustainable practices.  So while we may not be living in the Lord’s “last days” yet, I believe we’re living in the last days of America as we’ve known it.  As Glenn Reynolds recently put it:

When you have a society that can’t do things that need to be done because every change threatens somebody’s rice bowl or offers insufficient opportunities for graft, you’ve got a society that is due for a reset, not for incremental change.

The thing is, resets are often kind of ugly.

Indeed.  And as I’ve often told students, history shows that revolutions are far more likely to result in worse circumstances for the people than they are to improve them (French Reign of Terror and Emperor Napoleon, anyone?).  For that reason alone, we should treasure the unusual results of 1776, however imperfectly they may have realized the ideals of the Declaration at first.

Instead, we sold our birthright for a mess of political pottage and patronage, and it’s far from certain we can win it back.  Now it seems we’re truly hoist between Scylla and Charibdis.  Maybe after another trial by fire we can remember that it’s better to solve differences with discussion and ballots, rather than disruption and bullets.  If we ever do successfully reset, I hope we’ll also remember that the best way of preventing desperate struggles to gain the “prize” of political power is to make that power not so all-encompassing to start with.

Trump is not inevitable

Update: another interesting take on the primary results thus far.  Again, this emphasizes Trump is not a fait accompli unless accepted as such.

***

Journalistic abuse is at its most obvious during an election year.  Reporters latch onto narratives (“candidate x is ‘unelectable;'”  “Trump’s momentum is unstoppable,” etc) rather than presenting facts objectively and allowing the citizen to make up their own mind.

After yesterday’s Super Tuesday results, the headlines revolve around the fact Trump won seven of the 11 states in play.  If mentioned at all, it’s noted that Cruz won “only” three (Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska).  Certainly sounds like Trump has jumped out to an insurmountable lead, doesn’t it?

Until you look at it this way:

Super Tuesday - NYT - 3-2-2016

Granted, Trump has more delegates than, say, Ted Cruz at this early point.  It’s important to note, however, that most of Cruz’s delegates were won yesterday (Texas is one of the bigger states, with more delegates up for grabs).  So counting “number of states won” is a misleading assessment at best (Vermont, for instance, had 16 delegates at stake yesterday; Texas 155!)  Instead of crafting a story about Trump’s supposed inevitability, the facts from yesterday would just as easily support a narrative that opposition to Trump may be finally coalescing around Ted Cruz.  Counting “superdelegates,” (a party practice I have a huge problem with, but that must be acknowledged as part of the process) Trump has garnered 488 delegates to Ted Cruz’s 305.  More than 1200 are needed for the nomination.  Put that way, Trump’s lead doesn’t sound nearly as commanding as “seven states to three,” does it?

I’m not here to say Ted Cruz is a perfect candidate.  I do believe he has more strength of conviction behind the conservative positions he espouses than does Trump the Opportunist.  As a Senator Cruz opposed the “Gang of 8” immigration amnesty bill that Marco Rubio was heavily involved with (and that alone sets my preference between those two right there, since I believe cutting off the invasion flood of ‘immigration’ is the essential issue of this election).  Finally, let’s face it: if the main reason for voting for Trump is the perception the establishment hates him (and I’ll be the first to admit I’m an anti-establishment voter), then Cruz is certainly a viable alternative:

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham thinks his party has gone “bats—” crazy, and joked Thursday that it’s possible to get away with murdering Ted Cruz if it happened in the Senate.

If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you,” the former presidential candidate said at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 72nd Congressional Dinner, referencing the Texas senator’s unpopular reputation on Capitol Hill.

(For the record I cannot stand Lindsey Graham, so if a politician is known by his enemies that’s an endorsement for Cruz!)

I have not yet made up my mind about which candidate to support, so do not construe this post as a whole-hearted endorsement of Cruz.  I am admittedly leaning that way, but my research there is ongoing.  What this post is meant to be is an antidote to the various media ‘narratives’ out there that are already trying to turn the 2016 election into Trump versus Clinton.  There are far too many variables still in play–including legal action against against both Trump and Her Hillariness–for that to be the case, so don’t meekly accept it as a foregone conclusion.

Do your due diligence, America.  Vote for for the candidate you believe in, not the one “everyone” is telling you is inevitable/’electable.’ Listening to those media-enhanced voices simply creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.  We should all know by now the lack of wisdom inherent in an argument that begins “well everybody knows…”

Be independent and follow your own conscience.  Not the masses.  And whatever you do, America, don’t let the justifiable anger you feel towards our governing class cause you to take an emotionally driven act you may later regret.  Plenty of people were only too happy to see Caesar cross the Rubicon, too…

 

Cultural identity as political advantage

Can you detect a pattern here?

– A Washington Post columnist has said the political world wouldn’t be taking Carly Fiorina seriously “if she wasn’t a woman.”  Note in the video she quickly shouts down the surprised response from another guest who says “what about Hillary?”

– Mark Halperin, managing editor of Bloomberg Politics, grilled Ted Cruz with questions about his Cuban heritage, as if he were trying to show Cruz isn’t a “real” Hispanic.  But as of yet, nobody has asked Elizabeth Warren what her favorite tribal chant or dish is, or to greet another political contender in the Cherokee language…

– MSNBC suggests Ben Carson only got where he is by affirmative action.  But despite the abysmal Obama record, none of the media punditry are willing to suggest the only reason a first-term Senator even MADE it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is because enough people thought it was time to give a black man a chance at the White House.  Rather than ushering in an era of racial reconciliation, all we did was elevate a partisan divider who has set back race relations a couple of generations, all for the sake of his vanity and a radical agenda the press couldn’t be bothered to cover fairly before Americans pulled the voting lever for him.

The hypocrisy is astounding.  If you’re a Republican/conservative, the mainstream press trots out the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.  (“Nobody who holds those views could be a REAL Hispanic/African-American/Woman!”).  To admit otherwise harshes the narrative that certain categories of people are automatically downtrodden, and therefore beholden to the Democratic/liberal establishment.

I”m annoyed at the clamor by both parties to advance/nominate women and minorities now, as though successful governance consists solely of breaking glass ceilings at this point in history.  I realize the novelty bandwagon is good for getting political attention, but it shouldn’t be the main point.  What we need are the most competent leaders available, without regard for melatonin count or whether they have matching chromosomes.

Can we try to run an election vetting based on that for once?