“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us ‘for our own good’ will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Seems appropriate for this election: Trump versus Hillary.
Although Sanders probably most perfectly fits the definition of “moral busybody”, as opposed to “self-aggrandizing megalomaniac” or “political robber-baroness”.
All fairly passive verbs; imploding, collapsing and melting down are all actions without authors.
It’d be much more accurate to say the session was killed. By the DFL. For political reasons.
Choo Choo Trains Are The New “Shutdown”: As of yesterday, the Legislature had reached an agreement on a Bonding Bill. The bill had been through conference committee. The DFL Senate and GOP House had agreed to a bill without funding the Southwest Light Rail Transit line – a big GOP promise. The bill – as bills coming out of Conference Committee are supposed to be – was ready for the governor’s signature. It was ready to be passed with no further fanfare, assuming both sides went at it in good faith, of course).
As always, the DFL did not.
Two Minute Drill: With five, count ’em, five, count ’em again, five minutes left in the session, the DFL introduced an amendment reintroducing Southwest Light Rail into the Bonding Bill.
Could this be because the DFL really likes their trains, and really really wants to see the choo choo built to Eden Prairie?
More likely? As DFL legislative candidates are starting to fan out across the state, trying to woo voters in a year when they have a Presidential option not much more inspiring than Ole Savior, the DFL wanted to induce a crisis – the death of the Bonding Bill, funding one of this state’s precious few legitimate jobs – and turn around and blame it on the GOP.
So the Transportation Bill didn’t “implode”, “melt down” or “collapse”. It was given a poison pill. It was blown up. It was shot in the face.
Preparing The Battlefield: But by taking a murder and calling it an accident, the media gives the DFL, and their propaganda arm Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a wide-open playing field on which to romp and play with public perception of the issue.
Do religious organizations such as Little Sisters of the Poor have an obligation to provide morally repugnant procedures for their employees, in violation of the organization’s religious beliefs? Must nuns provide for abortions?
Supreme Court failed to decide, stuck 4-4, sent the cases back to federal courts for more findings.
Note the reporter carefully calls these “contraceptive services” as if we were talking about rubbers. We’re not. The Liberal definition of “contraceptive” equates to “birth control” which means “we control who gets born” which isn’t limited to rubbers, it includes killing infants before they’re born, i.e., abortion. The Obama Administration wants to force Catholics to pay for abortions.
There are those who say “I can’t vote for Trump, on basic principle”.
My guiding principle is “don’t screw up the country”.
I don’t know what the answer is for this election, other than “not Hillary, ever”.
SCENE: Mitch BERG is buying topsoil at Kern Landscaping in Saint Paul. Busily loading his car, he doesn’t notice Avery LIBRELLE climbing out of an oil-belching Subaru wagon to make a deposit.
LIBRELLE: Merg! If we elect Hillary, we’ll get Bill Clinton for co-president!
LIBRELLE: That means the economy will boom!
BERG: Wait – didn’t NPR tell me the economy is already booming?
LIBRELLE: It’ll boom even more!
BERG: OK. So we’ll get Bill Clinton. Will we also get Newt Gingrich?
LIBRELLE: No. Why? Hisssssssssssssss!
BERG: Because it was the Gingrich Congress’s enforcement of fiscal discipline on the Clinton Administration after the 1994 Republican Wave that kept the Feds out of the way of the economic boom. By the way, speaking of boom – will there be any empires falling, paving the way for a massive transfer of resources from the military?
BERG: The “Peace Dividend”. When the USSR collapsed – thanks to Ronald Reagan – the US was able to move a lot of defense spending to civilian uses. Which dumped a ton of money, skill and technology into the civilian market. Which led, after a brief recession, to the beginning of a boom that ran until 9/11.
So – if Hillary plans to bring back a conservative Congress and has another “peace dividend” in her purse, we might have ourselves a deal.
NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.
Given how often Trump is accused of making verbal promises he has no idea how to deliver, it’s kind of funny seeing him showing the gun control movement – which has been doing the same thing in fact for almost 50 years.
It’s a point originally made by none other than Malcolm X himself:
Sixty years ago, 40% of African-Americans voted GOP. That changed in 1960, when Kennedy reeled in the black vote with promises of civil rights legislation…
…on which he promptly reneged.
As the Democrat party has done, over and over again, for two generations. Indeed, virtually every problem that the urban African-American community has, these days, springs from their relentless support of the Democrat machines that run their cities…into the ground.
Ms. Banks won’t be able to get a table at Carl’s Junior after this, at least in show-biz circles, of course. But she – and Mr. X – are both right.
“This is the United States government. First of all, you never have to default because you print the money. I hate to tell you. So there’s never a default. But the point is it was reported in the New York Times incorrectly,” he said, referring to a critical Times article that ran on Friday.
And before you Democrat commenters start giggling too hard? Bernie Sanders says the same thing – and Hillary doesn’t say it, but practices it anyway.
On his de facto “Daily Show” spinoff, John Oliver took twenty looong minutes to work up to his big scoop about Donald Trump; the big conclusion of his long, sometimes incisive, long, sometimes interesting, long, long bit on Trump was…
So it looks like, barring an untimely heart attack or convention insurrection, the GOP’s nominee will be Donald Trump.
It’s worth noting that early last September, when the GOP was looking at its biggest, deepest field ever, with seventeen accomplished governors and high-profile conservative Senators throwing their hats in the ring, not a single member of America’s landed punditry predicted Trump would get to the nomination.
Adams chalks Trumps success up to his love of not merely beating, but humiliating, opponents – and, quite frankly, his genius at it:
[Adams] remembers just how the game turned. He was young and improving at chess, but the masterful kid across the board would outmaneuver Adams till the game seemed a runaway. Now, this kid didn’t want to just beat Adams; he wanted to embarrass him. “So after he’d picked away three-fourths of my pieces and I was discouraged,” Adams recounts, “he would offer to turn the board around and play with my pieces.” And then effectively “win” again.
On those occasions, Scott Adams, the creator of “Dilbert,” got insight into the type of personality that loves not only the challenge of game strategy, but also the thrill of overwhelming the competition. It is the sport of meticulously plotted domination.
And that is part of why Adams believes Donald Trump will win the presidency. In a landslide.
Time will tell.
As to what I think about the nomination? I think I’ll phrase my answers in the form of a not-remotely-Socratic dialog with my favorite opponents – my caricatures of people I disagree with!
Statement or Question
“It’s the end of the GOP!”
What? Again? This is like the tenth time in my adult life people have declared the GOP “dead” over some bit of electoral trivia or another.
“It’s the end of the conservative movement!”
Well, this is a little closer. The conservative movement had its choice of 16 mostly excellent candidates – accomplished governors, conservative Senators, some excellent options. And we didn’t turn out enough vote for any of them to prevail over The Donald. I’ll let that sink in for a bit.
“The GOP created Donald Trump”
Well, no – the open primary system did. The support for Trump at any given GOP meeting, caucus or convention is razor-thin – but the rules these days give near-absolute power to open primaries. Which are prone to being flooded by people who don’t are more interested in personalities or issues than the party’s platform as a whole. Trump knew this, and used it to his advantage. Who wouldn’t?
“If you hold your nose and support Trump, you are supporting a National Socialist”.
Oh, shut up. Seriously. You want to debate specifics of German history, look me up. We’ll go round and round, and you will lose. Promise.
“I’m going to vote third-party to show my dissatisfaction with the system. Maybe I’ll vote for Gary Johnson, of the Libertarian party…”
Sure! Or you can vote Pikachu, the adorable Pokemon character. It’ll have precisely the same effect on life in America!
“There is no reason to vote Trump”
Well, no. There are two.
1) There are a lot of downticket races that do depend on good GOP turnout. And yeah, the GOP majority in DC has been a disappointment – until you think about what would’ve happened with four more years of Democrat absolute majorities. That sounds like a consolation prize? It is. Life is full of consolation prizes – if you’re lucky. If you’re lucky and smart you build on the consolation prizes.
“You said there were two reasons. You are teh lier”
As Dennis Prager says, in quoting the Torah, “only what is certain is certain”.
It is possible that Trump will appoint an idiot to the SCOTUS
It is a certainty that Hillary will appoint people who make Sonia Sotomayor look like Antonin Scalia. Given a choice between “zero” and “fifty/fifty”, what are you going to take? (Add to that the rumors that Trump was considering appointing Ted Cruz to the SCOTUS? That, alone, would be reason to vote for Trump).
“I’m sick of holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils”
And I’m sick of people wishing things would get better on their own. They don’t. They won’t. They never will. Sack up. This is life.
The best thing that happens is the conservative “movement” will grow up and realize that it can’t win by speaking to the echo chamber any more than the Paulbots could.
So I guess the withdrawal of Ted Cruz from the presidential race means November will be a contest between an ignorant, cynical, morally bankrupt New Yorker who has accomplished nothing and been obscenely overpaid for it…
… And Donald Trump.
Last time around, Hillary was the Democrat heir presumptive until Barack showed up out of nowhere and blew her away. In the Hierarchy of Liberal Victimology, Black beats Woman and all the Democrat delegates knew it. She never had a chance.
This time around, Hillary is the heir presumptive and Bernie is just a Socialist. In the Hierarchy of Liberal Victimology, Woman beats Commie any day. She’s got the nomination locked up.
But wait! Bernie could suddenly decide to become Transgender! Transgender is the new hotness. Liberals insist transgender men must have the right to use the women’s bathroom regardless whether the women like it or not; therefore, in the hierarchy, Trans beats Woman.
Bernie is running to the left of Hillary economically; he ought to be running to her left socially. The best Hillary could do in response is admit to a Lesbian affair with Huma, which everyone has long suspected and would be boring old news.
Bernie could condemn anybody who didn’t support him as a Hater, as old-fashioned, as not Progressive, as Not a True Democrat. Trans versus Lesbian – that’s a much better matchup than Woman versus Commie. Delegates looking for an excuse to dump Hillary would have a perfect out.
Liberals moan about money in elections. Imagine the Liberals are correct and it’s possible to buy politicians. How much would you pay to buy a Supreme Court justice seat to replace Scalia, knowing that failure gives the other side decades to control the law?
Over the course of the last week, Trump has made headlines and drawn attention by doing and saying things that are completely contrary to what anyone would consider sane.
Trump’s conversation with Chris Matthews on MSNBC …he told Matthews that women who seek abortion should be punished…women are the largest demographic in this country. There is no path to nomination without their support. Why would anyone alienate them?
…[later that week] Trump told the audience that the Geneva Conventions hinder our efforts…“The problem,” Trump said, “is we have the Geneva Conventions, all sorts of rules and regulations, so the soldiers are afraid to fight. We can’t waterboard, but they can chop off heads. I think we’ve got to make some changes.” …Trump also said he would not be opposed to using nuclear weapons in the Middle East or in Europe, during the above-mentioned interview with Chris Matthews.
It does seem odd that Trump – not being an idiot – said such idiotic things. I think it’s entirely plausible Trump wants to avoid Jesse Ventura’s fate, actually having to run a government.
Which is fine and dandy – but galling for those of us who have been fighting to advance the conservative brand and rehabilitate the GOP.
Last September, the GOP had one of the most stellar line-ups of candidates in history. Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and on and on and on.
But for six months, Trump sucked all the air out of the room, eating up any chance for an accomplished but regional figure like a Walker or a Jindal to break out of the pack.
And if Trump does eventually bow out, or lose at the convention, that will be his greatest disservice. Not that I don’t think Ted Cruz will be an excellent candidate – he will – but how much better a race would this have been had it been six months of grappling among serious and sincere candidates rather than the Vince McMahon stunt we’ve just spent six months watching?
The Republicans of the Upper Midwest have made their distaste for Trump pretty obvious. The Donald lost Minnesota and Iowa bright and early, and went on to tank in Wisconsin and, over the weekend, North Dakota.
Most of us have heard of “Minnesota Nice” — the friendly, reserved, play-by-the-rules behavior favored by that state’s residents. But Wisconsin has a similar Scandinavian (though more German) culture, as do North and South Dakota. When the Upper Midwest of Europe relocated to the Upper Midwest of the United States, they brought their politeness, understatement, and emotional restraint with them.
All of these characteristics are diametrically opposed to the Trump ethos of baseless braggadocio, histrionic complaint, and conflict as first resort. Critics of Minnesota Nice cast it as barely masked passive-aggressiveness, but active-aggressiveness is considered not only unseemly, but unmanly.
Scandis find virtue in stoicism. When you’re shoveling a sidewalk buried in three feet of snow, your neighbor doesn’t want to hear your complaints — especially since she’s 68, has a bum leg, and cleared her driveway before the sun rose. Just do what needs to be done, and would it kill you to put a smile on your face?
Invoking “Minnesota Nice” is lazy – but it’s not wrong, either.
Earlier this evening, Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted how Hillary Clinton committed an obvious gaffe for someone who is supposedly radically pro-abortion. On NBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked, “When, or if, does an unborn child have constitutional rights?” Mrs. Clinton responded that “the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”
If you don’t believe this, then how do you believe rights are endowed by our creator?
As you may recall, I had the great pleasure of hobnobbing with Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager last week.
And we were regaled with Hugh’s optimism…on many fronts. He’s an optimistic guy. He also just landed a drive-time network talk show contract with; I’d be pretty sunny too.
But one of Hugh’s rays of sunshine continues to be his faith in the criminal justice system; that it’ll work the way it was explained when he was a 1L at Michigan Law, or maybe 9th grade civics class. He has that faith in the system that only people in the system have.
In this case, it’s the faith that Hillary will ever be indicted, much less tried, for deliberately breaking federal law with her email server.
People like Hillary Rodham Clinton do not go to jail without first becoming governor of Illinois or mayor of Detroit, and Herself always has her sights set on a higher office than those. But even relatively lowly players in her world escape jail time. Lois Lerner turned the Internal Revenue Service into a branch of the Obama campaign, using the agency’s fearsome investigatory powers to harass tea-party groups and conservative organizations. She’s enjoying a fat pension right now rather than the federal hospitality she so richly deserves. Kamala Harris, who is trying to do much the same thing with the office of the attorney general in California, probably is headed to the Senate. The Texas prosecutors who harassed Kay Bailey Hutchison, Tom DeLay, and Rick Perry for wholly imaginary crimes are in no danger of facing real recriminations.
One of the few legitimate reasons for a goverment at all is a fair, predictable, just system of justice.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has violated a half-dozen national-security statutes, has criminally withheld information from investigators, and much more. It is a safe bet that the consequences of her doing so will be considerably less than those of failing to pay a parking ticket issued by the duly constituted authorities of Muleshoe, Texas. Something about that isn’t right.
When you lose that, in addition to all the obvious things, you lose…one of the few legitimate reasons to have a government.
So how does the GOP save the party, the conservative movement, the country, and perhaps Western Civilization itself – from the Dems, from Trump, and even from themselves?
I’ve got an idea.
Assumptions: Trump is going to get slaughtered by Hillary – but he’ll drawn a lot of “disenfranchised”, PC-weary voters from both parties; Dems who’d never dream of voting for Cruz, but find Hillary warmed-over and underwhelming.
So Here’s The Plan: Here’s how it works:
The GOP should “steal” the nomination from Trump. And they shouldn’t be even a little bit subtle about it; they should make it big, arrogant and blatant. They should poke the bear’s gargantuan ego with big nasty sticks – the better to inflame The Donald. They should do it, and do a big, ugly, arrogant end-zone happy dance when they do.
The Donald, his ego suitably affronted, will launch a “Great” third party bid – The Trump Party”, most likely. It’ll be the best ever; Trump will bring more money to the table than Croesus himself. By the time he’s done, nobody will care about “that loser” Cruz or “that witch” Hillary.
Of course, they will. The three parties will split the vote such that nobody gets 270 electoral votes. Oh, it’ll be close – but let’s look at the Electoral College under my scenario:
Lets assume Hillary takes Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – none of which I consider givens, but lets be, ahem, conservative here.
Hillary comes up one electoral vote short. Cruz, 24 shy of a win. Trump, 247 light.
And then what?
Here’s What: According to the Constitution, if there is no winner in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives chooses the President.
Disclaimers: I’m not going to bet money on any of this. Also, I’m being tongue-in-cheek as can be (which, I’m going to guess, completely escapes any left-leaning commenters and bloggers who read this. In fact, just watch; that, I’d bet money on) .
SCENE: At the offices of Kornbluth Chadwick Communications – a big Democrat-leaning PR firm in Boston. A tastefully spare room furnished in the Danish style, with a full-height window overlooking downtown Boston, includes a number of people in just-ahead-of-the-fashion-curve PR-wear.
Hanna EPSTEIN-FAEGER, director of the firm’s political communications practice, sits at the head of a glass table and calls the meeting to order.
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: We’re here to find out what went wrong with the independent expenditure ad we did against Ted Cruz. Ruth?
Ruth LOWENSTEIN-NEDZVINSKI, an assistant project manager, picks up a sleek, buttonless remote, and presses “play”
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: I think we can all agree it was brilliant. Joshua?
Joshua-Micah KORN-FLEEBER, the ad’s producer – a slight man in a lumberjack beard wearing a “Feel The Bern” t-shirt under his hemp sports jacket, speaks up.
KORN-FLEEBER: That’s correct, Hanna. The ad includes all the things that we believe that the vast majority of voters respond to: belief in the need to reinterpret the Constitution, the throbbing desire throughout the country to repeal the Second Amendment and the traditional view of marriage and remove all reference to faith from public life – and, of course, Robert Reich himself.
LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI: Americans love Robert Reich!\
(Entire table nods assent)
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: And yet the focus groups, one after the other, showed that representative voters from west of the Hudson River and east of the Sierra Madre unanimously thought it was an ad for Ted Cruz?
KORN-FLEEBER: I’m sorry. I just don’t get it.
LOWESNSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI: One quote from one focus group said “this is a fiendish parody of the east-coast liberal echo chamber”.
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: The what?
LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI: No idea.
EPSTAIN-FAEGER: So – middle-Americans unanimously thought it was a pro-Cruz ad, and some thought it was a parody of how the left thinks?
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: I say it’s a blip in the data. Let’s run it!
(Everyone nods and gathers their notebooks, phones and tablets and moves to their next meeting)
Connect The Dots, People: So the “protests” simultaneously promote a candidate the Democrats would prefer to face, starve the dangerous ones of media coverage during the heart of primary season, keep the media’s attention off of the marching band of skeletons banging on drums in Hillary’s closet, and provide a couple of layers of separation between Hillary and the protesters, even providing another entire campaign to blame if needed?
I mean, yes, it sounds all Art Bell-y – but isn’t that the beauty of it?
Trump tanking in polls against Clinton, Sanders. Any of the other three GOP candidates looks good, at this point (although I suspect Kasich’s solid showing is more related to the fact that nobody knows him).
As Kevin Williamson points out in the NR, much of what made this nation great and exceptional in the first place was the fact that we tempered democracy with many un-democratic, and even some anti-democratic, features – the filibuster, checks and balances, and of course, the most anti-democratic notion of all, “inalienable rights endowed to us by our creator”.
The idea was to moderate the depredations of the majority.
And the “political party” was one of the influences that moderated the passion of the mob. And with all their faults, they worked pretty well in American party politics. Until “democracy” took over.
It is a little ironic that at the very moment when railing against the “establishment” of either party is so very fashionable, the parties are in fact shells of what they once were. To the extent that there is a Republican-party establishment, it plainly does not have the power to, e.g., call down anathema upon a potential Republican-party presidential nominee. The day before yesterday, Marco Rubio was the anti-establishment, tea-party insurgent; today he is the establishment, if the doggie-treat salesmen on the radio are to be believed. If that leads you to believe that the word “establishment” does not actually mean anything, you are correct.
Williamson echoes a point I’ve been making (emphasis added):
It was democracy that did the parties in, of course. One of the harebrained progressive reforms foisted upon our republic is the so-called open primary, which amounts to something close to the abolition of political parties as such. If anybody can vote in the Republican primary — Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, independent, etc. — then membership in the party does not mean very much, and, hence, the party itself does not mean very much. Instead of two main political parties, we have two available channels for the communication of populist spite; the parties themselves are mere conveniences for political entrepreneurs and demagogues. Trump might as easily have run as a Democrat — he is a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, and he raves about the wonderful things the butchers at Planned Parenthood do — but the opening was more attractive on the R side.
Parties in their classic form did a decent job of moderating the mob. Not perfect – perfection is anathema to freedom, anyway – but decent.
It’s time to drop caucuses and go to a closed primary.