This Story…

…is being treated as a sign of how very out-of-touch and cripplingly politically-correct Chicago, and the city’s airport authority, are:  airport cops – who are unarmed at O’Hare and Midway Airports – are being instructed to scamper away and hide in the event of a mass shooting at either airport:

“If evacuation is not possible, you should find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Block entry to your hiding place and lock the door,” but Matt Brandon, secretary-treasurer of the airport officers union, told CNN they have serious issues with the protocol.

“These men and women are sent to the Chicago police academy, and trained as police officers, and being a former police officer, I know your first instinct is to go to the problem — not run away from the problem.”

On the other hand?  I think every cop in America should be given the opportunity to contemplate facing a mass shooting with nothing but their wits and charm…

…well, no.  Not every cop in America.

Just every urban police chief.

Every urban police chief – the ones the gun grabbers always cite as supporting gun control – should be inveighed spend some time in a “gun free zone” as a “gun-free” person.  Not as a Blue Noble with the power of life and death.  No – just like every other schlub.

Failing that, though?  Unarmed cops at two of the major airports in one of the biggest “gun-free” cities / crime cesspools in the country?

Just brilliant.

The New Authoritarians

Remember when this was a representative Republic?

Either do the elites who, under Obama, have pretty well taken over:

Under President Obama, rule by decree has become commonplace, with federal edicts dictating policies on everything from immigration and labor laws to climate change. No modern leader since Nixon has been so bold in trying to consolidate power. But the current president is also building on a trend: Since 1910 the federal government has doubled its share of government spending to 60 percent. Its share of GDP has now grown to the highest level since World War II.

Change!

 Today climate change has become the killer app for expanding state control, for example, helping Jerry Brown find  his inner Duce. But the authoritarian urge is hardly limited to climate-related issues. It can be seen on college campuses, where uniformity of belief is increasingly mandated. In Europe, the other democratic bastion, the continental bureaucracy now controls ever more of daily life on the continent. You don’t want thousands of Syrian refugees in your town, but the EU knows better. You will take them and like it, or be labeled a racist.

Political correctness is to the new authoritarians what rocks through the window were for the Nazis.

Already the disconnect between the hoi polloi and the new bureaucratic master race has spawned a powerful blowback, as evidenced by the rise of rightist, even quasi-fascist parties throughout the old continent. The people at the top—including much of the business leadership—may like the idea of a central European master-state, but support for the EU is at record low. Increasingly Europeans want, at the very least, to dial down the centralization and bring back some control to the local level, and something of the primacy of traditional cultures and what are still perceived  as “European values.”

Read the whole thing.  This will be a big subject on Saturday’s show.

 

The “Honesty” Cult

Over the holiday week, this story – “Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Lie To Your Kids About Santa“, by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry – was making the rounds on social media.

According to Mr. Gobry – who, in common with a distressing number of people who lecture parents about how they should raise their kids, let the record show, has no children actually has a kid, will miracles never cease – says it’s all wrong because our rationalizations are all incorrect.

To wit:

The argument goes something like this: lying to children is bad.

Gobry thinks that the Santa story is “lying to children”.  We’ll come back to that.

It’s not just a story. Parents usually defend the Santa lie by saying that it’s just a story, like Snow White. But there’s a difference between fiction and lying.

And there’s a difference between both and “shared cultural traditions”.

It doesn’t do anything for their imagination. This is usually the next line of defense: tricking kids about Santa somehow helps their imagination. But that makes no sense. You’re not asking kids to actually imagine anything, you’re feeding them beliefs.

So what?  We “feed” our kids all sorts of beliefs; “Because I’m daddy, that’s why”, “don’t trust strangers unless they’re in  uniform”, “Jesus loves me, this I know…”, and of course, “honesty is the best policy”.  We look forward to the day when they think critically – but that’s down the road a bit, and until then, we need them to know some things  just because.

Who cares if it’s tradition? For a very long time, tradition included such smart education principles as “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Now our society doesn’t believe in beating children — and that’s a good thing.

Right.  Santa’s just like that.

Families that celebrate Christmas should have Christmas traditions! …You don’t need to invent a supersonic fat man to show your children you love them.

And if Gobry thinks that’s why we still have “Santa”, then this is going to be a difficult conversation indeed.

It’s bad tactics. From the parents’ purely self-interested perspective, the Santa lie is just dumb parenting. First of all, it erodes your trust capital. Once your kids discover that you were actively lying to them for several years, how much do you think they’ll trust you?

To be honest, this is the part where I figured out Gobry has never raised a kid in his life.  He honestly thinks kids, after about 12, need any single reason not to trust their parents?  And that they won’t seek out other reasons like a Dave Matthews fan looking for Cheetos?

The Santa lie is also used to control children: if you’re “good” you’ll get presents, and if you’re “naughty” you won’t. But really, has that ever worked?

Any parent who uses “Santa Claus” seriously, with a straight face, to “control” childrens’ behavior, as opposed to “a fun excuse to share a fun moment with the family once a year”, and maybe “as a shared inside joke with other parents”, is heading for much bigger problems.

It’s just morally wrong. Sorry to repeat ourselves, but lying to children is just wrong. It is. Just because someone is gullible is no reason to lie to them, and children have a right not to be deceived like everyone else. You can make a case for some “white lies” but the Santa lie is not a white lie. It’s just a lie.

Oh, it’s not a white lie.  Glad you cleared that up for all of us, Mr. Gobry.

Actually, I think not having Santa in their lives is a moral wrong.  Yes, eventually they, like most kids, figure out that their parents have been pulling a fast one on them.  The smart kids figure out “my parents spent all those years getting up in the wee hours to put this little hint of magic in my life, because they wanted to see me be happy.  That’s odd – but the odd bit of happiness was sure cool!”   The not-so-smart ones get neurotic about Christmas and become NPR listeners – but then, if “Santa” doesn’t do it, something will.  And the real dumb ones never quite lose the idea that some beneficent supernatural being brings them stuff for nothing, and go on to support Bernie Sanders.

And why does the “always be honest with kids” thing stop with Santa Claus?  Why are we not telling our kids “There’s a 50-50 chance Mommy and I will wind up divorced”, or “Remember, Sophia, that a meteor could wipe us all out someday!”, or “You will very likely die of a chronic, wasting disease, in a nursing home, hooked up to tubes”?

I mean, is complete, utter, academically-transparent honesty with kids the best policy, or not?

And even if it’s a lie, then learning to deal with cognitive dissonance without falling apart is one of life’s great lessons.  If a kid falls apart because “my parents lied to me about Santa Claus”?  Then the kid isn’t “falling apart because of Santa Claus”, if you catch my drift.

And, frankly, I think dealing, eventually, with the fact that Santa might not be real is a great lesson for kids; having to come to terms with the fact that not all of life is black and white, and that we all have to wrestle with cognitive dissonance, is one of life’s most vital lessons.  I pity the poor kid who doesn’t figure this out until they get rejected by a college or turned down for a promotion or dumped by a boyfriend.

It’s selfish. That’s the biggest reason. Despite their protestations to the contrary, parents don’t do it for the benefit of the children. They do it for their own benefit. When pressed and rebutted, parents will eventually blurt out “But they’re so cute when they believe in Santa!” That’s the real reason, isn’t it?

Yep.  It’s reason.   Not the reason, but one of them.

So what?

Mr. Gobry doesn’t know it, and I suspect never will, but when you have a kid, you’re signing up for eighteen years of joy – and eighteen years of sleepless nights, vacation days spent with sick kids, evenings in urgent care, birthday parties, out-of-tune concerts, looking through hair for nits, puberty, tension, “tough love”, shouting matches, junior high rebellion, head-butting and exhaustion.

You’re damn right I took a moment once a year to enjoy one of the short list of pure unadulterated episodes of crystalline happiness that the whole experience offers.  And f**k you, Pascal-Emanuel “childfree fop” Gobry, for thinking you know better.

UPDATE:  Sure enough, PEG has a kid.

Doesn’t change my point.

Selective Vapors

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

People who enter the United States without proper documentation (sneaking across the border from Mexico, for example) can apply for affirmative political asylum.  Asylum decisions are made by immigration court but the system is swamped so applicants are given a notice to appear for a future court date and released.  While the court case is pending, they can live anywhere in the country and can work while waiting for a decision.  If they miss their court date, or if they appear but fail to persuade the court, they are denied asylum and an order is issued to remove them from the country.  The Obama administration reports these people as “deported” and claims this proves the administration has been vigorously enforcing the immigration law.

But many who were ordered to leave do not leave, maybe as many as a million.  Failure to obey the court order is a crime: they are now truly illegal aliens.  They hide in sanctuary cities, where law enforcement is forbidden to check their status.  They work illegally, shop at food shelves, feed their children at public school – three meals a day in some districts – and receive medical care at emergency rooms. They are waiting for the next wave of amnesty.

After months of pounding by Donald Trump, President Obama now proposes to enforce those court orders by finding and removing the people who have exhausted their due process rights and shouldn’t be in the United States any more.  Democrats are aghast.

My question: what is the Democrat vision of America?  If we refuse to exercise control over our borders, if we reject the immigration court’s decision, if we accept any immigrant at any time for any reason . . . what makes us America anymore?

Joe Doakes

They’re trying to obscure that as fast as they can.

Just One Life

Mitch BERG is walking through a pet food store.  He rounds a corner and runs into Avery LIBRELLE, who is plastering “Simulated Meat Is Murder!” stickers on bags of dog food.   Although BERG tries to evade, LIBRELLE sees him.  

LIBRELLE:  Merg!

BERG:  Aaaagh.  Er…hi, Avery.

LIBRELLE:  It’s time to institute universal background checks, ban clips that shoot thirty assault bullets a second, and get rid of assault AR47s.

BERG:  Two of those things don’t exist, and one of them will have no effect on crime but burden the law-abiding citizen exclusively.

LIBRELLE:  But if we save just one life, it’ll be worth it.

BERG:  So saving “just one life”, no matter how improbably, should be the basis for policy?

LIBRELLE:  Yep.  Human life is sacred.

BERG:  So then we should shut down the Green and Blue lines – about ten dead?  Or perhaps get rid of Obamacare?  Or for that matter, shutting down Planned Parenthood?

LIBRELLE:  Nooooo!  Some things are more important than human life!

(LIBRELLE puts bags of dog food around ears, runs from the store)

(And SCENE)

First Amendment: Abolished In Saint Paul

I’m not a big Donald Trump fan.

No.  Really .  Not.  A.  Fan.

But I’m reminded of Churchill’s statement about Stalin; he didn’t care for him, but if Satan were Hitler’s enemy, Churchill would at least do lunch with him.

And so the Saint Paul City Council might be responsible for me doing  lunch with The Donald, after they put their own special carve-out in the First Amendment:

The St. Paul City Council will vote Wednesday on a resolution that condemns presidential candidate Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and declares Trump unwelcome within the city limits….[Councilman Dai Thao] acknowledged on Thursday he had not yet touched base with fellow council members on the resolution. “We think it will pass,” he said. “St. Paul has always been welcoming to immigrants.”

But not, apparently, dissent in any form.

Dear Mr. Trump:  While I won’t be voting for you at caucuses, I beg of you; please, please, please come to Saint Paul (aka “Chicago on the Mississippi”).  Call these morons on their bluff.

It’d be the show of the century.

It’s another big win for urban liberal privilege.

In The Land Of The Blind, The One-Eyed Man Is King

From Bob Collins’ “Newscut” blog at MPR, in a story about the congressional donnybrook over extending healthcare benefits to first responders and construction workers from Ground Zero:

With that brick, Jon Stewart showed again last night why his retirement has created such a vacuum of moral authority in the national dialogue.

Doesn’t that tell us so much about why this country is in the state it’s in?

One side gets (and, with deep imperfections, practices) its “moral authority” from a long train of the best of human thought, tracing back from Friedman and Hayek and John Paul II, back through the Declaration of Independence and the Rights of Man, all the way back to the Ten Commandments.

The other?  From standup comic on a TV show conceived as the “progressive” establishment’s answer to conservative talk radio hegemony, featuring a talented standup comic with a gift for snarky faces.

Compare And Contrast

A couple of weeks ago, Governor Dayton said that anyone who didn’t support bringing Syrian refugees to Minnesota without restriction should just pack up and leave the state. And maybe skip the packing up part.

This week? Lyndon LaRouche said that the intelligence estimates he’s seeing about the potential for smuggling terrorists into the US via the wave of refugees alarm him.

Oh wait – did I say Lyndon LaRouche? I meant über-liberal San Francisco Senator Diane Feinstein.

Doakes Sunday: Low Expectation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The student was disrupting the class.

The teacher couldn’t get her to stop being disruptive.  The teacher called the Principal.

The Principal couldn’t get her to stop being disruptive.  The Principal called for a Deputy Sheriff.

The Deputy couldn’t get her to stop being disruptive.  The Principal gave the Deputy permission to arrest the student to take her out of class.

The Deputy couldn’t get the student to stand up to leave so he dragged her out of her chair and out of the classroom.

Another student filmed the arrest.

The teacher and the Principal support the Deputy’s actions.

The student is Black, protests erupted.

The Sheriff fired the Deputy.

The lesson learned: Black students don’t have to obey school rules.

How will this lesson affect minority graduation rates, unemployment, college admissions and lifetime earnings?

Joe Doakes

Joe’s asking a rhetorical question.

We can see it in Valeria Silva’s Saint Paul Public Schools.

And when Silva’s gone?  We’ll see it in her successor’s SPPS, as well.

Just watch.

Doakes Sunday: Romper Nation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The gun control debate is a language problem: Liberals don’t speak “Logic,” they speak “Fear.” Or, if you prefer the old terms, “Dialectic” and “Rhetoric.”

Old White men committing suicide are no threat to me, I don’t fear them and don’t care if they have guns. Gang-bangers killing each other in the ghetto are no threat to me, I don’t fear them, let them keep their guns. Policemen shooting Gentle Giants, domestic abusers shooting spouses, children accidentally shooting themselves, none of those are threats to me, I don’t fear them, I don’t care about their guns. I include those deaths in the total of “gun violence” because it makes the problem sound more pressing so I can convince ignorant people to let me solve the problem that really concerns me.

A 20-something White male with mental health issues, inspired to become famous by copying other mass shooters, who has access to guns and to my church, school, shopping mall or movie theatre – that guy’s a threat to me. That guy, I fear. That guy’s guns, I want to take. If the only way to do it is taking everyone else’s guns, well, that’s how we did it in grade school: when one kid farted and nobody would own up to it, the entire class lost our recess privileges. Why expect different behavior from adult Liberals?

Joe Doakes

Collective Guilt is a hallmark of authoritarians and totalitarians everywhere.

Just Another Day In The Life Of Every Saint Paul Conservative

I got this via email yesterday, in response to Tuesday’s SITD Saint Paul Voter Guide:

Mitch
You are quite mean spirited aren’t you.
[Redacted]

Because in the world of the Saint Paul DFLer, dissent, satire, humor (even if not all that good) and criticism of the Dear DFL Leadership is “mean”.

Guess I’m lucky it wasn’t “hate” this time.

Who Knew?

Some European countries aren’t having epochal refugee crises:

Other countries without an extensive welfare state don’t seem to have Sweden’s problem. Reuters reported that Lithuania “is throwing its doors open to refugees fleeing war and hardship in the Middle East, but is finding few takers.” Rimantas Vaitkus, deputy chancellor of the Lithuanian government, told the news agency: “We are prepared to accept refugees immediately, but there are no refugees in Italy or Greece who agreed to resettle in Lithuania. . . . It seems that refugees know about Sweden, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, which either have generous social security or have been actively attracting immigrants.”

Huh.

There simply must be some mistake.

The Next Book To Emerge From The Pages Of SITD?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’ve often thought about writing a book.  I started one in college – the draft has long since disappeared.  I write blog posts that could be expanded into a book.  And I know a couple of people who’ve written books, I could get tips and advice from them.  But every time I start, it turns into a lot of work and I am not known for my patience.

Maybe a book of short stories centered around a common theme, like “The Martian Chronicles,” self-publish on Amazon and retire on the royalties? Still too much work.  What if I crowd-sourced it?  What if Shot In The Dark readers each took one story idea and ran with it?

Story One: Chad is a 20-something White male who suffers from mental illness but won’t take his meds because he doesn’t like the way they make him feel.  When the voices in his head get too loud, he does crazy stuff that gets him arrested.  But by the time of his commitment hearing after the 72-hour hold, he’s back on his meds and coherent, his parents swear he’s gentle and kind, his ACLU lawyer argues he’s not a threat to himself or others, and the judge releases him.  Until one day when he’s off his meds, a girl in a coffee shop snubs him as a “nobody” and moments later he sees CNN talking about somebody who shot up a school who’s now famous.  The voices convince him to pursue fame by committing his own massacre.  How he plans and executes the crime . . .

Story Two:  Patricia, the mother of one of the people Chad killed, is media-savvy and politically connected.  Her incessant television appearances produce a groundswell of Right-Thinking people who convince the President to issue an Executive Order repealing the Second Amendment and appointing her Gun Czar with authority to rid the United States of privately held firearms.   How she plans and executes the seizure . . . .

Story Three: Charlie, a farmer near St. Cloud, who owns shotguns for bird hunting and rifles for deer hunting, hears about Patricia while eating breakfast at the local diner but thinks little of it until Deputy John pulls his squad car up to the farmhouse saying “I’ve gotta take your guns, Charlie, it’s the law.”  What happens next . . . .

Story Four: Dante, the owner of a recreational pharmaceuticals distribution franchise in Frogtown, sees Patricia on the television while eating lunch at White Castle and frowns.  How will he defend his territory from poachers and his profits from thieves?  How he circumvents the law . . . .

Story Five, Six, Seven – you get the idea.

Joe Doakes

Hmmm.

Writing a book via semi-crowdsourced blog posts?

It’s almost crazy enough to work

On Celebrity

Kevin Williamson, the most essential writer in American conservatism today, on the celebrity cult that dominates not only, well, celebrity, but increasingly public life:

As a fairly committed theater-goer, I like actors as much as the next guy, but I also endorse the traditional social ranking of them alongside prostitutes and tinkers, a few degrees inferior to mule-drivers and emancipated peasants.

Naturally, the whole thing is worth a read.

Our Idiot Elite, Part CXXXIX

Kevin Williamson:

There’s a great deal of talk about elitism in American politics lately, most of which misses the point: The problem isn’t that our media and our policy debates are dominated by elites—of course they are; that’s what elites do—it’s that our elites aren’t very good. Our elites do not effectively perform the social function of elites. On some very important issues, such as crime and the economic struggles of the lower-earning half of American households, the discussion is dominated by elites whose members don’t have much useful knowledge to contribute to the conversation.

On quite a few major issues, our “elites” are dumber than the mid-range general population.

Family Lawless

I’ll admit up front; I don’t know all the facts of this case.

And I doubt we’ll ever really find them out.  This case has been jammed forcibly onto the radars of pretty much every person in the Twin Cities media and pundocracy for quite some time now, by parties – family law attorneys – who appear to be as inept as Heather Martens when it comes to shaping public opinion.

And so I’ll admit that I don’t know everything one needs to know about the case.

But if the facts are as the father has presented them (and given the exceedingly erratic behavior of the mother throughout this case, and, in my frank opinion, the retention of Michelle MacDonald as counsel, I’m inclined to believe the father) and the defendant brainwashed the children against the father?

If that’s the case?  If there’s ever been a case to justify waterboarding someone, this is it.

Any parent who brainwashes their children against their other parent has to look waaaaay up to see Nazi war criminals.  While I oppose the death penalty on principle, I think any parent who brainwashes and kidnaps the kids to deprive an otherwise-capable parent of access to their children deserves a death that violates the entire Bill of Rights, and maybe the ISIS Constitution too.

The English language has no word dark and vile enough to describe my hatred for such people.

Our House

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Immigrants stormed the Chunnel and got 10 miles toward Britain before police stopped them.  Refugees or invaders?
New estimates show the vast wave of immigrants moving to Europe is about 25% refugees fleeing violence in Syria, and the rest young men from Balkan countries looking for a better welfare deal in Northern countries, hoping they can bring their families to join them.  They’re not fleeing violence, just Third World squalor, possibly of their own making.  Northern Europeans are showing signs of reluctance to admit unlimited numbers of violent freeloaders and the usual suspects are aghast.  How to explain the problem in terms ordinary people can understand?
You’re at home.  It’s a stormy night.  There’s a knock at the door.  You flip on the light and see a family huddled on your stoop.  “Our car broke down, it’s pouring, we saw your light; can we wait inside for our ride?”  Sure, why not?   As you’re getting them towels, another knock.  More stranded motorists, needing more towels, and something hot to drink.  Another knock, a bunch of young men who saw the lights and figured there was a party, some head to the kitchen to raid your fridge and one is feeling up your daughter.  Another knock . . . .
At what point do you say “That’s it! This is my house, everybody get the hell out!”
Joe Doakes

Depends on who you ask, naturally.

This is yet another issue where Libertarians – who often favor unrestricted immigration – have their feet planted firmly in the clouds.  Unrestricted immigration may make perfect sense – if the immigrants are all autonomous gentlemen farmers who match the local population of, well, autonomous gentleman farmers.

As opposed to, y’know, uninvited guests.

Rules For The Paleo Man

Last week, the NYTimes published a piece by a Brian Lombardi, “27 Rules for the Modern Castratus” – retitled “27 Rules for the Modern Man” at publication time.  In it, he spelled out a list of “rules” for what passes for a “modern man” among NYTimes readers and staff – a few that were pure common sense, and a bunch more that seemed to devolve from some combination of “feminization” and “slavery to marketing”.

And while the criticism of the piece was immediate and usually hi-freaking-larious, I figured it was high time we codified the rules for those of us who consider modernity to be a cancer when it comes to matters of eternal principle.

And so I present “Rules for the Paleo Man”

  1. The Paleo man does a good job, whatever his job is.  He also knows it’s his responsibility alone to know what “good job” means, and how to do it.
  2. A Paleo man presents himself to the world exactly as he needs to to be appreciated as what he is; whether a CEO, a plumber, a soldier or a radiology technician, he says what he needs to say, does what he needs to do, wears what he needs to wear to convey the impression that he does a good job.  Fashions and trends and brand names are irrelevant; being seen as a good investment of others’ time and stewards of others’ investment, property, well-being or safety is.
  3. The Paleo man respects himself.  He treats himself accordingly in his personal habits.
  4. Because the Paleo man respects himself, he respects others, and acts accordingly.  It also means he keeps the opinions of others in proper perspective; they’re feedback, not guideposts.
  5. The Paleo man respects women in general, and his significant other in particular.
  6. The Paleo man has integrity; he practices what he preaches, and he only preaches what he needs to.
  7. The Paleo man takes care of his kids, whatever it takes.
  8. The Paleo man protects himself, his loved ones, his neighbors and his property; whether childproofing his living room or becoming proficient with a shotgun – and teaching them how to do the same – he learns, and does, what needs to be done.
  9. The Paleo man has the tools he needs to do all of the above; whether that tool is a socket set, a book on “Diaper Changing for Dummies”, a melon baller, a new Java Virtual Machine, a shotgun or an Armani, he knows, obtains and takes care of the tools he needs to earn a living, care for and protect his family.  Brands and fashions and trends don’t matter to him; effectiveness does.
  10. A Paleo man doesn’t need a list of rules to tell him any of this.
  11. A Paleo man doesn’t tell others how to live their lives.  And he quietly dismisses others who try to tell him how to live his.
  12. A Paleo man only goes into a club with a DJ if it’s a very promising date.   Otherwise, it’s either a live band, or a jukebox.

 

The Vortex

The GOP is about to embark on a bruising battle over who’ll succeed John Boehner as Speaker of the House.

Kevin Williamson notes that it really might not matter that much, because Congress at the moment is little but a speed bump (emphasis added):

As [Conservative speaker candidate Louis] Gohmert notes without quite saying so, these United States are in the process of transforming the form of their union government from that of a democratic republic to that of a unitary autocratic administrative state. Barack Obama and other progressives have hastened that transformation in no small part because they consider the American constitutional order in purely instrumental terms rather than as a good in and of itself. Sometimes the constitutional order serves progressive ends and sometimes it constrains them, which is why President Wilson despised the Constitution and President Obama simply ignores it when he believes it necessary, adopting as he has — with rather less fuss than one might have expected — a Gaullist rule-by-decree model.

And if you’re a frustrated conservative Republican?  You’ve got reason:

The familiar ratchet effect is in operation: The Left in power expands the state, particularly the executive, and the Right in power does not reverse the turn, in part because conservative politicians like power, too, in part because reversing those expansions is difficult, and in part because even if conservatives win the fight there’s not much juice in it.

Is this part of an eccentric, unpredictable cycle of the ebb and flow of power?  Or an inevitable part of the United States getting just too big and too diverse?

 As my colleague Charles C. W. Cooke points out, the lack of an American king and an American prime minister has not prevented the traditional English contest between crown and parliament from sneaking into American politics. And the crown is winning. The waxing of the president and the consequent waning of Congress is a result of the deep psychological structure of mass democracy on the American scale, probably an inevitable one. TAmerican democracy was born in the New England town-hall meeting and in state assemblies, relatively intimate venues where following the operations of government was non-cumbrous. A population of more than 300 million with worldwide interests is a very different sort of thing. From the very beginning, the mere scale of the American project ensured that most Americans would find it incomprehensible: How many Americans at the time really understood that James Madison and Alexander Hamilton went into the Philadelphia Convention plotting to abolish their government and set up a new one? How many can identify the main points of contention between Senator Cruz and Senator McConnell?

It’s easy to try to boil it all down to simplistic chanting points – and both sides do it.

But the American experiment was largely predicated on the idea that we’d have a population full of people who weren’t all that different from each other (intellectually and politically, anyway) – a point the unwitting nostalgia for which I satirized in Trulbert, but which also happens to have had some merit in analyzing our founding.

We’re anything but that, anymore.

“Safe, Rare, And Awesome, Dude!”

Planned Parenthood supporters are trying to trend a “#ShoutYourAbortion” hashtag on all the usual annoying social media.

And if you’re a pro-lifer, this may be the best news of all:

Recent polling from Gallup revealed that 61 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in the first trimester. After that, though, “support drops off sharply, to 27%, for second-trimester abortions, and further still, to 14%, for third-trimester abortions.” Thus it is that the average voter is opposed to the overturning of Roe v. Wade – and in favor of banning abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. Thus it is that America’s moderates believe that women should enjoy a short window during which to make a decision, and that after that point the government should step in. Thus it is that the practice carries with it a serious stigma – even in the eyes of those who believe it must remain available. Should the “shout your abortion” contingent somehow manage to persuade the country’s leading pro-choice politicians to speak about the phenomenon as if it were a mere trifle – or, perhaps, even to praise it — they would be entering new and untested ground — ground, I’d venture, on which they may begin to lose. As my colleague Ramesh Ponnuru has argued convincingly, the perceived aggressor in any culture-war dispute is likely to be the ultimate loser. Might there be a good reason that the pro-choice crowd has remained reticent?

They may be wrong, but they’re not stupid.

Well, some of them aren’t, anyway.