Who but Donald Trump could make Gavin Newsom a firebreathing states-rights federalist?
From the American Heritage dictionatry, the word “Distillation”
- n.The evaporation and subsequent collection of a liquid by condensation as a means of purification.
- n.The extraction of the volatile components of a mixture by the condensation and collection of the vapors that are produced as the mixture is heated.
- n.A distillate.
It’s the middle of June, 1940. Germany has just conquered all of Europe. The British have just withdrawn their army from the continent, in a miraculous evacuation that was the only redeeming note in a catastrophic defeat.￼￼
The army had left virtually all of its equipment – just about everything heavier than a rifle – in France; it would pretty much have to be re-equipped from scratch. ￼￼The Royal Navy had been badly bloodied. The Royal Air Force, likewise, leaving itself under strength to face the German Air Force in the upcoming campaign to try to bomb the UK either to the negotiating table or into a state ready to be invaded. ￼German U-boats were ravaging the merchant shipping on which Britain depended for not only all of its industrial raw materials and oil, but virtually all of its food.￼￼￼
Prime Minister Winston Churchill went on the radio and gave a speech after the last of the British Expeditionary Force arrived home.
What speech did he give?
He could’ve given a realistic speech – pointing out the sobering facts of the situation, and readying the British people for what was likely going to be at best a disheartening and economy-gutting armistice that left them sitting alone on their island, and at worst complete conquest in the face of an invasion that would certainly follow,￼ if the Navy and Air Force failed.￼￼
Churchill gave￼ a speech that was, if all you cared about was the facts on the ground, utterly unrealistic;￼ he told Britain, and the world, that the United Kingdom would fight to the last inch of ground, and if Britain fell the Commonwealth would carry on the fight forever, until Europe was free again.
It was a little like that poster of a mouse holding up a middle finger at a diving eagle; “the last great act of defiance“ was the caption.
And it was one of the greatest bits oratory in the history of the English language.
And it was completely unrealistic.
But it was leadership.￼
In 1987, Ronald Reagan had already proved he was the best president of my adult lifetime. His leadership had brought America back from the worst case of emotional depression it had ever suffered, and from an economic downturn every bit as nasty as 2008, but much more short-lived. And after running for office on a stridently anti-Communist message, he had￼ already sent the message that Soviet expansionism was off the agenda, and made it stick.￼
He was scheduled to give a speech at the Brandenburg Gate – the very symbol of divided Germany, and the high watermark of communism in the west.￼￼. It was a time when most political and academic “experts“ in the west expected the Soviet union – the “second world“ – was here to stay; well five years later everyone said the USSR was eventually going to collapse, nobody that anybody was paying attention to was saying it in 1987. They had the worlds largest military, the worlds largest nuclear arsenal, and they controlled a good chunk of Europe and Asia.￼￼
Reagan’s advisers urged him to take a moderate, conciliatory tone￼ toward the east Germans, the Soviets, their new (or at least newish) leader Mikhail Gorbachev, ￼and the wall he was standing in front of.
To give￼ a “realistic” speech.
￼ instead, he gave a speech that electrified the resistance in Eastern Europe, that galvanized support for democracy among the downtrodden, and did its part, along with much of the rest of Reagan’s policy, in the downfall of the Soviet union that had a thousand fathers by 1995, but was very nearly an orphan before Ronald Reagan was elected.￼
It wasn’t “realistic“ to the conventional wisdom of the day. It was leadership.￼
Donald Trump is no Winston Churchill, and he’s no Ronald Reagan.
This week, he said that he wants America to be “back to work“ by the Easter weekend.
Is this realistic? Maybe not. The experts say it’s unlikely. The legions of not very funny late night comics and ￼blue-checked droogs say the idea itself is risible.￼￼. And the whole business of declaring America open or closed is mostly the responsibility of the state governments, and the free market itself. I, myself, plan on working from home (although I am working, knock wood).￼
But America is a restless, endlessly creative, impatient nation, overstocked with people who are not going to sit on their hands and wait for things to get better; it’s a nation full of people who are descended from people who came from all over the world, uprooting everything they knew,￼ to make things better.
Trump could have echoed the words of the scientists and experts gathered around him. He could’ve lectured the nation like a hectoring schoolmarm, or like Barack Obama. But he’s got a stage full of experts, including his vice president, and more importantly 50 state governors, already doing exactly that.
Trump urging America to “go back to work“ Easter weekend is not the Dunkirk speech, and it’s not the Brandenburg gate speech.
It’s not eloquent, and it’s not going to go down in history.
But it’s leadership.￼.
The economy runs as much on psychology as it does on money, analysis and marketing. It’s trends depend as much on how people are feeling as objective fact. Don’t believe it? Have you checked the toilet paper aisle lately?
The nation’s psyche needs a boost. Trump is setting a tone; the United States is not going to be on sick leave forever. He’s telling a nation with cabin fever that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When? Maybe Easter, maybe memorial day, but it’s coming.
It was brilliant. It wasn’t scientific. It may not of even been all that well advised.
But it’s what America wants to think, and wants to hear. We’re not stupid, we’ll hash out the details later.￼￼￼￼.
Conservatives, especially conservatives who are “out” critics of the mainstream media, get routinely accused of “hating” journalism. The late Nick Coleman was particularly, er, “acerbic” in his criticism of those who had the gall to criticize the news/industrial complex, claiming in one bout of hysteria that bloggers “wanted to kill the Strib”.
While we correctly savaged the Strib, and especially Coleman, on issue after issue, it was still baked wind. Self-government, small-“D” democracy, needs a functional, and above all trustworthy, media (among many other institutions) to survive.
And by “”trustworthy”, we mean “can be trusted to report the news, truthfully, regardless of its own institutional and individual political opinions.
In Europe, the media are pretty honest about their political points of view, on an editorial level; the Times of London and the Frankfurter Allgemeine are center-right; Guardian and Die Zeit and Le Monde are all various degrees of left. You know the slant before you pick up the paper. You can account for it.
American media has built a myth of objectivity, or at least of being a so-called “neutral voice”, around itself; Minnesota Public Radio news even made “No Rant, No Slant” their motto for a while, and it’s not much different than the mythology American media built for itself over the past hundred years or so. In my freshman year journalism class,
And it’s never really been true. Some journos do in fact do their best to separate their personal views, of course – I’ve got nothing but respect for the best of them.
Many journalists also do their best, but inevitably reflect the fact that their entire frame of reference is left-of-center. Their education, their workplace, their social circle, are an ecosystem where some variety of The Left is the old, current and future Normal. When they confront a different point of view, they can seem a little like Jane Goodall venturing out among the gorillas.
And when things are chugging along like normal, who cares, right?
The New Abnormal . But then something pops up that threatens the order, and not in a good way. What then?
The media has been rightly seen as slanted to the left for close to fifty years. With the rise of talk radio and alternative news 30 years ago, you could sense that the “elite” media were starting to give up on the pretense of balance and detachment. The notion of the “neutral voice” has been
But with the election of President Trump, the floodgates got dynamited.
The “neutral voice”, isn’t.
“Oh, Mitch – you and your hyperbole”.
No. Not at all.
The Gatekeepers Speak: “On the Media” is a production of WNYC Radio in New York. It’s a public station, one of the flagship station in the National Public Radio chain. Like a lot of NPR productions, sometimes it’s excellent. Sometimes the smug rolls off it like fog off a loch.
And sometimes, it accomplishes its mission – which in the case of “On the Media”, is to serve as the exposed id of the “elite” media in this country.
With that in mind: this show was broadcast on December 1, 2016 – probably as fast as could be put together on NPR timelines. It had four segments:
- The first gazed navel-ly about “how the media should cover President Trump“. Because conveying the facts and letting the audience make up their own mind was presumably not good enough anymore.
- How talking about Trump “Normalizes” him – unless the media changes the rules when discussing him. This featured reprentatives, not from The Nation and Slate.com or Buzzfeed or Samantha Bee. No, they were from the NYTimes and Washington Post. That led to another segment…
- How the language itself needs to be understood, and harnessed.
- And, lest the foregoing was too oblique for the casual listener, a segment linking the (as yet unstarted) Trump administration to Putin’s variety of autocracy, and laying out the imperative for the media to use it’s power to prevent “Normalizing” the president-elect.
And the media’s behavior in the three and a half years since has mapped to that template, as the media has grasped at every possible straw to try to “take down” the President.
We didn’t even need to get this leaked to us, like ‘Journo-list’ – although I suspect I may have been the only conservative listening to that groaningly pompous program, and I suspect that’s WNYC’s assumption as well.
TL:dr – At least some of the people at the apex of the “layers and layers of gatekeepers” have abolished the old rules of journalism, publicly but yet internally, as re Donald Trump.
The “elite” media’s entire coverage of Trump over the past four years, on every issue, has followed the template that’s suggested, sub rosa, in the four On the Media pieces above.
Will the rules change back when Trump leaves office? Of course not – the media had the same general attitude toward Republicans, conservatives and the issues of the right for a generation before 2016.
But the institutional imperative to use the media’s power toward political and social ends? That’s not going to end.
Distrust, but verify. And then, almost inevitably, if some smidgeon of partisan politics is involved, distrust some more.
America’s left, sotted as it is with Urban Progressive Privilege, has little doubt that it is the the smart crowd.
Of course, you don’t have to be a conservative in Saint Paul, or on social media, to know that that’s just not so. This has been bouncing around for a while, but it’s worth a read.
In the 2018 GSS, respondents were asked for whom they voted in 2016 (PRES16) or for whom they would have voted if they had voted (IF16WHO): Clinton, Trump, someone else, or no one.
On the verbal ability test (WORDSUM), not surprisingly the median number of vocabulary questions correct was the same for both Clinton and Trump supporters: 6 out of 10 words correct. The mean verbal ability score for Trump supporters was 6.15 words correct, while the mean verbal ability score for Clinton supporters was 5.69 correct, a difference of nearly a half a question on a 10-question test. This moderate difference is statistically significant at p<.0005.
Further, Trump supporters score significantly higher on verbal ability (6.15 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.70 correct), whereas Clinton supporters score significantly lower on verbal ability (5.69 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.98 correct).
I know, I know – another self-service social science survey that makes one side feel good and jabs at the other. Notify the media.
Wait. I am the media.
Big Left’s smug superior self-image is…irrationally exuberant.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:￼
Colleges are telling students not to return from Spring Break. Schools are closing. Employers are letting people work from home. Everybody is taking the virus seriously.
Except local government. The courts are open. They’re going to stay open, all of them, until the State Court Administrator tells them to shut down.
Look, for people who get arrested and need an arraignment to get out on bail, fine, I get it. You need a judge on duty. Same for Orders for Protection, emergency guardianship, etc. But the hearing doesn’t have to take place in person in the courthouse, it could be Skype.
For nearly everybody else – conciliation court, family court, probate, real estate, contract disputes – the hearing is postponed indefinitely.
Why not get out ahead of it now? Why wait?
I blame Trump. I suspect Democrats are afraid that if they close down the court system, Trump will pounce on it as an excuse to impose martial law and there will never be another election again. No, seriously, I really do think they’re that paranoid. After all, that’s what they would do, if the shoe were on the other foot.
Berg’s 7th Law.
Nobody’s laughing now.￼
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Now that’s funny, right there. I don’t care who you are.
That there is funny.
Didn’t think The Donald could do “pithy”. That was a good one.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Shouldn’t the torn-up pieces of Trump’s speech be in the Smithsonian? First State of the Union Address Ripped Up by the Opposition Live and On Camera?
If Trump was black they would have done it. Just because he’s orange is no reason to discriminate against him. This is racism, straight up.
I have to wonder what Trump is doing to the chemical tan business…
The success of the Babylon Bee has apparently caused the mainstream media to try to horn in on the “Real-sounding fake news” thing, without quite getting what “satire” is.
CNN “reporter” Joe Lockhart on Twitter yesterday (via Hugh Hewitt, who’s noted the “Retweets” the “Reporter” got.
You just know that TV stations, local NPR affiliates and newspapers around the country are going to run the former and ignore the latter.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Chief Justice Roberts, whom President Trump has taken no pains to avoid offending, now presides over the impeachment trial. The chickens are coming home to roost.
This is an excellent opportunity for Roberts to prove how impartial and non-partisan the court system is. I doubt it will happen. My guess is he’ll be a Rino squish, ruling in favor of the Democrats every time to show how fair he is, which will prolong the agony and give the Democrat controlled media a chance to work on Squishy Republican Senators.
Remind me again, how many votes do they need to convict? And what’s our margin of safety?
Our margin of safety is going to be Joe Manchin.
I’m being facetious. But only a little.
None of which will come from our idiot “elite”.
Rose MacGowan – who, I’m told, is something of a movie star – twote:
Ms. McGowan – I suggest going to Teheran to work this out personally.
Wearing the outfit in your Twitter profile photo.
Get back to us. If you can.
The assassination of Soleimani does present some gnarly questions: he was a fair target under current international agreements about terrorism – but one could raise questions about whether it was a great idea. Also whether it was an act of war.
On the other hand, we’re treated to the spectacle of watching politicians, deep-staters, media drones and celebs who batted not an eyelash over Obama’s constant, intense campaign of drone, air and special ops “hits”, complaining about Orange LIterally Hitler Man doing it to a target that actually matters, but up to whom The LIghtworker sucked…
…and having to choose, in public, during an election year, with whom to side in public.
Why choose? It’s both.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Office of the President of the United States.
Dear Mister Berg.
Congratulations, you’ve been selected to participate on President Trump’s advisory team. Its job is to come up with the priorities for this administration for the next four years.
I started a list of priorities, which I’d like you to rank. Feel free to add others if I’ve missed some.
Please note that when ranking your priorities, we are hoping to concentrate on two or three which actually can be accomplished, given that the House of Representatives is dead set against us and half the Senate Republicans are Never-Trumpers who will back-stab us the first chance they get.
Climate change. Border wall with Mexico. Trade Agreement with China. North Korean nuclear weapons. Islamic Terror. Fracking. Taxes. Conservative judges. The national debt. Health insurance. Immigration law reform. Foreign aid. United Nations. NATO.
Thank you for your assistance. I know it’s a frustrating and challenging task to make a list which the media will blast and everyone whose pet peeve doesn’t get top billing will hate.
Now you know what it feels like to sit in the big chair.
Advisory Team Lead
I’ve been a critic of Trump, especially his personality, since most Democrats were faithfully tuning in “Celebrity Apprentice” weekly.
But under the circumstances, seeing the legislative landscape greeting his agenda makes “Crank the Trump Persoanlity to 11 and let fly” actually makes a lot of sense.
A friend of the blog writes:
This retweet- I have no words…
… except that if the couple he was retweeting ever read this, then they would find the racism in the US.
Berg’s Eighth Law – “American progressivism’s reaction to one of “their”constituents – women, gays or people of color – running for office or otherwise identifying as a conservative is indistinguishable from sociopathic disorder.”
– applies here.
And applies, and applies, and applies some more.
CBC erases Donald Trump’s cameo from the movie Home Alone 2.
Steyn’s comment is the part I love throwing out there. Trump is a former Democrat, and spent a couple of decades as a blue state cultural icon before going apostate.
Or, as I put it on the air, “I disliked Trump back when “Celebrity Apprentice” was appointment TV for many of his critics today”.
It people just aren’t retaining stuff from 9th-grade civics class like they used to:
Are you gonna tell him?
I’m not gonna tell him…
The media rolls its eyes and plays innocent about the attempted coup going on in Washington. They’re just reporting the news, maaaaaaaaaaaaaan:
Mollie Hemingway from Federalist points out the elephant in the room:
You could hear it, in plain sight (as it were), in November of 2016, when reps from the NYTimes and WaPo newsrooms.
No. Seriously. Listen to it. Be disgusted. I’m not a huge Trump fan – seriously, not. But listening to that? Let’s say Big Leftymedia doesn’t want to start a civil war.
If they did, what would they be doing differently?
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Before Christmas, Democrats in Congress expect to vote on articles of impeachment to remove President Trump from office.
Before Christmas, funding for the federal government runs out, unless President Trump agrees to continue the funding.
This creates an opportunity for President Trump. I can’t wait to see how he uses it.
Me too. Unlike the Boehner-era Republicans, Trump and McConnell might just do the right thing with an opportunity like this.
This is the Associated Press, over the weekend:
In a sense, they have a point: I’ve been gleefully urging Democrats to push impeachment without rest almost since Trump was elected, seeing it as at best a goldmine for Trump, and at worst a gateway to a candidate I’d have actually supported on my own in 2016, Mike Pence, to the Oval Office.
But it’s almost like they want citizens to think that impeachment was part of some GOP/NRA/Heritage-Foundation/Military Industrial Complex plan to make the Democrats look like idiots.
And the worst thing is, Democrat voters will probably believe it.
Jessica Kwong, progressive stenographer at former magazine “Newsweek”, on Donald Trump’s thanksgiving:
“it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake”
In other words, pre-written.
The Big Media aren’t “the enemy of the people”. They’re worse; after assuming the mantle of “guardian of democracy” (which, we are told, without their ministrations would “die in darkness”), they are doing something very, very different. They’re worse than an enemy; they are betraying a trust – however misbegotten.
They are swindling the people.
UPDATE: And apparently the once-mighty Newsweek can be shamed into decency; Kwong has been fired.
I’m sure she’ll be off the beach soon.
I really, really do.
What conservative, when seeing the precious, twee pretense of “arty” progressives’ political statements, hasn’t been tempted to cut loose with a can of spray paint, a sawzall or an air horn, just as a statement of artistic criticism?
The grotesque caricature masquerading as commentary?
The sanctimonious preening masquerading as high-concept art?
Or anything Ken Weiner ever drew?
The struggle is real.
Which is why I’m of two, or actually three, minds about this story – the (cue cliche alarm) Florida man who slashed the “Trump Baby” balloon.
“I don’t know how many of ya’ll Republicans out there got any balls about yourself, but they got that Baby Trump balloon down here on campus right now and I’m going down here to make a scene, so ya’ll watch the news. If you got any balls, come join me,” Hutchinson [said in a Facebook video]. “This is pathetic. I’m fixing to get rowdy, so ya’ll pay attention. I’m shaking, I’m so mad right now, but I’m fixing to go, I’m fixing to pop this balloon, without a doubt. Stay tuned. Should be interesting.”
“Baby Trump” has been seen around the world where Trump has been, such as London, Buenos Aires and Los Angeles. Over $6,500 was raised through a GoFundMe to bring it to Tuscaloosa.…First-degree criminal mischief is a Class C felony in Alabama that is punishable between 1 to 10 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
There’s a legal defense fund for the guy, and it’s racked up a ton of money. He’ll need it.
On the one hand – it’s fun to think about confronting those precious fops physically.
On the other hand? A conservative should be showing some respect for others’ freedom of speech, not to mention their property rights. A person’s right to swing their fist ends where the other person’s nose begins. Fun as it is to think of the snowflakes who haul that excrescence around wetting their pants at the thought of someone disagreeing with them, meeting them with violence makes you no better than “Anti”-Fa. One meets bad, stupid speech with more, better speech – so if someone wants to build a “Baby Snowflake” balloon, I’m all on board.
On the third hand? Hey, look – it’s a red state, and the authorities are arresting and prosecuting someone whose politics they most likely agree with, but who is breaking the law and inflicting violence on other. Someone tell Jacob Frey that that’s how it’s done.
Although telling Jacob Frey how it’s done will probably get prosecuted as a hate crime.
Four years ago, Democrats got a little crusty when you pointed out that, underneath the targets of their respective rhetoric, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump had a lot in common.
Both preached an implausible platform that grabbed a lot of people who wanted (and want) a politician to “Fix things”, sure. Beyond that, both of them were America-firsters, although Sanders only manifested that through wanting to keep American jobs in the US (via economically ruinous means, natch).
And now – well, the same goes for Warren:
Warren’s catchphrase, “I’ve got a plan for that,” has as much cultural resonance with her base as Trump’s “Make America Great Again” does with his, and it’s remarkably similar to Trump’s “I alone can fix it.” It tickles the intellectual erogenous zones of a certain type of progressive wildly overrepresented in the upper echelons of the meritocracy. It screams: “We have all the answers!” and “We know what to do!”
Technocratic liberalism isn’t just an ideological worldview dating back to Walter Lippmann’s 1914 Drift and Mastery, it’s a cultural orientation. If you can’t see it, it’s probably because you’re part of it. Fish don’t know they’re wet, after all.
The media loves to point out the craziness and impossibility of many of Trump’s promises. He said fixing health care would be “so easy.” He vowed to eliminate the deficit in eight years. (It’s up nearly 50 percent since he took office). He was going to ban Muslims and make Mexico pay for the wall. Whether his supporters believed him or not, they liked what these promises said about his priorities. “Don’t take him literally,” we were advised, just “take him seriously.”
Demogogs gonna demigog.
So was there a pattern of passive-aggressive abuse in Mayor Frey’s manipulation of the Minneapolis Police Department, ensuring that they would in turn not inconvenience DFL politicians in the crowd and simultaneously not be around when mobs of droogs septuple-teamed, sucker-punched and spat on the elderly and female (but, curiously, rarely if ever young, fit male) Trump supporters?
I’m not saying “Hell yes, definitely, beyond a shadow of a doubt” – but I’m strongly hinting that you wouldn’t be wrong if you said it.
Also not saying that Mayor Frey is a soy-boi that strongly supports mobs of “toughs” roaming around picking off the elderly and female Trump supporters. I am, most directly, saying that if Jacob Frey pisses off the passive-aggressive soy-bois and social “justice” tyranny harpies, he’ll be looking for a new job come the next election time, since they control the DFL party to which Frey owes his career.
There is no chance of dealing with this through the City Council – that’s going to be a one-party fantasyland until some catastrophe makes conservatives of all the survivors.
Democrats so far have refused to answer any questions about the violent protest. This is especially important, given that one of their own—DFL state rep Aisha Gomez—was among the leftwing mob.
Specifically questions that have not been answered are:
“Do you disavow the protestors who threw urine at cops, and hit and spit on Trump supporters?”
“Do you disavow the use of rhetoric like ‘kill a cop, save a life,’ and ‘blue lives don’t matter’?”
“Do you disavow political violence?”
“Do you disavow Mayor Frey for not allowing the Minneapolis Police to defend themselves?”
“Do you disavow state rep. Aisha Gomez for associating herself with the most violent group of protestors?”
Disavow? He owes them his livelihood.
But the courts offer some slim hope of justice:
Anyone hurt during the rally should seek legal counsel and file a suit against Frey on the basis of a civil rights violation (42 USC 1983).
Pass it along.
Trump goes to hostile areas – Minneapolis, the Nationals’ stadium.
“Progressives” – spoiled, entitled public unioneers, academics, PR flaks disguised as journalists, “students” and non-profiteers, eternal beneficiaries of a prosperity they had nothing to do with creating – act like spoiled toddlers, continuing the tantrum that started three years ago and looks unlikely to stop until 2025 at least.
In Minneapolis, hundreds of testosterone-raging post-adolescent rage-o-holics and their soy-boi significant others/servants beclowned themselves and ganged up on the occasional lone, elderly or diminuitive rally-goer, presumably feeling the earth move in the process.
And in DC?
And I have to think that Trump has got to be looking at more such appearances in “Blue” territory; these outbursts of toddler tantrum-mongering have got to be racking up the contributions, the votes, and the moderate Democrats thinking “OMFG, who are these clowns?”
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
I love reading Powerline, but sometimes, their contributors completely miss the point
Here’s a column suggesting impeachment should be done fairly, on a measured and reasoned basis, with the President assisting Congress to reach the Truth.
Impeachment has nothing to do with the truth. Impeachment is strictly a political act, similar to a vote of no-confidence in Parliament. Democrats know this and are playing hard ball: anonymous rumors and gossip as “evidence,” Republicans excluded from interviewing witnesses, nobody getting due process.
This impeachment investigation has nothing to do with high crimes or misdemeanors. This is a prolonged campaign commercial so their pals in the media can scream Trump Impeached to deceive the last few low-information voters.
There’s no mystery why Trump refuses to play along. The mystery is why establishment Republicans want him to.