Equity

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If taking a selfie in the Capitol is insurrection and attempted assassination of Congress, what is giving The Deadliest Virus Every Known to members of Congress, their staff members and people in the White House?

Why aren’t Texas Democrats held in solitary confinement until their treason trials?

Joe Doakes

Because the Texas Democrats don’t allow the Democrats, nationally, to deflect away from their support for the costliest riots in US history?

The Fix

I’ve observed, with tongue half-heartedly about a quarter of the way into my cheek, that you could tell there not a significant number of “white supremacists” in last year’s riots, because as the Midway burned, vandalized and/or caked with graffiti, Allianz Field, the playground of upper-middle-class white progressive Europhiles and, we were once told, immigrants, protected by not so much as a row of barberry bushes, had not so much as a squiggle of Sharpie on it.

So the notion that “white supremacists” were behind the riots seems…far-fetched.

But it’s interesting that the owners of Allianz Field and “Minnesota United” would seem to be the only people who stand to profit, maybe immensely, from the riots.

Hastily Made Portland Tourism Ad?

So is this a tourism ad, or a cry for help?

Odd tourism ad, doncha think? Usually you get a picture of nature, or a soaring skyline, or beatiful people enjoying dazzling nightlife. But not this time.

So what does a tourist do in Portland? Apparently you can cross a bunch of bridges. That might have some allure. I have it on good authority that Portland has a number of restaurants, but it’s difficult to tell what the bill of fare might be from this brown paper ad. It’s possible the restaurants in Portland feature word salad. “We’re a place of dualities that are never polarities.” What does that even mean? Does it mean this?

Portland crowd-control police unit resigns en masse after team member  criminally charged - East Idaho News

That might be the dazzling nightlife? After all, things are going well:

Every member of a police crowd-control unit in the US city of Portland has resigned after one of its officers was indicted on an assault charge.

The charge stemmed from violent anti-racism protests that rocked the city, in the state of Oregon, last year.

Prosecutors allege the officer used “excessive and unlawful use of force” against a protester in August 2020.

But Portland’s police union described the decision to prosecute the officer as “politically driven”.

The reporting here is from the BBC. Looks like they didn’t get the “mostly peaceful” memo. 

Desperately Seeking

Twin Cities media – in this case, the “Minnesota Reformer”, aka “MN Monitor 4.0” – is apparently still hoping for the FBI to charge “Umbrella Man” with destroying or damaging 700 buildings last year.

I’m sorry. That was snarky.

I’ll try again.

They are apparently still awaiting formal confirmation that Umbrella Man led a horde of “white supremacists” who managed to damage 700 buildings, while leaving not so much as a single swastika or “14 Words” refernce – being simultaneously a bunch of brain-damaged losers and operatives with Mossad-level fieldcraft skills. .

Updates as the situation warrants.

Newbies

Have we reached a tipping point in the culture war as re guns?

It’s not a new point – if you’ve listened to my show, you’ve heard the story.

But this past year, 40% of gun sales were to people outside the “white male who’s already got a bunch of guns” stereotype:

Not only were people who already had guns buying more, but people who had never owned one were buying them too. New preliminary data from Northeastern University and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center show that about a fifth of all Americans who bought guns last year were first-time gun owners. And the data, which has not been previously released, showed that new owners were less likely than usual to be male and white. Half were women, a fifth were Black and a fifth were Hispanic.

In all, the data found that 39 percent of American households own guns. That is up from 32 percent in 2016, according to the General Social Survey, a public opinion poll conducted by a research center at the University of Chicago. Researchers said it was too early to tell whether the uptick represents a reversal from the past 20 years, in which ownership was basically flat.

Further evidence (along with the fact that younger Americans overwhelmingly support the right to keep and bear arms) of this thesis.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/an-arms-race-in-america-gun-buying-spiked-during-the-pandemic-its-still-up/ar-AAKvZfB?fbclid=IwAR3XpPNFnN3AzvSBuOo0Lg1yYnPyr606bKqagbSsPdSkYuIWo5cFxPEFA90

This Ain’t No Foolin’ Around

The sound of gunfire, off in the distance/I’m getting used to it now.

That wasn’t off in the distance. It was the scene at 38th and Chicago yesterday, also known as George Floyd Square. Sure, it was the middle of the day, but it’s always a good time to bust a few caps, right? This news report was, ahem, deadpan:

The Minneapolis intersection where George Floyd died was disrupted by gunfire Tuesday, just hours before it was to be the site of a family-friendly street festival marking the anniversary of his death at the hands of police.

Nothing quite says family-friendly street festival like random gunfire. But fortunately, a bona fide journalist was on the scene:

Journalist Philip Crowther, who was shooting live video from 38th and Chicago, reported hearing as many as 30 gunshots about a block east of the intersection. Crowther said a storefront window appeared to have been broken by a gunshot.

“Very quickly things got back to normal,” Crowther said. “People here who spend a significant amount of time, the organizers, were running around asking, ‘Does anyone need a medic?’ It seems like there are no injuries.”

Mr. Crowther? There’s nothing normal about any of this. But hey, we appreciate the narrative!

Well, That Turned Around Fast

Friday Morning: local media cover the bejeebers out of a press conference – the sort of coordinated coverage that screams “a PR flak is working this hard”:

While challenges remain, downtown Minneapolis’ progress toward a post-pandemic revival is picking up steam, according to the panelists who joined a Friday morning online forum hosted by the Minneapolis Downtown Council…“My take on all of this is that you haven’t seen anything yet. Downtown is going to come back stronger and bigger than ever,” said Fhima, who leads the kitchen at Fhima’s Minneapolis.

Still, the panelists said, downtown is currently battling the perception that it’s unsafe — a perception Fhima [1] said was fueled by the lack of foot traffic on downtown streets during the pandemic, when many office workers shifted to working from home and widespread closures of restaurants and venues kept visitors away. Just as an empty restaurant might make diners question the quality of the food, he said, an empty downtown can leave visitors unnerved

“Challenges remain”, indeed.

18 hours after that coordinated burst of manufactured sunshine blowing up the Twin Cities collective nethers:

Two people were killed and 8 wounded in a shooting in downtown Minneapolis, police said early Saturday.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that two people were standing in a crowded area and got into a verbal confrontation,” the Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement.” Both individuals pulled out guns and began shooting at each other.”

Look – I enjoy downtown. I’ve worked there, and 2-3 years ago I used to go down there for concerts fairly regularly – move the Dakota than the First Avenue these days, but whatever. And as a taxpayer, I’ve had a lot of taxpayers money “invested” in it on my behalf, so it’d be nice if the current occupants at the City Council stopped screwing things up.

Not holding my breath, of course.

[1] Have any of Dave Fhima’s restaurants ever succeeded? . I haven’t paid much attention to the restaurant scene, but going back ten years or so, any of his places turned into their own vacant slices of downtown in a year or so.

The New Rules

Remember when there was an unstated rule, when following news coverage of a crime in the Metro – if they didn’t mention the offender’s ethnicity or show a photo, it actually answered the question?

New addition to the rule: if the story pertains to criminal justice’s response to last year’s riots, and the offender’s ideology – “Boogaloo”, “proud boy”, whatever – isn’t mentioned, you know by omission whose “side” they were on.

Case in point.

Prove me wrong.

Chum

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Andrew McCarthy writing at National Review says the Chauvin jury was correct to convict him, not based on anything reported in the media or introduced as evidence at trial or the pervasive atmosphere of intimidation, but because the conviction means Chauvin is a bad cop and that exonerates the rest of society from the charge of systemic racism. 

Sacrificing a victim to the mob is shameful.  Twisting your shameful act to pretend it’s all for the greater good is disgusting.  But I expect nothing less from a Never-Trumper. 

Joe Doakes

It’s the sort of rationalization I expect from someone who spent way too much time in the prosecution industry.

With Apologies To David Letterman (Back When He Was Funny)

The Top Ten Things you Never, Ever Hear in Real Life.

10. “Hey, hand me that piano”.

9. “Gosh, the Star Tribune does a great job of balanced coverage on divisive issues”

8. “You know what I could use right now? A plate of “Scrod” from Embers”

7. “The fact that the Vikings, T-Wolves, Wild and usually the Twins disappoint me terribly is a sign that my priorities in life are terribliy out of whack”.

6. “See how much clearer and more fluid writing is when you arbitrarily and mindlessly adhere to the ‘Oxford Comma?'”

5. “The ‘zipper merge’ has made my life better”

4. “I got a call back from Alice Hausman’s office!”s

3. “That Mike McNeil on AM950 is appointment listening for me!”

2. “I always feel healthy and safe riding the Green Line after 6PM!”

And the #1 thing you never, ever hear in real life:

Number 1: “Oh, good. Al Sharpton is in town. Our racial divide and social crisis is going to get better”.

Consequences. Unintended And…

A friend of the blog emails:

Essentially this article blames the pandemic as the reason for higher Minneapolis property taxes next year.  The reason is because commercial real estate in the city has been jumping so much over the last 10 years before 2020, home owners have not seen as much increase in property taxes.  It’s all relative.  The city spend money like a drunken sailor and has been able to pass that on to the growing apartment buildings, restaurants, other commercial ventures that have popped up in the last 10 years.  That growth has halted and I predict commercial properties and values will decrease which will shift the burden to homeowners.  Get ready homeowners.

2020 has changed all that.  Part of the change is the pandemic as businesses realize they can keep workers working at home and reduce the amount of office space needed.  But it is also true that businesses will not move into a city that has no police force and allows blocks of businesses to be looted and burned.  Target is downsizing.  There wasn’t even a thought of the Canadian Pacific merger of having the headquarters in downtown Mpls where it is now.  Who thinks Minneapolis will see a Final Four or a Superbowl in the next 10 years?  The airheads running the city have created a bigger mess than just the pandemic.  I am glad to see my favorite establishment, Brit’s Pub, has re-opened but I am not tempted to go there even in daylight due to the dangerous downtown. 

Right now I am watching the discussion on the local Nextdoor.  People are noticing a big jump in their assessed home values yet their property taxes are stable and some even falling a bit.  The respite in tax increase this year is a big head fake.  The 2022 property taxes will increase mightily as these higher home values will shift a big piece of the real estate base from business to homeowners.  Maybe not if the city’s spending can be cut.  Unfortunately those cuts will likely come from the police force which is already being decimated by resignations and retirements.  The city can just recognize reality that they cannot retain and recruit enough badges.    My heart is sad for my beloved Minneapolis.  The local voters have been mislead by the local media and the chickens have come home to roost.  They will appeal to the state of MN for help.  God give backbones to the state legislature to say “NO.”  Just say “no” as Mpls voters caused this problem, they need to fix it.

Let this be a cautionary tale for other cities.  You don’t want this.

The same story can be said for all of Hennepin County. This will affect them as well.

Two observations.

First: when the MInnPost is too far to the middle for a Democrat machine…

Second: This is what a death spiral looks like.

See also: Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Newark…

…well, you get the idea.

I’m No Lawyer

As such, I have no idea if the City of Minneapolis is trying to find ways to throw the Chauvin trial, or to create grounds for endless appeals, each of them a potential spark for more riots and, of course, more springboards for more political grandstanding.

But if it were…:

Cahill’s decision followed a defense request to delay or move the trial in the wake of last week’s $27 million wrongful death settlement announced between Minneapolis and the family of George Floyd.

Chauvin’s attorneys argued that the massive settlement and the notoriety around it might taint the jury pool.

Cahill, who’s expressed his unhappiness over Minneapolis publicizing the settlement during jury selection for Chauvin’s criminal trial, acknowledged Friday that the high-profile nature of this case would be inescapable no matter if it were postponed or moved.

“I don’t think there’s any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity on this case,“ Cahill told the court, explaining his decision to keep the trial in Minneapolis.

…I’d be at a loss for what they’d be doing differently.

After Nearly A Year…

…of constant violence that he encouraged not only with as many words but with as many actions, Portland, Oregon mayor Ted Wheeler says people are “sick of” the constant sturm und drang that has made parts of the city unlivable:

Portland became a hotbed of civil unrest last summer during demonstrations protesting the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis. Similar demonstrations in cities across the country were largely peaceful. But in Portland, some of the demonstrations have deteriorated into widespread arson, looting and assaults. ADVERTISEMENT

Rioters in the city, who have called for the defunding of the local police department along with other measures, have on several occasions targeted a federal courthouse, spraying it with graffiti, setting fires and destroying nearby storefronts and other property.  

“The people who work here support the voices of racial and social justice and will not be intimidated from doing our jobs by the ugly graffiti or broken windows,” Scott Erik Asphaug, a U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, said during the press conference, the AP reported. “We do not confuse the voices of the many with the shouts of the few who hope to hold our city hostage by petty crime and violence.”

The first two things that jumped to my mind?

  1. After ten months of Wheeler all but setting Portland up as an “Anti”-Fa staging area, I wonder what powerful “progressive” constituency finally figured it was time to rein the party in?
  2. Reading Asphaug’s quote, am I the only one who thinks it sounds like they’re trying to pin the violence on…”the right”?

Currying Favor

Here’s the team of lawyers volunteering their time to prosecute a Minneapolis police officer in the biggest racial lynching the city has ever seen. 

They must all be gunning for judge, hoping to impress Tim Walz with their sterling Liberal credentials so he appoints them to the bench.  Thank God I don’t live in Hennepin County.

Joe Doakes

Same. Although let’s not pretend for a moment that if this had happened in Saint Paul, the Ramco Attorney’s office wouldn’t be just as bad.

The Darkness Before The Darkness

A longtime friend of the blog emails:

With the impending Derek Chauvin trial, the fortification of the 4th Precinct has begun this morning.

A wall of cement traffic barricades are being set around the perimeter. Back last summer it was reinforced with razor wire.

I am so deeply saddened by what has happened to my city.

Sad. And disgusted.

Kevin Williamson was right. This isn’t decay. This is municipal suicide.

To Recap

We had a thorough discussion about Ryan Winkler’s tweet and established
that Democrats have a strong personal belief, perhaps even a moral
conviction, that public safety is a government responsibility.

We had a thorough discussion about a lawsuit against the City and
established that when citizens suffer because government abandoned its
responsibility, the citizens have no recourse against the government
under existing law.

So the obvious question is: Will Ryan Winkler introduce legislation
creating a right for citizens to sue the government for failing its
responsibility to protect them?  And will the new law be retroactive to
cover the riots?

Ryan Winkler talked the talk, but will he walk the walk?

Joe Doakes

There may be no more superficial person in Minnesota politics than Ryan Winkler.

Other than Erin Maye Quade. And Ilhan Omar.

OK, and probably a few others.

But you get the point.

The Walk

Our thorough discussion of Ryan Winkler’s tweet established that
Democrats have a strong personal belief, perhaps even a moral
conviction, that public safety is a government responsibility.

Our thorough discussion of the lawsuit against Minneapolis established
that when citizens suffer because government abandons its
responsibility, the citizens have no recourse under existing law.

You must rely on us; but you can’t rely on us. That’s Catch-22 and it’s
not a joke, it’s official policy.

So the obvious question is: When will Ryan Winkler introduce legislation
creating a right for citizens to sue the government for failing its
responsibility to protect them? And will the new law be retroactive to
cover the riots?

Ryan Winkler talked the talk, but will he walk the walk?

Joe Doakes

No point of Rep. Winkler’s career has been about “walking” any “walk”.

It’s been about pointing at others shortcomings, real or manufactured, and jumping up and down and pointing and flinging poo.

That should clarify things.

They’re Mad As Hell…

Owners of the iconic “Town Talk Diner” at Lake and MInnehaha in Minneapolis – which was turned into the “Town Talk Pile of Rubble” during the Floyd Riots – are sueing the City of Minneapolis for failing to protect…

…well, much of anyone or anything – notwithstanding it being one of the city’s only unambiguously legitimate jobs.

I’m not gonna do a pullquote – just read it.

And list for me in the comments:

  1. How the city will respond
  2. Why a “progressive” appointee will throw the case out. .

I was tempted to say “wrong answers only”, like all the kids are doing on social media these days.

But I figure even the right answers will test credulity these days.

Go to it.

I’m Not Saying…

….that Ron DeSantis is high up on my short list of candidates for 2024.

I am saying that if he keeps up with his competent, fact-driven crisis management combined with his Trump-like ability to cut through the narrative BS while maintaining an air of measured acerbity…

…he could get there pretty quick.

#Unity!

Turns out Americans can unify on one thing – gunning up.

Even in Minnesota?

Perhaps especially so.

the numbers: The National Shooting Sports Foundation tallied more than 37,600 statewide requests to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in January — nearly double from 18,990 in January 2020.

It wasn’t just January: More than 380,000 background checks were recorded here in 2020, up 49% from the previous year.

380,000 NICS checks in 2020 is more than one for every ten eligible Minnesotans (over 21 with a clean criminal record).

Feel that #Unity

Oversight…

Henco attorney Mike Freeman isn’t happy about the “Minnesota Freedom Fund” repeatedly bailing out violent offenders who can be linked, however tenuously, to political protest.

Which is fine, as far as it goes.

But have you noticed, in the wake of all the collective slander about “white supremacists” being “the real culprits” behind last spring’s riots, that not a single media report or government objection notes that the “Minnesota Freedom Fund” is financed by progressive plutocrats and aristocrats,

And why would they be bailing out “white supremacists?”

I keep asking Twin Cities media figured “reporting” on the story, to the extent anyone ever does.

There’s never an answer.

#Unexpected.

Planet Of The Humans, Part 3: Steam

Democracy can’t survive if we can’t trust our institutions.

We’ll come back to that.

Steamed

In Tom Wolfe’s 1987 satire Bonfire of the Vanities, a young black man is run over by a car driven y a millionaire bond trader. A Bronx DA and couple of New York cops investigate.

In one part of the story, a huckster minister, clearly modeled after Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or some such, explains his role in the community to the investigators.

In his metaphor, community anger is “steam”, building inexorably as the heat rises, ready to blow the boiler sky high if something isn’t done. That “something”, naturally, is the good reverend plying his services, as a “steam valve”.

For a price.

The book was head, shoulders and ankles better than the movie – a box office bomb that nearly ended Tom Hanks as an A-lister, thirty years back – but this scene more or less gets the point across:

The reference I’m calling out is 2:00 minutes into the clip

But remember – they’re the ones that cover the news to the highest of standards.

We’ll come back to that.

Answering Their Master

Republicans since Richard Nixon have known that the media was biased to the left. Over this past twenty years, it’s been almost beyond parody. Over the past five years, literally, parody has been more accurate than journalism.

But there’s a level of parody beyond which even The Onion or The Babylon Bee would feel awkward going. Our “elite” media has no such limits:

More locally? I could go back a bit, to the media’s response to conservative protest and the Tea Party – and that was the least of the problems. The IRS abused its power to try to shut the Tea Party down.

And there was nary a peep from the establishment media. “Law enforcement” under the Obama administration did nothing at all. The agent of the scandal, Lois Lerner, retired with her full government pension and the tacit thanks of the Obama regime.

More recently, there’ve been two episodes that show how very, very unequal we are in this country, depending on your politics.

On March 4, 2017, a group of Republicans held a rally at the Capitol. A group of “Anti”-Fa used a counter-demonstration for a delivery system, violently attacking the Republicans, injuring several.

And how did the justice system in Ramsey County work? Like a fraternity hazing. Without the hazing. The defendants – including the son of Hillary Clinton’s VP nominee, weren’t so much prosectuted as féted. Had John Choi done otherwise, he’d have never done lunch at the Lex again.

More recently? Last summer, a Minnesota state DFL legislative candidate famously threatened brutal violence on a Twin Cities suburb for being home to Bob Kroll.

It passed.

Fast.

This, of course, after a series of citywide riots for whichi justice was slow, dilatory and diverted by stories of “white supremacists with umbrellas” doing improbable feats of mischief.

And, behind it all, a long trail of elaborate rationalizations for the rioting: after centuries of (checks notes) systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, economic and environmental racism and mansplaining, a riot was a positive public health good, to deal with all that built up “steam”.

But only the correct rioting.

Because if Pro-Life Action tried to block a freeway, Jacob Frey would have water cannon and attack dogs out there before the protesters got over the fence. And everyone involved knows it.

As re protesting, there are Two Americas.

But only one America gets to release its “steam” in polite company.

What About

I’ve mentioned this to others in the past week.

Some have said “mind the ‘whataboutism'”.

This isn’t whataboutism.

This is pointing out that when sides perceive, correctly, that the deck is stacked against them, they will find coloring outside the lines more and more acceptable.

Which is the exact rationalization the left uses for BLM’s shenanigans; inequality begets rage!

Well, yeah. It does. As we’ve seen.

But it’s not just the usual enemies.

More tomorrow.

Planet Of The Humans, Part 1: The Devil Wears Orange

Donald Trump inspired clichés by the big-box store-load long before he dipped his toe into politics. Even back when he was a pop-culture hero of sorts among the crowd that worshipped blinged-out idols, even before MC Hammer brought it to the mainstream:

Y’know – back when he was a Democrat.

You don’t need me to list Trump’s faults as a person, politician and President – indeed, we have a multi-billion dollar industry devoted entirely not only to cataloging them, but making up new ones out of thin air.

We’ll come back to them.

The Usual Bla Bla Bla

But along with all of the faults imagined from whole cloth (the “Fine People” slander hops to mind – which, again, we’ll come back to later), and his many offenses against the supposed decorum of the Presidency (real or imagined – and I’ll skip past Bill Clinton’s desporting himself in the Oval Office to jump back to Woodrow Wilson using it as a de facto Ku Klux Klan field office to try to introduce a little context into the notion of decorum), he had some real ones; I can’t help but think if he’d just turned his Twitter feed over to a moderately clever mid-level staffer, he could have kept the “outflank the media” aspects of his social presence without the, let’s be honest, crazy and intemperate and, God help me for saying it, unpresidential parts of his public presence. Enough to have won the election? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Of course, to be intellectually honest, you – and by “you”, I mean “the Never Trump clacque” – need to admit he did some things very, very well. For starters, he did the one thing I, a Trump skeptic, had hoped for, and exceeded my hopes by half; he empaneled a genuine originalist majroitiy on the SCOTUS. And in foreign policy terms, he may have been the most successful President we’ve had since George HW Bush, and Reagan’st first term before him.

Never Never Land

The previous paragraph might be read as a swipe at the “Never Trump” crowd – which includes some people I respect very much, and some I never really did, and some for whom I’ve gradually lost regard over time.

“Never Trump” largely, if not completely, devolved into a bunch of scolds of no more political use than the Libertarian Party, chanting “I Told You So” with all the convincing authority of that “Karen” who yaps at you about putting your groceries on the conveyor before the cashier has sanitized it.

I say this as someone who has been an active Trump skeptic since 1986 – back when most Democrats and Never-Trumpers were making Trump a TV star through most of the 2000s, as I’m fond of pointing out – and who was actively interested in “Never Trump” activities up to and including reviving the Federalist party around this time five years ago.

The Real Deplorable Thing

But the biggest problem with Trump isn’t Trump. The media and pop culture would have said many of the same things about Mitt Romney or John McCain or Marco Rubio, or most likely Martin Luther King if he were alive today and voting Republican.

Trump won in the first place because he saw the left’s strategy – harness the populist power of identity politics – and, for five years, did it better than the Progressives. He turned blue collar whites, and people in Red state in general, into an identity group and fairly coherent voting bloc – finally ending the 100 year old notion that Democrats were “the party of the working man” once and for all.

So populism was the car that drove him to the White House. Where he governed in some ways as a conservative (in foreign policy terms, on the SCOTUS, in slashing regulation), and in some ways as the most profligate “progressive” in history (he spent like the Democrat he used to be).

But there was something worse.

Personality

Remember Ron Paul? In 2008 and 2012, a lot of Republicans, especially younger ones, staged and insurgency in the GOP behind the Texas Libertarian-Republican. Much as I supported much of what Paul stood for (domestically, at least – his foreign and defense policies were just as historically ignorant as the Libertarian Party’s), looking at his mobs of idealistic acolytes, I asked more than once “You do realize that even if he’s elected, he’ll be able to do nothing he promises, since there’s not a majority of Paulite House and Senate candidates running to help push the agenda, right? And that the only way to enact that idealistic vision of government would be for Paul to stage a libertarian coup, and impose an absolute Libertarian dictatorship, and force Liberty on the people against their will.

There was no telling that to the Paul Kids – not back then, anyway. Such is the allure of the personality cult, among those who haven’t really paid attention to how much drag and lag and need for consensus is (as of 2020) built into the system.

And Trump certainly developed his own personality cult in the GOP.

On the one hand – the Never Trumpers remind us – Trumpism is not conservatism. And they’re right. It’s populism, and populism, giving people what they want now, is only rhetorically distinguishable between the Left and the Right. “Trumpism” tramples the principles of conservatism behind which the GOP…

…er…

…I was going to say “behind which the GOP stands”. Of course, the GOP, at least in DC, hasn’t for a long time.

We’ll come back to that.

Anyway – “Trumpism” turned, at least at the point of the retail-political sphere, into a personality cult, no less impervious to logic than the Hillary or Obama cults, no less focused on the person rather than the policy than the Ron Paul fan club.

To far too many Trump supporters in all of our social circles, policy wasn’t the goal; Trump was.

And given the GOP’s behavior over the past decade, why wouldn’t someone who didn’t care about how the political sausage was made, but how awful it tasted, see it any differently?

We’ll come back to that two episodes down the road.

It’d be easy, and facile, but no more than a little inaccurate, to say last week’s riot at the Capitol was about keeping the person in office (assuming you discount the notion that “Anti”-Fa provocateurs did the job – and for purposes of this argument, I do), rather than the policies and the repudiation of the oppression of Big Left. To way too many people, Trump doesn’t lead the effort against the toxic, narcissistic marginalization that Democrats relentless focus on identity politics brings; he is that effort.

It’s a toxic perception – indeed, a toxic reality. Democracy dies in cultism.

That cult didn’t occur in a vacuum, of course.

More on that coming up next.