Post Convention – Like We Really Cared About Them – Open Thread

Of all the Convention speakers, I think I caught about 30 seconds of some Democrat droning on about something as the TV channels switched between re-runs of some doctor soap opera and Fixer Upper on HGTV. In other words, I didn’t in the least care to hear what a bunch of people I repose no trust in had to say. On the other hand, following along on Twitter with the jokesters was hilarious. I am certain, however, that Hillary came out 2nd best in it and it was because of Obama’s assertion that Hillary is the best qualified person in history to run for President…if that’s the case, why didn’t the Democrats nominate her in 2008?. I think normal people who don’t follow politics will consider the whole thing a farce. But, we’ll see, shan’t we?

Along with following the jokes on Twitter I did notice plenty of highly educated, very experienced Conservative political pundits wailing and moaning and gnashing their teeth of the Democrats’ new-found respect for patriotic sentiments. Oh, my goodness, went the comments – because of the idiot GOP voters, the Democrats get to be the patriots! This pretty much finished many Conservative political pundits for me – for crying out loud, it’s not like the Democrats are being truthful here, guys! Give me a break! They are just lying – as they always do – in order to wow the suckers. Perhaps it will wow the suckers but if your definition of “love of country” is “make patriotic noises if it’ll help you win votes”, then I want no more to do with you. The bottom line is that we’ve lost and lost and lost and now got Trump because the GOP has played it’s own base for fools. We – the run-of-the-mill, average, everyday GOP/Conservative Americans – wanted certain things done. Certain fights to be had (even if we lost them); certain principals to be upheld; certain demands to be made and adhered to come heck or high water. The GOP leadership didn’t do this – they said they’d do it, and then as soon as they had garnered our votes, they went off and surrendered. And, so, Trump. Suck it up, sunshine – Trump isn’t our fault, he’s yours.

Who will win? Probably Hillary – she’s got the money and the political infrastructure. Both candidates are terribly unpopular and it may come down to a low turn-out election where Hillary’s superior resources can drag enough people to the polls. But, no one can really tell – it is notable that about 10 days ago, Rasmussen was the only pollster showing Trump ahead…now that almost all other polls show Trump ahead, Rasmussen has him behind. I’m putting this down to what I’ve expected all along with 2016 polling – no one can be sure who to poll. So many regular voters are disgusted and so many irregular voters are (at least in theory) excited that it is going to be very hard to detect who is really ahead. Some pollsters are very smart and they may be able to create an accurate model of the electorate…but we won’t know, for sure, if any of them have done that until after the election. To be sure, if polls show Hillary consistently up by 5 or 10 by late October, then it’d be safe to bet the she wins on November 8th…but even then, not 100% for sure. And ditto for vice-versa.

I’ve still no dog in this hunt – and I’m still unsure of what to do. I’ll probably remain unsure what to do until November 8th…after I’ve skipped past the Presidential contest to spend a great deal of time carefully going over the crucial city judge election contests and then stare blankly at the screen for a while, weeping softly… But as the co-author of The Worst President in History: the Legacy of Barack Obama, I will state firmly that neither of the two candidates will be as bad as Obama has been (and have you picked up a copy? I just re-read it a bit and it’s quite good…and selling fairly well for an independent publication with no advertising budget…just go on over to http://www.worstpresidentbook.com and buy it, today!). Part of this is because of the massive damage Obama has already done – hard to burn down a building a second time, ya dig? But mostly because Obama really has been a horror from day one…how in heck we elected someone out of the corrupt Chicago Democrat machine will always amaze me. If you haven’t read the book then you are likely unaware of the level of just sheer graft that has gone on – and while Hillary and Trump are not likely to be watchdogs against graft, it would take some spectacular efforts on their part to go beyond Obama’s cronyism. They can’t possibly be more un-Constitutional than Obama because there’s pretty much no provision of the Constitution that Obama hasn’t tried to violate (often with great success). Both of them are also quite old – we might luck out and find that either of them wind up a one term President. We can deal with four years of either of them – at all events, fixing this country is a generational thing and if we don’t get started until 2021, it won’t be that much harder a task.

And, so, off to the general election we go. Will there be debates? Not sure – some are saying Trump will shy away from them, fearful of Hillary’s razor sharp intellect (no, seriously; some people are saying that – stop laughing!). Some are saying Hillary will shy away from them because she doesn’t want Trump bringing up her rank corruption to a national audience (for a very large number of people, it would be the first time such things as the e mail scandal were really presented to them). It might make an interesting argument – what with Trump demanding that “unfair” MSMers be excluded and Hillary saying she can’t appear on stage with someone like Trump.

Trump will shoot his mouth off. Count on it. Each time he does, it will be announced that his most recent statement has finished him. File those with the 1,000 times his candidacy has already been declared dead because of his verbal monstrosities. It might be that his mouth eventually sinks him, but it hasn’t so far so don’t count on it doing so in the future. Hillary is going to run a “Rose Garden” campaign – pretty much acting like she’s already President, already has the election in the bag, giving carefully scripted interviews (but perhaps not a single press conference – too much risk that someone will ask a question not pre-vetted by the Hillary campaign)…and leaving it to surrogates to hammer Trump relentlessly. Trump will relentlessly bait Hillary (and Obama) hoping to make them lose their cool at some point – we’ll see how disciplined they are. Trump’s only hope is if several million people who don’t normally vote – or who normally vote Democrat – come his way. To really get them to the polls, he’ll have to build up some sort of good ground game…we’ll see if he’s disciplined enough to do that (or at least smart enough to let the pros do that for him).

I expect the House to remain Republican, and for the Senate to probably remain GOP, as well (looks like we might lose one or two, but will probably pick up Reid’s seat in NV…so, a net loss of one). If somehow Hillary pulls of a landslide, it might be different – but even then it might not. Nixon won in a blowout in 1972 with no significant change in Congress.

Open Thread

A Catholic priest celebrating Mass in France was killed by ISIS goons. Oddly enough, the issue of air conditioning doesn’t seem to have played a role in this.

Trump is getting a lot of flack over his comments on NATO. All he’s doing, however, is tapping into a widespread view among the American people: that we Americans are routinely shafted by our alliance systems which put us on the hook while our allies rest on their oars, and engage in routine anti-Americanism into the bargain. As for me – keep NATO…but we do need some changes. First off, the European powers simply must massively increase their defense spending. Secondly, if we are to continue to commit ourselves to rushing off to the defense of European nations, then those nations should commit to come rushing to our defense if, say, we have to go to war with China. Collective security is the best guarantor of world peace…but it has to work both ways.

A Democrat unity breakfast didn’t work out so well. Happened to be driving around a bit this AM on some errands and so caught a few minutes of Rush – his opinion is that Sanders was unable to get regular Democrats to commit as delegates, so he was forced to turn to rent-a-mob, professional “no justice, no peace” activists…and such people lack a sense of decorum, to say the least. The Democrat convention could continue to be quite interesting.

The current RCP average of polls has Trump slightly up – which is probably correct, but is also probably immaterial. There’s a lot of campaign left to go and Hillary has yet to have her grand moment. And as I’ve said for a while, polling in 2016 might be quite off – it might well miss either a Trump or a Hillary landslide in the making. Meanwhile, in the 4-way poll (including Libertarian Johnson and Green Stein), Hillary is slightly up. I’m wondering: if GOPers disgusted with Trump go Johnson and Progs disgusted with Hillary go Stein, could we get a hung electoral college? Here’s how it might look.

Victor Davis Hanson has, as usual, something interesting to say on the whole Trump phenomena.

Democrats are actually worried about the November outcome – UAW President says Hillary has promised a re-negotiation of NAFTA.

Turns out it isn’t illegal to tell the truth about Planned Parenthood – score one for liberty!

Does Hillary want to ban guns? You betcha!

Are the Russians behind the DNC Leaks? Very possibly. Doesn’t matter, though – the e mails appear authentic. The larger issue: it appears that our national institutions are completely penetrated by any foreign power which has taken the time to try.

Some Thoughts on the State of Things

Sorry I kinda left the blog hanging during the GOP Convention – had a long-planned vacation to go see family and this time, something moved me to not bring my laptop along with me. As I am technologically limited, I never could figure out how to post from a smart phone or tablet, and this meant I couldn’t do any commentary while I was away.

I don’t feel bad about this, at all.

I do, however, feel bad – well, upset is a better word – about the overall situation.

Now that the GOP is officially the Party of Trump, I’m really just waiting for a new, Conservative party to arise. That, I think, is where the crux of the matter is – we don’t have a Conservative party. And 2016 shows that in the GOP, we never really had one. I guess we all sort of forgot that Reagan’s Conservatism was never favored by the overall GOP, nor by the GOP leadership. To be sure, he was a tonic against Carter and then when things went very well in his first term everyone was on board for four more years…but in spite of all Reagan’s gifts, he never moved the party fundamentally to the right. In 1988 we all loyally trooped to the polls to elect the Elder Bush, who had been a loyal VP for 8 years, and that was pretty much that – the right was out of the business of running the GOP. Since then, it has been a mere series of frustrations as Conservative policy ideas were watered down or shoved aside in the name of keeping ourselves viable at election time…and the best showing we’ve had nationally since then was W’s 51% of the vote in 2004. And, meanwhile, the nation hasn’t just drifted left, but has gone hard left as fast as it could, absent complete Progressive control of all branches of government.

In light of this, Trump isn’t a freakish event, but a culmination – something which was bound to happen. You see, the only way to have prevented Trump was to have a Conservative party all these years pushing the United States to the right. Had that been the case, then the working class would not have been alienated; immigration – legal and illegal – never would have got out of control; American power would have been effectively used to keep the peace; the economy would be strong and growing; etc and so on and on. As we have had a Progressive series of governments with, at best, only a short tap on the breaks from time to time via Conservative opposition, we have all the things which have gone wrong – and have called forth a demagogue who at least addresses the issue of how lousy things are (even if he never addresses the issue of how to actually make America great again). Remember, we almost got a full-on Progressive version of Trump in the form of Bernie Sanders as the Democrat nominee…recent revelations confirm what we all suspected: it took the united and relentless activity of the entire Democrat establishment to ensure that Hillary got the nomination…anything short of that and we’d be discussing Bernie’s choice of some Che Guevara clone for VP.

The election is still officially Hillary’s to lose – Trump, on the face of it, has a nearly insurmountable task ahead of him. Unless things are so screwed up in the American electorate that people – many of whom haven’t voted much or at all for decades out of disgust – that a majority is willing to take a spin with Trump, just to see what happens, and on the theory that it can’t possibly be worse than whatever Hillary would cook up for us. Anecdotes aren’t evidence, but I know more than one two time Obama voter who is eager to pull the lever for Trump. And that is among people who vote – I’ve been wondering out loud for months now if there is an even larger block of people who don’t vote (or rarely vote) feeling the same way.

Be that as it may, whether Trump or Hillary emerges victorious on November 8th, the fundamental problem will still remain that we don’t have a Conservative party. To be sure, I think that with Trump Conservatism will have more opportunities to slam on the breaks from time to time, but the general thrust of things will still be towards the left. Until we start to change the direction of American policy, doom still awaits us. We simply must get a Conservative party – perhaps there is still a chance of a Conservative take-over of the GOP (especially if Trump flames out in November), but I’m getting ever more doubtful of it. But take over the GOP or start a new party, the task of Conservatives is to create a political vehicle whereby Conservatism – unhindered by Progressivism – is brought to the American people in stark contrast to the way we currently do business. Eventually, our time must come – because this rotten system cannot forever sustain itself by a mixture of debt, fake money and corruption. It will fall apart – and if we have a Conservative party clean of it all, then the people will turn to us (even if in mere desperation) when things do finally go smash.

Meanwhile, we’ve just got to grin and bear it through 2016 – vote your conscience, as Cruz suggested. But, also, if I may offer a bit of advice, don’t get too wrapped up in the Trump vs Hillary contest. It also isn’t too productive, in my view, to get so angry about Trump that we forget that it is Progressivism, as such, which is the enemy…what I mean is don’t get so anti-Trump that you start to work out in practical terms to be pro-Hillary. No, a refusal to vote Trump is not an automatic vote for Hillary…but taking Progressive talking points and making out that Conservatives agree with them is to attempt to throw the election to Hillary. Stay away from that, if you can. Despise Trump until the cows come home, if that pleases you…but, remember, any credibility the right provides to Progressivism is yet another nail in Conservatism’s coffin. The right can never ally with the left – not even for a moment; they will take our help in dispatching whatever enemy they’ve currently got, and then turn ruthlessly on those on the right who helped them.

Finally, be of good cheer. No matter how lousy things look, never fall into despair. Remember, Conservatism is right – it is the correct world view. While I understand we’ve got some fellow Conservatives who don’t believe in God, let’s not forget the fact that almost all Conservatives do believe in God…and, because of this, we know we’re going to win, in the end.

GOP Convention

Well, here we are – the GOP moment of truth, as it were.

For those still hoping for a non-Trump outcome, Tom Coburn has reportedly said he’d stand as an alternative to Trump. It’s a bit weak sauce – the word is he’ll accept the nomination if offered by the delegates, but won’t actively pursue it. Still, it is, finally, something. We’ll see if the Dump Trump forces can make anything of it.

That aside, the most likely outcome is a Trump love-fest leading up to Trump’s acceptance speech. Which might be interesting to watch – I tend not to watch political speeches because they are mostly just boilerplate (this has been especially true with our current President), but I might tune in for Trump’s effort (I plan on avoiding Hillary’s acceptance speech like the plague…can’t imagine putting up with even five minutes of listening to her).

Trump and the GOP go into this very much a divided house and about 5 points behind Hillary. I doubt that Trump can get the #NeverTrump people on board – those who were willing to grit their teeth and back Trump already have; those who are still #NeverTrump at this point are probably not reachable. On the other hand, I’ve thought for months that the only way Trump could possibly win is to bring into the GOP coalition several million (perhaps 5?) people who normally don’t vote at all, let alone vote GOP. He’ll also need at least some normally Democrat voters (and I think he’ll get them – there’s a large number of registered Democrats in the more rural parts of the country whose loyalty to the Democrats is purely nominal).

I don’t know if Trump can do this. For all the complaints about Priebus and the GOP, the RNC has built an allegedly great get out the vote effort – but whether Trump has the discipline to make good use of it is doubtful…but if he’ll at least give the pros their lead and let them do it, then it could work well for him. It likely still won’t be as good as the Democrats effort, but anything better than 2012 is a massive improvement. On the other hand, Trump had pretty much zero GOTV in the primaries and still secured more votes than any GOPer ever has (and, of course, had more GOPers vote against him than ever before, as well).

I don’t think the money-gap is all that important – Hillary does have (and will maintain) a massive lead in money because she’s bought and those who purchased her will do all they can to make certain their investment gains the White House…but Hillary’s team also seems bloated (as all Progressive efforts wind up) and it might not be efficient and flexible enough to take full advantage. At all events, what happened to Jeb demonstrates conclusively that money does not win elections in and of itself – better to have it than not have it, but better to have a message people like than have lots of money.

The battle between Trump and Hillary is fundamentally between two very much disliked people. I don’t trust the polling much – not that it isn’t useful to pick out trends (it is always useful for that – especially if you follow the RCP polling averages), but I think the electorate is all bollixed up this year. Think about it – if Trump does pull in some millions of people who normally don’t vote, they won’t show up in polls of likely voters. Like this: “Hello, this is Mr Pollster and I’m polling for the election. Tell me, did you vote in the last election?” “Why, no, I didn’t” says the guy with MAGA painted in ten foot high letters on his garage door. “Thank you for your time”, says the pollster. Click. It also works the other way – quite a lot of people who did vote in the previous elections will stay home; both GOPers disgusted with Trump and Dems disgusted with Hillary (not quite sure how that will break but I suspect – and it is just a guess – that more GOPers will stay home than Dems). There are still more Democrats than GOPers in the overall electorate so Hillary (like all Democrats running a national campaign) as a built-in advantage…and I think that is where her current polling advantage comes from. But if a bunch of new people do come in and a bunch of regulars stay out, then her advantage is likely illusory.

Do keep in mind the “ifs” I’ve put in there. And if it is a normal election with the normal electorate, then Hillary wins – and wins pretty handily.

I’ve no dog in this hunt – I don’t know how I’ll vote on November 8th in the Presidential election. I may leave it blank – I’m just not sure. I won’t condemn anyone for their vote in 2016. It is entirely a matter of conscience at this point – vote how you think you should. We’ll all see how it comes out.

UPDATE: Well, the first day is sure interesting. Personally, I think Trump erred in not letting the #DumpTrump people have their roll call…it would have taken a while, but it might have helped soothe anyone who is still capable of being soothed. Some aren’t, of course – but it might have looked better if Trump had allowed the vote to go forward. But, that just isn’t Trump’s style – which is another worrisome aspect of his candidacy. Of course, it also isn’t Hillary’s style, nor has it been Obama’s. The two major parties are firmly in the grip of people who are quite ruthless and always willing to kick someone when they’re down.

A Few Odds and Ends Around the World

Why are we allied with Turkey? Let me put it this way – if Russia went to war against Turkey, does anyone want our sons and daughters bleeding to defend Turkey?

Japan is getting ready to amend their Constitution in some interesting ways. Now, keep in mind that the current Japanese Constitution was essentially dictated by MacArthur during the post-WWII occupation. The things being modified are all that bit about free speech and Japan renouncing war. The article I linked to casts it all in very dark terms, but I’m not so sure. From time to time here on the blog I’ve brought up the book Japan’s Imperial Conspiracy – its a long book, but I even more than ever recommend it. The thesis of the book is that Hirohito was not a powerless puppet in the hands of out-of-control militarists. That Hirohito orchestrated Japan’s political and military forces in order to engage in a war of conquest which would make Japan militarily and economically independent of all foreign forces. One thing which I remembered when I read that article is that when Hirohito and Japan’s leadership realized the war was irretrievably lost, they started to set up a program to keep the Emperor (Hirohito was willing to be personally sacrificed, if it came to that) and so structure post-war Japan that once Japan was back on it’s feet again, the Emperor could resume authority and have another go at trying to make a powerful Japan. I do wonder if that is what is happening, now.

The Bataclan attack in Paris was horrific – so horrific, in fact, that the French government appears to have suppressed information about just what went on. You see, our glorious leaders don’t want us to know what happened because that might upset us and, hill ape morons that we are, we might start demanding vigorous action against the enemy.

Seems that German companies aren’t employing a lot of refugees. This will be set down to racism and/or Islamophobia by our Progressive friends, but there’s actually a much more mundane explanation for it. The nations the refugees are coming from are not even remotely on the same economic level as the nations they are going to. Before the Civil War started, Syria was actually not doing so bad on economic development, but the bottom line is that more than 20% of Syria’s labor force was agricultural, while agriculture in Germany is a comparatively trivial part of the economy. Syrian education is considered substandard even by developing nation standards. Moving a whole bunch of ill-educated farmers to one of the most advanced economies in the world means you’re going to get a lot of people who are simply unemployable. This is the sort of thing that no one is thinking about – forget for a moment the whole Islam thing and the risk of terrorist infiltration…consider the fact that the people who are fleeing are simply not prepared to work and compete in the modern economic systems they are entering. Such people will be an underclass in the West for several generations, even with the best of will on everyone’s part.

Open Thread

The latest attack in Nice does have me a bit down. I’ve been there – it is a beautiful city. But, still, the main thing about it is the thing everyone refuses to mention: we have terrorism because various State and quasi-State actors support the terrorist groups. Our problem lies in Tehran and various Arabian States. Until we confront that, we won’t get anywhere. Bombing a few ISIS goons here and there doesn’t do a thing. Even if we managed to destroy ISIS as much as we destroyed al-Qaeda in Iraq, it won’t do any good…as long as there are immune people out there who can fund, supply and inspire the terrorists, it just goes on and on.

#NeverTrump played it’s last trick in the GOP Rules Committee and lost. This was entirely expected – #NeverTrump and #DumpTrump never had a chance as long as no credible alternative candidate declared him or herself. As much as Trump is mistrusted, you can’t beat something with nothing. If even Romney had stood forth as an alternative, the anti-Trump forces would at least have someone to coalesce around. They didn’t – word is there was a big #DumpTrump conference call last week and while all sorts of strategies were proposed to derail Trump, the people couldn’t even settle on one alternative candidate. I hate to say this – oh, heck; I don’t hate to say it…it needs to be said; tired of all this making nice-nice – but we’re dealing with very unserious people. And this is why Trump may yet win – no one is taking him seriously. He’s not a clown (though he is clownish) and he’s not Hitler II…he’s a demagogue of the highest order and he’s determined to be President. We needed someone who was just as determined and who could out-demagogue him. Some one who would have rhetorically kicked him in the nuts. But doing that would have required a complete rejection of the status-quo; a declared war against this rotten system we’ve got. No one wanted to. It wasn’t “nice”. The MSMers would have tut-tutted! And so Trump got the nomination – because he at least spoke to the disgust people have with things as they are. And he’s going to keep speaking to that as Nice and other such happens again and again from now to November.

This is the real world, folks – things actually happen (as some people in Nice could tell you). Unless you’re willing to deal with the concrete realities of how things are, you’re just spinning your wheels and wasting everyone’s time.

A bit of happy news for you – Rubio looks solid for re-election in Florida. So do other GOPers running for re-election in swing States. If we do get President Hillary – a likely event – then at least we’ve got a very good chance of saddling her with a GOP Congress (FWIW and YMMV).

If you’ve forgotten what a patriotic American is like, Senator Scott (R-SC) provides a reminder.

From Glenn Reynolds:

SOMETHING THAT’S BEEN LARGELY OVERLOOKED IN ALL THE RACIAL POSTURING: The cop who shot Philando Castile was a Latino named Jeronimo Yanez. But for our “racial justice” crowd, it’s always 1963 — but a 1963 in which Bull Connor is a Republican instead of the Democratic National Committeeman he actually was.

And keep this in mind as you wonder why people seem to unable to see the truth:

It has been discovered that with a dull urban population, all formed under a mechanical system of State education, a suggestion or command, however senseless and unreasoned, will be obeyed if it be sufficiently repeated. – Hilaire Belloc.

And what we’re up against:

We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles. – Hilaire Belloc