Open Thread

Health care reform is getting rocky and it’s making a lot of people say this or that thing…hate to break it to ya, guys, but this is how laws get made when there is debate. Obamacare is how laws get made when you’re determined to shove something down everyone’s throat. If you don’t like this, I suggest you move elsewhere…this is how it’s done.

Wikileaks is saying the CIA can get into your smart phone. I don’t doubt it in the least. Personally, if I were in charge of a government department, all orders and instructions would be either verbal (face to face) or via the printed word…nothing of consequence would ever go out electronically. For you and I, this is the rule: if you can’t do it on your front lawn, in broad daylight, with your grandmother watching, don’t do it on the internet. Privacy is easily secured, if you want it…just don’t use a system which is owned by someone else and even in its most benign aspects is designed to collect data about you.

Schumer threatens to filibuster Gorsuch. I’ve heard that the plan is to scare our more weak-kneed Senator GOPers and get them to sign off on a deal which would have Schumer drop this filibuster in return for a GOP promise to not nuke the filibuster for a later nominee. That would be the dream scenario for the Democrats. Gorsuch does not alter the ideological balance of the Court…a Kennedy or Ginsburg leaving the Court and being replaced by a Conservative would. Of course, there’s zero chance that anyone Trump appoints would be as mindless a liberal vote as Ginsburg is, while the very worst that Trump could appoint would wind up being no worse than Kennedy. So, we’re pretty cool no matter how this goes. But, the Senate GOP should not agree to any plan to hold on to the filibuster. At minimum, it goes away the second there is a Democrat Senate majority which needs it to go away. We’d be suckers to keep it at the price of saving the nuking for the Democrats to do.

Why men who live around beaches live longer.

Seems that the troops the North Korean government relies on to keep everyone is line are going on short rations and not feeling too happy about it. If so, then this series of North Korean provocations is designed to extract bribes from South Korea and the rest of the world. If you ever wondered how such tyrannies maintain themselves, it is by providing a better life for those willing to kill in defense of the regime…but if the good times go away…

So, the threats to the Jewish Community Centers turn out to be all or mostly the work of left wing people. From now on, any hate crime which supports the Progressive Narrative should be considered a lie until proven otherwise.

Hail the Republic of Idiots

There has been much talk about experts of late – ’round about the time the very inexpert (in politics, at least) Donald Trump came along, all of a sudden, our experts were full of worry that we yokels were not paying sufficient attention to the experts. I’ve written on this before, but I want to quote a longish passage from one of the works of Chesterton – who lived at the dawn of the Age of Experts:

Now the peculiar peril of our time, which I call for argument’s sake Imperialism or Caesarism, is the complete eclipse of comradeship and equality by specialism and domination.

There are only two kinds of social structure conceivable — personal government and impersonal government. If my anarchic friends will not have rules — they will have rulers. Preferring personal government, with its tact and flexibility, is called Royalism. Preferring impersonal government, with its dogmas and definitions, is called Republicanism. Objecting broadmindedly both to kings and creeds is called Bosh; at least, I know no more philosophic word for it. You can be guided by the shrewdness or presence of mind of one ruler, or by the equality and ascertained justice of one rule; but you must have one or the other, or you are not a nation, but a nasty mess. Now men in their aspect of equality and debate adore the idea of rules; they develop and complicate them greatly to excess. A man finds far more regulations and definitions in his club, where there are rules, than in his home, where there is a ruler. A deliberate assembly, the House of Commons, for instance, carries this mummery to the point of a methodical madness. The whole system is stiff with rigid unreason; like the Royal Court in Lewis Carroll. You would think the Speaker would speak; therefore he is mostly silent. You would think a man would take off his hat to stop and put it on to go away; therefore he takes off his hat to walk out and puts it on to stop in. Names are forbidden, and a man must call his own father “my right honorable friend the member for West Birmingham.” These are, perhaps, fantasies of decay: but fundamentally they answer a masculine appetite. Men feel that rules, even if irrational, are universal; men feel that law is equal, even when it is not equitable. There is a wild fairness in the thing—as there is in tossing up.

Again, it is gravely unfortunate that when critics do attack such cases as the Commons it is always on the points (perhaps the few points) where the Commons are right. They denounce the House as the Talking-Shop, and complain that it wastes time in wordy mazes. Now this is just one respect in which the Commons are actually like the Common People. If they love leisure and long debate, it is because all men love it; that they really represent England. There the Parliament does approach to the virile virtues of the pothouse.

The real truth is that adumbrated in the introductory section when we spoke of the sense of home and property, as now we speak of the sense of counsel and community. All men do naturally love the idea of leisure, laughter, loud and equal argument; but there stands a specter in our hall. We are conscious of the towering modern challenge that is called specialism or cut-throat competition — Business. Business will have nothing to do with leisure; business will have no truck with comradeship; business will pretend to no patience with all the legal fictions and fantastic handicaps by which comradeship protects its egalitarian ideal. The modern millionaire, when engaged in the agreeable and typical task of sacking his own father, will certainly not refer to him as the right honorable clerk from the Laburnum Road, Brixton. Therefore there has arisen in modern life a literary fashion devoting itself to the romance of business, to great demigods of greed and to fairyland of finance. This popular philosophy is utterly despotic and anti-democratic; this fashion is the flower of that Caesarism against which I am concerned to protest. The ideal millionaire is strong in the possession of a brain of steel. The fact that the real millionaire is rather more often strong in the possession of a head of wood, does not alter the spirit and trend of the idolatry. The essential argument is “Specialists must be despots; men must be specialists. You cannot have equality in a soap factory; so you cannot have it anywhere. You cannot have comradeship in a wheat corner; so you cannot have it at all. We must have commercial civilization; therefore we must destroy democracy.” I know that plutocrats have seldom sufficient fancy to soar to such examples as soap or wheat. They generally confine themselves, with fine freshness of mind, to a comparison between the state and a ship. One anti-democratic writer remarked that he would not like to sail in a vessel in which the cabin-boy had an equal vote with the captain. It might easily be urged in answer that many a ship (the Victoria, for instance) was sunk because an admiral gave an order which a cabin-boy could see was wrong. But this is a debating reply; the essential fallacy is both deeper and simpler. The elementary fact is that we were all born in a state; we were not all born on a ship; like some of our great British bankers. A ship still remains a specialist experiment, like a diving-bell or a flying ship: in such peculiar perils the need for promptitude constitutes the need for autocracy. But we live and die in the vessel of the state; and if we cannot find freedom, camaraderie and the popular element in the state, we cannot find it at all. And the modern doctrine of commercial despotism means that we shall not find it at all. Our specialist trades in their highly civilized state cannot (it says) be run without the whole brutal business of bossing and sacking, “too old at forty” and all the rest of the filth. And they must be run, and therefore we call on Caesar. Nobody but the Superman could descend to do such dirty work.

Now (to reiterate my title) this is what is wrong. This is the huge modern heresy of altering the human soul to fit its conditions, instead of altering human conditions to fit the human soul. If soap boiling is really inconsistent with brotherhood, so much the worst for soap-boiling, not for brotherhood. If civilization really cannot get on with democracy, so much the worse for civilization, not for democracy. Certainly, it would be far better to go back to village communes, if they really are communes. Certainly, it would be better to do without soap rather than to do without society. Certainly, we would sacrifice all our wires, wheels, systems, specialties, physical science and frenzied finance for one half-hour of happiness such as has often come to us with comrades in a common tavern. I do not say the sacrifice will be necessary; I only say it will be easy.

Chesterton was writing before the experts left the factory and office and ensconced themselves in the government bureaucracy – but it is all the same. We must be bossed because in order to get things done properly: we idiots must be compelled to do it. And no debate! No long-winded speeches and objections from people who, at all events, don’t know what they’re talking about. We don’t really need elections and then debates in Congress – we really just need a President with a Pen and a Phone; a bureaucracy which will make up the rules as it goes along; a Supreme Court which will merely ratify what the experts decree.

The experts, of course, would have a case if they at least got things right from time to time. But, they hardly ever do – and when they do strike gold, it is more explained by happenstance than design. The reason for this is that the experts are still, well, human beings. In the aggregate, no smarter than anyone else out there. The chance that a CEO, General or President will be a genius is as small as the chance that any given musician will be a Mozart – almost zero chance, that is. Geniuses do come along; no one knows why nor can anyone predict where or when. When they come, the can shake up society in astonishing ways – some times in quite alarming ways. But you can’t take it into account – it’ll happen when it happens, and all anyone can do when confronted with a genius is deal with it. But almost all people at almost all times are not geniuses. And in this fact is why, on the whole, experts are the worst possible people to have in charge – once they self-select themselves and isolate themselves from the currents of society they lack sufficient input to arrive at valid decisions.

As long-time readers know, I have a fund of knowledge about history. What I’ll say now – and I really don’t like saying it, because it smacks of bragging – is that my knowledge of history runs to the encyclopedic. Something made me pick up one of my father’s books of history around about 1975 and I simply never stopped reading. So, I am an expert, as it were, in history – and thus pretty up on what people do and why they do it. But I’ve also got an advantage that more recognized experts don’t have: lacking credentials, I have nothing to fret about on the score of ability and I am also quite comfortable in talking about things, even deep things, with people who simply lack the knowledge I have. I can’t begin to count the times I’ve been caught short by the opinions of the ignorant – how something they will say or some point of view they have will shake the vision I have and bring it into great clarity…or even lead me down paths I never suspected. That is what the loud and unruly debate of a vigorous democratic Republic is for – to bring to light things we might not have considered. You simply cannot run a society unless everyone has their loud and boorish say. Unless the idiots, that is, are deeply involved in the creation of policy, the policies will certainly fail.

Had we been engaged in a genuine give-and-take debate among all the citizens, we simply would not have done some of the bone-headed things we’ve done. Take, for instance, Vietnam – a full airing of what was going on and what was proposed would have certainly run to the creation of a better policy regarding that. I know this because it certainly couldn’t have run to a worse policy. Take any political problem you like and run it through your mind – think what would have happened had there been a real debate, rather than decrees from on high. When did we have the debate about how many people should move here? When did we have the debate about what public education should be like? Where was the endless, contentious discussion about what trade policy is best with China? There has been no real debate – things are worked out by the experts and they present their findings to us, and demand we just go along…and subtly (and, these days, less and less subtly) call us wicked morons if we dissent from their shiny, new policy proposal.

It all comes down to what you want. If you want a tyranny which will decree, then advocate for that. But if you want freedom, then you can only have it when it is brash, loud, ugly and messy. The idiots must be in charge, or you simply won’t have a Republic.

Weekend Open Thread

A Tweet of mine was picked up by Twitchy. I’ll give you a moment to bask in my reflected glory.

Seriously, though, I think this Tweet was better.

In light of that, I think we need a bit of a new law – no one can be placed on the board of a publicly traded corporation unless they’ve worked for that corporation for, say, five years. You do realize what Chelsea’s new gig is, don’t you? Its a bribe. The Clinton’s still have influence and Chelsea is being groomed for political office. As for me, I’d much prefer we went back to the day when politicians were bribed with sacks of cash…there was more honesty about it.

Was thinking about that – someone getting a no-show job for bags of cash in return for influence actual or prospective – and it ran along in the mind to all those, “why do football players get more money than teachers” memes we get on social media. You know – the idea that teachers are vastly more important than football players in the grand scheme of things, so they should be paid more. It is, on a certain level, a rational argument; but also an argument to be wary of. You see, as I pondered it a bit I realized that the most important people in the world are those who build and maintain the systems which bring us our water and take away our sewage. Seriously; we can’t go more than a couple days without those things…whereas even teachers can be done without for a substantial period of time. That, in turn, got me thinking further – perhaps we should slap a surcharge tax on all corporate officer salaries (sorry, Chelsea – but, you don’t mind: just making sure the rich pay their fair share) and use it to subsidize the salaries of those who really do the important work? You might think that teachers come after the water and sewer workers, but you’d be wrong…started mentally working out the list and came up with farmers; truck drivers; power company workers; road construction people…in fact, quite a long list before we get to any sort of teacher, and even then there are teachers and then there are teachers. Or, there are people who teach useful things, and those who don’t. Teach math or woodworking: you’re valuable. Teach post-modern feminist poetry? Even more useless than Chelsea’s gig (she won’t actually do anything for the company, but she does offer influence…and in our crony-Capitalist system, that is a thing of value…lousy value, but value nonetheless).

Lawsuit against San Jose for failure to protect pro-Trump people can go forward. Good. Let’s show these Progressives that there is a price to be paid for violating the rights of others.

If this – or anything even remotely like this – had been done regarding Michelle Obama, the MSM would have been in an uproar. But that it was done against Melania Trump makes it a yawn…

Glenn Reynolds on Experts:

It was experts that gave us the financial crisis, it was experts that gave us the Middle East meltdown, it was experts who gave us the obesity epidemic and the opioid crisis. And yet the experts pay no price for their failures, and cling bitterly to their credentials and self-esteem, while claiming that the problem lies in the anti-intellectualism of ordinary citizens.

Or, as Lord Salisbury put it:

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.

Fracking – it’s hurting OPEC. Badly. And, that’s a good thing.

Legal Insurrection on the judicial insurrection against Trump. I’m just about ready for Trump to go Andy Jackson on them…the story is that when the Courts ruled against him, he said, “the Court has ruled: now, let them enforce”. That’s the thing most people don’t realize – the only way the Court can have orders enforced is via the cooperation of the Executive branch…the Courts, themselves, have no mechanism of enforcement. Founders set it up that way – on purpose. Just as the President can’t get things done without Congress (and Congress can’t get things done without the President), so the Courts can’t actually do anything unless they are cooperated with. To be sure, if Trump does defy the Court, they could refer it to Congress and Congress could, in theory, impeach Trump…but figure the odds. I pointed this out on social media and one guy commented, “but Trump shouldn’t trigger a crisis”…to which I reply: the crisis is created by the Courts, not the President. The power to decide which persons shall be allowed to enter the United States belongs to the Executive and, by law, it is plenary. The Courts have nothing to say in the matter and should stay out.

Poll shows a majority of young Americans are fairly clueless about the workings of our Republic. On the other hand, I think people are saying “illegitimate” about Trump when they mean, “I just don’t like him”.

Evan McMullin is still around, but no one can say precisely why.

On Saint Patrick’s day, this Tweet made the rounds:

St. Patrick’s day encourages and perpetuates the idea of whiteness and white culture. It otherizes non-whites and promotes nationalism.

Outrageous? Or just a joke? That’s the problem – you can’t tell! It seriously could be either.

Conserving Civilization – With Babies and Foreigners

Been watching Social Media and the universal seems to be that Representative Steve King (R-IA) is a horrific racist – the offense comes from this tweet:

Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.

There was no reference to what particular ethnic group of babies were desired, but it is taken as a given – by plenty on the right as well as nearly all the left – that he meant “white babies”. Because, what else could he have meant?

That is our Rorschach on this, right? Given that we all know (know – meaning, we all agree to the Progressive Narrative, even if we’re Conservative, because one thing a Conservative can’t ever do is stray from the rules provided by the Progressives) that Trump appeals to racists (in his greedy quest for power, wealth and selling the United States to Putin for an option to build a casino in Sochi), any statement by him or his supporters which isn’t explicitly inclusive of all races must be a racist statement. King, you see, should have tweeted out, “We can’t restore our civilization without having our own black, Latino, Native American, Asian, Jewish and Muslim babies”. Hey, Mark – some of you ask – why didn’t you include white babies in there? Because if you do that, you’re racist. In fact, might have been better if he tweeted out, “We can’t restore our civilization without all sorts of babies, except white babies”. But even that probably wouldn’t have been good enough. It would really have to go, “Our civilization is a horrible, lousy thing built on racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, war and greed and anyone who wants to restore it is racist”. That might have passed muster.

King’s statement is wrong in that the genius of American civilization (presumptively, what he wishes to restore) is that it can take Non-Americans and turn them into Americans. Whether or not he meant it in a purely racist sense is beyond my reckoning, given that I’m not clairvoyant and thus lack the ability to read his mind. That aside, in a very real sense, the son of a Vietnamese refugee has ancestors who fought at Bunker Hill. As long as he adopts the ideal of America, it doesn’t matter that his ancestor got here 200 years after the battle. Meanwhile, someone who rejects the ideal of America, even if he had an actual blood relative at the battle, isn’t American. America, you see, isn’t a place – it is an idea. Sure, we have our physical territory, but America is built on a Creed as much as, say, the Catholic Church is. The Church used to directly rule a fair portion of Europe – now it directly rules only a few acres inside the city of Rome…but it is no less Catholic than it was when it ruled a large, temporal estate because the Church isn’t based on land, but on an idea. If we Americans who have generations in this nation cease to have children but we continue to transmit our ideal to the most recent arrival, then America continues.

This is a bit different from every other nation on Earth – Japan being a rather extreme example of a nation being a specific people in a specific place, but even in places like Germany and Spain, it is difficult for a foreigner to become fully integrated into the society, at least for many generations. The only other nations which approximate what we do are the United Kingdom and former parts of Britain’s Empire like Australia and Canada. Because they, too, have a bit of an ideal which transcends ethnicity and place. It isn’t quite like ours – ours is written in the Declaration of Independence (it is also in the Constitution, but that can be altered or abolished…nothing can ever be done to alter the Declaration). One close friend I grew up with was the son of parents who were born outside the United States…but there was no fundamental difference between those of us who had family for centuries in this land and him. It is that quick – when the ideal of America is imparted.

And it is in the task of transmitting the idea of America that we are failing – and failing very badly. The primary cause for this failure rests on the left. It is the left which is determined to break us up into warring tribes which keep to themselves and never absorb the American ideal. It is a divide and rule tactic; a tactic as old as the first Ruling Class to ever emerge, I imagine. But this failure is seconded by many on the right. The way this is done is to presume that only certain types of people can be American and transmit the American ideal. The worst part of this group are the out and out racists – people imbued with a species of warmed-over blood and soil neo-Nazi drivel. But even outside of that, we have a problem. If our worry is that only people of Western Civilization can become American, then I hate to break it to you, but Mexicans are as much a part of Western Civilization as we are. They are a mixed lot, but so are we – and they still get their Civilization from a Judeo-Christian, European base just as we do. Try to point this out to some on the right and you’ll get an earful…flip it around and try to explain to supposedly Latino-loving Progressives that Cortez was a heroic person and you’ll get another earful. Both sides have taken up positions which are simply not true – the left that America is so bad that it needs to change into something else, the right that you have to be of a certain type to be American. But let’s be sensible – a Mexican can easily become an American, if he wants to and if we insist upon it as the price for entry. So, too, can a Chinese, a Pakistani, a Nigerian…anyone. All it takes is a desire to be American, and then learning the ropes, as it were, of being an American.

I say to the left – cease your attempts at dividing us. I say to the right – cease your adherence to nonsensical ideas about who can be what. Our job, as Conservatives, is to conserve our civilization – and that means transmitting it to both American babies, and foreigners who wish to become American. It really isn’t a difficult task. The sons of Germans became Americans and fought Germans with gusto in World War Two. The sons of Japanese, become Americans, would have fought the Japanese with equal gusto, had we let them (instead, we sent them off to kill Germans – and a fine job they did of it).

I’m descended from a wide variety of ancestors – my surname comes from Ireland, but I haven’t the least feeling for Ireland, as such. Just another foreign country. Imagine, though, if my family had kept up the Irish feeling with intensity – and if my fellow Americans had kept up their intense feeling that an Irishman couldn’t be a proper American…you know, what with being a member of a despised, violent race which was also Catholic and thus owed allegiance to the Pope? I’d likely be locked into an impoverished, Irish ghetto and be mindlessly mouthing hatred of Protestants in general, and Britain in particular…while also taking great exception to the United States as a nation of fine words, but bad actions. But, it wasn’t like that – my great-great-grandfather became American, and by the time his son was an adult, the family was so American that great-grandpa became a wheelhorse of Democrat politics in New Jersey…and his daughter became a Hollywood star.

It is past time we left off this fight over differently wrong ideas. E pluribus unum really is a worthwhile thing. All it takes is a desire that it should be so. I fear we are losing that desire and if we do, then very bad things will follow.

Open Thread

CNN is still working the Russian angle. Get a grip, for crying out loud. Trump’s actions in office have worked to Russia’s detriment.

Looks like a very old man in Minnesota may have been a henchman of the Nazis. His family still doubts it, but given where he’s from, it could well be true. He’s 98, so sending him to jail is not really a practical option. I do have a bit of sympathy for the Ukranian people as they were caught in the vise of World War Two. They were split between Poland and Stalin’s Russia before the war – and while the Poles weren’t remotely as bad as Stalin, they still carried out a lot of repression of the Ukranian people. Then the war came – Germans were fighting the Poles, and then the Russians…the temptation to throw in with the Germans must have been overwhelming. Very many Ukranians did. Stepan Bandera was the leader of those who fought alongside the Germans – but showing the bizarre realities of the time, two of his brothers were sent to Auschwitz…there to be killed by Polish patriots. Bandera, himself, wound up in Gestapo custody for a while. The Banderists, as the Russians called them, kept up the fight after the war – the last of them being rounded up in 1958. This is not to excuse any crimes the Ukrainians committed – but it is a plea for a careful understanding of the stresses people can be put under.

Britain has approved Brexit and will now start the negotiations for leaving. Scotland, meanwhile, appears to be opting to vote on secession from Great Britain and to stay in the EU. Bizarre that the Scots may opt out of governing themselves in favor of having un-elected bureaucrats in Brussels decide their fate. But, such is the pull of the welfare State…and the EU is far more welfare-y than the UK…for the UK (what remains of it), without Scotland you can expect the Labour party to be in the wilderness for quite a long time, as Scotland provides a huge number of Labour votes.

Preet Bharara is not the hero of the legal world people are making him out to be:

But — and I want to be clear here — Bharara’s refusal to resign wasn’t about principle. It was about putting himself publicly on the side of anti-Trump Democrats, no doubt in the expectation of future rewards, political or professional. It was not a brave act. It was, in fact, a species of corruption.

Do you want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump: environmentalists vandalize a Trump golf course.

Robert Stacy McCain describes feminists:

What part of crazy do I have to explain here? Feminists are berserk, bonkers, deranged, demented, delusional, irrational, non compos mentis, unhinged, wacky, psycho, off their rockers, nuttier than squirrel farts, a few fries short of a Happy Meal and cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Don Surber has some words about the CBO scoring of TrumpCare. I don’t think many have kind words to say about it – personally, I think it is an opening gambit in what will be a protracted series of negotiations until we get Trump’s bare minimum (repeal; replace; cross-border insurance sales; no one loses coverage) and whatever else he can tack on there (and others who figure it out get tacked on there). It is going to be messy, folks – but whatever emerges will at least be better than ObamaCare.

Merkel apparently wants to move Trump her way. She’ll fail.

Democrats say they’ll go for a government shut down to stop Trump’s wall. Democrats have convinced themselves that opposing Trump up and down the line is the way to go – in their minds, it was GOP knee-jerk opposition to Obama which won Congress and, ultimately, the White House. They fail to note that the GOP was opposing massively unpopular Obama policies…while the border wall is not ragingly popular among the entire population, it is very popular among Trump voters…opposing it just makes certain they can’t peel off Trumpsters in 2018 and 2020. Another thing being talked up is if the Democrats will suffer electorally because of a shutdown – this on the theory that the GOP suffered when it triggered shut downs in the past…the only flaw in that theory is that the GOP never suffered at all because of government shut downs. Finally, if the Dems do shut it down, I can bet that Trump’s tactic will be the opposite of Obama’s. Obama tried to make it painful – to make people think that without government, life can’t be lived. Trump will try to minimize any effect of a shut down so that people will start to understand that a great deal of government is entirely pointless.

Open Thread

Seems that in districts where Trump won, he won overwhelmingly – and in districts where Hillary won, she won overwhelmingly. I can’t help but be reminded of something I read once upon a time – political operatives, reading the results of some local elections prior to the 1860 Presidential election (we didn’t vote for Congress all in one day back then), said, “these are Civil War returns”…meaning, the nation was so divided that it was as if two different nations existed. Trump’s primary job over the next four years is to find a way to change that…to get us back into a place where we aren’t so divided from one another. Of course, with the left calling him Hitler II, that is difficult…but, then again, the over-the-top rhetoric might also make the left so toxic that people turn to Trump as the reasonable alternative. It can happen – Britain’s Labour Party picked a leader so far-left that there is a chance that in the next British elections, the Tory party could win an outright majority of votes…something no party in Britain has done since 1931.

Some EPA bureaucrats are quitting. Good.

Careful, Democrats – you may get what you wish for. AG Sessions open to a special prosecutor. Hate to break it to you, Democrats, but for the previous 8 years it was your guys in charge and that means the chances that they were breaking laws is vastly higher than any chance Trump did.

Hatch to seek another term in 2018: with Trump’s backing. People are still saying that Trump is thin skinned, doesn’t know how to do politics, is kinda dumb…people will continue to be shocked by his winning, too.

Alleged super-genius Stephen Hawking says that without a world government, technology will destroy us. This is why people shouldn’t stray out of their area of expertise…and in all of Hawking’s super-geniusing, he apparently has yet to crack open 1984 or The Gulag Archipelago. Technology is just a tool, Mr Hawking – it is what people do with the tool which is good or bad. And handing all the tools to a few people who must necessarily have a limited connection with the needs of everyday folks is a recipe for ensuring the tools will be used for evil.

Progressive guy goes on a rant about how great Blue America is compared to Red America…fails to notice, among many other things, that California can’t build a high speed rail without federal subsidies…and the one they are trying to build is already way over budget and behind schedule. Sorry, Proggies, you think it is your side of the country making all the swell stuff and supporting everyone else but the reality is that your wealth is based upon trade…which would flow through your blue port cities whether you are Progressive, or not. Take away the trade (and the massive federal subsidies for higher education), and just what, exactly, does San Francisco provide for us? Food? No. Water? No. Steel? No. Lumber? No. Oil? No. Natural Gas? No. Anything?

Too good to check: Russian hackers have the goods on Progressive groups and are holding them up for ransom.

Victor Davis Hanson notices the bizarre disconnect in the minds of our Progressive leaders:

We have become an arrogant generation that virtue-signals that we can change the universe when in reality we cannot even run an awards ceremony, plow snow, fix potholes, build a road or dam, or stop inner-city youths from murdering one another.

Do our smug politicians promise utopia because they cannot cope with reality? Do lectures compensate for inaction? Do we fault past generations of Americans — who drank too many Cokes and smoked too many cigarettes — because we are ashamed that we lack their vision, confidence, and ability to build another Oroville Dam or a six-lane freeway, or to stop criminals from turning urban weekends into the Wild West?

Never Trump: Let Me Explain This to You

Hey, hey, LBJ: how many kids did you kill today?

Thus went the chant of the 60’s radicals. We’re supposed to call them “anti-war protestors”, but if they were anti-war, they would have been just as opposed to the war being waged by the government of North Vietnam as they were displeased with the American effort. Of course, they had nothing bad to say about North Vietnam’s war. This is because it wasn’t about being against the war (or war, in general) but about being against the United States and its South Vietnamese allies winning the war. And, so, led by hard left radicals, the protestors set about saying the most outrageous, slanderous and cruel things they could about American leaders. I bring this up because there’s a direct line from that chant to the slogans being used today by protest groups led by hard left radicals.

Whatever one wishes to say about President Johnson and the Vietnam War (and I’ve got plenty of negative things to say on both subjects), the bottom line is that Johnson was the leader of the good guys during the war (as was Nixon, after him). This is not to say that Johnson didn’t do wrong: he did plenty wrong. But he wasn’t the bloodthirsty, hate-filled monster the protestors made him out to be. And while those protestors were chanting their slanderous cruelty, it was taken as a given that no one was supposed to say the same things back at them. People back then who pointed out that the protestors were mere stooges of Communist aggression and were working for the eventual murder and enslavement of millions were considered the kooks. People outside the pale of decent society. The only people allowed to be nasty were those of the left – and then it was a requirement that everyone else treat them as if they were reasonable, responsible members of society.

Post-Johnson, the Democrats learned their lesson: make sure the hard left never has bad things to say about you. Do that, and you can do whatever you want and the only slanders will be launched against Republicans. Democrats could have done the honorable thing and continued to fight the hard left, but it was much easier to co-opt the hard left (money talks, folks – and he who can dispense bags of government cash to Progressive groups will find they have a life-long friend). Much easier and it provided a convenient attack dog – any time a Republican got out of line, out came the Progressive protestors to slander said Republican. And, over time, the hard left Progressives managed to gain full control of the Democrats…and, now, it became the rule that Democrats could act like hard left people (ie, say nasty things which were untrue about their opponents) and be immune from like criticism.

Back in October I wrote and article called You Can’t Say That About Democrats. I was a bit astonished – it was after Trump had rudely got into Hillary’s face during the debate and just hammered her relentlessly. The pundit class were sure that his performance had done him in. We know, now, that it didn’t. But at the time, I wasn’t at all sure that Trump had done himself a favor with that because I, too, was of the unconscious opinion that no matter how outrageous Democrats and the overall left behaved, we weren’t allowed to be like them. They could call us racists, sexists, homophobes, Nazis, fascists; they could riot; burn; loot; threaten violence…they could do whatever they wanted and we could never do a darned thing about it.

But, as it turns out, we can – or, at least, Trump could. Throwing away the Cracker Jack Book of GOP Politics (which has the GOP ritually committing political suicide every election – though some times winning in spite of themselves because Democrats are just really, really dumb when you get down to it), Trump just went at it…and as someone who grew up and thrived in the rude, vulgar and rather cut-throat world of real estate development, he simply did what came natural to him: punched back whenever he was hit. And punched back very, very hard.

And this is something, especially, that Never Trump didn’t get then, and don’t get now. With the recent fracas over Trump’s tapping accusations, we see it writ large. We’re not supposed to say things like that! In spite of the fact that President Obama proved himself both a bald-faced liar (“you can keep your plan”) and someone willing to allow government power to be used against his opponents (IRS scandal), we were still not supposed to mention it – not in any serious way which would cause him any grief. That is just unkind, you see? Its the sort of thing, if said at the swell parties, which would result in a frosty silence and no more invitations to the swell parties. Trump just went ahead and said it. And you darn well know he’s right! Given what we know of Obama and his team it would have been astonishing if the power of government wasn’t use against Trump. And I think they felt they need to, as well.

I don’t buy the claim that Hillary, et al was shocked on election night. She wouldn’t have gone to Michigan and Pennsylvania if she was supremely confident until, say, 9 pm Eastern (as the story goes) that her election was in the bag. I personally think that by late October there was enough evidence of a seismic shift in the race to scare the bejabbers out of Team Hillary and the Democrats – and, so, the last minute efforts in the “Blue Wall”…and, likely, last minute attempts to find something, anything, on Trump that might shift it back towards Hillary. That is where the attempted effort to tap Trump’s communications came from. Nothing, it would seem, was found (or we would have seen it, by now), but there was still enough there for a campaign of innuendo to be used…and that started towards the end of Obama’s Administration when orders were given to spread the collected data far and wide with the certainty that plenty of people would leak the results to the MSM.

But all that is coming out of it is slander, at the end of the day. Trump is not a Russian stooge (his foreign policy actions demonstrate this conclusively); Trump’s team is not at the beck and call of corrupt Russian business interests. There simply was no Russian hacking of the election, nor any Russian shifting of the election results. But for weeks now we’ve had this lie spread daily by the MSM and the Democrats…along with the accusations that Trump is a racist, sexist Nazi out to destroy all that is good and decent in the world. And for people like the Never Trumpers, the rule still is that we can’t say anything bad about Democrats. But, as Trump went, screw that. Of course we can – because they are being very bad people right now.

Plenty of very strong arguments can be made that Trump shouldn’t have been the GOP nominee. I’ve heard them – I made some of them. But once Trump became the nominee, it became an imperative to ensure his election. Obama had just spent 8 years corrupting American politics. Slush fund payoffs to favored groups; crony-Capitalism to donors; abuse of Presidential authority; refusal to enforce the laws fairly; the relentless use of dishonesty to advance Obama’s political goals…all of this ground up and gravely coarsened American political life. Hillary would have continued this for another 4 to 8 years, to the massive detriment of the United States. In fact, if we had wound up with 16 years of what Obama gave, we might have found our nation fatally wounded. To be sure, no one could tell what Trump would actually do – he made a lot of promises, but we all know about politicians and their promises. But, still, given what we knew about Obama and Hillary, we simply had to take a chance on Trump. For all the talk (very prevalent in Never Trump circles) that Trump represents a moral decline for the United States, the actuality is that he represents a moral step up from Obama and Hillary.

I get it that Trump hasn’t lived a life of Christian virtue. I get it that his new-found respect for religion may not be genuine (though, ever trying to live a life of Christian hope, I’m proceeding on the assumption that it is genuine). I get it that, personally, he can be quite vulgar. But has he ever had someone arrested for making a video because having that person arrested advances a political lie launched to cover up a massive policy error? No. Trump’s personal moral failings are one thing – but they pale in comparison to the betrayal of public trust represented by both Obama and Hillary. A politician who breaks the public trust while holding political power has put the lives, fortunes and sacred honor of every American at risk. Trump, only in office for a few weeks, simply hasn’t had the time to do the wrong that Obama and Hillary have done – and Hillary certainly would have continued to do, had she won. Trump may never betray the public trust as Obama and Hillary have.

Seeing as Obama and Hillary were just awful and that their supporters are continuing to act in a terrible manner, I see nothing amiss in Trump punching back. Why shouldn’t he? The only reason is the old rule that we can’t say that about Democrats. But that rule was written by Democrats to protect themselves from their actions as Democrats. Heck with that. I don’t see why we have to play nice while they play dirty. Sure, I’d like a political life where everyone treats the other fairly and we debate only solid aspects of policy. But that is not the world we live in. We don’t live in it because Democrats can’t live in it. A real debate about any issue will cut against what Democrats want – if not in total, then in enough to undercut the ability of Democrat to retain and exercise power.

As for Never Trumpers, I’d like to point out that if you got your way and forced Trump out of office then what we’ll get in replacement is a Democrat who will do precisely what Democrats do – lie, bribe, grift, use the power of government against opponents, enact ever more repressive laws against anyone who doesn’t toe the Progressive line. Trump may fail – only time will tell on that; but to help him fail is merely to help the Democrats. We must help Trump succeed – and that means meeting him honestly and fairly. When he does well, congratulate him. When he does poorly, offer fair criticism and suggest alternatives. When Democrats attack, fight back. That last bit is very important. It was disgusting the way some Republicans were quick to jump on the anti-Trump train as soon as the Russian story broke. What purpose was there in seconding Democrat complaints save to help Democrats back into power, where they can go about making life miserable for us? Why do something like that? I honestly don’t understand it.

I don’t understand it because there is no Democrat result which can be worse than any Trump result. No matter how bad you wish to think Trump is, the Democrats are worse – worse for us, worse for the nation as a whole. Until they are really and thoroughly defeated and go through their own wilderness time and rebuild themselves into a fair and honest political player, our only rational act is to do what we can to keep them out of power. This doesn’t mean become a Trump cheerleader, but for goodness sake, don’t jump in with them against Trump. There’s no upside to that. They are just trying to claw their way back into power so they can get back to bribing themselves and screwing us over.

It is time – past time, really – for everyone to make their choice. What do you want? Do you want the United States to do well, or do you want to tear down Trump because that makes you feel better? Remember, tearing down Trump – while making you feel better – will result in Democrats back in power. I fully expect that some of the stalwart Never Trumpers of today will find themselves, by 2020, full-fledged Progressive Democrats…arguing that a vote for Warren/Booker is a vote for decency. But for most Never Trumpers, I’m hoping that there is a turn to the better hope – a hope that Trump can do well; that we can help him do well. And by doing well, making our nation a better place to live. Let the Democrats do what they do. Don’t help them. Even if you don’t want to fight for Trump, don’t fight for them. Fight for America – and right now, the only way to do that is to somehow or another help Trump do what is right for America.