Trump Impeachment

It is less than it seems so far – for there to be a real impeachment inquiry, the House would have to vote to do so, and so far Pelosi isn’t making that move…and it can’t be for lack of votes: such a thing would garner 218 (at least) votes in the House because too many Democrats would face a primary challenge if they didn’t go along with it. So, why isn’t she moving forward? My view is that the far left base of the Democrats – mostly upper class, urban whites – are the only people on fire for impeachment and Pelosi is trying to thread the needle: make it seem like she’s doing it, but not actually doing it.

The trouble is, these things have a way of just growing on their own. People in the Democrat ranks are already staking out extreme positions and in an election year, the need to one-up on it will make it more likely that nearly everyone stakes out such a position. Democrats are caught in a vise – their attempt to separate Trump from his base – that is all Trump/Russia was ever about – has failed but their own stalwarts have taken it as Gospel. And if you really believe that Trump is a Russian agent placed in office by Putin – and that is what they believe – then there can be no reason not to impeach. To try to hold back from the last step might prove impossible.

No one can tell how this will play out: we know Trump is innocent and so any airing of the facts will help Trump. But the political dynamic is unprecedented: we’ve never had a President actively seeking re-election while an impeachment plays out. Get ready for a wild ride.

Never Trump Never was Conservative

Ace takes Jonah Goldberg to task over an article Goldberg wrote in 2013 – an article arguing that GOP voters should ignore Mark Sanford’s adultery and vote for him, anyway, because the Democrat candidate was so liberal that it wasn’t worth, in 2013, standing by an absolute condemnation of adultery to the detriment of the overall political cause. There are, of course, strengths and weaknesses to such an argument, but Ace’s main point is that for some, weird reason in the middle of 2015, Goldberg (and the rest of Never Trump) suddenly decided adultery was such a hideous sin that it’d be better if Hillary were elected President. Because the lady who helped cover up her husband’s adultery is morally superior to a guy who committed adultery, or something.

And the “or something” is this, in my view: the people who make up Never Trump never wanted Conservatism to win. What such people wanted was the entirely of liberal social policy combined with low taxes (especially on corporations, and especially in the form of so-called “free trade” agreements). Oh, and drop a few bombs every now and again on poor foreigners and send Flyover Americans out to fight from time to time – always on the understanding they’d never be allowed to win and they could face criminal charges if their actions upset some DoD lawyer.

What we have to do here is to realize we were suckers. Conned. Yokels who were taken in by city slickers. No shame in it, because the con artist is still the bad guy. But, we were stupid: we paid and we voted and we waited and waited and waited for decades for the Great Conservative Victory…and even when we had power (including total power under Bush from 2003 to 2007) nothing Conservative ever happened. Even after that, we still didn’t put two and two together. It wasn’t until Trump came along that the mask was ripped off – and it was ripped off because Trump not only said he’d do conservative things, but he actually started doing them.

Now, to be sure, the original Never Trump objections to Trump had some validity. I know people who were Trumpsters from Day One (my brother is one of them) but there were a lot – a lot – of people, like me, who went for Anybody But Trump until there was no one left but Trump. I even know some people who, faced with the choice between Hillary and Trump, decided to not vote for President, or vote for some Third Party candidate as a protest. The bottom line is that in 2016, there were plenty of solid reasons to not want Trump – not least of which was what I feared the most: that if he got in, he’d strike a deal with the left and leave us high and dry. But, still, I voted for Trump – because I saw clearly that there was a moral issue at stake here and no matter what Trump had done, it wasn’t remotely as bad as Hillary had done and in policy, with Trump, I might at least get something I wanted from time to time. But then Trump won and started to govern. Lo and behold, within months of taking office, he was accomplishing more solid, conservative things than even Reagan had done. In short, by about July of 2017, if you were conservative, you made your peace with Trump because, as it turns out, his victory was a good thing.

Now it became crunch time, as it were. I wrote, I think shortly after the election, that anyone who remained Never Trump for a long period of time would eventually become left. I was a bit wrong about that. They didn’t become, they already were. There is plenty of evidence of this – most notably in how so many Never Trump people have jettisoned their beliefs nearly entirely. They no longer offer conservative criticism of Trump because you can’t conservatively oppose the conservative policies of Trump’s Administration (small exception is on trade: you can be a conservative free trader…I’ll disagree with you on that, but because you want Free Trade and I want Protection doesn’t mean either of us are liberal). To me, this just isn’t really possible, outside of a religious conversion. And while liberalism is like a religion (more like a cult, these days), it isn’t exactly like that. But we do have people who are becoming liberal and just baldly asserting things as truth which yesterday they said were lies.

I can only work from the assumption that they never believed a word of what they said before. I don’t know (and don’t care) if they believe what they are saying, now. But that rapid a 180 by such a large number of people – supposedly educated people – is just too unlikely except as a result of cynical dishonesty. They were dishonestly and cynically parroting Conservatism when it punched the ticket (and had no chance of winning and thus no chance of forcing them to do something they didn’t want to do) and are now parroting Liberalism because that is now punching the ticket. I wish the liberals a lot of luck with them (and some liberals are on to the scam and are disgusted by the embrace of these people by the left…no decent person likes a traitor. Ever.). As for me, I’m just glad we are rid of them – we still might lose, but at least now we’ll lose after a fight, and that allows you to rest easy, no matter what the outcome.

The Never Trump Betrayal

Ace brings up an article by David Horowitz about the Never Trumpers. The genesis of Horowitz’ article was a particular Tweet by Jonah Goldberg:

Re-asking a question I’ve been posing for three years: Please come up with a definition of good character that Donald Trump can clear.

To which Horowitz eventually replied:

He has an amazing family. He’s loyal to a fault. He loves the country that gave him a privileged life, He works around the clock for ordinary Americans, & their security. He would never appoint a treacherous individual to head the CIA. Wake up Jonah.Its a war & u cant be neutral.

Which, in turn, generated this reply from Goldberg:

This is total nonsense David. He’s not loyal to a fault. He’s not loyal to his wives. Read up on how he treated Roy Cohn ffs. He doesn’t work around the clock. He won’t read and won’t stop watching TV. I can’t tell if your head is up your ass or his.

Which is usually how it goes – Never Trump makes a blanket statement. Trump supporter offers a polite response which calls into question the Never Trump statement. Never Trump then gets really pissy and vulgar. I did a response, myself, fairly much in tune with Horowitz’ but I didn’t get a response. Not important enough – usually, the Never Trump in question just blocks me (I’m blocked by an awful lot of them…and others that have muted me).

You should read Horowitz’ whole article on it, but here’s the meat as far as I’m concerned:

The posture of these NeverTrumpers is transparently self-serving. It preserves their intellectual credentials as “conservatives,” and simultaneously takes them out of the line of fire from an increasingly vicious Left whose goal is to destroy Trump and his presidency, and—incidentally—conservative America. Sitting on the fence affords them new career opportunities—appearances on CNN and MSNBC and columns in the New York Times. All that’s required is that they avoid taking sides in the political war that is engulfing the country. All this reminds me of a memorable Trotsky sneer about liberals, whom he accused of being reluctant to step into the stream of political conflict because they were afraid to get their moral principles wet.

The main thing, in my view, about people like Goldberg and the rest of the Never Trumpers is that they refused their office. The Never Trumpers were provided position, wealth, and a megaphone in order to fight for us – because we, the regular folks, don’t have the time for it. We’re of the right – we have jobs and families to attend to. And not just jobs, but jobs where concrete results are demanded. The left has its legions of layabouts who have all the time and money in the world to engage in politics. We on the right don’t have that – and thus was set up things like NRO…and the whole host of publications and think tanks which were supposed to pitch into the battle with gusto, never giving the left a break and just hammering them relentlessly until the left was no more.

Trouble is, after five decades of doing this, we didn’t find ourselves on the verge of repealing Social Security, but on the verge of enacting Socialized medicine. The Conservative movement failed. Failed utterly. It was beaten at the game of politics thoroughly. It had become a sad and, at times, sick joke – we all just waited for the Conservative Movement surrender each time the left came up with a new demand. There are only two explanations for it:

1. Cowardice.

2. Treason.

Either they were afraid to fight the left, or they actually wanted the left to win – in either case, they were running a con. Just hoping they could be top of the Conservative heap and have honors and rewards without ever having to accomplish anything. And they dare to say Trump is a man of no character? People who lost every damned battle for 50 years have the gall to shoot arrows at someone else? How about at least a bit of humility, guys? Any chance of that, Jonah? Any even mild acknowledgement that you failed us? Nope. None of that. Just insults hurled at the one guy who is actually winning. And, guys, winning it pretty easy…showing the the left is a paper tiger. It could have been smashed, easily, time and again for the past 50 years. It just wasn’t. Which is why I go more towards “treason”…the understanding that these guys really didn’t want Conservatism…just some lower taxes and maybe a more muscular military than the left, as a whole, did. I think that Trump’s success, far more than any character flaw, is really what is getting their goat…he’s done more for Conservatism in 18 months than they did in 50 years…heck, he’s on pace to surpass even Reagan in Conservatism. This vulgar, New York real estate mogul is besting them…and, grrrr, he also slept with a Playmate, the bastard!

My Dad explained to me when I was young that being honorable is only partially a matter of good morals and manners. He explained to me that my grandfather knew some bad men in his time – real criminals. But crooks you could trust. That might seem a paradox, but such is human life. My grandfather could make (completely legal, it should be stressed) business deals with the crooks on a handshake and everyone kept their end of the bargain. The bad guys might have been running illegal gambling operations, but if they said they’d do X for you in return for Y, X would be done. The key, my Dad explained, was keeping your word. We’re all weak and prone to sin – we’ll also do a lot of things we’ll regret at a later date. It is, in a very real sense, something we can’t help…we’re human and prone to sin. But to break one’s word requires a special act of will. If I say I’ll do something for you…then I’m either going to do it, or I’m not. Unless I am dead, then I have to either perform, or prove myself faithless. I have to keep my word – because it is, in the end, all I’ve got. If you don’t trust me to keep my word, then what use am I to you?

The Conservative movement didn’t keep it’s word to us – they promised us an end to the New Deal and the Great Society in return for our loyalty. They delivered us “bake the cake” and an inch away from single payer healthcare. What good are they to us, now? Why should we trust them in the future? Meanwhile, Trump is keeping his word. He might be a vulgar lout. He might be everything bad they say about him…but, so far, he’s proven trustworthy…and that’s not only a definition of good character Trump clears, it is really the most important definition of character there is.

President Trump and a Sane Foreign Policy

Compare and contrast: Donald Trump, called ignorant, stupid and crude by the Expert Class, manages to at least get the ball rolling on a settlement of the Korean War and the de-nuclearization of Korea. The Expert Class (Conservative and Progressive, makes no matter in this case) is the same sort of people who got us into the Korean War without a declaration of war, expended 33,000 American lives – along with many hundreds of thousands of Korean and Chinese lives (as well as blowing everything above a hut in North Korea to pieces) – and then said, “ah, heck with it: lets just settle for a stalemate.” A stalemate which has now gone on for 65 years, continues to cost lives and, until just yesterday, carried a real threat of renewed fighting at any time.

Who is actually dumb? Heck: who is actually insane?

Reading the comments from Expert Class people on social media after Trump concluded the summit, I kept getting angrier and angrier. These people clearly wished that Trump had failed – and are hoping against hope that it will still fail at some future point. I got the distinct impression (and I’m not the only one) that they’d prefer a bloody war to result in Korea, as long as we lost it and they could pin the blame on Trump. Look, I despise the North Korean regime as much as anyone – just as I despise all tyranny, and especially tyranny of the Communist variety, because it is so invariably anti-human. But I also don’t want the sons and daughters of America to die in war unless it is necessary – and I sure as heck don’t want them shoved into another war to bleed and die and then not be allowed to win. I tend to think this is a rather sane way to view things.

Trump is trying to get something better. Maybe the North Korean regime also wants something better? Sure, we can count on it that they will try to wring every advantage they can out of this and you can rely on it that they’re plans don’t include the creation of a pluralist democracy. What can we do here?

1. Nothing and hope that the North Korean regime merely dies, and doesn’t decide to take out South Korea in it’s death throes.

2. Go to war and expend a lot of lives destroying the North Korean regime, and then spend a couple decades rebuilding the place.

3. Try to work a deal where they become a non-immediate threat and are able to slowly build themselves up over time (which does carry a risk that a richer North Korea might eventually become more militarily powerful than a poor North Korea…but, ultimately, that is more South Korea’s problem than ours, and as long as South Korea maintains their first-rate military, such a problem is contained).

I think Option 3 is best. Others can have a different view; I understand and respect that…but what we’re getting from the Expert Class is a clear hope that everything goes to heck in a hand basket, just so they can blame Trump. So, heck with them. They’ve pushed a foreign policy for decades which has proven not just a failure, but an insane failure. Time to move on.

And that, I think, is what President Trump is doing: moving on from the framework of the past. The President is abandoning the post-WWII settlement in favor of a new idea that if we strenuously pursue American interests, good things will follow not just for us, but for the whole world. The Expert Class hates this idea, mostly because they hate the idea of the United States going forward and carrying the world in it’s train. But for those of us who believe we’re the good guys, then we see it is a logical that if we do things to sustain ourselves, that will help us and all the other good guys in the world.

Who benefits from a weak America? Not us. Not the forces of freedom and decency. Who benefits from a powerful America? Us, and the forces of freedom and decency. We’ve tended to go weak ever since WWII. Even under supposedly Conservative governments, we have bent the knee to such things as the UN and have deliberately refused to flex our full power on the world stage. This hasn’t been done for any rational reason – it as been done for the insane reason that our Expert Class doesn’t believe we should be too powerful (you should look into Expert Class commentary after the fall of the USSR…they were worried that without the USSR to keep us in check, we’d destroy the world, because we’re stupid redneck deplorables). As the Expert Class can’t actually make us non-powerful, they have set up a system of treaties, organizations and agreements which says we can’t do things unless the rest of the world agrees we should. We’ve been hobbled and made unable to stay completely out of foreign entanglements while also not being able to finish conflicts once they come up.

We’ve been forbidden to be either Isolationist or Empire. And what have we got for this? Well, the aforementioned Korean War. But, also, Vietnam War. The ongoing Global War on Terrorism (which will hit its seventeenth anniversary this September; keep going and a couple years from now young American men and women who weren’t even alive when the war started will get the privilege of being killed in it). Various other small wars for our own involvement but let’s not forget things like the Bosnian War; the Rwandan genocide; the mass migration of people; the various failed States around the world; the destruction of our own morality (done primarily to crush our spirit and make us docile)…it has all been wrong, and insanely wrong, at that. We’ve really done nothing right. And the people who have done it all wrong are now standing up and telling us we must not follow Trump on this. Nuts to that.

I’m fully aware that Trump might fail. Anyone who attempts anything risks failure – it is in the nature of things. But one thing I can’t see me agreeing to is to keep going on with the same, old insanity. We’ve tried it. We given the smart guys who are supposed Experts their chance…and we’ve got piles of corpses and a demoralized world now prey to the worst among us as a result. No, thanks. I can’t say what, exactly, will work to fix on this, but it will be something other than the insane Experts are prescribing. Maybe Trump has got it figured out? We’ll find out over the next couple years and I’m willing to give him time. And if he fails, I’ll agree to try something else…but not what we’ve been doing. That is over and done with and only Progressives and Never Trump haven’t figured that out.

Trump Demands

Back around August of 2016, I was talking over the election with the Mrs and, at that time, was figuring that Trump had a real chance of winning. But I was also thinking that the Establishment would pull out all the stops to prevent this. Not, by the way, because of the policies Trump proposed, nor even because of their false claims that he was a racist or any such thing. No, they were afraid of him winning simply because he would be the first President we’ve ever had who owed nothing to the Establishment. That is the key to understanding the amazing level of hatred directed Trump’s way. He doesn’t care what happens to the Establishment.

And the Establishment is corrupt to the bone – and gets away with it simply because no one does anything about it. They can’t – either they are personally compromised, or fearful that their closest allies will be caught up in an anti-corruption sweep. So, everyone just pretends its all good…with only the odd, egregious violator sent up the river, and even then only if such an action won’t harm the Masters of the Establishment, the Democrats. Trump comes rolling in and, being on the right side of the law, himself, sees no reason to worry about investigations…regardless of where they lead.

I don’t know why, exactly, Trump has allowed the Mueller fiasco to continue as long as it has – I can only assume he’s got his own plan, on his own timeline, and has made the calculation that it isn’t the right time to shut Mueller down. But his demand over the weekend that the DOJ look into Obama Administration spying is clearly a shot across the bow. We don’t know what Trump knows – what he has been able to obtain on his authority as President detailing just what happened. We can count on it that many bureaucrats would do all they can to thwart Trump in getting information…but at least some percentage of them still hold to the old, non-partisan ethic of the bureaucracy and so will obey Presidential orders. Trump likely knows a lot about who was doing what and under who’s orders.

But he can’t act precipitously on such information. It is going to be a lot harder to get convictions than most suspect. First off, Justice is riddled with people who will do all they can to blow cases. Secondly, any trials in the DC area would have a juries packed full of anti-Trump people who could easily be lead to saying “not guilty” no matter what. Also, when it all comes out, it has to come in a way very easy for the broad mass of the American people to understand. The MSM will just flat lie about it, of course…but if it is very obvious, even the most blatant lies won’t keep people from understanding the truth.

Big things are about to happen, I think – and what I think they’ll amount to is a full attack on a corrupt Ruling Class. Stay tuned.

The Middle East is Changing

So, Iranian forces in Syria attacked Israeli targets and Israel, naturally, responded – a big thing and important in itself, but this struck me:

Bahrain has backed Israel’s right to “defend itself”, following dozens of Israeli airstrikes on Iranian military targets in Syria overnight.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid al-Khalifa said on Thursday that it backed Tel Aviv’s military response to attempted Iranian missile strikes on an Israeli army base, early Thursday morning, in the occupied Golan Heights.

“As long as Iran has breached the status quo in the region and invaded countries with its forces and missiles, so any state in the region, including Israel, is entitled to defend itself by destroying sources of danger,” the minister, whose country is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, said on his official Twitter account…

Bahrain is a tiny country and is allied with Saudi Arabia mostly for protection against Iran. So, no surprise that Bahrain would be pleased to see Iran harmed, but it is massively surprising that an official of the Bahrain government would publicly declare Israel – which, officially in most Muslim countries, doesn’t even exist – has a right to self-defense. This is a sea-change in Arab attitudes.

What I think has really broken the log-jam here is the fact that Trump pretty much dropped the Palestinian issue like a bad habit. As long as our actions in the Middle East were always tied to a theory that we had to remain somewhat neutral in the Arab-Israeli conflict – and thus had to pretend that the Palestinian leadership was a key element – we were tied to a false idea, and thus couldn’t really move. Trump moved; now, everyone is moving. Its been a couple decades since anyone in the Arab world really gave a darn about the Palestinians and while no one would object to a permanent peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, everyone with any sense at all knows the Palestinian leadership has staked out an impossible position (return to the 1967 border, return of “refugees” to Israel and, of course, still rhetoric about marching on Tel Aviv one day), and so there’s no chance of it right now. So, let’s move on until the Palestinian leadership changes.

And as people are able to move on – as people no longer have to pretend that a few fanatics in Gaza have to be appeased in order to do anything – the political realities which have existed at least since the Iranian revolution are rising to the surface…and are being dealt with. I’m not saying they are being dealt with properly – there’s a lot of confusion and an outsider like me really can’t judge all that well – but they are being dealt with. Saudi Arabia is determined to check Iran (wise move, Saudi Arabia) and in that effort, ignoring a powerful Israel which is also determined to check Iran would be foolish. I think we’re still a ways away from an Israeli Embassy in Riyadh…but I don’t think that far away. The times, they are a-changing…and it is Trump, the Agent of Change on Steroids, who is making it happen.

The Never-Ending Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory

The House Intel committee came to it’s conclusion:

The House Intelligence Committee has released findings from its upcoming report on the Trump-Russia affair — and its main conclusion is that it has discovered no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” the committee said in a one-page summary of its findings released Monday afternoon.

In addition, the committee took issue with the intelligence community assessment of Russian motivations in the 2016 election. The committee agrees with the assessment that the Russians did, in fact, try to interfere — the findings cite “Russian cyberattacks on U.S. political institutions in 2015-2016 and their use of social media to sow discord.” But the committee disagrees with the intelligence community judgment that Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically tried to help President Trump win the election.

Of course, we all knew this, already. These findings, though resulting from an exhaustive investigation, won’t convince our Progressives nor the Never Trumpers that there’s nothing to see here. They are all too invested in it, and they are invested in it because all of them were deeply invested in Hillary winning. Not just in the sense of her, personally, winning but in her winning proving conclusive that everyone who backed Trump was a complete idiot. Make no mistake about it: there is a lot of ego involved here.

You might recall that I predicted the 2006 mid-term elections not just wrong – but so incredibly, stupidly wrong that, in hindsight, I had to be a complete fool not to have seen it coming. I had, in that time, let the wish become the father of the thought. I didn’t want the Democrats to win, and so I went about for months finding reasons to justify my pre-conceived notion. Everyone can fall prey to this. But, for me, it was an excellent learning experience. I mostly learned that things can always go very different from what you expect. From that day to this, you might have noticed that I don’t make hard and fast political predictions. I always hedge my statements – “may”, “might”, “could be”, and so on. I made my mistake, took my lumps and moved on – because I’m not an egoist. The Progressives and the Never Trumpers very much are. And they are hanging on to Trump-Russia because as long as it exists, it explains away their mistake. They weren’t wrong, you see? Russia colluded with Trump! That’s how Trump won!

Now, to be sure, you can’t nail these guys down. As Ace points out, they are like the “soft” 9/11 Truthers…they won’t specifically state what they believe, but they’ll glide around hinting at this or that statement which backs up the main part of the theory (in 9/11 Trutherism, that Bush knew about and/or planned the 9/11 attacks). If you ask Trump-Russia theorists to fill in the blanks: “Putin did (blank) to help Trump win in return for (blank)”, you’ll never get them to fill them in. They can’t – they don’t dare because anything put into those blanks is going to be so clearly absurd as to be laughable. There was nothing Putin could do to alter the election and there was nothing Trump could do that would help Putin. Period. But the true believers keep at it – because it is their security blanket. Their assurance that they didn’t just get it wrong.

Getting it wrong is about the worst feeling you can have, after all. When you’ve done something bone-headed, you just feel the worst. You’d rather have been caught robbing a bank or something. Nothing is worse than looking like a fool – at least, for most of us. A few saints have risen above such things, but most of us are slaves to our dignity…to our pride. Not seeing the obvious in 2016 – that Trump was running a campaign tailor-made to pull in disaffected Democrats and thus would likely get him over 270 – is a bitter pill to swallow. Only one Never Trumper I know has really swallowed it – he freely admitted after the election that he simply refused to see the proof that Trump at least had a solid shot (what he missed, most egregiously, was the massive shift in voter registration to the GOP in Pennsylvania).

The longer anyone keeps with a mistake, the more invested they get in defending the mistake. So we can rely on it that the people who still believe in Trump-Russia will keep on believing it. Twenty years from now they’ll still bring it up from time to time. Just as we still have people mumbling about 9/11, so we’ll hear mumbles about Trump-Russia forever. Fortunately, most of us can ignore it, if we haven’t already. There’s nothing to find because there’s no possibility it can be true. And the really good news is that people who are lashed themselves to the mast of stupidity will keep on being stupid, thus making it more likely we’ll win in years to come.