Hubris, meet Nemesis

msmprop4Victor Davis Hanson recently wrote for the Hoover Institution. As usual, it’s outstanding.

Donald Trump conducted a press conference recently as if he were a loud circus ringmaster whipping the media circus animals into shape. The establishment thought the performance was a window into an unhinged mind; half the country thought it was a long overdue media comeuppance.

The media suffer the lowest approval numbers in nearly a half-century. In a recent Emerson College poll, 49 percent of American voters termed the Trump administration “truthful”; yet only 39 percent believed the same about the news media.

Every president needs media audit. The role of journalists in a free society is to act as disinterested censors of government power—neither going on witch-hunts against political opponents nor deifying ideological fellow-travelers.

Sadly, the contemporary mainstream media—the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN), the traditional blue-chip newspapers (Washington Post, New York Times), and the public affiliates (NPR, PBS)—have lost credibility. They are no more reliable critics of President Trump’s excesses than they were believable cheerleaders for Barack Obama’s policies.

Trump may have a habit of exaggeration and gratuitous feuding that could cause problems with his presidency. But we would never quite know that from the media. In just his first month in office, reporters have already peddled dozens of fake news stories designed to discredit the President—to such a degree that little they now write or say can be taken at face value.

A loud and blatant truth there, if you wish to lose whatever credibility you have all you have to do is take sides, while continuing to maintain that you are objective. True for me, true for you, true for the New York Times. Although I wouldn’t know, since I have no pet birds, I have no reason to support overpriced birdcage liners. But to be serious, even as a blogger, I exercise a modicum of judgment, whether something is likely true, possible, or simply propaganda, there are many stories you don’t see here because even with the wide reading I do, I only saw it once, or it’s simply too unlikely. Whatever, if I’m not convinced, it doesn’t get posted.

VDH does an outstanding job of running down the ‘bill of particulars’ that have damned the MSM in this country, no need to do it here, so read the link.

We are now in a media arena where there are no rules. The New York Times is no longer any more credible than talk radio; CNN—whose reporters have compared Trump to Hitler and gleefully joked about his plane crashing—should be no more believed than a blogger’s website. Buzzfeed has become like the National Inquirer.

Trump now communicates, often raucously and unfiltered, directly with the American people, to ensure his message is not distorted and massaged by reporters who have a history of doing just that. Unfortunately, it is up to the American people now to audit their own president’s assertions. The problem is not just that the media is often not reliable, but that it is predictably unreliable. It has ceased to exist as an auditor of government. Ironically the media that sacrificed its reputation to glorify Obama and demonize Trump has empowered the new President in a way never quite seen before. At least for now, Trump can say or do almost anything he wishes without media scrutiny—given that reporters have far less credibility than does Trump.

Trump is the media’s Nemesis—payback for its own hubris.

Emphasis mine and via Presidential Payback For Media Hubris | Hoover Institution.

I have nothing to add to that.

Immigration, and some from CPAC

ap_16326009989758-640x442So, on Tuesday, General Kelly gave an order to his people on immigration. In short, it said this:

Henceforth, the United States shall be governed by the laws of the United States.

As said on warsclerotic.com, that it had to be said:

[…] owes to the Obama administration abuses of three legal doctrines: prosecutorial discretion, preemption, and separation of powers (specifically, the executive usurpation of legislative power).


 

 

I’m not as thrilled as I used to be with CPAC, but it does bring together some very good people, so let’s watch a few.

I always thnk Scott Walker has an idea of what to do.

Sen Ted Cruz and Mark Levin; it just doesn’t get much better!

The Vice President Mike Pence.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Senator Jim DeMint, now at the Heritage Center

And Dana Loesch, of course! 🙂

I’d guess we’ll have some more of these, as we go along. Some really good stuff gets said, and out loud too.

 

 

Sunday Miscellany

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It’s Sunday, I’m late (and lazy) so here’s some stuff for your education and enlightenment, without working too hard.

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And, of course

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Winning with the Colonel

bf4d1850-1ac0-491f-9769-20525e35a0fcHere is one of those articles that is nearly impossible to shorten. Kurt Schlichter hits another home run.

The Left is getting massively out-Alinskyed, and the hilarious thing is that this band of withered hippies, unemployable millennial safe-space cases, and unlovable + unshaven libfeminists don’t even know it. Oh, their masters sure know it. Soros is bitterly having to ramp up his infusions of blood money to keep his community-organized “grassroots” movements afloat. The less dumb ones among the lying dinosaur media are panicking as their influence fades, and Chuck Schumer is enduring such a non-stop parade of serial humiliations that if the Senate were a penitentiary, he’d be McConnell’s prison Mitch.

The Leftist mafia godmaleidentifyingparents pulling the strings of the Marxist Muppets know the score – they are losing. And it’s awesome. Because, finally, the Right has taken Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and shoved it up where #TheResistance don’t shine.

Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. You yelled “Follow me!” and led a movement that had previously been dominated by doofy wonks and bow-tied geeks over the top in a glorious bayonet charge against the paper tiger liberal elite. The Left hadn’t taken a good, solid gut punch since Ronald Reagan turned the Oval Office keys over to the wimpcons who found fighting Democrats uncouth because conflict made for awkward luncheons down at the club. Bizarrely, the guy who picked up the standard and carried it forward when our beloved commander was felled by fate was a New York billionaire with no identifiable ideological foundation who instinctively understood the one thing that could make up for his other failings: He knows how to fight liberals and win. For Donald Trump and the revitalized conservative movement, Alinsky’s book isn’t some dusty old commie tome – it’s a lifestyle.

Alinsky’s Rules are relatively simple, and they make sense when you are fighting a conventional opponent with an interest in maintaining the status quo. The Rules are terrific for dealing with an old-school conservative guy who drives a Buick, enjoys gardening, and doesn’t want any trouble. They aren’t so effective against conservative brawlers who like to punch, and who aren’t too fussy about whether it’s with tweets or with fists.

You know the Colonel is correct, if Breitbart has a legacy, it’s the current right, which fights the left all the time, everywhere, and you know what else, we’re winning. We won last summer in Britain, we won last November in America, and I suspect we’ll win more this year in Europe.

Rule 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Actually, we now have a lot of power. No, we don’t have direct power over liberal bastions like Hollywood, the media and academia, […]

Rule 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people” and Rule 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Stupid GOP wonkcons want to fight to where the liberals are strong, like on entitlements. Trump is smart enough to fight where liberals are weak, like on the economy. […]

Rule 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” This is not so much about pointing out the lies and hypocrisy that constitute Leftist orthodoxy – the vicious racism they deny is racism because it’s anti-white, the racism against non-whites who refuse to serve a liberal master, the sexism against women who think babies should be actually be born, and so on. It’s about not letting them tie us into knots by using our morals and values as bear traps to immobilize and neutralize us. Fortunately, most of us have discovered how losing our superficial “political values” helps us regain our freedom. […]

Read that link, Warden speaks for me, and many others like me and it’s why we’re winning.

Rule 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” Actually, the AR15 a more potent weapon, but ridicule will do as long as the Left doesn’t try to make good on its countless threats of violence and tyranny. Regardless, we finally we have a conservative corps that is willing to mock the members of that motley collection of pompous, inept, lying jerks we call the Democrat Party and its media catamite corps. […]

Rule 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” I’m having fun watching the liberals lose. How about you?

Rule 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” I don’t know – I doubt I am ever going to be tired of so much #winning.

Rule 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Remember the Trump outrage du jour a couple days ago when we were supposed to be on the verge of war with Australia? […]

via Shoving Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals Right Back in the Left’s Ugly Face – Kurt Schlichter

Do read the link, I’ve pushed fair use as far as I dare, giving you that much. The Colonel is right, and I doubt any of us are ever going to get tired of #winning, or not #caring, at least not before America is restored.

General Patton said just before the Normandy Invasion, it’s still true today, for the heirs of those men.

Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.

The Jacksonian Revolt

JOE SKIPPER / REUTERS

JOE SKIPPER / REUTERS

We’ve said here often that most Europeans simply misunderstand Americans. That is true, and it is also true that Britons do better than most at understanding us, which is reasonable, given that we sprang as a nation from Brittania’s brow.

Walter Russel Mead undertook in Foreign Affairs to explain how Trump arose. I think he gets it pretty much right, and understanding it may well be fundamental going forward. (I think this is a free article, at least it came that way to me.)

American Populism and the Liberal Order

[F]or the first time in 70 years, the American people have elected a president who disparages the policies, ideas, and institutions at the heart of postwar U.S. foreign policy. No one knows how the foreign policy of the Trump administration will take shape, or how the new president’s priorities and preferences will shift as he encounters the torrent of events and crises ahead. But not since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration has U.S. foreign policy witnessed debates this fundamental.

Since World War II, U.S. grand strategy has been shaped by two major schools of thought, both focused on achieving a stable international system with the United States at the center. Hamiltonians believed that it was in the American interest for the United States to replace the United Kingdom as “the gyroscope of world order,” in the words of President Woodrow Wilson’s adviser Edward House during World War I, putting the financial and security architecture in place for a reviving global economy after World War II—something that would both contain the Soviet Union and advance U.S. interests. When the Soviet Union fell, Hamiltonians responded by doubling down on the creation of a global liberal order, understood primarily in economic terms.

Wilsonians, meanwhile, also believed that the creation of a global liberal order was a vital U.S. interest, but they conceived of it in terms of values rather than economics. Seeing corrupt and authoritarian regimes abroad as a leading cause of conflict and violence, Wilsonians sought peace through the promotion of human rights, democratic governance, and the rule of law. In the later stages of the Cold War, one branch of this camp, liberal institutionalists, focused on the promotion of international institutions and ever-closer global integration, while another branch, neoconservatives, believed that a liberal agenda could best be advanced through Washington’s unilateral efforts (or in voluntary conjunction with like-minded partners).

The disputes between and among these factions were intense and consequential, but they took place within a common commitment to a common project of global order. As that project came under increasing strain in recent decades, however, the unquestioned grip of the globalists on U.S. foreign policy thinking began to loosen. More nationalist, less globally minded voices began to be heard, and a public increasingly disenchanted with what it saw as the costly failures the global order-building project began to challenge what the foreign policy establishment was preaching. The Jeffersonian and Jacksonian schools of thought, prominent before World War II but out of favor during the heyday of the liberal order, have come back with a vengeance.

Jeffersonians, including today’s so-called realists, argue that reducing the United States’ global profile would reduce the costs and risks of foreign policy. They seek to define U.S. interests narrowly and advance them in the safest and most economical ways. Libertarians take this proposition to its limits and find allies among many on the left who oppose interventionism, want to cut military spending, and favor redeploying the government’s efforts and resources at home. Both Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas seemed to think that they could surf the rising tide of Jeffersonian thinking during the Republican presidential primary. But Donald Trump sensed something that his political rivals failed to grasp: that the truly surging force in American politics wasn’t Jeffersonian minimalism. It was Jacksonian populist nationalism.

IDENTITY POLITICS BITE BACK

The distinctively American populism Trump espouses is rooted in the thought and culture of the country’s first populist president, Andrew Jackson. For Jacksonians—who formed the core of Trump’s passionately supportive base—the United States is not a political entity created and defined by a set of intellectual propositions rooted in the Enlightenment and oriented toward the fulfillment of a universal mission. Rather, it is the nation-state of the American people, and its chief business lies at home. Jacksonians see American exceptionalism not as a function of the universal appeal of American ideas, or even as a function of a unique American vocation to transform the world, but rather as rooted in the country’s singular commitment to the equality and dignity of individual American citizens. The role of the U.S. government, Jacksonians believe, is to fulfill the country’s destiny by looking after the physical security and economic well-being of the American people in their national home—and to do that while interfering as little as possible with the individual freedom that makes the country unique. 

Jacksonian populism is only intermittently concerned with foreign policy, and indeed it is only intermittently engaged with politics more generally. It took a particular combination of forces and trends to mobilize it this election cycle, and most of those were domestically focused. In seeking to explain the Jacksonian surge, commentators have looked to factors such as wage stagnation, the loss of good jobs for unskilled workers, the hollowing out of civic life, a rise in drug use—conditions many associate with life in blighted inner cities that have spread across much of the country. But this is a partial and incomplete view. Identity and culture have historically played a major role in American politics, and 2016 was no exception. Jacksonian America felt itself to be under siege, with its values under attack and its future under threat. Trump—flawed as many Jacksonians themselves believed him to be—seemed the only candidate willing to help fight for its survival.

Not since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration has U.S. foreign policy witnessed debates this fundamental.

For Jacksonian America, certain events galvanize intense interest and political engagement, however brief. One of these is war; when an enemy attacks, Jacksonians spring to the country’s defense. The most powerful driver of Jacksonian political engagement in domestic politics, similarly, is the perception that Jacksonians are being attacked by internal enemies, such as an elite cabal or immigrants from different backgrounds. Jacksonians worry about the U.S. government being taken over by malevolent forces bent on transforming the United States’ essential character. They are not obsessed with corruption, seeing it as an ineradicable part of politics. But they care deeply about what they see as perversion—when politicians try to use the government to oppress the people rather than protect them. And that is what many Jacksonians came to feel was happening in recent years, with powerful forces in the American elite, including the political establishments of both major parties, in cahoots against them.

Many Jacksonians came to believe that the American establishment was no longer reliably patriotic, with “patriotism” defined as an instinctive loyalty to the well-being and values of Jacksonian America. And they were not wholly wrong, by their lights. Many Americans with cosmopolitan sympathies see their main ethical imperative as working for the betterment of humanity in general. Jacksonians locate their moral community closer to home, in fellow citizens who share a common national bond. If the cosmopolitans see Jacksonians as backward and chauvinistic, Jacksonians return the favor by seeing the cosmopolitan elite as near treasonous—people who think it is morally questionable to put their own country, and its citizens, first.

via The Jacksonian Revolt | Foreign Affairs There is quite a lot more, all of it valuable. It is essential if you would know why America elected Donald Trump President.

Kellyanne Conway becomes First Woman to Win Presidency!

downloadEventually, I’ll have something more to say about the election but, I simply didn’t believe Trump had much chance, and so I didn’t have my thoughts ordered. In fact, 2012 rather demoralized me, more than I knew, and nothing since has lifted that gloom. Your mileage may differ, but I bet I’m not alone. Meantime, an old friend of mine has written on it, and I pretty much agree, I think, with her. Enjoy!

Hooray, hallelujah, thank the Good Lord, the Wicked Witch has melted. The improbable Donald Trump slayed her, benefiting from the widespread dislike for Hillary Clinton across party lines. I went to my bed for an evening of crossword puzzles and reading (oblivion) as soon as I got a look at the earliest returns showing her way ahead in key states. I was resigned, and sad, and prepared to shed a tear, no more, when I turned on the computer in the morning to find “Madame President” splashed across the news. And when I did turn to the computer, I first went to email and there I found a message from someone I worked with in Bosnia, hadn’t heard from him for a long, long time — he was gloating at the upset– against all odds! he crowed. My heart leapt, I turned to Fox News to find that the glorious American people have thrown the bums out! And Ms. Conway became the first woman ever to guide a presidential campaign to victory. Wow. I did shed tears, but joyful ones, and I did praise God for the outcome. I had even prayed Tuesday evening with my birds that God would smile on Trump’s venture. My birds are as happy as I am, although less demonstrative.

Here is what we won: our future. Trump will name at least one if not more Supreme Court justices, thus securing the Court for the foreseeable future. And by the way, Ruth Bader Ginsburg publicly declared she would retire from the Court should Trump win. I’m waiting as are we all. That would be two wicked witches downed.

 

via Kellyanne Conway becomes First Woman to Win Presidency! | Ooobie on Everything

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