Ascendant America

The word we used over the weekend to describe last week was “Winning”. It’s an appropriate term for a week where it seemed our guys could do no wrong and the opposition no right. But we have the view of a grunt peering over the edge of his foxhole, we need to see the photographs from the recon aircraft to completely understand what’s happening, which may be either much more important or meaningless. Ben Voth at American Thinker attempts to provide them.

The major political events of the first week of February portend an incredible seismic shift in American and ultimately global politics. These events include 1) Brexit, 2) Coronavirus in China, 3) the Senate impeachment trial and acquittal, 4) the Iowa caucus non-results, and 5) the president’s State of the Union address. All of these events point to an epistemological earthquake that portends a change in the intellectual political paradigm.

He’s right here, all these events matter, both in the world and in America.

The most important news is that these events point to a sharp and jarring reality: President Biden was impeached and removed from his forecasted presidency of 2021. The conventional paradigm that has dominated American politics since at least Watergate suggests that Republicans are morally suspect figures and all interpretive leaders should be on their guard against their sinister racist, sexist, corrupt agendas. Journalists, academics, Hollywood, and the federal agency personnel are on the lookout for these wicked figures that threaten all innocent human life. That paradigm rushed and guided the impeachment of President Trump in the House of Representatives.

Nancy Pelosi, who is viewed as a the prime minister of a blue-state parliament, was confident that she could both rush and delay the impeachment of the submissive Republican suspect occupying the White House. She believed she could dictate the terms of the Senate trial because, when dealing with a forum dominated by Republicans, America’s epistemological agents in journalism and punditry would scold the senators into allowing new evidence in the form of witnesses and documents.

And you know, there was a time, and it wasn’t long ago when she could have. I suspect I’m not the only one who remembers the pure arrogance of Nancy Pelosi and Obamacare. Those days are over, probably for a couple of generations. Just as the Civil War Republicans ran out of steam by Teddy Roosevelt’s day, leading to the Progressives, The Democrats, heirs to FDR and LBJ seem to be sinking under the weight of their own accumulating corruption.

House lead manager Adam Schiff overconfidently extolled the idea that Vice President Biden was inappropriately made the target of an investigation that would damage his rightful ascension to the presidency in 2020. He was as confident as the San Francisco 49ers posing for a selfie early in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Incredibly, his rhetorical gambit led to the annihilation of Biden’s campaign. Pam Bondi’s aggressive interrogation regarding Biden’s corrupt dealings in Ukraine on the floor of the Senate — and largely ignored by major media — appears to have obliterated Biden’s campaign in Iowa. The Des Moines Register had to cancel its pre-caucus poll to further protect Biden from the impending reality of his declining popularity. Ultimately, the DNC hid the results of the Iowa caucus, saying software prevented them from sharing the results. In reality, the DNC knows that Bernie Sanders won Iowa and upended the Democrats’ ability to field an actual member of their own party as its standard-bearer. All of this contradicted months of “truthful” polling telling us Biden had an insurmountable lead in Iowa and across America. Americans more than slightly suspect that media polling is deceptive.

All of this, and more, is true. And yet, as we peek over the glacis, it is impossible to note when the tide turns, and besides no victory is won while the opposition is running about loose on the field.

In short, Like the linked author (read his whole piece) I think we might be seeing the end of the beginning, but we need to “Keep up the skeer”, as always.

Not for nothing did Mathew Arnold write:

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Iowa; and Winning

In Iowa last night:

Trump won, with something around 97%. Probably good enough! 🙂

The Democrats? Well nobody knows, the mickey mouse reporting system they devised is amazingly FUBARed, maybe we’ll have results by New Hampshire, or maybe not. Will anybody trust them anyway? Amazing from the ‘smart’ party.


Then there is Mitch McConnell. Most of us, and it’s increasingly affectionate, tend to call him “Cocaine Mitch”, somewhere back in time there was a reason, but darned if I remember it. But as Cristopher Roach reminds us in American Greatness, McConnell, like Trump, likes to win.

[I]n Navy SEAL training, winners of competitive events are often rewarded with extra chow and rest. Losers are punished. As the cadre constantly reminds trainees, “It pays to be a winner.”

As we’ve seen with the Democrats’ impeachment debacle and the Republican Senate’s ongoing successes with judges—including the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) knows how to win. The New York Times grimly reported, “Democrats have called Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, the grim reaper. He embraces the nickname with enthusiasm.”

Indeed, his effectiveness is remarkable only because it is so rare among Republicans. Republicans traditionally delight in stiffing their voters. Has everyone forgotten the late Senator John McCain’s dramatic refusal to repeal Obamacare after years of promising to do so? While McConnell is a low-key guy, he is at peace with Trump, has focused on their common goals, and is not hostile to the wishes of his most important constituents, Republican voters.

In spite of their differences in style, Trump and McConnell share an important agreement regarding their fundamental understanding of politics: they both know that politics is about power and winning.

Working Together, As a Party Should

Trump’s embrace of power is undeniable. He has employed executive power to assert American interests on trade. He has deployed military power in a limited way against America’s enemies abroad, particularly in the case of ISIS. Trump has used executive power to move defense budget money around to build a wall.

McConnell and Trump both have grasped that judges have been an important stumbling block to Republican agenda items and have worked hard to ensure a record number of judges are confirmed during this window of opportunity.

Republicans were not always like this. An old friend—and one who is typical of the NeverTrump mindset—insists that how you play the game is more important than winning. But actually, it’s not. This is not baseball. Politics is high stakes. The genteel refusal to deploy power against the Left is an artifact from a different kind of politics in a different kind of country.

We are no longer having a “national conversation” among friends. It’s not about who has the better arguments. It’s a war. We count votes as a shorthand measure for numbers and power. As in war, you win first and worry about principles later.

Yep. McConnell, and Trump for that matter, are of the same generation as I am. We grew up in a different world, one where heroes were winners, our father’s generation won World War II, and they left us some good words. One of the guys who summed it up was Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers, who said often:

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

If you’d like a short form synopsis of why America is what it is, well, there it is. I’m also reminded of Patton’s speech to 3d Army.

 Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Battle is the most significant competition in which a man can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base.

And the Democrats have decided that politics is the new war. McConnell is acting accordingly. Why do the Dems have the House? The answer is in two words: “Paul Ryan”.

McConnell’s adjustment to reality and concern for results should be contrasted with former Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Ryan ran as a conservative, mouthing the right words about abortion, gay marriage, and big government. But, when in office, he tended to be AWOL on the culture war and diffident about Republican voters, much like President George W. Bush, who reflexively chastised them.

During the Bush years, Ryan was the model Republican, concerned more with fiscal issues than cultural ones, and gladly acting as a water boy for big business, whose wants were laundered into high minded and “principled” policy positions through the think tanks they fund. Bush and Ryan both pushed for tax cuts, immigration amnesty, and government transfer payments to the pharmaceutical industry, and nothing they did stopped a single abortion, dealt with the long-term impact of demographic replacement, or addressed the mass death and demoralization among working-class Americans.

Yep, I remember it well, the sell-out of the Reagan Revolution.

In other words, Trump’s voters knew the American people were in a real fight against a real enemy. And to fight you need a fighter, not Ned Flanders. But the only group Republicans like Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake, and Justin Amash were willing to fight for—to the point of “retiring” and leaving their seats vulnerable—were their megadonors and the media.

While some NeverTrumpers are lunatics hell-bent on revenge, Ryan was more typical. He was polite and conflicted. In spite of his superficial differences with his opponents, he fundamentally bought into the pseudomorality of the Left. The professional class’s morality is steeped in the feminism of the businesswoman and her beta lackeys, who recoiled in horror at the “Access Hollywood” tape.

There’s quite a bit more at the link, and it’s all good. I keep coming back to Vince Lombardi, whom even a strong fan of ‘daBears’ like me, admired inordinately.

“Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

Sunday Funnies, a Busy Week

A busy, and yet a pretty satisfying week.

And the high point of the week – The March for Life

Phrasing? One hopes so.

And of course… Audre will note that she is a brunette.

 

 

Richmond and Press Bias

So, the Virginia 2d amendment rally was entirely peaceful. No real surprise to anyone but the media. As the Babylon Bee says:

Somber members of the press offered their thoughts and prayers that someone would start some violence at the gun rights rally in Virginia today.

Reporters expressed their grief and condolences as the violence they hyped has so far failed to materialize.

“Nobody has so much as fired a shot. This is an unbelievable tragedy,” said one teary-eyed MSNBC reporter, clearly caught up in the anguish of the moment.

John Hinderaker at PowerLine adds:

Antifa threatened to show up at the rally, and likely would have created violence if it had done so. But for some reason, the group’s leaders changed their minds. Maybe they focused on the fact that the 2x4s, pipes and baseball bats with which they are used to beating up innocent bystanders might not fare so well in this crowd. One young guy who looked suspiciously like a leftist advocated jumping the fence and killing people. The genuine demonstrators denounced him as an “infiltrator”–which I suspect he was–and told him to “get the f*** out.”

No surprise at all in any of that. How did we ever survive without the Babylon Bee though? In a related matter…


David Weinberger at The Federalist has some thought on why the media can not be unbiased. Let’s look.

Americans generally agree that news media should be “objective” and “report the facts.” But as I recently explained, there is no such thing as merely reporting “the facts.”

Consider a simple example. Imagine a drunk driver kills someone. Which facts are relevant to report? Does it matter where the accident occurred? How about the identities of the people involved? Do their backgrounds matter? What about where the driver was coming from and where he was going? Is race important? Should the media report anything about their families’ reactions to the incident?

Ought the details of the vehicle be reported? What if it is later revealed that the brakes were faulty? Does it matter whether the driver is a citizen? What if he is an illegal immigrant? Are there then possible implications for public policy, and if there are, ought they be reported? Furthermore, how much time should news media devote to this matter — a 10-minute news segment, an hour, or possibly even a 24-hour news cycle or more?

Facts alone cannot answer these questions. Discerning which facts to report requires judgment, and judgment requires morality. As the late Leo Strauss observed, “We cannot observe facts without selecting facts, and we must therefore have principles guiding our selection.” Put simply, the notion that facts are completely severable from values — an idea known as the “fact-value distinction” — is untenable, and no news outlet should pretend otherwise.

Lest this be misunderstood, the news media do bear a responsibility to report the facts they select as accurately as possible, but facts do not select themselves. No outlet is therefore free from ideology. Rather than feign objectivity, it would be more responsible for news outlets to drop the pretense altogether and instead invite the best opposing thinkers to debate the issues of the day. In other words, “diversity of ideas,” not “report the facts,” is a more sensible goal for news media.

Keep reading at the link above.

He makes excellent points here, no matter how we try, we cannot be unbiased, the best we can do is admit our bias and try to read around a subject getting several viewpoints. All stories have at least two sides, after all, and most have many more – the world isn’t black and white but a technicolor extravaganza.

You want an example? I looked at probably 20 (or more stories) in the last 24 hours before I selected these two, the very selection, and my comments on them reflect my biases. So does everything else you’ll read today and in the future. Your judgment and discernment are called for to cut through the chaff and find the grain.

It’s actually always been that way, we just had this spell where we thought we could depend on the organized media to do the job for us. We can’t and we never could, we just got lazy. This is a country where people are required to think for themselves, mob tactics are antithetical to self rule.

Stiff That Caught My Eye

Getty Images: Bettmann / U.S. Navy

Yesterday, on Martin Luther King Day, the US Navy announced that one of the new Ford class carriers (CVN), the most powerful ships in the world, will be named for Ship’s Cook Third Class Doris Miller, who won the Navy Cross (personally presented by ADM Nimitz) for his actions at Pearl Harbor and was KIA in 1943. From the Navy’s statement:

This will be the second ship named in honor of Miller, and the first aircraft carrier ever named for an African American. This will also be the first aircraft carrier to be named in honor of a Sailor for actions while serving in the enlisted ranks.…

On Dec. 7, 1941, Miller was collecting laundry on the battleship West Virginia (BB-48), when the attack from Japanese forces commenced. When the alarm for general quarters sounded he headed for his battle station, an anti-aircraft battery magazine, only to discover that torpedo damage had wrecked it. Miller was ordered to the ship’s bridge to aid the mortally wounded commanding officer, and subsequently manned a .50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun until he ran out of ammunition. Miller then helped move many other injured Sailors as the ship was ordered abandoned due to her own fires and flaming oil floating down from the destroyed Arizona (BB-33). West Virginia lost 150 of its 1,500 person crew.

Miller’s actions during the attack earned him a commendation from then Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, and the Navy Cross, which was presented to him personally by Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at the time.

More at the Daily Wire. Bravo Zulu, Navy!


This is interesting, and like the author, I see no reason to doubt it.

Earlier this week, Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale shared some statistics from Trump’s campaign rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday. They are absolutely staggering. According to Pascale, 57.9% of the 20,395 voters in attendance were either registered Democrats or Independents.

The results from a poll in Ohio were already impressive, with 43% of those present being Democrat/Independent, but the numbers out of Wisconsin are truly mindblowing.

As RedState’s Elizabeth Vaugh writes, “as a conservative, I am overjoyed at these numbers. I take them to mean that this group is looking for an alternative to the current field of candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination.”

That is no reason to relax, of course. It’s still a long time to November.


Have you seen anything about this? Yeah, me neither. Amazing how well the media have managed not to cover this.

Sic Semper Tyrannis?

In a sense, I’m pushing the ‘easy button’ today. My cold lingers, and I have trouble staying awake. That said this is a very good article on the mess the Democrats have created in Virginia. It’s by Bob Barr and appeared on Townhall. Enjoy!

Virginia Democrats flexed their muscle in Richmond this week; passing four gun control bills through the Senate Judiciary Committee. This action had been promised by Gov. Ralph Northam since his Party gained majorities in both houses of the state legislature last November. As with other state governors who believe that the best way to stop criminals from committing murder is to make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to purchase and possess firearms, these measures will do just that – make it harder for law abiding citizens of Virginia to exercise their rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

Specifically, the Northam-endorsed proposals will limit citizens to one handgun purchase a month, mandate universal background checks, and allow local governments to selectively ban firearms from public events. Most troubling, one measure authorizes law enforcement to preemptively seize firearms from individuals they deem to be a threat (a so-called “red flag” law). But there’s more.

The “crown jewel” of Northam’s expansive gun control agenda is a ban on so-called “assault weapons.” This measure is expected to pass through committee this week, which then will trigger a long-anticipated showdown in the General Assembly.

Indeed, pretty much normal Democrat, Statist procedure. Of course that it actually makes the situation worse while giving the government unwarranted and unconstitutional power is considered a feature, not a bug.

This is no ordinary political stand-off. Democrats indicated they had every intention of doing whatever it took to implement their sweeping gun ban; including, if necessary, using the National Guard. This overheated rhetoric, on top of the radical policies being proposed, prompted more than 90 Virginia localities to declare themselves “gun sanctuaries,” placing local law enforcement and government officials in direct confrontation with Richmond and state officials. […]

Northam and the Virginia legislature are remaking the Commonwealth of Virginia in the image of Michael Bloomberg and George Soros; an image bearing no resemblance to the model of freedom and liberty designed by truly great Virginians like George Washington, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. For the sake of their, and our posterity, let us pray that this rebranding of Virginia will be reversed in the coming election cycles.

Yep, and read it all.

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