The Counterattack Begins

New York recently passed a law, that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. That’s flat wrong but they’re not alone. But they went further, they forbade DHS access to DMV records. That had repercussions. From Rachel Bovard in American Greatness.

But on Wednesday, DHS issued its first-ever clap back.

In response to New York’s law, DHS will strip New Yorkers out of the federal “trusted traveler” programs which have served to expedite the state’s cross border trade and travel with Canada for over a decade. Instead, New Yorkers and their businesses will have to do it all the old-fashioned way: with passports, long lines, and repeated customs inspections.

There is good reason for DHS to take this step. “We need to do our job,” acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News.

It’s About More Than Licenses for Illegals

And it’s true. Though New York state may have intended only to block DHS enforcement against undocumented aliens, refusing to share DMV data cuts off a much broader swath of DHS’s ability to police for basic safety.

Due to the state’s new law, customs officers will no longer be able to see who owns the car they are inspecting or pulling over, ascertain whether or not that person is a citizen, or even be informed of any outstanding criminal warrants. This not only puts the officer at risk, but it also hamstrings his ability to identify and arrest violent criminals or help their victims.

Yep, and if you think it through, probably ¾ or more of American contacts with law enforcement are triggered by access to DMV records.

And so DHS strikes back and all those liberal New Yorkers can pay the price at American Ports of Entry. Hard to feel sorry for them since they wanted to signal their virtue. I’ll bet money it will also have an impact on their ability to obtain a security clearance. Throwing sand in the gearbox appears to have repercussions.

Paul Goldberg writing in News Thud tells us that isn’t all, either.

AOC and Ilhan Omar will not be happy. Barr is filing lawsuits, issuing subpoenas and warning Dems running these programs he is looking into filing criminal charges against them if they continue to defy the law.

“When we are talking about sanctuary cities, we are talking about policies that are designed to allow criminal aliens to escape,” Attorney General William P. Barr said in a speech to the National Sheriff’s Association.

“Their express purpose is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for other crimes. This is neither lawful nor sensible.”

Mr. Barr also warned sanctuaries that he’s ordered his department to review the law and see i9f criminal charges are possible

“This includes assessing whether jurisdictions are complying with our criminal laws, in particular the criminal statute that prohibits the harboring or shielding of aliens in the United States,” he said.

“The department is filing a complaint against the State of New Jersey seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against its laws that forbid state and local law enforcement from sharing vital information about criminal aliens with DHS,” Barr said.

“We are filing a complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against King County, Washington, for the policy … that forbids DHS from deporting aliens from the United States using King County International Airport,” Barr continued.

“Further, we are reviewing the practices, policies, and laws of other jurisdictions across the country.  This includes assessing whether jurisdictions are complying with our criminal laws, in particular the criminal statute that prohibits the harboring or shielding of aliens in the United States,” Barr added, before saying the DOJ would start issuing “federal subpoenas to access information about criminal aliens in the custody of uncooperative jurisdictions.”

Time and past time. But better late than never. Why it’s almost like he believes in the rule of law or something.  Now, Mr. Attorney General, this is all well and good (It really is!) but when should we expect indictments in the jihad against the President?

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.

The Era of Limbaugh

First Lady Melania Trump delivers the Medal of Freedom to radio personality Rush Limbaugh after being acknowledged by US President Donald Trump as he delivers the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 4, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

I think I was born conservative, in a way that perhaps only a boomer born to parents who had worked their way through the Great Depression and World War II can understand. They were indeed conservative, not to mention frugal, and yet they were New Dealers. And so it was for many.

It was a matter of leadership as much as anything. FDR at least was willing to try things that might help, Hoover seemed to sit there feeling sorry for both the American people and himself. And not everything in the New Deal was all that bad for America, some were, and for the most part, none of it affected the depression, but some things did deliver real progress, especially in rural areas. It brought US agriculture into the 20th century, and thusly contributed greatly to winning World War II. Anyway, that’s how it was.

In college, I discovered William F. Buckley, and I never looked back. I loved his erudition, his vocabulary, his knowledge of the classics, and above all, his conservatism. Like all young people, I became a non-critical acolyte, and in some ways, I still am. But eventually, he got supplanted by Ronald Reagan, who to me always combined Buckley with the down to earth libertarianism of Barry Goldwater. It was an epic brew, sliding the Overton window for a while, defeating the Soviet Union and so many other things.

Then came the resurgence of what we at the time called the Rockefeller Republicans, and we now call the GOPe and much worse things, which were and are deserved. If I never see another Bush or acolyte on stage, it will be much too soon. They perhaps meant well, but their timidity and fear of the media almost destroyed the country. As Reagan slipped away from us mentally, the reason it did not is mostly down to one man: Rush Limbaugh.

Due to things that Reagan had championed, he was able to become a national voice, and you will not understand today’s American conservative without understanding Rush. Matthew Continetti at The Washington Free Beacon wrote well recently about why Rush Limbaugh matters so very much.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis spoke to Rush Limbaugh last fall at a gala dinner for the National Review Institute. The radio host was there to receive the William F. Buckley Jr. award. “He actually gave me one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever had,” Limbaugh told his audience the next day. “He listed five great conservatives and put me in the list.” DeSantis’s pantheon: William F. Buckley Jr., Ronald Reagan, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Limbaugh.

Good list. No media figure since Buckley has had a more lasting influence on American conservatism than Limbaugh, whose cumulative weekly audience is more than 20 million people. Since national syndication in 1988, Limbaugh has been the voice of conservatism, his three-hour program blending news, politics, and entertainment in a powerful and polarizing cocktail. His shocking announcement this week that he has advanced lung cancer, and his appearance at the State of the Union, where President Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, are occasions to reflect on his impact.

It is, in fact, the defining list. Buckley brought forward the tenets of American Conservatism from before the war, Reagan is pretty self-explanatory, Scalia and Thomas highlighted how the left had used the courts against us, and Limbaugh showed the way ahead.

Limbaugh made the most of these opportunities. And he contributed stylistic innovations of his own. He treated politics not only as a competition of ideas but also as a contest between liberal elites and the American public. He added the irreverent and sometimes scandalous humor and cultural commentary of the great DJs. He introduced catchphrases still in circulation: “dittohead,” “Drive-By media,” “feminazi,” “talent on loan from God.”

The template he created has been so successful that the list of his imitators on both the left and right is endless. Even Al Franken wanted in on the act. Dostoyevsky is attributed with the saying that the great Russian writers “all came out of Gogol’s ‘Overcoat.'” Political talk show hosts came out of Limbaugh’s microphone.

Limbaugh’s success prefigured more than the rise of conservative radio. His two bestsellers, The Way Things Ought to Be (1992) and See, I Told You So (1993), were the leading edge of the conservative publishing boom. And his television program, The Rush Limbaugh Show, produced in collaboration with Roger Ailes, was a forerunner of the opinion programming on Fox News Channel. “I had to learn how to take being hated as a measure of success,” he told a Boy Scouts awards dinner in 2009. “Nobody’s raised for that. And the person that taught me to deal with this and to remain psychologically healthy was Roger Ailes.”

Yep, here are the roots of the Fox News that we depended upon to bring us through the various reigns of error, it all goes back to Ailes, but more to Rush himself.

Bold, brash, divisive, funny, and amped up, President Trump’s style is similar to a shock jockey’s. His presidency is another reminder of Limbaugh’s staying power. The American right has been molded in his anti-elitist, grassroots, demotic, irreverent, patriotic, hard-charging image. Rush Limbaugh is not just a broadcaster. He defines an era.

Indeed so, and with luck, it will define the Second American Century, as still more people are lifted from tyranny and destitution with the help of the freest people on earth, not because it benefits us (even if it sometimes does) but because it is the right thing to do.

A Turning Point?

In The Telegraph the other day, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote about the watershed that Brexit is for Britain.

None of Europe’s underlying pathologies have been tackled. It is a spectator as America and China battle for technological supremacy in the 21st Century. Not a single one of the world’s 20 most valuable tech companies is European.

The reasons lie in the EU’s legal ethos, in its slow, rigid, regulatory system, and in 190,000 pages of Acquis Communautaire that is nigh impossible to repeal – the very rules that Britain must supposedly accept in perpetuity to conduct routine trade.

“We have a cultural problem in Europe: you cannot embrace new technology unless you accept risk, and the EU is afraid of risk,” I was told once by Emma Marcegaglia, then head of BusinessEurope.

How very true that is, as we all know, “No risk, no gain”. But in many ways that is the corporatist (and the EU is the most corporatist entity in the world) vision of heaven. Protected for all time by their lackeys in government from innovation and change, their future is assured. Or is it?

The precautionary principle was frozen into EU jurisprudence with the Amsterdam Treaty in 1997 – which is roughly when the EU started going into economic decline, though this is hard to separate from the parallel euro experiment.

The US cleaves instead to the ‘innovation principle’, the doctrine of cost-benefit analysis based on hard science. American tradition is trial-and-error, policed by lawsuits for abusers.

Behind this is the spirit of English Common Law: crudely, anything is allowed unless explicitly forbidden; so far removed from the Napoleonic Code that curtails all until explicitly authorised. Anglo-Saxon law is why the US ran away with the internet age while Europe never left the starting line.

The UK has been caught on the wrong side of the cultural divide within the EU. The risk-aversion culture has been a headwind for British biotech and its tech “unicorns” (private start-ups worth a $1bn), third in the world behind the US and China, with most of Europe straggling far behind.

And it has been getting nothing but worse for Britain, who we Americans should remember, invented many of the things that we developed into world-beating things and technologies, and that includes the computer and the internet. This, if Boris does it right is the promise of Brexit. For most of our history, Britain has been the great inventor, and we have been the great developer. It the partnership that has made the world modern.

So how did Britain come to join the EEC/EU? Conservative Home in an article by Joe Baron sheds some light.

During World War Two, the contradiction immanent in Britain’s fight for freedom against Nazi imperialism whilst presiding over the largest seaborne empire in history was necessarily ignored. After victory, however, this was no longer possible. It had to be confronted.

The British empire had become morally unjustifiable and consequently unsustainable, as well as, after the financial strain of the war, economically unviable to boot. In 1947, the jewel in Britain’s imperial crown was granted independence and violently partitioned into Pakistan and India; Ghana gained independence in 1957 and Nigeria in 1960; indeed, throughout the 1950s and 60s, Britain’s imperial possessions fell, like dominoes, into the hands of charismatic, indigenous leaders armed with the language of liberty devised by the British themselves.

Britain had become a shadow of its former glory. Britannia no longer bestraddled the world, mistress of the seas, trident in hand; instead, she sat passively, seeking handouts from her new creditor and master on the other side of the Atlantic – an ocean once dominated by the imposing guns of her navy. In 1956, in a final coup de grace, her master and patron chased her out of Suez with a swift, humiliating reproach. Britain’s hegemony was at an end.

We, in America, never realized how deeply Suez hurt our cousins, to have a President, who they thought their friend, so summarily to tell them to back off, rankled deeply, especially after all the other things that had been going bad.

This is the prelude to joining the EU and indeed one of the underlying causes of that which some of us, even here, remember as the British Disease. Truly could Dean Acheson say, “Britain has lost an empire and not yet found a role”. It was a very low period for the cousins, and just about everything seemed to be going to hell in a handcart for them. But things started changing in the 80s.

However, Thatcher changed everything. Her radical reforms, unapologetic patriotism, uncompromising will and remarkable character lifted the nation out of its post-war torpor and restored its self-confidence. The unions were tamed, fiscal profligacy was replaced by fiscal restraint, markets were liberalised, inefficient nationalised industries privatised, inflation was controlled and, consequently, annual growth exceeded four per cent during the late 1980s.

A British ‘economic miracle’ was being enviously mooted on the continent – a truly remarkable turnaround from the stagnation and misery afflicting the nation just 10 years earlier. Successive governments, even Labour ones, refused to reverse the Iron Lady’s reforms and, in 2015, Britain became the fifth largest economy in the world, largely thanks to her courageous endeavours – wisely left to bear fruit by her successors.

Most important, though, was the national pride restored by Thatcher’s indomitable spirit and sense of moral purpose. Along with Ronald Reagan, she led the free world’s fight against the inhumanity of Soviet communism; in 1982, she ignored her doubters and successfully dispatched a task force to wrestle back the Falkland Islands from Argentina’s military junta; and in 1990, just before her downfall, she encouraged George Bush senior, then American president, to dispense with the wobbling and stand firm against Saddam Hussein after his unprovoked attack on Kuwait. Like Britannia, Thatcher bestrode the global stage, handbag in hand, and gave Britain back its pride and self-confidence.

That this national revival led to rising public disaffection with the EU cannot be gainsaid. Why should a wealthy, self-confident country like Britain sacrifice its sovereignty to a sclerotic, unresponsive, undemocratic, supranational and meddlesome bureaucracy like the European Union? On 23rd June 2016, the answer was clear: it shouldn’t – a decision that, after three and  a half years, was reaffirmed by Johnson’s election victory.

If Britain joined what was to become the EU in a moment of disorientation and self-doubt, it voted out as a confident, self-assured, optimistic, outward-looking and independent nation state. For this, we have Thatcher to thank. And as a delicious accompaniment, she posthumously drove a stake through the heart of her vampiric nemesis, Michael Heseltine. Victory has never been sweeter.

And like here in America, it was done not by the elites and what we call Wall Street. It was done by the people themselves, what in America is Main Steet and in Britain is High Street. It amounts to a counter-revolution on both sides of the Atlantic, in which we are feeding off of and celebrating each other’s victories. The special relationship hasn’t been this strong since World War II, and as then it is a bond between our peoples, both sets of which Hillary would call thick Deplorables. For her class, she was correct, but not for our peoples

Do read the links, there’s lots of very good information there.

DC Whispers has a very thinly sourced story up that President Trump and Queen Elizabeth are now working together to defeat the swamp which is deep in both countries.

And helping in that particular endeavor is none other than the Queen who is said to have taken a keen interest in pushing for a more full disclosure of the part some high-ranking British officials played in the before and after manipulations that ran rampant around America’s 2016 presidential election.

Great Britain, with the full consent of the Queen, now prepares to save Western Civilization on the European continent while President Trump works to do the same here in the United States. Neither battle will be easy. The enemies of both the Queen and President Trump are more volatile / agitated than ever.

Is it true? I have no idea. But it would be a most formidable team. But it is not impossible, HMQ is, of course, the very last world leader who learned directly from that great Anglo-American, Sir Winston Churchill. One hopes it is true. Reminds me of a bit of lesser-known Kipling.

“This is the State above the Law.
    The State exists for the State alone.”
[This is a gland at the back of the jaw,
    And an answering lump by the collar-bone.]
Some die shouting in gas or fire;
    Some die silent, by shell and shot.
Some die desperate, caught on the wire;
    Some die suddenly. This will not.
“Regis suprema voluntas Lex”
    [It will follow the regular course of—throats.]
Some die pinned by the broken decks,
    Some die sobbing between the boats.
Some die eloquent, pressed to death
    By the sliding trench as their friends can hear.
Some die wholly in half a breath.
    Some—give trouble for half a year.
“There is neither Evil nor Good in life.
    Except as the needs of the State ordain.”
[Since it is rather too late for the knife,
    All we can do is mask the pain.]
From A Death Bed.

A Good Weekend

The Senate has voted to not call new witnesses. The incredibly weak, flawed, and partisan House plan will have to stand on its merits if it has any, which is doubtful. The Senate, being its normal lazy self has postponed that vote till next Wednesday. Mustn’t interfere with a long Super Bowl weekend, one presumes. Still, the right thing done late is better than the wrong thing. They say they have the votes to defeat it, just not today.

The British agree. Yesterday at 5 pm central time (11 pm British time) the United Kingdom left the European Union. An excellent result, also much delayed by self-important politicians.

 

A pretty low key celebration on Parliament Square, Full disclosure, I haven’t watched all four hours.

 

See! Good things do come to those who wait!

Brexit Day

And so, today at 5 pm CST, the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Nigel Farage said goodbye a couple days ago.

As we have said since at least 21 June 2016, Mummy has joined our revolution at last. and today marks a milestone on her journey back to freedom. It’s not over (in truth, it never is) but the day marks a milestone, now it is up to Britain to make good on the promise that Boris made to the people.

Sumantra Maitra in The Federalist reflects on this, using the vehicle of the Royal Mint’s commemorative 50p coin, which states on its reverse “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations.” There is a strong echo there of Thomas Jefferson’s words in his 1801 inaugural where he spoke of  “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” As Sumantra notes, real life has intruded on Jefferson’s words, and they will on Britain’s hopes as well. As Britain’s Prime Minister MacMillian once observed, “Events, dear boy, events” always intrude on intentions and hopes. That doesn’t mean they don’t matter, only that things intrude. Here’s a bit more from the article:

While America has given up on the realism of no “entangling alliances,” and Britain is not going to turn from a parliamentary monarchy to a constitutional republic any time soon, these words somehow reflect a new direction, a closing of the gaps that have been haunting for the last 30 or so years. As the rest of Europe grows ever distant and even antagonistic to the United States, one country, tethered not just by politics but by language, culture, kinship, and common law, will remain close.

This island now feels the same nationalism and optimism as its former colony once felt, trying to forge a shaky but independent way ahead, coming out of an empire.

What Does Freedom Mean to the United Kingdom?

The culmination of Brexit has been interesting. The prime minister notified the nation with a short tweet, without much fanfare or boisterous triumphalism. House of Commons leader and Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, quoting Edward Gibbon, reminded the country it is not economic prosperity but the true freedom — “the first of earthly blessings, independence” — which is the key.

True freedom is not just predicated on cheap, Chinese-made toasters and 40 different cuisines in the poshest corners of London. True freedom is the power to pull up the drawbridge and put a flag on the ramparts. If a country cannot make its own laws and guard its own borders, dictated instead by the rules of a foreign elite in a distant city, it is not truly free.

Or on their desk in Brussels, even if it means having your speech cut off.

Nevertheless, sometimes upheaval is necessary, and what an upheaval Brexit was. There’s a pearl of odd conventional wisdom among Anglo-American conservatives that the only reason for survival is to conserve the existing order. But what if the existing order is steadily progressive, or worse, not just progressive but actually revolutionary? Do you still conserve an order that is determined to transform the very existence of your society?

Everything is relative. To the earnest, late-’80s, Soviet Communist Party man, conserving the USSR empire would be important, but the people decided against it. To an American conservative, preserving the managerial ruling of the Obama years with its global climate accords and Title IX kangaroo courts at universities, not to mention encroaching transgender madness in all aspects of society, would be madness. Likewise, Brexit was a reaction — because sometimes conserving isn’t enough. A restructuring and overthrow of the ruling progressive edifice is needed.

And that is what we mean in Anglo-American history as completing the revolution. To understand it helps to see history as a wheel, sometimes, as in  1215, 1642, 1688, 1776, and 2016, the wheel gets stuck upside down, and then we need to give it a push – to complete the revolution, and continue our journey.

And so, Great Britain has reached a milestone. Herman Wouk in War and Remembrance had Pug Henry comment on New Years Eve 1942 that there was “Plenty of hell behind and plenty more in front.” So it is with Brexit (the age of Trump, too). But it is a milestone, perhaps analogous to the Battle of Saratoga. Although it is interesting to note that one of the American heroes of that battle was Benedict Arnold. One hopes there is not a counterpart in the part of Brexit yet to come.

And so to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, A constitutional parliamentary monarchy, if they can keep it.

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