Is Bernie = Goldwater

MONTPELIER, VT – MAY 25: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in the capital of his home state of Vermont on May 25, 2019 in Montpelier, Vermont. This was the first Vermont rally of Sanders’ 2020 campaign. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Ed Mazlish writing in American Thinker makes a lot of sense, I think, when he writes.

[… ]I predicted on my Ayn Rand: Taking Liberty podcast with Scott Schiff that Bernie Sanders would win the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. The basis for my prediction was that in a flawed field, the Democrats would “test drive” each of their candidates as the frontrunner, disqualify each candidate for his obvious flaws, and settle on Bernie for several reasons.

That does appear to be what is happening on the other side of the hill.

Bernie is the guy with whom Democratic voters are most comfortable deep in their hearts. He says all the things the others believe and that Democratic voters feel, but he says it all without dilution and without intellectual compromise. His intellectual consistency makes him the most comfortable candidate to the Democratic base — they know that when it comes to policy, Bernie will not embarrass and will not disappoint. When he speaks, Democrats nod their heads in agreement — even the ones who oppose him. That is a huge asset when running in a hotly contested primary.

The DNC hates Bernie because he does not derive his power or money from that organization. His independence from the DNC — not his political positions — is what makes Bernie unacceptable to the DNC. They cannot control him — in much the same way that the RNC cannot control Trump and could not control Reagan 40 years ago.

This is all obvious to those who care to look, which is not most of us. So, now what?

But I think there is a better historical analogue for the upcoming election: the 1964 election between Goldwater and LBJ, where the RNC tried to use LBJ to destroy the conservative movement. I expect the DNC to try to similarly use Trump to try to destroy the Bernie movement.

The comparison of Goldwater to Bernie is easy. During his acceptance speech for the nomination, Goldwater said extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. That level of intellectual consistency is similar to Bernie’s embrace of socialism. Both Goldwater and Bernie offer the kind of intellectual consistency that the moderate power brokers in their respective parties do not share.

What an interesting conceit this is, and it holds up pretty well.

I find his Trump – LBJ analogy just a bit forced, although in the sense he means it: a candidate running on a very strong economy and with the strong support of a large segment of the people is true enough. Essentially, anybody the Democrats nominate this year is a designated sacrifice, no less than the maiden thrown into the volcano. So who better than an old fellow traveler whom the party can’t control.

Beneath the surface and surfeit of good news that Trump will ride to victory in November, there are some ominous signs — just as there were in 1965. LBJ did not anticipate the explosion of opposition to the Vietnam War, or the beginning of the collapse of the Bretton Woods economic system, or the Arab embargoes of oil beginning in the 1970s, all of which were less than a decade away. Today, we have out-of-control federal spending and debt, we have interest rates that are so artificially low that they are destroying savings and capital, we have the continued importation of cultural aliens from the Third World who have no knowledge of our system of individual rights or the inclination to learn it, we have military threats from China — and almost certainly other threats that we will not notice before they hit us. The calm we are experiencing now is likely the calm before the storm. Are we getting ourselves ready for that storm, or will we rest on our laurels in the mistaken belief that Trump’s coming landslide will be the end of the battle?

If the Right’s response to the coming landslide victory is to treat it as a permanent victory, it is likely that reality will have the final say — perhaps with a little help from the defeated but ever resilient Bernie generation that many will think has been annihilated in November. The Left’s history of coming back over the course of the past century should be the only reminder needed by the Right that no victory is ever permanent, no matter how large its margin.

And that is undoubtedly true, as well.

Project Veritas in Iowa

I don’t usually follow Project Veritas all that closely. Not because I don’t think they do useful work, I do but because you can’t follow everything and plenty of others do. But this is different. This is at least part of the second tape but watch. (a bit NSFW by the way.)

John Hinderaker at PowerLine explains:

He promises that Milwaukee will “burn” if Sanders doesn’t get the Democratic nomination, and vows to attack police officers. He endorses the Soviet Gulag in particular, and Communist re-education camps in general. He talks about “revolution” and suggests that anyone who opposes the Bernie Sanders revolution will be shot. He comes out against free speech. Jurek advocates sentencing billionaires to hard labor “breaking rocks” and approves of Antifa. His language is vulgar and threats of violence are interspersed through his conversation.

Democrats are already in damage control mode on Twitter. You can see the Project Veritas videos as well as some of the Democrats’ responses on O’Keefe’s Twitter feed. Democrats describe Jurek as a volunteer, which he isn’t. He is a paid staffer in Iowa (or was until today). He was described as a “top-tier organizer” by Sanders’ senior campaign officials in Iowa, who have now closed down their social media accounts.

Funny how often ‘damage control mode’ means lying like a rug because one got caught, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, there is one thing we can say for sure. To paraphrase John Lennon, Kyle Jurek may be a violent Communist dreamer, but he’s not the only one. James Hodgkinson, another Bernie Bro, has already done some of the worst things that Jurek threatens. The liberal press has tried to bury the fact that Hodgkinson, a Sanders volunteer and hard-core labor unionist, shot up a group of Republican Congressmen, and would have succeeded in murdering the House Majority Whip, but for the miracles of modern medicine.

It’s a very valid point. Does Sanders believe this stuff as well? I don’t know. But if a significant portion of his followers and employees do, does that matter very much? They seem to have found a home.

That is not good news for America, any more than Corbyn was for Britain. Britain dealt pretty decisively with the threat. We need to as well. As John asks…

But maybe it is time to ask: how radical are Bernie Sanders and his supporters, anyway?

Sunday Funnies, The Craziness Continues

And so this was the week that we watched as a presumed actor destroyed his own career, in a fake hate crime, a Bernie Sander decided governance can’t be left to the sane, competent, and young enough to walk. Well given my age, I’m sorta sympathetic, but the time comes to retire, and 80 is somewhere behind that particular wall, which still needs building. Oh, and we\re still laughing at the Green Nude Eel, which designator we seem to owe to PowerLine. Genius guys.

They say that this is, in fact, true 🙄

Intermission, Spring is coming

A reasonably current picture of a 65-year-old woman. Hmmm!

And, of course

Mostly but not completely from PowerLine and Bookworm.

Fmr. McDonald’s USA CEO: $35K Robots Cheaper Than Hiring at $15 Per Hour

English: A Quarter Pounder w/Cheese from McDonald's, as sold in the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Soon to be made by a robot near you!

Well, of course, it is. That’s simple common sense, and government can try, but the market wins every time. Look I wrote about this a bit over two years ago, here, and if anything has changed, it’s not for the better.

Here’s the takeaway quote for you:

“I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry — it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries — it’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe,” said former McDonald’s (MCD) USA CEO Ed Rensi during an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Mornings with Maria.

He also said this, which is also true, although in truth we’d be better off if we simply left it to the market.

“I think we ought to have a multi-faceted wage program in this country. If you’re a high school kid, you ought to have a student wage. If you’re an entry level worker you ought to have a separate wage. The states ought to manage this because they know more [about] what’s going on the ground than anybody in Washington D.C.,” he said.

Here’s the link along with the warning that it’s got an autoplay video on it. It’s a good video, though.

via Fmr. McDonald’s USA CEO: $35K Robots Cheaper Than Hiring at $15 Per Hour | Fox Business

Look none of this is rocket science done with a slide rule, it’s simple common sense. I realize that politicians with common sense are an endangered species, but this will harm those who are already hurting the most, especially our minorities. Strange, I’m a conservative white guy, how come I care more about those young black guys than all the liberal Democrats (and Bernie Sanders) put together?

Why, Indeed?


You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd

English: Number of self-identified Democrats v...

With politics this year, all seems in flux, doesn’t it? The GOP is in Public disarray, and the Democrats aren’t all that far behind. Why is that so? I suspect we are seeing a major realignment in the parties, neither of the Washington establishments seem to have much in common with their voters anymore, and like Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” True then, true now.

So what’s going to happen? Nobody knows, but some people have enough guts to tell us what they see, although it is truly through a glass darkly. Here’s what Michael Lind sees.

For political observers, 2016 feels like an earthquake — a once-in-a-generation event that will remake American politics. The Republican party is fracturing around support for Donald Trump. An avowed socialist has made an insurgent challenge for the Democratic Party’s nomination. On left and right, it feels as though a new era is beginning.

And a new era is beginning, but not in the way most people think. Though this election feels like the beginning of a partisan realignment, it’s actually the end of one. The partisan coalitions that defined the Democratic and Republican parties for decades in the middle of the twentieth century broke apart long ago; over the past half century, their component voting blocs — ideological, demographic, economic, geographic, cultural — have reshuffled. The reassembling of new Democratic and Republican coalitions is nearly finished.

What we’re seeing this year is the beginning of a policy realignment, when those new partisan coalitions decide which ideas and beliefs they stand for — when, in essence, the party platforms catch up to the shift in party voters that has already happened. The type of conservatism long championed by the Republican Party was destined to fall as soon as a candidate came along who could rally its voters without being beholden to its donors, experts and pundits. The future is being built before our eyes, with far-reaching consequences for every facet of American politics.

The 2016 race is a sign that American politics is changing in profound and lasting ways; by the 2020s and 2030s, partisan platforms will have changed drastically. You may find yourself voting for a party you could never imagine supporting right now. What will that political future look like?


Today’s Republican Party is predominantly a Midwestern, white, working-class party with its geographic epicenter in the South and interior West. Today’s Democratic Party is a coalition of relatively upscale whites with racial and ethnic minorities, concentrated in an archipelago of densely populated blue cities.

In both parties, there’s a gap between the inherited orthodoxy of a decade or two ago and the real interests of today’s electoral coalition. And in both parties, that gap between voters and policies is being closed in favor of the voters — a slight transition in the case of Hillary Clinton, but a dramatic one in the case of Donald Trump.

During the Democratic primary, pundits who focused on the clash between Clinton and Sanders missed a story that illuminated this shift: The failure of Jim Webb’s brief campaign for the presidential nomination. Webb was the only candidate who represented the old-style Democratic Party of the mid-20th century — the party whose central appeal was among white Southerners and Northern white “ethnics.” Even during the “New Democrat” era of Bill Clinton, white working-class remnants of that coalition were still important in the party. But by 2016, Webb lacked a constituency, and he was out of place among the politicians seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, which included one lifelong socialist (Bernie Sanders) and two candidates who had been raised as Republicans (Hillary Clinton and, briefly, Lincoln Chafee).

On the Republican side, the exemplary living fossil was Jeb Bush. Like his brother, Jeb pushed a neo-Reaganite synthesis of support for a hawkish foreign policy, social conservatism, and cuts in middle-class entitlements to finance further tax cuts for the rich. From the Reagan era until recently, the GOP’s economic policies have been formulated by libertarians, whose views are at odds with those of most Republican voters. In March of this year, a Pew Research Center poll showed that 68 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters opposed future reductions in Social Security benefits — almost the same amount of support found among Democrats and Dem-leaning voters (73 percent). Republicans who supported Trump were even more opposed to Social Security benefit cuts, at 73 percent. And even among those who supported Kasich, 62 percent opposed cuts in Social Security benefits — even though Kasich, himself, is in favor of cutting entitlements.

As country-and-western Republicans have gradually replaced country-club Republicans, the gap between the party’s economic orthodoxy and the economic interests of white working-class voters in the GOP base has increased. House Republicans repeatedly have passed versions of Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which is based on cutting Social Security and replacing Medicare with vouchers.

via This Is What the Future of American Politics Looks Like – POLITICO Magazine

I don’t agree, or maybe I just don’t want to, with all he says, but I do think he’s on to something here. The gaps between base and party, on both sides, have simply become too big to bridge. Will it happen as he says? Probably not, bet he may well be at least partially right,and if we care about the future, we need to be thinking about this.

The title? Here you go!

Trump, Clinton, and Sanders

First, I want to thank you all, our little point – counterpoint experiment on Brexit led to the best two-day readership in a very long while, not to mention a good discussion. We’ll have to try it again if we can find something else we disagree on. 🙂

I suppose it is time to say something about Donald Trump. He has, after all, essentially won the nomination, and done it fairly and decisively. I think the three left (Trump, Clinton, and Sanders) are perhaps the worst candidates ever, but it says something about where we are. And that isn’t good, but it is a reasonable reflection of where the country is, maybe. In keeping with our trans-Atlantic theme the best theory on this came yesterday from Archbishop Cranmer.


Much has been written about this eventuality, and even more will now be written about the “nightmare” (©Bishop of Guildford, 2016) possibility that Trump will soon be ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ and sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Most of this journalistic comment will focus on the ‘gaffes’. How can a man who wants to ban all Muslims from entering the US; build a great wall to keep out the Mexicans; says African-Americans have no spirit; opposes same-sex marriage; favours prosecuting women who procure illegal abortions; leches over his own daughter; repudiates climate change; mocks the disabled; jokes about shooting people in the streets; and who offends women with crude references to the breasts, backsides and menstrual periods possibly become President of the most powerful nation on earth?

It is really quite simple: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either,” […]

Donald Trump may be crass, crude, boorish and offensive. He may demean mature political discourse with his self-absorbed narcissism, and insult all thoughtful, intelligent and enlightened people with his childish tantrums and shallow spirituality. But he speaks with a different voice and exudes a strange confidence. And millions of Americans like what they hear and are mesmerised by a courage which refuses to bow to the embarrassment of being.

Read more via Archbishop Cranmer

Yup, I do see that, and His Grace is, as usual, correct. In fact, in a lot of ways, he speaks to me as well. My problem is that he’s been on almost every side of every question at some time. Of course, no doubt His Grace can relate, you could say much the same of Henry VIII and his relationship with Canterbury.

But if we really look at the labels, what I am is a classical liberal, as are many of you, we look back to the founder of whiggism, Edward Burke, even more than our British compatriots, and mix in a lot of that canny Scot, Adam Smith. Lately, we seem to be becoming an endangered species, and that is not a good sign for America. John O. McGinnis has some thoughts on that.

At the beginning of the campaign for the Republican nomination, many thought that it was a libertarian moment in which even Rand Paul might well emerge victorious. But with tonight’s results from Indiana, the Republican Party seems poised to nominate the most illiberal candidate in its history—someone who wants to restrict trade and civil liberties and has no interest in taming the growth of the state. Trump’s prospective nomination suggests that classical liberalism in the more classically liberal of our two parties is in radical decline. If so, what is most distinctive about America—its foundation in liberty—is at risk. We need to know why classical liberalism has so signally failed in 2016 if this failure is to be reversed. –

Keep reading at A Postmortem on Classical Liberalism in the 2016 Presidential Primary

Who’s right and who’s wrong, if anybody? I don’t know, but my motto lately has become Adam Smith’s remark, “There’s a lot of ruin in a nation.” I hope we don’t find out just how much.

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