1972 Redux?

Yesterday, I read articles by Victor Davis Hanson on American Greatness, Dr. Tom Borelli on Conservative Review, David Catron on The American Spectator and Clarice Feldman on American Thinker. They al;l said much the same thing. That was yesterday, I have seen many others in the last fortnight or so, and in fact, they are saying what I am saying here today. I’m going to mostly quote VDH here, but any of them will do, and it’s self-evident to your own eyes anyway.

At the rate the Democrats are going, 2020 = 1972. I don’t know if you remember 1972, but the Democrats crashed and burned, losing 49 states to Nixon. But 2020 may be worse. Let VDH tell you.

[W]hat is strange about the new envisioned progressive agendas for 2020 is that no serious Democratic presidential candidate next year could ever run on them.

Instead, what we will see over the next few months are insidious efforts to ignore, disown, or recant endorsements of Democratic candidates for president. And if not, Democrats will be trapped by their own rhetoric and virtue signaling—and end up going the full McGovern in 2020.

Venom. The new progressive Democratic Party is prepared for existential war. Vice President Mike Pence cannot be said to be a “decent guy.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is old and in the way. America is not much above “garbage.” Immigrants arrive crushed that the “propaganda” did not match the reality of a pathological America. Yesterday’s condemnations from Jeremiah Wright’s pulpit sound mild today. In such a race to the bottom, expect in the next 22 months that each current slur and smear will be seen as counterrevolutionary within 24 hours. Yet most Americans do not appreciate their country being trashed by those who apparently know little about it.

Green Deals. Much has been written about the “Green New Deal,” specifically its socialist redistribution schemes, and its notorious rapid phasing out of the internal combustion engine, which drew the polite ridicule from Feinstein and even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Sound like anything you’ve seen and heard (unendingly)? Me as well, continuing.

Anti-Semitism. The recent failure to condemn explicit anti-Semitism, as voiced by some new anti-Semitic, anti-Israel left-wing congresswomen, reveals that the Democratic Party is captive to an entirely new manifestation of a tired, old ideology. […]

Abortion. It was an unwritten rule that there were two sure ways to lose voters on the abortion issue. Again, ethics and morality aside, there were a few clearly understood no-go, political red lines.

On the pro-abortion side, the red line was usually defined roughly as infanticide, ostensibly killing the baby as it passed through the birth canal or in fact was already delivered. […]

Reparations. There is no national support for reparations for contemporary African-Americans, nearly 160 years after the Civil War.

The argument is neither coherent nor workable. Do immigrant blacks from Africa or the Caribbean qualify despite no American familial historical experience with slavery or Jim Crow?

Open borders and the end of ICE.

Cancellation of student debt.

And on and on and on it goes, where it stops nobody knows. But I’ll bet a fair amount of money that nobody campaigning on half of those points is going to win the election, especially against a candidate that actually fights for his (and our) vision of America. That’s one thing.

But there is another. As David Catron (link above) reminds us; in 1994, the Democrats lost the House majority they had held since Eisenhower. They didn’t get it back until 2006, and lost it again in 2012, regained it in 2018, and are on track to lose it in 2020. Why? Because they have become increasingly (and vocally) radical, all the things VDH discussed above. This is America, and they would be seen as fairly radical, even in Europe.

Indeed, in the UK, the main reason that Teresa May remains the Prime Minister is that Jeremy Corbin also propounds all the stuff above, as so, as horrific as many conservatives perceive her, she was the best least horrible on offer. Sad when the least bad choice wants to give your country’s sovereignty away and pay somebody with billions of tax money for the privilege. That’s how bad Corbyn is.

Forty years ago Margeret Thatcher explained it thusly, “The one thing about leftwing politicians is that they are always fanatical. They never let go. It’s their religion.” Nothing has changed.

It is going to be a very noisy couple of years, as the idiot stepchildren learn a few facts of life, but they will, or they’ll be forcibly retired and then we’ll get on with it. Or they won’t and we may well see another civil war. But I think the first much more likely, the average American voter may well be lazy, but he isn’t stupid, and when the screeching gets annoying, he’s been known to shut it down.

Probably will again.

SOTU 2019, and The Old Dominion blows up

The President gave an outstanding SOTU the other night, If you missed it, here it is. I know the feeling, I finally found enough time last night.

One of the things that is very rare is that he is very good with a set piece speech like this, while also being very good with the off the cuff ones, like his rallies. Very unusual for anyone to be good at both. PowerLine and others report that CBS and CNN snap polls found 76% approval.

He’s got a good message, a quite traditional pro-America message when he can get it through the media, who does their best to stifle it. The shutdown delay, and associated hype, probably helped him, as well.

One of the losers of the night was the Dems and their Mean Girl Caucus. It’s not a good look when Congresscritters (who are unpopular, all on their own) remind all and sundry of both the cool kids in junior high and the KKK. You know, like this.

And that is how they came off to me, and probably a lot of others. Sitting there stone-faced at the receipt of much good news about America, only cheering for themselves. As usual.

Then there is the mess the Dims have made in Virginia. Melanie Phillips explains it well.

But now Democrats have revealed a brutalised contempt for life itself.

In the Virginia assembly, Democrat delegate Kathy Tran proposed a law loosening restrictions on abortion in the final stages of pregnancy. She later confirmed that this would permit the termination of a pregnancy up to the very moment of delivery, in other words after labour had started.

The capacity to keep premature babies alive at an ever earlier stage in pregnancy has produced a fraught debate about the need to reduce the abortion time limit. But if a baby is in the process of being born, it is by definition capable of life. It is not longer a foetus; it is indisputably a baby on its way into the world. The suggestion that it might be killed at the very moment of its birth is grotesque – and it’s hard to understand how in practice this could be done without committing infanticide.

The Tran bill failed to pass, but not before it was defended by Virginia’s Democrat governor Ralph Northam, who is himself a paediatric neurologist. He told a WTOP radio show that Tran’s comments were “blown out of proportion” and said third-trimester abortions were rare.

These were done, he said, “in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s not viable. If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen.The infant would be delivered. The infant would be comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother. So I think this was really blown out of proportion”.

Northam was immediately accused of promoting infanticide, an accusation he vehemently denied. His spokeswoman said he had been “talking about prognosis and medical treatment, not ending the life of a delivered baby”; his words were being taken out of context by Republicans, she said, and the notion that he would approve of killing infants was “disgusting.”

But what else would any such resuscitation “discussion” be about? Moreover, Tran’s proposed measure wasn’t about non-viable foetuses or catastrophic deformities or allowing terribly sick newborns to die. It was instead about third-trimester abortion, the deliberate extinction of any viable infant life, in circumstances where continuing with the pregnancy was deemed to threaten the mother’s life or her physical or mental health.

You already know my views, I could be persuaded that anyone espousing such views should be aborted themselves before they can hurt more kids. YMMV, but I’d be surprised.

In any case, the world blew up for Dims in Virginia, Melanie again.

So either Northam was being disingenuous, or he didn’t understand what Tran’s proposals actually were.

What then happened, however, graphically demonstrated how the Democrats are now being sucked into a woke vortex of their own making. It was revealed that in 1984 Northam had featured, on his medical-school yearbook page, a photograph of a man in blackface and a man in a KuKluxKlan hood. Northam immediately apologised for appearing in the picture; then said that neither person in the photograph was him; then he said he had put on blackface decades ago to look like Michael Jackson for a dance contest.

All hell then broke loose and Northam’s future as Virginia’s governor – an office he won after accusing his opponents of racism – is now in jeopardy.

But Virginia’s Democrats then descended into yet another circle of politically correct hell. Virginia’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, admitted that he also had worn blackface in the 1980s. And Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who was poised to succeed Northam if he was hounded out of office, was suddenly accused by a fellow Democrat of sexual assault.

It gets better. The Atlantic reports:

“Fairfax has emphatically denied any wrongdoing and says he had a consensual sexual encounter with his accuser, Vanessa Tyson, a professor of politics at Scripps College. (He has also accusedLevar Stoney, a rival Democrat who is mayor of Richmond, of spreading the story. Stoney denies doing so.) This week, Tyson hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her in high school. Fairfax has also refused to resign.”

So now Virginia’s top three Democrat officials are simultaneously accused of advocating infanticide, displaying racial bigotry and committing sexual assault. […]

What’s happened in Virginia is that the cultural firebombs that the left repeatedly throws at its opponents over race, sexual violence and abortion have suddenly blown back at them and are setting their hair alight. As Rich Lowry writes, in the coming primary season no Democrat will be safe.

“Any lapses will be interpreted through the most hostile lens, made all the more brutal by the competition of a large field of candidates vying for the approval of a radicalized base. The Democrat nomination battle might as well be fought on the campus of Oberlin College and officiated by the director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion”.

You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

Meanwhile, over a sickening culture of institutionalised dehumanisation no liberal progressive turns a hair. Why should they? They created it.

In other words, conservatives are fighting back, using the tools the Dims developed and have been using forever. It’s time and way past time.

The Democratic Party is brutalised and degraded, perhaps irrevocably. And millions of decent Americans are watching this political and cultural death spiral, and drawing their own horrified conclusions.

As that old Progressive Democrat Harry S Truman said, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Thank God.

Of Presidents, Knaves, and Memes

So the President talked officially to us the other night, about illegal immigration, the wall, and Democratic obstruction of the government’s mission to defend the people of the United States. He is right on all counts. And he hit the nail squarely on the head.

Schumer and Pelosi gave the Democrat’s response, and while it was a self-seeking partisan one, surprising no one, their delivery was incredibly bad. In fact, their appearance became an instant meme, which is never a good thing for your cause. Dov Fischer says this:

[I]n their every press conference and interview rejecting President Trump’s call for a wall along our southern border to help prevent and protect against human trafficking of women and children, the unbridled import of opioids, and the entry of criminals and terrorists into our country, the Democrats maintain that they oppose only the Wall but otherwise strongly support border security. Thus, they state that they prefer drones and hi-tech equipment instead of a wall because, they say, those more modern approaches will do an even better job than will an old-fashioned wall at guarding the border. In other words, they claim to be as concerned as is the President over the chaos transpiring along our porous southern border.

There are two ways to demonstrate they are lying. One way is by sitting and arguing back-and-forth with the other side endlessly, as in a cable news panel discussion. I have come to hate wasting my time watching those. When I have a few moments each day to grab some news on Fox, the only value-added from Marie Harf, Chris Hahn, and Jessica Tarlov is that, while muting them, they offer a few moments for me to check the channel guide or pay a bill or two. But there is a much quicker alternative way to cut through the muck and prove Pelosi, Schumer, and their gang a bunch of liars on border security: […]

So it all is a game. A joke, a lie. When they say they are for border security in every which way — everything, everything except for a wall — there is the truth, the proof. No need for a cable television-news panel debate. This does not take rocket science. If you install a home protection system, but then a crook evades the front-door camera or the home alarm or just defiantly smashes your front window and breaks into your home anyway, do you take the position that you will not shoot the invader or call the police — or first call the police and then shoot the invader — because, well, they got past the alarm, so…SANCTUARY! If you employ an insect exterminator — and, no, we are not comparing illegal immigrants other than MS-13 and opioid smugglers and human traffickers to insects — and if that exterminator does a great job, but you later see an ant or spider or silverfish that got past him, would you not squish it? Or do you look at that centipede and proclaim liberty throughout the land: SANCTUARY!

He’s right, the Democrats don’t give a damn about you, your personal security, that of your family, or anything else. The only thing they care about is their power. That is the ONLY thing that matters to them. That is why their response looked like a drug-induced meme.

“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!”.

And, no doubt, the constant lying to us, and who knows, perhaps themselves, is how they have turned themselves into a joke, an automatic meme generator, of no real account, in governing the country.

The Week – the Memes of America

So, something you haven’t heard the President say in years.

About time!

Have the Democrats simply gone completely barking mad, or have the conservatives simply found (with the President’s help) the proper way to counteract their silliness. I don’t know, but I sure do enjoy what the conservative memes say these days. Well done, guys and girls.

Pretty amazing when a Canadian professor becomes a hero of American conservatives, by taking apart a BBC newsbabe. I didn’t see that one coming, but it’s pretty great. Enjoy!

Heh!

From Ace’s place. Interesting isn’t it, that a loud, raucous, sometimes extreme blog is the only one I know to run a weekly (or more often) prayer list.

Thanks, Fr Robert.

Pretty much, Cathy. When you make a bed so catastrophically, you’ll lie in it for quite a while.

The State of the Union was this week.

 

 

 

Wrong union, I reckon.

And, of course

As usual, mostly PowerLine and Bookworm (whose site I can’t get to for the link today, sorry Book!)

 

The Real House Leadership Crisis

john-boehner-generous-with-taxpayer-moneyThe real source of frustration with House leadership is that they’ve given up the power of the purse. They need to get it back.


The big news of the past few weeks is the House Republicans’ revolt against John Boehner, who is being forced out as Speaker of the House, setting off an odd scramble over who can avoid taking his place. (The latest person to not want to be Speaker is Paul Ryan.) On social media, the running joke is to compare Speaker of the House to other jobs nobody seems to be able to hold: number two man in al-Qaeda, Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, drummer for Spinal Tap.

The leadership battle is driven by a sense of inchoate frustration at the House leadership’s inability to achieve much of the right’s agenda, despite being given majorities in both houses of Congress. […]

So long as Obama and the Democrats can use a government shutdown as a credible threat, they neutralize House Republicans’ power of the purse. And so long as that’s the case, the House GOP can’t do anything substantial. They’re reduced to pleading, “We can’t do anything until we have the Senate,” and then, “We can’t do anything until we have the presidency.” And eventually the Republican base and the Tea Party types get fed up and conclude that Republican leaders never really wanted to do anything in the first place, that they’re just marking time before they can go to K Street or Wall Street and cash out. (Which is partly correct.)

Source: The Real House Leadership Crisis

The reason that the House was given the power of the purse is that it is the chamber that is most responsive to the people, well in theory anyway, K street and Wall Street weren’t quite as important (maybe) in the founder’s time. But there were other pressures.

The power of the purse is the power to burn it all down. It came to the House of Representatives from the House of Commons, who in practically living memory of the founders had used it to not only incite the English Civil War but even to end the Monarchy. Their problem was that they only had Cromwell, not Jefferson and company to put it all together again.

But it takes leadership, and guts, and a vision of not how things are, but of how they could be, and vision is pretty rare in all generations. And visionary leadership is probably not the best way to get elected to the Congress or to a leadership position in the Republican (or Democratic) party. And it surely won’t get you a cushy job with a lobbyist when you’re done either.

That’s pretty much the problem though.

The King’s Prerogative

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have talked several times about the rise of administrative law and it’s almost exact similarity with the King’s Prerogative. You can find those articles here, here, here, and one here at Jess’, nearly all of those articles also have links, if you’re interested.

Today we are going to speak of how the Obama administration and its Democratic sycophants are defending it. In the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare, and other less complimentary names), it states clearly and unequivocally, that to receive a subsidy one must purchase through an exchange established by a State.

In fact that was one of the major inducements included to try to force the states to establish exchanges. A majority of the states, being more attuned to the people than Washington is, refused. And the matter came to the DC court last week, which ruled that the words meant what the words said. That was what the Democrats had campaigned on back in the effort to pass the law, but now, they find it most inconvenient, since it means that many Americans will have to pay the full price of the overpriced, not very good insurance available on the exchanges.

So now, not understanding apparently, that we were listening (and that You-Tube exists) they are now saying that what they meant was an exchange established by a state or by the administrative bureaucracy of the federal government. Most of the administration, legislature and judicial officials owing loyalty to the Democratic party are supporting this nonsense, and some courts will no doubt rule accordingly. And so we are likely to end up at the Supreme Court again.

On Sunday Angelo M Codevilla wrote on the Library of Law and Liberty on this. Here is a bit of it.

[…]America has moved away from the rule of law in recent decades, as more and more of the decisions by which we must live are made by administrative agencies in consultation with their favorite constituencies and judges rather than by the people’s elected representatives. More and more, statutes passed by Congress are lengthy grants of power to administrative agencies, the content of which is determined by complex interactions between bureaucrats, special interests, and judges aligned with either. Hence House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s famous statement—that the ACA’s meaning would be determined only after its passage—was true of it and most other modern legislation as well. This is the rule of men, not of law.

But the transition away from the rule of law has been masked by the (ever thinner) fiction that the administrators are merely filling in the interstices of laws. Were they to prevail, the administration’s arguments for casting aside the ACA’s explicit provision because it conflicts with its will and its clients’ convenience would mark the dropping of the mask. America’s transition from the rule of law to the rule of the sovereign, largely accomplished some time ago de facto,would now be fulfilled de jure. Openly, this President and his partisans would have trumped law by will. Thereafter, continuing to pretend that America lives by law would be a mockery.

The importance of this is difficult to exaggerate. The nation’s slide into something foreign to its past would accelerate.

Barack Obama is not the last President America will ever have. Sooner or later, someone will come into the presidency representing a majority of Americans who—rightly or wrongly—may be aggrieved by what they feel are measures that the previous administration and its partners have shoved down their throats. They may be eager to engage in retaliatory activity with lots of compound interest. The administrative machinery, the legal arguments, and the political precedents would be ready for them.[…]

You really need to read it all

This morning Robert Tracinski also wrote on The Federalist on this. He shows that this type of legislating is what we increasingly do. Here’s a bit of that:

[…]But the big question is: why do they think they can get away with this? Why do they think they can write something into the law, go around for a couple of years explaining that provision to audiences, and then pretend later that it wasn’t there at all and it’s patently ridiculous for anyone to think it ever was?

Partly this a measure of crass partisanship, and partly it’s a measure of desperation. Without the subsidies, what happens to ObamaCare? And without ObamaCare, what does their messiah have to show for his presidency?

But this also fits into a larger context. They think they can get away with rewriting the law on the fly because of the way we legislate now. For more than a century, it has become increasingly common for Congress to write laws that declare a broad, vague goal without clearly defining the specifics of its implementation—and then leave it to bureaucrats in federal agencies to fill in the blanks.[…]

Again, you should read his entire article

But the main takeaways here are that the legislative authority in our system is vested in the Congress, and only the Congress. One of the results of this mispractice is that Congress can evade their responsibility for what the legislation says, and simply blame HHS or EPA or whatever bureaucracy is concerned. That is not what the Founder’s intended. The bureaucracy (and the executive generally) were established to enforce the laws the Congress passed, essentially without comment, although it wouldn’t do any harm if the Legislative and Executive branches were to occasionally remember that they also have sworn to uphold the Constitution.

In truth this practice is not measurably different that The Statute of Proclamations (1539) that allowed Henry VIII to rule as a despot. This allowed the King to issue proclamations which had the force of an Act of Parliament.This essentially did away with the need for Parliament. And that is pretty much what we are seeing with Obama’s reliance on his “pen and a phone”. I should note that very soon after Henry’s death that Act of Proclamations was repealed, although all the way to 1689 English Monarchs kept trying personal rule under various guises.

This was one of the abuses that the Constitution was specifically written to prohibit. We’ve let it sneak back in, in the guise of administrative law.

Nothing new under the sun is there?

 

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