Get Woke, Go Broke.

The title is stolen from a commenter at Ace’s because it is the perfect summary of the story. From Hot Air.

At what price does Twitter fame come? Corporate brands that offered virtue signaling to online mobs might discover that it’s more expensive than they thought. A new Morning Consult survey shows that every major brand that disaffiliated themselves from the NRA has suffered overall damage to their standing with consumers:

After the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting, several prominent companies ended their businesses relationships with the National Rifle Association — and some are facing backlash in public opinion, according to a new poll.

Morning Consult survey of 2,201 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 23-25 found increases in negative views of businesses that severed ties with the NRA after consumers learned of them. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

MetLife Inc., the insurance giant that ended a discount for NRA members last week, had a 45 percent favorable rating, compared to a 12 percent unfavorable rating, before survey participants were informed of that move. After learning of it, respondents with an unfavorable view of the company doubled to 24 percent, while its favorability rating was unchanged.

The chart’s left column shows the overall impact

All of these companies did get a boost from Democrats, but it turns out that it’s not enough to offset the overall damage to their reputations for tossing the NRA under the bus. That’s even more remarkable considering that only 14% of the sample had NRA members in their households. There is a distinct partisan split on this question, with that number rising to 23% among Republican respondents and only 8% for Democrats. Still, the relatively low numbers of NRA membership fall far below the backlash shown overall to these corporate moves.

On the other hand, 42% of all households in the survey own a firearm, including 28% of Democrats and 42% of independents; over half of all Republicans surveyed have a firearm in the house (55%). Twenty-one percent of all Democrats surveyed had more than three firearms in the house (38% of Republicans), showing that gun ownership is not partisan nor is enthusiasm for firearm ownership. A bigger differentiator is geography; only 15% of all urban respondents own more than three firearms, while 41% of all rural respondents do.

What about the millennials that these companies tried to woo this week with their virtue-signaling? Well, 43% of respondents below 30 years of age report having firearms in their households, roughly the same percentage as the other age demos, and 24% report having more than three of them. Twenty-one percent report that their household includes at least one member of the NRA, a higher percentage than any other age demo. They are more likely to want corporations to take public stances on social issues, but only slightly so when combining “very important” to “somewhat important,” and they’re slightly lessinterested corporate takes on political issues.

And when it comes to gun control, they turn out to be less interested than other age demos, too:

More at the link, but it seems to me there is a very old saying that applies here. “Shoemaker, stick to your last.”

The point of a corporation is to make money for the shareholders, anything that intentionally detracts from that is malfeasance by the management of the firm, and the employees bear the brunt of the cost. That is one reason why I tend to be slow with boycotts, but I’ve reached my limit, and these companies that intentionally insult my beliefs, and my fights, will have to do without my trade. For most of them, that’s an easy decision, I have no reason to deal with them in the foreseeable future. But they are no longer on my list of acceptable vendors.

From what I read, I’m not the only one, either. I wouldn’t be all that much happier if they were coming out in support of the NRA, by the way. If it’s in their interest to support the organization, fine, like say, Colt, for example, but if it’s just a generic corporation, well, why are you doing this? Yes, it is different for a company wholly owned by an individual (or family), it is quite appropriate for their organization to reflect their beliefs. While a corporation is (and has to be) a person for legal purposes, it is a limited thing. General Electric is not a citizen with a right to vote.

Best we keep it that way.


Lincoln at Cooper’s Union

Steven Hayward over at PowerLine reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun, and also that Abraham Lincoln was a very wise man.

Lincoln noted toward the very end of the speech that the pro-slavery faction in the South wasn’t content with Republicans allowing slavery to exist in the South: it was necessary that everyone change their mind and express publicly their positive support for slavery. In other words, the pro-slavery forces demanded that everyone else submit to their opinion. Sounds like the left today on every social issue in sight, no?

Here’s the key language from the end of the Cooper Union address about the demand for uniformity of opinion:

The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must, somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them, is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.

These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly–done in acts as well as in wordsSilence will not be tolerated–we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas’s new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.

I suspect that sounds very familiar indeed to my readers in both the US and the UK. I don’t think it’s going to happen anymore today than it did in 1860. So there is going to be a lot of anguish for them. Hopefully, they won’t act out as badly as their forebearers did in 1861.

Worse Than Watergate

NBC News

Chris Buskirk at American Greatness:

The FISA Abuse Memo is out and now we know why the Democrats were desperate to keep its contents hidden from the public: it confirms the worst fears not just of President Trump’s supporters but of everyone concerned about the abuse of police power, government corruption, and the sanctity of our elections.
The memo shows interference in the 2016 presidential election by hostile elements within a United States intelligence agency. It wasn’t the Russians we had to worry about — it was rogue actors at the highest levels of the FBI and Department of Justice. Left unanswered is to what extent the West Wing knew about or was complicit in this gross abuse of power. . . .
We now know that almost every accusation leveled against the president with regard to so-called “Russian collusion” actually reflects the actions of what amounts to a cabal of Democratic Party operatives working with FBI and Justice Department fellow-travellers. . . .

R.S. McCain adds:

There was no actual “Russian collusion” because the people who arranged the Trump Tower meeting weren’t working for the Kremlin, they were working for the Democrat Party.

It’s like what they used to say down South: If you ever go to a meeting of five Klansman, one of them will be an FBI undercover agent and at least two of the others will be confidential informants. In the case of the make-believe “Russian collusion,” it appears that practically everybody involved in trying to get the Trump campaign tangled up in this embarrassing mess was, in one way or another, working for FusionGPS, which was being bankrolled by the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

That’s the size of it. Trump’s people come off as a bit credulous, they kept talking to stray people wandering in, but that’s not criminal, merely foolish.

Chris Buskirk again:

Nearly 50 years ago, the Watergate scandal forced a president from office. The Left thought it could do it again. But the Nunes memo—and the millions of documents and hundreds of hours of interviews behind it—makes clear that rogue elements within the FBI and Justice Department broke the law in an attempt to use the police power of the United States government first to throw the election to Hillary Clinton and then to destroy the presidency of Donald Trump.

This cannot stand. There must be consequences. And they must be swift, public, and severe.

Why is this worse than Watergate?

Because Watergate (the crime, not the coverup) was done by private individuals acting on their own. Foolishly, stupidly, and several other adverbs apply, but they were working for themselves and a private group.

However here we have high-level government law enforcement figures acting in an official capacity to corrupt the election process of the United States.

This is the problem that arises with any self-selecting elite (you may read experts if you choose), the time always comes when they conclude that they know better than the people they work for. Even if it is true, they have not the right to usurp their lawful superior (in this case the electorate). But almost always, it is not true, people have an innate sense of what is most likely to benefit them. And as we’ve seen in this matter, the experts are not acting in the people’s best interest, invariably they are acting in their own.

Indeed, this cannot stand, and the consequences must be swift, public, severe, and permanent.

SOTU in a Nation of Dreamers

And so. I came home in the middle of the speech from a job site and listened to it on the internet, set as it usually is to the local BBC Station in Norfolk. It was quite the speech, and as usual, the analysis on the BBC was completely partisan. But as conservative we are used to that. The best write up I saw was on The American Spectator, no real surprise there.

[I]n all of the media’s blather about bipartisanship, it never acknowledges the Democratic radicalism that makes any national unity impossible. No sooner had Trump finished the State of the Union Address — a speech that could have been delivered by any Democrat before the radicalism of the 1960s and 1970s seeped into the party — than CNN was throwing a wet blanket on it. “There will be Democrats offended by the speech,” intoned Jake Tapper. “He was selling sweet candy with poison in it,” chipped in Van Jones.

What is the sound of one aisle clapping at the most basic and blameless expressions of nationalism, the nationalism that every functioning country on earth observes? Americans heard it Tuesday night. The Democrats couldn’t clap for the flag or fighting gangs (that elicited a groan from some of them). It couldn’t clap for the national anthem, secure borders, religious liberty, even vocational training. It saw poison everywhere, though they did perk up at Trump’s mention of second chances for criminals.

The Democrats have become the foreigners first party. Notice that one of the two official Democratic responses was in Spanish. The other one was delivered by Rep. Joe Kennedy III, whose digressions about “transgenderism” would have even confused his forbears. He too broke into a little Spanish during his response, before endorsing the open borders anarchism of La Raza. He approvingly quoted illegal immigrants who promised to “tear down” any future walls.

Trump’s speech contained few ideological edges. But Tapper, a former Democratic staffer, saw parts of the speech as “holding up a fist.” Other commentators, desperate to find something to attack in the speech, pronounced it “flat” and questioned its “cadence.” They liked that he larded it with a rainbow of “inspirational stories,” but turned their noses up at its policy ambitions, even though many of them (paid family leave and amnesty for Dreamers) represented substantial concessions to the Democrats.

Before the Democrats took their McGovernite turn, they would have agreed with almost everything in Trump’s speech and would have stood for much of it. Now it is a party of stale and geriatric radicalism. (Even Joe Kennedy III sounded like a young old fogey, delivering a speech that could have been written by George McGovern and Bernie Sanders.) And so the Democrats sulked through much of the speech. They fiddled with their phones and rolled their eyes even at the most banal lines. The black caucus slouched through Trump’s tribute to historic levels of black employment.

And that is what I saw as well, a Democratic party that has sold out its heritage as an American party to become the party of ‘Anybody but America’. It’s a sad turn, as I’ve often said my dad was a New Dealer, even though he was conservative because of experience. But the left has overturned any possible positive legacy from FDR, and there were several. Sad really, but hiding the truth doesn’t change what it is.

As Americans, it behooves us to remember at this time, as usual, we are an example to the world. Think about that, I, in Nebraska, listened to this speech from an American President, live. on a local station in East Anglia, England.

for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us; soe that if wee shall deale falsely with our god in this worke wee have undertaken and soe cause him to withdrawe his present help from us, wee shall be made a story and a byword through the world, wee shall open the mouthes of enemies to speake evill of the wayes of god and all professours for Gods sake;

So wrote John Winthrop long ago. It was then and it is now, people around the world look to America to see how freedom works. Yes, those in mud huts around the world, but those in England itself, who wonder how they got so far off course, look to the basics of Anglo-American freedom, as we state it. Where America leads, others follow. And the President is correct, we lead where our dreams take us. If our dreams are small, as they have been the last few years, our leadership is as well, but when we again dream large dreams, large things will happen. Not because of our force, applied wantonly, but because people will see that light on a hill, and be drawn to it.

And so for the first time in a decade, the State of the Union is good, and improving, because once again the dream is alive in Americans, and as we are seeing, especially in Central Europe, when America believe in the American Dream, others will follow, and once again the sky will be lit with the glow of liberty.

The Hollow Men

This rather follows on from yesterday, something else that is starting to happen. From Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator.

Ya can’t make it up.

Here’s the headline in the Washington Post from the Post’s Erik Wemple.

Staffers at The Hill press management about the work of John Solomon

The story reads, in part:

A group of newsroom staffers at The Hill have complained to management about stories written by John Solomon, the publication’s executive vice president of digital video. The complaints were launched in December when Solomon and reporter Alison Spann broke a story under this headline: “Exclusive: Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump accusers.” […]

The story impressed the conservative media world. Fox News host Sean Hannity called it a “bombshell report,” while conservativewebsites aggregated away.”

And then there was this, also from the Post’s Wemple on Solomon. The headline:

Sources: The Hill’s John Solomon offered money to Bill Clinton for an interview series

In which the Post’s Wemple attacks Solomon for pitching David Frost-Nixon style interviews with the former President in which Clinton, like Nixon before him, would get paid for his historical reflections.

Hmmmm. Two attacks on John Solomon in the Washington Post? Why might this suddenly be? […]

Sean Hannity has been relentless in doing what the mainstream media has refused to do — pursue the clearly very real story of Washington Insiders (aka “the Deep State”) — going out of their way to manipulate the FBI and the Justice Department to save Hillary Clinton’s electoral bacon and fry Donald Trump’s. The New York Times even did a feature story several weeks ago in its Sunday magazine titled “How Far Will Sean Hannity Go?” In which the Times worried that Hannity was a Trump media supporter with — oh nooooooo! — a real audience! (Thirteen million gasped the Times.)

I’m no Sean Hannity fan, but he has been outstanding in this matter.

Now comes this from Sara Carter’s site:

Bombshell Intelligence Report Exposing FISA Abuse

Extensive abuse uncovered that could lead to the removal of senior government officials

The very first paragraph of Carter’s story says this:

A review of a classified document outlining what is described as extensive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse was made available to all House members Thursday and the revelations could lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and Department of Justice, several sources with knowledge of the document stated. These sources say the report is “explosive,” stating they would not be surprised if it leads to the end of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into President Trump and his associates. […]

These attacks on Solomon, Carter, and Hannity reek of Washington Establishment panic that in fact as Hannity and others have said what is being uncovered here is indeed “worse than Watergate.” As the noose tightens — the journalists are attacked? As Saturday NightLive’s Dana Carvey would exclaim in his role as the “Church Lady” — “how connnnnveeeenient!”

Right this minute the Establishment media is awash in worship for the Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks/Meryl Streep loving profile of the Washington Post titled, well, The Post. Which is the story of the Post versus the Nixon Administration over the publication of the Pentagon Papers. But do recall an earlier loving Hollywood treatment of the Post — Robert Redford’s All the President’s Men, the movie version of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s bestseller about their unraveling of the Watergate scandal. In which the two revealed that in an attempt to threaten the Postand its publisher, Katharine Graham, Nixon Attorney General John Mitchell snarled in a phone call that if the Post did not back off of its aggressive Watergate reporting there would be trouble. As Bernstein, on the phone, tried to confirm with Mitchell an explosive story the Post was about to publish, the conversation went this way, as captured in the movie and reported by Graham herself in her memoirs as follows:

Mitchell exploded with an exclamation of “JEEEEEEESUS,” so violent that Carl felt it was “some sort of primal scream” and thought Mitchell might die on the telephone. After he’d read him the first two paragraphs, Mitchell interrupted, still screaming, “All that crap, you’re putting it in the paper? It’s all been denied. Katie Graham… is gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s published.”

Amazingly, the situation is now reversed. It is the Washington Establishment under the gun, and the sudden flurry of anti-John Solomon stories from the Post is today’s version of the Establishment saying to Solomon that his, um, tit will be caught in a big fat wringer if he and Sara Carter and Hannity and others keep digging.

My, how times have changed. The Washington Post becomes John Mitchell.

If you are old enough to remember Watergate, what turned a “third-rate burglary”, into an event that shook the foundations of the Republic, costing a sitting president his job, and his legacy, was the cover-up. Many learned that lesson, but the establishment was not amongst them.

And so history repeats because the lesson was not learned. But this time, instead of a comic opera, amateur, burglary in support of a sure thing, we have a (likely) criminal conspiracy to overthrow the duly elected President of the United States. This is worse than what got Aaron Burr tried for. So they’re probably right to panic, but they should have thought of that, after all, it was a Washington insider who taught me that two people can keep a secret if one is dead.

And that made me think of Eliot’s Wasteland, and how perhaps 1925 when he wrote it was somewhat analogous to our times.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cell

Sounds like our establishment doesn’t it? The trouble is that it leads us to what Yeats foresaw in The Second Coming.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

Writing in 1919, Yeats wondered:   

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand

In Lord of the Rings, Frodo tells Gandalf that he wishes he did not live in the time he did, when such dreadful things were happening. Gandalf’s reply is for all of us:
So do I,’  said Gandalf, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’

What Matters in the United States

This, from David Limbaugh.

It is disheartening to see the ongoing rift between those conservatives supporting President Donald Trump and those opposing him — a rift that began before Trump and may survive his presidency.

Many conservatives opposed Trump’s nomination because they believed he was not a true conservative — not even really a bona fide Republican — but rather a narcissistic opportunist who wanted to take his game show hosting and self-promotional platform to a grander stage.

Many also thought that a Trump presidency, even if it would somewhat forestall the Obama-Clinton agenda, would not be worth the long-term damage it would do to the conservative movement. They believed a Trump victory would embolden the so-called alt-right movement, which they saw as Trump’s main base. They saw a mob-like mentality among many of his supporters, saying they were fueled by rage and would rubber-stamp every crazy idea Trump might pursue and also push him to pursue even nuttier ideas.

Admittedly, in the red-hot contentiousness of the primary campaigns, some of the alt-right types did surface as among the most vocal of Trump supporters. Trump supporters seemed to defend anything Trump said or did, even if indefensible.

That was my concern, as well. I was wrong, it seems. But the Republican convention was a time of self reflection for me, and many others, when Trump won, honestly and fairly. One could go daft, as so many did, with what’s his name, which was bound to be every bit as effective as staying home hiding in your bed. One could stay home hiding in your bed. One could support Hillary and the final unraveling of our America, or one could support Donald Trump, and hope to keep him from major excess. It wasn’t a hard choice for me, or other millions of Americans. Our decision was final and unambiguous. It canned be summed up thusly:

Hillary will never be president.

That is a victory, for America, for freedom, and for what used to be common honesty.

This same obliviousness to the urgency of our situation also led to GOP establishment inertia regarding the Obama agenda. The establishment’s insufficient energy and willingness to oppose him sowed the seeds of Trump’s rise to power. How ironic that the people who remain most opposed to Trump today are to some extent responsible for the emergence of such an unorthodox character to fill the void they helped to create.

That’s a key point. I don’t think the GOP elite is evil as such. They live in the belly of the beast, and they have become timid, and far too used to losing. And so they have become losers, and when shown a way to win, it is difficult for them to believe that someone else, especially a loud, uncouth man from the outer boroughs, might win, even without their timid advice, which always resulted in losing, but got them nice invitations. These are the people that renewed their membership in America First, on December 8, 1941. Burke had it right, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. “

The second thing is that I came to realize that I had misunderstood much of Trump’s grass-roots support. Yes, grass-roots voters were convinced that there was no difference between the two parties and that only an outsider like Trump could break the mold and inaugurate a new paradigm in Washington. But they were not a mob, and they saw something that others may not have seen. […]

The Trump opponents have a variety of excuses to deny Trump credit for advancing this agenda and discredit those who foresaw the landscape better than they. They can’t stand his tone, his manners or his tweets. They view him as temperamentally and mentally unfit for office. Even when he achieves policy success after policy success, they childishly huff that it is only because other people besides Trump are running the White House — that he has delegated foreign policy matters and “outsourced” his legislative agenda. Come on, people.

Well, I don’t know whether Trump has morphed into a full-blown ideological conservative, but I do know that he’s largely governing as one — and an effective one at that, accomplishing some bold things that few other conservative presidents would have even tried.

Why are some never-Trumpers obsessively bogged down in evaluating Trump’s character and competence and preoccupied with sanctimoniously judging Trump’s supporters instead of admitting that Trump’s supporters are just rooting for America and that Trump’s policies are — to this point — moving us back toward the direction of the American dream?

This shouldn’t be a contest over who’s more conservative; it should be about what’s best for the United States. I’m pleased with how things are going. If the conservative movement doesn’t come together in the future, I don’t think it will be primarily the fault of the Trump supporters.

That is what matters, who gets invited to what cocktail party doesn’t, who guesses right about anything doesn’t, even who is president doesn’t. What is right for the United States, that matters. Some people need to put their ego in their pocket and get on with the job.

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