Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

This is not the Republican civil war you are looking for

Limbaugh quotes Hanson:

RUSH: Victor Davis Hanson. He’s got a piece at National Review today called, “The ‘Never Trump’ Construct.” Now, this is a long piece, and I would actually would love to read it to you word-for-word, but I’m not going to because it’s too long. But it’s interesting with the point that I made in the previous hour. “For all the talk of a Civil War in the Republican Party over Donald Trump, 90% of Republicans ended up voting for him.”

So where is this civil war in the Republican Party? He’s not denying there’s a civil war. What he’s denying is that it’s over Trump, and he’s drawing a distinction between voters and people in Washington, voters and the establishment. And as far as concerned are concerned, there isn’t any civil war going on with Trump.

It’s not Trump that they’re angry at. ‘Cause Donald Trump got about the same percentage of the Republican vote as John McCain in 2008, slightly less than Romney in 2012. “So the present civil war did not translate into much in 2016. United or divided, the Republicans have lost the popular vote in four out of the last five national elections — 2000, 2008, 2012, and 2016 — not because large numbers of Republicans voted for the Democratic candidate, but because there are not enough Republicans to begin with.

“And their candidates were not able to capture enough independents and Democrats, or to motivate enough first-time or lapsed Republicans to register and turn out to vote, or to flip new demographic groups to conservatism. Trump won no more of the voters who turned out and who identified as ‘conservative’ than did Romney. But again,” the key difference, “Trump apparently did get Democrats, independents…” You know, this is a point that I make during the campaign when I was cataloging the supposed rage and anger of the Never Trumpers in the Washington establishment.

These Romneys, the McCains, what did they all say that they needed to do? When Rand Paul ran, he came by my office, and he made the point: “We can’t win with just Republican votes! We gotta go get Democrats. We gotta go get independents.” Well, Trump did! Trump should have been heralded by these people. He actually did what they claimed had to be done, which is why they claim they supported amnesty. The way they decided to do it, the Romneys and McCains — the way they decided to get Democrat votes — was to go Democrat light.

You know, be in favor of amnesty, be in favor of some national health care, but not like Obama’s. In other words, the McCain-Romney approach was, you know, tell enough to fool conservatives into thinking you were one while you were really going out and trying to appeal to Democrats and so forth. But they didn’t appeal to Democrats in the right way. They tried to peel off Democrats by being Democrat light, rather than what Trump did to get them. What did Trump do to get these disaffected Democrats, independents, Reagan Democrats?

What did he do? “Make. America. Great. Again.” Trump ran against the administrative state. Romney, McCain, George W. Bush were Obama, Hillary. They were the administrative state. Trump gave everybody the blueprint on how to win. The civil war — and this is not a surprise — remains the Never Trumpers on the Republican side, who join the Washington establishment in opposing Trump simply because he’s an outsider. Now, the nub of this…You should really read the whole thing, but the nub of this happens near the conclusion.

“Again, Trump is a symptom of widespread disgust, not the head of a carefully crafted ideological movement with a checklist of issues.” Now, some of you may disagree with that. Some of you may say, “No, no! Trump has an agenda, and he announced it every campaign appearance. There’s five or six items. Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. Everybody knows what his issues were.” What Mr. Hanson is saying here is that he doesn’t have an ideological agenda based on ideological principles and so forth.

He’s got an agenda, but Trump is a symptom of much more. 

He damned sure is. I’m coming to believe, though, that, far from failing to grasp why Trump won, the NeverTrump fools, knaves, and blackguards know full well how and why he trounced them…and it scares the establishment shitweasels to death.

In the end, it still comes back to just the one thing: draining the damned swamp. Nobody ought to be surprised at how the alligators—or swamp rats and mosquitos, more like—feel about that.

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Empty suit

What could possibly be a more fitting monument to such an empty vessel?

Unlike traditional presidential libraries, the Obama Presidential Center will not actually have library materials. That is—it will not house former President Obama’s manuscripts, documents, letters, and gifts from his tenure in office—items presidential centers around the country all have.

Instead, it will include space for outdoor functions and picnics, a basketball court, recording studio, sledding hill, children’s play garden, and more.

As for the actual library documents, the center will rely online archives for Obama’s presidential materials as a way to avoid meeting federal standards in construction, raising money for an endowment, and paying the National Archives and Records Administration to run the facility.

“This is going to be completely different,” said Foundation CEO David Simas, reports The Chicago Tribune. “What the president and first lady said…is they simply did not want a museum that served as a mausoleum, as a way to look back.”

Oh no, of course not. What they want is a place for his disciples and acolytes to genuflect to and dutifully worship His Most Puissant Majesty, and just generally celebrate the greatness of pResident Potato Head. Personally, I like it; clearly, it’s going to be as hollow and devoid of substance as the “man” himself always was, and as such it’s difficult to imagine anything that could be more appropriate.

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Imagine there’s no countries

It’s easy if you try. And never mind the nightmare.

What you see here is the core issue between Poland and the EU over accepting migrants into Poland. It’s not about whether Poland or the EU gets to determine how many and what type of migrant Poland must take. It’s whether anyone can set any limits at all. The UN is making clear that no country can determine who may enter its lands for settlement. All the blather in that report about human rights is just filler. The issue here is whether countries should exist and the UN is making clear they think the future is post-national.

Part of what you see with the open borders people is their belief that their unique situation can scale up to the stars. The UN is a heavily guarded playpen for the rich brats of the world’s political elite. These brats look around and see a rainbow of colors getting along like old chums. They jump from there to assuming that this can be done everywhere, not realizing the global elite can only get along when there are men with guns keeping the peace. They live in a fortified compound and they want that for everyone.

Another aspect to this is simply spite. Ruling elites have always, at some level, been at odds with those over whom they rule. The “burden of leadership” means giving up time and energy to the maintenance of order and the perpetuation of society. It’s only natural to resent it a little. What we have today is a ruling elite that hates the majority of the people, namely the white people. Notice the UN is not making open borders arguments for Africa or China. Open borders only applies to white countries, never anywhere else.

Yeah, well, I’m sure we can all think of a few pretty good reasons for that easily enough. But noticing them would be racist, and speaking of them aloud would be criminal. Or will be shortly.

Christopher Caldwell famously pointed out that “One moves swiftly and imperceptibly from a world in which affirmative action can’t be ended because its beneficiaries are too weak to a world in which it can’t be ended because its beneficiaries are too strong.” The same thing is happening with whites in their own lands. At first, the number of non-whites was too small to make a strong case against immigration. Now, the numbers are too large to do anything about it. The West is about to be over run.

Parts of it—namely Western Europe—have already BEEN overrun, and it’s far too late to do anything about it except learn to live with it, to docilely “absorb” regular atrocities committed by the intractable savages in their midst as routine. The US is well on its way down the same path; it remains to be seen if the will can be mustered to even slow it—much less halt or reverse it—in defiance of a smothering avalanche of Progressivist propaganda and protest. But even if they succeed, ironically enough, things aren’t likely to work out quite like the Tranzi globalists imagine. As always, they fail to take human nature into account:

Of course, the question sensible whites ask is how exactly the borderless world is going to function. The West exists because whites buy into the system. As America careens into a dystopian nightmare where feral mobs pull down the symbols of the nation, how much longer will those Constitution loving, patriotic Americans, who keep the country running, buy into the system? In Europe, hardly anyone is willing to fight for their country when asked by pollsters. Why would they? Their countries no longer exist.

In a borderless world, why would anyone have any loyalty to anyone or anything outside their tribe? How could there even be a state? In theory, the custodial state solves this by having corporations police the people, but as we see with the high tech firms, tribalism begins to rot them out from the inside. The cost of propping up cash furnaces like Twitter eventually becomes too much to bear, even for the true believers. Large scale social institutions can only exist in a world of large scale social trust.

The cucks can mew about identity politics, but tribalism is the inevitable politics of multiculturalism. In fact, in a multi-ethnic, multicultural world, there can only be identity politics. Everyone is forced to root for their own team exclusively.

The New World Order was unsustainable, and is now blowing up in the faces of its architects, to the horrendous detriment of its subjects. The UN couldn’t run a circle-jerk in a Tijuana whorehouse; it’s somewhat suitable as a meeting ground and discussion forum among independent nations, but not at all as an omnipotent governing body charged with directing the entirety of human affairs as the Tranzis dream of, because such is not only undesirable but impossible.

If there’s one thing we in the US should have learned by now, it’s the long-neglected adage of our Founders that a smaller, restricted government kept close to the governed and accessible by them works best for everyone…except for the rapacious, thieving despots who wish not to govern, but to rule. We abandoned that essential truth. Failing to renew our commitment to it will cost us dearly, and sooner rather than later too.

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Assume the worst

Every bad thing you ever thought about them—and worse—is being confirmed as true. Stephen sums it all up:

The Clintons don’t produce any desirable consumer products, or perform any traditionally useful services like accounting or dry cleaning. They have built no factories, dug no mines, nor worked any farms. They hold no patents and have developed no real estate. They are not medical doctors of rare skill. They haven’t starred in any hit movies or sung any popular songs. They have (allegedly) written and sold some books, but not the kind of bestsellers that get turned into TV shows and make real money.

And yet they have grown rich “beyond the dreams of avarice” since Bill left office nearly 16 years ago, and even richer since Hillary entered international politics just eight years ago.

How?

By peddling influence — an activity which generates great wealth only in a corrupt and overly bureaucratic society.

This, too, is perfectly true. And a vote for Clinton—whether its motivation is actual support for her or distaste for Trump—is a vote for more of all of it. A LOT more.

An aside: it’s been an extremely busy week around here, and that’s going to continue through the weekend. I’ll be back to something like a normal posting schedule on Monday, looks like. Whether that’s something to look forward to or dread I’ll leave to others to judge.

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Hillary for President Prison Hospice 2016! Part the Second

Second in what will most likely be a long and voluminous series, I’m thinkin’.

When questions were raised about Barack Obama’s birth, and whether he was actually eligible to be president of the United States, he brushed the questions aside as if answering them was beneath the dignity of a prince of the crown. He let the questions fester for years before putting them to rest.

Only racists, bigots, mean-spirited zealots, right-wing fanatics and white Christians who couldn’t appreciate the heavenly music of the call to evening prayer at the mosque would do that. Even the mildest criticism, of the sort that every president before him had to endure, was dismissed as disrespect, even racism.

Hillary Clinton is trying a similar tactic, portraying criticism of her vulgarity, her greed and her intolerance as hatred of women, and envy of a woman finally breaking through a crystal ceiling. It’s not working, in part because men have a reputation built over the centuries for mortgaging their lives to provide for their women, and in part because nobody knows better than women themselves that the accusation is silly. Is there a woman anywhere who wants a reputation for ethics, character and feminine grace like Hillary‘s?

She, like candidates before her, may not like the questions, but voters have the right to ask candidates, and particularly candidates for president, any question they please. It’s what democracy and democratic elections are about. “If you can’t stand the heat,” as Harry S. Truman reminded everyone, “stay out of the kitchen.”

The questions the Hillary campaign are trying to put off limits now are the legitimate questions about Hillary’s health. She has a well-documented record of coughing fits, fainting, stumbling up and down stairs, and uncontrolled giggling and snorting at inappropriate times. There may be good and sufficient reasons for all that, but it’s not against anybody’s rules to ask what they are.

Well, that depends. Do you really think this is (or more to the point, ought to be) still the America of the Founders, wherein the people are able and free to discharge the duties of citizenship under a government bound to represent their interests not as rulers, but as true public servants? If so, yes, all the above would be perfectly true.

If, however, you believe that we’ve been “fundamentally transformed” from a relatively classless republic wherein no one, most especially the ruling class, is to be considered either above the law or too high and mighty to answer reasonable questions from those they would govern—to be exempt from the standards under which they govern the rest of us—into a tyrannical oligarchy ruling its subjects with an iron fist, intruding into every aspect of their lives, run by the elite few for their own benefit, and that this is ultimately a Good Thing, then…well, no, there is no such right, and questioning our masters in any way is completely out of line.

I know which side of that line I fall on. And I know which side of it people like Hillary, Ogabe, and their bleating, mindless supporters fall on, too.

Pruden follows up with a very incomplete listing of episodes that not only call Hillary’s health into grave question, but—even leaving her clear corruption and criminality aside and considered all by itself—would be very nearly disqualifying for almost anyone else, were this truly the first type of country mentioned above instead of the second.

The most important question is probably this: if merely campaigning for the office (on an unusually light schedule, mind) has been enough to reveal the yawning cracks in the facade of the notion of Hillary’s being in good general health, what will the far greater pressure of actually governing do to her? And in what kind of position will her megalomaniacal pursuit of power despite her obviously serious health issues leave the nation should she somehow, despite the myriad issues making her manifestly unfit for it, accede to that power?

(Via Hoyt and William Katz)

Update! Vox twists that blade in the course of recommending a column by Fred Reed on reasons for voting Trump:

Of course, there is another straightforward reason to vote for Trump beyond avoiding a suicidally stupid war, and that is the fact that he can engage in high-risk activities such as drinking water without running a high risk of keeling over before Christmas.

Ouch. Poor old Granny Deathmask. Couldn’t happen to a nicer would-be despot.

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Pay attention

Or else.

In the United States of today, clouds gather as the royalty toast each other with expensive wines. In numbers that a half century ago would have seemed impossible, the American young live with their parents, being unable to find jobs to support themselves. Waitressing in a good bar pays better in tips than a woman with a college degree can otherwise earn, assuming that she can earn anything at all. Employers having learned to hire them as individual contractors, they move into their thirties with no hope of a pension for their old age.

Desperation and hatred are close cousins.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Bezos of Amazon makes spaceships and buys the Washington Post as a toy and the newspapers have reported that a Croesus of Wall Street has bought a Modigliani, it may have been, for $55 million dollars.

Marie didn’t actually say, “Let them eat cake,” but might well have. Instead they ate her. But it can’t happen here. Oh no.

Unrest breeds surprises. Maybe Louis XVI thought, “It can never happen here.” Today the African population of America is openly insurgent, the middle class sinks, jobs continue leaving under the stewardship of the rich, the government either will not or cannot enforce its laws, the borders are open, half of the country seethes in fury at the other half, and the sale of guns is at record heights.

When people realize that they really have no country, only a collection of rapacious interests, history becomes…creative. In theory, Congress and the President have the well-being of the nation at heart and at least to some extent seek to effect the betterment of the whole. Really they are carrion birds picking the carcass clean and, perhaps, planning flight to the French Riviera.

Mussolini ended as an ornament in the Italian street, hanging upside down from a meat hook. He should have paid more attention.

And all this, of course, is known as “bad luck.” You should read all of it, even if—perhaps especially because—the people who most need to won’t ever even see it. As for government not enforcing its laws, it cannot. Not when they’re so numerous, nobody can quite figure out exactly how many there are.

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American royalty

Time for a good old-fashioned slave uprising.

Michelle Obama lives a life that is more lavish and luxurious than that of the average plantation owner. She has 26 staffers that are part of a White House staff of thousands. That’s more than many crowned heads of state. Compare that to 12 servants for Thomas Jefferson.

Michelle has more directors than some corporations. And working for her is a Marie Antoinette experience. “The First Lady having the wrong pencil skirt on Monday is just as big of a f___ up as someone speaking on the record when they didn’t mean to or a policy initiative that completely failed,” one former staffer said.

Of course that’s their business. Michelle’s staffers chose their jobs and they get paid. It’s the taxpayers who have to pay for it all who are forced to be her unwilling slaves.

Michelle’s house, her luxurious lifestyle, is built by taxpaying slaves who are forced to turn over their money to fund her pleasures. She spent more money on one night in Morocco than the average American family will see in five years.

Government, like slavery, is an institution. Like slavery, it claims to civilize its dependents. In reality it exploits them. It promises them security in exchange for freedom. It takes away the products of their toil and then tells them that they didn’t build that. It claims a false moral authority to exploit them.

Michelle Obama is a slave-owner lecturing her slaves about slavery. And Michelle and Barack are the tip of a very large institution which is built on depriving Americans of their political and economic freedoms.

At the Democrats circus of hate in Philly, it ought to be remembered that this was where Thomas Jefferson wrote that “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” were inalienable rights and that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Governments do not gain their authority from any innate superiority, but from consent.

A consent which of right ought to be withheld or revoked. And since I mentioned my air-conditioning woes earlier, this one is especially poignant to me right about now:

Secretary of State John Kerry said in Vienna on Friday that air conditioners and refrigerators are as big of a threat to life as the threat of terrorism posed by groups like the Islamic State.

Okay, fine. I am perfectly willing to give up air conditioning and refrigerators in the name of the Climate Change (formerly Global Warming, formerly Global Cooling, formerly “the weather”) con job…precisely five minutes after our would-be masters in DC give up theirs, and not one minute before.

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Not coincidence, not happenstance

Enemy action. And–UNEXPECTED!–it’s the same old enemies it always was.

Back in 2008, Republican strategists were scared to death to be seen as inquiring into, much less attacking, Barack Obama’s radical background. No need to dwell on his ties to former terrorist Bill Ayers, we were told. As I (among others) protested at the time, while Ayers’s terrorist past was alarming, it was not the most troubling aspect of Obama’s association with him.

Ayers had remained a proud anti-American radical who openly argued that our country was incorrigibly racist and corrupt. Yet Obama had colluded with him on their joint left-wing passion: criminal-justice “reform.” They appeared on a panel together to argue for keeping even violent juvenile offenders out of the adult justice system. They worked together on boards of left-wing charities to direct funding to like-minded radicals. In 1997, Ayers wrote a book, A Kind and Just Parent: Children of the Juvenile Court, which (as Stanley Kurtz has observed) compares America’s juvenile-justice system to the mass detention of young blacks under South African apartheid. Obama, then a state lawmaker in Illinois, lavishly praised the book as a “searing and timely account.”

Understand then: For upwards of a quarter-century, we’ve enjoyed a staggering decrease in crime rates nationally, particularly in urban areas, because of engaged, intelligence-driven policing methods. During that time, Obama has been playing for the other team: academic and activist detractors who point to the overrepresentation of blacks in the offender population in a racially charged attack on policing — rather than emphasizing that the overrepresentation of blacks as crime victims is ameliorated by modern policing.

Locales under the control of progressive Democrats tend to invite the administration to come “fix” their police. Other cities and towns would like to fight but they cannot compete with the Justice Department’s $28 billion budget; agreeing to comply is their only realistic option. Holder lustily carried out the mission, but it is Obama’s policy.

Of course it is. Which is why the “fight” against Lynch’s nomination was, in the end, a futile waste of time: Obama was never going to nominate anybody better, and would probably have preferred somebody even worse.

Via Stanley Kurtz, who adds:

Obama’s old alliance with Ayers on crime policy is certainly relevant to his administration’s strategies today, but there’s another important connection as well. Obama pressed for so-called racial profiling legislation for years, and got it through the Illinois legislature just in time to make it a selling point in his run for the U.S. Senate.

Unfortunately, the whole effort was based on a false premise and likely did more to hamper the police and interfere with necessary crime enforcement than to protect civil rights. Obama pushed his racial profiling legislation by activating his alliance with radical clergy like Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger. So the strategy that Andy lays out, in which Obama uses questionable civil rights accusations and demagoguery by the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton to effectively nationalize local police forces, was clearly prefigured during Obama’s Chicago years. You can read about Obama’s crime policy and the political strategy behind it toward the end of my 2008 piece, “Barack Obama’s Lost Years.”

As Andy points out, Obama laid the legal groundwork for his efforts to nationalize the police early on in his administration. Clearly, however, he’s waited until these last two years of his presidency to put that policy forcefully into action. And there’s nothing isolated about this pattern.

No, there certainly isn’t, on this issue as on all the others. Anyone complaining about the Obama junta’s “lack of transparency” is guilty at best of not being willing to open their eyes and look. And anybody who still thinks of Obama as a “failure” is simply delusional.

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Overkill

They will never stop. And no excess will ever be enough.

While Americans are focused on what delicious foods they’re going to eat for Thanksgiving, the White House is focused on releasing its massive regulatory agenda — marking the fifth time the Obama administration has released its regulatory road map on the eve of a major holiday.

The federal Unified Agenda is the Obama administration’s regulatory road map, and it lays out thousands of regulations being finalized in the coming months. Under President Barack Obama, there has been a tradition of releasing the agenda late on Friday — and right before a major holiday.

But the White House may have a good reason to do so because its Unified Agenda for fall 2014 includes some 3,415 regulations– more than the last regulatory agenda, and one that includes 189 rules that cost more than $100 million.

Gee, how did we ever get along without them? One thing’s for sure: if you wanted to destroy the economy beyond any hope of repair, this is exactly how you’d go about it.

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The ratchet only spins Left

He’s a failure only by American standards. Not by his own.

Since the indignities of the Great Depression swept Franklin Roosevelt and his crack team of social engineers into the highest offices in the land, the Left’s primary political strategy has been to pass as big an expansion of government as is feasible in their brief moments of ascendancy and then to dare the dissidents to take its fruits away when, eventually, they get back into power. As we have all learned over the last 80 years or so, progressives tend to view the welfare state in much the same way as conservatives regard the Constitution: as settled and almost holy writ, the fundamentals of which should be changed only in extraordinary circumstances. In 2012, it was this presumption that informed the popular chant that Obamacare was now “the law” and that it was in consequence to be set in aspic for all time. It is this postulation, too, that explains the crass envy that so many on the left feel for Europe, on which continent the form of sweeping statism that they covet is held to be wholly uncontroversial. And it is this conjecture that explains why FDR wished to entrench positive government action within the nation’s legal firmament, his administration’s hoping that the tenets of the New Deal would eventually be codified into a Second Bill of Rights. Why do we imagine that Obama works so hard to cast his health-care legislation not as a government program that can be altered or repealed at any time but as an immutable “right”? Because, once in, additions to the welfare system are supposed to be untouchable.

By their nature, conservative reforms tend to be easily reversible. Retrenchment can always be superseded by increased spending on newly discovered necessities. Tax cuts can easily be replaced with increases, should the scale of spending or the vicissitudes of the business cycle so demand. Crises and swells in public sentiment are, likewise, the friend of the regulators and the tinkerers, and not of the parsimonious. In our present political discourse, the very concept of “progress” is conflated as a matter of routine with the growth of the state — that word’s being trotted out as a question-begging, catch-all justification for whichever imperatives were agreed upon yesterday at Harvard. The result, as President Reagan quipped, is that “government programs, once launched, never disappear,” their enabling departments representing “the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” Those who are wondering why a man who ran promising to use executive power modestly is now channeling Julius Caesar should recognize this simple truth, for it will lead them eventually to their unlovely answer. Put bluntly, Barack Obama understands that, long-term, his usurpations are worth the cost to him and his party. Why did the president keep delaying Obamacare, despite his having no legal authority to do so? Because, by sheltering the law from the wrath of the electorate and ensuring that it could be entrenched within American life before anybody noticed that it had been sold under false pretenses, he could turn the conversation away from his own failures and toward the iniquity of those who would have repealed it before it was too late.

This approach has informed his tenure. The sequence: Get the thing in; take whatever losses are necessary; shelter it from harm, legally or not; and then reap the benefits in the long-term. The strategy is an effective one. Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler may well be correct when they contend that Obamacare-as-written does not permit the IRS to send subsidies through federal health-care exchanges. And, next year, they may even persuade the Supreme Court to rule in favor of their claim. If they do, we will watch the highest court in the land confirm that the IRS and the White House have acted ultra vires once again. But, ultimately, who cares? Having sent money out to millions of people, the president will now be able to paint his opponents as cruel and selfish ideologues who hope to take health care away from the poor. For the sake of argument, we might suppose for a moment that Obama knew full well what he was doing — that is, that he understood that subsidies were not to be given out in this manner but that he did it anyhow. Given his broader aims, couldn’t we regard this as a smart calculation? As any naughty child knows, it is far easier to apologize than to ask for permission.

He’s no more “smart” than he is a failure. He’s cunning and devious, and those are not the same things. And those poor blind souls who are expecting Republicans ever to take advantage of Obama’s lawless manipulations of our former Constitutional system to advance the end of limited government are making the same sort of mistake as those who keep bleating about his “failure”: they’re judging by a set of standards that do not apply.

This ruse seems all the more profitable once one has recognized that President Obama is likely to be untroubled by the possibility that a Republican could eventually use the same tools against the Democratic party and its interests. Fun as it may be for frustrated Republicans to contemplate the prospect of a President Ted Cruz refusing to enforce high tax rates or to prosecute those who violate the National Labor Relations Act or to stop sending out welfare checks, these initiatives would be significantly politically different than have been Obama’s. Before conservatives can make changes, they must persuade enough people that the obvious benefits of a given policy are being outweighed by the distributed and inconspicuous drawbacks. Moreover, the obvious beneficiaries of their thriftiness tend to be less self-evidently sympathetic than do the Left’s. Few people’s heartstrings, I’d venture, are pulled by the thought of reforms to the corporate tax rate; by the deregulation of industry; by the restructuring of unsustainable pension plans; or by changes to the manner in which public-sector unions are funded. By contrast, ten minutes after the passage of their latest grand scheme, progressives are afforded the delicious opportunity to accuse the naysayers of wishing to “take away” goodies from the people. Consider just how quickly conservatives were told that by continuing to oppose Obamacare they were hoping to drag the country all the way back to the dark, apocalyptic days of 2009. Note how comfortable the pro-Obamacare journalistic class has become in telling its critics that they “want to kill people.” Observe the ease with which our friends on the left take for granted that government is the only legitimate means by which moral action may be channeled and that its detractors must therefore be cads and bounders.

All of which adds up to the reason you never, ever compromise with the Left. They are not debating in good faith; neither are they honestly attempting to persuade. They are weaving webs into which they hope to ensnare the well-meaning along with everybody else. “Compromise” only ever works in their favor, and the ratchet only ever turns one way.

Read all of it, and understand fully if you haven’t yet just how our warped and distorted system of (mis)governance now works.

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All hail!

The former Constitutional Republic of the United States of America will officially be declared ended tonight with the announcement of the ascension to the Throne Of Man by His Imperial Majesty Barrack Hussein Obama I (PBUH). His final assumption of ultimate dictatorial power will occur this evening with the issuance of Royal Decree Number One, actually his fifth or sixth (or twenty-fifth) imperial edict, depending on who’s doing the scoring. Republicans in Congress are believed to be considering a name-change for the former Republic as “the only means of stopping him, by proving they can govern and reaching out to work with our friends across the aisle” to end “gridlock” and “partisanship.”

But Obama’s announcement of the suspension of the Constitution tonight is only the tip of the iceberg. If you want to see the most brazen display of sheer reckless chutzpah and deceit yet, wait till you get a load of how these despicable charlatans have decided to justify it. The reasonable person can only stand back and marvel in gobsmacked, speechless awe.

You just have to love how the Left plays their game.

As the nation braces for President Obama to issue a patently un-constitutional executive order granting amnesty to, as reports would have it some five million illegals, liberals across the spectrum rush to defend him by saying…wait for it…”Reagan did it too!” In fact, President Obama is saying this as seen here in USA Today.

Well, no. Reagan did most definitely not do it too.

As everyone knows, in 1986 President Reagan signed into law the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, known officially as The Immigration and Control Act. We’ll come back to that at a later time – the law did not work as Reagan intended (hint: No border security as promised). But for immediate purposes it is important to know that in signing the bill Reagan’s presidential signature made the bill a law – a statute. Presidents cannot pass laws unilaterally. That’s the job of the Congress per the Constitution, as every American school child is suppose to learn early on. What presidents can do – must do if a bill is to become law – is sign the bill. That’s what Reagan did.

Presidents also have the job of interpreting the statute they are sworn to uphold. So sworn by the presidential oath in which they “do solemnly swear” to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States …” and “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
 
What is the difference between Reagan and Obama? Reagan’s action was in accordance with the law – the statute. The very law that he had signed after – say again after – it was passed by Congress. What President Obama is about to do is unilaterally write the law – as if he were writing or re-writing a statute – all by himself.

It is (as) if President Reagan woke up one fine morning and said “Gee, that Simpson-Mazzoli bill is stuck over there in Congress and they aren’t listening to me. I think I’ll just sign an executive order that makes Simpson-Mazzoli law. Gosh, it’s good to be king!”

What President Obama is about to do is effectively declare himself the Emperor of the United States. And it will be up to Republicans in the House and Senate to say the obvious: the Emperor has no clothes, much less the constitutional power to do what he says he is going to do.

Lets get this off the table immediately. No. No, no and no again, no matter what the Associated Press says – no matter what the Obama minions say – Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush most assuredly did not do this. There is no precedent – period.

Ah, but that’s not what Democrat Socialists consider to be important. What matters more to them is whether they can get anyone to believe there is. As Mark Krikorian says: “‘Precedent’ isn’t the right word for the Obama crowd’s invocation of Reagan. The right word is ‘pretext.’” More:

Nice try.

The Reagan administration action that amnesty advocates point to is simply irrelevant to the current case and trumpeted only because Reagan’s name is attached to it. In what was a legitimate exercise of prosecutorial discretion shortly after passage of the 1986 law, INS announced that as a practical matter it would look the other way under certain circumstances with regard to minor children both of whose parents received amnesty but who did not themselves qualify for the amnesty. It granted no work permits, Social Security numbers, or driver’s licenses. In the context of trying to implement the convoluted IRCA amnesty, I might well have done the same thing.

George H. W. Bush’s 1990 “family fairness” policy is at least somewhat germane, in that it provided for renewable “voluntary departure” (i.e., amnesty) for certain spouses and children of amnesty beneficiaries, including work authorization. But it is no precedent either, for three main reasons:

First, its size and scope. Despite claims at the time that “as many as 1.5 million” illegal aliens might benefit from the policy, the actual number was much, much smaller. In 1990, Congress passed legislation granting green cards to “legalization dependents” — in effect codifying the executive action Bush had taken a just few months earlier. That (lawful) measure actually cast the net wider than Bush’s action, and yet only about 140,000 people took advantage of it — less than one-tenth the number advocates claim. Scale matters here; Bush’s action cannot meaningfully be described as a precedent for Obama’s scheme that would be 30 or 40 times larger.

Second, both Reagan’s and Bush’s moves were cleanup measures for the implementation of the once-in-history amnesty that was passed by Congress. In other words, it was a coda, a tying up of loose ends, for something that Congress had actually enacted, and thus arguably a legitimate part of executing the law — which is, after all, the function of the executive. Obama’s threatened move, on the other hand, is directly contrary to Congress’s decision not to pass an amnesty. In effect, Bush was saying “Congress has acted and I’m doing my best to implement its directives,” while Obama is saying “Congress has not done my bidding, so I’m going to implement my own directives.”

Finally, in the same 1990 immigration law that codified Bush’s “family fairness” directive, Congress rejected further ad hoc presidential amnesties by creating Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The various unilateral actions presidents had taken to amnesty small groups of illegal aliens over the years — Extended Voluntary Departure and Deferred Enforced Departure were among the Orwellian euphemisms deployed — were clearly seen as abuses of the discretion which Congress granted the president. TPS was intended to limit that discretion in granting legal status, including work permits, to illegal aliens, by limiting such grants to clearly specified circumstances — such as when a country suffered an earthquake or hurricane — and imposing specific procedures upon the executive. And to make certain that future executive actions didn’t simply become a means of naturalizing entire populations of illegal aliens, the TPS law requires any bill addressing naturalization of TPS recipients has to pass the Senate with a 60 percent super-majority.

It is absurd for Obama to claim that the very executive overreach that prompted Congress to impose these limits established a precedent for even greater executive overreach today.

Well, as history hath shewn, when you’re putting the finishing touches on destroying a nation and Fundamentally Transforming™ it into a banana republic, any pretext will do.

Keep that powder dry, folks; opening day for the season on dictators and Democrat Socialists (sorry for the redundancy) draws ever more nigh, and I’m sure you’ll all be wanting to bag the limit. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

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Of victors, and spoils

Peggy Noonan gets one right.

We’re all used to a certain amount of doublespeak and bureaucratese in government hearings. That’s as old as forever. But in the past year of listening to testimony from government officials, there is something different about the boredom and indifference with which government testifiers skirt, dodge and withhold the truth. They don’t seem furtive or defensive; they are not in the least afraid. They speak always with a certain carefulness—they are lawyered up—but they have no evident fear of looking evasive. They really don’t care what you think of them. They’re running the show and if you don’t like it, too bad.

We are locked in some loop where the public figure knows what he must pronounce to achieve his agenda, and the public knows what he must pronounce to achieve his agenda, and we all accept what is being said while at the same time everyone sees right through it. The public figure literally says, “Prepare my talking points,” and the public says, “He’s just reading talking points.” It leaves everyone feeling compromised. Public officials gripe they can’t break through the cynicism. They cause the cynicism.

The only people who seem to tell the truth now are the people inside the agencies who become whistleblowers. They call a news organization, get on the phone with a congressman’s staff. That’s basically how the Veterans Affairs and Secret Service scandals broke: Desperate people who couldn’t take the corruption dropped a dime. What does it say about a great nation when its most reliable truth tellers are desperate people?

Well, for one thing, that it’s no longer a great nation. More evidence:

History will ill-serve Eric Holder if it does no more than echo the view common in the wake of his resignation that his tenure as Attorney General was “controversial.” Mr. Holder’s more than five years as the nation’s chief legal officer were consequential.

In tandem with Barack Obama ‘s White House, Mr. Holder pushed the authority of the federal government and its administrative agencies beyond the edge of the Constitution and law. They did so not in one or several controversial instances, as with past presidencies, but repeatedly and across the breadth of the federal government.

Messrs. Obama and Holder have attempted to make federal legal authority limitless. The Obama-Holder theory of law—that the needs of justice, as they define it, supersede the law’s boundaries—deserves to be repudiated. It has no precedent outside progressive law journals or various periods in South American history.

Mr. Obama made his intentions clear. In July 2011, the president said in public he’d like to “bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.” The phrase, “change the laws on his own,” is not in the U.S. Constitution. The next year, Mr. Obama made his now-famous and unconstitutional recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The recess appointments were the tip of the iceberg.

For the firm of Obama & Holder, shocking the conscience of sitting federal judges with legal overstepping is just another day in court. The Obama lawyers’ legal justification for their actions has often been, in effect, what difference does it make? That isn’t a legal argument. Yet.

It’s legal if His Royal Majesty says it is. His minions, lackeys, and satraps in the bureaucracy that really rules us are just following his lead and, as Noonan says, doing so with no fear of repercussion. Hey, they won, after all.

Update! Progressing beyond Progressivism and its boundless regulatory state.

You must read this excellent piece by Megan McArdle, It’s Normal for Regulators to Get Captured. “regulatory capture is not some horrid aberration; it is closer to the natural state of a regulatory body.”

This is true. That is why the entire modern administrative state has to be re-thought, re-configured and replaced. It does not work, it never worked, it cannot work.

The regulatory state is the defining feature of the Industrial Era, America 2.0 state. It needs to be shut down, wrapped up and replaced.

This does not mean return to the law of the jungle. It means making laws that actually align incentives with desired ends, as imperfect as that always is.

It also means sunsetting and doing away with those laws–and the vast, unaccountable bureaucracies they inevitably establish–once those “desired ends” are achieved…and most especially when they aren’t.

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Thanks for nothing

The Free Beacon drops the ball.

President Barack Obama will now attend a dedication ceremony next month for a new memorial honoring disabled American veterans, a major reversal in course that comes several weeks after the Washington Free Beacon first reported on the president’s initial decision to decline attending the event.

White House officials notified event organizers earlier this month that Obama would not be able to attend the dedication. Obama would have been among the first U.S. presidents in recent history not to formally dedicate a major D.C. memorial in person.

However, the White House said on Tuesday that Obama would now attend the October ceremony in person.

“On Sunday, October 5, the president will deliver remarks at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial dedication ceremony in Washington, D.C.,” a White House official informed the Free Beacon.

I bet the vets are just thrilled. They know all too well the contempt and disregard the Pretend pResident harbors for them–a contempt the overwhelming majority of servicemen past and present reciprocate in full. The miserable worm should do what everyone involved knows he’d prefer to and stay home, or on the damned golf course.

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The buck stops…somewhere else

Perhaps no better illustration of just how far the Democrat Socialist Party has strayed from what it once was can be seen in its current godhead’s refusal to take responsibility for anything at all–and his reflexive penchant for blaming anyone and everyone else for his own countless inadequacies– compared with Harry Truman’s famous attitude toward such shirking, malfeasance, and whining-pussy douchebaggery.

On “60 Minutes,” the president faulted his spies for failing to predict the rise of ISIS. There’s one problem with that statement: The intelligence analysts did warn about the group.

Nearly eight months ago, some of President Obama’s senior intelligence officials were already warning that ISIS was on the move. In the beginning of 2014, ISIS fighters had defeated Iraqi forces in Fallujah, leading much of the U.S. intelligence community to assess they would try to take more of Iraq.

But in an interview that aired Sunday evening, the president told 60 Minutes that the rise of the group now proclaiming itself a caliphate in territory between Syria and Iraq caught the U.S. intelligence community off guard. Obama specifically blamed James Clapper, the current director of national intelligence: “Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” he said.

Reached by The Daily Beast after Obama’s interview aired, one former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” the former official said.

And again: no reason in the world it can’t be both. And just how many times does pResident Pissant’s team of feckless faculty-lounge buffoons have to be “caught off guard”–or caught in egregious lies–before any of them are actually fired?

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Must be said

Plumbing new depths of obliviousness.

First the president said the situation in the Middle East is “scary,” according to a transcript of the event released by the White House.

“I don’t have to tell you, anybody who has been watching TV this summer, it seems like it is just wave after wave of upheaval, most of it surrounding the Middle East. You’re seeing a change in the order in the Middle East. But the old order is having a tough time holding together and the new order has yet to be born, and in the interim, it’s scary.”

“The good news is that we actually have a unprecedented military capacity, and since 9/11 have built up a security apparatus that makes us in the here and now pretty safe. We have to be vigilant, but this doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland. What it does do, though, is it gives a sense, once again, for future generations, is the world going to be upended in ways that affect our kids and our grandkids.”

Of course, Obama, who has blamed much on his predecessor, did not name Bush and Cheney.

But who “built up a security apparatus” after 9/11? President George W. Bush, with the assistance of his faithful vice president, Dick Cheney. 

Hey Barky: you didn’t build that.

Not that I give Bush/Cheney a whole hell of a lot of credit for giving us the whole security-kabuki edifice that includes: “professionalizing” airport security by having FederalGovCo commandeer it under the auspices of the TSA; establishing another huge, heavily armed, and nearly omnipotent federal agency subject to the inevitable gross mission-creep common to all government bureaucracy in the DHS; and allowing the national security apparat to spy on all Americans while forbidding the FBI to even enter radical mosques without four or five layers of bureaucratic permission.

But still. As usual, King Barrack the Magnificent is taking credit for the work of others while eschewing any responsibility for the things he makes a mess of himself. It’s the only thing he’s ever been any good at, really.

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Stop helping!

Politicians: useless.

Senator Paul will come out of his vacation looking pretty good. Given the political class’s endless appetite for self-serving theater, I found myself wondering why President Obama, Mrs. Clinton, or Vice President Biden did not choose to spend their vacations in a similar way, offering to put their skills and abilities to use on behalf of others. And then I realized that this was a deeply stupid question on my part.

What the hell would they do?

What they always do: order people around; feed their own monstrous egos; line their own pockets; lecture and hector everyone else about the vital importance of a morality they neither possess nor respect themselves; and confiscate wealth for redistribution according to their own ass-backwards notions of what’s “fair” and “effective.” I’ll never understand how it came to pass that we accepted this agglomeration of leeches–call ’em the Parasite Class–as in any way necessary to human existence.

They live in their secure, palatial enclaves, enjoying the bounteous fruits of labor they didn’t perform and wealth they didn’t earn–rather than spending most of their daily existence running for their very lives, as would be truly just. They wallow swinishly in the golden sun in luxury vacation spots the rest of us can’t afford and wouldn’t be allowed into anyway, and the only pitchforks they ever see are in the hands of those laboring to feed and support them as their motorcades flash past, rather than being pointed at their flabby, overfed bellies.

Yep, it’s a real mystery, all right.

Unlike Senator Paul, neither the president nor the vice president nor the former secretary of state has anything that one might describe as a useful skill. That’s not quite right: They have skills that are useful…to themselves. As for skills that are useful to other people — you’d be hard pressed to think of one. If you were a poor family in Guatemala, which would you rather have: the services of a pretty good ophthalmologist, or those of an excellent orator? (Never mind that, unlike Senator Paul, President Obama does not speak Spanish — or, indeed, any foreign language.) Imagine dispatching Hillary Rodham Clinton to Calcutta or Joe Biden to Conakry and then expecting them to do something useful. The idea is preposterous.

Politicians do not provide health care. Doctors, nurses, technicians, orderlies, pharmaceutical researchers, medical-device manufacturers, and junior senators from Kentucky volunteering in Guatemala provide health care. Politicians do not feed the hungry — farmers, grocers, long-haul truckers, and Monsanto feed the hungry. They neither sow nor reap. Barack Obama gives the impression of being a man who probably couldn’t change a tire, but we have persuaded ourselves — allowed ourselves to be persuaded — that such men must be central to our lives. The wheat farmer in Kansas or the contractor in Pittsburgh? All they do is keep the world fed and housed.

Politicians can redistribute wealth, but they do not create any. They can attempt to command the energies of those with the ability and inclination to produce valuable goods and services, but as politicians they do not produce. The entire idea of politicians as society’s leadership is an inversion of the real order of things: Government is not here to lead anybody anywhere — it is here to serve us in the important but limited role of coordinating collective action toward such ends as physical security and the enforcement of contracts.

Well, ideally, yes. Constitutionally, yes. But we’ve come a very long way indeed from either of those eminently desirable states.

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“IS BARACK OBAMA PLOTTING A COUP?”

Umm…don’t look now, guys, but we’re past “plotting” and well into the “consolidation” phase.

That seems like an awfully strong word, but it is the term that distinguished law professor Glenn Reynolds, no hysteric, uses to describe the Obama administration’s oft-reported plan to issue executive amnesty to five or six million illegal immigrants in violation of federal law. Glenn’s characterization is a fair one. When a tyrant asserts the right to rule by decree in a state that has formerly been subject to the rule of law, he is commonly described as carrying out a coup d’etat.

That is just what the Obama administration has done, and reportedly will continue to do. When Obama changed the Affordable Care Act by decree–to name just one example, substituting “2014″ for “2013″ in a critical provision of the statute–he acted as a tyrant. In his refusal to enforce the immigration laws, contrary to the Constitution which requires him to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” he has acted like a tinpot dictator, asserting the right to change or ignore the law by fiat. If he now directly nullifies Section 274(a) of the Immigration and Nationalities Act by legalizing, and issuing work permits to, five or six million illegal immigrants, thereby repealing federal law by decree, how else can we describe his action but as a coup? The Obama administration openly takes the position that the rule of law no longer applies.

Oh, it still applies to you and me, of course. Just not to him; his henchmen; his foul, omnicorrupt, and untouchable government; or his loathsome criminal conspiracy masquerading as a political party.

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None dare call it treason lese majeste

His Royal Majesty is most displeased with you revolting peasants.




Steyn explains:

Here’s a British political cartoon from 1798 by Richard Newton, showing John Bull (the archetypal patriotic English everyman) farting in the King’s face while the Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger, looks on disapprovingly…

Say what you like about George III, but he didn’t demand his Attorney General, Sir John Scott, dispatch a team of investigators to harass and intimidate Mr Newton. Nor, come to that, did the reviled John Ashcroft’s Department of Justice “investigate” those acclaimed novels and movies salivating about Bush’s assassination.

But in America in 2014 you can’t hang a sign on an outhouse door saying “Obama Presidential Library” without attracting the attention of Eric Holder’s goon squad.

Yeah, well, George III wasn’t half the tyrant Holder–or Obama–is. And yes, the Founders would have been shooting already.

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Rethinking the Declaration

Interesting, and fodder for a little reflection.

It is not surprising that friends of the Enlightenment tend to assume that the Enlightenment was generally friendly towards the American Revolution. Richard Price had, after all, been an energetic supporter of the Colonial cause and, like Joseph Priestley, saw it as a link in the chain of “glorious revolutions” that stretched from 1688, through 1776, to 1789. Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais spent several crucial years figuring out ways of getting weapons to the American revolutionaries. There was also considerable interest in the revolution in German-speaking Europe. The Basel Aufklärer Isaak Iselin translated the Declaration of Independence for the October 1776 issue of his journalEphemeriden der Menschheit (a translation of a text by John Adams followed in a later issue). And, between 1787 and 1788 the Berlinische Monatsschrift devoted three articles to the recently enacted Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

There were, however, a few enlighteners who were not quite so enthusiastic. The Berlin radical enlightener Andreas Riem attributed the founding of the American republic to acts of deception by American colonists and by their British governors…

And while the German Kantian turned Burkean Friedrich von Gentz, drawing up a comparison between the American and the French Revolutions, labored long and hard to emphasize how much more moderate and reasonable the Americans had been, he had some difficulties with the Declaration of Independence’s invocation of abstract rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

But the most relentless critique of the American declaration came from a thinker with impecable creditials as a radical enlightener: the great Jeremy Bentham.

Follows, a sort of pre-fisking fisking of the Declaration by Bentham. Not saying I entirely agree with it, but like I said, it’s certainly interesting. I’d have to say he got this part right, anyway:

The rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” — by which, if they mean any thing, they must mean the right to enjoy life, to enjoy liberty, and to pursue happiness — they ”hold to be unalienable.” This they “hold to be among truths self-evident.” At the same time, to secure these rights, they are content that Governments should be instituted. They perceive not, or will not seem to perceive, that nothing which can be called Government ever was, or ever could be, in any instance, exercised, but at the expence of one or other of those rights. — That, consequently, in as many instances as Government is ever exercised, some one or other of these rights, pretended to be unalienable, is actually alienated.

Which is why they sought to restrain it in the Constitution, of course. That it failed in the end I still don’t hold to be the fault of the Constitution or the Founders, but of inattention to duty of later generations of Americans, and the inexorable lust for power over them harbored by the iniquitous Progressives.

Next up, we turn to a critique of the Constitution itself, or a review of one at any rate. More specifically, it’s a critique of the presidency, and it’s worth pondering too:

It’s about time for some constitutional impiety on the right, and F.H. Buckley answers the call in his bracing and important new book, The Once and Future King. Buckley, a professor of law at George Mason University and a senior editor at The American Spectator, is unmistakably conservative. But that doesn’t stop him from pointing out that America’s not so all-fired exceptional—or from arguing that our Constitution has made key contributions to our national decline.

In the conventional narrative, Buckley writes, “our thanks [must] go to the Framers, who gave the country a presidential system that secured the blessings of liberty.” A “nice story,” he says, but one that “lacks the added advantage of accuracy.”

First off, we’re hardly “the freest country in the world.” As Buckley points out, his native Canada beats the United States handily on most cross-country comparisons of political and economic liberty. In the latest edition of the Cato Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World rankings, for example, we’re number 17 and we don’t try harder. Meanwhile, as Buckley points out, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Democracy Index” ranks us as the 19th healthiest democracy in the world, “behind a group of mostly parliamentary countries, and not very far ahead of the ‘flawed democracies.'”

There’s a lesson there, Buckley argues. While “an American is apt to think that his Constitution uniquely protects liberty,” the truth “is almost exactly the reverse.” In a series of regressions using the Freedom House rankings, Buckley finds that “presidentialism is significantly and strongly correlated with less political freedom.”

Again: not saying I agree or disagree (lectures on freedom from as benighted a source as Once Great Britain and its Commonwealth subsidiaries, with their vigorously enforced speech codes and outright bans on both gun possession and legitimate self-defense, do and of right ought to leave something of a sour taste in any real American’s mouth), but still fodder for reflection at the very least.

I just threw up in my mouth a little update! And then there’s this utter, abject horseshit. If lectures on freedom from fading, no-longer-free monarchies leave a sour taste, attempts to redraw the Constitution as “progressive” from a liberal-fascist hack and all-round nitwit like EJ Dionne are downright vomitous. Especially when, almost from jump, he cites the old liberal-fascist saw used to undermine and dismiss the Constitution for decades now: “The framers could not possibly have foreseen what the world would look like in 2014.” No, but they knew well enough what government would look like if we failed to remain vigilant against it..and they were right on the money there.

And for the record: asserting that “they got some important things wrong” is NOT a very convincing demonstration of your regard for our founding ideals. In truth, Dionne and his fellow collectivist would-be rewriters of the Constitution are precisely what the Founders feared and tried to warn us about. Far from being their proper defenders, they are not the true heirs and guardians of their immortal principles, but deadly and insidious enemies of them. Try as they might to obfuscate it, that’s the plain fact. Why, one might even call it self-evident, all the chowderhead Dionne’s lying gyrations notwithstanding.

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Finished! part the Second

I mentioned this one in passing in the previous post, but as a long slice of howling outrage from a damned smart and well-spoken fella, it really needs to be quoted in a post of its own.

You can tell the tidal wave of illegal aliens, many of them unaccompanied minors, surging across the southern border is causing a bit of political discomfort for President Obama, because he briefly felt obliged to pretend he’s not happy about it. ”Briefly” means last Friday, when the President gave us the hilarious vaudeville pantomime act of asking the people of Central America to stop throwing their kids across the hemisphere.

“They’ll get sent back?”  How stupid does this man think we are? Tell you what, Mr. President: how about you personally travel aboard the first mass repatriation flight to Honduras, and give your “they’ll be sent back” warning in a speech from there, surrounded by the thousand minors you just hauled back from the refugee camps you want American taxpayers to spend $2 billion on. Then people might start paying attention to your rhetorical “messages.”

Obama was back to his Cloward-Piven strategy of deliberately overloading the U.S. immigration system on Monday, promising to use more executive orders like the one that launched this invasion, his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, because Congress won’t give him what he wants. The Democrats’ enthusiasm for “enlightened” despotism, and their hunger to keep that flood of illegals coming in, reached insulting lows when Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said that if House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t get a “comprehensive immigration reform bill” cooking soon, “the president will ‘borrow’ the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration.”

That’s the new euphemism for dictatorship: “borrowing” powers forbidden by the Constitution, because Congress won’t do what the dictator wants. Perhaps smarting from the long string of Supreme Court decisions that have made a mockery of his claims to be an expert in constitutional law, the President didn’t endorse this novel theory of power-borrowing in so many words on Monday, instead opting to pretend that he’s deeply sorrowful that he must trample on the separation of powers to get what he wants, because the American system refuses to obey him.

As for the Supreme Court smackdowns, it’s debatable just how “sharp” those limits on executive power are, especially since Obama and the Democrats show absolutely no sign of being chastened by their defeats, nor is their friendly media interested in shaming them. Attacks on the American constitutional order that get partially repelled years later by Supreme Court decisions cannot be judged entirely ineffective.

Exactly. And the guy who successfully enacted so much of an agenda the Left has only dreamed of for decades can hardly be dismissed as a “failure,” either. There’s plenty more here, it’s all excellent, and you shouldn’t skip a word of it.

Update! Herschel boils it down:

The goal of the administration is for the local and state governments to demand federal dollars, but with federal dollars comes federal control. The ultimate aim of Obamacare wasn’t to work or function, it was to fail, thus driving America to a single-payer system. Unless one understand everything this administration does within the framework of Cloward-Piven, you cannot understand them at all.

Bingo. Bing-fucking-O. Understanding why Barrack Hussein Obama does what he does was never difficult, as long as you were willing to forego giving him the benefit of the doubt or assuming he was just another greedy, self-serving, banal American politician rather than the committed hard-Left ideologue he is, and always was. He’s been completely transparent since Day One, to anyone with the intestinal fortitude to take an honest look. As with the marauding Muslims, there are countless examples of him expressing his intentions and ambitions openly, in plain language. It’s just that so many of us have been unwilling to listen, or to take him at his word.

Oh please update! Krauthammer is definitely smart enough to know better.

President Obama “checks out” on immigration and border-control issues, Charles Krauthammer says, because he simply doesn’t know what to do.

Horseshit. He knows exactly what to do. He’s doing exactly what he wants to do, and what is happening flows from that.

“We have a crisis at the border. He does nothing for a couple of weeks. And then last week he comes out [to make a statement]. So what is his statement? The first three-quarters of it is an attack on Republicans,” Krauthammer said on Wednesday’s Special Report. But, he explained, it’s Obama’s policies “of loosening the deportation of people who came here as children” that are encouraging the current influx of young children.

“He is lost on these issues, lost on the issues abroad, doesn’t know what to do — and thus, he goes out and plays golf,” Krauthammer concluded.

He’s going out and playing golf because he’s lazy–and he knows his work is pretty much done. Meanwhile otherwise smart guys like Krauthammer are absolutely baffled over why a fundamentally dishonorable “man” acts dishonorably, why someone who lies because of political necessity about his supposed love of country actively seeks to destroy and remake it….as he promised all along he was going to do.

None so blind as he who will not see. Likewise this guy:

The White House is not planning to reassess its strategy for handling thousands of unaccompanied minors streaming across the border amid mass protests.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he had not spoken to President Obama about protests in California that blocked buses full of immigrant detainees from reaching a processing station. But Earnest said there was no expectation of changing strategies to deal with the flood of minors “at this point.”

“At this point, what we’re focused on is making sure that we can ramp up the resources that are necessary to meet this growing need,” Earnest said.

The resources made necessary by a crisis of Obama’s own making, as the direct, predictable, and hoped-for result of his illegal-alien reconquista strategy.

It seems to be inconceivable to a certain kind of well-meaning Righty pundit that Obama might actually be an open-borders, One World neo-Marxist. But what the hell, one can understand their confusion; after all, all they really have to go on is almost everything he says, and absolutely everything he does.

Honestly, it’s a much bigger strain on credulity to assume that these “crises” just somehow descended on Obama out of the blue because he’s incompetent and confused, and now he just doesn’t know how to deal with them. At some point, you can no longer write this stuff off to mere happenstance, and I’d say we’re well past it by now. When every single “coincidence” works to advance a Lefty narrative or ambition–open borders; a weakened military; an economy controlled entirely by the central government; knuckling under to UN aims rather than pursuing American interests; loss of US prestige and global leadership in favor of spurious international “coalitions” in which we do all the heavy lifting at the behest of (often nominal) allies; abandonment of our true allies, especially Israel; assumption of dictatorial powers because of a “gridlock” that is part and parcel of our national design, a feature and not a bug–it’s safe to assume they’re not really coincidences at all, don’tcha think?

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Finished!

We’re saved, everybody! Why, support for Obama is down to a lousy forty-something percent in the polls! Our long national nightmare is over!

Sigh.

At every opportunity, Obama repeats his vow to circumvent the legislative branch, despite court warnings and a threatened House lawsuit over unrestrained executive actions. “Sue me!” he defiantly told one crowd Tuesday.

Here’s what such bluster means in politics, as well as families: He’s in trouble. And he knows it. Like a lame duck puffing up and flapping its wings to cover its weakness. A dead giveaway.

As if to confirm that, a new Zogby Analytics Poll came out overnight underscoring other recent surveys.

It found that during the last month Obama’s approval among likely voters has slid three more points to 44%, while his job disapproval increased four points to 54%. While Obama’s poll plummet won’t change his attitude or rhetoric, it will shrink his clout, especially as the Nov. 4 midterms near and party pals look to their own survival.

Ten points underwater and Obama intends to convince those same Americans to pressure Congress?

Yes, Congress’ numbers are worse, 19% approval and 76% disapproval. But so what? Plagued by serial scandals, foreign disasters and gaffes that seem to reveal an air of helplessness, Obama’s numbers are down everywhere, even among those sectors once nearly unanimous in support.

The poll of 1,110 found Obama’s approval among blacks is down 10 points to 76%, among liberals it fell seven points to 76%, among Hispanics off six to 67%, among Democrats down four to 77%, among women down four to 45%, and among all-important independents down seven to a mere 32%.

In one month.

If I had a nickel for every one of these “is Obama finished?” chin-pullers I’d be a happy boy. Every time a new poll comes out another three or four of these desperately hopeful articles pops up. And it’s been that way since just about the very beginning; in fact, if you were a Righty pundit, you could probably just recycle ’em from oh, say, early 2009 and nobody would know the difference.

Meanwhile he goes right on running rings around the supposed “opposition” party, enacting his insidious left-wing agenda with or without their half-hearted and half-witted “obstruction,” getting the things he wants done by hook or by crook. He’s successfully transformed the nation into just another weak, struggling, enervated second-rate power too enfeebled and inept to even bother to pretend about securing its own borders even after the 9/11 attacks (hey, remember them? “Never forget,” “Bring ’em to justice,” all that rot?)…and been dismissed the whole time as a “lame duck” by people who really, really ought to know better.

Obamacare? Here to stay, get over it already. Executive overreach? There’s the silly subterfuge of Boehner’s lawsuit, but if there ever is another Republican president (big “if,” that one), just let him try it. Loss of freedom, DHS and TSA out of control and continuing to shred the tattered remnants of the Constitution into smaller bits every day, and again: not going away.

Reining in the IRS, de-politicizing the DOJ, loosening the EPA’s stranglehold on the national economy? You’re dreaming. Economy micro(mis)managed from top to bottom by the central government? Again: not going away. Millions of illegal aliens (or undocumented Democrats) pouring into the country at the open invitation of the person charged with preventing such from happening (read this from Doc Zero if you think your blood pressure can stand it), then released to head straight to the polling places to reinforce socialism? It’s happening right before our eyes, with the one small community that dared to even try to stand athwart the onslaught and slow the invasion even now being painted in the Official Government Media as heartless, soulless monsters Who Hate Teh Children.

Benghazi–what difference, at this point, does it make? The Berghdahl/terrorist swap–who’s that again, now? Fast and Furious–I’m sorry, did somebody say something?

The communist reprobate has committed breach of the Constitution after brazen illegality after impeachable offense, lied nonchalantly to Duh Peepul about every damned one of them, and nobody dares even bring impeachment up in a serious manner, preferring instead to mutter yet again about the results of the latest dishonest poll. Because RACIST!™, I guess.

With King Barrack the Magnificent openly taunting his Republican “opposition” like this, does he sound “finished” to you?

President Obama on Tuesday defended his use of executive actions and dared critics to stop him as Republicans weigh a legal challenge to his powers.

“Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff,” Obama said defiantly during a speech in Washington. “So sue me.

“As long as they do nothing, I’m not going to apologize for doing something,” the president continued.

“Republican obstruction is not just some abstract political stunt,” he said. “It has real and direct consequences for middle-class families all across the country. 

“I haven’t heard a good reason why they haven’t acted [on transportation funding],” Obama continued. “It’s not like they’ve been busy with other stuff.”  

Sounds more to me like he’s gearing up to make hapless buffoons out of his lily-livered ostensible “opponents” yet again. But maybe I’m wrong. I haven’t been yet about this douchebag, but hey, it could happen.

Update! I repeat: sigh. Also, spit.

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Like a bum

Saturday Williamson. Well, okay, Friday; whatevs. The opening quote is perfect.

The emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius once observed that if a man knew for certain that he would die the next day, or the day after that, he would care very much about which day it was to be, the difference being so slight, only if were among the most abject and degraded of souls. General Shinseki has nothing in front of him but degradation; a less abject man would already have resigned in acknowledgement of his own failure to meet his responsibilities and as a gesture of atonement to the nation he failed. Clinging to his position at this point can be a source of nothing other than shame. He is on his way out — why not leave with some honor?

Umm…because, since he’s a damned liberal willingly working for an illegitimate government, he has none?

I wrote in passing yesterday that if President Obama or the people of this country had any self-respect, he’d resign over the scandal of the Veterans Affairs hospitals, which needlessly sentenced an unknown number of American veterans to death through their combination of managerial incompetence, medical malpractice, and monstrously cruel indifference to their clients. Other heads of government have resigned for less. President Obama presented himself to the public as an authority in the field of health-care management and as an executive who not only would insist upon but also would in fact achieve the highest standards in transparent, honest, competent government. He has failed, comprehensively. An honest man acknowledges his failures.

Again: the very last descriptor anyone has any reason to be using for Barrack Hussein Obama is “honest.” He possesses not one single discernible shred of it. Even for a Leftist, the miserable worm stands out as the absolute apotheosis of amoral dishonesty.

We are all familiar with the flip side of that: Every time business picks up at a paper-plate factory in Sheboygan, the president attempts to seize credit for the three jobs therein created. If you had attended the 2012 Democratic convention, you’d have thought that Barack Obama personally pulled the trigger on Osama bin Laden and had donned green eyeshades to turn around the financial affairs of General Motors. Strangely, after having bragged about saving GM, the Obama administration wishes to accept no responsibility for the deadly, possibly criminal, andcertainly negligent actions of that firm during a period in which the U.S. government was its principal shareholder. Who knows how many people are dead or injured because GM refused to improve faulty switches? Who knows how many veterans are dead because of the VA?

If you want credit for the happy unexpected consequences of every snail hiccup across the fruited plains, then you have to take responsibility for the actions of your government — the things that are, after all, directly your responsibility.

Well, no; you should, certainly. But the Putz In Chief stands as proof irrefutable that you don’t have to. He doesn’t; he hasn’t; he won’t. Being a “liberal” means never having to say you’re sorry, and always having someone else to pin the blame on for the inevitable failures bound up in your wet-brained ideology. It also means mouthing the words “I take full responsibility” when it’s absolutely unavoidable, without ever having to take a single action that even vaguely hints at actually doing so.

President Obama clings to his sad little throne even more desperately than does General Shinseki. Faced with evidence of the incompetence of his administration, the president pronounced himself outraged, vowed that he would not tolerate it, would not stand for it — he in fact did everything except take responsibility for the actions of his government. The dishonesty and malpractice he vowed never to tolerate were, after all, the actions of his own administration, and the fact that they (may have) happened at some degree of separation from his own sacred person is hardly a defense. We made the head of the VA a cabinet-level position in order that the secretary might report directly to the president. The president, however, must be paying attention. President Obama was not.

It may not be fair, exactly, but one aspect of big-time leadership is that one must bear responsibility even for that which is not necessarily one’s fault. The responsibilities of the presidency did not descend upon an unsuspecting Barack Obama while he was going about his own inexplicable business in Chicago; he sought the office, twice, offering promises about what kind of a man he is, and what kind of leader — and he has failed to deliver.

We know full well what kind of man he is, what kind of leader, and he ain’t much of either.

Resignation is indeed the only honorable course of action remaining to Ogabe. But then again, if he were an honorable man–or anything other than a conniving, self-aggrandizing, egotistical, lazy, pig-ignorant, deceitful shitweasel–he never would have had the hubris and audacity to run for the office in the first place. He isn’t fit for it; in his entire life he’s had no experience whatsoever that would indicate he was. He’s dedicated his entire bootless existence to refuting and destroying everything the country is supposed to be all about. His contempt for the principles of our founding couldn’t be more obvious if he had them tattooed on his forehead in screaming neon colors.

His intent was never to be a good steward of the American legacy, but to destroy and remake it. He had to lie about all that to get votes, and was perfectly willing to do so. What on earth in any of that could possibly make anyone think he was ever going to do the honorable thing should he fail at properly executing an office he so evidently deems to be beneath him, a mere nuisance and distraction, but at the same time a (regrettably) necessary step in his quest for personal power?

Yes, he damned well ought to resign. But the simple fact that he currently infests the office at all, like a one-man plague of rats, is as sure an indicator as anyone should ever need that he won’t, and would never even imagine doing such a thing.

Oh, and in case you hadn’t seen it yet, my title up there is a reference to this.

Update! Dang it, forgot the link. Here t’is.

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Halp is (not) on the way

McCarthy, righteously apoplectic…and dead on the money.

You couldn’t help but feel for Robert Lovell. The retired brigadier general is haunted by the failure of AFRICOM, the U.S. military’s Africa Command, to respond when Americans were under siege in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. His congressional testimony this week was somber — no faux “What difference, at this point, does it make?” indignation, no “Dude, this was two years ago” juvenilia for him.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the State Department’s Sean Smith were killed in the early stage of the jihadist attack. By then, the actions that would surely have saved their lives — e.g., an adult recognition that Benghazi was no place for an American diplomatic facility, or at least the responsible provision of adequate security — had already been callously forsaken. It seems unlikely AFRICOM could have gotten there in time for them on that fateful night, though that does not come close to excusing the failure to try.

Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty are a different story. They fought valiantly for many hours after our military learned, very early on, that the battle was raging. Unlike AFRICOM, the SEALs did not stand pat. They ran to the sound of the guns. After saving over 30 of their countrymen, they paid with their lives. The armed forces, General Lovell recalled, knew that terrorists were attacking them. Yet no one came to their aid.

Lovell bears the burden of their abandonment with a heavy heart. His moving testimony made that clear. Still, his version of events is deeply unsatisfying. Why did AFRICOM fail to respond? “Basically,” he stammered, “there was a lot of looking to the State Department.” Unfortunately, we’re told Secretary Hillary Clinton and her minions were unclear “in terms of what they would like to have.” Come again? “They didn’t come forward with stronger requests for action.”

This Foggy Bottom focus had me groping for my pocket Constitution. Sure enough, Article II was as I remembered it. Much as Hillary Clinton may desire to be the commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces, that job does not belong to the secretary of state.

Read the rest of it, which his certainly good, if ultimately futile. Thus:

Benghazi is not about what Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta or Susan Rice or Ben Rhodes or Jay Carney or Robert Lovell did or didn’t do. The only question is: What was President Barack Obama doing, and not doing, during the critical hours when his sworn duty required decisive action? Mr. Obama owes Americans a detailed answer. Now.

Yeah, well, we’re never going to get it. It would take something along the lines of red-hot branding irons applied to the bottoms of the miserable punk’s feet, and even then he’d probably just lie about it.

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The Republic of Texas squares off

Against the insatiably rapacious Imperial Federal government.

After Breitbart Texas reported on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) intent to seize 90,000 acres belonging to Texas landholders along the Texas/Oklahoma line, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott questioned the BLM’s authority to take such action.

“I am about ready,” General Abbott told Breitbart Texas, “to go to the Red River and raise a ‘Come and Take It’ flag to tell the feds to stay out of Texas.”

Gen. Abbott sent a strongly-worded letter to BLM Director Neil Kornze, asking for answers to a series of questions related to the potential land grab.

“I am deeply concerned about the notion that the Bureau of Land Management believes the federal government has the authority to swoop in and take land that has been owned and cultivated by Texas landowners for generations,” General Abbott wrote. “The BLM’s newly asserted claims to land along the Red River threaten to upset long-settled private property rights and undermine fundamental principles—including the rule of law—that form the foundation of our democracy. Yet, the BLM has failed to disclose either its full intentions or the legal justification for its proposed actions. Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box.”

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas, General Abbott said, “This is the latest line of attack by the Obama Administration where it seems like they have a complete disregard for the rule of law in this country …And now they’ve crossed the line quite literally by coming into the State of Texas and trying to claim Texas land as federal land. And, as the Attorney General of Texas I am not going to allow this.”

The good AG thinks legal action will suffice to stop the greedy, lawless thugs of the USSSA. I’m not so sanguine about that myself. But best of luck to him anyway.

(Via Insty)

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Figure it out already, ferchrissakes

If you truly are, to wit, “speechless, shocked. Stunned. Horrified. Befuddled. Aghast, appalled, thunderstruck, perplexed, baffled, bewildered and dumbfounded” at learning that the Obama administration is chock-a-block top to bottom with brazen liars who have no problem at all with falsifying anything and everything to promote their agenda and consolidate and expand their power, up to and including the Liar In Thief himself–well, sorry to have to say it, but that says a lot more about you than it does about them.

There’s just no possible excuse at this point for not being well aware of exactly who and what they are. I would hardly call McCardle a dope, and I’ve always liked her. But this is just ridiculous. And, frankly, embarrassing.

Update! Related? Yeppers, in that it’s just a restatement of something those of us non-ostriches already knew all too well.

The US government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has concluded.

After sifting through nearly 1,800 US policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile) and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the United States is dominated by its economic elite.

The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

Researchers concluded that US government policies rarely align with the the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying oragnisations: “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.”

Yeah, well, that’s just how fascism works. The pitiful fact that some of us still prefer to erroneously refer to it as “crony capitalism” doesn’t change the reality of what it actually is.

You all be sure to vote in the show-elections this and every year, now. Otherwise, sanctimonious idiots will wag their fingers in your face and tell you you have no right to complain as your economic lifeblood continues to be sucked away by Republicrat politicians and the rigged machine they’ve established purely for their own benefit.

Hopeless update! Back to McCardle for a moment here: “I mean, I can certainly think of explanations, but I can’t quite bring myself to believe the worst of them.” Well, there you go, then. No matter how obvious and incontrovertible a plain fact is, if you “can’t quite bring” yourself to believe it, well, that’s all on you, I’m afraid. There are words and phrases useful for describing such an attitude, “willful blindness” being one of the more polite of them.

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