Stupid Leftists — whether they are being stupid on micro or macro levels — are the gifts that never stop giving for my illustrated edition posts.
I’m still vibrating from the excitement of an evening hearing Mark Steyn, Victor Davis Hanson, and Steve Hayward, something I try to share in this post.
Thanks to a kind friend, last night I once again had the inestimable pleasure of attending PRI’s annual gala. This year, Mark Steyn was the keynote speaker, Victor Davis Hanson received the Sir Antony Fisher Freedom Award, and Steven Hayward was the master of ceremonies. Honestly, for someone who is a political junkie and a total fan girl when it comes to good writing and effortless erudition, it doesn’t get better than that.
I hadn’t planned on taking notes because I always flatter myself that I’ll remember what was said. By the time that Hayward had made several hysterical jokes about San Francisco politics and Hanson had made a brief, but powerful, acceptance speech when he received the Sir Antony Fisher Freedom Award, I realized that, if I wanted to share anything with you, I’d better start writing things down. This belated realization is why I can only dredge up a few of the funny, pertinent things Hayward and Hanson said, but can give you fairly complete rundown of Steyn’s speech.
Naturally, because I’d convinced myself my memory was enough, I hadn’t brought any paper to the gala. I therefore ended up scribbling my notes on the little folded name cards PRI put by each place setting at the table.
Even notes, though, are inadequate to conveying the evening’s intellectual content. I can only liken what the three men said to a continuous cascade of verbal diamonds, with me trying to reach in and grab the most pertinent or funny. Given the number and velocity of those falling diamonds, I know that I missed more diamonds than I captured. I hope, though, that the following gives you some idea about being in the same room as three of the best political writers and thinkers working today.
Steven Hayward opened the evening by talking about the political insanity that characterizes San Francisco. Those were some fast falling diamonds, and I wasn’t yet taking notes, so I only caught two to share with you. The first was that “San Francisco is well on its way to making itself a work free drug place.” If you’re like me, and just about everyone else in the audience, it took you a beat before you realized that, not only was Hayward describing accurately San Francisco’s political trajectory, he was having fun with the mantra that employees are in a “drug free work place.”
The second Hayward joke that I caught was his statement that, when he’s in San Francisco, he feels like “bringing a Smith & Wesson to a Smith & Hawken’s city.” What I found especially funny about that joke is that the foo-foo, high falutin’ Smith & Hawkens, which once sent out catalogs that were the gardening equivalent of a J. Peterman Company catalog, now markets itself through Target. I’ll get back to you when I figure out whether that’s a “how the mighty have fallen” thing or a “wow, talk about profitable broad-based marketing” thing.
Victor Davis Hanson was up next, but he spoke with such brevity that by the time I got my brain in gear to grab those verbal diamonds, he’d already finished speaking. VDH mostly wanted to remind us about the importance of Sir Anthony Fisher’s institutions, which are all over the world acting as advocacy centers for free markets and free thinking. He did say, however, that California is becoming a dangerously bifurcated state economically and politically, a point that cropped up again throughout the evening. [Read more…]
To save the Constitution, you must ignore the barrage of Democrat slanders and the seemingly weak Republican responses, and vote Republican in November.
Over the weekend, I saw two arguments trending on Twitter. The first, from the Left, is the argument that the attacks against Kavanaugh must be real, rather than knee jerk opposition to any Trump nominee, because no one made such allegations against Gorsuch. The second, from conservatives unhappy with the way in which Senate Republicans are handling the accusations against Kavanaugh, sees them stating that they will not vote for Republicans in November.
These two lines of thinking are related. The first is dishonest and the second dangerous. Let me pick them apart.
For those inclined to give any credence to the claim that the Leftist failure to attack Gorsuch as a sex predator means that the charges against Kavanaugh must be legitimate, don’t! It’s not a credible argument but is, instead, a red herring for two reasons:
First, Gorsuch replaced Scalia, which was a straight one-for-one exchange. That is, one conservative justice who believes that the Constitution is the central document in American law and policy replaced another conservative justice who held the same belief. Kennedy’s seat, though, is something quite different. He was the swing vote, routinely going back and forth between the four conservative justices and the four Leftist justices. Replacing him with Kavanaugh, however, will give conservatives a solid, unswinging 5-4 majority.
Second, Gorsuch’s nomination did not occur in an election year. Kavanaugh’s nomination, however, comes, not just during an election year, but on the eve of a mid-term that Democrats believe will give them a majority in the House and, maybe, in the Senate. As Sen. Mazie Hirono (D – HI) let slip, once the Democrats have that majority, they can stop all Trump legislative initiatives, including getting any effort to place constitutionally-oriented justices on the Supreme Court. If Democrats can run out the clock and get a Blue Wave in November, the Court will be hamstrung at 4-4 for the next two years.
With Trump completely ineffective for two years, ending his popular initiatives, and with the media attacking him non-stop, he’ll likely lose in 2020. This differs greatly from the 2012 election for Obama. In a way, the Republican wave saved him from doing anything else that Americans would hate before the 2012 election, and the media continued as his relentless cheerleader.
Keep in mind that preventing a solid majority of strict constructionists on the Supreme Court is unbelievably important to Democrats. Indeed, it is their most important effort because it is the only way that they can ensure the continuation of the one thing their base cares about most: Abortion. Democrats are terribly worried that a conservative majority will find a way to cut through the shadows of emanations of penumbras that characterize the Roe v. Wade approach to the Constitution and, instead, return the abortion question to the states, where it rightfully belongs. Just as they could not win on gay marriage at the ballot box and had to get it in the hands of nine un-elected lawyers, so too are they worried about abortion returning to the voice of the people. [Read more…]
Two bestseller lists — one local and one national — hint that there may be, if not a red wave, at least a reddish wave nationwide in November.
My local paper ran an article with bestsellers for Northern California and for the nation as a whole. As the article explains, the former list comes from “the American Booksellers Association from independent bookstore sales” while the latter list is from Publisher’s Weekly.
I don’t follow fiction much, so have nothing to offer about the two fiction bestseller lists. However, I found the non-fiction lists fascination. Here’s my breakdown, with political orientation referring either to the book’s strict political content or to the author’s manifest orientation, whether the book is an autobiography or a self-improvement manual: [Read more…]
I have three reasons for thinking that conservatives will turn out at the polls and support Trump’s agenda this Fall, despite that alleged “Blue Wave.”
The doom and gloomers, including the relentless NeverTrumpers, are saying that there’s a good chance that the Democrats will retake the House, because who doesn’t want to see Nancy Pelosi with the Speaker’s gavel in hand once again. We also have to deal with the reality that, while growing numbers of Americans recognize that the media is deranged, hysterical, and dishonest, news coverage that tilts 90% against Trump (trumpeting conspiracy theories while burying actual, pro-Trump news), will have a subliminal effect on voters.
Because I’m often a doom and gloomer, you’d think that I’d be wringing my hands now and crying out “Woe is me; woe is America.” For once, though, I’m a bit optimistic. I suspect that with Trump, even more than with Dubya, we’re in a world in which the “shy Tory factor” is very pronounced. Here are three reasons why I think that:
Reason #1: I was listening to a Dan Bongino podcast (which I highly recommend), and he told a story about his certainty that Trump would win in November 2016. According to Bongino, he figured out what was going on when he was running for a House seat in Florida (which he lost, something that was bad for Florida, but probably good for everyone else because, as I said, I highly recommend his podcast).
As Bongino explains it, when you’re canvasing, your campaign manager will give you a list of likely voters so that you can target them with door-to-door visits. It would be nice, of course, if the candidate could knock on every door, but knocking on the doors of people who are disinterested or die-hard members of the opposing party is just a waste of time.
So, how does a campaign manager figure out who a “likely voter” is? It’s a person who voted in past elections. Past votes, after all, are reasonable predictors for future votes.
What Bongino noticed, though, was that as he went from the house of one “likely Republican voter” to another, he was bypassing myriad houses that had “Trump for President” signs in front of them. Finally, curiosity got the best of him, and he knocked on a few doors, introduced himself, and asked about those Trump signs.
Bongino discovered that these signs festooned the homes of people who were not likely voters because they’d never voted before. For that reason, they weren’t showing up in the polls and they weren’t showing up in campaign algorithms. Nevertheless, they were so excited by Trump’s candidacy that they finally decided it was time to vote.
I suspect that Bongino’s 2016 experience continues to hold in 2018: There are lots of invisible Trump supporters, which leads me to Reasons #2 and #3 for my out-of-character optimism. [Read more…]
If illegal aliens can vote for San Francisco school board members, why can’t non-resident business owners in San Francisco vote for pro-business policies?
Here’s a tip if you want to look smart or, perhaps, even be smart: Hang around with smart people. I’m fortunate in that I have found smart people who include me in their midst, as happened last night when I went to dinner with friends.
Because one of the couples at the dinner table lives in San Francisco, the conversation turned to San Francisco politics (among many other fascinating topics about politics and culture). We covered the City’s general decline into a Third World fecal nightmare; the perpetual immaturity of a cohort of people who eschew children (San Francisco is a very childless city); the decline of the rule of law, especially when it comes to San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies; the rent-seeking that is the norm for San Francisco politics; and the general intolerance that characterizes the City. We also talked about two specific things:
1. San Francisco’s decision to grant voting rights to illegal aliens and other non-residents for the specific purpose of electing the school board:
Non-citizen parents and guardians of children in San Francisco Unified School District are now able to register to vote for Board of Education members, the city’s Department of Elections announced.
The department began issuing voter registration forms today for the Nov. 6 election.
San Francisco voters in 2016 first passed Proposition N, which allowed non-citizen voting, winning with 54 percent of the vote. In May of this year, the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance amending the Municipal Elections Code to begin implementing Prop N by requiring the elections department to develop the required forms and documents.
2. San Francisco’s hostility business, an important point to my friend — I’ll call her Sara — who, though not a San Francisco resident, has a business in San Francisco. [Read more…]
With the California Democrat Party having disavowed Dianne Feinstein, it’s time to shake things up with a Travis Allen write-in campaign for U.S. Senate.
News broke today that Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who has represented California in the United States Senate for 26 years, is no longer the darling of the California Democrat party. The problem is that DiFi, although she’s been trying to keep up with her party’s shift to the Left, still has some vestigial common sense. There’s no place for that in today’s “democratic socialist” Democrat party. It therefore shouldn’t have come as a surprise to DiFi that the party ditched her:
The California Democratic Party issued a stunning rebuke of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Saturday by decisively handing its official endorsement to state Sen. Kevin de Leon, her longshot Democratic challenger.
In backing de Leon, a majority of the party’s 360-member executive board ignored Feinstein’s calls to stay neutral in the race. Her allies had warned an endorsement would only further divide Democrats.
The final vote margin was lopsided: A total of 217 delegates voted for de Leon, of Los Angeles, or nearly 65 percent of the delegates. Meanwhile, only 22, or 7 percent, cast ballots for Feinstein and 94, or nearly 30 percent, voted for no endorsement.
Sadly, because of California’s rejiggered “open primaries,” this slight to DiFi won’t affect her place on the ballot. That is, despite the fact that her party rejected her, she’ll still be on the ballot facing off against de Leon, rather than having de Leon facing off against a Republican candidate.
Why? Because there is no Republican senatorial candidate on the ballot. I explained this disgraceful, anti-democratic situation years ago, when California turned the November race into nothing more than a run-off election: [Read more…]
The economic news out on Friday provides a ready-made slogan for Republicans going into the 2018 midterm campaign this Fall.
Trump, keeping yet another one of his campaign promises, has given us an “unexpected” booming economy (except that those of us who believe in low regulation, low taxes, and high optimism were not surprised at all). His combination of economic optimism, deregulation (which is happening despite the Left’s attempt to block it through the courts), and lower taxes have had their inevitable effect:
The economy added 313,000 jobs in February, crushing expectations, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, according to a Labor Department report Friday that could help quell inflation fears.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting nonfarm payroll growth of 200,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth of a point to 4 percent.
An increase in the labor force participation rate to its highest level since September helped keep the headline unemployment number steady, as the number of those counted as not in the workforce tumbled by 653,000 to just over 95 million.
The total counted as “employed” in the household survey surged by 785,000 to a record 155.2 million.
A separate measure that takes into account those out of the workforce and the underemployed — sometimes referred to as the “real” unemployment rate — held steady at 8.2 percent.
Stocks surged following the report, with the Dow industrials up 375 points Friday afternoon after being slightly negative before the news.
You realize, of course, that the 2018 midterm campaign slogans now write themselves: [Read more…]
From Trump’s epic response to Jay-Z, to Dennis Prager’s surprise admission, to Daniel Greenfield’s Leftist exposé, and more — there’s lots of brilliance here.
Trump’s genius approach to Jay-Z’s “superbug” attack. I am getting wise to the ways of Trump. That’s why I know that the war into which he’s entered with Jay-Z is one of his more brilliant moments. I’m sure, without looking, that some “higher minded” #NeverTrumpers are horrified that, after Jay-Z insulted him, Trump decided to go on the attack. I, on the other hand, am delighted. Let me go back to the beginning to explain why.
First, you might want to know who Jay-Z is. He’s a rapper, he’s black, he’s married to super star Beyoncé, and he’s sold more than 100 million records. He’s big. Really, really big. His demographic, as a rapper, is young people, especially black young people. Jay-Z’s real name is Shawn Corey Carter, so his twitter handle is Mr. Carter (@S_C). He has 3.34 million followers, at least some of whom are not bots.
Jay-Z was a guest on Van Jones’s new CNN show. Van Jones is a self-admitted black communist who got a gig in the Obama administration. When that ended, he found his natural home at CNN. When Van Jones contended that Trump called “every African country” a “shithole” (something Trump and others at the meeting strongly contest), and then asked his guest Jay-Z to comment, Jay-Z had this to say:
You don’t take the trash out, you keep spraying whatever over it to make it acceptable. As those things grow, you create a superbug. And then now we have Donald Trump, the superbug.
George W. Bush would have ignored that insult in dignified silence. Trump is smarter than George W. Bush. He sent out this tweet:
Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2018
The only thing that would have made that tweet better is if Trump had included Jay-Z’s twitter name it to ensure that the tweet hit Jay-Z’s feed. But maybe that would have been too obvious.
As it is, though, one can make a reasonable guess that some part of Jay-Z’s 3.3 million Twitter followers are being exposed for the first time to data that the MSM hoped would never enter their worlds. Moreover, the media, because it’s as incapable of resisting Trump’s tasty treats as a mouse is incapable of resisting cheese in a snap trap, is now headlining black unemployment:
Dig down into that article, and you will discover that, despite the headline, CNN is scared to touch Trump’s data point . . . because it cannot. There’s no mention in the article of actual employment rates.
The reality, however, is that anyone with a smidgen of curiosity, especially those aching to prove Trump wrong, will search up “black unemployment,” and come with data like this:
Unemployment among black workers is at its lowest since at least the early 1970s, when the government began tracking the data.
The black unemployment rate of 6.8 percent in December was the lowest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking it in 1972, a year in which the rate ranged from 11.2 percent to 9.4 percent. In the 45 years the data has been tracked, the unemployment rate for black or African-American workers aged 16 years and older has never fallen below 7 percent.
Trump is rapidly proving himself to be the smartest president in my lifetime, perhaps in the last 100 years, perhaps ever. Thanks to Van Jones (communist) and Jay-Z (shallow thinker), with one tweet Trump brought to an otherwise misinformed public accurate data about something that’s very important. Bravo, Mr. President! Bravo! [Read more…]
Neither Lauer nor Moore are in court so neither has a right to legal due process. Both, tho’, are subject to either business or political due process.
Is there anyone out there reading this post who does not know that Matt Lauer was abruptly fired this morning for sexual improprieties while on the job? Here’s the official tweet, which is remarkably straight and to the point. NBC’s public relations department worked overtime on this one:
Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News. On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. pic.twitter.com/1A3UAZpvPb
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017
The basis for Lauer’s firing was the fact that NBC “received a detailed complaint from a colleague. . . .” That must have been some complaint — and now that we’re hearing the whole “everybody knew” chorus about Lauer, it sounds as if the complaint wasn’t an isolated event; it was part of a continuing course of behavior that Lauer conducted with and before innumerable people.
The lawyer in me couldn’t help but imagine the decision-making process NBC had to go through. Only the naive would think the decision was made along the same lines as the decision-making process forced upon America’s colleges and universities thanks to Obama’s infamous edict, the one that insisted that all men were guilty as accused. That is, the NBC execs didn’t think “We’ve got this complaint before us and we have to assume it’s true, so let’s fire Lauer. We have no other option.”
Instead, NBC had to pay attention to two considerations. One is lawsuits. NBC had to balance the possibility that Lauer would turn around and sue them for wrongful discharge versus the possibility that the women harassed would (will?) sue them for an unsafe work environment. The second consideration was what NBC thought its audience would be willing to tolerate: Would the audience prefer that Lauer get discharged immediately or that he stay in place with NBC backing him during an investigation.
This two step analysis is “due process” business style. For simplicity’s sake, let’s call it “business due process.” This is the kind of thing the boss gets to do. [Read more…]
Charles Krauthammer wrote a magnificent indictment of Hillary Clinton, only to finish up by saying, “I hate Trump too, so I’m sitting this one out.” What Dr. Krauthammer seems to have missed is that, in a world of binary choices, there is no sitting things out. If you don’t put your weight behind Choice A you’ve inevitably given more weight to those who support Choice B.
Speaking of choices, Wolf Howling has a few choice words on the subject of those “principled” #NeverTrumpers:
I am starting to become truly angry with those on the right who are staking out a purist position in the upcoming election, vowing not to vote, or to vote for someone with no chance of winning so that they can never be accused of voting for Trump. Krauthammer (see link, above) and Goldberg (G-file) are the latest today, I believe. In essence, they are ceding the field to Hillary, irrespective of the permanent, probably mortal, damage that would do to this nation.
One of the things that is becoming clearer to me is that these people are, in their own way, cowards. They want to sleep with a clear conscience rather than to deal with the world as it is. Up to this point in time, I thought that this was a characterization that defined only the progressive Left, a group that lives to claim the moral high ground, irrespective of consequence, leaving it up to the rest of us to deal with the world they leave in their wake. We’ve seen the results of that, from the destruction of African American families to a national security posture that is worse than anything we experienced since the 1930’s.
I hope these people don’t expect me to pay them any sort of respect, nor to count their opinions as of being of any value, when all of this is said and done. When they leave it to us to shoulder the burden of dealing with reality while they sleep in good conscience, they are as bad, as worthless, and as cowardly as the progressives. I hope that they are treated as such, regardless of how this plays out.
I’ll add that what makes the most prominent #NeverTrumpers’ position especially disreputable is that they live in such Blue states that their votes do not matter (e.g., New York). If you’re engaging in a purely symbolic act that has no real world consequences, you can do whatever the heck you want and justify your actions as existing on some higher moral plane.
The problem is that the #NeverTrumpers, rather than justifying their geographic ability to stand on the sidelines without getting their hands dirty, are vigorously and aggressively attempting to sway people who live in swing states, where the votes do matter. As to those voters, the outcome within their states matters greatly and is entirely binary: It’s Hillary or Donald. Or to put it another way, corrupt, incompetent, and anti-American versus vulgar, competent, and respectful of America’s virtues, strengths and traditions. Swing state voters who take these uber-moral #NeverTrumpers seriously are the ones who will propel Hillary to the White House.
At PowerLine, Paul Mirengoff analyzes a Politico article that attempts to assess the political fallout from Obamacare. The Politico writers, says Mirengoff, acknowledge that those in the individual insurance market aren’t feeling the love for the Democrats now, but imply that the majority of these people would have voted Republican in any event. Mirengoff notes, though, this impression is belied by facts in the Politico article:
But later in the article we learn that, according to a survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nearly half of those who brought their own insurance are between the ages of 18 and 44. We also learn, thanks to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, that there is no statistically significant difference between the political party affiliation of those who buy their own health care.
To be sure, when pressed, more people in this group say they lean Republican than Democrat. But the Kaiser poll clearly supports my statement that the party allegiance of Obamacare losers (at least this set of them) is split. Moreover, as one analyst quoted by Politico says, anger over cancellation letters is likely to cross party lines.
In other words, actual numbers suggest that the first wave of Obamacare victims may turn some Democrats into Republican voters, at least temporarily.
Obama and the Democrats, however, are counting on the fact that, for every voter who turns against the Dems because he lost his insurance, his rates went up, and his coverage quality went down, the Dems will still gain voters who got insurance despite preexisting conditions or who benefited from the subsidies that voters with sticker shock are funding. Just as Republicans fear the moment when 51% or more of Americans get government hand-outs, the Democrats look forward to the moment when 51% or more of Americans look to the government for goodies.
What I think both the Democrats and the Republicans are forgetting is that a large segment of that 51% doesn’t vote. How do I know this? Because I have a family member who is part of that 51%. I love this family member, who is an honest, decent person with a great deal of integrity. Nevertheless, her choice of friends leaves something to be desired. (And no, I don’t know what bizarre combination of nature, nurture, and peer pressure resulted in me being a very wholesome professional living an upper-middle-class life in a chi-chi suburb surrounded by children and dogs, while she ended up being a college drop-out living in a trailer park.)
This gal’s friends all get some form of welfare: foods stamps, welfare checks, free clinic health care, etc. Many of them dropped out the employment market years ago. To the extent that they are almost entirely dependent on government largesse, it is in their best interest to vote Democrat. Obamacare definitely increases their fealty to the Democrat party.
The problem that the Democrats have with this cohort, however, is that, while it’s in these people’s best interests to vote Democrat, the same pathologies that leave them dependent on government also mean that most of them can’t or won’t vote. Some are convicted felons (with their criminal records invariably tied to substance abuse), so they can’t vote. All of them are eternally disorganized. A combination of substance abuse, mental health disorders, and old-fashioned stupidity means that these people cannot get their acts together sufficiently to voter their own interests. Most aren’t even registered, and wouldn’t know what to do if they were.
While these people are the Democrats’ natural constituency, they aren’t Democrat voters. Sure, if you do a man on the street interview with one of these people, he’ll talk the party line and sound like he’ll be the first ones at the polls on election day. If you were to go to his house on election day, though, you’d discover him slumped on the couch, beer in one hand and doobie in the other, unaware that he missed his opportunity to keep those welfare checks coming.
Ironically, for a long time, those who have repeatedly voted Democrat for the benefit of this welfare class probably aren’t themselves recipients of welfare. Instead, they’re the true believers, from the working class on up, who look at these pathetic, disorganized, drunk, and drugged masses and think that a vote for the Democrats, by keeping the welfare spigot open, will help these people. Put another way, when we see Democrats win, it’s not because the welfare crowd cast the votes, it’s because the bleeding-heart crowd did it on their behalf.
I realize, of course, that this is a simplification that doesn’t take into account functional poor people who believe that they can survive only with government handouts and who make damn sure to vote for the party in charge of the handouts. These are the voters Republicans need to reach, so that we can explain to them that the Democrats are rather quickly killing off the working- and middle-class geese who have been laying the golden eggs that have then been redistributed to the welfare class. Destroy your tax base and there’s no more welfare. These same people need to be convinced that welfare does not need to be a way of life. And more specifically, blacks need to understand that, just because slavery was work, not all work is slavery.
Obamacare is going to have a very profound effect on Democrat voters, I suspect, but not in the way Democrats hope and Republicans fear. The Democrats screwed by Obamacare and insulted by Obama’s lies will have their “come to Jesus moments” and may well shift political allegiance, even if only temporarily. On the flip side, those who voted (and I mean actually cast a vote) for the Democrats and who are not screwed, will continue to vote Democrat. But the poorest people, the ones who now have heavily subsidized, gold-plated health insurance, will not suddenly rush to the polls. Health insurance or not, their pathologies will continue to render them incapable of the mental organization required for sending in an absentee ballot or getting out of the house and to the polling station on election day.
I’m still reading scattered posts castigating Mitt Romney for being a bad candidate or running a bad campaign. I understand the need to analyze failures to identify remediable errors, but we’re making a huge mistake focusing on the end of the campaign, rather than the beginning. One could say the beginning of the campaign is the Republican primary that resulted in a nice, bland, classic Republican technocrat. It’s the voters’ fault Romney went head-to-head with Obama. But that conclusion still doesn’t reach far enough into the past to explain Romney’s failure.
Romney failed because the American public has been trained to vote against Republicans. This isn’t as random or obvious a thought as it seems (although I’ll concede that it is pretty obvious). It has special meaning for me, because I’m getting together with some conservative gals who have ties to recent Republican candidates. One of them is married to a man who, some time ago, tried to displace Lynn Woolsey in the House of Representatives. Woolsey will be retiring this January, but she’s probably quite satisfied that she can look back at decades of far-Left Progressive politicking in Washington. Two of the others with whom I’m lunching are gals I last saw at a lunch for Elizabeth Emken, who lost to Dianne Feinstein.
Both Republican candidates were fabulous by any normal standard: intelligent, attractive, principled, and honorable. In the 1940s, they would have been central casting picks for the good guy’s perfect political candidate. Both of them ran against incumbents who didn’t even bother to campaign. I’m not guilty of hyperbole when I saw that. Neither Woolsey nor Feinstein did anything beyond putting up a few signs. Both women knew that the Republican candidates weren’t worth fighting.
Woolsey’s and Feinstein’s certainty — which proved to be correct — clearly wasn’t because the Republicans were lousy candidates. Woolsey and Feinstein could afford to do nothing because they knew that there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in Hell that California and Marin voters would vote for a Republican. The Democrat political takeover is so complete that even God himself, if he ran as a Republican, would lose.
The late, great Andrew Breitbart understood that the problem isn’t politics, it’s culture. Politics is just the final step in a culture’s trajectory. Roger Simon exhorts conservatives to focus on the culture and force a change as quickly as possible:
As the late — and increasingly lamented — Andrew Breitbart pointed out repeatedly, “Politics is downstream from culture.”
Just how downstream we saw in this year’s election. Virtually every accusation made by the left toward Republicans and conservatives (sexism, racism, greed, etc.) was prepared and nurtured in the realm of culture. That was the earth in which the lies grew and prospered. And those lies, more than any facts or policies, were responsible for a liberal victory in a year — with unemployment at 8 percent and a deficit at 16 trillion — that should have been a Republican rout.
Put simply, give up on the culture and you lose forever. (It’s hard enough with the media and the educational system rigged the way they are.)
So my point is quite simple. Quit bitching and start doing.
Roger’s right. Run for the local school board or town council (neither of which require you to state party affiliation). Get onto the community college board. Stop going to popular movies that have anti-American themes. You can live without seeing the latest action flick, but the movie producers cannot live without your money.
On Facebook and at parties, politely argue with vapid Progressive conclusions. I did so the other day on Facebook, and got an arch liberal to agree that the UN is a despotic organization that should be done away with. I don’t think he’d ever thought about that before. And I did it all by politely questioning conclusions that the Progressives in the debate couldn’t support and by advancing facts that they couldn’t deny.
We keep thinking that, because our ideas are sound, they don’t need explanation or promotion. In the meanwhile, the Progressive Left has long understood that, because it’s ideas do not work well in the real world, but only in the Petri dish of the Leftist mind, they can become ascendant only through relentless promotion. What we never realized was that most people don’t think, they just “know” — or think they “know.” But really, they’re just like a shopper buying one brand of peanut butter over the other because the brand she selects has a better jingle that has formed part of a permanent soundtrack in her mind.
We need to start jingling folks — every one of us, in every way we can. We can’t all be Andrew Breitbart, but we can be soldiers in his cultural army.
America’s not the only one with crazed Leftists. I managed to miss the fact that Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just accused Sheldon Adelson of using Benjamin Netanyahu as his puppet in this election. Adelson utterly destroys that canard and, to my delight, he does so in three short paragraphs that are a triumph of classic logic over arrant nonsense. Go there and enjoy!
If you’re old enough to remember the Soviet Union, you’re also old enough to remember that, when the American news reported that voter turnout was 50 or 60% for a given election, the Soviets would boast that they had 100% turnout for all elections. Even I, a child, realized that there was a connection between that high voter turnout and the fact that the Communist party candidates routinely received . . . wait for it . . . 100% of the votes cast by 100% of the population.
In those countries that haven’t yet become Leftist dictatorships, mandatory voting is still Leftist party-line voting, because coercion is the only way to drag to the polls people who are so inert they can function only if the government provides continuing, low-level maintenance for them. Is it any surprise, therefore, that a Leftist wants to use the power of the state to force American voters to the polls?
Peter Orszag, former head of the Obama Office of Management and Budget, is desperate. With even Roll Call recognizing that President Obama is fighting an uphill battle for re-election, Orszag is floating a trial balloon: mandatory voting. His call for forced voting comes in an op/ed for Bloomberg News:
The U.S. prides itself as the beacon of democracy, but it’s very likely no U.S. president has ever been elected by a majority of American adults.
It’s our own fault — because voter participation rates are running below 60 percent, a candidate would have to win 85 percent or more of the vote to be elected by a majority.
Compulsory voting, as exists in Australia and more than two dozen other countries, would fix that problem. As William Galston of the Brookings Institution argues, “Jury duty is mandatory; why not voting?”
Don’t you just love the thought of police knocking on doors and hauling people off to the voting booth? The whole thing also makes me wonder what the penalty would be for not voting. How many years before we start vanishing during the night and showing up in various Gulags (Detroit, maybe?)?