Don’t forget that the Watchers’ Council has transmuted into Wow! Magazine, an online magazine with articles you won’t want to miss. Here’s the latest.
The Left cuddles up to antisemitic Muslims like Linda Sarsour, but absolves itself of sin by accusing Republicans of practicing sharia law.
When you and I think of sharia law, we probably think of women lacking any legal rights, including the right to leave their homes without a male escort or the right to wear clothes that reveal more than their eyes. We might think of the fact that, if a woman is accused of adultery, she’ll be executed. Or perhaps we think of blood-thirsty, sharia-advocating Linda Sarsour, the new darling of the feminist anti-Trump movement, threatening women with whom she disagrees, with “a$$” whippings and having their vaginas removed.
Our thoughts might wander to men and boys being hanged from cranes or thrown off of buildings, only to be finished off with rocks thrown by a watching crowd, for the crime of being gay. Or we might think about people getting lashed and imprisoned for speaking freely. Perhaps we remember that the complete prohibition upon lending money for a reasonable profit means that Muslim economies, unless they’re powered by oil, cannot grow.
Some of us might have unpleasant mental images of thieves having their right hands cut off. This last is an even more heinous punishment than first appears because it means that these thieves must eat and wipe their butts with the same hand, making them social outcasts. In that regard, do keep in mind that, for the devout, sharia law mandates that the butt wiper use a hand unmediated by leaves, paper, or — Heaven forfend! — toilet paper.
We might also think of the mandates to kill Jews and enslave all non-Muslims — or, if they cannot be enslaved, to make them second class citizens subject to a high tax for the privilege of living amongst Muslims. We might think of genocidal attacks against Christians taking place all over the Muslim world today.
Regarding slaves, those same sharia mandates make it clear that female slaves are to be used for sex. Heck, any female who is not a devout Muslim (which, in the modern era, means one completely covered), can be used for sex against her will.
Other things we might think of are the mandate to expand Islam throughout the world, not through example and peaceful proselytizing, but through fire and sword. We’d certainly remember that forcibly converted people can’t back out. After all, sharia law mandates that anyone who leaves Islam has automatically subjected himself (or herself) to the death penalty. And of course, there’s the fact the government dictates every aspect of people’s lives and faith.
Well, those are some of the things I think of when I think of sharia law. This is what Progressives think of:
There is a new petition on Change.org asking Obama to become House Speaker in 2018. Not only is it almost charming in its lack of awareness, it is also a reminder that the Left never gives in or gives up. When the personal and the political are the same, when even brushing your teeth is a political act, you’re going to be committed to political activity 24/7.
The petition opens by reminding potential signers that they’re now living with the horror of total Republican control. Worse, Leftist activity, including “protests and lawsuits are not going to be enough to stop Trump, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Sam Alito, and company from rolling back decades of progress virtually overnight, particularly if rank-and-file Republicans feel no pressure to dissent from Trump’s party line.” That reference to “decades of progress” is a funny one, because as best as I can tell, Trump is determined to roll back only 8 years of “progress,” which doesn’t even equal a single decade.
What you’re seeing here is something I’ve written about frequently, which is the Lefts’ belief that the 1950s are always lurking just around the corner with Jim Crow (a purely Democrat initiative), back alley abortions, gays deeply closeted and, perhaps worst of all, men and women playing their assigned gender roles. The fact that Trump was considered a benefactor to the black community before he ran as a Republican or that his initiatives towards gays and sex roles seem to be limited to blocking the federal government from telling schools to ignore biological gender or forcing nuns to buy birth control seems to have eluded J. Q. Adams, the petition’s author.
Panicked at the thought of all these inchoate horrors, Adams asks, “What can be done?”
Well, Adams has a “long-shot” idea. We know it’s a long-shot not only because he says so, but because, after accusing the GOP of gerrymandering Democrats out of federal existence, he admits that it may not have a lot of momentum after what he calls, with magnificent understatement, “the Democrats’ recent difficulties in midterm elections.” Those “recent difficulties” see Republicans with the greatest hold over America at both the state and federal level in more than ninety years.
Adams is a man of faith, however. He believes that, Democrats can block Trump’s momentum, if they can just pick up “24 seats to win the House and 3 to win the Senate.” To do this, after failing in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016, all that Democrats need to do is create “a powerful national message” letting Republicans know that they’re on the hook for everything from “Trump’s bigotry and misogyny, to his trampling of cherished freedoms and democratic norms, to his dangerous foreign policy, and to his plans to privatize Medicare, cut taxes for the rich, take away 20 million Americans’ health insurance, abolish workers’ right to organize and women’s right to choose, and allow climate change to continue unabated.”
With that kind of agenda, Adams concludes that there’s only one man for the job: Barack Obama!
Wow! Wow! No, really — wow!
Can’t blog now, but I’m thrilled. I never thought I’d be thrilled that Donald Trump is our newly elected president, but I am. Keeping the Uber-corrupt elitist Hillary out of the White House is an astonishing victory.
I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the whole idea of Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican candidate for president in the 2016 election. In analyzing his (to me) unexpected victory, it’s easy enough to point fingers at the media, which gave him unlimited air time; at Fox, which turned into his personal campaign channel (and lost its rating status to CNN as a result); and at those cross-over Democrats in open primaries who, out of principled conviction or pure mischief, gave him the delegates he needed.
Nevertheless, Thomas Lifson, one of the smartest men I know, is on to something more profound when he says that Trump represents a sledgehammer that voters have taken to an irredeemably corrupt political system:
Let’s face it: America has been locked into a downward spiral under the permanent grip that a corrupt system has had on power. Politicians bent on reform, representing voters demanding it, arrive in Washington, DC only to discover the impossibility of breaking the hold on the levers of governance of lobbyists, bureaucrats, and politicians in their pockets. Washington, DC thrives, becoming the richest city in the country, as most of the rest of the nation stagnates and declines. Businesses discover that it is far more important to cultivate government support than to innovate. Rent seeking becomes the path to riches.
Ted Cruz, who deserves enormous credit for suspending his campaign last night, swallowing his anger over Trump’s escalating personal attacks on him and his family, has demonstrated the futility of reforming the federal government from the inside. A man of fierce intelligence and determination, he ran into a buzz saw in the Senate, and became the most hated man there in decades. He stood up for principle, but was unable to move Congress in his (and conservatives’) direction.
A strong majority of Americans across the ideological spectrum understand how broken the system is. Something like two-thirds of the electorate realize that the federal government is working to protect those who grease its wheels and feather its nest. Nobody exemplifies this corrupt system better than Hillary Clinton, now the Democrats’ presumptive nominee (again, barring black swan events).
Separate from Trump’s politics, which are an ever-evolving swirl of conservative and Progressive ideas, Trump didn’t just criticize the existing system, he alternatively savaged and exulted in it. He rode roughshod over political correctness, but he also boasted that as an active participant in America’s political corruption from the other side (the business, not the political side) he knew how to deal with it. He simultaneously represented himself as both player and destroyer.
Looking at Trump’s political views. . . . Let me begin again, given that Trump’s political views change with the polls and the interviewer’s questions. He also lies about them, as he’s done regarding illegal immigration. He railed against it, but he’s always been an amnesty kind of guy. Still, given what seem to be his sort of fixed political views for the time being, here are what I see as the most optimistic scenario of a Trump presidency:
I found this in my inbox:
I’m not in love with it, but I think it’s a good, smart start: It uses Obama’s own words against him and suggests that he comes back to the Constitutional fold. As I said earlier, conservatives and Republicans have two years in which to educate Americans, or else the imperial presidency will be the new status quo.
(Is that whirring noise I hear the sound of George Washington spinning in his grave?)
One of my Democrat Facebook friends put this poster up on her feed:
It’s a fascinating looking-glass view at the world, insofar as it sums up most of the last 14 years in a way precisely the opposite of the way in which conservatives see those years. The praise for the Democrats is like looking at the glassy surface of a pool, only to discover the rot that lies beneath it.
I. Let’s see what lies beneath those “Democrat miracles”:
It seems to me that, as a political watcher and self-appointed pundit, I ought to offer some words of advice to the incoming Republican-majority Congress. There are, after all, a lot of things it can do. Yes, Obama has the veto, but his cries of “do-nothing Republicans” start sounding pretty hollow if the Republicans are passing bills like crazy (including the ones that Harry Reid refused to bring to the floor), only to have Obama veto every one of them. Indeed, it might be better for 2016 if Obama does veto every single bill, because the country would finally get to see what Republicans and conservatives stand for, without having Obama, as executor, purposefully bollix up those initiatives in an effort to discredit the Republican brand.
Jeff Sessions has already promised that, if Obama goes ahead with his amnesty plan, a Republican-led Congress will do everything in its power to stop it. The talking heads will cry “racist,” but I suspect that, given how unpopular amnesty is, Americans will recognize that it’s unconstitutional for the President to grossly expand his legitimate authority to issue pardons that he effectively co-opts legislative power. We know that the RINOs in Congress will use the opportunity to rebuke Obama as a way to enact some sort of immigration reform that includes amnesty, but any bills that are passed will at least have the virtue of having some checks against an unlimited, unconstitutional amnesty intended for no other purpose than to expand the Democrat brand for all future elections.
Speaking of those immigrants, a Republican-majority Congress, aided by the GOP, should spend the next two years education (not pandering to, but educating) minorities about the ways in which small government will benefit them. With Obama’s six-year run as a backdrop — since it was a time during which minorities fell back by every measurement — Republicans should talk up the benefits of the free-market and individual liberty. This is the time to explain that a rising tide lifts all boats, meaning that sometimes, contrary to Obama, it’s a good thing when the waters rise.
A Republican-led Congress can act as a counterweight to Obama’s embrace of Iran — especially given that Obama has already made it plain that he intends to circumvent Congress in order to enter into agreements with Iran that walk like treaties, talk like treaties, and act like treaties, with the only distinction being that Obama swears that they’re not actually treaties, so that Congress can have no say. With Harry Reid in charge of the Senate, Obama could have gotten away with that kind of initiative. A Republican Senate, one more jealous of its constitutional prerogatives, may actually push back a bit, saving the world from a nuclear Iran.
A Republican-led Congress can use its power of the purse to penalize countries that support ISIS and any other radical Islamists, and to support those that stand with America against radical Islam. It can also send moral support to those in the field fighting against radical Islam. As we know from those who were dissidents against the Soviet Union in the 1960s through 1980s, when you’re fighting a despot, moral support matters. It’s the antidote to the cognitive dissonance that is ordinary life in a tyranny.
A Republican-led Congress should pass bills repealing Obamacare. We know Obama will veto those bills, but it will show Americans which party is on the side of the people, because the people continue to hate Obamacare by significant majorities. In addition to a blanket bill challenging Obamacare, Republicans should offer bills aimed at creating a true free market in medical care and medical insurance. It is this free market that is most likely to ensure that all Americans, in fact, have affordable access to quality care. Again, we know Obama will veto these bills, but the point is to educate the American public.
A Republican-led Congress should put serious weight behind investigations into the IRS scandal, Fast & Furious, Benghazi, and all the other scandals that Democrats have ignored and serious Republicans have been impotent to address. It’s time for the American people to know what “the most transparent administration ever” has been doing behind closed doors.
If I had my way, a Republican-led Congress would appoint a committee to troll through existing legislation and begin repealing laws that are out-dated, irrelevant, burdensome traps for the unwary. Indeed, shrinking the sheer volume of federal laws (and, with it, the even greater volume of federal regulations) could be the best gift a Republican-led Congress could ever give to the citizens of the United States.
And for my final word of advice to a Republican-led Congress:
Roger Simon has warned conservatives that they’re taking their eye off the ball — and the ball is Hillary Clinton. While we conservatives are fighting our internecine Rove versus Cruz arguments, Hillary is continuing to amass power. It’s not just that the New York Times is whitewashing Benghazi on her behalf, says Simon. Instead, it’s that she, unlike Obama, actually has the political chops (including the political husband) to consolidate socialist gains in American government:
The principal enemy for the right and the center-right is now Hillary Clinton, the vastly favored frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. She is so far in front, in fact, that her competitors are not even in hailing distance. Hillary is the one who can consolidate and solidify the “gains” of the Obama era in a way Obama himself never could because she is much more politically savvy — Obama was only savvy about getting elected, not governing — and has the backing of her even more politically savvy husband. Hillary is the one who can fully remake the United States into some version of Western Europe or, yet more frighteningly, China, a permanently stratified state capitalism governed by quasi-totalitarian bureaucrats. (We can call this system Soros Marxism, meaning a ruling clique of increasingly rich corporate czars employing a propagandistic veneer of socialist equality to keep the power and wealth for themselves.)
With that in mind, how does one explain the fact that Richard Cohen, an ardent Progressive, has penned a column telling everyone that Hillary may have been harmed by Obamacare? He argues that, if people don’t like Obamacare, they won’t like her. That argument is a red herring. The facts on the ground are that Hillary kept away from Obamacare. Her own dreams of socialized medicine notwithstanding, she had the smarts and political savvy to recognize early on that Obamacare, an unholy marriage of government and insurance companies, would be DOA and start to smell very quickly. My take on Cohen’s overacted hand wringing it is that he thinks the best thing to happen now is for conservatives to leave Hillary alone, so that she can continue to aggregate political power. “Move along! Nothing to see here. Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain.”
So yeah, I think that Cohen’s article, to the extent it tries to distract attention from Hillary, proves that Simon is correct. The Left wants Hillary to be left alone so that she can get ready for her spectacular, pre-paved emergence on the political scene.
I think, though, that Simon errs in one thing, which is his belief that the internecine war in the Republican party doesn’t matter. Instead, it matters a great deal. Conservatives aren’t stupid. They know that, if another Democrat — any Democrat — gets the White House, we’ll be irrevocably on the pathway to becoming Greece. There will be no turning back. Knowing that, conservatives are taking a stand as to how to block that possibility: with Tea Party, constitutional firebrands or with establishment, appeasing RINOs. That the latter might do nothing at all to block the possibility is not something their supporters are considering. Instead, their analysis is that the MSM has so terribly damaged the Tea Party brand that it cannot possibly win, so it’s better to back RINOs who are imperfect but might win.
One of the striking paradoxes in Marin is that the same people who reliably vote for Democrat candidates actually have quite conservative values. In my Marin world, people are educated, ambitious, hard-working, married, and family-oriented, and they happily live in almost entirely white communities. As to that last, it’s not that they would object if a black family moved it. It would simply have to be a black family that was “one of us,” meaning educated, ambitious, etc. Despite their essentially conservative values, these hard-working people support endless welfare; these family-oriented, helicopter parents happily consign poor children to the tender mercies of the state; and these married parents, who have the luxury of a stay-at-home mom, support any policy that advances single motherhood. The Marin dwellers I know are the living embodiment of Charles Murray’s wonderful observation that elite Democrats don’t preach what they practice.
On the rare occasions when I’m able to speak with my friends without using political labels, they invariably agree with me about the benefits of hard work and marriage, about the social and economic virtues of two-parent families, about the problem with the hypersexualization of young children, and about the fact that the best defense against bullies is projecting a strong attitude of self-defense. Point out, though, that these values align them with Ted Cruz or Mitt Romney, who support profiting from ones own labor, being married as a predicate to children, encouraging (although not legislating) a more wholesome popular culture, and projecting American strength abroad, and they’ll back away from you as if you’ve suddenly sprouted horns.
It’s that last phrase that explains why these Democrats, even if their values are completely at odds with their own party, would never, never vote Republican. In their minds, it’s not that
Democrats Republicans have bad ideas; it’s that they’re eeeevvviiiilll. Not just “evil,” but eeeevvviiiilll. To them, Republicans haven’t merely sold their souls to the Devil, which implies that it’s possible to regain those lost souls. Instead, it’s that Republicans have no souls. To the Marin liberal, politics are controlled by a simple syllogism:
Republicans/conservatives are evil.
I am not evil.
Therefore I can never be a Republican/conservative.
But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, right? For years, conservatives have wryly observed that, while conservative think liberals are misguided, liberals think conservatives are evil. So why am I dragging this old issue to the table? Because now is the time to change this paradigm.
We know from a Harvard study that the young generation is turning against Obama because he betrayed them. Unfortunately, though, despite their disenchantment with Obama, these youngsters aren’t turning to Republicans. Given the fact that Democrats lied and Republicans spoke the truth, these youth voters aren’t making a U-turn and heading for the Republican party. Instead, they’ve opted for a “plague on both your houses” approach to politics.
Their refusal even to contemplate conservativism stems from their constant indoctrination: Republicans are eeeevvviiiilll. In any Hollywood film that touches upon politics (and even in those that don’t), Republicans are evil. In any MSM news story, Republicans are evil. In songs, at award shows, on Twitter, and Facebook, the cascade of obscene, profane, and scatalogical remarks from those on the Left are uniform: Republicans are eeeevvviiiilll.
With Obamacare cratering and Obama being revealed as both incompetent and dishonest, Republicans are trying to figure out how to position themselves as the obvious political alternative. Sadly, the state of American political debate and thinking is not such that conservatives can gain voters by explaining that conservative ideas are better. We take the world as we’re given, though, and that world demands that we suit our argument to our audience. Before they listen to us, they need to like us — or at least they need to stop fearing us. The answer is to run a personality campaign.
When I speak of a “personality campaign,” I refer to gauzy photographs of Republican politicians with their spouses and children. Although that seems to play well to the base, it does nothing to convert the people who think we’re eeeevvviiiilll. Democrats have been trained to view those photographs — when they come from conservatives — as the equivalent of photographs showing Nazi camp guards having tea parties in their homes.
What the RNC and other conservative groups should be producing, instead, are gazillions of one-minute-long commercials and YouTube videos, as well as easy-to-share posters for Facebook and Twitter, all of which focus on ordinary whites, Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics engaging in good acts of the type that thoughtless, but disenchanted, Democrats can understand. Each video or poster should end with the tag line “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.”
For example, you might have a video showing an Asian woman working at a homeless shelter, and have it end with her saying “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.” Or you have a poster of a black volunteer hard at work for Habitat for Humanity, over the tag line “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.” Another video might show someone getting out of a Prius and into a wheelchair, again with the tag line “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.
The possibilities are endless, because Republicans are good people, and they actually do many things that make Democrats happy. Posters and videos of beach clean-ups, animal shelter work, homeless shelter work, Big Brother/Big Sister work, tutoring kids at inner city schools, and raising money for African orphanages, would humanize a group of people who have been demonized simply because they believe in the worth of the individual and in maximum individual freedom. When it comes to speaking out to Americans, we need to stop focusing on the politicians, whom the media finds it easy to ridicule and denigrate, and start looking into the Republican community, which is brimful of wonderful, caring, people, for whom being wonderful and ordinary is just a part of their lives.
We cannot convert people to our ideas unless we can convince them that their “conservatives are evil” syllogism is utterly false. The new syllogism should go like this:
Republicans/conservatives are good people.
I share most of their values.
Since the Democrat party has lied and broken its promises, and its ideas have failed, I should vote Republican.
[For those of you who find the ideas in here vaguely familiar, my dear friend Don Quixote made precisely this point many years ago. He was, as is often the case, a clear-sighted visionary.]
The shutdown is over — the Republicans caved because no one was willing to face the risk that Obama would jettison the Constitution and allow the United States government to default. I think it’s a bit more nuanced then a total collapse, though, and I think it may still effect future change.
Those who have hung around the Bookworm Room for a long time know that I believe that it was to George Bush’s advantage that the media portrayed him as a loose cannon cowboy. I don’t think this was a true characterization, but it certainly kept the world’s bad actors nervous.
It’s a little different with Obama. He’s repeatedly proven that he has nothing but disdain for the Constitution and the free market. Because we’re trying to predict his future conduct based upon his past actions, people weren’t being unreasonable in fearing that he would cheerfully invite in world-wide economic disaster.
The Left is now celebrating: Obama won. The Tea Party was shown to be the party of stupid killjoy spoilsports who tried to undo the law (never mind, please, that what they did was entirely Constitutional). It’s over. Close the book.
But I don’t think so….
Here’s what I think (or maybe just what I hope). In about two weeks, Americans will have completely forgotten the shutdown, as they’ve forgotten almost all of the past shutdowns, except maybe for the clash between Clinton and Gingrich. That had some high drama and good television, so it resonated a bit. The other shutdowns, though, are down the memory hole.
There are a few things people will remember, though. They’ll remember that the president went after the military and spitefully denied Americans access to their own outdoor treasures. They’ll remember that the Obamacare exchanges had a disastrous debut, with stone-age technology and staggeringly high socialist wealth redistribution. And they’ll remember that the Republicans tried everything they could to derail or delay Obamacare. When it comes to the fight against Obamacare, the Republicans now have a record to run on.
What Republicans can and should say in 2014 and again in 2016 is “We tried, but it was an impossible task. The only thing that can work is if we take the Senate in 2014, and then get the White House in 2016 while still holding onto Congress. We are your last chance.”
And if that “last chance” shtick doesn’t work, it still makes for funny Fawlty TV:
House Republicans went to Obama and offered him everything he wants for a six-week period. That offer allows Congress to continue a debate about government spending, while ending a shutdown that, while illusory (83% of the government is working and federal workers will get all their back pay) is nevertheless inconvenient, especially for Americans who want to visit their national parks. It’s actually a win for Democrats too, because it gives them an excuse to back off the disaster that is the Obamacare rollout. Obama, however, said “No.”
And I suddenly realized what all of this reminded me of. It’s the real life version of the sadist and the masochist joke:
The masochist and the sadist are in a room together. The masochist is on his knees before the sadist, begging.
“Please, Mr. Sadist, please beat me! I want to be beaten. Oh, and yes, when you’re done beating me, get out the whip. I love the whip. Please whip me. Or maybe you’d like to walk on my prone body with spike heels. Yes, yes! That’s what I want.”
The sadist stares contemplatively at the groveling, begging masochist, and gives his answer:
Welcome to Obama’s America.