The new phrase is “fourth branch of government,” referring to the Progressive bureaucracy fighting exile. It’s time to fight back.
The administrative state is not the fourth branch of government. When I said “interesting times,” I meant it. We all knew that our government had gotten too big and we voted for Trump believing that he would make good on his promise to shrink it.
Trump certainly has been trying to fulfill that promise, but the administrative state has been fighting back in ways we never imagined. Rather than recognizing that our Constitution makes it subordinate to the president, so that it must take its marching orders from him, the administrative state is setting itself up as a permanent government in opposition, determined to continue the policies that put Obama into office and kept Hillary out of office.
The Washington Examiner has written an excellent editorial that warns of the dangers in a self-styled fourth branch of government:
As we once noted in a different context, “civil disobedience is properly the tool of the citizenry, not of those entrusted by it to execute the law faithfully.” We also wrote that America “cannot survive every minor public official becoming a law unto himself.” This is just as true of unconstitutional actions by EPA employees as it was for the official about whom we wrote it — Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples even after the Supreme Court‘s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.
The Examiner is not the only one sounding this warning. Bryan Dean Wright, a former CIA employee and a Democrat is sounding the same warning with special emphasis on people in the intelligence community. Noting the extraordinary power they hold, he says that the only way to keep a free state is for them to keep out of politics — especially since there are constitutional actions they can take if they’re genuinely concerned about a president’s loyalty to the state. (Me, personally, I would have been concerned about Obama’s secret deals with Iran. . . .)
When you’re trained as a spy, you’re taught how to handle these kinds of situations. Upon learning the information, it gets tightly compartmented (restricted) and sent to the Department of Justice or Congress for investigation. If the evidence is found to be credible, the constitution makes clear what happens next: impeachment.
That’s how American democracy should work.
However, some of America’s spies are deciding that that’s not enough. For reasons of misguided righteousness or partisan hatred, they’ve taken it upon themselves to be judge, jury, and executioner. They have prosecuted their case in the court of public opinion, with likeminded media outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, and the Washington Post serving as court stenographers.
Elected by no one, responsible only to each other, these spies have determined that Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.
Will we slip so quickly into a banana republic, not because of anything Trump has done (his actions to date have been not only constitutional but consistent with prior presidents, including Obama), but because the Progressives will not give up power?
Lastly, if you want a superbly written article about the risks America faces at the hands of an unelected bureaucracy that refuses to hand over the power it accrued during the Obama era, read Matthew Continetti’s deservedly lauded essay asking who controls America.
Legislative roadblocks, adversarial journalists, and public marches are typical of a constitutional democracy. They are spelled out in our founding documents: the Senate and its rules, and the rights to speech, a free press, and assembly. Where in those documents is it written that regulators have the right not to be questioned, opposed, overturned, or indeed fired, that intelligence analysts can just call up David Ignatius and spill the beans whenever they feel like it?
The last few weeks have confirmed that there are two systems of government in the United States. The first is the system of government outlined in the U.S. Constitution—its checks, its balances, its dispersion of power, its protection of individual rights. Donald Trump was elected to serve four years as the chief executive of this system. Whether you like it or not.
The second system is comprised of those elements not expressly addressed by the Founders. This is the permanent government, the so-called administrative state of bureaucracies, agencies, quasi-public organizations, and regulatory bodies and commissions, of rule-writers and the byzantine network of administrative law courts. This is the government of unelected judges with lifetime appointments who, far from comprising the “least dangerous branch,” now presume to think they know more about America’s national security interests than the man elected as commander in chief.
For some time, especially during Democratic presidencies, the second system of government was able to live with the first one. But that time has ended. The two systems are now in competition. And the contest is all the more vicious and frightening because more than offices are at stake. This fight is not about policy. It is about wealth, status, the privileges of an exclusive class.
Was the entire Michael Flynn episode Trumpian spycraft at work? If you like tipping points, I think we can comfortably say that the U.S. is at a tipping point. What we have to hope is that Trump and his team have the knowledge and ability to beat the administrative state into submission — and I am willing to be literal about that beating into submission part.
From where I’m sitting now, when I looked at how the intelligence community bugged Flynn’s phone calls and then leaked innuendo to the press, forcing Flynn to offer his resignation, I saw it as a Team Obama (i.e., government in opposition) coup, something I never thought would happen in the USA. After all, since Washington’s graceful retreat from office, no retiring administration has ever attempted to undermine the subsequent administration to retain permanent power.
Thomas Wictor, however, sees something else entirely and it makes him quite optimistic. According to him, Trump and his team conducted a broad and deep sting so that they could flush out the leaks in the State Department, the CIA, etc. I don’t know that I buy Wictor’s theory, but I sure enjoyed reading it.
Our favorite presidents. As I write these words, it’s still that misshapen federal holiday we call Presidents’ Day. My generation was given the opportunity to revere the greatness of both Washington and Lincoln. The current generation goes to sales on a day that honors some amorphous blob called “Presidents.” Here’s some good news, though: We old folks over at WOW! Magazine put together a forum praising our favorite presidents, complete with detailed reasons for the honors we accord them.
Sometimes we get the president we get, not the president we want. One of the most disturbing things since the election has been the number of conservatives who, disappointed that they didn’t get their perfect candidate, are being every bit as oppositional as Progressives. And no, this is not a case of their “keeping things honest.” This is a prolonged temper tantrum about being forced to live in the real world rather than learning to cope with a president who is (a) not Hillary Clinton and (b) governing pretty darn conservatively so far. Ron Ross has a few things to say about the perfect being the enemy of the good in politics as in all things:
Here’s the problem — like everything else in life, Donald Trump is a package deal. It simply is not possible to design your own idealized Donald Trump (or anyone else). Furthermore, he’s the president. They’re not. He actually ran for president, got nominated, and got elected. Pointing out what he could have said or done better is nothing more than pointless and tiresome kibitzing.
Another inescapable reality is that life is comprised of choices. If you are a conservative who doesn’t like Trump, what are your alternative, real-world choices?
In debates, Milton Friedman would sometimes ask his opponent, “What perfect solution on what perfect planet are you comparing this to?” That is an excellent rhetorical question. It’s a good way to bring someone back to reality.
None of the other Republican primary candidates would have had a prayer against Clinton and her henchmen in the media. They would have been demonized, villainized, and defeated, just as John McCain and Mitt Romney were eight and four years ago. Trump was the only candidate capable of surviving the whatever-it-takes tactics of the Democrats and the media. He won, because he refused to play by the establishment’s ground rules and threw their obnoxious politically correct censorship right back in their faces.
Trump is a bare-knuckled brawler who never gives an inch. His counterpunches are fast, hard, and relentless. Like it or not, that’s what it takes to survive and win in today’s political environment.
Whenever you find yourself bothered by something President Trump says or does, repeat these three words to yourself: “President Hillary Clinton.” You’re bound to feel better instantly.
Yeah! What he said.
People cry “fascism” when they feel fear. Brendan O’Neill has written an insightful post examining what fascism really is and how the daily Progressive squawks about Trump’s so-called fascism are aimed at nothing more than ordinary, unexciting democratic governance. The word “fascism” is so abused that O’Neill argues that the term has become meaningless. He’s probably correct. He also says that the cries of fascism speak to a very deep fear:
It is their sensation of being under assault, of the ebbing away of their technocratic, judicial, evidence-based authority over society following the decidedly political jolts of Brexit and Trump, that has led them to resuscitate the fascism frenzy. The omnipresence of that word tells us little about a return of fascist terror, but a great deal about the political class’s own feeling of terror at recent political events. The stability, or stasis, of the technocratic era, with its hostility both to ideology and to change, has led some to see all political upset, and even politics itself, as terrifying. One consequence of technocracy is that it denuded people, especially influential people, of the means of politics, of the very language of politics, of any ability to read the world politically and to understand that politics is the clash or interplay of competing interests, not, as they had imagined it, a managerial process of ensuring the relatively healthy maintenance of social and bureaucratic life. They are utterly unprepared for politics, and so the return of politics, the very political statements of Brexit and Trump, has convinced them not simply that they face a political challenge but that their entire class and worldview and even their existence is under threat.
There’s still time for us to hang together. I love it when friends take something I’ve written and make it better. Patrick O’Hannigan looked at my cri de coeur about the way Progressives are trying to turn America into a shame culture, and asked the important questions I didn’t ask: Why is this happening and what can we do to stop it? His answers are, as always, thoughtful and illuminating.
Trump spells hope for Israel. Isi Leibler tells Jews to stop whining about Trump’s presidency and to start embracing the fact that, for the first time in eight years we have a pro-Israel president in the White House and that, for the first time since 1992, we have a president who’s willing to think outside of the box and break the Palestinian’s endless efforts to destroy Israel:
Although by no means yet assured, the US, still the only true global superpower, may truly treat Israel as a genuine ally, a move that would be reinforced by an overwhelmingly pro-Israel Congress. Trump has repeatedly proclaimed his determination to reverse former president Barack Obama’s hostile anti-Israeli policy and create a new alliance between the US and Israel that would be sensitive to the security needs of the Jewish state. His commitment to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would have more than symbolic value. It would have a major impact in reversing the odious definition of the settlement blocs and even the Western Wall and Temple Mount as “occupied territory.” Israel could proceed to build homes and the Jewish neighborhoods over the Green Line would prosper. Furthermore, the US will hopefully no longer acquiesce to the UN persecution of Israel and will reject calls to return to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines.
Trump is also likely to bring an end to the US component of the scandalous $300 million per annum provided to the Palestinian Authority, much of which is doled out to murderers.
Israel will also have a powerful ally that recognizes Iran as a rogue state and would substantially reduce the genocidal threat from the Iranian Muslim fundamentalists.
I hope his message falls on a few receptive ears. Meanwhile, when they’re not making obscene Nazi and Hitler analogies, Jews are joining in the genocidal demand that Muslims be brought in ever-increasing numbers from lands that are steeped in genocidal antisemitism.
To those who ask, as someone always does, how can such a smart people be so stupid, I have one answer: College. Jews are invested in college and have been steeped in its Leftism and antisemitism for fifty years now. We need to pull federal funds from those colleges and save the Jews (and save the Asians too, as they go down that same self-destructive degreed path.)
Yes, immigrants from “deep Muslim” lands are bad immigrants. In an entirely unexpected turn of events, a professor at the University of Minnesota, one of the most liberal campuses in America (which is saying a lot), went on a Facebook rant about Muslim immigrants. He made two important points about them: (1) While there are always outliers who can be quite brilliant, overall Muslims from deep within the Muslim world have low IQs and (2) they are cult members in a religious-political cult.
You can read the whole thing, below, but I’ll just chime in about Point 1 (because I’m sure you have your own opinion about Point 2. Demetriou is right about the low IQ amongst Muslims in deeply Muslim lands.
There are two biological underlying factors. The first is the tribal habit of intermarriage amongst first cousins. When it happens occasionally, it doesn’t seem to have significant genetic effects. When it happens generation after generation, though, you start seeing all sorts of bizarre physical and mental genetic defects from intermarriage. The second biological factor is that children born within a certain number of months of Ramadan have lower IQs. It turns out that, there is a certain point in fetal development that cannot take the stress of the mother fasting all day, and eating only once every 24 hours, for an entire month. And then of course, when it comes to intelligence, there are all the problems associated with living in intellectually closed, dead-ended societies.
Do you need a reminder about just how awful Leftists are? Here are a few reminders:
From the Atlantic, which was a decent magazine before the 1970s or so: The Casualties of Women’s War on Body Hair – Hair removal, at its core, is a form of gendered social control.
And speaking of those “gender” problems, when is it okay for an athlete to take heavy doses of steroids before competing? It’s okay when a girl thinks she’s a boy, her parents authorize her to take massive amounts of steroids, and she insists upon competing as a high school wrestler in Texas, where there are weird rules about people being on the team that matches the sex on their birth certificates.
Would you be surprised to learn that this steroid enlarged creature dominated the women’s competition? And then whined that she wasn’t allowed to compete with the boys.
One of the disgusting things about these “gender” activists is that they want it all. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that sometimes you make sacrifices. If you’re going to destroy your body with steroids, maybe you have to be willing to close the door on wrestling, both because you’ll never be able to compete with the boys and because it’s dangerous (not to mention unfair) to have you competing with the girls.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island has before it a bill requiring that all future judges be black. My memory isn’t as good as it once was, but I distinctly remember someone, maybe even a black man, saying something about people being judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Crazy words, right? Must have been a Republican who said them….
I’m still rooting for Milo, who never claimed to be a virtuous character to begin with, who was clearly the victim of sexual abuse as a child (even if he himself became, as these children do, sexually aggressive), who has never claimed to be a pedophile nor engaged in acts of pedophilia so far as we know, and who, after analyzing the issue of sex with young adolescent in the crude terms so common to gay men, concluded that statutory ages of consent are there for a good reason.
Meanwhile, though, I’m enjoying Paul Joseph Watson and Steve Crowder. From Watson, here’s a delightful attack on those awful elitists who live in walled communities with armed guards, while virtuously insisting that their countries open their doors to people with issues about rape, murder, assault, etc., on people who can’t hide behind expensive walls.
And from Steve Crowder, a peaceful, calm, utterly brutal attack on Mohamed. It’s more than a year old, but timeless and too good to miss:
Some blacks are rejecting the Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid’s such an old folk reference, going back to 1978. How about I use the Matrix analogy that young conservatives are using: Some blacks are rejecting the blue pill that keeps them ignorant, and instead gulping down the red pill that allows them to see how the Democrat party is using them to furnish its power. Puma By Design has a great video of one righteously angry black lady who points out that the illegal immigrants streaming north may not affect the Bill Gates of this world, but they do horrible damage to blacks who trace their American lineage back hundreds of years.
Are elite liberals too dumb to live? Well, one of them is scooting pretty close to that category. Sabrina Tavernise, billed as a national correspondent for The New York Times (so I’m thinking one of those 20-something reporters Ben Rhodes characterized as completely ignorant) seems to be trying to push through the haze surrounding her in her life and work towards reason.
To that end, she she asks if it’s possible that “liberals” (ahem, her word, not mine) might be pursuing the wrong strategy with their insults and protests? After all, she notes, disappointed Progressives have been very . . . um, personal in their attacks:
Liberals may feel energized by a surge in political activism, and a unified stance against a president they see as irresponsible and even dangerous. But that momentum is provoking an equal and opposite reaction on the right. In recent interviews, conservative voters said they felt assaulted by what they said was a kind of moral Bolshevism — the belief that the liberal vision for the country was the only right one. Disagreeing meant being publicly shamed.
Mr. Youngquist stayed in the closet for months about his support for Mr. Trump. He did not put a bumper sticker on his car, for fear it would be keyed. The only place he felt comfortable wearing his Make America Great Again hat was on a vacation in China. Even dating became difficult. Many people on Tinder have a warning on their profile: “Trump supporters swipe left” — meaning, get lost.
He came out a few days before the election. On election night, a friend posted on Facebook, “You are a disgusting human being.”
Mr. Youngquist came to the same conclusion that many moderate Democrats and Republicans have come to in the wake of the election: He’s turning to Trump. The other side is too awful, irrational, and hate-filled to be countenanced. This is one of the interviews Tavernise uses to ask, ever so gently, of her NYT readers, whether abuse works as a persuasive method. (If you’re wondering about the abuse I’m heaping on Progressives in this post, I can be as insulting as I like here because my job today is to ridicule Leftists, not to win them over.)
Having planted that seed — be nice if you want to win people over — what do you think that this media moron does? She hurls utterly unfounded ad hominem attacks at Donald Trump:
It is tempting to blame Mr. Trump for America’s toxic political state of mind. He has wreaked havoc on political civility and is putting American democratic institutions through the most robust stress test in decades.
Want was the stress Trump imposed on the system? He won. Freak-out. He was inaugurated. Violence followed by a grotesque sexualized march. He exercised his undoubted power to control America’s borders. More freak outs, including airport shutdowns and road blockages. He exercised his constitutional right to control policy in America’s administrative agencies. Maddened employees deliberately (and with Obama’s instructions) work to set up a government in opposition and in exile.
The only stress I see on the political institutions comes from Democrats who are slow-walking Trump’s cabinet so that the government is locked in a dangerously static position. Other stresses come about because Democrats are encouraging immigrants to lose their jobs, as happened to over 100 dumb enough to walk off of work so that people would appreciate them.
I appreciate legal immigrants. I don’t appreciate illegal ones and walking off the job is not going to make me love you more.
I was telling a friend that I can’t take myself anywhere lately. I am launching rants Left and Left whenever the mind-numbingly uninformed Progressives and #NeverTrumpers in my world emerge from their red haze of ignorance and anger to say something factually inaccurate and fold it into a completely nonsensical, yet still incredibly nasty, attack on Trump. Apparently the tight hold I’ve kept on my tongue and on my keyboard for the last 13 years in my real, Blue Pill, world is unwinding.
I need chocolate.
Photo by DonkeyHotey