Paying attention yet? Or are you still poo-poo’ing the idea of Sharia taking hold in the West?
Paying attention yet? Or are you still poo-poo’ing the idea of Sharia taking hold in the West?
For Lent (maybe longer), I’ll be rather scarce on FB. I will likely check-in periodically, to keep up with a couple things, but I won’t be participating in the festivities.
Instead, I’ll be spending much more time working on me. Brushing up on some foreign language skills, praying, reflecting, and working on some other, much more important projects. In fact, that will likely be my M.O. going forward.
I’m going to use Lent as an excuse to distance myself from the disordered world of FB and social media generally. There are too many other important things I need to focus on other than the daily outrage and piling on (no matter how recreational), and that’s what I’m going to do.
There will likely be a subsidiary blog going up in the next couple weeks focused on real world action as opposed to the social media re-action that seems so prevalent. It’s a project i’ve been working on in one way or another for some time that folks can actively participate in or simply support financially or otherwise. But, again, it will be focused on action. Not idle talk.
So… that’s what’s happening. Less talk. More doing.
May you all have a blessed Lenten season.
The article below was originally published at americanthinker.com. It’s a good article on the face of it but, I’m going to add some commentary first…
What Weissberg describes, I have experienced also. Politicians aren’t leaders. And, leaders are not politicians.
This is one of the reasons that former soldiers rarely make good mid-level managers. Despite the misconception that corporate ownership thinks they want leaders in midlevel positions, and despite the fact that leaders are needed in those positions for an organization to be successful, being a leader at that level is made impossible.
CEOs, like politicians, are concerned with perceptions. Leaders at the operations level are concerned with results. Perceptions are massaged by naratives and make people feel good. Results are driven by leadership that often leaves feelings as casualties in their wake.
In today’s thin-skinned, easily offended world and workplace, leadership suffers. Sandwiched between the whiny and the milquetoast. I’ve watched more company than one feel really good about themselves as they were going out of business. On the other hand, what is missing from corporate calculus is that if you let a good, hard-nosed leader drive the bus for a while, the troops will complain and bitch and moan (a complaining soldier is a happy soldier) but, the esprit de corps and sense of self worth that is generated by working hard and accoplishing something is long lasting and self-perpetuating. That environment will serve any organization far longer than the troops being fat, stupid, and happy on the way to bankruptcy.
The world, government, and industry needs more leaders and fewer politicians.
It is an understatement to say that many Americans, particularly mass-media pundits, are baffled by President Trump’s “polarizing” behavior. There has never been any public figure quite like him: a president who speaks his mind so forcefully, often impolitely, while acting impetuously.
Let me suggest that Trump’s behavior is perfectly understandable if viewed in the context of his business background. As the Obama administration reflected governance by an egalitarian community activist, the current administration is rule by a hotel magnate.
This observation reflects my first-hand experience. Beginning in the late 1950s until the mid-1970s my father owned multiple large hotels (most with bars and restaurants) in New York City, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Palm Beach, Fl, Puerto Rico, New Orleans, and elsewhere. Unlike Trump, he had stockholders but, very much like Trump, he exercised power as an unchallenged boss, able to fire anybody in an instant for whatever reason no matter how flimsy.
Overseeing a hotel empire is comparable to managing a fire or police department in a Detroit-like city. Hotels operate 24/7, 365 days a year and exist in near perpetual crisis. I grew up hearing about electricity or hot water suddenly going kaput, reservation systems gone awry, unions threating picket lines, or health inspectors warning about closing restaurants while an awaiting mass transit strike meant that hotel workers could not show up for their jobs. Meanwhile, banks might threaten receivership unless a half-million mortgage payment was made by next Monday, but the money did not yet exist.
Then there are endless lawsuits, real and fake, along with employees filing grievance claims on everything from wrongful termination to racial discrimination. There were periodic missives from government taxing agencies and multiple other regulators concerning such things as reporting employee tips and overtime. No doubt, my father’s hotel empire helped dozens of lawyers pay their children’s college tuition and finance nice suburban homes. And to top it off, big-city hotels are incredibly multicultural with polyglot staffs whose cultures can conflict.
The upshot is that turning a profit requires a hard-headed “unpresidential” sometimes frantic management approach quite different from the style embraced by our political elites. Key decisions often had to be made on the spot, not shoved off for “further study.” Can you imagine President Obama personally overseeing a large downtown Chicago hotel with 250 poorly educated employees all the while trying to put 500 heads in beds 365 days a year against competitors fighting for the same clientele? He wouldn’t last a week.
Hotels are not a business for delicate egos and soft rhetoric. Indeed, the willingness to take huge financial risks and successfully browbeat tough opponents is a recipe for creating an industry dominated by super-sized egos or, to use Spanish slang, people with cojones. Nice guys harboring self-doubts or who are unwilling to stage temper-tantrums fall by the wayside. It’s all Darwinian.
Leadership by necessity is highly personal. You cannot appoint a committee to investigate when a desperate 9 P.M. call from the front desk tells you that there’s no hot water and hundreds of guests are threatening to check out and are refusing to pay. You telephone the chief engineer and you command him, no ifs, ands, or buts, to haul his ass down to the boiler room and fix the problem. If he explains that he’s on vacation, or that the problem is not fixable, you fire him and contract his assistant and make him an offer he cannot refuse — “fix the f…king water problem or join the unemployment line.” If that doesn’t work, find somebody who can solve the mess and don’t worry about being offensive.
This is a harsh decision-making style that requires zero justification and thus outwardly looks flippant or chaotic. One commands, not persuades. There are no benefits for a boss able to carefully articulate policy to enlighten curious outsiders. These explanations add nothing to the solution, waste time and only confuse employees accustomed to just taking orders. “Do it, since I said so, and I’m the boss” is enough. The metric for success is the outcome, not some long-winded public reasoning that assures the press corps that the boss knows what he is doing.
This brutal style requires cutting corners, perhaps edging toward illegality. If the hotel’s bar is being excessively singled out for serving underage patrons, call a city official who has benefited from past campaign contributions and don’t mince words. Why else would you donate to everyone? As a youngster I recall my father having politically connected “friends” and lawyers on retainer who specialized in dicey situations. A cash bribe would often suffice and was judged a normal business practice. Local cops were always treated well since their cooperation was often required for awkward jobs; for example, clearing the hotel lobby of aggressive hookers.
Few private businesses can afford to drink the PC Kool-Aid of identity politics. There are rarely any Assistant Managers for Diversity and Inclusion to tell the boss to hire a more heterogeneous accounting staff. Businesses, unlike universities and government, operate with real money, so employees are hired for their ability, not according to race, gender, sexual identity etc., and stereotypes — largely based on past experience — are commonplace. My father, for example, relying on decades of experience, loved Hispanics — hard workers who always showed up!! Nobody in the industry was embarrassed by awkward realities — they knew from experience that job applicants of a certain stripe were disproportionately prone to sloth and often would happily admit it.
A larger political issue resides here beyond explaining President Trump’s “unpresidential” behavior. Fewer and fewer business people now enter politics either as candidates for office or as top administrators, a huge loss of talent. What company CEO wants to be grilled by senators, all of whom lack private sector experience, about the multiple lawsuits, accusations of discrimination, fights with the IRS, rumors of bribery and why, to be hypothetical, 10 years ago he evicted an impoverished disabled elderly lady of color with a dozen cats from her hotel room? Recall how Mitt Romney was excoriated for his association with Bain Capital for destroying jobs and widening the wealth gap? Being a white male is bad enough; being a white male businessman is truly toxic.
We’ve come a long way from the 1950s when the Eisenhower cabinet was described as “Nine Millionaires and a Plumber.” Indeed, it was once commonplace, especially during war years, for successful businessmen to enter government and get paid a symbolic “dollar a year.”
We are now governed by likes of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who have spent their entire lives on the government payroll with zero firsthand private sector experience. Congress might pass detailed anti-discrimination laws, but how many legislators have personally tried to fire dishonest workers willing to file endless bogus claims of discrimination? Do they know what it’s like to complete all the mind-numbing paperwork necessary to get a small bank loan? Trump knows all about this wealth-killing nitty-gritty and much more but, alas, he may well be the last business person ever to be elected to high office. Experience at making money in business has become far less important than skin color or sex.
Originally published by npr.org.
We’ll see if the Trumpster gets his 3rd nominee…
This is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s third bout with cancer. In 1999, she was treated for colorectal cancer; in 2009, it was pancreatic cancer. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery Friday for early stage lung cancer, a Supreme Court spokesperson tells NPR. Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York performed a lobectomy, removing one of the five lobes of the lung.
Short of complications in recovery, doctors say prospects look good for a full recovery for Ginsburg, 85. She hopes to be back on the court for the start of the next argument session in early January.
The cancer was discovered after Ginsburg fell, fracturing several ribs in November. In taking CT scans of her ribs, doctors noticed an abnormality in one lobe of the lung. Subsequent biopsies and other initial tests revealed two non-small cell cancerous lesions, with no lymph node involvement detectable.
According to a press release from the Supreme Court:
“According to the thoracic surgeon Valerie Rusch, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation. Post-surgery, there was no evidence of any remaining disease. Scans performed before surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Currently, no further treatment is planned. Justice Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days.”
Dr. Douglas Mathisen, chairman of thoracic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, said that recovery from such an operation typically ranges from two to four days in the hospital, with the patient able to go home, do desk work and make calls within a week. That assumes that the operation goes smoothly and that there are no complications.
Mathisen said, “These days we are seeing more and more patients in their 70s and 80s make relatively quick recoveries, because we are detecting so many more lung cancers at early stages” when treatment is far more effective and successful.
Removal of a lobe is considered “the gold standard” in treatment, and while it means a loss of 15 to 20 percent of the lung, it “can recover,” he said, with the other four lobes taking over some of the lost function.
Mathisen and other thoracic surgeons said Justice Ginsburg’s prognosis ultimately will depend on the pathology findings, which will not be available until days after the surgery. If there is no lymph node involvement, surgeons contacted by NPR said the prognosis for being cancer-free at five years out is 80 percent.
Lymph node involvement would drop those odds down to 50 to 55 percent, Mathisen said. Dr. Cameron Wright, also a Massachusetts General thoracic surgeon and a Harvard Medical School professor of surgery, put the odds lower, at 40 percent, if there is lymph node involvement.
Rusch, who performed the surgery at Sloan Kettering, is a world-renowned lung surgeon. The American College of Surgeons this year selected her for its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Rusch uses a robot and video cameras to perform operations.
This and other new methods of thoracic surgery are minimally invasive and use only small incisions. But serious complications from the surgery range from 5 to 10 percent, Wright said. And the mortality rate of the surgery is 1 in 100.
Third bout with cancer
This is Justice Ginsburg’s third bout with cancer. In 1999, she was treated for colorectal cancer; in 2009, it was pancreatic cancer and, now, lung cancer. During her 25 years on the court, though, she has never missed a day of oral argument.
The next argument day is Jan. 7, and Mathisen said it is possible that she will be able to keep her record intact, but he warned that overdoing things can ultimately slow a patient down, meaning “one step forward and five steps back.”
News of Ginsburg’s latest bout with cancer is yet another blow to the Supreme Court’s liberals, now outnumbered 5-4 on the nation’s highest court.
Ginsburg has become something of a feminist cultural icon and defies the image of the angry feminist. She is both decorous and determined and makes it a point not to “waste energy” on emotional reactions.
She has become the leading liberal voice on the Supreme Court, and even if she recovers fully from this latest bout with cancer, she likely will be “playing hurt” for a while. That is something she has done for years, powering through even the death of her beloved husband of 56 years in 2010. But she is 85, and there is no way of sugarcoating that fact — even though her mind remains sharp as a tack.
Indeed, last week, even as she was secretly undergoing a series of tests and consulting an array of doctors, she made multiple public appearances and was interviewed in front of audiences three times, at one point reciting from memory the words of several arias from an opera about her famous friendship and legal dueling with the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
Should Ginsburg’s health falter further, President Trump could see a third opportunity to fill a seat on the Supreme Court.
After Justice Anthony Kennedy, a centrist conservative, announced his retirement earlier this year, Trump picked conservative Brett Kavanaugh to replace Kennedy. After two contentious sets of hearings, including one involving charges of sexual assault that Kavanaugh denied, he was confirmed on a close vote.
In early 2017, the GOP-controlled Senate changed the rules to allow a simple majority to confirm a Supreme Court justice, which paved the way for Trump’s first pick to the court, conservative Neil Gorsuch.
A year prior, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took the unprecedented step of blocking President Barack Obama’s nominee to the court, Merrick Garland, for nearly a year after conservative Scalia died in February 2016.
The below article was originally published at strategic-culture.org on 11.11.16.
Amid concerns that it (and other references to the Soros/Clinton “Purple Revolution) were being scrubbed from the net by the purveyors of the Goolag, I decided to re-publish it here for reference by certain, friendly parties.
Defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is not about to «go quietly into that good night». On the morning after her surprising and unanticipated defeat at the hands of Republican Party upstart Donald Trump, Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, entered the ball room of the art-deco New Yorker hotel in midtown Manhattan and were both adorned in purple attire. The press immediately noticed the color and asked what it represented. Clinton spokespeople claimed it was to represent the coming together of Democratic «Blue America» and Republican «Red America» into a united purple blend. This statement was a complete ruse as is known by citizens of countries targeted in the past by the vile political operations of international hedge fund tycoon George Soros.
The Clintons, who both have received millions of dollars in campaign contributions and Clinton Foundation donations from Soros, were, in fact, helping to launch Soros’s «Purple Revolution» in America. The Purple Revolution will resist all efforts by the Trump administration to push back against the globalist policies of the Clintons and soon-to-be ex-President Barack Obama. The Purple Revolution will also seek to make the Trump administration a short one through Soros-style street protests and political disruption.
It is doubtful that President Trump’s aides will advise the new president to carry out a diversionary criminal investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s private email servers and other issues related to the activities of the Clinton Foundation, especially when the nation faces so many other pressing issues, including jobs, immigration, and health care. However, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said he will continue hearings in the Republican-controlled Congress on Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and Mrs. Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin. President Trump should not allow himself to be distracted by these efforts. Chaffetz was not one of Trump’s most loyal supporters.
America’s globalists and interventionists are already pushing the meme that because so many establishment and entrenched national security and military «experts» opposed Trump’s candidacy, Trump is «required» to call on them to join his administration because there are not enough such «experts» among Trump’s inner circle of advisers. Discredited neo-conservatives from George W. Bush’s White House, such as Iraq war co-conspirator Stephen Hadley, are being mentioned as someone Trump should have join his National Security Council and other senior positions. George H. W. Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker, a die-hard Bush loyalist, is also being proffered as a member of Trump’s White House team. There is absolutely no reason for Trump to seek the advice from old Republican fossils like Baker, Hadley, former Secretaries of State Rice and Powell, the lunatic former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, and others. There are plenty of Trump supporters who have a wealth of experience in foreign and national security matters, including those of African, Haitian, Hispanic, and Arab descent and who are not neocons, who can fill Trump’s senior- and middle-level positions.
Trump must distance himself from sudden well-wishing neocons, adventurists, militarists, and interventionists and not permit them to infest his administration. If Mrs. Clinton had won the presidency, an article on the incoming administration would have read as follows:
«Based on the militarism and foreign adventurism of her term as Secretary of State and her husband Bill Clinton’s two terms as president, the world is in store for major American military aggression on multiple fronts around the world. President-elect Hillary Clinton has made no secret of her desire to confront Russia militarily, diplomatically, and economically in the Middle East, on Russia’s very doorstep in eastern Europe, and even within the borders of the Russian Federation. Mrs. Clinton has dusted off the long-discredited ‘containment’ policy ushered into effect by Professor George F. Kennan in the aftermath of World War. Mrs. Clinton’s administration will likely promote the most strident neo-Cold Warriors of the Barack Obama administration, including Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, a personal favorite of Clinton».
President-elect Trump cannot afford to permit those who are in the same web as Nuland, Hadley, Bolton, and others to join his administration where they would metastasize like an aggressive form of cancer. These individuals would not carry out Trump’s policies but seek to continue to damage America’s relations with Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, and other nations.
Not only must Trump have to deal with Republican neocons trying to worm their way into his administration, but he must deal with the attempt by Soros to disrupt his presidency and the United States with a Purple Revolution
No sooner had Trump been declared the 45th president of the United States, Soros-funded political operations launched their activities to disrupt Trump during Obama’s lame-duck period and thereafter. The swiftness of the Purple Revolution is reminiscent of the speed at which protesters hit the streets of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in two Orange Revolutions sponsored by Soros, one in 2004 and the other, ten years later, in 2014.
As the Clintons were embracing purple in New York, street demonstrations, some violent, all coordinated by the Soros-funded Moveon.org and «Black Lives Matter», broke out in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Oakland, Nashville, Cleveland, Washington, Austin, Seattle, Philadelphia, Richmond, St. Paul, Kansas City, Omaha, San Francisco, and some 200 other cities across the United States.
The Soros-financed Russian singing group «Pussy Riot» released on YouTube an anti-Trump music video titled «Make America Great Again». The video went «viral» on the Internet. The video, which is profane and filled with violent acts, portrays a dystopian Trump presidency. Following the George Soros/Gene Sharp script to a tee, Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova called for anti-Trump Americans to turn their anger into art, particularly music and visual art. The use of political graffiti is a popular Sharp tactic. The street protests and anti-Trump music and art were the first phase of Soros’s Purple Revolution in America.
President-elect Trump is facing a two-pronged attack by his opponents. One, led by entrenched neo-con bureaucrats, including former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and Bush family loyalists are seeking to call the shots on who Trump appoints to senior national security, intelligence, foreign policy, and defense positions in his administration. These neo-Cold Warriors are trying to convince Trump that he must maintain the Obama aggressiveness and militancy toward Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other countries. The second front arrayed against Trump is from Soros-funded political groups and media. This second line of attack is a propaganda war, utilizing hundreds of anti-Trump newspapers, web sites, and broadcasters, that will seek to undermine public confidence in the Trump administration from its outset.
One of Trump’s political advertisements, released just prior to Election Day, stated that George Soros, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein, are all part of «a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities». Soros and his minions immediately and ridiculously attacked the ad as «anti-Semitic». President Trump should be on guard against those who his campaign called out in the ad and their colleagues. Soros’s son, Alexander Soros, called on Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband Jared Kushner, to publicly disavow Trump. Soros’s tactics not only seek to split apart nations but also families. Trump must be on guard against the current and future machinations of George Soros, including his Purple Revolution.
Pictured above, William F Buckley, Jr, founder of National Review. The article below is interesting but, of equal interest is the records search available through the FBI and Skull and Bones Society. Yes, Buckley was a Bonesman… bear that in mind as you get your head around the current Uni-Party situation and the melding of red/blue ideology…
National Review was founded in 1955 by Bill Buckley and, until the last few years, it has been the prestige publication of American conservatism. The late 50’s is a good starting point for the movement that has been the alternative to Progressivism. Buckley was greatly influenced by Russel Kirk, so the magazine took on Progressivism, but also the libertarianism of Ayn Rand and the failures of previous efforts to create a legitimate conservatism in the United States. The goal was to create a new Right.
Reading the take down of Ayn Rand by Whittaker Chambers all these years later, it is easy to see how things have changed. In the early days of Buckley conservatism, it was understood by people claiming to be on the Right that libertarianism suffered from the same materialism as Marxism. Rand loved ideology so much there was no room in her cold heart for humanity. Today, the so-called Right is indistinguishable from the libertarianism of today. The editor of National Review actually celebrates it.
It has become a cliche of sorts that what passes for conservatism today is just yesterday’s liberal fads. The social media gag “the conservative case for [fill in name of liberal degeneracy]” stopped being funny because it became common on the page of National Review itself. Here they make the conservative case for homosexual marriage and here they make the case for transgenderism. Of course, one of the leaders of what passes for conservatism these days is a man who walks around dressed as a woman.
When confronted by the ridiculous spectacle that is Conservative Inc., it is tempting to fall into the same trap as Muslims, Marxists and libertarians, when they confront the lunacy of their cults. Whenever a Muslim explodes in public, the response is, “well, that’s not the real Islam.” In the Cold War, Marxists professors would always say that Bolshevism was a mongrel and defective form of Marxism. Of course, libertarianism spend all their time wheeling around those goal posts on roller skates that define libertarianism.
The fact is, the conservatism of Bill Buckley was always defective. It was a continuation of what Robert Louis Dabney observed a century ago about Northern Conservatism. Russell Kirk saw conservatism as a disposition, the lack of ideology. What Buckley conservatism was, in fact, was a pose. The range of allowable opinion on the Left, however, allowed for the existence of a reformist element that drew on the old Right, as well as western traditionalism. The managerial state had not yet snuffed out liberalism.
A couple decades ago, the great paleocon academic Paul Gottfried noted that the managerial state had killed liberalism. By liberalism, he meant the philosophical view that distributed powers and bourgeois moral standards worked to restrain the state and protect civil society. The system of governance refined in the 19th century was being wiped away and something new would replace it. Today, what passes for the Left and the Right both agree to call it neoliberalism and both sides strongly embrace it.
In that Fred Bauer post, you see that Buckley conservatives are on the last leg of the journey into the sun. They no longer see a reason to oppose the Left, because the Left disappeared into the sun of neoliberalism a long time ago. As has been its habit since birth, the conservatism of Bill Buckley follows Progressivism around like a puppy. Its last act on the stage will be fusing itself permanently to what was once called the Left to form the bipartisan fusion ideology of the American managerial state.
Paul Gottfried coined the phrase “alternative Right” in his speech at the Mencken conference, when discussing what happened to the paleocons. Richard Spencer appropriated the idea and started the alt-right, but it was never a coherent movement nor did it have anything resembling an intellectual foundation. It was, at best, a grab bag of ideas plucked from various subcultures in the larger umma of the Dissident Right. As a result it became a cult of personality and then fizzled out entirely.
It is easy to lay the blame for the alt-right at the feet of Richard Spencer, but the real problem is something you can pick up in Gottfried’s speech at Mencken. Paleos never fully grasped the reality of Buckley-style conservatism. Paul remains puzzled by how easy it was for the neoconservatives to overrun the conservative institutions. The reason, of course, was that those institutions were built on the same manor as the Progressive institutions. Conservative institutions were just outbuildings for the main house.
If there is to be a genuine alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy, the first task is to accept a central truth of the managerial state. That is, it must approach an intellectual and moral singularity in order to exist. While it will never reach the point where all opinion is assimilated, the allowable differences are now so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye. A system that evolved out the principle of universal truth, must evolve a morality that is intolerant of anything that challenges it. There can be no room for an alternative.
That means that whatever comes after conservatism must first sink roots outside the neoliberal order and maybe even outside the Enlightenment. It cannot be a reaction to neoliberalism, as that implies a dependency. The obvious implication is that what comes after conservatism, in the framework of the American Right, is nothing. That line of discovery and inquiry has reached a dead end. It is an intellectual tradition with no future and no shadow. What comes next must be a clean break from northern conservatism.
After two years in office, Donald Trump finds his presidency at a crossroads. His mode of operation as president has been a continuation of his style as candidate. He says a lot of flippant things about the establishment, many of which are true, but the response is mockery or possibly some pearl clutching. Otherwise, from a policy perspective, the Trump era looks like the Jeb Bush era. The donor class got tax cuts and regulatory reform, while the voters have thus far gotten nothing, other than more of the same.
He can continue down the same path he has been on, reacting to the machinations of his enemies, like a hyper-active version of Richard Nixon, but that promises he will be a one-term president. While the political class ignores him on policy, the Mueller investigation operates like an anaconda wrapped around his administration. It is squeezing the life out of his agenda, by filling the media with salacious nonsense stories and reactions to them, while scaring off serious people interested in joining the administration.
A strange result thus far is that Trump is bad at the thing he was elected to do. That is confront the political class. From the beginning, he has allowed them to push him around and bluff him into bad policy. For example, the Mueller fiasco could have easily been avoided by refusing to appoint the guy. Was the GOP House really going to start impeachment hearings? Would the media be worse on him for not signing off of this ridiculous idea? At every turn, Trump has taken the advice of his enemies.
The conspiratorially minded think the “deep state” has something on him so he is being forced to go along with their agenda. That’s an entertaining theory, but the so-called deep-state has shown itself to be all thumbs when trying to pull off the simplest of capers. The real reason behind his failure thus far is Trump, at heart, still believes in old America, a system of laws and rules where eventually the truth rises to the surface. Trump’s “assault” on the swamp is actually a defense of that old dead American ideal.
After two years of learning that the rule-based system of politics is a myth and what happens in Washington makes New York City real state look innocent, Trump needs to accept the reality of his situation. He can let the Mueller investigation go on forever, as his opponents so desperately desire, or he can end it. If he chooses the former, he is a one-term president whose name will be forgotten. The victors may even have Trump and his family imprisoned, as a warning to others, who dare challenge the establishment.
The other option is to learn a lesson from Lincoln. When you scrape away the slobbering praise from the eventual victors, Lincoln faced a simple dilemma. He could try to preserve the old order, fail and be remembered as a blood thirsty tyrant, who tried to upend the Constitutional order as created by the Founders. Alternatively, he could be the tyrant and overthrow the system, win the war and create a new order. The reason Lincoln is not remembered as the American Sulla is his side won and wrote all of the history books.
That’s the dilemma Trump now faces. He can keep trying to win within the rules being imposed upon him by the establishment, or he can reject those rules entirely. After all, he is in the White House because he did exactly that in the campaign. His primary run was an example of outsider genius to outflank his opponents. His use of novel metrics to create new votes in the general was mostly due to necessity. It is a great reminder that necessity is the mother of invention – and revolutions.
Trump needs to accept that things have a reached the breaking point. It is no longer possible for him to strike a compromise with the establishment. They must be brought to heel and reform must be imposed upon them. They know this, which is why they are endlessly bluffing on what they are doing. Trump needs to call their bluff and fire Mueller, end his investigation and begin the process of investigating the rampant corruption in the intelligence services. More important, he has to be done with flourish.
Imagine news breaks one Friday that the Secret Service has raided the offices and homes of the Mueller team. Their computers, phones and materials were seized and their access to those materials revoked. All of them fired on the spot. Imagine the media hysteria over that move. Now imagine Trump addressing the nation that night, telling the country he has fired Team Mueller and is instructing his new AG to appoint a new special counsel to get to the bottom of the Mueller cover up of the FBI corruption.
That would turn Washington on its ear. When it is further learned that all of the material in the Mueller probe is under 24-hour armed guard and off-limits to everyone until the second investigation is commenced, the game is on. That means the new prosecutor can and will prosecute leaking information in those files. Bob Mueller goes from being the grand inquisitor to a person of interest. His flunkies suddenly become a liability to him and the rest of the conspirators. The rules of the game are suddenly very different.
Would the House Democrats commence impeachment proceedings? Probably. Even if they went forward, would the GOP senate convict? Maybe. There are plenty duplicitous cowards in the Republican Party. A craven loser like Mitt Romney comes to mind. Regardless of how it goes, Trump suddenly becomes an inflection point in the nation’s history. If they remove him from office, exactly no one will believe American democracy is anything but a sham to protect a corrupt ruling elite. The system will be discredited.
That’s where Trump is right now. In a very different context, he is in the same place Lincoln was at when he assumed office. Lincoln could only fail by maintaining the old order, so he had to end the republic. Trump can only fail if he tries to restore the old civic order he fondly remembers from the 1980’s. His choice is to fail or overthrow the current order. The former is a slow death of his administration. They latter does not guarantee success, but it means the end of the old order, for which he will be remembered.
As the revolt of the Yellow Vest spreads to France’s neighboring countries, the French President and self avowed “Roman god Jupiter” has abandoned his energy tax increases. The significance of this move needs to be understood in terms of the effect, i.e. the loss of an estimated €4 billion in tax revenue. This revenue deficit […]