Magic

Bernie Sanders grants a platitudinous interview to The New York Daily News. I’ll save you the trouble of reading the whole thing.

Imagine, if you will, the foothills of Big Rock Candy Mountain. The unicorns are prancing through lovingly tended, non-GMO fields dotted with organic milk and honey dispensers. Windmills disguised as trees are everywhere, rising above the solar panels blocking out the sun. All under the watchful eye of Uncle Bernie’s drones “that could, you know, take your nose off…”

Among other things, Senator Sanders is asked about foreign trade and it’s mentioned that his policy seems very similar to Donald Trump’s.

Sanders: Well, if he [Trump] thinks they’re bad trade deals, I agree with him. They are bad trade deals. But we have some specificity and it isn’t just us going around denouncing bad trade. In other words, I do believe in trade. But it has to be based on principles that are fair. So if you are in Vietnam, where the minimum wage is 65¢ an hour, or you’re in Malaysia, where many of the workers are indentured servants because their passports are taken away when they come into this country and are working in slave-like conditions, no, I’m not going to have American workers “competing” against you under those conditions. So you have to have standards. And what fair trade means to say that it is fair. It is roughly equivalent to the wages and environmental standards in the United States.

Interestingly more specific than Trump, and all the more fanciful for that. In “fairness” to American workers – as if none of those workers were also consumers – Sanders proposes to cast all economies in the mold of the United States. More accurately: He is proposing economic warfare through elimination of comparative advantage (which will only devastate the target economy).

This is nation building by other means. In “fairness” he’ll have to enforce something resembling our property laws, work ethic and contract law in all those countries: Roughly equivalent to the investment, research and development infrastructure standards in the United States. The other “fair” way is to impose their culture, tools, methods and standards here.

To be “fair” about it, then, he’ll also have to force bits and pieces of American engineering and technology companies to relocate to Mexico, Vietnam and Malaysia. And maybe this will happen when he takes Wall Street down.

The Daily News makes an attempt to determine what Bernie thinks the effect would be of forcing JPMorgan, for example, to “break themselves up.” He won’t speak to the consequences (he leaves decisions about how to break up to the breakees), but I think that’s because he knows bread lines might be one of them. And he likes bread lines.

Senator Sanders says, “You can’t look at politics as a zero-sum game.” No, for socialists, it’s only economics that’s a zero sum game.

Unlearn for Bern

You know, the Bernie voters more and more resemble the demographic contingent that “got clean for Gene.” Minus the clean bit, lacking the civility of the Vietnam era and adding tribalist whining about the 1st Amendment.

On a whim I checked ‘sarc’ on Duck-Duck-Go: “Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.” In this case, that’s Bill Clinton, Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright. It’s all in how you parse “sexual assault response.” Camille Paglia had some thoughts on this – “Sexism has nothing to do with it”.

But back to my point: The main difference between Gene McCarthy and Bernie Sanders is that no one in the 1960’s could possibly have run on an overtly socialist platform. But for Obama, no one could run on one now. Bernie’s acolytes think the problem is Barack didn’t transform enough.

The new generation of students doesn’t remember the Soviet Union, hasn’t read the Black Book of Communism or The Road to Serfdom and paid no attention to the lessons of Hugo Chavez (much less Mao, Stalin or Castro). Their “war” is fueled by abysmal economic ignorance. Not that the Vietnam era protestors were students of the dismal science, it just wasn’t their reason for being, and they couldn’t have sold socialism to a wide audience however much protest leaders may have wanted to.

How quickly we forget when the far left runs the government schools.

Advantage Sanders

Dem sen: Sanders has no ‘interest in foreign policy’

Democratic senator and top Clinton surrogate Claire McCaskill bashed rival Bernie Sanders on the day of the Iowa caucus as lacking the foreign policy chops needed to serve as commander-in-chief…

“He doesn’t have experience and hasn’t shown a great deal of interest in foreign policy, hasn’t really demonstrated the breadth and depth of knowledge you need to lead this country at a dangerous time.”

McCaskill has a point. Mrs. Bill’s interest in sharing state secrets with foreign intelligence agencies is well documented, and we are in a dangerous time.

Thanks, in no small part, to Mrs. Bill.

If only she’d shown a lack of interest in foreign policy, our national security wouldn’t be compromised, Libya wouldn’t be breeding ISIS, four Americans might not have died in Benghazi and she wouldn’t be on the verge of indictment.

Eight No Trump

A large and growing portion of American voters are eager to shake the foundations of the electoral process in order to dramatically alter how we are governed. They are fed up with establishment politics, government waste and endemic bureaucratic corruption. Five candidates clearly agree.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump believe further empowering government is the solution.

Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul believe government already has too much power, and want to aggressively shrink it.

At one time, this difference in preference for government intervention would have defined Progressivism vs. Conservativism. Not any more.

Donald Trump is allowed to reverse any of his positions when they become inconvenient:

  • Trump was for invading Libya when Clinton, Powers and Rice talked the beta-male in the White House into it. He’s against it in retrospect.
  • He supported single payer health care. Now he doesn’t.
  • He approved of partial birth abortion. Not any more.
  • He disliked the Tea Party and loved Barack Obama. He’s changed on both those ideas.
  • He’s flip-flopped on gay marriage and funding Planned Parenthood.
  • Sometimes he’ll move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Sometimes he won’t.
  • Sometimes he wants the Russians to fight ISIS for us, other times he’s not so sure that works.
  • In November he said we couldn’t afford to raise the minimum wage. By December he said American wages were too low.
  • In his book The America We Deserve, Trump wrote that he supported a ban on “assault weapons.” Not until last year did he apparently reverse his position.
  • He says he’s for free trade in the same sentence where he suggests a massive tariff on Chinese manufacture.
  • He says he’s going to force Mexico to pay to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants out of the U. S., and that he will quickly deport 11 million already here. In 2012 he said Mitt Romney’s mildly restrictive immigration proposals were “crazy”, and that the GOP lost the election because they didn’t “take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country.”
  • He brags about his financial independence and bribing politicians in the same breath. That’s just peachy on K-Street.

To be fair, Trump has been consistent on one thing – promoting big government corporatism. He loves abusing the laws covering eminent domain for his own benefit. He thinks TARP was a “great idea.” He supported Obama’s ‘stimulus’ program. He wants to expand ethanol subsidies. He told Sean Hannity, as recently as 2015, that a wealth tax is a “very conservative thing.”

None of those are remotely “conservative things,” but the point isn’t whether he’s a conservative. Of course he’s not. The point is that he’ll say anything to close the deal. And his supporters don’t care. They just want somebody’s ass kicked. They don’t see in the policy chaos of a Trump Administration that there’s a very good, and random, chance it’ll turn out to be their asses.

So called “Conservatives” have consistently betrayed them, so why worry about Trump’s principles? It didn’t matter that the vast majority of GOP Senators and Congressmen whom conservative voters gave majorities weren’t the principled conservatives they claimed to be, why should it matter if Trump isn’t?

Nonetheless, National Review feels compelled to tell us why Donald Trump is not a conservative. Since many people who support Trump still believe they are conservative, debating the definition of this word is not just futile, it is capitulation. The Trump supporters who don’t identify as conservatives are glad to hear he isn’t. The question isn’t conservatism.

The question both cohorts (should) care about is: Whose positions are consistent with the reform you want, rather than electoral expedients on the way to the next Imperial Presidency?

Fundamentally transform the GOP, or have the GOP modify its activities to fit the rules set forth in The Art of the Deal? Trump is big business, his policies demand even bigger government and he is a creature created by big media. Think that means reform?

I’m arguing here that a choice between Sanders/Clinton and Trump is no choice at all. In each case we get big government and big spending and paternalistic federal intervention characterized by crony capitalism and tribal zealotry.

There is a one party system sharing the spoils of corruption, but the implication that Trump will fix it is ludicrous. Establishment Republicans prefer him over Cruz because they know Trump can be co-opted.

Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Republicans Argue Over Who Is Greater Threat
Arguably, based on the fears of the GOP establishment, voters disaffected by politics as usual and looking for a shake up in the Republican party are better served by a Cruz presidency than a Trump presidency. See also.

GOPe preference for Trump over Cruz indicates, if forced, they’d rather have the party gently stirred than soundly shaken. Trump has no brief against the unholy dynamics among big government, big business, and big media, he lives there and revels in it.

The creative destruction of the Republican Party now seems possible through Cruz, Fiorina or Paul. This a necessary first step to restoring choice. If you want to temporarily remake GOP participation in DC corruption in the vision of The Art of the Deal – on the way to its total destruction – Trump’s your man.

Protecting the flank

Bernie is not a Democratic Presidential candidate. His role is protecting Mrs. Bill‘s left flank.

The Clintons couldn’t have invented a better way to suck the oxygen away from, for example, an Elizabeth Warren.

Bernie is triangulation raised to the next level. An old, white, crazy-uncle-in-the-attic – who isn’t even a Democrat – from a electoral vote poor State who floats all the socialist utopian canards: He makes Hillary look presidential by comparison. He lets her selectively navigate the memes that poll well with the economically ignorant.

You can’t yet run left of Bernie in this country and win, but he defends a vast space to Hillary’s left. They’ll have to get through him to get to her.

Bernie proved he knows his place last night when, on behalf of all Americans, he apologized to Mrs. Bill for inquiries into her obfuscation of corrupt co-ordination between the Department of State and the Clinton Foundation, and for her flippant disregard for basic national security considerations: “For convenience.” She accepted the apology. He accepted a reported $1.4 million in donations for his helpfulness.

You have to scroll down slightly for this clip (the first of two), to get the full-frontal cackling, bobble-head experience (watch Mrs. Bill, just listen to Bernie).

There. Fixed that for you, Daily Beast

This Is How Hillary Loses the Primary

Something remarkable is happening in American politics. For the first time in our history, a socialist is running a close second and gaining ground on the front-runner in a presidential race.

What they really meant: “Something remarkable is happening in American Democrat politics. For the first time in our history, an honest socialist is running a close second and gaining ground on the main stream socialist-as-usual front-runner in a presidential race.”