Own goals

Straightforward and clarifying, unlike most of the impeachment crap buzzing about. I learned a few things outside of the Democrat obnubilation.
Impeachment surprise: How Adam Schiff validated my reporting on Ukraine | John Solomon Reports

Why Trump so distrusted Ukraine. Why Yovanovitch was removed as US Ambassador to Ukraine. Why Hunter Biden’s Burisma gig was an issue long before Trump’s election, and that the Obama administration was concerned about it, but not about Ukrainian meddling in our 2016 election.

Confirmed by Schiff’s witnesses.

Also, we now know who leaked to the “whistleblower:”
Alexander Vindman condemned himself in his impeachment testimony

Whose anonymity is not legally protected:
Andrew McCarthy: Trump impeachment inquiry obstructed by Democrats’ ‘whistleblower’ secrecy charade

Deplorable scum

Hillary Clinton made a big bet on “deplorables.” Three years later, already having won that hand, Donald Trump raised her bid. He tweets that Never Trumpers are “human scum.”

“The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats. Watch out for them, they are human scum!”

This is obviously the Democrats’ fault. They keep empowering the President with their Star Chamber Impeachment coup, and encouraging him by continually upping the crazyiness ante. I mean, aren’t we all waiting with bated breath for Hillary Clinton to respond?

“Deplorable Russian scumbags” is still available.

If the Democrats had potential Presidential nominees (and Ms. Tentsuit is not one of them) who would condemn gun confiscation, eschew banning fracking, resist the pronoun war fallout, refuse massive tax hikes, ridicule the provision of free healthcare to illegal immigrants, oppose open borders, concede a woman’s right to choose logically ends with the birth of an autonomous being, abandon ruinously expensive fantasy proscriptions to prevent “climate change,” give up efforts to erase the Electoral College and pack the Supreme Court, and stop threatening to stamp out religious liberty – Trump might have had to moderate his language.

Even so, he probably wouldn’t have. He can’t help himself. Democrats apparently cannot grasp that, and, by now, they certainly should.

Full disclosure: I was NeverTrump during the GOP primaries. I voted Libertarian in the General. After Mr. Trump was elected, I accepted his Presidency. I have been pleased by some of his policies, appalled by others. That’s all on record here.

Nonetheless, according to The Donald, I’m now at least peripherally scum.

I can’t vote for anyone else this time. Wish I could. My enthusiasm ends with stopping the Democrat, whoever that turns out to be. If there were a GOP Presidential primary, I’d vote for Ted Cruz, though he’s too principled to run against a sitting President of his own party.

Mr. President, I know you can’t keep a civil tongue. I know it contributes to your success. But, gross insults of people who don’t matter to your re-election won’t convince any undecideds to vote for you.

And some people who gave up NeverTrumping might succumb to recidivism. That comment was just one of many bridges you went too far to burn.

NIMBY

Apparently the Trump Administration has been discussing sending sanctuary seeking oppressed persons of foreign citizenship who cross our borders irregularly to those cities in the United States which have declared they will defy Federal Law in order to provide succor to such unfortunates.

My question is, why didn’t the Sanctuary Cities demand this long ago?

Instead, they are complaining such action by the Feds would be “spreading pestilence,” and “Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants…”

Wouldn’t it be most humane to send “The wretched refuse,” (quoting Emma Lazarus, as Democrats have lately done) to the place they would receive the warmest welcome?

Nobody is allowed good intentions but us

Here’s what compassion gets you from the rabid Left. (Link broken intentionally. You can fix it if you really want the reference.)

Trump’s Plan to Decriminalize Homosexuality Is an Old Racist Tactic

Because “colonialism.” Don’t you know all cultures are morally equivalent? Except Western Civilization, which is oppressive.

This sleight of mind is how our Leftists forgive female genital mutilation and support boycotting the only democracy in the Middle East; while refusing to express an opinion on, or even acknowledge, the debate among some Imams regarding the proper way to kill gays – throw them off tall buildings or collapse a wall on them.

That is a very partial list of the multi-cultural ‘diversity’ the Left embraces in order to facilitate condemnation of Western culture. (The answer to the Imam’s debate is obvious: How many walls can you afford to collapse?  You can use the same building many times.)

I’d also mention how the Islamic fundamentalist debate on the treatment of trans people is proceeding, but I’m not aware of it.  Perhaps it goes unmentioned in the Quran.  If so, that’s probably good for trans people in strict Islamic countries.

But. If Trump moves to extend some protection to gays in Islamic countries that makes him a racist.

Maybe for those ‘apolitical voters who vote based on feelings’ someone could could point out that the charge of “colonialism” is just one more tired talking point for the postmodernist/critical theorist/intersectionalist wing of the party calling themselves Democrats: They aren’t to be taken seriously from a moral standpoint.

My favorite example of the bankruptcy of cultural equivalence, AKA deeply held moral intuitions, is related by Mark Steyn: The Gelded Age

In a culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of “suttee” – the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:

‘You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.’

India today is better off without suttee. If you don’t agree with that, if you think that’s just dead-white-male Eurocentrism, fine. But I don’t think you really do believe that. Non-judgmental multiculturalism is an obvious fraud, and was subliminally accepted on that basis. After all, most adherents to the idea that all cultures are equal don’t want to live in anything but an advanced western society. Multiculturalism means your kid has to learn some wretched tribal dirge for the school holiday concert instead of getting to sing “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” or that your holistic masseuse uses techniques developed from Native American spirituality, but not that you or anyone you care about should have to live in an African or Native American society. It’s a quintessential piece of progressive humbug.

Progressive humbug has become a quintessential piece of Western culture.

No rational arguments please, we’re Republicans

Republicans can start by stopping trying to win rational arguments.

A friend recently shared that sentence (not his) in an email. It’s in regard to an article at The Daily Signal by Sebastian Gorka.

The idea of abandoning rational argument just keeps nagging at me. It’s a capitulation to the Know Nothings on the Right and on the Left.

The sentence appears in this longer comment by my friend’s correspondent:

The writer [Gorka] makes a vital point that most people who support capitalism miss: we will never win the argument about capitalism being superior to socialism because many voters are only interested in emotions, not arguments. Accordingly they feel that capitalists are mean and socialists are compassionate, concerned about people. The only way to be compassionate is to take from the capitalists and give to them since capitalists got rich by making them poor. Unless and until conservatives can make a compassion appeal they will lose politically more and more. Forget trying to reason with people for whom reason is never a part of their feelings. So far Democrats have won the compassion battle. Republicans have always been out-compassioned. A completely different approach is needed. I think it can be done. Republicans can start by stopping trying to win rational arguments. They don’t win with apolitical voters who vote based on feelings.

This is one possible reading of the article, and it is in accordance with warnings from Alexis de Tocqueville and Ben Franklin about populism. I suspect they’d see the proposed solution as just the same problem, merely from a different political starting point.

The Gorka article speaks extensively to the poor results from voting based on feelings as opposed to ideas. It is not about abandoning rational argument, however. It is about branding. Gorka is urging us to recast the conservative brand because voters are disinterested in ideas. He then makes the mistake of conflating Trump, “Donald Trump has opened a window for the conservative movement of the 21st century,” with conservative ideas; which is a good part of the problem.

Republicans can start by stopping trying to win rational arguments.

So. We should take the Ocasio-Cortez Green New Deal as she suggests… “aspirational”; and respond with our own surreal proposals because we can’t win otherwise? What would that argument look like? Genetically re-engineering cows into carbon dioxide breathing unicorns; modifying humans to have fairy wings in order to eliminate airplanes?  If the emotional high ground has already been seized, as Gorka suggests, how would you get it back?  Mockery suggests itself.  Mockery of AOC’s ideas.  You can’t mock the emotions invoked by an appeal to universal human well being.  Showing the consequences of Utopia requires rational argument.

OK, unicorns and fairy wings are probably unfair to Mr. Gorka. But without concrete examples, what emotional threads do we pull to change these disinterested slugs into critical thinkers and not just a right-wingish, populist personality cult?  If liberty doesn’t stir their emotions, what will?  Whatever it is, if we’re to be successful, we need to connect it to liberty.

In contemplating the purpose of recasting a brand, a recent example might serve well. Gillette’s “Toxic Masculinity” ad was about emotion not razors.: “Men! Feel good about yourself when you act like radical feminists.”  Virtue signaling.

Virtue signaling is not how we save “conservatism” in the age of President “Brand is Everything.” Frankly, until the virtues we need to signal are once again widely considered virtues, chances of success are small.

Classical liberals have our own rational aspirational narrative, of which the Bill of Rights is a good example, and we should stick to it. Otherwise, when reality impinges on the Green New Deal we’ll be intellectually defenseless as well as destitute. Like in Venezuela, it’ll be the emotionally motivated women and children who suffer most. I aspire to avoid that.

There is compelling evidence that people vote based on emotion, so a charitable reading of Gorka’s piece would be, “The emotional commitment to classical liberal values has gone missing. We must reconnect it.” If so, we need to start with the educational system, not branding. There’s quite enough re-branding of classical liberal ideas coming from the White House already.

Republicans can start by stopping trying to win rational arguments.

The more I contemplate that, the more I think it captures the essence of my objections to Donald Trump, a man who can declare a national emergency and immediately comment, “I didn’t need to do this.” The emergency is aspirational, apparently. But it promotes his brand. And the Pentagon will pay for it.

This all reminded me of a TOC post: Intentionality, which I think speaks well to the importance of ideas and the bankruptcy of our educational system. It is well worth reading in conjunction with this post.