American Elephants


What We Have Been Reading Today by The Elephant's Child

Here’s What We’ve Been Reading Today:

From William Voegeli, at Law & Liberty: “Do Americans Want to Be Involved in Local Governance?” He analyzes the choices offered to him on the most recent ballot, and the problems involved in keeping up and keeping well informed.

From The Babylon Bee, the satirical website that mostly makes more sense than the real world. “All Democrats Drop Out of Presidential Race Since The World is Ending from Climate Change and There’s No Point

From Breitbart : Watch Live–One Year Later; Leftists March on Scotus to Impeach Kavanaugh It’s quite clear, they never thought he was guilty of abusing women, Since he is a Conservative, they feared he might vote against their abortion rights, and thought impeaching him the only way to get him out of there.

Also from Breitbart, “While Democrats Pursue Impeachment, President Trump Builds Impressive Record of Accomplishments.”

From American Thinker, Nancy in the swamp of despond.”

From the New York Post: “Sorry, Dems: It’s OK to ask for foreign help in a criminal justice investigations

From National Review: “What We Love About America: An Introduction



If You Were Wondering Why the Left Seems So Insane… by The Elephant's Child

John Marini is  professor of political science at the University of Nevada. He writes. in the latest edition of Imprimis, about political scandal.

Nearly every political administration has potential scandal lying just below the surface. There are always those in government who seek to profit privately from public service, and there are always those who will abuse their power. All governments provide the occasion for scoundrels of both kinds. But the scandals they precipitate rarely erupt into full-blown crises of the political order. What differentiates the scandals that do?

Scandal can provide a way for defenders of the status quo to undermine the legitimacy of those who have been elected on a platform of challenging the status quo.

To understand a political scandal fully, one must take into account all of the interests of those involved. The problem is that these interests are rarely revealed—which is why it is so tempting for partisans, particularly if they are at a political disadvantage, to resort to scandal to attack their opponents. Many great scandals arise as a means of attacking political foes while obscuring the political differences that are at issue. This is especially likely to occur in the aftermath of elections that threaten the authority of an established order. In such circumstances, scandal provides a way for defenders of the status quo to undermine the legitimacy of those who have been elected on a platform of challenging the status quo—diluting, as a consequence, the authority of the electorate.

And here’s Andy Puzder on Fox News:

To the great shock and disappointment of liberals who have been desperately hoping for a downturn, the U.S. economy once again blew away expectations, recording 3.2 percent GDP growth rate in the first quarter of this year.

Liberals have been predicting an impending recession for months. Frustrated with the obvious success of President Trump’s sweeping middle-class tax cuts – which they had claimed would result in “Armageddon” – Democrats next argued that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) would only produce a “sugar high” for the economy. With each successive quarter that their predictions have failed to materialize, they’ve only become more frustrated with the economy’s long-term prospects. …

This isn’t a one-time anomaly, either. GDP growth has been increasing steadily throughout Trump’s presidency, and the most recent data bring us to three consecutive quarters in which year-over-year growth has been 3 percent or higher. In fact, GDP growth has averaged 3.3 percent over the past four quarters.

Camille Paglia wrote, back in 2014:

The basic leftist premise, descending from Marxism, is that all problems in human life stem from an unjust society and that corrections and fine-tunings of that social mechanism will eventually bring Utopia. Progressives have unquestioned faith in the perfectibility of mankind.

William Voegeli at a Heritage panel on the future of the left, also in 2014

The fundamental assumption of the Left is the innate goodness of each person. This assumption means that they are seeking to undermine the Constitution which is based on a very different version of human nature. The Constitution puts the three branches of government against each other so that each will keep the others in check. The Constitution expects selfish ambition and by expecting ambition it legitimizes it — which is precisely what the left does not want to do. The left wants to supply not the “defect of better motives” but just better motives. Liberals want to set up a system that allows our latent goodness to “flourish” and the checks of our constitutional system can be discarded in favor of technocratic centralized disinterestedness that allows each individual to live an authentic life of his choosing.

Kevin Williamson, same panel:

In order to achieve this goal of a soft liberated citizenry the Left will have to dominate and control more of society—a tendency that is already in evidence.

And here’s Tom Sowell:

The vision of the left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also  vision of themselves – a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice”and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalted vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice. Which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact free arguments on the left, whether it is gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues – and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.



Exposing The Left, And It’s Not Pretty by The Elephant's Child

Important stories from the past few days that you might have missed:

—”30 GOP Congressmen Have Been Attacked or Threatened Since May”A total of 30 Republican members of Congress have either been attacked or revealed that they were the victim of a death threat since the beginning of May. This includes the Republicans who were on Hendrickson’s list when he shot Steve Scalise and others at the Republican charity baseball game.

—Mary Katherine Ham explains the “Aftermath of Alexandria Shooting Showed the Left’s Cultural Bullying At It’s Worst” much of the Left,  if it wasn’t praise for the shooter, it was the closest thing to it. Unbelievably crass.

—Daniel Greenfield explains what’s happening in a brilliant column titled “Anger Privilege:” If you want to know who has privilege in a society and who doesn’t, follow the anger. There are people in this country who can safely express their anger. And those who can’t. If you’re angry that Trump won, your anger is socially acceptable. If you were angry that Obama won, it wasn’t.

James Hodgkinson’s rage was socially acceptable. It continued to be socially acceptable until he crossed the line into murder. And he’s not alone. There’s Micah Xavier Johnson, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Dallas, and Gavin Long, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Baton Rouge. If you’re black and angry about the police, your anger is celebrated. If you’re white and angry about the Terror travel ban, the Paris Climate treaty, ObamaCare repeal  or any Leftist cause, you’re on the side of the angry angels.

But if you’re white and angry that your job is going to China or that you just missed being killed in a Muslim suicide bombing, your anger is unacceptable. Do read the whole thing. I think he nailed it.

—J.Christian Adams, writing at PJMedia, says President Trump is reportedly frustrated with Deep State leakers trying to sabotage his agenda. “Mr. President, Meet Avner Shapiro, Saboteur From the DOJ Swamp”

President Trump is a supporter of voter identification laws. Avner Shapiro is not. From his perch at the Voting Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Avner Shapiro has exerted more will over DOJ’s approach to voter ID — particularly against Texas — than has the president. The saga is a case study  in how Deep State leftists both sabotage the Trump agenda and unethically leak confidential information about litigation decisions.

—Victor Davis Hanson, at National Review. writes on “The Architecture of Regime Change.” ‘ The ‘Resistance’ is using any and all means —lies, leaks, lawbreaking, and violence—to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

The problem with the election of President Donald J. Trump was not just that he presented a roadblock to an ongoing progressive revolution. Instead, unlike recent Republican presidential nominees, he was indifferent to the cultural and political restraints on conservative pushback — ironic given how checkered Trump’s own prior conservative credentials are. Trump brawled in a way McCain or Romney did not. He certainly did not prefer losing nobly to winning ugly.

Even more ominously, Trump found a seam in the supposedly invincible new progressive electoral paradigm of Barack Obama. He then blew it apart — by showing the nation that Obama’s identity-politics voting bloc was not transferable to most other Democratic candidates, while the downside of his polarization of the now proverbial clingers most assuredly was. To her regret, Hillary Clinton learned that paradox when the deplorables and irredeemables of the formerly blue-wall states rose up to cost her the presidency.



Domestic Violent Extremists? Homeland Security Paranoia. by The Elephant's Child

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A leaked document from Homeland Security predicts the rise of “anti-Government violence. That was a headline that caused a brief flurry in the press (very brief). Notable in the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis concern over an increase in violence, was the standoff at the Bundy ranch when the BLM attempted to seize Bundy’s cattle, but backed off when a ‘militia group’ showed up.

The seven page report, titled, “Domestic Violent Extremists Pose Increased Threat to Government Law Enforcement” dated, July 22, 2014, said, “After years of only sporadic violence from violent domestic extremists motivated by anti-government ideologies, I&A has seen a spike within the past year in violence committed by militia extremists and lone offenders who hold violent anti-government beliefs. These groups and individuals recognize government authority but facilitate or engage in acts of violence due to their perception that the United States Government is tyrannical and oppressive, coupled to their belief that the government needs to be violently resisted or overthrown.”

I have written recently about the impermeable “bubble” in which the Left resides. They require protection from the wrong information emanating from the Right, at all costs. As far as I can tell, this is caused by the fact that their policies are a result of their feelings about events on a case-by-case basis. They do not rely on foundational principles.

There was a point a while back when they worried because Republicans had think tanks to give them ideas, and they didn’t. So they got their money people to start one — the Center for American Progress — because they’re progressives now, not liberals, or leftists.  (I keep forgetting). But nothing much changes. The CAP comes up with ‘Issues’ with which to defeat the Right like ‘the War on Women’ and ‘free contraceptives,’ and the language and tactics to make a war on women seem real, but not the principles that make it an important issue.

In the hothouse of such a bubble, there exists a constant element of paranoia. If you know your argument is flimsy and has no principles behind it, you expect it to be shot down, or attempted to be shot down. With that nagging fear comes a fear of the Right in general. You never know what they might try next. When your history is invented, and you have no firm, unchanging, bedrock principles — when your opposition, who you are convinced are both radical and stupid, starts holding demonstrations and carrying signs and waving a  yellow flag with a rattlesnake on it, and talking about the revolution, you get all nervous.

They know who the protesters are. They send them out. They are union activists demanding a higher wage,  and people from the radical green groups trying to save us from the ravages of global warming, and the folks from La Raza demanding amnesty now. But these people are dangerous. Who ever heard of Republicans demonstrating. Singing. Carrying American flags. And their signs are about the Constitution, or demanding repeal of the law that gives everyone free health care. Violent extremists.

This is not new. If you want to get into a major battle with a lib, just say something about the evils of socialism and how similar Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia were. You might get away with calling Stalin and communism an aberration of the Left, but they will be absolutely certain that Hitler was a right-wing dictator, despite the fact that NAZI was an acronym for National Socialist Party.

They were certain that Kennedy was shot by a right-wing nut, that Timothy McVeigh was a member of a Right-Wing militia, that the Branch-Davidian standoff was a right-wing something or other. They have convinced themselves that the Dixiecrats were really racist Republicans, and some have actually gone so far as to believe that Lincoln was really a Democrat. The bubble has tough walls and is quite impermeable.

The Left is positive that any objection to the policies of the Obama administration is racism. There are beginning to be some cracks in that edifice. The media is noticing that their president is not really engaged by foreign policy, and would clearly rather spend his time on the golf course. His third-string advisers are not up to the job. John Kerry’s insistence that climate change is a more pressing concern than Hamas, Gaza, ISIS, the Kurds, Putin’s advances on Ukraine, China’s flexing of its muscles, Iraq’s centrifuges, is not evidence of a serious administration.

This all blends into the militarization of the police, the drive to ban guns. A California congressman has just introduced a bill to prevent the purchase, ownership or possession of enhanced body armor by civilians. (HR. 5344). “This bill will keep military body armor out of the wrong hands, Representative Honda said, “It would ensure than only law enforcement, firefighters and first responders wold be able to access enhanced body armor.” Now that’s paranoia.

 




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