Post of the day is actually a misnomer. It’s a podcast from PowerLine where Steven Hayward interviews Ben Boychuk about the initial year of the American Greatness website. I’ve been following them from the beginning but I learned a couple of things about them. More importantly, I enjoyed their take on the Trumpocalypse and its current aftershocks. Good listen.
Has it already been a year since that marvelous day? It certainly went fast. And how has the world changed? Well, Hillary Clinton isn’t in jail. Liberal judges are still victimizing normal Americans for trying to be normal Americans. There’s no big beautiful wall on the southern border. And the New York Times hasn’t gone out of business. So, we’re not in heaven for sure.
But the world has definitely changed and there’s no going back. A very significant part of the right knows that the GOP establishment is a sham. These people know now that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan aren’t interested in preserving conservative values in America. They are only interested in preserving their hold on power in Washington. It has become crystal clear that the GOP establishment and the Never-Trumpers in the media are much more interested in maintaining their monopoly on right wing voters than actually doing anything to make the country a better place for those voters. With respect to immigration, trade, jobs and leftist cultural attacks they are indistinguishable from Chuck Schumer and the New York Times. And these awakened voters won’t ever forget what they’ve learned. They say knowledge is power and it is. But there’s more to it than that. Just knowing why things happen the way they do banishes the confusion that leads to despair. You’re not always blind-sided by events. It allows you to plan ahead and avoid pain and protect yourself and those you care about. It allows you to know what is possible and avoid trying to do what can’t be done. It lets you be more at peace and it makes you more effective.
Donald Trump has given us the example of someone who doesn’t let the Left dictate the terms of engagement. He rejects their framing of events and uses their own methods against them. He has become the World’s Greatest Troll. Watching how day after day, week after week, every one of their pronouncements of the end of the Trump presidency turns into a nothing burger has shown me that once people stop believing fake news the Fake News Media loses almost all its power and just becomes a laughing stock.
Of course, candidate Trump was wrong about one thing he said. I am definitely not tired of winning. In fact, I’m getting impatient again. I’d really like to hear of another Supreme Court appointment and that tax bill passed and an executive order lowering the legal immigration quota to 200 people a year. But I’m also happy to let the President get things done in his own way. He has proven to me that he is perfectly capable of advancing his agenda quickly. And finally, I am worried about Mueller. I really don’t see why he doesn’t fire that man. He’s an enemy and he will do great harm if he’s not stopped. And while the President is at it he needs to give Sessions an ultimatum, start cleaning house in the Justice Department or clear out and let someone else do it.
So, as we begin year 2 A.T. (After Trumpocalypse) I am happy and energized knowing that the changes are as much in the people as they are in the government. We know who is helping and who is hindering us. And we know which voices to ignore (or mock) and which to heed. And finally, it was so much fun to watch all those YouTube videos from a year ago as all those liberal pundits lost their minds and hopes when the Trumpocalypse swept away all their dreams and left Hillary Clinton washed up like a beached whale rotting on the shores of Loserville.
Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves. This is the post the poll came from Who Are We?
… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog? I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like. If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below. I think it might be interesting.
During the run-up to the vote for the Brexit and also for Trump’s presidential victory it was consistently the case that all the establishment news sources declared emphatically that victory for the progressive position was a foregone conclusion. In fact, these pronouncements were almost always attended by snarky jibes at anyone who even hinted at an alternative outcome. And of course, the further to the moonbat-left you ventured, the more manic these pronouncements became. Especially memorable were the efforts by Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow and John Oliver.
After the elections, these same sources were a study in shock and astonishment. Immediately blame was cast at the polls. How could they have been so wrong? This was followed by the pollsters pointing to the closeness of the numbers for both sides and the accuracy the polls actually represented. And this brings us back to the current situation. Democrats want to know how the supreme confidence that the media outlets had in their sides’ victories was so wrong.
So the latest analysis that I read today was an article by pollster Nate Silver of FIVETHIRTYEIGHT, entitled “There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble.” In it he discovers that there really was echo-chamber on the media left. Shocking!
Now of course to normal people this sudden realization seems utterly comic. But from the point of view of his constituency it really is sort of a brave statement. They will attack him for claiming that there was any kind of error on the left. The acceptable answer is that “the Russians hacked the election.”
Well anyway, Nate says that the problem was that the echo-chamber led the media to accept the beliefs of their own peers as representative of America in general. He lists the characteristics of a crowd that makes it representative of the larger population and shows why the media isn’t a good population to use. They are:
1) Diversity of opinion.
According to Nate the media has aggregation but lack diversity, independence and decentralization. Very interesting. Regardless of how he’s defining diversity of opinion, independence and decentralization I’m pretty sure most of us don’t have any trouble believing the media lack these things. So let’s go along with this analysis. His point is that the inaccuracy of the media on these elections was unintended and correctable.
Yeah, I think that’s a bunch of bull.
I’m pretty certain that a decision was made that painting the election as completely out of reach would demotivate enough Trump voters in the swing states to win the election for Hillary. Likewise, in England shaming and demotivating Brexit voters was a conscious ploy. I’ll go further, I think it was also a desperate ploy. I think in both elections they knew it was slipping away from them but they kept up the best face they could in order to prevent a rout from occurring when their own voters realized that they weren’t locked into victory. Apparently progressive morale is a more fragile commodity than the right-wing equivalent. Evidence for this is on display on You-Tube in the large number of post-election videos highlighting unhinged leftists wailing and gnashing their teeth convinced that the Trumpocalypse had engulfed the universe and would soon end it.
So, there’s my thesis. I guess someone could claim that really it was more like people whistling past the graveyard and just trying to encourage themselves by not allowing any worrisome speculation on unfortunate outcomes. I don’t believe this. I think the combination of encouraging their own fragile partisans and dispiriting as many republican voters as possible was the tactic and the play.
And the test for this theory would be if Trump is able to deliver the results he ran on (the wall and deportation of illegal immigrants, reversing exportation of manufacturing jobs, restoring the middle-class) his reelection victory should be even more lopsided in the electoral college but more importantly, he will win in the popular vote too. Because as long as he keeps faith with his voters and doesn’t allow the media to define his presidency, he’ll prevent republican voters from losing heart and simultaneously he’ll depress the hell out of the commies.
Oh, and Nate Silver, he’s full of it. He knows exactly where things stand. It’s just a fig leaf.
If you grew up with Watergate as the primary example of Republicans self-immolating, then news that Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigating the Russian Scandal sounds ominous. But Donald Trump is not your father’s Republican. This morning I read that Donald Trump was tweeting how Obama had wire-tapped Trump Tower during the election. That’s more like it.
Trump seems to have a well-developed instinct for public relations. I think he is working an angle to allow him to use public opinion to defuse the Obama trip-wires that we see being deployed by Deep State actors and the Fake Media. The only question in my mind is whether the initial actions by Obama’s surrogates are immune from legal consequences. Being the petty, vindictive individual I am, I whole-heartedly hope for some truly horrific retribution involving extended prison terms and plea-bargains involving state’s evidence that leads to indictments of former presidents with the (D) associated to their names.
The way that I would approach this is to announce that the leaking of investigatory information was a conspiracy to destabilize the United States government and therefore a form of treason. I would give anyone who wanted to avoid prosecution, the chance to come forward with the details in advance of an investigation. Anyone who did not come forward and had information of the conspiracy would be liable for prosecution as a co-conspirator. That would surely produce some actionable information and allow for the rounding up of the main actors. From what I remember, treason still has the death penalty attached to it. And atheist communists know of nothing less desirable than being dead. So, it should be interesting to see where this sort of quail hunt goes.
But the first step is to provide a pardon to Jeff Sessions (and General Flynn) in advance and move forward with the hunt. That should take all the wind out of the sails of the democrats and let them know that they are being hunted by the guy they tried to set up. These democrats have had things their own way their whole lives and someone who doesn’t play by their rules will have a pretty easy time of mopping the floors with them. After all, the element of surprise is an incredibly powerful thing to have on your side, especially against the complacent.
On a personal note, I think it would be extremely interesting to get state’s evidence from someone like an FBI insider. There must be a list of House and Senate names involved that would empty their side of the aisle if the true story ever came out.
Publius Decius Mus (author of the anonymous and influential article “The Flight 93 Election” has been revealed to be Michael Anton. And he has taken a job as the White House’s, Communications Director of the National Security Council. Anton immediately found himself attacked by the usual suspects, leftists and never-Trumpers. He’s all kinds of bad things. He’s a Nazi (of course), a fascist, a reactionary. He’s too smart to just be a deplorable. He must be an evil genius. Anton was part of the George W Bush administration and a card-carrying neo-con. But he saw the mistakes that were made and recognized the overreach and delusion that defined the Bush view. He saw that Conservatism Inc. (his term for the pundits) was not interested in the issues that faced the everyday people. They were uninterested in either rampant illegal immigration that depressed their wages, rampant globalism that exported their jobs or unchallenged cultural Marxism that demeaned their beliefs and proselytized their children.
The Flight 93 Election article was clear and I think convincing. It provided the logical reason for even a high-powered intellect to embrace the Trump presidential bid as the only hope of avoiding a fundamental and probably irreversible degradation to the American way of life. I remember agreeing with the article completely and finding comfort in knowing that someone clearly intelligent and literate had expressed in the public square what I also believed was at stake in the 2016 election.
So why am I writing this post? Because once again, the Trump administration has done something good. They have plucked a former W insider who was part of the Iraq War catastrophe and because he believes in what the Trump White House wants to get done, they’re using him. Smart.
People keep telling me how crazy Trump is, how dumb he is. Well if he is then he sure knows how to hide it. Admittedly when he goes off script he sounds like Ralph Kramden of the Honeymooners talking to the members of the Racoon Lodge about how he is going to put one over on their wives. But every time he makes a move it turns out to be the right one. One theory I’ve been trying out is that Melania is the puppet-mistress pulling The Donald’s strings. Well, if this is so then lucky him. But more likely, he has learned how to size up advisers. And he’s surrounded himself with people who know what they are doing. If that is true, then hiring Anton is just another good example of Trump recognizing good people. I’ve read some of Anton’s non-political writings and he is witty and clear.
Well, all this sounds just like a puff piece. Where’s the dramatic tension? I’ll tell you where. I’m disgruntled. Trump and his people knew Decius was a Bush guy but reading his articles must have convinced them that he should be part of the team. I consider myself a great intellectual too. And I’ve written dozens of posts on Trump that put him in a good light (well I do poke some gentle fun at you, schmoopy). So where’s my cushy Washington job with a view of Pennsylvania Avenue? Come on Donald, you know where to reach me. Send the helicopter and let’s do a meeting. As your science and technology adviser I can streamline all these boondoggle programs and actually get something useful done. With my help, you can make nerds great again. But this is a short-term offer. On January 9th 2025 this offer will be null and void (well, unless you’re listening too Mike Pence, errr, sir). So, hurry up schmoopy.
I had to work on Inauguration Day. When I took a break, I had a chance to hear the speech. The words are good. Whoever wrote it earned his pay. There is no soaring rhetoric. Its power is in its relevance. I heard a few simple messages. The time for talk is over. The time for action is now. Buy American, hire American. America first.
I am no longer an overly enthusiastic or optimistic man. I do not assume that good intentions are enough to solve problems. But I note that just as Trump spoke during the campaign to the underlying blindness that republican leaders exhibited to the concerns of the people on the right so his speech here cleaves to his primary message. He declares his mission. Restore America for Americans.
I’ll keep this short and sweet. He begins well.
Donald Trump (DT) – Hey Pence!
Mike Pence (MP) – Yes Mr. Trump.
DT – Hey, why don’t you call me Mr. President?
MP – Because you’re not president yet Mr. Trump.
DT – Well then, why is Schumer calling me president?
MP – He’s trying to tie your hands by blaming you for things that happen before you get into the White House.
DT – What a weasel! That’s it! I’ll make sure his Aunt get’s thrown out of that rent-controlled apartment in Trump Village. Fine. But remember in a couple of weeks you’re gonna have to call me Mr. President.
MP – Yes, Mr. Trump.
DT – Hey, anyway, the reason I called you is I need to start figuring out what this government business does.
MP – Well, it runs the country.
DT – No I don’t mean what it says it does. I mean what it actually does.
MP – I’m not sure I see the distinction.
DT – Sure you do. You are the governor of a state. You know where the bodies are buried. You know which are the sacred cows that don’t do anything but can’t be touched because they have juice.
MP – Oh, I think I see. You want to know where the fat is and why.
DT – Exactly. I want to know where the pork is and more importantly, who are the rabbis.
MP – The rabbis?
DT – Rabbis, godfathers, whatever you want to call them. The guys who know where the bodies are buried and who collect the fees.
MP – Yes, I see. Mr. Trump that is a very big job. You’ll need your cabinet working for months to just begin to understand where the waste and featherbedding is.
DT – That’s what you think. I’ve been talking with the Thiel guy. He may be a little light in the loafers but he’s plenty smart. He’s working on an algorithm to find this stuff. I’ll bet he gets it done in days or weeks.
MP – Mr. Trump, that sounds like science fiction. I hardly think you’ll be able to streamline the US Government in a few weeks. You’ve got to be realistic. If we can slow down the growth a little while we’re in office it will be a great achievement.
DT – Now that’s exactly what’s wrong with this country. You want to drain the swamp with an eyedropper. I want to use an atom bomb. Look, Mike we only have about a hundred days to build up some momentum. After that we’re dead meat. So, look alive. You know the saying, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” Well, I’m leading so that just leaves you two options, and there’s no way to get out of my way so hurry up and follow. And bring along a crow bar ‘cause we’ve got a lotta demo to do.
MP – Okay Mr. Trump I’ll do my best.
DT – Look, Mike. You’ve gotta start thinking on your feet. I’m gonna hand this show over to someone in four years. If you wanna be that guy you better wake up.
MP – Well when you put it that way, lead on. I think there are a couple of agencies that haven’t produced anything but pensions in the thirty years I’ve been around and I can tell you who to start firing right now.
DT – That’s better. I knew there was a reason I didn’t go with Christie. Besides his taste in suits.
Since December 22nd I have been in a veritable cocoon of self-imposed isolation from the world. I have left the grounds only three times and only once for more than an hour. I have spent this time, for the most part, reveling in the blissful sloth of a long holiday vacation. I have eaten delicious and unhealthy food until it is coming out of my ears. I sat around and watched so many holiday and “classic” movies that I’m tempted to nominate Bing Crosby for sainthood. And, of course I read so much political news that I feel sure that Trump will give me the nod for Veterans Administration head just on the merits.
But now it’s time to emerge from my cocoon. Tomorrow (shudder!), I will make the commute back to the office and reconnect with the real world. I’m not sure what to expect. I know my desk will be covered with paperwork (actual and virtual) and it will be a week before I’m dug out. In fact, the beginning of the year is a sprint of deliverables and meetings that will keep me hopping for weeks. Good, the status quo is restored.
But it’s not. The impending Trump presidency hangs over everyone like some alien spacecraft hovering over a large city in a sci fi thriller. Either it’s going to be Independence Day and the hellfire is about to rain down or it’s Star Trek IV and we’re all gonna be bored by some sermon on saving the whales. But either way it’s up there and until we know which it will be it’s hard to pretend that finishing that power point presentation on quarterly highlights is the most important thing in the world.
Of course, we have to wait another two and a half weeks until this Obama joker gets finished trashing the government and golfing on our nickel. I doubt there’s a less welcome player on the world stage than BO. Not even his own party can stand him. But he’s determined to cause the maximum annoyance until they pull the curtain down on this clown. Lord, give me patience.
But regardless if you’re Ann Coulter or Rosie O’Donnell there’s no denying that Donald Trump is the biggest story and none of us know for sure exactly what he’ll do. Now, I’m firmly ensconced on the right periphery of the political spectrum. I hope that Trump starts off his administration with a rapid reversal of all Obama’s executive orders and moves on to appointing Torquemada to the Supreme Court and Genghis Khan to the Justice Department. Then they could take on a joint project of structuring a RICO prosecution that includes BLM and George Soros. But only someone who has been asleep for the last thirty years can be unaware of how badly reality can deviate from even the most reasonable forecasts.
In early 1992 no one could have seen GHW Bush losing to Bill Clinton. During the Gulf War his poll numbers were stratospheric. Equally improbable was GW Bush’s failure to reckon with the American people’s dissatisfaction with his interminable wars in the Mid-East. These were political blunders that led to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama respectively. What they should teach us is that the president can’t have a tin political ear. If you pull the levers of power and they cause pain to the people who vote, you’d better be able to convince them that it’s for something they want. So, there’s the question, is Trump more like Reagan or more like a Bush.
I’m actually pretty certain that Donald Trump is closer to the former than the latter. And that gives me hope. I can see him striking deals with even some democrats that will satisfy voters and boost consumer confidence. Of course, the flip-side of this would be, Trump moving so far to the left that he would be indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton. This I find unlikely. Based on the people he’s putting in place, I think he wants to make some big changes. His picks for Education, Energy and the EPA are affronts to the liberals. I can see how he intends to lighten the ship in those departments. Also his pick for Defense is a signal that fun and games are over for the Army.
All in all, I find myself quite optimistic about 2017. The best part of having a character like Donald Trump in the White House is that his famously thin skin should allow for some truly memorable Twitter rants against some of my least favorite people. Can you imagine him disinviting the Kennedys and the Clintons from some state affair and broadcasting it on social media? And my favorite Trump fantasy is the defunding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Can you imagine the panic? All those completely talentless television and radio personalities vying to remain on the only viable shows (Sesame Street and other kids shows) or trying to find spots at the already beleaguered operations of the other networks. The beg-athons would have to become epic in scope and basically unending. Probably for the right size donation you could have Ken Burns as your butler for a couple of years (and a tote bag).
Another way that Trump will probably excel past presidents is press conferences. I’m trying to imagine how it won’t be entertaining and I just can’t. I’m guessing that some of the reporters will challenge him from the start and I’m guessing he’ll ban them from the White House. And if he doesn’t like the articles the White House beat reporters write I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts trolling the comments sections of the NYT and WP. The best will be when he gives exclusive interviews to Ann Coulter and Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulis. The rest of the media will rail against this favoritism and decry the softball questions (as if the Obama deference never happened). It will be fantastic.
And finally, I look forward to the photo op where he sets the cornerstone for the wall. That’s when I’ll know we’ve arrived.
Here we are almost a month after part one of this thread and the warm glow from the election has not dissipated. If anything, it has increased. Donald Trump has surprised almost all of the critics (other than the democrat hacks who if even Einstein were the republican candidate would deny he was smart enough to count on his fingers). His cabinet selections have been good, very good. Personally, my favorite is the pick for EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt. Pruitt is the Oklahoma attorney general and he has been involved in stopping the EPA from imposing CO2 restrictions on the energy industry. This sort of clear and direct approach to reversing the outrages of the Obama administration, I think, bodes very well for Trump’s success. In addition, the extreme panic and indignation on exhibit over this particular selection is both amusing and instructive. These folks realize that they are not dealing with the hapless Bushes or some equally ineffective mainstream republican. We’re gonna get to move the chains in a big way.
So, I kept my promise and I did not speak about the election or politics with my friends or relatives of the other persuasion at Thanksgiving. I intend to maintain this policy through to the New Year and possibly beyond. The idea of separating friends and families from political debate was sound. No good or gain would come of it. Anyway, it would be overkill. I’m so saturated with schadenfreude through reading and watching reports of the progressives’ fury and panic that I’m almost poisoned with it. So, I’m done with it.
The time is better spent enjoying the holidays. There are books and movies to read and see. There are grandsons, nephews and nieces to regale with tall tales and bribe with presents. There will be mountains of splendiferous food; lobster, lamb, turkey, ham, lasagna, sausage and bean soup, eggplant parmigiana and breads, rice and potato dishes enough to feed a small village. After that we’ll eat desserts until diabetic shock sets in. Pies; apple, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, coconut custard, sweet potato, Boston crème and three kinds of pumpkin. Pastries; sfogliatelle, lobster tails, tiramisu and several kinds of cannoli. And we’ll drink gallons of coffee. And for those who indulge, there’ll be enough wine and booze to float a boat.
So, looking ahead to the Inauguration and the First 100 Days what should we expect? I think the question that needs to be answered is whether Senator McConnell has the stomach to go nuclear to get the cabinet and supreme court appointments confirmed. Recently he’s showed some backbone but it’s too soon to say. Luckily, McConnell is about to find out that pressure can come from both sides of the divide. I don’t doubt that Trump will use the bully pulpit and public opinion to get what he needs. After that I’m assuming we’ll see a bunch of Obama executive actions rescinded and new ones put in place. Also, I think we’ll hear what will be replacing Obamacare and how the immigration measures will be initiated. Eventually I hope to see how Trump plans to increase employment. Changes to the corporate tax code to encourage increases to domestic employment would be the best way.
So, here’s to everybody’s holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy yourself and save your energy for 2017 and the fireworks to come.
For those who read my earlier post, The Coffee Walk Bunch , this is the follow-up. I was away from the office on some training during election week. There were some e-mails to acknowledge the momentous events but the face to face had to wait until the next Monday. To say it was a contrast to the pre-election mood would be a gross understatement. That dispirited assemblage of men had been replaced by a jolly band of strutting conquistadores. Gone was all defeatism. Cast aside was the doom and gloom. All talk was of the stunning victory and the accompanying despair of the progressives. Schadenfreude was rampant. And personally gratifying was the acknowledgement of my brilliance as a steadfast proclaimer of the Trump victory. In fact my Tubman wager (although not literally possible to collect on due to the unavailability of a Tubman $20 bill) was celebrated with a framed and inscribed Jackson presented with all appropriate acclamation for the winner (that was me). I modestly accepted the winnings and gave a brief and animated address on the folly of betting against someone of my obvious accomplishments. Enthusiasm for this speech was, in my opinion, undeservedly muted and they instead congratulated themselves for being on the winning side. I let this Trump Triumphalism go on for about fifteen minutes just to be fair and also because I really enjoyed it too.
After that I brought them back to earth. “So you think God is in his heaven and all’s right with the world in this best of all possible worlds. Suckers! All you’ve got is a reprieve.” I spelled out the problems they faced.
- Although Trump had shown great discernment in identifying immigration as the underlying issue that needed to be addressed by a candidate, there was no way of knowing if he could or would solve that problem.
- The Democrats wouldn’t just fold up and go away and let Trump and Republicans have a free hand in undoing the Obama agenda.
- Trump was a completely unpredictable player. He might be a great help or he might actually do great harm to the country.
- Regardless of eventual success or failure of the Trump presidency, the weeks and months ahead would be full of frustration and uncertainty.
- The country itself had not unified. A few hundred thousand votes in a handful of states separated the progressives and conservatives from majority to minority. The nation was just as disunited as ever. Probably more so, based on the post election violence on display.
I’m not sure if they believed my assessment. I’m not sure if I wanted them to believe it. After all, the holidays are supposed to be a time of happiness and generous spirit even toward your enemies. Maybe we should embrace optimism at this time of year. It’s definitely more enjoyable than pessimism. Even the lousy coffee served by the cafeteria was described as better by those who somehow imbibe it. So I’ll grant them their respite until the Obama retreat. Then we’ll renew debate and solve the world’s problems, one lousy cup of joe at a time.