The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

No Questions

At a recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Ayann Hersi Ali, one of the world's most eloquent critics of Islamist ideology, along with Asra Nomani, another harsh critic of Islam's treatment of women, were invited to testify. Both are women of color, both are Muslims, and both have suffered from the on-going oppression and in the case of Ali, death threats that are part and parcel of any critique of Islam. There were four Democrat women senators on the committee California's Camilla Harris, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill. They are all champions of women's rights, ready to jump in whenever they see evidence of misogny in what they frequently characterize as a male dominated society. They are also senator's quick to grandstand in front of the camera, never failing to ask pointed questions, to pontificate, to speechify.

During the hearing, these four Democrat senators didn't ask a single question. Not one. They did this because as Senator McCaskell stated: "“Anyone who twists or distorts religion to a place of evil is an exception to the rule ... We should not focus on religion."

Ayann Hersi Ali and Asra Nomani have more moral authority, not to mention more intelligence tham all four of these senators combined. They write:
... when we speak about Islamist oppression, we bring personal experience to the table in addition to our scholarly expertise. Yet the feminist mantra so popular when it comes to victims of sexual assault — believe women first — isn’t extended to us. Neither is the notion that the personal is political. Our political conclusions are dismissed as personal; our personal experiences dismissed as political.

That’s because in the rubric of identity politics, our status as women of color is canceled out by our ideas, which are labeled “conservative” — as if opposition to violent jihad, sex slavery, genital mutilation or child marriage were a matter of left or right. This not only silences us, it also puts beyond the pale of liberalism a basic concern for human rights and the individual rights of women abused in the name of Islam.

There is a real discomfort among progressives on the left with calling out Islamic extremism. Partly they fear offending members of a “minority” religion and being labeled racist, bigoted or Islamophobic. There is also the idea, which has tremendous strength on the left, that non-Western women don’t need “saving” — and that the suggestion that they do is patronizing at best. After all, the thinking goes, if women in America still earn less than men for equivalent work, who are we to criticize other cultures?

This is extreme moral relativism disguised as cultural sensitivity. And it leads good people to make excuses for the inexcusable. The silence of the Democratic senators is a reflection of contemporary cultural pressures. Call it identity politics, moral relativism or political correctness — it is shortsighted, dangerous and, ultimately, a betrayal of liberal values.
It is also breathtakingly hypocritical.

Progressives insist of defending the indefensible when it comes to Islam, draping their defense in the tortured notion that because Islam is (in part) a religion, it cannot be criticized. Of course, that didn't stop progressives from calling on all catholics (a religion, by the way) and the Vatican to put a halt to to the sexual assaults that pervaded the church decades ago.

For many Democrats and most progressives, leaping to the defense of Islam has become a reflex. It is a cliche to note that after every heinous Islamic terror attack, progressive leaders in the West warn us against "Islamophobia" It's almost as if they don't trust their own fellow countrymen to do the right thing and make a distinction between Islamic extremists and the broader Muslim community. It is nothing more than virtue signaling and a indication of a subtle contempt for their fellow citizens. It's one of many, many reasons why the Democrats are out of touch with their own country.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Deeper and Deeper

In the weeks leading up to the special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District, the trained hamsters in the main stream media sounded a lot like they did in the weeks leading up to last year's national election. The vote last November would be a slam dunk for Democrats, a clear signal the the general public rejected the notion that Barack Obama's legacy was one of failure and incompetence. The vote on Monday would be a clear indication that "college educated" voters rejected Donald Trump and his agenda. After all, all smart people are against Trump. Right?

Wrong ... and wrong again.

Ed Rogers comments on the special election:
The buzz in Washington surrounding the race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District was all bad for the last couple of weeks. People had been bad-mouthing the Republican candidate, Karen Handel, they had been insulting the Republican National Committee’s competence and they had been dismissing any notion that Republicans could pull through to defeat the energized “resistance.” But the ashen, sour and dejected faces on CNN Tuesday night following Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff’s defeat made the last 10 days of Republicans’ worry and anxiety worthwhile. By any measure, the victory proves the Republican political machine is alive and working well.

Heading into Tuesday, Democrats were prepared to bask in their self-righteous glory and proclaim an outright victory in the wake of President Trump’s political decline. They wanted to claim a successful referendum on the Trump administration and the president’s “America First” policies. But with Handel comfortably pulling through to claim her seat, Democrats are left with nothing to show for their tens of millions of dollars and full-court press.
I suspect that dozens and dozens of left-leaning commentators had to hit the delete key for pre-written articles, blog posts and tweets that were set to bask in a Democrat victory in Georgia's 6th. Had the Democrat Jon Ossoff won, it would have been characterized as a major indicator of Trump's early demise, that #Resistance was a triumph, that impeachment was but one election away. But Ossoff lost (and by a relatively wide margin), so yawn, the special election meant nothing.

But the Democrats trained hamsters provided us with a comical tell. The following screen cap, provided courtesy of AnnAlthouse, tells us everything we need to know about media bias:



As someone who believes in a two-party system, maybe it's time for the Dems to use a little introspection, to stop lashing out, and to examine whether their long and now violent slide leftward is consistent with the broad mainstream of American thought. Maybe they should consider whether the unhinged #Resistance resonates with centrist voters in this country, whether open boarders are really as popular as they think, whether government control of healthcare is really a viable solution, whether jobs and tax reform and reducing the size of government might be just a little bit more important than bogus investigations of "Russian collusion" or ridiculous allegations of "obstruction of justice."

Nah, if that introspection were to occur, the answers it might yield are ones that Democrats and progressives don't want to hear. So they plod onward, digging their hole deeper and deeper by the month.

UPDATE:
-------------

Richard Fernandez comments on the Dem's seemingly limitless obsession with the truly unhinged notion that Trump and company have colluded with the Russians. He writes:
One would have thought the shocking loss of Jon Osoff to Karen Handel in Georgia would have snapped the system out of it's coma. At least it should alert them to the dangers of being transfixed by their own narrative. After all, when you keep losing the chess game to an opponent believed by the media to have the IQ of an orangutan, it's got to be more than bad luck, perhaps caused by ignoring the objectively real in order to serve one's mental boxes.

Yet nothing happens. The destruction of future of the Democratic party which Ossoff was supposed to have been, left the progressives with Bernie Sanders again as the standard bearer of tomorrow. It illustrates how trapped the Left has become in its own paradigm. It is an in absurd condition. The obsession with Trump's very real shortcomings obscures the fact that the biggest crisis in American political life today is the that of the Democratic Party. It never really recovered from the Clintons or Obama and it never really came to terms with the economic collapse of the Blue Model.
The solution for the Dems is not MORE and BIGGER left-wing policies, more crazy conspiracies, and more outrage. It's new leadership, a new understanding of just how far outside the mainstream they have traveled, and even an attempt to work with the GOP to accomplish things that Americans actually care about. I know, I know ... it'll never happen, but it certainly would be refreshing.

Suicidal

When Donald Trump proposed that we put immigration on selected predominantly Muslim countries on 'pause,' he was branded a "racist," "a Nazi," and worse by virtually every Democrat and their supporters, along with their trained hamsters in the media. We were told that his proposal somehow conflicted with our "values," that we are a nation of immigrants, that it's very wrong because ... racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia. The courts seems to agree, using perceived intent, rather that clearly defined law and precedent to rule against him. The Supreme Court will weigh in soon.

So why not allow unconstrained immigration? After all, progressives dream of open borders in which the downtrodden across the world come to our shores for a better life. We did that in the past, didn't we?

Actually, we did not. Immigration has always been controlled, and entry to our country was always viewed as a privilege, not a right.

An experiment in quasi-open immigration is on-going in Europe. Douglas Murray discusses this when he writes:
Today the great migration [into Europe] is off the front pages. Yet it goes on. On an average weekend nearly 10,000 people arrive on Italian reception islands alone. Where do they go? What do they expect? And what do we expect of them?

To find the answer to these and other questions it is necessary to ask deeper questions. Why did Europe decide it could take in the poor and dispossessed of the world? Why did we decide that anybody in the world fleeing war, or just seeking a better life, could come to Europe and call it home?

The reasons lie partly in our history, not least in the overwhelming German guilt, which has spread across the Continent and affected even our cultural cousins in America and Australia. Egged on by those who wish us ill, we have fallen for the idea that we are uniquely guilty, uniquely to be punished, and uniquely in need of having our societies changed as a result ...

It is often argued that our societies are old, with a graying population, and so we need immigrants ...

When people point out the downsides of this approach—not least that more immigration from Muslim countries produces many problems, including terrorism—we get the final explanation. It doesn’t matter, we are told: Because of globalization this is inevitable and we can’t stop it anyway.

All these instincts, when put together, are the stuff of suicide. They spell out the self-annihilation of a culture as well as a continent. Conversations with European policy makers and politicians have made this abundantly clear to me. They tell me with fury that it “must” work. I suggest that with population change of this kind, at this speed, it may not work at all.
So as we watch a Europe beset by an immigrant population that stresses its social welfare system to the breaking point; often demands separatism, not assimilation; questions the laws of a free society and wants them replaced by the laws from their own culture (e.g., Sharia), and yes, foments a small percentage of extremists who encourage and/or commit terrorism, it's reasonable to ask whether the United States wants to go down the same path. Progressives (and some GOP elites) tell us we must, but 20 years ago, progressives also told us that socialist changes in Venezuela were a good thing, something to be celebrated. In that case, the result led to a failed country. It's reasonable to ask whether their current advice is sound.

Murray concludes his article with this:
The migration policies of the political and other elites of Europe suggest that they are suicidal. The interesting thing to watch in the years ahead will be whether the publics join them in that pact. I wouldn’t bet on it.
Trump is not wrong when he suggests that immigration into the United States be controlled and vetted. That is not anti-immigrant. It's simply common sense.

Going slow is a far better strategy than following the lead of the Europeans. I suspect that the vast majority of Americans support that view. The big question is whether the political elites will have us follow the "suicidal" path of Europe, with the same negative effects in the coming decades.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tick, Tick, Tick

We watched as neocons in George W. Bush's era convinced many of us that Saddam Hussein had to go, that Afghanistan—a country stuck in the tribalism of the Middle Ages—could become an actual democracy, that nation building was a real possibility across the Middle East. That did not work out well. We watched as progressives in Barack Obama's era supported a domestic policy that doubled the national debt and a foreign policy that gives new meaning to the word disastrous, creating among other things, a violence driven, Muslim migration that will permanently change the nature of European countries and their liberties. Now we watch as the elites on the Left, supported by their progressive base, and encouraged by the passive-aggressive behavior of the GOP elite conduct a slow motion coup attempt (based on non-existent evidence and pathetically weak accusations) to unseat an duly elected President of the United States. We observe political viciousness that is unprecedented in the modern era. And as a consequence, Washington is paralyzed, nothing gets accomplished, and the real problems that face this nation remain unresolved.

Richard Fernandez believes we're at a crossroads:
The poisonous atmosphere in today's politics illustrates how bitterly established interests will fight to protect their "gains". They will literally kill to preserve an agenda. For example GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot and seriously wounded by someone "distraught" over the recent Republican electoral victory ...

Expect more, not less of this. The natural impulse of a political system in institutional crisis is to dig in. Too many institutions in the West remain decades after their birth, frozen in the moment of their creation. NASA, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the university system and the United Nations rule us from the past. Public life has become a museum of memes from which nothing can escape without a mummy hand dragging the fugitive back into the darkened interior. It is perhaps no coincidence the two most popular leaders of the Western left, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, might credibly impersonate Boris Karloff. They are here to lead us back to 1968.
It is this desperate grasp to maintain the status quo of power that has led us here. They (both the GOP and the Dems) appear to be incapable of compromise and uninterested in innovative thinking. They grasp at the past as the challenges of the future go unattended. A non-politician president is demonized and under siege, ensuring that any policy he might propose gets buried by the many factions that oppose him.

Fernandez continues:
The bureaucratic model needs to be replaced by the flash mob paradigm, where eternal bureaucracies give way to the task-oriented, time-limited endeavor. As one friend of mine put it, the most amazing thing about the cathedral builders is they disbanded themselves:

Imagine the modern world recast (but with modern technology) to the middle ages guild system. Deconstruct modern corporations. It's time for them to go. You want to build something? Issue a "casting call" via an app.

"If you wanted to build a cathedral you sent out messengers far and wide: "Five year project. Room and board and competitive pay. Looking for masons, wood workers, a master builder, etc. References from your local guild required. Bring your own tools. Show up from June 15th to June 30th and we'll hire the best"

Flash mob for building a cathedral.

No Cathedral building corporation, Inc. [and certainly, no government agency]
Our modern institutions will never self-disband; that's the problem. They have become historical projects, ends in themselves, destined to fulfill some idealized future that was new in 1917. They are condemned, like Sisyphus to roll the same old rock up the same old Hill with the same old result. Of the two roads along the razor's edge our world finds itself choosing, the institutions in crisis can't pick the path to prosperity and potential. That's not in their repertoire.
Outside the two coasts, the people have sensed all of this for many years. It wasn't just Bush or Obama, although the abject failures of the latter president did create a tipping point. It wasn't just Hillary Clinton's blatant dishonesty and corrupt behavior that lost her the presidency everyone expected her to win. It was a pervading sense that no career politician coming out of either party had a clue and that words, not actions, were all that we could expect. They're all clowns.

Fernandez quotes Glen Reynolds who writes:
Watching the ongoing clown show in Washington, Americans can be forgiven for asking themselves, “Why did we give this bunch of clowns so very much power over our nation and our lives?” ...

... the prerogative powers once exercised by English kings, until they were circumscribed after a resulting civil war, have now been reinvented and lodged in administrative agencies, even though the United States Constitution was drafted specifically to prevent just such abuses. But today, the laws that actually affect people and businesses are seldom written by Congress; instead they are created by administrative agencies through a process of “informal rulemaking,” a process whose chief virtue is that it’s easy for the rulers to engage in, and hard for the ruled to observe or influence.
As Fernandez notes, the clowns have a very limited repertoire—one that leads us into the past, not the future. For just a moment, we should all take a deep breath and ponder that reality. The clock is running and when the alarm finally goes off, it may be too late. Tick, tick, tick.

Monday, June 19, 2017

IL

In what may be an unintentional, but nonetheless devastating critique of the blue model for state governance, Natasha Korecki of Politico discusses the slow motion train wreck that is Illinois. She writes:
Illinois has compiled $14.6 billion in unpaid bills. It’s running a deficit of $6 billion, and its pension liability has soared to $130 billion [some reports have this number much, much higher].

That’s not the worst of it. The state’s nearly two-year failure to pass a budget has sent its bond ratings careening toward junk level, downgraded a staggering eight notches below most other states.

With university enrollments plummeting, large-scale social service agencies shuttering and the Chicago Public Schools forced to borrow just to stay open through the end of this school year, Illinois is beginning to devolve into something like a banana republic — and it’s about to have the most expensive election the state has ever seen.
Exactly how does a state recover from a $130 billion pension liability? A liability that occurred because criminally (IMO) irresponsible state politicians acceded to the demands of public sector unions (who traded unrealistic pension payouts for votes). And after acceding to those demands, those same politicians refused to fund their pension liability, using the money for projects (giveaways?) that would garner additional votes.

CBS Money Watch is reporting that bankruptcy is being considered:
A financial crunch is spiraling into a serious problem for Illinois lawmakers, prompting some observers to wonder if the state might make history by becoming the first to go bankrupt. At the moment, it's impossible for a state to file for bankruptcy protection, which is only afforded to counties and municipalities like Detroit.

Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection could be extended to states if Congress took up the issue, although Stanford Law School professor Michael McConnell noted in an article last year that he believed the precedents are iffy for extending the option to states. Nevertheless, Illinois is in a serious financial pickle, which is why radical options such as bankruptcy are being floated as potential solutions.

I suspect that last year IL lawmakers were comfortable in their assumption that Clinton and the Dems would be in charge of Washington when crunch time came. A bailout or special legislation allowing the state to avoid it obligations (to vendors, to bond holders, and to its citizens) were likely. But the current administration and congress make that highly unlikely. The proverbial can has reacted the end of the road.

On top of their pension problem, Illinois hasn't passed a state budget in two years—it's GOP governor at loggerheads with the Democratic State legislature. The state ranked worst among all states in the tax burden it places on its citizens with an effective rate of 14.76 percent. To put this is real numbers, IL removes $8,011 of spendable income from the median household income (over and above the federal tax burden).

I have to wonder what the most progressive members of the State legislature might recommend to solve this problem, particularly as some of them lobby for universal healthcare at a statewide level. Would it be yet another tax increase on "the rich.?" Those numbers don't add up, but in a blue state, that "solution" does have an appeal.

There's only one problem—the "rich"—that means people earning upward of $77,000 per year—are leaving the state. This wealth flight is supported by copious government data and is occurring not just in IL but in other blue states with above average tax burdens.

Politicians think that voting at the polls is the most important indicator of public acceptance of their policies. I disagree. Voting with their feet seems to be the best and most effective way for taxpayers to avoid irresponsible governance and ineffective leadership.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Three Days In

The Dems and their trained hamsters in the media were eerily quiet when a rabid leftist conducted a mass shooting attack targeting GOP congressmen and staff two days ago. The Democrats' words of condemnation, concern, and reconciliation lasted all of 36 hours, but now, they and their trained hamsters in the media have circled the wagons, suggesting that any claim that the viciousness of the #Resistance had anything to do with the attack is just playing politics.

The Associated Press (AP) is representative, publishing a piece titled "Dems bridle as some in GOP blame shooting on the left," where they write:
WASHINGTON (AP) — It didn’t take long for Washington’s post-shooting talk of unity to begin fraying.

As a top Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, lay in critical condition at a local hospital Thursday, some Republicans on the far right suggested that vitriolic rhetoric on the left could be to blame for the attack that put him there.

“How dare they say such a thing? How dare they?” retorted Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, pointing to a year of venomous attacks by Republicans including President Donald Trump.
Okay, then. As I predicted in earlier posts, the concern about unhinged actions on the part of the #Resistance didn't last 72 hours. No surprise.

John Hinderacker comments:
Anyone who thinks we have just undergone a year of “venomous attacks” by Republicans is living in an alternative universe. But hold that thought for now.
“The center of America is disappearing, and the violence is incited by the leading cultural voices of the Left,” GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa said over Twitter.

Republican Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania rose on the House floor to issue a call to “replace the hateful rhetoric and resistance with respect,” a comment seemingly aimed at an anti-Trump “Resist” movement.
Those are mild comments; milder than I would make. It is fair to say that violence has been incited by the leading cultural voices of the Left, who every evening on television call President Trump a Nazi, a fascist, a racist, a misogynist and a traitor; who denounce him in similar terms in every entertainment awards show; who were calling for his impeachment before he was inaugurated; who condone rioters who, wearing black masks, smash store windows with bricks and assault Republicans; who make it impossible for a conservative to give a speech on a college campus; who say, every day, that Republicans are trying to make everyone sick and destroy the planet; who display the president’s severed head as a trophy and enact his assassination in Central Park; and so on ad infinitum.
Just under the surface, the #Resistance movement has a patina of violence. Progressives who have associated with #Resistance live a fantasy that they're freedom fighters who are resisting the demonic forces of those who might have a different view of the world. After all, resistance fighters had every right to kill Nazis, right? And Trump is a Nazi, right? So ...

Again, Hinderacker comments:
What do the Democrats mean by “Resistance”? Obviously, they mean to evoke the resistance against Nazi Germany by the French and others. Seriously? Are they completely demented? Perhaps they are. But the French Resistance, the Norwegian Resistance, et al., didn’t rely on pamphlets and op-eds. They used firearms. Is it really a surprise that one avid Democrat took up arms to Resist on his party’s behalf? And how likely is it that more Democrats will Resist with firearms?

There is more to the AP story, but it isn’t worth much more attention. There is this:
For their part, some Republicans seem taken aback by an intensity on the left that threatens to overwhelm them in the 2018 midterm elections. Tired of being in a defensive crouch as Trump comes under attack from Democrats and the media for breeching political norms, some jumped at the opportunity to turn the tables and contend that Democrats, too, are part of the problem.
Got that? Black-masked rioters throwing rocks through bank windows and college rioters assaulting conservative speakers and students constitute “intensity on the left.” The Republicans, meanwhile, are just concerned about re-election, and are “jumping at the opportunity” to “turn the tables” and “contend that the Democrats, too”–too!!–“are part of the problem.”

The Associated Press, having set forth the position of the Democratic Party, retires for the evening, but will be back to do battle on behalf of liberalism tomorrow.
This recent incident and the Dems' current reaction to it are just another example of the Law of Holes. Whether the Dems realize it or not, they're in a deep hole and they absolutely insist on digging deeper.

Mueller

The Washington elites on both the Democrat and GOP side told us that special counsel Robert Mueller was beyond reproach—a man of impeccable ethics and significant legal and investigative experience. He'd be unbiased, they told us. He'd get the job done effectively and quietly, we were informed. He'd accuse the guilty once clear and irrefutable evidence was found and exonerate the innocent. He was above reproach—a Mr. Smith-goes-to-Washington type, it was claimed. Really?

After a month on the job, we learn that:
  • Mueller and James Comey are great friends and have had a mentoring relationship for many years. No possible pro-Comey bias there, right?
  • Mueller has appointed members to his investigative staff of attorneys who were significant Democratic contributors during the last presidential campaign. I'm sure they'll be unbiased, just like the judges who were appointed by Democrats and ruled against Donald Trump 's immigration orders with flimsy or non-existent legal precedent. No conflict there, right?
  • Or more recently, who leaked the investigative inner workings of Mueller's staff to WaPO and the NYT, suggesting (in the true tradition of Joe McCarthy) that both Trump and Jared Kushner are under investigation? Is that the quiet and unbiased approach we were assured would be conducted?
I guess in Washington, DC, all of that doesn't matter. After all, the ongoing soft coup must proceed and who better to lead the way than a man with impeccable ethics. Just sayin'

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Intensity and Amplification

There has always been an edge to political discourse in the United States. The suggestion by either side that the other is somehow ill-equipped to govern, is proposing policies that will hurt the nation, or is making claims for or against some issue that are blatantly dishonest. That was the old normal.

With the election of Donald Trump, political discourse has increased in both intensity and amplification. The left-side of the political spectrum was shocked that their slam-dunk candidate lost. That in itself, created an intense reaction, but it was amplified by the victor, a man whose imprecise language, sometimes outrageous pronouncements, and politically incorrect positions outraged his opponents. And as intensity grew, so did amplification by a main stream media that was unabashedly anti-Trump, removing all semblance of objectivity and feeding unhinged and untrue story lines that caused still further intensity. It became a classic feedback loop.

A manifestation of all of this occurred yesterday, when a mentally unstable person with unquestionable leftist affinity could take the intensity no more and acted out in a violence attack against members of the GOP congressional delegation.

Daniel Henninger comments on all of this:
Donald Trump’s election has caused psychological unhingement in much of the population. But the Trump phenomenon only accelerated forces that were plummeting in this direction before the 2016 election.

Social media—a permanent marinade for the human brain—is causing a vast, mysterious transformation of how people process experience, and maybe someday a future B.F. Skinner will explain what it has done to us.

Impossible to miss, though, is how jacked up emotional intensity has become in American politics. The campaign rallies of both Mr. Trump and Bernie Sanders often sat on the edge of violence. Reporters describe political town hall meetings as full of “angry” voters. Shouting down the opposition in these forums or on campus has been virtually internalized as standard behavior. Refusal to reason is the new normal. And then the unreason is euphemized as free speech.

Explaining away these impulses as a routine turn of the populist political cycle is insufficient. Something more permanent is happening ...

We negotiate much of daily life now in tense, parallel universes: One is overflowing with individual political and social behavior that is deviant—flights from the norm—at a time when broader norms of political and social behavior are enforced with a vengeance. Today you can get shamed, sued or fired for almost any conceivable offense.

In reaction, millions of people—including the president—seem to regard social media as a kind of wildlife refuge, where they can run naked against society’s dammed-up personal and political opinions.
Henninger may be on to something when he suggests that "broader norms of political and social behavior are enforced with a vengeance." Slowly and inexorably, political correctness has limited the ability to express true feeling about everything from gender dynamics to race to the proper use of pronouns.

The Left is trapped in a web of PC rules that can become suffocating. There are those who yearn to escape the trap but also avoid the group shaming that occurs if they utter something politically incorrect. So they pick a convenient target—one not protected by PC rules of engagement, and they attack with surprising intensity. Trump and his supporters are that target. On the right, the same thing happens, but in this case, the attack is (at least today) directed at the attackers on the left.

You would think that yesterday's act of "political terrorism" (I think that term is extreme, but it is being bandied about) might cause both sides to turn down the volume, focusing on political difference, rather than personal attacks.

Sadly, I don't think that will happen. My guess is that by tomorrow or the next day, the intensity will be rejoined and the amplification will continue.

And by the way, if the #Resistance gets its wish and Trump is removed from office, the thing they can't seem to process is that another form of intensity and a frightening level of amplification will follow. None of that can be good.

UPDATE:
-----------------

It's taken less than 24 hours for the trained hamster in the mainstream media to circle the wagons to rebut allegations that a true progressive somehow perpetrated a mass shooting aimed specifically at those with who he disagreed politically. James Freeman writes:
A violent assault can leave far more than mere physical scars. And it appears that Wednesday’s attack on Republican lawmakers and their associates has proven to be particularly traumatic for the editorial page staff of the New York Times [and many other left-leaning media sources]. Symptoms exhibited by the afflicted Timesfolk include the making of assertions that have not been established as facts and a refusal to accept those that have.

To be sure, the last 24 hours have been highly stressful for progressive leftists. Creating conditions of extreme psychological discomfort are the published writings of suspected shooter James T. Hodgkinson. Among the revelations is that Hodgkinson appears to have accepted as fact virtually the entirety of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ over-the-top rhetoric about U.S. political and economic systems.

Perhaps as a coping mechanism, the New York Times now editorializes that Hodgkinson “was surely deranged, and his derangement had found its fuel in politics.” One can argue that anyone who seeks to assassinate politicians is by definition deranged. Some people might even argue that Hodgkinson’s proposal to lift marginal tax rates to “70% or more” was insane. But Hodgkinson’s mental condition has not been established.
Hodgkinson was very likely deranged, but what was the catalyst that drove him to try to commit mass murder? The left is making much of the Gabrielle Giffords mass murder in which an apolitical nut-case gunned down the Congresswoman along with six others. They were quick to grasp the flimiest of threats, accusing their demon de jour, Sarah Palin, of placing targeting gunsites on a web page that identified congressional districts that were in play. Their claims that Palin, along with other Republicans created a climate of violence were, shall we say, tenuous at best. But the media amplified their argument and it became conventional wisdom.

Freeman continues:
Because Sarah Palin is a well-known former politician, she’s in a category of people who face enormously high legal barriers to winning libel cases. This is as it should be. We want a vibrant free press to vigorously hold politicians to account and when people step into the political arena they understand that rough treatment from the media is part of the gig. But if Mrs. Palin were just another private citizen, she would sue the New York Times and she would win. As this column’s most celebrated alumnus noted in 2011, politicians of both parties were publishing similar maps about each other. And despite the New York Times’ fondest desires, it turned out Loughner wasn’t a conservative at all but a babbler of nonsense who adopted a mish-mash of views from both the left and the right and whose tastes in literature ran the gamut from Ayn Rand to Karl Marx.

If the Times followed its own unfair standards, it would now be blaming Mr. Sanders, not dredging up long-discredited smears against Mrs. Palin. But correcting the Times’ journalistic flaws can wait. The first priority must be treating the victims on its editorial page.
Sadly, we'll be back to the new normal in 24 hours. You know, the one where the unhinged Left demonizes its opponents with a level of viciousness that could very well drive other deranged followers to acts of violence. But then again, the rules for public discourse and political criticism are different for #Resistance because they reside on a higher moral plane than the rest of us.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gunfire

This morning, gunfire wounded five during a GOP softball practice in Alexandria, VA. The perpetrator has yet to be named but there are eyewitness reports via NBC that quote him as saying he wanted to "kill as many Republicans as possible." The gunman is unquestionably mentally unstable and his motivation and political affiliation (if any) have yet to be determined.

Now think back to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabriel Gifford and the Democrat claims that it was all because the GOP had created a climate of violence and hate. She was targeted because she was a Democrat. For weeks, the Dem's trained hamsters in the media milked that meme. To some extent, they still do.

Today, the #Resistance and their supporters in the media, the arts and entertainment are quite comfortable depicting Trump's severed head (Kathy Griffith) or his violent assassination (a play in NYC) or his plane on fire and crashing (a viral tweet accompanied by much praise). Dems continuously and hyperbolically suggest that any attempt to replace a collapsing Obamacare system will result in people's deaths (e.g., Jimmy Kimmel), or that budget cuts that facilitate tax reform will cause children to starve. They repeatedly project the calumny that Trump and his administration are colluding with the Russians and that's why Hillary Clinton lost. It goes on and on ... an attempt to "energize" the Dem base by demonizing the Dem opposition.

Hmmmm. I wonder if the Dems will have a Gabby Gifford moment and reject the "climate of violence and hate" that they have fostered?

Nah.

There will, of course, be the pro forma condemnation of the gunman. There will, of course, be calls for gun control.

But will the attack on a GOP baseball practice be a warning that the unhinged rhetoric coming from Democrat party leaders, along with the #Resistance is fomenting violence against American citizens who disagree with the Leftist worldview? Will the media begin a drumbeat against such rhetoric? Will party leaders publicly ask their supporters to reduce the volume just a bit? Will congressional committees that have asked the same question 50 different ways and have yet to discover any evidence of collusion or any rational basis for obstruction of justice, say enough is enough? Will Democrat State AGs pull back their specious lawsuits that attack Trump using the Emoluments clause?

I wouldn't bet on it.

UPDATE:
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The shooter, James Hodgkinson, who was killed by security police, was decidedly rabid left-wing. The reason I mention that is that Democrats always seem to note a decidedly right-wing shooter when he kills others. But in reality, ideology takes a back seat to insanity. John Hinderacker comments:
As a general rule, it is foolish to pay attention to a “shooter’s” purported ideology. Most of them are just nuts. Maybe that is the case here too, although Mr. Hodgkinson (age 66) is not a typical, 20s-loner mass murderer. But for what it’s worth, Mr. Hodgkinson apparently is, or was until today, a perfect exemplar of liberalism; of progressivism; of the Democratic Party. Maybe that will prove relevant, maybe not. But it certainly bears mentioning.
The big questions for Democrats, progressives, and #Resistance are the ones I posed in the main body of this post. There is unquestionably a line that has been crossed—civility of any kind has disappeared replaced by spittle covered viciousness. That can be interpreted by mentally unstable people (and yes progressives, there are as many left-wing crazies as their are right-wing crazies) as a call to violent action. Ironically, the left and their trained hamsters in the media accused Trump himself of fostering violence and now—that's exactly what left-wing viciousness may be doing.

Donald Trump may be a coarse buffoon, who is prone to imprecise speech and self-inflicted damage from ill-advised tweets. But he was elected fairly and overwhelmingly (please, spare me talk about a majority vote, those are not the rules) and he is not the demonic presence that Dems and their cohorts would have us believe.

It's long past time for progressives to look inward and better understand whey their message has been rejected by this country. Stop the viciousness and with it, the violence.