Agony of the Progressives

Victor Davis Hanson at NRO:

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate Democrats left,” and lately the rantings of Cory Booker, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez confirm that diagnosis.
[snip]
The catastrophic yet suicidal loss in the 2016 election and the disappointment over the Obama presidency radicalized Democrats. A combative Trump himself certainly enraged them, on a variety of political, social, and cultural levels.

When Democrats lost, they realized that they still lived in a Republic and not a volatile Athenian democracy — and found this also hard to take.

More exasperating still was the loss of the Supreme Court, the last bastion of elite brilliance and superior morality that might yet save America from the prejudices and ignorance of the irredeemables, deplorables, clingers, and crazies.

 

KavaYashi Maru

Jonah Goldberg has a piece titled, “The Price of Victory“. Essentially, whoever won was going to pay a very high price.  The culture war will only escalate from here.

Along the way, he cites some tweets from PoliMath:

Here’s a #TerribleOpinion for you:
1) I think Kavanaugh is likely innocent
2) It may be better for the country (and SCOTUS) if he withdraw
3) He can’t do that w/o essentially committing reputational and career suicide
4) No one should ever have to be in that position
5) Assuming innocence, we as a culture have absolutely no path for Kavanaugh to take. If he withdraws for the good of the country, his career is over. His family will be vilified. Big chunks of the cultural left will parade his head on a pike for YEARS.
6) that is all bad

7) My ideal scenario is for Kavanaugh to withdraw on the condition that Senate Dems take out a full page groveling apology to him and his family in the NYT.
Then Dems can get what they want, but only if they can give up the cultural political win it would have provided them.

8) I don’t think you can overstate how furious the right is at Kavanaugh’s treatment.
The first allegation caused pause among center-right.
The second *looked* like a political calculation.
But people (esp the media) taking the Avenati thing seriously blew it all apart.

Last thing: For Kavanaugh to withdraw, you would have to convince the right that the *next* nominee would be treated fairly.
That is impossible.
The die is cast, the ship has sailed, the right firmly believes the next nominee will see the same vilification.

The right was willing to at least consider the first allegation, despite the way the timing of the whole thing stank to high heaven. When a second and third came along, not only did the timing stink, they lacked even the credibility the first had. What’s more, Kavanaugh had already been through six full-field FBI background investigations.

While I’ve never been through such an investigation myself, although at one point it was a possibility, I’ve heard quite a bit about them.

FBI agents interview everyone they can find who’s been in the live of the target of the investigation. And they ask the people they interview if they can think of anyone else who might have something to contribute. Then everything that is said, good, bad, indifferent, unhinged — everything — is put in the file. This is the “raw” file. They don’t try to assess truth, falsity, or even credibility.

I work at what amounts to the complaint department for any matters regarding water quality in my city. We get phone calls whenever the water is misbehaving. If it’s discolored, we get calls. If it smells bad, we get calls. If it crawls from the glass and chases the customer around the kitchen, we get calls.

I personally have dealt with at least two people who were convinced their neighbors were poisoning their water. One of them claimed the neighbor was spraying plutonium on her roof. My staff has dealt with their own callers who have been a step away from reality. Imagine the FBI doing a background check on someone who lived next to one of these people. What do you imagine they told the FBI about their neighbors?

And it would wind up in the background file.

The point here is not just to point out that the FBI doesn’t try to reach conclusions about the contents of the raw file, but to make the point that the more people come forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, the more it destroys any credibilty that might otherwise attach. It’s vaguely possible that one instance, one time, three and a half decades ago, might have escaped this background check process. It’s much less likely two would. When we get to three, with the third involving a rape factory, it’s just not conceivable that the FBI would have missed it.

Maybe the first has some truth to it, but when everyone involved in bringing these accusations seems to accept the lot of the accusations as Gospel, they sacrifice any credibility they have.

Race and the Race for the White House: On Social Research in the Age of Trump | SpringerLink

Source: Race and the Race for the White House: On Social Research in the Age of Trump | SpringerLink

From the abstract:

This essay presents a series of case studies showing how analyses of the roles of race and racism in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election seem to have been systematically distorted as a result. However, motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, prejudicial study design, and failure to address confounds are not limited to questions about race (a similar essay could have been done on the alleged role of sexism/ misogyny in the 2016 cycle, for instance). And while Trump does seem to generate particularly powerful antipathy from researchers – perhaps exacerbating negative tendencies – ideologically-driven errors likely permeate a good deal of social research. Presented evidence suggests that research with strong adversarial or advocacy orientations may be most susceptible to systemic distortion. Activist scholars and their causes may also be among those most adversely impacted by the resultant erosion of research reliability and credibility.

The article is behind a paywall, but Campus Watch offers commentary:

One example of this phenomena can be seen in the April 2017 Washington Post article “Racism motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism,” by Thomas Wood, who teaches political science classes at Ohio State University.

While Wood cites survey data to claim that Trump voters were especially motivated by racism, a closer analysis by al-Gharbi reveals that Wood’s arguments about Trump voters can’t be substantiated from the data cited in the article.

“According to Wood’s own data, whites who voted for Trump are perhaps less racist than those who voted for Romney,” al-Gharbi explains, adding that “not only were they less authoritarian than Romney voters, but less racist too!”

“Unfortunately, Wood declined to consider how Trump voters differed from Romney voters…instead focusing on the gap between Democrats and Republicans in 2016, in the service of a conclusion his data do not support,” he adds.

If Trump supporters are Nazis…

…what is your obligation?

When Your Enemies Are Nazis You Have The Moral Imperative to Kill Them


Thankfully the defense of Humanity wasn’t left up to Gandhi but instead to the likes of Churchill and Roosevelt, and Hitler and his Thousand Year Reich ended up charred, half-burnt bones in a shell crater.

Looking back we realize the Nazis posed such a moral threat to Humanity that no moral person of conscience could waste such an opportunity if given the means to stop Hitler and his regime, since inaction would itself be considered immoral. One would have to act and would have all the moral justification needed to do so.

Fast-forward to today and the recent anti-Trump hysteria propagated in leftist social media echo-chambers.

The Anne Frank Center in a Twitter post warns of the alarming parallels between the Trump administration and the Nazi regime, including “He exploits youth at a rally,” and “He strips vulnerable people of their families, jobs and ability to live.”
Wikipedia lists the detention centers housing children and families for deportation alongside the Jewish concentration camps of the Nazi regime.
A 2017 article in Foreign Policy in Focus states, “The presidency of Donald J. Trump, hoisted on the shoulders of white supremacists, is a glaringly dangerous period for our country. It’s important to recognize this dangerous mix of moral turpitude, dereliction of duty, and incompetence before we fall deeper into fascism and moral tragedy.”
Adam Roy’s essay for the Jewish magazine Forward is titled, “Yes, We Should be Comparing Trump to Hitler.”
In a New York Times Op-ed, Charles Blow notes the following similarities between the two leaders (as summarized by Kyle Smith).
HITLER: Wanted to make Germany great again.
TRUMP: Wants to make America great again.
HITLER: Wore funny little mustache.
TRUMP: Wears funny little hat.
HITLER: Shunned alcohol.
TRUMP: Shuns alcohol.
HITLER: Time magazine Man of the Year, 1938.
TRUMP: Time magazine Person of the Year, 2016.
HITLER: Fascist.
TRUMP: Republican.
HITLER: Lied about Jews being the source of Germany’s misery.
TRUMP: Lied about ratings for The Apprentice, his Electoral College victory being the biggest since Reagan’s, and whether anyone else had been on the cover of Time more than he.

But if you truly believe that Trump = Hitler, you are morally obligated to act not just against him, but against his regime and those who continue to support him. We are seeing this sentiment appearing in the following recent examples:

In the refusal by the manager of a restaurant in Virginia to serve White House press secretary Sarah Huckebee Sanders and her family.
In the harassment of Florida Attorney General, Republican Pam Bondi by Leftists at a movie theater.
In the harassment of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at her home after a DOJ employee verbally assaulted her at a Mexican restaurant.
In the attacks by actor Peter Fonda on Barron Trump, stating “We should RIP Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles,” as well as Fonda’s misogynistic reference to DHS Secretary Nielsen as a “lying g-sh&*.” “The g-sh* should be pilloried in Lafayette Square naked and whipped by passers by while being filmed for posterity.” Consider that Barron Trump is a 12 year old boy. Kirstjen Nielsen a 46 year old graduate of the University of Virginia Law School and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Peter Fonda is a 78 year old actor with father issues.
More ominous incidents have occurred which the liberal media has refused to link in a patter of dangerous behavior caused by liberal incitement.

  • 2017 Shooting of Republicans at a baseball game. The shooter, 66 year old James Hodgkinson, was a Bernie Sanders supporter and an anti-Trump activist.
  • 2016 Trump supporters including children are attacked by anti-Trump activists outside a rally.
  • 2016 murder of Trump supporter Mitchell Mormon, Jr after telling an Hispanic man that he voted for Trump and would soon be deported. The man shot him to death.
  • 2013 Shooting at the Family Research Center, a group targeted by the Southern Poverty Law Center, as a hate group for its opposition to gay marriage. The shooter, Floyd Corkins, told investigators and the judge in the case that he hoped to intimidate gay rights opponents.

When you demonize your opponent using hyperbolic rhetoric, not only do you dehumanize them and their supporters, but you claim the moral right to act. If you believe that you are living in Weimar Germany in 1933 then you must act now to prevent the Holocaust and war which looms. As Gandhi’s statements prove, there is ultimately no non-violent alternative. Misogynistic Twitter screeds and kicking those you disagree with out of restaurants will only take you so far: Trump and his administration still stands. Ultimately a liberal convinced of the Nazi analogy will have no choice but to act as Hodgkinson and Corkins acted – and that is why the hysteria over Trump has gone too far, and why the remaining adults among liberals need reign in the crazies on their side, because if they don’t someone is going to take the Hitler analogy to its ultimate violent conclusion.

As we see the danger isn’t limited to the President: anyone associated with his administration is at risk. Some of those shot at in 2017 weren’t even Trump supporters, but they were Republicans and that was good enough for Hodgkinson.

Kyle Smith in the National Review challenges these comparisons, pointing out the obvious differences between the two leaders:

HITLER: Murdered 11 million according to one analysis.

TRUMP: Has murdered no one thus far.

HITLER: Invaded the sovereign states of Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Free State of Danzig, Denmark, France, Guernsey, Hungary, Italy, Jersey, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia.

TRUMP: Has invaded no sovereign states.

HITLER: Started a world war that killed more than 5 million in his armed forces alone, plus many millions more in other countries.

TRUMP: Has started no world wars.

In 2005 Evan Derkacz at AlterNet wrote, referencing Andy Warhol’s famous quote as a base, “In the future everyone will be Hitler for fifteen minutes.” The future has arrived and the Hitler Hysteria is at a fever pitch. This time no time machines will be needed in the eyes of the self-appointed, delusional moral guardians of History. Their myopic view of the past is enough to blind them to present realities that Trump is not Hitler, that his administration is not populated by Nazis, and the true threat to our freedom does not emanate from the White House but the indoctrinated footsoldiers of the liberal elites willing to do anything to achieve their righteous goals.

The social upheavals of the 1960s gave the US the Black Panthers and SLA, and Europe the Red Army and Bahder-Meinhoff Gang. Antifa’s antics and the showboating of a DoJ employee are merely the early warning signs. Unless the liberal elites act, there will be blood, and the destruction of the country which they’ve desired for 50 years will be at hand.

Update: Maxine Waters: “God is on our side” and calls for more confrontations, and the Trump administration is recommending officials arm themselves. This is going to end well…

“Wolf!!!”

The current hysteria is what we have been experiencing for two years. It drowns out, and in many ways delegitimizes, honest criticism. It’s certainly fair to criticize some of Trump’s answers at the press conference, where he seemed to draw an equivalence between the assessments of the U.S. intelligence community and Putin’s denial of election interference.

But that’s not “treason” as many are shouting.

Source

What I found especially chilling was when Trump told Putin, “I’ll be more flexible after the election.”

Or was that someone else?

SPLC hair catches on fire

Source: Live Blog | PJ Media

“Hate group” watchdog abandons any semblance of objectivity.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which I have written about hereherehereherehere, and here — for just a sampling — decided to abandon any pretense of objectivity and attack President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as — you guessed it, a threat to, like, ALL OF AMERICANS’ RIGHTS AND THE END OF THE WORLD, OKAY?

The SPLC has no credibility as a “hate group” watchdog, especially after it settled a lawsuit from Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz for $3.375 million after it falsely branded him an “anti-Muslim extremist” for going to a strip club for his bachelor party. No, this is not The Onion.

Anyways, the SPLC is a Leftist attack dog masquerading as a “hate” watchdog. The media gobbles up their propaganda — here’s CNNhere’s ABC and NBC — and so does Silicon Valley — here’s Google and Amazon.

On Monday, when Trump announced Kavanaugh, the SPLC rushed out an “Action alert.”

President Trump has just nominated another right-wing ideologue to the Supreme Court – and it’s hard to overstate the implications.

If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, we’ll no longer be able to rely on the federal judiciary to protect the rights of the most vulnerable people in our country.

Everything is at stake – marriage equality, voting rights, access to health care, reproductive and privacy rights, racial equality, religious freedom and more.

Trump has chosen his nominee from a list compiled by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. Without question, these groups are committed to a hard-right agenda.

Huh. Sounds like the SPLC has it out for the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. They didn’t mention one specific case of Kavanaugh’s, either.

To be fair, Kavanaugh has made a few bad decisions, from what I’ve seen. He ruled against cellphone metadata privacy (relevant for a recent Supreme Court case), and he laid out the framework Chief Justice John Roberts used to uphold Obamacare in NFIB v. Sebelius (2012).

Instead of addressing what Kavanaugh actually believes and stands for, SPLC attacked him as a fundamental threat to “the rights of the most vulnerable people.” There it is: “Everything is at stake.”

Yes, the SPLC has Kavanaugh derangement syndrome. DON’T TRUST THEM as an objective source for “monitoring hate.” Seriously, this should set off so many alarm bells for the media. Will it? Probably not.

They won’t like The New Rules

From Powerline: She should have asked them to bake a cake

But yesterday’s peak outrage is one you probably already know about: the manager of a Red Hen restaurant kicked Sarah Sanders and her family out of her establishment last night. Sanders tweeted about it:

Sarah Sanders
@PressSec
Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so

And the manager boasted of her intolerably rude (and economically irrational) treatment of Sanders’ family on social media.

Remember when Republican restaurant owners wouldn’t let Obama administration employees eat in their restaurants? No, I don’t recall that either. I only have two observations about the Red Hen outrage: 1) We don’t have Red Hen restaurants in our part of the country, or I would boycott them. 2) I hope Republicans are taking notes. One of these days, we will have a Democratic administration. And when that happens, every single outrage that the Democrats have perpetrated beginning in January 2017 should be visited upon them.

Well, fine. We have New Rules.

Harassment policies for science fiction conventions are all the rage. Many big name authors and others are threatening to boycott conventions that don’t have policies regarding harassment. Here’s how I propose modifying these policies, given The New Rules:

Harassment Policy for SyfyCon

1: The Convention’s response to any reports of harassment will be contingent on whether the committee head believes harassment is deserved. If the committee head believes the alleged victim is unworthy, then she’s on her own.
2: …

 

“Separating families”

Investor’s Business Daily has two pieces of interest:

Lost Children? Detention Cages? Baby Prison Bus? Trump’s Critics Will Believe Anything

CNN’s Hadas Gold described the pictures as “First Photos of separated migrant children at holding facility.”

Outrage quickly followed.

“This is happening right now,” said former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau. “Speechless. This is not who we are as a nation,” said Antonio Villaraigosa, who is running for California governor. Actress Rosanna Arquette called it a “sick crime against Humanity”

Turns out the photos were taken in 2014 — when, ahem, President Obama was in the White House, a fact that nobody bothered to check before blowing a gasket. Once word of that fact got out, many of these same people deleted their tweets, rather than admit that the “sick crime” happened under their beloved Obama.

CNN’s Hadas Gold described the pictures as “First Photos of separated migrant children at holding facility.”

Outrage quickly followed.

“This is happening right now,” said former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau. “Speechless. This is not who we are as a nation,” said Antonio Villaraigosa, who is running for California governor. Actress Rosanna Arquette called it a “sick crime against Humanity”

Turns out the photos were taken in 2014 — when, ahem, President Obama was in the White House, a fact that nobody bothered to check before blowing a gasket. Once word of that fact got out, many of these same people deleted their tweets, rather than admit that the “sick crime” happened under their beloved Obama.

Separating Families At The Border: The Hysteria Overlooks Some Key Facts

First, it’s important to note that many of the “separations” don’t last long at all.
….
Lowry notes that “The criminal proceedings are exceptionally short, assuming there is no aggravating factor such as a prior illegal entry or another crime. Migrants generally plead guilty, and then are sentenced to time served, typically all in the same day.”
….
The administration is right to point out, however, that there is a legal process for seeking asylum that won’t involve facing such a choice — just show up at a port of entry to make the asylum claim.

“As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted over the weekend.

Critics complain that the legal process just takes too long, as a way to justify illegal border crossings. But illegal border crossers are not only jumping the line. Under the old system they could vastly increase their chances of staying in the country — with or without gaining asylum status.

Is it wrong for Trump to try to close this unfair and potentially dangerous loophole?

Another fact conveniently overlooked amid all the hysteria is that just because a group claims to be a family, doesn’t mean it’s true. The Department of Homeland Security says that from October 2017 to February 2018 it saw “a 315% increase in the number of cases with minors fraudulently posing as ‘family units’ to gain entry.”