Wednesday, June 14, 2017

GOP Blood Flows On Patriotic Day

A historically pro-American day—June 14th—has been marred by the leftist violence of a lone gunman with the blood of innocents spilled. Previously, this date was a celebratory one: the 100th anniversary of Flag Day, the 242th year of the founding of the U.S. Army (motto: “This We'll Defend”)—and for good measure President Trump's 71st birthday. Who will remember any of that after Wednesday's incident?

All these reasons for joy have been overshadowed by the wielder of a semi-automatic rifle—an outspoken campaign volunteer for (Democrat colleague and socialist) Bernie Sanders (I-VT)—who shot at some 25 Republican Congressman, and staffers, at Simpson Park in Alexandria, VA. Per law enforcement, the deceased suspect is identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, IL, 66, the former owner of a home inspection business. His reported 10 minute melee happened just after 7 AM EST in which some 60 rounds were fired. The attack disrupted the Republicans' baseball practice for an annual charity game with Democrats. Held Thursday night at Nationals Park, this 108 year tradition, started in 1909, was interrupted by the Great Depression, World War II, and a brief pause from 1958 to 1961 as the event was thought then to have become “too physical”. Speaking of risk to life and limb, eyewitness Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said to MSNBC, “Had they [Capitol Police] not been there, it would have been a massacre.” Ah, the obvious value of armed good guys when those present would have otherwise been sitting ducks.

The two-person protective detail would not have been there except for the fortunate attendance of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA). This circumstance prevented what very likely would have been a killing field. Unfortunately, Mr. Scalise was shot in the hip, has been hospitalized for surgery, and remains in critical condition. Likewise shot were police officer Crystal Griner, Congressional aide Zack Barth, and lobbyist Matt Mika, before Hodgkinson's threat was nullified.

On March 22nd, this assailant wrote on Facebook, “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” In retrospect, Hodgkinson apparently meant that statement literally. Instead of accepting the peaceful results of the ballot box, he picked up a weapon and specifically targeted a group of open-air Republicans. Per CNBC, Congressmen Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) described an encounter with the perpetrator who asked them if those practicing were “Republicans or Democrats” before the shooting. DeSantis—when shown a photo of Hodgkinson—confirmed he was the man who approached them.

Connecting the dots, how can this carnage not be politically motivated? Moreover, how is this attitude not, for example, reflective of the The Washington Post's anti-Trump masthead motto: “Democracy Dies in Darkness”? Yet, the MSM is not the only element doing the ongoing agitation. For example, speaking at the LGBT for Hillary fundraising gala in New York City back on Sept. 9, 2016, Clinton said:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given [them] voice.... He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks—they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

How's that not an incendiary and hate-filled call to arms, of sorts? An unfortunate hangover of the polarization that defined the Obama years. Frenzied Democratic sentiments—typified by Hillary's—have long sown the seeds of discontent and alienation. Clearly, they have fostered this antagonistic political environment; contributed mightily to Wednesday's horror directed at Republicans. Fast-forward to 2017—and cloying Hillary's divisive drumbeat continues. On May 2, 2017, this ultimate Washington insider stated, “I’m now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance.” Laughably, she's an “outsider” now? Progressives, as she, intentionally use fiery language in the same spraying, destructive manner as suspect Hodgkinson's projectiles.

As a rule, conservatives don't solve their political disagreements with firearms and bullets. Why do liberal political leaders universally blame the gun? Former Clinton fundraising bagman and current VA governor Terry McAuliffe knee-jerk reaction was:

“There are too many guns on the street. We lose 93 million Americans to gun violence a day.” (The flummoxed politician repeatedly misspoke, meaning only 93 victims per day.)

Why do Democrats en masse—entirely and perpetually—ignore the pivotal reality of the user? Make no mistake, in righteous hands guns make society safer. They deter criminality and limit human causalities. That was conclusively demonstrated here. To that end, two armed heroes saved many lives otherwise lost in that early morning ambush. The only person posing a danger was an unhinged supporter of Democrats. He was likely inspired to kill Republicans because of liberals' unrelenting, uncivilized rhetoric.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

June 12: A Love-Hate Date

Almost perfectly bisecting the most popular month for marriages (named after the domestic goddess Juno) is June 12th. That date—defined by two notable circumstances (and geography)—now has diametrically opposed meanings. Herein, the love-hate contours of today's political divide are clearly illuminated.

In a nod to Juno, let's start with the good. In the commonwealth whose tourism slogan is “Virginia is for Lovers”. In Richmond, a new historical marker denotes a cultural milestone: a “loving” 50th anniversary. Ironically, this sign stands outside the building that once housed the Virginia Court of Appeals that was overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling: Loving v. Virginia, 1967. That decision ended Southern states’ bans on interracial marriage. Synchronistically named, Richard and Mildred Loving were a white man and a black woman. Their successful legal challenge facilitated today's commonplace marital experience. That means 11 million are wed to a person of another race. Per Pew Center statistics, that's 1 in 6, or 17 percent compared to 3 percent in 1967. Thus, how appropriate that for Virginia June 12th is henceforth known as Loving Day. What could be more life-affirming than that?

By contrast, in Orlando, Florida, June 12th marks an infamous one year anniversary. How unfortunate that the horror of mass murderer Omar Mateen—who killed 49 (and injured more than 50) innocents at the Pulse gay nightclub—should correspond on the same day. Yet, that it does is instructive. For both events demonstrate the deep-seeded influences that shape our ever-evolving society. Are we to once again embrace harmony: the shared melting pot experience of being Americans? Or do violent leftist protesters, name-calling, baseless Russian conspiracies and “headless” stunts continue to dominate our political discourse? Do we rise to a new day delivered by the 2016 election, or descend further into the polarization that epitomized the last administration?

As Richard and Mildred persisted, so we must embrace our collective goodness—despite these divisive signs of our time. This must happen for the continued well-being of the nation. That means honoring the past, not tearing down old monuments; or otherwise opening old wounds with spurious claims like certain lives matter, and others don't. We would be wise to heed the Lovings's quiet and dignified example over the ratings-garnering, destructive possibility. 

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Brainless Griffin's “Headless Trump”

Is the abhorrent image of a “blood-soaked decapitated head” resembling President Donald Trump “art”? This visual horror is suspended in the air invoking the classic image of Perseus holding Gorgon Medusa's head. It's the kind of ugly propaganda one would expect from a proponent of radical Islamic terror, not self-proclaimed “D-list” comedienne Kathy Griffin, 56. This unapologetic liberal—an outspoken Trump critic—obviously subscribes to Irish dramatist Oscar Wilde's axiom: “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” Among those taking notice is the Secret Service, charged with evaluating all perceived threats to any U.S. president. One of the agency's tweeted responses: “Threats made against @SecretService protectees receive the highest priority of all of our investigations. #ProtectionNeverRests.”  That's territory well beyond the controversial. That's an idiotic foray into the foolhardy.

As Griffin's now on the Secret Service's radar, she's been on the fringe of Hollywood celebrity for a long time. For context, she's a less successful contemporary of has-been pop singer Madonna. Like the middle-aged “Material Girl” (most famous for her recent public utterance, “Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”), Ms. Griffin's attention-grabbing militancy has utterly overshadowed her considerable comedic talent. That ability has resulted in notable past successes: she's won two Emmy Awards for her reality TV show “My Life on the D-List” and is one of only three women to win solo Grammy Awards for comedy. What she's known for today is this odious, anti-American political antic.

These days it's a rarity for the left and right to agree on anything. Yet, both sides widely condemned Ms. Griffin's publicity stunt. While morally challenged Hillary Clinton has remained tellingly silent, even her daughter Chelsea tweeted, “This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president.” For comparison, let's consider an unthinkable scenario. What if vanquished Hillary had won the 2016 presidential election and a famous conservative had held her “blood-drenched severed head” in effigy? Better still, imagine the crazed and violent reaction of leftist political radicals if the likeness had depicted a “decapitated Obama”? Thus, how could the measure of Ms. Griffin's outrage be made any more plain?

How could this public figure—this veteran of naked self-promotion—not predict the thunderous backlash? (President Trump being defended—by any Democrat, for any reason—is disorienting stuff indeed!) So far Ms. Griffin received little more than a few slaps on the wrist. Per Variety Magazine, she's been fired from her ten-year gig as the co-host of CNN's annual New Year’s Eve program with anchor Anderson Cooper. Likewise, a couple venues on her Celebrity Run-In Tour in Albuquerque, NM and Grass Valley, CA have canceled scheduled appearances. Yet, counterbalance a few days of lost work with the media bonanza of numerous internet stories—and blurbs on the nightly news!

In her defense, Ms. Griffin (unlike Madonna) quickly apologized on Tuesday for the uproar she caused. Naturally, this provocateur enjoys First Amendment protections for her inflaming shenanigans. And as her comedic signature is known for brutal honesty, perhaps her posted mea culpa is genuine. Still, whether that's true or not, isn't really the point: TMZ reported Wednesday that President Trump's understandably panicked 11-year-old son Barron thought the horrifying televised image featuring Griffin was real.

How could this innocent know any better? Unfortunately, he was in the family's New York City penthouse with first lady Melania Trump, not in the White House. In any case, she released a statement that goes right to the heart of unhinged progressives' thoughtless tactics:

“[That photo] makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it. As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing. When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong.”

To that end, per Fox News, one is automatically reminded of 119 wounded and 22 killed, including many children, at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on May 22nd. Did the world really need the made-up gore Ms. Griffin peddled?

Unfairly, this reality TV star has benefited from Barron's suffering—and the presidential family's collective disgust. The fact remains that Kathy Griffin's gone viral in a way that the infamous Oscar Wilde of the 19th century could not fathom. Hence, this social media firestorm is a good effort for the woman whose shtick includes such gems as, “Well, I've been trying to sleep my way to the middle for my whole career.” Although said in jest, Ms. Griffin's self-serving ploy of “cutting edge” pop culture infamy is accomplished.

Whatever the ultimate consequences—good or bad—this agitator's made her bed. A raunchy bed she alone must sleep in.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Body-Slamming “Trump Derangement Syndrome”

In the special election for Montana's at-large Congressional seat (vacated by Ryan Zinke, who became President Trump's Secretary of the Interior), the voters have spoken: Republican Greg Gianforte won by six points, or 50.2 percent. What has made this election truly “special” is the emergence of the specter of the mainstream media's “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” A day before last Thursday's election, Mr. Gianforte body-slammed Ben Jacobs, a pestering reporter for The Guardian newspaper. From the roughed up journalist's Twitter feed, “Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses.” Ah, the inherent risk of in-your-face journalism.

Of course, physical violence is never justified. In Gianforte's victory speech, he immediately took responsibility:

“I’m not proud of what happened. I should not have responded in the way that I did, and for that I’m sorry. I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that I’m sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs.”

The underlying problem here isn't alleged fisticuffs, or one guy losing his temper. It's the habitually jaded, one-sided “reporting” of the media that only besmirches Republicans. As any schoolchild knows, it takes two to tango in any fight. For his part, Jacobs likely overzealously entered a private room, allegedly “aggressively shoved a [voice] recorder” in Gianforte's face and “began asking badgering questions” regarding the CBO's report on the GOP's American Health Care Act (Obamacare's replacement).

Culturally, Montanans are known to appreciate large expanses, personal space and courtesy towards women. Perhaps his city slicker tactics were a step too far for Midwestern sensibilities? For context, Mr. Jacobs interrupted a conversation with Fox News's Alicia Acuna, and disrupted her planned interview. She said, “Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.” Per Mr. Scanlon, “Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face.” After the reported melee ensued, witnessed by Acuna and her crew, the interloper was allegedly grabbed by the neck with both hands, slammed to the ground and punched. Acuna adds Gianforte exclaimed something along the lines of, “I'm sick and tired of this!” Could “this” refer to the constant, largely unfounded smearing of GOP politicians by the biased Fourth Estate?

That seems likely. If so, that political polarization is Barack Obama's toxic legacy. Didn't this responsibility-phobic playboy — abetted at every turn by the propagandist mainstream media — blame Bush for his eight years of failure? Hence, today's baseless variation known as “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” Indeed, this is irrational thinking of the highest order. Seriously, President Trump's February 17 tweet — “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” — is the “cause” for Gianforte's scuffle?

If so, what of the military-style assassinations of innocent cops during the lawless Obama years? Back in 2009, did he not light the anarchist fuse by publicly chastising Massachusetts cops for “acting stupidly”? Furthermore, did he not feed that flame by consistently inferring that police officers were racist? And wasn't his tenure highlighted by ambushed cops for unprovoked homicide? Is anyone in the press holding the ex-president responsible — for anything? Before fixating on Gianforte's alleged momentary violence, the left should acknowledge the even more destructive consequences their own daily rhetoric inspires.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Exorcising Democrats' Confederate History

Why are progressives clamoring to remove many of America's mementos dedicated to the Old South? Generations later, can remnants of Civil War Democrats cause active psychological “harm”? That seems highly unlikely. However, what's real is the targeting of Robert E. Lee, J.E.B. Stuart and Jefferson Davis. If that's the liberal standard for destroying their icons, who has caused more recent and lasting damage than Barack Obama? Therefore, isn't it logical for them to purge both ancient root and modern branch? Yet, fear not, President Obama's safe from their revisionist historical pruning. It's only his antebellum counterparts who find themselves on the chopping block.

Let's pull some contextual threads from this spidery progressive web, shall we? Reportedly, Democrats in Alexandria, Virginia want to rename a main thoroughfare, Jefferson Davis Highway. Also, they want to move a statue on State Route 400 of a Confederate soldier, “Appomattox,” to the comparable obscurity of a nearby museum. Erected in 1889, is the presence of this unarmed Southerner—like the street named for the Confederacy's president—suddenly noxious to the average commuter? Do they trigger so much daily trauma that they're right to nix them? Not to be outshone, Fairfax County is embroiled in a two-year debate to strip Confederate General Stuart's name from one of its most racially diverse high schools. Their dragnet is not local however, it's a monstrosity cast widely across state lines as far as Louisiana.

As the left's revisionist hysteria is never satisfied, Stuart's famous contemporary General Robert E. Lee is targeted in both places. Atop a pillar since 1884, his towering figure was removed from its New Orleans perch last Friday after 133 years. (His was not the first to fall. On May 11th, the powers that be removed a statue from the Jefferson Davis memorial there. On Saturday, a display—the word “LOVE”—was found on its vacated platform.) Only time will tell if his Virginia likeness—mutely astride his majestic horse in Lee Park since 1924—will suffer the same “loving” fate. As the land was specifically donated to showcase this Southern soldier, is it right to unseat him after 93 years? What's more horrible here, destroying the vestiges of progressives' 19th century past or the wasteful expenditure to taxpayers of $300,000 to do it?

Doesn't all history have a worthy place simply because it happened? How can eradicating the lessons that shaped our collective cultural experience ever be the “right” thing to do? Isn't the mind-set to wipe clean the landscape—of old dignitaries' names and harmless inanimate objects—really a fascist desire to ban ideas themselves? (Will these safe space liberal “do-gooders” advocate “Fahrenheit 451”-style book burning next?) Obviously, their predecessors' dual stains of slavery and segregation—never acknowledged or owned by them hereafter—are of lasting shame. Well, frankly, they should be. Hence, their current self-serving agenda to simply airbrush monuments out of existence.

To this end, their go-to narrative is one of distraction and manipulation. To the muddleheaded, the dishonest proclaim often repeated nonsense: America is “secretly racist”! In the same vein as “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” liberals have kind of a politically-motivated hysterical blindness. What of the widespread advancements since the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights movements? A prominent trend—the “black is beautiful” paradigm shift of the '60s and '70s—doesn't matter? Heck, these naysayers don't even acknowledge the cultural significance of the former occupant of the White House! So, concrete facts of societal progression are meaningless to them. Only their deluded aim to erase transgenerational political sins.

Seriously, it's been 152 years since the end of the Civil War! Only misguided spendthrifts waste today's public funds to “purify” the past. Obviously, historical footnotes—like the name of a road or a school, or four statues—have no magical power to corrupt anything of the now. What relevance to the day-to-day life experience of Americans do they really have? Very little, if any. In fact, their only intrinsic value are as markers showing where America has been—and how truly tolerant she has become!

Despite these ridiculous assertions, racism is not infused in the bronze edifices resembling long-dead Southerners. Likewise, it's not found in the hearts of persons striving to preserve them either. Interestingly, only Democrats' self-hatred persists with the passage of time. That liberal malady is seen in their psychological projection of guilt upon the rest us whose ancestors never owned a slave. Clearly, that's a problem better suited to the analyst's couch then the political realm. (On a related note, can our country be correctly viewed as innately “sexist” as Hillary Clinton is the latest nominee of her party—and the winner of the popular vote?) All elements described above encapsulate the schizophrenic thinking pervading every level of the Democratic Party.

In truth, tangible proof of America's well-established—and ever-expanding—pattern of embracing and celebrating diversity is everywhere! What of commonplace interracial marriage or the recent legalization of gay marriage? So, is it fair to automatically demonize a Republican simply for expressing a history-protecting impulse? Virginia's firebrand GOP gubernatorial hopeful Corey Stewart recently said:

“There’s all kinds of things that offend people, but that [removal] doesn’t make it right. That doesn’t make it so [fix the past]. This [the statue of Robert E. Lee] is a part of our history; if you don’t like our history, that’s too damn bad.”

Well, precisely. What's crystal clear is the Democrats have a cringeworthy history. Understandably, they're desperate to annihilate any reminders of the irrefutable and indefensible. Chief among them is their sole ownership of two infamous institutions: Virginia's antebellum past (read: slaveholding) and white supremacy (read: creating the Ku Klux Klan). As Abraham Lincoln preserved the Union, his party has a duty to safeguard the other side's artifacts for posterity. Without them as silent witnesses, falsely tarring conservatives with their own ongoing record of misdeeds becomes easy. If successful, all that would remain is a nebulous war of words for progressives to dominate. As George Santayana wisely advised: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Ironically, destroying America's Confederate past also diminishes her freedom-loving future.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

“Winning” In D.C.'s Swamp?

“[T]his was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.” – Democratic nominee Barack Obama's victory speech on June 3, 2008

Thankfully, the 2016 presidential election “shattered” heir apparent Hillary Clinton's White House prospects; perhaps forever. Mercifully, that means no Clinton promised “Obama third term”. America has finally been liberated from these twin progressive scourges. His was an utterly failed record: defined by divisive rhetoric—an almost Messianic cult of personality—and delusions of grandeur. (Specifically, Obama desired to dismantle the goodness embodied by “apple pie” Americanism.) On the other hand, her's is endless lies and scandals (strongly suggesting lawbreaking and corruption). Today, America is in far better hands, but only in relation to the grizzly alternative. Clearly, shifting from a dogmatic leftist ideologue to a populist outsider is an improvement. Yet, what remains is the unyielding quagmire of beltway elites (of both parties) coupled with Trump's surface narrative of “winning”.

For Mr. Trump's showiness, let us not be reminded of smirking selfie-obsessed Barack Obama. A superficial politician of illusory “accomplishments” (and hard leftist transformation who Bill Clinton pegged correctly as “an amateur”). Obama—the worst president of the modern age—was defined by a fatiguing number of inauthentic, self-congratulatory victory laps (between 333 rounds of golf per CBS reporter Mark Knoller). What's more egregious, his exchange of likely traitor Bowe Bergdahl for five high-level terrorists, his U.S. Iran payoff of 1.7 billion or his U.S.-Iran nuclear “deal” that wasn't? In every case, geopolitical adversaries were coddled and emboldened. Meanwhile, Obama claimed legacy-defining “successes” while America suffered domestically and receded further from relevancy on the international stage.

One hopes that the election of a real winner—a billionaire capitalist epitomizing the American Dream—will not follow suit. Indeed, doesn't such a person know the difference between Obama's show business tenure—and brick and mortar substance? Unfortunately, thus far, that remains to be seen. Specifically, the ObamaCare Lite “Republican” health-care bill, such as it is, finally squeaked by the House of Representatives. As it still faces the daunting and uncertain hurtle of passage in the Senate, it's hardly a done deal. Therefore, why did President Trump recently declare victory in the rose garden flanked by a phalanx of clapping, smiling GOP flunkeys? Obviously, pro-American deal making is necessary. Yet, isn't the devil in the details? Why are they being glossed over by this president in the same careless manner as the disastrous last one?

In fairness, Donald Trump has quickly discovered that confronting the status quo (read: “draining the swamp”) of the beltway bubble is a Herculean task worthy of that demigod's twelve punishing labors. This progressive/RINO “new budget compromise” funding the government through September is a measure precisely antithetical to the new president's priorities. Why then do they bankroll America's primary abortion provider Planned Parenthood? (For context, this organization was founded by Hillary Clinton's hero Margaret Sanger: an unapologetic racist and eugenicist. Thus, the reason it's overwhelmingly found in minority neighborhoods is no mystery.) Likewise, the GOP supposedly opposes sanctuary cities. Yet, those lawless enclaves—that regularly endanger local citizens' lives (read: San Francisco's Kate Steinle killed by a repeatedly deported illegal alien)—are fully funded too. Aren't Congressional Republicans supposed to be pro-life in all its guises?

Related to criminal border jumpers and the unnecessary cost of lives, what of Trump's pledge to build a U.S.-Mexican wall? Of the Republican response, Breitbart astonishingly reports:

“The fine print in the bipartisan 2017 budget plan includes several paragraphs designed to prevent Donald Trump's deputies from building a border wall with the reserve cash routinely stored in agency saving accounts.”

So, there's zero allotted to the meaningful construction of a long overdue physical barrier? By comparison, contrast that to the $295.9 million funneled to bail out Puerto Rico's bankrupt Medicare system. How is giving more money to island wastrels a good idea? Isn't that the definition of flushing good money after bad? What does this two-faced Republican majority actually stand for—besides themselves?

How else does one explain their intentional disregard of President Trump's election-winning agenda? Hence, a long-standing political pattern emerges from the murky bowels of the political swamp. In practice, Nancy Pelosi's priorities are indistinguishable from Paul Ryan's. Put simply, they're all entrenched Washington “swamp creatures”! Remember when this newly minted House Speaker promised a “fresh start”? Right out of the gate, what did he deliver? He rubber-stamped the progressives' 2 trillion dollar budget! Today's budgetary expenditures are just more of the same.

Paul Ryan and his weak-willed ilk habitually capitulate to Democrats despite their “leadership” position. Then, amazingly, victory is universally declared. Both sides crow about something “good sounding” at first blush. Yet, ultimately, their shortsighted choices are unmistakably detrimental in the well being of future generations. You know, those yet unborn left to pay the tab of their irresponsible largesse. In truth, what are these out of touch elitists really doing—besides rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic (read: the iceberg that's America's escalating 19.9 trillion dollar debt)?

Speaking of the massive, what's a bigger ego-trip then being a U.S. president? Still, Mr. Trump must resist Washington's insulated grandiosity. (A temptation so vulgarly indulged by his preening predecessor.) As a lesson, Ronald Reagan never engaged in such self-glorifying impulses. In this regard, he should consider William L. Jenkins's words as a template:

“President Reagan always gave the credit to the American people and American ideals. He treated his job as a valuable temporary loan from the American people, a loan that should be respected and returned with dutiful appreciation.”

Thanks to the ballast of the intractable D.C. swamp, the country remains in economic dire straits. That fragile state is equally due to spineless establishment Republicans and obstructionist, spendthrift progressives. For lasting success, Mr. Trump needs to continue to champion sensible, conservative policies. That means bringing needed doses of main street reality to heedless establishment power. Specifically, Congress should be held accountable with the veto, the bully pulpit and at the ballot box. Echoing Obama's absurdist practice of premature—or completely unwarranted self-serving “wins”—is a worthless photo-op. As valid as the ex-president's campaign hype that he could “heal” the planet, or “control” the rise of the oceans. That's the stuff of patients typically found in mental wards. Or is it the decision-makers in Congress? By their results and popularity, who can tell a difference?

Average citizens have had enough of swamp creatures: especially their hollow claims of “victory”. That much is clear. Despite our elected officials' rosy proclamations, rank and file Americans aren't close to experiencing legitimate wins. That's a vital distinction President Trump must make for his—and America's—enduring success. It's the only standard that means anything—and the only way to secure the future of our teetering nation.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Crying Over “Shattered” Hillary

You know as well as I do, that plenty of people playing this game, they don't think that way. They're willing to sell their souls, crawl through sewers, lie to people, divide them, play on their worst fears for nothing! Just for the prize [to become a U.S. president].” – Jack Stanton (a.k.a. “Bill Clinton”), played by John Travolta, from “Primary Colors” (1998)

In light of the other option, the clear-minded are thrilled that Donald Trump is president. Deliciously, he finds himself ensconced in Oval Office while Hillary trolled the woods of Chappaqua, New York; a relegated political has-been too briefly put out to pasture. (Ah, if only she had stayed in the thicket. Without a hint of the grace demonstrated by defeated French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, Mrs. Clinton has re-emerged to absurdly join the “Trump resistance”. With the power of the office behind him, it's utter lunacy for her to assume she'll be more successful now.) In hindsight, she ran on sheer superficiality: name recognition, her gender and an unstated message of entitlement. Given her (and Obama's) non-existent record of accomplishments, she could not run on issues or vision as Mr. Trump successfully did. So, she took Jack Stanton's low road described above, political polarization:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.” – Hillary Clinton at a New York City fundraiser on September 9, 2016

Her hollow narrative and divisive strategy were not nearly enough. The Electoral College results made this plain. Speaking of being grossly generalistic, the Clintons have always been about themselves. That's precisely the unintended message Hillary's campaign loudly proclaimed. Didn't her ego-centered, gender-specific slogan “I'm with her” say everything? Contrast that with President Trump's Reaganesque “Make America Great Again”.

Beyond his obvious love of country—as transparent as Hillary's is absent—one logically suspects Mr. Trump initially ran for the presidency on a lark. He's pleasantly surprised (as his supporters) to find himself in the job: “Hey, I'm president! Can you believe it?” While he naturally wanted the gig, unlike Hillary, he didn't need it. Herein is another important difference between the two.

A new political tell-all, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, is making the rounds. Like Marley's ghost to Richard Cohen's Scrooge, this exposé has compelled this Washington Post columnist to write his own shallow Hillary postmortem called “The reason Clinton lost.” As shell-shocked as her most ardent supporters, this partisan begrudgingly acknowledges that it was supposed to be “her turn”. He can articulate no other rationale for her candidacy: “As a mental exercise, I tried to come up with a message myself: “Hillary Clinton—because she’s not Trump” is the best I could do. As it turned out, she could do no better.” That's because there was nothing else. In the final analysis, Mrs. Clinton ran for the highest office in the land simply because she felt she deserved it.

The skin-deep analysis of this award-winning investigative reporter—and four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary—is little more than pro-Clinton gossamer and anti-Trump spit. What of Cohen's sanitized description of Hillary as “a cold and somewhat distant Midwestern archetype” and “a politician with no gift for politics”? For real-life context, would anyone hire an auto mechanic with no innate ability to fix cars?

Along these lines, he insults the reputation of Walter Mondale by comparing her to him. Yet, Hillary has none of the former vice president's decency or warmth. Moreover, she lacks his governmental competence (read: As Secretary of State, Hillary's department lost 6 billion dollars) or the gravitas of an elder statesman (read: Hillary's “Russian reset”: her humiliating plastic red button stunt). In fact, their only relevant connection is the shared stain of two Democrats who failed to attain the White House.

Inconvenient truths regarding Hillary are barely mentioned by Cohen, or ignored entirely by him. For example, he minimizes “Server-gate”—a Nixonian scandal on steroids—as “a historically trivial matter”. So, Mrs. Clinton's illegal use of private email servers—that likely put American operative lives at risk by exposing national security secrets to foreign powers and/or bad actors—is no big deal? Beyond that, what of her ever-changing inconsistencies that amounted to boldfaced lies to the American people? Furthermore, what of “Charity-gate,” the influence-peddling of the now defunct Clinton Foundation? Kool-Aid drinker Cohen doesn't even bring it up.

He bases his missive on a few personal moments spent with her, finding Hillary “fresh, irreverent and funny”. Well, can't anyone be snowed with a false impression during a brief interaction? Behind the scenes, via day-to-day experience, it's well known that potty-mouthed Hillary's personality is cruel: a shrew in the extreme. Hers is the Secret Service's punishment detail: the worst assignment to be had. But when one wears Mr. Cohen's rose colored glasses one sees what he wants to, right?

On that basis, Columnist Cohen contends, “But [Hillary] Clinton’s great failing, the book—not to mention the election itself—makes clear, was her inability to fashion a message.” What a coy, cloying criticism for such an obviously fundamentally flawed candidate! Likewise, his juvenile conclusion that “She lost, and a fool won” is equally petulant and misleading. Candidate Trump—a first-timer in the political sphere—was just “lucky” to best 16 traditional Republican candidates, plus Hillary in the general election? By any fair measure that's more than the randomness that luck implies, that's genius.

Salt of the earth swing state voters in the economically depressed Rust Belt (that she basically ignored during her campaign) got unlikable Hillary's “coal miner” message all right: they didn't matter to her, so she didn't matter to them. Thus, in their wisdom, they made the better choice: Donald Trump. Richard Cohen should respect that despite his raw disdain for this president. It turns out this political dinosaur doesn't get “the message”. Neither does Hillary, an amoral person unworthy of sycophant Cohen's empty rationalizations.

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