Friday, November 11, 2016

The Pot Calling the Kettle ...

The other night while channel surfing I caught a quick glance at Fareed Zakaria on CNN. A certified member of the media elite Zakaria was opining about the prospects for a future Trump administration. He was saying that he was afraid that President Trump would not engage himself internationally and thus would abrogate the role of American leadership.

Doesn’t this strike you as somewhat askew? Doesn’t it tell you that some people do not see things clearly? And, this time Zakaria was not even plagiarizing his remarks. Does he really believe that the Obama years have seen a president actively engaged in the world? Does he think that President Obama has stepped forward to provide leadership on the world stage?

In truth, Zarakia’s lament applies perfectly well to our current president, a man who has, if anything, refused to engage himself in international affairs, except when it was absolutely necessary to cover up his disengagement. America’s role in the world has declined significantly over the Obama years.

Isn’t it slightly dishonest to blame it on Trump?

Try the other great Zakaria insight, one that many other people have made, namely that Vladimir Putin is thrilled to see Donald Trump take over the presidency. Why would that be?

Has Putin felt that the presence of Barack Obama in the White House has tied his hands? Did the great Obama has kept him out of Crimea? Did Obama take charge of Syria and Iraq… thus to avoid creating a vacuum in which ISIS and Putin could move in and take charge.

Many of the visions of a future Trump presidency seem, in an uncanny way, to refer to the Obama presidency.

Take race relations? We have been told, by an army of anguished commentators, that the Trump election was a “whitelash.” Because Trump voters wanted to take away everything that blacks had gained during the Obama years. And that would have been what?

The South Side of Chicago, run by Obama’s first chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, has become a shooting gallery. Crime is up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. The so-called Obama economic recovery has left blacks behind, as much as it left many working class white behind. And black crime, especially black-on-black homicide is now being blamed on white police officers.

Perhaps people voted for Trump because they were tired of looking at the world through ideological blinders. Perhaps they wanted to return to reality.

So, as Trump said, what do blacks have to lose right now? 

The Trump election burst an ideological bubble. The ideologues did not take it well.  Apparently, electing Hillary Clinton would have ushered in a brave new world of opportunities for women. Don’t you know that anyone who is not a feminist ideologue hates women? And that women will be enslaved once free IUDs are no longer available.

Huh. Do you think that most women want to make it their goal in life to be CEOs? Women do want to have good jobs and great careers, but the feminist delusion that women will not be free until there are an equal number of female CEOs and male housewives is precisely that, a delusion.

It is not reality. It is not going to become reality. Truth be told, from my own conversations with liberal women in New York, the most striking take-away was how much they disliked Hillary Clinton. And that is a polite and mild way of saying it. These women did not see her as a role model. They did not want her marriage. They did not want her relationship with Huma.

One of the great illusions of our time is that feminists are fighting for women. Feminists are fighting for feminism. If a feminist man like Bill Clinton abuses or harasses or rapes a woman, he will be given a pass. The hypocrisy is so blatant that, in the end, the issue of Trump as sexual predator did not play.

As for those who believe that the Trump era will bring about a resurgence of anti-Semitism, why have they been ignoring the resurgence of anti-Semitism on America’s college campuses… today. I wrote about this yesterday and will not repeat it all today.

And then there are those who are horrified because we just elected a president who had precious few qualifications for the office. And yet, where were they all when we elected the utterly unqualified Barack Obama to the presidency, twice. Did they really believe that being African-American was uniquely qualifying, in the absence of nearly all relevant experience? Apparently they did.

Others are out marching on the streets, and occasionally even rioting, because they fear what Donald Trump will do to the climate. Chris Matthews dismissed their anguish by asking what they were protesting about. As he said: “They lost.” So, a bunch of sore losers who are out there refusing to believe that their ideological bubble has burst.

The demonstrators have been told and  have come to take as an article of faith that we human beings control the climate. That we Americans in particular control the weather. If we do not adopt the politically correct climate change agenda and repeal the Industrial Revolution, the gods of climate are going to punish us for our sins. If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will.

Doesn’t this all smack of primitive superstition, of pre-scientific thinking that tells us that we can control Nature by our behavior. If we are visited with a storm or a flood, it means that we have offended the goddess of Nature. We can solve the problem by sacrificing a goat. (That is, a scapegoat.)

And then there are those who fear that President Trump will govern like an autocrat, that he will ignore Congress and impose his will on the country by a series of executive orders, thus, by executive fiat.

Where have these people been these last eight years? We are told or we are going to be told that President Trump must reach across the aisle and work with the opposition.

Just like Obama didn’t. The Wall Street Journal editorializes this morning:

He [Obama] was elected in 2008 on a message of hope and centrist unity, but he was soon ramming through 40 years of pent-up progressive priorities. Recall his famous 2009 brush-off of Republican Eric Cantor,who had proposed some bipartisan ideas for the stimulus: “Eric, I won.”

The GOP was frozen out of all major economic decisions in 2009-10, and one price was the weak recovery that persists to this day.

The Obama administration was not about negotiated compromise or forging consensus. It was about seeing what it could get away with. The Journal continues:

Democrats did have a historic supermajority, but that wasn’t a mandate to do whatever they could get away with, and they lost a record 63 House seats in the midterms as punishment. Mr. Obama then feinted toward a grand bargain with John Boehner, only to ambush the then Speaker with politically impossible tax-increase demands at the 11th hour.

As for autocratic rule, Obama perfected it. The Journal continues:

In his second term, Mr. Obama adopted his “pen and phone” strategy of executive rule to bypass Congress and avoid accountability. He unleashed the EPA to impose carbon cap and trade without basis in law. The Education Department rewrote Title IX to erode due process on campus. The Paris climate deal and Iran nuclear accord should have been submitted to the Senate as treaties for ratification.

And Obama asserted a brand new constitutional principle:

Supposedly when Congress refuses to pass bills that the President desires, he has the power to achieve his aims by himself. That isn’t how U.S. democracy works, and it inevitably created its political counter-reaction in the form of Mr. Trump.

The Journal draws the following lesson:

The lesson for smart Democrats is that progressive policy goals can’t be imposed on a reluctant America by political diktat. They have to be won by persuasion and inevitably by compromise. Relying on judges and regulation left millions of Americans feeling disenfranchised and inspired the Trump backlash. This wasn’t about race or gender or Hillary Clinton’s emails. It was about reclaiming a voice in how their country is governed.

You might think that it’s all about Trump, but, truth be told, Obama has just about destroyed the Democratic Party. And most of the destruction predated Trump. With the exception of the presidential election of 2012 the Democrats have lost just about every political office that is worth losing. See Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit (via Maggie’s Farm.)

As Rory Cooper tweeted:

Under President Obama, Democrats have lost 900+ state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats. That's some legacy.


Unknown said...

very well written as usual Stuart. You are so smart. See you tomorrow probably. all the best, David

Dennis said...

Would that be like Samantha Bee taking about white women? Good thing Hillary lost then.

Have an enjoyable Veteran's Day.

Remember when D-Day or the battles in the Pacific happened a significant number of 18 year old men hit the beaches. Many died. Compare and contrast with the 18 year plus today needing safe rooms, places to cry, et al.

At least we have great people in the military who we can count on to protect this country.

Trigger Warning said...

Cooper describes Obama's real legacy; the country is now governed, for the most part, by Republicans at all levels above the municipal (which, BTW, puts extreme pressure on the GOPe to avoid excusing legislative lassitude by mewling about "why nothing can be done").

Excepting Obamacare, his "pen and phone" policy "legacy" is about as durable as sidewalk chalk art. And the street sweeper can be heard around the corner.

I suspect (and hope) that there's a fairly-well fleshed out bill waiting in a Congressional file cabinet to replace O'care. If not, the Republicans will surely be motivated by the murmurings of the torch and pitchfork wing of the Republican Party.

And Myron Ebell is sure to work wonders at the EPA.

The most memorable statement from Farook Ziarrhea I can recall, roughly translated from Elitespeak into English, went something like this:

Gubba wubba, gubba gubba wubba lookaheera squirrel.

I think he can be safely ignored.

Trigger Warning said...

OT: I don't want to let Veteran's Day go by without linking to this image:

SgtBob said...

On Wednesday I said to my wife: Democrats should congratulate Trump because now they have an opportunity to put their party back together.