The man who will clean the Augean Stable 8

A great new movement, a grassroots rebellion, has arisen in America. Those who realize this, and understand why, have no trouble seeing Donald Trump as president of the United States after the disastrous, almost ruinous, deeply depressing presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

Conrad Black understands it. He writes at the National Post, of which he was formerly a proprietor:

Donald Trump polled extensively last year and confirmed his suspicion that between 30 and 40 per cent of American adults, cutting across all ethnic, geographic, and demographic lines, were angry, fearful and ashamed at the ineptitude of their federal government.

Americans, Trump rightly concluded, could not abide a continuation in office of those in both parties who had given them decades of shabby and incompetent government: stagnant family incomes, the worst recession in 80 years, stupid wars that cost scores of thousands of casualties and trillions of dollars and generated a humanitarian disaster, serial foreign policy humiliations, and particularly the absence of a border to prevent the entry of unlimited numbers of unskilled migrants, and trade deals that seemed only to import unemployment with often defective goods. I was one of those who thought at the outset that Trump was giving it a shot, and that if it didn’t fly it would at least be a good brand-building exercise.

Americans, unlike most nationalities, are not accustomed to their government being incompetent and embarrassing. History could be ransacked without unearthing the slightest precedent or parallel for the rise of America in two long lifetimes (1783-1945) from two and a half million colonists to a place of power and influence and prestige greater than any nation has ever possessed — everywhere victorious and respected, with an atomic monopoly and half the economic product of the world. Forty-five years later, their only rival had collapsed like a soufflé without the two Superpowers exchanging a shot between them. International Communism and the Soviet Union disintegrated and America was alone, at the summit of the world.

And then it turned into a nation of idiots, incapable of doing anything except conduct military operations against primitive countries. The objective performance of the latter Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations, and the Gingrich, Reid-Pelosi, and Boehner-led congresses, and most of the courts, have for these 25 years been shameful and as unprecedented in American history as the swift rise of America was in the history of the world. The people turned out rascals and got worse rascals.

We would not be so hard on Newt Gingrich. He’s been saying sensible things about Trump.

Donald Trump’s research revealed that the people wanted someone who was not complicit in these failures and who had built and run something. Washington, Jackson, the Harrisons, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and others had risen as military heroes, though some of them had had some political exposure. Jefferson and Wilson were known as intellectuals, Madison as chief author of the Constitution, and Monroe and John Quincy Adams as international statesmen. What is called for now is a clean and decisive break from the personalities and techniques of the recent past. Donald Trump doesn’t remind anyone of the presidents just mentioned, but he elicited a surge of public support by a novel, almost Vaudeville, routine as an educated billionaire denouncing the political leadership of the country in Archie Bunker blue-collar terms.

Last (Super) Tuesday, he completed the preliminary takeover of the Republican Party.He demonstrated his hold on the angry, the fearful, and the ashamed by passing the double test: he had held no elective office, but he was a worldly man who knew how to make the system work  and rebuild American strength and public contentment. All the other candidates in both parties were vieux jeu, passé. Only a few of the governors (Bush, Christie, and Kasich) had run anything successfully, none of them had built anything, and all were up to their eyeballs in the sleazy American political system — long reduced to a garish and corrupt log-rolling game of spin-artists, lobbyists, and influence-peddlers. Bernie Sanders gets a pass, but he is an undischarged Marxist, and while many of his attacks on the incumbent system and personnel have merit, his policy prescriptions are unacceptable to 90 per cent of Americans.

It was clear on Tuesday night that Trump’s insurrection had recruited the Republican centre and pushed his opponents to the fringes. The conservative intellectuals, including my friends and editors at National Review, as well as Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and some of the think tanks, attacked Trump as inadequately conservative. They are correct — he isn’t particularly conservative, and favours universal medical care, as much as possible in private-sector plans, but a stronger safety net for those who can’t afford health care, and retention of federal assistance to Planned Parenthood except in matters of abortion. Traditional, quasi-Bushian moderate Republican opponents and liberals  were reduced to calling him an extremist — claiming he was a racist, a “neo-fascist” said Bob Woodward, America’s greatest mythmaker and (albeit bloodless) Watergate assassin, and a “Caesarist” by the normally sane Ross Douthat in The New York Times. (He was confusing the triumphs of the early Caesars with the debauchery of the later Caligula and Nero and the earlier bread and circuses of the Gracchi, but it is all bunk.)

John Robson [a columnist and editorial writer for the National Post], took his place in this queue on Monday, claiming Trump was squandering an inherited fortune (he has multiplied it), and concluding that Trump is “a loathsome idiot”.  The sleaziest dirty tricks campaigner of modern American history, Ted Cruz, claimed Trump was in league with gangsters.

We would not be that hard on Ted Cruz.

On Tuesday night, Cruz ran strongly in his home state of Texas but his support is now confined exclusively to Bible-thumping, M16-toting corn-cobbers and woolhats, and he has no traction outside the southwest and perhaps Alaska. The orthodox Republican candidate, Marco Rubio, is now a Chiclet-smiled, motor-mouth loser, having first been exposed as such by Chris Christie (the New Jersey governor who could have won the nomination and election four years ago and is now running for the vice-presidential nomination with Trump). Rubio should bite the dust in Florida next week. On Super Tuesday evening Donald Trump made the turn from rabble-rouser to nominee-presumptive. The only early campaign excess he has to walk back is the nonsense that all the 11 million illegal migrants will be removed, and then many will be readmitted. Of course the selection process must occur before they are evicted, not after.

Even the formidable and adversarial journalist Megyn Kelly acknowledged that he looked and sounded like a president. He spoke fluently and in sentences and without bombast or excessive self-importance. He is placed exactly where he needs to be for the election, after Hillary Clinton finishes her escapade on the left to fend off the unfeasible candidacy of Bernie Sanders. (This is if she is not indicted for her misuse of official emails — Obama is nasty enough to have her charged, and almost all prosecutions of prominent people in the U.S. are political, but she is now all that stands between Donald Trump and the White House, but is almost a paper tigress.) Trump sharply raised the Republican vote totals and the fact that he carried 49 per cent of the Republican voters in Massachusetts, a state with almost no extremists in it, indicates how wide his appeal has become.

Obama may well be “nasty enough” to have Hillary charged, but is he law-abiding enough?

Hillary Clinton was, as Trump described her when she unwisely accused him of being a sexist, a facilitator of sexism; simultaneously the feminist in chief and First (Wronged) Lady, as spouse of America’s premier sexist. She was elected in a rotten borough for the Democrats in New York State, and was a nondescript secretary of state. She has been caught in innumerable falsehoods and her conduct in the entire Benghazi affair (the terrorist murder of a U.S. ambassador) was reprehensible. Her indictment for various breaches of national security and possible perjury is regularly demanded by former attorney general Michael Mukasey and other worthies. …

All these and more failures, as well as unseemly activities with the Clinton Foundation, will be mercilessly pounded on in the campaign. Donald Trump will not simulate the languorous defeatism of the senior Bush or Mitt Romney, or the blunderbuss shortcomings of Bob Dole and John McCain. (Romney’s savage attack on Trump on Thursday served to remind Republicans of how he squandered a winnable election in 2012 and faced in all four directions on every major issue.)

It really is incomprehensible why Mitt Romney laid himself open, with his vituperative attack on Trump, to an obvious blow in retaliation; that he failed miserably when he was a Republican nominee for the presidency. Any opinion of his on any candidate could only remind everyone of his failure. He figuratively lay down in front of Trump and begged, “Kick me!”  Which Trump obligingly did – though not too hard.

Eight years ago, it was time to break the colour barrier at the White House. Now it is time to clean the Augean Stable. Donald Trump has his infelicities, though not those that malicious opponents or people like John Robson, who simply haven’t thought it through, allege. But he seems to have become the man whom the great office of president of the United States now seeks. He is far from a Lincolnian figure, but after his astonishing rise it would be a mistake to underestimate him.

We prefer him not to be a “Lincolnian figure”.

But we like Conrad Black’s turn of phrase when he says that “the great office of president of the United States now seeks” Donald Trump. 

Certainly an enormous number of Americans want to place him in that office. Which might be the same thing.

Look – here comes the loony lefty likely Labour leader 1

images

It would be a most desirable thing, a sweet dream for all mankind, if the evil Left were to perish.

Its years of power in the West may be over. The “long march through the institutions” brought it to the peak of power – the presidency of the USA. And there it has failed. Of course.

There are signs of its demise in America, what with corrupt old Hillary’s pathetic dance, and voters waking up to Obama’s treachery, and someone (Trump) daring to defy political correctness at last.

And in Britain, the dream may be about to become true.

Steven Hayward writes at PowerLine:

More fun than watching the Hillary meltdown and the Democratic Party rage against the results of the Obama regime is to cast your gaze over to Britain, where the Labour Party seems to have forgotten the lesson of their 1983 election platform (which included a call for unilateral nuclear disarmament) which UK political junkies referred to as “the longest suicide note in history.”

Labour was crushed in that election, and having not been chastened by the recent election rout at the hands of the Conservatives and the Scottish nationalist party seems to be hankering for a repeat of 1983. By all accounts, the Labour Party is set to choose as its next leader Jeremy Corbyn, a deep-left radical who is generally regarded as completely unelectable [by Tony Blair] if he indeed heads the Labour Party into the next election.

I can’t do better than Boris Johnson, the colorful Tory mayor of London, who posted the following on his Facebook page a few days ago. Since it’s on Facebook and there’s no general link, I’ll just report the entire piece here:

It begins with a look of slow and wondering amazement – as if he hardly dares believe his luck; and then the certainty builds, millisecond by millisecond. Then the eyebrows go up even higher, and the mouth gapes and the eyes pop and the epiglottis vibrates as he lets out a long, whooping yell of sheer incredulous ecstasy.

That is how police chief Brody reacts in the last reel of Jaws when, by some fluke, he manages to shoot a bullet right into the oxygen tank in the mouth of the shark, and the ravening fish improbably explodes. That is frankly how we in the Tory party feel as we watch what is happening in the Labour movement today.

If these polls are right (and that is a pretty big if these days) then we are at that preliminary stage in Roy Scheider’s masterful portrait of the joyful police chief. We aren’t yet whooping, but our eyebrows are twitching north in incredulity. We are filled with disbelief that this can really be taking place, a distrust of the evidence of our senses.

If all these forecasts are right – the polls, the betting markets, the pundits – then that fearsome New Labour machine is in the process of some kind of violent, unexpected and hilarious disintegration. It really looks as though it might be the end for the ruthless beast that won three election victories and struck terror for so long into Tory hearts. Can it be true? Can this be happening? Are they really proposing that Her Majesty’s Opposition should be led by Jeremy Corbyn?

It is not just that he has next to zero support among mainstream Labour MPs in the Commons; it doesn’t matter that he has rebelled against the party leadership ever since he has been in the House. Indeed, it doesn’t matter that he sometimes identifies the right problems – low pay, underinvestment in infrastructure, or whatever. It is his solutions that are so out of whack with reality.

This is a man whose policies are way, way to the Left even of the last Labour leader –[Ed] Miliband – a man who in the end was resoundingly rejected by the electorate for being too Left-wing. … He would take this country back to the 1970s, or perhaps even the 1790s. He believes in higher taxes and a bigger deficit, and kowtowing to the unions, and abandoning all attempts to introduce competition or academic rigour in schools – let alone reforming welfare.

He is a Sinn Fein-loving, monarchy-baiting, Israel-bashing believer in unilateral nuclear disarmament. … Never in all his wildest dreams did he imagine that he might be leader of what has been – until this year – one of the major parties of government; and now he is having greatness thrust upon him. …

The armies of Labour rank and file … honestly seem to think that this might be the way forward. Yes, there really are a few hundred thousand people who seriously think that we should turn back the clock, take huge swathes of industry back into public ownership and massively expand the state.

The problem for Labour is that they do not represent the majority of people in this country. That is the real lesson of this campaign so far: that the mass of the Labour Party is totally out of touch with reality and common sense. How should we Tories react?  … We watch with befuddlement and bewilderment that is turning all the time into a sense of exhilarating vindication: I told you they were loony. 

And Alex Massie writes at The Spectator (UK):

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Willie Horton and Michael Dukakis. That’s what Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to prominence will do to a fellow. Horton, you will remember, was the convicted murderer who never returned from a weekend furlough granted to him while Dukakis was governor of Massachusetts, and subsequently kidnapped a couple in Maryland, stabbing the husband and repeatedly raping the wife.

He became the star of George Bush’s 1988 presidential election campaign. Lee Atwater, Bush’s most pugnacious strategist, had vowed to “strip the bark” from Dukakis and promised that “by the time we’re finished they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running-mate”.  The Willie Horton ads were ugly … but, by god, they were effective. They gave Bush a message: he wasn’t the other guy. The guy from the most liberal corner of the most liberal state in the Union, the guy who opposed the death penalty, who disapproved of … the Pledge of Allegiance, the guy who let a first-degree murderer out of jail, not once, but ten times. The same murderer, Willie Horton, who invaded a suburban home and raped a woman. The Willie Horton who said “Obviously, I am for Dukakis” (it didn’t matter that he didn’t vote just as the other nuances of the issue didn’t matter at all).

By the end of it all it was a bloody business. In the second presidential debate Dukakis was asked if he’d still oppose the death penalty for someone who raped and killed his own wife. He said he would. Game over. Dukakis never understood what hit him.

Of course it was ugly and of course it was merciless and sometimes it was unfair too. But that didn’t matter.

All his bark was stripped.

So the question is, How many Willie Hortons does Jeremy Corbyn have? 

An astonishing number. Not just ISIS, not just his support for an inquiry into supposed Jewish influence on government decisions, not just the platforms he’s shared with a remarkable number of unsavoury types. Not just his suggestion Hamas is not a terrorist organisation. Not just his willingness to blame Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine on NATO. Not just his instinctive support for anyone opposed to anything proposed by either the United States or the United Kingdom. Not even just his suggestion, in 2013, that Argentina be permitted a say in the governance of the Falkland Islands. Not just these things, but all or any of them.

Most of these, frankly, should disqualify him from serious office.

And so too should his record on Northern Ireland. A vast amount of guff is now being peddled by Corbyn’s supporters on this. If we are to believe them, Corby’s willingness to talk to Sinn Fein and the IRA in the 1980s just showed how he was ahead of the game. After all, the British government eventually did so too, didn’t it?

This misses the vital point. Corbyn might have wanted peace’ but he wanted it on the IRA’s terms. He wanted Sinn Fein and the IRA to win.

People genuinely interested in peace – and cross-community dialogue – back then didn’t speak at Troops Out rallies. They didn’t invite convicted IRA bombers to the House of Commons two weeks after the IRA attempted to assassinate the Prime Minister and the rest of her cabinet in Brighton. (A bomb, remember, that killed five people.) …

Even now he cannot actually bring himself to condemn IRA atrocities, weaselling out of suggestions he do so by condemning all atrocities. But normal people know that condemning IRA murders does not mean condoning Loyalist murders or, for that matter, the excesses of the RUC and British Army. Corbyn, however, still prefers to sing from the [Irish] Republican song-sheet. …

Far from being ahead of the game, Corbyn was, at best, deluded, and at worst, marginally complicit in the murderous actions of a terrorist organisation that targeted his fellow citizens.

That none of this seems to trouble his supporters says all you need to know about the mess Labour finds itself in.

If – and perhaps this is unlikely – Corbyn makes it to 2020 even the most ludicrous, improbable, Tory could beat him. Running an anti-Corbyn campaign would be the greatest turkey shoot in the history of modern British politics.

The only difficulty would be deciding which of Corbyn’s Willie Hortons it would be most effective to focus upon. Bark-stripping will never be easier.

Choosing Corbyn is worse than a blunder, it’s a crime.

Not if his leadership means the end of the British Labour Party.

We hope Corbyn is easily beatable in a general election. We hope the campaign against him will be managed as effectively as Bush’s campaign against Dukakis was managed.

We hope the British Laboour Party is a spent force. Forever.

And we hope that will be the beginning of the end of the evil Left as a force in national politics in the West.

But we are skeptical and rather pessimistic through experience, and will not be surprised if we are disappointed.

In commemoration of the fall of the Berlin wall 0

Today, November 9, 2009, is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

It was one of the greatest events of history.

The wall both literally and symbolically marked the division between tyranny and freedom.

It was erected on Sunday, August 13, 1961, to prevent people living under the Soviet-controlled Communist regime in East Germany from fleeing into free West Berlin.  About 1500 people a day had been migrating westward.

Within 24 hours West Berlin was sealed off from the so-called Democratic Republic of Germany.

At first it was a fence consisting of barbed wire, spread over some 96 miles.

In 1962 an inner wall was built. The 100 yard gravel area between the fence and the wall was booby-trapped with trip wires, and mined.

In 1975  a stronger, higher, thicker wall made of concrete and reinforced with mesh fencing and barbed wire was constructed. It was known as the ‘Grenzmauer 75’. Soldiers stationed in some 300 watchtowers had a clear view of the space, and orders to shoot down anyone attempting to cross it.

Over 100,000 people tried to escape to freedom. Some 5,000 succeeded, mostly in the early years before the ‘Grenzmauer 75’ was built. Later, successful crossings were made through tunnels. Two families succeeded by hot-air balloon, and one man in a light aircraft. At least 136 people were killed in the attempt, most famously 18-year-old Peter Fechter, shot on August 17, 1962, as he tried to climb the wall. He lay for hours in the space between the wall and the fence, crying out for help while he bled to death. The East German border guards waited for him to die before they carried him away.

Twenty-five years later, on June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan of the United States stood on the west side of the Brandenberg Gate beyond which the wall ran, and said to the Russian leader in a famous speech, ‘Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’

The speech was symptomatic of the firm stand he maintained against the Soviet Union.

Two and a half years later the wall was brought down.

Its fall heralded the collapse of Soviet Russia and its evil empire. It marked the end of the Cold War and the victory of the free world, led by the United States of America.

The conquering hero of that stupendous victory was President Reagan. How he won the Cold War is the subject of volumes, but win it he did.

Of inestimable help to him was Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Great Britain.

A few days ago Mikhail Gorbachev, George H. W. Bush who was president of the US when the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, and Helmut Kohl who was Chancellor of West Germany at the time, met on the stage of a Berlin theatre to commemorate the fall of the wall.

Margaret Thatcher, who had not wanted the reunification of Germany but nevertheless played a decisive part in defeating the Communist tyranny over Eastern Europe, was not included.

The president of the United States, Barack Obama, has refused to attend any of the celebratory ceremonies in Germany. His excuse is that he is ‘too busy’.

Jillian Becker  November 9, 2009