If … 19

“If Biden becomes president …” The words chill us to the bone, but we cannot now avoid uttering them.

And we cannot avoid hearing Trump supporters comforting one another by saying, “You don’t need to worry too much because we will still have the Senate. The Democrats won’t be able to put any of their dreadful domestic policies into effect because the Republican majority there will stop them.”

Suddenly, they trust the Senate Republicans!

Is there reason to trust them?

Julie Kelly writes at American Greatness:

In February 2020, Mitt Romney became the first U.S. senator in history to vote to convict the president of his own party. Despite a laughable impeachment case concocted by House Democrats and clear evidence of corruption tied to the Democratic presidential candidate whom the impeachment effort was designed to protect, Romney nonetheless supported the removal of Donald Trump from the White House.

“My faith is at the heart of who I am,” Utah’s junior senator claimed while working up tears from the Senate floor on February 5. “The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.”

As we all know, President Trump had done nothing wrong, let alone an extremely egregious wrong. He was accused – to put the case briefly – of bribing a Ukrainian government to investigate whether Joe Biden had bribed a Ukrainian government to protect and enrich his son Hunter Biden and through his son, himself. President Trump had not done it. Joe Biden had done it. And Joe Biden’s party impeached Trump for doing it.

But Romney didn’t just pontificate about the president’s behavior. In that very same soliloquy, Romney defended the actions of both Joe and Hunter Biden.

“Taking excessive advantage of his father’s name is unsavory, it is not a crime.” Romney concluded, therefore, that since no crime had been committed by the Bidens, in his opinion, the president’s request that Ukrainian officials look into their shady business dealings was “political.”

With that, Mitt Romney secured his place in political history for something other than losing two campaigns for president.

In many respects, Romney is the poster child for the present-day Republican U.S. Senate: pandering, feckless, disloyal, and weak.

Yes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s record on confirming federal judges, including three Supreme Court nominees, is laudable. But the four-year reign of the Republican Senate under a Republican president is a shameful account of missed opportunities, broken promises, and straight-up subversion of Donald Trump. During one of the most fraught, destructive periods in American history, Senate Republicans squandered rather than wielded their immense political power.

Longtime pledges to reform immigration laws and repeal the Affordable Care Act were cast aside. When the president used his legal authority to attempt to secure the southern border in the spring of 2019, a dozen Senate Republicans vetoed his emergency order.

Rather than stand up to the Democratic Party’s race hustlers, Senate Republicans—including McConnell—condemned the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as racially motivated even when evidence contradicted those claims. A few Republican senators sponsored legislation to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a sop to the Left.

As lawless thugs tore down statues of America’s Founders and Antifa mobs occupied swaths of major U.S. cities, some Republican senators didn’t even bother to attend a public hearing about Antifa’s ongoing threat to the country. President Trump often was the lone voice defending America’s history and ideals; following his riveting July 4 address at Mount Rushmore, where he unapologetically confronted America’s domestic enemies, Republican Senators were silent.

Of course, there’s no greater example of the Senate Republicans’ abdication of power than its complete and total failure to hold accountable any of the perpetrators of so-called Obamagate for orchestrating the biggest American political scandal of all time.

Republicans knew early on that the Steele dossier was garbage; Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and the late Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) were fully aware that the dossier was political propaganda sourced from a foreign operative paid by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee but legitimized its use as the pretext for the collusion scam.

Rather than put a stop to the phony Trump-Russia collusion plotline, Senate Republicans played along with their Democratic counterparts. Every single Republican senator supported the appointment of Robert Mueller, a Beltway crony and BFF of James Comey. The Senate Judiciary Committee, headed by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) then by Graham, performed no oversight of Mueller’s destructive probe despite holding the purse strings. When the president justifiably expressed his frustration at Mueller’s “witch hunt”, instead of defending the president, Senate Republicans vowed to “protect the Special Counsel”. 

At the same time, top Republicans did nothing more than write stern letters and give Fox News interviews threatening to “get to the bottom” of the real scandal. Subpoenas were blocked; criminal referrals were ignored by the Justice Department; public interrogations were canceled or delayed until public interest waned.

The flagrantly corrupt chiefs of the country’s law enforcement and intelligence apparatus, rather than face jail time or at least a public tribunal of sorts similar to what House Democrats did to Donald Trump and his loyalists for two years, continue to demean the president on cable news shows and on social media.

The current composition of the Republican-held Senate is a tower of Jello, a quivering, wavering ship of fools, an embarrassing collection of dunces, dupes, and paper tigers.

We’ll call that a string of metaphors rather than a mixed one and give it a pass, because most of the Republicans in power are cowards, fools, dunces, and dupes of their more cunning, more determined, utterly unscrupulous Democrat colleagues.

For example, in a pre-Election Day tirade, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) insisted the president would cause major GOP losses as voters across the country rejected his antics and tweets. “We are staring down the barrel of a blue tsunami,” Sasse told supporters.

Now that is a mixed metaphor. A prize one. Proof that Republican Senator Sasse is a dunce. An inability to talk sense simply reveals an inability to think sensibly.

And he was wrong about the imminent arrival of a “blue tsunami”:

Not only did Republicans hold the Senate but they’ve picked up at least six House seats with more victories predicted.

Even now, as the president is fighting widespread election irregularities and suspected fraud, he is on his own. “Where is the GOP?!” Eric Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon. “Our voters will never forget . . .” (Late Thursday, Graham announced he would donate $500,000 to Trump’s legal defense fund.)

It’s pure folly to think this Republican Senate will act as a bulwark against a Biden-Harris Administration. Armed with a slim majority, Senate Republicans undoubtedly will play footsie with their former colleagues under the solemn banner of “bringing the country together”.

There is no reason to believe Senate Republicans won’t sign off on a Democrat-backed coronavirus relief package that includes a partial bailout of bankrupted blue states, a lite version of the Green New Deal or at least “climate change mitigation” legislation, expanded Obamacare coverage, more flexible immigration laws, and a variety of taxpayer-funded goodies from college debt forgiveness to some form of racial reparations.

McConnell already is ready to work with Biden on his cabinet after Democrats made life a living hell for every Trump appointee. … McConnell is signaling to Team Biden that he will approve “centrist options” and fight the nomination of any progressive candidates. But that won’t fly with the Democratic Party base; Biden owes them. And once the media goes scorched earth on Republican senators who won’t acquiesce, don’t be surprised when they cave.

Oh, and the little matter of Hunter Biden and the overwhelming evidence of the Biden family’s pay-to-play schemes with hostile foreign entities? Don’t hold your breath waiting for any follow-up investigation. Both Graham and Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) recently refused to commit to issuing a subpoena for the younger Biden.

“And this election did not give the Democrats power,” Ben Shapiro tweeted Thursday morning. “Biden’s most progressive priorities are DOA in a McConnell-run Senate.”

Only people who haven’t paid close attention to a McConnell-run Senate believe that to be true. Do they really believe folks like Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ben Sasse and Lindsey Graham will hold their ground against Biden? Do they really think Mitt Romney won’t attempt to carve out some “Conscience of the Senate” role that lets him find common ground with Biden and Harris for the “betterment of democracy” or some nonsense?

Pure fantasy.

I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt I am. Listening to the deafening silence of Senate Republicans this week only reinforces my cynical analysis. If you’re disappointed with McConnell and company now, just wait until next year if Joe Biden is president.

If the Democrats get control of the presidency, the House and the Senate, they will do everything they can to stay in power permanently, and America is all too likely to become a one-party state. Ambitious politicians who call themselves Republicans now will happily become Democrats. It will not be a big change; they have been conniving with their opponents for years.

The Republican Party needs to be taken in hand by new young members who will make it energetic, effective, dedicated, and extremely aggressive – starting now before we even know for sure who the next president will be.

Raging mutiny 1

There is a civil war raging in America – a “cold civil war”.

The always interesting political analyst David P. Goldman, aka Spengler, writes at the Asia Times:

The distinguished political scientist Angelo Codevilla coined the ominous term “cold civil war” to describe America’s precarious condition, adding, “Statesmanship’s first task is to prevent it from turning hot.”

The attempted massacre this week of Republican Congressmen and their staff by a deranged partisan of Sen. Bernie Sanders turned up the heat a notch, but it would be mistaken to attribute much importance to this dreadful outburst of left-wing rage. The augury of American fracture will not be street violence, but a constitutional crisis implicating virtually the whole of America’s governing caste. The shock troops in the cold civil war are not gunmen but lawyers.

Here we interrupt an argument that we very largely agree with, to cavil: Lawyers acting as shock troops in this cold civil war, and the politicians who employ them, are themselves making “a dreadful outburst of left-wing rage”, albeit with words and not guns.

A considerable portion of America’s permanent bureaucracy, including elements of its intelligence community, is engaged in an illegal and unconstitutional mutiny against the elected commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump. Most of the Democratic Party and a fair sampling of the Republican Establishment want to force Trump out of office, and to this end undertook an entrapment scheme to entice the president and his staff into actions which might be construed after the fact as obstruction of justice.

By means yet undisclosed, the mutineers forced Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn from office and now seek to bring down the president for allegedly obstructing an investigation of Gen. Flynn that arose in the first place from the entrapment scheme.

By no coincidence is Gen. Flynn the central character in this scenario. … The CIA really is out to get him:

Flynn’s Defense Intelligence Agency produced a now-notorious 2012 report warning that chaos in Syria’s civil war enabled the rise of a new Caliphate movement, namely ISIS. … Flynn humiliated the bungling CIA and exposed the incompetence and deception of the Obama administration, and got fired for it. …

The mainstream media makes no effort to disguise its hatred for Trump and insinuates in countless ways that the president fired former FBI director James Comey in order to protect Gen. Flynn from a legitimate investigation. I do not believe this to be the case; I think it more likely that Comey showed insufficient zeal in uncovering the pattern of press leaks and other sabotage which the mutineers employed against the president.

Faced with a mutiny fed by illegal actions (leaking classified information is a felony that carries a 10-year prison sentence), the president requires a Pitbull for a counterintelligence chief. Comey, who in 2005 earned $6 million as general counsel for the giant defense contractor Lockheed Martin, is more of a Pomeranian. …

If it is proven that Russian cyber-spies hacked the email account of Democratic National Committee Chairman John Podesta and handed embarrassing information to Wikileaks, we will know that Russia has done what all intelligence agencies have done for centuries: leak embarrassing political information to the press.

Western intelligence services leak information about Putin’s alleged personal fortune and personal life and skullduggery to the media, as well as information about the dodgy connections of Chinese officials and their offspring to business.

Podesta and his gang at the DNC used unethical and perhaps illegal means to sandbag the campaign of Sen. Sanders, leaks about which embarrassed Hillary Clinton. Sanders, knowing on which side his bread is buttered, declined to make an issue of the sandbagging, allowing Trump’s enemies to transform what should have been an investigation of corruption in the Democratic Party into a fairy-tale about Russian spies stealing an American election with implied collusion by the Trump campaign.

The Trump-Russia collusion story is nonsense, as its disseminators know better than anyone else. The object of the exercise is not to support the innuendo, but to launch an investigation which can provoke the White House into responses that might be construed as illegal.

The intelligence leaks involved in framing the story alone are probably sufficient grounds to put several dozen senior officials in federal prison for double-digit terms. That consideration gauges the scale of the problem: the mutineers have committed multiple felonies, and their downside should the mutiny go wrong is not ignominious retirement but hard time at Leavenworth.

Oh, may it be so! It is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

For the moment, the mutineers have the momentum. The Trump administration continues to run on a skeleton staff, with the vast majority of key positions still unoccupied. If my surmise is correct, it was unable to persuade the director of the FBI, the nation’s chief watchdog, to undertake vigorous countermeasures against the mutiny, for example, a comprehensive screening of electronic communications by the reporters who received leaks of classified materials. …

The White House and in particular the National Security Council … remain riddled with Obama Administration holdovers, forcing Trump to rely on a close circle of trusted advisers. That limits the president’s ability to reach out for allies against the mutineers.

The installation of former FBI director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel … also constrains the counterintelligence operations of the White House. If senior intelligence officials claim to be engaged in counterintelligence investigations against Russian interference in US elections, is it obstruction of justice to investigate their illegal contacts with the media?

The mutineers also can count on the support of Establishment worthies like Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), for whom Trump’s election was an intolerable humiliation. Trump ran against the Bush wing of the Republican Party as much as he ran against the Democrats. …

Trump’s one great advantage in all of this is that he has done nothing wrong. He did not obstruct justice because there is no crime. The mutineers’ only hope is to provoke him to take actions which might be construed as obstruction of justice in an investigation with no crime and no victim. Still, it is a moment of great danger for the American Republic.

The mutiny has burned its bridges on the beach, and its perpetrators will risk everything to make it succeed. Whatever the outcome, the legitimacy of a political system designed to be litigious and oppositional will be called into question, and the polarization of American opinion will become more rather than less extreme.

More physical violence cannot be ruled out. The mutineers must lose the cold civil war, if only after inflicting crippling damage on the country. Then they face long years in jail (with a bit of luck and impartial justice from Trump appointed judges). The chances they will then turn to – or at least encourage – violence, are surely high. The Left will not surrender easily. It worked too long, too hard for victory, got it, and thought it had secured power for ever. It cannot let go without a no-holds-barred fight. It is mostly screaming biting and scratching now, but will almost certainly use guns and knives and all the weapons of mutiny that it can before it is forcibly crushed.

 

(Hat-tip for the Spengler article to our contributing commenter, liz)

Denouncing and defunding the UN 4

Will a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, under a Republican leader in the White House, be determined and energetic enough to start the painfully needed destruction of that iniquitous institution, the United Nations?

From Breitbart:

Congressional Republicans are moving quickly to denounce the United Nations for its recent Security Council resolution deeming all Israeli settlements “flagrant violation[s] of international law.”

More than 100 members of Congress have formally condemned the resolution, the Times of Israel reported.

GOP lawmakers in both chambers have decided to introduce resolutions targeted at the UN once Congress reconvenes. Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Florida Rep. Dennis Ross are both slated to introduce disapproval resolutions against the international body.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) indicated that he did not know whether the chamber would vote on Moran’s resolution or a similar one. …

Several aides have said anti-UN action will receive bipartisan support.

But only the denouncing of the recent Security Council resolution against Israel is expected to “receive bipartisan support”.  Not defunding it – which would mean the beginning of the UN’s end, since the US provides nearly a quarter of its funds. The Democrats want to keep the UN alive. Democrats, in line with the whole of the international Left, see it as the bud of a World Government which History, on whose side they are, will bring to full flowering.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also announced his intention to advance an initiative aimed at defunding the United Nations, but it would be unlikely to earn bipartisan support in the Senate, the report said.

We quote from World Government – the Ultimate Nightmare, of May 11, 2016 (to be found in full under Pages in our margin):

The United Nations, that ghastly powerhouse of corruption, hypocrisy, and injustice, is envisaged as the nascent institution of world government.

Liberal left opinion tends to be against the nation state. It is the opinion of approximately half the voters in the Western world. Half the people of the free West apparently want to destroy their nations, and are literally doing so. They may explain their hatred of the nation state by reference to “colonialism”, as if in many cases colonies were not more prosperous, just, and free than the independent tyrannies they have become. Or they may say that the wars and massacres in the last century resulted from “nationalism” so the nation must go; but their thinking would not be right, because the wars and massacres were the work of dictators, not democratic states of which the strongest opposed and defeated the aggressors.

Whatever their explanations, they have launched a movement for the suicide of Western nations.

All over the Western world men and women in national and international assemblies, ministries, academies, councils and committees devote themselves to the business of putting an end to their national identities. Patriotism to them is utterly absurd. Any manifestation of pride in their nation’s history, culture, traditions, institutions, even law, embarrasses if it doesn’t outrage them. In all the countries of Europe, and now under Obama’s leadership in the United States, they work towards their goal.

The very idea of the nation state they consider to be an anachronism; a nasty thing of the past much to be regretted. The more powerful and glorious the past, the more regretful they are. Filled with remorse for what their forefathers achieved, they will apologize to any foreigner who’ll listen to them. However hard their independence as a nation was won, their system of government developed, their individual freedom wrested from the fist of tyranny, they count it all worth nothing. Obama, whose ignorance of history should but doesn’t embarrass him, routinely apologizes for America to appalling little despotisms, and to countries that have survived as comparatively free nations only because America saved them from conquest by tyrannical powers.

Now (phew!) Obama’s ruinous reign is over. The ruling elites are being consciously and actively defied by vast numbers of the people they have betrayed. An awakened America has elected a president who wants to “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”. He has said he will reinforce his country’s borders. He holds the United Nations in contempt. He has declared that, whatever its purported ideals, the way it actually works is “a waste of time and money”.

So for the first time since it began in 1945, the UN is under serious threat of extinction. If it gets no money from the US and is evicted from its New York premises (as Charles Krauthammer hopes it will be), it is unlikely to last much longer. The appalling little despotisms, mostly Islamic, and of them mostly Arab, can set up their talking shop and spout their hypocritical pieties about “human rights” and “peace” and “justice” and “tolerance” in one of their own hellholes.

Meanwhile, a new Secretary General of the UN has optimistically just been appointed: Antonio Guterres, a former Prime Minister of Portugal.

May his tenure be short!

John Hinderaker writes of him at PowerLine:

Guterres said the values enshrined in the U.N. Charter that should define the world that today’s children inherit — peace, justice, respect, human rights, tolerance and solidarity — are threatened, “most often by fear”.

This is mind-bendingly stupid. Peace, justice and human rights are threatened by tyrants like Fidel Castro, Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin. They are threatened by terrorists associated with al Qaeda, ISIS and similar organizations. They are not threatened by “fear”; fear is an entirely appropriate response to tyrants and terrorists. It is a symptom of threats to human rights, peace and justice, not the cause of those threats.

The UN must be destroyed!