Monday, September 17, 2018

Meandering Through Monday

     A lot of people do, you know. Why should the Curmudgeon Emeritus to the World Wide Web be left out?

1. #YeahSuuure

     They tried it with Clarence Thomas. It almost worked. As it happened, Justice Thomas was too determined to defend himself and his good name, and he prevailed. Afterward, they attempted to keep Thomas on the plantation by harping on the Anita Hill accusations, as if they’d gained credibility. That didn’t work either. But their memory of how close they came to a successful “borking” of Thomas has remained bright.

     It should come as no surprise, given the Left’s high priority on controlling the federal courts, that they’d try again with Brett Kavanaugh, especially once their disruption tactics had failed them. But the accusation lodged by Christine Blasey Ford – alleging an assault 35 years in the past and never before brought to the attention of any authority! – is being laughed aside by a public that’s become used to these eleventh hour torpedo launches against conservative judicial nominees.

     In part it’s a problem of timing. Had Ford’s accusation been brought to the light six months ago, before the Asia Argento business, it might have gotten more traction. But the #MeToo nonsense has already “jumped the shark,” in the process exposing the motives of its promoters for what they truly are. The process has swung the public-opinion pendulum against such long-delayed, evidence-free allegations of sexual misconduct.

     Successful poker players know what it means to overplay a hand, and what it can cost. It’s an old bit of wisdom among them that the hand you least want is the second-best one at the table. What the Left has in the Blasey Ford accusation isn’t even that good. But the hysteria among Leftists at the thought of losing their fingernail grip on the Supreme Court, for decades the most reliable defense of their many unConstitutional initiatives and demands, has overwhelmed the good sense of their tacticians. Hallelujah!

2. Left Coast Shenanigans

     Kurt Schlichter is always worth one’s time, but today he’s both hotter and funnier than usual:

     Enter the search term “San Francisco feces map” into Google and it comes back with 1,040,000 results. Yeah, it’s a thing. San Francisco was always grungy – back in the 1980s, I believe it was comic Bobby Slayton who called it “the city that makes its own gravy” – but it has gone from merely unwashed to actively unflushed.

     Sure, it’s funny to the rest of us, in a horrifying and disgusting kind of way, just like the fact that the socialist geniuses in Venezuela are forcing the famished locals to gnaw on its zoo’s zebras and gnus for sustenance. You look at these examples of leftism in action and you have to laugh, but what’s not funny is that this is not some sort of aberration. This is the future our liberal elite wants for us, and it’s doing everything it can to make it a reeking reality.

     You see, they could stop this nonsense any time. No one has to live with derelicts choking grumpies in public places. Most places don’t have this problem – yet. Hell, public sanitation was one of the great leaps forward that took the world out of the Dark Ages. It’s not hard to stop. You just don’t tolerate it. Drop a deuce, do a month in jail.

     Simple. You just have to want to stop it, but our liberal overlords don’t want to stop it. They want this.

     It’s awfully hard to refute that statement. California in particular demonstrates how the Left actively encourages the proliferation and amplification of social pathologies, to induce submission from those under its rule. Trouble is, the tactic only works when the pathology is relatively new and still in the “treatable” zone: i.e., when “the neighborhood” has gone from almost entirely clean and civilized to “fouled:” i.e., blighted here and there to a noticeable degree that falls well short of total ruination. Under those conditions, the Left’s media handmaidens can persuade the public to accept a governmental remedial measure that promises to undue the damage at a modest cost.

     But as with the Kavanaugh / Blasey Ford business, the Left has lost its tactical judgment and gone over the edge. San Francisco hasn’t been “fouled;” it’s been destroyed, with the active encouragement of its municipal government. California as a whole is near to being destroyed by the combination of the illegal alien tide, the surrender of its justice system, insane “environmental” laws, and taxes that approach confiscatory levels. The state’s once vibrant middle class is steadily packing up and moving out. What remains are criminals, illegal aliens, the poor, and the very wealthy, who can afford to live in walled enclaves resistant to the crime and filth outside.

     I’ve written before about the “hacienda on the hill.” California is acting it out. San Francisco is the premiere for the future of California – and for the nation, should the Left ever again regain control in Washington.

The “Steady State”

     Angelo Codevilla is one of the few prominent commentators to have systematically and persistently addressed the existence, intentions, and methods of the American political class. Today, in reaction to the recent, anonymous (and infamous) “steady state” column in the New York Times, he zooms in on that egregious eruption:

     Truly revolutionary, as well as false, is the claim that officials who oppose the choice the voters made at the ballot box by acting under a false flag of loyalty thereby bring any sort of stability to American public life. For better or worse, the American people elected a president of the United States according to the Constitution. On their behalf, he acts. To them alone is he responsible, by well-defined constitutional instruments. To acquiesce in that claim is to abet a revolution.

     Who appointed anyone as the guardians of the “steady state?” Among many notions of steadiness, whose do they guard? To whom are they responsible? Since they take care that none but their friends should know what influence they are having on what actions of government, on whom shall Americans displeased with those actions vent their displeasure? And how shall ordinary people vent their displeasure with a “steadiness” of which they disapprove? Pitchforks?

     In short, who rules here? To whom does America belong?

     I’ll wait here while you read the whole thing. Because the matter deserves a deeper look.

     Despite innumerable claims to the contrary, the United States is not a democracy. It’s a Constitutional federated republic. If you’re sixty or older, there’s a chance you learned that in school. If you’re younger, the odds are against you – and the younger you are, the larger those odds will be.

     The Constitutional structure of the Republic was intended to dampen certain kinds of political fluctuations: specifically, the sort brought on by “factions,” in Madison’s term, that seek to ride roughshod over individuals’ rights. Indeed, the entire point of a Supreme Law that’s difficult to amend is to prevent rapid, destabilizing changes. Our Supreme Law was written to confine the federal government to a narrowly defined set of activities, and to prohibit lower governments from undertaking other intrusions into individuals’ liberty to live and work as they please.

     Now, that compact has largely failed of its purpose. Pliable federal judges willing to “reinterpret” the Supreme Law, finding “penumbras” and “emanations” that contradict the intent of its Framers and the plain meanings of its words, have robbed its barriers of their solidity. Nevertheless, that was its purpose: as a stabilization measure against the surges in popular passions and the ambitions of political actors willing to pander to them.

     Once certain conditions are in place, stability in the law is a good thing. The election to the presidency of an aspiring dictator who intends to set the Constitution aside and rule by decree would be a very bad thing. And note that that is the very core of the Left’s more sober objections to the presidency of Donald Trump. They claim that he intends to rule through personal ukase rather than through the existing, Constitutional federal mechanisms. It’s their way of justifying the Deep State, by implying that only the immense, unelected federal bureaucracies can withstand his supposedly dictatorial intentions: i.e., by ignoring him or defying him outright.

     It’s a blatant falsehood of several parts. President Trump has been working to undo the damage done to the Constitutional order by the Deep State...and by the Left’s foremost operator in recent years, Barack Hussein Obama, to whose tune the Deep State was more than willing to dance. Note how, in a stunning departure from the decorum practiced by past presidents over the two centuries behind us, Obama has eagerly taken to the podium to denounce his Oval Office successor for exactly that.

     So Codevilla’s emphasis on the populist thesis is somewhat misconceived. Were Trump and his Administration what the Left has claimed – i.e., a threat to individual rights and civil order – no degree of popular approval would justify him. However, the actual state of affairs is precisely the opposite.

     Let The Curmudgeon’s Carbohydrate Aphorism apply:

Keep thine eye fixed upon the doughnut, lest thou pass unaware through the hole.

     And have a nice day.

1 comment:



I suspect you'll appreciate the biting irony in the adaptation of a left-winger Carville quote...

A thought on the Kavanaugh accuser...