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Kavanaugh

Glenn Reynolds reminds us of something we’d all forgotten:

I would have rather he picked one of the more libertarian members of his list: Willett, or maybe Kethledge. And because some sort of trumped-up #MeToo thing was almost certain, a lot of people thought he should have picked Amy Coney Barrett. Kavanaugh was a fine, safe pick, but kinda milquetoasty DC Establishment for my taste.

But that was the reason to pick him. Trump knew he’d been vetted enough that there would be no real skeletons, and he no doubt expected that the Democrats would be so desperate they’d invent some. They would have done that with anyone he put up — but, precisely because Kavanaugh was a milquetoasty DC Establishment type, seeing the Democrats go into full batshit assault mode on him galvanized the other milquetoasty DC Establishment types. You could see the lightbulbs go off in their heads: The Democrats don’t hate Trump because he’s Trump. They hate all Republicans and want to ruin them. Even me! And they always will.

The result is that the Kavanaugh affair has welded the Trump and NeverTrump forces (except for a few sad outliers who don’t matter) into a solid force. And it’s simultaneously galvanized GOP voters around the country, closing the “enthusiasm gap,” as the normals become more militant.

What the Democarats did was dumb. It was monumentally dumb.

Trump nominated someone who was ho-hum. He was ok, but he wasn’t especially strong and favored narrow decisions. We didn’t (and still don’t) know his position on abortion is. Hardly the sort of conservative that would really excite the base.

But the Democrats immediately sounded the alarm. They had things dialed up to 11 even before the decision was made. No matter who it was, they’d have said he was bad for women, gays, minorities and that guy on the corner minding his own business.

But once the hearing closed, and the Democrats realised they’d not landed a killing blow, they bought out the dirty tricks. They came out with one well-coached individual who (eventually – half the point was to sow confusion and delay) told a torrid tale of a vicious assault by a laughing Kavanaugh. Along with this, others came out and laid accusations that were even less believable. But they were snapped up by the Democratic feminist activist base.

But this didn’t fool too many people. Oh sure, even now many Democrats and their activists still act like they believe, and I’m sure many actually do. And some might even think that Kavanaugh’s anger at the tidal wave of false accusations is disqualifying, even though they themselves created that anger.

I’m quite sure there would still be believers if we had literally video showing all Kavanaugh’s weekend activities over the time in question. But we don’t and we just have witness statements to go on. And those witnesses are firm – no one remembers this happening.

But the reality is that these accusations were false. They were lies. They were concoctions that should never have seen the light of day. But they weren’t created to be foolproof, they were created to try to shake a few votes loose from the Republicans. And they did delay things a few days. But they were never going to do more than that.

We’ve seen the video of screaming, hysterical feminists in Washington. These are the woman trying to convince (if you can call screaming in someone’s face “convincing”) senators to “believe the victim” and take these tall tales as true, in spite of all the evidence.

So has the Republican base.

They’ve seen the lies. They’ve seen the lies exposed. They’ve seen more lies, and the liars doubling down even after the lies were exposed. They’ve seen the delaying tactics, and everything else.

The fact is, the House, Senate, Presidency and most states are dominated by Republicans. They are, because people voted for them. There was a real risk that those people might have forgotten the danger of a Democratic senate, or House. People who have what they want can be either discontent or forgetful of what it was like before.

Well, there’s no danger of that anymore. They’ve seen exactly now desperate the Democrats are to gain power. Because if they’re happy to throw such ridiculous accusations at a man like Kavanaugh, where will they stop?

So thanks Democrats.

 

Update: thanks for this too: Don’t Forget: Kavanaugh Probably Would Have Been Blocked If Democrats Hadn’t Filibustered Gorsuch

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Cambodia, and destroying the world

I found this on Instapundit today. It’s so sad, I almost wept reading it.

When Khmer Rouge forces seized Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975, the couple was living with eight of their children in a rural town called Kampong Chhnang. Three days later, the guerrillas arrived and residents — including Younly — cheered, relieved the war was finally over, his 86-year-old widow Som Seng Eath recalled.

But within hours, everything changed. Every soul was ordered to leave on foot.

The Khmer Rouge were emptying Cambodia’s cities, marching millions of people into the countryside to work as manual laborers. Their aim was to create an agrarian communist utopia, but they were turning the Southeast Asian nation into a slave state.

Younly “didn’t believe what was happening. He kept saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon, don’t pack much,’” his widow said. She ignored his advice, and took as much as she could — including five of her husband’s school notebooks, and several blue ink pens.

As gunshots rang, they joined the departing hordes, cradling their young children and whatever they could carry. As they walked into the night, people wept.

Sadly, we forget so quickly just how evil humanity can be.

Go read, and remind yourself of the dangers we face when people decide that they can reshape society to their ideal, by whatever means they deem necessary.

Related, is this via Patterico. You can click through and read the letter to which this is a reply, but I think the reply pretty much speaks for itself, and the state of politics today.

Dear Son of A Right-Winger,

Go back and read the opening sentences of your letter. Read them again. Then read the rest of your letter. Then read it again. Try to find a single instance where you referred to your dad as a human being, a person, or a man. There isn’t one. You’ve reduced your father — the person who created you — to a set of beliefs and political views and how it relates to you. And you don’t consider your dad a person of his own standing — he’s just “your dad.” You’ve also reduced yourself to a set of opposing views, and reduced your relationship with him to a fight between the two. The humanity has been reduced to nothingness and all that’s left in its place is an argument that can never really be won. And even if one side did win, it probably wouldn’t satisfy the deeper desire to be in a state of inflamed passionate conflict.

The world isn’t being destroyed by democrats or republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist — the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world. The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they’re truly better people than the others who think differently. The world officially ends when we let our beliefs conquer love. We must not let this happen.

Worth pondering, I think.

Video

Obama and Nixon Video Mashup

This has been sitting in my “drafts” for some time (along with a bunch of other stuff, some of which is the result of tip-offs).

Since I first saw it, Obama has completely changed his tune, calling scandals “phony” that he was previously calling “inexcusable”.

People sign card thanking the IRS for persecuting conservatives

Ignorance? Or just sheer disgusting unprincipled behaviour?

Recall that Nixon never actually succeeded in getting the IRS to do this sort of thing as the commissioner refused to do it. Yet here’s young people who are actually pleased it happened.

But it’s not really surprising they found signers, since the New York Times appears to take the same attitude as these deplorable young people. But I’d sure like to know how hard they worked to find them. The video make it look like it was really easy, but you never know how these things are edited.

Eric Holder – Only a matter of time

The other day Eric Holder testified before congress.

Unfortunately, he played the innocent act a little carelessly and told a rather obvious lie.

“In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy,” Holder said during the hearing.

The problem is of course, that it’s fairly well known that Holder signed off on the spying of Fox News journalist James Rosen.

The catch is this: If Holder never considered prosecution of journalists including Rosen, then the affidavit laying out a purported criminal case against Rosen was a ruse, a false statement under oath, directed to the court to conduct a wide-ranging dragnet. If, on the other hand, the affidavit which Holder signed off on is true in laying out the case against Rosen, then he didn’t level with Congress. In either event, he needs to come back and explain himself. If he refuses or takes the Fifth, there is no alternative but to name a special prosecutor.

It’s the same trap that a certain Labour cabinet minister was caught in a few years ago. However in this instance, there’s no question of the media ignoring the rather obvious implications of the contradictions as they did for David Parker here.

Liberals scoff at the notion that Holder might be forced to resign, but if he is now a subject of further investigation, it is untenable for him to remain and preposterous for him to conduct a probe of the Justice Department as the president ordered.

You don’t have the moral authority to be the country’s top investigator if you’re under investigation yourself.

Holder must be feeling the heat, for how else to explain a ludicrous puff piece in the Daily Beast waxing lyrical on the attorney general: “[S]ources close to the attorney general says he has been particularly stung by the leak controversy, in large part because his department’s—and his own—actions are at odds with his image of himself as a pragmatic lawyer with liberal instincts and a well-honed sense of balance—not unlike the president he serves.”

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that there are still media who are happy to cover for the administration, even as they are being uncovered for what they are.

Oh puleez. Even worse than the ah-isn’t-he-really-a-good-guy tone throughout, are we really supposed to believe that “for Attorney General Eric Holder, the gravity of the situation didn’t fully sink in until Monday morning when he read the Post’s front-page story, sitting at his kitchen table. Quoting from the affidavit, the story detailed how agents had tracked Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, perused his private emails, and traced the timing of his calls to the State Department security adviser suspected of leaking to him”?

Surprising how many members of the Obama administration have so little knowledge about what’s going on under their leadership, that they find out about things by reading the newspaper.

That excuse didn’t really work for Obama though, there’s no way it’ll work for Holder. He has now had two out of control investigations into different media organisations, investigations that have grossly over-reached and broken pretty much every rule in the book.

Let’s face it, who really believes those where the only ones?

George W. Bush is smarter than you (and fitter)

Ran into this the other day, apparently written by an economist who used to work with Bush Jr.

It contradicts (I’m tempted to say busts but it’s one guy’s word) very comprehensively the image of Bush as stupid.

The new George W. Bush Presidential Center is being dedicated this week. This seems like a good time to bust a longstanding myth about our former President, my former boss.

…One of my students asked “How involved was President Bush with what was going on?” I smiled and responded, “What you really mean is, ‘Was President Bush smart enough to understand what was going on,’ right?”

The class went dead silent. Everyone knew that this was the true meaning of the question. Kudos to that student for asking the hard question and for framing it so politely. I had stripped away that decorum and exposed the raw nerve.

I looked hard at the 60 MBA students and said “President Bush is smarter than almost every one of you.”

More silence.

I could tell they were waiting for me to break the tension, laugh, and admit I was joking.

I did not. A few shifted in their seats, then I launched into a longer answer. While it was a while ago, here is an amalgam of that answer and others I have given in similar contexts.

I am not kidding. You are quite an intelligent group. Don’t take it personally, but President Bush is smarter than almost every one of you. Were he a student here today, he would consistently get “HP” (High Pass) grades without having to work hard, and he’d get an “H” (High, the top grade) in any class where he wanted to put in the effort.

For more than six years it was my job to help educate President Bush about complex economic policy issues and to get decisions from him on impossibly hard policy choices. In meetings and in the briefing materials we gave him in advance we covered issues in far more depth than I have been discussing with you this quarter because we needed to do so for him to make decisions.

President Bush is extremely smart by any traditional standard. He’s highly analytical and was incredibly quick to be able to discern the core question he needed to answer. It was occasionally a little embarrassing when he would jump ahead of one of his Cabinet secretaries in a policy discussion and the advisor would struggle to catch up. He would sometimes force us to accelerate through policy presentations because he so quickly grasped what we were presenting.

I use words like briefing and presentation to describe our policy meetings with him, but those are inaccurate. Every meeting was a dialogue, and you had to be ready at all times to be grilled by him and to defend both your analysis and your recommendation. That was scary.

We treat Presidential speeches as if they are written by speechwriters, then handed to the President for delivery. If I could show you one experience from my time working for President Bush, it would be an editing session in the Oval with him and his speechwriters. You think that me cold-calling you is nerve-wracking? Try defending a sentence you inserted into a draft speech, with President Bush pouncing on the slightest weakness in your argument or your word choice.

In addition to his analytical speed, what most impressed me were his memory and his substantive breadth. We would sometimes have to brief him on an issue that we had last discussed with him weeks or even months before. He would remember small facts and arguments from the prior briefing and get impatient with us when we were rehashing things we had told him long ago.

And while my job involved juggling a lot of balls, I only had to worry about economic issues. In addition to all of those, at any given point in time he was making enormous decisions on Iraq and Afghanistan, on hunting al Qaeda and keeping America safe. He was making choices not just on taxes and spending and trade and energy and climate and health care and agriculture and Social Security and Medicare, but also on education and immigration, on crime and justice issues, on environmental policy and social policy and politics. Being able to handle such substantive breadth and depth, on such huge decisions, in parallel, requires not just enormous strength of character but tremendous intellectual power. President Bush has both.

On one particularly thorny policy issue on which his advisors had strong and deep disagreements, over the course of two weeks we (his senior advisors) held a series of three 90-minute meetings with the President. Shortly after the third meeting we asked for his OK to do a fourth. He said, “How about rather than doing another meeting on this, I instead tell you now what each person will say.” He then ran through half a dozen of his advisors by name and precisely detailed each one’s arguments and pointed out their flaws. (Needless to say there was no fourth meeting.)

While I don’t think being able to predict advisers answers is necessarily always hard, it is pretty funny.

The article then goes into reasons why people have come to think Bush is stupid, which basically boil down to:

1) He’s from Texas, not from the “intelligent” states (and as a result has a “funny” accent”.

2) He made a point of presenting himself as a common man, not as an aloof intellectual

 

Video

Obama Really Poor at Speaking

I saw this video at Patterico just now. His point is that the president is using marines to hold his umbrella instead of doing it himself. (Update: Yep)

Well, I’m quite certain I’ve seen Bush have that (in spite of these images) so I think that’s a bit of a beat up.

But I was incredulous at just how bad Obama stumbles around in these comments. He doesn’t even seem to remember who the guy next to him is.

Bush got stick for talking this badly. It seems that Obama’s solution is to never talk off-the-cuff – something that has been noted before.

Obama’s Anti-Bullying Guy

I covered a few of Obama’s appalling choices for running various things in my big post just before to the presidential election.

But I missed this one.

Dan Savage. Dan Savage’s anti-bully program was chosen by Obama to be part of his anti-bully project. Just one problem Dan Savage is a pretty nasty bully himself.

You can see him pander to the atheist haters here. Not only is his critique quite ignorant (has anybody read Acts 15* ?!?) but having driven tens if not hundreds of students from the room he then proceeds to mock them.

There’s lots of stuff on his Wikipedia page, including his co-sponsoring of the disguising campaign to smear Rick Santorum which I will not quote here.

In a 2006 interview with the Daily Pennsylvanian, Savage stated that then-Green Party Senate candidate Carl Romanelli, whom Savage claimed was partially funded by state Republicans for a spoiler effect against Democrat Bob Casey, “should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope”. In the same interview, he stated, “Mr. Romanelli should go [expletive deleted -s1] himself.”[53] Immediately after the interview, Savage wrote, “I regret using that truck metaphor, and didn’t mean it literally, and it was in poor taste, and I regret it.”[54]

On HBO‘s Real Time with Bill Maher July 15, 2011, during a panel discussion of the debt limit increase negotiations between the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama, Savage said in a stand-alone remark, “I wish the Republicans were all [expletive deleted -s1] dead.[55] He apologized for his remarks on his blog later the same night saying in part, “I don’t feel that way. My dad is a Republican. (Well, he says he’s an independent, but he hasn’t voted for a Democrat since JFK. My dad is a Republican.)”[56]

Finally, today he wished cancer on Sarah Palin. Not only that, he openly admitted he was being a bully:

Image

It’s sickening. But sadly, given Obama picked a tax cheat for treasury sectary, picking a confirmed, unrepentant bully for his anti-bulling program is about par for the course.

An idea to get Conservatism back on track

The Republican party in the US just suffered quite a defeat. But they do have a position as majority in the house from which they can launch something.

I was reading via Instapundit today (or maybe yesterday) that in spite of recent events, in spite of Chicago being dominated by Democrats, in spite of the failures of Stimulus projects, in spite of the clear media cover-ups of Democratic party stumbles, gaffes and scandals, in spite of all the evidence people think it’s the Republican party that is the most corrupt.

So here’s the thing. I have no no doubt whatsoever that the Republican party does contain and tolerate a lot of corruption. Not as much as the Democrats, and it is not as fundamental as it is to the Democratic party, but it does exist. And no right thinking American wants a corrupt government.

At the same time, the Republicans have a big image problem. Trust me, they do. It’s like there’s two groups, Republicans and the people who think Republicans are evil. Very little middle ground. They need to fix this, and the media (who lovingly helped build it) is in no way going to help.

So here’s what I think the Republican led house should do. (I’m not entirely sure this is possible but what the hey, not like anyone’s going to read this!) Establish a house committee/commission to root out corruption. First, staff it with guys like McCain who’s integrity is utterly unimpeachable.

Next, go after the bad eggs in the Republican party itself. Have every member sign a statement saying that they will conduct their politics properly or leave. Then kick out the bad eggs, get them prosecuted if possible and let it be seen that the entire party condemns them as they go. If it loses the entire majority do it. Once the public get the idea that they’re genuine in what they’re doing, even willing to risk their own majority, those seats that are vacant may just be won back anyway.

Backers? Kick them to the curb. Special interests? Tell them to take a hike. Yea, it’s gonna hurt. Yea, it may damage the party in the sort term. But it’s like anything hard – the bigger the pain, the bigger the payoff is down the line.

In the meantime, other proprieties are just going to have to suffer. Let’s face it, the public voted for Obama so they don’t seem to care much about what the Republicans hold dearly do they? It’s just like anything, you have to decide what is really important. And you can be effective at running the country if you’re fat and lazy with a huge beer gut.

And it’s only when it’s very clear that the Republican party is absolutely, completely and utterly clean, so clean that even Chris Matthews is admiring the sparkle, so ruthless with corruption that there is no question that even the top brass would see the door they were found giving favors, then and only then you start on the Democrats.

But by that stage, you probably won’t have to. The public will start turning on them and the media will have to ask why they are not prepared to clean their own house.  Obama will probably finish his term, but his legacy of corruption will mean that everyone will be glad to see him go.

That’s my thinking anyway. I think it’d work in the US.

It’s never work here because we have no conservatives worth a damn in the first place.

Look! If we tilt the poll to this extreme, it comes to a Draw!

This is worse than bad, it’s obscene.

Romney has gained 3 points since the last time CNN ran its poll, in late September, when Obama led 50%-47%. That is good news for the Republican ticket, especially since the poll was conducted after Hurricane Sandy.

Yet there is something odd–and even ridiculous–in the poll’s sample: of the 693 likely voters in the total sample of 1,010 adults polled, “41% described themselves as Democrats, 29% described themselves as Independents, and 30% described themselves as Republicans.”

In other words, the poll is a D+11 outlier. It presents a picture of an electorate that is far more pro-Obama than it was in the historic 2008 election. That is extremely unlikely.

That’s putting it mildly!

Moreover, the polls’s crosstabs indicate that Romney is winning self-described independent voters by a giant 59%-37% margin. A 22-point lead among independents virtually guarantees victory for Romney. Yet Democrats are so heavily over-represented in the CNN poll that Romney’s 22-point lead becomes a mere 49%-49% tie.

I’d suggest that his margin among independents suggest this is going to be a massive Republican victory.

Some Democrats have argued that their party will still show up to the polls in significantly greater strength than Republicans–either because of the increased presence of Latino voters, who currently favor the Democrats; or because, they argue, many of the voters that say they are independent are really disgruntled Republicans.

But none of these explanations points towards a Democrat turnout exceeding that of 2008, which the CNN poll assumes. Republicans are far more motivated, and Democrats are somewhat less motivated, in 2012.

And it is absurd to suggest anything else. Obama’s supporters can at best claim (unconvincingly) that he kept things from getting worse. Certainly the anti-war crowd isn’t going to rush out and vote for him, and even the Sandy situation is counting against Obama as people wait in vain for help.

The idea that Democrats are motivated just doesn’t hold water.

On the other hand, Republicans believe strongly that Obama has been a terrible president. They point to… well just see my last post and it’s “part 1” for reasons! The Tea Party got conservatives riled up like never before.

In fact, we’re seeing the first election for quite a while where conservatives are a whole lot more motivated than Democrats.

And yet the poll, absurd though it is, shows that Romney will be able to overcome even a staggering partisan disadvantage, and that he will win the independent voters who typically decide elections.

And then there’s the early polling numbers coming out of Ohio, the Democrats are inadvertently admitting are true:

For those without video: Chris Wallace points out that early voting in Ohio kind of, well, sucks for the Democrats – as in, ACCORDING TO THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN (this is important), it’s at the point where the net gain for the Republicans will wipe out Obama’s 2008 margin of victory in Ohio. This is important because Republicans traditionally do better on Election Day voters than Democrats; if that holds true (which is quietly conceded by pretty much everyone), then Ohio is going to go for Romney.

 

Get that? The numbers suggest strongly that Romney has already wiped out Obama’s lead during voting which usually favours Democrats. So when polling day proper arrives, instead of having a mild deficit to make up to win, Romney will simply increase his lead.

I don’t know if this will turn into a bloodbath. It’s possible.

We’ll know for sure very soon.

 

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