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POLITICS

The Dems Aren’t “Brights” The Left’s aggrandizement of power at the expense of individuals, states, and civil society. Bruce Thornton

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/266245/dems-arent-brights-bruce-thornton

“Brights” was the term popularized by evangelical atheists Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett to describe people who think like them: materialist determinists who scoff at faith and traditional wisdom, and proclaim their devotion to rationalism, science, and critical thought. The label was mocked to death for its smug narcissism, but the idea behind it is still a foundational assumption of progressives. The irony is much of the superiority progressives claim based on their “respect for science” is an illusion, reflecting instead scientism and ideology.

Indeed, as a political movement now over a century old, progressivism was founded on the belief that new knowledge of human nature and behavior required a revision of the American political order. Herbert Croly, founder of the New Republic and a leading progressive theorist, wrote that a “better future would derive from the beneficent activities of expert social engineers who would bring to the service of social ideals all the technical resources which research could discover.” This faith in “science” was embraced by progressive president Woodrow Wilson, who wanted to discard the Constitution’s popular self-rule filtered through divided government and checks and balances, and replace it with administrative bureaus staffed by the “hundreds who are wise” who would guide and control the thousands who are “selfish, ignorant, timid, stubborn, or foolish.”

Wilson’s vision succeeded, which is why today we have a bloated federal government with 2.5 million workers and a nearly four-trillion-dollar budget, two-thirds of which is committed to entitlement spending. Thanks to Wilson, today we are subjected to a regulatory regime that “covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate,” as Alexis de Tocqueville prophesized. This technocratic rule has diminished our freedom and autonomy, compensating for that loss by redistributing money through various entitlements that corrupt character and create dependency on our government overseers.

The ancients called this “tyranny,” a consequence of human nature’s lust for power and domination that frightened the founders and explains the structure of the Constitution. The progressives just added a new twist to the old tyrannical modus operandi: the claim that not greed or ambition for personal power or aristocratic honor, but the truths of science were the bases for their political innovations and concentration of power into their hands.

A case study in media’s declining power: The Chelsea Clinton marketing campaign By Thomas Lifson

All of the formidable powers of propaganda have been deployed to help Chelsea Clinton along the path to political power. It won’t work, and the media that lend their credibility to the propaganda only further diminish their influence. As the old Madison Avenue cliché has it, the most brilliant marketing campaign in history won’t sell dog food if the dogs won’t eat it.

The sudden uptick in the long running media campaign to glamorize, promote, and burnish the image of Chelsea Clinton is clear evidence that the Clinton Gang plans to hand power to the heir, and sooner than later. Chelsea obviously is being groomed to step into a safe Democrat constituency, probably in Congress in 2018.

Writing in National Review, Jim Geraghty offers an insightful and rewarding analysis of the futility of the Chelsea marketing campaign.

Chelsea Clinton is not fascinating. But the repeated insistence that Chelsea Clinton is fascinating … is actually rather fascinating. It’s like a giant social experiment, in which everyone who has spent decades building connections to the Clinton political dynasty attempts to make the world see the president’s daughter as someone she isn’t. …

[S]he’s pretty much the worst possible person to be speaking on behalf of Democrats right now. At a time when one of the preeminent problems in American life is a sense of declining economic opportunity and social mobility, she’s the living embodiment of inherited privilege.

After a few years of attempting to work in consulting and at hedge funds, she concluded she “couldn’t care about money on a fundamental level.” Then, with no experience in television journalism, she had her people call up the networks and set up a bidding war for her services as a correspondent. She made $600,000 per year for part-time work at NBC, generating what the Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik called “a handful of reports that no self-respecting affiliate in a top 20 market would air.”

She was named an “assistant vice provost” at NYU at age 30. She was picked to give the keynote address at South by Southwest, and honored as one of Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year.” Now she makes $1,083 per minute speaking to public universities. And almost everything she does is decreed to be extraordinary by a pliant, pro-Clinton media. The New York Times even interviewed her about her favorite books.

Read the whole thing, and stay tuned for great amusement as the marketing campaign for dog food that dogs won’t eat continues.

A Special Prosecutor . . . For What? There is no crime to probe in the matter of the Trump campaign’s contact with Russians. By Andrew C. McCarthy

So, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself. Great!

Just one question: From what?

Yes, yes, Sessions is a good and decent man. He is a scrupulous lawyer who cares about his reputation. Thus, in stark contrast to Obama administration attorneys general, he strictly applied — I’d say he hyper-applied — the ethical standard that calls on a lawyer to recuse himself from a matter in which his participation as counsel would create the mere appearance of impropriety. The standard is eminently sensible because the legitimacy of our judicial system depends not only on its actually being on the up and up but on its being perceived as such.

If it looks like you’re conflicted, you step aside, period. Simple, right? Well . . .

Much as I admire our AG’s virtue (and you know I do), let’s pause the preen parade for just a moment. There’s a tiny word in that just-described ethical standard that we need to take note of: matter. A lawyer doesn’t just recuse himself. He recuses himself from a legal matter — from participation in a case. When we are talking about the criminal law, that means recusal from a prospective prosecution. You need a crime for that. Prosecutors do not recuse themselves from fishing expeditions or partisan narratives.

So . . . what is the crime?

We need to ask this question because, rest assured, this does not end with Jeff Sessions. No more than it ended with Mike Flynn. No more than it would end if the media-Democrat complex were to obtain the much coveted scalp of Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Seb Gorka, or one of the other Beltway gate-crashers we’ve come to know over the last six improbable months. The objective is President Trump: preferably, his impeachment and removal; but second prize, his mortal political wounding by a thousand cuts just in time for 2018 and 2020, would surely do.

As I tried to explain in my book Faithless Execution (2014), impeachment cases do not just spontaneously appear. They have to be built over time, and with vigor, because most Americans — even those who oppose a president politically — do not want the wrenching divisiveness and national instability that impeachment unavoidably entails. The reluctant public must be convinced that there is urgency, that the president’s demonstrated unfitness has created a crisis that must be dealt with.

But remember: Democrats are from Mars and Republicans are from Venus.

In the matter of Barack Obama, the GOP had an actual case based on systematic executive overreach and the empowering of America’s enemies, the kind of threat to the constitutional framework that induced Madison to regard the impeachment remedy as “indispensable.” Yet agitating for upheaval is against the Republican character (a generally good trait, though paralyzing in an actual crisis). Plus, President Obama’s personal popularity always insulated the unpopularity of his agenda and bathed even his most lawless actions in a glow of good intentions. Republicans had no stomach for mentioning impeachment, much less building a case.

Hmm: Obama Officials Set Up Jeff Sessions’ Meeting With the Russian Ambassador By Debra Heine

It should already be obvious that the fake media firestorm over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ meetings last year with the Russian ambassador is nothing more than the Democrat Media Complex — led by Obama’s shadow government — trying to take down a key member of the Trump administration. Their game is to find some minor issue (Sessions could have been more forthcoming during his confirmation hearing) and turn it into a major impeachment-worthy scandal.

It’s a tried and true strategy that Democrats and their friends in the media were able to pull off with amazing success during the Bush years. But the playing field is completely different in 2017 — more people are on to their games, and we have a president who loves to fight. President Trump doesn’t crouch in a defensive posture — he goes on the offense. Good luck with that, Dems.

Now, new information has come out that throws cold water all over their phony “RussiaGate” scandal.

It turns out the senator spoke to the Russian ambassador in one of the allegedly scandalous “meetings” on the invitation of the Obama administration.

Hans A. von Spakovsky of Fox News reports (emphasis added):

So what are the two meetings that Sessions had? The first came at a conference on “Global Partners in Diplomacy,” where Sessions was the keynote speaker. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, The Heritage Foundation, and several other organizations, it was held in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention.

The conference was an educational program for ambassadors invited by the Obama State Department to observe the convention. The Obama State Department handled all of the coordination with ambassadors and their staff, of which there were about 100 at the conference.

Apparently, after Sessions finished speaking, a small group of ambassadors—including the Russian ambassador—approached the senator as he left the stage and thanked him for his remarks. That’s the first “meeting.” And it’s hardly an occasion—much less a venue—in when a conspiracy to “interfere” with the November election could be hatched.

Sessions also apparently met with the Russian ambassador in September. But on that occasion, Sessions was acting as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, not as a surrogate for the Trump campaign. That’s why the meeting was held in his Senate office. His DOJ spokesperson, Sarah Isgur Flores, says they discussed relations between the two countries – not the election.

There was nothing unusual about this: Sessions met with more than two dozen ambassadors during 2016, including the Ukrainian ambassador the day before the meeting with the Russian ambassador.

Donald Trump’s Boffo Speech to Congress Politically and theatrically brilliant. Bruce Thornton

Move over, Howard Stern. Donald Trump is the new “king of all media.” His address to Congress was politically and theatrically brilliant, confounding his media critics–– even the virulently Trumpophobic ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and the other usual suspects gave it positive reviews––and exposing the sore-loser Democrats for the partisan hacks they are. You knew the Dems were in a panic when they scurried from the hall at the end of the speech so they could start spinning the journalists waiting outside.

We are witnessing a profound shift in presidential politics, but whether it will lead to significant reform of our soft-despotic state remains an open question.

After a campaign and first month in office filled with caustic tweets, petty squabbles, heated rhetoric, and seeming disarray, Trump spoke in the disciplined, lofty, aspirational, conciliatory tone we expect of presidents. But the Democrats mostly sat on their hands, even when Trump promised to create jobs and help curb the slaughter in blighted black neighborhoods, boons for the Democrats’ constituents. They did rouse themselves when, like Nero in the Colosseum, they gave the thumbs-down to Trump’s proposals to repeal and replace Obamacare, or destroy ISIS, or actually enforce federal immigration laws. Given how much Americans dislike the failing health-care entitlement behemoth, fear metastasizing jihadist terror outfits, and want illegal alien criminals deported and our borders secured, it was bad optics for Dems to churlishly remain seated, their scowls and silence implying to viewers that they value illegal alien murderers, an imploding Obamacare, and avoiding “Islamophobia” over the security and interests of American citizens.

The highlight, of course, came when Trump acknowledged the widow of slain Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, killed during a raid in Yemen. Questions about the raid have been raised by Owens’ father and the Dems, giving the hostile media another pretext for attacking Trump. But all the debate about the value or success of the raid has been eclipsed by the minute-and-a-half standing ovation given to Owens’ widow, who wept as she occasionally lifted her gaze upward and silently spoke to her lost husband. Critics are carping about “exploitation” and “political theater,” something they didn’t mind when Hillary exploited a grieving “Gold Star” couple at the Democrat convention. But their complaints won’t reach a fraction of the millions who witnessed that powerfully moving moment.

Sessions Recuses Himself From Russian Nothing-Burger The AG won’t handle the “election interference” case. Matthew Vadum

“As they try to lynch Sessions to appease their crazed base, Democrats are holding a Hypocrisy Olympics right now.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions officially recused himself yesterday from the nonsensical, possibly even nonexistent, federal probe into claims of Russian interference in the election – claims that for all we know were invented by President Trump’s enemies in the intelligence community and the Democratic Party.

Despite the oceans of mass media hysteria, there is still no publicly available trustworthy evidence that the Trump campaign somehow colluded with the Russian government last year. Sources in newspaper articles are never identified. There is not a scintilla of proof of improper conduct. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. All we have is the alleged say-so of faceless CIA spooks whose motives are questionable, to put it charitably.

President Trump called out his predecessor for meddling this week. Accusing Barack Obama of being “behind” the unruly town hall protests and maybe the leaks coming out of the White House, too. A New York Times article from Wednesday stated that in the dying days of the Obama administration officials “spread information” about the alleged Russian tampering in the election and supposed ties between that country and Trump associates “across the government.” Some have called the clues Trump-hating spooks left behind as “intelligence bread crumbs” planted to be discovered later.

It needs to be said that even the theory that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been trying to undermine the public’s faith in American democracy is suspect. The KGB veteran delights in being seen as a puppet master who throws his weight around in other countries. As a few voices in the wilderness have suggested, if Russia is trying to manipulate the American political process, it is in an attempt to shore up Putin’s position at home. In other words, it is a propaganda campaign aimed at Russians in Russia, and the Left is only too happy to help out in order to hurt Trump.

The Sessions-is-a-Russian-traitor story came about just when the Trump administration was basking in the glow of the president’s historic speech to Congress. How convenient. Suddenly good news about Trump evaporates in the news cycle. Poof.

As CNN’s resident self-described “communist” propagandist Van Jones was forced to admit, President Trump’s widely praised address was a game-changer. Trump “became president of the United States in that moment, period.” Jones was moved during Trump’s tribute to fallen Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, a Navy SEAL, and his widow Carryn Owens. Trump looked towards a visibly emotional Mrs. Owens and said, “Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity … thank you,” a comment that was followed by a stand ovation that lasted two minutes.

“That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics,” Jones said. “If he finds a way to do that over and over again, he’s going to be there for eight years.” Not surprisingly, Jones’s simple acknowledgment of reality earned him the wrath of professionally unhinged MSNBC-reject and dead-ender Keith Olbermann and a chorus of other radicals.

Returning to the Sessions story, at a press conference yesterday the attorney general stressed that a recusal is far from an admission of guilt and that the Department of Justice does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations.

Sessions is mindful of the important aphorism that over time has hardened into a legal maxim: “Not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.”

U.S. Senator Colludes With Russians to Influence Presidential Election By J. Christian Adams

Yes, a United States senator really did collude with the Russians to influence the outcome of a presidential election. His name was Ted Kennedy.

While Sen. Al Franken (D-Ringling Bros.) and other Democrats have the vapors over a truthful, complete, and correct answer Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave in his confirmation hearing, it’s worth remembering the reprehensible behavior of Senator Ted Kennedy in 1984.

This reprehensible behavior didn’t involve launching an Oldsmobile Delmont 88 into a tidal channel while drunk. This reprehensible behavior was collusion with America’s most deadly enemy in an effort to defeat Ronald Reagan’s reelection.

You won’t hear much about that from CNN and the clown from Minnesota.

To recap, from Forbes:

Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”

Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers.

Among the promises Kennedy made the Soviets was he that would ensure that the television networks gave the Soviet leader primetime slots to speak directly to the American people, thus undermining Reagan’s framing of the sinister nature of the USSR. Event then, the Democrats had the power to collude with the legacy media. Kennedy also promised to help Andropov penetrate the American message with his Soviet agitprop.

That’s right, folks. Even 30 years ago, Democrat senators were colluding with America’s enemies to bring down Republicans.

The Left Learns to Love Dubya Liberals call Bush a hero now that there’s a new Republican Hitler in town. By Kimberley A. Strassel

George W. Bush gave Democrats a gift this week—which should be a reminder of the perils of demonizing political opponents. But don’t bank on the left accepting his gracious offering.

Promoting his new book about veterans on NBC’s “Today” show, Mr. Bush was asked to weigh in on the fight between Donald Trump and the media. “We need an independent media to hold people like me to account,” he told Matt Lauer. “Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.”

The press and liberal groups gushed, and hundreds of headlines approvingly quoted the former president. “Why you should listen when George W. Bush defends the media,” declared a headline at the Washington Post. “George W Bush: a welcome return,” raved the Guardian, which went so far as to call him a “paragon of virtue.” The leftist site ThinkProgress ran a blog post titled “George W. Bush defends the Constitution to rebuke Trump.”
Miss me yet?

Suddenly, they do—though only in the most self-serving way. President Bush would have made the exact same defense of the First Amendment while he was in office (and indeed, he later explicitly said that his words were not meant as a criticism of Mr. Trump).

Mr. Bush is a straight-up guy. While president, he treated the press and his political opponents with general courtesy—attending their events, living with their bias. He ran as a uniter and was far more genuine in his outreach than his grandiose successor. He didn’t lie, or bully, or sic his IRS on his opponents, or spy on reporters. He took responsibility for his actions, notably big decisions like going to war.

Not one bit of that earned him any credit. Go back and read the headlines from the Bush administration. They vary in substance from today’s coverage, but not the least in tone. Bush Derangement Syndrome entailed a vicious, daily assault by a media contemptuous of Mr. Bush’s intelligence, intentions and integrity. He was compared to Hitler and terrorists, accused of racism, homophobia and sexism. He was a plutocrat, out to rip off the nation’s old and poor. He orchestrated conspiracies ranging from 9/11 to the spread of avian flu. He lied, people died. CONTINUE AT SITE

The Unbounded Malice of the Democrats :Edward Cline

President Trump addressed a Joint Session of Congress on March 1st. Rather it was a Disjointed Congress, with the Democrats ensconced on one side of the House and the Republicans on the other. The Democrats largely remained literally unmoved by Trump in a peevish demonstration of their small-mindedness and malice.

In fact, why limit the characterization of Democratic behavior to mere malice? Why not call it unbridled hatred and hatred of the good for being the good? For their hatred’s target is not just President Trump, but the American people for having made President Trump possible. One doesn’t have the frequent opportunity to observe so many grown men in effect drop their pants and moon a whole country besides the President. This is what they are doing, for all to see, practically a whole political party behaving like petulant brats who’d rather see the country’s continued destruction by Barack Obama’s policies instead of renewing the country by the grace of Trump’s policies.

President Trump addressed a Joint Session of Congress on March 1st. Rather it was a Disjointed Congress, with the Democrats ensconced on one side of the House and the Republicans on the other. The Democrats largely remained literally unmoved by Trump in a peevish demonstration of their small-mindedness and malice.

Daniel Greenfield on FrontPage published a gallery of telling photos of Democrats reacting to Trump’s Congressional address. I wondered: Who were all the women in a back row in white? At first I thought it was a school choir that had been invited to hear Trump’s address to the Joint Session of Congress. But no, they were distaff Democrats led by Nancy Paleo-Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, who now resembles a melted Madam Tussuad wax mannequin, her puffy Botox lips acting like a tongue sticking out at Trump and everything he had to say or show. Some of the “white dress privileged” women rose and applauded. Some of the Dems in the immobile side of the House rose and applauded and got dirty looks from their colleagues. I watched the whole address to Congress, and saw the glances and dirty looks

Democrats, led by Paleo-Pelosi, who resembles a

a melted Madam Tussuad wax mannequin, were

advised to not stand or applaud Trump.

.

Daniel Henninger in his Wall Street Journal article revealed that:

There is one other relevant image from the moments after the speech ended: Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin standing—alone—to shake Mr. Trump’s hand.

Last week, progressive activists petitioned [Senate] Minority Leader Schumer to expel Sen. Manchin from the leadership team as retribution for his vote in favor of Scott Pruitt’s nomination to run the Environmental Protection Agency.

Apparently, Senator Schumer would rather retain the costly swamps created by the EPA, rather than see them drained.

The Dems also refused to applaud or even look at the victims of immigrant crime as Trump pointed them out; instead boos and hisses emanated from that side of the House. The Free Beacon wrote that during the two-minute tribute and standing ovation given to the widow of Navy Seal Ryan Owens,

The audience stood and gave Carryn Owens a standing ovation and applauded for over two minutes for her strength.

Our World: Perez, Ellison and the meaning of antisemitism ByCaroline B. Glick The Democrats are in a dangerous place for themselves, for the US and for the American Jewish community.

Was former secretary of labor and assistant attorney-general Tom Perez’s victory over Congressman Keith Ellison over the weekend in the race to serve as the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee a victory of centrist Democrats over radical leftists in the party? That is how the mainstream media is portraying Perez’s victory.

Along these lines, Prof. Allen Dershowitz, a lifelong Democrat who promised to quit the party if Ellison was elected due to his documented history of antisemitism and hostility toward Israel, hailed Perez’s election. Speaking to Fox News, Dershowitz said that Perez’s election over Ellison “is a victory in the war against bigotry, antisemitism, the anti-Israel push of the hard Left within the Democratic Party.”There are two problems with Dershowitz’s view. First, Perez barely won. Ellison received nearly half the votes in two rounds of voting.

Tipping his hat to Ellison’s massive popularity among the party’s leadership and grassroots, Perez appointed the former Nation of Islam spokesman to serve as deputy DNC chairman as soon as his own victory was announced.

There is a good reason that Perez is so willing to cooperate with Ellison in running the DNC. And this points to the second problem with the claim that Perez’s election signals a move toward the center by Democratic leaders.

Perez is ready to cooperate with Ellison because the two men have the same ideological worldview and the same vision for the Democratic Party. As Mother Jones explained, “There’s truly not much ideological distance between the two.”

Far from being a victory for the centrist forces in the party, Perez’s win marks the solidification of the far Left’s control over the party of Harry Truman. Only hard leftists participated in a meaningful way in the race for leadership of the second largest party in America – a party that less than a decade ago controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.