Best of March 2017

Spring is in the air and it’s time to look back on the best of March.

But first, a brief note on the worst of March: nearly all factions of the right get together to repeal and replace the worst piece of legislation since the “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” platform that Democrats ran on every year for the first 60 years of the 20th century, and they find a way to botch it. Then they blame the one GOP group (the Freedom Caucus) who is least responsible for the debacle. I think it will still get done, and I think passing that bill would have been worse than killing it. (Even allowing for the corrupt MSM headwinds against it, it polled at 17%, which is down in the neighborhood of Obamacare, the mainstream media, and dengue fever.)

Leaving O-care in place temporarily might actually work out better, because when the new rates come out in the fall – huge increases in payments, continuing murderously high deductibles, and insurers fleeing like they just saw Hillary break out of a nearby upstate New York treeline, ravenous from months of feeding on beetles and grubs, bellowing with pent-up Hulkian fury and charging straight at them – people will not be happy. If the GOP can competently drive home that these are the predictable (and predicted!) results of Obamacare, the 100% Democrat-owned disaster, they should have enough room to get rid of it and replace it with something much more free-market-

Anyway, let’s turn to happier news:

1.March 6th – Carson’s stumble. In a speech, Ben Carson referred to slaves as “immigrants who came to America in the bottoms of slave ships.” Not a smart quote, certainly. But the MSM, solicitous of the feelings of a prominent African-American, barely mentioned it at all, and then only in the context of “everyone makes mistakes.” Right? Not exactly. In fact, not even a little bit.

The left went on a days-long orgy of Ben Carson bashing. Moral paragons such as Cher, Whoopi Goldberg and Samuel L. Jackson called him various uncomplimentary names. Star Jones noted that Carson was an “[excrement] for brains Uncle Tom.” Chelsea Clinton (who I blame for nothing, because she had a horrible childhood at the hands of absolutely terrible parents) chimed in, “This can’t be real. Slaves were not & are not immigrants.”

The Anne Frank Center (whatever that is) excreted a calm little press release headed “TRAGIC, SHOCKING AND UNACCEPTABLE,” (because you’re not really outraged if you don’t roll out the all caps, dammit!), featuring lines like, “You do not get a pass because you’re African American.”

Then, because God exists, and He loves us, a video turned up of President Obama in a 2015 naturalization speech saying, “Certainly, it wasn’t easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves.” Cher, Whoopi, Sam, Star and Chelsea were unavailable for comment. The Anne Frank Center issued a press release (in a tiny font) headed, “Not tragic, not shocking, and completely acceptable,” and noting that “President Obama gets a pass because he’s African American.”

2. March 14th — Maddow’s folly. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Rachel Maddow. Sure, she’s a leftist hack with a mean streak, and she’s got the haircut I had from grades 2-4 (post-buzz cut, pre-horrible quasi-mullet – those were dark days, my friends). But she can be witty, and she’s not stupid. On the other hand, she willingly works at MSNBC, so I could be wrong on that last point.

Anyway, on March 14 she put on an exhibition of comically exaggerated hype that could not have been more over the top if it had been emceed by Don King and that “Let’s get ready to rrrrrummbllle!!!” guy who announces fights in Vegas. She breathlessly announced that she had obtained Trump’s top secret tax returns, and would reveal them to the world that very evening!

The MSM went into a frenzy. For months leftists had been salivating over what Trump’s taxes would reveal. Some said he hadn’t paid a dime on his ill-gotten millions. Some said his net worth was really $28 and a box full of gold-embossed MAGA hats. Some said he’d written off repeated payments to a large dance troupe of urinating Russian hookers.

Then her show started, and she went into her tease. Then a commercial break, then more tease, then one more commercial break. And then, it was like she started wandering around in a room filled with rakes, and she stepped on one after another, with each rake handle smacking her right in her smirking face with a comical Batman-the-tv-show sound effect.

“In 2005, Trump earned $150 million.” (THWACK!) “He paid $36 million in taxes (POW!), amounting to a tax rate of 25% (CRUNCH!). Which is 6% higher than the rate paid by Obama (BAM!), and almost twice the rate paid by cartoon socialist Bernie Sanders (THWACK! POW! CRUNCH! SAD TROMBONE!) (I know, Batman never featured a sad trombone. And you can’t really put an exclamation mark after the words “sad trombone.” But how else could you audibly end Rachel’s big night?)

The obvious analogy cited by many commentators was to Geraldo Rivera’s flaming Hindenberg of a tv special revealing that Al Capone’s vault held several old bottles and the dessicated corpse of a squirrel who had once been a Democrat Alderman. But that comparison is not fair to Geraldo. At least he DIDN’T KNOW that the vault was empty. Maddow knew that Trump’s returns showed that he had paid a ton of taxes on a ton of income, and she still hyped and stalled for what felt like forever.

She received a much-deserved lambasting from all sides in the aftermath, and if we lived in a sane world, she would have had to slink off into obscurity in disgrace. Instead, she’s getting the best ratings of her career. On MSNBC. Which feels like another way of saying, “she has slunk off into obscurity in disgrace.”

3.The beautiful dawn of socialist triumph heralds a new day in Venezuela. Or not. I give you this headline, from March 14th: “Venezuela seizes bakeries amid bread shortage.” The subhead: “Arrests brownie and croissant makers.”

I’d tell you details, but do I need to? It’s pretty much the old socialist story: Leftist geniuses take power, take control over businesses, businesses collapse, lefties blame businesses. If it weren’t so tragic, it’d be funny: devious brownie makers team up with a shadowy croissant cabal, then join forces with – you guessed it – pastry kingpins, and all stick it to the little guy, satisfying their insatiable greed by… not having any bread to sell?

Milton Friedman (peace be upon him) said it best: “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years you’d have a shortage of sand.”

4. On March 28th, Hillary re-emerges to give a speech. This was a highlight for two reasons: 1. It reminded us all that she is not the president. 2. She wore an outfit consisting of a pantsuit bottom, floral shirt and big gold medallion pendant, and a leather jacket. One unbiased media outlet (HA!) referred to this as “an edgy makeover,” for the former first lady, and approved of the way she “rocked… a leather blazer.” (Remember a young Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones? And how young women everywhere fell in love with his leather motorcycle “blazer?”)

In other news, Bishop Don Magic Juan (google him) called Hillary to ask for his clothes back. (Actually, her outfit wasn’t that bad. But I can’t resist the chance to sneak in a Bishop Don Magic Juan joke, and you’d be surprised at how rarely that chance comes along. But I really did like being reminded that Hillary is not the president.)

5. Second half of March: Gorsuch marches through the Senate like Sherman through Georgia, or Godzilla through Tokyo. (Wait… I just went online and registered a trademark on “Gorzilla.” Look for the t-shirts soon, featuring Gorsuch’s head on Godzilla’s body, crushing a tiny Schumer under his feet.) The Dems tried their same old smears – extremist, hates the poor, yada yada – and Gorsuch swatted them away effortlessly. Scalia is dead – long live Scalia.

Next up (I hope and pray): Anthony Kennedy announces he’s going to retire, and Gorsuch’s younger brother – Antonin Gorsuch – appears on the horizon…

Democrats and the 5 Stages of Grief

As we approach the four-month anniversary of the election, I’ve realized that along with screwing up the economy, foreign policy, health care and being able to declare a Best Picture winner at the Oscars, the left has also screwed up the stages of grief.

I was a young man when I first heard of the Kubler-Ross grief cycle. I was riding a lousy little Yamaha 400 then, with aspirations to move up to a Harley, but you can imagine my excitement that I could end up on a Kubler-Ross! I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but it had to be German. And a “grief cycle!?” Can you imagine the reactions of the young women in my small Midwestern town when I cruised by in a leather jacket on one of those? I sure could. I figured I’d put some loud pipes on mine, and paint some flames on the gas tank.

Imagine my disappointment when I found out that Kubler-Ross was an academic, and the cycle of grief had to do with how we deal with loss. You know the process: first denial, then anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

Not that I was thinking about any of that on election night. I went into the evening thinking that Hillary would win, mostly because my fellow citizens had broken my heart in 2012 when they re-elected Obama. (I could see voting for him in ’08, when he was young and new and biracial, and McCain was old and cranky and bipartisan. But after those 4 years, and $6 trillion in new debt with nothing to show for it, and against the manifestly decent and competent Mittster? Ugh.)

But then the glass ceiling fell on Hillary like the house falling on the Wicked Witch of the East, and I shifted into the Simpson-Bailey giddiness cycle.

Named after me and Jimmy Stewart’s character in It’s a Wonderful Life, the stages are as follows:

1. scotch

2. dawning euphoria,

3. running through downtown in the snow screaming maniacally (“Yeah! Merry Christmas movie house! Merry Christmas red states! Yyyeeeaaahhhh!”)

4. Conan’s “What is best in life?” meditation (“To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, to hear the lamentations of their metrosexuals in the Javits Center.”), and then

5. a schadenfreude-induced reaction about which you are supposed to call your doctor if it lasts more than 4 hours.

Good times.

Anyway, that night I saw the Dems head into their cycle. Their denial lasted for days, after which even the most die-hard, true believers had to admit that the Trump-ocalypse was upon them. Then their strong suit: anger. All Trump voters are racists, the electoral college is an abomination, break out the vaginal headgear and let slip the dogs of war, etc.

Then bargaining: a dozen empty-headed celebrities make a video pleading with the electoral college members to go faithless, and vote for Hillary. Depression was there too, but was hard to detect, since it is pretty much a default setting for many leftists. (If you believed that the climate is going to kill you, and so are guns, and so is our health care system, and free market capitalism and red meat and Steve Bannon and micro-aggressions and almost literally everything else… You’d be depressed too.)

But here’s where the Dems get stuck: they never get to acceptance. They keep spinning their wheels in the anger phase, and that’s not good for anyone except professional politicians (who make their living and perpetually fund raise off of it).

I was initially inclined to cut my Democrat and leftist friends a lot of slack when it comes to their Trump hatred, because I think he ran as an unusually acerbic and insulting candidate. His tweets often sound like something from a high schooler, he speaks without a filter more than any president should, he’s almost as narcissistic as Obama or Hillary, etc.

But as I’ve watched Trump make some good decisions and good appointments and a great SCOTUS nomination, and the Dems go into an ever-escalating cycle of anger since the election, I realized something I should have always known: it doesn’t matter who the Republican/conservative is. The left is going to smear and attack and spew bile at any conservative who runs for office, and any decision he or she makes. Their anger has nothing to do with its object.

Consider that they’ve not just tried to eviscerate more abrasive conservatives like Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich or Ted Cruz; they’ve reacted the same way toward mushy moderates like John McCain and Jeb Bush. They’ve driven the Hitler comparison into the ground, applying it to every Republican president and presidential candidate in my lifetime. (Another pet peeve of mine: Hitler heads a socialist workers party, creates an all-powerful government and exalts the collective, and the left calls him a right-winger! See Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism for a detailed run-down of how idiotic that smear is.) They ran tv ads showing a Paul Ryan imitator pushing a grandma off a cliff in a wheelchair!

In 2012, Joe Biden warned black Americans that Mitt Romney’s Republicans “probably want to put ya’ll back in chains.” Mitt Romney! Maybe the best example was their pre-printed signs before Trump picked Gorsuch for SCOTUS. If you’re holding a sign that says “I oppose” with a blank after it, into which you are going to print whichever name Trump chooses, you’ve lost your mind.

That’s how I think of the professional protesting left: they’re like Will Farrell’s dimwitted anchorman. They’ll say anything that comes across their teleprompter. If the Koch brothers were anything like they are cracked up to be, they could have hacked into a DNC conference call with instructions, and a small army of far-left dopes would have been standing on the steps outside the Supreme Court holding signs over their heads which read, “Go f**k yourself, San Diego!”

I don’t think the left realizes how self-defeating their knee-jerk smears and fury are, and how much they turn off all but the farthest left fringe. On the other hand, maybe they do – but they’re just so darned angry that they can’t help themselves.

Either way, they’ve got to get a handle on their emotions, or it’s going to be an even longer four years for them. And if they keep up this level of outrage every day from now until November of 2020, the predictable result will be their worst nightmare — Trump II: the re-Trumpening.

On the Narcissism of Presidents: Trump v. Obama

Last week CO posted a piece I wrote about how the left has been responding to Trump. When I pointed out Obama’s narcissism, several lefty posters somehow took that to mean that I didn’t think Trump is narcissistic. They argued the point vigorously, and one poor soul took the time to look up and source a dozen egotistical Trump quotes, to prove the point. Although some of their posts were troll-y (trollish? troll-esque?), they did make me think more about that topic:

1.Some degree of narcissism is inherent in running for president. Not many people ever look in the mirror and think, “You know what I’d probably be a good leader of? The entire free world!” By definition, all of our presidents have had that moment in their lives, and that strikes me as very weird, and more than a little off-putting. On the other hand, if I had to choose one type of narcissism over another, I’d rather see Trump’s cartoonish, often juvenile style – slapping his name on everything in sight, going on about how terrific each of his actions is going to be – than Obama’s style of deadly serious pomposity that led him to think that he could do anything he deigned to put his hand to, including replacing our health care system and our immigration laws, and taking it upon himself to “fundamentally transform” our society.

2.Just to be clear, I know that Trump is a narcissist. CO knows that Trump is a narcissist. Single-celled organisms living in the lightless depths of the Marianas Trench know that Trump is a narcissist. The point is that Obama is also a colossal narcissist, and somehow the left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) failed to notice that for the last 8 years, only seeming to begin objecting to narcissism on 1/20/17.
If any lefties would dispute the point, let me throw out a little evidence off the top of my head:

  • Obama wrote 2 autobiographies by the time he was 45, at which time the sum total of his accomplishments was a law degree, a nebulous community organizing gig, and 20 minutes spent in the IL state senate and then the US senate.
  • He suggested a causal link between his election and the slowing of the oceans’ rise and the healing of the planet. (Insert your own King Canute joke here.) (Then give yourself an extra point for getting the tricky-to-pull-off relevant King Canute reference.)
  • His favorite words in almost all of his speeches were “I” and “me.”
  • He had fake Greek columns built in the Denver football stadium for him to stand in front of as he gave a speech. (To his credit, he did not wear a toga with a laurel wreath, though both were implied.)
  • At a state meeting with the Queen of England, instead of the traditionally thoughtful gifts that are exchanged on such occasions, he gave her an ipod loaded with HIS OWN SPEECHES!

And how about that Nobel Peace Prize? Nominations for the award in 2009 closed 11 days after Obama was inaugurated, which means that some unbalanced European sycophants thought that Obama had done something worthy of that award during his first 11 days.

For comparison, a fast food manager or rental car employee is on probation for at least 30 days, and they’ve likely had to deal with at least one drunk vomiting in the salad bar or returning a massively damaged Ford Focus by day 11. And yet, to date, no probationary Shoney’s managers or Avis employees have ever won even a single Nobel Peace prize! Not one! (I looked it up, so feel free to fact check yourself.)

By the way, here’s the text of the letter that an even marginally self-aware non-narcissist would have written if a bunch of fawning Scandanavian dopes tried to give him a manifestly unwarranted Nobel prize for work done in his first 11 days in office:

“Dear Sven and Hrothgar et al,

You have got to be shi**ing me. I know you hated the Bushie, and you and I are sympatico on the whole ‘America is not exceptional’ thing. But you’ve got to give me a chance to do something first. What kind of colossal douche would I look like if I accepted this award now?! You’re making us all look bad.

Now go find some double amputee who has spent the last 10 years defusing landmines in a battle zone or something, and give him the award, you freaking tundra monkeys.


Psychologically Well-Balanced New President.”

To his credit, Obama did give a pretty humble acceptance speech, but how do you accept that award at all, after 11 days?!

Finally, I’m sure you remember that during the campaign, Trump said that he knows more about ISIS than the generals do. We all agree that that is an absurdly self-important quote, right?

I give you His Eminence, Barack Hussein O, who said in the fall of 2008 (that is, before he had won the White House, and began the 11 Days that Shook the World): “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters…. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

3. I would argue that leftist ideology tends to exacerbate and weaponize the narcissism that all presidents are prey to. Small government, free market conservatism teaches humility, stressing that no bureaucrat in Washington knows as much about any area of the economy or society as those who specialize in those areas. (Hence, “That government is best which governs least.”) Yes, I know, very few pols live up to that ideal, we are all flawed and etc. But at least a conservative pol who begins to over-reach has an ideology that will serve as a check, if s/he’ll try to be true to it. (I’ll grant you that Trump has not so far been… how should I say this? … particularly dissuaded by that check.)

Not so, leftism. An ideology that sees a huge role for a centralized, omnivorous governmental bureaucracy cannot help but tempt already egotistical pols into ever greater power grabs.

You say you don’t know a redwood from a crape myrtle? Doesn’t matter. You’re in the Interior Department, so you are WAY more qualified to set logging policies than those idiot families of little people who have only been in the logging business for 3 generations.

You’ve never had a job in the private sector? By all means, set fiscal policy for 330 million people.

You’ve never been a security guard, or touched a real gun, or done anything more than watching a couple of seasons of NYPD Blue? Please tell our nation’s police forces exactly how they should be doing their job.

You wouldn’t know a pancreas from a uvula? (which sounds like something dirty, but disappointingly, is not) Feel free to take over 1/6 of the US economy, and give doctors and nurses a helpful little 9600-page, rule-filled tome dictating how health care should work, down to the last mammogram and tongue depressor.

Look, I’m concerned about Trump’s ego, too, and I hope that the responsibilities of his office will temper that. On the other hand, if all he does is appoint Gorsuch, replace Obamacare with something workable, find a way to discourage illegal immigration, and cut taxes and regulations, I’ll gladly overlook 4 years of his yammering about the size of his crowds and how amazing his next deeds are going to be.

And if you just spent 8 years raising no objections while King Hussein Canute and his merry band of Lerners and Grubers ran roughshod over our laws and checks and balances, we hope you will forgive us for not losing any sleep over your objections now.