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July 14, 2019 = April 12, 1861 II: The Third Civil War Is Engaged

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Donald Trump (Getty Images)

On April 12, 1861, South Carolina opened fire on the US garrison of Fort Sumter. The Civil War had begun. It would rage for years and hundreds of thousands of people would die. It wreaked havoc on the land especially in the South where most of the battles were fought. Most importantly, it would be remembered. In the North, many new peoples arrived subsequent to the war who had had no direct blood connection to it. By contrast, in the South, it remained predominantly Confederate and the blood connection endured.

The war itself was a long time coming. Perhaps the hostility had its roots four score and seven years earlier when a disparate group of diverse colonies first attempted to create a united political entity. Over the years and decades to follow, that unity was sorely tested. There would be compromises and political confrontations galore. The Union held but there were limits as to how long two houses could remain linked before they separated. After April 12, 1861, the question no longer was an academic one. The battle was engaged and it continues to be fought to this very day.

Move over Bastille Day, July 14 now marks the beginning of another war.  The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, has been joined by July 14, 2019, the day an American President launched a tweet heard throughout the country if not the world. That day will be remembered as a day of infamy where the long-brewing culture wars finally spilled forth into an open (solely political so far) combat.

Back on October 9, 2018, I incorrectly predicted the onset of America’s third civil war (America’s Third Civil War: Kava-Noes versus Kava-Yeses). At that time I wrote the following about the war:

It may be said to have begun in the 1960s. At that time, baby boomer males could be drafted into a war they did not want to fight and baby boomer females could have babies they did not want to have.

It may be said to have begun on August 17, 1992, when Pat Buchanan delivered his “Culture War” speech to the Republican National Convention.

It may be said to have begun in 2008 with Sarah Palin’s rally cry “to take back the country.”

Regardless of the preliminaries, history may well record that with the contentious and close vote on October 6, 2018, of 50-48 between Kava-Yeses and Kava-Noes the battle was fully engaged. There is no turning back now. When Charles Blow writes an op-ed in the New York Times that “Liberals, This Is War,” he fails to recognize that for conservatives it has been war for decades and appointing a fifth Republican legislator to the Supreme Court is a long overdue victory.

[W] we have a president who feasts on divisiveness. There will be no “come let us reason together” in this administration. Far from it. Instead he will stoke the flames of hatred and rejoice in the dividing of America. Never have We the People had a president who is so antagonistic to the very idea of We the People. Never have We the People had a president who is so willing, eager, and ready to campaign on behalf of hatred. Never have We the People had a president who is so antagonistic to the very goal of e pluribus unum, a motto that has been abandoned by both national political parties and mocked by our president. But there should not be any surprise that our president promotes the division of the country. What else would you expect from Putin’s poodle?

I was nine months premature. Part of the reason for the change in circumstances is that we now are in a presidential election cycle where polls show the incumbent losing. If he was coasting  to another electoral landslide because of the world’s greatest economy and the greatest economy in the history of the United States, there would have been no need to play the both race card and the alien/ foreigner card. If he was an adult and had any self-control, there would have no need to play these cards either. He simply could have watched the Democrats tear themselves apart and feasted on the divided remains. But he is not an adult and he has no self-control. So as the 7th grade smart-aleck-dumb-aleck he simply blurted exactly what he knew was not supposed to be said in polite company. He said these words of hate precisely because he knew what the reaction would be both among the Democrats and the Trumpicans. He is back in the good graces of the alt-right, exactly where he wants to be.

The war will not be fought the same way as the Civil War was. There will be no armed conflicts between huge armies firing huge amounts of explosives at each other with many casualties and deaths…as least I do not think it will. At least for now, it is clear how the initial engagements of the war will be fought beside on Twitter, social media, and cable TV.

The Trumpicans will deploy two forces at its command and hold a third force in abeyance. One is ICE which was supposed launch wide scale roundups of illegal aliens the same day as the tweet that launched the war. Although that did not happen, one can expect this commander in-chief to more actively commit his forces to action in the future. Bonespur Boy missed the Vietnam War and now he is going to demonstrate that he has the faculties to command his forces against the alien foe that threatens the land.

Second, he will and already has deployed forces along the southern border. As to the situation there, he commented:

Many of these illegal aliens are living far better now than where they came from, and in far safer conditions.

This comment is eerily similar to the claim made by Confederates to this very day about the slaves from Africa. We are doing those people a favor even in slavery or prison camps or prison by providing a better way of life than they knew in their homeland.

It is worthwhile comparing the experiences of Abraham Lincoln, the first president of the Republican Party, with Donald Trump, the last nominee of the Republican Party before it became the Trumpican Party. When young Mr. Lincoln traveled down the Mississippi to New Orleans, he was sickened by what he saw at the slave auction there. By contrast, the young THE DONALD learned from his KKK father about “those” people and was fully ready to call for the execution of the Central Park Five. A Lincoln might be distraught watching a family torn asunder; now it is just another day at the office for current president.

Third, let us not forget the private militias. At the Panhandle political professional wrestling arena, THE DONALD asked the audience of deplorables how to stop the illegal aliens from crossing into the country. “Shoot’m” exclaimed a good old boy to the laughter of the Trumpicans. How difficult would it be to raise a private militia in the Panhandle if asked for? How difficult is it to imagine after the 2020 elections, the loser calling for the militias to rally in the nation’s capital to protect him from the politically-correct-elitist-socialist-Deep-State removing him from office?

So what will the Democrats do in the current Civil War?

One action will be to counter the ICE raids. People were out if not in force, then at least to some extent, on Sunday, July 14, in opposition to ICE. Over time, one can expect the number of people involved to multiply. Over time, once can expect such confrontations to escalate in intensity. Over time, one can expect such confrontations to result in deaths. Next year marks the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre. Although the federal commission for the 250th anniversary is focusing on a Philadelphia extravaganza in 2026, events in the present may provide a more visceral connection to the events that led up to the July 4, 1776 (The American Revolution 250th: A Time to Heal or a Time to Divide?).

The second way the Democrats will respond will be legally. This means lawsuits, Congressional resolutions denouncing the racist President, subpoenas, and, yes, impeachment. The first vote has been tallied. There will be more to come.

True being a racist bigot deliberately seeking to permanently divide the country is not obstruction or collusion. No matter how sleazy and corrupt his cabinet, no matter how incompetent the President, no matter racist he is, these conditions were not part of the Mueller report. Whether or not the deliberate effort to permanently divide the country is a high crime and impeachable offense is another matter.

In any event, the battle is now engaged. The Rubicon has been crossed. The genii has been let out of the bottle. The die has been cast. There is no turning back now.

It will intensify culminating in Election Day 2020. There will be casualties. There may be another government shutdown. There will be an ongoing mostly non-physical warfare fought in Congress, in the Courts, and sometimes in the streets.  There are two major differences between this civil war and the preceding two. The first had George Washington and the second had Abraham Lincoln. This time around there is no national leader seeking to hold the country together. Combatants, to your corners. Death to We the People!

 

HEALTH CARE PROBLEM SOLVED

Just in case you forgot, July 16 was the due date for the new healthcare plan.  Here is what I wrote on June 19 (Iran Does Not Watch Fox: The Real World and the 2020 Elections):

There are a few simple tests to monitor his grasp of the real world, his willingness to operate it, and his success if he tries. We don’t need to wait to see how he deploys his campaign resources to know if he is operating based on real polls or his fake polls. We’ll know in a month because of health care.

“You’ll see that in a month when we introduce it. We’re going to have a plan. That’s subject to winning the House, Senate, and presidency, which hopefully we’ll win all three. We’ll have phenomenal health care.”

So claims the very stable genius who is the smartest person in the room and the only one who can solve America’s problems. … Now we have the target as surely as they did for William Miller on October 22, 1844 with the Great Disappointment. We know the date. July 16.

 Did it happen? Are you disappointed?

Will the Democrats Learn from the British Ambassador and Duped-by-Russia Hannity? Probably Not

How do you handle an immature child? For a parent coping with an immature and biological child, the task is a daunting one. One must be on constant alert. It is a time-consuming task. One never knows when the immature child will erupt. One never knows when the immature child will cross a line that is not supposed to be crossed. One never knows when the immature child will wreak havoc.

The challenge is even greater when that immature child is in the body of an adult. Think of a high school or college reunion. Somewhere in the crowd there will be that one person who never outgrew college, who never out grew high school, who never outgrew junior high school. He (or sometimes, she) will still act as the 7th grade smart-aleck-dumb-aleck he was back when he was 13. He may have an adult job, be a spouse and a parent, and normally behave like an adult, but there are those moments, especially when the group dynamic kicks in, when he will be the same immature child he was back when he was 13….and now there is no one to send him to the principal’s office…until he actually breaks the law.

Fred Trump knew he had a problem with Little Donnee Wanee. When the immature child was 13, the father placed him a military school in the vain hope that he would grow up. It did not work. Then he spent good money after bad in the vain attempt that the immature child would succeed as an adult businessperson. That was the equivalent of $413 million down the drain. Instead Little Donnee Wanee became the biggest financial loser in American history.

Still, give credit where credit is due. He was always able to con someone into thinking he was really an adult. He created the character of The Donald to act in political professional wrestling arenas and in phony-baloney reality shows and he convinced many people that The Donald was a real person and not just a disguise.

However, there came a time when he had to function in the real world, in the world of adults, in the world that does not watch Fox. And there he had a problem. Pretty much every with whom he had to work on an adult level quickly realized that Little Donnee Wanee was not an adult, he was an immature child.

In this regard, he was no Tom Hanks (Tom Hanks versus Our Immature Child-President). When 13-year old Tom Hanks became big, he was a level-headed kid. He could read a book. He could explain algebra to an even younger child. He could converse with adults on some topics without coming across as a simple-minded child repeating the few words he knew in an almost airhead manner.

But what was the job Tom Hanks had when he was big? His job was to play like a child which he still was and then to report his insights to adults. He was not put in charge of anything. He did not have an administrative job. He did not have an executive job. If he had been placed in such a position, the scam of adulthood would have been exposed. He would have been revealed as a child posing as an adult.

Something similar happened with the world’s worst manager. The same person who bankrupted an airline, who bankrupted a casino, who bankrupted a hotel, now became the person in the office where the buck stops. His management skills have been on display after a hurricane in Puerto Rico (is that in America?) and on the border. He is just as incapable as President as he was in business. However, in business he realized that he could make money branding himself while outsourcing all the building to others. That option does not exist for the President.  As we now commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon, we should realize that if Little Donnee Wanee had been president then we never would have gotten there.

Sometimes the adults in the room tried to contain him as president. They would ignore his directives, remove documents from his desk, and pray that no one took him seriously. Sometimes because he is an immature child with limited attention span those efforts succeeded. Sometimes they did not.

From time to time, various reports would emerge that documented his immaturity, his ignorance, his ineptness. Books would be written about him. Anonymous articles would be published. Baby Donnee Wanee blimps would be flown.

Most recently British Ambassador Kim Darroch was exposed as having told the truth about our immature child president. He wrote the ineptitude and incompetence of the chaotic administration. The administration of Little Donnee Wanee would always be dysfunctional, unpredictable, faction-ridden, clumsy and inept.

The temper tantrums would never cease. There would always be another hissy-fit tweet. Perhaps if Britain had deployed its air forces more effectively George Washington would have been defeated and there never would have been a United States. If we had remained a British colony just a little longer until granted independence, there would have been no need for Canada to burn the White House.

The immature child responded to this exposure exactly as one would expect him to: by proving it true.  The same may be said for his reaction to the pre-publication excerpts from Paul Ryan’s new book. The same may be anticipated for every book to be written about him save for those from one of the Flying Monkeys sworn to take a bullet on behalf of the Wicked Witch of the White House.

In so doing, Little Donnee Wanee also has made it clear what ticks him off the most. When he is exposed as being an immature child trying to pass for an adult he goes ballistic. He erupts. Every time. He fixates on the charges. It consumes him. No matter where in the world he is or what he is doing, if someone challenges him on being the 5 “I” president (an inept, incompetent, immature, illegitimate, idiot), he will drop everything to unleash a hissy-fit tweet.

HELLO Democrats! Are you listening? Are you paying attention? He has broadcast what unnerves him the most. He has shown what gets under his skin. He has shown what rattles him. He hates it when people disparage and make fun of him for being an immature child trying to pass for an adult. It is his Achilles’ heel.

Meanwhile, here we are four years after he descended on the staircase and Democrats still do not have a nickname for him. How is it possible that after years of Little Donnee Wanee assigning insulting nicknames to people, the Democrats do not have a standard slew of names for Bonepsur Boy, for Swamp Builder, for the World’s Worst Manager, for America’s Biggest Financial Loser Ever, for Longtime Democrat and Clinton Supporter, for Our Immature Child President?

The Democrats need to go to the Duped-by-Russian Hannity School of Professional Political Wrestling. Put aside for the moment the individual policies he supports or actions he recommends. Focus instead on the techniques he uses to communicate those policies and actions. Recognize his skill in delivering his message. Observe his methods. Note his success. Remember, Duped-by-Russia Hannity convinced his viewers on the basis on absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Seth Rich was the murdered leaker of DNC emails in 2016. It was “the single biggest fraud, lies, perpetrated on the American people by the media and the Democrats in our history” until, of course, the Deep State conspiracy which is about to be exposed and the real colluders and obstructionists are about to reap their just punishment.

WAKE UP AND LEARN FROM THE MASTER!

Duped-by-Russia Hannity
(NICHOLAS KAMM)

Duped-by-Russia Hannity employs several tried and true techniques in the delivery of his message. He is relentlessly on message. He is persistent. He is rigorously repetitive. Sometimes it is hard to tell what day, week, month, or year it is from his monologue since he persistently uses the same words and phrases. If you had a dollar for every time he referred to the “angry Democrats” on Mueller’s team you could retire. Democratic paid for Steele dossier. Unverified Steel dossier. FISA abuses. CORRUPT. CORRUPT. CORRUPT. The biggest corruption scandal in American history. And the guilty ones are panicking now because it is all about to be exposed. Wait till the Flying Monkeys in Congress get through with life-long Republican and decorated-Marine Mueller. It is the Deep State that really is on trial now.

Need-less-to-say, the Democrats have nobody comparable to Duped-by-Russia Hannity. There is no cable host who even comes close to matching him. Lawrence O’Donnell tries but he is no Duped-by-Russia Hannity. And by the time Rachel Maddow has finished one of her essays, Duped-by-Russia Hannity has unleashed a string of assaults that if you missed them then you can tune in tomorrow because he will repeat them. And why Chris Cuomo thinks he is obligated to provide equal time to people who already have a propaganda network is a mystery.

The British Ambassador has exposed the Achilles’ heel of Little Donnee Wanee.

Duped-by-Russia Hannity has developed the weapon to be deployed in such a situation.

The Democrats have been shown what the vulnerability is. The Democrats have been shown how to wield the weapon for the kill. The only question is will the Democrats ever seize the moment. I say, “no.” It will remain a party of no imagination, no metaphors, no story to tell, and no message to thrust again and again into the weak spot of its immature narcissistic foe.

Civics and the Citizenship Test in the Time of Trump

www.heraldextra.com, June 11, 2016

Naturalized Americans unlike native Americans are obligated to demonstrate mastery of civics. To do so applicants take an exam covering American history, government, and ideals. It is a multiple choice question exam. This means that as with the SAT, it is possible for the tester to measure the results on the questions: which questions do applicants tend to get right and which ones do they answer incorrectly. Presumably the results enable the testers to better formulate questions for the next round of tests.

On July 4, 2019, the New York Times printed the article “Citizenship Test to Beat All Citizenship Tests: Thousands of Immigrants Pass a Difficult Rite to Take the Oath of Allegiance. Could You Do the Same?” It identified the ten questions most likely to be answered incorrectly from a 2011 study. This blog will address two questions and do so based on the present.

#2. Which of these is something Benjamin Franklin is known for?

A. He was the first person to sign the Constitution
B. He discovered electricity
C. He was the nation’s first postmaster general
D. He was the nation’s second president

The officially correct answer is “C.” Yes Franklin was our first postmaster general. How many people who are not students of American history or who do not live along a mile marker on the Boston Post Road as I do know this? What is Franklin best known for? Answer: Flying a kite…in a storm…that was hit by lightning…which was electric. True, that does not mean he discovered electricity. What he did discover was the lighting was electric and could be “encouraged” to strike a metal object thrust up to the heavens, hence the lighting rod. The real problem with this question is in its wording and not in the ignorance of the applicants. It needs to be revised.

The second question to be addressed poses other problems that are quite current not only today but as I am typing this blog.

#4. Which statement correctly describes the “rule of Law”?

A. The law is what the president says it is
B. The people who enforce the laws do not have to follow the law
C. No one is above the law
D. Judges can rewrite laws they disagree with

Again the officially correct answer is “C.” I imagine even as you were reading the choices you were chuckling or gasping at the options. Was one supposed to answer based on the real world or “on paper”?  Judges are routinely criticized by people on all sides for rewriting or concocting laws to fit their preferences. Congress routinely exempts itself from the laws it passes to apply to We the People. As for choice “A”, think of what is going on right now.

This article appeared on page 12 on the left side of the printed paper. On page 13 on the right side of the paper, the above-the-fold article was “After Navy SEAL’s Acquittal, Fears That War Crimes Will Go Unreported.” The article was about the acquittal of Edward Gallagher in a court martial for war crimes committed in Iraq in 2017. The charges included stabbing a wounded captive to death and shooting unarmed civilians. Gallagher was convicted and demoted on the charge of posing for inappropriate photos with the captive corpse.

What did this ruling mean for the answering of the question?

The SEALs who reported these actions chose option “C”, no one is above the law.

The President of the United States personally intervened in the case to have the accused released from pretrial detention. After the verdicts were announced, he tweeted congratulations and said “Glad I could help!”

Gallagher himself then appeared on “Fox and Friends,” no surprise there, and said:

To future Navy SEALs, loyalty is a trait that seems to be lost, and I would say bring that back. You are part of a brotherhood. You are there to watch your brother’s back, he’s there to watch your back ⸺ you just stay loyal.

By contrast, the SEALs who reported the actions felt otherwise.

Maybe I was naïve to think that justice would be served.

Based on option “C”, loyalty to the law and the Constitution trumps loyalty to the band of brothers. Here we have a live example of “A Few Good Men” where Jack Nicholson triumphs and Tom Cruise is defeated with the applause of the President of the United States. So why should an immigrant seeking to be naturalized answer “C” on the exam when obviously it is incorrect.

Want more? Turning to page 21 of the very same issue of paper on July 4, there was an article “’Bridge Scandal Posing a Threat to Legal Lanes.” According to the article legal experts were surprised by a Supreme Court decision that potentially would weaken the ability to prosecute politicians for political malfeasance. What was once considered to be illegal is increasingly regarded as normal political behavior. Actions like shutting lanes on the George Washington Bridge as retribution against a mayor who did not support the governor was just politics regardless of the disruption to the people. Given this view that what is political is not illegal, the recent gerrymandering verdict should be no surprise. Of course, since the rule of law no longer applies to politics, all political parties and politicians can now claim their double “O” license to politic without considering the rule of law.

Still think option “C” is the correct one? Let’s turn to the citizenship question and the census. That article was on page 14 of the same day, beginning as the lead article on the front page. Before turning to it, I would like to remind you of what I first wrote on September 7, 2018, about the Supreme Court and the President about his leaving the White House after 2020 elections if he loses.

There may be a preview of the 2020 crisis with his tax returns. Individual #1 will not voluntarily release his tax returns. It does not matter how the Democrats submit their requisition, he will not honor it. If his court rules in his favor, then the issue ends there. If the Supreme Court also has a traitor and the ruling is against Individual #1 he will not honor it. Instead he will claim Executive Privilege and that the Court has no authority over him. What will the Supreme Court do then? Or to update Andrew Jackson: “John Roberts has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”

I repeated it on May 6, 2019, following Michael Cohen’s testimony that Individual #1 would not voluntarily vacate the White House.

The article on July 4 reported the surprise of the Justice Department officials on the census case. They were “blindsided” by the comments that an effort was underway to put the citizenship question back in the census despite the Supreme Court ruling. Claims that the President had acceded to the ruling were tweeted as “fake news.”

The next step was the attempted removal from the case of these government lawyers who had defended the census question inclusion. The reporting referred to this action as “unprecedented” and again used the term “blindsided” to refer to how the lawyers learned about the shift in decision from acceptance to defiance. The removal appears to have occurred because the lawyers chose option “C” while the Attorney General and President chose option “A|”: the law is what the president says it is. According to the article these lawyers regarded themselves as professional or apolitical who like school debaters can vociferously advocate for whatever side they are assigned in the competition. What they cannot do is reverse themselves from what they had just argued or defend statements that they know not to be true. Therefore, as a matter of principle they declined to pursue the case after the Supreme Court ruling. The search for replacements was underway as was the issue of whether or not the judge would even allow the change in the lawyers midstream for no satisfactory reason.

Then after exhausting all options to defy or circumvent the Supreme Court, the battle ended. There actually does seem to be a line he will not cross.

In the meantime, Nancy Peolosi has threatened a vote in the House to subpoena the relevant documents. They would demonstrate that the true purpose of the census citizen question was to depress the population count in Democratic districts and thereby undermine the redistricting process. Obviously such a subpoena would be defied. Then the Department of Justice would decline to prosecute the people who had defied the court order to comply with the subpoena.

Still think option “C” “No one is above the law” is the correct answer? In your dreams. Not in this reality.

PS Since July 4 there has been Jeffrey Epstein, Alexander Acosta, and Donald Trump. Option “C” is the only wrong answer.

Deplorables Cheer Submissiveness of Putin’s Pence: Can Democrats Take Advantage of It?

"Square Go" - a 13-year old boy turns to a professional wrestling fantasy to compensate (Photo: Mihaela Budlovic)

Who is your hero? Recently the New York Times surveyed 21 Democratic presidential candidates about their hero. The winner was Republican and Mount Rushmore President Abraham Lincoln with 5 votes. Tied for second with two votes each with Democrats John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Martin Luther King was another Republican and Mount Rushmore President, Teddy Roosevelt. Combined the Republican presidents garnered 7 of 21 votes or one-third of the Democratic total.

No survey was taken of the Republican Party since it no longer exists at the national level. In the Trumpican Party which replaced it, neither Lincoln nor Roosevelt are admired.  In the Trumpican Party the founder rules. Since the present Trumpican president has had the greatest two and one-half years of any American president ever and should be president for 16 years as one other president was, the choice was obvious.

Trumpicans bring a different set of values to their attitudes towards and expectations of the President. Trumpicans do not care that their lord and savior is submissive to Putin. They do not care that he cannot tell the truth.  They do not care that he squandered a $413 million inheritance. They do not care that he is the biggest financial loser in American history. They do not care that he was a failure as a manager of an airline, a casino, and a hotel. They do not care about his tax returns. They do not care about Mueller’s testimony. They do not care that he is an adulterer and perhaps a rapist. They do not care that he is a stupid ignorant moron. They do not care that he is devoid of sympathy and empathy. They do not care that he is a narcissist. They do not care that he is dedicated to helping to the rich get richer. Therefore any attempt to connect with or sway Trumpicans based on any of these considerations is a waste of time. What then do they care about?

Consider what Individual #1 said during the big Republican Presidential debate on August 6, 2015 (at 9:18 ET in case you are curious):

I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t, frankly, have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time, either.

The following month he repeated the call to arms against the politically correct this time in South Carolina:

I’m so tired of this politically correct crap.

True, he was the not the first to raise the flag against the threat of the Politically Correct. President George H.W. Bush lambasted the politically correct culture in a commencement speech at the University of Michigan in 1991:

The notion of political correctness has ignited controversy across the land. And although the movement arises from the laudable desire to sweep away the debris of racism and sexism and hatred, it replaces old prejudice with new ones. It declares certain topics off limits, certain expression off limits, even certain gestures off limits. What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship … Throughout history, attempts to micromanage casual conversation have only incited distrust. They have invited people to look for an insult in every word, gesture, action. And in their own Orwellian way, crusades that demand correct behavior crush diversity in the name of diversity.

Flash forwarded 25 years and that “laudable” desire has become an assault on America by university-based elitist zealots ready, willing, eager, and able to dispatch the Thought Police on anyone who does not speak the correct terms, think the correct ideas, and act the correct way. Trumpicans care when condescending arrogant self-righteous elitists tell them how to speak, how to think, and how to act. Trumpicans want a leader who will fight for them against the Politically Correct. That desire trumps all other considerations.

As an example of how far removed from reality the analysis of the impact of the politically correct in American politics is consider this obviously incorrect article from August 11, 2016 on the presidential election by Peter Weber, senior editor The Week. Its title is

Donald Trump is losing his war on political correctness

The details of the article are irrelevant given the election results, the situation today, and that he did not lose the war. If anything the battle lines now are even more sharply drawn. We are back to the trench warfare of the War to End all Wars. Far from losing the battle against the politically correct as the article suggests, he can claim total victory within the former Republican Party. It has been transformed into the Trumpican Party where heroes and Mount Rushmore Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt have no home. The party of “malice towards none” is dead. The party of “the last best hope of earth” is dead. The party of “speak softly and carry a big stick” is dead. Republicans don’t battle for the Lord, Trumpicans battle for THE DONALD.

Consider this current battlefront in Minnesota. The headline in the New York Times was “Resettled Refugees Unsettle a Mostly White City: Anti-Muslim Backlash Against Influx of Somalis” (printed June 21, 2019). As one participant in the battle said:

If we start changing our way of life to accommodate where they came from, guess what happens to our country? If our country becomes like Somalia, there is nowhere for us to go.

Now imagine the impact if the Trumpican Party starts playing Black Hawk Down on the Fox channels there as a campaign tactic.

The New York Times reporter interviewed people on the ground there and summarized the results as follows:

[M]any repeatedly outlined more fundamental fears, including the belief that an influx of people who were nonwhite and non-Christian posed a cultural threat.

            Several of the group’s members and their allies said their stand against immigration was a small part of a broader national conflict, in which the rising tide of a multicultural, multiracial Democratic Party must be opposed.

See how successful the Politically Correct have been in delivering the message that the multicultural multiracial people are not real Americans, they are hyphens. Native-born white Americans understand that the message of the Politically Correct is an attack on them. These people “’see themselves in a fight for survival’” where the problem is discrimination against white Americans. After all isn’t that what elitists and colleges teach: from Columbus to the present, all problems today are due to the heterosexual white man.

Now suppose you are a Democrat and have had it with these deplorables. You are not going to back down before these bigoted racist troglodytes. Instead you counterattack with “WHITE PRIVILEGE, “REPARATIONS,” and DOWN WITH COLUMBUS DAY, UP WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY. And even when you do not say that, Fox will every day all day claim that you did. Not just in Minnesota but throughout the nation. Plus if you have a private health insurer you are going to lose it and we are going to end up like Venezuela. How is that for a winning political strategy!

Let us put aside for the moment the issue of whether school busing helped desegregate or segregate schools. Let us ignore how elitist white people countered by sending their children to private schools or by living in wealthy white communities. Let us ignore how elitist white people exploited vulnerable children by removing them from their own neighborhoods to bus them into communities that did not want them. Instead, keep in mind that while the Democratic presidential debate continues, the nation’s #1 7th grade smart-aleck-dumb-aleck is watching and waiting to unleash his brutally cruel vicious junior high school tantrums to save his deplorables from the Politically Correct.

So who is your hero today? For Trumpicans the answer is easy: their lord and savior, the very stable genius, the smartest person in the room at the morgue or in a nursery school class with no teacher. For Democrats the answer is all over the place and may remain so for a while. The loser is We the People. The losers are the American people who love their country, who are proud to be American, and who believe in America’s role in human history. We have no candidate and neither party cares about us. As we approach the celebration of the birth of our country, we should think about what it means that none of the Mount Rushmore Presidents could even be nominated today yet alone elected.

Iran Does Not Watch Fox: The Real World and the 2020 Elections

Wile e Coyote running off a cliff

There is a longstanding cartoon routine of someone running off a cliff. The figure may be human or an animal and it is almost always male. The figure runs straight off a cliff and then appears to be running on air. The laws of gravity are suspended and the figure remains aloft, legs churning. Finally comes the moment of truth. He realizes his predicament and looks down. There below him, far, far below him, is the hard ground. Suddenly reality takes over. The result is SPLAT! Actually, since the fall does not kill him, it’s not too real.

So far that moment of truth has not yet arrived for the current cartoon character running on air. He has managed to maintain his illusions for far longer than I would have anticipated. There has been no Cuban Missile Crisis. No 9/11. And his hurricane failure occurred in Puerto Rico and not Louisiana. Thanks to John McCain and a few others he was not able to strip Trumpicans of their healthcare otherwise the Trump really would have hit the fan.  Is it really possible to sustain his delusions for an entire four-year term?

Take Kellyanne Conway. She is an easy figure to ridicule. Even her husband constantly belittles her judgment (which makes you wonder since they still apparently are together if she does not secretly share his views and feeds him information). At the public level, she imprinted the new president right from the start of his administration as someone living in an alternate reality. At the time, the fuss over the crowd size might have seem a minor diversion. Who knew such distortion was standard operating procedure later exemplified by the Huckabee Huckster?

Then Conway had a little moment of truth. She was charged with violation of the Hatch Act, in fact, repeated violations of the Hatch Act. The Office of Special Council recommended termination. She responded with the same cavalier dismissal of the rule of law as the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General had before her.

Blah, blah blah. If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts.

Answer: it starts when there is a Democratic president and the rule of law returns to the White House.

But once upon a time, Conway did live in real world. She made her living as a political operative. You cannot succeed as a political consultant if you require your client to live in an alternate reality. Sooner or later there is an election. If your political advice is based solely on wishful thinking or a desire to please the client, you will not last long as a bogus prognosticator with little understanding of the real world.

We just witnessed an example of an alternate reality trumping the real world. The activity was poll results produced by real pollsters who operate in the real world. That does not mean their polls were correct. It does mean that based on the professional standards of the field the polls taken were reflective of the real political world at the time they were taken. They did not bode well for the client. You would have to be dumb beyond belief not to know that response would be “You’re fired.”

The results are worth noting. The polls show a slew of Democratic candidates who would win a national election based on the popular vote. The polls range from a high of 57% for Joe Biden to in the 40s% for a variety of figures. One key to interpreting the meaning the polls is the relative constancy of the vote for the incumbent. He consistently polled at 41-42% of the vote.  These numbers put him 5-6% below the 2016 vote and suggest that no matter who the Democratic candidate is, that is the best he will do. The range for the Democratic candidates probably reflects how well known these candidates are. My prediction would be that as they become better known, the undecided in the polls will swing Democratic and the 50s to 41/42% will become the norm…unless more revelations from the investigations drive them even lower or events in the real world expose him as a con artist even to Trumpcans.

Naturally, these poll results were unacceptable. Therefore they are wrong. Therefore they are fake polls. He is not losing bigtime in Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, Maine, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. He Is not losing by significant amounts in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, and North Carolina. He is not just losing slightly in Ohio. He is not just barely holding on in Texas. Instead he is winning everywhere. Bigtime.

There is another red wave coming to match the predicted one in 2016.

Well, the polls I see we’re doing great in Pennsylvania. We’re doing really good in North Carolina. Florida, I’m winning by a lot. Ohio, I’m winning by a lot. I just left Iowa. We’re winning that by a lot. And every poll that we have, I’m winning by ⸺ we’re doing well.

You can bank on it! There is no need for the world’s worst manager who lost more money than any American in American history to spend any money in the states where he is winning by so much. In the no-adult-supervision White House, he is free to deploy the campaign resources where they are most needed like in Oregon, New Mexico, and Minnesota. Why squander his money on states that he already has locked up? Better to expand the base and flip even more states than he did in 2016.

Keep in mind that the national polls in 2016 did a good job; it was at the state level where the discrepancies occurred. If the real polls remain consistent throughout the campaign, there will come a time when Trumpicans in the Senate and House will have a moment of truth. They already saw the red wave in 2016 wipe out dozens of colleagues at the federal level. They saw Democratic advances at the state level. They may realize that gerrymandering is being contained and the post-2020 census prospects are dismal.  It is possible that at some point the survival mechanism will kick in and these politicians who know real polls from fake polls will want to avoid another red wave like 2016. There is no way to know when or even if such a moment of truth will occur but it could happen next year when the truth of the 2020 elections becomes clearer.

The rest of the world is already ahead of the Trumpicans. They learned that THE DONALD is merely a character in the professional wrestling arena and not a real person. They know when Bonespur Boy is forced to go into the arena in the real world that he will back down.

“If we were to believe everything Trump has said for the past three years, there would have been war with China, North Korea and Mexico,” said Joseph Fahim, an Egyptian film critic. “The guy’s a joke, he’s not serious. We don’t know if these threats are something to believe in, or just another of his many stunts.”

Unfortunately, the immature child commands a great deal of institutional power as President of the United States. Who knows what he might do if forced to confront the real world. Deport millions to prove to Trumpicans that he is fighting for them? Imagine if he actually had the organizational and managerial skills to do it.

There are a few simple tests to monitor his grasp of the real world, his willingness to operate it, and his success if he tries. We don’t need to wait to see how he deploys his campaign resources to know if he is operating based on real polls or his fake polls. We’ll know in a month because of health care.

“You’ll see that in a month when we introduce it. We’re going to have a plan. That’s subject to winning the House, Senate, and presidency, which hopefully we’ll win all three. We’ll have phenomenal health care.” 

 So claims the very stable genius who is the smartest person in the room and the only one who can solve America’s problems. Remember how he produced the evidence from Hawaii on Obama SOON SOON. Remember how he sued all the women who have accused him of harassment as soon as the election was over. Now we have the target as surely as they did for William Miller on October 22, 1844 with the Great Disappointment. We know the date. July 16. We know the action. Bull-Trump Care. We know the red wave is coming. Don’t believe the fake polls, He doesn’t. SPLAT.

BREAKING NEWS The New York Times Has Previewed the Trial of Individual #1 in New York

Who's Your Daddy? (Image courtesy gettyimages.com)

In a stunning development New York Times reporter Jan Ransom on May 10 (page A19, print edition), previewed the trial of Individual #1 in New York. Her reporting enables us to see the future before it happens. The following excerpts from her article have been slightly modified (less than you would think!). They help us to understand what will happen when Individual #1 finally leaves the White House.

Individual #1, the fake American self-made man who swindled his way into Manhattan’s elite party circles, was sentenced on Thursday to four to 12 years in prison for bilking banks, lawyers, and people out of hundreds of millions dollars.

The sentencing capped a case of a grifter who spun his tale with brazen flair. He lived in fancy hotels and apartments, dined in expensive restaurants and lured investors in phony foundations, universities, and businesses without a penny to his name that he had earned on his own.

“I am stunned by the depth of the defendant’s deception,” Justice Diane Kiesel said in handing down the sentence in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. She added that Individual #1 from the wrong side of the river was blinded by the glitter and glamour of Manhattan.

His lawyer called the sentence “draconian,” arguing that his client was not a violent or career criminal. During the trial he said Individual #1 was an enterprising, business-minded person eager to make it in the big city. People believed what they wanted about Individual #1. He was enabled by a system.

But the judge said Individual #1 showed no remorse for his actions throughout the trail, and seemed more concerned about his hair and which actor would play him in an upcoming Netflix series about the case.

A juror who had visited the courtroom to watch the sentencing and asked to remain anonymous, said she had been annoyed by Individual #1’s apparent self-centeredness. His concern about his hair led to a two-hour delay in the trial one day.

“He was interested in everything that big money could buy,” Justice Kisesel said. “But he didn’t have the big money. All he had was a big scam. He forged financial statements, inflated the values of assets, created a fake accountant and a phony financial advisor.

This reporting makes it clear why Individual #1 prefers to avoid being tried in New York City. He knows it would not be good for him especially in the last decades of his life. It also highlights the one figure of authority since his father died whom Individual #1 fears: the courts.

Recent events suggest we are getting closer and closer to a moment of truth. Putting aside the silliness of thinking of Individual #1 as an adult, let’s consider the behavior of the immature child President as the world closes in on him. Typically the child does what he wants based on his narcissistic impulses until such time as he no longer can.

Suppose the Republican weenies had insisted that all candidates had to disclose their taxes before being allowed to participate in a Republican Party presidential debate…think how different things would be today. But the Republican Party establishment cowered before the bluster of Individual #1 and did nothing. That was the moment when the 7th grade smart-aleck-dumb-aleck learned he would never to be sent to the principal’s office. He could intimidate the people in adult positions who lacked the intestinal fortitude to act as adults. And so it has been ever since.

Yes, there were some adults in the White House who tried to contain him but they are all gone. Congress tried to control him but he shut them down and then used executive orders to circumvent it. The subpoenas or contempt citations from Congress mean nothing to him.

However he does understand the power of the courts. He has paid fines, closed a college and a foundation, and tried to use the courts to his own advantage throughout his life. He recognizes that the courts can hold him accountable to adult standards. The courts are the only ones who can act as Fred Trump did in trying to control the immature child. The father sent him to military school in the vain hope that the son would man up. That effort failed. Now Individual #1 is starting to recognize that the courts have a power he cannot control or deny.

So what would an immature child do when a parent finally seriously lays down the law and is that what Individual #1 is doing? First. he would have a temper tantrum. Done. Then he would hold his breath until the adult caved. Done. No more governing with Congress! I will keep crying and whining and having a hissy fit until I get what I want. Still the adults this time cannot be put off that easily. The subpoenas keep coming. The judgments keep coming. The exposure of his life keeps happening. He can’t shut down the governing forever. The courts will continue to lay down the law. At some point the immature child will realize that he cannot avoid the adult world forever. Then what?

The scariest scenario of all is that Individual #1 will not comply with the Courts either. In White House Down, Olympus Has Fallen, and Murder at 1600, the President is still on the side of the Constitution. In Seven Days in May, the position of the President is more suspect. If the courts attempt to be the father figure of authority the immature child has not had since his actual father died, will h comply? How do you know?

Of course, those of you reading this blog are thinking that never could happen here in the real world: Of course he will comply with Supreme Court rulings against him. But how many times have you thought that in the past few years that something could never happen only to learn that not only could in happen, it could become common, routine, the new norm? Most likely he would then comply but I would not hold my breath. Then what?

The time for contingency planning is now.

P.S. The immature child’s behavior as he is being called to task by the courts is a reminder of a Star Trek episode that predicted the current situation decades ago: The Squire of Gothos (1967). Here are some lines that resonate today.

1. Spock slaps the face of the immature child with enormous power

Mr. Spock: I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline; I object to power without constructive purpose.

Trelane: Oh, Mr. Spock, you do have one saving grace after all: you’re ill-mannered! The Human half of you, no doubt?

2. The parents of the immature child with enormous power return to restore order and take the child home.

Trelane’s Father: Trelane! Stop that nonsense at once!

3. Kirk classifies the immature child for the record.

Mr. Spock: Captain.

Captain James T. Kirk: Mr. Spock. Still thinking about Trelane, is that it?

Mr. Spock: For the record, Captain, how do we describe him? Pure mentality? A force of intellect? Embodied energy? Super-being? He must be classified, sir.

Captain James T. Kirk: [thinks a moment] God of War, Mr. Spock.

Mr. Spock: Well, I hardly find that fitting.

Captain James T. Kirk: Then a small boy. And a very naughty one at that.

Mr. Spock: It WILL make a strange entry in the library banks.

Captain James T. Kirk: But then he was a very strange small boy.

Keep in mind that the description below from a Star Trek fan site was not written about our immature child president.

The Squire of Gothos when mommy and daddy show up [Fan site caption]
[T]he pivotal moment comes when Trelane’s parents show up and put a stop to all of his “games”… Immediately, Trelane’s speech patterns change, going from superior and jovial scoundrel to a cranky little boy whose mommy and daddy are telling him it’s time to put his toys away and take a nap. Despite all of his blusterings and exhilaration of the hunt, Trelane protests that he’s just playing around, makes excuses, and even whines that he never gets to have any fun….[T]his call[s] to mind images of a young child being told it’s bedtime right in the middle of playing with its toys.

Sometimes you have to wonder if the cable talk shows will ever get it right.

Republican Party versus the Trumpican Party: The 2020 Elections

"Thank you Istanbul": A victory poster shows Mr Erdogan (R) and mayoral candidate Binali Yildirim (BBC.com)

When did you first know that Individual #1 would not honor the 2020 election results if he lost?

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WINS POPULAR VOTE

Technically, that headline is not really a news item. In the baby-boomer era of the American presidency, the Democratic candidate routinely wins the popular vote. The lone exception is the post-9/11 election in 2004. Otherwise the Democratic victory in this facet of the electoral process can almost be taken for granted. Obviously winning the popular vote is not enough to win the presidency.

Nonetheless, the Democratic popular vote victory in 2016 while expected also should generate questions. Consider two commonly asserted claims that combined should have undermined the Democratic popular vote margin:

1. The turnout of black voters in support of the Democratic candidate declined from 2012
2. White Obama voters switched parties especially non-college educated ones.

One might think therefore the chances of a Democratic candidate prevailing in the popular vote would be correspondingly reduced. So if the margin was still nearly 3 million votes, then imagine what it would have been if Democrats had been able to retain these 2012 voters in 2016.

But there is a piece missing. It is not one that has garnered a lot of attention. It is not one that I recall hearing on the talk shows or reading about on blogs or in newspapers or magazines. I am not saying it has not been discussed, only that it seems to have done so minimally at best.

To begin with, although Trump is president whereas Mitt Romney lost in 2012, look at the vote totals.  Trump actually received a slightly smaller share of the vote than Romney did — 45.95 percent for Trump versus 47.15 percent for Romney.

Let’s look at Wisconsin as an example to determine what was going on. This is the state that one candidate famously never visited while it is alleged the Russian violation of the United States may have made a difference. The vote totals tell a more complete story.

In 2012 the Democratic candidate received 1,620,985 votes. In 2016 that number declined substantially to 1,382,536. One might think a 238,000 drop would result in big gain for the other side. Think again.

In 2012 the losing Republican candidate received 1,407,966 votes while in 2016 the winning candidate received 1,405,284, also a decline but of only 2700. However this roughly comparable total to 2012 was enough to win the state in 2016 due to the precipitous Democratic drop-off.

As it turns out, there is more to the story than the presidential election alone. In the Senate election, the Republican candidate won with over 50% and over 3% margin compared to the miniscule presidential margin of .7%. This winning candidate had 1,479,471 votes, over 74,000 more than the presidential tally. That means 74,000 people went to the polls voted for the Republican senatorial candidate but did not vote for the Republican presidential candidate. By contrast the Democratic presidential candidate had about 2000 more votes than the Democratic senate candidate.  When the Democrats went to the polls they voted for both the Democratic presidential and senate candidates; when Republicans went to the polls they did not. Where did the missing Republican presidential votes go?

The issue of the missing Republican voters was addressed in an article entitled “Trump Is Driving Out Precious Voters” (NYT 2/17/19 printed edition). The authors are:

Sean McElwee, Data for Progress
Brian F. Schaffer, Tufts University, political scientist
Jesse H. Rhodes, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, political scientist
Bernard L. Fraga, Indiana University, political scientist.

The article opens with the well-known commonly accepted truths noted above: the Democratic problem with the Obama-to-Trump voters and the loss of popular vote by the Republicans in six of the last seven elections.  The authors then state a caution:

It has flown under the radar a bit [EXACTLY!!!], masked perhaps by the switch of millions of Barack Obama voters into Mr. Trump’s column, but in 2016 Mr. Trump did not receive support from a large segment of voters who pulled the lever for Mitt Romney in 2012.

In fact, the Wisconsin example reported above shows even people who went to the polls and voted for a Republican senator did not vote for the Republican presidential candidate.

The authors suggest based on their data that 5 percent of the Romney vote in 2012 stayed home in 2016. Another 5 percent voted Democratic. They provide no figures for people who voted Republican for some offices but abstained from voting for a presidential candidate. The implication of the numbers the authors provided is the 10% drop-off in Republican voters from 2012 to 2016 was compensated for by the better-known Obama-to-Trump shift by uneducated whites.

Are these shifts temporary or do they reflect the beginning of a permanent realignment. The congressional elections of 2018 witnessed a nearly 9% difference between the total house vote of the two parties. That is a huge amount if extended to the presidential election in 2020. According to the analysis, the authors hypothesize that based on the 2016 and 2018 elections, the Republican Party may have lost more than 40% of the Romney voters born after 1976. Ironically given the front runner status of Joe Biden and the continuing popularity of Bernie Sanders, it is the Republican Party that increasingly becoming the party of old white males!

The authors then ask: “Can Republicans solve their demographic problem?”

They express some doubt. They do so by comparing the political positions of the lost Romney voters with the 2016 and 2018 voters and detect a gap that probably cannot be bridged. Such people might still vote for Republicans at the local level as indicated in the Wisconsin Senate vote but even that becomes problematic when at the federal level all, or almost all, Republicans have abandoned being Republican.

Which of the following actions since the 2018 elections seem likely to win back the missing Republican voters in 2020?

Trump’s shut down of the government.
Trump’s obstruction of justice at least 10 times according to the Mueller report.
Trump’s nullification of checks and balances and assertion of rule above the law.
Trump’s exposure as the biggest financial loser in American history.
Trump’s North Korean lover building more bombs and firing more missiles.
Trump’s claim that winning trade wars is easy is exposed as fraudulent.
Trump’s thriving in insulting and demeaning people.
Trump’s laughter at the “joke” of shooting illegal immigrants.

The Panhandle has replaced Peoria. The old claim of as goes Peoria so goes nation has become as goes Panhandle so goes just enough of the nation to win in the Electoral College without winning the popular vote. In 2000 and 2016, it was not the intention of the Electoral College winners to lose the popular vote. In fact, in 2016 the winning candidate was just in it for narcissistic marketing reasons and did not expect to win at all. The circumstances have changed. Now for the first time in American history, a candidate in a two-major-party election is not even seeking to win a majority of the popular vote or even a plurality. Instead the focus is on the Electoral College. Individual #1 has no interest in winning back the lost Republican voters. That’s because at the federal level, there is no Republican Party, just the Trumpicans.

 

When Did You First Know Individual #1 Would Reject the 2020 Results If He Lost?

Will Robert Mueller Be Our John HancocK? (Image via Everett Historical / Shutterstock)

Eight months ago on September 7, 2018, I posted:

Suppose the very stable genius is wrong about the red wave. Suppose the Democrats win control of the House. Suppose the Democrats act on that basis and investigate all the items on the Republican hit list of potential problems where they are at risk. Will the President honor the election results? If a blue wave puts Democrats in charge will the President of the United States honor the results or will he demand a full investigation into the rigged results?

Suppose the very stable genius is wrong about 2020 (assuming he is still in office and chooses to run again)? Will the President honor the election results? Will the President leave the White House voluntarily? Will he demand a full investigation into the rigged results? Will he remain in the White House until the investigation by his Attorney General (not a stupid Southerner) is completed?

The big change since that prediction has been the replacement of the Attorney General with His Roy Cohn (HRC). With HRC in position, the chances of an aggressive assault on the rule of law increased substantially (Rule of Law: George Washington, Nimrod, and Today).

Then on March 17, 2019, I posted the following after the testimony of Michael Cohen (with a change to “Individual #1):

INDIVIDUAL #1 WON’T LEAVE THE WHITE HOUSE VOLUNTARILY

Back on September 7, 2018, I wrote [see above]

Those of you who read this blog, may I have thought I was off my rocker. I am pleased to note that five months later the Fixer, who well knows the personality of Individual #1 and what he is capable of, raised the exact same concerns in his Congressional testimony. There was not the chance to resolve this issue in the 2018 elections since the Democratic tidal wave was so huge. Even for someone living in an alternate reality there are limits as to how many Congressional districts can be contested. The situation is quite different at the presidential level.

Suppose in 2020, the Democratic candidate wins by the same small margin as the 306 electoral vote landslide in 2016? How many states would need to be contested to switch the national results? At this point it is impossible to know. Indeed we may never know if the margin is comparable to the Congressional vote in 2018. An almost 9% spread is difficult to finesse to an Electoral College victory.

There may be a preview of the 2020 crisis with his tax returns. Individual #1 will not voluntarily release his tax returns. It does not matter how the Democrats submit their requisition, he will not honor it. If his court rules in his favor, then the issue ends there. If the Supreme Court also has a traitor and the ruling is against Individual #1 he will not honor it. Instead he will claim Executive Privilege and that the Court has no authority over him. What will the Supreme Court do then? Or to update Andrew Jackson: “John Roberts has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”

Now we have the May 4, 2019, interview of Nancy Pelosi with the New York Times. It’s déjà vue September 7, 2018, all over again.

Let’s begin with the Congressional election. Pelosi’s concerns mirror what I had written.

Few people outside Ms. Pelosi’s inner circle were aware of how worried she was that Mr. Trump would try to stop the opposition party from taking control of the House unless the Democrats’ victory was emphatic enough to be indisputable.

It is mind-boggling that everyone in the Democratic Party and all their talking-head spokespeople could not figure this out for themselves. This failure to recognize what should have been taken for granted exposes that the Democrats still did not understand their adversary.

“If we win by four seats, by a thousand votes each, he’s not going to respect the election. He would poison the public mind. He would challenge each of the races; he would say you can’t seat those people.”

Exactly. If you do not understand this then you do not understand Individual #1. This realization should have been a no-brainer.

The same issues apply to the 2020 elections.

In recent weeks, Ms. Pelosi has told associates that she does not automatically trust the president to respect the results of any election short of an overwhelming defeat.

She said the victory in 2020 needed to be by a margin so “big” that it cannot reasonably be challenged.

“We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that,” as she discussed her concern that Mr. Trump would not give up power voluntarily if he lost re-election by a slim margin.

As it turns out, even with the 9% spread in the 2018 Congressional elections, the margin is quite thin. If those Congressional votes had been presidential votes then the Electoral College results would have been 329-206. Those numbers are deceiving. While Democrats won the House vote in Florida, they lost the state votes for Governor and Senator. That shift leaves an electoral vote even less than the landslide vote in 2016. It is reasonable then to anticipate the possibility of legal challenges in Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and any other states the Democrats manage to flip including those with Republican governors in control.

Pelosi may only be thinking of the legal challenge. With HRC going full-speed to deny the validity of any such election results, we should recognize that the danger is far more than legal. Certainly HRC will drag out the challenges well beyond what happened in 2000. We can see now in Venezuela what can happen when there are two claimants to the presidency. In Venezuela, the military stands with the loser who rigged the game against democracy. In America, the military should not be expected to act on American soil against Americans. That still leaves open who will physically remove him from the White House, take back the nuclear codes, and prevent him from doing something really dangerous during the interim.

I also wrote on March 17,

Will Individual #1 unleash his muscle in his militias, military, police, and Second Amendment people to protect him from the greatest threat to the United States ever?

How long would it take the Supreme Court to adjudicate all the legal claims filed?

If his Supreme Court betrayed him, would Individual #1 honor its ruling?

Who would actually extract Individual # from the White House?

At that time, I thought his income taxes would be the moment of truth. In anticipation of the refusal to turn them over, I expected the legal battle to reveal whether or not the rule of law prevailed in the nation’s capital or not. Now it seems we may have a quicker example. Will Individual #1 order HRC to refuse to let Mueller testify? We may know the answer fairly soon. If Mueller is ordered not to testify what will he do? We may know that answer fairly soon as well. If Mueller disobeys a direct order from HRC will there be additional civil disobedience?

So exactly how will America celebrate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution? What will the legacy of our birth be in the present? Who will favor the Patriots? Who will favor the Loyalists? After all, there were mighty fine people on both sides. Will We the People have the experience of directly participating in the revolt against King George III by having one of our own starting May 15 with Robert Mueller in the role of John Hancock? What will happen in 2020? Who knows for sure? But as Pelosi said we have to be prepared.

Rule of Law: George Washington, Nimrod, the Tower of Babel and Today

Common Sense by Thomas Paine (http://www.booktryst.com)

On April 10, 2019, Politico posted an article entitled “Trump’s ‘truly bizarre’ visit to Mt. Vernon.” The article recounted a visit on April 23, 2018, by the French and American Presidents to Mount Vernon, home of George Washington, the first President of the United States.

According to Mount Vernon president and CEO Doug Bradburn, the tour guide for the Presidents, the Macrons were far more knowledgeable about the history of the property than the American President. France, of course, contributed to America’s victory in the American Revolution with the assistance of Marquis de Lafayette and Count Rochambeau, the first but not the last time foreign intervention helped elect an American President.

By contrast, the American President is renowned for not reading a book and being historically ignorant (Canada burned the White House, the Baltic States were responsible for the dissolution of Yugoslavia, and 306 electoral votes is a landslide). It was easy for the trained guide to rapidly discern that the American President was completely bored. Drawing on his experience with school visitors who similarly had no interest in the Father of the Country, Bradburn attempted to engage the person before him. As reported by Politico, the former history professor with a Ph.D, “was desperately trying to get [Trump] interested in” Washington’s house. So he drew on his bag of tricks and informed the uninformed President that Washington had been a real-estate developer.

That approach did the trick. Now the guide had the President’s attention. Not only was Washington a real-estate developer, but for his times, he was one of the richest people in the United States. In today’s terms, he could be compared to Gates, Buffet, and Bezos and not to a comparative pauper like the President. (No, Bradburn did not say that!)  Again according to Politico, “That is what Trump was really the most excited about” said a source.

At that point, our narcissistic President responded to the news in the way that defines him as a person

[H]e couldn’t understand why America’s first president didn’t name his historic Virginia compound or any of the other property he acquired after himself. “If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it,” Trump said, according to three sources briefed on the exchange. “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.”

In other words, unless you make your name great, you are not great and will be forgotten.

The concept of making your name great is familiar to biblical students referring to another book he has not read.

Genesis 12:1 Now Yahweh said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

In the biblical tradition, a person does not make his name great, the Lord does.

It should be noted that in ancient times the people who made their name great were kings. Lost in translation is the recognition that the way one made one’s name great in ancient times was by the king building something. To the deep regret of biblical archaeologists, ancient Israel did not partake of this royal tradition of kings building things with their name on it.

By contrast, Ramses II, the traditional Pharaoh of the Exodus of Passover fame, did make his name great. He built extensively. And when he had not built it, he still carved his name into it. It would be a little like our having the Trumpire State Building or Mount Vertrump. And Ramses did achieve lasting fame. By having approximately 100 children, a condom was named after him so his name is remembered all the time.

Mesopotamian kings followed a generally similarly path. Kings built stairways to heaven (ziggurats) at the cosmic center (the capital) where they ruled the universe from sea to shining sea (the Upper Sea or Mediterranean to the Lower Sea or Persian/Arab Gulf; there maps are oriented at a 90 degree rotation from ours). The baked bricks used in these constructions bore the name of the king.

Nimrod is the first king mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. He is the first king mentioned before Abraham encounters various kings. To understand what he is doing there one must put aside what the name means colloquially today and in rabbinic tradition and focus on the biblical text itself. In the original version of the story:

Genesis 10:8 Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. 9 He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Yahweh.” 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, and Accad, and Calneh [Calah] in the land of Shinar.

These verses are descriptive, not accusatory. Nimrod is to be praised for his achievements not condemned. Indeed, he is a figure to be emulated given his success as mighty man or warrior before the Lord. He was the ruler of the Mesopotamian universe.

As biblical archaeologists and Assyriologists eventually learned, Nimrod was not an individual but an exemplar. He was not Sumerian Gilgamesh of Uruk (Erech) as had been originally thought. He was not Akkadian Sargon the Great of Accad, he was not Amorite Hammurabi of Babylon, and he was not Assyrian Tukulti-Ninurta of Calah to name other candidates. Instead he was all of them; he represented that Mesopotamian way of life.

To understand the Nimrod story, it is necessary, I think, to connect this story of the four cities with the inserts of the four rivers in the garden (Gen, 2) and the four kings of the east (Gen.14). A single author supplemented an existing narrative with these episodes. This author thought globally as he also did in transforming local flood songs (Songs of Miriam and Deborah) into a global one. That action undermined the Egyptian-based perspective of the Exodus story and the Canaanites who became Israelites. Having Nimrod be a Yahweh-worshipper long before Moses at the burning bush also undermined the position of Moses and therefore of his priesthood.

I suggest that the author the Nimrod story and these supplements was a Benjaminite/Yaminite Aaronid priest. He wrote not as a scribe or priest but as a player in the political arena. He ended the first cycle of stories (aka the primeval cycle) with Nimrod and a table of nations leading to Abram leaving Ur to start the second cycle. The torch had been passed to a new location. The temple in Jerusalem was now the cosmic center. The Israelite king in Jerusalem was advised to rule like a Mesopotamian king at the new cosmic center. He was to make his name great as Solomon did in building the temple.

So at least claimed one political party in ancient Israel. However, there was another political party, the Levites or Mushites who claimed the law came first. They objected to the claim that Yahweh had sanctioned the royal way of life in Mesopotamia as the Nimrod author had written. Yahweh had first appeared at Sinai to Moses and the law was revealed there. They mocked the Mesopotamian way of life by writing the Tower of Babel story. Look at those mighty stairways to heaven! They all were built for naught. All those mighty and grandiose empires crumbled into dust, lost to history until recovered by archaeologists. It was the law which endured and ruled even when kings and temples were no more.

Exodus 1817 Moses’ father-in-law said to him…19”Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God, and bring their cases to God; 20 and you shall teach them the statutes and the decisions, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover choose able men from all the people, such as fear God, men who are trustworthy and who hate a bribe; and place such men over the people as rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times; every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves; so it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”

The Babel author highlighted the folly of the Nimrod story ambitions. This author was anti-Aaronid (golden calf story) and anti-monarchy (the Jethro constitution).

Jethro and Nimrod offer two different models of political organization: the rule of law and the king who makes his name great. Two political parties offered two different versions of how society should be organized: one based on the rule by a king and one based on the rule of law. The result was an original narrative now separated into two narratives with different endings to the first cycle of stories. Nimrod and Babel are inconsistent because they originally part of two different narratives based on a common core. Only when they were combined centuries later were the inconsistencies juxtaposed. Imagine having to combine Confederate and Union descriptions of Lincoln and Lee in a single narrative! Again, that was a political process and not a scribal one.

For the first centuries of Israel’s existence, it had had no king. Therefore no one was in a position to abuse power. Only when Israel had a king could someone be a law unto himself. We will never know if ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia debated the powers of a king when he first ascended to the throne in Egypt and descended to the throne in Mesopotamia. But we do know the debates ancient Israel had on the powers of the king. It decided there should be checks and balances on the power of the king. No one was above the law. Even David could be called to task: “Thou art the man.” And when he was confronted he repented.

The best time for the initial battle over whether Jerusalem had replaced Mesopotamia as the cosmic center occurred when Israel could if it were so inclined think of itself it such grandiose terms. This happened when Egypt and Mesopotamia were weak (and Pharaoh’s daughter was an Israelite queen). It happened before the time of Sheshonq and Assurnasirpal II.

This approach is based on the stories originating in a political context as Levites, Aaronids, and Jebusites battled for power. Even stories set elsewhere were always about internal politics. Obviously this scenario is speculative and cannot be proven but it does illustrate how a political approach can produce a different historical reconstruction.

This ancient Israelite dialog on the rule of law and the rule by the king continues on in the United States. In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense:

…that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.

Once again as in ancient Israel and during the American Revolution, the issue of the rule of law versus the rule by king is being played out. Will the United States be governed by the Constitution or a Nimrod?

 

For more on the stories of Nimrod and the Tower of Babel see my book Jerusalem Throne Games: The Battle of Bible Stories after the Death of David.

Rule of Law: George Washington, Nimrod, and Today

On April 10, 2019, Politico posted an article entitled “Trump’s ‘truly bizarre’ visit to Mt. Vernon.” The article recounted a visit on April 23, 2018, by the French and American Presidents to Mount Vernon, home of George Washington, the first President of the United States.

According to Mount Vernon president and CEO Doug Bradburn, the tour guide for the Presidents, the Macrons were far more knowledgeable about the history of the property than the American President. France, of course, contributed to America’s victory with Marquis de Lafayette and Count Rochambeau, the first but not the last time foreign intervention helped elect an American President.

By contrast, our President is renowned for being incapable of reading of book and being historically ignorant (unless he saw a movie). It was easy for the trained guide to rapidly discern that the American President was completely bored. Drawing on his experience with 7th graders who similarly had no interest in the Father of the Country, Bradburn attempted to engage the person before him. As reported by Politico, a former history professor with a PhD, Bradburn “was desperately trying to get [Trump] interested in” Washington’s house. So he draw on his bag of tricks and informed the uninformed President that Washington had been a real-estate developer.

That approach did the trick. Now the guide had the President’s attention. Not only was Washington a real-estate developer, but for his times, he was one of the richest people in the United States. In today’s terms, he could be compared to Gates, Buffet, and Bezos and not to a comparative pauper like the fake billionaire President. (No, Bradburn did not say that! At least not the last part.)  Again according to Politico, “That is what Trump was really the most excited about” said a source.

At that point, our narcissistic President responded to the news in the way that defines him as a person

[H]e couldn’t understand why America’s first president didn’t name his historic Virginia compound or any of the other property he acquired after himself. “If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it,” Trump said, according to three sources briefed on the exchange. “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.”

In other words, unless you make your name great, you are not great and will be forgotten.

The concept of making your name great is familiar to biblical students referring to another book he has not read.

Genesis 12:1 Now Yahweh said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

In the biblical tradition, a person does not make his name great, the Lord does.

It should be noted that in ancient times the people who made their name great were kings. Lost in translation is the recognition that the way one made one’s name great in ancient times was by the king building something. To the deep regret of biblical archaeologists, ancient Israel did not partake of this royal tradition of kings building things with their name on it.

By contrast, Ramses II, the traditional Pharaoh of the Exodus of Passover fame, did make his name great. He built extensively. And when he had not built it, he still carved his name into it. It would be a little like our having the Trumpire State Building or Mount Vertrump. And he did achieve lasting fame. By having approximately 100 children, a condom was named after him so his name is remembered all the time.

Mesopotamian kings followed a generally similarly path. Kings build stairways to heaven (ziggurats) at the cosmic center (the capital) where they ruled the universe from sea to shining sea (the Upper Sea or Mediterranean to the Lower Sea or Persian/Arab Gulf; there maps are oriented at a 90 degree rotation from ours). The baked bricks used in these constructions bore the name of the king.

Nimrod is the first king mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. He is the first king mentioned before Abraham encounters various kings. To understand what he is doing there one must put aside what the name means colloquially today and in rabbinic tradition and focus on the biblical text itself. In the original version of the story:

Genesis 10:8 Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. 9 He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Yahweh.” 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, and Accad, and Calneh [Calah] in the land of Shinar.

These verses are descriptive, not accusatory. Nimrod is to be praised for his achievements not condemned. Indeed, he is a figure to be emulated given his success as mighty man or warrior before the Lord. He was the ruler of the Mesopotamian universe.

As biblical archaeologists and Assyriologists eventually learned, Nimrod was not an individual but an exemplar. He was not Sumerian Gilgamesh of Uruk (Erech) as had been originally thought. He was not Akkadian Sargon the Great of Accad, he was not Amorite Hammurabi of Babylon, and he was not Assyrian Tukulti-Ninurta of Calah. Instead he was all of them; he represented that Mesopotamian life. Now with Abraham leaving Ur and settling near Hebron (David’s first royal capital), the torch had been passed to a new location. The Israelite king in Jerusalem was advised to rule like a Mesopotamian king at the new cosmic center. He was to make his name great as Solomon did in building the temple.

So at least claimed one political party in ancient Israel. However, there was another political party, the Levites or Mushites who claimed the law came first. They objected to the claim that Yahweh had sanctioned the royal way of life in Mesopotamia as the Nimrod author had written. Yahweh had first appeared at Sinai to Moses and the law was revealed there. They mocked the Mesopotamian way of life by writing the Tower of Babel story. Look at those mighty stairways to heaven! They all were built for naught. All those mighty and grandiose empires crumbled into dust, lost to history until recovered by archaeologists. It was the law which endured and ruled even when kings and temples were no more.

Exodus 18:17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him…19”Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God, and bring their cases to God; 20 and you shall teach them the statutes and the decisions, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover choose able men from all the people, such as fear God, men who are trustworthy and who hate a bribe; and place such men over the people as rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times; every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves; so it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”

Jethro and Nimrod offer two different models of political organization: the rule of law and the king who makes his name great. Two political parties in ancient Israel offered two different versions of how society should be organized: one based on the rule by a king and one based on the rule of law.

For the first centuries of Israel’s existence, it had had no king. Therefore no one was in a position to abuse power. Only when Israel had a king could someone be a law unto himself. We will never know if ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia debated the powers of a king when he first ascended to the throne in Egypt and descended to the throne in Mesopotamia. But we do know the debates ancient Israel had on the powers of the king. It decided there should be checks and balances on the power of the king. No one was above the law. Even David could be called to task: “Thou art the man.” And when he was confronted he repented.

Bonespur Boy is no David. He is no George Washington either who also is remembered for having left the presidency voluntarily. And even though he is no mighty man and is not before the Lord, he still is a Nimrod.

 

For more on the stories of Nimrod and the Tower of Babel see my book Jerusalem Throne Games: The Battle of Bible Stories after the Death of David.