Maureen Dowd gives Obama head in public

You are warned. To the best of my knowledge and belief, this is an actual column written by Maureen Dowd of the New York Times. It is not a satire.

 

WASHINGTON — It was a moment of peak Spock.

Hours after the globe-rattling election of a man whom Barack Obama has total disdain for, a toon who would take a chain saw to the former president’s legacy on policy and decency, Obama sent a message to his adviser Ben Rhodes: “There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the earth.”

Perhaps Obama should have used a different line with a celestial theme by Shakespeare: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

As president, Obama always found us wanting. We were constantly disappointing him. He would tell us the right thing to do and then sigh and purse his lips when his instructions were not followed.

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected, Rhodes writes in his new book, “The World as It Is,” Obama asked his aides, “What if we were wrong?”

But in his next breath, the president made it clear that what he meant was: What if we were wrong in being so right? What if we were too good for these people?

“Maybe we pushed too far,” the president continued. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”

So really, he’s not acknowledging any flaws but simply wondering if we were even more benighted than he thought. He’s saying that, sadly, we were not enlightened enough for the momentous changes wrought by the smartest people in the world — or even evolved enough for the first African-American president.

“Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” Obama mused to aides.

We just weren’t ready for his amazing awesomeness.

It is stunning to me, having been on the road with Barack Obama in the giddy, evanescent days of 2008, that he does not understand his own historic rise to power, how he defied impossible odds and gracefully leapt over obstacles.

He did it by sparking hope in many Americans — after all the deceptions and squandered blood and money of the Bush-Cheney era — that he was going to give people a better future, something honest and cool and modern.

But by the end of his second term, he had lost the narrative about lifting up people, about buoying them on economic issues and soothing their jitters about globalization. They needed to know, what’s in it for them?

He pushed aside his loyal vice president, who was considered an unguided missile, and backed a woman who had no economic message and who almost used the slogan, “Because It’s Her Turn.” Then he put his own reputation for rectitude at risk by pre-emptively exonerating Hillary Clinton on the email issue, infuriating federal agents who were still investigating the case.

The hunger for revolutionary change, the fear that some people were being left behind in America and that no one in Washington cared, was an animating force at the boisterous rallies for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Yet Obama, who had surfed a boisterous wave into the Oval, ignored the restiveness — here and around the world. He threw his weight behind the most status quo, elitist candidate.

“I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have seen it coming,” Rhodes writes about the “darkness” that enveloped him when he saw the electoral map turn red. “Because when you distilled it, stripped out the racism and misogyny, we’d run against Hillary eight years ago with the same message Trump had used: She’s part of a corrupt establishment that can’t be trusted to change.”

He did it by sparking hope in many Americans — after all the deceptions and squandered blood and money of the Bush-Cheney era — that he was going to give people a better future, something honest and cool and modern.

But by the end of his second term, he had lost the narrative about lifting up people, about buoying them on economic issues and soothing their jitters about globalization. They needed to know, what’s in it for them?

He pushed aside his loyal vice president, who was considered an unguided missile, and backed a woman who had no economic message and who almost used the slogan, “Because It’s Her Turn.” Then he put his own reputation for rectitude at risk by pre-emptively exonerating Hillary Clinton on the email issue, infuriating federal agents who were still investigating the case.

The hunger for revolutionary change, the fear that some people were being left behind in America and that no one in Washington cared, was an animating force at the boisterous rallies for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Yet Obama, who had surfed a boisterous wave into the Oval, ignored the restiveness — here and around the world. He threw his weight behind the most status quo, elitist candidate.

“I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have seen it coming,” Rhodes writes about the “darkness” that enveloped him when he saw the electoral map turn red. “Because when you distilled it, stripped out the racism and misogyny, we’d run against Hillary eight years ago with the same message Trump had used: She’s part of a corrupt establishment that can’t be trusted to change.”

Bad time to figure that out.

Where were the next Barack Obamas? Obama had never been about party building. He was the man alone in the arena.

Even though he could make magic — like the time he sang “Amazing Grace” at a funeral for black parishioners murdered by a white supremacist in South Carolina — Obama did not like persuading people to do what they didn’t want to do. And that is the definition of politics. He wanted them simply to do what he had ascertained to be right.

President Obama could be deliberative, reticent and cautious to a fault, which spurred an appetite for a more impulsive, visceral, hurly-burly successor. He got tangled in a cat’s cradle on the twin F.B.I. investigations into Hillary’s emails and Russian meddling; in retrospect, he probably should have been more transparent about both.

Rhodes says that weeks after the election, he warned Obama that a narrative was developing that they didn’t do enough about the Russians and fake news.

“And do you think,” Obama replied, “that the type of people reading that stuff were going to listen to me?”

Obama was well aware during the campaign that his chosen heir sometimes seemed to be phoning it in. Campaigning together in Charlotte, he was nonplused to find out that Hillary had quickly slipped out of a barbecue joint where they had stopped to get food and greet people, while the president was left on his own, shaking every hand.

Afterward he told his aides: “Most of the folks in these places have been watching Fox News and think I’m the Antichrist. But if you show up, shake their hand, and look them in the eye, it’s harder for them to turn you into a caricature. You might even pick up a few votes.”

General Zod versus Doug Bozo

For Ontario voters dissatisfied with Ford, Horwath and Wynne, there’s another choice: General Zod

I have been pondering my options this morning.

First the claim that General Zod is less evil than Doug Ford is nonsense. His main attraction is that he promises:

  • mass enslavement
  • smiting of enemies
  • depopulating Toronto
  • killing millions
  • this will be your last vote you ever cast.

This is an exciting program. It calls for the creation of a master class of sadists, prison guards, executioners, extermination camps, and the immiseration of most of the populace. In other words it shows promise from a satanic point of view. Though General Zod claims to be already ruling the world, we know in truth that Satan has this job. So General Zod must be Satan’s lieutenant. So we know he lies. This is a good start.

Doug Ford’s platform includes

  • to change the Municipal Act to strengthen the hand of mayors in running cities, [boring]
  • to lower taxes on minimum wage earners,  [boring]
  • oppose the carbon tax [slightly interesting]
  • repeal sex education curriculum – since kids learn best by porn on the Internet [shows promise]
  • lower corporate taxes [boring]
  • require parental permission if you are a minor seeking an abortion [ho-hum]
  • gut the health care system [not really]

Altogether General Zod’s program shows a spark of imagination, compared to which Doug Bozo Ford looks boringly normal and focused on real-world issues.

 

My old pal Conrad Black recommends Doug Ford for his moderation:

Doug Ford represents frugal but compassionate government, concern for the people but refusal to make a socialist hammock-pitch for their votes. He is not a precise and overly articulate champion of detailed policy, but he can be relied on to do the right and the sensible thing. That cannot be said of his opponents.

Especially General Zod. It is rare that one has a real choice in the election. Lesbian know-it-all Kathy with greemie policies that are ruining us, versus Horwath, the stooge of trade unions and of anti-white, anti-male and anti-Christian forces, that would get us to Venezuela faster than lesbian know-it-all, versus a normal white guy, versus General Zod. I say that is a real choice.

I am reining in my deplorable instincts here and voting for Doug Bozo Ford. I hope you will likewise restrain yourselves and vote for Bozo-hood, which will be exciting enough for Ontario.

As Annie Leibowitz [?] once said, fascism is too exciting, communism too boring.

 

Tommy Robinson and the British Disease

What can be said with absolute certainty is that Tommy Robinson has been treated with greater suspicion and a greater presumption of guilt by the United Kingdom than any Islamic extremist or mass rapist ever has been. That should be — yet is not — a national scandal. If even one mullah or sheikh had been treated with the presumption of guilt that Robinson has received, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the rest of them would be all over the U.K. authorities. But different standards apply to Robinson.

 

From the National Review, article by Douglas Murray

 

Further observations on the state of the United Kingdom from the Zman.

This is the heart of the matter. The Pax Americana, which has guaranteed peace in Europe for the last 75 years, has done more than pacify the continent. It has turned the political classes of Europe into children. They are not real leaders in any meaningful sense, because no matter what they do, Uncle Sam is there to make sure they never get a serious boo-boo. Because they are insulated from serious consequences, they have become the Eloi, playing dress-up and pretending to be big boys and girls.

Victor Davis Hanson: how Obama destroyed the Democrats

VDH spoke to a [middle-aged] group of the Young Americas Foundation. His analysis of the damage that Obama did to the Democratic Party is accurate. Obama is far to the left of the Democrats, but he shifted the centre of  political discussion leftward, at the expense of the voting strength of the Democratic Party. He points out that someone in middle America is always paying the price of the smug misplaced idealism of rich liberals on the coasts. Hence a man with orange skin, yellow hair and a vocabulary of at best 1000 words is now governing them, because he figured this out early. The Republican Establishment is still trying to figure out where they went wrong. They confused their class disdain for something more serious, actua; political disagreement.

The Democratic leadership is not yet asking itself the  question, “why, if we are so smart, are we losing?” For them, the election was illegitimate, and did not happen.

You cannot win a war if you fail to realize that you are losing it.

As for Trump, he fights. He wins. And the progressive transformation the Left envisaged for America is not happening.

 

 

 

Philip Roth

Philip Roth has died.

Do yourself a favour. Pick up one of his books, especially one written in the last twenty years. Read it.

He was one of the very few novelists who wrote for men, especially men over 50 years of age. Which is, dear reader, most likely you. A giant of a writer, and a master of seeing through bullshit.

From the obituary in the New York Times:

In his 60s, an age when many writers are winding down, he produced an exceptional sequence of historical novels — “American Pastoral,” “The Human Stain” and “I Married a Communist” — a product of his personal re-engagement with America and American themes. And starting with “Everyman” in 2006, when he was 73, he kept up a relentless book-a-year pace, publishing works that while not necessarily major were nevertheless fiercely intelligent and sharply observed. Their theme in one way or another was the ravages of age and mortality itself, and in publishing them Mr. Roth seemed to be defiantly staving off his own decline.

Mr. Roth was often lumped together with Bellow and Bernard Malamud as part of the “Hart, Schaffner & Marx of American letters,” but he resisted the label. “The epithet American-Jewish writer has no meaning for me,” he said. “If I’m not an American, I’m nothing.”

A great contrast

I was struck by the most obvious aspect of the debate posted on youtube. The first is a radio show of Jordan Peterson with two orthodox British feminists. The second is a discussion among Dave Rubin and Ben Shapiro and JP.

In the radio show, Peterson had just finished discussing how, in Scandinavia, men and women pursue different interests because of equality of opportunity (same as is made in the Norwegian TV series Hjernevask -Brainwash). Clearly this line of discussion could not be allowed to continue, because it would draw attention to the glaring hole in feminism, which is that men and women naturally prefer to follow different interests. The hostess switched the topic to Trump as fast as she could, to  prevent the topic from wandering into the forbidden zone of biological differences.

In the discussion among men – and I mention their sex advisedly – the topics concern psychedelic drugs, Judaeo-Christian morality, myth, truth, mind, and large issues.

One is an example of what really smart men get into, and the other is an example of why there needs to be a revolution against the tyranny of stupid women who think they are smart.

 

 

 

The New Dune

I hear that Denis Villeneuve is making a reprise of Frank Herbert‘s Dune. It will take a supreme artistry to outdo the evil depicted by David Lynch’s version of Baron Harkonnen and his nephews.

Trump would make an excellent Baron Harkonnen, except he is an actual tough guy, not a fat actor playing one.

“He who controls the spice controls the universe!”

Though it was a commercial flop at the time, Lynch’s Dune is a triumph of the artistic imagination. It bears obsessive re-watching.

Also worthy of mention is the TV  miniseries.

Further on delusional frameworks

Richard III earliest surviving portrait.jpgImage result for trump

 

 

Andrew Sullivan engages in the only polemic against Trump that has ever caused me to consider I was wrong about him. I love it! It is so powerful, so over-the-top, it nearly had me for a moment. Try it, you will like it.

The piece is in three parts. It starts with a catalog of Trump’s errors, as he sees them, which is merely a warm-up for the indictment.

The second part assaults the Left in a way I believe to be a true description of their intentions and tactics. It is a dark though accurate vision.

 

Nothing could be further from the left’s current vision, which is that the very concept of post-racial integration is an illusion designed to mask the reality of an eternal “white supremacy.” Today’s left-liberal consensus is that Obama, however revered he may still be as president, was and is absurdly naïve in this respect: that there is no recovery from the original sin, no possible redemption, and certainly no space for the concept of an individual citizenship that transcends race and can unite Americans. There is no freedom here. There is just oppression. The question is merely about who oppresses whom.

The idea that African-Americans have some responsibility for their own advancement, that absent fatherhood and a cultural association of studying with “acting white” are part of the problem — themes Obama touched upon throughout his presidency — is now almost a definition of racism itself. And the animating goal of progressive politics is unvarnished race and gender warfare. What matters before anything else is what race and gender you are, and therefore what side you are on. And in this neo-Marxist worldview, fully embraced by a hefty majority of the next generation, the very idea of America as a liberating experiment, dissolving tribal loyalties in a common journey toward individual opportunity, is anathema.

There is no arc of history here, just an eternal grinding of the racist and sexist wheel. What matters is that nonwhites fight and defeat white supremacy, that women unite and defeat oppressive masculinity, and that the trans supplant and redefine the cis. What matters is equality of outcome, and it cannot be delayed. All the ideas that might complicate this — meritocracy, for example, or a color-blind vision of justice, or equality of opportunity rather than outcome — are to be mocked until they are dismantled. And the political goal is not a post-racial fusion, a unity of the red and the blue, but the rallying of the victims against the victimizers, animated by the core belief that a non-“white” and non-male majority will at some point come, after which the new hierarchies can be imposed by fiat. When you read the Jeremiah Wright speech today, it seems as if it is coming from a different era altogether.

In the third section, Sullivan likens Trump to King Richard III, as presented by Shakespeare. Truly this is a triumph of invective, and fully confirms my view that people are being driven mad – mad – by the breakdown of their cognitive apparatus in the wake of the Donald’s passage through time.

The tyrant is not in full control of himself, and has no real idea of what to do with power when he gets it — except purge his ranks and dispatch his rivals in an endless cycle of insecurity. No one lasts for long in Richard’s orbit, or Trump’s. He rages forward blindly, and his only constancy is his paranoia, loneliness, and willingness to cause collateral damage to anything around him. The only way to defeat him, Shakespeare implies, is from outside the system itself: via an invading army, led by an exile. Even then, the damage is deep and lasting. Richard’s reign is just two years long; but the scar is indelible.

And this is indeed the kernel of what I fear: that if Mueller at any point presents a real conflict between the rule of law and Trump’s ego, the ego will win. If Trump has to fire his attorney general, and anyone else, he will. If he has to initiate a catastrophic conflict to save face, he will. If he has to delegitimize the Department of Justice, empty the State Department, and turn law enforcement against itself, he will. If he has to unleash unspeakable racial demons to save himself from political oblivion, he will not hesitate to do so. If he has to separate children from parents, describe humans as animals, and turn Christians into pagans, he will not blink. This is what a tyrant does….

Trump, it seems to me, has established this tyrannical dynamic with remarkable speed. And what we are about to find out is whether the Founders who saw such a character as an eternal threat to their republic have constructed institutions capable of checking him without the impact of an external intervention, of a disaster so complete it finally breaks the tyrant’s spell. Watching what has transpired these past two years, seeing how truly weak the system is, and how unwilling so many have been to recognize our new disorder, I see no reason to be optimistic. The play is a tragedy, after all.

You are at liberty to view this as mere vaporing, however erudite and informed. Or deeply insightful, and which predicts tragedy.

I do not share this perspective.

I consider that Trump is more sinned against than sinning, to cite King Lear. I believe him to have been the object of a conspiracy of espionage agencies (Brennan, Comey, Clapper) using opposition research bought or purveyed by the Democrats, which is fabricated nonsense, in the attempt to cripple his regime by delegitimizing it from the beginning on the basis of a story of Russian collusion and interference.

I consider that the Mueller probe is a weapon of the permanent State and Democratic political appointees against the President, and predict that, after two years of turning over every page, it cannot and will not find any evidence of the collusion it was intended to find. But like any bureaucratic legal enterprize, it will seek eternal self-perpetuation.

In short, Trump’s enemies have nothing on him except political differences.

Those who hate Trump may fear a Richard III,  wandering the halls of power and calling for the assassination of enemies, if they had the culture and literary imagination. What they have, by contrast, is a vulgar and effective billionaire real estate developer, who is whipping their collective asses with his success.

So to Andrew Sullivan, I say, nice try. A very nice try. An erudite, informed and brilliant try. But I am not buying it. One of us is off his rocker, and it is not me. As Robert Frost once said, you have to have a certain coarseness to get through life: I have it, it would seem,  and Andrew Sullivan does not. Because I see Sullivan’s take on Trump-as-tyrant as an effusion of a certain type of gay excess, like the apartment in La Cage aux Folles. I dislike descending to stereotypes, yet in this case they are apposite.