AEI’s Danielle Pletka pens a cover version of Goldwater’s 1975 editorial on Jimmy Carter

Danielle Pletka want you to know she doesn’t like Trump. She has no interesting in defending Trump. But she may be “forced” to vote for him because the Democrats haven’t done enough to convince her that they aren’t crazy socialists. Crazy socialists who nominated -checks notes- Joe Biden. Danielle Pletka is practicing Chickenshit Conservatism; a bad faith tactic for turning an indefensible position into an unquestionable status quo.

I fear that former vice president Joe Biden would be a figurehead president, incapable of focus or leadership, who would run a teleprompter presidency with the words drafted by his party’s hard-left ideologues.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-cant-stand-trump-but-democrats-may-force-me-to-vote-for-him/2020/09/14/1cf10518-f6c4-11ea-a275-1a2c2d36e1f1_story.html

Buttiegieg made a fantastic point in July of 2019 when he said “The GOP will call us crazy socialists no matter what our policies are”. With that in mind, let’s look at what Barry Goldwater said about Jimmy Carter in 1976.

https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1976/11/01/75642702.html?pageNumber=39

Either we stick with the steady, responsible and proved leadership of President Ford, or we gamble on an untried, unsure challenger committed to a program of state‐controlled socialism.

Jimmy Carter passed the largest industry deregulations to date. The Motor Carrier Act that deregulated trucking. The Airline Deregulation Act. The 1978 Homebrew Act is seen as the start of craft brewing in the US. All of this was before the Regan revolution.

This is why it is safe to ignore just about anything a Republican says. It’s been the same fucking script for the past 50 years.

Maga Nonmueller: With apologies to Martine Niemoller.

First they came for the dreamers but I didn’t speak up because they were here to steal my job and go on welfare.

Then they came for BLM but I didn’t speak up because all lives matter.

Then they came for the protestors but I didn’t speak up because Fox told me they were all Antifa and we don’t support violent protests.

Then they came for my post office and social security and my kids school but by then there were no more liberals to blame for not defending me. So typical of the tolerant left.

With apologies to Martine Niemoller.

Law and Order and Vigilantism and Conservatism

If you are having trouble understanding how conservatives could be simultaneously running on law and order while also promoting and hyping vigilantism you are not alone. While this seems like a contradiction, one in a seemingly endless list of contradictions, it isn’t. If you see a contradiction here, you are just making an incorrect assumption on what the purpose of law and order is to conservatives.

To quote Frank Wilhoit

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

There is nothing more or else to it, and there never has been, in any place or time.

For millenia, conservatism had no name, because no other model of polity had ever been proposed. “The king can do no wrong.” In practice, this immunity was always extended to the king’s friends, however fungible a group they might have been. Today, we still have the king’s friends even where there is no king (dictator, etc.). Another way to look at this is that the king is a faction, rather than an individual.

As the core proposition of conservatism is indefensible if stated baldly, it has always been surrounded by an elaborate backwash of pseudophilosophy, amounting over time to millions of pages. All such is axiomatically dishonest and undeserving of serious scrutiny. Today, the accelerating de-education of humanity has reached a point where the market for pseudophilosophy is vanishing; it is, as The Kids Say These Days, tl;dr . All that is left is the core proposition itself — backed up, no longer by misdirection and sophistry, but by violence.

So this tells us what anti-conservatism must be: the proposition that the law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone, and cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.

Kyle

Why would Kyle drive 20 miles to a place where he doesn’t live with a firearm he does not legally own to walk into a crowd and start pointing that firearm at the people? This is a 17 year old who by all accounts, was a supporter of the police. Surely he much have known it was illegal for a 17 year old to own a gun. He much have known he actions would be seen as premeditated and not self defense. None of those actions makes sense unless you consider “Blue Lives Matters” as nothing more than an elaborate backwash of pseudo-philosophy to cover the one fact of conservatism. There are people like Kyle, that the law protects but doesn’t bind; and there are people, unlike Kyle, that the law binds but does not protect. And Kyle is there to bind the protestors to the law that doesn’t protect them.

Mr. and Mrs. McCloskey

When you look at the image of Mr. and Mrs. McCloskey standing there, holding firearms incorrectly; think about how they think they are part of the group the law protects, but does not bind and how they are pointing those firearms at people the law binds but will not protect.

BLM is perfectly echoing anti-conservatism, the idea that the law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone, and cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.

The Voter ID argument is backwards

I keep seeing Republicans post lists all the things that you need to show an ID to do and then argue that asking for an ID to vote is perfectly acceptable. I’m tired of playing defense on this. I don’t want to argue to stop them from making it harder to vote, I want to argue for ways to make it easier to vote and have them try to stop it.

You showed ID? You should be registered to vote automatically. If you need ID to buy a house/rent an apartment/apply for licenses/apply for unemployment/register for college/etc, then at that very moment when you established your identity and showed that you eligible to vote, you should be registered to vote or your voting information should be updated.

Have them argue against it.

Trump’s payroll tax deferral: It’s just burning down the country to collect the insurance money.

There are many ways to describe the GOP policy of running up the debt and then using it to justify draconian cuts in public spending. Bruce Bartlett called the Two-Santa Theory. I prefer a more direct and honest description: Burning down the country to collect the insurance money.

It’s a really simple scheme when you look at it. You run up the debt via tax cuts targeted at your donors. You privatize everything, transferring it to the same donors who got bags of cash in the form of tax giveaways and subsidies. You then loot the nation’s insurance fund, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to undo the damage of the tax cuts.

Trump’s executive order is a new take on this scheme: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/memorandum-deferring-payroll-tax-obligations-light-ongoing-covid-19-disaster/

Here he is just ceasing to collect payroll taxes, which directly fund social security. This is being done without any cuts to spending or new taxes to offset them; simply to decrease the funds social security will have available to meet future obligations. He knows damn well that most tax payers will not be able to pay six months or a year of deferred payroll taxes so he is counting on the next administration to have to pay for this with cuts when the bill comes due.

This is burning the insurance money to keep the country burning.

The ongoing threat of Trump’s cancel culture.

In just this past year Trump has attempted to block John Bolton’s book, Mary Trump’s book and Michael Cohen’s book. I don’t think I hear a single peep from the cancel culture scolds on any of those. Did we all miss it? Realizing that Trump is only the president and he simply can not do the harm that some dirty hippie on social media might be able to do by saying the magic phrase “cancel” might explain why no one was concerned. What would the reasonable explanation why none of the army of right wing scolds called out Trump out for attempting to cancel three authors in just one year? What could that reason be?

Looking back, the lack of principled stand for free speech in this case has just embolden Trump to embrace cancel culture to even bigger extremes.

“The media will be barred from the Republican national convention where Donald Trump is set to be renominated as presidential candidate later this month, a spokeswoman said on Saturday, citing coronavirus restrictions.”

Here we have Trump and the Republican party attempting to cancel the whole of the media.

From: theguardian.com https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/02/media-to-be-banned-from-republican-convention-due-to-coronavirus-restrictions

And it keeps getting worse!

Trump on Monday set September 15 as the deadline for TikTok to find a US buyer, failing which he said he will shut down the app in the country. In an unusual declaration, Trump also said any deal would have to include a “substantial amount of money” coming to the US Treasury.

This is the rare Cancel-culture hat trick, combining censorship, direct interference in the market with a socialist spin, demanding the government get a cut.

From: CNN Trump says TikTok sale can go through but only if the US gets a cut https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/03/tech/tiktok-acquisition-trump-treasury/index.html

The lack of comment from the free speech right on Trump’s cancel culture makes no sense until you consider the possibility they only have interest in free speech when there is an opportunity to take a condescending tone towards liberals.

Obamagate is just Benghazi 2.0

Bill Barr’s DOJ has just released a report showing that the 29 FISA warrants met the appropriate standards, showing that the Russia investigation wasn’t a hoax or a witch hunt. And this can mean only one thing: there will be multiple investigations into those 29 FISA warrants.

Obamagate is just Benghazi 2.0. So expect a never ending stream of new investigations that go nowhere.

“The Department of Justice has completed its review of the 29 FISA applications that were the subject of preliminary findings by the DOJ Inspector General (OIG) in March 2020.  We are pleased that our review of these applications concluded that all contained sufficient basis for probable cause and uncovered only two material errors, neither of which invalidated the authorizations granted by the FISA Court.   These findings, together with the more than 40 corrective actions undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Division, should instill confidence in the FBI’s use of FISA authorities.  We would like to express our appreciation to the OIG for their focus on the Department’s use of its national security authority.  We remain committed to improving the FISA process to ensure that we use these tools consistent with the law and our obligations to the FISA Court.  The ability to surveil and to investigate using FISA authorities remains critical to confronting current national security threats, including election interference, Chinese espionage and terrorism.”

Source: Statement of Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers on the Public Release of the Department’s Findings with Respect to the 29 FISA Applications that Were the Subject of the March 2020 OIG Preliminary Report | OPA | Department of Justice

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: President Trump appointed Jared to lead the task force.

This is an amazing and in depth article in Vanity Fair points that out something we should all already know. The Republican party is willing to play politics with American lives. In this case, they were willing to do nothing in the face of a pandemic, allow the virus to kill American citizens and use those deaths to attack Democratic governors.

Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.

Source: How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air” | Vanity Fair

No of this should be shocking to those who know that six years later, Flint still lacks access to safe drinking water. Or that the GOP still blocks every 9/11 first responder bill, possibly out of habit while using first responders as a prop. Or that they regularly vote against disaster relief when it comes to blue states while demanding disaster relief in their home states.

This is why the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: President Trump appointed Jared to lead the task force. Mobsters don’t hire family members for their competence. They pick family members because they are unlikely to talk to the FBI. They pick family members for blind loyalty.

Why I don’t trust libertarians when it comes to policing and neither should you.

My facebook feeds are packed with libertarians making excuses for use of force and people so very confused about the libertarians siding with the state and its guns. I am not confused or surprised. Libertarianism is a very violent and extremely hierarchical philosophy and has alway been. It has always taken the very rational Lockean hierarchy of life, liberty and property and flipped it to be about property being primary and a pre-condition for liberty and life.

“Police may use such coercive methods [as beating and torturing suspects] provided that the suspect turns out to be guilty, and provided that the police are treated themselves as criminal suspects if the suspect is not proven guilty. For, in that case, the rule of no force against non-criminals would still apply. Suppose, for example, that police beat and torture a suspected murderer to find information… If the suspect turns out to be guilty, then the police should be exonerated…” — Murray Rothbard, from the ironically titled book The Ethics of Liberty

I have always read as “If you are wealthy and have access to legal services, the police should in no way treat you like a criminal. If you are poor, the police can beat a confession out of you” This is hardly a unique view in libertarian land. There are plenty of examples of libertarian thinkers making excuses for force, when it is people like them who will benefit and people not like that that will be targets of that force. Don’t accept their claim that this is about liberty. It isn’t and never has been. It’s an extreme hierarchy where there are people at the top, which the law protects but doesn’t hold responsible and those at the bottom which the law holds responsible but doesn’t protect.

 [The Native Americans] didn’t have any rights to the land and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using… [W]hat was it that they were fighting for, if they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence. Their right to keep part of the earth untouched, unused, and not even as property, but just keep everybody out, so that you can live practically like an animal, or maybe a few caves above it…. Any white person who could bring the element of civilization had the right to take over this country. — Ayn Rand

No one should be shocked that this is her opinion here. In atlas shrugged, her hero John Galt says this:

“We will open the gates of our city to those who deserve to enter, a city of smokestacks, pipe lines, orchards, markets and inviolate homes. We will act as the rallying center for such hidden outposts as you’ll build. With the sign of the dollar as our symbol—the sign of free trade and free minds—we will move to reclaim this country once more from the impotent savages who never discovered its nature, its meaning, its splendor. Those who choose to join us, will join us; those who don’t, will not have the power to stop us; hordes of savages have never been an obstacle to men who carried the banner of the mind.

It should be clear that this is what she thinks. If you don’t think like her, you’re a savage and no one need to respect your claims. Again, people at the top, which the law protects but doesn’t hold responsible and those at the bottom which the law holds responsible but doesn’t protect.

And libertarianism is also very cool with cancel culture and always has been.

“As soon as mature members of society habitually express acceptance or even advocate egalitarian sentiments, whether in the form of democracy (majority rule) or of communism, it becomes essential that other members, and in particular the natural social elites, be prepared to act decisively and, in the case of continued nonconformity, exclude and ultimately expel these members from society.” — Hans-Hermann Hoppe from Democracy: The God That Failed.

CNN: Tucker Carlson’s top writer quits after secretly posting racist and sexist remarks in online forum

Source: Tucker Carlson’s top writer quits after secretly posting racist and sexist remarks in online forum – CNN

This is an instance of what I call the Three’s Company Defense. If you aren’t familiar with the show Three’s Company, let me give you a quick synopsis: It was a 1970s sitcom where every episode revolved around some misunderstanding; often suggestively sexual in nature, that existed largely as a vehicle to put Don Knott’s supernatural facial reactions on your TV.

Let me now propose that any time someone is defending the Tucker’s show from charges of racist dog whistles or claims there are no racist undertones, or suggests that this is all a hoax, just a big ol’ misunderstanding, that is the Three’s Company defense. These are all coincidences. They aren’t racist, it was just Janet about to sew a button on Jack’s pants. That should not be considered credible, knowing that many prominent racists are fans and the head writer was outed for making racist comments