Sunday, April 24, 2016
A touching moment: The people of Paris applauding their police
The police have never been popular in France but, four days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre - 11 January, 2015 -- something extraordinary happened. There was national unity rally. The police escorted families and relatives of the victims through the streets of Paris. And people filled the streets to show their sympathy for the the victims and demonstrate their support for the police.
The crowd parts. There are women running - some of them laughing. And then, police - in vans and on foot. Their black rubber shoulder protection giving them the kind of silhouettes usually associated with science fiction heroes. And the crowd starts to chant, "Merci, merci" - Thank you, thank you.
"I couldn't believe it," says Jean-Marc Berliere who was there. "Here was a young, urban, intellectual crowd applauding the police! I saw women giving them flowers. I saw people shaking their hands. I saw women kissing them. And you could see how moved the police were. It was so unexpected."
Three of the victims in the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket attacks were police officers, and the live TV coverage of their colleagues storming the shop to save hostages led many to see them as heroes.
It is the Trumpkins they fear
Donald Trump was a bundler who raised lots of money for McCain and Romney, men who seem honorable. Yet they turned their back on Trump and actually worked to block his nomination. Theories abound as to why that may be. I will offer this one: It is not that Trump is about to be elected president -- it is about the people who will elect him. McCain outright called them "crazies."
The hoi polloi scare the foie gras out of the hoity-toity who run this nation.
This is an idea I have toyed with off and on as I write my book on this nomination. I began by thinking Trump's critics in the media live in a bubble -- you know the usual stereotype of Pauline Kael covering politics. But as Trump rose and nears the nomination, that mask fell. Never Trump is not about him. It is about us, his supporters. Kevin Williamson of the National Review pleasured his bosses at the National Review by writing, in his "Father Fuhrer" piece last month, that rural towns that white people live in deserve to die. He is from Amarillo, so he can get away with this, right?
Just as Obamacare's destruction of the nation's health system was by design, not accident, so we see the results of free trade and illegal immigration are not unintended consequences, but rather by design. Their message to America is:
Wages are lower as is the standard of living in America, but hey, you can get an iPhone for $399, so what are you complaining about? You're an ingrate who hates capitalism and the free market, you damned Marxist.
Die, rural white America, die. More to the point: Die, Poca, die. [Poca is a small town in West Virginia]
What bothers Washington is Trump is the worst presidential candidate in American history and yet he is winning and will win the White House because the people have had enough of the race-baiting politics of division in America and appeasement overseas. That shows the power of a people who are the last group you can mock in a politically correct nation. They are rising. His message resonates because it comes not from him but from the people. He heard you. We hear you. Soon the whole world will hear from us.
That is what soils the underwear in Washington.
Vanity Fair had a piece on the fallout from New York:
Rich Americans still have it pretty good. I don’t mean everything’s perfect: business regulations can be burdensome; Manhattan zoning can prevent the addition of a town-house floor; estate taxes kick in at over $5 million. But life is acceptable. Barack Obama has not imposed much hardship, and neither will Hillary Clinton.
And what about Donald Trump? Will rich people suffer if he is elected president? Well, yes. Yes, they will. Because we all will. But that’s a pat answer, because Trump and Trumpism are different things. Trump is an erratic candidate who brings chaos to everything. Trumpism, on the other hand, is the doctrine of a different Republican Party, one that would cater not to the donor class, but rather to the white working class. Rich people do not like that idea.
Yesterday’s primary handed victories to Trump and Clinton, and, if Michael Lind is right, Trumpism and Clintonism are America’s future. Lind’s point, which he made last Sunday in The New York Times, is that Trumpism — friendly to entitlements, unfriendly to expanded trade and high immigration — will be the platform of the Republican Party in the years going forward. Clintonism — friendly both to business and to social and racial liberalism — will cobble together numerous interest groups and ditch the white working class. Which might be fair enough, but Lind didn't mention rich people. Where will they go?
The Democratic Party has not been a total slouch, offering policies friendly to health-care executives, entertainment moguls, and tech titans. In fact, financial support for Democrats among the 1 percent of the 1 percent has risen dramatically, more than trebling since 1980. Traditionally, though, the Republican Party has been seen as the better friend to the wealthy, offering lower taxes, fewer business regulations, generous defense contracts, increased global trade, high immigration, and resistance to organized labor. It’s been the buddy of homebuilders, oil barons, defense contractors, and other influential business leaders.
The article went on to say: "In a world of Trumpism and Clintonism, Democrats would become the party of globalist-minded elites, both economic and cultural, while Republicans would become the party of the working class. Democrats would win backing from those who support expanded trade and immigration, while Republicans would win the support of those who prefer less of both. Erstwhile neocons would go over to Democrats (as they are already promising to do), while doves and isolationists would stick with Republicans. Democrats would remain culturally liberal, while Republicans would remain culturally conservative."
I doubt there is one conservative in Washington who is happy with that arrangement. Trump is bringing people to the party, but not the right kind of people. The party of the working class? Ew. And so the Conservative Commentariat fights on.
They call Trump vulgar. No profane or obscene, but vulgar. The reason is that vulgar means of the common people, which is the last thing they want for their little party.
Which is why they hope to hell Hillary Clinton wins and saves their insider jobs.
Trump Vs. The Banana Republicans
BY ILANA MERCER
There’s a difference between (small r) republican principles and the Republican Party’s rules of procedure. But National Review neoconservative Jonah Goldberg doesn’t see it.
Or, maybe Goldberg is using America’s founding, governing principles to piggyback the Republican Party’s oft revised and rigged rules to respectability.
Conservatives who harbor the quaint expectation that voters, not party operatives, would choose the nominee stand accused by Goldberg of fetishizing unfiltered democracy.
“America is a republic not a simple democracy,” says Goldberg, in motivating for Grand Old Party chicanery.
Goldberg’s argument is a cunning but poor one. It confuses bureaucratic rules with higher principles: the republicanism of America’s Constitution makers.
Through a Bill of Rights and a scheme that divides authority between autonomous states and a national government, American federalism aimed to secure the rights of the individual by imposing strict limits on the power of thumping majorities and a central government.
The Goldberg variations on republicanism won’t wash. The Republican Party’s arbitrary rules relate to the Founding Founders’ republicanism as the Romney Rule relates to veracity.
The Romney initiated Rule 40(b) is a recent addition to the Republican Party rule book. It stipulates that in order to win the nomination, a candidate must demonstrate he has earned a majority of delegates from at least eight different states. Rule 40 (b) was passed post-haste to thwart libertarian candidate Ron Paul.
Party crooks and their lawyers now find themselves in a pickle, because Governor John Kasich, candidate for the establishment (including the New York Times and the Huffington Post), has yet to meet the Republican rule du jour.
So, what do The Rulers do? They plan to change the rules. Again.
Pledged delegates are not supposed to act as autonomous agents. Their voting has to be tethered to the candidate whom voters have overwhelmingly chosen. But not when The Party parts company with The Voters. Then, delegates might find themselves unmoored from representing the voters.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has hinted at allowing pledged delegates the freedom to betray their pledge.
No doubt, the villainous Ben Ginsberg, the Romney campaign’s chief counsel, will be called on to facilitate the Faustian bargain. Ginsberg lewdly revealed to a repulsed crew at MSNBC how he could make mischief with Trump’s delegates, during the “pre-convention” wheeling-and-dealing stage, much as he did with Ron Paul’s delegates. Host Rachel Maddow—she’s vehemently opposed—appeared both fascinated and appalled, as were her co-hosts.
Republican Party apparatchiks have always put The Party over The People and The People are on to them.
Still, most media—with the laudable exceptions of Sean Hannity and the MSNBC election-coverage team—have united to portray the Republican Party apparatus as an honest broker on behalf of the Republican voter. (Indeed, the “dreaded” Donald has forced some unlikely partners to slip between the sheets together.)
In truth, the GOP is a tool of scheming operatives, intent on running a candidate of their own choosing.
The sheer force of Trump, however, is deforming this political organ out of shape. The Trump Force is exposing for all to see the ugly underbelly of the party delegate system. As party rules go, an American may cast his vote for a candidate, only to have a clever party functionary finagle the voter out of his vote.
Too chicken to admit this to Sean Hannity’s face, Reince Priebus has said as much to friendlies like Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes (who’s having a moment).
Priebus has finally seconded what his lieutenants have been telling media all along: “This is a nomination for the Republican Party. If you don’t like the party,” then tough luck. “The party is choosing a nominee.”
Before Priebus came out as a crook, there was popular Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse. As a “real” conservative, Sasse would like nothing more than to dissolve the Republican voter base and elect another, more compliant segment of supporters, to better reflect his ideas (a sentiment floated, in 1953, by Stalinist playwright Bertolt Brecht, when East Berliners revolted against their Communist Party bosses).
Sasse phrased his goals more diplomatically:
“The American people deserve better than two fundamentally dishonest New York liberals” (Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton).
It fell to MSNBC’s Chuck Todd to put Sasse on the spot:
Let me ask you this. If you have—what is a political party? And I ask it this way. Is it a, is it a party who [sic] gets its principles and its ideals from its leaders, or is it ground up? What if this is the people speaking and the people are basically handing the nomination to Trump? You may not like it, but is it then fundamentally that the Republican party is changing because the people that are members of it have changed?
Sasse, who speaks the deceptive language of fork-tongued conservatives so much better than Trump, conceded that “a political party is a tool, not a religion,” but went on, nevertheless, to dictate his terms to the base:
“Find the right guy.” Trump’s not it.
Exposed by the force of the Trump uprising, this is the ugly, Republican, elections-deciding system. The Constitution has nothing to do with it. Decency and fairness are missing from it. And crooks abound in it. (Prattle about who is and who’s not an authentic conservative is redundant if you’re a crook fixing to steal the nomination.)
Contra Goldberg, this enervating Party Machine—operating on state, national and conventional levels—relates to small r republicanism as the Republican Party rulebook relates to the U.S. Constitution: not at all.
Party Rules have no constitutional imprimatur.
In a banana republic, despots deploy crude tactics to retain power. Banana Republicans are similar, except they hide behind a complex electoral process, maneuvered by high-IQ crooks.
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Posted by JR at 12:32 AM