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GARY JOHNSON MAKES HIS CASE.

Johnson’s op-ed is mostly positive, focusing mainly on his policy ideas while taking just a couple specialized shots at his opponents Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Johnson, who didn’t poll high enough to make the debate stage Monday night, says that his Libertarian Party ticket is the only one that offers Americans “a chance to find common ground.”

Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, suggested they are fiscal conservatives but social liberals. Johnson vetoed more than 750 bills as governor of New Mexico, and said he believes “government does too much and costs too much.” He also scolded the treatment of black Americans by police officers and advocated for criminal justice reform.

“What would government be like in a Johnson administration?” he asked. “First, we would begin the conversation about the size of government by submitting a real balanced budget. Every government program would have to justify its expenditures, every year.”

He added: “Cuts of up to 20 percent or more would be on the table for all programs, including military spending. Changes to Social Security and Medicare must also be considered.”

Johnson called Trump’s immigration proposals “ludicrous,” and implied that a Libertarian president wouldn’t deport “noncriminal undocumented immigrants” or build a wall. He also knocked Clinton on foreign policy for her “muddled mix of intervention, regime change and bombing campaigns.” These, Johnson wrote, created the disasters in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

He makes some solid points.

DISPATCHES FROM THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH:

Fragile Leftists at New York Magazine Take Down Video Calling Lawrence of Arabia Sexist After Backlash: “What is ironic about the social justice criticism of Lawrence of Arabia is that some interpret O’Toole’s performance to intentionally have homosexual undertones and the film’s female editor won an academy award for her role in the film.”

Earlier: NY Post Writer Wants ‘Racist’ Gone with the Wind Banished, but Black America Disagrees.

Comrade Ogilvy could not be reached for comment.

GOOD FOR OBAMA: White House Bucks Gentry Liberals on Zoning.

The Obama administration is leaning on local governments to resist NIMBY rent-seeking and make it easier for the market to developers to come closer to meeting market demand for new housing. . . .

The role for the federal government in housing policy doesn’t extend much beyond exhortation and allocating small grants for mayors to “update” land use policies. But exhortation from this White House could get a hearing where it’s needed: As we’ve noted before, Democrats seem to have a particularly strong preference for heavily zoned communities.

One concern is that the White House offensive on zoning will turn Republicans—who should be natural proponents of stronger property rights and a more market-oriented housing policy—against efforts to lower housing costs by expanding the supply. The 2016 GOP platform contained no mention of the zoning crisis.

This would be a grave failure for a Republican Party looking to disrupt networks of entrenched elite privilege.

It sure would be.

SUCKING IN THE ‘70s: Want to Slow Climate Change? Stop Having Babies, demands Eric Roston, Bloomberg.com’s “Sustainability Editor.”

It’s Zero Population Growth, slight return! Everything old is new again; those of us who grew up in the ‘70s were exposed to such Chicken Little junk science on a near-daily basis. ZPG was even the title of a staggeringly bad sci-fi film starring Oliver Reed and Geraldine Chaplin and released in 1972:

As Wikipedia notes, ZPG was “inspired by the non-fiction best-selling book The Population Bomb by Paul R. Ehrlich,” a book that, along with Rachel Carson’s earlier Silent Spring was a one-two blow to the cerebellum that transformed previously optimistic New Frontier-era liberals into what Fred Siegel described as “Progressives Against Progress” at City Journal a few years ago:

Crankery, in short, became respectable. In 1972, Sir John Maddox, editor of the British journal Nature, noted that though it had once been usual to see maniacs wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed the imminent end of the Earth, they had been replaced by a growing number of frenzied activists and politicized scientists making precisely the same claim. In the years since then, liberalism has seen recurring waves of such end-of-days hysteria. These waves have shared not only a common pattern but often the same cast of characters. Strangely, the promised despoliations are most likely to be presented as imminent when Republicans are in the White House. In each case, liberals have argued that the threat of catastrophe can be averted only through drastic actions in which the ordinary political mechanisms of democracy are suspended and power is turned over to a body of experts and supermen.

Back in the early 1970s, it was overpopulation that was about to destroy the Earth. In his 1968 book The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich, who has been involved in all three waves, warned that “the battle to feed all of humanity is over” on our crowded planet. He predicted mass starvation and called for compulsory sterilization to curb population growth, even comparing unplanned births with cancer: “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people.” An advocate of abortion on demand, Ehrlich wanted to ban photos of large, happy families from newspapers and magazines, and he called for new, heavy taxes on baby carriages and the like. He proposed a federal Department of Population and Environment that would regulate both procreation and the economy. But the population bomb, fear of which peaked during Richard Nixon’s presidency, never detonated. Population in much of the world actually declined in the 1970s, and the green revolution, based on biologically modified foods, produced a sharp increase in crop productivity.

But oh, the fun leftists had terrorizing the rest of us with their sandwich boards back then:

(Classical reference in headline.)

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

As I understand your use of this term, “the media” is essentially shorthand for anything you read, saw or heard today that you disagreed with or didn’t like. At any given moment, “the media” is biased against your candidate, your issue, your very way of life.

But, you know, the media isn’t really doing that. Some article, some news report, some guy spouting off on a CNN panel or at CrankyCrackpot.com might be. But none of those things singularly are really the media.

Fact is, there really is no such thing as “the media.” It’s an invention, a tool, an all-purpose smear by people who can’t be bothered to make distinctions.

“Dear readers: Please stop calling us ‘the media.’ There is no such thing,” Paul Farhi, the Washington Post, Friday.

Thousands of conservatives and even some moderates have complained during my more than three-year term that The Post is too liberal; many have stopped subscribing, including more than 900 in the past four weeks.

It pains me to see lost subscribers and revenue, especially when newspapers are shrinking. Conservative complaints can be wrong: The mainstream media were not to blame for John McCain’s loss; Barack Obama’s more effective campaign and the financial crisis were.

But some of the conservatives’ complaints about a liberal tilt are valid. Journalism naturally draws liberals; we like to change the world. I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.

—The late Deborah Howell, then the Post’s ombudswoman (a job the Post has since eliminated), November 16, 2008.

‘Yeah, I’m In The Media. Screw You.’

—Button worn by the late Ginny Carroll to the 1992 Republican convention. Carroll was a bureau chief for Newsweek, then owned by the Washington Post.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time that Farhi has tried to play these semantic games: As Tim Graham of NewsBusters paraphrased a similar Farhi column in 2012, “WashPost Writes The Public Be Damned: They’re Biased If They Think We’re Biased.”

Perhaps Iowahawk has the best response to Farhi’s latest column, and its smug headline, “Dear readers: Please stop calling us ‘the media.’ There is no such thing.” “Okay, how about we just call you assholes,” he tweeted yesterday.

Or Democrat operatives with bylines. Often the two phrases are quite interchangeable. (Unexpectedly.)

All of which is why, as  Kurt Schlichter writes, “We’re Laughing at the Self-Destruction of the Media Gatekeepers.”

IF HILLARY LOSES, COULD THE DEMOCRATS WIND UP LIKE BRITAIN’S LABOUR PARTY?

What they haven’t been interested in is cisgendered white male liberals. The largely forgotten John Edwards fell by the wayside quickly in 2008, and Martin O’Malley, with credentials similar to those of Bill Clinton and Michael Dukakis, attracted zero support in 2016.

That leaves them with no obvious choices if Clinton loses this year. Their most visible and attractive left-wingers, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, will be over 70 in 2020. Prominent black and Hispanic officeholders tend to represent overwhelmingly Democratic constituencies and have made few of the bows to moderation that made Barack Obama a plausible national candidate in 2008.

It’s possible that a post-2016 Democratic Party could look like Britain’s Labor Party, which has abandoned the New Labor posture of Tony Blair that produced three landslide victories in 1997, 2001 and 2005. Now, under far-left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn, the party seems headed for landslide defeat in 2020.

This is why they’re pulling out all the stops. Well, that, and this: “For Hillary Clinton, winning that election may be a legal necessity to protect her from prosecution.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE “IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN WE DO IT” PARTY:

Shot: “Colin Kaepernick Had No Choice but to Kneel.”

Time magazine, which put Kaepernick on its cover this week after he refused to stand for the National Anthem, has a BLM-obsessed Twitter feed. and wore socks depicting pigs wearing police hats during training camp.

Chaser: “The Seattle Mariners suspended Steve Clevenger without pay for the remainder of the season, moving swiftly Friday to discipline their backup catcher after his set of tweets imploring that protestors in Charlotte should be ‘locked behind bars like animals.’”

USA Today, yesterday.

(Classical reference in headline.)

THE APOPLECTIC LIBERALS: The media is failing, they argue, because it can’t convince the public that Trump is Lucifer.

Curious, isn’t it, that liberals believe that it’s the job of the “objective” press to get Hillary Clinton elected President?

BOOMERANG: Liberals aim for Donald Trump on terrorist rights, accidentally drone strike Obama, instead.

DISPATCHES FROM THE “IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN WE DO IT” PARTY: “Remember how liberals exploded when Ari Fleischer said that ‘Americans need to watch what they say’ in response to a question about an idiotic comment by a Republican congressman about how he’d react to a man who ‘wore a diaper on his head’ and Bill Maher’s calling members of the military cowards. Liberal writers responded as if Fleischer were getting ready to lock critics of President Bush up in internment camps. Well, I bet we won’t see any similar response to Hillary Clinton’s words today accusing Trump of inspiring ISIS.

Related: Hillary on Manhattan bombing: Trump’s rhetoric is giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy.

(Classical reference in headline.)

JOHN PODHORETZ: The liberal establishment’s Clinton obsession is blowing up in its face:

Trump wasn’t defeated in his quest for the nomination, but it wasn’t because the party or the conservative movement lay down and rolled over for him. Indeed, all the lines of attack being raised today by Hillary Clinton against him, from Trump’s footsie-playing with racists to his foundation’s high jinks to Trump University, were introduced into the national discussion and aired out on the Right for months.

Democrats and liberals, by contrast, did not adjudicate the matters now dogging Hillary’s candidacy during the primary season. Instead, they left all opposition to the ministrations of a 74-year-old socialist who wasn’t even a Democrat until 2014.

And his surprising strength in running against her — Sanders ultimately secured 44 percent of the Democratic primary vote — should have made clear that whatever the mainstream Democratic view, ordinary Democrats did see her as shifty, untrustworthy and someone they did not wish to vote for.

Well, here we are. And here you are, Democrats and liberals. There will be a lot of blame to go around if Trump wins. But a significant share will go to you, because you live in a bubble so impervious to reality, you didn’t realize that nominating a widely disliked person with legal and ethical problems might come to bite you in the ass in the end.

Naturally of course, Podhoretz’s warnings will go unheeded inside the DNC-MSM. Which brings us to this bit of eye-rolling hagiography: It might be time for our media to take a breather from non-stop praise of Hillary Clinton,” Mollie Hemingway similarly warns at the Federalist.  “The Washington Post just called her a style icon. Really.”

Atop Mollie’s post? Hillary’s recent Pittsburgh Steelers horizontal striped bumblebee throwback jersey look – which makes for a nice contrast with her silver United Federation of Planets galactic ambassador togs, I guess.

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Click to enlarge, deplorable primitive earthling!

A HACK’S EMAILS HACKED (WITH POTENTIAL HILLARY BOMBSHELL):

The most interesting content in the Powell emails I’ve seen reported on comes, via hearsay, from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. He is said to have informed a donor that Hillary Clinton’s health is so bad she “could barely climb the podium steps” during an event they both attended. Here is the email from Jeffrey Leeds to Powell:

Sheldon Whitehouse, who is a huge Clinton supporter, said they were both giving speeches at the same event a few months back and she could barely climb the podium steps.

This may be the only email of potential significance in the batch. Indeed, it may be a bombshell. (I’ll have more to say about this in a post that will appear later today.)

Not surprisingly, Powell didn’t write it.

Heh. Also among the “18 Things We Learned From Colin Powell’s Leaked Emails,” was the detail that “Powell blamed Ambassador Christopher Stevens for the Benghazi attack,”  Ashe Schow writes at the Washington Examiner:

This one’s pretty sick. Powell said the Benghazi investigation against Clinton was “a stupid witch hunt” and that the “basic fault” for the attack “falls on a courageous ambassador who thought Libyans now love me and I am ok in this very vulnerable place.”

Huh — I’m old enough to remember when liberals frowned on victim blaming.

JOEL KOTKIN: California’s Boom Is Poised To Go Bust — And Liberals’ Dream Of Scandinavia On The Pacific.

BEN DOMENECH: Blame The Elites For The Trump Phenomenon.

Choose the form of your destructor.

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IT’S WORSE THAN YOU KNOW: The Sordid History of Liberals Calling Republicans Racists.

SO DAVID SHUSTER REPORTS DNC INTEREST IN REPLACING HILLARY WITH JOE BIDEN. But this will require a pivot from Hillary’s woman-centric male-bashing campaign.

Flashback: Joe Biden’s Woman-Touching Habit.

Related: Talking Points Memo: Why Does Creepy Uncle Joe Biden Get A Pass From Liberals?

Plus:

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“AMUSING TO WATCH LEFT TURN ON THE POP-CULTURIFICATION OF POLITICS NOW IT’S HURTING THEM.”

Hey, they chose the form of their destructor quite a long time ago.

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ANDREW McCARTHY: No, Classified Information Does Not Always Come with a “Header” – and Hillary Knows It.

Which is why her minions are busy working the refs good and hard.

SHOCK: BILL CLINTON DECLARES HILLARY A RACIST:

“That message, I’ll give you America great again — If you’re a white southerner, you know exactly what it means,” Clinton said.

The former president indicated that Trump’s campaign slogan signaled that he would make white people more culturally [dominant] over other races in the country.

“What it means is I’ll give you the economy you had 50 years ago* and I’ll move you back up the social totem pole and other people down,” Clinton said.

Huh – so all those leftists saying that Bill and Hillary were crypto-racists in 2008 we’re right! Not least of which considering that, as John Hinderaker of Power Line notes, “In 2008, Bill Clinton himself promised that Hillary would…wait for it…make America great again! You can’t make this stuff up:”

* Clinton’s smears of racism aside, what exactly does he have against the American economy overseen by Lyndon Johnson, his fellow southern Democrat? As with much of the decade’s growth, it was fueled by his immediate predecessor’s tax cuts, and really wasn’t too shabby, all things considered. Perhaps the aging former president simply forgot which decade he was campaigning in.

TRUMP CALLS HILLARY ‘TRIGGER-HAPPY,’ ‘UNSTABLE’ AHEAD OF DEFENSE FORUM:

“Unlike my opponent, my foreign policy will emphasize diplomacy, not destruction,” the Republican presidential nominee told veterans and supporters at an event in Philadelphia.

“Her destructive policies have displaced millions of people. Then she has invited these people in the U.S. with no plan to screen them,” Trump said. “Sometimes, it seems there wasn’t a country in the Middle East that Hillary Clinton didn’t want to invade, intervene in or topple.

“She’s trigger-happy and very unstable,” he added, claiming his own foreign policy would be “tempered by realism.”

In late August, a Trump video similarly pushed back against his own charges by noting that “Hillary Clinton needs to address the racist undertones of her 2008 campaign.”And then there are all of the attacks recently on her health.

Note the style of jujitsu going on here? In the past, these have all been far left DNC-MSM attacks on Republican presidential candidates, such as the attacks on Reagan, Papa Bush and Dole over their age and aloofness, and GWB and McCain’s desire for nation building in the Middle East. If Trump keeps at it, he has a chance of inflicting some major damage on Hillary between now and November. Or at the very least, driving the media crazy having to defend attacks in that in prior election years, they helped to enable.

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BEN SHAPIRO: The Left Wins because It Fights Politics on the Field of Morality.

Krauthammer’s Law defines the left’s Manichean worldview thusly: “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil,” Charles Krauthammer wrote in 2002. And viewing someone of a differing ideology as being evil is a very different stance than viewing him as simply uninformed or otherwise somehow misguided.

12 ACTORS, JOURNALISTS AND OTHER LIBERALS WHO MOCKED DONALD TRUMP FOR HANDING OUT PLAY-DOH IN BATON ROUGE: “Snopes fact-checked the visit and found that the 18-wheeler full of supplies donated by Trump was filled with other items such as ‘diapers, baby formula, various toys, cleaning supplies and socks,” Twitchy notes.

When you’re a lefty who’s lost Snopes

WELL, WE KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT ONE: What would media say about naked Hillary statues?

In a country once rocked for two weeks by the inadvertent appearance of Janet Jackson’s nipple at the Super Bowl, media condemnation of the objectively vulgar statue suddenly proved non-existent. The mood in the national press was rather jubilant and lauding.

The tone of the media wouldn’t concern if bias in its coverage of the presidential election and cultural affairs in America was not already so out of control.

Picture, if you will, a naked statue representation of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, erected (erm…) by cover of night in Times Square and on the boardwalks of Los Angeles, the sculptor’s artistic license given free reign. Imagine the sagging breasts, the flabby tum tum, the far-less-than-pert buttocks, and for the coup de grace, creative depictions of the male genitalia. Would the sculptor go very short, or very long?

It is impossible to quantify the rage that our media would unleash on the nation and heap upon sexist and racist, so-called artists. See, there is at this point, no irony in, no shame from, and no end to, the parade of contradictions that mainstream media will foist on its viewers and readers.

When it comes to Trump, the same rules simply do not apply. He cannot speak for himself; the media will speak for him. He cannot be entitled to dignity; the media will strip it from him however they can. And it’s not because he’s Trump. It’s not because he angered the fans of Univision. It’s because he’s Republican. If it were Jeb Bush, the statue in Times Square would have been of Jeb Bush; the media criticism all the same.

Anyone who’s honest will admit that the media has long favored liberals, but the bias has been worse than ever in this election season. Bashing a political figure’s looks, private lives, and even personally attacking their family members is totally fair game — as long as that political figure is a conservative.

Just look at the coverage on Melania Trump’s white dress at the RNC. Elizabeth Wellington, a fashion writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, suggested that Trump’s dress symbolized racism. “To many, that outfit could be another reminder that in the GOP, white is always right,” she wrote.

Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times wrote, “Ms. Trump’s choice of a white dress…sent all sorts of interesting subliminal signals.” Just a week later, Wellington gushed over Hillary Clinton’s all-white DNC outfit. “White is a hue that’s both soft and strong.

But it was appropriate: Her acceptance speech was a coming out of sorts. Clinton’s white pantsuit is telling us she has arrived. This is surreal. A dream come true….”

What would the reaction be if a mainstream journalist made even the slightest negative comment about Clinton’s or Michelle Obama’s attire at the DNC? What if they were called “too old looking,” “too fat,” “too weak”? We all know the answer to this question.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Does Black Success Matter?, asks Thomas Sowell. Not to those who wish to create as many mascots of the anointed* as possible, Milwaukee’s Sheriff David Clarke responds:

Clarke has appeared numerous times on the Fox News Channel, but not so much in other media. On Monday, The Washington Post carried a story about the riots and ignored Clarke, choosing instead to quote Milwaukee’s chief of police, Edward Flynn. I suspect that’s because Clarke speaks some hard truths, which many liberals do not want to hear.

In an appearance Monday on Fox, Clarke, who is African-American, offered his explanation for the major cause of riots in Milwaukee and other cities: “You know what encourages this? The growth of the welfare state. These are underclass behaviors. Seventy percent of the kids born in Milwaukee are born without an engaged father in their life. So I look at the progressive policies that have marginalized black dads. They push them to the side and say ‘you’re not needed.’ Uncle Sam is going to be the dad, he’s going to provide for the kids, he’s going to feed the kids. Uncle Sam has been a horrible father. Uncle Sam does not love these kids. He might keep a little food in their mouths and that is about it. But we all know the importance of an intact family, what it can do to shape the behavior of kids.”

Clarke called progressive policies “a total disaster,” not only in Milwaukee, but in Chicago, Baltimore, New York and elsewhere. “These progressive policies have hit the black community like a nuclear blast and until we reverse this government dependency, that’s what creates all of this and it encourages it by the way, along with some questionable lifestyle choices.”

Read the whole thing.

* Classical reference.

CHOOSE THE FORM OF YOUR DESTRUCTOR. “How Jon Stewart’s Culture of Ridicule Left America Unprepared for Donald Trump,” as explained by Jesse Bernstein of the left-leaning Jewish-themed Tablet magazine:

The process went something like this: Someone said something on Fox News that mainstream liberalism didn’t like; Stewart and/or Colbert aired a sustained critique of the idea and the thinking behind it; liberal internet publications hailed it as the greatest rhetorical victory since Darrow argued for Scopes; liberals’ Facebook feeds full of liberal friends filled up with clips of the takedown. No one learned anything, no one engaged with an idea, and nothing outside of a very specific set of ideas was given any real credence. As Emmet Rensin so perfectly put it:

Finding comfort in the notion that their former allies were disdainful, hapless rubes, smug liberals created a culture animated by that contempt. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy. … Over 20 years, an industry arose to cater to the smug style … and culminated for a time in The Daily Show, a program that more than any other thing advanced the idea that liberal orthodoxy was a kind of educated savvy and that is opponents were, before anything else, stupid.

As Rensin deftly discerns, this sort of intellectual elitism is probably part of the reason that the Democratic Party went from getting 66 percent of the manual laborer vote in 1948 to outpolling the GOP by just 2 points in 2012. It’s the inevitable consequence of eight years of reducing George W. Bush and all of his supporters to dumbass hicks, and choosing to denigrate the poor and uneducated (if only they read The Atlantic!), rather than doing real outreach to them.

But having won WWII, the aging New Dealers of 1948 could at least look to a world-changing accomplishment with pride. (The New Deal itself, on the other hand…) In contrast, as Richard Fernandez writes, the only thing that today’s left can offer middle America is smug itself:

But to anyone outside the echo chamber the joke was on Stewart and his cronies. The average person could see the invidious contrast; how easily the email accounts of 100 Democratic bigwigs could be hacked, with what contemptuous ease someone could make off with the DNC’s emails, steal all the OPM records. They watched as time after time suspects “well known to the police” executed successful terror attacks in Western cities despite the assurances of the laughing men.

They saw ISIS run off with billions of dollars of foreign military aid; saw the “smartest people” in history rolled. They were regaled by the spectacle of Putin booting Obama out of the Middle East with a midget air force and a rustbucket navy. They witnessed a bunch of armed thugs torch a US consulate in Benghazi without the dying ambassador even able to make that 3 am call to Hillary Clinton. They watched Turkey wobble and Europe overrun by migrant tides.

It hit them:  it was these ineffably superior people who were the jokers, the clowns whose only tangible skill was to make fun of everybody so nobody would notice that’s all they were good for.  In fact the only person they could stop with any probability of success and only if they ganged up on him was Donald Trump. That was it.  They can’t see the audience in darkness beyond the footlights heading for the exits.

And with Stewart and Colbert having departed their spawning grounds, “Donald Trump Is Jon Stewart’s True Successor,” Robert Tracinski adds at the Federalist:

The real giveaway is Trump’s employment of a classic Jon Stewart trope: Clown Nose On, Clown Nose Off.

This approach dates back to Stewart’s famous, or infamous, appearance on “Crossfire” in 2004, when “The Daily Show” was still fairly new and “Crossfire” was very, very old. In a fit of insufferable self-righteousness, Stewart denounced the hosts for “hurting America,” I guess because of the way they promoted bitter partisan bickering as a form of entertainment. Because Stewart is all about Democrats being nice to Republicans, don’t you know.

Yes, there was something to this. I did my first TV appearances about this time, and the big revelation to me was that it’s no accident that people always shout each other down on today’s cable news shows. Producers deliberately induce this style because they think it makes the show more exciting than if everybody just waited his turn to engage in some kind of Dullsville substantive discussion.

But in retrospect, I think we can tell which show “hurt America” more. One was just another fairly forgettable cable TV shoutfest. The other had a transformative effect, convincing a whole generation of millennials to get their news and political opinions from one-sided fake news shows run by blatantly partisan comedians. There are now about a dozen of these, all imitating Stewart. If the sin of “Crossfire” was its attempt to turn political debate into entertainment, it had nothing on “The Daily Show,” which replaced political debate with entertainment.

But for a rather limited audience — the Northeast Corridor ruling class, and those who aspired to be, as Thomas Sowell would say, their mascots.

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BLUE ON BLUE: Liberals rally to sink Obama trade deal.

Liberals are amping up their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on and off of Capitol Hill, amid escalating concerns that the package will get an 11th hour vote after the November elections.

Republican leaders in both chambers have said it’s unlikely the mammoth Pacific Rim trade deal will reach the floor this year. But the accord remains a top priority for President Obama in the twilight of his final term, and the critics — leery of pro-TPP members in both parties — aren’t taking anything for granted.

Liberal TPP opponents this month have launched a new wave of petition campaigns and fundraising drives; a free concert series is touring the country through the summer; and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are vowing to do “everything we possibly can,” in the words of Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), to block a vote this year.

“Make no mistake about it, Speaker [Paul] Ryan and the administration are working hand-in-hand to plot a path for the TPP in a lame duck session of Congress,” DeLauro, who’s among the loudest TPP critics, said this week in an email. “They will do everything possible to try to pass the TPP after the election.”

Fueling those concerns, Obama on Friday sent notice to Congress that he intends to deliver TPP implementing legislation to Capitol Hill later in the year — a maneuver dictated by the fast-track trade resolution Congress passed in 2015.

Free trade is good. That doesn’t mean that all trade agreements are good. This one looks to be full of cronyism.

QUESTION ASKED: Is Contemporary Liberalism Creating a Soulless Monoculture?

I’m not sure if “soulless” is the right adjective, as the left is perfectly fine with those who claim to be privately religious, as long as they go along with abortion, gay marriage, gender-neutral restrooms, etc. Not to mention all of the white light alternative spirituality cults that usually lean pretty far to the left. But this passage from Mark Judge of Acculturated is certainly spot on:

We’ve witnessed the a slow and steady debasement of our politics and popular culture—see, for example, those “man on the street” interviews where Americans can’t name who won the Revolutionary War. Enter the unelected bureaucrats who appoint themselves to steer the ship; in other words, we’re liberals and we’re here to help. Inspired by the idea that to be against them is to be “on the wrong wide of history,” both communism and contemporary liberalism demand absolute submission to the progressive plan. All resistance, no matter how grounded in genuine belief or natural law, must be quashed.

Read the whole thing.

BREAKING NEWS FROM JUNE:

Shot: “What Will Liberals Say If Their Harsh Invective Puts Trump in Danger?

—Seth Lipsky, the New York Sun, yesterday.

Chaser: “I BLAME THE CLIMATE OF HATE CREATED BY HILLARY, BERNIE, AND THEIR MEDIA MYRMIDONS: Breaking: 19-year-old man tried to kill Trump at Las Vegas rally, officials say. ‘A federal officer confirmed Monday that the man arrested at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas on Saturday had tried to steal an officer’s gun to kill the presumptive GOP nominee.’ I mean, when you keep comparing a candidate to Hitler, you have to expect this sort of thing. They’re practically accomplices.”

—Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit.com, June 20th.

KURT SCHLICHTER ON THIS ’70S SHOW: Liberals Are Neidermeyer and That Team the Bad News Bears Played.

FRACK YOU, TOO: Trump Boosts Anti-Fracking Measure, Upends Swing State Energy Fight.

In Colorado this week, the Republican nominee for president backed the language of an anti-fracking ballot measure under consideration, catching activists on both sides of the energy fight by surprise.

When reporter Brandon Rittiman asked Trump about the measures during his recent swing through Colorado Springs, Trump’s characteristically off-the-cuff answer put him on the side of environmental activists funded by prominent liberals Jared Polis and billionaire Tom Steyer who want to change the state constitution to allow municipalities to ban oil and gas exploration.

“Well, I’m in favor of fracking, but I think that voters should have a big say in it,” Trump told Rittiman. “I mean, there’s some areas, maybe, they don’t want to have fracking. And I think if the voters are voting for it, that’s up to them… If a municipality or a state wants to ban fracking, I can understand that.”

Between this and the “single payer” initiative, Colorado voters have a rare chance this November to destroy the economy of a great state in one fell swoop.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Soul-Sick Leadership Elite in America.

Too bad that we now have to depend on leaks from Putin moles to know what’s going on in our country, but the donor stroking industry revealed in these emails is anything but secret. Thousands of prominent people are involved, either as strokers or strokees. Many of these people are extremely well known to journalists at major newspapers, and not a few of them are married to journalists.

Yet here is the NYT treating these leaked emails as a window into an unknown world. The unwillingness of the press to delve into the Vanity Fair at the heart of modern progressive politics (there is no such reluctance to peer into the mysteries of Republican finance) is a real problem. . . .

The fatheaded stupidity of rich liberals is the subtext of the hacked emails: how easily they are exploited, how gullible their vanity makes them, how pathetically eager they are for the hollow satisfaction of a seat next to the powerful. In one sense it’s refreshing: great wealth does not in fact make a nincompoop powerful. Also, it suggests that the real problem with our republic is that what should be our leadership elite is soul-sick: vain, restless, easily miffed, intellectually confused, jealous…

The sense that people like this—a mix of knaves and fools—are running both parties has a lot to do with the anger that fueled both the Sanders and the Trump campaigns. There’s a spiritual disease at work in this, and over time it has the ability to wreck not just individual souls, but our free institutions and the rule of law itself.

Indeed.

SLATE: If the Democrats nominated a left-wing Trump, liberals would totally vote for him.

Really? You don’t say. Slate is still owned by the Graham family, former owners of the Washington Post and Newsweek, which at the start of the Obama era in 2009 breathlessly insisted:

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The left has never met a populist strongman it didn’t like – you could write a whole book the topic!

KURT SCHLICHTER: So Conservatives, What Have We Learned From This Trump Thing? “Did we ever actually listen to our people? I mean all our people, not just the people who went to the same colleges as us and who hang with us at the same awesome restaurants and read National Review. I mean the actual voters out there in wherever actual GOP voters live. Did we pay attention to them and their concerns? Did we listen to them about illegal immigration, about the impact of free trade, about the wars we supported? And did we fight? I don’t mean just give lip service to how bad and unwashed liberals are, but really get in there and stand up to these flag-hating, gender-inventing, God-booing jerks? Or did we look down on the very people we were depending on at election time? . . . There’s a lot of class warfare going on here, a lot of backroom snark, with a lot of conservatives who want to believe that the only people who could ever support Donald Trump are knuckle-dragging morons who can’t cut it when it comes to anything besides digging ditches. Too many of us choose cultural solidarity with the liberals we live among over political solidarity with the people we expected to vote with us.”

SCHADENFREUDE IS A DISH BEST SERVED COLD: Five Times Liberals Mocked Mitt Romney For Warning About Russia.

As Iowahawk tweets, “It’s kind of entertaining to watch Democrats suddenly gripped by Reds-under-the-bed anti-Russia paranoia. #TailgunnerHillary.”

YEP:

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FLASHBACK: As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap:

Brooks is, of course, horrified at Trump and his supporters, whom he finds childish, thuggish and contemptuous of the things that David Brooks likes about today’s America. It’s clear that he’d like a social/political revolution that was more refined, better-mannered, more focused on the Constitution and, well, more bourgeois as opposed to in-your-face and working class.

The thing is, we had that movement. It was the Tea Party movement. Unlike Brooks, I actually ventured out to “intermingle” with Tea Partiers at various events that I covered for PJTV.com, contributing commentary to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Examiner. As I reported from one event in Nashville, “Pundits claim the tea partiers are angry — and they are — but the most striking thing about the atmosphere in Nashville was how cheerful everyone seemed to be. I spoke with dozens of people, and the responses were surprisingly similar. Hardly any had ever been involved in politics before. Having gotten started, they were finding it to be not just worthwhile, but actually fun. Laughter rang out frequently, and when new-media mogul Andrew Breitbart held forth on a TV interview, a crowd gathered and broke into spontaneous applause. A year ago (2009), many told me, they were depressed about the future of America. Watching television pundits talk about President Obama’s transformative plans for big government, they felt alone, isolated and helpless. That changed when protests, organized by bloggers, met Mr. Obama a year ago in Denver, Colo., Mesa, Ariz., and Seattle, Wash. Then came CNBC talker Rick Santelli’s famous on-air rant on Feb. 19, 2009, which gave the tea-party movement its name. Tea partiers are still angry at federal deficits, at Washington’s habit of rewarding failure with handouts and punishing success with taxes and regulation, and the general incompetence that has marked the first year of the Obama presidency. But they’re no longer depressed.”

One of the most famous things about the Tea Partiers was that — as befits a relentlessly bourgeois protest movement — they left things cleaner than they found them. Rich Lowry reported from Washington, DC: “Just as stunning as the tableaux of the massive throngs lining the reflecting pool were the images of the spotless grounds afterward. If someone had told attendees they were expected to mow the grass before they left, surely some of them would have hitched flatbed trailers to their vehicles for the trip to Washington and gladly brought mowers along with them. This was the revolt of the bourgeois, of the responsible, of the orderly, of people profoundly at peace with the traditional mores of American society. . . .

Yet the tea party movement was smeared as racist, denounced as fascist, harassed with impunity by the IRS and generally treated with contempt by the political establishment — and by pundits like Brooks, who declared “I’m not a fan of this movement.” After handing the GOP big legislative victories in 2010 and 2014, it was largely betrayed by the Republicans in Congress, who broke their promises to shrink government and block Obama’s initiatives.

So now we have Trump instead, who tells people to punch counterprotesters instead of picking up their trash.

When politeness and orderliness are met with contempt and betrayal, do not be surprised if the response is something less polite, and less orderly. Brooks closes his Trump column with Psalm 73, but a more appropriate verse is Hosea 8:7 “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” Trump’s ascendance is a symptom of a colossal failure among America’s political leaders, of which Brooks’ mean-spirited insularity is only a tiny part. God help us all.

Also:

People who are unhappy with the things Trump is saying need to understand that he’s only getting so much traction because he’s filling a void. If the responsible people would talk about these issues, and take action, Trump wouldn’t take up so much space.

And there’s a lesson for our ruling class there: Calling Trump a fascist is a bit much (fascism, as Tom Wolfe once reported, is forever descending upon the United States, but somehow it always lands on Europe), but movements like fascism and communism get their start because the mechanisms of liberal democracy seem weak and ineffectual and dishonest. If you don’t want Trump — or, perhaps, some post-Trump figure who really is a fascist — to dominate things, you need to stop being weak and ineffectual and dishonest. . . .

Likewise, it’s a bit hard to take people seriously about Trump’s threat to civil liberties when President Obama was just endorsing an unconstitutional gun ban, when his attorney general was threatening to prosecute people for anti-Muslim speech (a threat later walked back, thankfully) and when universities and political leaders around the country are making clear their belief that free speech is obsolete.

Hearing that Yale professor Erika Christakis won’t be teaching at Yale because of the abuse she received over a respectful but non-PC email, former DNC chair Howard Dean tweeted: “Free speech is good. Respecting others is better.” To his credit, CNN’s Jake Tapper responded: “Of course only one of them is enshrined in the Constitution.”

But Twitter humorist IowaHawk had the last word: ”With the exception of POTUS, the Atty General, both leading presidential candidates, the media, and universities, Americans love free speech.”

If you wish to hold fascism, or even just Trumpism, at bay, then we need elites who are trustworthy, who can be counted on to protect the country, and who respect the Constitution even when it gets in the way of doing something they want to do. By failing to live up to these standards, they have chosen their “Destructor.” Let’s hope that they haven’t chosen ours, as well.

Okay, I have to admit, so far it’s not looking great.

FLASHBACK: 5 Times Liberals Mocked Mitt Romney For Warning About Russia.

This never gets old:

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WHERE IS THE CIVILITY IN POLITICAL JOURNALISM?

At the beginning of the Republican National Convention last week, NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer confronted presidential nominee Donald Trump about dialing down the intensity of the passions percolating at the event. “Would you be willing to make a pledge to speak to everyone involved in this convention and say, ‘Please tone down the rhetoric’?” Lauer urged. “Can you say to the people who are going to take to that podium this week, ‘No personal attacks, no vitriol, keep it civil?”

The irony there is that political journalists themselves, Lauer included, have become as inflammatory as the politicians they lecture about incivility. In the aftermath of last month’s Orlando terrorist massacre at a gay nightclub, for example, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper badgered the increasingly offended Attorney General of Florida interminably about her stance on gay marriage. More recently, Fox News’ Shepherd Smith berated Gov. Bobby Jindal for using the “divisive” phrase “All lives matter.” CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, who wears her biases as openly as her keffiyeh, hammered away contentiously at British MP Daniel Hannan for nine minutes over the recent Brexit vote.

Choose the form of your destructor.

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WASHINGTON POST’S JULIET EILPERIN TO DNC: STORY ‘RUNNING ON A1 TOMORROW… YOU ALL WILL BE TOTALLY FINE WITH IT.’

Meanwhile at the American Thinker, “In short, [Greg] Sargent is a DNC-Clinton shill on the payroll of the Washington Post.”

Flashback to the Post’s then-ombudswoman in mid-November of 2008: “Journalism naturally draws liberals; we like to change the world. I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.”

Back in 2010, I wrote a lengthy post rounding up the myriad woes at the Post over the previous five years, with a headline that now seems prophetic in light of who is driving Wikileaks: Through a Gimlet Eye: Studying the Washington Post Kremlinologist-Style.

BUT OF COURSE: Tolerance Was A Lie The Left Used To Get Power.

For decades, liberals, with the help of the mainstream media, have championed tolerance of people groups and ideas, specifically on race, sexuality, and social welfare programs. Much of their success has been due to their claimed love for tolerance and big-tent pretense.

Yet it’s becoming increasingly clear many liberals don’t actually practice the very tolerance they advocate. They hold a double standard for one set of progressives—the elite media and politicians—and another for the rest of society, which undermines the Left’s credibility. That once-banner statement for liberalism—“I disagree but will defend to the death your right to say what you think—is now dead, replaced with a naked, de-principled thirst for power. Those slogans were useful bait while they lasted. Now for the reality show.

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: College rifle, pistol-shooting clubs under fire, underfunded amid gun debate.

Mass shootings and increasing politicization of the gun debate have left the activity marginalized, especially at eastern schools “staffed by liberals who have never touched a firearm in their lives,” according to the Young America’s Foundation spokeswoman Emily Jashinsky.

“[As gun issues] become a hotter topic and the more conservatives voice their opinions, the more liberals will try to stifle them,” Jashinsky said, adding that universities are “the most insulated bubbles of leftist thought.”

Do tell.

REVOLT ON THE LEFT: Liberals press Clinton not to pick Kaine for VP.

Liberal Democrats are launching an eleventh-hour campaign against Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) joining Hillary Clinton’s presidential ticket.

The advocates say Kaine, a moderate who’s risen to the top of the VP shortlist, should be disregarded both for his positions on trade and for joining an effort this week to deregulate some of the nation’s largest banks.

“Let’s be really clear: It should be disqualifying for any potential Democratic vice presidential candidate to be part of a lobbyist-driven effort to help banks dodge consumer protection standards and regulations designed to prevent banks from destroying our economy,” Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, a liberal advocacy group, said Thursday in a statement.

“Our presidential ticket cannot beat the billionaire bigot by simply being not Donald Trump. To win in November, our ticket needs to have an unquestionably strong record in the fight against income inequality, one of the defining issues of the 2016 election.”

The advocates are warning that a centrist like Kaine would send the wrong message to the liberals constituting the Democrats’ base — many of whom had supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the primary — and dampen turnout at the polls in November.

If Trump’s such a bigot, why was Hillary at his wedding? Oh, right, she was paid to, same reason she does everything else.

LIBERALISM: IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN WE DO IT: Liberals Shriek That Pat Smith Has Absolutely No Moral Authority To Mention Hillary Clinton’s Negligent Murder of Her Son.

(Classical reference in headline.)

HILLARY EMBRACES LIBERAL EXTREMISM, Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

Democrats are fond of calling their Republican counterparts “extremists.” They’ve been deploying the charge since 2010 but, having lost control of the House, Senate, over 30 governorships, and 900 legislative seats in that period, they don’t seem inclined to revise this strategy. Rarely do Republicans reply in kind. When they do, it’s even rarer that the political press uncritically echoes the charge that Democrats have become too extreme for middle America. That is no boon for Democrats, though. The party that quite nearly chose a self-described socialist to lead it has lost all perspective. There may be no better example of that inclination than Hillary Clinton’s latest campaign promise—one that has been applauded by her fellow liberals: a constitutional amendment to restrict free speech.

That is the only way to characterize what Clinton has proposed, but it’s a description that is so self-evidently damning you’ll rarely see it in the press. “I will propose a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United,” Clinton pledged in a video her campaign released on Saturday. Clinton told progressive attendees of the annual “Netroots Nation” conference that, within one month of taking office, she planned to propose and advance an amendment that would re-impose the McCain-Feingold campaign finance restrictions, which were found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2010.

Responsible political observers dismiss this plan as simple pandering to an activist base of the Democratic Party, but that gives pundits and the press license to decline to dissect this anti-democratic proposal and its appeal to millions of liberals. Clinton and her liberal supporters believe the First Amendment to the Constitution must be curtailed to eliminate protections on certain speech.

Hillary’s entire career has been dedicated to taking things away from you “on behalf of the common good,” to borrow from her rare moment of candor in 2004. It’s the intellectual milieu she’s been steeped in for her entire adult life.

STACY McCAIN: Make America Hate Again — Liberals surrender to fear as polls show Hillary losing ground:

“Anyone who supports Donald Trump is a traitor to the American idea,” Charles Pierce, the left-wing political blogger for Esquire declared Thursday, calling the upcoming GOP convention “a four-day celebration of the ritual suicide of American democracy.”

That’s pretty rich coming from Pierce, the same journalist who “won” the quote of the year at the Media Research Center’s annual Dishonors awards for 2003 after writing in the Boston Globe, “If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.”

More from McCain:

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow told an interviewer she is preparing for a possible Trump presidency by “reading a lot about what it was like when Hitler first became chancellor.”

Note what enflames those employed by MSNBC: A middle-aged New York real estate tycoon and media gadfly (a former employee of NBC, their parent company, to boot) is Hitler, but Islamic jihad in Nice is merely a “Deadly Truck Crash.”

Back to Stacy:

No sooner had media outlets reported that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence would be Trump’s vice-presidential pick than the socialist magazine Mother Jones rushed out an online report with the headline: “Mike Pence Has Led a Crusade Against Abortion Access and LGBT Rights.”

Eight years after Obama ran on a slogan of “Hope and Change,” Democrats now seem prepared to campaign on a theme of Hate and Fear. With the eager assistance of the liberal media, Team Clinton is trying to convince voters that Republicans are “un-American,” and that Trump is Hitler. The fearmongering attack on Pence was evidently intended to make gullible liberals imagine that the Republican governor has turned Indiana into a Taliban-like regime of fundamentalist repression. However, despite his avowed social-conservative leanings — Pence calls himself “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order” — his governorship has been more defined by Pence’s budget-hawk fiscal conservatism. It’s true that conservative Republicans have tried to defend the state’s wholesome Midwest values against gay-rights radicalism, and it’s also true that Pence is solidly pro-life. So what? The GOP platform has been opposed to abortion for more than 40 years, and recent controversies involving “LGBT Rights” have raised legitimate concerns about religious liberty. Any other Republican who had been picked as Trump’s running mate would have been demonized the same way Pence is being demonized. This is simply what the media do — promote whatever message Democrats want them to promote and call it “objective journalism.”

Thirty years of “Objective” journalism and the largely Democrat-controlled media overculture is what created Trump. It will be fascinating to watch how it continues to feed his “unexpected” rise – possibly even to November and beyond.

LIBERALS ARE SHOCKED — SHOCKED! — THAT GINSBURG WOULD ACT LIKE A LIBERAL HACK.

A double-dose of “unexpectedly.”

JONAH DOES POLITICAL JIU-JITSU: The conservative principle behind Black Lives Matter, as explored by Jonah Goldberg in the L.A. Times:

Liberals have seemingly boundless faith in the power and nobility of government, but many draw a line around cops, creating one of the strangest ironies of modern liberalism: Many of those most eager to support new laws and new regulations suddenly lose faith when it comes to the government employees charged with enforcing them. It’s particularly amazing given that law enforcement personnel typically receive far more training than your typical bureaucrat or legislator.

Just as conservatives need to recognize the ills of police abuse, liberals need to acknowledge that the first obligation of the state is to defend the safety and property of its citizens, and that nothing undermines the legitimacy of the law more than vilifying those sworn to uphold it.

As lots of people have pointed out, the modern left has devolved down two opposing statements: All cops are potential racists and can’t be trusted. But only the police should have guns.

So which is it?

DALLAS OBSERVER: One Dallas Cop’s Experience and Thoughts on Thursday Night.

To compound issues a continuation of the demonstration sprung up in front of a convenience store and the crowd there quickly grew from 30-50 to 150-200 angry demonstrators shouting things at assembled officers who stood in a skirmish line between the store and demonstrators. We worked to funnel additional resources there as well as divert some DART busses to provide transportation away for those who needed it.

Some got on and some stayed to hurl insults at officers. One officer later told me “I tried to tell them that we were there to protect them and the guy said, ‘Protect us hell! You guys are the targets tonight!’” and started laughing.

Black Lives Matter is acting like a racist hate group. You can only imagine how the press would treat Tea Partiers or Trump supporters who acted this way.

Related: The Violent Tone of Black Lives Matter Has Alienated Even Liberals Like Me.

IN THIS BANANA REPUBLIC, MRS. CLINTON COULDN’T GET INDICTED IF SHE TRIED, Kevin D. Williamson writes, comparing James Comey’s “oogedy-boogedy about how she didn’t really break the law” with the career-ending fates of Republicans Tom DeLay and Rick Perry:

DeLay and Perry were indicted in Travis County, Texas, which is run by Democrats who like to make ritual sacrifices of the occasional Republican politician. They know that they can do this with no fear of sanction from, say, Barack Obama’s Justice Department. The Democratic party in Texas is a criminal enterprise (my friend Michael Walsh describes the Democrats at large as a crime syndicate masquerading as a political party, which isn’t inaccurate) that is sustained by corruption and old-fashioned ward politics that would have been familiar to a Chicago boss in the 1920s or a denizen of Tammany Hall. The Democrats happen to run Washington, too, which is why Hillary Rodham Clinton knows that she can violate the law, at will, for obvious personal political reasons, with very little fear of official sanction. And the fact is, the Democrats prefer their politicians a little crooked, a little dirty. It helps them, a Chavista party constrained mainly by the temperamental (rather than ideological) conservatism of the American electorate, to make up in viciousness what they lack in policy ideas appropriate to the 21st century.

That lack of policy ideas isn’t really very important. The Left isn’t interested in policy; it is interested in power, and the things you can do with it, meaning rewarding one’s friends and punishing one’s enemies. Barack Obama has been, in his less guarded moments, fairly plain about that. For the Left, all justice is Wonderland justice: decision first, arguments afterward as necessary. There is seldom if ever any doubt about how the so-called liberals on the Supreme Court (who are not liberals at all) will vote on any question: They will vote the way the Left wants them to. Elena Kagan, you may recall, testified in her confirmation hearings that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage lurking in the penumbras to be discovered. Once confirmed, she reached a little deeper and pulled one out. Conservatives can never really guess which way a Kennedy or a Roberts is going to come down on a question, but you know how the judges of the Left are going to vote. Arguments do not matter; only outcomes matter.

Which brings us to this charming quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “It’s likely that the next president, whoever she will be, will have a few appointments to make.” The article containing it is headlined, “AP interview: Ginsburg doesn’t want to envision a Trump win.”

As with Nixon in ’68, I suspect after last night, a lot more people are envisioning it. Or as this post from May by John Hinderaker at Power Line was headlined, “Electing Trump, One Riot at a Time.”

ROSS DOUTHAT: The Myth Of Cosmopolitanism:

Indeed elite tribalism is actively encouraged by the technologies of globalization, the ease of travel and communication. Distance and separation force encounter and immersion, which is why the age of empire made cosmopolitans as well as chauvinists — sometimes out of the same people. (There is more genuine cosmopolitanism in Rudyard Kipling and T. E. Lawrence and Richard Francis Burton than in a hundred Davos sessions.) . . .

But it’s a problem that our tribe of self-styled cosmopolitans doesn’t see itself clearly as a tribe: because that means our leaders can’t see themselves the way the Brexiteers and Trumpistas and Marine Le Pen voters see them.

They can’t see that what feels diverse on the inside can still seem like an aristocracy to the excluded, who look at cities like London and see, as Peter Mandler wrote for Dissent after the Brexit vote, “a nearly hereditary professional caste of lawyers, journalists, publicists, and intellectuals, an increasingly hereditary caste of politicians, tight coteries of cultural movers-and-shakers richly sponsored by multinational corporations.”

They can’t see that paeans to multicultural openness can sound like self-serving cant coming from open-borders Londoners who love Afghan restaurants but would never live near an immigrant housing project, or American liberals who hail the end of whiteness while doing everything possible to keep their kids out of majority-minority schools.

They can’t see that their vision of history’s arc bending inexorably away from tribe and creed and nation-state looks to outsiders like something familiar from eras past: A powerful caste’s self-serving explanation for why it alone deserves to rule the world.

Critical self-awareness is not one of their strengths.

QUESTION ASKED: “Have you noticed that many liberals seem far more perturbed about Bill Clinton’s talk with Loretta Lynch than they are with anything Hillary Clinton has done?”

PROTEST: A wall will be built for Donald Trump in Colorado, and liberals will pay for it.

I’m unconvinced that the result won’t be the opposite of what the protestors intend.

LIBERALS SAY ISIS IS TO ISLAM WHAT THE KKK IS TO CHRISTIANITY.

Klan-admirer Woodrow Wilson (D-NJ) could not be reached for comment.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: NJ third grader mentions brownies being served at class party, called racist by another student, police dispatched:

On June 16, police were called to an unlikely scene: an end-of-the-year class party at the William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingswood.

A third grader had made a comment about the brownies being served to the class. After another student exclaimed that the remark was “racist,” the school called the Collingswood Police Department, according to the mother of the boy who made the comment.

The police officer spoke to the student, who is 9, said the boy’s mother, Stacy dos Santos, and local authorities.

Dos Santos said that the school overreacted and that her son made a comment about snacks, not skin color.

“He said they were talking about brownies. . . . Who exactly did he offend?” dos Santos said.

No one of course, but like the Junior Spies in Orwell’s 1984, it’s always good for “Progressives” to use hapless kids to keep the rest of the proles on their toes. As Jonah Goldberg wrote in 2008’s Liberal Fascism, “Because liberals have what Thomas Sowell calls an ‘unconstrained vision,’ they assume everyone sees things through the same categorical prism:”

So once again, as with the left’s invention of social Darwinism, liberals assume their ideological opposites take the “bad” view to their good. If liberals assume blacks—or women, or gays—are inherently good, conservatives must think these same groups are inherently bad.

This is not to say that there are no racist conservatives. But at the philosophical level, liberalism is battling a straw man. This is why liberals must constantly assert that conservatives use code words—because there’s nothing obviously racist about conservatism per se. Indeed, the constant manipulation of the language to keep conservatives—and conservatives—and other non-liberals—on the defensive is a necessary tactic for liberal politics. The Washington, D.C., bureaucrat who was fired for using the word “niggardly” correctly in a sentence is a case in point. The ground must be constantly shifted to maintain a climate of grievance. Fascists famously ruled by terror. Political correctness isn’t literally terroristic, but it does govern through fear. No serious person can deny that the grievance politics of the American left keeps decent people in a constant state of fright—they are afraid to say the wrong word, utter the wrong thought, offend the wrong constituency.

Which is why everything must be racist, right down to the food on your kids’ plates.

Related: Needless to say, racism is also a particularly useful cudgel for “Progressives” at election time.

BREXIT: WHY ARE LIBERALS SO HATEFUL? “The Left in the U.K. isn’t exactly like the Left in America, but its hateful nature is familiar,” Paul Mirengoff writes at Power Line, quoting crazed lefty “Remain” supporters hysterically chanting “scum, scum, scum” to likely future prime minister Boris Johnson this morning as he was leaving his house with police protection. “Brexit supporters displayed nothing like Remain’s venom. Take, for instance, Elizabeth Hurley:”

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Well, if I had any doubts about supporting Brexit before, I’d say that settles them…

On a more serious note, it’s worth adding that Brexit wasn’t a right versus left phenomenon; as Jeff of Ace of Spades’ Decision Desk tweets, “Real story of #Brexit on electoral level is complete revolt of working-class Labour voters v. EU. Leave won MASSIVELY in Labour heartlands,” adding, “Birmingham? Tyneside? Hartlepool? Sunderland? PRACTICALLY ALL OF WALES? Working-class Brits rejected Labour “remain” argument wholesale” and that “Leave” won “literally every single region of England and Wales w/lone exception of London. Even super-solid Labour Northeast.”

REMINDER: IDIOCRACY WAS A WARNING, NOT A HOW-TO GUIDE. “The Competition to Say The Stupidest Possible Thing Has Been Unusually Fierce Today,” not least of which was this:

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There’s more at the link, alas. Or as Hillary would read off her stage script, “Sigh.” As James Lileks writes:

The Internet didn’t change people. People changed the internet. We always thought it would empower everyone to have a voice, but those were the early heady days. As it turned out, we underestimated the extent to which self-righteousness, ignorance, historical illiteracy, and the utter confidence of perpetually adolescent brains would form a free-floating thundercloud of perpetual contempt. We all know this. In some way I think we all hate the internet.

To be fair, it’s an incredible mirror on how our society has been “fundamentally transformed,” to coin a phrase. The Internet both empowers malignant narcissists who want to virtue signal in the worst way possible, and it also shines a flashlight on them for the rest of us.

Which leads to: “When news broke a young man tried to assassinate Trump, liberals had a truly repulsive reaction.”

But not an unexpected one. Malignant narcissism is not a healthy way to live.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Obamanomics: R.I.P.

The previously bullish Fed finally and openly acknowledged that sluggish growth is the long term new normal for America. Secular stagnation is here to stay. The growth rate has limped out of the 2008-09 recession at a 2 percent pace now for seven years. The Joint Economic Committee of Congress tells us a normal recovery gives us about 3.5 percent growth and the Reagan and JFK booms were closer to 4 percent. So the GDP today thanks to President Obama is about $2 to $3 trillion smaller than it should be. This is roughly the equivalent of losing the entire annual output of every business and worker in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana combined.

R.I.P.? But Hillary Clinton’s just-revealed plan is for more of the same.

PAGING MR. ORWELL:It’s hard to recall a moment when the American Justice Department has looked so ridiculous as in its censoring transcripts of the 911 calls from the gunman at Orlando. George Orwell couldn’t have made it up.”

Malcolm Muggeridge famously said that there is no way any satirist can compete with reality for its pure absurdity. This administration has been a toxic combination of Orwell meets Muggeridge’s Law right from the start.

And its media enablers are thrilled to play along! “AG Loretta Lynch: Orlando gunman’s motive may never be known,” CBS reports with a straight face.

“Unexpectedly,” considering that the president of its news division is David Rhodes, brother to Ben “Lonesome” Rhodes, the now infamous “Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru” before adding to this pitiful administration’s ongoing woes.

Related: When Terrorists Can’t Be Muslims.

SQUARING THE CIRCLE: Why Liberals Support Muslims Who Hate Everything They Stand For.

As Mark Steyn wrote a decade ago, “So you’re nice about gays and Native Americans? Big deal. Anyone can be tolerant of the tolerant, but tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure to the multiculti- masochists:”

And so Islamists who murder non-Muslims in pursuit of explicitly Islamic goals are airbrushed into vague, generic “rebel forces.” You can’t tell the players without a scorecard, and that’s just the way the Western media intend to keep it. If you wake up one morning and switch on the TV to see the Empire State Building crumbling to dust, don’t be surprised if the announcer goes, “Insurging rebel militant forces today attacked key targets in New York. In other news, the president’s annual Ramadan banquet saw celebrities dancing into the small hours to Mullah Omar And His All-Girl Orchestra . . .”

Substitute Orlando’s Pulse Disco for the Empire State Building, and that passage neatly sums up how the DNC-MSM behaved over the past week.

EVERYTHING SEEMINGLY IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: Nothing gets past the AP — in their Drudge-linked column, “DIVIDED AMERICA: Constructing our own intellectual ghettos,” columnist David Bauder suddenly notices that Americans like having choices where to consume their news and opinion:

In a simpler time, Albrecht and Dearth might have gathered at a common television hearth to watch Walter Cronkite deliver the evening news.

But the growth in partisan media over the past two decades has enabled Americans to retreat into tribes of like-minded people who get news filtered through particular world views. Fox News Channel and Talking Points Memo thrive, with audiences that rarely intersect. What’s big news in one world is ignored in another. Conspiracy theories sprout, anger abounds and the truth becomes ever more elusive.

I’m not sure if Cronkite is your go-to guy for a callback to a purer, better age, considering that at various times during his lengthy career as anchor at CBS, he claimed that Barry Goldwater was a crypto-Nazi, America had lost the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, and that a new ice age was on the way. After he stepped down as anchorman, he gave yammered about one-world government and told Larry King on CNN in late October of 2004 that George Bush had Osama bin Laden on ice in order for him to dial-up speeches near the end of the election cycle, perhaps kept in the basement of the Ministry of Defense next to Austin Powers, Evel Knievel, and Vanilla Ice.

The month before Cronkite’s on-air meltdown with Larry King, his successor Dan Rather famously self-immolated over George Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service. But Rather also did his best at the start of his presidency to make it seem illegitimate:

“Florida’s Republican Secretary of State is about to announce the winner — as she sees it and she decrees it — of the state’s potentially decisive 25 electoral votes.”
“The believed certification — as the Republican Secretary of State sees it.”
“She will certify — as she sees it — who gets Florida’s 25 electoral votes.”
“The certification — as the Florida Secretary of State sees it and decrees it — is being signed.”

All the while claiming: media bias — who me?!

Fortunately, technology began increasingly to allow for alternatives. Alvin Toffler was writing about the “demassification” of mass media and how it might impact our culture during the very early days of cable TV in his 1980 book, The Third Wave. In 2006, I wrote an article for the New Individualist titled Atlas Mugged on how the Blogosphere was born due to bipartisan loathing of how newspapers and network TV news report the news.

As I wrote, neither side of the political aisle was happy with an “objective” media, which was a necessary fiction for radio and television to maintain for the first three quarters of the 20th century. This was a time when the first radio, and later TV networks were a massively expensive proposition, hence only three over-the-air national commercial networks. However, as a byproduct of their dramatic cultural influence, most cities were gradually reduced after WWII to only being served by a couple of newspapers. By the 1970s, the amount of news services producing content was remarkably small, despite an era that had no shortage of crises to report.

The arrival of first Rush and then in rapid succession Fox, Drudge, and the Blogosphere were a necessary and long overdue counterbalance to a left-leaning media posing as “objective.” Speaking of which, note that the AP still holds itself out as being objective, despite a howler such as this in Bauder’s column:

By 2002, Fox had raced past CNN to become the top-rated news network.

This was the beginning of a golden age of partisan media, though Rush Limbaugh had started a boom of conservative talk radio in the early 1990s.

There wasn’t anything to compare on the left, at least until summer 2006 when MSNBC host Keith Olbermann read about a speech where Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld equated Iraq War opponents to pre-World War II appeasers. The next night, Olbermann angrily denounced Rumsfeld. Olbermann half-expected his boss to fire him, but management instead saw viewers had responded.

“The next day he came into my office and said, ‘could you do one of those every night, buddy?'” Olbermann recalled.

His show became home for disaffected liberals in the Bush administration’s final years. MSNBC hired Maddow and eventually made the entire network left-leaning. It didn’t really stick: Low ratings forced a turn to straight news in daytime the last two years, but vestiges of partisanship remain.

“There wasn’t anything to compare on the left” – other than NBCABCPBSCBSCNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and NPR. Not to mention, by 2006 a host of leftwing magazines, Websites, blogs and Internet forums. Plus Air America, which ran from 2004 to 2010 and served as MSNBC’s farm team.

But wait, there’s more:

Liberals like Jeff Cohen, communications professor at Ithaca College, believe that conservatives will always dominate mass media because of corporate ownership.

“Conservatives…dominate mass media,” despite the fact that journalists have been a reliably monolithic Democrat voter block since at least 1964.

And speaking of posing as objective when you’re really a group of Democrat activists with bylines, note the headline on this post, which is also a favorite leitmotif of James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web” column. It was an AP headline in June of 2008, Democrat propaganda pretending to be news. Perhaps if AP had truly been worried about  readers departing to “intellectual ghettos,” they wouldn’t have worked so hard to drive them away in the first place.

FLASHBACK:  “It’s really amazing how liberals are finding a way to blame Christians for the actions of the Orlando terrorist, who was, 1) gay, 2) Muslim, 3) Democrat, and 4) racist. But then that’s what they did that time when a crazed liberal gay activist tried to shoot up the Family Research Council. Remember that? He literally said he wanted to kill everyone and then ‘smear Chick-Fil-A in the victim’s faces’… So when gay liberal Muslims kill gays, it’s our fault, and also when a gay liberal tries to kill Christians, it’s our fault. I guess they’re consistent?”

As Jonah Goldberg wrote yesterday, there’s a reason why “Orlando Shooting Reaction Has the Feel of Eternal Recurrence.”

A GENTLE REMINDER FROM DAVID FRENCH: Christians Didn’t Commit the Orlando Massacre.

If you read just the major news outlets, there might be some confusion about that.

HOW TO TEAR A NATION APART: Appeal To Liberal Self-Regard:

After 9/11 and the Boston Bombings, Americans grieved together and comforted each other. They resolved to fight their attackers as one nation. Insofar as there was partisan dissension, it was mostly contained to cranks on either side. But the attacks at San Bernardino and Orlando have yielded an altogether different response, dominated by hostility, mistrust, and outrageous partisan attacks. Part of this is because the latter two attacks took place during a hotly-contested election season that has brought fevered populism to the fore on both sides of the aisle. But perhaps the most important reason Americans have been divided, rather than united, in the face of terror over the last year is simply because the terrorists elected to kill their victims with bullets. If Omar Mateen had planted Tsarnaev-style pressure-cooker bombs in the crowded Pulse nightclub on Saturday night, he may well have claimed just as many casualties. But the attack would not have immediately set off a political firestorm over gun control.

Guns occupy a critical space in America’s increasingly acerbic culture wars, a manifestation of the broader social convection currents taking place below the surface. For Jacksonians who are losing faith in the ability of established institutions to preserve order, the Second Amendment is a bulwark against totalitarian movements, like Islamism, that would undermine American liberty. Under this deeply held view, attacks by ISIS-enthusiasts strengthen, rather than weaken, the case for gun rights. But for cosmopolitan liberals, gun rights are an anachronism—a symbol of all the wrong-headed views espoused by working class whites. Set these two warring camps against each other in the context of an ongoing terror threat, and you push an already divided society even further down the path of tribalism and fracture.

The attackers in Orlando and San Bernardino accomplished something the attackers in Boston and New York didn’t: They drove a wedge between patriotic Americans, and managed to ensure that our grieving over the dead was polluted from the outset by a din of vicious political assaults. By any measure, they and their fellow travelers must consider this a great success. Perhaps terrorists who choose to carry out their massacres with guns are actually “taking advantage” of American society in a rather different way than many liberals think.

Required reading: Flyover Nation: You Can’t Run a Country You’ve Never Been To.

OUR SAD POLITICAL CLASS: Watch Joe Biden talk about naked women at Michelle Obama’s White House Women’s Summit. “No man has a right to touch her!”

Flashback: Joe Biden’s Woman-Touching Habit.

Related: Talking Points Memo: Why Does Creepy Uncle Joe Biden Get A Pass From Liberals?

Plus:

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WHEN “RAPE CULTURE” IS REAL: Predatory Peacekeepers – UN Soldiers Are Committing Widespread Child Rape. “The Blue Helmets attacked the very people they were sent to protect. Children as young as 7 have been targeted, with a girl forced to perform “oral sex on French soldiers in exchange for a bottle of water and a sachet of cookies. Three girls reported being stripped, tied up, and forced to engage in bestiality with a dog by a French military commander. The brutality of this systematic child sexual abuse is entirely at odds with the humanitarian values the UN claims to uphold. Yet UN troops have a history of exploiting people in communities shattered by war and natural disaster, an institutional failure which is yet to see any meaningful resolution. From the international powers-that-be down to right-on liberals, many a blind eye has been turned.”

SPENGLER: How Anti-Semitism Became Respectable Again:

When did the old anti-Semitism return? For half a century the horror of a million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis stopped the mouths of the anti-Semites, but that memory has worn off. What Hecht’s interlocutor believed in 1944, most liberals believe today, not to mention the vast majority of Europeans. Yes, the Arabs hate Jews, and express this hatred in a barbaric way, they will allow, but that is because Israel has provoked the hatred.

Tripwires that once seemed taboo are being crossed every day.

Read the whole thing.

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GAWKER IS BANKRUPT, AND NOW LIBERALS ARE PRETENDING TO CARE ABOUT FREE SPEECH:

Take the illiberal New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, a proponent of censorship who is considering using racketeering charges against global warming skeptics. A government official who wants to punish people for thought crimes now has the temerity to talk about freedom of the press. Gawker, by the way, once favorably wrote about arresting climate change deniers. Unlike Michael Mann and Bill Nye and a bunch of AGs, there are those who believe political speech should be protected, and yet also that media organizations should not be immune from the law.

It’s worth once again pointing out that the trial was okayed by judge, the verdict was rendered by a jury, and the decision was upheld by a circuit judge. In no sense does this suit fall under the concept of “frivolous.” Yet liberal writers do not like the outcome mostly because Thiel is politically unacceptable to them and because they don’t like that he was driven by revenge.

Read the whole thing.

JONAH GOLDBERG ON KATIE COURIC’S GUN DOCUMENTARY LIE: For Liberals, All’s Fair When Starting a ‘Conversation.’

The conversation we should be having is about how Katie Couric is a lying weasel, and so is anyone who hires her. Plus:

Almost invariably, when I hear calls for “frank talk,” “honest dialogue,” or a new “national conversation,” I immediately translate it as, “Let the next chapter of indoctrination begin.” It’s a way of luring dissenters from political correctness out into the open so they can be smashed over the head with a rock.

Remember, behind every obvious double standard is a hidden single standard. For instance, earlier this year, The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer came out with a book attacking libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch called Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. When asked by NPR’s Steve Inskeep what the nefarious supervillains of her screed were really up to, she ominously explained, “What they’re aiming at is changing the conversation in the country.”

Well, so are left-wing billionaire George Soros and his minions. So is Mayer herself. So are all of these campus fraudsters and activists. And so is Katie Couric. But when someone on the other side of the ideological chasm questions the official narrative, they must be demonized or otherwise silenced. Why? Because the last thing progressives want is to start an honest conversation. They want to have their conversations — and only their conversations.

This is why Trump resonates with so many people — because “mainstream” Republican politicians (and, all too often, pundits) play along with this instead of challenging it.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

—Headline, the Huffington Post, Monday.

—Headline, the Huffington Post, January 15, 2011.

As Rod Dreher writes in response to the Huffington Post’s recent call for violence, “Remember this when right-wing mobs shut down Democratic events. Remember this when President Trump gets elected on a law and order platform, positioning himself as the only thing standing between law-abiding Americans and these violent left-wing hysterics. What’s going to happen to these Social Justice Warriors when they find that the general public is not as spineless as college administrators?”

THE LEFT DOESN’T JUST EXCUSE VIOLENCE AGAINST ITS ENEMIES, IT INCITES VIOLENCE AGAINST ITS ENEMIES: Time for the Left to Stop Excusing Violence Against Trump Supporters.

“My nose is broken. I have bruises and scratches all over. I got knocked in the head a lot,” San Jose’s Juan Hernandez, 38, told me. He suffered a mild concussion. That’s the price Hernandez paid for attending the infamous Donald Trump rally in San Jose last week at which protesters were seen burning flags and Trump hats, pelting a supporter with an egg and mobbing people who were doing what civics teachers tell students citizens are supposed to do. For his trouble, Hernandez was called names, beaten and bloodied. For dessert, he got to hear politicians suggest it was the fault of his candidate that thugs beat him up. When liberals are on the receiving end, this is known as blaming the victim.

Hernandez does not fit the stereotype of a Trump supporter. He is gay (and a proud member of Log Cabin Republicans) with Mexican roots.

If the parties were reversed, the coverage would be all about gay-bashing and racist attacks on Hispanics.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Liberals, Want Trump to Win? Keep Calling Him Racist.

SO THEY’RE GOING TO DO WHAT THEY DO TO EVERY REPUBLICAN NOMINEE THEN? WaPo Columnist: Let’s Gang Up On Trump! “We always knew that this is how liberals think, but it is unusual to see one of them put it in writing.”

STEVEN HAYWARD ON MEDIA COGNITIVE DISSONANCE:

As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, the mainstream media are Democrats with bylines, whose personal sympathies all lie with Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

True, but the major media are also quickly dying. The head of CBS News remarked quite candidly a few months ago that Donald Trump was great for ratings, and therefore good for the bottom line at money-losing news divisions.

Which raises the following question: if you think purely in terms of professional self-interest, who would most reporters want to win in November?

Hint: Who would make for the best copy and on-air time for the next four years—boring Hillary, or The Donald?

This is why I counterintuitively think the media actually want Trump to win, and may well slant their coverage that way at the margin. Sure, most reporters are partisan liberals, but most of them would like to keep their jobs, too. A key clue will be whether the media cut Hillary any slack over the email scandal when the FBI report is finally released.

Stay tuned.

WHY THE CAMPUSES MATTER:

Conservative and center-left criticism of the illiberal mischief of anti-free speech college students is often dismissed as overblown and sensationalized. And surely it sometimes is. But the efforts by left-wing protesters to shut down Donald Trump’s peaceful rally in San Jose show that the beliefs and tactics that were first put into practice on college campuses are not contained there. . . .

Liberal norms are fragile, and once they start to fray anywhere in our society there is a risk that the decay will spread. This is especially true when the institutions under threat are responsible for molding the minds of the next generation of norm-setting elites.

And it’s not just about free speech: As we’ve noted before, some of the authoritarian sex codes first pioneered on campuses a generation ago have suddenly come roaring into the mainstream. If a generation from now we find ourselves living in a world where shouting down speakers is a widely accepted strategy of political engagement, small-l liberals of all political stripes will have wished that they engaged the campus problem earlier and more forcefully.

Take the fight to the enemy. Don’t let campuses be anyone’s political safe space.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: THE LEFTIST ATTACK ON TRUMP FANS IN SAN JOSE IS ANTI-AMERICAN, AND IT WILL BACKFIRE. To which, Allahpundit adds:

I wonder how many protesters really fear the backfire potential of a Trump victory. If they knew for a fact that beating on Trump fans makes a Republican win in November more likely, would that discourage or encourage them? Trump winning would “heighten the contradictions” between left and right more than Hillary winning would. They’ve spent eight years suppressing the impulse towards “direct action” because mainstream Democrats aren’t going to go along with mass protests on Obama’s watch. With Trump in power the left will be united against a common enemy, and that unity will help to foster greater acceptance of radicalism, however uneasy liberals like Chait might be about tactics. Naturally, that radicalization will encourage people on Trump’s side to radicalize in response and then it’s off we go towards a more European society. That’s another reason why well-meaning people on both sides were so dejected about the riot last night. It’s easy to see where this is going and it’s plain that some on each side want it to go there. What can you say to people like that?

Read the whole thing.

DAN RATHER ON TRUMP: ‘DRUMBEATS OF THREATENING VIOLENCE.’

Rather damaged his credibility twice by attacking two comparatively genteel presidents named Bush. In attempting to twist the events of the smear that finished off his career as a Big Three anchorman, last year, Rather was happy to be portrayed in the unintentionally camp “Truth” by a waxworks Robert Redford, whose previous film praised the actual violence of the Weathermen terrorists.

Appearing on Good Morning America in to plug The Company You Keep in 2013, after gushing over how “empathetic” he was about the Pentagon-bombing Weathermen, “because I believed it was time for a change,” George Stephanopoulos tried to throw his fellow leftist Democrat a lifeline, and asked Redford, “Even when you read about bombings?” Redford immediately replied, “All of it. I knew that it was extreme and I guess movements have to be extreme to some degree.”

In his retirement at Mark Cuban’s HD-NET channel, Rather was happy to praise a man whose motto is “get in their faces and punch back twice as hard.”  (And of course, Obama began his political career in the living room of former Weatherman Bill Ayers.)

With that sort of “Company You Keep,” it seems a bit too late to for Rather to be hearing aura of penumbras of drumbeats of threatened violence. But when it comes to whom Dan approves of as presidential candidates, choose the form of your destructor.

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TRUMP AS TRIBAL LEADER:

If you lived and worked in a cultural environment in which you were at risk at every moment of saying the “wrong” thing, and being made to pay a severe price for it — even when you are merely stating a conventional conservative opinion — well, wouldn’t you be emotionally attracted to a man like Trump? Again, many liberals haven’t the slightest idea how their own behavior has fueled the rise of Trump.

Earlier: “Obama: Don’t Blame Me for Donald Trump’s Rise.”

Well if it’s any consolation champ, there’s plenty to go around – besides the post turtle president, those who put him there should shoulder the blame as well.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, PROGRESSIVE AUTOPHAGY EDITION: Letter From Oberlin: The Big Uneasy.

During this academic year, schools across the country have been roiling with activism that has seemed to shift the meaning of contemporary liberalism without changing its ideals. At Yale, the associate head of a residence balked at the suggestion that students avoid potentially offensive Halloween costumes, proposing in an e-mail that it smothered transgressive expression. Her remarks were deemed insensitive, especially from someone tasked with fostering a sense of community, and the protests that followed escalated to address broader concerns. At Claremont McKenna, a dean sparked outrage when she sent an e-mail about better serving students—those of color, apparently—who didn’t fit the school’s “mold,” and resigned. In mid-November, a thousand students at Ithaca College walked out to demand the resignation of the president, who, they said, hadn’t responded aggressively enough to campus racism. More than a hundred other schools held rallies that week.

Protests continued through the winter. Harvard renamed its “house masters” faculty deans, and changed its law-school seal, which originated as a slaveholder’s coat of arms. Bowdoin students were disciplined for wearing miniature sombreros to a tequila-themed party. The president of Northwestern endorsed “safe spaces,” refuges open only to certain identity groups. At Wesleyan, the Eclectic Society, whose members lived in a large brick colonnaded house, was put on probation for two years, partly because its whimsical scrapbook-like application overstepped a line. And when Wesleyan’s newspaper, the Argus, published a controversial opinion piece questioning the integrity of the Black Lives Matter movement, some hundred and seventy people signed a petition that would have defunded the paper. Sensitivities seemed to reach a peak at Emory when students complained of being traumatized after finding “TRUMP 2016” chalked on sidewalks around campus. The Trump-averse protesters chanted, “Come speak to us, we are in pain!,” until Emory’s president wrote a letter promising to “honor the concerns of these students.”

Such reports flummoxed many people who had always thought of themselves as devout liberals. Wasn’t free self-expression the whole point of social progressivism? Wasn’t liberal academe a way for ideas, good and bad, to be subjected to enlightened reason? Generations of professors and students imagined the university to be a temple for productive challenge and perpetually questioned certainties. Now, some feared, schools were being reimagined as safe spaces for coddled youths and the self-defined, untested truths that they held dear. Disorientingly, too, none of the disputes followed normal ideological divides: both the activists and their opponents were multicultural, educated, and true of heart. At some point, it seemed, the American left on campus stopped being able to hear itself think.

That’s because it stopped thinking. Mouthing dumb slogans and taking offense at trifles doesn’t require thought. Mizzou, as I’ve said, was a harbinger. For those who don’t take the warning, there will be the opportunity to learn from their own experience.

NICK KRISTOF: The Liberal Blind Spot. “On campuses at this point, illiberalism is led by liberals. The knee-jerk impulse to protest campus speakers from the right has grown so much that even Democrats like Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state, have been targeted. . . . Frankly, the torrent of scorn for conservative closed-mindedness confirmed my view that we on the left can be pretty closed-minded ourselves.”

Well, yes.

Plus: “When a survey finds that more than half of academics in some fields would discriminate against a job seeker who they learned was an evangelical, that feels to me like bigotry.”

ROD DREHER: Re-Tribalizing America. “Donald Trump and Milo Yiannopoulos are provocateurs, no question. But they are proving something important about the militant left: that it is often racist against whites, and has no intention of allowing any opinions other than its own to be voiced in the public square. And whether in the streets or in a university lecture hall, it will use violence to impose its will. . . . Trump is a vulgar, crass, alpha-male brute. But he doesn’t care what SJWs and liberals say about him. He fights, and sometimes fights as dirty as they do. That’s not nothing. White liberal middle-class society and many bourgeois conservatives have demonized within themselves, collectively and individually, the instinct that would have given them the strength to fight civilization’s enemies on the Left and on the Right.”

Punch back twice as hard, as another provocateur once said.

WHO CAUSED LAST NIGHT’S ANTI-TRUMP RIOTS? “Republican Dan Lewis, the President of the Albuquerque City Council issued this statement,” Larry O’Connor writes at Hot Air today. Here is Lewis’s statement:

“The violence that we’re seeing this evening is absolutely unacceptable, and it is not the fault of Donald Trump, his campaign, or the attendees at the rally this evening.  It is directly the result of so called public interest groups, such as ProgressNM and the Southwest Organizing Project, fomenting hate.  These organizations this evening devolved from community action groups to hate groups by every usual measure.  This was not a protest – it was a riot that was the result of a mob trying to cause damage and injury to public property and innocent citizens exercising their constitutional right to peaceably assemble.”

“Thank you,” O’Connor adds. “And the statement from local Democrats? Can’t find one.” Well, other than their operatives with bylines at CNN, who describe last night’s riot as a mere “scuffle.”

Here’s an AP photo of the Albuquerque PD’s anti-scuffle brigade, who would eventually fire smoke grades (and according to some reports, pepper spray) at the mostly peaceful scufflers. Many more dramatic photos of the scuffle at Hot Air.

Riot police respond to anti-Trump protests following a rally and speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, in front of the Albuquerque Convention Center where the event was held, in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Riot police respond to anti-Trump protests following a rally and speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, in front of the Albuquerque Convention Center where the event was held, in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo and caption.)

As John Hinderaker concludes in a Power Line titled “Electing Trump, One Riot at a Time,” “Liberals will try to imply that violence by anti-Trump rioters is somehow Trump’s fault, but they can’t sell that theory. Most people dislike riots and rioters just as much today as they did in 1968. Trump has risen to the top of the political heap in large part because of the enemies he has made. During the primaries, the more he was denounced by liberal reporters, the more votes he got. The same will happen in the general election if voters see that he is besieged by left-wing rioters.”

PREDICTION FULFILLED:

“Fair warning: If you come to New York and you see a dodgy looking dude hanging around the little girl’s room, you’re better off keeping it to yourself. His reality is all that counts.”

—Matthew Hennessey, “The Battle for the Bathrooms,” Ricochet, March 28, 2016.

Man Who Wants To Use Women’s Bathroom Complains In New York Times.

—Ben Shapiro, the Daily Wire,  yesterday.

Related: “[Classical] Liberals believe truth is external and can be determined through reason. A good liberal uses his reason to achieve justice and equality for all. But postmodern progressives are moral relativists. For them, truth is internal, discerned by and specific to particular individuals. Today a good progressive defends the individual’s internal truth—particularly if the person is an ‘oppressed minority’—against all foes, including reason. Small wonder that the postmodern left has turned on its own.”

APOCALYPSE NOW:

● Shot: Panic Rooms Take Off as Buyers Prep for Trump, Hillary.

Heat Street, Friday.

● Double-shot:

But of course the entire Trump phenomenon has nothing to do with policy or ideology. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, either, except in its historic role as incubator of this singular threat to our democracy.

* * * * * * * *

Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society. “National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Fuhrer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how. Today, there is Putinism, which also has nothing to do with belief or policy but is about the tough man who singlehandedly defends his people against all threats, foreign and domestic.

To understand how such movements take over a democracy, one only has to watch the Republican Party today.

“This is how fascism comes to America,” Robert Kagan, the left-leaning Brookings Institute, yesterday.

● Chaser:

To listen to the manner in which our friends on the left now talk about Donald Trump is to suspect that it is not. Time and time again, Trump has been compared to Hitler, to Mussolini, to George Wallace, and to Bull Connor. Time and time again, self-described “liberals” have recoiled at the man’s praise for internment, at his disrespect for minorities and dissenters, and at his enthusiasm for torture and for war crimes. Time and time again, it has been predicted — not without merit — that, while Trump would almost certainly lose a general election, an ill-timed recession or devastating terrorist attack could throw all bets to the curb. If one were to take literally the chatter that one hears on MSNBC and the fear that one smells in the pages of the New York Times and of the Washington Post, one would have no choice but to conclude that the progressives have joined the conservatives in worrying aloud about the wholesale abuse of power.

Hence my initial question: Have they? And, if they have, what knock-on effects has that worrying had? Having watched the rise of Trumpism — and, now, having seen the beginning of violence in its name — who out there is having second thoughts as to the wisdom of imbuing our central state with massive power?

That’s a serious, not a rhetorical, question. I would genuinely love to know how many “liberals” have begun to suspect that there are some pretty meaningful downsides to the consolidation of state authority.

“Is Trump’s Rise Giving Progressives Second Thoughts?”, Charles C. W. Cooke, NRO, March 16th.

TEN YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT:

A “HATEFUL ANTI-WAR SPEECH” by Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) at a University of Missouri graduation provokes a near-riot, according to Gateway Pundit, who has a report and audio. Seems to illustrate the point made in this WSJ editorial about the Democrats’ penchant for self-marginalization and self-destruction: “We doubt all of this will help Democrats with the larger electorate, which whatever its doubts about Iraq does not want a precipitous surrender. Americans haven’t trusted a liberal Democrat with the White House during wartime since Vietnam, which is when the seeds of the current antiwar rage were planted. The great mistake that leading Democrats and anti-Communist liberals made during Vietnam was not speaking up against a left that was demanding retreat and sneering at our war heroes. Will any Democrat speak up now?”

THIS ISN’T THE 21st CENTURY I WAS PROMISED:

Shot:

The New York Times recently reported about A. J. Jackson’s travails in a Vermont high school. “There were practical issues,” Anemona Hartocollis writes. “When he had his period, he wondered if he should revert to the girls’ bathroom, because there was no place to throw away his used tampons.”

Now, one can have sympathy for the transgendered – I certainly do – while simultaneously holding to the scientific fact that boys do not menstruate. This is a fact far more settled than the very best climate science. Perhaps it’s rude to say so, but facts do not cease to be facts simply because they offend.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to fine businesses that do not address customers by their “preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.” The NYC Commission on Human Rights can penalize offenders up to $250,000.

―Jonah Goldberg, “Who Are the Real Deniers of Science? When denying science is a progressive moral imperative,” NRO, today.

Chaser: “Leave ‘corporate America’ and get a non-job as a diversity enforcement officer: that’s where the big bucks are.”

―Mark Steyn, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.

Hangover: “Tattoos, piercings, skrillex haircuts, one night stands, double digit abortions, and neon hair dying are all on the rise. These types of behaviors have a hive-like incubation effect, which spreads rapidly to other women. These behaviors are signs of a future lifetime of severe mental illness starting in the woman’s 30s. The market for this will be huge, and the industry won’t have enough staff to take on all the new patients.”

“5 Reasons You Should Become A Mental Health Worker,” Return of Kings, today.

 

KURT SCHLICHTER: 11 Principles for a Free America After the Liberals Secede.

COMEDY CENTRAL RATINGS PLUMMETING SINCE STEWART, COLBERT DEPARTURES.

I blame the inherent racism of their leftwing audience; as Moe Lane noted in January in regards to the Daily Show, “liberals don’t groove as much on the show because its new host Trevor Noah is a black dude.”

Beyond that, with the exception of South Park, Viacom’s Comedy Central essentially serves as the palace guard to the left, cooing sweet nothings to power. It’s too bad; as Stephen Kruiser writes, “Hillary Clinton is a comedy gold mine if you don’t treat her like a sacred cow. She’s a shrieking grandma who wears bright yellow Mao jackets and has a body count. There’s a lot of stuff there if someone would just go looking.” But they won’t, as they’re simply Democrat operatives with lavaliers and laugh tracks.

MEET THE MIDDLETONS: James Lileks devotes a new section of his sprawling Website to an industrial film Westinghouse created in 1939 to advertise its contributions to the World’s Fair in New York. We mentioned last week how immediately after WWII, General Motors promoted Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom — and then in the decades to follow forget all of Hayek’s lessons on its own road to serfdom as Obama’s Government Motors.

Lileks’ new section is subtitled “Or, Go Peddle that Bolshie Booshwah Elsewhere, Pal,” as astonishingly, one of the supporting characters in Westinghouse’s film is played by a bow-tie wearing ferret-faced sneering actor who denounces all of the advancements in science made possible by capitalism, democracy, and free enterprise. (He’s there as the token bad guy to have his comments swatted away by the all-American family he accompanies to the Fair.) One of the pages of Lileks’ site features a large photo of Westinghouse’s site at the World’s Fair contrasting the technological achievements of the first four decades of the 20th century with, as the large sign on the wall of the exhibition reads “YESTERDAY: A WORLD WITHOUT ELECTRICITY.”

Flash-forward to 2007, when on the road to creating conditions favorable for the election of a Democrat the following year, the anchor of the evening news of the network Westinghouse acquired in the previous decade likened global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers. That same year, the network owned by General Electric, another powerhouse at the 1939 World’s Fair, actively promoted a world without electricity; turning all the lights off in its studio (other than sponsor Toyota’s large sign of course) during a Sunday Night Football game and advising Americans to do the same. The cable network that GE owned at the time featured an anchor who said on the air in 2010, “Liberals amuse me. I am a socialist. I live to the extreme left, the extreme left of you mere liberals, okay?”

Someone like that was the designated cartoon heavy at the 1939 World’s Fair; today, TV shows are built around him. Not to mention presidential candidacies. The 1939 World’s Fair promised a world fundamentally transformed, and after WWII, that transformation certainly arrived. But so did its myriad critics, eager to revolt against the masses — and hard.

THIS JUST IN: HEBERT HOOVER WAS A “PROGRESSIVE:” Leftist Thomas Piketty, Another Economist Who Gets Historical Facts Wrong. President Herbert Hoover Raised Top Rate to 63% in 1932 Which Keynesian Economist Gets Wrong Hurting His Argument.

Related: Herbert Hoover Increased Government Spending 67%, Making Him the Founder of the New Deal.

In 1932, FDR didn’t run on scaling up government even further. Instead, as Jesse Walker of Reason wrote in 2008, Roosevelt “accused Herbert Hoover of ‘reckless and extravagant spending,’ and he further denounced the Republican incumbent for believing ‘we ought to center control of everything in Washington as rapidly as possible.’ Even when he called for interventions in the economy, he generally couched his words in the old liberals’ language of equal treatment rather than the new liberals’ vision of enlightened central planning.”

As Walker noted, the Democratic platform of 1932 “is a remarkable document, considering the way the party’s candidate went on to govern. It isn’t a libertarian manifesto—it endorses several subsidies and regulations—but it hardly embraces the enormous expansion in federal power that FDR would achieve.”

Which would prolong the Depression by seven years, UCLA economists calculated a decade ago.

KINSLEY GAFFE: Democrats admit they want to make the government ‘irritating:’

It’s rare when a politician is as honest about his strategy as the New York City councilman largely responsible for the plastic-bag fee about to hit New York City. For his candor, Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) ought to be considered a new American hero.

Here is progressive politics in 2016: “It works by irritating us into changing our behavior,” Lander said of the bag tax.

It works by irritating us. There can be some debate about the accuracy of one of those verbs, but not the other. Government, when it’s being honest, acknowledges it isn’t your buddy, your helper, your protector, your go-to source for inspiration and dreams.

Reminder, this is out of New York, whose political class is better suited to Star Wars’ cantina: Charles Schumer, Michael Bloomberg, Bill de Blasio, Anthony Weiner, Al Sharpton, Hillary Clinton, and possibly joining them in November, Donald Trump. Outside of Sacramento, nobody does political irritation like New York “liberals.”

HUMAN SACRIFICE, DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER, MASS HYSTERIA: Some Liberals Support Trump, While Some Republicans Consider Clinton.

IN HIS DEFENSE, SOME PEOPLE THINK HE WAS BLACKMAILED: How John Roberts Begat Donald Trump:

Not because his ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius—and last year in King v. Burwell, when the die had already been cast—allowed a hugely unpopular piece of legislation to survive and corrode our health-care system and economy. But because Roberts recognized that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional yet still saved it out of a misbegotten devotion to judicial restraint—under the guise of deferring to “the people.”

Sure, the chief justice cleverly wrote his opinion so it wouldn’t increase Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce and even cut it back under the Necessary and Proper Clause. He also ultimately upheld the individual mandate only by rewriting it into a “unicorn” tax—a creature of no known constitutional provenance that will never be seen again.

But by refusing to follow his own logic, to go where even Justice Kennedy full-throatedly went—I was in the courtroom to hear Kennedy passionately summarize a dissent that would’ve struck down the entire law—Roberts increased cynicism and anger at play-by-the-rules conservatives and decreased respect for institutions across the board.

The man’s twistifications drove the constitutionalist Tea Partiers into the arms of the populists—or made it easy for their populist instincts to “trump” their constitutional ones (pun unintended, but fitting). Why bother with the Constitution? Even when you’re right, you lose.

Indeed, if Kennedy had joined the liberals in their view that there are simply no structural limits on federal power, there would have been disappointment, but it would have been understandable given the conventional Left-Right rubric. But to lose in a wholly extra-legal way was a sucker punch, belying the idea that there’s a difference between law and politics and that the judiciary is an anti-majoritarian check on the excesses of the political branches.

Roberts essentially told would-be Trumpistas not to bother the courts with important issues, that if you want to beat Obama you have to get your own strongman—complete with pen, phone, and contempt for the Constitution. So they did.

And he thought he was protecting the reputation of the judiciary while doing it.

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG: The New York Times profiles Ben “Lonesome*” Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, or as they dub him “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru,” who all but tells the Grady Lady their reporting stinks on ice:

The job he was hired to do, namely to help the president of the United States communicate with the public, was changing in equally significant ways, thanks to the impact of digital technologies that people in Washington were just beginning to wrap their minds around. It is hard for many to absorb the true magnitude of the change in the news business — 40 percent of newspaper-industry professionals have lost their jobs over the past decade — in part because readers can absorb all the news they want from social-media platforms like Facebook, which are valued in the tens and hundreds of billions of dollars and pay nothing for the “content” they provide to their readers. You have to have skin in the game — to be in the news business, or depend in a life-or-death way on its products — to understand the radical and qualitative ways in which words that appear in familiar typefaces have changed. Rhodes singled out a key example to me one day, laced with the brutal contempt that is a hallmark of his private utterances. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

As John Podhoretz writes at the New York Post in response to Rhodes making perhaps the ultimate Kinsley gaffe, “Congratulations, liberals of the Washington press corps and elite organizations: You’re a bunch of suckers. We all know this because the Obama White House just told us so.”

Tough break, Juicebox Mafia; you did everything you could for Obama, but he and his staffers still have no respect for such cheap dates, especially as they kick back and play out the remaining string until January.

As for Rhodes’ foreign policy skills — or the lack thereof — Ace of Spades has you more than covered, as he fisks wide swatches of the article, including this passage:

His lack of conventional real-world experience of the kind that normally precedes responsibility for the fate of nations — like military or diplomatic service, or even a master’s degree in international relations, rather than creative writing — is still startling.

Gee, wait ’till the Times discovers who Rhodes’ boss is.

But wait, there’s more! “Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru Boasts of How the Administration Lied to Sell the Iran Deal,” Lee Smith writes at the Weekly Standard: “Those readers who found Jeffrey Goldberg’s picture of Obama in his March Atlantic profile refreshing for the president’s willingness to insult American allies publicly will be similarly cheered here by Rhodes’s boast of deceiving American citizens, lawmakers, and allies over the Iran deal. Conversely, those who believe Obama risked American interests to take a cheap shot at allies from the pedestal of the Oval Office will be appalled to see Rhodes dancing in the end zone to celebrate the well-packaged misdirections and even lies—what Rhodes and others call a ‘narrative’—that won Obama his signature foreign policy initiative.”

* Sorry, cheap joke. Though to be fair, the real Lonesome Rhodes spent his last days as an Obamacare pitchman, thus bringing his career full circle.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Liberals’ Kids Get the Golden Ticket While Yours Get Scraps. Great photo.

MILO YIANNOPOULOS: Meme Magic: Donald Trump Is The Internet’s Revenge On Lazy Elites.

Related:

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 5.48.22 PM

Choose the form of your destructor.

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UPDATE: From the comments: “Trump was the Mule to Nate Silver’s Foundation.”

TRUMP THUMPS THE RULING CLASS:

Last Christmas I ran into Newt Gingrich after Mass in Washington, D.C., and for the heck of it said to him, “So what job do you want in the Trump administration?” He looked at me with utter disbelief. Now I see him on TV bemoaning the slowness with which pundits grasped the Trump phenomenon. He was one of them.

Up in New York City I noticed that none of the anti-Trump outrage of the ruling class had trickled down to the peasants. They either didn’t care about Trump’s politically incorrect brashness or kind of liked it. While lavishly paid, “brilliantly perceptive” reporters and editors like David Remnick and James Fallows were saying that Trump had “zero chance” of winning the nomination, anybody who bothered to speak to ordinary folks walking the streets below the suites of The New Yorker could see that Trump had a huge opening. The George Wills, who spend more time tinkering with their cuff links than talking to people, also pronounced Trump an unelectable clown who would soon disappear back into the buffoonery from which he came.

Such inept punditry and incompetent reporting is the journalistic equivalent of a surgeon killing a patient on the operating table. Yet all these reporters and pundits keep working, often failing upwards to six-figure jobs, provided that they attend all the right parties and know all the right people.

The public’s exhaustion with, and at times hatred of, the corrupt ruling class, for which this naysaying anti-Trump media complex served as a constant advertisement, largely explains the rise of Trump. He fit the temper of the times and had the charisma to channel it toward a bust-up of the GOP establishment.

Choose the form of your destructor.

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WHAT’S REALLY DRIVING THE LEFT’S WAR ON BATHROOMS:

Again and again, progressives find the realities of the human body unbearable and demand that we collectively stick our heads in the sand rather than acknowledge truths that have been obvious for centuries. They seem desperate to free themselves from this mortal coil. Of course, they’d prefer to do it in a way that doesn’t involve dying.

Why do liberals hate bodies so much? It’s understandable when we consider how ill-suited the body is to progressive ideology. In the first place, bodies are dreadfully inegalitarian. However energetically we promote genetic counseling and prenatal vitamins, the reality remains that some people are born healthy, strong, and beautiful, while others are sickly, weak, and unattractive. Men on balance are taller, stronger, and faster than women. White men can’t jump. Liberals might ardently desire a “level playing field,” but in their efforts to realize it, they continually butt heads with the warm, fleshy reality that is the human body.

Having to constantly wage war against reality is exhausting, which helps to explain why liberals are so insecure and miserable, to slightly invert the headline on a new post by Steve Hayward at Power Line. Hayward quotes a 1972 essay by the Claremont Institute’s Harry Jaffa:

But that the laws of nature do exist, and that we are bound by them because they are, not the ideals of men, but the reality of a purposeful universe, and that human freedom is a freedom to disregard such laws only at our cost, seems to be taken seriously almost nowhere. The emancipation of Western man by technology from the necessities of nature has led to a loss of consciousness of the goodness that those necessities serve. As the old struggle for survival has, through the equivocal beneficence of technology, receded into the background of daily existence, the uses of leisure have become mysterious. Never has a whole society enjoyed such wealth as has the United States, and this wealth has increasingly become the share of Western Europe, Great Britain and the Commonwealth, Japan, and to a degree even some of the communist states. Wealth, properly understood, is the instrument of freedom and of happiness, and in the past freedom has always been seen as an oasis in the desert of necessity. But as the desert blooms, we do not see the enlargement of the oasis. Instead, as the desert disappears, so does the oasis, and we fail to comprehend the uses of the garden that blooms in their place. Apparently, if you do not worry about surviving, then you do worry about whether it is worth surviving*. And so, what is perhaps the most privileged class in the entire history of the human race, that of the Harvard College student, is among the most miserable!

The left has always been looking to engineer “The New Man” ever since the days of Nietzsche, followed by Hitler and Stalin. But the next phase in evolution may have finally arrived. Behold what a century of “Progressivism” has wrought:

* That sentence, in an era when it’s never been easier to create, via today’s powerful software, may also answer a recent query by the far left London Guardian: “Why are we so bored?”

BECAUSE THE RACE CARD IS SO 2009: Clinton offers donors their own ‘woman card.’

Huh — I can remember just last week when gender was still fluid and entirely a social construct. Very edgy of Hillary to push back against the worldview driving her own party’s war on ladies rooms!

AFTER HAVING MADE OBAMA IN 2008, THE POLITICO HAS CHOSEN THE FORM OF THEIR DESTRUCTOR.

Shot:

There was a telling confrontation on Obama’s third day in office, when he visited the West Wing pressroom to say hi, then bristled when a Politico reporter asked why he had nominated a Raytheon lobbyist to a Pentagon job despite having recently banned lobbyists from top posts in his administration. “I can’t end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I’m going to get grilled every time I come down here,” Obama complained. When the reporter tried again, Obama told him to save his questions for a news conference. Politico’s headline: “Obama Flashes Irritation in the Press Room.” To the president, it was an example of no good deed going unpunished—not just that he was grilled when he was trying to be polite, but that he was grilled over an exception to his rule against hiring lobbyists instead of credited for the groundbreaking rule. To the reporters, it was an early example of Obama feeling entitled to avoid probing questions about matters of public importance. They wouldn’t see much more of him in the press room.

“The Selling of Obama — The inside story of how a great communicator lost the narrative,” Michael Grunwald, the Politico, today.

Chaser:

Still, the baseline hostility between campaign and press corps was dictated by the candidate himself, and from the start Trump, often through his alter ego Lewandowski, sought to dominate and demean us. And besides, it quickly became clear that the campaign didn’t need more conventional tools of media management, given that its messaging operation primarily consisted of Trump’s mouth—and he often said outrageous and provocative things that guaranteed negative coverage.

* * * * * * *

For all its brass, though, the New York tabloid environment is insular, small and transactional, with an established set of protocols and a relatively limited cast of characters. Trump has a great instinct for what will hit, and has always served as his own publicist, cultivating relationships with reporters who play ball, planting tips, navigating negative stories through sheer bombast, ditching anyone who causes too much trouble—often by feeding scoops to competitors at their own organizations.

But the national press is much, much bigger and much harder to control. And it probably doesn’t help that, at 69, Trump faces a press pack chock full of millennials he’s never dealt with before. Ali Vitali at NBC, Sopan Deb at CBS, Jeremy Diamond and Noah Gray at CNN, and Kevin Cirilli at Bloomberg are all around my age—a few years out of college. It makes for a volatile mix, and might help explain Trump’s zigzag path between flattering and threatening, avoiding and bulldozing reporters as he searched out the elusive route to controlling our message.

Which is why if there’s one consistent theme to what I’ve experienced covering Trump, it’s the unpredictability. The handshakes sometimes come after the hardest slaps, and the doghouse is a short elevator ride away from the penthouse.

“Inside Trump’s Press Pen — A reporter’s first campaign job blows up into the biggest story in America,” 26 year old Ben Schreckinger, in way too deep at the Politico and apparently forgetting Saul Alinsky’s Rule #5, Rule 12, and a few other Rules for Radicals as well.

(Classical reference in headline.)

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