The Battlefield, August 14, 2015

Where’s the battlefield this week? Why, the Democrat Party. Need you ask?

All along I have screamed from the rooftops that it’s not going to be Hillary Clinton who gets the nomination. That the weight of her various scandals, coupled with her complete lack of any charisma or political skill, would take her down just as it did in 2008. Remember that for all the hero-worship of Barack Obama and all the talk about what a juggernaut he was, Obama was the least-qualified successful presidential nominee in American history. He was a complete nobody, with zero executive experience and no record to speak of. That actually ended up working for him, because without a record he was essentially a tabula rasa for voters to project whatever they wanted on to.

Hillary was the candidate who was supposed to win. But the more the electorate saw of her the less interested they were.

For some reason, when Hillary leaves the political stage she gets rehabilitated. Perhaps that’s true of all politicians on the national level; it’s certainly true of Hillary. People forget about the easily debunkable lies, the pandering, the sham Southern accent, the evasive answers, the bitchy demeanor and the outright gaffes, and they go back to believing the carefully crafted false image her stooges have presented. It’s when they’re faced with Hillary in the flesh that her approval numbers drop into the tank.

And they have. When the prospective First Female President is underwater with white women, it’s a problem. When she can’t beat Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, it’s a problem.

And when her campaign is completely overshadowed by the prospect she’s going to end up in jail by next year rather than at the Democratic National Convention, it’s a problem.

Understand that there is no real way you can argue Hillary hasn’t broken the law with her handling of State Department e-mails. She turned over a blank server to the FBI, which is evidence she wiped it clean and thus destroyed government documents. She might have kept copies, but this is why you don’t use a home-brewed server instead of the regular government one; your work product as a government official is the government’s property, and you don’t get to claim e-mails about yoga routines as your exclusive province without government oversight. Somebody else gets to segregate that stuff out of your e-mails if you insist on mixing it with government business in the same e-mail account.

And why? Well, for one thing we preserve records in this country so we can enforce laws – or at least we try to when the Clintons aren’t around. And for another, the government servers are encrypted in such a way that we have reasonable hopes that the information contained in them can be controlled and kept confidential when need be.

That went out the window with Hillary. She arrogantly – to be charitable – housed the whole thing on her own server, which was undoubtedly hacked by foreign intelligence agencies, and we know that not only was top secret information transacted on that unsecured server, but satellite intelligence was. You simply can’t get a worse breach of intelligence than what Hillary risked with her practices.

If you or I were doing what she did, we and our lawyers would be strategizing how best to minimize the amount of jail time in our future. In a sane world that’s what would be in front of Hillary. The guess here is she’ll probably get off easy, but it becomes less and less conceivable as the road opens up here that she’s going to have any kind of political future. She had emails on her server that contained Top Secret content but had the markings pulled off them so she could claim not to know the material was so classified. Whose decision that was, or who we’ll ultimately blame that on, will come down to whether anyone is willing to take the fall for Hillary. Will Cheryl Mills go to jail for her? Will Huma Abedin? Will anybody believe them if they confess to fraudulently “declassifying” Hillary’s e-mails?

Even if that keeps her out of jail, politically she’s dead at the end of this road. When it all comes down, at the very least she’s a moron who actually believes she can be Secretary of State without dealing with any state secrets.

And it won’t end there, because ultimately we’re going to find out that the reason to house your information on a private server is to keep your own secrets – namely, the fact that she was collecting bribes from foreign governments through that foundation while she was Secretary of State. That charge will be made over and over again throughout the campaign, and it will stick because she doesn’t have a plausible answer to it. Hell, the implausible answer she’s already given to it has already been exposed as a lie, so she lacks credibility to make her next story stick.

So Hillary isn’t electable, and the Democrat donors have sunk a whole lot of money into a lost cause with her. They surely feel terrible, but it could be worse – think of all the foreign entities who dropped all those millions of dollars on that foundation thinking they were buying influence with a future president and are now going to lose it all.

Those obligations are why Hillary will stick in the race for a while longer, but ultimately she’s cooked. Bill, maybe, could have wormed his way out of this mess. Hillary doesn’t have any of his skill to do so.

So, who? It won’t be Bernie Sanders. The Democrats are increasingly, and perhaps on a majority basis, a socialist party. But they like to keep their socialism quiet. Obama never would cop to the fact he was raised a red-diaper baby and the adults around him who formed him as a kid were communists. That’s not how it works – you profess allegiance to the American way and freedom and prosperity and all that, and you couch your assault on it in the language of protecting the American dream. Sanders is too honest about being a communist – he calls it socialism, but when he lets his slip show this is much more than just Amtrak and food stamps. That’s not to say Sanders is an honest man; he’s not. He’s a profound liar and a demagogue, in addition to being a filthy, depraved creep. But he at least is willing to admit to a certain amount of anti-American leftism, and because of that he’s not a plausible candidate for the majority of his party.

That leaves the Dems without a savior, so we’re going to have an interregnum where all the old has-beens will be bandied about. Joe Biden, Al Gore, John Kerry, even the “new” and “fresh” Liz Warren.

I’ve said that ultimately it’s going to be Mike Bloomberg. When the Democrat field is so broken up with minor-league players – unlike the GOP field, which is certainly fractured but nevertheless loaded with qualified, capable candidates – it will be ripe for somebody like Bloomberg to roll in with a big chunk of cash to spread around to the operatives and consultants and just buy the nomination. He’s a hero to the gun-grabbers, he’s bankrolled Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club, he hates fossil fuels, he’s already bought lots of national Democrat figures and unlike the rest of the Democrat mob he actually has the money to run.

Bloomberg will be a disaster, mind you, but once Hillary goes down the tubes the Dems will know very well that they’re finished for 2016. What they’ll want is somebody who can self-fund so DNC and MoveOn.org money can go into trying to re-take the Senate – because if they can’t re-take the Senate and they lose the presidential race, particularly to one of these insurgent Republican candidates with no ties to the Washington cartel, then their entire project is at risk. No more EPA as currently constituted, no more federal dollars to pay for well-heeled Dem constituency groups like Planned Parenthood, no more IRS playing favorites with Dem non-profits, no more Obamacare.

Bloomberg isn’t guaranteed, but he’s a decent bet. They don’t have anybody else who can serve a useful purpose right now.

 

Simplistic-Weapon-12-Battle-Axes-in-Saltire Historians are going to look back on 2008-2016 (or whenever it finally ends) as the Second American Depression.

We’re living through it and just not terming it as such, mostly because the media won’t acknowledge what’s going on. But there is a widespread perception the country is in decline, and the economy and its effect on the culture is the primary factor.

That’s an economic depression. We aren’t growing at all. And our standard of living has been reduced significantly in the last decade. We’ll recognize it for what it is once it’s over.

 

Simplistic-Weapon-12-Battle-Axes-in-Saltire If you haven’t seen the video footage from that explosion in Tianjin, which is the port city down the road from Beijing in China, you won’t believe it when you do. You’d almost have to set off a nuke to get an explosion this big…

Apparently it was a warehouse full of toxic liquids and compressed gas that went up. One suspects it might well have been more than that – you’d figure on some sort of military hardware.

It’s the third day after that blast and the fires are still burning, by the way. They say the death toll is 56, but it’s hard to imagine it isn’t hundreds or even thousands of people.

 

Simplistic-Weapon-12-Battle-Axes-in-Saltire I did two American Spectator columns this week. The first one was about Trump, and some of the half-baked answers he gave at that debate last Thursday and how he could have made them better. Trump doesn’t speak like a politician, which is actually helping him. But he also doesn’t speak particularly substantively. He says he’s for funding Planned Parenthood but not their abortions, and then he changes what he says when it’s explained to him that money is fungible and PP has flat-out lied about whether taxpayer money goes to abortions. Then he says he’s for a flat tax but comes out for rich people paying a higher rate. Then he says he’s an immigration hawk who’ll build a wall and get the Mexicans to pay for it, but soon after starts talking about an amnesty.

None of it is coherent, as Rich Lowry notes. Trump actually has the chance to be a serious candidate who survives beyond his current boomlet, but he hasn’t earned that – and it doesn’t sound like he’s even interested in doing so. You get the impression he’s surrounded by yes-men, and he ran off Roger Stone, who was the only independent observer he had around him. So there’s nobody pushing Trump to actually prepare for frontrunner status, and that means he’s going to crash and burn eventually. There are lots of good candidates waiting in the wings when he does.

The second column came out today, and it’s about Common Core. You people probably know that I don’t care about Common Core and the whole debate makes me want to hurl. The pro-Common Core crowd might actually have better arguments, because what I hear from them is that Common Core is nothing more than standards in math and reading that will help kids learn at a faster rate. That’s a different take than the anti-Common Core people have, once you strip out the question of federal control, and I hear lots of superstition and conspiracy theorizing from the anti side.

But it doesn’t matter to me, and I’m ready to tell both sides to jump in a lake

Let’s do away with the entire model of public education. Let’s blow up the system completely and bring in a marketplace to replace it. Let’s do what Nevada is doing — a universal voucher set up as an Educational Savings Account — across the country. And let’s multiply Louisiana’s Course Choice program, which allows students to take courses from one school while attending another, or even while homeschooling.

Let’s not have it end there. We need a wide-open marketplace where investors and innovators, unrestrained by petty bureaucrats and little Napoleons on school boards across the country, can redesign how knowledge is transmitted to our young.

Understand this — American education is actually Prussian education. Our early Progressives in the 19th century fell in love with a system created a century and a half ago for the express purpose of developing a generation of children to staff up a military that would unify Germany by force, and that system — dividing students into arbitrary cohorts (by age, in this case), enforcing strict discipline and learning at a relatively uniform pace within the class — was so effective it brought us Kaisers and Führers. That’s what can happen when there is a smooth transition from the classroom to boot camp for all.

And to give that Prussian system its due, it actually did work for America for a little more than a century. But when those in charge of the educational system lost their nerve and stopped enforcing discipline, there was nothing available to prevent disruptive students from destroying the education of the rest. Worse, when the system was corrupted by the Left into promoting indoctrination rather than actual learning, the result was a uniform dumbing-down — often with the aid of mind-altering drugs prescribed by schools — of what is now two generations of our children.

That’s why we have to deal with a steep rise of unemployable younger Americans who are actually better “educated” in terms of worthless degrees than the competent patriots who came before.

The market punishes stupidity, incompetence, lies, and failure. It punishes the Great Unlearning — that’s why the economy hasn’t grown in years and that’s why youth unemployment and underemployment is such a tragedy. It’s also why more businesses have shut their doors than have opened in every year since Barack Obama, the epitome of what the educrats are trying to produce, has taken office. People who lack useful, practical expertise struggle to be productive enough as employees, much less entrepreneurs.

Viva la revolution. And get this trifling Common Core crap off my plate.

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