This morning I had a conversation with a Republican elected official of my acquaintance about the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, and the likely howling that will result – and particularly the apparent lack of give-a-damn on the part of the president-elect about what the Left thinks of him and his decisions.
“This is the first Republican I’ve seen who thinks the way I have since high school,” the elected official said. “It’s refreshing.”
He was talking about the political calculus at work with respect to Trump, and what we can deduce from the nominations of Sessions, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) as CIA director and Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn as National Security Advisor, not to mention Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President.
Each of those appointments can be described a number of ways, but one way which seems appropriate for all of them is that they’re calibrated to generate a maximum level of fear and loathing on the Left. The Democrats still haven’t shut up about Bannon, who as a White House staffer isn’t subject to Senate confirmation and as such is immune from any opprobrium Democrats might throw his way, and now they have Sessions as Attorney General – which is as in-your-face an appointment as Trump could make.
They’re losing their marbles over Sessions as AG. Especially since they know they can’t stop his confirmation. There will be 51 Republicans who will vote for him no matter what the Dems in the Senate say about him, and the Dems are going to struggle to justify any opposition to him given that he’s been a member of the Senate for 20 years. And they won’t filibuster Sessions – if they try, they might actually open the floodgates on a nuclear option for all of Trump’s nominees, because filibustering Sessions will be seen as an insult to Republicans in the Senate and pressure will be put on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to just blow up the filibuster according to his predecessor Harry Reid’s plan.
In my conversation with the elected official above, I brought up something I’d written a few days ago and now cannot find, which is this – much of Republican politics since 1988, and a lot of Democrat politics since 1988 as well, has been based on the fact that if there has been a Republican president he’s been a Bush. And what that has meant is on issues of domestic policy and governance you could expect the Republican president to get rolled by the Democrats – in return for getting bipartisan support for whatever war said president was desirous of starting at the time.
Which is not a particular critique of the wars the Bushes started; some of them were worthwhile. Maybe even all of them. The point being what you got with a Bush in the White House was a whole lot of Democrat policy with a Republican face on it and lots of attempts to make nice with people who were happy to stick the knives in as a reward.
But now? Trump is no Bush. And while the Democrats have paid rioters roaming the streets of cities they control in an effort to buffalo him into “reconciling” with the various constituencies they represent, there is very little indication he’s impressed or intimidated. In fact, he’s turning up the heat on the Left by nominating a cabinet full of hard-asses who, it can be assumed, will aggressively roll back the left-wing policies and practices of the Obama administration.
The “fundamental transformation” is over. All it’ll take to turn the Left’s golden age into an eight-year historical parenthesis is a bit of courage, and it so far looks like that’s what Trump brought to the table.
I still would characterize my expectations for Trump as “meager.” I am not convinced his presidency won’t be something akin to chaos. But it’s beginning to be clear that the havoc Trump will wreak will reside mostly on the other side of the aisle; an iconoclastic Republican president who isn’t moved by the Left’s slurs can do an untold amount of institutional damage to them; he has the House and the Senate, and Trump might just be the guy who wrecks the Democrat Party for the foreseeable future.
– Which is not to say the Democrats aren’t doing a hell of a job wrecking themselves. It looks for all the world that they’re really serious about making Keith Ellison the DNC chair. We reported that earlier this week, but we didn’t really think it was possible. Now Ellison has Democrat muckety-mucks lining up behind him like it’s a coronation.
And Ellison’s background clearly shows he’s a Nation of Islam guy. He’s a little Farrakhan, despite his protestations otherwise and attempts to scrub his image now that he’s a national figure. Scott Johnson of Power Line absolutely has Ellison’s number and has written copiously on the topic. A taste…
As a black and left-wing Muslim in a one-party town with a cheerleading newspaper, Ellison has been insulated from the kind of media scrutiny that he should have received over the past 10 years. Rather, he has been celebrated as the first Muslim to be elected to Congress. Who wanted to stand in his way? Certainly not the political reporters or editors at the Star Tribune.
The Star Tribune has never troubled itself to chronicle Ellison’s unsavory years on the make in Minneapolis as an active local leader of the Nation of Islam, even though it could have drawn on its own archives to do so. The Star Tribune has left Ellison free to lie about his past and it is a freedom that he has exploited to the hilt.
Thus Sherry reports on Ellison’s current bid without the slightest hint of Ellison’s back pages:
Ellison issued a statement Monday castigating Trump’s choice, saying that Bannon “is adored by white supremacists, white nationalists, anti-Semites, neo-Nazis and the KKK,” and that the president-elect must rescind the appointment if he is “serious about rejecting bigotry, hatred and violence from his supporters.”
Ellison’s public agitation on behalf of the Nation of Islam extends back to his days as a law student at the University of Minnesota Law School through his first attempt to secure the Democratic endorsement for a state legislative seat. Over the years Ellison agitated on behalf of the Nation of Islam he operated under names including Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison and Keith Ellison-Muhammad. I summarized this aspect of Ellison’s rise in the Weekly Standard article “Louis Farrakhan’s first Congressman” and the companion Power Line post “Keith Ellison for dummies.”
Ellison’s freedom from media scrutiny has served him well so far. Apart from an extremely misleading letter to the Jewish Community Relations Council in 2006, Ellison has never had to account, explain or apologize for his long-time membership in and advocacy of the Nation of Islam. Rather, Ellison has lied about it, minimized it and suppressed it. In his own memoir Ellison rewrites his past, presenting himself as a critic of the Nation of Islam for its bigotry and hatred. He does not confide in readers that the source of his knowledge is personal and that it comes from the inside. I don’t think much of the Democratic Party or its leaders, but I have to ask whether Democrats really know what they are buying with Ellison.
Part of me wants to tell Johnson and others wishing to blow the whistle on just how far outside the mainstream Ellison is, “be quiet.” It’s better that he gets the DNC chairmanship and then the American people find out just how noxious he is – which will have the effect of putting the Democrats out on the fringe and making them unelectable almost everywhere but a few isolated places around the country.
Which is especially troublesome for that party with the 2018 midterms coming up, in which they’ll have to defend 25 Senate seats to the Republicans’ mere eight. And those seats include a whole lot of red states – Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Joe Manchin in West Virginia (who we’d be willing to bet is by then a Republican), Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Jon Tester in Montana. Then you have the purple-state seats coming open where a strong GOP candidate could easily ride a midterm wave if Trump’s presidency has some momentum to it – Bill Nelson in Florida, Debbie Stabenow in Michigan, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin. You could potentially have successful Republican challenges to Angus King in Maine or Tim Kaine in Virginia – or even to Martin Heinrich in New Mexico, Maria Cantwell in Washington or Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota if things really start to move and the challengers are good.
Meaning a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate could well be doable in 2018. And the Democrats will be led by a Muslim who attached himself to Louis Farrakhan in the formative years of his political career? You can’t ask for better circumstances than that.
This having been said, the pendulum always swings back the other way. Trump, of all people, is proof of that. And when it does, the idea that it would swing to a Democrat Party led by such hard-core loons is frightening.
It’s important that Trump be successful in dismantling as much institutional advantage as possible for the Democrats so that Keith Ellison isn’t the leader of a party which has national political power.
– Since it’s now a big deal that “fake news sites” made Donald Trump president, I have a solution for how Facebook can “police” the fake news people share on their feeds so as not to assist in spreading disinformation while at the same time not acting as a censor, since none of us want that.
Which is to install a truth-meter or some sort of rating system for both individual links and the sites the links go to, and let the folks police them for fake news.
If you share something from a site whose truth rating is 25 percent, the people seeing it will know it’s likely BS. And that truth rating could go toward the link itself.
That way you get some form of policing, but there’s no censorship and it’s the readers, rather than faceless Facebook employees, doing the watch-dogging.
It might even be worthwhile for the people sharing links on Facebook to get graded by the readers. Some people simply will not stop sharing links from Prntly or Northcrane or RedStateWatcher, and until they start getting dinged for doing it one wonders if it will change.
If you missed it, here’s video from the Nedbank Golf Challenge, in Sun City, South Africa, when the course was invaded by furry rodents.
What do you call these guys, anyway? Mongoose? Mongooses? Mongeese? Anyway, here they come…