Details, Details

There are no Ace of Spades types among the Four Regular Readers — we’re Not His Class, Dear — but if there were, I’d love to ask them: How, exactly, is Hillary going to beat Trump?

I don’t mean bromides like “because Trump is a jerk and a poopyhead!”  I mean procedurally.  Walk me through the mechanism.  What’s she going to run on?  What are her signature issues?  What’s she going to bring up in the debates?  IS she going to debate?

Ace’s theory seems to be “She’ll lay low and let Trump immolate himself, which he’s sure to do, because the media is in such a tizzy that their anti-Trump 24/7 attack mode is going to make what they did to George W. Bush look like the happy ending to an Oriental massage.”

Do y’all seriously think that’s going to work?

Yes, Trump is an egomaniac and yes, he never misses an opportunity to not shut up and yes, he says all kinds of controversial stuff all the time.  But Trump isn’t stupid, no matter how hard you try to convince yourselves otherwise, and he’s been dealing with this stuff since last summer, and all his self-immolatory style brought him was the Presidential nomination.  I know y’all think of yourselves as the Alt-Media, Ace et al, but you’re not — you only share their basic assumptions, one of which is that you are Shapers of the Narrative.  In fact, in this particular election the Narrative shapes you, and the Narrative is:

Look how much the American public hates the fucking Media.

Seriously.  I’m no Nostradamus, but I can read the news and work a google machine, and it’s pretty obvious what Trump’s response to all this is going to be: “When are you going to be asking Hillary these questions?”  And then the Media will get all outraged — how dare you question our objectivity?!? — and then Trump’s poll numbers will rise 10 more points like they do every time he tells the Media to go fuck themselves.

Eventually Trump is going to get around to making his trademark self-destructive statements about Hillary’s record.  And, in the course of getting all outraged!!!1!eleventy! about it, the Media will have to report what the man actually said.  At which point, he accomplishes two objectives simultaneously: He points out how incompetent and corrupt Hillary is, and he highlights, in the starkest possible way, how incompetent and corrupt the Media are in their pro-Hillary cheerleading.

I mean, he’s only been doing this for a year now.  Am I the only one who sees this?  How can you, Ace, who thinks of himself as a smarter version of a Fox news bobblehead, not see this?  Isn’t it your job to see this?

“We Were Beaten by the Best, Boy”

Spud: Hey! They just ran into the house! That Homer fella grifted you good, Dad.

Cooder: Well, there’s no shame in bein’ beaten by the best.

Spud: But he didn’t seem all that…

Cooder{brusque}: We were beaten by the best, boy.

Once again, I’m wondering if I read the same books as everyone else back in high school.  In this case, Psych 101.  Here’s Ace of Spades on how Trump just torpedoed his own campaign (ever notice how he’s always doing that?) by claiming GW Bush “lied us into war:”

Trump damaged himself with his claim that Bush lied us into war in Iraq. Not botched the intelligence, not read too much into thin intelligence.

Most Republicans, I think, would agree that that.

No, Trump claimed that Bush deliberately lied us into war….

If Donald Trump is right, and George W. Bush deliberately schemed with his neo-con advisers to “lie” us into a phony war with Iraq, what does that say about the average Republican voter who supported Bush from 1999, voted for him, defended him through the recount, cried with him on 9/11, agreed with him on Iraq, defended him from ceaseless liberal attacks on him during the war, defended him from Obama’s never-expiring “Blame Bush” blame-shifting, etc.?

Well… what does it say?

Ace thinks Trump just called Republican voters morons.  I think he just gave them permission to finally abandon Bush.

Show of hands: Anyone without an equity stake in Lockheed-Martin still think the Iraq War was a good idea?  It’s true that the average Republican voter supported it.  I did.  And it’s true that lots of us defended it — again, guilty — in the face of our liberal acquaintances’ nastiness and hysteria.  But — follow closely now — we were wrong.

It’s not easy for most people to admit they were wrong, even on piddly little things.  It’s even harder to admit that you were wrong about big things, and it’s really, really tough to admit you were wrong on huge things, identity-defining things that you went to the mat for again and again.

Like used cars.  Everyone knows someone who has bought a lemon, and every lemon-buyer has the same story: “The salesman tricked me!”  But it’s not true, and everyone, including the lemon-buyer, knows it.  Salesmen never lie, because it’s the end of their world if they get caught.  You tricked yourself.  You got your identity caught up in it — as the kind of guy who drives that particular car, or, more likely, as the kind of savvy shopper who got conned the conman.  You know the salesman’s not really going back to the office to “clear it with his manage,” right?  He’s giving you time to fix that identity in your head — you’re the gearhead who really put one over on that dimbulb sales dude.  Once it’s off the lot, it’s your problem.

Claiming that the salesman lied to you is a psychological defense mechanism.  If your wallet is more important to you than your ego, you admit that you got took, and change your behavior accordingly.  If ego trumps wallet, then not only do I have a used car to sell you, but I can get you a big discount on the undercoating.

Politics works the same way.  Not only do you have to swallow the pill that you were wrong about the Iraq War — galling enough, considering what it says about your judgment — but you have to at least tacitly admit that all those screeching liberal assholes were at least kinda sorta right.  Yes, they were against it for all the wrong reasons.  Yes, their whole pretend pacifism thing was and is bullshit.  Yes, they are grotesque hypocrites.  And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo, BUT — they were right.  All the grand Iraqi adventure got us was more government, more surveillance, more “homeland security,” more debt, more terrorism, more Democrats in the White House… and all at the cost of several thousand precious American lives.  That’s a near-fatal psychological wound….

….unless, of course, you got conned.  You were beaten by the best.  We all know that George W. Bush isn’t the idiot liberals make him out to be.  In fact, he’s the evil scheming Machiavellian genius liberals make him out to be.  There’s no shame in bein’ beatin by the best.

Time will tell, of course, whether I’m right, or Ace is.  But I’ll bet you two cases of undercoating that Trump’s poll numbers don’t drop a fraction.

 

Wil Wheaton is Not Leon Trotsky

Wil Wheaton, of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, has been called out by other Progressives for being insufficiently Progressive.  Via Vox Day:

Like many of you, I’ve been aware of Wil Wheaton’s outspoken position as a Bro-Feminist for quite some time. Occasionally, he’ll retweet or even say something that might seem profound. But I’m also not alone in suspecting that, beneath his “yay, feminism!” facade, lies deep-rooted misogyny. Recently, he proved my suspicions correct when he attempted to brand Clinton supporters a rather disgusting sexist slur that I will not repeat.

And there was great rejoicing on the Right side of the internet, because we’re apparently as bad as Leftists about remembering what happened five minutes ago.

Yes, this is the inevitable consequence of “social justice.”  Eventually all the little micro-identities come into conflict with one another.

No, this will not change one single mind.  Remember 2008?  Hillary supporters called Obama supporters misogynists; Obama supporters called Hillary supporters racists.  Heck, there was even some talk on the right about the resurgence of something like “Reagan Democrats.”  Remember the Pumas?  Ace of Spades was big on them for a while, thinking that this — finally!!– might wake some folks up to the gross self-contradictions in modern liberalism.

Those folks are all rock-ribbed conservatives these days, right?

Sheesh.  C’mon, y’all.  These are the same people who claim to believe, with all apparent sincerety, that Bruce Jenner is a woman because he puts on a dress and does the Buffalo Bill tuck-under.  They’ll go back to loving Wil Wheaton 0.0000325 seconds after this election is over.  He’s a “feminist,” after all.  And isn’t that show just so funny?

“Working Towards the Fuhrer”

Y’all probably already know this, but for the amazingly large number of people who somehow think Hillary Clinton is going to be indicted, here’s a quick primer on how these things work:

One of Herr Hitler’s lasting legacies is a certain style of conspiracy masquerading as a government.  The History Channel gives one the impression that Nazi Germany was fearsomely efficient.  That’s so wrong, it’s almost completely backwards — in a very real sense, the Reich had hardly any “government” at all.

Hitler, like all autocrats, didn’t like to delegate.  Combine that with a philosophical commitment to Social Darwinism, and you’ve got a free-for-all in which the guy who claws his way up to Hitler’s ear gets his way, while everybody else is stuck killing time, waiting for orders that never come.  This applied all the way down the line — guys like Goering and Himmler got millions of men and limitless resources poured into what were, in effect, private armies, while some of the most basic functions of government like transportation languished.

Obviously, this is a terrible way to run a nation.  But it does have two distinct, interrelated advantages for the dictator.  First, it encourages innovation in the lower ranks.  Since it was impossible to get promoted the old-fashioned way, juniors had to resort to drastic measures to get noticed.  Despite the Teutonic “just following orders” caricature, then, low ranking Nazis were surprisingly out-out-the-box thinkers — this is how obscure, pen-pushing junior officers like Adolf Eichmann ended up presiding over programs that moved millions of people.  Senior officers ruthlessly encouraged this attitude, which Sir Ian Kershaw called “working towards the Fuhrer” — the only way to advance in the Reich was to be better than one’s fellows at divining what Hitler wanted, often on the basis of very little (and often seemingly contradictory) evidence…. and delivering it at all costs.

Which plays into the second advantage of such a system for a dictator: Near-complete deniability.  If you’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with a Holocaust denier (or if you’ve read Richard J. Evans’s excellent Lying about Hitler), you know that there’s no “smoking gun” for the Holocaust; no official kill order over Hitler’s signature.  This fact — and it is a fact — has allowed certain types to spin all kinds of theories about what happened during the war, how much Hitler knew about what might or might not have been happening, etc.  But, of course, “working towards the Fuhrer” is the easiest and most obvious explanation for the overwhelming circumstantial evidence — Hitler didn’t issue such an order, simply because he didn’t have to.  Everyone knew what he wanted, and the spectacular rise of guys like Eichmann was proof.

Of course, the circumstantial evidence against Hitler was (and is) overwhelming.  But: We only have access to all that circumstantial evidence because we won the war.  Without all those captured documents, and complete freedom to peruse them and follow wherever they lead, and millions of eyewitnesses, and a whole bunch of ex-Nazis willing to testify in exchange for plea bargains, the case would’ve been much tougher to make.  Had all of those conditions not been met, the leadership of the Third Reich would have been almost impossible to prosecute.  You could pin just about every individual act on some low-level actor, but even though the higher-ups must have approved, no paper would ever attach to them.  Think of it as a government-wide version of the way mob bosses work — if you don’t have the don actually ordering so-and-so to get whacked, on film and audio, you don’t have a viable prosecution.

So, yeah — Huma Abedin is going to jail.  That’s what all this noise is about.  But if Hillary Clinton is smart — or just not utterly, utterly retarded — she never actually said “cut and paste the classified stuff.”  She certainly never said it in anyone else’s earshot, and not even a Democrat is dumb enough to put it on paper.  She just made a few vague statements, dropped a few fuzzy hints… and let her well-known preferences, and her equally well-known fondness for (shall we say) “creative” solutions, to do the rest.

Since this isn’t Nuremberg, the prosecution’s only chance, then, will be getting Huma and a few others to roll on their boss, which… well, would you?  This woman is still the odds-on favorite to be the next President of the United States.  I’d take the fifteen-to-twenty in the federal pen, secure in the knowledge that a presidential pardon and a nice cushy payoff were already in the works.

I mean, this is, like, Conspiracy 101.

Where’s the Freakout?

We have a category of posts called “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy.”  Pretentious, I know, but it’s the shortest tag I could think of on the spur of the moment to describe a very weird phenomenon: Stuff that seems to be capital-H History passing by completely unremarked.*

I’ve written almost too many posts to count about how the collapse of a major political party is a big deal.  Here’s one about the collapse of the Democrats.  Here’s one in which I wonder, yet again, why nobody seems bothered by this stuff.  So here’s another one:

Via the Z Man, here’s The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol openly declaring his intention to go 3rd party should Trump win the nomination:

And since nobody believes Trump will go quietly if he doesn’t win the nomination, a major 3rd party run is pretty much inevitable in a few months.  And given that, does anyone think that the Republican Party makes it past 2016?  Trump’s clown show only exists because the “base” — which seems to mean “donors of under six figures” — is so disgusted by the money boys that they’re only voting to stick a finger in their eyes.

Let me repeat that: Pretty much every single Trump vote is a fuck you to the Establishment.  I’ve never met a Trump supporter who can fluently discuss Trump’s positions on the issues, for the simple reason that Trump doesn’t have any.  And let me repeat that: The fountainhead of Trump’s appeal is that he doesn’t have positions, i.e. the first and highest function of a political party.

Does anyone really think all those “fuck you!” voters are just going to go away if GOP 2.0 hands the election to Hillary Clinton?  Right now they’re just fuck you voters; after four years of the Lizard Queen, there will be fuck you secession conventions.

This has happened before, y’all.

Best case scenario — using that term very, very loosely — you get 1912, where Teddy Roosevelt led the Progressive Republicans away into the Bull Moose Party, handing the White House to Woodrow Wilson and starting the fascist era.  American liberty got its lethal injection that year, but hey, at least there weren’t shots fired.

Second best-case scenario is 1852, where the Whig Party simply disappears after it resolutely refuses to take a stand on the only issue that matters.  The Whig candidate that year was Gen. Winfield Scott, a hero of the Mexican War, but the voters joked that General Apathy would be the real winner, since even the Dems couldn’t be bothered to nominate a real candidate (Franklin Pierce, the eventual nominee, was the darkest of dark horses, emerging as a compromise candidate after the horse trading failed for half a dozen other guys).  But hey, the shooting didn’t start for another 8 years, so I guess that’s a win.

Worst case scenario, of course, is the collapse of the Democratic Party in 1860.  People forget that Lincoln won only because the Dems split three ways — proslavery, really proslavery, and silently proslavery.  Lincoln was the “fuck you” candidate in that scenario, the guy you voted for if you were tired of Southern slaveholders in the White House since… well, pretty much since the Adams administration.

As I say, this seems to be a big deal however you slice it.  If you know anything at all about American history, you should be pretty fucking nervous right now.  And yet… nothing.

Weird.

 

 

 

*In the novel The Man in the High Castle, a book called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy told the “alternate” history of WWII in their world, which is what really happened in ours.  So many commentators on the current scene seem to be misreading history so deliberately that I wonder if I somehow got the “alternate” version of the textbook back in high school… the version where there’s clear historical precedent for all this stuff.

If Lovin’ This is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Be Right

Breitbart (if you can get past the autoplay adware kludge):

A Morning Consult poll, released Friday, surveyed 504 registered voters who watched Wednesday’s Republican primary debate and has only good news for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina. While the poll’s sample size is small (with a 4.4% margin of error), the poll’s trend is worth noting.

In this same poll, prior to Wednesday night’s debate, Trump sat at 33% support. Dr. Ben Carson sat in second place with 17% support. Today Trump enjoys 36% support. Carson is still in second place but with just 12% support.

Trump’s lead increased from +16 points to  +24%. That’s an +8% jump.

The Ace of Spades guys (whom I generally respect and mostly like) keep on insisting it’s over for Trump.  The grasshopper seems to lie heavy on this one, too.

Now, I’m sure y’all are probably as sick of reading about Trump as I am of writing about him.  So I want to clearly explain why I think this is so important.  Let me start by quoting Vox Day’s take on all this:

Both Fiorina and Carson are no-hope non-candidates. The fact that both of them have more appeal than the Walker, Rubio, Cruz, Christie, Bush III et al suffices to demonstrate how little faith the grassroots has in the Establishment.

It’s pretty simple. Both American and European politics are about IMMIGRATION, IMMIGRATION, and IMMIGRATION. If you don’t support immediately repatriating ALL illegal immigrants as a STARTING POINT, you’re just not an electable candidate anymore.

That’s not precisely true.  Immigration is an epiphenomenon.  It’s actually even simpler than that:

The Elite are offering us two choices.  We can be either

1) passive consumers on the company tit, spending our rapidly decreasing wages on iCrap made by smaller, browner, poorer people, or

2) smaller, browner, poorer people.

That’s it.  It’s not — despite all the howling on the alt-right — anti-white animus; it’s just the logic of the bottom line.  If present trends continue, our imported lumpen-Aztecs will themselves be replaced, soon enough, by lumpen-Africans.  You do know there’s 1.3 billion more of them in the pipeline, right?

Karl Marx was right, y’all.  This is where laissez-faire leads; there can be no other.

You-Know-Who, who knew his Marx, saw all this.  And the Chinese, who definitely know their Marx, see it as well.  There’s a reason they seem content to remain a regional hegemon, despite their economy going kerflooey — by 2050, the life of a peasant in Shandong will seem unimaginably luxurious compared to the life of a peasant in San Francisco.  And the People’s Liberation Army knows a thing or two about managing recalcitrant populations.

Trump — a businessman — is simply following that logic where it leads.

It remains an open question, of course, how much of this is conscious.  You-Know-Who didn’t have much of a coherent platform, either.  He simply made a statement that seemed all too obvious to millions of his countrymen: Whether you’re a barely-making-it clerk in a Jewish bank in Berlin, or a prole pulling a shift in People’s Heavy Tractor Manufactory #202 in Krasnoyarsk, you are not you — you are a production-unit, a consumption-unit, a cell in a vast spreadsheet that, if present trends continue, will soon cover the whole earth.  Your fears and desires, your hopes and dreams, your gods, your traditions, your ancestors, your descendants… all meaningless.  You are a cog, and you will do as you’re told, or you will be scrapped — because that’s what one does with defective cogs.

And that’s why I called this piece “If Loving This is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Be Right.”  Because You-Know-Who also had a huge, tightly organized Party, with several massive paramilitary formations at his beck and call.  He had Party members salted throughout the civil service, the police, the army.  And because of this, he had massive leverage — at least one Weimar chancellor was assured that, unless the far right* was brought into the governming coalition, a civil war would break out… which the army simply didn’t have the manpower to stop.

What I’m getting at is this: Trump, with his half-assed, off-the-cuff, ridiculous clown show candidacy, may well be the best alternative on offer.  “Vote me, and be Americans again” isn’t going away.  If Trump doesn’t ride that slogan to the White House, it’s going to become the slogan of a large, tightly organized Party, with several massive paramilitary formations at its beck and call.  Thanks to President Jebillary’s open door policies, that party won’t have an outright majority… but You-Know-Who’s never did either.  And not everyone at the Pentagon is a drooling imbecile — at some point, some bright young staff officer is going to advise President Jebillary that, in the increasingly likely event of shots fired, we’re not going to have enough loyal troops to stop it.

Not that the clown show presidency would be any fun, either.  Some bad shit is coming down the road, and we passed the turnoff a long time ago.  Our choice isn’t between better or worse flavors of Business as Usual; it’s between Bad and Much, Much Worse.

Me?  I’m voting for Bad.  And it seems like more and more people are joining me.

 

 

*not that You-Know-Who was a conservative, of course, but for convenience I’m using the term the history books use.  That way, if you want to check my work, you won’t constantly be tripping over references to the National Socialists as “right-wing.”

Adios, Adam Smith

Once again — and at the risk of sounding like a whiny liberal — I’m gonna pre-apologize here.  I have no idea if what I’m about to say is as obvious to everyone else as it is to me.  That’s the thing about blogging, no?  It’s teenagerish in a lot of ways.  The angst, the grammar…. but mostly the conviction that, because you’ve thought of something for your first time, that’s the first time that thought has ever been thunk, in all of human history.  Anyway…

I think we can safely say that after 300 years, give or take, as Western man’s intellectual operating system, The Enlightenment is basically gone.  It was rotten from the start, of course — the minute they gained power, Reason’s acolytes started murdering anyone who disagreed with them.  But because the idea of Man as the Rational Animal is so seductive to Dunning-Kruger cases*, it persisted even as its body count topped 100 million.

That’s producing an interesting Left-Right convergence, to the point where “Left” and “Right” are just about at the end of their run as useful concepts.  The Left has always been better at taking on contradictions than the Right, since they had to swallow a bigger contradiction than we did.  All we had to do was pretend that rationality is mankind’s default mode.  A tall order, that, but given the alternative — pretending that Marx’s mystical mumbo jumbo is scientific — it wasn’t too hard to convince ourselves that choking down the smaller absurdity was sweet reason.  But bunk is still bunk, and a glass of fine wine with a drop of sewage in it is as much sewage as a whole barrel of the stuff.

The “Right” — briefly retaining the term for convenience — is coming around on this.  It’s taken as given among “alt-right” types that capitalism doesn’t work, because it presupposes that people are both rational, and infinitely educable.  That’s false, and if you accept the basic premises of the HBD crowd — or just take a gander at South Africa before and after Mbeki — you can’t help but conclude that classic laissez-faire capitalism is as much a fantasy in its way as Marxism.  “Free markets,” “free trade,” and so forth can’t exist when there’s a 2+ SD IQ gap between the parties.

Which is why the HBD guys sound like Mussolini on economic questions.

Nobody likes talking about all this ancient history.  The Wealth of Nations, like the Constitution, is about a hundred years old. But we still think it applies, and whoever deals with the fallout from that idea’s explosion is going to go very far, very fast.

 

*Hereafter, DKC for convenience.