Day: November 20, 2017

Peter Beinart's Virtue Signal



“I didn’t try because the magazine afforded me extraordinary opportunity. Soon, I was not only working alongside people I revered, I was being given the chance to ascend to their level. Asking how much of their success was due to race, gender, and class — as opposed to merit — would have meant asking the same of myself.”

Evaluating writing and writers is inherently subjective, as E.B White wrote, “Who can confidently say what ignites a certain combination of words, causing them to explode in the mind?” While it’s possible Beinart benefited from being white and male, it’s clear that the New Republic was a much more widely read and better regarded publication when he worked there. Further, a large number of the writers hired by Peretz achieved tremendous professional success after leaving TNR, including Beinart himself.

While the evaluation of writing is inherently subjective, the evaluation of college applicants and civil servants is much less so. Yet “diversity” advocates strenuously oppose the most objective measure we have, standardized tests. Diversity advocates want to make applying to college more like applying to work at the New Republic, replacing grades and SATs with college essays and “holistic” admissions.

Beinart also confuses editorial slant with discrimination, writing “The absence of women and people of color in senior editorial jobs was intertwined with the magazine’s long-standing, jaundiced view of the African American and feminist left. Had I challenged that culture more emphatically, I would probably not have become editor in the first place.”

Under Marty Peretz, the New Republic tended to hire centrist Democrats instead of people on the hard left. They also didn’t hire many gun-rights supporters, abortion opponents, or religious conservatives. This reflected TNR’s editorial stance; conflating a publication’s editorial stance with discrimination is asinine.

During the Peretz era, the New Republic co-existed with a large number of publications further to their left, such as the Nation. Progressive democrats who opposed welfare reform, supported affirmative action, or hated Clintonian centrism, had a multitude of outlets to publish in.

In the post Peretz-era, it has become impossible for anyone on the left to take a nuanced position on any issue touching on race or gender. Progressive Democrat James Webb was pilloried for questioning the scope of contemporary affirmative action, and Jeralyn Merritt was savaged for her fact-based defense of the Zimmerman verdict.

Left-wing publications supportive of feminism and progressive approaches to race have always existed. However, in the post Peretz-era heterodox views on race and gender have been completely silenced in liberal circles, leaving the most doctrinaire and politically correct in charge of the discussion.

Beinart’s virtue signaling would have been incomplete without reference to the “misconduct” scandal engulfing former TNR employee Leon Wieseltier. Following allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior at TNR, Wieseltier has been fired from his most recent job as editor of a forthcoming online magazine.

Several women came forward to allege that Wieseltier made them uncomfortable with his sexual banter, and flirtation. They also accused Wieseltier of occasionally going in for an unwanted kiss, while socializing after work. More cynical readers will wonder whether, like a stripper carrying thirty extra pounds of lard, Wieseltier’s real sin was being unsexy.

Still, Beinart can’t resist kicking the old boy while he’s down, relating a story of how he staged an intervention after Leon tried to smooch one of his co-workers after a night of drinking. Beinart writes, “The magazine had no sexual-harassment procedures. So I called Marty — who spent most of his time in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New York — and asked him to come to Washington to tell Leon that his behavior was unacceptable.”

“Marty, Leon, and I met at the Willard Hotel. When I confronted him, Leon — who had a gift for intimidation — reacted ferociously. ‘Is this some kind of intervention?’ he roared. Marty didn’t push back. That was it. Leon never admitted to having done anything wrong, and he received no punishment. Sarah, having incurred Leon’s wrath, felt isolated at the magazine and left.”

Beinart describes a conversation many of us have had to have, or perhaps someone had to have with us. Occasionally, one has to tell a friend, “she’s just not that into you.” How the recipient handles the unwelcome news ought to define our judgment of them. Do they accept the bad news like a big boy or big girl, or do they keep pestering the object of their desire?

According to Sarah Wildman, Leon did not pursue her further, or retaliate against her for reporting the incident. He accepted her rejection and moved on. Beinart uses this incident as an example of how women were denied opportunity at the New Republic, writing, “What I do know is that the affirmative action I enjoyed, and the sexual harassment Sarah suffered, were connected. I was given extraordinary opportunity at TNR, in large measure, because talented women like Sarah Wildman were not.”

That’s a stretch.

Beinart concludes that he, as the former editor of the New Republic and contributing editor to the Atlantic, has much in common with angry white male Trump supporters.

“In this regard, I suspect, I have something in common with the supporters of Donald Trump. It’s not pleasant to realize that the bygone age you romanticize — the age when America was still great — was great for you, or people like you, because others were denied a fair shot. In the America of the 1950s, or even the 1980s, white, straight, native-born American men didn’t worry as much about competing with Salvadoran immigrants and Chinese factory workers and professional women and Joshua-generation African Americans.”

Here, Beinart takes a divergent collection of issues and reduces them to a single factor: white male resentment. Trade, immigration, affirmative action, sexual harassment, all reduced to white male whining. Never mind that, for example, African Americans may be one of the groups most hurt by mass immigration.

It’s probably true that white working-class Trump voters are motivated by the type of economic and cultural fears Beinart cites. However, that doesn’t make their views on trade, immigration, sexual harassment, or affirmative action wrong. Beinart commits a basic ad-hominem fallacy, holding that Trumpers are wrong by virtue of being white and male.

Gay intellectuals coined the term the “performative masculinity” to describe the pressured conformance to norms of masculinity. Beinart’s writing inspired this author to coin his own term, the “performativity of woke-ness.” Beinart’s column is a fifteen-hundred word virtue signal, letting the reader know that he Peter Beinart is down with the cause despite being stale, pale, and male.

Recently, Peter Beinart took to the pages of the Atlantic to make a confession. Beinart confessed that he — yes he — had benefited from affirmative action. The New Republic, he claimed, had a policy of favoring well-educated white men from ivy league schools.

“I considered myself qualified. Because I’d spent years mimicking TNR’s writing style, I had the right sort of clips. But as a white man graduating from an Ivy League school, I also had the right sort of identity. It was difficult to disentangle the two. And I didn’t really try.”


“I didn’t try because the magazine afforded me extraordinary opportunity. Soon, I was not only working alongside people I revered, I was being given the chance to ascend to their level. Asking how much of their success was due to race, gender, and class — as opposed to merit — would have meant asking the same of myself.”

Evaluating writing and writers is inherently subjective, as E.B White wrote, “Who can confidently say what ignites a certain combination of words, causing them to explode in the mind?” While it’s possible Beinart benefited from being white and male, it’s clear that the New Republic was a much more widely read and better regarded publication when he worked there. Further, a large number of the writers hired by Peretz achieved tremendous professional success after leaving TNR, including Beinart himself.

While the evaluation of writing is inherently subjective, the evaluation of college applicants and civil servants is much less so. Yet “diversity” advocates strenuously oppose the most objective measure we have, standardized tests. Diversity advocates want to make applying to college more like applying to work at the New Republic, replacing grades and SATs with college essays and “holistic” admissions.

Beinart also confuses editorial slant with discrimination, writing “The absence of women and people of color in senior editorial jobs was intertwined with the magazine’s long-standing, jaundiced view of the African American and feminist left. Had I challenged that culture more emphatically, I would probably not have become editor in the first place.”

Under Marty Peretz, the New Republic tended to hire centrist Democrats instead of people on the hard left. They also didn’t hire many gun-rights supporters, abortion opponents, or religious conservatives. This reflected TNR’s editorial stance; conflating a publication’s editorial stance with discrimination is asinine.

During the Peretz era, the New Republic co-existed with a large number of publications further to their left, such as the Nation. Progressive democrats who opposed welfare reform, supported affirmative action, or hated Clintonian centrism, had a multitude of outlets to publish in.

In the post Peretz-era, it has become impossible for anyone on the left to take a nuanced position on any issue touching on race or gender. Progressive Democrat James Webb was pilloried for questioning the scope of contemporary affirmative action, and Jeralyn Merritt was savaged for her fact-based defense of the Zimmerman verdict.

Left-wing publications supportive of feminism and progressive approaches to race have always existed. However, in the post Peretz-era heterodox views on race and gender have been completely silenced in liberal circles, leaving the most doctrinaire and politically correct in charge of the discussion.

Beinart’s virtue signaling would have been incomplete without reference to the “misconduct” scandal engulfing former TNR employee Leon Wieseltier. Following allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior at TNR, Wieseltier has been fired from his most recent job as editor of a forthcoming online magazine.

Several women came forward to allege that Wieseltier made them uncomfortable with his sexual banter, and flirtation. They also accused Wieseltier of occasionally going in for an unwanted kiss, while socializing after work. More cynical readers will wonder whether, like a stripper carrying thirty extra pounds of lard, Wieseltier’s real sin was being unsexy.

Still, Beinart can’t resist kicking the old boy while he’s down, relating a story of how he staged an intervention after Leon tried to smooch one of his co-workers after a night of drinking. Beinart writes, “The magazine had no sexual-harassment procedures. So I called Marty — who spent most of his time in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New York — and asked him to come to Washington to tell Leon that his behavior was unacceptable.”

“Marty, Leon, and I met at the Willard Hotel. When I confronted him, Leon — who had a gift for intimidation — reacted ferociously. ‘Is this some kind of intervention?’ he roared. Marty didn’t push back. That was it. Leon never admitted to having done anything wrong, and he received no punishment. Sarah, having incurred Leon’s wrath, felt isolated at the magazine and left.”

Beinart describes a conversation many of us have had to have, or perhaps someone had to have with us. Occasionally, one has to tell a friend, “she’s just not that into you.” How the recipient handles the unwelcome news ought to define our judgment of them. Do they accept the bad news like a big boy or big girl, or do they keep pestering the object of their desire?

According to Sarah Wildman, Leon did not pursue her further, or retaliate against her for reporting the incident. He accepted her rejection and moved on. Beinart uses this incident as an example of how women were denied opportunity at the New Republic, writing, “What I do know is that the affirmative action I enjoyed, and the sexual harassment Sarah suffered, were connected. I was given extraordinary opportunity at TNR, in large measure, because talented women like Sarah Wildman were not.”

That’s a stretch.

Beinart concludes that he, as the former editor of the New Republic and contributing editor to the Atlantic, has much in common with angry white male Trump supporters.

“In this regard, I suspect, I have something in common with the supporters of Donald Trump. It’s not pleasant to realize that the bygone age you romanticize — the age when America was still great — was great for you, or people like you, because others were denied a fair shot. In the America of the 1950s, or even the 1980s, white, straight, native-born American men didn’t worry as much about competing with Salvadoran immigrants and Chinese factory workers and professional women and Joshua-generation African Americans.”

Here, Beinart takes a divergent collection of issues and reduces them to a single factor: white male resentment. Trade, immigration, affirmative action, sexual harassment, all reduced to white male whining. Never mind that, for example, African Americans may be one of the groups most hurt by mass immigration.

It’s probably true that white working-class Trump voters are motivated by the type of economic and cultural fears Beinart cites. However, that doesn’t make their views on trade, immigration, sexual harassment, or affirmative action wrong. Beinart commits a basic ad-hominem fallacy, holding that Trumpers are wrong by virtue of being white and male.

Gay intellectuals coined the term the “performative masculinity” to describe the pressured conformance to norms of masculinity. Beinart’s writing inspired this author to coin his own term, the “performativity of woke-ness.” Beinart’s column is a fifteen-hundred word virtue signal, letting the reader know that he Peter Beinart is down with the cause despite being stale, pale, and male.



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The Perfumed Princes of the Pentagon


If you’re not familiar with the term “Perfumed Prince,” take a look at Air Force LTG Jay Silveria, Commander of the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs.

Silveria achieved the national spotlight by chewing out the entire class over racial slurs posted on five cadets’ quarters.  Months later, it turned out that one of the targets was actually the perpetrator.

Here are some bullet points from a field manual.

Get the facts, before you act.

Solve problems at the lowest level.

Concede a mistake.

Praise in public, reprimand in private.

General “Knee-Jerk” violated all of them.  When confronted with his error, he replied that this had to be said anyway.  Apparently, he was conflating the Charlottesville protests with his own command, not to mention a likely disdain for his commander in chief.

But here we have an intelligence failure.  Charlottesville may well have been a false flag operation.  So was the “hoax” at Silveria’s academy.  Intelligence must be timely and adequate.  Silveria was spot-on with time but dismally inadequate despite plenty of open source information, aka “news”.

The general ranted himself into an ambush.

Wonder why we don’t win wars?

Colonel David Hackworth coined the term “Perfumed Princes”  to describe the leaders who sidestepped the Vietnam disaster and infested the senior ranks, playing the academic or business manager while they squeezed out soldiers on the soggy end.

But Silveria’s rant went beyond careerism.  Silveria ordered everyone to video his rant on their cell phones to make sure his spiel went prime-time.  Everyone from Senator McCain to Joe Biden heaped the praise.  The Washington Post opined, “Too bad Trump can’t emulate the military when it comes to matters of race.”

“Eau de Diversity” is the fab fragrance of the Perfumed Princes as required by the political elite.

Martin Dempsey, 18th chairman of the Army chief of staff, 2011-2015, persisted with the hyphenated American being our strength to the end of his career.  Never mind that the attack at Fort Hood in 2009 was perpetrated by a Muslim-American Army psychiatrist-major.  Of this, Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. chimed in at the time, “as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

The tragedy was that Hasan’s behavior had been scaring the pants off his colleagues in Army mental health, of all places, for years.  But they understand.  Diversity comes first.

The tragedy was that the Army maintained that firing some 140 rounds in a medical processing center while yelling “Allahu akbar” was “workplace violence” until 2015, when a funding bill forced the Perfumed Princes to reclassify the incident as “combat-related.”  Until then, all the dozens of victims had been denied appropriate benefits and the Purple Heart, thirteen awarded posthumously.

Marine staff sergeant Joseph Chamblin was punished for having urinated on a Taliban corpse five years ago.  The conviction was overturned this November, after discovering that then-general Amos had interfered in the judicial proceeding.  Amos wanted this sort of thing “crushed.” 

Chamblin maintains that he made the incriminating video as a propaganda ploy, “because if an infidel touches the body, they’re not going to Mecca or paradise.”  This is right out of Brigadier General John Pershing’s successful tactics in the Philippines, 1909-1913, not to mention Clausewitz’s concept of “the will” and of knowing one’s enemy.  Of course, the opponents are “diverse,” or they wouldn’t be at war to begin with.

Chamblin is luckier than Lt. Clint Lorance, who is serving a twenty-year sentence for opening fire on suspected Taliban scouts when they ran his check point.  Lorance is one of the Leavenworth 10, referring to a fluctuating number of U.S. servicemen serving time while known terrorists are released from GITMO.

This isn’t a matter of holding ourselves to higher standards.  It’s a matter of having no standards at all.  Despite having made “war on terrorism” for sixteen years, the Perfumed Princes have yet to provide guidance – neither on trying terrorists nor on how novel rules of engagement translate into traditional military jurisprudence.  It’s all just fine, just the way it is, whatever it is, even with terms more generous to the enemy than to our own troops, who are just canonical cannon fodder.

Two Navy SEALs are presently under investigation for the death of Green Beret Logan Melgar in Niger.  (Where is Niger, anyway? ) Pilfering money from a fund intended to pay informants may be involved.  Funds like this are tempting.  That is their military purpose.  Proper administration requires multiple levels of oversight so that everyone up the chain has to be complicit if anyone pilfers.  External audits look for money spent with no results.

But the Perfumed Princes don’t really care about money.  They don’t care about results, either.  Congress appropriates money it borrows from a printing press and dumps it into an Authorization for the Use of Military Force that doesn’t have any milestones.  How can anyone audit that?

A rule of thumb is that if pacification hasn’t succeeded in seven years, then the insurgency has won, or another insurgency has taken its place.  Parallel wars can spin off as long as someone’s around with a gripe and guns.  Our “war on terror” has become another “war on poverty” or “war on crime.”  But that’s fine just the way it is with the Perfumed Princes.  Funding, anyone?

The latest snafu is a recruit shortage.  No kidding!  Word gets around.  Bradley Manning gets a pardon.  Bowe Bergdahl walks on a dishonorable discharge.  Clint Lorence remains in jail.  Got it!  Corrective action is to waive mental disorders, a novel solution even for an army as committed to diversity as ours.

Understand: the Perfumed Princes are not lowering the standards.  The perfumed policy is to forward waivers for evaluation in the light of “new knowledge” about mental disorders.  The mental health evaluators are Nidal Hasan’s colleagues.  They understand.  Numbers count.

There also remains a large body of “old knowledge” in which homosexual behavior indicates mental disorders.

Bradley Manning received counseling regarding his sexual problems as required by regulation and cognizant authority.  The problem here is that cognizant authority is a Perfumed Prince.  It took a full-blown act of treason and espionage to reach the proper diagnosis.

American elites are killing America.  But when our most focused, disciplined, and universal institution withers, it’s time to stop, smell the roses, and pin the carnations.  Perfumed Princes are not going to fall on their own swords.

Bowe Bergdahl and Bradley Manning are of grotesquely inadequate characters, but it’s not to avoid jail that they enlisted.   ‘Twas a time when a judge could offer enlistment, in certain cases, in lieu of jail.  It put a burden upon the military, but not an unusual one.  Numbers count.  Some didn’t make it, although many did, under military leaders.  But that’s not what LTG Silveria is training up.  God knows this generation is hurting for leaders like what no generation America has ever bred.

If you’re not familiar with the term “Perfumed Prince,” take a look at Air Force LTG Jay Silveria, Commander of the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs.

Silveria achieved the national spotlight by chewing out the entire class over racial slurs posted on five cadets’ quarters.  Months later, it turned out that one of the targets was actually the perpetrator.

Here are some bullet points from a field manual.

Get the facts, before you act.

Solve problems at the lowest level.

Concede a mistake.

Praise in public, reprimand in private.

General “Knee-Jerk” violated all of them.  When confronted with his error, he replied that this had to be said anyway.  Apparently, he was conflating the Charlottesville protests with his own command, not to mention a likely disdain for his commander in chief.

But here we have an intelligence failure.  Charlottesville may well have been a false flag operation.  So was the “hoax” at Silveria’s academy.  Intelligence must be timely and adequate.  Silveria was spot-on with time but dismally inadequate despite plenty of open source information, aka “news”.

The general ranted himself into an ambush.

Wonder why we don’t win wars?

Colonel David Hackworth coined the term “Perfumed Princes”  to describe the leaders who sidestepped the Vietnam disaster and infested the senior ranks, playing the academic or business manager while they squeezed out soldiers on the soggy end.

But Silveria’s rant went beyond careerism.  Silveria ordered everyone to video his rant on their cell phones to make sure his spiel went prime-time.  Everyone from Senator McCain to Joe Biden heaped the praise.  The Washington Post opined, “Too bad Trump can’t emulate the military when it comes to matters of race.”

“Eau de Diversity” is the fab fragrance of the Perfumed Princes as required by the political elite.

Martin Dempsey, 18th chairman of the Army chief of staff, 2011-2015, persisted with the hyphenated American being our strength to the end of his career.  Never mind that the attack at Fort Hood in 2009 was perpetrated by a Muslim-American Army psychiatrist-major.  Of this, Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. chimed in at the time, “as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

The tragedy was that Hasan’s behavior had been scaring the pants off his colleagues in Army mental health, of all places, for years.  But they understand.  Diversity comes first.

The tragedy was that the Army maintained that firing some 140 rounds in a medical processing center while yelling “Allahu akbar” was “workplace violence” until 2015, when a funding bill forced the Perfumed Princes to reclassify the incident as “combat-related.”  Until then, all the dozens of victims had been denied appropriate benefits and the Purple Heart, thirteen awarded posthumously.

Marine staff sergeant Joseph Chamblin was punished for having urinated on a Taliban corpse five years ago.  The conviction was overturned this November, after discovering that then-general Amos had interfered in the judicial proceeding.  Amos wanted this sort of thing “crushed.” 

Chamblin maintains that he made the incriminating video as a propaganda ploy, “because if an infidel touches the body, they’re not going to Mecca or paradise.”  This is right out of Brigadier General John Pershing’s successful tactics in the Philippines, 1909-1913, not to mention Clausewitz’s concept of “the will” and of knowing one’s enemy.  Of course, the opponents are “diverse,” or they wouldn’t be at war to begin with.

Chamblin is luckier than Lt. Clint Lorance, who is serving a twenty-year sentence for opening fire on suspected Taliban scouts when they ran his check point.  Lorance is one of the Leavenworth 10, referring to a fluctuating number of U.S. servicemen serving time while known terrorists are released from GITMO.

This isn’t a matter of holding ourselves to higher standards.  It’s a matter of having no standards at all.  Despite having made “war on terrorism” for sixteen years, the Perfumed Princes have yet to provide guidance – neither on trying terrorists nor on how novel rules of engagement translate into traditional military jurisprudence.  It’s all just fine, just the way it is, whatever it is, even with terms more generous to the enemy than to our own troops, who are just canonical cannon fodder.

Two Navy SEALs are presently under investigation for the death of Green Beret Logan Melgar in Niger.  (Where is Niger, anyway? ) Pilfering money from a fund intended to pay informants may be involved.  Funds like this are tempting.  That is their military purpose.  Proper administration requires multiple levels of oversight so that everyone up the chain has to be complicit if anyone pilfers.  External audits look for money spent with no results.

But the Perfumed Princes don’t really care about money.  They don’t care about results, either.  Congress appropriates money it borrows from a printing press and dumps it into an Authorization for the Use of Military Force that doesn’t have any milestones.  How can anyone audit that?

A rule of thumb is that if pacification hasn’t succeeded in seven years, then the insurgency has won, or another insurgency has taken its place.  Parallel wars can spin off as long as someone’s around with a gripe and guns.  Our “war on terror” has become another “war on poverty” or “war on crime.”  But that’s fine just the way it is with the Perfumed Princes.  Funding, anyone?

The latest snafu is a recruit shortage.  No kidding!  Word gets around.  Bradley Manning gets a pardon.  Bowe Bergdahl walks on a dishonorable discharge.  Clint Lorence remains in jail.  Got it!  Corrective action is to waive mental disorders, a novel solution even for an army as committed to diversity as ours.

Understand: the Perfumed Princes are not lowering the standards.  The perfumed policy is to forward waivers for evaluation in the light of “new knowledge” about mental disorders.  The mental health evaluators are Nidal Hasan’s colleagues.  They understand.  Numbers count.

There also remains a large body of “old knowledge” in which homosexual behavior indicates mental disorders.

Bradley Manning received counseling regarding his sexual problems as required by regulation and cognizant authority.  The problem here is that cognizant authority is a Perfumed Prince.  It took a full-blown act of treason and espionage to reach the proper diagnosis.

American elites are killing America.  But when our most focused, disciplined, and universal institution withers, it’s time to stop, smell the roses, and pin the carnations.  Perfumed Princes are not going to fall on their own swords.

Bowe Bergdahl and Bradley Manning are of grotesquely inadequate characters, but it’s not to avoid jail that they enlisted.   ‘Twas a time when a judge could offer enlistment, in certain cases, in lieu of jail.  It put a burden upon the military, but not an unusual one.  Numbers count.  Some didn’t make it, although many did, under military leaders.  But that’s not what LTG Silveria is training up.  God knows this generation is hurting for leaders like what no generation America has ever bred.



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Two kinds of truth: actual and political


“…there are two kinds of truth in this world.  The truth that is the unalterable bedrock of one’s life and mission.  And the other, malleable truth of politicians, charlatans, corrupt lawyers, and their clients, bent and molded to serve whatever purpose was at hand.”  Michael Connelly, Two Kinds of Truth 

There is a mass hysteria gripping the country at the moment. Some if it is probably part of a misguided plan to unseat Trump. The truly evil deeds of some are being conflated with far lesser crimes; but all forms of sexual predation are illicit and destructive. It was the New York Times’s journalistic equivalent of a nuclear bomb that revealed what thousands of people had known for three decades: that Harvey Weinstein has been a sexually abusive monster.  Everyone in the “business” knew it but kept quiet.  His politics were “correct,” so no one reported his many crimes against women.  He was a huge donor to Democrats, especially to the Clintons. To be in bed with the Clintons is to be above the law and corrupt to the core.  All of which means that, as night follows day, the Hollywood/Weinstein level of predation is probably rampant in Congress as well.  

Some of the journalists who viciously demeaned Bill Clinton’s victims in the 1990s are crawling all over themselves now, to say that they were wrong to defend him.  They were young! They did not know any better.”  Or, as Kirsten Gillibrand commented, “Times have changed.”  

No, Senator, rape and any kind of sexual abuse was very wrong then and is still very wrong today.  But those Clinton defenders never gave a thought to right and wrong.  Just as university students today are taught that one must be a leftist or suffer well-deserved consequences, those “young” journalists never gave a thought to Bill Clinton’s victims or what they may have suffered.  Oh, no! They had to be destroyed.  

Just as the leftists of Congress and the media who protected and continued to revere Ted Kennedy after he was wholly responsible for the death of a young woman in 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne, the left of the Clinton era never thought twice about maligning Bill’s victims to protect him.  It had to be done.  Ted Kennedy should have gone to prison, but he remained in the Senate despite his reputation as the Harvey Weinstein of Congress. Bill Clinton remained in the Oval Office despite his having defiled it.   The effusive glory that poured out of the mouths of every person who spoke at Ted’s funeral, including the now traitorous Mitch McConnell, was enough to make one gag. The “lion of the Senate” was the scourge of the Senate.

Just as everyone in Hollywood knew Weinstein was a barbarous abuser of women, every member of Congress knew the same about Ted Kennedy.  Bottom line?  The denizens of DC are as morally bankrupt as the swamp dwellers of the film and television industry.  Too many of them, not all of them of course, have lost all sense of right and wrong.  They defend creeps like Al Franken for the same reason Nina Burleigh offered her special services to Bill Clinton; their politics are “correct.” They leap at the chance to destroy a man like Roy Moore because his politics are wrong.  Right and wrong? Good vs. evil? Morality vs. immorality?  Not relevant.  They have sold their souls for power.  

Alexander Hamilton wrote that “Ambition without principle never was long under the guidance of good sense.” IndeedThe Kennedys, the Clintons and their defenders in the government and media are the personification of ambition without principle. They have done the nation great and lasting harm.  They see, they know, they defend, and keep silent about criminal scoundrels in their midst, victims be damned.  Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are as guilty as Kennedy and the Clintons.  They are harboring nameless sex offenders as we speak.  Their greater good is themselves, not the country.

The Clinton administration was corrupt, but the Obama administration took its cue from them and built upon it to become the most corrupt administration in modern history.  The combined list of crimes committed by the two presidencies of Clinton and Obama is too long to list here. Both administrations were chock full of criminals and we are living with the consequences of their misdeeds today.  The Clintons learned their tricks of the trade from the Kennedys.  Obama learned his from the Clintons.  Hillary got fabulously rich while Obama looked the other way, national security be damned.   By now, all Americans should know that there are two kinds of truth.  The actual truth and the always malleable truth fed to us by our media, our politicians and our celebrities who fancy themselves as arbiters of our culture. They lie for their living and deny the truth of the depravities that thrive in their midst.

The Clintons and the Obama administration did terrible and increasingly dangerous damage to America.  Trump was elected to reverse course but the forces of the left and the entrenched Republicans are all aligned to sabotage him and the agenda he was elected to implement.  They cannot abide an outsider in their club.  He does not operate like them, speak like them or think like them;  all to the good for his supporters.  These people, the DC establishment,  have no reverence for actual truth. They believe in their divine right to dictate their “truth” to the rest of us. The Democrats and establishment Republicans mean to submarine tax reform and likely will, just as they did with Obamacare repeal.  Is there anything more disingenuous than campaigning on repeal for seven years and then not doing it?  It is a conspiracy of the establishment to subvert Trump and thumb their noses to those who voted for him.  

The sexual and/or power predators of the Hollywood left and in Congress are all of a piece, a nasty piece of collective work.  The good guys among them are too few to bring about a change in how the country is governed.  We are at the mercy of a corrupt ruling class unless we fight back very hard.  The old guard needs to be gone; Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell, Durbin, McCain, Corker, Leahy, etc.  They are a scourge upon us.  They adhere to the morality-free fake truth of politicians.  They eschew the real truth.  It doesn’t matter to them.   They bend and mold their malleable truth, the truth of politicians, charlatans, corrupt lawyers [think Mueller] and their clients to serve whatever purpose is at hand.

“…there are two kinds of truth in this world.  The truth that is the unalterable bedrock of one’s life and mission.  And the other, malleable truth of politicians, charlatans, corrupt lawyers, and their clients, bent and molded to serve whatever purpose was at hand.”  Michael Connelly, Two Kinds of Truth 

There is a mass hysteria gripping the country at the moment. Some if it is probably part of a misguided plan to unseat Trump. The truly evil deeds of some are being conflated with far lesser crimes; but all forms of sexual predation are illicit and destructive. It was the New York Times’s journalistic equivalent of a nuclear bomb that revealed what thousands of people had known for three decades: that Harvey Weinstein has been a sexually abusive monster.  Everyone in the “business” knew it but kept quiet.  His politics were “correct,” so no one reported his many crimes against women.  He was a huge donor to Democrats, especially to the Clintons. To be in bed with the Clintons is to be above the law and corrupt to the core.  All of which means that, as night follows day, the Hollywood/Weinstein level of predation is probably rampant in Congress as well.  

Some of the journalists who viciously demeaned Bill Clinton’s victims in the 1990s are crawling all over themselves now, to say that they were wrong to defend him.  They were young! They did not know any better.”  Or, as Kirsten Gillibrand commented, “Times have changed.”  

No, Senator, rape and any kind of sexual abuse was very wrong then and is still very wrong today.  But those Clinton defenders never gave a thought to right and wrong.  Just as university students today are taught that one must be a leftist or suffer well-deserved consequences, those “young” journalists never gave a thought to Bill Clinton’s victims or what they may have suffered.  Oh, no! They had to be destroyed.  

Just as the leftists of Congress and the media who protected and continued to revere Ted Kennedy after he was wholly responsible for the death of a young woman in 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne, the left of the Clinton era never thought twice about maligning Bill’s victims to protect him.  It had to be done.  Ted Kennedy should have gone to prison, but he remained in the Senate despite his reputation as the Harvey Weinstein of Congress. Bill Clinton remained in the Oval Office despite his having defiled it.   The effusive glory that poured out of the mouths of every person who spoke at Ted’s funeral, including the now traitorous Mitch McConnell, was enough to make one gag. The “lion of the Senate” was the scourge of the Senate.

Just as everyone in Hollywood knew Weinstein was a barbarous abuser of women, every member of Congress knew the same about Ted Kennedy.  Bottom line?  The denizens of DC are as morally bankrupt as the swamp dwellers of the film and television industry.  Too many of them, not all of them of course, have lost all sense of right and wrong.  They defend creeps like Al Franken for the same reason Nina Burleigh offered her special services to Bill Clinton; their politics are “correct.” They leap at the chance to destroy a man like Roy Moore because his politics are wrong.  Right and wrong? Good vs. evil? Morality vs. immorality?  Not relevant.  They have sold their souls for power.  

Alexander Hamilton wrote that “Ambition without principle never was long under the guidance of good sense.” IndeedThe Kennedys, the Clintons and their defenders in the government and media are the personification of ambition without principle. They have done the nation great and lasting harm.  They see, they know, they defend, and keep silent about criminal scoundrels in their midst, victims be damned.  Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are as guilty as Kennedy and the Clintons.  They are harboring nameless sex offenders as we speak.  Their greater good is themselves, not the country.

The Clinton administration was corrupt, but the Obama administration took its cue from them and built upon it to become the most corrupt administration in modern history.  The combined list of crimes committed by the two presidencies of Clinton and Obama is too long to list here. Both administrations were chock full of criminals and we are living with the consequences of their misdeeds today.  The Clintons learned their tricks of the trade from the Kennedys.  Obama learned his from the Clintons.  Hillary got fabulously rich while Obama looked the other way, national security be damned.   By now, all Americans should know that there are two kinds of truth.  The actual truth and the always malleable truth fed to us by our media, our politicians and our celebrities who fancy themselves as arbiters of our culture. They lie for their living and deny the truth of the depravities that thrive in their midst.

The Clintons and the Obama administration did terrible and increasingly dangerous damage to America.  Trump was elected to reverse course but the forces of the left and the entrenched Republicans are all aligned to sabotage him and the agenda he was elected to implement.  They cannot abide an outsider in their club.  He does not operate like them, speak like them or think like them;  all to the good for his supporters.  These people, the DC establishment,  have no reverence for actual truth. They believe in their divine right to dictate their “truth” to the rest of us. The Democrats and establishment Republicans mean to submarine tax reform and likely will, just as they did with Obamacare repeal.  Is there anything more disingenuous than campaigning on repeal for seven years and then not doing it?  It is a conspiracy of the establishment to subvert Trump and thumb their noses to those who voted for him.  

The sexual and/or power predators of the Hollywood left and in Congress are all of a piece, a nasty piece of collective work.  The good guys among them are too few to bring about a change in how the country is governed.  We are at the mercy of a corrupt ruling class unless we fight back very hard.  The old guard needs to be gone; Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell, Durbin, McCain, Corker, Leahy, etc.  They are a scourge upon us.  They adhere to the morality-free fake truth of politicians.  They eschew the real truth.  It doesn’t matter to them.   They bend and mold their malleable truth, the truth of politicians, charlatans, corrupt lawyers [think Mueller] and their clients to serve whatever purpose is at hand.



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Has Ben Shapiro Been Watching Too Much Judge Judy?


Ben Shapiro is one of a number of conservative journalists recently bent on assuring us we’re at liberty to disregard due process of law in formulating our verdict on Roy Moore.  We have his permission, he tells us, because we’re deciding on political issues whose disposition won’t result in sending anyone to jail.  But this misunderstands what due process is and strips us of much needed protections.

Protections? you may ask.  Wherefore do we need protections if the state is not involved in our decision to, say, condemn someone we feel has been proven to our satisfaction to be a child-molester?  Simple.  We need the institutional model of due process as a reminder to shield us from brow-beating rhetoric like Shapiro’s that would structure our choices for us and insult our morality and intelligence if we don’t acquiesce to its forced conclusions.

There are many reasons due process is relevant to our responses to the allegations against Roy Moore.  But first, contrary to popular portrayals, let it be said that due process is not a “concept.”  It is an umbrella term referencing a constitutionally derived bundle of rights and time-proven procedural requirements that shape any governmental process of judgment that may deprive an individual of life, liberty, or property.  It is a threshold matter, not one factor in a series, as depicted in Shapiro’s list of arguments.  This means it predetermines what fairness will look like and binds equally all parties to a dispute to its prescribed standards.

How fundamental due process is was brought home to me, ironically, only after many years of practicing Big Law.  When I became a solo practitioner, I was in the unaccustomed position of counseling individuals and micro-businesses.  A shocking question was put to me by many of my clients: if my adversary sues me in court, how will I know about it?  What guarantee do I have that he won’t go before a judge and persuade him before I get a chance to tell my side? 

My clients were not naïve, mind you.  They were successful and educated.  They had simply never been involved in a legal dispute before.  Since I took for granted (and regarded as a pain in the rear end) the extraordinary number of detailed rules relating to “notice” to the other side that apply to each and every action taken before the bench, I hadn’t until then given a thought to their anxieties.  Nor had I appreciated how well the law’s safeguards address them and their right to be heard.  Our insecurities run deep, with good reason.  So before Mr. Shapiro dismisses the intelligently designed architecture of restraint associated with due process, before he miniaturizes its principles, he might pause to give thanks for the ways it erects a bulwark between us and brute power.

Speaking of brute power, there is something even more troubling here, and it resides in Ben’s very left-sounding admonitions that if we don’t give the right answer to the questions as he has posed them, we’re condoning “by default” terrible crimes or doing an injustice to the accusers.  There is something grisly and familiar about his attempt to intellectually boss us around, to bully us into believing, on his authority alone, that his version of complete knowledge (“here’s what we know so far”) must command our deference.  Those who insist in this fashion that they are in possession of the truth, even in the active presence of emerging contradictory facts and counter-interpretations, aren’t just displaying a lack of humility.  They are caricaturing the legal process.  They are self-appointed triers of fact whose air of importance is parasitic on the gravity of the law. 

In other words, people who talk at us as though they’re delivering a closing statement at a trial are playing at being both jurors and prosecutors.  Why else the hectoring gestures and language (“It’s a yes or no question!”) that might have been cribbed from a script of Law and Order?  In pronouncing pseudo-verdicts, such people are attempting to shut down doubt by vesting in themselves the dignity and consequentiality that comes with being officers of the court, which is what jurors are.  Thing is, they do all this without assuming any of the duties.   

Don’t get me wrong.  Discovering that Al Franken is the creep I always felt he was is deeply gratifying.  Hearing Democrats repent of their support for Hillary Clinton and (what I would call) her accomplice liability in her husband’s abuses of women doesn’t get any better.  Revisiting Nina Burleigh’s attempt to equate feminism with procuring for powerful men (What man would believe he should perform sexual favors on a political leader whose agenda he supported?) affords bittersweet relief.  If nothing else, now is not then.  Burleigh’s frisson over being cruised by a lascivious president stands revealed for the piteous vanity it is.  She used the “Women’s Movement” to self-deal, trading ideological favors for the benefits of aligning with the powerful and letting women who weren’t so lucky or simply had more integrity to pay the cost. 

There were other female bagmen.  She wasn’t alone.  Some of us remember what it was like to have our indignation overridden by “feminists.”  The Roy Moore question is not that.

But, hey, weighing in on scandalous revelations can be fun.  Why not?  Maxine Waters’s staging around the filing of articles of impeachment against the president is pure show biz.  Heck, the excuse to hold a Las Vegas-style extravaganza, with herself in the role of Celine, may have been the point of filing the articles in the first place.  (How else to publicly play out your fantasies if you’re not Al Franken?)  Likewise playing TV jurors.  On a healthier note, mimicking the drama of the truth-seeking process gives vent to our indignation, exercises our powers of deduction, and promotes interaction.  It may even result in actual valuable discussion and engagement. 

I can dig it.  But let’s not lose sight of how far the court of public opinion falls short of the real thing.  The least we can do where someone’s reputational assets are in the balance is acknowledge that without the discipline of law, our confidently delivered judgments may well be…how shall we put it?  Narcissistic?  Not for nothing did Edmund Burke, foreseeing the pitfalls of excessive self-love, warn that “individuals do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations.”

The usual response to this from non-lawyers is, But the law is not infallible.  It is time-consuming and expensive.  It allows the culpable to get off on technicalities (such as the fact that the statute of limitations has run on many of these allegations).  The guilty sometimes go unpunished.   

And so they do.  And so the law recognizes its own imperfections by imposing finality on its adjudications and the ability to seek recourse anyway.  And so it protects us from coercion (including the coercion of totalitarian rectitude) even though sometimes we must live with ambiguity and the possibility that suffering goes unredeemed.  

Get used to it, Ben.

Ben Shapiro is one of a number of conservative journalists recently bent on assuring us we’re at liberty to disregard due process of law in formulating our verdict on Roy Moore.  We have his permission, he tells us, because we’re deciding on political issues whose disposition won’t result in sending anyone to jail.  But this misunderstands what due process is and strips us of much needed protections.

Protections? you may ask.  Wherefore do we need protections if the state is not involved in our decision to, say, condemn someone we feel has been proven to our satisfaction to be a child-molester?  Simple.  We need the institutional model of due process as a reminder to shield us from brow-beating rhetoric like Shapiro’s that would structure our choices for us and insult our morality and intelligence if we don’t acquiesce to its forced conclusions.

There are many reasons due process is relevant to our responses to the allegations against Roy Moore.  But first, contrary to popular portrayals, let it be said that due process is not a “concept.”  It is an umbrella term referencing a constitutionally derived bundle of rights and time-proven procedural requirements that shape any governmental process of judgment that may deprive an individual of life, liberty, or property.  It is a threshold matter, not one factor in a series, as depicted in Shapiro’s list of arguments.  This means it predetermines what fairness will look like and binds equally all parties to a dispute to its prescribed standards.

How fundamental due process is was brought home to me, ironically, only after many years of practicing Big Law.  When I became a solo practitioner, I was in the unaccustomed position of counseling individuals and micro-businesses.  A shocking question was put to me by many of my clients: if my adversary sues me in court, how will I know about it?  What guarantee do I have that he won’t go before a judge and persuade him before I get a chance to tell my side? 

My clients were not naïve, mind you.  They were successful and educated.  They had simply never been involved in a legal dispute before.  Since I took for granted (and regarded as a pain in the rear end) the extraordinary number of detailed rules relating to “notice” to the other side that apply to each and every action taken before the bench, I hadn’t until then given a thought to their anxieties.  Nor had I appreciated how well the law’s safeguards address them and their right to be heard.  Our insecurities run deep, with good reason.  So before Mr. Shapiro dismisses the intelligently designed architecture of restraint associated with due process, before he miniaturizes its principles, he might pause to give thanks for the ways it erects a bulwark between us and brute power.

Speaking of brute power, there is something even more troubling here, and it resides in Ben’s very left-sounding admonitions that if we don’t give the right answer to the questions as he has posed them, we’re condoning “by default” terrible crimes or doing an injustice to the accusers.  There is something grisly and familiar about his attempt to intellectually boss us around, to bully us into believing, on his authority alone, that his version of complete knowledge (“here’s what we know so far”) must command our deference.  Those who insist in this fashion that they are in possession of the truth, even in the active presence of emerging contradictory facts and counter-interpretations, aren’t just displaying a lack of humility.  They are caricaturing the legal process.  They are self-appointed triers of fact whose air of importance is parasitic on the gravity of the law. 

In other words, people who talk at us as though they’re delivering a closing statement at a trial are playing at being both jurors and prosecutors.  Why else the hectoring gestures and language (“It’s a yes or no question!”) that might have been cribbed from a script of Law and Order?  In pronouncing pseudo-verdicts, such people are attempting to shut down doubt by vesting in themselves the dignity and consequentiality that comes with being officers of the court, which is what jurors are.  Thing is, they do all this without assuming any of the duties.   

Don’t get me wrong.  Discovering that Al Franken is the creep I always felt he was is deeply gratifying.  Hearing Democrats repent of their support for Hillary Clinton and (what I would call) her accomplice liability in her husband’s abuses of women doesn’t get any better.  Revisiting Nina Burleigh’s attempt to equate feminism with procuring for powerful men (What man would believe he should perform sexual favors on a political leader whose agenda he supported?) affords bittersweet relief.  If nothing else, now is not then.  Burleigh’s frisson over being cruised by a lascivious president stands revealed for the piteous vanity it is.  She used the “Women’s Movement” to self-deal, trading ideological favors for the benefits of aligning with the powerful and letting women who weren’t so lucky or simply had more integrity to pay the cost. 

There were other female bagmen.  She wasn’t alone.  Some of us remember what it was like to have our indignation overridden by “feminists.”  The Roy Moore question is not that.

But, hey, weighing in on scandalous revelations can be fun.  Why not?  Maxine Waters’s staging around the filing of articles of impeachment against the president is pure show biz.  Heck, the excuse to hold a Las Vegas-style extravaganza, with herself in the role of Celine, may have been the point of filing the articles in the first place.  (How else to publicly play out your fantasies if you’re not Al Franken?)  Likewise playing TV jurors.  On a healthier note, mimicking the drama of the truth-seeking process gives vent to our indignation, exercises our powers of deduction, and promotes interaction.  It may even result in actual valuable discussion and engagement. 

I can dig it.  But let’s not lose sight of how far the court of public opinion falls short of the real thing.  The least we can do where someone’s reputational assets are in the balance is acknowledge that without the discipline of law, our confidently delivered judgments may well be…how shall we put it?  Narcissistic?  Not for nothing did Edmund Burke, foreseeing the pitfalls of excessive self-love, warn that “individuals do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations.”

The usual response to this from non-lawyers is, But the law is not infallible.  It is time-consuming and expensive.  It allows the culpable to get off on technicalities (such as the fact that the statute of limitations has run on many of these allegations).  The guilty sometimes go unpunished.   

And so they do.  And so the law recognizes its own imperfections by imposing finality on its adjudications and the ability to seek recourse anyway.  And so it protects us from coercion (including the coercion of totalitarian rectitude) even though sometimes we must live with ambiguity and the possibility that suffering goes unredeemed.  

Get used to it, Ben.



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How a New York Senator Can Rag on the Clintons without Risk of Death


On November 16, 2017, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) kicked off her run for the 2020 presidency by intoning that Bill Clinton should have resigned (in disgrace?) in 1998 over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

Talk sure is cheap, isn’t it?  That’s because the Democrats had in their power to dump Clinton in 1999 and kick him right out of office – and took a pass on it.  They could even have accomplished this with a minority of their Senate membership.  And not only would it have been easy, but it would even have rebounded to their benefit, by guaranteeing their continued rule for at least six more years and probably ten.  They would have only benefited from doing so.  And how!

The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states that “no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”   This means that if Vice President Albert Sidney “Al” Gore had succeeded to the Presidency in 1999, he would have been enabled to serve out the time remaining in Clinton’s term – and then two full terms of his own.  Gore would have been on a fast track to become the longest serving president in American history, save only Franklin Roosevelt himself.

We can reasonably infer that if Gore had succeeded to the presidency in 1999, the 2000 election line-up would have been the same in that alternate reality as it was in ours: Gore versus Bush.  But would the outcome have been the same?  Almost certainly not.  The easiest way to win a presidential election is to run as an incumbent.  Even with Gore not running in 2000 as the incumbent president, he gained 500,000 more popular votes than Bush did.  If Gore had been the incumbent, Gore’s winning margin would certainly have been several million popular votes, and Bush would never have been able to win in the Electoral College.  Gore would have had the added advantage of claiming to be the stand-in for the “martyred” President Clinton.  So why not just dump Clinton then and there?

What, exactly, did the Democrats owe Clinton in 1999, anyway?  Exactly nothing.  What had Clinton ever done for them?  Using Dick Morris’s “triangulation” strategy, Clinton had enacted much of Newt Gingrich’s agenda, which was anathema to true-blue Democrats.  Even worse, Clinton’s excesses during his first two years in office had aroused so much disgust among the American people that they sent Republican majorities to both the House and the Senate in the 1994 midterm elections, exactly the way Democrat majorities in both Houses were wiped out in Barack Obama’s own first midterm elections in 2010.

That’s a lot of committee chairmanships lost, not to mention the forced departures of friends and colleagues.  The Democrats should have been seething with rage.  On both occasions, excesses wrought by Democrat presidents cost the Democrats the majority rule that they believe is theirs by birthright.

So the national Democrats had excellent reason to resent Bill Clinton in1999 and every motive to seek revenge.  And the Republicans gave them the golden trigger by which to get that revenge: impeachment and conviction.  All that would have been needed was for at least seventeen of the forty-five Democrat senators to vote to convict Clinton of one of the impeachment charges that had been voted on by the House.  That’s about 40%.

Instead, all forty-five Democrat senators stood, phalanx-like, behind Clinton.

Why did they do this?  He had caused them nothing but electoral losses and loss of power.  Why not just dump him in 1999 and then complain to the public about how unfair it was?  Gore would have been golden for at least six more years and probably ten.  He probably would have had coattails, too, at least in 2000.

Did the Democrats stand by Clinton because they sincerely believed that the Constitution was in peril if the Republicans could get away with getting rid of one of theirs?  That was Clinton’s defense, but the premise is so absurd as to be laughable.

Did they think Clinton could help them recover their fortunes in 2000?  This is likewise laughable, because Gore and the entire Democrat down-ticket in 2000 thought Clinton was so radioactive that they didn’t want him to campaign for them.

So why did the Democrats stand by Clinton in 1999, when it would have been to their advantage to get rid of him then, as well as giving them the chance to wreak their revenge on him?

Only one reason comes to mind: blackmail files.  The Clintons did have those 900 FBI raw files.  They also had their own minions of paid hacks.  Does anyone think that only Republicans’ dossiers were contained in those files?  The Clintons must have had dirt on everybody, of both parties.  That’s an obvious reason for the iron hold Clinton was able to wield over them.

And Kirsten Gillibrand?  Why does she act as if she’s free of Clinton blackmail worries?  Simple.  She didn’t enter the House of Representatives until 2007.  The Clintons never assembled blackmail files on her.

Talk sure is cheap.  Sometimes it costs nothing at all.

On November 16, 2017, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) kicked off her run for the 2020 presidency by intoning that Bill Clinton should have resigned (in disgrace?) in 1998 over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

Talk sure is cheap, isn’t it?  That’s because the Democrats had in their power to dump Clinton in 1999 and kick him right out of office – and took a pass on it.  They could even have accomplished this with a minority of their Senate membership.  And not only would it have been easy, but it would even have rebounded to their benefit, by guaranteeing their continued rule for at least six more years and probably ten.  They would have only benefited from doing so.  And how!

The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states that “no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”   This means that if Vice President Albert Sidney “Al” Gore had succeeded to the Presidency in 1999, he would have been enabled to serve out the time remaining in Clinton’s term – and then two full terms of his own.  Gore would have been on a fast track to become the longest serving president in American history, save only Franklin Roosevelt himself.

We can reasonably infer that if Gore had succeeded to the presidency in 1999, the 2000 election line-up would have been the same in that alternate reality as it was in ours: Gore versus Bush.  But would the outcome have been the same?  Almost certainly not.  The easiest way to win a presidential election is to run as an incumbent.  Even with Gore not running in 2000 as the incumbent president, he gained 500,000 more popular votes than Bush did.  If Gore had been the incumbent, Gore’s winning margin would certainly have been several million popular votes, and Bush would never have been able to win in the Electoral College.  Gore would have had the added advantage of claiming to be the stand-in for the “martyred” President Clinton.  So why not just dump Clinton then and there?

What, exactly, did the Democrats owe Clinton in 1999, anyway?  Exactly nothing.  What had Clinton ever done for them?  Using Dick Morris’s “triangulation” strategy, Clinton had enacted much of Newt Gingrich’s agenda, which was anathema to true-blue Democrats.  Even worse, Clinton’s excesses during his first two years in office had aroused so much disgust among the American people that they sent Republican majorities to both the House and the Senate in the 1994 midterm elections, exactly the way Democrat majorities in both Houses were wiped out in Barack Obama’s own first midterm elections in 2010.

That’s a lot of committee chairmanships lost, not to mention the forced departures of friends and colleagues.  The Democrats should have been seething with rage.  On both occasions, excesses wrought by Democrat presidents cost the Democrats the majority rule that they believe is theirs by birthright.

So the national Democrats had excellent reason to resent Bill Clinton in1999 and every motive to seek revenge.  And the Republicans gave them the golden trigger by which to get that revenge: impeachment and conviction.  All that would have been needed was for at least seventeen of the forty-five Democrat senators to vote to convict Clinton of one of the impeachment charges that had been voted on by the House.  That’s about 40%.

Instead, all forty-five Democrat senators stood, phalanx-like, behind Clinton.

Why did they do this?  He had caused them nothing but electoral losses and loss of power.  Why not just dump him in 1999 and then complain to the public about how unfair it was?  Gore would have been golden for at least six more years and probably ten.  He probably would have had coattails, too, at least in 2000.

Did the Democrats stand by Clinton because they sincerely believed that the Constitution was in peril if the Republicans could get away with getting rid of one of theirs?  That was Clinton’s defense, but the premise is so absurd as to be laughable.

Did they think Clinton could help them recover their fortunes in 2000?  This is likewise laughable, because Gore and the entire Democrat down-ticket in 2000 thought Clinton was so radioactive that they didn’t want him to campaign for them.

So why did the Democrats stand by Clinton in 1999, when it would have been to their advantage to get rid of him then, as well as giving them the chance to wreak their revenge on him?

Only one reason comes to mind: blackmail files.  The Clintons did have those 900 FBI raw files.  They also had their own minions of paid hacks.  Does anyone think that only Republicans’ dossiers were contained in those files?  The Clintons must have had dirt on everybody, of both parties.  That’s an obvious reason for the iron hold Clinton was able to wield over them.

And Kirsten Gillibrand?  Why does she act as if she’s free of Clinton blackmail worries?  Simple.  She didn’t enter the House of Representatives until 2007.  The Clintons never assembled blackmail files on her.

Talk sure is cheap.  Sometimes it costs nothing at all.



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