President Coach

When I was a kid, I played a lot of sports. The one coach I hated was my freshman football coach, whose name I no longer remember. He was the classic Type-A personality, at least what popular culture has come to think of it. The guy was always on edge, ready to explode into a purple faced rage, which meant everyone around him was always on edge too. The guy found a way to get under everyone’s skin. He had some way to needle every player on the roster, often with some sort of nickname that stung a little bit.

The thing is though, the guy managed to squeeze out more from the roster than logic said was possible. In my case, I was always just at the point of wanting to bash his skull in with my helmet, but I channeled those pleasant thoughts into execution. I was not giving that prick the satisfaction of making a mistake. Even though I hated the guy, he did make me and my teammates better players. That meant we had more success on the field. I still recall the joy of winning with my teammates, but I don’t remember the coach’s name.

My guess is everyone who played sports growing up had at least one of these types of coaches. Bill Parcels was famous for playing head games with his players. He was big on keeping every player on edge, even his stars. At the NFL level, the psychological aspects of coaching are more complex, but the underlying strategy is the same. You make the players doubt themselves in a way that results in their natural hyper-competitiveness kicking in, so they push themselves to the edge of their potential.

I’ve been thinking about this watching Trump torment Congress, especially the Democrats, over immigration. He’s not just making the open borders people nervous with his rhetoric. He is getting under the skin of his allies and his own staff. The blockheads in the gentry media are calling it the Jell-O strategy, but it is a safe bet that none of them ever went outside as kids, much less played competitive contact sports. In the world of high-pay, low-work professions, the hard driving boss does not exist.

What Trump is doing with his comments about DACA, in particular, but immigration in general, is keeping the issue boiling. That is Trump’s natural style of negotiating, but it has the benefit of keeping immigration patriots slightly ticked off and highly engaged in every aspect of the process. Congress has seen their e-mail flooded with messages opposing amnesty. Their voicemail boxes are constantly full. This puts pressure on Congress to do a deal and get the issue off the agenda for the midterms in ten months.

Steve Sailer compares Trump to George Steinbrenner. It is a good comparison as they both have a similar style. Both men understood that pressure reveals character. The great players, the great deal makers, rise to the occasion when under pressure. On the other hand, the fakers and losers crack under pressure. If you read Trump’s book or listen to people with whom he has done deals, you see that he is always looking to bring things to a boiling point, where everyone is under the gun to get something done.

That’s what Trump is doing with DACA. He’s cleverly made this the goal of the Democrats, thinking they will push themselves to the breaking point to get it. At the same time, the laundry list of immigration reforms has become the all or nothing end game for immigration patriots. Trump’s public statements are keeping the good guys fired up and willing to hammer Congress on the finer points of immigration. Every time Trump says something positive about DACA, the phone lines melt in Washington.

There is no question that this style of managing people does get the most from those willing to give their all. It also boils off the people who like to talk about maximizing their opportunities, but unwilling to do what it takes to accomplish it. In the realm of sports, this result in better teams. Bill Parcells was a wildly successful coach because his style gets the maximum from the roster. Trump’s success as a businessman and media personality is largely built on getting the most from top people in their respective fields.

Whether this will translate to politics is hard to know. One constant that comes through from people who have done business with Trump is that he is exhausting. The never ending competition and wrangling over details wears people down. In business, you can always get new people when the old ones wear out. In politics, you can’t easily get new supporters. His style could end up exhausting his base. How many times can someone call their Congressman, enraged about immigration or trade policy?

That’s a question often asked of sportsball coaches. How long before they wear out their players? How long before the team stops responding? The great ones seem to get that and they make sure to reward their players so they keep wanting more. Trump’s zingers on twitter or when speaking in front of a crowd may serve that function. He has an uncanny way to saying the obvious in a way that outrages the enemy and amuses his supporters. Perhaps that’s enough for President Coach to get us over the goal line.

An Immoderate Age

Last week, this ridiculous article in the New York Times generated some attention on alt-right social media, mostly because it allowed for some petty bickering. Anytime the media does a story on alt-right people, the guys not mentioned take the opportunity to say bad things about the guys that were mentioned in the story. John Derbyshire said everything that needed to be said about the Times piece in this post at VDare. In it, he referenced his old column on the topic and the corresponding version from Jared Taylor.

Taken together, it is good example of how the hive mind is unable to address reality on its own terms. Mx. Audrea Lim, of the New York Times piece, cannot consider the possibility that there could be more than two opinions on a subject. For her and the others in the Progressive hive, there are good people, the people inside the walls, and bad people, those outside the walls. The good people hold the correct opinions, while the bad people have other opinions, that are all bad. That’s as much of the world she needs to know.

As you see with Derb and Taylor, there is a wide range of opinion on the Dissident Right about subjects like race, identity, immigration, race-mixing and diversity. Even the alt-right has a diversity of opinion on these subjects. Calling any of these people “white supremacists” is about the dumbest thing possible, but it is just one of the many scare phrases Lefty has for those outside the walls. Not only are there few, if any, white supremacists on the Dissident Right, there are more than a few non-whites.

The fact is, the Dissident Right, in all its permutations, exists because our Progressive overlords lack the capacity to understand nuance. Take miscegenation, for example. It is a fact of life that some very small number of females, of any race, will have a mating preference for males outside their race. Males are far less choosy, as their biology favors the shotgun approach to reproduction, while the female favors the rifle approach. This reality is just salt in the stew of life and if left alone, nothing anyone need worry over.

For people in the hive, this is an impossibility. You either completely and totally embrace something, or you completely and entirely reject it. It is why they squeal about homophobia if you are not enthusiastic about the latest perversions. The Progressive mind cannot accept the possibility of being indifferent to something. It’s why our television shows and movies are now packed to the gills with race mixing. Even though our rulers live like Klan members, there is no limit to the amount of race mixing they will pack into the culture.

The hive minded also struggle with abstract reasoning. Richard Spencer likes using the concept of an ethnostate to explain his opinions on race and identity. It’s a useful way of getting people to break free from the concrete world of the here and now to imagine an alternative ordering. Spencer is not advocating for a new country to be carved out of Canada as a new white homeland. It is a mental model meant to illustrate certain points about race and identity. The hive minded, however, assume he wants a honky homeland.

Diversity is the salt in the stew. Some races like more than others, but no people wish to be overrun by people not like them. The Chinese have always been careful to limit the number of non-Chinese into their lands and limit where they can go in China. Africans tend to murder anyone not in their tribe. Europeans, in contrast, are fine with cosmopolitan cities, where you see lots of diversity, as long as the home team remains in charge and atop the social structure. Like seasoning, diversity works in moderation.

That’s the core problem in the modern age. Our rulers lack anything resembling moderation. If a little immigration is good, then they want unlimited immigration. If a few temporary guest workers is good, they want the entire white workforce replaced by helot labor from over the horizon. The vulgarity of having Americans train their foreign replacements at places like Disney is driven by a near total lack of moderation. If one Hindu is good, a whole building full of them will be heaven on earth!

We live in an immoderate age. We saw that in the past election and we are seeing it now in the efforts to craft immigration reform legislation. No one would oppose a small, limited amnesty for some illegal invaders, who have been here for a long time. As long as it comes with tough measures to limit further invasions and protections against future backsliding on the issue. Trump’s wall creates a permanent lobby in Washington in favor of border protection. Programs like e-Verify alter the hiring culture to prevent labor abuse.

The package of proposals from the White House is reasonable and sensible. It is a practical response to a public policy problem. If the the compromise includes legalizing a few hundred thousand invaders, a civilized people can accept it. But the people in charge are incapable of moderation, which is why they blew up the talks and are demanding a blanket amnesty with no conditions. Again, the hive minded can only understand the world in binary terms. It is those inside the walls versus those outside the walls.

There is no reasoning with fanatics. As much as many on our side want to believe that practical issues are what’s behind the multicultural madness, the fact is the people pushing it are not reasonable people. They are all or nothing people. That’s why this cannot end well. The people in charge either succeed in pulling the roof down on the rest of us, or the rest of us are forced to do what is necessary to dislodge the lunatics that have seized the high ground of the culture. Moderation is not the answer to fanaticism.

This will not end well.

Lessons of Identity

One of the remarkable things about identity politics is that the only group of humans not embracing identity politics are modern western white people. That’s not entirely accurate, as some elements of the white population embrace identity politics. It’s just not white identity politics. The groups that do embrace some form of identity politics, seem to look for groupings that are, to one degree or another, anti-white. That’s the reality of identity politics. It is not just a thing whites don’t do. It is something that only anti-whites do.

You see this in the election results from Alabama. Blacks hate white people and they have been trained now to see Trump as the face of white America. Blacks in Alabama correctly saw the election as a referendum on Trump and raced out to vote for the other guy. You can be sure that few of them had the slightest idea about the other guy. They just saw famous blacks supporting him, so they went out and voted their skin. The preliminary numbers show that black turnout was up compared to 2016. Blacks like identity politics.

“Bible believing Christians” were largely responsible for Moore winning the primary, but they have proven to be an easily manipulated identity group. They will vote for “their guy” but at the first hint that their guy does not tick all the right boxes, they will abandon him. In contrast, their guy can be a flaming liberal like a Jimmy Carter, or warmongering neocon like George Bush, and they will flock to the polls for him. The primary identity of “Bible believing Christians” is their desire to be embraced by the people in charge.

Homosexuals are another group that revealed themselves in this election. Matt Drudge was campaigning against Moore from the start, simply because Moore is very old school on the sodomy issue. That’s the definition of single issue politics. In that David French post I wrote about yesterday, he had a section on the gay stuff. National Review is now run by a homosexual activist, Jason Lee Steorts, who ran off Mark Steyn for repeating a fifty year old gay joke. Gays are homosexual first, everything else a very distant second.

The funny thing about identity politics in America, something the alt-right guys talk about frequently, is that whites are the only definable group that does not engage in identity politics. If every identity group in America was asked to send a representative to a flag convention, whites would be the only group not present. If someone did show up, he would have no idea what sort of flag to wave. He would probably just take one of his “I’m So Sorry” t-shirts and wave that around. No one would find this the least bit remarkable.

When it comes to politics, at least, the only definable feature of white identity is self-sabotage. That was on full display in Alabama. Moore was cast by the Left and the so-called Right as the white identity candidate. They were not explicit, but that was the message they wanted to send. White voters responded to this by staying home. The political class will spend the next year crowing about the result. They should be proud of their work. It’s no small thing to get a far Left candidate elected in Alabama.

The biggest lesson of the Alabama race is something that the Dissident Right has been discussing for years now. The American political class has evolved to thwart anything resembling identity politics among majorities. Cosmopolitan globalism cannot work unless the population is deracinated and atomized. The whole point of our politics is to prevent anything resembling a transcendent majority to counter the power of the semi-permanent political class. Social-democracy only works if everyone is at one another’s throat.

That’s a big reason why the political class has locked shields against Trump. It’s exactly why they despise Bannon. While Trump is not a white identitarian, he fully grasps the importance of demographics. Bannon is viewed by the political class as a white nationalist in a tricorn hat. As long as America is majority white, any hint of white identity is seen as a mortal threat to the system. They are not wrong about that. If whites start voting their skin, both parties collapse and we end up with a vastly different ruling class.

Finally, there is a tendency for many on the Dissident Right to think that identity politics is an inevitability. That’s the lesson of history everywhere except the white world. Rhodesia and South Africa had white ruling classes. In both cases, whites were just as enthusiastic about fighting one another as in maintaining their position. Rhodesia is no more and South Africa is well on its way toward a white genocide. Even as the bodies stack up and the black parties become more blood thirsty, whites refuse to embrace their identity.

In fact, this is the lesson of Europe. The Mongols and Muslims both found that Europeans were not very good at uniting for a common purpose. Serendipity and geography were the great enemy of these invaders. On the other hand, Europeans have been spectacularly proficient at making war on one another. It’s entirely possible that the competitive evolutionary pressures that advanced the cognitive skills of whites, compared to other racial groups, also makes them unable to cooperate with one another across ethnic lines.

An expression I’m fond of using is “You learn more from your failures than from your successes.” For the people promoting identitarian politics, last night was a reminder that the people in charge are really good at pitting one group against another. They are especially good at pitting oe group of whites against another, so they will fink on their own guys and harm their own interests. Most of the whites who stayed home, rather than vote for Moore, will be out blaming the whites who voted for Moore in the primary.

It’s also a reminder that Trump is not very good at being President. He is not just an imperfect vessel for populist politics. He is a cup with a hole in it. It’s not all his fault, as he is a saddled with a party that is just an extension of the Democrat Party. Last night should be a reminder that this is a long game. Trump will be impeached or voted out of office. His utility was always as a way to discredit the system and damage the Republican Party. That means it will only get uglier, but it is what must be done to break the system.

America’s problem is not demographics. It is the white people currently in charge.

Now We Know

One of the mysteries of the election campaign has been the ongoing Russian hacking conspiracy nonsense that was forced on us by the Democrats after the election. The absurdity of it should have been enough to get the story laughed off the stage. Even if the Russians had meddled in the election, that happens all the time. The Chinese invested heavily in the Clintons during the 1996 election. Israeli maintains massive lobbying efforts in the US, including campaign operations. It’s the nature of empires.

Even if it was just a distraction to shift the focus from the problems of the Democrats, it is a one week story at best. Yet, it went on and on, forcing Trump to appoint a special prosecutor to chase ghosts and phantoms that could not possibly exist. My hunch was that maybe some FBI insiders were simply using the fake scandal as a pretext to circle the wagons and protect their own. Former director Comey seems to be exposed six ways to Sunday for the way he handled himself in the job.

Well, we may now have an answer. It may simply have been the old Progressive tactic of preemptively accusing others of something they are doing. The Hill is reporting that the FBI had stumbled onto a plot that looks a lot like bribery by the Russians to, wait for it, get the Clinton’s support in their efforts to grow their nuclear business inside the US. This goes back to when Cankles was working for Obama as Secretary of State and had the authority to approve foreign energy deals, like selling uranium to Russia.

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

Assuming the evidence presented is accurate, it looks a lot like the sort of scams the Clinton crime family has been running since their days in Arkansas. Hillary has always had a thing for the old fashioned graft rackets. This is where the Clintons grant favors from the government in exchange for cash. In order to avoid bribery charges, they always use a cutout of some sort. In Arkansas, it was campaign contributors who laundered the cash for them. In the 90’s, Chinese money flowed into the campaign.

The Clinton Foundation has always looked like a money laundering operation. The whole point of money laundering is to make the transactions seem legitimate. The smarter drug dealers in Baltimore will have a cash business they move their drug proceeds through in an effort to hide the source of their income. Famous people have foundations so they can use it to hire friends, family and supporters, but get a tax break. Politicians put their family on the campaign payroll at inflated salaries so they can keep some of the cash.

That’s what the Clinton Foundation was for initially. The millions Bubba was getting from speeches and back dated transactions would go tax free into the charity. The Clintons would take a salary, but the foundation would pick up a lot of their expenses, like travel and security. It would also be a nice patronage system for future campaign workers and contributors. The Foundation was always a front operation. It was never intended to do any charitable work, which is why it has done no charitable work.

The thing with Hillary Clinton is that all of her scandals over the years have been about money.Going back to Arkansas, everything she was mixed up in was a money scheme of some sort. Bill was always getting jammed up with sex. It’s not unreasonable to think he got into politics for the easy access to women. Hillary, on the other hand, has always been about the cash. That’s why the Russians were willing to bribe her. They knew she would play ball if the price was right. That’s what this looks like. Old fashioned pay for play.

This brings as back to the Russia probe.

In evidentiary affidavits signed in 2014 and 2015, an Energy Department agent assigned to assist the FBI in the case testified that Mikerin supervised a “racketeering scheme” that involved extortion, bribery, money laundering and kickbacks that were both directed by and provided benefit to more senior officials back in Russia.

“As part of the scheme, Mikerin, with the consent of higher level officials at TENEX and Rosatom (both Russian state-owned entities) would offer no-bid contracts to US businesses in exchange for kickbacks in the form of money payments made to some offshore banks accounts,” Agent David Gadren testified.

“Mikerin apparently then shared the proceeds with other co-conspirators associated with TENEX in Russia and elsewhere,” the agent added.

The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.

Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation in connection with money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI. The probe is not focused on McAuliffe’s conduct but rather on whether McCabe’s attendance violated the Hatch Act or other FBI conflict rules.

The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.

There are a number of possibilities here. One is incompetence by Clinton. Her team may have started the “Russian hacking” chant without realizing that it would lead back to this deal. That’s another trait of Hillary Clinton. She screws up everything she touches. Going back to her days on the Watergate committee as an entry level staffer, he career is one foul up after another. The only thing she has done well is stay married to Bill. That’s how she stays out of jail and how she keeps getting shot to run another scam.

The more likely answer, though, is the old Progressive habit of accusing others of the very thing they are doing. In this case, she was willing to do business with the Russians, so she just assumed the other side was too. Perhaps it is evidence of a guilty mind or maybe it is something else, but Progressives have a habit, an instinct, for accusing their enemies of crimes committed by Progressives. It muddies the waters and that may be the sole purpose. It is another way of shifting the focus.

The other possibility is what we see with corrupt police precincts. The dirty cops know that cops don’t like ratting on one another. They also assume that everyone has something they would not like to see exposed to the public. The result is everyone keeps their mouth shut until something goes very wrong. Washington is a sea of corruption, much of it dealing with foreign money. The Democrats may be working on the assumption that no one in the political class wants this investigation to go anywhere.

Of course, if you want to go super 4-D chess, deep state conspiracy mongering, then maybe this was the target all along. Rosenstein knew all about this old case and maybe he wanted another bite at the apple. That’s far fetched, but not outside the realm of the possible. Team Trump has a funny habit of being a few steps ahead of everyone on the controversial stuff. It would certainly be poetic if this is how Clinton ends up in an orange jumpsuit, waddling around a Federal prison.

The FBI’s Russia Shield

The prevailing assumption regarding the Russian investigation is that it is a big nothing cooked up by bitter Democrats and promoted by the media to avoid facing up to the reality of the 2016 election. Once it became clear that the Podesta e-mails were causing trouble for Clinton, her people started chanting “Russian hacking” at every press conference, as if they had an exotic form of Tourette’s syndrome. It has all the hallmarks of a Clinton media scam. They repeat something over and over, knowing the press will echo it.

The appointment of a special prosecutor has been viewed as an effort by the Trump administration to put the issue to bed. The press was never going to stop talking about and the Democrats were going to keep screaming about it. Name a special prosecutor and everyone has shut up about it. Mueller will spend a year and millions of dollars to discover there is nothing to the claims. That’s the official version. What if it is something else entirely? What if the special prosecutor is just an excuse to handle some other matter?

The rule of thumb with political scandals is they fall into one of three buckets. There is the sex scandal, as with Bill Clinton. Then there are the money scandals, involving graft and public corruption. Hillary Clinton is the obvious example here. Then there is the personal scandal. This is the scandal where hurt feelings or a broken promise result in one member of the political class dishing dirt on another. Watergate was this type of scandal at its core. Mark Felt was angry at being passed over so he ratted out people to the press.

That is the odd thing about the Russia business. It has none of the markings of a political scandal. It works as a media event, as it ticks a lot of boxes for the press. They get to trade on salacious rumors for a while, without having to do any real reporting. Throw in some conspiracy theories and the Boris Badenov angle and it fills the news cycles for a few weeks. Otherwise, there is not enough to this Russian conspiracy to warrant a phone call from the FBI, much less a full blown investigation.

That’s what makes the appointment of a special prosecutor so strange. The guy who convinced Trump to fire the FBI Director was Rod Rosenstein. He’s pretty much a career Justice Department hand. Trump accepted his recommendation and fired Comey. Then Rosenstein ended up as the guy handling the phony Russia story after Sessions mysteriously recused himself. Trump then went on a rampage for a few weeks complaining about Sessions, even hinting that he may fire him over it.

Rosenstein then recommended a special prosecutor. The guy he recommended is a close friend of Comey and the former FBI Directory, Robert Mueller. In fact, Mueller preceded Comey in the job. Forgotten in all the excitement is the fact that Trump claimed the Obama people had bugged Trump Tower. The new was full of stories that the FBI may have got a former Trump adviser on a wire. Of course, we now know that the Obama Administration was running a widespread domestic surveillance operation.

Then there are things that seem unrelated, but maybe not. Comey personally handled the Clinton e-mail probe. He is either a world class bungler or he had a reason to bungle it. Either way, he bungled it. He also appears to have perjured himself in his Congressional testimony. In one case, he later amended his testimony when it became obvious he made false statements under oath. Maybe Comey was trying to hide something, but the more plausible answer is that he is just not very good at this sort of work.

Regardless, there should be a whole bunch of attention on the FBI right now. At the minimum, they have been outlandishly incompetent over the last half of the Obama Administration. That should warrant a house cleaning. Alternatively, they may have been corrupted by the Obama Administration. It’s clear that Samantha Power was abusing her authority with regards to domestic surveillance. It is not unreasonable to assume the FBI was compromised in some way during Comey’s tenure.

That may be what’s really going on with the special prosecutor. The phony Russia scandal provided an excuse to bring in a political pro like Mueller to clean up the mess left by Comey and the Obama Administration. The FBI is not supposed to be spying on Americans without a warrant and they are really not supposed to be listening in on politicians. Someone signed off on bugging Trump Tower, during and after the presidential election. Who knows what other shenanigans have been going on.

The most likely answer for why a special prosecutor was appointed is that it was an easy way to get the whole thing out of the White House. Since the story is bogus and Mueller surely knows it is bogus, it will be a nice patronage program for a year or two and then the whole thing goes away. The second most likely answer is that Mueller’s job is to clean up the mess left by Comey and protect the reputation of the FBI, maybe even some other intelligence agencies. That way, no one gets hurt the problems are quietly fixed.

What this is not. is an investigation about Russia meddling in the election.

The Trump Gambit

For a few weeks, Trump has been saying and doing things that don’t seem to make a lot of sense. The black pill interpretation is that he has decided to cuck on all of his promises and cave into the establishment. Of course, the anti-Trump loons are claiming they were right all along and Trump is now finking on his stupid voters. Then you have the mouth breathers that hoot about 5-D chess all the time. The more likely explanation is that Trump is making a calculated gamble on himself and his read on public opinion.

Take the DACA controvery. Trump can count, so he knows the Democrats have far fewer members in both houses of Congress than the Republicans. He can cut all the deals he likes with Pelosi and Schumer, but those deals will go nowhere without the GOP leadership, as they control the legislative agenda. The game was to embarrass Ryan and Mitchell. By making it look like the Democrats were willing to work with him, he forced the GOP to make its own moves on immigration. It’s petty, but it works.

The other point of the exercise was to get people talking about immigration in a way that works in his favor. News stories about “dreamers” makes him look bad. He rightly figured that his voters would get mad over his rumored cave and they would take it out on the GOP leadership. It would also trigger the immigration patriots to fire off a million proposals for fixing immigration. From Trump’s perspective, turmoil is good as it gets his people fired up, looking for a fight and it forces the GOP leadership to respond.

Trump did not get this far by not understanding the political map. He knows he is the leader of the White Party, that has been forced to vote within the Republican Party. He certainly never says it like that, but he is an old school New Yorker. He understands the skins game better than most. His opposition is not the Democrats. His enemy is the GOP, that has traditionally served to blunt the interests of the White Party. Therefore, Trump needs to keep the fires burning for the coming fights in the the Republican primaries.

You see glimpses of what’s coming in the Alabama Senate Race. The White Party is lining up behind Judge Moore, mostly because he is not on the side of Mitch McConnell. Trump has endorsed the establishment guy, claiming to do so out of party loyalty. At the same time, an army of Trump surrogates are in the state endorsing Moore. Even Trump has given mixed signals about his endorsement of Luther Strange. There’s a wink-wink quality to all of it. It’s theater and everyone in the audience is in on the gag.

Next year, there will be a bunch of candidates running against GOP incumbents, promising to support the Trump agenda. There will be Democrat challengers making the right noises on immigration and trade. How successful these challengers are will depend a lot upon how things go in Washington the next six months. That’s the message Trump is trying to send to guys like Ryan and McConnell, who seem to be trapped in a fantasy world where the 2016 election never happened and they are beloved figures on the Right.

From Trump’s perspective, the result on Tuesday opens up opportunities. If Strange pulls a miracle and wins the election, then Trump will be tweeting about how he can deliver votes even for a bozo like Strange. If Moore wins, then Trump will tweet that he tried to be loyal to McConnell and the GOP, but they refused to learn from past mistakes. In a few hours, no one will remember that he endorsed the loser. Instead, the story will be about the impending disaster for the establishment GOP in the coming primaries.

There is risk to what Trump is doing in Alabama. If Luther Strange wins, the White Party will be discouraged and may start to turn on Trump. At the minimum, it gives the anti-Trump loons ammunition to accuse Trump of finking on his base. It could also embolden guys like Ryan, who are convinced that Trump has no base. On the other hand, a win by Moore and the same cucks will argue that Trump can’t deliver votes, so they are wise to oppose him. You can be sure they have those op-eds written and ready to send.

It’s a gamble, but Trump is a guy who thinks he can make something out of anything, as long as he has options. Whether it was by design or serendipity, this election is a referendum on the GOP establishment. The most likely outcome, according to polling, is a Moore win and maybe a very big win. Trump will not only take credit for it, but start to bet his winnings on the belief he can scare the GOP into passing his agenda items. They may hold the result against him, but Trump is betting they cave and play ball with him.

The reason it is a good gamble is the pressure on leadership will now come from their own ranks. Ryan and McConnell can keep discipline as long as they can promise their members they will keep their seats. If the rank and file start thinking they are safer with Trump or that Trump will back their challengers, then it is game over for Ryan and McConnell. They have to play ball. From Trump’s perspective, he has everything to game and nothing to lose. Ryan and McConnell can’t hate him more than they already do.

The Idiot

The Idiot is a novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Like most Russian literature, it is a big book full of complicated characters, with funny names. The central character of the novel, Prince Myshkin, is a young man whose good intentions and decency are taken to be stupidity by the worldly characters of the novel. The title is intended to be ironic. His naivete is assumed to be due to stupidity. The novel is a study of what happens when such a person is put in a world populated by people lacking basic decency and morality.

Our cultural elites use something similar to promote the values of the ruling classes through movies and television. The movie Mr. Smith Goes To Washington is the classic example. The twist our betters put on it is the innocent adventurer taking on the corrupt system holds all of the values cherished by our actual ruling class. Meanwhile, the fictional villains are always people who sound like the critics of managerial state democracy. Even so, the basic theme is the same. We have the naif versus the cabal of the cynical.

Whether as propaganda or psychological study, the central question is whether a corrupt and malignant system can be changed or defeated by a morally good person. The Hollywood version will on occasion have the white hat defeated, for the purpose of reinforcing some element of the one true faith. Usually though, the the good guy triumphs over the system. This propaganda has been so effective, most American truly think that by assiduously obeying every rule they will one day have their country back.

One of those Americans seems to be President Trump. The back story to his run is that he was motivated to run, after being disrespected by various on-line propagandists like Jonah Goldberg. Trump could not understand why a billionaire like him was mocked, by guys like Goldberg, who are nothing more than servants to rich men like Trump. To Trump, this made no sense. He was motivated to run in order to prove to these people that he could do anything they can do, but even better. There’s nothing bigger than President.

Since his victory, Trump has been searching around for some way to be accepted by the political class. He assumed that winning the election would also win him the respect of official Washington. Instead, they locked shields to oppose him, even installing a special prosecutor to dig around in his life for a way to impeach him. Unable to figure out why he is treated like a skunk at the picnic, he has flailed around looking for something to give away in order to get the respect he craves.

Now, he is willing to fink on his voters by breaking every promise he made during the campaign. That’s why he is dealing with Chuck Schumer. The sole reason for Schumer to exist in Washington is to guide troublesome Republicans through the process of committing political suicide. In the case of Trump, that means going for amnesty, abandoning the wall and supporting candidates who hate him. It is not enough that Trump fink on his voters. He must humiliate himself in front of them as well.

This is not to say that Trump is just a craven liar. He is one of the few people in the financial elite who embraces those old ideas of civic responsibility and fair play that used to define the American elite. Trump is from an age when it was your duty to uphold the rules and be a good example to others. He naively thinks that is how things still work. They don’t, which is why the ruling elite looks at him as odious interloper. They don’t hate him as much as they hate what he represents. They also think he is an idiot because of it.

One of the main critiques, from the Dissident Right, of Buckley Conservatives, is that they naively cling to ideas that are no longer applicable. Waving around the Constitution, for example, when the document is now interpreted to mean the opposite of what the Founders intended, is idiotic. The foolish embrace of principal, when it means sure defeat, is proof that the alleged opposition to the managerial state is either composed of fools, or traitors sent to subvert any real opposition to the status quo.

Now, much of what comes from the alt-right is ignorant chanting that is not based in anything but frustration with their fringe status. Even so, they are not wrong to point out that the Civic Nationalists and the alt-lite are naive and foolish to think they can talk the other side into turning away from their suicidal course. Every attempt to affect change within the system, is bound to fail, as the rules of the system are designed to protect and perpetuate the status quo. The people in charge are not going to quit on their stool.

“We’re not voting our way out of this” is a popular way of making this point. That’s not entirely true, but it is a useful way to put it. Simply electing people who say the right things is not changing a system that has been corrupted to defend the interests of the two percent. The system, as it stands, must be subverted and destabilized. That does not happen at the ballot box. That’s what we’re seeing with Trump. He is being swallowed up by a system designed for that purpose. You don’t beat it by playing by the rules.

It is hard to know if Trump will pull out of his death spiral. He has shown a willingness to reverse course if he feels he has made an error. It’s also possible that he fears Mueller has something on him or his kids and he is hoping to trade away your future for his dignity and freedom. Maybe it all just part of the chaos that Trump seems to enjoy. Regardless, it is another reminder that the people putting their trust in the system are idiots. The system is not the solution to out problems as a society. The system is the problem.

The Corrupt Midget

News brings word that the pint sized pundit, Ben Shapiro, is going to Berkeley to give a another speech. Judging by his twitter activity, he is hoping it will attract Antifa and be shut down by the city. It’s hard to know exactly. He could also be playing it the other way, hoping the event goes off without a problem. That way, he can blame the growing army to his right for the recent crackdown of speech by our masters. Like all of the boys and girls who color inside the lines, Shapiro needs to believe safety is a virtue.

Either way, this stunt is just that, a stunt to draw attention to himself, as well as an effort to re-establish his brand of Progressive punditry, as the extreme edge of acceptable. Calling Shapiro a Progressive may strike some people as weird, but that’s the truth of it. He embraces all of the blank slate arguments of the Left. He takes, as a given, that the Left’s moral framework is the default for society. You see that in his twitter rants about the alt-right. Shapiro is a man of the Left, just the lagging edge of it.

Shapiro is a also a notorious pen for hire, a guy who will say anything if you write a big enough check. He used to say nice things about Trump and the issues that Trump is now championing. Then the Wilks brothers hired him to be an anti-Trump loon, so he went full-on NeverTrump last year. Now that there is money to be made on the Trump train, Shapiro and all the other faux right-wing grifters have got on-board with Trump. One gets the sense that if Antifa writes him a check, he could be persuaded to support communism.

Of course, as that Charles Johnson piece reminds us, Shapiro was in on the Michelle Fields hoax a year ago. For those who have forgotten, she claimed to have been assaulted by a Trump campaign staffer at an event. Shapiro and several other fake conservatives demanded Trump quit the campaign over it. Shapiro even quit Breitbart over it, coincidentally just when the Wilks brothers check cleared. Video later revealed that the staffer in question merely brushed past Fields and she had been lying.

That’s the thing about our chattering classes. They are never called to answer for their perfidy. Fields still gets on TV as a pundit, despite having been exposed as something of a sociopath. Shapiro was never pressed to explain his role in that affair. National Review is happy to give him a platform, as no doubt the Wilks brothers are stroking checks to them too. There’s little doubt that Sloppy Williamson was paid to write those insane anti-Trump columns last year. Even by his standards, they were a cornucopia of crack-pottery.

Since Charlottesville, Shapiro has been taking every opportunity to condemn the alt-right and you see that in the linked twitter rant. The game he is playing is the moral equivalence strategy. He keeps equating the alt-right with Antifa, comparing what you don’t see, with what you do see. People hear about the alt-right, but they see black clad lunatics toppling over statues and smashing windows in street riots. Chad and Stacey out in the suburbs can be forgiven for confusing the two and condemning both.

That’s the role guys like Shapiro play for the Left. These so-called conservatives happily define the boundaries between what is and what is not acceptable on the Right. He and his fellow pens-for-hire are the palace guard, defining the outer boundary of the political Right. It’s why they are more worked up over the alt-right than the violent left-wing mobs of Antifa. The former is a real threat to their position, while the latter is good for selling books no one will read and building their media brand.

The other angle Shapiro is working is the flattery scam. He invests a lot of time and effort in presenting himself as the thinking man’s right-winger. That in itself reveals something about him. His appeal is that smart normies can feel like intellectuals because they listen to Ben Shapiro. The fact that he can say he supports free speech and in the same thread condemn the speech of everyone to his Right reveals him to be a pseudo-intellectual moral nullity. He’s an obsequious rumpswab, who will say anything for a buck.

It is just another example of the corruption of the Official Right™. They may as well be actors, hired by the Left to play a role in the Prog political drama. They will never bite the hand that feeds them. It’s why they are falling all over themselves to signal to the Left that they are perfectly OK with cracking down on dissident speech. It’s not about ideology. It is about the paycheck. If the boundary of the Right gets pushed out, guys like Shapiro are no longer useful. It’s why their guns are always pointed at us, rather than the Left.

The Forever War

The Imperial Government is a lot like a super tanker. It moves slowly, but it is so huge it is nearly impossible to stop and impossible to steer. The best a capable leader can do is nudge it slightly off its current path, a slight course correction, or maybe re-arrange some of the things on the deck. Otherwise, the sheer momentum of the thing makes piloting it impossible. Generations of bad ideas have been loaded into the super tanker that is the American Empire. Only a giant rip in the hull will stop it from plodding along.

That’s what we’re seeing with Trump. He was full of big talk about ratcheting back US commitments around the world, particularly in pointless sinkholes like Afghanistan, where we have been killing people for going on a generation. If you wanted to be precise and date our involvement to when we first put advisers on the ground, We have been in Afghanistan for 37 years now. Operation Cyclone was started under Carter and became the program the Reagan administration used to unseat the Soviet Union.

Now Trump is promising to make sure we are there for a 40th anniversary.

President Trump unveiled his plan for Afghanistan after seven months of deliberation Monday evening, announcing tweaks around the edges of the current strategy instead of a different approach.
He announced five “core pillars” to the approach: getting rid of any timelines for how long U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan; using all elements of power, including diplomatic and economic; getting tougher on Pakistan; getting India to help more with economic development; and expanding authorities for U.S. forces to fight terrorists.

What the president did not announce was how many more U.S. troops would head to Afghanistan, which he decided earlier this year to leave up to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to determine.

He did, however, say the U.S. would no longer talk about troop levels or drawdown dates, making it unclear whether troop increases would be announced. There are currently about 8,400 U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and the president has reportedly approved of a plan to send about 4,000 more.

The obvious pointlessness of this endeavor is finally admitted. Trump layered on a thick coating of his usual bullshit when announcing this, but the truth is, no one knows why we’re there anymore or what we are trying to accomplish. We’re just going to remain there doing stuff because the generals now running American foreign policy like being in Afghanistan playing warlord. They got Trump to sign off on looser rules of engagement, so they can have some more fun shooting the locals, but otherwise it is more of the same.

That’s the thing we’re seeing that no one seems to be discussing. The civilian arm of the government is no longer in control of American military policy. In the Bush years, it was obvious that Cheney ran the show, with a bunch of generals and former generals, but at least Cheney was a civilian. Obama was just a figurehead in all aspects, but there were still a few civilians in the military policy loop. Trump has turned it all over to dazzling mediocrities like Mattis and Kelly.

The other aspect of this is the decision to hide from the public the details of what is going in Afghanistan. No more troop levels, no more timelines and no more answering questions about what in the hell we are doing there. You see, in the managerial state, you are no longer a citizen with the right to ask questions of your government and they are no longer obligated to explain things to you. It’s above your pay grade. But hey, you’re empowered and encouraged to fulfill your potential in an inclusive, welcoming environment!

Even the military has not escaped the corrosive effects of managerialism. This war is a managerial state war, where no one ever asks hard questions of their managers or even thinks much about it.  Decisions are made, meetings are held, action plans are drawn up and someone does a presentation to a committee. People get to put their participation on their resume. They get to put down that they were on a committee that conjured a program with a ridiculous name like “Operation Enduring Freedom.”

Some people console themselves with the belief that eventually the empire will be bled dry and our rulers will have no choice but to pull back. The trouble with that is our rulers can go on pillaging the middle class to finance this stuff for a long time. There’s nothing the people can do about it, short of open revolt. No matter which party they put in charge, the polices remain the same. Trump was supposed to be the warning shot, but instead he is turning into another kibble thrown into the maw of the managerial state.

America is now committed to being in Afghanistan for a few more years, bringing our engagement to at least four decades. The Brits hung around the place for roughly 90 years. The First Afghan War started in 1839 and the last British expats were evacuated in 1929 after a tribal uprising. Afghanistan had become independent in 1919, but the Brits hung around to “help.” Given that American rulers are much dumber than the old British colonials, it is safe to say that this is America’s forever war.



The Trumpening So Far

One of the more amusing aspects of the 2016 election was how the pearl clutchers of Conservative Inc. would rush out of their hobbit dens every week, shrieking, “That’s it! Trump is finished!” It was always after Trump mocked their virtue in some way. They would carry on like it was just a matter of time before their adoring public rallied to their banner and chased away the evil dirt monster. They are still waiting for anyone to show up and take their side. Meanwhile Trump has completed his sixth month in office.

Since January, another pattern has emerged. The Fake News makes up a story and the commentariat carries on as if it is fact. A few months ago, the Fake News swore that Bannon was about to be fired. That did not happen so they moved onto Kushner. His alleged ties to Tsar Alexander were going to force him out. Now, the Fake News swears that Trump is about to fire Sessions. Suddenly everyone in Conservative Inc, who hated Sessions, is now defending him as a great statesman and politician.

The key to understanding Trump has always been that he loves drama. The never ending quarrel is what gets him up in the morning. He thrives in chaos and when he cannot find it, he creates it. The reason is Trump is an opportunist. That’s his nature. He seeks to maximize what he has in order to leverage it into a chance to catch someone sleeping, so he can get a bargain in his next deal. This post from two years ago described Trump pretty well and it is holding up now that he is in the White House.

There’s another aspect of Trump that has always been true, but is taking center stage now that he is in the White House. Two decades ago, he was often compared to George Steinbrenner, the late owner of the New York Yankees. Like Steinbrenner, Trump is an unpredictable and often impetuous boss. He gets mad at people for no sensible reason and he hold grudges that make even less sense. Steinbrenner fired people for trivial reasons, but would then hire them back. That’s what we see with Trump now.

The reason Trump was so perfect for the reality show The Apprentice was that he had the reputation for being the hot-headed boss. It was not hard for Trump to be convincing when he would say his catchphrase, “You’re fired!” It was something that people imagined he said every week, because he had the reputation for firing people. It may have been exaggerated, but we see now that Trump is not only a tough boss, bu he can be petty and small. His treatment of Sessions is childish and pointless.

The thing is though, guys like Steinbrenner and Trump got very rich in the toughest of businesses. The reason is they had a knack for creating chaos, forcing people out of their comfortable positions. An enemy on the move is vulnerable. By creating a whirlwind of chaos, Trump gets everyone moving and inevitably, making mistakes. One possible reason for the paralysis in Washington right now is that the snowflakes in the GOP are too frightened to move. They have never experienced anything like this and they are scared.

From the perspective of the Dissident Right, this is a good result. Most of the GOP are liars, who have been finking on their voters for years. Their inability and unwillingness to repeal ObamaCare has exposed this to even the most naive voters. Of course, Trump’s penchant for creating chaos has collapsed the Washington media. Even the most gullible is now assuming the news is fake. The ability of the political class to peddle their agit-prop has been greatly diminished because Trump has destroyed the media universe.

On the other hand, Trump’s mad man management style is keeping him from getting anything through Congress. He thinks he can wear down people like Ryan and McConnell, but he is misreading the situation. Being Speaker is not like being the CEO of a company. Leadership can only enforce discipline by withholding favors and that has a limit. Ryan can’t fire uncooperative members of his caucus. Trumps’ bullying style is probably making that task harder for the leadership.

Of course, the bigger issue is Team Trump does not know what they are doing. Jared Kushner was good at marrying well and maybe he is good at business, but he does not have the slightest clue about Washington politics. Trump’s penchant for relying on family over smart advisers is fine in business, because Trump is usually the smartest guy in the room. In politics, the only person less qualified than Trump is his daughter, who he seems to rely on more than political strategists like Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon.

Regardless, six months into the Trumpening and there is plenty to disappoint and dishearten his voters. His vacillating on immigration is the most worrisome. It’s why he is in the White House. His unwillingness to bring the hammer down on recalcitrant Republicans is mind boggling. Instead of tormenting Sessions, he should be blasting the bugmen of the GOP. Again, Trump’s impulse to keep everyone on edge, even his allies, makes supporting him an exhausting and unrewarding endeavor.

On the other other hand, Trump did not get to this point by doing things like a normal politician so it would not make sense for him to try to become a normal politician. His unconventional style has worked when the professionals said it would fail. A point worth making again is that you can’t judge Trump by traditional metrics. He’s a once in a century political force who will be judged more on what he destroys than on what he creates. He is the destroyer of worlds, because the world of Washington needs destroying.