If there is one thing we as conservatives know, it’s the pain of an entire movement getting smeared over a few bad actors. The BLM and MAGA movements are filled with human beings – people who are good and people who are bad.
We’re all guilty of it. We make those assumptions based on the bad actors, no matter how many of them there are in a group.
This is the most positive message of 2017.
What happened on that stage is a very human movement, where good people made connections with other good people. This is the most positive moment we’ve had in our political culture in years, and it starts with one underlying belief: That we are Americans and we have the right to speak our minds and we deserve liberty and freedom.
This is fascinating. One of the first interactions between BLM and MAGA people that captured reality not "News" reality. https://t.co/g573KW73VV
There is a certain glow Donald Trump has when he looks in the direction of Chuck Schumer… it’s kind of creepy, to be honest.
There is a theory out there that Donald Trump is doing what he has been doing – dealing with the Democrats – because he is hooked on the spotlight. The praise of “actually getting things done” appeals to him because he is an addict.
He is addicted to the praise. He is addicted to the spotlight. The idea of being considered a man who has broken gridlock in Washington D.C. by getting Congress to work is an idea he likes because it gives him a legacy… that’s what the theory inevitably leads to, anyway.
So, Donald Trump is seeking the approval of the Democrats and their allies in the media by actively working with the Democrats in Congress to get things done. That is a plausible theory not just because his ego is the type of ego that would inevitably seek out this kind of spotlight, but because it is the same mentality that has corrupted Republicans before.
There is this idea in Washington D.C. that you have to do something that will make the people feel good, and the only way to do that is to get the Democrat-heavy media to cover it… which is only possible when it is something they approve of.
But, this idea inevitably moves them away from conservatism and toward liberalism. They seek the approval of the masses, access to the good life of Washington D.C., and they want to look good doing it.
IF this is Donald Trump’s goal, then he is not the Great Washington Reformer he has made himself out to be, but just one more politician in a long line of the same. IF this is why he is doing it, then he is being made a fool.
The Democrats, while their party is in shambles, have somehow managed to insert themselves into every major discussion on the table, and likely a part of the discussions that will stem from them in the future. He has given them access they wouldn’t otherwise have. And while Mitch McConnell can claim he actually won on the debt ceiling, the fact is that the Democrats are in a position to claim victory, which is all they need to rally the troops.
They will use him. They will keep demanding more. They will want more access to negotiations. They will want more in the compromises. More of this and that and everything under the sun that is as unconservative as it gets… and he will give it to them, because damn it feels good to get glowing reviews.
And, the media won’t start to love him. They won’t fawn over his willingness to work with Democrats. Instead, they will focus with more intensity on his flaws. They will look harder for anything and everything to discredit him, and he will eventually respond by cutting more deals with the Democrats in order to win affection.
That the Republican Party hasn’t learned that yet is astonishing to me. We’ve watched them play this game for years, and they haven’t picked up on this fact. I’m starting to wonder if they are really trying to get approval, or are just secretly masochists who crave the pain.
Granted, all this assumes that this theory holds up. But… Donald Trump is a lifelong Democrat.
It is just as likely, if not more likely, that Trump is just returning to his ideological roots now that he has the power and the prestige that he has always wanted. That would sting his base even more, because they will have been the victims of the ultimate lie: The very man, the longshot president, who was supposed to win the day for them has done more in eight months to destroy their cause than GOP Establishment has in the last eight years.
And, while I want nothing more than to laugh at the poor, miserable people who assured me that Trump was THE GUY, who said I was a liberal for doubting him… I can’t bring myself to do it anymore. It’s not funny. Because a lot of what they wanted, I wanted to. But at some point, what they turned into was a rabble begging for Washington to burn. It was a chance to elect Chaos itself to the White House, and the one thing they didn’t seem to understand was that Chaos can’t be controlled.
They’re learning that now, and whatever Trump’s motivations for making deals with the Democrats, it’s not what they signed up for.
If Trump wants to be like every other Republican and cut deals to be accepted, that’s cool. Let him. It is more proof that he is not the great second coming of Ronald Reagan, but another politician who just wanted the prestige more than the job. Sucks to be his followers when that finally gets revealed to them. They invested a whole lot in him.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a veteran of intra-party fighting, is preparing for war against Steve Bannon.
Steve Bannon has declared war on the GOP Establishment, and the first battle of the war brings us to Alabama.
Bannon has used his attack dogs, the writing staff at Breitbart, to attack Luther Strange and Mitch McConnell. The Senate Majority Leader, however, is no stranger to being attacked. In a return volley, the Senate Leadership Fund, McConnell’s own attack dogs, are pumping tons of money into the race, and plan to dump $4 million more before the September 26 run-off.
But, the SLF is also attacking Bannon directly. The question now becomes: Can Bannon take what he’s been dishing out? Hard to tell.
Bannon is certainly no stranger to being attacked by his political opponents. But, his life in the public eye has not been as prolific as McConnell’s, and McConnell has been taking a beating from conservative media for years. Bannon, meanwhile, really only recently went public, and his short stint in the White House gave him just enough access to get some scrutiny, but not on McConnell’s level.
Really, though, we’re looking at two men who don’t really garner a whole lot of respect from their foes, and it doesn’t really look like they care. However, both sides are going to be facing a tough war, according to the Washington Post.
But the task will not be easy. Strategists from both sides of the party’s divide say recent focus groups and polling have shown that the frustration within the Republican base has only grown since the 2016 election, stoked by an inability to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health-care law. President Trump, meanwhile, has continued to cast his presidency in opposition to the current ways of Washington, which could encourage primary voters to buck the system in a way that endangers House and Senate incumbents.
“Just as in 2008, the election did little to let the air out of the tires,” said Steven Law, the president of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC allied with McConnell that plans to spend heavily on Senate primaries in support of incumbents. “The raw material of the electorate is just increasingly volatile.”
Recently, I pulled for the Establishment to win its war against Bannon, because while they are liberal masquerading as conservatives, Bannon is a blight on conservatism, giving voice to elements that are dangerous to our movement and outright insane in their beliefs. Those elements can and will move the conservative movement back. McConnell and his ilk, meanwhile, are just stagnant forces, keeping things as they are.
However, there is no question that McConnell has got to go. The Senate is largely where the failures of the Republican Party are coming from, as it is McConnell’s utter lack of leadership when it comes to fighting back against Democrats that has led us to the stagnation we now see in Washington. Every victory the Republicans could have had by now have effectively died in the Senate thanks to McConnell’s inability to lead and insistence that conservatives not be involved in the negotiations.
And that’s what is going to make 2018 so interesting. McConnell has effectively trapped himself. He has to defend himself from the Right and the Left, and odds are he is going to focus on defending himself from the Right, because those are fights he believes he is more likely to win. Let the Democrats do their thing, so long as he can fill the Republican caucus up with like-minded moderates.
Bannon will be attacking McConnell from the Right, but I don’t think he will win. Nor do I want him to win if the candidates he puts forward are alt-right, Trump-worshiping people who are more interested in embracing Bannon and Trump than they are actually pushing conservatism.
He will likely survive McConnell’s onslaught – it’ll be coming from the SLF, the Chamber of Commerce, and other moderate-to-liberal Republican groups that like the status quo – but conservatism will be the ultimate loser here.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders turns to leave at the conclusion of the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Directly contradicting his own Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, President Donald Trump confirmed this morning that any legislation on building a border wall is currently not part of the deal with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.
Trump, about to take off to Florida, on DACA: "We're working on a plan," Ryan/McConnell "very much on board." "The wall will come later." pic.twitter.com/CwPzeozU6C
Last night, White House officials, including Sanders, said that there was no decision made on the wall, but Trump this morning made an off-hand comment that confirms the fears of his pro-wall supporters.
UNITED STATES – JANUARY 16: Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. holds a news conference on the budget on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
So, Bernie Sanders is dropping a single-payer health care bill today, and he’s pretty excited about it. I am assuming he’s excited because this is the official kickoff of his 2020 campaign, but whatever the reason, he’s really touting it.
That’s right: He doesn’t seem to want voters to know their taxes are going to shoot up to pay for the plan.
This is the tell that Sanders knows the bill never had a shot to begin with, and that this is a campaign stunt. He wants to be able to say the evil Republicans want you to have either bad health care or no health care at all, and their opposition to the “wildly popular” single-payer plan is just a sign that they are in Big Insurance’s pocket.
But, by not stating how much taxpayers will have to chip in here, Sanders doesn’t want the public to know. He would like for them to remain ignorant of the real cost of single-payer. And that is really deceptive. It’s a lie of omission, which really just makes Sanders no better than any other politician.
Pictured: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has claimed victory over Democrats in the coming fiscal battles to be had in Congress. God help us all.
Color me a bit skeptical, because in this case, we’re talking about Mitch McConnell. And what McConnell calls a win is something the rest of us might call “more of the same.” But…
In an interview with the New York Times, the Senate Majority Leader said that a provision within the aid bill/debt ceiling deal actually extends the fight to sometime in late 2018.
That will delay the need for another increase in the debt limit well beyond the December deadline that Democrats have been trumpeting as their big moment of leverage. And Mr. McConnell said he did so over the objections of Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader and aforementioned counterpart.
In fact, Mr. McConnell said, the debt limit will not have to be increased until well into 2018, taking that volatile subject off the table for the December spending talks, and eliminating the Democrats’ most dangerous bargaining chip in the first round of negotiations.
Separating the debt ceiling from the deadline to fund the government also addresses one of the main complaints of conservatives who were unhappy that last week’s legislation linked hurricane relief and the increase in the debt limit, forcing many to either cast a debt limit vote they were unhappy about or to oppose hurricane relief.
Now, on the face of it, it does seem like a win for Republicans, and that win would undercut two groups of people who are indeed celebrating a bit too early: The Democrats and the Trump Supporters.
Because, let’s face it, you are taking a big bargaining chip away from Democrats who do have the numbers to hold things up in the Senate, and such a victory is big for Republican leadership, who walked away from the “negotiations” seemingly empty-handed… much to the delight of ardent Trump supporters, who see the President as having done no wrong.
However, this is Republican leadership we’re talking about, and so what they have done is extended the fight until an election year, and an election year that is historically bad for a party in power.
Moreover, any “victory” Mitch McConnell claims is likely tainted by the fact that he is Mitch McConnell, and therefore we can expect more Republican-style big government out of it, rather than solid, conservative reform.
In his 60 Minutes interview on CBS, Steve Bannon put several Republicans “on notice,” stating he would essentially spearhead the efforts to primary these politicians in an effort to push forward what he calls Donald Trump’s “populist, economic nationalist agenda,” which he claims Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell oppose.
Specifically, he’s looking to target folks like Bob Corker, Roger Wicker, Luther Strange, Dean Heller, and Jeff Flake.
Let us concede that, yes, some of these men are worthy of a conservative primary effort. Heller is just awful, and some of the others are well past their prime. However, conservatives should not align themselves with Steve Bannon in order to do so.
Bannon’s sins against conservatives, conservatism, and basic human decency are well known. He has all but ruined Andrew Breitbart’s name, used a major conservative outlet to force the alt-right into the mainstream, backed Donald Trump – who remains the single biggest mistake the conservative movement has ever made – from the get go, and all to give himself power, access, and prestige.
Bannon has always wanted to be a power player in Washington D.C., and the 2016 election gave him that. His departure from the White House, while probably an annoyance in principle, has also given him the flexibility to do for Trump what he’s wanted to all along. To try to become the real live version of the ruthless shaper of destiny he sees in his head.
However, any conservatives that Bannon puts forward (you will be able to tell who they are from the glowing reviews they receive at the website bearing Breitbart’s name) will be reflections of his personal philosophies.
Not to mention that anyone he pushes will have already passed Bannon’s key requirement. His litmus test of “how loyal are you to Trump” is not the test on which we should base conservatism, or even governance. Most of the so-called pundits on the Trump right who cheer these challenges will have the same criteria. They, as a group, really only have one value: Trump uber alles. It’s disgraceful.
Kelli Ward, for example, is someone who is so desperate to get into political office that she ran and lost against John McCain, announced a primary race against Jeff Flake, and then said on radio that McCain’s brain cancer means he should step down and she should get the job. This isn’t the behavior of someone who wants to make a difference. This is the behavior of someone who wants power and authority.
So, anyone endorsed and supported by Steve Bannon should be a non-starter. Even if it is someone who agrees with all of my views 100 percent, if that person fully embraces Bannon, I will stand opposed to him or her. It’s that simple. Embracing and trading in on that power and influence means you’re tainted, and that is not what the conservative movement needs right now.
And, yes, that also means that I will support some of the more liberal Republicans if their only opponent is a Bannon-pushed candidate. We have already allowed Bannon’s influence to be felt too much in this administration. It has to be kept out of the rest of Washington.
So, yeah. I will side with “The Establishment” ten times out of ten if it means keeping Steve Bannon’s influence out of D.C. as much as possible. I refuse to stand by and let his brand of politics substitute good, conservative opposition to the status quo.
On September 11, 2001, a group of evil men hijacked four planes. Two crashed into the World Trade Center towers. One crashed into the Pentagon. One crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
The intent of the attacks was plain as day: to strike fear into the hearts of Americans. To let them know that they weren’t safe. That there was a group out there that wanted to destroy them. It was a harsh reality for a country that had lived securely in the idea that no one was bold enough to strike at the heart of our great nation.
These men, these evil men, belonged to a group that seeks to destroy through chaos. They seek to instill fear in their enemies, and they seek to do so by indiscriminately killing men, women, and children. They have struck subways. They have struck marketplaces. They have struck concerts. They have struck marathons. Though they don’t all belong to the same creed, they share the same intention.
They intend to do evil.
They claim that it is for a higher purpose. That it is their religion that demands their actions. But, we know better. We know that it is a dedication to death, to chaos, that drives these people to do what they do.
They are not just a people based out of the Middle East anymore, either. There is a noticeable trend of people from our own nation and others heading to these bases of evil to join them. It is interesting, in a somewhat horrifying way, that what draws people from the West to this cult of death is an absence of spirituality in their own lives.
There was, a ways back, a piece from BuzzFeed that described a young woman who left a comfortable life in the United States to go to Syria and live in ISIS controlled territory as a member of the Islamic State. It is in this story that we see some of the first – but not only – testimony that it was the need to believe in something more that drove this woman to where she is now. From the end of the piece:
And while the specific reason why Ariel’s made the decisions she has is elusive, her closest friend believes that at its core is her desire to shed a feeling of “spiritual desperation.”
“Be it religion, be it a man, be it a marriage, be it a child, be it ISIS, Ariel was always looking for something to define herself, an identity to cling to.”
This cult of death was appealing to her because she wanted so much to believe in something.
It is no coincidence, then, that the uptick in terror attacks across the globe, and the sudden rush of Westerners to flee to these awful places come at a time in human history when secularism is at an all-time high. The push for moral relativism and the continuous assault on Christianity have left a moral vacuum that many have attempted to fill by swearing their allegiance to evil.
Sixteen years ago today, evil men committed an evil act on American soil. That evil still exists today, and we lose our own to it because we won’t confront it as evil. That refusal comes at our own peril.
Pictured: House Speaker Paul Ryan looking for the least rude way to ask President Donald Trump what in the actual hell he’s doing. Probably.
In a surprise move yesterday… actually, you know what? No. It wasn’t a surprise move. Donald Trump struck a deal with Democrats. He said before he would strike deals with Democrats. He was a lifelong Democrat with Democrats ideals and beliefs. His views on spending align with Democrats. His views on immigration align with Democrats.
Nothing about what happened yesterday should come as a shock. Donald Trump sided with the Democrats. Here we are, Trump choosing to deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over the leaders of his own party in Congress, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. It seems like an odd thing to happen, especially given that Trump’s most ardent supporters have been bragging about his ability to fight the liberalism invading the country.
So, when Trump chooses to side with the liberals, you would expect outrage, right? Well, only if you haven’t been paying attention to where this is going.
See, this isn’t Trump caving in to the Democrats. No no no. This is Trump sticking it to the Establishment, you guys. That’s all. He got Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell real good, you see? The Trump fanatics, Trump cultists, or whatever you want to call them, have moved the goalposts. This is no longer about the Democrats. It’s about The Establishment.
It’s always about The Establishment. What was once a serious concern for the Republican Party is now the go-to boogeyman of the Trump Right. Why? Because they need a villain. They need a reason to keep fighting. Look no further than the House Freedom Caucus. Their response to the deal? Meet with Steve Bannon and come up with a strategy to take out Paul Ryan. Because, somehow, it was Ryan’s fault.
Or look at Bill Mitchell (Warning: Reading this tweet too fast will cause spin-induced dizziness):
By showing Republicans he can work with Democrats, Trump forces Republicans to unite or become irrelevant. He just changed the game.
I’m old enough to remember when working with Democrats was considered the Ultimate Sin a Republican could make. Yet, here is Trump doing it to applause from many who support him.
What Trump did yesterday wasn’t some strategic maneuver, nor was it solid conservative deal making. It was a straight-up caving in to the two worst leaders the Democratic Party has ever seen. Nancy Pelosi is an embattled Minority Leader who was at the very least complicit in the destruction of her party, and Chuck Schumer is a man with no original thoughts of his own and certainly no great political skill other than basic survival. However, Trump gave them what they wanted with no questions asked.
Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell had to be fuming. This is a pretty serious breach of party unity.
Well, it would be in normal cases. But this is not a normal case. This is the case of Donald Trump, lifelong Democrat, aiding longtime Democrats. This is a case of The Establishment needing to be taught a lesson. I am not sure what lesson they learned, other than “Man, our party really messed up here,” but there was a lesson taught nonetheless (I am told).
Stop defending Trump. Stop saying what he did or what he will do is okay. It is not. He has now directly inserted Schumer and Pelosi into all future negotiations. He has effectively given them power they don’t deserve or need. But, that’s fine, because we hurt Paul Ryan’s feelings today, and that’s gotta be good for something… right?
This May 7, 2013 photo shows Martha Lopez waiting for assistance with her temporary work permit at the Honduran Consulate in Los Angeles. The group Casa de Maryland, rallied outside the White House in Washington in support of the president’s announcement that the U.S. government will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents when they were children, known as “Dreamers.” Thousands of “Dreamers” are deciding if they will apply for DACA, or deferred action program, costing $465 dollars. Due to the price, some may wait for comprehensive immigration reform that might grant them legal residency. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
On Twitter this morning, Donald Trump called out all of Congress in a short, simple tweet that relayed his intentions.
This is a shift from the President previously signaling that he would end DACA himself – something supporters among his base would really love to see.
If such a shift is taking place (as it appears to be), then that means that Trump either did not want to end DACA all along or he has encountered some difficulty in doing so himself. Either way, shifting the issue over to Congress gives Trump cover, as many Congressional Republicans have shown they have no interest in getting rid of the plan.