Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Fresh from his bizarre WOT slash-fic "Wildman" story about how a real-man President will bomb the Middle East into powder and win a grateful nation's respect, Schlichter is here to tell us "Why the ‘Jon Stewarting’ of America’s Youth Is Awful For Political Discourse." Right out of the gate:
Of all of the many plagues Obama’s reign has unleashed upon America...
Come on, tell me that wasn't impressive.
...the way he and his TV acolytes have empowered stupid people to smugly share their lefty wisdom may be the most tiresome. Firmly resistant to facts, evidence, and truth, his fans have been liberated to unleash their numbing dumb without the shame at their own ignorance that once would have deterred them from sounding off. As a result, America becomes a little more annoying every time some aspiring assistant barista tweets out a link to a YouTube clip titled, “John Oliver TOTALLY DESTORYS racist Ben Carson!”...
There's culture war, and then there's culture total war, and Schlichter's approach here is, like that of Wildman and President Cruz, indiscriminate carpet-bombing. He rages that, because his enemies "can’t argue, they seek to silence," but instead of explaining silence how? he leaps for the throats of the "Millennial doofuses" because they "have crummy jobs, crushing student debt, and no future. They have zero money or fame..." Not like when he was a rich and famous kid! It's like Peter Boyle in Joe underwent a Flowers for Algernon transformation, then took a bunch of meth.
No one thinks this stuff is actually funny; it’s all about solidarity. You never hear real laughs on these political shows, just cheers of approval.
You'll laugh when Schlichter tells you to laugh -- like in his previous column, "Let’s All Laugh As Liberalism Commits Ritual Suicide On Campus" ("And we will sit back and point and laugh as the weak-willed, spineless liberal losers of academia abase themselves before their whimpering student bodies..."). But here's where it really gets weird --
I recently posted a column on a plan to destroy ISIS which involved actually destroying ISIS. One gentleman in the Washington Post pointed out some flaws in my ideas, I think incorrectly, but certainly fairly. This is called an “argument.” But the Jon Stewarties had to pipe up too. I don’t expect them to be retired Army colonels or War College graduates, but I do expect them to know some basic facts about the subject before weighing in. Yet their ignorance was no deterrent.
The "gentleman in the Washington Post" is to all appearances Daniel Drezner, who treated Schlichter's Wildman column as a serious proposal and politely offered a conclusion ("To put it gently, that’s a horrible assumption"). Maybe Schlichter was holding a gun on him.

So: Schlichter apparently regards his macho fantasy as the equivalent of a paper from the Army War College and, when people make fun of it, he fact-checks their jokes -- or rather alludes to facts against which he has, at some undisclosed location, checked and found the jokes wanting.

Schlichter calls to mind one of my old favorites, Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters. Peters does most of his fulminating on TV these days, alas, and I've missed his jacked-up columns. But Schlichter has come into his own and may serve as my go-to military lunatic now as we head toward Gulf War III.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


One thing I didn't make too much of in this week's column (though I teased it out a bit here) is the rush among conservatives to defend Donald Trump's ravings about Muslims. Instapundit stringer Ed Driscoll pushes the line that, though there mmmmmaybe weren't "thousands and thousands" of Muslim-Americans cheering 9/11 in Jersey City, Muslims were cheering in the Middle East, which proves media bias, therefore Trump is right where it counts -- that is, he could, in Driscoll's estimation, beat Hillary Clinton (to whom Driscoll compares Trump, in the fine, incoherent tradition of modern conservatives eager to tar their opponents by free-association):
Both [Clinton and Trump] in their own way are prone to speak in outrageous hyperbole because they have little fear of serious repercussions from their wild utterances. But as Steyn writes, given a choice between two crazed exaggerations — one where “thousands” of New Jersey Muslims celebrated on September 11th and another where “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” and given our current president’s ongoing escape into fantasyland, who would you count on to keep you safe in the coming years?
Sounds like Driscoll's thinking the once-unthinkable about Candidate Trump. Oh, and guess who else is? National Review's Rich Lowry, who once teased Trump that Carly Fiorina had cut his balls off, has a column up called "Donald Trump — The Jacksonian Candidate." "Jacksonian" is wingnut code for "white people who don't give a shit who has to die to keep their asses in Barcaloungers," and Lowry is downright respectful toward its new avatar:
Finally, national honor is a paramount value for Jacksonians, a concern that can be heard in Trump’s signature promise to make America great again. He will out-bully and out-fox our adversaries and, as for ISIS, he will bomb and water-board it into submission.

It is tempting to see Donald Trump as something wholly new, the reality star who represents the merger of entertainment and popular culture. He is also something centuries old, the populist railing against a corrupt and ineffectual elite that will, through his chastisement, get the comeuppance it deserves.
Cutting your balls one minute, sucking them the next, these people.

This Strange New Respect for Trump owes much to the temper of the times: Since the Paris attacks, conservatives have been doing their damnedest to re-instill in voters the 9/11 fear that stood them so well in the Bush years. Though they have had their problems with Trump in the past, Il Douche is great for fear-mongering and projecting an image of Making Things Happen By Being Rich and Barking Orders (or, as conservatives know it, strength).

But I think there's more to it than that. Even Trump's non-fans are being extraordinarily gentle with him. Others have noted how media outlets are reluctant to call Trump a liar even when he self-evidently lies. At Commentary, John Podhoretz talks about all the "entirely impressionistic memories" that went on around in New York shortly after 9/11 (though I vas dere, Cholly, and don't recall anything like that), and compares Trump's Jersey City cheering-Muslims bullshit to that:
So, to sum up: There were many hysterical and made-up stories afoot in New York City during that week and the weeks after. People believed anything they were told, and others simply made stuff up... Which suggests not so much that Trump deliberately told a lie in order to rev up a crowd – but rather that he’s very, very gullible.
Actually, Trump claiming to see something that reflects outrageously badly on Muslim-Americans when it didn't actually happen is the opposite of gullibility -- it's mendacity counting on the gullibility of others. It's not even like Podhoretz is covering for some idiot relative with a penchant for story-telling -- he's defending Donald fucking Trump with this well-ya-gotta-understand guff.

I think they've tipped over from Trump-can't-win-if-we-all-growl-at-him to this watery state, soon to be followed by "What sort of President will Trump be?" articles. There are only three things that motivate these people to this kind of behavior: love (ha); fear (def); and money (or the promise thereof in the Treasury-looting Trump Administration).

UPDATE. Allow me to quote me! From Nov. 4, after the CNBC-was-mean-to-us scandal:
As I've said before, in these guys' world truth is no defense against accusations of media bias. I'm not sure the Trump juggernaut can endure long enough to panic some of them into a Strange New Respect for Il Douche, but it would almost be worth a Trump Administration to see it. I mean, the country's fucked anyway, right?
UPDATE 2. Jim Geraghty is trying to preserve some plausible deniability on the Jersey City Jihad thing. Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds has his own, rickety spin:
JIM GERAGHTY: Why the Facts of American Muslims and 9/11 Matter. “We cannot be a party or a movement that gets its understanding of the world from chain-e-mails from Uncle Leo.” 
I dunno, it worked okay for Obama. And I think anger at that fact is why so many people don’t care about Trump’s various excesses. You want no rules? Okay! No rules it is! That’s not good for the country, of course, but then, few of Obama’s legacies are.
Not only is Trump Obama's fault, so are "chain-e-mails from Uncle Leo." But this is of course an old racket for both Geraghty and Reynolds.

Monday, November 23, 2015


...about rightbloggers's mortal enemies, the Syrian refugees, and why what looks like pangs of conscience in their xenophobic columns are actually the rhetorical equivalent of gas pains. The apparent agreement of ordinary citizens with their anti-refugee gush is depressing for a  number of reasons -- not only because it represents a shameful reversal of the best American values, but also because it recalls the engineered panic of the Iraq War run-up. If this groundhog sees his shadow, we get ten more years of war.

As usual, due to my meticulous attention to compositional integrity, some corkers had to be left out of the mix -- like this stop-the-presses headline from Fire Andrea Mitchell:
Syrian refugees coming to US automatically put on welfare
They could crawl up out of the surf, watch their hair in a public toilet, and get straight to a job interview, but no! Coddling's what I call it.

Also, there were more apparatchiks than Byron York and John Hinderaker weeping over poor Donald Trump and how the media was trying to make him look like some kind of Nazi -- e.g., PJ Media's Michael van der Galien, "CNN Selectively Edits Donald Trump's 'Muslim Registry' Comments to Make Him Look Like an Anti-Muslim Bigot" (presumably written before Trump kept agreeing with what he was allegedly tricked into saying, but with this bunch who knows), and National Review's Jim Geraghty who, like Hinderaker, admitted it was weird that Trump claimed stadium-size crowds of Jersey Muslims were cheering the 9/11 attacks, but then shifted the blame to "certain conspiracy-theorizing liberals" who "offered a nonsensical charge" that Muslims, or at least some sort of Arabs, were not cheering... in Jerusalem. So see, both sides do it -- Trump says Muslim-Americans cheered out of hatred of America, liberals say Palestinians didn't, so let's split the difference and invade Iran.

Anyway, column's up for your delectation.

UPDATE. Wow, Hinderaker's going all-out in his defense of Trump, harassing the Washington Post over the relative meanings of "a number," "several," and "thousands." Maybe Hindrocket's bucking for a job in the Trump Administration as head of the Department of Bullshit. He should stay alert -- I expect Glenn Reynolds will nose his way to the front first.

UPDATE 2. Ann Althouse thinks Trump may have seen thousands of Muslims, even though others didn't, because he had access to a "high-floor penthouse in Manhattan" where "I presume he has telescopes to gaze out upon the glorious long views." Trump did say he saw it "on television," but maybe he had to stand on his television set to get to the telescope. Anything's possible, right?

The racket is this: Pretend Trump slandering Muslim Americans is really just a misunderstanding, instigated by the liberal media to further their evil pro-Muslim agenda. Their fans already believe the media is evil, and probably already hate Muslims, so it's an easy twofer.

Oh, and later on, write thousands of words about how students are only pretending racism exists.

Friday, November 20, 2015


The greatest movie awards song medley of all time.

•   It's a small blessing, I guess, that most of the other Republican candidates have distanced themselves from Donald Trump's Muslim registry idea. All it really means is that these shitheels calculate Americans would not approve of it, but that's still positive -- it's when they start calculating that Americans would approve such a thing that things are grim. (You know, like the way many Republicans talk about torture as if it's an American value, instead of something that, once upon a time, we insisted we didn't do.) Of course there's always one skunk at the picnic:
"But the mosque piece of it is the controversial piece, so where do you stand on that?" [Megyn] Kelly jumped in to ask. 
"Well, I think it’s not about closing down mosques. It’s about closing down any place, whether it’s a cafe, a diner, an internet site, any place where radicals are being inspired," the senator [Marco Rubio] said. "The bigger problem we have is our inability to find out where these places are because we’ve crippled our intelligence programs."
I don't know whether he's just that dumb or whether he or one of his campaign people decided this was the best way to distinguish him from the rest of the field on the subject. Well, he's got's John Nolte on board anyway:
Proving once again that the DC Media lies are no longer effective when it comes to emotionally blackmailing Republican politicians, presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) picked up right where frontrunner Donald Trump left off on the issue of closing radical mosques.
I know Nolte represents some kind of constituency, but won't most of them be thrown out of their polling places when they insist on marking their ballots with pistol fire?

•   The perfect anti-Obama froth is an unachievable Platonic idea, but the second graf of this David Gelernter full-body thrash at National Review (the classy conservative magazine!) gets closer than most:
The reviews are in: the whole world, friend and foe, left and right, east and west, north and south, understands the President of the United States to be a naïf and a fool. The outstanding question is only whether he is a good man over his head (as the global Left seems to believe) or — as the evidence suggests — he has always looked at America and Americans with snide condescension. That seems to be his favorite emotion.
I know what you're thinking. Alas, there is no link to support the claim that everyone, left or right, feels the way David Gelernter feels, and a good thing, too, as that would qualify as a genuine mental health crisis. I think the little sputtering side-rage at the end -- "that seems to be his favorite emotion" -- really makes it; you're not really frothing unless you flail out at least one irrelevancy. But your mileage may vary. Next!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


You have probably seen some of the rightwing hate-ons for Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me in recent months. National Review has posted what seems like dozens of them; my favorite is by David French, entitled "White Liberals Love Black Radicals — That’s Why They Love Ta-Nehisi Coates." (You can guess.)

Expect the sputtering rage to redouble now, because Coates' tome won the National Book Award yesterday. The first volley, which will be hard to beat, comes from an email newsletter called Prufrock from the The American Conservative. The item is by Micah Mattix:
The National Book Award winners were announced yesterday, and, of course, Ta-Nehisi Coates won the non-fiction award for Between the World and Me. Sigh: I have read a few poems from Robin Coste Lewis’s Voyage of the Sable Venus, which won the poetry award, and was not particularly impressed. (I haven’t read Adam Johnson’s Fortune Smiles, which won the fiction award, so I can’t comment on it, but the reviews are interesting.) Anyway, if you know the Koch brothers, can you please tell them that a $500,000 gift to start a book award that honors actual literary merit, not identity politics, would do America a hell of a lot of good?
I've often thought that's just what they should do, and if the Kochs are big enough suckers to fund it then why not?  We can be sure "honors actual literary merit, not identity politics" is code for  "lifetime achievement award for Tom Wolfe," and that the inaugural field of Ayns or Ronnies or whatever will be swept by Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Miller, and Kurt Schlichter, creator of "The Wildman." Shortly thereafter, the budget will be repurposed to fund Ted Cruz robocalls, and the awards themselves will be made available to any customer for each thousand dollars he spends at Goldline.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Obama said this about Republicans who are trying to protect America from pathetic refugees:
"Apparently they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America," Obama said of Republicans. "At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three year old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me."
"I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this debate," Obama said... 
"When you start seeing individuals in position of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land that feeds the ISIL narrative."
Naturally I am very pleased to see this, not only because Obama is usually much too nice to these assholes, but also and mainly because it's a refreshingly strong defense of common sense in the normally common-sense-free War on Whatever. When was the last time you heard any other top-tier elected official call bullshit like this?

Nice Guy Democrats like Kevin Drum think it's a bad idea, though, because mindless fear is a "political winner"; presumably we should all get on board with terror-hysteria so as to keep the love of the people. Say, Joe Lieberman's still alive, maybe he can run for President.

I realize that, as circumscribed as he's been, Obama has accomplished some good things for the country. The trouble is, they're mostly half-measures. Take Obamacare. We only have this shaky Rube Goldberg system because the insurers and the AMA had to get paid off or national healthcare would never fly -- Senators and Congressmen have to get their contributions from somewhere, y'know! Single payer has been and remains the choice of the American people, but in the name of prudence and moderation we have instead a system nobody's entirely happy with, and because they're not happy Republicans get to exploit it while scheming to bring back their preferred Pay or Die healthcare system.

This is what you get when you've been thinking half-loaves so long you treat whole loaves as some sort of Bridge Too Far. What would the American people do with a whole loaf? Isn't there a danger that they'll choke?

Now Republicans are yearning so bad for another war that they're willing to use France, home of socialized medicine and the Axis of Weasels, as their casus belli. (Never mind that France has decided to go ahead and take more Syrian refugees.) Should I, in an attempt at comity, acknowledge their imaginary concerns, and then the next set of imaginary concerns, until finally I'm saying well, if the U.N. is willing...? Fuck it.  I didn't go for it in 2003 and I'm not going for it now. Besides, look at Some Guy from RedState reacting to Obama --
It takes a particular level of gall to be on foreign soil and criticize your political opponents. It is even worse when one is on foreign soil and openly treats political opponents with a level of contempt and anger that would be better served directed at terrorists. President Obama went there and after calling the terrorist attacks in Paris a “setback” and getting pissy with the press on Monday, has begun to lash out at GOP Governors...
I know, art of the possible and all that, but I'm not making common cause with this douchebag. Like Christy Mahon said, if it's a poor thing to be lonesome it's worse, maybe, to go mixing with the fools of the earth. I'll just keep on as I have been, and if God is kind I'll be around in a few years to hear Megan McArdle explain that I was just lucky. And who knows? By then maybe a few more citizens will have caught on.

UPDATE. Here's an interesting approach, from "Captain" Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
Predictably, the President continues to cheap-shot his opposition via straw-men arguments (while overseas) while demanding we believe what has been proven to be a false narrative, rather than come home to deal with the crisis with actual dialogue and some honesty. The person who is serving refugees worst at the moment is Barack Obama.
I can see "Captain" Morrissey dressed as a simple dogface in WWII, leaning down to the orphaned Dondi with a Hershey bar: "Ya gotta understand, kid -- we didn't want to leave you to die, even though we kept saying that we did. But that Obama -- he went to the Philippines, and he was mean to us! When you're starving to death, remember who's really responsible. [Dondi reaches for the candy bar; Morrissey snatches it back] Psych!"

Evil is not a game. Evil is not to be messed with. If you call up the devil, sometimes, he will come.
Then he gets into it with his commenters about whether "Sympathy for the Devil" also summons evil. If you guessed "No, 'cause Rod likes the Stones," you guessed right: "And the Stones song was inspired by Bulgakov’s novel 'The Master and Margarita'. It’s not literally expressing sympathy for the devil, but rather disclosing his familiar presence throughout the history’s human atrocities..." It's a still life watercolor, of a now-late afternoon... Really, what's the level after self-parody? Escape velocity?

UPDATE 3. Perhaps he was inspired by Kurt Schlichter's widely-mocked WOT slash-fic, in which Republicans bomb everybody and win the day -- but not before "ISIS sleepers in America had struck at shopping malls" and, while those gunless losers in Los Angeles and Chicago got mass-murdered, "the killers in Phoenix and Dallas had been unable to murder more than a half dozen because of armed citizens..." Whatever the inspiration, Erick Erickson popped a gunboner:
After Paris, I Want to Take My Gun to Star Wars
Ain't even kidding.
...But just to be safe, I plan not to go to opening day. My theater will not let me take my gun with me. There are none in my area that would allow it. So I will wait for a late showing after the crowds have died down. People can scoff and claim this means the terrorists have won. Honestly though, thinking about safe and unsafe situations is something we should all do anyway. If the opening of “Dark Knight Rises” could spark a nut a shoot up a theater, I expect opening day of the biggest film premiere in modern history could do just as much, if not more. Besides, I don’t mind spoilers, so I will wait.
Frankly, I assumed Erickson never went out in public areas where walking was required. Can't he just download a script and act the thing out with his action figures?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Speaking of that awful Mollie Hemingway column, one of her Paree peeves is that people aren't mourning the right way. For one thing, they play and listen to "Imagine" by John Lennon. Though she admits people get some comfort from the song, the culture cop within her cannot approve, because she finds it "embarrassingly juvenile as well as godless and communistic." Why can't Parisians go around howling Dies Irae and beating their breasts like her?

At National Review, Stephen L. Miller also disapproves of "Imagine," and of that Eiffel Tower-peace sign thing that's been going around. Like Hemingway, he acknowledges (or has been encouraged by his programmers to acknowledge) that the traumatized masses like this sort of thing, but he asks that they stop sniffling and listen to his critique: "Spreading a cool graphic can bring a moment of comfort, but it also assists in placating the masses to the point where they do not acknowledge or address the cause of the attacks." Then he goes on about emojis and The Culture and whatnot.

Back at The Federalist, M.G. Oprea takes the biscuit, though. She bitches out Charlie fucking Hebdo for not responding appropriately to terrorism with their funnies:
In a cartoon, they discussed the importance of naming one’s enemies, and in the next breath said our enemies are “those who love death.” Certainly. But in this case, that moniker belongs to militant Islam.
God knows what they think would be appropriate -- maybe something like Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" video, only with lots of ragheads exploding, culminating in a speech by Paul Wolfowitz. I guess they think when we all get back to 9/11land, they'll get sinecures in the Department of Judeo-Christian Values propaganda division, and churn out scolds by the carload. Then, by God, they'll "win" the "culture"!


As always happens after a terror attack, we're seeing a lot of Christians like those asshole Governors  and  Rev. Mike Huckabee ("'It's time to wake up and smell the falafel,' Huckabee told Fox News' Bret Baier... 'We are importing terrorism'") reinterpreting the Golden Rule to conform more closely to Republican policy, i.e. the Good Samaritan was a schmuck.

At The Federalist, Mollie Hemingway thinks we have no business noticing this if we're not in the Moral Majority:
One of the hottest responses to the Parisian terror attacks was to not just stop talking about ISIS by talking about all the refugees you care about more than the other guy. And one of the most popular ways to do that was by referencing Mary and Joseph not finding a room at an inn when they traveled to Bethlehem for the census. 
So this abortion enthusiast [Jill Filopivic], for instance, offered: "This refusing to offer refuge to fleeing Syrians reminds me of a story, something about a pregnant couple and innkeepers w/ no room?" 
An “ultra-liberal gay atheist university professor from Massachusetts” wondered “How many conservatives who now turn away desperate Middle-Easterners seeking refuge will soon be putting up a Nativity?”...

Like you, I love being lectured about human decency by people who defend Planned Parenthood. But since when did liberals decide the Bible should be the basis of public policy? Imagine the implications for marriage law!
Put it this way: Though I fled the Catholicism in which I was raised long ago, I have retained what the snake-handlers call a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is, though I stopped believing he was God, I haven't abandoned the Golden Rule. Maybe it's just a sentimental attachment -- fish don't know they're wet and all that. But I think of it more as one of the legacies of our civilization, like Shakespeare or Mozart, that affirms its truth whenever you revisit it in the right spirit.

Hemingway finds that insufficient -- how can you be a real Christian if you don't go to her church, or are gay or pro-choice? But really, fuck her. He doesn't have a patent on morality. She doesn't even have a patent on Jesus. She's just got a badge and thinks it means she has a jurisdiction.