Patterico's Pontifications


Hillary Loves Democracy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 12.00.21 AM

Sorry about the shocking nature of the graphic. It’s just, that’s what she looks like.


Trump Raised $1.5 Million Less for Veterans Than He Claimed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:48 pm

Well. Exaggeration is part of Trump’s charm, am I right? He told us this in the Art of the Deal. So why should we be surprised to learn that he overstated the amount he raised for veterans?

When Donald Trump skipped a GOP debate in January to host a fundraiser for veterans, he touted its success by citing the $6 million raised for veterans groups. One problem — that figure is inaccurate.

Following the rally in Des Moines, Iowa, the Trump campaign said the event raised $5 million and Trump personally contributed an additional $1 million. But campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN Friday the amount raised was actually less than $6 million.

Lewandowski said he did not “know the exact number” off the top of his head and would confirm the number in coming days. He explained the discrepancy by saying at the time of the rally, Trump believed he had raised $6 million but more money had been pledged than was actually donated.

The Washington Post reported Friday that Lewandowski said the fundraiser actually netted about $4.5 million. Lewandowski told CNN that number is incorrect.

If Corey Lewandowski says it, I believe it!

Speaking of exaggeration: I was amused to see a Trump surrogate downplaying Trump’s . . . exaggerated claims about immigration, in a big way:

The first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president doesn’t envision one of Trump’s main campaign promises – a wall at the Mexican border – ever becoming a reality that stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

“I have called it a virtual wall,” Rep. Chris Collins said in an interview with The Buffalo News.

“Maybe we will be building a wall over some aspects of it; I don’t know,” the Clarence Republican said of Trump’s proposed barrier to keep illegal immigrants and drugs from crossing the southern border.

Collins, who has become one of the presumptive GOP nominee’s main media surrogates, also cast doubts on another central Trump campaign promise: the candidate’s vow to deport the nation’s 12 million undocumented immigrants.

“I call it a rhetorical deportation of 12 million people,” Collins said.

He then gestured toward a door in his Capitol Hill office.

“They go out that door, they go in that room, they get their work papers, Social Security number, then they come in that door, and they’ve got legal work status but are not citizens of the United States,” Collins said. “So there was a virtual deportation as they left that door for processing and came in this door.”

So according to this Trump surrogate, Trump’s central claims are pure bullshit.

(ASIDE: Lawyers would call it a “constructive wall” and a “constructive deportation.” You might have to be a lawyer to get the joke, but a law professor once explained to us that a “constructive” anything means that it’s not really that thing.)

Once of the truly curious things about watching Trump’s rise is the way he can say or do literally anything without suffering a hit in his popularity. Imagine Trump himself saying what you just read from the surrogate. Now imagine one of Trump’s biggest fans. Would they be disturbed?

I don’t think they would be.

Shock: GOP Establishment Falling in Line

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 am

Politico (cached link; no links for bullies):

The Never Trump moment is over.

While a small group of Republicans has wrung its hands raw over the choice between the GOP’s nominee and Hillary Clinton, the party’s firmament – social and intellectual conservatives, the lobbyist and donor class, powerful operatives and outside groups – is increasingly getting in line behind Donald Trump.

Never mind that many of them complain about his bombastic and unpredictable political style. The thawing has slowly but surely begun – and it’s visible everywhere — from mega-donors like Foster Friess rallying Republican governors to Trump, to Mitt Romney’s allies agreeing to raise money for him, to leaders of the Never Trump movement conceding their cause is lost.

As I said on May 4: “In coming weeks, my decision to leave the Republican party will be confirmed, as the majority of Republicans ‘rally around’ an obvious con man who would be the ruin of limited government and constitutionalism.”

It’s happening quickly.

P.S. If you’re more interesting in promoting constitutional principles than in promoting a con man, your refuge is this blog, and the Constitutional Vanguard. If you’re not a member, what are you waiting for? Sign up here. Once you have joined the group, you can join our troll-free closed Facebook group (100 strong as of this writing).

P.P.S.: I am getting a LOT of requests from people whom I cannot verify are on the list.


Charlotte Observer: Male Genitalia in Girls’ Locker Rooms? Overcome Your Discomfort, Girls!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:54 pm

Charlotte Observer:

Yes, the thought of male genitalia in girls’ locker rooms – and vice versa – might be distressing to some. But the battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort – with blacks sharing facilities, with gays sharing marriage – then realizing that it was not nearly so awful as some people imagined.

Yeah . . . that’s gonna be a no.

I get that some people have trouble matching their self-conception with the reality of their bodies. I don’t care what goes on in your mind, but your right to act on those thoughts ends at the point where you’re waving around your schlong in front of some little girls.

Exercises in Cognitive Dissonance: The “Socialism” Monopoly Game

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 pm

Courtesy of a member of the Constitutional Vanguard Facebook group comes this:

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 7.05.27 PM

I plan to post more memes and videos like this, and encourage everyone to share them on social media or wherever you do your Internet stuff. One of my main hobby horses these days is to find ways to counter those ridiculous pro-socialism memes we see from the BernieBots. There are different levels of complexity to the arguments that can be made. But sometimes the best argument is a very simple and amusing visual that makes the point that your Free Stuff comes at the expense of overwhelming and constant taxation.

I disagree with Dafydd ab Hugh that projects like the Constitutional Vanguard have “virtually nothing to do with the vote” — but I do agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment expressed by a correspondent and member of the Constitutional Vanguard:

[F]or any movement like this to succeed it we will have to adapt the ‘pitch’ to different segments of the society and we will have to do this in a way that does not compromise the core values of the movement. Difficult? You bet. But nothing worth a damn is ever easy.

Well said.

For what it’s worth, we have 30 new subscribers to the Constitutional Vanguard list since Tuesday — and as of this writing, our new private troll-free Facebook group, announced this morning, has 77 members. Sign up for the list and then join the Facebook group! The next email goes out tomorrow.

Robert Kagan: “This is how fascism comes to America”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

Robert Kagan in the Washington Post:

Republican politicians marvel at how [Donald Trump] has “tapped into” a hitherto unknown swath of the voting public. But what he has tapped into is what the founders most feared when they established the democratic republic: the popular passions unleashed, the “mobocracy.” Conservatives have been warning for decades about government suffocating liberty. But here is the other threat to liberty that Alexis de Tocqueville and the ancient philosophers warned about: that the people in a democracy, excited, angry and unconstrained, might run roughshod over even the institutions created to preserve their freedoms. As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people.

This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society. “National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Fuhrer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how. Today, there is Putinism, which also has nothing to do with belief or policy but is about the tough man who singlehandedly defends his people against all threats, foreign and domestic.

To understand how such movements take over a democracy, one only has to watch the Republican Party today. These movements play on all the fears, vanities, ambitions and insecurities that make up the human psyche. In democracies, at least for politicians, the only thing that matters is what the voters say they want — vox populi vox dei. A mass political movement is thus a powerful and, to those who would oppose it, frightening weapon. When controlled and directed by a single leader, it can be aimed at whomever the leader chooses. If someone criticizes or opposes the leader, it doesn’t matter how popular or admired that person has been. He might be a famous war hero, but if the leader derides and ridicules his heroism, the followers laugh and jeer. He might be the highest-ranking elected guardian of the party’s most cherished principles. But if he hesitates to support the leader, he faces political death.

This is obviously stupid because it could never happen here. Unlike Germany and Italy, we here in the United States are different. We would never fall in line behind a leader who cares about only himself, blames our problems on foreigners, and sets up a cult of personality with a healthy dose of retribution for anyone who refuses to toe the line.

In unrelated news, Rasmussen says Trump 42%, Clinton 37%.

Announcing The Constitutional Vanguard Facebook Group

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

The fourth Constitutional Vanguard newsletter went out on Tuesday to an even 500 subscribers — a base of constitutionalists assembled in less than two weeks. (And it keeps growing!) One of the members of the list asked for ways for members to talk to each other, and another suggested a closed Facebook Group. (“Closed” means I have to approve each member, and anything you say is viewable only by the members of the group.)

I have decided to accept this suggestion, and create a closed Facebook Group called The Constitutional Vanguard. It is open only to people who have signed up for the email list, and who wish to discuss our core principles: the Constitution, liberty, and the free market. I run an open blog with open comments, and I am proud of the mix of viewpoints it produces, and the opportunity it presents to challenge viewpoints — even if that sometimes causes dissension and unrest. The Facebook Group serves a different purpose. It will be a closed community of like-minded individuals dedicated to discussing our core issues and how to promote them. There will be no trolls. Only members of the list are allowed to join, and the first hint of a trollish comment will earn a block.

I’ve already had someone join the Facebook group who told me he no longer reads the comments section at this blog because of a particular commenter. It is not important who the commenter is. What is important is that people are not going to be driven away from the Facebook group by trolls.

I plan to announce it in an email soon — but having created the group, I wanted to let the world know about it now. The price of admission is signing up for the Constitutional Vanguard newsletter. The price of staying is not disrupting constructive conversation regarding the Constitution, liberty, and the free market.

Think of it as a troll-free comments section, with a theme.

Sign up for the Constitutional Vanguard here. And once you’ve signed up, if you’re interested in the Facebook group, go here and request to join.

P.S. If you’re anti-newsletter for some reason, you can keep up with the emails I send out, by accessing the archive here. Maybe the high quality will persuade you to sign up! And I have created a forum of sorts for list members on this blog, at this page — which is intended to be used only by members of the list. Unlike the Facebook group, I can’t prevent the public from commenting at this page — but I will delete off-topic, trollish, or non-list-member comments as I find them.

UPDATE: We had about 30 members sign up this morning. Not bad, since I have not sent out an email about it.

I have a few requests from people whose names I can’t find on the signup list. If you don’t get added, I am sending a Facebook message asking what email you used to sign up for the list, so I can look it up.


Kevin Gilbert, November 20, 1966 – May 17, 1996

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:25 pm

I have written about Kevin Gilbert before, here and here. I didn’t realize he died on my wedding anniversary (but two years before my wife and I were married).

A Facebook Group dedicated to him mentioned it, and I ran across the fact today, a day late for the 20th anniversary of that awful day.

In honor of his memory:

When You Simply Refuse To Accept There Are No Other Options

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:21 pm

[guest post by Dana]


(from the Twitters)


Trump Announces, Well, Not His Potential Supreme Court Picks Exactly, But…Something

Filed under: General,Stark Choice — Patterico @ 6:28 pm

From the press release at the Sniveling Coward’s site:

(New York, NY) May 18, 2016 – Today Donald J. Trump released the much-anticipated list of people he would consider as potential replacements for Justice Scalia at the United States Supreme Court. . . . Mr. Trump stated: “…The following list of potential Supreme Court justices is representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value and, as President, I plan to use this list as a guide to nominate our next United States Supreme Court Justices.”

A “plan” to use the list as a “guide” — from a liar. That’s . . . not particularly definitive or reassuring.

Pam Karlan is a giant lefty, in case you didn’t get that from the context.

So there you have it. Some of the names are good — but there’s no point in discussing them, really. This man says he is not the “John Miller” on that recording where he is a sock puppet praising his own exploits with women. Anyone who takes this list seriously — or who takes anything Trump says seriously — is a fool.

Americans face a stark choice in November, between a man they cannot trust and a woman they cannot trust. The details are irrelevant.

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