Patterico's Pontifications


Tribal Affiliation And Mob Mentality

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]


Which brings us to the problem of trying to have a productive conversation with people who are caught up in the vast sprawling electronic apparatus of self-moronization. It does not matter what anybody actually has said or written. The rage-monkeys have an idea about what it is they want you to have said, or what people like you are supposed to think about x or y. I cannot count how many times I have had some person respond to something critical I’ve written about some lefty fruitcake with “What about Trump, huh?” When I point out that, among other things, I wrote a little book called The Case against Trump, the response is: “Well, Republicans . . .” And then when I point out that I am not one of those, either, the retreat into ever-vaguer generality continues incrementally. The fundamental problem is that what’s going on in “conversations” such as these is not conversation at all but a juvenile status-adjustment ritual. These people do not care about ideas — they care about who sits at which cafeteria table in the vast junior high school of American popular culture.

Kevin D. Williamson is a great writer.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Remember Wendy?

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 12:04 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

Wendy Davis launches bid for U.S. House:

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis announced Monday she is running for the U.S. House in a GOP-held district targeted for takeover by national Democratic leaders.

She’s the first big-name Democrat to launch a candidacy in the 21st Congressional District, represented by first-term Republican Chip Roy of Hays County.


Post-Budget Deal Rant: What Is the Point of the Republican Party?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

DRJ had a headline about the new budget deal but I want to talk about what it says about the Republican party. New York Times:

White House and congressional negotiators reached accord on a two-year budget on Monday that would raise spending by $320 billion over existing caps and allow the government to keep borrowing, most likely averting a fiscal crisis but splashing still more red ink on an already surging deficit.

. . . .

[I]t is another sign that a Capitol once consumed by fiscal worries simply no longer cares — even as the government’s deficit approaches $1 trillion a year. Still, the accord would lift the debt ceiling high enough to allow the government to keep borrowing for two more years, punting the next showdown past the 2020 elections.

“It’s pretty clear that both houses of Congress and both parties have become big spenders, and Congress is no longer concerned about the extent of the budget deficits or the debt they add,” said David M. McIntosh, the president of the Club for Growth, a conservative group that advocates free enterprise.

. . . .

But with the top-line figures all but secured, the deal would be the end of the Budget Control Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law after House Republicans pushed the government to the brink of defaulting on its debt. That law, once seen as the Republicans’ crowning achievement in the Obama era, set strict spending caps, enforced with automatic spending cuts.

. . .

And this time around, the approach of the debt limit hardly caused a ripple of consternation about the rising red ink. “I’ve seen no evidence that it’s even being discussed,” said Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma. “That’s the hard part for me.”

Meantime, the federal debt has ballooned to $22 trillion. Despite healthy economic growth, the federal deficit for this fiscal year has reached $747 billion with two months to go — a 23 percent increase from the year before.

“It appears that Congress and the president have just given up on their jobs,” said Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which blasted out a statement arguing that the tentative deal “may end up being the worst budget agreement in our nation’s history.”

My question is: what is the point of the Republican party any more? The TEA party supposedly consisted of people outraged by the size of government, who wanted to return to our founding principles so much that middle-aged white guys were going around in tri-cornered hats. Now those people are all* Trumpers, and it looks like the support for small government was a passing fancy — just one of several ways to trigger the libs.

Republicans are OK on the budget (relatively speaking; in absolute terms they are still terrible) when a Democrat is in office. Witness the Budget Control Act, which Republicans crammed down Obama’s throat. But they spend like drunken sailors when the GOP takes over the Oval Office. Can you imagine Republicans forcing the Budget Control Act on Trump?

My core concerns for the federal government are 1) excellent judges who apply the law, 2) preserving the free market, and 3) shrinking the debt and deficit by reducing spending and the size of government. (I know: quaint, right?) Donald Trump is good on judges. I always said he would be. But with his love for tariffs, he is horrible on free markets. And he is giving Obama and Bush a run for their money in the race for being the president who cares least about spending.

Budgets like this mortgage our children’s future. They are an outrage and should motivate any sensible person to stand up, scream, and throw the bums out.

That doesn’t mean I will vote Democrat. As long as the president picks judges, I can’t go that far. (Turn over picking judges to Congress and I might vote for Joe Biden to get Trump the hell out of there. But that will never happen.) So I’ll be sitting out the next presidential election.

But this is not what I signed up for when I became a Republican some 30 years ago.

It is, however, precisely what I expected when I left the party over three years ago.

This party stands for owning the libs and for nothing else. This budget deal proves it. And aside from a handful of sensible people, nobody will care. Meanwhile, our kids are screwed.

This is why people become disgusted with Washington D.C. To hell with the people involved in this travesty. Each and every one of them.

*OK, not technically “all” — although I do suspect that the guys in tri-cornered hats are wayyy more likely to be Trumpers today than the average TEA partier.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Boris Johnson elected UK Prime Minister

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 6:27 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

Boris Johnson, newly elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom: Britain’s new leader Johnson vows to get Brexit done.

Boris Johnson, the Brexiteer who has promised to lead Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal by the end of October, will replace Theresa May as prime minister after winning the leadership of the Conservative Party on Tuesday.

His convincing victory catapults the United Kingdom towards a showdown with the EU and towards a constitutional crisis at home, as British lawmakers have vowed to bring down any government that tries to leave the bloc without a divorce deal.

Johnson, the face of the 2016 Brexit referendum, won the votes of 92,153 members of the Conservative party, almost twice the 46,656 won by his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

May will step down Wednesday.

An apparent admirer of Donald Trump, Johnson was congratulated by Trump and his daughter Ivanka – who unfortunately botched the name of his country.


Breaking News & Off Topic Links (7/23/2019)

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 6:12 am

[From DRJ]

I was impressed with the links and comments left in the first BN&OTL post. Let’s do it again:

This post is for everyone who wants to share a link to a breaking news story or to an interesting news story/blog post that is not related to a current post. Put your link in the comments and, if you want, a brief discussion of why it is important or interesting. Discussion about any links is welcome here, too.

Please use this post for breaking news and off topic links so they will be easier to find, instead of leaving them in the comments of other posts.


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