They’ve ended the 1 PM riot curfew. Malls are opening. Cars are making noise. My barber’s texting me. The dry cleaner wants me to pick up my suits. Suits? I don’t know if I can take this much normalcy right now.
Jeff Sessions, Hippie: In 1970, I told my mother I wouldn't go to the big demonstration in New Haven, where Black Panther leader Bobby Seale was on trial for murder. I went anyway. A few hours later I was sitting in the sun on the New Haven Green, listening to speaker after speaker lead thousands of protesters in various revolutionary call-and-response routines. One of my friends - quite astutely in my opinion -- said that while they supported the cause they worried about the authoritarian potential of this sort of mass obedience. It was creepy, even mildly Riefenstahlish, the way all these alleged free-living hippies did what their leaders told them to.
As we talked, Yippie leader (and Chicago 7 defendant) Jerry Rubin was up on the stage, in the middle of a long and — it seemed to me — unusually vapid attempt to rouse the crowd. Rubin nevertheless managed to produce loud chants, echoing around and around the rally . Fears of incipient fascism, confirmed. Then I heard what they were chanting:
"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!"
It would be good if President Trump had a Rubin moment, no? It might be a partial solution to his unusually severe Second Term problem -- namely, the rational fear of what he’ll do if he’s reelected and no longer has to please voters, especiallly the voters who elected him. (I mean, are you looking forward to his second term?) Liberated from the prospect of impeachment, and of defeat, and maybe even of the pandemic, why should he care what the base wants anymore? Internal White House critics who championed base-friendly policies, like Steve Bannon, have long ago been banished. Jared Kushner has not, Kushner seems happiest when he’s working on a wildly overambitious deal with New York and foreign bigshots who wouldn’t have returned his calls in 2015. While he may think that some deplorable policies, like building the wall, are vital to getting Trump re-elected, that constraint will vanish in December.
Trump and Kushner might also, with some justification, feel that if they should want the base on their side, Trump can persuade them of practically anything. After all, he spent his first two years pursuing Paul Ryan’s agenda,, not theirs — and they will still have just delivered for him, big time.
The stage will be set, in particular, for the long-feared Immigration Sellout-- a disastrous sweeping deal Trump occasionally hints at, combining increased legal immigration and a large amnesty of illegals in exchange for weak control measures and fig-leaves (like pretending to deny amnestied illegals full citizenship).** You can smell it coming. Just this week, the White House denied Kushner was working on a deal to amnesty the “DACA” recipients — illegals who came into the country as teens, or younger, and were given temporary protection by Presideny Obama. I don’t believe the White House.
This latest initiative will probably fizzle, like others in Trump’s first term that have been blocked by threatened base rebellions — communicated via burning MAGA hats or Ann Coulter columns or (I assume) Numbers USA’s lobbying. But again, post-November, the veto power of “the base” dissipates — especially if Trump can sell them anything.
We’ll have a test in July, when Jeff Sessions tries to get his old Alabama senate seat back. Trump’s been a total shit to Sessions, who gave up the seat to be Trump’s first Attorney-General. Sessions was one of the few cabinet members actually doing something to push the president’s immigration control agenda while Trump was getting taken to the cleaners by Schumer and Pelosi on money for the wall—on any immigration legislation, actually. But, as you probably know, Trump blamed Sessions for the Mueller Russia investigation—even though it was triggered, not by Sessions’ recusal but by the Comey firing two months later (and Trump’s own seeming Russia obsession***).
In an act of vengeance so petty not even I would undertake it, the president (reportedly goaded by Kushner) has vigorously and repeatedly tweeted in support of Sessions’ primary opponent, former football coach Tommy Tuberville, a local celebrity seemingly crafted in a lab as the perfect candidate for selling the corporate “more immigration” agenda to Republicans. (Tuberville hired a consultant, Rob Jesmer, from FWD.US, Mark Zuckerberg’s loose-borders lobbying group.)
3 years ago, after Jeff Sessions recused himself, the Fraudulent Mueller Scam began. Alabama, do not trust Jeff Sessions. He let our Country down. That’s why I endorsed Coach Tommy Tuberville (@TTuberville), the true supporter of our #MAGA agenda!
This prompted some delicately calibrated pushback from Coulter :
I will never apologize for supporting the issues that candidate Trump advocated, but I am deeply sorry for thinking that this shallow and broken man would show even some remote fealty to the promises that got him elected.
If Trump can sour loyal GOP voters on the once-popular Sessions — unopposed when he ran in 2014 — and drag the cipher Tuberville across the line, he’ll have eliminated probably the most formidable potential opponent to a second-term mass immigration deal. A Sessions win would remind Republican senators and Congressmen — who will still need the base — that they needn’t live in fear Trump will snap his fingers and turn loyal GOP voters against them.
The primary is July 14. Trump’s been Rubinned by Alabamans before.
I also note that “Send Jared a Message” fits on a bumper sticker.
** — They’ll get it anyway, eventually.
*** — In his post-firing interview with Lester Holt, Trump said: "And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself -- I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.” The pro-Trump interpretation is that Trump’s saying he fired Comey for incompetence and knew he’d nevertheless be accused in the press of screwing up the Russia investigation — but hey, that investigation was a nothingburger and would be pursued and wrapped up soon enough . And that’s what he seems to be saying before he digresses. But he sure brings up the Russia investigation a lot — with Holt, in his firing letter to Comey, in his post-firing meeting with Lavrov. He’s like a guy who says his actions have nothing to do with sex and then constantly talks about sex. The Comey firing was obviously about Russia. The botched Holt interview simply gave the media the ammo it needed to force a special counsel. At that point, not even “wingman” AG Barr could have stopped it.
If you were the Deep State and could push a button to send out the signal to ex-officials and presidents — Mattis, Kelly, Bush, Powell, Mullen, Allen, Dempsey, McRaven, etc. — to "Turn on Trump now!," you would not have pushed it this week. Even with the BLM protests, and Trump’s erratic response, it’s way too early, no? What button are they going to push in October? The only way it would make sense as a conspiracy is if they feel there’s still a real opportunity to get Trump off the ticket. I don’t see it.
I Don’t Know! # 1: Why Did the Millennials Succeed? Sixties college radicals thought they would carry their values into the adult workplace. That famously didn’t happen. We became lawyers and doctors and investors and other cogs in the machine. (Not that there’s anything wrong with it …) But Woke Millenials actually are having a big political impact, as Freddie Gray notes in Spectator USA:
We had assumed that when confronted with real work and responsibilities, these coddled adult children would be obliged to get real. We didn’t appreciate that, even in the adult world, there aren’t enough adults left. In so many workplaces now, if somebody feels triggered, that in itself will trigger an office crisis and the resignation of somebody senior
Why is it different this time? Is it really only that ‘there aren’t enough adults left”? There are plenty of adults —- but like the editors of the New York Times they’re getting chased from pillar to post by the young Woken.
I don’t have a clear answer. Maybe the Sixties people had external battles to fight (e.g. against the Vietnam War) and didn’t have time to hone their skill at pressuring institutions from within. Maybe we were Marxists, resistant to identity politics (a proleterian is a proletarian, after all) but it’s identity politics that provides the magic formula for pressuring older managers: the argument that [whatever you are fighting] makes you feel unsafe as a [whatever your identity is]. Maybe Millennials see no economic future that would make them respect their bosses or their employing institutions. Maybe it’s that Trump has amped up the level of semi-crazed concern among all Democrats so suddenly a familiar argument by a U.S. Senator seems to be inviting a ‘fascist’ takeover (though weren’t the Woke winning skirmishes long before Trump ran for office?). Maybe the 60s radicals weren’t whiners, but once they became faculty member and administrators they proved incapable of telling the younger whiners to stop whining. Maybe the money is just in woke polarization now, so all sorts of bourgeois norms (bipartisanship,, objectivity) are being pushed aside by commerce. (“All fixed, fast-frozen relations … are swept away.”) Maybe, as one Twitter follower suggested, the Millennials realized that if they captured the HR departments first, everything else would follow …
I’m just riffing here. I really don’t know! If you have an idea what the answer is, please leave a comment …
The new American-made Acura TLX is out. It’s big new feature is that it looks like a rear-drive sports sedan, with a long nose and wheels way out in front, even though it’s not a rear-drive sports sedan.. It’s based on a front-drive platform.
Hmm. Instead of desperately trying to make your front-drive car look like a rear-drive car, why not ... make a rear-drive car? Just a thought! Rear drive cars handle better. Even front-drive cars fitted with 4-wheel drive (optional on this Acura) are stuck with front-heavy “architecture” and weight distribution.
For decades the most obvious hole in the U.S. auto market — pointed out by curmudgeon Robert Cumberford — has been the absence of an inexpensive, rear-drive sedan like the old Datusn 510 or original BMW 3-series. Yet nobody has filled it. (It’s like 16 GOP candidates all failing to steal Trump’s immigration platform in 2016.) Ford has the platform (the one in the Mustang). All they have to do is add two more doors. But no.
Closing note of calm: If the American left is at this kind of fever pitch now, when they think they have Trump beat, imagine what will happen if Trump wins. It will make the current “unrest” look like a yoga class on quaaludes. Namaste.