26 thoughts on “The Feckless Republicans”

  1. On the subject of criticizing Mr. Trump, the latest thing is his hear no evil, see no evil stance on Russia in connection with the claim that GRU or whoever are the post-Soviet Russian spooks were paying bounties to the Taliban for each American soldier they kill.

    Could a person suppose that the president is outright lying about not getting briefed on this? Do you suppose the president has a reason to be lying, a morally justifiable reason, that he doesn’t want to start a war with Russia over this, maybe preferring to “signal” to the Russians on the down-low or the QT?

    Jerry Pournelle tells the story about the RB-47 incident where the Russians shot down an American intelligence gathering aircraft — claimed by us to be in international airspace. I read later that the downing of this modified B-47 bomber was itself an intelligence surprise because it was thought it could out-run any of the extant Russian fighters at its high, operating altitude. The surprise is that the Russians equipped one of their subsonic MiG designs with an afterburner, giving it the burst speed to catch up?

    Anyway in Jerry’s telling of how the Russians downed this aircraft, killing the intelligence officers working the gear inside the bomb bay, who I guess didn’t have ejection seats, and taking the air crew prisoner, who did. The official story is that these men were “traded” for Russian spies held in the West. The unofficial story is that the CIA or whoever assassinated a couple Russian agents in Vienna or wherever.

    The “signal” is that since Russia is a closed society governed by a totalitarian state, the US or its allies cannot have agents traipsing around Russia, but we do have the technical capability of putting listening gear in a jet spy plane operating close to their borders. Russia doesn’t have the capability to send their jets that close to our sensitive facilities owing to our ability to intercept them and direct them to turn around, but owing to our open, non-repressed civil society, Russians get to traipse around the European capitals if not have a presence on-the-ground in the US itself.

    Just as our jet was vulnerable to your after-burner equipped MiG-19 or whatever model it was, your spies relying on freedom-of-movement in the West are nevertheless vulnerable to our guys sneaking up on them and stabbing them or whatever happened. Jerry said that the Russians, very quickly, understood the “message” that was sent. All of this done in a forceful but out-of-the-headlines face-saving way to avoid starting a war between major nuclear powers.

    So is President Trump a liar? Was President Eisenhower a murderer? Do you suppose that Mr. Trump is equally skilled at sending the Russians a “signal” on this without a public response to what is, if the story is correct, an act of war by the Russians?

    So what is the matter with people in our elite “Establishment” that they can’t just plain STFU and let Mr. Trump conduct presidential policy? And my feelings extend to our kind friend of Rand’s, Bob Zimmerman.

    1. I don’t get any if this. The Russians either directly or indirectly through intermediaries supply arms to the Taliban. Do you think those arms are used to virtue signal or actually kill American soldiers? Where on this planet anywhere is this bounty idea even news? Compared to arms sales/giveaways? I used to say the Russians play chess to Washington politician’s checkers. Now I have to revise that. From checkers to Tiddlywinks. Just how stupid does the Deep State & Democrats (but I repeat myself) think the American People are?

      1. Yes, it does matter.

        If Russians supply AK’s and RPG’s to whoever they are trying to be on the good side of who are sympathetic to the Taliban, that is one level. If they are supplying their “Kornet” anti-tank rocket, used against Israel in Lebanon in 2006, that is another level.

        If they are supplying explosive-forged anti-MRAP vehicle mines like Iran did in Iraq, we know how that turned out in one case, for which the same people are giving Mr. Trump an incredible amount of trouble.

        If the Russians are paying cash bounties to Taliban fighters, that raises it to a whole other level. What I am saying is that if President Trump is playing dumb about this, he is not stupid, and a certain other presidential hopeful ought to follow American conventions and traditions about foreign policy matters of such high stakes.

        1. So we pay cash bounties to Kurds for killing Russians, using Stinger missile if necessary. It’s endless tit-for-tat that in the long run means nothing.

          1. I don’t argue against your point that the Monday morning quarterbacking is harmful to our foreign policy. You’d think a *true* civil servant would understand that, rather than illegally leak secret information.

          2. As a man who went to my high school once said, “You go to war with the army you have, not the one you wish you had.”

            You go into the election with the incumbent president sympathetic to Conservative/Libertarian/Resisting-the-Madness-instead-of-lurching-to-coopt-the-Left you have instead of the one you wish you had. Was it the Blogfather Glenn Reynolds who suggested going to work for a campaign, a local campaign will do, to “work the phones” or whatever grunt work is needed than whinging and keening about the present situation.

          3. I have a lot of respect for that four square guy who went to your high school who is now a known known.

    2. Interesting speculation. However I think the answer to your question is that the “elites” so hate the President that they will say or do anything to destroy him regardless of the consequences. And they view incident this as simply another shot.

      1. The remainder of 2020 until the election will be a series of hoaxes to discredit Mr. Trump to prevent his re-election. The perpetrators are the usual suspects (academic leftists, Muslims, ecosocialists). The Democratic party must rely on this tactic because they insist on not fielding a credible nominee.

        I’m reminded of the bit about faking the moon landing, where the perpetrators decided it was easier to just go to the moon, than fake it. You’d think for all the effort they put into hoaxing President Trump out of office, it would be easier to find candidates other than Biden and Hillary.

        1. Right. Wasn’t the most expensive and impossible thing to fake was the Saturn V rocket itself? Once you have that why bother with faking the rest?

      2. It is just a continuation of the Russian Collusion Dellusion. They keep trying to say Trump is soft on Russia and that he is working with them to damage the country despite all of his policies being bad for Russia. The audience are less gullibles, people who passivly consume media, and the Democrat base.

    3. I’m glad I took the time to read all that, Paul, before responding. I tend to agree with you that Trump is managing the current situation well. I understand Bob’s, and perhaps Rand’s, point that it seems the Democrats are just running roughshod over our laws. However, my experience is that most people see exactly that. And that’s what needs to be seen.

      I read this via Instapundit. It is an analysis of the conversation between CNN’s Chris Cuomo and a Democrat supporting lawyer in St. Louis that recently defended his home, lawfully and safely, from a mob that trespassed on his property. I don’t think Ian Schwartz and RCP (along with Glenn at Instapundit) are the only ones noticing this stuff. Democrats are literally being mugged by reality, and it will have an effect.

      But on the feckless Republicans; I’m less upset about what they’ve done about COVID-19, than ignoring the use of our federal intelligence and investigation capabilities to spy on and punish political opponents that are civilians in the United States. Martial law imposition due to COVID-19 is just a natural outgrowth of have had 3 plus years to abuse those other powers without any pushback.

      However, what do you do about it? The primary is the best opportunity, and I’ve seen a few wins in which constitutional conservatives have managed to defeat long time GOP standard bearers. Yet, there is not enough of those wins. And, marxist progressives are doing the same within the DNC. Do I show my disgust by not voting for the Doug Ducey’s that make it through to the general election? I wish it was that simple, and I’m not a happy camper, but the primaries are all but over, and it is time to once again decide the best of the worst.

      David makes a good point about turnout below. I think it has a lot more to do with where we are today.

  2. To observe the relevance of either political party watch the voter turnouts. When <50% of the eligible electorate determine the outcome of an election the political party platforms don’t matter because the elites are by definition already in charge. Why should either party antagonize the same elites they serve?

    I’m wondering if I can mail in my ballot from New Zealand?

  3. I agree with the slam on Trump and most Republicans (in fairness, some Republicans have been speaking out, but not many) over the riots, destruction, and looting.

    When the anarchists/terrorists seized 4 blocks of downtown Seattle, Trump publicly warned, “Take it back, now, or I will!”. (Or words to that effect). He then proceeded to do… nothing. Empty threat. He tweets “Law and order” but has done very little (aside from some federal prosecutions – credit where credit is due). I’m disgusted that he’s apparently too feckless to do his job, and I’m angry.

    However – I’m also not quite stupid enough to ignore the fact that his opponents are actively pandering to and encouraging the mob. So, Trump is awful – but the alternative is vastly worse. It’s a choice between a guy who’s way to soft on the enemy… and the enemy.

    1. Trump gonna Trump but I’m on Team Federalism. If the mayor of Seattle wants to play nice with CHAZ while people are shot in the streets, I presume the governor of Washington has the authority to take over.

      I hope CHAZ lasts through the election. I even wrote an anthem:

      New boss in the neighborhood
      Lives downtown and it’s understood.
      He’s there just to take good care of me,
      Like he’s one of the family.

      CHAZ in Charge
      Of our days and our nights
      CHAZ in Charge
      Of our wrongs and our rights

      And I sing, I want,
      I want CHAZ in Charge of me.

    2. The protesters aren’t just some spontaneous randos. They are Democrats who have been organized, trained, funded, and directed. It is much worse than pandering.

  4. But the title of this thread is “Feckless Republicans” and I have to admit that a lot of them ARE really feckless.

    Though there are more feckful ones than in the past (Jordan, Stefanik etc) …we still have far too many Paul Ryan act-alikes

  5. For years, starting with the Bush ’43 administration and continuing throughout the Obama administration, infiltrators from Iran entered Iraq. Once there, they killed a lot of American military personnel. Bush ’43 didn’t do much to stop them and Obama did less than nothing. Not only did he take no action to stop the infiltrations, he signed a deal with Iran and gave them – a major sponsor of international terrorism – billions in cash. Yet we hardly ever hear about that while people are getting their panties in a twist over allegations of bounties by the Russians. The bounties, if true, are bad, but what Obama did was orders of magnitude worse. But the 24 hour news cycle demands OUTRAGE!! and that’s this week’s installment.

  6. Back to the main point of the article, Yes, the Republicans are being feckless. They nearly always have been. As I have long said, the RINOs *are* the true Republicans – the occasional classical liberal who makes their way into office just serve to give the GOP window dressing.

    I am not a fan of the president, but neither am I horrified by him – he has his good points. Still, I remain surprised by how much the apparatchiks have shut him down over the virus thing. Most of us knew it was a scam by the end of March, but Mr. Trump is being mostly silent on the reopening, which should have happened two months ago and is still crawling along. He has always known the press would present whatever he did in the worst possible light, so why is he tip-toeing now?

    1. “He has always known the press would present whatever he did in the worst possible light, so why is he tip-toeing now?”

      Trump gets his political energy from the people.

  7. Dems do a lot minding reading, and minding reading is generally a common practice. But Dems have an evil religion- they probably claim they don’t have religion. Simple rule, those without a religion are evil, but everyone has religion- it can be simple or complicated.
    One simple aspect of Dem religion is the government can solve everything- which obviously very evil. But not saying Dem religion is limited to this stupid idea.
    So anyway if mind reading, you are imagining that you are the person you mind reading, and put your religion {that you might unaware you have] to that person.
    Or if trying to somewhat skilled at mind reading, you have to know the religion of the person you are mind reading.
    Can’t say I know Trump’s religion, but probably it involve “positive thinking” a consequent of that is having “endless possibilities”, and one call that problem one has to overcome/control and probably Trump has overcome that aspect to some degree. And main thing is method of giving someone confidence. Or thinking negatively has it’s advantages and also things to overcome- avoiding danger could general a benefit. Another advantage not getting too excited about one’s success.
    Anyhow if think government can solve all problem- it’s coming package of advantages and disadvantages. But main problem with it is that government is fundamentally evil. Everyone looking at any history is aware of this.
    I find it interesting puzzle of how one could transform a government into something which is “good” rather then the already given solutions of being less evil, and Dems are not showing anything which is remotely going in that general direction.

  8. Mr Zimmerman can’t be reasoned with. He says we should look out for the most vulnerable population but then said he wouldn’t wear a mask at the dr office. He said he wouldn’t wear a mask on a road trip but then also demanded no one riding with him wear one. He isn’t willing to take any steps to mitigate risk, even small ones and isn’t open to other people doing things of their own free will.

    Then he demands the federal government overstep its powers to rein in Democrat protesters. Trump has limited options. He can use the bully pulpit, which he has, and he can have people prosecuted to breaking federal laws, which is happening. Trump could do better, as the Democrats should be mocked and the 4th wall of their “protester” networks broken. But then people would say Trump isn’t being Presidential and that he is racist.

    So, is the government supposed to abuse its power or not? Is Trump supposed to fight or appear Presidential?

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