Category Archives: Political Commentary

The Alexandria Shooting

Showed the Left’s cultural bullying at its worst. Mary Katherine Hamm is en fuego:

Finally, to cap the week, the FBI offered a bizarre assessment of the shooting that ignored the plain significance of all of the established facts of the case to declare it a “spontaneous” attack with “no target.” What perverse standards. A Republican congressman is fighting for his life in a hospital thanks to a partisan attacker, but let’s examine on national TV several times over how he kind of had it coming because of his politics.

Republicans literally had guns held to their heads, so they should renounce their rights to armed self-defense?

Republicans were victims of a multiple assassination attempt, and it warrants half the coverage of the assassination attempt on a Democrat six years earlier?

Republicans were shot by a partisan political adversary, so they should be careful how much they celebrate electoral wins?

It all revealed once again the overweening cultural hubris of the American Left, which has been in control of so many institutions and the prevailing political narrative for so long, it can’t conceive of Republicans as victims even when they’re being shot. Many of them are cultural bullies convinced of their righteousness, and as Reid did, they’ll kick you when you’re down after being shot on a baseball field. Why, it’s enough to drive you to hire a giant, coarse, shameless bully of your own and make him president.

Want more Trump? This is how you get more Trump.

Meanwhile, my neighbor Kurt Schichter says spare me the principles lecture.

The FBI Briefing On The Congressional Shooter

is bizarre:

The FBI admits that Hodgkinson:

•vociferously raged against Republicans in online forums,
•had a piece of paper bearing the names of six members of Congress,
•was reported for doing target practice outside his home in recent months before moving to Alexandria,
•had mapped out a trip to the DC area,
•took multiple photos of the baseball field he would later shoot up, three days after the New York Times mentioned that Republicans practiced baseball at an Alexandria baseball field with little security,
•lived out of his van at the YMCA directly next door to the baseball field he shot up,
•legally purchased a rifle in March 2003 and 9 mm handgun “in November 2016,”
•modified the rifle at some point to accept a detachable magazine and replaced the original stock with a folding stock,
•rented a storage facility to hide hundreds of rounds of ammunition and additional rifle components,
asked “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?” before firing on the Republicans,
ran a Google search for information on the “2017 Republican Convention” hours before the shooting,
and took photos at high-profile Washington locations, including the east front plaza of the U.S. Capitol and the Dirksen Senate Office.
•We know from other reporting that the list was of six Republican Freedom Caucus members, including Rep. Mo Brooks, who was present at the practice.

So what does the FBI decide this information means? Well, the takeaway of the briefing was characterized well by the Associated Press headline about it: “FBI: Gunman who shot congressman had no target in mind.”

If they don’t want to call it terrorism because it was an attempted political assassination, then fine, but this is insane. If they want to continue to drain away the last vestiges of confidence in their competence, this is the way to do it.

[Update Friday morning]

Who does the FBI work for?

There’s no reason to beat around the bush here: what the FBI is claiming is mind-boggling when they claim the shooter had no target in mind. Consider the number of accidents of circumstance you would have to believe were going on here to not have the shooter doing what seems obvious from every piece of evidence we have: researching and planning for an attack on Republicans of some kind, particularly looking for an opportunity when security will be low and vulnerability will be high. This was an attack, not an “anger management” problem.

Step back, though, and think on the institutional conclusions here. Considering how ludicrous the FBI’s conclusions are as it relates to an attack on the third ranking member of the House of Representatives, you might reconsider whether to trust the FBI’s conclusions in other areas, as well. And this is how our faith in institutions is degraded: steadily, gradually, with incident after incident where men in suits stand in front of microphones and make claims we know are not the whole truth.

This is how you get more Trump. Despite the fact that Trump doesn’t seem inclined to do anything about it.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Related: Hey, Trump, how about firing Avner Shapiro? Your administration is full of people sabotaging your agenda. What are you going to do about it?

The Senate Health Plan

It appears to be ObamaCare Lite:

At a fundamental level, the Senate plan accepts Obamacare’s premises about the nature of health insurance and the individual market. It works from the assumption that the only way to make expensive health insurance cheaper is to subsidize it through the federal government. It is a plan that subsidizes, and therefore disguises, unaffordability, rather than attempting to bring down costs directly.

Republicans are useless.

[Update a few minutes later]

Bob Zubrin has a more radical plan:

…the problem that we face is not that there are too many people who lack health insurance, but that there are too many people who have it. If we want to get health-care costs under control, we need a system where the majority of medical expenses are paid for by informed individuals who shop for value and are free to choose what they want to buy accordingly.

So what should Congress do? The most effective action the government could take would be to simply ban health insurance and enact transparency laws forcing medical providers to clearly advertise their prices for services rendered. This would crash health-care costs overnight.

Unfortunately, things are not so simple. Health-care costs differ from grocery costs in one key respect: They are unpredictable, which means that for most people catastrophic health insurance would still be warranted. What’s more, there would still be indigent Americans unable to pay for health care even at the greatly reduced rates such a system would provide. Such people, however, could be given medical stamps, analogous to food stamps, to help cover all or part of their medical bills.

The recently failed Trump-Ryan health-care bill was useless, because it simply perpetuated the current nonsensical system in slightly altered form. To truly fix health care, we would need to build a new system from scratch with two cornerstones: the free market and a safety net — the former to drive down costs, and the latter to protect the most vulnerable.

Yup. The whole system is a disaster, and has been for decades, ever since employee-insurance and union demands completely warped the very concept of health insurance.

[Mid-morning update]

Well, here’s a different opinion:

Trump And Republicans

What if he doesn’t sink the party?

Now, I realize that neither Ossoff nor Handel mentioned the president much during the race — which, in itself, bolsters the theory that Trump might not be as consequential in these races as Dems hope. But the race was nationalized. Its implications were national. The coverage was national. The parties treated the race as one that would have national implications. Certainly, the money that poured into the race was national. One imagines that every Georgian Republican who went to the polls understood what this race meant for the future of the parties. When you nationalize races, Republicans will take more than the president into account.

We already know that an electorate can be happy with a president and dislike his party. Why can’t the reverse be true? Barack Obama, for example, carried healthy approval ratings for the majority of his presidency, yet voters decimated his party over six years. What if there’s a faction of Republican voters who don’t like Trump but still don’t like Obama’s policies?

What a concept. I find Trump detestable in many ways, and I’m not a big fan of Republicans, but know what’s worse than either? Democrats.

Oh, and you know about this brilliant electoral strategy of telling voters that they aren’t voting for you because they’re cruel and bigoted?

Herein lies the Democrats’ problem, just as it was a problem when Hillary Clinton bellowed about a basket full of deplorables during the 2016 campaign. The Democrats and their base (Hollywood) think the key to winning elections is to insult voters. “They don’t vote for us because they are bigots” is not a strategy I would employ as a campaign manager but they are welcome to keep trying this, and they are welcome to keep losing.

Another problem with Filipovic’s theory: Trump won educated white women over the first major party female nominee in history. ”

The otherization and dehumanization of large swaths of the voting public is a primary reason operatives like Filipovic have been reduced to tweeting from the havens of their Upper West and East Coast cities. These urban islands are where the party is forced to mine for talent to send into strange flyover districts. As Heat Street reported, Ossoff had nine times as many donors in California, as his home state of Georgia.

The key to winning, according to Filipovic, is to act contemptibly toward voters and put up candidates in districts where they don’t live, while simultaneously marching through their streets and blocking highways. Bold strategy.

Please keep that up.

Oh, and then there’s this:

The problem with Pfieffer’s direction are two-fold. While there are Republican voters disenchanted with Trump, they may not be disenchanted enough to close their eyes and pull the lever for Democrats. That’s an awfully big gamble for a party that just threw $30 million down the toilet.

This is a reinforcement of Harsanyi’s thesis above. The dynamic of the election, in which people like me hated that Trump was the nominee, but are sure as hell not going to vote for a Democrat in general, let alone Hillary Clinton, continues to play out.

[Update a while later]

Heh. “The only thing Democrats won recently was the congressional baseball game, while the only way Democrat voters can seem to get Republicans out of Congress is by shooting them. And they can’t even do that right.”

[Thursday-morning update]

Some people hate Trump; more people hate liberalsleftists [correction mine].

Calexit 2

Now they want to negotiate a new deal:

The coalition filed a proposed constitutional amendment that would remove the word “inseparable” from the California Constitution’s declaration that the state is “an inseparable part of the United States of America.”

However, it should not be assumed the California Freedom Coalition wants total freedom. The proposed amendment holds out the possibility the state could be “sovereign and autonomous” without actually breaking away from the U.S.

Stephen Gonzales, the president of the California Freedom Coalition, told the Sacramento Bee the amendment would also open the door for negotiation. It would give the state’s governor the freedom to do a deal with Washington for the independence of California.

I guess they’re ignoring those pesky issues like needing the consent of Congress.