Saturday, February 18, 2017

- Swamp Draining Notes

When you drain a swamp, there are some regions of this country where the thing you’ll end up with, is an unknown number of pissed off and confused snakes and a few mildly annoyed gators. Leave them alone for long enough and the gators will solve their newly acquired problem themselves. They’ll saunter off through the trees to find some other little puddle or estuary to settle in. They’ve been at this for 200 million years, and are well accustomed to keeping a comparatively low profile. The snakes though, you’re going to have to do something about them.

The smart thing to do is to ‘remove’ them. If you think the word ‘remove’ is a being used as a euphemism in this case, then you’re paying close attention. Ever since the Endangered Species Act empowered the EPA to prevent any commerce it damned well pleases, private citizens who are trying to build in areas where there is significant animal life, have gotten in the habit of getting a couple of good ole boys to quietly skulk out to their build sites in the middle of the night with a few gallons of gasoline. The gasoline get’s dumped down into holes and nests around the site to ‘remove’ the creatures within.

A few weeks later, the EPA can then come by and do their inspections, and rather than finding spotted owls and mud bellied newts or whatever, they find only abandoned nests, burrows and other signs of previous but no longer present, animal activity. Let the “winning” commence.

As a longtime hunter, I’m a great fan of nature and believe it should be protected. I’m not one of those guys who thinks guys of Mark Zuckerberg’ish influence should be allowed to build their houses around ‘ole faithful, using it’s steam to power their guest bedroom sauna, thus denying the rest of us access. But the EPA is clearly out of control, and I think it’s safe to assume the rest of Washington is probably the same way.

So in the grand scheme, I’m unconcerned with all the pushback from the intelligence services this week. These guys are not James Bond, and Q in the same way that not all our soldiers are members of Seal Team 6. They are mid-level government bureaucrats, guilty of mid-range sins and mid-range corruptions. I’m quite certain that whatever else they may be worried about, their job security and pensions are on the list someplace. And I’m willing to bet my hat that they are no smarter on average, than everyone else at a similar level. So I think we should all try to remember the differences between Hollywood’s story of us, and the us of real life.

The “Deep State” conjures a very dark and conspiratorial image that I think probably gives them too much credit. Yes I’m sure they have an agenda, and yes I think it’s clear that they deeply oppose the Trump administration’s priorities. But it’s probably for the same reasons that everyone else on the left is so perturbed about Trump. And no one who is that detached from reality can be that much of an objective threat in the long term. Trump just needs the New York equivalent of some good ole’ boys to get out there with some gasoline and convince the most seriously affected of their number to go away. Give him a little time.

My Saturday mornings for the last few years, have settled into a pleasant kind of rhythm. I read the late Friday night news dumps on Drudge, Freerepublic, and the associated links, then immediately afterward I listen to Radio Derb.

The news dump, slipped into the middle sections of the nation’s dailies by convenient timing, never fails to annoy me. But the clarity and rationality of Radio Derb reminds me that I’m not actually one of the patients in this insane asylum. This purges my intellectual space, and prepares my psyche for the day.

Then comes my morning workout followed by a shower, and cooking breakfast for my daughter etc. The minor and sometimes pleasant chores of modern life, in which I’m careful to always, take some small joy.

This week though I noticed a gap in my routine. There was no late Friday night news dump of inconvenient facts from the Trump administration. There was no need because the Trump news, in some respects, is always inconvenient for the people reporting it. When this occurred to me, I was immediately reminded of my favorite all time politician and the story I always tell of him.

Former Governor of Louisiana Ed Edwards, was the aforementioned politician, and the story has to do with his treatment of the press. At one point he was being investigated for corruption, as in my opinion all politicians inevitably should be, and one of the reporters asked “Ed, aren’t you afraid they’re gonna find the skeletons in your closet?” His paraphrased response, tinged with his Louisiana accent was a classic line. “Son” he said to the reporter, “I ain’t got no skeletons in my closet. They all out there runnin around of the front lawn”.

Now Ed was a crook, there is no doubt. And he was eventually convicted of something or other, and spent several years in a Federal Prison in Texas. But we are all fallen creatures, so I’m reluctant to judge. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim and politicians gotta lie and cheat. And we have institutions with checks and balances designed to throw the worst of them in jail afterward.

It’s the nature of the beast, that’s my thinking. But if they manage to do it with the style of Ed Edwards, then I’m prepared to look beyond an indigent brother in law or two with a mid range no-show government job. That’s not perfect, but neither is life, and neither am I. It’s fine to strive for perfection in all things, but it would be wrong of me to expect anyone else to reach it, anymore than I do of myself.

And that’s the thing about Trump. His press conference from this past week, which I watched in real time, was… indescribable. Style?! It’s too small a word. There must be some big German word, which means “man who obviously has nothing whatsoever to hide”. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. It had all the features that thrill his fans and both thrill and horrify his detractors. But there is more than that.

He sounded absolutely nothing like any politician - ever. He even mentioned this himself in the press conference. This is really the thing that most mortifies the left, though in their solipsistic way, they probably don’t realize it. To them, their politicians are seen as the high priests of their much beloved church, and Trump is deviating from the traditional liturgy in its entirety. They are more aghast at this than any of his actual policies, which so far anyway, don’t actually deviate from previous administrations in any dramatic way, unless you count actually enforcing the law.

But his plain spoken and confrontational style so offends them that they are filled to the brim with an inexplicable rage. Ask one, and after you get past any sublimation about policy differences you’ll see that very thing. “I don’t know what annoys me about him, he just does!” they’ll say, choking back their bile in a haze of sputtering and eye rolling.

Well screw them, I absolutely loved it. Their religion is stupid, their faith a farce and Trump’s treatment of their liturgy was poetic in its disruption. Whatever else he may be, he is no politician. And for that I think America should be deeply thankful. We’ve had enough of that sort of thing, and need to get back to objectivity and basics.

Although he never actually came right out and said it in so many words, what he clearly meant was that he takes great exception to the current ‘framing’ of the news. It’s that old joke about “Earth to end on Tuesday, women and minorities hardest hit.” He’s not complaining about the news of the impending asteroid, he’s complaining about the bit about “hardest hit”. That’s the “Fake News” bit. And since it’s all we’ve seen from the MSM, and all we’re likely to see, I expect him to keep right on complaining about it. He might not be able to reform them. But if anyone can, I believe it’s him.

I had my reservations about Trump early on. But after this past press conference, I am purged of all doubt. It was perfect, right down to it’s timing. The man is precisely the medication our ailing country needs. Let the left rend their garments and gnash their teeth. The more the better.


Muzzlethemuz said...

Excellent callout on the "intelligence community."
Thomas Friedman is to be generally dismissed but in the pages of "From Beirut to Jerusalem" he gets one thing right - quoting an Israeli intelligence officer in Lebanon in the early 1980's who describes the Americans as, "players who cannot play." Then as now, even the pointy spear people in those organizations miss the ball though they get more resources and assets thrown at them than any other service on the planet. Good intelligence is pricey but job security is priceless.
I am glad to see RFNJ's about-face on Trump. He has been my man since asserting his stance on Muslim immigration and breaking the back of political correctness during the presidential campaign. Everything that has followed has just been icing on the cake, not least of which is the election itself, proving that what I believed to be a creeping, urban, liberal majority, was in fact nothing more than fake news.
¡Viva Trump!

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

GotNews is reporting that the leaker has been found. GotNews also indicates that Trump's Chief of Staff might be involved.