24.11.15

CLUELESS

The simplest explanation for the troubles the political establishment are having with the voters is that the political establishment is doing things badly.  But nobody wants to admit it.  Let's start with Juan Williams on Fox News Sunday.
It's hard to -- you come to someone like me, and what I do for a living is, I look at polls and I talk to political experts in Washington, and they're all baffled, Chris.  Nobody understands how Donald Trump is doing it.  I think on the Paris thing, it's clear he's a strong, reassuring voice.  He may not have a strategy other than bomb the smithereens out of them.
Process, nuance failure. There sure has been enough failure lately. That has Ron Fournier pushing the panic button on Meet the Press.
Excuse me, but if this week is a reflection of how our readers are going to respond to the next 9/11, I really think that we're one major hit away from a national unraveling. And I think of Bill Clinton who talked about in times of insecurity, people would rather have a leader who is wrong and strong than right and weak.
He repeats his warning at the end of the show.
I took a shot at our leadership earlier and I really believe in that strongly, but we as a people have to realize that we are changing in a way that we have to be more responsible. We are more scared than we were since 9/11 and we trust our institutions less than we did since 9/11.

We trust each other less than we did. And now with social media, we have to ability to ghettoize ourselves, to only listen to the views that we already agree with and demonize and attack everybody else. And when you combine that with this vacuum we have with leadership, that's why I really worry about what happens the next time we get hit. Are we as a people able to hold together?
Enough sitting around under pictures of the Capitol dome quibbling over talking points, already!

Mr Fournier continues his theme, with a National Journal column, "Leaderless."  Go.  Read.  Understand.  Find any Republicans, whether establishment, Tea Party, or trumpkin, reinforcing his conclusion.
But there is only one com­mand­er-in-chief, and ours is stub­bornly cling­ing to a strategy against IS­IS that lacks clar­ity, cre­ativ­ity, and ur­gency. There is only one pres­id­ent, and ours doesn’t seem to know how to rally us to a com­mon cause.
His use of "we" and "us," however, refers to the political class. The remnant of mainstream America has broken with Official Washington and its enablers on the Sunday shows and in the Ivy League have been holding the old mainstream in contempt for a long time, and payback is going to be ...

Rush Limbaugh, also appeared on Fox News on Sunday, and he diagnoses the disconnect between the old establishment and the yeomanry.
People are scared. We have got these refugees coming in, and nobody is confident we can vet them. And yet we're told, "Don't be a bigot! Don't be a racist! Don't be a xenophobe." We're none of those things, and nobody who is worried about this, is! They love America. They are concerned about our security. They don't think this administration is, or at least we're not seeing any signs of it.
Kevin D. Williamson explains why the conventional wisdom fails.
But of course we desperately need a dose of healthy elitism at our colleges and institutions of higher learning, which have partly abandoned their intellectual standards and are entirely abandoning their standards of conduct. The boobishness of 2015 cries out for a return to a prudent contempt for the mob mentality that animates both the Bernie Sanders movement and the Donald Trump movement.

The problem isn’t elitism per se. The problem is that at Princeton and Yale and in Washington and New York, our elites are rotten — the rotten fruit of dying institutions and an unmoored culture whose commanding heights are populated by people who no longer believe in the values at their foundation. That is how we have come to conflate quality and celebrity and to spurn the life of the mind for the life of the hive. Order ultimately will reassert itself, and it will be uncomfortable.
Higher education breaking the social contract with mainstream America, forsooth.

Seven years of hope and change, and the economic recovery is nearly invisible, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is two lies for the price of one signature, or that foreign policy is a disaster.  Thus can George Will, also on Fox News Sunday, explain that Mrs Clinton cannot distance herself effectively from the foreign policy disaster that Hope and Change has become, because she's complicit in it.
Or that I disagreed with him, because on two matters she not only agreed with him, but she was the main driver of this.  One was the reset with Russia, which has now been subsequently busy dismembering a nation in the center of Europe, Ukraine.  And also in Libya.  An illegal, unwise intervention by the United States that has created a failed state in that region.  It seems to me, and we're going to have a repeat of 1980.  In 1980, a week before the election, Ronald Reagan stands on the stage, and says, the American people, ask yourself the question, are you better off today than you were four years ago?  In 2016, whoever the Republican nominee is going to be, is going to stand on that stage and ask the American people this.  Is there any place in the world where American power is more respected and where the world is better off than it was when Mrs. Clinton became secretary of state?  It will be I think a devastating question.
Michael Barone likewise suggests Mrs Clinton is going to be in a difficult place.
Barack Obama's job approval is currently 44 percent, and his approval rating is even lower on foreign policy.

Republicans have a chance of emerging from their gathering storm with an attractive nominee and plausible policies. Democrats seem likely to emerge from theirs with Hillary Clinton; policies dictated by an incumbent contemptuous of public opinion on major issues; and a world that seems to be spinning out of control.
Meanwhile, the Democrats' enablers, such as Salon's Andrew O'Hehir double down on "all is well, except for the misconceptions of the rubes."
For at least the last 20 years and arguably closer to the last 50, the Republican Party has bet its future on appealing to a constantly shrinking electoral quadrant of exurban whites, largely in the South and Southwest. Throughout that period, the basis of that appeal has been the idea that America and Americanism (as core Republican voters understood those things) were in critical danger and under constant attack from within, from feminism and multiculturalism and the P.C. thought police, from Adam-and-Steve wedding cakes and the “war on Christmas” and white people who drove Volvos and wore funny glasses and drank chai lattes. Drive through any rural region of the United States — in my case, the impoverished hinterlands of central New York State, barely three hours from Manhattan — and you’ll encounter those “Take Back Our Country” lawn signs. No one on any side of the question needs to ask from whom.
Be careful who you snark at, you're going to be needing their money.
For the next few decades, cities like Chicago and states like Illinois will be coming, à la Puerto Rico, cap in hand to Washington, asking for national taxpayers to fill the gap that their own bad choices and poor planning created. Much of blue America (including many blue cities in red states) is going to be asking red America for bailouts. That is likely to lead to a shift in political power and political initiative.
Walter Russell Mead quips, "the blue social model is running out of safe space."  'Twould be more amusing if Red America declared itself a "safe zone" and held back the money.  And in focusing on the culture wars, Mr O'Hehir neglects the greater danger.
President Obama is rediscovering, painfully and expensively, a truth that George Kennan wrote about almost seventy years ago. A regime like Putin’s needs a hostile relationship with the United States to justify the repression and austerity that it imposes on its fellow citizens. Such powers cannot be soothed with reasonable concessions and “resets.” They must be contained, and it is only on that basis that something like a businesslike relationship can be established.
Compared to that, F. Chuck Todd's half-moon glasses and dirty-face goatee parody themselves.

Compared to that, whether the T belongs with the L, G, and B, or whether Eve Ensler's talkative cooch is all of a sudden a symbol of oppression parodies itself.

And it's going to take the remnant of mainstream America to save the freakazoids from the troubles to come.

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