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New Double Standard on Leaks in Trump Era. Democrats wanted massive investigation of classified disclosure in 2003, downplay concern in 2017


Authored by Jim Stinson | Updated 22 Mar 2017 at 11:58 AM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/new-double-standard-on-leaks-in-trump-era/

Washington, D.C. has reversed its thinking on the seriousness of federal government leaks with President Donald Trump in the White House. Leaks of classified federal information are now treated as not a big deal — so long as they are damaging to Trump. Damaging leaks of classified information seem to be the preferred way to pry information from Trump, a Republican, no matter the slippery slope that federal workers head down when they unleash the documents.

A transcript of the president’s call to a foreign leader? No problem. Unmasking the name of an American citizen as he spoke to the Russian ambassador? That sounds fine to many. So long as it zings Trump.

In the previous decade, Democrats demanded prosecution of leakers of classified information, and with gusto.

In fact, the last time the Republicans held the White House, the Democrats and media built a witch hunt around a journalist’s news column. The goal was to embarrass the administration of President George W. Bush.

The Plame Affair

On July 14, 2003, columnist Robert Novak revealed that an Iraq War critic, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had traveled to Africa in February 2002 to look into claims Iraq was buying yellowcake uranium from Niger.

It was a complicated tale of the buildup to the war, but Novak got into trouble for this sentence: “Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me that Wilson’s wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate.”

David Corn, a left-wing journalist now with Mother Jones, insisted the law had been broken in the leak to Novak. The political drumbeat began, the CIA asked for action, and in September 2003, President Bush and his attorney general named a prosecutor. The investigation took two long years. As the indictment came, liberals could barely contain their glee. Some hoped for Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove to be “frog-marched” to court.

And Lawrence O’Donnell, now with MSNBC, made an infamous whiff of a prediction: “[A]t least three high-level Bush Administration personnel indicted and possibly one or more very high level unindicted co-conspirators.”

But no one was indicted for the leak itself. Scooter Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was indicted for misleading federal investigators in 2007. Perhaps realizing the political nature of the case, President Bush commuted Libby’s sentence.

New Standards in 2017: Fast-forward to February 2017.

Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, resigned on Feb. 13 because it was disclosed in leaks that he spoke with the Russian ambassador in late December. Flynn had told Vice President Mike Pence that he did not mention sanctions on Russia. The leaks were detailed enough to prove that wrong. The amount of effort that went into the leak was prodigious, according to a Republican staffer on Capitol Hill who works in intelligence.

The leaker would have not only have to have access to the transcripts of the Russian ambassador, but power to “unmask” Flynn, who would have been initially protected by U.S. law.

The seriousness of the leaks involving Flynn helped build tremendous disappointment on Monday, when FBI Director James Comey, acting oddly as usual, said he could not even confirm an investigation into the leaks.

A former intelligence operative told LifeZette that the leaks of Flynn’s name show possible political intent, from the start of the intel gathering all the way through. The former intel operative says he wonders who at the FBI or the National Security Agency received emails or calls from the National Security Council or the White House about the Flynn meeting. The former intel operative says normally, any intelligence professional, especially a manager, would recognize that the collection of Flynn’s data, even in the incidental fashion as they followed the Russian ambassador, would be so laced with political danger to their agency that they would “run away” from it. Or they would notify the relevant oversight committees at Congress, to protect everyone concerned.

Instead, the information got leaked to the media, to damage Flynn.

What if the shoe had been on the other foot?

What if, the former intel operative wondered, the Bush administration’s National Security Council had received incidental collection on the Obama campaign in late 2008, and not informed the congressional oversight committees?

There would be hell to pay, he said.

So what is the media doing in 2017? They are asking for more leaks of classified documents. Some newspapers have even set up anonymous online “dropboxes.” And the Democrats? They are nowhere to be seen on the issue.

The Ann Coulter Letter: The Silence of the Lambs Congress


waving flagCommentary by  Ann Coulter  

URL of the original posting site: http://humanevents.com/2017/02/15/the-silence-of-the-lambs-congress/

Let’s compare what President Trump has accomplished since the inauguration (with that enormous crowd!) with what congressional Republicans have done.

In the past three weeks, Trump has: staffed the White House, sent a dozen Cabinet nominees to the Senate, browbeat Boeing into cutting its price on a government contract, harangued American CEOs into keeping their plants in the United States, imposed a terrorist travel ban, met with foreign leaders and nominated a Supreme Court justice, among many other things.

(And still our hero finds time to torment the media with his tweets.)

What have congressional Republicans been doing? Scrapbooking?

More than 90 percent of congressional Republicans kept their jobs after the 2016 election, so you can cross “staffing an entire branch of government” off the list. Only the Senate confirms nominees, which they’ve been doing at a snail’s pace, so they’ve got loads of free time — and the House has no excuse at all.

Where’s the Obamacare repeal? Where are the hearings featuring middle-class Americans with no health insurance because it was made illegal by Obamacare?

The House passed six Obamacare repeals when Obama was president and there was no chance of them being signed into law. Back then, Republicans were full of vim and vigor! But the moment Trump became president, the repeals came to a screeching halt. After the inauguration (gigantic!), House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put out a plan for repealing Obamacare … in 200 days. They actually gave their legislative agenda this inspiring title: “The Two Hundred Day Plan.”

TWO HUNDRED DAYS!kick-em-out-of-office

What was in the last six Obamacare repeals? If we looked, would we find “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” carefully typed out 1 million times? Seriously, what does Paul Ryan’s day look like?

This is the Silence of the Lambs Congress. They’re utterly silent, emerging from the House gym or their three-hour lunches only to scream to the press about Trump.

To the delight of the media, these frightened little lambs are appalled by nearly everything Trump does. They’ve been especially throaty about Trump’s temporary travel ban from seven terrorist nations — as designated by the Obama administration (and by everybody else who hasn’t been in a deep freeze in a Finnish crevasse for the past decade).truth-about-pause

Just like the six Obamacare repeals, a refugee ban was already written and passed by one house of Congress. Then suddenly: the Silence of the Lambs. McConnell and Ryan are hiding under their desks, as Trump is being attacked from every side.

Way, way back, 15 long months ago, congressional Republicans didn’t have a problem with a total ban on Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Not for a mere three months like Trump’s order — but permanently, unless the director of the FBI, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the director of national intelligence personally certified that a particular refugee posed no danger to the U.S.

That bill passed the House with an overwhelming, veto-proof majority, including 47 Democrats. Then it went to the Senate to die.

But when President Trump imposed a comparatively mild three-month ban on immigrants from Syria, Iraq and five other terrorist nations, the same Republicans who had voted for a limitless ban on refugees whiled away their days calling reporters to denounce Trump.

A little more than a year ago, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, bragged in a press release that he had introduced the House’s refugee ban, calling it a bill that would “protect Americans from ISIS.” But when it came to Trump’s three-month pause, McCaul told the Post that Trump’s order “went too far.” I guess that ISIS problem just sort of faded away. (Or maybe we should check with Mrs. McCaul, inasmuch as it’s her family money that makes Rep. McCaul one of the richest members of Congress.)

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., who voted for the House’s permanent refugee ban, demanded that Trump immediately rescind his travel ban, babbling on about the “many, many nuances of immigration policy” — which he must have learned about on one of his congressional jaunts to a Las Vegas casino.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., said that Trump’s order “overreaches and undermines our constitutional system.” Evidently, he was suddenly struck by the realization that it’s “not lawful to ban immigrants on the basis of nationality,” despite having voted to ban refugees on the basis of nationality just 15 months earlier. (I’m OK with this, provided the Syrians, Somalis and Yemenis are sent to live on Justin’s street after being told about his support for gay marriage.)

Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., both rushed to The Washington Post with this refreshingly original point: NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS! Why, thank you, senators! Where would the GOP be without you?

The Post also quoted spokesmen — spokesmen! — for Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina complaining about not having been briefed on Trump’s order. The senators themselves were far too busy to talk to the press because they were — wait, what were they doing again? Words With Friends? Decoupage?

Since the election, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has been mostly occupied polishing his anti-Trump quotations to get a pat on the head from an admiring media. He complained about Trump’s order, saying it was “poorly implemented” and that he had to find out about it from reporters. (I wonder why.)kick-em-out-of-office

This is the moment we’ve been waiting for our entire lives, but Republicans in Congress refuse to do the people’s will. Their sole, driving obsession is to see Trump fail.

I am not presently calling for these useless, narcissistic, Trump-bashing Republicans to be defeated in their re-election bids, but they’re on my Watch List. To be cleared, they can start by getting off the phone with The Washington Post and passing one of those six Obamacare repeal bills.

amen

Harvard University Professor Claims That 20 Republican ‘Faithless Electors’ Are Considering Voting Against Trump


waving flagAuthored by Michael Snyder

URL of the original posting site: http://freedomoutpost.com/harvard-university-professor-claims-that-20-republican-faithless-electors-are-considering-voting-against-trump/

If what a Harvard University constitutional law professor is claiming is true, the plot to steal the Electoral College vote from Donald Trump is far more serious than most people thought. Larry Lessig briefly pursued the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, but these days he is using his position as a Harvard law professor to try to stop Donald Trump. His new organization is called “Electors Trust”, and it has been acting as a central hub for the campaign to deny Trump the 270 votes that he needs to become the next president. If this effort is to be successful, anti-Trump forces need to flip 37 of Trump’s votes, and Lessig says that so far 20 Republican electors are considering voting against Trump. Of course there are many that are skeptical of his claims, but why would a Harvard constitutional law professor lie about something like this?

If Lessig is telling the truth, the Trump team should be deeply alarmed. It would be a grave mistake to simply assume that this Electoral College vote will be a formality, and we will find out on Monday what happens.

And without a doubt Lessig is in a position to know what is going on, because according to Politico his organization has been serving “as a clearinghouse for electors to privately communicate their intentions”…

Larry Lessig, a Harvard University constitutional law professor who made a brief run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, claimed Tuesday that 20 Republican members of the Electoral College are considering voting against Donald Trump, a figure that would put anti-Trump activists more than halfway toward stalling Trump’s election.

Lessig’s anti-Trump group, “Electors Trust,” has been offering pro bono legal counsel to Republican presidential electors considering ditching Trump and has been acting as a clearinghouse for electors to privately communicate their intentions.

If they only had a handful of votes, I really doubt that Lessig would put his reputation on the line by going public like this. But now that they are more than halfway to their goal, he is probably hoping that a last minute publicity push will put them over the top. If the rest of the Republican electors are made aware that many Trump voters are already willing to flip, that may encourage others to join the cause

“Obviously, whether an elector ultimately votes his or her conscience will depend in part upon whether there are enough doing the same. We now believe there are more than half the number needed to change the result seriously considering making that vote,” Lessig said.

Personally, I don’t think that it is going to work.

But I am alarmed enough about this effort that this is the third article that I have written about it this week alone.

On Wednesday, we also learned that U.S. officials are now claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “personally involved” in the effort to interfere with the presidential election. The following was reported by NBC News

U.S. intelligence officials now believe with “a high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

This revelation comes on the heels of a letter that was signed by 40 members of the Electoral College asking Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for a briefing on Russian interference in the election…

Forty members of the Electoral College on Tuesday signed a letter demanding an intelligence briefing on Russian interference in the election ahead of their Dec. 19 vote.

Ten electors originally signed the letter when it was published Monday, and 30 more have since added their names.

The open letter — led by Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) — urged Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to give a detailed briefing on President-elect Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

Needless to say, there are many out there that are hoping to make as much as possible of this “Russian interference” angle in hopes that it will influence the votes of some electors.

To many on the left, it makes perfect sense to try to deny Trump the presidency even though he won the election fair and square. Here is a typical example of their reasoning

Yet, at least outside of political fiction, there has probably never been a better election for electors to go against what their states’ voters wanted. Recent revelations by the Central Intelligence Agency that Russia actively engaged in this very close election to advantage Trump, and that Russia maintains leverage over him with unreleased information, call into question the legitimacy of a Trump presidency. Add to that Trump’s erratic and destructive behavior over the past month, the fact that nearly three million more voters preferred his opponent to him, his work to undermine relations with China, the fact that he considers his own uninformed opinions about international security superior to the evaluations of the nation’s intelligence agencies, and the near certainty that he’d be in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause on the day he is sworn in, and you really don’t get a more appropriate opportunity for Republican electors to rethink their states’ choice.

To those that supported Trump this is utter lunacy, but this is actually what many on the left are thinking.

Fortunately, at this point it appears that they are going to come up short. Even though Lessig claims that 20 Republican electors are considering abandoning Trump, the vast majority are solidly behind him

Virtually all Republican electors reached by The Hill said they will vote enthusiastically for Trump.

“I’m voting how the people of Florida have told me to vote,” said Brian Ballard, a Florida elector who raised money for Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio during the GOP primary. “I don’t know anyone who isn’t. I appreciate people using First Amendment rights to reach out and try to convince me otherwise, but I’m obligated to support Trump because he won Florida.’

“Also, I love the guy and want him to be president.”

So hopefully the vote next Monday will go as planned.

There hasn’t been more than a single “faithless elector” in any presidential election since 1832, and even though it is likely that we will see some this time, it would take something extraordinary for the anti-Trump forces to come up with the 37 votes that they need to push Trump under 270 votes and throw the election into the House of Representatives.

I don’t believe that they will be successful, but we have already seen during this election season that we should expect the unexpected.

About the Author Michael Snyder

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years. Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael and his wife, Meranda, believe that a great awakening is coming and are working hard to help bring renewal to America. Michael is also the author of the book The Beginning Of The End

In the Market for Fetal Body Parts, a Baby’s Brain Sells for $3,340


waving flagReported by Kelsey Harkness / / April 20, 2016

The U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives releases detailed transactions on the sale and purchase of fetal tissue from aborted babies. (Photo: Kelsey Lucas/Visualsey/The Daily Signal)

Republicans on the special House panel investigating the transfer of fetal tissue from aborted babies will present evidence in a hearing today that breaks down the price per body part. With release of this evidence, Republicans say, they have enough documentation to show that several abortion clinics and middleman procurement businesses may have violated federal law.

“It is just horrifying,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who leads the House’s investigation of the fetal tissue industry, told The Daily Signal. “They are putting a dollar value on these organs from these children—unborn children that have been aborted. It is just beyond belief.”how many body parts

According to Republicans involved in the investigation, a researcher paid a middleman procurement company $3,340 for a fetal brain, $595 for a “baby skull matched to upper and lower limbs,” and $890 for “upper and lower limbs with hands and feet.”

Middleman procurement businesses are companies that obtain tissue and other body parts from aborted babies and provide them to institutions or other organizations for research. Under federal law, the transportation of fetal tissue is based on a nonprofit model.

160419_abortion-2_v4

The committee’s documents, which will be used today in a House hearing on the pricing of fetal tissue, include payments made from a middleman procurement company to an abortion clinic on a monthly basis. Those dollar amounts range from $6,010 to $11,365.

160419_abortion-1_v4

Over the span of a year, one research institution paid a middleman company $42,535 to obtain 38 fetal brains, 12 fetal hearts, three fetal upper/lower limbs, five fetal livers, and 12 fetal pancreases, according to the select House panel’s documents.

160419_abortion-3_v4

The Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, as it is formally known, was created on Oct. 7, 2015, when the House passed a resolution calling for a full and complete investigation regarding the medical practices of abortion service providers and the business practices of the procurement organizations that sell fetal tissue.

In the most recent documents being released, the panel did not publicly identify companies or individuals involved in the transactions “out of an abundance of caution,” Blackburn told The Daily Signal in a phone interview prior to the hearing.

Because the documents were highly redacted, The Daily Signal was unable to independently confirm the prices of each body part.

However, the panel announced earlier this year that it was issuing subpoenas to companies and organizations that refused to cooperate with the investigation. Those groups included StemExpress, Ganogen, Biomedical Research Institute of America, the University of New Mexico, and Southwestern Women’s Options.

Democrats on the select panel have called the investigation a “witch hunt” by Blackburn and other Republicans who oppose abortion.

As The Daily Signal has previously reported, Democrats have condemned the panel’s investigators for requesting the names of doctors, medical students, researchers, and others involved in the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries, arguing that obtaining those names could make the panel complicit in physical assaults or murders of these people.”Leftist Propagandist

But with the imminent release of the next round of evidence, Blackburn said she is hopeful Democrats “will recognize that we are taking every possible precaution and doing our best to fulfill the requirement that Congress has made of us.”

The 1993 National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act prohibits profiting from the sale of any fetal tissue. However, it is legal to provide and accept payment to cover reasonable costs for “transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.”hate God

Among documents uncovered in the investigation is an image of a procurement company marketing itself to abortion clinics as “financially profitable.” The name of that company also was redacted.

Source: U.S. House Select Investigative Panel

Source: U.S. House Select Investigative Panel

I knew youQuestions about whether abortion clinics and middleman procurement companies profit from transactions involving body parts and other fetal tissue from aborted babies were raised after a series of videos published last year. The hidden-camera videos showed officials at Planned Parenthood affiliates discussing the buying and selling of fetal tissue with a middleman company, StemExpress.

Cate Dyer, founder of StemExpress, told The New York Times in July that her company “obtained fetal tissue in accordance with the rules made by ethics boards at the institutions buying it.”Leftist Propagandist

In that article, Dyer also was quoted as saying the process of obtaining fetal cells is “hard,” “expensive,” and takes “millions of dollars of equipment.”

Planned Parenthood Federation of America consistently has denied any wrongdoing and was cleared in multiple state investigations. In October, after facing questions about its fetal tissue donation practices, Planned Parenthood announced it would no longer accept any reimbursement as part of its tissue donation program.how many body parts

During today’s hearing, called “The Pricing of Fetal Tissue,” Republicans were expected to call Brian Patrick Lennon, a former assistant U.S. attorney from Michigan, to testify as a witness.

In his written testimony, released in advance, Lennon argues that based on the evidence, an “ethical federal prosecutor could establish probable cause that both the abortion clinics and the procurement business violated the [federal] statute (42 U.S.C. § 289g-2), aided and abetted one another in violating the statute (18 U.S.C. § 2), and likely conspired together to violate the statute (18 U.S.C. § 371).”Why isit legal

Republicans also were scheduled to hear testimony from Michael Norton, a former U.S. attorney for the state of Colorado; Catherine Glenn Foster, associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute and CEO and general counsel at Sound Legal; and Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who is pro-life, among others.

Democrats were slated to bring in Fay Clayton, a lawyer who formerly represented the Anatomical Gift Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that provided donated tissue to medical researchers.

In her prepared statement, Clayton criticizes Republicans for “using [the panel’s] subpoena power to compel testimony from health care providers and medical researchers” and for failing to subpoena David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, the pro-life group behind the string of undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood.

“The fact that the select panel has been using its subpoena power to compel testimony from health care providers and medical researchers—who have better things to do with their time than Mr. Daleiden does—suggests the panel is not genuinely interested in public policy at all,” Clayton says in the written statement.Leftist Propagandist

Democrats also were set to hear from Robert Raben, president and founder of the Raben Group, a progressive policy group, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., a pro-choice lawmaker.

Witnesses likely will be asked to respond to Blackburn and other panel members who, the chairman said, “believe that it is more than likely that payments to the abortion clinics and to the procurement businesses have exceeded reasonable cost.”

I AM A PERSON with Poem Picture1 true battle Picture1 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

New Politically INCORRECT Memes


waving flag teenagesr if illegal Picture1 true battle Picture1 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

 

 

From My Email INBOX


 

waving flagWhen God just ‘let’s things happen’

Written by John Smith
Seems that every time the nation experiences a another tragic event, the question is always asked, “Why does God let things like this happen?”

Perhaps He has been left with no other action that will get a mankind, bent on ignoring Him, to be brought again to their attention.  One could suppose that the further God is intentionally removed, or unintentionally disregarded – dismissed – from the conscious mind and spiritual conscience of man, that He is forced to allow more and more ‘jarring’ events to bring the mind back to cognizance.

I suggest that the next time – and there will be next time – instead of asking, “Why does God allow …?”, we should begin to ask, “For what purpose has God allowed …?”

Another question being asked, at present, is why there seems to be so little civility in a supposedly advanced society such as ours, here in the United States.  Could it be that God has come to a point of exasperation – that He has simply said, “if that is what the mind of the people accept, then, so be it”.

In my lifetime, I have never seen or heard of the forbearance of such dishonest, dishonorable, crass, classless, ignorant, men and women as are being found acceptable candidates for the highest office in the nation.  Have we – sadly – fallen to the place where a prideful, selfish, dishonest, classless, crass, profane and vulgar society has become the tolerable norm to us.

Many are the historically tragic(?) ends, when a nation falls prey to some man’s call to the pursuit of ‘national greatness’.  As I recall, The United States of America has never sought ‘greatness’, as an end, (pun intended), nor has it ever sought the leadership of one who espouses to intentionally lead the nation to ‘greatness’, then, or now.  But today, we have one who is, apparently acceptable, who deigns to lead the country to greatness, “again”.  Have we forgotten that the halls of history are strewn with the carcasses of so many imperialist, and there enthusiastic minions, seeking national greatness.  Meanwhile, God says that it is “righteousness” that “exalteth a nation”.

Perhaps we, as a nation and a society, should be asking three questions, of God, “How have we arrived at this place in our history?”  “Why have we arrived at this condition in our history?”, and, “For what purpose are we being subjected to these choices?”

How far we have strayed from the humble path that made ‘US’ a great nation.

Die true battle In God We Trust freedom combo 2

 

Commentary: GOP v. Trump: It’s like they’re stupid or something


Commentary March 3, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://libertyunyielding.com/2016/03/03/gop-v-trump-its-like-theyre-stupid-or-something

GOP v. Trump: It’s like they’re stupid or something (Image via thegeekwhisperer.com)

Romney?  Really?

Sure enough, a tone-deaf GOP establishment (sorry to be banal and use that expression, but it’s accurate enough) deployed Mitt Romney to lob its big volley at Donald Trump after his strong performance on Super Tuesday.  The speech was predictable: a grave-sounding indictment of Trump, delivered with Romney’s characteristically earnest but cheerful demeanor.

Whom did the GOP establishment think it was appealing to with the Romney speech?  That’s a serious question.  Who was the target audience?

If it was aimed at the people who support Trump today, Romney is not the guy to deliver the message.  Those people think Romney and candidates like him have been the Republican Party’s chief problem for the last 30 years.  They think Romney’s the reason we got four more years of Obama in 2012.

If the speech was aimed at convincing the undecided, it was the dumbest speech ever made for that purpose.  It was all about attacking Trump – and on a pretty personal level.  That’s not how you persuade the undecided.

Attacking personalities palls on everyone rather quickly.  It’s a drive-by tactic.  It looks really disproportionate to stage a big, solemn oratorical event just to dump on Trump.

That point leads to the larger one: why have this speech at all?  What does the GOP brand buy itself by attacking Trump, in this stately, strained manner?

If the answer is “more cred with the mainstream punditry and the Washington-centric political class,” well, God help the GOP.  It’s too stupid to live.

Moving on.  Between 30% and 50% of GOP voters, depending on state, have gone for one of Ted  (TX – R) or Marco Rubio (FL – R), but it’s hard to see how the Romney speech could have been aimed at them.  Those voters have (a) decided, and (b) decided not to vote for Trump in the primaries.  Is there something else they’re supposed to do after this speech?

Maybe the speech was intended as the opening salvo in an asymmetrical campaign by the GOP establishment to “broker” the convention in Cleveland.  Like, a signal flare that they’re going to fight this Trump dude, or something along those lines.  If so, it’s a poorly crafted demonstration.  Not only doesn’t it scare anybody, it just makes the Trump divisions more determined.

Even more important, it exposes the GOP establishment further.  It shows the establishment’s hand, and generates opposition to its anti-consensual intentions unnecessarily.  It’s quite likely that every trial balloon about a brokered convention drives more voters to Trump, out of frustration with the GOP leadership’s highhandedness.

That’s the problem with the establishment’s approach: all it does by coming back again and again at Trump is make him stronger.  It’s like the GOP’s top echelon is sending one contender after another at the mythical Antaeus, and every time they throw him to earth, he gains strength.

Of course, if the GOP establishment wants everybody talking about Trump, listening to Trump, listening to other people talk about Trump, focusing on Trump, and waiting to see what Trump will do or say next, then it is doing everything right.

Sending forth Marco Rubio to turn his campaign into an anti-Trump stand-up routine sure worked out, didn’t it?  Maybe it got him a big second-place finish in Virginia.  (Maybe.  Virginia was going to have a high incidence of Rubio voters anyway, because it’s a purple state now.)

But the main thing average, lower-information voters remember about Rubio at this point is a male-appendage joke targeting Trump, and something snarky he said about Trump selling watches.  If you asked those voters what Rubio would do about the bad economy, gun rights, or national security, they couldn’t tell you.

On the other hand, they can tell you Trump wants to build a wall at the southern border.  And now, thanks to the MSM, they can tell you that Trump has disavowed the KKK quite thoroughly – probably more times in the last week than 90% of career politicians in their political lives, and he’s on video doing it.  By the peculiar standard of “disavowing the KKK on national TV,” who out there looks better than Donald Trump?

No matter what they throw at him, it turns into grist for his mill.  It’s like watching the Coyote tilt fruitlessly at the Roadrunner, and end up over and over being punched through the edge of a cliff by a falling anvil.

It’s more melancholy than funny to watch, although it has its moments. Perhaps the most poignant moment in recent politics was Romney’s invocation today of the Reagan “Time for Choosing” speech. (Transcription from CNN; link above.)

“I believe with all my heart and soul that we face another time for choosing, one that will have profound consequences for the Republican Party and more importantly, for the country,” Romney said in Utah at the Hinckley Institute of Politics Forum.

The Reagan speech resounds in conservative hearts as a watershed in their, and their country’s, political fortunes, and for good reason.  But the truth is, there’s no one who sees Romney and the GOP establishment as the trustees of that legacy.  And that would be because they merely deploy Reagan’s words and tone – in this case, for a cheap and ineffectual purpose.

What did Romney pull the Reagan big gun for?  Not to inspire his listeners.  To attack Trump.  Here’s the rest of his passage:

“His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.”

So, by portentous analogy, Donald Trump is a threat to America on a par with Soviet international Communism.  We’re staring into the abyss of a thousand years of darkness, because of Donald Trump.  Or something.

The implication here is really over the top, as Jeff Dunetz correctly pointed out (on a related theme) yesterday.  And that’s an important exit point.  When it comes to being over the top, the GOP establishment is up against the master.  It’s out of its league.  It can’t win on this battlefield.

I doubt it’s going to learn much between now and Cleveland.  Sarah Palin, whatever her faults, understands much better what’s going on in the Republican electorate.  And there’s a reason for that.  It’s because she sees things from the perspective of the ordinary, middle-class people who are bearing the entire burden of the 20th century’s old consensus: bloated, intrusive government, a government that despises the people and sucks them dry.

Start with respecting that, GOP leaders.  No one who doesn’t have a heart, first, for the people and their liberty is going to prosper in trying to wrest the GOP nomination from Trump.  You can take that to the bank, with my signature on it.

J.E. DyerJ.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.

 

 

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