Friday, July 13, 2018

In the end, the culpability lies with us

In a year in which national and world-stage developments come at us with the relentlessness of water from a fire hose, yesterday was particularly overwhelming.

There was the hot mess that is Trump's three-pronged (NATO, May, Putin) European visit and Peter Stzrok's appearance at a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees.

LITD has already posted amply concerning the former. The latter bears noting as well.

Trey Gowdy was in rare form. He seared the FBI agent with the essence of why he was the focus of these committees' interest:

Rep. Trey Gowdy and FBI agent Peter Strzok got into a testy exchange Thursday over a series of anti-Trump texts Mr. Strzok sent his lover just before he started as lead investigator for special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia collusion probe.
Mr. Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, questioned Mr. Strzok about his dismissal from Mr. Mueller’s team, saying the texts disparaging President Trump showed he was biased.
But the embattled FBI agent challenged that, saying that he was let go because the text messages create the perception of bias, not that he was found to be biased.
“It is not my understanding that [Mueller] kicked me off because of any bias, that it was was done on the appearance,” Mr. Strzok said. “If you want to represent what you said accurately, I am happy to answer that question, but I don’t appreciate what was originally said being changed.”

“I don’t give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok,” Mr. Gowdy said. “I don’t appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations.”
Gonna miss that guy (Gowdy).

Then Nadler and Goodlatte got into it and ratcheted up the chaos level.

More fireworks ensued as things proceeded.

Strzrok is a lightning rod, but let's remember why.

. . . a guy who’s been slammed by the Justice Department inspector general for his highly unprofessional conduct while serving on the investigations of Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign.
His worst breach of ethics was to conduct an affair with another member of the team. That relationship couldn’t help but compromise his judgment, and hers.
Add to that the bias evidenced by all the lovers’ Trump-bashing text messages — and by the fact that they couldn’t even resist sending them on a system that they had to know their superiors could access.
Strzok and his inamorata, Lisa Page, can insist forever that their bias didn’t impact either probe, but their lack of restraint is proof that they’d lost all objectivity.
And the fact that their colleagues either saw no sign of the romance, or didn’t care, speaks poorly of their professionalism, too.
Pare this down to a local-level hypothetical. What if you found out that elements in your city's police department were actively working to sway a mayoral election a particular way? That's what's going on here.

Now, this brings up an interesting fault line in contemporary American politics. The Left, as exemplified by Stzrok, obviously can't stand Donald Trump. It would have been enraged by the election of any other Republican, and certainly so if an actual conservative had been elected. But we all know Trump is different from anybody who has ever entered the fray of presidential politics, much less been elected to the office. That has us all disoriented, and the Left in a particularly ugly way.

But here's where it gets interesting. There are at least two points on the right side of the spectrum that can't stand Donald Trump (LITD can be found at one of them.) You'll recall that among the recommended readings in my roundup from yesterday was Jonah Goldberg's piece on his recent tussle with Michael Doran. It's typical of a few of Goldberg's recent columns in which he's had to disentangle the mess made by Trump-Humpers (an Erick Erickson term, and one I think quite apt), who lump all those on the Right who find Trump objectionable together.

This is sloppy at best, but more likely disingenuous.

Goldberg, Erickson, Ben Shapiro, Mona Charen, Susan Wright, Steve Hayes (and LITD) are fundamentally different from, say, a George Will or Jennifer Rubin, who have some kind of warped notion that the time has come to vote Democrat.

And those in our camp have tried, believe me, to accommodate the apparent satisfaction of the Republican Party with Trump.

Speaking of Erick Erickson, I came across a tweet of his yesterday that spoke exactly for where I stand these days:

Every time I get comfortable with the idea of Trump 2020, the President goes off the rails and I take a step back. Then the left goes off the rails and reminds me how much they hate my values, free markets, and common sense and I step a bit closer again. The cycle repeats.
Now, one more point to make about Trump-Humpers in this context is their inclination to, at some point in their arguments, trot out the "would-you-rather-have-Hillary-Clinton-making-judicial-appointments" line.

Of course we wouldn't.

 But the main thing to say about that is this: Our choice of presidential candidates in 2016 was the grimmest in our lifetimes.

And who do we have to blame for that?

Would we have faced such a grim choice if we had a healthy culture?

And even if we, as individuals, were not overtly acting as agents of rot, we clearly acquiesced to it. Before you get defensive about that statement, consider that the proof is before us in myriad ways - most to the point, in the above-cited grim choice in 2016.

This does not get better until we cultivate God-inclined hearts. More layers of cacophony will get heaped upon those already beleaguering us. We'll be subjected to more of Trump's boorishness and more Leftist madness.

Make a commitment that the chaos stops with you today.


  1. I'll continue to applaud the positive policy changes and strong leadership on the world stage. Trump is by no means a perfect man, but one of the grimmest candidates of our lifetime? Not in my eyes. As long as the winning keeps rolling out of this administration I'll be content that we finally have a president who is doing everything he promised he would.

  2. I respect your opinion, of course, but for me, that position requires overlooking way too much I find simply unpalatable.

  3. It was the self-styled God-inclined hearts who elected Trump. Them and the electoral college who had to go with the law, if not the close vote against.

  4. And you know where LITD stands on those evangelicals who shilled for him - the Robert Jeffers types.

  5. In other words, “self-styled” God-inclined hearts is not what’s being called for here

  6. If you're talking about we the people, a majority of us voted against Trump, God-inclined or however-else inclined, we were not a majority for Trump. I personally have been inclined to prayer, but mainly have to
    let go and let God control the vast majority of the things which can't control, after doing my small part with the courage I pray for to be able to change the things I can. In November I'm voting against Trump supporters in Congress and two years hence I'm pretty sure I'll again cast my vote against Trump. I leave it to you to make the call whether I am God-inclined, though it's really not your bailiwick.

  7. Though he promised unity in his inauguration speech, he's been the most divisive President worldwide in my memory over my nearly 7 decades as a citizen.

    “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice." DJT 1/20/2016

  8. LIVE NOW | Thousands of people are gathered in the streets of London, England to protest President Donald J. Trump's visit. There is also the 'Trump Baby Blimp' also flying in the streets.

  9. Just when I was poised for some bucket list international travel in retirement I will likely have to repeat, "don't look at me's-- I wouldn't vote for the man if he were the last man on earth" all over this blue planet.

  10. "What if you found out that elements in your city's police department were actively working to sway a mayoral election a particular way? That's what's going on here."

    Bret Stephens quotes a colleague who referred from time to time to "Ideas which vanish in the presence of thought." The above quoted piece of idiocy certainly qualifies.

    One need only take half a step back and make even the most cursory examination of the facts and – more importantly – the results. Had anyone with the info Strzok had on Trump genuinely wanted to thwart his presidential aspirations, much less send him Flute Tooting in federal lockup with Paul Manafort, Hillary would be getting her Supreme Court nominees blocked right now by Mitch McConnell..

    No, an appropriate analogy would be “What if you found out that elements in your city’s police department were civic-minded and had opinions on mayoral candidates and even discussed such opinions between themselves, but never allowed those opinions to affect their job performance, as verified by an independent inspector general? That’s what’s going on here.” The presence of thought…

    As for Gowdy, I too enjoyed watching him get owned once last time in mid-tantrum before he hits the road. Though he hardly stood out in the flood of embarrassing GOP performances. Which were closely followed by the almost (but not quite) as embarrassing Dem performances from those who apparently did not get the memo stating that “when the opposition is placing the weakness of their arguments on full display, don’t create distractions.”

    Luckily for the side of good and justice, Robert Mueller himself provided the definitive answer to the House Republican nonsense, in the form of 12 additional indictments. Still referring to this investigation as a “nothingburger” in your commentaries?


  11. Just what is this "info" that Strzok has on Trump?

    1. Well, for example, at the time (Fall 2016) he could have revealed to the news media that there actually was an active investigation into possible collusion between Putin and the Trumpsters. The existence of the investigation was not revealed until after the significant contrast to the Clinton Email investigation which got very special public attention by the FBI.