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In Trump She Trusts

26 Sep
This was published today at The Daily Caller.

I love Ann Coulter.

Lately I’ve been descending into the smoking, stalling, short-circuiting Hades of the D.C. Metro holding as a protective relic her latest In Tump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome (Sentinel, 2016).  (She’d excommunicate me – I’m interfaith, so I was also wearing a Johnson-Weld tee shirt.)  It’s now 3rd on the best seller list.

It’s actually the first Coulter book I’ve read, though I’ve read many of her columns and seen her media appearances.  I was once sort of accused of reading a pre-publication copy of one of her earlier books – my immediate next door neighbor, like Coulter a former Congressional staffer when both were freshly minted law school grads, is one of the half dozen people who reads her drafts and makes suggestions, and is duly thanked in the prefatory acknowledgements. That year’s preview draft was lost and everyone was anxious to find it and slightly terrified it might have been mis-delivered to someone like me.  Who might post excerpts or discuss it in advance.

My neighbor, who like me is more libertarian than is Ms. Coulter, tells me he always tells her about half a dozen things  so outrageous she must remove them, and much as if she was following Coco Chanel’s fashion advice, she looks in her mirror and removes just one accessory before she goes out to the publisher.

Reading Trump I feel about Ms. Coulter and my neighbor the way I did when I started listening to Rush Limbaugh.  Everyone had always told me Rush was a sexist-racist-homophobe-bigot.  I had a job where I drove around a lot with the radio on, and I preferred talk, any talk, Howard Stern, Scott Simon, Terri Gross, Rachel Maddow, to music.  When poor gay GOP Congressman Mark Foley had the bad judgement to send purple prose mash notes to Congressional pages (who are all over the age of consent in Washington, D.C.) I was listening to the minor comic Stephanie Miller on Air America radio.  Stephanie, a “liberal,” was coming pretty close to making jokes about lynching the pedophile gays – jokes that are even more gruesome given what it going on in the Middle East in the aftermath of the policies of Ms. Miller’s heroes, President Obama and Secretary Clinton.

So I wondered, if Air America was calling for lynching the gays (around the time Sidney Blumenthal was inventing birtherism), what would that neanderthal Rush Limbaugh be doing?  I switched him on.  He was discussing the machinations of Congress and the two establishment parties as they scheme to enrich themselves and hold onto power.  It was like a case study of public choice theory.  Albeit delivered with humor by someone who was an American male from an earlier generation.

It wasn’t what I had been told I would be hearing.

And this is what Coulter’s book on Trump is like.

The Donald Trump she presents is not the Trump we’ve been told about.  Lots of Ann’s fun is trading on the hypocrisy and ignorance of her subjects, politicians, the media, and the consultant class.

She quotes them saying Trump won’t succeed in the primaries, and then shows them eating their words a few weeks later.

They say Trump has no policies, and she digests his many policy proposals and papers that they refused to cover.  His central policy, taxing the remittances that foreigners, especially illegal immigrants, working in the U.S. send out of the country, and using the money to build a wall on the southern border and otherwise vet immigrants and beef up border security may be a good or a bad idea.  But it does seem to be a policy, and a straightforward one that attempts to make people benefiting from cross border work and trade pay for an externality they are imposing on others, that is the cost of making sure violent criminals or terrorists are not crossing the border with them.  How is that much different from Gary Johnson’s temporary flirtation with a carbon fee that would “internalize” the cost of carbon?

They say Trump should have been disqualified for denigrating Senator John McCain, a war hero.  Coulter reproduces the entire quote and the context of Trump’s statement, where he was retaliating against McCain for saying that Trump was crazy, and more importantly smearing 15,000 Arizonan Trump fans who had gone to a rally  – McCain’s own constituents – as “crazies.”

They say Trump was making fun of a disabled reporter, Serge Kovaleski of the Washington Post.  Coulter makes a compelling case that Trump didn’t know Kovaleski was disabled, and was making fun of him for being wishy washy, as Kovaleski had written one of the original reports on American Muslims who chose to celebrate the 9/11 attack the day it happened, but then tried to claim he had not written such an article when the liberal media smeared Trump for allegedly inventing this calumny on Islam.

And on and on.  Coulter targets the political class, the consultant class, and the media spinners who make a good living in the wealthy counties around Washington, D.C., in Manhattan, and a few other enclaves, by delivering failed policies – or kneecapped, failed campaigns to change those policies – that always only benefit themselves.  And she presents Trump, as a heroic figure who alone is willing to be rude and politically incorrect in bashing these people, calling them out, and disregarding their increasingly hysterical attempts to take him down with their usual smears.

Coulter’s romance of Trump is not so much akin to an Ayn Rand story about an industrial titan, the easy parallel the facile might make.  It’s far more street.

A few years ago media critic Bernard Goldberg took Coulter to task for being a shock jock.  He was correct (much like Jamie Kirchick may be in this year’s conservative Jew vs right-wing blond contretemps with the gay Coulter, Milo Yiannopolous).  (Full disclosure:  I’m a little jealous of Milo’s becoming the gay Ann Coulter before I could, though I am not as willing to add to the other “big” blogs at Breitbart – Big Government, Big Journalism, Big Hollywood – by creating and editing Big Black Cock.)

Ann Coulter is a kind of shock jock, a Jacqueline the Ripper as Jane Austen.  And so it’s apropos that her admission of Trump is more akin to Howard Stern associate Robin Quivers‘  admiration for Muhammad Ali.  Coulter sees Donald Trump as the prize fighter for the Deplorables, the new negroes in the establishment’s new version of Jim Crow America. And she thinks the election is going to be a knockout.

Hillary Iscariot

23 Oct
This was published, minus my initial bawdy joke (the reason I wrote it), this morning at Breitbart.

Sidney Blumenthal now becomes the second Jewish American to achieve international notoriety from a job under Bill Clinton.

Jack Shafer

It was a morning of evasive answers, where Hillary Clinton rolled her eyes, palmed her face, shuffled papers, and rarely made eye contact with those on the committee asking her questions.  She did everything but break out in a Nixonian sweat.  Democratic media will be defending her for taking so much time to answer questions in a calm voice, claiming she has put all the issues they have never even covered – private servers, hidden emails, donations to her foundation from international entities who were given special favors by the State Department – to bed.  But some liberals weren’t so convinced.  Politico‘s Jack Shafer tweeted: “I want a bust of Hillary Clinton with her palm to her cheek, eyes rolling.”

One can imagine a lot of people in blond wigs, orange pantsuits, with a hand glued to their face and novelty shop rolling eye glasses wandering around next week on Halloween.

Sidney Blumenthal

She was asked three times for whom Mr. Blumenthal worked.  Taking a page from middle east politics of old, she denied him three times, finally just saying “He worked for my husband.”

Of course, he actually worked, on a lucrative salary, for the Clinton Foundation, which is as much her organization as it is her husband’s.

In Mrs. Clinton’s mind, receiving more emails – including those about Benghazi and Libya generally – from Blumenthal than from anyone else, while the Clinton Foundation paid him, does not amount to his being in her employ.

As always with the Clinton’s, it depends on what the meaning of “is” is.

Amanda Terkel

The committee spent a lot of time on Blumenthal’s emails, and that’s mainly what liberal media planning to defend Mrs. Clinton are going to concentrate on.  Huffington Post‘s reliably establishment flak Amanda Terkel quoted Democrats on the committee as calling the committee’s work a “taxpayer funded fishing expedition” complaining that the costs of the various committees that have looked at Benghazi have spent over $4 million.  They never compare this to the over $40 million spent investigating Abu Ghraib for a decade.  They never note that the “expedition” caught a fish – that only by investigating Hillary and Benghazi did the American public find out that a leading presidential candidate used a secret, private, unsecured server and private emails to do business, a system that was likely hacked by foreign interests and that may have been used by Mrs. Clinton to cover up selling government favors in exchange for donations to her via her foundation.  It may even be where “Al-Queda type terrorists,” as Mrs. Clinton identified those who killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and those trying to protect him to her daughter and various heads of state in her emails – even while she was publicly saying random ad hoc people incited by a video were responsible – learned about Stevens’ whereabouts and itinerary.

As I write this Clinton is still answering questions and will perhaps be answering them late into the night and even tomorrow.  The general consensus is that the low information Democratic base, especially given the near total media spin in Clinton’s defense, will think she did well and looked presidential – and won’t be mentally capable of grasping that the committee spent the morning showing that her emails contradict her public statements in the minutes, hours, and days after Benghazi, and that graphs of State Department expenditures show that though Mrs. Clinton did not increase the security budgets of embassies, the funds Congress sent to the State Department grew significantly every year.

Andrew Napolitano

Fox judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out another issue:  Mrs. Clinton is speaking to three audiences.  First she is answering the Trey Gowdy and the other committee members’ questions.  Second, she is speaking before the American public – she demanded that the hearings be televised – where she hopes to look Presidential and open to the Democratic base and any still undecided voters.  But third she is speaking under oath and creating transcripts that the FBI and others investigating her can use to assess her veracity and her intent.

More of her emails are released by the State Department each month through at least January, at the end of each month, another batch in less than 10 days.  Will there be a well-preserved blue dress – besides the inconsistencies, the lack of transparency, the lies, the grifting of her Foundation – among them?

In yesterday’s Rose Garden announcement by Joe Biden, the Vice President did not endorse Mrs. Clinton, and he seemed to take a swipe at her when he denounced divisive people who can’t work with people from other political parties.  So though he announced he’s not running, he’s perfectly positioned to rescue his party should Mrs. Clinton find her investigation deepening or herself under indictment.