Politics, et Cetera

A publication from The Political Forum, LLC

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

They Said It:

For all the talk about Trump’s atypical behavior, the Obama camp’s unfolding machinations feel almost equally unprecedented….

One could argue that Obama’s choice is both acceptable and appropriate. He’s young, just 55, and you could even say that it’s his civic responsibility to do everything within his power to check Trump’s authoritarian tendencies.

This is the justification—or possibly a rationalization—for what Obama appears to be doing. “[I]f the only way to protect norms is to destroy norms,” writes The Atlantic’s David A. Graham, “the effect is a feedback doom-loop for norms in general.”…

The truth is that Barack Obama bears a lot of responsibility for destroying what had been acceptable standards—the destruction of which ultimately made possible Donald Trump’s ascendancy. While Obama now poses as a defender of decorum, tradition, and protocol, he (in a much subtler way) flouted convention….

Think Donald Trump is an undignified reality star? Yeah, remember the time that Obama gave an interview to a YouTube star who drinks cereal out of a bathtub? Cultural degradation doesn’t just happen overnight.

Do you think President Trump was the first politician to have a casual relationship with the truth? Then answer this: Who said, “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” and that ISIS is the “JV team”?

Matt Lewis, “Barack Obama’s Politically Active Post-Presidency Isn’t Normal, or Good,” The Daily Beast, March 6, 2017.

 

THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES, REDUX.

Ask just about anyone in the political world to name the most important story of the past week and you’re almost certain to hear about President Trump’s tweets, President Obama’s alleged wire-tapping, and the possibility that the United States government is either governed today by a paranoid sociopath or was, up until six weeks ago, governed by would-be totalitarian sociopath.  The sociopath business is inarguable.  But we’re not sure that we agree with the “most important story designation.”  In fact, we think that this story was more of a distraction from a far bigger and far longer-lasting development.

Think about it for a minute.  Will the truth change anyone’s opinions about the parties involved?  If Obama had Trump “tapped,” then he would have committed a grave and heinous act of political treachery, meaning that we dodged a bullet, getting him out of the White House before he was able to fully facilitate his police state.  And yet his supporters will forgive him and insist that it was all justified – indeed necessary – to protect civilization from the ravages of Trump.  Likewise, if it turns out that Trump was merely shooting off his mouth after reading a thinly sourced story on Breitbart.com, then the country is, in fact, saddled with a unstable President for another 46-plus months.  But his supporters will claim that the elements of the “deep state” are simply covering for one another and that the press is lying and that Trump is justified in being suspicious of the intelligence apparatus and so on.

This not to say that we don’t think that the wiretap business is important.  We do.  At the same time, like 99-plus percent of the people commenting on it, we have no way of knowing whom among the many pundits and the “experts” we should believe about the details.  For what it is worth, we think the best informed and most unbiased of the lot is Andy McCarthy, the former federal prosecutor who put away the now-late Blind Sheikh.  He is a pro’s pro.  He knows the law and the processes.  He is honest and smart.  And not surprisingly then, he has been far better at ferreting out the truth on this matter than just about anyone else.  Not coincidentally, he also wrote about possible Obama administration wiretapping of Trump associates or campaign operatives a full two months ago.

In the meantime, we don’t want to let the specifics of the wire-tap business distract us from the much bigger story of which this is only a part.  That being that the United States is in the midst of a new Civil War that is testing whether it, or any nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, can endure.  Like the Civil War that inspired President Lincoln to write the great Gettysburg address, from which we paraphrased the above sentence, this war has divided the American people into two distinct camps.  It has not yet led to widespread bloodshed, and, God willing, it will not. Yet, it is tearing the nation apart, and could very likely lead to the destruction that Lincoln feared during those dark days of 1863.

In fact, we would argue that while the stakes involved in Lincoln’s Civil War were enormous, they pale in comparison to the potential harm that the current civil war poses to the nation.  You see, both sides in the War Between the States prayed to the God of Abraham and neither side sought the destruction of the noble experiment in self-government that Lincoln described as “the last best hope of earth.”   That is definitely not the case today.

We will begin the discussion of this contention by noting that the accusation that Trump is making against Obama is not exactly wild and ridiculous.  Indeed, to say that Obama spied on political opponents is simply to state the truth.  Recall that his Justice Department spied on the Associated Press and on Fox News journalist James Rosen, even going so far as to seize phone records from Rosen’s employers and his elderly parents.  More to the point, Obama’s intelligence agencies likely spied on Congress – more than once – in violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers.  Almost exactly three years ago, Diane Feinstein, longtime liberal favorite and then-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, publicly accused Obama’s CIA of spying on Congress and of associated constitutional infringements.  She stated that the matter had been referred to the Justice Department for criminal investigation (not that Obama’s DoJ was ever likely to do anything about it).  Moreover, Obama – the alleged civil libertarian and constitutional scholar – spent most of his presidency expanding and then hiding the activities of the surveillance state.

Second, if Obama did as has been charged, he would hardly alone in having harnessed the surveillance state to do his partisan political bidding.  Indeed, the use of wiretaps for political gain can be traced back to the father of the welfare state and the hero of the Democratic party, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

You see, not long after FDR was elected, he began hearing reports of subversive Nazi and fascist activities in America.  So he asked the General Intelligence Division of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation (the precursor to the FBI until 1935, when the Bureau was created) to join forces with the Secret Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service and to conduct “limited investigations” of these groups.  The Division’s young director, J. Edgar Hoover, took advantage of the new authority to expand his own investigation into the murky world of communist activities.

On September 6, five days after Hitler invaded Poland, Roosevelt broadened Hoover’s mandate even further by telling him to keep an eye on both fascist and communist movements in the country.  Hoover pointed out that he didn’t have the authority to acquire the kind of “general intelligence information” that Roosevelt wanted but noted that there was a provision in the Agency’s mandate that would allow him to investigate any matters referred to it by the State Department.  At which point, Roosevelt wrote a memo for the file saying that Secretary of State Hull had asked the Agency to provide it with “general intelligence.”

Hoover being Hoover, he took advantage of the new situation and conducted literally thousands of investigations of private citizens and government officials, involving the extensive use of wiretaps and illegal break-ins of private residences and offices.  At the request of the White House, he focused a great deal of attention on prominent right-wing organizations.  And for his own edification, he investigated an equally large number of left-wing individuals and groups.  In their classic, The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition, Athan G. Theoharis and John Stuart Cox noted the mutually beneficial and symbiotic relationship between Hoover and Roosevelt, putting it as follows:

Recognizing the Director’s usefulness and willingness to serve, Roosevelt and White House aides had requested FBI reports on numerous right-wing agitators, specifically members of Nazi-type fringe organizations like the Silver Shirts, the Knights of the White Camelia, and the Coughlinite Christian Front.  Hoover readily complied and later, following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, regularly forwarded to the Roosevelt White House reports on a host of the president’s right-wing critics and eventually including such prominent and respectable conservative critics of the president’s foreign policy as former Republican President Herbert Hoover, Senators Gerald Nye and Burton Wheeler, Charles Lindbergh, and the America First Committee.

Theoharis and Cox noted that Roosevelt “welcomed the expansion of FBI surveillance activities” even though he was well aware that these investigations “ranged far afield and extended beyond investigating violations of federal statutes.”  The pretext of national security gave Roosevelt – and Hoover – carte blanche to investigate their enemies.  And they both took every advantage possible.

Of course, they were not the only ones.  Soon after Roosevelt died and Truman was sworn in, the feisty Missourian, who had been a fervent opponent of Hoover’s surveillance state, learned to appreciate the niceties of Big Brother.

As Truman was shuffling his cabinet, Hoover was trying to get a feel for his place in the new administration.  And to make sure his new boss understood his potential usefulness, he bugged the phone of a young but powerful new Treasury Department official, Edward F. Prichard.  One of the first conversations that Hoover recorded for Truman was one that took place between Pritchard and his former boss, the Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter.  Hoover presented the tape of the conversation, during which Prichard made some highly derogatory comments about Truman, to the President, calling it “the damndest thing I have ever read.”  Tracy Campbell, Prichard’s biographer, noted that Truman found the information quite valuable and suddenly found Hoover’s tactics less objectionable.  Campbell wrote:

Although Truman later claimed that he strongly disapproved of FBI wiretaps . . . Clark Clifford, one of Truman’s most trusted advisors, noted that while the president may have disliked Hoover and the methods of wiretapping, he “was not immune to the attraction of inside information.”   The wiretaps subsequently ushered in a new era of domestic political intelligence.

Today, as you listen to the politicians and their media mouthpieces prattle on about the tweets, the taps, and the treason, keep the above in mind.  When, for example, the House Minority-Leader-for-Life Nancy Pelosi declares that “we don’t do this,” what she means is “we’re not supposed to do this, and never mind if my Democratic predecessors have been doing it since the FBI was brand new.”  Likewise, when FBI Director James Comey demands that the Justice Department release a statement intended to preserve the reputation of the Bureau, remember that the reputation of the Bureau has always been somewhat fleeting.  As unfair as it may seem, the Bureau’s public reputation depends a great deal on the reputation of its Director.  And in this case, nothing Donald Trump has said or will say could do as much damage to the reputation of the Bureau as has already been done by Hamlet-on-the-Potomac himself.  “To prosecute or not to prosecute.  That is the question . . . “

In any case, while everyone was looking at President Trump’s twitter account to determine the most important story ever, we tend to think that the real news happened elsewhere, namely in the Kalorama neighborhood in Northwest Washington, D.C.  It is there that the Barack and Michelle Obama have chosen to make their home in his post-presidency.  And as of last week, they have a new roommate – a roommate whose name you may have heard before:  Valerie Jarrett, former long-time confidant and formal adviser to the President and a very close friend of the former First Lady’s.

Now, we know what you’re thinking:  umm . . . what?  Why would the “senior adviser” to the President for the entirety of his presidency move in with him and Michelle?  Is she sick?  Is she related to them?  Is she having trouble finding work and otherwise out on the street?  Or are they engaged in some sort of post-presidency project?  As it turns out, the answer to this last question is yes.  London’s Daily Mirror provides the details, which have been widely confirmed by other sources.

Barack Obama is turning his new home in the posh Kalorama section of the nation’s capital – just two miles away from the White House – into the nerve center of the mounting insurgency against his successor, President Donald J. Trump.

Obama’s goal, according to a close family friend, is to oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment.  And Obama is being aided in his political crusade by his longtime consigliere, Valerie Jarrett, who has moved into the 8,200-square-foot, $5.3-million Kaloroma mansion with  the former president and Michelle Obama, long time best friends . . .

Spurred on by Jarrett and Michelle, the ex-president has come to embrace his role as the leader of the opposition against Trump, whose policies he loathes and whose presidency he considers illegitimate . . . ‘He had hoped to write his memoirs, golf to his heart’s content and bask in the glory of his eight years in power and the progressive achievements he brought about.  Instead, he is going to be leading the fight and strategy to topple Trump,’ says [an] insider.

To be honest, we’re of three minds on this.  First, we think it’s great.  Nobody did more to rehabilitate the GOP after 2008 and 2012 than Barack Obama.  No one was more responsible for the rise of Donald Trump and the American public’s distaste for the political status quo than Barack Obama.  And so no one seems more likely to lead the Democrats further down the road to ruin than Barack Obama.  Good for him, we say.  Get him all the help he can handle.

Second, anyone who believes that this is something that Obama just came up with, sitting around in his post-presidency, is nuts.  Obama never had any intention EVER of just hanging out “writing his memoirs” and golfing “to his heart’s content.”  This has been his plan from the very moment he realized that he would have to give up the cushy chair in the Oval Office.  Indeed, we said as much in our domestic policy forecast piece published TEN DAYS before Trump even took office:

Barack Obama will embarrass himself, erode what remains of his legacy, and bolster support for his opponent by conducting the most egregiously unconventional post-presidency in recent memory.

Barack Obama is, perhaps, the most narcissistic president we’ve had in decades – if not ever.  He has always believed that he is right, that his opposition is flat wrong, and that all he needs to do to correct the imbalance is to explain things more slowly and more carefully to the dumdums who populate the country.  If he can just make them understand, they will both change their minds and be eternally grateful to him for correcting their ignorance.  Consider, for example, what he told the German newspaper Der Spiegel in the days after the election:

If you look at the new generation of Americans, they reflect the vision that I spoke about.  They’re diverse.  They believe in tolerance.  They’re accepting of things like same-sex marriage.  They believe in integration.  The problem, though, is that young people are less likely to vote than older people.  What results is a situation in which sometimes the elections don’t fully reflect the views of the American population.  Essentially, the president-elect was supported by about 27 percent of the American population.  One of our challenges, historically, is that we have very low voting rates, even during presidential elections.

Trump isn’t the President of the United States, you see.  He’s the President of the old and the ignorant.  And we can fix that, just by convincing more of the less ignorant to get involved.  And to that end, Obama expects to take on the task himself, since no one else can possibly do it. . . .

Neither Obama nor anyone close to him has apparently ever considered the fact that he and his policies were largely responsible for the Trump phenomenon – not to mention the Tea Party before it.  He’s convinced that all the country needs to get back on track is more Obama.

Up until this past weekend, every single story the mainstream media published about Trump and his alleged Russian connections cited the Obama administration and its unprecedented efforts to stop Trump and to expose what it knew about him to the greatest number of people.  Of course, since Trump’s tweetstorm Saturday morning, this particular narrative has become something of a liability, which means that the mainstream press has now backed away from this storyline.  Last Friday, the intelligence apparatus had the goods on the nasty Russian spies and Obama holdovers were going the extra mile to save the country.  By Saturday afternoon, though:  what intelligence community?  What Obama holdovers?  What are you people talking about?  We know nothing!  The problems is that all the backtracking in the world can’t change what’s already in the public domain – like this gem from the New York Times, for example, published on March 1st:

In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government.  Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators. . .

As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not.  Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators — including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.

At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. . .

More than a half-dozen current and former officials described various aspects of the effort to preserve and distribute the intelligence, and some said they were speaking to draw attention to the material and ensure proper investigation by Congress. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified information, nearly all of which remains secret, making an independent public assessment of the competing Obama and Trump administration claims impossible.

Now, as far as the Times was concerned, this was all part of a valiant and patriotic attempt to save the world from Trump – or at least that’s what the Times’ opinion was until that opinion became a liability.  A more realistic interpretation, however, would be that Obama staffers and appointees went out of their way to ensure that dubious and unverified information was seen by as many people in order to undermine the incoming administration.

Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, went on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday to declare, emphatically, that there is no evidence of any sort of cooperation between the Trump team and Russia.  “We did not include anything in our report,” he said, “that had any reflect of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. There was no evidence of that included in our report.  We had no evidence of such collusion.”  And yet Obama appointees were running around from November to January trying to tell as many people as possible otherwise.  If we didn’t know better, we’d say that this was a coordinated, premeditated effort on the part of said Obama administration appointees to destroy President Trump before he ever took the oath of office.

And if you think it’s far-fetched that the Obama folks would have set in action a premeditated plan to undermine Trump, consider the following bit published last week by Mark Hemingway at The Weekly Standard – a notoriously ANTI-Trump conservative magazine:

Amid Thursday’s over-hyped brouhaha about Jeff Sessions meeting with the Russian ambassador, a curious detail emerged.  In Sessions’s recusal memo, it was explained who at the Justice Department would be handling any investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.  “Consistent with the succession order for the Department of Justice, Acting Deputy Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana Boente shall act as and perform the functions of the Attorney General with respect to any matters from which I have recused myself to the extent they exist,” reads Sessions’s official statement on the matter.

Except that if the Obama administration had its way, Dana Boente wasn’t supposed be the U.S. attorney to handle these matters in the event that Sessions recused himself.  On February 10, USA Today reported the following:

Seven days before he left office, President Obama changed the order of succession without explanation to remove Boente from the list.  Obama’s order had listed U.S. attorneys in the District of Columbia, the Northern District of Illinois and the Central District of California.

That seems like awfully suspicious behavior.  In fact the USA Today story noted this is pegged to the news that Trump quietly signed an executive order restoring Boente to the line of succession.  The Obama administration chicanery was likely brought to White House’s attention after Obama holdover and acting Attorney General Sally Yates tried to usurp the powers of the president and countermand his immigration executive order, actions for which she was summarily fired.

Why would the Obama administration make this eleventh-hour change to the line of succession at the Justice Department?  “At the time, I was told it was done in consultation with Trump transition,” Gregory Korte, the USA Today reporter who wrote the story quoted above, told me Thursday.  “Looking back, that’s clearly not the case.”

In fact, it seems like it was quite obviously not the case.  The man Obama placed at the head of the line of succession is D.C.’s U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips, who is quite cozy with President Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder.  He is a former senior adviser to Holder, and he stayed on to work under Obama’s next AG Loretta Lynch before Obama appointed Phillips D.C.’s U.S. attorney in 2015.  But Phillips goes way back with Holder—Holder first hired Philips in the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1994.

Finally, there is the matter of the fortuitous timing of the leaks about the alleged Trump-Russian connection.  Last Wednesday, you probably woke up to hear that President Trump had wowed the political world, giving perhaps his best speech ever, easily “winning” the partisan battle over his first address to a joint session of Congress (the pseudo-State of the Union).  Trump was on top.  The markets reacted quite positively.  And even the media had to give him credit for his “presidential” behavior.

That glow didn’t last long though, did it?  Last Thursday, you probably woke up to hear that the Attorney General Jefferson Sessions was, is, and ever shall be a Russian mole who lied to Congress even while he tried desperately to ensure that Russian companies had access to most of this country’s uranium.  Or something like that.  Whatever the case, the new “blockbuster” allegations against Trump administration officials was ready to roll as soon it was necessary to keep Trump from winning the news cycle.  Convenient that.

Now, as we said above, for the most part, we’re actually cool with this.  Obama was terrible for his party.  He could do nothing for anyone other than himself.  And we don’t expect that to change now.  Interestingly, what little evidence we have at this early date tends to confirm that Obama’s grand strategy is likely to fail.  Polling data from the last few weeks shows that the more the Democrats harp on the Russia connections and the Trump administration’s alleged ties to the Kremlin, the lower the Democratic Party’s approval numbers fall.  If they want to keep blabbing about Putin and spies, demanding that everyone in the White House attest to whether they are now or ever have been in contact with anyone of Slavic descent, that should be good news for the GOP.

Unfortunately, this is but one, small skirmish in what we think is likely to be a long, civil war that will determine the fate of that which Lincoln described as “the last best hope of earth.”

An exaggeration?  Well, maybe.  Yet, the second and third most important stories last week lend credence to our claim.  Moreover, we would argue that they are directly related to the atmosphere of discord and mutual distrust being fostered by the folks involved in the first most important story, i.e., Valerie Jarrett and her new roomies.

The first of these stories happened in Middlebury College last Thursday evening.  Charles Murray – perhaps the greatest living conservative intellectual – was scheduled to give a speech at Middlebury but was prevented from doing so by – stop us if you’ve heard this one before – a mob of angry leftist radicals.  At Inside Higher Ed, Scott Jaschik provides the details of what happened next:

Thursday was “the saddest day of my life,” wrote Allison Stanger, a prominent political scientist who is a professor at Middlebury College, in a Facebook post on Friday. Thursday was the day that Stanger was scheduled to moderate the question period after a lecture by Charles Murray, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute best known for being co-author of The Bell Curve.  But the public lecture wasn’t to be, as students turned their backs on Murray and shouted and chanted for such a long period that Murray couldn’t speak.

When Murray couldn’t speak, the college moved him and Stanger to another location to livestream a discussion.  But after that event, some of the protesters surrounded them as they were leaving.  Some shoved Stanger and yanked her hair with such force that she needed to wear a neck brace the next day. . .

Of the attack on her, she wrote, “When the event ended and it was time to leave the building, I breathed a sigh of relief.  We had made it.  I was ready for dinner and conversation with faculty and students in a tranquil setting.  What transpired instead felt like a scene from Homeland rather than an evening at an institution of higher learning.  We confronted an angry mob as we tried to exit the building.  Most of the hatred was focused on Dr. Murray, but when I took his right arm both to shield him from attack and to make sure we stayed together so I could reach the car, too, that’s when the hatred turned on me.

“One thug grabbed me by the hair and another shoved me in a different direction.  I noticed signs with expletives and my name on them.  There was also an angry human on crutches, and I remember thinking to myself, ‘What are you doing?  That’s so dangerous!’  For those of you who marched in Washington the day after the inauguration, imagine being in a crowd like that, only being surrounded by hatred rather than love. I feared for my life.”

The details about Stanger are not the only new information coming out about what happened Thursday.

Middlebury officials now say that a small group of six to 12 people who appeared not to be students were involved in the attack on the car and Stanger.  These people were dressed in black and wore masks.  Earlier some of them tried to enter the lecture hall and were turned away.  Those who shouted down Murray were students, but those who attacked the car (a group that included students) appeared to be led by the outside group (whom Middlebury officials said appeared older than most of the college’s students).  College officials called the town police when the car was attacked, but the attackers had run away by the time police officers arrived.  No one was arrested. College officials said the size and intensity of the protest surprised them.

Charles Murray, it goes without saying, is not Milo Yiannopoulos.  He is a calm, mild-mannered, well-respected scientist who has written extensively and insightfully about some of the more profoundly troubling issues of the day.  He is among the most intelligent, humble, and effective spokesmen for social positions that are considered conservative.  And for this reason alone, he was shouted down and attacked.

The second story took place over the weekend, back in Berkeley, California, home of the anti-Trump “anti-fascist” fascist movement.  The Washington Post relates the story:

Supporters of the president and anti-Trump protesters clashed violently Saturday in Berkeley, Calif., on a day that numerous pro-Trump rallies took place across the country.  A planned “March 4 Trump“ demonstration held at the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park — several blocks from the University of California at Berkeley campus — escalated after fights broke out between those who had shown up for the event and counter-protesters, which led to at least 10 arrests.

Photos and video from the afternoon showed police outfitted in riot gear, as shouting matches erupted within the crowd of a few hundred people, according to police.  People could be seen kicking and hitting one another, either with their bare hands or with the signs they had been carrying.  Seven people received medical attention for injuries, but none needed or wanted to be taken to the hospital, police said.

Of the arrests, five were for battery, four for assault with a deadly weapon (including one person who had a dagger) and one for resisting arrest, according to Berkeley police.  Among the items confiscated from the crowd were metal pipes, baseball bats, two-by-four blocks of wood and bricks, police added.

In a video published by and for the Senate Democrats, Barack Obama’s second Attorney general Loretta Lynch, urged people to take to the streets to “work” to “achieve ideals of our founding fathers.” Lynch stated that ordinary people have been responsible for positive change in the past and that it’s time for them to do so again, regardless of the cost:  “It has been people,” she said, “individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference.  They’ve marched, they’ve bled and yes, some of them died.  This is hard.  Every good thing is.  We have done this before.  We can do this again.”

For most of the last couple of years, whenever anyone said, “the country has never been this divided before,” some pedant would step forward and respond with something like “the 620,000 soldiers who dies in the Civil War might disagree.”  Color us skeptical.  We think that those who died on both sides in that war would be astonished and outraged by the efforts of the Left in America today to destroy the Union.   After all, as we said earlier, both sides in that war cherished the idea of America, even though they disagreed over the particulars.

That is not the case today.  One side today is Godless.  It has a radically different conception of the truths that America’s founding fathers believed were “self-evident.”

Did Barack Obama order a wire-tap on Donald Trump or his associates?  Did the intelligence and law enforcement communities comply?  Did Trump blow a gasket about something that may not have been true?  We don’t know the answers to these questions, but we don’t think they matter much anyway.  Whatever the answers, the fact of the matter is that the country is moving inexorably toward radical and likely irreparable bifurcation.  Worse still, some people who should know better, who were always thought of by the media as “the adults in the room” are encouraging it.  That’s bad news – for them and for us.

Copyright 2017. The Political Forum. 3350 Longview Ct., Lincoln NE  68506, tel. 402-261-3175, fax 402-261-3175. All rights reserved. Information contained herein is based on data obtained from recognized services, issuer reports or communications, or other sources believed to be reliable. However, such information has not been verified by us, and we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness, and we are not responsible for typographical errors. Any statements nonfactual in nature constitute only current opinions which are subject to change without notice.