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Politics as Performance Art

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from David Daley in Salon, Camille Paglia takes on Jon Stewart, Trump, Sanders: “Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true!”

excerpt:

Politics has always been performance art.  So we’ll see who the candidates are who can think on their feet.  That’s certainly how I succeeded in the early 1990s.  Before that, the campus thought police could easily disrupt visiting speakers who came with a prepared speech to read.  But they couldn’t disrupt me, because I had studied comedy and did improv!  The great comedians knew how to deal with hecklers in the audience.  I loved to counterattack!  Protestors were helpless when the audiences laughed.

So what I’m saying is that the authentic 1960s were about street theater–chaos, spontaneity, caustic humor. And Trump actually has it!  He does better comedy than most professional comedians right now, because we’re in this terrible period where the comedians do their tours with canned jokes. They go from place to place, saying the same list of jokes in the same way.  But the old vaudevillians had 5,000 jokes stored in their heads. They went out there and responded to that particular audience on that particular night.  They had to read the crowd and try out what worked or didn’t work.

Our politicians, like our comedians, have been boring us with their canned formulas for way too long.  So that’s why Donald Trump has suddenly leapt in the polls.  He’s a great stand-up comedian. He’s anti-PC–he’s not afraid to say things that are rude and mean.  I think he’s doing a great service for comedy as well as for politics!

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Knee Jerk Ideology

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from David Daley in Salon, Camille Paglia takes on Jon Stewart, Trump, Sanders: “Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true!”

excerpt:

I don’t demonize Fox News. At what point will liberals wake up to realize the stranglehold that they had on the media for so long? They controlled the major newspapers and weekly newsmagazines and T.V. networks. It’s no coincidence that all of the great liberal forums have been slowly fading. They once had such incredible power.  Since the rise of the Web, the nightly network newscasts have become peripheral, and the New York Times and the Washington Post have been slowly fading and are struggling to survive.

Historically, talk radio arose via Rush Limbaugh in the early 1990s precisely because of this stranglehold by liberal discourse. For heaven’s sake, I was a Democrat who had just voted for Jesse Jackson in the 1988 primary, but I had to fight like mad in the early 1990s to get my views heard. The resistance of liberals in the media to new ideas was enormous. Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true!  Liberalism has sadly become a knee-jerk ideology, with people barricaded in their comfortable little cells. They think that their views are the only rational ones, and everyone else is not only evil but financed by the Koch brothers.  It’s so simplistic!

Now let me give you a recent example of the persisting insularity of liberal thought in the media.  When the first secret Planned Parenthood video was released in mid-July, anyone who looks only at liberal media was kept totally in the dark about it, even after the second video was released.  But the videos were being run nonstop all over conservative talk shows on radio and television.  It was a huge and disturbing story, but there was total silence in the liberal media.  That kind of censorship was shockingly unprofessional.  The liberal major media were trying to bury the story by ignoring it.  Now I am a former member of Planned Parenthood and a strong supporter of unconstrained reproductive rights.  But I was horrified and disgusted by those videos and immediately felt there were serious breaches of medical ethics in the conduct of Planned Parenthood officials.  But here’s my point:  it is everyone’s obligation, whatever your political views, to look at both liberal and conservative news sources every single day.  You need a full range of viewpoints to understand what is going on in the world.

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Commerce Between Consenting Adults

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from Uber Crashes the Democratic Party by William McGurn in The Wall Street Journal (gated):

 Marco Rubio, who last year sided with Uber over regulators in Miami, accused Mrs. Clinton of trying to “regulate 21st-century industries with 20th-century ideas.” Jeb Bush pointedly traveled by Uber for his visit to Thumbtack, a Silicon Valley startup. Meanwhile, Rand Paul says he would like our government to adopt the Uber model—more information and customer ratings—while Ted Cruz says his campaign will be as disruptive of politics-as-usual as Uber is of old business models.

Perhaps even more important, innovation by its nature challenges the inner-Elizabeth Warren in so much of today’s Democratic Party. However open Democrats may be to revolutionary new definitions of marriage, the thought that there might be some nonsexual for-profit contracts between consenting adults keeps progressives up at night. So when a business like Uber’s prospers because its model doesn’t quite fit the established regulatory categories, the Democratic response is almost always to try to pound these new square pegs into the government’s old round holes.

But is Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick any different? Even as he struggles with regulators taking aim at his business model, Mr. Kalanick has spoken up in favor of ObamaCare. During a visit to New York last November, he enthused that ObamaCare was “huge” for companies like his, on the grounds that the individual market has democratized benefits such as health care.

That’s true insofar as it means he doesn’t have to provide it for his drivers. But the reality is that ObamaCare is to health what taxi commissions are to transportation. And if Uber’s co-founder can’t see the difference, maybe he deserves the Bill de Blasios and Hillary Clintons coming after him.

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The Criminal Candidate

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from The Wall Street Journal Hillary’s E-mail Story Unravels by Kimberly Strassel

Excerpt:

Nothing Mrs. Clinton has said so far on the subject is correct. The Democratic presidential aspirant on March 10 held a press conference pitched as her first and last word on the revelation that she’d used a private email server while secretary of state. She told reporters that she’d turned over to the State Department “all my emails that could possibly be work-related.” And she insisted that she “did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.”
Not true and not true. The State Department has now admitted that it is aware of at least 15 work-related emails that Mrs. Clinton fully or partially withheld. We know this only because congressional Republicans, as part of their Benghazi probe, required longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal to turn over his correspondence with her. It revealed work-related emails that had not been disclosed.

These don’t appear to be random oversights, but rather emails that Mrs. Clinton would likely have had an interest in keeping from the public. Most appear to be instances of her telling Mr. Blumenthal about State Department business, even though he was a private citizen and was advising a business seeking contracts from the Libyan government. Others appear to contain discussions that might undermine Mrs. Clinton’s or the administration’s public position on the Libyan conflict.

We also know that the State Department has now upgraded at least 25 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails to “classified” status. State is suggesting this is no big deal, noting that it is “routine” to upgrade material during the public-disclosure process. But that’s beside the point. This isn’t about after-the-fact disclosure. It’s about security at the time—whether Mrs. Clinton was sending and storing sensitive government information on a hackable private email system. Turns out, she was. For the record, it is a federal crime to “knowingly” house classified information at an “unauthorized location.”

HKO

We have a record of politicians committing ethical breaches in office, but I do not recall a candidate with the breach of ethical standards that comes close to the never ending disclosures from this candidate.  She is an embarrassment to her party. I am glad to see Democratic alternatives entering the race.

A Republican with her history and baggage could not get elected bouncer at a frat orgy.

 

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Similar Characters

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From The Wall Street Journal, Hillary Milhous Clinton by Evan Thomas:

The political shorthand to describe Hillary Clinton’s resentful, suspicious attitude toward the press is to say that she brings to mind Richard Nixon. Like Nixon, she sees enemies everywhere (and, like Nixon did, she does have a lot of enemies). Like Nixon, she is guarded and secretive. Nixon was, by his own description, an introvert in an extrovert’s business. Hillary is not painfully shy like Nixon, but she hardly comes across as a politician who loves people. Reporters who have long covered the Clintons note that while her gregarious husband Bill likes to be out working the crowd, Hillary prefers to stay holed up in the waiting room for as long as possible.

She will be easily aggrieved and suspicious about the media. She will be self-righteous about her own essential goodness. She will have a sharp temper, though she will tolerate her husband’s excesses. She will run an aggressive PR operation that will stonewall as long as possible.

With the hindsight of history, we can see that Nixon’s downfall was predictable. Actually, his personality flaws were well known before he was elected. So are Hillary’s.

HKO

How ironic that she began her political career on Nixon’s impeachment.