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Ideology Separates from Political Parties

From National Review’s Kevin Williamson, Progressives Without Power:

Beginning with the nomination of Barry Goldwater and thanks in no small part to the efforts of many men associated with this magazine, the Republican party spent half a century as a highly ideological enterprise. But highly ideological political parties are not the norm in the English-speaking world, especially not in the United States, and the conservative fusion of American libertarianism, social traditionalism, and national-security assertiveness probably is not stable enough to cohere, having now long outlived the Cold War in which it was forged. Trump’s lack of conservative principle is unwelcome, but it points to an ideological looseness that is arguably more normal, a return to the model of party as loose coalition of interest groups.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are becoming more ideological, or at least more openly and self-consciously ideological, as the party’s progressivism becomes more and more a catechism. This has the effect of making the Democratic party less democratic. American progressives have a long and genuine commitment to mass democracy, having supported not only various expansions of the franchise but also many instruments of direct democracy such as the ballot initiative, but they also have a long and genuine commitment to frustrating democracy when it gets in the way of the progressive agenda, which is why they have spent the better part of a century working to politicize the courts, the bureaucracies, and the non-governmental institutions they control in order to ensure they get their way even when they lose at the ballot box. Democrats did not pay much attention when they started suffering losses at the state level, because they were working against federalism and toward a unitary national government controlled from Washington. And they did not fight as hard as they might to recover from their losses in Congress while Barack Obama sat in the White House, obstructing Republican legislative initiatives and attempting to govern through executive fiat — an innovation that the Democrats surely are about to regret in the direst way.


The unity that seemed to be an advantage the Democrats had over the Republicans, who seemed forever factioned by litmus test conservatives, has blown apart.  That unity was held together by a power that eroded state by state since 2010. The power that held it together is now gone. All it took was one faction to tilt right (white blue collar union voters) and their bubble was burst.

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That Jew

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Re-Discovering the Constitution


From Mike Lee at National Review, Conservatives Should Embrace Principled Populism:

All human history teaches us that people cannot be trusted with unaccountable power; therefore, freedom and security are best protected by dispersing power. Federalism and the separation of powers may sound like legalistic abstractions, but in truth they are as important, concrete, and guaranteed under our Constitution as the right to vote or of due process.

Elites hate the transparency, accountability, and inclusiveness that the Constitution requires of federal policymaking. That’s why they have spent decades circumventing its guardrails. It is not a coincidence that our era of inequality and distrust has been marked by frenzied centralization of political power. Power has been pulled up and away from the people and states and toward the federal government. Within Washington, it has been transferred from the people’s elected representatives in Congress to the two other branches, especially the unaccountable and ever-growing administrative state.

As principled populists, Republicans would not only apply conservative insights to solve discrete problems but also anchor conservatism to the Constitution and radically decentralize Washington’s policymaking power. The new Congress should seize back its Article I legislative authority, ideally with President Trump’s help. Only by putting Congress back in charge of federal lawmaking can Trump make good on his promise to put the American people back in charge of Washington.


Trump is a pragmatist with many traits of a progressive. While he feels he can ordain a vigorous economy I do not know that he feels committed to the Constitution ideologically but he may find pragmatic reasons.  The framers saw both.

For those still fearful of the power now in Trump’s hands, they should come to appreciate the limits to power in the Constitution.

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Beware the Alternate Left


Al Sharpton’s incitement in Crown Heights in 1991 caused a pogrom in New York with several Jews attacked and one, Yankel Rosenbaum, killed. Another was killed who was thought to be Jewish, but was not. After a young black man, Gavin Cato, was accidently hit and killed by a car with a Jewish driver, blacks rioted, one saying,  “Let’s go to Kingston Avenue and get a Jew!”. At the funeral Sharpton referred to the “diamond dealers.”

And of course we remember Jesse Jackson’s reference to New York City as “Hymietown”.

Al Sharpton was rewarded with his own show on MSNBC and Jesse Jackson became an advisor to presidents.

The left has tolerated anti-Semitic speech on campuses for years.  It was excused as a right of free speech and the need for tolerance. The only group not entitled to a safe space were the Jews on campus.

The Occupy Wall Street movement had several instances of blatant anti-Semitism, but it was discounted as the mere rantings of an unrepresentative few.

Alan Dershowitz and Ruth Wisse have both noted that anti-Semitism, often thinly veiled as anti-Zionism, has found a much greater reception on the left than the right.

Yet when a few hundred from the newly labeled Alternate Right display their venom in public it is front page news and the calls for Trump and his minions to be held accountable are repeated ad nauseam. When he does disavow them they still hammer for a stronger statement.

The Trump presidency is the most Jewish in history; his son in law Jared Kushner, an orthodox Jew, was instrumental in his campaign success.  Trump has Jewish grandchildren. This attempt to hold Trump responsible for a handful of anti-Semites who supported him is absurd. Such hypocrisy and contempt from the left drove many to support Trump.

It is the Alternate Left the Jews have more to fear from and their numbers are far greater.  Who will be held accountable for them?

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The Democrats Need a New Organizing Principle

From Jason Riley at The WSJ,   Democrats Are Obsessed With Race. Donald Trump Isn’t:

Since when does a weekend gathering of “nearly 275” white nationalists in a country of more than 320 million people warrant front-page coverage in major newspapers? Since the election of Donald Trump, apparently.

The reality is that Mr. Trump didn’t prevail on Election Day because of fake news stories or voter suppression or ascendant bigotry in America. He won because a lot of people who voted for Barack Obama in previous elections cast ballots for Mr. Trump this time. In Wisconsin, he dominated the Mississippi River Valley region on the state’s western border, which went for Mr. Obama in 2012. In Ohio’s Trumbull County, where the auto industry is a major employer and the population is 89% white, Mr. Obama beat Mitt Romney, 60% to 38%. This year, Trumbull went for Mr. Trump, 51% to 45%. Iowa went for Mr. Obama easily in 2008 and 2012, but this year Mr. Trump won the state by 10 points. Either these previous Obama supporters are closet racists or they’re voting on other issues.

“Trump switched white voters in key states who were blue-collar primarily—coal counties, manufacturing counties,” the Republican strategist Whit Ayres told me this week. “These are blue-collar whites who voted for Barack Obama. And that’s a very uncomfortable thing to admit by the left. It’s much easier to say a ‘basket of deplorables’ elected Trump. But I’m sorry, that just does not conform to the data in those states that made a major swing from one party to the other.”

“Trump swept the areas that keep the lights on and the motors turning,” demographer Joel Kotkin wrote recently.

Today, race is the Democratic Party’s organizing principle. Group identity is a doctrine and group grievances are to be nurtured and exploited politically no matter the damage to civil discourse.


In the absence of race and identity politics what is the Democrat’s organizing principle?  The economics of the 1930s and the social policy of the 1960s.