In the last week, the news has been dominated first by Trump firing FBI Director Comey, then by reports that Trump gave classified information to Russia that could harm a US ally. These are both very important stories, but while the media has been focused almost entirely on these two events, we should consider what else has and has not happened.
In 2003, Megan McArdle coined the axiom known as Jane’s Law. It reads: “The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.” I am not sure Republicans are united enough to be smug and arrogant, but some Democrats are working hard to live up to their side of Jane’s Law.
On his show Friday night, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell suggested that perhaps Russian dictator Vladimir Putin ordered Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to drop poison gas on his own people. Why? Stay with me here – he argues Putin ordered Assad to gas his own people so that Trump could bomb Syria to distract from the investigation that would prove Trump is also a puppet of Putin. Yes, he suggested that Putin “conspired to kill people as a way of helping the image of the President of the United States.” That’s bat guano crazy.
Evil. Demented. Morally bankrupt. Brutal. Horrifying.
These are all descriptions that have appeared in opinion articles by liberal pundits in the last week. Were they used to describe North Korea’s oppressive reign of terror? Or maybe the desperation and degradation Venezuela’s socialist government has brought upon its people? No. These morally charged words were used against fellow Americans over disagreements in government funding priorities.
Following through on his campaign promise, President Trump is setting about to build a wall on our southern border with Mexico. This has been met with considerable opposition from some people, mostly on the left. But why?
Because this is such an emotional debate, let’s start with some basic facts. The United States has a right to determine who we allow into our country and who we do not. No one who is not an American citizen has a right to enter America. That should not have to be said, but far too many arguments against a border wall imply that the U.S. is somehow wrong for wanting to have a say in who can come in. That’s not immoral; it is necessary for a country to maintain it’s sovereignty.
Last night, President Trump addressed a joint session of Congress. These events are usually filled with a certain amount of theater. Much of the night is spent with congressmen from the president’s party regularly interrupting the speech with applause while members of the opposition sit silently. But there are always moments of national unity when everyone cheers. Last night, several congressional democrats broke with that tradition in a disgusting way.
The American Conservative Union (ACU) was founded in 1964 at a time when the conservative movement was in its infancy. Barry Goldwater had just lost a crushing election, but something new was starting. The ACU served two purposes – to consolidate conservative gains and to define its boundaries. The new organization brought together conservative thinkers to formulate the ideology and was part of the movement to distance conservatism from the John Birch Society, a conspiracy minded group that tried to claim association.
In 1973, the ACU held the first annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to bring together conservatives from across the country. It is one of the major events for conservatives, and proudly boasts of regular attendance by conservative icons such as Ronald Reagan, who headlined the very first CPAC. I have attended CPAC for the last four years, including this weekend, and have noticed a startling change this year.
Sarah Silverman, the comedian/provocateur, may have provided a valuable service in a roundabout way. I know, I was surprised too.