April 21st, 2017

Shattered: dissecting the Clinton campaign, and more

Amidst all the talk about the new book Shattered, describing the failed Hillary Clinton campaign, I have to say that on some deep deep level I don’t care. After over a year and a half of feeling tension and anxiety and angst, starting in the spring of 2015 and ending some time not too long after the election, I’m relieved not to have to even think about the 2016 campaign any more.

But hey, I can’t resist saying a few things in response to this Rolling Stone article about the book.

Rolling Stone author Matt Taibbi isn’t what you’d call kind to Hillary. Nor are the book’s authors. Taibbi emphasizes Hillary’s failure to even know why she was running, and the failure of her campaign to figure out a reason why she might be running and to convey it successfully to the public, as one of her key failings:

“All of the jockeying might have been all right, but for a root problem that confounded everyone on the campaign and outside it,” they wrote. “Hillary had been running for president for almost a decade and still didn’t really have a rationale.”

Allen and Parnes here quoted a Clinton aide who jokingly summed up Clinton’s real motivation:

“I would have had a reason for running,” one of her top aides said, “or I wouldn’t have run.”

The beleaguered Clinton staff spent the better part of two years trying to roll this insane tautology – “I have a reason for running because no one runs without a reason” – into the White House. It was a Beltway take on the classic Descartes formulation: “I seek re-election, therefore I am… seeking re-election.”

Shattered is sourced almost entirely to figures inside the Clinton campaign who were and are deeply loyal to Clinton. Yet those sources tell of a campaign that spent nearly two years paralyzed by simple existential questions: Why are we running? What do we stand for?

And yet I never felt the least bit puzzled as to why Clinton was running. Nor did anyone I know seem the least bit puzzled, either.

Here is the list of Hillary’s reasons, and it’s pretty much “all of the above”:

—personal ambition
—becoming a “first” (the first woman to be president)
—for Democrats and Obama supporters, continuing the good parts of the Obama administration
—for others, being just a little more hawkish than Obama on foreign policy
—to defeat Donald Trump
—appointing liberal SCOTUS justices
—because there was nobody else in the Democratic Party primed to run, except the far leftist Sanders

These aren’t such bad reasons, really. Nor are they unusual (for example, everyone knows that most candidates have a lot of personal ambition as motivator). Not did they really have to be explained to the public.

In fact, those reasons might have been more than enough, had there not been other problems—big ones—with Hillary and her campaign. People are not just sitting around just waiting to be told why a person is running. But Taibbi connects Hillary’s messaging/motivation problem with a messaging/motivation problem of the Democratic Party as a whole, particularly in Washington DC:

What Allen and Parnes captured in Shattered was a far more revealing portrait of the Democratic Party intelligentsia than, say, the WikiLeaks dumps. And while the book is profoundly unflattering to Hillary Clinton, the problem it describes really has nothing to do with Secretary Clinton.

The real protagonist of this book is a Washington political establishment that has lost the ability to explain itself or its motives to people outside the Beltway…

Shattered is what happens when political parties become too disconnected from their voters. Even if you think the election was stolen, any Democrat who reads this book will come away believing he or she belongs to a party stuck in a profound identity crisis. Trump or no Trump, the Democrats need therapy – and soon.

During the Obama administration, everything was blamed on a messaging problem, an inability to communicate, an inability to describe various things properly to voters (for example, Obamacare). The administration blamed miscommunication, and the media blamed miscommunication. Neither ever said that it wasn’t the communication skills that were lacking, it was the message itself—and far more than the message, the administration’s actions and their consequences in the real world.

I happen to think that propaganda and messaging matter, but that they don’t matter nearly as much as results do. I happen to think that the majority of people can’t be fooled most of the time, and that you’d better deliver more than a pretty message if you want to reach them.

One of Trump’s great skills during the campaign was indeed the ability to speak directly—and seemingly extemporaneously—to the people. To the People. It’s what made him a populist. But what helped his election was the idea that he would do things very, very differently. And what will make or break his presidency is what he delivers or fails to deliver.

It would be far more threatening for Democrats to seriously contemplate not their messaging problems, but what they have actually failed to deliver, and why. Hint, hint: that failure isn’t just a deficient message or slogan.

47 Responses to “Shattered: dissecting the Clinton campaign, and more”

  1. Cornhead Says:

    Trump spoke directly to a wide group of people. The Hillary and Obama people really just speak to groups of extreme activists. Obama won based upon the cool factor and being the first black president. Hillary thought her main appeal was being the historic first woman president. She had nothing else.

  2. Brian E Says:

    Add ‘because it’s my turn’ to the list.

    I think Hillary and Bill and struck a grand bargain at some time in the past– she would overlook his sexual perversions and he would help her achieve her goal of president.

    She was always the leftist of the of pair– it probably rankled her that he wasn’t.

    So yes, it was probably all of the above that you mentioned– power, being the first woman president (Elanor was her muse), continuing the leftist agenda with a dollop of militarism. I don’t think it would have mattered if there had been a credible Democrat candidate other than her– he special forces would have ground them to dust. They were stymied in 2008 because Barack was untouchable.

  3. Vanderleun Says:

    “I happen to think that the majority of people can’t be fooled most of the time, and that you’d better deliver more than a pretty message if you want to reach them.”

    Pretty to think so. But perhaps it is more accurate to say: “You can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time…. and that should be enough for most political purposes.”

  4. Bill Says:

    Man, as a candidate she really stunk…

    It’s amazing to me how blind the democrats were to their problems – decimated in politics outside the presidency, and old. Democrats were once the young, cool, hip party. Hillary? Bernie? Warren? None of them young.

    I think they just thought they couldn’t lose. Once Trump was nominated, I thought the same. Wrong.

    It was hubris.

    My daughter lives in Michigan – I don’t think HRC went there once. They have lost touch with flyover country.

  5. Griffin Says:

    I think it was personal ambition mixed with greed as it was necessary to keep the gravy train running. If the Clintons couldn’t sell access then they had nothing to sell to all these groups shoveling cash into their foundation.

    The other stuff may have played some small parts but in my opinion the Clintons have always been out for the Clintons above everything whether it be country or political party. They and their minions have become a blight on our country.

  6. Nick Says:

    I think Brian’s on the right track. This was about rewriting history. There was no office that would satisfy Hillary Clinton – the Senate and State Department aren’t small potatoes – allowing her to feel like her husband’s equal. She would either be remembered as the wife of an immoral man, or as President. When she passes away, you know that the first paragraph of her obituary will include her husband’s infidelity. She missed the one chance to avoid that.

  7. Cornhead Says:

    Griffin makes a great point. She had to run – and win – to make good on the promises she made to get the speaking fees and Foundation money. And with more money to come if she won. The big donors got screwed.

  8. Sam L. Says:

    “…—for Democrats and Obama supporters, continuing the good parts of the Obama administration…”

    Good parts? Names, Les, I Need NAMES. (h/t, Herb Tarlek, WKRP)

    “The real protagonist of this book is a Washington political establishment that has lost the ability to explain itself or its motives to people outside the Beltway…” I’d say they’ve lost the intent to explain them, and the interest in doing so. (See also, “What’s The Matter With Kansas”.)

    “During the Obama administration, everything was blamed on a messaging problem, an inability to communicate, an inability to describe various things properly to voters (for example, Obamacare).” The Smartest Person In The Room wouldn’t explain what he really wanted, because he didn’t want us to know that. He was putting something over on us rubes.

  9. mollyNH Says:

    Even that commie retread Merkel, forked over 7 million,how much was John Jerry good for. All the while Isis is decapitating 20/30 yr old young Christian men with their blood flowing into the Mediterranean Sea, & that useless Europe U and Obama s state dept gives it the big IGNORE, nothing to see here World just keep giving Clinton’s cash soon Obama will open up a donation krap hole too.

  10. mollyNH Says:

    John Kerry, oops or is it John Heinz?

  11. Brian E Says:

    “I think it was personal ambition mixed with greed as it was necessary to keep the gravy train running. If the Clintons couldn’t sell access then they had nothing to sell to all these groups shoveling cash into their foundation.” – Griffin

    Better add that to the list.

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Let’s not forget that the book’s authors knew how pathetic a candidate Clinton was and how badly run was the campaign. And that they covered it up. Indeed only the most obtuse of democrats knew in their heart of hearts how bad Hillary was doing but their ideology compels them to deny reality, so kidding themselves was required of them.

    The ones most outraged and distressed are the ones most in denial of reality.

  13. Griffin Says:

    Geoffrey,

    I wonder what kind of event if any would have caused these two reporters to report something as it happened during the campaign. If they came across serious criminal wrongdoing would they have saved it for the book?

    Not sure what I think of this whole process from an ethical standpoint.

  14. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Correction: “Indeed, only even the most obtuse of democrats knew in their heart of hearts how bad Hillary was doing…”

    Griffin,

    I strongly suspect that nothing could have compelled those authors to publicly state anything negative about Hillary before the election. They are part of the democrat propaganda organ and know ‘which side of the bread gets buttered’. Now it is safe to speak ill of Hillary, she having proven she’s a loser.

  15. parker Says:

    Hillary made a YUGE mistake with her arrogant assumption that a win was inevitable. She lacked good ground games in PA, OH, MI, and WI which would have told her getting to 270 don’t come easy. The deplorables defeated her.

  16. John Guilfoyle Says:

    You can shorten your list to 1 bullet point

    POWER – raw personal power & the perceived unlimited capacity to be enriched by its exercise.

    Hillary ran to grab that brass ring…everything else was incidental. Thank God for sending President Donald Trump to thwart that hag’s rise to the Oval Office.

  17. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Oh…and I’m with you Neo…I don’t give a thin damn “why” she lost. THAT she lost is enough.

  18. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    John,

    It’s not important to us why she lost. It’s of great importance that the democrats don’t figure out why she lost because if they don’t, they’re more likely to nominate another loser.

    A Bernie/Warren ticket is to be hoped for in 2020. The only thing better would be a Tim Kaine/Maxine Waters ticket 🙂

  19. Tatterdemalian Says:

    If you think the real problem is that you failed to find the right marketing strategy to sell snake oil to the rubes, the real problem might be the fact that you think your audience deserves to be sold snake oil.

  20. John Guilfoyle Says:

    GB…full agreement and even one step beyond…I hope they stay in denial & keep trotting HRC & Webb’s daughter & ol’ Horny himself out for public viewing. That’ll keep the airways choked and almost guarantee one of those dream tickets you describe. To which I say PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Ds, run your looniest!

    And the funnies in a Warren v Waters debate almost write themselves. Not to mention the visuals of “Joker” Tim Kaine and “Grandpa Simpson” Sanders standing toe to toe.

  21. Harry the Extremist Says:

    Im looking forward to finding a copy of this book in the library, just for the Schadenfreude. I especially want to get to the election day chapter. Delicious!

  22. The Other Gary Says:

    The first item in the list of reasons why Hillary ran for president was “personal ambition.” I suppose I’d go along with that somewhat, but I think “ambition” (eg desire and determination to achieve success) by itself is a bit too positive a description of Madam Evita.

    I would add “greed,” “megalomania” and an unhinged drive for self aggrandizement to the list. Like King Barack, she’d use her power to further leftist ideological goals, but just because a person does something for ideological reasons doesn’t mean they aren’t also inflating their self-image in the process: eg I’d bet a large part of the motivation for HillaryCare was Hillary imagining herself as The Woman Who Gave Healthcare to the Poor.

    I suspect Hillary! would have given Obama serious competition in the World Narcissist Competition had hers come into full bloom as First Woman President. And her megalomania would have been insufferable: picture Nurse Ratched with all the power of the executive branch at her disposal. Yikes.

  23. Frog Says:

    I recommend a reading of this article, after which one can return to contemplation of Hillary et al.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2017/05/return-of-the-strong-gods

  24. parker Says:

    Frog,

    I quickly read your linked article and must say that as a born salt of the earth peasant, it makes me think what is so difficult to understand that the foundational values of Western Civilization remain at the pinnacle of human values? Nationalism, populism, whatever ism; core principles matter. Some core principles are good and create a better society, others are suicidal and/or destructive creating oppression of the human spirit of the individual.

    Individuals may, under the right ism, cooperate freely to bring about a greater good. Under other isms, force individuals to cooperate under the barrel of a gun. I know you understand the difference. For the most part, too many have not taught their children well.

  25. Frog Says:

    parker”:
    re-read it. Slowly.
    But thanks for giving it the once-over.

  26. F Says:

    Why’d she run? For the money.

  27. AesopFan Says:

    Cornhead Says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 2:18 pm
    Griffin makes a great point. She had to run – and win – to make good on the promises she made to get the speaking fees and Foundation money. And with more money to come if she won. The big donors got screwed.
    * **
    That was the best part of her losing. I hope they keep supporting losers.

  28. AesopFan Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 3:33 pm
    Correction: “Indeed, only even the most obtuse of democrats knew in their heart of hearts how bad Hillary was doing…”

    Griffin,

    I strongly suspect that nothing could have compelled those authors to publicly state anything negative about Hillary before the election. They are part of the democrat propaganda organ and know ‘which side of the bread gets buttered’. Now it is safe to speak ill of Hillary, she having proven she’s a loser.

    * *
    Reminds me of the “Tell All” books by ex-officials who claim “I knew President X shouldn’t do whatever, but never said that to him at the time” — pathetic.

  29. AesopFan Says:

    Tatterdemalian Says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 4:11 pm
    If you think the real problem is that you failed to find the right marketing strategy to sell snake oil to the rubes, the real problem might be the fact that you think your audience deserves to be sold snake oil.
    * * *
    ..and, of course, there are always some people who think the snake oil they are selling really works …

  30. AesopFan Says:

    F Says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 11:51 pm
    Why’d she run? For the money.

    * *
    One for the money, two for the show, ..

  31. ErisGuy Says:

    The real protagonist of this book is a Washington political establishment that has lost the ability to explain itself or its motives to people outside the Beltway…

    Curious. I thought they explained what they wanted well. I don’t want to live in the EUSSR or Castro’s Cuba or Chavez’ Venezuela. Which is why I want them dead.

  32. Lizzy Says:

    I don’t care to read the book, since the excerpts seem all too predictable based on what non-fans of Hillary have observed of her these past 25 years. HOWEVER, it is a big deal that this type of book is finally being written about her. This was written by mainstream journalists (read: Lefties, not Roger Stone or other Clinton-hater), and they got one or more from Hillary’s long-serving, fiercely loyal inner circle to talk. It pokes holes in the Hillary narrative, and signals that it may finally be OK to speak ill of the Clintons without them destroying your career (or worse).

    I hope these tiny drips lead to a flood of other stories about the real Hillary, her legitimate weaknesses and faults, ending the Clinton dynasty for good.

  33. Bilwick Says:

    I’ve read that the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua is now on a witch-hunt to find out which of her underlings blabbed to the authors of “Shattered.” (Of course, if she really wanted to hunt for a witch, all she’d have to do is look in a mirror.) I hope none of the blabbers own cats–if you know what I mean . . .

  34. Big Maq Says:

    “America (post WWII) also participated in the banishment of the strong gods from public life…
    The left and right in Europe and America are united in a common meta-politics that promotes the general pattern of weakening and the rule of the hearth gods. …
    We should not join our voices to the conventional denunciations of the populist desire for the renewal of strong loyalties in public life. The imperative of weakening has made many things fluid and uncertain, leaving us with little that is solid and trustworthy.”
    – quote from Frog’s link – article called “Returning of the Strong Gods”
    .

    A lot of “strong” vs “weak” type references, but not a lot of logic stringing together this piece, which seems to effectively be a branch off that hyperbolic “Flight 93” article from a year or so ago.

    Would love to break it down point by point, but who’d care for that detail? Certainly not the one who recommends it.

    Not hard to imagine this article’s appeal to people who are willing to line up their political opponents along a wall and shoot them.

    Yea, “strong gods”, indeed.

    More like, “argument too weak and illogical to convince anyone else, so we need to force them at the business end of a gun”.
    .

    Also found this…

    “the primacy once given to “freedom” in American conservatism now is given to “nationalism”—or should be. – article “Conservatisms New Terms”
    https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2017/04/conservatisms-new-terms

    Hints of Alt-R, strangely, among what looks to be a largely religious based organization.

  35. Susanamantha Says:

    Bilwick’s “Dowager Empress of Chappaqua” is a great moniker. As for her witch-hunt to find the tattletales, I believe it would be Hell to Pay. If I remember correctly, that was a title of a book written in the ’90’s about the Empress. It was written by Barbara Olson, a victim of the plane hitting the Pentagon in 2001. She was the wife of Ted Olson who represented George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore.

  36. JuliB Says:

    Big Maq,

    I’m a subscriber to First Things. It’s a journal run primarily by Catholics who believe in preserving religion in the public square. It’s ecumenical (judeo-christian mainly) and conservative leaning (religiously orthodox, more or less), but features a variety of view points on matters of religion, politics and culture.

    There are articles I disagree with, and even more that either don’t interest me or are too deep/scholarly for my tastes. However, the letters section are worth their weight in gold, even for the articles I couldn’t/didn’t read. I wouldn’t categorize them as alt-rite, but some of their writers like Trump. Most are probably neutral.

    It’s a unique periodical, and one that I like a great deal.

  37. Big Maq Says:

    “I wouldn’t categorize them as alt-rite, but some of their writers like Trump. Most are probably neutral.” – JuliB

    Agree, and why it was rather “surprising” how easy it was to stumble across something else with alt-r themes.

    But, it also was surprising how many Christian church leaders endorsed trump very early in the campaign (before it was clear he would win the nomination).

    Evidently, some are able to reconcile those seemingly (to me , anyway) incompatible sets of values.

  38. huxley Says:

    Big Maq: JuliB summarizes First Things well.

    I’ve been reading FT now and then for years, mainly The Anchoress (Elizabeth Scalia) and Spengler (Daniel Goldman) whom I had followed previously.

    I’m sure most conservative Christians, who voted for Trump, weren’t crazy about his morality, or lack thereof.

    However, I’m not sure you grasp how precarious these Christians feel their situation to be in today’s America. The progressive left is not only working hard with notable success in flipping the US to socialism, they have also continued the left’s age-old war against Christianity with similar success.

    For these Christians, the Democratic Party has become an existential threat. One can argue the ultimate seriousness of that threat, but by slow degrees Christianity is being driven out of the public square, as JuliB put it. Even worse, the left is intent on painting White Christianity as the larger case of the KKK.

    So these Christians looked around for someone carrying the flag to do battle with the left and Trump looked like their best shot. I get that.

    Christians aspire to moral perfection but they also have a deep awareness of human weakness. That’s baked into the Christian understanding of the world. Lastly Christians who know the Bible know God works through flawed people.

    http://guardianlv.com/2016/06/is-donald-trump-ancient-israels-king-saul/

  39. Big Maq Says:

    “For these Christians, the Democratic Party has become an existential threat.

    Right. It’s just like the Christians in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc..
    /sarc

    I understand the “threat” well enough to know that what concerns us in the US is far from an “existential threat to Christianity”.

    If folks need me to “validate” their “feeling” like it is so, fine. Yes, they “feel” that way. Is there a grain of truth to it, yes.

    But is it Existential, as in an imminent demise of Christianity – absolutely not close!

    It is far from the “Flight 93” case, that the one article echos.

    Seems there is more to worry about “Christians” who give up on what they know is “right” and start to argue about “strength” (rather than principles), and that concepts like “liberty / freedom” should give way to “nationalism”.

    The threat is to our liberty, period – be they dems or alt-r (hiding under the guise and grace of good Christians).
    .

    My point is Beware. After all, there are those among us who’d line up dems and shoot them.

    That is the ultimate path of this type of thinking.

    Is that where we want this to go?

    Well meaning but misguided, or wolves in sheeps clothing, IDK. But, we ought to recognize this stuff when we see it.

    The more we give them cover, and not challenge them, perhaps excused as “concerned Christians”, the closer we get to that being acceptable to a broader audience.
    .

    “So these Christians looked around for someone carrying the flag to do battle with the left and Trump looked like their best shot.”

    Come on, the guy who “ate the cracker”? Mr “2 Corinthians”?

    Several Christian leaders made their choice well before it was clear trump would be the nominee, when there were other choices available (assuming they only had a binary choice – another debate altogether).

    Christianity has lost its way if trump is the “flag bearer”, ESPECIALLY “to do battle with the left”, given his history.

    It bears no resemblance to the Christianity that I was raised under, know, and understand it to be.

    Nor is it conservative – at least how we used to think of it – but that is what the alt-r are attempting to do – redefine all this, and perhaps having some success.

  40. huxley Says:

    Big Maq: I get it. You don’t like Trump. Me neither. As you know.

    Nonetheless, other people, other Christians slice these things differently. I can honor that.

    As I said, it’s arguable how much of an ultimate threat is at stake. But it is clear that Christians, especially White Christians are being pushed out of the public place and into the Klan box.

    If you want to argue that you have the true line on Christianity — even though I suspect you discarded your faith long ago — over the rubes in flyover country who are still serious about Christianity, you can make that argument, but it’s not an approach I respect.

    It strikes me as sheer Alinsky, how many non-Christians feel entitled to lecture real Christians on what real Christianity is.

  41. huxley Says:

    Big Maq: To put a finer point on it…

    Granted, Trump is an idiot about Christianity and his moral lapses leave much to be desired, but where is the red line past which conservatives Christians must forego voting for a candidate who otherwise represents their political agenda, as best they can calculate?

    How do you know?

    Neither Jesus, Peter nor Paul was on the ballot. Ronaldus Maximus had left the building as well.

    Republicans had a deep bench last year but none of them really stood out … except Trump in his bizarre way.

    It’s not a perfect world. You pays your money and you takes your chance.

  42. Big Maq Says:

    @huxley – you may question my faith if you want. I won’t bite. Just deflects the real issue.

    In the end, while I may emotionally understand folks’ feelings, it doesn’t mean I have to agree with them, nor refrain from questioning where some of their thinking will ultimately lead us.
    .

    I’m not looking for Jesus’ 2nd Coming to put Him on the ballot. Of course, we are dealing with flawed humans!

    However, there is a huge difference between recognizing flaws, and celebrating flaws, in choosing a show of “strength” vs someone focused on building support for a set of ideas / principles / policies.

    There is a huge difference in wanting change, vs endorsing someone who is far from the principles one claims to live by (“nationalism” should supplant “liberty”).
    .

    The FT overall seems fine. BUT, there certainly are individuals who seem to be pushing a message that I believe runs counter to what we, as Christians, ought to believe in, and counter to what our country is based on – if we truly believe those are Judeo-Christian values.

    That the person recommending the particular article to read at FT is also one who recently in all seriousness commented
    about lining up and shooting dems, and the article reads like it could be from the same author of “Flight 93” should tell us something, should it not?
    .

    People are free to feel and think what they want, but, just as much as the left thinking is corrupting, so is this stuff.

    That it shows up in a Christian publication, and isn’t a lone example, is just seriously disappointing, at best.

  43. Richard Saunders Says:

    And then on the other hand, you have the Catholic bishops who line up behind the Dem of the day, heaping blessings upon the very Party of Death. And I say that sadly as a devout, pious, “o”rthodox Catholic.

    I can easily come up with a dozen reasons why some Christian leaders embraced Trump early on. When you’re staring the Anti-Christ (one of them, at least) in the face, you evaluate things differently. I put my trust/faith in no man – all are sinners, Trump among them. But he’s not anti-Christian, and that was a huge plus. I stood for Cruz until the very end, but I really don’t care why one Christian leader endorsed one of the 17 over another. They were being as wise as serpents, I’d have to think.
    ~~
    Well, there can be a tension between liberty, religion, and nationalism in the public square. I can pull papal encyclicals from my bookshelf (literally) from the various popes of the (earlier) 20th century and write for hours on that. So my perspective of the article’s various points will be certainly different from someone less versed (so to speak) or less exposed to the topic. Coming from a libertarian atheist background, it’s been very challenging and I am drawn to the arguments because it has been a thorn in my side.

    We have 2000 years of well reasoned debate, nasty bickering and violent diatribes around this matter.
    ~~
    “Ate the cracker”

    I was listening to a museum guide pointing out the Eucharist present in a Dali painting and she called it a wafer. It took all I could to keep my mouth shut. Wafer, cracker, same difference to a non-Catholic. Dali reverted back to Catholicism in 1949 – it was not a wafer to him. Trump’s mangling Bush-ism means little to me.

    “2 Corinthians” Sometimes we say things in the way we think of them in our head. All Catholic lectors have been warned about the person at St. Somewhere Else Parish where he/she announced “a reading from the letter of Paul to the Filipinos” instead of Phillipians.

    I feel like I’m turning into a Trump defender here, whereas I’m pretty neutral on the man. Your comments remind me of the non-stop attacks on Bush and his battered language. It comes across as petty and I’m not understanding your point. That he’s at best a shallow Christian?
    ~
    I do stand firmly with huxley on the existential nature of the leftist threat. (The good Lord knows I try to stay far away when you and Huxley start tangling, but I can’t help myself here.) The Church will stand forever, but she may not be around in the US, or at least in any meaningful capacity.

    The anti-Christian leftists in our country are kin to the leftists / statists / tyrants from Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, etc. ISIS is a new-ish threat (whereas radical islam has been around for many many centuries as a threat comes and goes) but I fear the left and their ilk more than I fear ISIS.

    Someone here (perhaps Neo herself) recommended a book on the rise of Nazism based on interviews with Germans after the fact. One German was quoted as being surprised at the way their country had changed and fallen to a tyrant. They weren’t surprised at backwards, peasant Russian falling, but Germany? ‘Can’t happen here’ had been his perspective. I’m not saying that something that extreme could happen here, but I pay attention to the little signs that in our legalistic society that tend to get bigger over time.

    ~

    We Catholics have an understanding of both a red and white martyrdom. Bloodless suffering is the white kind. I would classify the Christian bakers as white martyrs. Society has changed a lot in the last 10-15 years. The direction and speed are unnerving. From a secular perspective, one could claim I was being dramatic. But it’s kinda’ like bankruptcy – slowly at first, then all at once.

    ~~
    This wasn’t too edited or reviewed, so sorry if things are jumbled or disjointed in my comment.

  44. Julia Says:

    OMG – Richard Saunders DID NOT type the above comment. I did. I came back after seeing Neo’s post about mistaken identities in comments.

  45. Richard Saunders Says:

    Thank you Julia! I’m not even an Orthodox Jew! Although, God knows, we have the same problem — leftism is becoming more and more the substance of non-Orthodox (Conservative and Reform) Judaism.

  46. huxley Says:

    @Julia – right. We can point to all kinds of inconsistencies in Christianity’s past. Some like to refer to the Crusades as examples.

    What matters is that when people, in a Christian publication, start talking about supplanting “liberty” with “nationalism”, there is a serious problem.

    Yes, the left is a problem, and always have been. Doesn’t mean we ought to defend alt-R tendencies, or arguments.

  47. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Christianity has been corrupt and wrong for 2000 years.

    It’s nothing new.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
Read More >>






Monthly Archives



Blogroll

Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge