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Monday, June 19, 2017

Trump’s Way OUT of the PROGRESSIVE Labyrinth



Victor Davis Hanson

In every single week of the Trump presidency, the investigators and attorneys of FBI Director James Comey or, subsequently, of special counsel Robert Mueller, have leaked information that President Donald Trump was under investigation for either colluding with the Russians or obstructing justice—allegations so far without any substantiating evidence.


In the case of Comey, we now know that his office or sympathetic third-parties leaked to the press false stories that Trump was under FBI investigation at precisely the time that the careerist Comey was privately reassuring the president himself that he was in fact not being investigated.
The appointment of Mueller was a concession to opposition demands that Trump appoint a Lawrence Walsh-type Special Prosecutor. The Comey-Mueller investigations and leaks occur simultaneously with House Intelligence member Adam Schiff’s passive-aggressive and often pompous announcements of evidence of Russian collusion—including raising the specter of a Grand Jury investigation—that are never followed by any evidence.
Since January 2017, the Congress ceased being a legislative body. It is now a Star-chamber court determined to decapitate the presidency.
Never in the history of the republic have there been so many legislative and political simultaneous efforts to 1) sabotage the Electoral College, 2) sue to overturn the presidential vote in key swing states, 3) boycott the Inauguration, 4) systematically block presidential appointments, 5) surveille, unmask, and leak classified or privileged information about the elected president, 6) nullify federal law at the state and local level, 7) sue to remove the president by invoking the Emoluments Clause, 8) declare Trump unfit under the 25th Amendments, 9) demand recusals from his top aides, 10) cherry-pick sympathetic judges to block presidential executive orders, 11) have a prior administration’s residual appointees subvert their successor, and 12) promise impending impeachment.
And that is only the political effort to remove the president.
Simultaneously, the media, Hollywood, popular culture, street theater, and the universities hand-in-glove seek to remove Trump from office through the dissemination of fake news as well as deep state leaks—coarsening the culture to such a degree that Trump is reduced to an impotent pariah.
In terms of losing state legislatures and governorships, the Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidency, the Obama progressive project has all but ruined the Democratic Party. And with such catastrophic losses of political power, the left grows less introspective and only more venomous—as if invective can do what appeals to voters have not.
The hydra-headed Resistance issues both explicit and metaphorical threats of presidential assassination, descends to scatological and obscene smears, cheers on campus disruptions and street theater, and persists in constant harangues in the press that Trump is unfit to remain President.
Why the unhinged furor?
Trump was elected to serve roughly 48 months. His progressive enemies are increasingly desperate. Despite an historic five-month assault that has demonized his person and ossified his legislative agenda, Trump is still systematically undoing the Obama agenda through appointments and Obama “pen-and-phone”-like executive orders.
In terms of losing state legislatures and governorships, the Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidency, the Obama progressive project has all but ruined the Democratic Party. And with such catastrophic losses of political power, the left grows less introspective and only more venomous—as if invective can do what appeals to voters have not.
But can Trump survive the incessant onslaught, as the street, the progressive party and the media ratchet up their collective subversions month by month? Is there any way out of the progressive labyrinth?
Trump’s future hinges on three propositions: 1) legislative momentum that shifts public attention to Trump’s relatively successful nascent efforts to reform government and dismantle the progressive project; 2) a continued upswing in the economy that comes to fruition with 3 percent per annum economic growth; and 3) the creation of political deterrence, characterized by a shift from the defensive to offensive that will warn progressives to cease their efforts at delegitimizing the president.
Momentum. The Congress must ensure that reform of Obamacare and the tax codes are finished this year. At this late date, compromises that achieve 70 percent of the administration’s intention become iconic and far preferable to even principled stasis.
Doing nothing only cements the idea that the Resistance is successfully blocking all Trump’s initiatives and will win more adherents to its supposedly successful efforts. Only legislative motion will change that narrative. If the Republican-controlled Congress cannot pass conservative reform legislation, then the party has all but conceded the 2018 midterm elections, which will usher in Democratic efforts to impeach the president. And if Republicans cannot act when they control both the Congress and the White House, then what good are they anyway as a party? And who, then, will shape the future trajectory of the country—a minority Democratic party, street theater, the likes of Maxine Waters and Stephen Colbert, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, campus bullies, the media, the universities, or Hollywood’s popular culture?
If Trump can achieve robust economic growth, then he will do what Reagan did from late 1983-to mid-1984: silence his critics who insisted that his trickle-down economics and needlessly confrontational Cold War deterrent policies were going to prompt either a Depression or war—or both.
It is Still the Economy, Stupid. Psychology plays an underappreciated role in fostering economic growth. Already employment is up; the stock market is booming; and energy production presses ahead—all on the assumption that Trump’s initial executive orders on gas and oil production and deregulation, as well as cabinet appointments, are mere harbingers of even more pro-growth tax and health care reform to come. The opposite sloganeering of ‘you didn’t build that’ and ‘now is not the time to profit’ is ‘make America great again.’
If Trump can achieve robust economic growth, then he will do what Reagan did from late 1983-to mid-1984: silence his critics who insisted that his trickle-down economics and needlessly confrontational Cold War deterrent policies were going to prompt either a Depression or war—or both. When Reagan’s economic and foreign policy initiatives instead made the United States both safer and more prosperous, his critics retreated to lick their wounds, were demolished in the 1984 election, and did not reemerge until the Iran-Contra debacle.
Restoring Deterrence. While Trump has been hounded, a number of former federal officials have escaped all accountability for what might legitimately be seen as high crimes and misdemeanors.
Former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch established the precedent that it was permissible for a sitting Attorney General to meet privately with a spouse of a high profile subject of an ongoing investigation by her own department, and to call in the Director of the FBI to ensure that his own then current investigation of the presidential candidate of her party did not imperil her campaign. In sum, Lynch should be the subject of a special investigation to see whether she habitually obstructed justice during the 2016 campaign.
James Comey leaked a privileged document via a third party to the press in violation of FBI protocols and possibly the law. He too should be subject to federal accountability, along with his purported acquiesce to demands from Attorney General Lynch to massage his investigation of Hillary Clinton. Never has such a congressional witness so incriminated himself in his efforts to incriminate others.
In sum, Lynch should be the subject of a special investigation to see whether she habitually obstructed justice during the 2016 campaign.
Comey’s own investigation of Hillary Clinton’s unlawful server and transmission of classified materials was called off during the campaign, ostensibly because he supposedly found no ill-intent on Clinton’s part to break federal law. Yet ‘intent’ is Comey’s own politicized invention; it is not mentioned in statutes as necessary for an indictment for breaking national security laws. Many lesser federal naïfs, with no ill-intention (and no influence and connections), nevertheless serve time for sloppily revealing or disseminating classified information. Ms. Clinton should be the subject of an outside investigation to review Comey’s 2016 opportunistic but incomplete findings and to assure the nation that his election-cycle exculpatory conclusions were not shaped by pressure from his superiors.
Most importantly, the House Intelligence Agency must press ahead with investigations that members of the Obama administration may have improperly or even illegally surveilled political opponents (often under the guise of reverse-targeting them) unmasked their names, and leaked the information to the press in efforts to harm them. Those findings also should be given to a special investigator. The most explosive story of 2016 was not collusion or obstruction, but reported Obama administration efforts to interfere in a political campaign by subverting federal intelligence agencies while breaking the law.
On a wider front, all administration recusals should stop. Robert Mueller has established the precedent that an investigator can remain a close friend of the investigated, while staffing his office with political contributors investigating their own political opponent—and all without recusal.
The Trump administration should insist that all universities and colleges that receive federal funds guarantee to their students First Amendment protections of free speech, due process, civil rights, and the right to assemble peacefully. If they cannot or will not comply with the Bill of Rights, then campuses should come under review of their funding from Washington.
The only way that the Resistance can be halted is to insist that its efforts remain lawful. If they are not, perpetrators must be held accountable.
Moreover, anyone who makes a direct threat or clear allusion to killing the president of the United States should be put on a terrorist no-fly list for six months, an act that can be done without a formal indictment and trial. If revving up a crowd in Washington by yelling out a personal wish to blow up the White House and its occupants, or holding up a facsimile of the decapitated head of the president to galvanize a video audience does not constitute enough suspicion to take a breather from flying, then nothing much else does. If Madonna had to take a slow freighter back to London, then she might curb her macabre enthusiasm at her next rally.
The only way that the Resistance can be halted is to insist that its efforts remain lawful. If they are not, perpetrators must be held accountable.
In sum, Trump can find his way out of the progressive maze, if he presses ahead with his legislative agenda, keeps hammering away on the economy, and establishes the precedent that the Obama administration and its supporters and appointees, between January 2016 and January 2017, were far more likely to have broken federal statutes than Donald Trump.
Only legislative momentum, economic growth, and political deterrence can free Trump from the always expanding Alinskyite labyrinth.
Source>https://amgreatness.com/2017/06/19/trumps-way-progressive-labyrinth/

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