Sunday Ethics Warm-Up: “Soul Of The Nation” Hangover Edition

Hey…is that a rising sun or a setting sun? Ben Franklin is asking…

On this date in 1886, the legendary Apache leader Geronimo finally surrendered to U.S. government troops. I was thinking about Geronimo last night as I watched “Hot Shots, Part Deux” (the first one is much, much better), by the “Airplane!” guys. In one of the better gags in the film, a special ops team is parachuting into Iraq. Two soldiers shout “Geronimo!” and jump out of the plane, then Geronimo, in full Native American regalia, jumps out shouting “ME!” I found myself wondering if any film maker today would dare to put that into a movie. Isn’t that sad?

In related news, Fox pundit-comic Greg Gutfield is beating all the cookie-cutter all-progressive pandering all-the-time late night comics in the ratings. Imagine: he makes fun of both parties and their supporters! What a ground-breaking concept! He does have a great group of writers, I hear—Mark Twain, Will Rogers, H.L. Mencken, Mort Sahl, Stan Freeberg, Tom Lehrer…

1. Oh, let’s start with the post-Biden Reichstag speech. (My favorite meme inspired by this debacle : that already iconic photo of Biden with his fists raised against the blood-red background with the legend: “It was better in the original German.)

  • Last night, Trump called Biden “the enemy of the people” at his rally. Close one: I actually wrote that description of Biden is a post yesterday, and decided that it was too Trumpy. Not that Trump was wrong…he was also correct to call the mainstream news media “the enemy of the people,” and they are substantially responsible for inflicting Biden on the nation. Their lapdog reaction to the speech is also evidence.
  • Ann Althouse has been in rare form in her blogging about the speech. A liberal Democrat by inclination and belief, she was obviously genuinely offended and angered by it. Apparently progressive historian (well, they are almost all progressives now) Jon Meachum (“American Lion,” which I read and liked very much) had input into the rant, which Politico called the “Democracy speech.” Althouse: “Democracy speech”? Is that what they want it called? The speech where he demonized half of American voters?…Ugh! Warning us about our fellow citizens. Accusing us of “assault.” Claiming to represent “democracy”….it was horrible.” Here, writing about Trump’s rally, she quotes the Times today—“The former president described Mr. Biden’s address as ‘the most vicious, hateful, and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president.’—and comments, “I don’t think the NYT wants us to think Trump is right about that, but I think he is.”

Of course he is.

  • This section is getting deserved attention from the Right and anyone with an open mind:

MAGA Republicans have made their choice. They embrace anger,” Biden angrily declared. “They thrive on chaos. They live not in the light of truth but in the shadow lies together. That’s why respected conservatives, like Federal Circuit Court Judge Michael Luttig, has called Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans, quote, a ‘clear and present danger’ to our democracy.”

Ricochet’s Jon Gabriel wrote that evoking ‘clear and present danger’ was as “deliberate as it was divisive,” noting that doctrine was “created by the Woodrow Wilson-era Supreme Court to curtail the free speech of Americans.” Conservative pundit Stephen Green calls the section

…A display of dangerously hubristic overconfidence in the administration’s own power. Their power not to govern but to rule. What else is there to call it when the Biden regime goes from surreptitiously silencing critics via social media back channels to openly floating a Wilson-era pretext for jailing us?If this scheming mediocrity believes he can use his signature to transfer up to a trillion dollars from blue-collar Americans into the wallets of lawyers, doctors, and Trans Deconstructive Lit Theory majors and call it “debt relief,” why wouldn’t he think he can use the coercive power of the state to silence his critics?

In sum, wow, what a stupid and inflammatory speech, and how completely addled by bias must all of those previously intelligent Democrats and progressives be to think its anything else.

2. More on that theme: In this excellent essay by Noah Rothman in Commentary, he writes, “Whoever conceived of this misadventure should be stripped of their capacity to debase the office of the presidency further.” The speech was far, far closer to an impeachable offense than either of the Trump episodes that sparked his impeachment. I still hold that the bar for impeaching a President for mere words has to be almost unattainably high, but is there any question that if the GOP controlled the House, it would be drawing up papers right now? I don’t think Biden would have given that speech if he faced a Republican majority in Congress, and if the predicted “Red Wave” arrives. this thing might lead to an impeachment yet. All that is needed is for some crazed Democrats to use the speech as provocation for actual violence, and the “resurrection” precedent will be in play.

3. This is what journalism has become. John Harwood, the leftist propagandist whom CNN and MSNBC promoted as a reporter for years after he had abandoned basic principles of journalism (the hacked DNC emails in 2016 showed Harwood advising the Clinton campaign) had this to say about Biden’s speech shortly before he announced that he had been canned:

Of course it was a political speech in a midterm reelection year. The issues that he’s talking about are inherently political, but I think it’s also important to say that the core point he made in that political speech about a threat to democracy is true. Now, that’s something that’s not easy for us, as journalists, to say. We’re brought up to believe there’s two different political parties with different points of view and we don’t take sides in honest disagreements between them.

But that’s not what we’re talking about. These are not honest disagreements.The Republican Party right now is led by a dishonest demagogue. Many, many Republicans are rallying behind his lies about the 2020 election and other things as well. And a significant portion, or a sufficient portion, of the constituency that they’re leading attacked the Capitol on January 6th violently. By offering pardons or suggesting people for those people who violently attacked the Capitol, which you’ve been pointing out numerous times this morning, Donald Trump made Joe Biden’s point for him.

No, Harwood made CNN’s point for them: he’s not qualified to be treated as a journalist. Imagine not recognizing the hypocrisy endorsing Biden’s flagrant demagoguery and justifying it by calling Trump a demagogue (which he is, of course, but how many political leaders in either party are not?)! More crucially, it is not the role of journalists to decree what position is “honest” and which is not. Their job is to present the facts objectively and let the public decide. Harwood and his ilk won’t do that: they claim to have some special wisdom and perception that entitles them to mold pubic views. They don’t.

What are those “other things”? Why should I trust anyone who says that a “significant portion” of Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol? That wouldn’t be a “significant portion” of today’s crowd in Fenway Park.

27 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Warm-Up: “Soul Of The Nation” Hangover Edition

  1. Essentially, dangerously demented-jo is faithfully adhering to the fascist dems mission statement which reads in part: “always accuse your opponent of that which you are guilty of.”
    Unfortunately, it has been working rather well so far due in large part to the unrelenting commitment of the Pravda MSM and a staggeringly large number of hypnotized proglibots.

  2. Democracy and democratic principles are other words/concepts that politicos and pundits throw around. Again, I maintain, that they do know not the definition. The core principles of democracy that must be incorporated into the definition are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” that “all men are equal under the law,” and that the “voice of the people” is not necessarily the voice of the majority. Frank Sinatra’s “What is America to Me” may be a little sappy but it contains these principles that must be adhered to if American democracy is to survive,

    • The original version of that song contained a verse that went:

      The house I live in, my neighbors white and black,
      The people who just came here or from generations back,
      The town hall and the soapbox, the Torch of Liberty,
      A home for all our children: that’s America to me.

      It was cut from the final version of Sinatra’s version, although Paul Robeson made a point of always including it. (natch) I don’t think it really matters, because large numbers of people now view songs and sentiments like that as silly and dated in a world where the latest thing is “Black Lives Matter” and the 1619 Project’s sentiment that America started with slavery, so everything since is tainted.

      I’ve seen a lot of presidential addresses in my day. That includes some genuine wartime addresses from both Bush the elder and Bush the younger as well as some bellicose addresses from Reagan. None of them ever accused anyone in this country of being an enemy or attacked the opposite political party, although Bush the younger said “you are either with us or you are with the terrorists” in his speech to a joint session of Congress that kicked off the War on Terror. That’s as far as he went, though. He didn’t say “the Democratic party will oppose this, and by doing that they become the enemy themselves.” Bush the elder didn’t say “the other party will oppose this effort, because they don’t see American interests that need to be defended, they see something to campaign on.” Reagan didn’t say anything to the effect of, “if you are opposed to this war, or to war generally, then it’s time for you to leave this nation, because you are what the other side called a “useful idiot,” who enables the enemy, apologizes for the enemy, and generally helps the enemy.”

      Biden made the mistake of saying the quiet part out loud. He hates Trump, he hates his supporters, and he (or at least whoever is pulling the strings) hates the Republican Party generally. He also feels strong enough to say it out loud, because his own party won’t stand up to him and the ass-kissers in the media will make sure everything he does receives good press. Heck, why shouldn’t he feel that strong? To read the polls, the nation is behind him and there’s a good chance his party is going to keep power this fall, partly because his party scored some victories recently, partly because the opposition is just so bad, and partly because abortion.

      Someone had to have told him that there was a chance this speech would backfire. Someone had to have told him that maybe setting up the background like something out of Nuremberg 1937 was probably not a good idea, especially given that GWB didn’t do anything like that in actual wartime. Someone had to have told him that demonizing half the country was a bad idea. If no one did, then he has an administration full of ass-kissers and committed gross malfeasance when he chose them. If someone did and he ignored that advice, then he chose to commit gross malfeasance.

      This is just another example of the widening gap between the right and the left in this nation that I talked about a few years back, which I said was approaching Biblical great gulf size. Luke 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. That’s about where we are now, like it or not. They say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I don’t know about that, but I do know that power enables the corruptible, and Joe Biden is not and has never been a Boy Scout. This was a window into his thinking, or at least the thinking of whoever is pulling the strings. I don’t like what I saw, and neither should anyone else. The left in America has been heading toward totalitarianism for a decade now, and this confirms that it isn’t turning from that path. What the left wants isn’t even necessarily ultimate power.

      What the left wants is America, and conservatives either dead, converted, or reduced to permanent second-class citizen status. This speech was just the overture. The prosecution and attempted jailing of Trump is Act I. The locking up of conservative leaders generally is Act II. In Act III you’ll see the killing and/or de facto enslavement of rank-and-file conservatives who might fight back. Act IV is where the remaining conservatives, old men, women, the weak and infirm, are dealt with, and in the Grand Finale children of conservative families are placed with liberal foster families, that they may grow up learning the proper beliefs and attitudes. It’s the same score the Young Turks were reading from when they eliminated the non-Turkish folks (mostly Armenians, but also including Lebanese and Syrian Christians, ethnic Greeks, and Chaldean Catholics) from the Ottoman Empire. Oh, they may not allow ruffians to fall on conservatives with hammers, saws, and axes, then sneer because these deaths are not only more painful, but more economical, since they don’t involve the use of ammunition, but they’ve already stood back once and said “riots? What riots? These are just mostly peaceful protests.” They may not dump conservatives in a valley to be devoured by wild beasts, but how about locking conservatives up without bail or fair trial before hitting them with the maximum sentences possible? January 6 wasn’t on the level of the Reichstag Fire or the defense of Van (now thought to have been a response to Turkish provocations), but it did put the fear of an insurrection on the front page (despite the fact that the George Floyd riots were far more like one). It would be relatively easy for the administration to provoke a larger event, call it an insurrection, and justify a large-scale response. Then what you’d probably hear is something like this:

      My fellow Americans, tonight I speak to you on the occasion of the most momentous and most terrible day in this nation since 9/11, and possibly since Pearl Harbor. This morning in the small community of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, armed insurgents fired on Federal officers sent there to oversee the upcoming elections. This was followed by other assaults on Federal officers in Michigan and Wisconsin and the temporary occupation of election offices there. Those offices were subsequently taken back by Federal troops sent to secure them, but subsequent arrests and questioning of some of the participants and resulting investigatory activity has revealed that these were not simply white supremacists and racists out to deny our citizens of color their rights, but the beginning of an insurgency that has as its goal the overthrow of this government and this duly elected administration.

      It is this administration’s intention to protect not only its own existence but order generally in this nation. To that end I am, pursuant to my powers under the Insurrection Act, activating the 28th and 29th Infantry in Pennsylvania and directing that they preserve public order. The 34th and 38th Infantry are also being activated to preserve order in Michigan and Wisconsin. The governors of all three of these states are completely on board with this and have promised complete cooperation. Other military police units and Federal law enforcement will also be deployed. in support of this action, which I have dubbed Operation Marshal’s Star.

      I reserve the right to deploy other military units, whether active or reserved, as necessary, depending on where the concurrent investigation leads us. For those suspected or found to be part of this insurrection, I am suspending the right of habeas corpus and any right to bail. For you MAGA Republicans who look with any kind of favor on this or are considering any kind of support, I’m warning you now not to. We know who you are, and we are looking at all of you, and if we find there is the slightest suspicion that you may be involved, we are coming for you. I warned you in August what could happen if you went this route, and you didn’t listen. I am determined to crush this insurrection and see all involved punished.

      To that end I will be instituting curfews in the three affected states and certain other areas deemed high-risk or suspicious. The ATF will be collecting civilian-owned firearms within these areas in order to prevent armed resistance. If you are a law-abiding gun owner, you need to turn in all weapons and ammunition to the ATF. You will get them back if and when this operation ends, and we are satisfied you do not represent a threat. Federal law enforcement has been directed to shoot and kill anyone within the affected areas who resists this order.

      For the moment, only these three states, plus a few other areas are affected by this. However, if there is any more of this type of activity elsewhere, this operation will be immediately extended to that state. The 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions have been ordered to full readiness, and there is nowhere within the Continental United States that they cannot deploy within eight hours and in some cases much less time.

      The time has come, my fellow Americans. Either you are loyal to this duly elected government, or you are no different than those who fired on Fort Sumter, and you will be treated as such. Good night.

      • If this scenario actually happens, then, and ONLY then, would I support armed resistance. However, every decent American should pray to whatever god they believe in that it DOESN’T happen. Just like the crew in the Caine Mutiny should’ve done everything in their power to ensure Commander Queeg didn’t crack up, we need to do everything in our power to ensure armed resistance is not necessary.

          • Yep. The emphasis needs to be that, going forward, rule of law is paramount. Future Republican candidates for any office should be urged to condemn proactive violence from any side, and explicitly include their own. Police departments should be urged to follow safety procedures and the Constitution, just as the public is urged to follow direction from police officers. All the bases need to be touched equally.

            Also, Republicans need to try less demonizing and more converting. I have less faith the Democrats will do so. because they have less incentive. They have most of the federal apparatus, and the entertainment and news media on their side. This makes it easier to paint the opposition black, and right now, the GOP seems bent on providing the paint and brushes. This doesn’t mean we on the right need to compromise our principles, we just need to focus on SELLING them to anyone who isn’t swallowed up in wokeness.

            • I dunno, a little judiciously targeted “proactive violence” might go a very long way. Activism might lose its appeal if enough activists got killed or had their knees broken, or if they knew some white dude with short hair and a lot of mass was going to try a field goal on their head and never let them see it coming.

              • It would go a long way towards proving the opposition right about us. I honestly worry Steve-O, about how eager you are to dish out violence or insults to those you don’t agree with. I like a rousing “good vs. evil” story as much as the next guy, but real life isn’t like the movies. You don’t get to just do whatever feels good just because you fancy yourself wearing the white hat. That’s what the Left increasingly seems to think, and I for one, do NOT want to follow their example.

                • Gamereg,
                  I believe Steve-O is referring to ANTIFA and the like.
                  Does that make a difference to you?

                  For example, would you passively watch as an ANTIFA terrorist comes up behind a guy in a wheelchair and clocks his head with a bike lock? Or, caused Andy Ngo to suffer permanent neurological damage for writing about and recording ANTIFA methods/violence?
                  Gosh, the examples are legion.

      • You are a sparkling ray of sunshine Steve-O- and quite possibly a prescient one.

        One can only hope there are enough genuine patriots in LE and the military willing to defy the fascist dem regime and thereby gum up the plan you outline. Then, things become really interesting.

  3. Joe Biden and his radical leftists are proof positive that their warped version of a totalitarian democracy can indeed embrace fascism. And they’re doing it before out very eyes.

  4. Some time ago–like the 1990s? This is just an inflated repetition of the “politically correct” wave that started in the late 80s and really caught on in the 90s. What we see today–woke-ism–is simply an angrier, more vindictive form of politically correct. It’s too bad for us that the humorous and sarcastic responses that politically correct produced then is verboten today. If only the lefties/regressives could regain their sense of humor, maybe they would regain their acceptance of “other”. Perhaps it’s too naive to expect that the left will come to recognize that we agree with them that diversity is important to democracy–not their narrow definition but the broadest possible definition–diversity of thought.

  5. When I exited planes in mid-air as part of the 101st I did not shout Geronimo. I did pray for God’s assistance and protection hoping the chute would deploy and nothing untoward occur until my feet were on terra firma. Regarding the “speech on the soul of America.” I could not imagine a more divisive call to arms. I pray again for God’s assistance and hope that nothing untoward happens until we find firm footing again.

  6. 2) Let’s not forget that all of Biden and the Democrat’s overt divisiveness is not innovative. President Bush the Younger was the last president who spoke in a unifying manner about Americans. After the Democrats began their insurrection against the Republic under his Presidency, his follower Obama is the first president to gleefully divide the nation into warring camps in his speeches.

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