Muslim Mayor of London

It’s the British version of Michel Houellebecq’s Submission, wherein the country’s main Leftist party aids and abets a Muslim getting elected to high position.

Sadiq Khan even looks like the fictional Mohammed Ben-Abbes from Houellebecq’s novel. Such Muslim politicians won’t be wearing long beards and thobes. Rather, they’ll have fine, Oxford-educated accents and sport clean, well-groomed appearances.

Mohammed Ben-Abbes... err... I mean Sadiq Khan

Mohammed Ben-Abbes… err… I mean Sadiq Khan

LONDON (Reuters) – Sadiq Khan of opposition Labour Party is the strong favourite to win London’s mayoral election on Thursday after a contest marked by religious tensions and accusations of racism.

Polls show Khan, the son of a bus driver, is as much as 20 percentage points ahead of rival Conservative Zac Goldsmith in the race to run one of the world’s top financial centres. If he wins, he will succeed current Conservative mayor Boris Johnson to become the first Muslim to head a major Western capital.

London’s population of 8.6 million is among the most diverse in the world and it is rare for identity politics to enter British campaigning.

But Goldsmith, with the support of Prime Minister David Cameron, has for weeks focused on Khan’s faith and past appearances alongside radical Muslim speakers, accusing him of giving “platform, oxygen and cover” to extremists.

Former human rights lawyer Khan says he has fought extremism all his life and regrets sharing a stage with speakers who held “abhorrent” views.

My, how London has changed.

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Trump Jumps the Fence

Imagine if HC had to do this, to get to a speech she was scheduled to deliver, due to unruly protesters against her.

Protesters Force Donald Trump to Abandon Motorcade, Walk to Hotel

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Portrait of a King

Photos of Trump that make it into the NYT are generally unflattering, show him shouting or making some other such facial gesture.

But with The Organizer, it’s a studied, measured, well-lit portrait, befitting a King:


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Trumpology: A Master Class by Ass Clowns

In Politico’s “Trumpology: A Master Class”, the byline is “There are five people who’ve gone deeper on The Donald than anyone else alive. We brought them together for the definitive conversation about who he really is.”

All of them, to a tee, are liberals who despise Trump.

Glasser: One last thing I’ve got to know from everybody. Is Donald Trump going to be the president?

D’Antonio: No.

O’Brien: No.

Blair: I hope not.

Barrett: No.

D’Antonio: I believe in America.

Barrett: I don’t think the same nation that elected Barack Obama twice could possibly elect Trump. It’s the same country. I mean, I think there’s an awful lot of racism, if you can tap into it, but I don’t think the country, as a whole, is racist. So there’s a limit.

You get the idea.

A sidebar features the following excerpt from Harry Hurt’s Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump (1993):

“Donald is so embarrassed by the sorry state of his physique that he wears undershorts and a T-shirt even when he is in bed. Thanks to a diet of junk foods and an aversion to exercise, his waist, his thighs, and his buttocks have swollen as thick and spongy as giant doughnuts. And most disconcerting of all, as far as he’s concerned, he is losing the hair on the crown of his head. … ‘The worst thing a man can do is go bald,’ he has warned one of his top executives. ‘Never let yourself go bald.’”

How’s that for quality, long-form journalism? This from a guy who used to work for Newsweek and Texas Monthly and who has “contributed to Sports Illustrated, Esquire and Playboy.”

I’m sure he, or one of his ilk, are working hard to pen cute excursions on Hillary Clinton’s physique.

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The Rot

The always-excellent Greg Hood has a good piece in AmRen titled “The Intellectual Rot at the Heart of the Beltway Right”.

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Trump’s Foreign Policy Outline

A foreign policy perspective that is… refreshing:

Donald Trump, in a highly anticipated speech on the heels of his primary-contest sweep across the Northeast, called Wednesday for a drastic shake-up in America’s foreign policy – including “getting out of the nation-building business” and demanding NATO allies pay their “fair share” or be left to “defend themselves.”

“It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy,” the Republican presidential front-runner said.

In what was billed as a major policy speech, Trump called for an “America first” approach. To that theme, Trump voiced skepticism toward international deals like NAFTA and said a Trump administration would not allow the U.S. to enter agreements that reduce America’s ability to control its own affairs. He panned what he described as the “false song of globalism.”

The speech, read from a teleprompter and focused on policy, was also heavy on campaign-season slams against President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. He called their policies “aimless” and destructive, and criticized them for not using the term “radical Islam.”

“We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria,” Trump said. He said this has allowed the Islamic State to thrive — but said, going forward, the U.S. is out of “nation-building.”

Rather, he said the focus will be on restoring stability, and containing the spread of radical Islam. “ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president,” he claimed.

A refreshing return of realpolitik and of shaping foreign policy through a lens of what is good for America. And a badly needed projection of strength, along with actual leadership on the world stage.

Meanwhile, he stood by his controversial stance on NATO allies, complaining only four other member countries besides the U.S. spend the minimum 2 percent of GDP on defense.

The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense … and if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.”…

It’s funny: now even The Organizer is singing this song, as I saw him do on the Charlie Rose show last night.

He broadly called for the U.S. to project strength – and better understand who its friends and enemies are. Regarding Russia and China, he said “we are not bound to be adversaries.”

Trump has been calling for leveraging China to put pressure on North Korea to end their nuclear program, another song The Organizer is also now suddenly singing.

Trump is literally setting the agenda for both the right and the left.

UPDATE: The full speech has been posted on Trump’s website. Some choice passages:

  • It all began with the dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western Democracy. We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism; thousands of American lives, and many trillions of dollars, were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill the void, much to their unjust enrichment.
  • Our manufacturing trade deficit with the world is now approaching $1 trillion a year. We’re rebuilding other countries while weakening our own.
  • We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies.
  • [O]ur rivals no longer respect us. In fact, they are just as confused as our allies, but an even bigger problem is that they don’t take us seriously any more. When President Obama landed in Cuba on Air Force One, no leader was there to meet or greet him – perhaps an incident without precedent in the long and prestigious history of Air Force One. Then, amazingly, the same thing happened in Saudi Arabia — it’s called no respect.
  • We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests, and the shared interests of our allies. We are getting out of the nation-building business, and instead focusing on creating stability in the world.
  • The struggle against radical Islam also takes place in our homeland. There are scores of recent migrants inside our borders charged with terrorism. For every case known to the public, there are dozens more. We must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies. A pause for reassessment will help us to prevent the next San Bernardino or worse — all you have to do is look at the World Trade Center and September 11th.
  • [W]e must develop a foreign policy based on American interests. Businesses do not succeed when they lose sight of their core interests and neither do countries… Our foreign policy goals must be based on America’s core national security interests, and the following will be my priorities. In the Middle East, our goals must be to defeat terrorists and promote regional stability, not radical change. We need to be clear-sighted about the groups that will never be anything other than enemies.
  • We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes. But we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests. Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia – from a position of strength – is possible. Common sense says this cycle of hostility must end. Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a good deal for America, then we will quickly walk from the table. Fixing our relations with China is another important step towards a prosperous century. China respects strength, and by letting them take advantage of us economically, we have lost all of their respect. We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit we must find a way, quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China. We can both benefit or we can both go our separate ways.
  • After I am elected President, I will also call for a summit with our NATO allies, and a separate summit with our Asian allies. In these summits, we will not only discuss a rebalancing of financial commitments, but take a fresh look at how we can adopt new strategies for tackling our common challenges. For instance, we will discuss how we can upgrade NATO’s outdated mission and structure – grown out of the Cold War – to confront our shared challenges, including migration and Islamic terrorism.
  • Many Americans must wonder why our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than their own. Americans must know that we are putting the American people first again. On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy – the jobs, incomes and security of the American worker will always be my first priority. No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must do the same.
  • We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down, and will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs. NAFTA, as an example, has been a total disaster for the U.S. and has emptied our states of our manufacturing and our jobs. Never again. Only the reverse will happen. We will keep our jobs and bring in new ones. Their will be consequences for companies that leave the U.S. only to exploit it later.
  • Under a Trump Administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of foreign countries. I will view the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again, but will instead embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are. The world is most peaceful, and most prosperous, when America is strongest.
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NYT: Trump’s Success Carries Lessons for Democrats, Too

With Trump dominating the night, the NYT just posted this nameless, disembodied Editorial:


With Trump surging to his highest delegate count (and highest national polling rates to date), and his path to the nomination increasingly imminent, even the NYT is now beginning to acknowledge the “failures of leadership, tone-deafness, and elitism” which divides the Ruling Class from the masses… to Trump’s benefit.

Do I smell a whiff of anxiety?

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2016: GOP Lessons

“What Will Republicans Learn from 2016?” ask NR’s Jim Geraghty:

If Trump wins the nomination, what lasting ideological impact will his success have on the GOP?

Trump’s campaign represents nothing less than an attempt to completely redefine the Republican coalition that has survived more-or-less intact since Ronald Reagan was president. No less a figure than Rush Limbaugh has argued that Trump’s success proves the mass of voters traditionally thought of as the Republican base aren’t inherently conservative.

“The Republican Party establishment does not understand this,” Limbaugh said on January 20. “They do not know who their conservative voters are. They’ve overestimated their conservatism, and by that is meant they think they’re dyed-in-the-wool conservative theoreticians absorbed in such things as the free market and all these other bells and whistles, and they’re not. They’re not liberal. They’re not Democrat. . . . Nationalism and populism have overtaken conservatism in terms of appeal.”…

Nationalism, I would argue, haven’t “overtaken” conservatism. Rather, nationalism is a different kind of conservatism.

There’s considerable evidence that nationalism and populism haven’t overtaken conservatism in terms of appeal; Trump has won about 38 percent of the primary votes so far, and he’s getting demolished in the aforementioned general-election polls.

Geraghty is committing something of an ad hominem fallacy here. Trump is not identical to nationalism. As a somewhat unsavory character, he has eclipsed all other candidates in terms of representing a variation of nationalism. Many voters, including myself, have voted for him for this reason. Not too long ago, I voted for a man whom, a year ago, I thought was a circus clown. This is largely the result of the continual paucity of GOP alternatives.

Will Republicans learn the right lessons from 2016 if they lose?

After every defeat, some voices of the losing party inevitably look for the most soothing and self-congratulatory explanations. In 2004, 2010, and 2014, Democrats assured themselves that they lost because they were unwilling to play dirty the way the Republicans did, or because their ideas were too sophisticated and wonkish to compete with the Republicans’ bumper-sticker slogans.

In light of the demoralizing food fight that this year’s cycle has become, the grim outlook for any GOP contender against the Clintons, and the seeming intractability of the Democratic advantage in the Electoral College, there’s little sign that Republicans learned anything useful from Mitt Romney’s defeat in 2012. The party appears set to have even less appeal to minorities, women, and young voters than it did then.

That last sentence is astonishing. Geraghty parrots here the infamous RNC ‘autopsy report’ after Romney’s loss, which is to basically capitulate on ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ in order to ‘win over’ Hispanics, treated therein as a monolithic, one issue voting bloc.

For starters, that Trump may pull upwards of 25% of the black vote in a general election, more than double any Republican candidate in modern history, is lost on Geraghty.

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What Border Problem? – Pt. 2,191,273

From Judicial Watch:

Mexican drug traffickers help Islamic terrorists stationed in Mexico cross into the United States to explore targets for future attacks, according to information forwarded to Judicial Watch by a high-ranking Homeland Security official in a border state. Among the jihadists that travel back and forth through the porous southern border is a Kuwaiti named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, an ISIS operative who lives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso, Texas. Khabir trained hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen and has lived in Mexico for more than a year, according to information provided by JW’s government source.

So, there’s that.


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The “Strange Viral Appeal” of NeoRx

Wow, things appear to moving fast. I never expected, not for another 15 to 20 years, a NYT columnist to devote an entire column, in this election cycle no less, on the Neoreactionaries (a subset of the Alt-Right).

In his column “The Reactionary Mind”, Ross Douthat appears to finally connect the Alt-Right to P.C. overreach (hat tip: Sailer):

[T]here has been a spate of media attention for the online movement known as “neoreaction,” which in its highbrow form offers a monarchist critique of egalitarianism and mass democracy, and in its popular form is mostly racist pro-Trump Twitter accounts and anti-P.C. provocateurs…

For its opportunistic fans, neoreaction just offers a pretentious justification for white male chauvinism and Trump worship. But the void that it aspires to fill is real: In American intellectual life there isn’t a far-right answer to tenured radicalism, or a genuinely reactionary style.

Our intelligentsia obviously does have a conservative wing, mostly clustered in think tanks rather than on campuses. But little of this conservatism really deserves the name reaction. What liberals attack as “reactionary” on the American right is usually just a nostalgia for the proudly modern United States of the Eisenhower or Reagan eras — the effective equivalent of liberal nostalgia for the golden age of labor unions. A truly reactionary vision has to reject more than just the Great Society or Roe v. Wade; it has to cut deeper, to the very roots of the modern liberal order.

Such deep critiques of our society abound in academia; they’re just almost all on the left. A few true reactionaries haunt the political philosophy departments at Catholic universities and publish in paleoconservative journals. But mostly the academy has Marxists but not Falangists, Jacobins but not Jacobites, sexual and economic and ecological utopians but hardly ever a throne-and-altar Joseph de Maistre acolyte. And almost no academic who writes on, say, Thomas Carlyle or T. S. Eliot or Rudyard Kipling would admit to any sympathy for their politics.

The RINO that he is, Douthat then has to appease his JYT masters:

Which is, in a sense, entirely understandable: Those politics were frequently racist and anti-Semitic, the reactionary style gave aid and comfort not only to fascism but to Hitler, and in the American context the closest thing to a reactionary order was the slave-owning aristocracy of the South. From the perspective of the mainstream left, much reactionary thought should be taboo; from the perspective of the sensible center, the absence of far-right equivalents of Michel Foucault or Slavoj Zizek probably seems like no great loss.

But while reactionary thought is prone to real wickedness, it also contains real insights. (As, for the record, does Slavoj Zizek — I think.) Reactionary assumptions about human nature — the intractability of tribe and culture, the fragility of order, the evils that come in with capital-P Progress, the inevitable return of hierarchy, the ease of intellectual and aesthetic decline, the poverty of modern substitutes for family and patria and religion — are not always vindicated. But sometimes? Yes, sometimes. Often? Maybe even often.

After painful, P.C. hedging, Douthat finally gets to his point, which is to wish for (?) some kind of space in MSM society for NeoRx voices:

Both liberalism and conservatism can incorporate some of these insights. But both have an optimism that blinds them to inconvenient truths. The liberal sees that conservatives were foolish to imagine Iraq remade as a democracy; the conservative sees that liberals were foolish to imagine Europe remade as a post-national utopia with its borders open to the Muslim world. But only the reactionary sees both.

Is there a way to make room for the reactionary mind in our intellectual life, though, without making room for racialist obsessions and fantasies of enlightened despotism? So far the evidence from neoreaction is not exactly encouraging.

Yet its strange viral appeal is also evidence that ideas can’t be permanently repressed when something in them still seems true.

Maybe one answer is to avoid systemization, to welcome a reactionary style that’s artistic, aphoristic and religious, while rejecting the idea of a reactionary blueprint for our politics. From Eliot and Waugh and Kipling to Michel Houellebecq, there’s a reactionary canon waiting to be celebrated as such, rather than just read through a lens of grudging aesthetic respect but ideological disapproval.

There are cracks in The Cathedral.

The ‘strange viral appeal’ is growing.

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