The impeachment express trundles along

Vote Opens Intense Public Phase of Inquiry...
Only 2 Dems Vote Against...
Nasty floor fight sets baseline...
Senate Republicans shift tone...
White House lawyer moved transcript to classified server...
Questions over 'edits'...
Russia Director Corroborates Quid Pro Quo...
I Wasn't Worried Trump Broke Law With Call...
But Was 'Concerning'...
REPORT: 'Whistleblower' Exposed...
MAG: How Rudy May Cost President Dearly...
State Dept. turning over Giuliani docs...
Campaign Holds 'Witch Hunt' Party...

The Democrats are full-on totalitarian socialists, would appear willing to use any means they can find to overturn the democratic process. The most astonishing part of the past three years has been the revelation how corrupt the left in the United States is, having commenced their efforts to spy on the Republican candidate while Obama was still president, and then cobble together absolutely anything to find some, any, justification to overturn the election result. Impeachment does not of course mean that the president will leave office but that he will go to trial in the Senate where it requires a two-thirds majority vote to remove the President. That will never happen.

The left has descended into madness, but that is no excuse for any of it. Not an ounce of principle on the left, while the most astonishing part of all of it has been how unblemished Donald Trump is, both in what he has done and in his basic personal integrity. Not to mention how positive every one of his policies have been.

Two bits to help you see where we are at. This is Conrad Black – who knows a thing about corrupt prosecutions – discussing The Impeachment Farce Limps Along to Its Anticlimax. Which begins:

This sordid, contemptible impeachment ruse is finally disintegrating. It was another fraud, and I predict that this time the polls will move clearly in the president’s favor. There are limits to how often his enemies can get the public and the world to the edges of their chairs with their fantastic accusations. The Economist, a long-respected magazine in earlier times, told us a year ago that the Trump presidency was hanging on the thread of Michael Cohen’s testimony. Most of the U.S. media gave the public to understand for two years that there was a high chance that he would be thrown out once the Mueller investigation established his “treasonous” links to the Russians. Trump appalls many reasonable people by some of his antics and utterances, but his supporters are rock-solid at only slightly less than half the country, and enough to have got him elected. But the vitriolic antagonism of about 90 percent of the media, and the fear and loathing of the political class, which he assaulted in its entirety, have sustained an artificial levitation of morbid expectation that he will be overthrown and removed.

And then there is hour-long interview with Victor Davis Hanson who has just published a book on The Case for Trump which he discusses in the video. He is by no means a partisan but he does at least establish just how sordid and diseased the opposition to the president is.

“For his friends, no explanation was ever necessary; for his enemies, none would ever have sufficed.”

Conrad Black receives A Full Presidential Pardon. I paid close attention to the case at the time, partly because we are almost contemporaries and even remember him – not personally – from my university days in Canada. Also because Mark Steyn was covering the story so closely. And if ever you have seen an example of injustice meted out by some leftist judge, that was it. This is from his article, up to the moment when the President comes on the line.

The two counts for which I have just received a presidential pardon, and of which I was “convicted” in 2011, after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously vacated them, only to have a self-serving appellate judge reinstate them, were for wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

The alleged fraud was reception of $285,000 in my office in Toronto while I was in England, from our American company, which was approved by independent directors, referred to in public filings of the corporation, but which the company secretary had not completely formalized, in what the trial judge correctly regarded, in the secretary’s case, as a clerical error. The reinvention of this crime enabled the appellate panel—to whom the Supreme Court remanded the vacated counts “to assess the gravity of their own errors”—to resuscitate a count of obstruction of justice against me. This consisted of my removal of boxes of personal papers and material that already had been furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission—which I took out under security cameras I had had installed, with the approval of the acting president of the company and the principal member present of the court-appointed inspector—as I vacated my office of 27 years from a building I chiefly owned, on an unjust local court order of a publicity-seeking judge.

The local jurisdiction found no cause of action nor any violation of a document retention order. I was always presumptively innocent in the initial jurisdiction. It was nonsense, all of it; there was never a word of truth to any of it. And now it is over, after 16 years, including three years and two weeks in U.S. federal prisons.

Only once before, 18 years ago, had I received a telephone call from an incumbent president of the United States, prior to Monday of last week, and I had not spoken to the current president since he took office. When my assistant said there was a call from the White House, I picked up, said “Hello” and started to ask if this was a prank, (suspecting my friends in the British tabloid media), but the caller spoke politely over me: “Please hold for the president,” and two seconds later probably the best known voice in the world said “Is that the great Lord Black?” I said “Mr. President, you do me great honor telephoning me.”

Now do read on. And then this, unrelated in any way to the above other than it is the same person writing: Conrad Black on Democrats Start To Perceive Debacle They Face, being how almost impregnable PDT’s current election prospects are. But of particular interest are Black’s comments on China-US trade.

In the trade dispute with China, where even the Democratic Senate leader, Chuck Schumer, sides with the president, the United States cannot lose. China’s tremendous economic progress is based on debt-financed infrastructure, dumping cheap goods abroad, especially in the United States, and requiring industrial-intelligence disclosure from sophisticated foreign companies that seek access to Chinese markets.

Everyone agrees that China cheats and ignores World Trade Organization rulings, and practically every trading nation in the world applauds the U.S. president’s stance in this dispute. Eighty percent of the U.S. GDP is domestic commerce, and with a year to reorient itself, it could practically end all imports. China is a debt-ridden house of cards built on what is still a 40% command economy, rotten with official corruption in a country with few natural resources and 300 million people who still live as their ancestors did a thousand years ago.

One more example showing how centralised economies do not and cannot work. The kinds of things perhaps only those who have run large businesses can really understand.

Progressive Internationalism in the modern world

The communist international was succeeded by what has been called Progressive Internationalism, a quasi-one-world government ideology that is almost as dangerous as the communist ideology it has succeeded. Here is a definition of sorts found in a review of a book by someone by name of Alan Dawley. The book was titled, Changing the World: American Progressives in War and Revolution and this is from the review:

Despite their diverse interests and affiliations, he argues, progressives were fundamentally driven by a hope that the promotion of social justice and revitalization of public life in the United States would form the core of an international campaign. ‘In a world knit together by far-flung markets and the international state system,’ Dawley explains, ‘progressives confronted social problems that crossed national boundaries, and their solutions did the same’. . . .

Taking a strongly anti-militarist and anti-imperialist stance, they argued that social justice was a prerequisite for peace at home and abroad. In the aftermath of wartime violations, the resolute defense of civil liberties soon became the ‘shining light of progressive politics’. Returning to a hardheaded analysis of corporate power, progressives renewed their focus on the working class and defined imperialism as ‘a structural component of American political economy, not an aberrant policy’. Seen most clearly in the third party campaigns of Robert La Follette and Henry Wallace, progressivism moved toward the left of the political spectrum. Never able to recover the political power it once held, progressivism would nevertheless persist in movements seeking to ‘address the wrongs of the capitalist market and the failures of the international system’.

That’s the theory. And if you would like to hear these very thoughts put into print just this week, here is an article by Conrad Black in The National Post dated 4 January 2014. The title is, “Conrad Black: What would Woodrow Wilson say?” This is a sample of what he thinks Woodrow Wilson would say:

Wilson was the greatest prophet of the Twentieth Century, in many ways surpassing and even presaging Gandhi and Mandela: He was the first person to inspire the masses of the world with the vision of enduring peace, and of the acceptance and imposition of international law and of postcolonial institutions indicative of the equal rights of all nationalities and the common interest of all peoples.

How’s that for utopian moonshine! Gandhi and Mandela are about as far as possible from my mind as standards by which I would like the world to run. And it was FDR, according to Black, who continued this progressive internationalist agenda:

It devolved upon a junior member of Wilson’s administration, Franklin D. Roosevelt, when he was president during the world war that Wilson sought to avoid, to revive the idea of a world organization, involve the opposing domestic political party fully in its creation, and have it in place even before that war ended in 1945.

FDR took the best of Wilson and of his chief rival, distant cousin (and uncle-in-law) Theodore Roosevelt, and united the latter’s ‘big stick’ with the former’s ‘new freedom.’ FDR was determined that the UN would not be reduced to a mere talking shop. He intended that it would serve to disguise in collegiality the fact that the United States, with half the world’s economic product and a monopoly on atomic weapons, effectively ruled the world, and would reassure his fractious and long-isolationist countrymen that the world was now a much safer place than it had been.

How weirdly wrong FDR was and how strange to see this vision being given such a positive review today when we know just how dangerous the UN has become. Black of course recognises that the hopes that had been vested in the United Nations have come to nothing, but this does not seem to have shaken him from his belief in a policy agenda through which Western civilisation is again placed under intense threat and may well this time succumb. I would be in a let’s-circle-the-wagons mode if it were at all possible. The following passage present our present reality, but here expressed by Black:

In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly elected China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, countries that have no regard for human rights at all, as members of the UN Human Rights Council; selected Hezbollah (a designated terrorist organization) apologist Jean Ziegler as senior advisor to the Council; and elected Mauritania, a primitive country that tolerates slavery, as Council vice-chair. Meanwhile, Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, blamed the Boston Marathon bombing on ‘the American global domination project’ and ‘Tel Aviv.’ Of the UN General Assembly’s 25 resolutions condemning individual countries in 2013, all but four were against the exemplary democracy, Israel, which only seeks recognition of the basis on which the United Nations founded it: as a Jewish state and homeland for the Jewish people. The United Nations also elected the racist, terrorist-infested charnel house and Iranian proxy of Syria to its Special Committee on Decolonization; appointed Zimbabwe (a regime so odious it has been expelled from the Commonwealth, failing to clear an almost subterranean hurdle) to host its world tourism summit; and elected Iran president of its 2013 Conference on Disarmament, even as that country strove to put the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to the shredder.

In this world with these kinds of international agents playing such prominent roles, progressive internationalism is a form of self-destructive madness and cultural suicide. Yet it is from this perspective that Conrad Black attacks Diana West’s American Betrayal from what is supposed to be the right. Who wouldn’t like to live in the kind of world these Progressive Internationalists imagine. But no one does because such a world is as utopian as your standard Marxist piece of rubbish, so why anyone would want to project this agenda knowing what we know is beyond me.

But at least based on what Black has written we can understand where Ronald Radosh and Conrad Black are coming from, and apparently David Horowitz as well. It is clearly very difficult to shed the progressive side of one’s mental structures so that even if one has finally recognised that the Marxist version of a utopian future is a totalitarian fantasy there is then the embrace of a totalitarian fantasy of another kind. Diana West has inadvertently fallen over a tripwire that has set the forces of this Progressive Internationalist cabal on her tail. With this part of the right as deluded as the left and almost exactly in the same way, I don’t know how we are to defend ourselves against the coming of the night.

Conrad Black on American Betrayal

Conrad Black accuses Andy McCarthy of creating schisms on the right in endorsing Diana West’s American Betrayal. This is his article from National Review:

This is not a return to Diana West’s book. However, Andy McCarthy, a man for whom I have very great respect and whom I like very much, has written a review of it in The New Criterion that, because of its revisionist presentation of a number of historical events, is among the most discouraging political documents I have read in many years. Mr. McCarthy, a former prosecutor and distinguished and perceptive writer of the sensible Right, has frequently inspired me by his writing, and when I met him, at a difficult time in my own former travails, by his conversation also. I confidently turned to his review of Ms. West’s America Betrayed, which readers of this column will find it hard to forget after the robust knockabout the book received here and in her reply to me. The rigor of the review and its application to the book are matters I will address in a letter to The New Criterion, which the editor of that publication graciously invited, as I am mentioned, quite unexceptionably, in the review.

What seriously depresses me are three positions taken in the review. First is Andy McCarthy’s view that the scandalous, cowardly refusal of the mainstream elite of American culture and politics to recognize that America’s Islamist enemies are enemies can be traced to Soviet infiltration of the U.S. government in World War II. It is a fact that alarms and disgusts all of us in this debate, including Ms. West and her more vocal (than I am) critics, but I do not agree about the source of the problem. Second is Andy’s qualified accommodation, as worthy of reasonable consideration, of the claims by Ms. West that Lend-Lease was at least in significant part a mistaken reinforcement of Stalinist totalitarianism to the ultimate detriment of the West; that the Normandy invasion served Stalin’s purposes and enhanced his penetration of Western Europe; that Franklin D. Roosevelt was more or less ambivalent about the comparative virtues of Stalinist Communism and Western democracy (though he acknowledges that FDR disapproved of the barbarism of Stalin’s rule); that the Yalta agreement “gave” Stalin half of Europe; and that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations were so significantly influenced in a pro-Soviet direction by Soviet agents and such arch-sympathizers that the distinction between an agent and a sympathizer was academic in the United States. And third, I am distressed by Andy McCarthy’s partial defense of Joseph R. McCarthy and his conclusion that the smear of McCarthy enabled Communism and anti-American reflexes to flourish in the United States through all the intervening years and are responsible for the inadequate general response to the Islamist threat that, I repeat, all the participants in this very heated and prolonged exchange revile in almost equally emphatic strictures.

The unanimity on this last point underlines the source of my concern. A relatively united Right, which included Diana West and other participants in this discussion, exercised a great influence in assisting President Reagan and his followers and collaborators in mobilizing opinion to support his arms buildup, his development of anti-missile defenses, his stiffening of the backbone of the Western alliance, and the consensus he helped create for a rollback of the Soviet intrusions in Central America, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the imposition of martial law in Poland. That unity of the influential Right was vitally important to the course corrections that lifted the United States and the West out of the inanities and shabby compromises of the Carter era, and led the world to the collapse of the Soviet Union and of international Communism, and to the triumph of democracy and market economics in most of the world. The New Criterion itself played an important and distinguished role in the intellectual phase of that struggle. Diana West, Andy McCarthy, and most of those who have supported and opposed Ms. West in this controversy all played their parts, and there is credit for all of them in the result: the greatest and most bloodless strategic victory in the history of the nation-state.

A schism as profound as this controversy has now become will splinter the Right and render it incapable of united action, and perpetuate the precise condition that Andy decries and mistakenly lays at the door of Soviet wartime infiltration, both directly and through sympathizers. The process of fragmenting the Right, in this now notorious instance, began with Ms. West’s frequently, though not entirely, outrageous book, but for a writer of the stature of Andy McCarthy to take the positions mentioned above, and for The New Criterion to lend the exposition of those opinions the mantle of its earned prestige, is, and to say the least, very worrisome.

OK, I give up. Where’s the schism? Who is more in the tradition of Ronald Reagan, Conrad Black or Diana West? Reagan was demonised on the left as much as McCarthy ever was. For a variety of reasons it was not made to stick, but it wasn’t for want of trying. If I am not prepared to sell out one of the most relentless fighters on behalf of freedom I do not think of myself as anything other than acting in step with the values of a free world. No one in politics gets it right every time. No one can see the future perfectly. No one has absolutely pure and unblemished motives in everything they do. But if we are to walk away from McCarthy and his aims who then should be the person in the 1950s we should look to as the example of how these issues could be fought out? No one’s name comes to mind because no one else seemed willing to take these issues on and was capable of highlighting them in the same way.

If some of us over here prefer to honour McCarthy rather than revile him, so what? I can work perfectly well with people of a similar persuasion to myself who hold different views about McCarthy’s approach to dealing with our deadliest enemies. If it’s tactics and strategy you are worried about, then say so and this can be discussed. But it looks like a different agenda in play, one that is hard to fathom but seems to suggest that McCarthy was actually wrong in what he said, not in what he did. Since every single person he named in the 1950s has since that time been demonstrated to be an actual communist, communist sympathiser and useful idiot, nothing of what he did strikes me as wrongheaded and against my interests.

McCarthy’s only piece of bad luck was to have arrived on the scene at the same time as television. He seems strange to us today in those grainy black and white takes, but these are the takes made by his enemies in the media. We have our own battles today against a different kind of tyranny. I only wish we had a McCarthy right now who could show the same kind of leadership today that he did then.