Resistance is (Still) Facile

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Bad news for those thinking that re-electing Trump will bring a new Era of Good Feelings: like me, Dan McLaughlin is old enough to remember 2017, and he predicts: The Resistance Sequel Will Be Even Worse

The New York Times thinks it’s important to tell you that “The Resistance to a New Trump Administration Has Already Started.” The importance to the Times of this message is underscored by its printing more than 2,800 words in the widely read Sunday edition, bylined to four senior national political reporters: Charlie Savage, Reid J. Epstein, Maggie Haberman, and Jonathan Swan. The article warns that “the early timing, volume and scale of the planning underway to push back against a potential second Trump administration are without precedent. . . . Interviews with more than 30 officials and leaders of organizations about their plans revealed a combination of acute exhaustion and acute anxiety.” That should tell us something right away: The Times senior national political brain trust thinks Joe Biden is going to lose. It’s time to start preparing for the wilderness, with all the thematic and rhetorical shifts that come with being the party out of power. And this is a more important message to deliver, in June, than happy talk about Biden’s prospects and Trump’s unpopularity.

The article is also chock-full of signs that the Resistance, like the Bourbons of old, has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. The whole piece exudes the legal and cultural left’s utter incapacity for self-awareness. Right up front, we’re told: “One group has hired a new auditor to withstand any attempt by a second Trump administration to unleash the Internal Revenue Service against them.”

What would that look like? The IRS conducting politically weaponized audits and defying congressional oversight, as it did under Barack Obama to the Tea Party? The IRS mailing out personalized campaign material for the president, as it did for Joe Biden in 2021? Leaks of the personal tax returns of political foes, as happened to Donald Trump and to which the Biden administration responded by embracing the outlets that published the illegal leaks?

Which sent me scurrying back to the Pun Salad 2017 archives, chronicling the good old days of pussy hats and Princess Leia "we are the resistance" mugs (see above). Just a few days after Trump's inauguration, Varad Mehta observed Resistance Is Facile:

The United States is not currently in the grip of a mass popular movement to overthrow its new president. You would never know this, however, from reading the breathless coverage of the protests against Donald Trump that have erupted in cities across the nation since he took office. Much of it reads like dispatches from the front, because that’s what it is physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Anti-Trump forces have cast themselves as a “resistance movement,” and the media has bought into this self-conception — not least, I suspect, because it fancies itself as the movement’s vanguard.

And New Hampshire's own Andrew Cline (in June 2017) claimed James Madison as the "real hero of the Trump Resistance". Accurate as always, Drew!

If your goal is to resist Trump’s agenda, you should swap your Princess Leia “Rebel, Rebel” T-shirt for one that sports the likeness of James Madison. You could even give him a mullet and color lightning bolts on his cheeks.

The “father of the Constitution,” Madison did more than any other person living or dead to restrain — or “resist,” if you prefer — President Trump. Madison’s constitutional framework has proven a much more effective check on Trump’s kinetic will than protesters sporting stylized genitalia on their heads.

To repeat a continuing, probably tiresome, Pun Salad theme: we coulda and shoulda nominated Nikki instead. I can't see this working out well for us at all.

Also of note:

  • But it's time to say something nice about J. D. And the NR editors say it: Senator Vance's Anti-DEI Bill Worth Supporting.

    Last week, Senator J. D. Vance and Representative Michael Cloud introduced the Dismantle DEI Act. It immediately attracted 20 cosponsors in Congress. We hope the momentum picks up.

    The bill would bar school-accreditation agencies from requiring DEI in schools, and stop financial agencies like Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange from instituting diversity requirements for corporate boards.

    The bill would also effectively rescind President Biden’s June 25, 2021, executive order, which pushed DEI requirements and ideas into “all parts of the Federal workforce.”

    J.D.'s press release is here and the text of the proposed legislation is here.

  • Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? David Harsanyi has a simple request: Stop Trying To Convince Me Joe Biden Isn’t A Confused Old Man.

    Listen, I’d support a zombie for president if they promised to nominate originalists for the Supreme Court and deregulate the economy. Do whatever you have to do. But stop telling me that Joe Biden isn’t a mentally and physically fragile man.

    We can all watch the video of our octogenarian president awkwardly freezing up and staring out at a crowd before former president Barack Obama takes his arm and leads him off the stage.

    Now, I can tell you from experience, it isn’t normal for a grown man to grab another man’s arm in this manner — unless one of them needs help. If Biden was really in the robust physical and mental state that the White House maintains, Obama would have merely said something to Biden or given him a friendly tap on the shoulder. But like Dr. First Lady Jill Biden and White House handlers and world leaders, Obama was compelled to act as caretaker to a confused Joe Biden.

    Let's take a look at President Biden's recent remarks (official White House transcript) about his immigration tweaks. You can tell when he goes off-teleprompter:

    You know, I’ve often said doctors — we’ve been a significant consumer of healthcare in my family. Spent a lot of time in hospitals in — for our family. My — anyway. And I always said that doctors let you live; nurses make you want to live. Not a joke. A lot of time in ICU, a lot of time with my son, a lot of time —

    And, you know, it’s a — if there’s any angels in heaven, they’re all nurses — men and women. Not a joke.

    "Not a joke." That must be why nobody's laughing.

  • This slander must be refuted! Oh wait, he's right. James Riswick takes on a daunting task: All 50 U.S. license plates ranked, from best to California.

    Spoiler: New Hampshire's license plate ranks smack dab in the mediocre middle: #26. And of course LFOD shows up in Riswick's critique:

    I waffled a bit on this one, wondering if it was worthy of being in Tier 3, but nah, it's too busy. While that green color is Top 3 material when used as the background, it's difficult to read when used as the font. There's also both powder blue and pale green in the background, plus that Old Man of the Mountain that Granite Staters seem to love so much … and that collapsed all the way back in 2003. It's like Washington putting pre-1980 Mount St. Helens on its license plate.

    Now, as an aside, note the slogan: Live Free or Die. The presence of that slogan resulted in a Supreme Court case. New Hampshire resident George Maynard objected to being forced to drive around with that slogan on his car on religious grounds (he's a Jehovah's Witness). He covered it up with tape, received endless tickets and ended up being thrown in jail. Ironically, you lost your freedom in New Hampshire if you don't want to advertise Live Free or Die. Eventually, his case went to the Supreme Court that ruled the First Amendment protects your right NOT to speak, and specifically to this case, prevents you from being forced to say or display an ideological message you don't agree with. I'm guessing Mr. Maynard would probably have this plate lower on the list. 

    You can read about the Maynard case here. It's one of two deeply ironic things about our state's plates, the other being that they're stamped out in the state pen. Is it cruel and unusual punishment to have an prisoner crank out LFOD slogans day after day?

    Oh: Riswick has Colorado's plates in his top spot. And California at #50: "It's just so sad and lame."