Lazy Sunday XIV: Gay Stuff

Apparently, June is Pride Month, so there’s a lot of gay stuff going around.  If you’re part of the expansive LGBTQ2+ABCDEFGetc. community in New York City, you get two parades to show off your bedroom antics.  From deplatforming conservatives to avoiding prosecution for hate-crime hoaxes, it’s never been a better time to be out and proud.

To celebrate “pride”—which I take to mean loudly proclaiming who you like to sleep with while wearing ass-less chaps in public—this week’s Lazy Sunday looks back at the influence of gay stuff on our body politic.  Enjoy!

  • Gay Totalitarianism” – This post discussed the prevalence of homosexual hate-crime hoaxes, the most ubiquitous being Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s claim that a couple of white Trump supporters assaulted him with bleach and nooses in a tony, largely gay Chicago neighborhood early in the morning.  I linked to Pedro recent piece for American Greatness, “Our Queer Decline,” which deftly analyzed this phenomenon:  if homosexuals really faced persecution, they wouldn’t feel safe lying to the authorities about being attacked.  Instead, they know they’ll have the full support of and sympathy from the government, corporations, and the media.

    As the Smollett case showed, agents within the government would simply refuse to enforce the law via prosecution.  The issue here is not that gays are receiving legal protection—like all Americans, they should be protected from assaults on their persons—but that there is a dual-standard at play.  Jussie Smollett received egregious preferential treatment in part because he is gay (and, presumably, because he’s black and connected to the Obamas).

  • Buttigieg and Buchanan: Redefining Morality” and “Bland and Gay” – These twin screeds explore South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s appeal to voters—and his ungodly misinterpretation of Scripture regarding his homosexual lifestyle.  The former essay pulls heavily from a piece Pat Buchanan wrote for Taki’s Magazine about Buttigieg’s radical redefinition of Christian teaching on homosexuality (essentially, Buttigieg’s argument is “God made me this way, so I’m supposed to ignore His teachings on homosexuality”).

    The latter essay attempts to explain Buttigieg’s appeal to voters, which seems to be waning a bit.  At the time, I argued that Buttigieg’s popularity was due to his blandness—he speaks largely in indefinable generalities, a la Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” slogan—mixed with the mildest splash of exoticism—his homosexuality.  Now that same-sex marriage is legal and homosexual behavior is largely normalized in the United States—but still, we all tacitly acknowledge, abnormal—Buttigieg’s gayness offers the slightest frisson of excitement for voters.  The thought process seems to be “oh, he’s a safe, non-offensive, boring white guy, but I can virtue-signal on the cheap because he’s gay!”

  • First They Came for Crowder” – This piece covered the demonetizing of conservative comedian Steven Crowder, all because a flamboyant “journalist” at Vox pitched a hissy-fit.  If that’s not proof that being gay aligns you with the full power and influence of big corporations and our techno-elites, then there’s no convincing you.

There you have it!  Some celebratory reading for Pride Month 2019.  Here’s hoping your Sunday is as fabulous as Milo Yiannopoulos.

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: The Portly Politico Summer Reading List 2019

Today’s post is the first in my SubscribeStar Saturday series.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page.  For the first installment of SSS, ALL subscriber levels, including the $1 tier, will have access to this list.

Three years ago, I released my popular “The Portly Politico Summer Reading List 2016.”  It featured three must-read books for your summer, including a fourth “Honorable Mention.”  The same criteria from 2016 will apply to this year’s list.  To quote myself:

The books listed here are among some of my favorites.  I’m not necessarily reading them at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t!  These books have shaped my thinking about the many issues I’ve covered over the past two months.  I highly encourage you to check them out.

In that spirit, here is the definitive Summer Reading List 2019:

1.) Patrick J. BuchananThe Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority (2014) – I have to be honest—I’ve been reading this book off-and-on for nearly two years, and am about 75% through it.  That pace is not because it’s a bad book.

Quite the contrary, The Greatest Comeback is a must-read for any political history junkies.  After twin defeats in the 1960 presidential and 1962 California gubernatorial elections, Nixon was a national loser.  Buchanan, who worked for and traveled with Nixon during the long decade of the 1960s as a researcher and writer, gives a first-hand account, culled from what must be a filing cabinet’s worth of handwritten notes and newspaper clippings, of Nixon’s historic, unlikely rise to the presidency.

Nixon’s reputation now suffers from the railroading that was the Watergate scandal.  Lost in the Left’s never-ending victory lap is how shrewd Nixon’s political instincts were.  Nixon’s tireless support for Republican congressional candidates in 1966 led to historic gains in those midterm elections, likely hastening Lyndon Johnson’s political demise and restoring Republicans’ spot as a viable alternative to Democrats.  That loyalty paid off for Nixon in spades.

Consider, too, the challenges that faced Nixon going into the 1968 presidential election:  he had to defeat liberal Republicans within his own party (Buchanan expends a great deal of ink explaining the odious treachery of George Romney and Nelson Rockefeller), while also fending off potential challengers to his right, namely California Governor Ronald Reagan.  An increasingly-unhinged anti-war (and all-too-often pro-Communist) Left reviled the old “Red Hunter,” and their dominance of the press continued to hound Nixon’s every move.

And through it all, Nixon persevered, engineering the titular “greatest comeback.”  He would go on to win a forty-nine-State landslide in 1972, losing only deep-blue Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.  For that story, check out Buchanan’s sequel, Nixon’s White House Wars:  The Battle that Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever (2017), which I will probably finishing sometime during Nikki Haley’s second presidential term.

To read the rest of The Portly Politico Summer Reading List 2019subscribe now for $1/month or more on SubscribeStar!

Buchanan on the National Emergency

One of my favorite writers, paleocon Pat Buchanan, has a piece on one of my favorite sites, Taki’s Magazine, about President Trump’s recent declaration of a national emergency.  That national emergency, you’ll recall, will allow the President to use existing funds within the federal bureaucracy to build a border wall, thereby circumventing Congress’s lackluster appropriation of funds for that purpose.

Critics argue that the president is undermining our Constitution, with its careful balance of powers between the branches, specifically its delegation of the “power of the purse” to Congress.  While I certainly share some of those concerns, Buchanan points out that Trump’s national emergency is only the latest (and one of the mildest) in a long line of the executive overreach.

More crucially, Buchanan places the blame for the extension of the executive power at Congress‘s feet.  In this regard, Buchanan is correct:  Congress, with the support of an activist federal judiciary, long ago realized that it could farm out key legislative functions to the executive branch (specifically, the federal bureaucracy), and thereby avoid catching the blame for the nation’s problems.  In the process, the executive and judicial branches have arrogated greater powers to themselves (thus, the tug-of-wars between unelected federal judges and the Trump administration on virtually every policy).

To quote Buchanan at length:

Yet while presidents have acted decisively, without congressional authorization and sometimes unconstitutionally, Congress has failed to defend, and even surrendered, its legitimate constitutional powers.

Congress’s authority “to regulate commerce with foreign nations” has been largely ceded to the executive branch, with Congress agreeing to confine itself to a “yeah” or “nay” vote on whatever trade treaty the White House negotiates and sends to the Hill.

Congress’s authority to “coin money” and “regulate the value thereof” was long ago transferred to the Federal Reserve.

Congress’s power to declare war has been ignored by presidents since Truman. Authorizations for the use of military force have replaced declarations of war, with presidents deciding how broadly they may be interpreted.

In declaring the national emergency Friday, Trump rested his case on authority given the president by Congress in the National Emergencies Act of 1976.

As I wrote over the weekend, I believe the president acted within his the scope of Article II of the Constitution in issuing the national emergency, as it pertains to powers inherent in the office of the executive:  national defense and border security.  I’m not completely comfortable with this method for funding a border wall, and I think the president and congressional Republicans blew an opportunity to build the wall during the two years of Republican control of the federal government, but action needed to be taken.

Buchanan’s piece is titled, chillingly, “Why Autocrats are Replacing Democrats.”  To answer his own question, he argues that voters internationally are weary of the plodding democratic process, and are eager for leaders who will deliver solutions to their problems.  Buchanan claims that republican forms of government have failed to fulfill their most basic functions—border and immigration control, national security, etc.—and the people demand solutions—action.

I don’t think President Trump is an autocrat or a fascist.  I also don’t entirely blame him for using powers Congress has delegated to his office.  Up to this point, President Trump has stayed very much within defined constitutional limits in the exercise of his authority.

We should, however, be ever vigilant about—and always on guard against—executive overreach.  While I think the president acted within accepted constitutional bounds here—and relied upon the poor decisions of a past Congress to shore up his case for the national emergency—I hope this method of governance does not became de rigeur habit, as it did under the Obama administration.

On the plus side, we’re getting a wall!