TBT: Flight 93 Election Follow-Up

It’s been a big election week for yours portly; even though I lost to a surprise write-in candidate, I feel pretty good about it.  It’s also, of course, a huge (yuge?) election year, with the fate of the United States dangling in the balance.

Right now, President Trump is down in the polls, and there’s a lot of black-pilled commentary on our side (I’m certainly guilty of it).  Z Man wrote a scatching post yesterday—entitled “Flight 93 Crashed“—that argues that Jeff Sessions’s defeat in the Alabama US Senate Republican primary to former football coach Tommy Tuberville marks the end of any significant, mainstream nationalist and immigration patriot influence in national politics.  Sessions was, indeed, a John the Baptist in the Senate, crying out in the wilderness of the cheap labor lobby, a lone voice for immigration restriction.

I do think President Trump has treated Sessions shabbily at times, but when Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, he allowed hostile forces to take the reins, resulting in two years and millions of wasted dollars on a politically-motivated investigation that nearly put Roger Stone in jail for a meaningless process “crime.”  More importantly, it stymied the Trump presidency, putting a stop to the energy and excitement of those early days of his administration.

Sessions was, I believe, doing what he thought was right, but his fatal error was he assumed we were still playing by the old playbook of political decorum and fair play.  By taking that path—however honorable in the particular—he unleashed incredibly dishonorable forces, albeit unintentionally.  To add insult to injury, Democrat Doug Jones won his Senate seat away from Judge Roy Moore, a huge hero for social and religious conservatives.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: River and Stone

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.  NEW TIER: $3 a month gets one edition of Sunday Doodles every month!

It’s been a great weekend to be an American.  Last night, mere days before he was scheduled to report to prison to serve a bogus sentence stemming from the even more bogus Mueller investigation, President Trump commuted Roger Stone‘s sentence.  That was a huge cause for celebration on the Right, and a blow against politically motivated criminal charges.

That was some much-needed good news on this side of our cultural civil war, after weeks of looting, corporate acquiescence to BLM, and traitorous Supreme Court rulings.  President Trump reversed a supreme injustice, but he also did right by a friend a long-time supporter.

On a personal note, I had the opportunity to go tubing down the Saluda River in Columbia, South Carolina this morning.  That was another adventure, one in which the stones were far deadlier than the non-existent process “crimes” of the vindicated Stone.

The rest of this post will be available on my SubscribeStar page the afternoon of Sunday, 11 July 2020.

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Flynn Flies Free

A big H/T to blogger buddy photog at Orion’s Cold Fire for sharing Tucker Carlson‘s latest Truth Bomb.  photog helpfully shares Tuck’s summary of the Flynn fiasco:

Michael Flynn’s coerced guilty plea is one of the many puzzle pieces clumsily assembled in the vast coup conspiracy against President Trump.  Our ursuline Attorney General, Bill “The Bear” Barr, has pushed for a dismissal of the bogus case against Flynn.

The commentary from the Left boils down to, “But he plead guilty!”  Yes, he plead guilty, out of desperation, to spare his son from a similar witch hunt—a father taking the fall to save his son.

More importantly, the entire investigation was based on FISA warrants obtained under false pretenses.  If your local police department bust into your house without a warrant and went through your underwear drawer, every judge in the country would throw out the case, even if they found bags of cocaine tucked away with your Fruit of the Looms.

The entire Mueller probe was a farceJames Comey is a sanctimonious a-hole who self-righteously mismanaged the FBI because of his own apparent moral superiority.  Two agents involved in an extramarital affair—presumably our moral betters, or least smarter than the rest of us—plotted the overthrow of President Trump.

And yet they all waltz about, consequence-free, while a military man who served his country was facing five years over a guilty plea for something that AG Barr says wasn’t even a crime!  Per Barr:

[P]eople sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes. … And the Department of Justice is not persuaded that this was material to any legitimate counterintelligence investigation. So it was not a crime

It’s the same situation with Roger Stone, who is literally facing four years in prison for forgetting he sent an e-mail, while other, actual convicts—like slick extorionist Michael Avenatti—are being released from prison because of The Virus.  Stone mixed up some dates while being interrogated as a part of—again—the bogus Mueller investigation.

In both cases, the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence—a clear violation of the right to a fair trial, in which the defense is supposed to have access to all the same evidence as the prosecution.

Our federal justice system is a farce.  Barr made this point in a CBS News interview:

I was concerned people were feeling there were two standards of justice in this country. … I wanted to make sure that we restore confidence in the system. There’s only one standard of justice.

But our elites are content to destroy due process and rule of law in order to get Trump, or anyone near him.  They’ll violate the spirit and letter of the law with impunity whenever it suits their purposes.

If there was any justice in this world, the Clintons would be in prison, Ilhan Omar would be deported, and James Comey would be dime-store philosophizing on third shift at the 7-11.

Instead, we’re destroying our economy over the flu and arresting salon owners for feeding their families.

Can we just have an amicable divorce from these weirdos?

Stone Cold Sunday

It’s been an eventful weekend, so I’m a bit delayed with today’s post (gotta keep the streak alive!).  That said, it’s going to be a short one.

I recently wrote a post about Roger Stone, the controversial, P.T. Barnum-esque political consultant, fashionisto, and latest victim of the Mueller witch hunt.  After doing some research on Stone’s over-the-top life, I decided to pick up his book, Stone’s Rules: How to Win at Politics, Business, and Style.

It arrived earlier this week, and I’ve struggled to put it down.  It’s fairly straightforward:  Stone dispenses his churlish wisdom gleaned from forty years in politics, sprinkled with interesting (especially if they’re true) anecdotes to illuminate the “rule” in question.  Mixed in with stories of past and current politicians are rules for dressing well for the “arena,” be it of politics or business.

In the spirit of Roger Stone—and my personal commitment to making 2019 the self-styled “Year of the Panther“—I’ve really been attempting to up my sartorial game.  While I’m not of the disposition (or constitution) to resort to some of Stone’s more outlandish tactics, I do find some of his advice applicable to many areas of life, kind of like irreverent proverbs for the morally ambiguous.  Regardless, his fashion advice is on-point, and I’m learning the value of crisp, white shirts and a good tan (Stone retells, multiple times, the well-worn tale of the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debates, and how Kennedy spent the afternoon tanning with two babes on the roof of a building while Nixon refused to wear makeup and was recovering from surgery).

The best parts of the book are when Stone delves into some obscure moment from American political history to support his points.  These are entertaining and educational.  I’ve learned a great deal about Republican races in New Jersey!

One example from midway through the book.  “Stone’s Rule #66:  Never Turn Down a Major Party Nomination.”  Stone relays the story of Christine Todd Whitman, who ran for US Senate in New Jersey against Democrat Bill Bradley.  Whitman sought out advice from former President Richard Nixon, Stone’s idol (and, I learned from this book, the so-called “Sage of Saddle River,” as “Nixon came to be known in dispensing his wisdom from his modest residence in the New Jersey town of that name”).

Nixon told her to go for it.  Whitman lost the race, but clinched the Republican nomination for Governor the following year, and went on to win “in a major upset” the following year.

The takeaway:  if you win a major political party nomination and do well, even if you lose, you’ve set yourself up for future successes.  It’s a variant on “80% of life is showing up.”

There are many more choice examples (although I’m still working my way through the book).  The pages are fairly glossy and high-quality, making it a heavy book.  Stone also needed a better editor, as there are a number of typographical errors, and even a few minor issues with facts (he writes about Ross Perot spoiling the 1988 election for the Republicans, when he means the 1992 election).

Overall, though, it’s a fun, lively book.  I recommend you pick it up, especially if you’re interested in one of the more outrageous figures in modern American political history.

The Life of Roger Stone

Flamboyant political trickster and Barnum-esque huckster Roger Stone was arrested last week as part of the out-of-control Mueller investigation into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.  Stone’s arrest suggests the desperation in Mueller’s witch hunt.

Stone himself is an endlessly fascinating individual, and I have a soft-spot for over-the-top confidence men, which is essentially what Stone is (or how he presents himself).  In reading some of the news coverage about his arrest, I stumbled upon a 2007 profile of the famed master of the dark arts, “Roger Stone, Political Animal.”

The author is Matt Labash, one of the best long-form writers the now-defunct The Weekly Standard ever employed.  I’ve totally written off The Weekly Standard as a pathologically anti-Trump publication, especially with Bill Kristol going off the deep end politically (and maybe psychologically), actively encouraging the FBI’s mendacious, corrupt attempts to overthrow the duly-elected President of the United States.

That said, Labash is an excellent writer.  When I taught US Government regularly, I would assign students another Labash piece, a lengthy profile of former Louisiana Governor (and convicted felon) Edwin Edwards, entitled “Conviction Politician.”  Labash wrote that profile when Edwards, then 86, was attempting to run for Congress.  Edwards would go on to lose that race—the first time he ever lost a run for office—but Labash’s profile made me want to vote for Edwards, and not because it casts the corrupt four-time governor in a positive light.  Rather, Labash possesses a knack for drawing out the humor and humanity in deeply flawed, larger-than-life characters (some great Edwards quotes:  he said the only way he’d lose an election was if he was “caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy”; when discussing Klansman David Duke, Edwards said the only thing they had in common was they’re “both wizards under the sheets”).

That jeweler’s eye for humanizing moral failure is beautifully apparent in the 2007 Stone profile.  Labash is also sympathetic to his subject, without necessarily condoning his trickiness:  unlike many reporters, Labash actually likes Roger Stone.

It’s also interesting reading about politics pre-2015-2016, what we might call “B.T.”:  “Before Trump.”  That’s especially the case when Donald Trump is involved (Stone, a longtime Trump friend and ally, only half-jokingly called Trump the p-word in reference to a botched run for the Reform Party nomination early in this century).  It’s hard to conceive now, after four years of Trumpism, of a time when The Donald didn’t dominate our political discussions, when we basically debated the merits between two or more members of both parties’ elites (I don’t completely buy the “Uniparty” theory—there were clearly important philosophical differences between Romney and Obama, for example, in 2012—but I’m willing to concede that elites in both parties are two sides of the same elitist coin in terms of their interests and positions in life).

Reading about Roger Stone in a pre-Trump political age, on the cusp of the Great Recession and before even the meteoric rise of Barack Obama is fun and a bit disconcerting:  it’s hard to remember exactly what it was like back then, as we’ve gone through the looking glass into a whole new paradigm.  Such is the power of the red-pilling that came in the wake of Trump’s rise.

But this post is (ostensibly) about Stone.  I highly recommend you carve out thirty minutes to read the Labash profile in full—after all, it’s Wednesday, and all the real work for the week got done Monday or will get done hastily Friday morning, before you ease your way into the weekend.  I had a hard time finding a “representative sample” to highlight from this piece, but I settled (and not entirely to my satisfaction) on this excerpt discussing a young Stone’s possible roll in splitting the Liberal Party of New York’s vote from the Democrats, giving Ronald Reagan the edge—and New York’s electoral votes—in 1980:

Stone, who going back to his class elections in high school has been a proponent of recruiting patsy candidates to split the other guy’s support, remembers suggesting to Cohn that if they could figure out a way to make John Anderson the Liberal party nominee in New York, with Jimmy Carter picking up the Democratic nod, Reagan might win the state in a three-way race. “Roy says, ‘Let me look into it.'” Cohn then told him, “‘You need to go visit this lawyer’–a lawyer who shall remain nameless–‘and see what his number is.’ I said, ‘Roy, I don’t understand.’ Roy says, ‘How much cash he wants, dumbf–.'” Stone balked when he found out the guy wanted $125,000 in cash to grease the skids, and Cohn wanted to know what the problem was. Stone told him he didn’t have $125,000, and Cohn said, “That’s not the problem. How does he want it?”

Cohn sent Stone on an errand a few days later. “There’s a suitcase,” Stone says. “I don’t look in the suitcase . . . I don’t even know what was in the suitcase . . . I take the suitcase to the law office. I drop it off. Two days later, they have a convention. Liberals decide they’re endorsing John Anderson for president. It’s a three-way race now in New York State. Reagan wins with 46 percent of the vote. I paid his law firm. Legal fees. I don’t know what he did for the money, but whatever it was, the Liberal party reached its right conclusion out of a matter of principle.”

I ask him how he feels about this in retrospect. He seems to feel pretty good–now that certain statutes of limitations are up. He cites one of Stone’s Rules, by way of Malcolm X, his “brother under the skin”: “By any means necessary.” “Reagan got the electoral votes in New York State, we saved the country,” Stone says with characteristic understatement. “[More] Carter would’ve been an unmitigated disaster.”

Who knows if that story is true or not—after all, this is Roger Stone—but there’s no doubt the Liberal Party nominated Anderson, and Reagan won a plurality in the Empire State.  If it’s true, Stone might have saved the Republic.

Labash’s piece also revealed to the world “Stone’s Rules,” which Stone has compiled into a book.  From Labash:

[Stone] often sets his pronouncements off with the utterance “Stone’s Rules,” signifying listeners that one of his shot-glass commandments is coming down, a pithy dictate uttered with the unbending certitude one usually associates with the Book of Deuteronomy. Some original, some borrowed, Stone’s Rules address everything from fashion to food to how to screw people. And one of his favorite Stone’s Rules is “Unless you can fake sincerity, you’ll get nowhere in this business.” He is honest about his dishonesty. “Politics with me isn’t theater,” he admits. “It’s performance art. Sometimes, for its own sake.”

The performance for the sake of itself is a recurring theme with Stone, who seems to embroil himself in controversy just for the thrill of it.  He could have had a lucrative, quiet career in political consulting, but from reading Labash’s piece—and from watching Roger Stone on television and YouTube—that doesn’t seem like a life that would appeal to him.

That, in my mind, is the appeal of Stone—like Milo Yiannopolous, he relishes the dirt and grime of the arena, and he digs into it while dressed impeccably.  He’s a despicable, perfidious, disreputable con man—and I love him for it.