Politics

His Imperial Highness Emperor Barack I, the Lightbringer, Has So Ordered

As with Putin, one has to admire the chutzpah.

And expect the Left to argue that this isn’t that big a deal. That the order only applies to those who’ve been here already. That the order only applies to those who meat the “strict conditions” of deportation relief. That deportations have been up. That no one is being granted citizenship.

All of which is true, and none of which matters. The President is here deciding what the law is, and who the law applies to.

He doesn’t get to do that.

He doesn’t get to decide what the law is. He doesn’t get to ignore the divisiveness of the issue and force Congress to act.

He is not the superior of Congress. He is its equal.

Progressives are pretending not to care about this, because Democrat.

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How Hogan did it

The short version: he stormed Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties, winning massive majorities there, while sweeping the traditionally Republican rural areas (Harford and the Eastern Shore, Western & Southern Maryland) and doing well enough in Frederick, Carroll, and Howard Counties (winning all three) so as to offset the massive Democratic majorities in Baltimore City and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. Click here to see the county by county breakdown.

But Republican candidates aren’t supposed to win the shield of suburban counties around Baltimore. Martin O’Malley won Baltimore and Howard Counties easily in 2010. Hogan came up with 150,000 more votes than Robert Ehrlich recieved four years ago. Most of them had to come from previous O’Malley voters, as evidenced by the fact that Anthony Brown ended up with 10,000 fewer votes last night than Ehrlich got.

So how did Hogan get them?

  1. He kept it simple. Hogan was relentless on the things that had Marylanders unhappy: taxes, the economy, the lousy turnout of Maryland’s ACA-system, and Anthony Brown’s connection to all of them. He didn’t get drawn into the weeds on social issues in a deep-blue state; despite the temptation to challenge the Dems on gun control, Hogan stayed on message. Thus, Brown’s hysterical attempts to paint him as a right-wing extremist failed to gain any real traction.
  2. He presented a positive image. No one can say that Hogan didn’t “go negative”. Criticizing the other guy is part of politics. But Hogan also understood that he needed to give disgruntled Marylanders a reason to vote for him. He did this at the debates; presenting himself as a serious, thoughtful man who got what was bugging voters about their current government, and had proposals in place to deal with them. When Brown tried to paint him as a wingnut, Hogan just kept emphasizing his business credentials and plans.
  3. Anthony Brown failed to connect. On paper, Anthony Brown is a formidable candidate: son of immigrants, harvard degree, former Army colonel. But unlike Hogan, he didn’t seem able to present a vision of what he wanted to do. A Lieutenant Governor or Vice President running for the top job has a delicate balancing act: giving equal deference to the administration you’re currently serving and the one you want to create. If the former is not as popular as it could be, that balance is even harder to strike. Brown couldn’t give a substantive response to Hogan’s critique of the O’Malley administration, and at times seemed to act as if he didn’t need to. That cost him.

So what comes next? My guess is that Hogan will govern as he campaigned: with an eye for fiscal restraint, bureaucratic reform, and improving Maryland’s business climate. If he pulls it off, a Republican winning the state house by way of Baltimore and Howard Counties may one day fail to surprise.

Authority, Misandry, and Mixing: A Few Links to Start the Week

First, a nice Mark Steyn obit on Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston makes a salient point:

But, if you’re a feminist or a gay or any of the other house pets in the Democrat menagerie, you might want to look at Rahm Emanuel’s pirouette, and Menino’s coziness with Islamic homophobia. These guys are about power, and right now your cause happens to coincide with their political advantage. But political winds shift. Once upon a time, Massachusetts burned witches. Now it grills chicken-sandwich homophobes. One day it’ll be something else. Already in Europe, in previously gay-friendly cities like Amsterdam, demographically surging Muslim populations have muted leftie politicians’ commitment to gay rights, feminism, and much else. It’s easy to cheer on the thugs when they’re thuggish in your name. What happens when Emanuel’s political needs change?

Then, Reason’s Cathy Young continues her look at GamerGate:

GamerGate has been attacked over anti-feminist comments made by some of the movement’s sympathizers, such as provocative British tech blogger and Breitbart.com writer Milo Yiannopoulos. But far less attention has been given to extreme views on the anti-GamerGate side. Take writer Samantha Allen, whose decision to stop writing about videogames, apparently because of GamerGate, has been lamented by Brianna Wu as the tragic loss of a valuable voice. (Update: Allen contacted me to say she gave up videogame writing because of a Twitter harassment campaign in June/July, several weeks before the existence of GamerGate as such, even though Wu’s Washington Post column names her as one of the women “lost” to GamerGate.) A few months ago, Allen posted(and later deleted) a diatribe  on her Tumblr blog that opened with this declaration:

i’m a misandrist. that means i hate men. i’m not a cute misandrist. i don’t have a fridge magnet that says, “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.” my loathing cannot be contained by a fridge magnet.

(It’s all downhill from there.)

Meanwhile, at Slate (no, really), Reihan Salam makes the case for slowing immigration down:

So if we want the Mexican and Bangladeshi immigrants of our time to fare as well as the Italian and Polish immigrants of yesteryear, we need to do two things. First, we need to spend a considerable amount of money to upgrade their skills and those of their children, as the world has grown less kind to those who make a living by the sweat of their brow. Because public money is scarce, this is a good reason to limit the influx of people who will need this kind of expensive, extensive support to become full participants in American society. Second, we need to recognize that a continual stream of immigration tends to keep minority ethnic groups culturally isolated, which is yet another reason to slow things down. No, this won’t suddenly mean that poor immigrants will become rich, and that well-heeled insiders will stop hoarding opportunities. But it will give us the time we need to knit America’s newcomers into our national community.

What connects these? Salam and Steyn point out that immigration can move faster than a society can handle it, and that can and will disrupt society. Young adds to Steyn’s warning to the left a troubling note: for some, to disrupt the society that gave them birth and abundance is a feature, not a bug. That they expect to remain in power afterwards makes them no stupider than Robespierre.

GamerGate Scores: Intel Pulls Ads

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Daddy Warpig has the details.

It’s tempting to read too much into this and declare victory. But even if this is as bad as it gets for the SJWs, it’s still far below what they intended to achieve.

In any event, this isn’t over. SJW’s maybe lifelong converts to a cause, but gamers are not like to give up and roll over, especially not after something like this. As Warpig puts it in the comments:

It’ll take a while before the next shoe drops, I believe, and some may get discouraged in the interim, but boycotts work. Especially with gamers. Those dudes is crazy. They will keep playing games for more than a decade (Brood Wars! SM Alpha Centauri!), and will hold grudges for even longer.

You don’t poke the bear. It’s just not smart.

It is a Good Day to Meet Elbert Guillory

First, the lovely indictment not just of Senator Landrieu, but of all that she represents:

Second, a detail exposition of his poltical conversion:

This man is going to be pilloried. He’s going to be called Uncle Tom, Oreo, race traitor, inauthetically black. That has been standard operating procedure on the poltical left for decades. It’s been standard because it works: it casts the target outside of the realm of the “respectable” and allows the progressive to display his unconcious contempt for and fear of actual black people while feeling totally justified in doing so. It’s a splendid rhetorical trick.

But all rhetorical tricks run their course eventually, become cliche, and lose their powers of persuasion. The left has made good hay out of equating classical liberalism with racism and indifference. They cannot do so forever.

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To Be Trapped in a “Loveless Marriage”

I know a woman who gave her husband four or five chances to renounce his adulterous ways. He could not, so she kicked him to the curb.

My great-grandfather had the same problem. He was fuzzy on the whole “marriage” thing so my great-grandmother sent him packing when my grandfather was six months old. Since this was 1930, she went to mass every day for the rest of her life to atone for her sin and never remarried.

So I understand that divorce is a thing that regrettably, happens, and that there can be good reasons for it happening.

But I don’t know what “being trapped in a loveless marriage” means, a phrase this dissenter of RS McCain’s deconstruction of Sudden Onset Lesbian Syndrome exemplifies the use of:

I know you’re confused with all these changes, but that’s what human freedom looks like. A lack of freedom would have been her staying in a loveless marriage, and bending her will to social norms.

Of course, the woman in question never actually said her marriage was loveless, merely that she discovered her new sexual identity, which grants and automatic get-out-of-marriage-free card. The rest of the commenters talk about the value of keeping one’s promises, and what is a marriage if not a promise?

Still, the notion of denying oneself the romantic and erotic fruit to which one has just “discovered” affinity seems like a hard pill to swallow. I get that. Because I’m married.

All marriages involve the binding of the will and the limitation of desire. That is the point of them. To marry is to say “You and no other, until one of us is dead.” That’s a promise, and a promise is binding by definition. It has no meaning otherwise.

Unfortunately people have a habit of marrying in the heights of an emotional connection and assume that such connection is an effortless norm. When the truth proves otherwise, they name their marriage “loveless”, because they think “love” means that powerful emotional connection. That’s not even close to what love is.

Love is taking a feeding from your exhausted wife because she’s bleary and tired and she’s had the kids all day, even though you’re also tired.

Love is supporting your husband spending his time in thus-far non-profitable writing projects because you know that he needs it.

Love is giving the other a break, taking care of the other’s needs, in lieu of looking out for number one.

Love is patience, kindness, and the host of other fine and essential things that St. Paul delineated in that oft-quote passage from 1 Corinthians that no one absorbs when they hear it at weddings. Love is doing for another, when you’d rather not, when you have a thousand other things to do, because the other needs it, and you have claimed the other’s needs as your own. A marriage that utterly lacks these thousand acts of goodness may fairly be termed “loveless”

Whereas discovering that things that sexually excite you more than your spouse? That’s just boredom. It happens. The comfort and security of marriage diminish the excitement. The manifold labors of building a life together exhaust the body. It doesn’t mean anything other than you need to take a moment to refresh the erotic charge. It doesn’t happen all on it’s own.

If a woman spends her wedding night trying to imagine that her husband is not male, then yes, she’s a lesbian living a lie, and the truth needs to come out, ASAP. But if a woman spends ten years or so contentedly sharing a man’s bed and then let’s a crew of Sisters (who clearly have no stake in the outcome whatsoever) convince her that she’s really part of Team Sappho, despite her years spent otherwise, then she’s just bored and looking for a new bed to jump into without bearing any responsibility for breaking her promise.

Nice work if you can get it, I suppose. But it’s no different from a forty-year-old man discovering that twenty-year-olds have perkier breasts and easier smiles than the woman who’s shared her best years with him. It just has the stamp of societal approval.