Five Quick Things: A Presidency Built for Festivus - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Five Quick Things: A Presidency Built for Festivus

This column may be debuting in front of the public on Christmas Eve, but it was written December 23. That, friends, is Festivus. It doesn’t matter that Festivus isn’t a real thing — most of America’s governing class are fake people for whom reality is a foreign and inconvenient menace.

And so in this column we will celebrate one of the key sacraments of Festivus. Not the faux-traditional feats of strength, mind you — the airing of grievances.

And we’ve got a perfect place to start: at the top.

So let’s go, Brandon.

1. Can you believe it’s only been a year of this clown in the White House?

Not even a year, actually. Just eleven months.

Joe Biden is a failure of such historic note that one struggles to think of another president who has ever racked up so many demerits in his first year in office. He gave away our energy independence, he gifted the Taliban some $85 billion in modern military equipment along with an historic military victory in the Afghanistan pullout, he’s orchestrated the thorough debasement of our currency such that inflation is now at record levels and the American people are up in arms about it.

He’s repeatedly lied to us — in ways which are provable, obvious, and insulting. He threw open the border and put America at risk in countless ways from the two million or more unvetted illegals who’ve poured through it. The Mexican drug cartels are now more in charge of cross-border immigration than is our federal government, which can’t be written off to sheer incompetence.

And on, and on.

Biden has clearly lost the confidence of the American people, most of whom disapprove of the job he’s doing. It’s a commonly held belief, if not quite yet a consensus, that he lacks the cognitive ability to effectively govern. There are grave concerns that Biden is compromised by the secretive financial deals his family has cut (almost certainly for the Big Guy’s behalf) with respect to foreign policy, and specifically where China is concerned.

We still have three more years of this. It isn’t going to get better.

If there is a silver lining here, beyond the expected wipeout Biden’s party will suffer in next year’s midterm elections, it’s that by the time this man is through with his misrule from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Americans will have lost our faith in the federal government in favor of a healthy distrust of authority. That’ll be a welcome development, because what truly ails this country can’t be fixed with elections or even public policy. We can’t count on politicians to do the real work for us.

2. Ben Domenech nails it, again.

Hosting Fox News Primetime this week, Domenech popped off another outstanding monologue calling for Americans to rebuild our communities as we rebuild our declining society. This is worth eight minutes of your time without a doubt.

Domenech is completely right that building communities and standing together as Americans at the local level is the best possible defense against the woke mob. In fact, he’s so right that the other side already thought of this.

What has the Left been doing with all of the cultural aggressions it has engaged in for the past couple of decades? In nearly every case those can be boiled down to taking a wrecking ball to the civil society — the critical mass of voluntary associations, fraternal organizations and cultural institutions which make up the space between the individual and the state. Boy Scouts become Trans Scouts. Lesbians become bishops. Even dating is politicized.

They’ve done everything they could to take the joy out of like-minded people getting together to solve problems or just to recreate ourselves away from politics. And the bowling alleys, movie houses, and American Legion halls are empty.

COVID has been the best asset they’ve ever had in this pursuit.

Which makes heeding Domenech’s call for wide-awake Americans, a movement this column is calling Revivalists (but it’s the same thing), to rebuild the civil society and refuse to be canceled.

3. Happy Festivus to Mary Gay Scanlon and Kimberly Lightford!

What we don’t want to do is what the Twitter troglodytes do – namely, that when a political figure suffers a personal setback, to shout insults and claim they deserve their fate. Perhaps the worst example of this was the horrific treatment soulless leftists afforded to Congressman Luke Letlow (R-LA), who campaigned unmasked during the 2020 election and then died of COVID not long after winning a landslide amid jeers from the virtual peanut gallery.

That’s disgusting, and this column won’t engage in it.

We will, however, note that Scanlon, a Philadelphia congresswoman, has touted the idea of replacing police with mental health specialists on the taxpayer dime, and Lightford, Illinois Senate Majority Leader, voted to defund the Chicago Police Department to the tune of $80 million last year.

In the space of 24 hours this week, both were carjacked.

We won’t say this belongs in the “social justice” file. That would be too cynical. No one should be carjacked.

It’s fair to say that Scanlon and Lightford now have excellent opportunities to revisit their public policy choices in light of the most current evidence, and should they find their support for defunding the police a dumb idea in the balance to vocally admit such.

If not, well — Festivus is a time for the airing of grievances, and perhaps their constituents have more ammunition in doing so in Philadelphia and Chicago. It isn’t like Scanlon and Lightford are alone as recent victims of crime.

4. Kim Potter was found guilty, and that’s that.

This wasn’t really all that problematic a verdict, though one could certainly argue Potter’s defense counsel wasn’t the best.

A poor defense allows jurors to think that Potter’s contention that she was attempting to shoot Daunte Wright with a taser rather than her service weapon and used the latter by mistake — is either phony or insufficient.

She did shoot Wright to death during a traffic stop, after all. It’s hard to imagine some punishment wouldn’t issue forth from that, whether civil or criminal.

A better defense would have had jurors agreeing that Potter lacked criminal intent to kill Wright and therefore couldn’t have been guilty of manslaughter. But she didn’t have a better defense.

This column is less interested in the verdict than other items surrounding the Wright shooting. As a previous entry in this space said…

Daunte Wright, or at least the life he led, killed Daunte Wright.

He wasn’t pulled over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror. He was pulled over because he had expired tags on his license plate. Then it was noticed that he had air fresheners hanging from his rear view.

Then it was noticed he had an outstanding warrant.

Then it was noticed he resisted arrest.

Then it was noticed he got back in his car and drove away from the police. Which he had done before, as it turned out; Wright had fled from officers in June. The circumstances from which that police encounter arose make for scintillating reading. He was reported to the police for waving a gun around, and when the cops showed up it turned out Wright didn’t have a permit for the gun.

He ran away. And he was cited and ordered to appear in court. He didn’t, which occasioned the warrant for his arrest.

That’s not all that appears on Wright’s record. There was the February arrest for aggravated robbery. There was a disorderly conduct charge arising from a 2019 incident. There was the guilty plea in late 2019 to possession and sale of marijuana. And there was an arrest warrant for armed robbery; Wright was accused of choke-holding a woman and threatening her at gunpoint, demanding $820 intended to pay her rent.

Daunte Wright dropped out of high school, then fathered a child out of wedlock he couldn’t support with minimum-wage jobs and petty drug dealing. He had borrowed $50 from his parents to take his car to a car wash and had his girlfriend in the car with him, with expired license tags. He was stopped by the police, resisted arrest, and then attempted to drive away — which raised the likelihood that he would expose his girlfriend to bodily harm. She was apparently injured when, as he bled out following being shot by Officer Potter, he crashed the car attempting a getaway.

Read the whole thing here.

You shouldn’t care too much about what happens to Kim Potter. If she couldn’t tell the difference between a taser and a Glock in a stressful situation after 26 years as a cop then she damned sure shouldn’t have been there. But until we have the courage to tell the truth about Daunte Wright, namely that the life he led made his fate almost inevitable and that he should be seen not as a martyr for social justice but as a cautionary tale, this story will repeat itself forever.

5. With that, Merry Christmas!

Four of these are Festivus entries, and that’s enough trips around the pole. We wish you and yours the merriest of Christmases and a happy New Year.

Even to the Bidens. But probably not to Bette Midler.

Let’s finish this with a bit of theme music, shall we?

Image: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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