Various And Sundry Things - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Various And Sundry Things
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A few musings on current events of note…

Tuesday night Republican Karen Handel won a 52-48 victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff in the much-hyped and scandalously-expensive Georgia Sixth District congressional race. Our readers have surely digested plenty about the import of the race, but here’s a take you may not have seen.

Namely, that with the $30 million or so Democrats spent in an effort to win a marginally Republican seat they’ve gone a long way toward proving, in a different fashion, what they’ve proven for a half-century or more. The modern Democrat party is the single most effective tool for the destruction of wealth in the history of mankind. Typically the method of that destruction involves big-city political machines, but this cash bonfire consisted of finding enthusiastic-but-exceptionally-stupid out-of-state donors not overly particular about the quality of the candidate hitting them up for a piece of their family fortunes and then blowing those contributions on some of the most onanistic, virtue-signaling messaging imaginable.

The results were predictable.

Democrats, and the Left in general, have lost the ability, and perhaps the will, to persuade. The Ossoff campaign was emblematic of this fact — all it really took to move turnout and swing voters to Handel was an audacious, if a bit rough, last-minute ad from a third-party outfit called the Principled Leadership Project PAC to call out Democrats for their unpardonable behavior in recent months and tie it to Ossoff, and the race was over. The “Stop The Violent Left” ad sets a template for future battles so long as there are not Republican James Hodgkinsons or Antifas roaming the streets — the Left’s rage might make its partisans feel better about Donald Trump’s election, but it repels everyone else, and vivid reminders of what that side has descended into are political gold.

By the way, did our readers see the bizarre FBI press conference Wednesday on the subject of Hodgkinson? It’s safe to say that’s an agency in decline without even delving into the James Comey circus, which we will do shortly.

At that press conference, Washington Field Office head Andrew Slater pushed the hard-to-believe line that Hodgkinson was a disconnected, down-on-his-luck loser with anger management issues and no discernible plan or motive for what he did. This is utterly absurd, and an insult to the public’s confidence in the Bureau as a professional law enforcement and investigative agency.

Hodgkinson, after all, modified his rifle to accommodate a folding stock and removable magazines, put himself through a tactical training regimen of sorts which involved target practice so extensive that his Belleville, Illinois neighbors complained, then set off for Washington, D.C. in March, lived in his van and used the facilities of a YMCA across the street from where the Republican team for the Congressional charity baseball game was practicing daily, made a kill list of Republican Freedom Caucus members he carried with him, was a fixture on far-left social media pages and posted what in retrospect amounted to terroristic threats against Republican political figures, and photographed high-profile potential crime scenes like the Dirksen Senate Building, among other fairly obvious indicators of a fairly well-defined plan.

The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway described Slater’s findings based on that evidence. Per Hemingway, the FBI…

• believes the gunman “had no concrete plan to inflict violence” against Republicans,
• “had not yet clarified who, if anyone, he planned to target, or why,”
• believes he may have just “happened upon” the baseball game the morning of June 14, and that the attack appeared “spontaneous,”
• are unclear on the “context” of Hodgkinson’s note with six names of members of Congress,
• does not believe that photographs of the baseball field or other sites “represented surveillance of intended targets,” and
• “painted a picture of a down-on-his-luck man with few future prospects.”

It’s a little reminiscent of Comey’s performance with respect to the Hillary Clinton emails mess last year, in which the former director acknowledged essentially every element of Clinton’s guilt and nevertheless attempted to make the case that “no reasonable prosecutor” would find it actionable because of the inability to prove criminal intent to violate a statute which didn’t require it.

Americans shouldn’t find ourselves puzzled by obvious and public attempts to gaslight us. Not by the FBI. This shouldn’t stand. Everyone should accept that Hodgkinson was an unhinged leftist who acted on his political beliefs, and everyone should accept his acts as a cautionary tale backing us off the ledge and away from political violence. But if the FBI can’t even do that, are we not in serious jeopardy?

Speaking of Comey, who was spotted entering the New York Times’ building Thursday, just hours after being humiliated when Trump tweeted he’d been bluffing about having tapes of conversations the two had before the president fired him, one can be excused for wishing to have seen the last of him. Unfortunately he seems bound and determined to make himself the permanent avatar of the Deep State; the buzz says he’s telling his tale to the Times in a serialized forthcoming story.

Comey did, after all, admit he was the source of leaked information to the Times about his meetings with Trump. That makes him entirely unworthy of sympathy, and while Trump’s admission he had no recordings of his conversations with Comey is bizarre in its own right, one begins to understand what the president was doing. As a friend with extensive experience dealing with government bureaucrats theorizes, “The tweet did what it was intended to do; it fixed Comey in his on-the-record statements and he couldn’t go all Democrat and start making things up for fear the President had tapes. President Trump is used to dealing with the mob and mobbed-up union construction negotiators. In his world, the typical bureaucrat who thinks he’s a player is just a pussycat.”

Perhaps so. We’d prefer to see such doings performed by underlings and surrogates and not Trump himself, though — it’s a bit less messy.

Finally, there was Darren Osborne, the angry Welshman who plowed a truck through a crowd outside of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London last weekend. We come not to praise Osborne nor to bury him; what he did was criminal — a terrorist act, in fact — and he should pay dearly for that crime.

What we can say with some certainty, though is not only was Osborne’s atrocity foreseeable but that it’s a surprise there haven’t been more like it, and furthermore it’s very likely there will be more such attacks.

That mosque, as it turns out, was a well-known hive of jihadists. The United Kingdom is under what can reasonably be described as a siege by Muslim terrorists, who commonly plow vehicles into crowds just as Osborne did. If he saw, as an increasing number of native Britons do, the current reality as a war between the jihad and the Union Jack there is a certain symmetry to his acts — he saw his enemy and he visited due revenge on them. That isn’t a justification; it’s an assessment of his rationality.

Normal people don’t do these things. Normal people rely on the authorities to enforce the law and maintain the peace. You only get Osbornes when the perception takes hold that the authorities are incapable, or worse, unwilling, to perform the duties entrusted to them.

And when the citizens of the UK are patronized at the same time they’re terrorized, that perception will only grow. Perhaps a greater understanding of this might have aided Theresa May, that country’s beleaguered prime minister, as she seeks to hang onto power after an electoral disaster following upon several jihadist attacks exposing the weakness of her government’s response to the terror threat.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. 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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