The War for the Soul of America

The War for the Soul of America

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The war in Washington will not end until the presidency of Donald Trump ends. Everyone seems to sense that now.

This is a fight to the finish.

A postelection truce that began with Trump congratulating House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — “I give her a great deal of credit for what she’s done and what she’s accomplished” — was ancient history by nightfall.

With the forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his replacement by his chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, the long-anticipated confrontation with Robert Mueller appears at hand.

Sessions had recused himself from the oversight role of the special counsel’s investigation into Russiagate. Whitaker has definitely not.

Before joining Justice, he said that the Mueller probe was overreaching, going places it had no authority to go, and that it could be leashed by a new attorney general and starved of funds until it passes away.

Whitaker was not chosen to be merely a place holder until a new AG is confirmed. He was picked so he can get the job done.

And about time.

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For two years, Trump has been under a cloud of unproven allegations and suspicion that he and top campaign officials colluded with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to thieve and publish the emails of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

It is past time for Mueller to prove these charges or concede he has a busted flush, wrap up his investigation and go home.

And now, in T.S. Eliot’s words, Trump appears to have found “the strength to force the moment to its crisis.”

His attitude toward Mueller’s probe is taking on the aspect of Andrew Jackson’s attitude toward Nicholas Biddle’s Second Bank of the United States: It’s “trying to kill me, but I will kill it.”

Trump has been warned by congressional Democrats that if he in any way impedes the work of Mueller’s office, he risks impeachment.

Well, let’s find out.

If the House Judiciary Committee of incoming chairman Jerrold Nadler wishes to impeach Trump for forcing Mueller to fish or cut bait, Trump’s allies should broaden the debate to the real motivation here of the defeated establishment: It detests the man the American people chose to lead their country and thus wants to use its political and cultural power to effect his removal.

Even before news of Sessions’ departure hit Wednesday, Trump was subjected to an antifa-style hassling by the White House press corps.

One reporter berated the president and refused to surrender the microphone. Others shouted support for his antics. A third demanded to know whether Trump’s admission that he’s a “nationalist” would give aid and comfort to “white nationalists.”

By picking up the credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta and booting him out of the White House, Trump has set a good precedent.

Freedom of the press does not mean guaranteed immunity of the press from the same kind of abuse the press directs at the president.

John F. Kennedy was beloved by the media elite. Yet JFK canceled all White House subscriptions to the New York Herald Tribune and called the publisher of The New York Times to get him to pull reporter David Halberstam out of Vietnam for undermining U.S. morale in a war in which Green Berets were dying.

Some journalists have become Trump haters with press passes. And Trump is right to speak truth to mainstream media power and to accord to the chronically hostile press the same access to the White House to which Robert De Niro is entitled. Since the days of John Adams, the White House has been the president’s house, not the press’s house.

Pelosi appears the favorite to return as speaker of the House. But she may find her coming days in the post she loves to be less-than-happy times.

Some of her incoming committee chairs — namely, Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters and Elijah Cummings — seem less interested in legislative compromises than in rummaging through White House files for documents to damage the president, starting with his tax returns.

To a world watching with fascination this death struggle convulsing our capital, one wonders how attractive American democracy appears.

And just how much division can this democracy stand?

We know what the left thinks of Trump’s “base.”

Hillary Clinton told us. Half his supporters, she said, are a “basket of deplorables” who are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.” Lately, America’s populist right has been called fascist and neo-Nazi.

How can the left “unite” with people like that? Why should the left not try to drive such “racists” out of power by any means necessary?

This is the thinking that bred antifa.

As for those on the right — as they watch the left disparage the old heroes, tear down their monuments, purge Christianity from their public schools — they have come to conclude that their enemies are at root anti-Christian and anti-American.

How do we unify a nation where the opposing camps believe this?

What the Trump-establishment war is about is the soul of America, a war in which a compromise on principle can be seen as a betrayal.

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Memo to Trump: Defy Mueller

Memo to Trump: Defy Mueller

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If Donald Trump does not wish to collaborate in the destruction of his presidency, he will refuse to be questioned by the FBI, or by a grand jury, or by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his malevolent minions.

Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena, and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower.

If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for Trump to comply and testify to a grand jury, Trump should defy the court.

The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress. If charges against Trump are to be brought, this is the arena, this is the forum, where the battle should be fought and the fate and future of the Trump presidency decided.

The goal of Mueller’s prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap. If they can get him behind closed doors and make him respond in detail to questions — to which they already know the answers — any misstep by Trump could be converted into a perjury charge.

Trump has to score 100 on a test to which Mueller’s team has all the answers in advance while Trump must rely upon memory.

Why take this risk?

By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump’s impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence.

Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation.

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For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge — that Trump’s team colluded with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation.

How did Trump obstruct justice?

Did he suggest that fired NSC Advisor Gen. Mike Flynn might get a pardon? What was his motive in firing FBI Director James Comey? Did Trump edit the Air Force One explanation of the meeting in June 2016 between his campaign officials and Russians? Did he pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mueller?

Mueller’s problem: These questions and more have all been aired and argued endlessly in the public square. Yet no national consensus has formed that Trump committed an offense to justify his removal. Even Democrats are backing away from talk of impeachment.

Trump’s lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up, or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: Impeach me and be damned.

Will a new Congress impeach and convict an elected president?

An impeachment battle would become a titanic struggle between a capital that detests Trump and a vast slice of Middle America that voted to repudiate that capital’s elite, trusts Trump, and will stand by him to the end.

And in any impeachment debate before Congress and the cameras of the world, not one but two narratives will be heard.

The first is that Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and then sought to obstruct an investigation of his collusion.

The second is the story of how an FBI cabal went into the tank on an investigation of Clinton to save her campaign. Then it used the product of a Clinton-DNC dirt-diving operation, created by a British spy with Russian contacts, to attempt to destroy the Trump candidacy. Now, failing that, it’s looking to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

In short, the second narrative is that the “deep state” and its media auxiliaries are colluding to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Unlike Watergate, with Russiagate, the investigators will be on trial as well.

Trump needs to shift the struggle out of the legal arena, where Mueller and his men have superior weapons, and into the political arena, where he can bring his populous forces to bear in the decision as to his fate.

This is the terrain on which Trump can win — an us-vs-them fight, before Congress and country, where not only the alleged crimes of Trump are aired but also the actual crimes committed to destroy him and to overturn his victory.

Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time.

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Is Trump Entering a Kill Box?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Given the bravery he showed in stepping out front as the first senator to endorse Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions deserves better from his boss than the Twitter-trashing he has lately received.

The attorney general has not only been loyal to Trump and his agenda, he has the respect and affection of ex-colleagues in Congress and, more broadly, of populists and conservatives nationally.

Trump’s tweets about Sessions are only demoralizing his base.

Yet the president is not wrong to be exasperated and enraged.

A yearlong FBI investigation into Russian hacking has failed to produce a single indictment. Yet the president watches impotently as a special counsel pulls together a lethal force, inside his own administration, whose undeclared ambition is to bring him down.

Trump’s behavior suggests that he sees the Mueller threat as potentially mortal.

How did we get to this peril point when there is no evidence that Trump or any senior aide colluded in the hacking? As for the June 2016 meeting with the Russians, called by Donald Trump Jr. when told by a friend that Moscow had dirt on Hillary Clinton, even that was no crime.

Foolish, yes; criminal, no. So, again, how did we get to where talk of impeachment and presidential pardons fills the air?

First, Attorney General Sessions, as a campaign adviser and surrogate for Trump who had met with the Russian ambassador, had to recuse himself from the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein then assumed oversight authority.

Trump then fired FBI Director James Comey and boasted to Russia’s foreign minister about having gotten the “crazy nut job” off his case. His Oval Office comments leaked. Comey then leaked notes of his meeting with Trump. Rosenstein then washed his hands of the mess by naming a special counsel.

And he chose a bulldog, ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller.

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Hence, where are we? Despite zero evidence of Trump or his aides colluding in the hacking, a counterintelligence investigation is evolving into a criminal investigation. Mueller is now hiring veteran investigators and prosecutors specializing in white-collar crime.

This is not a witch hunt. It is an Easter egg hunt on the White House lawn, where the most colorful eggs are likely to be the tax returns and the financial records of Trump, who built a real estate empire in a town where winners brag about how they gutted the losers.

Every enemy of Trump is going to be dropping the dime on him to Mueller. Moreover, there is no history of special counsels being appointed and applauded by the press, who went home without taking scalps.

Trump understands this. Reports of his frustration and rage suggest that he knows he has been maneuvered, partly by his own mistakes, into a kill box from which there may be no bloodless exit.

What Trump needs is a leader at Justice who will confine the Mueller investigation to the Russian hacking, and keep Mueller’s men from roaming until they hit prosecutorial pay dirt.

Consider now Trump’s narrowing options.

He can fire Jeff Sessions. But that will enrage Trump’s base to whom the senator is a loyal soldier. And anyone Trump nominates as AG would not be confirmed unless he or she pledged not to interfere with Mueller.

He could direct Rosenstein to fire Mueller. But Rosenstein would assume the Elliot Richardson role in the Saturday Night Massacre, when that AG refused to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, resigned, and was canonized as a martyr by the Never-Nixon media.

Even if Trump finds a Justice Department loyalist to play the role of Solicitor General Robert Bork, who carried out Nixon’s orders and fired Cox, this would only mean Mueller’s departure. Mueller’s staff of prosecutors and investigators would still be there, beavering away.

When Archibald Cox was fired, Nixon ordered his entire office shut down. Yet, within days of the firestorm, it was up and running again with a new special prosecutor. And impeachment resolutions were blossoming in the House.

Another Trump option would be to leave Mueller alone and hope for a benign outcome. But from reports of his rage at the recusal of Sessions and unwillingness of Rosenstein to restrict Mueller to the Russian hacking scandal, Trump seems to sense that an unrestricted investigation represents a mortal threat to his presidency.

And all the talk of impeachment and pardons suggests that this city can also see what lies over the next hill. After all, we have been here before.

From his history, Mueller is not a man to be intimidated by charges of bias. These will only steel his resolve to pursue with his subpoena power every document he wants, including tax returns, until he has satisfied himself.

The president is unlikely to view this process with indulgence, and patience does not appear to rank high among his virtues.

We are headed for a collision between President Trump and Director Mueller.

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The Impeach-Trump Conspiracy

The Impeach-Trump Conspiracy

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Pressed by Megyn Kelly on his ties to President Trump, an exasperated Vladimir Putin blurted out, “We had no relationship at all. … I never met him. … Have you all lost your senses over there?”

Yes, Vlad, we have.

Consider the questions that have convulsed this city since the Trump triumph, and raised talk of impeachment.

Did Trump collude with Russians to hack the DNC emails and move the goods to WikiLeaks, thus revealing the state secret that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was putting the screws to poor Bernie Sanders?

If not Trump himself, did campaign aides collude with the KGB?

Now, given that our NSA and CIA seemingly intercept everything Russians say to Americans, why is our fabled FBI, having investigated for a year, unable to give us a definitive yes or no?

The snail’s pace of the FBI investigation explains Trump’s frustration. What explains the FBI’s torpor? If J. Edgar Hoover had moved at this pace, John Dillinger would have died of old age.

We hear daily on cable TV of the “Trump-Russia” scandal. Yet, no one has been charged with collusion, and every intelligence official, past or prevent, who has spoken out has echoed ex-acting CIA Director Mike Morrell:

“On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark.”

Where are the criminals? Where is the crime?

As for the meetings between Gen. Mike Flynn, Jared Kushner, Sen. Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, it appears that Trump wanted a “back channel” to Putin so he could honor his commitment to seek better relations with Russia.

Given the Russophobia rampant here, that makes sense. And while it appears amateurish that Flynn would use Russian channels of communication, what is criminal about this?

Putin is not Stalin. Soviet divisions are not sitting on the Elbe. The Cold War is over. And many presidents have used back channels. Woodrow Wilson sent Col. Edward House to talk to the Kaiser and the Brits. FDR ran messages to Churchill through Harry Hopkins.

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As for Trump asking Director James Comey to cut some slack for Flynn, it is understandable in human terms. Flynn had been a loyal aide and friend and Trump had to feel rotten about having to fire the man.

So, what is really going on here?

All the synthetic shock over what Kushner or Sessions said to Kislyak aside, this city’s hatred for President Trump, and its fanatic determination to bring him down in disgrace, predates his presidency.

For Trump ran in 2016 not simply as the Republican alternative. He presented his candidacy as a rejection, a repudiation of the failed elites, political and media, of both parties. Americans voted in 2016 not just for a change in leaders but for a revolution to overthrow a ruling regime.

Thus this city has never reconciled itself to Trump’s victory, and the president daily rubs their noses in their defeat with his tweets.

Seeking a rationale for its rejection, this city has seized upon that old standby. We didn’t lose! The election was stolen in a vast conspiracy, an “act of war” against America, an assault upon “our democracy,” criminal collusion between the Kremlin and the Trumpites.

Hence, Trump is an illegitimate president, and it is the duty of brave citizens of both parties to work to remove the usurper.

The city seized upon a similar argument in 1968, when Richard Nixon won, because it was said he had colluded to have South Vietnam’s president abort Lyndon Johnson’s new plan to bring peace to Southeast Asia in the final hours of that election.

Then, as now, the “t” word, treason, was trotted out.

Attempts to overturn elections where elites are repudiated are not uncommon in U.S. history. Both Nixon and Reagan, after 49-state landslides, were faced with attempts to overturn the election results.

With Nixon in Watergate, the elites succeeded. With Reagan in Iran-Contra, they almost succeeded in destroying that great president as he was ending the Cold War in a bloodless victory for the West.

After Lincoln’s assassination, President Andrew Johnson sought to prevent Radical Republicans from imposing a ruthless Reconstruction on a defeated and devastated South.

The Radicals enacted the Tenure of Office Act, stripping Johnson of his authority to remove any member of the Cabinet without Senate permission. Johnson defied the Radicals and fired their agent in the Cabinet, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

“Tennessee” Johnson was impeached, and missed conviction by one vote. John F. Kennedy, in his 1956 book, called the senator who had voted to save Johnson a “Profile in Courage.”

If Trump is brought down on the basis of what Putin correctly labels “nonsense,” this city will have executed a nonviolent coup against a constitutionally elected president. Such an act would drop us into the company of those Third World nations where such means are the customary ways that corrupt elites retain their hold on power.

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Will Russiagate Backfire on the Left?

Will Russiagate Backfire on the Left?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The big losers of the Russian hacking scandal may yet be those who invested all their capital in a script that turned out to based on a fairy tale.

In Monday’s Intelligence Committee hearings, James Comey did confirm that his FBI has found nothing to support President Trump’s tweet that President Obama ordered him wiretapped. Not unexpected, but undeniably an embarrassment for the tweeter-in-chief.

Yet longer-term damage may have been done to the left. For Monday’s hearing showed that its rendering of the campaign of 2016 may be a product of fiction and a fevered imagination.

After eight months investigating the hacking and leaking of the emails of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta and the DNC, there is apparently no evidence yet of Trump collusion with Russia.

Former Director of National Intelligence Gen. James Clapper has said that, as of his departure day, Jan. 20, he had seen no evidence of a Russia-Trump collusion.

Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell also made that clear this month: “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.” Morell was a surrogate for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

But while the FBI is still searching for a Trump connection, real crimes have been unearthed — committed by anti-Trump bureaucrats colluding with mainstream media — to damage Trump’s presidency.

There is hard evidence of collusion between the intel community and The New York Times and The Washington Post, both beneficiaries of illegal leaks — felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

While the howls have been endless that Trump accused Obama of a “felony,” the one provable felony here was the leak of a transcript of an intercepted conversation between Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador.

That leak ended Flynn’s career as national security adviser. And Director Comey would neither confirm nor deny that President Obama was aware of the existence of the Flynn transcript.

So where do we stand after yesterday’s hearing and eight-month FBI investigation? The Russians did hack Podesta’s email account and the DNC, and while the FBI has found no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians, it is still looking.

However, the known unknowns seem more significant.

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How could DNI Director Clapper and CIA Director Morell say that no connection had been established between Trump’s campaign and the Russians, without there having been an investigation? And how could such an investigation be conclusive in exonerating Trump’s associates — without some use of electronic surveillance?

Did the FBI fly to Moscow and question Putin’s cyberwarfare team?

More questions arise. If, in its investigation of the Russian hacking and a Trump connection, the FBI did receive the fruits of some electronic surveillance of the Trump campaign, were Attorney General Loretta Lynch, White House aides or President Obama made aware of any such surveillance? Did any give a go-ahead to surveil the Trump associates? Comey would neither confirm nor deny that they did.

So, if Obama were aware of an investigation into the Trump campaign, using intel sources and methods, Trump would not be entirely wrong in his claims, and Obama would have some ‘splainin’ to do.

Is the FBI investigating the intelligence sources who committed felonies by illegally disclosing information about the Trump campaign?

Comey would not commit to investigate these leaks, though this could involve criminal misconduct within his own FBI.

Again, the only known crimes committed by Americans during and after the campaign are the leaks of security secrets by agents of the intel community, colluding with the Fourth Estate, which uses the First Amendment to provide cover for criminal sources, whom they hail as “whistleblowers.”

Indeed, if there was no surveillance of Trump of any kind, where did all these stories come from, which their reporters attributed to “intelligence sources”?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any role in the Russian hacking scandal. But the Justice Department should demand that the FBI put the highest priority on investigating the deep state and its journalistic collaborators in the sabotage of the Trump presidency.

If Comey refuses to do it, appoint a special counsel.

In the last analysis, as Glenn Greenwald, no Trumpite, writes for The Intercept, the real loser may well be the Democratic Party.

If the investigation of Russiagate turns up no link between Trump and the pilfered emails, Democrats will have egg all over their faces. And the Democratic base will have to face a painful truth.

Vladimir Putin did not steal this election. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lost it. Donald Trump won it fair and square. He is not an “illegitimate” president. There will be no impeachment. They were deceived and misled by their own leaders and media. They bought into a Big Lie.

Is Secession a Solution to Cultural War?

Is Secession a Solution to Cultural War?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

As the culture war is about irreconcilable beliefs about God and man, right and wrong, good and evil, and is at root a religious war, it will be with us so long as men are free to act on their beliefs.

Yet, given the divisions among us, deeper and wider than ever, it is an open question as to how, and how long, we will endure as one people.

After World War II, our judicial dictatorship began a purge of public manifestations of the “Christian nation” that Harry Truman said we were.

In 2009, Barack Obama retorted, “We do not consider ourselves to be a Christian nation.” Secularism had been enthroned as our established religion, with only the most feeble of protests.

One can only imagine how Iranians or Afghans would deal with unelected judges moving to de-Islamicize their nations. Heads would roll, literally.

Which bring us to the first culture war skirmish of the Trump era.

Taking sides with Attorney General Jeff Sessions against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the president rescinded the Obama directive that gave transgender students the right to use the bathroom of their choice in public schools. President Donald Trump sent the issue back to the states and locales to decide.

While treated by the media and left as the civil rights cause of our era, the “bathroom debate” calls to mind Marx’s observation, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

Can anyone seriously contend that whether a 14-year-old boy, who thinks he is a girl, gets to use the girls’ bathroom is a civil rights issue comparable to whether African-Americans get the right to vote?

Remarkably, there was vigorous dissent, from DeVos, to returning this issue to where it belongs, with state and local officials.

After yielding on the bathroom question, she put out a statement declaring that every school in America has a “moral obligation” to protect children from bullying, and directed her Office of Civil Rights to investigate all claims of bullying or harassment “against those who are most vulnerable in our schools.”

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Now, bullying is bad behavior, and it may be horrible behavior.

But when did a Republican Party that believes in states rights decide this was a responsibility of a bureaucracy Ronald Reagan promised but failed to shut down? When did the GOP become nanny-staters?

Bullying is something every kid in public, parochial or private school has witnessed by graduation. While unfortunate, it is part of growing up.

But what kind of society, what kind of people have we become when we start to rely on federal bureaucrats to stop big kids from harassing and beating up smaller or weaker kids?

While the bathroom debate is a skirmish in the culture war, Trump’s solution — send the issue back to the states and the people there to work it out — may point the way to a truce — assuming Americans still want a truce.

For Trump’s solution is rooted in the principle of subsidiarity, first advanced in the 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo XIII — that social problems are best resolved by the smallest unit of society with the ability to resolve them.

In brief, bullying is a problem for parents, teachers, principals to deal with, and local cops and the school district if it becomes widespread.

This idea is consistent with the Republican idea of federalism — that the national government should undertake those duties — securing the borders, fighting the nation’s wars, creating a continental road and rail system — that states alone cannot do.

Indeed, the nationalization of decision-making, the imposition of one-size-fits-all solutions to social problems, the court orders emanating from the ideology of judges — to which there is no appeal — that is behind the culture wars that may yet bring an end to this experiment in democratic rule.

Those factors are also among the primary causes of the fever of secessionism that is spreading all across Europe, and is now visible here.

Consider California. Democrats hold every state office, both Senate seats, two-thirds of both houses of the state legislature, 3 in 4 of the congressional seats. Hillary Clinton beat Trump 2-to-1 in California, with her margin in excess of 4 million votes.

Suddenly, California knows exactly how Marine Le Pen feels.

And as she wants to “Let France Be France,” and leave the EU, as Brits did with Brexit, a movement is afoot in California to secede from the United States and form a separate nation.

California seceding sounds like a cause that could bring San Francisco Democrats into a grand alliance with Breitbart.

A new federalism — a devolution of power and resources away from Washington and back to states, cities, towns and citizens, to let them resolve their problems their own way and according to their own principles — may be the price of retention of the American Union.

Let California be California; let red state America be red state America.

Trump Must Break Judicial Power

Trump Must Break Judicial Power

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Disheartening and demoralizing,” wailed Judge Neil Gorsuch of President Trump’s comments about the judges seeking to overturn his 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from the Greater Middle East war zones.

What a wimp. Did our future justice break down crying like Sen. Chuck Schumer? Sorry, this is not Antonin Scalia. And just what horrible thing had our president said?

A “so-called judge” blocked the travel ban, said Trump. And the arguments in court, where 9th Circuit appellate judges were hearing the government’s appeal, were “disgraceful.” “A bad student in high school would have understood the arguments better.”

Did the president disparage a couple of judges? Yep.

Yet compare his remarks to the tweeted screeds of Elizabeth Warren after her Senate colleague, Jeff Sessions, was confirmed as attorney general.

Sessions, said Warren, represents “radical hatred.” And if he makes “the tiniest attempt to bring his racism, sexism & bigotry” into the Department of Justice, “all of us” will pile on.

Now this is hate speech. And it validates Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to use Senate rules to shut her down.

These episodes reveal much about America 2017.

They reflect, first, the poisoned character of our politics. The language of Warren — that Sessions is stepped in “racism, sexism & bigotry” echoes the ugliest slander of the Hillary Clinton campaign, where she used similar words to describe Trump’s “deplorables.”

Such language, reflecting as it does the beliefs of one-half of America about the other, rules out any rapprochement in America’s social or political life. This is pre-civil war language.

For how do you sit down and work alongside people you believe to be crypto-Nazis, Klansmen and fascists? Apparently, you don’t. Rather, you vilify them, riot against them, deny them the right to speak or to be heard.

And such conduct is becoming common on campuses today.

As for Trump’s disparagement of the judges, only someone ignorant of history can view that as frightening.

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Thomas Jefferson not only refused to enforce the Alien & Sedition Acts of President John Adams, his party impeached Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase who had presided over one of the trials.

Jackson defied Chief Justice John Marshall’s prohibition against moving the Cherokees out of Georgia to west of the Mississippi, where, according to the Harvard resume of Sen. Warren, one of them bundled fruitfully with one of her ancestors, making her part Cherokee.

When Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus violated the Constitution, Lincoln considered sending U.S. troops to arrest the chief justice.

FDR proposed adding six justices to emasculate a Supreme Court of the “nine old men” he reviled for having declared some New Deal schemes unconstitutional.

President Eisenhower called his Supreme Court choices Earl Warren and William Brennan two of the “worst mistakes” he made as president. History bears Ike out. And here we come to the heart of the matter.

Whether the rollout of the president’s temporary travel ban was ill-prepared or not, and whether one agrees or not about which nations or people should be subjected to extreme vetting, the president’s authority in the matter of protecting the borders and keeping out those he sees as potentially dangerous is universally conceded.

That a district judge would overrule the president of the United States on a matter of border security in wartime is absurd.

When politicians don black robes and seize powers they do not have, they should be called out for what they are — usurpers and petty tyrants. And if there is a cause upon which the populist right should unite, it is that elected representatives and executives make the laws and rule the nation. Not judges, and not justices.

Indeed, one of the mightiest forces that has birthed the new populism that imperils the establishment is that unelected justices like Warren and Brennan, and their progeny on the bench, have remade our country without the consent of the governed — and with never having been smacked down by Congress or the president.

Consider. Secularist justices de-Christianized our country. They invented new rights for vicious criminals as though criminal justice were a game. They tore our country apart with idiotic busing orders to achieve racial balance in public schools. They turned over centuries of tradition and hundreds of state, local and federal laws to discover that the rights to an abortion and same-sex marriage were there in Madison’s Constitution all along. We just couldn’t see them.

Trump has warned the judges that if they block his travel ban, and this results in preventable acts of terror on American soil, they will be held accountable. As rightly they should.

Meanwhile, Trump’s White House should use the arrogant and incompetent conduct of these federal judges to make the case not only for creating a new Supreme Court, but for Congress to start using Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution — to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and to reclaim its stolen powers.

A clipping of the court’s wings is long overdue.

Has the Trumpian Revolution Begun?

Has the Trumpian Revolution Begun?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The wailing and keening over the choice of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the EPA appears to be a lead indicator of a coming revolution far beyond Reagan’s.

“Trump Taps Climate Skeptic For Top Environmental Post,” said The Wall Street Journal. “Climate Change Denial,” bawled a disbelieving New York Times, which urged the Senate to put Pruitt in a “dust bin.”

Clearly, though his victory was narrow, Donald Trump remains contemptuous of political correctness and defiant of liberal ideology.

For environmentalism, as conservative scholar Robert Nisbet wrote in 1982, is more than the “most important social movement” of the 20th century. It is a militant and dogmatic faith that burns heretics.

“Environmentalism is well on its way to becoming the third great wave of redemptive struggle in Western history,” wrote Nisbet, “the first being Christianity, the second modern socialism.” In picking a “climate denier” to head EPA, Trump is rejecting revealed truth.

Yet, as with his choices of Steve Bannon as White House strategist and Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general, he has shown himself to be an unapologetic apostate to liberal orthodoxy.

Indeed, with his presidency, we may be entering a post-liberal era.

In 1950, literary critic Lionel Trilling wrote, “In the United States at this time liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition. For it is the plain fact that nowadays there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation.”

The rise of the conservative movement of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan revealed liberalism’s hour to be but a passing moment. Yet, today, something far beyond conservatism seems to be afoot.

As Hegel taught, in the dialectic of history the thesis calls into existence the antithesis. What we seem to be seeing is a rejection, and a counterreformation against the views and values that came out of the social and political revolutions of the 1960s.

Consider the settled doctrine Trump disrespected with Pruitt.

Call them climate deniers or climate skeptics, but they see the establishment as running the Big Con to effect a transfer of wealth and power away from the people — and to themselves.

We have long been instructed that climate change is real, that its cause is man-made, that it imperils the planet with rising seas, hurricanes and storms, that all nations have a duty to curb the release of carbon dioxide to save the world for future generations.

This is said to be “scientific truth,” and “climate deniers” are like people who believe the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it. Some hold the matter to be so grave that climate deniers should be censored for promoting socially destructive falsehoods.

Yet, the people remain skeptical.

Their worry is not that the rising waters of the Med will swamp the Riviera, but that tens of millions of Arabs, Muslims and Africans may be coming across to swamp Europe, and that millions of Mexicans may cross the Rio Grande to swamp the USA.

Call them climate deniers or climate skeptics, but they see the establishment as running the Big Con to effect a transfer of wealth and power away from the people — and to themselves.

Across the West, establishments have lost credibility.

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The proliferation of minority parties, tearing off pieces of the traditional ruling parties, points to a growing distrust in ruling regimes and a return to identifying with the nation and tribe whence one came.

A concomitant of this is a growing disbelief in egalitarianism and in the equality of all races, creeds, nations, cultures and peoples.

The Supreme Court may say all religions are equal and all must be treated equally. But do Americans believe Christianity and Islam are equal? How could they, when Christians claim their faith has as its founder the Son of God and God himself?

After calling for a ban on Muslim immigration, Trump was elected president. After inviting a million refugees from Syria’s civil war into Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel admits having made a mistake and is now in favor of letting German cities and towns decide if women should be allowed to wear burqas.

A sea change in thought is taking place in the West.

Liberalism appears to be a dying faith. America’s elites may still preach their trinity of values: diversity, democracy, equality. But the majorities in America and Europe are demanding that the borders be secured and Third World immigrants kept out.

The next president disbelieves in free trade. He wants a border wall. He questions the wisdom of our Mideast wars and the need for NATO. He is contemptuous of democratist dogma that how other nations rule themselves is our business. He rejects transnationalism and globalism.

“There is no global anthem, no global currency, no certificate of global citizenship,” said Trump in Cincinnati, “We pledge allegiance to one flag, and that flag is the American flag. From now on, it’s going to be America first. … We’re going to put ourselves first.”

That’s not Adlai Stevenson or Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama.

Nothing seems settled or certain. All is in flux. But change is coming. “Things are in the saddle, and ride mankind.”

Is a New GOP Being Born?

Is a New GOP Being Born

By Patrick Buchanan

The first four Republican contests — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — produced record turnouts.

While the prospect of routing Hillary Clinton and recapturing the White House brought out the true believers, it was Donald Trump’s name on the ballot and his calls for economic patriotism, border security, and an end to imperial wars that brought out the throngs.

The crowds that continue to come out for his appearances and the vast audiences he has attracted to GOP debates testify to his drawing power.

Moreover, Trump has now been endorsed by Gov. Chris Christie, ex-chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, one of the most respected conservatives on Capitol Hill.

Yet, with polls pointing to a possible Trump sweep on Super Tuesday, save Texas, his probable nomination, and a chance for the GOP to take it all in the fall, is causing some conservatives and Republicans to threaten to bolt, go third party, stay home, or even vote for Clinton.

They would prefer to lose to Clinton than win with Trump.

A conservative friend told this writer that Trump, unlike, say, Ted Cruz, has never shown an interest in the Supreme Court, which, with Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat vacant, hangs in the balance.

Yet, surely, a President Trump, hearing the clamor of those who elected him to find a Scalia, would be responsive.

With President Clinton, the court is gone for a generation.

We hear wails that the nomination of Trump would mean the end of the conservative movement. But how so?

If Trump won and conducted a conservative government, it would validate the movement. If Trump won and turned left, it would inspire an insurgency like Ronald Reagan’s in 1976, when the Ford-Rockefeller-Kissinger administration moved too far toward detente.

If Trump ran and lost, the conservative movement would have President Clinton to unite and rally the troops against.

One recalls Barry Goldwater’s historic wipeout in 1964. But, in 1966, Republicans made the greatest gains in a generation, and went on to win the presidency for 20 of the next 24 years.

Undeniably, a Trump presidency would mean an end to the Bush and establishment policies on trade, immigration and intervention.

But those policies have already been repudiated in the primaries, as they have proven to be transparent failures for America.

As long ago as the early 1990s, populist conservatives were imploring George H. W. Bush to secure our Mexican border, as tens of thousands poured across in the San Diego-Tijuana corridor. Gov. Pete Wilson turned near-certain defeat into a stunning comeback victory in 1994 by promising to send the National Guard.

Why did the establishment not respond then to the electorate? Why, instead of trashing Wilson for imperiling future party prospects with Hispanics, did the establishment not do what the people had demanded and move decisively to secure our southern border?

What is conservative about uncontrolled borders?

Why, as trade deficits with China and the world rose from the tens of billions to hundreds of billions, did the establishment not wake up and see the shuttering factories, the lost jobs and the ghost towns arising across America — and react?

Could they not see that, as we celebrated globalization, Beijing and Tokyo were practicing ruthless mercantilism and protectionism?

At the end of the Cold War in 1991, many Americans urged that, with the Soviet Empire dissolved and Soviet Union disintegrating, it was time to bring our troops home and let the rich fat nations that had been freeloading for half a century provide the soldiers and pay the cost of their own security.

Instead, the establishment opted for empire, for expanding old alliances, dumping over regimes, crusading for democracy, sending our soldiers out to remake Third World countries in the image of Iowa and Vermont.

Who now thinks all these wars were worth the cost?

Whether Trump wins or loses the nomination, the immigration, trade and foreign policies pursued by the elites since the end of the Cold War are dead letters. The nation has declared them to be so in the primaries.

Who is campaigning, in either party today, for open borders, or passing The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or sending troops back to Iraq or into Syria?

The Bernie Sanders insurgency appears to have been turned back by the vested interests of his party. But like the George McGovern insurgency in ’72, which also relied heavily upon the enthusiasm of the young, Sanders’ socialism may be the ideological future of his party.

The same may be said of the Trump insurgency. Whatever happens at Cleveland, the returns from the primaries look like the passing of the old order, the death rattle of an establishment fighting for its life, and being laughed at and mocked as it goes down.

As in 1964 and 1980, a new Republican Party is taking shape.

Defections are to be expected, and not altogether unwelcome.