Trump’s Derangement Deepens

The truth is Trump cannot abide any kind of investigation of his campaign or of himself by anyone. That would require him to defer to someone else, and his psyche cannot let that happen. (This is the core reason behind his refusal to release his tax returns.)

.. The very idea of actually wanting inspection to clear his name simply doesn’t occur to him. After a lifetime of lying, fraud, debt, secrecy, and bankruptcy, his instinct is always to deny everything and to do all he can to subvert any smidgen of accountability or transparency.

.. Asking him to subject himself to a neutral third-party inquiry comes as easily to him as it would to Putin or Duterte or Mugabe. It seems absurd to them — and they, like Trump, would react with incandescent rage.

.. But the president, in his anger, is now asserting that the FBI inquiry was initiated by nameless people who already knew that there was no basis to the allegations. Therefore the investigation is “the single greatest witch-hunt in American political history” — surpassing the lowest lows of McCarthyism no less. If Trump cannot stop the investigation, he is doing all he can to delegitimize it, whatever the costs to the credibility of our system of government.

.. Hence the spectacle of Newt Gingrich. A month ago, he called Mueller “a superb choice.” This past week, he tweeted that anyone who thinks Mueller will be fair in his investigation is “delusional.” Worse, actually: Mueller is “now clearly the tip of the deep state spear aimed at destroying or at a minimum undermining and crippling the Trump presidency.

.. A key barometer of Republican partisanship, the blogger Glenn Reynolds, endorses all of these arguments.

.. And so it seems to me completely plausible — even inevitable — that Mueller will be fired too at some point. More saliently, if his team’s work eventually exposes and proves Trump’s obstruction of justice, the only possible recourse, impeachment, will never happen. There will never be 18 Republican senators who will vote against the leader in this Congress or any other. We will have a criminal in the White House indefinitely, utterly impervious to sanction, and emboldened even further

Alas, All Societies Have Closets

  • I think it is also obviously true that at least some of these people would have married and lived conventional heterosexual lives, and been satisfied in them. Why? Because the same-sex desire within them wasn’t as strong as it was in others, and they could manage it, or grow past it.
  • On the other hand, the kind of society that gave them the psychological support for embracing exclusively heterosexual expression of their sexuality would also cause more suffering for those whose sexual desire is more strongly same-sex oriented.
  • Can we have a society in which heterosexuality is considered normative, but homosexuality is tolerated, and gays and lesbians treated with respect, dignity, and love? I think it is possible in theory, but it seems to be utopian.

He is opposed to same-sex marriage but in favor of civil unions. In principle, he is against gay adoption, but in practice, he told me, “there are so many gay couples who are wonderful parents that I find it hard to maintain any ardor for stopping it.”

.. Hanby argues that, where we used to see human beings as possessing intrinsic properties—masculinity, femininity, the ability to glorify God through procreation—we now take a nominalist view of ourselves, seeing our bodies as subservient to our minds. We use technology, such as the birth-control pill, to subvert the natural way of things. Gay marriage, in this account, is a stepping-stone to a profoundly technologized society in which “the rejection of nature” is complete. Today, it’s sex-reassignment surgery and surrogacy; tomorrow, we’ll be genetically engineering our way into a post-human future.

.. as Christians, we cannot accept that homosexual desire is morally neutral. (Nor, I hasten to add, can we accept that heterosexual expression outside of marriage is morally neutral.)

.. how you answer this question: What is sex for? 

.. Not, “what is gay sex for?” or “what is straight sex for?” but “what is sex for?” The Bible, and the teaching of the Church, has a clear answer to that. It is not the modern answer.

.. 15. The reason we cannot agree on what sex is for is that we don’t agree on the answer to the question, “What is a human being for?” Meaning, “What is our purpose in life?” Is it to live in harmony with God’s will? Is it to fulfill our desires? Is it something else? Again: traditional Christianity has clear and consistent answers to these questions — and they are not the modern answers.

.. 16. I have said it many times before, and I’ll say it again: I am glad the closet is gone, and would not want to see it return. I would like to live in a society that leaves gay people alone to live as they like. It is fair, though, for people like Andrew to ask how, exactly, I propose to privilege heterosexuality without in some form re-instituting the closet. I don’t have a satisfying answer to that question.

.. Is it possible to tolerate the expression of belief and behavior that gays and their allies believe is immoral, and doing damage to others? Or should orthodox Christian (and Jewish, and Muslim) belief regarding homosexuality be stigmatized socially for the sake of increasing social virtue, and bringing about a better society? If so, well, aren’t you saying that Christians (Muslims, Jews) should go into the closet with their beliefs?

.. 18. All of which is to arrive at the depressing conclusion that one way or the other, there’s going to be a closet. It’s already there for many orthodox Christians who work in academia and other professional circles, and it will expand. A lot of Christian kids will grow up feeling immense pressure to leave the faith or in some sense to be unfaithful to orthodox Christianity because of all the stigma heaped upon it over sexuality.

Bernie Sanders, Theocrat

Why should secular liberals get to dictate religious doctrine to believers?

.. In January 2016, Vought published a blog post at The Resurgent in which he stated that Muslims “do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

.. This, Sanders declared at the nominee’s confirmation hearing, was “indefensible,” “hateful,” and “Islamophobic.” “This nominee,” Sanders harrumphed, “is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about.”

.. Sanders defended the line of questioning. Vought “and any other American has the right to hold any point of view they want,” said Sanders, but it is “unacceptable” “to have a high-ranking member of the United States government essentially say Islam is a second-class religion.”

.. It was not enough that Farron supported a legal right to abortion and same-sex marriage; the fact that he privately believed them to be sinful acts was not allowed to pass unchallenged. He was routinely attacked in the media — again, not for anything he had done, but for views about matters theological that he held privately. Farron’s resignation speech was striking: “To be a political leader — especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 — and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me.”

.. The BBC demands that Tim Farron not think abortion is a sin — even though virtually no one among Britain’s political and media elite believes in the idea of “sin.”

.. A person of faith might justifiably ask: Why does Bernie Sanders get to decide the appropriate theology of salvation? Why do Sky News anchors get to decide what is and isn’t a sin?

.. There is a long and stupid tradition of believing that the American Right threatens to impose an Evangelical Christian theocracy on the United States — that every Republican lawmaker is looking to erect an official church and make women cover their ankles. In reality, it is the proudly irreligious Left that has smuggled religious debates back into our politics. It is the unabashedly secular Left that has knocked down the “wall of separation” and made the afterlife an immanent political issue.

.. Our new theocrats think differently, though, and no surprise: The dirty little secret of secular liberalism is not that its practitioners don’t believe in God; it’s that they believe they are God.

Camille Paglia: On Trump, Democrats, Transgenderism, and Islamist Terror

In a wide-ranging interview Paglia talks about Donald Trump’s successes, how Chuck Schumer emboldened the “resistance,” why the left can’t condemn Islamist terrorism, and “the cold biological truth that sex changes are impossible.”
..Camille Paglia: Some background is necessary. First of all, I must make my political affiliations crystal clear. I am a registered Democrat who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary and for Jill Stein in the general election. Since last Fall, I’ve had my eye on Kamala Harris, the new senator from California, and I hope to vote for her in the next presidential primary.
.. What seems forgotten is that everyone, including the Hillary Clinton campaign, thought that Marco Rubio would be the Republican nominee. The moment was ideal for a Latino candidate with national appeal who could challenge the Democratic hold on Florida.
.. Trump’s frankly arrogant self-confidence spooked and crushed Rubio—it was a total fiasco.
.. My position continues to be that Hillary, with her supercilious, Marie Antoinette-style entitlement, was a disastrously wrong candidate for 2016 and that she secured the nomination only through overt chicanery by the Democratic National Committee, assisted by a corrupt national media who, for over a year, imposed a virtual blackout on potential primary rivals.
.. Bernie Sanders had the populist passion, economic message, government record, and personal warmth to counter Trump.
..Despite his history of embarrassing gaffes, the affable, plain-spoken Joe Biden, in my view, could also have defeated Trump, but he was blocked from running at literally the last moment by President Barack Obama, for reasons that the major media refused to explore.
.. the election results plainly demonstrated that Trump was speaking to vital concerns (jobs, immigration, and terrorism among them) for which the Democrats had few concrete solutions.
.. How do Democrats imagine they can ever expand their electoral support if they go on and on in this self-destructive way, impugning half the nation as vile racists and homophobes?
.. I see no more chaos than was abundantly present during the first six months of both the Clinton and Obama administrations.
.. Trump seems to be methodically trying to fulfill his campaign promises, notably regarding the economy and deregulation
.. Many highly educated, upper-middle-class Democrats regard themselves as exemplars of “compassion” (which they have elevated into a supreme political principle) and yet they routinely assail Trump voters as ignorant, callous hate-mongers.
.. The laborers who build and maintain these marvels are recognized only if they can be shoehorned into victim status.
.. Liberalism of the 1950s and ’60s exalted civil liberties, individualism, and dissident thought and speech. “Question authority” was our generational rubric when I was in college. But today’s liberalism has become grotesquely mechanistic and authoritarian: It’s all about reducing individuals to a group identity, defining that group in permanent victim terms, and denying others their democratic right to challenge that group and its ideology. Political correctness represents the fossilized institutionalization of once-vital revolutionary ideas, which have become mere rote formulas. It is repressively Stalinist, dependent on a labyrinthine, parasitic bureaucracy to enforce its empty dictates.
.. Knowledge of the great world religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Judeo-Christianity, Islam—is the true multiculturalism. Everyone should have a general familiarity with the beliefs, texts, rituals, art, and shrines of all the major religions. Only via a direct encounter with the Qu’ran and Hadith, for example, can anyone know what they say about jihad and how those strikingly numerous passages have been interpreted in different ways over time.
.. she argues among other things, that the pharmaceutical industry, having lost income when routine estrogen therapy for menopausal women was abandoned because of its health risks, has been promoting the relatively new idea of transgenderism in order to create a permanent class of customers who will need to take prescribed hormones for life.
.. The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible. Every single cell of the human body remains coded with one’s birth gender for life. Intersex ambiguities can occur, but they are developmental anomalies that represent a tiny proportion of all human births.