Saturday, May 12, 2018

Connecticut And The Trump Factor

Connecticut’s Republican Party Nominating Convention has in its wisdom nominated Matt Corey to run against U.S. Senator Chris Murphy who, along with his compatriot in the Senate, Dick Blumenthal, has been "efforting," as the leftists say, during the entire first year of the Trump presidency, to subvert a national election. To date, they have been far more successful in their efforts than the Russians.The hangman, special counsel Robert Mueller, has been for months braiding a noose behind the scenes.

Both Murphy, up for re-election this year, and Blumenthal have pilloried nearly all of Trump’s cabinet appointments, including recently installed Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, a position once occupied by Hillary Clinton, whose campaign for the presidency was, we are invited to believe, torpedoed by Russian spooks in league with Trump.

Thus far, the deposal effort has moved from conspiracy with Russia to subvert an American election, a crime on the law books, to subversion, less serious and not a crime, to “cooperation with Russians,” which is a form of bad manners. Czar of all the Russians Vladimir Putin, everyone will admit, has for years attempted to disturb democracy at home and abroad. Without alleging conspiracy between Putin and the efforts of anti-democratic forces here in the United States to further disturb America’s rickety Republic, Putin’s subversive acts have proven hugely successful: The attempts to subvert a national election on the part of the Democrat National Committee (DNC) continue apace.

Blumenthal voted down the Pompeo nomination because, as he pointed out in one of his ubiquitous media releases, “Mike Pompeo has no experience in diplomacy – instead, his experience is in intelligence and as a Member of Congress, where he took $400,000 from the Koch brothers. He has a record of standing against reproductive rights both here and abroad. He’s made statements about the LGBTQ community that are antithetical to American values. I opposed his nomination because I believe he will only reinforce President Trump’s worst instincts, but now that he has been confirmed, I certainly hope to be proven wrong.”

None of Blumenthal’s objections will be surprising to those in Connecticut who have long regarded him as “the senator from Planned Parenthood.

Murphy’s media assault on Pompeo on April 26 shadowed Blumenthal’s: “I acknowledge there are reasons to vote for Mike Pompeo, but on balance, I simply do not believe he is qualified to become our nation's chief diplomat,” said Murphy. “He has a disturbing history of favoring military action over diplomacy, he does not seem to have an appreciation for the responsibility of Congress to initiate military action overseas, and he has long associated with and legitimized the radical anti-Muslim wing of the Republican Party. I hope my fears about Director Pompeo are wrong, but I could not vote for someone who will likely encourage the worst instincts and biases of our reckless president.”

Before Trump seriously embarked on winning the White House, Bill Buckley, then the preeminent conservative in the United States, tagged him as “a vulgarian.” But Trump is not quite so vulgar as to suppose that Planned Parenthood, responsible for the bulk of abortions in the nation, is a moral avatar, or that the selling of aborted baby parts to doctors is in conformity with any of the Ten Commandments. Indeed, Senator Blumenthal's consistent operative assumption has been that ANY restriction on abortion – say, limiting fetal destruction to the point at which the fetus in the womb cannot feel pain – is the gravest of sins. As Attorney General in Connecticut for two decades, Blumenthal made his political bones by forcefully imposing restrictions on any business that incurred his displeasure, which is why he is known in his state as “the consumer protection senator.” Blumenthal is less interested – far less interested – in restricting onerous federal or state regulations. That would be bad for progressive political business.

Murphy is Blumenthal’s Doppelgänger. Like Blumenthal, his moral approbation appears to be unrelated to reality.  It is not the responsibility of Congress to “initiate military action overseas.” That is the exclusive constitutional prerogative of the president, who is the commander in chief of the armed forces when they are called into military action. It may be important to note that the United States is still at war with North Korea, however belligerent that may appear to Murphy or Blumenthal. Congress may exercise a constitutional veto of sorts by denying funds for military action, but it is not authorized to INITIATE military action anywhere in the world. When Hillary Clinton, under orders from her commander-in-chief Barack Obama, refused to respond rationally to an attack on an American embassy in Benghazi, she and Obama were operating under constitutional auspices. Had she ordered American forces to defend its embassy, she would not have needed Murphy’s permission to do so. There are some people who believe that the Obama/Hillary “lead from behind” non-defense of its own ambassador was immoral; among other things unrelated to Russian interference in American elections, this lapse in moral vigor may in part have cost Hillary her election to the presidency.

So far, Pompeo has been fairly successful in his diplomatic mission to North Korea, as has our vulgarian President. Sometimes in American diplomacy, presidents have to brandish Teddy Roosevelt’s “Big Stick.” When and how to do so is part of the art of good governance.


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