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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

King vs. King

Glenn Reynolds headline makes the point that the Democrat attack on Trump's legitimacy has escalated because Trump would not play the tit-for-tat game.

Richard Fernandez tells this story:

Many years ago I worked with a man who before taking up a graduate degree in math at a German university had been a martial arts enthusiast. He had a very slight limp and one day told me the story behind it. While walking along a beach in Honduras with his wife and a British couple the foursome were attacked by a huge man armed with a machete. My friend had a "little camping machete" for defense and seeing the fight would soon go against his shorter weapon stepped inside his assailant's blade arc and took out his assailant's arm while receiving in exchange the blow which produced the limp. The Honduran police later congratulated him for subduing a notorious local criminal and took both him and the seriously injured suspect to the hospital.

The story illustrates how in a sword fight, as in politics, the combatants often attack each other's extremities (sword hand, extended foot, arm) first before venturing into body strike range. To get into killing range you must often risk being killed yourself. So sword fighters usually wait for their foes to weaken or an opening to develop.

The most singular thing about Donald Trump's wiretap accusation against Barack Obama is how he's refusing to play the game of extremities — losing a Flynn here and getting a Sessions paralyzed there — and getting right into lethal range. Trump's gone right past Schumer, ignored the surrogates and gone straight for the former president himself.

The Sunday Guardian writes some believe Trump's key mistake was believing "in mid-November ... that it would be a statesmanlike gesture to (in effect) pardon Hillary Clinton." He must have expected a reciprocal courtesy. The next thing he felt were his digits being sheared away.

Acting through their contacts in the incoming administration, the Clinton machine ... 'dismissed National Security Advisor Michael Flynn ... [and] ensured that the green light got flashed to launch an attack on another known foe of Hillary Clinton', Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose sought after resignation would energize the Clinton machine to move on to their next targets, Counsellors Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Bannon.

Trump's response to the finger-lopping campaign was not to respond proportionately but to attack Obama himself. CBS News writes: "The White House ... is calling for an investigation into the previous administration’s surveillance activities."

This escalation represents a real threat to Obama. Suddenly everything is out of control. Nobody would have minded much if Trump had gone after one of Obama's henchmen — which is probably what was expected — but none can foresee how an exchange of blades between principals will end. It is safe to say, however, that unless the combatants disengage, someone will get hurt. It will be a terrible moment for American political civility when a king lies on the political floor. The whole point of a peaceful transition of power is to prevent a clash between kings. Yet the very tragedy the electoral process is intended to prevent is happening before our eyes.

The Left, the press, Obama and Clinton have always misunderstood Trump.  They underestimated him. They failed to realize that he will not play by the rules that made other Republican subjects of their attacks so docile. He fights. And if you start a fight with Trump he will finish it.

So suddenly the Press and the Democrats are backing off the "Trump and Putin stole the election, and the FBI and CIA are on the case." All of a sudden it's "there was no wiretapping of Trump going on." Forget the headlines in the NY Times, we were just kidding.

One of the ways American political culture prevents such a fight is to have only one king at a time. Former presidents are expected to retire and vanish. Obama, however, decided to stay in DC and try to destroy Trump’s presidency. That was a choice that showed little concern for America, but then, the lack of such concern has been a hallmark of Obama’s career.

And who was foolish enough to think that Trump would respond to attacks by playing small ball?
Answer: the foolish people who just lost the last election.

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