To Democrats, the World Is Altgeld Gardens

To understand the left, you have to understand human nature. The  strategy of the left is to capitalize on unhappiness. Many, if not most people, are unhappy about something in their lives, and anything you do to better their situation will only result in something else about which they will be unhappy.  You can see this in the unremitting criticism of the president, ostensibly predicated on an imaginary collusion with Russia and in the anti-gentrification movements spreading through our urban areas.  In both cases, Democrats fan the flames of discontent.

The President

If you read nothing else in the sea of ink this week about Special Counsel Mueller and "Russian Collusion," read in its entirety Dov Fischer's witty and informational article in the American Spectator, "Everyone Is Smart Except Trump," which I can only excerpt for you here.

He begins by making fun of the weak character of Trump's media critics:

It really is quite simple.  Everyone is smart except Donald J. Trump.  That's why they all are billionaires and all got elected President.  Only Trump does not know what he is doing.  Only Trump does not know how to negotiate with Vladimir Putin.  Anderson Cooper knows how to stand up to Putin.  The whole crowd at MSNBC does.  All the journalists do.

They could not stand up to Matt Lauer at NBC.  They could not stand up to Charlie Rose at CBS.  They could not stand up to Mark Halperin at NBC.  Nor up to Leon Wieseltier at the New Republic, nor Jann Wenner at Rolling Stone, nor Michael Oreskes at NPR, at the New York Times, or at the Associated Press. But – oh, wow! – can they ever stand up to Putin!  Only Trump is incapable of negotiating with the Russian tyrant.

Remember the four years when Anderson Cooper was President of the United States?  And before that – when the entire Washington Post editorial staff jointly were elected to be President?  Remember?  Neither do I.

The Seedier Media never have negotiated life and death, not corporate life and death, and not human life and death.  They think they know how to negotiate, but they do not know how.  They go to a college, are told by peers that they are smart, get some good grades, proceed to a graduate degree in journalism, and get hired as analysts.  Now they are experts, ready to take on Putin and the Iranian Ayatollahs at age 30.

He contrasts their life experiences with those of the president and the voters:

Trump's voters get him because not only is he we.  But we are he.  We were not snowflaked-for-life-or-death serious deals.  Instead we live in the real world, and we know how that works.  Not based on social science theories, not based on "conceptual negotiating models."  But based on the people we have met over life and always will hate [snip] we learned from those experiences how to deal with them.  We won't have John Kerry soothe us by having James Taylor sing "You've Got a Friend" carols.

Fischer recounts how the president bulldozed the "penny-pinching-cheap baseborn pigs" of NATO, and why he was tough on Putin in private but was able to continue the negotiating momentum by flattering him in public.

Fischer details how much Trump has accomplished in his first 18 months – from turning around the economy to wiping out ISIS in Raqqa, deregulating the economy, opening oil exploration in ANWR, rebuilding the military, canning the "useless Paris accords" and the "bogus U.N. Human Rights Council," slashing income taxes, and more.

Russia Hokum

With all this going on, the special counsel, who has found not a shred of evidence of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia, indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for hacking the DNC and Hillary Clinton.  Obviously, he never believed they'd appear here to defend themselves, so he need have no proof of the allegations – repeating perhaps the mistake made in another Mueller indictment against Russian companies, one of whom did appear to defend itself through counsel and demand discovery of the government's evidence.  It is amusing to note that among this evidence produced by Mueller in that case are 30 emails from Bernie Sanders's chief strategist, Tad Devine, to Russian actors.

All week long, I've read explanations by people in the field to the effect that it is impossible for the special counsel to know or prove who hacked the DNC and Hillary without the government having ever taken custody of the relevant servers.  Even giving Mueller the benefit of the doubt, it is unlikely that the hacking was to help Trump.

Sultan Knish's arguments (which follow on the evidence just provided by Mueller to the Russian companies in his ill conceived suit) are to my mind persuasive on this point.  The Sultan (David Greenfield) makes a well reasoned argument that the Russians were hacking not to aid Trump – they were trying to help the left, that is, Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders, take over the DNC.

But the Russians didn't believe they could rig an election.  They wouldn't have believed that they could make Bernie president or even a presidential nominee.  However, they might have rightly thought they could push the Democrats further to the left and boost their political allies within the DNC.  The Democrat hacks did little for Trump, but they gave Bernie a shot at taking over the DNC.  If we assume that Russia's project was well-planned, proportional and successful, which considering the track record of their operations in this country is a sensible assumption, then that is what happened.

The post-election Dems are obsessed with Russia, but they've also moved further to the left.  And, regardless of the rhetoric, the Russians spent generations building up ties with the American left.  Whether it's Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein or any other socialists, the DNC hacks weakened the Democrat establishment and strengthened a movement that Russia once used as its hand puppet.

In a sense, the Democrats' hysterical claims about Russia and Trump are of a piece with their unending agitation for division on a local level.  Given the all too human tendency toward nursing grievances, the Democrats are ready to exploit them, no matter how inconsistent the grievances may be.  Take the latest stunt: the anti-gentrification demonstrations in urban environments.  The decades-long flight to the suburbs is being reversed.  Commuter times increase; vouchers and school choice ameliorate the often horrid state of urban school systems.  And fewer children – or none – make city life more appealing to former suburbanites.  Now the same people who bemoan food deserts, crumbling housing infrastructure, and wide income disparity (only the very rich and the poor can manage to live in some cities) are furious that middle-class people are moving in and fixing up long crumbling city areas.  Facebook poster Dita Sullivan reminds us that gentrification means that people "restore build up, beautify, invest in and create attractive venues in a defunct or undeveloped neighborhood."  Organizers playing up rising rents in improving neighborhoods, agitate against this development, as if the social welfare systems can fund themselves without an influx of higher-income taxpayers.  As if good grocery stores and shops will appear by magic in slums without a solid consumer base.

Of course, this reminds me of Barack Obama's employment as a "community organizer," whose job it was to organize the tenants of Altgeld Gardens, a public housing development in Chicago to get the asbestos removed from the buildings.  I don't know how effectively he mobilized community discontent, but it did not result in getting the asbestos out.  Maybe just using the organizing money to hire asbestos-removers would have been the way to go, but I'm not a Democrat.  Maybe securing their internet operations might have prevented hacking – it did for Republicans – but, again, I'm not a Democrat.