David Hogg, Child Media Star

Caught in the whirlwind of adoring television interviews, newspaper profiles, rally speeches and teenage groupies, David Hogg has not had time to ruminate on one of the great truths of our media–driven age: The long arc of history doesn’t bend toward justice. For individuals, it bends toward obscurity.

In other words: David Hogg, meet Sandra Fluke.

Gary McCoy, Shiloh, IL

Sandra, you may recall, was the coed with an active sex life. She caught the Obamacare wave at just the right time with her demand that Catholics be forced to foot the bill for her birth control pills. A nice–looking girl with no shame and a slightly ‘naughty librarian look’ is always newsworthy. The Opposition Media made her refusal to take her own precautions a cause célèbre.

She evolved from sexual relations activist to martyr when Rush Limbaugh decided to dabble in an extremely crass reductio ad absurdum and unwisely called Fluke a “slut.” A genuine insult and beneath Rush. In spite of the fact Limbaugh had just tripled her speaking fees, Sandra joined the outrage parade and called for advertisers to boycott El Rushbo’s show.

The reason for this background on Fluke is five years after her nationwide notoriety peaked, Sandra has joined the Jackson Five in obscurity. Howard Stern can talk about sex for decades and still be current, but there comes a time when a civilian like Sandra just starts to sound obsessed. The Obamacare mandate is old news and so is Fluke.

She tried to capitalize on her fleeting fame by running for the California legislature. Evidently the free–pills vote wasn’t pivotal. She lost to a man (!) 60 to 40 percent. Now, in her rare news appearances she’s just an activist, which as you can imagine in California includes a cast of thousands.

David Hogg, of Parkland, FL shooting fame and NRA hatred, is following an eerily similar media sensation career path. I imagine it will come as a shock to him when the arc is complete and he rejoins us mere mortals here on planet Earth. A bit over a month into his notoriety, Hogg isn’t wearing well. First, there’s his potty mouth. Turning an interview regarding school shootings into a bleep–fest might make the pencil–neck feel like a tough guy, but it makes interview bookers wary. Then there’s Hogg’s failure to grasp that objecting to using a free, clear backpack at the same time he’s attempting to limit other’s Constitutional rights is not a flattering juxtaposition.

And what claim to expertise does Hogg rally have? Fluke took birth control pills and presumably had sex, so there was first–hand experience. But Hogg? He’s only a proximitist. A creature of the 2nd Amendment–hating OpMedia. Reporters automatically label any sympathetic and photogenic individuals “survivors” if they were anywhere near a large–scale shooting. The media–determined circle inside which all people are instantly deemed survivors approximates the blast radius of an atomic bomb.

The term “survivor” is designed to convey an aura of importance, sympathy and immunity to criticism. In reality, the real “survivors” of the Parkland shooting are the students who were wounded and survived. I’m even willing to count bruises from the stampede.

If a student wasn’t shot, then the term for those closest to the action is witness, not survivor. Hogg can’t even claim that distinction. Depending on which reporter he’s talking to, Hogg was either at home and rushed to school when he heard about the shooting; or he was in science class and evacuated the building. He only heard firing in the distance.

This makes Hogg a “proximitist” from the word ‘proximity,’ which means near. Hogg is actively cashing in on his proximity to the shooting, but in truth if Hogg is a “survivor,” then so is Deputy Scott Peterson.

Blanket “survivorship” is a relatively new phenomenon. After Fort Hood only people who had been wounded were called “survivors.” People who happened to be on base remained anonymous.

In yet another interview Hogg complained that he was turned down for admission by a number of California colleges. Changing the world has delayed making a final college decision, but he’s still open to offers. This is the higher education equivalent of Amazon opening the bidding for its new headquarters.

And here Hogg really enters Fluke territory. Laura Ingraham tweeted that with the low acceptance rates for California colleges, Hogg shouldn’t be surprised that his 4.1 GPA didn’t make the cut.

Even pointing out the obvious is out of bounds if the facts concern a Gun Violence Icon.

PR agents masquerading as reporters claimed Ingraham was “mocking” a “massacre survivor.” Now Hogg is organizing a boycott of Ingraham’s advertisers. My advice for him is to enjoy it while it lasts, because it won’t last forever. The media will eventually move on without him.

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Steve Bannon’s Spontaneous Combustion

It’s been said that death was a good career move for Elvis, it remains to be seen if Steve Bannon’s Watch–Me–Burn–Down–My–Career Tour will be equally favorable for his future prospects. The coverage of his quotes and leaks in Michael Wolff’s new book ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House’ has been nothing short of incendiary.

So far this week Bannon has alienated President Trump, driven away his largest financial backer and made himself look delusional by thinking he could successfully run for president. He now joins another Breitbart.com alumnus, Milo Yiannopoulos, in the firm of Persona Non Grata and Partners.

Right now, the only way Bannon could possibly make the situation worse would be for him to start dating Kathy Griffin or ask to borrow her Trump head.

I’ve been reading coverage of the book excerpts and making lists. I started with the list of people who thought Trump would lose the election and then moved on to the list of people who hold Trump in contempt. There is plenty of overlap, but the name that’s surprising is Trump’s!

Trump is on the roster of people who thought he wouldn’t win the election. That goes a long way toward explaining why he broke his first promise to his voters and didn’t self–fund the campaign. Trump doesn’t back losers. According to Wolff, his goal was to become even more famous and then cash in on his increased notoriety after the election and make Trump enterprises even bigger.

No wonder his campaign was composed of a thin veneer of consultants on top and large numbers of enthusiastic rally attendees at the bottom, with mostly nothing in between. Trump was happy with the adulation of the masses, the attention of the media and the consternation of the entrenched political class.

Trump was liberated by his low expectations.

What the Opposition Media overlooks is the narrative of no expectation for victory completely undermines the ‘colluded with Russia to win’ fantasy. If a steely–eyed Trump was telling his meager staff to win at all costs, well it’s Putin on line #1. But if the campaign was a lark, an ego trip and a roadshow then it makes no sense for Trump to be looking to Moscow for help in beating Crooked Hillary.

The motive for collusion vanishes. Trump’s references to Russia and email were laugh lines at rallies and debates that grim, humorless, Trump–hating reporters purposely choose to take literally. Trump in the book was on a fun–filled romp — insulting other Republicans, attacking Hillary and generating unprecedented news coverage — that was going to conclude on election night.

He would have one last rally that night, claim Hillary stole the election and then start exploiting his new–found fame. Much of the staff planned on doing the same thing. According to the book, “The candidate and his top lieutenants believed they could get all the benefits of almost becoming president without having to change their behavior or their worldview one whit.”

A vote margin of under 10 points for a candidate with Trump’s negatives, would be impressive and help build the client list.

Colluding with Russia on the other hand would have been work. Serious business like that requires planning and long–term strategy, which were not a characteristic of the Trump campaign.

And that leads me to the tragedy of the book and the campaign.

A candidate who didn’t think he would win, won a stunning victory because he ran on issues that resonated with Americans who were tired of being told their beliefs were hateful or backward. These citizens were sick of being treated with thinly–veiled contempt by political, academic and corporate elites who intended to change the US whether they liked it or not.

These voters stayed with Trump through thick and thin and delivered an Electoral College victory. If Trump had been a candidate who left discussions of female anatomy exploration to experts like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer, there’s an excellent chance he could have won the popular vote, too.

Reestablishing the rule of law, protecting borders, putting America First, protecting the unborn and rolling back the cultural depredations of the left are important issues and Trump’s victory may be the last chance conservatives will have. If his feckless approach to governing doesn’t deliver on his promises or Trump is forced out of office, no foreseeable Republican presidential candidate will embrace those issues.

It will be one complacent, country club Republican after another. A failed state of affairs that will make Trump’s outraged response to Bannon’s comments become poignant. Trump said his “historic victory…was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country.”

A failed presidency or one that betrays his promises will guarantee they remain “forgotten.”

Virginia Election Determined by Angry Swamp Creatures

The Virginia off–year election for governor demonstrates what would have happened last year if the Constitution didn’t require an Electoral College.

Crony Conservative Ed Gillespie carried 82 counties compared to Democrat Ralph Northam’s 13. The 69–county advantage didn’t mean squat though. All that counted was Northam’s 230,853 vote margin that put him in the governor’s mansion.

I assumed that Gillespie’s loss was due to his tepid embrace of President Trump’s populism and a generally uninspiring campaign. Gillespie’s issues may have been a hit with focus groups, but in the real world the campaign landed with a thud.

Gillespie is as much a conservative as Elizabeth Warren is a Comanche. Jeb Bush may have been low energy, but Ed Gillespie was low emotion. When a candidate speaks conservatism as a second language it’s tough to be fluent discussing issues important to the base.

Unfortunately, the numbers don’t support my case for conservatives and Trumpistas rejecting our lobbyist–in–waiting. It’s hard to evaluate intensity since Virginia doesn’t register voters by party. And you can’t compare the 2013 primary to the 2017 primary because in 2013 Republicans held a convention.

Since the big issue for Democrats and the OpMedia was the so–called Trump effect, it makes sense to examine counties carried by the president. It appears many Virginia conservatives were more tolerant of Establishment Ed and his amnesty background than I was.

Ballotpedia identified five counties in Virginia it terms “pivot counties” because they voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016. These counties should be the home of swing voters and the type of voter Gillespie would have to hold to win. During the GOP primary the ineffectual but bombastic Corey Stewart won only two of the five counties, indicating swing voters found Enervating Ed an acceptable candidate.

In the general election Gillespie again carried all five of the “pivot counties.” In three his margin was less than Trump’s, but in the other two his margin exceeded Trump’s. Analyst Jim Crumley contends it was Gillespie’s failure to turn out the Trump vote that cost him the election. I disagree. Gillespie got 66 percent of the Trump voters to go to the polls in an off–year election, which is very good when you consider overall voter turnout was only 47 percent.

What beat Gillespie was the remarkable 71 percent of the Hillary voters that Democrats turned out. Then if Gillespie’s loss wasn’t due to conservative turnoff, what was the cause? Simple, this election was the revenge of the swamp creatures. Republicans in the House of Delegates lost a shocking 14 seats and a stunning 11 of those losers were incumbents.

Looking at a color–coded map of the state by legislative district makes my case. All but one of the flipped seats were either in the suburbs of Washington, DC; the government installation–heavy Norfolk area, government–centric Richmond and isolated Communist cells in the university towns of Lynchburg, Roanoke and Blacksburg.

A combination of Big Government and Big Dependency helped the swamp break through the levee and inundate neighboring House of Delegates’ districts. Government pounded the governed.

And who can blame them? Trump has targeted Big Government from his first days in office. It’s a public–spirited swamp creature indeed who would vote for the party of the man who claims to be draining their habitat.

In February of last year — at the time I was on Cruz Control — I wrote a column about the best reason I’d seen so far to vote for Trump. A GovExec.com poll claimed that up to 25 percent of the federal workforce would consider quitting if Trump were elected.

It proved to be just another Big Government lie, but the survey was a useful indicator of attitude. The federal workforce and its various hangers on that include contractors, NGOs, lobbyists, handout seekers and crony capitalists see an unprecedented threat to their livelihood if Trump is successful. That fear and OpMedia–fed loathing led to an unprecedented negative, straight–ticket vote against Republicans.

They didn’t so much vote their pocketbooks as they voted to keep draining yours.

The question for Democrats is can they replicate this success in the 2018 mid–term elections? I’m doubtful. Metro can only export so many federal workers and camp followers to the surrounding DC suburbs. And it’s a cinch Trump isn’t planning to go on a nationwide federal hiring frenzy so he can send more Democrats to the polls.

That doesn’t mean Democrats won’t win by other means. If the Republican Keystone Kongress — the Gang That Couldn’t Govern Straight — doesn’t pass meaningful tax reform or repeal Obamacare; but does pass amnesty for DACA invaders, I predict a wipeout.

One in which I will gladly participate.

Opposition Media Grades on a Strange Curve

Don’t you hate it when your optimism proves unfounded?

He entered the New Year riding a wave of what appeared to be unprecedented political support — the most for a Republican in quite a few years. And what happened? Legislative fumbles in the first 100 days, and the second 100 days for that matter, produced story after story in the Opposition Media claiming the legislative honeymoon was over before it began.

Then there was the unseemly internal bickering with other Republican leaders, again extensively covered by the OpMedia. Externally, there were high–profile failures to honor major campaign promises.

And don’t forget the politically tin–eared statements to the media that alienated independent voters and kept critical news coverage going during any lulls between major upsets. This resulted in a collapse in his approval rating with both base and swing voters — possibly a crucial setback to any chance of re–election.

Analyzing this collapse is where the OpMedia’s grading on a strange curve comes into play. This master of political disaster who’s frittered away a huge opportunity is not Donald Trump! In fact, the identity of this reviled politician is someone you don’t expect. But who, you’re asking? The answer to that pressing question can be found by clicking on the link below for my Newsmax column:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/mitch-mcconnell-approval-rating-disapprove-trump/2017/08/29/id/810487/

 

Trump “Enemies List” Should Include the Staff

Many Trump supporters have been dismayed by constant Opposition Media attacks on the president. Trumpistas worry that potential administration accomplishments could be undermined or defeated by leftists before Trump has served even a single year.

My advice is to save your fretting.

The left has already won and they did it by seizing the high ground in the administration’s Human Resources office. Why spend millions on political organizing and TV ads when a new Trojan Horse reports for work every week?

Trump’s apparent failure to get political appointees submitted to the Senate for confirmation begins to finally make some sense. The hundreds of vacant positions aren’t a symptom of Trump mismanagement, inefficiency or a desire to shrink the government.

The slow–walking must be plot on the part of the leftist cabal that runs the White House HR department. Their first goal is to get the moles into place and ready to leak, before supporters are nominated to implement Trumpismo initiatives.

Trump administration hiring decisions have completely reversed the newsgathering dynamic.

There’s a scene in the excellent new movie “The Case for Christ” where courtroom reporters rush madly to a bank of pay phones to call in a breaking story. This was a common occurrence before the invention of cell phones.

Today, when there’s momentous news, Trump’s White House staffers pretend to need a smoke, a vape or attend to their bowels as they rush off to find some privacy so they can call a reporter and be the first to drop administration linen before another ingrate beats them to the punch.

Trump’s administration isn’t draining the swamp; it’s restocking the swamp.

 So what is it with Republicans? Why are they such self–serving snakes and Democrats to loyal? My thoughts on the matter continue in the rest of my column found at Newsmax.com. Please click the link below:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/fbi-leakers-republican-yates/2017/05/16/id/790518/