Parallel Lies

So Trump has been cleared of conspiring with Russia to seize the 2016 presidential election in a manner so emphatic that even the BBC has been forced to run it as a front-page headline; when the news broke over the weekend they were doing everything they could to keep it buried on page 2. Not that they couldn’t resist putting a negative spin on it:

But Attorney General William Barr’s summary is inconclusive as to whether Mr Trump obstructed justice.

Meaning, there is no evidence he did so.

In a sane world, this ought to bring to an end two years of what I expect historians will see as an immensely damaging episode in American history when the ruling classes and their media mouthpieces decided to fabricate charges of near-treasonous activity against a sitting president simply because they didn’t like that he won a free and fair election. Worse, many of those accusing Trump actually did conspire to throw the election using every means available short of assassination. For all the hysteria that Trump is trying to re-establish the Third Reich, if this were true he’d be embarking on a mass trial right now which would make Nuremburg look like the small claims court. Hell, the behaviour of certain politicians and FBI directors would have seen them jailed for life or executed by past governments which fell way short of being dictatorial. As I’m fond of saying, America is lucky it was Trump who stumbled into the job back in November 2016. Had it fallen to a smarter more ruthless man who didn’t show his cards, he’d have been gifted a strong excuse to start handing down lengthy prison sentences to his enemies now – including newspaper editors and even owners. The way America is going, this chap may well yet appear.

I’ve said before, there are many parallels between the 2016 election of Trump and the British vote to leave the European Union the same year, and the reactions from the ruling classes to both have been strikingly similar. In each case, they have refused to accept the result and done everything to subvert the democratic wishes of the population simply because they don’t like the outcome. It’s a titanic shift, not just because it paves the way for future skulduggery (which will now become the norm, a la tin-pot basket-case countries) but also because the old left and right designations, which were already severely worn, have finally been destroyed. In the USA, Democrats and Never Trump Republicans joined forces to unseat Trump via fabricated charges of collusion while proper conservatives and the blue collar workers traditionally courted by Democrats wanted him to get on with building walls and bulldozing the EPA with everyone inside. In the UK it’s the same thing: the Metropolitan professional classes who voted for both Blair and Cameron attempting to thwart the expressed democratic wishes of those they consider beneath them. Worse, neither Americans nor the British seem to understand the damage they’re doing to their countries. People honestly think if Trump is impeached, or Article 50 simply withdrawn, everything will go back to normal. It’s hubris and self-delusion on a scale I’d not have thought possible only ten years ago.

The ZMan is fond of pointing out to members of the dissident right that there is no voting their way from where they are now to where they want to be. As is being proven, voting does not change anything and no the odd occasion it does, those in charge simply ignore the vote or attempt to reverse it. Instead, they’re going to have to reframe the entire argument and reject most of what passes for contemporary politics. In practice, this means adopting a pretty ugly sort of tribal-based politics. If that scares you, ask yourself what we’ve got right now.

UPDATE

This long piece by Matt Taibbi is an excellent summary of Russiagate. It’s worse than you can imagine.

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38 thoughts on “Parallel Lies

  1. ‘You can vote your way into socialism but you have to shoot your way out’.
    This truism seems to apply in reverse for righty politics.

  2. “The ZMan is fond of pointing out to members of the dissident right that there is no voting their way from where they are now to where they want to be.”
    I think your problem here is that the “dissident right” you’re referring to here is the middle class. They actually have too much staked in the status quo to risk overturning it. I think back to long conversations I was having with my cousin before the Referendum was announced. He was very close to the UKIP leadership & had been working very hard for the cause. My question to him was; what are you going to do if you get a Leave result? Do you think that will be the end of it? That the UK will just leave? What’s the planning for turning the intention intention into reality? I was told to wait & see. I’m still waiting…
    Things have turned out much as I thought they would then. The vested interests have blocked Leaving in every way possible. Democracy has basically been ignored. Which was what I expected. One of the suggestions I made back then was to explore the avenues of extra-democratic action. Taking some tips from the far militant Left & being prepared to put people on the streets. Maybe have some discreet chats with people like the EDL to give you some muscle. And maybe the hacker community to be able to deploy electronic attacks against government & commercial IT structures. You are, after all, engaged in something not so far different from the American Declaration of Independence. The Yanks did, after all, have to have a Revolutionary War to secure it. They couldn’t vote it into being. The government of the Colonies was in the hands of the British. There wasn’t a democratic route available.
    My cousin recoiled in horror. Couldn’t even conceive of the possibility. But then, why would he? He’s as much invested in the status quo as the Remainers. He depends on the banking system to finance his business. He’s utterly dependent on the maintenance of the infrastructure, continuance of law & order, the established structure to continue his lifestyle. He’s just not revolutionary material.
    And I think this is an enormous problem. The intellectual middle class “right” are only paper revolutionaries. They’ll talk but they lack the guts & the willingness to self-sacrifice to turn talk into action. Fantasy into reality.

  3. I think your problem here is that the “dissident right” you’re referring to here is the middle class.

    In the UK they are, yes. In the USA? I’m not sure. A lot of them seem to own guns and be ex-military.

    He’s utterly dependent on the maintenance of the infrastructure, continuance of law & order, the established structure to continue his lifestyle.

    Very true. If people want change, they’re going to have to allow things to get ugly. The good news is they’re going to get ugly anyway.

  4. Oh, you’re right [ 🙂 ] Tim. It’ll be ugly because the “right” that does overturn the status quo will be the other “right” who’ll be almost as bad as the left.

  5. And it’s interesting what you say about the American military. The American left has grown out if the Viet Nam era. Both the anti-war movement and those who were involuntarily fed through the meatgrinder of a hopeless war. Now that generation has fed a volunteer military through pointless campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan & other shitholes east. What happens when they become significant in politics? They’re of a very different mindset. We’re already seeing it with Trump, aren’t we? Who captured a large portion of the military & recent vet vote.

  6. It’ll be ugly because the “right” that does overturn the status quo will be the other “right” who’ll be almost as bad as the left.

    Precisely.

  7. We’re already seeing it with Trump, aren’t we? Who captured a large portion of the military & recent vet vote.

    Yeah, there was an ex-SEAL on a recent Joe Rogan podcast who said that if the left keeps going down this road they’re on, they’re inevitably going to start something violent, at which point he’ll have no choice but to “get involved”.

  8. I’ve sprung a rib laughing since the Mueller handed in his work, so forgive me if I’m not quite as downbeat as Tim’s forecasts.

    All through this investigation my general feeling was that if US elections were so easy to influence, Hiliary would have stormed it with 85% of the vote, and we’d not be here watching the wind of deranged democrats create waves in the lake of vinegar and piss that they generated following Trump’s election.

    (I forget- and please forgive me, this story has run for so long, with so many new angles introduced when the previous ones ran out of steam-was the narrative that Putin, with a few quids’ worth of Facebook ads managed to push the American people into electing someone they’d never pick in a billion years? Was that genuinely it?)

    The reason for my sunnier take is that I doubt that the left in the US is bright enough to do anything apart from double down on this, and subject people to even more far-fetched ideas. Remember #pussygate? Porn star pay offs? Trump university? Wikipedia has it’s own page for these fantasies of underemployed poli-sci grads [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Donald_Trump_controversies]. The Dems will just come up with another couple of things to piss and whine about (Tax returns will be next, I’d bet).

    It’s looking increasingly like Trump has broken the Dems so utterly, they have lost all sense of self- they are now wholly defined *in their own minds* by their notTrump status. How mentally ill do you have to be to build your entire psyche around your enemy?

    There will be whinges incoming how the AG is a Trump plant, that Mueller didn’t exonerate Donald of something or other and Honest Bob just failed to find conclusive proof of criminality (because only someone with blue hair could fail to understand that proving a negative is impossible) or some other such horseshit.

    All through this, the world will keep spinning, opinion pieces in the WaPo will continue to provide Tim with fodder for his blog, and Trump will win 2020 with a landslide, having done little more than to nudge his opponents (and he’s had more than any other president ever) into having a highly public nervous breakdown that has utterly destroyed their credibility.

    Brexit, though, I am not laughing at.

  9. Brief aside:

    The cases that Mueller did gain prosecutions on all look to me like the kind of ‘crimes’ that come out when anyone with virtually limitless funding and access crawls over any human endeavour of importance. Am I wrong? Or was this not the worlds highest profile fishing trip?

    And if this isn’t political/psychological, if it is instead about justice and the integrity of the office, why didn’t (say) Obama’s $375k fine for campaign funding not end up with a full-on lube job like Trump has had?

    Actually, don’t answer that.

  10. “Had it fallen to a smarter more ruthless man who didn’t show his cards, he’d have been gifted a strong excuse to start handing down lengthy prison sentences to his enemies now – including newspaper editors and even owners. The way America is going, this chap may well yet appear.”

    Tim I think you are underestimating Trump by confusing the cultivated persona of Orange Man with the man behind it who plays the long game masterfully. By allowing the Mueller circus to play itself out, unhindered, he baited the hook to catch conspirators and expose the lunacies of the left. I believe we have just witnessed the Prologue to some very interesting counterstrikes.

  11. LJH

    Yes. I think Trump has let the left in the USA play out. I hope and believe we are about to see a bit of Empire Strikes Back. Maybe they will lock that bitch up after all. If I’m right and a bunch of dems, FBI and DOJ types get to go to court I think the media is going to melt. I’m buying popcorn.

  12. People honestly think if Article 50 is simply withdrawn, everything will go back to normal.

    Well, what’s the alternative? Gilets jaunes protests in the UK? The last time we saw anything like that was the 2000 fuel protests, and that involved a tiny number of protesters. They just happened to have a large impact because they blockaded critical infrastructure.

    At best we could see a working-class general strike, with “real” workers (as opposed to us pampered office workers) downing tools and blocking roads until Brexit is delivered.

    There is a precedent: the Ulster Workers’ general strike of 1974 started with the working classes, spread to the middle classes, and ultimately succeeded in its political aims. But they had both a depth and breadth of support which I simply don’t believe Brexit has. There are a lot of mild Brexiteers, but they aren’t sufficiently passionate to take action.

  13. Andrew M

    “There are a lot of mild Brexiteers, but they aren’t sufficiently passionate to take action.”

    Oh, I don’t know. Most Brexiteers have had to endure a barrage of insults for the last three years; the desire for pay-back grows proportionately.

    More interesting, is the number of Remain voters who are now full-on Leavers. Not just those with a public-ish platform, like Sir Christopher Meyer, Dan Hodges, etc., etc, but ordinary bods. I live in the constituency, Kensington, which had the highest Remain vote and since Christmas have had random conversations with three neighbours who have switched. All of them because of what they see as the vindictiveness of the EU Commision. Haven’t met anybody, anywhere who has made the reverse journey.

  14. John square, pretty much my take on things too, just hoping though we get some prosecutions of some of the bad actors here.

  15. Its worse than a smear of ‘Trump colluded with the Russians!’ being proved fake. Its obvious that the entire thing was actively set up from the very start, well before Trump even won the election. It was designed to do exactly what it did, destabilise any Trump administration, and (potentially) even remove Trump from the Presidency if things went ‘well’. Thats what this is – an open Deep State attempt to subvert the democratic process, to ensure a democratically elected politician who might threaten the Deep State was neutralised.

    If there was any justice in America there would be a long line of perp walks happening pretty soon. and some show trials of those responsible. But there won’t be, because (like the UK) the Establishment will protect its own. But at least (like with Brexit in the UK) everyone knows where they stand now.

  16. “In a sane world, this ought to bring to an end two years of what I expect historians will see as an immensely damaging episode in American history””

    On the other hand, it now enables all of the evidence that was legally gathered throughout this entire investigation to be legally used to support the real and hidden objective of this operation. Maybe Mueller was never out to get Trump all along and it was all about using this cover of a collusion investigation to legally obtain evidence that is now admissible and can be used to go after and prosecute the real bad guys on the other side of the political spectrum.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAF9OAO4TtA

  17. Well, what’s the alternative? Gilets jaunes protests in the UK?

    It’s hard to say, but as a minimum I think we’d see the Tory share of the vote collapse, and grass roots support disappear completely. At the same time they’ll be a lot of Labour votes up for grabs, all of which could be tempted by new parties at least one of which will be anti-Europe. If Trump wins a second term and starts threatening to pull out of NATO (a possibility) I expect at least one British party to advocate the same. After all, who is willing to go and fight for mainland Europeans right now? Where the f- have the Baltic states been when Verhofstadt and Co were busy insulting Britain? If Russia wants them, let France and Germany defend them.

  18. “Maybe Mueller was never out to get Trump all along and it was all about using this cover of a collusion investigation to legally obtain evidence that is now admissible and can be used to go after and prosecute the real bad guys on the other side of the political spectrum.”

    I’d like to think so too, but I think these ideas that Trump is playing 3D chess while his opponents are playing noughts and crosses are just wishful thinking. The institutions that would be required to investigate the such matters are cess pits of Democrat Party patsies, as we’re seen so far. There just isn’t anyone out there who is objective and honest enough to bring the culprits to justice. Don’t forget this goes right to the top – it started while Obama was still in the White House, and he most likely knew what was going on. We’ve already seen how they gave Hilary a free pass. You think the same people are going to clean the Augean Stables for Trump?

  19. All I am saying is that if it was some kind of Sting type operation, then watching its next phase unfold should be quite interesting. If it is not or nothing big or surprising unfolds out of his investigation then I like you will be just as disappointed as the majority of the modern world is today about the current outcome of the Mueller investigation.

  20. “After all, who is willing to go and fight for mainland Europeans right now?’

    I see that Italy a G7 and NATO nation has just signed up to the “One Belt One Road” project. Making them the first G7 and major European power to do so and much to the chagrin of the Fraulein and the Maricon. The best bit is what Luigi Di Maio the Five Star Party leader and ally of Conte had to say about it:

    “Like someone in the United States said ‘America first. I continue to repeat ‘Italy first’ in commercial relations.”

    Defying Allies, Italy Signs On to New Silk Road With China

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/23/world/europe/italy-china-xi-silk-road.html

  21. “Well, what’s the alternative? Gilets jaunes protests in the UK? The last time we saw anything like that was the 2000 fuel protests,”

    This is the sought of thing I was thinking of, back in ’15. But to get anything like that off the ground you need networks organised, a critical mass of activists a protest can coalesce around. And that is when this should have been done. Before the Referendum. It takes years to organise what would be needed. It’s why, personally, I’m so disillusioned with the whole business. Typical fucking middle class wankers. Because they always obey the rules they think everyone else will. That they’ll be handed their victory on a plate. Something is needed now & it’s too late. The opportunity will be missed. 17.4 million voters are going to get the stiff middle finger without being able to do the slightest thing about it. Yes, the Tories might get hammered at a GE. But that just lets Labour in who are worse. It would be nice to think that the other side of a Labour term a reinvigorated Tory government could unpick whatever disastrous arrangement with the EU the current mess has resulted in, but would the country have the stomach for another attempt at leaving. After this lot?

  22. Several people on here in the comments have mentioned ‘Gilet Jaune’ type protests in the UK. I agree some form of mass protest movement, preferably containing some targeted non violent direct action stunts, would be needed to help to bring about meaningful change or at the very least, get the political classes to honour the referendum result.

    Unfortunately what currently constitutes the ‘Yellow Vest UK’ movement is, at least in my opinion based on what I’ve seen so far, distinctly unimpressive. When these YVUK groups started up I was somewhat supportive but cautiously so. I predicted that if this movement is to grow then it needs to pick up and hold many of the normal, only recently politicised people, those who have started to take an interest in politics since the Referendum. I also said that these groups will not grow and will not be effective if they allow themselves to become dominated by the sort of oddballs and fraggles that frighten both the horses and the normal people away.

    Sadly, at least from what I can see, the Yellow Vest movement in the UK has failed to pick up people who are either on the fringes of or who are outside the political activist bubble. The London Yellow Vest group for example never seems to have got more than 100 attendees and that is being generous at least from what I’ve seen. They are also not attracting the normal people. I’ve seen an awful lot of ‘out there’ types promoting ‘out there’ causes attached to the Yellow Vests and it is not a good look. There is considerable penetration and influence on the UKYV scene by the ‘mobile phones give you cancer’ crowd, the ‘Freeman of the land’ types, those with lost causes and even in one example I saw, a man marching in support of a gaoled quack doctor who peddled fake cancer cures. I’m even hearing of some YV groups who are being influenced by the Chemtrails promoters. None of these types are people I would want to march with or even be seen marching with.

    To have a group dominated by those who promote such causes does nothing to attract the normal thinking person who wants to demonstrate for Brexit or for political change. I was embarrassed for the last lot of YV’s I saw in London as they were so motley and disorganised that they were being openly laughed at by local and tourist alike.

    I concur that we do need a big protest movement at least over the Brexit issue but for it to be effective it has to attract a mass of people including the reasonable ones who would not normally consider themselves to be political animals. At the moment I can’t see what can be a nucleus for such a movement that will attract both the committed and the less than committed politically, but I do strongly feel that it is not to be found in those who march for quacks and conspiracy theories.

    I fear we are cursed to live in ‘interesting’ political times

  23. Tim N,

    “It’s hard to say, but as a minimum I think we’d see the Tory share of the vote collapse, and grass roots support disappear completely. ”

    Their volunteer support has collapsed. Because here’s the thing: this is the only bone the right-wingers (which is a lot of the party) have. If May had been reforming the NHS, reducing the feral bastard offspring of benefit queens, kicking out illegal immigrants and privatising the BBC and C4, but not delivering on Brexit, they might have been “well, at least there’s that”. But all they had was Brexit.

  24. The dissident right (Zman’s audience, for example) *is* the “other right”. It largely transcends class boundaries. I, for one, look forward to when it takes over. Which it will. The problem at the moment is getting people to understand that this isn’t a bad thing or something to resist.

  25. @F211
    It doesn’t take much to work out that les gilets jaunes had a measure of planning & coordination behind them. (I’m guessing that a certain blonde lady mightn’t be totally removed from that) You’re not going to see the same in UK because there’s no-one to do that, apart from the usual suspects on the left. The conservative right don’t do protests, or when some do – the EDL for instance – they go into pearl clutching mode.Their biggest fear is what the neighbours might say.

  26. @Andrew M on March 25, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Did you miss the news of Truckers trial go-slow during Friday rush hour across England?

    They can make the fuel protest look like a small inconvenience.

    btw the Ulster Workers’ general strike of 1974 differed due to guns & bombs. My father closed his hotel and we went on holiday – customers and us supported strike, but wanted pub & restaurant open, but permission denied.

  27. “It’s hard to say, but as a minimum I think we’d see the Tory share of the vote collapse, and grass roots support disappear completely. At the same time they’ll be a lot of Labour votes up for grabs, all of which could be tempted by new parties at least one of which will be anti-Europe.”

    If this is a scenario at all, then what will happen will be some sort of coup, need not be military, in which an “interim government” can be formed to keep the peace while the factions sort it out. Allegedly.

    And we’ve seen time and again how well that works in Africa and Latin America, yes?

    It’s just not an option for the mother of democracies.

  28. +1 for Bloke on M4.

    You might add in the complete breakdown of law and order to that mix and the utter failure of the Police to actually do something about it, prioritising “hate speech” and policing Twatter and Farcebook. Anarcho-Tyranny is the normal mode of operation of the Police and authorities nowadays.

    It won’t be a single thing that sparks off riots etc. (although the journalists will seize on something to justify their condemnation – see the Gilet Jaunes in France rioting over “fuel taxes” – how unreasonable, eh? BUT it was one in a number of issues that proved to be the straw that broke the camels back). However, once people realise they have less to lose and more to gain by kicking off, then, just like criminals where the punishment is no deterrent and the rewards outweigh the penalties, it is a dangerous situation.

    The things that matter to people who have to live their lives outside of the bubble where the Police provide security and plenty of guns to protect the politicians are exactly that – law and order, decent healthcare and being able to see your doctor, not being taxed into poverty and forced to live in a culture that resembles a third world country – are the things that will cause them to flip.

    One of my friends in the UK, years ago, said that provided that the working man has his beer, tobacco and football, there wont be a revolution. Now, I’m not so sure.

  29. “Patrick on March 25, 2019 at 10:39 am said:
    ‘You can vote your way into socialism but you have to shoot your way out’.
    This truism seems to apply in reverse for righty politics.”

    Off the top of my head Chile, Spain and Portugal eventually returned to democracy without th need for violent revolution.

  30. Why do you see the necessity for a coup arising from that, BiG? The most likely outcome initially would be either Tory or Labour minority government, but with a much reduced number of seats & on a reduced share of the vote & the remaining seats & votes spread across a number of smaller parties. In other words, the political landscape of half the countries in Europe. (Belgium seems to manage without a government for much of the time.) The government itself might subsequently change, depending on what alliances & coalitions might be formed, but it’d still be democracy. Just not the two party system the country’s been used to.
    As I said in my first comment, the middle-classes* (and I’m guessing you’re a pretty typical example of the species) see this sort of thing unthinkable because they’ve far too much staked in the status quo.

    *I’m buggered if I can work out what I’m supposed to be. One side of the family started out dirt poor but headed up into the millionaire bracket. Other shirked its way down from comfortably wealthy to impecunious & there’s nothing more detestable than the reduced middle-classes. Very hard to look down on their inferiors when they’re standing in the gutter. But it does give me a perspective to appreciate the pluses & minuses of both.

  31. Incidentally, working class, middle class. It’s verbal short hand for something. But what? It’s certainly not, these days, strictly about wealth & earnings. Way I see it, working class (ignoring the shirking class) earn based on their real time achievements. Middle class collect rent on their assets – maybe wealth, proffessional or educational achievements. So you end up with different attitudes. Working class are more open to change because they look to better themselves. Middle class dislike change because it might threaten their investment.
    And we saw this in the Referendum votes. Leave was more represented in the working class because they saw opportunity in change. Middle saw threat & voted remain

  32. Organisations go through a cycle.
    First they are suspect and work to build trust.
    That done they relax. Errors go uncorrected since they are trusted.
    Malfeasance starts because errors were not corrected.
    At some point malfeasance is noticed.
    Then either the organisation is terminated or trust is rebuilt.
    Applies to Parliament, the BBC, every organisation in earth.
    Malfeasance has become apparent in Parliament, the BBC, education and much else.
    These organisations need to reform, die, or be killed.
    The English have not rioted for ages. That is because they never had sufficient reason. Give them sufficient reason and things might change.

  33. This was an attempted coup and everyone involved should be publicly hanged, with the hangings broadcast on all the networks. The right is in the position it is now because they see this shit happen time and again then do nothing about it, they’ll give some speeches, write some articles and then cement into place all the damage done and gains made by the left. People have to see the rope at some point and not after lengthy politicized trials. Anyone whose name appears on a document or was present for a meeting goes to the gallows, immediately. If you don’t like that, don’t be part of those meetings.

  34. I am going to the Demo at the House O’ Scum on Friday 29th. Never been to one in my life but I am going now. If anyone can be there please do so. Yes –they can ignore it–but if 10 people turn up -as with Farage’s poorly thought out and planned March–the scum will be all the happier.

  35. Nice HT to Matt T’s piece on RussiaGate….he’s certainly a red-diaper-doper however the boy can write with scathiness (sic)

  36. If people want change, they’re going to have to allow things to get ugly. The good news is they’re going to get ugly anyway.

    But they’re going to get very ugly indeed, because the people of the present – myself included – lack the sack to tolerate even a little ugliness, so to speak.

    What I mean is this: imagine if the Tea Party protestors, instead of waving signs and wearing those stupid old-timey hats, had all stopped paying their taxes. A few hundred thousand people would be more than enough to start a snowball effect: far too many to jail, far too many to ignore, enough to inspire others to join in. The whole US gov’t could’ve ended up different.

    But nobody wants to risk going to jail, getting bad credit, etc, even when they’ve clubbed together enough to mean that such a risk is basically zero. So nothing happened.

    ljh – the ol’ 4D chess thing is getting a little tired. “Trust us, we’re working hard behind the scenes” can only hold up for so long before people start taking matters into their own hands. Look to New Zealand for an extreme example.

  37. Matthew McG: I think we are once more in a 1989 moment whenthe Soviet Empire looked formidable just before it unravelled. At some point the inherent contradictions, the rot, the narrative reach a critical point and the political structure collapses and the ramifications ripple out into the world in unforeseen consequences. Thirty years is a generation. The permanent political classes no longer serve the people as well as themselves.

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