Category Archives: Federalism

Turns Out Comey Looks Down At Trump In Every Way

Donald Trump, Ethics, Etiquette, Federalism, Government, Intelligence

At 6’8”, 2.03m, James Comey towers over other mortals. Slender and clean cut, Comey cuts quite a figure. He carries himself and conducts himself like a patrician. But he’s also a snob who looks down at others, and certainly at the president.

A friend says James Comey “felt it was his job to protect the FBI from Trump,” and that Comey was “‘disgusted’ by the Trump hug.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You described Comey’s concerns as — quote — “improper contacts and interferences from a group of people he, Comey, didn’t regard as honorable.”

What gave you that sense that he didn’t view these people as honorable people?

BENJAMIN WITTES: It was written on every line in his face. It was evident in the disapproving tone that he took when he described them.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Including the president?

BENJAMIN WITTES: Oh, very much so. The color of wallpaper was that these were not honorable people, and that protecting the FBI from them was his day job.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You write about the famous hug, when Comey was asked to come with a bunch of different law enforcement agents to the White House soon after the inauguration.

BENJAMIN WITTES: Yes. So, Comey really didn’t want to go that meeting. And there were a lot of Democrats who kind of blame him for Trump. So, he was particularly sensitive to the idea of a sort of show of intimacy or closeness with Trump. That said, he didn’t feel that he could say no to an invitation from the president, particularly one that went generally to law enforcement senior officials. He really wanted to kind of blend in and not be singled out. And he’s 6’8”. So, when you’re…

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Kind of tough to do that.

BENJAMIN WITTES: And when you’re 6’8”, it’s really hard to blend in. And he stands in the part of the room that is as far from Trump as is physically possible to be, and also against blue drapes.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: He chose that spot?

BENJAMIN WITTES: He chose that spot because it was — almost like a chameleon. And then, at the end, right at the end, Trump singles him out in a fashion that he regarded as sort of calculated to maximally drive home this sensitivity of Democratic voters.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He’s become more famous than me.

BENJAMIN WITTES: And he extends his hand kind of preemptively, and Trump grabs the hand and kind of pulls him into a hug, but the hug is entirely one-sided. And Comey was just completely disgusted by the episode. He thought it was an intentional attempt to compromise him in public, in a way that would sow and emphasize concerns that half of the electorate had about him and the bureau.

MORE at PBS.

Deep State Establishment Vs. The Aristocratic Republic The Founders Bequeathed

America, BAB's A List, Communism, Constitution, Democracy, Donald Trump, Federalism, Foreign Policy, Founding Fathers, Government, History, Intelligence, The State

By Dr. Boyd D. Cathey

Who is former CIA director William Brennan? Here is what the Wikipedia says of him: In 1976, he voted for Communist Party USA candidate Gus Hall in the presidential election; he later said that he viewed it as a way “of signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change.”  Despite that and despite what such actions denote, he has been involved in the most sensitive of US intelligence work and in the CIA for twenty-five years, serving directly as a personal intelligence advisor in the administration  of Bill Clinton, and, as a staunch Obama supporter, appointed to head the CIA in 2013.

This fact puts into context an element of the present multifaceted  assault on the Trump presidency, and, indeed, of a highly-politicized intelligence community, infiltrated over decades by cadres of Deep State operatives and sleeper agents, whose goal is to bring down that presidency.

The Deep State establishment wants us to do our thing—pay bills, pay taxes, take the children to school, watch ESPN, mow the grass, maybe go to church, but mainly stay away from getting involved in the “big issues” of really deciding how this country is run. That is their thing: making executive decisions at the top of the food chain, running this nation, conducting its foreign affairs, enacting its domestic policy, lining their pockets, and passing legislation that most of us never hear about until it hits us in the face—or in the pocket book. It’s not exactly an old fashioned dictatorship, but neither is it the republic that our ancestors or the Founders of this nation envisaged, either.

Certainly, those men who assembled to draft our Constitution some 230 years ago did not believe in a “peoples’ democracy.” For them, the republic they gave us did have tiers and gradations, such that those with the most involvement and interest in the new nation would also have the most direct influence. Thus each of the thirteen states had a plethora of property requirements and age requirements, as well as religious tests: all these came together to insure a high level of participation from those who had those interests.

So, what then is the difference between then and now? Do we not still have an aristocracy that, in effect, runs the country?

The issue here is rather the nature of government and how it is construed and operated. Our Founders considered the aristocratic republic they established to be a natural development, based firmly in the deepest traditions and inherited beliefs of the citizens of the new nation. The new constitution would represent an organic “moment” in which the new United States would crystallize its history, reaffirm its British heritage of law and justice. It was, then, not a revolutionary moment, but one cementing a link and connection to the past, to rights that went back to Magna Carta, to Rome, Athens, and, yes, Jerusalem.

It was also intended to be transparent, in that this constitutional arrangement, with its mix of the traditions of aristocracy and limited democratic participation, was not hidden from view. Nor was it intended to be. Americans knew what they were getting. Of course, there were debates over aspects of the founding, and there were disputes, seen most particularly in the several state conventions in the 1820s and 1830s, about whether we wanted to move further in the direction of “democracy” or not.

A major concern of the Founders was the effect wealth might have in influencing elections. They wanted to avoid impropriety as much as possible, to make such concerns as public as they were able.  While they foresaw that men of great affluence might gain advantage, imposing set property conditions and the accumulated weight of traditions, custom, and a sense of deference they believed, could offset such dangers. And, very importantly, they wished that local and states’ rights act as a major counter-balance to eventual encroachments attempted by the Federal government. In other words, they posited what Catholic theorists term “subsidiarity,” that is, what can be done on a lower level of governance, ought to be done on that level and not on a higher level. A whole series of layers of intermediate organisms, families, communities, states, would insulate citizens from overweening powers emanating from Washington.

But, as was stated more than once, the republican “experiment” depended largely on the virtue of its citizenry.

Contrast this now with what acute observers like James Burnham (e.g., The Managerial Revolution) and Samuel Francis (e.g., Leviathan) have starkly noted about the modern United States, about how unelected and largely unseen “managers,” technocrats, and political operatives have in a real sense taken over both the electoral process as well as the running of government, forming a new, “hidden” kleptocracy, of those who answer to no one, and whose tenure is unlimited.  It is, thus, an ugly and grasping inverted mirror of the model the Founders envisaged.

And since 1865 those protective, intermediate layers—states’ rights, local controls, our liberties—have succumbed, one by one, to the power of the Federal state which seems to increasingly suck the lifeblood out of society. We now are face-to-face, far too often, with the full power and threats of a Federal bureaucracy which seems to know no limits. Those unseen managers, the Deep State establishment, will brook no real opposition. If it should appear, it is either tamed and bought off, or squelched.

Enter Donald J. Trump and an agenda that promised to “drain the swamps,” and a very rude awakening in last November’s election. For the Deep State establishment it could not—must not—be permitted to stand. And thus we come to today, all the chimerical controversy about how the “Russians did it,” and how that uncouth ruffian in the White House needs to be taken down a peg or two, surrounded by “experienced advisors,” or perhaps removed from office, toute suite!

This process has in effect torn the lying mask off the face of the Deep State, and most particularly, its advance panzer units, the Mainstream Media. A recent study completed by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy [May 18] has analyzed media coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office. Here is what was found:

CBS, CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. All six portrayed Trump’s first 100 days in highly unfavorable terms. CNN and NBC’s coverage was the most unrelenting—negative stories about Trump outpaced positive ones by 13-to-1 on the two networks. Trump’s coverage on CBS also exceeded the 90 percent mark. Trump’s coverage exceeded the 80 percent level in The New York Times (87 percent negative) and The Washington Post (83 percent negative). The Wall Street Journal came in below that level (70 percent negative), a difference largely attributable to the Journal’s more frequent and more favorable economic coverage.

Even Fox scarcely gave the president more than 50% favorable coverage.

Add to this the unrelenting assaults by Democrats, academia, Hollywood, and various skittish Republicans and NeverTrump Neoconservatives, and we can see the massive offensive against not just President Trump, but even more, against the “drain the swamps” agenda that brought him to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the first place.

More than once I have called for a massive response to this massive offensive. I have stated that while winning this past November 8 was a mini-miracle, extremely difficult to achieve, “winning the victory” would be even harder. And, certainly, it is proving to be so.

*****

~ Dr. Boyd D. Cathey is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

Elon Musk, Et Al.: The Corporate Arm Of The Deep State

Business, Donald Trump, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Federalism, Government, Russia

Elon Musk, Et Al.: The Corporate Arm Of The Deep State” is the current column, now on Townhall.com.  An excerpt:

… “Deep State” is no conspiracy theory. There’s nothing mythical about the Republican and Democratic career government workers, embedded like parasites in the bowels of the bureaucracy, the intelligence community, the military, and a like-minded media, who’ve risen on their hind legs to protect their turf and protest an agenda that leaves them out in the cold.

The anatomy and workings of the Deep State are, in my opinion, reflexive, rather than a matter of collusion and conspiracy. Simple psychology—human nature at its worst—sees government jobs and programs, war and welfare alike, protected in perpetuity and at all costs by the administrators of government jobs and programs.

Hidden or in plain sight, The State is geared toward increasing or maintaining its sphere of influence, never reducing it. Voters are paid lip service, provided their wishes coincide with the aims of this unelected, entrenched apparatus.

But when the popular will defies Deep State, that monster breathes fire.

The “technocratic elite” has a corporate extension. Engorged government bureaucracies are complemented by colossal corporate entities, whose virtue-signaling managers have occupied “the commanding heights of the economy, politics, and culture.” As Burnham warned they would.

The corporate element of this government-within-government superstructure (yes, the conservative Burnham had a Trotskyite beginning) has special access by virtue of its obscene wealth. Think the liver-spotted George Soros, who moves to overthrow governments in “lesser” countries. Think Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Brad Smith, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Uber’s Travis Kalanick, or Google’s Sundar Pichai. They all sprang into action against Trump’s secession from the Paris Climate Accord. …

READ THE REST. “Elon Musk, Et Al.: The Corporate Arm Of The Deep State” is the current column, now on Townhall.com.

UPDATED (5/17): Sanctuary City Mayor Trashes American Hero Robert E. Lee

America, Federalism, History, Racism, States' Rights

Sanctuary City Mayor Trashes American Hero Robert E. Lee” is the current column, now on The Daily Caller. An excerpt:

Mayor Mike Signer—who had declared his intention to make Charlottesville, Virginia, the “capital of the resistance” to President Trump and a sanctuary city “to protect immigrants and refugees”—is refusing to protect a symbol saluting one of America’s greatest men.

Yes, Robert E. Lee was a great American.

If Signer knew the first thing about human valor, he’d know that there was no man more valorous and courageous than Robert E. Lee…

… With its statue, Charlottesville salutes Gen. Lee, who, in a letter to his sister, expressed unhectoring clarity as to where his loyalties lay:

“With all my devotion to the Union, and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home.”

Lee, you see, was first and foremost a Virginian, the state that gave America its greatest presidents and the Constitution itself.

Born in New York (confirmation of which Sergey Brin’s Google search is reluctant to cough up), steeped in Berkeley and Princeton—Mayor Mike Signer is nothing but a carpetbagger. …

READ THE REST. “Sanctuary City Mayor Trashes American Hero Robert E. Lee” is now on The Daily Caller.

UPDATE (5/17):

TownHall.com readers: “Rarely do we find honesty such as this when reading about the War for Southern Independence.” And, “It’s kinda sad that a woman like Ilana who was born in South Africa, lived in Israel and around the world, knows more about our history during the ‘Civil War’ than the mayor of Charlottesville!!”

“Sanctuary City Mayor Trashes An AMERICAN Hero” on Townhall.

Clyde Wilson: