For this installment of the ever-popular 5QT, we’ll begin with a small catalog of just how bad things are getting for Team Biden…
1. Those Polls Smell Like Joe’s Pants at the End of a Long Day
Sooner or later we’re going to have to quit thinking of the Quinnipiac poll as a Democrat fake-news operation, because it’s hard to spin the kind of numbers it’s putting out nowadays.
This week, the Q-poll has Joe Biden’s approval rating at 36 percent. Just 36 percent! It’s actually hard for a Democrat president to go much lower than that given that the Democrats have a base of about 30 percent of the vote which will affirmatively vote for the most incompetent, slovenly and loathsome individuals on the ballot.
Or do you have another explanation for how Lori Lightfoot, LaToya Cantrell, Jerry Nadler, and Eric Swalwell are in office? Or how Barney Frank stuck around as long as he did?
Biden at 36 is a disaster. The generic congressional ballot polls are worse. As Breitbart’s John Nolte notes, Republicans generated massive wave elections in the 1994 and 2010 midterms with generic ballot numbers which were essentially even. Up five or ten points? You’re looking at a wipeout which reduces the Democrats to their safe seats only.
And that could well be a death spiral for them. Because without having elected officials capable of representing anything more than college towns and urban machines, where unalloyed socialism is considered the ideal form of government which “just hasn’t been tried yet,” the only thing which could save the Democrats from political irrelevance is the Republican Party.
Which we know is something the GOP is especially good at. But maybe they’re learning.
2. The Legacy Media’s Lies Are Now America’s Biggest Problem
Of all the Quinnipiac pol numbers, this was perhaps the most consequential result…
In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, Americans were asked what they thought was the most important problem facing the country today. Americans’ most frequent responses are…
- Division/Polarization: 11 percent;
- The economy: 10 percent;
- Immigration/Border security: 8 percent;
- Inflation/High cost of living: 8 percent.
Americans were asked which party would do the best job handling the problem they mentioned: a plurality (46 percent) say the Republican party, 35 percent say the Democratic party, and 18 percent did not offer an opinion.
Got that? The top result is division and polarization.
Another way to put that is lies by the legacy corporate media.
Because the vast majority of the issues which so polarize Americans are either created or inflamed by outright falsehoods spread by the CNN’s, NBC’s, Washington Posts, and New York Timeses of the world.
I could give lots of examples of outright gaslighting and horrible journalism, but the one which is most obvious and instructive at present is how these people are reporting the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
Let’s not forget that the legacy media created the environment under which everything in Kenosha happened. They’ve overhyped and sensationalized police shootings at every opportunity, such that something which happens on average less than once a month in a nation of close to 350 million people is perceived to happen several thousand times a year. Unarmed black people killed by police is something which is astonishingly rare. Maybe 10 times a year that happens in America, but when it does the legacy media hype machine gets cranking.
Jacob Blake wasn’t unarmed and he wasn’t killed. He had a knife and he was shot and paralyzed, but he was in the process of attempting to kidnap his ex-girlfriend’s child in violation of a restraining order she’d taken out against him. The outrage junkies in the corporate media scraped into the bottom of the barrel and hyped the Blake case into a riot in Kenosha which did $50 million in property damage, and then they created Rittenhouse, an unlikely and perhaps unwise hero trying to stave off some of that property damage, into a mass murderer because he shot rioters who were trying to kill him.
Talk to your average low-information voter who only knows what they see on the six o’clock news, and they’ll tell you all kinds of things about Rittenhouse which are patently untrue.
There isn’t a great way to fix this, but there is a way to try. Just like it’s pretty clear the antitrust laws need to be used to break up the Big Tech oligopoly, the handful of media behemoths who control cable TV, newspapers and the other major media news outfits need to be broken up. CNN, for example, is owned by AT&T. Nobody at AT&T really cares that CNN has a tiny viewership largely consisting of people marooned in airport terminals; it’s a loss leader for them. But break up AT&T so that they’re no longer in control of dozens of cable stations, and the spinoff company which then owns CNN will actually insist that it turn a profit – and at that point they’re going to have to rebuild their credibility.
The Democrats want to do everything they can to cement the legacy media’s influence over the population. The GOP needs to get tough on the corporate side and break up these unhealthy giants.
3. Our Oily President
No, this isn’t another reference to Joe Biden’s pants. It’s a reference to his energy policy, which smells even worse.
You might not have heard about this, but Wednesday in New Orleans the Bureau of Land Management held an oil and gas lease sale for offshore territory in the Gulf of Mexico. The Biden administration surely didn’t want to have to do that; they were forced to by the federal courts, and in particular by way of a lawsuit several state attorneys general, perhaps most prominently Jeff Landry of Louisiana, filed after the president banned such leases.
The sale netted the federal government $192 million. That’s a pretty good number. In fact, since lease sales resumed in 2017 under President Trump, it’s the second-highest bid number and the largest acreage of any lease sale the Interior Department has held.
In other words, domestic oil producers are perfectly happy to drill for and produce oil. As well they should be – the price is sky-high.
And yet, Joe Biden continues to demand that OPEC sell us more oil to replace the supply he’s hamstrung domestic producers from generating, he just opened the strategic petroleum reserve and sold much of its contents to China, and he’s now saying the administration is going to “investigate” oil companies for the high prices his own policies have caused.
No, it’s not incompetence. Yes, it’s a plot to destroy an entire industry. Go and see what Biden’s nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, a literal Soviet Communist with a degree in scientific communism from Moscow State University, has said about bankrupting oil and gas companies on purpose.
4. “A Man That Eloquent Must Be Saved”
That’s a famous quote from Gen. George S. Patton, as depicted in the 1970 Francis Ford Coppola biopic, whose forces helped to relieve the defenders of Bastogne at the Battle of the Bulge. Patton, at least the movie version, offered that assessment upon hearing Gen. Anthony McAuliffe’s response to a German surrender demand:
Florida governor Ron DeSantis is the modern-day Cold Civil War equivalent of Anthony McAuliffe. DeSantis might be more eloquent than his rhetorical forebear. Because this, friends, was a masterpiece.
The audience chants “Let’s go Brandon!” as Gov. DeSantis prepares to sign a bill fighting Biden’s vaccine mandates in Brandon, FL. pic.twitter.com/QgIDHZTd1V
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) November 18, 2021
Florida doesn’t really even need to pass bills nullifying Biden’s vaccine mandates. They’re patently unconstitutional and the courts are saying so. But DeSantis is even talking about dumping OSHA altogether.
And that, friends, is eloquence.
5. National Conservatism Is Revivalism
Finally, if you have a free moment – and yes, you do – it’s very much worth your while to check out Juan P. Villasmil’s piece yesterday on the ascendance of “National Conservatives” within the Republican Party.
For national conservatives, people who position freedom from restraint as the ultimate goal (rather than virtue) exemplify the weakness that has pushed the conservative movement into an ever-evolving defensive position. They do not despise liberty; in fact, part of why they emphasize culture over tax cuts is because they think that upholding liberty requires social cohesion, fraternity, communitarianism, and order.
They believe that for the sake of what is worth conserving, shared lofty ideals must be bounded by realism.
They believe that we can’t win if we do not actually govern, and we can’t even fight if we refuse to use the weapons in our arsenal. Thus, instead of appealing to neutrality in opposition to a rapacious progressivism, national conservatives lay down a positive vision, a vision that betters the life of the American worker, strengthens the bonds of the American family, and defends the customs and traditions of the American citizen.
What he’s talking about is exactly the same thing that I’m talking about when I do periodic columns in this space about revivalism. The basic gist is that we’ve let things get to a point where we can’t really be conservatives, because the status quo isn’t worth conserving. What we’ve got to do is return to first principles and then go on offense to restore them — and flaccid libertarianism won’t cut it in the face of an opposition which thinks it’s perfectly cool to make a Soviet Communist from Moscow State University the comptroller of the currency.
Check out Villasmil’s thing. And next week this space is going to talk a bit more about revivalism.