Japan to Host First Asia CPAC Conference

CPAC, or the Conservative Political Action Conference, is going global. It was revealed recently that the annual conservative confab annually held in D.C. every winter — with occasional regional stops— is being held in Japan from December 16-17, 2017.

Per translations, the conference touts the following principles: “Freedom and the Rule of Law”; “Security and Technology”; “Economic Growth and Deregulation”; “Intellectual Property”; and “Family Values.”

The main reason for holding Japan CPAC? Their website expounds on this:

During the eight years in the Obama administration, the situation in Asia has changed dramatically. China actively acts to expand its military facilities in the South China Sea while at the same time North Korea continues to conduct nuclear development and missile tests for nuclear warhead loading. On the other hand, the United States has greatly reduced its influence in East Asia. 

In Japan, strategic acquisitions of corporate stocks, etc. related to natural resources such as real estate by China capital and underground water source are continuing. Also, in the United States, acquisitions related to businesses from companies controlled by the Chinese government, from American pop culture such as theaters and movie production companies to industrial equipment, home electronics manufacturers and hotels are continuing.

 China’s attempt to acquire a foothold in the US financial market through the acquisition of the Chicago Board of Trade by a state-owned investment company is currently being investigated by the Trump regime. These acquisitions are not merely capitalistic transactions, but rather that China is not part of a big attempt to gain economic and military benefits to enemies, including the United States and Japan Cow.
 
During the presidential election campaign last year, Donald J. Trump candidates took a tough stance toward China’s unfair trade practices and illegal territory expansion. Immediately after winning the election, he broke the Protocol decades ago and President Trump has received a telephone call from Tsai Inge of Taiwan.

ACU believes that Japan plays an important role as the foundation of stability in Asia, and strong aggressive economic power of Japan and the United States and appropriate defense capability, especially China’s aggressive attempt to dominate worldwide We believe that it is important to develop defense capability to counterbalance against the situation.

At J-CPAC 2017 hosted by the Executive Committee of J-CPAC 2017, J-CPAC 2017 sponsored by these two themes focuses on freedom and rule of law, security and technology, economic growth and deregulation, intellectual property, families Focusing on five topics, such as prosperity, discussions will be held.

It was pointed out by Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff, who tweeted the following:

https://twitter.com/woodruffbets/status/927918551066988546

If you’re curious to learn more about J-CPAC, follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Our CPAC will be held at the Gaylord Hotel and Resort in National Harbor, MD from February 21-24, 2017.

Could this coincide with President Trump’s visit to Japan and subsequent meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe? Perhaps! This will be very interesting to and we at The Resurgent will keep tabs on this first non-American CPAC.

 

Greg Gianforte and the Tribalism of Politics

By now it’s a familiar pattern:  The news media, trying to create the narrative of a growing backlash against Donald Trump, descends on an election in a Republican-leaning district where the polling indicates that maybe the Democrat has a chance for an upset.  This, they say, is proof that Trump has so disgusted the country that even the voters who elected him are now turning their backs, portending a huge wave for the Democrats in 2018.  Problem is, it never seems to work out the way the media hoped.  Last time around, it was John Ossoff in Georgia’s District 6, who still couldn’t get over 50% even with millions of dollars in out-of-state money powering his campaign and Republicans splitting the vote four ways.  Now the media are shedding tears because Greg Gianforte, the Republican who manhandled a pencilneck reporter and caused a national stir, bumped off Democrat Rob Quist–a Pete Seeger wannabe folk singer who performed at nudist resorts and had a socialist streak so wide it would have made Bernie Sanders blush.  Maybe that would have played in San Francisco, but in Montana?  Not so much.

So what’s there to do, besides moving on to another narrative?  Turning on a dime, the same media that tried to convince us that people would vote against Gianforte because of Donald Trump will now say that people voted for Gianforte because of Donald Trump.  That’s because Trump has so coarsened the country with his ugly rhetoric and p-ssy grabbing, he’s made it okay–desirable even–for bully-boy politicians to smack the glasses off pajama-boy reporters.  The kind of thing that used to get you tossed out of polite society now wins elections.  What has the country become?

You’d expect that sort of thing coming from the left, as they search for an excuse as to why the coming Trump backlash never seems to materialize.  But elements on the right are also jumping on the bandwagon, decrying the loss of civility in our politics, not to mention the culture at large.  Jay Nordlinger, a writer for National Review whom I’ve long admired, neatly sums up this position with a tweet from this morning:

It’s a point I’ve heard a lot of conservative make.  And they’re absolutely correct in their thinking.  To me, politics has become far too tribal.  No matter how terrible, more and more people seem willing to justify bad behavior so long as it’s “their guy” doing it.  This is a dangerous lowering of standards, and only gives our elected leaders license to be as nasty as they wanna be.  Why shouldn’t they when the tribe will always rush to their defense?

Conservatives didn’t used to be like this.  We used to hold our people to a higher standard.  Problem is, in taking the high road, we also ended up getting our butts kicked a lot of times.  That’s what happens when you go into a fight thinking its Marquis of Queensbury rules and the other side treats it like a street rumble.  That’s always been the central weakness of conservatism.  We’re better trained and have better arguments, but all that doesn’t matter when liberals have a straight razor in their shoe and they’re not afraid to use it.

Even worse, conservatives are expected to operate at this disadvantage.  When leftists torch cars, trash Starbucks, and assault conservative speakers on college campuses, they suffer no consequences–and in fact are praised for being passionate.  Punching people in the face, meanwhile, is also considered acceptable, so long as those getting punched are considered “fascist” by those doing the punching.  Conservatives, on the other hand, aren’t even allowed to say a cross word about about liberal pieties without being accused of triggering and even violence.  How are you supposed to have a fair fight under those rules of engagement?

The short answer is you can’t.  A lot of people on the right have started to figure this out, and that’s why they’ve become more tribal.

Fight dirty or lose.  That’s where we are.

And that’s where we’ll keep going so long as there’s one set of rules for us and another set of rules for them.

Is the Filibuster Holding Back Third Parties?

I had an interesting conversation with my father-in-law the other day, during which he posited the question about why third parties have had such a tough time gaining traction in American politics.  Sure, we’ve flirted with them a few times over the years–think of the Reform Party, which brought us the likes of Ross Perot and Jesse “the Body” Ventura–but they haven’t won much, and in Perot’s case may have even cost George H.W. Bush a second term.  Moreover, third parties seem more like sideshows for the political fringe, the destination for loudmouth characters who couldn’t make the cut in the two respectable parties–what might have been Donald Trump’s fate, had the country not been in such a foul mood.

Even so, amongst the electorate there still seems to be a craving for a third way–a party for conservatives who think the GOP jettisoned any semblance of limited government long ago, and another party for liberals who think that Democrats are nothing more than a bunch of sellouts who talk up income inequality while raking the cash in from their Wall Street cronies.  Why haven’t these people been able to channel all that righteous fury and take on the sclerotic two-party system that has been dominant since Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican president over 150 years ago?

There are a number of reasons for this, of course, chief among them being that we don’t have the kind of parliamentary system that lends itself to the coalition building that you see in a place like, say, Great Britain.  America has also evolved a campaign finance system that makes it far more difficult for candidates to raise money outside of the two major political parties.  And then there’s the problem of what a third party would even be capable of doing if it somehow managed to get a candidate or two elected to Congress.  Their numbers would be so small, it would be next to impossible to affect any real change.

It’s that last part, I told my father-in-law, that’s probably the hardest to overcome.

To which he asked, “What if you did away with the filibuster?”

He acknowledged that there would certainly be risks with that approach–the filibuster, after all, had stopped a lot of bad legislation over the years–but it’s also hamstrung the Congress from pushing through a lot of needed reforms (as we’re seeing with Obamacare now, and are likely to see with tax reform).  At the same time, though, the filibuster has entrenched the two-party system in the Senate.  For it to work, virtually all of the senators from the minority party are required to band together so as to deny the majority party the 60 votes they need to invoke cloture.  There isn’t a lot of room for defections–and senators know that there is usually a heavy price to pay for defying the party.  Democrats, in particular, have shown a lot of discipline when it comes to mounting a filibuster.

Now suppose that there is no filibuster.  A lot of the pressure to fall in line is taken off, which frees individual senators to make decisions more independently.  At the same time, though, it could potentially create better opportunities for outsiders to move in and wield some influence.  Two or three senators from a conservative third party, for example, would actually have the power to force changes in legislation on a close vote.  That potential might provide some incentives for backers to begin the hard work of building a viable third party, which could finally compete with Democrats and Republicans.

Granted, it would be a pretty risky move.  With nothing to stop them, a party that held both the Congress and the White House would have carte blanche to do whatever it wanted.  On the other hand, if things get bad and that party gets tossed out of power, it would also be a lot easier to undo legislation.  No matter what, though, doing away with the filibuster would be a serious shakeup of the system.

That’s why Republicans will probably never attempt it.

But if the Democrats take back the Senate and the White House?

Anything goes.

Donald Trump Advances on These Conservative Fronts

I maintain a healthy skepticism toward President Trump’s Administration. I must concede he has surrounded himself with a lot of good, competent people. His appointments within the executive branch have been stellar. I must also concede that increasingly many of his gut level reactions are recognizably conservative. But I also think his Twitter behavior, lack of strategic planning, protectionism, and strong man rhetoric do him more harm than good. His White House political operation, being the dog that caught the car, now thinks it can play traffic cop, and I see no concerted effort under way to mitigate leftwing energies headed into 2018.

All that said, and said largely to avoid the inevitable arrows and rocks thrown when saying something nice about President Trump, let me also say this.

Winston Churchill said of himself, “I am not a pillar of the [Church of England] but a buttress – I support it from the outside.” Donald Trump is serving, to various degrees, as a buttress to conservatism.

The media has fixated on how little his administration has gotten done. I think they should be fixated on how many things he has rolled back. It is hard to advance down the field when you’re reshaping the field. It is hard to move forward while rewinding. The President is systematically undoing much of the last eight years on the regulatory front. He has enabled solid conservative political operatives to go into the executive branch and undo many of the regulations Barack Obama’s merry band of leftwing progressives championed. He has issued executive orders to mitigate damage caused by Barack Obama. To the extent he has signed legislation, he has signed legislation to repeal various Obama era regulations and statutorily prohibit such regulations being enacted in the future.

That’s a pretty big win by advancing no fronts, but rather shrinking previously expanded fronts.

Then there is the judiciary. The President is sending up a series of extremely conservative jurists to pile into the federal judiciary. These are, more often than not, men and women on the young side who have established conservative pedigrees. Their paper trails make it less likely they will go wobbly in the future.

What Donald Trump cannot do, they will do. They will ensure Washington stays in check and the constitution does not breathe.

On taxation, the President wants to lower the corporate income tax rate to 15%, which should have long ago happened. It is a pretty bold plan for restructuring the tax rate and we should not ignore his alterations to the personal income tax rate as well. Though it will be difficult to get it all passed through congress as designed, it is a very bold step in the right direction.

Government spending, in light of the tax plan, needs to be reconsidered and constrained. I still believe debt and deficit matter. Likewise, the President continues to ignore his promise to religious voters on the matters of religious liberty that most affect people of faith today. There is much to do and many improvements that can be made.

But no man is perfect. On top of that, we should all acknowledge that the American voters had enough of career politicians making promises and breaking them. Instead, they chose a complete outsider with no government experience reasoning he could be no worse. To be sure, he makes different mistakes, has different errors, and is more prone to the impolitic, but is he really worse than those who came before him screwing up everything in their wake?

Thus far it seems not. It just seems different.

We should be willing to hold the President accountable and criticize where warranted. But we should also be willing to praise where warranted. And on multiple fronts the President is serving as a buttress to the conservative agenda. But for him, in these areas, the walls would collapse. He should be applauded for that.

Berkeley Cancels Coulter Speech, Ann Tells Them to Stick It

There’s a quintessential moment in Star Trek III when Admiral James T. Kirk, upon being asked by his crew if Starfleet Command will allow them to attempt a rescue of their fallen comrade Mr. Spock, tells them, “The word is no.  I am therefore going anyway.”  I don’t know if Ann Coulter has ever seen the movie, but she definitely appears to be channeling that spirit in her dealings with the University of California at Berkeley.

Here’s the story.  When the local chapter of the College Republicans and BridgeUSA invited Coulter to give a speech there, the university presented long list of demands that she would have to meet, supposedly to ensure security at the event.  These included having the speech in the middle of the day and making it open only to students.  On top of that, the time and the venue could only be announced shortly before the speech began, so potential troublemakers wouldn’t have time to organize a violent protest.  Coulter thought that the university imposed those rules because they believed she would never accept them, so she did what any self-respecting, free speech firebrand would do.

“I called their bluff,” she said, agreeing to everything.  Berkeley, the weaselly institution that it is, responded by canceling her speech.

Or, as the Dean Wormers of the university put it:

Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy and student affairs Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton wrote to the Berkeley College Republicans Tuesday saying, “We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue for your planned April 27th event featuring Ann Coulter. We therefore must now work together to reschedule her appearance for a later date.”

By “later date” they apparently meant “never.”

Coulter, meanwhile, took a page from the history of the free speech movement at Berkeley and decided that the best course of action was to stick it to the man:

In their own statement, the College Republicans and BridgeUSA made clear their support for Coulter:

This is as clear-cut a case as it gets that public universities are using taxpayer dollars to shut down conservative speech, while allowing liberal speech only. UC-Berkeley has for example, welcomed the corrupt former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, who has cursed at and mocked Donald Trump, currently the President of the United States.

 

The university, and U-C chancellor Janet Napolitano personally, have revealed themselves to be using taxpayer money for an unconstitutional purpose. Even after Coulter went along with their ruses and guises to shut down her speech, they simply announced, like Kim Jung Un, that it was cancelled.”

They saved the best for last, though.

We have no intention of acceding to these unconstitutional acts. The Ann Coulter lecture sponsored by Young America’s Foundation will go forward.

So Berkeley will have to deal with Ann Couter whether they want to or not.  That’s what I call power to the people, man!

It also sends a very clear message to Berkeley, and other universities that have been so craven by giving in to leftist mobs who would rather burn the joint down than engage in a free flow of ideas:  If you want to avoid riots, you aren’t going to do it by branding conservative speech as too dangerous for campus.  You’ll have to do it by enforcing the law, and making an example out of anyone who engages in violence.

My Conversation With Glenn Beck About the Conservative/Liberal Divide

After reading my post from yesterday, Glenn Beck Rebooted, Glenn and his happy warriors Pat, Stu and Jeffy were kind enough to invite me to appear on the show.  We talked about Glenn’s efforts to bridge the liberal/conservative divide and get people talking to each other rather than screaming at each other, and the risks and difficulties involved in kicking that particular hornet’s nest.  We also took a little stroll down memory lane and shared a few laughs over what the Glenn Beck Program was like back when it first started in my home market of Tampa Bay.

Thanks, guys!  It was a lot of fun!

Click below if you’d like to check it out:

BREAKING: Tomi Lahren Suspended From The Blaze

After this weekend, followed by conservative talker, Glenn Beck’s tweets on the matter this morning, we knew some sort of news would be coming down regarding Tomi Lahren’s position with The Blaze.

Now sources close to the situation seem to indicate that Lahren’s attempts to be the edgy, “WOO-girl” of conservatism – more flash than principle – may have earned her a time out.

Lahren’s show is suspended for effect for at least one week starting Monday, according to TheDC’s sources. A source with direct knowledge of the situation previously told TheDC that Lahren’s contract with the company goes until September, but that she may leave the company before then.

That “at least one week” part is what you should focus on.

Weeks can quite often stretch into the realm of “indefinite” and beyond, when you walk into the camp of the opposition and in effect, turn to bite the hand that feeds you.

In her appearance on The View, Lahren said she is pro-choice and called pro-lifer conservatives hypocrites, saying, “I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies.”

It isn’t hypocrisy.

It’s decency, and at the very core of conservatism is life. If you are willing to compromise on something so very vital to who we are as a movement, then everything else must be counted as suspect.

As Peter Heck pointed out so supremely this weekend, “there’s a reason why it usually doesn’t end well when someone who lacks any meaningful or serious understanding of political philosophy and ideology is thrust in front of a camera and promoted as a conservative spokesman.”

Indeed, one is left to wonder: Who was the boy Tomi Lahren was trying to impress when she decided to play conservative?

Glenn Beck Rebooted

Let me start by just saying that I miss the old Glenn Beck. No, not Glenn Beck the firebrand, or Glenn Beck the Christmas Sweater guy, or even Glenn Beck the Time magazine cover boy giving the raspberry to his detractors on the left. The Glenn Beck I actually miss was the one I used to hear on 970 WFLA in my home market of Tampa Bay, where he started the talk radio phase of his career doing afternoons after Rush Limbaugh.

I can remember listening to that very first show, not quite knowing what to make of it (and to be fair, from the sound of things, neither did he)–but as time passed, and Glenn got an idea of what he wanted to do, things took off and the show became required listening in my home town. His “Schlub Club” bits were hilarious, especially when members of the “Frizzbeterian Church” called in to stir the pot for those who weren’t in on the joke, and his alter-ego Flap Jackson could have given Tony Clifton a run for the money. Those were good times.

I also followed Beck after he went into national syndication, feeling a bit of pride that my home market had launched the Next Big Thing in talk radio (kind of the same way we’d launched Hooters–though I doubt Glenn could have pulled off those tight orange hot pants). And man, how things grew over time. Not content with staying on the radio, Glenn followed in the entrepreneurial footsteps of his hero Walt Disney and expanded his show into a full-on multimedia enterprise, risking big (and sometimes losing big) along the way. He courted controversy, laughed off outrage and became a real powerhouse in the conservative world.

As anybody who has listened to him lately knows, however, Glenn has changed as of late. He has soured on politics, declaring himself more interested in larger cultural matters, and has lamented how half the country seems to be at the throats of the other half over petty disagreements. His disdain over how he sees Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016 contributing to this acrimony is well known, and has earned him a lot of enemies–even among his listeners. Now the Washington Post has taken up that story, in which Glenn explains to Marc Fisher his change of heart and how he wants to make amends for his own role in dividing the country:

“I did and said terrible things,” Beck says. “I did my thinking out loud and it’s one of my worst aspects. But I haven’t changed my principles. I’ve changed the way I phrase things — for example, I’m trying to ban the word ‘evil’ from my lexicon. I didn’t notice how my language could be interpreted by half the country as racist. I lacked humility. I was the height of arrogance.”

And:

“We’re not going to come together on politics,” he says. “But we can come together on principles. It’s just time for the hatred to end, or we’re going to destroy ourselves.”

It’s a worthy goal, one to which we should all aspire. I’ve often wondered how much better our politics would be if we actually debated issues instead of trying to personally destroy the opposition, conceding that we can disagree in good faith without ascribing evil motives to those who have different policy prescriptions. This approach, however, does require both sides to be arguing in good faith–and here’s where I think that Glenn, unfortunately, is headed for disappointment in his noble efforts.

Take his latest attempt at outreach, for example:

Another new friend is the liberal TBS comedy show host Samantha Bee, whose program, “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” he went on in December.

“My audience would like to stab you relentlessly in the eye,” Beck told Bee.

“My audience wants to kill me for normalizing a lunatic like yourself,” Bee replied.

Then they fed each other cake. They became, as Bee hesitantly put it, “allies.” The two plan to travel to Uganda together to rescue children from the sex slave trade. Next summer, they plan to invite their audiences to Detroit to do community service — paint schools, clean up neighborhoods.

A couple of weeks later, Bee featured a clip on her show which made fun of Kyle Coddington, a CPAC attendee, for having a “Nazi haircut.” Things only when downhill from there when it was revealed that Coddington’s hair was cut really short because he was undergoing treatment for brain cancer.

Bee made haste apologizing–but that just leaves me wondering, would she have apologized if it had just been a Marine or a police officer with a high and tight? Or would that have been okay? And what is it about Samantha Bee that thinks it’s funny to compare those she disagrees with politically to Nazis? Wasn’t she just trying to set a new, more respectful tone by embracing Glenn Beck?

Glenn made a point of mentioning Bee’s apology on his radio program–but I’m sure he must realize that if Bee had truly taken their efforts together to heart, she wouldn’t have compared a CPAC attendee to a Nazi in the first place. It’s more likely that she was just throwing a bomb for her audience, lest they think she was going soft on the conservatives that they love to hate.  In other words, for the sake of her own ratings, Bee is running back to the same old cynical politics that has divided us in the first place–the exact oposite of what Glenn is trying to do, at great risk to his own career.

This isn’t exactly courage on Bee’s part–but it is fairly typical of the left.  It also demonstrates that when it comes to pitting Americans against each other, the right does not bear sole responsibility. In fact, many of the most vicious divisions–particularly those along racial and gender lines–have been deliberately aggravated by the left as a means of consolidating their support (and by the media as a way of generating clicks and views).  We can admire Glenn for being the first to say, “Enough!” and take a stand against it, but until he finds honest partners on the left who are willing to share the risk and stand with him, I’m afraid his efforts will be doomed to fail.