BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Establishment (Page 1 of 2)

13 Interviews that Will Make You Smarter on U.S. National Security & Foreign Policy

Over the last five years I’ve had the privilege to interview some of the savviest thinkers on American national security and foreign policy.

These discussions have covered critical subjects ranging from the global jihadist movement, to Iran, Russia and China, strategic disinformation and EMPs.

Below are what I think are some of the most insightful and thought-provoking of these conversations on such live and all-too-relevant topics.

1) Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic

2) Andrew Bostom, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran

3) Victoria Coates, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for International Negotiations, NSC for the Trump Administration, David’s Sling [Transcript]

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Talking Trump Versus Cruz and the GOP Establishment on Dennis Michael Lynch’s DML Unfiltered

PJ Media: Does the GOP Establishment Think Ted Cruz Is a RINO in Conservative Sheep’s Clothing?

In my latest post at PJ Media, I argue that the GOP Establishment’s argument that Ted Cruz is “slick,” narcissistic and ambitious is disingenuous.

First, even if we were to accept that Ted Cruz had such traits, does any candidate for the presidency not have them in some measure?

Second, so what? Is the Establishment afraid that Senator Cruz is pulling a fast one and seeking to dupe GOP voters into believing he is a conservative so he can govern as a moderate?

Here’s a taste:

Conservatives aren’t as stark raving mad as the media loves to claim — painting them as enraged yahoos clinging to guns and religion as a means of marginalizing them — but rather, conservatives are supremely disappointed by a party that rewards its support with betrayal time and time again. It would be the definition of insanity for grassroots voters to continue doing the same thing over and over again at the ballot box, pulling the lever for the generic Republican candidate and expecting a different outcome.

Which again brings us to Ted Cruz and the slights of his Republican adversaries. Every person running for president need be somewhat ”slick,” if slick means an ability to garner wide enough political support to be considered a serious competitor for the presidency.

Every person running for president need be somewhat egotistical, if not narcissistic, to have the confidence and belief that he should be commander-in-chief of the greatest nation in the world’s history.

Certainly, every person running for president need be ambitious enough to do what is necessary to rise through the ranks of power, and surely it must have been his or her aim to rise to the Oval Office for a number of years. Or did Bill Clinton just store away a picture with John F. Kennedy so he would have a fun souvenir for his grandkids?

Given that this is the reality of politics, does the D.C. Republican political class honestly believe that Marco Rubio does not share these traits? How about Jeb Bush? Or Chris Christie?

While it may be that Cruz personally grates on the GOP establishment because he challenges them and won’t play ball, perhaps its key concern is that it feels that his conservatism is out of the mainstream, thus making him unelectable in a general election. If so, the establishment should make that case to the GOP primary voters — at this writing it should be noted, Cruz falls within the margin of error or betteragainst presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a general election.

Read the whole thing here.

Featured Image Credit: Doug Mills.

Using the Term ‘Terrorist’ to Describe Jihadis Aids and Abets Their Cause

In the wake of the Paris attacks, it is vital to acknowledge that 14 years after 9/11, even the lexicon we use in connection with the slow-motion global jihad continues to be fatally flawed.

Lack of clarity and precision in terminology and definitions indicates a lack of cogency in our own minds; as it pertains to our understanding of the Islamic supremacist enemy — never referred to by our “leaders” as such — incoherence portends failure with respect to defending America against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Take our use of the word “terrorist” for example. I would submit that this term in and of itself misclassifies the enemy, and in effect serves its efforts by witting or unwitting obfuscation.

Terrorism is a tactic; the enemy properly defined consists of adherents to an Islamic supremacist, theopolitical ideology — that is, self-described jihadists. As others have noted, in World War II we did not refer to our enemy as “the blitzkrieg.”

Further, “terrorist” is just a marginally less politically correct term than “violent extremists,” but it similarly lumps animal rights nuts with sophisticated jihadi operatives. By painting with such a broad brush, we in turn dilute the perceived dangerousness of our mortal foe.

As such, the very name “War on Terror” is inapt.

This means of course that our foreign policy Establishment has failed the American people on a bipartisan basis.

How we counterjihadists make this clear to the public after 14 years of mendacious messaging is a monumental challenge as we think about how to turn the tide.

Winning the War Before a Shot is Fired: How the GOP Establishment Stacked the Deck for 2016

FiveThirtyEight recently published an excellent analysis illustrating how the GOP Establishment machinery has set the rules of the GOP presidential primary process such that more conservative candidates are put at a distinct disadvantage from day one.

The RNC-dictated primary scheme uses dilutive proportionality versus winner-takes-all rules, and lopsided delegate allocation in moderate versus conservative states to in effect give disproportionate sway to more moderate candidates and/or delegates.

I write about this scheme in a new piece over at Newsmax.

Here is a taste:

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The Massive Tower that Donald Trump is Building in Jeb Bush’s Head

On Monday 10/26, I sat in as a guest again on Newsmax TV’s “The Daily Wrap.”

During the episode, we had the chance to discuss a variety of issues including the travesty that is the IRS scandal and the lack of recourse for its victims, staggering new numbers about the perilous state of our economy as reflected in the percentage of Americans making under $30,000 per year, Donald Trump’s recent attack on Ben Carson, and Trump’s persistent needling of Jeb Bush and the massive Trump tower he is currently constructing in Bush’s head.

You can watch the show in full, along with some particularly pertinent clips below.

Full Episode

The Massive Trump Tower that “The Donald” is Constructing in Jeb Bush’s Head

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My Appearance on Newsmax TV’s ‘The Daily Wrap’: Guns, Biden, Racism, Trump and More

I had the pleasure of sitting in as a guest on Newsmax TV’s “The Daily Wrap,” discussing President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s recent rhetoric (and in the case of the former, potential impending action) on guns in the wake of the Oregon shooting, Joe Biden’s alleged politicization of his son’s death, a potentially illegal affirmative action policy at U.C.-Berkeley, whether Donald Trump will stay in the Republican race for the long haul, and much more.

You can watch the show in full, along with some particularly pertinent clips below.

And be sure to tune in tonight (10/7) as I will be a guest for the full hour on the program again, from 6-7PM ET. You can watch live here.

Full Episode

Guns

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A Response to Jim Geraghty on Republicans’ Willingness to Prevent the Iran Deal (or Lack Thereof)

National Review’s Jim Geraghty asks an essential question in a recent edition of his Morning Jolt that every member of Congress — not just Republicans — should have to answer: “[W]hat are you willing to do to prevent a mushroom cloud either in the Middle East or closer to home?”

As it pertains to members of the GOP, the proof is in the pudding: The party will prove pusillanimous — unwilling to exhaust every avenue to block an Iran deal disastrous for the entire West.

How do we know this?

Sen. Bob Corker’s Iran legislation in and of itself was a complete and utter abdication of Senatorial prerogative, and perhaps the crowning act of Failure Theater of this Republican Congress.

For a refresher, as Geraghty’s colleague Andrew C. McCarthy noted in April:

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The Ignored Influence of the Iran Lobby on Obama’s Useful Idiots

The incomparable Daniel Greenfield has the story:

Both of Obama’s secretaries of state were involved in Iran Lobby cash controversies, as was his vice president and his former secretary of defense. Obama was also the beneficiary of sizable donations from the Iran Lobby. Akbar Ghahary, the former co-founder of IAPAC, had donated and raised some $50,000 for Obama.

It’s an unprecedented track record that has received very little notice. While the so-called “Israel Lobby” is constantly scrutinized, the fact that key foreign policy positions under Obama are controlled by political figures with troubling ties to an enemy of this country has gone mostly unreported by the mainstream media.

This culture of silence allowed the Iran Lobby to get away with taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times before the Netanyahu speech asking, “Will Congress side with our President or a Foreign Leader?”

Iran’s stooges had taken a break from lobbying for ballistic missiles to play American patriots.

Obama and his allies, Iranian and domestic, have accused opponents of his dirty Iran deal of making “common cause” with that same terror regime and of treason. The ugly truth is that he and his political accomplices were the traitors all along.

Democrats in favor of a deal that will let a terrorist regime go nuclear have taken money from lobbies for that regime. They have broken their oath by taking bribes from a regime whose leaders chant, “Death to America”. Their pretense of examining the deal is nothing more than a hollow charade.

This deal has come down from Iran Lobby influenced politicians like Kerry and is being waved through by members of Congress who have taken money from the Iran Lobby. That is treason plain and simple.

Despite what we are told about its “moderate” leaders, Iran considers itself to be in a state of war with us. Iran and its agents have repeatedly carried out attacks against American soldiers, abducted and tortured to death American officials and have even engaged in attacks on American naval vessels.

Aiding an enemy state in developing nuclear weapons is the worst form of treason imaginable. Helping put weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists is the gravest of crimes.

The Democrats who have approved this deal are turning their party into a party of atom bomb spies.

Those politicians who have taken money from the Iran Lobby and are signing off on a deal that will let Iran go nuclear have engaged in the worst form of treason and committed the gravest of crimes. They must know that they will be held accountable. That when Iran detonates its first bomb, their names will be on it.

But will the Democrats who lavished the world’s largest state sponsor of jihad with billions of dollars, provided cover for its nuclear activities and spat in the eyes of America’s servicemen and women maimed and murdered by Iran and its proxies, along with the craven Republicans who willfully engaged in failure theater, actually pay a price for their treason?

 

Featured Image Source: PBS.

The Mushiness of the Mushy Middle, Quantified

From Politico’s article on how Google can use its search algorithm to control what people see during elections, and thereby manipulate their outcomes:

Republicans, take note: A manipulation on Hillary Clinton’s behalf would be particularly easy for Google to carry out, because of all the demographic groups we have looked at so far, no group has been more vulnerable to SEME—in other words, so blindly trusting of search rankings—than moderate Republicans. In a national experiment we conducted in the United States, we were able to shift a whopping 80 percent of moderate Republicans in any direction we chose just by varying search rankings.

Of course as J. Christian Adams points out in a must-read piece on the Left’s Catalist voter database, Democrats did not seek (or require) moderate support in order to win the presidency in 2012.

 

Featured Image Source: PJMedia/J. Christian Adams.

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