George Will

Opinion: George Will scorns Pence for the high crime of decency

Conservative syndicated columnist George Will wrote this week that Vice President Mike Pence has “become America’s most repulsive public figure.” Why does Will think Pence deserves this absurd slur? Apparently, the columnist has found the vice president guilty of the heinous crime of being a decent man. Will announced in 2016 that he was leaving the Republican Party over the nomination of Donald Trump as the GOP’s presidential candidate. So it is no surprise that Will has become part of the so-called “resistance” to the duly elected president of the United States. He’s even become a contributor to NBC and its liberal sister news channel, MSNBC, using this as a forum to criticize both President Trump and Vice President Pence. But don’t let Will’s penchant for writing columns filled with big words that most American’s never use and can’t even define obscure the fact that the central indictment of his hostile column is pretty thin gruel. Some writers – and Will is clearly among them – think using big and seldom seen words makes them seem smart. He clearly rejects the advice given by writer George Orwell in a 1946 essay to “never use a long word where a short one will do.” In attempting to prove his anti-Pence thesis, Will summons the depths of his ample thesaurus to support a conclusion that the vice president is, in fact, very polite and proper. To wit: Will calls Pence “oleaginous,” which the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as either “resembling or having the properties of oil” or “marked by an offensive ingratiating manner or quality.” After Will’s column appeared in newspapers and on websites around the country, “oleaginous” became the most-searched for word in the online dictionary, with searches rising by 8,800 percent. A less acrid conclusion would be that Pence is polished. For the sins of recognizing former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the audience at a recent speech and addressing his own boss – who happens to be the president of the United States – with appropriate respect and deference, Will accuses Pence of “toadyism” and “obsequiousness.” People used to call what Pence has done savoir faire, and it is fairly standard to recognize elected and former elected officials in attendance at political or charitable events. George Will is a neighbor and, if not a friend, more than an acquaintance. He has done me more than one good turn. He and his family have been hospitable to my family, and I, like so many others, have learned from and cited a great deal of his work over the years. All the more troubling, then, to see him stoop to ad-hominem attacks. Since when are humility and decorum fodder for scorn of the worst kind? Since at least 1990, when Will did this to another honorable and unpretentious man: President George Herbert Walker Bush. Will derided President Bush’s modesty as “arrogance,” excoriating the then-president for the high crime of de-emphasizing the “rhetorical dimension of the presidency” that Bush’s predecessor, the Great Communicator Ronald Reagan, employed with aplomb. What is it about proper, genteel, civil, self-effacing men that George Will doesn’t like? It is clearly not that he prefers improper, brash men. Just five months ago, Will declared President Trump “the nation’s worst president” and accused him of “full-throated support of the grotesque.” Will has accused the “scabrous” Trump of “intellectual sloth” and “stratospheric self-confidence.” In at least one instance he has even shed that trademark Willian vocabularic creativity to refer to Trump simply as “a bully.” What is evident from Will’s splenetic attack on Pence is just how far the “Never Trump” movement is willing to go to achieve its main goal of … well, what is the goal now, 16 months after President Trump’s inauguration? Make voters wish they hadn’t supported Trump so they could have avoided the overwhelming barrage of mordant if ultimately toothless hand-wringing from the pundit class? To put it in Will-ian terms: The only purpose these sesquipedalian insults serve is to denigrate men who are actually working to make this country better. The intellectual elite inside the Beltway would be well-served to look at the big picture. We understand that you think you’re classier than the president and smarter than the vice president. We just don’t care. What matters are the actions being taken by President Trump and Vice President Pence, and they are saving the country. Villainizing Pence for his style obfuscates the accomplishments of the Trump administration – from the diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea, to a roaring economy and low unemployment, to strengthening the border, to appointing many terrific conservative judges. It also alienates a key ally of traditional Republicans in a non-traditionally Republican White House and era. Pence is a confirmed, lifelong advocate for conservatism in a position to influence the direction of an administration many in the establishment worried would be unpredictable and questionably conservative. Will and his fellow travelers on the anti-Trump road present no evidence that Pence has shed that mantle – just that he is what we all knew the vice president to be: a cordial and mannerly man. And yet, having so far utterly failed in their mission to shame President Trump into resignation, the never-Trump wing of the Republican Party has turned its sights on Pence, who has been their ally. For the unpardonable sin of publicly supporting his boss, his boss’s political allies, and his boss’s political agenda, the vice president is condemned to face the supercilious verbosity of Roget’s Firing Squad. Will’s lambasting of Pence is, like so many similar hyperbolic lamentations about the rhetorical style of our elected leaders, an exercise in otiosity. The English philosopher Jeremy Bentham had a beautiful phrase that I’m sorry to say applies to George Will here: “nonsense upon stilts.” All this would be laughable were it not for the ultimate consequences of such malevolent backbiting: a return to power of the liberal establishment. Will either does not understand this threat, or he so loathes the president that he is eager to bring liberal Democrats back to power – and take down a good man like Mike Pence in the process – just to validate his own sense of superiority. That may not be oleaginous; it is certainly dyspeptic.

Wow!!  That outstanding op/ed was written by former Sec. of Education, William J. Bennett.  Dr. Bennett just destroyed George Will and his self-righteous, snotty arrogance.  In the past, I’ve quoted George and posted his articles on occasion.  But, he is part of that establishment media inside the beltway that cannot stand the very idea of a President Trump and is incapable of getting the hell over it.  It makes all the sense in the world that he’s now over at NBC and MSNBC.  And, for George to attack VP Mike Pence (R) is beyond ridiculous.  Kudos to Dr. Bennett for this epic takedown of his neighbor.  Please consider this your Read of the Day.  If you read just one article here at The Daily Buzz, then READ THIS!!!   Excellent!!    🙂

Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Baseball?

Pitcher Jim Bouton said: “Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?” To show how smart you are,

Click on the text above to test your baseball IQ with these 40 questions put together by veteran columnist, and baseball author, George Will.  Good luck!   🙂

Analysis: Executive Overreach Meets Resistance

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” — Newton’s Third Law of Motion Notice the Newtonian physics of America’s Madisonian system. Barack Obama’s Woodrow Wilsonian hostility to the separation of powers, expressed in his executive authoritarianism, is provoking equal and opposite reactions from the judicial and legislative branches. The Supreme Court has inflicted on Obama a defeat accurately described as the Court’s most severe rebuke of a president since it rejected Harry Truman’s claim that inherent presidential powers legitimated his seizure of the steel industry during the Korean War. The Court has blocked Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which rests on the rickety premise that the Clean Air Act somehow, in a way unsuspected for four decades, empowers the Environmental Protection Agency to annihilate the right of states to regulate power generation. It is unprecedented for the Supreme Court to stop a regulatory regime before a lower court has ruled on its merits. This is condign punishment for the EPA’s arrogance last year after the Court held that it had no authority for a rule regulating fossil-fueled power plants in Michigan. The EPA snidely responded with a gloating statement that the Court’s decision came too late to prevent it from imposing almost $10 billion in costs under the illegal rule. The legislative branch, too, is retaliating against executive overreach. Consider the lethal letter Senator James Lankford (R., Okla.) sent to the Education Department concerning its Office of Civil Rights. OCR has sent its own letters to, among other targets, colleges and universities, concerning, among other topics, sexual harassment and violence. These letters, Lankford notes in his, although purporting to offer mere “guidance,” clearly are intended to intimidate schools with the implied threat of “inquiry, investigation, adverse finding, or rescission of federal funding.” Furthermore, Lankford says, they fail to identify “precise governing statutory or regulatory language” that empowers OCR to micromanage institutions’ disciplinary practices. OCR is insisting on practices discordant with constitutional values. These practices include denying persons accused of sexual assault the right to confront accusers, and subjecting the accused to convictions based on a mere “preponderance of evidence” rather than “clear and convincing” evidence. In an October 2014 letter to the Boston Globe, 28 Harvard Law School faculty members voiced “strong objections” to OCR’s diktats: “As teachers responsible for educating our students about due process of law, the substantive law governing discrimination and violence, appropriate administrative decision-making, and the rule of law generally, we find the new sexual harassment policy inconsistent with many of the most basic principles we teach.” Accusing Harvard of “jettisoning balance and fairness in the rush to appease certain federal administration officials,” the professors said: “Harvard has adopted procedures for deciding cases of alleged sexual misconduct which lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process, are overwhelmingly stacked against the accused, and are in no way required by Title IX law or regulation.” They cited “the absence of any adequate opportunity to discover the facts charged and to confront witnesses and present a defense at an adversary hearing.” And: “The failure to ensure adequate representation for the accused.” And: “The lodging of the functions of investigation, prosecution, fact-finding, and appellate review in one office, and the fact that the office is itself a Title IX compliance office rather than an entity that could be considered structurally impartial.” Sixteen University of Pennsylvania law professors have expressed similar concerns. As have two members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who note “a disturbing pattern of disregard for the rule of law at OCR,” including: defining “perfectly legal conduct as unlawful” (e.g., “telling sexual or dirty jokes” and displaying “sexually explicit drawings”) and squandering resources “to address violations it has made up out of thin air.” Last Wednesday, OCR, oblivious or indifferent to such learned reproaches, replied to Lankford, saying: Its “guidance” letters do not have the force of law — a distinction without a difference because the letters construe statutes and regulations that have such force. And: The “preponderance of evidence” evidentiary standard is proper because many schools already are using it. Furthermore, OCR says it must initiate proceedings against an institution “in front of a neutral independent department hearing officer.” So, the department monitors itself neutrally and independently. Lankford will soon use congressional hearings to acquaint OCR with how unpersuaded he is. OCR and the EPA, representative tentacles of this lawless administration, are inadvertently serving constitutional values by arousing the resistance of rival branches. Madison’s Newtonian system can still stymie Wilson. — George Will is a Pulitzer Prize–winning syndicated columnist

…who loves to write about baseball, among other things.  George is exactly right here.  With the exception of the first Obamacare decision, the Supreme Court has been handing Obama defeat after defeat the last 6 or so years…and especially when Obama has asserted so-called “executive privilege” or taken “executive action” that was brazenly in contrast to the Constitution and the separation of powers.  So, by the time Obama leaves office, the Presidency will have become weakened because of his selfish actions that have forced the hand of the very Court he is trying to alter the makeup of in his final year in office..