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Bansi Sharma @bansisharma
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1. Style versus Substance
At heart, almost all of Trump's opponents' bile against him is rooted in his style rather than his substance. Victor Davis Hanson has nailed it once again in explicating this beautifully. Allow me to serialize his quotes.
2. Elites Value Mellifluous Illegality over Crass Lawfulness

Obama defies the Constitution but sounds ‘presidential.’ Trump follows it but sounds like a loudmouth from Queens.
3. What drives Trump’s critics crazy is not any evidence that Trump has broken any laws, but that there are no criminal statutes against a president boorishly acting “unpresidential” in his loud quest to supercharge the economy, while undoing the entire agenda of his predecessor.
4. President Obama’s teleprompted speeches were mellifluous. As some sort of postmodern preacher, Obama often sermonized to Americans about the predetermined “arc of history” that purportedly bent all of us inescapably toward his own just moral version of the universe.
5. In calm, ministerial tones, the progressive Obama sometimes slapped a puerile America’s wrists, with frequent admonitions to behave and to not act so illiberally. Or he frequently reminded us, with a frown, “that is not who we are.”
6. Recall that Obama came into office promising that he would lower the seas and cool the planet, with a generation of young activists who, we were lectured, were the ones we had all been waiting for.
7. Now president emeritus Obama worries that perhaps his messianic appearance came too soon for us to fully appreciate his divinity.
8. Despite Obama’s recent projection that his eight-year tenure was “scandal-free,” the Obama administration was in many respects lawless. It will eventually rank as the most scandal-ridden administration since Warren G. Harding’s.
9. The Scandals of the ‘Scandal-Free’ Obama Administration
Let us review just a few. The Fast and Furious scandal was inter alia about deliberate government gun-running of weapons to Mexico, perhaps in a warped effort to discredit current U.S. firearms laws.
10. The Benghazi debacle involved a cover-up of a preplanned terrorist hit on our consulate, an attack that was possible only because it was well known that the consulate’s security was lax.
11. The Benghazi cover-up involved U.N. ambassador Susan Rice lying five times on national television in a single day, when she claimed that the terrorist operation was the result of a spontaneous riot over a video.
12. And to justify that reelection-cycle concoction, the video maker, a foreign resident on U.S. soil, was summarily jailed on a trumped-up probation charge.
13. An IRS regional high official, and Obama partisan, Lois Lerner, weaponized and discredited the IRS, by hounding conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status.
14. Lois Lerner was never charged by the Obama State Department. Indeed, Obama himself, after expressing initial pseudo contriteness in the face of public furor, waited the public out before finally announcing that there was not a “smidgeon” of corruption in the IRS.
15. Lerner, in effect, was rewarded for neutralizing many conservative activist groups just months before the 2012 election. In October 2017, the IRS admitted in court that it had unfairly targeted them during the Obama admin. It agreed to a multi-million-dollar settlement.
16. Nadine Strossen, a liberal and the former president of the American Civil Liberty Union, conceded — but only in hindsight when both Obama and she were out of their respective offices — that Obama was one of the most hostile presidents to civil liberties in history.
17. Eric Holder’s and Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department spied on Associated Press reporters, monitored the communications of Fox reporter James Rosen, and subpoenaed New York Times reporter James Risen to force him to reveal his confidential sources.
18. Eric Holder was also the first Attorney General in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over subpoenaed documents.
19. But it was during the 2016 election cycle that the Obama admin descended to a level of corruption not seen in a century. Right in the middle of the FBI investigation of Hillary's email server, Obama announced that Hillary had violated no criminal law while Secretary of State.
20. Obama also lied when he stated that he’d known nothing about such an unlawful server, although emails prove that he himself had communicated over it on several occasions.
21. Obama's FBI director, James Comey, deliberately scrambled the law and exonerated Hillary Clinton from wrongdoing, not because she had not broken the law, but, according to Comey’s own invented interpretations of the statute, because she had not intended to violate the law.
22. We are slowly appreciating over the last year that lying under oath was an Obama-administration requisite for a high position in the intelligence community.
23. Comey lied about the particular sequences of his investigation of the Clinton email scandal. He lied by omission to the president when, in his supposed Oval Office update of the Steele dossier, he failed to mention it was a product of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC.
24. Comey's deputy FBI director, Andrew McCabe, was cited by the inspector general for lying. Comey has often lectured about the illegality of leaking confidential govt documents, but he later bragged about his own leak of such documents as a means of getting Mueller appointed.
25. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan may prove to be the two most prevaricating officials in the history of any modern administration. Both have lied repeatedly while under oath to Congress.
26. Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and others sought transcripts of surveilled U.S. citizens in order to unmask their names, which were then subsequently leaked to the media. Rice initially lied about her role in the unmaskings.
27. Samantha Power’s testimony that she had no idea how her name found its way onto the unmasking requests (more than 250 of them) is as surreal as it is mendacious. In 2016 alone, Power sought one unmasking on average every working day. She was not even an intelligence official.
28. In addition to such unethical/illegal behavior, the Obama admin institutionalized deception as a tool of govt: hiding from Americans all the side agreements to the so-called Iran deal, itself a blatant effort to bypass the treaty-making responsibilities of the U.S. Senate.
29. Obama fabricated yarns to sell the disastrous Obamacare takeover of health care; used executive orders to enact immigration amnesties after warning that doing just that would be unconstitutional; and lied repeatedly about the circumstances of the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap.
30. Hillary Clinton has never been able to explain why huge gifts to her family’s foundation from Russian interests coincided with the State Department’s approval of uranium sales to Russia, or why anyone would ever pay her husband $500,000 for a short speech in Moscow.
31. We live in such strange times that the media ignored the most blatant examples of presidential campaign-cycle collusion in memory, while seeking to invent it where it never existed.
32. Remember, Barack Obama on a hot mic not only got caught reiterating to a Russian leader the conditions of Putin-Obama election-cycle collusion, but he also spelled out the exact quid pro quo.
33. Promised Russian quietude abroad during Obama’s reelection campaign was in exchange for “flexibility” (i.e., cancellation) of U.S.-Eastern European missile-defense projects. What do you think Mueller would do if Trump were to be caught making the same “deal”?
34. Criminal Camelot vs. Crude Queens

Why was Obama admin so corrupt? Three reasons stand out. One, it was the first administration in modern history in which the media saw its role as a subordinate and accomplice rather than an auditor; the media thereby empowered corruption.
35. Two, it exuded a moral zealousness in its promise to fundamentally transform the country and enact social justice; any means of doing so were justified by its exalted ends.
36. Three, like the John F. Kennedy administration, Obama and his team adroitly calculated that in America’s celebrity culture, what’s hip and cool is often more highly prized than what’s competent and lawful, much less crude and effective.
37. This weird juxtaposition of the vacuous and often law-breaking, but melodious, Obama administration next to boisterous and rowdy Trump presidency has taught us this: Our media and our cultural elite value style far more than substance.
38. Media and elites prefer adroitly breaking the law to obeying it in uncivilized fashion. Boorishly bragging about 3% GDP growth and below-4% unemployment is deemed far worse than contextualizing in soft tones a stagnant economy that in 8 years never achieved 3% annual growth.
39. Credentials empower illegality; their mere absence is seen as almost illegal in itself. Lawlessly “presidential” is a misdemeanor; lawfully unpresidential, a felony. A bankrupt agenda delivered by "experts" is sanctified; an effective one packaged by amateurs is heretical.
40. Having engaged in illegality during Obama admin looks better on a résumé than following the law in Trump admin. The façade of Camelot excuses lawlessness, but Queens-accented boosterism nullifies real achievement. Trump is ordinary Americans' middle finger to elites.

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