Taking a Mile So They'll Move an Inch

Mark Steyn

By Mark Steyn

Published Oct. 9,2018

Monica Akhtar for The Washington Post

I am reluctant to compare myself, an impoverished Canadian showtune queen, to a billionaire president of the United States, but I will confess that, late in the Kavanaugh shenanigans, it all began to ring a vague bell with me.

A decade ago, when my battles with the "human rights" commissions got going up north, I was told by wise old birds to stay calm, let the process play itself out, don't rock the boat, etc. There was one lone dissenter who told me, no, no, if you do that, you're going to lose --- and, indeed, I subsequently heard that, when the subject came up in Cabinet, the view of the Canadian Government was that I was doomed to go down.

So instead Canadian media personality Ezra Levant and I went bananas, went nuclear on the commissions --- or, as I took to formulating it, we went Magna Carta on their medieval ass. And the wise old birds then said Canadians wouldn't put up with a couple of berserk loons trashing their beloved "human rights" commissions. But they did --- to the point where we got the law repealed.

I concluded early on that it was, in fact, necessary for us to go nuclear in order to shore up public opinion and thus enable all the "nice" "moderate" people to move just a smidgeonette toward sanity.

Something similar just happened with President Trump and the Kavanaugh confirmation. When he mocked Christine Blasey Ford's testimony at that rally the other night - she can't tell you the location of the party, the year of the party, how she got to the party, who was at the party, etc - received opinion, including from many "conservatives", huffed and puffed and deplored the President's remarks. But it was necessary for the same reason my own alleged excesses were necessary a decade ago - in order to shore up the base and thus ensure all the "nice" "moderate" people like Jeff Flake and Susan Collins would move just a smidgeonette toward sanity.

Ms Ford was not a "credible" witness. Rather the opposite, in fact.

Read the report by Rachel Mitchell, the Deputy County Attorney brought in to question the accuser so that the GOP members of the Judiciary Committee wouldn't look all mean and white and old and Republican. Unlike Trump, Ms Mitchell is benign, pleasant and unthreatening, but her conclusions are devastating to Ms Ford:

In the legal context, here is my bottom line: a 'he said, she said' case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that.

It goes on from there. Ms Mitchell seems very nice and reasonable, and, for that very reason, she's already forgotten and not one in a hundred thousand Americans has read her report. To defer to Ms Ford's frankly incredible "credibility" is to do what Republicans always do - play defense, on terms framed by their opponents, and on the tiny cramped bit of turf permitted by the media. The President understands instinctively that that's a recipe for losing.

Not all "conservatives" grasp that.

I wrote for The Spectator in London for many years and loved it, and I have also enjoyed its recent Australian edition. But its new American branch office is a more fitful and unsatisfactory affair. Their take on Kavanaugh:

Kavanaugh is almost through --- but at what cost to the Republicans?

The rage that is percolating in America will be exploited by the Democrats as they point to Kavanaugh's presence on the court as a permanent blot on the judiciary.

Hmm. This blogger, meanwhile, is having some sport with those NeverTrumpers who turned a favorite line of the President's supporters ("But he fights!") into a sneer. I regret to find my old National Review comrade Jonah Goldberg is among them. I understand there are those who like what Trump does but deplore his personal style --- but the personal style is essential. What the Democrats did this last month was outrageous, and to be polite and house-trained about it is to ensure it will happen again and again, and worse and worse.

All that applies to Trump too.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human rights activist. His latest book is "The Undocumented Mark Steyn: Don't Say You Weren't Warned". (Buy it at a 43% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 50% discount by clicking here. Sales help fund JWR)