The Morning Jolt

Of Course: UK Newspaper Column Proposes Recognizing ISIS Diplomatically

Heck of a job, champ: “Just 28 percent in the survey said Obama had clearly explained the United States’ goals in fighting the Islamic State, while 68 percent said he had not. Eighty-eight percent of Republicans and 66 percent of independents said the president had not clearly explained the goals, and even among Democrats 51 percent agreed.”

Meanwhile, over in the London-based Independent newspaper, there’s a call for diplomatic recognition of ISIS from Vadim Nikitin:

Isis exists, and wishful thinking cannot will it away. As with the war on drugs, which has singularly failed to curb either use or trafficking, the international bombing campaign has done little to stop the self-described Caliphate from attaining the core principles of statehood. It now controls significant territory, governs a population of up to 10 million, operates an increasingly sophisticated civil service bureaucracy and has largely established a monopoly on violence. Only by accepting reality and extending diplomatic recognition to Isis can the West hope to gain a credible means to moderate and constrain its further advance. The Soviet scenario is now the least worst option: it is time to forge a long peace with militant Islam.

You scoff, but back in September 2005, the Boston Globe ran an op-ed by Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou of Harvard University, declaring “Time to Talk to al-Qaeda.”

. . . developing a strategy for the next phase of the global response to Al Qaeda requires understanding the enemy — something Western analysts have systematically failed to do. Sept. 11 was not an unprovoked, gratuitous act. It was a military operation researched and planned since at least 1996 and conducted by a trained commando in the context of a war that had twice been declared officially and publicly. The operation targeted two military locations and a civilian facility regarded as the symbol of US economic and financial power. The assault was the culmination of a larger campaign, which forecast impact, planned for the enemy’s reaction, and was designed to gain the tactical upper hand.

What would these guys need to see to recognize that “a long peace with militant Islam” is impossible?

Brace Yourselves: Another Debate Is Coming

Tonight at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, CNN gets to host another Republican debate. At 6 p.m. they’ll host another “kiddie-table” debate, with George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee. Can you feel the excitement? The bottom four, collectively, have 2.9 percent in the RealClearPolitics average.

Fairly or not, this looks like a four-man race at the moment: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson. (And even Carson is fading fast.) If you’re not  on this list, this is the last chance of the year to make a splash before a national television audience . . .

Three Cheers for the Forthcoming Chappaquiddick Movie

Oh, just perfect.

Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed Fifty Shades of Grey, is in talks to direct Apex Entertainment’s feature Chappaquiddick.

Mark Ciardi is producing the project, with its script just named to the 2015 Blacklist. Campbell McInnes of Apex Entertainment and Chris Cowles of DMG Entertainment are also producing.

“I’ve done a lot of true life stories, many sports stories, but this one had a deep impact on this country,” said Ciardi. “Everyone has an idea of what happened on Chappaquiddick and this strings together the events in a compelling and emotional way. You’ll see what he had to go through.”

Written by Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan, Chappaquiddick is political thriller that unveils the true story of what is described as the seven most dramatic days of Senator Ted Kennedy’s life.

On the eve of the moon landing, Senator Kennedy becomes entangled in a tragic car accident that results in the death of former Robert Kennedy campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne. The Senator struggles to follow his own moral compass and simultaneously protect his family’s legacy, all while simply trying to keep his own political ambitions alive.

A lot of conservatives will look at this news and howl, “Once again, Hollywood is whitewashing history, glorifying a liberal Democratic politician!”

But how do you tell the story of Chappaquiddick and not make Ted Kennedy look like the world’s biggest jerk, a man who should have done jail time? How on earth do you make the audience sympathize with Kennedy?

He drives, she dies. You can make up a shady GOP conspiracy out to get Kennedy, and cast Stanley Tucci and Christopher Walken and Willem DeFoe and Robert Davi — and Danny Trejo as the virulently anti-Castro Cuban-American — and it still ends with, he drives, she dies. You can cast . . . I don’t know, Hugh Jackman as Kennedy — you scoff, but remember, Cate Blanchett played Mary Mapes! — and it still ends with, he drives, she dies.

If you want to make a Ted Kennedy hagiography, you just ignore Chappaquiddick. Whether or not the director and creative team intend it, this movie will do a lot to tarnish — or in our eyes, correct — Kennedy’s reputation.

Back in July 2014, Brian Cates told the story of Chappaquiddick in a lengthy, detailed series of Tweets.

He concluded:

With all the facts in evidence, a charge of manslaughter would have been de rigueur for 99 percent of Americans. But this was a Kennedy. If 99 percent of Americans had gotten drunk, caused an accident, left the scene & another person to die, they’d go to prison. Fortunately for Ted Kennedy, he was Ted Kennedy.

The judge at the inquest could have filed for manslaughter but did not. The DA could have brought the charge, but also did not. Now you know the story of Chappaquiddick. A sitting US Senator killed somebody & walked away scot-free. This miscarriage of justice wasn’t done behind a curtain either, it was done with the entire country watching. We’re either a nation of laws where we are all equal under the law, or we are not. Chappaquiddick demonstrated the truth of the matter. I had to spend 20 years watching Ted Kennedy being held up as some kind of great man.

Democrats were able to do this because the truth about Chappaquiddick was quickly buried & most media never reported on it.

Quick, intermittent coverage, overshadowed by man landing on the moon, helped the Kennedy family’s image emerge more or less intact. I’m thrilled to see there’s a Chappaquiddick movie in the works. Because unless they rewrite the script to make Mary Jo Kopechne a mermaid, this movie is going to do more damage to the Kennedy mystique than the revelation that John F. Kennedy was having sex with 19-year-old White House interns.

Rush Limbaugh: ‘These Two Things Have Gotta Raise Some Red Flags for You’

Rush Limbaugh, back on September 11, discussing my piece noting that Trump rarely uses the words “freedom” or “liberty” in discussing his political views:

I will admit, Trump doesn’t talk about liberty. But he sure as hell practices it, doesn’t he? I mean, there doesn’t seem to be any limits or boundaries out there. He’s not constrained by political correctness. He has escaped the surly bonds of that. That’s liberty and freedom. He’s not constrained by onerous local, state, federal laws. He’s made billions of dollars despite them.  He’s made millions of dollars with a reality TV show, which is the belly of the pop culture beast.  I mean, he’s swimming around in the bowels of it in there, folks, doing a reality TV show.  I mean, that’s like living with Jerry Springer.

Rush has been quite friendly to Trump on his program. But then yesterday:

RUSH: But this [comment from Trump] is almost a rote criticism of Cruz. This is almost . . . You know, if you have to go to a playbook or a manual and say, “Okay, time to criticize Ted Cruz. What do we say? What do we say?”  “Well, the manual says, ‘Go after him for not being able to work together in the Senate,’” and so forth and so on. So I’m not sure that Mr. Trump even knows who Cruz really is in this regard. No, my only point is for somebody running for the Republican nomination who has set himself up as anti-establishment, to join the establishment in that kind of criticism of Cruz, I don’t get it.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Now, Trump’s not trying to portray himself as a conservative, either. So it’s not a violation of that. But he’s clearly making himself out to be anti-establishment, yet he joins them here. And then he dumped on Cruz for being opposed to ethanol? In other words, we as Republicans must support government subsidies to corn farmers in Iowa if we’re to have any chance of winning Iowa? We’ve gotta stand for subsidies? And that, again, is not a conservative position. To go after Cruz on that basis, is again the way the Democrats and the media would go after him, and then there was this Sunday morning on CNN’s State of the Union, Jake Tapper.

TAPPER: What do you think of Justice Scalia’s remarks, and where are you today on affirmative action?

TRUMP: I thought it was very tough to the African-American community, actually. I don’t like what he said. I actually saw it in print, and I’m going. . . I read a lot of stuff. I’m going, “Whoa.” I have great African-American friendships.  I have just amazing relationships. But, yeah, I was very surprised at Scalia’s statements, actually.

RUSH:  Well, they weren’t “Scalia’s statements.”  They were arguments that had been submitted to the court that he was engaging in oral argument over. But these are two things that . . . If you’re a conservative voter in the Republican primary, these two things have gotta raise some red flags for you people, I would think.

Above: The Trump candidacy, as I see it.

Last night, Mark Levin tore into Trump as well for the same issues. I’m glad to see it, it’s just . . . wait, now they notice Trump supports affirmative action? Now they realize Trump isn’t careful with his words? Now they realize that Trump isn’t well-versed enough in conservatism and political and philosophical first principles to grasp what Scalia was saying?

ADDENDA: T-minus ten days to Christmas. If you want to make sure your gift gets delivered in time, order it soon!

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