It was a busy news day in America, with primary races in four states and Trump ignoring the pleadings of my old boss Boris Johnson and gleefully blowing up the Iran deal. But I confess I was most struck today by the sudden appearance on America's front pages of a chap I last mentioned in my testimony to the United Senate. I was talking about the peculiarly repulsive spectacle of thug politicians abusing their powers to go after those who disagree with them on climate change:
Too many people within the climate cartel are demanding that dissent from the alleged "consensus" should be not merely a civil offense but a criminal one – and far too many legislators and bureaucrats are willing to entertain it. Your colleague, Senator Whitehouse, is among those who favor criminal penalties for those who disagree with him on climate policy. Earlier this year, you, Senator Markey, were rebuked by the President of the Cato Institute for "an obvious attempt to chill research into and funding of public policy projects you don't like... You abuse your authority when you attempt to intimidate people who don't share your political beliefs".
Likewise, Raúl Grijalva, the Congressman from Arizona and Ranking Member of the House UnEnvironmental Activities Committee, earlier this year sent a letter to seven scientists, including professors Curry and Christy – a quite disgraceful letter that no citizen-legislator in a representative parliament has any business sending to anybody, demanding among other things details of speaking fees, travel expenses, and email communications stretching back a decade. Commissar Grijalva presumed to be able to do this because these scientists had voluntarily testified before his committee, and thus, as he saw it, had submitted to his jurisdiction over every aspect of their lives. I hope this Senate sub-committee will distance itself from Commissar Grijalva's deformed understanding of his role. But, in the event that, following my voluntary appearance here today, any Senator demands in five years' time to see my emails and know what hotel I stayed in in Cleveland or Copenhagen, I might as well give you my answer now: You ain't gettin' nuthin'.
It takes quite a lot to stand up to powerful congressmen and senators threatening to plunge you into half-a-decade of investigative torture for exercising your free-speech and public-advocacy rights. The ultimate verdict of such inquiry is largely irrelevant: The process is the punishment.
The Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman, is presently using securities law to do an end run around the First Amendment and sue Exxon for not holding the same views on climate change as the more pliable oil companies have been forced to adopt in public.
Well, Whitehouse, Markey and Grijalva are still at it, but as of today Eric Schneiderman is no longer Attorney-General of New York. Schneiderman, "a liberal Democratic champion of women's rights" and "outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement", resigned following reports that he'd physically assaulted at least four women - and indeed threatened to stalk them and kill them.
Until these unfortunate revelations, however, he was something of a charmer among the distaff side of American liberalism. Here's telly comedienne Samantha Bee a few months back portraying Schneiderman as a superhero, for his willingness to take on Trump:
My favorite moment is when Miss Bee tells Schneiderman, "You are a superhero." He demurs, so she says, "Why don't we see what happens if you go into that telephone booth over there..."
That's right: Miss Bee and her producers were so smitten by their Trump-battling superman that they went to the trouble of installing on the set a Clark Kent payphone.
Look, down on the ground! Is it a sap? Is it a rube? No, it's FallGirl, prostrating herself faster than a speeding bullet fired straight into her foot.
As for the guy Schneiderman stood up to, here's Donald Trump's five year-old Tweet:
Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone - next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner.
Trump has a kind of genius for these things - at least when compared with Miss Bee and her chums.
As for what Schneiderman did, consider this:
When Schneiderman was violent, he often made sexual demands. "He was obsessed with having a threesome, and said it was my job to find a woman," she says. "He said he'd have nothing to look forward to if I didn't, and would hit me until I agreed." (She had no intention of having a threesome.) She recalls, "Sometimes, he'd tell me to call him Master, and he'd slap me until I did." Selvaratnam, who was born in Sri Lanka, has dark skin, and she recalls that "he started calling me his 'brown slave' and demanding that I repeat that I was 'his property.'"
Well, Massa's in de cold cold ground now, but not without a lot of Dems doing their best to keep him in office:
After the former girlfriend ended the relationship, she told several friends about the abuse. A number of them advised her to keep the story to herself, arguing that Schneiderman was too valuable a politician for the Democrats to lose. She described this response as heartbreaking.
Not really. It's just business as usual. Too many "liberal" "progressives" are content to love women, blacks, gays, humanity in general while being remarkably cold-hearted about women, blacks, gays in particular, regarding individuals such as Miss Selvaratnam as mere collateral damage on the road to utopia. (See Mary Jo Kopechne, inter alia.) After all, like Harvey Weinstein, Schneiderman attended the women's march - and that's what counts.
Now he's gone, Samantha Bee's producers are begging:
If you're a f**king disgrace, please consider not coming on our show.
Sorry, but that's your job to figure out. And one way to avoid making yourself look like a chump is by preserving sufficient self-awareness not to do fawning you're-a-superhero all-we-need-is-a-payphone shtick just because a politician shares your dislike of Trump.
By the way, is brown slave-white master role-play a popular fetish? Or just among liberals? I wonder if it arises from the obsession with identity politics, from having to view the entirety of modern life through the prism of race, sex, orientation, and whatever's next. It must be psychologically exhausting and destabilizing: is it any wonder that after hours your public preoccupations emerge in dark inversions requiring your "brown slave" to call you master and agree to do a little softcore sapphism to fulfill your threesome fantasies?
The leftie media, as they did with Weinstein and Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer and the rest, is trying to hang this around the President. But the difference is that, whatever one feels about them, hitherto private revelations about Trump are nevertheless broadly consistent with his public persona - not, as with Schneiderman and Weinstein, entirely at odds with it. I wonder if the strain of having to pretend to believe all the bollocks is simply too much for the frontmen.
~Tomorrow, Wednesday, I'll be joining the great John Oakley north of the border on Toronto's AM640, live at 5pm Eastern. Hope you can tune in!
We're observing the first anniversary of The Mark Steyn Club with some special celebrations all month long. But the important, critical element of the Club is its members - and I'm very touched by all those who signed up in that first week last May who are so eager to re-subscribe they took the plunge a few days early. It means an awful lot to me to know you value what we do here - transient politics, big-picture civilizational collapse, audio fiction, video poetry, live music. If you've become a bit jaded by all that and want something new for our second year, well, I hope to see many of you on our inaugural Mark Steyn Club Cruise from Montreal to Boston this fall. For more information on the Steyn Club, see here - and don't forget our limited-time Gift Membership.
Oh, and we have a grand competition: As you may know, Cary Katz and CRTV have decided to re-sue me, this time for a mere $5 million. Their legal complaint includes as part of Exhibit C my January Song of the Week essay on "Oh Happy Day" - which doesn't mention Katz but which he claims nevertheless is derogatory and defamatory of him. So we're running a competition to help Katz's unfortunate lawyer find something actionable in that "Happy Day" column. First prize is a year's subscription to CRTV, and second prize is (all together now) two subscriptions. Email your entries here, and we'll be announcing the winner at the end of the week.