“Cricket Morality”

Conservatives, libertarians, and well-meaning and rational people in general often remark on the unfairness of many practices of the “progressive” media and other institutions of today’s Left. Selective prosecutions, for example.  The fact that those same publications that mocked Dan Quayle for his verbal clumsiness are totally dismissive about any concerns regarding the verbal weirdness of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  Many, many other examples.

It is true. The unfairness is obvious and palpable.  But, listening to these entirely-justified complaints, I am reminded of a passage in Arthur Koestler’s 1940 book Darkness at Noon.

The protagonist of this novel is Rubashov, an Old Bolshevik who has been arrested by the Stalinist regime and is facing trial and probable execution.  Among his musings are the following thoughts:

It is said that No. 1 (Stalin) has Machiavelli’s Prince lying permanently by his bedside. So he should: since then, nothing really important has been said about the rules of political ethics. We were the first to replace the nineteenth century’s liberal ethics of fair play by the revolutionary ethics of the twentieth century. In that also we were right: a revolution conducted according to the rules of cricket is an absurdity. Politics can be relatively fair in the breathing spaces of history; at its critical turning points there is no other rule possible than the old one that the end justifies the means.

We introduced neo-Machiavellism into this country; the others, the counter-revolutionary dictatorships, have clumsily imitated it. We were neo-Machiavellians in the name of universal reason — that was our greatness; the others in the name of a national romanticism, that is their anachronism. That is why we will in the end be absolved by history; but not they. . . .

Yet for the moment we are thinking and acting on credit. As we have thrown overboard all conventions and rules of cricket-morality, our sole guiding principle is that of consequent logic. We are under the terrible compulsion to follow our thought down to its final consequence and to act in accordance to it. We are sailing without ballast; therefore each touch on the helm is a matter of life or death.

And this is indeed the logic of so many of our present-day “progressives.”  They have convinced themselves that we are not in one of those “breathing spaces of history” in which fairness is to be expected–rather, everything must be about ultimate things, must be “existential”, to use one of their favorite terms.

But to what extent do they want to throw out the rule of fairness because they believe we’re at a critical turning point at which no other option is possible…versus to what extent is it the other way around, i.e. they are motivated to believe we are at such a turning point because they want to throw out the rule of fairness?

And how many of them have ever considered the possibility that perhaps it is precisely those critical periods in which the rule of fairness is particularly important?

28 thoughts on ““Cricket Morality””

  1. [Insert famous quote from A Man for All Seasons.]

    People and nations start fights all the time, always expecting to win. It’s human nature. Yet somebody always loses.

    The Left has been on a roll against confused and disorganized opponents and it keeps doubling down. Fairness isn’t a priority when you expect always to win. But people often miscalculate their odds. Even cheaters lose some of the time. Or the Left’s opponents might decide to fight dirty too.

    It’s not looking good, but it’s never over, and there is no reason to despair or capitulate.

  2. The left is throwing out the rule of fairness because they can’t retain power any other way.

    If they simply allowed honest debate, they’d lose. If they allowed honest elections, they’d lose. If they simply applied the law equally, they’d lose.

    In that iterative process, they’ve utterly destroyed the supposed opposition party, because it offered no effective opposition to all this- and seemingly couldn’t even imagine effective opposition was desirable or possible. Hence establishment figures like Mike Pence poll at about zero percent GOP support, rounding up.

    I remember thinking long ago that the person who would defeat the left be would someone who would defeat the leftist media at their own game. That person turned out to be Donald Trump. He won- and then the DC uniparty closed ranks against him, thus ripping away the mask and revealing that there was no real opposition party at all.

    I’m reminded of how the Whig party managed to disappear prior to the first American civil war- by being completely irrelevant to the issues of the day- and how it was then was replaced by an organization that wasn’t so irrelevant.

    What’s not looking good is the future of the present regime, not the future of the people opposed to it.

    Aside from the incipient civil war, I mean. That might be ugly. But after that, things will improve significantly.

  3. “People and nations start fights all the time, always expecting to win. It’s human nature.”

    That’s just the point. What we call morality is a manifestation of human nature. The innate behavioral traits that are its root cause exist by virtue of natural selection. Human morality is dual, with one set of rules applying to the ingroup and another to the outgroup. Look for it, and you will always find this division. It is always there. “Fairness” isn’t some objective law, written in the clouds somewhere, independent of anyone’s opinion on the matter. Like all other moral rules, it is man made and subjective. We “feel in our bones” that fairness must be a universal law because of our “human nature,” but that belief is an illusion. Westermarck treats the subject extensively in his “Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas,” published in 1906. Herbert Spenser was the first author I’m aware of to actually write about the dual nature of human morality. Others have mentioned it, and Sir Arthur Keith suggested a theoretical basis for it in his “A New Theory of Human Evolution,” published in 1948. Ardrey drew attention to the importance of Keith’s work, referring to ingroup/outgroup behavior as the “Amity/Enmity Complex.”

    Normally, rules that apply to the ingroup, such as fairness, don’t apply to the outgroup. For the Left, we are the outgroup, so it is absurd to expect them to recognize rules of fairness in our case. This is another interesting example of a morality inversion; a human behavioral trait that exists because it happened to increase the odds that we would survive and reproduce in the stone age, or perhaps much earlier, but that tends to accomplish the opposite in the radically different environment we live in today. There was no ambiguity about the outgroup when the trait evolved. It was always just the next tribe over. Today we are aware of a myriad different groups, all of which it is quite possible for us to whimsically identify as “the next tribe over.” Just as the outgroup was typically deemed, dirty, impure, and evil by our ancient ancestors, we view our own outgroups the same way, but now we can identify “the next tribe over” by religion, race, ideology, or class. Regardless of how each of us identifies their particular outgroup, rules of fairness seldom apply to them.

  4. David,

    Fantastic post and quoting of Koestler, many dimensions there but I always though that the Bolshevik Revolution and the resulting Stalinist Show Trials were one of the great teaching moments of the 20th Century (as Jonathan has also intimated with his “Man for All Seasons” mention)

    But really , why would you accord any rules of fairness, any cricket morality to Nazis? That is the undercurrent to the age right? The hypothetical question that if you had the power to go back in time and kill a young Hitler in the WW I trenches or work to undermine the 1932 elections would you do so? Of course and in a variation of the trolley problem you would probably sacrifice thousands of innocents to do so. So what happens when you believe that your domestic opponent is a Nazi?

    Right now the Democrats are powered by two sub-groups; Transgressives and Progressives. The Transgressives, which could also be called the Woke and incorporates the post-modern CRT/Queer/Marxist, see the entire system just an evil superstructure created to perpetuate dominance by the hetero-normative, cisgender, white people. To Progressives, the existing constitutional system is not only evil but inefficient in that it hinders the development of a better and just world.

    This didn’t begin with Trump or even the Tea Party. If you go back to the 2000s, you saw strong stirrings among what we now call “moderate” Democrats about the the incipient rise of the Nazi Republicans, remember Bush as Chimpy McHitler, and every Republican after that is simply an enabler of that phenomena.

    So if you see Trump and really any “Far Right” (i.e. not craven to the system) Republican as an existential threat, why wouldn’t you be justified in taking extraordinary action? Using the security agencies for surveillance and subversion? Weaponizing the judicial system? Suppressing the speech of your opponents (as per the Twitter Files)? Gaming the electoral system? In fact by labeling your opponents as such, you are morally obligated by History to anything in your power to stop them. The ghosts of millions of Hitler’s victims scream for you to do no other.

    That is not to see that there haven’t been breaches of norms in the past by all parts of the political spectrum, but we had then was at least a public acceptance of the norms and at worst hypocrisy in the the form of tribute that vice pays to the virtue. Those norms tether our actions beyond the political and emotional vicissitudes of any given moment and provide the ballast to prevent the demonization and eventual liquidation of a political opponent. Now those norms are tossed out, not merely as inadequate to the existentialist crisis of the age, but as evil in of itself. To apply this to a particular, we have had a partisan press for centuries, it was only in the past 60 to 75 years with the supposed professionalization of journalism that there has been pretensions to it being non-partisan, “that’s the way it is”; in fact it is one of the cornerstones for the media’s smug self-confidence. It is a mark of the emergency of the age that they in the past 5 years have shed that pretension, saying that objectivism and “bothsideism” is morally wrong given the evilness of the Republicans.

    Several years ago I was at a party where “The Two Towers” was playing on a TV in another room. I stuck my head in and saw the intense scene where the Uruk-Hai were chanting war cries before charging the walls at Helm’s Deep. A friend of mine observed that they look like the Democrats preparing themselves to go after Trump.

    So here’s an immediate danger of this phenomena and I bring it out when I travel and debate people about the problems with our election system. I do not argue about fraud and the 2020 election and when I am told that there has been no “proof” about such fraud I tell them that point is irrelevant. I state that over the past 20 years, but especially the past 3 to 4, we have restructured our elections systems through mail-in balloting and ballot harvesting that leave them vulnerable to fraud and intimidation (see Carter-Baker Commission). In fact with large-scale mail-in voting and ballot harvesting we have destroyed the secret ballot. In short whatwvwe you may think about the 2020 election we have certainly provided the opportunity for fraud and through the depiction of Republicans as the second coming of Hitler have provided the motive. See also the Democrats’ response in the 2020 Transition Integrity Project

    I’ll add one other thought about cricket morality as it pertains to Rubashov. The difference between the American Revolution and those which came after it (French, the various Communist ones) is that the American version saw the threat to freedom as coming not from the failure to achieve certain goals so much as from internal enemies. They saw Man not only as a broken instrument from the Garden of Eden, but as vulnerable to Evil and therefore incapable as individuals to achieve Heaven on Earth. That is in part Solzhenitsyn meant by “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart”

    Furthermore we as individuals hold our various rights as natural ones, not bestowed by any earthly power and therefore out of that power’s reach. Accordingly our system was created as a constitutional one, designed as its primary goal the protection of those rights from not only others but from government itself. This is in contrast the Administrative/Hegelian system which sees government as existing not to protect, but to “achieve” and thus must be enabled to do so. That difference is what drives our political debate today. If you acknowledge the constitutional system, even in the breach, you come to very different conclusion than if you adhere to the Administrative one.

    You may think the Founders’ depiction of Man as a being both fundamentally flawed and hold natural rights as some sort of Sky God hooey, refuted by both Nietzsche and Freud. That’s fine. However what it does do is force us to acknowledge a higher law than ourselves, in the manner of an absent yet reigning King, to not only place certain questions beyond our ability to answer but tethers our actions to a higher law. Whatever you may think of its origins, I think the past 120 years of human history with its Nietzschian supermen has proven both its wisdom and the wisdom of obedience to modesty. I think Rubashov would agree

  5. Humility is the foundational virtue. We are all flawed, foolish, ignorant and often stupid. All of us.

    The Left is driven by the ultimate hubris. They do not believe they are capable of error. All of their abuses stem from that. They believe themselves to be Gods and they believe themselves entitled to play God in the lives of others.

    And this is what makes them evil.

  6. “regarding tribes, Claire Lehmann did a video titled ‘Nationalism is the Antidote to Racism'”

    I think it would be useful if our species went back to basics and finally learned to understand why we deem some things “good” and some “evil” to begin with. We make that distinction because of our “human nature,” the innate predispositions that are as much a part of us as our arms and legs. As Darwin suggested long ago in his “The Descent of Man,” without them we would neither have nor understand that aspect of our nature we refer to as morality. These predispositions don’t rigidly program us to do anything. They are open-ended, nudges or suggestions if you will. When creatures with large brains such as ourselves try to think about what they are trying to tell us, we can come up with all kinds of different answers, as the kaleidoscope of human moral behavior demonstrates. The moral chaos we find ourselves in today reflects that fact. We can expect it to continue until we finally get serious about understanding our behavior, our “human nature.”

    What is “good” and what is “evil?” Every one of us must decide that for themselves. Nothing “out there” is going to assign them to us or dictate what they are. I personally prefer that my own be in harmony with the reasons I am a moral creature to begin with. To first order, they should enhance the odds that I and my descendants will survive. Beyond that, they should enhance the odds that my species will survive, and beyond that, biological life in general. I can’t say that anyone else “ought” to make these choices as well. The existence of human morality is a fact, an “is,” and, as Hume pointed out, you can’t get an ought from an is. My personal “oughts” just seem right to me.

    As for Claire Lehman’s video, I consider the claim that nationalism is the antidote to racism highly dubious. The Nazis were very nationalistic, but that hardly prevented them from being racist. Indeed, nationalism assumes a degree of racism. I personally would prefer to live in a nationalist state, occupied by people whose genes and culture are more or less similar to mine, but I don’t fool myself that such a state would be intrinsically anti-racist. Its continued existence would be predicated on preference for a particular “race” and exclusion of others. The Left has now achieved the opposite in the so-called liberal democracies and, as a result, those states are in the process of ceasing to exist as nations. It is certainly plausible to me that the liquidation of nations will result in an even higher degree of racism. In that respect Claire is probably correct.

    It is worth noting that there is a term for those who don’t prefer their own “race” over others. It is “biological dead end.” It is useful to keep that fact in mind when one is accused of being a “racist.”

  7. They’re right, insofar as they alone have dictated the terms and stakes.

    For example, in conflating so much of what they hate under the term ‘nationalism’, they have convinced millions that the basic beliefs about country and identity of most of those who actually fought Nazism were and are the same as those of the Nazis. They have made it almost an alien thought to point out that throughout the 19th century nationalism was, and was seen to be, overlapping heavily with both liberalism and democracy. And, further, nationalism is no more contradictory of the other two than the other two are of each other.

    Given internationalism as they have now defined it, and nationalism as they have now defined it, I will still pick the latter. I’d rather have Winston Churchill’s idea of nationalism, but the other side has chosen the stakes, not me. They won’t let me have that, at least not for the moment.

  8. “We were neo-Machiavellians in the name of universal reason — that was our greatness; the others in the name of a national romanticism, that is their anachronism. That is why we will in the end be absolved by history; but not they. . . .”

    Rubashev here is probably right as far as history, during the Cold War and again now, if only because people like him still control the narrative. He may be right long term on the point.

    Still, he and Koestler still voice the great and wrong moral conceit that I guess let them sleep at night. Universal reason, indeed.

    The Old Bolsheviks deserved what happened to them. They created the world they dreamed of by the means they believed in, in the only form it ever could have taken, and then lost the control they most desired to more cunning men. Machiavelli would have understood.

  9. I’d even suggest Machiavelli was a better man than they. He prescribed all that cynicism to keep princes in power and in control of the political game in their states, and largely was just articulating facts.

    The Bolsheviks wanted to put that in the service of the creation of paradise and the remaking of man and society, always a vastly more tyrannical and destructive enterprise than anything a Renaissance prince could have come up with.

    Machiavelli is in a much better class of hell than they are.

  10. A few thoughts on nationalism

    We should remember that the Marxists viewed nationalism as a scourge, viewing it as part of the capitalist superstructure that divided workers within national borders,, “Workers of the World Unite”, The Internationale, and all of that. These days with the Woke, nationalism is also seen as a bane because it unites people across intersectional lines rather than divides them along it. It seems that the Left just cannot get away from seeing nationalism as a subversive concept.

    Michael Barone in one of his early editions of The Almanac of American Politics described the history of assimilation in America starting with the immigration of Germans during Colonial times. The Germans were viewed as an existential threat given their different nature from the original English colonists. This pattern persisted with each new wave of European immigration from the Irish to Italians, Jews, various eastern European groups. We don’t seem to hear much about it these days do we? Wonder why. I would also add that in my community where I have a large immigrant community, the most patriotic people I know are 2nd generation kids of Indian and African ancestry. The problem today as opposed to those European wave of immigrants is that back then the country they assimilated into was a confident one as opposed to today where our elites push a message of self-loathing.

    Several months ago Stephen K. had a post here (https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/69106.html) about a book from Yascha Mounk called “The Great Experiment.” Mounk, a man of the left, tried to come up with a solution for societies to deal with the increasing diversity caused by wide-scale immigration. Mounk spent a lot of time discussing problems that these new immigrants, focusing on Germany and the US, had in assimilating with what he called the “dominant ideology. ” His solution was to create a society based on what he called “structural anarchy” where by people would look to their normative groups for values but would interact with members of other groups in a model he called a “public park.” In other words he punted on any notion of assimilation, probably because that would to him smack of nationalism and that in turn would be a bridge too far, and instead saw a country as merely a geographical expression where people and groups just happened to occupy the same space

    My major problem with Mounk was that having no common set of norms for these groups to interact along is not a stable situation and inevitably various groups would, with no loyalty to the whole, strive for dominance. Years ago, Richard Fernandez during one of the interminable EU debates back then said that the ideal situation would not be supranational organization but rather defined interfaces across which such groups could interact, a community of communities. A good example is the recent protests in Montgomery County Md. led by a coalition of Christian and Muslim parents against the local school system which had ended the ability of parents to have their children opt-out of LGBT+ curriculum. A better solution would have been to have a certain curriculum that the community thought best but respect the wishes of certain groups. However even that fairly loose coupling presupposes some sort of underlying values.

    There is nothing wrong with “nationalism” per se. The example that everyone uses to deride the concept is of course that of Nazi Germany, but that phenomena is one based on race whereby the US is one that is based on a national creed.

    There has been a lot of ink spilled about the failures of the War on Terror and the failures to “export” democracy abroad. However we don’t seem to draw the really obvious point from this experience is that a free society such as ours can only emerge organically from and achieve its fullest expression within a national context. More than certain voting rules or the structure of the legislature, a free society depends on a common set of values and trust that David had in his post. Something to think about when people see values as merely instrumental or wish to escape into some sort of transnational future.

  11. Helian…true, the Nazis advertised themselves as National socialists, which was a major selling point in their view as compared with the International socialists. But their nationalism was by no means applicable to everyone living in the geographical area of the nation…even if their family had been there for a century or more.

    As an example, Anne Frank’s father, Otto, served in the Kaiser’s army during WWI and was promoted to lieutenant’s rank. During the Third Reich, he and his family were thrown into concentration camps.

    Excessive nationalism can certainly lead to very bad things, as the example of WWI shows, but nationalism seems to me to be less inherently toxic than race-based tribalism.

  12. Globalists might argue that the nation-state played a valuable role in rising above tribalism, but that today, in our more enlightened age, loyalties to “the global community’ or even to, say, Europe, can provide a replacement loyalty without the risks. i don’t think it works, though.

  13. National Socialism was certainly an ideological hydra, whether one is trying to pigeonhole it as left or right [they identified as on the right, and there were and are many justifications for calling them that, not least that American libertarianism with its focus on individualism versus collectivism/statism does NOT map well onto left/right anywhere but the US itself; but there ARE a few reasons to note they were not even entirely of the right in German terms and some Nazis wanted them to be even less so], or in terms of nationalism. They WERE in the German nationalist tradition, which is why they appealed to that segment, albeit they were by some margin its most extreme manifestation. But they also weren’t. They were also a kind of utopian supranationalism of race and ideology, in which contemporary Germans were at best the rootstock of the future new man and new society.

    I’m fairly sure in practice if they had won their reich would have followed a similar path to the USSR of being in large part just a practical extension of in this case German state power, and eventually collapsing under its own weight. Not original, but I think past writers who took that line were right. But their dream was if anything MORE revolutionary than the Soviet dream, except perhaps in the Trotskyite variant.

    If all the Germans had wanted to do was recreate Wilhelm’s empire and then achieve its WW1 aims, THAT would have been German nationalism and imperialism. But it would not have been an insane revolutionary nihilist nightmare.

  14. For the Left, we are the outgroup, so it is absurd to expect them to recognize rules of fairness in our case.

    Complicated by we were all one group. The Left, like the Nazis, suddenly decided that millions of people who days earlier were their fellow Americans, were now AmeriKKKans. It’s taken some time for the people labeled thusly to take that lesson to heart and head.

  15. From A Man for All Seasons:

    <B<Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law?
    More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    More: Oh? And, when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast – man’s laws, not God’s – and, if you cut them down – and you’re just the man to do it – d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

  16. Just as we believe that the antidote to an oppressive central federal government is to devolve more power to the states, a parallel argument can be made against a singular world government: control is best handled at a lower echelon, in this case, individual nations.

    I grew up understanding that each state was its own social and political laboratory. You could try things out regionally before trying to impose them directly at the federal level. I think the same can be said at the global level, that individual nations are better suited to handling their region’s issues. But for nations to work, they should have their own unique identities. The US is currently failing at that identity issue because we stopped demanding assimilation. Nowadays, immigration to the US (and Europe) is simply a change of address.

  17. The phrase “Cricket Morality” piqued my curiosity. Arthur Koestler being one of those authors I’ve heard of but never read, I started by assuming he was an Englishman. Very wrong, born in 1905 in Hungary, educated at the University of Vienna, a committed enough Communist to have spent several months in a Fascist prison in Spain under sentence of death. “Darkness At Noon” was written in German and translated by his then lover, Daphne Hardy into English. All this courtesy of Wikipedia with a pretty good, non-polemical article:

    The story of his falling out with Communism because of the ’30’s purges leads me to speculate that while purges had been occurring fairly continuously since the revolution, this was the first time that he knew some of the victims. Assuming it’s not an artifact of translation, it seems odd that he would have used “Cricket Morality” before he had spent much time in England. He did seem to have a “thing” for English women. The term does have a currency of its own and a quick search shows George Orwell using it, but the book predates Koestler’s friendship with him. It strikes me as doubly strange coming from the mind of , “pua Russian.

    Clearly, if all he intended was an everyday sports metaphor, football would have been more universal, even more plausible. I’ll admit that I have tried and failed to achieve an even elementary grasp of cricket at least twice. Yet even I know that its connotations go far beyond a sport. Cricket might be even more quintessentially upper crust English than fox hunting. It was then (1940), inescapably entwined with the British concept of a “gentleman”, “public” (private) schools and the accepted code of honor. This extends far beyond simply adhering to a set rules and might be all but incomprehensible to many today. Actions were taken or not taken without regard to whether anyone was watching. At the same time, it was and is peculiar to outsiders. A gentleman could stiff his tailor or commit adultery and keep his honor yet to be caught cheating at cricket or welshing on a gambling debt was cause for anathema.

    I haven’t figured out how all this applies to one of the bloodier revolutions in history just yet. I no longer pay any attention to pro football for two reasons. One is the annoying politicization that started a few years ago with that one mediocre quarterback. An even bigger reason is that the few seconds of action interspersing the endless palaver of ever more obscure and technical rules disputes simply no longer commands my attention. This is the diametric opposite of Cricket Morality, no referees or instant replay required.

  18. “Or the Left’s opponents might decide to fight dirty too.”

    If both sides fight dirty, Lady Liberty will be up a very septic creek with no means of propulsion.

  19. I keep going back to the Charles Krauthammer column back in 2002 where he wrote: “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.”

    There is something morally defective in one who believes that any who disagree over politics are evil.

    Why do Democrats think that science is settled? Why do they think they are entitled to censor others or engage in ugly cancel culture? To shout down anyone who disagrees? Why are they so eager to lie? Or spread the nastiest of slanders?

    Why do they think they are entitled to play God in the lives of others? They do. Why are they so comfortable using force against others? Even actual violence?

    Why do they cheer the relentless abuses of power? Why aren’t they horrified over the illegal spying, the dossier, the sale of CIA secrets for cash, the disgusting bribery schemes, the relentless election fraud? Why doesn’t it bother any Democrat that we have the worst election integrity in the world? Why are they so comfortable saying blacks are too stupid to get an ID? Such a nasty, racist slur.

    I don’t think it is possible to answer any of those questions without concluding that they have serious moral defects. And when moral defects cheer on the use of force and violence against others, when they result in the deliberate denial of basic human rights, evil is among us.

  20. to stan: I wondered about those things too. try reading a substack called Worshipping the Future. we get zero feedback from the future, but if you are trying to create a brave new world of absolute perfection, you need to convince people that your future is necessary and the only one morally perfect. Here’s the link https://helendale.substack.com/p/worshipping-the-future.

    Arnold Kling and a few others have commented on some of the articles.
    its free.

  21. I’m going to indulge in some wild speculation, I won’t take it personally if anyone disagrees. I’m not even sure I’ll agree with all of it by the time I get done.

    First: Assuming the Trump indictment is from the machinations of the Biden administration, and I don’t doubt that for even a microsecond. With the adroitness we have come to expect from them, they couldn’t have gotten the timing worse. I read a prediction that discovery will take at least a year. That would put any trial off until the middle of the primary/convention season. I would not be even a little surprised if it didn’t get continued to, say, the last week in January. Absent that, who’s going to be paying any attention to anyone besides Trump while it proceeds, whether or not Trump is a viable candidate at that point. I imagine that some of the smarter Democrats are already regretting it. This, of course leaves out any member of the Biden administration and the great majority of congress.

    If the Judicial Branch is stupid enough to set the precedent of assigning and recusing judges on the basis of who was in office when they were appointed, they will deserve every bit of hell that should shower down on them. Even Roberts, who on a good day exhibits all the spine of a gummy bear in boiling water, has put congress on notice that they have the power to impeach judges, it says so in the Constitution, but that is all they’re going to get.

    In another masterstroke of strategy, they have arraigned to bring this action in Southern Florida. If things proceed to voir dire, know that whoever is representing the “People” has drawn a very short straw. To start, at least half the jury pool by now is inclined to question if not, outright, ignore government witnesses. Remember, the government needs to go 12 for 12, the defense only needs one. Watching that U.S. Attorney trying to dance around this without saying so out loud promises hours entertainment. Remember that for a fair chunk of Miami’s population, the Bay Of Pigs is living history.

    I like Trump’s odds, all he has to do is keep his nerve. Also an element of Cricket Morality.

  22. I’ve seen it suggested somewhere on the internet that the real purpose of indicting Trump (this time) was to somehow force him to accept a plea deal in which he agrees to not run for president.

    Perhaps this idea was encouraged by mostly successful efforts by you-know to prevent Trump from obtaining legal counsel, via the intimidation of any attorney likely to be considered for his legal team.

    Hence, maybe the idea was that Trump would be unable to find any competent lawyer and thus it would be possible to railroad him into a quick guilty verdict, as if he was a January 6th protester, without any of those tedious legal proceedings like discovery or risky jury selection.

    Yeah. It could work. And maybe that proverbial horse could have learned to sing, too.

  23. “There is something morally defective in one who believes that any who disagree over politics are evil.”

    You miss the point entirely. They think your policies are evil, and disagree with them. Throwing straw about the place can be fun though. ;)

  24. “Cricket might be even more quintessentially upper crust English than fox hunting. It was then (1940), inescapably entwined with the British concept of a “gentleman”, “public” (private) schools and the accepted code of honor. ”

    Something of a misunderstanding. It’s true that “That’s not cricket !” has always been an idiomatic criticism of sharp practice, and it’s also true that cricket has its “rules” – ie customs of what constitutes fair play, as well as its “laws” – ie the written rules, (Many of the fair play rules have been jettisoned btw – a batsman seldom “walks” when he nicks the ball, he waits for the umpire to decide.)

    BUT, cricket was never an exclusively, or even mainly, “upper crust” sport. It was played by all classes, and particularly in the North of England it was mostly a working man’s sport. Only a few of the best players, even from a hundred years ago, were “gentlemen.” There used to be a fixture Gentlemen v Players, ie the gentlemenly amateur v the professionals, working class all. The professionals would always win, and would always constitute the clear majority of any representative team, whether at county or national level.

    And in other parts of the world, like Australia and South Africa, the idea that cricket was a gentleman’ sport would be laughed at.

  25. Lee Moore,
    As I wrote, I certainly don’t claim any knowledge about how Cricket actually is, only as it appears to someone far away and who’s only exposure was fleeting literary references. Not that different than a Hungarian writing in German about an imagined Russian character.

    I can’t say I’m surprised that competition has overridden some of the genteel traditions. On the up side, I have yet to hear of a Cricket riot, at least in England.

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