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Another Episode of the Amazing Adventures of Dr. Sebastian Gorka, PhD

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I make it a general policy not to read Breitbart, but I’m sure that LGM readers will understand that why I found this irresistible clickbait. And, lo, my indiscretion was rewarded.

In the fantasy novel Sourcery, Terry Pratchett describes a feature of the Discworld universe called “anti-light.” “That’s not the same as darkness, because darkness is merely the absence of light. Anti-light is what you get if you pass through darkness and out the other side.”

Yes, as Dan notes, Gorka spouts banal clichés. But the way he strings them together produces not merely the absence of meaning, or even the presence of simple bullshit. He passes through to the metaphorical other side. His word salad forms a kind of singularity, out of which emerges a kind of anti-meaning I once associated only with the worst excesses of post-structuralist wannabe theorizing.

The story starts off wobbly, with only trace hits of what’s to come.

“We have had enough with old ways of thinking,” declared Dr. Sebastian Gorka during an exclusive interview at the White House last week. “The last 30 years of thinking have just been unimaginative. It doesn’t serve the U.S. purpose. We’ve seen about 7,000 people killed in uniform. We have to be smarter about it.”

I completely agree with Gorka that 7,000 military deaths in the last thirty years are too many, especially given the complete pointlessness of the Iraq War—which accounts for over half of those deaths. But I’m not sure I’d diagnose the underlying problem with the Iraq War as a lack of imagination. It’s more an example of what happens when you throw out sound strategic thinking in favor of ‘shaking things up’ and ‘shifting the paradigm.’

Also, just for come context from the time before we became “unimaginative.”

 Anyway, moving along:

[Gorka] noted that the Trump administration will apply “all the instruments of power in the right mixture” to its NSS [National Security Strategy].

As I noted over on the Twitters, I want this on a t-shirt.

Trump’s NSS will also cure asthma, heart disease, and opioid addiction—along with North Korea’s nuclear program, the trade deficit, free-riding European moochers, and all terrorism carried out by Muslims. It will make you and your family rich, in five easy steps.

The secret? It lies not only in getting the proportions of power exactly right, but drawing on those instruments long neglected by past administrations, such as Ivanka, Jared, the Trump International Hotel Washington DC, and chocolate cake.

Also, the NSS will be an iconoclastic, outside-the-box, engine of creative destruction:

“We recognized that this is an iconoclastic commander in chief. He is the first person in U.S. history who wasn’t a politician or a general officer before he came into office,” Dr. Gorka told Breitbart News. “As such, the national security strategy will not look like the previous Republican or Democrat security strategies. It will be as iconoclastic as the president. There will be a prioritization of threats and mission.”

Gorka, who works as Deputy Assistant to the President in the Office of the Chief Strategist, noted that the “globally disperse totalitarian ideology of jihadism” is one of the top threats facing America that the new strategy will address.

Nothing says “iconoclastic” in an NSS like laying out strategic priorities. Nothing says “break from the recent past” like treating transnational terrorism as a major US national security concern. But, you know, it’s all in the magical power of the word “jihadism.” If you say it, you gain power over it.

Instead of being confined by the “cliché” Republican interventionist and isolationist perspectives of the past, the Trump administration realizes it has a range of options at its disposal to protect the U.S. homeland, argued Gorka.

“It’s not diplomacy or war, intervention or isolationism. It is the full spectrum of options of statecraft with American leadership back,” he told Breitbart News, adding, “We jettisoned political correctness. We jettisoned cliché bi-polar ways of thinking.”

I… don’t know what any of this means. Trump’s NSS will perplex the world into submission by neither intervening everywhere nor intervening nowhere? What are “cliché bi-polar ways of thinking”? Is Gorka talking about leftover ideas from the Cold War, that vast American foreign-policy consensus that says we should never, ever entertain the “full spectrum of options of statecraft,” or a form of depression?

Oh, okay, maybe he’s talking only about the “political right.” I think. To be fair, the editorial work on this article is pretty shabby.

Gorka described interventionism and isolationism as the foreign policy “extremes” of the political right.

“There is a massive palate in between isolation and intervention, and we believe that it is smarter not to function on the extremes,” he said.

The White House official dismissed the political right’s approach to national security as “pathetic” because you are only forced to choose between two ideas: neoconservatism or libertarianism.

“You are forced into a binary world. Either you have to be a neoconservative and invade other countries, or you have to be libertarian and say ‘who cares we’re going to be isolationists,’” he told Breitbart News.

“This president explicitly rejects neoconservative foreign policy because he sees the invasion and occupation of other people’s countries as fundamentally un-American,” pointed out Gorka. “Nevertheless, America is a force for good. Not as an occupier, but as a shaper.”

I’m pretty sure that Gorka doesn’t really mean to condemn all invasions and occupations as fundamentally un-American. Presumably the post-war occupation of Germany and Japan, for example, were okay. But, given current Middle East policy, I assume “shaping” including blowing a lot of stuff up in places like Syria and Yemen—both directly and by proxy—so long as you maintain a ‘light footprint’ afterwards. Like Libya.

Does any of this reflect the actual NSS that the Trump Administration will produce? I have no idea. Is this NSS important? Likely not. Very few leave a lasting impression. But you know that we’re living in TrumpLand when national-security charlatans hawk the NSS like it’s actual snake oil.

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  • howard

    me, me, i know what this means: it means gorka is a complete and total idiot.

    • Gwai Lo, MD

      He should have spent more time in school and less time at fake school and Vitézi Rend meetings.

      • cpinva

        whatever time he spent in real school appears to have been a complete waste as well. now that i’m retired, maybe i’ll get a bunch of fake letters to add after my name too. oh, and a nifty, suitable for framing, fake PhD.

        • CowsomeLoneboy

          Please don’t forget the medal. The PhD will seem so naked without the medal to lend it the proper air of gravitas.

          • Chris Li

            Wow.

            You’re a smug little asshole everywhere you go, aren’t you?

            • CowsomeLoneboy

              Wow.

              A smug little asshole will stalk some people wherever they go. Because his feelings are hurt.

              • Chris Li

                No. You f’kin dick. I just happened to see your pathetic little av on a link from PRB.

                Don’t worry, you Pussy. I don’t ‘stalk’.

                • CowsomeLoneboy

                  Got it. You’re a good boy, you are.

  • WinningerR

    I’m convinced that, at this point, those in and out of the White House who do the actual governing are just ignoring Trump and his buffoons. Let Trump screw around with the press office and fire off his stupid tweets, let Kushner and Ivanka and Bannon do whatever the fuck it is they do, let Gorka talk to Breitbart. Meanwhile, they’ll try to keep the country running. McConnell and Ryan aren’t going to ask for Trump’s opinion on “tax reform” just like they didn’t ask for him to get involved in the healthcare debacle. (And just like they aren’t even reading the executive summaries of Mulvaney’s budgets.) They know he’ll sign anything they put in front of him. Sessions is busy shredding civil rights and Kelly was effectively terrorizing immigrants largely because they kept Trump and his freak show away from the action. I’ll lay better than even odds that the transgender military ban never actually happens–the people who actually do things realize that it’s a ridiculous distraction and they know that Trump and his “inner circle” aren’t capable of actually crafting and rolling out a policy.

    What are the odds that McMaster or Mattis are even dimly aware of this “new strategy” Gorka is talking about?

    • LosGatosCA

      How could this be interpreted as ‘new?’

      It’s the equivalent of an 8th grader’s essay answer to a question on a subject that the 8th grader didn’t do the reading on, the dog ate his related homework, and the bus was late so he couldn’t make it to class on time for the test anyway.

      Doesn’t something need to be coherent to be interpreted? Why would you change a previously established policy based on clear, understandable security principles for to conform to ….. what? Some consecutive stupidities uttered with an accent by someone appointed by Trump?

      Anyway, everyone knows everything uttered by any Trump appointed or cabinet department secretary is not official until Trump tweets it.

      • majeff

        It’s the equivalent of an 8th grader’s essay answer to a question on a subject that the 8th grader didn’t do the reading on, the dog ate his related homework, and the bus was late so he couldn’t make it to class on time for the test anyway.

        I’m grading final essays for a summer Intro Soc course. It doesn’t stop in 8th grade.

      • With the tweets it’s really kind of the opposite. He tweets for the same reason he always did, out of Fox-fueled rage at the government. He really has no sense that he’s in the government himself. The latest thing with the transgender troops is a great example: the tweet was actually evidence that the issue is dead already, as the military’s measured non-response showed was in fact the case.

    • Absolutely. Though I think McMaster and Mattis are happy to encourage it, as a distraction, not for the public but for the boss, to keep him busy in his self-admiration and out of their hair. Gorka’s audience is in the first place Trump, the carnival’s mark-in-chief, to make him think he’s in charge of things, and very very intellectual; and in the second place the Duginite “base”, the Breitbart commentariat and so forth. As these sit and dispute in the verbal fog, the military leadership can do its practical job unimpeded by the White House. I never imagined I’d end up cheering for military rule in the US (and it’s been pretty awful for Yemenis in particular), but it really seems like the safest option in the short term.

      • Deborah Bender

        That and encouraging Trump to spend more time on the golf course.

        • That’s even better for us and the Yemenis alike. Let him play all week!

  • tsam100

    My NSS, through the power of leveraging our core competencies and actioning our deliverables will give us abs and buns of steel. Our resolve will not be tested. Paycheck, plox

    • smut clyde

      Wot no synergy?

      • LosGatosCA

        Leveraging covers it.

        • joel_hanes

          Needs moar disruption and outside-the-box paradigm-breaking.

          Also branding aimed at the influencer cross-tab.

          Disruptive branding is cool.

          • (((realinterrobang)))

            How about “transactioning”? I like that one from my New Jerb.

    • N__B

      Buns of steel are useless without hotdogs of cast iron.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        I aways relish your comments

        • N__B

          I’m waiting for everyone else to ketchup.

          • Aaron Morrow

            Banned faster than ThrottleA/B/C/D…Jockey

          • Hogan

            We have a wiener!

      • Thirtyish

        When it comes to puns, not everyone can cut the mustard.

        • (((realinterrobang)))

          But N__B mustard up a good one this time. Everyone is relishing it.

          • so-in-so

            Some give it a chili reception.

  • solidcitizen

    The Trump administration is simply going to refuse to dictomize. And in doing so, they are going to iconoclast the fuck out of foreign policy. Look out world, there’s a new sheriff in town, and he is not going to be politically correct. You want a piece of us? You want a piece of us?

    USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

  • The Weeping Cheeto

    He’s not a pajama boy. He’s a manly man who is very alpha. Ask him. He loves to tell you how manly he is.

    • D_J_H

      The fact that he drives a Mustang with an “Art [of] War” vanity plate is just too perfect.

      • MyOhMy
        • BiloSagdiyev

          Wow. I wasn’t sure if you were joking, and my google fu at work, well, I didn’t have the time.

          This pisses me off. I’m fairly sensitive about the chickenhawk issue, so let me just say, since there are NCO’s and officers leading men in combat in our ongoing wars for the past (checks calendar and digital decade counter) 1.5 decades, learning the job, all too often the hard way, and risking bullets, IED’s, grenades, RPG’s mortar rounds, IED’s and TBI’s, and of course, PTSD… where the in hell was Sebastian Gorka? Jacking his jaw. I don’t recall him signing up for a service-for-citizenship type enlistment, either.

          Nor did he go back into the British Army, where he once served when it was nice and safe. If I read a bunch of books about Picasso do I call myself a painter?

          In conclusion, fuck this guy.

      • tsam100

        WHAT THE FUCK. Good god, what an asshole.

        • Cheap Wino

          I’m surprised it doesn’t say ‘Art War 69’. But maybe that’s his email address.

          • tsam100

            HA–you fucking know that’s his email. It almost has to be, with probabilities being what they are.

            I was also imagining some of that Spartan imagery that’s become popular among redneck gun humpers–the battle helmet, something in ancient Greek…

            Our local sheriff is a right wing piece of shit. He has publicly stated that that police are under attack right now because of Barack Obama numerous times.

            He recently got turned away from a hockey game at our local arena because he was packing his gun. He was obviously off duty, wearing civilian clothes, and there to watch the game, not be a cop. His argument, of course was that as sheriff, he is always on duty. Anyway, when he was sniveling to the local news reporters, they did a close up on the pistol he was carrying and it’s a government model .45 (a notoriously shitty duty weapon, as it is single action only) with custom grips that have the Spartan helmet logo on them. This rise of fascist/Spartan imagery lately is really fucking terrifying. It’s terrifying to me, and I’m the 2nd least likely of all demographics to get hurt by it.

            • Helmut Monotreme

              Let me guess, he’s got a bumper sticker or tattoo with “MOLON LABE” (come and take it) but in Greek letters? I think of it as a foolproof moron label.

              • Cheap Wino

                The super religious cop who lives up the street from me has a bumper sticker in the window of his truck that says, “Support Our Troops. Especially the Snipers.” So very xtian of him.

              • tsam100

                I’ll just bet he does. I didn’t know what that meant until now. It’s a tempting offer…

  • Joe Paulson
    • weirdnoise
      • sigaba

        Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
        I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk.
        Music loud and women warm.
        I’ve been kicked around since I was born.

        And now it’s all right, it’s O.K.
        And you may look the other way.
        We can try to understand
        The New York Times’ effect on man.

        • majeff

          Whether your a brother or a self-sucker,
          You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.

    • Dee Jerome

      Is “Ocean’s Five” out on blue-ray already?

  • keta

    [Gorka] noted that the Trump administration will apply “all the instruments of power in the right mixture” to its NSS.

    Kosinski gave us Chance the Gardener and now Trump has given us Gorka the bartender. Oops, sorry!, mixologist.

    • LosGatosCA

      Actually Peter Sellers did all these roles better the first time: the original Trump – Chance, the original Gorka – Dr Strangelove, and the original Sessions – Inspector Clouseau.

      Of course, the original Bannon – Jack Ripper- was played with much greater depth and passion by Sterling Hayden.

      Of course, those originals were played by seasoned professionals dedicated to their craft over decades. But then again the Republican Party has been portrayed more faithfully by Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.

      Which proves Marx wrong in this particular setting. History repeats itself first as artistic farce and then as reality trash show tragedy.

  • randomworker

    Right. So the elderly orange-haired shiksa is going to do the mixing? Okay.

  • brianm0122

    When people are in over their heads, they spout bullshit.

    • smut clyde

      Some people can’t wait for the 2nd Bolgia.

  • smut clyde

    “There is a massive palate in between isolation and intervention

    There’s a big mouth. Yes. It’s Gorka’s.

  • hellslittlestangel

    Gorka’s totally original, unique, never-before-conceived-of, iconoclastic political theory in a nutshell:

    We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality …

    • so-in-so

      I thought it was “Muslims bad, White Guys great!”

  • MacCheerful

    War of 1812
    – deaths, approx. 15,000 (including disease and other causes)
    – respect? none, as usual.

    • McAllen

      And what about the Pig War?!

      • rea

        We don’t mention that Pig War around Gorka–he’s still sensitive.

    • cpinva

      Mexican-American War 1846-1848
      total US deaths: 15,000

      The Plains Wars
      Total US deaths: too numerous to count, but definitely in the thousands.

      Spanish-American War 1898
      Total US deaths: 2,400

      i could go on (Banana Wars, etc), but you get the point.

      • Helmut Monotreme

        What about the Cola war?

        • the who shall remember the millions lost in the war on Christmas?

        • solidcitizen

          A moment of silence for New Coke, if you will.

  • smut clyde

    What is the current weight of opinion on Gorka’s ‘doctorate’? Is he entitled to any professional title at all, other than “lying Neo-Nazi pigfuck”?

    • sigaba

      Oh dude Nexon did like a three-part series on that a few months ago.

      Short answer: His diploma seems to be from the Hungarian nationalist take on a Florida Bible diploma mill.

      • D_J_H

        The diagrams were something to behold.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        Trump University has a foreign policy shop

        • so-in-so

          Gorka needs something to do after this admin ends – or he gets the deep-six.

        • billcinsd

          It’s Trump, everything is for sale

    • BiloSagdiyev

      A blogger here, I believe dnexon, delved into deeper than you might have time to read. Multiple posts. My view from 50 yards gave me the same conclusion that Marlon Brando had about magic acts: It’s all bullshit.

      • My series (and Foreign Policy article) focused on its quality—or lack thereof. I likened it to a vanity PhD.

        Andrew Reynolds has dug up evidence that it’s not even legitimate: that the committee composition violates the university’s standards.

        http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.785733

      • smut clyde

        Thx, everyone.

    • tsam100

      His thesis was a 10 ton bag of dogshit…

  • sanjait

    It’s about statecraft. You know, like when Trump goes and gives a speech about how our newest aircraft carrier is so amazingly long and made of hard American steel, and it’s just going to scare all those bad guys in other countries.

    It’s all part of some subtle master plan.

  • StrokeCityFC

    Producing quotes like “We jettisoned political correctness” in 2017 is a clear-cut signal that you’re not a serious person, and I can fucking ignore you.

  • Sentient AI From The Future

    A serious argument, which has never been made in such detail or with such care.

    • smut clyde

      Dude does seem to have modeled his facial-hair stylings upon JGoldberg. Not a good plan.

  • rlb_nw

    “There is a massive palate in between isolation and intervention, and we believe that it is smarter not to function on the extremes,” he said.

    I bet he meant “palette”.

    • ToddTheVP

      Look, you! Sebastian Gorka didn’t become a fake doctor without knowing a thing or two about conservative mouthfeel.

    • My money’s on an ignernt Millennial intern who trusts whatever crummy spell-check Dead BB’s site uses..

    • N__B

      Tastes in spelling vary.

    • Thirtyish

      Maybe it’s a kind of Freudian slip, unconsciously signaling Gorka’s discomfort of continually using pretentious, too-big words for the context in question.

    • Red_cted

      Maybe he needs a pallet to hold all those out-of-box sacks of brilliance

  • Robespierre

    Invasions are only un-American when you don’t steal all their oil

    • D_J_H

      My favorite part about the “take the oil” comments was that Trump seemed to think that you could just pack it up in crates like so many looted works of art and so much gold bullion. Take it and leave; nothing simpler.

  • Pseudonym

    I took one random class as an undergrad in national security and even I can see this is bullshit. For one thing, there’s no middle line (or “palate”, as the mouth-breathers call it) between intervention and isolation (i.e. non-intervention); intervention is itself a huge spectrum. For fuck’s sake, we didn’t invade Libya, but we still helped overthrow its government! I can’t imagine Mattis or McMaster or even Tillerson paying any attention to this bullshit. Trump though (via Bannon I assume)? Who the hell knows…

  • gyrfalcon

    While stacked ranking is an an abomination unto all decency that deserves to be purged with fire, I kind of confess to wanting to see it run on the crop of political appointees to the current White House. Just to see how low the bottom 10% ended up as, and what the metrics used to identify them were.

  • which is to say “my boss is a flighty, unstable nitwit who can’t manage to hold to a train of thought for more than fifteen words, let alone adhere to an ideology. so we’re going to wing it. we’ll probably try everything that pops into his magnificent, empty, head.”

    • Kurzbein

      It never hurts to try to get out ahead of the inevitable incoherence. “We warned you our FP would be incoherent. Why are you complaining?”

    • brad nailer

      In other words, the old “shit on the wall” technique with high explosives.

  • D_J_H

    I do have to nit-pick about saying he probably is alright with the postwar occupation of Germany and Japan. Given his affection for and affiliation with Hungarian fascists, I am not sure we can presume he thinks that the postwar occupation of Germany was okay.

    • brad nailer

      Makes you wonder where he might have come down in 1956. Side with the Soviets or side with the freedom fighters? Or was their a third way in his non-bipolar universe?

      • D_J_H

        I think he would have sided with the freedom fighters, assuming he wasn’t in government at the time. That also assumes that he would have the courage to do that, which is an awfully big assumption.

        If he approves of the Western occupation of Germany, it’s likely only because it prevented the Soviets from occupying the whole thing.

  • Terok Nor

    Shorter Gorka:
    This foreign policy is too hot. This foreign policy is too cold. Our foreign policy is just right.

    • msdc

      That’s actually longer, more nuanced Gorka.

    • Trump will polish the floors with desert topping and put floor wax on his chocolate cake. He thinks outside the box.

  • Tweeting about Clinton, stone-washed emails and Fake News will certainly be a novel approach to national security crises.

  • kaydenpat

    In other words, Trump has nothing.

  • waspuppet

    Well, now we know that Chief Executive Flatterer is Gorka’s real job.

  • Hogan

    It’s the long-form version/dance mix of Trump’s “not many people know this thing I just learned that fucking everyone with half a brain already knows.”

    • so-in-so

      Not to mention “inventing” common clichés.

  • Thom

    I agree this sounds like bullshit, but not more so than what most political figures say about foreign policy and national security.

    • Adam Short

      That’s sort of the point though. For John McCain or Joe Biden to go on TV and just mouth empty blather makes me roll my eyes, but it’s their job. This guy is being presented as a policy person. He’s talking about policy. These are not policy positions or even bumper-sticker versions of policy positions.

      • Thom

        Ok, good point.

  • I think we should also remember, as an additional point of perspective, that the population of the U.S. during the Civil War was about 1/10 what it is now. Imagine a war today costing the lives of 5 million Americans.

    “We recognized that this is an iconoclastic commander in chief. He is the first person in U.S. history who wasn’t a politician or a general officer before he came into office,” Dr. Gorka told Breitbart News.

    Yes, it is such an awesome idea to turn over the most powerful position in the world to someone who has absolutely no experience with the way government works.

    “There is a massive palate in between isolation and intervention, and we believe that it is smarter not to function on the extremes,” he said.

    That’s why I advocate passthroughism. Just passing through!

    “You are forced into a binary world. Either you have to be a neoconservative and invade other countries, or you have to be libertarian and say ‘who cares we’re going to be isolationists,’” he told Breitbart News.

    I would say that this is because most people on the right cannot hold more than one though in their head at a time, thus constraining them to a binary world view.

    “This president explicitly rejects neoconservative foreign policy because he sees the invasion and occupation of other people’s countries as fundamentally un-American,” pointed out Gorka.

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      “”This president explicitly rejects neoconservative foreign policy because he sees the invasion and occupation of other people’s countries as fundamentally un-American,” pointed out Gorka. “”

      Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

      And hell, he doesn’t even believe that. It’s just a thing the vulgar talking yam yammered that day. He would loooove to conquer and loot and hold territory, if it made him and his base feel like a tough guy.

      • His dimwit base wants the rest of the world to be white, just like America.

    • Deborah Bender

      “Imagine a war today costing the lives of 5 million Americans.”

      I can imagine it. I might live to see it.

  • Adam Short

    Gorka’s level of intellectual rigor is that of a parody of an intellectual in a Bud Light ad.

    “Too long we have been stuck in a false dichotomy, liberals saying that Bud Light tastes great, and conservatives saying that it is less filling.”

    • He’s the anti-intellectual dimwit Trumpkin concept of intellectualism.

      • Cheap Wino

        RIght. It’s the, “I don’t understand what he’s talking about, he must be smart.” approach to only the best people for my administration.

  • N__B

    “The world is a land of contrasts…”

  • zoomar2

    Gorka’s goatee along with his unctuous voice remind me of Anton LaVey. YouTube has some great clips from the old Joe Pyne show.

    • Thirtyish

      I think Bannon embodies LaVey on a political philosophy level. As far as Gorka goes, someone upthread nailed it: he’s like Jonah “Doughy Pantload”‘s creepy Nazi cousin.

      • zoomar2

        I alway thought of LaVey as more of an amusing crank, running a harmless con than an evil persona. He never advocated hurting anyone. Plus of course the physical and vocal resemblance. Gorka’s proximity to power adds a dimension of malice unavailable to just any crank. Bannon’s brand of evil is beyond satanic.

        • Cheap Wino

          LaVey is basically a troll, a few decades before it became easy. He found a way to monetize trolling devout xtians.

          • Deborah Bender

            To the extent that that is true, LaVey was emulating the Master, Aleister Crowley. Anton LaVey seems to have been more self aware, perhaps because he wasn’t acting out against a Fundamentalist Christian upbringing. Unlike Crowley, LaVey didn’t blow through an inheritance and die destitute. Crowley was a more interesting writer.

            • zoomar2

              I admit to only superficial knowledge of LaVey through my memories of his appearances on late night talk shows like Joe Pyne, (a childhood favorite) and reacquainting with those shows on YT. He clearly had a bright wit along with a sense of humor. That smooth, unctuous voice and imperious demeanor along with the goatee just makes Gorka a dead ringer to me. Matched with the utter BS that both are selling with such ardent faux authority. LaVey’s schtick being harmless in contrast.

        • Deborah Bender

          I never had any direct contact with Anton LaVey, but I think he was fairly bright.

          I read a couple of his books about forty years ago. He was a decent writer and, as a popularizer, expressed himself clearly. IIRC The Witches Bible contained a pretty standard atheist/libertarian/libertine ethos, nothing particularly original. The Satanic Rituals referenced some pretty old and obscure books. LaVey must either have had enough personal interest to have researched the subject well beyond the Black Mass, or have been provided material by someone else who had done so.

  • andrekenji

    Life is unfair. I speak English as second language, and I simply speak Bad English. Gorka speaks English as a second language and the Breitbart crowd think that his accent makes him somekind of scholar ou Ph.D.

    • Helmut Monotreme

      Try telling idiots what they want to hear, your accent will go from “bad English” to “profound” in nothing flat.

    • D_J_H

      He was born in England and grew up there. He’s a native speaker.

      • so-in-so

        He just channels Dr. Strangelove.

      • he still speaks bad English.

        • D_J_H

          That is certainly true.

    • Thirtyish

      Gorka uses big words bigly. That makes him a for real genius. Just ask him.

    • Marlowe

      English is Gorky’s first language. Well, unless you count the anti-Semitic Hungarian fascism in which he was swaddled from birth.

  • hypersphericalcow

    “Politics and the English Language”, mothereffer, do you speak it!

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Now you’ve made me think of George Orwell with a small, zipper change purse that reads, “Bad Mothafucka.”

  • “You are forced into a binary world. Either you have to be a
    neoconservative and invade other countries, or you have to be
    libertarian and say ‘who cares we’re going to be isolationists,’”

    your dichotomy, it is false.

  • Lot_49

    Sure hope Gorka’s NSS employs the Conjoined Triangles of Success.

    Oh and also Total Quality Management. Total quality: can you understand that?

    • Lurking Canadian

      Sure, that’s what you get when you hire Top Men. Top. Men.

    • Hogan

      The most important element of any national security strategy is making sure it’s ISO 9001 compliant.

      • Helmut Monotreme

        They are going to have a Kaizen event and 5S the shit out of the national government. Aircraft carriers will be reordered using a kanban system. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Deborah Bender

      Conjoined triangles like the Star of David?

  • Red_cted

    At the risk of seeming cliche, the Trump NSS has a two-stage approach:
    1 Kick ass
    2 Take names
    It’s that easy!

  • DonCoffin

    In an administration that has embraced incoherence, Gorka has managed to transcend incoherence, and has entered into the realm of…of…complete meaninglessness…

  • njorl

    “We’ve seen about 7,000 people killed in uniform. We have to be smarter about it.”

    ” I completely agree with Gorka that 7,000 military deaths in the last thirty years are too many,”

    Are you sure his complaint was that 7,000 was too many?

  • aardvarkcheeselog

    It is clearly long past time for a pogrom against management consultants.

  • Cheap Wino

    I remember seeing dudes at parties (it was always dudes) struggling to burnish their intellectual credentials spouting half-learned, fully not understood philosophy jargon as if they were making sense. Paradigm was a popular word.

    There were plenty of people who thought those guys were intelligent. But it didn’t matter because they were never going to be high level advisers to the president of the United States on foreign policy matters because the president wasn’t going to be the kind of person who got suckered by faux intellectualism. Should have known better, Reagan was president at the time. Sigh.

  • “Presumably the post-war occupation of Germany”

    I think you are making an unwarrented assumption about Gorka’s views.

  • sanjait

    I still giggle to myself when I think about “Venn like diagrams”

  • DavidGuberman

    U.S. combat deaths in Civil War (War Against the Rebellion)

    It’s interesting that Pew fails to distinguish between the number of deaths of U.S. soldiers and the number of dead rebel soldiers. One of their sources, the Department of Veterans Affairs, at least distinguishes between “Total U.S. Servicemembers,” which it then identifies as “Union,” and “Total Servicemembers (Conf.),” which it then expands to “Confederate.” https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/factsheets/fs_americas_wars.pdf

    But Pew had a choice: For the Civil War, the Department of Defense’s Defense Casualty Analysis System table gives only U.S. casualties (“Union Forces Only”). (Estimates for “Confederate forces” are given in a footnote. FWIW, it’s “Forces” in the table and “forces” in the footnote.)
    https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/dcas/pages/report_principal_wars.xhtml#

    There’s no indication that, for the Revolution, either source included Tory deaths.

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