Refugees 1

Now for a look at the thoughts of a leftist intellectual.

Hold your nose. It’s a junk-pile of sentimentality, self-congratulation, pious do-goodery, elitist classical allusion, and heavy emotion.

They are the thoughts of Joe Klein, writing at Time online. He is criticizing President Obama for not doing his job of governing. But would the way Klein thinks that job should be done be any improvement on Obama’s doing nothing?

Klein starts by saying:

It’s time to stop running away from the nation’s troubles.

He means that’s what President Obama should do – stop running away. He doesn’t go so far as to say that Obama had a hand in causing the troubles.

The trouble he turns to is the case of the child immigrants streaming illegally into the US from Central America. He calls them “refugees”. He paints a touching scene of what’s going on at the border.

A woman named Libby Casanova brings her four children to volunteer every day. She is a pathologist in the real world but does intake at the center; she’s the first person the refugees encounter. “Many of them start to cry when they hear the applause,” she says. “They are so grateful.”

What applause? Who are they who applaud Lily Casanova and her four children when they arrive daily to tend to the “refugees”?*

In Klein’s mind – and probably  in the mind of the charitable mother-of-four – the “refugees” are humble petitioners, overflowing with gratitude to their benefactors. It must make Klein feel good by proxy.

Never mind who applauds. Get the picture as Joe Klein sees it and would have his readers see it:

Casanova brought her children on the first day so they could see that not everyone was as fortunate as they are – and the kids insisted on coming back and volunteering every day.

Rosy-faced little Christian saints. Christian? Yes, a nun pops into the picture:

“This place is making the entire community stronger,” Sister Norma says. And there is an infectious spiritual joy in the air. As Sister Norma says, “Jesus did not say, ‘I was hungry and you asked for my papers.’ “

Pause to overcome nausea. Then on:

Barack Obama should see the Catholic Charities mission in McAllen. He should also have a town meeting with the Tea Party nativists who are so angry and threatened by the rush of refugees – 43,933 unaccompanied children alone since October – who began to appear from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

And here comes more criticism of Obama:

His job, after all, is to rise above the rancor and, well, lead. You don’t do this by making a speech to a favored audience. You do it by taking action, setting a personal example. All sorts of Protestant congregations are sending volunteers to Sacred Heart – perhaps he could encourage a Tea Party group to do the same. The President has gone to the scene of other human tragedies. He has acknowledged the suffering personally in the past.

What scenes of human tragedy has he gone to? Whose suffering has he acknowledged? Not the choking to death of Ambassador Chris Stevens. Osama bin Laden’s perhaps?

But not now, and you have to wonder why.

True political courage is near extinct. I saw the real thing for the first time on the night of April 4, 1968, when riots broke out across the country after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Senator Robert Kennedy decided to go into the heart of the Indianapolis ghetto – he was running for President at the time – and talk to the people. His aides and the local police pleaded with him not to do it. He was putting his life in danger, but he believed he had a responsibility to show up. He spoke for only five minutes, without a text – you can watch it on YouTube – and he calmed the crowd by quoting Aeschylus about the experience of excruciating pain that leads to deeper wisdom. Indianapolis was one of the few major cities that remained quiet that night.

There’s a lesson for us all. To calm a seething mob, quote Aeschylus at it. Calms it in minutes. 

Nowadays politicians are swaddled by their media consultants, who determine whether it is “safe” to be “courageous”. But acts of courage don’t come with a money-back guarantee. They are courageous because they’re potentially dangerous or, more likely, embarrassing. Courage’s reward comes subtly, in the form of trust as the public learns that a politician is willing to take risks to tell the truth. Obama is currently wandering about the country, trying to meet average people, but the choreography is more stringent than the Bolshoi’s. He said he didn’t want to go to the border because it would only be a “photo op” … on the same day his office published a photo of the President and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper shooting pool. Who choreographed that? …

The last bit makes sense. Why is a photo of the President playing pool okay, but one of him looking into smelly warehouses where heaps of diseased teens are awaiting charity from church or state not okay?

These are precisely the sort of things that Obama doesn’t seem to do anymore. There has been a skein of stories indicating he’s thrown in the towel. He’s so tired of head-banging with Republicans that he has taken refuge in late-night dinners with celebrities and intellectuals.

“Refuge in late-night dinners with celebrities and intellectuals”? Refuge from Republicans! Phew! Ya gotta feel for the guy! He’s a refugee too. Perhaps Lily Casanova and her rosy kids could visit him and cast their love-light upon him. And Sister Norma. And delegates from Protestant congregations.

Robert Kennedy did a lot of that too. But Kennedy never gave the impression that politics was distasteful, beneath him, as Obama too frequently does. Kennedy was all about passion; Obama seems all about decorum.

We haven’t noticed the decorum. We think decorum might be quite a good thing in a president. Klein doesn’t. He prefers and recommends passion.

He needs to go to the border – on a lot of issues. If he’s going to accomplish anything in the last two years of his presidency, he’s going to have to change his style, which will be near impossible for a man as entrenched behind his flacks-in-jackets as the President is. He’s right about photo ops. Enough already. But there are other “ops” – study ops, passion ops, conversation ops. He needs to do something dramatic to win back the country.

Oh no! Please not “something dramatic”! No more floodlit speeches among fake temple columns. No more apologizing to Islam from a platform in Cairo. No more healing the planet, calming the seas, walking on water! Let him sleep. Let him play pool. And golf. Let him dine with celebrities and intellectuals deep into the small hours of the morning. Wish only that the remaining two and a half years of his presidency pass without the entire globe going up in flames while he dines and plays.

 

* Apparently “the entire staff” of the “processing center on the grounds of the Sacred Heart Church” applaud each “family” as it arrives. We missed that in his second paragraph. Because we didn’t read it. It was a tough read and we shirked some parts of it. 

Posted under Commentary, liberalism, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, July 18, 2014

Tagged with , , ,

This post has 1 comment.

Permalink

Luring the children 10

Children and young mothers with babes in arms are streaming into the US  over the Mexican border. They have come from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, a distance at the very least of well over 1,000 miles. Reports say they are walking. What would you expect young girls and boys, little kids and burdened women to look like after walking 1,000 miles in the summer  heat, apparently carrying little or no sustenance for the journey, and passing through territory controlled by criminal gangs? The news pictures of them arriving in Texas and Arizona show those who reach their journey’s end looking quite healthy and fresh (though it is said that they have brought infectious diseases). We guess they did not walk, but rode on wheels. We guess there is organization behind the vast migration. Transportation has been provided – paid for by whom?

It is in the interests of adults to send the children ahead to the US, and to take all necessary  measures to see that they get there safely. Their local news media have told them that “undocumented” children, once in the US, will not be deported, and that the US authorities will reunite them with their parents. Which suggests that parents will be not just allowed in, but brought in to the US.

Where did they get that from? Who or what has lured the children from Central America to the United States?

Diana West writes at Townhall:

It isn’t that the barbarians are at the gate. The barbarians control the gate. I don’t know what else to call a president and attorney general who have opened the US border to literally tens of thousands of “children” – some described as “sexually active” teens, some even suspected of ties to gangs. This not only breaks laws, it breaks trust. Opening the border this way also opens the most outrageous front to date in what increasingly looks like a kind of war aimed at “fundamentally transforming the United States of America“. And the people’s elected representatives do nothing.

Children are usually just children, but when 130,000 of them are expected to storm the border in the coming year, they more closely resemble an advancing column, a kind of foreign legion of child-mercenaries raised abroad with cynical promises of booty in the form of cradle-to-grave taxpayer charity.

But who will fight “children”? This is the audacity of this latest Obama “crisis”: Trojan horse as “humanitarian crisis”.  …

Of course, there is an undeniable genius to this form of border attack. All “the kids” from the rest of the world (do you really think Central America is the end?) have to do is serve as pitiful proxies of the assault. Once vanquished by pangs of conscience, however false, we’ll support them forever. We’ll have to. Have you taken a look at your local police department’s massive and bristling military hardware lately?

Just shut up and watch as this newfangled children’s crusade turns our border, the concept of nationhood itself, into dust. Welcome to Obamaland.

Of course, even the 17-year-old gangbangers among the youngsters aren’t the masterminds or generals. Like American citizens, they are pawns, dupes, lured by promises which Washington may indeed extract from Us, the People. “Go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away,” one Guatemalan mother told a radio station in the Rio Grande Valley. She is right. Come one, come all.

Once they are over the increasingly irrelevant line, Obama officials welcome the invading junior armies, shepherding them straight into an enfolding and enlarging federal safety net from which they may never have to emerge. These are just the newest wards of a brave new state that bears no resemblance to the republic as defined by those antique documents kept under glass in the dim light of the National Archives.

Meanwhile, “the kids” have hit the jackpot – that jackpot of socialist programs that separates today’s “new Americans” from our forefathers. Not so long ago, immigrants came for liberty and opportunity, not tax-supported handouts.

We are witnessing the betrayal of that nation of liberty and opportunity because there are so few in power with the courage to lawfully oppose it – not just rail about it all as a mere columnist.

Meanwhile, American citizens are footing the bill. Living costs aside, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the Obama administration – i.e., We, the Taxpayers – will be providing attorneys for the legions of “unaccompanied minors”. Holder’s non-specific language is telling: “We’re taking a historic step to … protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,” he said. Historic step is right – Legal Aid for the world. He continued: “How we treat those in need … goes to the core of who we are as a nation.”

OK, so who are we, Mr. Attorney General, as a “nation”? The Western Hemisphere?

Once upon a time, the U.S. staged the Berlin Airlift, mounting an astounding 200,000 flights in one year to keep Soviet-blockaded Berlin supplied with fuel and foodstuffs. Today, a more modest Central American Airlift would do to return these runaways to their families. One thing at a time, though. How about calling out the National Guard? It would even be of some comfort if someone in Congress went to the floor and told peoples of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and the rest to stay the hell home.

So long as all of the government remains complicit or silent, this is nothing less than an unopposed invasion – an unopposed war, in other words, even if waged by the most unconventional means and by the most unlikely and unarmed “soldiers”.

Worst of all, though, it is a war that is being encouraged, if not led, by our own president while no one with all of the appropriate Constitutional powers vested in him is doing anything to stop him.

PIED PIPER