The man who will clean the Augean Stable 8

A great new movement, a grassroots rebellion, has arisen in America. Those who realize this, and understand why, have no trouble seeing Donald Trump as president of the United States after the disastrous, almost ruinous, deeply depressing presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

Conrad Black understands it. He writes at the National Post, of which he was formerly a proprietor:

Donald Trump polled extensively last year and confirmed his suspicion that between 30 and 40 per cent of American adults, cutting across all ethnic, geographic, and demographic lines, were angry, fearful and ashamed at the ineptitude of their federal government.

Americans, Trump rightly concluded, could not abide a continuation in office of those in both parties who had given them decades of shabby and incompetent government: stagnant family incomes, the worst recession in 80 years, stupid wars that cost scores of thousands of casualties and trillions of dollars and generated a humanitarian disaster, serial foreign policy humiliations, and particularly the absence of a border to prevent the entry of unlimited numbers of unskilled migrants, and trade deals that seemed only to import unemployment with often defective goods. I was one of those who thought at the outset that Trump was giving it a shot, and that if it didn’t fly it would at least be a good brand-building exercise.

Americans, unlike most nationalities, are not accustomed to their government being incompetent and embarrassing. History could be ransacked without unearthing the slightest precedent or parallel for the rise of America in two long lifetimes (1783-1945) from two and a half million colonists to a place of power and influence and prestige greater than any nation has ever possessed — everywhere victorious and respected, with an atomic monopoly and half the economic product of the world. Forty-five years later, their only rival had collapsed like a soufflé without the two Superpowers exchanging a shot between them. International Communism and the Soviet Union disintegrated and America was alone, at the summit of the world.

And then it turned into a nation of idiots, incapable of doing anything except conduct military operations against primitive countries. The objective performance of the latter Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations, and the Gingrich, Reid-Pelosi, and Boehner-led congresses, and most of the courts, have for these 25 years been shameful and as unprecedented in American history as the swift rise of America was in the history of the world. The people turned out rascals and got worse rascals.

We would not be so hard on Newt Gingrich. He’s been saying sensible things about Trump.

Donald Trump’s research revealed that the people wanted someone who was not complicit in these failures and who had built and run something. Washington, Jackson, the Harrisons, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and others had risen as military heroes, though some of them had had some political exposure. Jefferson and Wilson were known as intellectuals, Madison as chief author of the Constitution, and Monroe and John Quincy Adams as international statesmen. What is called for now is a clean and decisive break from the personalities and techniques of the recent past. Donald Trump doesn’t remind anyone of the presidents just mentioned, but he elicited a surge of public support by a novel, almost Vaudeville, routine as an educated billionaire denouncing the political leadership of the country in Archie Bunker blue-collar terms.

Last (Super) Tuesday, he completed the preliminary takeover of the Republican Party.He demonstrated his hold on the angry, the fearful, and the ashamed by passing the double test: he had held no elective office, but he was a worldly man who knew how to make the system work  and rebuild American strength and public contentment. All the other candidates in both parties were vieux jeu, passé. Only a few of the governors (Bush, Christie, and Kasich) had run anything successfully, none of them had built anything, and all were up to their eyeballs in the sleazy American political system — long reduced to a garish and corrupt log-rolling game of spin-artists, lobbyists, and influence-peddlers. Bernie Sanders gets a pass, but he is an undischarged Marxist, and while many of his attacks on the incumbent system and personnel have merit, his policy prescriptions are unacceptable to 90 per cent of Americans.

It was clear on Tuesday night that Trump’s insurrection had recruited the Republican centre and pushed his opponents to the fringes. The conservative intellectuals, including my friends and editors at National Review, as well as Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and some of the think tanks, attacked Trump as inadequately conservative. They are correct — he isn’t particularly conservative, and favours universal medical care, as much as possible in private-sector plans, but a stronger safety net for those who can’t afford health care, and retention of federal assistance to Planned Parenthood except in matters of abortion. Traditional, quasi-Bushian moderate Republican opponents and liberals  were reduced to calling him an extremist — claiming he was a racist, a “neo-fascist” said Bob Woodward, America’s greatest mythmaker and (albeit bloodless) Watergate assassin, and a “Caesarist” by the normally sane Ross Douthat in The New York Times. (He was confusing the triumphs of the early Caesars with the debauchery of the later Caligula and Nero and the earlier bread and circuses of the Gracchi, but it is all bunk.)

John Robson [a columnist and editorial writer for the National Post], took his place in this queue on Monday, claiming Trump was squandering an inherited fortune (he has multiplied it), and concluding that Trump is “a loathsome idiot”.  The sleaziest dirty tricks campaigner of modern American history, Ted Cruz, claimed Trump was in league with gangsters.

We would not be that hard on Ted Cruz.

On Tuesday night, Cruz ran strongly in his home state of Texas but his support is now confined exclusively to Bible-thumping, M16-toting corn-cobbers and woolhats, and he has no traction outside the southwest and perhaps Alaska. The orthodox Republican candidate, Marco Rubio, is now a Chiclet-smiled, motor-mouth loser, having first been exposed as such by Chris Christie (the New Jersey governor who could have won the nomination and election four years ago and is now running for the vice-presidential nomination with Trump). Rubio should bite the dust in Florida next week. On Super Tuesday evening Donald Trump made the turn from rabble-rouser to nominee-presumptive. The only early campaign excess he has to walk back is the nonsense that all the 11 million illegal migrants will be removed, and then many will be readmitted. Of course the selection process must occur before they are evicted, not after.

Even the formidable and adversarial journalist Megyn Kelly acknowledged that he looked and sounded like a president. He spoke fluently and in sentences and without bombast or excessive self-importance. He is placed exactly where he needs to be for the election, after Hillary Clinton finishes her escapade on the left to fend off the unfeasible candidacy of Bernie Sanders. (This is if she is not indicted for her misuse of official emails — Obama is nasty enough to have her charged, and almost all prosecutions of prominent people in the U.S. are political, but she is now all that stands between Donald Trump and the White House, but is almost a paper tigress.) Trump sharply raised the Republican vote totals and the fact that he carried 49 per cent of the Republican voters in Massachusetts, a state with almost no extremists in it, indicates how wide his appeal has become.

Obama may well be “nasty enough” to have Hillary charged, but is he law-abiding enough?

Hillary Clinton was, as Trump described her when she unwisely accused him of being a sexist, a facilitator of sexism; simultaneously the feminist in chief and First (Wronged) Lady, as spouse of America’s premier sexist. She was elected in a rotten borough for the Democrats in New York State, and was a nondescript secretary of state. She has been caught in innumerable falsehoods and her conduct in the entire Benghazi affair (the terrorist murder of a U.S. ambassador) was reprehensible. Her indictment for various breaches of national security and possible perjury is regularly demanded by former attorney general Michael Mukasey and other worthies. …

All these and more failures, as well as unseemly activities with the Clinton Foundation, will be mercilessly pounded on in the campaign. Donald Trump will not simulate the languorous defeatism of the senior Bush or Mitt Romney, or the blunderbuss shortcomings of Bob Dole and John McCain. (Romney’s savage attack on Trump on Thursday served to remind Republicans of how he squandered a winnable election in 2012 and faced in all four directions on every major issue.)

It really is incomprehensible why Mitt Romney laid himself open, with his vituperative attack on Trump, to an obvious blow in retaliation; that he failed miserably when he was a Republican nominee for the presidency. Any opinion of his on any candidate could only remind everyone of his failure. He figuratively lay down in front of Trump and begged, “Kick me!”  Which Trump obligingly did – though not too hard.

Eight years ago, it was time to break the colour barrier at the White House. Now it is time to clean the Augean Stable. Donald Trump has his infelicities, though not those that malicious opponents or people like John Robson, who simply haven’t thought it through, allege. But he seems to have become the man whom the great office of president of the United States now seeks. He is far from a Lincolnian figure, but after his astonishing rise it would be a mistake to underestimate him.

We prefer him not to be a “Lincolnian figure”.

But we like Conrad Black’s turn of phrase when he says that “the great office of president of the United States now seeks” Donald Trump. 

Certainly an enormous number of Americans want to place him in that office. Which might be the same thing.

The man with the golden mane 6

The Democratic Party had gone wholly over to the dark side and had to be toppled from power.

But its only possible replacement, the GOP, had become so boring! Feeble, flaccid, sotto voce, forever falling as if by uncontrollable reflex into the posture of the pre-emptive cringe.

Until suddenly the busy, brash, boisterous, boastful Donald Trump arose in it and above it, roaring out terse insults and extravagant insincere praises.

Arose like a lion, like a leader. 

The man with the golden mane.

Whatever conservatives might hold against him is beside the point. He fights to win. And that is so new, so surprising, so revolutionary to Republican politicians that they can’t bring themselves to stand behind him even now that he’s their front runner.

But for as long as he is their front runner – perhaps all the way to the White House – they need to urge him on with thunderous (even if feigned!) enthusiasm.

David Solway writes at the New English Review:

The GOP failed to use its congressional majority to assert its foundational doctrines on the misguided assumption that it could woo Democrat voters away from their traditional loyalties or perceived entitlement advantages by presenting itself as the lite version of the opposition. …

But why would left-leaning voters go for Leftism Lite when the real thing is available to them?

Stark examples of Republican surrender abound.  Most recently, a Republican Congress signing on to Obama’s omnibus funding bill has brought itself into tawdry disrepute.  Another instance involves the infamous Corker Bill, which could just as easily have been engineered by Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.  Senate Republicans refused to deal effectively with the deficiencies of the Corker Bill – a bill, as Andrew McCarthy explains, that was totally inadequate from the beginning to counter the Iranian nuclear threat.  The affair smacks of RINO business as usual.

As Andrew Bostom writes in a critical blog entry for April 15, 2015, Senate Republicans “have cravenly acquiesced to cynical, perverse Obama Administration bullying so as not to be labeled ‘warmongers’.”  Once again, we observe the standard right-wing capitulation from what should have been a position of strength.

One recalls, too, the shameful spectacle of John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate, and the bloviating Lindsay Graham doing Obama’s bidding in Egypt in defense of the Muslim Brotherhood, or of McCain coming to the aid of Hillary Clinton’s Brotherhood-tainted adjunct, Huma Abedin, when she was challenged by Michele Bachmann.  Such complicity – voting with or parroting the enemy – is a surefire recipe for yet another Republican electoral defeat … 

In an interesting article for American Thinker, James Arlandson comes to the defense of the GOP establishment, which knows that society “moves by degrees”, that “incrementalism is the only way to retransform America”,  and that the party must appeal to a majority of undecided voters.  It is not an entirely convincing article.  Such temperateness as Arlandson recommends sabotaged Mitt Romney’s campaign and did not prevent the installation of the most radical president in American history, whose skin color did not overlay his bred-in-the-bone Marxism.  And we recall that Ronald Reagan, arguably the best president of the 20th century, was anything but temperate.

It comes down to this: Republicans need to change their game plan and go on the attack, abide by their core tenets, use their congressional majority to stymie a rogue president on every front without fear of electoral blowback, take on a corrupt and partisan media (as Donald Trump is doing, and as Romney did not when he failed to rein in CNN’s Candy Crowley’s illegitimate intervention during the second presidential debate between Romney and Obama), and stop being polite to their political enemies.  They must rally behind their nominated candidate, whoever that turns out to be, turn a deaf ear to the “strategies” of political advisers and so-called experts (who are habitually wrong about everything), counter the debilitating sickness of political correctness, tackle issues like Muslim immigration and cross-border infiltrations on a consensus basis, and, generally speaking, appeal to principle rather than to the opposition.

A tall order, but RINOs [Republicans In Name Only] will not win the 2016 election. Blue Republicans will not convince a partisan, cynical, wavering, or undecided electorate. Canada’s Conservatives lost the [recent] election in part because they shrank from being truly conservative.  Similarly, should the Republicans lose in November 2016, it will be because they failed to be truly republican.

Or perhaps because they’ll fail to follow a new leader who is only just republican enough, only just conservative enough, but is above all a mover and shaker, who could lead them to victory.

Will he? Or will the sober and serious Marco Rubio do it? Or the strong steady Ted Cruz? One of them must.

Must beat the Democratic nominee, whether the crook or the commie.

In any case, the unfolding drama is exciting.

An exciting GOP at last!

 

(Hat-tip for the Solway link to our commenter cogito)

In the race for the White House: the insipid versus the unscrupulous? 6

The Tea Party is pleased with the results of a Drudge poll that favors Scott Walker to be the Republican Party presidential candidate:

With all the caveats about this being a non-scientific online poll, it has to mean something that Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker is murdering every other GOP contender by massive margins among those Drudge readers motivated enough to vote. Although voting continues, as of this writing nearly 70,000 total votes have been cast. Walker captured a whopping 45% of them, 31,211 votes. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in second place with 15%, 10,054  votes. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is in third with 13%, 9297 votes.

Dr. Ben Carson came 4th with 8%. “Establishment favorites Jeb Bush and Chris Christie sit at 5% and 2%, respectively.”

But Jonah Goldberg thinks that Scott Walker is not so much wanted for what he is as for what he isn’t. In other words, he’s the candidate nobody objects to.

He writes at Townhall:

Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor in America, not because it is the best … but because it is the least objectionable. Put another way, vanilla is the most acceptable to the most people; it’s not many people’s favorite, but nobody hates it.

And that’s why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the vanilla candidate.

A new Des Moines Register poll has Walker in first place – narrowly – among likely Republican caucus-goers. With Mitt Romney included in the poll [but since dropped out of the competition], Walker was the respondents’ first choice with 15 percentage points. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was second with 14 percentage points and Romney third with 13. With Romney out, Walker rose to 16 percentage points and Paul to 15. First place in a tightly packed field is better than any of the alternatives, but it’s not that big a deal this far out.

The big deal is the vanilla factor (which sounds like a terribly boring spy novel). According to the Register story that accompanied the poll, 51 percent of caucus-goers want an “anti-establishment candidate without a lot of ties to Washington or Wall Street who would change the way things are done and challenge conventional thinking”. Meanwhile, 43 percent prefer a more establishment figure “with executive experience who understands business and how to execute ideas”.

Walker is in the golden spot. He can, like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day listening to Andie MacDowell explain the perfect man, reply “that’s me” to almost everything Republicans say they want. Executive experience? Challenge conventional thinking? Anti-establishment fighter? “Me, me, me.”

Respondents looking for an establishment candidate said Romney was their first choice. Those preferring an outsider said Paul was their first choice. But both groups said their second choice was a big scoop of Walker.

Of course, this can all change. No matter how palatable it is, people can still grow weary of vanilla, and Walker may melt under the pressure. …

Walker won three  elections in four years, “in liberal Wisconsin!”, so Jonah Goldberg thinks it unlikely that he’ll “melt”.

Our question is: What are the chances that a “vanilla candidate”will  succeed against an unscrupulous candidate with all the ill winds of the Left behind her leathery wings, like Whatshername?

It seems John Bolton is considering entering the race. Now there’s a man we could support. If not President, he’d make a great Secretary of State; he understands foreign affairs and America’s role in the world better than anyone else within the circle of the political horizon.

We also like Ted Cruz, a political heavyweight. We agree with much that we’ve heard him say about most issues – barring religion, of course.

We know that some of our readers disagree with us about Ted Cruz.

We hope our readers will tell us whom they favor at this point, and why.

The elephant in ass’s clothing 4

Rule by the Democratic Party is nasty, and where can voters look for relief but to the Republicans?

Because the desperation was strong, too much hope was placed in the Republicans.

Now the disappointment begins. They are starting – so soon! – to copy the Democrats.

And already – of course – the Democrats are gloating.

Catherine Rampell writes in the Washington Post:

Republicans have taken the Senate and expanded their fiefdom in the House, but the Democrats seem to have won the intellectual narrative nonetheless. The GOP, inexplicably, is having its Thomas Piketty moment.

Seriously, guys: Republicans have suddenly started caring about inequality. …

When Republicans have taken note of our country’s income and wealth gaps, the sentiment has usually been dismissive and disdainful, full of accusations of class warfare waged by resentful, lazy people unwilling to hoist themselves up by their bootstraps.

Then, in just the past week, many of the likely 2016 Republican presidential contenders began airing concerns about the poor and condemning the outsize fortunes of the wealthy.

On Fox News after the State of the Union speech, Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) denigrated the administration’s economic track record by doing his best Bernie Sanders impression.

“We’re facing right now a divided America when it comes to the economy. It is true that the top 1 percent are doing great under Barack Obama. Today, the top 1 percent earn a higher share of our national income than any year since 1928,” he said, quoting an oft-cited (by liberals) statistic from the work of economists Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.

Likewise, here’s Mitt Romney, in a speech last week: “Under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before.” Sound-bite highlights from his past presidential campaign, you may recall, included a reference to the “47 percent” who don’t pay federal income taxes and a conclusion that “my job is not to worry about those people”.

Apparently his job description has changed.

Jeb Bush, too, has newfound interest in the lower income groups and deep inequity flourishing in our nation. His State of the Union reaction: “While the last eight years have been pretty good ones for top earners, they’ve been a lost decade for the rest of America.” Sen. Rand Paul, as well: “Income inequality has worsened under this administration. And tonight, President Obama offers more of the same policies — policies that have allowed the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer.”

Someone up the GOP food chain seems to have decided that inequality and poor people now belong in everyone’s talking points, class warfare be damned. But why?

The rest of the article is not worth quoting. Rampell’s answers to her “why?” are unconvincing (you can judge them for yourself here).

What matters is that the Republican Party may not after all be the lesser of two evils. It may simply be the same evil under a different name.

In an open society, the rich are not rich because the poor are poor.

The poor are not poor because the rich are rich.

When Republican politicians encourage that misapprehension, they are encouraging the politics of envy.

As Thomas Sowell says (see our post Listen to Sowell, January 21, 2015), most people are poor when they are young and rich when they are older.

The main cause, in America, of poor people staying poor is that government keeps them so, by keeping them dependent on government.

The best cure for poverty is freedom from government “help”.

The more government “helps” the poor, the more poor people there will be, and the longer they will be trapped in poverty.

We had assumed that Republicans like conservative Ted Cruz and libertarian Rand Paul knew this. Seems we were wrong.

What do bleeding-hearted politicians think the rich do with their money? Keep it in boxes?

No. They invest it, generally in ways that do far more good for the economy than if they give heaps of it to government in taxes. Government uses tax money to pay a vast army of administrators to distribute some it to those they keep on hand-outs. Government wastes money. And higher taxes never did, never can, and never will cure poverty.

It cannot matter how unequal people are in wealth as long as everyone has enough to satisfy their wants. If they don’t have enough, they can do better for themselves in a market economy. Only if they are left free to work for themselves in an uncontrolled economy. Unless they are socialist tyrants, enriching themselves at the people’s expense. 

Poverty is a problem. Wealth is not.

The conservation of liberty 2

At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) yesterday, March 14, 2012, two potential leaders of the Republican Party described their visions of the Party’s future. (Videos of their speeches in full here.)

We quote from a report /opinion column in Time magazine:

The back-to-back pairing of Rubio and Rand was seen as the most significant matchup of the annual conference, pitting two likely 2016 Republican contenders before the party’s conservative base. The result pointed to the growing schism in the Republican Party between resurgent libertarians and more traditional Republicans.

The two men – Paul age 50, Rubio just 41 – laid out divergent visions of an inclusive Republican Party. Rubio called for a focus on economic opportunity and a muscular role overseas. Paul called for a reduction in the size of the U.S. government … [and for] the Republican Party to shift away from neoconservative foreign policy.

Actually, Paul did not “call for the Republican Party to shift away from neoconservative policy”. At least, not on this occasion. “Neoconservative foreign policy” means “the US acting in the world at large, including militarily”. The phrase also implies criticism of President Bush’s foreign policy which some libertarians and the Left believe was unduly influenced by “neoconservatives”. Time’s use of the word may convey, as some libertarians have intended it to convey, a flicker of antisemitism (though Rand Paul would almost certainly deny that he ever intends any such thing).

With almost all of what Rand Paul said we agree:

He warned that the Republican Party is “encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom”.

“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered — I don’t think we need to name any names, do we?” he said, though the target, Sen. John McCain, was clear.

‘The new GOP,” Paul said advocating for … a smaller government …, “will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere. If we’re going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP.”

He pledged to introduce a budget in the coming weeks to balance the budget in five years that would also slash the income tax in half, and create a flat tax at 17 percent.

The contrast between the pair couldn’t be more obvious or consequential for the party struggling to remake itself after two straight presidential defeats.

On foreign policy we agree with Marco Rubio. In general we like Rand Paul’s ideas.

An unavoidable question is: could a more libertarian Republican Party still be the party of conservatism?

Roger L. Simon, writing at PJ Media, considers the question.

He starts on a personal note:

Last month my ninth-grade daughter attended a conference for the Junior State of America. Almost none of the high school students, she told me, caucused with the Republicans. A throng went to the libertarians.

He makes the same criticism of libertarians as we do:

I can’t totally identify as a libertarian, since I find some of their more extreme views silly. (Someone does have to pay for the interstate highway system. And Islamic jihadists are quite serious about a world caliphate. Declaring ourselves the purest of free marketers and rolling up the gangplank will not deter them in the slightest. In fact, it will only encourage them.)

All this is the long way around to saying that the problems creating the current dissension [among conservatives] stem in part from the word “conservative” itself. It seems mired in the past — even when it is not. …

Young people particularly (and even some older folks like myself) like to see themselves as oriented toward the future. …

What should conservatives do? Declare themselves to be “classical liberals,” which many are? That seems a bit academic.

Whatever the case, new terminology should and must be found. And whatever it is, it should be forward looking. …

Conservatives and libertarians — whatever they are now called — should market themselves as the party of the future. Respecting the Constitution is important, but something more than that is necessary.

We don’t think the word “conservative” needs to be replaced. Not in America. The United States was founded on the ideal of liberty. It is supremely important that it stays that way. An American conservative is someone who believes in liberty and will act to keep his country and everyone in it free. (A point implied by Marco Rubio in his speech.)

Respecting and defending the Constitution is vital to that end. If more is needed, it is in pruning away dead wood rather than tacking on “something more”.

Conservatives who drag in extraneous ideas – religion and stuffy views on sex, marriage, and drug control – are the element needing to be changed.

It is up to a new generation of Republican conservatives to effect the change.

*

There has been criticism of this year’s CPAC which we think is justified:

This is a condensation (which we quote from our own Facebook page) of an article by Robert Spencer, the indispensable expert on Islam. Read the article itself here for the author’s full explanation of why he is and yet is not a conservative.

I am generally considered to be a conservative. It is a label I have used myself, as a way of distinguishing my position from that of the liberals and Leftists who have generally sold out to the jihad, so blind in their hatred of Western civilization and the United States of America that they eagerly cast their lot with the foremost enemies of both. Nonetheless, for all that, I am not a conservative. Mitt Romney is a conservative. He called for the creation of a Palestinian state and said that “jihadism” has nothing to do with Islam. Grover Norquist is even more of a conservative than Mitt Romney. His conservative bona fides are impeccable as the leader of Americans for Tax Reform, but he also has extensive ties to Islamic supremacists, supporters of Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are sworn enemies of the United States and our ally Israel. So I must not be a conservative. Then what am I? I am an advocate of freedom: of the freedom of speech, of the equal treatment of all people under the law. Consequently, I am a foe of the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, which are enemies of both those principles. I know that there are many others like me, but neither party seems interested in us right now, and neither does the conservative movement, such as it is. It is time for a new movement, a genuine movement of freedom, one that is not compromised, not beholden, and not corrupted. Are there enough free Americans left to mount such a movement? That I do not know. But I do know that if there aren’t, all is lost, and the denouement will come quickly – more quickly than most people expect.

We sympathize with Robert Spencer’s position. We are equally exasperated by Romney’s and (far worse) Norquist’s position vis-a-vis Islam and jihad.

But why should they be allowed to define what conservatism is?

We define it as loyalty to the Constitution; to five core principles; and above all to the ideal of freedom on which the USA was founded.

The five core principles of our conservatism are: individual freedom, small government, low taxes, the free market, strong defense.

Islam is the enemy waging a war of conquest against America. How conservative can Americans be who do not even acknowledge that that is the case?

It’s past time for real conservatives to fight back with passion against its enemies: Islam, and the pro-Islam anti-America Left which managed to get one of its own elected to the presidency.

Wanted: an entirely new political party of the right? 10

At PJ Media, Andrew C. McCarthy makes a well-reasoned, well-substantiated case that it is “time to move on from the GOP”. He argues that the Republican Party “is not remotely serious about implementing limited government policies or dealing with the two central challenges of our age, existentially threatening deficit spending and Islamic supremacism.” The Republicans, since they dominate the House of Representatives, have the power to solve the debt crisis but lack the will. And when it comes to opposing Obama’s pro-Islam policies, “the current crop of Republican leaders has shown no stomach for the fight”. (The whole article needs to be read.)

His description of what is happening in the Middle East and why is admirably robust. He holds the Republicans co-responsible for the disasters.

The Middle East … is aflame. A heavy contributing factor is the American policy of embracing and empowering the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamists allies, very much including al Qaeda. The Brotherhood is a committed enemy of the United States. … It considers the destruction of Western civilization from within to be its principal mission in the United States.

In 2011, President Obama launched an unprovoked war in Libya against the Qaddafi regime, which Republicans had been telling us for eight years had mended its ways and become an American ally – such that Republicans in Congress supported transfers of U.S. taxpayer dollars to Tripoli. Obama’s Libya war was guaranteed to put Islamists in power and put Qaddafi’s arsenal at the disposal of violent jihadists. By refusing to foot the bill, congressional Republicans could have aborted this counter-productive aggression – in the conduct of which the administration consulted the U.N. and the Arab League but not the branch of the U.S. government vested by the Constitution with the power to declare and pay for war. Instead, Republicans lined up behind their transnational progressive wing, led by Senator John McCain, which champions the chimera of sharia-democracy – McCain called the Islamists of Benghazi his “heroes.”

That pro-Islamist policy is directly responsible for the heedlessness of establishing an American consulate in Benghazi. It led to the attacks on our consulate and the British consulate, and ultimately to the terrorist murder of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya (weeks after British diplomats had the good sense to leave town).

The scandal brings into sharp relief an alarming fact that has long been obvious: notwithstanding their abhorrence of America and the West, Islamists are exerting profound influence on our government. Known Islamists and officials with undeniable Islamist connections have infiltrated the government’s policy councils; simultaneously, American policy has moved steadily in favor of Islamists – such that the government supports and funds Muslim Brotherhood affiliates that are hostile to us; colludes with these Islamists in purging from agent-training materials information demonstrating the undeniable nexus between Islamic doctrine and jihadist terror; collaborates with these Islamists in the effort to impose repressive sharia blasphemy restrictions on our free speech rights; and, we now learn, knowingly misleads the American people on the cause of murderous Islamist tirades, of which the atrocity in Benghazi is only the most recent example.

A few months back, long before these policies resulted in the killing of our American officials in Libya, and even before these policies abetted the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt … five conservative Republicans called for an investigation of Islamist influence on our government. Five members of the House – i.e., less than one percent of the Congress – was willing to stand up and confront a profound threat to American national security. The Republican establishment had the opportunity to back them, to prove that the GOP could at least be serious about a profound threat to our national security. Instead, senior Republicans – the Islamist-friendly transnational progressives to whom the party disastrously looks for foreign policy leadership – castigated the five. Speaker Boehner followed suit.

As the weeks went on, and event after event proved the five conservatives right and the apologists for Islamists wrong, the Republican establishment went mum. When the Islamist empowerment strategy coupled with the Obama administration’s shocking failure to defend Americans under siege resulted in the Benghazi massacre, the Republican establishment was given a rare gift: an opportunity, in the decisive stretch-run of a close presidential contest, to exhibit national security seriousness and distinguish themselves from Obama’s dereliction of duty. To the contrary, Gov. Romney and his top advisors decided to go mum on Benghazi; and congressional Republicans essentially delegated their response to Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham – the very “Islamic democracy” enthusiasts who had championed U.S. intervention on the side of Libyan jihadists in the first place (only after having championed the American embrace of Qaddafi).

This has to stop. The current crop of Republican leaders has shown no stomach for the fight. In fact, notwithstanding that President Obama lost a remarkable ten million votes from 2008 in his narrow reelection last week (i.e., 13 percent of his support), House Speaker John Boehner is treating him as if he has a mandate to continue his failed policies – as if the country and its representatives have no choice but to roll over on the immensely unpopular Obamacare law and concede on feeding Leviathan even more revenue and borrowing authority without deep cuts in spending … ; as if the country shares Boehner’s insouciance about the Islamist threat.

By reappointing Boehner and his leadership colleagues today, Republicans are telling us that their answer to failure is more of the same. They have a right to make that choice, but there is no reason why Americans who are serious about our challenges should follow along. The Republican establishment is content with more government, more debt, and more entanglement with our enemies. When called on it, they tell us they are powerless to stem the tide. But the problem is the lack of will and a sense of urgency, not lack of power. It is time to find a new vehicle to lead the cause of limited, fiscally responsible, constitutional government. The Republicans are telling us they are unwilling to be that vehicle. If that is the case, it is time to move on.

Can the “new vehicle” be anything but a new political party? And what could be its nucleus? The Tea Party? Not if it includes the same enfeebling component of Christians as the Republican Party does. We, of course, would like it to be secular constitutionalist, as dedicated to the cause of individual freedom as the Republican Party was dedicated at its foundation to the cause of freeing the slaves, and as willing to fight for it.

Happy Candy Crowley – the meditative immoderate moderator 6

Last night, on Tuesday October 16, 2012, a woman named Candy Crowley “moderated” the debate between the two candidates for the presidency in the forthcoming elections, Mitt Romney (Republican) and Barack Obama (Democrat).

According to her Wiki entry, Candy Crowley practices Transcendental Meditation.

What is Transcendental Meditation? It’s inventor, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, explains:

That’s not someone satirizing the guru, it really is the man himself. Yes, it sounds silly to us too. We prefer to think – but let those meditate who will. What we gather is that if it works as it is intended to, “TM”  makes its practitioners happy.

Like all Far Eastern religions, its object is to affect the state of feeling of the devotee, and is not intended to be a guide to moral behavior. Its teachers do not claim that it can make you perceptive or just. No false descriptions. “Makes you happy” is all that’s promised, all that’s written on the bottle so to speak.

But a capacity to be just is surely more necessary in a moderator of a debate than his or her personal happiness. We don’t say it was for her happiness that the Commission on Presidential Debates chose Candy Crowley to moderate the presidential debate, but if they thought she was capable of being just, of presiding over a debate without taking sides, without giving more time to one side than the other, without endorsing the points either side made, they were mistaken.

Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:

In an outrage destined for the history books, the moderator of last night’s hotly contested presidential debate uttered an untruth …

A lie. So call it a lie.

… about President Obama’s deadly bungling in Libya after Obama overtly asked her on live television to support his dishonest version of it.

His lie.

It was truly unprecedented and could only have happened in the Age of Obama.

During the town hall-format debate with an audience of undecided voters, Crowley provided an assist to Obama to help him perpetuate his administration’s ongoing cover-up about the murder of four Americans –including the U.S. ambassador — at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, this past Sept. 11. Reports indicate that Ambassador Chris Stevens and other officials were provided inadequate security in a particularly hostile part of Libya. …

GOP candidate Mitt Romney stated –correctly— that “it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.” Romney’s supporters have been saying for weeks that Obama didn’t want to label the assault on the U.S. mission a terrorist attack because to do so would be an admission that the administration’s foreign policy was in flames.

After Romney’s statement, Obama interjected, “Get the transcript,” like an eager contestant asking for a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

At that cue, Crowley cut off Romney, claiming that Obama had in fact called the attack an “act of terror” around the time it took place. Buoyed by Crowley’s compliance, Obama boasted, “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”

“He did call it an act of terror,” she said of the president. “It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea [of] there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You [Romney] are correct about that.” …

She had the transcript. She interpreted it in Obama’s favor. It was obviously arranged beforehand that she would do this. It is a scandal in itself.  

Crowley … happens to be wrong.

In the White House’s Rose Garden on Sept. 12, Obama … [made] a general statement that “no acts of terror would shake the resolve of this great nation.” Obama said what happened in Benghazi was “a terrible act” and promised that “justice will be done.” At no time [on that day] did he say the events in Benghazi were instigated by terrorists.

Over the following two weeks, the Obama administration continued to resist calling the events in Benghazi a terrorist attack. On five different Sunday morning TV talk shows, Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said the attack in that Libyan city stemmed from violent protests related to a “heinous and offensive” video.

On Sept. 25, Obama again refused to label the attack an act of terrorism during a softball appearance on TV’s “The View,” saying that an investigation was still ongoing. He said the same thing later the same day during an address at the United Nations, blaming the violence in Libya on the video and making the much-ridiculed assertion that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

After the debate, an unapologetic Crowley jovially admitted on CNN that Romney was correct but blamed her victim, the former Massachusetts governor, for the sin of linguistic imprecision.

Well, you know, again, I’d heard the president’s speech at the time. I sort of re-read a lot of stuff about Libya because I knew we’d probably get a Libya question, so I kind of wanted to be up on it. So we knew that the president had, had said, you know, these acts of terrors [sic] won’t stand or whatever the whole quote was and I think actually, you know, because, right after that I did turn around and say but you are totally correct, that they spent two weeks telling us that this was about a tape and that there was a, you know, this riot right outside the Benghazi consulate, which there wasn’t. So he was right in the main but I just think he picked the wrong word.

No, Candy, Romney didn’t pick the wrong word. The Commission on Presidential Debates picked the wrong moderator.

But the damage, which may or may not be long-lasting, is now done and the debate is finished. Just another day in the mainstream media.

Former New Hampshire governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu excoriated Crowley on the Fox News Channel. “Candy Crowley had no business doing a real-time, if you will, fact check, because she was wrong,” he said. Crowley aided President Obama who “was absolutely deliberate in his dishonesty on this issue of whether it was terrorism.”

The Obama administration’s failure to provide security in Benghazi, an act that led to the death of four Americans, is “unconscionable,” Sununu said.

Commentator Charles Krauthammer skewered Obama for being “completely at sea,” and not even trying to answer the question about consulate security. Obama acted offended at suggestions he would mislead the American people, Krauthammer said, even though he put his U.N. ambassador on television to lie to the public about what transpired in Benghazi.

Romney missed “a huge opening” to pound Obama over consulate security, Krauthammer opined. Of course if there was a genuine opportunity Romney missed, it’s because he was too busy defending himself after Crowley effectively called him a liar.

There is to be one more presidential debate. We hope and anticipate that Romney will use the opportunity to expose the huge scandal of Obama’s pro-Islam policy and stress that what it led to – the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three of his staff – is an extreme affront to the United States and a national tragedy.

It is so a great a scandal that it alone should unseat Obama, even if all his other policies had not already proved him (as they have) to be the worst president in American history.

Let him go and be happy. He can use some of his China-invested pension to buy lessons in Transcendental Meditation.

Swinging to the right 0

The extreme importance of the 2012 presidential election is recognized by (among millions of others, we hope) Diana West, who warns at Townhall that “Election 2012 is anything but politics as usual. It is an existential crisis.”

She writes:

This election is for keeps. If Barack Obama doesn’t lose his bid for a second term, he and his vast, left-wing support network of Marx-inspired think tanks, strategists and elected officials will fulfill Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to “fundamentally” transform this nation, thus bringing the American experiment in liberty to what could be the final curtain…

Americans are about to decide whether to empower the increasingly dictatorial executive branch of Barack Hussein Obama, whose future plans to distort “checks and balances” promises to transform the U.S. government out of all recognition, or to break the momentum of government centralization by electing Romney-Ryan.

Yes. And we find signs that are good; signs that there is a swing to the right in public opinion, considerably boosted since Paul Ryan was selected as candidate Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential choice.

This is by Scott Johnson at PowerLine:

GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan appeared at a rally this morning at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, Virginia. … An audience of more than 2,000 turned up for the rally. More impressive than the size of the crowd is the fact that supporters started lining up for the event around 2:00 a.m. Recent alumni of Deep Run High School, where Ryan spoke … joined the line around 7:00 a.m. with [Chick-fil-A] breakfast in hand.

In these faces we can see what optimism looks like:

Ryan is a star. Romney’s pick of him for his vice-president has energized the Republican Party and brought excitement to the electorate. Even the heavily left-biased British newspaper the Guardian has to concede that:

Democrats’ nerves start to show as Ryan fires up conservative voters …

And:

The Democrats have been sending out panic-laden appeals for donations, one of them expressing concern over the size of the crowd. One of the appeals, for $3 or more, said of Romney-Ryan attacks: “This could cost us the election.”

And quoting American pundits with a message the left canot be happy with, the Guardian raises the prospect of Republican government for the next 16 years:

 If Romney wins, then Ryan, as vice-president, will be well placed as a Republican presidential candidate for the future. …

Roger L. Klavan writes at PJ Media that the Democrats are scared of Ryan:

Obama’s main man David Axelrod looks depressed. Why wouldn’t he be? Forced to run a campaign based on lying about or distorting what the other side says, fanning the flames of non-existent racism, etc., is a sure loser, even if you win — perhaps especially if you win. Winning ugly in this instance will not be a triumph of any sort. Obama, at his worst, may succeed in destroying America as we know it, but he would destroy himself and everyone around him in the process. At this moment, I’m betting none of this will happen. Romney’s choice of Ryan, for me, saved the day.

But the black vote – that’s remaining pretty solid for Obama, isn’t it?

Or is it? A formerly prominent black Democrat has gone over to the Republicans. Former Democratic Representative Artur Davis, who was also a candidate for the governorship of Alabama in 2010, and was one of Barack Obama’s campaign managers in 2008 – making one of the nominating speeches for him at the 2008 Democratic National Convention – is to speak this year at the Republican National Convention in support of the Romney-Ryan ticket. (Read more about this in the Washington Post here.)

And there’s this (also from the Washington Post).  The story of a black community organizer’s disillusionment with Obama. He is “disillusioned” for the wrong reasons, and he probably will not be coming over to the right, but if he decides to cast his vote for Obama, it won’t be with any enthusiasm. The point is, redistributive economics and collectivist politics don’t work, and the Obama episode in American history has proved it. Once Obama has gone – and go he absolutely must with the coming election – his bad four years in the White House can be seen as a lesson millions of Americans needed to learn.

He still walks the same streets here as his old acquaintance Barack Obama once did. That is about all they have in common anymore. At 50, Chicago activist Mark Allen … [is] the head of a small, community-assistance organization called Black Wall Street Chicago. Allen regards his personal survival alone as a small victory, grateful he can pay the rent on his modest office space, aware he is doing better than many on this city’s restive South Side.

“Things haven’t gone the way we’d hoped after Barack got elected,” he says. Surveys place unemployment rates above 25 percent here, and indications are that South Side residents such as Allen aren’t nearly as passionate about the 2012 election as they were during Obama’s trailblazing 2008 campaign.

Historically, community organizers such as Allen have wielded outsize influence in the black-majority neighborhoods of the South Side, with none better known than Obama, who directed a group called the Developing Communities Project for three years during the 1980s. But old bonds between the two have frayed. Allen, who as a member of another group worked on community issues with Obama during their organizing days, has grown frustrated with his former ally in the Oval Office.

Obama’s much ballyhooed 2009 stimulus package has failed to touch ordinary South Side residents, says Allen, who has reached out to Obama administration officials, including fellow Chicagoan and prominent White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, to express his dismay. …

Allen, who views the South Side’s pain as common to U.S. inner cities, also offers a political warning for Obama’s campaign strategists. The disillusionment of once fierce Obama admirers, he suggests, may hamper the president’s reelection chances by subtly dampening black voter turnout.

Best of all there’s this:

 

A barbarous culture 1

Mitt Romney, visiting Israel in late July, spoke of the economic stagnation of the Arab world and attributed it to Arab culture. He was certainly correct, though not “politically correct”. Predictable offense was enjoyed by Arabs and Democrats. Loudest with objection were the Palestinians, a beggar nation who like to blame their dependency – on which they and their Arab brethren and the United Nations insist – on Israel and America.

Arab culture is stagnant and sterile. It won’t be changed by the West. President George W. Bush went to war to get regime change in Iraq, and he got it;  but what he did not get was democracy. Oh, some Iraqis are playing at democracy, with purple-finger elections and a parliament and a prime minister, but their country is no more a democracy now than it has ever been.

No sudden Arab Spring will transform the Muslim Middle East. Uprisings can change governments but they cannot bring civilization. The Muslim world has access to Western learning, just as it had access to Indian, Roman and Greek learning. It made use of some of those ideas in a slapdash fashion just as it made use of Judaism, Christianity, Socialism and Democracy, in a similar fashion.

We quote from an article by Daniel Greenfield at Canada Free Press. (It’s well worth reading in full.)

The Palestinians are a fraud, but so are the Jordanians, and to a lesser degree, the Egyptians and the Syrians. Every [Arab] nation is an artificial entity ruled over by powerful families or old soldiers who are keeping the whole thing together with guns and bribes, not to mention imported bread and circuses.

The British treated the region as a grab-bag of clans, and backed any powerful family willing to throw in with them. That is how the Hashemite kings and the Arab-Israeli wars came to be. Unlike the Brits, the United States was not interested in an empire, just in oil rights, which is how we got in bed with one of the most powerful families in the region, who became far more powerful thanks to their association with us. And who repaid us by trying to conquer us in their own way.

At some point we forgot that the Saudis, the King of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and most of our so-called allies, are just powerful families with territorial claims based on that power. And even slightly more civilized countries such as Egypt, aren’t really any better, the invaders who overran them just absorbed more culture and civilization from their conquests and their proximity to more civilized parts of the world.

Mostly they’re feudal states with skyscrapers planned by foreign architects and built by foreign labor …

A primitive society confronted with an advanced civilization does not become civilized, it adopts some of the habits and facades of civilization in cargo cult fashion, it uses some of its tools, and hybridizes some of its ideas, but all this is done in pursuit of its existing goals. Everything that the Muslim Middle East has taken in from the civilized world has been used to pursue the same goals that it was pursuing a thousand years ago.

Imagine savages buying advanced steel knives, designed with space age technology, manufactured to never rust or grow dull, then shipped by jet plane to their island, where they are used to perform ritual human sacrifices so that the crops may grow. That in a nutshell is the relationship between the civilized world and the Muslim Middle East—except that the savages are not content to stay on their island and perform their human sacrifices only on their own tribe.

The barbarians lavish their petro-dollars on cars, aircraft, guns, computers, cell phones – and the high-tech machines of contemporary medicine which are, many of them, invented and manufactured in Israel, and which wealthy Arabs use in foreign countries though they won’t import them into their own. But such things do not inspire them to question the worth of the primitive superstition and oppressive laws that dominate their lives.

Their ideology and culture need to be criticized, and though seriously repulsive, laughed at:

Speak up, Mr Romney, we can’t hear you! 1

We quote from Arnold Ahlert’s open letter to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, because we too are irritated by the flaccid, passionless, MacCain-like campaign he is running:

The letter comes from Canada Free Press:

Dear Mr. Romney:

Since you apparently have advisors that are very clever people, perhaps a word from a troglodyte like me might be refreshing. In the last two weeks, you have tried to explain the difference between “off-shoring” and “outsourcing” with respect to the economy, and despite the great gift handed to you by our addled Chief Justice, John Roberts, you insisted on playing a semantical game between calling Obamacare a “constitutional tax” or an “unconstitutional penalty.”

Let me give you a clue: the overwhelming number of people who understand and/or appreciate the nuances in such parsing of the language already know who they’re going to vote for. They’re the ones who follow politics, have a far higher understanding of economics than the average American, and make an ongoing effort to pay attention to what’s happening in general.

The rest of America knows there is an election in November, and not a whole lot else. Luckily for you, most of them won’t even be paying attention to the details of that election until September or October. That doesn’t make them unintelligent …  For the most part it means that a lot of them are busy living their lives, trying to get from one day to the next. And while a lot of them know there’s something not quite right with this economy, they can’t immerse themselves in the kind of facts and figures — or nuance — that you and your campaign managers seemingly think they can.

You know why a slogan like “tax the rich” works so well? Because it taps into one of mankind’s baser instincts, namely envy. And as you and yours have likely surmised by now, Mr. Obama and Democrats will tap into whatever negative instincts human beings possess, if it means winning the 2012 election. Divide-and-conquer is as old as the Romans, and has been effective for that long as well.

So here’s my advice. First, reduce your campaign to its simplest terms. …

The bottom line here is this: you need a slogan that captures the essence of American exceptionalism. …When Ronald Reagan referred to America as a “shining city on a hill,” Mr. Peanuts had no comeback. …

Yet even more importantly, maybe game-changing, have the guts to admit that your Massachusetts healthcare plan was a stinker. That’s right, admit you made a colossal mistake, even if it was for what you considered all the right reasons. If you don’t understand why, let me explain it in political terms that are quite germane, even if somewhat oblique: the cover-up, or in this case the cover-my-ass, is worse than the original “crime.” Watergate, Monica Lewinsky, and Fast and Furious are as in-your-face as it gets regarding that truism. A presidential resignation, an impeachment leading to a $90,000 fine and disbarment, and a contempt of Congress citation are a testament to the kind of arrogance and stubbornness that turns people off. So does giving Mr. Obama and his media harpies something to club you with, over and over again. …

Understand something else as well. You’re never going to be perceived as a regular Joe, no matter how hard you try. It’s just not part of your DNA, it’s never been part of your DNA, and any attempt to make it so will be taken for exactly what it is: overt pandering. What you need to demonstrate above all else is quite different.

You need passion.

It’s not enough to have the right argument, if you’re going to deliver it in measured — dare I say sleep-inducing — terms. Ask John McCain how staying “above the fray” works in a presidential campaign. I know this seems like a contradiction, but it’s worth remembering Ronald Reagan, in the midst of praising the nation, wasn’t afraid to ask the question that became the quintessential slogan of the 1980 election campaign. To wit: are you better of now than your were four years ago? …

Any criticism of this president and his policies will be deemed racist by the Democrats and their useful idiots in the media. Get over it.

And get over the idea that any topic, from the president’s associations with race-baiter Jeremiah Wright and Weather Underground Terrorist Bill Ayers, to the various scandals of this administration, such as the Operation Fast and Furious gun-running debacle and the crony capitalism surrounding Solyndra and LightSquared., are “off-limits” because a bunch of progressives say so. 

Finally, stop pretending Barack Obama is anything less than a Constitutionally-contemptuous, Congress-bypassing, fact-challenged, socialist/Marxist, no matter how “appalled” the chattering classes become.

This country is hanging by a thread, and if you can’t make the case — and make it with gusto — that he and his administration are an unmitigated disaster, you’re going to lose an election you should win in a walk. In other words, a little righteous anger goes a long, long, long way.

Cleverness is for losers, and nice guys finish last. Step out of the self-generated campaign bubble, sir. Whether you like it or not, you may be the last best hope for our nation.

Start acting like it.

Suggestions for a Romney campaign slogan are invited.

Posted under Commentary, government, liberty, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 9, 2012

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