Articles

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Obama’s Two State Tantrum

Obama’s two terms showed us that he was a sore winner. Israel’s election showed us that he is even more of sore loser. Ever since Netanyahu survived an election that he was supposed to lose, Obama has been throwing a floor-pounding, siren-shrieking and high-kicking tantrum over the Jewish State.

Its latest kick and shriek had White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough sidling into the toxic atmosphere at the D.C. conference for the anti-Israel lobby J-Street to berate Netanyahu.

In attendance at the conference were such luminaries as Saeb Erakat, the PLO negotiator who had called Netanyahu a “filthy war criminal” and claimed that Hamas is “a political, not a terrorist movement.”

Also featured was Nabila Espanioly of Hadash, formerly the Israeli Communist Party. Nabila, a former Communist activist who had accused Israel of “State Terrorism”, told J Street about the need to fight “against fascism and against racism inside Israel.”

Other notables included Maha Mehanna, who had called Israel’s war against Hamas a “crime against humanity”, Peter Beinart, who wanted Obama to punish Israel and freeze the assets of its Minister of the Economy, and Matt Duss, who once compared Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza to “segregation in the American South.”

The comparison would have been on the nose if it had been the KKK being segregated.

Finally there was James Baker, the former Secretary of State and senior partner for the law firm the Saudis hired to defend themselves against lawsuits from 9/11 victims, who had famously said, “F___ the Jews. They don’t vote for us anyway.”

Denis McDonough’s appearance at the J Street hatefest could be taken as, “F___ the Jews, they’ll vote for us anyway.”

The dead-eyed McDonough threw the rabid anti-Israel audience its red meat by warning that, “An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end.”

He continued the administration’s pretense of being offended by Netanyahu’s election rhetoric about the absence of any partner for peace to create a Palestinian state with, insisting that “We cannot simply pretend that those comments were never made, or that they don’t raise questions about the Prime Minister’s commitment to achieving peace through direct negotiations.”

Netanyahu made his commitment to peace clear when he agreed to release 104 terrorists, some of whom had murdered children, as a precondition demanded by PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas sabotaged the Kerry attempt to start negotiations anyway and Kerry predictably blamed Israel. But that’s part of the administration’s consistent position that Israel is always wrong.

Obama’s people are still complaining about Netanyahu’s election comments and his breach of protocol in addressing Congress. But what are Israelis supposed to make of Obama’s Chief of Staff addressing a conference that featured apologists for Hamas and supporters of boycotting Israel?

What message does it send when the White House Chief of Staff attacks the Prime Minister of Israel at an event featuring enemies of Israel? Barack Obama is certainly no stickler for integrity in election rhetoric.

When he first ran for the White House, he appeared at AIPAC and vowed that, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”

Once in office, Obama berated Israel for building “settlements” in Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world. Last year his spokesman claimed that building in Jerusalem would distance Israel from “even its closest allies.”

At AIPAC he had told the audience that, “There is no greater threat to Israel — or to the peace and stability of the region — than Iran. Now this audience is made up of both Republicans and Democrats, and the enemies of Israel should have no doubt that, regardless of party, Americans stand shoulder to shoulder in our commitment to Israel's security.”

Then he went on to push a deal that would let Iran go nuclear while his propagandists denounced Republicans opposed to the sellout as “traitors”. Most recently he had Iran delisted as a terror threat.

Obama’s double standard has been to hold Netanyahu to the most extreme interpretation of his remarks while giving himself a pass. That same pass is also good for Iran and the PLO.

The liberal line on the PLO’s Palestinian Authority and the Iranian regime has been to ignore their rhetoric. No matter how many times the PLO celebrates the murder of Jews and calls for the destruction of Israel; Obama never warns that he is “reassessing” his relationship with the terrorist group.

Iran’s Supreme Leader just said, “Death to America”, but that won’t impact the negotiations. The White House explained that was “intended for a domestic political audience”. When Netanyahu says something during an election that the White House doesn’t like, the fact that it was intended for a domestic audience doesn’t matter. But when Iran’s leader calls for “Death to America”, we can just ignore that because it surely doesn’t reflect his deeper feelings on destroying America.

Terrorist regimes are treated as untrustworthy when it comes to their rhetoric, but absolutely reliable when they negotiate. The same Ayatollah who calls for “Death to America” is supposedly lying to his own people, but his representatives will be absolutely honest when they pledge not to build a bomb. The Palestinian Authority shouldn’t be paid attention to when it calls for destroying Israel, but should be relied on when it signs on the dotted line no matter how many agreements it broke in the past.

When Iran threatens America, it’s just posturing. When the PLO threatens Israel, it’s empty rhetoric. But when they negotiate, suddenly we can trust our lives to the word of these “liars”.

Iran and the PLO benefit from the same double standard that Obama does. We’re not supposed to believe what they say in public, but we’re meant to have faith that they are honest in private.

Netanyahu however gets whacked with the other side of that standard. The same political hack who shamelessly told AIPAC that he supports a united Jerusalem and then even more shamelessly took it back, pretends to be morally outraged that Netanyahu would slam a PLO state during an election.

Either an uncharacteristically modest Obama thinks that Netanyahu is better than him, or he’s being a shameless hypocrite. Given his sordid history, hypocrite is the safest bet.

Obama’s international doubletalk has gotten so bad that John Kerry actually had to tell the Russians to ignore Obama’s public statements about Russia. While Obama can’t “pretend” that Netanyahu’s “comments were never made”, the Russians are supposed to pretend that his comments were never made. The Israelis are supposed to pretend that Obama never said anything about a united Jerusalem. So which comments does Obama really mean? Who knows.

Maybe he could color code them to indicate which of his comments he doesn’t mean, which of his  comments he really doesn’t mean and which of his comments he only heard about from the media.

Israel isn’t the barrier to a Palestinian state. The PLO and Hamas can’t even get along long enough to form a state or hold an election. Blaming Netanyahu for actually addressing these facts is the height of cynicism from an administration that until recently avoided investing its energies in peace negotiations because it knew that was a dead end.

Obama doesn’t really believe in a Palestinian state. He’s throwing a two state tantrum because it gives him a convenient angle of attack against Netanyahu. The Israeli election was about either forcing out Netanyahu or isolating him. Having failed at the first, Obama is defaulting back to the second.

This isn’t about peace. It’s about fighting and winning a political war against Netanyahu in order to free Obama to secure his nuclear deal with Iran.

Obama claims that Netanyahu has shown that he is untrustworthy when it comes to peace. Instead he urges us to trust our lives to an Ayatollah who calls for “Death to America”, but doesn’t ‘really’ mean it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Israel’s Leftist Losers

For thousands of years the Jews dreamed of reclaiming their country. The left had another dream.

It dreamed of a country run by bureaucrats that worked only three days a week. It dreamed of unions running monopolies that worked whenever they liked and charged whatever they wanted. It dreamed of children raised on collective farms without parents and of government as a Socialist café debate.

Most of all it dreamed of a country without conservatives. It still hasn’t gotten that wish.

Netanyahu’s victory hit hardest in Tel Aviv where, as Haaretz, the paper of the left, reports, “Leftist, secular Tel Aviv went to sleep last night cautiously optimistic only to wake up this morning in a state of utter and absolute devastation.”

Tel Aviv is ground zero for any Iranian nuclear attack. Its population density makes it an obvious target and Iran threatened it just last month. A nuclear strike on Tel Aviv would not only kill a lot of Israelis, it would also wipe out the country’s left.

Haifa and Tel Aviv are the only major cities in Israel that the left won in this election. And it was a close thing in traditionally “Red Haifa” whose union dockworkers these days are Middle Eastern Jews who vote right. The left took a quarter of the vote in Haifa to a fifth for Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party.

In Tel Aviv however, the Labor coalition and Meretz, the two major leftist parties, took nearly half of the vote. Amos Oz’s daughter told Haaretz that everyone in the left had been upbeat because everyone they knew was voting for the left. Now the leftist elite is once again forced to come to terms with the tragedy that much of the country doesn’t want to hand over land to terrorists, live on a communal farm or turn over the country to Marc Rich’s lawyer and his American backers who make Slim-Fast and KIND bars.

There are however days when they think Israel might be better off without certain parts of Tel Aviv.

The left doesn’t want a country. It wants a Berkeley food co-op. It wants a city with some ugly modernist architecture. It wants a campus with courses on media studies and gender in geography. It wants an arcade where unwashed lefties can tunelessly strum John Lennon songs on their vintage guitars. It wants cafes with Russian Futurist prints on the walls. It wants to be excited about political change. Its only use for Israel was as a utopian theme park.

Its allegiance was not to Jewish history or democracy, but to its crackpot leftist fantasies. Now its fantasies are dead and it wants to kill Israel.

The left spitefully alienated every immigrant group from Holocaust survivors to Middle Eastern Jews to Russian Jews. It also had slurs for each of them. The Holocaust survivors were ‘Sabon’ (soap) and the Middle Eastern Jewish refugees were ‘Chakhchakhim’. That particular slur at an election rally cost Peres and Labor the 1981 election. Another slur at an election rally now hurt the left and boosted Netanyahu. But if you ask the left why it lost, it will blame Israeli racism.

The Israeli left slurred Middle Eastern Jews as “primitives” and used them as cheap labor to maintain the Kibbutz collectivist lifestyle until they stood up for themselves and the experiment in ‘equality’ ended. It slurred Russian immigrants as “prostitutes”, Settlers in ’67 Israel as “bloodsuckers” and Ultra-Orthodox as “parasites”.

Netanyahu’s likely coalition will lean heavily on parties that draw their support from Middle Eastern Jews, Settlers, Russian Jews and the Ultra-Orthodox.

These groups are also known as the majority of the country. That’s why the left lost. Again.

The left wants its clubhouse back and it can’t get it back. Demographics and immigration turned the ideal Israeli leftist, a wealthy secular Ashkenazi urbanite from an important family, into a minority. The only reason the left still exists is because its phantom Apartheid State of media outlets, courts and academics still maintains a death grip on the system.

The other reason that the Israeli left exists is that its malicious oppression of new immigrants splintered them into warring groups, much as the Democratic Party’s Tammany Hall did in the United States. The left couldn’t own them, but it did set them against each other in order to maintain a dysfunctional political system in which the strongest form of central authority comes from an unelected judiciary.

The left hasn’t managed to conquer Israel, but it has succeeded in dividing it. Every new group of immigrants has been indoctrinated, not with allegiance to the left (that was a lost cause early on) but with resentment of each other. The Russian Jews are told that they live badly because of the Ultra-Orthodox Jews. The Middle Eastern Jews are told that they live badly because of the Russian Jews. The Ultra-Orthodox are told that they live badly because of the Settlers. There’s plenty of overlap between these groups, but the tactic still works well enough for the left to stay in the game.

The real Apartheid State in Israel is this Deep State of the left. It’s the one you see on display when former heads of the Mossad and Shabak denounce Israel and Netanyahu. It’s in the phony media polls and exit polls that were skewed in favor of the left. It’s in the candidacy of a cretin like Herzog with his high voice and his old guard last name promising to do whatever Obama and the left tell him to do. The left tried to sell Herzog, the errand boy for international leftist criminals like Marc Rich and Octav Botnar, as the future of Israel. The public never bought it.

The left has no leadership. It has nothing to offer. It has no reason to exist except malice and spite.

Since the left lost control of Israel, it has been hell-bent on destroying it. The PLO deal was one step in a process meant to destroy Israel and return to the bi-national state that Ahdut HaAvodah, the ancestor of the Labor Party, and Ben Gurion had been flirting with in the twenties and thirties. The Two-State Solution was always meant to end in a One-State Solution.

The Israeli left has despaired of turning the country into the utopia that it wanted. There are still plenty of bureaucrats and union monopolies, but children are raised by their parents and most of them are born to the types of Jews that they hate.

The more philosophical members of the left see the “peace process” that they illegally initiated and passed as a cleanup operation that removes the failed experiment of Israel to make way for the Muslim “decolonization/ethnic cleansing” of Israel. They usually have homes in France and tenure in the US.

And the rest of the Jewish population that doesn’t have homes in France is meant to become Sabon.

The remainder had decided that the only hope for the leftist dream is to unite with their Socialist
comrades in the PLO and build a bi-national state using Muslim demographics to counter the demographic growth of Middle Eastern and Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Israel will become Lebanon. The Jews will become the Lebanese Christian minority in this utopian experiment and it doesn’t matter if they get killed as long as some of them go on living in pricey neighborhoods and strumming guitars in Tel Aviv.

It would be nice to think that the Israeli left was transformed into this twisted thing by the loss of its utopian dreams, but it was always like this. It was never patriotic. It was forced to become patriotic by the Muslim rejection of all its efforts at co-existence. It was never Zionist. Zionism was forced on it by the anti-Semitism of its Russian Socialist colleagues. It never wanted to be Jewish. It was forced to be. Muslim hate turned the Israeli left into the unwilling caretaker of a Jewish State. G-d kept Israel alive despite the left’s incompetence, its treasons and its slavish instinct for appeasement.

Today the left can no longer even pretend that it has a vision. All it can do is howl about peace and justice and how the Middle Eastern Jewish Schorim (blacks) and the Ultra-Orthodox Schorim (also blacks, for their hats) and the Russians destroyed ‘their’ country. Then it can go back to its French villas and have its bi-national Muslim state there.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Technophobic Democrats

If you believe Hillary Clinton, her email scandal happened because she couldn’t figure out how to do what every American of working age knows how to do; juggle a work and personal email account.

The Clinton vaporware bridge to the 21st century turned out to be a private email server that kept out the media, but not foreign spy agencies. When Hillary finally had to turn over some emails, she printed out tens of thousands of pages of them as if this were still the 20th century.

But like the rest of her party, Hillary is very much a 20th century regulator, not a 21st century innovator.

Despite claiming to have invented the internet, the Democratic Party isn’t very good at technology and doesn’t like technology. Everything from the Healthcare.gov debacle to the VA death lists happened because this administration was completely incompetent when it came to implementing anything more complicated than a hashtag. The success rate for exchanges managed by its state allies isn’t much better. The only databases it seems able to handle are for its incessant election fundraising emails.

Democrats not only didn’t invent the internet, but they’ve been trying to kill it ever since it existed. The latest attempt to hijack the internet under the guise of net neutrality follows multiple attempts to implement CDA laws censoring it back in the Clinton days. Obama’s rhetoric over reclassifying the internet is a carbon copy of Clinton’s own rhetoric over the Telecommunications Act.

Obama and Clinton are not innovators, at best they’re marketers, at heart they’re regulators. They don’t want ‘open’ anything. Regulators seek to define and classify everything before freezing it into place. It’s the same control freak impulse at the heart of Hillary’s private email server. They want to enforce a comprehensive ruleset without regard to functionality that privileges their own communications.

It’s a short leap from Hillary’s private email server to Obama’s private internet. Both want their own communications to be unseen, witness the way that the White House deals with Freedom of Information requests, but they want oversight of what everyone else can and does say online.

Innovators disrupt. Regulators control. The left’s hysteria over companies like Uber and Airbnb is typical of the regulator mentality. The left’s propaganda operations have boomed thanks to the internet, but rather than celebrating open technology, it responds by trying to closely regulate the internet instead.

The American left understands that it cannot market itself as progressive without embracing technology, but culturally it is a reactionary movement whose embrace of organic food, no vaccines and paranoia about technology causing Global Warming reveals a deep unease about the technology it claims to love.

Democrats like technology the way that they like science in general, as an inspiring progressive idea, not as the messy uncertain reality that it really is. But applying their logic of “settled science”, in which a thing is assumed to work because their ideology says it should, to technology leads to disaster. Technology is a real life test of ideas. Its science is only settled when it can be objectively said to work. Healthcare.gov was an example of the GIGO principle that governs information technology and life.

If you put garbage in, your output will be garbage. ObamaCare was a garbage law. The policies it offers are garbage and its website, produced through the same corrupt and dysfunctional processes as the rest of it, was also garbage. The left has to deny that its productive output is garbage because recognizing that would mean having to admit that its ideological input was garbage.

If you try to set up a website for a law whose actual functioning no one understood designed in part by bureaucrats who were better at writing mandates than making things that work and by an assortment of corporations that got the job because of who their executives knew in the White House, the other end was bound to be a giant pile of garbage that worked as well as the law it was based on.

That’s why Democrats hate technology. Real science doesn’t give you the results you want. It doesn’t care about your consensus or how you massaged the numbers. It gives you the results you deserve.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Obama wasted billions on Green Energy because his people couldn’t be bothered to examine the vested claims of special interests. His people insisted that Ebola wasn’t an infectious disease because that would interfere with immigration policy. Science and technology don’t come first. They’re just there to serve the same empty marketing function as the ‘smart’ part of his smart power which led to ISIS.

Green Energy and ObamaCare had to work because they were shiny and progressive. The messy reality of the technology or the business models for making them work didn’t matter to Obama.

Progressives mistake this brand of ignorant technophilia for being on the side of progress, when really it’s just the flip side of technophobia. The technophobe raised in a push button world in which things just work doesn’t necessarily fear technology; instead he fears the messy details that interfere with his need for instant gratification.

The new lefty Luddite loves gadgets; he just hates the limitations that make them work. He wants results without effort or error. He wants energy without pollution, consensus without experiment and products without industry. The same narcissism that causes him to reject the fact that he has to give something to get something in human affairs leads him to also reject the same principle in technology.

He wants everything his way. He thinks that makes him an innovator, when it actually makes him a regulator. Innovators understand that every effort comes with risk. Regulators seek to eliminate risk by killing innovation. The progressive Luddite believes that he can have innovation without risk. But that’s just the classic progressive fallacy of confusing regulation with innovation and control with results.

Selling regulation as innovation is just marketing. And that’s all that progressives like Obama are. Their openness is pure marketing. Their need to control everything is the regulatory reality underneath.

Bill Clinton’s idea of innovation was censoring the internet. His wife’s idea was setting up a private email server with terrible security to shut down information transparency. Obama’s idea of innovation is regulating the internet while golfing with the CEO of the cable monopoly being used as an excuse for those regulations.

This isn’t the party that invented the internet. It is the party that’s killing it.

The innovator knows that reality is messy. He lands a probe on a comet while wearing a tacky shirt. The regulator however can only see the shirt. Technology only interests him as a means of controlling people. The shirt matters as much as the comet because both are ways of influencing people.

The left wants technology only as a means of achieving its utopian visions. The technology itself is push button; it means nothing except as a means to an end. The regulator is not thrilled by the incredible ingenuity it takes to link together the world, just as the comet means nothing to him. The technology either serves his political goals or it does not. It lives under his regulations or it does not.

To the left, skill and ingenuity are just forms of unchecked privilege. The only achievement that matters is power over people. The revolutionary exploits technology, but his revolution is that of the regulator, his machine is collective; its ultimate design is to end ingenuity and abort progress. His communication is not a dialogue, it is a diatribe, and his vision of the internet is only meant to be open until he can close it.

The technological vision of the Democrats is just the same old central planning in a shinier case.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Obama's Treason is the New Patriotism

When Republicans complained that Obama refused to talk about Islamic terrorism, he accused them of playing into the hands of ISIS by demanding that he identify the enemy we’re fighting.

 When they spoke out against his Iranian nuclear sellout, he accused them of “wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran”. Those hardliners would presumably toe a harder line than Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who responded to Obama’s outreach in his first term by saying, “The Islamic peoples all over the world chant ‘Death to America!’” and who stated last year that “This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front with America at the head of it.”

(The Supreme Leader of a country which stones teenage rape victims and rapes teenage girls so that they don’t die as virgins, also claimed that “The European races are barbaric.”)

If the moderate Supreme Leader that Obama is dealing with wants Death to America, what could the real hardliners want for America that’s even worse than death? A third term of Obama?

Meanwhile Joe Biden, Obama’s number two, accused Republicans of undermining Obama. This would be the same Biden who threatened to impeach President Bush if he bombed Iran’s nuclear program and who blasted Bush and the idea of an Axis of Evil at a fundraiser in the home of a pro-Iran figure.

Biden undermined President Bush’s efforts to rein in Iran’s terrorism by voting against listing the Revolutionary Guard, which was supplying weapons to help the Taliban kill American soldiers, as a terrorist group (a position he shared with Kerry, Hagel and Obama) and berating Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for not negotiating with Iran and Assad.

The toadying of “Tehran Joe” to Iran had already reached its absolute lowest point when Biden responded to the terrorist attacks of September 11 by suggesting, “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran.”

The administration that Biden is part of has instead been releasing $490 million a month to Iran.

Biden, along with Kerry and Hagel, became notorious as the Tehran Trio during the Bush years for their advocacy for Iran and Assad, and their appearances at pro-Iranian lobbying groups and fundraisers despite criticism from Iranian democracy advocates. Biden, Kerry and Hagel, Obama’s VP, the Secretary of State and the former Secretary of Defense, all appeared at American-Iranian Council events, a group whose founder stated that he is “the Iranian lobby in the United States.”

Treason doesn’t get more treasonous than that.

Obama and Biden, along with their political allies, are trying to spin their shameless pandering to a terrorist state as patriotic and opposition to it as treasonous. The New York Daily News denounced senators opposed to an Obama deal giving Iran the ability to develop and deploy nuclear weapons as “Traitors”. The administration’s social media allies’ hashtag dubbed Republicans opposed to Iran’s nuclear weapons as #47Traitors.

Traitors oppose terrorists getting nuclear weapons. Patriots like Joe Biden not only support it, but they blast a president trying to stop it while collecting $30,000 at a pro-Iranian fundraiser.

“Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?” Sir John Harrington cynically observed. “Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.” But the Elizabethan courtier left out that when traitors rule, patriotism becomes treason. Obama commits treason and taunts his critics as traitors.

Republicans who want to see American leadership rise to the challenge of ISIS and Iran are accused of collaborating with ISIS and Iran by an administration that willfully lied and misrepresented the growth of ISIS for as long as it could and that is now doing the same thing for Iran’s nuclear threat.

Obama lied and claimed that ISIS was no threat even when it was taking over entire cities. Only overt genocide by ISIS forced him into his current stumbling action against it. Now the same sports fan who dubbed ISIS a “Jayvee” team not worth bothering with accuses Republicans of playing into its hands.

Sensible people consider letting a terrorist group win to be “playing into its hands”. Left-wing apologists for terror however claim that fighting terrorists “plays into their hands”. In the same inverted worldview in which patriotism becomes treason and treason becomes patriotism, what terrorists want most is for you to bomb them to oblivion while what they fear most is that you’ll just stand there and let them kill you.

Now Obama suggests that critics of his Iran nuclear sellout are playing into the hands of some imaginary hardliners who want America to bomb its nuclear program. These imaginary hardliners, like the imaginary terrorists, want to sabotage their own efforts to achieve their goals. And only Obama stands between them and the failure of their terroristic and nuclear ambitions. That’s why he’s a patriot.

And if you can follow all that, you qualify for a gig as the State Department’s new spokesperson.

Ignoring terrorists is patriotic. Fighting them is unpatriotic. Dealing with their actual beliefs is unpatriotic. Pretending that they have no beliefs, no matter how impossible it makes it to predict their actions and fight them, is patriotic. Stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons is unpatriotic. The patriotic thing to do is to cut a deal that will let Iran go the way of North Korea.

Through the intercession of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton struck a non-binding agreement with North Korea on its nuclear weapons program. Like Obama’s Iran deal, the Senate never got to ratify it. Secretary of State Madeline Albright stated that "the framework agreement is one of the best things that the administration has done because it stopped a nuclear weapons program in North Korea." It didn’t.

During his original campaign, Obama said, “We cannot allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon.” That should sound familiar. Bill Clinton said during his first term in office, “North Korea cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb.” North Korea could and did. Bill Clinton knew all along that it could and would.

The rhetoric from back then also sounds familiar. Congressman Obey warned that Republicans dropping millions in fuel oil for North Korea was “mindbogglingly reckless.” The Honolulu Star-Bulletin urged “Stop GOP Meddling in Foreign Affairs.” Gore ranted that Republicans were “determined to wreck a presidency in order to recapture it” and accused them of “isolationism and defeatism”.

The Republicans were right. North Korea got the bomb and a lot of freebies from American taxpayers. The men and women responsible for supporting that disastrously treasonous policy slimed them for it. Now we’re in a repeat with many of the same politicians and pundits arguing that the only way to stop Iran from getting the bomb is by not doing anything to stop it from getting the bomb.

The first rule of treason is to call the other guy a traitor. Having aligned with everyone from Castro to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Obama has to make it seem as if it’s the Republicans who are the traitors.

An administration of political hacks who spent the Bush years undermining the White House in every way possible short of officially defecting to the enemy now claim that dissent from their policy is treason. And they top that by reversing the motives of Iran and ISIS so that instead of wanting to destroy America, they really want to be criticized by Republicans and prevented from getting nuclear weapons.

This gibberish shouldn’t be able to fool any thinking person, but the idea that Kim Jong-Il wanted food, not nuclear weapons, when his entire policy had been the exact opposite, shouldn’t have gotten by anyone with an elementary knowledge of history and at least a single living brain cell.

But it did.

No one wants to be a member of a party of traitors or of a government of traitors. Clinton and Obama didn’t accidentally stumble into their policies. They were guided by a deep rotten belief that the United States was always wrong and that the enemy, no matter how evil, had a legitimate grievance.

They can’t admit to this treasonous idea, even though they repeat it constantly in various forms, so their only defense is to claim that their treason is patriotism and that anyone who disagrees is a traitor.

Friday, March 13, 2015

It's Either Hillary or Biden

Hillary will survive her email woes, but scandals serve as tests that show the strengths and weaknesses of politicians. What the email scandal showed is that Hillary lacks her husband’s breezy ability to weather political outrage. Instead her paranoia and resentment combine to make her scandals worse.

Democrats are looking for inspiration, but Hillary couldn’t whip up inspiration on a very special episode of Oprah. The petty resentment that Obama camouflages under a likeable exterior is out in the open.

That’s why the media doesn’t like her. Hillary doesn’t pretend to inspire. She’s running to win.

Obama could have been using a private email server out of Tehran and the media would have dismissed it as a non-issue. Hillary Clinton however is in the middle of a slap fight with the media. The email scandal is a warning that she won’t have a free ride to the nomination. If she wins it, the press corps will protect and serve her. But not until then. And if she falls, the Democratic Party is in big trouble.

Democrats don’t have a lot of non-Hillary options. While the left is pining for Elizabeth Warren to run, and the media’s sudden enthusiasm for Hillary’s emails was prompted by Warren’s hesitancy in even expressing any real interest in running as long as Hillary is inevitable, Warren 2016 remains a fantasy.

Outside the left’s fever swamps, Elizabeth Warren has low name recognition. Name recognition is the only way that Hillary Clinton got this far and Warren has even less charisma than Hillary Clinton. A speech by Warren feels like a lecture. Her public persona careens from outraged to befuddled. Her only advantage is that most people don’t think that she looks like the rich lawyer that she actually is, but that’s because she reminds them of a sour librarian scolding those darn kids making noise in the stacks.

Warren’s routine, fake outrage at the banks that fund her political movement, got old a while back. And she’ll have to tone even the fake outrage down if she wants cash from Warren Buffett. Her only possible reason to run is that if turnout for her next election follows the usual pattern, especially if a Democrat squats in the White House, she may not even be able to keep her seat in the Senate.

While the left’s skill at building a cult of personality around someone you wouldn’t trust to wash your car shouldn’t be underestimated, getting Elizabeth Warren elected tested their limits in Massachusetts. If the Democratic Party gets tied to Warren, it will be betting that it can sell four more years of Obama with Jimmy Carter in a skirt. It would have a better shot at bringing back Dukakis riding in a tank. And nominating yet another Massachusetts Democrat whose last name isn’t Kennedy is a suicide mission for a party that already crashed and burned with Dukakis and Kerry.

But without Warren or Clinton, the slate looks even worse.

For those on the hard left, there’s always Bernie Sanders’ quixotic campaign to lose to anybody and everybody. Sanders recently said that Obama’s mistake was sitting down and talking to Republicans. That’s like running against Stalin on a platform of more Gulags.

Martin O’Malley, a Maryland governor best known for his rain tax, is still waiting in the wings, either to run for president or to get his ObamaCare site working. If Hillary has to back out, he’s the most likely to emerge as a consensus candidate, not because he’s done anything to deserve it, but because he’s the only Democrat below retirement age who wants the job and doesn’t rant aimlessly at the camera.

Under Obama, Maryland’s bedroom communities became a hive of fabulously wealthy government contractors and employees who want to keep on robbing Americans blind. If Hillary stumbles, he won’t lack for donors. He will however lack for less crucial items such as a personality and accomplishments.

O’Malley jumped on the ObamaCare bandwagon early and often. He came away with a trainwreck, having to entirely scrap his exchange site. Tax increases, including the rain tax, didn’t do much to endear him to anyone in Maryland.

6 out of 10 Maryland Democrats say that O’Malley would not make a good president. If he doesn’t have their support, whose support does he have?

That leaves Jim Webb, a man of unpredictable politics who is loathed by much of the left and ignored by nearly everyone else. Webb might be able to win over some of the working class whites that the party has lost, but the same left that thinks Hillary is practically a Republican and that Obama panders too much to the GOP, would do everything possible to stop him if he ever became a real threat.

Webb could go left. He’s already pushing the left’s income inequality meme in his campaign, but he’s stiff and awkward on that… and on everything else. Barring a major national security crisis in which the Democrats suddenly need someone with credibility who can do the tough talk without a teleprompter, he isn’t likely to rise to the top or even get noticed. Think of Wesley Clark and then forget about him. Discounting wild cards, like ex-losers Al Gore and John Kerry trying to mount a comeback, or Vermin Supreme’s candidacy suddenly catching fire (he’s running on a platform of fully funding time travel) that just leaves the Democratic Party with Joe Biden.

Yes, Joe Biden.

Biden is good on the campaign trail (and nowhere else) as long as you ignore his inappropriate outbursts and strange behavior. He is also the only non-Clinton candidate in the race with name recognition. Considering that less than half of Democrats know that the earth revolves around the sun, assuming that they can recognize a candidate based on his or her body of work is excessively optimistic.

Biden is nothing if not memorable. And he’s been chomping at the bit. He didn’t take the second banana gig to wander aimlessly around the White House. If Hillary stays in, the real fight will be between these two miserable remnants of a failed administration squabbling over the nomination like two mangy dogs fighting over a lost hot dog. If Hillary drops out, Joe Biden immediately becomes the pack leader. That’s when the left will pull out all the stops to get Elizabeth Warren into the race, which she’ll lose.

The Democratic Party’s non-Hillary option is Joe Biden. If the Republican Party fails to get its act together, Biden is also America’s non-Hillary option.

Biden has too many obvious and glaring flaws for the Democrats to let him beat Hillary, but without Hillary, it’s going to have a hard time keeping him from dominating a list of obscure candidates. Write off Hillary and the left unites behind Elizabeth Warren, the rest jump behind Martin O’Malley and the media has to go into overdrive to try and destroy Biden before he becomes their party’s nominee.

Either that or they embrace him.

Joe Biden may be a joke, but so is every candidate running. Hillary Clinton is Evita without the sense of style. Elizabeth Warren is a rich lawyer and academic inveighing against the 1 percent. Martin O’Malley had a rain tax. Bernie Sanders is the left-wing alternative that not even the left wants. Al Gore appears to be flirting with yet another presidential run. Biden may be a joke, but at least he knows it.

Biden thinks that he can get the minority vote by riding in on Obama’s coattails and polls suggest that  he may be right. On a campaign trail against Bill Clinton, he would lose, but he’ll be campaigning against the same Hillary who was responsible for that awkward and uncomfortable UN email press conference.

And the media likes Biden. It hasn’t fallen in love with him as their new messiah, but it will accept him a lot faster than it will accept Hillary Clinton.

Biden’s loose lips are a liability, but they have yet to cost him anything. His embarrassing debate behavior and any ridiculous thing he says have become part of his brand. By linking his fortune to Obama, Biden became bulletproof. As a running joke, he’s immune from any standards of behavior.

And the real joke is that Biden may end up having the last laugh from the Oval Office.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Tolerance Surplus

If you ask American, Israeli and European liberals and leftists what the key problem with Islam is, they will answer that there is a lack of tolerance. Not of course a lack of tolerance on the part of the throat-slitters, car burners, gang rapists, car bombers and hate preachers of Islam. On the contrary they will assert that there is a great tolerance deficit on the part of Western nations toward Islam.

In a rational political calculus, we take for granted that the people blowing up synagogues, stabbing their sisters to death for wearing jeans, and kidnapping and beheading people they don't like, are the ones suffering from a tolerance shortage. But to a progressive brutal violence by a minority is always a symptom that they are being oppressed, rather than that they are the ones doing the oppressing.

Since progressives tend to define minority status as proof of oppression, violence is simply another way that the minority responds to being oppressed. So if a pair of well off middle class Muslim professionals drive a car bomb over to a Scottish airport, clearly they were reacting to a whole boatload or planeload of oppression. Perhaps they were outraged over a terrorist being downed by a drone, or saw the name of Allah in an ice cream cone, or maybe it was all the unveiled women. Those are just details in the bigger picture. And the bigger picture is that every First World nation is oppressive and racist. Muslim violence is comeuppance or blowback, and the only solution is to be more and more tolerant of Muslims.

Having classified Western nations as always being in the wrong, and Muslims as being always in the right, where reasonable people see a failure to fight terrorism, progressives see a failure to fight intolerance.

Given a mandate, conservative governments will try to get to grips with violent Islamists. Liberal governments will try to get to grips with anyone who criticizes Islam. And naturally it becomes a good deal more difficult to point out that Muslim violence is a serious problem, when you've passed laws prohibiting anyone from making any mention of Muslims and violence in the same sentence.

This has the convenience of making it illegal to point out the stupidity of progressive policymaking, which is something that their fellow People's Democratic regimes routinely do, at least until everyone begins starving to death. Tens of thousands dead in America, Europe, Israeli and Australia has not done much to chip away at the insistence of multiple governments that Islam is a religion of peace. And even conservatives have adopted the liberal mantra that Islamic violence is something carried out by splinter groups, in response to not being tolerated enough. The solution being more cowbell, or more tolerance. But so far the "Hug them until they love us" approach has not yielded any dividends, except more bombs and bullet holes, and bodies in morgues.

The progressive insistence on a black and white worldview, and on locating the locus of evil within their own society, has made it impossible for the vast majority of them to even consider the possibility that the violent, reactionary, patriarchal and misogynist ideology they should be fighting is Islam, not Christianity or Judaism.

But the problem with expecting people to think outside the box of their beliefs, is that it's simply easier for them not to. For progressives the problem remains not Islam, but people who aren't tolerant enough of Islam. Which creates a rush to feed the "intolerant ones" to the Muslim Crocodile of Peace, in the hopes of being eaten last.

So, Israeli leftists offer up the settlers as the problem. Europe offers up Israel as the problem. European leftists offer up European conservatives. America offers up Europe, Israel and anyone it can lay its long foreign policy mitts on. The Crocodile of Peace grins, chews and demands more.
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The shocking truth though is that the problem has never been a tolerance deficit, but a tolerance surplus. Tolerance is all very well good, but there are some things that shouldn't be tolerated. Murder, rape, car bombings, airplane hijackings and Imams preaching all of the above under the green flag of Islam top the list. The more the tolerance surplus grows, the worse the violence becomes.

Urban policymakers found this out the hard way when they tried to tackle crime by blaming society, not the criminals. Prisons became revolving doors. Cops became social workers. Crime became rampant. It took a new generation of conservative politicians to pass mandatory sentencing laws, victim rights bills, restore the death penalty and stop coddling criminals. And so the tolerance surplus was closed.

Until the tolerance surplus with Islam is closed, the violence that Islam brings to our shores will continue.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Nostalgia for a Pre-Obama America

The one thing that Democrats and Republicans have in common these days is nostalgia for a pre-Obama era. The leading candidates of both parties serve as shorthand for a time before the era of Obama. The last names Bush and Clinton summon up nostalgic visions of their family’s previous administrations.

The Bush and Clinton political express is moving forward not because these families have become dynasties, but because the majority of Americans want to go back to a time before Obama.

Hillary and Jeb are not popular on their own merits. To Democrats, Hillary seems to offer a return to the Bill Clinton days when the economy was up and the country didn’t hate them. To Republicans, Jeb seems to offer a way back to the clearer issues of the Bush years when domestic politics had been temporarily taken off the table. After two terms of Obama’s unfiltered left-wing radicalism on domestic and foreign policy, the potential matchup will return to the triangulation of the Bush-Clinton years with Jeb adopting liberal ideas on domestic policy to appeal to Democrats and Hillary pretending to take a tougher stance on foreign policy and national defense to appeal to Republicans.

The combination may be a nightmare for conservatives, but they need to understand the source of its appeal. Americans desperately want to erase the entire miserable Obama era from history.

There have been dynasties in American politics before, but none of them were driven by this degree of escapism. Americans are not looking to the future. Polls show that they no longer expect the future to bring them a better life. Instead they are nostalgic for a better past. They want the nineties back. They even want the last decade back.

There is no better sign of how miserable Obama’s two terms in office have been than that the last names Clinton and Bush now induce nostalgia, rather than anger. That’s true even among many people of the opposing party. The passing of time has made the Clinton and Bush years seem like a better era.

Conservatives who want to move the country to the right are not just battling the establishment. Much of the country wants to magically return to the way things were without any more conflict. Instead of actually undoing what Obama did, they want to chant “Bush” and “Clinton” to instantly turn back time.

Obama shattered the embryonic Third Way politics that both parties had come to rely on after the Cold War. The radical left has been met by a resurgent conservatism. The old way of doing things in which the Republicans gradually gave ground and the Democrats gradually took it was overturned. The left has shown that it can blow through the legal structures to implement a radical agenda and get away with it. The right has realized that compromising their way to victory is a formula for a permanent defeat.

The Bush and Clinton names promise stability, but that’s only a comforting illusion. The left will no longer be satisfied with its former slow pace of gains and the right will no longer be fooled by them.

Obama was right about the dishonesty of triangulation. When he tossed it out, he did conservatives a favor by exposing the core conflict underlying our politics. He showed his party that a radical was electable. The Republican Party has chosen to ignore the meaning of that lesson. It remains convinced that the only possible political strategy for the right is triangulation. Jeb Bush has already unveiled “Inclusive Conservatism”. But Obama has set a precedent and it’s one that he may come to regret.

The Obama years radicalized both the left and the right. The Clinton and Bush triangulation is an establishment attempt at reasserting the centrality of centrism. But there are already signs that it will not hold. Democrats are longing for Elizabeth Warren. Even if she doesn’t run, the path to beating Hillary lies to the left. Either Hillary will occupy the left or the left will topple her in the primaries.

The Republican primaries have a crowded center and an empty right. The path to victory may lie in letting the centrists fight it out while a conservative candidate holds on to his base in state after state. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush may still take their respective nominations, but they’ll have to change course to do it. And they will emerge from primary season having moved to the left and the right.

And if they both lose, then the 2016 election will become a showdown over the future of America.

Most Americans are apolitically political. They have a native distrust of politicians and are skeptical that anything can really change. That’s why the establishment triangulators run as the sensible candidates; the ones who won’t blow everything up and who will give people the best of both parties. The radical candidates run on change. They speak to those who are angry and frustrated with the way things are.

Republicans haven’t run credibly on change in a while. And that needs to change.

Running on pre-Obama nostalgia is a safe bet. But the Democrats can beat Bush nostalgia with Clinton nostalgia. Republicans have lost two presidential elections running safe bets. In 2016 they’ll be running against another safe bet, which means that their strategy of risking nothing and losing everything may actually pay off. But the only people it will really pay off for, either way, are regulators and bureaucrats.

And it probably won’t work.

Hillary Clinton has spent a long time transforming her public image from an irritating left-wing control freak to an elder statesman by being incredibly boring. Hillary can’t run as the charismatic candidate. She can’t run as the candidate of change. All she can do is run as the boring and sensible candidate who won’t blow everything up. And that’s been the Republican campaign platform for over two decades. If Hillary runs as the Republican candidate, what will the Republicans run as?

Bush and Clinton tap into the country’s emotional need for stability, but its practical need is for change. The underlying debate of the Obama years that we never had was about the relationship between the people and the government. And that is a debate that the country desperately needs to have.

The establishment candidates agree on tilting the balance of power between government and the individual further toward government. The radical left agrees. What’s missing is a candidate who believes in shifting the balance of power away from the government and toward the people.

Without that, there is no way back to pre-Obama times. Instead we’ll continue losing our freedoms and our republic to the expanding power of a vast incompetent state.

A traumatized nation wants to return to a pre-Obama era, but there is no way back without undoing the things that he did. If a candidate of change fails to make Americans understand that, then a decade from now they will nostalgically recall the Obama years and wish that they could go back to those wonderful days.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Ages of Purim

Tonight begins the celebration of the Jewish holiday of Purim.

Like so many Jewish holidays, it is an inconvenient fit for liberal clergy and parishioners who insist that Jewish values consist of social justice.

There is no peace process conducted with Haman, the chief villain of the Purim story. No one tries to understand his point of view or figure out how much bowing he will accept in exchange for calling off the genocide.

Instead he and his fellow conspirators must die.

Purim is a reminder that real Jewish values are not a suicide pact or a soppy tale of moral ambiguity and bleeding heart empathy for genocidal monsters.

Jewish holidays mark historical events by testifying to a G-d of history who is less concerned with feelings and tolerance, than with justice and truth.

Mordechai, like most Jewish Biblical figures, makes for a terrible progressive role model. He doesn't compromise. Even after Haman has passed his decree, he still won't bow to him. He causes the crisis and resolves it by being uncompromising.

Purim began when he refused to bow to the Grand Vizier of a multicultural empire. Jewish leaders hurriedly reassured him that this fanatic was in no way representative of their values. Hadn't they attended the feast where the sacred vessels of their own people were used to serve spirits to the mob? Rather than anticipating the return to their land at the end of the prophesied period of exile, they had cheered the brutish tyrant and made Sushan, his capital, into their new holy city.

The illusion of history is that every age brings with it the end of history, a new age whose awesome achievements break with the past and usher in a boundless future. And then the walls come crashing down and the new era of history ends up buried under the rubble of time.

History never ends. That is the lesson of the Holocaust, of Purim and of countless other horrifying intrusions of the old into the new. The shining new era that begins with grand public spectacles and displays of the power and might of an empire, ends with corpses and men and women fighting and running for their lives.

The Jewish people, break down into Jews and New Age Jews.

The Jews wandered a meandering course through history using ancient maps and concerning themselves with a past that modern people dismissed as myth and legend. The New Age Jews saw a new era of history that made all those old moldy beliefs completely irrelevant. History had ended and a new age had begun. How could they be expected to take a few fairy tales retold by barbarians seriously? Such things weren't for enlightened people who were witnessing the end of history.

The old Jews know what the New Age Jews do not, that history has not ended, that the past is still with us and that it has sharp teeth. They know that Man has not changed, that his sophistication is still only a shell and that sooner or later the shell cracks. If it does not crack from within, then it is cracked from without. While the New Age Jews sneer at the Holocaust obsession, Jews know that the past in all its awful terrors is a map and that forgetting it carries a terrible price.

Those who feel time in their bones know the patterns of history and can never lose themselves in one age or fall into the fallacy of a new era. They know that there is nothing new under the sun. Machines may come and go, but the world is a broken place because the hearts of men have not turned from their ways. And so they remember that every age carries within it the seeds of its ruin. They witness the ruin, climb out of the rubble and move on.

Liberal pieties embrace the new age, fixate on a final transformative era of history at the hands of messiahs who promise to make the world into a better place. Clergy who preach the cant of Tikkun Olam cannot meaningfully cope with that history. Their tattered scraps of philosophy that they mistake for a religion has no room in it for the bloody-minded men who stride through history without saving the whales.

Purim, a holiday preceded by a fast kept by the men going into battle and their loved ones, is not about progressive. It is about survival. Not mere survival, but the skin of the teeth sense of how close we came, that moment of revelation which pulls back the curtains of the material world and reminds us of the impossibility of our survival under all the ordinary rules of the world that new ages are founded on. It reminds us that behind the  brick and mortar of the material world is a force that breaks apart history, that saves us when we should have died, that has entrusted us with a mission. It reminds us of what the world is and reminds us of Itself and of what we are.

When you stand on the edge of death, life is a revelation. It is not our deaths under the Egyptian sun, the blades and bullets of a thousand empires and kingdoms, or the ovens of Dachau that we are obsessed with. It is that moment of survival. The revelation that even amid the horrors of all that we have witnessed and the terrible things that we had to do to survive, we have risen out of the ground, watched the flesh cover our bones and stood alive again upon the earth. Every time we survive, we are reminded of the fragility of the material world and of our enemies who wielding every power and trick, have failed to destroy us. Each time we rise, we transcend the world, in confronting our dead, we confront our immortality.

It is not a purely joyous experience. The day of Purim is preceded by a day of fasting. Before the celebration comes a day of battle as the struggle to survive, the long decline into the abyss, the final desperate hours, suddenly give way to the upheaval of an impossible salvation. We remember the pain, the sense of the grave closing over us, the bodies lying everywhere, the certainty that we will be next.

We accept the hopelessness of our situation and then we walk out of the grave and praising G-d, sit down to the feast.

This is Jewish history. It is an alien one to the New Age Jew who clings tightly to the new era and its rules, to its pieties and its mores, who scowls at the old ones for refusing to come and join the imperial festivities where the vessels of the temple are used to serve drinks and the mob toasts that the seventy years have come and gone, and still there is no chance of the Jews returning to their Jerusalem and reclaiming the lost history.

"The past is the past," says the New Age Jew. "The past is the present is the future," says the Jew.

The feast of the New Age is the celebration of the end of history, a golden time with an unlimited bounty for all, where the wine and the free health care will never run out, where everyone will live together under one government in perfect brotherhood for all time. Many Jews are drawn to this feast, its golden vessels, its vast bounty and its glorious ideals. But then the Grand Vizier begins to speak and some of them grow uneasy for though he speaks soothing words, they sense that he is a monster.

They don't always know how they know it, but the nagging feeling creeps into them that there is something rotten at the heart of this new age.

Most of them still bow to him, touching their heads to the floor, some even celebrate his vision. They assure others that he is our friend, the only man who can realize the promise of this age, a wise and noble leader whose vision of change brings new hope. But one or two stay away from the feast and refuse to bow to him. Instead they look to Jerusalem, to where the battle between good and evil was once fought, and where it will be fought again. They know him for what he is.

The Grand Vizier knows that he must destroy them, must destroy them all, because they have seen through what he is, and through the shallow trappings of the golden age of fools. They know that there is more to the world than the might of men and the cornucopias of kings. They know that he is not all-powerful and when he looks at them, a scowl wrinkles his face, because now he knows it too.

So he casts a lot, random chance in a random world where chance is supreme and the whim of every ruler outweighs the weight of history. The bills are signed, the laws are passed, the decrees go out, the officers from the vast imperial bureaucracy are assigned to inform every citizen that their new age will be inaugurated with blood. A people who are not a proper part of the multicultural empire of laws must be wiped out in a properly democratic fashion.

Crowdsourced genocide.

And then the Grand Vizier ends up dangling from a rope, the tanks break through to Berlin, the chariots fall into the sea, the mustachioed dictator dies in a bedroom outside Moscow his clothes soaked in his own urine-- and everything has gone completely wrong.

It's an old story and a new story. We tell it over and over again because it is always happening. It is our story and the story of the world. It is the story we have accepted from our parents and it is the story that we will pass on to our children. It is the story of the blood sacrifice of the New Age that goes wrong. The sacrifice survives, bloodied and scarred, while the New Age goes down to ruin.

Once again we are the sacrifice to be slaughtered on the altar of peace with the Muslim world, of an  age of global government and the brotherhood of man for which only a few million people need to die. The knife is sharpened, the Grand Vizier and his aides smile, and the time is almost here. But it is not here yet. Now we sit down to hear the Megillah and remember how the story always ends.

Monday, March 02, 2015

The Obama Inquisition

If you want to infuriate a liberal, question his patriotism. He’ll sneer, mock and ridicule the question. And then when he is up against the wall, he will mumble that the real patriots don’t need to wear flag pins because they covertly perform their patriotism in the dead of night when no one is looking.

He may even trot out that fake Jefferson quote about dissent being the highest form of patriotism. No, Teddy Roosevelt didn’t say it either. He did however say that “Patriotism means to stand by the country… It does not mean to stand by the president... save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country.”

And he meant it, ruthlessly attacking Woodrow Wilson until Democratic Senator William J. Stone called the former president “the most seditious man of consequence in America”.

Dissent stopped being patriotic the very second that Obama entered the Oval Office. Suddenly it became unspeakable treason and racist sedition.

Patriotism could be questioned again, but not for the love of country, only for the love of a president.

The patriotism practiced by Republicans was the patriotism of Teddy Roosevelt, standing by the country rather than by a man. And standing by him exactly to the degree in which he stood by the country. That is what Giuliani did. To this the Democrats answered with the patriotism of Obama, launching witch hunts against anyone whose love of Obama appeared to be lacking in sincerity and enthusiasm.

Now the media is questioning Scott Walker’s patriotism. Not his love of country, but his love of Obama.

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank fumed that Scott Walker had replied to a question about whether Obama was a Christian with “I don’t know.” “This is not a matter of conjecture. The correct answer is yes,” Milbank angrily prompted like Orwell’s O’Brien lecturing Winston Smith about the virtues of Doublethink.

Of course the correct answer is, “I don’t know.” Or as Walker put it, “You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?”

No one knows whether Obama is a Christian, loves the country or wears ballet slippers to bed. These are hypothetical questions. Milbank wants them to be prerequisites for getting elected, writing that Walker’s confession of ignorance on Obama’s inner faith “disqualified him” from being president.

The question was ridiculous and asked in bad faith. Candidates are not normally interrogated about the religions of other politicians. The only reason to ask it was to force Walker to affirm Obama’s virtues. Instead of providing testimony for his own faith, he was asked to provide testimony for Obama’s faith.

Call it the media’s Obama Inquisition. No one expects it, but by now everyone probably should.

Obama doesn’t need to love America. That would be one of those vulgar displays that our bicoastal elites sneer at and class together with Wal-Mart and country music. But Republicans still need to verbally profess that Obama is a Christian who loves America, motherhood and arugula pie.

We no longer have a political test based on the love of the country, but we do have one based on the love of Obama. We don’t have to wear flag pins; we have to wear Obama pins. Showy displays of patriotism are for tacky flyover country types. Obama holograms, alongside Jesus holograms, are sold on the streets of every inner city. The upscale version of that is the ubiquitous Obama logo that can be spotted on the back bumper of every ecologically conscious Subaru from San Francisco to Boston.

And there’s nothing showy or tacky about those expressions of Obamatism.

Politicians no longer have to demonstrate love of God and country. Instead they, as Scott Walker has learned, have to affirm their faith in the verities that have replaced them; Obama and evolution. These are what a serious candidate in the non-exceptional Post-American nation of ours must believe.

To question them, even implicitly by failing to affirm them, is progressive Post-American blasphemy. And the Obama Inquisition is relentless in ferreting out even the mildest inquiring eyebrow of heresy.

Nobody knows what is in Obama’s head except the man himself and his team of psychiatrists. But it doesn’t matter what is in Obama’s head. It matters that we believe particular things about Obama.

We must have faith in Obama.

The left has replaced nationalism with a cult of personality. And cults of personality are fragile. We accept flaws in a nation because it includes our own flawed selves. But to believe in a man, he must be perfect. The naked emperor cannot be challenged because everyone is only one loud exclamation away from realizing that not only isn’t he wearing any pants, but that everyone else sees it too. And then the cult shudders under a wave of laughter traveling at the speed of sound from coast to coast.

The left whined that displays of patriotism singled them as if they were part of some lurking seditious force out to undermine America. Which is a perfectly absurd notion as Professor Bill Ayers could tell you. But now the media rants that Scott Walker’s lack of faith in Obama’s patriotism and faith are a “wink” and a “dog whistle” to the nefarious anti-Obama forces lurking in the heartland.

Paranoia about enemies of the country who must be stamped out has been replaced with paranoia about enemies of Obama who must be stamped out. It is not enough that a politician does not personally question Obama’s patriotism. He must also testify to Comrade Obama’s patriotism. That is what is truly being demanded of Scott Walker.

He must denounce the idea that Obama, who thinks the Bible has a verse in it about not throwing stones when you live in a glass house, is anything but a Christian. He must verbally assert that Obama loves America as that is the new post-American pledge of allegiance. It is not enough not to question Obama. Scott Walker must have faith in Obama’s goodness. And that demand is as Un-American as Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright.

Americans have never been forced to bow to a man. They have never been forced to believe in a man. They have never been forced to pledge their allegiance to a sovereign, rather than to the nation.

For six years, America has suffered under a hysterical atmosphere of media paranoia about dark forces spreading hate and undermining Obama. Not even the most zealous anti-Communist ever spent as much time fulminating about secret subversives as the average MSNBC talking head. Even the mildest criticism has to be relentlessly stamped out and exposed as part of a vast anti-Obama conspiracy.

It has reached such a point that the failure to praise Obama disqualifies a candidate for public office.

It’s not a completely unprecedented state of affairs. Woodrow Wilson’s administration saw men jailed for everything from private conversations to making a movie about the American Revolution. Teddy Roosevelt, a former president, was threatened with prison by Democrats, both subtly and unsubtly, for his articles attacking the administration’s policies. But there was still no cult of personality of Wilson.

Democrats no longer have patriotism at their disposal. They can’t rally the nation for love of country. They don’t even believe in the government unless they’re running it. That just leaves them with a man.

The cult of personality is no longer just an option. It’s their only option. Obama is all they have.

And if you don’t believe in Obama, you’re a racist enemy of all that’s good and progressive who is going to liberal hell. Or as they call it, Portland.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Our Crucial Choice of the War on Terror

There are two models for fighting terrorism. We can see the terrorists as an external invading force that has to be destroyed or as an internal element in our society to be managed.

In the War on Terror, Bush saw terrorists as an external force that had to be fought while Obama sees them as an internal element to be managed. And while both men signed off on some of the same tactics, their view of the conflict at the big picture level was fundamentally different.

The differences express themselves in such things as detaining terrorists at Guantanamo Bay or backing Islamist democracy. If Muslim terrorists are an alien force, then detaining them without trial is no more of a problem than detaining Nazi saboteurs was during WW2. And if Islamic terrorism is driven by alien impulses, then it has nothing in common with us and attempting to accommodate it cannot succeed.

Obama and the Europeans see Islamic terrorism as a social problem whose root causes need to be resolved rather than defeated. It’s the old model used for the radical left which was “fought” by mainstream parties adopting elements of its program to compete with it… with disastrous results.

But the results of adopting elements of the Islamic program would be even worse.

Obama blamed the Paris terror attacks on a failure to integrate. But Islamic terrorism is an attempt to integrate Europe into Islam. The bombs and bullets, like the Sharia patrols and the No-Go Zones, are statements by Muslims that they will not be integrated into Europe. Europe must integrate with them.

Muslim terrorists reject the assumption that they are a domestic social problem. To the Muslim born in France or the UK, who may even be a native convert, the domestic social problem comes from Jews and Christians who refuse to acknowledge the supremacy of Islam, from cartoonists who draw Mohammed and from women who leave the house. Islamic terrorism is meant to integrate us into the Dar-al-Islam.

If we are going to view Islamic terrorism as a domestic social problem, then we might as well take a look at how Muslim countries deal with terrorism. They rarely declare war against it, but when they do, they tend to engage in ruthless mass slaughter. Jordan may have killed as many as 20,000 Palestinian Arabs in its fight with the PLO. Assad’s father may have killed 40,000 Syrians in Hama when putting down the Muslim Brotherhood. The death toll from the current conflict hovers at around a quarter of a million.

But Muslim countries rarely fight terrorism. Like Obama, they mostly manage terrorism.

In Muslim countries, terrorism actually is an internal element. It’s not an alien force, but an ongoing momentum of expansion and conflict that predates the airplane and the bomb. This is the tool that Mohammed and his successors used to conquer sizable portions of the world. That’s why Muslim countries don’t fight terrorism. They export it.

Jihad is a ticking time bomb that they dump on their enemies. Major Muslim countries sponsor terrorist groups the way that we sponsor sports teams. Sometimes they fight a terrorist group and then sponsor it and fight it again. Sometimes they sponsor it and fight it at the same time. That’s the kind of situation that gives counterterrorism experts headaches, but maintains a bizarre kind of stability in the region.

A Muslim country with a terrorist problem points the terrorists to another country. That’s a major reason why Lebanon, Syria and Iraq are disaster areas. It’s also why our Gulf allies keep funding the terrorists attacking America. Not only is it the religiously devout thing to do and confers geopolitical advantages on them, but it’s also the international equivalent of dumping your toxic waste next door.

Exporting Islamic terrorism is something that Muslim countries can do more easily than non-Muslim countries can. The Russians are about the only non-Muslims to have managed to do it without getting hurt too badly. Our own efforts in dabbling with foreign Muslim terrorists have been disastrous. Trying to export domestic Muslim terrorists into another conflict would be a terrible idea.

Nevertheless the West is doing just that in Syria, intentionally or unintentionally. And the consequences will be quite serious because unlike the Saudis, we can’t keep generating international conflicts for them to fight in fast enough to prevent them from coming home and killing Americans.

Obama and the EU are trying to manage Islamic terrorists, but only Muslim countries can do that. In the Muslim world, terrorist groups function as unofficial militias, proxy armies that can be dispatched to fight their enemies. But Islamic forces fight for an Islamic cause. Obama can claim that America is one of the world’s largest Muslim countries, but he can’t call on their Islamic allegiance to the United States.

The most crucial decision in our approach to Islamic terrorism is to decide whether it represents a foreign or domestic element. If we treat Muslim terrorists as a domestic force, then we will have to cater to them. The path of appeasement will eventually lead to adopting some form of Islamic law even if we do it under the guise of our existing legal system, such as prosecuting blasphemy against Islam under hate crime laws. But as we attempt to manage Islamic terrorism, the violence will increase.

Eventually we will discover that the only way to compete with Al Qaeda or ISIS is to adopt elements of the Islamic program, the way that the West did with the radical left. That is what most Muslim countries have already done. And if we do it, then we will have defeated ourselves. That is why the approach advocated by Obama and the European Union is bound to fail. The United States is not a Muslim country and it cannot afford to manage terror the way that Muslim countries do.

The Islamic terrorist is not a legitimate domestic element in America, the way that he is in Pakistan or Syria, because he has no function here. The United States is not in need of freelance fanatical militias following a foreign creed that puts them at odds with Americans. If we attempt to cultivate Islamic terrorists, then we will still end up becoming their first, or at best, second choice of targets.

The West can only defeat Islamic terrorism by treating it as a foreign element; an outside force that must be destroyed, rather than accommodated. Unlike Islamic countries, we cannot accommodate it without destroying what we are. And we cannot make use of it without destroying ourselves.

Europe still insists on seeing Islamic terrorism as a domestic social problem and if its Muslim population continues to grow, then eventually it will be correct. Islamic terrorism will cease to be a foreign threat to Europe and become the means by which its non-Muslims are integrated into accepting Islamic rule.

The United States however is not an Islamic country in any sense of the word. It does not face the same demographic danger as France. And it should not treat Islamic terrorism as a domestic element.

To defeat an enemy, we have to view it as external to ourselves. When we accept Islam as a domestic phenomenon to be grappled with, managed, moderated and deradicalized; then we give up on the possibility of defeating it because an internal problem that is part of us can never truly be defeated.

And that defeatism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When we treat the War on Terror like the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty, then we accept the impossibility of winning. Instead we adapt to a European mindset of managing the fallout from the latest batch of attacks. Terrorism becomes no different than crime; a threat we try to live through without hope of ever seeing it end. And that way lies a police state and numberless terror attacks for it to police.

Declarations of war are important because they remind us that we have an external enemy. Internal enemies may be a part of us, but external enemies are not. We can defeat them without defeating ourselves. We are not doomed to fight an endless struggle with Islam unless we make it a part of us.