February 23, 2010 - February 16, 2010
One of our commenters on the last
post provides an excellent example of the mentality that's driving
much of the left today. So I thought it would be worth responding to.
Not because anything can change his mind, because nothing can. He's
living as happily in his own world as the permanently miserable are
ever able to. But it might be instructive to take a closer look at what
amounts to an unbroken string of cliches, stupid assumptions, and the
kind of arrogant wrongheadedness which can only be achieved by the
shallowest of minds. Here's his comment in full:
Now for some closer attention to his content. The nom de guerre he
chooses is interesting. It's derisive, of course, which suggests at the
outset that his own leftism is of the internationalist, blame America
for everything variety. His opening shot confirms it:
Yes, he's a member of the young, superior left. Anyone who
opposes his own rigidly held notions is by definition a
"ridiculous cracker asshole." He is stooping even to communicate with
us, which is why he couches his question in terms of irrelevant
hilarity. I'll get to his question in a bit, because it's one whose
answer is not well understood even by many conservatives. But first,
we'll uncover what he's telling us about himself in his next blasts.
It turns out that Captain America's reason for rejecting the idea that
Obama might be a marxist is that he's a devout marxist himself. The
view of America as a wholly corporate enterprise in which the elected
government essentially takes orders from big business is, of course,
the contemporary packaging of anti-capitalism. What's the alternative
to capitalism? The state-run command economies of marxist inspired
nations like Cuba, North Korea, and the old Soviet Union, all of which
pushed their peoples into poverty and often into famine, mass
imprisonment, and slavery. But we're the "ridiculous cracker assholes"
for not accepting unquestioningly that theirs was the better way.
The designation of the U.S. as "the great American Imperial Project" is tired old leftism at its worst, a retread of sixties campus radical rhetoric that couldn't be more ridiculous itself in the context of a Soviet Union that colonized and enslaved eastern Europe for close to half a century. His own next conclusion is comically self-defeating. If we're really an empire, why on earth would we care about a "bad rep" in our colonies? Obviously it wouldn't matter what kind of "PR" we were getting, any more than it mattered to the Soviets that their "PR" was bad in Czechoslovakia after they sent the tanks in to reassert totalitarian control.
In case we missed his earlier revelation that he's a pompous
twenty-something ideologue, he gives us more crude sexual imagery as a
way of reasserting his superiority over us. And then he lets us know
the real reason he's upset about our calling Obama a marxist. Captain
America wishes Obama were a
marxist. He's profoundly disappointed
that he can't bring himself to believe it.
Ah yes. The leftist love of doom and gloom, which is supposed to
inspire and attract us as followers somehow. Do they ever stop to
wonder why this particular part of their anti-capitalist message
doesn't bring us all cheering and applauding to our feet? No. They're
so infatuated with their own cynical nihilism that it never occurs to
them why all civilizations
eventually fall. They fall precisely because the people at some point
come to believe that their best days are behind them and lose the
courage required to overcome ordeals their forebears dealt with
successfully before. Captain America and his ilk are the spearpoint of
that sentiment in the world of today. They are so self-obsessed their
vision confines them to (hopefully on their part) self-fulfilling
The argument that we are doomed because of finite space and finite resources is wholly specious. You can argue that it's true at some conceptual level, but it's fatuous at any contemporary pragmatic level. Individual resources may be finite, but the population of potential resources is so numerous as to be effectively infinite. The only real writing on the wall is the childish scribbling of those who don't understand the power of technology or appreciate the power of human ingenuity. The impossibility of continued expansion and growth through many future human lifetimes is a rhetorical trick. It depends absolutely on assuming that we can know what science will not be able to accomplish in harnessing the energy potential of magnetism, sand, and solar winds. We can't.
The doom of the leftists is essentially a romantic ideal, as old and irrational as the endless divine promises of doom in the ancient religions they scorn so ferociously. But the story is the same story. Man is evil and must be punished. They can't wait for the punishment part because they want to belong to the brilliant elite in charge of the punishing. If you're a cynical nihilist, that's as close to something like heaven as you'll ever get.
Captain America closes as he began, of course, with crude sexual
imagery and another one of his odd, built-in self-rebuttals. Accusing
us of being the ones who desire "big, strong, powerful" "leaders" is
pure projection. The commenters he's trying to respond to only want a
president, a man who loves his country and regards himself as being in
their service, not in control of every aspect of their lives.
This commenter is, regardless of his chronological age, a child and therefore consumed with childish things that require no logic or explanation. However, he has asked one question that's worth real consideration. Who knows? He might even like the answer.
Why do some of us "cracker assholes" assert that Obama is a marxist? Because his own autobiographies describe an intellectual education that repeatedly found marxist ideas and marxist-inspired activists a congenial resource. The taproot of all his political philosophy as a young man was the radical anti-Vietnam War movement that arose in the late 1960s. If it wasn't in the beginning, this movement rapidly became expressly marxist, allying itself with the communist North Vietnamese and therefore explicitly opposed the "capitalist, imperialist pig" Amerika. Don't tell me this is isn't so. I was there. I saw the dreary stream of mimeographed diatribes that papered the campuses in those days.
As the movement splintered into more radical and openly revolutionary factions, Mao's little red book became a bible of groups like the Weathermen who thought they were the spearhead of an actual violent, and yes, marxist, overthrow of the United States government. It was during this period that they became formal partners with the violent fringe of the civil rights movement, which spawned the Black Panthers as well as the Nation of Islam. The combination of black nationalist political entities with the marxist/Maoist tactics of the far radical left is what led to the Black Liberation Theology of people like Jeremiah Wright, a lineage you can trace in its vocabulary and politics. (The religious component is a threadbare figleaf; lovers of Christ who hate almost everyone are a contradiction in terms and more importantly an easy route to tax-free status.)
It was the alumni and remaining activists from this heritage that were most appealing to the young Obama as he recounted it in his two books about himself. He read and admired the content of Saul Alinski's manual for how to subvert systems from within. He teamed up with Weathermen Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn to promote a far left radical agenda to Chicago schoolchildren. He served as a teacher for ACORN recruits and what he taught them was the tactics of the Alinski manual on revolution He formed a twenty-year association with Jeremiah Wright and his church, where the rhetoric of anti-Americanism was culled from the same marxist sources Obama had learned to admire in other aspects of his life and careeer. I'm not even going to link this stuff, because the source materials for it are overwhelming, unassailable, and easily accessible.
Indeed, the only argument that can be made against these influences as central to the current political philosophy of Barack Obama is that he's older now than when he first formed his political orientation. We are being fed a bland assumption, based on absolutely nothing, that the years must have mellowed him and if he now speaks like a moderate, he must in fact be a moderate.
Why must he be? Can anyone point me to the third volume in his autobiographical trilogy that recounts his intellectual repudiation of marxist radicalism in favor of moderation? I don't think you can. This tireless writer hasn't written that book because the transformation everyone wants so much to believe in never occurred. Remember that he never repudiated Wright until political expediency absolutely required it. In sounding like a moderate, he is only following the instructions in Alinski's manual, saying whatever it takes to get inside the power structure you wish to subvert.
I don't doubt that he's a marxist because there's no evidence he's ever been anything but. And there's abundant evidence that there's nothing he professes to believe in public that he won't change, retract, or reverse himself on at a moment's notice.
Which means the only remaining question is just how daring and successful he will be in steering this country very sharply to the left. I concede the jury is still out on that one. Maybe he's as callow and fatally over-ambitious as he seems to many of us. Maybe his courage will fail him. Maybe his political skills aren't up to the task. Maybe the congressional and other leaders in his party will bully him into pursuing a less suicidal course for the party and the nation. And maybe, as Captain America believes (though for all the wrong reasons), the free market will ultimately defeat his intentions.
The American people still get a say, too. If Captain America believes that a solid majority of citizens will ever buy into his favorite arguments, we still have a chance to get our country back. Whatever he thinks he's selling, Americans won't be buying in the kind of numbers that would be required.
. We know you're all happy and gloaty about now. And I have
no intention of spoiling your fun. God knows you've waited for it long
enough and will have very little time to enjoy it before your messah
sinks hip deep into problems no first-time executive will ever be able
to solve... BUT. Since nobody else is likely to tell you this, here's a
tip that you might want to keep in mind.
There's an easy way to tell in any leftist political movement whether you're on the inside or the outside of the real power circle. It's an important distinction. Those inside the circle prosper and are elaborately rewarded for their participation. Those outside the circle are expected to shut up, go away, be completely ignored until the next election cycle, and look happy the whole time nonetheless.
Your side lives and conquers by the Big Lie.
For example, black people have been outside the liberal power circle ever since the Democrat Party adopted them to get Lyndon Johnson elected president. More Republicans than Democrats voted for the landmark Civil Rights bill in 1964, but Democrats convinced black people that they were the party of racial equality. Everything Democrats have done since has accomplished nothing but keep black people segregated, educationally deprived, and imprisoned in a destructive welfare-crime-victim mentality that systematically deprives them of real American opportunity while ensuring that racial resentments can never abate.
Close to half a century later, black people still regard equality as a remote and receding ideal. Why? Probably not directly malicious. It's just that others inside the circle had more influence and a greater command on party votes. Democratic allegiance to the National Education Association ensured that black Americans would remain trapped in incompetent public schools because vouchers were out of the question. Urban renewal projects that destroyed black neighborhoods and families looked good but served primarily to enrich urban construction contractors who always have their hooks into city hall and the necessary U.S. congressmen. Affirmative Action programs promised a brilliant future but merely extended ghetto segregation into the nation's best universities, where a brand new tradition of inevitable failure and demonstrated inferiority guaranteed yet another generation of dependency on the left's Big Lie that genuine racial equality was still, always, tantalizingly, just around the corner.
Are you starting to get it yet? No? You can tell that you're outside the power circle if you actually believe the Big Lies your side is telling and expecting you to repeat to anyone who will listen. Because inside the circle, the crafters of the lies know that they are exactly that and exactly why and how they are using them to their own personal benefit.
Do you believe the lie that George Bush went to war in Iraq, on his own hook, without massive Democrat support, based on worldwide intelligence that told the same story from nation to nation and spy agency to spy agency? Then you're outside the circle. All the Democrat power brokers know that this was a gigantically huge lie which they used ruthlessly to destroy the president of the United States and savage his foreign policy.
Do you believe the lie that the current financial crisis was caused by George Bush's tax cuts for the rich? Then you're outside the circle, because the Democrat U.S. Senators and Congressmen are well aware that their pandering on the question of "home ownership for the underprivileged" violated basic economic principles and generated a cancer that devoured the entire U.S. financial system.
Do you believe the lie that raising corporate taxes and imposing "windfall profit taxes" somehow helps average Americans? Then you're outside the circle. The truth is so simple that even left-wing legislators understand that corporate taxes are always paid, in full, every damn penny's worth, by average Americans, who pay the total costs of doing business in the prices they pay for goods and services. When the corporate tax rate goes up, prices go up. You pay them with every loaf of bread, every trash bag, every used car, every prom dress, every condom you buy. But they tell you the lie that they are on your side and are looking out for you when they raise taxes on all the entities and institutions which actually create jobs, meaning that there will inevitably be fewer jobs for average American like you. Why do they tell you such a lie? Because the more helpless and dependent you feel on their power to intervene via government on their behalf, the more likely they are to remain in power.
Do you believe the lie that all the problems in the world can be solved by being nice to foreign countries and leaders who openly despise and hate us? Then you are outside the circle. Everyone in power knows that whatever we did after 9/11 was bound to piss everybody off, friend and enemy alike. Because we're the rich uncle of the world. Meaning you are the rich uncle of the world, endlessly obligated to give and give and give to every poor relation who taps you on the shoulder with a meaning cough. What? You don't feel like a rich uncle? Why the hell not? Is it possible that foreign countries are like your obnoxious next-door neighbor? You know the one. He's entitled to play loud music in the middle of the night, every night, without rebuke, but if your poplar tree overhangs his side of the fence, he's also entitled to lop off the offending branches and kill it dead, without rebuke. Will appealing to his good side help? No? Then why do you believe the lie that Iran is more reasonable than your asshole neighbor?
Do you believe the lie that the biggest problems facing the world are global warming and American overuse of natural resources like oil and natural gas? Then you're hopelessly outside the circle. Nobody in power gives a rat's ass about potential crises that may take a hundred years to affect some modest percentage of the world's people. They care about them only if they can use your fear to increase their power, their own remoteness from consequences, and their authority to reach into your wallet for more taxes. They also know that if we use a higher percentage of the world's resources than anybody else, that's a net plus. We get the highest percentage return from it, meaning the greatest productivity, the most wealth creation, which drives the entire global economy. Or didn't you know that?
Do you believe the lie that the government really cares about your health, your healthcare, and your lifespan? Then you don't understand the circle of power at all. Have they outlawed tobacco and cigarette smoking? No. Because then they'd lose the incredibly onerous and regressive taxes they impose on cigarettes. They care about your healthcare only if it enables them to make more businesses -- insurance, hospitals, medical practices, pharmaceutical giants -- dependent on them for profit, permission, existence. That's what it means to be "liberal." Inside the circle, that is.
Your side is dedicated to only one constituency: power. If you don't understand that, you're outside the circle. Any good they do you is the sheerest accident, an unintended consequence of a strategy whose prime purpose is to maintain your pitiful dependence on their breathtakingly humongous lies.
Enjoy the next four years. Obama's inside the circle now. Where the hell are you? And more importantly, what the hell are you? You're the meat that baits the trap.
. The online
editor of the National Review
(a fine Irish lady despite her puke-inducing interview with Peggy
Noonan) gave the best advice:
What is needed right now is completely mindless music. By which I mean
music that is expressly designed to shut down all parts of the brain so
completely there's nothing left but autonomic responses, like, say, the
Maybe you think there has to be a dancing pole for music like this.
Not that it hurts.
It's just that what really matters is the beat, even if it's from very
Exercise is good, too. Keeps the brain from getting involved.
Even foreigners can help provide distraction with a proper beat.
Ever notice how good the Germans are at not thinking?
I mean, really.
But personally, we still prefer American blondes.
And even if sad thoughts still manage to creep in, they're not all
political. Some of them are just human.
Good luck with ducking the election. We'll be listening to Zevon here.
"Please Stay," seems right somehow. We just miss him. And maybe the time
is coming when we'll find new meaning in his call for "Lawyers, Guns, and
Money." Let's hope not.
. I have no intention of being gracious about this. I'd like to say I never thought I'd see
the day we'd elect a president of the United States who hates the
United States, but the truth is I've been fighting against this day for
35 years. I always knew this day could come. I just hoped it wouldn't.
Right now I'm in the mood for kicking ass and taking names. Top of the list, John McCain. I always had doubts about whether he really wanted to win, and his refusal to use the legitimate issue of Jerermiah Wright seals it as far as I'm concerned. After that, the turncoat Republican pundits -- David Brooks, George Will, Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, David Frum, Christopher Buckley, Ann Applebaum, Michael Smerconish, and the snipers like Michelle Malkin and even Ann Coulter -- it doesn't matter who you ultimately voted for, because you did your damage long before election day. You helped turn this country over to a vengeful marxist without portfolio because he made your panties wet. I don't care how much damage it does to the Republican Party to read you out of it. The Republican Party is better off without you, ALL of you. Go to hell. Except, sadly, you're taking all of us with you.
Next up, the American people. I urge you to support your new president with all your patriotic fervor and belief. Because I won't. I refuse to accept a president who thinks our constitution is fatally flawed and who sees nothing wrong with choosing a black racist as a mentor or a murderous terrorist as a partner in a conspiracy to radicalize school children rather than teach them to read and write. To every one of you who voted for this pampered, resentful faker, I have just four words: I spit on you.
And, no, I'm not urging violence of any kind. I'm simply declaring my unalterable opposition to the worst electoral decision this country has ever made. I will not wait and see. I will not give him the benefit of the doubt. I will not hope for the best. His election is the greatest catastrophe that has befallen this republic in 232 years. Clinton was just corrupt. Obama is a nemesis. I will do everything I can to turn him legally out of office as soon as possible.
I'm sure there's going to be a lot of making nice in the next few days and weeks. I won't be part of that. When you get sick of all the attempts to put the best possible face on this unutterable disaster, come here. We'll be at the old stand as usual, fighting for what remains of this stricken dream, our country.
Back to Our Roots:
. It's all
been a comedy for the last couple turns around the sun, but tomorrow will
declare itself as a morality play or a tragedy. Not to put too fine a
point on it, but we been around for a long long time. Mad the whole
time. Since this little excrescence in upstate New York in 1969.
Is this really the past? No. It isn't. It's the present. And probably
the future. The Baby Boomers -- i.e., the audience at Woodstock -- are
at the height of their power right now. They're the ones who are
driving this election. They own the universities, the government
bureaucracies, the mass media, the public school system, the
environmental movement, the Global Warming hysterics... all the places
they ran to hide when they were ducking the draft in the 1960s and all
the places they went to ground after American conservatives won the
Cold War and destroyed the communist lie twenty years later.
But they had a secret weapon. Popular music and popular culture that masqueraded as counterculture even as they were transforming it into quasi-mainstream culture. They had Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Who, Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others who would raise succeeding generations -- including U2, Nirvana, and Radiohead -- to see western civilization as a monumental failure of a morality that wasn't as immediately gratifying as amorality or immorality.
Truthfully, black musicians had nothing whatever to do with this war. After Hendrix, black music descended almost immediately into the depths of drug- and sex-obsessed funk and then sex- and drug- and money-obsessed rap (with time out for drug- and drug-obsessed jazz). Halleluiah. Once again, as is always the case with radical leftists, white people were carrying the ball. Just as they blackmailed the Jews into betraying their faith in exchange for anti-semitic marxism, they persuaded the blacks into betraying their heritage in exchange for promises of liberation that were never planned by the elites. And in both cases, the lwhite ibs blamed their own deliberate failures on the powers-that-be, even when the powers-that-be were them.
But there's a funny thing about the irrational arts. Sometimes they retain a core of honesty even when they're trying very hard to corrupt themselves in the name of popular shibboleths. Rock and roll, which was born of the African-American blues and jazz, also fed a pure American streak of independence, rebellion, and skepticism that helped bring down the collectivist urge which motivated the sixties radicals. Individualistc rebellion became very big business in a distinctively American Way, to the tune of millions and millions of dollars. A few examples that are pertinent to the choice America will make tomorrow:
Yup. They're the American Rolling Stones. We've seen them in concert. One of the best shows in America. But they're not the only band who knows we're on the edge:
And to complete the showbiz trifecta, here is an appropriate statement
about November, courtesy of Guns'N'Roses:
So we feel a great sense of fatigue. Great great weariness. Black
people have all the musical talent in the world? (Despite all the music
that's actually changed the world?) Black people have all the dancing
talent in the world? (Despite Astaire, Nijinsky, Cyd Charisse, Margot
Fonteyn and Nureyev. Right. This is better? Sure it is.)
And now the 2008 presidential election sits on a knife edge. In these circumstances, we tend to revert to Scot barbarianism, but sometimes the Aussies wll do. Especially on the topic of liberal motivation:
But it's all show biz, right? Rock concerts aren't counterculture
events anymore. They're about money. Even our kids know it. Hell, we
take them to the concerts, as if we were showing them history. We don't
tell them about Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin, but we can show them
My, weren't we cool? Not that we smoked dope or anything, kids. We
didn't. Or if we did, we'll tell you about it later, when you're older.
But if you come with us to this concert, we'll be able to show that we
were cool, too. Even cooler than Pearl Jam, Maroon Five, and whatever
whining alt rock band you're listening to now. We invented the GIANT rock
Oh. Did we show you this part? Probably not.
This is who they were and are to this day. Love the people in general,
and hire the Hell's Angels to keep them in line. Before you vote, do us
one favor. Ask yourself if your love for people permits you to let them
make their own decisions. If you really truly believe you should make
their decisions for them, because you're just so much smarter, admit
that you're one of Obama's Angels and act accordingly. Otherwise, vote
for McCain. No, he's not a rock star. He's just a man. Which is what
the president of the United States was always supposed to be. A man who
can respond like the rest of us to this:
I can pretty much guarantee you Obama doesn't repond to that the way
you do. If it doesn't bother you, vote for him.
Note that we're not predicting how it's all going to go. For the first time ever, we doubt you. Which is the beginning of the end even if it isn't.
Because the beginning of the end began a long long time ago.
Vote. Even if you know we're
going to lose. Vote.
An Open Letter to Michelle Malkin:
I was going to let this go because today should be for pure celebration, but
I can't let it go. I'm too angry. I believe you owe the City of
Philadelphia a formal apology for your gratuitous and inflammatory
cheap shot on October, 30, 2008.
We've defended you here at InstaPunk on multiple occasions, believing
that the kind and amount of abuse you receive via email and lefty
bloggers is unwarranted. But for this post you warrant extreme
criticism. There is no way I can interpret what you wrote as anything
but a thinly veiled racial slur. An unwarranted
Your reference to a political op-ed in the Philadelphia Daily News was sneaky. You know very well, because your Google link corrects your disingenuous emendation immediately, that the column was about the possibility of race riots and race war. Then you proceed to the question about what they will do if Obama wins. Which makes it clear who you were talking about in your headline when you used the word "some."
Your commenters -- whom, I might add, are all subject to your personal approval before they can be permitted the honor of reacting to your posts in print -- understood exactly what you were saying. This little elite of the hand-picked offered up dozens of sniggering jokes about loading their shotguns in preparation for defending themselves against them on Election Night, in addition to all their ignorant and prejudiced characterizations of Philadelphia.
Here's what the Philadelphia police had to say about the malefactors:
Such a scene has absolutely nothing to do with race riots. It has to do
with young idiots of all colors and backgrounds drinking too much in a public setting and spurred on by their
peers -- i.e., other young idiots -- trashing a city street as if it
were a frathouse common room. And the goings-on did not amount to "riots" just because
the police wore riot gear. About two officers were treated for minor
injuries. I believe most of the cities which have experienced actual
riots would be delighted if they had concluded with a few bruises and a
few dozen acts of vandalism instead of a few city blocks burned to the
ground. But maybe that's just me.
You see, I watched some of the early televised celebrations on Broad Street. The first hooligan activity I saw was a crowd of white kids who stormed a local TV news van, climbed on top, probably breaking the satellite dish, and subsequently began rocking it in an obvious attempt to overturn it. Let me repeat the salient fact. They were white kids. I'm sure none of your gun-toting commenters from Oklahoma, Arizona, or Texas have ever seen drunken white college students make asses of themselves and destroy private property after a Big Twelve football game. Right. And do they call those incidents white race riots? Probably not. Of course, their ability to make such a comparison was prevented by your subtle manipulation, which no doubt led them to imagine an emptying of the eternally resentful inner city tenements seeking any opportunity to trash whitey.
Way to go, Michelle Malkin. You are quadruply guilty in this instance. First, you dream up a phony racial issue where there is none. Second, you tolerate without chastisement a population of goon commenters who make you look as bad as your critics insist you are. Third, it didn't even occur to you to congratulate Philadelphia on a victory that brought joy to 99.9 percent of a regional community consisting of some five to seven million people before you scorched them in service to a half-baked political analogy. And fourth, you know better, generally and specifically.
You were born in Philadelphia and grew up in South Jersey, which means you have no excuse for believing all the despicable libel of Philadelphia sports fans that has been disseminated throughout the nation for so many years. You of all people should be aware that Philadelphia's -- and by extension the entire Delaware Valley's -- relationship to its sports teams is a positive and highly instructive example of the bedrock American values you claim to advocate, defend, and treasure in your personal life.
As I write this, more than two million people are thronging the streets of Philadelphia to celebrate a unifying event that transcends all political, racial, ethnic, and economic divisions in a community that is capable of such a display despite our supposedly hopelessly fractured country. Today, no one in this subset of three blue states is wearing or feeling anything but Phillies red. It's a perfect demonstration of the American ideal. As are the fans who have been so reviled by the mass media. Do they boo bad performance and failure? Yes. Absolutely. Like every citizen and dissident who loves his country and has the guts to insist that it be better. Does their loyalty ever falter, their love ever fade? No. The boos are as much a proof of their love and loyalty as the cheers, the overwhelmingly exuberant joy when success is achieved. Even if the intervals between success are more than a quarter of a century.
The parade that has shut down everything in the City of Philadelphia today -- including network TV programming, and syndicated radio broadcasting, and political campaigning, and business, and government -- is the real-world solution to the supposed oxymoron of America's individualistic union. No single Phillies fan -- or Eagles, Sixers, or Flyers fan -- ever abdicates his individual right to criticize the team he loves so much, but he is also instantly prepared to join the unity created by outstanding accomplishment. What better demonstration could you hope for of the American entrepreneurial spirit? The values continuously reinforced by the entire community require hard work, character, individual effort, teamwork, investment in the future, fearless self-criticism, perseverance through hardship, accountability for results good and bad, devotion to the ideal of being the best there is, and ready acknowledgment, by acclamation, of those who have proven themselves to be the best.
That's the exercise Philadelphia is acting out right now for an entire nation -- in the teeth of one of the most bitterly divisive political environments in our nation's history. Of course we can come together, they are showing us. On Broad Street. In Philadelphia. In the City of -- white, black, gay, straight, male, female, rich, poor, Catholic, protestant, muslim, Jew, Democrat, Republican, Italian, Polish, Irish, Russian, German, Hispanic, and Anglo-Saxon -- Brotherly Love.
How you cheapened that epithet. You should be ashamed of yourself. If you are true to the real land of your birth, you will apologize publicly before another 24 hours goes by.
P.S. Anybody who reads this and shares my ire can learn how to email Ms. Malkin at her site. I doubt she'll respond to this post without some pressure in the form of numbers, which is why I'm expecting no response. But I think she deserves some pressure. Don't you?
. Obama has taken to calling the events of September 11, 2001, "a
tragedy," as if it were a simple plane crash. His conservative
counterparts are mired in arguments about which Democratic
administration the Obamessiah's would be a throwback to -- FDR, LBJ, or
that earlier "JC," Jimmy Carter. And while they squabble with each
other about this and about
the future of conservatism (Obamacons
vs. the faithful,
bloggers vs neo-netroots,
you pick it), most seem to be forgetting that the details of analysis
are, at this point, irrelevant. The most alarming retro aspect of an
Obama presidency is that whether it most closely resembles Carter's or
even Huey Long's brief dictatorship of Louisiana, its time window will
certainly be pre-9/11.
Democrats, liberals, the media, the Obama 'movement' are all in a state of denial. They don't like the look of the world the way it is, and so they respond by constantly trying to turn back the clock. They want to repeal the Iraq War altogether, thereby wiping away the need to make a responsible decision about that country's future as well as the present deadly impasse with Iran. They want to undo the harsh realities of the Patriot Act, Guantanamo, the Department of Homeland Security, and even the war in Afghanistan they once supported. That's why they remain so focused on the lone figure of Osama bin Laden. In some part of their numbed and impaired consciousness, it's really still the late 1990s, and if we could place him properly and legally in custody, everything which has happened in the past seven years might yet be prevented. In all these respects, an Obama election has come to represent for them an abracadabra moment that will magically reboot the world.
I'm not saying this is a rational viewpoint. It's a fantasy, of course, but it's one they feed and sustain through a variety of stratagems. That's why the images of 9/11 have been banished from the airwaves. Without those vividly intense reminders, sense memory fades and a determined mind can transform a violently murderous attack into a mere sad event. That's why it has become an offence for any (Republican) politician to mention that day and its terrible costs in the course of a campaign for office. It's become insensitive, exploitative, even odious and obscene to remind the American electorate that there's a considerable population of people out there who want us dead, including innocent women and children.
Such self-deception manifests itself in other ways as well. Why has the left become so psychotically fixated on the myth that the Iraq War came about as a result of "lies" by a handful of Bush administration officials? Even their own leadership saw the same intelligence and came to the same conclusions about the threats posed by Saddam Hussein, which were not confined to weapons of mass destruction but included many other alarming behaviors and hostile acts. Refusing ever to move past the circumstances of the initial decision to go to war enabled the Democrats in congress and at large to avoid taking any responsibility for what to do next. In the end all their fulminations and accusations reduced their role in the policy-making process from what it should have been to a tantrum demand for a "do-over."
Worse, they have chosen to use their denial about the Iraq War to cover their lack of any policy whatsoever about the middle east. Because the Iraq War shouldn't have been fought, they're not obliged to condemn Hamas or Hizbollah. Or the Iranian threat to Israel. It's just George Bush's fault (never mind that this particular clock has been ticking since the Iranians took Americans hostage in 1979), and the only right policy is the backward tick-tick-tick of the senatorial clock.
The grandest of all their acts of denial, however, has been the Obama presidential campaign. O Glory. Let's deny fucking everything. There is no War on Terror. There is no foreign policy issue that can't be ajudicated by simply talking with our enemies in a spirit of free and friendly cooperation.There is no challenge facing the world that can't be met by abdicating all responsibility to the two most impotent, cynical, and racist oligarchies in the world, the United Nations and the European Union. It's perfectly appropriate to elect as president a man who has never been in charge of anything and has never spent as much time in any job as he will spend in his first term in the White House. That's great, even for longtime conservatives like Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, David Brooks, Chris Buckley, and other women who have to change their underwear every time this man speaks in public.
Deep breath. There is no foreign policy mandate. 9/11 didn't happen, not really. The Iraq War didn't happen because we were lied to. The War in Afghanistan didn't happen, either, because Clinton would never have been enough of a fool to let Osama bin Laden get away with five, count'em five, terrorist acts we didn't respond to. Sigh of relief. So. (Second sigh of relief.) We can -- absolutely, positively -- start over. With Obama.
And now, everybody, we have the greatest act of pretend ever attempted. A man who has done nothing, ever, promises that he can heal the entire world with "hope and change." Two words, backed up by no accomplishments of any kind. He has a pleasing baritone voice, a lot like David Hasselhoff (thus explaining why the Germans like him so much), but he's never studied history, economics, or American geography. In fact, he's a fucking dolt about everything but constitutional law, except that he thinks the Constitution should be ditched for African-American Liberation Theology.
Here's the plum. Imagine this as you watch the video below. We Americans, the ones who join in the delusion of denial, decide together that the best way to deal with an all-out attack on America is to elect as our president the son of a muslim African who spent his childhood in muslim Indonesia and returned to the U.S. to build a political career via alliances with black nationalists, American-hating Christians who honored anti-semitic black muslims, former SDS terrorists, and PLO diplomats.
Which leads me to my last instruction. Watch this video. All the way through. It will be hard. I couldn't do it the first or the second time. It's too painful. I'm begging you to watch the whole thing nonetheless, now, on the eve of the election.
The author, Peregrine John, maintains that it's only a chronology. It's much more than that. At the beginning, you get to see the Twin Towers thrusting through the clouds. This is who we are, who we were, the most vivid possible example of American exceptionalism. We just shone.
Then comes the attack. And I've spoken with Peregrine John about this, and he denies it, but if you look, you can see that there is a face of predation in almost every single frame of the assault on the towers. I don't want to overplay it, but this is no accident. It was no "tragedy." It was an attack on the United States of America by forces of, well, evil.
Watch from frame to frame. Does it not look as if the Towers are being eaten?
Regardless. Look at the footage. What in the Obama campaign convinces you that he feels any of the pain -- or meaning -- of this loss? What makes you think he would fight in remembrance?
An event of this sort is too huge to be dismissed as a random tragedy. It sends out ripples. It changes everything that happens after. The world doesn't like us so much because we noticed this happened? Fuck them. But that's just one ripple. The ripples in sum go out and out and out. Eventually, they begin to diminish, as with the declining birth rate of all European nations, while the muslims move in. But an event like this doesn't simply disappear. What's amazing in retrospect is how measured the U.S. response has been. We could have killed them all. Dead. Sicilian style. That's one part of us. But we didn't. We're Americans. Go back to the image of the Twin Towers poking through the clouds. That's us. America. Alone in the world of definite dreams.
But if we can't rebuild those towers, the world will subside into a new barbarian age.
Watch the video. And taste every moment.
Then pass this post on to all your friends. And tell them to pass it on.