Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Poor Little Rich Girl

If ever there was a picture of an angry, pinched, uber-liberal feminist, it's Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher the left-wing Nation magazine.  But for whatever reason, she never makes me angry in return.  On the contrary, her hypocrisy is so blatant that if I happen to listen to her opine on TV (rare) or read her column (rarer still) it always serves instead to make me giggle. 

That includes her latest salvo launched in the Washington Post against the country's conspiring cabal of rich people lead by Mitt Romney and the GOP, of course:  "Warfare Waged by the Upper Class" 

(What is it with Democrats and the "War against FILL IN THE BLANK" metaphor this year?)

The piece is altogether ridiculous, but one little gem of a phrase did catch my eye.  With a straight (but still pinched) face, she describes this first decade of the 21st Century as "an era of Gilded Age inequality."

Gilded Age inequality?  In a country where the "impoverished" have cell phones?

But again, it only made me snicker.

Take it for what it's worth, but according to Wikipedia at least, here's Katrina vanden Heuvel's early-life bio:
Vanden Heuvel was born in New York City, New York, the daughter of Jean Stein, an heiress, best-selling author, and editor of the literary journal Grand Street, and William vanden Heuvel, an attorney, former US ambassador, member of John F. Kennedy's administration, businessman, and author. She has one sister and two step-siblings. Her maternal grandparents were Music Corporation of America founder Jules C. Stein and Doris Babbette Jones (originally Jonas). Through her maternal grandmother, vanden Heuvel is a distant cousin of actor and comedian George Jessel. 
Vanden Heuvel graduated from the Trinity School in 1977.  Vanden Heuvel studied politics and history at Princeton University, writing her senior thesis on McCarthyism and serving as editor-in-chief of the Nassau Weekly.  She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in 1981.
You know, just another working-class stiff like the rest of us.

Remember this the next time you hear or read Katrina vanden Heuvel (and many others like her) rage against the "Man" and maybe you'll laugh too.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Least He Can Do

In a last-minute plea for the less than secure Catholic vote, Catholic Joe Biden appears in an Obama campaign ad laying a guilt trip on fellow communicants with among other lines this familiar one: "We call it Catholic social doctrine: what ever you do to the least of these you do for me.”

That's what ever you do Joe, not what ever you can force your neighbors to do and then take credit for yourself.

Told You So

Yesterday, save for FOX News Sundayno other major network even mentioned Benghazi during their Sunday shows.

Also, I've now heard at least two reporters answer when pressed about why they were so apparently uninterested in Benghazi that if Romney himself wasn't bothered about it enough to raise it during the third debate, then it was not reasonable to expect that they should.

This is not only bias, it's corruption.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

This is Driving Me Crazy

With a few, but still too few, exceptions, FOX News and non-FOX News media alike, along with politicians from both the Right and Left are slowly allowing Benghazi-gate to slip from the core immediate issue into a discussion about whether or not the Obama administration responsibly safeguarded the consulate.  A just assessment of that will take some time and to the extent that Democrats use that debate to charge that the issue has been politicized, they are correct to say so.  (Even though to say so is, cynically, part of their larger plan to obfuscate and/or change the subject.)

There will be plenty of time for the rest later, but at this point the central question is and must remain:  Why did the administration perpetrate initially and then perpetuate for weeks thereafter the falsehood that what happened in Libya was chiefly a consequence of a spasm of popular protest that turned violent over a purportedly anti-Islamic film?  Learn the answer to that question and the remaining questions will for the most part answer themselves.

Friday, October 26, 2012


But not surprising.

You really must read this report of the substance of the condolences received from the President and the Vice President by the father of the former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods who was slain in the Benghazi attack last month.  However, that Obama is cold and aloof, and that Biden can be counted on to say something incredibly gauche is, sadly, not news.  

Actually, it was what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to say to him that most grabbed my attention.  She said that she would "make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted."


Not only at that most private and personal moment did she still feel it necessary to repeat the lie, she repeated the lie that she, that they, that all of them, so have to believe.  That is, that what happened in Benghazi was ultimately our fault, America's fault.

Hell Hath No Fury

Please recall first that columnist and former Reagan and George H. W. Bush speechwriter Peggy Noonan enthusiastically endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008.

Now read this, and note that "this" is just the latest in a growing string:  "When Americans Saw the Real Obama: Why the Denver debate changed everything"

I'm sorry Peggy, but the real Obama was there all along to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear,

I was already suspicious, but after that 2008 endorsement, I ceased trusting Peggy Noonan's judgment and, therefore, reading her column as well.

She is of a type, however, and therefore instructive.  A beltway bigot.  David Brooks is another.  More impressed with pedigree and style than substance.  Calling themselves conservative, but embarrassed by nothing so much as a conservative who really means it.

Oh well, they usually come around and I suppose we should welcome them when they do.

But I still won't trust her judgment.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Can the Center Hold?

The Left has for generations now waged a vigorous campaign against both the reality and even the idea of the modern nation-state, the political unit within which most of the world currently lives, the political unit that came formally into being in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years War in Europe.

In this struggle, they've used every weapon at their disposal to include the promise of ever-greater physical and material security that would come with more universal forms of political identification and association.

The problem is that they over-promised.  Because those ever-more universal forms of political association have increasingly been unable to deliver the goods, they have also been increasingly discredited.

At the same time, in their determination to undermine the nation-state whatever the cost, they also foolishly took up weapons from time to time that actually served to undermine their own cause.  To wit, multiculturalism.  The success of politically correct multiculturalism has been more and more pressure toward balkanization, tribalization even.

Or, if you prefer, pressure for a return to the medieval political arrangements that immediately preceded the birth of the nation-state. Or so thinks Victor Davis Hanson and he's worth a read.

General Information

"Colin Powell Backs Obama"

And this was the guy who was going to save the Republican Party.

I'm not the first to say this, but if you are not a principled conservative, then you are a liberal.  There is no middle way

(BTW, please remember that Mitt Romney is no principled conservative either, so he will have to be kept on a very short leash.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Without Apology

As if we needed more evidence that the elite liberal media are in the tank for President Obama, now some them are coming to his defense by accusing Mitt Romney of repeating in the debate the other night the falsehood that the President engaged in his first year in office in an "Apology Tour."

The phrase, and the charge, has a familiar ring to it because IN FACT that's exactly what he did do and it was labeled as such at the time as it infuriated only conservatives, but most patriotic Americans.

But in one sense the president's, um, apologists are correct.  What he did was not so much apologize for America as indict it.  The "Blame America First Tour" would have been more apt.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Was Wrong

Last night's debate was probably neither the time nor the place to prosecute Benghazi-gate and Mitt Romney, as he wants foremost to be president, did not.  In fact, he didn't even bring it up despite the fact that moderator Bob Schieffer, to his credit, opened the evening with precisely that subject.

If this was a prize fight, Romney managed to appear more like the current champion and Obama the challenger.  (Of course, with no record to run on, to seem again, as in '08, the challenger instead of the incumbent has been Obama's strategy all along.)  For the most part, Romney kept his distance from Obama, which obviously frustrated the president at times.  Romney looked like a professional boxer without ever landing very many punches because he didn't throw very many punches.  To the extent that he engaged Obama at all, he clinched.  He would pursue more or less the same policy as Obama, only better.

The rule is, in a championship fight there are no draws.  The challenger must beat the champion.  If it's close, the champion retains the title.  So, in the reversal of rolls that Obama orchestrated and Romney accepted, Romney last night won the fight.  And, I think, the presidency as well.

But I was also right.

As a result of last night's debate, we've likely heard the last of Benghazi-gate.

If the party's standard-bearer refuses to bring the subject up, few in the Congress will have the stomach for it. (Although Issa might.  We'll see.)

And FOX News, as big and important as it's become, simply cannot do it alone.  Other reporters and pundits who are motivated to pursue the subject (conservative all, no left-wing reporter will show any interest) will increasingly be dismissed with the same derision earlier shown "birthers."

So the Obama administration will get away with it after all and the reason(s) behind the Big Libya Lie will remain a mystery.

Is the removal of Obama from office worth it?

Maybe, I dunno.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Old Reliable

The final presidential debate is tonight and while, as I have blogged before, an increasing number of pundits and pols are counseling Mitt Romney to husband his slim lead in the polls and go "wobbly" by refraining from pressing the President too stridently on Benghazi-gate, at least one sane, and very influential, voice has emerged:  The editors at National Review:
Tonight, Governor Romney and President Obama will meet for a third and final debate before November 6, and this time the exclusive subject will be foreign policy. Mr. Romney should relish the opportunity, having wound up but failed to deliver a critical blow to the president’s credibility on the miasma in Benghazi during their second debate last week. The president was spared from having to fully account for the events of September 11, 2012, by a moderator whose on-the-spot “fact check” obscured more than it illuminated, and by Romney’s own apparent confusion in pressing the issue. 
Romney cannot and should not make that mistake again. Nor should he be shy in questioning the president’s dubious record, in Benghazi or across the world.
Not to be outdone, the magazine's John O'Sullivan penned his own shot across the bow:
If, however, Romney persuades the world that the Obama administration has given a “misleading” account of the Benghazi murders to American television viewers, to the media, to the United Nations, and to the world at large, he will indict a great many people in addition to the president. 
Simply list the people who have gone out in public to repeat the video argument — and related arguments such as the claim (maintained for eight days after the president used the phrase “acts of terror” in the Rose Garden) that it couldn’t yet be said for certain that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist action. 
If this was indeed a deception, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ambassador Susan Rice, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, White House aide David Axelrod, and press spokesman Jay Carney are only six of the people who apparently cooperated in it...
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not just about politics, although there is tremendous political advantage to be had in pressing the case, this is also about justice.  Must we remind ourselves that four men died?  As Charles Krauthammer said early on about this scandal by way of comparison, "Nobody died in Watergate."

So, what did the All the President's Men and Women know, not to mention the President himself, and when did they know it.  And why, for heaven's sake, did they feel the need to lie?  What are they covering up?

In case you were wondering, day in and day out I find National Review the single best journal of conservative opinion.  (And it has many very strong competitors.)  Simply put, I trust the editors' judgment.  If I disagree with them, and I sometimes do, I feel compelled to stop and ask myself why.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just as I Suspected

Just finished watching FOX News Sunday where even conservative commentator Bill Kristol thinks Romney should refrain from bringing up the Libya Lie tomorrow night during the debate.  It will diminish him.  This comment came shortly after fellow panelist, liberal Liz Marlantes from The Christian Science Monitor somewhat coyly made the point that she'd noticed a shift in the focus on what happened in Benghazi and its aftermath from the Lie to the poor leadership shown by Obama and his administration prior to the attack.  She also added that she thought this was a much better and more effective way for Romney to frame the issue.

Of course.

Then I noticed this piece in The Daily Caller reporting on what pseudo-conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks said on NPR's All Things Considered.  His advice for Romney tomorrow night:  "Don't nitpick about Benghazi."  His counterpart on the show, the very liberal E.J. Dionne from the Washington Post was only too eager to agree.

Of course.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's over.  They are going to let the whole affair slide.


America's beloved documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, e.g.) is casting his vote in a couple of weeks for Barack Obama once again and he urges us to do the same.


Because the current state of our country reminds him very much of that great film, a favorite of his, It's a Wonderful Life.  As Burns sees it, we are faced this November with an historic choice: Either we reelect the very good George Bailey (Obama) and become/restore/remain the idyllic Bedford Falls of lore, or we fall victim to the very evil banker Mr. Potter (Romney) and watch helplessly as he proceeds to construct in his own image a poisonous Pottersville, doubtless replete with "dark satanic mills"?

If I've read a more cliched piece of writing lately I don't know where.  (You really need to read it to believe it.)

Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came

A war on women, that is.

Check out the response to contraceptively deprived Sandra Fluke's "Rubbers for Reno" tour.

The "War on Women" always was and remains still a Democrat Party and elite liberal media fabrication.

During that same Wolf Blitzer/Gloria Borger/Ryan Lizza discussion I mentioned in yesterday's post, another key topic of discussion was the "gender gap" and Romney's very real problem attracting the female vote.  Had they been discussing the news instead of continuing their narative, they would have focused on the fact that recent polls indicate a substantial narrowing of the gap.  But that's not the story they intend to tell, and tell over and over again, until we finally believe it's true, true or not.

Sadly, the Romney campaign, and most establishment Republican pols, fell (they always fall) for this story and they almost squandered their entire convention by structuring it largely around the theme that, "No, it's not true, we Republicans and conservatives do like women, really we do."  That kind of approach is always embarrassing and, if I were a women, insulting as well.

But if the polls and the actual number of people drawn to see and hear the Famous Fluke in person are any indication, then most American women, like most Americans period, are worried about far more important and very real problems.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

But Seriously Folks...

As a pleasant diversion, you might enjoy this non-partisan piece by Professor of Communications Michael Phillips-Anderson about the use of humor in politics, especially democratic politics.
The paradox of democracy is that we elect someone on the basis of being just like us and then criticize them for not being better than us. To be elected as a political leader in a democracy is to occupy three positions relative to the other citizens: they must be better than us, for they must lead us; they must be less than us because they err greatly and publicly; and they must be one of us, a citizen among their peers. Comedy can be a way of coping with such conflicting roles; rhetorical humor is a tool to help master them.

I Mean It

I was just watching Wolf Blitzer's "The Situation Room" with political reporters Gloria Borger and Ryan Lizza sizing up next Monday's presidential debate which will focus on foreign policy.  Chiefly, they talked about the tremendous advantage Obama, as the incumbent, will enjoy in this one and wondered why the Romney campaign ever agreed to make it the final debate's topic.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, they made but one very passing reference to what happened in Benghazi and the larger issues of Obama administration integrity and credibility.

Again, if Romney, Team Romney, and the entire GOP do not make this a very big issue it will simply fade away.  And with a slight, but tenuous lead in the polls, I can imagine many of the political insiders whispering, "Just don't rock the boat."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shooting Star

In the wake of the shooting of then Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, you'll remember the elite liberal media and left-wing punditry huffing and puffing about the increasingly dangerous use of martial metaphors in politics.  As a result, that ever-present threat to public order former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was herself finally brought up on charges.  The crime: a bulls-eye symbol on her web page.

Although strictly speaking I suppose Vice President Joe Biden remains innocent of a similar charge as, truth be told, he was only making the point that "Republicans...have bullets aimed at you."  Republicans, you hear, no one from his party.

But Joe, loosed from their "chains", bullets are the best we have to bag'em before election day.


Missed the debate.  On the road again, but from what I read it was more or less a draw.  Nothing really happened.


With a little (predictable) help from debate moderator and Obama groupie Candy Crowley, the President persisted in his Big Libya Lie.

While Romney at least had the guts to bring the subject up, he failed miserably to press the point after Crowley as referee, um, made the debate fair again.

If in the next debate Romney does not force Obama to own up to what he and his administration has said since the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, then he deserves to lose the election. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This is Strange

So Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, um, mans up, and takes responsibility for the security lapse in Benghazi that ended with the killing of four Americans.

Interesting, but don't be distracted:

1.  Remember, the Clintons, Bill and Hill both, take responsibility for nothing.  So, why?

2.  The attack and murders happened over a month ago.  So, why now?

3.  Assigning blame for the security breakdown is only part of the story, the second part of the story.  The first and most important part remains:  Why did the administration lie, why did it then persist in lying, and why did it then persist in lying even after it was obvious to all that the tale they were telling about what actually happened in Benghazi was false?

Answer that and all else will become clear.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

They Just Might

After watching FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace focus the lion's share of his questioning of Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod on whether or not the administration is trying to avoid responsibility by attempting to shift the blame for what happened in Benghazi to the intelligence community broadly and the State Department in particular, I'm thinking Obama and Company may get away with it after all.

While an unseemly avoidance of responsibility by the administration is certainly an interesting part of the larger story, it is not the core issue.  The issue that virtually screams for attention is why the administration first lied and then continued to lie about what it had to know almost immediately was not a spontaneous mob protest that got out of control.

If in this particular case even FOX News doesn't have the stomach to ask the tough questions, you can be sure no other major network will be prompted to investigate.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Will They Get Away With It?

The lying, that is.

At this point it's clear to everyone that President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, UN Ambassador Rice, and a growing host of spokesmen, official and not, not only have already, but continue to lie about what they knew and when they knew it with respect to the attack on the Benghazi consulate a month ago and the subsequent murder of four Americans serving there.

Where's the outrage?  When did we begin to discount so dismissively the lying of government officials in the way we similarly discount Joe Biden's buffoonery?  Sure, he's the vice president, but he's a fool too, everybody knows that.  It's just Joe bein' Joe.

Any guesses as to when the Sage thinks it began?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Keep'em Separate

As the Obama administration and campaign (are they distinguishable?) deperately try to change the subject from Benghazi-gate to, well, anything else, the Romney campaign needs to keep separate, and emphatically so, two very distinct issues.

Issue One:  Romney's and Ryan's criticisms leveled in the immediate wake off the Benghazi turmoil were not about whether the murders were a product of a spontaneous protest that got out of hand of an anti-Muslim movie or, instead, a planned, terrorist attack of the compound.  Rather they were criticisms of the apologies for America issued almost reflexively by the State Department and others.

Frankly, this is a fight the Romney campaign ought to relish.  No matter what one or two or ten Americans might say or do to upset Muslims, or even upset Americans, those few don't speak for America and America has nothing to apologize for.  (BTW, neither should America aplogize for the actions of a few soldeirs--urinating on the Koran, e.g.--as such action is routinely punished.  Ryan missed an opportunity on that one last night.)

Issue Two:  This one is very serious.  When it comes to the now undeniable truth that the Benghazi murders were in fact the product of a planned terrorist attack, did the administration lie to the American public about what they knew and when they knew it?  Are they continuing their lying?  All politics aside, for justice' sake the entire GOP must press this one to the bitter end.

Nothing's Changed

Managed to sit through the entirety of last night's VP debate.  Neither candidate moved the ball forward, although Palooka Joe may well have lost his team a yard or two.

Both men more or less lived up to their billing.  Ryan was well-informed, capable, business-like, not to say "stiff".  Biden was his usual cartoonish self, replete with that annoying capped-tooth grin.  (To attribute a "Cheshire smile" to Biden is to afford him a degree of seriousness he simply does not deserve.)

The things is if you're a Biden foe like me then his buffoonery is unsurprising.  And if you're an ally then you've already discounted it.  (No serious person from the Right or Left thinks Joe Biden is anything but a buffoon.)   

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Thought

A quick one.

Instead of arguing too often against the redistributionist code of Obama, the Democrats, and the Left, and thereby remaining mostly on defense, might Romney, the Republicans, and the Right (love the alliteration, by the way) go on offense by embracing it, insisting that in theory and practice the greatest force for genuine redistribution, of wealth and opportunity, the world has ever known is freedom and the free enterprise it by definition encompasses?

Friday, October 5, 2012


Wait until next year...for my Braves, that is.

Couldn't watch the game, but followed it over the Internet from afar.  The Braves' offense had 12 hits and 3 walks, but could only manage 3 runs.  Their pitching was solid, allowing only 6 hits and no walks, but the Cards scored 6 runs nevertheless, only 2 of'em earned as Atlanta committed 3 errors.

Can't win when you do that and, frankly, don't deserve to.

But they're still my Braves and as they say, wait until next year.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Triple Crown Maybe?

I didn't see the debate last night as I was, literally, on my way to the other side of the world.  But by all accounts, and every measure, Mitt Romney "schooled" a listless Barack Obama.  Great news for our side as even a stunned elite liberal media seemed to agree.

But there's two more debates to go and with a few days to recover the media will doubtless figure out some way to spin last night as not so bad for their guy after all .

We should enjoy the victory, but caution is warranted.  It's a series, a season actually, not a single event. 

In 1996, my Atlanta Braves, the team of the 90s and eventual winners of fourteen straight division titles, had the resurgent New York Yankees down two games to none and were enjoying a healthy lead in game three when it all fell apart.  That night a new dynasty began.

In this year of Triple Crown winners (congratulations to the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera!) is a three-peat possible?

(My Braves are back in the playoffs, so I couldn't resist the baseball analogy.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When to be Shrill

It doesn't seem to cost DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, ever, or for that matter any other Democrat Party spokesmen.  So why do Republican Party operatives avoid it so?

It's not yet clear whether the release of then Senator Barack Obama's 2007 speech to a conference of black clergy at Hampton University will make any difference in this year's election, but a larger point made by conservative blogger Dan Riehl in response to a lot of Republican shoulder shrugging in the wake of the release remains always true (do read the entire blog):
We get it. You’re smart. You’re above it all. Why you’re so damned smart, one day one or two of you may even get elevated to the level of a Joe Scarborough, so no one will bother paying any attention to you at all. 
But you’re also very wrong. You – and I for that matter – are insignificant. What matters is the fight and that some people are willing to engage it, while others are not, or worse, they love to nay say and even occasionally stab our own fighters in the back out of self-interest and a pathetic need to impress. 
Every damned day we have to fight a biased media that spreads every Obama talking point and does everything it can to mute our own. When you fight a war, you seek advantage. Some will be big, some small, but it is the mass of every little bit of ground gained that ultimately allows one to succeed for a, in this case, right and desperately needed cause – to try and save some semblance of a traditional America in the face of a relentless onslaught from an extremely progressive left. 
Meanwhile, conservatives are forced to look around the battle field and on nearly every engagement, there are these often Hill types nagging, wee weeing and nipping at our very own heels.
It's been said by many, and said many, many times, but there does seem to be a stubbornly abiding element within the GOP forever satisfied with second place.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Roots of Muslim Rage

Frankly, this column by otherwise steady Daniel Pipes surprised me.  Almost alone among observers from the Right, he argues that:
The movie really did would be a mistake to see the mob as but a tool of clashing interests (such as Salafis vs. Muslim Brothers in Egypt) or American political imperatives. Rage directed at the video was heartfelt, real, and persistent.
Are you ready for some "heartfelt, real, and persistent" political in-correctness?  Here goes:

First, the only serious rival in this world to western liberal hypocrisy is Muslim hypocrisy.  Ask any (off-duty) American soldier who has served in either Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere in the Middle East for the past 20 or so years about the real nature of the fidelity of most Muslims to the tenets of their faith and be prepared to receive an earful.

Second, while Muslim rage is real, it's a transferred rage.  In this information age, the backwardness of their culture stares them in the face, an ever-present fact they can neither escape nor deny, and it angers them.  Unable, because of corrupt and ruthless leadership, to change their lot in life, they direct their anger, they are led to direct their anger, at the West in general and the US in particular. As a result, any pretense for taking to the streets, real or imagined, is sufficient.

Third, their long-brewing outrage is boiling over now because they sense, because they are correct to sense, Western and American weakness.  Every apology proffered, every olive branch extended, every offer of aid and assistance is viewed as confirmation of their growing suspicion that the object of their outrage is ripe for direct challenge.

However, Pipes also detects, correctly, I think, three trends:
As someone who’s been watching that clash since Khomeini’s time, I ascertain three main trends. First, Muslims increasingly devote themselves to the political imperative of preserving Mohammed’s sanctity. Second, Western governments and elites (i.e., journalists, lawyers, intellectuals, artists) have become increasingly timid over time when facing Islamist fury, willing to apologize, appease, and placate; for one appalling example, see the U.S. embassy in Cairo's effusions on this September 11, as a mob raged outside. Third, Western non-elites have increasingly responded to Islamists with a you-want-to-be-insulted-well-take-this! attitude that includes Koran burnings, "Defeat Jihad" ads, belligerently offensive French cartoons, and a promised rollout of Mohammed movies.
We can still hope, it seems, that pressure from "Western non-elites"--you know, people like you and me--will serve to steel the spines of our mostly supine leaders and inspire them, in spite of themselves, to once again stand erect and fight the fight that has to be fought.

The Naked Truth

  If only we crazy, right-wing evangelicals could be more like the professoriate in East Lansing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

"The Real Debate"?

The Weekly Standard's Yuval Levin thinks he's nailed down "the real debate" in this year's election and he does make a very good case for one important difference between liberals/progressives and conservatives.
Simply put, to see our fundamental political divisions as a tug of war between the government and the individual is to accept the progressive premise that individuals and the state are all there is to society. The premise of conservatism has always been, on the contrary, that what matters most about society happens in the space between those two, and that creating, sustaining, and protecting that space is a prime purpose of government. The real debate forced upon us by the Obama years​—​the underlying disagreement to which the two parties are drawn despite themselves​—​is in fact about the nature of that intermediate space, and of the mediating institutions that occupy it: the family, civil society, and the private economy.
While he's right that at least one premise of conservatism is the significance of mediating institutions, we must be careful and clear about this.  Very importantly a premise of American conservatism is the significance of mediating institutions for the securing of liberty.

Federalism, the governing practice that best allows those mediating institutions to thrive, was foremost in the minds of the Framers a measure that would better secure liberty.  If, however, it comes to be understood chiefly as something other that that, then we must be prepared for the development of entities like a very real Peoples Republic of Massachusetts and/or Californi-stan.  That is, we must be prepared for the unraveling of the Republic.