|A Sluggish Recovery for President Obama||Palin and the White Working Class|
by Christopher Chantrill
May 28, 2011 at 2:02 pm
Let us drive a little deeper and ask a question. Why would the president announce in his speech, before negotiations had even started between Israel and the Palestinians, that he believed the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps?
To put his unilateral concessionwhat our labor union friends would call a give-backin perspective, let us ask another question. When has the president, in negotiations with the loyal opposition in the United States, ever made a similar concession before negotiations even began?
Let us make the issue even clearer. Has the president, in the ongoing negotiation of federal spending cuts, offered, as a starting position, that federal discretionary spending should be rolled back to the 2008 level, which is the minimum demand of his Republican opponents?
The answer is obvious. President Obama is conceding nothing on the federal budget. He is clearly going for the best deal he can get on spending, and will continue to do so in every crisis negotiation.
The president did not concede the continuation of the Bush tax cuts until the last moment last December. He did not concede any spending cuts in his 2012 budget. His people did not concede any spending cuts until forced to in the continuing resolutions saga. And in the current debt ceiling negotiations, the presidents team official position is a clean bill with no spending cuts. Oh, by the way, the Budget Committee in the Democratic Senate has failed to produce a budget resolution as required by law because Democrats dont want to concede anything on spending
Let us give the president credit for believing in his government-run health-care system, his national network of very fast trains, his clean energy, his high energy prices, and his wacko left-wing judge nominees like UC Berkeley professor Goodwin Liu. President Obama fights tenaciously for the things he believes in. He clearly believes that he should pass as many of his left-wing initiatives as possible, and only retreat when forced to. The president clearly does not believe in the consent of the governed. He pushes as hard as he can, knowing that every policy he pushes over the finish line, whether in legislation or in regulation, becomes a new strong point on the border of Big Government Empire.
But when it comes to Israel, the presidents position is also clear. President Obama doesnt have a dog in that fight. So it is easy for him to unilaterally give away the issue of the 1967 borders so he can pose as a peacemaker. It costs him nothing to make his flaccid speech about Mideast peace and the Arab Spring. Why, hes always been in favor of things like that. But he certainly wouldnt risk reelection for the sake of Israel.
Of course, it is possible that the Jewish vote will start heading south, and the presidents pollsters may soon start worrying not just about wavering prominent Jewish Americans but real voting Jewish bubbies in South Florida. Thats probably why the president went to AIPAC on February 22 and said that the commitment of the United States to the security of Israel is ironclad. (Applause.)
So the president is all in favor of Israel. But why does the president treat people that want to harm the United States better than he treats conservatives and Republicans? I will tell you why. He does it because it is coded into the DNA of his left-wing secular faith.
Politics is a fight for power. For American exceptionalists, the great fight is between the forces of freedom and the forces of coercion; we march towards the vision of political freedom and limited government. But President Obama is different. For him, the great fight is the left-wing fight of resistance and liberation, an educated elite marching with the victims towards a vision of sharing the wealth. Conservatives look at Israel and see a nation that has fought for its freedom. President Obama looks at Israel and gets distracted by Palestinian victims with a right to share the wealth of the Jews.
Thats why American conservatives experience liberals as irritating know-it-alls that just dont get the notion that every new government program chips away at our freedom. But liberals look at conservatives as evil oppressorsracists, sexists, homophobesthat deny justice for traditionally marginalized peoples. And liberals dont seem to believe in the forgiveness of sins, at least, not so youd notice.
Say all you want about Arab thug dictators. In their campaign against Israel they are at least trying to unify their peoples against a foreign threat. But American liberals are always dividing America, fighting a civil war by other means. For liberals, the other is always other Americans.
President Obamas Mideast speech does achieve one goal. His empty bromides about 1967 borders and Arab Springs keep his progressive base at home for 2012. The president does have a dog in that fight.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel