|Why They Hate Her||Politics Isn't Just Tactics|
by Christopher Chantrill
April 23, 2013 at 12:00 am
LAST WEEK, the pundits told us, was one of the worst in President Obama’s presidency. They could be right. He lost on gun control in the Senate. Ninety percent of Americans, apparently, want more gun control, but the president couldn’t push it over the finish line. Obamacare is shaping up as a “train wreck.” Then the president had to deal with the first Islamic bombing on American soil since 9/11. The Democratic momentum is gone.
Politics is like war. You train your armies and stockpile weapons and ammunition and then mount a furious offensive. It might go on for months or years. But in the end, it has to stop. It runs out of men, out of ammunition, and most of all, enthusiasm. Just ask the Brits about the Big Push of the Battle of the Somme.
So it is with the Democrats. After ten years of an extraordinary partisan offensive, in which the Democratic divisions opened with a furious artillery barrage that damned everything conservative and Republican to liberal hell, and rolled over Republicans in two pitch-perfect elections, electing the nation’s first black president and passing universal health care – well, the offensive is over.
In a better world it would now be time to pass out the goodies to the Democratic faithful and send everyone off for a bit of R & R.
Sorry, fellas. All leave canceled. You’ll be needed in the defensive battle for the Obamacare rollout.
And guess who will be caught in the Obamacare crossfire. It will be the young volunteers in the Emerging Democratic Majority regiment -- young people, educated people, women – that’s who. Sorry kids. Nothing personal. But we have to keep the Old Guard of the Democratic base in reserve.
Then there is the slight unpleasantness in Boston last week. Remember President Obama’s mantra last Fall? “Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.” And “GM is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead.” But the Boston massacre took place where liberals live: in Boston, at the Marathon. Mission accomplished, Mr. President?
Maybe the worst is yet to come for Democrats. Remember what happened to the French Army in World War I after one too many Big Pushes? Mutiny, that’s what. After the disastrous offensive on the Chemin des Dames in 1917, the French poilus sat down in their trenches and told the generals that they weren’t going to throw themselves away on useless offensives, not any more.
I wonder if there are a few million Democratic rank and file out there wondering: what’s the use?
Back in the glory days of 2006 and 2008 the Democratic rank and file were told that the nation’s problems stemmed merely from the stupidity and the extremism of President Bush. Put the good guys in charge and everything would turn around. With a stimulus. With national health care. With a million green jobs. With the right war, not the wrong war.
But here we are, with a sputtering economy, with a failed gun-control bill, with ObamaCare a train wreck. And just in time for the immigration bill, here comes a terror attack in the heart of Liberal-land.
It wouldn’t be at all surprising if the Democratic poilus (it means “hairy ones”) started telling their bosses at the OFA: look, I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I’m not going out there to take the Koch Brothers’ bullets for you any more.
Just when OFA needed lots of activists to remind the American people that Republicans hate Hispanics.
Instead, everyone in America except the MSM will be asking how those two Caucasian males – who were already known to the FBI – managed to kill and maim those Bay Staters at the heart of the civilized world. Yes, Mr. President: what about radical Islam? What about Major Hassan and that “workplace violence” at Fort Hood? What really did go down in Benghazi last fall? What difference does it make? Well, maybe quite a lot.
Maybe, after all this time, the Democratic president and the Democratic Party and the liberal ruling class will finally get serious, and get with the program on radical Islam.
But then the liberal Big Push of the last ten years, and all the sound and fury, the political division, the demonization of Bush: all that will have signified nothing.
We conservatives would say that the Big Push failed because of the incompetence of its generals: their brain-dead strategy of entitlements, cheap mortgage credit, Keynesianism, big government, multiculturalism. But that is another story.
Which World War I general should President Obama play if there’s a major motion picture of the Big Push? General Douglas Haig, the favorite at court? The phlegmatic French General Joffre? Perhaps the dapper General Nivelle, goat of the Chemin des Dames.
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