Yes, President Bush, America does miss you
Several months ago a huge billboard appeared near Wyoming, Minnesota, with a beaming photo of George W. Bush with the caption “Miss me yet?” The answer to that question is clearly yes, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research poll, which shows the former president staging a remarkable political recovery despite having largely disappeared from public life since leaving office:
"By 47 to 45 percent, Americans say Obama is a better president than George W. Bush. But that two point margin is down from a 23 point advantage one year ago."
“Democrats may want to think twice about bringing up former President George W. Bush’s name while campaigning this year,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
This has to be one of the most extraordinary political comebacks in decades. And as this week’s Washington Post/ABC News poll showed, nearly 25 percent of Democrats now believe “a return to Bush’s policies would be good,” a staggeringly high figure. As The Post reports:
"Obama and the Democrats have argued that if Republicans were to gain control of Congress, they would return to the policies of President George W. Bush. Two-thirds of Democrats share that view and say it would be bad for the country. But almost a quarter of Democrats say a GOP-led Congress would take the country in a new and better direction or say a return to Bush’s policies would be good."
The CNN poll is of course deeply humiliating for the White House, especially coming just three and a half weeks before the November mid-terms. George W. Bush’s resurgence is in large part due to mounting opposition to the Obama’s presidency’s left-wing agenda, but it is also spurred by Obama’s image as an out of touch, aloof and elitist president, divorced from economic and political reality on the ground.
A lot of Americans frankly miss the down-to-earth and significantly warmer leadership style promoted by President Bush, as well as his unfailing sense of optimism and heart-felt pride in America on the world stage. You certainly won’t ever find Bush apologising for his country or extending the hand of friendship to her enemies.
And when Bush’s memoir “Decision Points” is published on November 9th, I’m in no doubt it will storm The New York Times’ bestseller list riding a new wave of nostalgia for his time in office. George W. Bush is back in fashion with a vengeance, in marked contrast to his increasingly unpopular successor in the White House.
By Thomas Lifson
The changes wrought on the American political economy by progressives have taken us in the unmistakable direction of feudalism. The morphological resemblance between the progressive version of America and the historic feudal regimes of Western Europe and Japan is obvious if one takes a few moments to consider the changes in the proper context.
Feudalism assigned people to different classes based on birth and assigned different privileges and obligations to the classes. The noble classes were considered a different order of humanity from the commoners, and the two groups led separate lifestyles. In addition to huge economic disparities, the two groups had very different rights. If one was of noble birth in Japan, for instance, he could carry a sword. For commoners, unlawful possession of a sword was a capital crime.
In progressive America, two groups today have a parallel distinction. Birth, and birth alone,* determines whether one is a member of a designated victim class, entitled to preferences in college admissions, scholarships, and employment, factors which have a major formative influence on life prospects. Moreover, the ability to litigate as the victim of discrimination with the possibility of massive financial returns is enhanced. According to the testimony of two Department of Justice lawyers, membership in a designated victim class brings with it immunity from prosecution under Civil Rights statutes.
Under feudalism, the ruling class had few limits on its power and regarded the commoner classes as under their tutelage, hopelessly incompetent to make important decisions on their own. Many spheres of life were devoid of personal autonomy. What one wore and where one worked was closely regulated, and in feudal England or France, one could discern whether a person was a peasant, a blacksmith, a merchant, or a noble instantaneously, merely by dress.
In contrast, the bourgeois revolution, which overthrew the European feudal order, gave birth to the radical Enlightenment notion that each person should be the master of his or her own destiny, fit to make the important decisions in life autonomously. What one wore or ate was up to the individual.
In progressive America, personal decisions such as what to eat are now regarded as the proper concern of our government masters. Foie gras was forbidden by the city of Chicago for two years, and if you want to have your restaurant food cooked in trans fats like butter, you ought to know that New York City has a say in the matter.
Common to the feudal and progressive regimes is a deep and abiding disdain for the classes needing regulation and guidance. It is not so much that they hate or despise the lesser beings over which they rule, as it is a sense of obligation to make the right decisions for them.
Feudal rulers reserved for themselves certain luxuries. In feudal Japan, silk was an extravagance reserved exclusively for the noble classes. Wealthy merchants sometimes purchased garments with silk linings but with humble cotton, wool, or linen outer surfaces, so as to enjoy the warmth and softness of silk while preserving their lives.
In progressive America, Nancy Pelosi regularly jets from Washington, D.C. to her home in San Francisco on a luxury Gulfstream private jet belonging to the Air Force when she isn't commandeering a larger C-32 executive transport, the military version of the Boeing 757. Meanwhile, corporate executives were forced to cancel orders for and sell executive jets during the financial crisis of 2008-9. While President Obama told corporations to not hold meetings in Las Vegas, federal agencies are free to have meetings there.
Under feudalism, officially recognized guilds enjoyed monopolies and special privileges, and in return, they offered financial and other support to the ruling class. In progressive America, powerful labor unions are allowed to force people to pay them dues in order to work in certain companies and public organizations. In return, these unions channel vast amounts of money in campaign donations to ruling class politicians at election time.
Moreover, unions can be insulated from the market consequences of their actions, as in the UAW members whose health care pension costs drove GM and Chrysler bankrupt but whose lavish benefits were preserved at taxpayer expense. Money spent under the stimulus bill has been channeled mostly to union members.
In European feudalism, clergy enjoyed special status as both advisers to rulers and justifiers of ruling class power. They were even called the First Estate, for they interpreted God's law, usually in a manner which maintained that the kings ruled by divine right.
In progressive America, a comparable role is played by lawyers and the courts, which enjoy vast powers and can command wealth that would be the envy of any bishop or cardinal in feudal France. Many of our most important decisions in progressive America are now taken away from the people's representatives in legislative bodies and decided by courts, themselves comprising members of the legal class.
Under feudal regimes, the rulers took as much as they could in taxes, up to the point where peasants began starving and tax revenues decreased. In progressive America, taxes have also trended in that direction.
Under feudalism, the bourgeois class were regarded as upstarts and a threat to the legitimate ruling class. They were despised, ridiculed, and regulated. In progressive America, President Obama sees profit as an optional feature of corporations, and the disdain, regulation, taxation, and liability which business owners must endure have never been worse. As with feudal rulers, the progressive ruling classes see the bourgeoisie as vulgar pretenders to their own exalted status and a threat to their own power.
Back to the Future?
If progressivism has its way, more and more of our lives will be regulated by government bureaucrats setting rules and regulations and licensing people to engage in even the most mundane tasks. It is quite accurate to say that the reforms won by the rising bourgeois class from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, limiting and then ending feudalism, are in full retreat in progressive America.
It is time to rename progressives "regressives," a change I first proposed several years ago.
Shocking: Bigoted White Tea Party Woman Beats Petite Black Female Reporter
I’m sorry, I got that wrong. Stupid me. I’m never going to make it in this business. It was actually a big black liberal woman who whaled on a petite white conservative female reporter last weekend.
Whew, thank God I corrected myself because we all know that if a hulking honky Tea Party mama with dragon nails had smacked down a svelte progressive black female reporter (and on film, no less) it would have caused a media firestorm that would have escalated into:
1. Daily front page coverage by the New York Times
2. Watts-like riots across the nation
3. Non-stop bit**ing from Al Sharpton
4. The end of the Tea Party as we know it
5. And a drunk Kanye would’ve surfaced on a quickly-cobbled, specious Hollywood telethon against racism sporting white Levolor shades and a red leather Michael Jackson jacket and somehow pin all this Tea Party violence on George W. Bush’s primal hatred for black people.
In case you missed it (and I’m sure you did) this past weekend it appears that liberal F-bomb droppin’ black women at “Unity” gatherings can beat the crap out of Caucasian girls without it making the evening news or hitting the blogosphere.
One Emily Miller, a senior editor for HumanEvents who previously served as the deputy press secretary at the State Department and also served as an associate producer at ABC News, got pummeled like a rebel stepchild on October 2nd by a black liberal chick at the “One Nation Working Together” (cough) rally in D.C.
Here’s Jason Mattera’s short synopsis of the violence that went down in D.C. at the ill-attended, union-stacked, Star Wars bar scene, jealous of Glenn Beck Socialist Soiree:
“The reporter, Emily Miller, who was videotaping Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) was first hit from behind while she was taping Rangel in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Miss Miller is heard on the video saying, ‘Please don’t hit me.’ The protester proceeds to yell at the reporter, ‘Well get out of the way! What do you think this is? A--hole.’ The activist was attempting to meet Rangel herself. Miss Miller continued videotaping the event, when suddenly the same unhinged protester lunged at her, hit her on the arm, and yelled, ‘Don’t take my picture.’”
Again, this is all on video … as in crystal clear video. And I’ve heard nada from the networks. Crickets folks … crickets.
Yep, not only did the progressives trash the Mall and show up with their socialist signs (of which we’re condemned if we mentioned that they’re socialist) but one of their own also went postal on an innocent reporter—and the Blame Stream Media ignores this little nugget. How weird.
Heritage in Focus: Matt Spalding on American Exceptionalism
At an event in Florida last week, former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Marco Rubio told a crowd: "This race is not your traditional race. It is a referendum on our identity. This race forces us to answer a very simple question: Do we want our country to continue to be exceptional, or are we prepared for it to become just like everybody else?"
The debate on American exceptionalism has garnered widespread attention this season. It has been a Tea Party rallying cry and an object of liberals’ sneers. But what is American exceptionalism?
In this week’s Heritage in Focus podcast, Matthew Spalding explains that America is different because it is founded on self-evident principles proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and secured in the Constitution. These principles include the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the right to free speech and freedom of religion. America still holds this beacon of liberty among the nations of the world, even as Progressives deride such a claim as chauvinistic – a complaint they are free to make thanks to America’s unrivalled speech protections (to receive regular updates on Heritage podcasts, visit us on iTunes or subscribe to our RSS feed).
As President Obama replaces his national security advisor, proposes new plans to overhaul the economy, and tackles the implementation of his new health care laws, he too will be faced with questions of what the American republic is made of, and what makes it unique, a leader among nations.
In Europe, national economies are crushing entitlement burdens. America now faces the choice between free markets and public sector-driven redistributionist policies.
In China this week, government censors will undoubtedly rip the pages out of newspapers celebrating the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo. In America, the lively debate that fuels democracy is kept alive by freedom of speech for as long as its citizens recognize and protect that freedom.
And now, with rising threats from Iran, North Korea, and other enemies of democracy and freedom, President Obama should reflect on his own words, from his speech after accepting his Nobel Peace Prize in 2009:
"…the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions – not just treaties and declarations – that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms."
These are rousing words in defense of American exceptionalism on the international stage, words which President Obama has still failed to live up to, as The Heritage Foundation’s analysis of the Obama Doctrine shows. It is the spirit and defense of American exceptionalism that should animate voters and policymakers as our country enters a turbulent time of international conflict and domestic hardship.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)