The authoritarian nature of the political Left never changes
Sorry, but I can't allow Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' statement that "we have a lot of re-education to do" slip by without comment. It's amusing when avowed leftists don't even recognize the Marxist buzzwords they're sputtering.
Sebelius is attributing the public's vehement opposition to Obamacare to "misinformation given on a 24/7 basis. ... Unfortunately," she said, "there still is a great deal of confusion about what is in (the Obamacare law) and what isn't." She is especially peeved about the vulnerability of seniors, who "have been a target of a lot of the misinformation." (The target of Obama's misinformation, perhaps.)
The most remarkable thing is that Sebelius didn't actually use the term "re-education" accidentally or out of school. Perhaps unwittingly, she's quite comfortable using a term long associated with tyrannical regimes. As one of Obama's chief lieutenants, she obviously believes this administration knows better than the public what is good for them.
Indeed, one of the ongoing ironies of liberalism is that it holds itself out as open-minded, democratic and representative of the common man, when it is more comfortable dictating to and indoctrinating the masses. Just look at our universities alone if you need quick, verifiable proof. But let's consider a few other examples of this administration's employing that mindset.
When an audience member at a forum at the Kennedy School of Government told Obama adviser and close confidant Valerie Jarrett that Obama's ideas are too complex to be digested by the unwashed, she didn't protest. The participant affectionately proposed that the White House express its ideas in an easier-to-comprehend form, such as printing simple booklets -- I assume replete with large print and colorful pictures.
Unflinching, Jarrett agreed it was a jolly idea. "Everyone understood hope and change," she said (NO, THEY DIDN'T), because "they were simple. ... Part of our challenge is to find a very simple way of communicating. ... When I first got here, people kept talking about 'cloture' and 'reconciliation' and 'people don't know what that's talking about.'" Then, the kicker, "There's nobody more self-critical than President Obama. Part of the burden of being so bright is that he sees his error immediately." How lonely it must be for these people at their perch high above the masses.
Then there's Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who, in gloating that he is part of a "transformational administration," intends to "coerce people out of their cars." Does it bother him that he's basically using government to dictate to people how they should behave? Are you kidding? When asked about such unseemly government intrusion, he cavalierly replied, "About everything we do around here is government intrusion in people's lives." He continued, "I think we can change people's behavior."
Then there is the president himself. After his policy agenda was soundly repudiated with the victory of Scott Brown in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race, instead of showing contrition or promising to modify Obamacare to more closely align with the people's will, he became further entrenched. He said, "I want everyone to take another look at the plan we've proposed." He also said he just hadn't talked enough about his plan, which left me wondering where "Saturday Night Live's" writers were.
With this administration, what we're seeing is not just an arrogant contempt for the cognitive ability and will of the American people but also a cynical determination to manipulate its will through indoctrination, selective suppression of speech, and trickery.
Obama's regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, wrote a Harvard Law Review article advocating "cognitive infiltration," which amounts to the government's use of phony websites and 501(c)(3) groups to masquerade as independent supporters of government policies and trolling opposing websites to pepper them with pro-administration posts. In this way, the government can manipulate public opinion surreptitiously, all for the greater societal good, as defined by Obama/Sunstein liberals. Even certain fellow liberal journalists have described this suggestion as "truly pernicious."
And let's not forget recent Obama Supreme Court appointee Elena Kagan's advocating the government's "unskewing" of speech that she and her fellow liberals believe harmful, i.e., conservative speech.
I truly hope people understand that Kathleen Sebelius' comment was neither offhanded nor out of line with the administration's MO; it was right in line with the administration's Orwellian approach to top-down, autocratic governance.
Low-grade abuse of Sarah Palin offends even some liberal feminists
Yesterday, Vanity Fair released yet another long hatchet job piece about Sarah Palin. But what this piece has generated — well, besides incredulity that a magazine of Vanity Fair’s caliber would run a character assassination piece almost entirely based on anonymous sources — is a bipartisan backlash. Not against Palin, but against Vanity Fair.
Politico’s Ben Smith has already debunked two of the stories told in the piece. Clara Jeffery, editor of Mother Jones, tweeted that she was “annoyed by [Palin] being called to task things normal for any male pol. Like using cute kids as props.” Later, in response to Roger Ebert’s approving tweet, Jeffery sarcastically tweeted back: “Also bumming me out: That @ebertchicago would think Palin profile is ‘devastating.’ Uh, yeah, to journalistic standards.”
Fellow Mother Jones editor Monika Bauerlein was also annoyed, tweeting, “‘Sarah, these aides say, seemed comforted by having the children around, and she seemed lonely when they were gone.’ Truly a monster.”
And, via Ben Smith, former John Edwards aide and feminist/progressive blogger Melissa McEwan wrote:
"Gross’ article, however, amounts to very little but “Sarah Palin is the worst because she’s in politics…and is A WOMAN.”
Sure, it’s covert sexism. Gross doesn’t talk about her boobs or use identifiable misogynist epithets to describe her, but it’s sexism nevertheless, as the (frequently dislikable) habits of many major politicians, of both parties, are used to build the case that Palin is remarkably awful. But there is nothing particularly remarkable about a politician who requires family members get permission to grant interviews. Nor about a politician who ambitiously trades favors and ruthlessly gets people fired who cross [him]. Nor about a politician who acts like an entitled a**.
What makes this article the worst thing I’ve read all day is the fact that most of what’s in it is the sort of s*** that is considered (rightly or wrongly) the mundane business of doing politics, and yet is somehow ZOMG SHOCKING when done by Sarah Palin. …
I will continue to defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because I endorse her or her politics, but because that’s how feminism works. But I’d prefer not to be obliged in the first place.
For those who weren’t satisfied by 10,000-plus word screed against Palin, VF also published an online-only bonus article going over (again!) how much the McCain campaign spent on clothes for the Palin family. But when you’ve got even Meghan McCain — who’s admitted to being “conflicted” over what she thinks about Palin — taking Palin’s side on the wardrobe malfunction, that says something about how way overblown the hysteria is. From Jay Newton-Small, blogging for Time about McCain’s new book:
But McCain also sympathizes with the wardrobe debacle. “That’s what it costs to outfit seven or eight people in designer clothes,” McCain wrote. “Other candidates had spent just as much, or more, but kept those kinds of expenses under wraps – sunk into promotion and advertising costs. What surprised me was that our campaign couldn’t do the same.”
The debate over Palin’s policies and role in the Republican party will no doubt continue. But when you’ve got liberal feminists defending her, it’s clear that the level of vitriol toward her is long past acceptable boundaries.
UPDATE: Over at Slate, blogger David Weigel just posted an e-mail from Shannyn Moore (described by VF as “a green-eyed blonde who, like Palin, was once an Alaska beauty queen, albeit a few stripes more self-aware,”) regretting that she trusted the piece’s writer, Michael Joseph Gross.
In the e-mail directed to Gross, Moore wrote that his depiction of her thoughts was “so completely wrong, and put me in such a completely inaccurate and unfavorable light.” She concluded with a harsh reprimand: “Shame on you. You’re not a writer … you’re a climber.”
Some very recent history
Most Americans welcomed the announcement that US-led combat operations in Iraq were over, and that the last combat unit was to be sent home. Last night, when President Obama addressed the nation via live television, he obviously counted on the short memories of the American people in his attempt to garner credit.
At the same time, officials at the public-interest group Move America Forward congratulated these brave troops and greeted them as heroes. They also also called on the Obama Administration to do the right thing, and give credit where it is due.
"He [Obama] should thank George W. Bush for enabling victory in Iraq, in addition to the troops who and won the war, despite Obama's opposition to the successful war strategy," stated a press release from the group.
"In 2007, the War on Terror was raging worse than ever in Iraq, the outlook for the American public was grim, and too many of our precious troops were hurt or being killed in battle. Politicians on the left began piling on their attacks on both President Bush and the mission, putting their own political gain ahead of the lives of our troops," their statement said.
In his re-election campaign, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is hoping Nevada voters forget that he personally surrendered to the terrorists and gave a huge morale boost and symbolic victory to the enemy when he said, "I believe this war is lost. The surge is not accomplishing anything."
Then-Senator Barack Obama himself predicted that the surge would not help in Iraq. “In fact, I think it will do the opposite” he said, predicting that our troops would make matters worse! Later he would say "The surge is not working" and believed our efforts in Iraq would fail.
Officials at Move America Forward are doing what the lap-dancing news media won't do: Point to the politicians -- like Harry Reid -- who hope Americans forget their foolish statements, as they now join President Obama in taking credit for the victory that was made possible through the sheer determination of President George W. Bush, along with the courage and dedication of our brave troops who called him Commander-in-Chief.
What has become clear is that politicians stand ready to denounce the troops the moment things get tough, and then rush in to claim victory after the shooting stops and the battle is won.
"I recall Senator Dick Durbin calling our troops 'stormtroopers' and terrorist detention centers 'gulags.' And Senator John Kerry accused our military of terrorizing women and children in the dark of night. But I'm not expecting Katie Couric and the rest of the Obama water-carriers to remind Americans of this outrageous duplicity," said former intelligence officer and police detective Mike Snopes.
"Now our great Lecturer-in-Chief Obama is trying to claim victory for a mission he actively opposed, and many in his administration now have attempted to take credit for victory in Iraq," added officials from Move America Forward.
What is angering many is Americans is Vice President Joe Biden calling the outcome of the Iraq war “one of the great achievements of this administration.” trying to argue that Obama and his administration deserve more credit than President Bush or even the troops who fought the war!
Yet when Bush was making the hard decisions to stay the course in Iraq, it was Biden who said "The whole notion that the surge is working is fantasy."
The truth is that if Obama and Biden had been in charge, America would have already lost the Iraq war, and suffered dearly the consequences.
I rarely post to my Scripture blog these days but I have just put up a study of Ecclesiastes 10:2 which might be of some interest. It asks whether the text is an endorsement of the political Right.
U.S. Economy Lost 54,000 Jobs in August; Unemployment Rate Rises to 9.6%: "Job losses continued to mount in the U.S. economy last month, though at a more modest pace than expected, putting further pressure on policy makers to take action to spur growth and employment. A separate report indicated the U.S. nonmanufacturing sector expanded at a much slower pace last month. The U.S. economy shed jobs for a third straight month, losing 54,000 non-farm jobs, but the losses were half as bad as expected. The unemployment rate rose to 9.6%."
The Revolt of the Bourgeois: "The much-analyzed speeches at the Glenn Beck Lincoln Memorial rally weren't as notable as what the estimated 300,000 attendees did: follow instructions, listen quietly to hours of speeches, and throw out their trash. Just as stunning as the tableaux of the massive throngs lining the reflecting pool were the images of the spotless grounds afterward. This was the revolt of the bourgeois, of the responsible, of the orderly, of people profoundly at peace with the traditional mores of American society."
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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)