To those who predicted that the tea party movement would get swallowed up by Washington, Sen. Rand Paul says the cynics have got it completely backward — it’s the tea party that has co-opted Capitol Hill.
The Kentucky Republican said in an interview that President Obama and most lawmakers have lined up behind the tea party’s drive to end earmarks, while House and Senate Republicans are pushing bills to cut spending and repeal the president’s health care overhaul — two more of the movement’s top priorities.
Mr. Paul is a leading member of one of the most closely watched new class of lawmakers to hit Capitol Hill in a long time — tea party activists and political newcomers whose energy helped usher in a GOP majority in the House and an expanded Republican minority in the Senate.
“People asked whether we would be co-opted by Washington, I think we are co-opting Washington,” Mr. Paul told The Washington Times, just hours after he and two colleagues held the first meeting of the Senate‘s Tea Party Caucus, which they said would serve as the liaison between the grass-roots movement and the people it helped propel to power.
“The president of the United States has been co-opted by the tea party,” Mr. Paul told the more than 200 people in attendance. He noted that in his State of the Union address Mr. Obama vowed to veto bills that include earmarks and to undo part of the health care law that imposes burdensome tax filing requirements on businesses.
Mr. Paul, whose crushing defeat of an establishment Republican in the primary and his victory in the general election epitomized the tea party’s rising influence last year, said he supports the new House practice of requiring lawmakers to cite constitutional authority for each bill they offer. He has also introduced a 12-page bill that he said will cut $500 billion in federal spending immediately.
Dwarfing the other cost-cutting proposals on the table, Mr. Paul‘s plan would gut the Education and Energy departments and impose across-the-board spending cuts, including in the Pentagon‘s budget. He dismissed criticism that his plan is too radical.
“Most of official Washington thinks that is way too dramatic, but, guess what — it’s not enough,” Mr. Paul said. He argued that Mr. Obama‘s plan to freeze some domestic spending over the next five years “falls completely flat” because it affects only about 12 percent of the budget and does not begin to roll back the dramatic spending increases of the last two years.
Civility? What Channel?
What’s all this talk about civility taking hold in the American political arena? Evidently, Progressive talker Stephanie Miller, who, I guess, has a syndicated radio show – amazing what passes for talent these days on talk radio – didn’t get that memo...strange, too, as her leader, Pres. Obama took to the airwaves after the Tucson tragedy to admonish everyone who was throwing rhetorical bombs under the guise of “political debate.” Yet, for Ms. Miller, it’s full speed ahead with the name-calling and the deprecating jokes.
Mediateite.com reports that while discussing House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH):
“...Miller and her show’s producer, Chris Lavoie, mentioned her earlier joke about Barack Obama making ‘the Boehner cry’...”
Miller pronounced the Speaker’s name “Boner.”
“And then came an observation about Boehner’s warm glow – an observation that, of course, acts as rather juicy bait for conservatives who will (we’re guessing) most certainly ask why it’s excusable to make comments about the Speaker’s skin color:
“’And then the other big thing I noticed – I’m sorry cause you know you can’t help the visual, okay – Boehner is a darker color than the President.’
“Lavoie then chimed in with quite a specific observation:
“’I tweeted last night that if he wore and avocado green tie, he would totally be a 1970’s kitchen.’”
That’s nice. Isn’t it?
Truth be told, when one honestly compares the rhetoric of the Progressive Left, the Democrats and the Right – the main word here is honestly and yes I did separate the Progressives from the Democrats – we arrive at only one outcome consistently, and that is that the overwhelming majority of caustic rhetoric comes from the Progressive faction of our political spectrum.
Politico.com reported in February of last year, well before the Tucson tragedy, that Progressive talker and admitted Socialist, Ed Shultz, said this of former Vice President Dick Cheney:
“You’re damn right, Dick Cheney's heart's a political football. We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him...Do you realize that if you had five heart attacks, hell, you wouldn't get past two heart attacks and they’d dump you...But because you're a war criminal and because you are on the take from Halliburton...you can get the best healthcare on the face of the earth.”
One has to wonder where all that Leftist tolerance has disappeared to. On a more measured note, but nevertheless just as dishonest and disingenuous, former (it feels good to say that) MSNBC pundit Keith Olbermann denigrated the Tea Party Movement, challenging:
“Let me ask all of you who attend these things, how many black faces do you see at these events?”
“Why are you surrounded by the largest crowd you will ever again see in your life that consists of nothing but people who look exactly like you?”
Ironically, and simply to make a point, ACORN whistleblower Anita Moncrief recently announced the creation and launch of the nation’s first Black Tea Party group. One has to wonder whether Mr. Olbermann can wipe the self-pity from his eyes long enough to see the different “colors” involved in the Tea Party Movement, or whether his arrogance just sees Conservatives and those who want to protect the Constitution as gray.
But why should we be surprised at the vitriol coming out of the Progressive Left? Progressives are the ones who gin-up discontent around the world. From Greece to San Francisco, France to the G20 summits and World Trade Organization events wherever they take place, if there is a loud, obnoxious, bull-headed protest event, complete with posters depicting someone as Hitler and denouncing Capitalism in favor of wealth redistribution and Che Guevara, there you will find Progressives, in all their disgruntled, arrogant, elitist glory.
Now, you may be asking why I separate the Democrats from the Progressives. After all, they both come from the Left side of the aisle, right?
Wrong. Progressives exist on both sides of the aisle; they simply have found it easier to take-over the Democrat Party. Nancy Pelosi, the majority of the Congressional Black Caucus (can you imagine if there was a Congressional White Caucus? Whoa!) and all of the mini-me special interest caucus leaders routinely are found to be members of the House Progressive Caucus – 70 House members, along with two Senators comprise the whole of the Progressive contingent. Compare that to the rest of the Democrat side of the aisle which numbers 123, including 26 Blue Dog Democrats.
My point? If you want to truly arrive at civility in the American political arena, all we really have to do is separate the infiltrating Progressives from the true Democrats and spotlight the Progressives for whom and what they are: caustic malcontents hell-bent on diminishing our Constitutional Republic to a Socialist Democracy. All we have to do is encourage true Democrats to...take back their party. That achieved – and only then – can we return to the days of civil, spirited and honest debate in the American political arena.
And so it goes...
The Aim Of Blood Libels
Palin's characterization of the Left's appalling assault on her and her fellow conservatives as a "blood libel," was entirely accurate. Moreover, as her previous use of the term "death panels," in the healthcare debate brought clarity to an issue the Left sought to obscure, so her use of the term "blood libel," exposed the nature of the Left's behavior and highlighted its intentions.
By warning about "death panels," Palin exposed the fly in the ointment of government healthcare. Government control will induce scarcity of healthcare and government rationing will necessarily follow. That rationing in turn will be undertaken by panels of government officials empowered to decide who gets what care. Her remark focused the debate on the flaws in the program in a way no other had.
In the case of her use of the term "blood libel," Palin exposed the Left's attempt to criminalize conservatives and make it impossible for conservatives to either defend themselves or pursue their alternative policy agenda.
A blood libel involves two things. First, it involves an imaginary crime. Second, it involves the accusation that an entire group of people is guilty of committing that crime that never occurred.
Classically, of course, blood libels have been used against Jews. Anti-Semites accused Jews of killing Christians for ritual use of their blood. Jews had murdered no one and Judaism has no ritual involving the use of human blood. Yet repeatedly entire communities were criminalized and persecuted based on these blood libels.
By criminalizing the entire community based on false allegations regarding a never-committed crime, anti-Semites made it impossible for Jews to go on about our lives. If we sought to deny the charges, we gave them credibility. If we ignored the charges, our silence was interpreted as an admission of guilt. And no matter what we did, the blood libel firmly attached the stench of murder to a completely innocent Jewish community.
Just as their Israeli counterparts did in the wake of Rabin's assassination, so the American Left seeks to attach a sense of criminality and violence to the American Right in order to make it socially and otherwise unpalatable to support or otherwise identify with it.
By calling the Left out for its behavior, Palin exposed its agenda. But the logic of the blood libel remained. Trusting the public's ignorance, and the liberal Jewish community's solidarity, the leftist media in the US immediately condemned Palin for daring to use the term, hinted she was an anti-Semite for doing so, and argued that by defending herself, she was again inciting violence.
MANY CONSERVATIVE thinkers and politicians have long viewed Palin as a liability. By remaining in the spotlight, they allege, Palin is helping the Left. They argue that the media have already destroyed her ability to communicate with non-conservatives. And since she is viewed as a conservative leader, by failing to shut up, she is making it impossible for other potential leaders who the media don't despise to connect with the swing voters they will need to unseat Obama in 2012.
While alluring, this position does more than harm Palin. It renders the 2012 elections irrelevant.
It doesn't matter whether these conservative thinkers support Palin. What matters is that by telling her not to defend herself from libelous attacks, they are accepting the Left's right to criminalize all conservatives. If she is not defended against a patently obscene effort to connect her to a madman's rampage in Tucson, then conservatives in the US are signalling they really don't want to control US policy. They are saying that if a Republican is elected in 2012, he or she will continue to implement Obama's radical policies.
In certain ways, Palin is a revolutionary leader and the Tea Party movement is a revolutionary movement. For nearly a hundred years, the Left in its various permutations has captured Western policy by controlling the elite discourse from New York and Los Angeles to London to Paris to Tel Aviv. By making it "politically incorrect," to assert claims of Western, Judeo-Christian morality or advocate robust political, economic and military policies, the Left has made it socially and professionally costly for people to think freely and believe in their countries.
What distinguishes Palin from other conservative leaders in the US and makes her an important figure worldwide is her indifference to the views of the Left's opinion makers. Her capacity to steer debate in the US in a way no other conservative politician can owes entirely to the fact that she does not seek to win over Leftist elites. She seeks to unseat them.
The same can be said of the Tea Party. The reason it frightens the Left, and the Republican leaders who owe their positions to their willingness to accept the Left's basic agenda, is because it does not accept the Left's policy agenda.
The Left's campaign against Palin is not just about Palin. If she is discredited for standing up to blood libels then no one in the US or anywhere else can expect to succeed in moving past the failed and dangerous leftist policy agenda. But if she is defended, then a world of possibilities opens up for all of us.
My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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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)