Left Paints the Campaign as a Religious War
Bigotry comes easily to the Left when it suits them
The fundamental facts of the presidential race at this moment are that unemployment is high, the economy is by far the most important issue to American voters, and President Obama's handling of economic questions is overwhelmingly unpopular. Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and others are hammering the president daily on matters of job creation and economic growth.
Now some of Obama's activist allies and supporters in the press are engaged in a sharply focused effort to change the subject. Even as economic anxieties continue to rise, some of the nation's premier political journalists are consumed with the alleged influences of obscure religious philosophers on Republican candidates; on questions of creationism, evolution and the age of the Earth; and on the fantasy that a Republican president might transform the United States into an Iranian-style theocracy.
For example, the Daily Beast/Newsweek recently published an article titled "A Christian Plot for Domination?" claiming that Perry and Bachmann are "deeply associated with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism" known as dominionism. A widely discussed article in the Texas Observer claimed that dominionists -- a "little-known movement of radical Christians" -- are readying an "army of God" to "commandeer civilian government," with Perry the "vessel" for their ambitions. Finally, The New Yorker published a long article claiming that Bachmann believes "Christians, and Christians alone, are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns."
Surveying those articles, the executive editor of The New York Times, Bill Keller, concludes that "an unusually large number" of Republican candidates "belong to churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans." Perry and Bachmann, in particular, are connected to "fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity," which Keller says "has raised concerns about their respect for the separation of church and state, not to mention the separation of fact and fiction." Fearing that Perry or Bachmann could be a "Trojan horse" for a religious takeover of the government, Keller advocates strict questioning of candidates on doctrinal issues.
Put aside whether there is some bias against Christianity in these baseless charges, or whether liberals are proposing the kind of religious test for office that the Founders explicitly rejected. It has often been remarked that, given today's terrible economy, Barack Obama cannot run in 2012 on the theme of hope, as he did in 2008. With his record, he'll have to run on fear -- that is, on convincing voters that Republicans are just too scary to elect.
This is what running on fear looks like. Could the president's political strategists be anything less than delighted with the work of Keller and his colleagues?
Out on the campaign trail, Democratic activists are trying to maneuver the candidates into statements to feed the Republicans-are-religious-nuts narrative. For example, in New Hampshire a few weeks ago, a young boy approached Perry with a series of questions about science. How old is the Earth? the boy asked. As Perry answered (he said he didn't know), the boy's mother pushed her son to confront the governor. "Ask him about evolution," she ordered the boy. "Ask him why he doesn't believe in science." Perry's answer -- that evolution is a theory that has "some gaps" -- provided more material for Keller and the subject-changers.
Elsewhere on the trail, so-called "trackers" from the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, David Brock's American Bridge and other organizations follow Republicans around, sometimes posing out-of-the-blue questions in hopes of throwing a candidate off message. "It's all about homosexuality, Islam, anything that is remotely sensitive socially," says Ellen Carmichael, spokeswoman for frequent target Herman Cain. "That's what they usually ask about."
Not even the longest of long-shot candidates is immune. Back in May, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson spoke at a tea party rally in Greenville, S.C., touting his record on job creation and spending cuts. After Johnson's talk, a staffer for the Center for American Progress approached him with questions about Shariah law. Johnson was baffled.
Meanwhile, with the economy still tanking, some liberal commentators have worked themselves into a virtual panic over religion. On one recent day, a Washington Post columnist declared flatly that "Rick Perry is a theocrat," while another discussed the urgent task of "saving America from Rick Perry."
Will these diversionary efforts succeed? Political journalists can talk about theocracy all they want, but Americans are still overwhelmingly concerned with jobs. The more hysterical the religious speculation becomes, the more voters will be able to spot an effort to change the subject.
American Jews and the Liberal Art of Demonization
US election season is clearly upon us as US President Barack Obama has moved into full campaign mode. Part and parcel of that mode is a new bid to woo Jewish voters and donors upset by Obama's hostility to Israel back in the Democratic Party's fold.
To undertake this task, the White House turned to its reliable defender, columnist Jeffrey Goldberg. Since 2008, when then-candidate Obama was first challenged on his anti-Israel friends, pastors and positions, Goldberg has willingly used his pen to defend Obama to the American Jewish community.
Trying to portray Obama as pro-Israel is not a simple task. From the outset of his tenure in office, Obama has distinguished himself as the most anti-Israel president ever.
Obama is the first president ever to denounce Jewish property rights in Jerusalem. He is the first president to require Israel to deny Jews property rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria as a precondition for peace talks with the Palestinians.
He is the first US president to adopt the position that Israel must surrender its right to defensible borders in the framework of a peace treaty. He has even made Israeli acceptance of this position a precondition for negotiations.
He is the first US president to accept Hamas as a legitimate actor in Palestinian politics. Obama's willingness to do so was exposed by his refusal to end US financial assistance to the PA in the aftermath of last spring's unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas.
He is the first US president to make US support for Israel at the UN conditional on Israeli concessions to the Palestinians.
Even today, Obama has refused to state outright whether or not he will veto a Security Council resolution later this month endorsing Palestinian statehood outside the context of a peace treaty with Israel. As he leaves Israel twisting in the wind, he has sent his chief Middle East Peace Processors Dennis Ross and David Hale to Israel to threaten Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu into caving to US-Palestinian demands and beg PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to accept an Israeli surrender and cancel his plans to have the UN General Assembly upgrade the PLO's mission to the UN.
Given Obama's record - to which can be added his fervent support for Turkish Prime Minister and virulent anti-Semite Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his courtship of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and his massive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and Egypt - it is obvious that any attempt to argue that Obama is pro-Israel cannot be based on substance, or even on tone. And so Goldberg's article, like several that preceded it, is an attempt to distort Obama's record and deflect responsibility for that record onto Netanyahu. Netanyahu, in turn, is demonized as ungrateful and uncooperative.
Goldberg's narrative began by recalling Netanyahu's extraordinary statement during his photo opportunity with Obama at the Oval Office during his visit to Washington in May. At the time, Netanyahu gave an impassioned defense of Israel's right to secure borders and explained why the 1949 armistice lines are indefensible.
Goldberg centered on then-secretary of defense Robert Gates's angry statement to his colleagues in the wake of Netanyahu's visit. Gates reportedly accused Israel of being ungrateful for all the things the US did for it.
After presenting Gates as an objective critic whose views were justified and shared by one and all, Goldberg went on to claim that the administration's justified antipathy for Netanyahu was liable to harm Israel. That is, he claimed that it would be Netanyahu's fault if Obama abandoned traditional US support for Israel.
Goldberg's article is stunning on several levels. First, his distortion of events is breathtaking. Specifically he failed to note that Netanyahu's statement at the Oval Office was precipitated by Obama's decision to blindside Netanyahu with his announcement that the US supported an Israeli withdrawal to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines. Obama made the statement in a speech given while Netanyahu was en route to Washington.
Then there is his portrayal of Gates as an objective observer. Goldberg failed to mention that Gates's record has been consistently anti-Israel. In his Senate approval hearings during the Bush administration, Gates became the first senior US official to state publicly that Israel had a nuclear arsenal.
Gates was a member of the 2006 Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group that recommended the US pressure Israel to surrender Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights in order to appease the Arab world and pave the way for a US withdrawal from Iraq.
Gates did everything he could at the Pentagon to deny Israel the ability to attack Iran's nuclear installations. He was also a fervent advocate of massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia that upset the military balance in the Middle East.
The Obama administration bases its claims that it is pro-Israel on the fact that it has continued and expanded some of the joint US-Israel missile defense projects that were initiated by the Bush administration. Goldberg sympathetically recorded the argument.
But the truth is less sanguine. While jointly developing defensive systems, the administration has placed unprecedented restrictions on the export of offensive military platforms and technologies to Israel. Under Gates, Pentagon constraints on Israeli technology additions to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters nearly forced Israel to cancel its plans to purchase the aircraft.
It is an open question whether American Jews will be willing to buy the bill of goods the administration is trying to sell them through their media proxies in next year's presidential elections. But if next week's special elections for New York's Ninth Congressional District are any indication, the answer is apparently that an unprecedented number of American Jews are unwilling to ignore reality and support the most anti-Israel president ever.
The New York race is attracting great attention because it is serving as a referendum on Obama's policies toward Israel. The district, representing portions of Queens and Brooklyn, is heavily Jewish and has been reliably Democratic. And yet, a week before the elections, Republican candidate Bob Turner is tied in the polls with Democratic candidate David Weprin, and the main issue in the race is Obama's policies on Israel.
To sidestep criticism of the president's record, Weprin is seeking to distance himself from Obama. He refuses to say if he will support Obama's reelection bid. And he is as critical of Obama's record on Israel as his Republican opponent is.
But Turner's argument - that as a Democrat, Weprin will be forced to support his party and so support Obama - is gaining traction with voters. According to a McLaughlin poll of the district released on September 1, Turner's bid is gaining steam, and Weprin's is running out of steam, with Turner's favorability rates on the rise and Weprin's declining.
Deflecting substantive criticism by seeking to demonize one's opponents is a standard leftist play. Obama and his political supporters engage in it routinely in their demonization of their political opponents as "terrorists" and "extremists." And now, with the American Jewish vote in play for the first time since 1936, they are doing it to Netanyahu.
It is encouraging to see that at least in New York's Ninth Congressional District, American Jews are refusing to be taken in.
Americans Vote Conservative--With Their Moving Vans
Conservatives yearn for a big, clarifying electoral victory in November of 2012, but they’re already winning decisively whenever Americans vote with their feet--or their moving vans.
New Census numbers show citizens fleeing by the millions from liberal states and flocking in comparable numbers to bastions of rightwing sentiment. Call it the Great Political Migration.
Between 2009 and 2010 the five biggest losers in terms of “residents lost to other states” were all prominent redoubts of progressivism: California, New York, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey. Meanwhile, the five biggest winners in the relocation sweepstakes are all commonly identified as “red states” in which Republicans generally dominate local politics: Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia. Expanding the review to a 10-year span, the biggest population gainers (in percentage terms) have been even more conservative than last year’s winners: Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Texas, in that order.
The shift in national demographics has already rearranged the playing field for the upcoming presidential election. States that Barack Obama carried were the biggest losers in the reapportionment that followed the 2010 Census, with New York and Ohio dropping two electoral votes each. Texas, meanwhile, gained a whopping four votes all by its Lone Star lonesome self. Even in the unlikely event that Obama carried exactly the same states he carried in 2008, he’d still win six fewer electoral votes in 2012. Even more tellingly, if the epic Bush-Gore battle of 2000 played out on the new Electoral College map, with the two candidates carrying precisely the states they each won 11 years ago, the result would have been a far more clear-cut GOP victory margin of 33 electoral votes (instead of the five-vote nail-biter recorded in history books).
Fifty years ago, the United States saw a mass migration from East to West. Today we’re witnessing a comparable migration from left to right.
This significant shift in population not only presents progressives with significant problems in terms of practical politics, but also confronts them with profound ideological challenges.
If liberal approaches work so well, why are so many people choosing to pack their bags and desert some of the most progressive, pro-labor, big-government states in the union?
And if uncompromising conservatism is a cruel, fraudulent disaster, why do small government, pro-business, low tax, gun-toting and church-going states draw such a disproportionate number of America’s internal immigrants?
US Army orders its first batch of hand held killer drones: "Soldiers who fly hand-launched drone scouts to spot enemies on the battlefield may soon get a deadly robotic device capable of also delivering a knockout blow. The U.S. Army has ordered its first batch of small suicide drones that are capable of launching from a small tube, loitering in the sky and then diving at a target upon command. The backpack-size 'Switchblade' drone and its launch tube give individual soldiers a new level of precise control over an explosive weapon."
A case against the case against Walmart: "Walmart's effect on prices -- particularly food prices -- is one of the reasons economist Jason Furman called the company 'a progressive success story.' Walmart's effect on food prices disproportionately benefits poorer households, which tend to spend a larger percentage of their income on food than wealthier households."
Soaking the rich is not fair: "Liberals view high income -- meaning any income that exceeds their own -- as the result of luck or anti-social behavior. Hence liberals believe 'fairness' justifies government-imposed transfers from the rich to everyone else. Many conservatives accept this view implicitly. They oppose soak-the-rich policies because of concern over growth, but they do not dispute whether such policies are fair."
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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)