Sunday, March 31, 2013

When did I miss the “tipping point”?

This is really the sort of country I long for as articulated by Troy Senik:

"I want a “leave me alone” society — one where Christian schools can turn people away for rejecting their doctrine, just as gay rights groups can reject those who don’t share their beliefs. I don’t want us all to get along — not because I’m misanthropic (well, not just because I’m misanthropic), but because I know that “consensus” is usually a fancy word for muting minority viewpoints. I want us all to be free to be annoyed with each other from our separate corners. Is that too much to ask?"

Apparently.  Ask Sarah Conly (I still can’t get over the title of her book [“Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism.”] and the implication it carries which, if she even realizes it, should chill her to the bone).  Ask Mayor Bloomberg.  Ask most of the left and a good portion of the right.

How did we ever wander away from that direction and end up on the one where a major news organ, the NYT, even gives a forum to crypto-fascists like Conly?  What a horrifying person she is.  Imagine someone as cavalier about your rights actually in a position of power.  Imagine the possibilities.  Oh, that’s right, we don’t have too, do we.  We have history to provide the examples.  Tons of them.

And yet here is this supposed “learned” academic parroting the same authoritarian themes in a soothing voice designed to lull you into feeling good about giving everything away to the authoritarians (or at least enough so that at some point they can just take the rest).

I want what Senik wants.  I don’t have a problem with most discrimination.  Yeah, I know – that’s heresy isn’t it?  Look, if someone wants to discriminate let them – and let them pay the “stupid tax” for doing so.  But here’s the point – you should be free to do that.  You should have the right to be stupid and to do stupid things (with the usual caveat that it’s only okay as long as your stupid acts don’t harm others or violate their rights). You should have the right to fail, get fat, smoke, drink, and be an ignorant slob without the do gooders deciding they have to save you from yourself and the only way to do that is to take your freedom away.  Or to tell you how to act, talk, or interact with penalties for not being politically correct.

Why is it that the Sarah Conlys of the world are published in the NYT and the ideas of the Troy Seniks of the world have to settle for blogs?  When did Senik's idea, which was once very main stream in this country, become extremist while what was once not only extremist, an anathema to America,  but thoroughly discredited throughout history somehow gain respectability again?

When you boil it all down, it is that dilemma which amply describes why we’re in the awful shape we’re in and why we see our freedoms under constant assault and slowly being taken away.

I’m just wondering when the tipping point occurred.



Mike Bloomberg, Liberal Fascist

That’s New York City’s nasty little fascist mayor, the ersatz and erstwhile “Republican” who used the party to sneak into Gracie Mansion in the wake of the Giuliani administration’s successful war on street crime, and then double-crossed the GOP in his bald-faced but successful attempt to subvert term limits, lecturing David Gregory in his Boston honk that he knows what’s best for New Yorkers — and us.

Yes, it’s the Soda Jerk himself, tossing his pint-sized weight around as he attempts to remain politically viable after his reign as the successor to such corrupt and incompetent wretches as Jimmy Walker, William O’Dwyer, Abe Beame and David Dinkins mercifully comes to an end. Let’s unpack a little of what the Terror of Tinytown had to say.

We’re not banning anything.  All we’re saying is, we want to show you just how big the cup is. If you want 32 ounces, take two cups to your seat. If you want 64, carry four. But our hope is, if you only take one, you won’t go back.

If you believe that, Bloomberg has a bridge to Brooklyn to sell you. And to which the only proper response — the one that until New York turned into a city of Upper West Side conformist sheep he would have justly received — is (to quote Kurt Schlichter) “bite me.”

Note how piously the unctuous Nanny Bloomberg claims he’s not “banning anything,” when in fact that’s exactly what he tried to do until a New York state judge drop-kicked his assertion of unfettered government authority and bureaucratic oversight through the goal posts of personal freedom — a concept that is itself under direct attack by fascists like Bloomberg, who has married his $27 billion personal fortune to his power as NYC mayor in an attempt to impose his will on the residents of the five boroughs and beyond.

Our job is to educate .., all we’re trying to do is educate.

No, yer honor, your job is to manage the city government, to make sure the snow gets shoveled and the trash gets picked up, not to lecture the rest of us and use the power of City Hall to impose your particular life-style choices on everybody else. But that’s what happens when conservatives let the Left seize the narrative and promote governmental mission creep. Once government “addresses” a problem by throwing taxpayer money at it, it’s only a short hop to government claiming — as Bloomberg does in the clip — that because government spends money on a “problem,” it now has the right to dictate personal behavior. Sheer genius, really.

By now, the notion that government from the feds on down has the “right” to interfere in every aspect of American life is well-established and nearly unquestioned. Two generations of red-diaper babies have grown up with visions of the Frankfurt School dancing in their heads; they’ve adapted Marxist tactics to the capitalist system in the furtherance of their world-view — George Soros, take a bow — but their goal remains the same: power, disguised as “compassion.”

The collapse of free societies doesn’t start with the Vandals’ assault on the gates of Rome. It starts with “reasonable” restrictions on freedom, “carve-outs” and “exemptions” to constitutional principles, “temporary” taxes and suspensions of civil liberties — all designed to inure the public to the destruction of bedrock guarantees ( i.e. “Congress shall make no law…”) in the name of what’s good for them.

Gregory asks, “Where’s the line? Where is too far for government to go?” Bloomy’s comforting answer: "I do not think we should ban most things."  And to think this man still harbors a desire to run for president.

UPDATE: His Bloominess is launching another capitalism-financed regressive assault on the Second Amendment this very day:

[A] $12 million ad blitz targeting senators wavering on gun control will be just the beginning, Mayor Bloomberg warned Sunday.

“I have a responsibility … to try to make this country safer,” Bloomberg said on “Meet the Press” when asked if he’d spend big-time in next year’s elections to target the National Rifle Association and members of Congress for opposing gun restrictions.

“If I can do that by spending some money, and taking the NRA from being the only voice to being one of the voices, so the public can really understand the issues, then I think my money will be well spent and I think I have an obligation to do that,” he said.



“Me too” Republicans

by Thomas Sowell

Many ideas presented as "new" are just rehashes of old ideas that have been tried before – and have failed before. So it is no surprise that the recent "Growth and Opportunity Project" report to the Republican National Committee is a classic example of what previous generations called "Me too" Republicanism.

These are Republicans who think that the key to winning elections is to do more of what the Democrats are doing. In effect, they say "me too" on issues such as immigration, in hopes of gaining more new votes than they lose by betraying their existing supporters.

In the wake of last year's presidential election debacle for the Republicans, the explanation preferred by "moderate" Republicans has been that the GOP has been too narrowly ideological, and needs to reach out to minorities, women and young people, rather than just to conservatives.

In the words of the "Growth and Opportunity Project," the problem is that conservative Republican candidates have been "driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac."

But the report itself says that the Republicans' election problems have been at the national level, not at the state level, where a majority of the governors are Republicans. Are the Republican moderates suggesting that the reason Mitt Romney lost in 2012 is that he was driving around in a conservative cul-de-sac? Romney was as mushy a moderate as Senator John McCain was before him – and as many other Republican losers in presidential elections have been, going all the way back to the 1940s. The only Republican candidate who might fit the charge of being a complete conservative was Ronald Reagan, who won two landslide elections.

The report to the Republican National Committee is on firmer ground when it says that national Republican candidates have not articulated their case very well – that "we too often sound like bookkeepers." Republican candidates "need to do a better job talking in normal, people-oriented terms."

Absolutely. It doesn't matter how good your case is, if you don't bother to articulate it so that voters understand you.

The heart of the report, however, is the argument that Republicans need to reach out to minorities, women and young people. With Hispanics and blacks becoming a growing proportion of the American population – and both groups voting overwhelmingly for Democrats – the Republicans are obviously in big trouble in future elections if they don't do something.

But if they do what this report advocates, they could be in even bigger trouble. Here again, facts seem to mean nothing to those who wrote this report.

They propose going through such organizations as the NAACP to reach black voters, as if the NAACP owns blacks, in violation of the 13th Amendment. Not only is the NAACP virtually a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party, the kind of black voters that the Republicans have some hope of winning over are unlikely to be enthralled to the NAACP, and many of them may see through such race hustlers.

Or do all blacks look alike to those who wrote this report?

It is the same story with Hispanics and Asian Americans. The Republicans are supposed to go through these groups' "leaders" as well – mostly leaders tied to the Democratic Party ideologically or otherwise. You might think that a Republican Party that talks about individualism would try to appeal to individuals.

Individuals whom the Republicans have some chance of winning over may well be a small minority within these groups. However, if the GOP can reduce the Democrats' 80 percent of these groups' votes to 70 percent, that can swing elections.

But a shotgun approach to minorities won't do it.

When it comes to minority votes, the Democratic Party is much like Eastman Kodak during the long period when it sold the vast majority of the film and cameras in the country. How did its competitors manage to drive Kodak into bankruptcy?

Not by saying "me too" while trying to imitate Kodak and trying to outdo Kodak with better film and better film cameras. They went digital instead. But that approach requires a lot more thought than apparently went into this report. Polls and focus groups are not a substitute for thought.



Democrat extremism

The American left cares so much for humanity that it even expends copious draughts of compassion toward us, toward you and me, toward suave, degage conservatives. The left's members really fret over how elements of the "extreme right" are undermining the Republican Party, consigning it to oblivion.

The latest moral colossus to perform this exemplary task is Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, but there are many more from all the precincts of the left. This past weekend, I even detected this concern for us from the pollster, Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center. Writing a piece on the future of the Republican Party, he expressed his concern that advocates of "staunch conservatism" have left the Republican Party "estranged from America." If moderate Republicans do not smarten up and presumably rid the party of these "staunch conservatives," the party will go so far to the right that it will be replicating the political suicide of Senator George McGovern and his McGovernite zealots back in 1972.

If you are old enough you may remember how in 1972 the left was apoplectic that McGovern was leading the Democratic Party out into the wilderness. You do not recall it that way? You have forgotten? It did not seem like that at the time? The left in 1972 was full of its usual brag and bounce that crazy George was on the right side of history, and victory was only months away. Is Kohut mistaken?

I think he is. Actually, this grave concern by the left over the projects of the "staunch conservatives" within the Republican Party is one vast sham. A similar concern by the left for the extremist tilt of the Democratic Party is never apparent, and the reason is obvious. The concern does not exist. Yet the Democratic Party over the years has, for a certitude, gone left, far left. Review the evidence. On issue after issue -- from social policy to fiscal policy -- the Democrats have moved leftward. With the help of their amanuenses in the media, the left is never forced to talk about it, but it is a fact. With the leftward rush of the party proclaimed in the Prophet Obama's State of the Union address, it is the Democrats who are extreme. Their day of reckoning will come on Nov. 4, 2014.

The left's sham is not without its effects on weak-kneed Republicans and independents, however. Senator Ted Cruz, Texas's latest gift to American politics, is reportedly stunned by his wobbly-legged Republican colleagues, who patter up and down the halls of the Senate. Apparently, they believe that the American left really has the best interests of the Republicans at heart. Of course, they are wrong.

Perhaps one has to live out in the states and the congressional districts to see how wrong the left and susceptible Republicans are. Out across the fruited plain, a majority of governors' mansions (30) are controlled by the Republicans. The Republicans also control a majority of state legislatures (Republicans 27, Democrats 17). Back in Washington, the Republicans control the House of Representatives, and as of yesterday, five Senate Democrats are stepping down in 2014. The upper chamber is very delicately balanced now and will probably shift to the Republicans in 2014. Then there is one additional element to give the Republicans something to smile about. Back in 2012, the year that gave the left so much reason for hope, the Prophet Obama won 3,591,303 fewer votes than in 2008. The Democrats suppressed the Republican turnout in 2012 by rendering Mitt Romney an oligarch. What is more, they had a splendid ground game that got out theretofore non-voting minorities in the swing votes. But 2014 will be different.

Then, thanks to the cost and confusion of Obamacare and the ongoing economic malaise, the same issue will be salient that was salient in 2010, the economy. Roughly 42 percent of the American electorate is conservative compared to 18-20 percent that is of the left. Roughly 35 percent of the electorate is independent. The majority of the independents, provoked by the sour economy and by budget overruns, voted with the conservatives in 2010 and 2012. If the "staunch conservatives" turn out to vote in 2014 it is going to be another landslide on the order of 2010 ... and you know who won that landslide.




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