Sunday, June 16, 2013
Crossroads for the GOP
Patrick J. Buchanan
How to deal with 12 million illegal aliens —send them home or grant them amnesty and a "path to citizenship"— the party's rancorous division will be starkly visible when the bill reaches the House.
But the existential crisis of the GOP, from which it has turned its eyes away since George H.W. Bush, is demography.
Yet the matter cannot be avoided now, for it is on page one. "White Numbers Shrink," was the headline on the lead story in USA Today. "More Whites Dying Than Being Born," blared The Wall Street Journal. What does this mean?
In demographic terms, more white Americans died in 2012 than were born. Never before—not during the Civil War bloodletting, not during the influenza epidemic after World War I, not during th Great Depression and birth dearth of the 1930s—has this happened.
In ethnic terms, it means that Americans whose forebears came from Great Britain, Ireland and Germany, Southern and Eastern Europe—the European tribes of North America—have begun to die.
The demographic winter of white America is at hand, even as it began years ago for the native-born of old Europe.
In political terms, this is depressing news for the Republican Party. For nearly 90 percent of all Republican votes in presidential elections are provided by Americans of European descent.
In 1960 white folks were close to 90 percent of the entire U.S. population and 95 percent of the electorate. Nixon's New Majority was created by pulling Northern Catholic ethnics and Southern conservative Protestants, white folks all, out of the Roosevelt coalition and bringing them into a new alliance that would give Nixon a 49-state landslide in 1972, which Reagan would replicate in 1984.
But since that New Majority gave the Republicans five victories in six presidential elections, four of them 40-state landslides, the political world has turned upside down, and demography is the cause.
Mitt Romney won 59 percent of the white vote, a 3-to-2 victory over Obama among America's majority. In any year before 1980, that would have meant victory. But in 2012 whites were only 74 percent of those who went to the polls.
Thus, Obama's sweep of 80 percent of the African-American, Asian and Hispanic vote, one-fourth of the electorate and rising, enabled him to coast to a second term.
Between 2008 and 2012, the Hispanic vote rose 1.4 million, the black vote by 1.7 million, and the white vote fell by 2 million.
Where is America going? What does the GOP future look like?
America's white majority, 64 percent of the population and 74 percent of the electorate, still declining in relative terms, has begun to decline in real terms. Deaths outnumber births. Among all U.S. births in 2012, white babies were outnumbered by babies of color.
If Republicans are opposed to what mass immigration is doing to the country demographically, ethnically, socially and politically, there are, as Reagan used to say, "simple answers, just no easy answers."
Those answers: No amnesty, secure the border, enforce laws against businesses that hire illegals, and impose a moratorium on new immigration so wages can rise and immigrants enter the middle class and start voting as did the children and grandchildren of the immigrants of 1890-1920 by 1972.
So what are the Republicans doing?
Going back on their word, dishonoring their platform, and enraging their loyal supporters, who gave Mitt 90 percent of his votes, to pander to a segment of the electorate that gave Mitt less than 5 percent of his total votes.
Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.
The "national security" state
There's more, much more, to the Lois Lerner story
By George F. Will
As soon as the Constitution permitted him to run for Congress, Al Salvi did. In 1986, just 26 and fresh from the University of Illinois law school, he sank $1,000 of his own money, which was most of his money, into a campaign to unseat an incumbent Democratic congressman. Salvi studied for the bar exam during meals at campaign dinners.
He lost. Today, however, he should be invited to Congress to testify about what happened 10 years later when as a prosperous lawyer he won the Republican Senate nomination to run against a Democratic congressman named Dick Durbin.
In the fall of 1996, at the campaign's climax, Democrats filed with the Federal Elections Commission charges alleging campaign finance violations by Salvi's campaign. These charges dominated the campaign's closing days. Salvi spoke by phone with the head of the FEC's Enforcement Division, who he remembers saying: "Promise me you will never run for office again, and we'll drop this case." He was speaking to Lois Lerner.
After losing to Durbin, Salvi spent four years and $100,000 fighting the FEC, on whose behalf FBI agents visited his elderly mother demanding to know, concerning her $2,000 contribution to her son's campaign, where she got "that kind of money." When the second of two federal courts held that the charges against Salvi were spurious, the lawyer arguing for the FEC was Lois Lerner.
More recently, she has been head of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, which has
used its powers of delay, harassment and extortion to suppress political participation. For example, it has told an Iowa right-to-life group that it would get tax exempt status if it would promise not to picket Planned Parenthood clinics.
Last week, in a televised House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., Salvi's former law partner, told the riveting story of the partisan enforcement of campaign laws to suppress political competition by distracting Salvi and entangling him in bureaucratic snares. The next day, the number of inches of newsprint in The Washington Post and New York Times devoted to Roskam's revelation was the number of minutes that had been devoted to it on the three broadcast networks' evening news programs the night before: Zero.
House Republicans should use their committee chairmanships to let Lerner exercise her right to confront Salvi and her many other accusers. If she were invited back to Congress to respond concerning Salvi, would she again refuse to testify by invoking her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination? There is one way to find out.
Durbin, the second-ranking Senate Democrat who will seek a fourth term next year, defeated Salvi by 15 points. He probably would have won without the assistance of Lerner and the campaign "reforms" that produced the mare's nest of FEC regulations and speech police that lend themselves to abuses like those Salvi endured. In 2010, Durbin wrote a letter urging Lerner's IRS division to look closely at a political advocacy group supporting conservatives.
Lerner, it is prudent to assume, is one among thousands like her who infest the regulatory state. She is not just a bureaucratic bully and a slithering partisan; she also is a national security problem, because she is contributing to a comprehensive distrust of government.
The case for the National Security Agency's gathering of metadata is: America is threatened not by a nation but by a network, dispersed and largely invisible until made visible by connecting dots. The network cannot help but leave, as we all do daily, a digital trail of cellphone, credit card and Internet uses. The dots are in such data; algorithms connect them. The technological gathering of 300 billion bits of data is less menacing than the gathering of 300 by bureaucrats. Mass gatherings by the executive branch twice receive judicial scrutiny, once concerning phone and Internet usages, another concerning the content of messages.
The case against the NSA is: Lois Lerner and others of her ilk.
Government requires trust. Government by progressives, however, demands such inordinate amounts of trust that the demand itself should provoke distrust. Progressivism can be distilled into two words: "Trust us." The antecedent of the pronoun is: The wise, disinterested experts through whom the vast powers of the regulatory state's executive branch will deliver progress for our own good, as the executive branch understands this, whether or not we understand it. Lois Lerner is the scowling face of this state, which has earned Americans' distrust.
Lois Lerner, it is prudent to assume, is one among thousands like her who infest the regulatory state. She is not just a bureaucratic bully and a slithering partisan. Now she also is a national security problem because she is contributing to a comprehensive distrust of government.
Scholar Awarded Julian L. Simon Memorial Award for Moral, Historical Defense of Freedom
CEI is pleased to announce that Deirdre McCloskey, Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the recipient of CEI’s prestigious Julian L. Simon Memorial Award. McCloskey’s groundbreaking scholarly work has focused on historical analysis of the factors that led to advancement in human achievement and prosperity.
“Deirdre McCloskey is a great intellectual and one of the most prominent economic historians alive today,” said CEI Founder and Chairman Fred L. Smith, Jr. “McCloskey offers a moral defense of freedom: She understands that for society to really thrive, society can’t just accept or tolerate economic freedom – society must embrace it. When societies value freedom and capitalism, they prosper.
“McCloskey's impeccable research has documented the cultural transformation in 17th and 18th Century Europe that changed the way society thinks about trade and commerce, which in turn resulted in lifting people out of squalor. Before then, only aristocrats had wealth. That new way of thinking freed people from thousands of years of grinding poverty.”
The Simon Award was established in 2001 in honor of the late free market economist, Julian L. Simon, whose classic 1981 work, The Ultimate Resource, debunked alarmist predictions of eco-doomsayers such as Paul Ehrlich. The award will be presented at CEI's annual gala dinner, June 20, 2013, in Washington, D.C. Previous award recipients include Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal, President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic and "Skeptical Environmentalist" Bjørn Lomborg.
“Professor McCloskey perfectly embodies the spirit in which CEI’s Julian Simon Award was created,” said CEI President Lawson R. Bader. “Her work contributes tremendously to our understanding of the value of free markets, vigorously defends capitalism and entrepreneurialism and makes the case for freedom with a rare eloquence. It is our pleasure to honor her work.”
Quotes & wisdom from Deirdre McCloskey, in The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce:
* One can think of the calamities of the 20th century as caused by the sins of capitalism. The left does. Capital was born, wrote Marx, “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.” I think on the contrary that most of the calamities were a consequence of the attacks on capitalism.
* Viewed over a longer period, however, the most amazing political fact since, say, 1800, as Tocqueville noted as early as 1835, is the spreading idea of equality in freedom, that theory of the ascendant bourgeoisie. Cynics and Jeremiahs to the contrary, it spreads yet. According to Freedom House, the percentage of “free” countries rose from 29 percent in 1973 to 46 percent in 2003, containing 44 percent of the world’s population. Think of Ukraine and South Korea. The world continues to draw on a lost, failed, used-up liberalism. Liberal democracy keeps on explaining events.
* Possibly modern economic growth is as large and important an event in human history as the sudden perfection of language, in Africa around 50,000 BC. In a scarce 200 years our bourgeois capitalism has domesticated the world and made it, Chicago to Shanghai, into a single, throbbing city.
* The triple revolutions of the past two centuries in politics, population, and prosperity are connected. They have had a cause and a consequence, I claim, in ethically better people. I said “better.” Capitalism has not corrupted our souls. It has improved them.
* On the political left it has been commonplace for the past century and a half to charge that modern, industrial people, whether fat or lean, are alienated, rootless, angst-ridden, superﬁcial, materialistic; and that it is precisely participation in markets which has made them so. Gradually, I have noted, the right and the middle have come to accept the charge. I claim that actually existing capitalism, not the collectivisms of the left or of the right, has reached beyond mere consumption, producing the best art and the best people. People have purposes. A capitalist economy gives them scope to try them out. Go to an American Kennel Club show, or an antique show, or a square-dancing convention, or to a gathering of the many millions of American birdwatchers, and you’ll ﬁnd people of no social pretensions passionately engaged. Yes, some people watch more than four hours of TV a day. Yes, some people engage in corrupting purchases. But they are no worse than their ancestors, and on average better.
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Posted by JR at 12:41 AM