America is well on the way to despotism
To paraphrase the sage of Oklahoma, Will Rogers, liberals used to be people who did good with their own money.
To paraphrase former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, liberals learned that, by doing so, they would quickly run out of their own money. Whereas, through government, they could satisfy either their altruism or their guilt and do good on a much larger scale using other people's money.
Unfortunately for them, implementing "social justice" by legal mandate, that is, transforming a liberal philosophy into liberal politics, forced them to swim in the same dogmatic waters as communists, where liberals had difficulty drawing a distinction between their policies and those endorsed by the communists.
That dilemma was temporarily resolved by the Great Depression, an economic calamity arguably caused by government through the inappropriate action of the Federal Reserve, which resulted in the "throw out the bums" election of liberal Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, who ironically promoted government as the solution. Knowing they could not be elected to high office by truthfully articulating their aims, American communists joined the Roosevelt Administration in droves.
As the Depression dragged on, the size and scope of government increased in a manner not unlike the humorous anecdote about business consultants "if you're not part of the solution, there is good money to be made in prolonging the problem."
Although liberal policies invariably failed and its theoretical basis collapsed, the rhetoric managed to survive, but becoming steadily more extreme in order to nourish a constituency of evolving grievances, from "Income Inequality" to the "War on Women" to the newly-minted "White Privilege."
One subsidiary of the liberal grievance industry is the Congressional Black Caucus, a group seemingly driven by resentment and the desire for revenge, who exploit black "victimhood" to promote policies that, in the end, maintain the victim population and themselves in Congress. Often fervent to the point of hysteria, they are habitually wrong at the top of their lungs.
It is not injustice that troubles them so much about Ferguson, for example, but justice, and facts that do not validate their "Pre-Rage" or conform to their narrow, race-centric views.
Liberalism fosters a form of political solipsism, which is a philosophical theory where only the self exists, generating an extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings and desires.
It drives liberals to commit, as H.L. Mencken noted, the greatest and most costly of all human follies, to believe passionately in what is palpably not true.
The Obama Administration represents the final stage of liberal descent into totalitarianism with the adoption of 1960s radicalism as the core strategy, an approach that both then and now advocates a rapid fundamental transformation of the United States through confrontation with little respect for the Constitution or the democratic process.
That would not, however, be an issue if there were some resistance to such an ominous trend.
The Republican establishment, confining itself to token, emotionally satisfying gestures of opposition, does not contest that trend because they do not want to challenge the status quo; they want to remain part of it. They do not oppose Democrats, but seek to be more like them. The Republican leadership long ago jettisoned any semblance of principle in favor of election prospects as junior partners in a ruling class.
The federal government has become an entity unto itself operating outside of Constitutional constraints and unaccountable to the American people.
Power rests, not with the citizens, but with a relatively small group of politicians and financiers, who enhance their personal wealth and privilege by looting the country through a self-serving legislative process. They retain their authority by adjusting the levers of government and using the media to manipulate public perception and opinion to preserve the illusion of representative government.
It is what Israeli historian J. L. Talmon described as totalitarian democracy, a political system in which lawfully elected representatives rule a nation state whose citizens, although granted the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision-making process of government.
Well on their way to despotism, our political and media elite have discarded truth and persuasion for the more expedient lies and coercion.
Some rare honesty from a Democrat
At a time when Ferguson, Missouri, has been under siege, the president unilaterally brought millions of illegal immigrants “out of the shadows,” the so-called Islamic State beheaded another American, an architect of Obamacare admitted the law was conceived and birthed in deception, and the secretary of defense was unceremoniously dumped, it’s no wonder that a speech by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. – the Tuesday before Thanksgiving – didn’t get the coverage it deserved.
But for political junkies, Schumer’s speech at the National Press Club is a marvel to behold. It is at once one of the most impressive acts of political truth-telling from a major politician in our lifetimes and a sophomoric explication of political philosophy. Let’s start there. “Democrats must embrace government. It’s what we believe in; it’s what unites our party,” Schumer explained. “If we run away from government, downplay it, or act as if we are embarrassed by its role, people won’t vote for our pale version of the Republican view.”
Somewhere, a straw man’s ears are burning. Barack Obama is the most pro-government president since FDR and Woodrow Wilson. Throughout his presidency so far, to the cheers of the news media, he has passionately made the case for the state as the cure for whatever ails us.
His greatest hits are familiar to anyone who has paid attention. From “you didn’t build that” to “government is us,” Obama has cast government as the engine of progress. His 2012 campaign’s “Life of Julia” ad was a tech-friendly updating of Wilson’s progressive vision of getting the individual to “marry his interests to the state.” Obama laid out that vision in great detail in his second inaugural and countless other speeches. More important, he has pushed policies – from Obamacare to tax hikes – to back up his rhetoric.
In Schumer’s telling, however, the Democrats must “embrace government.” What movie was he watching? This is the essence of ideological liberalism: Government is always the answer. It would be fun to see Schumer as a contestant on Jeopardy responding to every category, “What is proof we need more government?”
Because liberals lack philosophical diversity on the role of government, all they have left to disagree about is tactics. And that’s where Schumer’s speech is a breath of fresh air. The senator has no principled objection to a government takeover of health care; what he objects to now is the timing. Back in 2009-10, he was a vocal champion of the law.
Last week, he said, “Unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem – health care reform.”
The senator said he still favors Obamacare’s goals, but “it wasn’t the change we were hired to make.” Voters wanted Obama and his party to fix the economy. Indeed, in a remarkable moment of honest cynicism, Schumer went into great detail lamenting how the law was designed to help mostly poor people who for the most part don’t vote.
Morally, this is a fascinating admission. In Schumer’s hierarchy of needs, winning elections for Democrats matters more than helping the truly needy. Call it uncompassionate liberalism.
The great irony here is that Schumer is widely seen as a blocking tackle for Hillary Clinton, whose path to the presidency depends on her ability to distance herself from the president and a politically disastrous law. The hope seems to be that Schumer’s broadside against the tactical failures of the Obama administration will create space for Clinton to criticize her former boss' stewardship while still embracing the unquestioned primacy of liberal-run government over everything.
The irony is that Clinton’s appeal is that she will reincarnate the alleged successes of her husband’s presidency. The hitch: Bill Clinton’s governing style didn’t exactly jibe with the philosophy of Obama, Schumer or, for that matter, Hillary Clinton. It did, briefly, after he was elected and Hillary Clinton pushed an earlier version of Obamacare known back then as “Hillarycare.”
After losing Congress in the wake of Hillarycare’s wreckage, Clinton instead admitted he had moved too far left and subsequently embraced welfare reform, banking deregulation and proclaimed “the era of big government is over.”
And that, for Schumer, Obama and Hillary Clinton’s party, is nothing less than heresy.
Senate Democrats Torture the Facts
The administration and Senate Democrats have released a report spanking the CIA for waterboarding terrorists.
The report was written by Democrat staffers, whose “expert” findings include:
Enhanced interrogation techniques don’t work.
The CIA provided inaccurate information to the Bush administration about its interrogation program.
Management and oversight was negligent.
The program was more brutal than represented.
All horse manure. Brutal is when you saw off the head of a civilian noncombatant captive, as ISIL is fond of doing.
According to former POW Sen. John McCain, “I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence.”
First of all, waterboarding is nothing like what McCain endured at the hands of the North Vietnamese. And as several other highly decorated POWs have noted, waterboarding did work in some cases – and they approve. It did produce “good intelligence,” including, according to the CIA, intelligence that helped to disrupt plots, led to the capture of other terrorists, and led to Osama bin Laden’s courier, who ultimately led to bin Laden.
Former CIA Director Michael Haden confirmed, “Enhanced interrogation contributed to the wealth of knowledge that we needed to [get to bin Laden].” Without such techniques, Obama would not have been able to walk to that microphone and say “we got him.”
Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., a 31-year veteran of the CIA, likewise noted that interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed resulted in more than 2,000 intelligence reports, including contributing info leading to Osama.
And for the record, former CIA directors George Tenet, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden, along with deputy directors John McLaughlin, Albert Calland and Stephen Kappes, recount in The Wall Street Journal many of the CIA’s other numerous successes, as well as criticizing Senate Democrats' profound errors in producing this one-sided, incomplete and out-of-context report.
No CIA officials were interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee because Attorney General Eric Holder refused to coordinate those interviews on the basis that the Justice Department had its own ongoing investigation. (Apparently Rolling Stone followed the Senate Intelligence Committee model by refusing to interview the accused.) Note that the DOJ investigation produced no charges.
The DOJ investigators who reviewed the Senate investigation confirmed they found nothing that would warrant bringing criminal charges against CIA officers and operatives. And that investigation ended two years ago – which is to say Democrats could have called CIA witnesses.
Update: Given that officials were not interviewed before the report, they have now issued a fact-sheet rebuttal.
Now Obama administration officials have placed military and law-enforcement personnel on high alert, acknowledging the report may spawn terrorist attacks.
According to Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, “We have U.S. personnel, both intelligence officials and military special operators, in harm’s way. Why would we release [this report] now? What did we have to gain? All of this has been debated. All of this has been settled. … Clearly the administration knew it was going to cause trouble as they sent out warnings all across the world.”
Joe Biden insisted it was just the kind of transparency for which this administration is decidedly not known: “We made a mistake. We made a big mistake. … [This report] is a badge of honor.”
On the other hand, George W. Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, described the report as “a crock.” Cheney said of intelligence officials, “They deserve a lot of praise. As far as I’m concerned, they ought to be decorated, not criticized.”
Obama’s current CIA director, John Brennan, agreed with Cheney. According to Brennan, the CIA interrogations “did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives.” That assessment directly challenges the core assertions in the Senate Democrats' report. Brennan threatened to resign over the report, but we believe he remained in place to defend the agency.
The White House insists that Obama has full confidence in Brennan as CIA director. But the problem is Brennan has little or no confidence in Obama as president and commander in chief – and he is not alone.
Outgoing Sen. Saxby Chambliss said, “The majority side of the intelligence committee has spent the last five years and over $40 million focused on a program that effectively ended over eight years ago, while the world around us burns.”
Chambliss concluded, “It seems as though the study takes every opportunity to unfairly portray the CIA in the worst light possible, presupposing improper motivations and the most detestable behavior at every turn.”
In fact, the CIA briefed Congress on its efforts roughly 30 times along the way. Senate Democrats were last briefed on the CIA’s methods in 2006 and the last interrogations were in 2007. Democrats could have stopped the interrogations then. Notably, Nancy Pelosi was fully briefed on the CIA operation in 2002, despite claiming later she had no knowledge of it (these memory lapses are an issue with Pelosi).
In conclusion, the group of former CIA directors and deputy directors wrote, “Between 1998 and 2001, the al Qaeda leadership in South Asia attacked two U.S. embassies in East Africa, a U.S. warship in the port of Aden, Yemen, and the American homeland – the most deadly single foreign attack on the U.S. in the country’s history. The al Qaeda leadership has not managed another attack on the homeland in the 13 years since, despite a strong desire to do so. The CIA’s aggressive counterterrorism policies and programs are responsible for that success.”
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