Category Archives: Politics and Culture

All Politics, All the Time

Posted By lex, on September 21st, 2011

Buoyed by the medial ululation that met yesterday’s end of the Clinton-era Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell compromise, the same president that promised a deeper respect for foreign cultures told a gathering of stone faced representatives from Africa and the Arab world that they really ought to get over their discriminatory policies towards the sexually heterodox. Keeping in mind that, 1) the speech was ostensibly about the issue of Palestinian statehood, and 2) some of our UN partner nations are less fully evolved than is the president himself, I had to wonder where he was going, there.

But not for very long.

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Coming Home

Posted By lex, on September 23rd, 2011

Charles Krauthammer holds that our president’s moves to raise taxes in a grinding recession is less a tactical appeal to his base than a return to his true self:

Considering the political cost — a massive electoral rebuke by an infuriated 2010 electorate — these are the works of a conviction politician, one deeply committed to his own social-democratic vision.

That politician now returns. Obama’s new populism surely is a calculation that his halfhearted feints to the center after the midterm “shellacking” were not only unconvincing but would do him no good anyway with a stagnant economy, 9 percent unemployment and a staggering $4 trillion of new debt.

But this is more than a political calculation. It is more than just a pander to his base. It is a pander to himself: Obama is a member of his base. He believes this stuff. It is an easy and comfortable political shift for him, because it’s a shift from a phony centrism back to his social-democratic core, from positioning to authenticity.

I guess he might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb.

He can collect his participation trophy at the door. Put a picture of it in his upcoming (third) auto-biography. Alongside his other two accomplishments.

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Interesting Tactic

By lex, on August 31st, 2011

President Obama is about to take the gloves off, according to the The Hill:

President Obama is preparing to fight a political war this fall on two fronts — the first against Republicans who want his job and the second against Republicans who want to make his job more difficult.

Obama is taking dead-aim at the latter group, targeting Congress in a fall offensive that the president’s reelection campaign hopes will bruise the overall GOP image beyond repair…

When GOP lawmakers return, the president and his team are ready to deliver a flurry of attacks, castigating Congress for inaction on jobs, being on the wrong side of taxes and eager to destroy social safety net programs. If Obama and his team have their way, Americans will come to see every Republican as a Tea Party extremist.

Thus, “post-partisanship.”

Who knows, as a tactic it might even work. But I think the issue here may be that the “Tea Party” label is more offensive within left-wing talking shops than it is to right or center. After all, regardless of the repeated linking of the words “Tea Party” with “extremist” (and “mostly white”), their platform merely comes down to government acting within its constitutional constraints and adopting a more realistic attitude toward spending other people’s money.

Social Security is to the both the left and the right FDR’s signal contribution to the growth of government into peoples’ lives, but while the hard right might label that more of an intrusion, the left worships at FDR’s altar. Whichever way you come down on it, it is increasingly unaffordable in its current state. Texas Governor Rick Perry is right, on this at least: With the baby boomer generation moving into their golden years, the program has indeed become a Ponzi scheme. We were never going to be able to tax our working years into retired prosperity, and the odds of doing so are doubly daunting when the rising generation has to pay the bill for far more numerous graybeards who live ever longer lives.

Our president, like most politicians, is a lawyer. He knows that if the facts are against you, you argue the law.  If the law is against you, argue the facts. And if the facts and the law are against you, yell like hell.

Let the yelling begin.

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Two Camps

By lex, on February 20th, 2012

The Beeb weighs in on MSNBC’s firing of Pat Buchanan, calling the act symbolic of the “narrowing of the American mind“:

The channel says he has been fired because of views expressed in his book, Suicide of a Super Power, which contains chapters on “The End of White America” and “The Death of Christian America”.

On his blog, Pat Buchanan says he has fallen victim to blacklisters. He says he does think homosexuality is unnatural, but implicitly denies he is racist…

You can’t be in America long before you hear people bemoan the death of a more bipartisan past.

To an extent this is piety, but sometimes the split in the media makes America feel like it is dividing into two armed camps.

Actually, only one of the camps is armed.

But not to worry, your government is on the task, aided by none other than NBC.

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Odd Statement

Posted By lex, on March 8th, 2011

In this otherwise mundane article about the usual foreign policy tug of war within the Capital Beltway – Libya, this time – we find an interesting insight into President Obama’s grasp of history:

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, History, Military, Politics, Politics and Culture

All But One

Posted By lex, on March 9th, 2011

The writers of the WSJ editorial page welcome President Obama’s adoption of Bush-era anti-terror policies such as detentions in Guantanamo and the resumption of military tribunals to try suspected terrorists. Those these policies run directly against candidate Obama’s stated position this movement, the paper concludes, represents the education of a man into the responsibilities of power, and the dangers of the world.

But they do have some objections:

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Bombshells

Posted By lex, on March 10th, 2011

At least someone’s not afraid to drop them:

Social psychology has long been a haven for left-wing scholars. Jonathan Haidt, one of the best known and most respected young social psychologists, has heaved two bombshells at his field—one indicting it for effectively excluding conservatives (he is a liberal) and the other for what he sees as a jaundiced and cult-like opposition to religion (he is an atheist).

It’s a great read, no matter how you come down on the academy or the almighty.

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Omnibust

Posted by lex, on December 17, 2010

The GOP gets some of that ol’ time religion:

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Couldn’t Make it Up

Posted by lex, on November 17, 2010

To file under the “truth is stranger than fiction” category, bipolar liberal shoots his own TV, frightens the wife and ends up in a stand-off with police because Sarah Palin’s daughter is seen on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Talk about self-destructive.

Possibly related: Nancy Pelosi elected to lead new House minority.

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Take Him At His Word

Posted by lex, on September 9, 2010

Let us, for the sake of argument, reject Andrew McCArthy’s argument that, while there are indeed moderate Muslims, there is no such thing as moderate Islam. Let us instead listen to the words of  Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the bridge-building sponsor of the Cordoba House in New York:

The religious leader behind plans to erect an Islamic center and mosque a few blocks from New York’s ground zero said Wednesday night that America’s national security depends on how it handles the controversy.

“If we move from that location, the story will be the radicals have taken over the discourse,” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on “Larry King Live.”

“The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack.”

The imam, who repeatedly said his mission was to promote peace and build a bridge among faiths, said he was also speaking about “radicals” on both sides of the debate on the Islamic center. “Our national security now hinges on how we negotiate this, how we speak about it.”

Shorter Rauf: “Build my mosque culture center where I want it, or else.”

These are less the words of someone building bridges than someone constructing siege engines.

UpdateBridge building * , Pakistan style. Defended speech, here or there. Of course, the reverse would not be true.

02-12-21 Link gone; no replacement found – Ed.

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