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Thursday, 2 February 2012
Our Very Own Clinton
Topic: Decline of the West

 

The estimable R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., editor-in-chief of the American Spectator, pounds a few nails into the coffin of Gingrich for President:

 

The unreported aspect of last week's story of the conservative writers and politicos turning on Gingrich was the role played by the Episodic Apologists. They are the media types who have been covering for the Clintons for years. They have high hopes for the Clintons' talents. Then they are crestfallen by one of the Clintons' scandals: the pilfering of the White House, the last-minute pardons, Monica Lewinsky. Then their high hopes rekindle anew. They were loath to report my attack on Newt as being the Republican's Bill Clinton, but they jumped at the "conservative Establishment's" attacks on his veracity and his other wayward traits.

 

Yet, Newt's failure is part of a larger failure, the infantilism of the 1960s generation. In his narcissism, impulsiveness, and deviancy he is at one with the Clintons. Mitt [Romney], and for that matter [Rick] Santorum, are just the opposite. They are straight arrows and duty-bound. They would not be a riot of scandals in the White House, but is it not about time that we leave the scandals to Hollywood?

 

Indeed, Tyrrell has a point. One of the most compelling arguments in favor of Mitt Romney is that he’s not a celebrity. One can easily imagine Newt (and for that matter, Obama) on the cover of People. But Mitt? Not so much…


Posted by tmg110 at 11:29 AM EST
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Where There's Life, There's Hope
Topic: Decline of the West

 

Despite all attempts by the pro-choice crowd to pin a smile button on the abortion industry, public opinion is becoming more and more adverse to abortion on demand. While not favoring an outright abortion ban, a clear majority of Americans would support tighter restrictions, e.g. outlawing partial birth abortion. This should surprise no one. Despite decades of propaganda and Newspeak (for “fetus” read “undifferentiated tissue mass”) most people persist in believing the obvious: that human life begins at conception. Abortion remains legal, but it’s no longer quite respectable.

 

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is America’s leading breast cancer charity, and it has just decided to end its longstanding partnership with Planned Parenthood, America’s leading abortion provider. This decision was probably the result of many factors, including the adverse publicity that Planned Parenthood has received recently. But on a deeper level, I believe that it reflects a growing realization that respect for life is not really compatible with unlimited access to abortion.


Posted by tmg110 at 10:50 AM EST
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Wednesday, 1 February 2012
No to Newt
Topic: Decline of the West

 

For better or for worse—on balance I'd say it's for the best—yesterday's Florida primary ended Newt Gingrich's hopes of becoming the Republican presidential nominee. The demographics of Mitt Romney's big win in the Sunshine State indicate that Gingrich would probably not be able to defeat Barack Obama in the general election. He’s simply too divisive a figure with too much baggage, and in Florida he displayed in his attacks on Romney a disregard for the facts that is troubling to say the least.

 

Like Gingrich, I have my doubts about Mitt Romney’s conservative credentials. But more important than the ideological purity of the GOP nominee is the urgent necessity of removing Barack Obama from office before he inflicts more damage on the political, economic, social and moral fabric of the nation. For that mission, Newt is not the man.


Posted by tmg110 at 11:16 AM EST
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Bob Chooses Sides
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

Last night on the Fox New gabfest, “The Five,” progressive pundit Bob Beckel defended the violence of the Occupy movement by…blaming the police. See, Occupy Oakland was forced to run amok, burning American flags, chanting “Fuck the pigs!” and causing $5 million in property damage because the cops were beastly to them.

 

Good luck with that defense, Bob.

 

In reality, the Occupy protests have lost such support that it originally attracted from mainstream America. As Charles C.W. Cook notes in this story for NRO, even liberals are having second thoughts about the wisdom of defending a movement characterized by radical extremism, anti-Semitism, violence and criminality, not to mention squalor and filth:

 

[E]ven in the nation’s most liberal major city [San Francisco], 71 percent opposed the willful breaking of the law. Likewise, while 28 percent of respondents regarded the police response as “too harsh,” 68 percent considered it either “not harsh enough” or “just about right.” On this question, there is no particular split between Republicans and Democrats: 70 percent of registered Democrats answered that the police reaction was either “not harsh enough” or “just about right,” compared with 76 percent of Republicans.

 

Which is to say that Bob Beckel and the Occupy movement are on the opposite side of the barricades from the so-called 99%. Oops.


Posted by tmg110 at 7:30 AM EST
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Home Again
Topic: Scratchpad

Georgia was nice, especially at this time of year, but it's good to be home. Now, what the hell has been going on around here while I was away…?


Posted by tmg110 at 7:27 AM EST
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Friday, 27 January 2012
Worst Foot Forward
Topic: Decline of the West

 

Quick note on Obama’s State of the Union address: To expend 7,000 words while saying almost nothing of substance was a feat reflective of this president’s overall record. It was also well reflective of this president’s far from attractive personality: verbose, condescending, dishonest, brimming with self-regard. Even the hard Left hated it.

 

Once again we see the truth of the old adage that the American presidency magnifies the worst qualities of each incumbent. Obama as a community organizer or a law professor would be a minor annoyance. As president, however, this thin-skinned egomaniac is a national disaster.


Posted by tmg110 at 10:31 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 27 January 2012 10:56 AM EST
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Saturday, 21 January 2012
Road Trip!
Topic: Scratchpad

Posting may be rather sporatic over the next week—I'm off on an epic journey from the snowbound fastness of northwest Indiana to the sunny coast of south Georgia (the US state, not the uninhabited British island just north of Antarctica). I'll check in again when I can.


Posted by tmg110 at 3:23 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 21 January 2012 3:28 PM EST
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Superman He Ain't
Topic: Decline of the West

 

I keep hearing that all the GOP presidential candidates have flaws. True enough. "Nobody's perfect" is a trite little cliché precisely because it’s so true. In which connection, perhaps angst-ridden conservatives should reflect for a moment on the comforting fact that Barack Obama isn’t perfect either. And now he has a record—a far from perfect record. So take a deep breath, people…


Posted by tmg110 at 3:07 PM EST
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Another Media Misfire
Topic: The Media

 

It’s interesting to note that ABC’s supposed journalistic coup—the interview with Newt Gingrich’s disgruntled ex-wife—doesn’t seem to have hurt him in South Carolina. As the voting commenced this morning, a Public Policy Polling survey gave him a nine-point lead over Mitt Romney. In fact, the former Speaker’s lead appears to have increased in the wake of ABC’s hit piece. Republican primary voters in South Carolina have clearly taken Gingrich’s side against what they view as the biased mainstream media.

 

Surprising? Perhaps not. Recall how the 2004 Dan Rather hit piece on George W. Bush backfired when it turned out that the damning National Guard memos were forgeries. Even if Rather and CBS would prefer to forget that sordid little scandal and countless other instances of media bias, conservative voters haven’t.


Posted by tmg110 at 10:50 AM EST
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Friday, 20 January 2012
The Respectable Prejudice (Part Three)
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

The term “progressive anti-Semitism” may seem like an oxymoron. Not only is the Left formally opposed to racism, but Jews have always played a prominent role in the international socialist movement. So you might think that progressivism automatically excludes anti-Semitism. But that’s not the case—in fact the converse is the case.

 

As the Occupy Wall Street movement has demonstrated, Jew hatred is not at all incompatible with progressive principles. Some of the old Right’s anti-Semitic canards, e.g. the conspiratorial activities of “Jewish financiers,” are grist for the mill of the anti-capitalist Left. But the principal source of progressive anti-Semitism is the existence of the State of Israel.

 

Zionism—Jewish nationalism—has always been a controversial doctrine. Even among Jews themselves, there has been considerable disagreement over the advisability of creating a Jewish state. The horrors of the Holocaust, however, convinced the vast majority of Jews that a Jewish national homeland was a necessity. And the world’s bad conscience in the years immediately following World War II made it possible for that homeland—the State of Israel—to be created despite furious Arab opposition. But the Left in Europe and America soon repented of its early support of a Jewish national homeland.

 

Today, progressive anti-Semitism is largely based on perceptions of the alliance between Israel and the United States—at least, that’s how progressives justify their obsessive jihad against Israel. And like most forms of race hatred, progressive anti-Semitism contradicts itself it every point. Simultaneously, the nefarious Jews are said to be controlling US foreign policy and wicked Israel is said to be acting as a tool of US imperialism. Though not exactly compatible, these two charges are psychologically resonant. So too is the oft-repeated charge that a cabal of Jewish Americans (“neocons” in the code language of the progressive anti-Semite) are guilty of “dual loyalty”—e.g. posing as Americans while giving their primary allegiance to Israel.

 

Nor are progressives bothered by the contradictions inherent in their condemnations of Zionism, which exist simultaneously with fervent support of Palestinian Arab nationalism. That progressives wish to see the Jewish state destroyed, whether violently or through demographic changes, is scarcely to be denied. While ignoring the existence of xenophobic nationalism, Western progressives routinely condemn Israel as a racist, “apartheid” state—this despite the fact that there are over a million Arabs living inside Israel, while almost all Jews have long since been expelled from Arab lands.

 

To point out the glaring bias in progressive attitudes toward Israel is not of course to imply that the Jewish state is one hundred percent virtuous or that the Arabs are irredeemably wicked. The Palestinians have legitimate grievances. But their own genocidal nationalism, so fervently supported by Western progressives, prevents those grievances from being addressed. With a modicum of good will on both sides, the Mideast conflict between the Jews and the Arabs could easily be resolved. Yet good will is precisely what progressives are working hard to suppress. Their one-sided support for the Palestinians tacitly proclaims a belief that Israel must be made to disappear—by whatever means necessary, as the New Left used to put it. The rhetoric of Arab nationalism need not be pursued too far to discover how bloody those means would be. Thus in the name of peace, justice, democracy and all good things, progressives make common cause with the proponents of a second Holocaust.

 

I don’t think that the sheer illogic of the progressive position on the Jewish-Arab conflict, not to mention the crude Jew bashing that crops up in progressive venues like the Occupy movement, can simply be put down to ideology. For many people, I suspect, they provide a politically correct cover for the expression of a long-held albeit deeply buried prejudice.

 

All this is extremely embarrasing for the Democratic Party, whose left wing overlaps with the broader progressive movement. The question of how mainstream liberals cope with the anti-Semitism of those to their left will be the subject of my next post in this series.


Posted by tmg110 at 10:06 AM EST
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