Wednesday, November 05, 2008

From The Beginning

Ah, now we get to the heavy stuff,where the hard road begins and the weak die like dogs.

Here's where it gets real.

Barack Hussein Obama has just been elected as the 44th president of these United States. While for obvious practical reasons it mattered a great deal who ended up in the Oval Office, from my standpoint it was always going to be a new starting point no matter who won....a beginning either way.

And in many ways it's actually easier with McCain out of the way. It means the renewal can start from scratch, without any baggage.

McCain has been clinging to the carcass of what he calls bi-partisanship for so long he's gotten accustomed to the smell..and accustomed as well to being kicked in the crotch by the people he persists in reaching out to who despise the principles he claims to stand for.

Had he won, we could have expected him to forget absolutely everything the past year should have taught him and to make an inaugural address that emphasized in almost masturbatory fashion his delight at reaching across the aisles to work with the likes of Harry Reid, Teddy Kennedy and yes, Barack Obama.

His concession speech, gracious though it was, summed up the whole dead ethos of his campaign.

Thankfully, we'll be spared all that. Things have been sorted out nicely and whatever comes, for good or ill, will be the property of the new administration.

Don't misunderstand me. The gravity of the international situation we face with a novice in the White House, the prospect of the next president nominating at least two new Supreme Court judges and the appeal of putting Sarah Palin in position to run as the heir apparent to the presidency in 2012 all were important enough reasons to try to carry John McCain over the finish line this year.

But McCain, for whatever his own reasons were decided not to run against the current occupant of the White House or the most dysfunctional congress we've had in living memory, which was the only chance he had of prevailing. The curiously timed financial crisis and McCain's decision to make a high profile vote for a trillion dollar bail out of Congress' Wall Street cronies that was viscerally unpopular with the American people pretty much ended the ball game, promising though it looked towards the late innings.Even the delightful Sarah Palin wasn't quite enough to pull it off, though she at least kept it reasonably close.

During this election, Barack Obama's challenge was to successfully perform the feat of selling the smoke and mirrors of undefined change and triangulating to keep his ideology a secret to enough of the electorate to win...while at the same time making sure that the Left understood his essentially socialist agenda.

Thanks to his huge advantage in cash, the aid of a media on its collective knees in front of him, the disaffection of the American people towards the uniquely unpopular and flawed record of the current occupant of the White House and the novelty of his racial background he was able to succeed.

Regnat populus. And maybe the deluge afterwards, who knows?

Obama in his victory speech made a number of charming, well phrased references to the quaint idea of bi-partisan unity and working together, all delivered in his signature baritone.And a number of the usual suspects are in print today talking about how Barack Obama will govern from the center.

But the nonsense about bi-partisanship should end up being pretty short-lived. Historically, the Left doesn't govern from the center, and is motivated primarily by hatred, class warfare, identity politics and revenge...and that sort of thing is not something that just melts into the ozone.

Barack Obama has a base that embodies those themes, and he will have to satisfy that base to no small degree or end up like George Bush after 2004. There's no doubt he will attempt to have it both ways, as what's good for Barack Obama seems to trump ideological purity.It's worth noting that Obama's first official appointment was given to fellow Illinois Democrat Rahm Emanuel, as hard line a partisan as there is in Washington... but a relative moderate for a Democrat, a Clintonista connected to the Democratic Leadership Council so hated by the nutroots.

Obama is essentially a chimera, with the various groups that supported him all somehow seeing whatever they want in him. Satisfying these diverse group's expectations now that the campaign is over will be almost impossible and a sort of political triage is almost inevitable, but Obama will likely try to continue to bridge things by trumpeting about unity and 'bi-partisanship'.

Bi-partisanship is something that gets sold an awful lot these days, especially by the media and pundits on the Left. They have a vested interest in doing so, because it makes their own positions look more normal and part of the mainstream. Some would refer to that as defining deviancy downwards.

As one vulture said to the other, there's some stuff you just can't eat without getting sick yourself.

Let me show you what I mean. If you and I agree to go to a certain restaurant for dinner, we have a destination in common. We can then work out an agreement on whether we drive, walk or take the bus, which route we take, who drives,and how we split the cost or whether one of us is treating.

In other words, we have a goal in common, and now have a basis for compromise on the mechanisms.

On the other hand, if I want to go to that restaurant for dinner but you refuse to consider the idea of going to dinner at all and insist on going to a gay disco in a completely different part of the city where I know I'm not going to feel in the least bit comfortable, we no longer have a goal in common. And any movement I make to accommodate you is not only going to leave me hungry but severely compromise my principles.

In either case, that differences in goals and principles is not something that's likely going to be bridged, and it's time we simply admitted it.

That applies equally to those that revere G-d and the Constitution and favor small government, lower taxes, the free market, a strong military and a proactive foreign policy when necessary as well as though who favor turning America into a Leftist European-style social democracy and welfare state and a fundamental change in the Republic our Founding Fathers set up.

However much we might flap our lips about it, there's simply too much of a difference in direction.

And that's actually good news, at least on my side of things.

The Left may dislike admitting it, but America is still an overwhelmingly center/right nation. According to the latest Pew survey only some 37% of Americans identify themselves as 'liberal'(a category that would probably include Joe Lieberman and a lot of other relatively sane people) with only 16% of those identifying themselves as 'very liberal'.On the other hand just under 60% of Americans identify themselves as 'conservative' or 'very conservative'.

Even more interesting, these percentages remain consistent since the last time Pew took this survey, before the 2004 election.That doesn't surprise me in the least. These basic principles that make this country what it is are what attracts people from all over the world to come here in the first place, and even immigrants who come here from nanny states or quasi-nanny states soon catch the American virus as they see the possibilities for themselves and their children to ascend and excel.

That, by the way, is the real message of hope and change, not the idea of government controlling you and holding you in place through punitive taxation, regulation and social engineering. America was founded with the idea that it was a place where people could stand up for themselves and could ascend past their beginnings to engage in the quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without some faceless government impeding them at every turn and making serfs out of them.

Whenever these basic American principles are unapologetically put on the ballot, they win overwhelmingly.They weren't this time, and there's a lesson in that for the future. Our task, the renewal I'm talking about, will not be to find common ground with those who favor big government and socialism and are willing to accommodate it to seem 'bi-partisan'. Our task will be to find political leaders who embody these principles and are willing to commit to supporting them and implementing them unequivocally. As Ronald Reagan proved, this goes beyond party lines and is about direction and goals rather than affiliation.

Remember that last sentence. It will be an important part of my coming exploration of the mechanics of actually going about this, but I have no intention of writing a novel here.

As for President Obama, I'm willing to take him at his word, wish him well and see if he surprises me by reaching out towards my principles and meeting me half way.

Was he serious about punitive taxation on income tax, payrolls and investment and on over a trillion dollars in new spending, or was it just campaign rhetoric designed to gin up his base?

Does he plan to appoint judges and other members of government who are centrist and conservative in the true sense of the word or will he appoint judges who go along with his ideas about the Constitution being outdated because of how it restricts government? And what about his cabinet members? Will they be political, designed to appease the base or will they be solid, practical competent choices more towards the mainstream?

Does he plan to bankrupt the coal and nuclear energy industries, restrict drilling for American oil and allow energy prices to skyrocket to help combat the theory of global warming?

Will he deal with the prospect of a belligerent Iran the way Jimmy Carter did? Is he going to pursue a realistic victory in Afghanistan and Pakistan? What about domestic Islamist terrorism? And how about a resurgent Russia? Will President Obama support a 25% cut in our military, as Barney Frank wants?

Will he be personally honest? Will he fire or `reassign' Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor who's doing the lion's share of the work investigating Tony Rezco and his secret deals and connections to Obama's political allies back home in Chicago? Is he prepared to honestly investigate ACORN and their role in voter fraud?

Was Jesse Jackson right about an Obama administration meaning that 'the days of Zionist control' in Washington are over'? Considering whom Obama's foreign policy team consists of, will there be a rupture between the US and our ally Israel if a center right government under Netanyahu takes over and they don't feel like giving Judea and Samaria (AKA the West Bank) and half of Jerusalem to their sworn enemies?

Will bigots and anti-Semites like Jackson, Louis Farakhan, Khalid al-Mansour, Rashid Khalidi, Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers be welcome at the Obama White House?

Will the Obama Administration support a new implementation of the so-called Fairness Doctrine and attempt to silence dissent? Will it treat its political opponents the way Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber were treated? Will President Obama consent to show trials of President Bush and others of his administration, as Joe Biden has suggested?

I think I know the answers to these questions, but we shall see.

In the meantime, however, it's time for rebuilding. We've lost a battle, but not the war. This is a superb opportunity to cut away a great deal of deadwood and reaffirm the basic nature of our country, if we dare to take it. And we can win, because the principles involved are the ones that have made this country great and a magnet and example to people all over the world. The alternative is that like every other experiment in democratic republicanism before us, we will decline into decadence and despotism.

We hold in our hands the blessings of liberty the Founder bequeathed to us. This is indeed our beloved Republic..if we can keep it.


Anonymous said...

If you're opposed to 'big government & socialism' (your words, verbatim), why don't you support the Libertarians (whom I voted for)? The GOP haven't demonstrated a whit of interest in reducing TOTAL federal spending since the Gerald Ford years (66 vetoes of spending bills in 29 months, I was told somewhere). Since then, they have specialised in shifting spending from the programmes they dislike to the ones they like. Not to mention dumping, unconstitutionally, federal mandates on the states (sc, Medicaid costs dumped on the states by your beloved Reagan, whose speeches seem to have been memorised by you, but whose real-world actions & activities both as President & California's governor, as well as failed Presidential 1968 & 1976 runs, seem to have been given a Hollywood film rendition). In particular, the GOP's socialist conservatives (oops, sorry, social conservatives -- we mustn't call them what they really are!), have only wanted to shift funding to their pork-barrel projects over the years : the unconstitutional federal drug-prohibition waste, FCC censorship waste, keeping alive War Department bases in the South (& elsewhere) which even the War Department wants to close, the unconstitutional Jimmy Carter crap military slavery sign-up on the kids, not to mention every conceivable local pork-barrel, or ear-mark, project which they can get for their local riding or state. The GOP have controlled Congress on several occasions, sometimes with a GOP pres. Why haven't they abolished something, anything? Couldn't they have abolished the unconstitutional DEA & the failed SOCIALIST federal drug prohibitions? Couldn't they have abolished the FCC (at least the nepotistic censorship board with former members with names like Powell)? Couldn't they have abolished the unconstitutional, immoral, & anti-Christian military slavery sign-up & its evil SOCIALIST agency? (Any president could have, by executive order, ended the sign-up itself.) Come to think of it : can you name anything which either McCain or Obama or Hillary Clinton promised to abolish? A single department, agency, ministry, or bureau? Anything? I can't. When did a Presidential candidate last promise to do so? The last one I can think of was Bob Dole. Dole promised to abolish the Department Of Education, so I voted for him. ( There, you see, I'm an easy vote to get if you are willing to promise me something specific to abolish, not 'cut', 'rationalise', 'reform', or any of that other codswallop. ) Re : McCain. The fault is not his but that of Bush & Iraque (or Irac, or Irak, or Irack, or anything other than that idiotic orthography which leaves a lonely Q incorrectly stranded -- don't even get me started on the replacement of Peking with the Communist-invented orthography). This was going to be a Democratic year. McCain made it interesting because of his unusually - left position in the GOP. The electorate in 2006 rendered their verdict on Iraque, but the GOP & Bush didn't listen. Yes, I know that it was a long time before the Surge's success was reported adequately, & the GOP & the conservatives had just cause for complaint apropos of that ; however, there is a classical expression that you should be careful re what you pray to the gods for, because they just might grant your petition. When the Surge's success was belatedly publicised, it simply served to remind most people why they wanted a 'change'. You see, the problem for most people was not how well the war was going ; it was that America was still involved with all of that. That doomed McCain (or any war supporter). Additionally, McCain should have opposed the Wall-Street bail-out. He then could have tied Bush to Obama & Pelosi in his TV ads. He could have had a field-day with the Hollywood-producers' credits in the bill. He could have charged into the next debate with scathing remarks (McCain : Why didn't you oppose that Wall-Street boondoggle? Obama : I couldn't help it. McCain : Yes, you could have. You could have said no!). McCain could have done a convincing Teddy Roosevelt. The mind reels with possibilities. Have to go. Insomnia makes me verbose ; apologies for the length of this letter. Thank you for your interesting blog & Have A Good Day. PS, thank you for your passing reference to Patrick Fitzgerald, whose life I truly, really fear for. In the papers, it was mentioned that Rezco et al had a meeting in 2004 to discuss how to 'remove' Fitzgerald. In Chicago, that means only one thing!

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Anonymous 2:29 AM, and welcome to Joshua's Army.

So, why didn't I support the Libertarians? Several reasons.

While I consider a number of your remarks well founded, here are some simple truths;

(a)it is no longer 1798, we no longer have oceans as a buffer and we are no longer a mostly agrarian nation with a small population. We are a superpower and the bastion of freedom. The world has grown smaller, and our economy is increasingly diverse and linked to the world, as is our foreign policy. And because of these things, the role of government has necessarily had to expand far beyond what most libertarians are willing to allow for..although I agree with you that it's metasizing out of control.

(b) Politics has been defined as the art of the possible. The Libertarians have no chance of ever winning anelection and by their very nature are hardly a united party themselves.

I'm sorry you fail to appreciate the incredible accomplishments of Reagan as president. He took a nation that was broken in spirit and reeling from economic and foreign policy mismanagement and turned it all around. And he did it with grace and style. He was by no means perfect, but when Reagan left the White House the nuclear threat we had lived under so long was a thing of the past, the economy was booming and the country had found its heart again and was left in better shape than it was when he began. There's not much more you can ask of a president.

I likewise do not agree that the `06 vote was a referendum on Iraq...but it WAS a referendum on the failed leadership of GWB and the GOP establishment in Congress.Unfortunately, the 'change' people voted for was very different from what they got, and the same thing will be true of the new administration, I fear.

I was never particularly enamoured of McCain as a candidate. I voted to keep Obama out of the White House for th especific reasons I mentioned in th earticle, and to put Sarah Palin in position for 2012.And I totally agree with your remarks on the bail out, which ws nothing more than a legal pilfering of the treasury for the benefit of congress's Wall Street cronies and to make good on the bad paper sold to the Arabs via the Carlyle Group (in which the Bush family has a major management and financial interest).

I don't think Fitzgerald wil be 'eliminated' Chicago style, but merely fired or re-assigned so the investigation dies from neglect.

All Best,