notes from DP Jones, NRO today:
…that same week brought unexpected news of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy. In May 1941, Hess flew to England on a mission that has never been fully explained. Captured, he was held for the rest of the war and tried at Nuremburg…. He spent the rest of his life in a Berlin prison. I once interviewed Frau Hess, herself an unrepentant Nazi, and she proudly showed me among other memorabilia a specially printed copy of Mein Kampfwith Hitler’s dedication. Fanatics never give up.
Those executed after the Nuremburg trial were cremated and their ashes scattered. Hess was buried in a family grave at Wunsiedel, in Bavaria. Over the years neo-Nazis have treated Hess’s grave as a place of pilgrimage. Thousands of them parade there, sing their Party songs, give their Party salute, and threaten the peace. At last, the church authorities have cancelled the rights of the Hess family to their plot, and the corpse has been removed and cremated, the ashes now scattered in untraceable water.
So the state intervened in sacrilege against the dead man’sbones, and the family’s filial rights, for the public good. Where does that power end?
Green’s entire account of Obama’s presidency is as removed from reality as “Star Trek.” By what conceivable standard can one claim that the president has “governed in a manner largely consistent” with the “ideal” of “a postpartisan era”–much less that he has been “unlike Bush” in doing so?
Consider the two most controversial legislative initiatives of George W. Bush’s first half-term: the 2001 tax cut and the 2002 authorization to use military force against Iraq. Both had substantial bipartisan support: The former passed with “yes” votes from 28 House Democrats and 12 Senate Democrats; the latter had the backing of 81 House Democrats and 29 Senate Democrats.
By contrast, Obama’s two biggest legislative initiatives, the so-called stimulus and ObamaCare, had the support of a grand total of three Republicans in both houses combined (all senators who voted in favor of the stimulus).
Now, Obama backers might argue that these were just “practical, long-term reforms,” which the Republicans were partisan for opposing. One’s own side, after all, is always principled where the other side is partisan. But the majority of voters did not seem to see it this way. The most modest interpretation of the 2010 election results is that Americans thought Obama had gone way too far and wished to restrain him from going further.
Which brings us to the current impasse involving the debt limit. The so-called mainstream media is engaged in a bizarre propaganda effort, aimed not so much at persuading voters to agree with Obama but at convincing politicians that voters agree with Obama
…the Gang of Six “plan,” which even by the standards of “bipartisan” deal-making is a total joke.
Even if you take seriously their figure of $3.7 trillion in savings over ten years, that represents a clawback across a decade of about two years of current deficits.
If you take Jeff Sessions’s figure of $1.2 trillion in savings over ten years as being closer to the mark, that takes a decade to reverse about three-quarters of the 2011 deficit.
by Peter Ferrera, Am. SPec.
Like a replicating amoeba, America is pulling apart into two separate cultures. One is strongly committed to the birth of an even more robust, pro-growth, entrepreneurial capitalism. The other thinks Che Guevara and Karl Marx had important social insights relevant to America today, and wants to follow the path of Juan Peron’s Argentina, if not Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. This is the stark choice facing the American people in 2012.
This is also why the vast majority of the American heartland feels more cultural affinity with the people of New Zealand and Australia than with the people of San Francisco and Seattle, at least as reflected by the majority of those two benighted cities. But the replicating amoeba analogy is not apt, because amoebas split into two equal new entities. What the American people are about to demonstrate in 2012 is that the heartland’s vision of a booming economy restoring America’s traditional world-leading prosperity and superpower might is shared by far more citizens than you might think, and that the long outdated socialist vision of the “progressive” American Left, for whom that traditional American prosperity and superpower status is a moral embarrassment, is fading into oblivion…
In 2012, the American people will decisively resolve the clash of these two increasingly separated cultures by fully replacing America’s hopelessly stubborn, outdated and backward-looking establishment elite (reminiscent of the French Bourbon aristocracy) with a new generation of leaders. The American people will not tolerate the decline, and ultimately the fall, of America.
This economic disaster cannot be blamed on Bush, if for no other reason than that, historically, the deeper the downturn the stronger the recovery. Under President Obama, that recovery is now two years overdue. As former Senator Phil Gramm explained in the Wall Street Journal on April 15, “Had the U.S. economy recovered from the current recession the way it bounced back from the other 10 recessions since World War II, our per capita gross domestic product (GDP) would be $3,553 higher than it is today, and 11.9 million more Americans would be employed.”
Larger governments tend to redistribute and regulate shrinking capital rather than encourage the expansion of new wealth through more industrial production, exploitation of gas, oil, and coal, increases in irrigated agricultural acreage, or development of mining, timber, and maritime resources.
More ominous still, there is increasing furor among the beneficiaries at those who lent the money they borrowed. Greeks do not blame so much their own socialist entitlements for their mess, but more often the supposedly “greedy” German bankers who were foolish enough to lend them the money to pay for those entitlements. The Irish are furious at continental Europeans for insisting that every penny loaned be paid back.
Here in the United States, the 5 percent of the population that pays nearly 60 percent of all the income taxes collected is excoriated as selfish and greedy for not being willing to pay even more. The 50 percent of the population that pays no income tax at all feels that it deserves even more from those who make more.
Westerners are furious that they cannot have even more — usually as defined by what a few others who are even better off have. President Obama harps on private jets at the expense of kids’ scholarships, but never mentions the fact that millions of the poor and middle class now have access to jet travel that is just as rapid and safe, and never questions whether some perpetual adolescents on government-subsidized scholarships really belong in college. It is instead assumed that some wrongly have private jets, and all kids rightly deserve college. The West has mostly conquered the existential poverty that plagued it for 2,500 years; obesity, not malnutrition, is a nationalepidemic in the United States. But the obsession today is ensuring absolute material equality, or the impossible notion that everyone must have more or less the same things regardless of how they are to paid for.
Behind the rioting in Greece and the demagogic speeches in Washington is the common premise that our individual well-being must be judged in relative, not absolute, terms, and only in terms of material rather than spiritual wealth. All sorts of specific constituents “deserve” largess, apparently from a vaguely envisioned “them,” whether German bankers, private-jet owners, or those who surely gamed the system to make over $200,000 a year.
In short, the more we have, the more we want, and the more we will feel deprived at seeing others with more than what we have. That is at the heart of the current Western malaise, from Washington to Athens.
Lots happening … can’t keep up with all the commentary!