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Unexamined Premises

The Enigma of Barack Obama

December 31st, 2013 - 3:44 pm
What's my line?

What’s my line?

Put me down in the Roger Simon camp on this one: without wandering into Birther territory or the inconclusive musings of Jerome Corsi… who the heck is this guy, really?

To put it bluntly: nobody knows nothin’ about the president of the United States, aka the leader of the free world. And what little we do know is highly uninformative and often contradictory.

In a world where every phone call, email, text message, Tweet, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook post, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn link, Google + post, blog post, semaphore, morse code, Braille, and probably burp has been recorded digitally for posterity and beyond, nobody knows what Barack Obama even got in freshman English. (Well, maybe the NSA does, but they’re not telling.)

Does this matter? I don’t know – and that’s the point. In an administration that once proclaimed that it would be transparent like no other, but now has lied like no other, one can only guess.

Obama’s unseen college and graduate school records (Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law) are only one part of the Mystery of the Shrouded POTUS – another is the Khalidi tape, its possibly anti-Israel contents locked in a vault at the L.A. Times – but those academic records are certainly a significant part.

Has there been a modern presidential candidate about whom we know less than the former Barry Soetoro? Other than what he’s told us about himself in Dreams from My Father — a book proven even by sympathetic biographers to be filled with fabrications (“a man one step removed from his own life,” according to David Maraniss)? Has anyone ever had the audacity to run for national office without a thorough vetting by the national media, replete with quotes from those who knew him then, interviews with his high-school classmates, examples of his writing, anecdotes, etc.? Would a dope-smoking member of the Choom Gang ever have even made it into the Senate were that aspect of his background widely known? What about his alcoholic, bigamist father?

One way to look at Obama is as a man of remarkable political skills who has overcome a “compelling personal story” that would have sunk anybody else. The problem, of course, is that the media fell for the other “compelling personal story” — its own. “When the legend becomes fact,” goes the famous line from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, “print the legend.” And, boy, did they ever…

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‘You Can’t Possibly Mean That’

December 22nd, 2013 - 3:36 pm
A bad case of the vapors

A bad case of the vapors

Like the battle of Gettysburg, the fight over Duck Dynasty seems to have erupted partly by accident, and was occasioned by the Left’s outrunning its own supply lines in an attempt to take out a strategic Rightist redoubt — thus getting their heads handed to them. And over what?

Words.  Words uttered in the course of an interview — but because they touched on a Taboo Topic (raised by interviewer himself), have been used a pretext for a bad case of the “bigotry” vapors, and the attempted banishment of one of pop culture’s most beloved figures to outer purdah.

So perhaps these words, from the book Rules for Radical Conservatives, might be timely. Because this — written in its own voice by “David Kahane” — is how the Left thinks. From Rule No. 2: Become What You Behold:


As I’ve noted, if you guys are going to be able to fight us effectively, you have to know not only the territory, like Prof. Harold Hill in The Music Man, but the lingo as well.  And I’m not just talking about words like “swell,” and “gee whiz” and “so’s your old man.”  I’m talking about being able to pass for one of us until we’ve got our guard down and then – whammo!

To that end, I’ve assembled a list of handy phrases, which you’re going to have to learn to deliver with a straight face, like Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs, practicing his cover story in front of a men’s room mirror, with the requisite raised eyebrow and our patented Lefty Sneer ™ dropped in at key junctures.  You’re deep in enemy territory now, so pay attention:

1) You can’t possibly mean that.   This is our way of saying you’re full if it, but it goes beyond simple disagreement.  It means that whatever it was that you just said, it has put you beyond the pale of polite discussion; it also very likely means you’re a racist, a bigot, a homophobe and/or a practicing Roman Catholic.  All of which are, among our crowd, grounds for instant expulsion from polite society.  You can’t possibly mean that means that whatever you just said has wounded us grievously, has challenged some fundamental core belief of our Weltanschauung and struck at the very heart of the fantasy world we mostly live in.  It may be something as complex as a point-by-point refutation of An Inconvenient Truth, the truth about which we most definitely do not want to hear, or a minor statement of personal or political belief, such as, “I’m not really comfortable with the idea of gay marriage,” or “I think we ought to cut taxes to encourage private investment,” or, “you know, Michael Jackson really sucked.”

In short, just about anything you can say that goes against our herd-like instinct to always be on the politically correct side of every issue will elicit this rejoinder.  Which is why, when you hear one of us utter one of our usual ex cathedra-like pronunciamentos, just respond with You can’t possibly mean that and watch the fur fly!

You know, those Tea Party types look mighty dangerous to me.  Why, there could be another Tim McVeigh or Lee Harvey Oswald lurking among them.  Whereas the G-12 protesters and the Cinco de Mayo crowd are the very models of engaged political theater.

You can’t possibly mean that!

As far as we’re concerned, the Christian Right and the midwestern militias are by far the greatest threat to the Republic, much worse than the Muslims.

You can’t possibly mean that!

If only the Catholic Church would allow its priests to marry, we wouldn’t have all these pedophiles running around, preying on altar boys.

You can’t possibly mean that!

Or better yet, wield this handy phrase preemptively, as we especially like to do. When we’re prattling on about one bit of Received Wisdom or another, cut in with your own verbal karate chop to the jugular, whether it addresses the immediate point we’re making or not. The point is to stop the argument in its tracks, to assert your higher reality:  You can’t possibly mean that you support what’s going on in Washington!  You can’t possibly mean that you support forcing people into unions! You can’t possibly mean that you want to flush our children down the drain for the sake of the corrupt educational establishment!  You can’t possibly mean that you think the Great Society was a good thing! You can’t possibly mean that you want to go to the Post Office to see your doctor!

You get the picture.

More important tips after the page break…

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The Death of Little Nell

December 18th, 2013 - 2:57 pm


Dying for the Affordable Care Act

Dying for the Unaffordable Care Act

Has there been a more heart-rending story recently than this piece from the New York Times? Oh, the humanity:

Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.

They are part of an unusual, informal health insurance system that has developed in New York, in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.

But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage.

“I couldn’t sleep because of it,” said Barbara Meinwald, a solo practitioner lawyer in Manhattan.

As Oscar Wilde famously observed, “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing.” But wait, it gets funnier.

In the real world, most cancellations up to this point have been of “bad apple” policies that fell short of Barrycare’s lofty moral standards for acceptable coverage, including maternity benefits for menopausal women. But on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and similar precincts, the problem is the opposite. Their policies are plenty generous, but they have to die so as not to “siphon off” the healthy folks whose participation in the exchanges is vital to keeping the absurd scheme solvent. But hey, there’s good news — some of those artists and writers and doctors and lawyers may qualify for government subsidies!

But the real yuks in this piece are the quotes from rock-ribbed liberals who are suddenly rethinking their allegiance to Leftism now that it has real-world consequences:

It is not lost on many of the professionals that they are exactly the sort of people — liberal, concerned with social justice — who supported the Obama health plan in the first place. Ms. Meinwald, the lawyer, said she was a lifelong Democrat who still supported better health care for all, but had she known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney.

It is an uncomfortable position for many members of the creative classes to be in.

“We are the Obama people,” said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans. What to do has become a hot topic on Facebook and at dinner parties frequented by her fellow writers and artists.

“I’m for it,” she said. “But what is the reality of it?”

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In Praise of John Roberts

December 10th, 2013 - 1:26 pm
Why is this man smirking?

Why is this man smirking?

OK, not really praise; Roberts’s failure to strangle the Obamacare baby in its crib when he had the chance will go down alongside the Dred Scott decision as one of the greatest moral disasters in the history of the republic. The man in charge of enforcing the Constitution blinked when confronted with a triumphalist party and a then-popular president, forgetting that he, Roberts, would likely be in Washington long after Obama was gone. In an attempt to save the Supreme Court’s reputation and standing, he destroyed it.

Still, even if inadvertently, Roberts got one thing right: the Patient Deflection and Unaffordable Care Act is a tax, and nothing but a tax. A punitive, regressive tax, to be sure — but a tax nonetheless. A tax on ideological stupidity, as its supporters are just now learning. Just wait til the “employer mandate” kicks in.

Remember that the PDUCA has nothing whatsoever to do with “health care.” That was just the heartstring-tugging pretense to mask a breathtaking power grab by the Democrats. No one’s health will be improved by the passage of this law, although many may well be adversely affected. Nor it is even really about “insurance.” For how can we call covering pre-existing conditions “insurance”? You can only insure against something in the future, not something that’s already occurred. Call it a socialized risk pool, or some such, but don’t call it “insurance.”

No, what Obamacare is — and was always meant to be — is an onerous tax on the middle class, wearing the usual Leftist disguise of “compassion.” With soaring deductibles and higher premiums for all, but “subsidies” for some, it’s a huge transfer of wealth from those who can least afford it, prostituting the insurance companies (through which the monies will flow) in the service of a governmental enterprise both unasked for and constitutionally uncalled for.

In effect, what Obamacare does is destroy the concept of insurance completely: if your deductible soars to $6,250 (the “bronze” plan) — meaning the amount you will have to pay out of your own pocket — then you might as well not have “insurance” at all, and simply pay a fee for service, at much lower rates. Meanwhile, your “premiums” become an entirely new, unplanned-for expense that will net you… nothing you didn’t already have before. Far better to simply buy catastrophic insurance and otherwise pay as you go.

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Comprehensively Yours

December 5th, 2013 - 12:30 pm
One size fits all

One size fits all — ours

Some years back, I was having a discussion with several of my liberal friends, who asked what my objection to their ideology was. My answer was simple: because liberalism (or “progressivism,” as they now prefer), when taken to its nth degree, must and does end in fascism. In order to achieve the liberal paradise, and since the common folk cannot be trusted, coercion must be part of the solution; the generation that screamed “off the pigs” now controls most of the levers of the federal government, and have become the pigs themselves.

Consder the mantra: “comprehensive.” Immigration reform, healthcare reform, campaign-finance reform, whatever. In the guise of “reforming” a system that may or may not even be broken (but, since nothing works perfectly, everything is “broken” to one degree or another), the Left insists upon a mandated straitjacket, into which they can cram all their pet policies, nostrums and phobias in the hopes of finally slaying whatever bugbear keeps them awake at night. And that bugbear, when you examine it closely enough, is Freedom.

Why the Left — which devotes a great deal of time and energy to the promotion of sybaritic pursuits, especially sexual license without consequences — should fear freedom so much is not at first obvious. After all, they’re the ones who claim to want the government “out of the bedroom” — and yet they’ve put it there, right at the moment of conception, in the Patient Deflection and Unaffordable Care Act. They’re the ones who have used the First Amendment as a shield — and quite correctly, too — against government censorship for decades, and yet now they can think of all sort exceptions to it. The Second Amendment makes them profoundly uncomfortable, since they find it inconceivable that an armed private citizen’s first instinct is not to shoot up a school or a shopping mall but to defend himself and his loved ones, and they have a touching, almost childlike faith in the ability of the “pigs” they once denigrated to come to their own personal rescue in times of trouble.

They won’t, of course, but that’s a personal problem — when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away. The institutional problem is, for the Left, no problem at all. With the reins of power in their hands since David Axelrod, the Jake Lingle of his day, gave the country the unasked-for and unwanted Trojan Horse of Barack Obama, they’ve discovered the joys of executive action, and of civilian control of the military and the police. When Obama promised “fundamental transformation” just five days before the 2008 election, he meant it. And who’s going to gainsay him?

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The root of the problem

The root of the problem

There are times when I start to think that maybe the Left is right, that the real problem with the United States of America is that pesky old thing called the Constitution. That maybe President Obama and the rest of the triumphalist “progressives” are right and that what this nation really needs, beside a good five-cent cigar, is “fundamental transformation.” That perhaps the dream of the cultural Fifth Column known as the Frankfurt School may well come true, that “critical theory” is not the prolonged, juvenile temper tantrum those of us who came to maturity in the sixties assumed it was. And that maybe the best place to start swinging the wrecker’s ball on what the Founders wrought ought to be in the halls of Congress.

What else to make of this story in the Wall Street Journal:

The torrents of Affordable Care Act monsoon season aren’t letting up, so Democrats are scrambling to help the victims: namely, their own careers. The Senators up for re-election in competitive states in 2014 are starting to panic, though they still aren’t offering solutions for anything other than their own growing political jeopardy.

Fifteen Senate Democrats plus Colorado’s Michael Bennet who chairs the Senatorial Campaign Committee sat down at the White House Wednesday, and they want all and sundry to know that they let President Obama have it. Alaska’s Mark Begich put out a statement saying he chewed out the big cheese for “absolutely unacceptable” mismanagement and “an understandable crisis in confidence.” He must have drafted it in advance.

Oregon’s Jeff Merkley chimed in to report that even after the two-hour encounter session that was not on the public schedule, he was still “very frustrated” and “I remain deeply convinced that this is a ‘show-me’ moment.” Asked by Politico if Democrats were losing credibility, an anonymous attendee said, “You got to have it, to lose it.”

Now, I realize that contempt of Congress is and should be the natural order of things. “The best Congress that money can buy.” “The only native American criminal class.” “No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while Congress is in session.”  And that’s just Mark Twain and Will Rogers; the rest of us no doubt have even more pungent observations regarding the collective entity known as Congresscritters.

But the notion that “lawmakers” (stop, enough already!) are worried about “careers” at the public trough ought to be contemptible to every taxpayer.  And, if Congressthings had any sense of shame, to the Honorables Themselves. But, of course, they don’t. Only someone with a soul as dead as Little Nell, a hide as thick as Joe Biden‘s noggin, and the moral conscience of Bill Clinton has the effrontery to run for Congress these days, and every attempt to “reform” the system — from the disastrous 17th amendment to term limits to McCain-Feingold (nothing like a “reform” to “get money out of politics” written by the “most reprehensible” of the Keating Five) — has resulted in complete failure.

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Empowering the Eloi: 10 USC § 311

October 22nd, 2013 - 12:58 pm

Injured people cry for help after gunmen went on a shooting spree in a shopping centre in Nairobi

It used to be only right-wing nuts who argued that an armed society is a polite society. Now it’s the head of Interpol:

Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said today the U.S. and the rest of the democratic world is at a security crossroads in the wake of last month’s deadly al-Shabab attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya – and suggested an answer could be in arming civilians.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Noble said there are really only two choices for protecting open societies from attacks like the one on Westgate mall where so-called “soft targets” are hit: either create secure perimeters around the locations or allow civilians to carry their own guns to protect themselves.

“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”

The secretary general, an American who previously headed up all law enforcement for the U.S. Treasury Department, told reporters during a brief news conference that the Westgate mall attack marks what has long been seen as “an evolution in terrorism.” Instead of targets like the Pentagon and World Trade Center that now have far more security since 9/11, attackers are focusing on sites with little security that attract large numbers of people.

At least 67 were killed over a period of days at the Westgate mall, more than 60 of the dead were civilians.

And there in a nutshell is the argument currently raging in America. One side, an armed populace of exactly the kind the Founders envisaged; on the other, a fascist police state in which you’re disarmed for your own good, since the presumption is that you would use a firearm for ill, not good. It’s easy to see why the Left favors the latter, since the end result of so many of their policy prescriptions is enforcement by coercion, and they are incapable of conceiving of a “good” use for a gun in a civilian’s hands. Which is why they’ve been adamantly screaming about the “militia” clause in the Second Amendment from time immemorial.

Never mind that a distressingly high percentage of “trained law enforcement” personnel are terrible shots, or that their training these days mean more time in the “celebrating diversity” classroom than on the firing range. Sitting in their gun-free homes with ARMED RESPONSE signs posted prominently out front, Regressives imagine that when hours count, the cops or the Army are only seconds away.

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Most Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

October 17th, 2013 - 2:18 pm

Attitude readjustment time

They’re out there. After “Call me Ishmael,” perhaps the greatest opening sentence to an American novel, ever. The saga of McMurphy, the not-quite-sane man in an nuthouse full of lunatics, as told by Chief Broom — the lone sane inmate, who just pretends he’s crazy — is one of the underrated classics of American literature, a book so brilliantly conceived and perfectly executed that it makes the reader shake his head in wonder.

We’ve all seen the movie, of course, the 1975 Milos Forman film that made Jack Nicholson  a star, and we know how Black Jack’s one-man war against the State — in the form of the evil Nurse Ratched — ends (see above). Here’s how the Chief describes McMurphy’s neutering in the book:

Put on those things like headphones, crown of silver thorns over the graphite at his temples. They try to hush his singing with a piece of rubber hose for him to bite on.

“‘Mage with thoothing lan-o-lin.’”

Twist some dials, and the machine trembles, two robot arms pick up soldering irons and hunch down on him. He gives me the wink and speaks to me, muffled, tells me something, says something to me around that rubber hose just as those irons get close enough to the silver on his temples — light arcs across, stiffens him, bridges him up off the table till nothing is down but his wrists and ankles and out around that crimped black rubber hose a sound like hooeee! and he’s frosted over completely with sparks.

And out the window the sparrows drop smoking off the wire.

After yesterday’s “budget-crisis” sellout, the sparrows falling off the wire are us; the Surrender Caucus in Congress has seen to that, voluntarily subjecting themselves to the same Obamacare treatment that McMurphy fought so gallantly against. How else to interpret this gloat from Big Nurse himself, Chuck Schumer?

“I’ve talked to Mitch about this — I think the whole Republican Senate is different now,” Schumer said on Morning Joe on Thursday. “I don’t think Ted Cruz will recover so quickly. . . . I think the Tea Party and Ted Cruz have peaked.”

The New York Democrat said the tea-party members have now alienated their Republican colleagues as well as the general public after the shutdown. “I think you’re going to see a more mainstream, conservative Republican party,” he added.

I bet we will.  More right after the page break.

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive

October 2nd, 2013 - 5:12 pm
Please, sir, I want some more big government

Please, sir, I want some more big government

A couple of days into the so-called government shutdown and already some Republicans are scratching their heads and wondering why they’re losing the messaging war. After all, they have the facts — it’s Obama and his stooge, Harry Reid, who really want the shutdown and are determined to keep it going as long as possible — and the emotions (cancer kids being turned away from the NIH) on their side. Why, just today I heard the real face of the Democratic Party, Chuck Schumer, pointedly blaming House Speaker John Boehner, and loving every minute of it.

Conservatives are kidding themselves if they think, as some do, that the Voice of the People — making itself heard in such actions as the World War II veterans’ liberation of their monument in Washington yesterday and today, or a nebulous notion of “citizen journalism” — will be enough to force the Democrats to the reality side of the ledger. The recent history of the Tea Party — victorious in 2010, neutered (in part by Lois Lerner and her IRS) in 2012 — shows that. A disorganized, multi-headed movement is not a movement at all, but a rabble, a Children’s Crusade, and one that will end up the way the Children’s Crusade did back in 1212.

What the conservative cause needs now is a leader.

I have no idea who that leader might be. Now that civil war has broken out in the ranks of the GOP, the momentum is with the insurgents, so any leader, whoever he or she may be, is likely to come from the ranks of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Jeff Sessions, et al. It is, on the other hand, highly unlikely that he will step forth from the spear carriers who currently surround Boehner and Eric Cantor, but who will melt away like the Praetorian Guard after the assassination of the Emperor once Boehner is deposed. The banshee screech of a frightened and wounded Leftist establishment speaks volumes about who and what they fear — and they fear the Tea Party.

This time is different. What is at stake in this government shutdown forced by a radical Tea Party minority is nothing less than the principle upon which our democracy is based: majority rule. President Obama must not give in to this hostage taking — not just because Obamacare is at stake, but because the future of how we govern ourselves is at stake.

What we’re seeing here is how three structural changes that have been building in American politics have now, together, reached a tipping point — creating a world in which a small minority in Congress can not only hold up their own party but the whole government. And this is the really scary part: The lawmakers doing this can do so with high confidence that they personally will not be politically punished, and may, in fact, be rewarded. When extremists feel that insulated from playing by the traditional rules of our system, if we do not defend those rules — namely majority rule and the fact that if you don’t like a policy passed by Congress, signed by the president and affirmed by the Supreme Court then you have to go out and win an election to overturn it; you can’t just put a fiscal gun to the country’s head — then our democracy is imperiled.

No names, please, though — we’re the Tea Party. The marginalization of the Tea Party is the point of nearly everything I read on the left these days; they are the giant ogres out to devour democracy. I have very dear and old friends who are convinced Tea Party “terrorists” are undermining our political system, that Obamacare is “settled law” (the Left’s fondness for “settled” concepts is striking for the Party of Reality and Science, and binds them philosophically with Islam, for which everything was settled in the seventh century), and that zealots have seized control of the House.

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The Turning Point

September 25th, 2013 - 7:57 pm

King Pyrrhus: No we can’t.

In the decades to come, historians may well look back on the partisan passage of Obamacare during President Obama’s first term and its disastrous implementation in the second as a Pyrrhic victory, the beginning of the end of the Progressive project to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America. Whether Senator Ted Cruz ultimately succeeds in his quest to defund Obamacare this time, his electrifying quasi-filibuster yesterday and today nevertheless marks a turning point in modern American political history — the day when conservatives turned their back on the collaborationist Republican Party and finally fought back.

It’s been a long time coming. The tottering bonzes of the GOP were so mesmerized and intimated by a young upstart named Barack Hussein Obama back in 2008 — even though they should have seen him coming as long ago as 2004, when he became the inevitable nominee of a party that could finally put its money where its mouth had long been — that they were utterly incapable of mounting any effective opposition to him. What little pushback there was came, almost by accident, from Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate, who was quickly muzzled by the establishment apparatchiks and then marginalized by a compliant and vicious media. The Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party protects its own:

John McCain’s former senior adviser Steve Schmidt says he has “deep regret” for helping to create a “freak show” wing of the Republican Party when he had a hand in bringing former McCain running mate Sarah Palin to the national stage.

Schmidt said Monday on MSNBC’s “Hardball” that it’s time for the GOP to stand up to the “asininity” embodied by Palin and others.

“For the last couple of years, we’ve had this wing of the party running roughshod over the rest of the party. Tossing out terms like RINO, saying we’re going to purge, you know, the moderates out of the party,” Schmidt said. “We’ve lost five U.S. Senate seats over the last two election cycles. And fundamentally we need Republicans, whether they’re running for president, whether they’re in the leadership of the Congress, to stand up against a lot of this asininity.”

Well, one man’s asininity is another man’s principles, but principles are something the PBFP doesn’t much understand. The only principle that counts to them is maintenance of office; long ago they realized there’s no percentage in bucking the system. Far better (for Republicans) to pretend to be “conservative” during election season — especially in the Senate — only to return to “Senate comity” once safely past the shoals of the electorate. In the winter, they’re Buddhists, in the summer they’re nudists, to quote the late Joe Gould.

No longer — Cruz’s “filibuster” has changed all that. For Republicans, the year is suddenly 1968 and they are in the same position the Democrats were back then. This time, there’s no pitched battles in the streets of Chicago as Obama’s mentor, Bill Ayers, and others went up against Mayor Daley’s pigs and came out broken, bloodied but unbowed as they fought for control of the party of slavery, segregation, sedition and secularism. Four years later, they had replaced Hubert Humphrey with George McGovern as part of their long march through the institutions.

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