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Belmont Club

The Forever Man

December 1st, 2013 - 3:07 pm

As the New Unionist pointed out after the fall of Berlin Wall, “socialism hasn’t failed — it hasn’t been tried yet”.  And when the new attempt at true socialism fails, then repeat and rinse.  Since it’s the duty of all true socialists to try and try again two things are needed. Unlimited money and unlimited time.

The first was provided in principle by the Constitutional Amendment whose 100th anniversary falls this year. “The Sixteenth Amendment (Amendment XVI) to the United States Constitution allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census. This amendment exempted income taxes from the constitutional requirements regarding direct taxes, after income taxes on rents, dividends, and interest were ruled to be direct taxes in the court case of Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co. (1895). The amendment was adopted on February 3, 1913.”

Taxes in principle give true believers all the money in the world.

This leaves only the problem of time. Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of history and education at New York University, argues in a Washington Post guest op-ed that President Obama should be allowed to run for more than two terms to accomplish his important work.

In 1947, Sen. Harley Kilgore (D-W.Va.) condemned a proposed constitutional amendment that would restrict presidents to two terms. “The executive’s effectiveness will be seriously impaired,” Kilgore argued on the Senate floor, “ as no one will obey and respect him if he knows that the executive cannot run again.”

I’ve been thinking about Kilgore’s comments as I watch President Obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 37 percent in CBS News polling — the lowest ever for him — during the troubled rollout of his health-care reform. …

Or consider the reaction to the Iran nuclear deal. Regardless of his political approval ratings, Obama could expect Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.) to attack the agreement. But if Obama could run again, would he be facing such fervent objections from Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)?

Probably not. Democratic lawmakers would worry about provoking the wrath of a president who could be reelected. Thanks to term limits, though, they’ve got little to fear. …

Ratified by the states in 1951, the 22nd Amendment was an “undisguised slap at the memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt,” wrote Clinton Rossiter, one of the era’s leading political scientists. It also reflected “a shocking lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the people,” Rossiter said. …

Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.

That solves the problem of time.

True believers live in their version of Eternity, a state in which they are simultaneously in a hurry but never in any rush. Should Obamacare fail, try and try again. Should the deals with enemies fall through, try and try again. Progress is measured by the peculiar metric of socialist metaphysics.

Former CIA chief Michael Hayden told CNN, for example, that the United States has all but conceded Iran has the right to enrich uranium. “We have accepted Iranian uranium enrichment,” Hayden said when asked about the agreement reached last week between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the United States, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany.”

One would have thought the agreement was all about Iran not enriching uranium. But that would be to miss the point. As Kenneth Pollack explains in Foreign Affairs, the Geneva deal was about “enriching trust”. “The nuclear deal with Iran was about trust, not verification.”

In that sense, the interim deal is only important to the extent it helps to produce that ultimate, comprehensive agreement. Fortunately, the deal has real value as a confidence-building measure.

Simply put, the United States and Iran don’t trust each other. That is understandable given how they have both behaved in the 34 years since the Islamic Revolution. Mistrust is so deeply rooted on both sides that it has often threatened to make any serious negotiations impossible.

What is most significant about the current deal is its potential to overcome that mutual mistrust.

The same can be said of Obamacare. Complaints that Obamacare is cancelling health insurance policies, condemning people to restricted provider networks, or raising premiums are wide of the mark. Obamcare is not about doctors and medicine. It’s about a Better Future. And the two are not the same.

Curing patients, rolling out websites, or stopping the enrichment of uranium are mere practicalities, whose failure or success are no adequate measures of the true goals of the Grand Enterprise. The real victories of that endeavor are ineffable, such as finding the conservative evil that lurks in insidious places. Recently the Atlantic identified a new hotbed of perversity: “The 33 Whitest Jobs in America”.

White Jobs 1

White Jobs

Quite apart from the fact this list of lily-white jobs is not identical to that provided by the BLS, the larger puzzle is what it signifies. What purpose would it actually serve to create diversity among veterinarians? Perhaps we need more education to find out. But one possibility is that it represents Infinity. After every Trust has been enriched, every Policy has been canceled, there remains a task undone; for there are still the 33 Whitest Jobs in America left to conquer.

Whatever that Great White Whale signifies it must be hunted to extinction even if it takes all the taxes that can be generated by the 16th Amendment and all the time made possible by the repeal of the 22nd. And so we haunt the oceans of the earth to the end of recorded time.

Harlan Ellison’s classic opening monologue in Demon With a Glass Hand gives us a sense of the timeless Socialist drama, of Gilgamesh as Obama.

“Through all the legends of ancient peoples — Assyrian, Babylonian, Sumerian, Semitic — runs the saga of the Eternal Man, the one who never dies, called by various names in various times, but historically known as Gilgamesh, the man who has never tasted death … the hero who strides through the centuries …”

And he strives, through the terms and through the centuries.  But though he fails, and fails, and fails … we must never forget to hold his beer.

Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres

Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free

The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age

Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small

No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.

Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific

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Top Rated Comments   
Farmers and ranchers 95.8% white? I thought that all the Pigford Settlement claimants might have lowered that percentage.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am well aware of the constitutional requirements for repealing a constitutional amendment, but what has this administration done lately that convinces you this administration has the slightest concern for the Constitution? The Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is. And faiiling all else, such a course would create, at the least, a constitutional crisis, which Obama could exploit to his benefit.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is well understood by the punditry that the purpose of the Democratic Senate killing the filibuster was to allow Obama to place additional liberal judges on the already liberal leaning courts. But what if there’s another purpose, a longer range purpose? Maybe the reason was to see that Obama could be re-elected. Consider. Someone with standing, Obama, sues to have the 22nd Amendment repealed on the grounds it is not applied equally to all federally elected officials, or on other grounds deemed sufficiently effective. The case is fast tracked, a carefully chosen lower court rules in favor of repeal, it goes to the Democrat stacked US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia which upholds it, from where it wends its way to the Supreme Court where the outcome is a toss-up. Who knows how Justice Stevens will vote, or indeed Justice Roberts? Alternatively, sometime between now and November 2016, assuming the Democrats find enough votes in car trunks and desk drawers to hold the Senate in the mid-term elections, and even a tie will give them the deciding vote by the Vice President, Stevens will leave the Court and the Senate will vote to confirm a new liberal justice to the Supreme Court, making the Court 5 to 4 Democrat and repeal of the 22nd Amendment the law of the land. Fanciful? So once was the idea that a man without a past, a man without accomplishment, a cipher, an enigma, could be elected president. But he was. So it is entirely possible the killing of the filibuster was not about stuffing the courts with liberal judges, it was a long term strategy to see that Obama gets re-elected. Everything has to go right, the key being holding the Senate, but at this point it’s even money and to Obama worth the risk of further alienating the Democratic Party from the public already alienated by Obamacare. And if it all works out, and he is allowed to run and is re-elected? My crystal ball is cloudy, but one thing is certain. It will take more than one generation to undo the damage to the country, and perhaps many generations and eventually much blood, for once the Left gains power they do not peacefully relinquish it.

42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (44)
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In related news: There is not One Circulating Copy of Whittaker Chambers's classic memoir, "WITNESS," in the New York Public Library.

Not. One. Copy.

Is it a coincidence? He says, in the introductory "Letter to My Children," that this contest we're in, of Freedom versus Communism (and their fellow travelers) is the spiritual war of our age. That it is nothing less than those who believe Man is God versus those who believe God is God.

Chambers declared that Communism is the "second oldest faith," born in the Garden of Eden when a voice whispered, "You shall be as gods."

He also said that Nothing less than a spiritual awakening by those who love freedom will suffice to defeat the monster.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
While it is not impossible that Obama would try to repeal the 22nd, I think it more likely that he will try to circumvent it by running Michelle. Obama distrusts the Clintons and will sink Hillary, either with Benghazi or something else from their past. Biden is too old and absurd. There is no one else. All he has to do is keep the crises coming. (Iran and Israel will occupy most of the next year until the elections.) Then his argument will be that only He can deal with the crises because only He understands them. But since he can't run again, he will propose Michelle to give us two presidents in one. Cry the beloved country!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
tp said: Challenging a white feminocracy is not easy.

Werd. I would add that a [insert color] [insert gender] - ocracy is ex hypothesi *not* a merit-ocracy, and soon becomes a 404-ocracy.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." - Karl Marx

The tragedy was Council Wars (AKA Beirut on the Lake) with a black Hyde Park liberal in the starring role.

The farce is ObamaCare (AKA Chicago on the Potomac) with Barack Obama as a faux Harold Washington.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
truepeers wrote "Challenging a white feminocracy is not easy."

Imagine Obama's plight, challenging a multicultural feminocracy!

Michelle, Valerie, Hillary, Susan Rice, Samantha Power etc. etc.

No wonder he's a wuss.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course Plouffe isn't considering the total collapse of the economy before Ocare works, simply because it can't possibly work.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The differences between the so-called true data and the Atlanrtic's data are trivial. Both show that the productive members of the US are white, and mostly male. America's real problem is NAM parasites.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The New York Times turns up the drama to describe the frantic race within the White House to save not only their website, but their worldview.

Out of that tense Oval Office meeting grew a frantic effort aimed at rescuing not only the insurance portal and Mr. Obama’s credibility, but also the Democratic philosophy that an activist government can solve big, complex social problems. Today, that rescue effort is far from complete.

The NYT assigned most if not all of the blame to "a deeply dysfunctional relationship between the Department of Health and Human Services and its technology contractors, and tensions between the White House chief of staff and senior health department officials".

But withal the promise is that things will be fixed by 2017.

Interviewed on ABC's This Week program this morning, White House adviser David Plouffe said it will take longer to fix Obamacare after the troubled rollout of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform initiative. The troubled rollout of Obamacare is believed by many to be responsible for the recent sharp decline in Obama's approval numbers in the polls.

“It may take until 2017. It will work really well then,” Plouffe said on ABC's This Week.

The story on reported, “Plouffe said that in a few years, when more governors set up state exchanges and expand Medicare, the law will improve and people will regain faith in Obamacare.”

“I think people's confidence (in Obamacare) will recover,” Plouffe said on ABC's This Week.

42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, when Plouffe comes on the screen, mysteriously my tv turns off.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Farmers and ranchers 95.8% white? I thought that all the Pigford Settlement claimants might have lowered that percentage.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
As the joke goes, here in Canada you can buy first-class, high tech, medicine for your loved one, with no waiting list, if she's a dog. But our veterinarians don't come cheap. In British Columbia, however, vets from India are challenging the white profession providing their services at much lower cost. And it has led to defamation and lawsuits, see e.g.

Challenging a white feminocracy is not easy.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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