In the first essay featured in Afrolantica Legacies Derrick Bell puts his words in Bill Clinton’s mouth. This excerpt from page 13 of Afrolantica Legacies imagines a speech in 1998 from the president titled “Racial Liberation Day: The Challenge for White Americans”:
For Bell’s Critical Race Theory political theology the concept of “racism” shifted from the concrete (Jim Crow) to an abstraction:
… racism is a system of continuing and cumulative advantage that benefits all whites whether or not they seek it.
Thus, Bell can now use this abstraction as the ghost in the gears, the necessary, permanent explanation for any individual black American’s personal failures and professional inadequacies:
As Americans, we want to believe that our country is a meritocracy where anyone who has talent and works hard can be successful. Charges of racial discrimination threaten that image and, in all but the most blatant cases, many whites find it difficult to take them seriously. Thus when blacks assert that racism is alive and flourishing, whites find denial is the easier, the more comforting reaction.
Perhaps the reasons for Bell’s attacks on meritocracy are more personal than political, as Thomas Sowell observes:
Derrick Bell was put in an impossible position. He was hired as a full professor at the Harvard Law School when he himself said he did not have the kinds of qualifications that people have when they get appointed as full professors at the Harvard law school. And so what were his options? His options were to be a nobody among world famous intellectuals or to go off on his own shtick and try to be important or significant in that way. And he chose the low road… The fundamental problem was making him a professor at the Harvard Law School when even he himself knew that was not something that he merited.
In upcoming parts of this continuing journey through Afrolantica we’ll see more instances of Bell’s commentary that read in a different light when understood in the context of the professor’s own career.
Before beginning our journey to Afrolantica, this dialogue opens the book:
Geneva Crenshaw is a fictional character created by Professor Derrick Bell. She appears in his previous writings as an idealized version of himself, expressing his opinions with greater vigor.
For Critical Race Theorists to make the case for American racism’s “permanence” they must annihilate the Founding Fathers’ reputations. If Thomas Jefferson and the other founders were so stupid that they could not see the common humanity of non-whites then why should anyone respect their political values and the legitimacy of our nation?
With this political theology embedded in one’s heart and mind, the emotional desire to “fundamentally transform” America arises:
RELATED: J. Christian Adams published a picture worth a thousand words on this subject.
I planned to blog about the late Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies from beginning to end. However, recent events in France necessitate a brief detour to the book’s sixth — and longest — chapter. “Shadowboxing: Blacks, Jews and Games Scapegoats Play” features two dialogues devoted to Bell’s defense of Louis Farrakhan, the antisemitic leader of the Nation of Islam.
Bell describes a radical student named Nat T (a reference to the slave revolt led by Nat Turner) who comes to visit him in his law school office. When Bell rejects Nat T’s violent, kill-all-the-white-people rhetoric the student storms out, promising to murder him and the other “black tokens” when the revolution arrives.
As Nat T leaves the building he upsets Ben Hirsch, a Jewish faculty member whom Bell describes as “a staunch supporter of Israel where he travels frequently and consults with the government.” Hirsch comes to Bell to complain, leading to a Socratic dialogue where Bell blows over a series of Straw Man arguments. Despite Bell’s reliance on cliches throughout his narratives, this invention of a pro-Israel professor shows a genuine gift for the surreal.
“… when one black leader makes comments they deem anti-Semitic…”
Bell denied Farrakhan’s antisemitism. And his sentiment mirrors paleo-conservative former MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan’s description of Father Charles Coughlin (who published the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his newspaper Social Justice in the 1930s) as “an alleged antisemite.”
In the prologue to Afrolantica Legacies Professor Derrick Bell claims whites base their self-worth on skin color:
For without black people in America, what would it mean to be white? Of what value whiteness, the privilege of preference, the presumption of normality, the reassurance of majority status? Were the advantages of color to disappear, how would whites replace their carefully constructed but ever-fragile self-esteem based on whiteness? Blacks doubted that many whites would ever ask themselves these questions, but the questions were not less real because unacknowledged.
“Only African Americans were able to breathe and survive there.”
“The first black visitors reported a sense of well-being, a ‘euphoria of freedom’ one called it, that they had never known in America.”
“Millions of blacks were determined to move to this new land, to begin an ideal society.”
Observe the end goal here. Bell’s utopia is not that Americans of all skin colors embrace one another. Instead, he sought to inspire a “euphoria of freedom” through the fantasy of an “ideal society” without Jews.
As a 28-year-old student at Harvard Law Barack Obama supported the activism of Professor Derrick Bell and urged his peers to open their hearts and minds to the words of Critical Race Theory‘s founder.
But what did Bell believe and how could his ideas have any relation to the president’s policies today?
The myth of the rise and fall of Afrolantica — a kind of Atlantis where only African Americans can live — opens the book and provides Bell with a way to tie together his essays, fictional dialogues, and political parables written through the ’80s and ’90s. From seven of these essays, Bell extracts these principles to serve as “rules of racial preservation”:
James Joyner at Inside the Beltway fisks Bill Maher and Alexandra Pelosi’s stereotype-mongering. Last week on Real Time, the pair presented a video Pelosi shot featuring poor, toothless, racist rednecks embarrassing Republicans. This week for
balance attention they debuted a new provocation interviewing welfare recipients bragging about having “four baby-mamas” and voting for Obama because he’s a black man who keeps the government handouts flowing. Joyner cuts to the core issue and nails it:
There’s an old saying in social science circles: The plural of anecdote is not data. It’s relatively easy to cherry pick examples that confirm your bias but, without systematic sampling to ensure that they’re reflective of the larger universe, they have little value.
It’s doubtless true that there are a lot of ignorant racists in Mississippi. Or, for that matter, anywhere. Similarly, some percentage of those collecting government assistance are doubtless slimeballs who are too lazy to work and have no shame at living off those who do. But sticking a camera in their faces to record the fact doesn’t shed much light on how representative they are of the population we’re attempting to understand. Instead, these examples reinforce existing biases, doing much more harm than good.
Real Time videos available at Inside the Beltway, though, remember: they represent 15 minutes of your life that you won’t get back.
So why not give Zo 8 minutes instead?
If the Democrats lose the black vote, they lose everything. This is why their hooks are so deep in the black community and have virtually hard-wired the black community to be loyal to them. The chains that Democrats used to put on their wrists and ankles have now been clamped onto their hearts and minds.
The Economist reminds environmental utopians of the limited supply of rare metals (dysprosium and neodymium) needed for the high-powered magnets in “green” motors:
…if wind turbines and electric vehicles are going to fulfil the role environmental planners have assigned them in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, using current technologies would require an increase in the supply of neodymium and dysprosium of more than 700% and 2,600% respectively during the next 25 years. At the moment, the supply of these metals is increasing by 6% a year. To match the three researchers’ projections it would actually have to increase by 8% a year for neodymium and 14% for dysprosium.
Related at Tatler: Roger L. Simon with The High Cost of Winding.
Yesterday National Public Radio promoted the book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.
The question: why are some nations rich while others are poor, is the most important question in economics. And after centuries of trying to figure out the answer, economists still don’t know. Until, maybe, just maybe – right now.
Two important economists have come out with a new book that they say, and many others agree, may offer the answer. The book is called “Why Nations Fail.” One of the authors, Harvard’s James Robinson, says the reason economists haven’t succeeded so far is that they’ve been so obsessed with mathematical models of fictional economies that don’t actually exist.
And what signature example do Robinson and Acemoglu select? North Korea:
The two Koreas are an extreme example. But you can see the same thing on the border of the US and Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and dozens of other neighboring countries. In all of these cases, the people and land were fairly similar, but the border changed everything.
“It’s all about institutions,” Daron Acemoglu, one of the authors, explained. “It’s really about human-made systems, rules, regulations, formal or informal that create different incentives.”
When these guys talk about institutions they mean it as broadly as possible: it’s the formal rules and laws, but also the norms and common practices of a society. Lots of countries have great constitutions but their leaders have a practice of ignoring the rules whenever they feel like it.
Acemoglu and his co-author, James Robinson say the key difference between rich countries and poor ones is the degree to which a country has institutions that keep a small elite from grabbing all the wealth. In poor countries, the rich and powerful crush the poor and powerless.
So North Koreans live in poverty because “the rich and powerful crush the poor and powerless.” If only today’s Harvard economists and good, progressive NPR listeners lived back when the Soviets set up the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a satellite state after World World II then surely they would have built “institutions that keep a small elite from grabbing all the wealth.” Right?
California’s elected officials are particularly adept at dreaming up ways to spend other people’s money. While the state struggles with interminable deficits caused by years of reckless spending, the argument in Sacramento isn’t over how to reduce government; rather, it’s over how much to raise taxes and on whom. Governor Brown is pushing for a tax increase of $6.9 billion per year, to appear on this November’s ballot. California’s powerful government-employee unions and Molly Munger, a wealthy civil-rights attorney (wealthy by dint of being the daughter of Warren Buffett’s business partner) are offering two competing tax-hike plans. The silver lining may be that having three tax hikes on the ballot will turn voters off all of them.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Texas are grappling with a fiscal question of an entirely different sort: whether or not to spend some of the $6 billion set aside in the state’s rainy-day fund.
Today Breitbart.com Editor-At-Large Ben Shapiro utilizes his Harvard Law education to continue fisking Barack Obama’s constitutional law courses. Today, part III:
Here’s the first question from Obama’s 1997 exam.
The situation is a cross between Dolly the Sheep and Terri Schiavo. Essentially, many years in the future, there’s a young woman, Dollly. After a car accident, Dolly enters into a severe vegetative state with no possibility of recovery. Her parents, Mary and Joseph (you have to love the carefully chosen anti-religious implications here), whom she has given joint authority over her in a living will, decide to pull the plug. They also decide that they want to clone her. The problem is that the state has passed a law against cloning. The second problem is that other states that allow cloning require consent of the cloning subject, unless the subject is a terminally ill child – and it’s unclear whether Dolly gave her consent, though she had no moral objections to cloning.
This presents a question: is there a constitutional right to cloning?
Here the analysis of Obama’s suggested answer:
- First, Obama suggests that there is a fundamental constitutional right to clone oneself. The precedent cases “all argue for a broad reading of the right at stake: a right to make decisions regarding childbearing free from government interference—at least absent a government showing that such interference is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest.” Obama calls Justice Scalia’s argument that constitutional rights must be “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions” a “cramped reading of the right to privacy.”
Reminder: the ethics of cloning is not the issue here. That’s just the red fingernail Obama and the cultural Marxists use to dupe apolitical people. The important question is what the Constitution means. Does the Constitution grant us the “Right” to do anything? Or do our Rights come from a Creator? Is the Constitution instead a document of checks on the federal government’s power? Is that perhaps why Obama would shift from a career as a community organizer to Constitutional law? Know thy enemy.
Obama and the Alinskyites can’t win this debate so instead they have to dupe apolitical people with “social issues” like how poor Sandra Fluke can’t afford her birth control pills and 26-year-old “adult children” need mommy and daddy’s health insurance.
Mona Charen this morning at National Review:
In his new book, Brooks argues that it is part of the American character to value work. “Americans work 50 percent more than the Italians, the French, and even the Germans.” Why? Cosseted socialists in Europe would say it’s because we’re terrified of losing our jobs. But Brooks points to research showing that the more hours Americans work, the happier they report themselves to be. Only 11 percent of Americans say they wish they could spend a lot less time on their jobs.
The American work ethic can be eroded though, and will be, Brooks argues, by an expanding welfare state. It isn’t just that people who believe life to be unfair demand that governments “equalize” outcomes. It’s that once governments undertake to equalize things, people begin to believe that success is more a matter of luck than of hard work. A 2005 study of 29 countries found that where taxes are high and wealth is redistributed through social programs, people are much more likely to believe that success is a result of luck.
Also new this morning, PJ Media’s Dr. Helen Smith notes a Christian Science Monitor article proclaiming “Three in 10 young adults live with parents, highest level since 1950s” and comments at PJ Lifestyle:
So many young adults are living with parents because they don’t want to take a job they might not like or that doesn’t pay as much as they think they are worth with the Brown degree that everyone probably told them was the path to riches, or at least the good life.
Funny the way the pieces fall together:
1. Students can easily acquire loans to attend college because the federal government intervened in the free market.
2. Because of this attempt to make higher education “more accessible,” the price of college inflated, thus students must incur large debts.
3. Once at college, non-hard science students can study useless variations of cultural Marxism and graduate without any real skill, save the ability to advocate for other people to pay higher taxes:
4. These idealists emerge into an economy devastated by a recession exacerbated by policies such as the Community Reinvestment Act, a law Alinskyte Marxists advocated.
5. The large student loan debt and lack of positions for those without skills scares them into staying at home. The parents who have supported them throughout their education continue to do so.
“And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party,” she said. “I mean, the incentives seem to be set up to allow people — as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money. The Democrats have managed to figure out how not to do that.”
On February 25 PJM published La Shawn Barber’s reporting on activist Ward Connerly’s very profitable, non-profit:
In a five-page letter (PDF) through her lawyer, Gratz said Connerly’s organizations — ACRI, the American Civil Rights Coalition, and the American Civil Rights Foundation — have been in financial crisis since March 2010. Recent tax documents show Connerly’s annual salary (over $1 million) totaled more than half ACRI’s revenue. His handling of donor funds “raised questions about whether the organization’s mission has been subordinated to Mr. Connerly’s personal interests.”
There’s plenty of money out there for charismatic ideological warriors who live to hustle.
Ron Paul figured this out decades ago when his antisemitic newsletters turned a profit:
Video researcher Andrew Kaczynski unearthed a clip in 1995, before the newsletters had become an election issue in his district, in which Paul discussed the publication as one of his passion projects in his years out of Congress. He described it as a “political type of business, investment newsletter.”…
In addition to the objectionable content of the newsletters, his odd explanation contrasts heavily with his hard-earned brand as an unconventional anti-politician who always tells the truth as he sees it and never waters down his views to pander to voters. It’s hard to square this with a candidate who claims that he somehow never bothered to read a newsletter published under his own name that generated as much as $1 million in revenues in just one single year.
Was the “unconventional anti-politician who always tells the truth as he sees it” ever more than a business model?
Published in October of 2010, Stanley Kurtz’s Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism shaped my understanding of the president more than any other. Time and again the Kurtz analysis of Obama the Alinskyite — still employing community organizing tactics in pursuit of socialist goals — rang true in understanding the administration’s strikes and parries in today’s political war. Kurtz discovered original documents and built a mountain of argument and evidence so tall that no defender of the president has dared attempt a rebuttal.
Now Kurtz returns with a sequel, continuing what he began in the second half of his first Obama expose: connecting the dots between the president’s lifelong immersion in variations of the Marxist political faith and the destructive, unjust public policies his administration implements.
Kurtz wrote this week at The Corner:
Many aspects of Obama’s present–to say nothing of his plans for the future–are as guarded and mysterious as his radical past. In fact, the poorly-known side of Obama’s world makes the clearest sense only when you combine research into his past and present alike.
This is what I’ve been up to these past months, as I’ve been working on a book about Obama that will appear in early August.
Read the whole thing, as Kurtz weighs in on recent debates and has plenty of other thoughts.
This morning CNN published an op/ed from Sandra Fluke, a 30-year-old, professional advocate for socialized medicine posing as a feminist college student:
These attempts to silence women and the men who support them have clearly failed. I know this because I have received so many messages of support from across the country — women and men speaking out because they agree that contraception needs to be treated as a basic health care service.
Who are these supporters?
They are women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, who need contraception to prevent cysts from growing on their ovaries, which if unaddressed can lead to infertility and deadly ovarian cancer. They are sexual assault victims, who need contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
They are Catholic women, who see no conflict between their social justice -based faith and family planning. They are new moms, whose doctors fear that another pregnancy too soon could jeopardize the mother’s health and the potential child’s health too. They are mothers and grandmothers who remember all too well what it was like to be called names decades ago, when they were fighting for a job, for health care benefits, for equality.
A “social justice-based faith” seeks to achieve heaven on earth through remaking America’s political, religious, and cultural institutions. Fluke and the president rely on this political theology to inspire them in the fight to force Catholic employers to subsidize birth control.
Related: Kathy Shaidle at PJ Lifestyle today on radical gay activists pushing Los Angeles to mandate straight pornography performers wear condoms on location shoots:
And “social justice” is the stubborn application of unworkable solutions to imaginary problems.
Also related, David Brooks’ column “The Fertility Implosion” at the New York Times today articulates the theme of Spengler’s How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too) and reveals social justice in action:
When you look at pictures from the Arab spring, you see these gigantic crowds of young men, and it confirms the impression that the Muslim Middle East has a gigantic youth bulge — hundreds of millions of young people with little to do. But that view is becoming obsolete. As Nicholas Eberstadt and Apoorva Shah of the American Enterprise Institute point out, over the past three decades, the Arab world has undergone a little noticed demographic implosion. Arab adults are having many fewer kids.
The more a people focuses on creating heaven on earth the less they work to escape the hell of their own nature.
Or, as James Crugnale of Mediate reliably spins it: Survey Shows Majority Of Alabama/Mississippi GOP Voters Think Obama Is Muslim:
According to a recently-released survey, many Alabama and Mississippi Republicans overwhelmingly believe President Obama to be Muslim. Public Policy Polling asked Republicans in the two states, “Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?”In Alabama, 45% said “Muslim”, 41% said “unsure.” Only 14% said that the President is Christian.
Mississippi Republicans were even more distrusting of President Obama’s faith, with an overwhelming 52% saying he was Muslim, 36% unsure and only 12% saying Christian.
First, ignore that PPP only polled about 600 people in each state. Second, ignore that the question on the survey asks “Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian, or a Muslim, or are you not sure?” Where’s the “He’s a secular, stealth Marxist applying Alinskyite strategy by pretending to be a Christian so he can gain power” option?
Come on Democrats, do you really want independents to believe Obama is a sincere Jeremiah Wright Christian? Aren’t you better off just conceding Obama went to Trinity United for the political connections, and not to drink up the antisemitic conspiracy Kool-Aid?
Though PPP might seem to be simply the Democratic counterpart to Rasmussen Reports, the automated pollster that the left loves to hate, there are differences.
Rasmussen, despite its partisan reputation, claims political independence and does not conduct polls on behalf of candidates, while PPP freely admits that the left is its bread and butter — and where its sympathies lie. Some of the firm’s polling memos advocate desired outcomes or use loaded, partisan language.
Read the Politico story to learn about how PPP makes money. This isn’t just progressives firing another shot at Southern Tea Partiers. This is also PPP’s strategy for drumming up business. Mediate’s story constitutes free advertising for more progressive organizations to commission PPP for polls. The most wonderful of ironies: disassembling capitalism through dividing America can be a great business model. Political war profiteers eager to make a buck fomenting class and race wars will always find a shallow pool of idealists to keep the money flowing.
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Rosie Gray at Buzzfeed this morning discovers “Ron Paul Volunteers Impoverish Themselves For The Cause”:
Ron Paul has inspired thousands of young supporters to join his libertarian cause, but the most devoted Paulites of all are the self-described “Ron Paul Roadies.”
The group of six young men from around the country started volunteering with Youth for Ron Paul before the primaries. Months later, all have quit their jobs and are on the road with the campaign full-time — but money’s running low, one of them has had to give up his truck, and all are having trouble affording proper meals.
Alexis Campestre, 25, of Texas, used to work for a marketing firm in Los Angeles, but left his job on January 2 to volunteer full-time for the Paul campaign. He met the other men “on the journey,” he says, and the group became close. They’ve been traveling together in Campestre’s truck.
“We consider ourselves kind of like the Paul Reveres of the 21st century,” Campestre said from the crew’s latest stop in Venice Beach, California, with his companions Anthony Librera and Les Redfield, both from the New York City area.
“The more we found out, the harder it is to sit around and do nothing about it,” said Redfield. The guys’ duties include phone banking and organizing grassroots outreach efforts for the campaign, and their YouTube video boasts of the number of phone calls each has made.
But money has been an increasingly worrisome issue. At first, the campaign was giving them a stipend as it did with all Youth for Ron Paul volunteers.
Now, “the campaign is getting tight with their money so we’re finding ourselves worse and worse off,” said Redfield.
Reminder: Real people give up their lives when the exciting, apocalyptic stories of charismatic con men fulfill an emotional need. Adherents of any political ideology can end up worshiping politicians and intellectuals as their superman sun gods, invoking us to “open up your hearts and your minds” to the cosmic truth they bring down to us from the heavens.
The fruits of Academia’s Critical Race Theory Marxist cult and the Paleolibertarian Anarcho-Capitalist political cult both taste the same: racism and antisemitism.
Both result from people trying to find the emotional healing in politics that they should be getting through religion, family, and culture.
As a young doctor in training, dissecting cadavers or practicing surgery on dogs, he would tell all who would listen about how the country was headed down the wrong path, about the urgency of a strict gold standard and about the dangers of allowing government too much power over people’s lives.
“Once that got ingrained, that became his religion,” said his brother Jerrold, a minister and a psychotherapist. “He says he preaches the ‘gospel of freedom’ — that’s the money quote. Politics became his crusade.”
Derrick Bell was one of the first legal scholars to talk about race in America. The median net worth of white households in the United States is 20 times that of black households. Black students in our nation’s public schools are three and a half times more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers. Black rates of unemployment have been consistently double the rates of white unemployment since 1972 when the government first started tracking such data. Professor Bell argued that such statistics were not the result of inherent inferiority of African Americans but the persistence of “structural racism” — that the legacy of slavery and racial discrimination on which our nation was built has, intentionally or unintentionally, left indelible marks so that the rhetorical “level playing field” has never truly existed. His beliefs were not anti-American, as conservative critics have alleged, but rather fiercely patriotic, wanting to extend the promise of America to all.
First, note how Kohn polarizes the debate into two sides. Through the creation of fake conflicts, community organizers can galvanize moderates and gullible “liberals” to support things they otherwise would not. That’s why the issue of race is exploited like this — just to rally people to fuel their Marxist economic goals. Hence why Obamacare took such high priority in the first term.
Kohn and other Alinskyites know how to set the rules of engagement in their favor. Only two possibilities: these shocking statistics come from blacks’ genetic inferiority or continued white racism. Never mind the third option, that these statistics mean nothing and that there are books filled with cultural studies and economic statistics refuting this pseudo-intellectual sophistry and demonstrating black people as more than capable of succeeding without condescending whites alleviating their guilt through increased government handouts.
Second, observe the attempt to wrap Marxism in a patriotic cloak, and the use of a generality like “the promise of America to all.” Alinskyites do this regularly whenever questions of their political ideology arise. Recall when Media Matters blogger Oliver Willis asked Obama if he considered himself a progressive and the former Alinskyite teacher managed to claim Abraham Lincoln as a progressive:
Questioner: Mr. President, you’re often pressured from both the left and right on one issue or another, and then even within the Democratic Party you get pressured from the more conservative, more progressive side of the party. So I’m curious, you sort of govern as a — sort of as a pragmatist, and I’m wondering if you view yourself as a progressive.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I mean, the problem with labels is everybody thinks they mean different things. So I would define myself as a strong progressive in the sense that I believe in that essential American Dream that everybody gets a chance to make it if they’re willing to work hard, that government has a role to play in ensuring opportunity by making sure kids get a decent education and can afford to go to college; that workers are able to train and retrain for the jobs of the future; that we’re building strong infrastructure; that we are using our diplomacy alongside our military to protect our national security; that we believe in the Bill of Rights and we actually act on it, even when it’s inconvenient; that we are promoting the equal treatment of citizens under the law.
Those core beliefs that America prospers not just when a few people do well but when everybody has the chance to do well, when we’ve got a growing middle class, where we — people are able to live out their dreams without the barriers of race or gender or sexual orientation, those are things I deeply believe in. In that sense, though, I think Abraham Lincoln was a progressive.
He was a Republican. He was the first Republican President. And that just gives you a sense of how these categories change so much.
It used to be that the values I just described had a home in the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party. I think it’s only been in recent years that you can’t find that articulation of some of these values in the Republican Party, and that in fact if you champion them that you’re considered some wild-eyed radical. That’s a shift, and not a good shift, in terms of our public debate.
Read Matthew Vadum’s Subversion, Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers for more on Alinskyite tactics in action.
Kohn’s reliance on these rhetorical weapons comes as no surprise. Visit her personal site and see how she describes herself in her page’s banner:
“Pragmatic radical” sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
The goal of the law for centuries was to transcend individual particularities and to strive however imperfectly for a universal reason that would apply to all individuals regardless of race and gender and class and that was seen as a good thing… And the critique of the critical race theorist as well as feminist jurisprudence was not only is that ideal impossible but it’s not even really desirable because they see American society as so fundamentally unjust, as so completely biased in favor of white males, that the only proper response is a huge upsurge of emotion and identity and so storytelling is seen as somehow the legitimate reaction to the oppression of reason and the silencing of minority and female voices… There was a professor who was at Harvard for awhile and then ended up at university of Pennsylvania, Regina Austin. She actually argued that blacks in their attempts to destabilize white hegemony should embrace law breaking as a legitimate, radical thrust against white oppression and that sort of petty forms of lawbreaking like hustling, like employees stealing from their employers should be embraced by the white law-abiding middle class as a revolutionary gesture…
Take the time to listen to all 13 minutes.
Here’s how Austin describes the goals of her classes today where she trains legal students to produce propaganda on behalf of “social justice”:
Like Barack Obama and Van Jones, Austin too appears to have discovered the value of foregoing “the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.”
Breitbart.Com Editor-In-Chief Joel Pollak’s achieved a victory against CNN’s presidential apologists when he explained the relevance of this new video evidence linking Barack Obama to Critical Race Theory, the racist political theology of Derrick Bell:
POLLAK: No, I’m not afraid that black people are going to be violent and take over the country. What I’m pointing out is that there’s a pattern in Barack Obama’s associations with Derrick Bell, with Reverend Wright, and it carries over into his governance because his Justice Department won’t treat black civil rights violators the same way that it treats white civil rights violators. That there’s a racial pattern in which justice is enforced in this country. And it also gives us a sense into how Barack Obama thinks about these issues.
At every point in his life when he could have followed the path of Martin Luther King, he threw in his lot with the Jeremiah Wrights and the Derrick Bells of the world.
How often does truth like this penetrate the MSM fog? This is an example of how to hack the media Breitbart-style.
Jeff Dunetz at YidWithLid jumped in yesterday to remind us that Bell falls into a long pattern of antisemitic mentors and associates:
Yesterday’s release of the Barack Obama/Derrick Bell Harvard tape was seen by many as another example of the President’s long history associating with radicals. There is another interpretation however. When Obama urged people to open up their hearts and minds to Bell it was another case of him “cozying” up to an Anti-Semite. Understand we are not talking about people who are Anti-Israel (although there is a huge crossover of the two) but people who regularly use Anti-Semitic stereotypes or more direct derogatory comments about Jews.
Jeff provides 9 examples of other Obama confidantes who promote antisemitic conspiracy theories.
No matter how many times I lay out the facts to them my progressive friends do not understand why any of this matters. “Where’s the bombshell?” in Soldedad O’Brien’s words. Try this information on the Democrats in your own life and you’ll get the same kind of embarrassing, non-sequiturs that prompted Pollak’s rebuttal above: What are you afraid of? That Obama will unleash wild Kenyan tribesman to run through the streets spearing white people? That for his second term he’s plotting new concentration camps for Louis Farrakhan to oversee the implementation of a second Holocaust?
Consistently throughout his political career the young Barry Obama sympathized with antisemites and racists; as president his foreign policy (on Iran, Libya, and Israel) and his legal policy do the same.
CNN’s Soledad O’Brien’s venomously sarcastic interview with Breitbart.com editor-in-chief Joel Pollak culminated with her throwing out her definition of “Critical Race Theory” in the heat of her interview over the Obama/Bell Tapes released last night. Pollak had already requested that O’Brien define the term more than once, and at the 1:45 mark in the video below, she finally does. One problem–O’Brien’s definition appears to be lifted almost word-for-word from a wikipedia page, presumedly hurriedly communicated to Soledad in the midst of her interview.
Kudos to Pollak — this is exactly the way to handle the President’s minions in the mainstream media:
Of course, the number of evil, right-wing, racist, “patriot” hate groups continues to rise.
The New York Times and the Daily Beast celebrate the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) annual report, which seeks to suggest that mainstream conservatives criticizing the President’s socialist policies increases the number of racial hate groups:
Fed by antagonism toward President Obama, resentment toward changing racial demographics and the economic rift between rich and poor, the number of so-called hate groups and antigovernment organizations in the nation has continued to grow, according to a report released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The center, which has kept track of such groups for 30 years, recorded 1,018 hate groups operating last year.
The number of groups whose ideology is organized against specific racial, religious, sexual or other characteristics has risen steadily since 2000, when 602 were identified, the center said. Antigay groups, for example, have risen to 27 from 17 in 2010.
The report also described a “stunning” rise in the number of groups it identifies as part of the so-called patriot and militia movements, whose ideologies include deep distrust of the federal government.
In 2011, the center tracked 1,274 of those groups, up from 824 the year before.
Every time the SPLC publishes one of these “reports” the legacy media parades it around as evidence of the Tea Party Grand Wizards’ conspiracy to regress America back to Jim Crow. What they won’t tell you and really don’t want you to know is that in November 2000 the progressive magazine Harper’s exposed the SPLC as a fraudulent non-profit created by a career con artist solely to make a ton of money. Some of my favorite highlights from the article:
Today, the SPLC spends most of its time–and money–on a relentless fund-raising campaign, peddling memberships in the church of tolerance with all the zeal of a circuit rider passing the collection plate. “He’s the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of the civil rights movement,” renowned anti- death-penalty lawyer Millard Farmer says of Dees, his former associate, “though I don’t mean to malign Jim and Tammy Faye.” The Center earned $44 million last year alone–$27 million from fund-raising and $17 million from stocks and other investments–but spent only $13 million on civil rights program , making it one of the most profitable charities in the country.
Morris Dees doesn’t need your financial support. The SPLC is already the wealthiest civil rights group in America, though this letter quite naturally omits that fact. Other solicitations have been more flagrantly misleading. One pitch, sent out in 1995-when the Center had more than $60 million in reserves-informed would-be donors that the “strain on our current operating budget is the greatest in our 25-year history.” Back in 1978, when the Center had less than $10 million, Dees promised that his organization would quit fund-raising and live off interest as soon as its endowment hit $55 million. But as it approached that figure, the SPLC upped the bar to $100 million, a sum that, one 1989 newsletter promised, would allow the Center “to cease the costly and often unreliable task of fund raising. ” Today, the SPLC’s treasury bulges with $120 million, and it spends twice as much on fund-raising-$5.76 million last year-as it does on legal services for victims of civil rights abuses. The American Institute of Philanthropy gives the Center one of the worst ratings of any group it monitors, estimating that the SPLC could operate for 4.6 years without making another tax-exempt nickel from its investments or raising another tax-deductible cent from well-meaning “people like you.”
In the early 1960s, Morris Dees sat on the sidelines honing his direct-marketing skills and practicing law while the civil rights movement engulfed the South.”Morris and I…shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money,” recalls Dees’s business partner, a lawyer named Millard Fuller (not to be confused with Millard Farmer). “We were not particular about how we did it; we just wanted to be independently rich.”
Oh and there’s much more about the bizarre Dees…
The Times knows all of this but they still play along year after year because it just feels so good to stick it to the conservatives.
This unashamed, progressive con artistry has a long, prestigious tradition. Paul Johnson’s Intellectuals shows Rousseau and Marx doing the same thing: creating a fantastic political theology to guilt-trip the wealthy into providing them with luxurious lifestyles.
In related news, last night J. Christian Adams published an important story on the Obamas’ college videos:
In May 1988, Harvard Law students, borrowing from Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, and foreshadowing the Occupy movement of 2011, occupied the Harvard Law School’s dean’s office. The students were supporting Professor Derrick Bell’s demand that the law school hire professors on the basis of race.
One of the students “dressed in black” and occupying the dean’s office appears to be Michelle Obama (Harvard Law ’88).
Here’s the link to the video. What a difference a few decades can make. Here’s the first lady today hitting the slopes at Aspen:
TOLEDO, Ohio — Dennis Kucinich is out and Marcy Kaptur has captured the Democratic primary in the new 9th District, according to data analysis from cleveland.com
Kaptur, the longest-serving woman in Congress, has apparently won the Democratic primary.
According to the official Ohio Secretary of State site, Kaptur had won four of the five counties — except for Cuyahoga — although not all of the ballots have been counted in the five-county district.
Oh, poor Dennis. Guess he’ll need to switch from politics to another of his world-saving hobbies.
Here are a few suggestions:
3. Dating and Marriage Counselor
Here’s a story everyone might not know: how a 59-year-old, 5’7″ congressional bachelor meets a 27-year-old, 6-foot, “statuesque, flame-haired” British activist in April of 2005 and marries her by August. What a lovely couple.
Anyone else like to assist the soon-to-be former Congressman improve American political life by finding something else to do with his time?
Breitbart.com Editor-At-Large Ben Shapiro reports on the vetting of President Barack Obama:
Sources inform Breitbart.com today that Pam Dickler, director of the 1998 production of The Love Song of Saul Alinsky in Chicago that included a panel discussion featuring then-State Sen. Barack Obama, has a video tape of the play.
And she won’t release it.
“There is only one archive tape of the play and I have it,” Dickler informed our source. “It is not in Chicago.”
Dickler told our source that she doesn’t believe she’s ever watched the tape, and she doesn’t know if it “can be viewed.” But she added: “No one is going to see the tape.”
Last night Big Government published Andrew Breitbart’s final column from the Breitbart 2.0 relaunched site. The article and new design point the direction toward the new media future “Breitbartian conservatives” (Lee Stranahan’s term) will now create.
The article arrives as another reminder of the theology taught by today’s postmodern Marxist cults. Breitbart summarizes the 1998 Chicago play The Love Song of Saul Alinsky. And who’s on the poster participating in a panel discussion? Then-State Senator “Baraka” Obama. Breitbart with some of the play’s highlights:
So, what’s in the play? It truly is a love song to Alinsky. In the first few minutes of the play, Alinsky plays Moses – yes, the Biblical Moses – talking to God. The play glorifies Alinsky stealing food from restaurants and organizing others to do the same, explaining, “I saw it as a practical use of social ecology: you had members of the intellectual community, the hope of the future, eating regularly for six months, staying alive till they could make their contributions to society.”
In an introspective moment, Alinsky rips America: “My country … ‘tis of whatthehell / And justice up a tree … How much can you sell / What’s in it for me.” He grins about manipulating the Christian community to back his programs. He talks in glowing terms about engaging in Chicago politics with former Mayor Kelly. He rips the McCarthy committee, mocking, “Everyone was there, when you think back – Cotton Mather, Hester Prynn, Anne Hutchinson, Tom Paine, Tom Jefferson … Brandeis, Holmes … Gene Debs and the socialists … Huey Long … Imperial Wizards of all stripes … Father Coughlin and his money machine … Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd … and a kicking chorus of sterilized reactionaries singing O Come, All Ye Faithful …”
And Alinsky talks about being the first occupier – shutting down the O’Hare Airport by occupying all the toilet stalls, using chewing gum to “tie up the city, stop all traffic, and the shopping, in the Loop, and let everyone at City Hall know attention must be paid, and maybe we should talk about it.” As Alinsky says, “Students of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your juicy fruit.”
It’s not a coincidence that at the same time Obama sits in the White House the Occupy movement rises to attack all of his political enemies. In Alinskyite strategy it’s called “good cop” and “bad cop.”
See Also: My article here at PJM on Andrew Breitbart’s 5 gifts to Generation Y Conservatism.
Jeff Dunetz at Yid With Lid wonders if the White House instigated the employment of Media Matters’s antisemitic Senior Fellow MJ Rosenberg:
We know that Media Matters was coordinating with the White House on many issues. They hired Rosenberg at a time when important domestic issues were dominating the headlines. Obama’s relationship with Israel was only intermittently in the headlines, and not anywhere near to the extent of those other issues, but his attacks on Israel were having an effect on the President’s Jewish support. No single-issue Senior staff was hired to comment or publicly lobby for the President’s positions on the other issues. While other MMFA hit-men attack the media’s coverage of Obama and the progressives, only MJ Rosenberg writes primarily about the issue itself.
Look at the entire case Jeff makes and the dates he identifies:
July 13 2009: “Obama met with leaders of 13 Jewish Organizations Missing from this meeting was an organization usually included by presidents when they meet with “Jewish Leaders,” the Zionist Organization of America who had been most vocal about opposing Obama’s Israel attacks. Instead the President invited two groups with little support in the Jewish Community, but much support in progressive circles, the anti-Israel lobbying groups J-Street (funded by George Soros) and Americans for Peace Now. The meeting’s purpose of calming the Jewish nerves regarding the President’s one-sided criticism of the Jewish State.”
Sept. 9 2009: MMFA announces Rosenberg’s hire.
“That’s right,” Dershowitz affirmed. “Unless the administration disassociates itself from Media Matters and stops having strategy sessions and stops inviting them to the White House and stops being associated with them, the President should do to Media Matters what he did to Jeremiah Wright — totally disassociate, rebuke and say, ‘I stand with Israel.’ He has an opportunity to do that when he meets at AIPAC. I think he will show support for Israel and support for AIPAC but he has to distance himself from Media Matters. They’re too close today for comfort. It’s going to hurt him in the re-election campaign.”
I can think of others in the midst of this mess who are “too close today for comfort.”
Ace responds to David Frum’s summary of Andrew Breitbart’s life:
From the dawn of time the primitives in the woods envied and feared those with the Magic of Fire.
David Frum exceeded Andrew Breitbart in one measure only, span of life.
But not in life.
David Frum will die as he lived, gray, timid, small, spiteful, cramped in thought and bent in spirit, slender of talent and obese in self-regard, unloved, unnoticed, unremembered and unread.
Better to live outrageously for only a short spell than to hiss from the shadows, content to live within the niggling license of Master’s Leash.
After Hannity brought up the tapes that Breitbart said “would change this election,” Bannon gave more information regarding when the public can expect to see them.
“There‘s a set of tapes and we’re going through it,” Bannon announced. “The staff…the guys are going through a series of tapes of President Obama at Harvard and…we’ll come back to you in a week or two and show them here on the Hannity show.”
“In one week, we’ll have these tapes?,” Hannity asked.
Bannon confirmed that they should be ready for release in a week to 10 days.
I look forward to seeing the tapes but wonder what they could depict that will damage the President’s campaign. Tea Partiers already possess an abundance of evidence establishing Obama’s radical ideology beyond a reasonable doubt. Yes, with the research Stanley Kurtz lays out in Radical-In-Chief one can demonstrate Obama’s continued reliance on Alinskyite tactics throughout his career.
But so what?
Try to explain this stuff to a Reagan Democrat or independent swing-voter. Try and pull out various compelling facts on Obama’s succession of Marxist mentors or the soundbites with his frank admissions lamenting the Constitution’s “fundamental flaw” thwarting efforts to redistribute wealth.
While confronting the public with the truth of Barack Obama’s Marxism serves a cultural objective, this message yields limited returns in a presidential election. And here’s why: ALL of this stuff from his past will receive the barely-informed swing voter’s dismissal: “Yeah, so what? That was years ago and even if he is radical he’s not doing a very good job of it and the Republicans are even worse. Have you heard they want to ban contraception now? And why does Rush Limbaugh have to call women sluts?”
In a column titled “G.O.P. Greek Tragedy,” Maureen Dowd reveals the conspiracy theory vision mainstream Democrats believe about conservatives:
In the old days, the Republican ego had control of the party’s id. The id, sometimes described as a galloping horse or crying baby, “the dark, inaccessible part of our personality … chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations,” as Freud called it, was whipped up obliquely by candidates. Nixon had his Southern strategy of using race as a wedge, Bush Senior and Lee Atwater used the Willie Horton attack, and W. and Karl Rove conjured the gay marriage bogyman.
Once elected, those presidents curbed the id with the ego, common sense and reason. But now the G.O.P.’s id is unbridled. The horse has thrown the rider; the dark forces are bubbling. Moderates, women, gays, Hispanics and blacks — even the president — are being hunted in this most dangerous game.
Which is the bigger drive among today’s progressives: to implement social justice with the perfect welfare state or to save the world from the imaginary Fascist Misogynist Anti-Gay Racist Imperialist Demons of the GOP?
Dowd chants the familiar spell: “Southern Strategy, Lee Atwater, Willie Horton, Karl Rove, gay marriage” and all of a sudden elaborate fantasies of an American Totalitarian state (described by Joe Conason in It Can Happen Here and Naomi Wolf in The End of America) spring to the progressive mind. The only reason Republicans since Reagan ever win elections is through their Faustian deal with the dreaded Christianist Theocracy Redneck Matthew Shepard-killing Red State Nationalists. Utilizing hidden electoral codes in their campaigns, the corporatist establishment Republicans dupe the NASCAR neanderthals to vote against their economic interests. (Thomas Frank set the talking point for the Bush era with 2004′s What’s the Matter with Kansas?) But, Dowd warns, now the barbarians who want to lock up gay people almost possess control of the GOP.
So the contents of Barack Obama’s agenda remain irrelevant to the Dowd-progressive. After all: at least with Obama, the teenage girls won’t need to perform their abortions themselves with coat-hangers.
Tea Party efforts to articulate fiscal sanity won’t penetrate minds hypnotized by this fantasy. Through emotional experiences and cultural conditioning the modern progressive channels her own id into hating those she deems beneath her in the pecking order. And as long as no greater threat to her comfort emerges, she’s likely to continue selecting conservatives as preferred whipping boy in her own Freudian dramas.
The Daily Caller provides your morning laughter with a story yesterday further confirming the irrelevancy of 2008 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr:
Barr was elected to Congress in 1994 and worked alongside Gingrich as he became Speaker of the House. Barr left office in 2003 and in 2008 ran as the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, receiving more than 500,000 votes nationwide.
Explaining his support for Gingrich, a politician not often considered a libertarian darling, Barr told The Daily Caller, “I’m very comfortable and happy supporting Newt,” adding, “it’s not to say that other candidates like Ron Paul don’t have very good ideas.”
The former congressman has served as a surrogate for Gingrich’s campaign, primarily reaching out to groups supportive of the Second Amendment. He said he has some policy differences with Gingrich, but finds his political track record reassuring.
“Of all of the Republican candidates, he is the one best equipped and with an actual track record of accomplishing important conservative and libertarian goals,” said Barr. “A track record to me is a much better indicator of where these candidates truly stand than what they may say.”
Come on. Barr might have a leg to stand on if Gary Johnson and Ron Paul weren’t options. And a reminder of the Speaker’s fringe views on medicinal marijuana. This isn’t actually a serious argument for Libertarians — more a cry for attention and a signal of a new direction.
What’s Barr up to? Is the former GOP insider growing tired of wandering the third party wilderness?
The obsession with sticking it to the Establishment (which includes Christine O’Donnell, but excludes Bill Kristol) by voting for a loose cannon demagogue or a crusading Catholic who can’t seem to move the conversation past contraception is as pie-in-the-sky delusional as anything dished by Democrats carrying on about “green jobs.”
Buzzfeed reports this morning on comments Democratic lawyer Alan Dershowitz made to WABC’s Aaron Klein, expanding on remarks he’d made recently regarding the antisemite MJ Rosenberg propagandizing from Media Matters’ perch and payroll:
“I don’t know whether President Obama has any idea that Media Matters has turned the corner against Israel in this way,” he said. “I can tell you this, he will know very shortly because I am beginning a serious campaign on this issue and I will not let it drop until and unless [writer and activist MJ] Rosenberg is fired from Media Matters, or Media Matters changes its policy or the White House disassociates itself from Media Matters.”
Now isn’t that an encouraging development? The most effective advocate for Israel in the Democratic Party stands up to challenge one of the President’s most valuable activist organizations.
And what timing too! Dershowitz’s plans to amp up the pressure on Media Matters come on the heels (and perhaps even inspired by!) Tucker Carlson’s extraordinary Daily Caller expose.
Let’s connect some dots. One of the critical details of Carlson’s reporting on Media Matters’ founder, CEO, and abusive boss David Brock:
At some point, Brock received a prescription for his condition. “Some days he’d come in and you could tell he was on his meds because he would just sit in his office alone and not engage with staff,” says a coworker. Other days, “he’d be intensely engaged. He’d get manic, very reckless and grandiose. You’d see this level of self-confidence in him that would spiral.”
Last spring, some at Media Matters headquarters and in other parts of the progressive world were caught off guard by an interview Brock gave to Ben Smith at Politico, in which he promised to wage “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” against Fox News. “It was insane,” says a coworker. “David was totally manic at the time. We were all shocked.”
Friends say Brock, who has publicly admitted drug use in the past, was working obsessively and staying out late with compatriots.
Andrew Breitbart the past few weeks has offered some important pieces of his own regarding the psychological state of Brock. He chose to inject this image into the dialogue, a photo Brock posed for in Esquire in 1998 for the article beginning his metamorphosis from failed conservative journalistic “hit man” to apologetic inside source on the “vast right-wing conspiracy” to CEO of his own 501(c)3 nonprofit activist army:
Tea Partiers should read Brock’s memoir Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative to hear more of the story and understand the conspiracy theory version of the Conservative Movement believed by Democrats.
In waging this political battle against the well-funded George Soros Progressives, I hope Dershowitz understands his enemy with eyes wide open — hence the need to highlight the “erratic” temperament of the CEO as a key component inspiring Media Matters’ activism. But I doubt that he does. Because after all, Dershowitz is still a Democrat.
A cliche worth repeating from Sun Tzu:
It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry lying about The Help:
This story of a white woman who tells the story of black maids erases and then rewrites a rich and robust history in which black women never needed anyone to speak for them. The true story is that for some white people and the black female domestics who worked for them there really is much closer to a horror film than a lighthearted drama… For black maids the threat of rape was always a clear and present danger. And even as I am appalled at the gross historical inaccuracies of The Help, I’m deeply moved by the actresses in the film who in many ways got it just right.
Harris-Perry cannot have her pie and eat it too. She cannot decry the film as a racist whitewash of Jim Crow fascism and then feel emotional satisfaction from the black actresses degrading themselves to further a Big Lie.
One conclusion for this cognitive dissonance: Harris-Perry doesn’t really believe her own critique. She’s just playing the role of hip, radical chic racial bomb-throwing Nation columnist while enjoying the bourgeoisie lifestyle her MSNBC salary, probable 6-figure university compensation, and generous speaker fees provide. (Toure plays the same character — knowing to use Spike Lee’s cinematic invention of the “magical negro” archetype when attacking The Help.)
I just rewatched The Help last week with my wife. We bought the Blu Ray when it came out since it was her favorite movie of the year. So the plot details are fresh in mind. And Harris-Perry gets something very wrong.
The young, white writer Skeeter (Emma Stone) does not tell the story of black maids. She, Minnie (Octavia Spencer,) and Aibileen (Viola Davis) write the book together and publish as Anonymous. In fact, we see Aibileen with pen to paper the most. They split the royalties three ways. Their success demonstrates that blacks and whites coming together can lift themselves up without government hand-outs. The free market works.
Harris-Perry knows all this. The amount of money she earns confirms everything to herself whether she wants to admit it or not. Just as she knows that Obama-supporting, uber-progressive Hollywood is not churning out white supremacist propaganda. Deep down she enjoys the film. What she dislikes? How The Help undermines her political cult’s goals. She’s well aware that the film presents a multilayered story in which black and white women unite to build each other up without the help of Obamacare or overpaid MSNBC hosts preaching a political theology of permanent victimhood. No wonder Harris-Perry has to pretend to hate The Help in her role on the political world’s version of a reality TV show.
Ben Shapiro delivered a measured rebuke to Rick Santorum for an inability to articulate a universal social conservatism:
Social conservatism is based on traditional morality; American social conservatism is based on secular explanation of traditional morality. Appeals to the Bible may convince believers, but they alienate non-believers. They end the moral conversation and polarize relationships. Believers end up labeling non-believers atheists; atheists end up labeling believers kooks.
That’s the problem for Rick Santorum, too. Moderate to liberal opinion holds that Santorum is a fringe candidate, a religious panderer who revs up the base but loses the middle. There’s truth to that perception — polling shows that Santorum is seen as a more fringe-y candidate than, say, Mitt Romney. More damaging, there is a popular perception that Santorum is paranoid about sex, focused solely and completely on matters of the bedroom. This is just plain false. But Santorum’s own language lends support to that false perception. When he talks about Satan using “sensuality” to seduce the United States, he sounds like a tent preacher, rather than a politician. When he rails against the pervasive sexuality of our society — all of which is true — he doesn’t do so on social grounds, but on moral grounds, slinging around terminology that makes the irreligious blush.
None of this is to say that Santorum is wrong. But it’s political suicide.
Here’s the problem: Social Conservatism no longer means “secular explanation of traditional morality.” Ask any apolitical, barely-pays-attention, Daily Show-viewer to define “social conservatism” and they’ll say “a fundamentalist who wants to imprison gays and ban abortion.” Through decades of New York Times and Hollywood smears (not to mention help from Santorum-style politicians) today social conservatism has devolved into a synonym for “orthodox Christian theology” when it should mean “empirical reasons why casual sex is destructive and marriage is great.”
We have Baby Boomers like Santorum to thank for this confusion. But their children’s generation – now beginning to hit 30 and many with young families of their own — can act as a corrective here to untangle theology from behavior and return to the practical, secular case for a socially conservative lifestyle.
For example: these days my advocacy for gay marriage has shifted from “gay marriage in theory” to “gay marriage in practice.” My concern on the issue is not that the state recognize gay marriages and provide tax benefits. That public policy isn’t what will transform my gay friends’ lives.
Rather, I want my gay friends to focus on finding a spouse they can love forever. One does not need to live in promiscuity for long to feel the psychological and sometimes physical consequences. I want both my gay and straight friends to mature and seek more than the animal thrill of sex with an unfamiliar body.
And so we have the real reason for the coming collapse of Santorum’s primary campaign, doomed from the start: Baby Boomer Social Conservatism’s failure to understand that “Satan” doesn’t work as well as “go ahead but you’ll regret this later…”
Michael Graham’s op/ed column today considers the future of the Two Americas when those paying no taxes come to outnumber those who do:
I am the 50.5 percent.
I am, according to the Heritage Foundation, part of the lucky half of Americans who pay federal income taxes, so that the other half (technically the remaining 49.5 percent) can pay nothing.
Half of us are paying the whole bill. Somehow that doesn’t seem fair. Folks like Elizabeth Warren and President Barack Obama agree. They think we should pay more.
We’re used to that, we 50.5 percenters. Every time a new “stimulus” is announced, every time a new government program to solve all our problems is rolled out, we know that a) the problems aren’t going anywhere; and b) we’ll be stuck paying the check.
There’s a terrifying chart in the president’s new budget showing that, under Obama’s proposed spending plan, federal debt will reach $200,000 per U.S. household by 2020.
Numbers like that simply aren’t sustainable.
By 2020, we’ll be paying more on national debt service than on national defense — and the debt will still be growing.
So why aren’t people panicking? Why aren’t voters demanding serious spending cuts and tax reform?
Once again, why would they?
The half of Americans eating the pie know that they’re not paying for it.
A dark question: how can Tea Partiers explain our country’s fiscal crisis to a population so economically illiterate that more than half cannot manage their own finances? (Related: Andrew Klavan this week on Charles Murray’s Coming Apart.)
Is our federal government’s debt just a reflection of the collective character of our nation?
Do we have the President and the congress we deserve?
If Obama wins in November — thus achieving a mandate to “fundamentally transform” America — what possible excuse will Tea Partiers, Republicans, and Pro-Lifers embrace in their feeble attempt to slow down the coming Big Government Goliath?
That’s when we start having the serious discussions about what Going Galt entails, right?
How come the story of Moses and the ancient Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years keeps popping into my head?
And some T. S. Eliot seems appropriate:
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience
Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock without water
If there were water we should stop and drink
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
If there were only water amongst the rock
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
Here one can neither stand not lie nor sit
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain
There is not even solitude in the mountains
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
From doors of mudcracked houses
If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop 357
But there is no water