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Works and Days

Anatomies of Electoral Madness

November 9th, 2012 - 6:17 pm

News That Was No News

I also assume that what we do not read in the proverbial mainstream media is the news and what we do is not. So there was not much about record gas prices, the Katrina-like plight of the Sandy victims still without power, the rising unemployment rate, or the impending “fiscal cliff.” Here are some other non-news items.

Iran and the Drones

Now we learn that before the election Iran attacked a U.S. spy drone in international waters. Why was this not known before the election? (Yes — that was rhetorical question.) And what actually was the result of that other drone crash, whose site we chose not to bomb/destroy, and thus the plane was perhaps sent to be reverse-engineered by the Russians or Chinese? And just how many have we killed with drones? Are the targets confirmed terrorists who brag of their crimes of the sort like the three who were water-boarded — or merely suspected terrorists who go up in smoke along with anyone unlucky enough to be near them when the judge/jury/executioner drone missile hits? Do the Left’s civil libertarians care about this, or care about it to the degree to note also that the administration had jailed the video-producer whose free expression supposedly caused the riots in Benghazi? Speaking of which…

Benghazi

We have a history of presidential second terms that explode in a scandal lingering from the first (e.g., Watergate) or due to hubris (cf. Reagan’s with Iran-Contra, or Clinton’s with Monica) deteriorating into scandal or just fizzling out (Bush and Katrina/the Iraqi insurgency). I used to think that the Libyan crime (not beefing up security when earlier requested, not immediately sending over help from the annex, not sending in relief during the various seven hours of assaults, etc.) was dwarfed by the cover-up (by all means protect the administration narrative of Libya as success/al Qaeda as impotent/Arab Spring as wonderful/the slayer of bin Laden as cool and competent commander in chief).

Now I am not so sure. Why did we even have a consulate in a secondary port city, when most countries had pulled their embassies out of Tripoli? Why, on the night of his death, was our ambassador meeting with a Turkish diplomat in Benghazi? Who delayed our team at the airport — and why? Why was an annex, with a large CIA contingent, even nearby? Why did the annex people apparently want to keep a firewall between themselves and the consulate? Who actually were the terrorists? Who paid them and what exactly was their mission? Were we destroying the Gaddafi arsenal, or rounding it up for anonymous resale? And if so — to whom?

The Rev. Joseph Lowery

Did Pastor Lowery, who swore Obama into office (Rev. Wright had apparently given up his Obama privileges), really say right before the election that “all white folks” were “going to Hell” and “I don’t know what kind of a n****r wouldn’t vote with a black man running”? Did that matter? And is it the sort of language that an Eric Holder finds offensive, or at least as offensive as an anti-Muslim video? Rev. Wright, Rev. Pfleger, Rev. Jackson (who just said that the Tea Party wished to “overthrow our government, engage in secession, sedition, segregation and slavery.”), Rev. Lowery — all raise the same question: does Obama know any pastor who can speak without offering racist commentary?

The crux for the next four years is whether we become California or transform into a sort of socialist Germany, where the work ethic, fiscal sobriety, and ingenuity trump counter-productive energy and social policies. In other words, will the frackers, horizontal drillers, farmers, engineers, Silicon Valley, Napa Valley, the American farm belt, the coal industry, Boeing, Apple, and Caterpillar just keep chugging along, pulling the rest of us into the accustomed prosperity despite, rather than because of, us? Will the American spirit, like German industriousness, override socialist redistribution, or succumb to it?

As far as why a majority voted as it did, I prefer the wisdom of the Old Oligarch, Plato on Democratic Man, or Tocqueville to the latest spin from Republican grandees.

Also read: What Obama Should Have Done Before, and Won’t Do Now

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