Belmont Club

The Truly New Year

Hope and Change is on the other side of that hatch

Thomas Friedman argues that the only place to be right now is outta here.  “If I were running for president, I’d approach politics in the same way: not as a liberal, a conservative, a libertarian or a centrist. I’d run as an extremist.”  He’s realized the system has become a trap, like a submarine on the bottom unable to surface, a tomb for those who remain in it.

Even Soros knows it. So too in their heart of hearts do most of the media, though they have faithfully remained in their wreck, waiting for the rescue tender to send down the diving bell.  One reason they held out so long might be as David Gerstman at Legal Insurrection notes, because their faith was so strong.  The media inflated the qualifications of the president Obama to the point that can be regarded as “fabricated, or at least oversold”. But they held on to it like a talisman.

Adrienne Childs  has a review of what must now seem a bizarre collection of hagiographic artwork depicting the president as a saint, Christ-figure — complete with crown of thorns — and muscular boxer.  The titles of the artwork speak for themselves: “Extraordinary”, “Dream Keeper”,  “Want to Believe in the Power Of” and “Obama Dream”. With expectations once so high, how could they think of abandoning the cause?  Now at this late stage everyone in the wreck will settle for simply getting out alive.

The point has arrived when even the most ardent believer has ceased signaling by tapping on the hull and is moving to the escape trunk.  There is an eloquent quiet from above, as if the president has actually given up on himself.  In fact he has — the administration is now saying that Bashar Assad will remain in power long after Obama leaves office.  No wonder some of his most ardent supporters now feel it is time to “ditch ‘n switch”.   Extreme? As Friedman said, extremism is an idea whose time may have come.

Henry Porter argues that in Europe the time for extremism may be already here.  In a Vanity Fair article titled “Terrorism, Migrants, and Crippling Debt: Is This the End of Europe?” Porter depicted the air of siege, uncertainty, economic malaise, hatred and “existential crisis” which grips it.   “Doubt is the commodity in greatest supply among Europe’s leaders at the moment,” he wrote.  Like the American journalists, the Europeans are beginning to throw in the towel and eye the escape hoods, as hope for rescue fades away.

One of the most celebrated correspondents of the Syrian civil war, Niklas Meltio, is leaving the blood-soaked fields of the Middle East for Europe because he figures that’s where the action will be. “It feels like I’m just continuing covering the same conflict but from a different point of view,” Mr. Meltio, 36, said. “I often come across refugees on the trail and find out that we have common friends. … We don’t have a refugee problem,” he said. “We have a conflict in the Middle East that this is just a symptom of.”

It looks like that cast of characters had a reunion in Germany. Deutsche Welle reports that “a majority of men who sexually harassed women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve were asylum seekers”.

City police reportedly did not want to publicize this because of its “politically awkward” nature. …

According to the newspapers’ reports, citing officers on duty on New Year’s Eve, officials checked the IDs of at least 100 people … “Most of them were recently-arrived asylum-seekers.” …

“For the mostly Arabic offenders, sexual assault was the priority, or, to express it from their point of view, their sexual amusement was the priority. A group of men would encircle a female victim, close the loop, and then start groping the woman,” WamS quoted the officer as saying.

The deputy chief of the trade union for police employees (the GdP), Ernst Walter, suggested that the Cologne police’s mishandling of the case could cost city police chief Wolfgang Albers his job: “I’m asking myself this,” Walter said. “How could the police publish a message on January 1, saying that New Year’s celebrations had been peaceful?”

How New Year’s Eve in Cologne could be described as “peaceful” is for historians to figure out.  For the moment it is sufficient to understand that the awaited discontinuity is no longer imminent, but has actually come.  The nuclear genie is out of the bottle.  Iran is building up its warhead delivery infrastructure.  Its ally North Korea is developing fusion weapons. Pakistan is building an arsenal of suitcase nukes.  The Syrian civil war shows every sign of expanding.  The House of Saud may be teetering on the brink. Three million migrants are due to cross into Europe in 2016.  China may be heading for an economic meltdown that will take whole sections of the world down with it.

The good submersible Political Correctness has sunk and it’s not going to surface any time soon.

In any historical discontinuity the watchword is often “let the dead bury the dead”.  Survival demands you ditch what you must and keep what you can.  The weight of past institutions is left behind, like the sunken sub lying murky beneath the escapee’s feet.  The impedimenta are forgotten and all that matters is the shimmering lightness of the sea surface at the end of a line you must strain to reach.

The most ironical thing about the leftwing political advocacy group MoveOn.Org is its name. It really doesn’t want to “move on”, but  on the contrary stay where it is, settled amid its hoard of specious “gains”.  The great machinery of progressivism is too precious to abandon yet it won’t fit through the hatch. They can get to the surface but not with the New Deal and 5 Year Plans in tow.

R. Emmett Tyrell Jr.  observed that Rahm Emmanuel was doomed to fail as mayor because Chicago had too much government to run itself.  “Decades of big government have made Chicago ungovernable,” he wrote.  Public employee unions, interest groups and “communities” absolutely guarantee that nothing whatsoever will be done. “Rahm, I tried to warn you”, Tyrell said, and now it is a case of let go or drown.

The same goes for the status quo.  They can’t take it with them and they can’t let go.  For most progressives it will be a case of choosing to drown.  But like the Bible says: “let the dead bury the dead”.

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