…Poetic truth is like poetic license where one breaks grammatical rules for effect. Better to break the rule than lose the effect. Poetic truth lies just a little; it bends the actual truth in order to highlight what it believes is a larger and more important truth. The civil rights community and the liberal media live by the poetic truth that America is still a reflexively racist society, and that this remains the great barrier to black equality. But this “truth” has a lot of lie in it. America has greatly evolved since the 1960s. There are no longer any respectable advocates of racial segregation. And blacks today are nine times more likely to be killed by other blacks than by whites.
If Trayvon Martin was a victim of white racism (hard to conceive since the shooter is apparently Hispanic), his murder would be an anomaly, not a commonplace. It would be a bizarre exception to the way so many young black males are murdered today. If there must be a generalization in all this—a call “to turn the moment into a movement”—it would have to be a movement against blacks who kill other blacks. The absurdity of Messrs. Jackson and Sharpton is that they want to make a movement out of an anomaly. Black teenagers today are afraid of other black teenagers, not whites.
So the idea that Trayvon Martin is today’s Emmett Till, as the Rev. Jackson has said, suggests nothing less than a stubborn nostalgia for America’s racist past. In that bygone era civil rights leaders and white liberals stood on the highest moral ground. They literally knew themselves—given their genuine longing to see racism overcome—as historically transformative people. If the world resisted them, as it surely did, it only made them larger than life.
It was a time when standing on the side of the good required true selflessness and so it ennobled people. And this chance to ennoble oneself through a courageous moral stand is what so many blacks and white liberals miss today—now that white racism is such a defeated idea. There is a nostalgia for that time when posture alone ennobled. So today even the hint of old-fashioned raw racism excites with its potential for ennoblement.
For the Revs. Jackson and Sharpton, for the increasingly redundant civil rights establishment, for liberal blacks and the broader American left, the poetic truth that white racism is somehow the real culprit in this tragedy is redemption itself. The reason Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have become such disreputable figures on our cultural landscape is that they are such quick purveyors of poetic truth rather than literal truth.
The great trick of poetic truth is to pass itself off as the deep and essential truth so that hard facts that refute it must be dismissed in the name of truth. O.J. Simpson was innocent by the poetic truth that the justice system is stacked against blacks. Trayvon was a victim of racist stereotyping—though the shooter never mentioned his race until asked to do so.
There is now a long litany of racial dust-ups—from Tawana Brawley to the Duke University lacrosse players to the white Cambridge police officer who arrested Harvard professor Skip Gates a summer ago—in which the poetic truth of white racism and black victimization is invoked so that the actual truth becomes dismissible as yet more racism.
When the Cambridge cop or the Duke lacrosse players or the men accused of raping Tawana Brawley tried to defend themselves, they were already so stained by poetic truth as to never be entirely redeemed. No matter the facts—whether Trayvon Martin was his victim or his assailant—George Zimmerman will also never be entirely redeemed.
Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Daniel Henninger brings us the actual language from ObamaCare that creates the mandate — a word not used in the text of the law.
We already know that 67% of polled people think the mandate, which compels individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, is unconstitutional. That number might go closer to 100% if people got a look at the law’s language.
The ACA calls the act of purchasing insurance a “required contribution.” Naturally, many will wonder if they can get out of this. That depends on the meaning of “required contribution,” as defined in “Chapter 48—Maintenance of Minimum Essential Coverage, (e) Exemptions, (B) Required contributions:
“For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘required contribution’ means . . .: (ii) in the case of an individual eligible only to purchase minimum essential coverage described in subsection (f)(1)(C), the annual premium for the lowest cost bronze plan available in the individual market through the Exchange in the State in the rating area in which the individual resides (without regard to whether the individual purchased a qualified health plan though the Exchange), reduced by the amount of the credit allowable under section 36B for the taxable year (determined as if the individual was covered by a qualified health plan offered through the Exchange for the entire taxable year).”
In the original “Oz,” the wizard voluntarily abandons the yellow brick road, discovers humility and returns to earth. The ending in our version will require an election.
With his latest string of primary wins, Mitt Romney took another big step in his seemingly unstoppable march to the Republican presidential nomination. But his victories — and the way Romney achieved them — have taken a toll that could do lasting harm as he turns to the general election campaign against President Obama.
In state after state, Romney has grown less popular the longer the campaign wears on and the better voters get to know him. The same thing happened in 2008, the first time Romney sought the GOP nomination.
I watched Romney’s speech in Wisconsin and was impressed, impressed by his message, which was articulated with simple language, and impressed by his delivery. There is something very upbeat and cheering about Romney.
Contrast that with Obama, who is brittle, petty, hyper-partisan, demagogic and loose with the truth. The campaign has just begun.
This comment from the LA Times was good.
Romney will have to run against his own image and Obama will have to run against his own record which includes:
Record high unemployment,
Record high percentage of increase in debt since he took office,
Promising to label GMOs, not doing it and instead hiring the former VP of Monsanto (biggest maker of GMOs) to advise the FDA on “safety,”
Promising to close Guantanamo Bay and it’s still open,
Spending billions of tax payer money to bomb Libya,
Trying to turn America into a European style socialist country with Obama care.
Gas prices soaring. When Bush was in office and gas prices went up liberals were claiming it was because Bush was making money with his “oil interests.”
I’m going to enjoy Obama trying to sing his way out of the mess he created.
Joseph Curl: Divide and Conquer
The campaign geniuses, the same ones who came up with the idea to run against the much-despisedCongress (even though Democrats control the Senate), have decided that deriding the Supreme Court as an arm of the Republican Party is a winning plan, one that will resonate across the country come November.
But here, the big brains are horribly mistaken: Mr. Obama maligns the high court at his peril. Americans, especially those in what dual-coast lefties derisively dub “flyover country,” like their Supreme Court. They aren’t about to let a president — any president — bully what many see as the cornerstone of the checks-and-balances system set up by the Founders.
James Taranto: The Man Who Knew Too Little
Obama’s answer to the question was that he expects to win in court, and “as a consequence, we’re not spending a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies.” He went on to talk at some length about the “human element”–that is, people who would supposedly suffer in the absence of ObamaCare. Message: Obama cares, though not enough to spend “a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies.”
But the most interesting part of his answer was the beginning, in which he tried to walk back, or at least clarify, his statement from yesterday. He spoke slowly, with long pauses, giving the sense that he was speaking with great thought and precision: “Well, first of all, let me be very specific. Um [pause], we have not seen a court overturn [pause] a [pause] law that was passed [pause] by Congress on [pause] a [pause] economic issue, like health care, that I think most people would clearly consider commerce. A law like that has not been overturned [pause] at least since Lochner, right? So we’re going back to the ’30s, pre-New Deal.”
In fact, Lochner–about which more in a moment–was decided in 1905. Thirty years later, after the New Deal had begun, the high court unanimously struck down one of its main components, the National Industrial Recovery Act, as exceeding Congress’s authority under the Interstate Commerce Clause. The case was A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. U.S. (1935).
PolitFact gives the supposed constitutional scholar a failing grade.
The health law took an unusual path to passage. Usually, the House and Senate pass different versions of a bill, then they work out their differences in a conference committee. A unified bill comes out of that committee, and both bodies vote again on the new bill. Then, if it passes, the president signs it.
In the case of the health care bill, the House and Senate had each passed different versions in 2009. It was expected the two bills would be integrated in conference committee, then voted on again. But before that could happen, the Democrats lost their 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. (Republican Scott Brown in January 2010 won the seat formerly held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.) Anything that came out of conference committee at that point could have been held up in the Senate, blocked by 40 Republican senators.
Democrats decided to get around this by having the House simply accept the Senate’s version of the bill. Then Democrats in the House and Senate used a different measure — a reconciliation bill, which requires only a simple majority — to modify the law they had just passed.
The vote to pass the Senate version of the bill had been 60-39.