…Mr. Bush once said, “Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called ‘walking.’ ” Critics saw arrogance, but those around him experienced something different: a man with enough self-confidence to encourage people to say what they believed, especially when their opinions differed from his. But they had to be prepared, since Mr. Bush, an insatiable information collector, did his homework and expected others to have done the same.
Where Mr. Bush and I differed was in how to treat those who directed political abuse his way. For example, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid would phone the White House after he had insulted the president—such as in 2005, when he called Mr. Bush “a liar” and “a loser.” He said he didn’t know that his speechwriters had slipped “loser” into his remarks until he delivered them, so he wanted to apologize for using that word (but not for calling the president a “liar”). Mr. Bush didn’t take umbrage. I did. The president felt he had better things to do, starting with handling threats foreign and domestic.
This from the party that demands civility and wonders why partisanship is so entrenched.
So Mr. Bush pressed forward on issues from reforming entitlements and the tax code, improving education, reining in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before they imploded, fixing immigration, strengthening the role of faith-based institutions, modernizing the military, and overhauling our counter-terrorism systems. He sometimes made progress and sometimes was stalled.
But even where he failed, I am confident that solutions he offered—on matters from reforming immigration to injecting choice and competition into entitlement programs—will eventually be embraced by policy makers because they are so sensible.
Eventually will have to wait until the ideologue-in-chief is gone.
During my 50-year career, every time some demented soul would take a semiautomatic gun and clean out a post office, a school or a picnic, I’d get up on my soap box and let loose with a withering diatribe about guns, the National Rifle Association and weak-kneed politicians. Did it about 75 times, give or take.
And in every case the main effect was a spike in gun sales.
Still, I thought I’d give it one more shot … er, chance.
Obama’s speech was fine as far as it went, but it didn’t go very far. Neither have any of the other responses I’ve heard.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she was going to introduce a bill to ban the sale and importation of assault weapons. Great, but the bill wouldn’t apply to weapons already out there, and in defining illegal weapons, it listed more than 900 exceptions.
The thing missing from the debate so far is anger — anger that we live in a society where something like the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre can happen and our main concern is not offending the NRA’s sensibilities.
That’s obscene. Here, then, is my “madder-than-hell-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore” program for ending gun violence in America:
• Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. It offers an absolute right to gun ownership, but it puts it in the context of the need for a “well-regulated militia.” We don’t make our militia bring their own guns to battles. And surely the Founders couldn’t have envisioned weapons like those used in the Newtown shooting when they guaranteed gun rights. Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right.
• Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. (I would also raze the organization’s headquarters, clear the rubble and salt the earth, but that’s optional.) Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that “prying the guns from their cold, dead hands” thing works for me.
• Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.
And if that didn’t work, I’d adopt radical measures. None of that is going to happen, of course. But I’ll bet gun sales will rise.
“There will be blood,” State Representative Douglas Geiss threatened from the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives today as the body debated legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state.
“I really wish we had not gone here,” Geiss continued. “It is the leadership in this house that has led us here. The same leadership that tried to throw a bomb right on election day, leading to a member switching parties, and came in at the 11th hour with a gotcha bill. For that, I do not see solace, I do not see peace.”
Jimmy Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said Tuesday he expects Michigan unions and lawmakers to break out into “civil war” after the state’s legislature passed right-to-work bills that would weaken unions’ power.
“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state. We’re going to have a civil war,” Hoffa said on CNN’s “Newsroom.”
The Republican-controlled state House passed two bills that had already been approved by the GOP-dominated state Senate. Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, is poised to sign the bill, which would allow workers at union-represented employers to forgo paying dues.
“There will be blood!” “We’re going to have civil war!”Meanwhile, outside the state capitol:
Tempers flared Tuesday morning here at the state Capitol as police — some on horses — moved into to break up a mob scene as the Republican-controlled House approved a contentious right-to-work bill.
Thousands of union members and friends of organized labor gathered to show their opposition, at times heated, to the legislation that prohibits unions from forcing unionized employees to pay union dues or join labor groups.
Gov. Rick Snyder had not yet signed the bill into law, although he has signaled that he would.
By mid-morning, the Capitol was a scene of chaos as union members and organizers from pro-right-to-workAmericans for Prosperity got into a shouting match. Wisconsin Reporter’s Ryan Ekvall, at the scene, said right-to-work opponents grew increasingly agitated over AFP’s signs.
“There was some pushing and shoving. At one point, I was in the middle of the crowd; it was like a mosh pit where you couldn’t control yourself. You were being moved with the crowd,” Ekvall said.
He saw two lines of police officers forming, “marching like military,” with four officers mounted on horses. They dispersed the crowd and restored peace to the section of the grounds. Before doing so, union members pulled up the tent stakes, and the tent collapsed with some AFP members inside, according to witnesses at the scene.
Our Christian Schneider spoke with David Fladeboe of Americans for Prosperity, who was working security outside the tent:
Fladeboe said the tent, for which AFP-Michigan had received a permit a week earlier, held between 30 and 40 people before protesters began stabbing at its straps with knives. He said that at first, protesters were targeting random straps to avoid being caught — then, finally, they focused on one corner of the tent in an effort to pull it down. Fladeboe said that even once several of the straps were cut, the local police on the scene did little to help the volunteers re-secure them.
Eventually, protesters were able to snap one of the tent stakes in half and pull it from beneath the tent, causing it to collapse. Fladeboe said that despite reports that the tent had been cleared of people before it went down, there were about a dozen people still trapped inside after it had fully collapsed. “You could see people inside of it trying to get up, and you could see the tent moving,” he said — a problem exacerbated by the fact that protesters began “stomping” on top of the collapsed canvas while volunteers tried to help those trapped inside.
Before it had collapsed, the tent was held up by two 20-foot poles, which had to have fallen for it to collapse; volunteers were worried that those poles could have landed on someone stuck inside the tent. There also was hot coffee and hot chocolate served inside the tent that could have burned people if tipped over.
Fladeboe said that once the tent was clear of people, the protesters began pushing and shoving them — it was only then that the police got involved.
Here’s what’s left of the tent. A sports-feature writer at the Detroit Free Press characterizes the union mob’s reaction to the AFP tent as “taking the bait.” I suppose that’s one way of looking at it; it says something about those union members that all it took to “bait” them into a frothing mass of violence was someone being present and expressing a different opinion than theirs.
In the aftermath of the Family Research Council shooting, prominent voices on the Left have not tapped down their violent rhetoric against their opponents. Two Baby Boomer celebrities have taken to Twitter to hope pro-life, pro-family individuals and U.S. Congressman Todd Akin suffer a drowning or a same-sex rape, respectively.
On Sunday, Ellen Barkin expressed her hope that Tropical Storm Isaac would smash up the Republican National Convention in Tampa and drown all its delegates.
She retweeted the message of one of her followers that read: “C’mon #Isaac! Wash every pro-life, anti-education, anti-woman, xenophobic, gay-bashing, racist SOB right into the ocean! #RNC ” Barkin did not express any disagreement in her retweet.
Obama’s trash-talking competitiveness, a trait that has defined him since his days on the court as a basketball-obsessed teenager in Hawaii, was on display one night last February, when the president spotted a woman he knew was close to Sen. Marco Rubio in a Florida hotel lobby. “Is your boy going to go for [vice president]?” the president asked her. Maybe, she replied.
“Well,” he said, chuckling, according to a person who witnessed the encounter. “Tell your boy to watch it. He might get his ass kicked.”
Even as we speak,” Obama declared as he strode the high road at takeoff velocity, “there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative-ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.”
“Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.”
ABC News’ Brian Ross speculated this morning that the alleged shooter who attacked a Batman premier in Colorado might be a member of the Tea Party. His suggestion — since retracted by ABC — continues a trend of media figures wrongly tying such tragedies to the Tea Party since 2010.
In February 2010, Joseph Stack became a Tea Partier for purposes of the media after he committed suicide by flying his small airplane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas. New York Magazine, after reading his online suicide note/manifesto that day, immediately declared that “a lot of his rhetoric could have been taken directly from a handwritten sign at a tea party rally.” The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart added that “his alienation is similar to that we’re hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement.”
Neither Capehart or NYMAG mentioned that Stack quoted the Communist Manifesto approvingly and denounced capitalism as a system that teaches, “From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.” That would seem to put him at odds with the Tea Partiers, who often attacked Obamacare as a socialist government program.
A few months later, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speculated that the failed attempt to bomb Times Square was carried out by someone “with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health care bill or something.” The would-be bomber, a Pakistani immigrant, said in court “If I’m given 1,000 lives I will sacrifice them all for the life of Allah.”Most famously, politicians and media figures attacked Sarah Palin and the Tea Party after the Tucson shooting that wounded Rep. Gabby Giffords, R-Ariz., and killed six others. Palin was faulted for having put “crosshairs” over Giffords’ district when she was targeting Democratic seats that might be vulnerable to Republican takeover. Even a year after the shooting, Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was willing to cite the shooting as proof that politicians need to “tone things down, particularly in light of” the Tucson shooting. “I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it take a very precipitous turn towards edginess and lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement,” she said. In reality, shooter Jared Loughner was reportedly a mentally ill alcoholic with no coherent political ideology (like Stack, though, he wasn’t above invoking the Communist Manifesto). These cases and others have all been marked by politicians and journalists rushing to connect their political opponents to murder. ABC News, to its credit, (more…)
Let’s call a spade a spade: the arrogance, hypocrisy and racism of Salon’s Joan Walsh knows no bounds.
On PBS’s Tavis Smiley Show Monday, this so-called “editor at large” had the nerve to depict some Republicans as “a white, older base that doesn’t quite understand the way healthcare works” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Just as you would expect, the Democrats kept it classy last night, flooding Twitter with calls for Scott Walker and his family to be murdered. Twitchy has collected dozens of death threats. A sampling:
Somebody gone kill Scott Walker man.
KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER! Ole Bitch Ass Pig Ass Nigga!!!!
Somebody need to Abe Lincoln Scott Walker cave frog lookin ass.
I wanna kill scott walker so fucking baddd!!!!! & the racist dumb assholes that voted for him #nbs
Please somebody kill Scott Walker.
Scott walker will die within the next week ive already payed for the hit
Scott walker needs fall down the capital stairs & die..
NBS I Know What School Scott Walker Son Go To
AND If Scott Walker Got A Wife Imma Fuck Her Face—
Tj Fucked Yo Bitch (@iWusGetnSumHead) June 06, 2012
Ah yes, the modern Democratic Party. The liberals’ rhetorical violence contrasts with Walker’s own restrained and dignified victory speech last night:
The degree to which Walker has remained calm and civil through months of crazed attacks from the Democrats–culminating over the weekend in the “love child” smear–is remarkable.
So far no Democrat has come forth to denounce the threats.
Obama’s path to the US Senate was paved with dirt dug up on his GOP opponent, Jack Ryan.
The Chicago Tribune successfully sued to open sealed divorce records to find dirt. Both Ryan and his ex-wife Jeri Ryan objected to their private affairs being made public, arguing it would hurt their son. Ryan was eventually so damaged he quit the race.
Here’s what happens when the president of the United States publicly targets a private citizen for the crime of supporting his opponent.
Frank VanderSloot is the CEO of Melaleuca Inc. The 63-year-old has run that wellness-products company for 26 years out of tiny Idaho Falls, Idaho. Last August, Mr. VanderSloot gave $1 million to Restore Our Future, the Super PAC that supports Mitt Romney.
Three weeks ago, an Obama campaign website, “Keeping GOP Honest,” took the extraordinary step of publicly naming and assailing eight private citizens backing Mr. Romney. Titled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” the post accused the eight of being “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.” Mr. VanderSloot was one of the eight, smeared particularly as being “litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”
About a week after that post, a man named Michael Wolf contacted the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls in search of court records regarding Mr. VanderSloot. Specifically, Mr. Wolf wanted all the documents dealing with Mr. VanderSloot’s divorces, as well as a case involving a dispute with a former Melaleuca employee.
Mr. Wolf sent a fax to the clerk’s office—which I have obtained—listing four cases he was after. He would later send a second fax, asking for three further court cases dealing with either Melaleuca or Mr. VanderSloot. Mr. Wolf listed only his name and a private cellphone number.
Some digging revealed that Mr. Wolf was, until a few months ago, a law clerk on the Democratic side of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He’s found new work. The ID written out at the top of his faxes identified them as coming from “Glenn Simpson.” That’s the name of a former Wall Street Journal reporter who in 2009 founded a D.C. company that performs private investigative work.
The website for that company, Fusion GPS, describes itself as providing “strategic intelligence,” with expertise in areas like “politics.” That’s a polite way of saying “opposition research.”
When I called Fusion’s main number and asked to speak to Michael Wolf, a man said Mr. Wolf wasn’t in the office that day but he’d be in this coming Monday. When I reached Mr. Wolf on his private cell, he confirmed he had until recently worked at the Senate.
When I asked what his interest was in Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records, he hesitated, then said he didn’t want to talk about that. When I asked what his relationship was with Fusion, he hesitated again and said he had “no comment.” “It’s a legal thing,” he added.
Fusion dodged my calls, so I couldn’t ask who was paying it to troll through Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records. Mr. Simpson finally sent an email stating: “Frank VanderSloot is a figure of (more…)
According to police, Owens fussed at some kids playing basketball in the middle of Delmar Drive about 8:30 Saturday night. They say the kids left and a group of adults returned, armed with everything but the kitchen sink.
Police tell News 5 the suspects used chairs, pipes and paint cans to beat Owens.
Owens’ sister, Ashley Parker, saw the attack. “It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed.” Parker says 20 people, all African American, attacked her brother on the front porch of his home, using “brass buckles, paint cans and anything they could get their hands on.”
Police will only say “multiple people” are involved.
What Parker says happened next could make the fallout from the brutal beating even worse. As the attackers walked away, leaving Owen bleeding on the ground, Parker says one of them said “Now that’s justice for Trayvon.” Trayvon Martin is the unarmed teenager police say was shot and killed February 26 by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in Samford, Florida.
President Obama suggested this evening that the Republican governing agenda will lead to “poisoning our kids” with pollution.
“I believe that it is part of our solemn responsibility to future generations that we look after this planet; that we make sure our air is clean and our water is clean; that we’re not poisoning our kids,” Obama said at a campaign fundraiser tonight. That credo came as he explained that “the contrast between visions in this election could not be more stark, because I believe that America is stronger when we’re looking for one another.”
Obama’s line evokes his Associated Press speech this week, when he said Republicans believe that if the government “let businesses pollute more and treat workers and consumers with impunity, that somehow we’d all be better off.” Mitt Romney, at his Associated Press luncheon speech, dismissed Obama’s “rhetorical excess.”
Haley, who was born into a Sikh family, now identifies herself as a Christian.
“In New York City, which you’re visiting for a couple of days, a lot of our taxi drivers are Sikhs. If you get one, are you going to give them a slightly bigger tip?” Belinda Luscombe, a TIME editor, asked Haley.
“I give the same tip to everyone,” Haley responded.
Two white young men from England came to Florida on vacation and were murdered by a black thug. Their parents wrote three letters to get a response from Obama, but never heard back. I guess if he had a son, they wouldn’t look anything like him.
…Like Captain Ahab searching for the Great White Whale, the NFM is constantly on the hunt for proof of America as “Mississippi Burning.”
Over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the month after Martin was killed, gangs in Chicago shot 10 people dead, including a 6-year-old girl, Aliyah Shell, who was sitting with her mother on their front porch.
One imagines MSNBC hosts heaving a sign of relief that little Aliyah was not shot by a white man, and was thus spared the horror of being a victim of racism.
As it happens, Trayvon Martin wasn’t shot by a white man either, but by George Zimmerman, a mixed-race Hispanic who lives in a diverse (47 percent white) gated community and tutors black kids….
ABC News shows police video of Zimmerman’s entrance into custody to debunk his story of being injured on the head, then plunks a graphic right over the part of the video where his injury would be. You have to see it believe it.
The Miami Heat basketball team (which does not look like America, don’t ya know) poses for a team photo wearing hoodies. Liberal media rush to gush about its significance:
…the photo is simple, reserved and eloquent and addresses not the law and the controversy, but “morality and grief.”
The national chorus of Cheney-bashing over the ex-vice president’s heart transplant — with local lefties gleefully weighing in — disgusted Republicans and political observers who say the uncivil liberal Twitterfest is … heartless.
The flood of Internet vitriol includes bitter claims that former Vice President Dick Cheney didn’t deserve a heart, jokes that he never had one and even cynical hopes that the transplanted heart will reject its new host.
“It’s a shame the political discourse has deteriorated to the point where people’s health is treated callously,” said former state Sen. Richard Tisei, who is running for Congress against U.S. Rep John Tierney. “I think people in general would like to see the political tone raised to a higher level.”
“That’s disgraceful,” Boston College political science professor Marc Landy said about the attacks, saying Cheney wasn’t the nation’s most-loved political leader, but “he is a man of tremendous integrity and talent.”
Democracies are in general prone to fits of the mob. Just read the Thucydidean account of the debate of Mytilene. Or watch a 1950s Western as the lynch party heads for the town jail. Fear of democratically sanctioned madness is why the Founders came up not just with classical tripartite government to check and limit power between the judicial, legislative, and executive branches, but also now generally disdained notions of allowing states to impose property qualifications for voting, the Electoral College, two senators guaranteed per state regardless of population, and senators originally selected without direct votes.
They were not concerned that under Athenian-style democracy the proverbial “people” and their populist Rottweilers in government and the press could not check the power of capital and birth, but were worried, as Juvenal later quipped, over who would police the police. So there had to be checks on the mob as well — a fickle and unpredictable force as we saw in the last eight years.
2006 Evil Guantanamo/ 2009 Good Guantanamo
Sometime around 2005, the anger of the mob over the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols peaked. Preventative detention, renditions, military tribunals, Guantanamo, Predators, wiretaps, and intercepts were all considered unlawful, unnecessary, and immoral. The Bush-Cheney “terror state” seemed capable of almost anything, as it shredded the Constitution while claiming to “protect” us from non-existent terrorists. Dick Cheney went from a respected and perennial Washington insider, given his due by both liberals and conservatives as a sober and judicious administrator over the past thirty years, to a pernicious Darth Vader.
The Left never really adduced any evidence to support its charges, but such serial attacks went largely unanswered. Candidate Barack Obama both benefited from and whipped up the venom, only as president to embrace or expand all of what he had once so vehemently denounced. He soon became predator-in-chief, increasing targeted assassinations eightfold, as he joked about them being unleashed at any potential suitors of Malia and Sasha.
You don’t know my telephone number, but I hope your staff is busy trying to find it. Ever since you called Sandra Fluke after Rush Limbaugh called her a slut, I figured I might be next. You explained to reporters you called her because you were thinking of your two daughters, Malia and Sasha. After all, you didn’t want them to think it was okay for men to treat them that way:
“One of the things I want them to do as they get older is engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on,” you said. “I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens.”
And I totally agree your kids should be able to speak their minds and engage the culture. I look forward to seeing what good things Malia and Sasha end up doing with their lives.
But here’s why I’m a little surprised my phone hasn’t rung. Your $1,000,000 donor Bill Maher has said reprehensible things about my family. He’s made fun of my brother because of his Down’s Syndrome. He’s said I was “f—-d so hard a baby fell out.” (In a classy move, he did this while his producers put up the cover of my book, which tells about the forgiveness and redemption I’ve found in God after my past – very public — mistakes.)
If Maher talked about Malia and Sasha that way, you’d return his dirty money and the Secret Service would probably have to restrain you. After all, I’ve always felt you understood my plight more than most because your mom was a teenager. That’s why you stood up for me when you were campaigning against Sen. McCain and my mom — you said vicious attacks on me should be off limits.
Yet I wonder if the Presidency has changed you. Now that you’re in office, it seems you’re only willing to defend certain women. You’re only willing to take a moral stand when you know your liberal supporters will stand behind you.
What if you did something radical and wildly unpopular with your base and took a stand against the denigration of all women… even if they’re just single moms? Even if they’re Republicans?
I’m not expecting your SuperPAC to return the money. You’re going to need every dime to hang on to your presidency. I’m not even really expecting a call. But would it be too much to expect a little consistency? After all, you’re President of all Americans, not just the liberals.
Yes, it’s true. Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Matt Taibbi, and Ed Schultz have been waging it for years with their misogynist outbursts. There have been boycotts by people on the left who are outraged that these guys still have jobs. Oh, wait. Sorry, that never happened.
Boycotts are reserved for people on the right like Rush Limbaugh, who finally apologized Saturday for calling a 30-year-old Georgetown Law student, Sandra Fluke, a “slut” after she testified before congress about contraception. Limbaugh’s apology was likely extracted to stop the departure of any more advertisers, who were rightly under pressure from liberal groups outraged by the comments.
Let it be shouted from the rooftops that Rush Limbaugh should not have called Ms. Fluke a slut or, as he added later, a “prostitute” who should post her sex tapes. It’s unlikely that his apology will assuage the people on a warpath for his scalp, and after all, why should it? He spent days attacking a woman as a slut and prostitute and refused to relent. Now because he doesn’t want to lose advertisers, he apologizes. What’s in order is something more like groveling—and of course a phone call to Ms. Fluke—if you ask me.
But if Limbaugh’s actions demand a boycott—and they do—then what about the army of swine on the left?
During the 2008 election Ed Schultz said on his radio show that Sarah Palin set off a “bimbo alert.”He called Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut.” (He later apologized.) He once even took to his blog to call yours truly a “bimbo” for the offense of quoting him accurately in a New York Post column.
Keith Olbermann has said that conservative commentator S.E. Cupp should have been aborted by her parents, apparently because he finds her having opinions offensive. He called Michelle Malkin a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick.” He found it newsworthy to discuss Carrie Prejean’s breasts on his (more…)
For Ohio Governor John Kasich, Tuesday’s annual State of the State address offered an important venue to talk up his administration’s achievements and goals. Kasich gave this year’s speech at Wells Academy, a school in Steubenville, instead of the traditional Statehouse venue.
State Rep. Bob Hagan (D – Youngstown), a Progressive kook’s Progressive kook, bused in 35 protestors for the event. Worse, Hagan handed out several tickets for Kasich’s speech to Occupy protestors ranting outside.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., speaking in New Hampshire this morning, reminded her audience of the tragic Tucson shooting last year — and also insinuated that the Tea Party, which she said regards political opponents as “the enemy,” has enhanced divisiveness in Congress and had something to do with the shooting, at least indirectly.
“We need to make sure that we tone things down, particularly in light of the Tucson tragedy from a year ago, where my very good friend, Gabby Giffords — who is doing really well, by the way, — [was shot],” Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chair said during a “Politics and Eggs” forum this morning. “The discourse in America, the discourse in Congress in particular . . . has really changed, I’ll tell you. I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it take a very precipitous turn towards edginess and lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement.”
Oh, she hesitates, eh?
Maybe she slept through the Bush Lied/People Died era. Or forgot about Robert Bork.
“The Republicans want us to repeal the 20th century, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, to turn us back to the robber barons running the country, and to eviscerate the environmental and other regulations to protect public health and safety,” said [Democrat Henry] Waxman. “And to cut spending in ways that would be very harmful to people who rely on government.”
Having brought up the Giffords attack as a political cudgel, Wasserman Schultz doubled down on that attack. “You had town hall meetings that they tried to take over, and you saw some their conduct at those tea party meetings,” Wasserman Schultz said today. “When they come and disagree with you, you’re not just wrong, you’re the enemy.”
Didn’t Obama refer to Republicans as “the enemy?” Yep.
Warming to that theme, she added that “when they disagree with you on an issue, you’re not just wrong, you’re a liar.”
Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.
The Left’s much-vaunted powers of empathy routinely fail when confronted by those who do not agree with them politically. Rick Santorum’s conservatism is not particularly to my taste (alas, for us genuine right-wing crazies, it’s that kind of year), and I can well see why fair-minded people would have differences with him on a host of issues from spending to homosexuality.
But you could have said the same thing four years ago about Sarah Palin — and instead the Left, especially the so-called feminist Left, found it easier to mock her gleefully for the soi-disant retard kid and her fecundity in general. The usual rap against the Right is that they’re hypocrites — they vote for the Defense of Marriage Act, and next thing you know they’re playing footsie across the stall divider with an undercover cop at the airport men’s room. But Rick Santorum lives his values, and that seems to bother the Left even more.
Never mind the dead kid, he has six living kids. How crazy freaky weird is that?
This crazy freaky weird: All those self-evidently ludicrous risible surplus members of the Santorum litter are going to be paying the Social Security and Medicare of all you normal well-adjusted Boomer yuppies who had one designer kid at 39. So, if it helps make it easier to “empathize,” look on them as sacrificial virgins to hurl into the bottomless pit of Big Government debt.
Two weeks ago I wrote in this space: “A nation, a society, a community is a compact between past, present, and future.” Whatever my disagreements with Santorum on his “compassionate conservatism,” he gets that. He understands that our fiscal bankruptcy is a symptom rather than the cause.
The real wickedness of Big Government is that it debauches not merely a nation’s finances but ultimately its human capital — or, as he puts it, you cannot have a strong economy without strong families.
Santorum’s respect for all life, including even the smallest bleakest meanest two-hour life, speaks well for him, especially in comparison with his fellow Pennsylvanian, the accused mass murderer Kermit Gosnell, an industrial-scale abortionist at a Philadelphia charnel house who plunged scissors into the spinal cords of healthy delivered babies. Few of Gosnell’s employees seemed to find anything “weird” about that: Indeed, they helped him out by tossing their remains in jars and bags piled up in freezers and cupboards. Much less crazy than taking ’em home and holding a funeral, right?
Albeit less dramatically than “Doctor” Gosnell, much of the developed world has ruptured the compact between past, present, and future. A spendthrift life of self-gratification is one thing. A spendthrift life paid for by burdening insufficient numbers of children and grandchildren with crippling debt they can never pay off is utterly contemptible. And to too many of America’s politico-media establishment it’s not in the least bit “weird.”
Washington Post columnist Charles Lane writes about his own family’s experience.
…Nine years ago, my son Jonathan’s heart mysteriously stopped in utero — two hours prior to a scheduled c-section that would have brought him out after 33 weeks. Next came hours of induced labor so that my wife could produce a lifeless child. I cannot describe the anxiety, emotional pain, and physical horror.
And then there was the question: what about the corpse? Fortunately for us, our hospital’s nurses were trained to deal with infant death. They washed the baby, wrapped him in a blanket and put a little cotton cap on his head, just as they would have done if he had been born alive. They then recommended that we spend as much time with him as we wanted.
My wife held Jonathan for a long while. I hesitated to do so. At the urging of the nurses and my wife, I summoned the courage to cradle Jonathan’s body, long enough to get a good look at his face and to muse how much he looked like his brother — then say goodbye. I am glad that my love for him overcame my fear of the dead.
We, like the Santorums, took a photograph of the baby — lying, as if asleep, in my wife’s arms. We have a framed copy in our bedroom. It’s beautiful.
Jonathan’s body was prepared according to Jewish law, including circumcision, and buried after a religious service. Clergy and friends gathered at our home to support us.
I regret that, unlike the Santorums, who presented the body of their child to their children, we did not show Jonathan’s body to our other son, who was six years old at the time. When I told him what had happened, his first question was, “Well, where is the baby?” I tried to explain what a morgue is, and why the baby went there. It was awkward and unsatisfactory — too abstract. In hindsight, I was not protecting my son from a difficult conversation, I was protecting myself.
First it was Alan Colmes; now it is Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, who went on MSNBC to mock Rick Santorum for how he and his wife Karen dealt with the death of their son Gabriel. (A severe prenatal development led to his very early delivery, and Gabriel died two hours after his birth.)
“He’s not a little weird, it’s that he’s really weird,” Robinson said of Santorum. “And some of his positions he’s taken are just so weird, um, that I think that some Republicans are gonna be off-put. Um, not everybody is going to, going to be down, for example, with the story of how he and his wife handled the, the, the stillborn ah, ah, child, ah, um, whose body they took home to, to kind of sleep with it, introduce to the rest of the family. It’s a very weird story.”
On these comments I have three observations to make, the first of which is that spending time with a stillborn child (or one who died shortly after birth, as in the Santorum case) is commonly recommended. The matter of taking the child home for a few hours is less common, but they did it so that their other children could also spend a little time with the deceased child, and that is definitely recommended. For example, here’s the official page of the American Pregnancy Association (an association of health-care providers that treat pregnant women) about stillbirth. It recommends that parents spend time with the child, as the Santorums did, and the APA writes:
With the loss of your baby, your family members will also grieve. Your baby is someone’s granddaughter, brother, cousin, nephew or sister. It is important for your family members to spend time with the baby. This will help them come to terms with their loss. If you have other children, it is very important to be honest with them about what has happened by using simple and honest explanations. It is your decision whether you would like the children to see the baby. Ask for a Child Life Specialist at the hospital; these are trained professionals who can help you prepare your children for the heartbreaking news, and prepare them to see the baby if you wish.
This is basically what the Santorum family did. They also had a funeral, which is often done in these kinds of situations. It seems to be enormously helpful to people in a moment of terrible pain. So Robinson, like Colmes, was speaking out of a seemingly bottomless well of ignorance.
I have great respect for retired Navy Captain Mark Kelly’s service to this nation. I also admire the courage of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. See Thursday’s post, “God bless you, Gabrielle Giffords.” But I find Captain Kelly’s tactics for selling his new book to be insulting , misleading and plain out wrong. More than that it is disturbingly dishonorable.
But it was the lack of any contact from former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin that was ‘surprising’ said Mr Kelly.
Citing the book, Mr Morgan said that it revealed some ‘interesting insights’ into ‘political colleagues and people that [Gabby Giffords] had worked for and against.’
Speaking about a map for which Palin was responsible, with crosshairs over certain states including Arizona, Mr Morgan said that the Alaskan ‘doesn’t come out of this very well, I don’t think, because there was a woman who at the time had been putting these crosshair things on her website and stuff, including Gabby,’ he said.
Sarah Palin’s map had nothing to do with the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords. The man who shot her knew nothing of the map and had stalked the captain’s wife for 3 years prior to the shooting that left 6 people dead.
What a disgusting thing to do — and Piers Morgan’s failure to challenge Captain Kelly on this misinformation is appalling but not surprising.
One more day. One more lie. Captain Kelly should apologize privately and publicly to Missus Palin for perpetuating this fallacy.
Mao blithely led 40-60 million Chinese to their deaths over his reign. That the fudge factor is 20 million tells you something in itself.
Now, Chinese are facing up to it, as Barbara Demick at the LAT explains.
How do you turn Bad Samaritans good?
The question has become a national obsession since the shocking death of a 2-year-old named Yueyue who was ignored by 18 passersby as she lay bleeding on the street after a hit-and-run last month in southern China.
Nearly every day brings a new outrage — an 88-year-old man suffocating in his own blood after falling and breaking a nose, people rushing to photograph a suicide attempt without bothering to help — and another hand-wringing editorial about how to cultivate the kindness of strangers.
The latest example came Wednesday, when a 5-year-old boy playing on a sidewalk was struck by a wooden beam that had fallen from a construction site in the city of Linyi in the eastern province of Shandong. His mother begged motorists and bystanders to help bring him to a hospital, but all refused — including the chengguan, low-level municipal police, who drove by and ignored her, according to local media.
An ambulance eventually arrived, but the boy, named Longlong, died on his way to the hospital.
What to do?
Groups with names such as China Kindness and Filial Piety Special Committee and the Office of National Spiritual Civilization have launched special projects to encourage better behavior.
“Trust is one of the hottest topics at the moment,” said Wu Yilin, a pollster at Beijing’s Renmin University of China. Her department has been surveying people about the degree to which they would help a total stranger. In a poll shortly before the hit-and-run, 64.8% of Chinese said they would help an elderly stranger who had fallen, with those refusing saying they feared getting into trouble.
“We in China are very close to our parents and our families, but there is no trust in strangers,” Wu said.
The lack of charitable spirit in China is supported by a poll released in April by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Based on polling data from Gallup, it shows China second from the bottom in a list of 40 countries ranked for “pro-social behavior”: giving to charity, volunteering time and helping strangers.
And why are things this way?
In China, pundits cast about to point the blame. Has the frenetic pursuit of wealth in the go-go economy eroded the values that the Communist Party once instilled about individual sacrifice for the greater good? Or does the blame lie with the Communist Party’s repression of religion and the legacy of brutality of the Cultural Revolution?
The ChiComs never instilled communitarian values. On the contrary, they turned citizen against citizen, institutionalizing distrust.
Now, for the big laugh.
On the flip side, state media have gone out of their way to publicize morality tales showing the heroism and generosity of ordinary Chinese.
One video that captured the public’s attention shows people banding together in a Shanghai park Oct. 23 to help a pregnant woman who fainted. The video shows the group carrying her and flagging down a motorist who volunteers to drive her to the hospital.
“Ever since Little Yueyue left this world, people started to question the consciences. Some even said Chinese no longer have morality,” a caption reads on the video. “Here, people with their actions showed that Chinese still have a heart…. Let’s be proud of Shanghai and of the Shanghai people.”
The problem is, it didn’t really happen that way.
Last week, the head of a Shanghai film production company held a news conference and acknowledged that three of his employees had staged the fall-and-rescue in what he described as a “beautiful lie.”
“What they did was inappropriate, but their intentions were good,” said Zhang Jun of Erma China. “They thought if people saw this on television it would set an example about how they should behave in a warmhearted way when something happens.”
“The Republicans want us to repeal the 20th century, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, to turn us back to the robber barons running the country, and to eviscerate the environmental and other regulations to protect public health and safety,” said [Democrat Henry] Waxman. “And to cut spending in ways that would be very harmful to people who rely on government.”
Or, to put it another way, Republicans want to return the country to its citizens so they can prosper without the burden of government.
Have you ever fantasized about beating Bill O’Reilly to death with a crowbar or shooting up the offices of Americans for Prosperity with an Uzi? Well, the folks at StarvingEyes Advergaming apparently have and they’d like to share their latest creation with the world. The game is called “Tea Party Zombies Must Die” and, apart from abysmal game play, features several different levels where your only objective is to mercilessly slaughter everyone around you whether they are a Fox News stars or simply Americans For Prosperity employees.
Among the notable conservatives who you are tasked with brutally killing are Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, Brit Hume, Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Glenn Beck, and the Koch Brothers. Check out just how graphic things get in our exclusive video of the game play: