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Tag Archive: TEA Party

She delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment

Posted: Friday, September 9, 2011 (11:29 pm), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Friday, September 9th, 2011:

Anand Giridharadas, writing in the NY Times on Sarah Palin’s speech at a TEA Party event in Iowa last week:

Let us begin by confessing that, if Sarah Palin surfaced to say something intelligent and wise and fresh about the present American condition, many of us would fail to hear it.

That is not how we’re primed to see Ms. Palin. A pugnacious Tea Partyer? Sure. A woman of the people? Yup. A Mama Grizzly? You betcha.

But something curious happened when Ms. Palin strode onto the stage last weekend at a Tea Party event in Indianola, Iowa. Along with her familiar and predictable swipes at President Barack Obama and the “far left,” she delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment — left, right and center — and pointed toward a way of transcending the presently unbridgeable political divide.

[…]

She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).

I don’t know whether to be encouraged that someone publishing through one of the publishing heavyweights of the limousine liberal establishment finally looked past the left’s cartoonish caricature of Palin to actually listen to her ideas for a few minutes, or to be outraged at how the paper has played the mock-the-bimbo game all this time, only to turn around now and say “she did just get more interesting”, when in fact this speech in no way represented a departure from what she has been saying all along – at least since the end of the McCain campaign. Give me a break, pal. I’m not as stupid as you’d like to think.

Free Speech and the Peaceful Public Order

Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 (11:19 pm), by John W Gillis


I arrived home from my sister Mary’s funeral Saturday evening, and saw that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several other people had been shot during some kind of meet-and-greet in her congressional district. I’d never heard of Giffords, but was discouraged that such a thing would happen – it’s hard enough just given our political process to get good people to run for public office, and it was of course a terrible tragedy for the people involved. It seemed to me that it had been a long time since something like that had happened.

As I read the AP story published on Boston.com, I began to get increasingly uncomfortable as the report progressively shifted from providing information about the tragedy and background on the people involved, to inserting accusatory innuendo aimed at various opponents of the Democrat Party and overall leftist political agenda: repeatedly finding a way to mention Sarah Palin by name in a setting suggestive of her being a menace to the lives of her political opponents; dredging up a reminder of a man who once threatened Nancy Pelosi over the telephone; dropping in a reference about a mad gunman from California the article tied to “conservatives” while simultaneously reporting that he wanted to “start a revolution” (note to moronic left-wing journalists: conservatives, by definition, are anti-revolutionary); pointing out that Giffords’ TEA Party-backed Republican opponent this past fall had fired a gun at a rally during the campaign; and suggesting in less-than-subtle language that this tragedy should be interpreted as the culminating denouement of “a highly charged political environment” that had hitherto not “reached the point of actual violence.”

I was, needless to say, dripping with disgust at the sleaziness of the journalism by the time I finished the story. Even the sketchy details in the earliest stories were enough to make it obvious that this was the handiwork of a deranged idiot, not an attempted political assassination. But the willingness of the leftist journalist class (and I quickly discerned that several other “mainstream” propaganda channels had picked up essentially the same meme) to immediately exploit the tragedy as an opportunity to try to score political points was just truly revealing – and infuriating.

Over the next several days, as we all know, we have seen an avalanche of contemptible opportunism from the leftists, as they’ve tried not only to pin the blame for the violence on the usual opposition scapegoats (Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, talk radio in general…), but have taken to self-reporting a mysterious hubbub of “concern” over “inflammatory political rhetoric:” an ailment that quite obviously knows no medicine except the silencing of such opposition.

And this new ethic of “civility” is being trumpeted by even some of the most screwball partisans in the leftist media! Even Keith Olbermann is in on the act! Keith Olbermann! This is the man who, on his April 23rd, 2008 “Countdown” show, back when Hilary Clinton was an opponent to Barack Obama for the Democrat nomination for U.S. President, and therefore a legitimate target for leftist bile under the ethics of the revolutionary order, wished on the air for “somebody who can take her into a room, and only he comes out," this on account of the "negativity, for which she is mostly responsible."

Negativity? Gee, sound familiar? This despicable clown all but called for someone to snuff Clinton out in order to save the narrative of the left’s favorite candidate from criticism, and the other left-wing loonies in the so-called “mainstream media” largely yawned and looked the other way. Three years later, he’s in the vanguard of a reactionary assault force intent on suppressing criticism of the leftist agenda by exploiting a personal and national tragedy to call for political speech censorship – or “an end to inflammatory rhetoric.” Priceless. You couldn’t sell fiction this corny.

The history of the leftists, from the Jacobins to the Bolsheviks to the Olbermanns, routinely resorts to characterizing criticism as “extremism” or “reactionaryism” in an attempt to marginalize and suppress it – a useful tactic when you can’t win the intellectual battle, and are stuck trying to sell a bagful of lies. Not only is this chicanery in and of itself, but in the American context, it is thoroughly disrespectful of the reality of what this country has managed to nurture as its political life.

Admittedly, being called a racist, or some other clever form of ”hater,” simply for opposing a puerile and idiotic political agenda, is frustrating (not to mention mendacious on the part of the accusers). On the other hand, for some reason, left-leaning people in this country resent being called socialists simply for trying to advance socialist ideas. And for some other reason, libertarians often want to be called conservatives, even though about the only thing they want to conserve is their bankrolls (and, I suppose, the U.S. Constitution, which is ironically an archetypical document of liberalism).

So while, yes, there are fissures in the political fabric of our society, they are fissures that run only from philosophy to rhetoric – and branding, or marketing. Political violence in the U.S. is virtually unheard of – unlike so many places in the world. Why is the media fixating on the Giffords shooting while giving short attention to those who died in the shooting – including a U.S. District Court Justice and a nine year-old? It may very well be in part because Giffords is a Democrat (the judge, on the other hand, was a G.H.W. Bush appointee), therefore facilitating the propagation of the above discussed agitprop, but I suspect is has more to do with the fact that elected officials are so rarely targeted for violence in the U.S. Even looking more broadly, I can’t recall any political violence in the U.S. in about 40 years, save a couple of abortionists who were assassinated in retribution for their death-dealing. People like Hinckley (and Loughner) are  lunatics, not partisans.

The idea of “overheated political rhetoric” fomenting violence in the USA is absurd – and worse than absurd: it is a dangerous threat to the country’s ability to retain the relatively peaceful political climate we enjoy. The left would like to suppress dissent, but that cannot be allowed to happen. The liberals who formed this country were so much wiser than their unfortunate French cousins precisely because they understood the value of political moderation, and the value of allowing political opposition secure standing.

Some of the people being lambasted by the leftists today for their “inflammatory rhetoric” do indeed go over the top sometimes, and the Ed Schultzes and Keith Olbermanns on the left are even worse; and we’d all be better off if political discourse was always more polite and more thoughtful; but that’s not the important point at all.

Our institution of free speech is crucially important to maintaining not just an environment ripe for good intellectual discourse, but, more importantly, the very requirement of a peaceful public order that is capable of solving its political differences at the ballot box, regardless of how much yelling and screaming precedes it. Only a fool would fail to recognize what a good that political freedom truly is for society.

“I’m sure the panel did what it was asked to do, but it was asked to do the wrong thing.”

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 (6:00 am), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Friday, Dec. 3rd, 2010:

J.E. Dyer, posting in the Green Room over at HotAir (cross-posted here), on the misplaced priorities of the Presidential Debt Commission, in an article titled: Debt Reduction Versus Government Reduction:

Members of the public who object to the proposed measures will be denigrated as whining and irresponsible. Some of them probably are. But that’s not the point. The point is that, in the debt-reduction panel’s plan, gouging American households to pay down the debt is being done instead of reducing the size of government.  We should eliminate whole federal agencies and many pounds of regulatory tomes before we ask Americans to choose between saving for retirement and buying a home, or between paying for medical care and sending kids to college.  Life by itself imposes choices on us; but when government gets into the business of picking and choosing, or forcing canned choices on us, the silly, subjective question of who’s “being a big baby” actually starts infecting our political decisions.  That is 100% detrimental to communal life.

Our contributor benefits are unsustainable. But they are part of a larger problem of unsustainability created by holistic, prophylactic government. We could actually afford both Social Security and Medicare a lot better if government regulation weren’t actively suppressing business formation today; if government regulation didn’t drive every aspect of the cost of medical practice up; if government regulation didn’t drive consumer prices up and make COLAs necessary; and if government regulation didn’t divert so much worker compensation from worker income to employers’ other mandated, per-worker remissions (non-Social Security/non-Medicare) to the government.

A presidential debt-reduction panel should not be proposing to us that Americans accept a reduced lifestyle so that the current footprint of government doesn’t have to change. As we say in the military, that’s bass-ackward. It’s what this panel has just done. I’m sure the panel did what it was asked to do, but it was asked to do the wrong thing.

I think she’s spot-on. Just as the TEA Party’s eponymous focus on taxation somewhat clouds the fact that problematical public spending is what drives the need for taxation, the current focus on debt reduction obscures the fact that the scope of governmental activity is what drives the deficit spending leading to debt.

The proposal put on the table is basically one that says: let’s try to do the same thing only cheaper (budget cuts), and by shifting some of the debt off of the public books onto the citizenry (increased taxation) by forcing them to either compromise their long-term financial security & independence by taking on personal debt and/or reducing savings, or to scale back their household spending and giving, therein shrinking the economy, and exacerbating the whole bloody mess.

An economically bright outlook depends on families investing in their futures and in their communities, not the machinations of a political class ready and willing to sacrifice everything else to secure the perpetuation of its own comfortable status quo.

The Law of Rule

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2010 (11:07 pm), by John W Gillis


As the leftists in Washington basked in the faux glory of their successful healthcare reform con job last week, it was hard not to be struck by their lack of gravity. You would have thought they had just won an arm wrestling competition, or perhaps a neighborhood gang fight. Despite all the high-fiving, and the preposterous assertions that the vote portended the doom of the Republican Party, it is awfully hard not to see this as a hollow victory for Obama: a political manipulation of the worst kind, for all the world to see; watching him strong-arming his own party over against the evident will of the majority of the governed. What a spectacle.

Listening to the bi-linguae explanans emanating from the victorious discussants, either before or after the vote, it would be hard to judge whether the measure was an historic watershed in the progression of human culture on these shores between two seas, or a simple means of securing just liberties for the disadvantaged that was being blown all out of proportion by the wild-eyed obstructionists in the Republican caucus, and their unkempt tea-bagger enablers. But they’re racists, all, by golly. Yes, we’re all racists now…

I went out to gas up my car on Friday night, as the arms were being twisted, and the “reconciliation” option was still on the table, and I subjected myself to government funded radio on the way – even though it was obvious by then that the fix was in. I heard Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift discussing reconciliation, saying that even though critics claimed it was politically devious and maybe even unconstitutional, it was actually a common device used by both parties to pass laws, and could even be considered “almost routine.” I nearly drove off the road, my head was spinning so violently. This gaggle of savants went on to talk about how reports out of Washington were accusing TEA Party protesters of yelling things at black congressmen, which surely demonstrated the elements of racism to be found in opposition to President Obama’s social agenda.

One of the few sane voices I heard on the left last week came from, of all places, the Washington Post, in an opinion column by Ruth Marcus in which she suggests that a little humility might be in order, given that nobody actually has any idea what just got passed, or what it will actually mean for the future of the country. “Gee, I hope this works” is how she characterizes her hangover perspective. My biggest beef all along with this boondoggle is that it was never thought through. Marcus seems to grasp that, now that the horse is out of the barn.