Archive for March 2012

The Council Has Spoken: March 30, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s winners.

Council: JoshuapunditThe Supreme Court Begins Hearing Arguments On ObamaCare

Noncouncil: Sultan Knish-It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Black or White

Full voting here.

Amateur Hour at the White House

As the hours stretch into years Peggy Noonan writes, “There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for “space” and said he will have “more flexibility” in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he’d been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.”

Bush league, as in amateur – not as the previous President Bush would have done. For all his faults, and there were many recognized even by his supporters including me, George W. Bush and his administration were at least professionals. They didn’t just read about it in a book or lecture about it to an auditorium filled with hungover undergrads, they understood power and how to use it. Bush himself may have had a light resume, although not as light as his successor who hadn’t been the governor of one of America’s largest states, but at least his administration was full of experienced people.

Noonan continues,

“From the day Mr. Obama was sworn in, what was on the mind of the American people was financial calamity—unemployment, declining home values, foreclosures. These issues came within a context of some overarching questions: Can America survive its spending, its taxing, its regulating, is America over, can we turn it around?

That’s what the American people were thinking about.

But the new president wasn’t thinking about that. All the books written about the creation of economic policy within his administration make clear the president and his aides didn’t know it was so bad, didn’t understand the depth of the crisis, didn’t have a sense of how long it would last. They didn’t have their mind on what the American people had their mind on.

As a former Democrat and currently registered Republican I’m torn by the incompetence of the administration. I suppose I should be happy that it is so unqualified that its policies can be easily reversed when a Republican administration takes over. At the same time I’m scared that we have given the reins of the country to such a band of incompetents, feeling like a passenger in a car driven at high speed on a mountain road by a teenage driver.

The Lynch Mob Assembles

I haven’t written about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida for the simple reason that I was as shocked by his murder as anyone else. I am not a racist no matter what some might say, and as a parent of a teenage boy myself I’m quite sensitive to seeing parents suffer the type of loss that is my own greatest personal fear. But I’ve learned from past experience to never trust initial reports, so I have been waiting for the dust to settle and the truth to be revealed. And waiting. And waiting.

The righteous anger that erupted immediately after Martin’s death has morphed into something else, something much more ugly. It is one thing to demand an investigation into his death, it’s another to call for his killer’s capture “dead or alive” as the Black Panther’s have, or to pass along his address – erroneously it turns out – to your 250,000 followers on Twitter the way Spike Lee has. This is the hysteria of the mob, and it is dangerous yet the politicians who don hoodies in Congress are so caught up in it that they are blind to it.

It is impossible to imagine Martin Luther King jr sending out the addresses of the men who killed James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in 1964 for a very simple reason: He had seen first hand the results of lynch mobs, and he knew their irrationality and power. He had seen innocent men tried, convicted and executed by the mob, and he knew that the greatest antidote for it was the application of slow but inexorable blind justice. Florida 2012 is not Mississippi 1964, so why are so many so desperate to turn the clock back? Convene a grand jury and let the Truth come out, but do not unleash the beast that threatens to devour everyone including those that set it loose among us.

Ever seen a lynch mob? This is how one starts. Someone innocent is going to get hurt, the outcome of most lynchings, and hysteria will be replaced by regret. But by then it will be too late, and those that think they are righteous today will have innocent blood on their hands tomorrow.

Update: George Zimmerman’s father: “I have never seen so much hate coming from the President...” The President could have used the controversy to rise above the rhetoric, to calm passions and bind the races together more tightly together than ever before. But that’s not who he is. He is a divider, not a uniter, and when the chance came to score some cheap political points he chose it. It is who he is, who he has always been, so it is folly to expect anything else.

Imagine Obama taking to the podium and recognizing the Martin family’s loss but reminding Americans that Florida 2012 isn’t Mississippi 1964. Black men don’t get gunned down like dogs in the street without Justice. Things have changed, and he’s living proof. There is no need for threats and intimidation; we are a nation of a laws written by men, not the law of the jungle. In our society everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that includes George Zimmerman. The facts of the night of Trayvon’s shooting will come out, and when they do the Law will decide whether justice is necessary – not the mob.

To me it’s an easy position, elevating Obama’s stature to one of Reagan or Kennedy, and costing him nothing. But Obama is nothing like those presidents. He is and will always be an amateur who struggles wielding the delicate power of the Presidency that came naturally for those who came before him. It’s a shame. America deserves better. The Martin and Zimmerman families deserve better.

Read Mead

If you don’t read Walter Russell Mead, then by all means do so immediately because you are missing some of the best writing and analysis around. There are very few pundits I will sit through bad commercials to see, and even fewer writers that I will drop everything to read. Brit Hume and Charles Krauthammer are two pundits that stop me in my tracks at dinner time, and PJ O’Rourke and Walter Russell Mead are two writers that instantly overcome my ADD and allow me to focus on their essays. Unlike the others, Mead is actually a registered Democrat and centerist, so if you are expecting Conservative fire and brimstone, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Still, or perhaps because of his level-headeness his writing is persuasive and compelling. In short he’s just fun to read.

Two recent pieces worth reading: Top Saudi Cleric Issues Fatwa: Destroy Churches and Palestinian PM: Don’t Use Us to Justify Your Anti-Semitism. In the former, Mead imagines a dialog between a Christian and an Islamist that captures the zero sum nature of Islamism. The latter uses a dissenting voice on the Palestinian side to show that some Palestinians aren’t anti-Semites while many Europeans and Americans are.

The Council Has Spoken: March 23, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s winners.

Council: JoshuapunditAG Holder And The DOJ Strike A Blow To Help Voter Fraud

Noncouncil: Bristol’s Blog-Mr. President, When Should I Expect Your Call?

Full voting here.

Santorum Endorses Obama

Quit Rick. Now.

Crown Romney and Be Done With It

A few months back I thought the GOP primary slugfest was worthwhile. At the time it may have been, but that time has long since passed. Even though I have reservations about Mitt Romney, some serious others not, I am sick of the show being put on by Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. AB Stoddard writing for the Hill captures the essence of my disgust with Santorum:

He rocketed from the bottom as a passionate, articulate, indefatigable campaigner who took every question from every eager voter. It was the pivotal moment in the race none of the Romney rivals who preceded him had achieved — and Santorum blew it. He veered off course, and out of this millennium, enthusiastically bemoaning birth-control pills, free prenatal testing and college education. He insulted Obama, calling him a snob, and President Kennedy. Santorum, a devout Catholic, said Kennedy’s insistence on a strong separation of church and state made him want to throw up.

I, like many Republicans and independents have had enough, and it is time that both Santorum and Gingrich turned their attacks on Obama and stopped the pathetic show they’ve been putting on. Holding up Etch-a-Sketches will not salvage their campaigns. They are done and it’s time they realized it. All they are doing is deluding themselves and feeding their own egos while their staffs regret throwing in their lot with losers.

Stop the friendly fire and turn the guns on the Democrats (Violent metaphors! Call the thought police!) It’s time we united and focused on winning in November. Flawed he may be, Romney is our man and his flaws are better than Obama’s so-called perfections.

UPDATE: Would an adult in the GOP leadership please pull this guy off the stage? He’s lost it.

Bloomberg and Mugging the Rich

I am not a fan of Bloomberg News, finding that it’s about as whimsical as the billionaire mayor of New York City who founded it. But even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile. Today’s bit of acorn goodness is about taxing the rich, “Taxes on Millionaires Make Great Politics, Poor Economics.” This is something that libertarians and conservatives have been saying for awhile, even before Bloomberg leapt into bed with the Occupy movement last autumn. Now Bloomberg seems to understand a basic economic fact: People are not going to stand around and get mugged if they can make a run for it. Case in point: 50 percent tax rate for people earning more than 150,000 pounds enacted in the UK.

To give an idea of the distorting effect of ill-conceived taxes on the rich, consider the 50 percent tax rate for people earning more than 150,000 pounds that Gordon Brown, the U.K.’s last Labour prime minister, introduced just weeks before losing elections to Cameron in 2010. The U.K. Treasury estimated the increase would generate an extra 2.4 billion pounds a year, adjusted for all the people who would respond by leaving the country or designing ways to avoid the tax. If no one changed their behavior, the tax change would raise more than double that amount, 7.8 billion pounds. Cameron’s government says it wants to reverse the 50 percent tax rate, just two years after it was introduced.

(A)djusted for all the people who would respond by leaving the country or designing ways to avoid the tax... The wealthy have the incentive to avoid taxes, and they have the methods to do it (move the wealth offshore, hire tax accountants like conglomerate GE does to find every possible loophole and deduction.)

Glad to see Bloomberg wake up from its stint with the unwashed in Zuccotti Park and shower up to economic reality.

Mixing Fashion with Politics and Atrocities

I’ve never been much into fashion except for a brief interest in fashion photography my freshman year of college. But the Wife follows it in the same way Jane Goodall follows a group of chimpanzees through the bush in Gombe National Forest, using her keen eye for detail matched with a trained intellect of an anthropologist to see through the flashbulbs and glamor and find the underlying truth. She then passes on a few of her more interesting observations to me.

First off, Elle Macpherson. In a recent appearance on the Howard Stern show Elle told Stern that supported Obama’s reelection, saying she liked him. “Yeah, I’m living in London and I’m socialist. What do you expect?” The website Celebrity Net Worth estimates the former law school student’s net worth at $45 million. With that kind of dosh, Macpherson doesn’t just make the top 1% in the UK, which requires the rather unglamorous sum of £688,228 to achieve (2005 figure), she blasts through it. That same year only 6,000 taxpayers in the UK had an income higher than £1 million. Since there are 30,600,000 income tax payers in the UK, assuming that Ms. Macpherson earns a 2% return on her net worth and makes an additional £100,000 through modeling and her production company to make more than £1 million a year, Ms. Macpherson isn’t in just the top 1% of UK taxpayers, she’s in the top .02%. I’ve never been in the top .02% of anything, but if I was I sure as heck wouldn’t be a chicken calling for wolves to be let loose in my coop.

Next the Wife so kindly pointed out the plummeting popularity of Asma Bashir, who a little over a year ago was celebrated in Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines. Bad timing considering the blood bath Assad has unleashed since their publications. Both magazines evidently realized the error of their ways, scrubbing the web of the actual articles. The Atlantic Monthly mentions the disappeance of the Vogue article and links to the full article here. As for the missing Vanity Fair piece it shows Conde Nast knows how to airbrush history. From the full article:

Two nights later it’s the annual Christmas concert by the children of Al-Farah Choir, run by the Syrian Catholic Father Elias Zahlawi. Just before it begins, Bashar and Asma al-Assad slip down the aisle and take the two empty seats in the front row. People clap, and some call out his nickname:

“Docteur! Docteur!”

Two hundred children dressed variously as elves, reindeers, or candy canes share the stage with members of the national orchestra, who are done up as elves. The show becomes a full-on songfest, with the elves and reindeer and candy canes giving their all to “Hallelujah” and “Joy to the World.” The carols slide into a more serpentine rhythm, an Arabic rap group takes over, and then it’s back to Broadway mode. The president whispers, “All of these styles belong to our culture. This is how you fight extremism—through art.”

And shortly thereafter, the good docteur fought to hold on to power the old fashioned way: by slaughtering civilians. But killing civilians is fashionable as long as you aren’t Israeli or American.

Now the bloom is off Vogue’s “Rose in the Desert.” Released emails give us an idea of what Marie Antoinette’s email account would have looked like had Al Gore invented the Internet two centuries earlier, including making jokes about dead students (graphic video here of the basis of her little “joke”). I wonder if she’ll be wearing Laboutins to the firing squad.

The Council Has Spoken: March 16, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s winners.

Council: The Mellow JihadiMe and a Pakistani Captain Chat

Noncouncil: Victor Davis Hanson-We Give Up

Full voting here.

Self-Reflection and Regressive Progressives

I’m becoming increasingly amazed at how deluded Obama’s supporters are. They call those of us who oppose him sheep of the Koch brothers or racist troglodytes waging a war on women, and think the “Rethuglicans” are a corrupt party of big business. They pride themselves on how tolerant and open-minded they are even as they wage an ideological war to silence anyone who questions what Obama & crew have done. Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a blatant display of self-delusion exhibited by a group since the Jonestown Massacre of 1978. These people aren’t just drinking the kool-aid, they are bottling it, advertising it and selling it as champagne.

Obama has always acted in the best interests of the groups he represents. Everything he has done has been to feed one leftist interest group or another. His close friends and golf buddies hail from the largest companies in the country including banks such as Chase and Goldman Sachs. I’ve even stopped thinking of him as a socialist since that would require him to adhere to something bigger than himself and I don’t think he believes anything is. His ego knows no bounds. He’s more in line with 3rd world dictators who take power and immediately set about making their friends and family rich. The only differences between him and Hugo Chavez is that the source of Chavez’s wealth is oil and for Obama it’s taxpayer money, and at least Chavez really believes in socialism whereas Obama only believes in himself.

Does a liberal question his or her beliefs? There isn’t a day that I don’t wonder if I’m wrong, that I’ve somehow gotten caught up in some kind of right-wing hysteria, so I try to be objective. I work hard to recognize my biases and question my assumptions. I try to listen to alternative opinions and not dismiss them without due consideration, thinking critically about facts and opinions regardless of source. I’m just as skeptical about claims by the Right as I am over claims by the Left. It’s the way I was educated, first by a no-nonsense mother and later by the Jesuits. The result of this is that over the years I have changed my opinions on issues. The only consistency I’ve found is I maintain a strong populist streak thanks to my upbringing by extremely poor parents. That’s not an exaggeration; my parents often went without food to feed my siblings until the mid 1950’s, saying they weren’t hungry while the kids ate dinner.

I look at liberals and I’m amazed at how closed minded they are. Instead of thinking of them as “progressive” I’ve begun considering them as “regressive” because that’s how they are increasingly appearing to me.

Take the “war on women” meme that has exploded in the blogosphere. No one is banning birth control. No one is demanding that women be paid less for doing the same job as a man or expecting her to stop working, return home and raise children. It’s all a straw man. The Left knows it can’t win the argument that the Catholic church shouldn’t fund contraceptives. So they start this attack, and the idiot Rick Santorum just makes it all that much easier for them by dancing to their tune.

Some of my liberal friends will shake their heads and say, “Scott, you’ve got this all wrong. There is a war on women and you’re just as blind as you claim we are.” And I’ll ask, where’s the proof of that? They’ll claim Santorum wants to ban contraception. Two points to this. First, where did he say that? Second, you realize you’re ignoring the GOP front runner, a man who has more than double the amount of delegates than Santorum? Regarding the second point, a recent liberal commenter from abroad on this blog thought Rick Santorum was “batsh*T insane” yet made no mention of Romney. Either the commenter wasn’t aware that Romney was the front-runner or didn’t understand the primary process (for this I hold the RNC partly to blame.) Evidently while Santorum is getting the press, Romney is getting the actual delegates. Given my dislike of Santorum that’s just fine by me.

As to the first point, liberals such as Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews have claimed Santorum wants to ban birth control. Okay, so show me where Santorum himself says that. What Santorum actually has said is that the states should decide contraception laws for themselves. I watched the CNN debate where he said that and he was booed by the Republican audience and attacked by the other GOP candidates. His point was a constitutional one, that there is no right to birth control in the constitution and federal laws on the subject are an example of federal overreach. The constitution is clear that powers not outlined in the document fall to the people and the states. It’s a constitutional argument but a narrow one and nowhere near a “ban” that the Left claims.

They could then bring up Sandra Fluke’s testimony in front of Congress and how Georgetown, a Catholic Jesuit-run institution, must offer to offset the cost of contraception for her and other women. A war on women? Seriously, this is the best you’ve got? Fluke’s perjured testimony ignores three fundamental tenets of Roman Catholicism that has been at its core for hundreds of years if not longer. First, only those married should have sex because the purpose of sex is procreation. Second, that procreation is a process controlled by God Himself and should not be interfered with by humans. Third, that life begins at conception and current birth control techniques such as the morning after pill and some IUDs destroy early stage embryos. These three tenets are not negotiable in the eyes of the Church.

Catholics themselves struggle with these tenets and most probably break them, but just because they have sex before marriage or use the Pill doesn’t mean the institution’s foundations need to be rebuilt. No, it means Catholics must strive to live up to their Church’s teachings. If they can’t do this then they must leave it. I understand this because as a man born and raised Roman Catholic and trained by the Jesuits I decided that I could no longer accept the Church as it is, so I left it. It wasn’t an easy decision for me and it’s one that I continue to question at times but I knew that I personally could not accept the Church’s teachings anymore so instead of trying to destroy the Church or undermine it in any way possible, I simply left it in my heart as well as my head. I am not a Catholic, and I have very good reasons for my leaving the Church of Rome. But they are my reasons and even though I am no longer a Catholic I still have a deep respect for Roman Catholicism and those who practice it. They are good people and don’t deserve the hatred that has been flowing their way.

What hatred? This hatred.

Liberals have gone beyond the pale and I have to ask myself, is this what you want? Is this the hope and change you voted for in 2008? Today the “progressive” movement advocates religious intolerance by attacking Catholics and Christians. Progressives are behind efforts to silence opposing voices and points of view through boycotts, legal threats, slurs and even violence. It supports censorship through hate speech laws and anti-pornography crusades. It infantilizes women by turning them into victims that are incapable of defending themselves and who are so weak they swoon like some Victorian Lady of the House over a single word, forcing the State to step forward like some chivalrous knight to defend their honor. And for what? A poorly written health care bill that’s possibly unconstitutional and does nothing to curb health care costs or access?

There is a war on women just not the one progressives think. All over the Middle East and Europe the freedom of women is being curtailed or destroyed completely by Islam, a religion that Progressives have allied themselves with. While they have gone, to quote my liberal commenter “batsh*t crazy” over the Catholic church’s stance on contraception, they have completely ignored the increase of assaults on women in Europe by Muslim immigrants, the rise of honor killings in the West, and the complete rollback of basic human rights throughout the Islamic world. What access to contraception do women have in Pakistan, a place where women are discouraged from walking without a male “minder,” or to pursue a career in post “Arab Spring” Egypt? When people like me raise these issues we are immediately attacked as being “islamophobes” because liberals are blinded in their politically correct belief that all cultures and people are the same, ignoring the comments of a true Progressive nearly two centuries ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson who said ““The wise man shows his wisdom in separation, in gradation, and his scale of creatures and of merits is as wide as nature. The foolish have no range in their scale, but suppose every man is as every other man.”

The progressive movement has become exactly what it fought against. Intolerant of dissenting opinions. Bigoted. Uncompromising. Anti-intellectual. Pro-censorship. Anti-freedom. In fact it’s the same movement I fought against a generation ago when I protested against the Religious Right. Perhaps I haven’t changed as much as I thought. I’m still fighting against dehumanizing forces, only the names of these forces have changed.

The Council Has Spoken: March 9, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s winners.

Council: JoshuapunditAfghanistan – ‘You Knew I was A Snake When You Picked Me Up’

NoncouncilMark Steyn- ‘Die, Die, Foreigners!’

Full voting here.

Loving Sluts, Hating Liars

I love sluts. Growing up as an altar boy and later attending an all-boys high school taught me to appreciate girls and later, women who have been on the receiving end of that epithet – usually without deserving it – as if being sexual is a bad thing. It’s not, at least to a healthy heterosexual young man who spent his first year of college living in his girlfriend’s dorm room. It took years of expensive therapy to undo what she did for free in just two semesters but I’d do it all again if I could go back.

What’s not to like about sluts? A slut is a powerful woman who knows what she wants then gets it. She doesn’t need to trick a man to get it for her. A slut is independent and comfortable in her own skin. Sure she will have some insecurities but she hides them and controls them, showing them only when it is advantageous or safe to do so. The sexual component that the epithet describes is celebrated in men, but somehow we’re stuck with this prudish term that’s supposed to be hurtful. Really? Sure you call my kid a slut and I’ll probably punch you or more likely, get you audited by the IRS, but I’d do the same if you called my kid a homo, and there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality in my book at least. What’s wrong with an independent, self-assured, sexual woman? Explain to me how that’s supposed to be a bad thing? A suicide bomber might think 72 virgins is his idea of paradise but just one is my idea of hell.

So Rush Limbaugh, a man the Left has been trying to take down for at least a quarter century, calls a woman a slut for claiming she requires a Catholic school charging her $50,000 a year to pay an additional $1000 a year for contraception that runs counter to Catholic doctrine. Now Rush and I are different generations. He’s an elderly baby boomer, I’m a middle aged Gen X-er. Calling a woman a slut means something to him because when he was growing up sex outside of marriage was frowned upon, and a woman’s reputation meant a lot more. A term like “slut” attached to such a woman could damage that reputation, in some cases irreparably. I grew up in a different decade, one where kids of both sexes were sexually active at a younger age. It was a different era, a full generation after the Women’s Liberation movement burned bras, played tennis matches against male chauvinist pigs, and whatever else they did. Fast forward a few decades and most of the “sluts” I knew and loved are now happily married with kids. They aren’t called sluts today, they are called “soccer moms”, “entrepreneurs”, and “doctors”.

Rush’s real mistake was to be a man of his time. Were he my age he wouldn’t have called her Sandra Fluke a “slut”. The thought wouldn’t have crossed his mind. Instead he would have called her what Robert Stacy McCain, a man closer to my age, does: “A lying liberal bitch.” In his piece McCain explains how Fluke perjured herself in front of Congress, and how the Republicans got rolled by the Democrats into allowing her to testify at the last moment. Instead of talking about forcing a private Catholic school to pay for abortions (don’t forget: the morning after pill called a “contraceptive” by the pharmaceutical companies and liberals kills an innocent human life that began hours before at conception according to the Catholic church), we could have been talking about what crimes Fluke would be facing for having perjured herself to Congress and how her testimony made the Democrats look desperate. Granted, that’s what would have happened if the mainstream media investigated Fluke half as much as they investigated “Joe the Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher after he spoke truth to power in 2008 by asking the questions they were too timid to ask then candidate Obama. Of course we live in a world where liberals and the mainstream media they control pull the full Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes (“I zee nussing! Nussing!”) when they consider their own bias.

But then Rush spoke and that was it. He became the story, and the Left has what they love more than anything: a martyr, just one who isn’t dead, and who really wasn’t hurt all that badly. In fact, one that isn’t hurt at all because she’s a complete liar and would only be hurt if a) she was a real student and b) really needed contraceptives and c) was too stupid to figure out that she could get them for free from Planned Parenthood and a dozen other organizations liberals fund with tax payer money.

But lying sack of excrement Fluke is, she is no slut. I hung out with sluts. I knew sluts. Sluts were good friends of mine. Sandra Fluke is no slut.

UPDATE: Evidently Fluke is being represented by former Obama administration officials as well as celebrity ambulance chaser attorney Gloria Allred.

The Rush to Judgment

I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, and I honestly don’t give a damn what he called that Georgetown student activist, not while true women-haters like Bill Maher get away with far worse insults.

Rush is a blow-hard, but so what? Do what I do and don’t listen to him. That’s what freedom of speech is all about. Same with Maher. I think he’s an elitist, misogynistic douchebag, but I don’t watch him. I’d say it to his face if I had the opportunity, but I’m not seeking him out because honestly, the world is filled with such people. If I spent all my time fighting them I’d miss out doing more important things like being a good parent and a considerate husband. I simply stand up to one every once in awhile and ignore the rest.

Maher has the right to call women whatever he wants to call them. I have the equal right to call him a douchebag that needs to work out issues with his mother. And Rush can call that nutbag who perjured herself in front of Congress last week a slut. Does that hurt her feelings? So what if it does? I’ve read the Constitution: there’s nothing in it about feelings. Liberty. Freedom. No mention about feelings.

You have the right to speak freely which means you have the right to be offensive. You do not have the right to avoid being offended and using the government and private entities to silence those who offend you. If that offends you, take a walk, read a funny comic, or forget it but whatever you do just get over it. Life is short and the world is an amazing place, too wonderful to waist time swooning from the vapors of offense like some Victorian lady of leisure.

H/t: Rhymes with Right

Breitbart Is Here

It has been a rough week in a tough month in an even harsher year for me personally, but the sting from the death of Andrew Breitbart hangs on. I hadn’t realized how important Breitbart was to me. I rarely linked to him and often found his agitprop a bit unseemly for a conservative, preferring the staid decorum and intellectualism of Charles Krauthammer. But his silence has left a void, one that I’m finding quite disturbing, as if what started as the wave from a pebble thrown into a calm lake gradually builds into a tsunami threatening to swamp the shore and race inland, tearing up everything in its path. Breitbart’s death may be welcomed by some soulless elements on the Left, but their celebration is misplaced. All across the libertarian and conservative spectrum people are coming out of the intellectual closet to praise a man who had the drive, courage and wit to do what so many of us only dream of.

Breitbart fought the Left with the tools of the Left, which is why he so appalled them. He pointed out their hypocrisy, and their empty morality while sermonizing from the moral high grand. Back in the 1980s censorship was the domain of the religious Right. Attorney General Ed Meese attacked pornography and suggestive rock lyrics, a case the Left took up in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. Today free speech is under siege not by the Right but the Left. Hate speech codes that would make Joseph McCarthy proud are now in place across liberal-dominated academia. Hate crime laws are the norm no matter how Orwellian they may be. But this censorship is selective. Liberal scions like Bill Maher can call a woman a word that makes the N word seem positively high brow, and he is celebrated by his fellow liberals. Rush Limbaugh calls a 31 year old activist who perjures herself in front of Congress as a lowly 23 year old student at a Catholic college a slut and by god it’s torch and pitchfork time. Breitbart recognized this and reveled in using his intellectual jiu-jitsu to force the Left to attack itself. The Left hated him because he was a master.

But Breitbart did more for his friends and allies. He gave us hope. As we stood outmanned and outgunned by a corporate backed liberal media, under constant withering fire of “islamophobe” fusillades and “racist” epithets, Breitbart fired back and hit his mark.

As Promethean Antagonist puts it:

Like Breitbart, I’ve had it—‘sick of simply stating my case and defending my position before people who insult my existence and describe my stance in ways nowhere resembling who I am or what I believe (so they can simply feel superior and have more control over others’ lives).

Breitbart was right when he said – in so many words – “I’m sick of apologizing for who I am…” This guy’s work is an inspiration to all of us who know the values of honor and dignity embellished with sound awareness of economic principles and the need to keep the coercive bureau state well bound. What do those on the left have on their side? Pompous self-righteous elitism with weakness of character and – stated simply – a lack of honor.

Robert Spencer celebrated Breitbart’s attacks thus:

Instead of bowing and scraping to the Islamic supremacists and feebly protesting that we’re not really racists and hatemongers and all the other calumnies and canards they throw at us, we should be taking the fight to them, and standing up and saying, “You are fronting for the most oppressive ideology on the face of the earth. You are fronting for evil. You are carrying water and running interference for the denial of free speech, the denial of the freedom of conscience, the institutionalized oppression of women, the subjugation of non-Muslims, and worse. You’re fronting for stonings, amputations, the murder of apostates, the treatment of women as possessions of men, the madness and senseless violence that we see in this furor over the Quran-burnings, and more. You shout us down on campuses and do everything you can to make sure we are not heard in the public square. And you call us fascists? You are the quintessence of fascism.”

Spencer is right. It is time conservatives and libertarians stood up for ourselves instead of relying upon Breitbart to stand up for us. It is time each of us, no matter what our station in life or our differences on minor issues took pride in our beliefs instead of cowering in a pit of guilt and self-loathing dug for us by our liberal foes. Breitbart may no longer be with us physically, but in death he is with each of us philosophically, and dare I say for fear of upsetting the devout, spiritually. It is time that we rose up, confident in our beliefs and assured in our stances. It is time we stopped defending our morality while our opponent has none, defending our love of God-given rights, when the only rights liberals value are ones made up by the government, and went on the offensive regardless of the consequences.

Breitbart is here.

Andrew Breitbart 1969-2012