SO here we are again. Instead of going to Congress to get a resolution or a declaration of war on ISIS, President Obama is trying to weasel out of it by asserting that the Congressional resolution from the Bush era is all he needs.
What on earth does the president think he is doing? The point of going to Congress is not about some weaselly legal point. It is that when the president goes to war he needs to establish some kind of consensus from the rest of the ruling class and from the American people that he needs to go to war.
The legal beagle stuff is beside the point. The point is that when the leader of a nation takes it to war he needs the nation to be united, more or less, behind him. He needs to persuade the nation that war is necessary. He needs to get the opposition on board; he needs to establish a bipartisan consensus.
This is not rocket science. This is common sense.
But the Obama administration has seemed to do everything under a blanket, or with cunning sleights of hand. This may seem awfully clever to the lawyers working out the legal ploys, but it misses the point.
If you are the leader of the country you must lead it. You must set forth what you want to do, win an election, and then do it. You must be on the phone the whole time wheedling and cajoling the great barons of the realm.
And that is exactly what Candidate and President Obama has not done.
First of all, Obama ran as a moderate, which he is not. Then he pushed through his economic stimulus program without Republican votes. Then he pushed through Obamacare without Republican votes.
It misses the point to say: Oh well, Republicans opposed everything the president proposed. Of course they did. That's why the president gets on the phone and buys the votes of the moderates in the middle. Like the ladies from Maine. Only he didn't.
Then he tried to put lefty extremists on the National Labor Relations Board, by nominating them to recess appointments when the US Senate wasn't in recess. Then his Environmental Protection Agency has been run as an extension of the greenie foundations. Then his IRS has harassed Tea Party groups. Then his Justice Department has been used as a catspaw in the liberal race theater operations.
My point is that this means that nothing the Obama administration has done is cast in stone. Because the president never got a bipartisan consensus on anything. Republicans can come in in 2017 and reverse everything, because the Obama administration never took the trouble to persuade and to make its agenda a national agenda.
Yesterday I read a horrified piece about the Democrats' "CATALIST" voter database. It was used in 2008 and 2012 to turn out the liberal base. J. Christian Adams wonders if Republicans will ever be able to win a presidential election again.
Maybe, maybe not. Technology like CATALIST is all very well, but if you don't do the politics right, by leading and persuading, then you are going to find, in the end, that you have riled up the whole of the rest of America against you.
Rush Limbaugh has a catchphrase that liberals can't admit who they are, because if they did they could never win an election. But with the Obama administration the liberals are telling us who they are in a rather clear fashion. They are all about gaming the system, using their insider status and contacts, using any means to achieve their ends. And when backroom stuff doesn't work then they send out the SJWs, the social justice warriors, to bully and intimidate.
Well, I'm reading a book about the French Reformation, The Beginning of Ideology by Donald R. Kelley. It's all about ideological bullying in France in the 16th century. And it ends up with massacres and a nasty civil war.
That is what liberals are ginning up. That's what they'd know they were doing. If they had any wisdom. Which they don't.
This isn't rocket science. It's time for President Obama to realize that the job of president is to lead and persuade. It is not to weasel.
I just happened upon a 90 minute video interview of capitalist Peter Thiel -- as in PayPal, Facebook -- conducted by an obseqious Bill Kristol. I can well understand Kristol's hesitating politeness. Thiel is an impressive man, who obviously thinks about and knows his stuff. For instance, he writes in praise of monopoly against free competition: "Competition is for Losers." He means, of course,...
THERE really is a reason for the Six Year Itch. After six years of a president even his supporters can begin to see that he's a fool and a charlatan. So it was with Bush, so it is with Obama. So it wasn't with Clinton because the Republicans, in moving to impeach Clinton for crimes that would have sunk a Nixon, riled up the Clinton partisans for one more assault on the breach. With a Democrat...
ERIC Hoffer writes that when the "scribes" are in, working for the ruling class, they are happy to do its bidding and order the lower orders around. But when the scribes are out, meaning that the government can't afford them after a societal collapse, then the scribes decide to represent the "people" and enter a phase where they critique the ruling class. In our day, I suppose, the scribes do ...
THE FINAL PROBLEM for all political and religious movements is what to do after you get to the Promised Land. You’ve defeated the enemy, you’ve conquered the land flowing with milk and honey. What next?
What’s next is that the soldiers of the revolution should get a job, get married, and start a family. And forget all about millennial hope.
But usually they don’t. Instead they get angry.
That’s why blacks rioted in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of ...
Everyone that has half a brain understands that the foundations are shaking. ...
THE GREAT EVENT of the second millennium was the rise of the world-historical middle class.... more
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Heres how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>
The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
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