Friday, February 20, 2015

Last Call For America Haters, Unite

Kevin Williamson over at National Review neatly gets around the thorny race issues that Rudy Giuliani questioning the patriotism of President Obama brings up by arguing that the patriotism of any and every liberal must be questioned, ergo it can't be racist to do so.

Does Barack Obama love his country? Call me a rube for saying so, but it’s a fair question. 
To ask the question is not the same as venting the familiar swamp gasses: that he’s a foreigner, at heart if not in fact; that he’s a Manchurian candidate sent to undermine the republic; that he’s a secret Marxist or secret jihadist sympathizer; etc. Put it this way: Why would anybody who sees the world the way Barack Obama does love America?  
For the progressive, there is very little to love about the United States. Washington, Jefferson, Madison? A bunch of rotten slaveholders, hypocrites, and cowards even when their hearts were in the right places. The Declaration of Independence? A manifesto for the propertied classes. The Constitution? An artifact of sexism and white supremacy. The sacrifices in the great wars of the 20th century? Feeding the poor and the disenfranchised into the meat-grinder of imperialism. The gifts of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Astor? Blood money from self-aggrandizing robber barons. 

And this lovely pile of ad nauseum nonsense ends up in an indictment of liberals themselves.

Barack Obama has a great, big, heaping dose of Holden Caulfield in him. That and chutzpah: When as a candidate he was in trouble because of his association with the racist lunacy of the Reverend Wright, he responded by giving the American public at large a lecture on racism and its culpability therein, while his minions began proclaiming that the only reason to oppose this politician with the racist associates was — presto-change-o! — racism. But if you believe that the system is basically rotten, that the society that produced that system is basically rotten, that the game is rigged, that your opponents are all phonies and hypocrites, then what’s a little intellectual dishonesty in the service of the common good? There is very little that a man with Barack Obama’s views and proclivities should love about the country, beyond the fact that its people are so vulnerable to insipid sentimentality that they twice elected him president.

And boom, Rudy Giuliani is absolved.  He can't be racist because all liberals hate America, so saying that Barack Obama, being a liberal, hates his country is not an opinion but fact, along with the fact that 66 million or so people who voted for him also hate America.  We're not a part of Williamson's America, and never will be.  We'll always be "the other", to be hated, shunned, pitied, and exterminated.

Nothing's changed since 2001 for the NRO set.  It's always "We're taking America back!" for them.

Still Terrified Of Israel

Greg Sargent notes that while Democrats overwhelmingly see Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's maneuver to join the GOP in attacking the President as unacceptable, only 23 House Democrats have signed a letter calling for a delay in Bibi's visit and big name House Dems aren't anywhere near it:

Missing from this list are House Democratic members and leaders whose voices could make a real difference here: Foreign Affairs ranking Dem Eliot Engel; Whip Steny Hoyer; DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz. 
All in all, the failure of more Democrats to sign this letter suggests many still fear the politics of appearing out of sync with whatever Israel wants. It’s true that a number of Democrats have said they will skip the speech. But many of those have clarified that this isn’t due to any organized boycott, and far more are attending. And, really, all the talk of a “boycott” is misdirection. It shouldn’t be all that difficult for Democrats to call for amere delay in this speech, while rebuffing efforts to portray such a move as “anti-Israel,” given how egregious the circumstances surrounding this event really are
To be sure, given the aforementioned Democratic skittishness, the fact that two dozen Democrats have signed this letter does suggest that a political space is opening up for Democrats to feel like it might not necessarily be suicidal to occasionally appear at odds with Israel, even if it is a small one. 
But still, Congressional Democrats face a problem here: What are they going to do now? The CNN poll I referenced above strongly suggests the Democratic base is not happy with the fact that Netanyahu will be going forward with this speech, which has been portrayed by many commentators as forcing Congressional Democrats to choose between Netanyahu and Obama. If most are not willing to call for a delay in the speech, what will they prove willing to do? If they do nothing, how do they explain that to rank and file Democratic voters?

Very, very few House Democrats, only 23 out of 188, are willing to publicly go to bat for their own President on this.  The others are sitting on their damn hands, and yes, that includes Nancy Pelosi. There should be 188 signatures on that letter, or at least 100.  But 23?  That's only 12% asking for a delay of something that according to that CNN poll, 81% of Democrats are totally against.

Sargent implies at the very least an astonishing lack of support for the President from his own party, and in the worst case this is outright cowardice from Dems in Congress.


The Dumbing Down Continues

Oklahoma Tea Party nutjobs want to end AP History courses in the state because they teach too much of the bad parts of history, like that messy land grab from Native Americans and all that slavery and civil rights crap, and instead want to teach real US history, like the Ten Frigging Commandments.

An Oklahoma bill banning Advanced Placement U.S. History would also require schools to instruct students in a long list of “foundational documents,” including the Ten Commandments, two sermons and three speeches by Ronald Reagan. 
The bill, authored by Oklahoma Rep. Dan Fisher, designates a total of 58 documents that “shall form the base level of academic content for all United States History courses offered in the schools in the state.” Many of the texts are uncontroversial and undoubtedly covered by the Advanced Placement U.S. History course, such as the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg address. But the bill also has an ideological and religious bent. In addition to 3 speeches by Reagan, the curriculum as includes a speech by George W. Bush but nothing from any Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson.

Fisher’s bill was approved by the Education committee on an 11-4 vote.

And yes, those "foundational documents" include the Ten Commandments, as part of "Objects of historical significance that have formed and influenced the United States legal or governmental system and that exemplify the development of the rule of law".  Also, let's keep in mind that the bill would in fact form the basis of all US history taught in the state at all levels, and that the list of approved documents includes George Kennan's infamous "The Sources of Soviet Conduct", which was written post-WWII and ended up being the basis of the Cold War "containment" policy against the USSR.

It's great stuff if you want to raise a state full of conservative think-tank weenies.  Not so much for an objective view of United States history, but apparently Oklahoma Tea Party types are going to decide what these kids are going to learn, dammit!


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