Category Archives: Republicans

Levin Harpoons GOP Jellyfish

Conservatism, Democrats, Internet, Republicans

“Barack Obama: not a particularly smart man; Harry Reed a particularly stupid man. Yet they’re running circles around the cowardly Republicans. You don’t have to be that bright to run circles around Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, who’ve surrendered the power of the purse [conferred by the Constitution and the electorate; it gave the GOP majorities in both chambers], and are now propagandizing against themselves.” That’s Mark Levin today paraphrased, as he nails “the party of oligarchs; of the Bush dynasty; of millionaire and billionaire crony capitalists.”

Yes, where are the “winner” Republicans, promising to defeat “Obamanet”: Obama’s plan to “end of the Internet as we know it”?

While he’s a legal positivist, a militarist, and loves Lincoln for every unpardonable crime Honest Abe ever committed—Mark Levin offers thoughtful commentary on a good many issues. Unlike the rest on radio, he’s smart and hard working (i.e., he does not expose his listeners to the bimbo brigade or to non-stop crap from callers. Rather, he crafts his own commentary). Today he nailed the flaccid Republicans:

Other of Levin’s political bons mots today: “John McCain is one of the dumbest men in the US Senate, as dumb as a rock. Ditto Lindsey Graham, his illegitimate son.”

No argument there.


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Huckabee, ‘Forrest Gump’ Of The GOP

Conservatism, Constitution, Elections, Neoconservatism, Republicans

A “confidence trickster worthy of a P.T. Barnum circus” was how this column captured Mike Huckabee’s appeal. It must be conceded that Charles C. W. Cooke of National Review captures even better the forced and contrived, “cornpone” appeal of the man who will be vying to stand as the Republican’s nominee for the presidency. While I reject the writer’s crass, almost bereft of principle pragmatism; and although unable to tell whether Cooke prefers Mark Levin’s worldview to that of Calvin Coolidge—perhaps our only libertarian president—I liked his depiction of The Huckster:

Among the panoply of rightward-leaning politicians who are currently flirting with running for the presidency is one Mike Huckabee, a former pastor, governor, television host, and author who has of late been preparing for office by converting himself into Larry the Cable Guy. Huckabee is touring the breadth and width of the country in support of his new book — the alliteratively titled God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy — the purpose of which seems to be to establish its author as the unparalleled down-home candidate within the 2016 primary. Unlike so many in Washington, Huckabee claims, he is firmly on the side of “Bubbaville” rather than “Bubbleville”; of the “catfish and cornbread crowd” rather than “the crepes and caviar set”; and of those who “come home tired at the end of the day” rather than those who “burn tires in the street.” Are you tired of the incumbent set? he seems to ask. Then you know what to do.

By taking this approach, Huckabee is essentially attempting to become to the Right what the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson have become to the Left: namely, a proxy figure who can be used as shorthand by the lazy and the lost to signify their allegiance to a set of cherished cultural values. “We like the simple life,” Huckabee announces in his book. “Status is a Ford 150 truck; luxury is crawfish étouffée and slaw on your pulled-pork sandwich; and privilege is front-row seats at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.” And unlike those “misfortunate” souls in “Manhattan, the Washington Beltway, or in Beverly Hills,” we know the joy that one can get from wading “in chest-deep water to hunt mallards.” Insofar as it goes, there is nothing wrong with this. Indeed, I like many of these things too. But the self-conscious spinning of local tradition into a national political aesthetic is invariably irritating, and, typically, electorally counterproductive. There are many wonderful things about the world Huckabee is attempting to represent. But surely, just surely, it is possible for a southerner to run for high office without dressing up as Forrest Gump? …

… Whatever cultural renaissance Mike Huckabee might believe is necessary in the United States, it will be up to civil society and not to the political classes to bring it about. Unless conservatives wish to join the Left in its Wilsonian quest to glue politics to absolutely everything, our would-be emissaries really need to make up their minds …

MORE.


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Too Earnest, Too Attractive, Too Macho, Too Moneyed, Too White, Too Christian

Elections, Ethics, Republicans

“Romney’s repeal-and-replace statism was irreconcilable with this writer’s libertarianism. … Romney was wrong on China. Wrong on Iran. Wrong on Russia. Wrong on Foreign policy, in general. Wrong on almost everything. Yet as incongruous as this may seem, Mitt Romney is a fine man—a man with great personal virtues, if profound flaws in political philosophy. Ann Romney, herself a delightful lady, is a lucky woman. Romney is a great provider, is fabulously devoted to family and faith, is consistently generous and charitable to all those around him, and brilliant in all endeavors, academic and entrepreneurial. … Unlike Obama’s university transcripts, Romney’s would have stood up to the scrutiny that never came.” (From “No Country For Old, White Men.”)

And whatever you think of him, Romney is still doing what he believes is best for the country he loves.

According to National Journal, despite bowing out of the 2016 race to rule, Mitt “Romney’s push forward had been his belief, … that other establishment candidates—Bush, Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio—aren’t up to snuff. But his Friday remarks indicate that he thinks his presence in the race would be more damaging to his goal of electing ‘a conservative leader to become our next president.'”

Romney is right about the rest of the Republicans in the 2016 race to rule; they’re a repulsive lot.

More about Romney the man:

… Money was Mitt’s Mark of Cain. So were his wicked work ethic and whiteness.

Romney was booed when he wooed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Enough to provoke the ire of blacks, Latinos, ladies of all hues, the halt and the lame was the mere hint that the too-white-to-like Romney would slow down the gravy train.

Lickspittle Republicans were as eager as the Democratic representatives of these identity groups to lambaste Mr. Romney for being too attractive, too macho, too white, too Christian, and too rich. No one could have failed to notice that Mitt Romney resembles the “Mad Man” played by Jon Hamm, in the eponymous AMC series. Both men are tall, dark and handsome, with the kind of picture-perfect, quintessential American good looks. Both hide their feelings and are spare with their emotions. When they show their softer side–it actually means something. Each is dutiful and dependable.

Such qualities, once considered desirable in a man, now offend the dominatrixes who run the nation’s newsrooms. “He’s a very private man; and that’s a liability.” “How can you get me to vote for him, if I don’t like him?” “He needs to humanize himself.” And, “Can he [even] be humanized?” demanded one CNN ghoul by the name of Gloria Borger on the eve of Halloween. Mitt Romney was inhuman: That, very plainly, was the premise of this harridan’s rhetorical question.

“Ann Romney’s job, and she’s been pushing for this in the campaign, is to kind of humanize him,” noodled the banal Ms. Borger over and over again, for the campaign’s duration.

This was the menstrually inspired miasma that emanated from TV studios countrywide.

Thus did Mitt Romney come to embody elements in Aristotle’s definition of a tragic figure:

* The “tragic hero is of noble birth and displays a nobility of spirit.” (Check)
* The character must be a person of stature. (Check)
* The protagonist is pitted against forces beyond their control. (Check)
* The character must be neither totally good nor totally evil.
* An error of judgment or a weakness in character causes the misfortune. (Check)
* The character must be responsible for tragic events. (Check: Romney’s failures ushered in four more years of epochal evil.)
* His action involves a change in fortune from happiness to misery. (Check)
* Subject is serious. (Check)
* He struggles courageously until his fall. (Check)
* Though defeated, he gains a measure of increased wisdom.

Mr. Romney’s pathos-filled election concession speech crystallized these tragic elements.

We “left everything on the field,” he said. “We have given our all to this campaign.”

Indeed, the prototypical Greek tragic figure “struggles courageously until his fall.” …

MORE.


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UPDATE III: Lincoln Bedroom Or The American People’s House? (Founders & Foreign Entanglements)

America, Israel, Reason, Republicans

The reference in the title to the Lincoln Bedroom alludes to a practice Bill Clinton inaugurated of renting out this White House bedroom to big-time donors.

By the same token, I’m wondering whether the American People’s House is for hire too. The White House is fulminating because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is playing a dangerous game. Fox News explains:

The Obama administration reportedly is fuming over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to address Congress in March regarding the Iranian threat, with one unnamed official telling an Israeli newspaper he will pay “a price” for the snub. …

… In public, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest politely describes this as a “departure” from protocol. He also says the president will not meet with Netanyahu when he visits in early March, but has attributed that decision only to a desire not to influence Israel’s upcoming elections.

But in private, Obama’s team is livid with the Israeli leader, according to Haaretz.

“We thought we’ve seen everything,” a source identified as a senior American official was quoted as saying. “But Bibi managed to surprise even us. There are things you simply don’t do.

“He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.”

Background via The Atlantic:

Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday asked [Natanyahy] back to address a joint meeting of Congress for the second time in less than four years. In fact, Netanyahu would become the first foreign leader since Winston Churchill to appear before Congress three times. (He also spoke during his first run as prime minister in 1996.)
This invitation, however, is even more important for a number of reasons. First, the February 11 speech will come just over a month before Israel’s legislative elections, and the prestige of an address to Congress could boost Netanyahu domestically. (Never mind that it was Netanyahu’s own Likud party that accused Obama of interfering in Israel’s elections just two years ago.) Yet it also coincides with a mounting confrontation between Congress and President Obama over Iran sanctions legislation, and Boehner pointedly announced the invitation just about 12 hours after the president, during his State of the Union address, pleaded with lawmakers to give nuclear talks with Tehran more time.

This is not the first time Prime Minister Netanyahu has pulled a self-serving political maneuver by inserting himself into American politics. This time, Bibi’s move may backfire. Obama is a dreadful cur, all right, but he is OUR mongrel.

In any case, it was an abomination when Mexican President Felipe Calderon was allowed to address the Congress in May of 2010, and it is an abomination for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have been permitted to issue forth before a joint session of the American Congress. Calderon, you recall, was toiling tirelessly for the benefit of millions of Mexicans living in the US illegally. From the White House Rose Garden, and then again in an address to Congress, he chastised overrun Arizonans for “forcing our people to face discrimination.”

Netanyahu is not as bad as all that (I’ve always “supported” him, in as much as a writer who is not a Fifth Columnist can.) And both these respective foreign leaders are patriots, looking out for their countrymen.

The American people’s representatives are the traitors here. (This time, it’d the stupid Republicans.) For it is they who’ve permitted this reoccurring spectacle; it is they who’ve turned the American People’s House into a House for hire; a one-way exchange program for foreign dignitaries.

Whose House is it, anyway?

UPDATE I(1/24): POLITICAL PROPRIETY. Reply to Facebook Thread:

It’s frustrating how intellectually inflexible readers are these days. For the most, they did not read (or absorb) the rationale of the post, simply because it is impartial, non-partisan, and articulates matters of decorum and political propriety from an American, not that of a Fifth Column’s, perspective. Why I say that readers reject reason and, rather, respond with the gut? The post says explicitly that letting Mexico’s PM parade his opinions in America’s parliament is just as pathetic/wrong; just as vulgar. There is no anger against Bibi; I like him a LOT. There is simply that matter, I repeat, of political propriety.

UPDATE II: Founders & Foreign Entanglements.

Yoni Isaacson: It is not uncommon for visiting heads of state to address the hosts Parliament though. Here,, Congress is just trying to reclaim its role as a centre of power that has been eroded so much by executive presidents. What a way to do it.
4 hrs · Like

Ilana Mercer: From the fact that it is not-uncommon, it doesn’t follow that is right. We do not judge right or wrong by might or majority or frequency of occurrence. However, your assertion, Yoni, is not necessarily correct. It is quite uncommon in the US to invite foreign leaders to yuk it up—make a case for their policy of choice— in the people’s Congress. (Obama certainly did not speak in the Knesset last he visited Israel. And why should he have?!!) The American Founders were very clear about staying out of foreign entanglements.

UPDATE III: PROCESS VS.CONTENT.

Craig Smith: Ilana, From experience, I know where you stand. but I was taken aback by that particular column. From an initial perspective there is a very abstract common denominator in the two cases. Beyond that, neither the circumstances behind nor purpose of the Mexican and the Israeli Prime Ministers appearing in the WH and Congress, respectively, are at all the same. I know you know this, and you went on to address that point in your comment above. Yes, I had a gut reaction. I do that sometimes.

Ilana Mercer: Craig Smith, it’s about process, not content. I don’t want any foreign dignitary appealing to my corrupt representatives. The American System, Craig Smith, is a system emphasizing process. It doesn’t say that we should honor freedom of religion only with the good religions.


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2016: A Year Of The ‘Big Erection’

BAB's A List, Bush, Democracy, Democrats, Elections, Republicans

By Myron Pauli

“The voters outside looked from Bush to Clinton, and from Clinton to Bush, and from Bush to Clinton again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” So ends Orwell’s “Animal Farm” with creatures; man and pig changed to voters, Bush, and Clinton or was it Clinton and Bush – does it matter? Yessir, 2016 will be a year of the “big erection” as the Chinese might put it. DEE-MOCK-RUSS-SEE – that time-honored institution that has produced such statesmen as Diem, Maliki, Yanukovich, Thieu, and Karzai. This is where the creatures (voters) choose WHICH egomaniac will rack up new deficits, plunge them into new wars, and protect us from new demons.

A more cynical person might mention that the classical definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results – but WHY expect anything different? The spin doctors will assure us that all is brand new – New Deal, New Freedom, New Frontier, New Clinton, New Bush, New Nixon, New Chrysler, and New Coke. And each election cycle will bring new buzzwords to excite the creatures: “Read my lips, no new taxes”, “Bridge to the 21st Century”, “3 AM phone call”, “Hope and Change” – yessir, a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, 40 acres and a mule!

For those who don’t buy off on the new brand of soapsuds, there is always the OLD paranoia. We know that Romney was planning to enslave all blacks had he won in 2012. FEAR gets the more cynical creatures into the voting booth. Hillary will turn us all into Muslims. Bush will rape all women and subject them to coat-hanger abortions. Eeeek and more eeeek.

For the poor suckers of a “progressive” bent, they always get suckered into thinking that the Democrats will once and for all end inequality and racism and whatever in America and empower the poor. Well, boys and girls, where do the Clintons raise their campaign dollars – at the Bingo parlors or in the Hamptons? The “progressives” love the idea of protecting the chickens only to find out over and over that (gasp! and surprise!) foxes guard the chicken coops! Well, Citicorp and Boeing and Kaiser and Archer Daniels Midland have to protect their investments in the Welfare-Warfare State. Any real dissidents like Kucinich will be slightly tolerated if they don’t disturb the primal order.

And what of the poor suckers who call themselves “conservatives” who vote for the same old Republicans? Sometimes, you hear how Bush is a “RINO” – a “Republican in Name Only” – which is mythical nonsense. From Prescott to GHWB to GWB to Jeb to Jorge Prescott – the Bushes have been solid Republicans for generations. It is “nutcase” libertarians like Ron Paul who are the true RINOs – so out of place in the bankster-bailout statist Republican Party that their name cannot be placed in nomination and their votes cannot be allowed at the conventions. The last real insurgent to win was Goldwater and then half the party went trashing him during the general election: Yes – Papa Romney! By 1980, Reagan was reduced to “aw shucks” and “there you go again” with Baker, Shultz, and Bush keeping him in line to pumping up defense contractors. Heck, Blackwater and Bank of America and Carefirst and Cargill have to protect their investments in the Welfare-Warfare State.

Notice how regardless of who wins, Gruber gets his consultant fees and Goldman-Sachs gets pumped up by the Federal Reserve. TSA, HUD, CIA, NSA, NASA, and the rest of the alphabet soup will moan how they are only getting a 5% increase instead of the 10% they need to fix all of America’s urgent problems. The bureaucracy goes on. Fox News and MSNBC talking heads scream at each other. The partisans will get some rhetorical red meat on occasion “you are either with the terrorists or against us,” or “if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon” or “shatter that glass ceiling” which you either love or hate as if it makes a damn difference. Rosencrantz and Guilderstern, Scylla and Charybdis, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Bush and Clinton. Welcome to the New World Odor!

******
Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.


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Racial Cacophony Resumed (It Never Stopped)

Free Speech, Race, Racism, Republicans

Personally, I doubt very much that Republican Representative Steve Scalise has much to impart by way of political philosophy and principle. Still, if he hasn’t himself preached racial supremacy and hasn’t goosestepped around the lectern and lecture stage; why does it matter who he addressed? How is one to sway others to your perspective if you don’t speak to them?

Here we go again. It should not be news. It’s not news. The malfunctioning media has made it news: “Representative Scalise of Louisiana,” intones an Enforcer at the New York Times, “the third-ranking House Republican, had appeared before a group called the European-American Unity and Rights Organization … More than a decade ago.” Scalise and Speaker John A. Boehner are now bowing and scraping. And for what?

Some of the major racial milestones of the year are surveyed in the current column, “2014: The Year Of Living Racially.” Its conclusion—read it yourself—is apropos the Scalise event:

The noisy racial cacophony with its attendant falsehoods is a feature of the political and cultural landscape, irrespective of color, creed and political affiliation.

I’m already tired, and it’s only the first day of the new year, 2015.


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