The Liberal Gulag
Kevin D. Williamson writes: The word “liberal” has taken a beating over the last few days: A Mozilla executive was hounded out of his position at the firm he co-founded by left-wing campaigners resolved to punish him for having made a donation to a successful California ballot initiative that defined marriage in traditional terms; Adam Weinstein, whose downwardly mobile credibility has taken him from ABC toGawker, called for literally imprisoning people with the wrong views about global warming, writing, “Those malcontents must be punished and stopped”; Mr. Weinstein himself was simply forwarding a dumbed-down-enough-for-Gawkerversion of the arguments of philosophy professor Lawrence Torcello; Katherine Timpf, a reporter for Campus Reform, faced a human barricade to keep her from asking questions of those attending a feminist leadership conference, whose organizers informed her that the group was “inclusive” and therefore she was “not welcome here”; Charles Murray, one of the most important social scientists of his generation, was denounced as a “known white supremacist” by Texas Democrats for holding heterodox views about education policy; national Democrats spent the week arguing for the anti-free-speech side of a landmark First Amendment case and the anti-religious-freedom side of a case involving the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; Lois Lerner, the Left’s best friend at the IRS, faces contempt charges related to her role in the Democrats’ coopting the IRS as a weapon against their political enemies; Harry Reid, a liberal champion of campaign-finance reform, was caught channeling tens of thousands of dollars to his granddaughter while conspicuously omitting her surname, which is also his surname, from official documents, cloaking the transaction, while one of his California colleagues, a liberal champion of gun control, was indicted on charges of running guns to an organized-crime syndicate.
[Order Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning” from Amazon]
The convocation of clowns on the left screeched with one semi-literate and inchoate voice when my colleague Jonah Goldberg, borrowing the precise words of one of their own, titled a book Liberal Fascism. Most of them didn’t read it, but the ones who did apparently took what was intended as criticism and read it as a blueprint for political action.
Welcome to the Liberal Gulag.
From http://www.loudlabs.com – ISLA VISTA – A UC Santa Barbara police officer was seriously injured and at least five Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies were hurt after a campus-wide spring break party known as Deltopia turned ugly Saturday night in Isla Vista.
The UC officer sustained a “significant” head injury when a partier hit him with a backpack stuffed with bottles of alcohol at around 9 p.m. Saturday, near the 6700 block of Del Playa Drive, according to the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department (SBSD). During the ensuing arrest, some in the crowd of about 15,000 began throwing bottles, rocks and bricks at law enforcement personnel, the department said.
After authorities declared an unlawful assembly, “the situation escalated into a major disturbance,” said the SBSD. It said people ripped up stop signs, lit several small fires and damaged property, including several law enforcement vehicles.
“They would believe that this kind of behavior could actually be politically negotiated away, and that would be a very disturbing message for the people who provide America with intelligence.”
Eliana Johnson writes: The intelligence community would see the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as a signal of the administration’s willingness grant clemency to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, according to former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden. “They would believe that this kind of behavior could actually be politically negotiated away, and that would be a very disturbing message for the people who provide America with intelligence,” he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday.
“It’s almost a sign of desperation that you would throw this into the pot just to keep the Israelis talking with the Palestinians.”
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Michael McCaul
“I think a lot of people don’t realize that our military that defends our freedoms abroad . . . when they come home to the military base, they are not allowed to carry weapons,” McCaul pointed out. “We need to talk to the commanders about whether it would make sense for some . . . of our senior leadership officers and enlisted men on the base [to] carry weapons for protection.”
TOKYO (AP) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a two-pronged warning to Asia Pacific nations Sunday, announcing that the U.S. will send two additional ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to counter the North Korean threat, and saying China must better respect its neighbors.
“…you cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation whether it’s in small islands in the Pacific or large nations in Europe.”
– Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
In unusually forceful remarks about China, Hagel drew a direct line between Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region and the ongoing territorial disputes between China, Japan and others over remote islands in the East China Sea.
“I think we’re seeing some clear evidence of a lack of respect and intimidation and coercion in Europe today with what the Russians have done with Ukraine,” Hagel told reporters after a meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. “We must be very careful and we must be very clear, all nations of the world, that in the 21st century this will not stand, you cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation whether it’s in small islands in the Pacific or large nations in Europe.” Read the rest of this entry »
For NRO, Eliana Johnson writes: Former deputy CIA director Michael Morell told the House Intelligence Committee this week that despite reports from the chief of station in Libya that no protests occurred outside the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi prior to the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on it, he edited the administration’s talking points to include references to such protests.
The money shot.
Too bad the joke is on his youthful audience.
If you’ve seen some of Obama’s speeches in the last week, perhaps you’ve noticed how he’s becoming quite the jokester. Obama’s spiteful sarcasm—disguised as humor, of course—is becoming increasingly hollow, divisive, unseemly. Nobody likes a bully, or a sore winner. I’m surprised he’s not called out more for his overuse of the most un-presidential rhetorical habit: the straw man. It’s one thing for a contender on the campaign trail, trying to climb his way up to an elected job, another for a man already holding the highest office in the land. The way Obama creates an imaginary opponent, then defeats that fictional opponent with zingers, snark, and bluster, is a peculiar thing to watch.
I can imagine a group of actual conservatives watching one of these speeches, finding absolutely nothing they can identify with, then, even agreeing with him about this awful enemy the president is describing. “Wow, who is that guy? He sounds like a real bastard!” “Yeah, let’s go find him and beat the snot out of him!” It’s easy to win an argument when you’re playing both roles in the debate. I’ve been hoping someone smart and entertaining would notice and report on this. Fortunately, Jonah Goldberg is back from vacation, and on the job:
Jonah Goldberg writes:
President Obama was doing his favorite thing this week: talking to crowds of adoring young people who already agree with him while acting like he persuaded them about something.
“…the president is utterly incapable of arguing with anything other than a fictional opponent.”
They also seemed to give Obama the impression that he’s a really funny guy. On Wednesday, he told a crowd of 1,400 at the University of Michigan that he visited a local deli, Zingerman’s. He proceeded to tell a long story about ordering the small Reuben sandwich, which he said was “killer.” That description got a good laugh. Then he explained how he thought the sandwich was too big, so he shared it with his adviser, Valerie Jarrett.
“After I finished [my] half, I wanted [her] half back,” Obama said. “But it was too late, all she had was the pickle – so I took the pickle.”
“Took the pickle” was a huge laugh line.
Pickle is a funny word, but still; when an audience thinks this is a knee-slapper, you know it’s not a rough crowd.
But Obama had a serious point to make as well. Zingerman’s “is a business that treats its workers well and rewards honest work with honest wages. And that’s what I’m here to talk about today.” He then segued into a pitch for raising the minimum wage.
National Review’s Andrew Johnson noted that Zingerman’s is pretty expensive. That small Reuben cost $13.99 – pickle included! (Thank you! I’m here all week. Please tip your servers.) The large goes for nearly $17. The irony might have been lost on the president that Zingerman’s “honest wages” also lead to high prices.
NRO Editors: In 2008, Barack Obama and Brendan Eich both were against gay marriage. Senator Obama averred his support for the one-man/one-woman view of marriage, while Mr. Eich, a cofounder of the Mozilla web-browser company, donated $1,000 to support Proposition 8 — a California ballot initiative that had the effect of making Senator Obama’s avowed marriage policy the law in California, at least until a federal court overturned it on the theory that California’s constitution is unconstitutional. Barack Obama inexplicably remains, as of this writing, president of the United States of America, but Mr. Eich has just been forced out as CEO of Mozilla because of his political views.
“The nation’s full-time gay-rights professionals simply will not rest until a homogeneous and stultifying monoculture is settled upon the land…”
The various tendencies that operate under the general heading of “gay rights” have had an extraordinary run of it in the past several years, in both the political and the cultural theaters. We now have a constitutional right to commit homosexual acts (Lawrence v. Texas), while Facebook offers at last count 56 different gender options to its users (trans with or without asterisk, genderqueer, neutrois, and two-spirit among them). Having won the battle in California, the sore winners are roaming the battlefield with bayonets and taking no prisoners. Mr. Eich’s donation had been a matter of public record for some years, but Eros is a jealous god, and he will have blood from time to time. Mr. Eich’s elevation to the chief executive’s position provided occasion for critics within his firm and without to make an example of him.
This is, of course, pure poison….