When the British marched out of Yorktown to surrender, their fifer’s played the tune The World Turned Upside Down.
Victor Davis Hanson points out the Left have indeed inverted reality, though they vehemently deny it…
By Victor David Hanson | Works and Days (PJ Media)
I. Power—Always Was and Always Will Be
In my dumber days, between 2001-2008, I used to wonder why the Left relentlessly hammered the war on terror (e.g., renditions, tribunals, predators, preventative detention, Patriot Act, intercepts, wiretaps, Guantanamo Bay) when these measures had not only proven quite useful in preventing another 9/11-like attack, but had been sanctioned by both the Congress and the courts. In those ancient times, I was not as cynical as I am now. So I assumed that Harold Koh and MoveOn.org, though mistaken, were worried about civil liberties, or measures that they felt were both illegal and without utility.
But, of course, the Obama (who attacked each and every element of the war on terror as a legislator and senator) Left never had any principled objection at all. Instead, whatever Bush was for, they were in Pavlovian fashion against. I can say that without a charge of cynicism, because after January 2009, Obama embraced or expanded every Bush-Cheney protocol that he inherited. In response, the anti-war Left simply kept silent, or indeed vanished, or went to work extending the anti-terrorism agenda. Guantanamo Bay, in other words, was a national sin until the mid-morning of January 20, 2009.
I reached my level of cynicism saturation well ahead of Professor Hanson, though I too was somewhat surprised at how fast reporting changed after the Inauguration in 2009. Certainly some dedicated Leftists have maintained the hue and cry against the “excesses” of the Bush Administration which have been amplified and extended under the Obama Administration, but those protests and articles have somehow become less newsworthy…
Professor Hanson goes on to catalog additional evidence of blatant press partisanship before laying his charge:
IV. So What?
What is going on? Two things, really. One, the media believes that the noble ends justify the tawdry means. So if it is a choice between emphasizing the latest Obama embarrassment by digging into the scary Fast and Furious, the “millions of green jobs” Solyndra insider giveaways, the Secret Service decadence, the GSA buffoonery, and the work while getting food stamps con in Washington OR endangering Obamacare and by extension “the children,” or the war to eliminate autism, or the right to breath clean air–well, why would one ever wish to derail all that by weakening a landmark progressive and his enlightened agenda?
Or for you more cynical readers, why would you wish to enervate the present comfortable culture in Washington in which the press and politics are at last one? Or why undermine the first African-American president, who is a constant reminder of our progressive advancement? Or why weaken our only chance some day to have open borders or gay marriage?
Two, the Left has always operated on the theory of medieval penance. We surely must assume that Warren Buffett has never had problems with the ethics of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. or had a company he controls sued by the IRS for back taxes. Why? Because he has confessed his sins, and accepted the faith and paid his tithe to the Church. Ditto a Bill Gates or a rich celebrity like Sean Penn or Oprah. In the relativism of the left, if the one-percenters will simply confess that their class is greedy and needs to pay their fair share—even if they are entirely cynical in the manner of GE’s Jeffrey Immelt and penance is written off as the cost of doing business—then they become exempt from the wages of them/us warfare and the “you want to kill the children” rhetoric.
A thoroughly secular press that bristles at the notion of Catholic influence in Politics demands penance of their opponents while selling indulgences (e.g. Carbon Credits) to their supporters, unless of course that press believes only in “changing the world” to one better aligned with their perceptions of how things aught to be. It’s almost as if they have made politics their religion.
And then there are the wars.
No, not the ones fought with weapons in which men and women sweat, bleed, and die; the political/rhetorical wars.
VI. The War on Science
We are in strange times. When the Right is in power, the press, the academy, the arts, the foundations, the liberal churches, and the zillionaire class all lecture us on greed, scandal, profit-mongering, wars against science, destroying the planet—the entire laundry list of exploitive greed. The result is that the Right is careful. Bush walked a tightrope, as his moral concerns about stem cells became killing Christopher Reeve, and No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug program were begrudged as too little big government, too late.
When the Left is in power, all of the above go silent.
There really is a war on science in the way a Steven Chu wasted billions on irrational subsidized schemes that produced no energy, while, along with Ken Salazar, neglecting proven ways to increase oil and gas production on federally controlled lands. The GM-subsidized Volt is de facto a war against science; so is high-speed rail—at least for now. The anti-deficit properties of the Buffett rule are make-believe accounting, and entirely anti-mathematical. There really are anti-constitutional scandals in which people died as in Fast and Furious. There really are Ken Lay-type con artists still around called Jon Corzine. There really are misogynists like Bill Maher that daily declare “war on women.”
Wars with no clearly stated objective. Wars that drag on for generations (e.g. “the War on Poverty”) at huge expense with no positive tangible results. Or Wars that are declared and then dropped when they poll poorly for the poll watcher in chief.
Is there any cause for hope amongst the non-Left?
Professor Hanson seems to think so, and I reluctantly (as I’m a fan of Romney only in that he fits the bill of Anyone But Obama) agree. This candidate fights:
VII. Fire With Fire
I have a confession to make that may upset readers. I was neutral in the Republican primaries, but especially interested in one fact: who would take off the gloves and run a “war room” campaign in the fashion of Bill Clinton in 1992 (as opposed to the McCain model of emulating Mike Dukakis in 1988)? Romney did it first and most effectively.
The result is that when we hear that Rush Limbaugh should be taken off the air for his profane misogyny, almost immediately now there are accounts of Bill Maher’s $1 million gift to Obama and his far greater and unapologetic slurs against women. When we hear all those creepy “concerns” about Romney’s great-grandfather as a polygamist in Mexico, suddenly we are reminded that Obama’s father in Kenya was, too. Putting a dog on the car roof is now not quite the same as eating a dog and then matter-of-fact reading one’s account of it on an audiotape. Trivial? Yes. Distractions from the current economic mess, and beneath us all? Perhaps. All Romney’s doing? Of course not.
But at least 2012 won’t be a default campaign. In other words, to quote Obama, Romney will get in “their faces” and “bring a gun to a knife fight.” McCain more graciously and nobly lost by putting all sorts of concerns off the table. I would expect that should Obama keep harping about Romney’s tax returns, Romney will demand Obama’s transcripts and medical records at last to be released. If Obama’s surrogates keep writing about Mormonism, we will learn of new disclosures about Trinity Church. For every Mormon bishop who said something illiberal in 1976, we will hear of a Father Pfleger or Rev. Meeks trumping that in 2007. And so on.
I stop here having recounted four of the good Professor’s points. The rest (including a review of the Zimmerman persecution) is well worth reading and strongly recommended.
We continue to live in interesting times.