The World Turned Upside Down

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…

 

It Was the Power, Stupid!

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:

 

[Continued]

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.

 

Odd that.

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.

 

[Continued]

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:

 

[Continued]

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.

Shortlink:

Posted by on April 23, 2012.
Filed under 2012 Presidential Race, Agitators, Hypocrisy, In The Tank For Obama, Mitt Romney, Politics.
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  • jim_m

    The left knows it needs to cheat in order to win this year.  That’s why obama refuses to clean voter rolls even though some counties have 162%  more registered voters than people of voting age.  Even with that the left has already signaled that if obama loses they will not accept that loss.  They will riot.  They will try to overturn the election through violence if they cannot win it in the courts.

    Remember Russ Feingold (D) in Wisconsin regarding elections:  “Nothing is over until we win!”  That is everything we need to know about the left in America: anti-capitalist, anti-democratic, anti-American.

  • GarandFan

      “They will try to overturn the election through violence if they cannot win it in the courts.”

    They won’t give up power easily, that’s for sure.  This will go down in history as the dirtiest campaign ever. 

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

      Please update your post to indicate that you are replying to, and quoting, jim_m and not me.

      • jim_m

         I think you just did that for him,

  • Jwb10001

    Que Chico, in 3, 2, 1 … CHICKENHAWK! 

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

      Utter not the nom de web of notorious trolls.  I’d just as soon not see them here.

      • Jwb10001

        Like you can keep Chico away from a Victor David Hanson post… dream on.

        • jim_m

          Yeah.  The big VDH photo on the blog is a dead give away.  

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            You aren’t accusing of lighting the troll grail lamp, are you?

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          I could, but I choose not to.

    • Commander_Chico

      Okay, by popular demand . . . 
      By the current Wizbang standards (whatever happened to Jay Tea, anyways?), this is a pretty thoughtful post.  

      For as much as Rodney is an a-hole in comments, he posts more interesting stuff as an editor than most.

      I read all of VDH’s piece.  I was pleasantly surprised that he did not advocate bombing and invading any countries.

      In fact, I agreed with everything he said, up to the “high speed rail is a war on science” bit.   That’s when I knew I was dealing with the stopped clock in the right minute of the day.

      I endorse ackwired’s comment below.   In that vein, I recommend Ron Unz’s piece in The American Conservative on the current state of American politics:

      An Emerging One-Party State

      . . . . . these extra-constitutional and often brutal methods have not been directed toward controlling America’s own political system; we remain a democracy rather than a dictatorship. But does our current system actually possess the central feature of a true democracy, namely a high degree of popular influence over major government policies? Here the evidence seems more ambiguous.

      Consider the pattern of the last decade. With two ruinous wars and a financial collapse to his record, George W. Bush was widely regarded as one of the most disastrous presidents in American history, and at times his public approval numbers sank to the lowest levels ever measured. The sweeping victory of his successor, Barack Obama, represented more a repudiation of Bush and his policies than anything else, and leading political activists, left and right alike, characterized Obama as Bush’s absolute antithesis, both in background and in ideology. This sentiment was certainly shared abroad, with Obama being selected for the Nobel Peace Prize just months after entering office, based on the widespread assumption that he was certain to reverse most of the policies of his detested predecessor and restore America to sanity.

      Yet almost none of these reversals took place. Instead, the continuity of administration policy has been so complete and so obvious that many critics now routinely speak of the Bush/Obama administration.

      The harsh violations of constitutional principles and civil liberties which Bush pioneered following the 9/11 attacks have only further intensified under Obama, the heralded Harvard constitutional scholar and ardent civil libertarian, and this has occurred without the excuse of any major new terrorist attacks. During his Democratic primary campaign, Obama promised that he would move to end Bush’s futile Iraq War immediately upon taking office, but instead large American forces remained in place for years until heavy pressure from the Iraqi government finally forced their removal; meanwhile, America’s occupation army in Afghanistan actually tripled in size. The government bailout of the hated financial manipulators of Wall Street, begun under Bush, continued apace under Obama, with no serious attempts at either government prosecution or drastic reform. Americans are still mostly suffering through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but Wall Street profits and multimillion-dollar bonuses soon returned to record levels.

      http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/chinas-rise-americas-fall/ 

      In my opinion and Ron Unz’s, it’s not “the Left” as VDH or jim_m, would say, but the permanent oligarchy that seeks to maintain power through the sham of the two parties. “The Left” or “The Right” would imply some change is fundamental policies when administrations change. Someone like VDH should be cheering on Obama’s policies of permanent war, surveillance and expansion of state power over individuals if they were in favor of them when Bush did it. Partisans are basically fools, unless they have a prospect of being an Deputy Assistant Undersecretary in the next Obama or the Romney Administration. Self-interest I can understand and respect, voting the party and not the person otherwise is just dumb.

      The bit about Zimmerman is a non-sequitur and muddled BS.  But I’m sure he’s the first one to compare Valerie Plame and Trayvon Martin as victims; that is original in a nutball way.

      • Gmacr1

        Maybe you missed the bus or possibly it doesn’t go where you live… It has been a one party state  for a long time, the only difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is the letter after the name and minor policy quibbles.

        • Commander_Chico

          What was the last sharply defined presidential election?

          Maybe Reagan v. Mondale, or even back to Johnson – Goldwater.

          Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama has been same-o, same-o.

  • ackwired

    Mr. Hanson is moving in the right direction.  You can never be too cynical about politics.  He has the left figured out.  Now he just needs to see the right for what it is.  Politics is a business, and politicians are in business to serve those who paid to put them in office and to maintain their lifestyle, just like other businessmen.  The party that is in power is able to give more to their “supporters” and they then deserve to recieve more.  The only difference between the R’s and D’s is that one is in power and the other is not.  Obama ran promising change and gave us the same non-financed wars, record deficit spending, and usurpation of power that Bush gave us.  Romney says he is different.  But his previous successes have been largely dependent upon getting money from the government. 

    Keep getting cynical, Mr. Hanson.  You are getting closer to understanding just how corrupt the system is.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

      The problem that I’m sure most people here will ignore is the “devil in the details” instead opting for the easy points of attacking Obama.

      Don’t pay attention to how the Tea Party has stonewalled all legislation that could have helped the economy.  Forget the fact that Obama surrounded himself with people who had changed to a more conservative Blue Dog position (Emanuel, Geigner, etc).  I’d almost feel sorry for him but damn… He moved to the more conservative positions by his own self opting not for a public option in his healthcare or fighting for better budget proposals with the public.  Also, his “Grand Bargain” was atrocious.  Thank god that Boehner walked away from it, forcing him to reconsider.  Now that it’s on the table again… Oi vey…

      No, Obama moved more to an authoritarian position because of how much he was prepared to compromise instead of fight for a more liberal position.

      Seriously, the guy is getting beat up by Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin who say the first things out of their mouth that don’t even have to make sense.

      So instead of looking at the faults of a Congress that he has been trying to appease, he’s run from every fight.  That’s just sad and sorry.

      There’s no hope in the second term.  But would I want Romney with a Republican Congress to continue this dreadful austerity plan that is mostly Republican ideology running its course?

      Amazing how that goes ignored.

      • Bob Gilkison

         Earth to Jay.  Wake up, the coffee is brewing.

        Your post wins the prize for the most inane comments I have seen in quite some time.

        You see, most of us remember that Obama had a majority in Congress, and used it to run up crippling debt.  Now, neither he, nor his Merry Fool Reid, even bother to put up a budget.

        Please,  folks here are not stupid.  Read my words; THERE IS NO AUSTERITY PLAN.  That statement of yours is with doubt the most cynical foolishness imaginable.  I guess your idea of an austerity plan–like most Statists– is when increases in spending drop below 10% year over year, or do not exceed inflation by a like number.  You must not realize that there is a written history of spending, and before Obama/Reid, budgets.

        Phooey.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Murphy/100001624276605 Ryan Murphy

        By ‘Dreadful austerity plan’ you mean “Living within your means instead of spending money you don’t have’ right?

        • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

          “Mommy, don’t take my credit card away or I’ll throw a tantrum!”

          “Jay, you’re 37 years old.  It’s time for you to get a job and support yourself.  You can’t live in the basement any longer.”

      • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

        We’re $16 trillion in debt.  Annual deficits forecast out for the next decade of $1 tril or higher.

        Income from tax revenue?  $2 trillion.

        Spending by the government?  $3.5 trillion.

        Three years since the last budget was passed.

        Debt interest alone runs over $413 billion a year.

        And somehow, it’s all the TEA party’s fault?

        No, Jay, the attempted deflection’s failing.  All the handwaving, all the blaming, all the screaming about how we can’t cut back – it’s failing. 
         
        Once people see the numbers, once people can compare the numbers to their own situations, they understand that this administration isn’t looking to be ‘austere’, they’re looking to loot and scoot.

        And you can’t keep rotating the damn scapegoats – it makes you look like a flippin’ idiot.

        So who’s turn is it in the schedule for next week?  Greedy small business owners?  Corporations?  Banks?  Wall Street investors?  The ‘rich’?  Joe Consumer who isn’t consuming as he should? Republicans for not rubber-stamping an out-of-control spending process?  Hey, maybe you’ll get doctors again and can rail against amputations and tonsilectomies?  What’s the spinner going to land on this time through?

        • Jwb10001

          What Jay doesn’t get is that the tea party reps are there because they ran on shutting down this out of control spending and therefore are doing exactly what they were hired to do. I would suggest the aren’t blocking nearly enough.

        • ackwired

          It’s certainly not the Tea Party’s fault.  Let’s be honest about how we got here.  Reagan, Bush II,  and Obama have all run up more debt than all of their predecessors combined.  Bush II inherited a surplus and applied the philosophy that surplusses are bad because “It’s the people’s money”.  Therefore cut taxes to return to a deficit.  We not borrow 43 cents of every dollar we spend and the D’s refuse to touch entitlements and R’s refuse to be realistic about raising taxes.  The only good news is that even politicians sometimes come through in a crises.

          • Hank_M

             “Bush II inherited a surplus and applied the philosophy that surplusses are bad…”

            Just to keep the record straight, We officially entered a recession in March 2001. The surpluses were already evaporating. Add in 9/11 and Bush’s economic record is actually impressively good – 6 years of economic growth which included 8 million jobs created. Admittedly, we were not happy with the deficits during the W years. But considering what happened in his first year, and looking at the deficits we now see from Barry O, those deficits seem like the good old days.

          • ackwired

            If you thought Bush was fiscally responsible, you are entitled to your opinion.  I would point out that his comptroller (David Walker) took to a natiion wide tour with a presentation about how irresponsible it was to wage war without paying for it and to add a very expensive prescription drug benefit to medicare without paying for it.

            Obama’s excesses in no way excuse Bush’s.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            And Bush’s excesses are flippin’ puny compared to Obama.  So – Bush’s excesses in no way excuse Obama’s.

            Big whoop.  So what? How does endlessly debating who’s to BLAME for it FIX the damn problem?

            The end result is $2 tril in, $3.5 tril out, with $16 tril debt.  We’re screwed – and though we were somewhat screwed when Obama got into office, we are now decidedly and definitely screwed.

            You want solutions? Axe Obamacare – we don’t have the money for it. Cut the pay of anyone in Congress who has assets of $10 mil or more by 75%, and cut the rest by 25%. Return the EPA regulatory environment to the size it was in 1990. Remove restrictions on medical insurance between states. Remove all current restrictions on drilling off the coasts and in the gulf. Remove all current drilling restrictions on federal land. Expedite the process for drilling permits. Cut off foriegn aid to our oil suppliers in the ME – they’re getting enough money from our oil. We can’t afford to keep buying friends.

            Audit each and every branch and program inside the government, eliminating fraud, waste and abuse and redundant programs with all the finess and delicacy of a chainsaw at full throttle. Then cut the budget of the remaining by 30%.

            Announce a new energy initiative – nuclear power. Tell the environmental groups that the endless litigation to stop them will be changed – they’ll have ONE try, limited to 6 months per site, and that’s on a ‘Loser Pays All Court Costs’ basis. Test thorium reactors, figure out if it’ll work in a commercial setting. In the mean time, build the shit out of proven designs, with equivalent space to put thorium reactors if it seems promising. If they work, install them and hook ‘em up to the piping – then mothball the old uranium reactors.

            That’ll be a start.

            We’ve got two choices. Cut spending or increase revenue – or both. We’re about tapped out on taxes, reaching a point of diminishing returns. We need to increase revenue, best way is by growing the economy, best way to do THAT is through dropping the price of energy.

            Cut spending and raise revenue in a realistic fashion, and we might make it. But we’ve got to stop looking at government as the cure for the evil of big business – otherwise we’re going to look like Greece on a really bad day.

          • ackwired

            Agree with a lot of what you said.  But it is not enough.  We need to radically cut military and entitlements and increase taxes to pay for the government we end up with.  As for growth, we are only about 1/2 way to working through the housing crash debt.  Without another large stimulus package (we can’t afford it), it will be a couple of years before any significant growth is possible.

          • Hank_M

             I thought I expressed my displeasure with the deficits under W. That doesn’t translate into claiming he was fiscally responsible. Compared to Obama though, he looks like a fiscal genius.

            As to the drug benefit under medicare, turns out it was very successful. Part D, per a HHS report from 8/4/2011, is resulting in lower costs than originally anticipated. In fact, “it has so far come in more than 30% below the original cost expectations of the
            Congressional Budget Office.”

            Further, Scott Gottlieb testified before congress stating that “Part D has had a spillover effect of lowering retail prices for generic
            medications by 19 percent.”

            Why? Market based reforms.

            And, no surprise, Obamacare does away with this.

          • ackwired

            It would be so easy to take sealed bids for Part D and reduce the costs to what other countries are paying for their drugs.  But the drug companies buy the politicians and the politicians have to do their bidding.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          By the time 0bama gets sent on permanent vacation in January of next year, he will have added more to the national debt than all the Presidents before him COMBINED.

          • ackwired

            Yes.  I believe that is what I said.  Reagan and Bush II did the same thing before him.  Bush I and Clinton operated under “pay as you go” and the result was a surplus.  I would like to see congress reinstitute it as a step in the right direction.

      • Vagabond661

        An example of the legislation which would have helped the economy that the Tea Party stonewalled is……? Aren’t there Republicans and Democrats in Congress?

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          His lack of response, let alone substantive response, is noted with no surprise whatsoever.

  • Hank_M

    It’s about power, all right. Power and nothing else.

    If the left was concerned about the country, about the welfare of its’ citizens, they wouldn’t have passed a health care overhaul bill that no one had read. They wouldn’t be locking up access to our national reserves of energy. They wouldn’t be supporting spending that has resulted in our debt exceeding GDP. They wouldn’t be suing Az and other states that are simply trying to secure their borders. etc

    And most importantly, they wouldn’t be trying to divide us, whether on racial grounds, religious, gender, or our economic status.

    I’m sure many have seen the viral video: “If I wanted America to fail”.
    That sums it up perfectly.

    They don’t care if we fail. Not as long as they can prosper at our expense.