Date ►►► October 30, 2013
GOP Abnormal Normalcy
Something just occurred to me anent the recent past of Republicans and elections:
- Ronald Reagan came across as a normal guy; he was elected twice.
- George H.W. Bush came across as a bit of an elitist, but Reagan's coattails pulled him through; however, he continued acting like a peevish aristo, and he lost his reelection.
- Blob Dole came across as a decrepit, out of touch blowhard; he lost his election.
- George W. Bush came across as a normal guy; he was elected twice.
- John "Crankshaft" McCain came across as a hectoring ancient mariner who boiled over at the slightest provocation, perpetually angry and moody; he lost his election.
- Mitt Romney came across as a plutocrat who didn't even know what ordinary people's lives were like, and he had a scary religion to boot; he lost his election.
(For what it may be worth, Democrat voters don't seem to mind voting for weirdos, perverts, and congenital liars who can't keep their fibs straight. The Left seems drawn to "cool" candidates.)
Looks to me like whenever the GOP nominee is a normal guy, we win. When the GOP nominee is a peevish primo don, a weirdo, or an American aristocrat more comfortable in Versailles than Virginia, we lose.
This revelation might have some relevance going forward.
Date ►►► October 26, 2013
Army To Fort Hood Soldiers: Shun Christers and Teabaggers!
...But did they warn them away from lunatic radical Moslems?
The Washington Times carries a bizarre story about an aptly named "counter intelligence" briefing at Fort Hood last week, in which soldiers were warned to steer clear of evangelical Christians and tea-party members, lest they be punished.
The Army officially denies any such threat was made, but two soldiers present at the meeting confirm it, and similar incidents have happened earlier:
The briefing was Oct. 17, and about a half-hour of it was devoted to discussion about how perceived radical groups -- like tea party organizations and the Christian-based American Family Association -- were "tearing the country apart," one unnamed soldier said, to Fox News.
Among the remarks the agent allegedly made: Military members who donate to these groups would be subject to discipline under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the soldier reported....
Another soldier in attendance at the meeting confirmed the threat of punishment was made, Fox News reported. But the Army officials at Fort Hood said in a Breitbart.com report that the soldiers’ claims weren’t true.
No word on what befalls a soldier who himself is either an evangelical Christian or a tea-partier; defenestration cannot be ruled out. And nobody claims that command warned soldiers to stay away the next time a commissioned, radical Islamist psychiatrist comes beetling through the Army base.
A Breitbart article (not the one mentioned above) puts the Fort Hood warning in context; a pattern or practice seems to be emerging:
[The Fort Hood counter-intelligence briefing] is just the latest outrage in a long train of disgraces. Just days ago, soldiers at Camp Shelby in Mississippi were instructed that the Christian conservative American Family Association is a domestic hate group. A month earlier, a security presentation portrayed the Founding Fathers as extremists. Before that, Breitbart News reported on a Christian chaplain who was officially censored by military commanders for talking about the importance of religious faith. And several months before that, Lt. Col. Jack Rich at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, instructed soldiers that traditional Christian beliefs are incompatible with "Army values."
All this started in April, when Breitbart News broke the story of top Pentagon brass meeting with an anti-Christian activist calling for court-martialing observant Christians who share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others in the military. This activist calls them "fundamentalist monsters" who are “enemies of the Constitution” and should be punished for "sedition and treason."
But it's not just a few isolated "wacko-birds," as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ, 92%) might put it; if we can trust a DoD training document from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act), treating traditional American values as seditious has become Army doctrine. The DEOMI document claims that it:
...provide[s] information that describes sources of extremism information, definitions, recruitment of DoD personnel, common themes in extremist ideologies, common characteristics of extremist organizations, DoD policies, and command functions regarding extremist activities.
On the same page [Breitbart.com summarizes], [the document] cites the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as an approved source for information -- and its affiliate Teaching Tolerance. It was SPLC that labeled the American Family Association a "domestic hate group," along with the Family Research Council... the Traditional Values Coalition, and various Tea Party organizations and conservative border-security/immigration groups. In short, SPLC labels as hate groups organizations that promote a traditional Christian view of marriage and other social issues, believe in border enforcement, or promote constitutional limited government....
This DEOMI document goes on several pages later to say that service members cannot participate in such organizations, raise funds for them, encourage others to support them, or attend public rallies organized by them. It then adds, "Furthering the objectives of extremist organizations is viewed as detrimental to the good order, discipline, or mission accomplishment of the unit and is, therefore, subject to appropriate disciplinary action." It tasks service members with "assist[ing] unit commanders in being vigilant about the existence of such activities."
Other than a routine denial by the powers that be, has anybody actually refuted the basic facts of this extraordinary charge?
- That the Southern Poverty Law Center (a radical left activist group that shrouds itself in "civil rights" issues) is now a primary source for determining what groups are extremist, seditious, or treasonous (EST).
- That the SPLC or other sources in the DoD have identified several Christian organizations and tea-party assemblies as EST on the basis of traditional religious and constitutional beliefs, without any evidence these groups have committed crimes or threatened the nation.
- That DoD briefers at many military bases have ordered members of the military to steer clear of fellow service members who espouse traditional Christian beliefs or the constitutional ideology of the Founders, and warned military personnel that they could be subject to punishment if they disobey these orders.
- That these briefings are not isolated incidents but actual DoD policy, generated from and coordinated by either the DoD itself, or perhaps coming from a higher elevation.
I ask because I have seen these charges for several months, but I have yet to see any response, other than "stuff and nonsense!"
Has any of you seen an effective, or at least serious, attempt to "refudiate" them? Because if the accusation is true, it's a stunning dereliction of duty -- and possibly an attempt to alienate the American military and government from the citizenry itself. (That would have even graver implications going forward; remember Tiananmen Square in 1989.)
Date ►►► October 13, 2013
I must share this YouTube with you all. The guy who plays this piece, Michele "Dr.Viossy" Vioni, is a member of (or is the entirety of, I'm not sure which) a tribute band to Dream Theater -- which I had never heard of before today, despite it being a successful and excellent band.
This piece is a tribute to a very different, somewhat older musician, however; have a listen...
All right, this is officially cool...!
Date ►►► October 9, 2013
Shutdown Victory - a Retrospective View From 2014
Contrary to the gloomy predictions of most conservative "pundants" (who tend towards pessimism even in the best of times), voters who "blame Republicans" today are unlikely still to blame them as the 2014 elections loom.
So the GOP should play this "17% shutdown" hand all the way through the debt-ceiling debate next week, without the morbid fear that the party will be demolished by the Democratic spin cycle. Even if their polling is driven down now, it will rebound sharply throughout the next year, as the horrors of Obamacare and other Obamunist policies enrage the citizenry and spook the horses.
Let's review what will have happened by October 9th, 2014:
- The "17% shutdown" will long be over, as will the "crisis" of the debt ceiling.
- It will have affected hardly anybody in the country beyond a quarter of the federal workforce -- who will certainly get their back pay.
When the truth leaks out -- and it will, you can't bury it forever -- voters will discover how they have been callously, even viciously manipulated by Barack "You didn't build this" Obama.
They will eventually discover that throughout the shutdown and debt-ceiling "crises," it was the Republicans who sent bill after bill to the Senate that would have made life under the "shutdown" much easier: authorizing spending on national parks, the NIH, vets' health care, Medicare and Medicaid, and on and on. Voters will eventually hear about the many compromise bills they passed, and how sincerely they tried to negotiation with an intransigent president who believes that, since he won reelection, that means he's the emperor, ruling by decree.
And they will also find out that Obama and his Democrat cronies in the Senate conspired to thwart every ameliorative bill, and did everything possible to make Americans' lives as miserable as possible, in an ugly attempt to create a phony baloney crisis... just so they could blame the GOP.
That is not going to sit well in 2014, when Obamacare really starts hitting home.
- The national hatred of Obamacare itself, as policy, will be much stronger and deeper, as more and more people get run over by the ObamaScare express.
- Republicans will have gotten something out of either the shutdown or out of the debt-ceiling negotiation (more likely the latter); Obama will be unable to maintain his utter intransigence for very long, especially when the debt-ceiling debate heats up, traditionally an opportunity for the opposition to negotiate a compromise. Even Democrats will begin defecting if the president maintains his mantra of "no negotiation, only abject, unconditional surrender." So the Republican fight today won't look like an utter futility next year.
- The GOP will convincingly be able to argue that it was only because they dug in their heels that anything positive happened; that makes the GOP fight a net positive, and they can run on that in 2014: "If it wasn't for us, you wouldn't have X, Y, and Z. Think how much worse it would be!"
- A half-dozen more scandals will have engulfed the Obama administration by the next elections; in this case, I think we can assume that past performance does predict future results. The non-issue of the shutdown will long since have been forgotten in the wake of the more immediate corruption and tyranny to come.
A year from today, despite the best efforts of the plantation media, all of these points will be well known to voters, via the most powerful communications medium ever invented: word of mouth, the gossip mill.
And a year from today, tens of millions of voters will have severe sticker shock from the staggering premium increases of Obamacare. They will look around and realize that there are fewer Americans with insurance, not more. And they will be confusticated by the bureaucratic B.S., the political looting, the rent-seeking and kickbacks that accompany every huge government program (see the New Deal, the Great Society, the War on Some Drugs).
And worst of all, Americans will witness first-hand the uncaring, anti-life nature of government medicine around the world, where ginned-up budget "crises" result in denial of health care and literal death panels... as we see in Great Britain, Japan, Canada, and everywhere else that has foolishly enacted what the Democrats admit is their ultimate goal. I think a huge swath of voters will come to see Obamacare as fundamentally unAmerican, a perverse inversion of traditional American values and beliefs.
Given the very high likelihood of such knowledge and such painful personal experience, tens of millions of voters will retroactively decide that the GOP was right all along: Republicans did good to do everything they could to stop it from happening, or delay it until we can get a new (and probably Republican) president.
Bottom line: Hardly anybody is affected by the so-called shutdown; but a majority of voters will be very adversely affected by Obamacare itself. I predict that a year from today, Obamacare will be a raging negative, while the slowdown will be seen in hindsight as a desperate and noble attempt to save America from that government nightmare.
People are always more affected by what's happening right now than what happened a year ago, and which barely touched them even at the time. Once the immediate hysteria over the "17% shutdown" subsides, Americans will be far angrier over Obamacare itself than over the GOP attempt to prevent it.
I suspect that a great many people attacking Republicans today will claim, a year from now, that they had fervently supported the shutdown all along; and they'll say, "See? I told you so!"
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