Time will tell, but I reject the somewhat cynical view that the House Republicans' vote to repeal Obamacare is purely symbolic. I think it's quite significant.
We are engaged in a war to save our nation from crippling debt and systematic assaults on our Constitution and our liberties and to preserve our prosperity. No setback has to become a permanent defeat. But neither will any victory remain secure, for the forces working against us are tireless and relentless.
No matter how many times history has proved socialism disastrous, there will always be those promoting it, as if the past never occurred or its lessons are unlearnable.
President Obama is receiving uniform praise for his memorial remarks in Tucson, Ariz. Even conservatives are saying he hit the right notes, substantively and tonally. I agree, with a few qualifiers and gentle cautions.
Obama was eloquent in his tribute to the victims and appropriately acknowledged that "none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack ... or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind."
More importantly, he said: "But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other. That we cannot do. ... Let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy; it did not."
Can you imagine the sheer audacity of outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sermonizing that repealing Obamacare would do "very serious violence to the national debt and deficit"? This is the woman whose four-year tenure as speaker saw the national debt explode from $8.67 trillion to $14.01 trillion.
She's the lady who boasted, "Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us. It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go." Such is the state of Pelosi's credibility that even 19 of her Democratic colleagues voted against her for speaker.
When it comes to a wide spectrum of issues, I'm not sure which planet Pelosi and her ilk of liberals inhabit, but the Obamacare fiasco takes their otherworldliness to another level altogether — and that's being charitable because it assumes they're innocently unaware of how wrong they are.
The congressional Republicans' decision to read the Constitution aloud on the floor of Congress has forced some Constitution-contemptuous liberals further out of the closet, which is an instructive development to behold.
Blogger Ezra Klein of The Washington Post told MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell that the constitutional reading is "a gimmick," and "the issue of the Constitution is not that people don't read the text and think they're following; the issue with the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than 100 years ago and what people believe it says differs from person to person and differs depending on what they want to get done."
This administration is abusive enough when it acts outside its constitutional authority, but it is even more tyrannical when it affirmatively thwarts the express will of the Congress on matters within the legislative domain.
When Congress denied Obama authority to transfer money to the International Monetary Fund, he did so anyway, issuing an executive order promising to give that body $140 billion for redistribution to Third World countries.
Now he's made another mockery of bipartisanship and the Constitution in making six recess appointments, including two people so objectionable that a near supermajority of Democratic senators wouldn't confirm them: James Cole as deputy attorney general, whose lax position in the war on terror is disturbing, and Francis J. Ricciardone Jr. as ambassador to Turkey.
It's that time of year when we are reminded just how indebted we are to the left's mega-tolerant cultural warriors. Annually, they jolt us out of our complacency to notice how imposing, intolerant and dangerous Christmas and Christianity are.
If it weren't for these valiant soldiers, this disturbing proliferation of Christmas celebrations and other Christian symbols would proceed unabated.
Each year, the examples are too voluminous to document exhaustively, but permit me to share a few highlights, which will enhance your appreciation for the sheer magnitude of the effort being undertaken by these selfless watchdogs committed to liberating our culture(s) from the oppressive chains of Christmas and Christianity. The noble work of these secular saints is global in scope because the threat they confront recognizes no geographic or national boundaries.
Conservatism and responsible government won a resounding victory in November's elections, and yet just a month later, we're witnessing legislative arrogance on a scale you wouldn't expect if voters had ratified the ruling class' sprint toward national bankruptcy. Can you imagine how it would be acting if it hadn't received a "shellacking"?
It seems that Washington is embracing all the principles and practices the voters soundly rejected, without the slightest indication it either received the message or cares. Are we seeing any evidence of greater transparency, a rejection of earmarks, budgetary restraint or legislative deliberation?
Everywhere we turn these days, it seems, leftists are undermining and attacking capitalism on moral grounds. Their criticisms are directed not at merely certain corrupt corporations or individuals who abuse the system, but at the system itself.
Sadly, few conservatives, even conservative Christians, are willing or prepared to defend capitalism's virtues. Rather than tout it in terms of liberty, they sheepishly apologize for its allegedly inherent greed.
It's a testament to the power of propaganda and the appeal of emotion over reason that a system that has produced the greatest prosperity in world history is castigated on moral grounds, while those systems that have proliferated abject misery, poverty, tyranny and subjugation are hailed as morally superior.
There's a lot of noise today about promoting political squishiness to a virtue and endorsing the notion that compromise for its own sake is noble. I uncompromisingly dissent.
First, let's understand that compromise for pragmatic purposes or out of political necessity is wholly different from compromise for its own sake. It is the latter I reject, recognizing that the former is, by definition, sometimes the best of the bad options. Those types of decisions have to be made on a case-by-case basis with a thorough evaluation of the available options and the short- and long-term implications of settling for the imperfect solution.
Have you noticed among the Obama-supporting elite a desperate agony upon realizing that he is not quite the messiah he made himself out to be and as which they willingly embraced him?
Many leftists are disgusted with Obama for supposedly betraying the cause on a number of issues, which tells us how irredeemably liberal they are. But their sense of betrayal runs deeper than ideology.
With the advent of the tea party movement and President Obama's recent "shellacking," the left's long-established effort to marginalize mainstream conservative Americans as fringe extremists has reached a new stage of desperation.
For at least the past half-century, the dominant media culture has portrayed minority liberalism as mainstream and conservatives as shrill malcontents. From the time I started paying attention to politics as a young kid, liberals have been demonizing conservatives as reactionary throwback Neanderthal knuckle-dragging, warmongering extremists.
Super-genius political science professor Charles H. Franklin of the University of Wisconsin, Madison recently gave loud voice to a widely held liberal belief: Ordinary Americans, especially conservative ones, are stupid.
At a conference by the Society of Professional Journalists, alternative newspaper editor Bill Lueders asked Franklin why "the public seemed to vote against its own interests and stated desires, for instance by electing candidates who'll drive up the deficit with fiscally reckless giveaways to the rich."
While we focus our scrutiny on President Obama's domestic agenda nightmare, we'd best not take our eyes off another big ball: Obama's frantic effort to get the New START ratified during the Senate's lame-duck session.
As usual, Obama is engaged in a full-court press, pretending that there is some urgency to formalizing this ill-conceived nuclear arms treaty with Russia, when the sole urgency is the upcoming change in the Senate's partisan composition.
To his credit, Republican Sen. Jon Kyl announced his opposition to a vote on the treaty this year, which sent Obama into overdrive. He dispatched Defense Secretary Robert Gates to buy off Kyl's opposition with an illusory promise to spend an extra $4 billion on nuclear programs.
President Obama's fiercest obstacles as chief executive are neither recalcitrant Republicans nor the increasing complexity and demands of the job; they are his ideology and his political allegiances.
Newsweek sees it differently. In its latest issue, it laments: "The presidency has grown, and grown and grown, into the most powerful, most impossible job in the world. ... The issue is not Obama, it's the office. ... Can any single person fully meet the demands of the 21st-century presidency?"
If preliminary rumblings from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform's upcoming report are accurate, I'm afraid the conservative agenda — though overwhelmingly victorious in last week's elections — might be against the ropes again, especially with GOP congressmen praising the report.
Our astronomical deficits are the result not of low taxes, but of profligate spending. So why do we accept the premise that the starting point for deficit and debt reduction discussions must be various tax hikes, tolerating unacceptably high levels of spending, and seeming to take off the table the eradication of programs the government was never intended or constitutionally authorized to establish in the first place?
Many commentators are speculating whether President Obama will move to the center or "triangulate" in order to salvage part of his agenda and increase his chances for re-election. I don't believe he has either the inclination to move or the political skills to successfully pretend to (or otherwise outmaneuver Republicans), which leads me to conclude his re-election will depend less on his shenanigans and more on how the GOP acquits itself.
Dick Morris recently argued that Obama will not be able to move to the center or triangulate "because — even if he wanted to — he can't. The issues today are very different from those that separated the parties in 1994 and do not lend themselves to common ground." I agree with Dick but also think there's more to it.
I take no great pleasure in having been correct in predicting Barack Obama's reaction to his Tuesday "shellacking." To borrow his terminology, he is wired not to hear the American people's opposition to his radical agenda, as painfully demonstrated in his postelection news conference.
Unhappily, Obama's answers showed even deeper intransigence than I had thought he would be willing to reveal. He is every bit as committed to his destructive agenda as he was Nov. 1 and, despite his claims, is not looking for "common ground."
He said that every election "is a reminder that in our democracy, power rests not with those of us in elected office, but with the people we have the privilege to serve." But if anyone needs to be reminded of that, it is he, because he crammed through Obamacare and other offensive agenda items against the express will of the people.
Why were liberals were so insanely paranoid about the alleged nefarious activities of President George W. Bush? Projection, anyone? They were mortified at Bush's alleged encroachment on our individual liberties, but now that they're in control, we see where liberty ranks on their list of priorities.
We've always known that the term "liberal," in modern parlance, is an oxymoron. Today's liberals are the exact opposite of the classical liberals of yesteryear, who actually believed in limited government and free markets.
Liberals have been seducing Americans out of their liberties for decades with false promises of security. Prior to Obama, we were on a slow march toward statism, but now we are on a rapid gallop.
Many are preoccupied speculating about the magnitude of the impending Republican electoral victory, but I don't think it's putting the cart before the horse to caution that we also ought to be concerned — now — about what Republicans will do if they do recapture control.
The Republicans' power will obviously be limited, even if they emerge with majorities in both chambers, because Obama will remain in charge of the coequal executive branch. So how should the GOP proceed?
The reflexive Beltway response is that it ought to compromise with Obama to produce legislation. But there are a number of problems with that premise.
Contrary to his self-portrayal as post-partisan, Obama is a dogmatic ideologue who is so determined to "fundamentally change" America that he will remain on point, even if it means relegating himself to one term. He might pretend to move to the center, but his life's mission, from which he will not be deterred, is to move America way leftward.
It is interesting and disappointing that so many politicians treat "faith" — at least the Christian faith — as a poison pill they cannot touch, much less swallow. Republicans often run from it because of PC intimidation, and Democrats because it's in their DNA to do so.
Just in case anyone mistakenly believes Obama has heard (or gives a rip about) the loud voice of the American people rejecting his socialism, appeasement, unconstitutional abuses of power and unpresidential combativeness and divisiveness, let me share a few tidbits.
--After House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, issued a damning critique of Obama's economic policies, the administration's economic philosopher Joe Biden issued a rebuttal, assuring us it was their predecessor who got us into this mess. That's novel.
--Obama renewed his war on Fox News, saying it is a "destructive" force in American society, while the White House lauded MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow as providing "an invaluable service" to America.
--Rep. Paul Ryan reports that Obama's latest "fiscal year ends in fiscal failure." Congress broke for recess, "prioritizing election over stopping looming tax hikes." It failed to complete any of the 12 annual appropriations bills, pass a budget resolution and stop the tax increases.
I find these daily investigative forays into Judge Roberts' decades-old work product amusing, until I consider that those writing these stories must truly be serious.
Check out this story in the Washington Post today titled, "In Article, Roberts' Pen Appeared to Dip South." It seems that when Roberts was "ghostwriting" an article for President Reagan for the National Forum journal on "The Presidency: Roles and Responsibilities," he left a handwritten, self-editing trail, as I suppose he frequently did -- as did Reagan himself, as we know.
Now, here's the big scoop. In one section of the draft, he began a sentence with the words, "Until about the time of the Civil War." Then, according to the Post, he "scratched out the words, 'Civil war' and replaced them with 'War Between the States.'"
The New York Times relates a touching story in an editorial about a lady (Victoria Ruvolo) who not only forgave, but powerfully comforted a man who had nearly killed her (Ryan Cushing) when the two met face to face outside the courtroom where Cushing had just entered his guilty plea.
Cushing tossed a turkey through Ruvolo's car windshield last fall. She "needed many hours of surgery to rebuild her shattered facial bones."
According to the Times, Ruvolo cradled Cushing's head as he sobbed and begged for her forgiveness. She told him, "It's O.K.; it's O.K. I just want you to make your life the best it can be."
Curiously couched in the middle of this otherwise fine editorial was this gratuitous paragraph:
Though this little incident happened a few days ago -- Wednesday -- seeing David Gregory's name in a post today triggered my memory and I decided to post an entry on it. Subbing for Chris Matthews on "Hardball," Gregory was interviewing Katherine Harris, who has declared her candidacy for the Senate.
First, I must confess that I was disappointed in Katherine Harris's performance and I say this with reluctance, because I like and admire the woman. I continue to be impressed with her courageousness and tenacity during the 2000 Florida ordeal. But I wish someone would talk to her handlers. From beginnning to end, her interview with Gregory appeared to be a canned, forced, annoyingly unresponsive and programmed campaign harangue. No matter what Gregory asked her, she would briefly respond, if at all, and then immediately launch into generalities about her excitement to be in the race and working for the people, etc. I acccept all that as true, but she really didn't come off well in doing this.