Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Pelosi’

LinkSwarm for November 14, 2014

Friday, November 14th, 2014

There’s been so many people offering up so much information on “GruberGate” that I assume anyone reading this blog has seen coverage of it already. The fact that Jonathan Gruber not only lied to the American voters he called “stupid” about ObamaCare, but also got paid $400,000 to do it certainly adds insult to injury. As does the fact that both Nancy Pelosi and members of Obama’s MSM praetorian guard like Vox’s Sarah Kliff are now lying about Gruber’s central involvement in ObamaCare despite having cited him in that capacity earlier.

In other news:

  • Some really interesting nuggets of midterm statistical analysis from Sabato’s Crystal Ball. (Hat tip: SooperMexican’s Twitter feed.)
  • Republicans did very well picking up governorships, including some in deep-blue states.
  • Scott Walker just keeps winning.
  • More on the theme: “Does Walker sizzle? Not exactly. Is he a particularly charismatic speaker? No, he isn’t. But does he sit upon a throne made of the skulls of his enemies? Yes, yes he does.” (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Britain is poised to silence “extremist” speech. And who gets to determine what’s “extremist”? Why, the government, of course!

    Last month, May unveiled her ambition to “eliminate extremism in all its forms.” Whether you’re a neo-Nazi or an Islamist, or just someone who says things which betray, in May’s words, a lack of “respect for the rule of law” and “respect for minorities”, then you could be served with an extremism disruption order (EDO).

    Why do I get the impression that people pointing out Pakistani Muslim involvement in the Rotherham child rape scandals will be among the first targeted by this new law?

  • It’s not just the British who fail to investigate sex crimes: New Orleans police only investigated 14% of sex crimes.
  • Professional feminists have spent more time and energy denouncing video games than the sale and rape of girls in Nigeria and Iraq.”
  • “Honest, decent and intelligent people rightly perceive feminism as a limitless doctrine of fanatical hatred….Feminism isn’t about equality. Feminism is about hate.”
  • “Twitter has empowered leftist feminists to have a censorship field day.”
  • Just when the authoritarian left thought they had finally won the culture wars along came #GamerGate.
  • Time has a poll on which word should be “banned” in 2015. “Feminist” not only gets the most votes, it pretty much gets as many votes as all the rest combined.
  • Ted Cruz was right about the shutdown. It turns out that showing Republicans are opposed to horribly unpopular Democratic programs is popular with voters. Who knew?
  • Fake Maine hate crime ends up with accuser charged with “reckless conduct with dangerous weapon and driving to endanger.”
  • Democratic state Rep. Ron Reynolds’ barratry case has been declared a mistrial.
  • Islamist suicide bomber kills 50 at a high school in Nigeria.
  • Via Dwight of Whipped Cream Difficulties comes this Jim Schutze piece on how The Texas Tribune’s vaunted independence meant bupkis when it came to the Wallace Hall case.
  • China Vows To Begin Aggressively Falsifying Air Pollution Numbers.”
  • Price manipulation in the gold market?
  • Correction: Last week I gave the impression that Republican Carl DiMaio had won his California U.S. congressional race. That is what the early returns indicated, but he ended up losing a close race.
  • Here’s a dog story that will make your blood boil.
  • District Judge Strikes Down ObamaCare’s Contraceptive Mandate

    Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

    U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan struck down the ObamaCare contraceptive mandate. If you read the actual decision, it’s a smackdown of both the mandate itself and the Obama Administration’s position on same;

    As for the self-certification requirement, the Court rejects the Government’s position that plaintiffs may be compelled to perform affirmative acts precluded by their religion if a court deems those acts merely “de minimis.” This argument – which essentially reduces to the claim that completing the self-certification places no burden on plaintiffs’ religion because “it’s just a form” – finds no support in the case law. As discussed, where a law places substantial pressure on a plaintiff to perform affirmative acts contrary to his religion, the Supreme Court has found a substantial burden without analyzing whether those acts are de minimis.”

    Cogan ruled against some of the plantiff’s arguments on other technical issues, but on the central issues of the case he ruled “the Mandate burdens plaintiffs’ religion by coercing them into authorizing third parties to provide this coverage through the self-certification requirement, an act forbidden by plaintiffs’ religion.”

    On his Facebook page, Ted Cruz hailed the ruling as a “Major victory for religious liberty.”

    Gabriel Malor of Ace of Spades has analyzed the ruling in more detail.

    Cogan’s ruling deals specifically with religious non-profits covered by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and as such does not directly affect the Hobby Lobby case the Supreme Court will be taking up (“none of these cases bear directly on the issue at hand”). However, his overall reasoning, if applied to that case, could very well lead to ruling that the contraceptive mandate is an unconstitutional burden on freedom of religious conscious as well.

    Remember, the fervor with which Nancy Pelosi refused to remove the contraceptive mandate and taxpayer-funded abortion from ObamaCare, even when it cost most of Bart Stupak ostensibly “pro-life” Democrats their seats, indicated that liberals regarded those sections as one of act’s most important features. If Cogan’s ruling is upheld, this is not only a major victory for religious liberty, but also a huge blow to ongoing Democratic attempts to marginalize religion in American life.

    Also remember that ObamaCare has no severability clause. If Judge Cogan’s ruling is upheld, there’s still a chance (though by no means a guarantee) that the rest of the act can be found unconstitutional as well.

    Nick Lampson: “We need greater civility. That’s why I’m going to shove your camera away.”

    Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

    Obviously Democratic 14th Congressional District candidate (and former congressman) Nick Lampson really doesn’t like being asked how often he voted with Nancy Pelosi in the middle of his lecture on bipartisanship.

    I talked about the CD14 race between Lampson and Randy Weber earlier this week.

    (Hat tip: David Bellow)

    Some Occupiers Are More Equal Than Others

    Sunday, November 20th, 2011

    I haven’t been covering Occupy [Place Name Here] because other people have been doing such a bang-up job of it, and because, objectively, it simply isn’t important. But the latest development is too tasty not to mention.

    A few weeks ago, when it turns out there was $500,000 just sitting in a bank to support OWS, the “leaderless movement” suddenly found out that they had leaders, who appeared without all that pesky “democracy” and “consensus” they kept talking about:

    On Sunday, October 23, a meeting was held at 60 Wall Street. Six leaders discussed what to do with the half-million dollars that had been donated to their organization, since, in their estimation, the organization was incapable of making sound financial decisions. The proposed solution was not to spend the money educating their co-workers or stimulating more active participation by improving the organization’s structures and tactics. Instead, those present discussed how they could commandeer the $500,000 for their new, more exclusive organization. No, this was not the meeting of any traditional influence on Wall Street. These were six of the leaders of Occupy Wall Street (OWS).

    Occupy Wall Street’s Structure Working Group (WG) has created a new organization called the Spokes Council. “Teach-ins” were held to workshop and promote the Spokes Council…

    According to Marisa Holmes, one of the most outspoken and influential leaders of OWS, the NYC-GA started receiving donations from around the world when OWS began on September 17. Because the NYC-GA was not an official organization, and therefore could not legally receive thousands of dollars in donations, the nonprofit Alliance for Global Justice helped OWS create Friends of Liberty Plaza, which receives tax-free donations for OWS. Since then, Friends of Liberty Plaza has received over $500,000. Until October 28, anybody who wanted to receive more than $100 from Friends of Liberty Plaza had to go through the often arduous modified consensus process (90% majority) of the NYC-GA—which, despite its well-documented inefficiencies, granted $25,740 to the Media WG for live-stream equipment on October 12, and $1,400 to the Food and Medical WGs for herbal tonics on October 18.

    At the teach-in, Ms. Holmes maintained that while the NYC-GA is the “de facto” mechanism for distributing funds, it has no right to do so, even though she acknowledged that most donors were likely under the impression that the NYC-GA was the only organization with access to these funds. Two other leaders of the teach-in, Daniel and Adash, concurred with Holmes.

    Ms. Holmes also stated at the teach-in that five people in the Finance WG have access to the $500,000 raised by Friends of Liberty Plaza. When Suresh Fernando, the man taking notes, asked who these people are, the leaders of the Structure WG nervously laughed and said that it was hard to keep track of the “constantly fluctuating” heads of the Finance WG. Mr. Fernando made at least four increasingly explicit requests for the names. Each request was turned down by the giggling, equivocating leaders.

    The leaders of the Structure WG eventually regained control of the teach-in. They said that they too were unhappy with the Finance WG’s monopoly over OWS’s funds, which is why they wanted to create the Spokes Council. What upset them more, however, was the inefficient and fickle General Assembly. A major point of the discussion was whether the Spokes Council and the NYC-GA should have access to the funds, or just the Spokes Council….

    When my turn came to speak, I brought up the plans of “the leaders of the allegedly leaderless movement” to commandeer the half-million dollars sent to the General Assembly for their new, exclusive, undemocratic, representational organization. Before I could finish, the facilitators and other members of the OWS inner circle started shouting over me. Amidst the confusion, the human mic stopped projecting what I, or anybody was saying. Because silence was what they were after, the leaders won.

    Eventually one of the facilitators regained control of the crowd and explained that I was speaking “opinions, not facts,” which is why I would not be allowed to continue. He also asserted untruthfully that I had gone over my allotted minute. Notably, the facilitators and members of the OWS inner circle regularly ignore time restrictions.

    This reaction shouldn’t surprise anyone. It is reasonable to expect any undemocratic organization to be co-opted eventually by a vocal minority or charismatic individual. On Friday, October 29, the proposal to create the Spokes Council was put to the NYC-GA for a fifth time, and finally received a 90% majority. The facilitators assisted the process by denying two vocal critics of the Spokes Council their allotted time to speak against it.

    So who is party of the shadowy “Finance Working Group”? Well, one of them is “Pete Dutro, 34, a tattoo artist and former software project manager who dropped out of an NYU finance degree program to join the occupation.”

    It must be a real hardship for Dutro to give up his education to handle all that money while sleeping in a park. Or it would be, if he weren’t using that money to stay in a $700 a night hotel.

    Fritz Tucker, the Occupy participant quoted so extensively above, said of the funding takeover that “I felt like I was watching a local production of Animal Farm.” Having already deployed that metaphor, one wonder what he would have left to say about Mr. Dutro’s swanky hotel. If you put that in a novel, your editor would make you take it out because the symbolism was too heavy-handed.

    From the very first Occupy Wall Street has struck me as a movement ginned-up by Obama’s left-wing allies, using a mixture of the usual circus who attend any left-wing rally plus some paid stooges and naive joiners, designed to distract attention from Obama scandals like Fast and Furious and Solyandra, and created out of a sense of “Tea Party Envy” on the left. But while Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street tentatively agree on one big economic problem (namely, crony capitalism), their approaches to solving it are radically different. The Tea Party wants to get rid of the cronyism, but the Occupy Wall Street crowd wants to keep the cronyism, but get rid of the capitalism.

    In some ways you have to admire the efficiency of the operation. After all it took more than 200 years of the Republic before people like Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry were able to pervert democratic institutions the system enough to reap the full benefits of crony capitalism, but Pete Dutro has managed to go from misplaced idealism to outright looting in under two months!

    Despite the risible “99%” posturing, Occupy Wall Street is being run by, and for, the Democratic Party and their left-wing fellow travelers: ACORN, unions, the MSM. (Has any Occupy [Place Name Here] protester ever called for smaller government and less spending?) Which is why its ironic that the only people it’s actually inconveniencing are those who live and work in the hearts of very large metropolitan areas, i.e. largely the same Obama-voting urban liberal elite who already seemed to believe in the risible class war tripe peddled by the Occupy Wall Street crowd. All it’s doing now is eating up municipal budgets and alienating independent potential Obama voters.

    A few more random Occupy Wall Street tidbits:

  • Here’s a handy chart for which crimes have been committed at which occupy sites.
  • Dark Knight creator Frank Miller weighs in in a nice juicy that has the panties of various leftist comics fans in a knot. “’Occupy’ is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.” However, I wonder if it’s he jabs at Occupy that has really steamed them as much as his jab at that most sacred of victim groups, radical Islam. Given Wiscon’s disinviting of Elizabeth Moon over the very mildest of criticisms of Islam, I’m guessing the latter.
  • Being creatures of the left, the Occupy [Place Name Here] crowd have never complained about Obama’s extensive ties with Goldman Sachs.
  • Here’s a hedge fund manager offering up talking points for Occupy Wall Street. However, since he’s discussing the various government distortions of the market that lead to the current situation (he even mentions Solyndra!), I feel confident in predicting that none of the current Occupy crowd will take him up on it.
  • Mark Steyn’s essay on Occupy.
  • Anthony Weiner’s Seat Could Be a 2012 Pickup Target for Republicans

    Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

    So now that Anthony Weiner has fessed up to twitting his Little Tony to multiple women, what’s next? He claims he won’t resign, despite Nancy Pelosi asking for a House ethics committee investigation. A poll on whether Weiner should resign was evenly split, though interestingly, more men than women said he should resign: “42 percent of women agreed that Weiner should pull out.” This poll was of all NYC rather than just the 9th Congressional District.

    I remember thinking that the scandal would have very little impact on 2012 elections, since Weiner’s 9th district is in New York City, and thus a deep blue liberal stronghold Republicans have no chance of picking up.

    But now that I’ve looked into it more closely, the answer is: Not so much. Despite Weiner being one of the most liberal Democrats in congress, New York’s 9th Congressional District is probably the least liberal congressional district in New York City. Indeed, the district seems to be drawn to get white voters out of other NYC majority minority districts. Obama only beat McCain there 55% to 44%, much worse than Gore’s 67%-30% drubbing of Bush there in 2000, and Weiner only pulled in 60.8% of the vote against an underfunded Republican opponent in 2010,about which Hotline on Call notes: “For Weiner, that was a limp performance.”

    Whether Weiner resigns or not, New York’s Ninth congressional district will still be a tough target for Republicans, but not an impossible one. It just went from “Solid Democrat” to merely a “Strong Lean.”

    Pelosi Thanks Bush

    Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

    To congratulate him for taking a leading role in hunting down Osama Bin laden.

    And the moon became as blood…

    The Case For (and Against) Intervention in Libya

    Monday, April 4th, 2011

    A few weeks ago, the United States (and Obama) could have delivered a knock-out punch to the heinous regime of Moammar Gadhafi. A clear-cut victory over a tottering tyrant was within our grasp, an outcome that would have benefited us, the western world in general, the Libyan people in specific, and put America on the right side of history when it actually mattered. Maybe we could have even helped pick the least tainted of Gadhafi’s generals to turn, or install the least odious of the rebels in a temporary government that might not immediately impose a hard-line Islamist state. Such are the limited goals possible under a realistic policy in the middle east.

    However, the Obama administration’s case of “the slows” and an insistence on playing “mother may I” with the UN has snatched defeat (or at least stalemate) from the jaws of victory. As Michael Totten put it, “I have a sinking feeling that what we’re seeing right now over the skies of Libya is too little, too late.” By waiting until momentum had shifted back to Gadhafi’s forces, Obama has altered the entire enterprise from one of achieving a quick and decisive victory to one of very possibly ensuring a long, expensive, and indecisive stalemate. People have been comparing it to Bush43’s decision to go into Iraq in 2003. However, to my mind it has the potential to work out more like Bush41 decision not to let Schwarzkopf take Baghdad during the first Gulf War: a decision that could result in a brutal dictator staying in power due to our weak-willed deference to both the status quo antebellum and undemocratic Arab allies, resulting in an ongoing stalemate and an open-ended commitment that will drain our military’s time, money and attention until someone else has to clean up the mess many years down the road.

    Liberal Democrat John B. Judis in The New Republic has similar thoughts:

    Obama did the absolutely worst thing—he called for Qaddafi’s ouster, but did not do anything about it, and discouraged others from doing so. It’s one thing for Costa Rica to call for the ouster of an African despot. It’s quite another thing for the United States, which is still the major outside power in the region, to do so. Obama’s call for Qaddafi’s ouster encouraged Libyan rebels to push ahead in the hope of American active support, only to face Qaddafi’s mercenary armies.

    Some politicians (like Newt Gingrich, who is as unimpressive a Presidential candidate as he was impressive his first two years as Speaker of the House)) just can’t make up their minds on the issue. (And here’s Ace calling him on it.)

    The case for using military intervention in Libya is considerably weaker than that Bush43 had when he went into Iraq, thanks to Saddam Hussein’s violation of numerous terms of the agreement Iraq signed upon ending the first Gulf War. While Libya is certainly an outlaw regime, it was not nearly the outlaw (or nearly the threat) Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was, especially after Gadhafi’s agreement to abandon his own WMD programs in the wake of the Gulf War. Still, to say the case is weaker is not to say there’s no case at all. Here then, are the pros and cons on each side of the issue:

    The Case For U.S. Military Intervention in Libya

    1. Moammar Gadhafi is a brutal tyrant who oppresses his own people. Few beyond Gadhafi’s most fanatical supporters in the U.S. (I’m looking at you, Louis Farrakhan) dispute this. For more details of just what Gadhafi has done to Libya, I give you Michael Totten’s account of his trip there.

    2. Gadhafi-trained terrorists were behind the Berlin disco bombing in 1986, killing three people (including two U.S. servicemen), injuring 230 others, and prompting President Reagan to launch an air strike in retaliation.
    3. Moammar Gadhafi is an active supporter of Islamic terrorism against Western civilians. While Gadhafi’s support of terrorism waned somewhat following his agreement to give up his nuclear program, they never ended entirely. Libyan trained terrorists have been active throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
    4. Many of our allies were in favor of this intervention. There is much to be said for giving a hand to our military allies when asked. Given that supporting the liberation in Iraq probably (eventually) cost Tony Blair his job as PM, it’s only fair that we give a respectful hearing to David Cameron when he comes asking for help. (Also, let’s be fair and give credit where credit is due: Obama didn’t forget Poland.)
    5. The far left is against it. Among those outright opposed or expressing reservations are Dennis Kucinich, Maxine Walters and Shelia Jackson Lee, Jesse Jackson, and the left’s favorite useful idiot, Cindy Sheehan. (Let’s give Sheehan credit for consistency, as she’s been pretty vocal about the failure of the rest of the Democratic Party to join her in Happy Pacifist LaLa Land.) Given that lot’s record of being constantly wrong about almost everything, maybe Obama made the right call about getting involved. Then again, a stopped watch is still right twice a day, and I’m sure the jolly pinkos at The Nation would be solidly against invading Canada or Japan.
    6. If not now, when? Gadhafi was never going to be in a weaker position than having an active, popular revolt going on against him.
    7. Our intervention was approved by the UN. I put this one last because the UN is essentially pretty worthless.

    The Case Against U.S. Military Intervention in Libya

    1. Gadhafi’s Libya was not a threat to the United States. Well, before we started bombing him, anyhow. By his standards, Gadhafi was playing nice with the U.S. the last several years.

    2. There were much nastier regimes and bigger threats to American interests in the region. Iran and Syria are both bigger threats and more hostile to U.S. interests than Libya was. Hamasistan in Gaza and Hezbollia in Lebanon are both much bigger threats to peace and regional stability. Saudi Arabia continues to play its double-game of professions of public support for the U.S. while undermining us by funding Wahabbist radical Islam around the world. All are more worrisome and deserving of revolution than Libya.
    3. There are regimes who treat their people much more brutally than Gadhafi was treating his. North Korea and Sudan both come to mind.
    4. Obama did not obtain permission from Congress before sending U.S. troops into combat. I do not believe that the War Powers Resolution is constitutional, but when committing troops to a military action that is not required by an immediate threat to U.S. citizens (Libya is at least ten times a “war of choice rather than necessity” than Iraq was), it’s probably a good idea to seek Congressional approval. Obama failed to do this.
    5. Despite being accused of “going it alone,” Bush had twice as many coalition partners going into Iraq than Obama had gone into Libya. Including such vital U.S. allies as Australia, Japan and South Korea, missing from Obama’s coalition. (To be fair, the absence of Turkey is largely for reasons beyond Obama’s control.)
    6. Screw France. Given France’s failure to support us in Iraq, there’s no particular reason we should be doing their job for them in Libya (notwithstanding the fact that Nicolas Sarkozy is a vast improvement on Jacques Chirac).
    7. Some of the biggest idiots among congressional Democrats, people whose instinct is almost unerringly in its wrongheadedness, like John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and Harry Reid are backing Obama’s war in Libya. So the insane wing of the Democratic Party is against the war, while the corrupt wing is for it. No wonder Republicans feel so conflicted.
    8. The Libyan rebels may be a small and poorly armed force of less than 1,000. Does it actually help to support the slightly-less-evil side in a civil war when they end up getting crushed anyway?
    9. Some of the people against Gadhafi are terrorist scumbags. Like the Islamic Emirate of Barqa or Muslim brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. (Other observers have asserted that there is little evidence of Al Qaeda support of the rebels in Libya, and in Benghazi, Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, interviewed by Michael Totten, says that the ones she has met so far “are mainly young, educated, middle class, urban people with a powerful wish for democracy.”)
    10. There’s a good chance that, even if they’re not the driving force in the rebellion, Jihadists forces may come out on top in a post-Gadhafi power struggle. In the Middle East, as in most non-Democratic societies, power comes from the muzzle of a gun, and Jihadests tends to be best armed and organized groups, making them prime candidates to fill any power vacuum, including the one in Libya.
    11. Obama’s Libyan adventure is incompatible with the limited defensive goals of a Constitutional Republic. You know, as opposed to every other U.S. use of military force since (at least) World War II. Look, this essay is already long enough without rehashing the forward defense vs. Fortress America, Internationalism vs. Isolationism, Ron Paul vs. George W. Bush debate. That ship has sailed. But I include the point for the sake of completeness.

    Ultimately, a decision to go to war is a lot more complex than a list of pros and cons can capture. I find myself coming down, ever-so-slightly and tentatively, on the side of taking Gadhafi out, based mainly on his past involvement in killing Americans, and by the classic Texas “he needed killin'” principle. But this applies only if the rebels actually win and kill Gadhafi. If not, Obama’s Libyan intervention will be an ill-advised failure, doubly-so if we’re still enforcing a no-fly zone (ala Iraq 1992-2003) a year from now. As Micheal Kinsley put it:

    If Kadafi is still in power a year from now, even if he is obeying the no-fly rules, it will be regarded worldwide as more evidence of America’s decline as a great power and regarded in America as evidence that Democrats in general and Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton in particular are not ready to play foreign policy with the big children.

    Nor does it convince us that Hillary Clinton is ready to sit at the big kid’s table when she blathers on about Bashar Assad being a reformer.

    Thomas Sowell says that Obama’s Libya policy is incoherent (as indeed it is).

    Even more damning is Steven Metz’s piece in The New Republic, mainly because it’s a defense (or at least notes toward a defense) of Obama’s policy from a pro-Obama publication:

    Obama’s Libya strategy is designed to avoid the most undesirable outcomes rather than optimize the chances of a desired outcome, to do something without “owning” the conflict, to maintain maximum flexibility as the situation evolves, and to do all of this in the face of powerful constraints.

    That’s right, Obama isn’t playing to win in Libya, he’s playing not to lose. And playing not to lose is a good way to get your ass handed to you on a plate. (Just ask Guy Lewis how well that strategy worked when the Hakeem Olajuwon/Clyde Drexler-led Phi Slamma Jamma Houston Cougars played the NC State Wolfpack for the NCAA national championship in 1983.) Say what you want about Bush43’s war in Iraq, but he was playing to win, which is why neither Saddam Hussein nor his kin are still around to bedevil the world. Obama’s playing not to lose, while Gadhafi is playing not to die. Who do you think is going to be more motivated? As Mark Steyn notes:

    President Obama’s position, insofar as one can pin it down, seems to be that he’s not in favor of Qaddafi remaining in power but he isn’t necessarily going to do anything to remove him therefrom. According to NBC, Qaddafi was said to be down in the dumps about his prospects until he saw Obama’s speech, after which he concluded the guy wasn’t serious about getting rid of him, and he perked up. He’s certainly not planning on going anywhere. There is an old rule of war that one should always offer an enemy an escape route. Instead, David Cameron, the British prime minister, demanded that Qaddafi be put on trial. So the Colonel is unlikely to trust any offers of exile, and has nothing to lose by staying to the bitter end and killing as many people as possible.

    Says Jed Babbin:

    This is mission creep, Obama style. And no one knows where it will lead because the president apparently intends to go much farther than our NATO allies have agreed, and to continue much longer than they will be able to help.

    Here’s still more from Mark Steyn. He also had this to say:

    With his usual unerring instinct, Barack Obama has chosen to back the one Arab liberation movement who can’t get rid of the local strongman even when you lend them every functioning Nato air force…I guess it all comes down to how serious President Sarkozy is about knocking off Gaddafi. If he’s not, then Libya will be yet another in America’s six-decade-long pantheon of unwon wars…A cynic might almost think the point of the exercise was to demonstrate to the world the superpower’s impotence

    Despite all this, could our intervention in Libya end up creating a modern, functioning democracy? Well, it’s possible, but deeply, deeply unlikely. Then again, even more deeply unlikely things have come to pass in world politics. Soviet hardliners launching an unsuccessful coup that collapsed after a couple of days with only three people dead and inadvertently hastening the demise of the Soviet Union was deeply unlikely. Asa K. Jennings, an American YMCA director saving the lives of the 350,000 people from certain death by declaring himself head the the U.S. relief effort during the Great Fire of Smyrna, shaming the Greek government into giving him use of the Greek fleet, and convincing Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to let him rescue Christians and Jews from the invested city, was a deeply, deeply unlikely outcome. (Someone could make a great film about Jenning’s life.) So it’s possible that Obama’s intervention in Libya might have an optimal outcome in the same way that betting 00 on roulette can earn you a pile of money…but it’s not something you’d be willing to stake your fortune on.

    The Magic of Self-Delusion (or Why Nancy Pelosi Would Rather Die Than Let You Keep Your Own Money)

    Monday, December 13th, 2010

    The deal Obama struck to extended all the Bush tax cuts is good for America, and also good for the Republican Party. When it was struck, however, the liberal howls of outrage made me think of one other outcome which, while not as good for the nation, would be even better for Republicans: If Nancy Pelosi blocked the deal, the Bush tax cuts (and long-term unemployment) temporarily lapse until the new Republican House takes over in January, at which point they pass a tax cut extension at least as strong as the Obama deal, and probably stronger. So in order to make the point how opposed Democrats are to letting rich people (or “rich” people) keep their own money, they’re willing to let the long-term unemployed stop getting checks for a month (and probably longer), delay economic recovery at least that long, let Republicans pick up an even bigger victory and take all the credit for the deal, make Obama look weaker and make the Democratic Party in general, and Pelosi’s House Democrats in particular, look even more petulant, shrill, and extreme.

    That appears to be exactly what’s going to happen. It’s like some perfect storm of liberal fail.

    The reasons why House Democrats are undertaking such counterproductive and self-destructive behavior probably requires the insights of a psychiatrist more than a political scientist. In the 2010 elections, voters rejected the liberal agenda about as thoroughly as any domestic political agenda has been rejected in our lifetimes. After two years of trying to push the most liberal agenda since LBJ’s “Great Society” expansion of the welfare state in the 1960s, Democrats suffered massive losses, most dramatically in the House, for a switch of 63 seats. For a graphic depiction of how thoroughly liberalism has been rejected, take a look at this Real Clear Politics map of incoming House seats:

    Not only are liberals unwilling to consider why their agenda was rejected by voters, they’re unwilling to even consider that their agenda was rejected. Rather than face up to that unpleasant fact, the nutroots have embraced a far more psychologically satisfying (if political suicidal) explanation for their tidal wave of defeats: Democrats lost the 2010 Election because they just weren’t liberal enough:

    I’m sure I could come up with 10-15 other examples. It’s like that episode of The Critic where Jay Sherman remembers being rejected by a woman he was trying to pick up: “Eww, I don’t like that memory at all! Let’s look at it again through the magic of self-delusion!” All those congressmen lost because they just weren’t as awesomely liberal as I am! High five! Inside the liberal reality bubble, the Democratic Party’s biggest mistake was getting Blue Dog Democrats to run in marginal districts in the first place, and if they had just run people with positions closer to Nancy Pelosi or Alan Grayson in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania, they would have done better.

    Of course, outside the liberal reality bubble, this idea is a laughably naive exercise in vainglorious wish fulfillment. It’s also easily disproven. Take a look at the contrasting fates of Tom Perriello and Jason Altmire.

    Perriello was the golden boy Democratic freshman Representative from Virginia who was not only the darling of liberals, but also loftily declared that he would rather vote for ObamaCare and be defeated than vote against it and be re-elected. Democrats pulled out all the stops to save his seat, sending him $1.6 million over a 10-day period and having Obama appear personally on his behalf. If the nutroots theory that liberals just needed a candidate worth fighting for to lure them to the polls to assure victory were correct, Perriello should have been a shoe-in. He lost.

    Altmire, by contrast, was one of those loathsome “Blue Dog Democrats” that so many liberals feel are merely Republicans in disguise. He voted against ObamaCare. If liberal theories were correct, disheartened liberals should have assured his defeat. He won in a year that fellow Blue Dogs who voted for ObamaCare were being slaughtered.

    So the current Pelosi-lead liberal temper tantrum is impossible to explain given the objective political needs of the Democratic Party. However, it’s all too easy to explain given the psychological needs of liberals.

    For years liberals have believed that majority status (like The New York Times and black voters) was their unquestioned birthright. Never mind that between 1968 and 2004, a Democratic Presidential candidate had topped 50% of the popular vote exactly once (the post-Watergate Jimmy Carter, who managed to garner a whopping 50.08% of the popular vote in 1976). For them, Republican victories were aberrations from the supposed norm. They truly believed that America was a “center-left” nation, despite polls consistently showing twice as many Americans identified themselves as conservatives rather than liberals. They believed people like John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira who assured them Democrats were the natural majority party, and would take over their natural role as lords of the earth any day now.

    And then the 2006 and 2008 election seemed to confirm the theory. Yes! This was it! This was their moment! Finally all of their dreams would come true! Obama was one of them, and with the House and Senate firmly in Democratic control, he would completely replace all the intolerable policies of his predecessor, “that idiot Bush.” He would end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, close down Guantanamo Bay, legalize gay marriage, use Keynesian economics to fix the economy, and nationalize health care. The liberal moment had arrived at last. It was so close they could taste it.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to the liberal nirvana. What the rest of us call “real life,” and what liberals attributed to an ever-expanding cast of villains (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Rasmussen Reports) they lumped together as “the right-wing noise machine” inexplicably rose up to thwart their righteous will. The economy stayed broke, and if the Stimulus did anything it made it worse. The Tea Party happened. Cap-and-Trade went down in flames. Obama figured out that Bush’s anti-terror policies weren’t bad at all now that he was the one who had to deal with the problems. Democrats managed to pull the Zombie ObamaCare over the finish-line despite widespread opposition, but it was a far cry from the glorious platonic idea of a fully nationalized, single-payer system that existed in their mind’s eye (and nowhere else). Then the voters, the same voters liberals believed in their heart of hearts was naturally liberal, rejected them. They were like a football team a mere quarter away from winning the Superbowl, only to have the opposing team rack up three touchdowns on them in the last five minutes. How can this be happening? What did I do to deserve this?

    When a party gets walloped in an election, usually it takes time to reflect on why voters might have rejected its message, and what parts of that message (and the party) need to be changed. If you’ve seen All That Jazz (and if you haven’t, you should; it’s a great movie), then you’re probably familiar with the Kubler-Ross grief cycle: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Obama has moved on to at least the third stage, but House Democrats and the nutroots can’t get past the first two.

    Conservatives have many interests that might supersede politics: Family, jobs, religion. But for many liberals, the political is personal. As far as they’re concerned, there’s Good (represented by Big Government run by liberals and doing the things liberals want it to do), and there’s Evil (big business (unless its unionized), rich people (unless they went to the right schools), Fox News, etc.). They believe the same things all their Facebook friends and newspapers and TV shows and NPR agree with! It’s inconceivable to them that people of good will might disagree with them.

    After all, they’re Good! The other side is Evil! That’s why they write books with names like What’s Wrong With Kansas? rather than Why Can’t We Convince Kansas To Embrace Higher Taxes and Bigger Government? They’ve spent the last 20-years believing that voters are liberals, so it’s impossible that voters rejected liberalism itself. That would be tantamount to voters saying they rejected them personally. That’s unpossible! After all, they’re awesome! No, this could only have been happened because the voters have been tricked. Liberalism didn’t lose, liberalism was stabbed in the back. Hence the hunt for traitors and scapegoats that snatched away their prize at the last moment.

    To actually listen to what voters were telling them would mean abandoning the worldview that they’ve clung to so fervently for so long. Thus every bit of cognitive dissonance only makes them cling more fervently to the belief that voters haven’t, didn’t, couldn’t reject liberalism itself. After all, they’re awesome, aren’t they? Aren’t they? Voters sent them a message good and hard, but they have to deny it, because their denial is all they have left. Liberalism can never fail, because whenever it appears to, then ipso facto it wasn’t really liberalism that was failing, just like Communist apologists claim that all those failed Communist states weren’t really Communist, because communism never fails inside the platonic fantasyland of their Marxist imaginations.

    And into this seething cauldron of anger and denial comes Obama, blithely announcing the deal to extend the Bush Tax Cuts. After all, Obama still has to govern the nation for the next two years. Clearly the economy is isn’t responding to Obamanomics, so something else needs to be done. And if the Bush Tax Cuts expire, Obama knows that Democrats are the ones that will get the blame for the biggest tax hike in history. So he cut the best deal he thought he could, knowing he would have even less leverage after the Republican House took over in January.

    In essence, Obama was saying that voters had indeed rejected liberalism. He was ruining their denial! Here was their traitor at last: Obama the secret Republican.

    So the House, under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi, decided to stand and fight on the only issue that seems to unite their base: Their hatred of the wealthy, and their love of other people’s money. The idea that money might belong to the people that actually earned it, rather than the federal government, fills them with rage. Here was their line in the sand: We have to screw the rich, even if it means screwing the poor and the middle class in the process! Even if it makes them more unpopular. Even if the Republicans will just pass a deal even less to their liking in January. So they have to oppose extending the Bush tax cuts, even though it will make the rest of the nation think they’re even more petty, vindictive, and out-of-touch than they already did. When it comes to preserving their wounded egos, rationality goes out the window. If it comes down to voters rejecting liberalism, or liberals rejecting reality, then to hell with reality. It’s no longer about policy, it’s about pride.

    And pride goeth before a fall.

    Obama Claimed He Was A “Blue Dog Democrat”

    Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

    No really, he did.

    You may scoff, but when you think about it, Obama exhibits a lot of behaviors we’ve come to associate with Blue Dog Democrats:

    • He campaigned on fiscal responsibility only to add trillions to the deficit once in office.

    • He claimed to be a moderate, but has overwhelmingly supported items on the liberal agenda.
    • He continues to support Nancy Pelosi, no matter how far to the left she goes.
    • Support for him has all but disappeared across rural and suburban America.
    • He’ll lose his next election to a Republican.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    Americans Don’t Want to Ban Guns (But Democrats Still Do)

    Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

    According to the latest Gallup poll:

    Americans’ support for stricter gun control laws has gradually declined over the last two decades, from 78% when this question was first asked in 1990 to 49% in 2008, and 44% in 2009 and again this year.

    Also, 69% of Americans oppose an outright ban on handguns.

    The fly in the ointment: 63% of Democrats want stricter gun regulations. So chances are, when a Democratic running for office says they’re in favor of Second Amendment rights, they’re most likely lying just as much as when they claim to be pro-life, and even if they aren’t, they still won’t hesitate to put gun-grabbers like Nancy Pelosi in positions of power.

    (Hat tip: Alphecca.)