Consequences, &c.

Debo Adegbile


When conservatives cry against moves made by President Obama, some liberals retort, “Try winning some elections.” They have a point.

Lately, Obama has nominated Debo Adegbile to be the assistant attorney general for civil rights. Mona Charen devoted a column to the nominee, here. Adegbile appears to be a leftist out of Central Casting: a champion of racial quotas, a believer in “customary international law,” when American law proves inconvenient, etc.

He defended Mumia Abu Jamal, natch — Abu Jamal is the Left’s favorite cop-killer. (He killed a Philadelphia officer named Daniel Faulkner in 1981.)

In short, Adegbile is a conservative’s nightmare. And he will be hard, if not impossible, to block, because Harry Reid and his party control the Senate.

And who put them there? The people. And who put Obama, the nominator, in the Oval Office, twice? The good ol’ people.

I think the people I least respect in all of America are those who say, “There’s no real difference between the two major parties. They’re just Tweedledum and Tweedledee. They’re one establishment party. They’re the Republicrats.”

I believe that these people have been smoking too much of the hash that we at National Review are keen to legalize.

Do you recall what Secretary of State John Kerry said about Israel and the boycott movement the other week? Do you recall what he said about global warming, or climate change, or whatever the Left’s designation du jour is?

Who would Mitt Romney’s secretary of state have been? John Bolton, or someone like him?

Who would Romney’s attorney general be? And the assistant AG for civil rights? Who would John McCain’s AG and assistant AGs be?

The major parties, far from being Tweedledum and Tweedledee, are much too far apart for my taste. They are on different planets.

And elections have consequences — dire consequences. The elections of 2008 and 2012 have been seismic. The liberals’ retort is right: We must keep trying to win elections. Here, the people rule. And as soon as they can be convinced to have a different sort of government, we will.

At the Daily Caller, I saw a headline: “Major conservative group launches ‘full assault’ on vulnerable Democratic senator.” (The story is here, although I believe the headline has been changed.) I thought, “Wow — that’s really man bites dog.” The vulnerable Democrat in question is Mark Pryor of Arkansas. For the last many months, I’ve been reading about how “conservative” groups are spending millions to unseat Republican officeholders — sometimes good conservatives.

Spending to unseat a Democrat? Extraordinary.

In an article for the Telegraph, Dan Hodges said something that struck me as thunderously true — elementary, but thunderously true. He was talking about the BBC. But the same point applies to our media, and other media.

One of the BBC’s standard lines, says Hodges, is, “It’s our job to hold the government to account.” But it isn’t, as Hodges notes. It’s the voters’ job to hold the government to account. “It’s the BBC’s job to give them the facts — in an even-handed and unbiased way — to enable them to make an informed judgment when they do.”

A distinction without a difference? No, I think this is a distinction worth absorbing.

John Holdren was in the news the other day:

The night before President Barack Obama was set to address Californians stricken by a prolonged drought, White House science czar Dr. John Holdren told reporters that virtually all weather is being impacted by climate change and that droughts were getting “more frequent, they’re getting longer and they’re getting dryer.”

Holdren figures in the history of the Nobel Peace Prize. (My 2012 book Peace, They Say is a history of that prize.) He was once the head of the Pugwash group, that anti-nuclear organization so beloved of General Jaruzelski and other men of peace. In 1995, the Pugwashers shared the Nobel prize with Joseph Rotblat, a physicist long associated with them.