Bitterfest 2012



Joe Biden likes to talk about the “social doctrine.” He means that you must be generous with other people’s money — welfare must flow from the government, and not just any government, the federal government. As we learned, he himself gives squat to charity. But he lectures the rest of us on charity and compassion. What he means is, taxation.

He also says that resistance to higher taxation is “unpatriotic,” as you know. (None dare call it McCarthyism.)

I wonder: Is there enough oil and natural gas under private lands to keep us going? Because there’s no way in hell the Left will let us explore or drill elsewhere, no matter how discreetly, benignly, and beneficially we do it.

Let’s hope that importing is easy and convenient . . .

Did Hurricane Sandy tip it for Obama? I don’t know how you’d measure such a thing. On MSNBC, Chris Matthews said, “I’m so glad we had that storm last week.” I’m sure he is.

(I have since learned he apologized for the remark.)

If Obama had lost, I wonder how he would have behaved. Graciously? Like Mitt? Or no?

Well, we won’t have to worry about the integrity of the Constitution. Because, no matter what the administration does, John Roberts will be there to stop what is unconstitutional. Yessiree, that’s our chief: caring not a fig about political pressures . . .

Last Inauguration Day, Roberts messed up Obama’s presidential oath. This Inauguration Day, things should be pretty chummy between the two.

The people saw the vice-presidential debate. And they wanted Obama-Biden anyway. Sometimes a cliché is handy: There’s no accounting for taste.

“The bad old Republicans favor the rich!” say the Democrats. The thing about the rich: They’re going to be fine regardless. They’re not depending on Social Security and Medicare in their old age. They’re not looking for a job. They’re not worried about paying for groceries. In good times and bad, they’re basically fine.

No, it’s the less well off who need a robust economy. Why Republicans don’t make this point, routinely, is a mystery.

We might take comfort in this: Obama et al. are still forced to pay lip service to the old American ideals (let’s call them). I will quote from a couple of debates — starting in ’08. That year, Obama said, “This is the greatest country on earth.” He said it in the tones of a hostage with a gun in his back. He speaks with real passion when he says things like, “You didn’t build that!” (A reader of ours pointed this out.)

This year, Obama said — did you hear this? — “I believe that the free-enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world’s ever known. I believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risk-takers’ being rewarded.”

Kids say the darndest things. Grown-ups say the darndest things, when they want to be president.

The Left should like America better now, right? And Europe should too, right? Among Europeans, there is a certain kind of pro-American, you may have discovered: He thinks America is okay when the people elect Democrats. Otherwise, no.

There is a certain kind of pro-Israel person too — or semi-pro-Israel person: He thinks the country is okay — legitimate — when the people have the wisdom to elect Labor. But when they’re so foolish or malevolent as to elect Likud, all bets are off.

You’ve met this type, right? If you haven’t, or would like to, you can read the New York Times.

Speaking of Israel: They will have to summon all their resources, temporal and spiritual.

“Reality will assert itself,” you may well say. As Obama had to deal with terrorists, he will have to deal with the debt, with entitlements, and so on. There’s no way around it. Margaret Thatcher liked to say, “The facts of life are conservative.”

I don’t know. For some, soaking the rich — a.k.a. “fairness” — is the highest priority, no matter the economic consequences.

It’s not very usual for a House member to be a vice-presidential nominee. William E. Miller was, in 1964. Later, there was an American Express ad, featuring him: “Do you know me?” I wonder how many did.

I will be interested to watch the career of Paul Ryan, that admirable man.

I believe this about the election: that we gave it our best shot. That we “put it all on the field,” leaving “nothing in the locker room,” as Romney said. I think he was an excellent nominee. He made some mistakes — but anyone would. We worked hard. We had plenty of money. We offered a clear choice. Romney was a first-class alternative to Obama.

And the people said no. “Four more years!”

The thing is, in a democracy, the people decide. It’s their responsibility. They determine what kind of country we’ll be. All you can do is offer them an honest choice. They do the rest.

The temptation, for some of us, is to retreat from politics. To give up, essentially. To cede the field to the Left. I mean, just give it to them: socialism, abortion on demand, the whole nine yards. It’s their world. They own it. The rest of us live in a kind of dhimmitude. We should just tend to our families, our churches, our friends — cling to our guns and religion.

That’s the temptation. But as David Pryce-Jones put it to me, in his wise and stirring way, the temptation is to be resisted. Hardly any good would come from giving in. Not even peace of mind, probably.

I could go on — and on — but I think I’ve poured enough bitterness into one column. I’m practically swimming in my own bile. In future columns, there will be less bitterness — not none, I’m sure; but less.

See you, dear hearts, and bless you.

To order Jay Nordlinger’s new book, Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World, go here. To order his collection Here, There & Everywhere, go here.