Mega-cheers for honesty, &c.

Georgetown professor Louis Michael Seidman


At the end of December, the New York Times published an op-ed piece by a Georgetown law professor, Louis Michael Seidman. The title of the piece was “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.” I suspect this will be a theme of the Left in coming years: “The Constitution is standing in the way of what we want to achieve. Time to scrap that musty old document, written by slaveholders in wigs.”

I like this approach, frankly — much more honest than, “The Constitution will mean what I say it means, on a given day. When I change my mind, or have a certain whim, then the Constitution will mean that. The Constitution is made of Play-Doh, and I bend it to my will.”

Have I ever told you about my favorite kind of gun-controller? The gun-controllers I admire are the ones who say, “We have to repeal the Second Amendment.” That I can respect (though I would fight repeal tooth and nail). This is a better stance than, “You boobs may think that the Second Amendment gives you gun rights, but you’re wrong.” It’s also better than pretending that the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights don’t exist.

Honesty, honesty — what more can we want in argument and politics? In election season, I’m always pleading for candidates to campaign honestly. To just say what they believe, whatever it is. If you want a socialist state, or a European-style social democracy — say so, forthrightly. Make your case.

It’s the Alinskyism — the deception — that’s so awful.

When Nixon lost the California gubernatorial election in 1962, an aide tried to console him. Nixon — who had been vice president for eight years and loved the big, global issues — said, “Oh, that’s all right. At least I won’t have to talk about crap like drug abuse anymore.”

Obama’s winning reelection must be a relief to him. Never again will he have to say things like, “America is the greatest nation on earth.” In his two campaigns — 2008 and 2012 — he always said them, when he had to say them, like a hostage with a gun in his back. He might as well have blinked “T-O-R-T-U-R-E.”

I have a few thoughts on that little pep rally Obama held, when he was negotiating with the Republicans over the budget.

Obama’s fans cheered when he told them he was going to be raising taxes on the “rich,” as the Democrats conceive them. I thought of what he said toward the end of the campaign: “Voting is the best revenge.”

What a lovely value in a democracy, revenge.

I also thought, for the millionth time, of JFK’s putdown of Nixon: “No class.” Obama is just impossibly vulgar and divisive. No class.

Remember when people said, in 2008, that Obama had a “first-class temperament”? Some of his policy views may be a little “out there,” but, by golly, he has a first-class temperament.

His temperament may be the thing I like least about him — worse than his policies.

I saw a headline that said, “Egypt prosecutors investigate popular TV comedian.” The article began, “Egyptian prosecutors launched an investigation on Tuesday against a popular television satirist for allegedly insulting the president . . .”

I thought, “That could never happen here. What TV comedian or satirist would insult Obama?”

In his life of politics, Chuck Hagel has offended a lot of people. He is the former Nebraska senator who is apparently Obama’s first choice for secretary of defense. He has offended Jews, supporters of Israel (not necessarily the same thing as Jews), conservative Republicans, gays, and others.

A recent headline read, “Former Sen. Chuck Hagel apologizes for gay comment.”

I thought, “Aha — tells you which way the wind is blowing. Tells you where the culture is. Zeitgeist City.”

You can snort at the “Jewish lobby” all you want, but if you insult the gays, you’d better scramble. Highly interesting.

By now, you may have heard about this story: A woman in Oregon bought some Halloween decorations at Kmart. She discovered in the package a letter from an inmate in the Chinese gulag — a cry for help.

Slave labor in China is one of the most underreported stories in the world. (So is Chinese organ harvesting.)

Some years ago, I interviewed a Chinese ex-political prisoner named Charles Lee. He was a Falun Gong practitioner. In between bouts of torture, he was made to work. He put together Christmas lights. (That adds insult to injury, somehow.) He also made Homer Simpson bedroom slippers. You slipped your foot where Homer’s mouth was.

I wish there were a way of knowing: of knowing which products are free-labor and which products are slave-labor. Can Kmart, in its wisdom, come up with a way? Can Walmart? Can anybody?

A couple of Occupy types have been arrested for bombmaking in Greenwich Village — you can read a story here. What is it about the Village and bombmaking?

In 1970, some Weather people on W. 11th Street blew themselves up, as they were plotting to blow innocent others up. Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of Weather types in the last hours of his presidency. The affinity of the mainstream Left for the violent Left is a fascinating and terrible subject. I have spent a fair amount of time on it.

One of this year’s bombers is Morgan Gliedman, the 27-year-old daughter of a prominent New York doctor. So beautiful, so privileged, so full of promise. How many lives over the centuries has extremist ideology ruined?