A bad call, &c.


I bridled when I read the beginning of this news report: “President Barack Obama made a congratulatory phone call to the new Chinese president . . .” Xi Jingping was made “president” because his fellow ruling Communists decided to place him in that position. It’s not like the returns finally came in from the rural districts, and, lo, the Chinese people had elected him president.

In my view, the president of the United States ought to place such calls only to fellow democrats: the prime minister of Canada, the president of Taiwan, and so on. Those calls should not go to bosses in one-party dictatorships — especially when those dictatorships keep a gulag.

Several decades ago, the idea of America as the leader of freedom and democracy lost favor on the left. It has recently lost some favor on the right. I still favor it. You?

Apparently, Obama said this to congressional Democrats: “This is not Dick Cheney we’re talking about here.” He was saying to his fellow Dems, You can trust me with drones — I’m not Cheney. For a news article on the matter, go here.

I think Obama’s fans and Cheney’s fans can agree: The president is not Dick Cheney. Too bad for the country.

“A historic decline in the number of U.S. whites and the fast growth of Latinos are blurring traditional black-white color lines, testing the limits of civil rights laws,” said this news story. I’m thinking, “Civil rights laws? How about plain old laws? Laws that apply equally, to all citizens? Would they be good enough? Or is that un-American?”

The article quoted a professor as saying, “The American experience has always been a story of color.” It has been that in part — too large a part. But color is not the only part of the American story (much as this disappoints the Left, and is denied by them).

On this matter of laws, civil rights laws, equality, etc.: Gay-marriage proponents scored a huge rhetorical success when they said their cause belonged in the category of “civil rights.” That was maybe 15 years ago. Americans get weak in the knees when they hear “civil rights.” Who can oppose civil rights? No one wants to be Lester Maddox.

Very recently, in my observation, gay-marriage proponents started talking about “marriage equality” — that was another rhetorical triumph. And it has now found its way into the mainstream news.

What I’m talking about is this: A report from the Associated Press, here, says, “No Republican attorney general is asking the high court to rule in favor of marriage equality.” The AP puts no quotation marks around “marriage equality.” They do not say “what proponents call ‘marriage equality’” or anything like that. No, they adopt the phrase as their own.

This is a wire service, mind you — not the New York Times or MSNBC or Mother Jones. Still more proof that, you know, the matter is just about decided.

How about this? The AP writes, “During his confirmation hearing, Hagel faced fierce opposition from GOP senators who challenged the former Republican senator’s truthfulness and patriotism.” (Article here.) Democrats say that Republicans questioned the new defense secretary’s patriotism. Republicans say, “Get off it, that’s a load of bull.” The AP uses the Democrats’ line — as though it were objective fact.

Interesting, huh? But if Republicans talk about press bias, we’re called paranoid kooks. Wonderful, wonderful.

Advocates of school choice have long used the language of “civil rights.” This kind of education is a “civil right,” they say — we say. “The civil-rights cause of our time.” Our language has not caught on. Why’s that? Well, it helps to have the help of the mainstream media, which school-choicers — well, when hell freezes over.