The Corner

Reax

I’ve been reading the Corner, as sensible people do. Some “reax,” as they say in the political-media biz. (“Reactions.”)

1) Brendan Bordelon writes about the White House chief of staff — who says that he and his boss are committed to process. And who also says they “want to make sure that the executive actions we undertake are not left hanging out there, subject to Congress undoing them.”

I appreciate the man’s profession about process. But you know what I hear when I hear the words quoted? “To hell with democracy.”

There are things I want done, nationally and internationally (to say nothing of personally). But I’m also a democrat. And a republican. A believer in our Constitution and the government it establishes.

Congress “undoing” things? Well, what do you want, fiats engraved in stone, fiats that last till kingdom come? A thousand-year reich? Even the fatwas of ayatollahs can be annulled by other ayatollahs — can’t they?

Civics for all, I say! (I had it in ninth grade. Was good.)

(It could be, I have misunderstood the White House chief of staff. Also, there are people who believe that you can’t be a democrat and a republican, both. We can have that discussion another time. Or simply let it go …)

2) KDW writes about Obama’s insistence on partying like it’s 1935. Recently, I had some notes on Michael Walsh’s new book, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace. Those notes come in two parts: here and here. I’ll quote from the second part:

Michael writes of “self-styled revolutionaries” who constantly relive “the glory days of their youth” and profess fealty to “ideas a century older than they are.” He says, “The government programs they cherish date from the Roosevelt administration; never mind that schemes such as Social Security and Medicare, fraudulently conceived at the outset, are careening toward auto-destruction.”

I remember what I said over and over, when Senator Barack Obama was running in 2007 and ’08: “He’s so young, relatively, but he seems so old. He’s selling warmed-over McGovernism. It’s like the 1980s and ’90s passed him by entirely.”

Isn’t it odd that these people are called, and call themselves, “progressives”? In a sense, they have a greater claim to conservatism!

3) David French writes about our latest humiliation at the hands of the Iranian dictatorship. (Well, most of our humiliations have come at the hands of President Obama, it’s true.) (In the next administration, if Ms. Abedin is the president’s closest confidant, will we have Hum-iliations? Hoomiliations? Get it? I’m here all week.)

It took me two seconds to find David Pryce-Jones, writing in 2007. The heading of his post: “Weakness & Humiliation.” It begins,

The release of the 15 British sailors and marines is naturally a relief. They were held for less than two weeks, they were not put on trial, and seemingly subjected only to psychological pressure. But now is the time for recriminations. By means of breaking international law and disregarding civilized behavior, Iran has won a famous victory. It is monstrous that President Ahmadinejad could say at his press conference that freedom for the 15 “is a gift to the British people.” Held through an act of piracy, they were not to be gifted away in a cheap gesture to close down illegal action. John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador at the U.N., draws the alarming conclusion that Iran has conducted “a low-cost way of testing British resolve.” Ahmadinejad can now ratchet up the nuclear program without fear of a strong response.

Britain has indeed suffered a significant defeat. Nobody yet knows what pressures and threats the captives were forced to submit to, and these may well have been cunningly applied to undermine their resolution. But the spectacle of the 15 ritually pleading that they were nicely treated and not harmed has resonated throughout the Muslim world. …

Read the whole thing. And if the American people want a different kind of government, they can have one, starting in about a year. (They could have had a different kind in ’08 and ’12, too.) But they have to want it.

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