Isn’t This An Oxymoron?

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The President executed an Executive Order.

The House passed legislation to block it.

It won’t pass the Senate, but nevertheless..

The President is threatening a veto if it passes both Houses.

So, The President usurped the powers of the Legislative branch of government by writing an order.  The Legislative branch, using its constitutional power, wrote legislation to block it.  The President threatens a veto of a legally written law that negates the establishment of an illegal executive order.

Isn’t this by definition an oxymoron?  Isn’t the President randomly jumping in and out of Constitutional law by using the power given him by the Constitution (veto) to negate the power given to the Legislature, which blocks an illegal document that he originally ordered?  Is it possible to use Constitutional authority to protect an order that’s not legal?

In pure theoretical conjecture, doesn’t that make the people (God forbid) free from law?

The Oldest Play In The Book

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The most brilliant strategies are usually the simplest.  I learned it from my mother, as countless other young women with young children did.  Besides parenting, though, I discovered its usefulness in other environments, such as work and social situations.  The art of distraction.  When the attention upon something becomes uncomfortable, throw a distraction in; then watch the focus move off the point of contention and on to another, less intense topic.

It’s very useful in government.  And it’s being played out, for the millionth time on this front.

We’re waiting for the swift stroke of Obama’s pen; the belligerent executive order.  That’s simply the seal on the deal, the ref that yells “Play Ball!”

 

I’ve Been Hearing This Since…

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…that fifth grade essay I had to write for a State Standards exam. You know the type – Write a five hundred word essay on the importance of voting. It is therefore easy to imagine just one of the reasons why I cringe every time I hear something like this:

Mrs. Obama also told her audience that turnout was a large part of her husband’s victories, especially “women and minorities and young people.” Republicans, she explained, counted on “folks like us” to stay away from the polls.

And I don’t know if you remember, but people were shocked when Barack won — they’re still shocked — (laughter and applause) — because they were counting on folks like us to stay home.  See, but then we proved them wrong.  Barack won because OF record numbers of women and minorities and young people who showed up and voted.

But the Fifth Grade was way back in the past. And Adulthood is left with the basic premise that your husband, Mrs. Obama, was initially elected based not on the content of his character; Isn’t that what the vetting process used to do? No, Barack was elected because a majority of the sleepy electorate were like, dude, he’s black and that’s enough for my vote.

In grown up terms, Michelle, he was elected based on the color of his skin. And the irony is that you and the Black Caucus are spitting on MLK Jr and all the good the old Civil Rights Movement represented and accomplished.

But then again I’m white. So what do I know about any of this.

Why I Do Not Identify With Conservatism

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In recent weeks I finished a book by John Lukacs entitled A New Republic: A History of the United States in the Twentieth Century. Sometimes it takes a naturalized foreigner to see things American-born citizens can’t or won’t see. From pp. 337-8 of the 2004 printing:

Here was a peculiarly American paradox: the liberals had become senile, while the conservatives were immature. Their intellectual – and moral – substance was not sufficient to fill the post-liberal vacuum. The reason for this was not the cultural inferiority of American conservatives when compared to American liberals: that was a condition that the conservative intellectual movement had, by and large, outgrown. The reason for this was the conservatives’ split-mindedness — suggesting that split-mindedness, too, was not a monopoly of American liberals. The conservatives argued against big government: yet they favored the most monstrous of government projects, laser warfare, biological warfare, nuclear superbombs. They were against the police state: yet they were eager to extend the powers of the FBI and the CIA. They were against government regulation of “free” enterprise: yet they supported at times the government shoring up or bailing out large corporations. They stood for the conservation of America’s heritage: yet they were indifferent to the conservation of the American land. They proclaimed themselves to be the prime defenders of Western civilization: yet many of them had a narrowly nationalist, and broadly Californian, view of the world — narrow enough to be ignorant, broad enough to be flat. “I was a nationalist,” Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf about his youth, “but I was not a patriot.” So were, unfortunately, most American conservatives, unaware of the crucial difference (George Orwell described it in one of his prime essays) betwen the ideological nationalist and the true patriot: the former is moved by the desire to extend the power of his nation, the latter is moved by the love of his country. They were nationalist rather than patriotic: they put their nationalism above their religion, their nationalism was their religion. Thus American conservatives welcomed (at worst) or were indifferent (at best) to the dangers of excessive American commitments to all kinds of foreign governments or — what was more important — to the flooding of the United States by countless immigrants from the south who would provide cheap labor but whose increasing presence could only exacerbate deep national problems…The true patriot and the true conservative is suspicious of ideology, of any ideology: yet the American conservatives were, more than often, ideologues, disregarding John Adams’s pithy statement that  ideology amounted to idiocy. Their view of the world and their consequent advocacies of foreign policies were lamentable, since their view of the Soviet Union as the focus of a gigantic atheistic conspiracy and the source of every possible evil in the world was as unrealistic, unhistorical, ideological, and illusionary as the pro-Soviet illusions of the former liberals and progressives had been. Even though intellectuals of the American conservative movement were often more generous and less narrow-minded than were liberal intellectuals, they seldom hesitated to ally themselves with, and to seek the support of, some of the most uncouth and slovenly-minded people and politicians. That was just the trouble. As Jonathan Swift said, certain people “have just enough religion to hate but not enough to love.” Many American conservatives, alas, gave ample evidence that they were just conservative enough to hate liberals but not enough to love liberty.

Dick Cheney The Ol’ Neocon Bastard

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Compare the philosophic differences in the following quotes:

She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart….Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

John Quincy Adams, 4 July 1821

As quoted recently by Dick Cheney:

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan said, “If history teaches anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.”

One knows he is on the right track when neo-cons start up with their tired tirades. The two good things Obama has done in the last six years is to “end” our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq and draw down the size of the Armed Forces. Regarding the latter, America has done so after every war before World War II. Yet after that war, we actually grew our military, to combat an imagined threat in the Cold War, thanks in part to Truman’s missteps and Ike’s missed opportunities to open up talks with the Soviets in the early-mid 1950’s.

Cheney seems to have forgotten that putting Iran into the Axis of Evil in the 2000’s nixed a reformist Iranian governmnet and brought Ahmadinejad to power. Does he also forget that Kuwait was carved out of Iraq by the British? Or that modern Near East states were created by the Allies post-World War I? How our loans to Saddam during the Iraq-Iran War collapsed an Iraqi economy that had been on the rebound before the war? That both reasons led Saddam to invade Kuwait? Does he remember we fed supplies and money into the Iraq-Iran war? Or what of Afghanistan – that we did the same to the Mujahideen and Taliban fighters to spite the Soviets?

Does Cheney, who views the surge with warm feelings because of its “success” understand it was necessary because Rumsfeld refused to understand the concept of invading with overpowering numbers? Would Cheney be able to honestly tell us he believes the American Way is not a cookie-cutter experience for all peoples in all places in all times? If not, I would suggest he read Orestes A. Brownson.

No, the clear evidence Dick Cheney sees he wrongly interprets. The world has not spoken any clearer in telling America to return to its Enlightenment principles. The world does not need another Imperal parent. Spurn Churchill’s desire and lay the British Empire to rest.

In Cheney’s view:

Tragically, [Obama] is quickly proving…that without American pre-eminence, there can be no world order.

As Marcus Aurelius tells Maximus in Gladiator, empire does not mean the end of war for there will always be someone left to fight. We should care to recall that the world was so ordered before America and will be so after America. What is world order other than individuals [nations] acting in their own best interests? Obama cannot be any more right in saying “[a]ny world order that elevates one nation above others cannot long survive.” As Brownson argues, America or any other nation, does not exist in and of itself, it exists as so Divinely created. Exclude the Divine to one’s own peril. What is peril other than to view one’s country as the benefactor of civilization and order?

I hope Dick Cheney’s march takes him straight to the insane asylum.

Cheney on the March

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Cheney on the March

He’s ba-ack.

Comment.  Please.

“Forbid Them Not”

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It’s insidious, really.  Our non-existent southern border is crisis enough, but now it involves children. What exactly is going on? Why are there tens of thousands of children crossing our borders?  Why is this happening at all, and why is it not headline news?  Why is Eric Holder waning philosophic about caring about the most vulnerable yet silence is palpable regarding what is causing this mass exodus from Central America?  A mass exodus of children.  How does a child get from El Salvador to Arizona?  They get there with help.  From who?  And why?  This isn’t a simple effort to get out of poverty.  This is a calculated effort.

Can it be as insidious as political ploy?  Can the children of Central America be the new slavery class?  Please tell me the big guys are not playing a game of chess with the backsides of children.

What, exactly, is going on?

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