By Melanie Phillips
Nov 5, 2008
What this election tells us is that America voted for change because America is in the process of changing - not just demographically by becoming less white and more diverse, but as the result of a culture war in which western civilisation is losing out to a far-left agenda which has become mainstream, teaching American children to despise the founding values of their country and hijacking discourse by the minority power-grab of victim-culture.
The reaction of conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic to this undoubted change - not just in the US but in Britain too - shows the intellectual disarray caused by these profound developments. They say politicians must stop trying to hold the cultural line and go instead with the flow of change. In Britain, the Tory party has adopted this strategy. Now there are Republicans saying the same thing.
But John McCain is a Republican who does not fit the old template, who does subscribe to some of this 'change' agenda on a number of issues. As a result, he was incapable of attacking Obama on the most important grounds of all: that he stood for values inimical to America's founding principles. When he did venture into this territory, it was half-cocked and far too late, appearing merely like the desperate throw of a loser. The reason he couldn't do it earlier was that he had no coherent platform of his own. So why vote for a muddled and erratic quasi-'progressive' when the real thing is a rock star? It cannot be said too emphatically -- the Republicans lost this election. Obama ran a superbly disciplined campaign and he was an impressive candidate, particularly in his calm and stately demeanour throughout. The Republicans screwed up in government, they selected a hopelessly frail and erratic candidate, he ran a shambolic campaign. They deserved to lose.
So now we are promised a change in America's fundamental values. And they really will be changed. Obama has said in terms that he thinks the US constitution is flawed. America's belief in itself as defending individual liberty, truth and justice on behalf of the free world will now be expiated instead as its original sin. Those who have for the past eight years worked to bring down the America that defends and protects life and liberty are today ecstatic. They have stormed the very citadel on Pennsylvania Avenue itself.
Millions of Americans remain lion-hearted, decent, rational and sturdy. They find themselves today abandoned, horrified, deeply apprehensive for the future of their country and the free world. No longer the land of the free and the home of the brave; they must now look elsewhere.
Daniel Pipes adds this on Tuesday's election:
I had confidence that the American people would reject Obama when they learned about his extremist political views, dubious associations, and biographical mysteries. I am astonished that these problems hardly registered, I feel bewildered by my own country, and apprehensive by what comes next.
Agreed. The fact that Americans overlooked his deep character flaws and frightening past is a great cause of concern.
His personal history is filled with radicals, communists and anti-Semites.
By Michelle Malkin Nov 5, 2008 http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=310775694363780
Sorry to break the bad news to Joe the Plumber. But the winner of Campaign 2008 is Peggy the Moocher. No matter who moves into the White House, Peggy has good reason to do a happy dance.
The plain, ugly fact is that both major political parties are committed to spreading the wealth in one form or another. It's all just a question of how much and how quickly.
Who is Peggy the Moocher? She's Peggy Joseph, a voter in Sarasota, Fla., who exulted earlier this week at a Barack Obama rally that this was "the most memorable time of my life."
Why? As she told a Florida reporter on a YouTube video that has been viewed by hundreds of thousands: "Because I never thought this day would ever happen. I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know. If I help (Obama), he's gonna help me."
You can't blame Peggy the Moocher for viewing Obama as the superior Santa Claus. With a relentless messianic campaign, a grievance-mongering wife touting him as the country's soul-fixer and a national infomercial promising to take care of every need from night classes to medical bills to rent and fuel-efficient cars, Obama effectively channeled Oprah Winfrey's Big Give.
"Everybody gets a car!" "Everybody gets a car!" And gas. And mortgage payment relief.
But the damning reality for fiscal conservatives is that John McCain's plan for homeowners underwater on their mortgages was even more generous than Obama's. His $300 billion "rescue" involved directing the Treasury secretary to "purchase mortgages directly from homeowners and mortgage servicers."
That was on top of the trillion-plus-dollar "bank" bailout supported by both presidential candidates, the White House and the Democratic leadership; the $85-plus billion to AIG; the $25 billion to automakers; and the $200 billion in capital and credit lines to Fannie and Freddie.
And who knows what else we'll be redistributing to the indebted states of New York, California, Massachusetts and all the other Peggy the Moochers, large and small, lining up for their piece of the bailout pie.
McCain assailed massive government spending - while promising to heap on more massive government spending to pursue homeownership and retention at all costs. It was the Republican, not the Democrat, who entrusted the Treasury Department to renegotiate individual home loans and become chief principal write-down agents for the nation. Both private and public entities are planning for a McCain-esque homeowner salvation plan for borrowers in the red.
It's a swell idea for everyone who bought overpriced homes with adjustable-rate mortgages. Those who rented, bought within their means or locked into fixed-rate loans that they could afford are out of luck, naturally. The only sane thing to do in response? Stop paying your mortgage and get in line.
"E pluribus unum" is no longer our national motto. These three words are: "Do for me." As in: What will the government do for me?
On Election Day, the federal government quietly reported that it will borrow a record $550 billion in the current quarter to fund the bipartisan bailout. The Treasury Department plans to borrow more than a half-trillion dollars in the current October-December quarter and another $368 billion in the first three months of next year.
Estimated total for the whole year: $1.4 trillion. Democrats plan to add another $500 billion in "stimulus"-palooza legislation. Credit-card companies, utilities, insurance companies, and car- and student-loan debtors await their turn.
The bailout bonanza blurred the differences between the two major political parties, but the Peggy the Moocher video shows that there are still basically two starkly contrasting views of government in this country among the rank-and-file electorate.
Unlike Joe the Plumber, Peggy sees government as her salvation and the president as her subsidizer-in-chief. She voted with the expectation that the Spreader of Wealth will reward her with payback. Joe just wants Washington to leave him alone to fend for himself.
Personal responsibility? Hah. Washington can't afford it.
Watcha gonna do for me Barack?
"I never thought this day would happen. I won’t have to work on puttin’ gas in my car. I won’t have to work at payin’ my mortgage. You know. If I help him [Obama], he’s gonna help me."
Whatever happened to "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." President John F. Kennedy...just a thought...
By Quin Hillyer Nov 6, 2008 http://spectator.org/archives/2008/11/06/saul-alinsky-takes-the-white-h
Conservatives may not realize just how difficult it might be to recover from this week's elections.
The day after the big defeat, the conservative chatter everywhere was about how the "movement" and the Republican Party (two different things) could finally unshackle themselves from the bad old habits that brought them down, and about how the ability to draw a sharp contrast with the Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumvirate would allow us to focus attention, rally the faithful, and re-storm the castle in 2010 and 2012.
Too many conservatives think we've seen all this before -- in 1964 and 1974 and 1992 -- and that we know how to handle it. Fly, meet ointment: We're not dealing with the same sorts of opponents. These New Alinskyites who are taking over the White House, combined with the most leftist congressional leadership in memory, will not let us play by the same rules under which conservatives recovered from those earlier debacles. They will try to drastically tilt the playing field, seed our side of the field with land mines and, in short, rig the process to make it next to impossible for the political right, or Republicans, to recover. And they are likely to succeed in at least some of these designs.
It will begin with their efforts to secure a filibuster-proof majority of 60 senators (including the two independents). Right now the libs (and yes, all the Democratic senators, with the possible exception of Nebraska's Ben Nelson, are libs) have 56, with three Republican moderates and one conservative leading their races but awaiting recounts or runoffs. Watch for the Alinskyites to try stealing all four, and to succeed in at least two. We've seen this game before. They did it in Indiana's "Bloody Eighth" congressional district in 1984. They almost succeeded in 2000 in Florida. They did succeed, outrageously so, in the Washington State governor's race in 2004. Those are just the most obvious of many similar examples. And now they are even more ruthless, more lawyered-up, and in a more powerful position to pull it off than they were in any of those instances.
Next, watch what happens if they regularly can't peel off enough Republicans (or hold their own semi-fairminded people like Nelson and Joe Lieberman) to overcome whatever filibuster attempts Republicans do mount. Watch for an assault on the filibuster itself. Watch how they use as precedent the GOP "nuclear/constitutional option" on judges in 2005 -- except instead of just using it for judges, watch them use it against all filibusters. It's easy: Make the ruling from the chair that the filibuster is out of order for some reason. Instruct the parliamentarian to rule in their favor. Win the appeal of the parliamentarian's ruling by simple majority vote. And watch the courts pronounce it an internal matter of the legislative branch and thus outside of courtroom purview.
Watch a cheerleading establishment media -- the Fourth Estate as a veritable Fifth Column -- actually back these lefty maneuvers. It's all in the name of one-man/one-vote democracy, dontcha know? The filibuster once served its purpose, they'll say, but as a vestige of Southern "massive resistance" to integration it is now being used for massive resistance to the first black president, which invalidates it (suddenly) as a legitimate tool.
Watch the left use these tactics and others to pass even more liberalized voting laws -- an open invitation to even more fraud that is more creative, easier to hide, and less challengeable in court.
Watch what Michael Barone called the Obama "thugocracy" use the Justice Department to stifle dissent. Anybody who complains about vote fraud will be charged with "vote suppression." Anybody who complains about DoJ's actions will be charged with interfering with an investigation. Anybody who denies having interfered will be charged with perjury. Likewise, anybody who peacefully protests abortion clinics or the use of state-sponsored racial quotas will be charged with a civil rights violation. And the accused won't be able to look to the Supreme Court for help: Anthony Kennedy's "evolving standards" of justice will evolve to match the new zeitgeist, providing a 5-4 majority for the administration. Meanwhile, of course, Obama's other appointments will be filling up the rest of the judiciary at a rapid clip, with nobody able to stop them.
Other ways the Obama axis will tilt the playing field: "card check" legislation to eliminate secret ballots in unionizing and to force union victories in contract negotiations. Provision after provision giving favors to the trial bar so it can sue enemies into submission. Copious new regulations, especially environmental, to be used selectively to ensnare other conservative malcontents. Invasive IRS audits of conservative think tanks, other conservative 501 organizations, and PACs.
What Ohio officials did in rifling through so many of Joe Wurzelbacher's files will serve as ample precedent. (Just watch, by the way: Nobody ever will be effectively disciplined for the violation of Wurzelbacher's rights.)
And, only when the time is right and the ground (or air) has been well prepared, will come the grand-daddy of all fights, the re-enactment of the misnamed "Fairness Doctrine."
Oh, they'll be clever. They'll pick their spot. They'll wait until Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or Mark Levin says something innocent they can twist out of context and call "hate speech" -- and then they'll highlight some schoolyard fight where a member of a "victim group" gets the worst of it as if the "attack" were caused by talk-rad…no, make that "hate radio," which will be the new moniker the Fifth Column/Fourth Estate hangs on the talkmeisters.
(Even before imposing the Fairness Doctrine, they'll use the Federal Communications Commission in other ways to put a muffler on their opponents.)
And, always, a few carefully calibrated street demonstrations, splashed with just the right headlines across the East Coast newspapers and captured by just the right camera angle on CBS News, will be used any time, on any issue, to make the point that civil unrest would be the price of resistance to the benevolent desires of the Obama regime.
The erosions of conservative rights will be incremental. Each one will have its own justification. Each one will be supported by the establishment media. Each one will be timed so as to allow the general public to become accustomed to it, to accept it as unremarkable, or even to come to regard it as a public good for the sake of keeping conservative "troublemakers" from fomenting disorder.
And the Obamessiah, still speaking frequently to stadia full of admirers, will provide a tone of reasoned moderation, combined with further appeals to hope, in order to justify it all.
These are the sorts of things Alinskyites do. These are the sorts of tactics used by ACORN, at whose conferences Obama himself regularly taught seminars on "power." These are the sorts of policies favored by the academic left, Obama's old milieu -- the policies that favor speech codes and stolen campus newspapers and the firing of faculty for "offensive" remarks.
Conservatives have fought things like this for years already, of course. But they've never fought it while the left controlled so many of the levers of power, and certainly not when the left was led by such a charismatic and near cult-inspiring leader who was so smart, so well steeped in these stratagems, and so fully supported by a Fourth Estate up whose legs warm feelings run every time he waxes eloquent.
It will take very focused, very intelligent, very skillful action by conservatives to stop this creeping subversion of a free society. This is a whole different political battlefield than any on which we've fought before. And we haven't yet found our Omar Bradley.