Saturday, November 22, 2014

More JG (Writing This Time)

From Jonah Goldberg's latest G-file on NRO.

On Barack Obama's unconstitutional immigration order --

"Placating Obama’s wishes (For Congress to enact legislation codifying his executive order) doesn’t erase his lawless deed, it establishes a precedent for a new presidential power of lawless action. It’s against the law for me to steal your car. If I do it anyway and then say, “Look, all you have to do to nullify my lawless action is sign over the title to me, that way it will all be nice and proper” does that really make it all better?

... the story of the progressive movement can best be understood as activists going wherever the field is open. If the people are on your side, expand democracy. If the people are against you, use the courts. If the courts are against you, run down the field with the bureaucrats, or the Congress, or the presidency. Procedural niceties — the filibuster, precedent, the law, custom, the Constitution, truth — only matter if they can be enlisted to advance the cause. If they can’t, they suddenly become outdated, irrelevant, vestigial organs of racism, elitism, sexism, whatever. Obstruction, or even inconvenience in the path of progressive ends is prima facie proof of illegitimacy. The river of history must carry forward. If History hits a rock, the rock must be swept up with the current or be circumvented. Nothing can hold back the Hegelian tide, no one may Stand Athwart History. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. This is the liberal gleichschaltung; get with the program or be flattened by it.

Barack Obama’s leapfrog over the Constitution is perfectly consistent with Woodrow Wilson’s hatred of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. It is of a piece with FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights.” It is the latest chapter in the progressive cult of History in which they — and only they — know what the universe requires and no mortal authority, and certainly not any old piece of paper, can stand in the way. Why? Because History is their co-pilot."

On Grubergate --

"... Here’s Chuck Todd explaining a near blackout of Gruber coverage in the MSM. “I’m not saying it’s not a story. Look, I’m not in charge of any of those network newscasts. But what is the news today of that? It’s a political story.”

I’m a fan of Chuck’s but good lord this is absurd. First, all Todd does is cover “political stories.” I haven’t seen every one of his stints at the helm of Meet the Press, but I feel I would have heard if Meet the Press had become a cooking show on his watch.

Moreover, the news is huge. An indispensable architect of this trillion dollar monstrosity of a law has been exposed as not only a deliberate liar, but as one who stood to make millions off the law without disclosing his role as a paid consultant. People love to say that Bush lied us into war, but to date no evidence of deliberate lies has ever surfaced. Yes, false statements have come to light, but those statements were believed to be true at the time. They were corroborated by the U.N., the French intelligence service, and countless leading Democrats — such as Bill Clinton — and Hillary Clinton, who voted for the war. It’s awful and scandalous that we got so much wrong, but there were no deliberate lies in a regrettable rush to war.

You can’t say anything of the sort about Obamacare, which, as I argued in my column yesterday, was sold with lies, deception, and partisan brute force from Day One. And yet, if video of Paul Wolfowitz or Don Rumsfeld admitting that they lied or had secret financial interests in the war came out tomorrow, I cannot imagine Chuck Todd could say, “What’s the news of that now?”

The reason Gruber has been so outrageously under-covered by the mainstream media is obvious: The whole story is an indictment of the entire ecosystem of establishment liberalism, from the supposedly “explanatory journalists” who picked sides from the beginning, to the academic elites who serve as willing mercenaries for the Democratic party (while pretending to be unimpeachably objective followers of the facts) to the press corps that carries water for the whole enterprise. Grüberdammerung runs against the narrative that only lovers of limited government are driven by self-interest and greed. It gives the average person a glimpse into how the sausage is made and embarrasses the sausage makers."

Obama's reaction to the latest ISIS beheading (Obama uses the alternative acronym, ISIL, so that he can avoid reminding "folks" of his disastrous "Syria" policy - the 2nd S in ISIS) --

"... my jaw dropped when I heard Obama’s reaction to the beheading of Peter Kassig.

“ISIL’s actions represent no faith,” Obama said, “least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own.”

Abdul-Rahman was Kassig’s Muslim name, which he adopted only while being held captive by Islamists. Perhaps the conversion was sincere, though I suspect Kassig did it to stay alive and certainly under duress and I can begrudge him it. Either way, there’s something disgusting about using Kassig’s Muslim name in order to score a propaganda point.

It’s even worse when that propaganda point is so incandescently stupid.

As Mona (Charen) notes one except Barack Obama thinks it’s a revelation that the Islamic State kills Muslims. No Kurd, no Shia, no moderate Sunni stays in his home when the Islamic State is at the gates, and says “Hey, we’re Muslim and Muslims don’t kill Muslims. We’ve got nothing to worry about.”

But it’s the phrase “least of all the Muslim faith” that is truly infuriating. Least of all? Really? So other faiths are more implicated in this atrocity than Islam? Which ones? Does he really mean to be suggesting that while the Islamic State’s actions “represent no faith,” if we have to assign blame, Islam is the least culpable? Could a team of rhetoricians, theologians and logicians working around the clock in some Andromeda Strain bunker beneath the Nevada desert come up with an argument that puts even a scintilla more blame at the feet of, say, the Lutherans or Quakers? On the one hand we have a bunch of dudes who shout “Allāhu Akbar!”, memorize the Koran, and rape and murder in the name of the Islamic State. On the other hand, we have a grab bag of Buddhists, Jews, Seventh Day Adventists, and Southern Baptists. And the one faith least implicated here is Islam? Really. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills."

Goldberg references a couple of recent TV appearances where he talks about Gruber specifically and corrupt left wing corporatism in general. The links are here and here.

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