Wednesday, March 31, 2010
On March 20 William Douglas, a black reporter for the McClatchy news service, claimed that on March 20 Tea Party protesters, demonstrating against the health takeover legislation, screamed the 'N' word at members of the Black Caucus as they passed through the protest sight. Jack Cashill argues convincingly that the claim was a malicious calumny, later embellished with fabricated details. The report was clearly developed as a weapon for use in a shrewdly calculated and still ongoing campaign to destroy thwart the political effect of the disgusted revulsion rising in response to the Obama faction and the elitist subverters of liberty they serve and represent.
With banal regularity these would-be party dictators trot out the increasingly laughable suggestion that anyone who opposes the liberty destroying, constitution shredding, posterity bankrupting, death rationing schemes of these supercilious, self-righteous fanatics has just got to be a racist. Even after years of NEA orchestrated diseducation, some people have common sense enough to reject this feeble-minded version of a formal fallacy recognized as such since ancient times. (If Joe is a racist, then he opposes Obama. Joe opposes Obama. Therefore, Joe is a racist. It's called affirming the consequent.)Are the people acting on this specious reasoning doing so because they are logic disabled? Or does their arrogance lead them to assume everybody else is?
The best way to find out is to turn their propaganda strategy against them by forcing them to defend the calumny with which they hope to carry out their cold blooded character assassination. One of the conservative public policy law firms should sue Douglass Williams and the McClatchy company for defamation, on behalf of the Tea Party protesters present when the Black Caucus members staged their provocation. That way, instead of pretending that the burden of proof is on the people who were exercising their first amendment rights, (forcing them to prove what didn't happen- a classic ploy of tyrants) the reporter making the charge would be put on the spot. The Congressional representatives who used sly weasels words to give the lie an aura of plausibility could be subpoenaed. Then we'll see what they have to say under oath.
As far as the Tea Partiers go, this could help to set the record straight. Of course, there is the risk that the other side would counter with an effort to prove that the possibility of racism has to be taken seriously. They could begin by calling witnesses to testify to the fact that some Republicans pretend to oppose Obama because of his health scheme, but praise Mitt Romney for implementing a similarly objectionable plan as Governor of Massachusetts. Some Tea Party people protest the Obama plan, but supported Scott Brown, who avows his admiration for Romney's scheme. Obama is black. Romney is white. They reserve their outrage for the black guy. As SNL's Church lady might have said could it be raaaacism?
Again there are a million other reasons why people supposedly conservative people are willing to overlook Romney's Obama-like political qualities (many of them perhaps best symbolized by green paper rectangles with familiar portraits, suitable for framing.) The racial disparity argument barely conceals another formal fallacy. But it also reveals the fatal flaw of the GOP leadership (as well as other putatively conservative leaders), which is their tendency toward exclusively cynical political calculation. This is precisely what the Obama faction really counts on manipulating with its campaign of calumnies against the Tea Party movement.
As far as I can tell, most of the participants in the Tea Party movement's authentic activities (as opposed to the ones the GOP ham handedly seeks to co-opt) are motivated by a deep commitment to America's liberty and to the constitution that serves and preserves it. They don't oppose Obama because he's black. They oppose him because he's a throw-back to the communist Reds of the last century. He's a reconstituted ideological fossil from a humanly miserable bygone age- like the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park." His thinking could pass for fashionable back in the 1930's, when totalitarian socialists were all the rage in some quarters among America's elites, with Hitler and Stalin still recognized for what they were- two sides of the same coin. But many Americans have long since realized that once fashionable old socialist cant doesn't hold a candle to the self-evident truths that have been and must remain the firm foundation of the American way of life. They are timeless, ageless principles not because America's founders were all knowing or wise, but because they had the decent humility to derive their understanding of justice and good government from a source that was, and is, and always will be old and new; ancient and young; ending and beginning, all at once and all in all. He is the ruler and will be the judge of the universe He made and governs still, the one Creator God.
Posted by Alan Keyes at 12:48 AM
Monday, March 29, 2010
Some people have an extraordinary ability to resist both facts and the lessons of hard experience. What else could explain their stubborn insistence that Sarah Palin can simply be trusted to lead and speak for the grassroots uprising against socialism. This weekend she is in Arizona trying to use her supposed "rock-star" conservative status to rescue John McCain from the wrath of people he has consistently betrayed. On border security, illegal immigration, amnesty for illegals, bankrupt bank bailouts, unfair trade agreements, conservative judicial appointments, the defense of marriage and the unalienable right to life McCain is clearly positioning himself to be the Arlen Specter of the West. He's also the author of campaign finance regulations clearly aimed at freeing incumbents of every stripe from the threat of effective grassroots challenges to their tenure. When he's up for re-election he mouths conservative lyrics. But once that ritual is over with, he marches to the beat of a different and decidedly self-serving drum.
Grassroots people riled at the ongoing destruction of the American way of life may be tempted to put their hope in Sarah Palin. But it makes sense to assume that they're doing it so that she'll be in a better position to save the nation from bankruptcy and the constitution from destruction. It hardly makes sense to think they want her to save one of the most powerful and effective Republican double agents in the ongoing elite subversion of the constitutional republic. Of course, she's only doing it out of respect for the man whose choice of a running mate in the last presidential election gave her the chance to shine in the national limelight. Gratitude is, after all, one of the becoming graces.
One would think, though, that her gratitude to McCain would be outweighed by gratitude to the grassroots folks drawn to her despite his camp's backstabbing attempts to demean her throughout the 2008 campaign; and the prolife and moral conservatives drawn to her despite the inconsistencies in her record on the great issues of moral principle; and the defenders of U.S. sovereignty drawn to her despite her McCain-like support for laxity and a ready path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Her gratitude to them could have impelled her to stay out of the way of their wholly justified efforts to take back the seat of power McCain has abused while serving in their name. Instead she does exactly what one would expect her to do if the whole saga of her rise to prominence were just another effort of the RINO GOP leadership to divert the anger and energy of committed grassroots conservatives behind a leader who will obligingly use the influence that results to benefit the kind of people who made them angry in the first place.
All this would be just another chance to learn from hard experience, but this time the whole fate of the republic is being weighed in the balance. Many people now agree that the 2010 elections are probably the last fair chance to stymie the elite subversion of liberty for which the Obama faction is just the cutting edge. If that's true, the RINO strategy of diversion has to work just one more time. Rather than giving in to blind enthusiasm for any of the leaders who have been served up by the business as usual workings of the existing political process, wouldn't it be wiser to examine their actions with greater than usual wariness. Rather than blame people who counsel caution, and offer analyses that prod us to think things through, wouldn't it be wiser to do so, while there's still time to avoid the pitfall and to seek a true rallying point for what's shaping up to be the decisive stand for our liberty, our sovereignty and our posterity?
Posted by Alan Keyes at 12:51 AM
The Obama faction grabs control of the sector that deals in life and death decisions affecting everyone in America. It passes legislation that makes everyone guilty of malfeasance until they purchase health insurance. It authorizes commissioning a new horde of IRS enforcers to herd them toward bankruptcy until they do. It vastly expands the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for the murder of nascent children, forcing all Americans into complicity with the moral atrocity of abortion. It kicks open the door to a future in which politicians and bureaucrats, dancing to the tune of a little clique of Party leaders, decide who gets health care; who provides it and what they are paid when they do. And faced with this wholesale leap toward Soviet style Party dictatorship Bill O'Reilly scorches the Pelosi-Reid Obamanation with the charge that they are "turning the U.S. into a "nanny state."
That'll show 'em. Nanny is one of those words that conjure truly frightful visions. Fussy old biddies making sure your socks are clean and you're not wet behind the ears. Pretty young scolds with clipped British accents or Swedish good looks and the annoying habit of insisting that you eat a gourmet breakfast before being bundled off to school. I guess I missed the episode of "Nanny and the Professor" where Nanny decided Granma was so old it didn't pay to let her to see the doc. Or the one where she threatened to tax the Professor's house away if he didn't get on the government's payroll. They forgot to tell us that Nanny was a commissar, hired and fired by the Party central committee, with a special mandate to force her neighbors to pony-up to pay for someone else's choice to murder their offspring.
The Obama faction dons the iron glove of life and death control with which they mean to smash what little remains of the constitutional sovereignty of the American people. If O'Reilly still inhabits the 'no-spin' zone how has he managed to come up with this cotton candy version of outrage as the shtick to beat them with? Truth to tell, his use of a word like "nanny" is the mother of all media spins. While posing as criticism, it's meant to domesticate and trivialize the threat; to mollify the anger and apprehension Americans rightly feel as they wait for the grip of this new and intimately pervasive form of totalitarian tyranny to take hold.
According to O'Reilly, the Obama dictators just want to make sure we're taken care of, from cradle to grave. Apparently he didn't get the rewrites. You know, with the scenes in which Nanny gets delusions of godhood. She decides that nannies must be forced on everyone in the neighborhood. They'll be empowered to decide, among other things, who's to enjoy the 'right' to be subject to a free post natal abortion, funded by forcibly procured, voluntary contributions from their fellow residents. After stealing the family fortune, Nanny hires some local muscle, and gets down to the benevolent work of forcing people to accept her care.
The Obama faction's health sector takeover isn't about taking care of people. It's about taking power over them. With cool purpose, O'Reilly pretends to understand what Obama is all about. "…they're not malicious people and it serves no purpose to attack them personally. Instead, critics should focus on the president's policies." This slyly implies that anyone who sees malice is engaged in personal attack. In fact, critics have focused on Obama's malicious policies, calling them malicious because they badly damage the nation's economic strength. They badly damage its national security. They badly damage the authority and integrity of its Constitution. They badly damage and corrupt its conscience, and with that they badly damage the moral capacity of the people to govern themselves. O'Reilly pretends to agree that the policies are misguided, but he means to deny that they are the result of a deliberate intent to do harm. Agreeing with him requires that we ignore what all the facts suggest: that Obama and his cronies are thoroughly committed to the Saul Alinsky strategy for imposing socialist tyranny. They believe in tunneling from within to destroy the strength of the society they are bidding to control. They believe by inducing and exploiting crises, they create the conditions that will allow them to dominate.
This strategic commitment means that the damage they inflict is the result of a cold-blooded, purposeful and comprehensive calculation. Why does O'Reilly want to distract us from this fact? By the repeated and consistent pattern of their actions, the Obama faction has convinced a majority of the people that they are moving with malice aforethought to complete the destruction of our way of life. There are unmistakable signs of their mounting, grim determination to defeat the Obama faction's malicious intention. Is this why O'Reilly chooses now to use language intended to defuse and mollify them? Is the pretended enemy of spin and propaganda in fact the cunning master of both? Does he mean now to spin a web of nice delusions about Obama and his cohorts, delusions intended to confuse and restrain the American people until liberty itself is nothing more than a delusion? And if this is his intention, whose interests does he serve by it?
Posted by Alan Keyes at 12:50 AM
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The headline screams "Obama's health insurance rule it was a GOP idea."
"Republicans were for President Barack Obama's requirement that Americans get health insurance before they were against it. The obligation in the new health care law is a Republican idea that's been around at least two decades. It was once trumpeted as an alternative to Bill and Hillary Clinton's failed health care overhaul in the 1990s. These days, Republicans call it government overreach.
Mitt Romney, weighing another run for the GOP presidential nomination, signed such a requirement into law at the state level as Massachusetts governor in 2006. At the time, Romney defended it as "a personal responsibility principle" and Massachusetts' newest GOP senator, Scott Brown, backed it. Romney now says Obama's plan is a federal takeover that bears little resemblance to what he did as governor and should be repealed."
Anyone still in the GOP who claims to support the U.S. Constitution should read that paragraph from the AP propaganda meisters and realize how thoroughly they've been set up. They've been had; Punked; Played for fools; Taken down the garden path. For years RINO, pro-abortion forces have conned conservatives into aiding and abetting creeping socialism in America. With patter about "Big Tent" pragmatism, they've promoted an ideologically neutered culture of political relativism in the GOP. This requires pretending that from open pro-gay marriage pro-aborts like Rudy Giuliani; to pro-life, "big-government conservative" oxymorons like Mike Huckabee they are all equally good guys; any one of them a great choice for America, just as long as they claim a Republican label. Taken individually, each represents a position that abandons or contradicts either the principles or the logic or the rational policy consequences of coherent conservatism. Taken together, they utterly destroy its meaning. But only candidates like them are viable. No others have any chance of winning.
By others, of course, they mean principled, coherent conservatives who advocate policies consistent with the principal goal of conservatism, which is to preserve, protect and defend liberty and the constitutional form of government that implements it. Behind the smoke screen of "Big Tent" rhetoric, they won't punch your Republican ticket for admission until and unless you embrace at least one position that accepts, in principle or consequence, the assumption that socialism is inevitable and liberty is doomed. In the 2008 Republican primaries every one of the candidates touted as "viable" and therefore worthy to be heard, paid the price of admission. Even an ostensibly consistent conservative like Ron Paul sounded suspiciously like Obama when he spoke about national security and foreign policy issues.
This insistence on political relativism deprives grassroots conservatives of a true and effective champion. It applies the conservative label to a self-contradictory mishmash that ends up seeming like something contrived to mask heartless selfishness, greed and imperialist ambition. In other words, it plays right into the caricature the left has developed to discredit conservatism. More importantly, it allows the forces of the left liberally to seed the GOP with double agents. As elected officials, these double agents emerge at key moments to sour the prospects for adopting and implement conservative legislation and policies. As purported spokesmen for the "conservative" GOP they emerge in the media to validate and legitimize key elements of the leftist agenda. "How can anyone accuse so and so of being a left wing extremist when this or that Republican takes the same position?" As a result of this set up, the coherent, persuasive conservative cause can be banished as intolerant and inflexible. It's logical and rational policy consequences can be stigmatized as extreme. And the governing conservative plurality of the electorate, that would otherwise coalesce to determine most American elections, can be prevented from rallying 'round what would be its unifying and therefore ultimately victorious standard.
Until now the RINO strategy could have been mistaken for nothing more than a shrewd way of eliminating competitors, and assuring that no true conservative could again achieve anything like Ronald Reagan's ascendancy. But it was always more sinister than that. We have come to the moment that reveals its potentially decisive role in overturning the liberty of the American people, and the preeminent position liberty has secured for them. A radical consolidation of power is taking place, firmly into the hands of the elite few. The health sector takeover is a decisive aspect of that consolidation. Once it is entrenched, they will have become the exclusive gatekeepers of access to the promise of life and death. The demise of the old communist empire proved that controlling money and the means of production is not enough to prevent the uprising of liberty. Neither is external propaganda that indirectly manipulates the mind by controlling perception. The root of liberty lies in a psychological reality beyond the reach of such indirect methods. People are ultimately not controlled by what they see, but by what they worship, for that determines how they understand and react to what they see.
For decades the moral aim of the elite enemies of liberty has been to replace the worship of the invisible, essentially non-material Creator God of Biblical tradition with worship of the body, the idol of living flesh. Sensual comfort and pleasure dictate the rites of worship. But it is the preoccupation with physical death that ultimately assures submission to its will. "When you've got your health, you have just about everything" the commercial whispers. The corollary of fear: if you lose your health, you lose everything." The stage is set for the trial of hope and fear through which a free people will be condemned to lose their liberty.
The health care takeover is the final step before the sentence is carried out. On the excuse that it's needed to assure physical health, the principle of despotism will be introduced, as it has always been, under the guise of benevolence. Right, which America's founding principles defined in terms consistent with liberty, appears instead in the form of benevolent coercion. Americans, until now challenged to live as responsible adults, are to be reduced again to the traditional role historically reserved for the masses-that of children ever under the control and tutelage of their betters, who will treat them as caring parents, dictators for good.
But many Americans have not lost the sense of danger common among the founders of the American republic. If people are children, who cannot be trusted to do good, then people entrusted with unchecked government power are children armed to do the utmost harm. All of human history, including the depraved saga of communist people's and soviet socialist republics reiterate and prove the point. Unchecked elite power leads to unbridled repression, ending ultimately in massive slaughter and human misery. The American elite will be no exception. In fact, among them the triumph of moral relativism couples with habits of arrogant sensual indulgence that acknowledges no natural limits. Impatient of any boundaries, they are likely to explore frontiers of inhumanity that will make the twentieth century's totalitarians seem like unimaginative tyros. And like the hackers who occasionally wreak massive havoc upon the innocent enterprise of others, they will take pride and pleasure in their handiwork.
No people in their right mind would consent to be the guinea pigs for this renewed experiment with elite despotism; especially not the American people. Therefore, they must be conned and punked and shammed into it. Right now the keys to a successful con are RINOs like Mitt Romney and Scott Brown and the supporting cast that gives them credibility. Against the seemingly innocuous backdrop American 'politics as usual,' they represent the decisive sleight of hand, the culminating focus for distraction and confusion. In the midst of it, the elite enemies of decent freedom will lock in place the machinery of coercion and manipulation that completes the fences of the soul, the shackles of mind and heart that will first mollify and then subdue, and finally extinguish the 'genius of the American people.'
If you are looking for hope in the face of this thus far entirely successful subversion of the American republic, think hard on this: People are ultimately controlled not by what they see, but by what they worship. It is not for nothing that they seek to banish the God of the Bible and of Jesus the Christ. But if we restore our faith, we'll have just about everything we need to restore and preserve our freedom.
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:08 AM
Friday, March 26, 2010
Bart Stupak and his supposedly pro-life Democrat colleagues traded their pro-life credentials for an unsavory mess of money pottage. This gave the Obama faction the party-line vote needed to win Congressional approval of their health sector power grab. It also sparked just outrage from pro-lifers. They backed what they thought was Stupak's principled stand against legislation that greatly expands taxpayer funding for the cold-blooded murder of nascent children. But after an almost convincing pantomime, these "pro-life" Democrats followed what had always been their true priorities. They betrayed unalienable right at what they knew to be a critical juncture in the nation's history. Their treachery should inoculate all true pro-life people and organizations against the temptation ever to vote for a Democrat again.
That said, this truly tragic episode ought to spark a long overdue examination of conscience throughout the pro-life community. As just noted, it all came down to the true priorities of the Stupak Democrats. Things would have turned out differently if they had been willing to give top priority to defending the nation's conscience. The first and indispensable prerequisite of all right action is to uphold the authoritative standard that distinguishes right from wrong. Political bribes and blandishments can't corrupt those who give it first priority.
In one of his most deeply practical insights, Christ advised us to remove the beam from our own eye before trying to remove a mote from our brother's. Looking back over the past several years, which of the pro-lifers now outraged over Stupak's abandonment of principle can say they have consistently acted according to the standard of priority they now apply to him? Which of them gave up their place at the table of Republican political influence to bear witness to the simple truth that no political victory should be purchased at the expense of the first principle of political justice? Which of them was willing to step into the cold political wilderness warmed only by the fire of faith in the Creator God who made us free?
Rationalizing their abandonment of principle with the usual phony sophistries ('lesser of evils', 'politics is the art of the possible', 'you can't win elections without compromise", etc., etc.) they stepped away from the cross of truth on which Christ hung in wholehearted submission to the sovereignty of his Father God. They gave priority to political success. They did so even though they acted in the context of a political association (the Republican Party) ostensibly committed to the very principle they compromised. The Democrat Party is deeply committed to the rejection of that principle. It is presently dominated by a faction determined to sacrifice all liberty and conscience in the political and spiritual war against it. How then could they expect, and even demand, that the Stupak Democrats refuse unprincipled political compromise. With less evident excuse, they themselves did not.
In the essay In Good Conscience I dealt at length with the inconsistencies and pitfalls involved in the supposedly pragmatic sacrifice of first principles.
The hesitancy and double-mindedness of the moral leaders opens them to the blandishments of politicians and donors who help them to secure resources and a place at the table of power in exchange for the use or abuse of their influence with morally concerned voters. Having built a little success with this kind of help, the ambition for more leads them to become increasingly reliant upon it, until the day comes when the fear of what they might lose by forthright advocacy replaces the prospect of gain. In either case, the focus on material success leads to a calculating mentality that by degrees changes from a calculation of goods to a calculus of evil. This is the change they now seek to establish as the standard for the moral constituency in our political life.
Too many so-called pro-life leaders gave an example of hesitancy and double-mindedness unlikely to inspire the Stupak Democrats' to stand firm against the shrewd pressures they faced from Obama and his lieutenants. The Stupak Democrats have tried to cover themselves with fig leaves of half-truths and outright deceptions. So did all too many in the pro-life community during the 2008 election.There are many voters (including a large number of Black Christians, and Hispanic and other Roman Catholics) whose professed faith calls them to respect the claims of innocent life. But their habits of partisan allegiance make them bond slaves laboring in the killing fields of the culture of death. They could be freed by the example of the cross, if only it were followed by the pro-life political activists whose principled consistent witness would cry out to them, depth unto depth. God could use them to change hearts. Instead, their fear of loss has produced an example of political calculation that puts a stumbling block in the way. A faithful witness of the cross is not called martyrdom for nothing. There are risks involved, including the risk of political and material loss. But what is faith if not confidence in Christ's promise that such losses are the key to the only victory worthy of his name? As he shows us the way to that victory, are we not called to share the news of it with all nations, beginning with our own? Isn't dedication to this calling the true measure of the pro-life cause?
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:22 AM
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Was it just a coincidence that the fate of the legislation implementing the government takeover of the health sector came down to a few votes from supposedly pro-life representatives? Or did it reflect the ugly truth about the path we Americans are being forced to take?
Since the earliest days of what became the medical profession people have had to deal with the fact that medical knowledge is like a two edged sword. Those with the knowledge to heal the body are also those most likely to have both the capacity and the opportunity to harm and kill the body. Inevitably therefore, every relationship between healer and patient requires trust.
Though these days we use the word "professional" with little or no regard for its original meaning, the concept probably developed as a way of dealing with this requirement. Healers were not just people with a certain kind of knowledge. They were people who professed to follow the way of life represented by someone (for the Greeks and Romans, a "blameless physician" named Aesculapius) so dedicated to life that he defied the ruler of the gods, choosing to die rather than to surrender the ultimate standard of that dedication. The deceptively simply first rule of their profession was "to do no harm." But the example they professed to follow implied a corollary, "even when power threatens me with death."
The medical professionals in the United States today are no longer bound by this standard of death defying dedication to life. Even if they still swore the simple oath that once expressed the rule of their profession, their willingness to tolerate in their ranks people who practice abortion or euthanasia would betray their surrender of the standard it implied.
For the physicians of our day, whether to do harm or refrain from doing it is a judgment call. When the judgment is forced upon them by the coercive force of law, they meekly surrender, even though the powers that be simply threaten their livelihood, not even their lives. Thanks to the assumptions and habits encouraged by centuries of virtuous dedication from people who kept faith with the simple ancient tradition, today's medical professionals by and large still live on the trust of millions of people willing to entrust their lives to their care. God alone knows why. But every day new instances come to light suggesting that the standard of integrity that came to be accepted by the learned ones (doctors) in areas of knowledge beyond the medical profession has broken down. Naturally, the trust engendered by that standard is also corroding.
Enter the Obama faction, with a proposal that forces people to accept the services of these "professionals" despite their abandonment of the oath that once assured people that their two edged knowledge would not be abused to serve the jealous power of greed and ambition. The so-called "right" to health care turns out to be enforced submission to the ministrations of people who will serve life or serve up death and wounds, as and when the powers that be require it of them. Thus subject to the arbitrary dictates of power, the practice of medicine goes on, but the idea of a medical profession can engender no more trust than that of a professional politician. The term indicates nothing more than a willingness to sell services for money, or at the behest of power, whatever the service required.
We must hope and pray that, whatever the condition of the profession, there are still individuals who of themselves remain dedicated to life, as once Aesculapius found it in himself to be. As God is our witness (and theirs) we can trust Him for the answer to this prayer. Tragically, however, trust will no longer be the determining factor of our fate with respect to health care. We will accept what the government dictates, or else. Whatever the Obama faction's propagandists say, there is no right in this, no right at all.
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:28 AM
On March 16, in the post entitled "Why GOP leadership doesn't ring true" I alluded to the likely next step in the elite assault on the sovereignty of the American people: "…once the health care takeover establishes control over the life and death resources of the health system they will move to call in the demographic re-enforcements with whose aid they hope once and for all to defeat the potentially saving remnant of Americans still loyal to liberty and the constitution."
"Those re-enforcements will take the form of newly minted citizens drawn from the ranks of illegal immigrants. Both their current circumstances and the situation in the lands from which they come prepare them to play the role of manipulated masses in the stage play that legitimizes elite tyranny."
I was obviously encouraged today by WND's report that Rush Limbaugh shares this view of the next phase of the battle for American liberty. "The next big push will be amnesty for…millions of illegal immigrants who are here," he said on his radio program. Obama's gonna need their votes in 2012. The Democrats are going to need their votes in the election from now on- if we have elections, and I'm not joking."
If this view is correct, the challenge now is to think through its implications for the ever more critical midterm elections coming up in November. Even if some amnesty legislation is passed, its provisions are unlikely to contain a path to citizenship short enough to put a significant number of newly minted citizens on the voters' rolls this year. However, that doesn't mean that successful passage of an amnesty bill will have no effect on the elections.
Right now, the boiling outrage over the unscrupulous and unconstitutional maneuvers the Obama faction used to rubber stamp the health takeover legislation has confirmed their tyrannical mentality and solidified opposition to their grab for totalitarian power. If the midterms were held today, the angry tidal wave would sweep them out of office. Though they are would-be tyrants, they aren't fools. So over the next several months they will look for every means at their disposal to confuse and divide the opposition.
By pushing for an amnesty bill they push against an area that lies along one of the major fault lines in what ought to be the GOP's base of support. Both the old Republican base, and the potential new blood that may flow into it from the ranks of the Tea Party patriots, consists of people who want U.S. border security restored and strengthened, and passionately oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. But the a significant number of highly visible GOP leaders work in the interest of elitist corporate forces who benefit from the cheaper, more malleable labor pool illegals constitute. Like Dick Armey, they ridicule and seek to repress voices that defend the geographic and political sovereignty of the American people. People like them serve in both the House and the Senate. Who can doubt that they will find their way into the back rooms where Obama and his factional cronies will ply them with political and budgetary cocktails that play upon their already tenuous allegiance to the defense of our physical sovereignty as a people? Who can doubt that, like the Scottish nobles in 'Braveheart', more than enough of them will betray that allegiance in order to pad their political fiefdoms?
This would mean that by the time the November elections roll around, grassroots anger over the Democrats' assault on the constitutional sovereignty of the American people will have a counterpart in grassroots confusion, anger and disaffection over the GOP betrayal of our physical sovereignty. The latter won't be sufficient to prevent Democrat losses in the Congress. But it will certainly help to mitigate the storm that would otherwise carry their house away. Right now they seem like insects, swirling in the flush of victory right down the toilet bowl. Think of amnesty legislation as the surf board that could turn a destructive tidal wave of opposition into the sort of heavy swell that makes for an exhilarating ride to the beach- or in this case the expanding beachhead of post-constitutional party dictatorship.
If the GOP leaders could be governed by common sense, they'd be sending amnesty touts like Dick Armey to the rear and working to make sure McCain is pressed out of service in the upcoming Arizona primary. Unfortunately, they are governed instead by the elitist money interests that put and keep them where they are- squarely in the way of real republicans trying to save our liberty.
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:25 AM
Monday, March 22, 2010
Between now and the midterm elections in November, the battle for the constitutional liberty of the American people will be decided. From day one, Obama's behavior and that of his factional cohorts, has confirmed that the "change" they intend to impose on the United States is a change of regime- from a constitutional government that recognizes and respects the sovereignty of the people to an elite party dictatorship that imposes its will regardless of their consent.
Though some are still blind enough to believe that Obama is the cause and focus of this battle, others are finally waking up to the reality that Obama is simply an historical figurehead. He embodies the spirit of elite domination that transcends contemporary lines of party and ideological division. As that astute observer of history Alexis de Tocqueville realized, the United States of America emerged as part of a general movement in which the people as a whole challenged the rule by domineering elites that had been the invariable pattern for government throughout human history. Tocqueville thought that the special circumstances of the Americans, with respect to geography and politics (in the broadest sense), as well as moral and intellectual character, made their assertion of self-government the most promising salient of this democratic movement, which is to say the most likely to produce a stable result, reasonably consistent with justice and basic human decency. Something of the outward luster of human ambition would be lost, but the general material and spiritual contentment of humanity would be well served.
It's fair to say that until the present day the results far exceeded Tocqueville's expectations. Keep in mind that Tocqueville was no cheerleader for democracy. He understood its inherent dangers, including especially tendencies that combined the dissolution of natural social institutions (like the family) with a taste for the concentration of political power. This portended a gradual elimination of intermediary human agencies, which would leave isolated individuals helplessly subject to the irresistible power of one pervasive and controlling tyrannical power. Tocqueville saw hope for democracy in America precisely because the religious character, and the social and political habits of its people, worked to mitigate democracy's decline toward tyranny.
By and large, the people who most profoundly shaped and influenced the establishment of the United States government appreciated the dangers of democracy just as Tocqueville did after them. Given that fact, and what should have been the effect of their own elite self-interest, it seems a miracle of Biblical proportions that a substantial proportion of the most influential American elite at the time sincerely understood and embraced the promise of greater justice involved in the democratic political principle. They accepted the premise that just government had to consult the will of the whole people when making judgments that affected their common good. But because they reflected, and meant to respect, the social and political habits of Americans (what they called the 'genius' of the American people) the founders of America's constitutional republic consciously crafted political institutions that embraced democracy in principle, but in which the implementation of republican and federal principles served to mitigate its most dangerous effects.
Tocqueville thought it likely that among Americans the republican form of government would outlast the government of the United States. He argued that the moral effects of slavery would divide the character of the people, leading, perhaps inevitably, to conflict and separation between the slave states and the free. As it turned out, he has so far been proven wrong in both respects. Tocqueville understood that the religious, moral character of the American people was crucial to their ability to understand and preserve the political institutions that implemented their sovereignty. But because he did not foresee the moral developments that preserved the Union through civil war, he could not foresee the intellectual developments that would provide the basis for an elitist movement first to subvert and then to overturn the historic movement toward government based on the consent of the people. Where liberty was concerned, the "genius" of the American people combined an understanding of justice derived from the authority of the Creator, God (natural right); with an understanding of human nature that makes human liberty a function of the equality by God's will of all human beings (natural rights). This recognizes and relies upon God as the source of the basic provisions for justice in human affairs. It is in this sense that the authors and signers of the Declaration of Independence especially relied upon God's Providence for protection as they embarked upon what they knew would be a difficult struggle to sustain it.
This appeal to Providence had to do with God's moral and spiritual provisions, the ones that guide conscience and sustain moral confidence amidst the dangers of battle and imminent death. It has little to do with provisions for material comfort, or even the necessities of life. The signers of the Declaration expected death and wounds in battle. They expected the loss and destruction of material possessions. Most of them were not disappointed. What they expected and got from God was the moral assurance that their actions were justified; and the courage born of knowing that, as subjects of God, human beings enjoy an objective worth and dignity that cannot be measure or destroyed by any material thing. This is the courage that with no false bravado taunts "O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?"
Such courage, and the successful assertion of self-government it makes possible, was especially the historical fruit of maturing Christian faith. Without the prideful ethos connected with aristocratic heritage; without the violent hatred and resentment that fire the uprisings of desperately brutalized and downtrodden masses; people at large could find the courage deliberately to undertake the dangerous work of resisting injustice, whether on their own behalf or for others. When the America revolution occurred Americans were materially pretty well off, not economically desperate. They acted with deliberate courage, and in light of passions stirred and moderated by a sense of justice. This led to the establishment of national democratic republican institutions that avoided the hate-filled excesses of the French revolution and could even survive the excruciating anguish of the Civil War and its aftermath.
Yet ironically, the ostensible triumph of freedom over moral and economic slavery in the nineteenth century may have set the course on which moral, economic and political slavery (totalitarian centralism) stand poised to triumph over America's republican form of government in the twenty-first. This tragic irony is all too aptly confirmed by the personal background of the man now set up to be the focus and figurehead of the relentless, elitist effort to overturn the constitutional sovereignty of the American people. Though in skin color he superficially resembles the people freed from slavery by America's bloody civil conflict, both his claimed African tribal heritage and his lifelong commitment to Marxist-Leninist ideology place him among the elitist enslavers of humanity.
Obama's indoctrination in Marxist-Leninism also identifies him with an understanding of human history that conflicts with any reliance on God's providence as the basis for understanding human justice. Yet as Lincoln articulated it, the common sense of the American people understood the Civil War to be a consequence of God's provision for human justice. Thanks to the moral confidence that resulted from that understanding, the Union survived the division caused by slavery. But the triumph of the North was also the triumph of the Northern industrial base. It marked the emergence of a society that would come more and more to reflect the mores of urban life. Over time those mores have become increasingly materialistic, increasingly centered on human arts and sciences, technology, and engineering (the works of human hands). Such mores began to produce people with little interest in or tolerance for an understanding of God's providence that defines human equality in terms of human rights (i.e., the human obligation to do right) rather than human needs and material desires. Though the words of the American Declaration of Independence still stir their feelings, such people are increasingly indifferent to the invocation of God's authority without which the words lose any claim to stand upon objective truth.
The fact that most American's still profess to believe in God and even in His Creation should offer some hope that America's allegiance to its founding creed can be restored. That ought to be the aim that fuels the deliberate purpose of those who must rally now to drive from office the elite subversives bent on replacing liberty for all with the renewal of elite tyranny. But who is there now to call them to that firm and true reliance upon God's providence that is the key to a sustained effort, that will not ebb and flow with every turn of events, or every deceitful maneuver aimed at mollifying their rightful indignation? If only there were true Republicans, truly committed to preserving the real meaning of the term. If only there were true Democrats, who really cared to preserve the government of, by and for the people- instead of arrogant elitists who subvert and overturn "the liberties of republics…paying obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues and ending tyrants." And if there are such true partisans of American freedom, if only, despite all our prideful rejection of Him, God will bring us to those places of the heart where we will rally to His cause and so restore our own.
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:30 AM
Sunday, March 21, 2010
In a previous post (Why GOP leadership doesn't ring true) I alluded to Former GOP Majority Leader Dick Armey's infamous boasting about how "When I was Republican leader, I saw to it that Tom Tancredo could not get on a stage because I saw how destructive he was." Armey called Tancredo destructive because of his strong stand for border security, and his support for stemming the tide of illegal immigration. In today's Featured Link Congressman Tancredo thoroughly refutes Armey's slur, including his charge that seeking to secure the nation's borders will cost the GOP the Hispanic vote. As Tancredo rightly points out, "All the evidence says just the opposite is true, but hey, the truth is not as sexy and won't make headlines." Of course, since border security is essential to the defense of the United States the question arises: If GOP leaders like Dick Armey are willing to sacrifice the nation's security to win votes from Hispanic extremists who don't care about it; don't they deserve to lose the support of all the patriotic Americans who do?
The GOP lost control of the Congress in 2006 precisely because, on issues vital to America's survival (like budget discipline, border security and enforcement of our immigration laws) voters in the party's support base revolted against the GOP's cynical willingness to sacrifice the nation's vital interests in their heedless ambition to get Republicans re-elected. But when Dick Armey flaunts his successful practice of repression he reveals to all what some of us have known from repeated experience for a long time: just like the Obama Democrats, GOP leaders arrogantly subvert the constitutional sovereignty of the people in order to hold on to political power. Here's the thinking that leads to this conclusion.
Armey says he abused his position as Majority leader to repress Tom Tancredo's views because Tancredo was "destructive." But can someone be destructive if they have no impact? If what they say is simply goofy and ridiculous, won't audiences simply laugh them off the stage? Obviously, Armey took pains to repress Tancredo's voice because Tancredo spoke to and for the majority of Americans who want America's borders defended, and the laws regulating immigration enforced. When Armey, and GOP leaders like him, act against outspoken leaders like Tom Tancredo, they do so in order to deprive the majority of a voice. Without a voice, they cannot express their political will. If they cannot express their will, it cannot be heard and or carried out. If it is not heard and carried out, the American people are effectively deposed from the position of political authority they are supposed to exercise as citizens of a constitutional republic. (Q.E.D.)
As I write these words, GOP leaders in the Congress are decrying the open assault on constitutional self-government the Obama faction has launched in order to ram the government takeover of health care down the throats of an outraged majority of the American people. But the Obama faction's repression of their opponents on this issue is simply the legislative counterpart of the repression GOP leaders like Armey boastfully perpetrate against their opponents on issues like border security and immigration. The GOP leaders seek to deprive the people of leaders who express their will. The Democrats seek to shield from scrutiny the leaders who vote to betray their will. In either case, what they actually repress is the sovereignty of the American people. And what they really aim to secure is a form of government in which the people can no longer act with authority because they have been deprived of the voices needed to express their will, or the accountability needed to enforce it come election time.
As I indicated in my previous posting, my firsthand experience amply verifies the commitment to political repression evident in Dick Armey's prideful boasting. In my experience, however, the ultimate target of repression is the view, expressed in America's founding creed, that the people's right to government based upon the consent of the governed is grounded in the sovereignty of the Creator God. The elite subversives who control both political parties practice repression on particular issues in order to deprive the people of their sovereign right of self-government. But they repress voices that remind people of its foundational principle (i.e., the existence and authority of God) in order to assault and break the good faith of their hearts. Without that they will surely lose the courage to assert and defend their God-given right. This is why we must above all bear witness to its truth, as long as there is hope that anyone will hear us. And there is always hope, for God is listening.
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:31 AM
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I read an article from Reuters this morning that is either a sincere attempt to present an accurate description of the Tea Party movement or a very sophisticated piece of propaganda on behalf of the elite subversives threatened by its assertion of the sovereignty of the people. If the Tea Party movement is simply about the political challenges facing the Republican Party, the article is an accurate assessment of its character and prospects. If it is actually about the threatened destruction of constitutional self-government in the United States of America, the article deceptively misses the point. It focuses on the tension between the Tea Party movement and the current leadership of the GOP. But it skates by the tension between the Tea Party movement and such organizations as "Freedomworks, the chief instrument of the GOP leadership's efforts to co-opt the Tea Party movement. As a result it obfuscates the ongoing struggle over the meaning and future of the American conservative movement. Thanks to this obfuscation the article treats the deep differences of principle that will really determine the future of American constitutional self-government as if they are incidental facts affecting the Tea Party movement's electoral clout.
Of the possible challenges ahead for the Tea Party movement the two main ones are not from the left, but from the right.
The first comes from social conservatives, or the religious right. The Tea Party movement is dominated by fiscal conservatives and leaders like Eric Odom of the American Liberty Alliance say social issues like abortion and gay marriage should be avoided.
When asked about abortion, for instance, Tina Dupont of the Tea Party of West Michigan says the group does not discuss it. "Most of us are probably pro-lifers," she said. "But we avoid the topic because it is so divisive."
This has been noted by some on the religious right. "At the national level you have people saying it is all about fiscal issues and not about social issues because they say they are divisive," said Tony Perkins, president of Christian lobby group the Family Research Council.
Chris Merrill said while Tea Partiers can avoid divisive issues at meetings, they cannot if they run for office. "Running a campaign is different," he said. "At some point they have to take a stand on social issues."
Some say a showdown between social and fiscal conservative groups may be inevitable. "Fiscal conservatives want to limit the size of government, social conservatives want to use government to further their agenda," Henson said. "That will likely cause problems."Thanks to the influence of leftist indoctrination, the term "divisive" has become a pejorative. The aim of NEA dominated education is to produce "citizens of the world", their features stamped with the plasticized smiley faces that connote successful suppression of the competitive thirst for individual achievement and distinction. "Unity" has replaced "solidarity" as the buzzword of socialist totalitarianism. Where unity is imperative, those who are "divisive" commit the cardinal sin.
What confirms the article's pejorative take on what it calls the "social issues" is the editorial choice to leave unchallenged an outright lie about the goal of "social conservatives." Those who emphasize government's obligation to respect unalienable rights (like the right to life) do not "seek to use government to further their agenda." Rather they seek respect for the fundamental principle of justice from which the very idea of limited government arises. Apart from that principle, succinctly articulated in the most famous words of the American Declaration of Independence, the motives for opposing government action can plausibly be portrayed as avarice, greed and selfishness. Conservatives can easily be caricatured as heartless opportunists, who care nothing for the common good.
In fact, the conservatives who defend the moral principles set forth in the Declaration act for the common good. They defend the understanding of justice that distinguishes America's constitutional union of states and individuals from the homogenized "unity" imposed by all forms of socialist totalitarianism. But because they are sincere in their advocacy of individual and states' rights, they give careful attention to respecting the obligations and responsibilities that substantiate and sustain those rights. First and foremost this requires individuals to respect in themselves and their own actions the justice they demand of government. It also requires them to demand that all levels of government to respect in others (regardless of physical development, color, race or creed) the rights they recognize and insist on for themselves.
True conservative positions are the direct result of this consistency. Conservatives cannot embrace a "right" to health care that destroys the right of health workers freely to negotiate the terms on which they offer their services. They cannot embrace a "right" to housing that destroys the right of investors to decide the terms on which they will lend their resources. They cannot embrace a "right" to abortion that destroys the unalienable right of each and every human being to be secure from murderous destruction of the life imparted to them by God's creation. They cannot embrace a "right" to adjudicate, or legislate or immigrate that subverts the right of the people to government based upon their consent.
The lack of such consistency is what reveals the hidden hand of the "RINO" forces whose influence now pervades the controlling leadership of the GOP. Organizations like Freedomworks purport to defend limited government, yet disdain to defend the Declaration principles that rescue fiscal conservatism from charges of heartless self-interest. They purport to defend a constitution wholly devised to implement the sovereignty of the American people, yet (in statements such as those Freedomworks Chairman Dick Armey made recently at the National Press Club) they ridicule and seek to exclude from public platforms those who seek effective action to remedy illegal immigration and the neglect of U.S. border security, either of which will be fatal to that sovereignty. ("'When I was Republican leader, I saw to it that Tom Tancredo could not get on a stage because I saw how destructive he was,' Armey said of the anti-immigration former congressman. "Republicans have to get off this goofiness.'") These organizations also purport to seek limited government and the preservation of private sector economic approaches, yet eschew, as "divisive," efforts to the defend the natural rights of the family (the indispensable unit of the private economy activity.)
From a strictly electoral viewpoint, the refusal to defend the natural family is instructive. Every election involves a division of the electorate. Whenever people in the various states have had the opportunity to vote in support of the natural family, they have done so by solid majorities. The defense of the natural family is "divisive" alright, in a way that brings together a winning majority in its support. If every election for office could be made to turn on the choice between a candidate who defends the natural family's rights and one who supports an understanding of family based wholly on government fiat (like gay marriage), the proponent of natural rights would win every time. People who reject the issue as "divisive" are therefore rejecting a chance to unify an electoral majority around the core constitutional principle of natural rights. What can explain this perverse rejection of a winning issue except an ideological preference for the opposing viewpoint? The slobbering embrace of the homosexual agenda at this year's CPAC gathering in Washington offers evidence that this is the correct explanation.
Those who refuse to assert and defend the moral principles on which America's framework for constitutional self-government is based are not true conservatives. Their stand in favor of limited government and fiscal conservatism is little more than opportunistic posturing. More importantly, their tacit refusal to defend the natural rights basis for constitutional self-government indicates their ideological surrender to or alliance with the socialist forces they pretend to oppose. For at its heart, the concept of legitimacy on which constitutional self-government relies depends, in turn, on a concept of natural justice. That concept derives from the simple premise that right and wrong are not arbitrary human fabrications. They are expressions of the authoritative will of the Creator God.
Most of the people participating in the Tea Party movement feel strong allegiance to the Constitution of the United States. What remains to be seen is whether their understanding of its essential moral principles is as strong as their feeling. If it is, they will see through the inconsistencies of false flag conservatism. They will be wary of Freedomworks, and Romney's work and all the works of those who pretend that liberty can be revived and sustained without recovering America's allegiance to the moral principles on which it was founded. They will come together in a stand that accurately reflects the union made possible by these principles. If they do, Tea Party people will inspire all Americans to reaffirm their identity as one nation under God, a nation secure in both liberty and justice thanks to our decent respect for the truth that makes us free.
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:33 AM
Friday, March 19, 2010
The Israeli government's announcement of its approval for a long planned expansion of a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem has caused quite a stir. It went forward during a visit of U.S. Vice-President Biden intended, among other things, to focus attention on U.S. Israeli solidarity in their stand against Iran's push for nuclear weapons capability. Was the overdone U.S. government reaction to the supposed slight to the Vice-President the result of high-level diplomatic immaturity? Or was it part of a shrewdly calculated attempt to facilitate Israeli concessions that may improve the Palestinian community's perception of the Palestinian Authority's stature as indirect negotiations between Israel and Palestine begin?
However that may be, it has distracted attention from another more significant rebuff of U.S. policy. Hilary Clinton is visiting Moscow. According to a report in the online edition of the French newspaper "Le Figaro" "At the moment when the American Secretary of State was conversing with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, the [Russian] Prime Minister [Vladimir Putin], visiting southern Russia, announced the start-up this summer of Iran's first nuclear reactor, built by the Russians in Bushehr, a city in the south of the Islamic Republic."
A good case can be made that Russia's rebuff, which merited a diplomatically restrained rap on the hand from Hilary Clinton, is far more significant than the pretended Israeli slight that got a far harsher reaction. The low level Israeli government announcement involved Israeli activity with respect to an issue on which the likely outlines of an Israeli Palestinian agreement already exist. The very high level Russian announcement involves a "fait accompli" that highlights the possibility that U.S. diplomatic efforts to forestall an Iranian nuclear weapons capability are at best already OBE, and at worst an impotent pantomime, doomed by the recalcitrance of the Russians and the Chinese.
Of course, it's easier for the U.S. government to bully Israel than Russia. That may explain the disproportionate reactions to these two similarly structured diplomatic slights. But since Moscow's rebuff points to the possibly insurmountable difficulties facing diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran's full development of the capacity to produce nuclear weapons, it directs attention to the alternative: direct military action. Israel took such action against Saddam Hussein's Iraq when it seemed poised to cross the nuclear weapons threshold. That was the last time the U.S. condemned an Israeli action the way it appears to be condemning the far less significant bureaucratic snafu over a routine announcement related to construction in a Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem. Is the U.S. government's overreaction now meant to raise the prospect of a reaction that goes beyond verbal condemnation should Israel take direct military action to stop Iran's emergence as a nuclear weapons power? Does it raise the bar of expectation in a way that vastly increases the likelihood of that reaction?
So have the Obama faction's actions in the past few days been the result of temperamental incompetence (what Jackson Diehl labeled "a fit of pique" or an even more far reaching Machiavellian calculation (than someone like Charles Krauthammer suggested)? While seeming to pressure Israel in one way, present events may implicitly confront Prime Minister Netanyahu with a far more ominous and fateful pressure: accept a fait accompli that puts Israeli in the way of destruction at the hands of Iranian nuclear weapons; or act to preempt that threat in the face of a U.S. administration that may be positioning itself to justify not merely a freeze in U.S.-Israeli relations, but an unprecedented disruption. Is this diplomacy, Chicago style?
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:41 AM
Thursday, March 18, 2010
[I was going to write a post about the diplomatic flare-up that has presently brought U.S. Israeli relations to their lowest ebb in many years. Then I received an email from my friend Allan Gerson in which he passed along an article in which he says just about everything I would have wanted to say, though with greater diplomacy than I could muster. I served with Mr. Gerson at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations during the Reagan years. He was Jeanne Kirkpatrick's Counsel to the US Delegation, on which I served as Ambassador to the UN Economic and Social Council. I have ever since enjoyed his friendship and grown in my admiration for his great clarity of thought. (The latter is all the more remarkable for the fact that Allan is also an outstandingly successful practitioner of international law. In that field, intellectual clarity surely can't be taken for granted.) With his generous OK, I am pleased to share his thoughts with all of you.-Alan Keyes]
Conventional wisdom has it - if you aggregate the views of pundits, columnists, and State Department pronouncements - that the current downward spiral in Israel-U.S. relations, which seems to be snuffing out any chance of Middle-East peace, was the inevitable result of the surprise announcement by Israel's Minister of Interior approving new Israeli housing units in East Jerusalem. In this view, Vice President Biden had no choice but to unleash an unprecedented display of American anger, followed-up by Secretary of State Clinton's dressing-down of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
After all, Biden was there on a peace mission to jump-start the moribund Israeli-Palestinian talks. He could ill afford to see an Israeli show of discourtesy in revealing an embarrassing truth - that Israel had no intention of curbing housing starts in East Jerusalem which it considers its sovereign territory and free to do with it as it pleases.
The Biden rebuke took no less than 90 minutes to formulate and orchestrate, keeping Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu cooling his heels while bureaucrats and political appointees in Washington (if not President Obama directly) spent the time finding the right phrase. In the end the decision was made to bring on the heavy cannon of the diplomatic lexicon: the word "condemn".
"I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for the new housing units in East Jerusalem", Biden railed. Never was American displeasure of Israeli action displayed in starker terms since the U.S. joined (in a decision it has come to regret) in the 1981 U.N. Security Council condemnation of Israel's air attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osyrak. To be sure, the stakes were different. In 1981, the Reagan Administration feared - rightly or wrongly - that the bombing could ignite a free-for-all in preemptive military strikes. Now the Obama Administration is rebuking the Israeli government because the "substance and timing of the announcement....undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I've had here in Israel".
Surely, the Obama Administration knew there were softer ways to make its point. For example, as one veteran U.S. Middle-East observer, Robert Malley, wrote, they could have merely thanked the Israeli Minister of Interior for clarifying the issues. Clearly, Israel had never pledged to change its policy to treat East Jerusalem (as opposed to the West Bank) as sovereign Israeli territory, placing issues of housing off-limits for purposes of negotiation or Israeli-American dialogue. It had pledged to keep its true intentions under wraps (as if the Palestinians were not fully aware of them) in order to provide a fig leaf for American efforts at jump-starting "proximity" talks.
Seen in this light, was the Obama Administration's idea of a resounding American rebuke of Israeli housing in East Jerusalem pre-planned, if not pre-packaged, waiting for a misstep by the Israelis as an occasion for its activation? Phrased differently, had the Obama Administration already embarked, before Biden's foray, on a radically different approach to U.S. foreign policy toward the Israel-Palestine dispute?
True, no one in the Obama Administration explicitly said that new Israeli housing units in East Jerusalem were unlawful, but that was the conclusion others (even those unacquainted with the diplomatic usage of "condemn" as reserved for acts of aggression, torture, and the like) were left to draw by the strong language and follow-up punch by Secretary of State Clinton's publicized dressing-down of Netanyahu. Make no mistake about it: if that were the intention, it signifies a fundamental change in U.S. foreign policy.
Israel's official position remains, as it has for the last forty years, that East Jerusalem's status is not negotiable. Of course, in actual negotiations hard and fast positions are prone to change, even those characterized as nonnegotiable. And, Israel's position on Jerusalem may well change during negotiations. But it seems delusional to believe that Israel can be forced to change its position on Jerusalem in advance of actual negotiations. To the extent that this is the ambition of the Obama Administration, as it seems to be, it marks a radical departure from the long-held U.S. policy towards Israel.
For the last forty plus years Washington's position has been that: (a) the status of Jerusalem is distinct and wholly different from that of the West Bank; and (b) that while the United States considers Israeli settlement activity in both Jerusalem and the West Bank to be ill advised, it does not deem West Bank, let alone East Jerusalem settlements, to be unlawful.
To be sure, U.S. presidents are free to announce new doctrines and policies, and do not need Congressional approval or even that of the American public. But it is generally accepted, nevertheless, that this is done openly with an opportunity for an airing of costs and benefits. Here, to the extent U.S. foreign policy was changed, it was changed by stealth, although undoubtedly in response to an ill-timed Israeli announcement in violation of its assurance to maintain the charade that Jerusalem was negotiable.
Now we are left to reap the whirlwind. Having had the United States condemn Israel for the substance as well as timing of its decision, Palestinians can hardly with any sense of self-dignity come to the negotiating table. And Israel's foes, who have been deterred by the strength of the U.S.-Israel alliance, would like nothing more than to further exploit the rift.
Undoubtedly, Biden was put in a tough position, although he should not have been totally surprised by the development. Could his response have expressed disappointment while not igniting a show-down with Israel on Jerusalem in which it is unclear whether the Unites States will prevail? History will have to judge. But, at the moment it looks like personal pique and the determination to forge a new policy regardless of costs may have forged the decision in Washington.
*Allan Gerson is Chairman of AG International Law, a Washington, D.C. law firm. He served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations during the Reagan Administration, and is the author of "Israel, the West Bank, and International Law" (1978).
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:43 AM
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
In Mexico, drug gangsters brutally murder an American consular officer and his wife, leaving their orphaned child weeping in the back seat of the vehicle in which they died. In Israel, Vice-President Biden loses face and his diplomatic aplomb as an ill-timed announcement of new construction in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem highlights the inevitable failure of U.S. efforts to force nullification of the commitment to a united Jerusalem common to all Israeli governments since it was first asserted in 1980. Meanwhile, in Moscow the Russian government persists in opposition to U.S. backed sanctions against Iran intended somehow to brake Iran's stubborn drive toward full development of a nuclear weapons capability.
From bad guys to allies to great power competitors around the world, the United States is reaping the fruits of Obama's abject, bow down and scrape diplomacy. Though ostensibly aimed at promoting peace, the actual result is a more violent and unstable environment for policy, poisoned by nearly universal contempt for U.S. weakness and self-doubt. The international situation is becoming a classic "parade of horribles." It serves to illustrate the folly of appeasement while making the case for foreign and national security policies based on maintaining "peace through strength."
A charitable take on this dangerous folly might ascribe it to the pernicious effects of the Obama faction's left wing fanaticism. Since the U.S. became a world power, new occupants of the White House have nonetheless usually come into office with priorities that give short shrift to the requirements of defending America's vital interests in the naturally hostile state of international affairs. Once mugged by reality, however, they quickly accept the fact that the U.S. government must give overriding priority to those requirements. They subordinate their pet ideological goals in order to deal effectively with the necessities of U.S. survival. The envy occasioned by America's dominant position in the world after WWII made this all the more imperative. Human nature is prone perversely to resent even the good deeds done by those whose preeminent wealth and power gives all their gifts and benefits the smack of dependency and condescension. The self-interested character of all international relations adds to the likelihood that every good deed will be interpreted as a sinister power play.
Though they act in the name of the American people, Obama and his ideological cohorts have mostly been in the vanguard of the leftist ideologues for whom that sinister anti-American interpretation was "the law and the prophets." They wholeheartedly embrace and sincerely believe an analysis that most of our foreign enemies and competitors cynically advance for propaganda purposes. Unlike their predecessors (including even the liberal ideologues of the Clinton era) their mishandling of the challenges of U.S. national security isn't mainly the result of the priorities imposed by electoral politics. Like recovering alcoholics working through the twelve step program, they feel obliged to acknowledge the damage America has done, and take sacrificial steps to compensate those they regard as the victims of America's power abuse.
Taken to the extreme, of course, this mentality carries self-sacrifice to its extreme-inviting abuse from others even to the point of self-destruction. At this point, however, charitable psycho-babble fails to take into account the characteristic self-exemption of the Obama ideologues. Though content to lead the American people to drown in an ocean of self-flagellation, they fancy themselves to be among the victims of America's power abuse. As champions of true justice and compassion, have they not been hunted, reviled and victimized; all because of their commitment to be the vanguard of the forces that will erase America's abusive, enslaving imperialism from the map of history? On account of their deeds of personal sacrifice, have they not earned the right to be America's executioners? Their policies will, all at once, lop off America's head (constitutional sovereignty), rip out its moral heart (the doctrine of God given individual rights) and pour out the blood that nurtures its physical life (the economic strength derived from private property and individual initiative.)
Seen in this light, Obama's abject diplomacy simply prepares for the last and fiercest gesture of this ritual sacrifice of America's existence- when the lifeless remains of her greatness are flung to be devoured by the jackals and vultures that prowl expectantly about the international arena, their toothy hunger sharpened by envy and embittered pride.
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:50 AM
On the pages of this blog I have repeatedly analyzed and warned against the naïve notion that simply voting for candidates handpicked by the failed leadership of the GOP will somehow help to revive the prospects of America's constitutional liberty. The news today offers two apt illustrations of the reason why. The Obama faction is poised to use the health care legislation as an excuse to eviscerate the legislative process established by the U.S. constitution. In response, "Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) indicated yesterday that he was resigned to letting congressional Democrats make the Senate health-care bill the law of the land without ever holding a vote on it in the House of Representatives…" Despite its patently obvious violation of the U.S. Constitution "If this passes and is signed into law, I think it becomes law… There's nothing that can prevent it," Dreier said. "It's something… that they can clearly do, if they have the votes."
With these words Dreier supinely accepts the notion that the Constitution is no longer the supreme law of the land. He promotes the idea that bills approved by majority votes that patently violate the clear, plain language of the Constitution nonetheless have the authority of law. At present he does so in a context that also undermines the separate legislative prerogative of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Congressional chamber that has been regarded as "the people's house" since the inception of the U.S. government. It embodies and represents the people's most direct participation in the national legislative power. The Senate, on the other hand, has always embodied the role of the more elite elements of the society. It does so now more than ever, as its members have become more and more subject to the blandishments of corporate interests, whose pursuit of global profits thoroughly adulterates the allegiance they should give to the American republic.
In recent years the GOP leadership in the House has more and more identified with their elite counterparts in the Senate. They have accepted the role of overseers, tasked to keep the restive envoys of the masses from representing the morals or economic interests of their constituents to any extent that interferes with elite control of (and profit from) the U.S. government. Government of, by and for the people has morphed into government of by and for the corporate, governmental and information elites (among which latter we must include academics, as well as media and entertainment personalities.)
Ironically, the bureaucratic and corporate base of this new oligarchy enforces a "team" mentality more in tune with left wing collectivism than with the ethos of individual rights, responsibilities and initiatives essential to the survival of American liberty.
Dreier's nonchalant acquiescence in the Obama faction's unconstitutional abuses serves and reflects the attitudes of these American oligarchs. Their increasingly successful assault against the moral and material bases of the republic is encouraging ever more open disdain for the charters of American liberty. Moreover, once the health care takeover establishes control over the life and death resources of the health system they will move to call in the demographic re-enforcements with whose aid they hope once and for all to defeat the potentially saving remnant of Americans still loyal to liberty and the constitution.
Those re-enforcements will take the form of newly minted citizens drawn from the ranks of illegal immigrants. Both their current circumstances and the situation in the lands from which they come prepare them to play the role of manipulated masses in the stage play that legitimizes elite tyranny. So it should come as no surprise that the man the elites have self-promoted as the guru of the tea party movement, Dick Armey, disdains to defend the moral ideas essential for liberty, while ridiculing opposition to the contrived flood of illegal immigrants that so deeply concerns most of the citizens he claims now to represent.
"Who in the Republican Party was the genius who said now that we have identified the fastest-growing demographic in America, let's go out and alienate them? This is a nation of immigrants. ... There is room in America," he said.
As I surmise from firsthand experience, today Dick Armey and the GOP leadership he represents work to assure that authentic voices speaking on behalf of the moral, economic and national sovereignty of the American people will be kept off the stage. They pretend to champion a return to smaller government and lower taxes, while praising with faint damns (and inept opposition) the agenda of moral surrender and socialist government expansion that makes that return ever more unlikely."When I was Republican leader, I saw to it that Tom Tancredo could not get on a stage because I saw how destructive he was," Armey said of the anti-immigration former congressman. "Republicans have to get off this goofiness. Ronald Reagan said, 'Tear down this wall.' Tom Tancredo said 'Build that wall.' Who's right? America is not a nation that builds walls. America is a nation that opens doors, and we should be that."
I have been to tea party events large and small. I have witnessed the truth that most of the people attending them have the common sense to understand that the Obama faction's push for abortion, amnesty for illegals, and the government takeover of economic control all serve the same purpose and lead to the same end- the overthrow of American liberty. They also have sense enough to know that GOP leaders like Dick Armey pretend to spring to the defense of America's economic sovereignty, but all the while they neglect or help to unlock the gates that defend the moral heart and national sovereignty of the American people. Such patriots realize that if any of these gates are left undefended, the citadel of freedom will be taken just the same.
Posted by Alan Keyes at 10:46 AM
Monday, March 15, 2010
Eventually, the truth will out. For years people like me have emphasized the fact that the true crisis America faces today has to do with the abandonment of the moral premises on which the nation is founded. What looks like a welter of different issues (a financial meltdown, the cost of health care, declining results in education, etc.) turns out to be an array of consequences arising from the collapse of institutions (like the family) and characteristics (like responsible banking practices re loans and investments) that reflect and depend on maintaining the basic moral fiber of the society. Though many people acknowledge the common sense truth of what we say, they continue to tolerate media and political figures who pretend to address "the issues" while ignoring or belittling the pervasive disintegration of mores that gives rise to or exacerbates them.
In the same vein when, out of respect for the clearly worded requirements of the U.S. Constitution, people like me seek an authoritative determination about Obama's eligibility for the Office of President of the United States, these same media and political figures savagely ridicule and dismiss the matter. They again pretend that it is merely a distraction from really important or "winning" issues the fight over the government's takeover of the health sector or the mad borrowing and spending that is bankrupting the nation's future.
But the battle against the Obama faction's health takeover bid now turns on the issue of abortion ("Democrats still are face [sic] resistance in their own party from anti-abortion lawmakers worried about how and whether insurance plans should pay for abortions.") And the success of Nancy Pelosi's desperate push to force it through despite any and all opposition may depend on a legislative power play conceived with the utmost contempt for the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution requires that both Houses of Congress approve a bill before it is sent to the President for signature. Using the so-called Slaughter rule the Obama faction party bosses may simply declare heath takeover legislation approved though the two Houses never take a vote on the same bill. In effect, this discards the bicameral legislative structure established by the Constitution. What's left in its place is a legislative shell game that allows the Obama faction's party bosses to pass off as laws bills never constitutionally approved by the elected representatives of the people.
Such a precedent turns the legislative process into an insubstantial charade. Like the Roman Senate under Augustus Caesar, the U.S. Congress will become nothing more than a shadow play, an empty illusion of representative government. Meanwhile, beyond the grasp of the people, the substance of so-called laws would be determined with little regard for their consent.
This evisceration of the legislative power of the Congress would not be possible if the people had not been corrupted to believe that the requirements of the Constitution can be neglected or ignored to suit the whims of transitory electoral majorities. The decrepit mentality that ignores the Constitution's word on what it takes for an individual to become President now transforms into the arrogant presumption that casts aside its word on what it takes for a bill to become a law. Its authority, once merely disdained may now be openly discarded.
The first disdain for Constitutional authority cloaked itself with the appearance of respect for the authority of the people over elections. ("The election is over," they said. The people have had their say. The Constitutional provision has been overtaken by events.") Now the arrogance of power reveals what was always its true intention: to undermine and cast aside the people's authority over the law.
Once that has been achieved, all that remains is to shrug off the constraints upon executive power implied by the people's authority over the law. Then the despotism will be complete. Then the tyranny will be self-evident. Then America's brief experiment in liberty and justice for all (not just the favored few) will clearly be at an end.
Are the American people ready yet to heed the voices that have long warned them of the danger? Are they ready yet to see beyond the burning trees and deal with those who mean to burn the forest down?
Posted by Alan Keyes at 12:10 AM