Category Archives: Political Left

Paul Krugman, You Are a Coward

This column is in response to a post by Mr. Paul Krugman  of the New York Times on his blog page “Conscience of a Liberal” of 9/11/2011.  A link to his column is provided here: 

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/the-years-of-shame/?smid=tw-NytimesKrugman&seid=auto

Actually, Mr. Krugman, it IS just you. In your latest column you describe America’s response to 9/11 as “deeply shameful”. I think you are projecting.

You say that the atrocity of 9/11 should have been a unifying event.  In fact, it was – and that’s what bugs you, isn’t it? Because it led to a renewal of patriotism, love of country, and an appreciation for our military and for the sacrifices they make each day to protect this great nation. Thank God America doesn’t have to rely on people like you to protect our freedoms and personal liberty.

It really bugged you when so many Americans stood behind President Bush and Mayor Giuliani, didn’t it? They were, of course, your political enemies then as they are now, and it was their leadership that you found so unbearable, wasn’t it? (Full disclosure: I did not vote for Bush in either 2000 or 2004.) You say George W. Bush “raced to cash in on the horror?” Consider that maybe, just maybe, he was acting forcefully as the President of a nation under attack. Question for you: Did Barack Obama “race to cash in” on the killing of Osama Bin Laden in his address to the nation less than 24 hours later with more than a dozen references to his own role in ordering the killing? Is his administration “cashing in” on that hit by giving unprecedented access to America’s intelligence services to the Hollywood group that is creating a film of this event, to be released on October 12, 2012, just in time for the presidential election? (Full disclosure: I worked in the motion picture industry for several years and it is unheard of for a release date to be determined more than a year in advance of any film.)

Mr. Krugman, you state that the memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned. You speak entirely for yourself.  For me, 9/11 is and always will be a harsh reminder that the freedoms we enjoy in our great country are not free of cost, neither are they permanently assured. It is a reminder that Thomas Jefferson was correct in stating “The tree of  liberty must be watered periodically by the blood of tyrants and patriots alike.”

9/11 may be an occasion of shame for you, as you said. For me it is a time to remember Dwight Darcy, Brendan Buchanon, Mike Armstrong, and the twelve people from the high school I attended who were murdered on that day.  The only shame I feel is the shame that they all had to die so young.

In your columns over the years, you often consider the world in terms of victims and oppressors. I have 2,966 victims for you to consider – the innocent victims of a Muslim ideology that has been corrupted into a maniacal and nihilistic agent of violence and antediluvian self-delusion.

I wouldn’t have bothered to devote an entire blog entry to your misguided and hateful opinions, but by not allowing any comments to them on your website, you left me no choice.

Former President Bush said yesterday that 9/11 taught us that “evil is real and so is courage.” In your column today (and especially by locking out comments on what you said) you showed us all that you certainly lack the latter.

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One nation, under God, indivisible? No, I don’t think so.

We are as fundamentally divided as a people now in 2011 as we were in the 1850s, just prior to the Civil War.  Back then the division centered around the issues of racially-based slavery and the proper relationship between the state and federal governments.  Today the divide is defined by an economically based  servitude and the nature of the relationship between the individual and the coercive power of government of all levels.

In the 1850s there were people on both sides of the divide who saw the inherent dangers the our situation but they had no real solution,  proving helpless to prevent the drift toward the Civil War.  And as Shelby Foote, the eminent Civil War historian points out, the Civil War was the result of our failure to do what Americans had previously done so well, i.e. compromise.  There were back then two groups of irreconcilable ideologues, abolitionists who considered slavery a moral evil, not a political issue, and ardent states’-rights proponents who saw the power of Washington in any area of their lives as a threat to their sovereignty.  These people identified themselves more closely as members of a particular group (their state) than as American citizens. For them the form of bondage that most offended was the subservience of the South to the Northern bankers, shippers, and industrialists.  Today there are many Americans who have a greater allegiance to an ethnic, cultural, religious or economic interest than to our national interest.

It might be instructive for Americans, and especially our leaders, to go back and revisit the years from 1850 to the outbreak of hostilities in 1861.  I doubt they will bother.

Yet I believe that in some sense, perhaps only lightly felt, Americans realize the perilous nature of our present situation, at least to the extent that they understand we can’t stay on our present course. (In a July 10 Rasmussen poll, 68% of Americans surveyed said the Unites States was heading in the wrong direction, only 25% in the right direction.)

I believe that ordinary Americans are looking for someone, a leader who could transcend our entrenched interest group-centered attitudes and bring us together.  That was, after all, a part of Obama’s appeal in 2008 when he said “there is not a conservative America and a liberal America, there is the United States of America.  There is not a white America, a black America, a latino America or an Asian America, there is the United States of America.”

Whatever happened to that idea?  More and more it seems these words were just empty campaign rhetoric.The man whom so many hoped would take blue states and red states and turn them into a Purple Nation has become just another political Great Divider. And our divide is wider and seems more insurmountable than ever.

So here we are now, no longer One Nation, Indivisible.  And lacking the leaders with the courage to risk offending their various political bases.  In one sense, we are reaping just what we have been sowing for more than a generation.  We no longer imbue our children with a sense of commonly held ideals, we no longer tell them our National Story. The road to political power is now paved with the efforts to get our fellow citizens to see themselves as belonging to specific interest groups (white, black, latino, male, female, gay, lesbian, transgendered, liberal/progressive, conservative, senior citizens, union members, public service employees, gun owners, etc. etc.) and if enough members of these various groups can be convinced of their own victim-hood and entitlement, so much the better.  If enough of these interest groups can then be cobbled together into temporary electoral coalitions, you win.

Shared sacrifice?  Common purpose?  Those ideas are for chumps, quaint perhaps, but not really meaningful in our world today.

The Civil War was the greatest political calamity our nation has ever faced,  It is a pity we haven’t remembered its lessons.  The Great Depression of the 1930s was the worst economic calamity we have endured.  The economic collapse of 2008-09 was proof that we turned our backs on the harsh lessons the Depression taught us about economic safeguards and restraints, and about fiscal responsibility.

Both the Civil War and Great Depression severely tested the bonds of our nation and its people.  Putting the pieces back together in each instance was a long, painful, and sacrificial process.

Getting out of our current political, social, and economic mess will also be slow and painful, and it will certainly entail sacrifices.  Are we any longer up to the task?

My guess is no, not as we are presently disposed.  What will be required is a different type of political leadership, perhaps a different shared definition of both Fulfillment and Success, and the renewal of a sense of shared identity and purpose (if in fact these things any longer exist in America). Here’s hoping it is not already too late.

Anti-War No More… Whatever happened to the Political Left?

Remember the Anti-war Left?  Back in the 1960s they protested the Vietnam War.  In the 1970s they agitated for the War Powers Resolution in Congress, moved to limit the powers of the CIA overseas and the FBI at home. In the 1980s they opposed Ronald Reagan at every turn. More recently, George W. Bush was decried as a warmonger, compared to Hitler (see MoveOn.org), accused of complicity in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and assailed for the “Surge” in Iraq.(Full disclosure: I am registered as an independent voter and I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000 or 2004.)

Recall the wrath of the Political  Left when Bush increased US troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq?  Recall a similar outcry when Barack Obama sent 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan? You probably don’t, because there wasn’t one. Remember back to when Richard Nixon began bombing Cambodia without consulting Congress? Have you heard more than a peep from the Political Left today, as Obama’s ordered US intervention in the Libyan civil war enters its third month?  The War Powers Resolution that was passed into law in 1973 (largely by Democrats) requires the President to end any military action after 60 days unless Congress approves it. Not only has the Obama administration not gotten such approval, it has stone-walled Congressional efforts to obtain information about the Libyan operations from both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defense Department.  Can you see GW Bush getting such a pass?

In other areas, the Political Left has rolled over as well.  Suppose Bush had issued an executive order that any business seeking to bid on government contracts had to submit a list of all the political contributions it had made over the past five years? Obama is considering such an Order and there’s nary a peep.  Are we looking to play favorites or to subtly suppress the freedom of speech that political activity (including contributions) includes?

What if George Bush had created a Director of Conservative Media & Online Response position in his administration, with the task of attacking anyone in the media who reported unfavorably on Bush or his policies? Well, when Obama created just such a position two weeks ago (substitute “Progressive” for “Conservative”) it was met with acquiescence by the mainstream media, who themselves would fall under the administration’s review.  Hello?  Free press? Are you there? (And what, exactly, is “Progressive” about having such a Director within the administration?) When I think of Rapid Response Teams, I think of quick military action in defense of  US security, not administration goons trying to achieve electoral security by oppressing those who speak out in opposition. Free speech?  Where is Mario Savio when you really need him? (For those of you under fifty, Savio began and led the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley back in the early 1960s).  Savio’s memory is desecrated every time the Political Left attempts to silence speakers it doesn’t like on college campuses, or when the Obama administration attempts to intimidate people in the media or those seeking government contracts. And so much for diversity, I guess.

Barack Obama suckered many young, first-time and dissatisfied American voters in 2008. In less then two years he has revealed himself to be just another cynical politician in the worst sense of both of those words – a corrupt Chicago ward style of politics gone both national and global. Next week, I’ll present some more evidence to supports this contention. And if Jesse Lee and the Obama media goons want to get on my case for saying these things, they know where they can find me online.  I’ll even let them come aboard as subscribers.

And perhaps somebody on the Political Left can explain to us how selective moral indignation is defensible.  If Bush was held to be a fascist for his actions and policies, how is Obama any less?  Barack “Hope/Change” Obama is not the solution.  He is now part of the problem.

To conclude, I’ll leave you with the words of Mario Savio who saw a government that ran roughshod over human dignity,  liberty and freedom of expression:

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.” Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964