Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Mansfield on 9/11

Harvey Mansfield offers his typically succinct but piercing reflections on the cluelessness of academic liberalism in the wake of 9/11. 

Discussions - 15 Comments

Mansfield claims: "The jihadists say they will triumph because they believe in death while we believe in life."

I wonder if Mansfield has come across Ramesh Ponnuru’s in-depth study The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life anytime recently?

I bring this up because I sensed, in contrast to Mansfield gently tipped-toed on the matter of academic liberalism’s response to the challenge we face today. If I may be a bit more "succinct," well, let me be just blunt about it: America faces this war on two very powerful fronts, the jidhadists and their Democrat Party enablers. While Democrats have yet to take up arms in this war, their post-Vietnam era legacy, words and actions ought not to be ignored or downplayed (as Mansfield is so tempted to do) anymore than those of Hitler’s Germany.

I fully expect for the Democrat Party to fully lock arms with these Islamic Fascists in the near future. Their present-day ideologies of death and hatred of America mirror one another as too perfectly to reject this hideous embrace. Forget the vast cultural differences between these two lovers of death. Their coming Suicide Pact will set aside these things, even if briefly, for a cause greater than gay marriage, the cause of death.

And, no, I am no fan of Buchanan or the nutty paleocons. I am an optimist. America, true liberalism and freedom will win this war. Not the jihadists or their enablers the Democrats.

Oops, Revised Post:

Mansfield claims: "The jihadists say they will triumph because they believe in death while we believe in life."

I wonder if Mansfield has come across Ramesh Ponnuru’s in-depth study The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life anytime recently?

I bring this up because I sensed, in contrast to Hayward’s praise, that Mansfield gently tipped-toed on the matter of academic liberalism’s response to the challenge we face today. If I may be a bit more "succinct," well, let me be just blunt about it: America faces this war on two very powerful fronts, the jidhadists and their Democrat Party enablers. While Democrats have yet to take up arms in this war, their post-Vietnam era legacy, words and actions ought not to be ignored or downplayed (as Mansfield is so tempted to do) anymore than those of Hitler’s Germany.

I fully expect for the Democrat Party to fully lock arms with these Islamic Fascists in the near future. Their present-day ideologies of death and hatred of America mirror one another as too perfectly to reject this hideous embrace. Forget the vast cultural differences between these two lovers of death. Their coming Suicide Pact will set aside these things, even if briefly, for a cause greater than gay marriage, the cause of death.

And, no, I am no fan of Buchanan or the nutty paleocons. I am an optimist. America, true liberalism and freedom will win this war. Not the jihadists or their enablers the Democrats.

The Mansfield piece deserves better than this childish calumny. So does the real Publius. Even the House Majority Leader, daily writing the partisan playbook, is measured by comparison. Boehner: "I listen to my Democrat friends, and I wonder if they’re more interested in protecting terrorists than in protecting the American people." Can people like Boehner be altogether comfortable mobilizing impressionable kids like Publius, Jr?

... and the author of the Party of Death, Ramesh Ponnuru? Fact is, the embrace of death is the tie that binds Jihadist and Democrats. And no tip-toeing political correctness should obscure that truth.

And I was just going to note the manliness of HCM’s rhetoric!

FWIW, I think Democrats are capable of the already almost too late European response to the peril they face.

Joe - It was indeed "manly", as you say.

Publius, Jr., Here’s the diff: real Islamists would not recoil at being called a "party of death," although they might say among themselves that submission to God is their end, not suicide. The right to privacy types who dominate the Dems very much recoil at the label.

Nor is it tip-toeing political correctness to say so. Those Dems are my fellow citizens, and they they are a product of America. They are my people. I agree that in the sense Ponurru means, they are becoming a party of death. But you and I would both rather be ruled by them than by Islamists.

I also agree that many Dems are "enabling" terrorists, but unlike your frankly ridiculous speculations, I recognize that if terrorists do hit us again on a 9/11 scale thanks to such enablement, the result will not be an alliance of lefties and muslims, but a successful revolution of the moderates within the Democratic party, and thus probably Republican victories. To get a idea of why that dynamic, and not a continuation of the present Dem insanity on foreign policy, is our likely near-term future, see Stanley Kurtz’ recent (sobering b/c nuke-focused) NRO peices.

And here’s the Kurtz link

Nor is it tip-toeing political correctness to say so. Those Dems are my fellow citizens, and they they are a product of America. They are my people. I agree that in the sense Ponurru means, they are becoming a party of death. But you and I would both rather be ruled by them than by Islamists.

So you’re willing for a few more 9/11s, to sacrifice a few more thousand, perhaps millions of innocent American lives so that it may become more clear what you already know, that the Democrats are becoming the party of death, eh?

I find your long-suffering as "frankly ridiculous" as your believing that "right to privacy types" dominate the Democrat Party. At a time when Islamofascists are beheading Americans in Iraq, Democrats are telling us that they "hate Republicans and everything they stand for." That’s enough for me, quite frankly, based upon my experience as a former Democrat myself, with fifty years of watching what that party has already become.

Carl Scott - We are stepping back from partisan delusions, thanks to you. There are moderate Democrats, after all, and they are fellow Americans.

Thanks too for the link.

I don’t think - and Mansfield clearly doesn’t think - that the liberals are in danger of embracing the Islamicists. Rather, they are, in his words, "befuddled" and while befuddlement can be - and is - very dangerous, it’s a far cry from the sort of lefty VC-loving politics we saw in the 1960s and 70s. (Or, for that matter, the sneaking respect given to the "actually existing socialism" in Eastern Europe).

I’m on board with a vigorous response to the Islamic radicals, but I wonder what the real possibilities are for them to "take over." The comparison with communism might quite apt here: communism was quite the existential threat not just because its sponsors several thousand nukes, but also because some swathe of elite (and, smaller, popular) opinion evinced some sympathy with its ends. Is there any sense in which that is true with respect to Islamic radicalism? Europe might be under a kind of demographic threat. If it gets enough of a critical mass of radicalized Muslims, things might go very badly. But I see less of that here in the US. Am I wrong here?

Harvard Young Republicans and Young Democrats, ">">http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060910/ap_on_re_us/harvard_khatami"> together.

I agree with Michael Simpson--whatever "enablement" of our enemies the Dems are doing, for 97% of them it is unintentional. (Noam Chomsky and his ilk belong to the proud 3%.) To the extent they do enable, it’s because they’re befuddled. They’re befuddled, as Mansfield demonstrates, because 9/11 undermined a lot of their deepest beliefs.

But their behavior over the last five years also has a lot to do with what they allow themselves to believe about their political opponents, and the self-righteousness they derive from that. That is, were Mansfield writing a longer piece, he might have to say something not only about befuddlement, but about the human tendency to demonize and polarize. I say this as one who thinks most of the blame for our recent polarization rests squarely upon Democratic shoulders.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I think you’re going a little too far, Jr. I’m not sure why these lines from the last paragraph didn’t speak for themselves: "The difference between our country and the terrorists dwarfs that between liberals and conservatives within our country. But conservatives are more aware of this fact than are liberals, and our universities are dominated by befuddled liberals."

One thing I did like was the mention that it’s not just the lefty profs who are hurting the war effort, but the civil libertarians who think Big Brother is our chief enemy. It’s not that all these folks hate America or anything like that, they just lack the prudence to properly defend her.

Funny, these supposedly "civil libertarians who think Big Brother is our chief enemy" had no big concern when a Democrat Commander in Chief was gassing U.S. citizens (women and children included) in Texas. They had no problem when Big Brother was regularly arresting American citizens for making disparaging remarks against Clinton in public. They had no trouble with Big Brother waging war in the Balkans, unilaterally dropping bombs on Iraq, or running a global, including the U.S., spy network, code named Eschelon. And they certainly had absolutely no problem with Big Brother’s Commander intentionally hiding subpoenaed law firm billing records, collecting FBI records on political enemies, committing perjury before a grand jury and federal judge, or obstructing justice from the White House.

And if that isn’t enough to expose these so-called "civil libertarians who think Big Brother is our chief enemy" as huge frauds, howabout their latest threats directed at ABC TV?

Good grief, folks, if a Republican even dared touch any of these violations of civil liberties and miltary hubris, there’d be absolute hell to pay. But for Democrats this is just business as usual, while routinely accusing the GOP like in the Plame affair.

Perhaps I’m leaving out half the enabling story here, eh? Like the amazing power Democrats continue to derive from their GOP enablers!

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/8950