Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The incredible lightness of Barack

Commenter extraordinaire Steve Thomas called our attention to this dark and foreboding piece by Leon Wieseltier. A snippet:

The turbulence that I have described is not caused by misunderstandings. It is caused by the interests of powers and the beliefs of peoples. Beijing, Moscow, Tehran, Pyongyang, Islamabad, Gaza City, Khartoum, Caracas-does Obama really believe that he has something to propose to these ruthless regimes that they have not already considered? Does he plan to move them, to organize them, to show them change they can believe in? With what trick of empathy, what euphoria, does he hope to join the Shia, the Sunni, and the Kurds in Iraq?

***

My problem is not with "day one": nobody is perfectly prepared for the White House, though the memory of Bill Clinton’s "learning curve" is still vivid, which in Bosnia and Rwanda cost more than a million lives. My problem is that Obama’s declarations in matters of foreign policy and national security have a certain homeopathic quality. He seems averse to the hurtful, expensive, traditional, unedifying stuff.

Read the whole thing.

Discussions - 9 Comments

Democrats, college faculty, all these bright people keep telling me that "George Bush can't make me afraid of the world." I sure hope Leon Wieseltier can.


Who said it? An old Mike Royko article was where I first saw it, I think, "A liberal is someone who hasn't been mugged yet." You know, you just wonder what it takes, what national mugging is required before Carteresque notions of the brotherhood of man just might fade away.

Yes, we can expect if Obama is elected that there will be a renewed run on terrorist activity in the world. He'll talk about it and we will make concessions, endlessly.

The more I think about that, the better a tough, crotchety old guy as commander-in-chief looks to me.

Kate: "You know, you just wonder what it takes, what national mugging is required before Carteresque notions of the brotherhood of man just might fade away."

There is no event that will trigger such a realization. That's not just me being pessimistic, though I am that.

This stuff is the basis of all their hope. They can't give up on the idea of salvation-from-ourselves. Absent that, they are left with nothing, and that idea, Kate, is truly frightening to them. I've talked to hundreds ... I see it in their eyes.

They will manufacture whatever excuse needed to maintain their hope while blaming others. They will never face reality. I wish it weren't so. But I'm afraid it is.

Lest we just worry about Obama, there was an article in yesterday's WSJ, The Clintons' Terror Pardons, by Debra Burlingame, that is just as frightful. It is about President Clinton thwarting the efforts of the FBI in locking up terrorists. I had forgotten the FALN pardons of 1999; "The White House spun the clemencies as a sign of the president's universal commitment to 'peace and reconciliation'" Which sounds just like Obama and you would think by the end of the 1990's Clinton would have known better. Which probably proves your point.

The Senate DID pass the wiretap bill. That's had roaring protest from the Left and lo, it passed.

If Obama is the nominee, Sen. McCain will need to bring this point front and center in the debates. And what a riposte to the Obama video set to "We Are the World"-type singing was Wieseltier's when he observes:

"It is not 'the politics of fear' to remind Obama's legions of the blissful that, while they are watching Scarlett Johansson sway to the beat, somewhere deep inside a quasi independent territory we might call Islamistan people are making plans to blow them to bits. (Yes, they can.)"

"Yes, they can." Brutal. For a previous short appraisal of Obama by Wieseltier, see "Miracle Man"

Wieseltier is onto this fraudulent nonsense. I would add that Obama is a leftist in the guise of a moderate. Combine that with egoism, inexperience, questionable personal background, and the fact that Obama has not -- repeat NOT -- been judged by the world's normal standards, has never, in other words, had to be very good, and you have a very dangerous man indeed. He should not get 8 minutes in the Oval Office, let alone 8 years.

I can't find a link to the print copy of this brief talk about about the prison camps in Putin's Russia.

I've decided that what Don sees in a liberal Democrat's eyes are a set of rose-tinted contact lenses. How do you look at the world and miss the horror.

Kate: "I've decided that what Don sees in a liberal Democrat's eyes are a set of rose-tinted contact lenses. How do you look at the world and miss the horror."

Because they can't bear the alternative.

Here's the deal -- liberal secularists have decided they do not need God. But they still have a need to believe, as the popular new-age phrase goes. So they've invested their belief (their hope) in the idea that mankind is inherently good, and that salvation is achievable through human means. It's not, but that's where the hope is invested.

The horror that is the real world is a dilemma. If they admit to the horror then they have to admit their belief structure is faulty. That implies returning to God or finding something else to believe in. Both are very disturbing prospects.

So they deny.

And blame others.

It really is that simple.

In many ways it is a sad thing.

I can't stand the alternative, either. That's why I moved to Ohio about thirty years ago and focused on child-rearing. This kept me from dilemmas for a long time. God had something to do with it.

I think you are mostly right. Of course, you are simplifying what you think on this matter to blog size.

How's this, my bit of amplification: If man is inherently good, then he is perfectible and if that is true, the democratic state can be perfected, too. The perfect state would be Heaven on Earth. Only someone evil would pervert that, and therefore conservatives, perversely insisting that earth is earth and Heaven is Heaven, get to incarnate evil in that conception. GWB becomes the Anti-Christ and they need a Messiah to come sort the mess out. They have found one. No wonder women are fainting.

Kate: "If man is inherently good, then he is perfectible and if that is true, the democratic state can be perfected, too."

I'll add what I believe is the critical emphasis ... implied in your sentence but I feel the need to draw it out:

"If man is inherently good, then he is perfectible by his own means and if that is true, the democratic state can be perfected, too."

Therein lies the flaw -- we are not perfectible by our own power. That is, I recognize, a point open to debate. And no doubt the secularists would debate fiercely and never cede the point. But the burden falls on them to explain why, after several hundred years of effort and untold trillions spent, the same impulse towards evil surfaces in one form or another. At best we hold it in check; at worst it will overtake us.

I believe some on the left do see Obama as a kind of messiah. I have asked elsewhere on this site what we will see of these people when the reality of Obama's "mere humaness" crashes into their little dreamworld. Charles Krauthammer's latest article alludes to the same thing. It will not be a pleasant thing for them. Having one's hope crushed never is.

And yes, I am simplifying a great deal to fit within this blog. But if you (or anyone else) is interested in the source of my comments, read Dallas Willard's The Divine Conspiracy.

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