Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The GOP Establishment and the Tea Party Need to Work Together. By Ace of Spades.

The Tea Party Forced a Major Fight on the Budget and ObamaCare Precisely Because The Establishment Didn’t. By Ace of Spades. Ace of Spades HQ, October 16, 2013.

Policy and the G.O.P. Civil War. By Ross Douthat.

Policy and the G.O.P. Civil War. By Ross Douthat. New York Times, October 15, 2013.

Is the Right Winning? By Ross Douthat. New York Times, October 16, 2013.

Why the Shutdown is a Republican Victory. By Peter Beinart. The Daily Beast, October 14, 2013.

Some Irish Need Not Apply. By David Conrad.

Some Irish Need Not Apply. By David Conrad. New York Times, October 15, 2013.

They called me a Chink and spat at me. No one helped. By Una-Minh Kavanagh. The Irish Times, June 3, 2013. Also here.

An Irish-Vietnamese girl growing up in Ireland gets used to racial slurs. But being spat on this week was a new low.

Úna-Minh Kavanagh website.

To Be a Syrian Refugee in Egypt. By Ursula Lindsey.

To Be a Syrian Refugee in Egypt. By Ursula Lindsey. New York Times, October 16, 2013.

Is Obama Locked in a Victim Mentality? By Keith Ablow.

Is Obama locked in a victim mentality? By Keith Ablow., October 10, 2013.

Dr. Ablow Psychoanalyzes Obama: “He’s Playing the Victim.” Video. Fox News Insider, October 16, 2013.

Fox’s Keith Ablow: Obama’s Grandma “Didn’t Trust People of Color,” So He’s Taking It Out on America. By Noah Rothman. Mediaite, October 16, 2013. With video. YouTube.

Dr. Keith Ablow’s Diagnosis Shows Us Why The Limbaugh Theorem Works. By Rush Limbaugh., October 16, 2013.


President Obama’s rhetoric is finally coming closer to what appears to be his psychological truth: Because America victimized him and countless millions of others, any person or party or movement that opposes his views and does not yield to him is not just his adversary, but abusive, predatory and even threatening.
Again and again, President Obama has described members of Congress who insist on fiscal responsibility as having taken “hostages,” “demanding a ransom,” using “extortion,” and threatening to “blow up” the government.
On Tuesday, in fact, the president used these exact words when speaking to the press, “What you haven't seen before, I think from the vantage point of a lot of world leaders, is the notion that one party in Congress might blow the whole thing up if they don't get their way,” he said. Later he added, “you do not hold people hostage or engage in ransom taking to get 100 percent of your way.”
It is exceedingly difficult to come to terms with a person who sees you as his oppressor, his kidnapper, and someone terrorizing him who might well destroy him. You aren’t likely to consider whether your assailant and jailer and would-be killer has a few good ideas, after all.
Seeing Barack Obama as someone who has a victim mentality would explain a lot. That mentality relies on believing one has been harmed, that one was not responsible for the injuries that occurred, that one could not have prevented what happened and that the person’s suffering makes that person morally right and deserving of sympathy.
As a young boy, Obama was, indeed, helpless.
He was helpless to stop his father from abandoning him.
He was helpless to stop his mother from leaving him with his grandparents.
He was helpless to stop his white grandmother and caretaker from communicating to him her fears of black people.
I’m not sure the president ever got over it.
The president’s victim mentality could contribute to dissolving the will of countless Americans who might otherwise see themselves as capable of summoning internal resolve and creativity to surge out of poverty.
True victims can’t surge out of anything, because they are hostage to forces outside their control. They await justice and restitution.
They don’t, ultimately, see themselves as able to stamp out poverty; they see themselves as the rightful recipients of food stamps.
They don’t, ultimately, see themselves as able to take control of their health; they see themselves as the rightful recipients of free health insurance.
They don’t, ultimately, see themselves as someone worth hiring and worthy of investing themselves with education and training; they see themselves as worthy of 99 weeks of unemployment checks.
And the president’s victim mentality could have already gone global.
The apology tour that the president embarked upon after being elected to his first term in office, apologizing for America’s supposed predatory behavior toward others, turned his victim mentality viral – offering a pandemic of helplessness to anyone who wanted to claim that the ills of its nation were due to a monstrous pathogen called the United States of America.
A victim mentality would explain why the president immediately allies with anyone else he thinks might be a victim, too.
This explains the seemingly bizarre statements he made castigating local police in Cambridge, Massachusetts for detaining a distinguished Harvard professor and man of color who they understandably considered possibly to be an intruder.
It explains him thinking that if he had a son that his son would look and act just like Trayvon Martin, an alleged drug user and burglar who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, an older man of a different race.
In fact, the president went further to suggest that, were he 35-years younger, he could be Treyvon Martin.
If the president sees himself as a 17-year-old being held at gunpoint by an older man, then it is too much to expect him to govern effectively.
If he sees himself as having been taken hostage by kidnappers who want to blow him up, it is too much to expect him to hear any truths these “kidnappers” might want to share.
Victims aren’t expected to lead.  They expect to be rescued.
That would seem to be our problem as a nation right now.

How Palestinian Hate Prevents Peace. By Yuval Steinitz.

How Palestinian Hate Prevents Peace. By Yuval Steinitz. New York Times, October 15, 2013.

Steinitz: Incitement against Israel is part of general Palestinian culture. By Lahav Harkov. Jerusalem Post, October 16, 2013.

Lessons in hatred: Israeli incitement is worse than that of Palestinians. By Gideon Levy. Haaretz, October 20, 2013.


JERUSALEM — On Sept. 26, the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, told the United Nations General Assembly that the Palestinians “keep reaching out to the Israelis saying: let us work to make the culture of peace reign.” Honorable sentiments, to be sure, but sadly not free of hypocrisy.
Just after returning from his U.N. speech, Mr. Abbas cleared time to host the celebrated Egyptian poet Hisham al-Gakh, author of a famous hit proclaiming that “our enemy is the fork-tailed Zionist devil.” That evening, Mr. al-Gakh had an opportunity to recite his “lovely” song upon receiving an award from the Palestinian minister of culture.
And in July, the program “Palestine This Morning” featured two sisters reciting a poem referring to “sons of Zion” and “barbaric monkeys” and “wretched pigs.”
These are but a few of the thousands of examples of Palestinian incitement against the Jewish state and the Jewish people. There are even numerous instances of the glorification of Hitler on the Facebook pages of some government-supported Palestinian schools and in children’s publications funded by the Palestinian Authority. Such messages, propagated daily in P.A. media and classrooms, are internalized by the population at large — and children in particular.
Two decades ago, I was a chartered member of Israel’s Peace Now movement and an unabashed supporter of the peace process. Since then, I — and many Israelis like me — have become deeply skeptical about Palestinians’ real intentions. And it’s not only because of the terrorist attacks which have emanated from areas handed over to Palestinian control, but also because of the repeated Palestinian calls for Israel’s destruction. Jewish history has taught us the hard way never to underestimate the power of hatred.
The Palestinian Authority’s television and radio stations, public schools, summer camps, children’s magazines and Web sites are being used to drive home four core messages. First, that the existence of a Jewish state (regardless of its borders) is illegitimate because there is no Jewish people and no Jewish history in this piece of land. Second, that Jews and Zionists are horrible creatures that corrupt those in their vicinity. Third, that Palestinians must continue to struggle until the inevitable replacement of Israel by an Arab-Palestinian state. And fourth, that all forms of resistance are honorable and valid, even if some forms of violence are not always expedient.
Instead of being schooled in the “culture of peace,” the next generation of Palestinians is being relentlessly fed a rhetorical diet that includes the idolization of terrorists, the demonization of Jews and the conviction that sooner or later Israel should cease to exist.
Even after Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement of the resumption of peace talks, incitement remains prevalent. For example, P.A. television coverage of a “peace visit” to the West Bank’s Hebron district by the famed FC Barcelona soccer team took the trouble to remind viewers that Palestine extends “from Eilat to Rosh Hanikra” — that is, not just the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but the entire land of Israel. This remark was followed by a song performed by Muhammad Assaf, the winner of the popular TV show “Arab Idol.” The lyrics envisioned the “liberation” of Israeli cities such as Haifa, Tiberias and Safed.
The fact that this anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic indoctrination persists, despite the much-touted relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, constitutes a huge obstacle on the road to peace. It should have disappeared 20 years ago, as a result of a clear Palestinian commitment to end all forms of incitement included in the Oslo Accords. And until it ends, the current round of talks cannot hope to reach a successful outcome.
Progress toward a peace agreement requires that both Palestinians and Israelis foster an environment conducive to productive dialogue. Israel’s anguished decision on July 28 to release over 100 convicted terrorists, as well as to help the Palestinian economy, were a courageous attempt to build trust and improve the atmosphere surrounding the negotiations, and I supported it.
Palestinian leaders must now reciprocate by immediately and fully halting their encouragement and sponsorship of hatred.
If they do not, attempts at renewed diplomacy are doomed to fail, Israelis will become more skeptical about the peace process, and we in the Israeli government will have greater difficulty taking the additional confidence-building steps that we have been considering. Indeed, with each passing day, my colleagues and I will find it more and more problematic to authorize any further release of prisoners.
If Israelis are ever to believe that peace with Palestinians has a chance, the first step Mr. Abbas must take is to swiftly terminate the campaign to delegitimize the Jewish people and its state.

Jacksonian America Is Aroused and Angry. By William A. Galston.

The Tea Party and the GOP Crack-Up. By William A. Galston. Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2013. Also here.

The New Politics of Evasion. By William A. Galston and Elaine C. Kamarck. Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, No. 30 (Fall 2013). PDF.

Why Republicans Shut Down the Government. By Francis Wilkinson. NJBR, October 11, 2013. With related articles.


More than a decade ago, before the post-9/11 national fervor set in, Walter Russell Mead published an insightful essay on the persistent “Jacksonian tradition” in American society. Jacksonians, he argued, embrace a distinctive code, whose key tenets include self-reliance, individualism, loyalty and courage.
Jacksonians care as passionately about the Second Amendment as Jeffersonians do about the First. They are suspicious of federal power, skeptical about do-gooding at home and abroad; they oppose federal taxes but favor benefits such as Social Security and Medicare that they regard as earned. Jacksonians are anti-elitist; they believe that the political and moral instincts of ordinary people are usually wiser than those of the experts and that, as Mr. Mead wrote, “while problems are complicated, solutions are simple.”
That is why the Jacksonian hero defies the experts and entrenched elites and “dares to say what the people feel” without caring in the least what the liberal media will say about him. (Think Ted Cruz.)
The tea party is Jacksonian America, aroused, angry and above all fearful, in full revolt against a new elite—backed by the new American demography—that threatens its interests and scorns its values.
This is more than a columnist’s speculation. Stan Greenberg, a Democratic survey researcher whose focus groups with Macomb County Reagan Democrats in Michigan transformed political discourse in the 1980s, has recently released a similar study of the tea party. Supporters of the tea party, he finds, see President Obama as anti-Christian, and the president's expansive use of executive authority evokes charges of “tyranny.” Mr. Obama, they believe, is pursuing a conscious strategy of building political support by increasing Americans’ dependence on government. A vast expansion of food stamps and disability programs and the push for immigration reform are key steps down that road.
But ObamaCare is the tipping point, the tea party believes. Unless the law is defunded, the land of limited government, individual liberty and personal responsibility will be gone forever, and the new America, dominated by dependent minorities who assert their “rights” without accepting their responsibilities, will have no place for people like them.
For the tea party, ObamaCare is much more than a policy dispute; it is an existential struggle.
According to two benchmark surveys by the New York Times and the Public Religion Research Institute, tea-party supporters espouse an ensemble of conservative beliefs with special intensity. Fifty-eight percent think that minorities get too much attention from government, and 65% view immigrants as a burden on the country. Most of the respondents see President Obama as someone who doesn’t understand them and doesn’t share their values. In their eyes, he’s an extreme liberal whose policies consistently favor the poor. In fact, 92% believe that he is moving the country toward socialism.
Many frustrated liberals, and not a few pundits, think that people who share these beliefs must be downscale and poorly educated. The New York Times survey found the opposite. Only 26% of tea-party supporters regard themselves as working class, versus 34% of the general population; 50% identify as middle class (versus 40% nationally); and 15% consider themselves upper-middle class (versus 10% nationally). Twenty-three percent are college graduates, and an additional 14% have postgraduate training, versus 15% and 10%, respectively, for the overall population. Conversely, only 29% of tea-party supporters have just a high-school education or less, versus 47% for all adults.
Although some tea-party supporters are libertarian, most are not. The Public Religion Research Institute found that fully 47% regard themselves as members of the Christian right, and 55% believe that America is a Christian nation today—not just in the past. On hot-button social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, tea partiers are aligned with social conservatives. Seventy-one percent of tea-party supporters regard themselves as conservatives.
Nor, finally, is the tea party an independent outside force putting pressure on Republicans, according to the survey. Fully 76% of its supporters either identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. Rather, they are a dissident reform movement within the party, determined to move it back toward true conservatism after what they see as the apostasies of the Bush years and the outrages of the Obama administration.
Many tea-party supporters are small businessmen who see taxes and regulations as direct threats to their livelihood. Unlike establishment Republicans who see potential gains from government programs such as infrastructure funding, these tea partiers regard most government spending as a deadweight loss. Because many of them run low-wage businesses on narrow margins, they believe that they have no choice but to fight measures, such as ObamaCare, that reduce their flexibility and raise their costs—measures to which large corporations with deeper pockets can adjust.
It’s no coincidence that the strengthening influence of the tea party is driving a wedge between corporate America and the Republican Party. It’s hard to see how the U.S. can govern itself unless corporate America pushes the Republican establishment to fight back against the tea party—or switches sides.

Galston is saying that Jacksonians must be crushed and marginalized for America to function, meaning America 2.0, the blue model, and moving America toward socialism.

Syria As We Know It Is Gone. By Brian Michael Jenkins.

Syria As We Know It Is Gone. By Brian Michael Jenkins. U.S. News and World Report, October 15, 2013.