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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton’

You Can’t Outleft the Left

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

The dominant struggle of the 20th Century was the attempt to reconcile the growth of industrial economies with the social welfare demands of the left. The various attempts to “Steal the Thunder” of the left by adopting its social programs led to horrors such as Nazism on the one hand and the growth of the welfare state on the other.

Communism was finally defeated by adopting its program. The national battle against a Russian Communist empire was won while the domestic struggle against the left was lost.The welfare state created a fifth column of bureaucrats and recipients to act as the left’s electorate. Instead of stealing the left’s thunder, they subsidized the triumphant long march of the left.

The liberal Republican prescription is still to Outleft the left, adopting some of its more popular ideas and social policies in a more sensible fashion. And they have never understood that the strategy, even when it succeeds in the short term, is doomed. You don’t win by making your enemy stronger. The left understands that. That is why it’s strategies once in power involve deepening and expanding its institutional power while destroying those of the right.

The temptation to Outleft the left is always there and always doomed because adopting the ideas and positions of the left means that you have already lost.

Mastering the craft of political expediency only gets you through an election. But if you adopt enough expediencies, moving left to win battles, the day will come when there are no more elections because the war has been lost.

Allying with the far left against the left on national security can be as tempting for some libertarians as bending on social welfare and amnesty is for some liberal Republicans. But it’s equally a dead end.

The media has begun conniving in the downfall of Obama because the election is over and the next election will require a Democrat who will run against Obama in the same way that Gore ran against Clinton and McCain ran against Bush.

In 2008, Obama ran to the left of Clinton on national security. There are signs that this time around Hillary Clinton will try to run to the left of Obama on national security taking advantage of the national dissatisfaction with multiple wars to push a return to a 9/10 Clinton Administration era of ignorance and inaction.

The ultimate beneficiary of the NSA outrage will be Hillary Clinton. And even if that we’re not the case, trying to Outleft the left still fails even when it appears to work. Mainstreaming the ideas of a Glenn Greenwald because at a given time he makes a useful club to beat Obama with will only ensure a future version of Obama who is even further to the left.

Outlefting the left only radicalizes it and then the left radicalizes the country. Defeating Obama by empowering the left would be as pyrrhic a victory as winning the Cold War while empowering the welfare state.

What distinguishes conservatives within a party whose political operatives all too often sacrifice principles to political expediency are those principles. It is often said that those who hold to their principles lose sight of the bigger picture. But principles are the bigger picture.

Either we fight for principles or for power and it’s easy to tell the difference. Principles are consistent regardless of who is in power. Everything else is political expediency.There can be a conservative case made against NSA data mining, but the case had to be consistent. Treating drones as an ingenious weapon under Bush but an evil death machine under Obama is not a principled position. If the NSA is bad, it was bad under Bush. If drones are bad, they were bad under Bush.

There is a fundamental difference between opposing a political targeting program in the IRS under Obama and jumping on the left’s side of any national security issue because it allows us to hit Obama even when the issue did not originate under Obama.

Not all scandals are created equal. Some scandals are an outrage because they violate our principles and because they are a declaration of war against us. Others are a scandal because a bunch of international left wing activists who oppose every conceivable American military action say that they are.

A conservative case on any issue does not rely on the likes of Glenn Greenwald for support. If what we truly fear is the tyranny of the left, then what possible good can come from empowering the far left?

That’s not allying with Stalin against Hitler, it’s allying with Stalin against Socialists.

If you go into a struggle of ideas, you should know what your principles are and derive solutions from them. Greenwald and the rest of the far left does. Their principles lead them to reject terrorism as anything other than a response to American foreign policy. Their solution would be total surrender and appeasement. Imagine a policy that makes Obama look like a militarist and exceptionalist and you’re there.

Many believe that there can be nothing worse than Obama. History suggests otherwise. There can always be worse and the seeds of that are here today.

The Democrats embraced the anti-war movement to bring down Bush and the end result of that alliance was Barack Obama. If Republicans embrace the anti-war movement to bring down Obama, forcing the Democrats to go even further to the left, what political monsters will be spawned from that mating?

In a long struggle it is easy to lose sight of your principles. The question is have we lost sight of our principles in fighting terrorists, as the left insists, or after fighting a long bitter war against Obama for so long are we losing sight of the fact that our larger struggle is not against Obama, but the ideas and institutions of the left that he is a part of?The enemy isn’t just Obama or his flunkies. It’s also Glenn Greenwald and Michael Moore. It’s the entire transnational idea that denies the right of nations to defend themselves and indicts them endlessly for imaginary crimes against the Third World.

The only way to make a conservative case against tactics like the NSA wiretapping is to reject that premise and the likes of Greenwald. Unless that is done, the case belongs to the far left and adopting it is not an act of principle but expediency. Trying to beat Obama with the ideas of the left by undermining America will only give the left an even bigger victory.

The Post-Obama Democratic Party

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Two elections ago, the Democratic Party was on the verge of being torn to shreds. After a long series of dirty tricks and one stolen election later, there was an uncomfortable coming together.

Obama and his cronies kept most of the important positions, while the Clintonites got a few pieces of the foreign policy apparatus. The arrangement satisfied no one, but it kept ticking along until the Benghazi attacks happened.

By the time Benghazi happened, Clinton and Obama needed each other more than ever.  Obama needed the Clintons on the campaign trail to sell him to more moderate Democrats who remembered that times had been better under Bill. Hillary needed Obama to anoint her as his intended successor.

The awkward dance, complete with an injury, a congressional hearing and a 60 Minutes interview and then the real fireworks began.

Hillary Clinton had turned lemons into lemonade, getting what she could out of Obama. State had looked like a good spot for her because it would insulate her from the backlash over the economy. And she would have gotten away with it too if it hadn’t been for Benghazi. It wasn’t quite leaving on a high note, but as bad as Benghazi was, no one in their right mind would want to be associated with what is going to happen in Afghanistan. At least no one who isn’t as dumb as Hanoi John who began his career with Viet Cong and Sandinista pandering and will end it watching the Taliban take Kabul.

Benghazi hasn’t slowed Hillary Clinton down. And her target is the same old target from 2008. We’re back in that 3 A.M. phone call territory. The truce between Obama and Hillary Clinton ended on 60 Minutes. It’s not exactly war, but it is politics.

While Obama and his cronies plot out the second term, Hillary Clinton is plotting out her election campaign. These days every presidential campaign begins with the ceremonial burial of your own party’s predecessor. It wasn’t just McCain who kept a careful distance from Bush, Gore kept a careful distance from Clinton and Bush Sr. kept a careful distance from Reagan. The reinvention invariably involves the ritual jettisoning of some portions of your predecessor’s program and personality.

Hillary Clinton isn’t betting on being able to ride Obama’s coattails. Not only are the coattails short, but the same electorate of younger and minority voters whose turnout he could count on, won’t be quite as eager to come out for her. Her people are not betting on Obama’s strategy of dismissing mainstream voters and counting on making it up with a passionate base. To win, Hillary Clinton will have to win back some of the same voters that Obama alienated during his two terms.

The script is already written. You can spot it peeking through select mainstream media editorials. Watch for those instances where mainstream media pundits blame Obama’s inexperience and his failure to reach out across the aisle for his shortcomings. Those mentions aren’t so much an attack on Obama as they are a campaign sign reading, “Hillary 2016.” It’s subtle for now, but a year from now, those grudging admissions that Obama fell short in some areas will come with the strong suggestion that next time around, someone more experienced and more able to build bridges could do better.

Republicans will rightly wonder on which planet, Hillary Clinton is an experienced bipartisan leader. But compared to Obama, she is, and these days we are grading on one very gentle curve. Clinton had begun building that image for the 2008 election and now her people are taking it out and dusting it off again. The Democratic Party is being given the chance to choose the sensible experienced candidate that it failed to choose last time around. And the fact that the candidate in question is actually neither is one of those things that doesn’t really make a difference.

In preparing for a Post-Bush candidacy, Hillary gambled that the public would want someone a little more to the right and so she cultivated an image as a conservative member of the Democratic Party. Not only did she cultivate the image, but she made an occasional effort to vote that way and build those alliances. It was good planning, but a bad bet. Unlike Bill, Hillary was never an instinctual politician. Bill plays it by ear, while Hillary makes long term plans and is caught by surprise.

Hillary and Bill Clinton Give Weiner the Cold Shoulder

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Anthony Weiner can forget about any support from Hillary and Bill Clinton if he decides to run for mayor of New York City, the New York Post reported Monday. The main reason is Huma Abedin, Weiner’s Muslim wife who suffered disgrace shortly after their marriage when Weiner was caught using the Internet for online relationships with women.

Abedin, unarguably Hillary Clinton’s closest aide, decided to swallow her pride and remain married to Weiner, one reason being that she was pregnant. She had the emotional support of her former boss who went through a similar period following the scandal of the relationship between her husband Bill and his aide Monica Lewinsky

“The Clintons wish Weiner would just disappear. Every time he pops up, it’s a reminder of Bill’s scandal with, and it isn’t helpful to Hillary’s hopes for 2016,” one Democrat told the New York newspaper.

The Clintons are not expected to officially endorse a candidate for the mayor of New York.

Bill De Blasio Visits The Jewish Press

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Bill de Blasio, one of the Democratic front runner in the race for New York City mayor, met last week with the editorial board of The Jewish Press at the newspaper’s Boro Park office. De Blasio is the New York City Public Advocate.

Before becoming public advocate, de Blasio had been a two-term city councilman, representing the 39th district in Brooklyn. He’s also been the regional director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and campaign manager for Hillary Rodham Clinton during her successful Senatorial bid in 2000.

During the meeting, de Blasio said that the next mayor will have a Herculean task balancing the funding of necessary programs for individuals and communities with the financial difficulty the city faces.

“I have worked with some of the most disciplined folks in public life, people like Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo,” de Blasio said, adding that he’s well positioned to face these challenges.

“I predict the first few years of the next mayor will be very tight budget years – which will be made worse by the open labor contracts the mayor is leaving, something that will tarnish Bloomberg’s record.”

“The people of New York understand the choices are not easy,” he went on to say. “People have been sobered by the economy, and they want to see fairness.

He also said that early childhood education is one of the most important services the city can provide, and the one area he would expand city funding – not because it’s a handout, or even to be generous, he said, but because it’s an investment.

“I believe early childhood education is the key to everything we want to do in New York: maintaining the social fabric, keeping crime down, improving the economy – all starts by expanding early childhood education.” De Blasio also criticized Bloomberg for axing important childcare vouchers from the budget and pledged to restore them.

“I think voters are sick of not being heard by City Hall,” he said. “Too often the Bloomberg approach has been my way or the high way. I’ll do things differently.”

Nearly 100 Massacred near Damascus

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Nearly 100 bodies were counted by rebels in the streets of a Damascus suburb after Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army allegedly executed men, women and children.

The report was not verified, but the official Syrian SANA news agency reported, “Armed Forces units inflicted heavy losses upon terrorists in the town of Jdiadet al-Fadl in Damascus Countryside.”

At the same time, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pledged $123 million in “non-lethal” to rebels as the Obama administration, plays it safe in what has clearly become a “lose-lose” war not only for Syria but also for the Middle East, if not the entire world.

Jamal al Golani, a member of the Revolution Leadership Council, said he counted 98 bodies in the streets. “There are almost no wounded because they were shot on the spot,” he added.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the dead included three children and six women.

Meanwhile, the West still is scratching its head over the civil war that threatens to spread to neighboring Lebanon.

It took too long for the Obama administration to understand it was backing the wrong man when then-US. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after the beginning of the rebellion two years ago, “Assad is a reformer.”

The United States already has suffered two major diplomatic disasters in the past two years.  It backed the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has been replaced by an equally corrupt regime that promotes fundamental Islam. In Libya, the truth still is not known about the events leading up to the brutal murder of the American ambassador.

The West realizes that the civil war in Syria is not just a struggle of the “rebels” against Assad but is prime turf for terrorist organizations, not the least of them Al Qaeda, to stake out a power base.

Kerry, who as Senate Foreign Relations committee chairman frequently shuttled back and forth Syria to “engage” Assad, cannot do much more than try not to look helpless and offer humanitarian aid. The $123 million aid, which also is for non-lethal weapons such as armored carriers and communications equipment, is double the previous amount of assistance.

His hope is that the Syrian rebels will unite and live up to their pledge made on Sunday that it rejects extremism and is committed “not to use chemical weapons.”

Yale Elects First-Ever Israeli Student Union President

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Yale University students have Jerusalem-born native Daniel Avraham as the first Israeli president of the Student Union.

Avraham, a 24-year-old sophomore, learned at the Gymnasia Herzliya high school and is a former IDF intelligence officer. He is studying in the university’s ethics and economics program.

Former Yale Student Union presidents include former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her successor John Kerry, and former U.S. presidents George, both father and son, and Bill Clinton.

US-Backed Syrian Rebel Coalition Collapses

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Syrian rebel fighters have refused to accept a Syrian-born and naturalized American citizen as their show prime minister, destroying an American effort to put into place an organizational structure to help channeling aid to rebels in the war against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Texas resident and IT executive Ghassan Hitto narrowly won last week’s election as “prime minister” amid warnings by rebels that they do not hold enough territory in Syria to warrant an interim government.

Hitto was backed not only by Western governments but also by organizations outside of Syria, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, making him even more suspicious to opponents.

Syrian National Coalition president Mouaz al-Khatib wrote on his Facebook page Sunday, “I am keeping my promise today and announcing my resignation from the National Coalition so that I can work with freedom that is not available inside the official institutions.”

He blamed Western powers for failing to give enough material support to the rebels while trying to punish them into dialogue with Assad, whose army and secret service have murdered tens of thousands of men, women and children in the two-year-old rebellion.

Secretary of State John Kerry steadfastly continued U.S. foreign policy of living in its own world and insisted that the resignation only proves that there is in Syria “an opposition that is bigger than one person and that opposition will continue.”

Kerry, in case anyone forgets, visited Damascus often when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and struck up a dialogue with Assad, who in turn was termed a “reformer” by Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton two weeks after the beginning of the revolt against him.

‘An Act of Stupidity That Will Resonate for Generations’

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The replacement of dictator Hosni Mubarak with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi has had serious negative consequences for Egyptian liberals, Christians, and women; for Israel, which now must treat Egypt as a hostile power rather than a peace partner; and for the U.S., which is in the uncomfortable position of financially supporting a radical Islamist, anti-American, antisemitic regime.

So did this have to happen? Some say yes, there was no way the 82-year old corrupt, brutal Mubarak could have been propped up (but note that the new regime is no less, possibly more, brutal and corrupt). And shouldn’t the Egyptian people be allowed to choose their own rulers?

If you listen to Rafi Eitan, a former Mossad official who led the capture of Adolf Eichmann in 1960, the answer is that it definitely did not have to happen — and the U.S. is responsible. An interview with Eitan appeared today in the Times of Israel:

This slight man, with his trademark thick-rimmed glasses, did not mince his words when speaking of what he perceives as fatal American mistakes in handling the “Arab Spring” — particularly at that crucial moment in June 2012 when the administration could have imposed a secular president on Egypt, Ahmad Shafiq — and by doing so change the course of that country’s history. …

“The military unequivocally decided that [Ahmed] Shafiq will be president, not [Mohammed] Morsi,” Eitan told The Times of Israel. “But the Americans put all the pressure on. The announcement [of the president] was delayed by three or four days because of this struggle.”

Immediately after Egypt’s presidential elections in June 2012, Eitan spoke to unnamed local officials, who told him that with a mere 5,000-vote advantage for Islamist candidate Morsi, the military was prepared to announce the victory of his adversary Shafiq, a secular military man closely associated with the Mubarak regime.

But secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Eitan said, decided to favor democracy at all costs and disallow any falsification of the vote.

“This is idiocy. An act of stupidity that will resonate for generations,” Eitan said. “I also thought Mubarak should be replaced, but I believed the Americans would be smart enough to replace him with the next figure. Mubarak would have agreed to that, but the Americans didn’t want that; they wanted democracy. But there is no real democracy in the Arab world at the moment. It will take a few generations to develop…”

If you believe that the ideology of radical Islamism represents a real challenge to the Enlightenment values of Western civilization,  then the takeover of the largest and most important Arab nation by the Brotherhood is a significant defeat for America and the West. Although historical analogies are notoriously misleading, in a sense it is as if the U.S. had intervened on behalf of the Bolsheviks in 1917 or helped Hitler attain power in 1933.

The appeal to ‘democracy’ is particularly ludicrous. Although Morsi uses the word a lot, his actions in consolidating power in the hands of the Brotherhood have been anything but democratic. And the philosophy of the Brotherhood itself makes it clear that regardless of the means by which power is attained, the goal is a state — and ultimately an expansive caliphate — governed according to shari’a, ruled by religious authorities, a regime in which Muslims (male) will dominate all others.

It seems that the Obama Administration has made a distinction between Islamists, with al-Qaeda and Hezbollah in the category of ‘bad’ Islamists because they have directly attacked us, while the Brotherhood and (for example) the Turkish AKP are ‘good’ because they have made the tactical decision not to wage war on us (at least not yet). But their ideology is no less anti-Western and anti-American.

If Eitan’s analysis — that the U.S. chose to support Morsi because it would be “more democratic” — is true, it reveals a shocking ignorance on the part of our leaders about the nature of the Brotherhood, of Egypt, and yes, the real meaning of “democracy.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fresno-zionism/an-act-of-stupidity-that-will-resonate-for-generations/2013/02/21/

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