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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘liberal’

Rubin Reports: Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan – An Anti-Radical Liberal Who Saw the Unfortunate Future Where We Now Live

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2012/04/senator-daniel-patrick-moynihan-anti.html

It’s time for a revival of interest in the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the last American politicians with serious intellectual credentials as well (Compare Moynihan to Obama to see how shallow and mythical are the latter’s intellectual attainments). Moynihan was one of the first people to try to deal with the lurch leftward of the liberal and Democratic streams that is now so dangerously dominant in America.

 In 1970, Moynihan wrote: “A post-liberal critique is necessary and we are trying to evolve one: not because we don’t know enough, but because we know too much to be content with the wisdom of the 1940s.”
He was writing in response to three developments. First, the New Left challenge of the 1960s that seems to be furnishing the ideas and personnel running America today.
Second, he refers to the failures and problems arising from an ever larger, more powerful government. Moynihan was particularly interested in how well-intentioned welfare policies had disastrous effects on their victims (I mean — “beneficiaries”).
And third, he was worried by the undermining of the very elite institutions – in particular the universities – that were supposed to be the watchdogs to provide a reality check and keep politicians from straying into dangerous territory. Moynihan wrote, over-optimistically as it would turn out:
“In the best universities the best men are increasingly appalled by the authoritarian tendencies of the left. The inadequacies of traditional liberalism are equally unmistakable, while, no less important, the credulity, even the vulgarity of the supposed intellectual and social elite of the country has led increasing numbers of men and women of no especial political persuasion to realize that something is wrong somewhere. These persons are [our] natural allies.”
Unfortunately, nowadays, these people are relatively rare in academic institutions swamped with ideologues who are proud to be indoctrinators.
Moynihan noticed the increasingly deep divisions in America that have now widened into chasms of conflict:
“America has developed, in Lionel Trilling’s phrase, `an adversary culture’….The ‘culture’ is more in opposition now than perhaps at any time in history….As Richard Hofstadter recently observed, some really surprising event…is going to have to happen to change the minds of the present generation.”
One might have thought that this event would have been September 11, 2001, but it didn’t turn out that way. Perhaps that event will be the Obama Administration’s follies and failures.
All quotes from Steven R. Weisman (editor), Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait In Letters Of An American Visionary, Public Affairs (New York: 2010).

Rubin Reports: Secrets of the Soft-Core Obama Supporters

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2012/04/secrets-of-soft-core-obama-supporters.html

It’s really interesting when I talk to Obama supporters who are soft-core, meaning they are open to discussion and not completely closed-minded or ideologically set in granite. There are several themes that constantly recur in such conversations, though one rarely or never sees these points in print.

Of course, these people get their information from the mainstream media, which protects the administration and repackages its talking points while largely censoring out critical responses and the failures or scandals. But there are also some important assumptions they are making on their own.

A key argument is that Obama really hasn’t done that much to change anything. The subtext of this claim is that the person who believes it is only looking at legislation passed by Congress. In that category, once one goes beyond ObamaCare or the disastrous stimulus plan, this administration has gotten far less in the way of major bills through the legislature than have many of its predecessors.

Leaving aside the fact that the speaker usually doesn’t understand the full import of ObamaCare, the problem here is that most of the changes are invisible. They are the result of regulatory changes made by unelected officials and czars in a wide range of agencies, or of executive orders from the White House. Thus, it is possible to vastly understate the changes to American society made by this administration.

Another area of change is the deep indebtedness that Obama has brought — the massive, wasteful spending, and the inability to get the country out of recession. Here, after almost a full term for Obama, the soft-core Obama supporter doesn’t blame George Bush so much as the difficult situation itself. After all, if Obama had taken over during a boom, the assumption runs, that good economy would still be going on. The implication is that the president doesn’t have too much to do with the economic state of the nation.

Then comes a theme I hear over and over again: Obama is a centrist because he gets along with capitalists. His relationship with the head of General Electric is mentioned, as is the fact that he’s hired people from Wall Street and other such things.  People say things like: to hear the right-wing talk about it, you’d think Obama is some wild-eyed Occupy Wall Street type.

There is no sense of the concept of crony capitalism. Sure the administration is happy to back specific companies if they support its policies and perhaps kick back big campaign contributions.  Obama calls for class warfare and then jets off to big fundraisers with corporate fat cats. That doesn’t make him a centrist but rather someone who knows how to leverage support and intimidate opposition.

Ironically, his behavior — most notably with “green energy” — is the kind of thing that used to be called the most blatant form of corruption, that would have condemned his predecessors to scorching media treatment.

Often there is a foreign policy point. While the “Obama got Osama” theme is big generally, the point I most often hear is that Obama has done well in making America popular abroad. People are shocked when I tell them that I meet diplomats and officials from three dozen countries that are horrified by Obama’s policy. The “Europe loves Obama” theme has long since worn off, as reflected by the media there. And American military officers and career officials are also horrified by what’s going on.

Going back to the “Obama got Osama” chant or talk of Predator drones in Yemen, I reply that this is precisely the problem. Yes, the administration views itself as being at war with al-Qaeda – but that’s it. Almost all other Islamists are viewed as moderates who can be won over in the battle against al-Qaeda. They might be taking over countries and preaching genocide against Jews and the repression of Christians, but at least they aren’t attacking New York.  This policy is destroying U.S. interests in the Middle East.

If my interlocutor is Jewish and friendly toward Israel, he will usually cite Israeli leaders saying nice things about Obama. Of course they have to say those things, I explain, and they should do so. But you should hear what they are saying about him in private. It is obvious here that Israel cannot depend on this U.S. government.

Finally, the soft-core Obama supporter says something like this: “Well, do you think he’s any different from other Democratic presidents? Is there a discontinuity with him?

Many conservatives, like Obama supporters, would agree that he is just a typical liberal, which of course provides a good reason for liberals and Democrats to vote for him and independents to have an excuse to do so.

But this is just not true. Whatever the continuities, Obama has gone much further and with some very different assumptions. Obama’s administration is radical, not liberal, but if his critics minimize his differences, it will help to assure his reelection.

An Anti-McCarthyite’s McCarthyism

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Lawrence Hoffman is a politically liberal Reform rabbi who writes about his favorite Jewish books in his own recently released book, titled, not altogether unexpectedly, One Hundred Great Jewish Books.

Hoffman is, of course, entitled to his reading preferences, and several of his choices are certainly worthy of any such list. But what struck the Monitor in skimming the book was the implication in one of his reviews that the late Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist activities had an anti-Semitic subtext.

Now, before coming to McCarthy’s defense on this issue, it must be acknowledged that writing anything that can be perceived as less than condemnatory of Joe McCarthy is bound to upset people, as the Monitor learned firsthand a number of years ago.

On that occasion, the Senate historian had released thousands of transcript pages of executive hearings conducted by McCarthy in the mid-1950s and trumpeted them as groundbreaking, with liberal reporters and editorial writers repeating verbatim his claim that the papers revealed once and for all that when it came to investigating alleged Communist subversion, “McCarthy had shopworn goods and fishing expeditions.”

The Monitor merely pointed out that there was hardly anything new in the documents and quoted conservative writer Wes Vernon’s statement that the Senate historian and other critics of McCarthy “could not cite one instance in which [McCarthy’s] alleged ‘browbeating’ of witnesses ruined lives.”

(Vernon was referring to efforts by M. Stanton Evans, an expert on the McCarthy era, to get someone – anyone – involved in the release of the papers to substantiate the statement, jointly released by Senators Carl Levin and Susan Collins, that McCarthy’s methods “destroyed the careers of people who were not involved in the infiltration of our government.” None could.)

In response to that column the Monitor received an unusual amount of negative feedback from readers – including the Senate historian himself, who in his letter castigated McCarthy for his overall recklessness.

The Monitor has always been fascinated by the way the McCarthy period is portrayed in the liberal media and among left-wing academics – particularly in light of what is now known about the control exerted by Moscow over the American Communist Party and the extent of Soviet espionage in the middle decades of the 20th century.

What makes the McCarthy business a case study in liberal denial and media mendacity is that even after the fall of the Soviet Union and the declassification of cables and documents from both sides of the Cold War, far too many journalists continued to operate in an ideological time warp, seemingly stuck in the 1970s with its backdrop of revisionist historians blaming the U.S. for the world’s ills and American credibility festering at an all-time low in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate.

Anyway, getting back to Lawrence Hoffman, here is what he writes in his chapter on Paddy Chayefsky’s play “The Tenth Man”:

Even though Senator McCarthy wanted Americans to believe otherwise, relatively few Jewish immigrants actively fought for socialism, much less communism.” [Emphasis added]

Hoffman gives no source, nor does he offer any quote from McCarthy, to back up his outrageous claim. So here is a proud anti-McCarthyite guilty of the very sin he imputes to Joe McCarthy.

The truth is, whatever one thinks of McCarthy, one thing he was not was an anti-Semite.

In his superb and widely praised McCarthy biography A Conspiracy So Immense, the historian David Oshinsky notes that “[McCarthy] never engaged in anti-Semitic diatribes or made the loaded connection between Jews and left-wing radicalism. Despite the unrelenting hostility of organized Jewry to his crusade, McCarthy still praised the state of Israel [and] condemned the Soviet persecution of Jews.”

Political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg concurs, writing in his book The Fatal Embrace that “the McCarthyites had no use for anti-Semitism as a political weapon. Indeed, several of McCarthy’s most important aides…were themselves Jews.”

And the late Abba Eban, in his memoir Personal Witness, recalled that McCarthy once summoned him to his Senate office and asked to be added to a list of sponsors of a congressional resolution urging Israel’s inclusion in U.S. foreign aid legislation.

“Israel and the Jews,” Eban wrote, “never became a target of McCarthy’s denunciations.”

Shalem College Receives Anonymous $1 Million Gift

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The Shalem Center has received an anonymous $1 million Gift for Shalem College, Israel’s first liberal arts college slated to open in 2012-13.

In a statement released in their email Newsletter Wednesday, The Shalem Center wrote “[t]he donors, from New York, are committed advocates for Israel and Jewish causes and long-time Shalem friends and supporters. Their unrestricted gift will match the Tikvah Fund’s $12.5 million challenge grant for Shalem College.”

“This generous matching Founder’s Gift will help translate that vision into a new future for the Jewish state and the Jewish world.” Shalem Center President Daniel Polisar said

Long-Delayed Death Of A Bad Dude

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

In the 1980s, I was an unrefined adolescent from blue-collar Butler, Pennsylvania. I knew nothing and cared nothing about politics. I had no idea if I was a conservative or a liberal, Democrat or Republican, or much of anything else.

But I knew one thing: Muammar Khaddafi was a bad dude.

And now, three decades later, and some 40-plus years after coming to power, he is gone, dispatched to the ash heap of history with other murderous terrorists and dictators: Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Lenin.

I will not here add to reports of how Khaddafi met his final fate, but I would like to share a valuable piece of information that was revealed to me by Bill Clark, Ronald Reagan’s right-hand man and national security adviser when Khaddafi was ramping up in the 1980s.

It was early 1981. President Reagan had just been inaugurated. Alexandre de Marenches, the director of France’s external intelligence agency, SDECE, came to the White House with a highly sensitive plan to remove Khaddafi. The plan was to assassinate the Libyan dictator during a parade, by use of an explosive device placed near the reviewing stand.

“Our answer,” said Clark, “was that we understood their feelings toward the man, but we don’t do assassinations.”

That was because there was an executive order banning assassinations, first signed by President Gerald Ford and supported by President Carter. The Reagan team had no intention of violating the order as one of the first acts of the new administration.

Intelligence sources I consulted confirmed Clark’s recollection of de Marenches’ request.

“He came over to the U.S., probably in early February 1981,” said one source, a high-level CIA “operations” person. “His interlocutor was Vice President Bush. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the removal of Khaddafi. He came to try to get us involved operationally in the plan…. He wanted not just our moral or political support but to get us involved in the actual operation.”

This same source pointed to the “Safari Club,” which was a group of countries – France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and the Shah’s Iran – that had banded together for two primary purposes: 1) to fight the spread of Soviet communism in Africa; and 2) to counter Khaddafi, particularly his adventures in neighboring Chad.

The group was formed by intelligence ministers in the mid-1970s, and de Marenches was its catalyst. The group was appalled by America’s unwillingness to no longer stand up to the Soviets; it was post-Watergate, post-Vietnam, Americans had elected an incredibly liberal Congress, and Jimmy Carter was president. The Club sought to fill the vacuum.

De Marenches’ offer concerning Khaddafi was consistent with the concerns of the Safari Club.

As an indication of the confidential nature of his overture, de Marenches did not discuss his offer to the Reagan administration in either of his 1986 and 1992 books. But he did note yet another intention to kill Kaddafi: He said that on March 1, 1978, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat had asked de Marenches for help in “disposing of him [Khaddafi] physically.”

Think of the irony here, and how tragically history unfolds: It was Sadat who would be assassinated, in October 1981. He was killed at a reviewing stand at a parade, shot by Islamists for his “crime” of making peace with Israel.

While Sadat died, Khaddafi was permitted to live. Sadat made peace. Khaddafi left a trail of blood and violence.

And here’s another irony still: Just weeks after de Marenches’s offer to Reagan to assassinate Khaddafi, Reagan was shot, on March 30, 1981, and nearly bled to death.

Politicizing Our National Pastime

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Most critics of The New York Times are well aware of the liberal bias on its news pages that is as pronounced as the leftward slant on its opinion pages. But the Gray Lady’s sports section is just as bad.

In the past several years, the “Sports of the Times” has had two egregious examples of politicized coverage. One was the campaign for changes at the private golf club that hosts the Masters tournament. The other was its disgraceful coverage of the rape accusations lodged against the Duke lacrosse team.

Long after the rest of the media acknowledged the Duke story was a hoax, the Timescontinued piling on the falsehoods. After the dust settled and there was no longer even a shadow of doubt about the innocence of the young men the Timesreporters and columnists had done their best to besmirch, there were no apologies.

Being the Timesand imbued with a sense of high liberal moral purpose means you never have to say you’re sorry.

So it was hardly surprising to see the Times lead its sports section last Saturday with a highly politicized piece by author Jonathan Mahler seeking to incite protests against the Major League Baseball All-Star Game next month.

Mahler’s problem with the Summer Classic is that it is being held at the home ballpark of the Arizona Diamondbacks. We’re told that’s a bad thing because Arizona passed a law calling for local law enforcement agencies to ask people (already being questioned about possible misbehavior) about their immigration status.

The law may be unnecessary, but it is neither racial profiling nor a modern equivalent of Jim Crow. Even those of us who believe illegal immigration is not a lethal threat to the nation believe the laws concerning entry into the country should be enforced.

But the law, which has yet to be enforced due to court challenges, offends the sensibilities of some Hispanics. That is enough for some to justify a boycott of the entire state until it cries uncle the way it did 20 years ago over its resistance to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The Hispanic contribution to our national pastime has been enormous. It is even more important these days since so many Americans seem to have abandoned baseball for basketball and football. Yet Mahler considers baseball insufficiently politically correct on Hispanic issues especially when compared to the National Basketball Association and the National Football League.

As Mahler notes, Hispanic players had a tough time for many years but the sometimes unhappy history of their experience (which was never as bad as the discrimination suffered by African-Americans) would not justify the sport intervening in the Arizona case as Mahler suggests.

The author is determined to build a case against Major League Baseball, but at times blames it for things that are the faults of others. Recent scandals about the recruitment of players in Latin America were actually the fault of local Hispanics, not greedy gringos, who exploited and lied about prospects.

The problem with his piece, as well as his whole argument, is that it is premised on an assumption based on a political point of view he merely assumes but does not prove. Some Hispanic players may disagree with the Arizona law, but does that, as Mahler seems to imply, mean all of baseball must agree or be guilty of racism?

Most Americans support enforcement of laws against illegal immigration, including the Arizona statute. If baseball were to take sides on one side of that battle, what would Mahler have players do who disagree with a boycott of Arizona?

Mahler’s attempt to analogize the disagreement over the Arizona law with the breaking of baseball’s color line also doesn’t hold up. As he himself notes, this is the 100th anniversary of the first Hispanics to play in the big leagues. Nor is there any comparison between Jackie Robinson and the late Roberto Clemente, who was a great player and died tragically but does not deserve the same place in both baseball and American history that Robinson does.

Americans can disagree on what should be done about illegal immigration, but the best place to hash that out is in the halls of legislatures, the courts and most of all the ballot boxes. Despite the desire of the Times to incite division and anger, baseball should stand clear of that fight.

Michele Bachmann: The Liberal Elite’s Next ‘Jew’

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

When Sarah Palin burst upon the national scene and the liberal media attempted to destroy her, I observed on my blog, Seraphic Secret, that she was being transformed into a hated Jew.

Each rhetorical bombardment against her was and is reminiscent of the Arab strategy to demonize Jews and Israel.

The attacks on Palin were and are blood libels.

The latest ghoulish assault – liberalism is socialism as lynch mob – on her was the mob frenzy to analyze some 24,000 Palin e-mails from her tenure as Alaska’s governor.

When Obama’s twenty-year discipleship to Jew-hater Jeremiah Wright was finally revealed, the liberal media dismissed this disgusting alliance as nothing more than guilt by association. We wonder if liberals would have the same attitude if it were revealed that a Republican presidential candidate attended KKK meetings for twenty years. We sort of doubt it.

Wright’s church is the black ideological mirror of the KKK. But for the liberal media the Obama/Wright man-crush was of zero interest. And there certainly was no clamor to turn up, let alone comb through, any juicy correspondence or cyber trail Obama may have left behind as a state legislator and U.S. senator.

Much to the chagrin of the propagandists who masquerade as journalists, the mountains of e-mail reveal Palin as a hard-working, effective public servant – transparent, humorous, distrustful of oil companies and willing to take on the corrupt Republican Party elite of Alaska.

Nevertheless, the blood libels will continue because liberals simply cannot bear the notion that a smart, beautiful and independent woman can be ideologically conservative.

But there are two issues that make Sarah Palin a particular object of liberal scorn:

1. Palin’s support and love of Israel is profound. Hence she was and is accused of anti-Semitism. The foul charge makes no sense. But, hey, cognitive dissonance is the hallmark of leftist/progressive/liberal thought.

(Note: I’m a friend of the Israeli tour guide who accompanied Palin during her recent trip to Israel. This guide has only good things to say about Palin and her family.)

2. Palin opposes abortion. In fact, she lives this philosophy, choosing to give birth to a Down syndrome baby, refusing to view her child as an inconvenience to be murdered in the womb.

To a certain strain of hard-core liberal, this is just as bad – maybe worse – than her love of Israel. Abortion is sacrosanct to the liberal mind, the fetus viewed as an annoying blister to be lanced.

Michele Bachmann, the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and newly announced presidential candidate, is the liberal media’s next “Jew.”

In the GOP debate last week, Bachmann dazzled. She was incisive, articulate and knowledgeable. Clearly, she was enjoying herself. A majority of Americans want their politicians to be optimistic. Obama comes across as Jimmy Carter squared: petulant, dour, angry, resigned to an America mired in a future of diminishing returns.

Like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann is beautiful and glamorous, but not so glamorous that she threatens other women. Nor is she so sexy that she intimidates men.

She dresses like a lady, modest but fashionable.

I’ve never seen her in a pants suit.

And she actually knows stuff.

Unlike Obama, who seems to fashion himself a philosopher king – practical knowledge scorned – Bachmann is a skilled tax attorney and an entrepreneur.

It should come as no surprise that as a pious Christian, Bachmann, like Palin, is a huge supporter of Israel. My wife and I heard Bachmann at a Republican Jewish Coalition function last year and it was like listening to Golda Meir.

But here’s the main reason you can bet your bottom dollar the liberal lynch mob will go after Bachmann with jihadist fervor:

Bachmann and her husband have raised five biological children. That’s way too many. Liberals cap families at 2.0 offspring. Anything more is so quaint and, well, churchy – and crowds the planet to boot.

Bachmann and her husband also raised 23 foster children.

This, to the liberal mind, is unforgivable.

Why?

Because Michele Bachmann lives her conservative ideology by refusing to allow government to raise unwanted children.

Parents who adopt children or take in and raise foster children are society’s greatest heroes. They repair the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/michele-bachmann-the-liberal-elites-next-jew/2011/06/22/

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