Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Video, The Debate, The Nation, And The Future

Because you're as tired as I am of seeing "Assorted" as a title here.


No, I haven't viewed the notorious Hampton College 2007 video. I understand that Barack Hussein Obama attempted to use Hurricane Katrina and the destruction it wrought upon New Orleans as tools of racial incitement. I understand that he employed a deliberate old-time-Negro accent to do so. I understand that he was fulsome in praising the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, well-known purveyor of racial hatreds and anti-American sentiments for many years, including the years Obama sat attentively listening to his sermons.

And I understand that Governor Romney has announced that he won't make reference to any of the above in tonight's debate or his subsequent campaigning. In other words, nothing has changed.


Yes, the first debate between Romney and Obama is tonight. Everyone and his catamite have been spouting opinions:

  • About what topics must and will come up;
  • About what sort of persona Governor Romney should present to the audience;
  • About whether Obama's extreme sensitivity to criticism will get him into trouble;
  • About "zingers;"
  • About whether the debate will have any great effect on the ultimate vote tally;
  • And, of course, about who is likely to be called the victor in the Main Stream Media and the counterpoised New Media.

Mike McNally of PJ Media has proposed a set of "killer lines" for Governor Romney, all of which focus on aspects of the Obamunist record in power. I must admit, every one is a rhetorical right hook to Obama's glass jaw. Any one of them could provoke Obama into a tirade from which he might not recover. But whether Governor Romney can bring himself to be that cutting is open to question. He might be too much the gentleman to deliberately upset his opponent in such a fashion...however much his opponent deserves it and much, much worse.

But of equal interest is this snippet from Bridget Johnson's column:

Obama and Romney hate each other. These mutual daggers will ooze into living rooms across America for three nights in October. Not to say that Biden and Ryan are best friends, but they both have a down-to-earth congeniality that doesn't come across as sheer, unremitting disgust for one’s political opponent. In the Republican primary debates, depending on who was leading in the polls that week, Romney would turn to Santorum or Cain or Gingrich with a bemused, condescending look on his face when his challenger was speaking. But he’s met his smug debate match: Think back to Obama telling Hillary Clinton "you're likable enough," then going back to his notes-jotting.

"Hate each other"...? With regard to Governor Romney, I imagine something more like the following:

[Dimble] seemed to Mark to be looking at him, not with anger or contempt, but with that degree of loathing which produces in those who feel it a kind of embarrassment -- as if he were an obscenity which decent people are forced, for very shame, to pretend that they have not noticed. In this Mark was quite mistaken. In reality his presence was acting on Dimble as a summons to rigid self-control. Dimble was simply trying very hard not to hate, not to despise, above all not to enjoy hating and despising, and he had no idea of the fixed severity which this effort gave to his face. The whole of the rest of the conversation went on under this misunderstanding. [C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength]

Obama, of course, has been steeped in hatred his entire life: of white people, of capitalism, and of America generally. If Romney can elicit a display of any of that during the debates, he'll score big.

We shall see.


America is in terrible shape (as if you needed to be told). Any one of a double handful of crises, permitted to continue on as it's begun, could sink us as a functioning economy, a world power, and a generally free polity. As I allowed a character to put it in one of my novels:

"We have raised to high office men of ever more dubious skills and character. Men whose principal talent has been assembling coalitions of special interests, who would bankroll their campaigns and maneuver them into office, and subsequently expect them to steer the ship of state as their thralls. Men and interests entirely unconcerned with the Constitution's quite explicit limits on federal power. In consequence," he said, "today America is nearly twenty trillion dollars in debt. Our economy is faltering. Our military is no longer feared by other nations. Our extra-territorial possessions are under assault. Our dollar has ceased to be the world's reserve currency. Our constitutionally guaranteed rights as individuals are treated as being suspensible at the whims of judges, policemen, and unelected bureaucrats. Washington and the state capitals take six of every ten dollars we earn to spend as they please. Our inner cities resemble nothing so much as free-fire zones. Our society has been shattered into competing interest groups that strive ceaselessly to out-thieve one another in an unending game of beggar-thy-neighbor. And our national identity and confidence are weaker than ever before in history."

But that's not the worst of the news; that's coming up:

No matter which of the candidates is elected president, or which party emerges in control of Congress, none of the problems enumerated above will be definitively solved in the course of the next four years.

My hope is merely that a solid Republican administration will apply the brakes firmly enough to keep any of those things from destroying the country before we regain our purchase on reality. For it is the widespread unwillingness to concede that reality has certain inviolable laws:

  • Two wrongs don't make a right.
  • Production must always trump consumption.
  • The laws of economics are as immutable as those of physics.
  • Tax a thing to get less of it; subsidize a thing to get more of it.
  • No legislated law can change the moral law, or the motivations that drive human action.

...that have brought us to where we are today.

But don't expect even an un-filibusterable Republican Congress with a Republican president in the Oval Office to act in full acceptance of the above. No president has exhibited that much humility since Grover Cleveland. No Congress has ever behaved so morally or clear-headedly.

America is not doomed...yet. But even given the best possible electoral outcome on November 6 -- and a perfectly peaceful transition of power in January -- there's a lot of rough sledding ahead.

"Brace for impact." -- Capt. Chesley L. Sullenberger

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