Friday, September 13, 2013

Pendula And Armistices

First, a personal note. Most people have their "worst morning of the week" on Monday. This is normal and natural. As I'm neither normal nor natural, mine occurs on Friday.

"Why is that, Fran?" I hear you murmur. Quite simply, because my work exhausts me. It's extraordinarily difficult, there's far too much of it, and there's far too little of me. Four straight days of it is enough to render me punch-drunk. I stagger through my Fridays like a boxer who's "out on his feet," uncertain whether I'll live to reach home at the end of the day. Getting into Miranda the Mercedes at quittin' time to brave the Long Island Expressway in the teeth of the Northeast's worst commuting-hour traffic is an act of mad desperation and irrational hope. Few persons are quite as surprised as I when I reach the Fortress of Crankitude (headquarters of the Northern Mount Sinai Psychedelic Conspiracy and Auto Graveyard, a wholly-owned yet utterly autonomous subsidiary of the Permanent Floating Riot Club of Greater Suffolk County) safe, sound, and undented on a Friday evening.

However, because of my incredible genius, extraordinary seniority, stratospheric reputation, enormous genitals, and unequalled personal modesty, my employer allows me to spend every other Friday at home...and those Friday mornings are just as bad as the other ones if not worse, because my Friday-morning mindset refuses to distinguish between a looming day at the office and a looming day in my own lab.

Accordingly, if the following sounds crankier than usual, my apologies. You now know why.

I recall, from younger and generally happier times, one of my parish priests telling me and a bunch of other half-formed young men that "to understand all is to forgive all." It sounded good, and for a while I tried hard to live by it. But after some experience of the real world, I came to share Robert A. Heinlein's take on it from Starship Troopers: With some things, the better you understand them, the more you loathe them and despise their perpetrators.

The smarmy, silver-tongued rhetoric of statist and accommodationist politicians falls into that category.

We often hear it said that human affairs swing back and forth between opposed poles: a sociopolitical pendulum whose motion is both regular and inexorable. I don't believe it and never have. It's a fatalistic creed suited only for the lazy and cowardly: persons who want to surrender their initiative and their moral obligations as men, without feeling guilty about it. I consider such persons little better than domesticated animals. That goes for persons at every point on the N-dimensional sociopolitical spectrum, not merely for those I already hold in contempt for some other reason.

Lately, there's been an increase in the ranks of the contemptible. Among the new applicants are quite a number of "Republicans." Some of those have seats on Capitol Hill. The worst of them are prone to preaching a Gospel of Despairing Accommodation: "We can't beat them, and even trying will expose us to opprobrium from the Main Stream Media, so let's just give in and go along quietly. Maybe they'll use some lube this time, though flowers tomorrow morning would be a bit much to hope for."

One or two of the better-known conservative commentators have taken up my cry, which is heartening. Sean Hannity has recently done so. He's recently said outright on his radio show that if the Republican leadership won't fight ObamaCare by any and every means at its disposal, there's no point in supporting the national Republican Party any longer: it will have become a (slightly blurred) carbon-copy of the Democrats. Yet even with that insight in hand, Hannity continues to call for a "revitalized" GOP, characterized, in Reagan's famous words, by "bold-colored differences." I can't imagine how he sees any hope for that at the federal level, given the spinelessness of Boehner, Cantor, McCain, Graham, McConnell, et alii. The tiny coterie of sincerely freedom-oriented conservatives among nationally prominent Republicans can't reform the GOP; Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and their fellows have neither the numbers nor the backing to take that well-defended hill.

What immeasurably sharpens my contempt for "our leaders" on the Right is that just now, we're witnessing a massive groundswell of libertarian-conservative -- "constitutional conservative," if you prefer that designation -- sentiment among ordinary, private-citizen Americans. We have had enough and are saying so, we are more numerous than ever before in history, and we are making progress. That our supposed representatives in Washington are so plainly disinclined to do their part is a good argument for torches, pitchforks, and blood in the D.C. streets...quite a lot of which would be "GOP blue."

What's that you say, Gentle Reader? I sound angry and upset? Why, however did you guess?

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves
Or lose our ventures.

["Shakespeare," Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene 3]

If there is a "pendulum" that swings back and forth between the fortunes of Right and Left, then just now it's swinging in our preferred direction: the direction of less government and restored freedom.

Yes, yes, there are dark spots on the picture: New York, California, and (of course) Washington D.C. appear determined to quench all freedom and install complete totalitarian regimes, where what is not compulsory is forbidden (or at least requires a license or a prescription). That any politician from those districts dares to prattle about "freedom" should be cause for summary execution. Nevertheless, the greater part of the country is headed up as we would prefer. Consider the progress pro-gun rights groups have made, and you'll feel a smile erupt on your face. Consider the success conservative-minded state legislatures have had at curbing government growth, and you'll start to clap your hands. Consider the incredible success Wisconsin has had at reducing the power of its vulpine government-employee unions, and you'll want to cheer out loud.

We're winning. Despite the Obamunists in Washington and their spaghetti-spined Republican "opposition," we're winning.

So what do the leftists want? Why, an armistice, of course!

In warfare, an armistice is a mutually-agreed cease-fire, during which the sides are supposed to work out the terms of a more enduring peace. But not all combatants regard an armistice in this benevolent a fashion. Some deem it merely a chance to rearm and reposition their forces. If that puts you in mind of Islam and jihad, you're not alone.

In specifically political combat, the Left is almost overt about such tactics. Consider this bit of reportage from Down Under about leftists in the Australian media:

Labor in government created the Left-wing Grattan Institute, funded the new Left-wing The Conversation and presided over the expansion of the Left-wing ABC.

It stage an show-trial into the “hate media” that criticised it, threatened newspapers which dug into Julia Gillard’s past and proposed new laws for a state-backed media censor.

Labor also drafted new laws against free speech and ensured no conservatives sat on the ABC board. It created a new national curriculum with a Leftist slant on history, promoted and funded the global warming scare, and created a Climate Commission to spread warming alarmism. It promoted Big Government through attacks on smokers and drinkers, and expanded the entitlement culture with handouts.

Labor inspired a dictionary to redefine “misogyny” after a vicious personal attack on Tony Abbott, and preached identity politics as it launched a “Women for Gillard” campaign and pitted workers against bosses, poor against rich.

But only now that a conservative government replaces one of the Left does Fairfax writer Gay Alcorn suddenly call a halt to the culture war - by which she actually means the Left’s advances should not now be reversed:

Mr Abbott, if you care about us at all (and we know you do because your daughters say you care about everybody), please spare us a rerun of the ‘’culture wars’’.

Spoken like a true Leftist. Only conservatives have a bias. Leftists propose “reforms”, but conservatives only want “war”.

Doesn’t work that way, Gay.

Indeed it doesn't ...but you may expect to hear similar plaints from American media leftists, now, as well. Moreover, their pleas for an "armistice" to their liking are in many cases merely cover for redirected aggression.

A good example arises in Congress, where the most recent Obamunist initiatives -- all of them ultra-statist -- have been thwarted by GOP control of the House and a GOP Senatorial caucus sufficient to block the worst of them (albeit in many cases only under extreme pressure from their constituents). So what do the Left's representatives propose? Why, unilateral executive action, of course! Failing that, the Dishonorable Harry Reid (D, Hell) would like to change the Senate's rules to eliminate the filibuster: a move which, when Republicans pondered applying a milder form of it to similar cases, was called "the nuclear option" and condemned as a treasonous attack on democracy, the rights of the minority, the Constitution, American traditions, God, motherhood, baseball, and apple pie.

Similarly, we have the recently concluded (successfully) Colorado recalls of state senators John Morse and Angela Giron, who voted to infringe upon Coloradans' right to keep and bear arms. Both those...persons blamed their losses on "outside forces" (like the Bloomberg-led funding in opposition to their recall) and "voter suppression" (Colorado's recent enactment of election laws that curb fraud-prone early voting and mail-in voting). Can't hit one target, aim at another, eh, ex-Senators?

The caperings of Texas state senator Wendy Davis ought not to be neglected. Having failed to prevent the passage of a restriction on late-term abortions in Texas, she's now campaigning for higher office as a champion of women's rights! How about the right of a woman to be born at all, Miss Davis? Has that any place in your calculations, or will you condemn me as a misogynist Neanderthal for daring to mention it?

There are many more examples, but I believe the point has been made.

Among the oldest and most imperative of all military maxims is this one:

Cut Your Losses;
Reinforce Your Successes.

This is as basic as basic gets. Wars aren't won by pulling back your offensive forces to shore up your weak points, but by penetrating the enemy's lines, attacking his troops from the sides and rear, and destroying the logistical infrastructure that enables his army to fight. If I may paraphrase Vince Lombardi, initiative in warfare isn't everything; it's the only thing.

This is as true in political combat as in the flying-lead sort.

If we're winning in certain locales and on certain subjects, we should be reinforcing our pressure on those locales and those subjects. Indeed, given the overall tenor of public sentiment today, to play defense at all, anywhere, on any topic, could well be a misallocation of forces.

States that liberalize their gun laws are experiencing reductions in violent crime.
States that permit the exploitation of subsurface resources are booming as never before.
States that restrain their regulation of commerce are experiencing commercial expansion.
States that reduce government expenditure are experiencing tax reductions and job growth.
States whose courts reject as frivolous lawsuits to impede development are being developed!

The pendulum, if there is one, is swinging in our direction: visibly and dramatically, for the first time since the Clinton years -- and the Left, which has overcommitted to defending its weak spots, is screaming for an "armistice." Sometimes the subtext is "we're not supposed to lose;" sometimes it's that "the Left is supposed to make progress when we win, not the Right." Either way, its an importunity we in the Right must resist at all costs.

There's no "mercy rule" in politics, and no moral obligation to be forgiving, kind, or generous to persons that hate us passionately and would put us all in "re-education camps" if they possessed the power.



Russell said...


No need for me to rehash this since it's old news, but the Leftists have no moral center. The one thing their actions state is that they crave power above all else. Can't trust them, can't live with them.

When they start squealing about "armistice", we can be assured that blows are landing.

You are correct, "press on" is our only option if we want to mitigate the impending implosion of America.

It's still a long slog ahead of us, only God knows if we have enough time to reserve the swing of His mighty sword, but we have to try.

agraves said...

Friends, regarding Putin spanking Obama and the U.S. war machine: We have been presented with an opportunity to revitalize our Republic. This has been presented to us by Putin, a KGB guy that all talking heads seem to hate. The sheeple, if they are smart enough, now have permission to act out. We see that if Putin can stop our government maybe we can to! Americans have accepted that those who control our government will do what they want when they want regardless of how we feel. But that can all be overturned now if people really see they can win. One last point on America being "war weary". We are not war weary, we are sick and tired of "losing" and wasting our precious military. Alex

KG said...

The "armistice" the left is calling for is no different to the islamist's hudna.
Merely an opportunity for them to regroup.