Tag: Democratic Party

Laws Are Not Force Fields

 

shutterstock_344065673It would seem a self-evident truth that laws are not force fields. Simply creating a rule does not in and of itself change anyone’s behavior. Unenforced laws are useless. This would seem to be a strong argument in favor of only passing laws whose enforcement can be done in a practical manner, and which do not duplicate existing law.

Not so, says the Democratic Party. Whether it be their desire to emote about how much they care, even when they are powerless to do anything of consequence, or a genuine belief that they can bend human nature to their will with words alone, the result is the same. There are problems in the United States, and regardless of the specifics, the Democrats have a law ready to solve it.

More

Books as Christmas Gifts: Rush to Judgment

 

51NBH32lSOL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Some years ago, Stephen F. Knott, who now teaches at the Naval War College, published a fine study entitled Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth, in which he did for Hamilton what Merrill Peterson did long ago for Jefferson: he traced his posthumous reputation as it changed and changed again and again in response to the evolution of circumstances.

Three years ago, he did something similar with regard to George W. Bush in Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, the War on Terror, and His Critics. Both books are first-rate, but here I am recommending the latter. For it has one great virtue.

More

China: Harbinger of a Brave New World

 

shutterstock_275764925Totalitarianism is a function of technology. Prior to recent times, governments might claim to be absolute, but they did not have the record-keeping, administrative capacity to make good on that claim. Now they can do so far more easily than ever before — without hiring armies of spies. All that they have to do is follow the population on the Internet and use computers to collect and analyze the data. What Google can do, governments can do — and in Xi Jinping’s China that is what they are going to do. As The Weekly Standard reports,

China’s Communist government is rolling out a plan to assign everyone in the country “citizenship scores.” According to the ACLU, “China appears to be leveraging all the tools of the information age—electronic purchasing data, social networks, algorithmic sorting—to construct the ultimate tool of social control. It is, as one commentator put it, ‘authoritarianism, gamified.’ ” In the system, everyone is measured by a score ranging from 350 to 950, and that score is linked to a national ID card. In addition to measuring your financial credit, it will also measure political compliance. Expressing the wrong opinion—or merely having friends who express the wrong opinion—will hurt your score. The higher your score, the more privileges the government will grant you.

More

Why Do Scandinavia-obsessed Democrats Want to Turn the US into IKEAmerica?

 

Flags of Scandinavia - Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.In my new The Week column, I explore the Democrat/left-liberal/obsession with the mini-states of Scandinavia. Strangely there seems to be little concern or humility about the idea of transplanting their egalitarian social democracies to America. As Bernie Sanders said during this week’s Democratic debate: “I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.”

And then there’s this exchange earlier this year with ABC News presenter George Stephanopoulos:

More

Why I Admire the Democratic Party

 

shutterstock_238956442I will stipulate that the policies of the Democrat Party are both fiscally irresponsible and socially destructive. I will stipulate that Democrats lie to advance their destructive and irresponsible policies. I will stipulate that Democrat politicians are by and large corrupt, irresponsible, and often display a disturbing hostility toward Constitutional rights.

Having said that, there are things one cannot help but admire, even envy, about the Democrat Party versus the Republican Party.

More

Changing of the Guard

 
8414127_G
Hartford Mayor-elect Luke Bronin (left) and current Mayor Pedro Segarra.

Yesterday, Hartford selected its new mayor. To be precise, it was primary day, and the Democratic Party selected its candidate. But in this Democrat-dominated Northeastern city, the winner of the primary is almost certain to win the general election in November.

The dynamic of the race was reminiscent of the that on the TV show “The Wire.” The incumbent mayor, Pedro Segarra, is a classic interest-group politician. Incompetent and dogged by reports of corruption and favor-peddling, his candidacy rested on his appeal as a true representative of the people of Hartford. He was also not above a direct appeal to ethnic and racial politics. “No one has shown me that Pedro is such a terrible candidate as to warrant that the Latino community lose its only chief elected official in the state of Connecticut,” said surrogate Edwin Vargas, a state representative.

More

Whitewashing the Democratic Party’s History

 

FulbrightHere’s what the former president of the United States had to say when he eulogized his mentor, an Arkansas senator:

We come to celebrate and give thanks for the remarkable life of J. William Fulbright, a life that changed our country and our world forever and for the better . . . In the work he did, the words he spoke and the life he lived, Bill Fulbright stood against the 20th century’s most destructive forces and fought to advance its brightest hopes.

More

Identity Politics a Ticking Time Bomb for Democrats

 

shutterstock_56132851I’ve often thought that I probably couldn’t be a Democrat even if I held liberal policy views. The reason: it’s just too much work. The number of identity-based tripwires you have to navigate on any given day virtually assures you’re going to blow off a limb at some point. As Glenn Reynolds notes in his new USA Today column, the consequences of that trend are now playing out in the intra-Democratic fight over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal:

Right before Obama’s trade bill cratered in the Senate last week, Obama complained that its chief Senate critic, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., didn’t understand the real world. [National Organization for Women President Terry] O’Neill then chalked Obama’s attitude up to sexism.

More

Sanders Is In!

 

Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Case Involving Donor Limits To Political CampaignsAnd you thought Hillary had bought off all her potential rivals. Apparently there is one man who will not be bought:

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his plans to seek the Democratic nomination for president on Thursday, presenting a liberal challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

More

Same Old(er) Hillary

 

The six-year house party the activist left has been having with the country is coming to an end — and they know it. The death rattle for the antagonistic left began as soon as Wall Street grandmother Hillary Clinton announced her run for the presidency.

When a candidate is nominated for President, the party no longer drags them to their position; instead, it automatically becomes the party of that candidate. That’s why you see Bill de Blasio, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren all curbing their enthusiasm. The moment Hillary accepts the nomination, their electoral talking points are for the most part rendered benign — the party becomes a Clinton party again. They also know the same dirty secret the rest of the country knows: Hillary can’t run on class warfare and pop-socialism. Democrats understand that any time Hillary plays class warrior, she falls over her gold-plated walker and hits her Life Alert for the media to bail her out.

More

On Honor and Shame

 

In 1946, American anthropologist Ruth Benedict wrote a study of Japanese culture. Her landmark work, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, introduced to the public the concept of “guilt cultures” and “shame cultures.” Her audience was familiar with (American) guilt society, in which personal conscience keeps people voluntarily on the straight and narrow. In contrast, she characterized (Japanese) shame society by the threat of ostracism for the appearance of wrongdoing. It’s a useful analytical distinction. Today, it’s common to see it applied to Muslim vs. Western societal norms.

Where do shame and guilt come from? Both types of societies invoke the idea of honor — but the term means different things in each case. For example, “honor killing” is an oxymoron in the West, but a perfectly coherent idea in tribal cultures. That’s because in shame societies, “honor” means honor of the family, tribe, or group. It is judged by other people. Guilt societies, on the other hand, understand “honor” to mean individual honor before God. It is the root of conscience: What you do in private, too, is witnessed and under scrutiny. In shame cultures, one works to preserve appearances; in guilt culture, one works to preserve the truth.

More

Member Post

 

As many have pointed out since President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, he’s pretty free with riding the low horse of confession for the sins of others. He expressed sorrow for the sins of the Church committed hundreds of years ago and for the United States since its inception. He really has no […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Schver Tsu Zayn a Democrat

 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz finds it hard to be a Jewish, pro-Israel Democrat. First, there is the media bias from outlets like MSNBC. During this past summer’s war in Gaza, the network aired a biased “Palestinian perspective” and “panoramic view of the results of the war in Gaza.”

Clearly they were highlighting what is Israel had done to Gaza and the plight to Palestinians, and my first thought was, ‘Where is the balance, where is the spotlight on what Jewish children in Israel go through from being victims of rocket attacks?’ The media’s coverage, it’s not just MSNBC, I’ve seen it on CNN and even in the broadcast media, as well…

More

Winning Back America by Ignoring the Parts You Hate

 

Remember a few years back when the media was stocking up on smelling salts over Sarah Palin’s reference to small towns as “the real America?” Truth be told, I was never warm to that formulation. As a matter of crass politics, a winner never disowns huge segments of the electorate. I also disagreed with the idea on principle. I think a lot of us at Ricochet know what Palin was trying to say: that there are parts of the country where earnest patriotism is regarded as gauche. I’m all for attacking that attitude when it specifically arises, but applying it as an undifferentiated slight does a disservice to a big chunk of the country.

Still, if the media’s outrage had to do with the content rather than the speaker, they’d be taking to their fainting couches over the latest column from (West Virginia native!) Michael Tomasky, whose new piece at the Daily Beast drops the mask about how leftists really feel about the South; namely, that it is populated by untermenschen. After referring to the region as a “reactionary, prejudice-infested place” (the evidence for which comes from Louisiana’s rejection of Mary Landrieu in last weekend’s Senate runoff), Tomasky lets fly with an olympian expectoration:

More

Member Post

 

Some pretty awful things were said about Rush Limbaugh in a Democrat fundraising letter. It said he was tolerant of rape which is an ugly lie. But plenty of ugly lies have been said about Rush before, that he is a racist, a misogynist and a homophobe. He’s fought them with his microphone and is […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Other Straws in the Wind

 

shutterstock_158954213Earlier this week, I drew attention to the dearth of panels at the 2014 American Political Science Association (APSA) conference that were devoted to an assessment of the achievements in domestic and foreign affairs of the administration of Barack Obama. As I pointed out, the APSA has fifty-three “divisions” and sixty “related groups”that sponsor more than one thousand panels at these meetings with something on the order of four thousand scholars making presentations of one sort or another. Given those numbers, the profession’s silence with regard to Obama’s accomplishments are so striking as to suggest that the political science profession now regards “the One” as an embarrassment.

Today, I returned to the program of the APSA, which is available online and can be downloaded and searched. This I did with an eye to studying it more closely. Here and there, I found that someone had given a paper on some aspect of Barack Obama’s career — usually, with a focus on race — but that no one had bothered to ask whether he had been successful on the whole at home or abroad.

More

Doris Kearns Goodwin Intentionally Misleads About the History of Race — Larry Koler

 

I’m reading Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. It’s a good book overall, but I came across the quote below and simply could not believe it.

From Page 321:

More

Member Post

 

The Democratic Party is working hard to make America a land ruled by an elite kept in power through fraud and coercion; a land in which people are fired for their personal beliefs; a land in which individuals are denounced if they contribute to causes opposed by those in power; a land in which private […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.