Monday, July 23, 2007

Hillary’s Mao Theater

By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network on 7/23/07

When Chairman Mao was in his hey-day . . . that would be during the Cultural Revolution when every second student on American campus was carrying a copy of the Red Book, there was a thing they used to do called Mao Theater. (Mao was kind of the Paris Hilton of the early ‘70s before yippie turned to yuppie.) Mao Theater was public drama of overt propaganda to condition the audience to adopt Marxist values. Little plays would go on; morality plays of Marxist morals and ideas and things they wanted you to become, and they would be accompanied by agitational propaganda – direct political indoctrination to accompany the theatrical production, thus to get the peasants on the whole program.

In hindsight, you would find it hard to believe that any group of people could be so stupid as to be influenced by this kind of thing. And only a slave race; the hordes; the masses would enter into such an absurd and simple-minded flow of indoctrination.

But here we are again with the announcement that the new 24 series (is that still on?) will star a “woman President” this next season. They changed her hair a little so it doesn’t look exactly like Hillary’s. The last Mao Theater presentation of President Hillary, Commander In Chief starring Geena Davis, to condition the audience to her upcoming Presidential campaign, the Chief was almost a ringer.

Who will decide this next President? David Geffen? Stephen Spielberg? Oprah? Jack Bauer?

How about None of the Above.

Are Americans as stupid as the Hollywood dictators of culture propose we are? At times, yes. But not today.

The three leading Democrats today are now fighting to be the new McGovern. The Democrats will become the “anti-Vietnam War” party applied now to the war on Iraq. It is their fatal flow to solve the issue of Iraq by looking to their personal and generational past and to the war in Vietnam.

The flaw in this is that in its inner-most sense Iraq is not at all like Vietnam. Vietnam was a random error of judgment by Jack Kennedy who did not know what the hell he was doing for a good long while when he first became President. America could leave Vietnam at any time without major consequence. And did. It was not a time of war. It was a time of peace and war was anomalous.

But several of the Democrats, most prominently Hillary and her Cajun Cartel, still have at least one foot in that decade. They want the war to go away now like the Vietnam War just seemed to go away. Hillary will advance now because she seems so good at being “against the war” – like we somehow remember her doing it all her life, kind of.

That’s not going to happen either. These Democrats, who fully supported Bush/Cheney/Rove on this absurd and tragic misadventure have proven themselves for a second time to be incapable of management and leadership abilities. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.

As misguided as it was, the invasion of Iraq was a “patriotic war.” That is, it was a war to which people gave their trust and their hearts en masse. Virtually 100% of Americans supported Bush when he first sent troops to Afghanistan. Still 75% supported the invasion of Iraq, and the leaders and journalists who knew full well what mischief was behind the war-making decisions threw in as well.

The people now will not disavow themselves of their original faith and intentions. They are tired of the war, but it is a misreading of America’s mood to think that therefore they will abandon the principle which first sent the 100% of American sensibility to support the Afghanistan invasion.

The ’08 race will be a referendum of this: Will Americans renounce their first intentions and vote for Hillary? Or in spite of misguided leadership by the worst President in our history enforce in concept the original premise of the war on terror. And in that case, vote for Mitt Romney.

There is something inherently crippling about the Democrat’s way to power and it started here in New England during the war in Vietnam. But Massachusetts, where I grew up, is not the same place as it was then. We no longer like to lose and take pride in losing as we did for a long time after the death of JFK. There is still that McGovern tendency and it still seems to pervade the Democratic Party.

In ’04 I worked here in New Hampshire as a volunteer for General Wesley Clark because he had the right view of the invasion of Iraq and unlike most ranking Democrats, he had the character to come public with it.

At a house party in Concord one night at which General Clark was to appear, I was talking to one of the most well known of political organizers in New England who was nationally prominent in the campaign of George McGovern.

I was a little startled when she said with great enthusiasm in reference to General Clark’s presence in the race: “It’s just like George McGovern!”

I myself saw no trace of resemblance to McGovern or the McGovern campaign. George McGovern lost 49 states and that total failure is still a matter of pride among Democrats.

Maybe this is a political party that just can’t grow up and we will see the end of it after Jack Bauer rushes around in earnest pursuit this next season stopping terrorists out to git us again (starring Kiefer Southerland don’t cha know. Isn’t he a Canadian? And what kind of name is Kiefer anyway?)

Howard Dean is another who suffered a catastrophic loss and was considered such a party hero that the Democrats made him the head of the party.

This is something I don’t understand: Here in Vermont and New Hampshire we pass through trends. Forty years ago there was a big hippie thing. It lasted about ten years and then the hippies all moved out west to Marin County and Seattle. Then fifteen years ago when Dean started being Governor of Vermont, there was a big gay scene. It was immortalized in the last season of The Sopranos where Vinni has to leave New Jersey because the mob discovers he’s gay. So he comes to New Hampshire and discovers that half the town is gay including most of the fire fighters. Truth is, it is kind of boring up here and the gay scene moved back to Boston and New York about eight or ten years ago.

So how come when a trend passes up here in northern New England it catches on in the national party?

New England is a much different place than it was in the Sixties when it was indeed a swirling vortex of hippies, anti-war activists and Maoist suburbanites lost in a haze of political make-believe.

Today we have a truly astonishing quarterback with the eye of a falcon and Boston has a cool, new bridge and a tunnel which sometimes works and other times not so good. Since McGovern won the state in 1972 Massachusetts has seen one of the most innovative and popular Governors, the Libertarian Bill Weld, who today waits in the wings with Unity 08 to open a third party if one of the others fail. And from then till now, this state in which my father managed to not talk to any but French and Irish Catholics in all of his 90 years has had a well-organized and effective Mormon as Governor.

New England it no longer the land of McGovern or even the land of Jack Kennedy anymore. It is the land of Mitt Romney.

Somebody tell the Democrats.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Federalism Has Run Its Course

by Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network, 7/5/07

The Libby pardon brought first to mind Bill Clinton’s one million dollar bribe received from Libby associate Marc Rich in the last days of his office, when Clinton pardoned treasonists and felons alike, giving relief “like lollipops” as Romney said, to anyone who had the cash to pay. Seeing him now in Iowa running his wife’s dog and pony show is enough to gag a horse. It is clear now and was clear from the start that this would be another Bill scam.

My second though was – politics aside – that we have been 16 years now without adults at the head of government. And the crew we face in ’08 is none as good: Romney will drive to the heart of Islam and perhaps to Russia; Hillary, who simply refuses to answer question from the press, will do whatever the market surveys and her husband tell her to do. As Emerson said at the awakening of our Republic, “we see ourselves ascending a stairs.” We appear now to be descending the same set of stairs.

As I was driving home last night I'd been thinking that if Senator Clinton and Governor Romney get the nominations, I would not vote for the first time in my 60 years. This would be a matter of conscience and moral responsibility, but not of passivity, because I would then send my meager efforts elsewhere. There are no vacuums in human nature, and there are always new paths when old ones fail. Here in northern New England many feel the same. Vermont actually faces a secession vote in March and 38,000 Vermonters are said to support Vermont nationalism. (When the issue was vetted on Daily Kos, two-thirds responded in a national poll saying Vermont had the right to secede.)

I feel no hostility to the two big parties, but I feel no attachment either. It would be a personal acknowledgement, feeling or belief that federalism as we have understood it in New England since 1865 has run its course.

I would hope then for a third party or even a regional party, as regionalism may be our destiny if federalism fails. And what we are seeing in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina; in the Middle East as the big ships head in to bomb Iran; in the Congress of Peeps which holds the coats, accommodates and appeases even as habeas corpus is discarded with a shrug; and in the Oval Office where one of the two most underdeveloped Presidents in our history; the one a serial draft dodger who compares himself to Churchill (and another who compared himself to Elvis) is a failure of federalism.

Thus the stakes in this election are higher than they have ever been since 1865. It could well be that Jefferson’s vision of a “decentralized” country would be the practical and obvious model after the Hamiltonian vision of an all-powerful Centralized Government and “one size fits all federalism” had filled the West and run its course and groups and types of regional character and community tier economies have developed across the continent.

The West is filled. The regions and communities have developed their own souls and characteristics. Federalism has run its course.