Thursday, September 29, 2011

The rise and fall of the West: The eastern conservative establishment will divide America and possibly destroy America.

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/29/11

Our first post-war journey was west, busting through the Smokies with Davy Crockett on his way to the Alamo to help out Jim Bowie. Politics and demographics brought us there as well as Americans crossed the plains and Appalachian hills to Texas and the west. Our best and most important presidents since post-war were westerners: Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II but now we face a collapse of the western awakening as the northeastern establishment conspires to take it back. Rick Perry is a real full blood prince of the desert and that is perhaps what is freaking them out.

Maybe it is already too late. If you look at that row of western presidents, it makes progress from Eisenhower (born in Denison, Texas and raised in Kansas) to Reagan. But it climbs the mountain and then turns around. History is in the details and the telling detail in this passage was when George H.W. Bush tried to convince the world that he was really a Texan. Most felt he was a Connecticut Yankee absurdly decked out in cowboy boots. Worse with W., torn between East and West, and as much as he loathed the eastern prep school and longed for the prairie in office, the western clarity of purpose found in Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan was fully absent in his office. And with the current yearning for Jeb, who has entirely moved back east to that sub-tropical suburb of New Jersey, Florida, the arc has fully returned to the Eastern seaboard.

Chris Christie is the eastern seaboard’s great hope to return governance to New York and New Jersey. Today’s New York Post reports that he now has support of Nancy Reagan, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and George W. Bush.

“Wealthy, Influential, Leaning Republican and Pushing a Christie Bid for President” reads the headline on Sept. 26 at The New York Times. “Christie understands what it is like to be a Republican in the Northeast,” said Lynn Krogh, a Republican campaign consultant in New York, adding: “He’s practical. He’s not just a barnburner.”

In my opinion this is a symptom of failure and represents collapse of the western movement that has brought us economic success in the last 60 years. It will drive America to regional division, because the time of continental dominance by the east is well past and has been since the end of World War II. The west will no longer be dominated by New York and New Jersey. We need instead to represent the western paradigm, as represented most holistically by Dwight Eisenhower. Today only Mitt Romney and Rick Perry fill the bill.

But if this western passage is fully subverted by New York “crony capitalists” it will bring trouble not seen in this country in more than a century.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rick Perry, W. and The Duke

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill
on 9/28/11

Donnie Osborn v. John Wayne was The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto's comment on Thursday’s debate. A good one. As The Duke in the original “True Grit” showed himself to be uneasy among strangers and outsiders and preferred the company of his cat and a Chinese merchant. The intuitive Duke was especially out of sorts in the original scenes when the men in black in the courtroom had him pinned like a bug and still squirming. Rooster Cogburn was a man of place, the open range and big sky. He didn't like to be fenced in and sent to court where you had to watch what you said, all dressed up in a monkey suit. And you could sense Perry missed Texas. Like George W. Bush in this regard. W., like Sarah Palin and Perry has a sense of place; a Jeffersonian sense of belonging to one place and it doesn't work everywhere. Elsewhere you feel funny. It doesn't work when you are talking to people you don't know in your heart. And they won't like you. Ask Sarah Palin. Ask W. Both pinned as well.

His recent debate performances, in which he has at times struggled to answer questions or speak clearly in full sentences, have energized his rivals, according to the Washington Post. And Perry has all but conceded that he has not been effective on stage with his rivals, saying at recent campaign stops that the party should pick the best candidate, not the “smoothest debater.”

“Yep, there may be slicker candidates and there may be smoother debaters, but I know what I believe in,” he said Saturday on Mackinac Island, Mich. “And I’m gonna stand on that belief every day. I will guide this country with a deep, deep rudder.”

The Duke couldn’t have said it better. Or Andrew Jackson, for that matter and current criticism brings a startling suggestion of exactly that which Jackson received in 1827.

But Palin with killer warrior skills mastered the outside and the otherworld of politics and made it her own, carving out a center for herself which was stronger than the edges and will likely outweigh them in 2012. Both Perry and Palin belong to the center and so did W. for that matter. And in the much discussed division between the eastern establishment and the west, W. really belongs to the west. The east/west division in his soul makes him uncomfortable. It made him swagger more in the presence of outsiders as President.

One Texas historian says they swagger in Texas because they are insecure. I don't think so. I think it is because they are born free in the desert and don't understand those left behind back east. Time only moves in one direction: west. That's where W.’s problems came in. It tore him in opposition to his eastern family. Like Jeb, who has already moved back east. W. was only half way to Texas; loved Texas and repudiated the east but wasn't full blood like Perry, like The Duke in movie land, like Rooster Coburn. That will take another generation. Those who have never experienced the big sky wouldn't understand.

But pinning them like bugs everybody loses, especially the bug.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Palin/Haley in 2012 Chris Christie/Jeb Bush?

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/27/11

Like a real assassin, a political assassin like Joe McGinniss understands the subtle and unspoken lore of his craft: He is doing the secret work of his community in his dark corner. He knows and they know. In McGinniss’s case they actually pay him to do it. Like a suicide bomber in Ramallah or Madrid (or shots fired in Memphis or the grassy knoll in Houston) he is hero just for one day to his silent company. But with Sarah Palin it is quite literally true that whatever doesn’t kill her makes her stronger. And makes us stronger. Same with Nikki Haley of South Carolina who underwent the same torrid and savage assassination attempts while the women on the left in the publishing houses and newspapers in New York and Washington remained silent, otherwise occupied. Maybe Sarah and Nikki should go it alone, together.

Reported here on March 9, 2011, of a trend developing between the East Coast conservative establishment and the rising “Guts and Gonads” conservatives which would play out in 2012 as Christie v. Palin: “This follows the trend of party division which rose to anxiety in the Texas governor’s primary last spring. The traditionalists, including George H.W. Bush, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Karen Hughes –as proxy for W. – lined up against Rick Perry. Sarah Palin lined up for Perry all by herself and he won in a landslide. Since, [as did Nikki Haley when she received Palin’s support] even Barbara Bush, dowager of the Bush souls, has joined the faint-of-heart chorus which cries out for the sending of Palin back to Alaska. But wishing doesn’t make her go. Chris Christie is the East Coast establishment’s new single combat warrior against Palin.”

By November we could be in the single combat contest between “that jolly Kris Kringle of conservatism” Christie v. Palin.

When I told my dentist that I met Rudy Giuliani at a talk at Dartmouth he said he thought he’d make a great Attorney General. Consider the possibilities of a Sarah Palin presidency. South Carolina governor Nikki Haley says she doesn’t want to be vice president but I can’t think of a more enchanted team than Palin/Haley to make Obama/Biden look like something left over from the 1930s. Which is what it is.

And how about Donald Trump as Secretary of State? I think he’d like that. Lew Lehrman as Treasury Secretary. Without question Rick Perry as Chief of Staff. That’s the guy who runs things, right? Add to his responsibilities “liaison to governors.” His primary responsibilities there would be to raise the status of governors and build a “supercommittee” of Governors and former governors like they have now in the Senate – six distinguished types would do or maybe 12 (former Virginia governor Mark Warner comes to mind, New Hampshire’s John Lynch, Indiana’s Mitch Daniels and Butch Otter of Idaho); a Council of Elders like George Kennan suggested at the end of his life.

That would solve the rising states rights issues without contention. Richard Nixon already created the matrix in his regional model; an idea before its time but his regions were in no way culturally coherent. Alaskans and Texans know the meaning of place. They would know how to do it.

And who could possibly be better for Commerce that Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal?

Not to get all outside the box, but wouldn’t Judge Andrew Napolitano be the right choice for the next seat in the Supreme Court? Or Chief Justice maybe?

And by the way that’s three New York: Trump, Giuliani, Lehrman, and one New Jersey: Napolitano. A whole new Eastern Establishment.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Time to bring in Sarah Palin

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/25/11

Michele Bachmann was a letdown from the first. She appeared as a Palin knock off but proved herself to be merely provincial. Palin is not, nor is Rick Perry. Last year Palin, who defines herself as a “constitutional conservative” said she would enter the race if no one else who expressed the rising geist of Tea Party values did. Perry does and from the beginning it was Perry and Palin vs. the Establishment. But he needs to watch his back. And she needs to think about getting back in this as the Tea Party vote scurrys around the margins without the unifying spirit she brought to it from the beginning; Herman Cain today, Michelle Bachmann yesterday, Ron Paul the day before. Gary Johnson tomorrow.

For the new conservative values to stabilize and advance, Palin might be a necessity. She is an archetypal figure, like John Lennon or Reagan; one that hits a primal cord in the psyche that brings awakening to some and horror to others. My guess right now is that 2012 will bring Perry/Romney, or Perry/someone else, but necessity could just as well make it Palin/Perry or Palin/someone else. And they need other helpers now; Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani. Time to commit.

A McClatchy-Marist poll last week found that Obama looks increasingly vulnerable in next year's election, with a majority of voters believing he'll lose to any Republican. The biggest gain came for Palin, the former Alaska governor who hasn't yet announced whether she'll jump into this fast-changing race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

The Grizzly Mama has the animal spirits and as she has said, a “servant’s heart.” She will do the right thing. But without Perry or Palin in the White House in 2012, that which came in with the dust of the Tea Party in 2009 will be gone with the wind by 2012.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

draft - Texas blues. It comes from being somplace else. they don' swagger at home. They talk quiet
Don’t rule out Sarah Palin

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/21/11

If the establishment nostalgicos can’t let go of the good old days of sustainable mediocrity and overwhelm the process by continuing to pitch the likes of Bob Dole or down market Bush employees like Mitch Daniels . . . and did I mention Jeb Bush? . . . it could hurt Texas Governor Rick Perry’s chances. Never was a group so terrified of new ideas. But that could put Sarah Palin back in the race.
Nostalgicos, the name for a specific group of cultural conservatives who fought to preserve the past and deny the future, led the way to the destruction of Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. We see the same tendency rising here today.
The current excitement started with Sarah Palin the moment she took the mike from John McCain and accepted the VP offer. Things have not been the same since.
A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that Obama looks increasingly vulnerable in next year's election, with a majority of voters believing he'll lose to any Republican. The biggest gain came for Palin, the former Alaska governor who hasn't yet announced whether she'll jump into the fast-changing race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Michele Bachmann was a letdown from the first. She appeared as a Palin knock off but proved herself to be merely provincial. Palin is not, nor is Perry. Last year Palin, who defines herself as a “constitutional conservative” said she would enter if no one else who expressed the rising geist of Tea Party values did. Perry does and from the beginning it was Perry and Palin vs. the Establishment. But he needs to watch his back.

For these values to advance, Palin might be a necessity. She is an archetypal figure, like John Lennon or Reagan; one that hits a primal cord in the psyche that brings awakening to some and horror to others. My guess right now is that 2012 will bring Perry/Romney, but necessity could conceivable make it Palin/Perry.

The Grizzly Mama has the animal spirits and as she has said, a “servant’s heart.” She will do the right thing. But without Perry or Palin in the White House in 2012, that which came in with the dust with the Tea Party will be gone with the wind.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Einstein revisited

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill

on 9/23/11

Will Einstein join Marx and Freud now as a god that failed? One of the “three visitors” who came to us at the turning, that is, at the end of the world and the beginning?

Einstein was Monkey God as the century opened to the new creation. His picture today hangs on the classroom walls everywhere where Jesus, Washington or Ganesh once did.

Even Franklin D. Roosevelt borrowed from his cosmic observations and make with them an atom bomb.

“My biggest mistake,” Einstein said later.

Pretty big mistake. Still the picture hangs in the classrooms. But this is characteristic of Monkey Gods – worlds fall before them and new ones awaken. They change the Creation, but have no control over the changes which will occur because of their speculation. Surely Einstein is our own Karma Dorjee, Rimpoche and itinerant ascetic enthroned in mid-air, under whose resting gaze mountains pitched and tossed, buildings shook and cracked, the sun fell like a thunderbolt and another sprang up in its place. Einstein considered himself to be such a disciple, like those from the heights of The Land of Snows.

Or not. Rumor from his niece, had it that he got it all from Madame Blavatsky and her book “The Secret Doctrine” published in 1888, incomprehensible to all but the best mathematicians. “There is no religion higher than truth,” the Russian savant wrote in her introduction.

Which would be an excellent slogan for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland.

But maybe we were too young for these truths. I interviewed a well known Indian theoretical physicist years back who compared himself to his American counterparts. In India we didn’t come out of the trees until we were 12, he said. And what made India’s physicists different from ours: “We started from God and went to math. You start with math.”

That could be the flaw in the whole century that the CERN found. But something else: This imagination seems kind of dated today. The research is government financed, project oriented, morally compromised at so many levels and third, fourth and fifth generations beyond its creative origins. The imaginative young today look elsewhere for excitement.

I felt I saw the century rising this time in a little discussion overheard on TV of a young scholar talking to Simcha Jacobovici, known to the world as the “Naked Archaeologist.”

With great enthusiasm the young man explained that Bathsheba should be reevaluated. She entered in with David to the “coniunctio,” the cosmic marriage that gave birth to time. Time rose and returns again from her womb via her son, Solomon, moving outward to create the world, and returning again to his temple.

It is not a moral tale; it is the narrative of a time machine which created the human race. Niels Bohr could not have put it so simply when he drew the “tai chi” on the blackboard to explain what he meant about particles and waves.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What the Suffolk poll means for Romney, Perry and Jon Huntsman

by Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/23/11

It means that Jon Huntsman has a chance for vice president.

As expected, Mitt Romney received 41% in the recent poll of Suffolk University/7NEWS (WHDH TV) of likely voters in New Hampshire’s GOP presidential primary. As expected, Ron Paul came in second with 14%. It is good news for Jon Huntsman that he gained 6 points and came in third with 10%. He can hold on now at least till the end of February, by which time he will be a household name. He has always has been an attractive and competent figure.

There was no question that Mitt Romney would win this. He lives here. Also, the composition of New Hampshire has changed. We are no longer the mythic mountain individuals of yore, with “the granite of New Hampshire made part of them till death” as the Dartmouth Alma Mater has it. More like a suburb of Boston with lower taxes. For both Democrats and Republicans, the NH primary tells how the candidate will fare in Massachusetts. Wes Clark was well ahead in the last, but Kerry won. Romney will win this time.

One of the luminous mysteries both here and in Massachusetts is that we like Mormons. My father, who was born in 1899 and by 1968 had likely never spoken to a person who was not either Irish or French Quebecois and would certainly never think of voting for any not sanctioned by the Catholic/Democratic establishment, really liked George Romney. Unlike Christians elsewhere with complicated ontological reservations, I think he and his class and generation of Irish Catholics who would not even think of marrying outside the parish, made no distinction between Mormons and any other group. They were all going to hell anyway. In a more secular time, smart people impress in New England and we see Mormons as way smart. So Huntsman should be expected to continue to rise in New Hampshire.

Huntsman has been surfing Mitt Romney’s (Mormon) wave from the beginning. If it works for Romney it will work for Huntsman. Huntsman is a great looking guy. He is young and smart as paint. Romney has a dark, vindictive edge (“No Apology”) and Huntsman has natural buoyancy. (Although Romney’s dark side would be a good match up with the good-natured Perry: Eisenhower/Nixon.) Huntsman’s got a great family and looks half-Buddhist in those photos with the tilaka on his forehead (symbolizing the “third eye” of intuition in Hindu) and we have a tendency toward that with the Emerson/Thoreau/Alcott tradition in New England.

That is what we will see, but a Texan with long lineage like Perry will see something different. Texas and Utah have historic kinship and they also have kinship with California. From our view in the northeast, California is an annex of New York where we make movies. Like Obama, we are children exclusively of the geist. But it is not. Perry spends much time in California pulling business away into Texas. Huntsman and Perry understand the west from a pioneer’s perspective and Huntsman brings natural conduit to India and Asia across the Pacific to our western shore. You don’t get that part with Mitt Romney.

Huntsman had an 80% approval rating as governor of Utah. Perry could do no better for his VP and in second position, the Mormon issues will diminish.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mark Warner/John Lynch 2012

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/22/11

Virginia Senator Mark Warner should challenge Barack Obama in 2012. He should chose John Lynch, the popular and successful Democratic governor of New Hampshire who has recently announce that he will not run for another term, for his vice president. Warner was voted among the country’s best governors in Virginia. He marked a sea change for the Democrats. He was a successful businessman and brought business abilities and strategies to governance. A Connecticut Yankee and Harvard-trained lawyer settled in Virginia, he made himself a Virginian and was the first among the northerners to pass the NASCAR test. He sponsored a stock car and had the Stanley Brothers of Clinch Mountain play at his events. He marked a new direction and got the support of Marcos Moulitsas and the Daily Kos crowd, storied today as the so-called Millennial generation.

But Marcos asked one day in the Washington Post, “Will these Clinton-era people ever go away?” Unfortunately the answer was no. Moulitsas, as representative of the rising generation, also supported Wesley Clark and later Jim Webb and a good number of Iraq war veterans when Webb ran for senate. These, Warner, Webb, Clark, New Hampshire’s John Lynch, and a few others, brought a new sensibility to a rising generation. Warner considered running for President briefly, spoke up here in New Hampshire and had a big cover story in The New York Times Magazine. But those hopes were dashed by the Clintons.

At Daily Kos, Hillary’s support hovered around zero. When she entered the presidential contest, the party tacked to find a counterforce. Barack Obama fit the bill. He was smart and attractive and as Jules Feiffer suggested, his great feature was that he was not Hillary Clinton.

Obama got to here via a kind of neurosis. He didn’t seem to actually desire it but successfully surfed the contours of populism to the presidency and in my opinion, did the right thing. I voted for him because: He fulfilled the historic destiny begun by Lincoln/Grant and advanced by Eisenhower/Kennedy. This was absolutely necessary to fulfill those historic needs. He was not Hillary Clinton. And the candidate running against him, John McCain, had romanticized and dangerous foreign policy sensibilities.

But it can be no surprise that he did not know what to do as president. He had little work experience. He has made little progress as manager. He fulfilled his historic destiny and completed the Lincoln/Kennedy initiatives. He should not run again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

After Europe, the Anglosphere

by Bernie Quigley

For The HIll on 9/20/11

Several recent books see the end coming. John Birmingham’s “After America”: Fighter bombers rushing at us on the cover. You get the picture. Paul Starobin’s “After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age”: Planet of the apes with nerds instead of apes. Be afraid. But not that afraid. Mark Steyn’s “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon”: Self explanatory. Andrew Breitbart said, “May puke I’m so happy.” Meaning he liked it.

These books see America as an idea rather than a place because the authors don’t understand place and have probably never been to an American place they were inclined to stay in. They would get a rash in real places like Tobaccoville, NC, Haverhill, NH or Luckenbach, Texas, where Waylon, Willy and the boys hang.

But The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens this morning makes a masterful case for the decline of Europe in his essay “What Comes after ‘Europe’?” Possibly nothing. Possibly nothing – Sartre’s La Nausée comes to mind – has long settled there.

Stephens well makes the case that there is no Europe; that is, there has been no such thing in post-war world. It was a figment of the “western” imagination. (But there is no “west” either.) Quoting Bismarck he says, “Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong. Europe is a geographical expression.”

Folkloric history like the great movie “Phantom of the Opera” (the Joel Schumacher version) makes the case that Europe, as it was known in Christendom, died in 1914-1917 thereabouts. Its fate was sealed not by war but by electricity. I don’t see that it has ever recovered except as a pale rider in the shadow of America.

“What comes next is the explosion of the European project,” writes Stephens, and it's not an altogether bad thing. “But it will come at a massive cost. The riots of Athens will become those of Milan, Madrid and Marseilles. Parties of the fringe will gain greater sway. Border checkpoints will return. Currencies will be resurrected, then devalued. Countries will choose decay over reform. [Now that is a great sentence.] It's a long, likely parade of horribles.”

America will survive because America is a state, he says. Exactly! It is a place! It is a lot of places! This is the essence of Jefferson’s heroic vision, yet untried.

And America will be better off without the burden of European history on it back. But how will the UN fare in this climate? NATO, SEATO and all of the other post-war abstractions? Not good. Irrelevant.

The big question is what will England do? The EU has always been her problem. Because England is not a European country. The subtle since 1914 and before asked, where do we belong, with Europe or with America? The answer came on June 6, 1944 when America and England together invaded Nazi occupied Europe. Gene Kelly may have done the victory dance in Paris and Earnest Hemingway may have liberated the Ritz, but this joint venture reawakened the Anglosphere.

It changed everything. England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, America and England became a unified culture, one that spoke the same language and hailed from the same traditions. Anglosphere became the package of like places. If my kids today visit Australia or London they feel kinship and common ground. When they travel to China or the Ukraine they feel they are going “someplace else.”

It will always be like that and it is how we Americans should begin to think of ourselves, as the utopian, totalitarian delusions of post-war globalism crash to the ground now like dead satellites.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pataki: Cavuto's great white hope against Texas

by Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/15/11

Recently, Neil Cavuto of Fox Business has been all up in the grills about the wonders of George Pataki, former governor of NY. Imus was less impressed, like he couldn't remember who he was and when it did come to mind the first impression was political corruption. Imus is a NY touchstone of common folk; much as the Daily News was say 80 years ago. First impressions are most important. When Pataki appeared last night on Cavuto he ran through his plan to save the economy. Old news now after a few debates because nothing is in it that is not well aired and better prepared by so many. The purpose of the visit seemed to be Neil's exit comment: “Why don't you run for President?”

With some fanfare Pataki almost did announce earlier in the month, but cancelled his big Iowa speech when Texas governor Rick Perry took all the air out of the room. Cavuto sees Pataki perhaps as the last man standing in the anti-Perry genre. Fear stalks the heart of upper New Jersey where Soprano shrink Dr. Jennifer Melfi lives; Upper Montclair, I think it is, when they see cowboy boots. Those brought up when only two teams mattered in baseball, the Yankees and the Red Sox and only two families in politics, those who vacation in Nantucket and those who vacation in Kennebunkport. Sooner or later they will have to face, in Pauli Walnuts phrase, “Jesusland” or the space between the Garden State Parkway and Tahoe.

But Chris Christie is too fat and Romney is a Mormon. And Jeb Bush really, as he said with sincerity on Cavuto earlier, does not want to be president. But still, Rove & his surreptitious littles persists in finding the viable anti-Perry. And Cavuto seems to be helping. It is not Pataki.

If you wanted a composite Reagan/Ron Paul candidate to go against Perry, Lew Lehman would be an authentic attempt and authenticity works best. And Lehman is as authentic as Perry and so is Romney. But the Jews in Brooklyn this week did not ditch the Weiner/Clinton proxy for George Pataki. They might have seen Rick Perry rising on the horizon.

Perry should head to Brooklyn, pronto; Juniors, Flatbush, Bensonhurst. Talk to the old Jews direct in the old neighborhoods who this week ditched their century-long, Europe-brought political sensibility. South Philly, Fishtown too because as goes Bensonhurst, so goes South Philly. Stay with the working class; stay in Pauli Walnuts territory. Authenticity rises from there. See how the old school likes him. Passion is rising now and Perry brings it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jimmy Carter’s twisted global caliphate

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/14/11

Will Jimmy Carter (and Hillary and Obama) conquer Jerusalem before Hamas? They are today teamed together with Hamas in their desire for a Palestinian state inside Israel. It is one of the most astonishing abuses of American power in the post-war world, possibly in the history of the world. The sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael, team up against their cosmic father to conquer Jerusalem for themselves. In time, Muslims have attempted to conquer Jerusalem. Christians have as well. Never since the Second Temple have they united to do so together, until today.

I am not a Christian but support Jerusalem exactly as former New York Mayor Ed Koch stated recently in an Op Ed: An attack on Israel is an attack on America. That, simply and logically, because of 9/11. As with Pearl Harbor, we did not choose our enemy, our enemy chose us. And without question, the enemy of Israel today has chosen us to be his enemy as well.

And since it is not mine I make no claim to Jerusalem as both Christians like Carter, (and presumably) Hillary and Obama do and Hamas terrorists do. In fact, they have now become allies, both with eyes on Jerusalem.

Since we have heard much from the “born again” perspective, here's a thought from a Buddhist perspective; from my perspective. In archetypal terms, the relationship between Jews and Christians and Muslims is based on the story of Abraham, Father of the Hebrew passage and widely in the current MSM perspective called the “father” of all three of these religions. I see that as a false and malevolent expedient of the recently politicized American Christians and their current power grab attempts on Jerusalem. Abraham is not the father of Christians. Not the father of Muslims. He is the father of Jews. That all are one and equal – Jew, Christian, and Muslim - is a Jeffersonianized (or Oprahized) edition of late, deist Protestantism; new world thinking in which all are equal and all have a say in each others lives. But in archetypal terms, which many Buddhists use, the Father is a mythic and timeless figure never to be equal to the children. The children live in time. The children live in the orchard as did Adam and Eve. The Jews live in timelessness. They are guardians and keepers of the Tree itself.

So it may be as Sir James George Frazer says, that it is the desire of every generation to cut down the sacred Tree, as George Washington did, so as to take the realm from the Father and claim it for themselves. This can only be what Carter and his Hamas friends are up to in their preoccupation with the Holy Land and their pending conquest of Jerusalem.

Israel’s troubles started with Jimmy Carter. They amplify today with Obama. But their claims on Jerusalem are as irrelevant as Glenn Beck’s and as malevolent as those of Hamas. That an American president who calls himself a Christian would use his power to dominate the cosmic realm which rises in time and recedes from time at Temple Mount would be the greatest blasphemy in history. If it wasn’t such a joke.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wesley Clark for Obama VP in 2012

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/13/11

The last time a Republican was elected to the seat, which covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens, was nearly a century ago, says Allysia Finley of the WSJ. That would be Anthony Weiner’s NY 9th U.S. District. Brooklyn was long considered the dead center of Democratic politics in America. Indeed, the century of populist liberal thinking was born in Brooklyn. That a Republican would take it today would send the Democrats through a sea change. It already has.

It makes no difference who wins today in Brooklyn. Change is here, but not the kind that Obama called for. If Obama wants to survive in 2012 he needs to make an immediate radical shift. Obama’s lost promise was identified immediately after his nomination. The choice of Joe Biden for VP established the paradigm. This would not be new as Reagan, Kennedy and Roosevelt brought in the new; new demands new people. This would be a party of old hacks and returned political favors. Hillary made it worse. And the foul-mouthed Thugee Society from Chicago gave the appearance of a vengeance agenda.

First off, get Joe Biden off the ticket. On July 8, 2011, Paul Bedard of “Washington Whispers” a blog at U.S. News said it was lamented that President Obama did not pick Wesley Clark, the former NATO Supreme Commander, as a running mate in 2008 or find the retired four-star general a choice cabinet spot: “That has allies suggesting he's angling to be among those Obama might consider if he dumps Vice President Joe Biden or to fill Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's post—or even defense secretary or United Nations ambassador—in a second Obama term. ‘It's a waste of brilliant talent,’ a Clark associate tells our Suzi Parker.”

It is indeed, in a cabinet badly in need of talent. With the romanticized “Arab Spring” now in the grip of soccer thugs Obama foreign policy is surpassing their storied failures on economy here at home. Clark was right about Libya. He was right about Iraq and he opposed invasion of both.

If NY’s 9th district race turns out to be a continuation of conservative trends which rose in the NY 23 race two years ago, the Dems face a landslide in 2012; not only a loss of the Presidency but of the Senate as well. And as one commentator said, Texas’s Governor Rick Perry stock has gone up in the past month like an internet stock in the 1990s. If Perry takes South Carolina, and there is every indication that he will, he will take everything.

It might not hurt the Democrats to have a Southern General on the ticket. One who knows what he is doing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Who lost Egypt? The Secretary of State must go.

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/12/11

Who lost Egypt? This week soccer goons tore down walls surrounding the Israeli Embassy in Egypt, but Hillary opened the gate. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul calls for a no confidence vote against Tim Geithner. Forget Geithner. History will deal with him. The House and Senate should call for a no-confidence resolution against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the entire ludicrous and incompetent foreign policy establishment.

“Egypt is not going toward democracy but toward Islamicization,” Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Cairo told The New York Times. “It is the same in Turkey and in Gaza. It is just like what happened in Iran in 1979.”

Alec Ross, Hillary Clinton's senior adviser for innovation at the US state department, has lauded the way the internet has become "the Che Guevara of the 21st century" in the Arab Spring uprisings. Meaning that’s a good thing. The Che reference more than anything reveals the undergraduate coffee shop geist of these foreign policy innocents. The U.S. has pledged to back the “pro-democracy movement” that swept the Middle East and north Africa since January, Ross said, as disaffected citizens organize influential protest movements on Facebook and Twitter, Guardian, UK, reported on June 22, 2011.

Strange but true, we heard very similar rhapsodies about the new microcassette technology pioneered in the 1970s as a miraculous revolutionary talisman from liberal supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini. It made his anti-American and anti-Israeli rants mobile. But now soccer goons have joined the melee.

The Arab Spring was to be a nerd paradise, a Silicon Valley for Arab yuppies. At a recent debate at the National Press Club, Peter Bergen, CNN’s Hillaryland correspondent, said: When you look at the Arab spring, “ . . . not a single picture of Osama bin Laden, not a single American flag burning, not a single Israeli flag burning . . .”

Not exactly true responded Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, author of the recently released “Bin Laden’s Legacy: Why We’re Still Losing the War on Terror.”

“Historically, when you have sky high expectations that go unfulfilled as you may have with the Arab Spring, extreme ideologies can step in and fill in the void,” he responded. “We may well see that.”

Astonishingly prescient, as this debate took place on September 1. Nine days later, The New York Times reports that soccer fans, thugs known in Egypt as “ultras,” are tearing down the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and dumping documents out of the windows. The Israeli ambassador, Yitzhak Levanon, his family and most of the staff and their dependents — some 80 people — were evacuated out of the country by military aircraft overnight, the Egypt Daily News reports.

“Long known for their obscene chants and reckless brawls, the ultras have become increasingly engaged in politics since the revolution,” the Times reports.

In fact, Egypt's soccer goons have been an essential part of the uprising from the beginning with thousands shouting and chanting things like "F*** the mother of Hosni Mubarak!" and "Go f*** your Minister, Habib al Adly!" It was sympathetic MSM which conspired to create the obsequious "Arab spring" when the situation on the ground often suggested Brown Shirts and "Springtime for Hitler.”

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Perry/Romney 2012

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/8/11

For the first time in 18 years I can say like Lincoln Steffens, that I have seen the future and it works. How things begin is important and the world began again last night with Mitt Romney to one side of Nancy Reagan and Rick Perry to the other. They seem to get along together potentially as a stellar team, like Lennon and McCartney, Fred and Ginger, Eisenhower and Nixon. The first few minutes were a hoot. The back and forth about jobs was clever and good humored. When Perry made the seemingly generous case that Romney had indeed created lots of jobs . . . “everywhere” Romney picked up instantaneously that the complement was not a complement and Perry was cleverly suggesting that Romney had sent jobs overseas. But it had a Rowan & Martin quality to it and Brian Williams and the audience got a huge kick out of it. An auspicious beginning. We thank the others for their support and interest. But from here on out, this is about Perry and Romney. It will be hard now to see them apart.

Debates are the least important part of a presidential race. This race will be won on the merits and character of the individuals. As President Elect Perry looks for a running mate he might now see the advantage of Mitt Romney. Perry, like Sarah Palin, rails against the nerd prom and the northeast political establishment, but he is not a radical. His swift sword is nearby and he is and was the first to raise the cry when the feds began the bailouts. But Romney spoke up in opposition as well when they bailout out Detroit. Perry does absorb the good, salient and necessary ideas that have come from Tea Party, Ron Paul et al and makes them fit. He metabolizes them and brings them to the mainstream and repudiates the rest. Romney on the other hand also speaks to these ideas and no one would be better at institutionalizing the new thinking and bringing it back home to the tradition.

But in my view the most important thing is that history must follow the contours of demographics and economy. Otherwise there will be trouble. And in our time demographics and economy have moved South, Southwest and West and demand western representation. Perry could well balance the ticket in the traditional fashion of bringing a northern pol in as VP. Romney fills the bill as he was Governor of Massachusetts and went to school here back east, but he is also as western as Perry is having made Morman passage through the Utah desert before he returned to us. This ticket would be about as American as it can get. And seeing them together they seemed to click. I think now they should not be pulled apart.

I’ve read their books, Perry’s “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington” and Romney’s “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.” Each a kind of driver’s manual for the man. They tell you little more than the debates do. But my impression is that Perry fully knows and understands himself and has for a long time. That might come with Texas. Romney is more interesting than he thinks he is, there is more subtlety and complexity to him than people see and more than he sees in himself. Romney is actually more the Lone Ranger. He wears the mask and is yet unrevealed even to himself, but events ahead will bring him out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ten years after 9/11, still stalked by the Vichy virus: Why we still need David Petraeus

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/7/11

General David Petraeus gave a very moving going away speech this last week after 37 years as a man of honor in military uniform. We will still need this most respected American general since Eisenhower because:

The NY times reports that President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority said Monday that he was going to the United Nations this month to seek membership for a state of Palestine. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said at a separate event that a Palestinian bid for recognition by the United Nations would “set back peace, and might set it back for years.”

On Saturday the Times reported that the Obama administration had initiated a last-ditch diplomatic campaign to avert a confrontation this month but it may already be too late. Obama is no friend of Israel. And credible Israeli sources report that Likud figures who hold sway told Netanyahu to annex Judea and Samaria if the Arabs declare a state.

I suggested here that Petraeus be considered as Vice President in 2012. Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin or Donald Trump should all consider Petraeus for this post. Historic periods tend to end and begin again with a respected general: Eisenhower, Grant, Washington. It adds stability, clarity and purpose to the “philosopher king” who attends the historic moment of change (Roosevelt, Lincoln, Jefferson). Such a time is just ahead. The presence on the ticket of a trusted and respected general transcends party bias and unifies the country on a singular path to singular purpose. Petraeus has come to the fore through Iraq and Afghanistan when others before him proved to be woefully inadequate.

We entered conflict in Iraq led by a five-time recidivist draft dodger vice president from the Vietnam era who still challenges and puzzles the world today with his compensation issues and a college dropout good ole boy at the head of the Army. Foreign policy then was from ad hoc to non-existent and state department is a shambles and getting worse, with diplomats today used as advance men for Lady Gaga. Petraeus returned honor to leadership and brought the term “warrior scholar” to usage among journalists. He came from us through necessity. We have found our man and his work is not yet over.

After 9/11 the enemy of Israel became the enemy of America but much of us and all of Europe are still stalked by the Vichy virus: accommodation, appeasement, nerdism (a neurotic resistance to adulthood and the difficult adult responsibilities, and the Obama administration manifests this) and denial. It did not work for France in 1940 and it will not work for America and the West today.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Is China the virus in “Contagion”?

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/6/11

As one review explains it, actor Matt Damon looks on hopelessly when his wife returns from Hong Kong with a virus that will poison the world. Would that be the storied “Yellow Peril”? Not surprising that this movie previewed this past weekend in Venice, scene of Thomas Mann's masterful short novel “Death in Venice” (1911) in which a cholera epidemic in Venice stalks the western soul. Mann's vision in the day of Freud and Nietzsche brought unconscious suggestion of something happening beneath the surface ("Why are they disinfecting the streets of Venice?") as futurism and fascism was beginning to bubble up in Italy and Lenin was brooding in Paris. In that more poetic day visionaries like Maud Gonne were dreaming of rivers flowing with blood.

It would not be far off to see in this movie something beneath our control rising in our time across the Pacific. Something we are helpless to defend against: The rise of China as a world power. What impact would the movie “Contagion” have if the virus came from, say, Norway or Leuchtenberg? It is based on a real threat of the SARS virus invasion when 5000 people were quarantined in Canada in 2003. As my local TV station is CBC out of Montreal, I watched nightly the mastery of control and impending panic on the evening news fueled really by the war on Iraq and a disintegrating global situation. In fact SARS caused little damage.

Another film previewing in Venice, “The Arrival of Wang” presents the Chinese as squid-like aliens from another galaxy. As Dean Napolitano writes in The Wall Street Journal: “The film, directed by Marco and Antonio Manetti (known as the Manetti Bros.), is a modern-day morality tale for Western nations troubled by — and distrustful of — China’s growing economic power and influence in global political matters. . . The film, they said, ‘tries to reflect upon a few moral and ethical questions: How much should we trust our neighbors?’ and ‘What is a prejudice?’”

So much for diversity and globalization. We are going to need some new buzz words. “Red Corner” (1997), featuring Richard Gere, who is an advocate for Tibet, was an aesthetically excellent film which straight forwardly and responsibly questioned China' motives and authority and lacked the insidious racist undertones.

What is endemic today since 9/11 and even before is panic. The sense that things are beyond our control, beyond our reach, beyond our ability to change the outcome. It is the same sense of subliminal disturbance and doom which Mann felt wandering the streets of Venice at Europe’s fin de siècle, exactly one hundred years ago at the pending death of a different world.

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Supreme Court’s processed mind

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/2/11

That most Supreme Court members went to one of the same northeast Ivy League law schools makes a mockery of Jefferson’s America; we have become a nation of world tribes really rather than regions. From the Jeffersonian perspective schools like U. Minnesota, Vanderbilt, U. Texas at Austin, U. Virginia, U. Michigan, all in the top 20 should be included. And Brigham Young, Wake Forest and UNC not far behind. The current composition of the Court illustrates an America afraid of itself and constantly defaulting to the absurd illusion of 19th century New England royal families. This is not authentic self government. It is imitation of perceived gentry.

Are Yale and Harvard better law schools? How then could a Yale Law School grad like Hillary Clinton not have passed the DC law boards directly after graduation? Surely plenty of Howard School of Law grads passed. And why can't we see the board scores and grades of these public servants? We have reached the edge of the spectrum when a sitting president can nominate his receptionist to be a Supreme Court Justice as George W. Bush did. And to be frank, at least one of these justices seems as dumb as a post. Possibly he speaks for the silent majority as he never opens his mouth.
As my favorite former Black Panther, the most eloquent H. Rap Brown, once said about something else, there are too many people today with natural hair and processed minds. And possible nowhere else in government apparatus are the minds so collectively narrowly and provincially processed as in the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the original “Tenther” and spirit father of the states’ rights movement stands today as a titan among clerks. It was he who opened the gate to the Tea Party before it got into the hands of Glenn Beck, Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich and became a garden variety rant. But first concerns were states’ rights and regional responsibility.

“Will the Rehnquist Court’s federalism revolution outlast the Rehnquist Court?” asked legal columnist for The New York Times Linda Greenhouse back in 2005. “If Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist retires this summer, as appears likely, the court's ruling last week that federal drug law trumps states on the use of medical marijuana will be its last word on federal-state relations during his tenure.”
A hallmark of the Rehnquist Court has been a re-examination of the country's most basic constitutional arrangements, she writes, resulting in decisions that demanded a new respect for the sovereignty of the states and placed corresponding restrictions on the powers of Congress.

But it is with some irony that new groups like The Tenth Amendment Center and sovereignty movements here in northern New England began just at the same time, in 2005. And potentially Rehnquist’s theme will rise now to the Presidency with Texas Governor Rick Perry.

But in the rush to cut spending Tea Party populism has led North Carolina to make the misguided decision to defund its Governor’s School. It is the kind of narrow thinking that sends the best and brightest of the regions to be processed in New England.

Schools like the North Carolina Governor’s School, which gather the bright and motivated best of the state to work together in the summer, greatly contribute to state and regional identity, building an indigenous business and culture elite. Any state or region which still has this natural affinity to place should cherish and nurture it. It is this which forms the natural state as Jefferson intended.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Gordon Ramsay’s apple

by Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 9/1/11

I guess I am the last to catch on but as the rabbis tell you, the gods hide in humble places and I should have looked earlier. Looked to Gordon Ramsay, the chef in the pop TV sensation “Hell’s Kitchen” who returns the life force to America. And not for the first time a fierce Englishman comes to beat us into shape. We call him out. We call him to awaken us. Without him we will die possibly and we call him out in the last breath. As we did Churchill.

I only first caught his act during the breaks in the football game last week, cutting away to other stations during the commercials. Then I sought him out. His genius is best seen and heard on the high channels, presumably in rebroadcast, which contain the profanity, elementary and necessary to the shows truth and anger.

In one episode I caught, chef is riding through the American heartland, trilled and enchanted by the vast and fertile farm that it is. What wonders could be culled from such fullness in a local restaurant. He stops for a basket of fresh apples at a local fresh daily fruit stand and brings it back to the restaurant.

He gives an apple to the local chef and asks, “What is that?” “An apple,” says the rube, nonplussed. “You don’t get it, do you?” says Ramsay. And as per the theme of the show the local chef, the restaurant, the town and the viewing world will be torn to shreds. For chef sees all of creation in the apple.

This is a primal American dream of reawakening, a very positive harbinger to a people in trance, in turmoil – call it troubled or narcotic sleep – in a dormant state of between or bewitchment which really came from great success, but success which came from so long ago its generations and origins are forgotten. But beneath the broken glass and wilted flowers, the fat and the lazy, the self assured, those tenured in crates and tethered to false hope, chef sees a new creation.

Chef is kitchen god, the kitchen the alchemical center of the psyche where the dream of being given again to new creation awakens. Chef Ramsey like Shiva tears it down and burns it, layer upon layer, slaughtering outright the sacred cows – an entrenched chef who loves to put shrimp in chicken for example – which encase and calcify the old ways of thinking and prevent the new being born, prevents the new creation from being unleashed. And under the charred remains and scorched earth, chef alone sees the apple; the new beginning. The beginning again of all creation.

And he offers us the apple.