Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bobby Jindal steps up: A "super committee of governors"

By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 1/30/13

Rightfully declaring certain recent Republican challengers as “the stupid party,” Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal steps up and claims that anyone thinking of running for President in 2016 now when there is work to do is crazy. And then he takes the first steps himself. And it is so good to have him. Jindal belongs to that rank of able and optimistic intellectuals that left conservatism with the passing of William F. Buckley, Jr., leaving a bitter wake. He bristles with new thinking and the abilities to see it through. And with Jindal, you also get Rick Perry and Ted Cruz without the Texas talk. His is a new vision of America, so fresh and new it is hard to grasp its full potential. He appears potentially like one of those leaders the world has seen through millennia, who appears out of nowhere and leads a benign horde to a new awakening, as if deposited there by a force of nature.

Today, he calls on Republican governors to call a meeting with President Obama. It has been a theme of this column for several years; a council of governors - a "super committee of governors" - to do the work that Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles tried to do, to do the work that the Tea Party tried to do, to do the work that Mark Sanford and Rick Perry tried to do when they personally challenged federal spending in the states early on. To raise the status of governors and therefore states and regions, and to give form to a vision of responsible and necessary change to fit the contours of the rising century.

The old forms – the courts, the Congress, the presidency and the astonishing no - fault state department with clear nihilist, anti-Western and anti-Semitic subliminal themes (see Bengazi, see Israeli writer Caroline Glick’s stunning account of her recent trip to England: “Bye bye London,” Carolineglick.com  - are worn out, worn through, used up. They were originally intended to deal with a north/south country made up of three cities, a vast plantation and a forest. Today we are a different people.  Like the Super Bowl this year, we have become east/west, linking Asia to Europe through a world of mature regions in between. The broken realm will not fix itself; it will continue its passage to mayhem until it breaks. It needs a new approach to begin again.

“Medicaid operates under a 1960s model of medicine, with inflexible, one-size-fits-all benefits and little consumer engagement and responsibility,” says Jindal. He asks the president to meet with him and other Republican governors. But other issues arise today that need attention. The Tenth Amendment Center reports that in Indiana, Franklin County declares that “all federal acts, laws, orders, rules, regulations . . .  shall not be recognized by this county.”  Wyoming and Michigan bring challenges to the NDAA. The “South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act” is enacted by the SC General Assembly.

These are new issues. This is a new America. The Louisiana Governor should take the initiative in this. Bring his governors (and former governors) to meet with the president and keep them together to consider the fate of our republic in the rising century.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Super Bowl 2013: Ray Lewis for President

By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 1/27/13

President Obama’s expressed concerns about violence in football a week before the Super Bowl are oddly suspicious.  Are his recent comments intended instead to parallel his recent campaign against guns and his assault on the Second Amendment? Are we Americans – the ones  who watch the Super Bowl – inherently violent? He wouldn't want his boys to play if he had any. They might hurt themselves. Surely, a viewing of Hockey Night in Canada would send Obama to the fainting couch. But it is not hard to see him in future days high up in the stands with Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger and old friend Beckham and his Spice Girls missus, hoping against hope that some unheard of third world nation, newly thrown together by Western clerks and movie actors, will win the World Cup in soccer (and swooning with disgust when it goes once again to those gnarly Germans).

Like these two - Clinton and Jagger - Obama does see himself as a fellow leviathan or global god king whose task it is to save the world. Or better yet, to turn world into a shadow creation of himself. But the world today is a donut:  We in the center play football. Round the periphery where they wander seemingly without conviction or purpose, they play soccer.  It cannot be said really that Obama or Jagger or Clinton can be seen as “the man in the center” of our place of earth in the world - the term historian W. J. Cash used to define the archetypal individual - Joan to France, Nelson to England - who defines a people; the numinous one of whom each and every individual shares a common spirit. I don't think so. In America today that identification goes to linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens,  Ray Lewis.

Has anyone ever in our time met and advanced the full determination to live through pain and joy without questions, without the moment's hesitation, with fidelity, truth and honor, to find the victory in himself and for all of us? The indomitable Lewis, still with a broken arm, swoops into the arena , a huge, fearless totem, a mythical bird on wing, come to awaken the free people  to a new creation.  And at the victory he tears off his shirt to reveal his favorite Biblical quote and throws himself to the ground with faith as pure and simple as an Old Testament prophet, prostrate, in a circle of shouted prayer with his team, sharing in the spirit.

Ray Lewis's last game in America will be February 3. A hundred million Americans will be watching him and where I live there will be no traffic on the road for three hours. Like Thanksgiving and Fourth of July, the Super Bowl has become the third great national secular holiday for Americans. And as much as they try to market it to the old worlds in England and China, it belongs exclusively to us in the pure land who love Ray. That the President finds in it an opportunity to proselytize is, to be kind, unfortunate. And it is not the first time.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Rand Paul/Joe Miller 2016 or 2020

Bernie Quigley
For The HIll on 1/25/13

“Maybe we will see all new people by 2016,” I wrote here on 4/17/12.  “Call it Republicans v Jeffersonian conservatives, leaving the Democrats to dangle. Today Rand Paul hobbles the old school by demanding $2 billion in foreign aid to Egypt be stripped. 2016 starts already . . . Rand Paul/Joe Miller 2016: Vote for grownups.”

But 2016 will not be a good time to be President. The economy will be in shambles and there will inevitably be blood. It comes, said Charles Dickens, the moment economy sinks below equilibrium, which is now. And today we see first blood among my relatives (on both sides) in Northern Ireland.  But don’t sweat the small stuff. China has not yet avenged itself for the horrors brought upon it by Japan in World War II. And it will because karma, the soul force of the East, demands it. China, said Richard Nixon, remembers a thousand years.

So those who think of running for president in 2016 - so far that includes New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Jeb Book as the kind of eastern liberals which Uncle Ted Nugent has tagged RINOs, then the brilliant and innovative Bobby Jindal and the enthusiastic Nikki Haley who should be watched, and Sarah Palin, still to be heard from, and Rick Perry and probably Newt Gingrich – should beware.

Following Rand Paul’s success in recent days – he met with the rising generation’s Naftali Bennett in Israel and well challenged Ambassador Clinton’s no-fault foreign policy, he is said to be considering a run in 2016. One conservative commentator said he should not run for the very simple reason that he cannot win. Maybe not. But he should run anyway.

Because indeed, in a race against Joe Biden in 2016 the definitive portion will be the Republican primary. And that will determine America’s internal cultural future in the rising century. Already today there are three parties: Democrats, Republicans and rising Tea Party types – at our best, conservatives with libertarian tendencies – and Rand Paul is today the best standing champion in this direction.

Chances are, after eight years of Obama, a Republican will win in 2016 against Biden, Hillary or Elizabeth Warren  (who has gotten suddenly quiet in recent days). Let Christie/Bush have it.

The new conservatism has a strong and rising base and Rand Paul is today attracting the mainstream. He has recently received grateful comments from mainstream conservative pundits like Jennifer Rubin and George Will of the Washington Post and he does appear to be rising to authority. And Jim DeMint’s shift to head the Heritage Foundation was a brilliant move, bringing Tea Party initiatives to a wider base and at the same time, bringing Tea Party favorite Tim  Scott into the Senate, which bodes well for Nikki Haley as well.

This is a growing  force. Let it grow. There is a need to see the distinction between old school and new school and that isn’t fully clear yet. But it will become apparent in the 2016 Republican primary.

Romney ran in 2008 as a trial run for 2016 and half the crew who ran last year did as well. Paul should do likewise in 2016. Let it play through, until 2020. Possibly real conservatives need the see the failure of the Republican (and Democratic) traditions in their final manifestation of Christie/Bush. Let 2016 be their swan song. Natural leadership will arise from that in a new true conservatism (states’ rights, sound money, constitutional government) and the essential leader of this new conservatism could well be Rand Paul.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Israel's “counter revolution” and America’s

By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 1/24/13

Briefly: The big surprise in the Israeli election was the sudden rise of the handsome and photogenic MSM celebrity “ . . . known for his chic, casual black clothing,” (NYTs) Yair Lapid, seemingly out of nowhere. But in politics, nothing comes out of nowhere and spontaneous awakenings like Lapid’s come in reaction to something else. Israel has recently been through a critical sequence: In October, Benjamin Netanyahu called for early elections to maximize his chances of reelection. Rockets fired from Gaza in mid-November attempted to intimidate the Israeli electorate. They did just the opposite and awakened a warrior instinct. Suddenly Israel then began to hear about the young Naftali Bennett “the Zionist pin-up blazing a trail . . . “ and his equally young colleague Ayelet Shaked who rose to the Knesset in the Jewish Home Party with a determination to defend Israel.

They championed the settler movement and had an archetypal appeal to the young. Moshe Feiglin, who calls for Israel to become “a Jewish state” instead of a “state for Jews” ran parallel with Bennett and Shaked in a call for a Jewish state. The influential Caroline Glick called this "The Second Zionist Revolution." Suddenly the settler movement became mainstream and the mainstream was for the first time linked through Bennett and Shaked and Feiglin to the Haredi and their rabbis, and to the eternal and timeless core of Judaism.
But just as quickly came an equal and opposite counterforce; it was without doubt, counter revolution to Glick’s “revolution.” Virtually overnight came a new secular, Tel Aviv-based “centralist” force led by Lapid, “. . . actor, journalist, author, former TV presenter and news anchor” (Wiki) with beautiful hair, claiming his mentor to be Bruce Springsteen. (When did Springsteen – “The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive” - become avatar of those shiny upscale and pretty urban strivers that seem to control the airwaves, the geist, the world?) He took second place and more seats than Bennett’s and Shaked’s party.  Lapid’s is the second force today in Israeli politics. Israel’s rising new revolutionary generation has found its anti-generation.

'Twas ever thus. Within these two new groups timeless will grow into time and Israel has found a new beginning. But my first impression from the perfect photograph last week of Bennett and  Shaked in an important New Yorker essay (“Letter from Jerusalem: The Party Faithful” by David Remnick, 1/21/13) was of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan in the stage in Newport when she was still wearing those plain skirts and singing Appalachian church songs with Doc Watson and Mother Carter. That was 50 years ago and still it multiplies.  It grew then and exploded and morphed into something astonishing and unpredictable and something between Feiglin and Shaked and Bennett could and will as well.

This is important because what happens in Israel today is happening here. Senator Rand Paul has recently spoken with Bennett in Israel and Likud’s rising Danny Danon said recently that Likud was Tea Party before Tea Party was cool. He invited Glenn Beck to speak to Israel.

Counter force will come here as well. It will be called something like “No Labels” and bring in those who get along in opposition: Alaskan Joe Miller’s nemesis for example, Senator Lisa Murkowski, and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. And they will have all the tools; TV, Hollywood, Congress, MSM and the Courts, and they will need them.