Thursday, March 04, 2010

Our Paragons of Legislation

Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes!
Bow, bow, ye tradesmen, bow, ye masses,
Blow the trumpets, bang the brasses,
Tantantara! Tzing, boom!

We are the peers of the highest station,
Paragons of legislation,
Pillars of the British nation.
Tantantara, tantara, tantara!
Tzing, boom, tzing, boom!

Entrance and March of the Peers
Gilbert and Sullivan, Iolanthe, 1882

That, more or less, is the heady, arrogant, snarky attitude of most Congressmen, senators and representatives alike -- not to mention that of President Barack Obama -- sans any melody. It has been more like bombastic nattering. It was expressed repeatedly over the last year over the health care bill, the various stimulus packages, most recently the jobs bill, in stubborn, nose-in-the-air defiance of the facts, and of the masses who participated in the tea parties and town halls. It continues today. They consider themselves the elite, the overweening Platonic guardians of the “public good,” the standard bearers of progressivism who will hear no protest, see no reason to argue with mere plebeians, and speak no evil in their campaign to coerce all Americans to comply with their wills and wishes.

But, just how “smart” are these pseudo-patricians? Not very. Most of them are career politicians, never having had to run a business or otherwise be responsible for their own lives -- and yet they presume to take responsibility for the lives of millions. If they retire or grow weary of politics, they usually repair to a law firm or academia. They are insulated from the real world of cause and effect. People move and work and generate wealth. The world in which people move, work and generate wealth, is, to them, alien, unfriendly, unattractive, and not a little frightening. It is a world they choose to keep at arm’s length.

They can pass legislation ruinous to the average American, and then put the ruined American on the dole -- on which he must pay a tax. But if, by chance, the legislation is recognized (usually by grudging consensus) as disastrous, they do not face the visceral consequences of their actions, or endure the destruction they have wrought. They are indemnified against any and all noxious outcomes. They employ taxpayer revenue to destroy revenue. If, perchance, they find themselves opposed, they fight back with the money extorted from those who oppose them, while those who oppose them must fight back at their own additional time and expense.

Old World patricians, or those of a past American age, had class and some presence of mind. By patrician, Thomas Jefferson comes to mind, and James Madison. Even Lincoln, for his humble beginnings, was a patrician of the spoken and written word. What passes for the appellation today? What is the personal, intellectual and moral caliber of those many, many dozens who presume to rule over the masses and tell them what is good for them?

Louise Slaughter, D-New York, Chairman of the House Rules Committee, and a busy-body advocate of Obamacare, is one of those “patricians.”

The Fox Nation has run a revealing video of Representative Slaughter. She seemed to be auditioning for a gig on Saturday Night Live, lampooning herself by telling the most ludicrous, non-heart-breaking story possible, when she was speaking her turn during the so-called bipartisan summit on the health care bill on February 26. If only she had been engaging in satire. Her spiel provoked guffaws of laughter around the country, unfortunately not heard by President Obama, Slaughter, or anyone else who participated in the alleged summit.

She claimed that a denture-deprived constituent’s sister died, and the “poor woman wore her dead sister’s teeth.” Which, of course, she said, would not fit. “Would you ever believe that in America, this is where we would be?”

Well, Madame, wait until we have socialized medicine, then you and all your other poor constituents will believe it, and not thank you for it. She must already have disgruntled constituents by the brigade; she refused to hold a town hall or “forum” in which they could question her about health insurance legislation. Her last experience, apparently, during the Clinton years, was too distasteful. And, she can rattle on about COBRA and Medicare and all the other intricacies of our semi-socialized medical establishment with the best of her ilk, in a folksy, coffee klatch and quilting party style that grates on one’s nerves.

She offered no explanation of why the constituent was so denture-poor that she would wear anyone’s second-hand teeth. I suppose we are supposed to conclude it was because she had no health insurance. A wad of paper called a health insurance policy, as Slaughter and her fellow Cargo Cultists in Congress must see it, somehow imparts magical fairy dust over the insured, making him automatically healthy and solvent, and wards off medical emergencies such as needing dentures, or miraculously brings the dentures to him.

She must be an acolyte of Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, alleged economist. Yes, all those connections make so much sense their logic exists in an ether inaccessible to mere mortals. As she puts it together in her rarified mind, getting the health care bill passed will restore our manufacturing base, recoup our technological edge, and put fresh false teeth into the mouths of every entitlement-obsessed gray panther.

The Washington Post ran what could only be called a puff-piece for a latter day Frank Nitti, Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff, a power-luster wearing transparent knuckle-dusters and whom one can easily imagine using a baseball bat on the head of anyone who crosses him. The article was laden with complimentary quotations from Democrats and anonymous persons too frightened of Emanuel to risk attribution and therefore retribution. In Emanuel one can see the overall moral character of Obama, his staff, his departmental appointees, and those members of Congress whose arms Emanuel has twisted to get them to play ball with Obama‘s socialist agenda -- naked, cynical quests for power in complete contempt for the Constitution, for Americans, for the legislative process.

He has always showed a brash side. As a young operative in Illinois, he sent a dead fish to a pollster. As an aide to Bill Clinton, he stabbed a knife into a table while screaming the names of the president's enemies.

Obama's key campaign advisers, even those with whom Emanuel has clashed, are as eager as he is to make the civil war of the Chicago consiglieri story go away.

Well, that is appropriate behavior of a member of the new Chicago “consiglieri,” which won’t “go away” because Emanuel has the literal mentality of a thug. The “dead fish” gesture was once the message sent by gangsters to someone they planned to murder. Emanuel went to Sarah Lawrence College and received, somewhat incongruously, a Master's Degree in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University.

His brother, Ezekiel Emanuel, is the witch doctor to Rahm’s Attila, being a health-policy advisor in the Office of Management and Budget. He has concocted a who-gets-health-care-first-or-never system to be incorporated in Obamacare. Another older brother, Ari Emanuel, is a Hollywood talent agent who has held Democratic fundraisers and represents a stable of dimly lit stars, including left-wing “documentary journalist” Michael Moore. Perfect fit.

A pairing better than Emanuel and Obama is Emanuel and David Axelrod. Axelrod, said some jittery, anonymous source worried lest Emanuel have a knife sunk into him, “has a strong view of the historic character Obama is supposed to be.” Which, going by the evidence of Obama’s public demeanor and political agenda, is supposed to be a Marxist Messiah. Emanuel is the pragmatic fixer and speech coach for that “historic character.”

Which makes Obama the puppet-king. Watching him during the so-called bipartisan “summit” over health care, one saw the puppet bored, impatient, inarticulate, and worn out having to speak without his teleprompter -- an empty suit unable to conduct himself without the locker-room, obscenity-spiced pep talk of his chief of staff and his collectivist brain brother, Axelrod.

No, that aura of Chicago gangster politics isn’t going away any time soon, no matter how low a profile Emanuel keeps. Perhaps we are fortunate that Obama clashes with Emanuel over how best to ram socialism down the throats of Americans. His “over-confidence” may be his undoing.

Finally, Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky introduced a quantum of reason in a conflict by blocking a resolution to extend unemployment benefits, defying both Democrats and Republicans. Enough, he said, was enough. Where was all this money supposed to come from? The Washington Post reported his eventual capitulation with the chortling headline, “Days later, as a deal emerges, Bunning backs down.”

"If there were ever an emergency, this is it," Reid said. "It's not about the legislative process or Senate rules. It's about the rights of individuals to survive in America. . . . They've gone too far."

Bunning said Tuesday night that his efforts had been worthwhile in shedding a spotlight on growing federal deficits.

Reid, the consummate spendthrift of other people’s money, is laughably venal. The author of the article, Ben Pershing, however, mentioned several times throughout Bunning’s “impolitic comments,” implying that he was an embarrassing anomaly whose sanity was suspect. A sterling instance of objective journalism.

There was more pertinent information about Bunning reported, not by liberal writer Pershing, but by a reader of the article. Reader “Bertielou“ noted:

Actually this was not a new position for Bunning. Over the last two years, he has taken unpopular stands against massive, government entitlement expansions. He was the lone dissenter in April 2008 on a massive mortgage boondoggle. He was one of 25 Senators to vote against TARP in October 2008. He voted against the UAW/auto bailout in December 2008. He was one of only 14 fiscally responsible GOP Senators who voted against the $6 billion GIVE/SERVE national service entitlement expansion in March 2009. And he has consistently grilled Fed chairman Ben Bernanke over his spectacularly wrong assessments of the housing bubble and the state of the economy….Bunning is actually a fiscal conservative unlike so many Republicans and "conservative" Democrats who just talk the talk.

One of the questions Bunning asked was why the money being allocated for extended unemployment benefits and other payment programs was not taken from the unspent billions of so-called “stimulus” funds, instead of tacking the costs of the extension to the soaring out-of-sight deficit. No one chose to answer him. Democrats piled on him like ravenous wolves, while Bunning’s fellow Republicans turned tail and did not intrude on the mauling.

We'll say this about Kentucky's Jim Bunning: No one can accuse him of kowtowing to the polls. This week he has single-handedly blocked his Senate colleagues from extending aid to the unemployed. His "hold" on a $10 billion stopgap spending bill has started a wave of furloughs among federal workers and threatens doctors with a deep cut in their payments under Medicare.

President Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs calls Bunning "irrational." Fellow Republicans keep their distance. Democrats can't get enough of his antics, which they hope will feed the perception that Republicans are heartless and none too smart.

Perceptions! That is the key to success! Not truth, or responsibility, or concern about the economy, or the ability of the private sector to generate tax revenue. The Republicans would have helped their own stature in the electorate’s eyes by standing behind Bunning. But, they do not want to be “perceived” as closet “tea-baggers.“ Bunning’s forcefully made suggestion, “that the Senate should tap some of the unspent money from last year's stimulus bill to fund the new legislation” was instantly opposed and dismissed with unflattering haste by his fellow peers.

Majority leader Harry Reid has rejected that plan, even though — according to the Obama administration's website — more than $500 billion in stimulus money is yet to be spent.

Harry Reid, of course, together with his allies in the House and the White House, is determined to reduce the private sector to a fraction of its current size, which passage of the health care bill would do. One can fault Bunning only for not grasping this fact and underestimating the malice held by most in the Senate chamber for tradesmen, the middle classes, and Americans in general. But, for five days at least, he was peerless among his peers.

One important thing Americans must grasp, if they are to successfully influence this year’s mid-term elections, is that they are being governed and gutted by a nearly self-perpetuating statist oligarchy that looks down its nose at them and does not see itself as accountable for its actions.

Another important thing for Americans to grasp is that they must reject the whole welfare state philosophy -- Medicare, Social Security, unemployment benefits, every notion of the unearned, every element of altruism and living and existing for others implemented and expressed in current law -- if they are to “take the country back” from an oligarchy that means to enslave them.


Jeff Perren said...

"Another important thing for Americans to grasp is that they must reject the whole welfare state philosophy -- Medicare, Social Security, unemployment benefits, every notion of the unearned, every element of altruism and living and existing for others implemented and expressed in current law..."

Brother, you said it! I take Krauthammer to task in a recent post for conceding that exact point.

Thanks for continuing to fight the good fight.

Anonymous said...

I concur with you and Jeff Perren: the conservative intellectuals who are worth reading simply balk at this idea that Americans must "reject..... every element of living and existing for others..." They won't examine or discuss it. The conservatives are looking for precision servitude; i.e., the welfare state is OK if done "rationally", in a fiscally responsible way, with no hatred towards rich people, etc. Or so it must be, since they never question its existence, nor the morality that it rests upon. Hence, the conservatives cannot demand, morally, that individual rights are the moral foundation of a free society.

Thank you, Ed, for your pertinent reminder of just that.

Roxanne A.

Jim said...

Re: Sen. Bunning, the Washington Post had an interesting point in an editorial [].

Bunning wanted to eliminate a costly alternative fuel program for "black liquor" to pay for part of the increased spending for the unemployment extension, et al bill.

However, the Dems voted against this, because President Obama had already planned to eliminate that program to pay for some of his additional health care "reform" costs.

Anonymous said...

I wrote an alternative penultimate paragraph to this piece.

Unfortunately, the mind-boggling scam, the smug insouciance of our own “peers” directed at the American public, and transparent chicanery that is the foundation of their health-care legislation, together is not the stuff of musical comedy. Iolanthe ended with the peers sprouting wings and flying off to fairy land. Many of the chief culprits will remain in power even if health-care goes down in flames, including the Marxist Messiah. If it passes, that will encourage them to enact more servitude and fraud.


Mo said...

the comments regarding the senator are chilling. evil, greedy, mean pig.someone put it as senator Bunning says: "fuck unemployment benefits".

Another reader said "if the senator was unemployed he would have changed his mind" because apparently our principles change when we become unemployed.

The creed of need is at an all time high and is really disgusting