Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Of Federaphobia and Islamophobia

Nothing propinks like propinquity.”

There is some controversy about the origin of this aphorism. Did Felix Leiter say it in Ian Fleming’s 1956 Bond novel, Diamonds are Forever, or Bertie Wooster or Jeeves in P.G. Wodehouse’s 1934 novel, Right-Ho, Jeeves? Or did Fleming rearrange the Wodehouse reference to propinquity in the Jeeves novel? Wodehouse apparently never said or wrote it. At least one newspaper attributes the full aphorism to Wodehouse, and a book to Groucho Marx, as well. But it is more than likely that Fleming coined it. Fleming was no slacker when it came to writing memorable lines.

Dark propinquity governs the attacks on freedom of speech coming from two principal quarters: The Democrats, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Their ideological hostility to freedom of speech is mutual and certainly proximate. An argument could be made that the attacks are politically part and parcel of a major counter-offensive by the enemies of freedom in the face of real and projected defeats and growing antagonism to “big government” and Islamic cultural jihad. Its military analogue is the Battle of the Bulge. And both parties are demonstrably hostile to Americans speaking their minds or criticizing anything statist or Islamic. It remains to be seen if the counter-attack succeeds or fails.

Is there a George Patton out there who can relieve the new Bastogne?

CAIR has recently announced the creation of a department that will be devoted to educating Americans on the “true” character of Islam, but more specifically to counter what it has deemed “Islamophobia.”

“We have seen a small but vocal group of bigots and hate-mongers manufacture an atmosphere of anti-Islam hysteria through smear campaigns that rely on distortions, misinformation and outright falsehoods,” Awad said. The statement said the new “Islamophobia” department would produce an annual report tracking “trends in rhetorical attacks on Islam and Muslims and will offer accurate and balanced information to be used in the struggle for tolerance and mutual understanding.”


“Tolerance and mutual understanding” are not what will be accorded by CAIR to this particular instance of a “rhetorical attack” on Islam and Muslims. Islam is a political/theocratical ideology bent on the conquest of any and all nations whose governments and systems of jurisprudence are not now partially or wholly infected with Sharia law.

The term “Islamophobia” has become widely used in recent years despite criticism – even from some Muslims – about a term which etymologically suggests an irrational fear or horror of Muslims or Islam.


Unfortunately, the term does not “suggest” a rational fear or horror of Muslims or Islam”? Not to put too fine a point on it, I personally do not “fear” Muslims; I have a deep, abiding contempt for any selfless manqué who bows to a rock five times a day, believes in an omnipotent and omniscient ghost, and idolizes a scimitar-wielding barbarian who spread his faith by force and also is alleged to have written a book touted as a “guide for living,” the Koran. On the surface, Islam is a cult, but fundamentally it is a totalitarian blueprint for governing any and all aspects of an individual’s life. Moonies, Methodists, and the Mennonites are not maneuvering to insinuate their creeds into the system of American law. Islamists are.

Not so ironically, CAIR is not concerned with most established newspapers or with the mainstream media. Those institutions have already “submitted” to Islam by refusing to criticize Islam or even so much as reproduce a cartoon of Mohammad. It is all the “Islamophobia” that can be found on the Internet that CAIR and its fellow Islamic organizations wish to check and deem “disrespectful” of Islam, and so censorship- or regulation-worthy.

President Barack Obama and the Democrats have also not been shy about expressing their hostility to freedom of speech. They view any criticism of their socialist (some would say communist) agenda, hurriedly imposed on the country this year, as tantamount to blasphemy, if not altogether seditious in nature or intent.

Obama stooped to a smear (nothing new to him) by suggesting that the GOP is receiving a hefty chunk of campaign contributions from “foreign sources.” Newsmax reported:

With massive midterm losses looming, President Barack Obama is blasting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for accepting foreign donations for its political advertising — a charge that myriad watchdogs and media outlets already have debunked as groundless….

It began at a political rally in Maryland last week, when the president echoed a charge that first appeared in a left-wing blog that the Chamber of Commerce had used foreign contributions to help defray its $75 million campaign advertising budget.


When in doubt about the truth or legitimacy of one’s accusations, call in the ghouls:

Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has asked the IRS to investigate groups, such as the Chamber, that do political advertising. Also, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has called for a Federal Election Commission probe into whether the Chamber is using foreign donations to influence domestic politics.


The Chamber of Commerce answered with a denial of all unproven, unsubstantial, and unjustified allegations:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue vowed Tuesday to "ramp up" political advertising in the final weeks before the Nov. 2 election and accused the Obama administration of conducting a smear campaign against the chamber.

In a defiant letter to the chamber's board of directors, Donohue denied White House and Democratic claims that the chamber has used foreign money to pay for its political ads this election campaign.

"It's sad to watch the White House stoop to these depths and try to salvage an election," Donohue wrote.


That did not stop departing White House advisor David Axelrod from perpetuating the notion that the Chamber of Commerce is guilty until proven innocent – a decidedly anti-American concept of justice wholly in character with the administration’s “world view” on America.

On Sunday's "Face the Nation" program, White House senior adviser David Axelrod conceded that the administration has no facts to support its claim, while not backing off on the president's implication that the Chamber may have violated U.S. laws.

When ABC host Bob Schieffer asked whether he had any evidence to support the charge, Axelrod shot back: "Well, do you have any evidence it's not [true], Bob?"

Schieffer's replied by asking Axelrod: "Is that the best you can do?"


On October 10th, The Wall Street Journal blasted the Democrats in its editorial, “Shutting Up Business.” The editorial was not shy about naming the issue. It did not beat around the bush with the stick of circumspection, but beat the bush itself:

Since the Supreme Court's January decision in Citizens United v. FEC, Democrats in Congress have been trying to pass legislation to repeal the First Amendment for business, though not for unions. Having failed on that score, they're now turning to legal and political threats. Funny how all of this outrage never surfaced when the likes of Peter Lewis of Progressive insurance and George Soros helped to make Democrats financially dominant in 2006 and 2008.


Of course, a repeal of the First Amendment “for business” would necessarily and ultimately mean a repeal of it for all Americans, whether or not they were incorporated here or offshore, in partnership, or acting as individuals. There is no such thing as an exclusionary prohibition of speech; sooner or later that selective exclusion can and will be extended by some court or regulatory agency to other venues of speech until the exclusion is universal in application and enforcement.

Principles, whether eminently rational or corrosively irrational, must by their nature be principles, that is, fundamental in nature as guides in thought and action, and not selectively ad hoc.

It is left to the Journal to redeem the good name of American journalism. The Journal editorial chides its colleges in the press:

Faced with electoral repudiation as the public turns against their agenda, Democrats are unleashing government power to silence their political opponents. Instead of piling on, the press corps ought to blow the whistle on this attempt to stifle political speech. This is one more liberal abuse of power that voters should consider as they head to the polls.


And, what about that repudiation, that distrust of big government, that rejection of the Obama and Congressional agenda, so arrogantly and blithely ignored by our dismissive corps of Democratic Platonic guardians? The Associated Press reports:

Nearly 80 percent of Americans say they can’t [trust Washington], and they have little faith that the massive federal bureaucracy can solve the nation’s ills, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center that shows public confidence in the federal government at one of the lowest points in a half-century.

The poll released Sunday illustrates the ominous situation facing President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party as they struggle to maintain their comfortable congressional majorities in this fall’s elections. Midterm prospects are typically tough for the party in power. Add a toxic environment like this and lots of incumbent Democrats could be out of work.


It is interesting to note that while Democrats can accuse Americans of “Federaphobia,” and CAIR can accuse bloggers of “Islamophobia,” Democratic incumbents have a phobia of their own: they don’t want Obama campaigning for them. He is seen as bad luck, as a hex, as a liability.

But, it is not about phobias at all. It is the totalitarian ideology that Americans are grasping and rejecting, the statist kind and the Islamic kind.

4 comments:

Robert said...

Many of us wish we could be living in Chile where the people use technology and strive for better lives and their leaders are not enemies of the jobs of the people. For two days, that nation, with the help of US businesses and other countries, fostered hope and life and showed the world what it is like to look positively toward the future. How stark was the difference when we compared these people to our politicians who accuse us of being dismissive of other nations and who want to give away the production of the people to those who cannot produce hope for themselves. You cannot re-distribute hope by means of force. Remember that on November 2.

Anonymous said...

One of the best editorials on this event can be found in The Wall Street Journal here: http://tinyurl.com/2vnpm3v

Ed

Anonymous said...

From the comments at WSJ.

" I just can't get behind the premise of this article. The thinking behind it is overwrought. Coincidental developments produced a happy ending. The rest seems contrived."

I think that this is the colloquial version of "The goods are here. Where did they come from? Blankout."

I noticed that there were a lot of comments of that tenor. I guess that if the US becomes another Banana Obama Republic these guys will still be blaming greed and a lack of sufficient regulation.

C. Andrew

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

When asked, didn't Ayn Rand say that we should not consider going Galt so long as we have freedom of speech? I wonder how long it will be until we will all be making the choice to withdraw our minds and productivity from the world.