October 25, 2008


Point of No Return: Will we vote for the same soothing siren song as our enervated allies? (Mark Steyn, 10/25/08, National Review)

“People of the world,” declared Senator Obama sonorously at his self-worship service in Germany, “look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.”

No, sorry. History proved no such thing. In the Cold War, the world did not stand as one. One half of Europe was a prison, and in the other half far too many people — the Barack Obamas of the day — were happy to go along with that division in perpetuity. And the wall came down not because “the world stood as one” but because a few courageous people stood against the conventional wisdom of the day. Had Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan been like Helmut Schmidt and Francois Mitterand and Pierre Trudeau and Jimmy Carter, the Soviet empire (notwithstanding its own incompetence) would have survived and the wall would still be standing. Senator Obama’s feeble passivity will get you a big round of applause precisely because it’s the easy option: Do nothing but hold hands and sing the easy listening anthems of one-worldism, and the planet will heal.

To govern is to choose. And sometimes the choices are tough ones. When has Barack Obama chosen to take a stand? When he got along to get along with the Chicago machine? When he sat for 20 years in the pews of an ugly neo-segregationist race-baiting grievance-monger? When he voted to deny the surviving “fetuses” of botched abortions medical treatment? When in his short time in national politics he racked up the most liberal – ie, the most doctrinaire, the most orthodox, the most reflex — voting record in the Senate? Or when, on those many occasions the questions got complex and required a choice, he dodged it and voted merely “present”?

The world rarely stands as one. You can, as Reagan and Thatcher did, stand up. Or, like Obama voting “present”, you can stand down.

Nobody denies that, in promoting himself from “community organizer” to the world’s President-designate in nothing flat, he has shown an amazing and impressively ruthless single-mindedness. But the path of personal glory has been, in terms of policy and philosophy, the path of least resistance.

Peggy Noonan thinks a President Obama will be like the dog who chases the car and finally catches it: Now what? I think Obama will be content to be King Barack the Benign, Spreader of Wealth and Healer of Planets. His rise is, in many ways, testament to the persistence of the monarchical urge even in a two-century old republic. So the “Now what?” questions will be answered by others, beginning with the liberal supermajority in Congress. And as he has done all his life he will take the path of least resistance.

There's a really funny story this week about just how much of a figurehead even his own party expects the Unicorn Rider to be, Kennedy working on healthcare initiative (UPI, 10/24/08)
U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., has been working from his sick bed with lobbyists and lawmakers to craft a bipartisan healthcare package, aides said

Kennedy's goal is to introduce a universal healthcare bill as soon as the new Congress convenes next year and push for a quick passage, The Washington Times reported Friday. [...]

"Senator Kennedy has spent the last several weeks laying the groundwork for reform so that we can be ready to go in 2009," Coley told the Times. "This is and has been the cause of Senator Kennedy's life."

Among lawmakers receptive to a bipartisan plan and who have been involved in initial talks is Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., the ranking Republican on the Senate Health Committee chaired by Kennedy.

The meetings offer "testament to how people feel about" Kennedy, Enzi spokesman Michael Mahaffey said.

It's more a testament to how they feel about the guy they assume will be the next president: he's just there to sign stuff.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 25, 2008 7:39 AM
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