when history repeats itself

Stop hating on Trig Palin, future U.S. President!

Hegel bemerkt irgendwo, daß alle großen weltgeschichtlichen Tatsachen und Personen sich sozusagen zweimal ereignen. Er hat vergessen hinzuzufügen: das eine Mal als Tragödie, das andere Mal als Farce.

—Karl Marx, „Der 18. Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte“, 1852      

Let’s discuss another pointy head:

For somebody who kvetches about his muslim faith, Obama is ill advised to disparage Republican pigs for wearing lipstick. Continue reading when history repeats itself

politically incorrect

The gist of the matter is that the same people who liberally disparage their neighbors for voting Republican or espousing conservatism, would have a meltdown whilst facing their counterparts who disparaged them (say) as libertines or homosexuals, atheists or Jews.

And yet in each instance the butt of objections is taken to task for his choices of life or confession.

three cheers for w.!

Kenneth T. Walsh muses on the stakes in this year’s presidential campaign, reminding his readers of Lincoln’s popularity in the North plummeting as a result of the Civil War at first going very badly for the Union.

He was derided as a despot, a dictator, an incompetent, and worse. At the same time, he was blamed for the many failures on the battlefield and for the horrendous casualties, posted day after day in town after town across the land. He changed generals when they lost big battles or when they didn’t follow up on their limited successes, but for the early years the conflict seemed hopeless.

Even as the perspective informed by Lincoln’s success at preserving the Union imposes itself on recent conflicts in Chechnya, Kosovo, and South Ossetia, American hagiography stands unmitigated:

In the end, Lincoln’s profound legacy was created and propelled by two elections—the one in 1860, which triggered the war, and the election of 1864, which enabled Lincoln to win it. Historian Henry Adams once wrote that a president “resembles the commander of a ship at sea. He must have a helm to grasp, a course to steer, a port to seek.” Lincoln understood this to his core. Added historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr.: “The Constitution offers every president a helm, but the course and the port constitute the first requirement for presidential greatness. Great presidents possess, or are possessed by, a vision of an ideal America. Their passion is to make sure the ship of state sails on the right course.” Defining that vision and setting that course are what Lincoln’s presidency was all about.

Meanwhile, Edward Luttwak promulgates an encomium to George W Bush’s foreign policy in a parallel to Harry Truman’s legacy. As Truman with his shambolic policies in China and Korea, so Bush with his stumbles in Iraq; but as Truman with his strategy of containing the Soviet empire bequeathing a legacy of its “almost peaceful disintegration”, so Bush with confining jihadism to Iraq and the border zones of Pakistan, denuclearizing Libya and Syria, and precipitating the demolition of nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.

All that remains to ensure W.’s third term is for Oliver Stone to chime in.

a fellow citizen of the world

“In Berlin, Obama made exactly one point with which it was possible to disagree.” According to David Brooks, it was not this one:

The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.
    We know they have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a Union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace. Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid.
    So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other.

Thanks, but no thanks. Touting fellow citizenship of the world is this century’s ladylike complement in stupidity to Woodrow Wilson’s fatal fixation on self-determination as an imperative principle of national action, the principle indispensably and preponderantly responsible for incessant warfare tearing apart the Old World throughout the past century. Today, we Americans could scarcely do worse than forswear our tribal loyalty to the founding documents that circumscribe the walls of our nation. We owe no duty of citizenship to those unwilling or unable to abide by our mandate. On the contrary, to affirm such duty is to undermine the compact that created this nation and continues to maintain it to this day. Our nation is unique in being held together by nothing but its founding principle. It has welcomed the worthiest and the worst off at the cost of renouncing all prior allegiances. It cannot stand without sustaining the boundaries defined by this renunciation. Nor can it go forth tearing down the boundaries between hidebound races, fanatical faiths, and complacent cultures.

On 20 November 1858, while supporting himself as a surveyor, Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal: “Who are bad neighbors? They who suffer their neighbors’ cattle to go at large because they don’t want their ill will,—are afraid to anger them. They are abettors of the ill-doers.” Obama’s alignment with cosmopolitan clastics recalls the prophet of neighborly love, said to have united Jews and gentiles by breaking down the middle wall of partition between them. But the world that defines its commons by disparate commitments to creeds and traditions, must be served by policies that embody bullish insularity of Thoreau, not by fantasies that abet the ill-doers through capturing ovine inclusiveness of Jesus. And that is the neighborly policy that America perpetually renews in virtue of her Constitution, with each turn at mending walls refusing the sufferance of our neighbors’ cattle going at large. And our best foreign policy would commit to a like mending by all neighbors, everywhere in the world.

hymietown complot

The principal sources for the New Yorker cartoon of the Obamas on the cover of its 21 July 2008 issue are Christopher Hitchens’ dissection of Michelle Obama’s endorsement of Black Power and Daniel Pipes’ analysis of Barack Hussein Obama as an apostate Muslim. Hitchens twits the would-be First Lady for acknowledging, in her Princeton undergraduate thesis, her guidance by the definition of black “separationism” offered by Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton in their 1967 opus, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America. In his turn, Pipes reprimands her putative lord and master for dissembling about having been born a Muslim and having had a Muslim upbringing.

    Mixed messages are the most effective vehicle for political defamation. According to its editor David Remnick, the New Yorker’s cover image is “not a satire about Obama — it’s a satire about the distortions and misconceptions and prejudices about Obama”:

Obviously I wouldn’t have run a cover just to get attention — I ran the cover because I thought it had something to say. What I think it does is hold up a mirror to the prejudice and dark imaginings about Barack Obama’s — both Obamas’ — past, and their politics. I can’t speak for anyone else’s interpretations, all I can say is that it combines a number of images that have been propagated, not by everyone on the right but by some, about Obama’s supposed “lack of patriotism” or his being “soft on terrorism” or the idiotic notion that somehow Michelle Obama is the second coming of the Weathermen or most violent Black Panthers. That somehow all this is going to come to the Oval Office.
    The idea that we would publish a cover saying these things literally, I think, is just not in the vocabulary of what we do and who we are… We’ve run many many satirical political covers. Ask the Bush administration how many.

To be sure, the slide show of past political covers by New Yorker illustrator Barry Blitt accords the pride of place to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney amid luminaries ranging from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Martin Luther King, Jr. But it is preposterous to propose that the limitations of the speaker’s vocabulary should constrain the public implications of his speech. We have no control over the “aboutness” of words blowing in the wind. And the Obamas’ fusion of multicultural roots and separationist ambitions is due to receive more than its share of scrutiny in an election year as marked by suspicions of race and religion as it is inflected by imperatives of culture and politics, when their presumptive adversary already has been exposed as a deranged victim of three slant-eyed screws — a simian, a shrew, and a spook:

    How to combat these noisome slurs? Jesse Jackson was not far off the mark in wishing an orchiectomy upon Barack Obama. The wellspring of his difficulties is but a few inches away. It’s all about the Jews. David Remnick is one. Daniel Pipes is another. Even Christopher Hitchens, despite his name bearing our Lord on the inside, despite his hand officiating an inward baptism with a tumbler of whisky, aligns himself with the Chosen People. As a bonus, Jann Wenner, the skalawag responsible for racialist scapegoating of Senator McCain, is a Jewish homosexual.
    Only one escape is left to Obama. It is spelled out by another woman of color, Zadie Smith, in an even smugger organ of Hymietown booboisie, reassuring the kosher compatriots of Gregor Samsa: “We’re all insects, all Ungeziefer, now.” Clearly, his attempt to brand himself as a life-long Christian has backfired. He couldn’t do any worse rebranding himself as the second coming of the Jewish Negro, namely Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior. The writing is on the wall: in March 2008, 1% of registered voters believed that Barack Obama was Jewish. The least Barack would get out of repudiating Michelle’s separationism for the sake of embracing Zadie’s incorporationism to realign himself with subhuman vermin, is a better class of punani:

the final causes

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
— Barack Hussein Obama, 6 April 2008

No elitism here, quite the contrary.

“The materialist conception of history starts from the proposition that the production of the means to support human life and, next to production, the exchange of things produced, is the basis of all social structure; that in every society that has appeared in history, the manner in which wealth is distributed and society divided into classes or orders is dependent upon what is produced, how it is produced, and how the products are exchanged. From this point of view, the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men’s brains, not in men’s better insights into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange.”
— Friedrich Engels, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, 1880, translated from the French by Edward Aveling

no typical white person

The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know (pause) there’s a reaction in her that doesn’t go away and it comes out in the wrong way.
—Barack Hussein Obama, call to Philadelphia sports radio 610 WIP, 20 March 2008
Continue reading no typical white person

coitusy of the united states

    “A spent lover always says ‘Excuse me’ when practicing the art of coitusy.”
    —Ron Barrett, “Politeness Man”, National Lampoon

He opened the door, shut it, and leaned back against it, his head raised as if for air. My God, he said, the fucking Queen of England. I mean, I’m—somewhere in the back of his memory, in one of those disorderly trunks of unfiled information, he fished out the law that specified the remaining crimes for which hanging was stipulated and recalled something dating back to the Treason Act in the fourteenth century about “violating” a royal figure. Great God, thought Blackford. What about when you—he could not bring himself even to think of the word under the circumstances—do it with… the goddamn Queen herself!
    He sat down and, briefly, began to laugh.

OAKES, Blackford. Foundation official. Born, Yellow Springs, Ohio, December 7, 1925. Schools: Scarsdale H.S, Yale (’51). Executed, 1952, for viol. fornication provisions of Treason Act of 1351.

Continue reading coitusy of the united states