Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

05/21/2009 (9:59 am)

Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

Victor Davis Hanson yesterday drew attention to the “tales told by idiots” department, declaring the era of “Bush Shredded the Constitution” over in the wake of the Senate Democrats’ defeat of funding for Obama’s plan to close down Guantanamo.

With the Democratic no-go on Guantánamo (I’ll leave it to the better informed to ascertain the degree that the Democratic Congress came to the rescue of an embarrassed Obama administration and cut off funding for the shutdown to allow him an out with the now familiar excuse of “they did it — not me, who keeps promises”), I think we now have come to the end to the five-year left-wing attack theme of Bush “shredding the Constitution.”

Except for the introduction of euphemisms and a few new ballyhooed but largely meaningless protocols, there is no longer a Bush-did-it argument. The Patriot Act, wiretaps, e-mail intercepts, military tribunals, Predator drone attacks, Iraq, Afghanistan — and now Guantánamo — are officially no longer part of the demonic Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld nexus, but apparently collective legitimate anti-terrorism measures designed to thwart killers, and by agreement, after years of observance, of great utility in keeping us safe the last eight years…

And I guess as well that the good old days of supposedly flushed Korans in Guantánamo and Omar the poor liberationist renditioned to Cairo are over. We are now in the age of a sober and judicious President Obama who circumspectly, if reluctantly and in anguish at the high cost, does what is necessary to keep us safe.

And we won’t see a brave young liberal senator, Obama-like, barnstorming the Iowa precincts blasting a presidency for trampling our values with the shame of Guantánamo, wiretaps, intercepts, renditions, military tribunals, Predators, Iraq, etc. That motif just dissolved — or rather, it never really existed.

It short, all the fury, the vicious slander, the self-righteous outbursts, the impassioned speeches from the floor, the “I accuse” op-eds by the usual moralistic pundits — all that turned out to be solely about politics, nothing more.

Hanson characteristically states the case plainly, but he’s far too polite. False accusation is evil. False accusation from those tasked with running the country, aimed at good and competent men, for the purpose of gaining political power for themselves, with complete disregard for the welfare of the nation — they’re fortunate they’re not being tarred, feathered, and ridden out of Washington on a rail, but that’s no less than what they deserve. And in the wake of their rank dishonesty, millions of unthinking drones within the Democratic party will go the rest of their lives thinking of the Bush years as battles furiously fought to protect their rights from ravagement by the dastardly Bush Crime Family, and the Obama years as years of restored sanity and safety, without once recognizing that both metaphors refer to the same set of policies.

Obama’s real agenda is economic and social. He cares about turning the United States into a Worker’s Paradise and a bastion of True Justice, as defined by world Marxism. He wants to redistribute income, capital, and opportunity to make America fair; he wants to force us all to drive smaller cars, use alternative energy sources, and produce less in order to save the planet; he wants to liberate all Americans from the iron-fisted tyranny of old-world morals; he wants all industry under the thumb of government so they cannot steal from the people; all as defined by world Marxism. (Translation: He wants to tax the productive and give their money to the unproductive, he wants to adopt the full socialism that the rest of the world rejected as a failure twenty years ago, he wants to institute unnecessary and scientifically irrelevant controls on harmless gases, he wants to legalize every possible social distortion, and he wants to prevent any businessman from actually making money.)

But he doesn’t care all that much about foreign policy, except that he wants to apologize for how arrogant we’ve all been and stop our interfering with the advance of World Socialism. The reality of the fact that America has been attacked, and will be attacked again if we’re not vigilant, is an incidental reality that cannot be obscured by his preconceived notions of A Just America. Consequently, his foreign policy so far has been a quick and red-faced reversal of every article of faith in the left’s War on Terror dogma. We now know that the Bush administration was thoughtful, foresightful, and legally correct on virtually everything they did to protect America, and that the Obama administration has quietly admitted that everything they said about his policy was either politically-motivated lie, or vicious ignorance of the facts.

The good news is that the safeguards developed by the Bush administration will not vanish overnight; we’ll remain somewhat safe for a while. The bad news is that they’re doing it grudgingly, hoping they can gradually convert us back to our 9/10 strategy of prosecuting terrorists as though they were simple criminals, and not an attacking army.

They will never admit what they did, but it behooves us to remind our adversaries every time it comes up that their entire campaign of slander against the Bush administration was an evil game, and that when offered the chance to repudiate his decisions, they meekly adopted every one.

A tip of the blogger hat to Michelle Malkin, who declares “For now, the adults have prevailed.”

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May 22, 2009 @ 4:36 am #

Yes, for now the adults have prevailed, but as you say, the children are still in charge. The country will rue the Bush administration’s unwillingness to push back when falsely accused.

May 22, 2009 @ 5:31 pm #

Have you noticed, Chris, that now that Cheney is not part of the Bush administration, he is pushing back — and very effectively?

May 22, 2009 @ 11:06 pm #

Love what Cheyney is doing and saying now. It truly is like watching an adult talking to and about a child. Reminds me of his debate against Edwards when he made Edwards appear to be on the level of say, a liberal grad student who has been running his college’s school newspaper for several years.

But where, oh where was this type of defense when it could have really helped people understand? Most of the public isn’t really paying attention at this point.

May 25, 2009 @ 9:06 pm #

What an asset Bush wasted in Cheney. Here is a guy who could have made counter-arguments cogently and effectively, within the traditional constraints of his office, and they let him sit around for the most part. George W. Bush, for all of his sound personnel picks, was a poor manager in the end.

May 27, 2009 @ 12:52 am #

What Cheney is doing, in saying “We don’t want to just stop SOME of the nuclear terrorists from getting in, we want to stop ALL of them from getting in,” is actually a very good wager for the Republicans.

If no nuclear attack happens during the Obama administration, they lose nothing. If a nuclear attack happens (God forbid), the way has been paved to place all blame on Obama…despite the fact that our resources have been focused away from the two most unstable potential nuclear powers (in Iran and N. Korea) since the Iraq war began.

Now THERE’s a couple of messes we could have dealt with a little better!

May 27, 2009 @ 12:53 am #

BTW, not saying anybody knows anything for sure about Cheney’s motives behind his talk…only offering that as a possibility…

May 27, 2009 @ 7:57 am #

Hey, as I wake up this morning and think about it,

Phil let me know privately how very cynical those statements I just made are…yes, I agree. Not typical of the charitability I am usually so vocal in calling for.

I offer my apologies for questioning Cheney’s motivations. NOT for calling the Iraq war a distraction (which I honestly believe it was in my heart), but Cheney deserves the benefit of the doubt as much as anyone else!

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