There He Gropes Again
WASHINGTON — Not so long ago there arose on the American political scene something called, the Angry Left. It was an indignant group of ritualistic liberals whose appearance the mainstream media apprised us augured well for Democratic victory in 2008, and so it did. The Angry Left turned out the vote for the Prophet Obama. At the time, do you recall any public figure on the right stepping forward and warning against possible violence from the indignados of the Angry Left? Did, say, the Hon. Newt Gingrich step forward at a conservative forum, say the Heritage Foundation, and remind his fellow Americans of the bombings of government buildings, the burning of university libraries, the robbing of banks by angry leftists in years gone by? I cannot recall any such warnings from any conservative eminence.
It is not as though such lawlessness is unknown in American history. Politically motivated bombings, burnings, and bank robberies actually have been committed in America by leftists. Some of those leftists are still with us, for instance, Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn who were fugitives from justice for such antics and went on to become friends of the present president of the United States. In fact, lawlessness on the left is still being committed, for instance at universities where speakers who offend the left — the Angry Left or simply the Fastidious Left — are regularly shouted down or barred from scheduled appearances as Ann Coulter recenly was, at least, in Canada. Yet Newt has remained mum about the danger posed by the Angry Left, and it is not easy for Newt to remain mum.
Now just the other day, ex-President Bill Clinton — some of us still call him The Groper — rose up at the Center for American Progress, and drew parallels between the Tea Partiers (call them the Caffeinated Right) and the homicidal maniacs who participated in the Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more. Clinton’s charge was typically duplicitous. “This Tea Party movement can be a healthy thing if they’re making us justify every penny of taxes we raised and every dollar of public money we spend,” Clinton opined. “But when you get mad, sometimes you wind up producing exactly the reverse result of what you say you are for,” said the president famous for among other things his temper tantrums. He also said, “Before the [Oklahoma] bombing occurred, there was a sort of fever in America,” which I guess depends on the meaning of the word fever. I recall no fever, but then I was not impeached for lying and obstruction of justice.
A longstanding conceit of American liberals has been to lecture conservatives on how to conduct themselves. They are famous for telling us what we can and cannot say. They tell us we cannot call them socialists even when they take over industries and transform the federal budget into a simulacrum of European social democracy. Yet they can call us racists and enemies of the poor when we advance alternatives to such failed policies as affirmative action or welfare. In fact, much of the liberals’ stance toward conservatives in our ongoing dialogue with them is an insult. The most recent politician to dabble in race-baiting was not a conservative but Bill Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries.
What Clinton depicts as a precursor to more bombings modeled on the vile Oklahoma City bombing is nothing more than a civic upheaval inspired by American constitutional liberties. The Tea Partiers are no cause for alarm. For Clinton to suggest that these generally peaceful and good natured libertarians are opening the door to domestic terror is Clinton at his reckless worst. In doing so he has given would-be bombers cover for their evil acts. If more bombings of federal buildings follow, we can thank Clinton for his speech of encouragement. Ironically federal investigators looking for the perpetrators might begin their investigations with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. No Tea Partier I know has their record of violence.
Hating the Middle Class
WASHINGTON — The Liberals hate the middleclass. There I said it, and I am glad. Once again I am a truth teller, in this case speaking Truth to Stone Heads. So certain am I of the truth of my asseveration that I honestly doubt any Liberal will take issue with me. Can you imagine a Liberal coming forward and saying: “Wrong Tyrrell! I love the middleclass.” Well, I guess I can imagine it because Liberals are effortless liars. Yet what specifically about the middleclass might the Liberals adduce to demonstrate their affection? The middleclass’s Sobriety? Hard Work? Love of Country? Love of Liberty?
The Liberals’ contempt for the pulchritudinous Sarah Palin is obviously fired by their hatred of the middleclass. She has said nothing that many ordinary Americans have not said privately, though she does it with charm. I was particularly charmed by her playful taunt directed toward the Prophet Obama at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville in February where she said: “How’s that hopey, changey stuff working out for ya?” At the time his polling figures were low, not as low as they fell later but low, and not much was “working” for him. Things have not improved.
What seems particularly to offend the Liberals is that she is from Middle America and from a state whose citizens pride themselves in self-reliance. Then too it has to hurt that she is so easy on the eye while being the antithesis of the feminist. By the way, has there ever been a comely feminist? Yes, Gloria Steinem had her moments, but then as the years went on and her gripes and disappointments multiplied her anger got the best of her, and today her face looks like a gnarled fist. Governor Palin could teach her a lot, starting with a pedicure and maybe a prayer. That is another thing that brings the Liberals to a boil, Palin’s being a person of faith. For some reason religion really alarms Liberals, unless it be the religion of the Prophet Mohammad. Now there is an evolution in Liberal thought I would not have anticipated.
The Tea Party movement is another perfectly middleclass phenomenon that sets off fires of indignation with the Liberals. I could understand if they simply disagreed with the Tea Partiers. The Tea Partiers favor freedom, limited government, low taxes, and addressing the staggering debt that government is piling up. These are values that Liberals do not champion. But the Liberals have to go further, depicting the Tea Partiers as violent racists. Once again we see how fluently the Liberals lie, starting by lying to themselves.
Last week during a seminar at the Heritage Foundation on my new book, After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery, Michael Barone, surely one of the most learned political observers of our time, made a very instructive point. While writing his fine book, Our Country: The Shaping of America from Roosevelt to Reagan, he discovered that there was in the late 1930s a growing resistance against the New Deal’s spreading governmental tentacles. Very much like today’s Tea Party movement Americans were becoming uneasy about the cost and coercion of FDR’s huge government projects. Moreover, as Amity Shlaes has demonstrated in her recent book, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, the New Deal was not ending the Depression but lengthening it.
Barone now believes that had World War II not arrived this late-1930s Tea Party manifestation would have supported a stiff challenge to FDR’s precedent-breaking third term. He speculates that there is something about America that makes many of its citizens relish their freedoms and suspicious of government involvement in areas Americans envisage as off-limits to government power and inefficiency. That something is the Constitution, which might explain why Liberal judges want to be free to ignore it or disfigure it.
Yes, the Liberals hate the middleclass, and I think I tripped across the reason for their hatred while finishing Hangover. Whereas conservatism is fundamentally a temperament to delight in reality, in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Liberalism is fundamentally an anxiety. The environment? The Constitution? The middleclass? Liberalism is an anxiety about reality. The Liberals prefer fantasy to reality — hence their fluency in lying about the Tea Party movement and the pulchritudinous Sarah Palin.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?