The time to fight arrives.
“The tax issue is finished. Over. Completed. That’s behind
— Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
“The hard fact is that nothing could have arrested what
— British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on the Nazi invasion of Austria
“Our affairs have come to such a pass that there is no escape without running risks.”
So said a resolute Winston Churchill as, still out of favor with his own Conservative government, he stood up in the House of Commons in March of 1938 to protest the government’s passive response to the occupation and annexation of Austria by Adolf Hitler’s Germany. Or, as it is known to history, the “Anschluss.”
Churchill was rebuffed by his party’s leadership, which had less and less patience with him by the day. Indeed, Sir Alexander Cadogan, the British Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office and a devout believer in appeasement, wrote to the like-minded British Ambassador to Berlin that he, Cadogan, had “almost” wished Hitler “would swallow Austria and get it over.” He added:
“Thank goodness Austria’s out of the way. I can’t help thinking we were very badly informed about that country.… We should evidently have been very wrong to try to prevent Anschluss against the wishes of a very considerable proportion of the (Austrian) population. After all, it wasn’t our business: We had no particular feelings for the Austrians: We only forbade Anschluss to spite Germany.”
No one — to be abundantly clear — is comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler. Idiocy.
What does stand out in looking back at this particular lesson of history is the story of what human beings do when confronted with what they perceive as overwhelming opposition. When they look at a political situation and see — hopelessness. Causing them to act with timidity.
In 1938 there were many — almost the entire senior leadership of the British government — who responded to Hitler’s aggressiveness by advocating a policy of appeasement. They had appeased his repeated violations of the Treaty of Versailles, appeased his re-arming of Germany, would appease his Anschluss with Austria and would later appease his takeover of Czechoslovakia. Webster’s defines appeasement as “to yield to the demands of in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of one’s principles.”
It was the chief feature of British foreign policy in the 1930s — and an infamous failure. Prime Ministers Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain, conservatives both, repeatedly misjudged the man they were dealing with. They looked at their adversary and saw a man whose only objective was his stated one of the moment. When his real goal was the Nazi domination of all of Europe — and the world beyond. The Thousand Year Reich.
It is safe to say that there is an impression abroad in the world of American conservatives that the urge with House and Senate GOP leaders Speaker John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell has been to approach President Obama one objective at a time. Today the fiscal cliff, yesterday Obamacare or an executive order on immigration or a trillion-dollar stimulus, and tomorrow the debt ceiling increase and so on and on.
This column titled “The Education of John Boehner” by the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore does nothing but re-enforce the impression. Moore begins his piece this way:
What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: “At one point several weeks ago,” Mr. Boehner says, “the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.’”
What this article reveals is a Speaker Boehner who had not — perhaps still has not — taken the full measure of his adversary.
Hence the conservative discord that flared during Boehner’s re-election as House Speaker.
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?