The Continuing Crisis

The Continuing Crisis

By From the May 2012 issue

March came in like the proverbial lamb and vamoosed like a lion, gnawing on our Nobel Laureate’s remaining policies before he is defenestrated in November. His budget was defeated on the floor of the House of Representatives, by 414-0. The White House could not even find a night janitor to support the legislation, not even a homeless person. In all, five alternative budgets were defeated in the House before the Hon. Paul Ryan presented a perfectly sensible budget for fiscal year 2013, and it triumphed, 228-191. Now it will proceed to the Senate where it will be the target of spitballs and other abuse from the Democratic majority that has not passed a budget in years while insisting the House is the “Do Nothing Congress.” Our President’s other monstrosity that got a good late-March gnawing was Obamacare. It was taken up in six hours of hearings before the Supreme Court, where the five Republican justices raised troubling questions about the bill’s constitutionality, severability, and the fact that it consumed 2,700 pages, though no one outside of a booby hatch can admit to having read it in toto. Justice Stephen Breyer denied that he did and Justice Antonin Scalia invoked the Eighth Amendment. As for the four Democratic justices’ questions, they purred demurely. They can now be referred to as the Homogenized Four and they all ate yogurt at lunch, though Justice Elena Kagan should not even have been present, she having served on the Obama White House’s legal defense team and yahooed her celebration of Obamacare’s passage in an e-mail read by all the world.

General Motors temporarily suspended production of the Chevrolet Volt, long enough for the idiotic contraption to be exalted the following week as the 2012 Car of the Year at the Geneva Auto Show. Imagine how the 1912 Stanley Steamer might have fared as a green vehicle. For observers who have always wondered about former Sen. John Edwards’ glassy-eyed look as he campaigned in New York in the 2008 primaries, Miss Anna Gristina, the legendary Soccer Mom Madam, confirmed: he was a contented customer of her prostitution ring, despite maintaining a ménage with the celebrated Miss Rielle Hunter. Mr. Keith Olbermann, the crybaby sports announcer, is leaving Mr. Al Gore’s Current TV, just as he left MSNBC and ESPN, in a Huff. He will be replaced by Mr. Eliot Spitzer, who will be asked to wash his hands before entering the studio. Former Gov. Mitt Romney continues his procession toward the Republican presidential nomination, and in San Diego, California, Miss Gonja (that is no typo) Wolf, the celebrated local art teacher, has apparently taken her environmental campaign against the toilet too far. On March 13, she forced a 14-year-old student to evacuate in a common bucket, refusing the girl access to a nearby restroom with all its egregiously flowing water. School authorities are watching Miss Wolf, though there are no reports on that 14-year-old student and her bucket. Our lovable gasbag of a vice president has done it again. In Bettendorf, Iowa, he, during another of his major speeches, addressed Scott Community College President Dr. Theresa Paper as “Dr. Pepper.” Heh, heh, good old Joe!

Mr. Vladimir Putin won his election for Russian president, so he can put his shirt back on. As noted last month in the Crisis, the Russian pol had appeared shirtless with increasing frequency leading up to the elections. Yet now, with 64 percent of the vote and Russian women gasping in the street, it is likely that he will feel modesty’s call. In the forthcoming French elections, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy has done nothing so bold as to remove his shirt, though he has said there are “too many foreigners” in France and promised to reduce immigration. Still he remains behind in the polls, and appearing stripped to the waist may be his only option. While on the subject of French politics, the fantastically beautiful Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn was back in the news for the second straight month. First he journeyed to the United Kingdom’s Cambridge University to deliver, so he said, a lecture on economics. He was greeted by a good-natured crowd of protesters, who tore down police barriers and made the customary wry observations about Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s rape charges back in Paris and New York. The former Socialist front-runner for Mr. Sarkozy’s job joined in the laughter. Then he appeared in the French city of Lille fully dressed to deny charges that he had served as a common pimp for a prostitution ring operating in America and Europe. Rather, he insisted he was an economist at the prestigious International Monetary Fund interested in “libertine practices.” His lawyer stressed that the alleged prostitutes at Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s sex parties were just out for a good time and that there is nothing wrong with nude yoga. We shall keep you posted.

A shirtless man, perhaps inspired by Mr. Putin if not Mr. Olbermann, appeared in lower Manhattan protesting the arrest of some 50 Occupy Wall Street stragglers. He climbed atop a statue of George Washington and uttered an incomprehensible diatribe on economics before the police removed him. The full text can be found on There was other Occupy Wall Street news. Police released surveillance video of dozens of idealists pouring into public places a mixture of urine and feces that had no apparent redeeming value, even as Art, and frankly looked disgusting. It could not be immediately determined what role the editors of the Nation played in contributing to the mixture, and anyway no one wants to be accused of restricting the Nation’s First Amendment rights. Finally the Occupiers have picked up another celebrity name. He is Mr. Jason Russell, the co-founder of Invisible Children, and police arrested him in downtown San Diego for running naked in the streets, vandalizing automobiles, and publicly masturbating. Once called the solitary vice, masturbation has become a favored métier of protest among the Occupiers, and Mr. Russell is the first Hollywoodian to utilize it beyond performances on the big screen. He was jailed. And there is more news from Hollywood. One of the first American actors to adopt an anti-war position continues to be controversial after all these years. The Gettysburg Foundation pulled bobbleheaded dolls of the late Mr. John Wilkes Booth from the Gettysburg Museum after customer protests. Will Miss Jane Fonda and Mr. Michael Moore be next? Lighten up, America! It is just a doll, and President Abraham Lincoln has been gone 147 years!

President Obama took a befuddled Prime Minister David Cameron to a basketball game in faraway Dayton, Ohio. They then returned to the White House to begin a series of talks on security issues in Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and most of the Southern states, the far west, and the middle-western states. Mr. Obama, in this election year, can probably count on California and New York, as both are nearly bankrupt. Kyrgyzstan is balking at allowing American troops to be billeted on its territory beyond July of 2014, though Russia has said it might lease one of its air bases in the region to America for supply runs. And at the end of the month in Seoul, South Korea, our crazy and zany President was heard blurting out to lame-duck Russian President Dmitry Medvedev across a “hot” microphone that he needs “more flexibility” on missile defense from the Russians, it being an election year. “On all these issues,” our community organizer in the White House said, “but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s for him to give me space.” Mr. Medvedev replied that “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Finally, death took Mr. Hilton Kramer at 84, the great art critic and founding editor of the New Criterion. I am glad to say he died a friend, and death took Miss Priscilla Buckley too, sister of Bill, longtime manager of National Review, and a mentor who always prescribed laughter. She was 90, and prescribing laughter to us as recently as last autumn at the William F. Buckley Program at Yale. Requiescat in pace. 

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About the Author
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is the author of The Death of Liberalism, published by Thomas Nelson Inc. His previous books include the New York Times bestseller Boy Clinton: the Political Biography; The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton; The Liberal Crack-Up; The Conservative Crack-Up; Public Nuisances; The Future that Doesn't Work: Social Democracy's Failure in Britain; Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House; The Clinton Crack-Up; and After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery.