In 1839, the future saint Jeanne Jugan gathered a group of women and girls, and began administering care to the poor of Rennes, France. One-hundred and seventy-five years later, Jugan’s group, Little Sisters of the Poor, has apparently become something far more sinister. That’s according to the reliably irrelevant National Organization for Women, which recently included the sisterhood on its “Dirty 100” list of groups that have been “using religion to justify discrimination, deny women’s equality.”
In a piece worth reading, Peter Beinart of The Atlantic takes a look at what he sees as the fall and rise of the term "liberal." Beinart describes how the label, once proudly worn by New Dealers, fell out of favor with the cultural tumult of the 1960s:
Over the next two decades, being a liberal came to mean letting criminals terrorize America’s cities, hippies undermine traditional morality, and communists menace the world. It meant, in other words, too much liberty for the wrong kind of people. Fearful of its negative connotations, Democratic politicians began disassociating themselves from the term...
Could the failures of Obamacare extirpate American liberalism? That question has been the subject of much heavy breathing this week.
The health law “has put the reputation of Big Government progressivism at risk for at least this generation,” according to Todd Purdum. “At stake is the new, more ambitious, social-democratic brand of American liberalism introduced by Obama,” surmises Charles Krauthammer. Our own Josh Shnayer compares liberals playing defense to the bumbling protagonists in the movie Weekend at Bernie’s, propping up a corpse.
Obamacare’s failure poses a threat to the future of liberalism as a movement, writes Todd Purdum in a Politico op-ed. The health care law represents the hopes and dreams of progressivism, with Obama as an Atlas on whose shoulders lie the future of America and social justice. But doesn’t Mr. Purdum know that liberalism is already dead? The president isn’t carrying America’s future on his shoulders, but rather a coffin. And that coffin was nailed shut by TAS's own R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
Mr. Tyrrell’s book The Death of Liberalism was published in 2011. Obamacare, officially called the Affordable Care Act, was only in its infancy, and Obama still had some of his first term left to finish, but the signs of Liberalism’s demise were plain as day, if you knew where to look.
Here’s a joke for you: What is the difference between President Obama and New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio? One is a so-called progressive who plugs damaging and divisive policies in the name of a misguided sense of “fairness,” seeks to punish the successful through redistribution, wants to expand an already bloated welfare state, has unsavory friends, and is even rumored to be connected to communism. The other lives in the White House.
Earlier this month, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) was indicted for “misappropriating” some $750,000 that was raised for his various political campaigns. And that yawn you just heard was the collective response of every voter in the Chicago-land area.
A political figure (in any state) who exploits the power of his/her office is nothing new. A political figure in Chicago who exploits the system for personal gain is called “a man of the people” and “blue-collar.”
A member of the Jackson clan embroiled in scandal and controversy is called a “Tuesday.”
On Monday Walmart announced it would "reinforce its commitment to lower prices," and PajamasMedia's Richard Pollock portrayed it as a departure from the company's efforts in recent years to cozy up to liberal causes such as Obamacare and "sustainability." At the National Legal and Policy Center blog today, I explain how there are no signs that Walmart is changing its ways.
Few things fascinate me more than the rationalizations by which liberals evade acknowledgement of facts that contradict their worldview. Matthew Continetti recently took a long look at the liberal demon-myth of the Koch brothers, who have become the all-purpose explanation for anything that Democrats don't like.
Meanwhile, the left-wing blogosphere today paid tribute to "Popular Progressive Author" Joe Bageant. An itinerant journalist who four years ago published an acclaimed book called Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from the Class War, Bageant specialized in what I call "that weird species of progressive 'populism' which expresses itself as a thoroughgoing contempt for actual people":
For decades, Americans have been lectured that there is exactly one standard by which sexual activity can be judged: Were the participants "consenting adults"?
Now comes the news that Columbia University political science professor David Epstein, 46, has been arrested and charged with having a three-year-long sexual affair -- with his own daughter.
The daughter, now 24, was an adult when this incestuous relationship (allegedly) began in 2006 and, while incest remains illegal in New York State, some commenters at the Columbia University student newspaper Web site are mystified as to why it's illegal: "Wait, why is consensual incest a crime? It might not be appealing to everyone, but if they're adults and they consent, who cares what they do?"