Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Liberal/Left‘s Ventriloquist Dummy

Guest Commentary by Edward Cline:

Former President Bill Clinton revealed his totalitarian bent during an interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper on April 17, when he linked Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing of a federal building in 1995 with current “anti-government“ rhetoric, rallies and demonstrations by Tea Partiers. It is almost surreal, listening to this vile, hypocritical, amoral person pontificating on the necessity for civil debate. His language was banal, but in its banality, lurked evil.

One can’t decide if Clinton was speaking ad libitum or reciting a memorized lesson. It sounded like a rehearsed spiel. Perhaps it was a teleprompter he was reading over Tapper’s shoulder, out of camera shot. His focus was on “demonization” he said can motivate people to commit atrocious crimes. He is a product of the Frankfurt social engineering school of politics: men have no real volition, they are just products of their social and economic environment, and not really responsible for their values or actions -- until, mysteriously, a force compels them to make a choice and turn to violence or to utter nasty things about their perceived oppressors.

Except, of course, if they happen to be leftists, Democratic flunkies, the Students for a Democratic Society, Bill Ayers, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and a large company of enemies of capitalism, individual rights, limited government, and civil debate. Then, violence is okay. They’re on the side of the totalitarians and social engineers in government. Their “demonization” and “careless language” are forgiven when by chance they’re remembered.

The Frankfurt School, as readers might remember, was an institution that promoted communism and socialism and heavily influenced especially American academia in virtually all the humanities. Banned in Germany by Hitler, it moved to the U.S. and established the New School for Social Research in New York. It reestablished itself in Germany after the war.

If the Frankfurt School acted as the theoretical arm of socialist/fascist advocacy, Saul Alinsky, Hillary Clinton’s mentor in political action, was its most prominent field agent.

Clinton himself was the Progressive heir to John F. Kennedy. I have kept for years a New York Times full-page photo of 17-year-old Bill Clinton, then a member of the American Legion Boys Club, shaking hands with JFK in the White House Rose Garden in July 1963. I dubbed the photo “Passing the Torch of Fascism.” I kept it to remind me of the link between Clinton’s polices and JFK’s and how those policies, if not questioned and throttled, would continue to be implemented and expanded under Republicans and Democrats alike in the future. During his two terms as president, Clinton and his wife worked to advance statism. According to one fawning article:

Clinton was one of the first in line to shake President Kennedy's hand in the Rose Garden. That event was one of the most important experiences of his youth. After that, he knew he wanted to make a difference in the lives of the people of America by becoming President of the United States.
Again, listening to Clinton ramble on about the consequences of “violence-provoking” rhetoric like a cracker-barrel yahoo in the backwaters of Arkansas, one cannot believe this person is emblematic of the forces that have been working to convert the vestiges of a constitutional republic into a European style socialist “republic” governed by an elective and appointive political elite.

However, a scrutiny of the moral and intellectual depths and make-up of most of our current political leaders -- including Republicans, but especially of the ones in power now, the Democrats -- leaves one the poorer for the effort. They are neither sinister nor brilliant; they exhibit no evidence of being “evil geniuses.” They are “ordinary” in the sense that they are non-intellectual opportunists taking advantage of an absence of reason in politics, a phenomenon of which they are not aware. They are the cockroaches, poisonous centipedes, and maggots who can infest an unoccupied house. There. I’ve demonized Pelosi, Frank, Reid and many more. So, sue me, Bill.

In answer to Tapper’s question about Rush Limbaugh’s charge that, because of a speech Clinton gave about the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing by McVeigh, Clinton would be responsible for future violence, Clinton answered:

The only point I tried to make is that when I went back and started preparing for the 15th anniversary of Oklahoma City, I realized that there were a lot of parallels between the early '90s and now, both in the feeling of economic dislocation, and the level of uncertainty people felt. The rise of kind of identity politics. The rise of the militia movements and the right wing talk radio with a lot of what's going on in the blogosphere now.
That was his opening remark. What an invitation to regulate the Internet.

And in the right wing media, and with Oath Keepers, the 3 percenters, the -- all these people, you know, who are saying things like, "If Idaho wants to succeed [sic] from the union," the militia group out there says, you know, "We'll back them." One leader of one of these groups said that all politics was just a prelude to civil war. And then the politicians of course have not been that serious, but a lot of the things that have been said, they -- they create a climate in which people who are vulnerable to violence because they are disoriented like Timothy McVeigh was are more likely to act.

And the only point I tried to make was that we ought to have a lot of political dissent -- a lot of political argument. Nobody is right all the time. But we also have to take responsibility for the possible consequences of what we say. And we shouldn't demonize the government or its public employees or its elected officials. We can disagree with them. We can harshly criticize them. But when we turn them into an object of demonization, you know, you -- you increase the number of threats. But I worry about these threats against the president and the Congress. And I worry about more careless language even against -- some of which we've seen against the Republican governor in New Jersey, Governor Christie.
As Tony Blankley in Real Clear Politics and Philip Klein in American Spectator note in their incisive articles, this is the “same old, same old” from Clinton’s Alinskyite playbook: check anyone who voices anti-big-government ideas and criticisms by demonizing them in return with suggestions of “probable” violence, sedition, insurrection, or otherwise disturbing the public peace.

Bethania Assy, in her essay on Hannah Arendt’s book, Eichmann in Jerusalem, reports on Arendt’s surprise by how innocuous Adolf Eichmann looked.

Hannah Arendt's first reaction to Eichmann, "the man in the glass booth," was — nicht einmal unheimlich — not even sinister." She argues that "The deeds were monstrous, but the doer ... was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither demonic nor monstrous." Arendt's perception that Eichmann seemed to be a common man, evidenced in his transparent superficiality and mediocrity, left her astonished in measuring the unaccounted evil committed by him, that is, organizing the deportation of millions of Jews to the concentration camps. Actually, what Arendt had detected in Eichmann was not even stupidity, in her words, he portrayed something entirely negative, it was thoughtlessness. Eichmann's ordinariness implied in an incapacity for independent critical thought: "... the only specific characteristic one could detect in his past as well as in his behavior during the trial and the preceding police examination was something entirely negative: it was not stupidity but a curious, quite authentic inability to think."
This is not to suggest that Clinton is or could have become another Eichmann; rather, it is to know that Clinton’s banality -- and that of countless other “ordinary” individuals who have never had an original thought in their entire lives and don’t intend to -- makes possible the kinds of crimes a demonic or monstrous Eichmann could commit. Think of all the political non-entities in Weimar and Nazi Germany whose public pronouncements on politics are forgotten, but whose words helped to move countless thoughtless Germans in the direction of the Third Reich. Clinton, as contemptuous of America as his current successor in office, simply repeated the smear against opposition to Obama’s policies launched by the left and the Democrats. It was indeed a thoughtless iteration of the same charge, solicited by Tapper, a “journalist” far down in the ranks of those who want to believe, rather than think.

Thoughtless? Yes, to the extent that Clinton did not need to remember anything but what he has been told, taught, and was expected to repeat all his life -- and has never questioned. In this instance, on cue from Tapper, he merely weaved the same old bromides and catch phrases of the left into his homey delivery of an answer. He did not need -- and certainly didn’t feel the need to -- to look reflective and check his words, and reply something to the effect:

“Well, you know, all the bad things being said about the Tea Party and Americans being worried about the government, that’s unfair, because none of the people I saw on TV looked like they were about to blow up buildings like Timothy McVeigh did in Oklahoma City, I don’t think these people are disturbed in the way McVeigh was. I think that’s a disgraceful accusation and someone ought to apologize for it. They looked like ordinary, angry Americans who think they’re getting a raw deal from the government, so, who can blame them? I don‘t agree with anything they‘ve said, but they should be allowed to say it without being called racists or bigots or Nazis.”
That’s what Clinton could have said. But didn’t. And couldn’t. He has been credited with being a shrewd politician, able to play sides against each other and come out the winner. But, is that thought, or is it merely the feral instincts of a predator, who “thinks” in terms of pressure points, favors, slander, extortion, arm-twisting, personalities, deceit, fraud, and gaming a corrupt system?

Why was Clinton asked for his thoughts? Because the Left has been searching desperately for an “official” sanction of their unrelenting smear campaign against Americans who oppose the take-over of their lives and wealth by Obama and Congress. And they chose, not so ironically, “Grand Old Man” Bill Clinton, a creature only a little less vile, hypocritical, amoral, power-lusting, and slickly dissimulating than his current successor in the Oval Office. Or, rather, “they” didn’t choose him; he simply fell into line, as did Tapper. Birds of a feather.

Was Tapper part of a conspiracy? Was he asked to solicit Clinton’s all-too-predictable opinion? No. It was just part of the liberal political culture in which Tapper resides. It was as natural for him to pose the question to Clinton as it would be for a priest to query the Pope on a theological matter.

Clinton represents the Left’s conception of a respectable, “disinterested” third-party concurring in his own distinctive style with the notion that “angry rhetoric” and “careless language” pose a threat of violence, and with Obama’s growl that Tea Party dissension should be “toned down.”

The hypocrisy of Clinton, the Democrats, and the Left is the least serious charge one could lay on them. Clinton’s political record is so rife with corruption and underhanded political manipulation it doesn’t need recounting here. I suspect that he deliberately sabotaged his wife’s bid for the Democratic nomination in hopes of foisting Obama on the country; I refuse to believe he is so stupid and gauche to say the things he said during her campaign without meaning his statements to have some consequence. Perhaps that was his vengeance on her and on the country that nominally rejected his and her socialist policies when Al Gore’s bid for power went down in flames in 2000.

The Clinton marriage has always been one of political convenience; I do not think they see each other much, with Bill traveling hither and yon collecting munificent speaking fees and playing the humanitarian, and Hillary globe-trotting doing Obama’s bidding to betray our allies and make friends of tin pot tyrants. That’s her vengeance on the country that rejected her. I believe this conjecture is valid, founded on the characters and whorish behavior of both Clintons in their quest for power.

It is unfortunate that the Democrats and leftists have appropriated the term “demonization.” But, I refuse to argue the issue on the enemy’s terms. A demon, after all, is either an evil spirit intent on causing mischief, or it’s a tormenting anxiety about something. Americans certainly see the Obama agenda as inherently evil and promising nothing but mischief, and they’re right to be anxious to the point of torment that the agenda means them no good.

Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann, to whom Clinton referred when he remarked that some politicians “create a climate in which people who are vulnerable to violence are disoriented,” for example, did not “demonize” the Obama administration and Congress by calling it a “gangster government.” She characterized it, by correctly identifying the key features and consequences of legislative fraud (and gave columnist Michael Barone credit for coining the term; has any Democrat or administration official given Saul Alinsky credit for the smear tactic? They don‘t dare.). Then, it was merely the consequences of the government take-over of General Motors. As it is clear now to anyone with two eyes and a functioning mind -- a mind that is willing to see the ample evidence and is wiling to think -- the term can be applied to the whole of Obama’s administration.

Bill Clinton is a minor but prominent player in the ongoing debacle. His words on the Tea Party and talk radio and Timothy McVeigh were intended to elevate a disgusting smear campaign from blatantly obvious turpitude to the level of righteous moral concern. He opened his mouth and scurrilous words came from it.

We have heard all he said before -- from President Barack Obama, from Nancy Pelosi, from Harry Reid, from Barney Frank, from the New York Times and the Washington Post, and the MSM -- and those are the voices we heard when Bill Clinton spoke.

He sits on the liberal/left lap, and others move his mouth. Mortimer Snerd, anyone?

Crossposted at The Dougout

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