from Daniel Greenfield, The Sultan Knish, The Death of The Left
What can the left achieve when it no longer has to worry about a conservative opposition, budgets, democracy or any other obstacle to its great dreams? Cities filled with old men and women who never had children. Cities filled with young men and women who will never marry, who are still working on their fourth degree without ever having held a job. Cities filled with multi-generational welfare recipients who are also the only ones having children. Cities owned by foreign nations from their historic buildings to their imported booming populations. That was the great accomplishment of a united Europe.
No children, no jobs and no future. No great works, no civilizational progress and no golden age.
What stakes are to a vampire, victory is to the left. The left gains its creative energies from fighting against authority. Its entire reason for existing is to resist. In triumph, its writers become prostitutes for authority, its heroes become tyrants and its myths die on propaganda posters dissolving in the gutter.
The left gains its ideological legitimacy from reform. But what happens when it becomes the entity in need of reform? Then reform dies and the word comes to be used as a euphemism for oppression. All the ideas die while the slogans march on like zombies. Radicals kill and then are killed. The men and women who used to fill the gulags, die in them instead. Lenin becomes Stalin becomes Khrushchev.
The left has won and victory is killing it. It’s a slow miserable death for it, and for us.
from Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal, Israel Alone
In other words, Mr. Obama is bequeathing not just a more dangerous Middle East but also one the next president will want to touch only with a barge pole. That leaves Israel alone to deal as best as it can with a broadening array of threats: thousands more missiles for Hezbollah, paid for by sanctions relief for Tehran; ISIS on the Golan Heights; an Iran safe, thanks to Russian missiles, from any conceivable Israeli strike.
The second reason follows from the first. Previous quarrels between Washington and Jerusalem were mainly about differing Mideast perceptions. Now the main issue is how the U.S. perceives itself.
Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, every U.S. president took the view that strength abroad and strength at home were mutually reinforcing; that global security made us more prosperous, and that prosperity made us more secure.
Then along came Mr. Obama with his mantra of “nation building at home” and his notion that an activist foreign policy is a threat to the social democracy he seeks to build. Under his administration, domestic and foreign policy have been treated as a zero-sum game: If you want more of the former, do less of the latter. The result is a world of disorder, and an Israel that, for the first time in its history, must seek its security with an America that, say what it will, has nobody’s back but its own.
Byron York writes in The Washington Examiner Why is the 2016 Democratic field so old?
In 2008, Democrats had a 47 year-old candidate who mesmerized the party and ran away with the votes of Americans aged 18 to 29. Republicans, meanwhile, ran a 72 year-old man whose reputation was based on heroism in a war 40 years earlier. Youth won.
This time the situation is reversed. The average age of the Republican field is far below the Democrats, with every candidate younger than Clinton. The most senior is Jeb Bush, who will be 64 on Inauguration Day. Scott Walker will be 49; Marco Rubio will be 45; Ted Cruz, 46; Rand Paul, 54; Chris Christie, 54; Mike Huckabee, 61; Bobby Jindal, 45. Although Bush is in the older range, they’re all in the career sweet spot to win the White House.
What accounts for the Democrats’ dramatic change from the party of youth to the party of age?
“It’s the snuffing out of young talent by the strength and size and sheer velocity of the inevitable nominee,” says a well-connected Democratic strategist. “The Clintons took all the air out of the collective Democratic room. There are a lot of people who would be running who are much younger, but they’ve got their future in front of them, and they don’t want the Clintons to ruin it, in this campaign or after this campaign. So they’re waiting for a moment when there is enough oxygen to run.”
The Clintons have a monopoly of power within the Democratic party that excludes fresh and new ideas.
Don Boudreaux writes in Cafe Hayek Insipidness Guaranteed
It’s intriguing that the people who most self-righteously criticize the likes of McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch, pop rock, and builders of ‘cookie-cutter’ houses for being bland and failing to experiment with the Bold and the Edgy – those who condemn conformity, sneer at the crowds in Wal-Mart, and trumpet their devotion to diversity – are especially likely to be among those who glorify politics and to find in democratic elections the possibility of transcendence and of discovering and empowering the bold, the different, and the courageous trend-bucking leader.
No one should be surprised that candidates for the U.S. presidency transact mostly in platitudes and are forever performing deeds on the campaign trail that any self-respecting person with independent judgment and a genuine sense and appreciation of his or her uniqueness would never in a million years dream of doing. And the closer a candidate gets to the political promised land, the more intense becomes the pressure for him or her to be the political equivalent of a Bud Lite.