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Death By Victory

from Daniel Greenfield, The Sultan Knish, The Death of The Left

Excerpts:

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.

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Political Ageism

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Byron York writes in The Washington Examiner Why is the 2016 Democratic field so old?

excerpts:

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.”

HKO

The Clintons have a monopoly of power within the Democratic party that excludes fresh and new ideas.

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Political Bud Lite

Don Boudreaux writes in Cafe Hayek Insipidness Guaranteed

Excerpt:

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.

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Evil is Not the Problem

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from The National Review Online Kevin Williamson writes Black Hats and White Hats

Excerpts:

In popular culture, it is a commonplace that we could have cures for AIDS or cancer if not for the greed of doctors and pharmaceutical companies, that we could have cars that run off of sunshine and goodwill if not for the wickedness of the oil barons. Progressive media is entirely captive to the Evil-Man Theory of Everything, and popular left-leaning commentators such as Thom Hartmann are as crude in their illiterate moralism as any 1930s demagogue – indeed, as economic analysis, their views are indistinguishable from those of Father Coughlin.

The tendency festers in some quadrants of the Right as well. It is one thing to believe that Barack Obama, cookie-cutter Ivy League progressive that he is, broadly sympathizes with the critique of American power proffered by Edward Said or any of the other voguish leftists he would have encountered as a student and activist; it is another thing entirely to argue that the United States failed to prevent the emergence of the Islamic State because Barack Obama is a jihadist saboteur. Even if you believe that Barack Obama is a genuinely bad man – a black-hat-wearing SOB – that would not be a sufficient explanation for the defects of his administration or for the failures of American policy abroad.

But we have Republicans and Democrat(s?) announcing their presidential campaigns, so we must revert into pre-adolescence and spend a year and a half enduring black-hat/white-hat baby talk. Keep this in mind: Every time you hear a politician or activist explain that the world is the way it is because villainous so-and-so is the tool of unsympathetic thus-and-such while heroic so-and-so really cares about sympathetic thus-and-such, what you are hearing is about as meaningful as the croaking of poorly educated frogs or explanations based on the four humors, hepatomancy, astrology, or the keen insights of John Oliver, each of which is about as intellectually defensible as the next.

Satan, Snidely Whiplash, or Lloyd Blankfein: It is a comforting myth that the world’s worst problems can be explained by the presence of individual malefactors, because then the solution becomes simple: Burn the witches.

The unhappy truth is that unmitigated evil is not the problem – it’s far worse than that.

HKO

Politics has become a system of belief that requires adherence to a narrative more  than an accountability to results.  As a religion it has a greater need for a demon than a savior.

Populist notions center more on demons than solutions.

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Exploiting Government

hillary-clinton-winking

from the Wall Street Journal, Clinton Cronyism

excerpts:

For those who have followed the Clintons, this is the latest chapter in an old story. Only weeks ago we learned how foreign governments made donations to the family foundation while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State. Even her son-in-law is taking to the family way of doing business, with his hedge fund now benefitting from big investments by the Wall Street friends of Bill and Hillary.

Then again, is anyone really surprised? This is the same woman who as first lady of Arkansas managed to turn a $1,000 investment in cattle futures into $100,000 over 10 months with an assist from some friends.

Liberals like Mrs. Clinton typically berate tea partiers and conservatives for denigrating government. But if American trust in government is at historic lows, this may have something to do with the sight of a Beltway where people become fabulously wealthy not by bringing some superior product or service to market but by cashing in on their political connections.

The Clintons didn’t invent crony capitalism. But when it comes to exploiting government for private gain, nobody does it better.