The Stain on the GOP

Bret Stephen tries to interject some reason and facts into the campaign but this seems about as welcome as wisdom and experience.

Those of us who thought that such ignorance and prejudice were minor if loud elements of the Republicans have been corrected by Trump and his supporters.  Is it too late for the party to correct this tragedy?   Will a third party relegate the GOP to the dustbin with the Whigs?


from Bret Stephens at the WSJ,  The GOP’s Mexico Derangement (excerpt)

The most serious terrorist attempt to enter the U.S. across a land border occurred in December 1999, when Ahmed Ressam tried to smuggle a bomb into the U.S. from. . . Canada. All 19 of the 9/11 hijackers entered the U.S. with legal visas on scheduled flights. The bride of the San Bernardino attacker came here the same way. No significant act of political violence against the U.S. has been staged from Mexico since Pancho Villa’s raid on Columbus, N.M., in March 1916.

As for ordinary criminals, my colleague Jason Riley has noted that the rate of incarceration in California for foreign-born residents is less than half of the U.S.-born rate. Violent crime in the U.S. fell dramatically during the same two decades, 1990-2010, of an “invasion” of illegal immigrants.

This is a foul electoral season, one conservative voters (or their children) will look back on with political regret and personal remorse. Mr. Trump’s “Mexican” slur about federal judge Gonzalo Curiel is the most shameful word uttered by a major presidential candidate since Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond thundered in 1948 against the “Nigra race.” As in 1948, Mr. Trump is appealing to constituents who have stuffed themselves on a diet of bad statistics and misleading anecdotes—people who fancy themselves victims but behave like bigots. Republican leaders who think they can co-opt or tame Mr. Trump will instead find themselves stained by him.

Political Inactivism

kevin williamson

Kevin Williamson is probably one of the most excerpted writers on Rebel Yid.  I was fortunate to meet him lat year at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas. He has a creative and unconventional way of viewing the great debates. He gets beyond the left and right platitudes.

The entire link merits your viewing.

From Kevin at National Review, Engineering Better Voters:

It isn’t that voters are not profoundly ignorant, it’s just that making them less ignorant isn’t really going to help much on Election Day, because political preferences are not, in the main, a function of knowledge.

Progressives are a funny bunch in that they do sincerely believe that government should be empowered, almost without limitation, to do the will of the People, who are sovereign, but they imagine that the People speak with one voice, or at least that they should speak with one voice. When the People get froggy and refuse to fall in line behind, say, the Affordable Care Act, which the best experts drew up on behalf of the People, who (so the story goes) gave Barack Obama a mandate to reform health care, then something must be wrong. And we all know what that is: Too much debate and too much political discourse including too many voices, some of which — those of Charles and David Koch, for instance — must be silenced in order for the People to be heard as one voice, the way it was intended. (No, we are not allowed to ask: Intended by Whom?) So we arrive at the strange situation in which the Left desires maximal formal participation in democratic processes but heavy restriction of everything ancillary to those processes, most especially political speech.

The cynic might here observe that what’s really going on may be something entirely different, that progressives want more participation by voters because they assume that those new voters will agree with them, and less participation in political discourse because they believe that those new voices are less likely to support them, while conservatives want fewer voters because they believe the ones remaining will be more conservative, while they do not worry about all the new forms of political persuasion because those have been mainly conservative. And it probably is the case that many among our political professionals are exactly that calculating.

What is actually needed is a set of conditions under which fewer questions are decided by democratic politics, which is, even in its highly refined American form, a pretty blunt instrument. Some questions are inherently political, but most are not. We needed a positive act of the federal government to rally the country in making war on the Nazis, but invading Normandy is a different thing from invading the kindergarten toilets in Grover, N.C. I’m with Henry David Thoreau: “I heartily accept the motto,—‘That government is best which governs least;’ and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically.”

Which is to say, there’s a time for political activism, but we could do with a bit of political inactivism, too.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435685/voter-education-futile-exercise

When Opportunity is Turned into Entitlement

Sheldon G. Adelson writes in the Wall Street Journal,  I Didn’t Leave the Democrats. They Left Me There is an anti-Israel movement among the rank and file, and the party no longer appears to value self-reliance, charity and accountability. 11/4/12


My critics nowadays like to claim it’s because I got wealthy or because I didn’t want to pay taxes or because of some other conservative caricature. No, the truth is the Democratic Party has changed in ways that no longer fit with someone of my upbringing.

One obvious example is the party’s new attitude toward Israel. A sobering Gallup poll from last March asked: “Are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?” Barely 53% of Democrats chose Israel, the sole liberal democracy in the region. By contrast, an overwhelming 78% of Republicans sympathized with Israel.

Nowhere was this change in Democratic sympathies more evident than in the chilling reaction on the floor of the Democratic convention in September when the question of Israel’s capital came up for a vote. Anyone who witnessed the delegates’ angry screaming and fist-shaking could see that far more is going on in the Democratic Party than mere opposition to citing Jerusalem in their platform. There is now a visceral anti-Israel movement among rank-and-file Democrats, a disturbing development that my parents’ generation would not have ignored.

Another troubling change is that Democrats seem to have moved away from the immigrant values of my old neighborhood—in particular, individual charity and neighborliness. After studying tax data from the IRS, the nonpartisan Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported that states that vote Republican are now far more generous to charities than those voting Democratic. In 2008, the seven least-generous states all voted for President Obama. My father, who kept a charity box for the poor in our house, would have frowned on this fact about modern Democrats.

As a person who has been able to rise from poverty to affluence, and who has created jobs and work benefits for tens of thousands of families, I feel obligated to speak up and support the American ideals I grew up with—charity, self-reliance, accountability. These are the age-old virtues that help make our communities prosperous. Yet, sadly, the Democratic Party no longer seems to value them as it once did. That’s why I switched parties, and why I’m now giving amply to Republicans.


The Jacksonian Democratic ideal of “opportunity for all, special privileges for none”  has been turned on its head.  Opportunities have been turned into rights and entitlements, and special privileges are profligate as long as they have a green or otherwise politically correct tint.  The Solyndras turned campaign gifts into billion dollar loans and Al Gore is now worth $100 million as his companies get numerous federal grants and loans.  Nancy Pelosi dispensed exemptions from Obamacare to the Democratic cronies. Equal application of the law is not even uttered.

Rebelyid on the Cordoba House Mosque

The zoning of the Mosque is an issue for the city.  We may have an opinion, but it is a local zoning issue.

We either have religious tolerance or we do not.  We either believe in freedom of religion or we do not. We cannot be just a little bit pregnant here. If that site was used to build a church or a synagogue would we have heard a peep? If the answer is no then we are being clearly discriminatory.

Either we hold all Muslims accountable for the action of the few on 9/11 or we do not.  If we do not hold all Muslims accountable then the Mosque should present no dilemma.  If the 9/11 terrorists were all Christian would we hold all Christians accountable?  I hesitate to ask the same question if the terrorists were Jews, because I fear many would hold all Jews accountable.

Much of the language surrounding the Mosque controversy has crossed the bounds of prejudice.  Many of us only hear of Muslims when the news involves terrorist attacks or acts of violence.  Too many seem unaware that moderate Muslims even exist. Examples are Fareed Zakaria and Irshad Manji.  We have allowed the news to feed our prejudices.

Irshad Manji

Newt Gingrich’s analogy is shameful. To compare building a Mosque in New York to Nazis building a memorial at Auschwitz is both morally and intellectually fraudulent.  To suggest that we will allow the Mosque when the Saudis allow churches and synagogues is pure demagoguery. Are we to set our standards by the most repressive examples?  Are we to lead by principle or follow by spite?

Newt Gingrich

A far better analogy was when the Carmelite nuns wanted to build a monastery near Auschwitz and the Jews were offended that another religion would try to usurp what they now considered holy ground. The Pope deferred to the sensitivity of the Jews and pressured the nuns to relocate which they did. The difference is that no single religion is claiming ground zero to be theirs.  Ground Zero is American.

Nuns at Auschwitz

George Bush chose to lead. When 9/11 hit he quickly cautioned America not to hold all Muslims accountable for the actions of a few. Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie understands this.  But clearly many other Republicans do not.

If this building goes forth the next act should be to clear the way for the rebuilding of the St. Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed on 9/11 across the street from the site.

St. Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church before it was destroyed on 9/11

Muslims have a PR problem and many would consider it deserved.  Yes it would be wise to understand the funding sources for this undertaking, but once again we would never ask such from another religious group.  The Muslim religion has a problem that only they can solve.  We can either choose to be open and support the moderate elements or side against the entire religion.

While we are certainly sensitive to the feelings of the victims and their families,  should this have priority over basic principles and local law?

Perhaps this situation should be defused by relocating, but the damage done by the extreme rhetoric on this issue will continue.  It is amazing how many Muslims scholars I have found on Twitter with  the #tcot (top conservative on Twitter) hash tag.  I have learned that Muslims build churches where they have conquered.  Haven’t all churches done this? I have yet to find a bible that could not be used to sanction violence or intolerance in a mind already so predisposed.

Muslims have a real problem confronting and delegitimizing their radical elements.  We do not help them by trying to delegitimize their entire religion.

Zombie Politicians

How would have the Republican establishment have reacted if the tea party candidates had remained in the race or become the sore losers like Charlie Crisp and Lisa Murkowski?  That question led me to the idea of Rebublican Chemotherapy which was published in today’s American Thinker.

A response from one of the readers: (read the comments after the article)

When an employee is fired, and continues to arrive at work, they are arrested as trespassers.If a couple breaks up, and one continues to call and visit the other, a restraining order is obtained. What do we do with these zombie politicians that keep arising from the dead?

I like it when the commenter makes the point better than the article.