Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Pat Buchanan has another most interesting article posted on vdare. Non-Governmental Organizations have rightly drawn the suspicion of various nations. In the US, millionaire George Soros has funded numerous left-wing groups, as have once respectable foundations (see the book by Horowitz on his expose of the Ford Foundation and others with names implying they are above controversy). Some NGOs do improve conditions; some are just political action groups to mobilize unofficial militias. Buchanan recounts reasons to be skeptical of the NGOs.----Hugh Murray
Thursday, March 19, 2015
By HUGH MURRAY
In early November 2014 the Republicans won a decisive victory in the mid-term Congressional elections. Their majority in the House of Representatives was the largest since Herbert Hoover’s smashing victory in 1928, and one seat larger than the famous mid-term victory of the GOP in 1946. Yet, Pres. Obama quickly demonstrated that he would not yield to the changed political atmosphere. Obama, who on numerous previous occasions had declared that he did not have the power to initiate a unilateral amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, in late 2014, proceeded to do just that. Previously, he argued he lacked the power to grant such amnesty, even adding, he was not an emperor. But by late 2014, he was unilaterally granting amnesty to millions of illegals. In 2013 he concluded as President he had no such power, he was not an emperor. In 2014 Obama did it anyway. President Obama?
Congressional Republicans condemned Obama for thus violating the Constitution and then sputtered. They even refused to fund the Homeland Security Agency for more than a month, and when that month elapsed, only for another week, and then, a fully funded the HSA even with funds to handle the amnestied illegals. So the GOP Congress appropriated the money to fund Obama’s “unconstitutional” amnesty.
In November 2014, I thought of two historical analogies – aware that history does not repeat itself directly using the forms and templates of previous eras. But the two analogies seemed helpful in trying to analyze today’s events. Analogy # 1) In 1946 the GOP won both Houses of Congress for the first time in nearly 2 decades. President Truman, the Democrat who succeeded Pres. Franklin Roosevelt upon his death in spring 1945, did not yield to the newly dominant Republican Congress. Truman fought the Congress (and even the courts) pushing the Democratic Party agenda. When Congress refused to pass some of his proposed legislation, he denounced it as “the do-nothing 80th Congress.” When Congress sought to investigate alleged Communists in his administration, Truman denounced the hearings for producing nothing but “red herrings.” Truman planned to seek re-election in 1948. In that year the GOP national convention nominated New York Gov. Thomas Dewey as his opponent and ratified a rather moderate Republican platform. Truman then called Congress back into a special session, asking it to pass some of the “moderate” proposals listed in its platform, like civil rights legislation. The Republican legislature refused to pass such legislation, and Truman again attacked it as the “do-nothing 80th Congress.” Gov. Dewey was assured victory by division within the Democratic Party, so his campaign objective was to avoid controversy and limit himself to platitudes. Truman faced defeat because of the major defections from the Roosevelt coalition: on the right, the pro-segregationist, States’ Rights Democratic Party, popular in several states of the South and led by Govs. Thurmond of South Carolina and Wright of Mississippi; and on the left, FDR’s former Vice President Henry Wallace, and Dem. Sen. from Idaho Glen Taylor, both running on a platform of cooperation with the USSR, which won the endorsements from many unions and the American Communist Party. To the shock of the pollsters, and to the editors of the Chicago Tribune (which ran the headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman”), Truman led the popular vote and won a majority in the Electoral College. In the popular vote, both Wallace and Thurmond received a mere 2.4% each; Dewey 45.1%; while Truman garnered 49.6%. The Democrats also regained both Houses of Congress. Bottom line – Truman’s refusal to cooperate with the hostile Republican Congress gave him issues on which he could run and defeat both the GOP and his Democratic Party defectors in 1948.
Analogy #2 – In the election of 1864 there was weariness with war. Pres. Lincoln’s Administration had cracked down on civil liberties, even placing on trial elected Democratic legislators who openly called for peace with the Confederacy. The American Civil War had become so unpopular in New York City that riots against the draft quickly turned into riots against those who might gain from the war, so even an orphanage for Blacks was burned down to show hostility to Lincoln’s war effort. Who would win the Presidential prize in 1864? Lincoln had won in 1860, but with less than 40% of the popular vote. 60% of the voters then had voted for either 2 Democrats in a divided party, or the Constitutional Union Party. I repeat, in 1860 Lincoln won while NOT receiving a majority of the vote; indeed, 60% of the voters then had voted against him. Who would win in 1864?
The Democrats chose as their leader a popular Union general, George McClellan, who favored continuation of the war, and George Pendleton of Ohio, who favored cessation of the war. The Party Platform was anti-war, and McClellan declined to endorse it. In spring of 1864 a group of radical Republicans gathered in Ohio to nominate a firmer supporter of abolition of slavery than Lincoln; they chose John Fremont of California (he had led the Republican ticket in 1856) and John Cochrane of New York to lead their new party ticket. Lincoln’s faction, now trying to expand its appeal to war Democrats, called itself the National Union Party, dropped Maine Republican VP Hamlin, and nominated Lincoln of Illinois, and war Democrat (and former slave-holder) Andrew Johnson of Tennessee. By September, the Fremont ticket, (finding it more important to defeat the anti-war Democrats) withdrew in favor of Lincoln. Also, in the fall, the Union armies scored major victories over the Confederates, including that of Atlanta. In November McClellan and the Democrats lost to the National Union ticket of Lincoln and Johnson. Lincoln not only won a majority of the popular vote, 55%, in the Electoral College he overwhelmed McClellan 212 to 21.
In Lincoln’s second Inaugural address, 4 March 1865, he called for malice toward none, and charity for all, and on 11 April in a speech Lincoln proposed voting rights for some of the freed men. On 15 April Lincoln was assassinated by John W. Booth, who had heard both of Lincoln’s recent addresses. Imagine the revolutionary aspects of Lincoln’s modest proposal – from the Supreme Court’s decision of 1857 in Dred Scott that Blacks had no rights that whites had to respect, to some 180,000 Black troops in the Union army during the war, to the possibility of some of them voting. To the assassination conspirators, this was too much change too soon. Now Lincoln was dead and Andrew Johnson, war Democrat, was President. What would be the future of the nation? Of the rebel states, now that the Civil War was concluding? And the role of the Freedmen?
As the Confederacy collapsed, should the rebellious states be readmitted to the Union? Although in the 1864 election both Louisiana and Tennessee (where Johnson had been military governor) had sent votes to be counted in the Electoral College for the National Union ticket, Congress chose not to count their votes in the total. Would illiterate Blacks be permitted to vote? In the North, many states did not permit Blacks to vote. What about the confiscation of large plantations because their owners had been found guilty of treason? Some thought those lands should be given to the Freedmen, the basis for the hoped-for 40 acres and a mule. Soon there developed a tug-of-war on these and related issues between President Johnson and the Republicans in Congress. Even before the mid-term elections of 1866, in New Orleans a meeting of Blacks and sympathetic whites to press for Black voting rights was disrupted – with many killed - by a mob in which the city’s police chief partook – and he was a former Confederate veteran. In the South, should those who fought for the Union now be slaughtered by those who had fought for the Confederates? A similar mob attacked the pro-Black, pro-Republican organization in Memphis. News of these massacres galvanized support for a more thorough-going, radical reconstruction for the South. In the North, Radical Republicans made heavy gains. In the South, many old Confederates were re-elected. The Radicals refused to allow the pro-Confederates to be seated. President Johnson meanwhile was granting amnesty to plantation owners, who could then regain their citizenship, voting rights, and property.
The question was not merely who would control the South politically; it was which party would control the nation. In the past, slaves had only been counted as 3/5 of a person for the census, and in allocating seats in the House of Representatives. With the end of slavery, Blacks would count the same as whites in the census. But if Blacks were not permitted to vote in the South, then the pro-rebel Democrats would return to the national Congress with more power than they had before the war! If most whites were Democrats in the South, then it became imperative for the survival of the GOP to strive for Black voting rights in the South.
This is not the place to recount all of Reconstruction history. Johnson impeded the Republicans on most issues. He prevented land redistribution. He and Congress had opposite aims, opposite visions for the Reconstruction of the South, and of the nation. The result – Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives, but not found guilty by one vote in the Senate. He remained President but had no chance of being nominated in 1868 by the Republicans, and the Democrats rejected his candidacy also.
So, Scenario #2, will the gulf between Pres. Obama and the Republican Congress result in impeachment proceedings against Obama and the diminishing of his powers during his remaining days as President? Or even his removal as President?
I had originally intended to write this article with the 2 templates, Truman fights and defeats the 80th Congress, and the Radical Republican Congress fights and defeats Andrew Johnson through impeachment and restricting his power.
But since November 2014 politics have taken a surprisingly confrontational aura. In his years in office, Obama may not have been the first to use government to persecute his enemies, but he has expanded this approach, which is only becoming better known now. These quantitative increases in the use of government to harm those on Obama’s enemies list, may be reaching a point of a qualitative change in the nature of the American government. The power of President Obama seems to be increasing beyond that of any President.
One may argue that the Northern states were subjected to a kind of dictatorship under President Lincoln. The capital itself, when he arrived to become president, was surrounded by slavery, in Virginia across the Potomac River, in the state of Maryland, which was a slave state, and even in the District itself. In 1862 Congress enacted the compensated emancipation act so slavery in the nation’s capital would end. But there was such pro-Confederate sympathy in Maryland that Union troops were victims of rock-throwing rebs as they marched through the state to defend the nation’s capital. As the war progressed, Lincoln ignored courts, imprisoned opponents, and restricted many forms of civil liberties. At one point in the war, Grant gave Jews in a large area as large as a state (part of Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee around Memphis) 24 hours to get out of the territory under his command. Lincoln immediately countermanded Grant’s order. It was war, civil war, and Lincoln had almost dictatorial powers. Furthermore, Lincoln, as President, unilaterally issued an order that would result in perhaps the largest confiscation of “private property” in American history when he issued – as a war measure – the Emancipation Proclamation. Although originally quite limited in scope, it would expand with Northern victories, to terminate slavery in the United States. (I do not maintain that all dictatorial actions are wrong.) Even with Lincoln’s dictatorial efforts, nevertheless, elections continued, and they were free enough so that Lincoln assumed he might be defeated for re-election in 1864.
Democratic President Woodrow Wilson ignored civil rights and civil liberties during WWI. The “Hun” was across the ocean, but any pro-German, or anti-war voices were quickly silenced, including that of the leader of the Socialist Party, Eugene Debs, who had received some 6% of the national vote for president in 1912. When Debs ran again, in 1920, he ran from a prison cell, and had a poster displaying his face behind bars.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected president during the Great Depression, and his administration greatly expanded the role of the federal government. Some of his measures were aimed at curtailing competition, and one, the National Industrial Recovery Act, was modeled to some extent on the corporate approach developed by Mussolini and his Fascists in Italy. The American Supreme Court struck down that law. Meanwhile, to raise farm prices, the US Government required the slaughter of pigs and destruction of grains. FDR used the IRS to bully his opponents, and by the later 1930s, used the FBI to monitor and then incarcerate Nazi elements. With cooperation of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, the pro-Axis Father Coughlin’s radio voice was silenced, and his National Union for Social Justice (what a great name for the Obama followers!) suppressed. After the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor, there were demands to round up all Japanese, even those born in the US and American citizens. Liberal Republican Earl Warren favored the round up, as did most of FDR’s Administration. The liberal American Civil Liberties Union was silent. Only FBI director J. Edgar Hoover opposed the policy of sending the Japs to concentration camps, but he followed the orders of his superiors. Happily, some in FDR’s Administration did not tell their superiors everything, for they had uncovered the transmission of numerous coded wires from America to the USSR. Eventually, some would be decrypted, and Communist spy networks revealed. When an advisor, Adolf Berle, told FDR that Alger Hiss and others were Soviet spies, the President told Berle to go f*** yourself. (Ann Coulter, Treason, p. 18) Many important figures in the FDR Administration were working with Soviet intelligence. Had FDR known about the American interceptions of these spies’ wires, FDR might have shut down the project so as to demonstrate friendship with our then Soviet ally (and the Soviet espionage could then continue unobserved). The Federal Government expanded enormously under FDR, from rationing for gasoline and sugar, to Social Security. Although he was elected 4 times as President, he was only a president, not a dictator. Some of the growth of government was due to the fact the US was engaged in a 2-ocean war against major opponents.
Obama’s Administration, on one level, is also a war presidency – war residue of the Bush eras in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo. However, have the policies of Barack Hussein Obama, pro-Muslim policies, been successful? His first Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton, had as one of her major advisors a woman with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. Huma Abedin was also the wife of a New York elected official, Anthony Wiener, who made headlines when he sent naked photos of himself from his mobile phone to young women. Some think that the American government worked with Muslim groups like the Brotherhood, and with Non-Government Organizations, some funded by left-wing millionaire George Soros, to promote change in the Middle East. The wintry planting bore fruit with the Arab Spring. Beginning in Tunisia, and spreading to Syria, Libya, and Egypt. Obama and the American liberal media cheered these events, even though there were ominous signs of things to come. Even during the celebrations leading to the overthrow of America’s old ally in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, the attractive, blond CBS reporter, Lara Logan, had her clothes ripped from her body and she was sexually assaulted among the mass of revelers. Elections brought to power the Muslim Brotherhood. Jews fled Egypt. Christians, some 10% of the Egyptian population, became targets under the new “democratic” government of Mohamed Morsi. Churches were burnt, Christian faithful were beaten, some killed by the new Muslim fanaticism that reigned. Some of the new Muslim leaders even proposed destroying the pyramids, as they were reminders of a pagan, pre-Prophet past. When the Egyptian army, tired of such persecutions, ousted Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, and installed the military leader Abdel al-Sisi, Obama responded by cutting off some of the American aid to Egypt. Obama preferred the Muslim Brotherhood in power! Obama and Sec. Hillary Clinton apparently were involved in the overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Khadafy, another part of the Arab Spring. But when Muslim extremists began an attack on the American Ambassador in Benghazi, Hillary and Obama did nothing to save him or the few Americans who rushed to his defense. And when the murders became news in the US, Obama and Hillary lied to the American people, to the UN, and even in a paid ad on Pakistani television, blaming a Coptic Christian form Egypt, then living in California, who had made a film satirizing Mohammad. The Obama policies in the Middle East have resulted in disaster, most recently with the growth of ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has spread to Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, and even central Africa.
The Obama Administration ignores Congress (except to attack it for not doing what the President wants), denigrates Israel, and prefers an entente with the Islamic Republic of Iran – whose goal is the destruction of the “great Satans,” Israel and the United States. The Obama Adm. seems incapable of destroying ISIS and its new Caliphate. The Obama Adm. even refuses to denounce the terrorist enemies as Islamic.
Obama began his Presidency with a pronouncement that his would be the most transparent administration in American history. It has been the opposite. Obama pretended he was unaware that the IRS was harassing and persecuting conservatives until he saw it in the media. We are supposed to believe that his appointees were doing this on their own. Then the IRS lost emails when Congress was investigating the unfair actions by the bureau. Then the IRS found at least some of the emails. And the center of the controversy at IRS, Lois Lerner, was then granted a bonus of over $100,000. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder’s Justice Department began its first days by dropping charges of voter intimidation against the New Black Panther Party (it was not trying to intimidate Democratic voters). One of the members of the NBPP who engaged in the intimidation was seen on video on other occasion calling for the killing of white men, white women, and white babies. (But according to the Leftist ideology dominant in the DoJ, Blacks, by definition, cannot be racist!) Holder’s DoJ consistently refused to enforce the law equally against Blacks and whites, always tipping the scales of “justice” in favor of Blacks. In a more recent example, Holder and Obama helped make the shooting of a violent thug, who had just bullied a clerk and stolen from a convenience store in Ferguson, Missouri, into an international example of racism. They promoted hatred of the “racist” police. Eventually, even the DoJ report could find no reason to condemn the white cop who shot the 300-pound unarmed but dangerous Michael Brown. Instead, the DoJ condemned the police dept. of Ferguson because Blacks were arrested at a higher rate than their percentage of the population. But that is true in practically every town and city in the US (and possible in most cities throughout the world). The reason is not necessarily racism; the reason is Blacks commit more crimes. So by Holder’s yardstick, the DoJ could investigate any police dept. in the nation, deem it “racist,” and have a federal takeover of all local police organizations. The road to a national police, a very political national police force is being laid by Holder and Obama.
After the elections of November 2014, Obama announced his Presidential amnesty of perhaps 5 million illegal aliens. In years prior, when he was asked to do so, he replied that he did not have the power to do it; “I am not an emperor.” Apparently Obama has reconsidered – especially the latter statement.
I have already posted on this site about Obama’s treason. His Administration knew there would be an influx of thousand of teens from Central America, via Mexico, but instead of preventing the invasion, Obama’s Administration colluded with the invaders, even advertising months before the big thrust for escorts to guide the youthful invaders.
The phrase “imperial Presidency” has circulated for years, but often it referred to the global reach of America’s power – led by the President. Under Obama, while America’s military might shrinks on the world stage, the President becomes ever more imperial. He ignores the laws. He unilaterally changes Obamacare. He has his Administration target enemies of harassment, even when they comply with the law. He uses bureaucrats and regulations to ignore, extend, or violate laws as written – so long as it is in accord with Obama’s policies. Now, he wants to use regulators, not to reinvent the internet, but to prepare for restrictions of content. He seeks to circumvent the Constitutional rights of gun owners by pressuring ammunition manufacturers to halt production. And then, with liberal Republicans, there were attempts to restrict purchases of sodas, and more, to prevent school children from enjoying a tasty lunch, etc.
When quantitative change reaches a certain point, the result is qualitative change – ice becomes water – water becomes steam.
Truman fought the Republican 80th Congress, denounced it in 1948, and won re-election of the Republican Thomas Dewey.
Andrew Johnson defied the Radical Republican Congress after the Civil War and roused such hostility over the future of the South, the freedmen, and the nation, that he was impeached and powers restricted.
Obama seems to be following a 3rd path – denounce the Republican Congress, ignore the law, ignore the Constitution, increase the American population with millions of illegal invaders, who will receive education, Obamacare, affirmative action preferences for placement in university, jobs, promotions, etc. They will also receive fast track for drivers’ licenses, citizenship, and the possibility to vote as soon as possible (another reason Democrats try to overturn any voter ID laws). True, the Constitution now prevents anyone from running for President for a 3rd term. But what if the people really want him to run again? Especially, the millions of “new” Americans amnestied by Obama. And Obama is not that old. And the Constitution is too old, too out of date with the new America. The “new” Americans will certainly want to show their gratitude to Obama. Moreover, Obama already snidely implied that Hillary has an old car smell. Still, if the opposition remains too strong to allow Obama to run for a 3rd term, then what about Michelle as our first woman President? From Emperor to Empress?