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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|The President says he will keep his campaign promise and close down Gitmo.|
Congressional Democrats balk, and refuse to fund the move until there's a "plan" for the terrorists there.
The President gets to look "progressive," and like he's keeping his promises no matter how goofy, while a Congress that has looked anything but serious gets to appear reasonable, measured and nearly hawkish.
What a perfect script.
Except that appearances are so far off base from what we've come to expect. Doesn't that seem a tad too convenient?
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and posit that the actual disposition of the terrorists will look an awful lot like a bunch of really dangerous men with hard-to-pronounce names being suddenly and quietly placed in American prisons and given quiet, behind-the-scenes trials in civilian American courts. But it's not going to happen for several months . . .
long after the press has stopped reporting on the "break" between the President and the Congressional leadership. And don't expect Nancy Pelosi to remember the meeting at which she was told about it.
In fact, don't expect the Democrats to talk about this ever again.
|"If I may be so bold, it was a mistake for you to accept promotion. Commanding a starship is your first, best destiny. Anything else is a waste of material." --Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan|
What a brilliant sentiment, from a movie series not really famous for its flights of wisdom! The very idea that limiting yourself or altering the logical trajectory of your life for the purpose of fulfilling your natural gifting would be smart and useful is just not part of the normal discourse in America. But it is a very insightful thought. And it has a deep personal meaning for me. Let me explain . . .
I have, for the last eighteen years, been a teacher in the public schools. And I've loved it--teaching is a great job (wrapped up in a really stupid profession--but that's a story for another day). But for the last several years I've felt like it wasn't quite enough, or maybe it just wasn't quite right. That's why I started to blog. On some level, I thought writing might actually be my "best destiny" that I just missed because I became very single-minded about something back when I was young and stupid. In fact, I still entertain aspirations of writing professionally, to either influence public policy or to change the world in some way. And, sure, maybe that's just the fanciful flight of an "old and stupid" person, but that's okay.
What would have been nice for me would have been to have a little more guidance back when I made that decision so that maybe I could have discoved and made use of writing a long time ago. The logical trajectory of the life I chose back when I was 18 might have needed a little better consideration. A little roadmap, as it were. So, I created just that.
Actually, not so much "I" as "we"--my partner Jay and I have spent the last 19 months writing a book whose sole purpose is to help young people be smarter about the decisions that they make which dictate the course of their lives. "Get It!" will guide youths (ages 16-24) through a process of discovery and self-evaluation which, hopefully,will lead them to make choices for their lives which are based on their innate, God-given passions and gifts, rather than just stumbling forward because the next step seems to be the next logical step. It has been a difficult, but very rewarding process--the natural "A.D.D.-ness" of blogging has been challenged every step of the way, and it has required quite a bit more disclipline than your standard "pajama-clad media" outpost.
But the best part has been actually relying on that set of skills which this blog has honed in me to create something which I hope and believe will change the world.
[warning: shameless self-promotion section coming up]
"Get It!" is the perfect graduation gift, for those of you who have young people in your lives. Even students who seem to have it all figured out could stand to take a few minutes to consider their steps before rushing out into the world! To find out more, and to order a book for yourself, visit the website at http://www.getit-productions.com
[shameless self-promotion section now concluded]
There IS, by the way, a political application for this process. Something about authenticity and connecting with the body politic. I will get into that more in future posts, but for a case study in INauthenticity, can I recommend a little viewing:
|at the news that more Americans are pro-Life than are pro-abortion. |
This is one of those dirty little lies that the Left has relied on for years and years to manipulate the political debate. The tiny little facoid that only 22 percent think abortion should be completely unrestricted flies in the face of the whole tenor of the argument for the last 25 years.
Which begs a question: whyhas the debate been so decidedly distorted? Surely it's not just because of the media.
Is it, just maybe, perhaps, because on this, as on so many issues, our side just has NO CLUE how to argue the point, and so we just concede the ground.
This is a bigger debate than just abortion, and it couldn't come at a more timely moment than the weekend in which the most radically pro-abortion president in history receives an honorary degree from the nation's pre-immenent Catholic university. I think conservatives would make a huge mistake to make this debate exclusively about abortion: this debate needs to be about assumptions, distortions, and truth.
And how the Left has controlled all of those in the public sphere for too long. Every premise upon which a stupid argument is launched needs to be challenged and dismantled--tear down the house of cards upon which the straw man is seated. That's how we get the argument back.
|to have no need for internal consistencies.|
Otherwise applying the same formula as "Once more, with no sense of irony."
Obama: "We need to resist the temptation to fall back on the same bitter partisanship of the past; we need to avoid the same immature extreme partisan responses . . . " blah blah blah
Wanda Sykes: "I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was just so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight . . . Rush Limbaugh — I hope the country fails. I hope his kidneys fail, how about that?“He needs a waterboarding, that’s what he needs.”
White House response: [crickets . . crickets . .]
If the President was ACTUALLY interested in avoiding partisanship, he would avoid bitter personal partisan attacks like this:
Obama: "Dick Cheney was supposed to be here but he is very busy working on his memoirs, tentatively titled 'How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate People,'"
Cheney: "Well, at the heart of what we did with the terrorist surveillance program and the enhanced interrogation techniques for Al Qaida terrorists and so forth was collect information. It was about intelligence. It was about finding out what Al Qaida was going to do, what their capabilities and plans were. It was discovering all those things we needed in order to be able to go defeat Al Qaida.
And in effect, what’s happening here, when you get rid of enhanced interrogation techniques, for example, or the terrorist surveillance program, you reduce the intelligence flow to the intelligence community upon which we based those policies that were so successful."
So you have Dick Cheney making a substantive, serious point about policy issues; and you have the President taking a cheap, immature, personal shot at a private citizen.
And, by the way, the President is, apparantly, on tape somewhere laughing at Wanda Sykes.
So, exactly HOW is the President making an effort to change the tone and raise the level of discourse?
Oh, but wait . . . it's still so early in the administration. He can do all that whenever he wants to, it's just that he's letting his supporters have their moment in the sun. Right?
Sure. And Lyndsey Lohan can get her life in order at any time--she's just enjoying stardom for a while.
The problem, as I argued before the election, is NOT Barack Obama, though he's bad enough. He actually talks like a moderate when he wants to, and may actually have an instinct for broad-based solutions.
The problem is the true believers who are now in charge of Congress and the mid- to high-level jobs in government. THEY actually make policies, implement policies, and enforce policies. And they are who we should be scared of . .
Because I guarantee you they were laughing at Wanda Sykes Saturday night.