EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for February 12, 2010
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1. Palin Fear
1. Palin Fear
A lot of us have wondered why Obama spokestoad Robert Gibbs has been taking every available opportunity to belittle Sarah Palin. It is always unseemly when a paid representative of the President uses his position and taxpayer time to slag on a private citizen or a new organization. Unseemly, of course, is part of the ambiance that you get with the current administration but the frequency of Gibbs’ criticisms stood out even by the cesspool standards of the White House press operation.
Today what we’ve long suspected was the truth has been revealed. The White House fears Sarah Palin.
America’s 42nd president, Bill Clinton, was reportedly hospitalized with chest pains this afternoon in New York. Hopefully he’ll be fine, but naturally any threat to his health puts one in mind of the man’s legacy as a two-term president.
What struck me is this: when he was president, there was endless debate about Bill Clinton. Was he a liberal at heart who tacked to the center for pragmatic reasons, or was he essentially a moderate? Was he wasting his prodigious political talents, or was campaigning all he really knew to do well anyway? Did he revive liberalism from its decline, or validate the Reagan Revolution?
But nine years after he left office, as his presidency begins to recede into history and his party has passed to new leadership, this much is clear: it doesn’t matter anymore what Clinton’s intentions were, or what his talents were, or what he believed in. It doesn’t matter anymore who was up or who was down in his Administration, or who leaked what to which newspaper, or how he went about making decisions. It doesn’t matter who the public blamed or what the polls said. It doesn’t matter what Clinton said, either – we remember a few stock phrases (other than the embarrassing ones about his various scandals, probably his most enduring line was his campaign’s standing reminder to then-candidate Clinton that “It’s the economy, stupid”).
What matters from the Clinton Administration is what the president and his Administration did, and what it failed to do.
I have to admit I am something of a skeptic about the Tea Party movement for a lot of reasons. This is not to say that I’m not also a skeptic about the GOP but only to say that spontaneous eruptions of political enthusiasm through modern history have more frequently been associated with disillusionment and disengagement (see Perot, Ross) and atrocities (see French Revolution) than they have been with lasting political change.
Yesterday I pointed out an anti-Second Amendment speaker who was allowed to share center stage at the National Tea Party Convention with a birfer. The problem there, at least at first blush, was the absence of a mechanism to vet speakers.
Today, by way of Ed Morrissey at HotAir, I want to direct your attention to Texas and Debra Medina.
Remember back when the left was freaking out about about the NSA terrorist surveillance program initiated by George Bush (in the wake of 9-11) whereby the NSA was authorized by executive order to monitor phone calls and other communications involving known or suspected terrorists (or their associates) coming into or going out of the United States without a warrant?
From time to time it wouldn’t hurt if conservatives compiled and published a list of just what makes up American exceptionalism. I say this for two reasons. One, progressive bloggers and writers seem unable or unwilling to provide a list of just what their banner standsfor, and God knows Bernie’s tried to yank it out of them. Still there seems to be this unspoken understanding among Left-wing believers that they are all on the same page. I doubt they are, even in the higher reaches of academe, except for that one thing we’ve discussed before, and that is the things they are against, the things they hate…which by and large is achievement by people they consider to be beneath them. I doubt most will admit this, or even know it. Lenin knew exactly what he was talking about when he used the term “useful idiots”…which incidentally, is what they think of conservatives.
So I think conservatism should go them one better. For young conservatives especially, it’s important to know just where this train’s going before getting on board.
But more importantly, even amidst a battle that has been going on several years now, the most prominent aspect of American exceptionalism, the one that really hushes the Left, I’ve found, is almost never mentioned anymore by prominent members of out cause.
Let me explain.