You Can’t Outleft the Left : Daniel Greenfield

The dominant struggle of the 20th Century was the attempt to reconcile the growth of industrial economies with the social welfare demands of the left. The various attempts to “Steal the Thunder” of the left by adopting its social programs led to horrors such as Nazism on the one hand and the growth of the welfare state on the other.

Communism was finally defeated by adopting its program. The national battle against a Russian
Communist empire was won while the domestic struggle against the left was lost.

The welfare state created a fifth column of bureaucrats and recipients to act as the left’s electorate. Instead of stealing the left’s thunder, they subsidized the triumphant long march of the left.

The liberal Republican prescription is still to Outleft the left, adopting some of its more popular ideas and social policies in a more sensible fashion. And they have never understood that the strategy, even when it succeeds in the short term, is doomed. You don’t win by making your enemy stronger. The left understands that. That is why it’s strategies once in power involve deepening and expanding its institutional power while destroying those of the right.

The temptation to Outleft the left is always there and always doomed because adopting the ideas and positions of the left means that you have already lost.

“Our Idols and Ourselves” Elizabeth Scalia Unmasks the False Gods of Everyday Life. By Kathryn Jean Lopez

In “those rare moments when we find ourselves alone and the gadgetry silent, we feel we are at a loss,” Elizabeth Scalia writes in Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life. “With nothing to distract us, we come face to face with a keening emptiness.” Scalia, known on the Internet as “The Anchoress,” says that “silence” can be “terrifying” then. ”But only because it lays bare our loneliness, our self-recriminations, and our doubts. Possessing nothing that is equal to those depths, we sense the need to distract ourselves and the cycle begins to churn again.”

Sound familiar? Read on. Scalia talks with NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez about her new book.

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: What’s so “strange” about the idols of modern American life?

ELIZABETH SCALIA: Perhaps primarily what is strange about our idols — beyond the fact that they are strange gods we were never meant to place before the Creator — is that they are so interior to us. When you mention an idol, the first image most people will conjure up is the golden calf the Hebrews created while Moses was on the mountain. It was an external thing, something outside of the people themselves — and they understood the God of Abraham to be outside of themselves, too. We are more sophisticated in our understanding, now — so comfortable with the notion of “God within” that we barely think what it means.

We may still have idols residing outside of ourselves — if we allow our things, our possessions and creations to stand between us and God, and to essentially own us — but we are very adept at burnishing the godlings of the mind, the ideas and opinions and beliefs formed interiorly. These are petted and loved and fed, and they grow directly in proportion to how much we indulge them, until they become the object of our enthrallment and the entity we serve. If our ideology, for instance, has become an idol, then we nourish it by reading only what suits our point of view; we speak and gather with only those who think as we think; we visit websites that echo our thoughts back to us, until we lose sight of anything beyond it — even the humanity of the one who does not conform to our beliefs. We begin to serve the idol of the idea, alone.

LOPEZ: Do you come close to sacrilege when you write, “As a Catholic priest stands ‘in persona Christi,’ Obama stood, ‘in persona meum’” in 2008? Was it so in 2012, too? Now?

SCALIA: Wow, that’s a big question. Sacrilege? No, I don’t think so. It is a rather apt comparison. As a Catholic, I believe that a priest truly does stand “in persona Christi,” and as a living, breathing observer of the world, I do believe that for some people, in 2008, Obama was a personification of the wonderfulness of themselves, made manifest. And I think Obama would agree. In The Audacity of Hope Obama wrote, “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” He completely got the idol thing; he knew he was an idol, and in 2008 he brilliantly exploited it. The grandiose speech in Germany, the Greek columns behind him at the Democratic National Convention — Obama, I believe, understood that these events and props were as much meant to flatter his admirers as to shape world opinion. People who thought themselves smart, urbane, sophisticated globalists saw themselves shining in Obama, just as the Hebrews saw their reflections coming back to them with the golden calf. There is a line from the musical Evita: “I came from the people/ they need to adore me/ so Christian Dior me/from my head to my toes.” The idol flatters the idolator. The idolator wants to be flattered.

And by the way, in 2008, the idol-as-candidate model was also true on the right, but it was the veep candidate, Sarah Palin, and not John McCain, who was the adorable reflector: People looked at Palin, with her despised non-Ivy degree and her “you betcha” ways and her blue-collar background, and they saw themselves, their values. When she was savaged by the media, they saw themselves being savaged, and they got to the point where they — like the Obama lovers — would not tolerate a negative word said about her. Palin, quite unlike Obama, didn’t realize she was an idol until after the election, when her patina quickly rubbed away.


Diana West’s American Betrayal [1] — a remarkable, novel-like work of sorely needed historical re-analysis — is punctuated by the Cassandra-like quality of “multi-temporal” awareness. Cassandra, during her scene from Aeschylus’ Agamemnon [2], is possessed with the unique ability to visualize past and present, and even to augur future events, all as if they were happening in the present. There is a terrifying quality to Cassandra’s intensity, her peculiarly broad, profound, and temporally extended knowledge, and the directness with which it is conveyed. But West, although passionate and direct, is able to convey her profoundly disturbing, multi-temporal narrative with cool brilliance, conjoining meticulous research, innovative assessment, evocative prose, and wit.

American Betrayal [3] chronicles the nation’s original subversion by Communist totalitarianism — the ugly, watershed “Big Lie” event being U.S. recognition of the Soviet Union in November 1933 despite knowing the Ukrainian terror-famine (see Robert Conquest’s The Harvest of Sorrow [4]) orchestrated by Stalin’s Communist regime had already killed four to six million souls. Having long since crossed that ignominious threshold, West argues, it is easy to fathom how we are currently being subverted by the contemporary “Big Islamic Lie,” which romanticizes totalitarian Islam [5].

FDR, in a blatant lie designed to justify massive Lend-Lease aid to the Soviets, praised the USSR (in 1941) for its “freedom of conscience, freedom of religion,” which he further claimed was comparable to “what the rule is in this country [i.e., the U.S.].” Six decades later, George W. Bush mendaciously bowdlerized the timeless, global aspirations of Islam to impose its universal totalitarian system, Sharia (Islamic law), via jihad [6] when sanctioning the American response to the mass-murdering jihadist terror attacks of 9/11. Addressing the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. on September 17, 2001, Bush opined [7]:

The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.

By 2003, President Bush had fully embraced the delusive [8] (and self-contradictory [9]) Bernard Lewis Doctrine [10], which, squandering precious U.S. blood and enormous U.S. treasure, empowered the forces of Sharia to foster Islamic “democracy.” Similarly, FDR’s massive material and propagandistic support of Stalin’s Soviet transnational state abetted the metastasis of Communist “democracy” during the World War II era.

Despite its momentum, the grotesque transition to the acceptance (and at times blatant agitprop hagiography; see the 1943 film Mission to Moscow, aka “Submission to Moscow”) of Soviet Communism, which Diana West painstakingly details, was not seamless or uninterrupted. She also brings forth the countervailing efforts of a pantheon of brave, albeit isolated (and at times understandably shrill) truth tellers about Communism, Communist subversion, and Communist depredations: journalists and writers/educators (including ex-Communist apostates, or ex-fellow-travelers) such as Eugene Lyons, Gareth Jones, Malcolm Muggeridge, Fred Beal, William Wirt, J.B. Matthews, Victor Kravchenko, Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley, Louis Budenz, Arthur Koestler, George Orwell, Max Eastman, Hanson Baldwin, Edward Kennedy [the AP and Atlantic Magazine journalist], Vladimir Petrov, Albert Konrad Herling, David J. Dallin, Boris Nikolaevsky, Elinor Lipper, Julius Epstein, Robert Conquest, Claire Stirling, Joseph D. Douglass, Tim Tzouliadis, M. Stanon Evans, Herbert Romerstein, Yuri Besmenov, Vasili Mitrokhin, Vladimir Bukovsky, and of course Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; military leaders, and intelligence officers and analysts including George Racey Jordan, Albert C. Wedemeyer, John Van Vliet, and Mark W. Clark; jurists Robert H. Jackson and Irving R. Kaufman; and politicians/staff lawyers, ambassadors, federal law enforcement, and even State Department officials, such as Martin Dies, Robert Stripling, Pat McCarran, Joseph McCarthy, Ronald Reagan, William Bullitt, George Earle, J. Edgar Hoover, Robert Kelley, Roy Atherton, Raymond Murphy, and Loy Henderson.

‘Model’ Muslim State Turkey Accelerates Towards Tyranny Posted By Ozgur Yilmaz It first begins with a peculiar, bitter smell. As you inhale, it starts to burn your throat, your eyes get red and you start to cry. Then it becomes difficult to breathe. You feel suffocated. Get sufficiently exposed, and you may faint or even die. These are the effects of pepper spray, the chemical […]

A ruling against the NYPD’s successful ‘stop, question and frisk’ policy would be sure to inspire lawsuits in other cities.

A racial-profiling lawsuit over the New York Police Department’s “stop, question and frisk” policies is now in the hands of a judge whose decision is expected within weeks. Many New Yorkers watched the two-and-a-half-month trial nervously, concerned that a ruling against the NYPD by U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin could spell an end to a police practice that helped the city achieve an astonishing drop in violent crime.

But non-New Yorkers would do well to worry about the case too. A decision against the NYPD would almost certainly inspire similar suits by social-justice organizations against police departments elsewhere. The national trend of declining crime could hang in the balance. And the primary victims of such a reversal would be the inner-city minorities whose safety seems not to figure into attempts to undermine successful police tactics.

New York-style policing—including the practice of stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking individuals engaged in suspicious behavior—ought be the city’s most valued export. Since the early 1990s, New York has experienced the longest and steepest crime drop in the modern history of policing. Murders have gone down by nearly 80%, and combined major felonies by nearly 75%. No other American metropolis comes close to New York’s achievement. Bostonians are twice as likely to be murdered as New Yorkers, and residents of Washington, D.C., three times as likely.

TAMAR JACOBY:Guest Workers Are the Best Border Security ****

With the Senate beginning debate this week on the immigration reform bill, border security will be one of the most contentious issues. Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) argues at every opportunity that “immigration reform hinges on border security,” and he isn’t wrong. But physical control of the border can go only so far in preventing illegal immigration. At least as important is finding a way for immigrants to work here legally. That’s where a guest-worker program is crucial.

The U.S. workforce is changing. Americans are having smaller families, and birthrates are well below replacement level. Baby boomers are retiring: 10,000 leave the workforce every day. Younger workers coming up behind them are much more educated than earlier generations. In 1950, according to the Census Bureau, 56% of U.S. workers were high-school dropouts. Today, the figure is less than 5%.

The result is that the pool of people available to fill low-skilled jobs has shrunk dramatically. It is not so much that the native born don’t want to work as busboys, farmhands or nurse’s aides. But the overwhelming majority of Americans are now overqualified for these jobs and have other options. Meanwhile, less-skilled immigrants with no family in the U.S. have no way—no access to a visa program—to enter the country legally and work in year-round jobs. This is why so many immigrants have flowed into the country illegally in recent decades and remain here, underground.

The challenge facing Congress is to create a better system—one that works for willing immigrant workers and willing employers, replaces the current illegal influx with a legal labor force, and protects the rights of Americans who are looking for low-skilled jobs.

College President Gives His Blessings for Illegal Act By Eileen F. Toplansky

In the Spring 2013 Lehman Today magazine of Lehman College, a CUNY 4-year college located in the Bronx, New York, one learns that Melissa Garcia-Velez, class of 2014, has been “advocating for the rights of undocumented immigrant youth” since early in her freshman year. In 2010, Garcia-Velez “stepped up to create the Lehman DREAM Team, the first student-run support group for undocumented students on campus.”

As a result of her efforts, her advocacy work “quickly turned into a bigger effort to advance civic engagement throughout the Lehman College community.” Consequently, she was “awarded the prestigious Newman Civil Fellowship, which honors inspiring college student leaders who are actively involved in solving challenges facing communities across the nation.” How ironic that at the Newman Civil site, the vision statement reads as follows (emphasis added):

Campus Compact envisions colleges and universities as vital agents and architects of a diverse democracy, committed to educating students for responsible citizenship in ways that both deepen their education and improve the quality of community life. We challenge all of higher education to make civic and community engagement an institutional priority.

Garcia-Velez, from Bogotá, Colombia, moved to New York at the age of eight. As an undocumented student, she went to high school in the United States. Then she volunteered for a non-profit organization called New York Cares and College for Every Student to help low-income students attend and graduate from college.


Il Giornale, June 10th, 2013

When a soldier falls, the withdrawal from missions is demanded. In truth, troops lack support

War is an easy topic: it is known to be unbearable, irrational, as it randomly and perversely hits. Our young man killed two days ago should have come home within the progressive disengagement plan expected for most of the NATO ISAF troops by January 2014. War is ugly, so the most natural instinct is to turn your shoulders to it especially when one of ours dies protecting not his home, his family, but a remote home and family, while senseless accusation of domination tower on him and his comrades-in-arms.

The instinct to leave gets as more compelling as the war is not going well, as it warps as opposed to your own plans. Which occurred to a great extent in Afghanistan: the Taliban are still an enemy to Karzai; he, at his turn, wouldn’t have held on without the decisive Western support. The ethnic and religious factions of this country are in great number against the Pashtuns who represent the central force with the Northern Alliance of Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras, the recipients of the NATO support. The Taliban, as April 5th nears, i.e. the date of the scheduled presidential elections, will rage clutching knives between their teeth and will bear good arguments due to the rulers’ corruption. Not to mention the appetites of Islamist and nuclear Pakistan, which is unrelentingly pushing on the border. Whereas Afghanistan, in NATO’s plans, should have been left in the best of the conditions in order to face its own future. Yet, all of this does not say much about this war.

The mission will leave from eight to thirteen thousand troops deployed. The outgoing troups doesn’t want to leave a cloud of dust behind them, but an invincible idea, i.e. the absolute interdiction to practice terrorism. The war fought in Afghanistan originates in the darkness of the burnt crater of Ground Zero, of the Pentagon hit, of a burnt field in Pennsylvania. After September 11, the world found itself embroiled in a defense war against terror. The intervention in Afghanistan through the operation Enduring Freedom, denied terror the right to possessing a huge background, to have an entire state ruled by the Taliban where Al Qaeda might have set its general staff.
This operation succeeded, terrorism did not spread out without boundaries in the United States nor in our continent; a consistent number of terror operations were thwarted, Bin Laden was eliminated, and so other commanders of his. Nowadays, although the Taliban did not disappear, we have at least a society which, thanks to our military, has the certainty that 28 NATO countries, along with another 22 countries which joined in, care to ensure its development, its freedom, its liberation for the relentless Islamist threat.
We should not decrease now the sense of the great dedication thanks to which 53 of our italian soldiers sacrificed their lives. It’s not fair at all to hint each time that it might have been better not being there. On the contrary, what comes to mind is that they did not enjoy what is essential during wars, i.e. a constant ideology support from their belonging societies, be it Obama’s United States or our Italy, where yesterday incidentally our government reacted with dignity, or France which withdrew its troops (it did deploy them in Libya and would like to send them to Syria), to constantly reiterate the profound meaning of NATO’s presence in Afghanistan.


Imam: Pope Must Say ‘Islam is Peaceful’ to Renew Ties With Islam The Muslim leader of al-Azhar offered to renew ties with the Vatican, but strongly suggested Pope Francis start off by proclaiming that Islam is a peaceful religion. A Coptic organization has suggested that Muslim leaders are the only ones who can make […]


The notorious “civil rights” lawyer William Kunstler, in addition to his work on “political” cases (i.e., anti-American radical-leftist and terrorist cases), gladly made himself available to mobsters, too — after all, someone had to pay the bills. Invited to a dinner once after a job well done for a mafia don, he hoisted a glass to the assembled capos and button men, toasting them, “Here’s to crime!”

Gleeful crooks across the country could be giving the same toast if Senator Rand Paul gets his way. The self-styled libertarian Republican from Kentucky, firmly in his father’s tradition of overreaction to imagined constitutional violations (or, perhaps I should say, violations of an imaginary Constitution) is outraged by reports that the Defense Department’s National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting “metadata” on phone calls of millions of Americans. He has responded by introducing an absurd piece of legislation he calls the “Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013.”

Naturally, the bill is unacquainted with the Fourth Amendment — either the one given to us by the Framers or even the one enlarged over time by Supreme Court jurisprudence. I use the word “naturally” advisedly. Senator Paul’s proposed law asserts: “The collection of citizen’s [ACM: I take it he means citizens’] phone records is a violation of the natural rights of every man and woman in the United States.” A citizen’s “natural right” to telephone-usage records that are actually the property of third-party service providers? I wonder what St. Augustine would have made of that.
Not content to contort natural law, Paul then works his magic on positive law. He alleges that collection of records of telephone activity (but not the content of phone conversations) is somehow “a clear violation of the explicit language of the highest law of the land.”

By “highest law of the land,” Paul is referring to the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. The senator apparently did not read the Fourth Amendment before cutting and pasting it into his bill. It requires (in relevant part) that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, shall not be violated.” Perhaps Senator Paul will edify us on how it is “clear” that a phone record, owned and possessed by a telephone service provider (not the customer), qualifies as the person, house, paper, or effect of the customer, such that the government’s acquisition of it violates the Fourth Amendment. The federal courts have consistently, emphatically rejected this implausible suggestion, holding that government’s collection of phone records does not even implicate the Fourth Amendment, much less violate it.

Maybe Senator Paul would tell us that this is just the muck those crazy left-wing judges have made of the Constitution. But what Paul is advocating is a Constitution even more warped than the “organic” one progressive jurists have contrived. His proposal bears no resemblance to the Constitution of the Framers.