Arrogance: Where It Leads Us

On Tuesday, President Obama met with Senate Republicans to discuss immigration and border security. By all accounts, it was not a productive meeting. Republican senators did not let the president off the hook with respect to his policies and the manner in which he pushes them—without GOP input.

According to reports coming out of that meeting, Obama tried to lecture the Republicans on the issues, only to be challenged on his views. He does not like being challenged. One participant wrote on a pad as Obama was talking, “thin-skinned,” as he watched the president get more agitated as the meeting progressed. Don’t they know he has the answers for everything? Don’t they know he is the answer?

All of those photos that show him with his chin up, as if he is above the rest of the human race, are not flukes. They are not accidents of the lens or deliberate attempts to make him look bad. Instead, they capture the essence of the man.

Obama likes to play the victim card—broken family, mixed race, etc. Yet few have been as privileged as he: getting a full ride to Harvard Law School; serving as editor of the Harvard Law Review while writing virtually nothing; receiving praise as a community organizer, working primarily with those who agree with him on everything; never having a strong opponent for the races he has won [and winning some of those by employing the skills of others to discredit opponents so they have to drop out of the race]. He has, to a great degree, led a charmed, unchallenged life.

Who else in the history of American politics has ever made statements like these:

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal [spoken when his nomination for president was assured].

Now, there might a  lot of people who think such things, but few are brazen enough to say them out loud. No matter how he tries to couch those phrases within lines talking about his humility, there is little doubt which part of the quote he believes the most.

This overwhelming arrogance is what makes the policies even harder to swallow. I disagree with the policies anyway, but when they are combined with that “know-it-all” attitude, their destructive nature rises to an even higher level.

Another issue has come to the forefront that points to his unwillingness to be challenged: press conferences. He hasn’t had one since July 2009, nearly a full year ago. This is unprecedented. I’m not the greatest fan of the current press corps because most of them have been Obama apologists. Yet now they are being shut out.

Perhaps it has something to do with what occurred at that last press conference. That’s when he made the off-the-cuff remark about the Cambridge police acting stupidly when they arrested his friend Louis Gates.

You see, you can’t rely on a teleprompter at a press conference. The dangers of going off-script are legion.

It has taken nearly a year for the press to get a little perturbed about the state of things. One has to wonder how long they would have allowed President Bush to go without speaking to them. My distrust of the mainstrean media is so strong that I really don’t believe they will ever turn on him, no matter how they are treated. And I think he knows that, and it’s why he has decided to shun them. They may be rejected lovers at the moment, but they will always come back to him in a pinch.

[Note: after writing about the press conference issue, I read where Obama is going to hold one today—apparently it was becoming too much of an issue. We’ll see how “open” he is this time.]

Ultimately, he is in the position of president to do one thing—increase the power of the federal government over the lives of citizens as much as possible. I believe he is quite single-minded in that pursuit.

It’s one thing to talk about creating jobs, but it’s quite another to get the government out of the way so they can be created. Jobs have been added, to be sure, but not where they need to be:

Meanwhile, USA Today reports,

Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year. . . . 

At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

What is the strategy—have so many people dependent on the government that they won’t ever want to change the setup? Don’t dismiss that possibility. No, make that a probability.

Hypocrisy . . . and Its Cure

Most of the time I focus on a specific issue or person, but there are times that a certain theme applies in many situations. One theme that is always present, it seems, is hypocrisy.

Jesus had a lot to say about a class of people called the Pharisees. He spared no words in pointing out instances of hypocrisy in their lives. We have our own Pharisees today, and they exist on both ends of the political spectrum [witness the recent resignation of Republican congressman Mark Souder for an adulterous relationship]. I will point out hypocrisy no matter who is involved. In fact, I have a special interest in exposing it among conservatives because if it is allowed to proliferate, it will undermine any progress for reversing the current definition of “hope and change.”

It’s almost too easy, though, to highlight the hypocrisies of the current administration. They abound.

This is one of the most blatant. While Obama rails against “special interests” on the other side of the political divide, what about his connections? There’s nothing exaggerated in this cartoon.

He’s been particularly keen on blaming former President Bush for nearly everything that has gone wrong on the economic front. In a speech last week, he stridently proclaimed that he wasn’t going to hand the keys back to the party that wrecked the economy. While the Bush people have a lot to answer for, their guilt pales in comparison to Obama’s.

That looks like more than a ditch. Suddenly the ditch doesn’t seem all that bad.

Then we have the friends of the administration doing their share. Take, for instance, the comment from Hollywood leftist Woody Allen:

I thought all media types were in favor of freedom? They certainly want it for themselves when they make films that cross the line morally and politically. Apparently it’s just fine to take complete control if the one in charge wants to accomplish their goals.

Hypocrisy is rank among those who currently hold congressional seats. They’re a little concerned about keeping those seats. To what lengths will they go?

Some people do need to get a real job. Anyone who has spent most of his adult life in elected office needs to find out what it really means to earn a living.

Some politicians, though, are brazen to the point of incredulity. Richard Blumenthal, running for the Senate from Connecticut, has finally been called out for his statements about serving in the armed forces in Vietnam. It turns out he never went to Vietnam at all; he used all the deferments he could muster to stay out of the service, then finally got a plum post stateside where the chance of being gunned down by a Vietcong bullet was less than miniscule. Yet even after his blatant lie was trumpeted, he had the nerve to claim he simply misspoke and that those who had caught him in the lie were the real villains.

The heart of man is evil. Only a regenerated heart will change that. The only real regeneration comes via a restored relationship with the Creator. That restored relationship is available to all, but only through repentance and faith in the One who died that we might live anew.

More on Holder, Radical Islam, and Profiling

Yesterday, I wrote about Eric Holder’s amazing confession: he never even read the Arizona illegal immigration bill that he was so bitterly criticizing. After writing it, this very appropriate cartoon surfaced, so it’s worth sharing.

Even a fictional conversation can contain a lot of truth. Actually, I believe Holder has read the Constitution; he just has a different take on it—that it should be ignored.

Incidentally, it’s now a matter of record that Janet Napolitano, director of Homeland Security, former governor of Arizona, and another critic of the new law, hasn’t read it either. Is this our comic relief for the week?

I also noted in the posting yesterday that in an appearance at a congressional hearing, the Republican questioner couldn’t convince Holder that radical Islam should be clearly identified as a threat. Holder refused to acknowledge it without multiple conditions. Perhaps his attitude is captured in this:

Who’s the real coward?

Speaking of radical Islamic terrorism, remember how eager the media was to pin the Times Square bombing attempt on someone connected with the Tea Party? It was a severe disappointment when the perpetrator turned out to be . . . well, a radical Islamic terrorist. Yet when it comes to the mainstream media, it’s difficult to dissuade them.

Maybe profiling is the answer after all.

No, that’s not what I meant. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it became reality.

The Real Threat?

I would find it even more amusing that the mainstream media and their philosophical allies are  disappointed the Times Square bomber isn’t a member of the Tea Party if it weren’t so disturbing. They don’t see the real threat right in front of them.

Their whole scenario just blew up before they could indoctrinate their subjects fellow citizens.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano is on the case.

Reinforcements are always available in the person of a certain ex-president.

I repeat: it would be amusing if it weren’t so disturbing.

Demonizing Dissent

Remember the scene a couple of weeks ago as the Democratic House leadership left one of the House office buildings to walk outside to the Capitol? Speaker Pelosi was carrying a rather huge gavel.

They were in an exultant mood—healthcare was about to pass. This march was obviously intended to go straight through the crowd of protestors who were begging Congress not to pass the bill.

It was during this march that an alleged incident occurred. Accusations later were lodged against the protestors for using racial slurs against African American congressmen. The accusations received eager coverage in the media. Suddenly the “Tea Partiers” were racist degenerates, not concerned citizens trying to stop their nation’s slide into financial ruin.

Fighting back, one conservative leader, Andrew Breitbart, has offered to pay the United Negro College Fund $100,000 for any video proving the allegations of racist language being used that day. Video cameras were everywhere. Breitbart is still waiting for the smoking gun video that proves the accusations are true.

A game is being played here.

With a little help from their media  friends, the Democrats hope to smear honest protest with the dreaded label of racism. They don’t have to look far to find those helpful media people. They’re already well trained and prepared to stereotype.

Honest reporting is a rarity.

And what of that “march”? Why did it even occur? Representatives never do that. They always use the underground tunnels that take them directly from their offices to the Capitol. They knew the grounds were filled with protestors. Could this have been a deliberate attempt to create controversy? It has become obvious they don’t really know what to do with those who are involved with the Tea Party movement. They’re not sure how to counteract their appeal. So why not brand them racists?

It’s an underhanded and deceptive strategy. But they’re practically beside themselves trying to figure out what to do.

On April 15—tax day—tea parties will be held all across America. I plan to attend one—my first.

And I am not a racist.

I saw this cartoon yesterday, and it touched off a train of thought in my mind. First, let me share it—do you see the hidden meaning in it?

The reference is to how the mainstream media ignores the real danger and instead worries about how members of a group that committed acts of violence will be treated by the general population. The favorite concern right now is how Muslims will be treated, given all the Islamic terrorism.

Well, when’s the last time you heard about gangs running wild destroying the homes of Muslims? How about instances of dragging Muslims out of their homes and beating them? Perhaps we’ve been inundated with examples of intolerance and hatred toward this group?

If anything, it’s been just the opposite. Yet the phobia continues to be spread by the media.

Looking back on American history, there are not many times when government policy has been in favor of denigrating people groups. Yes, there was slavery, and the segregation policies that followed were unconscionable. But we’ve worked through that, despite what some people would have you believe.

The only other major problem along these lines occurred in WWII, when Japanese Americans were placed in camps. What was particularly wrong about this was most of them were American citizens, and their basic citizenship rights were denied. That also was dealt with later via reparations.

Those are the exceptions to the rule, however. Overall, America has been pretty receptive to those who are different. The massive immigration of the late-19th and early-20th centuries was welcomed. Businesses especially wanted workers, and the immigrants wanted work: both needs were met.

The source of this immigration was quite different from earlier arrivals to these shores. Now we were seeing people from “strange” places like Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Italy. The demographics of many parts of America were altered as a result. Many of the immigrants were Jewish and Catholic, religions that were not prevalent earlier. Yes, some prejudice existed toward them, but never by government design. You cannot stop individuals from being prejudiced, but you can set up barriers against that prejudice. Those groups ultimately succeeded in being incorporated into American life.

After WWI, there was a brief concern that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia that had created the Soviet Union might replay itself in America. There were roundups of suspicious individuals who were part of the American communist movement. What was done with these individuals? Most were simply sent back to their home countries. Similar roundups in other nations resulted in firing squads. Not in America.

The Witness of Whittaker Chambers

Hollywood likes to make a lot of noise about the “McCarthy era” after WWII. If you believe the information spread by that crowd, you would believe that America was a dark place full of paranoia. In fact, there really was a significant communist underground movement in the 1930s and 1940s that placed men and women in key positions within the government. The threat was real.

The hero of this tale was a man named Whittaker Chambers, a former underground worker who then left communism and made his witness to the nation about the compatriots he left behind. Chief among those was a man named Alger Hiss.

Hiss Being Questioned by Congress

Hiss had worked with Chambers in the underground and was a highly trusted man in the State Department. He was with FDR at the Yalta Conference and took the lead in setting up the United Nations. People like Hiss were a true threat. The communist party was taking its orders directly from the USSR, attempting to undermine the American government.

Yet what did the American government do about this? Did it outlaw the party? Did it round them all up and shoot them? Hardly. Even when a genuine threat existed, we allowed people to believe what they wished. Was that wise? That is debatable. But at least it shows America was not a nation that retaliated with official violence toward its enemies.

Never has a nation allowed such liberty of protest. I lived through the 1960s and early 1970s when the Vietnam War so bitterly divided the country. From what I saw and have learned later, if you want to find the source of most of the violence within the nation during that time, you have to focus on the protesters themselves, not the government. We seem to tolerate a lot.

All that to say this: Muslims in America have nothing to fear. There will be no backlash. For that, I am grateful. However, the other end of the spectrum is that we will bend over backward not to offend to the extent that we will often refuse to see the real threat that exists.

America’s biggest problem right now is not its intolerance; rather, it’s an over-tolerance of those who would wish to destroy us.