April 12, 2009

This blog began one year ago today.


h/t – Glenn Reynolds

George Bush’s Fault

September 1, 2008

A Frenchman criticizes the “irritable patriotism” of Americans:

There is nothing more annoying in the habits of life than this irritable patriotism of the Americans. A foreigner would indeed consent to praise much in their country; but he would want to be permitted to blame something, and this he is absolutely refused.

America is therefore a country of freedom where, in order not to wound anyone, the foreigner must not speak freely either of particular persons, or of the state, or of the governed, or of those who govern, or of public undertakings; or, finally, of anything one encounters except perhaps the climate and the soil; and still, one finds Americans ready to defend both as if they had helped to form them.

Dominic de Villepin? Jacque Chirac? John Kerry?

None of the above. This passage is from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, published in 1835 (Volume II in 1840). (I quote the Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop edition.)

It appears that the image of the self-assured, cocky American began just a little bit before George W. Bush became president.

Obama cancelled his plans to visit wounded U.S. soldiers in Germany with the excuse that “it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign.”


Please. Since when have liberals had any compunction about spending other peoples’ money?!?!?!

The real reason, I suspect, is that Obama couldn’t turn the visit into a photo-op.

The presumptive Democratic nominee for President of the United States is embarrassed by his fellow countrymen:
“It’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe and all we can say is merci beaucoup.”
Liberals castigate everyone for being Eurocentric, but whose approval do they seek?
Bush’s popularity in Africa is something like 80%, they love him in Colombia, etc. But since Europeans don’t like him (except for Blair, and Sarko, and Merkel, and Berlusconi, and…), Bush is unpopular. Q.E.D.
Even if any of this actually mattered, as Charles Krauthammer hilariously pointed out, Obama himself can’t speak French –
 or Spanish.

Facts Are Meaningless

July 27, 2008

A history professor of mine once told the class that “facts are meaningless.” (Never mind, of course, that in order to actually believe this, you must concede that at least one fact as meaning….)

Barack Obama agrees:

ABC’s Terry Moran asked Obama whether – “knowing what you know now” – he would reconsider his opposition to last year’s surge of U.S. troops in Iraq.
“Well, no,” Mr. Obama replied.

He even ignores facts in prepared speeches, as Jeff Jacoby points out:

“People of the world,” Obama declaimed, “look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.” But the world didn’t stand as one during the Cold War; it was riven by an Iron Curtain. For more than four decades, America and the West confronted an implacable enemy on the other side of that divide. What finally defeated that enemy and ended the Cold War was not harmony and goodwill, but American strength and resolve.

And John Bolton:

Perhaps Obama needs a remedial course in Cold War history, but the Berlin Wall most certainly did not come down because “the world stood as one.” The wall fell because of a decades-long, existential struggle against one of the greatest totalitarian ideologies mankind has ever faced. It was a struggle in which strong and determined U.S. leadership was constantly questioned, both in Europe and by substantial segments of the senator’s own Democratic Party. In Germany in the later years of the Cold War, Ostpolitik – “eastern politics,’ a policy of rapprochement rather than resistance – continuously risked a split in the Western alliance and might have allowed communism to survive. The U.S. president who made the final successful assault on communism, Ronald Reagan, was derided by many in Europe as not very bright, too unilateralist and too provocative. 


George Will’s column on notifying the families of the fallen is excellent.