Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Memory Lane

To listen to MSNBC and the people who write for the New York Times you would think that nasty, threatening rhetoric was actually invented by tea party conservatives. Never mind that it has proven very difficult to document most of the worst allegations made against tea-party protestors, let's give the Paul Krugmans and Keith Olbermanns of the world the benefit of the doubt and concede that there have indeed been some mean things said about our President and our congresspersons.

After all, some individuals have certainly expressed doubt about Mr. Obama's birthplace and thus the legitimacy of his holding the office of President; people are calling him awful names like socialist; many are so angry with his policies that they're threatening to launch a political "Armageddon" in November and "target" Democrats for defeat; people are portraying the President as the Joker, and they're doing and saying other unimaginable things as well.

All of this, we're given to believe, is a novel development in our politics, a quantum leap in vitriol and hate. Well, hardly. The tea partier rhetoric, such as it is, is the mere cooing of doves compared to what the Democrat rank and file treated us to during the Bush era. For those with short memories we offer this video as a sampling of what Democrat activists were saying in 2004. As you watch ask yourself if the media wouldn't be going off like a Roman candle if every time one of these people said "Bush," or "Left," or whatever, they had actually used the corresponding noun "Obama" or "Right," etc:

When Democrats use hateful rhetoric, well, that's to be expected. It scarcely makes the news, but if conservatives use it then the liberal media Chicken Littles scurry about covering the ears and screaming that they've never heard such terrible things ever in our whole modern history. These people are beyond parody.

HT: Hot Air


For Tanya

Some time ago we did a post based on a remark made by a woman named Tanya on another blog. I thought that as we approach Good Friday it might be worth running the post again, slightly edited.

Tanya's comment was provoked by an atheist at the other blog who had issued a mild rebuke to his fellow non-believers for their attempts to use the occasion of Christmas to deride Christian belief. In so doing, he exemplified the sort of attitude toward those with whom he disagrees one might wish all people, atheists and Christians alike, would adopt. Unfortunately, Tanya spoiled the mellow, can't-we-all-just-get-along mood by displaying a petulant asperity toward, and an unfortunate ignorance of, the orthodox Christian understanding of the atonement.

She wrote:

I've lived my life in a more holy way than most Christians I know. If it turns out I'm wrong, and some pissy little whiner god wants to send me away just because I didn't worship him, even though I lived a clean, decent life, he can bite me. I wouldn't want to live in that kind of "heaven" anyway. So sorry.

Tanya evidently thinks that "heaven" is, or should be, all about living a "clean, decent life." Perhaps the following tale will illustrate the sophomoric callowness of her misconception:

Once upon a time there was a handsome prince who was deeply in love with a young woman. We'll call her Tanya. The prince wanted Tanya to come and live with him in the wonderful city his father, the king, had built, but Tanya wasn't interested in either the prince or the city. The city was beautiful and wondrous, to be sure, but the inhabitants weren't particularly fun to be around, and she wanted to stay out in the countryside where the wild things grow. Even though the prince wooed Tanya with every gift he could think of, it was to no avail. She wasn't smitten at all by the "pissy little whiner" prince. She obeyed the laws of the kingdom and paid her taxes and was convinced that that was good enough.

Out beyond the countryside, however, dwelt dreadful, awful orc-like creatures who hated the king and wanted nothing more than to be rid of him and his heirs. One day they learned of the prince's love for Tanya and set upon a plan. They snuck into her village, kidnapped Tanya and sent a note to the king telling him that they would be willing to exchange her for the prince, but if their offer was refused they would torture Tanya until she was dead.

The king, distraught beyond words, told the prince of the horrible news. Despite all the rejections the prince had experienced from Tanya, he still loved her deeply, and his heart broke at the thought of her peril. With tears he resolved to his father that he would do the exchange. The father wept bitterly because the prince was his only son, but he knew that his love for Tanya would not allow him to let her suffer the torment to which the ugly people would surely subject her. The prince asked only that the father try his best to persuade Tanya to live safely in the beautiful city once she was ransomed.

And so the day came for the exchange, and the prince rode bravely and proudly bestride his steed out of the beautiful city to meet the ugly creatures. As he crossed an expansive meadow toward the camp of his mortal enemy he stopped to make sure they released Tanya. He waited until she was out of the camp, fleeing toward the safety of the king's city, oblivious in her near-panic that it was the prince himself she ran past as she hurried to the safety of the city walls. He could easily turn back now that Tanya was safe, but he had given his word that he would do the exchange, and the ugly people knew he would never go back on his word.

The prince continued stoically and resolutely into their midst, giving himself for Tanya as he had promised. Surrounding his steed they set upon him, stripped him of his princely raiment, and tortured him for three days in the most excruciating manner. Not once did any sound louder than a moan pass his lips. His courage and determination to endure whatever agonies to which they subjected him were strengthened by the assurance that he was doing it for Tanya and that because of his sacrifice she was safe. Finally, wearying of their sport, they cut off his head and threw his body onto a garbage heap.

Meanwhile, the grief-stricken king, his heart melting like ice within his breast, called Tanya into his court. He told her nothing of what his son had done, his pride in the prince not permitting him to use his son's heroic sacrifice as a bribe. Even so, he pleaded with Tanya, as he had promised the prince he would, to remain with him within the walls of the wondrous and beautiful city where she'd be safe forevermore. Tanya considered the offer, but she decided that she liked life on the outside far too much, even if it was risky, and she didn't really want to be in too close proximity to the prince, and, by the way, she asked the king, where is that pissy little whiner son of yours anyway?

Have a meaningful Good Friday. You, too, Tanya.


Collapse Scenario

A Washington Times article by David Dickson confronts us with some very troubling fiscal facts. According to last Thursday's Congressional Budget Office report President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years - $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected - and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020.

The federal public debt was $6.3 trillion when Mr. Obama entered office. It currently totals $8.2 trillion, and it's headed toward $20.3 trillion in 2020, according to the CBO's deficit estimates. This translates to a debt of $170,000 per household in ten years. How in the world does our political leadership think we're going to pay for that? If they were deliberately trying to drive this country over the cliff, as some think is the case, what would they do differently?

Hot Air's Ed Morrissey, in commenting on Dickson's column, offers some historical perspective:

The worst deficit under a Republican Congress was $400 billion in FY2004. It's also worth noting that the last budget produced by a Republican Congress spent $2.77 trillion (FY2007), and had a deficit of less than half of that peak. While Republican Congresses added almost $800 billion in annual spending to the budget in six years - an indefensible expansion - that pales in comparison to the $1.1 trillion added by Democratic Congresses in just three years. Under those conditions, the massive budget deficits shown in the CBO's graph are simply unavoidable, and the best of the next ten years is double the worst of the Republican Congress from 2001-7.

Don't expect that debt to come cheap, either. We're already seeing signs that our interest rates will have to go up in order to sell more paper, which will cause the deficit projections here to actually fall short of reality. We could be looking at a collapse scenario where we can't borrow enough to keep up with our interest payments by the time this decade concludes.

This CBO graph, from Hot Air, pretty much sums up the fiscal predicament the Obama administration has placed us in:

Pretty soon those of us who can remember will be waxing nostalgic for the good old days of the Carter presidency.