[i]Daren Jonescu has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He currently teaches English language and philosophy at Changwon National University in South Korea. He can be reached at [[email protected]][email protected][/email].[/i]
Republican Establishment media alert: On the eve of the Michigan and Arizona primaries, the Establishment’s new favorite enforcer, Matt Drudge, was at it again. As I have chronicled so many of The Drudge Report’s clever, and cleverly timed, manipulations over the course of this primary season, I trust no one will have the gall to suggest that this latest batch of “headlines” is merely coincidental, or to defend Drudge with the feigned naiveté argument that Drudge himself does not write the stories, but merely posts links to whatever is available.
Mitt Romney cannot win the Republican presidential nomination. He is a man who seemingly entered the race because, after a long and successful working life, he could think of nothing more impressive to top it all off than being President of the United States. From last spring to this very moment, much of the Republican Establishment has been solidly, viciously, in his corner. And yet he cannot win. Most people, when their candidate looks hopeless, turn to another available candidate who might be satisfactory. The Republican Establishment, which is not like most people, is beginning to murmur about a brokered convention. They are determined to get what they want, by hook or by crook, by Drudge or by Fox.
I once took a class taught by a sly French-Canadian lecturer with a propensity to chuckle at his own jokes, as though they were intended primarily for his own amusement. One of my classmates, a Polish immigrant with all the correct Euro-liberal attitudes (atheist, socialist, vegetarian, etc.) liked to engage our teacher in debates about religion. One time, this student tried to short-circuit the debate with the common trick of challenging his opponent to concede belief in something so out of touch with modernity that his position would seem laughable.
Since Rick Santorum began to look like a viable option for those Republican voters too rational to follow the Party brass down the moderate sinkhole yet again, certain prominent Establishment voices have made it their personal mission to undermine him at all costs. And by “at all costs,” I mean they are willing to pony up their credibility, their claims to basic logical skills, and their hard-earned pretense of representing the perspective of actual Republican voters, all in the name of doing something—anything—to stop the anti-Romney forces right now.
The recent stand-off between the Obama administration and the Catholic Church is producing an effect that may prove to be more historically significant than the immediate battle over freedom of religion. A problem that has been growing within the Church for decades has finally burst into the light: the conflict between Church leaders and a significant portion of the flock on the subject of political freedom.
Everyone at CPAC says things that conservatives like to hear. That, after all, is the purpose of CPAC. This year, of course, the most important speakers were the presidential candidates. As per the rule, all of them (apart from Ron Paul, who was absent) said things that played well with the audience. Only one, however, said the things that are most needful in this all-important year, and said them with a conviction that one can believe will continue, not only for the remainder of the campaign, but for the remainder of his political career. This was Rick Santorum.
Rick Santorum has gone and done it now. Foolishly winning everything in sight this week, he has put himself in the unenviable position of being noticed. Why is it unenviable? If you don’t know, then clearly you have not been paying attention to those steadfast warriors for freedom, the Republican media. With the microphones around Santorum actually having been turned on in recent days, we are suddenly finding out just how extreme and out of touch he is. We now know that over these past few weeks, for example, he has put his foot in his mouth big time—not once, but thrice. The boob trifecta! Step over to the fifty-seventh state, Mr. President, here comes the new champ.
Any establishment is comprised of a few genuine navigators, and a much larger contingent of people whom the true leaders humor with the illusion that they too are movers and shakers, when in fact they are mere ballast. This larger group consists not only of the people whose names actually appear in the leaders’ rolodexes, but also of a “spiritual establishment,” if you will—those who wish to persuade the general public that they are players, in the hopes (a) that they can thereby distinguish themselves from the ignorant flock, and (b) that the real members of the establishment might finally invite them to this year’s initiation ceremony.
The prime suspects on the Department of Homeland Security’s domestic watchlist—that is to say, Americans who revere their founding documents, love their God-given liberty, and cherish their constitutionally-protected right to defend those documents and that liberty by any civilized means at their disposal—have had it tough recently. One of their nation’s two leading political factions has made plain its intention of destroying those documents and rescinding that liberty.
In a recent interview with Hugh Hewitt, Rick Santorum, a practicing Catholic, levelled some very harsh words at the Conference of Catholic Bishops. While siding with the bishops’ recent opposition to President Obama’s imposition of abortion upon Catholic hospitals, Santorum nevertheless stated bluntly that the Church “had it coming.” Not only was Santorum right in saying so, but his words ought to initiate a more open public debate among Catholics regarding their leaders’ consistent support of the political Left. The fundamental issue here is not abortion, but rather Christianity’s position on the proper role of government.
In the spring of 2011, Donald Trump threatened to start a revolution within the Republican Party, appealing to the naive among Tea Partiers by promising to take on President Obama as no one else could. All too many members of the conservative media, including even some highly reputable ones, took his nonsense seriously.
A few minutes past midnight on Monday, January 21st, 2013, someone will give birth to the day’s first American baby. With any luck, that baby will have become the first American to see his first light of day in a post-Obama world. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the celebration of that good fortune will have to wait a while. For there is also some bad news—some really bad, you’d-better-sit-down-for-this, maybe-you’d-like-to-reconsider-this-whole-being-born-thing kind of news: That baby owes $185,000. Before interest. And that figure, even if the baby is born under a most propitious star, will grow by $5,000 per year, at least until he, along with the other babies born that day, is old enough to rise up and take action to stop the avalanche.
With the Republican primaries having devolved to the Establishment’s preferred scenario, and all the Tea Party-favored candidates having been either eliminated or marginalized, some are beginning to ask an unavoidable question: Was the constitutionalist revival just a passing fancy with no staying power, or a conservative social club with no heart for a real fight? Is there even anyone left in the room to hear the question, or is the only reply one can hope for the echo of one’s own despondent voice filling the hollow chamber?
Near the end of his January 23rd radio program, Rush Limbaugh was asked by a caller what Rick Santorum could do to turn things in his favor. Limbaugh, granting that he likes Santorum, advised only that he should stop talking about himself, and start “acting like a conservative.” His point seemed to be that Santorum ought to spend less of his precious microphone time explaining himself and his record, and instead focus on articulating conservative ideas aimed at changing America’s direction. Though reasonable enough in itself, Limbaugh’s advice seems to overlook the special problem facing Santorum’s campaign, the problem which has created his feeling of needing to speak up on his own behalf: No one wants him around anymore.
The perfectly named World Economic Forum—that is, an organization dedicated to the creation of a world economic system—is meeting in Davos again to discuss the problems of the day, and to propose solutions. Although the official problem-solving has not yet begun, a hint as to the direction of said solutions can be found in the definition of the main problem to be solved, offered by the group’s leader: the “out-dated and crumbling” economic system, capitalism. Surprise!
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