April 2, 2015

I wonder what Prince Machiavelli (the originator of said quote, though I’m told that crazy revolutionary dude Che Guevara also fancied the phrase) might have thought about today’s Democratic Party. Consider these two unrelated items (actually, I suppose in a way they are related) shows just how subterranean our political discourse has gotten and to what ends certain elected leaders in Washington will stoop to pursue their political agendas.

First up, National Review Online’s Victor David Hanson has written a lot of great columns in his day but his latest, about Barack Obama’s Chicago presidency, might be one of his best ever, for he captures the very essence of everything President Obama and his presidency stands for. Even if you’re an ardent supporter of his, I encourage you to read the whole thing. As a historian, Hanson has a keen sense of the unique place Barack Obama’s presidency is likely to be judged in the years, even decades ahead, and it’s not good for the Democratic Party:

What then is the full Obama presidency? It is the quest for extralegal power not just by ignoring the law, tradition, or custom, but by doing so flagrantly and without concern, to the point of rendering critics impotent — and thereby accruing even more power to enrage and embarrass them. In similar circumstances, the Roman biographer Suetonius noted of the Twelve Caesars that the offense itself was not so much the point, but rather the demonstration of committing the offense with impunity and disdain. Once that pen-and-phone threshold has been crossed, anything is possible — and even the critics of Obama now belatedly accept that. In brilliantly diabolical fashion, the president of the United States has all but ruined the Democratic party in Congress and the state legislatures, but has also confounded his Republican opponents by not caring a whit about his own nihilism — as if he is supposed to worry about ending the congressional careers of his supposed allies?

Hanson continues…

After all, if someone is going to ignore the law or what tradition demands, then why does he need a legislative majority to do it? Obama is more powerful in defeat than he ever was in victory. Like a seasoned Chicago pol, he reminds his auditors and critics that not only does he not care about the appearance of his actions, but also that no else does either. He all but says, “Each time I issue an illegal executive order, my polls go up, and the more my enemies howl and my friends cringe.” It becomes more hazardous — ask Senator Menendez or an audited Tea Party group — to object to an Obama abuse than for Obama to commit the abuse, which makes further abuse only more certain. Given media obsequiousness, Obama feels that little scrutiny of his actions will follow. A move toward impeachment he might even hope for, given his iconic status and the community-organizing chance to smear anyone foolish enough to try it as a racist or bigot. If his conduct hurts the future of Hillary Clinton, who cares? Or rather, perhaps there is a hint that the damage was by intent. If Obama’s executive-order presidency weakens the stature of the U.S. abroad, then maybe it needed to be weakened. In a country where almost any law can be contravened by an executive order, where any statute can die through selective non-enforcement, where the IRS can hound opponents, where Israel is the enemy and Iran the friend, and even a senatorial ally can face indictment, anything is now possible.

And was not that the point all along?

Second up, here’s the beaten up and bruised Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid brazenly admitting that he used the floor of the Senate to tell lies about Mitt Romney’s tax returns all in the name of doing whatever it took to keep him from the Presidency. This is from his CNN interview with Dana Bash:

BASH: So no regrets about Mitt Romney, about the Koch Brothers. Some people have even called it McCarthyite.

REID: Well… [shrug] … they can call it whatever they want. Um … Romney didn’t win, did he?

Of course this is beyond despicable, but it’s a little too late for all that hand-wringing, isn’t it Republicans? My first response, I guess, is to ask where were Romney’s Republican counterparts in the Senate and why didn’t they take to the floor of the Senate (and in the media) to call out Reid’s accusations in the strongest terms possible? To my knowledge, few, if anyone, did. Look, when someone is knowingly and willingly besmirching someone’s character you’ve got to punch back even harder. And the fact is that both Romney personally and his campaign in general didn’t do nearly enough to counter Reid’s outlandish charges. A few well-placed threats to bring to light and call for formal investigations into Reid’s shady Nevada business dealings and shakedown artistry would have shut him up pretty quick. That’s the only way to treat bullies, which (to bring this post full circle) is how you handle the Obamas and Reids of the world.

It’s hard to believe that in the last quarter-century a once-proud institution like the Democratic Party has been reduced to a bunch of corrupt thugs and leftist zealots who see political gain as the only thing that matters. You can say what you want about the ineptitude, ineffectiveness, and lack of political courage in the elected leaders Republicans have in Washington but no one in their right mind would argue that anything the GOP does comes close to the kind of brazen actions of Nancy (“We have to pass the [Obamacare] bill so we can see what’s in it.”) Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama. Add to that the outright and brazen pack of lies and liars Hillary Clinton has surrounded herself with and you’ve got a Democratic Party whose leadership is completely void of any measure of individual (never mind political) integrity.

Hey Democrats, is that what counts for political leadership these days? Are these really the kinds of folks you want representing your party and your brand as the 2016 election approaches?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:09 | Comments Off on Do The Ends Justify the Means?
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