What 'In Your Face' Appointments Mean
The White House announced a while back that Barack Obama was "going on a charm offensive." He treated a few Republican legislators to food and played golf -- what else? -- with others.
The aim, ostensibly, was to improve the atmosphere in Washington.
Some of us wondered if the Obamians were really trying to soften up the GOP before defeating it in the 2014 mid-term elections. The fact that "the charm offensive" was not accompanied by a diminution in leftists' assaults on conservatives ought to have been a tip-off.
Now, apparently, Obama has chosen once again to "lead from behind."
Appointing Susan Rice to be the National Security Advisor, and replacing her as U.S. Ambassador to the UN with Samantha Power, has outraged conservative Republicans. Even former Clinton adviser James Carville acknowledged these were "in your face" appointments.
By repeatedly lying about why four Americans were murdered in Benghazi Libya in September, 2012, Rice scuttled her chance to become U.S. Secretary of State. She would not have secured enough votes in the Senate to win confirmation.
Power is even further to the left than Rice, and her position requires Senate confirmation. Odds are that with Power at the UN, the U.S. will have no voice, but Palestinians will.
Why, then, did BHO nominate her? He's gambling that, should Senate Republicans try to block her appointment, they would be seen by the mainstream media (MSM) and Low Information Voters as opening another front in the "war on women."
There's a lesson in these "in your face" appointments, and other nominations and/or promotions since Obama was re-immaculated last January 20th, and Republicans had better learn it, or get ready to join Federalists and Whigs in history's dustbin.
Obama has made no secret that he seeks the GOP's utter devastation, and his recent personnel decisions should be seen in that light.
What lesson should we learn from these nominations? As "Mr. Dooley," Finley Peter Dunne's fictional barkeep, put it in 1895, "politics ain't beanbag." Indeed, politics is a body-contact sport.
Democrats such as Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, and Barack Obama, knew/know this.
Sadly, too many Republican pols haven't got a clue.
Let's focus on how Saul Alinsky -- Obama's political guru -- viewed politics.
Throughout a long career, which began as a confidant of Al Capone's goons to his days as a community organizer, Alinsky remained true to his conception of politics. Politics, for Alinsky, was a zero-sum conflict. There were winners, and in equal measure, there were losers.
How would Alinsky insure that his was the winning side? Three quotes suggest how: First, "pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it." Second, "keep the pressure on. Never let up." Finally, "tactics mean doing what you can with what you have."
Some say Alinsky was a Communist; some say he was a socialist. Virtually everyone agrees he was a collectivist who sought fundamental change in American society and politics. Although his methods might have been flexible, his goals were not.
Nor was his conception of, and approach to, political life.
Since at least the1960s, many Democrats have adopted Alinsky's style of politics. They don't have political opponents; they have enemies. They don't seek their opponents' (temporary) defeat at the ballot box. They seek total victory over their foes, and for many, the end justifies the means.
Sadly, too many Republican elites do not realize that the political world isn't like it was in the 1950s when Dwight Eisenhower could negotiate middle-of-the-road compromises with Lyndon Baines Johnson and Sam Rayburn. Equally sadly, other Republican politicos seem at least vaguely aware that the political world in 2013 isn't like it was in, say 1955, but yearn for that epoch's return.
The 1950s are over. We live in a new era. It's time to acknowledge that fact, and adjust to it.
Peaceful resolution of conflict, even if only an armistice, requires agreement by two sides.
If recent events should have taught us anything, it is that Democrat elites -- many of them at any rate -- don't want cooperation from Republicans. They want, and they are determined to have, capitulation by their enemies. And they are prepared to do whatever it takes to compel that capitulation.
Left-wingers' notion of "peace" is when their enemies cease to exist.
Now we know what BHO sought to achieve with nominations such as Susan Rice's, Samantha Power's, and others of similar ilk: stick a figurative finger in the enemy's eye.
This has two positive outcomes (from the Obamians' perspective): first, shore up the über-left base (which has been demoralized by revelations of multiple scandals); second, send the right the following message: drop dead.
How should Republicans respond to Rice's, Power's, and other ultra-leftists' nominations and/or promotions? For now, say and do nothing. First, Rice's position does not require Senate confirmation. Second, given the UN's growing irrelevance, abstain from loud lamentations about Power's nomination. (It would be perfectly OK to remind people that Power had to resign from the Obama Campaign in 2008 after calling Hillary Rodham Clinton a "monster.") Finally, the more conservatives rant and rave, the more the ultra-left will gloat. (As Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway told a Recon platoon marine in Heartbreak Ridge, "don't give the [bleep] the satisfaction.")
Rush Limbaugh is right: the left sees conservatives as their chief enemies.
If Republicans have to say anything, keep it to "elections have consequences."
Sooner -- I hope -- or later -- I fear-- the proverbial worm will turn, and a Republican will be president. When that time comes, he/she should use the powers of that office to the fullest, consistent with the principles and practices of constitutional government. Republican politicos must learn how to use government, and not just rail against it. Among other things, that means appointing like-minded allies to important offices.
I am reminded of George W. Bush's appointment of John Bolton to be ambassador to the UN in 2005. Bush had to appoint Bolton to the position while the Senate was in recess, after his effort to secure a regular appointment for Bolton was thwarted by RINOs (Republicans in name only) Lincoln Chafee, Chuck Hagel, and George Voinovich.
Obama has done it in circumstances that are, to put it mildly, questionable, and without an outcry from the MSM.
If left-wing Democrats and their lackeys in the MSM object to a Republican's appointments, ignore them. Ignoring left-wingers' complaints would probably drive them to distraction.