Monday, December 21, 2009

The "Judas Factor" in Liberal Politics

It's a well-known story even by those who never went to Sunday school. Shortly before Jesus' crucifixion, a woman anointed his feet with expensive perfume. Judas Iscariot was enraged. "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" he asked. A denarius was a day's wage back then, so, not counting weekends (Sabbath Day off), the woman had apparently poured a year's salary on one man's feet.
At first glance, you have to think that old Judas was a humanitarian at heart, a philanthropist who wanted to see social justice. Isn't it nice that he was concerned, first and foremost, about all those poor people? However, John, who had spent three years observing Judas, comments immediately afterward, "This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box, and he used to take what was put in it." These verses, by the way, are taken from John 12:3-6 in the New King James Version of the Bible, but I suppose they read similarly in any translation you might have at hand.
So, why do I bring up a Bible lesson in my political forum? Because I have seen this same activity in the political workings of congress. For nearly a century, liberal politicians have hidden behind the "poor." Every time a conservative opposes a socialist policy or an excessive spending bill, we are reminded of how this person is "hurting the poor."
This past week, that has been the main outcry against those who oppose the gigantic, irreversible, debilitating Socialized Medicine bill that will be the magnum opus of this liberal-dominated congress before a large percentage of them are ousted in 2010. In spite of the fact that every poll, every survey, shows a majority of Americans are against this crime against our policies, our morals, and our pocketbooks, these elected "representatives" are bound and determined to push it through before Christmas.
Some have unashamedly given the reason for the rush. They know that the public does not want this bill, and are afraid that some of their cohorts might be influenced by the people who voted for them when they go home for the Christmas break.
And what do they say of these people? That we are "against the poor." This medical bill is to "help the poor." It's an easy tag to put on any liberal legislation, on any spending bill, on any dip into a private citizen's pocket book or bank account, any claim against your or my hard-earned money: "It's for the poor!"
Why do I want to compare liberal politics with Judas? Well, for several reasons. Like Judas, they control the "money box." Have you ever seen what they do to money when they get it? Do you know how much money is "on deposit" in your social security funds? The same amount there has always been: nothing. If Social Security were a private finance company, the SEC would have shut them down years ago, and those in charge would be in prison. But every time you hear of an attempt to privatize it or reform it, you hear the liberal chant: "They want to take money out of our Social Security funds! They want to starve the poor!" This is said with one hand raised in the air; the other is firmly ensconced in the money bag, looking for any coin that happens to fall in.
I think there is no difference between them and Judas: they are thieves, and take whatever is put in the money box. Do you think it's too harsh for me to call them thieves? What would your boss call you if you took money out of petty cash and used it to buy a DVD player? What would your family think if you took butter and egg money and bought lottery tickets? What would the guys at the office think if you took the football pool money and used it to buy tickets for yourself to the Super Bowl? I think "thief" would be mild. But that's exactly what your elected officials do every day.
This medical bill is being enacted, allegedly, with your consent. No one but Harry Reid and a select few have even been allowed to look at the Senate version of it. But it is filled with pork, including billions for "moderate" Democrats to use in their own states in exchange for a "yes" vote. Recently I wrote of Democrats with a spine who brightened up the Senate chamber. One by one, they have all been bought off, even the non-democrat Leiberman.
It's not that these "moderates" were not corrupt. Just like some members of the "oldest profession," their price was just a little higher than normal.
Some people might call them "Judases" because they have betrayed those who sent them to Washington, those who have supported them, and our own constitution. But I call them Judases because they bear a striking resemblance to the prototype: harping about the "poor" when all they are really thinking about is how to get their hands on more money.
If you really think that this gigantic, pork-laden, "Jabba-the-Hutt" medical bill is going to guarantee you good insurance, lower medical bills, better care, and liberty and justice for all, I will leave you to your naivete. You probably also think that Amtrak is making money, that the US Postal service is financially sound, that the IRS raises money for the maintenance of government operations, and that there is a million dollars in the vaults of the Social Security Administration with your name on it, just waiting until you turn 65.
Look what a great job government has done for the "poor" in the past 50 years. From Johnson's "war on poverty" up to these programs today. The only thing I can see that they have done for the poor is to make a lot more of them. The percentage of poor people in America has risen steadily since the government got involved in "helping" them. Every year, the number of poor is higher, and the threshold of poverty is higher.
Well, until this year. The liberal leadership is now recommending that we re-adjust the figures and raise those threshold numbers. The results will be, of course, that "poverty" will go down, according to the figures, in the next year. But that won't feed anyone or find them a job.
This medical bill has the possibility of putting even a greater number of Americans into a poverty situation. There will be higher taxes, increased medical costs, and the exciting new experience of jail time if you do not purchase insurance. Medicare and Medicaid are already miserable failures, but we have only seen the beginning. Now they will be disasters as their coffers of red ink are raided to finance new medical programs.
I think maybe somewhere, in the back of his twisted mind, Judas Iscariot may have still had a conscience. He may have actually thought that the poor needed help. I do not see even the standards of Judas being met by our current elected leadership. They have one goal, and that is to get their fingers into more of the gross domestic product, and take a little more of what you and I have earned this year to fund pet projects, and at the same time, to make us all a little more dependent on government to keep us alive. I cannot help but think of the hapless Winston Smith in Orwell's classic, 1984. It was this book that introduced us to "Big Brother." It's what your government wants to be to you. After all he had been through -- torture, threats, and brain washing -- Winston Smith finally came to the point that your elected official wants to be. The last line of the story says, "He loved Big Brother."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Two Opposites Who Need Defending

The past week has not been kind to two people: President Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (I could add Tiger Woods but I prefer to only include people who work for a living and are not billionaires in this post). Though they are opposite ends of the political spectrum, both have been unjustly lambasted by the media for recent events beyond their control.

Obviously, Mr. Obama inherited two wars. I will concede that he knew when he ran for president that he would get them if he won the election. He also made some promises that anyone who is rational knew he could not keep, but we can understand that he made those promises with the naivete of one who had not yet sat in the oval office and been briefed by those who really know what's going on.

His decision this past Tuesday was a difficult one, and a valiant effort. He wants to get our troops home, but he wants them to bring victory home with them. He acknowledges that the cost is time, money, and sadly, the lives of more troops from the 30,000 that he is sending to Afghanistan. He is right that, had we concentrated on Afghanistan instead of going after Saddam (Red Herring) Hussein, we could have made a permanent difference in Afghanistan. We also need to remember that close to 500 legislators at the time thought we needed to go to Iraq, so this is not one person's "mistake," or whatever we want to call it. However, we have now been in Afghanistan twice as long as the Russians were, and we boycotted the Olympics over the Russian occupation.

We can debate the propriety of those two wars at some other time, but just or unjust, these wars were not started by the current administration, and I'm hoping that like Richard Nixon, Barack Obama can end a war he inherited. He might not like being compared to Mr. Nixon, but he has a lot in common with him. He's about to get blamed for the deaths and destruction of war, if the political cartoons of today are any indication. His popularity has declined over this, and an ABC commentator I listened to during the speech on Tuesday (I think it was Stephanopoulis, but I'm not sure), said that Obama had made this war "his war."

Obama very intelligently addressed those who call Afghanistan "another Vietnam." He presented three reasons it wasn't. First, he said, this is a response to a direct attack on our country; second, our enemies are not waging a popular war in their own country with the support of the locals, as the Viet Cong did. I would have replaced his third reason with the following: We are fighting this war with an all-volunteer armed forces.

We must never forget that in these current two wars, no one has dragged anyone out of college, job, or family and forced them to go overseas and wage an unpopular war against an unknown enemy for an ungrateful non-ally. Obama did well on Tuesday night in presenting his case, and he deserves a chance to finish what someone else started.

Unlike the war, I do think he is responsible for the economy, and he did not "inherit" our current economic situation, which is a couple of trillion dollars past the point he stepped in. But the war is another matter, and the worst thing he could have done would have been to do what he naively promised in 2008, pulling out all our troops and letting both countries figure out what to do next. Had he done that, we would not only be hated by the legitimate governments of Iraq and Afghanistan and their neighbors, but also by our NATO allies who have sacrificed time, money, and lives in what is really "our" war. I will also back up and say that he mentioned intensifying the efforts in Afghanistan while campaigning, so this should come as no surprise to anyone. Nevertheless, he did not begin this war, and unfortunately, the last administration put the Afghanistan war on a sort of "standby" for several years while our nation went after a more visible opponent. I always wondered about the Iraq thing, but was sure that our president at the time, and 400-500 legislators knew more about it than I did. Apparently, they did not.

Now we pass on to Mr. Huckabee, who has shown the hand of the media in two ways this past week. First, they have revealed how much they despise him, which is no surprise since he is way too far to the right for most of the media. The second one surprised me, though. They obviously consider him a legitimate, viable threat to win the presidency. They must, because they are pulling out the "big guns." Economically, Huckabee is very close to Ron Paul, but the media leaves him alone because they don't see him having a chance. The sad and unfortunate coffee shop murders of last Sunday are a tragedy; everyone agrees about that. But if you just read CNN, MSNBC, ABC, et al, and especially if you are just a headline reader, you would think that Huckabee walked around Arkansas with a master key, letting criminals go.

Mike Huckabee let no one go. Not even close. He commuted the sentence of a teenaged offender from 105 years to about half that, and left the rest up to the proper agency to decide who stays and who walks, a parole board. The man who killed four officers in a coffee shop had been through the revolving doors of courts and jails of at least two states, and judicial irresponsibility was the reason he was walking free last Sunday. He was free on bond after attempted child rape. Huckabee commuted the sentence of a teenager, hoping to give him a life; a Washington court let a child rapist walk free.

Huckabee noted that if the youth had been from a middle class white family, there would not have been a 105-year sentence handed out. Hey, wait a minute. Social justice! According to the media, a Republican has no business meddling with that! I've noticed that nothing has really been said about Huckabee's compassion toward a young African-American that he felt had been a victim of imbalance and injustice. In the same state, I'm sure Mr. Clinton would have been applauded for this.

It's hypocritical of the press to even bring this up. We only need to remember th 1988 Willie Horton incident. The press cried "foul" over that one. Some mindless sheep even painted it as a racist issue, though I, as one citizen, only knew Horton was a murderer who had been granted a weekend vacation. I had never seen his picture, and had no idea what color he was, even if that mattered. Dukakis had allowed Horton some "time off" from prison, and he killed someone during that time little vacation. If it was wrong for the Bush 41 campaign to make a note of this, how much more has it been wrong for the press to exaggerate the Huckabee commutation into a pardon. I saw a San Francisco Chronicle headline online this morning that said, "Huckabee Handed Out Pardons Like Candy." Not only is that irresponsible and amateur journalism (I hate to cheapen the word by using it here), it is outright vilification. By the way, I did read the article as well, and the writer had no idea what had really happened. She had read a few press clippings, less than I have read on the issue.

Huckabee has been -- and is -- a decent man, whether he is fit to be president or not. He was the most honest candidate the Republicans had to offer, and did not resort to the lowly attacks of his colleagues in both major parties. He does not deserve the slander that is being passed as "news." It's obvious that the media does not want him as president.

And on this, I agree with the media, but for entirely different reasons. I have seen what they do to presidents and candidates. I have seen the outright vilification they have even given the "darling of the media" this week, and realize now that even Obama, if he refuses to be their puppet on a string, will be crucified by the left-leaning press. I don't want to see them do it to a fellow human being like Mike Huckabee. I would like to see him continue where he is now, a public figure with the ear of a vast multitude of people, making sense out of nonsense, and always doing it like a decent human being.

A president cannot be a decent human being anymore. Our society won't let him. Mr. Obama is finding that out now. If he disappears in 2012, I fear that he will be replaced by a cold, unconcerned robot who takes marching orders from shady characters in dark rooms. That's the only type of person who can now survive a US Presidency.