” Pundits are pointing to President Barack Obama’s recent decline in public opinion polls, and saying that he may now become another “lame duck” president, unable to accomplish much during his final term in office.
That has happened to other presidents. But it is extremely unlikely to happen to this president. There are reasons why other presidents have become impotent during their last years in office. But those reasons do not apply to Barack Obama.
The Constitution of the United States does not give presidents the power to carry out major policy changes without the cooperation of other branches of government. Once the country becomes disenchanted with a president during his second term, Congress has little incentive to cooperate with him — and, once Congress becomes uncooperative, there is little that a president can do on his own.
That is, if he respects the Constitution.
President Obama has demonstrated, time and again, that he has no respect for the Constitution’s limitations on his power. Despite his oath of office, to see that the laws are faithfully executed, Barack Obama has unilaterally changed welfare reform laws, by eliminating the work requirement passed by Congress during the Clinton administration.”
” Obamacare looms large and menacing on our horizon. This is not just because of computer problems, or even because some people who think that they have enrolled may discover at their next visit to a doctor that they do not have any insurance coverage.
Obamacare is more than a medical problem, though there are predictable medical problems — and even catastrophes — that will unfold in the course of 2014 and beyond. Our betters have now been empowered to run our lives, with whatever combination of arrogance and incompetence they may have, or however much they lie.
The challenges ahead are much clearer than what our responses will be. Perhaps the most hopeful sign is that increasing numbers of people seem to have finally — after nearly five long years — begun to see Barack Obama for what he is, rather than for what he seemed to be, when judged by his image and rhetoric.
What kind of man would blithely disrupt the medical care of millions of Americans, and then repeatedly lie to them with glib assurances that they could keep their doctors or health insurance if they wanted to?”
” What is the future of conservatism? Which voices should define the priorities of the movement in the coming decades? Who are its most skilled proponents today? How should the movement evolve to face the threats most endangering America?
This list is my effort to advocate for both my favorite writers contributing to answering these questions and the ideas they champion.
5 quick ground rules first:
– I’m being strict with the “columnist” title – no bloggers, journalists, or feature writers. A “columnist” is one who writes a 700-1400+ word polemical article on a regular basis for an established publication or syndication.
– I’m likewise being strict with the “conservative” title – other various right-of-center ideologies (neoconservatism, libertarianism, Christian theocrats, and paleo-con conspiracists) warrant their own lists. (Which perhaps they might get next year as I continue mapping out today’s most important ideological advocates in the contests of politics, ideas, and culture…)
[UPDATE: Confused why some of your favorites aren't on this list? See: 3 Basic Differences Between Conservatism and Neoconservatism]
– In selecting these individuals, I am including them and the ideas they champion in what I’m calling Conservatism 3.0. This isn’t just a stand-alone list, it’s part of the bigger, ongoing project of my attempt to encourage ideological debate and dialogue. The columnists on this list each write books too and I’m adding their titles to my reading lists at the Freedom Academy Book Club. In next year’s installment of my “radical reading regimen” I’ll blog through their titles too.
– I’m excluding writers that I edit. All of PJM’s columnists and freelancers have been going on a separate list of my favorite writers, which I’ve been accumulating over the last six months and you can read on the last page of this post. And as an extra mention I have to go out of my way to recommend Instapundit Glenn Reynolds’s USA Today columns too. Blogging isn’t the only medium that Glenn’s mastered.
– I’m including excerpts from some of my favorite columns. Fair warning: this article today is over 13,000 words, highlighting some of the year’s best op/eds. (UPDATE: And apparently that means it’s too big for the view-as-single-page or print-this-post feature to work. I’m sorry. I assure you that was not intentional.) It’s really more of a free online e-book — a late Christmas present to all the readers, writers, activists, and patriots who have inspired and encouraged me in my own journey across the political spectrum… “
” New York City police authorities are investigating a series of unprovoked physical attacks in public places on people who are Jewish, in the form of what is called “the knockout game.”
The way the game is played, one of a number of young blacks decides to show that he can knock down some stranger on the streets, preferably with one punch, as they pass by. Often some other member of the group records the event, so that a video of that “achievement” is put on the Internet, to be celebrated.
The New York authorities describe a recent series of such attacks and, because Jews have been singled out in these attacks, are considering prosecuting these assaults as “hate crimes.” “
Our “post-racial” president , you remember him , the one that was going to usher in a new era of racial healing , has remained notably silent on this issue although he had plenty to say when the thug who looked like his son was killed and he rushed to condemn police for “acting stupidly” in arresting his buddy Professor Henry Louis Gates without first obtaining the facts .
Where is the Presidential outrage when the victims are white ? When the crimes have led to at least seven deaths ? Our post-racial president is a fraud on the issue of race just as he is with virtually everything else . Racial attacks have skyrocketed in his era and not only does he say nothing but the MSM , his cheerleading squad , twists itself into pretzels trying to avoid discussing the surge in black-on-white crime .
Below you can see stories of some of the fatalities caused by this “game” that predominantly features black males attacking whites totally unprovoked … as a matter of fact the lack of provocation and the complete surprise generated by the “sucker punches” is an integral part of the “sport” .
This young man lost his life in Minnesota …
New Jersey is where this man was killed
The internet is filled with stories of these racist attacks , although you wouldn’t know it if your only means of information was the MSM . fortunately there is a book out by Colin Flaherty that is full of documented cases of both the “knockout game” attacks and more “routine” black-on-white crime that passes virtually unacknowledged by the press .
Mr Flaherty has invested tremendous time and energy in researching “White Girl Bleed A Lot” and in it he documents the growing trend of black-on-white criminal assault that can take the form of random beatings , mob violence , wilding , the “knockout game” and other types of racially motivated crime .
Where is the media ? Where is our “national healer” ? He’s not in Gettysburg celebrating the 150th anniversary of , arguably , the most important speech on race this country has ever heard . He’s nowhere on this issue and that should be enough for him to be seen once and for all as the post-racial poseur that he is .
” Third parties have had an unbroken record of failure in American presidential politics. So it was refreshing to see in the Tea Party an insurgent movement, mainly of people who were not professional politicians, but who nevertheless had the good sense to see that their only chance of getting their ideals enacted into public policies was within one of the two major parties.
More important, the Tea Party was an insurgent movement that was not trying to impose some untried Utopia, but to restore the lost heritage of America that had been eroded, undermined or just plain sold out by professional politicians.
What the Tea Party was attempting was conservative, but it was also insurgent — if not radical — in the sense of opposing the root assumptions behind the dominant political trends of our times. Since those trends have included the erosion, if not the dismantling, of the Constitutional safeguards of American freedom, what the Tea Party was attempting was long overdue.
ObamaCare epitomized those trends, since its fundamental premise was that the federal government had the right to order individual Americans to buy what the government wanted them to buy, whether they wanted to or not, based on the assumption that Washington elites know what is good for us better than we know ourselves.”
The subject of the Tea Party and it’s future is very near and dear to our hearts and thus we would like to contribute to this piece in some meaningful way but thought it best to let the esteemed Professor Sowell have the stage all to himself . We are in no way presumptuous enough to assume that we could do much in the arena of debate to advance the genius that is Thomas Sowell so we are content to leave the words to him .
Part Two of this piece can be found here . Here is a sample of part two :
” Friend and foe alike see the Tea Party as not just a bunch of politicians trying to stay in office, but people with a purpose beyond going along to get along. The left’s desperate — and dishonest — efforts to discredit the Tea Party show that they understand its threat to their expanding government agenda.
The question is whether the Tea Party itself still has its eye on the ball — the goals it was formed to serve — or is letting itself get preoccupied with its battle against other Republicans.”
” West’s fellow black conservative Thomas Sowell thinks we are, but you would never know it judging by the media’s refusal to report about the epidemic of black-on-white violence.
Via Allen West:
I hold Thomas Sowell in very high esteem because he’s willing to focus on issues which the mainstream media does not and will not report on. In this most recent case, it’s black mob violence against whites.
In fact, Sowell fears we are on the verge of a race war:
Initial skirmishes in that race war have already begun and have in fact been going on for some years. But public officials pretend that it is not happening, and the mainstream media seldom publish it at all, except in ways that conceal what is really taking place.”
Uploaded on Nov 15, 2010
” Even when it comes to something as basic, and apparently as simple and straightforward, as the question of who shut down the federal government, there are diametrically opposite answers, depending on whether you talk to Democrats or to Republicans.
There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.
This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.
As for the House of Representatives’ right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.”
” One of the most common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be , and how dangerous it is to trust them .”
Published on Jul 1, 2013
” Professor Sowell addresses how progressives and modern liberals have operated on the sinister proposition of black inferiority.http://www.LibertyPen.com “
” For years, home ownership was a big “good thing” among both liberal Democrats like Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd, on the one hand, and moderate Republicans like President George W. Bush on the other hand.
Raising the rate of home ownership was the big red bouncing ball that they pursued out into the street, in utter disregard of the dangers.
A political myth has been created that no one warned of those dangers. But among the many who did warn were yours truly in 2005, Fortune and Barron’s magazines in 2004 and Britain’s The Economist magazine in 2003. Warnings specifically about the dangerous roles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were made by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in 2005 and by Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow in 2003.
In pursuit of those higher home ownership rates, especially among low-income people and minorities, the many vast powers of the federal government — from the Federal Reserve to bank regulatory agencies and even the Department of Justice, which issued threats of anti-discrimination lawsuits — were used to force banks and other lenders to lower their standards for making mortgage loans.
What makes all this painfully ironic is that the latest data show that the rate of home ownership today is lower than it has been in 18 years. There was a rise of a few percentage points during the housing boom, but that was completely erased during the housing bust. Housing has been just one area where the bouncing ball approach to political decision-making has led the country into one disaster after another.”
Thomas Sowell Dismantles Feminism and Racialism in under 5 Minutes
” What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don’t like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don’t expect freedom to survive very long.”
” After going back and forth, the government of Cyprus ultimately decided, under international pressure, to go ahead with its plan to raid people’s bank accounts. But could similar policies be imposed in other countries, including the United States?
One of the big differences between the United States and Cyprus is that the U.S. government can simply print more money to get out of a financial crisis. But Cyprus cannot print more euros, which are controlled by international institutions.
Does that mean that Americans’ money is safe in banks? Yes and no. The U.S. government is very unlikely to just seize money wholesale from people’s bank accounts, as is being done in Cyprus. But does that mean that your life savings are safe? No. There are more sophisticated ways for governments to take what you have put aside for yourself and use it for whatever politicians feel like using it for. If they do it slowly but steadily, they can take a big chunk of what you have sacrificed for years to save before you are even aware, much less alarmed.”
” Back in my teaching days, many years ago, one of the things I liked to ask the class to consider was this: Imagine a government agency with only two tasks: (1) building statues of Benedict Arnold and (2) providing life-saving medications to children. If this agency’s budget were cut, what would it do?
The answer, of course, is that it would cut back on the medications for children. Why? Because that would be what was most likely to get the budget cuts restored. If they cut back on building statues of Benedict Arnold, people might ask why they were building statues of Benedict Arnold in the first place.The example was deliberately extreme as an illustration. But, in the real world, the same general pattern can be seen in local, state and national government responses to budget cuts.”
” The annual outbursts of intolerance toward any display of traditional Christmas scenes, or even daring to call a Christmas tree by its name, show that today’s liberals are by no means liberal. Behind the mist of their lofty words, the totalitarian mindset shows through.
If you don’t want to have a gun in your home or in your school, that’s your choice. But don’t be such a damn fool as to advertise to the whole world that you are in “a gun-free environment” where you are a helpless target for any homicidal fiend who is armed. Is it worth a human life to be a politically correct moral exhibitionist?
The more I study the history of intellectuals, the more they seem like a wrecking crew, dismantling civilization bit by bit — replacing what works with what sounds good.”
” The fatal attraction of government is that it allows busybodies to impose decisions on others without paying any price themselves. That enables them to act as if there were no price, even when there are ruinous prices — paid by others. “
” The most successful Republican presidential candidate of the past half century– Ronald Reagan, who was elected and reelected with landslide victories– bore little resemblance to the moderate candidates that Republican conventional wisdom depicts as the key to victory, even though most of these moderate candidates have in fact gone down to defeat.
One of the biggest differences between Reagan and these latter-day losers was that Reagan paid great attention to explaining his policies and values. He was called “the great communicator,” but much more than a gift for words was involved. The issues that defined Reagan’s vision were things he had thought about, written about and debated for years before he reached the White House.
Reagan was like a veteran quarterback who comes up to the line of scrimmage, takes a glance at how the other team is deployed against him, and knows automatically what he needs to do. There is not enough time to figure it out from scratch, while waiting for the ball to be snapped. You have to have figured out such things long before the game began, and now just need to execute.”