May 8th, 2014

Obama unleashes the left

From Daniel Henninger today in the WSJ:

All of a sudden, the left has hit ramming speed across a broad swath of American life—in the universities, in politics and in government. People fingered as out of line with the far left’s increasingly bizarre claims are being hit and hit hard…

The trigger event was an agreement signed last May between the federal government and the University of Montana to resolve a Title IX dispute over a sexual-assault case.

Every college administrator in the U.S. knows about this agreement. Indeed, there are three separate, detailed “Montana” documents that were signed jointly—and this is unusual—by the civil-rights divisions of the Justice and Education Departments. Remarked DoJ’s Joceyln Samuels, “The government is stronger when we speak with one voice.”

That’s real muscle. But read the agreement. It is Orwellian.

The agreement orders the school to retain an “Equity Consultant” (yes, there is such a thing) to advise it indefinitely on compliance. The school must, with the equity consultant, conduct “annual climate surveys.” It will submit the results “to the United States.”

The agreement describes compliance in mind-numbing detail, but in fact the actual definitional world it creates is vague. It says: “The term ‘sexual harassment’ means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” But there are also definitions for sexual assault and gender-based harassment. All of this detailed writ is called “guidance.” As in missile.

No constitutional lawyer could read this agreement and not see in it the mind of the Queen of Hearts: “Sentence first, verdict afterwards!” Indeed, the U.S. Education Department felt obliged to assert that the agreement is “entirely consistent with the First Amendment.”

First Amendment? It’s more like a fatwa. The Obama administration has issued a federal hunting license to deputize fanatics at any university in America. They will define who gets accused, and on what basis.

I agree that Obama has “unleashed” the forces of the left and empowered them. It’s the sort of thing I’ve been saying here for years. But the way was paved long before this; whatever is in the “Montana” agreements is only the latest step in a long process of preparation.

Read Allan Bloom on what happened at Cornell (and other universities) during the 60s—the failure of professors and administrators to defend freedom of speech on campus, and the caving to the special interests of aggrieved victim groups. Think about how American students have for decades been told that the definition of sexual harassment in the workplace or school is whatever might make them feel threatened or uncomfortable, and that speech that does this must be stamped out. Note the long long process of leftist professors hiring leftist professors to create a near-unanimity of leftist thought among faculty. And understand that this sort of PC thought-control and speech-control by the thought police has been normed so much and for so long that it’s likely that most students today see absolutely nothing wrong with it and don’t even understand the foundation of the arguments against it.

That the Obama DOJ has wormed itself ever more firmly into the process was inevitable. We are in big trouble, but we have been for a long, long time.

[ADDENDUM: And take a look at this.]

18 Responses to “Obama unleashes the left”

  1. Ray Says:

    When I was an undergrad in the early 1960s we used to joke that there was nothing so cowardly as a college president. This is just another example of a surrender to the lefties.

  2. Don Carlos Says:

    We are in Big Trouble. Big.
    At the risk of offending those who believe the US Civil War was first and foremost about slavery, it was first about Saving the Union and defeating States’ Rights, and it took the Confederacy one hundred years, give or take, to recover.
    The Sturm und Drang of the 1840s-50s is being replayed today. It is again fundamentally a Constitutional question. The alignment of geographies is remarkably similar. The outcome will be similar too, unless the Uniformed Services align with the armed Country Class against the Rulers who intend to Save the Union in a Living Constitution.

  3. Ymarsakar Says:

    All of a sudden, the left has hit ramming speed across a broad swath of American life—in the universities, in politics and in government. People fingered as out of line with the far left’s increasingly bizarre claims are being hit and hit hard…

    Author must have been blind or a fool not to have noticed the Left’s potential before then. This ain’t no “trigger” event. It’s just something the wannabe intellectuals convinced themselves is the Cause, whatever The Cause is at their particular popularity party.

  4. Ymarsakar Says:

    Slavery was not ended by Civil War I. The job wasn’t finished. All the slavers were still alive, had power, and eventually regained their property, power, and political influence.

    Gulf War wasn’t ended by the Gulf War bombing Saddam. WWI’s problems weren’t ended, that’s why WWII happened.

    Under the Democrats, 100 year isn’t even a logickal assessment. The answer is never. Detroit, Chicago, and New Orleans will never recover under Democrat rule. The same goes for the Old South. Only when the South began voting Republican, in public, such as for Reagan, did any economic recovery maintain itself.

  5. Matt_SE Says:

    Yes, this is serious. Ceteris paribus, this would institute a quasi-police state at every university.
    However, as always, leftist ideology will be forced to bow to reality: the higher education system is in the early stages of implosion due to fiscal unsustainability.
    When one couples ruinous debt with these Stasi tactics, I doubt many of the younger generations are going to graduate pining for more leftism.
    I smell a counter-revolution in the making.

  6. Ann Says:

    I followed that link in your addendum, Neo, and read about the efforts at UCLA to disqualify students who received pro-Israel training or trips from being on the student council.
    That campaign is being orchestrated by a group called Students for Justice in Palestine. I must admit I’ve never heard of the organization before, but it’s growing and looks highly coordinated with well-planned and -implemented tactics. See here for detailed information about the group — it all reminds me of what Eric is always saying here about the need for organized activism on the right.

  7. Beverly Says:

    Folks, this is very important: Dr. Peg Lusik explains exactly how sinister (in both senses) the “Common Core” regime is. She’s fascinating; leave her on audio and go about your business.

    Ex.: the EQA tests that all the states are forced to use has 30 academic questions — and 355 attitude questions.

    Take a deep breath and follow her down the totalitarian rabbit hole:

  8. rickl Says:

    I made this comment recently; I don’t remember whether it was here or elsewhere. Forgive me if I’m repeating myself.

    Eliminating government student aid would go a long way towards ending this kind of nonsense. Without it, colleges would be forced to reduce their tuition to what students could actually afford to pay. That would in turn force them to eliminate a lot of academic dead wood, especially “studies” professors.

    Government financial aid is essentially a taxpayer subsidy of Marxist indoctrination. We are literally being forced to pay for our own destruction.

    Eliminating affirmative action in admissions and hiring would also help. Taken together, these steps would help ensure that only people who are academically qualified could go to college or serve as professors. (Privately endowed scholarships would still be available.) The idea that everybody should attend college is nonsensical.

  9. n.n Says:

    The natural order, and evolutionary fitness specifically, has a darker, brutish underside. It starts at conception and ends in the abortion/murder clinic; or, it starts at conception and ends in an inculcation/indoctrination clinic; or, it starts at conception and is transferred with each generation. Either way, it’s the parents’ choice. Make life, not abortion. Raise your children to respect your philosophy. Discover your priorities.

  10. Steve57 Says:

    ricki said:

    “Government financial aid is essentially a taxpayer subsidy of Marxist indoctrination. We are literally being forced to pay for our own destruction.”

    Yes, “fundamental transformation” is just a euphemism for destruction.

    But it’s not just in the case of government financial aid. Obama’s climate change initiative, for instance, is further deliberate destruction of our economy.

    As neo-neocon points out, the leftists are bent on destruction on a broad front.

  11. Mike Says:

    The Country is in grave danger.

  12. Beverly Says:

    I’m at the point in Wm. Manchester’s Winston Churchill biography (The Last Lion) where Poland was just invaded. England had given her word of honour (yep, they used to talk about Honour) that she would come to Poland’s aid in the event of an attack by Hitler. Chamberlain, the Appeaser, was STILL clinging to the idea that he could kiss Hitler’s ass and get out of going to war.

    But he was forced to recall Parliament to London that night on an emergency basis. The House of Commons was packed: everyone was straining at the leash, sure there would be a Declaration of War. Here’s how Manchester describes it:

    “At 7:30 pm a crowded House awaited the prime minister’s announcement. Parliament, like the British press and public, was ready for war. The secret conduct of foreign policy was past. The country knew of His Majesty’s Government’s [HMG] commitment to Poland, knew how deeply the German army had penetrated the Polish defenses, knew England’s delay in declaring war was responsible for the Luftwaffe’s supremacy in the skies over Poland, ans was ready to come to her aid. Spears had never seen Parliament ‘so stirred, so profoundly moved. . . . The benches were packed. The unbearable suspense was about to be relieved. One and all were keyed up for the announcement that war had been declared.’

    “To Churchill, there was ‘no doubt that the temper of the House was for war. I even deemed it more resolute and united than in the similar scene on August 2, 1914, in which I had also taken part.’ As Chamberlain rose, another MP felt that ‘most members of the House were ready to show their intense relief that the suspense was ended by cheering wildly.’

    “‘But as we listened,’ Spears wrote, ‘amazement turned to stupefaction, and stupefaction into exasperation.’ Chamberlain was speaking, not of Nazi crimes, or of suffering Poland, nor Britain’s honor, but of ‘further negotiations,’ or rather of their possibility, since the German govt. had rejected the last such proposal. But, the prime minister said to the staring, straining, immobile House of Commons, that was not necessarily a reason for discouragement. The Fuhrer of the Reich was a very busy man. It was not impossible that he was pondering the Italian govt’s suggestion for a conference. Chamberlain affirmed HMG’s demand that German troops leave Poland but– despite the unanimous vote of his own Cabinet for war, and his pledge to report it to Parliament — Chamberlain mentioned no deadline for their departure. ‘If the German Gov. should agree to withdraw their forces, then His Majesty’s Govt. would be willing to regard the position as being the same as it was before the German forces crossed the Polish frontier.’ Then, he said triumphantly, ‘the way would be open to discussion’ between Poland and the Reich, in which case ‘Britain would be willing to be associated with such talks.’

    “He sat down. No one cheered. Instead, Hugh Dalton heard what he called ‘a terrific buzz.’ Margesson signaled his whips to brace for physical violence, and with reason. [Cabinet members] Duff Cooper and Amery, Dalton saw, were ‘red-faced and almost speechless with fury.’ Cooper himself had ‘never felt so moved.’ Spears saw the House ‘oozing with hostility.’ Two MPs actually vomited. Churchill, for once understating the hostility to Chamberlain, merely noted that ‘the Prime Minister’s temporising statement was ill-received by the House,’ but Amery wrote that ‘Parliament was aghast. For two whole days the wretched Poles had been bombed and massacred,’ and here was the prime minister of Great Britain discussing how ‘Hitler should be invited to tell us whether he felt like relinquishing his prey! And then there were all these sheer irrelevancies about the terms of a hypothetical agreement between Germany and Poland.’

    “… When Arthur Greenwood rose to reply for the Opposition, Amery, fearing a ‘purely partisan speech,’ shouted, ‘Speak for England!’ Greenwood, not known for his eloquence, stammered and said of Chamberlain, ‘I must put this point to him. Every minute’s delay now means the loss of life, imperiling of our national interest — ‘ He hesitated, and Boothby called out, ‘Honour.’ Greenwood said, ‘Let me finish my sentence. I was about to say, imperiling the very foundations of our national honour.’”

    Carthago delenda est.

  13. Ymarsakar Says:

    I would rather die having spoken in my manner, than speak in your manner and live. For neither in war nor yet in law ought any man use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death, if a man is willing to say or do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs deeper than death.

    -Socrates before the PC thought enforcement assembly

    Chamberlain’s a good example of the damaged goods that came out of WWI, another unfinished war.

    All the brave, virtuous, and patriotic went to the front lines and got killed, so all the vice-full back home could go into politics and get rich. All the sacrifices in war, were turned into gold and then squandered by those who didn’t risk as much as others. This ultimately breaks the social recognition of warrior virtues and gives rise to a sense that if people can cheat and get glory, why acquire honesty given the risks.

    It would be interesting to see what conflicts Chamberlain had during WWI. Did he think conscription was unfair? Did he want certain people in his circles exempted from conscription? What was the conflict.

    A person like that tends to carry the scars of war, or rather not being in war, to their later days, to the point where Chamberlain would sacrifice anything to get Hitler to ‘agree to avoid war’. That shows you the priorities of those damaged goods.

    Of course a nation won’t last long under war mongers. But it’ll last a tad longer than it would under cowards and those who bend knee to the authority of evil. War destroys generations of life and resources, but life can regenerate. Life won’t be able to regenerate once weakness kills a nation’s soul.

  14. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “the higher education system is in the early stages of implosion due to fiscal unsustainability.” Matt SE

    That will eventuate, if… no outward interference occurs. What are the chances that the democrats (and RINOs) will declare ‘higher education’ to be not “too big to fail”? I foresee a bailout.

    “Eliminating government student aid would go a long way towards ending this kind of nonsense. Without it, colleges would be forced to reduce their tuition to what students could actually afford to pay. That would in turn force them to eliminate a lot of academic dead wood, especially “studies” professors.” rickl

    I’m all for eliminating federal aid but judge it to have less than a snowball’s chance in hell of happening… but even were it to occur, any ‘academic dead wood’ that was eliminated would reach the ‘social studies’ and ‘humanities’ departments last, if at all. Ideologues value above all else their ideology and “higher education’s” administration is totally leftist.

  15. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Raise your children to respect your philosophy.” n.n.

    Good advice. The left is working diligently to eliminate that choice or at least ameliorate it to the greatest degree possible. There are efforts from Obama on down to outlaw home schooling and make mandatory, indoctrination at the pre-school level. The single greatest obstacle to the indoctrination of the young in ‘school’ is parental influence. The sooner the indoctrination begins, the less parental influence is a factor.

  16. Rick Caird Says:

    Some guy in the Journal’s comments was trying to claim this was not possible because Obama is to the right of Nixon. My counter argument is Obama is more like Mao in unleashing the “Cultural Revolution” and using the universities as the Red Guard.

  17. Ymarsakar Says:

    They have no idea who Nixon is or what he did. Same for Hussein.

  18. Eric Says:

    It started with the founding. We have a Bill of Rights in the 1st place because the founders understood that rights not enumerated would be consumed, and could be consumed even then.


    That’s a what. The next step is figuring out the how. (Activism, of course.)


    Your campus-based example reminds me of my go-to example that leftists can be defeated in the activist game: the Ivy League civil-military movement, particularly the campaign at Columbia University that was led by student-veteran activists, many of whom carried over their competitive ethic from COIN that defeated radical Islamist activists in Islam’s heartland.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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