The NY Times has turned on the Obama administration—at least somewhat, at least for the moment.
It may not be the most hard-hitting editorial on earth, but considering the source it’s almost shocking. Something about the DOJ’s treatment of James Rosen has finally gotten the Times’ goat, and it’s no mystery what it is. Perhaps Obama and Holder thought that the fact that it was Rosen (a Fox News guy) they were after would protect them from the rest of the MSM closing ranks behind him to protect themselves from such intrusions. Or perhaps they thought this would never come out (and by they way, why has it come out, and why now?).
At any rate, they seem to have miscalculated on that. For now.
Here’s the lede to the Times editorial:
With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news.
The wagons are slowly being circled. The press is getting angry, and it has some weapons of defense in its own arsenal. Is Obama being warned?
I don’t want to make too much of this. The left is not changing its tune on Benghazi or on the IRS investigation. Nor do I think it will. So whether this ultimately ends up being significant is anyone’s guess. But at least it’s something, a small breach in the heretofore impregnable wall of MSM defense of Obama.
And here's an especially interesting piece by the Times'Bill Keller, who is one of the staunchist Obamaphiles of the liberal/left. In it, he calls on Obama to appoint a special prosecutor in the IRS scandal (which he believes to be the one with the most legs) to "call their [the Republicans'] bluff.” He goes on to say it should be someone widely regarded as objective, such as Clinton’s old nemesis Ken Starr.
Fascinating, no? Does it occur to Keller that, by asking this, it might just be Obama’s bluff that he’s calling?]
Posted by neo-neocon at 1:54 pm. Filed under: Obama, Press
Not because Eugene Robinson is so important, but because he has been one of the most consistent and stalwart of the president’s defenders. I cannot recall a single instance in which he has done anything but carry Obama’s water, with the energy and deep commitment of a true zealot.
So I would have thought Robinson would be the very last person to become alarmed by the AP and Rosen investigations, and the very first to leap to the administration’s defense. But no; he’s actually written a quite hard-hitting condemnation of what the administration has done.
Nor does he specifically exonerate Obama, although he doesn’t specifically incriminate him, either. But I read the entire article looking for an “of course, this was done by Holder or even some Holder underling, and Obama isn’t responsible at all,” and I didn’t find it. He speaks of “the Obama administration” as being the culprit.
Now, Robinson may have second thoughts later and decide to backtrack. Or someone in the administration may call him and cause him to rethink his position in the light of his own job and welfare, if you know what I mean. But for now, his article is one of the most encouraging signs I’ve seen in quite a while.
Kirsten Powers has my admiration. She’s a brave, brave woman, and a good writer, too. She’s published a clear and concise review of Obama’s war on Fox and his manipulation of the press, as well as their craven and willing cooperation.
The DOJ investigation into the AP reporters and James Rosen are not isolated incidents, they are part and parcel of a long-standing and still-evolving policy. And make no mistake about it; if this adminstration gets away with it (which they indeed may), it portends even worse to come.
And except for a few brave people like Powers, the press doesn’t seem to know or care. Oh, they’re making a few bleating noises here and there, but my hunch is it will all blow over. I hope I’m wrong about that, but I fear I’m right.
Posted by neo-neocon at 2:24 pm. Filed under: Obama, Press
As a blogger, I tend to immerse myself in the news. Lately there’s been so very much of it, and so much to think about, that I find myself neglecting some of the other parts of my life.
But yesterday it was time to go to the supermarket. And looking at all the wonderful food, in its tremendous variety and abundance—so much more than supermarkets had when I was a child—and the people there, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the wonder and bounty of it all. These days even the ordinary citizen has access to so much that most of us live in the lap of luxury compared to what it was like even when I was a child.
And then it occurred to me that for so many people the main thing must be to continue the good life (even through welfare, if they can’t afford it on their own) rather than to be devoted to some seeming-abstraction like liberty or responsibility. Obama and the Democrats promise that good life for all, and frame Republicans as wanting to take it away. Whether those facts are empirically true is hardly important; it’s the perception that’s vital.
Liberty? Too many people are inclined to take it for granted, or ignore it, or not understand how precious it is and how vulnerable to tyranny both obvious and subtle. Liberty can seem a distant concept, and food and other consumer goods and conveniences provide pleasures that are immediate, up close and personal. How many people care so much about an abstraction that they will vote for someone whom they think (rightly or wrongly) might take food out of their own mouths, or make them work harder for it?
That has always been the danger of having a republic. Its success rests on the character and the understanding of its people, because if they stop learning and comprehending what makes us great and unique—are not taught it in the schools or in society at large, or lack the skills or the motivation to understand or to care—then we will lose it. And the funny thing about liberty is that it’s only then that people experience (up close and personal) how important it was, and how deeply they yearn for it.
I’ve quoted this passage (from Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, the Grand Inquisitor) before, and I’ll probably quote it again. It seems to take on more and more layers of meaning as time goes on:
Oh, never, never can [people] feed themselves without us [the Inquisitors and controllers]! No science will give them bread so long as they remain free. In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, “Make us your slaves, but feed us.” They will understand themselves, at last, that freedom and bread enough for all are inconceivable together, for never, never will they be able to share between them! They will be convinced, too, that they can never be free, for they are weak, vicious, worthless, and rebellious. Thou didst promise them the bread of Heaven, but, I repeat again, can it compare with earthly bread in the eyes of the weak, ever sinful and ignoble race of man?
Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, has died at 74.
I can’t say I ordinarily notice keyboardists, except in a very general way. But Manzarek was different. I didn’t know his name until a few years ago, but I certainly noticed him, because he was a huge part of what made The Doors what they were. To me, he was every bit as important as the more telegenic and flamboyant Jim Morrison, if not more so. I thought it was his playing that gave what was then called the “long version” of “Light My Fire” (which was usually played on the radio at the time of its heyday only in the short version, alas) the qualities that caused it to become a rock and roll standard that has handily stood the test of time.
I was happy to see, when I looked Manzarek up some years ago online, that he was still playing.
But the obituary I’ve linked to contains this passage:
[Manzarek's] creepy organ line on “Light My Fire” adds a weirdo menace to what outwardly is a rock ‘n’ roll pick-up song.
Creepy? I beg to differ, strongly. The adjectives I’d use instead to describe it would be unexpected, infectious, mesmerizing, and instantly memorable. You might have more:
There is simply no defense for this behavior. Obama defenders such as Andrew Sullivan claim that this is all more complicated than media outrage suggests because of a necessary “trade-off” between press freedoms and security. So do Obama defenders believe that George Bush and Richard Nixon – who never prosecuted leakers like this or formally accused journalists of being criminals for reporting classified information – were excessively protective of press freedoms and insufficiently devoted to safeguarding secrecy? To ask that question is to mock it. Obama has gone so far beyond what every recent prior president has done in bolstering secrecy and criminalizing whistleblowing and leaks.
This tornado looks very bad, but reports of casualties are just coming in.
Much of the town of Moore has been destroyed, including the hospital. One possible consolation is that, according to Fox (which I’m watching on TV right now), there was a 16-minute warning. People in this area live in tornado alley, and most homes probably have cellars, and residents know the tornado protocol. But still, it looks horrific.
Posted by neo-neocon at 7:02 pm. Filed under: Disaster
I wonder; will this get the attention of the MSM? Or is it okay because it happened to a Fox reporter?
Prediction: Obama will either defend this move, or deny knowing about it. Maybe both.
[NOTE: It causes me to recall that the notorious "plumbers" of the Nixon administration and Watergate fame were originally formed (and got their name from) their mission to plug leaks that were considered vital to national security. But aside from the Ellsberg psychiatrist office burglary, they didn't do a whole lot to further that goal. The Watergate break-in was apparently a side caper, committed for a different reason. The motive, however, remains a mystery to this day.]
[ADDENDUM: More information about the probe into Rosen's doings here.
It occurs to me that this is the sort of thing the left kept thinking the Bush administration would be doing. But it's Obama who's doing it.
It's typical of the left to project its own tactics onto others. But no one who has studied Obama's past should be surprised at what his administration has done. The only surprise is that any of this is finally being revealed. WTF took so long?]
Please read it, and send it out to other people you think should read it. Don’t forget your liberal friends, if they are at all amenable to actually reading something you might send them (I’ve worn out my political welcome with most people).
John Kass also gets it—from bitter experience in Chicago, where it’s long been the way it works. It’s not for nothing that Obama cut his political teeth in Chicago; it’s a place that suited him well.
And one of the comments (from “Joe Phillips”) to the Kass article says it quite well:
This is the government the Founding Fathers warned us about.
This is the government Barack Obama said to ignore the warnings about.
This is the government George Orwell wrote about.
This is the government Hugo Chavez dreamed about.
This is the government Ayn Rand feared.
This is the government that will make your medical decisions.
This is the type of corrupt government that has enslaved and killed their citizens.
THIS IS WHAT WE THE PEOPLE HAVE ALLOWED OUR GOVERNMENT TO BECOME!
The biggest question by far is Hillary’s extraordinarily useful one: what difference does it make? If the American people don’t care, the tree will fall in the forest without making much of a sound. Way too many on the liberal/left side will think what the IRS did was perfectly fine, because it was part of the fight against the evil right, and all’s fair in that war.
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. Read More >>