French rightist, Professor of History, Dominique Venner, shot himself in the head at the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris on May 21.
His last blog post details one who confronted the reality of both the legal acceptance of “gay marriage” and the other notion, that soon Islamic dominance in France will do away with such a thing (i.e. learn to love the bomb). Staring the nightmare in the face, he pursued an act of theater to encourage his positions.
Revilo Oliver, a veteran Far Rightist (a professor at the University of Illinois and in Bill Buck’s wedding party) died by his own hand in the nascent Internet Age, where as Mssr. Venner was able to provide a blog post (and apparently a more traditional written note) in a more grandiose final act.
As fewer Rightists, for a variety of reasons, are given the opportunity to exist as a Professor, a fact Mssr. Venner surely understood, consider his performance as something we might not see again.
“I think there’s been a certain amount of, frankly, Terry, a kind of pop sociology in America, that, you know, somehow the Shia can’t get along with the Sunni, or the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of fundamentalist regime.” Bill Kristol, arguing that Jeffersonian democracy would prevail in Iraq after the US overthrew its former flunky, Saddam Hussein.
Neanwhile,here in the real world, sectarian bloodshed is escalating in Iraq now that US forces have withdrawn. The majority Shia, now in power, have ruled with a heavy hand, precipitating a Sunni backlash that has many fearing that civil war in inevitable.
A word of warning to all you Rand Paul fans. Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.
I’m talking the Presidency of the United States of course and while its inspiring to think what Sen. Paul could do in the Oval Office, chances are he could stepping into a prison cell come Jan. 2017.
The Cult of the Presidency creates the illusion of the power of one man to get things and indeed the President is one powerful dude. How many people you know can blow up the world at the push of a button? Yet in the modern Presidency, the person who holds the office often finds themselves trapped in the very facade of power the office itself needs to project. Such power, the use of it, renders such a person slave to the Leviathan that is the federal establishment. How many Presidents have we heard on the campaign trail talk in terms of ‘openness”, “reducing the power of government”, “transperancy,” “reform”, “curbing abuses”? How many Presidents wind up well short of these slogans. Obama is just the latest. Any of the current scandals will do of a man a prisoner of his own Presidency. Hell, his own aides wouldn’t even tell him the IRS was under investigation. Now that’s a man who is in charge.
It would be wonderful if modern Presidents could simply reject the trappings of office. Unfortunately Jimmy Carter tried this and failed miserably. By late in his term, he too, tried to act like a President but it much too late for it to matter. An image has to be kept up and when it is then things must be done to keep up appearances. Likewise his successors (with the exception of George H.W. Bush I) all spoke of an “Imperial-less Presidency” and yet wound up like emperors none-the-less. No matter if it was the Cold War, the Kosovo War or the GWOT, events do have a way of preventing the President from being anything less than Commander in Chief. But so does the system itself which supposedly is at the beck and call of the man in charge. It’s what gives the President his power yet it will turn on the ring-bearer if that person refuses to use it. Rand, if he’s elected President, immediately becomes “Leader of the Free World” even if he doesn’t want to be. The whole national security and intelligence and defense apparatus at his command isn’t just going to go away even if he wishes it to. And once in charge, there is every temptation to use it or allow it to do what it wishes out of sight and mind, which is usually when the scandals arise.
Ron Paul relished the idea of downsizing the Presidency but very few agreed with him. Nobody, it seems, wants a Coolidge-like President. Rand has to follow a different path for himself to power, but don’t think if he inherits this power he’ll start citing the Constitution for act he makes or, as a specific matter, free everyone at Gitmo. There are institutions which limit Obama’s real power over the national-security bureaucracy and indeed forces that power into directions he may not have intended when he first ran for the office but. No doubt Reagan and or Clinton or even Bush II, who seemed to relish that power, felt the same way. But so long as the people demand security (and judging by the cheers in Boston, they do) and apparatus demands action and power, the, President is simply their prisoner and what he does becomes directed by them or done in his name (spoken or not). Unless there is a sea change in public attitudes, you may well be as disappointed President Paul as no doubt many are of President Obama and for many of the same reasons.
Sean objects to the “nationalization” of the immigration debate, a point he has made many time before. But immigration is one of the few issues that really is and ought to be national. The Constitution specifically grants to Congress the power “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization … throughout the United States.” While I certainly don’t object to states like Arizona adopting measures that attempt to enforce Federal rules, that immigration is a state issue seems silly to me. Does Sean really believe that California could have lax immigration laws and Alabama very restrictive immigration laws and that would be just fine? Once my state and some of my neighboring states have seceded, then I’ll be less concerned with how California wants to conduct its immigration business, but until then, we are all in this together.
Sean also implies that the demographic change we are concerned about is already a fait accompli. Well, to some degree it is, but that is why this debate is so urgent. We must halt the current trends as soon as possible before the numbers really do pass a tipping point. Maybe that point has already passed, but I’m not sure what the utility is in throwing up our hands. Let’s not stand around with our thumbs up our rears as the situation gets even worse even faster.
Sean also suggest that we are powerless because we don’t pay Heritage’s bills. I am keenly aware of how little power we paleos have, but what is the point in wallowing in that? I’ll just keep banging away on my keyboard in the blogosphere trying to help wake people up.