Bittter Clingers

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Daniel Henninger writes what I believe will prove to be a very prescient column in The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Obama’s remark about rural Pennsylvanians clinging to guns and religion is the coin of the realm in his crowd. But let’s put their shared consensus another way: Somehow it became a conventional view in contemporary American politics that it is non-urban conservatives who in every case have to accommodate their beliefs to a national culture created by people who live somewhere else. “They” must adjust on abortion, guns, school prayer, sexual mores and all the rest of it. Liberals, meanwhile, not only feel no need to concede anything but use the commanding heights of the press and academia to define anyone who dissents from their ever-evolving national culture as a political fringe obsessed with people, one might say, who aren’t like them.

The gun-control bill is collapsing in the Senate because its liberal sponsors, led by Barack Obama and California’s Dianne Feinstein, lost the support of Democratic senators from states with traditional hunting cultures, such as Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Mark Begich of Alaska or Max Baucus of Montana. Why so many people in these states and many others to this day still distrust public authorities on guns is a good, but untold, story. Kentuckians recently voted the right to hunt into their constitution. Instead, gun-control’s failure will be spun as a win for mindless Neanderthals “out there.”

But what about Kermit Gosnell? This story suggests something Neanderthal-like may have developed around the fringe of abortion practice in the 40 years since Roe v. Wade. But rather than re-examine and even reform those practices, the curtain will be pulled on the Gosnell case. They’ll cling to Roe, no matter how unseemly its status quo.

Political correctness—the silent code that decides whose side of the story gets elevated and whose side gets buried—has been a blunt but effective weapon, which the dominant liberal culture has used to achieve a lot of victories over “them” the past 40 years. But the wins have come at a price. That price is the return of an unmistakable, growing and potentially destabilizing bitterness in American politics.

A fairer-minded media would be the best way to level the playing field. Absent that, our politics will be leveled by other means. What the major media think then, if they’re still around, won’t matter.


Go here to read the rest.  Institutions that fail to respond to changing times often become one with Nineveh and Tyre.  Our media, and academia, locked in a mindset where the year is always 1968, are the essential powerbases of liberals, along with much of entertainment.  They think they are invincible.  Instead, they are merely ossified reactionary protectors of an aging dispensation that will prove as ephemeral, over time, as most bright new things that age.

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Ryszard Legutko has written a book, The Demon in Democracy:  Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies, which I highly recommend.  The editor of

PopeWatch: Priorities

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  1. T.E.: He is, at least, as smart as the imbeciles that twice voted for him.

    Obama and his lying, vile supports constantly produced intellectually dishonest “news” painting “us” as liars and mass murderers. When they weren’t outright saying we should be shot, they were charging we killed those little children.

    Obama and his imbeciles’ disgraceful attempts to profit from the tiny, bloody shirts of the Sandy Hook massacre victims failed.

    The rats thought they could use the Newtown mass murders, waving 20 tiny bloody shirts to quickly impose a lying liberal wish-list that did nothing to end mass murder.

    President Teleprompter’s ban on rifles and clips couldn’t get 50 votes. It was comical that Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to fake some “gas” with liberal louts by protesting his undying devotion to anti-gun garbage. In November, Dingy Harry only kept his seat by lying about his pro-gun record.

    Best yet, the lying scum Demorats displayed their lies for all to see and couldn’t hide behind “GOP obstructionism.”

  2. That’s a frustrating column. I pretty much agree with it, but there was so much potential in that first paragraph you quoted that I was hoping for something more profound.

  3. The virtue of this Republic lies and has always been in its rural communities. Cities are (and have been throughout history) cesspools of corruption, immorality, and groupthink. Look at a color coded election map, especially of midwestern states. Where are the cancerous blotches of “blue” in otherwise seas of red? The cities.

    I happen to live in a city because of circumstances, but first chance I get I’m out. For all the claims of “enlightenment” and whatnot, I have witnessed the most profound lapses of intelligence and reason among urbanites. What makes it worse is that city folks from midwestern cities seem especially hell-bent on proving to their “betters” that they really aren’t in “fly-over country”, no really we aren’t! Look how cosmopolitan we are! Look, look look!

    Obviously this is overly simplistic, considering its a combox entry but nothing puts a bur under my saddle more than uppity and vapid urbanites like King O and his cronies putting themselves up as our “betters”.

  4. He is so happy to tout rule by majority vote when lockstep liberals were threatened and bribed to narrowly pass Obamacide or a few republicans cave and capitulate allowing us to be taxed to death and/or raise the debt ceiling but when even a few democrats come to their senses and create the slightest majority against a single item of his agenda he has a fit. This only confirms his immaturity and the deep anger in his soul for any and all who oppose him.

  5. We are engaged in a culture war. On one side are the hardy rural folks and those who share a worldview close to nature and nature’s God. On the other side are the pseudo effete snobs who live in the detached from reality environment of the big city. All their hopes and dreams are founded on things manmade. They have come to believe that through the acquisition of political power, all things can be brought under their total control. They are totalitarians. They seek to emasculate the military culture and to disarm the people from which these soldiers spring. They seek to marginalize the religion so many of them consider irrelevant. On one level, we have most of the guns. We better keep them. On a higher level, we have the Faith and that will sustain us, even if all else fail, to the final triumph.

  6. “Cities are (and have been throughout history) cesspools of corruption, immorality, and groupthink”

    They also happen to be where the jobs are, and where the good medical care and other services are, so we’re pretty much stuck with them. Also, many cities have (or at least used to have) tight-knit neighborhoods occupied by working- or middle-class people of generally good character and of culturally conservative bent. Personally, I think suburbanites are, generally, far more elitist and live more in a “bubble” than either rural residents and residents of central cities. It’s suburbanites (specifically, suburban women) who have actually tipped the political scales toward gun control, abortion, and gay marriage in a way that wealthy urban elites and urban minorities were not able to do.

  7. I wonder what Henninger had in mind when he wrote “our politics will be leveled by other means”. Hmmm.

  8. Elaine,

    Yes, its a stick and carrot sort of thing. Folks leave their organic communities to “make it” in the Big City. You may very well do that, but at what cost? Big mortgages, big car payments, a strained marriage and kids that ignore you in favor of their gadgets. This is my experience with suburbia. However, where do you think suburbanites came from? They, by and large, came from the children of people who used to live in the “ethnic” central parts of town, i.e. white flight. They got liberal by imbibing the values of the urban environment. Where did the Chicago Machine/Tammany Hall get its power from? The unwashed masses who made up that kind of “tight knit” community. Its the same old rabble-rousing the Romans did. Suburbanites, generally speaking, do have the overall combination of an elitist bubble.

    I really thank God that when my people got off the boat they went right past NYC or Chicago and got some land out in the country.

  9. Cities are (and have been throughout history) cesspools of corruption, immorality, and groupthink.

    Must be why the early Church thrived there.

  10. Hitler’s henchman referred to their mass-killing with health euphemisms. It was for the “health” of Germany. Now Obama refers to the killing of unborn children as “women’s health”…and is scared that fanatics will take away this wonderful right for women.. He recalls his involvement proudly in all his years of abortion advancement the way a true veteran talks about actual combat in a field as a patriot. I don’t know how advocating killing your own people (the smallest of them) makes a person a patriot. He ties in abortion with general health access and makes it sound like the Republicans are against all health care! When he turns up the rhetoric he really stretches it! He sees himself of the savior of women, how can he do that at the same time as shaking his finger at those who are against the unfettered killing of little women? It’s not a “more equal society….” when the full arm of the state is against unborn Americans! He’s tired of arguing about the “same old stuff’…doesn’t he know he’s in politics where people are supposed to be allowed to express their views publicly and safely?

  11. There is always risk in generalization. I look back at my own remarks and find chinks in them. One may infer from the electoral maps that big cities are centers of left-wing domination. And of course they have always been corrupt. The late Roman Republic ran on rampant bribery and demagoguery, much as we have become during our own “late republic”. The comparisons are many. The urban population swelled with people who previously would have been working small farms in the country. These were kept quiescent by free grain, circuses, brothels and the like. The common thread, I think, is a decline in virtue, that old Latin word for manliness. “Appelata est enim a viro virtus: viri autem propria maxime est fortitudo” (“The term virtue is from the word that signifies man; a man’s chief quality is fortitude”; Cicero, “Tuscul.”, I, xi, 18). Ya gotta love it.

  12. The “Hope They’re White/Right-Wingers”/Boston Bombers crowd is intent on turning us into outlaws as “enemies of the state.”

  13. Yes, T. Shaw. I share your concern. We are always in danger of being designated “enemies of the state”. It seems to have involved Chechen immigrants. The Muslims of Chechnya are by some accounts violently exclusive, and there may be an affinity for Al Qaeda. Not to make light of a tragedy but we are somewhat relieved to find no connection to the American Legion or the Knights of Columbus. Some liberals are doubtless dissappointed.

  14. ‘ “Atop the quotable Barack Obama there will be this: “And it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” ‘

    Whose agenda clings to subject of guns, words of inequity on religion, and using words like racist and bigot in an accusatory manner? Think campaign speeches, voting machine errors, blackout of the March for Life information, the pictures of behavior of certain guests at the W House, many other atrocious memories of this admin who dares to use us/them in reference to the one people he represents as the top public servant.

  15. Suburbs used to be a political counterweight to cities, as the Philly suburbs used to offset Philly proper. This is no longer the case. The point made about suburban women supporting gun control, abortion, the fallacy of “gay” marriage and other leftist nonsense is completely correct. The most incorrigible leftists often tend to be singe women and married women with no kids.

    This is the result of the decay in Christianity in the United States. Mainline Protestantism is almost finished. The Catholic clergy as a whole have been unwilling to use the pulpit to preach about sin and hell for decades.

    I live in a suburb, 14 miles from Pittsburgh. It was once almost completely rural – much of it still is – and all of it is atop abandoned coal mines. The Pittsburgh area is such that many suburbs are actually towns, boroughs, townships, etc that have been around for a long time and have identities to themselves, whether or not they have new housing developments.

    Every time Obumbler opens his mouth it makes me want to go buy a gun – and have my family taught how to use it.

  16. I did not watch the video, to avoid needless pain. I recollect most of Obama’s pronouncements, and that one well. Obama portrays himself as the indispensable man. Such are always the enemy of liberty.

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