America: Leadership, at the break with the past

Things have already changed.

Politics may not be beanbag, but electoral politics is also not the game of basics that America needs today.  It is no longer realistic to speak of trying to win elections by means of dismissing basic issues like what liberty means, and whether government has grown so big that we really do have to transform it fundamentally.  There can be no such thing now as Republicans winning a national election by speaking as if we can remain on our current course without making major changes.

To speak so is to speak on the Democrats’ terms.  For all their talk of attacking the status quo, the Democrats are, today, the party of the status quo of law and government in America.  The status quo involves keeping the people trapped in a vise of regulation, taxes, and carefully calibrated “benefits.”  It involves funneling every problem of human life through government – but more than that, it involves making up fake problems in order to increase the power of government.  In today’s status quo, moreover, the federal government is as closely involved in local and personal issues as state and local governments are; there is no working principle that the federal government’s armed power should be kept separate from intricate economic regulation and moral law.

Radicalism, demonstrated

Examples of radicalism and corruption in government abound.  Continue reading “America: Leadership, at the break with the past”

Scrap the Senate Immigration bill

Kill the bill.

It’s as bad as the Tea Party thinks it is.  It’s worse.  In some ways, it’s a pig in a poke: it’s not about immigration as much as it is about changing the way government business is done in the United States.

A couple of points up front.

Legal immigration is good

First, I am a pro-immigration voter.  Not only am I pro-immigration, I am happy to accept immigrants who aren’t Ph.D.s, IT professionals, and bioengineers.  I have nothing against credentialed professionals, but the truth is that they are not the economic accelerators that small business entrepreneurs are.  America has had tremendous success with legal immigration; we should do more of it than we do today, and we should not seek to admit only those who come laden with wealth and credentials.  That is not the path to national prosperity.

America does need to repair other failures, Continue reading “Scrap the Senate Immigration bill”

Faith-Based Citizenship

Obama flunks Americanism 101.

President Obama could hardly have struck more wrong notes in his immigration speech yesterday if he had attacked a piano with a buzzsaw.  For me, the most egregious dissonance emerged with the sentence: “Being an American is not a matter of blood or birth, it’s a matter of faith.”

Ed Morrissey generously suggests the following:

We know what Obama meant in this passage — a similarity to those who have expressed the notion that they were Americans before ever setting foot in the US, thanks to their love of liberty.

But I am decreasingly sure that Obama means these commonly-understood things when he uses such weird formulations. Continue reading “Faith-Based Citizenship”