When Did America Forget That It’s America?


That’s the title of an op-ed over at WaPo by Natan Sharansky. He compares how America stood up to the Soviet Union with its failing to do so with Iran.

But in today’s postmodern world, when asserting the superiority of liberal democracy over other regimes seems like the quaint relic of a colonialist past, even the United States appears to have lost the courage of its convictions.

I’m not sure exactly when America forgot who we are, but I know who did the forgetting. It was my generation. Our parents had grown up during the depression and been on the front lines of World War II. As President Kennedy noted in his inaugural address, they were

tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

When it was their turn to lead, our parents carried on with the struggle against tyranny, and faced down the Evil Empire.

Their children—my generation—were raised in the relative prosperity of the ’50s and ’60s and many of us avoided service in war when it was our turn. To paraphrase JFK, we have been relatively untouched by war, undisciplined through years of apparent peace, unsure of our heritage—and quite willing to permit the undoing of human rights in far-off lands so long as we aren’t discomforted.

We’re leaving one helluva mess for our children and grandchildren, and I suspect that it is our grandchildren who will face a world not unlike the one faced by our parents.

Nuclear or Asymmetrical?


Jonathan V. Last has a piece over at The Weekly Standard called The Culture War Goes Nuclear. He notes that campaigns such as #GamerGate and Sad Puppies and the reaction to Honey Maid’s my-two-dads commercial signal a change in the Culture War.

Pile Honey Maid on top of #GamerGate, and Anthony Stokes, and Brendan Eich, and the UVA rape epidemic-not to mention Indiana and the Little Sisters of the Poor-and eventually you understand that the culture war isn’t just about abortion anymore. Or even gay marriage. It’s about everybody and everything.

Read the whole thing.

I disagree with his characterization of the conflict as going nuclear. From this old soldier’s point of view it looks more like the sort of asymmetrical warfare the Left used to glorify as a “war of national liberation.”

Martin O’Malley, Liberal Impersonator


That’s the message of this piece over at Slate. It points out that O’Malley, who is trying position himself to the left of Hillary Clinton for the coming primaries, is actually somewhat closer to the political center than she is.

However, O’Malley’s big problem isn’t his lack of leftism. It’s his record as Governor of Maryland. His eight years in Annapolis resulted in one of the bluest states electing a Republican as his successor. To overcome that, he’ll have to impersonate a competent leader, and those of us who suffered under his misrule in Maryland are unlikely to let him get away with it.

Hillary’s Private Spy Service


popcorn4bkMark Hemingway has a piece over at The Weekly Standard about a group of folks who have functioned as a private intelligence network of sorts for Hillary Clinton. One of them is a guy named Cody Shearer; that’s a name that may ring a bell with those Gentle Readers who are familiar with Mark Singer’s Citizen K, and in the discussion of Shearer on page 3 of Hemingway’s post the name Brett Kimberlin appears.

BTW, Cody Shearer is not the only connection between Brett Kimberlin and the Clintons. Others have been discussed here at Hogewash!, and others will be revealed as The Saga unfolds.

Read all of Mark Hemingway’s piece, and stay tuned.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act


The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is a federal law that was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1993 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It was sponsored by then-Congresscritter Chuck Schumer of New York.

Since the federal law was passed, the following states have passed essentially identical laws: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, 
Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, 
Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Alabama has enacted a RFRA constitutional amendment.

Additionally, these states have state supreme court decisions that essentially implement the terms of the federal legislation through case law: Alaska, Hawaii, Ohio, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin.

So the courts in Massachusetts and Hawaii, the same courts that found gay marriage a constitutional right, have also found in favor of RFRA-like protections for religious people. The suggestion has been made that the whole flap over Indiana’s law is really a bunch of progressives yelling, “Squirrel!” during an unfavorable news cycle.

Could be.