Day three of the National Review cruise has come and gone and it was a relaxing day at sea. I had the distinct honor to talk about National Security policy alongside the legendary former Marine combat officer and Assistant Secretary of Defense, Bing West. The session was entitled “Veterans Day with the Colonels: The Wild Wild Wests.” We both wore straw cowboy hats and that really got the crowd going. The Allure of the Seas put on a terrific Veterans Day gathering for all vets aboard ship — a truly class act!
As we were at sea all day steaming towards St Thomas, USVI, I gazed out of the room at the expanse of the Caribbean Sea and pondered the days of old when English, French, Dutch and Spanish ships sailed these seas and fought to secure their respective colonies — and transported goods. And I also imagined the black sails of the pirates who sought to intercept and capture the bounty of those ships — and head off to their respective hideouts scattered amongst the many islands of the Bahamas and elsewhere — days of hearty men and true open ocean craft.
Also, it has been a week since last week’s midterm elections and in reflecting on those many European nations who once held immense influence in this area, I wondered how other countries viewed the election. I had read last week that the Iranians were a little concerned about having a GOP majority in the House and Senate — and I can understand why, since the unilateral lifting of sanctions and agreements will be under heavy scrutiny in the Senate now. But how does Europe especially see what happened last week? After all, who can forget the mass of people who gathered in Berlin back in 2008 to heap praise and adoration on a young unaccomplished first term senator from the state of Illinois who was running for president of the United States?
It’s sadly funny to go from that kind of adulation to having Democrat candidates for senator unable to admit voting for you — how the once seemingly mighty do indeed fall.
So I began to scour the news for a good assessment and found one, from someone whom I have come to know quite well, British Member of Parliament, Daniel Hannan. Hannan writes in the Washington Examiner, “The moment I switched on the radio Wednesday morning, I could tell who had won the US midterms. BBC presenters were using that special tone that they reserve for massacres, tragedies and natural disasters. They had been braced for a defeat, but not on such a scale. The result was, as the Guardian newspaper admitted, “worse than expected” — using that phrase in a news piece, not an opinion column. In Brussels, the media were frankly incredulous. While the Republicans have a fair number of supporters in Britain, they have almost none in Europe. (Yes, they’re two different things. We Brits feel much closer to the other Anglophone, common-law democracies than we do to our geographical neighbors.)”
I found it interesting that MP Hannan would draw a separation between England and the rest of Europe in its associations. After all, why would all of Europe not feel a bond to America — I suppose the endeavors of our brave young men in World War I and II have been forgotten by some — no worries, we don’t teach it here in our schools either.
Is it possible that conservatism will never achieve a renaissance in old Europe? Perhaps it can in the new Europe — the countries liberated after the collapse of the old Soviet Union who now find themselves potentially under the specter of a resurgent imperialist Russia.
In one assessment of the election, BBC presenter Huw Edwards explained in the main evening news, it would “make it much more difficult for President Obama to push through new legislation.”
Well, I don’t blame this Brit one bit, because it was a French fella named Montesquieu who came up with the whole concept of three branches of government, separation of powers, and coequal branches of government with a system of checks and balances.
And we shouldn’t fault Mr. Edwards because if any of you have seen those “man on the street” segments — most Americans don’t have a comprehension of our government structure either. As a matter of fact, our Hollywood “stars” seemed to have failed civics as well — remember Gwyneth Paltrow wishing we could just give President Obama all the powers to do as he wished? Yep, scary. Of course if a conservative were to hint at doing likewise they’d be severely assaulted by the liberal progressive media — and I bet from both sides of the Atlantic.
But what was most interesting in Hannan’s op-ed was this observation, “Overseas, he’s still what he was to a goodly chunk of Americans when he started: the cool, mixed-race, anti-war guy who, explicitly or implicitly but always consistently, conveys the belief that America has been too arrogant. Europeans, in particular, can’t get enough of him. This is the candidate, after all, who in effect launched his presidential campaign in Berlin. This is the president who wants to copy European healthcare, European daycare, European carbon reduction, European foreign policy. The elites of Europe, noting the mimicry, are flattered. So are their main media outlets. The fact that America has turned so emphatically against its president is therefore awkward.”
Barack Hussein Obama was the victory of European socialism in the United States. As Obama once quipped back in 2008 — and European elites probably agreed — “we are the change that we have been waiting for.” I’m still trying to figure out what that meant.
But certainly to those Euro-elites it meant that America – the country of brutish ignorant warmongers who prided themselves on their individual liberty and carried guns — not to mention failed to properly understand what “football” was — had finally come to their senses.
After all, it was the European Nobel Society that awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to a fella for….well, trying to figure that one out also — but hey, they REALLY liked him and he was just so very cosmopolitan and a “citizen of the world.” To the Euro-elites Obama was certainly light years better than that crotchety ol’ Reagan who defeated the Soviet Union and that imbecile George W. Bush — both of course Republicans.
So it seems in greater old Europe, they’re taking the American 2014 midterm elections kinda hard as not just a repudiation of Obama’s policies — but of their own progressive socialist agenda.
Hannan found the common thread in all of this — the liberal media. He writes, “What’s missing from all the main news reports on the eastern shores of the Atlantic is Obamacare. It is an article of faith here that the old US healthcare system was vicious and socially divisive. It is widely believed that Americans were frequently left to die for want of means. After all, Michael Moore kept telling us about it. If Obamacare were nothing more than the extension of healthcare to those who otherwise could not afford it, its unpopularity would be inexplicable. So the Euro-media ignore the whole subject. They ignore, too, the way the 44th president proclaims parts of his healthcare program active or suspended more or less on a whim. They disregard his tendency to rule by decree, even on such sensitive questions as immigration. They avoid his cavalier attitude to the constitution: his breezy declaration, for example, that mere technicalities were no grounds for the Senate to block him.”
Amazingly enough, with all the lies of omission from the progressive socialist media on both sides of the Atlantic, the American people knew ground truth. And that was the progressive socialist policies and lawlessness of Barack Obama were not in keeping with the fundamental precepts of this Constitutional Republic.
It took six years for some to awaken but it did happen — but the struggle is not over. It will indeed be difficult for the liberal media — from both sides of the Atlantic — to now dismiss the efforts of a GOP legislative body.
Those 367 pieces of legislation passed in the House that sit on current Senate Democrat majority leader Harry Reid’s desk will be passed in the Senate and make their way to President Obama’s desk. The adept speech giver will be challenged — perhaps our British cousins remember King John — as to his ability to govern, not rule.
We have a rule of law in America and last week’s midterm election demonstrated the American people want its adherence — although Obama believes he should adhere to the voices of the two-thirds who didn’t vote — still trying to figure out what he meant there also.
MP Hannan closes with the very same point in his piece, writing “The American people as a whole are supposed to act as the supreme check on the executive. Last week, they discharged that duty to the letter, returning majorities pledged to reverse Washington’s recent power-grabs. To adapt the president: If you like your balance of power, you can keep your balance of power. No one can take it away from you. If you like the Constitution, you can keep your Constitution. Period.”
The real test comes in 2016 when those who focus on image and personality will once again be courted by the firmly established message machine of the progressive left. The ideological battle for the future of America has been engaged — and it will be keen to see which side our European allies take.