Politics & War
A curiously familiar character turns up in the latest multiplex blockbuster
Jimmy Savile is entirely unknown to Americans. Which is as it should be. He was a British disc jockey and children's-TV host, but, even by the debased standards of those callings, he didn't appear to have any particular talent...
In a few hours' time, the President of the United States will apparently do to his oath of office what the Islamic State does to its captives. As I said to Hugh Hewitt the other day, even a constitution of meticulously constructed checks and balances requires a certain seemliness of its political class. This chief executive is brazen in his lawlessness, and ever more so. And he has calculated that those who object lack the stomach to do anything about it. We shall see. However, I would like ...
Selling Britishness in a post-imperial age
I have always loved the simple dignity of Remembrance Day ceremonies in the Commonwealth, and, if I chance to be in one of Her Majesty's Dominions large or small - Canada or Australia, Grand Turk or Gibraltar - come November 11th, I always wander along to join the local dignitaries and poppy-wearing citizens honoring their veterans at the Cenotaph.
This year it's different...
But it turns out they don't. Not to him. You gotta hand it to the guy: It would be hard to devise a more open expression of contempt for the will of the people than what he's just done: An election was held. His party lost, badly. And, without waiting for the new guys even to take their seats, in the so-called "lame-duck session" (an unnecessary carbuncular proceduralism most developed nations manage to do without), the President tells the - oh, what's the word? - "citizenry", "Hey, thanks for taking the trouble to drive to the polling station the other day. Leave your name at the desk and if we need you for cheering extras at my photo-op we'll get back to you." You can change legislators. Meanwhile, he'll change the legislation.
I'm getting weary of the monarchical comparisons, which are a bit of an insult to real monarchs. The Obama model seems to owe more to Judge Dredd, the popular comic-book figure with the power to arrest, convict, sentence and execute as he does what's necessary to bring hope and change to a dystopian megalopolis. Likewise, President Dredd: "He is the Law, and you'd better believe it!" A contempt for the people and for constitutional and legal restraints is what ties the President's actions on Thursday night to Eric Holder's corrupt justice department to Lois Lerner's corrupt revenue agency to Jonathan Gruber's corrupt health commissariat...
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