Day By Day

Monday, May 07, 2012

What it's about

Michael Walsh writes a column at National Review Online that riffs from a speech by Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock of Indiana.  Speaking at a Lincoln Day dinner, Mourdock said:

“bipartisanship has taken us to the brink of bankruptcy. It is not bipartisanship we need, it is principle.”

Walsh then runs with that thought with these words:

It is not bipartisanship we need, it is principle.” Emphasis mine. Because that’s what this election is all about. Principles, not programs. Principles, not programs. Principles, not programs.

Conservatives are in the middle of two electoral cycles, both of them crucial to the future of the republic. The first is the campaign against Barack Obama and his consigliere, Jake Lingle, and four more years of their destructive, soul-corroding political ethos, punishment disguised as compassion, dependency disguised as public charity — in short, a criminal organization masquerading as a political party. Even as the economic consequences of modern liberalism bring one state or societal edifice after another crashing down — something its policies are frankly intended to do, for its own enrichment — Obama and his gang are preparing to redouble their efforts. In just one term, they have to be happy with what they’ve wrought so far. Imagine what they can do in two.

But conservatives have another, equally important battle to win, the battle against the likes of Sens. Dick Lugar and Orrin Hatch, two antediluvians who richly deserve retirement at the hands of challengers Richard Mourdock and Dan Liljenquist — pour encourager les autres, if nothing else. Since the passage of the 17th amendment, the Senate has turned ineluctably into a life peerage, a millionaires’ club whose arcane rituals and ludicrous notions of noblesse oblige ought to embarrass the freemen of a free republic. Whatever good “Dick Nixon’s favorite mayor” and the singing sensation from Utah have done in the past, it has long since been outweighed by the trouble they cause now.

He adds:

The Constitution is not a set of prescriptive programs; it is a statement of principles. Much to the Emperor Hussein’s horror, it is indeed a charter of negative liberties, welded in place because the Founders knew and understood man’s fallen nature and his continuing fallibility. Like the impregnable walls guarding Dr. Morbius’ compound in Forbidden Planet, it was designed to withstand the monsters from the Id, the self-destructive passion for political power inherent in any human enterprise, kept at bay only through constant vigilance.

It’s not like Dr. Morbius’s demons have finally punched through Madison’s solid Krell steel on their own, but that we — like the defenders of Constantinople in 1453 – have abetted the monsters from the Id by losing faith in ourselves. That’s left our social structures weakened, as one entity after another has fallen or been handed over to the “progressives” and — in the immortal words of Leslie Nielsen as Capt. J. J. Adams — “their own subconscious hate and lust for destruction.”
 Vigilance.  A reminder for Americans and for our posterity.

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