March 10, 2009

Sometimes neoconservatives, (or should I say movement conservatives?) say things that are so stupid that one mistakes them for satire. Last week the New York Post republished an opinion piece from the Commentary blog Contentions, which had been produced by Wall Street Journal columnist Max Boot. Presumably Max’s opinion carry enormous weight throughout the Beltway policy community. After all, this crusader for democracy already wears among his awesome titles the honor of a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Max initiates his discourse by praising an immigrant officer from South Vietnam who commanded the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment in Iraq. Max “€œhad been privileged to spend time with [this division] in Iraq,”€ probably on some kind of whirlwind visit to Middle Eastern dining spots. As a result of his contact with Colonel Viet X. Luong, Max was forced to engage in some heavy thinking. For example, he arrived at the conclusion that our progress as a military power, liberating other countries from undemocratic ways of life, may depend on having vastly more immigration: “€œI only hope the Pentagon will widen and extend a draft program that allows the recruitment of immigrants who don”€™t yet have Green Cards or citizenship.”€ Furthermore: “€œImmigrants have always been the strength of our country, and the armed forces should take full advantage of this resource.”€

There we have it in a nutshell: the neocon path to American glory. What we need is a government that throws Green Cards and citizenship at foreigners, providing they can be induced to serve in our military. And the military should be expanded so that we can protect ourselves against all those lurking evils that, according to Max, have persistently threatened us, including but not limited to seceding Southerners, Austro-German militarists, and Islamofascists. With all those terrifying enemies whom Max’s friends at Commentary and in the CFR have brought to our attention, it might be a good idea to send our immigration officials on holidays for the next several centuries. All we need to deal with our borders are military officials to throw Green Cards after those who are crossing the Rio Grande to advance global democracy.

Equally interesting is an opinion piece on “€œObama’s dilemma,”€ published by another Wall Street Journal-contributor William McGurn. Although I remember McGurn from his stint at National Review, when he was used to expose the rightwing extremism of the paleoconservative-paleolibertarian alliance of the early 1990s, it never dawned on me then how deeply this guy felt for inner-city blacks who send their kids to high-toned private schools, at taxpayers”€™ expense. Right now Bill (if I may sound chummy) is apparently steaming because Obama and his fellow-Democrats are about to pull the plugs on a voucher plan for the District of Columbia, one that serves disproportionately low-income minorities. Neither Obama nor the Senator in whose bailiwick the decision lies, Dick Durbin of Illinois, has shown any interest in rescuing those minorities. To dramatize the crisis, Bill notes that fewer than half of the students at the nearest public high school in the District “€œare proficient in reading and math.”€

Allow me to raise a few points about the exercise in sensitivity that I-feel-your-pain Bill is presenting for our benefit. (Lately the most controversial GOP shill, Rush, has been pushing the same issue as Bill on his radio entertainment.) One, there is no evidence that moving more minority students to Sidwell Friends, Obama’s school of choice for his daughters, would appreciably raise the scores of students now at Roosevelt High School, the institution of non-learning in question. Why does McGurn believe that putting lower-class minorities into the same classrooms with upper-class whites would render them more studious? It might have a very different effect, namely turning some liberal Protestant enclaves of selective diversity into a jungle, an outcome that would delight me but one for which I would not presume to tax others. If McGurn is concerned about a particular student who attends Sidwell-Friends receiving a scholarship, perhaps the school could be persuaded to extend that honor to the young woman. (Schools do such things.) Two, there are already parochial schools that educate minority students and which seem very good at instilling discipline. Why not urge the government to relieve the tax burden of those parents who send their offspring to these parochial schools and leave it to the District to pay for its own voucher plan? Although it pains me to think about how the DC government might distribute its funds, if it managed to collect them without graft, I can”€™t see why Congress should authorize the vouchers.

Three, and most important, I never fail to be amused by how frenetically the GOP and its noisemakers suck up to minorities. Unfortunately for them, those whom Bill McGurn and the Wall Street Journal are targeting despise them and the party they represent. And blacks and Latinos are entirely justified to despise the doormats into which the Republicans turn themselves when they decide to reach out.

Moreover, the GOP adds to its spray-gun approach to minorities another kind of posturing. As Larry Auster recently pointed out, the televised remarks of GOP spokesman Tony Blankley, who went after Obama for not “€œreally liking America,”€ because of its supposedly racist origins, conveniently overlooks the fact that W said even worse things than Obama about America’s racist past. While in Africa in 2003, the GOP leader emoted shamelessly about the “€œracial bigotry fed by slavery”€ that has existed in the U.S. It is simply outrageous that the Republicans can get away with hiding the beam in their eye while denouncing the speck in their opponent’s.

It should be clear to McGurn and his employers that blacks overwhelmingly vote for Obama and “€œhis fellow-Democrats,”€ because they like Democrats far better than Republicans. Blacks are all too happy to vote for O and Durbin, and will likely continue to do so forever. Minorities receive emotional satisfaction by voting for what they perceive as the non-white, non-WASP national party. That’s just the way things are! And if my friend Sam Francis were still around, he would have spoken this truth as bluntly as yours truly.    


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