The LSM’s cultural and religious war against Michele Bachmann

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David French makes an excellent point at National Review Online’s “The Corner” blog.  Noting that their first target was Sarah Palin, French writes:

Now, apparently, the Left has decided it’s Michele Bachmann’s turn. Already a hate figure on fringe media outlets like MSNBC, the MSM is piling on. Slate asked if she can be president and still believe in biblical gender roles, ABC News is recycling stories from The Nation about her husband’s counseling centers (where, try as they might, they cannot show a single unethical practice), The Daily Beast gave space to Michelle Goldberg to talk about Bachmann’s alleged “unrivaled extremism,” and the Washington Post’s lifestyle section dedicated several thousand words to a scornful profile of Bachmann’s husband, Marcus.

Why the hate? The secular feminist world view was built around multiple destructive cultural lies: motherhood is a barrier to self-actualization, orthodox religion traps women unhappily in the home, and the only real path to power and happiness is exploding, not upholding, traditional religious values. Yet a mother of five (with 23 foster children), happily married in a Christian family, and who proudly espouses the very traditional values most repugnant to the academic feminist Left is a leading candidate for the most powerful office in the world. She is a living refutation of their foundational beliefs, and — like Sarah Palin — she must be destroyed.

As we enter a primary season where Republican infighting threatens to reach a crescendo, I hope we can learn a lesson from Sarah Palin’s ordeal. You may or may not support Michele Bachmann for president, but we can (and should) defend her against the coming ideological onslaught, an onslaught that is aimed at her but whose real targets are the core values that govern many of our lives.

It’s a point similar to the one I made last week in my post on how left wing lies can become “fact” in the blink of an eye:

I know there are people who have issues with Michele Bachmann, primarily due to her stance on social issues like gay marriage and abortion.  I understand that and can respect those disagreements.  But what I will NOT respect nor tolerate is when mainstream media outlets accept without question the bogus “reporting” done by prominent liberal blogs and websites, which is clearly what has happened here.    As a result, their lack of reading the actual document itself and instead relying on a liberal blog whose reputation is questionable at best has poisoned the information stream that Average Joes who do NOT follow politics like you and I do rely on to help them form opinions on both issues and candidates. 

Does some of this have to do with sexism against female conservative candidates? I think there is a significant degree of this happening, much in the way it has happened with Sarah Palin.  Now, mind you, I don’t believe that every criticism of either woman is due to sexism, and I think we have to be really cautious before making such accusations because – unlike the left and their constant “racism” whines – we shouldn’t water down the word “sexism” to where it becomes meaningless.  Sometimes sexism is at play, and sometimes it’s not.    And sometimes when it is, there are graceful, witty ways to handle it, as Rep. Bachmann did recently.  Sometimes when it is, the words of the “critic” speak for themselves.

Left wing critics will say “well, join the club – sexism has been happening to the Hillary Clintons of the world for decades.” A couple of counter-points to that.  Firstly, it hasn’t been just happening to liberal women for decades, it’s also been happening against conservative women for decades as well.  We’re just not as inclined to yell about every single time it happens it like “feminist” liberals do because we don’t want to come across as playing the victim card.  Secondly, yes, there was clearly a sexism angle to some of the coverage of Hillary Clinton during the 2007-2008 primary season but it wasn’t the kind of “insult my intelligence” sexism the MSM and “respectable critics” have displayed towards conservative women in politics.

It’s a fact that the elite “respectable” liberal critics of conservative women carry on with insinuations about alleged “low intelligence levels” and supposed “lack of intellectual curiosity” and “subservience” to men –  whereas the “respectable” critics of liberal women like Hillary Clinton are more along the lines of “she’s too strong-willed and b*tchy.”  Personally, I’d rather be thought of as “too strong-willed and b*tchy” than being thought of as too stupid to tie my own shoes.

And in fact, most of the sexist criticism of Hillary Clinton is loudly decried and denounced -especially by the likes of NOW and other organizations supposedly devoted to “equality for all.”  The same can’t be said when it comes to any actual sexist remarks about Palin or Bachmann, whose primary defenders are nobodys like me.

Palin and BachmannAs part of the larger debate on sexism in politics, this isn’t about whether conservative women, especially those in powerful positions, need to “man up” – I think Palin and Bachmann, among others, have more than proven that they can take it – it’s more about whether or not liberal critics in the mainstream media will stop treating them as stupid little annoying nags who have nothing to offer the debate and start taking them seriously not as “female candidates” but as human beings who have legitimate opinions of their own they’d like to add to the debate. 

You’re always going to have the idiots who put the sickening doctored pictures of female politicos on both sides of the aisle online. That’s a given – and no one takes them seriously.  But what we shouldn’t always have are “respectable” critics on mainstream TV and radio, and in the mainstream print media never resisiting an opportunity to portray conservative women as though they were backwater hick country bumpkin women who shouldn’t be taken seriously and who should go home and take care of the kids. 

Related to all of this, have you also noticed the not-so-subtle religious bigotry on display when it comes to Michele Bachmann? She and her husband are being hounded about the so-called Christian “gay therapy” clinic her husband runs.  Not only are the LSM (Left-Stream Media – which includes so-called “unbiased” journalists as well as liberal pundits) in hyperventilating mode over the fact that, as conservative Christians, the Bachmanns believe that homosexuality can be “cured”, but they’re also flipping out because of the fact that the Bachmanns are strong believers in the Christian faith – period.  A few things here: First, as French notes, when anyone can find anything “unethical” about the “prayer” approach to the practice of “attempting to cure gays” that the Bachmann clinic allegedly employs, let me know.  It is not exactly a secret that some Christians believe that homosexuality can be cured, so is it exactly surprising that the Bachmann clinic tries to do this through the (gasp!!!!! horrors!!!!!) power of prayer?

Secondly, regarding their devout Christianity – I see nothing wrong with it.  As a legislator, Bachmann’s record contains nothing to suggest she’s trying bit by bit to instill a theocracy in the United States.  The “theocracy” card is one liberals love to play as a scare tactic when ever a staunch believer runs for political office.  Especially if that believer is a conservative.   Of course, if Bachmann were a practicing Islamist whose husband ran such a clinic (assuming he could stand to be around gay people – we know how radical Islamics feel about gays), we STILL wouldn’t know anything about the clinic and her faith would be off-limits.  In fact, any discussion of it whatsoever would be considered “Islamophobic.”

Furthermore, I dunno about you, but if it’s ok for a candidate for the presidency to have had as a spirtual mentor a Jew-hating, white-America loathing” “Black Liberation Theology” pastor for some 20 years, then Rep. Bachmann’s conservative Christian views should create nary a stir going into the Campaign 2012 season.  KnowWhadIMean?  Fair is fair, right?

Hey, just taking a page out of the liberal playbook.

Keep all this in mind in the coming weeks as the assault on Bachmann’s social stances and her style of communication come under even more harsh scrutiny by the demagogues both in the mainstream press and liberal opinion pages.  Forewarned is forearmed.

California’s “Amazon tax” a colossal bust — UPDATED: repeal referendum?

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**Posted by Phineas

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the shortsighted stupidity shown by Governor Brown and the Democrat-dominated legislature when they passed a bill forcing Amazon to collect sales tax on sales made through California-based affiliates: Golden State, stupid state.

Now more evidence has piled up to show how dumb an idea this was. From Board of Equalization member and former state senator George Runner, here’s a list of the businesses that have ended their affiliate programs in California:

6pm.com
Amazon.com
Audible.com
B&H Photo & Electronics Corp.
Backcountry
Barware.com
Beach Trading Co.
BeautyBar.com
BedBathStore
Benchmark Brands Inc.
CSN Stores
Diapers.com
Drugstore.com
Endless.com
Fabric.com
Gaiam
GiftBaskets.com
Hayneedle
Higher Power Inc.
Lacrosse.com
Muscle and Strength
MyHabit.com
Northern Tool
Overton’s
Overstock.com
PC Connection
Potpourri Group
Quidsi
ShindigZ.com
Shoebuy, Inc.
Shopbop
SmallParts.com
Soap.com
The Tire Rack
Thinkgeek.com
Total Gym
Wine Enthusiast
Woot.com
Zappos.com

Be sure to check out Runner’s post for some choice quotes from now-former affiliates.

Not only will Sacramento not collect any new sales tax money from these companies, but it has lost all the income tax revenue it was already collecting from the affiliates at a time when California is suffering from record debt and deficits. And it will hurt those families and small businesses making a bit of money from their affiliate relationships.

As the great Strother Martin said in Butch Cassidy, “Morons! I’ve got morons on my team!”

UPDATE: Well, this is interesting. A movement has started to place a repeal measure on the ballot If it survives the vetting process, I give it a good chance of passing.

Edit: Speaking of morons, I need to learn to proofread my subject lines for spelling.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Advice for President Obama: be Warren Harding, not Franklin Roosevelt

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**Posted by Phineas

Never did I think I’d favorably mention President Harding twice in a blog, but here you go. The first was a quote from Harding, while what follows is a quote about Harding:

I know, the thought Obama could be half the president Harding was is too much to ask.

Considering Harding is one of the most reviled 20th-century presidents (among those who even remember him), that statement could be easily taken as an insult to Obama by ironic comparison to (another) president who was truly awful.

Far from it. Historian Steven Hayward looks at the misperceptions regarding Harding that have become commonplace thanks to liberal academia and argues that our 29th president is someone Obama should seek to emulate, at least in economic policy. Faced with a genuine economic depression, runaway inflation, and a huge government debt after World War One, Harding did things that would give statists nightmares:

So what did Harding do? A “stimulus”? A jobs program? “Targeted” tax cuts? Government bailouts for ailing companies? Nope—he cut government spending sharply and rapidly (by almost 50 percent), began cutting tax rates across the board, and allowed asset values and wages to adjust freely as fast as possible. Harding’s administration, Paul Johnson observed, “was the last time a major industrial power treated a recession by classic laissez-faire methods, allowing wages to fall to their natural level . . . By July 1921 it was all over and the economy was booming again.” The Cato Institute’s Jim Powell offers a more complete summary of Harding’s soundness on economic policy, but suffice it to say that Harding’s traditional approach prevented the depression of 1920-21 from becoming a Great Depression, and in fact set he stage for the roaring twenties.

Of course, what would give Keynesians and other statists those nightmares is that —The Horror!!— it worked, while the interventionist, centrally directed policies of Hoover and FDR (1) failed miserably.

So, come on Mr. President, I dare you: Be like Warren.

Just don’t let Michelle catch you in the closet.

Footnote:
(1) Yes, Hoover has been unfairly slagged by FDR hagiographers who needed a whipping boy to make their guy look good. The fact is, Hoover was a bad president in the early years of the Great Depression, but not for being the anti-FDR. Check out Hayward’s post for a revealing quote from Rex Tugwell, one of FDR key early aides, about how the New Deal was an amplification of Hoover’s policies.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)