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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct 6, 2011 8 Tishrei, 5772

Democracy's New Discontents

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Once upon a time, loud dissent, filibustering in the Senate and gridlock in the House were as democratic as apple pie.

A Senator Obama once defended his attempts to block confirmation votes on judicial appointments by alleging, "The Founding Fathers established the filibuster as a means of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority."

In 2005, progressives were relieved that a Democratic minority had just gridlocked Congress -- ending recently re-elected President George W. Bush's plan to reform Social Security. Gridlock, in other words, was a helpful constitutional tool when a minority party wanted to block a president's legislative initiatives. A then-cool Senator Obama suggested Bush and his congressional supporters "back off" and "let go of their egos."

How about loud opposition to a sitting president? Well, in 2003, Sen. Hillary Clinton unloaded on those she claimed had called for less dissent: "I am sick and tired of people who call you unpatriotic if you debate this administration's policies."

These examples could be multiplied. But they are enough to offer contrast with a suddenly much different attitude toward what was only recently seen as the wonderful complexity of American democracy.

Take Obama, now the president and apparently frustrated. He's angry that his progressive efforts are facing legislative opposition: "We knew this was going to take time because we've got this big, messy, tough democracy."

Obama expanded on "messy" to La Raza activists, who wanted amnesty for illegal aliens, by lamenting that he could not somehow "bypass Congress and change the laws on my own." He later added for emphasis: "Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting."

To quote former Sen. Clinton, many people are now "sick and tired" of the Obama administration's efforts to silence critics. First, during the 2008 campaign, there was "Fight the Smears," a website Team Obama started to monitor its critics. JournoList followed, with a liberals-only forum of influential media pundits venting their private anger over criticism of Obama. Now there is yet another version, AttackWatch.com, a creepy website -- set up with melodramatic photos and "files" like an intelligence service's red and black dossiers -- that implores readers to scout around and send in examples of Obama criticism.

In fact, lots of liberal politicians and commentators suddenly do not like our ancestral "messy" democracy. North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue recently unloaded on the current gridlock over the president's jobs bill: "I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years ... I really hope that someone can agree with me on that."

Former Obama budget director Peter Orszag is also angry about "the Civics 101 fairy tale about pure representative democracy." Suddenly, after the 2010 midterm elections, he now wants "a new set of rules and institutions that would make legislative inertia less detrimental to our nation's long-term health."

Columnist Fareed Zakaria not long ago lamented the rigidity of the U.S. Constitution itself, and wants changed the "highly undemocratic" Electoral College and the method of electing senators.

Is this sudden liberal discontent with "messy" democracy just typical American politics evident in both parties -- the "out" minority party praising obstructionism only to blast it when it becomes the "in" governing party?

Of course.

But there is a deeper problem with the entire premise of Obamaism, which was not sold to voters as just another Democratic alternative, but rather as a holistic hope-and-change movement. Obamaism was to do everything from cool the planet to lower the rising waters, as giddy editors and historians compared its architect to a god, and pronounced a near novice the smartest man ever to be elected president.

If polls and the economy are any indication, that utopian dream is now mostly over. One way of explaining the unexpected Obama meltdown would be that a president with so little prior executive experience was bound not to be up to the job of administering the most powerful nation in history.

Another explanation would be the wrong agenda itself: Progressives finally got their long-awaited messianic messenger -- so unlike the inept Jimmy Carter and the triangulator Bill Clinton -- but his left-wing message turned off the people as never before.

But there apparently is a third and apparently more useful excuse. The American system itself -- suddenly, around 2010 -- simply became too rigid and obstructionist to appreciate Obama's agenda, so now it must be changed.

How odd that some progressive thinkers forgot the age-old fallacy that supposedly noble ends can never justify questionable means. Or, to paraphrase the Bard, the problem is not in the stars, but within yourselves.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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