Tuesday, March 03, 2015

No Cognitive Dissonance Here

You will be forgiven for wondering, at times, what it must like to be a conservative Republican. Being of that faith means a lot of things, one of which apparently is the tendency toward self-delusion.

In June, 2014 a contributing editor at National Review, Quin Hillyer, was convinced he understood American exceptionalism and who was undermining it when he argued

Part of the attack is cultural, with radicals running our colleges, anti-competitive nonsense peddled in our elementary schools and playgrounds, filth dominating the entertainment industry, traditional faith sneered at (and increasingly disfavored by public policy), and the idea of American exceptionalism (along with appreciation for its constituent parts) denied from the Oval Office itself.

Hillyer believed the USA no longer was considered the world's dominant power as

.... America’s traditional strengths are terribly imperiled abroad while not just eroding, but being chipped away at, from within. Everything that made us what we once were is under attack. People feel it. They see it. They understand it. They fear it. And, in hushed tones, they talk about it. 

This is the ongoing legacy of Barack Obama. The question is, as long as he is president, how do we stop it from happening?

Monday, the day before the Prime Minister of Israel would give his speech to Congress aimed at undermining the President of the USA and enhancing his own re-election prospects, Hillyer chose to contrast the week-kneed Obama with the strong-willed Benjamin Netanyahu. "While Barack Obama babbles about the supposedly 'legitimate grievances,' of those who turn to jihad,"  Hillyer wrote,

Right now, nobody on the world stage speaks for civilization the way Netanyahu does....

Benjamin Netanyahu of course speaks first for Israel, but he speaks also for you and for me, for decency and humaneness, and for vigilance and strength against truly evil adversaries. Congress, by inviting him, is wise. Obama, by opposing him, is horribly wrong. And the civilized world, if it ignores him, will be well-nigh suicidal.

He says a foreign leader, not the President of the United States (US Constitution, Article II, Section 2) "speaks also for you and for me."  Of course, this is following the cue from the Awesome Man himself, Netanyahu, who three weeks ago declared “I went to Paris not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representative of the entire Jewish people" (helpfully rebuked by Senator Dianne Feinstein, below).

But today's award for self-delusion goes to Scott Walker. Slamming Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, Walker previously contended  "Ronald Reagan would never have uttered the words 'self-deportation.'" The other day on Fox News Sunday, he maintained "Well, I don't believe in amnesty. Part of the reason why I made that a firm position is that I look at the way that this president has mishandled that issue."

"This president" has not handled the issue nearly as adroitly as, say, the Man of 666, Ronald(6) Wilson(6) Reagan(6).   A few months ago, the Associated Press' Andrew Taylor reminded us

Nearly three decades ago, there was barely a peep when Reagan and Bush used their authority to extend amnesty to the spouses and minor children of immigrants covered by the 1986 law.

In 1986, Congress and Reagan enacted a sweeping overhaul that gave legal status to up to 3 million immigrants without authorization to be in the country, if they had come to the U.S. before 1982. Spouses and children who could not meet that test did not qualify, which incited protests that the new law was breaking up families.

Early efforts in Congress to amend the law to cover family members failed. In 1987, Reagan's Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioner announced that minor children of parents granted amnesty by the law would get protection from deportation.

So Scott Walker doesn't "believe in amnesty," claims "unlike Romney, Reagan connected with the daily struggles of ordinary Americans," and idolizes the man largely responsible for two (2) programs of amnesty for illegal immigrants.  For so many conservative Repubs, simultaneously holding two contradictory viewpoints is not cause for reconsideration or re-examination, but simply de rigueur.

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