Category Archive 'It Can Happen Here'

13 Mar 2016

“It Can Happen Here” Department

, , , , ,

Gulag

Noah Rothman, in Commentary, is appalled at the fact that we have two fringe candidates risen to prominence who are both willing to praise authoritarian Communism.

Within the span of 24 hours, in equally reprehensible violations of every classically liberal norm for which America stands, two prominent “outsider” presidential candidates took to national television to rehabilitate and legitimize thuggish and authoritarian communist regimes. …

On Wednesday, Sanders was confronted with his own obsequious praise for the repressive communism practiced in Cuba. Univision’s anchors asked how he might atone to Florida’s voters for those comments. Many South Floridians remember life under communism — the real thing; not the Potemkin facades with which Sanders is so impressed — and they deserved an apology. The Vermont senator declined the opportunity. Instead, he said that the United States was “wrong to try to invade Cuba” and to overthrow militant socialist governments in Latin America. “Throughout the history of our relationship with Latin America we’ve operated under the so-called Monroe Doctrine, and that said the United States had the right do anything that they wanted to do in Latin America,” Sanders asserted.

Either Bernie Sanders is remarkably ignorant, morally obtuse, or he believes his supporters are fools.

In the increasingly socialized American education system with which Sanders is so enamored, the study of American history has surely deteriorated. They do, however, still teach the Monroe Doctrine in public schools. And they teach it as it is: the doctrine that held the United States would oppose European intervention and influence in the Western Hemisphere; not the perverted Howard Zinn version of history to which Sanders and his fellow travelers subscribe.

Sanders’ desire to re-litigate the Cold War is all consuming. Clearly, the man’s formative period as a mock revolutionary in the late 1960s still informs virtually all of his political beliefs today. Sanders is still waging a war against Henry Kissinger, and he is still denouncing Eisenhower’s CIA, which played an activist role in the ouster of democratically elected regimes in Iran and Guatemala – operations that served the much greater goal of containing Soviet communist influence. But Sanders’ desire to lump together these actions with the ouster of revolutionary, unelected governments in places like Nicaragua and Cuba is the height of irresponsibility. To ascribe to these regimes legitimacy is to consign their people – and future generations imprisoned by authoritarian socialist autarchism – to a nightmarish prison. …

When asked about [comments made in a Playboy interview years ago, criticizing Gorbachev’s lack of firmness, and obliquely praising the “strength” of the Communist government that forcibly suppressed the Tiananmen Square demonstrations], Trump insisted that he was not “endorsing” the vile murder of an untold numbers of Chinese democracy protesters. “I said that is a strong, powerful government that put it down with strength. And then they kept down the riot,” Trump said. “It was a horrible thing. It doesn’t mean at all I was endorsing it.”

Two observations: First, if you approve of the outcome of these brutal tactics, you do not genuinely believe them to be “a horrible thing.” Second, the notion that the Tiananmen uprising was a “riot” is sickening. These were liberal activists who had erected under the omnipresent gaze of Chairman Mao a replica of the Statue of Liberty. These were men and women willing to lay down their lives for the cause of democracy. Not only did Trump embrace the outcome of the Tiananmen massacre, he wanted to see the Soviets exert the same ruthless force in order to preserve a system that had killed tens of millions and enslaved half the world. That he would dare consider himself worthy of the Oval Office after such repulsive comments — or that a significant subset of the American public would endorse his presidential bid — exposes a crisis of purpose in the United States like nothing this country has faced in half a century.

Read the whole thing.

30 Apr 2010

Inevitably

, , , , , , ,

When Republicans are doing bad things, you can count on democrats to offer to go them one better.

The Hill:

Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure.

The proposal is one of the biggest differences between the newest immigration reform proposal and legislation crafted by late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The national ID program would be titled the Believe System, an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment.

It would require all workers across the nation to carry a card with a digital encryption key that would have to match work authorization databases.

“The cardholder’s identity will be verified by matching the biometric identifier stored within the microprocessing chip on the card to the identifier provided by the cardholder that shall be read by the scanner used by the employer,” states the Democratic legislative proposal. …

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), who has worked on the proposal and helped unveil it at a press conference Thursday, predicted the public has become more comfortable with the idea of a national identification card.

“The biometric identification card is a critical element here,” Durbin said. “For a long time it was resisted by many groups, but now we live in a world where we take off our shoes at the airport and pull out our identification.

“People understand that in this vulnerable world, we have to be able to present identification,” Durbin added. “We want it to be reliable, and I think that’s going to help us in this debate on immigration.”

———————————–

Ezra Klein offers details of the democrat plan, and actually identifies the important irony. Note that all this does not give the ephebe Ezra any particular problem personally.

The Democrats’ immigration-reform proposal (pdf) is 26 pages long. Pages 8 through 18 are devoted to “ending illegal employment through biometric employment verification.” I don’t think the Democrats are going to like me calling this a biometric national ID card, as they go to great lengths to say that it is not a national ID card, and make it “unlawful for any person, corporation; organization local, state, or federal law enforcement officer; local or state government; or any other entity to require or even ask an individual cardholder to produce their social security card for any purpose other than electronic verification of employment eligibility and verification of identity for Social Security Administration purposes.”

But it’s still a biometric national ID card. It’s handed out by the Social Security Administration and employers are required to check it when hiring new employees. Essentially, if you want to participate in the American economy, you need this card. “Within five (5) years of the date of enactment, the fraud-proof social security card will serve as the sole acceptable document to be produced by an employee to an employer for employment verification purposes,” the bill says. “This requirement will exist even if the employer does not yet possess the capability to electronically verify the employee by scanning the card through a card reader.”

The theory here is simple: Illegal immigration is a problem because illegal immigrants can get jobs. As the bill says, “in order to prevent future waves of illegal immigration, this proposal recognizes that no matter what we do on the border, our ports of entry, and in the interior, we will not be completely effective unless we can prevent the hiring, recruitment, or referral of unauthorized aliens in America’s workplaces. Jobs are what draw illegal immigrants to the United States.” …

The oddity of this strategy, of course, is that anti-immigration sentiments run highest among the same communities that are most opposed to national ID cards. Now, it’s also the case that if you’re going to support citizenship searches for people with Hispanic-looking shoes, it’s a bit odd to worry about an ID card to verify employment. But even so, without Republicans on the bill to give this strategy cover, it’ll be interesting to see whether the anti-immigrant right embraces the ID card as a way of staunching the flow of illegal immigrants or assails Democrats for trying to create a biometric police state.


Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'It Can Happen Here' Category.

















Feeds
Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark