Post Election Fireworks in the Middle East
"States, like individuals, who observe their engagements, are respected and trusted: while the reverse is the fate of those who pursue an opposite conduct." --Alexander Hamilton
For the Record
"Even with the fighting in Syria, the hottest crisis spot right now is obviously Gaza. In the last two weeks the number of rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israel grew into the hundreds, something no Israeli government could tolerate for long. ... Hamas could have done more to repress the other groups and prevent them from firing into Israel; instead it joined the fray and officially claimed credit for some of the attacks. The Israelis do not seek another ground war in Gaza, but something had to be done. Their air attacks into Gaza in early November were meant to signal Hamas to knock it off, but failed; in the three-day period from Saturday to Monday, November 10-12, more than a hundred rockets were shot into Israel. Israel responded on November 14 with airstrikes that among other things killed the Hamas military leader in Gaza, Ahmed Jabari. ... The Israeli tactic is to make the Hamas leadership pay directly for these terror attacks on Israel rather than to make the population of Gaza pay. Israeli targeting was extremely careful, and by Friday afternoon there had been several hundred strikes by the Israeli Air Force but fewer than two dozen Palestinian deaths -- and very few accidental hits at civilians that Hamas could turn to propaganda advantage. ... Not only will there be Syria, the violence coming from Gaza, a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt whose commitment to democracy is at best unproved, and an increasing sense of instability in Jordan, but looming over all this will be Iran. ... The next three to six months in the Middle East will make Obama administration officials look back to 2012 with nostalgia as a quiet time when they were able to focus on the campaign. The coming year will be much tougher -- starting now." --The Weekly Standard's Elliott Abrams
"We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it has been said if we lost that war, and in doing so lost this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. ... If we lost freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." --Ronald Reagan
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"'Welcome to USA.gov,' a website maintained by the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), bills itself as the 'primary gateway for new immigrants to find basic information on how to settle in the United States' -- featuring a prominent section for new immigrants about how to access government benefits. 'Depending on your immigration status, length of time in the United States, and income, you may be eligible for some federal benefit programs,' the Web page reads. ... The DHS page offers links to government websites that explain how to access benefits including food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Medicare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the 'official website with information on all available federal benefit programs.' ... WelcometoUSA.gov also boasts to immigrants that '[f]ree public education for children is one reason many immigrants come to the United States.' ... A Republican Budget Committee staffer noted that the issue is not only the offerings without eligibility, but also the fact that the government is providing immigrants visas with the expectation that they will avail themselves of government assistance." --The Daily Caller's Caroline May
Opinion in Brief
"Thirty-nine percent of native households receive some form of government assistance. By contrast, 57 percent of immigrant households -- legal immigrants -- get government assistance. We can't do anything about the native population, but why on Earth is America taking in immigrants who require taxpayer support? ... It's not that poor immigrants think differently about most issues from the rest of us. ... Most recent immigrants oppose abortion, gay marriage and big government. The problem is that poor, uneducated people -- the Democratic base -- are easily demagogued into voting tribally. ... Noticeably, the No. 1 issue Obama had in his favor this year was not his policies. It was that a majority of voters agreed with the statement: Obama 'cares for people like me.' ... Their main beef with the GOP is that they think Republicans are 'the rich.' The only hope is to run another appealing Republican candidate in four years -- when we're not up against an incumbent president -- and return our immigration policy to one that helps America and not just the Welfare Party." --columnist Ann Coulter
"For nearly 28 years [John] Kerry has been a senator.... West Virginia sent Robert Byrd to the US Senate for 51 years, and Daniel Inouye has represented Hawaii in Congress since it became a state in 1959. Charleston, S.C., has had the same mayor since 1975. No matter how unpopular Congress is said to be, more than 90 percent of House members seeking re-election generally keep their seats; in that respect Nov. 6 was absolutely typical. ... Far better for officials to come and go, serving a spell in government, then heading back to real life. 'Representatives ought to return home and mix with the people,' Rhode Island's Roger Sherman argued during the Constitutional Convention in 1787. 'By remaining at the seat of government, they would acquire the habits of the place, which might differ from those of their constituents.' George Washington could have been president for life, but he voluntarily stepped down after two terms. He could be trusted with power precisely because he could let it go. Politicians today can't bear the thought of giving up the power with which we cloak them. And we, to our discredit, are rarely prepared to take it away." --columnist Jeff Jacoby
"Governors are executives. Senators are legislators. Governors have to keep their states running. Senators have to negotiate semi-colons in legislation. As I have said many times, no Governor in the history of Governors has ever gone to the person running the Department of Motor Vehicles in their state and said: 'I understand we've been handing license plates out the long way to customers at the DMV office. I think we should hand them out with the wide side facing out. Don't you?' That is, effectively, what Senators and Congressmen do all day, every day. ... Governors have the responsibility of watching over the health, safety and welfare of every citizen in his or her state. They're used to the whole 'buck stops here' thing. The early line on who will run in the Republican and Democrat primaries for President in 2016 will be heavily weighted toward Senators and Congressmen. Why? Because they work in Washington, DC as do the national political reporters who make up the early lists. But, if you want to beat the odds, pick a Governor." --columnist Rich Galen
Re: The Left
"Conservatism can thrive without progressivism. Progressivism cannot survive without conservatism. In short, a progressive worldview built on redistributionism, must have something to re-distribute. Without the efforts of the makers, the takers and their enablers are dead in the water. The most remarkable aspect of this last election is that Democrats ran on a platform that amounted to biting the hand that feeds them, and still prevailed. ... [N]ow, more than ever, it pays to be prudent in choosing where one spends one's money. If the progressives can organize boycotts against those who offend their sensibilities, such as the one organized against Chick-fil-A this past summer, conservatives can certainly do the same. ... For those Americans who know what I'm talking about, my strategy amounts to a combo platter of Mahatma Gandhi and John Galt. Passive and active resistance to the dim-bulbs and the deadbeats on one end of the spectrum, and those who would impose tyranny on the other. For those Americans who don't have any idea what I'm talking about, trust me: you're part of the problem, not the solution." --columnist Arnold Ahlert
"It follows that just government should be limited to preserving a man's natural rights while leaving him alone to do with his unique abilities as he sees fit. The Progressives, on the other hand, had a very different political philosophy. They thought man, by nature, was an empty vessel and that it was society, not nature, that made the man. Accordingly, society was responsible for providing mans' needs, and if some men were needy it must be because society was not doing its job. In the Progressive view, justice required that everyone had not equal opportunity but equal outcomes. At root, then, what separates liberals from conservatives is their respective understanding of justice: The battle is between social justice and what might be called American political justice. Liberals defend their policy preferences by asserting their understanding of justice. Conservatives, on the other hand, do not respond with their own understanding of justice, thereby leaving liberals to define what, at the end of the day, is the most important determinant of policy." --columnist Linda Chavez
Faith and Family
"In 1965, Daniel P. Moynihan wrote a book called: 'The Negro Family Case for National Action.' At the time, 25 percent of black kids were born out of wedlock. Today, that number is 70 percent. Now 26 percent of white kids are born to unwed mothers. This is an indictment of the welfare state and a direct link to crime, drop-out rates and poverty. ... As I write in 'Dear Father, Dear Son,' my 'illegitimate' Republican father never knew his biological father. Raised by an irresponsible mother during the Great Depression in the Jim Crow south, my father was on his own from the age of 13. He worked two jobs as a janitor, and saved enough to open up a small restaurant in his late 40s, which he ran until his 80s. My dad's wisdom was simple. Don't play the victim: 'Hard work wins. Nobody owes you a living. You get out of life what you put into it. And no matter how you hard work or how good you are, bad things will happen. How you react will tell if me and your mom raised a man.'" --radio talk-show host Larry Elder
The Last Word
"One can hardly blame Obama for causing divisions. After all, he was desperately seeking re-election. ... You can, however, blame the media.... You can also blame parents who have reared the greediest, most self-indulgent, self-satisfied, bunch of hedonistic morons in this nation's history. I mean, it's not as if these youngsters who think that everything from a college education to cell phones and a lifetime supply of birth control pills are entitlements, were hatched from eggs, although they clearly have close ties to those, such as chickens and snakes, who are. The reason that the future looks so bleak is because, as I wrote prior to the election, America could probably survive four more years of Obama, but it can't survive a population that would re-elect him. It means that the takers now out-number the makers. ... In the aftermath of the election, I have tried to adopt a philosophical attitude. I tried to remind myself that this, too, will pass. But that's like saying this, too, will pass when referring to a kidney stone the size of Obama." --columnist Burt Prelutsky
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team