Open Letter to Hugh Hewitt and All the Other “Optimists” Out There [dicentra]
I’m sure you’re familiar with the myriad YouTube parodies of the Hitler bunker scene from the movie “Downfall,” e.g., “Hitler reacts to Tim Tebow beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC playoffs in OT“.
If you haven’t seen it with the original English subtitles, take a gander.
Hitler’s top advisers hid from him the fact that Steiner’s forces had been unable to mount an assault, because they were afraid of letting him know how bad things were. After sending most of the people out of the room, Hitler rages against his top advisers for being traitors, liars, and cowards.
That’s the motive for his glorious meltdown: that his people lied to him about the severity of the situation, and so he could not adequately compensate. So they lost the war.
Likewise, the Roberts ruling was an unadulterated setback for the forces of liberty and constitutionally restrained government. Pretending that things are not as bad as they are does not help us readjust our strategies and tactics. Painting a fake silver lining on a tornado-spouting cloud is not the same as optimism, nor does it help rally the troops.
Was Chamberlain an optimist? Was Churchill’s rhetoric “unhelpful”?
Optimism does not consist of “looking at the bright side” in the way that you’re doing. It has nothing to do with perceiving the glass to be half full, regardless of how much liquid is in it.
Pessimism, you see, is more accurately construed as “learned helplessness.” When a pessimist is dealt a reverse, he curls up into the fetal position and cannot act, crippled by the belief that once knocked down, he’s powerless to get up. Therefore, an optimist is someone who, dealt that same reverse, believes that he has the power to rise again and therefore looks for things he can do to get back up.
This type of optimism does NOT involve pretending that the hole is not as deep as it is, nor that the loss was not as devastating as it was. If you’re going to find a way to actually get back up, you have to acknowledge things as they are, no matter how bad. You have to acknowledge the half-empty (or seven-eighths empty) part of the glass.
I don’t know what you call someone who refuses to recognize that he’s been dealt a reverse. He’s certainly not equipped to crawl out of the hole that he’s in.
Because seriously, which is worse?
1) Roberts rules that Obamacare is constitutional under the Commerce Clause.
2) Roberts rules that Obamacare is constitutional under the taxing authority by imagining the law to be different than it was written.
In the second case, Roberts adds to the bad interpretation of the Constitution a fictionalization of the bill as written. The Commerce Clause already had a truck driven through it with Wickard; now the taxation power has the same hole. Two holes are worse than one.
And if finding imaginary “penumbras” in the Constitution weren’t already bad enough, now Roberts has established the precedent of ruling on imaginary laws to boot. That’s not an improvement by any means or stretch of the imagination.
Roberts’ musings on the Commerce Clause do not have the force of law, regardless of any expert legal opinion you can muster, because those who would abuse the Commerce Clause will likewise abuse Roberts’ ruling.
It’s who they are; it’s what they do.
You claim that had Roberts struck down Obamacare, the Left would make sure that none of our judicial nominees would get confirmed.
In unrelated news, if the battered wife gets dinner on time, she will avoid further beatings.
Do you not realize that the Left are by nature relentlessly and unrepentantly abusive? Does the wife not realize that if she gets the dinner on time she’ll get beaten anyway, because her husband WANTS TO BEAT HER regardless of what she does? At no time does she actually hand him a reason to beat her: the only “ammo” she gives him is to stay in the relationship, hoping against hope that someday he’ll stop. But he won’t. It’s who he is; it’s what he does.
The Dems refused to confirm plenty of judicial nominees during the Bush era, without a SCOTUS decision to justify it. We can’t get out of this abusive relationship with the Left until we’re willing to stop pretending that they’re anything but abusive, tyrannically inclined, and at times sociopathic.
True optimism requires that we recognize AND NAME evil in all its depth and strength; otherwise, we will not muster the proper forces to defeat it.
In my 48.5 years of life, I have never, EVER perjured myself.
But if I lie under oath tomorrow, I’m a perjurer. Those 48.5 years of truth-telling wouldn’t change that fact one lick.
I hope my friends would be duly disappointed in me and that they’d have the moral courage to say, “Hey dicentra, we love your guts and all, but you’re a perjurer!”
It wouldn’t help me if they soft-pedaled my crime or insisted in public that I’m actually “an honest person.” (If they said, “I’ve always known her to be honest, so this lying really stuns me,” that would be different, because they’d be acknowledging the fact that I lied.)
When I lie, I am no longer an honest person.
To become an honest person again, I would have to plead guilty to the charge, pay the penalty, and never perjure myself again. I would have to own up to lying, without offering rationalizations. I would have to do what I could to make things right.
Until then, everyone would be perfectly justified in calling me a liar.
I’m not asking that you rip Roberts a new one in public or that you run him down personally, just as I wouldn’t ask Romney to call Obama bad names.
But if saying something nice is NOT ACCURATE, it’s best to not say anything at all.