June 30, 2009

Ah, but there IS a consistency Ed!

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has a column today in which he struggles to make sense of the lack of consistency coming out of the White House on the coup in Honduras versus the protests in Iran.

On the surface, he appears to be correct. The President is practically treating Iranian protesters as anathema, waiting seemingly forever before making a weak protestation against the violent suppression being employed by the government. On the other hand he wasted no time condemning the overthrow of the Mini-Chavez wannabe-be-President-for-life Zelaya.

But there's an underlying consistency to be sure. Zelayawanted totalitarian power and lost it. Obama criticized the coup. Ahmedinejad and Khameni want total power and are struggling to keep it. Obama is trying to stay hands off as much as he can get away with.

The consistency? Supporting fascism. In each case the President is on the side of the ruling class. In the case of Iran he's playing wait-and-see on the open invite to Ahmedinejad. He has no choice. The suppression is to brutal and too public for him to do otherwise. But make no mistake, Obama does not see the followers of Mousavi, the youth of the nation, those having hope and wanting change, the way he sees his own supporters. If he did, he would have been all over the election results and subsequent farce of an investigation and then violence.

The motive for him to side with the ruling class? Firstly, he's now one of them. And Obama wants more centralized power for himself too. He says he doesn't but his actions betray his rhetoric. GM, Chrysler, the banks, firing IG's without consulting Congress are but a few obvious examples of his actions being autocratic.

He seemingly believes in government by an elite few. Clearly he also has an anti-capitalism bent which caused him to rush to judgment on Zelaya and end up on the same side as Chavez. Ironically in each case Honduras, Iran and America, the situation is combining the precepts of fascism (centralized power) with socialism (government ownership or dictate of the economy) - a concept tried to dramatic and horrific results in 1930's and 40's Germany.

The point though is that there IS a consistency out of the White House, you just have to look behind the obvious inconsistencies to find it. The consistency is not in the actions but rather the motivations.

Addendum: was it a coup? Yes, for the reason Ed gives about whisking the President out of the country. Was it for the right reasons? Yes. Should the US be against it or support it? Tricky.

As conservatives we always try to argue logic over emotion, thinking over feeling, so this is a tricky one for us. We also support the rule of law. Based on that alone, the coup therefore was illegal. The remediation would be for the army to look to the Congress or supreme court for direction. But what happens next in Honduras is unclear.

The other side of the argument is that Zelaya's actions were illegal too. For Obama it came down to like versus dislike. For conservatives it comes down to this - Honduras will not fall into a socialist/fascist style government like Venezuela. That's good. I think we have to quietly cheer for an outcome of a return to democracy in Honduras. The coup while unfortunate was necessary - if ever the Domino Theory had legs it is in the case of South America. Yes, we'd be siding with an illegal act, yes we'd be inconsistent with some of our principles. But this is a case of the other side being dirty (Zelaya copying Chavez) and consistent (Obama tacitly or overtly backing anti-democratic players). If we can't get a little dirty in foreign affairs then where does that leave us? It leaves America as a nation more vulnerable, and it leaves conservatives unable to compete with a Democratic machine.

But loosening our moral certitude to be able to fight injustice, foreign or domestic, is a slippery slope. There are no easy answers.

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