Friday, June 29, 2007

Bush and Iraq and 2008

Dick Morris's latest article suggests how President Bush could revive Republican hopes for 2008 by pulling troops out of Iraq.
If Bush begins to draw down manpower levels by the end of the year, he could reduce the differences between his positionand that of the Democratic front-runners on a matter of numbers rather than on basic policy. In taking the Iraq issue out of contention in the 2008 election, Bush will have rescued his party from what is now almost certain defeat.

Will his move seem transparently political? Democrats will surely say that it is, but nobody will really believe that Bush or the Republicans will reverse course and send in more troops after the election. Everybody will believe that the draw-down of U.S. troops is permanent and quite real.

In fact, Bush’s stubborn obstinacy on Iraq in the past will make it unlikely that any concession on his part will be seen as opportunistic.
I do like the idea that Bush can, in effect, rescue his party from his own bad decisions.

That said, I'm not sure about Morris's contention that the public won't see Bush's actions as political. I think perhaps Morris, a conservative himself and blinded with hatred for Hilary Clinton, might be assuming the American people see things the same way he does.

Immigration Rex

Linda Chavez has been generally out of step with her colleagues in the Republican Punditocracy on Immigration, and her latest article mourns the death of the Immigration Reform Bill.
Immigration reform is dead. But before conservatives who killed this bill start popping champagne corks, they ought to consider the following.

Our borders will be less secure, not more. Employers who want to do the right thing and only hire legal workers won't have the tools to do so. The 12 million illegal aliens who are here now will continue to live in the shadows, making them less likely to cooperate with law enforcement to report crimes and less likely to pay their full share of taxes. In other words, the mess we created by an outdated and ill-conceived immigration policy 20 years ago will just get worse.
All of that is pretty undeniable. She also points out that this increases the possibility that Democrats will write eventual immigration reform (if they pick up wider majorities in 2008 and the White House, for example). That sounds like good news to me, but what do I know.

I admit to being no expert on Immigration. I do know that this Immigration bill pissed off a lot of people I don't like; people like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others. Part of me says that if Ann Coulter is against it, well, I should be for it. On the other hand, many smart liberals are also against it. So I don't know whether killing the immigration bill is a good thing or a bad thing.

Linda Chavez's readers at Townhall seem to be more in the Limbaugh Hannity camp than hers. I particularly like this comment by BIGbelly.
Hey Linda, my question to you is, What happens to Americans when they get caught in Latin American countries breaking the law?
Because as you well know with this Pyrrhic Victory it makes us all racist, jesus forbid I sneak over the border to check out the babe and her horse in Tijuana and accidently runs over Vincente Fox's rose bed.
Couldn't have said it worse myself.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ann Coulter and Chris Matthews

It's amusing to watch Matthews self flagellation over his very lucrative interview with Ann Coulter - and if you've missed this, Media Matters has helpfully provided a recap of his fandango.
Ann Coulter, the name of the book is Godless. We have sold a lot of her books tonight. I don't know if I can go to confession fast enough. We will be right back tomorrow night with more Hardball. Thank you.
I like Matthew's theory that the fact that Ann Coulter sells books justifies it. I also like how Matthew's seems to admire her nastiness - presumably he sees it as a form of manliness and toughness. And Matthews is big on (conservatives) Manliness and Toughness.

The "Conservativism is Tough Minded" myth

This forms the context of Wynton Halls latest article on the difficulty Conservatoids are having picking a new Presidential Candidate.
Think about it. Conservatism is the doctrine of making tough choices and taking responsibility for them. It’s the doctrine of “the strenuous life,” as Teddy Roosevelt once eloquently put it. Pick just about any issue and you will find the same recurring pattern: conservatism demands more from individuals and is therefore harder to market.
OK let's take a few examples.

- Before the war President Bush and his administration were so sure occupying Iraq would be a cakewalk, they refused to do any planning at all for the post war period and in fact silenced those who wanted to do such planning.

- Conservatism has long been the philosophy of tax cuts, regardless of whether they are affordable or make any sense.

- Conservatives do favor demanding more from the middle class and the poor. On the other hand, Conservative promises the wealthy easier lives.

- Conservatives believe you can deregulate industries and trust in their good will to
protect us from the poisons they would inflict upon us; a proposition that right below The Tooth Fairy on the believability scale.

You know, maybe it's just me, but Conservatives don't seem all that tough minded when you look at them.

Cowardly Republicans

I've mentioned this before but it bears repeating.

Cal Thomas' latest article is about the situation in Israel and Palestine. He takes the standard line.
What is wrong with Israel's leadership, and much of the leadership in the West, that it believes peace is only a matter of finding the right formula to satisfy the Palestinian side and the Arab states that seek Israel's destruction? Israel's enemies (who are mostly America's enemies, too) care nothing about goodwill, reciprocity, equality or a two-state solution to the turmoil. They want a one-state solution, which is the replacement of Israel with a Palestinian state.
As is typical Thomas carefully destroys any peaceful solution while, just as carefully, failing to provide any solution of his own (beyond such standard pablums as "realize we are at war" or "get tough"). The conclusion one can draw is that Thomas does have a solution, but it isn't one that he feels comfortable advocating.

But if you take all the alternatives to Palestinian Genocide off the table, and then shut up about what's still on the table, well, some people are going to figure that one out.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Your Weekly Rush - Ann Coulter and Elizabeth Edwards

It won't surprise you to find out that Rush Limbaugh is more or less on Ann's side in this whole kerfluffle. He accuses Edwards of putting his wife up to it and hiding behind her skirts, proving again what a classy and well-informed guy he is. Ms. Elizabeth Edwards in the interview denied having talked to her husband before calling, and you can guess who I find more believable, Limbaugh or Elizabeth Edwards.

Another non-surprising thing; this whole event turns out to be another assault on Rush Limbaugh, who has to put himself at the center of nearly every issue that comes along.
Now, what's going on here is obvious, is it not? This is just as I had a caller the other day, you are responsible for the Hispanics in this country not voting Republican, you're mean, you're not nice, and you're hateful rhetoric, and is this the same thing now. In fact, I think this has Fairness Doctrine implications. I think that this attitude from Elizabeth Edwards, you're too mean, you need to stop saying things the way you are saying them.
Apparently Limbaugh feels, like Coulter, if he had to keep his commentary within the boundaries of common decency, he'd have nothing to say.

Straight Thinking or Screw the Poor

Walter E. Williams latest article takes on two ideas. First of all he feels that we shouldn't believe Normative Statements. For example you might feel that Gas shouldn't cost $9.00 a barrel. But that's a normative statement - you are saying it simply because you think it is true, but there's no facts involved.
Positive statements deal with what was, what is or what will be. Normative, or subjective, statements deal with what's good or bad, or what ought to be or should be. Confusing the two leads to considerable mischief.

. . . Having explained the difference between positive and normative statements, I tell my students that in no way do I propose that they purge their vocabulary of normative statements. Normative statements are excellent tools for tricking others into doing what you want them to do. I simply caution that in the process of tricking others, there's no need to trick oneself into believing that one normative statement is better or more righteous than another.
Consider the following statement; A certain amount of Government Regulation is necessary. Is it normative? Hmmmm.

Eliminating Government Regulation is good for the economy. Is it normative? I don't know - Williams has sure acted like that statement is Positive or Objective before. Certainly anybody arguing in favor of Regulation, no matter how limited, will be met with William's disdain. I gather this is one of those situations in which he feels that using normative statements is good for "tricking others into doing what you want them to do."

Hey then notes that some people get along just fine without fear, proving that nobody really needs anything.
In some poor African countries, people do without food. Of course, the results of doing without insulin or food are indeed unpleasant, but the fact that the results are unpleasant doesn't require us to deny that non-consumption is a substitute for consumption.
I guess makes sense. If the poor don't want to pay for food they can starve. One could point out that we as a society have a duty to help those unfortunates, but I suppose that would be one of those normative statements.

Poor Ann Coulter

Once again she's admitted that if it wasn't for her nastiness, she'd have nothing. The occasion of this admission was an appearance on Hardball. Elizabeth Edwards called in, and asked her to not be quite so nasty.
Edwards: I’m asking you politely to stop, to stop personal attacks –

Coulter: How about you stop raising money on your web page then? No, you don’t have to because I don’t mind.

E: I did not start with that. You had a column a number of years ago where you suggested — wait till I finish talking please…

C: Okay, the wife of a presidential candidate is calling in asking me to stop speaking.

Matthews: Let her finish the point. Let her finish the point.

C: You’re asking me to stop speaking? “Stop writing your columns. Stop writing your books.”
You see without personal attacks Ann Coulter would have nothing to write about and nothing to say.
E: I’m making the call as a mother. I’m the mother of that boy who died. My children participate — these young people behind you are the age of my children. You’re asking them to participate in a dialogue that is based on hatefulness and ugliness instead of on the issues, and I don’t think that’s serving them or this country very well.


M: Thank you very much Elizabeth. You wanna respond? You have all the time in the world to respond.

C: I think we heard all we need to hear. The wife of a presidential candidate is asking me to stop speaking. No.
Again Ann Coulter, due to her limited mental capability, cannot participate in a dialogue that is not based on hatefulness and ugliness. Asking her to elevate her discourse or to talk about the issues is the same as asking her to shut up, in her limited mentality.

It's really a shame when you think about it. But then I consider how much she is being rewarded for her hatefulness by Conservatives and I don't feel all that sorry for her at all.

While we shed a tear for Coulter's mental inferiority, let's also raise a glass or give a round of applause to Elizabeth Edwards for this stand that she's taken.

The Cheney Fan Club

Jonah Goldberg is apparently a member of this illustrious organization, which, he notes, isn't all that large. I suppose the organization can content itself with the fact that though the American people might not think much of Cheney he still gets to wield a big stick in our nations policy debates.

In between praise for Cheney's style, he notes that his latest moves don't make a lot of sense.
Take the current argument over Cheney's self-exemption from the rules on how classified documents should be handled. Instead of getting a waiver from the president, Cheney argued that he's immune to executive orders because he's also the president of the Senate and hence a member of the legislative branch too. Not only is this a goofy argument on its face, it does nothing to restore executive authority. It's not like the vice presidency was an outpost of the legislative branch before Watergate. Cheney's argument amounts to a convenient rationalization for his own secretive style.

Such opportunism undermines his more principled arguments and exhausts the goodwill of his defenders, precisely when Cheney needs that goodwill for bigger and better things. And it sends his detractors on the left around the bend, just like President Clinton's abuses - real and perceived - drove many of us on the right to kick our TV sets. The fact is that Cheney's cause isn't helped when millions of Americans think he's a comic-book villain.
Actually I imagine many of Cheney's fans might be happy with this move precisely because it does send liberals around the bend.

But he's right, this latest move sets new standards for goofiness and paints the picture of an executive branch that basically feels like it can do whatever it wants whenever it wants. And unfortunately for the Cheney Fan Club, that picture appears to be largely accurate.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Censor Censorship

Today Townhall appears to have decided to grapple with the tricky question of what people should be allowed to see. First of all Brent Bozell argues in favor of the FCC cracking down on Television indecency. Specifically he takes on a Libertarian named Peter Suderman's argument that we should stop letting the FCC run our television economy.
HBO is a pay cable network and therefore outside of the FCC's regulatory purview. What is viewed on that network is precisely what would appear on broadcast television if Hollywood were left to its own devices. One simply cannot dispute that Hollywood has coarsened the culture with its increasingly offensive programming.

So what to do if you're a "conservative" like Suderman? You yawn your disinterest and play make-believe in your commentary. Perhaps he'd feel differently if he came off his coastal perch at NRO and visited the real world.
So apparently Bozell is in favor of increased FCC regulation.

On the other side of the fence is Cal Thomas who argues, unsurprisingly, that Government Regulation isn't so great. Specifically he is taking on the proposed a la carte suggestion for cable TV.
In testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, Martin is to be joined by at least one other commission member, one network executive and an advocacy group representative in support of legislation that would allow cable and satellite TV subscribers to select their programs "a la carte," meaning consumers could choose the networks they want to come into their homes and reject others. This cafeteria approach might sound good at first glance, but suppose someone didn't want to see the violence in Fox TV's "24," but did wish to see the violence of NFL football? Since Fox carries both, consumers who rejected Fox because of "24," would not be able to watch NFL football.

Not only is this a bad business model in that cable and satellite TV make money by telling advertisers they can reach a certain number of homes, it also takes away the privileges and responsibilities of individuals to make these decisions. I don't want - and you shouldn't either - any government official or bureaucrat deciding which cable shows are good for me, and which ones are not.
I have to say that Thomas's argument here makes no sense whatsoever. He describes a program in which individuals would have the choice of which networks they take, and then gets angry at the Government for telling you what you can and can't watch. What?

I guess he might be talking about his example of 24 vs. Football, but isn't that the networks call? Not the governments?

Swift Boating

Pat Buchannan's latest article is entitled "Will Bloomberg Swift-Boat Hillary?" By Swift-boating, Buchannan apparently means make more difficult to run.
How so? First, the mayor is Jewish and is best-known and most loved among Jewish voters and denizens of the Big Apple, where he is more popular than Rudy. Both constituencies are Democratic.

Even in his 49-state triumph, Richard Nixon won only a third of the Jewish vote. In his 49-state landslide, Reagan carried even less. In 2006, by one survey, the Jewish vote went 88 percent Democratic. As for New York City, that has long been the Democrats' key to New York State.

The first effect of a Bloomberg candidacy would be to siphon off perhaps 2 million votes from Hillary in New York, putting the state in play for the Republicans. The same would be true in New Jersey and Connecticut.
That Buchannan is a bit focused on the Jews won't surprise many.

Frankly I'm more surprised about the expansion of the term Swift Boating to include simply running against somebody. Swiftboating originally meant lying about a candidate's past/bringing up unpleasant truths about a candidate's past (depending on what side of the fence you are on - personally I think the Swiftboat vets were liars). Now it means any action that could be detrimental to a campaign. Apparently.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Horrors of Socialized Medicine

Michael Moore's new movie, which has yet to open here, is called Sicko and is about the Health Care industry. Naturally this prompts defense of our current system by Conservatives. Michelle Malkin's latest article takes her shots at Moore in her latest article, but unfortunately she's shooting blanks.
More and more people are paying for private health insurance cover, and more and more companies are making it part of the perks package. So, Britain will end up with a two-tier system before too long where the "rich" get good private cover and the poor or uninsured have no alternative to the NHS."

Moore and his rich left wing Hollywood buddies won't have to worry about the inevitable shortages and distortions of socialized medicine. They'll simply be living in their own private care universe.
So Socialized medicine is bad because the poor won't get as good a care as the wealthy. You get that? Clearly the answer is to favor a system in which the poor get no care whatsoever. Because that would clearly be better than a system in which they got less care than the wealthy.

I wonder how Michael Moore and the "Hollywood Elite" or, say, the Conservative Punditocracy are handling their health care issues right now?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Presented with little Comment

Regardless of partisan affiliation liberals seem to be on the war-path against the voice, votes, and welfare of those they work for: we the people. They are actively seeking to make them voiceless in the process of governing through supposed self-determination. They are also intent upon enslaving them to increasing government dependency for their basic needs, or to even entice them to live lawfully.
This is from Kevin McCullough's latest article.


Those Pesky Palestinians

Michael Medved, like Shapiro, also wants to see the Palestinian people disappear. Unlike Shapiro, he at least has an idea of where they can go; into other Arab countries. He tries to portray this as a compassionate loving solution for people he cares about, but occasionally his real feelings come out.
After all, voters in the West Bank split more evenly between Fatah and Hamas in the recent Palestinian elections, but the residents of Gaza voted overwhelmingly for Hamas: the fundamentalist terror organization that pledges in its charter to resist forever the right of Jews to even “one square inch” of their ancient homeland.

Moreover, the idea of resettling Palestinians in today’s Israel means bringing people to a society where 80% of the inhabitants practice a different religion, speak a different language, uphold different values, and exist in a different century (the 21st century as opposed to the 7th).
It's interesting that at a time when the Republican Party is debating our own border security, Medved calls on the nations of the Middle East to basically throw open their borders (to people who have a 7th century no less). But one assumes that this won't actually happen, for the same reasons that cause us to not allow many Hispanics to come here.

Call for Genocide

The Palestinian people have had their lands taken from them, and have been herded onto reservations; they are fenced in and their movements are carefully constrained. Not to put too fine a point upon it, but they have been defeated.

So how much more can Israel defeat them? I don't know, but I find myself pondering that question as I read Ben Shapiro's latest article.
So far, Israel and America have willfully blinded themselves to the harsh reality of popular evil. They have refused to come to terms with the harsh fact that collective choices require collective treatment.

Treating collective problems as problems of individuals is a vacuous panacea. Waiting for Arafat to die of old age did not moderate the Palestinian Arabs; supporting one radical over another will not moderate them, either. The Palestinian Arab population breeds terrorism, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. If Israel and America refuse to recognize that simple truth, they will continue to pay the price in blood and treasure.
What does collective treatment of the Palestinian people require? How much more can we punish the Palestinian people?

If course if there are no Palestinian people, there will be no Palestinian problem, I suppose.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fred Thompson Speaks

Fred Thompson, in preparation for his presumed run on the White House, has taken a shot at Harry Reid for comments he supposedly made to liberal bloggers last week. Thompson reveals a lack of originality that won't surprise people who realize he is an actor. I suspect the big problem for our buddy Thompson will be the contrast between how poised and intelligent he looks on TV and how he looks when he's not scripted.

At any rate this is the same old claptrap - Reid voted for the war so he should support it to the end, no matter how senseless that sounds.
Reid's comments are not meant for logical analysis. He proclaimed the war lost some time ago, and the surge as a failure even before the additional troops were on the ground. The problem is that every one of Reid's comments I've noted here has also been reported gleefully by Al Jazeera and other anti-American media. Whether he means to or not, he’s encouraging our enemies to believe that they are winning the critical war of will.
Let's underline a point here - there's nothing Thompson or any candidate has said that makes me think that they have learned anything from President Bush's war on Iraq. Rather they seem content to continue and expand on his foreign policy blunders.

I don't want to continue the Bush plan of all blunders all the time, and I don't think Senator Reid does either.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Imagine my wish for a future that cannot hold my wish

I don't know what it means, but it's exactly how I feel.

From The Beautiful South - Mirror.

The Middle East

Pat Buchanan writes on the Middle East in his latest article.

Great opening sentence, right? I'm a genius.

Anyway, yeah, middle east. He points out that it sure looks like we are drifting towards war with Iran, and that there are clearly some in the government who are keen on moving in that direction.
What is going on? The most logical explanation is that the White House is providing advance justification for air strikes on camps of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that are allegedly providing training for and transferring weapons to Afghan and Iraqi insurgents. And if the United States conducts those strikes, Iranians will unite around Ahmadinejad, and Tehran will order retaliatory strikes against U.S. targets in Iraq and perhaps across the Middle East.

President Bush will then have his casus belli to take out Natanz and all the other Iranian nuclear facilities, as the Israelis and the neocons have been demanding that he do. This would mean a third Middle Eastern war for America, with a nation three times as large and populous as Iraq. Perhaps it is time to begin constructing a new wing on Walter Reed.

Which raises the question: Where is the Congress? Why is it not holding public hearings and sifting the evidence to determine if Tehran is behind these attacks on Americans and if the United States has not itself been aiding insurgents inside Iran?
That doesn't sound very good. And yeah it does seem like Congress needs to get involved in this at some point. We don't want to go to war the way we did last time.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Flags of Our Fathers

Provocative article by Olga Bonfiglio about the Flag as we approach Flag Day. She recounts how she came across the flag in conjuction with a Bush/Cheney sticker and got very angry, just be seeing that symbol. She then covers the history of the flag and how it has been with us in our triumphs and tragedies, finishing with this paragraph.
Today, however, the flag has taken on a new meaning. Outside of the country it has become a banner for violence, domination, torture, and intimidation. At home it has become a symbol of exclusion. We are truly losing ourselves as Americans and as we destroy our democracy we are also tearing our beloved flag into shreds. Will we ever see a day when we are united again around those beautiful stars and stripes?
The bolds are my own; that line I find the most important. The Republicans have tried to take the flag, indeed all symbols of patriotism, as their own. Waving a flag should mean that one is an American, not that one buys into all that Rovian nonsense. But they've blurred the lines enough that it there is a tension.

Which I suppose is what they were shooting for.

Republicans Struggle

Matt Towery offers the heartening suggestion that President Bush's dedication to the immigration compromise bill might hurt or destroy the Grand Old Party.
It's already clear that Republican candidates in the 2008 season will face a difficult political climate in light of the continued war in Iraq and the overall low job-approval ratings for President Bush. Now the president apparently wants to ensure the collapse of his party by attempting to drag GOP Senators over the cliff and into the abyss of his current immigration reform bill.

Multiple InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion surveys indicate that a majority of voters in numerous states, particularly those "red" Southern states the GOP desperately needs in order to have any prayer of holding on to the White House, oppose the president's immigration bill.
I feel for Mr. Towery, but I'm not sure the situation is as dire as all this. Bush can't run again and he's got no heir among the candidates running (closest you get to that is Mitt Romney). All three Republican candidates can walk away from the President on this one, which will help them both with the Red Staters you are worried about and with those on the fence. Disagreeing with an unpopular President like Bush isn't a bad strategy.

Of course they do have to hope that America doesn't twig to the fact that when it comes to war, they are exactly the same as Bush.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

When Grimace was introduced he was evil

And he had four arms.

Reality is stranger than you think it is.

Also I remember hearing reference to four armed grimace, but now I don't remember where.

Missing the point

Jonah Goldberg's latest article is an argument that we need to end public education. He points out the problems with our schools and says we should just throw up our arms and give up.

What's noticeable about his article is how he dances around one of the most obvious reasons to keep Public Education around. Under the old system poor kids got screwed, while wealthy kids did fine. It created an educational caste system; the wealthy kids go the educational opportunities needed to go on and remain wealthy. The poor kids got an education that ensured that they stayed poor. And I'm not even bringing up racial factors.

Any new system that does away with public education has to consider this, and yet Goldberg pays it scant attention. Instead he seems more concerned with providing civic identity, which he assumes the private schools will do better. That might well be so. Wealthy kids will learn that they are better than others. Middle class kids will learn to keep their heads down and do their jobs. Poor kids will learn that society doesn't give a damn about them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Election needs more Mud

Or at least Dick Morris and Eileen McGann would like to see a bit more mud, particularly in the debates.
The gulf between the two parties has so widened and the partisan bitterness it engenders so increased, voters are be massively turned off when one member of their party criticizes another - even when they are facing off for the presidential nomination.

The voters seem to be saying: Save your criticism for the other party - don't weaken one of our own by going after him (or her).
I don't know if that is true or not; certainly we've seen candidates take potshots at each other. Obama has been critical of Edwards and Clinton for their votes on the Iraq War Resolution for example.

Morris is a Conservative Republican and he wants to sink Hillary Clinton in particular. I suspect the subtext of this article is "Why don't you Democratic Candidates get Hillary good and bloodied for us?"

And you may ask yourself

I have to refer you to the latest This Modern World, which looks at life in the Justice Departmant, circa 2005. Very very funny.

The Age of Despair

Rich Lowry's latest article is about comparing the past to the present and finding the present wanting. He notes that we have accomplished great things in the past (like Hoover dam and the Empire State Building) but these days we don't do so hot (witness the progress on rebuilding the World Trade Center). He then notes that the age of cynicism may make Bush's immigration bill harder to pass.
This is the spirit that more than anything else brought down (for now) the Senate's Grand Compromise on immigration. It wasn't Bush's declining clout or raging xenophobia so much as the collective grass-roots reply to the White House's detailed explications of the enforcement provisions in the bill: "We simply don't believe you."

His administration had made no appreciable attempt to enforce immigration laws until recently. A government can't ignore its own laws without creating deep suspicions about its motives.
The conservative base is clearly restless and fed up with the President. But I have a hard time believing the base is likely to be pacified anytime soon; Bush can't really give them what they want. And to mollify his base, he'd inevitably piss off the rest of America.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What Holds the Republican party together?

We've had this discussion before; Democrats are made up of a lot of little groups and organizations, Republicans are more homogeneous, having two main parts. The Blue Bloods and the Social Conservatives. Well this immigration brouhaha is flagging up the differences in the Republican Party, and Ken Conner has written an article on this schism. Social Conservatives don't like immigrants; Blue Bloods don't care all that much and see the upside for business. And he notes that this doesn't bode well for the party.
If the Republican leadership is going to solve the immigration problem without committing political suicide, they better take into account perception and reality. Otherwise, they may soon be left with no one to lead.
I think his observation is pretty much right on; the base is pissed at and suspicious of Republican Party leadership, made up largely of those people wealthy enough to be leaders, i.e. Blue Bloods.

While we are on this subject - let's look at the Republican candidates.

Romney - Blue Blood

Guilliani - Blue Blood

McCain - Maverick Blue Blood

Hmmmm. And none of those guys is even particularly good at pretending not to be a Blue Blood.


Mike S. Adam's latest article is surprisingly not about the difficulties he has being a Conservative College Professor. Perhaps he's decided to give that theme a little bit of a break (but I doubt it). Rather he divides people into three types; Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs. Sheep are cowards who are afraid of guns and happy to have other people protect them. Wolves are psychopaths who want to hurt Sheep and other people. Sheepdogs are gun owners.
Sheepdogs, unlike sheep, are fully prepared to kill other human beings. But, unlike the wolves, they do so in order to protect those whom they love – most of whom are unable to fend for themselves. Their willingness to kill is a function of their love for their fellow citizens.
All hail the Sheepdog. Not to put to fine a point on it, but Adams is pandering to those of his readers who own guns. I have nothing particularly against Gun Ownership, but I don't think owning a Gun necessarily makes you a lover of your fellow man. Nor do I think failure to own a gun means you don't care about your fellow citizen.

I'll also note that there are plenty of bad people throughout the history of the world who saw themselves as Sheepdogs.

The Descent of Joe Lieberman

From being a Vice Presidential candidate to having articles regularly written about him wondering if he will abandon the Democrats for the Republicans. Such as today's effort by Rich Galen.
Lieberman has shown himself to be a man of principle in not switching parties in spite of his Democratic colleagues dancing on what they thought was his political grave.

But you might start watching for the signs. I suspect that before this year is out Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) will still be an independent, but he will be caucusing with the Republican majority in the US Senate.
You have to take Galen seriously, he was both Dan Quayles and Newt Gingrich's press secretary.

Well, maybe you don't have to take him that seriously.

But still the question he asks is a relevant one. Will Lieberman stay in a party that will be more liberal and particularly more anti war this next year? After all the campaign is going to set the tone of the Discourse within the Republican Party, and the Democrats are going to have to play to a base that wants this war acknowledged as a mistake and wants to see substantive resistance to it.

And of course that puts them out of step with Lieberman who wants us to follow George W. Bush respectfully and wants us to support war in Iran. Yeah, Iraq's worked out so well, Lieberman is keen on replicating our success elsewhere. And I think it's going to be a pretty frosty day down below before Democrats, particularly the base, do that.

So I hate to see it, but I can see Lieberman walking; I hope he doesn't but I wouldn't be surprised if he does.

Libby Vs. Gonzales

Robert Novak's latest article is about the split in the Republican party with the President over his support for Attorney General Gonzales and his lack of pardon for Scooter Libby.
Just when it seemed George W. Bush's sinking prestige with his Republican base had bottomed out, his stock there hit new lows last week. The president's seeming indifference to the sentencing of Scooter Libby was bad enough. It coincided with Bush's apparent determination to retain his friend Alberto Gonzales as attorney general against congressional pressure to depose him.

Prevailing opinion of the Republican Party's officeholders, contributors and activists could not differ more from President Bush's posture.
I do think Novak should mention that the base's disgust over the immigration bill probably plays into this a bit more. They aren't willing to give President Bush any slack right now, because they feel like he is betraying their party.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Nothing Interests Me

Today's crop of articles over at Townhall are dull as dishwater. Duller perhaps.

No, not quite as dull (had to go look at some dishwater to make the comparison). But the point is, dreadfully dull and hard to write about.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas also feels compelled to write about the meeting earlier this week in which Edwards, Clinton, and Obama discussed their religious belief. Unusually, he doesn't feel the need to decry the three candidates as big fakers. Rather he takes the novel approach (for conservatives) of suggesting maybe religion shouldn't be a huge factor in presidential elections.
Most of this God-talk by politicians is irrelevant. We're not electing a theologian, but a president. There are many moral and godly people in my church who I would trust with my wife, but with possibly one exception, not the country. Competence, not ideology or religiosity, should be primary in this election.
I'm not sure what to make of this; frankly after years of claiming religion did matter and that Liberals didn't have it I'm not sure this change in strategy is going to fly. Still it's nice to see Thomas admitting the truth on this matter.

Will the Real Person Please Stand Up

Jackie Gingrich Cushman's latest column is about how difficult it is to find an authentic politician.
Authenticity requires a focus on core beliefs and the strength to stand firm amidst changing events over which one may have no control. In contrast, the perception of authenticity can be imparted even if it's ungrounded in truth.

You rarely see the words "politics" and "authenticity" in the same sentence, unless the reference is derogatory. People often think of politicians as polished, controlled and contrived, not authentic and real.
Fair enough. The problem with the political season starting so early, however, is that all of those who are in now, will find their "authenticity" draining away as we get to know them. Flagging up authenticity as a virtue Republican should seek would benefit those not under the spotlight yet. Or at least that's the way it looks to me.

People like Newt Gingrich for example, or Fred Thompson.

Another Ann Coulter Column

This immigration debate is really bringing out the best in Ann (at least from my perspective of wanting to make fun of her). In here latest column, Ann wishes that Congress in the 60s had banned Irish Americans, so as to keep Ted Kennedy out. Nice.

She then bemoans the fate of the lowly whites. Poor white people.
In 1960, whites were 90 percent of the country. The Census Bureau recently estimated that whites already account for less than two-thirds of the population and will be a minority by 2050. Other estimates put that day much sooner.

One may assume the new majority will not be such compassionate overlords as the white majority has been. If this sort of drastic change were legally imposed on any group other than white Americans, it would be called genocide.
Incidentally I suspect that her description of the White Majority as "compassionate overlords" is not ironic; she really believes that Whites have acted as compassionate overlords.

You could write a whole article about the phrase "compassionate overlords" couldn't you? This would be a good time to point out the underlining racism in many (but not all) conservatives attacks on the immigration bill, but since I've done it so often, let's just consider the point made.

The rest of her article she complains about the difficulty in emigrating from America. This is one of those articles that more clearly shows her background as a spoiled rich white girl, whining because she can't everything just the way she wants it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Understanding your Enemy

It's a hard thing to do, and Ben Shapiro doesn't quite pull it off in his latest article on the Democratic Presidential debates. He does get points for noting that Senator Clinton really isn't the choice of the Democratic Base. But he loses points for positing that Senator Edwards is that choice.
Edwards' supporters are the true blue, the loyal foundation. They are the disappointed Deaniacs and Ned Lamont backers. They are the "Bush Lied, Kids Died" contingent, the "No War For Oil" crowd. They are the Michael Moore followers, the Al Gore worshippers. They are the vapid but solid core of a radical party -- a party that has risen to power by obfuscating its radicalism and opening its arms to Americans disaffected with President Bush.

Edwards supporters offer no real answers; they offer fortune cookie proverbs and unremitting vitriol.
I always like the no real answers complaint - it works for virtually anything. I mean even if they protest and say "But wait, I do have programs and policies" you can deride those as not real answers. Just respond to whatever they say with "Yeah that's a real answer. Not!"

Anyway for those who don't know, Dennis Kucinich is probably closer to the choice of the Democratic Base, not John Edwards.

Kevin McCullough is doing the Devil's Work

In his latest column, Hell's Candidates, he denigrates the faith of the Democratic Candidates, discussing a recent liberal religious forum they participated in. He compares Democrat's faith to the acting abilities of Porn Stars, and then mocks statements of their faith repeatedly.
So on Monday night before a packed house of 1300 religious leftists Hillary Clinton was up first:

"I'm not sure I would have gotten through it (my husband's infidelity) without my faith."

Wait President Clinton was unfaithful? I thought it was a right wing conspiracy, a Ken Starr obsession, a Linda Tripp entrapment. Now you're saying it actually happened? Does this now explain why those lamps got thrown across the room and the repeated use of the "f" word in the private quarters of the White House?
Of course this is a little deceitful. Hillary believed her husband early on, but obviously she discovered it later on. It's not like this is the first time Clinton has discussed this.

Not to put to fine a point on it, but McCullough is engaged in stirring up hatred for Democrats, long a Republican goal. And who wants more hatred in the world, God or the Devil?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Not everybody is on the Same Page Yet

Or to put it another way, all the Conservatoid pundits agree that Democrats are jerks. But they don't quite know what to do with President Bush yet. Bill Murchinson's latest article deals with the Democratic Debate, and, like Limbaugh, he says attacking Bush is attacking America.
We need to look carefully at the phrase "George Bush's war." It tells us everything we need to know about this field of candidates. Not our war -- not America's. Bush's war. You get the implication here. When we quit the war, we're not really quitting; we're just cleaning up Bush's mess.
In a nutshell that's where the Republican Party is right now, and why the 2008 election is a bit problematic. The American people don't like the Iraq war. Democrats are criticizing the war and saying we need to get out. Republicans are saying we are all in this together and should stand behind the President on this issue (where they disagree with the President is on Immigration).

So they are cutting themselves loose from an unpopular president, while holding on to the thing that makes him unpopular. Seems like a tricky strategy to make work. Unless they figure they can win or seem to win in Iraq by 2008, in which case, well, the American people have always loved a winner.

America is the Bestest nation in the World!

Or at least that's what David Limbaugh, the "smart" Limbaugh brother would like to hear from Democratic Presidential candidates. Instead, as he notes in his latest column, Democratic Candidates like John Edwards are pointing out mistakes and suggesting we need to improve our imagine internationally.
Even if you choose to dismiss the Democrats' own bumper stickers about how evil America is (from Gitmo to domestic spying) because you swallow their excuse that they are only criticizing the Bush administration, not America, then you'll still have to explain how they can insist that America has the burden of proving it is not immoral.

These are fighting words if you love America.
Of course Limbaugh doesn't believe reports about our torture of enemy combatants nor does he realize that the War in Iraq was and is unjustified. He attributes all of Edwards accurate criticisms of the United States to a desire to placate the base, but points out that if Edwards trashes America it won't go well for him in the general election.

Let me also point out the obvious slight of hand here. Edwards is criticizing how President Bush has run America; David Limbaugh wants to equate criticism of the President with criticism of the nation. It'd be hard to run against the Republicans without noting how badly they've messed things up in their term.

Unfortunately for Limbaugh I think the nation sees a bit of a difference between America and the President.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Boner of the Year

Comics Should Be Good has a great story asking whether this particular story, in which the Joker says "So! They laugh at my Boner will they? I'll show them. I'll Show them how many Boners the Joker can make!"

OK yeah, it's immature, but made me laugh for about an hour.

And people say there's a bit of racism in this debate over immigration

Why consider these measured comments by Bill O'Reilly.
O’REILLY: But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. In that regard, Pat Buchanan is right. So I say you’ve got to cap with a number.
All races are equal; some races are more equal than others. What could be clearer?

He was interviewing John McCain at the time of this comment; McCain's response was, shall we say, less than inspiring.

Lookin' for a Leader

Listening to Neil Young's Living with War just now - it really holds up more than I thought it would at first listen. There's some great cuts here, including "Lookin' for a Leader" (which I haven't gotten to yet). But we Democrats/Liberals aren't the only one's looking for a leader. Conservatoids are looking for one too, and Ken Conner has a handy dandy guide to what Conservatives should want in a leader.

I should point out that Conner explains the 2006 Republican Losses without referring to the deeply unpopular war in Iraq, so he loses some points there.

He says that the Republicans should look for someone who's got leadership (really brilliant analysis there, Conner), who has a vision for America, and who has authenticity.

Or can fake it, apparently. Thompson probably wins the Authenticity Primary, but I'm reminded of a post from Glen Greenwald from last week.
But the illusion of manliness cliches, tough guy poses, and empty gestures of "cultural conservatism" are what the Republican base seeks, and media simpletons like Fineman, Halperin and Matthews eat it all up just as hungrily. That's how twice-and-thrice-divorced and draft-avoiding individuals like Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh become media symbols of the Christian "values voters" and "tough guy," "tough-on-defense" stalwarts.

And it's how a life-long Beltway lobbyist and lawyer who avoided Vietnam, standing next to his twenty-five-years-younger second wife, is held up by our media stars as a Regular-Guy-Baptist symbol of piety and a no-nonsense, tough-guy, super-masculine warrior who will protect us all.
Is this the sort of authenticity Conner wants? A best guess is that, yep, that's what he's talking about.

The truth is that Conner's lack of understanding of the role the Iraq war played in 2006 is indicative of his insight in general; this is really quite a banal article. When you boil it down, his point is "When we go to select a presidential candidate, we should select a good one." Well, duh.

Feminists are Murderers

According to professional jackass Michael S. Adams. For those not familiar with Mike S. Adams, his shtick is being a college conservative and saying offensive things and then pretending he was joking. In fact he starts this article with an admonition to those who don't think he's funny.
By stating that I reinforced her liberalism by using offensive language (read: by making her even angrier) she simply reinforces my true definition of a liberal:

One who suffers from an emotional disorder that renders him, her, or it unable to appreciate humor.
Then bizarrely he moves on to an apparently serious argument that Feminists are murderers. The argument goes like that - Abortion is murder, Feminists are in favor of legal abortion, Feminists like having sex but don't necessarily want to have babies, which leads us to this statement, by Mr. Adams.
Feminism is a minority social movement, whose members murder innocent children in order to obtain sexual gratification.

Those who would quibble with my assertion that all feminists commit murder do so based on the mistaken assumption that a woman must have or actually perform an abortion to commit a murder. That isn’t so.

Charles Manson never actually stabbed or shot any of the five people at the Tate residence. Nor did he stab either of the LaBiancas the following evening. His conviction on all seven counts of murder was due to his choice to enter into a criminal conspiracy with the very people who did, in fact, directly commit the murders.
He also makes it clear that this definition includes anybody who describes him or herself as a feminist, regardless of how committed they are to feminism.

I'm not really sure how to respond to this argument; it's like responding rationally to an article explaining that Black people really are inferior. What's the point? The worldview posited by the argument is to bizarre to respond to rationally. Although, and of course, Adams isn't the only one who wants to string up thousands of women.

I'll just conclude that Adams is a nasty git and articles like this make the world a worse place.

Sad days

Steve Gilliard of The News Blog has passed away. He was a great and passionate writer and it's a real shame.

What is on the table?

President Bush gets taken to task over the immigration reform bill in an article by Robert Bluey today. Unfortunately, I'm not sure Bluey is looking at the whole table when he launches into his criticisms. Even the title, "Bush’s Blunder: How Not to Fire Up the Base," misses a key point in the Bush Presidency. He's not running for anything. He can't be President again. So what does he care whether or not the Base is worked up or not?

One thing you have to give President Bush, he doesn't care about criticism from people who can't give him anything. He hasn't cared about the growing number of people who oppose the war and the conservative base has seen that as a sign of strength and steadfastness. Now he is taking a course they don't agree with and that same strength and steadfastness is no longer a virtue.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

Carter and Bush - Two Peas in a Pod

According to Steve Chapman's latest article at I guess they couldn't compare Bush to Clinton because despite their deep hatred of Clinton, he was, at least, competent.
Jimmy Carter has backtracked from his comment suggesting that George W. Bush is the worst president in history, and let's hope his gesture soothes relations between the two. Because if there is a place in the next world where unsuccessful presidents go to pay for their sins, Carter and Bush will be sharing a cell for a long, long time.
I guess there's not much to say here. The Republicans if they are going to redeem their party have to cut Bush loose. Some of them know it, and others don't want to believe it. It seems like Chapman's made his call.