By James Plummer on 10.4.05 @ 12:01AM
MIERS TO THE COURT
Re: Discussion at AmSpecBlog:
From what I’m gathering on the blog, no one is very happy over
this latest Bush nomination. I’m beginning to think that she is a
compromise candidate in exchange for Roberts’ confirmation. Bush
seems to be happy keeping the status quo (5-4) on the bench but
then again, maybe we’re in for a pleasant surprise. I say this from
past experiences where we thought we had a good conservative
nominee and ended up with a closet liberal. Maybe this time we have
a born again conservative candidate who has seem the error of the
liberal mindset and will help bring the bench back to what it was
intended to be. Could it be George has blown it or is this one of
the shrewdest political moves he has ever pulled? Whatever the case
may be, it promises to be interesting.
— Pete Chagnon
President Bush had a chance to change history for the better. Instead, he chose a poorly qualified political pal who contributed to Al Gore’s 1988 campaign, spent money on Bentsen, and never served as a judge or legal scholar.
Bush’s presidential career will be summed up as: giving the store away in education to please Ten Kennedy, passing an ill-defined and unlimited-cost Medicare prescription benefit shoring up the sagging career of Senator Specter paving the path of Hurricane Katrina with gold — our gold, and wrecking the U.S. Supreme Court just as effectively as daddy Bush.
I trust we can elect a genuine conservative president in 2008,
one who will undo the damage of the two Bush administrations.
Conservative financial support for more Dukakis clones will be
— Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.
Let’s give G.W. a second chance — defeat Harriet Miers and let him
choose a known conservative such as Judge Janice Rogers Brown and
then “go for broke!”
— Ken Wyman
PRESSING OUR LUCK
Re: Jed Babbin’s Role Reversal:
Jed Babbin’s piece is amazing. He hit the nail right on the head (though wrong on the Supreme Court nominee — only time will tell if it was a good choice or not). Bush and the Republican Party must take on the mainstream media. Slowly but surely people are recognizing the utter biased coverage by the media against this president and Republican Party. I constantly challenge leaders of the Chicago Tribune regarding columns, news reporting and the Tribune’s participation in the ACLU lawsuit to release more Abu Ghraib photos. While I have cancelled my subscription and am campaigning people I know to do the same (to some success), I still monitor the paper at work and on the web.
The Republican Party and Bush administration have to realize
that people are willing to take on the MSM. I am actively doing so
in any way I can and seek more opportunities to do so. It’s not
that MSM is so biased to the Dems that riles me, it’s that it’s
become more anti-U.S. The media must be challenged. Tim Russert
must be challenged. David Gregory must be challenged. Terry Moran
must be challenged, and so on and so on. Even Joe Scarborough, a
conservative who in the past I have admired. Recently on his show a
series of “facts” flashed on the screen. One item implied that FEMA
denied the Red Cross access to New Orleans when in fact and
according to the Red Cross, it was Louisiana that denied Red Cross
access. I called Mr. Scarborough on this saying that even though he
may not control what information is flashed on the screen, during
his show he is responsible. Never heard from him. It seems he is
more interested in being accepted by his MSM “friends” than
reporting the truth.
— John Dyslin
I had never thought of the MSM as a political party, but the shoe does fit in many ways. Fact it fits so well, that considering the new mood at the FEC why isn’t there and investigation vis a vis McCain-Feingold?
But you know, I don’t have a lot of concern for their long term effects. Here is the reason why:
Every one of these publishing companies stocks is headed where? Right… in the dumpster. NYT has announced and additional 500 person cut in staff. If most of these cuts come from the national desk could it be that NYT might go regional? And if that is the case can they claim to be the “paper of record”? Hearst is in a similar situation on the balance sheet. Hollinger, parent of the Chicago Sun-Times, is in a nasty takeover bid and their cash position is down right anemic. Only Knight-Ridder is stable, due to their larger holdings in electronic properties, but even their stock is dipping.
You hear stories from time to time about the fear in the news room from many liberal pundits. The assumption is that the Bush era is fostering the fear. Sorry, but the fear is coming from 40- and 50-somethings looking at flat 401K’s, a flat industry and headcount cuts wherever they turn. They are facing the hard truths of their irrelevance. Welcome to the real world ladies and gentlemen. As a reader should I be concerned? Well if reports from Iraqi like those posted by Michael Yon or a Soldier’s Perspective are any indication of what we can suspect in the future from non-MSM providers, then no.
Could we expect improvement for MSM anytime soon? Well go to the wellspring of the MSM, Columbia School of Journalism. Read the Carey quote. “…Not the news business.” If not that then what? The curriculum vitae for the MSM concentration include such gems as Covering Emerging Communities, The Art of the Profile, and New York as a Foreign Country. The suggested summer reading is of particular interest for both its New York orientation and leftist slant. It is no wonder than this J school consider the fly over states a foreign entity — it is from their view. With such scholarship, the demise of the industry is assured.
We need not, Mr. Babbin, worry too much. When the Internet media
and blogs have taken over as surely they must, we can all attend
museums of the print media in places like N.Y., Chicago, and
— John McGinnis
Mr. Babbin is 100% correct in his assessment of the role of the MSM. His methods to counter same also make sense. One big problem.
The President has given up any attempt at leadership (how about
that dynamite choice for the Supreme Court?), and coupled with the
less than courageous Republican House and Senate (I am being too
nice here), the door is wide open for the Dems, lefties, and MSM to
feed on the corpse of conservatism like carrion in the veldt.
— T. A. O’Reilly
South Portland, Maine
It is possible that the MSM have reached the high water mark in
their criticism of all things Bush and DeLay. Even avowed liberals
of my acquaintance are coming to the conclusion that the MSM cannot
be taken at face value. The fairy tale coverage of Hurricane
Katrina, the oppressively bad news out of Iraq day after day after
day, and the neurotic blaming of President Bush for virtually every
negative thing that happens in the world have taxed the gullibility
of even the staunchest compassionate liberal. As a teacher for many
years, I have met about every stripe of liberal in existence. Even
many of them have had to grudgingly admit that the MSM has gone
overboard in its coloration of events and its pursuit of Bush, the
Father of All That Is Evil. That is not to say that the most rabid
of them don’t still blame President Bush for thunderstorms and
volcanic eruptions. However, we cannot worry about those folks, as
they the ability of cognitive thought. These liberal marionettes
will think what they think until God comes on a cloud. In fact,
even then, they will probably argue that the end of the world was a
Republican plot hatched by Karl Rove, and carried out by George
— Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio (Yes, I have moved!)
Mr. Babbin is indeed correct about the ascendancy of the MSM to
political party status. He however comes to this realization way
too late. Perhaps if he read TAS more carefully, he would
have known what his many readers (outside the beltway) have opined
for years. We have called this phenomenon by many names and
descriptions, mine was the Agenda Party. Be that as it may, Babbin
late than never.
— A. DiPentima
Jed has a good point that the MSM now leads the charge against the Republicans (though this is hardly news). I have two problems with Jed’s article:
-He does not propose a specific mechanism by which the MSM may be countered.
-He does not admit that President Bush and the country club Republicans who inhabit the Senate are a big part of the problem because they refuse to fight the MSM but instead pretend that the MSM is not that biased.
Bush is also vague about the war that the USA is involved in. He
says that it is against terrorism. Isn’t it really against Islamic
militarism? Bush’s inability to speak clearly may simply be the
result of unclear thinking. Though I vote Republican, There are
only a couple of elected Republicans who I admire. The remainder
seem weak, stupid, and greedy.
— Steve Koch
It hasn’t gone as unnoticed as you might think. Many conservatives
thought the Democrats owned the MSM but have come to realize that
it is in fact, the MSM owns the Democrat party. How did we come to
that conclusion? By following reporting by the Associated Press.
That is where your first indication comes from. The media is in
lock step just like Hitler’s goosestep. The Fox News Channel is
also guilty of this. The gradual shift of ideology on that 24-hour
channel is really quite interesting.
— Ruth Skidmore
Mr. Babbin is right. Three to four years ago, before last election,
I heard on a Washington Journal moment the Assistant Editor of the
Times and others discuss cutting their overseas budget to
concentrate on influencing the political situation back home. So
— Bill Dukas
Reading both “Role Reversal” (Loose Canons/Babbin) and “‘Yes’ on October 15” (At Large/Walsh [more below]) made me see the parallel of two out-of-power minorities: Sunnis in Iraq and liberals in U.S.
Without their Baathist thugs to keep the Shiites suppressed, the Sunnis are desperate, and think that if they cause enough terror and pain, everyone will give them their way. It sounds like a five-year-old child’s strategy, but it seems to work with France and Spain.
Without a majority in the House, and inconsistent control of the Executive, liberals are beginning to lose their advantage in the judiciary. The liberals in the minority party are providing ever increasing levels of violent rhetoric and legal attacks. They seem to think that if they complain enough, and forestall the majority party, then the folks who elected the majority will change sides. That sounds like the five-year-old child’s strategy again.
A big question is what will liberals do as their time in the minority lengthens? Will their frustration push them to escalate? Will liberals follow the example of the minority party Sunnis in Iraq and use improvised explosive devices? Some liberals did that during the large riots and demonstrations of the 1960s and 1970s.
I hope that they do not. They should leave that to the
eco-terrorists, who aren’t trying to be elected… are they?
— Newt Love
IRAQ FROM THE SOURCE
Re: John Connly Walsh’s “Yes” on October 15:
It appears we approaching the beginning of the end-game in Iraq. Most big picture indicators are positive. In the early months of 2006 there will likely be a voter-approved constitution, recently completed national elections, a new popularly elected government, and an increasingly battle hardened Iraqi Army supported by American strength.
The terrorist insurgency is in trouble.
Mr. Walsh’s commentary is important. It is far better that MSM
reporting. Mr. Walsh is one of only a few in-country people (some
others include Michael Yon and a few mil blogs) that provide
reliable, non-agenda driven information.
— Doug Santo
Which Senate Democrat will try to de-rail this election like Dick
Durbin did the one in Iran last June? What preposterous lie will be
told to discredit the military and the President and bring hope and
courage to the terrorists? A successful election in Iraq is a win
for President Bush in Durbin & Co.’s eyes and they can’t let
that happen. They would rather continue to prolong the war and
endanger American military personnel. Durbin, Kennedy, Kerry,
Schumer, et al., are responsible for the rising death toll in Iraq
but know their allies (or is it masters) in the press will blame
President Bush. October surprise, anyone?
— W. G. Wheatley
Sure would like to see you on Fox News. If you have been, I missed it. Even in their on-line version would be a start. They sure must have a news camera in Baghdad somewhere. Your insight is better than anything else we’re getting from over there.
— John P.
Re: Christopher Orlet’s Emboldening Terrorists:
A wise Egyptian counterterrorism expert once commented that, by
going after members of al Qaeda and other terror groups, the
Americans are going about the business of stopping terrorism the
wrong way. Muslim terrorists care little about death, and if they
are killed, more always can be recruited, either with fiery sermons
or money. Terrorists do care, however, about their families back
home. Therefore, the Egyptian concluded, Americans should take out
the families of terrorists. Once word gets around that, by
committing a terrorist act, terrorists would be sacrificing their
families, the flames of terrorism would likely burn much lower. The
Egyptian said, though, that he didn’t think American civilians or
soldiers had the stomach for what needed to be done, so America
would eventually be forced to withdraw with its tail between its
legs, as in Vietnam. Is he right?
Re: James Bowman’s review of Dear Wendy:
Mr. Bowman’s review of Dear Wendy reminds me of an
incident that happened to me ten years ago. I took a
friend/business associate from Denmark who was visiting me in New
York to a N.Y. Giants football game. He had been very keen to go
since the European U.S. football league was just starting to become
popular in Europe. During half time we started talking about
politics and culture in the U.S. and he blurted out that he could
not understand the “gun culture” in the U.S. I volunteered that I
indeed owned a couple of shotguns since I was a keen duck and
pheasant hunter since the age of 14. I also shocked him with the
notion that I and every other American had the right to defend our
families from violent intruders or a tyrannical government with
deadly force if necessary. Well my friend was shocked. He went into
a rant about the superiority of European civilization, etc., etc. I
pointed out to him that the Second Amendment was put into the
Constitution to put government on notice that an armed citizenry
would prevent any type of mischief from occurring. I also pointed
out that had the Danes and other enlightened Europeans had similar
provisions (like the Swiss) then their countries might not have
fallen to the boot of fascism so quickly. That seemed to quiet him
down a bit. Went back to the second half of the game — I believe
the Giants even won!
— Ron Pettengill
London, United Kingdom
SEND RONNIE TO JERSEY
Re: John Tabin’s The DeLay Opportunity:
Read with great amusement the article on Tom DeLay. By New
Jersey, standards he’s a piker! A recent audit found an $8 billion
school construction bond fund broke! Money’s gone, no one knows
where! A former Democratic assemblyman gets $1 million annually to,
get this, teach doctors how to speak to patients! Corzine paid
through the nose to anyone and everyone to get himself elected.
He’s paid, pardon me, donated money to black ministers in the state
to get their endorsements! At a local function, I asked a
Democratic luminary, “Where’s Jim McGreevy hiding”? That was
greeted with howls and screams like you’ve never heard. One woman,
the mayor’s wife, used barnyard epithets to describe the question
and then accused me of being a “bully.” Nice touch! And of course
the 300 hours of conversation taped by a disaffected Democrat
haven’t been released as of this date by our Attorney General. What
do they show? Could our esteemed senators be in the pocket of a
— Bob Montrose
ATTACH THE WELFARE STIGMA
Re: Steve’s letter (under “Conservative Welfare”) in Reader Mail’s Friendly Persuasion:
Even more basic than Steve’s comments, here is another thought:
If my memory serves me correctly, the so-called poverty level is
an artificial number which was dreamed up by LBJ and company when
they found that in order to declare a “War on Poverty,” we needed a
number to shoot at! Do away with the poverty level number (upon
which all giveaways are based), and the problem is
I was raised in the 1940s by a widowed mother and had seven siblings. We knew we were poor, but had no idea that we lived in poverty. Each of us worked at what we could, based upon our age and contributed to the family coffers and well-being. My mother worked nights so that she could be home with us during the day and the older children took care of us when she was not home.
Welfare was a dirty word and accepting welfare carried a stigma
that most Americans did not want.
— C.D. Lueders
A DOSE OF THE CLASSICS
Re: Joe Minkiewicz’s letter (under “Re-Remembering Rita”) in Reader Mail’s Friendly Persuasion:
Just an aside to Mr. Minkiewicz’s letter. I too, raised my kids
on the old movies, songs, etc. They know Charlie Chan, Warner
Oland, Sidney Toler, Great Gildersleeve, and all those
virtues from that era. They too have rejected popular culture, are
quite stable in their outlook on life, and have an appreciation for
the America that was. (Rita Hayworth played in a Charlie Chan movie
from 1935 called Charlie Chan in Egypt as a sarong clad
house servant.) I’m happy to see that someone else thought the way
I did on that. From what I’ve seen of the “popular” culture of
today, I would say his daughters are way ahead of the game by being
exposed to these older movies and music, just as mine were.
— Pete Chagnon
HAPPY SPECTATOR ON THE SIDELINE
Re: Chuck Lazarz’s letter (“Reader Mailer Extraordinaire”) in Reader Mail’s Friendly Persuasions:
When one has the excellent foil of Tyrrell, Neumayr, Stein, and Babbin to comment on the job is easy. I peer over the shoulder of giants. That Wlady gives freely of his red pen to obscure my grammatical missives is pay enough.
Writing a weekly or daily column is a very tough occupation
indeed, to which I fear I am not up to the task. That American
Spectator offers the column inches for my occasional
pontifications, and that a fellow reader enjoys them is ample
reward. Thank you.
— John McGinnis
WHEN CONSERVATIVES REACT
Some Reader Comments on AmSpecBlog:
Chill people. My God, our side sounds as shrill and overreactive
as the left. From what I heard today from so called “civil”
conservatives, I thought I was at a Move on dot org rally. It is
true — we have just as many shallow reactives on our side as they
have on theirs. You folks are spoiling for a fight, but why fight
ourselves. Bush gets to pick his nominees, not us. Live with it and
quit your whining and playing right into the hands of the left!
— Clermont Jim
Bush has gone overboard on the Reagan inclusiveness. RR must be
rolling in his grave. The Dems look like pikers in government
spending. The Republican Party has left me! Hopefully a true
conservative party will emerge that I can support. I would welcome
Forbes and Fred Thompson, however Thompson’s personal life would
generate a lifetime of press. Amazed, though, that the new Chief
Justice had Thompson as his liaison man in Congress.
— Gordon Vinson
George H.W. asked us to “Read his Lips,” George W. said he would
nominate someone in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. Shame on us —
we bought a Bush’s line again!
— Charles E. Umhey, Jr., M.D.
James Plummer, a native New Orleanian, is an Adjunct Analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
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