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Paying Dues

All the Kennedys' men. The day of service. Unpolite heroics. Plus more.

9.2.09

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TOO TOLERANT
Re: William Tucker's Ted Kennedy: Man of the 1930s:

William Tucker's comment that Ted Kennedy "paid his dues" for Chappaquiddick because he was never elected president is the single most grotesque thing I have ever read in The American Spectator.
-- Glen Hoffing
Shamong, New Jersey

"During the funeral there was endless mention of the poor, the downtrodden, the homeless, the dispossessed, the excluded, the gay...."

Senator Kennedy was a large man with large appetites and bounded empathy. Before the humanness of a young lass with child could even crystallize in his mind, his heart would go out to the man who impregnated her.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A while back I read a story about Joe Kennedy Junior. As I recall, just before he was to leave on the secret mission that killed him, somebody said to him, "I hope your insurance is paid up."

Joe Junior promptly replied, "Nobody in my family needs insurance."

It bothered me that this man's brother was sitting in the Senate, deciding that everybody else needed insurance.  That bothers me no more, but now it's "win one for him."
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

CHIPS ON THE SHOULDER
Re: James Srodes A Long Shot: One-Term Obama:

Obama will be one and done.

That's not a long shot proposition.

He is the second coming of James Earl Carter.

His charm will not be able to compete with higher taxes (which will be on our doorsteps shortly), back-breaking inflation (it's coming) and staggering deficits (they are already here).

The Democrats will pay a huge price at the polls for these problems next November, particularly if some conservative citizen legislators (as opposed to career political hacks) run on Republican Congressional tickets.

In 2010 and 2012 we will see "throw-the-bums-out" legislative cycles which will make 1980 and 1994 pale by comparison.
-- Chris Hall

There has always been a pretty simple side of human nature whereby the fans will put up with just about anything -- as long as the team is winning. Abraham Lincoln knew that and it drove many of his actions -- he sacked generals like McClellan who would not fight and Pope who were beaten when they did. Lincoln kept Grant despite his detractors, saying "I need this man -- he fights." When told of scuttlebutt about Grant's drinking, he said "find out what he drinks and send a barrel to every general in the army." Lincoln wanted to win and he was not squeamish about how he did it.

F. D. Roosevelt was of the same mind -- he pushed for early and aggressive action against Germany and Japan and when the British demurred, he and General George C. Marshall played the ultimate card they had -- they threatened the British with moving American forces to the Pacific if they could not fight in Europe. The English wet their pants from one end of the country to the other over that threat -- it was deadly. Roosevelt and Marshall were the last of the breed -- leaders who knew that in war, there is no prize for coming second. Winning is the only thing that counts and nobody prosecutes a victor.

A war will not save the Obama administration because the man does not know how to fight, let alone how to win a war. Harry Truman did not benefit from the Korean War, Vietnam did not benefit LBJ and George W. Bush did not benefit from Iraq and Afghanistan. None of them could show the public that they were winning and the public turned against them in the end -- and so they should. The Duke of Wellington spoke for a lot of people when he saw the carnage at the end of the Battle of Waterloo and said "the only thing worse than seeing a battle won is seeing a battle lost." If Obama does have to fight a war then the most likely outcome is that he will lose and lose badly -- he is too incompetent and too gutless to win a war, he knows nothing about leadership or responsibility. Personally, I think the chance of America having to fight a war increase the longer Obama is in office, his weakness and incompetence simply invites an adversary to try their luck and to over reach and miscalculate. Saddam Hussein did exactly that in 1990 -- he thought he could get away with invading Kuwait and he nearly did, because the first instinct of President George H. W. Bush was to fold and it was Margaret Thatcher who told him to stand firm. Where is the next Margaret Thatcher?

Obama's weaknesses will probably lead to the very same type of confrontation he wants to avoid, and when it happens, it will destroy him and everything he stands for. His professorial mates at Harvard should do him a big favour and tell him that only the victors get to write history -- the losers end up as footnotes. I give short odds that Obama will end up as a footnote. I don't think you need to be much of a betting man to work out the odds on this one.
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

Anti-union violence during the Truman years? I can't think of any such instances in the Truman or Eisenhower years. This sounds like Tip O'Neil claiming to have seen NINA (No Irsh Need Apply) signs in Boston when he was a boy, long after the last one had been documented as being taken down.
-- David Bartlett

PUT OFF
Re: Matthew Vadum's Greenwashing 9/11:

9/11 "Republican" because of so-called issues such as patriotism, national security and the ongoing War on Terror?

What an execrable suggestion!

Of course, only Marxist-raised and tutored Barack Hussein Obama and his extra-legislative-appointee Van Jones, yet another Marxist, as well as their coterie of liberals and leftists, would be so arrogant and ignorant to say that or allow such anti-American rubbish to come out of the White House.

But there's reason to be thankful for their arrogance and ignorance.

Motivated by their rage with America, they confess what the rest of us have known for a long time: the Democrats and liberals, including their leftist allies, cannot be entrusted with national security and that the word "patriotism" scares and apparently repulses them.

It sickens me how the White House appears to be turning red -- and how very little connection the president and his administration and, generally, liberals, have with America.

It amuses, too, to see that they do not understand that they also cannot brand 9/12 in their image. Since 9/11, one of the most outstanding differences between them and the rest of America is that they appear stuck on 9/10/2001 and work feverishly to return America to those days.

What lunkheads.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton , West Virginia

ROUGH WRITER
Re: Jeff Lord's Is Sarah Palin the Next Ted Kennedy?

TR, Jr. did not "fizzle," as you put it. He was a state senator, assistant secretary of the Navy, and a nominee for governor of New York. He was a brigadier general during World War 2, and won the Congressional Medal of Honor. One of his commanding generals once commented, "His father was a professional politician and an amatuer soldier. We are lucky his son was the other way around."
-- Michael Skaggs
Murray, Kentucky

NICENESS IS RUDE
Re: Marilia Duffles' We Are a Rude Awakening:

If nothing else, the health care crisis is flushing out the phonies, the intellectuals who disdain true passion because it is -- well, so messy, you know. Ms. Duffles and her ilk instruct us: Be nice. It sounds haughty no matter how it is phrased.

George H.W. Bush was nice: he agreed to raise taxes when Democrats promised to apply the money to deficit reduction. Bush's acquiescence became a brickbat against him, the money bought Democrat votes, and Bush lost the 1992 election. George W. Bush spent eight years being nice to Democrats, who correctly inferred moral weakness (contrast Bush's treatment of Sandy Burger and Scooter Libby -- enough said) and took it as license to decimate the conservative agenda.

Congressional Republicans have been nice and civil and cooperative since the 1930s, even with recent large majorities in both houses of Congress. Their collegiality earned them nothing -- unless you count voter disgust, which led to enormous Democrat super-majorities, which is how we find ourselves in today's crisis.

If we lose this round, we probably lose the Republic. Perhaps it is already too late. Still, we must fight on. Conservatives have been scrupulously nice in the face of moral savagery for decades, which has led us to this terrible place. If a little rudeness is all it takes to save the American Experiment, we all -- including pedants like Ms. Duffles -- should count it cheap at the price.
-- Mark Petrina
Benicia, California

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