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Post-Conventional Wisdom

John McCain's greatest hit -- or miss? Speaking of Sarah Palin. Ethiopian American. Roushed up. Plus much more.

9.8.08

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BUNGLED
Re: John Tabin's A Conventional Flop:

Goodness! What a surprisingly negative column! Did someone pour sour milk on your cereal this morning?

I didn't care for the speakers on Thursday night prior to Cindy McCain either; however, it was apparently structured to be the McCain's night. Cindy got her baptism of fire at delivering a speech. No outstanding grade, but she did introduce herself to the nation.

Senator McCain will never get any major points for being a public speaker. However, he did manage to emphasize the contrast between himself and his opponent. The next few weeks will tell the story. Debates, campaign appearances, etc. Ninety percent of the time devoted to conventions are largely a waste, being a big deal only for the delegates.
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

The flop here is your dismal assessment.

John McCain was John McCain -- and he did exactly what he needed to do: He said what he believes. He did it straightforwardly and honestly. He mentioned issues that concern us all, even detractors and opponents. His characterization of education as a civil rights issue was inspired.

When he said "change," you knew he meant it. When he talked about service and sacrifice, you knew he hadn't fished those words or concepts from some text. When he said "I won't let you down," it was believable. And you believed him, in saying, "We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them."

But when he invited us to join him and fight for what is right â€" "Fight for our children's future. Fight for justice and opportunity for all. Stand up to defend our country from its enemies. Stand up for each other, for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America" â€" he clearly and unmistakably differentiated himself and his running mate and the Republican-conservative coalition from those who staged that empty spectacle the previous week in Denver.

He showed he is for America and called for something the Demockacrats, liberals and leftists cannot imagine, much less say: Stand up and fight for America -- and each other.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

After Sarah Palin's speech on Wednesday night, I was energized! She absolutely stole the show, and the Obama campaign's headlines. I praised McCain for the brilliant choice of Alaska's Governor as his running mate, and looked forward to November.

My euphoria didn't last long.

After Thursday night's speeches, I'm once again back in the doldrums.

Cindy McCain's speech was dreadful. She looked uncomfortable, to say the least. Worst of all, rather than talk to the American people, she talked at them in a fashion reminiscent of Miss Sally from Romper Room. In short, she annoyed me, and I stuck with the speech purely out of Party loyalty.

And then "The Maverick" took the stage. This was his moment to shine. This was his best chance to strut his stuff, and reach out to the base as well as the vast numbers of undecided voters, and persuade them as to why he is the best choice for this country's future. Sarah Palin had set the stage for him beautifully; all he had to do was maintain the excitement she created.

I fell asleep.

Over in the Obama campaign, rumors are circulating that Obama may be regretting his choice of Biden for VP.

Well some of us Republicans are also having buyer's remorse, but of a different sort. Is it too late to switch the ticket? Can McCain be Palin's running mate?? It's clear from this convention who has the energy and the vision to drive the conservative agenda, and it isn't John "The Maverick" McCain.

Only one good thing has emerged from this convention: We know who we need to defeat Obama in the next election.

PALIN 2012!
-- Gavin Valley
Peapack, New Jersey

"If McCain gets a bump in the polls in the coming days, he won't have himself, or his party, to thank -- he'll have his running mate, and no one else."

Duh -- just who picked his running mate? And if you don't think getting his base behind him was huge -- you haven't been paying much attention. Look, I'm not a big McCain fan, but I'm all about this ticket now.
-- Lance Stiles

Some may say that McCain's acceptance speech was all heart and no substance, as if that is a bad thing. It is not.

America didn't need a "substance" speech Thursday night. They needed to sense that the Grand Old Party hadn't faded completely into the sunset. They needed to feel like a second Morning in America might just be around the corner. "Sense"..."Feel"...these aren't words of policy or substance. They are words that associate more with things like inspiration.

McCain and Palin gave America what it needed to hear. Real hope, real change -- these are what were promised by the two candidates in their acceptance speeches. The rest of the speeches -- good and bad -- will probably be little remembered.

Forget the poll bounces. The Republican Party showed that it can still rally people 'round the flag, and around principles of the heart that matter to most Americans.
-- Mark Pettifor
Goshen, Indiana

Reading Mr. Tabin's "A Conventional Flop" and Mr. Klein's "Grand United Party" I began to wonder if there was more than one GOP convention, if the networks coverage was glaringly different, or if people just see what they wish to see.

Mr. Tabin saw the convention as being neither stimulating for the party members nor well run, leaving the party drifting somewhat aimlessly. Mr. Klein saw John McCain's performance as generating a party united behind him and his candidacy. Seeing McCain as having won over the Conservative base.

Strangely, I saw it another way. I saw a convention composed largely of Conservative voters. This was evidenced in Mr. Tabin's observation that McCain's speech was too flat, too low key and too boring. It is unfortunate that he missed Sarah Palin's speech on Thursday. He would have seen, not only an excellent speech, delivered with style and punch, but a crowd who would have stood up and cheered wildly if Palin had been reading her shopping list. Why? I believe because she is seen as a Conservative. McCain is seen as a liberal moderate who is far too chummy with liberal Democrats.

As for McCain drawing the party together behind him, I simply can't agree with Mr. Klein on that. What McCain has done is draw the Conservatives together behind his Vice Presidential candidate. In fact, some Conservatives new election slogan is "One heartbeat away." Hardly indicative of a desire for a McCain Presidency.

As for a post-convention bump for the McCain/Palin ticket, it is irrelevant. In the first place, most, if not all, of the pollsters are suspect. Secondly, the only polls that matter do not open for sixty days. Let's just watch the campaigns and see what happens.
-- Michael Tobias

I have to agree with John Tabin's comments concerning the GOP Convention. The scheduling of speakers and the performance of John McCain will preclude any "bounce" the GOP was looking for. However, I also have to admit the Democratic Convention in Denver was also disappointing. Yes, Obama did give a decent speech; but, it was one we've all heard before. Not even the crazed 80,000 adoring fans and Doric columns could overcome this liability. In Denver, Bill Clinton generated the most excitement, not Obama. In St Paul, it was of course Sarah Palin that generated the excitement, and not McCain.

This morning's CBS poll again has McCain and Obama neck to neck. It looks like the election will break in either Pennsylvania or Ohio (or both) if the 2004 elections are a template. If this is the case, Palin might overcome Bush fatigue with the rural voters. But yet again, there are questions whether McCain can hold on in Virginia, Colorado, and North Carolina. Even Indiana is in play according to some pollsters (Obama opened up 41 offices there this past summer). I would say Obama still has a huge advantage due to his large war chest and a much improved get-out-the-vote effort by his party. But again, Obama should be cruising with a 12-20 point lead, and not fighting for his life.

This is a strange election. Before the Palin, this was an election where a mildly liberal Maverick was running against an eloquent far-leftist. Conservatives were not invited. This was to be an election where the victory was to be decided by the Center-Left. As everyone knows, no GOP candidate in modern times ever won a campaign without the base. Palin did temporarily solve this problem. How she performs the next 9 weeks will be interesting, and it is ironic to listen to her far left feminist detractors complain how she is abandoning her family in favor of her career, while conservatives extol the primacy of career over motherhood.
-- JP
Indiana

It must be hard for John to compare the angry Michele Obama who sees no good in America.

Then look at the compassion and devotion of Cindy McCain, and Sarah Palin.

Sarah's baby is lucky Obama was not involved as he would not allow his daughter live with a mistake.

Sarah said she was blessed to be chosen to love and care for her baby.

What a contrast. Hate and blame America first is a common thread of the Democrat party.
-- King P. Coles, Sr.
Belgium, Wisconsin

The convention was a failure?

Can I buy a ticket on your magical alternate universe ship? Geesh, dumbest article in the history of earth.
-- Bill Mitchell

MOVING ON
Re: W. James Antle III's That's a Wrap:

The political conventions are over now and I have 10 reasons why I am voting Democratic this year.

1. I can marry whoever, whatever or however many living things I want to.

2. The union supports the party and protects my job even if my company goes under.

3. Catholics that are Democrats can do whatever they want as long as the party platform okays it.

4. They are experts on women's issues and especially know which ones are good looking.

5. I don't have to be smart scientifically because they don't know when life begins either.

6. The hate profits just like I do except when they are mine.

7. My taxes are not going to be raised only my neighbors who has a little larger house than mine.

8. When the ice caps melt they will be giving me a tax credit to buy a boat to drive to work.

9. They are saving me from future crime problems by their promoting the disproportionate percentage of black abortions.

10. When the terrorist come I won't have to fight because there will not be any guns around to cause trouble.

You see neighbor how great it will be when the Democrats are in total control we won't have to do, say, or think anything for ourselves anymore. Dumbing down is really going to be easy.
-- Jared Harold
Naples, Florida

W. James Antle writes: "The long knives are out for Sarah Palin....her qualifications, record, ideology, and even her family life have been under the media microscope and liberal assault."

Maybe some moron media type will find out what kind of woman names her sons Track and Trig. Couldn't she come up with some manly names -- like Beau, or Hunter?
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RALLYING PALIN
Re: Philip Klein's Grand United Party:

While McLame may have united the delegates to the convention, he certainly has not united the party. There are still those of us who have not forgotten that he has spat in the faces of conservatives for over 20 years. Spit in my face once and you make me angry. Spit in my face a second time and we're likely to have fisticuffs. Spit in my face ten or twelve times over a long period of time and there is likely nothing that you can ever do to win back my trust -- ever.

Like most conservatives, I was and am energized by the selection of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate. However, that is akin to pouring a very nice cologne on a rotting corpse. It will mask the stench of having to vote for McLame, but it won't eliminate it.

Do not ever forget that if elected, McLame will still be pushing for a cap-and-trade system which will wreck the economy, in order to fight a global warming hoax that doesn't exist. He will still be pushing for Shamnesty for illegal aliens, which will forever alter the culture of this country. As for strict constructionist justices and judges, it is my firm belief that is a pipe dream. The President can only nominate, he does not appoint. And there is nothing in McLame's background that would indicate that he would fight a Democrat Party dominated Senate Judiciary committee over truly conservative justices or judges. No, what I see coming there, based on history, are "compromise" candidates, in the style of Anthony Kennedy.

I would crawl across acres of broken glass to vote against The Obamessiah, but that has nothing to do with a "united" Republican Party.
-- Keith Kunzler

I could not agree more with Mr. Klein's assessment of the McCain campaign and the Republican Party, as things stand today. Like many of the TAS family, I have been a harsh critic of McCain over these many years. I still disagree strongly with many of his actions in the Senate; we all know the litany by heart. It was only after the Democrat convention that I resigned myself to the fact that I could not sit this presidential election out, and that I would vote for McCain after all. My spirits were indeed low. My decision was really a function of voting against the very dangerous, inexperienced, and radical leftist team of Obama and Biden. But as many fellow readers at TAS have stated, voting against an ideology or a candidate is not sufficient enough reason, there needs to be more, much more. So I thought this election was now Obama's to lose.

And then, out of the Pacific Northwest, came Gov. Palin, who, for the first time, in a long time, sent my spirits soaring. I had heard and read some things about her. She was on my radar screen, but only vaguely. I've been in the political game for 30 years on the state and local level. I think I have good political instincts. I've seen only a handful of exceptional politicians over these years. My gut tells me this woman, Gov. Palin, is the real deal. I sense something exceptional about her; a common sense confidence, that only strong, well grounded individuals have. A demeanor of basic goodness and decency, which flows from an unwavering belief in things we hold dear.

Granted, this star has just emerged, and many pitfalls await, especially from a now riled and rabid Democrat party, and their totally disreputable allies in the MSM. They may temporarily score points with their scorched earth determination to destroy her, but in the end, I believe she'll emerge unbowed and standing. I think we're witnessing the future. Let me echo those mentioned in Mr. Klein's article and go one step further, by asking my fellow reluctant and highly principled conservatives to think again about a vote for McCain. Think of it as an investment for the future. Something that may pay dividends beyond our wildest dreams.
-- A. DiPentima

Mr. Klein, over all, gives a fair and balanced report of McCain's big night at the convention. But I saw the evening's events in a somewhat different way. First, I would say that McCain has well and truly earned his reputation as an extremely poor speech giver. He is OK as a speaker at a town hall type presentation, but a poor speech giver. The thought occurred to me that the campaign ought to try to have Gov. Palin give all the formal speeches and restrict McCain to small gatherings and town hall events and debates.

I would not have even watched if it hadn't been for Gov. Palin. Certainly, two weeks ago, I had no intention of wasting my time to watch the McCain acceptance speech. But then I saw Gov. Palin last Friday, and was impressed. Then I spent the days in between reading about everything of substance that I could about Gov. Palin. (No, I didn't bother with the Left wing thug sites.) Then I listened and watched her speech on Wednesday night. I was doing little Snoopy dances around the room. My dogs wondered what the heck was going on. I am completely enthralled with Gov. Palin. She is the first politician that I have gotten excited about since Saint Ronald of Reagan. I was of the opinion that the election was over, except for the counting of the votes, and we had won.

Sooooo, I decided to watch the McCain address. Now I am back to wondering if Gov. Palin can somehow pull the victory back from the jaws of defeat, or if I am going to have to get stronger blood pressure meds to get through an Obama administration, assuming that a VP Biden does not put me into a coma. I am a bad public speaker. McCain is a lousy public speaker. If he did not lose the election Thursday night, he can thank Gov. Palin.

Please, God, is there any way that we can turn this into the Palin/McCain campaign, instead of the other way around? McCain/Palin may get enough votes to turn New Hampshire around, just barely, but the rest of New England is a lost cause. Well, we are back to nail biting time now. Maybe we could have a ticket of just Sarah and Todd Palin. Then Sarah Barracuda (Darn, I love that nickname.) could partially staff her cabinet with her kids.
-- Ken Shreve
P.S. to Mike Roush; Mike, you are neglecting me since you returned from your hiatus. Surely you can find something to attack me on regarding this letter. Please, Mike, how am I to know that I am right if you don't attack me?

John Tabin and Philip Klein's assessments of the Republican convention were an interesting juxtaposition. I think Tabin got it right. Klein's was pretty much to party line. Having said that, I will admit that I was moved as I watched the introductory film about John McCain and listened to his personal account of how his time in the Hanoi Hilton changed him as a person. I heard his obvious passion for serving his country. Who can doubt it? After the speech, I couldn't help but remember how Karl Rove and President Bush slandered him in South Carolina during the 2000 election. I recalled all of the disparaging, critical and hateful things said by Republicans about him during the primaries. I was saddened that the delegates gave their greatest applause to McCain's remarks about Sarah Palin and their least to his remarks about reform. Frankly, I think McCain is a far better man than the Republican Party deserves. For independents, the questions should be less about McCain and more about Palin and GOP in general.
-- Mike Roush

This conservative is still very leery of Senator McCain and all his hair-brained ideas. But I love Sarah Palin!!!
-- Judy Beumler
Phoenix, Arizona

Anybody think that maybe Barack wants a do over?
-- Norm Astwood
Peoria, Illinois

AMERICAN DREAMIN'
Re: Ben Stein's My Convention Story:

I was really surprised to read this article by Ben Stein. Gratified, too. I am an American born middle aged white guy who unexpectedly lost his white collar, well-compensated job in mid-May. I am still looking for work. Why? Because my unemployment pays the same as an entry level job at WalMart (no disrespect meant) and allows me to look for work and interview as needed.

My attitude since my job loss had gone from optimistic to being sort of whiny and self-pitying. The article underscores a revelation I had around 3am this morning:

I am not defined by my job or possessions, rather myself as a person. People from all over the world take great risks and endure hardships to come to America because of our nation's great opportunities. Being born here has allowed me to be soft and somewhat blinded to my environment. Even my two dogs have a better quality of life than most humans on the planet. (I put coconut oil in their food to help their coats -- and I dare feel sorry for myself? Many people do not have access to clean water.) Our servicemen and servicewomen endure greater hardships defending our land. A friend of mine was drafted into the Communist Vietnamese army and escaped to the U.S. in a leaky boat.

So, thanks to Mr. Stein and his cab driver for helping me to realize that I will indeed have the opportunity for a better future, that this is indeed a land of endless opportunity for which many people better than I have fought and died. I think I need to suck it up, grow a pair, and learn to appreciate the good things and work towards the dreams I am allowed to enjoy by birthright.
-- Robert Neul
Indianapolis, Indiana

An Ethiopian nomad comes here with nothing, and what does he do? a) He doesn't apply for welfare or food stamps. b) He doesn't whine about "unfairness," or believe America is an inherently racist nation.

Instead, he gets an education, a job, a house and a family, and tells Ben it's because America's the "best country in the world."

Here's the "lesson" Ben Stein should have learned: which political party would have undoubtedly told that cab driver that a) and b) were his only viable options?
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

TOUGH COOKIE FROM A TOUGH TOWN
Re: Lawrence Henry's Memories of Wasilla:

Great column from Lawrence Henry on his memories of Alaska and the toughness of its people. My husband was stationed there during the Vietnam era when he was 19 and in the Air Force. He has some great stories to tell about his experience there.

Mr. Henry's column gives an additional layer to the many layers of our vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. What a gem the Republican Party has in her and what a gift to our nation. No wonder the left is in such a hateful tizzy about her. She's tougher than the girly men of their party! I think she should challenge Joe Biden to a wrestling match or a duel at dawn. I'm sure she could take him down in short order. Don't worry, Joe, we won't let her hurt you -- much.

What a gal!
-- Deborah Durkee
Marietta, Georgia

Mr. Henry writes unabashedly, "I was also drinking a lot, so much that I had to exert teeth-gritting willpower not to get so drunk that I couldn't stand up on the bandstand in our later sets. Then I had a great idea: I'd take a little speed to even out the alcohol." He goes on to state that he saw where this behavior was leading and sought help. This admission is a brave one for a Conservative. Not because he abused chemicals, but because as a conservative Republican, he is a target for the Left, especially its mad media message machine.

Right now the National Enquirer, admittedly a non-political and amoral, news agent (capitalism at its purest) is looking into leaks, hints, and allegations about Todd Palin's past behaviors; her daughter's indiscretion is plastered across magazines and television screens. What has Bristol's choice have anything to do with Governor Palin's ability to lead is a debatable point, but the question remains, in what way does this reflect the the elder Palin's judgment?

Having an affair on tax payers expense does reflect poorly on Senator Edwards' judgment, but it was not the mainstream press that exposed his gallivanting. And he was a highly likely choice for VP! Senator McCain, coming out of a six year of imprisonment and torture, dropped his first wife over 25 years ago and the papers still vilify him for it today. On the other side of the aisle, Senator Ted Kennedy, who did more than drop a wife his way to his presidential bid, is a saint of the Left. President "I did not have sex with that woman," Clinton's list of sexual misdeeds is legend, and he is idolized by half of America. Madam Clinton, a serial liar was 400 delegates short of being the Democratic nominee. (Senator Clinton's lies were liberally covered by the mainstream press, but only so they could dethrone her and coronate their darling prince.) Obama, in pre-messianic days, admitted abusing drugs. All their sins were more than venal. Yet from the Left, nary a word, and when the words are spoken, it is always forgiveness for their brethren, but woe onto anyone from the Right who slips even for a moment. Why the difference?

One is clearly the Left still believes in the "If it feels good, do it" ethos of the radical sixties. Another reason is the Left has a difficult time differing between economic conservatives and the Religious Right. The latter, if not always the former, hold themselves to a higher standard, and it is logical and fair that the Left demand that social conservatives follow the morality they, themselves, preach. If one lives by the law, one may also die by the law. Social Conservatives hold these standards because they believe in absolutes, first among them, God. But what the Left cannot, or will not, perceive is that along with the following of the law and having faith in God comes forgiveness. People of God preach morality for all, but they (dare I say we) are fully aware of how far from a perfect people we are. We often slip and fall, but we forgive and are forgiven. This is not to say one cannot find religious people in the Democratic party or that God is a Republican, but The Left's modern day sadducees and power players will never understand the stones they throw will land on their own heads, nor will they ever understand the true joy that comes with faith and forgiveness. They are people behind the vicious headlines and slanderous cover stories.

Mr. Henry's brave admission further illustrates that all people make mistakes, but not all learn from their mistakes, and even fewer take responsibility for their actions. I have never met a perfect man, but I know a man of honor when I see (or read) one.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

BACK TO STUDENT LIFE
Re: Christopher Orlet's Back to School:

I loved this essay. It corresponded with a visit I am still making to my daughter's home in Okeechobee FL.

They are doing something correctly in school there. A history teacher asked his class to pick any aspect of the civil war that interested them as individuals and a write about it using at least five sources. My grandson picked weapons.

He wrote a well researched essay on the infantry weapons used by both sides. Nice? Yes. Something he was interested in and he learned something. But we're not finished yet. His follow-up task is to explain the significance of these weapons in the war.

This is a teacher, I think, to be admired. He is making something that is likely uninteresting most children of today -- and getting them involved in it. My grandson is excited and has asked me to help him do the research from my collection of books on weaponry through the ages.

I have given him an Army manual on tactics of the period and he has already picked up on the fact that the tactics were developed in an age where rifled muskets were not present on the field of battle.

So perhaps learning is alive, exciting, fun, and well at least in small town Florida!
-- Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina

Is the right to drink really so much more important---does it require so much more wisdom, experience & maturity than the right to vote---that is must be fixed at twenty-one instead of eighteen? Could our values & priorities be just a bit arsy-versy here?
-- John Lowry
Terre Haute, Indiana

SAFETY LAST
Re: Eric Peters' Crash Envy:

Excellent article -- I for one did not know about this chicanery of our government; they do not rate crush-worthiness of cars on an absolute scale but only in relation to the cars of the same size. That is a Mafia-size conspiracy against the people of this country, and should be a proper subject for massive suits against those government agencies. It is similar to comparing an average high school graduate of today (you know the type -- full of self-esteem, with a vocabulary of 30 words half of which start with "f") with an illiterate native of New Guinea highlands and saying the former is more advanced. Such comparisons will please our teacher union but will not advance litteracy. Hiding the death toll of smaller vehicle drivers and passangers in comparison with those of heavier cars is tantamount to murder and should be prosecuted as such. Where are all those trial lawyers now while this scam is going on?
-- Marc Jeric
Las Vegas, Nevada

ABC'S OF NEWS
Re: Nicole Russell's Investigating Brian Ross:

If ABC News thought Hurricane Gustav was so important, why didn't they shut down their convention coverage and send their reporters to New Orleans? What kind of heartless people are they to keep Brian Ross in Minnesota when people were suffering in Louisiana. Those money-hungry networks apparently don't understand what it means to be facing a hurricane. All they want to do is keep their people in Denver and St. Paul to cover meaningless politics and make more money. Wait until Barack Obama is in office. He'll know what they should be covering. He'll take away the tax loopholes that allow Networks to write off expenses for boondoggles like convention coverage. By closing these loopholes, he'll be able to pay for the important social programs that give money to people who aren't working. (Note: Sarcasm now complete, you may return to your normal reading).
-- Ralph Carpenter

JUST A DREAM
Re: Joseph Lawler's Timetable Dangers:

Laid down for a nap after reading your article, Mr. Lawler. One never knows what might happen when you lay down for a nap. Just dreaming, just dreaming.

The President, today, made a clear and compelling case for our policy in Iraq, convincing the majority of reporters in the Washington Press Corp that he is the greatest President since Abraham Lincoln. At a reunion event, sponsored by the White House for all members of the WPC who had served at any time during the past seven years, the President reiterated his policy in uncharacteristic tones, almost as if he had been practicing his delivery after watching reruns of conservative columnist William F. Buckley, Jr.'s TV show, Firing Line. Although it was the umpteenth time he had explained the policy, few reporters had ever grasped the idea that the United States of America is a sovereign nation entitled to have its own foreign policy and defend itself from its enemies abroad.

Dick Gregory put it succinctly, "I was awestruck by the President's strategery. It was an epiphany." Helen Thomas, when asked to comment, struck an even more enthusiastic, if haunting chord, "I'm tearing up my ACLU membership card, and applying to National Review for a staff position. You're never too old to learn how to think, and if Buckley could do it, I'm willing to give it a try."

Other reporters were equally thrilled by their enlightenment and asked the President if they could personally thank Karl Rove for having guided the President's campaign to victory in 2000 and 2004. Some were in tears, crying on each other's shoulders, not wanting to leave the reunion without telling the President how grateful they were for his
patience over the last seven years.

"I finally get it. I'm sending an email to Bob Tyrrell over at The American Spectator to see if they could use another contributor," said Terry Moran, who asked the President if they could have lunch together sometime.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

MAVERICK AND BARRACUDA
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Murphy's Loss:

Mr. Homnick's article was dead on good. The chattering class of old media elites, both Republicans and Democrats need to be thrown out with the bathwater.

I enjoyed Mr. Homnick's clear writing and will watch for more by him

Go Maverick and Barracuda. God is good.
-- Anne Burkart

UNCOWED
Re: W. James Antle III's The Right Lady:

The unaccustomed thrill we felt during Sarah Palin's speech was because -- at long last -- an uncowed Republican was confidently articulating what every American used to be taught: The United States is a nation of, by, and for the tens of millions of common Americans. Had our ancestors wanted to be ruled by supercilious elites, they would have remained abroad, under someone's thumb.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

MUNDUM CONTRA ROUSH
Re: Michael Roush's letter (under "Roush Contra Mundum") in Reader Mail's Poetry in Motion:

Mr. Roush, in my last letter, I compared your "intellect" to that of an undergraduate debater. Your response proves me wrong, and I offer my apologies to undergraduate debaters everywhere. You see, sir, I don't believe the Kent State students were children, so I intentionally didn't put scare quotes around "adults" when speaking of Bristol Palin and her soon-to-be husband as you do. They are above the age of consent in Alaska, so for the purposes of our discussion about their sexual choices, they are adults. Your childish scare quotes are unnecessary and inappropriate. But what is more important, you missed my entire point, which was a simple one, hence my apologies to the undergrads.

Mr. Roush, I don't have to bet "the ranch," or the farm, or my life's savings, nor my bottom dollar on their well thought out intentionality, because it is none of my business. And certainly none of yours either. Your "logic" seems to be "reproductive rights and the privacy thereof are sacred rights for women"..."Bristol Palin is pregnant"..."therefore Sarah Palin is unfit for office." Clearly, except for nuanced leftwing pseudo-intellectuals like yourself, this syllogism is, shall we say, lacking some important connective tissue. I asked what you would do when confronted with the fact that you cannot know all the facts of this situation, and I have my answer. You certainly didn't close your mouth. Instead, you conceded my point, and then tried to turn that around to my disadvantage with your irrelevant rhetorical question -- which question, sir, I have answered. It is, as I say, none of my business, so I have no bets to place, nor any right to place them. Would that you understood the same.

I said before that I don't like to shoot fish in a barrel. I would rather let them swim in circles, in their harmless belief they are crossing mighty oceans. Happy swimming, Mr. Roush.
-- Michael Jasper
Amman, Jordan

No projection here, but when a liberal accuses you of something they are frequently guilty. Could all Mike's assertions on what Republican's used to believe just be projection? I want to assure Mike Roush that I am very curious about Senator Obama's association with his racist, anti-American church. How could a normal human being subject his children or himself to that hate filled nonsense for multiple years? I know there are people of all races and ethnic groups that think like this but I was taught that they are doing evil. I also am curious about anyone who would give the brave Bill Ayers or his disgusting wife the time of day let alone associate themselves politically. None of my explanations make Senator Obama look like he has the character to be dog catcher. He looks like either a weak minded opportunist or a very evil man. I have charitably went with the weak minded opportunist. Maybe Mike could make this all clear but he seems incurious!

Mike's fascination with a particular teenager's pregnancy does however illustrate of what he is curious. It seems Mike just enjoys other's misfortunes if they meet certain political qualifications. To feel compassion for all involved doesn't make teenage pregnancy a neutral thing as Mike tries to float today. Those in our society who have created the casual attitude towards sexuality have greatly contributed to this problem and the related pathologies (disease, high prison populations, etc). Thirty percent illegitimacy is not a healthy thing for society or the individuals involved and as certain subsets within our culture indicate, things can get much worse. When will progressives admit that our thirty plus year experiment with abortion, birth control, and sex education while undermining morality has made matters much worse? Their typical simple-minded material solutions to moral problems always amplify rather than cure. What is really amazing about a progressive is that they never consider their handiwork beyond their intentions. In fact the unintended consequences from their last cure provide more opportunities for future simple-minded solutions.
-- Clifton Briner

Mike would do well to tread lightly when answering his detractors, who seem to be forming a militia to stamp out abysmal ignorance -- but that aside, it is fairly amusing to watch a bush-leaguer on the pitcher's mound with a lineup of heavy hitters like Chaplain Michael Tomlinson (who I believe once complimented me with a Bravo Zulu) and Clif Briner, who took me on for thinking I was the ne plus ultra of motherhood (I had to forgive him because he had nailed it!) That was way back when we were all a'twitter over the boys at Duke having their good names besmirched. My, what a long memory you have, Granma! I do. But had I been asked, I would have rather had curly hair than total recall. My stance was that the "boys" knew when they hired their entertainment, it wasn't going to be Shari Lewis & Lambchop. But then I am the mother who required her 19 year old to go to DMV and get a printout of his driving record monthly for a year, over a speeding ticket! He has two teenage sons now and has issued similar Draconian threats.

So, one man's constructive criticism is another man's character assassination. Mr. Roush should toughen up. One wonders why he bothers with his splenetic sharing of opinions, only to huff that a reader has no idea what he is thinking? Isn't laboring over his hot little keyboard nightly an effort to let us know what he is thinking?

If I ever need reassurance that the loose cannons on the left are misfiring, I have only to look for the Roush sig. Sadly, he cannot even fulfill the last ditch requirement: "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with b.s."
-- Diane Smith

Poor Mike Roush it's so sad when one is so bitter. As one who believes in separation of church and state I'm uncomfortable turning my personal religious affiliation into a political football. I appreciate that Barack Obama and Democrats are crass enough to use religion as a political pawn, but that is not the Republican or conservative way. For most of us our faith is deeply held and who we are -- thus it shapes our politics. We don't merely see religion or faith as a means to get votes like the left. It is one of the guiding principles of our lives. Roush may not understand this and that's too bad, but if so it's reflective of those whose values are shaped by callous politics, the press and self-promoting messiahs.

Like my Goldwater-Republican father, who is 150% behind John McCain to the chagrin of liberals like Roush, I believe people of faith and serving in the military (like all Americans) have freedom of speech and the right to participate in the free flow of political ideas. It seems this principle is anathema to a significant number of Democrats, but they're ideals Americans have been fighting and dying for since 1775. Since I'm a registered Republican voter in Travis County, Texas I'm expecting the Democrat machine there will try disenfranchising. Thankfully, my Republican Senators (Hutchison and Cornyn) have always been there to secure my rights despite Democrat shenanigans.

The beauty of being a conservative is one can do many things beyond smearing the minor children of politicians, sexually harassing pregnant young women or resorting to outdated Democrat chauvinism to attack women -- when Democrats were institutionalizing Jim Crowe Republicans were giving women the right to vote. Sarah Palin is a threat to Democrats, because she refuses to buy into Democrat stereotypes. She, like the vast majority of Republican/conservative women, is her own person and not merely a political token to be used and abused during an election. Unlike Democrats Republicans do not practice the politics of exploitation. I know that's hard for Democrats with their user mentality to grasp, but like our faith it is who we are and we're not going to apologize for it.

As for ministry in Iraq I'm spearheading an effort to get prescription eyewear to the Iraqis and tennis shoes to Iraqi children as well as meeting the needs of those I have the privilege to serve. It really isn't that hard do many things in a day. There are 24 hours in a day I sleep 5-6, work out 1-2 hours, eating takes an hour or two that leaves roughly 14 hours to work and even rant about politics -- pretty easy to do and if need be one can skip a meal to rant and survive. The good news is there are many people and organizations out there that afford average Americans the opportunity to support and help others in the US, Iraq, Afghanistan and the world -- it is good for the soul. Even bitter Democrats might find helping others beneficial -- it is so much better than just talking about it like the community organizer and the lobbyist's father.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Habbaniyah, Iraq

"Boys and girls: this is not your granddad or your dad's GOP and last night was not their nominating convention either. As W dirt bikes off into the sunset, I wonder if Ike, Barry, Richard and Ronald are spinning in their graves.
-- Mike Roush"

"At any rate, instead of writing three or four political rants per day, why don't you get off your duff and go minister to our troops? On second thought, maybe it's better if you stick to writing the rants.
-- Mike Roush"

Looks to me like Mike Roush stuck in a time warp and is bitterly clinging to his (failed) 60's religion.
-- Craig Sarver
Seattle, Washington

PUTIN STRIKES BACK
Re: Letters under "Roush's Putin Moment" in Reader Mail's Poetry in Motion:

Thom Bateman writes: "My Cats have an opinion about everything also but at least in their case they've learned to add "value" to the conversation vs. just meaningless noise." Talk about "meaningless drivel." The "meaningless noise" you added to this conversation is the same reflexive attack on the MSM one always hears from the right whenever the press dares to rouse from its sleep and ask a few questions. Not a word about substance. Next time, Thom, send the opinions of your cats. They will be far more enlightening than yours.

Diane Smith writes: "Exactly what is a Putin moment?" Welcome home from Pluto, Diane. A Putin moment -- I quote the Decider, "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul." Really? Well, Mr. Bush, then why was your administration as ill prepared for what happened in Georgia as it was when Katrina struck? Also, Diane, upon your recent return you may want to note that Bill Clinton hasn't been president for eight years and his wife is not the Democrats' nominee. Time to stop blaming the Clinton's for everything and using them as a useful diversion and start evaluating how the
current administration that promised to do better, in fact, did worse -- much worse.

Mr. Briner, I refer you to my response to Mr. Bateman. Also, please read my response about your assumptions concerning my curiosity about Senator Obama posted under Roush Contra Mundum.
-- Mike Roush

Michael Jasper writes of "Mr. Roush's undergraduate-debate-team-level "intellect"...."

How unfair. Why, I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Roush was a college professor!
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

FROST KEEPS IT KOOL
Re: Frost's letter (under "His Finest Moment") in Reader Mail's Poetry in Motion:

Dear Frost, at first I had difficulty reading your letter because half of it was a commercial for KOOL Radio.

You mentioned Barry Goldwater doing a commercial for Governor Evan Mecham in 1962. There's another story from 1962. Both Goldwater and Mecham made an appearance before the National Convention of Young Americans for Freedom being held in Phoenix. Goldwater was the nationally known senator and front runner for the presidential nomination. Mecham was the Republican nominee for the other senate seat. Goldwater spoke for 30 minutes and got polite applause. Mecham spoke for 15 minutes and got two standing ovations. Later, Mecham's wife, Flo, said to her husband, "You just made an enemy." He asked, "Who's my new enemy?" She said, "Senator Goldwater." Mecham said, "He's backing me for senator." Flo said, "You didn't see his face when you got that second standing ovation!"

Let me ask you a question, Mr. Frost. If Barry Goldwater was not part of the lynch mob against Governor Mecham like you say, then what was he doing being part of it in 1987 and 1988?
-- Michael Skaggs
Murray, Kentucky

"FYI, as Program Director, 'KOOL-Gold' was the innovator; we started the 'oldies' format the previous July [1962], now heard on 730+ radio stations nationally."

That was you??

Where's my gun?
-- Stephen Foulard
Houston, Texas

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