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Republican Surge

Can't you feel it? What next -- a "reform agenda"? Also: With friends like this. Laser eye on Iran. More Mitt matters. Plus much more.

7.28.08

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GUTLESS WONDERS
Re: W. James Antle III's Bob Michel Returns:

Has the Republican surge begun yet?

Here in California, the Republicans are inaudible above the evening zephyr, or so I suppose since I've not heard word one from the McCain camp. Perhaps the Republican Party has already written off the California. Perhaps they are incompetent.

In the event of the latter, I hereby take it upon myself to notify all Democrats that the presidential election has been moved to Wednesday, November 5.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

Mr. Antle is exactly correct. Even "actual" Republicans are afraid to call themselves Republicans or vocalize when that means to them. Considering their performance over the last 8-10 years it is understandable. I find myself qualifying my own Republicanism when talking politics because I don't want to be associated with most of them, especially the leadership, if you can really call it that. Far better to say you are conservative and explain that except quite a number of our "Republicans" are trying the same approach now. How else could a guy like Mitt Romney actually be considered a conservative alternative to McCain and some of the others in the primary?
-- Roger Ross
Tomahawk, Wisconsin

James Antle's description of Bob Michel and the events he didn't preside over (and probably wouldn't have varied much from what occurred if he had) gave me a headache . Nostalgia for the bad old days is not a pleasant experience. But at least things got better; we don't have that assurance today. Bob Michel MAY have been a nice guy. I remember him smiling a lot, so did the languid, indolent, and intergallactically incompetent Denny Hastert. The fact of life, constant, immutable, and in full operation today in so many ways, is that good comes from good organization which in turn stems from good leadership. In the case of the Demo-controlled Congress, well, the evidence speaks for itself. In the case of the Republicans, well, res ipsa....

American leadership, certainly at the federal level is at its lowest tide in my 62-year memory. I've said it repeatedly, I'll say it again: Warriors come to fight. There are few, if any conservative warriors. And they seem to have taken an extended breather. It seems to me that a conservative's hope must lie with the 20-30's of today. The military-experienced youth, the conservative college youth, the conservative blue collar youth. All of whom can smell swamp gas and have had a stomach full of the large doses of bovine fecal matter tossed at them by the libs and political weaklings of both parties. Hope I'm alive to see it.
-- J.C. Eaton
Chetek, Wisconsin

The Republicans are seen as gutless, generally. The Democrats as are coming to be seen a treacherous, but the Republicans are so gutless that Americans consider choosing the treacherous. The President, resolute with foreign enemies, is blind to the domestic; has been from the very beginning.
-- Reid Bogie
Waterbury, Connecticut

Keep an eye on that open seat in Peoria this year!

Peoria: home of the first thousand dollar a plate presidential dinner that had to be reduced to five hundred a plate.
-- Joe Marier
Sterling, Virginia

FRIENDLY PERSUASION
Re: Lawrence Henry's Correspondence:

Poor Mr. Henry. There is a very simple, easily explainable, catalyst for your (ex?) friend's letter.

Your article poked a clear hole in his muzzy, chiaroscuro world of make believe in which he decided to live. Through this hole he could see the utter paucity of thought; the abject poverty of his intellectual habitat in which he lives. He saw in a flash, the falsehood he has been living.

The gentleman had an epiphany! One of the most profound kind: it crushed every mendacious brick in the foundation on which his life had been based.

So he had to scurry, like a roach in the light, back into the darkness that is liberalism. Like Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny , when the hooting owl woke him up, your friend had to fire a random shot or two at his tormentor.

But be happy. Your work here is well done. He will never sleep soundly again. He will, in the silent dark, know he is living a lie.
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
North Carolina

Lawrence, you strike me as having way too much on your plate right now to worry about losing the supposed friendship of a pompous twit. Based on your description of your college relationship, it seems to have been based on a common interest, namely a mutual appreciation of how wonderful he is. Perhaps his fan club is large enough now that he can be more selective in whom he lets into it.

I have reread your column in question and can assure you that it is so inoffensive as to be almost bland. Maybe he saw your criticism of elites as being directed at him. Who knows? I would chalk all this up to the fact that since college you have grown up and he has not. It may be as simple as that.
-- Glen Hoffing
Shamong, New Jersey

Mr. Henry, you are one of my favorite writers at TAS. I am saddened by the meanness of your old European acquaintance.

I would suggest that he is not an old friend. Friends are those that are willing to take a bullet or jump in front of a truck (figuratively, if not literally) for each other. He may be an associate, an acquaintance or a once friend, but he has definitely ceased to be a current friend.

One of the great realizations I have had in my fifty or so years is that, at any point in time we have relatively few true friends. In my observations it seems that the usual number is just three to five. Particularly blessed folks may have more, but the work and commitment required to develop and maintain true friendships prevents us from properly developing those relationships.

My great challenge is to identify those in my circle of close acquaintances who I can truly call a friend. It is with those folks that I want to invest my time and resources. Life is too short to miss opportunities at building friendships with those that will stand with me for no other reason than it is me and we are friends.

My hope for you is that, when needed, you will find your friends close to your side.
-- Joe Strader
Glasgow, Kentucky

Let me try to explain to the bewildered Mr. Henry what irked his expat friend in Europe. In defining "elite" he defined his friend. And it cut too close to the bone. Larry, being the good soul he is, is the victim of unrequited love. He admired the talent and thought he admired the man. It's not the same. But it is better to be Lawrence Henry than Guitar Man who doesn't love his country enough to live in it.
-- Diane Smith

BUCK ROGERS STOPS HERE
Re: George H. Wittman's Dr. Strangelove Visits Iran:

George Wittman's article should more probably have been titled, "Buck Rogers Visits Iran." Though very interesting, the use of any of these weapons is unlikely. Any military engagement with Iran will almost certainly be conducted with conventional weaponry.

To begin with, it is almost a certainty that no U.S. forces will participate in a preemptive strike upon Iranian nuclear sites and facilities. This will be carried out by the Israelis. In what is an interesting departure from historical operations, the Israelis have not only said that they will remove Iran's nuclear facilities, but have conducted not-so-very secret maneuvers practicing for the event. This suggests that they have assurances of some type of U.S. support for their operation, probably intelligence and material support.

The U.S. will, in all likelihood, not become operationally involved until Iran either closes the Straits of Hormuz or launches chemical, biological, nuclear or other retaliatory strikes against Israel and the Gulf States. Then military targets; missile launchers, radar facilities, troop and vessel staging areas, etc.; will be targeted and removed by Air Force and Naval Air assets, Naval missile and gun batteries and SpecOps personnel. There will be no "invasion" of Iran and the U.S. will be acting in the defense of allies in the region. Additional operational engagement will depend upon the Iranian reaction to these measures. And Israeli nuclear capability must never be discounted.

Will EMP, laser and other futuristic weapon systems in America's arsenal be used? Possibly. But military commanders are notoriously conservative when it comes to depending upon untried technology and the U.S. possesses a great deal of the most advanced battle-tested conventional weaponry on the planet. If Iran does not get the message, look for a use of conventional weapons and then only after Iran engages in a military offensive. I do not believe that the U.S. will engage in preemptive military action against Iran. The same can not be said for Israel.

As Mr. Wittman pointed out, the ball is most definitely in Iran's court. Lat us all hope that they do not make a strategic error and ignore the near certainty of an Israeli attack. Or making that mistake, that they do not attempt to close the Straits or attack their neighbors following action by Israel.
-- Michael Tobias

Great article, George Wittman, and very informative.

It's good to know we have such weapons available -- especial human-friendly ones. (Not a joke.)

Now if someone could only find a human-friendly weapon that can be used against our country's worst enemies -- Reid, Pelosi, and their anti-democratic Democrat Congress -- whose life's work appears to be to weaken and defeat the U.S. at every turn.

What devastation they risk if they succeed in weakening our strategic oil reserves in a cynical ruse to non-solve our energy problem! The oil reserve is there to protect us if a war or other international exercise should cause our supply of oil to be stopped or weakened.

Such a cynical alternative to drilling for oil in the States, then refining it for use by Americans! Such a cynical alternative to developing alternative energy sources along the lines of Senator McCain's proposals.

An old man, I remember gas rationing very well. If the Reid and Pelosi have their way, so will all of you.

And sooner than you think!
-- A. C. Santore

It took George H. Wittman an entire column to get to the one phrase that matters: "American sticks are far greater and more sophisticated than they (Iran) realize -- if Washington will use them."

It is hard to imagine Barack Obama as president. It is even harder to imagine him as Commander-in-Chief. Yet it is positively nightmarish to imagine the above plus a Democratically-controlled Congress taking on the madmen who control Iran.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

"...if Washington will use them" should read, "If Washington has the will to use them" -- a highly doubtful proposition.
-- John Gridley

WALL FLOWER
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Obama's Campaign Hits the Wall:

I was half expecting Obama to stand in front of the Western Wall and declare, " Mr. Olmert, tear down this wall." All in the name of peace with the fake Palestinians, of course.

Instead, Barack Hussein headed toward Berlin where he delivered his "Mein Krap speech," apologizing to Germans, of all people, for past American behavior. Apologizing for beating the Huns bloody in two world wars, no doubt.
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

I am supposed to be the backwoods barbarian from Pennsylvania, but I would not think of going to one of Israel's holy sites and plastering it with my posters. What's next, the Vacation?

Sabe nada.
-- Burton Hollabaugh
Marion, Indiana

MITT STOPS
Re: Philip Klein's McCain Should Say No to Mitt:

Excellent article on the down side of Mitt Romney. I'm a MI Republican and have seen nothing that Romney has done for this state. While he has purchased his power among the Republican Elite, he's done nothing for the citizenry of MI.

By the way, did you see Politico's Video coverage of the Control group watching the Republican Debates in California? They were all CALIFORNIA WOMEN -- and they all thought Huckabee won and said they'd vote for him. Now, that's a candidate that can help McCain! Only one of the control group members was for Huckabee before the debate -- he managed to convert them to his cause -- this man is what McCain needs!

I think Romney has no social conscience -- his flip flop on abortion, his ban of assault rifles, his health care stance, etc, etc, etc -- are all a big turn off. He's the worst of what it is to be a Republican!

But, Mike Huckabee is smart, charismatic, and sincere. I want Mike Huckabee to be McCain's VP! I think Mike could help McCain win the Presidency.
-- Liz Sipfle
Michigan

Well, at least this Romney-hater is not a religious bigot.
-- Doug Gibson
Ogden, Utah

IN CHARACTER
Re: Jennifer Rubin's McCain Power:

Jennifer Rubin, in the latest in a long series of articles in TAS about why independents and conservatives are tepid in support of McCain, misses a point that most commentators overlook. She states, "McCain is unlikely to win over the key swing voters unless he starts talking about bread-and-butter issues." However, it is not McCain's policy positions (though they are bad enough -- global warming, opposition to tax cuts, opposition to drilling in the wasteland known as ANWR, etc.), but his character that galls this conservative. Fine-tuning his domestic issue papers won't raise my enthusiasm level.

Let me state up front that I'm a proud George H. W. Bush supporter. George Bush has been a fine decent president who has always done the right thing. He cut my taxes (Regan never actually did), handled the aftermath of 9/11 exactly right, brought the blessings of liberty to millions in the mid-East, worked to bring comprehensive immigration reform to America, has been the best advocate ever for free enterprise and free trade, has supported AIDS assistance in Africa, reached out to democrats, independents, blacks, and Latinos, and much more. When he needed support from Senator McCain on these efforts, McCain routinely stiffed him and went on TV to bash the President and get his 15 minutes of face time as a "maverick." McCain made this shtick work so well with the main-stream media that he convinced many otherwise reasonably decent conservative republicans to join him in being reflexively anti-Bush at a time the country needed unity. But to McCain, country never came first -- all that mattered was his precious "maverick" image with people who secretly loathed him and viewed him as a useful idiot.

If I manage to pull the lever for McCain in November, it will be only if I'm convinced that the leftist Obama will be a bigger unmitigated disaster than putting another unprincipled president (a la Clinton) in the oval office. I'm not sure I can overcome my disgust with McCain to do so, and I think you'd be surprised just how many conservatives feel the same way.

Cheers,
-- Lt Col (Ret) Doug Brooks

LICHEN DEMOCRATS
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Why Obama Models Dukakis:

Worse than astronomical prices at the gas pump, the dependency on foreign oil, which unfortunately happens to be mostly in the hands of barbarians, has led to the deaths of thousands of Americans. But which is more important to you? Preserving lichen in Alaska or a young mother leaving a farewell to her family on their voicemail before jumping a hundred stories to her death?

Or maybe Liberals are just willing to accept a certain amount of casualties until we all wise up to the wonders of solar or wind or make a wish power.

Really, much of this is about that many of the people behind these efforts believe America should be dependent upon foreigners; that somehow that's justice. And that American companies should not be making bigger profits off of American power. America is somehow inherently guilty; so those deaths are justice. Not their fault, no matter how many new energy sources they prevent.
-- Michael Burke
Bronx, New York

WORLD CITIZEN
Re: Robert Stacy McCain's Hope Against Hope:

Just catching up on my reading, Mr. McCain, and fighting off just about the worst asthma I've ever had in my life. After reading your article, I wondered how Mrs. Obama might be coping on this escapade.

How now brown cow?
Ye filled with country pride
So, holier than thou
With Dumbo at your side

All change and hope
But, he's not the Pope
And, not so different now
From that Arkansan sow

Amidst the Teutonic hoard
You must be really board
You know, it's all been done before
When the "little corporal" swore

And, what will be his end,
If the rednecks will not mend?
When his supporters scowl?
Can you see the difference now?
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

ELEMENTS OF STYLE
Re: Richard Myers's letter (under "Campus Marvel") in Reader Mail's Unfit for Second in Command:

Professor Richard Myers, Ave Maria School of Law:

As one with a high-school education, of sorts, I will presume to advise you in your letter-writing endeavors.

Expand your sentence structure. Connect ideas in a single longer sentence. Utilize commas and semi-colons. When words flow thoughts may also. Or they might not. You are barking instructions. You are not persuading. Perhaps that's appropriate in your case.

I take it you are not going to Naples.

I believe you have performed the service of convincing anyone reading your letter not to investigate further
-- James Wilson

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