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Hillary Out of Grapeshot

Retreat is never pretty. Plus: British Boris. Judge McCain. Keyes craze. Plus more.

5.9.08

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GREAT GRAPESHOT!
Re: Robert Stacy McCain's Rear-Guard Action:

"The South still lost the war, but it lasted nearly three more years." And? Sharpsburg/Antietam was a preview of the carnage that would come later just up the road at Gettysburg and in the years thereafter.

After the battle at Antietam Creek until the end of the war, how many men more thousands of men of Blue or Gray died or were maimed at places like Fredericksburg, Malvern Hill, Chancellorsville, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor and Petersburg? How many families suffered, some whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed? And then there's that delicate touch of William Tecumseh Sherman and his Atlanta campaign and then march to the sea.

If anything, what you said compels Mrs. Clinton to stop immediately before there's even more carnage.

Still, given who and what she's battling, I hope she fights on until she and her army have no Minie balls left for their muskets or grapeshot for their cannon.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

A CARPETBAGGER IN FULL
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s London's American Mayor:

Thank you so much for that informative article on London's newly-elected Mayor Boris Johnson. What a stunning revelation: That he's actually a US citizen. I've been reading every news story on-line that I can get a hold of on Johnson, and I've not seen this even mentioned anywhere else.

Many are trying to spin Johnson's victory to fit their needs. For instance, the Ron Paul anti-War paleo-libertarians are trying to claim him as one of their own cause of some negative things he's had to say about Bush in the past. I've even seen liberals saying that he's one of them in disguise. But you've got him pegged: He's a Reaganesque/Thatcherite libertarian Tory. What could be better.

Pity, our American GOP leaders are not yet taking their cue from him.
-- Eric Dondero, Publisher
Libertarian Republican blog

I read your recent article "London's American Mayor" on the website of the American Spectator with interest. However, some of your assertions are patently ridiculous.

True. Boris was born here and therefore automatically received American citizenship. However, at the very least, that would make him an American in name only. For the most part, he was schooled in Britain -- I went to school there, my family lived there, my sister married a Brit more than 30 years ago and has lived there the whole time, except for some visits here. She's still an American -- but it wasn't a given. She has had to return every couple of years. I think that may have changed, but don't know for sure. But, I vaguely remember a conversation about that after my mother died. Her kids are Brits. the point is, I have a pretty good idea of what the mind set is over there in certain issues. There is no way the Brits would have elected an American as mayor; that would have made bigger news than anything else

One of my brothers was born in Italy -- Naples. Until a certain age he had dual passports. At some point a choice had to be made. Of course, there never really was a choice in his mind -- being born in Italy doesn't make one an Italian. Just as being born in American doesn't make one an American. Perhaps citizenship-wise, but that is all.

I would like to see the proof, actual real proof, that Boris is still a U.S. citizen. You said it was "supposition" that Boris relinquished his passport in 2006. First, Boris was born in June 1964 -- that would make him almost 44. Often the issue of dual citizenship is dealt with by or on the 18th birthday. In the case of Britain and the U.S., one can have citizenship is both countries. The U.S. has no problem with people being U.S. citizens as well as citizens of another country, However, there is a caveat: Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, states that U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they perform certain acts voluntarily. Briefly stated, these acts include:

(a) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a)(1), INA);
(b) taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or its political subdivisions (Sec. 349 (a)(2), INA);
(c) entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a)(3), INA);
(d) accepting employment with a foreign government if: (i) one has or acquires the nationality of that foreign state; or (ii) a declaration of allegiance is required in accepting the position (Sec. 349 (a)(4), INA);
(e) formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. consular officer outside the United States (Sec. 349 (a)(5), INA);
(f) formally renouncing U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (but only in time of war) (Sec. 349 (a)(6), INA);
(g) conviction for an act of treason (Sec. 349 (a)(7), INA).

Boris was elected as MP in 2001. When he took office he had to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Crown. A Parliamentary oath. Section (b), therefore, would come into play. Would have come into play. As soon as he swore allegiance to the crown.

Now, EVEN IF what you allege is true (which I highly doubt) the U.S. Constitution states anyone who runs for president (a U.S. citizen, of course) MUST have resided within the U.S. for 14 years prior. So, even if Boris came here today (which is pretty doubtful considering he just won the London mayoral position), the first time he would be eligible to run would be in 2022 -- with the first election being in 2024.

But, it's really a moot point -- once he swore allegiance to the crown, it was done in that regard. Even IF, by some stretch of the imagination, Boris decided that was what he wanted to do, his tenure as MP would preclude that. Not to mention, the absurdity of people in the United States voting for someone for the highest office in the land who is American in name only. Which, I doubt he still is, or will be.

I'm not usually moved to write the author of an article, but in this case I felt I had to. In this instance, personal knowledge of Boris is immaterial. "I say Johnson will be a salubrious force because I have known him since his tenure as editor of The Spectator." The facts, however, are. You are doing no one any favors, or even bringing up valid issues, when your whole piece is based upon wild speculation without taking the facts into consideration.
-- Lynn Ward

I must say I especially love Tyrrell's last sentence in his wonderful article about Boris Johnson. Indeed, conservatism does need to be rescued from Newt. He has become increasingly self-absorbed in the last couple of years and he obviously thinks more highly of himself than any one else does.
-- Jerry Smith
Virginia Beach, Virginia

HEY, HEY, HEY, GOODBYE
Re: John Tabin's The Game Over Chorus:

John Tabin leaves out one probable factor in Hillary Clinton's decision to hang in as long as possible: Barack Obama's ability to make a mistake so outrageous that it becomes apparent he will lose the general election.

He's certainly capable of it -- and she certainly knows it.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE
Re: Quin Hillyer's Judging McCain:

I read Mr. Hillyer's tepid defense of John McCain and his discourse on appointing conservative judges and I must say I even more convinced I will never vote for the man.

The arrogant condescension he displayed when pronouncing his stand to allow the Democrats to continue to filibuster good judicial candidates angered me beyond belief. He seemed to take great delight in jamming his thumb into every conservative's eyes.

This on top of all his other affronts to conservatism was the crowning blow. He may well be elected due to the incompetent Democrats, but I will be able to say two years from now, "hey, don't look at me, I didn't vote for the guy."
-- Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri

"But on the issue of judicial appointments alone, he is so much better than either Obama or Hillary Clinton that it is reason enough for conservatives to rally to his side."

Let us assume John McCain is inaugurated as President on January 2009. Come January 2010, when someone with a room temperature IQ or better walks up to me and says "he's legalized twenty million unskilled impoverished Latin Americans, he's crucified the energy consumer with carbon fuel taxes [whether "paid" by corporations or directly by consumers], he's never gotten someone on the order of Scalia or Thomas or Alito or Roberts through the Senate, he's turned Gitmo terrorists over to the ACLU [something FDR never had to consider when handling German or Japanese POWs] and the federal tax bite is bigger than ever; why did you vote for him?" What am I supposed to say in response? That Clinton or Obama would have legalized thirty million? That Clinton or Obama would have required manufacturers to produce 50 MPG cars?

Sorry. Having been born and raised in New York City, I know what a "yellow dog Democrat" is. And I am no "yellow dog Republican." Anything short of McCain being struck from his horse on the way to Damascus will have no affect on my judgment of him.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

As far as McCain being better than Hillary or Obama it would be true if you could believe him. I don't despite his Justice Advisory Committee! How many Democrats will be added to that committee?

McCain comes from a culture with a herd mentality, i.e. the Senate, his first and only impulse will be to get along by going along.
-- Charles E. Umhey Jr., MD

Quin Hillyer has one good point. John McCain is better than either of his opponents. But I cannot bring myself to believe or trust someone who seven short years ago was negotiating his departure from the Republican Party AND four short years ago was begging to become John Kerry's running mate.
-- Judy Beumler
Louisville, Kentucky

WHEN READERS DEBATE
Re: Michael Dooley's letter (under "Down to Socialism") in Reader Mail's Among the Unbelievers:

I notice that Mr. Dooley had nothing to say in his letter about the past seven and a half years. Let us recollect a little. While Clinton made serious mistake in foreign policy, it seems we now have a little "dust up" in Iraq from which people are making a great deal of money from no-bid contracts and for which the taxpayers are getting projects that are maybe 35%-50% completed. What a deal in light of our own failing infrastructure! This is just one of many signs of the lack of understanding and the failure to plan by the president and his neocon advisors in the war in Iraq. Unlike the wars against Germany, Japan and Afghanistan, the war in Iraq is properly viewed as a costly preemptive war, the value of which for our security is highly debatable. If memory serves, the Culture of Greed yielded mixed results. Remember Enron and a few other well publicized totems of unfettered capitalism? I wonder if the retirement accounts of the people Mr. Dooley knows took nearly the hit as those of Enron's employees. What about the sub-prime bubble?

This is at least as good as the Dot.com bubble. If old Bill took the Reagan Culture of Greed and transformed it into the greatest economy in the world by simply sitting on his rump, Mr. Bush has successfully destroyed that prosperity by mortgaging our future to China and other countries by expanding the federal bureaucracy, waging war, cutting taxes and borrowing, borrowing, borrowing. Our children and grandchildren will thank us for the budget deficits and the national debt.
-- Mike Roush
North Carolina

DOES THAT MAKE YOU CRAZY?
Re: Sean Higgins' The Audacity of What?:

In the article about Obama's agnosticism the writer slanders Alan Keyes. Why? We conservatives should not be attacking each other in such uncharitable and salacious ways. Alan Keyes insane?

I once voted for Ambassador Keys, sir. What proof is there for such a remark? This is why I will not subscribe to American Spectator.
-- Rev. David Frierson

I was shocked and saddened to hear my 80-year-old black father say he thought Rev. Jeremiah Wright spoke the truth about America. My dad is a great man. He was one of the first blacks to break the color barrier in the Baltimore Fire Department where he suffered segregation and humiliating treatment. He won Firefighter of the Year two times. Married with four children, he worked full time and attended college. He is a doctor of theology. He authored a book and still pastors numerous churches. He truly believes in love and faith in God. My dad would never use Wright's hate filled rhetoric.

So how could my hero say he agreed with this nutcase? It defies logic. Then it dawned on me. Logic, reason or truth did not enter into the equation. Dad's response to Wright was purely emotional. It is all about his deep hurt feelings.

I remembered dad telling me about an incident while serving in the Merchant Marines. Whites in Florida tried to hang him simply for getting off of the ship. His fellow white seamen rescued him.

Racial progress in 2008 America makes Wright's rant absurd. Dad's response to his remarks is in essence a racial persecution flashback; similar to a hippie having an LSD flashback or a vet suffering a war flashback. I suspect there are many black seniors, though loving and kind to all, still carry deep emotional scares from a long since by gone era.

So, while I am a proud black conservative Republican who loves his country and dad, I will give him a pass. I respectfully forgive my dad for being wrong about Wright.
-- Lloyd Marcus
Deltona, Florida

OH, WHAT A LOVELY WAR
Re: Roger Kaplan's The Candidates and Oil:

Do what, Sir?

Invade other countries and sieze their oil when we have plenty of it here in our own country? Our own ignorants in Congress will not allow us to go after our own and you want to go to war? Either you are on serious medications or off them, I do not know which.

You want to go to war? Well, then start it with the members of our Congress, all five hundred and thirty-five who have the collective IQ of my two indoor house plants.

Send a military unit to the Capitol, put the fools under arrest, tar and feather a few if needed and keep them there until they cry "drill."

Much more cost effective.
-- Jim Woodward
Midvale, Utah

I'VE GOT IT BAD
Re: Philip Klein's Game Over, Hillary:

Of course, it's not like we're going to miss her, Mr. Klein, but this isn't what we expected. The last hurrah of the Queen of '60s radical chic is up in bong smoke, and after the invitations to the Coronation Ball had already been sent out? This is no way to treat a Wellesley girl, who paid her dues, worked hard, and played by the rules, OK, at least she worked hard, alright already, but she certainly paid her dues, right, I mean that marriage thing, that's paying your dues, isn't it? And, what better qualifications for POTUS are there, Watergate step-and-fetch it, real estate investor, futures market maven, partner with a malodorous law firm that by any other name would smell as sweet, White House resident for eight years, U.S. Senate Woodstock curator, and destroyer of everything in her path with that peculiar inverse Midas touch of hers. Check your listings, Divorce Court may be up for an Emmy next year.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

GOOD GREEN WORK, IF YOU CAN GET IT
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's It's Either Too Hot or Too Cold:

We read how Al Gore's mansion in Tennessee consumes annually over 220,000 Kw-hours of electricity, about 20 times more than an average American family house. Gore's excuse is that he buys "carbon offsets" and so his "carbon footprint" is effectively zero. How does he do it, exactly?

Well, he invests money in Generation Investment Management LLC, a company that places investors' money in "socially and environmentally responsible" companies. GMI is classified as a U.S. 501(c)3 company, i.e it is tax-free, where the contributions to it are also tax-free. And who is its founder and Chairman of the Board? Why, it is the same Al Gore! Its President is his former Chief of Staff and the Clinton campaign manager in 1996.

So -- Al Gore is offsetting his "carbon footprint" by investing his tax-free money in his own tax-free company. It looks to me as a veritable old-time scam, and it should be investigated as such by our federal authorities.
-- Marc Jeric
Las Vegas, Nevada

Might science borrow Fabrizio as a reference standard? Her last article suggests an intercranial temperature in such perfect equilibrium with the environment as to put paid to the need for costly and hazardous satellite radiometer launches.
-- Russell Seitz
Cambridge, Massachusetts

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