Re: Philip Klein's The Obama States of America:
If Barack Obama is a uniter, then Bill Clinton is an honest man and one who never cheated on his wife.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
All Obama is doing is repeating the scuttlebutt that has gone around liberal circles for decades. The people in flyover country don't have their own minds. They're all frustrated and jealous of the sophisticated people who go to Harvard and Stanford. Religion is just a crutch. Guns are a release of latent psychopathy. Every network newscaster thinks the same thing. My all-time favorite was Katie Couric on the morning of John Kerry's defeat, turning to her co-host and saying, "Who are these voters??" She still doesn't know -- and neither does Obama.
-- William Tucker
Nyack, New York
Having grown up in a western Pennsylvania small town, I don't think that many of my friends and neighbors were bitter except when the government in Harrisburg took more of their money for the infrastructures of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and let our roads continue to decay. And yes I'm sure that there may be more guns than people in that town. And yes, most everyone attends a church on Sunday. But they are churches that fly an American flag on the altar. With the news now that Mr. Obama's pastor will receive some type of achievement award from the NAACP, he is clearly defined as the "black candidate." Just Jesse Jackson with a Harvard Law degree.
-- Tom McGonnell
It is interesting to note that both Democrats speak with great compassion to us about the tough economic times. That we the people work so hard and yet fall further behind in each year of a Republican administration. They tell us we can't afford gas; housing, medical care and education for our children.
Their solution? Take more of our money away from us by hugely increased taxes. Is there some new economic theory in there somewhere?
-- Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina
It is as if Senator Obama stood on the edge of the canyon that divides Americans and shouted to all that those having a beef with America should join him on his side of the canyon and those whom had no deep rooted dislike of America were intellectually challenged, clinging to false ideas like religion and the Constitution as substitutes for hidden disaffection. It is time for all Americans to wake up to the threat of elite out of touch Democrats.
-- Howard Lohmuller
"The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right." So goes one of my favorite quotes from G.K. Chesterton, Mr. Klein. I think I'd like to modify it, though, to reflect current political discourse, especially given the publication of Jonah Goldberg's book, Liberal Fascism, and his review of the history of progressives. "The progressive is adept at identifying the imperfections of a fallen world, but, holding a nihilistic world view, is generally clueless about how to respond, apart from exercising absolute power over others," which is pretty much, I think, what Chesterton meant.
Listen to any Democrat, especially the Presidential candidates, and you'll hear a litany of the ills and suffering of mankind to fill the Library of Congress, always followed by a statement of confidence in the state as remedy. Most Republicans understand the pernicious threat to freedom, which emanates from this simplistic viewpoint. Most Democrats do not. And so, we are berated by bombast, constantly cajoled, pressured with pontifications, and manipulated by misappropriated entreaties to entrust high political office to those consumed by faith in the unattainable and an insatiable lust for power to coerce unbelievers.
If Barack Obama is elected President of the United States, the antics of Bill Clinton will be but a fond memory. May he continue exhibiting his talent for tongue tripping in his pursuit thereof.
-- Mike Showalter
People are wasting their energy telling Obama that he's an "elitist." He already knows that, believes it, and is proud to be one. He is a U.S. Senator, you know -- one of the 100 most powerful people in the world, by gosh.
Rather, identify his remarks as what they are -- prejudice -- 99.9% fine prejudice, as befits an elitist.
It is curious that commentators, when quoting him, either pussy-foot around and write without comment the words "antipathy to people who aren't like them," or simply delete it without comment.
Contrary to Obama's opinion, we STP's are not racial bigots. The truth is that we grew up and live in a genuinely multi-ethnic state and recognize that everyone is not like us, and no-one is not like us. I'm sure that's waaaay beyond what Obama's prejudice will allow him to understand.
Obama's problem appears to be primarily that he does not know us because he never lived among us, never shared -- or even saw -- our struggles and our joys, and has not the faintest knowledge of our history. Nor has he tried to understand, instead falling back on his preconceived -- and erroneous -- notion of what we feel, why we feel it, and how we think.
My guess is that he never spoke to a single small-town Pennsylvanian in his life until this campaign, and then only to people who want to hear what he wants to say, while he hears what he wants to hear.
I'm actually surprised that he didn't just call us "typical po' white folk" while he was at it, because it is crystal clear to me that that is exactly what he meant.
-- A. C. Santore
Perhaps Obama can title his next book The Audacity of Prayer: Opiate of the Proletariat.
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Re: Shawn Macomber's Don't Be a Stranger:
The main problem about electing McCain -- at least from a conservative point of view -- has always been McCain. Despite Macomber's opinion that "...it seemed fairly obvious that McCain was lucky to have Carly Fiorina aboard," it appears to me that one new problem is Fiorina herself.
I don't know exactly what caused her to fail at Hewlett-Packard, but an infatuation with Hegel just might be part of it. An overly-theoretical, not to say airy-fairy and artsy-bartsy, view of politics doesn't spell success to me, nor does an appreciation of Beethoven based on his "angst." I too prefer Ludwig to Amadeus, but it has to do with his music rather than his personal suffering.
"There was also feel-good talk..." Macomber informs us. Wonderful -- just wonderful! As if we hadn't already had too much of that from Angry John with his concerns about global warmenizing.
Finally, Macomber says Fiorina assures us that McCain knows where there are bodies and levers and pressure points, and that "One thing people know about John McCain is that he walks the talk."
The idea that McCain is merely walking the talk is what concerns me. That, and my fear that Carly Fiorina merely talks the walk.
-- Richard Donley
New Lyme, Ohio
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Fiorina run Hewlett-Packard into the ground? Wasn't she fired? If memory serves correctly, Fiorina was grossly incompetent. McCain is going to have to do better than that.
If this addition of Carly to the McCain's is supposed to be a positive I am sorry for the snow job she is pulling on you. Just remember what she did to HP. I worked for HP for 29+ years I saw up front the turmoil she created. CEO need to be accountable and she never was until Patricia Dunn called the Board out on her.
McCain was never my candidate and this confirms that I will vote for none of the above.
-- Jim Sullivan
Hmm, I would rather she prefer Bach to either Mozart or Beethoven, Mr. Macomber. But, I'll try to keep an open mind.
-- Mike Showalter
Re: Robert Stacy McCain's Barr Set High:
If Bob Barr wants to be the losing Libertarian Presidential candidate he needs to embrace legalizing pot, sanctioning homosexual marriage (an AIDS insurance scam) and rejecting social conservative ideas. This is a fringe movement that appeals to many good Americans who would prefer grousing to governing. A vote for the Libertarian Party, however well intentioned, is a vote to avoid responsibility and help Democrats -- the party of slavery then and now.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III's Misreading "The Deer Hunter":
As a typical white person, I think Senator Obama fails in his keen sense of racial matters also.
-- Donna Danckeart
Obama's problem is simple (and shared by many politicians of both parties): his theology is completely erroneous. Sen. Obama consistently conveys through his words and deeds that his theology is deeply grounded in the Moderatism or theological liberalism of the 18th century. Theological liberals did their uppermost to remove the supernatural from the Bible and therefore, Jesus Christ was reduced (in their eyes) to nothing more than a good moral example.
Consequently, spiritual matters to the theologically liberal are always reduced to emulating Christ as a moral example. Religion (of all kinds), guns, sports teams, food, etc., are all viewed through a world-view lens of morality, legalism, and humanism. Since in the liberals eyes man is the measure, it is easy for them to embrace abortion, same-sex marriage, etc., since that is what their liberal, progressive "Jesus" would have done (don't mention the "Go and sin no more" admonition he gives to each of the sinners and tax collectors with whom He came into contact). The "teaching" that came from the mouth of Sen. Obama's pastor (as well as Sen. Obama's long-term attendance at that "church") is proof positive of the failure of this worldly "theology."
If his theology was correct, Sen. Obama would see that Christ was not merely a great moral example, but was in fact, the Son of God; Whose mission it was to do the Will of His Father by living a life of perfect harmony and accord with God's law, and through His atoning, propitiating, and expiating death on the cross at Calvary, secured the salvation of God's elect. Proper and good biblical theology teaches that this mission of Christ was necessary because of the effects of sin in all people through Adam, and goes on the teach that out of shear joy and appreciation of God's grace, fruit proceeds from the saved individual. If one has not bought into the treacherous and destructive teaching on the liberals, the fruit brought about in the changed life of the saved can be found in the fifth chapter of the Apostle Paul's letter to the church in Galatia, to wit: "...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..." Imagine a how a presidential candidate, so led by God the Holy Spirit, would address such problems in rural Pennsylvania and indeed around the world were they guided by this fruit, coupled with the knowledge that he/she is just a sinner saved by Grace.
No, without this knowledge and understanding, I'm afraid that presidential candidates of all stripes and political parties cannot help but be led by the fruits of their flesh (which Paul also lists in Galatians 5) which are: "...sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissentions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these..."
All of our candidates, like the rest of us, should examine themselves, repent, and prayerfully ask for forgiveness. Without such humility, we're all equally liable to led by our flesh.
-- Morgan P. Yarbrough
At some point several months ago in researching the Obama cipher, after poring over his voting record (such as it is), his economic stances (socialist at best), the content and character(?) of his past associations, it came painfully obvious to me that this is just another elitist far, far left liberal politician. It pains me to read in the pages of the Spectator that Mr. Mehan III seems to think the anointed one has "moral intuition...to rival his keen sense of racial matters." This is the second time in the past few weeks Mr. Mehan III has expressed a limited admiration for the anointed one.
My goodness it's hard to believe they make kool-aid in flavors even the estimable Mr. Mehan III finds palatable. What keen sense of racial matters? What moral intuition? Is this the same racial & moral intuition that made it easy for him to support a church that panders the basest of racial stereotypes and hatred? Is this the same moral intuition that led him to 'worship' at the altar of 60's radicals Ayers & Dohrn? Is this the same moral intuition that allowed him to attach himself to the corrupt Tony Rezko and the Daley machine? Is this the same moral intuition that concluded associating with Rashid Khalidi in any way shape or form made him any different than, say, oh I don't know Jimmy Carter?
Really, Mr. Mehan III, you must be joking! Take a few minutes to read Mr. Klein's piece (also in today's Spectator), take a deep breath, and join us in the fray!
-- Stuart Reed
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan
Back in the 1990s, when the Clinton's were in power, my husband first observed what he called elitist mentality. I remember how we used to look for the verbal twists and slight of hand wordings to everything the Clinton's and their minions would say. It was a game of "gotcha" for us, looking for the verbal cues that let us understand we, the common folks, needed the wise "governance" of superior beings, because they thought we were too stupid to do things for ourselves. Then it was a subtle verbal interplay and not obvious to many folks.
Fast forward to 2008 and we have no doubts as to who elitists are, what they want to do and who will be in control if they get in. The myth of Global Warming, Carbon Footprints, Tax, Tax, Tax, will be the total agenda of the day. And don't forget bringing in illegals by the millions and the wonderful stupidity of universal healthcare. Anyone wanting a taste of universal healthcare ought to make an appointment in any military hospital to see any doctor and see what that is like.
My husband and I have decided these elitists are the kids who were never picked on the playground, never worked (serious work with one's own hands), and now want to be the "kings" and rule over us. They want us to pay more for traveling anywhere while they are exempt and able to fly private jets everywhere they want. They want to make the rules and be in charge and it will be done with a vengeance. Count on it.
I don't care if Obama needs to get serious intuition. He doesn't have one speck of credibility here on this ranch. If he can't bowl he surely couldn't drive my husband's old tractor, plow a field, work cattle, or know how to balance the bottom line of the budget we live on.
Finally, on a personal note, we retired out of the military while in D.C. We told our children we were bringing them back to real humanity and would teach them the hard work of baling hay and working cattle and building character. It was a shock for their systems after living in the "me first" mentality of Springfield, Virginia, but after awhile they washed that mentality right out of their heads. And some years later when our son left for the Air Force Academy he called home to ask me something. His question was, "Mama, I'm not the brightest kid here, but folks keep asking me to take the lead on things, why the heck is that?" My answer was simple. I said, 'Well, Son, I told you we brought you here to work cattle and build character. And when you were baling your Dad's hay and a storm was approaching and your hay baler broke down, you knew you couldn't tell your Dad you let him down, so you developed ingenuity and figured out a way to finish the job. Son, you just plain know hard work and how to do things, and folks see that in a fella." He got it.
I don't care about Obama's intuition and I sure as heck don't want to see Hill and Bill again. I have a son invested in keeping this country free and to let the same morons, who paint a target on my son each time he leaves for war, be in control isn't my idea of leadership. I'm not wild about McCain either, but at least the man knows that winning a war over the worst possible evil is necessary. I am sick and tired of elitism. It wasn't part of my upbringing, even when I received both my Bachelor's and Master's Degrees!
-- Beverly Gunn
East Texas Cattle Rancher
According to G. Tracy Mehan, III, "Senator Obama very much needs to discover his moral intuition on social and cultural issues to rival his keen sense of racial matters." Sen. Obama has discovered his moral intuition, Mr. Mehan -- and it's boilerplate, elitist liberalism.
And if his "sense of racial matters" is so "keen," why has he spent twenty years in a church that espouses radical Black Liberation ideology?
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
In "Misreading 'The Deer Hunter,'" G. Tracy Mehan, III needs to know that in my small PA hometown, Stroudsburg, Monroe County (Pocono Mountains), schools are closed in November on the first day of deer hunting season. Just a heads-up.
-- Mary Ann Kowalyshyn
Long-time Spectator subscriber (my dream is to have dinner with Emmett Tyrrell)
On PA website you can find the latest year, 2006, hunting licenses sales, 945,826.
-- Ronald Volz
A WORD AFTER CLASS, MR. DORELL
Re: Paul Dorell's letter (under "Going It Alone") in Reader Mail's American Noises:
Well, Mr. Dorell, I am not a jingoist (you know, an extreme bellicose nationalist). But, having traveled most of the world, I haven't found any other country that is as free or that offers as much opportunity to
accumulate wealth, which as you say, "isn't all that difficult to attain." Oh, how I wish that was true.
I suppose you'll be happy when the U.S. has turned socialist and the nation's assets nationalized? Personally I don't want to live in Iran, Venezuela or North Korea, but maybe that is where you would enjoy having your life reorganized by the jingoist rulers of those countries?
As to "thinking about foreign investments" I'd rather think about investing in oil wells, refineries, pipelines, nuclear power plants and electric transmission systems right here in the good old USA.
-- Nelson Ward
Cowles, New Mexico
Ah, Mr. Dorrell from Chicago suburb Evanston, Illinois, has graced us once again with his wisdom. His letter should be read alongside Andrew Cline's column to let us all understand what this election is truly about. The elites who know it all and want to run our lives look down on the rest of us because we don't want them to.
It's as simple as that, Mr. Dorrell. It's not about money or investments or greed. It's about freedom and independence and keeping liberal hands off of our money (and our guns and our religion, Mr. Dorrell/Sen. Obama). What's in the water in northern Illinois anyway? Pity poor Illinois. I grew up in the southern part of the state, where they'd like to secede because their roads and everything else is going to pot because Chicago sucks all the tax money to give to folks like Tony Rezco. Just another liberal state that will be heading in the same direction as Michigan if things don't change soon. Perhaps Sen. Obama could change that.
People don't want to pay their hard earned money toward taxes so that politicians can screw everything up -- end of story.
-- Deborah Durkee
Mr. Dorell, I thought the ACLU had been successful in having Congress outlaw the kind of asylum to which you've apparently been committed. Please don't drink any more of the water there, just stick to the OJ if they serve it, and try to get a little fresh air.
-- Mike Showalter
Methinks Mr. Dorell's lacking a whole lot of common sense. Aside from the principle of simply choosing to keep more of my hard-earned dollars (and that principle factor counts mightily!), it boils down to these rather salient points: (1) do you want some bureaucrat who otherwise of probably unemployable spending your money, and not in your behalf? Is he/she smarter than you in getting full-value for the dollar, as in $200 hammers and $850 toilet seats? And (2), might there be a correlation with congress having even lower poll numbers than the incompetent inhabitant of the White House; when they choose to use my tax dollars to discover the nuances of cow flatulence, for example?
Really, Paul, I'd made some pretty decent money around '78, '79 and '80, only to see Over FIFTY-percent withheld from my earnings (note that word, EARNINGS please!). Like, I'd earn, say, $8,000 one month and receive a check for only $3,400, not counting insurance or other deductions? That's sick, and so I sloooowwwwed down, played a little more golf and increased my time at my friendly neighborhood pub, drinking - - I didn't appreciate working to subsidize others.
Thank God for Reagan's tax-cut -- I wasn't working-for-nothing anymore.
Yet, more than the actual dollars, it's the principle! Having the pandering Congress or unelected, faceless bureaucrats (with the biggest unions in the U.S., of course) think they can spend/waste/blow my money better than I? Redistribute my (would be) "wealth?" That sucks, pal.
Perhaps you might seek some serious counseling -- that's sick too.
-- Jack Frost
I don't know why, but for some reason, Mr. Dorell's dyspepsia about America reminds me of some people I know, who are recently retired from the gated communities of the Academy. They have excellent pensions and live more or less unhappily off them. These funds are run by the very same people who are in the "greed" business Mr. Dorell so despises. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these greedy people also belonged to "kooky" religious cults like the Roman Catholic Church or even broad based Protestant churches. They might even hunt too! Really, they aren't too much different than the mechanic who works on Mr. Dorell's car or the owner of the diner down the road where he has his morning coffee, or the neighborhood bar where he enjoys a drink (and if he abstains, perhaps he should reconsider; it would help his disposition!); not to mention the owners of the many small businesses in Evanston who employ the people that keep his city and it's environs livable.
His letter was perfectly timed. He sounds like Obama telling all those swells in San Francisco about his marvelous adventure in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania during his campaign to bring "hope" and "change" to America.
-- Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Why do the rich care about taxes? Self-interest is one good reason. A 90 percent tax rate was once not unheard of in this proud land. Another reason is principle. Albert Camus said as long as one man is a slave, no man is free. A burdensome taxation rate is a form of slavery. People like Norquist and Buckley are principled human beings; principled human beings understand that no right comes without a corresponding responsibility.
As for America not being great, just as "God does not play dice with the universe," fate does not favor the United States of America. It was not destiny but Americans who have made America great -- not perfect, but the greatest and morally upstanding nation ever. Unlike numerous other nations, including many of our allies, we do not white wash our flawed history; we examine it deeply and allow for all to speak out in praise and lamentation. Despite the ongoing PC censorship, Americans enjoy free speech, including Mr. Dorrell's right to berate our proud traditions.
Greed is not good. It is not good when perpetrated by individuals or by government. Mr. Norquist and company are not greedy; they want to keep and give away what they have earned. Both as an aggregate and per capita, Americans give more to charity than any other nation. Improper taxation and unfair redistribution of income saps Americans of capital to invest, denying the creative process of wealth accumulation for all, while decreasing disposable income that can be turned over to charities, which in turn, more effectively than any government agencies, impact people of need.
America needs our Jeremiahs, not only to right us when we do go off track, but also to sound a shrill whistle to remind us of what we do so well.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
Re: Andrew Cline's The Long Weekend:
I truly enjoyed Andrew Cline's take on Obama's probable elitist reaction to all the plebes who are chastising his offensive remarks about small town Americans.
Small towns are where the heart of the country still exists even if some have fallen on hard times.
Thanks for the chuckle, Mr. Cline, and may God save us from those who think they know more about life than the folks who actually make the country run. I must be a rube for mentioning "God" -- excuse my bitterness, Senator O.
-- Deborah Durkee
What inordinate stress
The oblige of the noblesse.
For awhile, I must say nyet
Until the Presidency I get
The plans that I intend
To put these rednecks on the mend
While stress is quite a mess
Noblesse oblige noblesse
-- Mike Showalter
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