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Hurray for Hannity?

No free pass for Bush. Dole deal. Weiss guy. Plus more.

2.12.08

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STUPID PRINCIPLES
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Sean Hannity is Right:

And so is Jeffery Lord....he nails it.
-- Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri

Well, I thought about it and call me stupid. I am self-identified conservative Republican who joyfully voted for Reagan in 1980 and 1984. I will also joyfully vote for John McCain comes November, not because he shares all principles cherished by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, but because given the choice between McCain, Obama, and Clinton, I will select the candidate who in my opinion will best serve the interests of this country and its citizens. I also know that since Ronald Reagan is unlikely to rise from the dead and run for office, I am left with few options. Speaking as a conservative Republican, I can not see how helping put a liberal Democratic administration in place, perhaps for the next decade, can be viewed as a blessing in disguise. Perhaps that outcome will rejuvenate the Conservative movement, but will the price be losing the war in Iraq, appointment of liberal justices, and cosmic growth of government? If you fight for certain principles because you believe that a conservative philosophy represents the best course for the country, then the choice in the coming election appears stark. To rigidly defend a few principles while abandoning others is senseless. Yes, I thought about and will choose pragmatism over fanaticism. If Sean Hannity is right, then I am proud to be wrong.
-- Peter Killie
Ridgefield, Connecticut

Jeffrey Lord makes the case that Sean Hannity and Rush, etc are correct and the future of conservative thought is in the good hands of the people who attended CPAC…well maybe. I have to ask: which president signed McCain-Feingold? Which president supported McCain-Kennedy? Which president signed the biggest spending bills of all time and grew the size of government to unprecedented level. It was the same president who was greeted at the CPAC with cheers of "4 more years." Seems a little confusing to me. I don't remember Rush, Sean et al spending hours and days of vitriol directed at President Bush on these deviances from conservative thinking; sure, they would mention they disagreed, but in polite terms and were soon on to something else.

I am a reluctant supporter of John McCain and for many years have enjoyed listening to talk radio, but it seems like they are taking their ball and going home or holding their breath till they turn blue if you support McCain. I know they say theirs is a principled argument, well maybe, just 5 or 6 years to late.
-- Glenn Diehl

It was disconcerting to read about the CPAC Convention, considering that the individuals held up as leading lights were all conservative pundits rather than conservative politicians. It is hard to accept that the Republican Party of today has failed utterly in identifying and sponsoring candidates that represent conservative views. But this has been the case for many, many years. Even a blind man must come to realize that this was the end game all along. The nomination of John McCain is just the last nail in the coffin, exposing this sham for all to see. We all will now witness the death throes of the Republican Party and, very possibly, the collapse of the American system of governance we came to rely upon in recent generations. The truth of the matter is that the Republican establishment has viewed those of us who value the uniqueness of the American political experiment in limited government as an albatross. We've only been an impediment in their relentless march toward socialism. They took our money and our votes but could not, would not, deliver what was promised, in election after election. At this point in our history, there is absolutely nothing to be gained for a conservative to continue voting for candidates who baldly advance the destruction of the Constitution, who advocate policies that result in government expansion at every level, who persist in using American blood and treasure to support foreign military adventures unendingly, who embrace cockamamie notions of global warming to enable government interventionism in every aspect of commerce, and who do everything in their power to undermine the principles of life and liberty upon which the American system was founded.

There is no way I will vote for McCain, regardless of how many Republican apologists are trotted out rationalizing his apostasies, regardless of who laments the likely disaster of a Democrat ascendancy. If the people of this country today are hell bent on ushering in a socialist state and casting off the last vestiges of the Republic, then they will have to embark on that terrible course without my imprimatur.
-- Harry Hill

The conservative movement. Conservative principles. Working passionately to lift…blah, blah, blah.

I think it was Mark Twain who said something like:

"There are reasons and there are results"

I'll take results every time. McCain is the best choice for anybody at the center or to the right of center. Complaining, explaining, caterwauling, whining will not change this fact.
-- Doug Santo
Pasadena, California

Substitute the name of another movement, "anti-war, e.g., for "conservative" in Jeffrey Lord's column, and one begins to get the idea of what a "committed bunch of people" look like -- as the world is passing them by.

Uncompromising principles are wonderful things -- until they lead to irrelevance. Conservatives would like to believe none of their own voted for John McCain. The numbers say otherwise.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

As a Navy reservist and a conservative, my principles are primarily focused on electing a President that will support the troops and the mission.

That man is clearly John McCain. Especially since the alternative is the Democrat Party's inexperienced, unqualified pacifist-appeasers.

I've listened to and have enjoyed Rush for 16 years, but his relentless criticism of a man like John McCain, who has devoted his life to his country and to the Republican Party, is appalling.

Hold "conservative icon" Mitt Romney's record under the microscope like Rush has Senator McCain's and you'll also quite a few un-conservative warts.

The only substantive difference overall is that Mitt Romney has never crossed Rush. Rush talks the talk better than anyone else, but among his flaws is an ego the size of a planet.

Political parties in this country are about coalitions, not about one faction of the party getting exactly what they want and the rest of the party falling into line. So-called "conservatives" are not the only ones who can sit at home and the next time Rush et al find their icon, they might find that many Republicans have other things to do besides support "conservative" candidates, because of OUR principles.
-- Brian Schafer
Arlington, Virginia

Mr. Lord's piece would have been not only a home run, but a grand slam, if he had just pointed out that the Republican Party and the conservative movement should now be mutually exclusive. Notice how the acronym "CPAC" does not contain the word "Republican" when spelled-out in the long form.

For the past 44 years, true conservatives used the Republican Party as their vehicle to push conservative ideals through the cogs and gears known collectively as the US Government machine. From 1964 to 1998, they were fairly successful. From 1998 through current times, the Republican Party has morphed into "Demo Lite."

The bottom-line is this: those (like me) who espouse conservative principles, such as limited government, low taxes, respect for the individual, strong national defense, and economic freedom, need to de-couple those cherished principles from the Party in order to gain visibility and viability in these modern times.

To keep using the Republican Party today as the vehicle for the conservative movement is a death by a thousand paper cuts.
-- Owen H. Carneal
Yorktown, Virginia

I have noticed that some of your contributors and correspondents have an erroneous perception of Conservatives. Let me set them straight.

First of all, there are very few conservative Republicans. There are a large number of Conservatives who happen to be members of the Republican Party. What is the difference? Mainly that true Conservatives adhere to a fixed set of principles and they are extremely reluctant to compromise those principles. Historically, the Republican Party has, at least, paid lip service to most principles held dear by Conservatives. The Conservatives of the Republican Party have waited, patiently, for the elected officials of the party to live up to the tenets of the party platform. They have waited for twenty years. And the elected members of the party have failed to enact
those tenets. Still, Conservatives try to support Republican candidates.

Second, Conservatives cover a broad spectrum of people. They are not all Evangelical Christians, or even Christians for that matter. They are not all living in fly-over country. They are not all living on farms or ranches. They are not all 50 years old or older. They are not all male. And they are not all straight. They all do, however, embrace a common philosophy and goals: right to life, fiscal responsibility, reduction of government and the intrusion of government into the lives of its citizens, strict interpretation of the Constitution, strict enforcement of existing laws, and a strong stance on national security. Though all of these tenets appear in the last few Republican platforms, the last three Republican Presidents have failed to effectively institute most of these tenets. Still, the Conservative base supported them.

To sum up, the Republican Party needs the Conservatives. Yet, the party leadership apparently despises the Conservatives and tries to marginalize them at every turn. The Party leadership, and Republican pundits, treat the Conservatives, in the party, much as King George did the American colonists when they asked for a redress of grievances. And we all remember how that turned out. After breaking most of their promises to Conservative members of the party for two decades, they then become insulted when the Conservatives ask their elected Republican representatives to live up to those promises. Perhaps with the nomination of John McCain (a proven liberal Democrat), the Republican party will achieve their desire to maintain a semblance of power by becoming the liberal crossover party, with the Democrats occupying the position previously reserved for the ultra-liberal fringe. Perhaps the Conservative Movement will found a third party that accurately reflects their philosophy.

The thing to remember is that Conservatives owe their allegiance to a philosophy, not a party. They may vote against Clinton or Obama, but they will never vote for a liberal like McCain. Can we say Catch-22?
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

THE MYTH OF MERIT
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's Some Pieces of Our Minds:

"That is, if Obama were white, given his lack of experience, he would not be in the lead for his party's nomination for President of the United States. Commentators should have the intellectual honesty to note this... " While also noting the equally true flip, that Presidents 1-43 wouldn't have gotten there had they been Black?
-- KGT

Yeah?!! At least Bob Dole, and I did actually vote for him, gave up his Senate job when he said he was seeking the presidency. Let's talk about that! Not only have none of our three midget candidates failed to follow suit (no, I really don't expect it) I haven't seen a single question put to them about it. The closest thing I've seen is a comment or two, about McCain and Obama missing some votes, I have not heard the MSM comment on Hillary missing votes but surely she has. In the end, Senators and Congressmen not voting is perhaps a good thing. Hard to get more stuff wrong if you are not doing your job.
-- Roger Ross

Hey, Jackie, all I want to know is, if whether it's safe to throw away
my Fleetwood Mac records yet?
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

IGNOBLE
Re: The Prowler's A Veep from Mississippi:

You will recall that Haley Barbour was the architect of Bob Dole's "Died at Birth" 1996 Presidential Campaign. Mr. Barbour humbly resigned soon thereafter. A more honorable man would have publicly committed seppuku. Nominating Bob Dole in 1996 has to be in the Top Ten Dumb Republican Things in the last 20 years. I always thought that Mr. Barbour would be in his niche wearing a plaid suit and selling used cars at J.D. Byrider in Pearl, Mississippi. (I inquired about a used van there and was treated so rudely) He might have seen the error of his ways, had a rebirth experience, and have governed Mississippi well, but unless he has really changed, he would be out of his league on the ticket as VP, a heart beat away from the Presidency.
-- David Shoup
Augusta, Georgia

MOVIN' ON UP
Re: Mark Falcoff's Upward and Onward:

In reviewing Alfred S. Regnery's new book, Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism, American Enterprise Institute resident scholar emeritus Mark Falcoff -- commenting on Regnery's interpretations -- states, " some of them would be regarded as idiosyncratic even by people who consider themselves conservative. He frankly regrets American entry into the First World War, which he sees as having established the circumstances that led to the Bolshevik Revolution and the rise of Adolf Hitler."

Well, how about it? Did, say, Lowell Thomas' dramatic "newsreel" coverage of the exploits of Lawrence of Arabia help sucker us into a war in which our national interests were really NOT involved? It seems like a fair question. Certainly the punitive terms of the Versailles Treaty were exploited in a masterful way -- by the little corporal who lifted up the spirits of his countrymen with his Triumph of the Will appeal to the destiny of a Master Race -- perhaps unmatched in history. The allegiance he formed with the German people provided a phalanx of warriors and civilians who were willing -- and did -- follow him literally into the jaws of hell.

Surprisingly absent in his accounting of the intellectual deterioration of Liberalism -- "50 years ago liberals were not a great deal more tolerant of debate than they are today. What has changed has been their own mindset...they have lost the intellectual initiative and much of the popular support upon which they thought they could count" -- is any mention of a major milestone marking the descent into decay and putrefaction: the disaster that befell them in the Democrat Party Chicago Convention of 1968 at which the party abandoned the blue collar rank and file, destroyed the candidacy of the last honorable person to call himself Liberal, Hubert Humphrey, and embraced instead rabid extremists I think of as the pampered, preening, Blame America First, Vietnam draft dodging, cry baby boom elite.

It is said of Mr. Regnery, " He objects to domestic institutions like the income tax [and the] direct election of senators . . ." Well Hooray for him! The sixteenth (income tax) and seventeenth (elected senators) amendments have proven no better for the Republic than the eighteenth (prohibition) and should suffer the same fate: repeal.

On the one hand, Mr. Falcoff disapprovingly notes Mr. Regnery "does not share the view of many contemporary conservatives (or at least, neoconservatives) that Joseph McCarthy's scatter-shot efforts to clean out the State Department were often counterproductive." Then he admits, "It was not that there were no Communists in government …they were all too common and often in very high places." Maybe it is the neoconservatives who are out of touch. Clearly there is a need to set aside all the Hollywood moaning and groaning and give the junior senator from Wisconsin his due: at a time when there were legitimate concerns about espionage in high places -- e.g. the role of David Greenglass and the Rosenbergs in compromising prompt nuclear fission technology secrets that the Soviets might accelerate their weapon development plans -- Joe McCarthy shined a bright light of public interest into some very dark crannies so we could all watch what crawled out.

Finally Mr. Falcoff errs in stating "the only difference between Senators Clinton and Obama is which of their government run 'health care' plans is better": they are both also committed to a hasty scurrying retreat of our armed forces away from battlefields and back to fortress America. The only difference between them is the speed with which either would strike Old Glory, hoist the white flag of surrender in its place and pretend jihadism is a minor legal problem.
-- Thomas E. Stuart
Kapaau, Hawaii

WHERE'S THE IDEAS?
Re: James Bowman's The Wrong Stuff:

When it comes to Clinton or Obama there is no right or wrong: they only know LEFT and WRONG. Wouldn't it be a hoot for Conservatives to hear McCain state, "Right from day one?" Just musing.

The long and short of it is McCain (can you really stand typing the small c capital C everytime?) will win the election for a very simple reason: Whoever wins the Democrat nomination, Hillary's Latino supporters aren't going to vote for Obama and Obama's black supporters aren't going to vote for Hillary. They will either sit out the election or vote Republican. You heard it here first!

By the way, what's with Obama's Houston office displaying a full size Cuban flag with Che's silhouette centered on it?
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

BETTER THAN WHAT?
Re: Michael Tomlinson's letter (under "Better Than Reagan") in Reader Mail's Moderate Schmoderate:

In response to Michael Tomlinson and his glowing recitation of what Bush has done while president, I have to differ on several points.

First, Bush is not a conservative. The first act he completed as president was to increase federal education spending by 50%, with the help of Ted Kennedy. Wasn't one of the goals of conservatives to eliminate the federal Department of Education?

Second, as to judges, Bush gets zero credit for Roberts and Alito. To be fair, he has appointed many constitutionalist jurists to the appellate bench. But when it came to the big enchilada, he tried to shove down our throats Harriet Meirs. She was such a lightweight that even non-attorneys could tell she was not Supreme Court material. But Bush claimed, "she is a born-again Christian and I know she will vote the right way." Very shallow -- and very improper. She would have been a follower like O'Connor and Kennedy. And make no mistake, if Bush had gotten his way on Meirs, Alberto Gonzales would have been his next Supreme Court choice, not Alito. So Mr. Tomlinson, Bush gets no credit for Roberts and Alito. The American people get the credit for stopping Bush in his tracks. It is promising to know what conservatives can do if McCain should attempt the same shenanigans when president.

Third, Bush did what all good liberal Democrats did on the comprehensive immigration reform he tried to shove down our throats. He and his surrogates called his opponents bigots, racists, and nationalists. When we denied Bush his amnesty for illegals, he set about concocting media circus events. Let's not forget that Bush can control much of the media and the time, place, and manner of the news he chooses to make. So, he waits for a woman who had been hiding in a church for about a year to leave the church, and then had her arrested and deported while the entire world watched under glaring camera lights as her son stayed here in America. Of course, she could have taken her son. Point is, that is what Bush chose to make a media event. He also chose to raid day job centers where illegals wait for someone to come along and offer them work. Those were not violent criminals, but people looking for work. Again, Bush chose to make media spectacles out of arresting the non-violent illegals looking for work rather than making news by arresting and deporting any of the thousands of illegals who have committed crimes while here. And to this day, what is Bush doing to secure the border? McCain said he got the message (although I don't trust him on it). Is Bush that dense? Or just a spoiled child who insists on getting his way? I suspect the latter. He refuses to give us what we want and what our nation's security demands.

Fourth, our most pressing problem is Islamist extremism around the world. We know women are not seen as equal to men in Muslim culture and religion. So, as with Meirs and Gonzales, again Bush exhibits his penchant for loyalty to friends and associates without regard to their qualifications and/or his common sense. He appoints Condi Rice as Secretary of State, and appoints Karen Hughes as America's liaison to the Muslim world. Real bright appointments there Mr. President.

Fifth, many people made bad decisions by buying homes that cost more than they could afford. Bush's solution: let's work with the Democrats to bail out those people and the lending institutions by using the tax money of those who were prudent in their decision-making.

Sixth, at the first hint of a possible recession, his impulse again is to work with Democrats to send checks out to everyone. I guess he knows were are hurting and he feels our pain.

There are several other problems that are at Bush's feet, but I won't spend the time to mention them. So Mr. Tomlinson, Bush has done several very good things, but he has done many bad things; and conservatives are right to point out those mistakes and say when he has strayed far from conservative principles. The most egregious are the ones he tried to cram down our throats and the conservatives would not allow it. It gives me hope that we can keep Juan McCain in check if he becomes the next president. I don't think we can do the same with Hilliricita, Huckaminguez, or Obamareno.
-- David Tomaselli
Houston, Texas

I normally enjoy and agree with Michael Tomlinson's letters but after reading his take on McCain and telling us, "It is time for real conservatives to say a pox on the "fair weather" conservatives who have helped rejuvenate the decaying Democrat party, undercut the Republican party and joined the left to torpedo the Reagan legacy" I have to disagree.

It's the Republicans, not the conservatives, that have betrayed and killed of true conservatives in the party. They never got over 1976 and Reagan taking on Ford. Heck, they never got over Goldwater in 1964. The RINO Rockefellers are having their revenge and have worked hard, even after the GOP takeover of Congress in 1994, to water down the parties ideas to match those of so-called "moderates" and leftists.

They created the foul weather. I won't forgive them or back their candidate -- John McCain (their second choice after Giuliani).
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

WEISS GUY
Re: Brooke M. Goldstein's Mark Steyn Is Not Alone:

Gee, I'd be more impressed with Brooke Goldstein's devotion to freedom of speech if she'd mentioned that in 2004 the Canadian Jewish Congress and B'nai B'rith Canada lobbied for government conditions that have kept cable channel Al Jazeera out of the country. That could only have encouraged the subsequent action by the Canadian Islamic Congress, don't you think?
-- Philip Weiss
Toronto, Canada

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