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Moderate Schmoderate

Don't overdo it. Quit scapegoating Bush. Fun with Astroturf. Barbourious. Plus more.

2.11.08

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HAGAR THE WISE
Re: Eugene H. Methvin's The Magnetic Magic of Moderation:

Ahh, the magic of moderation! Mr. Methvin would have us believe that all America wants is to sit in the squishy middle and overthrow the reign of the mighty totalitarian El Rushbo; perhaps hanging from his heels on Ariana Huffington's front lawn. Hey Mr. Methvin, consider the ideological purity offered by the left and their various mouthpieces which paint W as Hitler, America as villain, capitalism as inherently evil, (I could go on for 2 or 3 pages dealing on the "moderation" being offered the leftist/socialists that currently pass for the Democrat party). That's some moderation we can expect from Hillary or the neophyte Barack.

Mr. Methvin, consider the moderation offered by Senator McCain during the vote on W's tax cuts. Was it moderation for McCain to use classic, Democrat, leftist class warfare rhetoric to express his displeasure rather than providing thoughtful arguments against it? Was it moderation by McCain when he referred to me and millions of conservative (and other) Americans as xenophobic racists for speaking up against "comprehensive" immigration reform? This exercise could go on but I think I make my point. It is one thing for McCain to be on the other side of an issue, it's another thing altogether for my friend the Senator from Arizona to vilify in the same manner as his friend the Senator from New York or his friend the Senator from Massachusetts, or his friend the Senator from (pick a state, pick a dem) those of us who adhere to conservative principles, believe in the inherent goodness of America, find class warfare rhetoric a socialist exercise, believe in true immigration reform, (this is ironic) a moderate view of the so-called climate crisis, are not interested in having terrorists brought to America so John Edwards and his crowd can make fortunes getting the filth currently housed at Gitmo a nice settlement from the government for the agony of living with appropriate meals, weight gain, Harry Potter books, rooms that may be a little too hot or a little too cold, music that may be too loud. Again we could disagree but in McCain's rhetoric El Rushbo and I are the same Neanderthals in his eyes as we are in the eyes of his friend the junior Senator from New York.

As Hagar the Horrible once said when he was asked if moderation was a good thing, "only if you don't overdo it."

Yes, I will vote for Senator McCain this fall, because his friend the Senator from New York and his friend the Senator from Illinois are socialists and would further drive this nation into that failed abyss. And yes, I will continue to listen to and support Rush, Laura, Sean, Mark et al because it will be more important than ever to stay engaged.
-- Stuart Reed
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

Mr. Methvin thinks that "voters are now driving the candidates toward the Moderate Middle." In his view, the candidates will spurn the "extreme blocs" and appeal to the majority of the electorate. He makes a foray into the Bible and finds a comparison between Moses and John McCain, and between Joshua and Rush Limbaugh.

Methvin's scriptural understanding is, shall we say, of moderate quality. He appears to be missing some important information. I've forgotten a lot of my Sunday School training, but I do seem to remember that opposing Moses was a lot worse than opposing Joshua.

For instance, anyone who opposed Moses could be swallowed up by the earth, bitten by poisonous snakes, burned with heavenly fire, or stricken with disease. True, Joshua authorized the execution of Achan and his family, but that was for a secret sin that led to disaster, not for public rebellion against Joshua.

Thus, Methvin's attempt to paint Moses as a moderate like John McCain, and Joshua as a supposedly strict Taliban-type rightist like Rush Limbaugh, is utterly preposterous. It's true that Joshua went through the Promised Land and thinned out all of the Canaanite precincts, but prior to this Moses was canvassing in the Transjordan -- with equal results.

Of course, this appears cruel to our enlightened age, and it would be if it were just Moses, or Joshua, or the Israelites making the decisions. Nevertheless, I believe it's recorded somewhere that God was the one who commanded the destruction of the Canaanites.

Isn't this the trouble with liberalism? It wants the history of Israel without God, but without God, the history of Israel appears repulsive. Remove God from the picture and the Israelites were little better than Islamo-fascists.

Moreover, if Methvin wants to repair to monkeys as a standard for how we should behave, then he should eat bananas and bugs, and laze about all day instead of writing absurd essays.

But, strangely, I agree with Methvin's larger point, badly made though it is. Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh (and Ann Coulter) are cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

Now, I honor Rush, but I have to say he's being inconsistent. He told us not to sit out the 2006 election for the misguided purpose of teaching the Republicans a lesson, but he's essentially doing what he advised us against in 2006.

I also worship at the altar that is Ann Coulter, and when she glances at me knowingly from the TV screen, during interviews, I'm as captivated with her as Britney is with Sam "Svengali" Lutfi.

But on this issue, Ann is out of her mind. Those conservatives who want to teach Republicans a lesson by working for Hillary, or by staying home, like to imagine that the election of Hillary or Obama will bring great suffering to the country.

In four years, it is assumed, the country will beg the Republicans to take over, just as it happened with Reagan after the Carter disaster. But the election of Ronald Reagan, and later the takeover of Congress by Republicans, did not come about by any sort of strategic surrender. It was hard fought all the way.

There is a story about Phaeton, who in his conceit tried to drive Apollo's chariot, but lost control of it, alternately scorching or freezing the earth, and the end result was that Jupiter thunder-bolted the boy out of the sky. Similarly, conservatives like Rush and Ann who try to control history by trying to over-think it are courting disaster.

I believe it would be better for McCain to move from the moderate extreme to the conservative middle. But it might be easier for him to do that if conservatives would stop trashing him all the time. He may not be the best quarterback for our team, but he's better than none at all.
-- C. V. Crisler
Gilbert, Arizona

Eugene Methvin's article made me see red; and his not so subtle allusion to Rush as a Taliban is just what conservatives have come to expect from our oh-so-superior moderate elites in the Republican Party. What's the difference between a liberal and a moderate Republican? When a liberal proposes some vast program to change American society and gets only half of what he wants in a compromise the cause of liberalism advances. When a moderate Republican compromises (and still gives the liberal half of what he wants) we are told by the Republican elites that it is a great victory because the left only got half; in any event the cause of liberalism still advances. Come to think of it, that is exactly what we were told when the Senate Republicans rolled over on Ruth Bader Ginsburg; and that's exactly what I expect to hear during a McCain presidency â€" liberal appointments are the best that we can hope to achieve.

This is not so much about McCain as it is about the Republican Party telling us to hold our noses yet again and vote for another moderate because "where else are you going to go?" Well it is not going to fly this time. We don't have to go anywhere. I, for one, will go to the polls in November and vote for all other offices except the president. If enough likeminded people do the same the disparity in the numbers will be unmistakable, McCain will be defeated and the Party will get the message. We do not intend to be like Blacks in the Democratic Party, our vote taken for granted. Is it possible that Black Democrats will have a similar awakening should Obama not get the nomination. Wouldn't that dual coincidence be something?
-- Terry Terrance
Culpeper, Virginia

BETTER THAN REAGAN
Re: Philip Klein's Partying Like it's 2004:

It is amazing to see members of the conservative media trying to saddle George W. Bush with the effects of their childlike behavior. When conservative pundits and the alternative media began their hysterical rant against Harriet Miers and DPW they were laying the foundation for today's perceived "problems." Then in an attempt to prove their "independence" they jumped on the liberal media bandwagon blaming President Bush for Louisiana Democrats inept handling of the post-Katrina flooding (that they failed then and now to actually investigate the facts damns them even further as liberal stooges). Things got even worse when invoking the name of "Open Borders" Ronald Reagan, who granted amnesty and citizenship to millions of illegal aliens, they scuttled the President's comprehensive immigration reform without a plausible and fiscally sound alternative -- deportation based on attacks leveled at the former GOP Congress would be a no go for fiscal conservatives worried about Federal spending.

President Bush on the other hand did something that Ronald Reagan failed to do while in office -- guide his party to victory in two elections history and conventional wisdom had ceded to Democrats. In 2002 and 2004 President Bush by his Herculean efforts saw Republicans win control of the Senate outright and grow their majority in the House. Unlike Reagan he had coattails in his reelection campaign. It was only when the conservative media began its meltdown that the Bush juggernaut was stalled in 2006. Then political tradition came into play and Republicans lost an average number of off year election seats in the House and tragically lost the Senate.

In Texas President Bush was able to lay the groundwork for party realignment. He and Karl Rove seemed on the brink of a national realignment when the conservative media opted to pull the rug out from underneath their feet. The constant harangues against Republicans by conservatives in the media made that inevitable.

The young conservatives who cheered President Bush are right he is a great President. He's stayed true to his pledge not to raise taxes, appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, advance a pro-life and family agenda, and defend this country without regard to polls or commentaries. As far as conservative Presidents go he ranks at the top of the list notwithstanding the idiocy of has-been Peggy Noonan and her ilk.

If the conservative movement and Republican Party are in trouble the conservative media needs to quit looking for scapegoats and embrace the reality that they and their MoveOn.org type behavior are the real culprits. They need to quit passing the buck for their juvenile behavior. If Hillary or Obama in 2008 they owe Peggy Noonan, Anne Coulter, Sean Hannity, Robert Novak, Rush Limbaugh and the vast right wing media "conspiracy" a big thank you.

As for this lifelong conservative Republican I'm damn tired of those who have actually undermined our movement and party laying the blame on a President who like Ronald Reagan was the real deal. Semper Fi!
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

HUNDRED YEARS McCAIN
Re: G. Tracy Mehan III's Whither Huckabee:

"His call for a Hundred Years War in Iraq, if necessary, and his repeated prediction of 'more wars' in our future are worrisome."

How much longer will that falsehood play? A long time, I suspect, but the truth is that McCain said he didn't really care how long our troops were in Iraq, any more than he did the half-century and more they have been in Korea and Europe, as long as they weren't actually fighting there. Big difference from a "Hundred Years War," so the question is: does this writer know it and is deliberately misleading…?

As for the "more wars" in our future, that's too bad, of course, but peace has not suddenly descended upon the world and that's a fact. And, no, those automobile manufacturing jobs are not going back to Detroit, either, and ethanol subsidies are still a bad idea. People think they want straight talk, but they really don't like it when it comes...
-- Gregg Calkins

News flash to Mr. Mehan: Rudy is not a Catholic. I am a Catholic, I know a lot of Catholics and he isn't one. He doesn't claim to be, what evidence do you have that he is?
-- Mary L. Wright
Brooksville, Florida

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

Haley Barbour is an excellent governor but his being on the ticket as McCain's VP would not be enough for me to vote for McCain. McCain would have to repudiate McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy and McCain-Lieberman for me to even think about voting for him. Additionally, he'd have to stop referring to amnesty as earned citizenship, stop referring to waterboarding as torture and he'd have to pledge not to close Gitmo. I don't think he wants my vote that badly.
-- Louise
Maryland

WHO DO YOU TRUST?
Re: Reader Mail's Massive Resistance:

I have carefully kept up with all of the disparate views on the impending nomination of John McCain as the Republican Party's presidential candidate, and I have to say that from those who are ardent supporters of the Senator to those who vow to stay home rather than be a part of his campaign, a cornucopia of reasons for electing and not electing him have poured forth. Despite this wide variance of opinion about the man, I cannot recall a specific and direct statement of what I believe to be the single most devastating reason to keep John McCain out of the Oval Office. Here it is: He is not to be trusted.

War hero, populist, moderate, whatever you want to call him, the one epithet that sticks to him like gum to the bottom of a shoe is the fact that the difference between what he says and what he does is Grand Canyonesque. Even granting him the leeway usually granted to a politician who might expand the boundaries of truth a bit during a campaign, he still comes up wanting. He does so because the bulk of his most egregious offenses against honesty has not come under the pressure of a hot and heavy campaign, but rather, in the relative cool of the middle of a six year senate term. If McCain was ever the least bit conservative, he is not any more. The most honest, forthright, and courageous thing that he could have done in his political life would have been to bolt the Republican Party for the Democratic Party, and let the chips fall where they would have fallen.

As I listen to Mr. McCain promise to honor the conservative sounding statements that he has made in this campaign, I have absolutely no faith in him following through. In a paen to pop culture (if there is such a thing) I am reminded of an old classic rock and roll song from many years ago called Paradise by the Dashboard Light, in which the male singer (Meatloaf) woos the female singer (Ellen Foley) in a vain attempt to get what most young men would like to get from most young women. After a great deal of effort, as he approaches the moment of consummation, she extracts from him the promise of a wedding and lifelong love. The only thing is that in the song, the young man actually honors his commitment even though it has been extracted from him under duress. I don't think that we can count on John McCain being that honorable.
-- Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

It is too early in the morning for bad humor to be passed off as pearls of conservative wisdom. One of the endearing qualities of conservative punditry is its ability to tell the great unwashed to suck it up and look harsh reality in the face.

Well McCain is a harsh reality. McCain will not win the general election. If Bush, an inarticulate but likable conservative apostate, could not bury a certified, self-deluded fool like Kerry in 04, while at war for our very survival, then an unlikable conservative apostate bastard like McCain does not stand a dog's chance in hell of winning in November, against Herr Hillary or Obama. When the MSN is done hammering McCain his dog will not vote for him.

McCain does not have the moral reserves to rally the base to mount up and ride to the sound of the guns in his defense. At mass yesterday I had three friends say they would hold their noses and vote for McCain. I had two say there was no way in hell they would vote for the "bastard." This is a winning ground swell in the making, for the party of moveon.org.

Everything said or written about what McCain must do to win between now and November will be nothing more than gum flapping. We cannot win with McCain. Yet we will have lost if McCain wins. Our last best hope of remaining a Free people is to stop McCain from carrying the mantel of the party that left Reagan into the general election, whatever the price. And then pray God we can soldier on and stop the American hating Left that is the party of moveon.org.

Truth is a harsh mistress. You say stand and fight. I say the only fight worth fighting is the fight to remove McCain. I believe we are very close to the time that we the people can no longer secure the blessings of Liberty for ourselves or our posterity via the ballet box. All of the problems that engulf this once Free land will become worse, much worse, with the unstoppable expansion of the collapsing welfare state. And six and a half years after 9/11 we have yet to find the courage to name the enemy. Nukes in the hands of extremists are a mortal threat to our existence. A threat as evil as any we have every encountered. An evil that will require the compassion of a Truman to stamp down.

There is limited, constitutional government or there is no legitimate government.
-- Joe Diamond

Republicans, oh Republicans, who art thou?

Dick Morris, yes, that Dick Morris, the one who assisted the Boy President triangulate his policies as to get past the GOP majority of Congress, recently told Sean Hannity that he, Hannnity, is not a Republican, but a Conservative. Morris's position is worth considering: is the Grand Old Party the Conservative Party or do Conservatives vote for GOP candidates because they espouse the ideas and ideals closest to Conservatives?

The late, great President Reagan was able to unite Conservatives, Libertarians, moderate Democrats and independents under one tent because he was able to espouse a heart felt conservative philosophy while understanding the need to be pragmatic. Both President Bushes did much to fracture that coalition: Pare` Bush did so because he believed pragmatism without holding a true conservative philosophy. Bush 43 is a true believer in many tenants of conservative philosophy, but he certainly did not believe as Reagan did, that the government is part of the problem and not the solution; under W we have watched the government grow at an incredible and unsustainable rate. The on-going Republican drift is understandable: many voters supported The Great Communicator but not conservatism itself, others were won over by The Contract with America and still others were tired of 40 years of Democratic control of Congress. Since that time, few Republicans have been true believers. Can any be surprised that the GOP now must find its true face?

The conservative base of the GOP, if it is to face reality, has to accept they are not about to get a Conservative president. But are they willing to support a GOP nominee who promises to nominate judges that judge, not legislate, from the bench? Further, and more importantly, the base must decide if they can vote for a less than ideologically pure president who can leave a coalition builder in place for the next presidential election cycle. As the story of the phoenix demonstrates, something beautiful can grow from the ashes of defeat. Another Senator from Arizona proved too controversial to be elected, but out of his defeat, America was gifted a powerful legacy.

If Senator McCain, age 72 by the time of his inaugural, choose a candidate that is charismatic, Conservative or, preferably, Libertarian minded, he can still get out the base and save us from a truly leftist presidency. Due to his philosophy and voting record, McCain will never be acceptable to Conservatives, but more might be able to hold their noses and swallow their medicine if McCain is willing to offer a spoonful of sugar. That sugar needs to be VP who can reunite the GOP after a deep and thoughtful period of introspection. The GOP may be ready for another Goldwater revolution.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

EL CAMINO REAL
Re: Andrew Cline's Bill Clinton Warns Virginia:

Loved Mr. Cline's article. However, as a political old car enthusiast, I believe Bill said the "spare parts" were for his 1969 El Camino (the one with the "Astroturf" bed...for better "traction"!).
-- Cug Smith
Pierre Part, Louisiana

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