Reader Mail

Corrosive Negativity

From A. Lincoln to G.W. Bush. Also: As Mormon as apple pie. God's provision. A satisfied constituent. Plus much more.

12.6.07

Send to Kindle

INTELLIGENT HISTORY
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s The Resolute President:

You know your history as well as President Bush knows his.

Somewhere, somehow, the notion that victim hood and negativity were ennobling characteristics, only worthy of saints and poets, became vogue. From that it appears to have morphed into the belief that a criticism, ANY criticism, however unjustified, is a sign of intelligence. And so, many, in the media especially, aspired to intelligence by tearing down the character and ability of their President. All the while savoring their victimhood, justifying their negative approach.

It's a sign of silly, self-infatuated souls.

Your article touches on many truths. Unfortunately, truth, for some, is a matter of choice rather than acceptance. Some will always believe President Bush, a great President, was/is incompetent.

All we can do is choose our version of truth and support the man.

A great article, again. You are always writing them.
-- Peter Hughes
Bandon, Oregon

Our brother RET notes some similarity between our current President and our penultimate (exceeded in my view only by the near saintly, Washington) one: A. Lincoln. He could have noted more: Lincoln had his nasty, corrosive press opponents, like the slanderous Brick Pomeroy([from Wisconsin no less) Bush has the Times of Los Angeles and New York. Lincoln had the despicable Ohio congressman: Clem Vallandingham, Bush has all sorts of yippies, trippies, and assorted fruitcakes: Pelosi, Murtha,Waxman and on and on and.

Lincoln had the Copperheads -- so does Bush, they carry the same political moniker now as they were carrying then: Democrats. Lincoln also had the affection, respect, and loyalty of the country's best citizens: its soldiers. Lincoln ultimately saved the nation and became a legend in the process. Perhaps one day the same will be said of the incumbent.
-- J. C. Eaton
Chetek, Wisconsin

The only bone I have to pick with an otherwise fine article is what has become a commonplace comparison with the ordeal and times of Lincoln and U.S. Grant. It is said that the Devil is in the details and I think it would be better served to use someone else as a role model for success (both men). While I don't lionize Lincoln as many do, I do respect his convictions and in that he and "W" share a common heritage. But there are some small details that make the luster both Lincoln and Grant share that leaves a lot to be desired in the context of today.

First, the Northern Union forces were not only the best equipped army of the time but over three times the manpower and material for war that the South had. Nevertheless, the North lost almost 100,000 more men than the South. Grant was the last of how many appointed Supreme commanders of the Northern forces between 1861 and 1864? Grant's 1864 campaign against Lee in Virginia cost the North 40,000 more losses than the South. Grant's tactics at Cold Harbor in 1864 make Lee's blunder at Gettysburg look trivial by comparison. Grant's army refused to repeat the exercise when ordered. Hardly something we can afford today. The South fought against forces typically larger, better equipped and often times more than twice their size for 4 years. That does not speak well to Lincoln's ability to pick battlefield commanders that could utilize the enormous material advantages the North had from day one.

Second, materially speaking the outcome was never in question but to suggest that Grant was the right General (and tactics) given the overwhelming advantages the North had at every level is a bit of a stretch. I think our current efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq would more accurately be compared to the exploits of a certain Confederate Cavalry general whose name shall not be spoken but certainly knew how to use economy of force to achieve results well beyond his force levels. We certainly don't want another Grant commanding our tiny all volunteer forces. Grant wasn't the right man for the job, he was just the last of a long list of Lincoln appointee's for the job and willing to push his 3x superior forces into one frontal assault after another regardless of losses until the South had no army left. Any drunk could achieve those results given enough time. Enough said.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

If W. was really resolute, my blood pressure wouldn't be off the charts. To name a few areas where he has abandoned his base and failed the country:

Supports the LOST Treaty.

Pushed for amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Left two border guards rot in jail after being convicted in a kangaroo court.

Abandoned Libby.

Signed Campaign Finance Reform in the hopes of a Supreme Court Reversal.

Pushing a housing bailout that voids legally written real estate contracts, protects speculators and undermines the very nature of business contracts.

Welcomed bigots to Annapolis.

Is melting on global warming.

Lets scores of judicial nominees wither on a senate vine of deliberate inaction and vindictiveness.

Is too tongue-tied to use the bully pulpit.
-- Peter Mohan

THE MORMON QUESTION
Re: W. James Antle III's The Religion Test:

Thank you to James Antle for a thoughtful piece and I agree with him but I think in making his argument, he is pointing out the larger problem with Mitt Romney and it isn't his faith.

When a candidate becomes a President, no matter how conservative he claims to be, he is immediately besieged by the left, the media and all sorts of loud special interest groups and inevitably governs more to the left than conservatives would like. Paying attention to this pressure and polling data instead of governing from principal is how we get a GWB falling for this global warming myth and extending free prescription drugs to seniors or a Reagan raising taxes. So we now have Mitt Romney, who instead of running forward on issues and principals, begins to bend to a small and insignificant criticism of his faith. Unless I've been missing something, I haven't seen or heard a huge groundswell of criticism of Mormonism or Romney's faith. His over-reaction to this little bit of concern is telling. Can we expect a similar speech by Rudy on marital infidelity or a Fred Thompson diatribe on taking weekends off? I think not.

Antle's most telling statement is "All this can easily be overstated." Indeed!! I can see someone on his staff breathlessly reporting some poll that shows concern over his Mormon faith, quoting an article in some obscure evangelical publication and advising a response. The same guy that would race in to the oval office to frantically urge a President Romney to raise taxes, ignore pro-lifers or appoint a Supreme Court nominee that won't offend anyone, especially Democrats.

I'm Catholic and I could care less what a candidate's faith is. The more serious criticism of Romney is that his basic principals can apparently change depending on the position he's running for. My fear is if he bends to this little bit of public pressure, what will he do when he gets to the big leagues? His response to this does nothing to waylay those fears.
-- Pat Bruen

For quite a while now, I have been determined to stay out of the argument over Romney and his being a Mormon. One reason is because I consider myself a born again conservative Christian. I, therefore, consider that if I am not exactly an evangelical, I am at least on their side, an ally in their battles, so to speak. Another reason is that Romney is not my first choice for a candidate for President. I watched from New Hampshire when he ran against Ted Kennedy, and it was one of the worst run campaigns that I had ever seen. I then watched as he ran for, and won the Governorship in Massachusetts. The Dems often allow a Republican to be Governor because it gives them someone to blame for things that go wrong, like the Big Dig, even though the solid Dem legislature is the real power and the real governing body. Now he is a neighbor running for POTUS.

The argument, however, has taken a turn, and reached a pitch that I can no longer ignore. There is a determined effort on the part of many of the leaders of the more fundamental sects of Christianity, aided and abetted by many GOP activist elites to deny Gov. Romney the nomination on the basis that he is NOT a Christian. This is patently absurd and bigoted.

While I am not a subscriber to the tenets of Mormonism, to say that a Mormon is not a Christian is quite simply an ignorant, bigoted, lie. If Mormons are not Christians, then I would assume that Seventh Day Adventists are similarly not Christians. I am not one of them either, but I know that they are Christians. What about the Russian Orthodox and other Eastern Rite churches that don't celebrate Christmas and Easter when most "regular" Christians do? They also have some other differences with the more accepted "brands" of Christianity. Are they also not Christians? What about Roman Catholics? There is a difference in the books that are part of their Bible versus a Protestant Bible. What about the so-called mainstream Protestant sects that have completely corrupted the biblical teachings on homosexuality, and on the issue of life and abortion, and on same sex marriage, and on issues of the family? It would seem that a good case could be made that they are not Christians.

Look, folks, can we talk? What the leaders like Dobson, Wildmon, and others are really saying is that he is not one of "us," and therefore he must not be allowed to win until he agrees to come in, kneel, and kiss our ring. It is all about power. It is all about who is allowed to be a kingmaker. It is also about money. If the LDS church were to gain an adherent or two, some other sect might lose one, and that is bad news in the collection plate on Sunday, or Saturday. We simply must admit that Jesus did NOT go around preaching that the Roman governing bodies must be overthrown because the did not follow Him. The Bible tells us to render unto Caesar those things that belong to Caesar, and unto God those things that belong to God. This bit of wisdom was propounded at the time of the ascendancy of the Roman Empire. There was no admonition that we should stop a good and just man from becoming a governing head simply because he did not follow Jesus. Besides, can we tell the truth? Mr. Romney, aside from his particular brand of Christianity, follows the teachings of the non-Mormon Bible a heck of a lot closer than Rudy G, or any of the Dems. The other GOP candidates we haven't heard enough about on the Christianity scale. What about Huckabee, the Baptist preacher and ex-Arkansas Governor (think Bill Clinton)? How is he on the issue of excessive pride. Are we sure that there are no similarities to Jimmy Swaggart, or Jim Bakker.

Let us talk about bigotry here for a moment. Are we saying that Joe Lieberman can never run for POTUS because he is a Jew, not a Christian? Why is Harry Reid, another Mormon, allowed to be Majority Leader in the Senate? What about Orrin Hatch? Shouldn't he be thrown out of office. What about Joe Biden? If memory serves, he is not a Christian, but I could be wrong. What about all the non-religious secularists in elective office? Should they be precluded from being in the government on religious grounds. I mean, I can make a good argument that most of these folks should be thrown out of office, but their religious beliefs will not have a thing to do with it.

Perhaps someone can point me to that part of the Constitution, or our other founding documents, that suggest that a particular brand of Christian, or a particular list of brands of Christianity will be, or should be the only ones allowed as a prerequisite to being the President of our country. Would not the current argument have excluded Thomas Jefferson, who was a Deist? Is there anywhere in the Federalist Papers that it suggests a religious test should be included in the requirements for POTUS?

It is my contention that the general election for POTUS in November of next year is going to be a lot closer than currently prognosticated. I also believe that the contest is highly winnable by a Republican. I can also support, in certain select cases, the idea that the Republican might be so similar to the Democrat at to not making it worth going to the polls, but that only applies, in my mind, to two Republicans, and has nothing to do with religion. I believe that this country may well be at an important crossroads in our history. I would be livid if it was shown that folks on my side, that I have so much in common with, that I am so much in sympathy with, were to throw the election to the Democrat by staying home and not voting simply because of religious bigotry -- because they refuse to admit that a Mormon is a Christian. Yes, I have deliberately used the word "bigot" and "bigotry," because that is exactly what it is. I know that we have now decided that there is a whole list of words that we can't use for fear of "offending" someone. I know that we have decided that sticks and stones don't hurt us, but words do. All that PC bull has curtailed our ability to express ourselves in clear and understandable English. When you single out one particular Christian sect and decide to write them out of Christianity, that is religious bigotry. I am not talking about a true cult. We all know what they are, and who they are, so don't bother trying to throw that red herring into this discussion, the LDS church is NOT a cult.

If you don't think Romney should be President because he flip-flops, fine. If you don't like him because you don't believe that he is sincere about being pro-life now, fine. If you don't like him because you don't trust anyone who managed to win elective office in the socialist state of Massachusetts, fine. There are other legitimate issues where you may part company with Gov. Romney, but let us, on our side, not succumb to bigotry, name calling, and guilt by group association. Let the Dems do that, they specialize in that sort of thing and are experts at it. Let us judge on individual merit. Can the individual do the job? He did organize and successfully run the Olympics, an event notorious for being a complete boondoggle and money eater. He brought it in on time and on budget. He has run a large commercial enterprise, and thus knows what running a successful business is all about. He has been a Governor of a fairly large state. Well, it was Massachusetts, but still, it was something. Let's lose the religious bigotry. Send it over to the DailyKos where secular humanism and atheism are their religions, and they are determined that no practicing, observant Christian or Jew will win an election, or govern if they do win.

OK, end of rant.
-- Ken Shreve
A Christian, and proud of it

Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. Oregon sent a very fine Mormon to Washington, Senator Gordon Smith. It ruined him. He sold his soul to the devil. He's drifting farther to the left every day. He is now a regrettable embarrassment to the Conservative cause.
-- Richard T. Judge
Gresham, Oregon

I MADE IT OUT OF CLAY
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Glowing and Growing:

From this Christian family's home to yours:

May your Hanukkah shine brightly, with joy and fun and all good things, including traditional junk food.

May the New Year celebrated by us "others" bring the same, with health and joy.

Long live Hanukkah and the reminder of God's provision!
-- Anastasia Mather

REMEMBER THEM

So many hearts break at this time of year,
The season of joy and warmth, families near.
Stockings are hung by the chimney with care.
'Happy Hanukkah' rings through the wintry air,

And only the lonely dream with despair
Of past seasons with loved ones no longer there.
When you light your Menorahs and recall Bethlehem,
Take some time out to remember them.
-- Mimi Evans Winship

CONSTITUENT LOYALTY
Re: Shawn Macomber's Tancredo in the Twilight:

I'm quite sure that no reasonably intelligent person ever seriously believed Tom Tancredo would be a real contender for President of the United States. I'm pretty sure Tom knew/knows that too.

However history will prove him right on his single issue (illegal immigration) despite the attacks he currently has to endure from many fronts. He has the truth on his side.

I live in Tom's 6th Congressional District in Colorado...he is my representative. I'm proud to have him as my congressman and appreciate the job he's doing and has done.

What bigger compliment can a congressman ask for when he's no longer a congressman than to have his constituency tell him "job well done?"
-- Dave Schallert

NICE TRY
Re: Ilan Berman's The National Intelligence Guesstimate:

Pardon me for being a skeptic, but these guys who wrote the latest guesstimate must be totally ignorant of the United State's development of nuclear power; it was done in parallel with the design, development and deployment of nuclear weapons by the same government agencies, i.e., Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Energy Research and Development Agency, and the Department of Energy (DOE). The U.S. government, as part of the advancement of commercial nuclear power, provided low-enriched uranium for reactor fuels, and continued to produce high-enriched uranium for the weapons program. It should be obvious to anyone with a wit of knowledge about nuclear power/weapons programs, that Iran's civilian nuclear development is in direct support their weapons program.
-- Tom Bullock
West Covina, California

INDY MINDED
Re: RiShawn Biddle's Carson's Last Stand

Thank you for providing this unique and daresay, thought-provoking analysis, Mr. Biddle. I am regularly reminded about the fallacies promulgated by those entities on both side of the isles, attempting to lead us away from taking the "road less traveled." Please be mindful, that as a community here in Indianapolis, we took that very important first intrepid step in the right direction once before and I remain faithful that we will do it again. Thanks again for the perspective.
-- Bruce Henry

LOST AT SEA
Re: Caitlyn Antrim's letter in (under "Submarine Sovereignty") in Reader Mail's Vindication and Vindictiveness:

Caitlyn Antrim writes: "International law does not recognize one set of rules for the U.S. and another for countries that we oppose -- if he wants the legal right to send U.S. subs submerged into foreign territorial seas, he must also support the right of foreign subs to sneak through our territorial sea."

So we are to adopt a treaty that guts American sovereignty and security says Mr. Antrim because we, (the U.S.) are always forced to obey all laws and treaties by the nature of our own government and we will obey it. But, countries that by decades old policy, that sneer at obeying such laws and treaties, accept and plan for future strikes against us as policy (like Communist China), indeed see using and abusing such for cover to enhance their power and security against all their enemies are to be given free rein?

Submarines are submarine for a reason. They can't be located or seen!!!!!! Is Mr. Antrim advocating that we increase our sub fleets to the point we can patrol all areas of ocean we control at all times? Does he have ANY idea what kind of naval confrontation and recourses would have to be used to enforce his fantasy? I think not. All it takes is ONE sub with only 10 missiles to cover all major cities/populations and the USA as we know it would be obliterated as a force in the world. We know this even behind enemy lines in Seattle what subs are FOR and CAN DO what with Banger Naval Base just off shore. It was said that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Unfortunately treaties like LOS are!
P.C. blindness, kowtowing to the international crime cartel called the UN will kill US all and if we allow it, if we roll over for such madness maybe we, in an evolutionary sense, deserve it.
-- Craig Sarver
Seattle, Washington

HAMMERING AWAY
Re: Reader Mail's Vindication and Vindictiveness:

Again, for about the umpteenth time, I marvel at the quality of your readership. With the possible exception of Mr. Emde, your people have wondrous, incisive ability to nail it, absolutely!

Thom Bateman especially, and the others commenting on the NIE debacle, terrific comments. And the repercussions with the inept president -- the guy who not only retained George Tenet for 'way too long, but then awarded the clown with a medal? My God! Dubya repeatedly embarrasses himself, and we haven't even touched in his subservient attitude toward Mexico and the border/illegal immigration...

We have, what, sixteen different "intelligence" groups, all vying for some semblance of respectability thru the making of some proper predictions?

But they don't.

Sorry, gang, but this bureaucracy stinks. To high heaven even! The State Department and the McClellans of the Pentagon -- incompetents who will joyfully collect their unearned (but inflated) pensions...

Wish my previous optimism could be substantiated with some actual GoodStuff, but methinks it's a tad too late.

Merry Christmas anyway.
-- frost

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article