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Free to Lose

Dobson conservatives' strange reverence. Also: Mitt and Fred. English and Spanish in Rockville. Plus much more.

10.24.07

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BORKING OURSELVES
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Dr. Dobson and Justice Bork:

Great Article... I could not agree more! Please email this article to Dr. James Dobson and his followers. As a staunch conservative, I am afraid they will undermine us again!
-- Michelle Frazier
Houston, Texas

Mr. Lord points out that the recalcitrance of social conservatives to support the candidates proffered by the Republican Party has had some negative consequences vis a vis Roe vs. Wade.

But he somehow misses the larger issue, which is, why does the Republican Party continue to foist a host of bad candidates on those of us who are inclined to vote Republican in the first place? The cast of characters that are elevated by the officials in the Republican Party to run for office are not themselves advocates for the very positions that the Republican electorate wants advanced. And, given our recent tragic history of the Republican officeholders failing to advance the conservative agenda when they held all three branches of office, the chickens are simply coming home to roost. And this phenomenon is happening at the state, at well as the national, levels. This disappointment explains why the Republican Party lost the last election cycle and why they lag the Democrats in fundraising today. The list of Republican failures in this respect is too long to document here. But why should anyone who truly cares about supporting a conservative agenda vote for these imbeciles at all? If given a choice between Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler in an election, then a man of conscience would surely not vote at all.
-- Harry Hill

This article firmly focuses our attention to the unintended consequences of what happens when folks with good intentions decide to take their marbles and go home at exactly the wrong time.

As a timely example, I have been in an e-mail conversation with Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily. His latest column, "Why Dr. Dobson's right," is Exhibit 1 to the argument Mr. Lord made in his TAS article. Mr. Farah, whom many would describe as an uber-conservative, is of the same opinion as Dr. Dobson. Collectively, and in a Stepford fashion, they will sit on their hands come November of next year and not pull a lever or fill an oval, if a "not-exactly-a-pure-conservative" candidate is chosen as the Republican nominee.

Admittedly, both have a large following. But why they would take their respective flocks over the proverbial cliff over one issue that has been locked-in legally by the same crowd is a mystery (kudos to Mr. Lord for pointing that out). If I'm hungry, I'll grab half a loaf every single time. If one waits for the full loaf, mold sets in very quickly.
-- Owen H. Carneal
Yorktown, Virginia

Mr. Lord has delivered a timely salvo across the bow of social conservatives, myself included. We can use numerous metaphors, but the bottom line is that the goals of social conservatism will be absolutely unachievable with another Clinton presidency. Mr. Lord could have also reminded us of the steps taken by Bill Clinton on the very first day of his presidency to roll back all gains that conservatives had made during the Reagan and Bush administrations concerning abortion. We will see President-elect Clinton demanding that W. start rolling recent gains back even before she takes office. Embryonic stem cell research will see every constraint removed on January 20th, 2009. Don't ask, don't tell will also be gone that day. Hillary will take time out of the Inaugural festivities to sign those Executive Orders. She may even sign them as soon as she takes her hand off the Bible. And all because we can't have the "full loaf."

I can support Giuliani if he gets the nomination. Or Thompson, or McCain. Why? Because the unborn aren't the only people we should be pro-life about. How about the rest of us, including our children, when Hillary starts surrendering in the War on Terror? A couple of nuclear bombs going off in our cities would be equal in numbers to a couple of years of abortions. A few years ago, I was where Dr. Dobson was when it came to pro-life issues. I was even ready to withdraw my support from W. if he didn't put restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. But 9/11 changed everything and I realized that there are other life-and-death issues out there. So I implore social conservatives to campaign very hard for their preferred candidate, but accept the eventual GOP nominee, no matter who it is. Another Clinton White House would be merciless...especially to the unborn.
-- Andrew Macfayden, M.D.

Thank you, Mr. Lord, for your much needed political wisdom. It needs to be repeated a year from now, in bold letters. Your article stands in stark juxtaposition to today's Reader's Section, and some of the "value voters," vowing to insure a Hillary Clinton presidency. Fortunately, Michael Tomlinson, once again, brought some wise, real world perspective to all this.

I sincerely respect you "value voters," I really do, but I find myself increasingly frustrated with your myopic sense of moral superiority. It's how I feel about most leftists, however, I know you folks are far more sincere and principled. I guess what I can't comprehend is if a less than perfect conservative, vows to insure a Supreme Court made up of "originalists," why then would you accede to a hard-core Leftist that is DEVOTED to the antithesis of all that you believe in? Yes, I've read ad nauseam about how you folks view compromise of principle. Problem is, the left believes in "the end justifies the means," and will compromise principle to insure a Justice Ginsburg, and her devotion to the leftist cause, especially Roe v. Wade. Is that what you really want; with a generational Court shift with three potential vacancies? Wasn't the hissy fit some of you had in '06, which has brought us this despicable Democrat Congress, enough principle for you? Yes, Mr. Lord, Harry Blackmun is indeed laughing, so is Hillary's mentor, Saul Alinsky. You can fool most of the people all of the time.
-- A. DiPentima

Jeffrey Lord's revisiting the disastrous 1986 Congressional election cycle was a needed reminder of how conservatives are sometimes their own worst enemies. Many of those who now call themselves "Reagan conservatives" and mythologize his record to the detriment of today's Republicans were his vociferous critics during his second term. In fact, they so weakened him that had it not been for Oliver North it is probable Democrats would have impeached and removed Reagan from office.

Twenty years later falling for media propaganda and Democrat spin many conservatives are again doing the left's dirty work for them by undercutting President Bush (a solid Reagan conservative without the eloquence) and Republicans in Congress. In the name of their principles or the "brilliant" political strategy of "throwing away an election" to punish Republicans they surrendered the House and Senate to radical Democrats intent on losing the GWOT, raising taxes on working Americans, increasing earmarks and pork barrel spending and enacting a radical social agenda. Now they threaten to hand the White House over to an incompetent and radical buffoon, because the potential Republican nominees aren't Reagan. Brilliant! One wonders if these self-described conservatives are actually principled or just obtuse.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Writers who wish to make reference to James Dobson need to take a small amount of time to check his bio. He is not a Reverend or a theologian. He has a PhD in child development from USC and is a licensed psychologist. He worked in pediatrics for 31 years -- hence most of his books are on child development.
-- David Shaw

I don't believe Dr. Dobson, a psychologist, has EVER used Reverend before his name, nor has he ever ministered to a church. Your use of the term is inaccurate, irrelevant and possibly disparaging to Dr. Dobson, who has been an acknowledged pain to Republicans, admittedly, but deserves accurate criticism.
-- Talmage Campbell
Beaumont, California

Could you please take note of one item that harms the credibility of your name? James Dobson is not a pastor, minister or reverend. He has no such credentials. He has a PhD in psychology. To his credit, he has made this distinction a number of times in his daily radio broadcast through Focus on the Family. This information is available via a number of Internet resources. Is Mr. Lord so lazy and are you so trusting of your contributors?

It may seem like a small error to you, but some of your readers can't help but wonder about the motives of a writer who would ignore available facts and misrepresent the subject of his political opinion piece.
-- Eric Mawhinney
Fombell, Pennsylvania

Jeffrey Lord replies:
One of the things I am not a fan of is people who are unable to simply say "I made a mistake." I did indeed. Dr. Dobson, so identified in the title of my piece, is not a minister, as I incorrectly titled him elsewhere. No pun intended, it was an error made in good faith. It was, perhaps, an unconscious tribute to someone whom I decidedly identify as a man of faith, even if he is in fact not a man of the cloth. As to my motives, gee. I think reader Eric Mahwhinney is a tad harsh. Deliberately misrepresenting a person about whom I am writing is something I have never done, nor would I. It certainly would take away from my credibility were that the truth. Dr. Dobson's views were accurately presented as I verified before writing them up. The events of 1986, which I also verified to refresh my own memory of events for which I was present, were also presented accurately.

As always in an opinion piece, the opinion stated is, obviously, my own. I appreciate the correction. Mr. Mahwhinney states that "some of your (TAS) readers" are really wondering about my motives in ignoring available facts. Is this really so? Or is it just reader Mawhinney deliberately employing that old mainstream media trick beloved of liberal journalists by writing "some" when he actually means "I"...and should his own motivations be questioned as a result? I vote no. It was probably just an unintentional mistake!

LESS THAN WE BARGAINED FOR
Re: Jennifer Rubin's One for the Price of Two:

Jennifer Rubin's "One for the Price of Two" article is a classic example of what ails American politics today. In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that after many months of reading and listening I've become a Mitt supporter. As to what ails our politics -- too much emotionalism exaggerated by a rabid press trotting out the kiddies on everything from amnesty for illegals to healthcare for parents making $80,000 a year. Indeed, it is time for straight talk, logic, and detailed analysis of this disaster we've been living under for the last forty years. Runaway government, massive spending, massive deficits, Congress's diversion of Social Security funds for massive government programs and runaway spending; complete and abject failure of the education system; total disregard for 70%+ of the populations desire to stop immigration. And on and on.

So let's take a little of our "emotive" sides out of this discussion and ask ourselves a simple question: What plagues the country and what do we need to do about it? Cold, common sense. Let the metrosexuals lead Hillary's campaign while we focus on the honest work of limiting government, restoring control away from the bureaucrats, cutting the Government's share of our incomes, and supporting the sovereign rights of America. As with Ronald Reagan, George Bush 41 (before he broke his pledge), and the promises of the current President, conservative values always trump and win out over goofy liberalism.
-- Bill Vaughan
El Dorado Hills, California

It appears to me that the reason that the majority of the GOP activists, pundits, columnists, and issue advocacy mavens have lined up against Fred Thompson, is that Fred, deep in his very marrow, believes that the answer to most of our problems lie in the states, NOT in Washington, D.C. I mean, my heavens, what is to become of K St. if such a notion were to take hold? Mercy, think of all the high-priced lawyers and ex-politicians that would be out of work, or would have to actually move to fly-over country. We can't have that, now can we?

The next thing that you know people that matter might actually have to start taking the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution seriously. I mean, they still haven't gotten over the shock of having to acknowledge the plain meaning of the Second Amendment. To have to do the same with the Tenth Amendment would be too much in the same decade.

It is so confusing and sad, what is a self-actuated societal elite to do? Worst of all, the election of Fred Thompson might actually slow the inexorable progress toward Socialism that we have seen in the last almost 80 years in America, since FDR.
-- Ken Shreve

WHY DON'T THEY SPEAK ENGLISH?
Re: Henry Gekonde's Language and Immigration:

That's an easy to answer question. No one expects them to learn English. Instead, we are expected to learn Spanish, so they can communicate with us. If we don't, we are racists, discriminating against Hispanic people, and not
respectful of the multicultural diversity of the U.S.
-- Roz Kohls

Having 43 years of living in a Hispanic city I will answer the question.

They don't have to.

That's it. No rocket science. Politicians are very astute at picking up minority groups. It works this way. The left-wing Democrats constantly seek to make it easy for aliens -- legal or illegal -- to vote. Think of the "motor voter" proposals.

Republicans not to be out done but to keep aliens from voting for Democrats, publish everything in Spanish, and in my city Creole as well. Neither party wants these people to assimilate. The Democrats because you are still shut out of good jobs without English. This keeps Hispanics in poverty and a permanent underclass to vote Democrat. The poor and Hollywood are the only remaining Democrat constituencies. The Republicans because they are afraid they will vote Democrat.

So they don't any reason to learn Ingles. Republicans publish in Spanish, and Democrats give them money no matter what they speak or their immigration status.

Clear?
-- Jay Molyneaux

Mr. Henry Gekonde seems to be simultaneously puzzled and annoyed by the singular lack of English proficiency his waitress exhibited in an eatery near his home. While most of this webzine's readers would agree that any business which wishes to remain solvent should have employees conversant in the national language, this "muchacha" and her "gerente," to Senor Gekonde's chagrin, seemed blissfully unaware that English is, at least for most of the country, our national language; Rockville, Maryland, obviously being one of those exceptions.

If I may be so bold as to ask, rhetorically: Why was this incident so annoying to Senor Gekonde? I can only conclude that the aforementioned "writer living in College Park," the location of the University of Maryland, has, perhaps, been living in a different universe. But he shouldn't worry, for all is well that end's well: there was a Chinese eating establishment next door where the waitress, "impeccably dressed," but who spoke "accented," but understandable, English. I'll bet she provided Fortune cookies, too. Isn't life grand!

For anyone who reads any source of news, who listens to the drivel about our new immigrants' desire to be Americans, who visits any mall, uses public transportation, is not audibly challenged, and has not been living in the Antarctic for the past thirty years, Mr. Gekonde's article, frankly, boggles the mind. Where has he been living? Is College Park hermetically sealed from the rest of the country?

Reluctantly, I must inform Mr. Gekonde that, despite the huge number of tax dollars that go into English as a Second Language (ESL) programs mandated throughout this nation, second and third generation Hispanic students evince little interest in learning English. Why? Perhaps, for the overwhelming number, there is no need to, since there are enough of their brethren here, legally and illegally, to obviate the need for such an acquired skill. Full disclosure: I am the grandchild of immigrants. There was -- and is -- no indication that the first generation spoke English well, or at all, although some groups were better than others. But what makes Hispanic immigration different from all others, aside from the millions of illegal aliens from Latin America, is that there is no incentive to learn English; further, the schools, formerly the burners that stirred the melting pot, now cavalierly dismiss their responsibility to serve as the engine of that societal transformation. To do that would be ...how to put it?... judgmental. That is why, Senor Gekonde, if you return to the same eatery in five or ten years, your waitress will not have improved her English dramatically. How could she watching Telemundo all day. But have heart, for all is not lost.

Several days ago, the Washington Post, whose editors have never seen an amnesty for illegal aliens that didn't appeal to them, announced, in their usual disregard for the truth, that "fear" was driving both legal (nonsense) and illegal aliens from Prince William County, where the Board of Supervisors recently voted unanimously to fund a program that uses its police force to detain illegal aliens arrested for a crime. Clearly, this area's "newspaper of record" believes the jackboots are just around the corner. But this should also worry Senor Gekonde, for several fleeing Latins quoted in the Post said they were moving to...of all places... Maryland. That exodus may deepen Senor Gekonde's problem about finding waitresses who speak English, but there is always a bright side: in Prince William County, he'll find just what he is looking for.

Pax vobis
-- Vincent Chiarello
American Council for Immigration Reform

Regarding Henry Gekonde's "Language and Immigration": "Why doesn't she learn English? I'm tempted to scream at the top of my lungs, but some invisible force ties the tongue." The issue is not with English or with immigration. The real issue is about becoming an American.

Succinctly put by one smarter than I, in answer to the whiningly inane statement of, "But we are a nation of immigrants." Response: "Correct. We are a nation of immigrants. However, we are a nation of immigrants who became Americans."

That is the mantra.
-- Rick Osial
Montclair, Virginia

GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM
Re: Windsor Mann's Too Much Homework:

Mr. Mann has put together an interesting article. It certainly is an issue that is worthy of calling to the attention of the American electorate. The problem is that there are a veritable cornucopia of government programs or potential programs that need highlighting. Can you say government health care?

I would say that Mr. Mann could also do an interesting article on the reasons why all the politicians and punditocracy on the Right refuse to act to slow the loss of our ability to use the English language. In this particular example, Mr. Mann talks simply about Democrats. There is nothing democratic about any of these programs. They are Socialism, pure and simple. Why are so many on the right so very afraid to call a spade a spade? It would seem to me that RET would do well to issue a style manual for those who write for the American Spectator that mandates the proper use of the English language. The Dems are NOT liberals, they are socialists. See, I used the proper term and no lightening came down to strike me dead. What are you afraid of?

Those who believe in the government being the arbiter of FIRST resort, the regulator of all commerce, the determining authority in ALL personal interactions, are Socialists. Those on the left, like Maxine Waters or "Red" Dellums, that would see the government have outright ownership of society are Communists. This is not hyperbole. This is simply the use of the correct words, according to the excepted definitions of the words in a good, comprehensive dictionary.

So, Mr. Mann, what was it you were saying that the Socialists in our Congress were trying to get passed to eliminate the perceived housing "crisis?"
-- Ken Shreve

Mr. Mann says it best, "The best way to guarantee affordable housing is for the federal government to get out of the way. If people kept more of their paychecks, they'd be better able to afford their own homes."

I couldn't agree more. I say, let us keep all of our paycheck, and institute an honest, fair, and impeded sales tax. Like, say, the Fair Tax, currently under consideration in both the House and the Senate. The Fair Tax offers you your full pay check, no income, social security, or Medicare taxes. It also includes a monthly "prebate" equal to the level of the tax times the Federal poverty level for your house-hold. I strongly urge anyone who agrees with Mr. Mann to go to fairtax.org, check it out, and if you agree, e-mail your congressman about it.
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

TO SPITE THEIR OWN FACES
Re: Francis M. Hannon's and Dave Livingston's letters (under "Discounting Values") in Reader Mail's The Enemy of the Imperfect:

I truly am astonished at the authors of these letters. Talk about cutting off the nose to spite the face. Mr. Livingston, how can you possibly say "I won't vote for Giuliani even at the risk of letting Hillary capture the White House"? Ms. Hannon, surely you jest when you wrote "As much as we despise Bill Clinton's worse half, we are animated far more so by our pro-life principles, which are nonnegotiable."

Well, bully for you both as well as every social conservative who believes as you two. However, your grandstanding and adherence to your "principles" will affect more than you. They will affect the lives of over 300 million Americans, as well as countless millions around the world who are yearning for America and the idea of freedom. For you social conservatives to throw the rest of us under the bus because abortion is non-negotiable is thoughtless, selfish, and stupid. I wish you could see how very much like a tantrum throwing two-year old you sound.

Is abortion so important that everything else falls by the wayside? What about gun control, Iraq, stopping universal health care, the border, and every other issue? If you think your position will lack standing under a Giuliani, Romney, McCain, etc. Administrations, where do you think you will be under President Hillary Clinton? At least we have some control over a GOP presidency.
-- Joel Natzke
Kansas City, Missouri
P.S. Mr. Livingston, your letter really smacks of religious bigotry. Your remark about never voting for a Mormon "under any circumstance whatsoever" confirms the worst stereotypes of Republicans and conservatives everywhere, and it deserves no hearing in the debate over the presidential field. I would thank you for never speaking like that again.

In his letter, Mr. Livingston states that he "...won't vote for Giuliani even at the risk of letting Hillary capture the White House." All well and good, sir, but I can't imagine a face any uglier than one with the nose removed just to spite it. Quite an ugly sight, indeed. But something even uglier is the absolute religious bigotry I see in the next paragraph of your letter when you state, unequivocally, that you will not vote for a Mormon. Why is that, sir? I'm afraid I don't understand, and you don't make any effort to explain yourself. Perhaps you would care to enlighten me?
-- Scott Warren
Jonestown, Pennsylvania

The Francis Hannons and Dave Livingstons of this country, candidly, make me want to throw-up! Those pontificating "value-voters" who would presume to place gay stuff and anti-Choice platitudes above our very Survival as a nation?

Sorry, but, warts'n all, the only guy with sufficient guts and conviction to fight off those miserable Islamic fascists and assorted other nasties is Rudy Giuliani. No one else has the cojones, none even come close to matching the much needed/required strength to beat those hoards.

Pardon the vernacular, but (especially after the wimpy and totally inept Dubya, and those other pandering candidates bowing-and-scraping toward the supercilious and super-sanctimonious James Dobsons, et al) their misplaced priorities make me wanna puke!

We've got to simply Survive -- first.
-- Frost

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