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Federalist Fred

Predictably, what about Ron Paul? Also: Reproductive surrender. Soft partitions. Osama and the Democrats. Plus more.

9.13.07

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WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
Re: Michael Tanner's At Last a Small-Government Conservative?:

How can you almost completely leave Ron Paul out of the picture, when he is the one most geared towards putting government back into its limited place? I know he's against the war and such, but an imperialist agenda also qualifies as big government spending, as well. I think it's very inaccurate to portray Fred Thompson as the only Republican federalist out there.
-- Paul Melnyk

Michael Tanner's comparison of Fred Thompson to the other candidates is based only on what Candidate Thompson has said, or what he supported as 1% of the Senate. A look at what he has actually done would also be helpful.

Senators do not "do things." They make laws that force other people to "do things." Before his eight years in the Senate, Thompson spent 20 years as a lobbyist; he was not a lobbyist for smaller government. His mission was to grab the biggest piece of government pie he could.

It is true that the law enforcement agencies run by Thompson have never committed any abuses, because he has never run a law enforcement agency. The health insurance structure adopted by the state he governed cannot be compared to Hillarycare, because he has never governed. The companies he has managed have never had a production shortfall, because he has never been engaged in production.

If you were a large shareholder of a major public corporation, would you want Fred Thompson to be its CEO? Of course not. No responsible board of directors of a huge enterprise would hire a CEO that had never been in an executive position. It would be a mistake for us to hire the chief executive of the most important enterprise on Earth, the United States, based only on his recitation of talking points crafted to please a small government audience.
-- Tom Dykers
Goochland, Virginia

The premise of Mr. Tanner's column is incorrect.

He states "Republicans have been increasingly split between traditional small-government conservatives in the Reagan and Goldwater molds and a new breed of big-government conservatives who believe in using an activist government to achieve conservative ends -- even if it means increasing the size, cost, and power of government in the process."

By definition, big-government types are not conservatives. As soon as you become a big-government "anything," you are no longer a conservative. True conservatives know that the mantle of "small-government" starts with the 17 specifically enumerated Congressional powers permitted by the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8, and ends with the 10th Amendment.

It remains to be seen whether Fred has the same outlook. His previous votes on NCLB and McCain-Feingold campaign finance means that the jury is still out on his supposed small-government conservatism. Lots of convincing needs to happen on the stump -- maybe another Contract with America is in his immediate future. If only we could be so graced which such a document.

By the way, there is one more incorrect premise in the column. Being a hawk on national security is a conservative position -- almost half of those previously discussed enumerated powers deal with the subject. In fact, if I were king for the day, it would be the only issue funded by the taxpayer at the federal level (besides the courts). Everything else would be a state responsibility.

Long live Federalism.
-- Owen H. Carneal

We already have the genuine article, Ron Paul, running for the Republican nomination. Why should we turn toward a handpicked false alternative? Your article's premise of empire-building and the big-government war machine is right on. Thompson seems to be only echoing the "let's go beat up on the rest of the world" moniker of the other non-Paul candidates. Do you hear Thompson challenging the power of the IRS or the privately-owned Federal Reserve money machine. No, and you won't hear him address these issues.

The growing issue of the war in the Middle East will turn from the question of its morality on its face to "How can our children and grandchildren afford the wars?" and pay for their parents retirement through Social Security? This is why Paul's candidacy resonates so well with younger people. I'm 60 and it resonates with me. Paul's strength is grassroots and currently below the media radar (but this seems to be changing rapidly). Thompson's strength is an embarrassed Republican Party conservative hierarchy (especially in southern states) who knows that Rudy McRomney is a dead ticket at the gate. Why? It won't fail because conservative Republicans and Independents will vote for the Democratic socialist ticket. They will "stay home" on the presidential election or vote Republican for local and state candidates only.
--- Ken Stanford
Charlotte, North Carolina

Michael Tanner's article, "At Last a Small-Government Conservative?" is an embarrassment to your publication, and I think the worse of your publication for having printed it.

Your reporter overlooks Ron Paul -- whose record with respect to fiscal conservatism puts Thompson's to shame -- for no apparent reason. In his own words:

"The National Taxpayers Union gives him the third highest marks of any candidate (trailing only Reps. Ron Paul and Rep. Tom Tancredo)."

If I may rephrase, this seems to indicate that "the only fiscal conservative in the race" means "the third-most-fiscally-conservative fiscal conservative in the race." Please decline all submission from Mr. Tanner in the future.
-- Matthew Crouch

Yes, and unfortunately Fred Thompson will win the small States and not the big States. This is not 2000 or 2004: Winning Tennessee will not win the election. In 2008 if the Republicans cannot win some of the big blue States, they will not win the election. There is only one candidate who can win the big States, and this is Rudy. He is a conservative on all the issues except some social issues, where he is Libertarian. Better save up the cash, because Hillary / Obama will have a massive amount of it to buy the election including many of the States carried by Bush.
-- Tuck

HIS MOTHER'S SON
Re: Jay D. Homnick's The Benediction of Children:

Jay Homnick writes:

No one can deny that even among the most refined people today it is acceptable to announce that "I choose not to have children."

Neither open derision nor silent disdain greets such a pronouncement.

The only editorial correction I would make is substituting "especially" for "even."

Fact is, the culture has removed reproduction and even marriage from the list of "necessities." Arguably, it has written them instead on the list of "nuisances." If you ask someone "are you going to eat today," you will of course get a strange look, the answer being "of course I am, you moron." There was a time, in living memory, when a question about marriage and/or having children would get the same look. Not anymore.

Children have become a decision more in the class of the largest possible plasma TV, or whether to get a BMW instead of a Honda. They're a horrific expense. They're a pain in the neck. They crimp your vacation plans. They forever destroy the "advantages" of DINK (dual income no kids). And worst of all, they present a stark choice for a woman trained by the culture to quantify her self worth solely by the numbers on her W-2. She can either institutionalize as in "day care" her child ASAP after giving birth, or mother a child or children the old fashioned, how nature depended on it for tens of thousands of years way. I don't envy them for a second.

And congrats to Jay's song to his mother. There was something in his article that I couldn't put a finger on until the last paragraph, and then it was very clear. Interesting how nature follows a good mother with a good son.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

Mr. Homnick's article was as brilliant and insightful, as I've come to expect. Though I can't match his eloquence, please allow me to add an additional point. That is, in the Bible, God routinely destroyed civilizations that sacrificed children on the alter of the pagan god Molech. Why, then, should we expect to be spared if we sit idly by while the most innocent and vulnerable amongst us are similarly sacrificed on the alter of convenience and thrown in garbage cans?
-- Richmond Trotter
Arlington, Virginia

SOFT PARTITION
Re: John Tabin's The Surge's Mysterious Workings:

In your teaser to the article, the editor asks, "Who knew that soft partition would emerge as the last best hope for the U.S. in Iraq?" It would surprise me if Americans with a knowledge of history didn't at least consider federalism and a different division of powers as a possible solution to the political problems of Iraq. The colonies had a failed constitution in the Articles of Confederation and, reacting and learning from that failure emerged our Constitution, which succeeded. To expect the Iraqis to get right what [sic] Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Adams and Jefferson and the other founders collectively got wrong on their first try, is expecting a lot.
-- Greg F.
Delray Beach, Florida

Most of Iraq's oil fields are in either the soft Kurdish area or (what is likely to become) the soft Shiite area. The Sunnis might not be too keen on this.
-- Ty Knoy
Restless Ann Arbor, Michigan

FAT TUESDAY
Re: Andrew Cline's Kansas Moves First Presidential Primary to Last Tuesday:

Well it looks like the first primary will be held last Tuesday or at least something about that crazy. Why not get some sense into it?

Select the states in groups of ten. Then, rotate which group goes first in the primaries, with one group going every month for five months. If the states are selected properly, there should be some interesting competition for the votes. This eliminates a national primary which would only favor the most well-funded, and New Hampshire and Iowa which favor farm subsidizing, white, semi-rural, retired voters.
-- Bruce Peek

SUCH A CARING GUY
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Press, Lies and Videotape:

Who knew that a jihadist stuck in the seventh century could be so fluent in post-modern Marxo-babble? On one hand Bin Laden demands that we convert to the religion that forces women to spend their lives in a burial shroud, or burqa, and then he goes all progressive -- excoriating Bush for not signing Kyoto. I found his concern for those suffering "the burden of interest-related debts" especially poignant. Such a caring guy.

But not an entirely stupid one. He understands that only America can defeat America. To achieve his tactical objective of an American withdrawal from Iraq, Bin Laden must appeal to those who share his vision of a failed Iraqi state. Bin-Laden needs the help of Democrat politicians. His little sermon was a pep talk for them.
-- Doug Roll
Jacksonville, Texas

"The rambling bin Laden denounces not only 'major corporations' and 'neoconservatives,' he delivers a queerly disjointed history of the Vietnam War, promotes conspiracy theories and blasphemes Christianity -- sound familiar?"

Sure does sound familiar. The DNC needs this guy on their platform committee. Depending on how quickly they can rehabilitate Bin Laden, we might even see him at a Democratic Convention, sitting next to Jimmy.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This is our arch-enemy and nemesis?

He sounds like what you'd overhear at the Starbucks, across the street from some half-baked community college. President is bad, U.S. oppressing everybody, Capitalism is the cause of it all, and global warming too. So bring the troops home. Oh, and embrace Islam.

Apart from the call to convert (and that will be added soon enough, no doubt) this is the identical bilge that has been sloshing through the faculty lounges -- and the journals and lecterns -- of American higher education for the past 30 years and more. Bin Laden even borrows the lefty techniques of argument. The action complained of "harming America's prestige and reputation" -- but isn't that the speaker's target in the first place?

Here is the answer to refute Intelligent Design at last. Bin Laden and his like could not have been created. It was a chance brew of rotten juices and rogue hallucinogens, a wicked child's fantasies of power and revenge, pooled and mixed in the craters of what used to be Western academia, now infected by socialism to the point of gangrene. All it took was the right bolt of lightning on these nihilist proto-molecules. The Middle Eastern crater got zapped first. But the mixture was definitely based on the Western intelligentsia's particular brand of self loathing and delusions of elite rule.

Could be the Democrats have a point. Perhaps the most dangerous enemies of democracy and freedom aren't found in Baghdad after all.
-- Martin Owens

There's one word that adequately describes both the mainstream media and Congressional Democrats, as it pertains to their conduct, both as to the recent bin Laden tapes and their treatment of General Petraeus; that word is loathsome. The unabashed glee emanating from both, with these recent bin Laden/DNC talking-point tapes, is beyond the pale. This constant straw dog of a refrain, that we've failed because bid Laden is still alive, is one of the most distasteful, dishonest canards, the left has devised during this war, and that's quite a feat. How exactly a Michael Moore ideological twin [sic] and world class coward, whose [sic] spent the last six years crawling from cave to cave, in order to postpone his date with 72 virgins, becomes a hero to America's left, defies rationale [sic] thought.

Concomitantly, the treatment of General Petraeus by sniveling, dishonest, preening political hacks, whose only accomplishment in life has been their ability to seek and win elected office, was the ultimate in how low the Democrats have fallen. Elections do, indeed, have consequences. We once again are witnessing how unseemly creatures manage to emerge when the barn door is left open.
-- A. DiPentima

That is precisely the reason why I canceled my subscription to the Hartford Courant years ago. Not only do I refuse to spend money on a paper that can only parrot the N.Y. Times, even if they were free I am loath to pick one up and read it. Other than Fox News I use the Internet to get my daily news, although ironically I still have to read about the liberal MSM spinning, lying, and propagandizing. The liberal news media have become a story of scandals onto themselves.
-- John Nelson
Hebron, Connecticut

DEAD OR ALIVE
Re: Christopher Orlet's Why Can't We Find Osama?:

Mr. Orlet fantacizes a myriad of reasons why Bin Laden has not been captured. Gen. Franks was not up to the job, the CIA is mired in bureaucratic muck, President Bush is too busy, the planners don't think it's necessary or smart, etc. We have never been shown just how the techno-experts are able to prove beyond any doubt that the various recordings and videotapes of "The Sheik" are authentic. A recent blog on American Thinker points out that when the world's most-wanted fugitive mentions in the most recent video timely topics (such as the 62nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the elevation of new named leaders in France and England) the voice mentioning these events does so only when the tape is frozen. Mr. Orlet has mysteriously omitted mention of one other possibility, one that makes more sense than all the others combined: The SOB is dead and has been for years! Prove me wrong.
-- Michael Matthews

LORD OF THE SPECTATOR
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The American Character and Mr. Lord's reply to David Burton (under "The Way We Are") in Reader Mail's Character References:

I do not believe you have a better contributor than Mr. Lord. It would serve a person well to keep a file of his writings, I believe. I was particularly pleased to see his measured and calm response to David Burton. I could not have been as polite for someone who took a reading from the article that was 180 degrees off point. It wasn't that David Burton may not have a valid topic for discussion it is just that he was not discussing the premise of Mr. Lord's commentary and was trying to reframe the debate or discussion. Kudos as always to Jeffrey Lord, keep it coming.
-- Roger Ross
Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Just read the "The American Character" -- good stuff. Thanks to author Jeffrey Lord for writing it.

Thank goodness we didn't have CNN, the New York Times and Hollywood in 1776 -- we would still be subjects, have socialized medicine, Queen E's mug would be on our money, and I would be forced to watch the womens's World Cup on all 3 T.V. channels the BBC provided.

I hope the "American Character" survives in enough Gen Xers for us to continue the battle w/ the forces of evil. Being a "glass is half empty" guy, I have to constantly battle my pessimism about today's America and the War of Terrorism. My heart sinks when I watch the news or read a paper. I have to separate myself from the world to "keep the faith."

The funny thing, the thing that makes me chuckle when I am in a temporary funk about the state of America and our battle w/ fascist Islam is…I think to myself, it wouldn't be too bad for me in a Taliban-type world. I am an able-bodied, able-minded, heterosexual, family-oriented, monogamous, hard-working MALE that doesn't like T.V., Hollywood or the Internet that much.

The people that would fare the worst under a Taliban-type existence would be all the groups & organizations that want to hasten the end of the Christian, Western world. Ironic that the people that benefit the most from the liberal, Christian, Western world hate it and attack it the most??
-- John Swisher
Columbus, Ohio

Since you have replied I guess I would like another crack.

We may convince ourselves that we are not colonists but the fact is that we are an un-invited outside force that is imposing its will on another country. After WWII we didn't mince words -- we were an occupying army. Only the fact that we had already killed off all the males between the ages of 15 and 50 kept us from having to fight the same kind of low-level war.

Read John Steinbeck's The Moon is Down. It is a good quick read about the problems of being an occupying Army in a country that was quickly defeated in a lightning war.

We will always be "the other" in Iraq. Speeches and position papers to the contrary the locals will never see us as a force for good on the macro scale.

Current policy is creating a "soft partition" this will create peace in the short term but what about the long term? How long before Iran wants to throw its weight around and begin to arm the Shia in Iraq as a buffer against Syria and the Saudis? How long will Turkey put up with a nearly independent Kurdistan before they rush the boarder to stop incursions -- who does the US fight then? How about the Sunni middle -- no oil, no water and no ports under their own control. Do you think they are looking to become the next Luxembourg or will they start taking money from the House of Saud and the Turks with the understanding that they will be allowed to take over the oil fields in the north.

What is the end game that makes this worth fighting for the next 15 years?
-- David J. Burton

NO DOUBT ABOUT IT
Re: Michael Tomlinson's letter (under "Doubting Tobias") in Reader Mail's Character References:

Please allow me to respond to Mr. Tomlinson's letter.

Foremost, let me say that, while I did mention some of the shortcomings of the current administration, Mr. Tomlinson failed to truly address any of them. He did mention recent immigration raids, but I hardly see the detention, not deportation, of approximately 1200 illegal immigrants out of 12 to 20 million and no increased border enforcement to be much evidence to refute my statement. Secondly, I may be senile, but I do not recall any military actions during the Carter and Clinton administrations, against Islamic terrorists, that yielded 3000 kia. The casualty rate post 9/11/01 is, in fact, the lowest for any prolonged military combat action in the history of the U.S., but it had no bearing upon my criticism of the actions in Iraq.

Mr. Tomlinson did mention several of the positive things that have occurred during President Bush's tenure. I will not belittle the administration's actions in those cases, though it can be argued that some would have occurred without any Presidential support.

I must thank him for making my point, in the case of Jim Webb. There are still more "conservative" Republican politicians out there who have been elected by running as conservatives and then aligning themselves with liberals on many liberal issues. So I will ask again? Is it worth it, to the people, to run a liberal Republican to possibly beat a liberal Democrat? I would prefer to have a more clear-cut choice on election day. Maybe I will.

I must say, that I am a big fan of Mr. Tomlinson's letters and try never to miss reading one. He is a reasoned, intelligent commentator and I have enjoyed this discussion, though I regret that it must be brief. I will allow Mr. Tomlinson the last word, if he so desires.

As I stated in my previous letter, I will vote for the least objectionable candidate come election day. It will undoubtedly be a Republican as it has in the past. But, will it really make any difference? We'll just have to see, won't we.
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

FIRE SIDES
Re: W. James Antle III's Those Crazy Supply-Siders:

The supply-side deniers will always prosper as long as the Congress is simultaneously addicted to deficit spending. While one side pours gasoline on the fire and the other pours water on the fire, both claim to be pouring the gasoline.
-- Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

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