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Extracurricular Politics

Scarier than Falwell. The new immigration wars. McCain-Feingold redux. Rudy redone. Resisting the Hillyer Doctrine. Plus much more.

5.21.07

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GUT CHECK
Re: Enemy Central's To Your Stealth! :

I nominate the writer who termed Christopher Hitchens a "house drunk" for being too gutless to attach his name to his slanderous article.

As someone who has read Mr. Hitchens and heard him disassemble the dogma of the religiously delusional, it goes without saying that this anonymous writer wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell (if, indeed, such a fantasy existed) against Hitchens in an honest debate -- with or without alcohol factored in.

Shame on you, gutless wonder. You're my enemy of the week.
-- Rich Reigle

Great read on Ron Paul and Gibson. The real problem is what they give is no longer news. How did their personal "gut" feelings override their whole purpose for sitting in that chair, to report the news? And as their market share continues to slip away to their utter dismay and finger pointing, they miss the whole point that what they are doing is a disservice to the public. Just give me the facts. I don't care what any of them think, and the assumption that they need to tell the public what to think is a lot scarier than anything Jerry Falwell ever did.
-- Patrick Harkins
Redondo Beach, California

Oh, so little time and so many deserving enemies of the week. As usual they all deserve the award and censure but I must once again take issue with your final choice. Surely Charlie Gibson is an enemy among enemies. The failure to lead with Jerry Falwell's death and much more importantly the reluctance to praise this noteworthy individual is appalling. Falwell was a good and spiritual man who was an easy and welcome target for the "sophisticates" in the mainline media who never did believe and the religious left who long ago gave up believing in the redeeming virtues of religion. What an awful reflection on our modern culture. Of course if you had not mentioned Gibson's selective "censoring" of the news I would have been blissfully unaware of it since I stopped watching the network news sometime around 1970. So perhaps it is better to give Gibson and his kind no attention at all (after all, if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, was there really any noise?)
-- Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan

McCAIN-AMNESTY
Re: W. James Antle III's No Amnesty for McCain:

Johnny, we knew ye all too well. Bye-bye.
-- C. Vail

Excellent article entitled "No Amnesty for McCain." I'm a Republican. If it's him v. Hillary, I stay home on Election Day.
-- Dr. Lee D. Cary
Mayhill, New Mexico

As far as I am concerned this amnesty bill is just one more nail in the coffin lid of McCain's campaign. How any conservative in good conscience could vote for the man who created "campaign finance reform," voted against tax cuts, advocated doing away with gun shows, killed the nuclear option with his so-called gang of 14, and finally as much as claimed that our troops routinely tortured prisoners with his fabricated legislation...well, I have absolutely no use for him and it will my sincere pleasure to work against him at every opportunity.
-- Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri

Senator Cornyn of Texas will be asking us to send him back to Washington, but let me tell him that if he votes for this bill of McCain/Kennedy he will not get my vote. I will never vote for someone that cares more about illegals in this country that they do American citizens.

The parts of this bill to secure the border is a joke, they have not been able to do it up to now, just what makes them think it will be done now. They have laws on the books about hiring illegals, but very little it done about it.

If this bill passes you can kiss the Republican Party goodbye, all the illegals already here will be signing up and voting for Democrats to keep their welfare going. Already it has been found that hundreds of illegals signed up to vote in the San Antonio area. Since we print ballots in Spanish, it is easy for them. Why do we print them in Spanish if you have to speak English to become a citizen and you are supposed to be a citizen before you can vote? Just another waste of taxpayer dollars.
-- Elaine Kyle

This conservative Republican from Arizona will never be voting for McCain. McCain-Kennedy amnesty and McCain-Feingold speak volumes about McCain, and I for one do not want him as our President let alone our Senator.
-- Kathy
Arizona

Mr. Antle has summed up the McCain presidential bid succinctly: Finito, Morto. I'll spare my fellow readers my McCain mantra, suffice to say, his haughty tin-eared duplicity on immigration is McCain-Feingold redux. Our legislators, sadly with the President's help, have once again played a legislative three-card monte on us. The sham pretenses of McCain-Feingold, at the expense of the Constitution, are repeated with the so called "enforcement triggers" under this bill, which cynically, the Washington elites know full well, have never, and will not now, be implemented by the bureaucracies.

McCain's prolonged presence in the Senate has caused him to fall in love with the specialty of the house; 800 page bills filled with mind numbing, amorphous legalese, just the way the folks at the ACLU and La Raza like it. Words, like "torture," will come to be defined to suit the particular individual and purpose of the day. Amazing how McCain & Co. have managed to make George Orwell out to be a rank amateur. Can we now say to Sen. McCain, No mas?
-- A. DiPentima

Senator McCain's promotion of the immigration bill germinating in the Senate and his promotion of campaign finance via McCain-Feingold reveal the Senator to be a good legislator but a poor executive and intellectually unsuited to be President of the U.S. And if Republican pols hope to return to power anytime soon, they had better stiffen their spines and seal the border with Mexico BEFORE any immigration legislation is enacted.
-- Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

Has it occurred to McCain and Bush that the tens of millions of immigrants (including their families) will be beholden to the Democrat Party? Or that this will boost the percentage of people dependent on the government past 50%, the point of no return for the middle-class taxpayer? Finally, the group most hurt by this amnesty will be African-Americans; then again, the tens of millions of Latino immigrants will make their votes irrelevant. Collude on, sleazy politicians, but recall what happened last time we were taxed without representation.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

Well, it just happened. A 400-pound gorilla just walked into the Republican presidential candidates' tea party: Immigration Reform.

This issue is going to savage these candidates. John proudly stood up to display his membership in the Republicrat party. Rudy and Mitt, in stunning about faces on the issue, now decry what they have supported in the past. The rest of the pack is milling about in confusion and the fearless leader of the Republican Party, GW, has just thrown all of them under the bus.

Throw in the Iraq war, the coming bombing of Iranian nuclear sites by Israel, several potential scandals and possible criminal indictments of sitting Republican politicians and the continued decline of Presidential popularity and any Republican with his hat in the ring before Labor Day is going to be strangling his campaign manager. Thank heaven that there are no real conservatives in the race yet.
-- Michael Tobias
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Stick a fork in McCain and good riddance. I hope Giuliani and Romney are close behind him. If the conservatives don't wake up and put a screeching halt to this madness, the Democrats are going to add around 20 million voters to their voter base and the USA will become a one party political system -- socialism.

As one who has lived in Mexico, I can tell you that Jorge's assertion that "family values don't stop at the border" is a crock of ordure. Mexico is a cultural train wreck and the lowest educated and skilled are coming here as a monster burden to the American taxpayer. Jorge Bush is either ignorant or insane or both. He and others denying this is amnesty is an extreme insult to even an average intelligence.
-- Royce Stanton
Nuevo Orleans

Does the bill give amnesty for illegal immigrants? Of course.

Does the bill invite, present or perpetuate security problems for our country? Yes.

Will there be much enforcement of anything pertaining to the bill or our sieve-like borders? No.

And though it's cloaked in economic terms, doesn't the bill really just make legal a huge voting bloc that each major political party will move heaven and earth to recruit? Absolutely.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

Once again, we return to the question that has haunted this land since 1986: should a president and Congress agree to an amnesty for illegal aliens that will assure us that, instead of ending the endless flow of Third World denizens across our borders, guarantee its exponential growth? For it is as simple as night follows day: to reward law breaking with amnesty is to assure, unquestionably, more law breaking.

Senator John McCain did, as a Navy flyer, serve his country above and beyond the call of duty, and for that there is not enough good that can be said about him. But that does allow him, as a U.S. Senator, to betray his constituents, country, and undermine one of the pillars that support any democratic society: that laws, not men, govern. Not even a chest full of medals grants that to happen. Senator McCain's actions during the Mexican presidency of Vicente Fox were, beyond cavil, those of a political opportunist, for he repeatedly and voluntarily sought to give Fox a platform to echo his tiresome refrain, as he did at the Chicago World Affairs Council (2002), that Mexicans were not immigrants, but migrants, who had legal access to these United States. To Fox and McCain, there was a "virtual border" that separated us at the Rio Grande.

Let us be clear about one thing: John McCain is not alone in his "selling out" to those interests that have bought the affections of both Republicans and Democrats, for different reasons to be sure, but the Senate has been compromised. What defies explanation about this is, simply, that by putting millions of illegals "on the path to citizenship," the Republican Party will, most assuredly, self-destruct, a conclusion that does not seem to bother McCain, Snarlin' Arlen Specter, or the president for that matter. Maybe that is why the portly Sen. Kennedy, whose view about the rights of lawbreakers to reside in this country has not changed since 1965, and to whom McCain seems to be magnetically attracted, is smiling about this bill.

I conclude by once again reminding the "doubting Thomases" of this webzine that Sen. McCain may be an important cog in the link that seeks to undermine our national heritage with an amnesty, whose repercussions will effectively change this nation, but his actions would not matter if our "jefe supremo" were committed to execute the laws that he swears to uphold. Mr. Limbaugh may try to persuade his audience that Bush's motives in supporting amnesty are, given his commitment to bring democracy to the world, understandable, but the president has violated his oath of office in not enforcing existing immigration law, a policy which, I have no doubt, a President McCain would follow. I also have no doubt that the incumbent in the White House would most happily support Sen. McCain's presidential bid; after all, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

Pax tecum
-- Vincent Chiarello
American Council for Immigration Reform

Such an easy answer: a stroke of a pen and all the illegals are gone, magically turned into citizens. What this does to the definition of "citizen" is something to consider; it no longer includes a pledge of allegiance, but they are expected to vote for the party with the pen.

How these non-citizens managed to get on the voter rolls is another matter, Seattle's ex-US Attorney McKay didn't think it was his job to keep our elections honest by making our counties follow the laws. Some here don't think ignoring the corruption of our entire system of self-government is a reason to be fired.

What if... this shortcut-to-citizenship bill doesn't pass? What if all the non-citizens stay just like that, and they continue to live with the fear of deportation instead of following the laws for becoming full citizens. Their kids will still grow up to be citizens, and a new generation of Americans comes about from their sacrifice.

In the mean time, we stop the flood of people pouring over our borders, and we clean up our voter rolls. Deportation should continue starting with the criminals that are filling our jails, and those non-citizens who signed up to vote should be next. Then in 20 years we won't be talking about another amnesty bill.
-- Margaret Wiggins
Bothell, Washington

Nor for any other Senator who votes for this piece of legislative trash! One can only assume that Senator McCain is hoping that he can get enough illegal aliens registered to vote in the Republican primaries for him to get the nomination. He'd better hope for it. No conservative worth his or her salt is going to vote for this liberal Democrat dressed up in Republican drag.
-- Keith Kunzler
Arnold, Missouri

I gave up on George W. Bush way back in 2003. I'd voted for Bush in 2000, but by the third year of his administration it was obvious to me that he had no interest in securing our borders, that he hadn't a clue as to a war-winning strategy in Iraq, his fiscal policies were a disaster, and that he was more interested in doing the bidding of Vicente Fox than in honoring his oath of office. Mr. Bush's failures as a leader and as a president should have been a surprise to no one. He was a mediocre and inattentive Air Force officer as a young man and he's turned out to be a mediocre and inattentive Commander-in-Chief as a middle-aged man.

As a conservative Republican I can no longer support this President's many failed policies. George W. Bush has failed not only himself, but this country, our military, our veterans, and his party. Now he's teamed up with Ted Kennedy to ram amnesty for twenty million illegal aliens down our throats. If the Republican Party fades into extinction, George W. Bush, and only George W. Bush, will be to blame. Bush will always be able to claim that dubious achievement as his "legacy."
-- Tillman L. Jeffrey
Carmichael, California

W. James Antle III said:

"Romney took a position similar in principle to this bill's language as recently as Tuesday's South Carolina debate."

That statement is totally wrong. Romney's stance on the issue is nowhere near that of McPain/Kennedy. I demand a retraction to the above quote.

In Tuesday nights debate, Mitt Romney said: "If you are hear illegally you should not have a special pathway to become a permanent resident."

Then he laid out three steps to becoming a legal citizen, "1. Secure the borders, 2. Have an employment verification system, 3. Make illegals get in line with everybody else."

Immediately after the bill was announced, Romney issued this statement:

"I strongly oppose today's bill going through the Senate. It is the wrong approach. Any legislation that allows illegal immigrants to stay in the country indefinitely, as the new 'Z-Visa' does, is a form of amnesty. That is unfair to the millions of people who have applied to legally immigrate to the U.S.

"Today's Senate agreement falls short of the actions needed to both solve our country's illegal immigration problem and also strengthen our legal immigration system. Border security and a reliable employment verification system must be our first priority."


James needs to get his facts straight before writing.
-- Scott Flemming

W. James Antle III replies:
While I welcome Romney's opposition to McCain-Kennedy, I'm afraid that the position he took in the South Carolina debate didn't differ that radically from it. Romney would not remove illegal immigrants while they await their path to citizenship or permanent residency. He simply wants them to wait for the existing backlog to clear before they can be legalized. The security triggers, the Z visas, and the touchback provision at least in principle satisfy his three requirements.

In any event, I quoted from Romney's statement opposing the Senate immigration deal and linked to the full Romney immigration exchange during the debate. Readers can judge for themselves.

BLAIR SWITCH PROJECT
Re: Peter Hannaford's A Successor for Wolfowitz:

This is a brilliant suggestion.
-- Chris Gwin

Next time an international organization railroads out an American, we should appoint a replacement even more objectionable to them. Sometimes the best teach is the gradient of increasing pain.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

RUDY'S RECORD
Re: Jennifer Rubin's Rudy Reborn:

I enjoyed Ms. Rubin's analysis of Mr. Giuliani's campaign. He truly has a lot of baggage what with his serial monogamy; stance on abortion. But what he is not is a man without a record. He is the only candidate in my opinion who has a resume sufficient to get my vote.

Mr. Giuliani has reigned over a foreign country. New York City is a conglomeration, an ethnic stew of raw conflict. If there is a nationality not represented with all it's warts and bumps I cannot think of what it might be.

He governed an ungovernable city. Both prior and post Giuliani New York has been about from those in accordance with their means to those in accord with their needs. In other words "gimme, gimme!" Mr. Giuliani presided over a commercial renaissance and cut spending and taxes. And he was popular with the broad masses of New Yorkers while doing so.

He cut crime as well. He has been justifiably criticized for that because it put democratic activists, largely criminals and hacks of all kinds in jail and out of work. In short Mr. Giuliani made a sewer into a pristine river, well almost pristine.

Mrs. Clinton has no such list of accomplishments. Her resume is less about what she has accomplished than what she has endured. Endured through her own willingness to submerge her being beneath the philandering of her behaviorally- teenage husband. She has to my knowledge never been responsible for anything save for her attempt to ruin America's health care system. She did not write, but took credit for an book removing from parents the responsibility of raising their children and instead assigning it to some amorphous village. But that's just socialist dogma: somebody else is responsible for whatever ails you.

John McCain is a true American hero who refuses to be in lockstep with anyone. But by his being true to John Mc Cain, he has wandered so over the political landscape that one is unable to tell where he might be on many issues. I will not speak ill of John McCain, nor should anyone else who has not walked in his shoes. But I'm not sure I could vote for him as President.

Rudy becomes more palatable with each new utterance. Even his stance on abortion, while one with which I disagree, is consistent with conservative values: get the government out of our lives.

So far, Mr. G is my front runner.
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina

Ms. Rubin, Please spare us your hackneyed, inside the beltway, political analysis 101. It was neither new nor unique that Rudy chose not to run against the other debate candidates. Perhaps you'll recall President Reagan's famous Eleventh Commandment. Even the Democrats, in their recent dog and pony show, adhered to this principle, albeit with a leftist twist; it's all George Bush's fault. Your implication, that Rudy's developed a slick strategy, by going after the terrorists and the blame America First crowd, rather than his fellow Republicans, demonstrates what jaundiced skeptics you and others in the MSM have become with candidates that actually speak from the heart. Unlike the Clintons, not all pols are 24/7 hucksters. It just may be that Rudy really dislikes America hating members of the MSM and leftists more than members of his own party. Imagine that?
-- A. DiPentima

MIXED COMPANY
Re: W. James Antle III's Mixed Blessings:

Your conservative magazine, which I've been reading as a subscriber since it was about three feet long requiring two postal carriers to bring it to my door -- perhaps, for all I know, when you were still in short pants -- has made more "mistakes" in a month than Jerry Falwell made in a lifetime. Instead, you ought to be glad that he made a mammoth, positive contribution both to the political and religious domains. Without him and others like him in the evangelical community -- which before him had sputtered over an American landscape dominated by liberal clergy -- the Spectator and other such conservative magazines and voices would be operating now from remote posts in Outer Mongolia.

Your evaluation of Falwell as a "mixed blessing" could be applied to any leader. He made some serious mistakes (about which, unlike most other leaders, he apologized). Yet, overall, he moved the country in the right direction. These new evangelicals you favorably mention will not be favorable to the conservative political movement. Many of them "in the name of Jesus" are already embracing the Al Gore theology. Apparently you are ignorant of that development or you approve it. And, who knows, maybe you've been embarrassed at cocktail parties with your above-it-all buddies; straight-talking has never been popular with such people and laughing at Falwell, or even the Pope, is always stylish in these elite circles.

I do not agree with several of Falwell's doctrinal positions, and I do not belong to his fellowship, but your article itself is less than a "mixed blessing." It sounds like a fifty-one, forty-nine condemnation. Critics like you have argued (or might argue) that the Pope should be less political and more socialist and, of course, more "spiritual." Falwell fought hard in his opposition to abortion, homosexuality, and supported individual freedom, along with the straight and narrow way (something you suggest was "puritanical," a word that, according to C. S. Lewis, is the way many people excuse themselves from doing what the NT teaches). Unpopular stances will always be a mixed blessing. Dancing left, right, and up-the wall is for me the real embarrassment.
-- Don Glover
Monroe, Louisiana

POLITICAL SUICIDE IS PAINLESS?
Re: Quin Hillyer's Back Bush Now and Quin Hillyer's reply (to letters under "Bush: Why Bother?") in Reader Mail's Patriotic Gestures:

I just found time to catch up on TAS and read the article entitled, "Back Bush Now." After reading it several times, I was struck by the fact that it was out of touch with, not only the feelings of the "conservative" voters in this country, but the vast majority of the elected Republicans in Congress.

It would be nice if President Bush could gain support, but he never really had any solid conservative support. He ran against a loopy, uber-liberal in 2000 and then was opposed by a candidate, during wartime in 2004, who had violated several U.S. laws by his anti-war activities in the 1970s. And he just managed to squeak by in both elections.

No, President G.W. Bush is what he is and has always been, both socially and fiscally moderate/liberal. Conservatives, desperate for anything resembling a conservative candidate, voted for him and have been continually disappointed. They now view the Republican Party as little more conservative than the Democrats. If a politician wishes the support of a given group, that politician has to produce results that will appeal to that group. President Bush doesn't. In fact, if not for 9/11/2001, it is very possible that he would have been a single term president like his father. While I agree that the fortunes of the GOP may be greatly increased if the President could anchor the conservative base in this country, HE has to do that. It is his responsibility to actively support the desires of the vast majority of the conservatives in this nation; something that he seems reluctant to do. Rather than worrying about whether "conservatives" should support President Bush and his policies, it might be more productive to find and support a truly conservative candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Then we may just have a chance to escape re-education in the new People's Republic of North America.
-- Michael Tobias
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Quin Hillyer is right that many conservatives are "cutting off their noses to spite their face" in joining Democrats and pseudo-conservatives (Bruce Bartlett and Pat Buchanan) to undercut the Bush administration.

In the 1980s conservatives understood the big picture and that politics is often more about incremental victories than political dogma or purity. When Ronald Reagan refused to retaliate for the murder of our Marines in Beirut, raised Federal taxes 7 times, gave blanket amnesty and citizenship to millions of illegal aliens, appointed moderates to the Supreme Court and had the highest spending and deficits in US history conservatives remained overall supportive, because we recognized who the real enemy was -- Democrats. On issues like fighting terrorism, the military, taxes, supply-side economics, free trade, the Supreme Court, the pro-life agenda and family values George W. Bush is a rock solid Reagan conservative.

Today, our movement is fractured, because some fail to appreciate that we are not always on the same page on every issue and Democrats are far more dangerous to our country's future than a sometimes pragmatic Republican President.

In 2008 if Rudy Giuliani is the Republican nominee for President I will vote for him though I oppose him on abortion, gun control and homosexual marriage. I will even vote for John McCain, because I recognize the Democrat alternatives are far worse (Mrs. Bill Clinton, Imam Obama, John "Tutti Frutti" Edwards and the rest of their mob) for our nation. But I'm still an 11th Commandment Reagan Republican and care more about national security, taxes, the Supreme Court and moral values than surrendering power to tax-raising, terrorist-appeasing and morally bankrupt Democrats.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

I do not read TAS as often as I used too, I'm afraid, and I see I have missed some articles that might have interested me, particularly ones about Bush. The problem is that I do not really care to read anymore about supporting Bush or even the Republicans. It's time to call a spade a spade. Bush is the worst thing that has happened to conservative politics. His own personal politics are not conservative by far and that is being showcased constantly. Sure he pushed for a tax cut, and he had stood on the pro-life side, but that in itself is not conservatism since some liberals are also pro-life and for less taxation. No, when it came down to cases, Bush stabbed conservatives in the back repeatedly. Now his latest boondoggle, the Immigration reform act, which is another Bush-Kennedy abortion, shows just how far to the left he really has drifted. Bush messed up his chances for Social Security reform, repeatedly cut conservative candidates throats in favor of liberal Republicans and has been politically inept in dealing with the Democrats. So, Quin Hillyer, you hang onto your support for RMS Titanic Bush, myself, I'm going to look for a REAL conservative to back.
-- Pete Chagnon

Mr. Quin Hillyer states in his reply to several readers' letters that "rallying around Bush on the areas where he remains conservative is important." If all areas were of equal importance, I would agree. But I believe -- and I suspect I am not alone -- that the twin issue of secure borders/controlled immigration is of such titanic importance as to trump all others, including abortion. If we are to live in America by American values, then we must have a physical space on the surface of the Earth called the United States of America. The Senate has undertaken -- and the president has blessed -- a course of action that puts the simple physical existence of our country at grave risk.

President Bush has done a very good job keeping America safe from terrorists. I do not believe that sheer luck accounts for the fact that no terrorist attacks against us since 9/11 have succeeded on his watch. But consider this -- while Mr. Bush seals the border against foreigners coming here saying "Die, infidels, in the name of Allah," he throws the border open to those who come here saying "Soy Americano ahora. Deseo mi dinero de seguridad social -- y pronto, gringo." It is a kinder, gentler way to sell out the country -- there will be no flaming cities or blood in the streets. But it will be death to America all the same.

Mr. Hillyer also states, "Our [meaning, conservatives'] political future will be greatly affected by Bush's, whether we like it or not." If the future of American conservatism is really in the hands of George Walker Bush, conservatives need to think hard about how it got there, and how we can get it back out.

Y pronto, gringos.
-- Byron Keith

I read Mr. Hillyer's reply to reader mail concerning his most recent article arguing that by supporting Bush, whether we like him or not, conservatives help themselves. I'm not convinced. At this point I believe we need to burn the Republican Party to the ground and, from the ashes, rebuild it with conservatives. Purge all RINOs, purge all country club social liberals, purge, purge, and purge. No more Big Tents!

We may have to suffer through another eight years of Democrat Party control. Our country will no doubt suffer greatly as it did under Carter. But remember Carter's abject failure made this country hungry once again for a real conservative leader which we got in President Ronald Reagan. At this point, I'm not so sure Democrat control would look all that much different from what Bush has delivered.
-- Dave Mills
Rolla, Missouri

Quin Hillyer replies:
There's a danger in burning the house down in order to rebuild it. The problem is that the fire could get out of control. I'm not willing to let the country "suffer greatly as it did under Carter," much less suffer for eight years as opposed to the four under Carter that nearly destroyed us. The problem is that under Hillary Clinton or her ilk, the country could suffer even more than it did under Carter, while at the same time we conservatives fail to come up with a Reagan to save the day. People like Reagan don't come along all that often. Remember, too, that Reagan himself was urged to burn down the house and start a third party, but he thought it wiser to conduct a revolution from within. I'm all for major reforms. But I'm not up for suicide missions.

RUSSELLMANIA
Re: Russell Seitz letter (under "A Polite Society") in Reader Mail's State of the Race:

In his response to David Hogberg's "Armed with Knowledge," Mr. Seitz states: "Tempers run high when faculty meeting stakes grow low -- who unclad in kevlar would wish to intervene in a debate between a certain Harvard Law professor and De Paul university's doyen of political philosophy?"

Is this a trick question? When two heads of the Hydra go after each other, I'm inclined to sit back and see which one is the winner. Or to play off Mr. Seitz's own metaphor, when demon fights demon, who would want to intervene? But his argument against arming teachers seems a bit of a red herring since, as Russell points out, the original demon of Blacksburg was really nothing more than a demented soul, and while I (my darker side) suspect that many on the teaching side in Academia fall close to that tree, their dementia isn't quite on par with the VTech killer.

At least, I hope not. But I did have this Philosophy teacher in college I always suspected wasn't all there. It's one reason my darker side believes there aren't any innocents to protect in Russell's metaphor.

Seriously though, one would hope that the predominantly leftist tilt to academia, and their denial of confrontation as being the answer to differences of opinion, would guarantee a less energetic response to a heated debate than a reprisal of the OK Corral. However, there does seem to be a LOT of anger focused in leftist, so maybe Russell has a point. Perhaps we should initiate mandatory Anger Management training for all our college faculties to insure THEIR faculties are to be trusted, just to be sure.

Before anyone flames me, my Mom was a teacher. However, she was a conservative to the core and, knowing Mom, would have readily used a weapon to defend herself and her students against any danger. THEN she would have thrown up.
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Eden, Utah

WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVEL
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Do Nothing Democrats:

Bravo, Mr. Tyrrell! However, there are worse things than Democrats doing nothing: when they do almost anything. A case in point: The Big Dig, crown jewel of the Democratic enclave of Boston. Estimated cost when designed in the 1980's: $2 billion. Final estimated cost: $15 billion and climbing -- and it isn't yet usable! Can we afford their endless entitlement programs?
-- Mike Mawhorr
Mascoutah, Illinois

THE TOAST IN TALLIN
Re: Shawn Macomber's Another Red Square Bites the Dust:

Macomber has done an outstanding job in describing accurately the big picture of what has happened in Estonia. Congratulations to American Spectator for such publishing excellence.
-- A. Koerv

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