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Life of the Party

Rudy, abortion, and pro-lifer support. Also: When Mitt's attacked. Them lying Dems. Gilmore tax refought. The word on wusses. Plus much more.

3.8.07

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CHOOSE RUDY?
Re: Daniel Allott's He's Not for Me:

Although I certainly respect the views of Mr. Allott regarding abortion, I also have deep fears that if enough purists make the serious mistake of eliminating Rudy Giuliani from contention, we are on the way to another loss at the polls. And we may never recover from it. I am undoubtedly in 99% agreement with Mr. Allott on the immoral practice of abortion, but I'm not crazy about suicide, either.

I have no reason to doubt that Giuliani means it when he says he will appoint strict constructionists and originalists to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court created the constitutional right to abortion out of whole cloth, and it can and must be the sole actor in returning that "right" to the hell it richly deserves. Once the states and their respective citizens have control of the issue, the President becomes irrelevant. Ditto for gay marriage.

On the other hand, the President, and to a lesser extent the Congress have direct impact on waging war, establishing and protecting ordered liberty ("law and order"), controlling taxes, and reducing the size of the federal government (the "nanny state"). Check Giuliani's record in New York on these issues (the war on crime is an apt analogy).

Only on immigration am I fearful of Giuliani's liberal side because it's the only place his liberalism could have substantial effect. My belief is that a Republican Congress, swept back into office on a Giuliani wave, would be more conservative than the President on this issue. Or we could vote for say, Brownback, and learn to speak Arabic.
-- Larry Hawk
San Francisco, California

Dan Allott's article on Rudy Giuliani should wake-up true pro-life conservatives. Giuliani now emphasizes that he would appoint "strict constructionist judges" (a sloppy term at best). But this empty talking point begs the question: how can a man who considers abortion to be a constitutional "right" have any idea what it means to enforce an original or strict meaning of the Constitution? If Reagan and Bush 41 had such a poor batting average in appointing justices, only denial, insanity, or suicide could cause pro-lifers to believe that an avowed pro-abortion candidate will do better, especially when we might only need one more good justice. And take note: both Giuliani and John Kerry are "Catholic," so if the pro-life movement gives Giuliani a pass because he's a Republican, the effort in 2004 to expose Kerry's religious duplicity will itself be exposed as nothing more than partisan politics, as liberals had alleged.
-- Matt Bowman
Hyattsville, Maryland

This is the type of thinking that will only deliver victory after victory to the Anti-American Party (Dems). We voted for W even though it has always been evident he wasn't a true conservative, yes he is against abortion but unfortunately he is not against spending. His "compassionate conservative" campaign defined conservatives as not compassionate, yet we still voted for him. Why? We thought he could do the job and he was our best chance to win. Bush has done more to destroy the conservative movement than any Democrat or Media forces, not by the Iraq War, but through his love of spending, his attempt to gain favor with Dems (the Kennedy education debacle), and an inability to communicate and sell ideas because of his inability to speak coherently.

Well in '08 Rudy is going to be our best chance to win, and just because I disagree with his stance on abortion, I will not deliver victory to the Dems by voting for someone unstable and consistently undependable like McCain or another big spending Republican like Bush (and his dad, who is a great guy, a true American hero, but not a conservative).

The sometimes unholy alliance between the far right Christians and fiscal conservatives brought us Bush's biggest gaffe, his threat for an anti-gay marriage amendment. If this isn't a violation of civil rights and everything this country has stood for, nothing is. This sent the country on a detour from the country's real problems, cutting government regs, individual freedom, SS reform, lower taxes, and cutting entitlements. It also increased the left's hate that fuels their determination to destroy Bush, and it seems they have been very successful in that endeavor.

Rudy has proved he can get things done. NYC was a cesspool before he was mayor. He has a chance to pull Dems who might disagree with the party's anti-American all-the-time stance who have been put off by the social conservatism that Bush represents to them. You throw a strong Southern social conservative on the ticket as VP and you have a winner.
-- Jack

Generally speaking, I wouldn't lift a finger for any GOP candidate who wasn't pro-life, pro-gun, and anti-tax. Unless his Democrat opponent were even worse.

And even in such a situation, I'd support a third-party conservative, or even sleep late on Election Day, if the best the GOP could offer were one of the garden-variety RINOs who never tires of attacking me and my ilk as Bible-thumping, Colt-toting greedheads who just won't fall in line with what passes for family values at Bennington College or on Castro Street.

But so far, Rudy Giuliani has refrained from that sort of thing. And even though he may not support the Human Life Amendment or nationwide concealed carry, if he were just to refrain from making things worse during his administration, it would be a heck of a lot better than the alternative.

So for now, I'll refrain from opposing America's Mayor. I'm going to watch, wait, and see what else he says and does. And doesn't do.

And you know, now that I think of it, I have yet to hear anybody call him a RINO, or see that odious label applied to him in print. It just doesn't seem to fit him.
-- Doug Welty
Arlington, Virginia

While Rudy Giuliani certainly would be a strong candidate, the crucial problem in his stance on abortion would provide a major disruption of the "long march" the pro-life cause through the institutions of influence and power -- let alone in the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans. While it is true that Giuliani could not end abortion by signing a presidential order, what is clear is that as any pro-life measure makes its way through Congress he will not do anything to help it and probably do all he can to kill it.

The Republican Party is the one platform the pro-life cause has to speak with a political voice in the halls of power. That is precisely why there has been so much liberal and media effort to move the pro-life clause off the party platform at every Republican national convention. As is clear in the discussions among talking heads on cable, the media will inform the public that because the Republican Party would have subordinated social issues to traditional domestic and international issues it has finally "matured." The Republican Party itself does not need to "grow" in that sense. The last thing it needs is to measure up to the expectations of its enemies.

Selecting and then possibly electing a pro-abortion candidate is not a benign move. It would push the center of gravity of the party, the government, and public concern away from protecting the unborn. The proclamation of abortion's injustice to the very weakest among us will be shoved away once more.
-- Michael Wm. Dooley
Indianapolis, Indiana

Daniel Allott has articulated the pro-life position in regard to Mayor Rudy's abortion stance extremely well. I applaud him for taking on the issue head on. He will not receive any credit from anyone in the "Anybody but a Democrat" crowd.

Might I simply say that virtually the same argument applies to the "pro-gun" or "anti-gun control" folks like myself. Mayor Rudy would promote and sign a gun registration program in a New York heartbeat. He would institute a Clinton style "assault weapon" ban in a heartbeat. The good folks of Canada, Britain, and Australia, who went along with "reasonable" controls in the beginning have found out the act three conclusion to the mystery, complete gun bans and rendering the citizenry defenseless before the criminal element, to whom no law means anything. In Britain, they long ago lost their right to own and maintain swords and the like. Now there is a very real possibility that they will not be allowed to possess butcher knives unless they are registered professional butchers or chefs. Anyone that thinks that Mayor Rudy wouldn't cooperate with the Schumers, and Feinsteins, and Bloombergs, and the United Nations in foisting off on us laws to void the Second Amendment to our Constitution, is seriously delusional.

Then there is the issue of controlling our borders and protecting our sovereignty against the illegal invasion of our country by the Mexicans. Mayor Rudy's position is a mirror image of the open borders and amnesty position that George Bush insists upon. (We now have over 10% of Mexico's population in America, unassimilated, legal or illegal.) Remember that as you are dodging all the Mexican trucks on our roads under the control of all those highly skilled Mexican truck drivers. We don't inspect 10% of these trucks now, but we are supposed to believe that 100% will be inspected once they are permitted to go anywhere in the U.S.A. that they like. Bah and humbug.

So conservatives can do what they so often do. They can ignore Rudy's abysmal stance on these important issues, vote for an "anybody but a Democrat" candidate, and then spend the next four or eight years whining about the resulting train wreck.
-- Ken Shreve

Frankly, I'm tired of hearing the same old rant about Giuliani and his social views. Who are you going to vote for?

Romney? No, he's never flip-flopped on the abortion issue.

McCain? Oh, there's a conservative for you. Try fighting the war against radical Islam with his economic plan. Think about it for a minute, since you obviously have not; how do you fund the plans to meet the challenges of the future -- and they are many -- when you've got a guy who you have to drag kicking and screaming to approve an across-the-board tax cut?

Gingrich? Hell yeah! Maybe one day he'll get in the race. Although, based on recent articles from you all, I doubt you'd agree.

Brownback? Good credentials, but please. National stage? I think not.

Hunter? Protectionism, anyone?

Thompson? I like him, but is he even in the race?

Huckabee? Good one. What's his tax record? Come on?!

Fact is one's views regarding abortion don't matter nearly much as that person's ability to recognize true constructionists. What matters is that the President appoints originalists to the bench who will see abortion for what it is -- a complete violation of the Constitution. Hell, one only needs to read the preamble to see this. How does one secure the blessing of liberty to posterity when you kill that posterity in the womb?

Even our beloved Ronald Reagan -- arguably the staunchest critic of our abortion policy -- gave us O'Connor. A heck of a lot of good that did.

With the exception of the O'Connor appointment and the run from Beirut -- although in his defense he had larger issues to conquer at the time -- you'll never hear me mention a bad word about the great man, just for clarification.

But the point is, you're not going to get abortion thrown back to the states and then the slow crawl to extinction -- in large part -- unless you've got someone who will make sure their Supreme Court appointment is for real.

You should be for Rudy, because he'll win. He won't take away our guns; if his word means anything, and I believe it does, he'll appoint originalists to the bench; he'll advocate and fight for supply-side tax reform; and he'll attack Islamic fascism like there's no tomorrow.

You've got a better candidate? Bring him to the table, please.
-- Brent Vondera

Daniel Allott communicates excellent points in this article. However, while the argument that pro-life conservatives will not support Rudy might be true now, if Rudy wins the nomination, that should change. I've always been unconvinced by just such single-issue arguments and believe that voters generally find themselves holding their noses and supporting the candidate that they least object to on principled grounds. I believe that those who do not vote because of such single-issue principles should move elsewhere to find their utopia.
-- J. W. Eilert, Jr.
Wooster, Ohio

HIT MITT
Re: Philip Klein's When Romney Attacks:

What a hit piece on Romney!

Two days after you run pieces on how he won the CPAC poll you announce that his plight is desperately hopeless and his only option left is to attack everyone else. From what I could learn from you article he is pointing out differences between his positions and his opponents. He's not saying bad things about their heritage (like has been done to him), he's not chasing down Giuliani's Italian mafia relatives or making personal judgments about McCain. Attacking is not the same as differentiating. Instead of running an attack add of your own on Romney, try to hold to conservative positions and not liberal tactics.
-- Rob Andrus
Provo, Utah

Mr. Klein accuses Mr. Romney of "going negative" and of "taking the low road." Let us be clear. Presidential candidates have been "going negative" almost since the time of George Washington's accession to that office. Any time that any candidate says that he would be better on any particular issue than the other guy, by definition, he is going negative. Furthermore, Mr. Klein fails to demonstrate, in his screed, where Mr. Romney has been wrong regarding the stances of his opponents. Some would say that is not "going negative," it is just presenting the facts regarding one's opponent.

Mr. Klein also accuses Mr. Romney of being disingenuous, the old flip flopper charge. Now there is some validity to that argument. I would also avow that Mr. Klein is being disingenuous and even devious in not prefacing his article with a disclaimer stating his endorsement of one of Mr. Romney's challengers. Surely Mr. Klein does not expect that we have completely forgotten his previous articles in this venue within the last few weeks. Now I don't know if Mr. Klein is officially on the payroll of his preferred candidate, but that hardly seems to be a significant difference to me. It depends on what the definition of "is" is, Mr. Klein, and you are doing a masterfully Clintonesque job of splitting the "disingenuous" hair. Have you been taking lessons from the Bubba Bill school of political discourse?

Nothing I have said above should be taken as any endorsement of Mr. Romney. I don't know who I will support, and I have serious questions about all three front runners, and most of the others also. That said, Mr. Klein's article would be more honest if it were identified as the campaign ad that it is.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

FAMILY MAN
Re: The Washington Prowler's Family Feud:

While it is quite commendable that "Sam Brownback has been running on a platform of saving the family from a culture of death and depravity for months," it is not true that Mitt Romney has just recently "discovered" the family issue. Mitt is one of the most family-orientated leaders in America. While he may have been emphasizing other major campaign topics, almost all major political issues affect the well-being of the family. Mitt shows his well-rounded, comprehensive approach to strengthening families. I took the following off his website to show Mitt's great regard for the importance of strong families:

Governor Romney: "What is the culture of this country, what are our underpinnings? We respect hard work....We are self-reliant, we respect human life, we are a religious people...We are a purpose-driven people founded on the family unit. I think every child deserves to have a mother and a father."
(Union Leader, March 19, 2006)

This comment (like so many before) was made a year ago, so it's not fair to say Mitt has recently "discovered" the family issue. From what I've read, he's been working all his life to support strong families in his personal, religious, and political life.
-- David Vilt

CONVICTION POLITICIANS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Democrats Found Guilty:

I've come to expect, and in some cases, look forward to the lies that spew from the mouths of the left and their mouthpieces. What I find most troubling is the response I get from liberal friends and acquaintances on the whole Plame/Wilson nonsense. Despite the fact that this self-promoting, lying, partisan chump has been shown to be a craven liar at every step of the way and despite the fact that his self promoting, lying, poor excuse for a public servant has been proven to not be what her lying husband claimed her to be and despite the fact that it is now known that one Richard Armitage (sycophant to the tarnished Colin Powell) is the one who did the "leak", and despite the fact that the prosecutor new all of this and conducted a 3 year witch hunt the only response the sheep have is sophomoric denial.

Oh, and the cliche denunciations of the President, Veep, Rove...Bush lied! They cooked the intelligence! Impeach! And on and on and on...

Can these people really be this deluded? Or is it has been suggested, that liberalism is indeed a mental disorder?
-- Stuart Reed
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

There is a corollary to Bob Tyrrell's insightful article and it is this; just how and when will Republicans and conservatives finally begin to respond to this perpetual onslaught on us by the Left in a significant and meaningful manner?

Of course, this presumes, at some risk on my part, that we will actually do something about what Ann Coulter has accurately described as the "criminalization of being a Republican." Granted, we have come a long way, as conservative voices have successfully excoriated liberals and the Left for years, but clearly the Democrats and the Left remain unbloodied and relentless in their Maoist purge of all that it not consistent with their thoughts and values.

As for instance, we have been told, no, make that instructed, that the discussion on anthropogenic global warming is closed. Dissent is not an option, as Gore has recently warned the media. This leadership must come from the top, as a whole slew of conservative commentators have recently demanded after the Libby travesty. It's time to wake from the stupor of civility and timidity that professional Republicans and some conservatives labor under. The American Left is and has been at war with conservatives for years, with whole institutions dedicated to the elimination of conservative philosophy. Their ruthlessness would make their fellow travelers of bygone eras, proud.

We, on the other hand, are grazing sheep that take notice but continue to ruminate and ruminate, ad nauseam. They haven't started building the camps for us just yet, but I fear what awaits Mr. Libby is a precursor of what's to come. In a recent letter to TAS, I lamented that we needed a Lee Atwater, not a Mel Martinez, more than ever; that was before the Libby verdict came down.

I don't know if Mr. Bush or those staffers around him, have it within them; or even if they acknowledge the current state of affairs, but I'll tell you this, as for me, I'll be looking and listening real hard to see if any of the current crop of presidential candidates step up and start taking the gloves off. Yes, that includes Giuliani, especially Giuliani. What Fitzgerald did to Mr. Libby was a travesty of the first order; as a former federal prosecutor, Giuliani knows this all to well. That would be a good place to start Rudy.
-- A. DiPentima

Like the evil queen in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," those arrant liars of whom you speak constantly look into their cracked political and moral mirrors and ask, "Who's the fairest of them all?"

Worth remembering is that they, like that evil, envious, power-hungry queen, live in a fictional world. And that they, narcissists that they are, ultimately, are the losers.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

1. A poorly planned war going badly (in spite of the best efforts of our poorly supported troops).
2. Hurricane Katrina.
3. Federal District Attorneys dismissed for political reasons.
4. Long standing civil liberties that make our nation unique compromised.
5. The environment compromised.
6. The deficit and national debt out of control.
7. Our prestige among the nations of the world at an all time low.
8. Walter Reed.
9. The President jeered in South America.
10. The Middle East peace process stalled.

And the best you can do is call Democrats liars.

Pathetic.
-- Mike Roush
North Carolina

"Mrs. Pelosi is as extravagant a liar as Mr. Wilson."

Reason 3,237,953 as to why I have long adored Washington's best-dressed man. Mr. Tyrrell's sense of style has no equal in that den of thieves.

Warmest Regards,
-- Mrs. Jackson
P.S. I think Tim Russert was the liar.

"Mellifluous gasbag"

That's good!
-- Doug Santo
Pasadena, California

DRIVING TAXES UP
Re: Quin Hillyer's Gilmore Makes His Case and David Foreman's letter (under "Sales Jobs") in Reader Mail's The Straight Dope:

Mr. Foreman is right to point out that Virginia reimburses the local governments for the "lost" automobile personal property taxes. Voters should know the political accommodations that are made with taxes -- not to criticize Gilmore too much for the deal that he and the legislature cut: It's a fact of political life. The more important thing is transparency so taxpayers and voters know the truth, then they can deal with it. For example, should Virginia now enact new taxes that effectively restore the automobile tax? While I would think not, it appears that is exactly what the legislature will do.

Quin Hillyer's article on Gilmore is important reading for the conservative voters looking for a standard bearer. From a Texan's perspective this may be the guy -- he's proved by his actions that as a man of principle he'll do what he says. Addressing the automobile tax transfer payments with transparency, Gilmore could use the topic to his advantage as an example of how the tax system meets the political needs -- and then address the question of what programs ought a government to undertake, eliminating those that are beyond forming a more perfect union, establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, rather than earmarking our favorite bridge to nowhere for funding.
-- Mark Davis
Houston, Texas

Mr. Gilmore's effort to end the "car tax" in Virginia was probably one of the worst actions ever taken by a so-called conservative politician. As a lifelong Virginia resident, nothing infuriated (infuriates) me more than paying my annual car tax bill. Nothing made me question the value of my government more than writing a check for several thousand dollars. Our runaway government is a function of payroll taxes, and withholding. If we paid annually, on April 15, taxes due, the government would come to a screeching halt for lack of funds. By eliminating the car tax, we hide the cost of government in our weekly paycheck withholding. This shell game allows slowing increasing undetectable tax collection by government and its continued growth. THIS SHOULD BE CONTRARY TO CONSERVATIVE VALUES.
-- Michael R. Warner

A JURY OF RUSSERT'S PEERS
Re: John Tabin's The Verdict Is In:

Mr. Tabin like most other reporters is standing at the finish line to report who wins and loses at the Libby trial. But the race for Scooter Libby's reputation and fate was decided by the rules and venue of this judicial race and was predictable. First the fans or observers in this venue had adopted the liberals' viewpoint of the events leading to the trial, namely that Libby and the V.P. sought to denigrate Wilson and wife Plame for exposing the Administration's false claims for invading Iraq. This is demonstrable in listening to the remarks of the juror, an ex-Washington Post writer, that Libby was just a shill for Rove and the V.P. A Conservative won't get a fair trial in D.C. In asking for a new trial, the defense should petition for a change of venue.

Second, Judge Walton restricted evidence and witnesses that could have overcome the predictable bias of the Jury. Tim Russert should have been recalled for cross-examination. Richard Armitage should have been questioned about where he learned of Plame. And Colin Powell should have been questioned about whether he knew of Plame, where he learned of her, if he or Armitage found out from the C.I.A. and if so, why the C.I.A. requested an investigation of its own leak. Finally, defense council Wells erred in promoting Libby as a fall guy for the Administration. This only fed the jury bias.
-- Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

AS A DAISY IN MAY
Re: Reader Mail's The Straight Dope:

Hey guys!

News flash! The term faggot, in the context used by Ann Coulter, has nothing to do with homosexuality. It is -- and has been since I was a teenager back in the 1970s -- a synonym for "sissie," "wuss," "momma's boy," etc. Homosexuals were never referred to as "faggots", but as (among other things), "queers," a term they themselves seem to have embraced even while extolling their own "normality" (logic is no requirement for "queer theory"). I defer anyone to say with a straight face that John Edwards is not a sissy, wussie or momma's boy. As my teenage daughter said of the Coulter controversy, "That's so gay!" If you think that refers to homosexuals, too, you need to get a dictionary of American vernacular.
-- Stuart Koehl

MOTHERS OF INVENTION
Re: The "Sorry Kid" letters in Reader Mail's The Straight Dope:

C'mon folks, have we really forgotten the vagaries of our own generation? How can we complain about some being ill mannered and self-absorbed when we were the generation to come up with "up yours," "don't trust anyone over 30," "turn on, tune in, drop out," and "if it feels good, do it?" And while grammar usage and spelling don't seem to be important anymore, just listen to the words and ideas coming out of our generation in Congress today and you'll know our generation didn't do much better.

We only have ourselves to blame. A generation that bravely carried the illogical banner of "anything goes" shouldn't be too surprised when anything goes. We reap what we sow.

Having said that, I have to agree with MWD: some of the music really sucks. But then, I remember my mom saying the same thing (well, she didn't use the word "sucks") when she first heard Led Zepplin. And let's not ever forget Frank Zappa…
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Eden, Utah

MAGIC WORDS
Re: Andrew Cline's The Arrogance of Packer:

Billy Packer's greatest miscall? On, March 26, 1979, as Magic Johnson flings an inbounds pass to Greg Kelser for the final points of the great '79 Bird-Magic NCAA showdown, Billy Packer predicts that Kelser will be a better NBA player than Magic.
-- David Fobare

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