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Moving On

The recovery continues and tomorrow the sun will rise even brighter...before the clouds return. Also: Libertarians and conservatives. Amerabia. Plus much more.

11.9.06

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LIKE THE GOOD BOOKS SAYS
Re: Lawrence Henry's We're Still Us:

Thank you, Mr. Henry. You brought tears to my eyes. Thank you!
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

Thank you so much for writing this latest article.

I am so depressed about what has happened. I really did my homework on this election, I googled all the judges, I checked backgrounds of all the people I was voting for etc.

I am scared about the 2008 election, I believe in my heart that now with a Democratic Senate and House Hillary is poised and within striking distance of the White House and to me, that is a nightmare. With an anti-social like Hillary, with that much power, that could be catastrophic.

The last paragraph lifted me in spirit, I hope you are right.
-- J. Ramm
Los Angeles, California

Larry, you're making a big emotional mistake if you're preparing your stock portfolio for the sell-off you anticipate. Most market followers are aware of the phenomenon of a major bottom during the year of a mid-term election. What caught us off guard this year was the expectation that June and July's correction was the foreshadowing to that "major bottom" sometime in the second half.

As the market usually does the opposite of what the majority expect, it instead climbed that wall of worry right up until now. My boys at Dorsey-Wright and Associates pointed out a study that in every mid-term election year since 1955, if you bought the correction low (for 2006 so far July 18th 10,683 on the Dow) and held through the following year's-end, you not only made greater than 20% every time, but the average gain was 42%.

If we do the average, that would suggest a Dow level of 15,170 for the end of 2007. The roughly 1,517 points we've gained since the July 18th low would be only a third of what's to come.

Of course Democrat-loving terrorists might throw a wrench in this scenario by deciding to pull another 9/11 between now and the end of the year potentially creating the "major bottom" below the aforementioned level, but don't let some Pelosi-infatuated bull take your shares away before the meat of the rally!
-- William H. Stewart
Boston, Massachusetts

Two years ago I wrote a quick note to Mr. Henry regarding the red-state blue state divide. While that stirred up more of a discussion than I expected, I have to say that while some colors have changed, I think Mr. Henry is spot-on with the unchanging day-to-day lives of most Christians and conservatives. While the Republicans are licking their wounds and gearing up for 2008, it might be good for the conservatives and the Christians to get back to the first principles. For the conservatives let us look back on American history and Western culture for our principles which truly motivated our fellow man. Where has the talk of liberty gone? Where is the pioneer spirit that gave people pride in making it on their own and a desire to reduce government? For the Christians, it might be good to shed our movement's growing love of government. Have we forgotten that government's growth is what motivated Christians to get more involved in the sixties and seventies? Maybe we should remember that Christians are to focus on eternity and that it is best to share our values and beliefs on our own with humility and generosity to our enemies, friends, neighbors, and family. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I don't recall Jesus telling us to enlist the government, only to do as Lawrence Henry recommends: read the Bible, pray, and make our own world.
-- Devin Foley
St. Paul, Minnesota

Bravo, Mr. Henry! That pretty much sums it up for me, too.
-- Bob Johnson

PASS FAIL
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s A Typical Midterm:

If I'm following you rightly, all we need do is sit through two years of Democratic malfeasance, and then power will more or less naturally return to the party of No Child Left Behind, federally-subsidized pharmaceuticals and IAIA (Illegal Amnesty for Illegal Aliens).

Looking forward to it. I guess.
-- Byron Keith

With all due respect to Mr. Tyrrell, I disagree.

House seats have become less competitive over the years as both parties become more and more sophisticated in their gerrymandering, making it far, far more difficult to flip a seat from the party for which it was designed to the opposition. The Democrats did just that.

With that said, it's fair to say that the verdict of this election is not "We want Liberal Rule."

For the Democrats to claim that mandate, they would have had to run on something more substantive than "Republicans suck, and we're not Republicans."

What happened is pretty easy to describe:
-- Voters to Republicans: "You guys are fired."
-- Voters to Democrats: "You guys get two years to show us you deserve the job."
-- Bradly Roger Bettin, Sr.
Cocoa, Florida

Thank you for your words of encouragement. In these dark days, when even Rumsfeld and Bush wobble and weave, we need to hear words of reason to steady our resolve. The media drumbeat within their self-created bubble seems to have engulfed the whole country. However, like all bubbles, the walls are thin and transparent. We anxiously await the revelation of the Democrat party's true colors.
-- Stephen W. Brown

I certainly hope he is right, for all us freedom-loving folks dotted around the world. I hope this means a new order Republican Party will rise from the ashes in time to fight off the new emboldened Democrat order. As we continue to endure the "New Labour" new order started here in Britain in what feels like a millennia ago and as we see the new "wishy-washy" PR led new Conservatism order attempting to rise, Phoenix-like, I indeed hope Mr. Tyrrell is right.
-- Graham Constable
Oxford, England

After reviewing some of the takes your article authors have presented, I want to encourage you and your submitters to continue to believe that this is just a normal mid-term reaction and not really a significant impeachment of where the country has gone with a Republican Congress that failed in its responsibility to hold the administration in check and to provide balance for ALL Americans.

No sir. There is no need to consider changing anything. I know that they say a definition of insanity is to continually do the same thing and expect different results, but, in this case, I think that can be ignored. No, instead, I believe that the Republicans and Conservatives should continue to play to the extreme social right and alienate those middle of the road people in American who don't vote anyway.

Therefore, please continue to see how there is nothing wrong and everyone just shifts chairs on the Titanic. There is no lesson to learn from this loss. It was just the happenstance of a few corrupt individuals that somehow were able to escape the notice of other members. I want to make one thing absolutely clear... I hope the VERY FIRST action done by Speaker Pelosi is the limitation of Rep. William Jefferson to a position where he is only allowed to vote, but has absolutely no oversight or authority. I would love to see him impeached and removed, however, as we know, there is a presumption of innocence and until there is proof through a conviction, I guess we just have to allow the voice of his constituents to be heard.

I am, however, incensed by his re-election. Probably more so than any conservative. The reason? Because, as a Democrat I believe that my party should reflect my beliefs and values, and when someone of my own party lets us down I cannot explain it away as acceptable when you compare it to another party. No, I, personally have been betrayed and expect more of my party. I wish this was true of the majority of Americans, but they seem to be content with excusing theirs because of those others.

Keep up the good work and do what you have been doing the past few years! It has worked wonders!
-- Darren Peterson

I greatly fear you have not appreciated the potential of this election to produce a Democrat President in 2008. Mr. Bush is admittedly not a popular man and very soon we will be faced with an endless Waxman witch hunt getting headlines every single day. Whether it turns up some horrendous scandal will be unimportant. The media will cover it as though that is a given and media hysteria will reign. "The Culture of Corruption" imported from Arkansas by the Clintons will now become a Republican invention. This constant and ruthlessly negative and inflammatory coverage and rabble-inciting remarks by Democrats, which will begin very shortly, will cause a leftwing radical to be elected President. The Democrats who ran a moderate campaign will be disenfranchised by their party because moderation is not a leftwing, radical, Democrat virtue.

The Country has made a titanic shift to the left.
-- Jay W. Molyneaux

I cannot for the life of me understand why Washington elites like yourself continue to push for Mike Pence as minority leader. I am writing to my congressman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner to encourage him to vote for John Boehner. Mike Pence is one of the reasons for the Republican midterm disaster. He has continued to advocate amnesty for illegal aliens with a guest worker program in spite of the resistance to these programs by mainstream America. It's no wonder the Republicans lost the midterm, they are politically tone deaf and remain so. By the time the 2008 election rolls around the war in Iraq will be a non-issue and the number one concern on voters minds will be illegal immigration. The Republicans in their usual feckless manner will have selected as minority leader someone who is on the wrong side of this issue. I guarantee you that if Mike Pence is selected as minority leader and gets together with Jorge Bush to pass illegal alien amnesty and a guest worker program the Republican Party will have relegated itself to permanent minority status if it survives at all.
-- Paul Martell

THE L WORD
Re: W. James Antle III's Old Fusion?:

Just one question for Libertarians who might be angry at the social conservatives in the coalition. What are you gonna do, put up more Libertarian candidates, like you did in MT and MO? By the way, the rest of us Republicans (and I'm more Libertarian than conservative, by the way) thank you for new Senators Tester and McCaskill. Social conservatives are finally learning that the good isn't necessarily the enemy of the perfect. When are you libertarians going to set aside your childish, desperate need for a purity that just gave us all a liberal Democrat controlled Senate? THX for that, by the way.

And about Dick Armey. I love him as a principled conservative, and admired him as a party leader. But in this case I have to agree with Richard Land. Just shut up, Dick! Now's not the time to be fragging our own lieutenants. Would you rather wander in the wilderness for another 40 years? Republicans aren't the enemy, Democrats are!
-- Tim Jones
Cordova, Tennessee

Mr. Antle's "Fusion" column pretty much nailed the inconvenient fact(s) that some factions on the right don't get along any too well. As a "Small-L" libertarian, I find James Dobson an intolerable, intolerant and highly sanctimonious pontificator. There are some points of the so-called "moral" agenda have made me feel most disquieted and uncomfortable -- the California congressional creep who wants to ban RU-486, the Morning After pill, and the just defeated pandering numbnut from the GOP who wants to ban Internet Wagering. And, if Dobson's buddy, Randall Terry (of earlier "Operation Rescue" fame) had it in his power, he's stated that he'd ban all kinds of contraception. Of course there were those other moral superiors who have illustrated the desire to protect us from ourselves by trying to ban a number of classic books from the libraries -- and even "Where's Waldo" (because of a cartoon topless woman laying on her stomach on a cartoon beach)!

It's not just Dobson. Jimmy Swaggart, Jesse Jackson, Pat Robertson, Al Sharpton and Jerry Falwell also make my skin crawl.

As long as they have the audacity to think of themselves as spokesmen for how they feel we should conduct our lives, no thanks -- I'll remain as far removed from such supercilious asses as possible.

And, oh, Dick Armey. He hasn't impressed me either way, good or bad.
-- Geoff Brandt

The Libertarian party is a long way from holding important public office, but, unlike other third parties, they are becoming quite significant. Troublingly, some advances are now being made to align this important party with the Democrats. I worry about this important segment of voters, because they are quite influential to the Republican Party. It is impossible for the Libertarians and the Republicans to work together indefinitely, eventually, the Libertarians will be fed up with the control that the Republicans want and the Libertarians may grow larger and realize they do not need the Republicans anymore.

Even though the Democrats have no real agenda, they are united against the Republicans, which has managed to put them all on the same team and win elections. Watching the Libertarians move away from the Republicans only further fragments the Republicans. Such a move can be a crushing blow to conservatives and could lead to more liberals in power who wish to socialize our healthcare and raise our taxes. (Not to mention, give backrubs to terrorists as they stroll across our borders.)

The participation of the Libertarian party is quite important and I hate to see them part ways with the conservatives. I truly hope the two can work together, somehow.
-- Adam Jones
Arlington, Texas

The dispute between so called libertarians or "libertarian conservatives" and traditionalists or "social conservatives" described in W. James Antle III's article goes back as far as I can remember (which as a 50 year old who supported Ronald Reagan while in junior high school is pretty far). My take on this dispute, which is only reinforced by Mr. Antle's article, has always been that those who characterize themselves as libertarian "conservatives" have always been more committed to an extreme version of the libertarian agenda, amounting merely to a desire to facilitate the ability of a minority engage in deviant behavior, than to any broader vision personal liberty, let alone to any philosophy which could be characterized as conservative.

"Libertarianism" as I understand it, and as described by Mr. Antle, must be distinguished from a principled commitment to individual freedom and a system of ordered liberty such as that established by the United States Constitution, as it was written and has been formally amended, not necessarily as subsequently "interpreted" by the Supreme Court. The Constitution did not establish, nor would the vast majority of the American people ever support, some sort of absolute license for every individual to engage in deviant behavior. Rather, the Constitution recognizes a general right of the individual to be left alone by the Government, subject however to proper exercise of Government authority, Federal, State, and local. The Constitution not only provides a mechanism for the federal government to impose itself upon Americans in certain limited areas, but also respects and reserves to the States their preexisting authority to exercise what has come to be known as a general "police power" to regulate conduct within their borders, subject to the guarantee that this power will be exercised by a "republican form of Government" in each state.

The basic assumption behind the Constitution is that, except for certain specific limitations (e.g., imposition of ex post facto laws or bills of attainder) the citizens of a State, acting through the legislature, have the authority to impose restrictions upon the behavior of people within that state, restrictions which may far exceed those approved by libertarians. A certain broad set of values, including a desire for personal liberty, was assumed by the authors of the Constitution to be held by the majority of the people within the United States. However, they did not attempt to set those values in stone within the Constitution, or set up the Judicial Branch as the primary guardians of those values. Rather they relied on the people, acting within the Republican framework of the Constitution and their State governments, to promote and protect those values, or to promote a different set of values or priority among those values if they so desire.

The Constitutional jurisprudence of the last century has turned the assumption of the Framers on its head. Court decisions at every level have, time and again, thwarted the right of the majority of the people, acting through Republican procedures, to govern themselves, and to make their own decisions concerning the appropriate balance between personal freedom and other important values, or even to advance those aspects of personal freedom (such as the right to bear arms or contribute money to a political candidate) not approved by liberals. These Court decisions often discover a Constitutional "right" to engage in a particular behavior, such as abortion, homosexual sodomy, production of child pornography using virtual imagery, or defacing the flag, which had been prohibited by the legislative process. While these decisions may have marginally increased personal freedom for a minority of Americans, to engage in a few specific types of deviant behavior, they undermine the very foundation of Republican Government, which in turn undermines the people's ability to protect the liberties, and other values, which they most prize. While "libertarians" may believe that, all things being equal, the cause of freedom would be advanced by allowing two homosexuals to marry each other, if they are willing to see this come about by judicial fiat, or are opposed to the efforts of the people of a state, through proper republican procedures (i.e. a ballot initiative to amend the state Constitution), to preempt or repeal the judicial fiat, they is no friend of the cause of personal liberty in any larger sense, let alone deserving of the label "conservative." The conservative cause is probably better off without such "libertarians" in any case, and conservatives ought not even to consider compromising their principles or alienating any part of their base in order to appease them.
-- Steven Kelly

Jim Antle left out an important piece of data in his libertarian-traditionalist article: the Libertarian Party cost the GOP control of the U.S. Senate.

Have a look here. Click on the states of MO and MT to see the actual vote totals.

This same result has happened many times before in western state Senate races (Nevada, Oregon of late) and thus it is a problem that needs addressing by conservatives in the Republican Party.

Surely Libertarians, who value reason, can be persuaded that Republican-appointed federal judges are preferable on issues like property rights, government social engineering, federalism, labor unions, to name just a few.

The GOP needs to commence horse-trading with the LP to stop them electing liberal Democrats to the Senate.

I realize pure libertarians are principled, difficult, and utopian, but handing Senate seats to socialist Democrats is simply not rational behavior.
-- Jameson Campaigne

AMERABIA
Re: Christopher Orlet's Americans Second:

Mr. Orlet touches on a basic problem here in America which will, sooner or later, have to be solved. After my Norwegian grandfather came to America with his five sons, he was asked: "Why don't you teach your sons to speak Norwegian?" He replied, "We are in America now, and we speak American."

But Muslims are a different breed from Norwegians. Ingrained in Muslims, as so cogently pointed out by Mr. Orlet, is a cultural mindset which cannot easily be modified or erased. One is reminded by the question posed in the Bible: "Can the leopard change its spots?"

Regretfully, I fear not.
-- Bob Johnson

Mr. Orlet's Special Report doesn't surprise me regarding Muslims in America. I'm not sure I'd call them American Muslims. If the tenets of their faith are followed to the letter, which is pretty much what is demanded by their mullahs, well, then we will always be their enemy to be either converted by the sword or subjugated to dhimmi status. This hasn't changed in 1,400 years nor do I suspect it will in the future. The conditions of their faith, culture, society and ruling practices are so interwoven in a miasma of illogic and unreason that it resembles a Kafka nightmare from which there is no escape. Unless "light" is allowed to shine in, and a Muslim Reformation of sorts takes place, I don't expect anything but continued trouble. Given the Koran is believed by them to be the literal word of God and Mohammed the last and true prophet, there can be no change to the words therein. Maybe a slight reinterpretation? Don't count on it. And regardless of what they say to non-Muslims to pacify us or convince of their rights to practice their beliefs here, it is allowed by the Koran for Muslims to lie to non-Muslims for the advance of Islam. Sort of reminds me of the blindness of Marxist zealots during the rise of the Reds in the earlier half of the 20th century.

Study enough history on the subject and it will demonstrate how intractable a problem Islam is. I think we'd be better off not allowing Muslim immigration to this country at all, or the West in general, but that would be "un-American," I suppose. Too late for Europe, the cat's out of the bag there.
-- An Anonymous Christian American Living in a Large U.S. city containing a 6-figure Muslim population, and growing.

POX PROOF
Re: William Tucker's The Roots of Democracy:

Is Mr. Tucker advocating a return to pre-WW II isolationism?

Tossing in the towel with a "pox on your house" admonishment to Iraq that will result in the slaughter of untold thousands is not an acceptable or civilized solution to the problem. Our friends, the Kurds, have already experienced our reliability on this score (along with the Vietnamese and Cambodians from earlier ventures). Another exercise of this expedient ought to pretty well remove any lingering doubt around the world about the wisdom of depending on the U.S. when the chips are down.

The problem is the Muslim religion as currently practiced and the solution to the problem is preventing it from metastasizing further while finding means of moderating or eliminating its brutal, medieval aspects. That will take courage, work and sacrifice. If we don't face up to the task now and stay with those who are trying to effect these changes we may very well find ourselves in the position famously described by Winston Churchill as having no remaining alternatives to fighting alone with no hope of victory.

I hope we have what it takes to prevail in this undertaking. I don't think Mr. Tucker would enjoy life as a dhimmi.
-- E. Costello
Bellevue, Washington

UP FOR AIR
Re: Doug Bandow's The Turkey Ballot:

Sorry to come in late on this subject (None Of The Above), but after Tuesday's dismal results, I just couldn't do any web surfing yesterday.

In a science fiction book called The Probability Broach, by L. Neil Smith, he presents an "alternate" United States much more libertarian than anything we have today. In the story, he tells about the alternate U.S. presidents in a discussion between two characters (one from "our world," one from the alternate world) as they view some past presidential portraits. I may have the details incorrect, but I believe they come up to a blank portrait and the person from the alternate world points out that their ballots have None Of The Above as a choice, and if "elected," None Of The Above HAS to serve out the term.

I like your NOTA suggestion, but ONLY if NOTA is forced to serve out the term. Just think if we elected an entire Congress, House and Senate, full of NOTAs. Sounds like Heaven.
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Eden, Utah

CLEAN SHEETZ
Re: Diane Smith's, Andrew Macfadyen's, Steve Fernandez's and Beverly Gunn's letters (under "The Big Hurt") in Reader Mail'sSore Losing:

While letter writer Diane Smith is jotting down statistics on the state of the nation and economy, I hope she'll include a line item for the price of a gallon of gasoline. I've read a number of snarky comments from various columnists in TAS disparaging the notion that the recent decline in gas prices was in any way engineered to benefit Republican candidates. I've read Ben Stein's several columns claiming that gas prices are the mere result of "global forces" rather than any government policy or quiet influence.

I've remained unconvinced that there is not some unholy relationship, if not alliance, between the oil companies and the President. I must be suspicious that by February we'll see energy prices and corporate profits rise rather sharply, for all that I hope that prices, at least, don't. If they do, however, I'll be scrolling through TAS for explanations from the same columnists who pooh-poohed the possibility of any connection. I anticipate that they'll lay any such increase at the feet of the incoming Democratic Congress, probably because they're soft on terror, thus alarming the global players and yada yada.

By the way, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded at the local Sheetz was $2.11 on Tuesday.
-- Mark Fallert
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Because I agree with your correspondent, Dr. Macfadyen, that the Mohammedan fascists are beneficiaries of this electorate's temper tantrum -- to borrow a metaphor from another time -- I must disagree with another correspondent, Mr. Fernandez, who predicts "renewed terror attacks on Israel and the United States."

Attacks on the U.S. leading up to the 2004 election were widely predicted, but as I repeatedly suggested, there would be none: our enemy hoped to lull us into the perception that we were not really at war so that we would elect the government they desired. That plan failed, and President Bush's tenure was renewed. Heightened U.S. casualties in Iraq in the weeks leading up to the 2006 election served to reinforce the anti-Coalition mantra of quagmire. The desired result in this case was achieved. The American people will now be rewarded by their future masters for having done the correct thing, just as a dog is rewarded once it ceases its defiance and assumes the submissive position. Since we will soon be handing them victory on a silver platter, it would not be in their interest to devote their energies to antagonizing us lest (1) we correct our error at the next opportunity or (2) a sufficient number of the Dhimmicrats be awakened from their torpor and come around to the defense of Western Civilization for a change.

Just as the Chinese restrained the urge to retaliate against the withdrawing Japanese in 1945, so will the Mohammedan "insurgents" feign compliance with our wishes so long as we act to consummate their desired end: our retreat, which, no matter how cleanly it is effected, will be spun relentlessly by John Murtha fans at Al-Jazeera as our historically humiliating defeat.
-- Stephen Foulard
Houston, Texas

Beverly: All Great Nations have rotted from the inside out and fallen accordingly. No Nation has ever become great by killing its unborn children in mass and thus its future, embracing perversion of any kind, relative morality in its laws, destruction of the nuclear family, taxed itself into prosperity or survived an external threat it refused to acknowledged in advance. My 30-40 something friends are coming home from Iraq to prepare...
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

LAST WORD
Re: Philip Klein's Renewing the Contract:

Now that the Republican Party has had its hindquarters handed to it, perhaps it will stop acting like the horse's patoot that is has been for years and start seeing and listening to what conservatives and most other Americans want -- that is, if they have the guts and humility to do so.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

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