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What Bush Comeback?

Some conservatives can be hard to please. Also: Forced to choose Canada. Clement of Alexandria revisited. Balancing immigration. Plus much more.

5.18.06

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OUR CANADIAN ALTERNATIVE
Re: Yuri Mamchur's I'm Not Illegal:

I would like to thank you for publishing Yuri's article. I think his position illustrates opinions of many, many immigrants who are too busy working (legally!) to march on the streets demanding change in immigration regulation on the basis of their own interests notwithstanding laws of the country in which they live (illegally!). I would also like to express my support to the American people who insist on adherence to immigration laws by everyone, including "guest workers." Frankly, I find the term "guest workers" very hypocritical. They are technically illegal non-resident aliens; they are not "guest workers." Illegal immigrants look for compassion, but in essence they demand preferential treatment over all those educated, highly skilled, fluently speaking English people from other countries (e.g., from Asia and Eastern Europe) who choose to respect the law of the United States and apply for visas, wait in lines, pay lawyers, and eventually do or do not immigrate legally.

I live in Canada with my husband who is a U.S. citizen, and both of us are PhDs in business (we are university professors). We chose to move to Canada because I was an exchange student in the U.S. for one year in my undergraduate studies (J-1), and U.S. federal law does not allow for me to obtain immigration status unless I return to my home country for two years. Well, we respect the law and we made a choice to re-locate to Canada, even though there is an enormous shortage of faculty in U.S. universities in our field (accounting), and I could argue that it is more beneficial for the U.S. system of higher education to keep me, given that I obtained my doctorate through the state system in Atlanta, Georgia. (I earned my PhD at Georgia State University). However, the law is the same for everyone, and I understand and respect that. My husband, who is a former U.S. Army officer, and a Notre Dame graduate, also understands that. We did not leave the U.S. because we disagreed with politics of the current administration, or to protest against anything. We left because we understood our choices under the law and respected the law.

We are not unhappy leaving and working in Waterloo, Ontario; but I know that my husband would rather live and contribute to the economy (and young minds!) of his home country. So would I. Why should uneducated laborers be treated differently on the grounds that there is demand for their work in the U.S.? This idea is unjust not only to U.S. taxpayers who cover their social services, but also to thousands of law-abiding immigrants or potential immigrants.
-- Natalia Kotchetova, PhD, CMA
Assistant Professor of Assurance
School of Accountancy
University of Waterloo

LESS THAN SANGUINE
Re: Quin Hillyer's Bush May Succeed After All:

Quin, do you honestly believe this president is courageous enough to actually veto a spending bill? I'd like to talk to you about buying a bridge...

Bush has no one to blame for his declining numbers and credibility except himself. See: spending, Harriet Miers, Julia Myers for head of ICE, His support of amnesty for illegal aliens, while at the same time insisting it is not amnesty, etc.

Conservatives held their noses and voted for him in 2004, because, even though we recognized him as flawed, he was better than the alternative. That doesn't mean we have to like him, or agree with him on the issues above.

His Supreme Court choices have been the high water mark of his administration. Let's hope he gets off his duff and sends a lot more of them to the Senate within the next three weeks.

My take on this Texan is mixed. He seems genuinely likable, but he is a Rockefeller Republican. Nothing he has done so far points otherwise. His administration has been in favor of big government, and increased spending. Like all Washington, he doesn't care what kind of country his grandchildren are going to inherit. Hopefully, he will live long enough to have to explain it to them....

That is the one small comfort I can take. Grandchildren of today's Washington crowd are not going to remember their ancestors very kindly, nor should they.
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

The author states:

"Now, for things the White House should do to help its own cause: First, change the subject from immigration as fast as possible."

Oh, that's good. That makes a lot of sense. Let's just sweep the issue under the rug and not deal with the most pressing domestic problem of the day.

With thoughts and principles like these the author ought to run for office.
-- Chuck Vail

Like many in the GOP, I have never been totally happy with the President. Most of the political problems he faces today are of his own making. The White House never did put together an effective communication team. Nor did the White House ever assemble a strong legislative team to work with Congress. Even in the realm of fighting terror, the President usually waits until events force him to say a few words about a subject that is always on people's minds. We may in fact be making progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, but you won't find the White House admitting it. Ditto for the economy. Reagan, when he was President, couldn't stop talking about the economy.

I think Quin made some good suggestions save the last one concerning an Iraqi offensive timed for the elections. This would be a terrible idea. It harkens back to the LBJ days when the White House micro-managed the War. The field commanders would hate it, and the idea would probably get leaked to the press beforehand. Here are my suggestions:

Do a 180 on spending. Veto, Veto Veto. Make Congress negotiate spending restraints. Take your message on the road. This will not only put the GOP big spenders on the ropes, but the Democrats as well. People like Senator Clinton are getting a free pass by getting to the right of Bush on the deficit. The President spoke about oil addiction; he needs to lecture Congress on spending addiction. Remind the voters that the Feds are now spending close to $3 trillion a year. This theme needs to be hammered away at weekly if not daily.

Another area that voters will back the President on is energy. The President needs to drop the ALGORE lecture on oil addiction, and force Congress to remove restrictions on oil refinery construction as well as energy exploration. Again, this will put many in the GOP majority on the defensive. But, it will certainly hurt the Democrats even more. Consumers who pay nearly $80 a week in gas will appreciate the gesture. If Congress stabs the President in the back on energy, the President should let the voters know.

National security is the President's best issue. The President needs to begin linking Saddam and terror in weekly speeches. Iraq for now is the cornerstone. Iran looms large. The American people need to be reminded of this. Visits to Iraq highlighting successes would remind the people how much we owe this administration. He needs to stress in detail the progress that has been made. He also needs to remind America of the threat that looms in weapons proliferation vis-a-vis Iran. These silly side bars such as the NSA wiretap stories will disappear as a result. Any future leaks from the DOD, CIA, or State will be seen not as whistle blowing by the voters, but treason.

Other areas that need obvious help are communications. The White House should have proxies deployed to all of the MSM outlets. They should be debating, arguing, and making the President's points on a nightly basis. The President should also have men like Jack Kemp on the talk show circuit reminding the voters who well the economy has performed since 9/11.

Congress right now is a basket case. The President can expect no help from his own party there. He must take the offensive with this in mind. Once his polling numbers improve (and they will), Congress will begrudgingly follow. There are some Senate seats that the GOP can still take (W.Va, Minnesota, and Wisconsin come to mind). Congressional Republicans need Bush more than he needs them. It's time the gloves come off.
-- JP
Indiana

I agreed with everything in Mr. Hillyer's piece except the Powell part. Military strategy has moved on as it always does. The Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force has been supplanted by a smaller force concept with more speed and bottom-to-top decision making. That is why a relatively small cadre of warriors made up of Special Forces was able to take down the Taliban in record time. The story has been told how some of these warriors riding donkeys in the mountains were able to call in airstrikes on the enemy on their own initiative and didn't have to go all the way up the chain of command for approval. The change in war fighting that has occurred may be as great as the change that occurred between WWI and WWII. Bush and Rumsfeld wisely chose small-force generals over large-force generals to run the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. And they have been proved right.
-- Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

Quin Hillyer replies:
Thanks for writing! The Powell thing was an illustrative afterthought, which is why I put it in parentheses and included the word "perhaps." The point is to do something dramatic like a Powell return in order to build credibility and get the public on board. But you may well be right that Powell himself is not the answer, for the very reasons you give. I appreciate your thoughtful, and thought-provoking, response.

CLEMENT AND JOHN
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Truth and Hollywood:

Ms. Fabrizio does her usual superb analysis of a liberal pastime, which is endlessly bashing the Catholic Church. Of course the Church existed prior to Emperor Constantine's conversion which occurred some 300 years after the birth of Christ. But that spoils the "evil and secret society" storyline.

Look, there is plenty with the Catholic Church that needs work, but let's give it is due. My parish church raises nearly half a million dollars every year for our own local charities. The diocese probably 10 times that much for use in our communities. When watching Africans hacking each other to pieces over some imagined slight or other, there always seems to be a Catholic priest or a group of nuns feeding, nursing and caring for the victims.

I have maintained for years that reality refutes liberal claptrap and so liberals must disconnect from reality to spew the vitriol they do. Hollywood is owned, operated and controlled by and for liberals, so why seek or expect any truth there?
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Wellington, Florida

Lisa Fabrizio's apologetic affords considerable insight into how little standards of epistolary evidence have changed in the centuries separating Hollywood's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire from the real thing. Her erstwhile Clementine corroboration is enough to make Aretino blush, telling us only that: "The actual name of the writer is not mentioned in the letter itself... Tradition, however, has always ascribed it to Clement...though it is not supported by any corroborative evidence..."

It continues that for all the "pseudepigraphic literature attributed to him" none of "the evidence for the text of the epistle" dates to the first century. It consists instead of: "The Codex Alexandrinus, a Greek uncial of the fifth century in the British Museum..., The Syriac version, extant in only one MS....is probably not early, and may perhaps best be placed in the eighth century.... The Latin version, also extant in only one MS... was probably written in the eleventh century. The Coptic version... older and better preserved is of the fourth century." Though the cheerfully credulous Dan Brown has swallowed a lot of forgery and codswallop hook line and sinker, that's no excuse for regurgitating more -- the council Constantine convened in Nicea in 325 made no mention of Clement.

Even if the DVC's sequel begins with bin Laden recruiting an albino gorilla to toss the holy Hand Grenade of Antioch into an editorial conclave of Claremont Review, Fabrizio's exegesis will remain about as persuasive, and reliable, as the Donation of Constantine.
-- Russell Seitz
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Lisa Fabrizio replies:
Oh, those ellipses! Try using the whole quote, won't you?

"There is no reason for rejecting this tradition, for though it is not supported by any corroborative evidence in its favor, there is nothing whatever against it."

Surely, Mr. Seitz must realize that the reason that there is no corroborative 1st century "evidence" for the text, is that there are virtually no documents in existence dating to that time. The fact that various copies of this manuscript do exist in at least four different languages dating back to the 5th century is instructive as to its importance. I invite readers to view the whole transcript, but to peruse the following:

The date of I. Clement is fixed by the following considerations. It appears from chapter 5 to be later than the persecution in the time of Nero, and from chapters 42-44 it is clear that the age of the apostles is regarded as past. It can therefore scarcely be older than 75-80 A.D. On the other hand chapter 44 speaks of presbyters who were appointed by the apostles and were still alive, and there is no trace of any of the controversies or persecutions of the second century. It is therefore probably not much later than 100 A.D. If it be assumed that chapter 1, which speaks of trouble and perhaps of persecution, refers to the time of Domitian, it can probably be dated as c. 96 A.D.; but we know very little of the alleged persecution in the time of Domitian, and it would not be prudent to decide that the epistle cannot be another ten or fifteen years later. It is safest to say that it must be dated between 75 and 110 A.D.; but within these limits there is a general agreement among critics to regard as most probable the last decade of the first century.

And finally, this:
Besides these MSS. and version exceptionally valuable evidence is given by numerous quotations in the Stromateis of Clement of Alexandria (flor. c. 200 A.D.). It is noteworthy that I. Clement appears to be treated by Clement of Alexandria as Scripture, and this, especially in connection with its position in the codex Alexandrinus and in the Strassburg Coptic MS., where it is directly joined on to the canonical books, suggests that at an early period in Alexandria and Egypt I. Clement was regarded as part of the New Testament.

In any case, the reason I used a secular citation for I Clement is apparent. I urge Mr. Seitz, or any others who believe Mr. Brown's Constantinian canard regarding the divinity of Christ, to type the words "apostolic fathers" into a search engine and to also to ask themselves: Did thousands of early Christian martyrs die for their belief in a man?

THE FAVORITE SUBJECT
Re: Mark Gauvreau Judge's Another Current Catastrophe:

So true, sex is all that is on TV and forget the pay channel movies. I did not watch those movies so cancelled them, after all I have a parrot in the room and do not want her picking up the language used, see I care about my parrot more than some parents care what their kids see and hear. To me the sexiest scene I remember in a movie was Ghost where they were playing with the pottery clay, both fully clothed.
-- Elaine Kyle

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