Reader Mail

Outlaw Nation

"What has happened to our country?" Plus much more, including Kerry timber lines, a lost weekend, and what Hugh Hewitt did to Bob Dornan.


Re: Reader Mail's Bush Walks the Walk:

What has happened to our country? Why are so many people such as your readers who write lovingly about one candidate and hatefully about another consumed with spite? This has become an election full of vitriol, disrespect and embarrassment. Attacking a candidate's appearance (What is this about a tan?) or a candidate's manner of speech (Idea and nuclear?) by either constituency is not worthy of publication. These comments are pure and simple bigotry and the publication by the Spectator only promotes hate and intolerance.

Where is the discussion of issues instead of this inane focus on "Who won the debate?" and the incredible waste of time on the part of the media, the pundits and publications such as The Spectator as to what the audience is wearing at the town hall forum? This voter considers coverage of this nature an insult to our country and its citizens. If we are becoming a nation of bigots, then the United State of America is truly in danger of not remaining united and it will lose its status as a leader among nations. Think about that.

This voter is tired of such foolishness on the part of supposedly intelligent people. We seem to have forgotten why we elect people to represent us in our local and federal governments. Is it not the central duty of our elected officials to govern our country for the good of all the people -- all citizens? This voter contends that the good of the country centers around an exceptional public education system, health care for all citizens, adequate wages that can support a family, maintenance of our transportation and commerce systems, stewardship of our natural resources, reduction of our dependence on oil, elimination of our national deficit, income tax reform, electoral reform, national security, a well-equipped armed services trained for peace keeping and defense, and as importantly, a sound foreign policy which promotes peace along with the world-wide elimination of hunger, disease and nuclear threat. These are just a few of the issues which should be front and center on a voter's mind when he/she goes into the ballot box to elect a public official.

Issues such as a woman's right to choose, right to life, stem cell research, marriage and ANY attempt to legislate morality do not fall into the arena of governance. These are just a few of the special interests that lead our electorate astray and away from the key focus of our elected officials -- that of governing for the good of ALL of our citizens. This voter doesn't care if the candidate is black, white, green, purple, man, woman, homosexual, transsexual, communist, socialist, liberal, conservative, libertarian, Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, etc. Come November 2, this citizen will be voting for candidates from the local through national levels whose platforms will best provide governance for the GOOD of all its citizens regardless of their party, race, gender, religious or economic status.
-- Charlotte Erickson-Rempfer
North Bend, Washington

Re: John Tabin's Kerry Cries Timber!:

It was an excellent article on the intricacies of the tax codes but missed the point that V-P candidate John Edwards uses the Sub-S Corp as a shield from paying all those Medicare Taxes on his judgment earnings. As always the libs lead with "do as I say, not as I do," and if there is any way to tie the evil Republicans to a perceived problem, then do so. TIMBERRRRRRRRRR........
-- Ray Gaster

Thanks to John Tabin for clearing up the Kerry timber remark. It was really an odd thing to say.

What about Kerry's statement about only he, Bush & Gibson would be taxed at a greater amount (under his tax plan) "judging by the looks of audience." I wonder how many were actually quite wealthy?
-- Charlotte Waddle
Phoenix, Arizona

Isn't it about time to ask the multi-billion dollar question, "If Kerry is elected, will John and Teresa put their holdings into a blind trust? If not, why not? And how would we know, since Teresa has refused to release any details of her holdings and tax records?"

The use of a blind trust is designed to deter any abuse of power and appearances of impropriety, so Teresa should be asked directly if she would comply.
-- Rich Hudson

John Tabin makes a hash of the issue of Bush's "ownership" of a timber company by flaunting details that are true but irrelevant as a lead-in to snarky remarks about John Kerry. Tabin is obtuse or dishonest to say that Kerry "seemed to say" that "the tax code is so broad that Bush himself, a man worth $18 million ...'counted as a small business.'"

When Kerry said that "President Bush himself would have qualified as a 'small business owner' under the Republican definition," he was not talking about the tax code's definition, but the Republican definition, which tries to pass off the number of people reporting income from small businesses as the number of small-business owners, and further incorrectly equates that number with the number of small businesses, thereby exaggerating the number of small businesses by about 100% and misstating the effects of Kerry's tax plan.

I loathe Kerry, like Bush, and plan to vote for the latter. I would have liked to see a realistic, candid analysis of how Kerry's tax plans would affect small businesses that actually have employees. That is a small portion of the total number of Subchapter S corporations or limited partnerships, but as the larger small businesses, the ones with employees must be concentrated in the brackets affected by Kerry's tax plan. Some solid numbers, including employment projections, would have been useful, but Tabin just served up the kind of sleazy misdirected propaganda that should be left to the Democrats, since they seem to enjoy it so much.
-- Seán Fitzpatrick
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

John Tabin replies:
Obtuse or dishonest? I'll take obtuse, thank you. Let's be clear, though: The dispute over the number of small businesses traces back to a article that says that a Bush/Cheney '04 ad overstates the number of "small businesses" as 900,000. But a glance at the text of the ad, posted in a sidebar to their analysis, shows that in fact the ad refers to 900,000 "small business owners," which is the number of taxpayers in the top bracket who own a piece of an S-corporation. That this is an unfair definition of a "small business owner" still strikes me as something of a stretch. Nonetheless, on the campaign trail (unlike in the ad that purports to debunk), the President and Vice President have indeed used the formulation "900,000 small businesses," and after re-reading the debate transcript I must concede that it was indeed Bush's use of that formulation that Kerry was objecting to. Mea culpa.

Re: Jed Babbin's Sharpies at the U.N. and John Tabin's Kerry Cries Timber!:

I have yet to hear a single commentator make the observation that Kerry's foreign policy was toast for the real reason. (Though Fred Barnes came close.) Yes, It's the Bush plan which could make it redundant. But Kerry's policies were toast the instant that Bush announced troop withdrawals from Western Europe. In that instant any involvement by the Axis of Weasels became defensive. Their Rapid Reaction Force rather than being forward facing became a Maginot in mobility never to leave the EU's shores. Which pretty much put the coffin in the ground to France and Germany sending troops to Iraq.

Which brings us to the ultimate conclusion. Is Kerry that stupid and surrounded by such incompetents that as a team they could not see the geopolitical ramifications? Let alone the domestic political ones? If Holbrooke did not see this then as a taxpayer I want his G22 salary back for the last 20 years. But as of the last debate Kerry and Edwards were still rattling that they will expand the Coalition. Under Kerry am I to presume that Grenada and the Bahamas will be sending a few MP's? Clearly Kerry lacks the flexibility to see that a new position was needed.

As to the timber jab, it was such an amateurish attempt to invoke a divisive wedge based on the robber baron angst of two centuries ago. I would hazard for most of the members of the audience the reference was lost on them. But no matter, most of the audience I am sure would be wondering why he brought it up. It's a sure bet most spent at least $84 on Halloween decorations. A perplexing reference on Kerry's part.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Re: Ralph R. Reiland's George Soros & U.S. Sovereignty:

I believe that George Soros is a person who has reached a limit on his ability to influence events. I think after his declaration that he would spend his entire fortune to defeat President Bush and has only spent $25M leads me to the conclusion that he himself believes this too. But he could also be a typical liberal who preaches what people other than himself should believe and how they should live.

He still has about a month to back up his big mouth with his big bank account.
-- Diamon Sforza
San Diego, California

"Mr. Soros stated that we should start by correcting our own behavior, by looking at what we've done wrong.…Another wrong, he explained, is that the United States isn't yet signed up with the Kyoto treaty or the International Criminal Court in The Hague."

Right, that's what Osama Bin Laden is fighting for: Make the U.S. join the International Criminal Court and the Kyoto treaty. How silly can you get? Has Osama ever heard of Kyoto, did he ever mention it? I have not yet heard a statement from al Qaeda, Osama, or any of his henchmen ever mentioning Kyoto or the Criminal Court in The Hague. It's not because these deals are bad for America that your alarm bells should be ringing. It's the lunacy of the notion that al Qaeda does what it does because the U.S. follows certain policies that don't agree with a liberal mind-set. The issue is not what the U.S. does, it's what the U.S. is: A friend of Israel, a force for democracy. That's the problem of al Qaeda, not Kyoto. Let's get real. If you want to address "problems," those are the problems you must deal with. And I guess that is exactly what Mr. Soros means to say.
-- Daniel Teeboom
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's Kerry Stiffed and George Neumayr's The Peripatetic President:

NO fair! I never check TAS's website on weekends! So allow me to offer KUDOS today to Wlady Pleszczynski and George Neumayr for their great columns on Friday night's Presidential debate. While it was wonderful to see President Bush turn in a much better performance in the second meeting with Senator Kerry -- it's really beginning to annoy me that there are still swing voters out there among the populace. What are they waiting for?

It's also annoying to me that our Commander in Chief has to play "dress up" with Senator Kerry while busily trying to stay a step ahead of evil Islamofascists who want to kill us all -- and all because there are 10 voters in Ohio who CAN'T MAKE UP THEIR MINDS!! Of course, all that "dress up" seems to suit the Kerry/Edwards duo -- what with manicures to manage, hair styles to perfect -- and fake tans to emulate the REAL JFK.

Nothing would please me more than for President Bush to come out next time -- look right into the camera and tell them : "Look -- I love our country and I want to protect it and I want to do my best to protect YOU. I'm no great orator, as my opponent, who has spent 20 years in the Senate honing his ability to speak all day without managing to say anything of substance or coming down firmly in favor of or against ANY issue -- with the exception of raising your taxes and voting against national security…which is all you need to know to realize he has no intention of sticking it to the terrorists. And his running mate is a FIRST TERM Senator who did such a poor job that he realized he couldn't even get reelected in his home state -- but wanted to make a name for himself -- so he decided he could do this job. Well -- he can't. And his pitiful record in the Senate is all the proof you need to understand that. Don't send these two Senators to the White House to do a job that they have both demonstrated they are incapable of doing. They didn't have the guts to maintain their position against Howard Dean -- and Howard Dean didn't even want to MURDER them - he just wanted to beat them in the primaries."

Keep up the great work!
-- Cathy Thorpe
Columbus, Georgia

If one read the subtitles during the debate, this would appear:

"President Bush, whom would you appoint to the Supreme Court?? ("I don't know, but whoever it is, Sen. Kerry will filibuster the nominee to prevent a vote, like he has done to so many judicial appointees who have been waiting years for a vote.")

"Senator Kerry, why do you vote for taxpayer-paid abortions?" ("I can't legislate an article of faith, but I can legislate the pro-abortion agenda of NARAL.")

"President Bush, are there any character flaws that would prevent Sen. Kerry from being Commander-in-Chief.?" ("Not unless you consider giving aid and comfort to the enemy during a time of war by accusing his fellow soldiers of being war criminals to be a character flaw.')
-- G. Ferguson

Allow me to amplify George Neumayr's remarks on John Kerry's misunderstanding of what constitutes an article of faith. If Senator Kerry really said that abortion is an "article of faith," he was either being dishonest or he revealed an embarrassingly ignorant understanding of the Catholicism he claims to profess. An "Article of Faith" refers only to doctrinal matters, such as the Immaculate Conception, Transubstantiation, the existence of angels, or Mary's Assumption into Heaven. Only Catholics are bound to give ascent to such formally declared propositions.

Abortion is a moral issue. Morality is rooted in natural law. That's the law based on human nature, and which applies to every person, even those who have never heard of the Catholic Faith, ever since God breathed a rational soul into Adam. Which means that to insist on anti-abortion legislation is not an attempt to impose a distinctly Catholic morality (there is no such thing) on non-believers. Because people often have confused ideas of natural law, the Church must now and then speak out in order to clarify that law. But that is all the Church can do about natural law. Let's be clear about this. Even the Pope cannot add anything to or subtract anything from natural law. Can't John Kerry get anything right?

The real shame of his position is that, thanks to the inept American Catholic bishops, Kerry can say something so ignorant, and too many Catholics will unthinkingly accept it. Oremus.
-- Kenneth A. Cory
China, Michigan

Re-reading "The Peripatetic President" and agreeing more heartily with George Neumayr, was suddenly struck by the perfect solution to the many distractions that prevent our concentrating on judging the man. How many times have I heard "He looks presidential."? Well, that is sure what counts for a World Leader.

I guess since the last debate is a sit-down affair, my idea is too late - but wouldn't it be the perfect measure of the man if we had the candidates come on stage, disrobe behind a screen, take a quick shower, dousing the hair, scamper back behind the screen, towel off and don Speedo swim trunks. Give hair a quick comb - no blow-drying or back combing or mousse, (there's test for Kerry, right there! How long since he's combed his own hair?) and walk center stage. No podium, no stool, no nuthin'. Just stand there in stately splendor. This "event" will be timed and the time subtracted from the candidate's speaking time. We need a president who can dress fast in a crisis and without a butler. Studio will be a cool 67 deg. and there will be points off for goosebumps and teeth chattering. OK, gentlemen. Feet together. If a pig can run between your legs you are too bow-legged to be president. OK, let's make it democratic -- Bob Schieffer wears a Speedo, too.

This is about how silly judging the candidates has become. For juvenile jab of the week. John Kerry was quoted as saying he "caught" Bush scowling? Kerry should proclaim of himself "I wouldn't scowl if I could and if you know anything about exfoliating and Botox, you know I can't and that is why I should be your president, I can put on a happy face any time I want to and so can my 65 year old wife Terezzzza."
-- Diane S. Smith
So. San Francisco CA

Re: Jed Babbin's Sharpies at the U.N.:

In the penultimate paragraph of "Sharpies at the U.N.," Jed Babbin writes, "Kerry's principle idea ..." He should have written, "Kerry's principal idea ..." as it is demonstrably true that Kerry has no principles.
-- Donald Ward
Walnut, California

JFK-2 continually refers to his "plans" to bring in those other countries that have not yet participated in Iraq, notably France, Germany and Russia.

Perhaps a part of those plans involve allowing those countries to resume their pilfering ways established with the Food-for-Oil program. Such literally huge amounts of $$ are very, very convincing, even to the reticent F(rogs)ench.
-- Larry Van Kuran
Encino, California

I can certainly think of a good reason that voters would not like to have their thumbs marked with ink. That would identify them to terrorists! Utterly stupid! Typical of the U.N.
-- unsigned

Re: Christopher Orlet's The Nobel for Neolithic Politics:

Thank you for reminding us of two things. First, that the Nobel Committee is another one of the liberal institutions that has not only outlived its usefulness (if it ever had any to begin with), but also continues to swing a wrecking ball at the society which has allowed it to exist for lo these many years. I'm not sure that this bit of foolishness outdoes the Jimmy Carter award, but it certainly does come close. Having attempted to get through two of her "plays" (and I use the term loosely), I can honestly say that if there were any truth in either of them, it eluded me. If we classify her writing as tripe, we are seriously devaluing tripe. By the way, I don't like tripe either, but I don't necessarily believe that tripe lovers are intellectually stunted. I can't say the same for the lovers of Elfriede Jelinek's work.
-- Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio

Re: David Hogberg's Party Animal and David Martin's letter (under "Right or Wrong") in Reader Mail's City Peanuts:

Re: David Hogberg's Party Animal and comments of Pennsylvania reader Dan Martin:

Hogberg and Martin offer excellent criticisms of Hugh Hewitt and the inconsistencies of his political positions. I'm a Southern California Republican and often hear Hewitt popping up on Christian talk radio, mixing some good observations with an unsettling overall thrust seeking to convince conservative Republicans out of voting scrupulously according to their conservative principles.

I find Hewitt mostly unpersuasive, especially given his own lack of application of lessons around the maxim enshrined in his latest book title, "If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat." Consider: California Rep. Bob Dornan had lost his congressional seat to Loretta Sanchez Brixey in 1996, on the basis of fraudulent votes; when Dornan ran to regain his district, Hewitt supported a more compliant and Leftward-trending Republican in the primary, despite the fact that Dornan had bested Sanchez Brixey and should have been returned to his seat with the illegal votes rescinded and an honest ballot count performed. On what rational, truthful basis can Hewitt defend that choice for a Leftier Republican than Dornan, other than that he has a political preference for more Leftward Republicans?

(A recap, in case you're interested in that long-ago Republican surrender: If you can lay your hands on a recording or a transcript of Michael Reagan's radio show from the night of and the day after the November 1996 elections, you'll hear Reagan interviewing Dornan. Dornan told Reagan he'd been assured by the then-congressional leaders that they'd get to the bottom of the illegal voting that had put Sanchez Brixey in Dornan's rightful seat, and that they'd give Dornan whatever support he needed. After this phone-in interview ended, Reagan resignedly informed the listeners that he himself had spoken to the congressional leaders, who'd confided to Reagan they had no intention of a serious investigation into Sanchez Brixey's illegal "win," and confirming that they had been outright lying to Dornan. For one thing, she was a "double-whammy mammy" -- both Hispanic and female, and the Republicans had no ... uh, "stomach" for refuting false cries they were racist and sexist. Second, then-House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich was attempting to craft a relationship of comity with Bill Clinton, and Dornan had been one of Clinton's fieriest critics.)

As for the Eleventh Commandment, and Hewitt's mischaracterization of it, you have only to consult longtime Ronald Reagan adviser Lyn Nofziger, who's explained why Reagan came up with the proviso and how Reagan used it. Nofziger recounts that Reagan voiced the Eleventh Commandment to caution Leftier Republicans from attacking Reagan and his conservative supporters as being on the "far Right" and regurgitating typical critiques-from-the-Left of the Democrats. Then, as now, Republicans from the Left portions of the party were given frequent fancy platforms by the Leftist press and the Left-sanguine background culture, the better to serve up intra-party denunciations of conservative Republicans. You may mull over appearances you've seen of former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld and former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, far Lefty Republicans both, in which a fawning Leftist moderator gave them multiple opportunities to criticize more Rightward Republicans. Where has Hewitt been, and have you ever heard him take to task such Lefty Republicans in creating post-office careers out of bashing more conservative members of the party that's supposed to cover the "Big Tent"? I don't think so!

(And Lyn Nofziger has further observed that Reagan often outlined shortcomings of Leftier Republicans, on principled grounds, and that Reagan also took allies wherever he could find them on any issue -- at times joking that he'd worry about anybody who agreed with him 100% of the time.)

Another recent title from Hugh Hewitt was "The Embarrassed Believer." That book dealt with Christians shy of being open about their religious faith. I humbly suggest that Hewitt at least ponder writing an article, "The Embarrassed Conservative," as he seems to be much more comfortable with caving in to the pressures of Leftist cultural elites and supporting Left-leaning Republicans, than in standing firm in defending conservatives from calumnies, slanders and slurs. The upshot of a Hewitt stance is to move the Republican Party ever-more and ever-quicker Leftward, behind the quick Left march of the Democrats. But who will honestly represent the conservatives then, when only a far Left and a soft Left party are ascendant in U.S. political circles?

I should close by disclosing my own political allegiances. I'm a former conservative Democrat, who finally paid heed to Ronald Reagan's statement that he hadn't left the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party had left him. (I was like Zell Miller before Zell was so cool.) Yes, not long ago I was a registered Democrat and now I'm disgusted with the trends (which Hewitt commends) in the Republican Party. In the Pennsylvania Senate primary Hewitt describes, conservative Pat Toomey was the vastly superior choice over incumbent Leftist Republican Arlen Specter (whom Hewitt commends). Hewitt argues that Toomey ought not to have been supported, in favor of Specter. It would be laughable if it weren't so hypocritical, that junior Pennsylvania Republican (and usually a conservative stalwart) Sen. Rick Santorum scored Toomey as "too conservative to win" for holding positions indistinguishable from Santorum's own. Sometimes party loyalty asks too much. Arlen Specter, standing next in line to head the Senate Judiciary Committee, is likely to be the single impediment necessary to prohibit conservative constitutionalist judges, should Bush win a second term with a modest Republican Senate gain. Think about that for a long while -- particularly if restoring a traditional understanding of the Constitution is important to you.
-- B.J. Coleman

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