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Victory Laps

The politics of winning, losing, and recounting. Plus lots more.

11.7.02

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PLUS NEW JERSEY
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's Victory Matters:

It was a magnificent victory. Vulgarity was defeated everywhere but Illinois and California.
-- Jack Hughes
Chicago, IL

Thank you for stating the obvious and common sense analysis that journalists have been ignoring for 8 years. This Nov. 5 election gives a glimpse of hope that the rule of law and decency and fair play and respect will become part of our election process once again. The spin doctors and the crude, rude, arrogant anchors "We Have It Now!" would do well to copy Marc Racicot. and Norm Coleman who displayed some decorum and some poise when pitted against Terry McAuliffe and the former V.P. Anyway, thank you for your ray of hope that somewhere there are still some editors and journalists who do not bow down to the left.
-- unsigned

As an investment banker with tenure, I have observed that those who are cautious and politic in their public face generally are the good guys. Remember John Ashcroft in '00. I think the adults in the voting public sense that. It is GWB's MO. Character and the appearance of character counts. Mike Scioscia is another great example.
-- David H. Horwich

With respect to your column today, as well as another that I read with respect to the Wellstone pep rally/memorial service -- and especially comments about our impeached ex-president -- I have a question.

Why is there no mention that the shameful crude behavior of the Clintons at the Wellstone event was not the first time the American public witnessed this inappropriate behavior blatantly exhibited by them?

At the conclusion of the televised 9-11 memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral last year, it was quite embarrassing to watch as they lingered outside the front door of the cathedral for quite a while doing their grandstanding, politicking, hugging, handshaking, etc., as mourners respectfully attempted to depart.

Thank you for your attention.
-- Albina Olson

Don't count Clinton out yet. Hillary had a wonderful couple of weeks. First, Wellstone's death leaves her in 2008 with no one (short of Havana or North Korea) to the left of her. She can fake centrist positions knowing that there will be no credentialed voice out there to signal her fabrications. Second, she apparently shares her husband's blackness. Her knifing of black gubernatorial candidate McCall appears to have been viewed as black on black crime by all the left-wing media (in accordance with policy and practice, they haven't mentioned it) and none of the usual race baiters have mentioned it, either. All in all, a good time for Hillary.
-- unsigned

Well done. If Mondale had left the pep rally when Ventura did, and disavowed it, he'd likely be the junior senator from MN now. 'Twas that pivotal and proves, good taste still counts for something.
-- Gary Larson in MN

DAKOTA DEBACLE
Re: The Washington Prowler's Recount Reservations:

Re: Of course Daschle and Johnson have been involved in close races before. They're Democrats in South Dakota, for [gosh] sake! Thune should have taken the Senate election by 53-47 at the least. His incompetent, "me-too, only less" campaign was a farce. He was pushed and pulled around by the Democrats' campaign, and danced to their tune. By so doing, he demonstrated to the voters of South Dakota, a wily and insightful group, that he had no more idea of what in the hell to do than the dumbest Democrat. He is an embarrassment to South Dakota and President Bush.
-- John Gridley

Having been co-chairman of the Kingsbury County Republicans for two years, I am not surprised by the outcome in SD. The farmers and elderly have gotten used to the tax money pipe Daschle held and pointed at his beloved home state. The reasons Johnson was is two-fold: The holy, sacred ground of the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota people that no white man should defile, unless of course, he wants to visit a holy, sacred casino or cigarette store, is the perfect place to cheat at the ballot box. Dances-With-Whole-Cloth can resurrect the spirits of the past, register them and cast their ballots without getting caught. The FBI will find nothing but a patsy, a rope-a-dope mirage that will take them nowhere. Get used to close races in states with reservations.

But why was the race so close in a state with sixty-plus percent Norwegian and Lutheran Republicans? It's the Choo-Choo Candy, stupid. (Choo-Choo-Candy is my term referring to Clinton's 2 million per mile government hand-out promises he made on the train from Missouri to Chicago in '96.) Those farmers and elderly loved the sweet nothin's Daschle's majority leader status brought them. Their vote for Johnson was a sure bet the Choo-Choo Candy would keep a-comin'. The voters really did like Thune, but they liked the Daschle fire hoses blowing government cash in their faces much better. Now, they'll get neither.

On the surface, I am quick to render a nya-nya-nya, neener-neener at them all, especially since I now live in Missouri. But I think I know what the reaction will be by those Norwegians and Lutherans, and it's the real reason Tom Daschle looked like he dialed up the Suicide Prevention hot line Tuesday night. He's toast in 2006. With no more loot flowing their way, and two very liberal Democrats in a fairly conservative state, the voters will admit their error and then make sure they cleanse themselves from their greedy ways. Daschle sees his future and it's shucking corn at the Arlington, SD elevator, not bringing home the taxpayer bacon.
-- Ken Russell
Clarksville, MO

It would appear that Tim Johnson has inherited his namesake's habits. You will recall that former President LBJ won his first Senate race in exactly the same way -- by seeing what the final tally would be and then manufacturing votes enough to give him the necessary edge. He won and even dared to refer openly to his criminal act in the presence of congressional colleagues and to anyone else who would listen. (See Robert Caro's biography, the second of his trilogy on Johnson.)

I sincerely hope that you will urge anyone in the Republican Party who will listen, to pursue a legal and proper investigation of what went on in South Dakota on Tuesday.

Here's hoping,
-- Maryalice S. Wilkens

VILLAGE CHIEFTAIN
Re: George Neumayr's The California Dead:

Neumayer is spot on. California conservatives have never been so isolated as we are now, and we have the state (alleged) Republicans to thank. I think it even gets worse. Say Neumayer's electoral backlash happens out here in four years. Who will carry the standard? Kindergarten Cop-cum-Hillary, with his new half billion per annum entitlement for neglectful parents, a before- and after-school "Village" to cement the damage done all day?
-- Lee A. Tichenor

BIG SCAREDIES
Re: Lawrence Henry's What Big Business Is Really Like:

Lawrence Henry's piece is right-on. Corporate America's conservatism (in the sense of risk aversion and self preservation)is quite distinct from political conservatism. Although corporations differ from government in being run on the profit motive, their institutional structures often create similar cultural priorities. Ultimately, both cultures tend toward collectivism, which we now call by the name of...diversity!

Like Mr. Henry, I've worked in Corporate America and have seen many examples of corporate spinelessness. Allow me to cite two. First, the reference to office Christmas parties as "holiday" parties. This is done for the sake of "inclusion," even though everyone knows that the holiday in question is, in fact, Christmas, and that non-Christmas observers are never unwelcome at such parties anyway. (Try asking a Muslim observing Ramadan or a Jew observing Yom Kippur to label those occasions with this generic term.) Second, the almost unanimous usage of non-judgmental language to describe the September 11th attacks in corporate condolence messages. With few exceptions, companies chose words like "tragedy," "disaster," etc.

As the culture goes, so goes Corporate America -- unfortunately.
-- Paul Beston

BOOB'S WIN
Re: The Washington Prowler's A Rocky Republican Finish:

I was not offended by your unnamed pundit's recent opinion that Colorado Senator Wayne Allard was a "boob," I was simply surprised that you would publish the remarks of someone who is so obviously out of touch with Colorado politics.

As you can see by Allard's decisive win in Colorado, I was right and your pundit was wrong. I'm sure you're as delighted as I am! Allard is a principled, smart conservative and a very nice man.

Your pundit could eat some crow. Or, better yet, how about a nice sticker on his chest today. It could simply say: BOOB.
-- Bonnie Ramthun
Erie, CO

The Prowler replies: The Prowler loves crow, and eats it often. Allard may be a winner, but he remains a boob. Any ranking member of the U.S. Senate who cannot quote the price of a stamp or the name of the leader of North Korea, and in an election year besides, deserved to lose. That an incumbent Republican running against a Clinton administration lackey could run so poor a race and win says more about the devoted conservatives in Colorado than about the man they elected.

GETTING DOWN TO SERIES BUSINESS
Re: K. E. Grubbs Jr.'s The Triumph of the West II:

I went to my first Angel game in 1961 at old Wrigley Field in South Central LA. Yes, I was very, very young. We went with reservations because the Dodgers were being touted as "L.A.'s team." Nevertheless, I went several more times with my Dad to see them at Chavez Ravine (Angels didn't call it Dodger Stadium), especially when the Yankees and Mantle came to town.

Then, in the summer of 1966, I headed to Cal State Fullerton. After basketball practice during August and September, several of us used to go down to the new ballpark on State College (The Big A), buy $1 seats in the Nose Bleed Section and drink and eat cheap back then. Angel management had their eye on the future because they used to invite everyone to move down to field level in the fifth or sixth inning because there were only 5,000 people at those games. The ushers were nice. Ditto to the food vendors, etc. It took us 10 minutes to get back to the dorm after the game (straight up State College ... no 57 Fwy yet). Contrast that to a trip out of Dodger Stadium.

I remember how open it was past the outfield fence. That's where they parked the buses...between the A's. Mantle hit a homer one night that broke a bus' windshield. Awesome. You could watch the train go by and, later, the 57 Freeway being built. Never much cared for the enclosed-thing. Like the new Disney look.

I went to a half dozen games every year until I bought season tickets in 1982 ... when Reggie Jackson showed up. Had them until my wife decided she didn't like going to the games in 1994.

I saw them all. Jim Fregosi, Nolan Ryan, Clyde Wright, Bobby Knoop, Steve Bilko, Roger Repoz, Bo Belinsky, Albie Pearson, Frank Tanana, Leon Wagner, Dave Chalk, Bobby Winkles, Don Sutton, Bruce Kison, Ken Forsch, Bobby Bonds, Alex Johnson (what a head case) and an over-the-hill Frank Robinson with countless others fitting into that category (remember former Dodger Willie Davis?). And, the Angels also traded away too many future stars to mention (Dante Bichette for one).

My favorite Angel was Bobby Grich (followed very closely by Brian Downing). Tough. Steady. Clutch hitter. He could fit in with the current group. I watched him dive in the dirt over and over trying to make up for the "Ole Man," Rod Carew, who never bent over to get a ground ball in the hole in his life. Also, Rod was a .350 hitter with no one on base and two out in the seventh, down by five runs. Put runners on with less than two out, ground ball for a double play. Check his RBI stats and don't tell me it was because of where he batted in the lineup.

Lived through all the tragedies. Was there in '86 for the Donnie Moore/Dave Henderson situation. I'll never forget it. The Stadium was shaking ... much like it did recently.

So, now, I really can't believe they are Champs. It's terrific beyond belief. And, there's plenty of Angel fans with a similar story.

Enjoyed your column. Peace.
-- Bill Whiteside
http://ireadfaces.com

THE GREAT RACE
Re: Paul Beston's The Sweet Taste of Humble Pie:

Paul Beston's piece on the NYC Marathon was the finest article I have read in a long, long time. As a long-distance runner myself, I can identify with all of the feelings that Beston writes about. I have asked myself during races many times, "Why am I doing this?" Such doubts come when I am tired and sore, my legs are cramped, I'm cold and my hopes for a personal best time have been dashed. At that point, I just don't have a clue what I'm trying to prove anymore; I am just fighting for survival. And somehow I finish, walking or even stumbling along if I have to. And the first thing I want to know is "When can I do it again?" Thanks Paul for capturing that feeling for me, and trying to put into words the emotions I have felt. Regards,
-- John Bresnahan

Paul Beston replies: Thanks so much for that high praise. Like you, I've asked myself "why" many times. This year, however, the question was "Why aren't you running?" For the first time since 1996, I watched the race instead of running it. I won't make that mistake again. Next year, I'm back. Masochism, some say, but you and I know better.

RIGHT QUESTION
Re: Jed Babbin's France, Russia and Enaam Anaout:

Sir, a question (rhetorical, of course): Why is Jed Babbin's 10/29 article not in every major paper in this country? As the saying goes: ... none so blind as those who will not see. Keep up the great work, and thanks for my number one site.
-- Skip Gulledge

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