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Honor Bound

Armey doubters. Dowd teasers. The example of Jack Nicholson. Feminist fault lines. Circumcision conservatism. And more.

4.15.02

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ARMEY DISMANTLED
Re: The Prowler's Armey Ambushed:

During his tenure as Majority Leader, I tended to agree with Dick Armey's views on the issues, but felt he was not a particularly gifted spokesman or representative for the Republican cause.

That said, I take issue with your headline "Armey Ambushed." Yes, it sounds like people within the party were playing hardball. But reading between the lines, it looks like they in doing so, their weapon was the truth. You write, "Scott Armey found himself having to admit he caused an auto accident in 1982. His prior statements had indicated he was not at fault."

Sounds to me as if Scott Armey was less than truthful in earlier characterizations of his involvement in the accident. If he had been frank in the first place, the accident might well not have been an issue. So rather than blaming the messenger, perhaps he and his father should look in the mirror.
-- Mark Finkelstein
Ithaca, NY

Please get some facts before engaging in the Armey family's pity party and conspiracy theory politics. News of Scott Armey's 20-year-old accident was leaked? That "bombshell" has been in papers here, off and on, for 20 years. His arrogance and refusal to take responsibility for what was clearly his fault says a lot about his character, or lack of same. And, he had no insurance, somehow having missed out on all the notifications that coverage was about to, and then after nonpayment of the premium, expire. But not that any of this was HIS fault, you understand. And who leaked the fact that little Scott has never had a "real" job? He has been enmeshed in county politics up to his neck, and some of it is shady and self-serving. Are we as Republicans supposed to close our eyes to this sort of thing and send him to Congress when he already appears to be enough of a crook at home? Forget the "leak" theory and be thankful that the great unwashed still know bad character when they see it. Isn't that what we disdained for eight years of the Clinton administration?
-- L. Simon

You know, I'd feel a lot more sorry for the Armeys, father and son, if they hadn't done such a stupid thing.

Did they actually think that they could keep Scott's guilt in causing a car accident a secret until after the election. That is just the sort of thing that comes out at the least opportune time; just like GWB's drunk driving incident.

At least Scott didn't lose the actual election, just the primary. I don't know anything about politics in Texas, but generally I prefer a Republican to a Democrat. Shouldn't Dick Armey prefer the same?
-- M.C. Warner

THIS BUD'S FOR DAVE
Re Dave Shiflett's Mo Needs a Man:

Dave Shiflett certainly hits the nail on the head! I too read Ms. Maureen Dowd-y, almost in protest, simply because, damn it, she sometimes really can write.

This particular screed of hers was the first one in recent memory where she wasn't bashing the Bushies or Rummy but was instead almost making sense. Leave it to Mr. Shiflett to point out where I was wrong.

Keep up the good work!
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, Texas

Dave's article about Miz Dowd had me in hysterics. I have had the same argument about "strong" women with some of my feminist acquaintances and made the same arguments Dave did -- but not nearly as elegantly as Dave.

Dave -- you're the best, bud.
-- Steve Currence
Denver, CO

Mo don't need no man. She does need to spend about a year as a topless mud wrestler at some local shake and wiggle parlor. She'll get a real look at life as it really is.
-- unsigned

A FEW GOOD CPA'S ...
Re: Michael Craig's The Stench of a Snitch:

A re-creation of a scene from the movie "A Few Good Men"...

Tom Cruise: "Did you order the shredding?"

Jack Nicholson: "You want answers?"

Tom Cruise: "I think I'm entitled."

David Duncan (played by Jack Nicholson): "You want answers!!"

Tom Cruise: "I want the truth!"

David Duncan: "You can't handle the truth!

David Duncan: "Son, we live in a world that has financial statements. And those financial statements have to be audited by men with calculators. Who's gonna do it? You? The SEC? The Dept. of Justice? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Enron and you curse Andersen. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Enron's death, while tragic, probably saved investors. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves investors. You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that audit. You need me on that audit! We use words like materiality, risk-based, special purpose entity... we use these words as the backbone to a life spent auditing something. You use 'em as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very assurance I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I'd prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a pencil and start ticking. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!!"

Tom Cruise: "Did you order the shredding???"

David Duncan: "You're damn right I did!"
-- Blaise Rhodes

Michael Craig replies: Bravo to Mr. Rhodes. Unfortunately, you won't see Jack Nicholson portraying an auditor in a movie any time soon.

SUN SHINE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Here Comes Seth Lipsky's 'Sun':

On the upcoming right-of-center NYC broadsheet The New York Sun: This is really good news, particularly in terms of editorials. The application of conservative ideas to NYC problems sheds special light on both. NYC problems tend to be both highly tangled and buried beneath liberal understanding of them, which tends to consist in the latest of successive strata of failed ideas. When a conservative voice on NYC problems gets heard (and even heeded once in a while!) in NYC, then, because of NYC's influence, it's ultimately a little better for the whole country. That's why some of us in NYC (where I lived until recently) were so happy with Eric Breindel writing editorials for the NY Post: the right man for a job more important than many realized. And many in NYC who've ignored the NY Post as a racy tabloid will not so easily ignore a broadsheet Sun edited by Seth Lipsky. Yes, let us wish the Sun every success.
-- Benjamin Udell

FATALE RATE
Re: Jeff G. Dufour's and Reader Mail's What Women Don't Want:

As a woman and mother of 3 grown sons my question for Carrie Sue Casey is, "Is she nuts?" Feminism may have started out asking that women be respected and thought of as people with brains and certainly more than chattel. But when Bill Clinton is forgiven by these same feminists for all his philandering ways because he is the "alpha male" the fight for respect and mentality of women has just gone down the drain. As does the respect for women in the eyes of men.

She writes of the bad and bawdy jokes of women. She should be a man -- there are at least 3 or 4 moron jokes of men for every bad one of women. As for the Playboy models -- I have a sneaky thought that she could never have made it onto their pages. Neither could I, but I don't either condemn nor praise them -- it's just flat out their business. As for the men who buy these magazines (and if my sons do, I'm not aware of it), so what?

And men only "gravitate toward the largest breasts" before they mature. If Mr. Dufour disagrees with that -- my question is with him -- not all men. Mature men look for the deeper and more meaningful aspects of a woman when they seek a mate. As for the rest -- I think of it as all as growing up.

I think Ms. Casey and Mr. Dufour have not reached that point yet.

For the record, I read the classics.

Thank you.
-- Marilyn Jameson
Pittsburgh, PA

"Pandering to the fundamental ideal of typical masculinity"?? As defined by whom, a feminist?

Men used to think that it is important to have a career to support a woman (as opposed to assuming "dual" income) that he wanted to marry (as opposed to live with) and the family he wished to have with her (as opposed to deciding who will pay for the abortion because "we" are not ready yet).

Carrie Sue Casey laments the content of these magazines and men's minds in general, yet feminism and its zeal for sexual freedom for women with birth control, and abortion on demand, has created a society where many women do not have a sense of self-respect; so why should men?
-- M. Heisler
Columbus, OH

CIRCUMCISION CONSERVATISM
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s No More Hooded Look:

As a devout conservative, I wish to debate the assertion that the "anti-circumcision movement" is liberal-driven.

Okay, I'll admit that groups like NoCirc and ACM are radical -- I am unable to say "radical liberal" because I don't know enough about their roots, but they are, indeed, radical. But I would argue that the basic surgical philosophy of advising against circumcision is completely conservative at its core.

Circumcision is a cosmetic procedure with little or no significant medical advantage (hygiene is the only claimed benefit, and that is subject to some disagreement based on interpretation of data). Your citation of the New England Journal is old news, and, again, reflects issues related to hygiene. Culturally in this country, men who are not circumcised (because of their age or ethnicity) have typically been raised in ways that fail to emphasize proper hygiene. Circumcised men can also get papilloma virus and can also pass it on, increasing the partner's risk of cancer.

Circumcision is often performed on newborn infants who have no say in the decision whether to have his appearance altered in this way.

I suggest that any reasonable conservative should attempt to hold the line against cosmetic surgery being imposed upon the unwitting.

Don't get me wrong -- as a pediatrician for 25 years, I do between three and five circumcisions per week. I long since gave up trying to talk parents out of it (it doesn't work). But if I had another son today (my son was born when I was a naïve medical student, and he IS circumcised), I would not have the procedure done again. I think my rationale for that decision comes basically from my conservative point of view.

Additionally, I know a few other conservative pediatricians (a rare breed, we) -- all agree and all for the same reasons. Admittedly, some of my liberal colleagues also believe routine newborn circumcision is wrong, but their reasons don't seem to be the same.

By the way, scripturally (I am also an ordained minister) the New Testament church has clearly been exempted us from the legal responsibility to be circumcised that had been imposed upon the Old Testament Jews.

My only reason for raising this debate is that, I fear, your comments may cause your conservative readers to believe that having their own sons circumcised is the "conservative" choice. In my view, it is not.
-- B. Paul Choate, M.D.
Colorado Springs, CO

HEAVY MEDAL
Re: Reader Mail's Mean Machine:

I'm amused at Pat Lhota's complaints about the efforts of one wealthy man to expose the hypocrisy of the legions of limousine Leftists who use our allegedly "mainstream" media outlets to demonize conservatives and present their illiberal brand of "liberalism" as nothing more than what any decent human being would believe in.

If indeed Mr. Scaife is singlehandedly putting the Left to rout, I say he deserves a medal.
-- Kevin M. McGehee
Coweta County, GA

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