The Spectacle Blog

Can’t Help Falling in Love With John McCain

By on 4.10.06 | 11:01AM

It's a universal problem. Every couple of years, when times look tough, John McCain appears to be the answer. I thought so back in 2000. John Kerry thought so in 2004. And now many in the GOP think so for 2008. The New York Times reports that Jon Stewart's aghast at John McCain's political revolution (by which I mean, his political re-evolution). While McCain's triangulation on tax cuts and Jerry Falwell is alienating liberals, conservatives should still be suspicious.

Before I get into those reasons, let me say his record on the war has been superb. And he supported Bush against Kerry, for which conservatives should be grateful. Grateful enough to nominate him for president? I don't think so.

Three issues on which the senior senator from Arizona is all wet: global warming, campaign finance, and illegal immigration. These are huge. Granted, President Bush agrees with him on two out of three (he signed McCain-Feingold), but they're large issues nonetheless.

Re: Escalation

By on 4.10.06 | 10:33AM

Juan Williams' "civil rights" strategy is novel. But it sounds like the total nonsense he might spout on Special Report or Fox News Sunday, only for the camera to turn to Brit Hume, whose jaw is hanging open in disbelief. Then, one by one, each commentator tells Juan his opinions don't reflect the the reality on the ground whatsoever.

Similarly, likening the illegal immigration movement to the civil rights movement might fly in a sophomore political science class, but not in a serious political discussion. It's absurd both in theory and in reality. First, theory: the civil rights movement was rectifying the law to comport with rights guaranteed in the Constitution. That is, all citizens should enjoy equal protection under the law. The movement against enforcement of current laws and gaining control of our borders is fundamentally opposed to the rule of law. They're demanding rights for illegal immigrants that, as both non-citizens and illegals, they just don't have. Whereas the civil rights movement looked to the Constitution to make its case, the illegal immigration movement (again, non-enforcement, open borders) cannot do so.

Transatlantic Reckoning

By on 4.10.06 | 10:26AM

As usual, Jed, the consolation is that at least we're not France -- where Chirac and Villepin, for the trouble of trying to salvage the national economy, have been handed by le mob a most degrading and hopeless defeat. The head of that employment reform law now lolls in the basket of the guillotine. But our own susceptibility to mass protest -- and our paralysis in its leering face -- casts an ugly light, too: sovereignty is peeling away in the USA only less quickly than in France. I see a bad moon rising.

Escalation in the Illegal Aliens War

By on 4.10.06 | 9:22AM

The huge demonstrations expected today in Washington and elsewhere are a form of intimidation that the Congress is almost sure to cave in to. And the rhetoric of the left is adapting to maximize its presumed advantage in this fight.

Juan Williams's op-ed in today's WaPo is a very important escalation in this political war. He characterizes the demonstrations as evidence of an Hispanic "civil rights" movement. Williams is painting the illegal immigrant protests with the most invulnerable and inviolable label in American politics. To say that the illegals are demanding civil rights now as the blacks did in the 1960s and 1970s is Williams's attempt to label any opponent of illegal immigration a racist. This is both false and libelous. Williams is guilty of more than just rhetorical excess. His column is nothing more than another attempt at intimidating the wobblies in Congress. And it may work.

Re: Air Rifles and Such

By on 4.10.06 | 9:12AM

Larry: The right to keep and bear arms was long since lost in the UK. It's a pity, but it's a dead issue there. The animal rights types have killed fox hunting and they're next on to shooting. Freedom of speech is dead there, and more and more freedoms dissolve as the EU sinks its claws into the economy. I love Britain and the Brits. But I couldn't live in a nation that so limits its peoples' freedoms.

Of Giant Rabbits, Air Rifles, and Such

By on 4.10.06 | 5:07AM


Forget the giant rabbits. Back when mad cow disease was panicking the UK, British veterinarians were not even allowed to use single shot pistols to dispatch diseased cows.


Apocalypse Watch

By on 4.9.06 | 11:02AM

On Meet the Press John Kerry just lamented the lack of international diplomacy once practiced by Henry Kissinger and James Baker.

Somewhere Madeleine Albright is stewing...And she could very well be upset about Kerry's comments, too.

Western European Scorecard

By on 4.9.06 | 9:39AM

Britain: Tony Blair -- doomed by cash-for-peerages taint. David Cameron -- useless and nightmarish "new Conservative."

France: Jacques Chirac -- dinosaur in tar pit. Dominique de Villepin -- approval ratings lower than Bush's.

Spain: Socialists widely recognized as unprepared for government; post-3/11 blush off rose in time for next elections.

Italy: Silvio Berlusconi -- more like Berluscrony; his tentacles wriggle over 0% growth. Challenger Romano Prodi -- center-left economics professor not the man for the job.

But since no one else is willing to predict it, even this late in the game, I'll call the Italian election. Berlusconi out. Eurodemocracy is a recipe for paralysis in action -- but only west of the Rhine. Power trio for the new Europe: Denmark, Germany, Poland?

Blame the Collapse on the Dems

By on 4.7.06 | 2:33PM

As I wrote earlier today, the breakdown of the agreement on the immigration bill gives the GOP a huge opportunity: Blame it on the Dems for opposing the amendment on alien felons. BRING THE AMENDMENT TO A VOTE!!!! Put them on record on the amendment. Really, it ought to be child's play to turn this issue into a winner!

Compromise Collapses

By on 4.7.06 | 2:01PM

Via RedState: The immigration compromise didn't pass a procedural muster today after Democrats wouldn't allow amendments and Republicans moved to kill the bill.

That's fine. I'd rather see no new legislation than more legislation that won't be enforced.