The Spectacle Blog

Hail to Lindy!!

By on 3.9.06 | 10:03AM

Okay, I'm blogging up a storm this morning, but I just read that the longtime former Dem. Rep. Lindy Boggs of Louisiana (also onetime Ambassador to the Vatican) is about to celebrate her 90th birthday in high style. Mrs. Boggs is of course far more liberal on lots of domestic/economic issues than I am, but let me take this moment to offer her a major solute and the heartiest of birthday wishes. She is one of the finest ladies I have ever met, and I know that I am far from alone, even among conservatives, in saying that. Unfailingly gracious, patriotic, and principled (she never yielded on her pro-life position, for instance, even as her party became ever-more stringently pro-choice), Mrs. Boggs' personal kindnesses are legendary. And while she is a very loyal Democrat, she was always willing to work across party lines, in genuine cooperative spirit and with her word always her bond, for the good of her country and her home state of Louisiana. She was even quite gracious to former Rep. Dave Treen (later governor of Louisiana) when he arrived in Congress in a neighboring district (after decennial redistricting) after Treen earlier ran three times against Mrs.

Dems crazy on immigration

By on 3.9.06 | 9:39AM

Before I get into the meat of this comment, let me make clear where I'm coming from on immigration: My position is an amalgamation of the "welcome all you poor huddled masses" position of Jack Kemp, W Bush, and others, and the "throw the book at the illegals" position of so much of the conservative rank and file. Let's encourage LEGAL immigration all we can, because this is the land of opportunity and anybody who will abide by our laws and contribute to our country should be welcome. But if they won't even abide by our laws enough to go through the formal (and not terribly difficult) green card process, etc., then they aren't likely to abide by our other laws, either, so they have no place in our society.

When Partisan Animals Attack

By on 3.9.06 | 8:15AM

Much time has been spent (rightly, in my opinion) mocking the new children's book, Why Mommy is a Democrat, about a single mom squirrel teaching her little baby squirrels liberal orthodoxy. Sample: "Democrats make sure children can go to school, just like Mommy does." (Reason's Nick Gillespie has a particularly funny attack on this.) In December 2002, I myself wrote about another stab at indoctrinating children via Russell is a Republican, the story of a conservative cat trying to deal with his liberal puppy friend, Benny: "Benny is usually looking for a handout. He has a tendency to whine and to moan and to sigh. Often he is anxious that he won't be cared for. He is a Democrat. Russell loves him anyway."

DNC Push Polls

By on 3.9.06 | 8:11AM

The DNC is financing a series of push polls around the country that have to be some of the most disingenuous we've heard or read. Perhaps best titled, "Democrats say ..." the phone polls take more than ten minutes to listen and respond to, and include more than 25 questions that focus on Democrats' purported (by the poll taker) desire to cut spending, improve government ethics, catch Bin Laden, win the war, fire Halliburton, clean up Congress, defend American ports and borders and still have enough time to pass real health-care reform.

What's clear from the poll is that the DNC is trying to figure out exactly what voters want to hear this time around. The questions continued to hit on Bin Laden's at large status, Halliburton's no-bid contracts, Iraq, the U.S. ports story, Halliburton's no-bid contracts, Bin Laden's at large status, Iraq, Iraq, and Halliburton getting more contracts in Iraq. Oh, and corrupt Republicans in Washington who give no-bid contracts to a certain company with ties to President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Iran War Warning

By on 3.9.06 | 12:35AM

Best signals source reports that Iran is over-confident, aggressive, ready for UN sanctions, U.S. aggression, any and all challenges to its authority as a messianic empire that is committed to armed struggle at the end of days.

In Iraq, Iran is in control of intelligence and security apparatus in the fledgling, incoherent, compromised Iraqi government. The Shia of Iraq have more weapons than the U.S. forces in Iraq, and Iran, in control of the Shia militants, can adjust to any U.S. plan.

In the nuke confrontation, Iran is indifferent to the UN sanctions because it already is a nuclear armed power and is eager to demonstrate its fierceness in confrontation or in a strike-counterstrike scenario. Iran's surrogates in Iraq, in Al Q, in Lebanon and Gaza and the West Bank are ready to attack Israel and the U.S. to harass and undermine confidence in the American security regimes of Iraq and Israel.

Ahmadinejad, the IRGC and the Council of Elders (mullahs) have prepared the Iran defenses not only to ride out a US/Israeli air strike but also to retaliate with a full range of weapons against the U.S. and against the Persian Gulf shipping lanes.

Re: The Fairer Sex

By on 3.8.06 | 6:45PM

More International Women's Day press -- this time at the Guardian, where Madeline Bunting scorns Britain's -- and the West's -- active contempt of the culture of life. Searing stuff:

What use is that sassy, independent, self-assertive, knowing-what-you-want-and-how-to-get-it type when you fast forward five years to the emotional labour of helping a child develop selfconfidence? Once there's a baby in the cot, you need steadiness, loyalty, endurance, patience, sensitivity and even self-denial - all the characteristics that you've spent the previous decade trashing as dull or, even worse, for losers. Forget trying to work out your own feelings - you'll be too busy trying to work out those of your children; ditto self-confidence and self-expression.

Save a Man, Kill a Candidacy

By on 3.8.06 | 3:47PM

This is a little old but....

We've all been asked at one point or another, usually by the type of half-drunk guy who wears sandles in the winter and spends a lot of time toying with his gnarly hair, whether if given the chance we would kill a young Hitler before he came to power and wreaked havoc on the world. Now comes a modern twist on the philosophical query for the politician in the Age of Abramoff: Would you save your unpcoming state senate primary opponent if he was choking in a restaurant? The answer for one Democrat in Maryland a couple weeks ago was an emphatic yes.

From AP:

State Sen. John Giannetti was waiting for his take-out order of Italian food at a Maryland restaurant on Monday when he saw a man choking. He rushed over, performed the Heimlich maneuver and dislodged a chunk of seafood -- saving the life of his political rival.

The choking man, Jim Rosapepe, is challenging Giannetti in the Democratic primary for the suburban Washington district.


Rosapepe thanked his opponent for saving him.

Hail to Stan Evans

By on 3.8.06 | 2:25PM

Just a little while ago, I randomly ran into the great M. Stanton Evans while walking through Union Station, and I take this opportunity to pay homage to one of the great heroes of the conservative movement. Mr. Evans has trained so many conservative journalists, and written so powerfully on conservative themes, and helped give organizational support to so many conservative enterprises, that he forever belongs in our pantheon of heroes. On a personal note, Mr. Evans' writings in Human Events in late 1975 and through 1976 were one of two main factors (along with a little book called Sincerely, Ronald Reagan compiled by Helene Von Damm) that turned me into a committed Reaganite at the ripe old age of 12. I still have many of those old HE issues. Finally, let me put in a plug for a book Mr. Evans wrote about 12 years ago, The Theme Is Freedom, which I finally got around to reading just last year.

RMC Strikes Again

By on 3.8.06 | 2:03PM

Apparently Sen. Arlen Specter's letter denouncing the Republican Majority for Choice's tactics against his Pennsylvania colleague, Sen. Rick Santorum, has done little to dissuade the group from its strategy.

Jennifer Blei Stockman, the RMC national co-chair I interviewed for the article last week tying Specter to the RMC, has an op-ed in today's Philadelphia Inquirer on the South Dakota abortion ban. She couldn't help but localize the story and take a substantial swipe at Santorum:

More and more, mainstream Republicans are alienated by the direction of the party. Relentless attacks on abortion rights, stem-cell research, and the teaching of evolution only further show how religious fundamentalists call the shots and are playing bully boy with our party leaders.

The Dark Side of Browne

By on 3.8.06 | 2:01PM

I've stayed quiet on Harry Browne, mostly on "don't speak ill of the dead" grounds. Besides, I said my piece on Browne's surrender-immediately foreign policy back in 2004 (see here and here). But I can't let all the eulogizing pass without mentioning something.

Browne violated Libertarian Party conflict-of-interest rules to secure the nomination in '96. (His campaign was also accused of mis-spending funds, though that's a murkier issue.) When Liberty magazine reported on this in 2001, the LP responded by refusing to grant press credentials to my fellow Liberty intern Jim Barnett at the 2002 convention (he ended up having to buy a party membership). This was pretty petty and stupid, especially since Liberty is, other than LP house-organs and activist's newsletters, pretty much the only magazine that has consistently bothered to take the Party seriously.