The Spectacle Blog

Gay Republican Outing

By on 10.13.06 | 11:44AM

I've been to the website where Mike Rogers is "outing" gay Republicans. The whole thing makes me laugh.

As the resident evangelical Christian apologist here at the AmSpecBlog, I find it more than amusing that these Democrats actually think we "Christianist" types will curl up in horror and say, "Well, I won't be voting for those Republicans! They have sodomites in their ranks!"

The folks running this scam claim to be "the reality-based community." I'm more and more getting the sense they don't get out much. They certainly must not know many evangelicals.

Here's the primer. Listen up:

We understand that there are such things as homosexuals.

We further understand that they are capable of different political and spiritual viewpoints than the ones you think they should espouse.

We actually know some gay people! Yes, it's true!

Some of us are friends with gay people! Crazy, I know!

Re: Libertarian Voters

By on 10.13.06 | 11:06AM

John, you make a good point regarding the "gridlock vote."

As for the treatment that Boaz and Kirby give to national security, they say that libertarians may move away from the Republican Party "If terrorism is not as critical a decision point in upcoming elections, or if support for Bush's handling of terrorism declines." However, it should be pretty clear that terrorism will be the dominant issue for the foreseeable future, and even if support for Bush declines, libertarian hawks will still gravitate toward the candidate who would be the best on national security, so the economic/social libertarian swing voter won't really be "in play" anyway. Or, more accurately, less votes will be "in play" than Boaz and Kirby suggest.

Armey v. Dobson

By on 10.13.06 | 10:47AM

Dick Armey describes why economic conservatives and social conservatives share a common interest in small government. A taste:

We must avoid the temptation to use the power of government to perfect our society and its citizens. That is the same urge that drives the Left and the socialists, and I can assure you that every program or power we give government today in the name of our values can be turned against us when the day comes where a majority of Congress is hostile to us.

The whole thing is well worth a read.

Hat tip: Ryan Sager.

Does The Left ‘Do’ Free Speech?

By on 10.13.06 | 8:56AM

Peggy Noonan is on fire this morning. A sample:

What is most missing from the left in America is an element of grace--of civic grace, democratic grace, the kind that assumes disagreements are part of the fabric, but we can make the fabric hold together. The Democratic Party hasn't had enough of this kind of thing since Bobby Kennedy died. What also seems missing is the courage to ask a question. Conservatives these days are asking themselves very many questions, but I wonder if the left could tolerate asking itself even a few. Such as: Why are we producing so many adherents who defy the old liberal virtues of free and open inquiry, free and open speech? Why are we producing so many bullies? And dim dullard ones, at that.

Read it all.

Dude, Where’s My Humvee?

By on 10.13.06 | 8:35AM

Canadian troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan have come across quite an obstacle: "Almost impenetrable forests of marijuana plants 10 feet tall," Reuters reports. The soldiers tried to torch them to get at hiding Taliban fighters, said General Rick Hillier.

"A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those [forests] did catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action," Hillier said dryly.

One soldier told him later: "Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I'd say 'That damn marijuana'."

The Coming Republican Surge

By on 10.12.06 | 4:34PM

I'll probably elaborate on this in my column here next week, but for now, let me just note again that I expect Republican fortunes to surge between now and election day. Does this mean I expect a big win for the GOP? No. But it does mean I expect that these elections won't be a total bloodbath. The battle for control of each house of Congress will probably go down to the wire. But watch for an upset in at least one race, by a Republican, to provide a crucial seat in maintaining a majority. Watch, for instance, Randy Graf's race in Jim Kolbe's Arizona district. Or Mark Kennedy for Senate in Minnesota. Or, as I earlier wrote, Santorum for Senate in Pennsylvania. Or Bob Hogue for the House in Hawaii. Or even, in a December runoff, Joe Lavigne against scandal-plagued William Jefferson in New Orleans.

The Libertarian Vote

By on 10.12.06 | 1:27PM

Cato has a study up by David Boaz and David Kirby that contains the most thorough analysis I've seen on libertarian voters, including estimates on how large of a voting block they are and how the block is potentially capable of swinging close elections. It is also pretty honest about some of the problems libertarians have in gaining political influence, especially their inability (or unwillingness) to organize. From the abstract:

Not all Americans can be classified as liberal or conservative. In particular, polls find that some 10 to 20 percent of voting-age Americans are libertarian, tending to agree with conservatives on economic issues and with liberals on personal freedom. The Gallup Governance Survey consistently finds about 20 percent of respondents giving libertarian answers to a two-question screen.