Public Nuisances

Public Nuisances

Public Nuisances

By From the June 2010 issue

There He Gropes Again

WASHINGTON -- Not so long ago there arose on the American political scene something called, the Angry Left. It was an indignant group of ritualistic liberals whose appearance the mainstream media apprised us augured well for Democratic victory in 2008, and so it did. The Angry Left turned out the vote for the Prophet Obama. At the time, do you recall any public figure on the right stepping forward and warning against possible violence from the indignados of the Angry Left? Did, say, the Hon. Newt Gingrich step forward at a conservative forum, say the Heritage Foundation, and remind his fellow Americans of the bombings of government buildings, the burning of university libraries, the robbing of banks by angry leftists in years gone by? I cannot recall any such warnings from any conservative eminence.

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Public Nuisances

Public Nuisances

From the April 2010 issue

Hamid Karzai (D-Chicago)

WASHINGTON -- I am beginning to think of President Hamid Karzai as Hamid Karzai (D-Afghanistan). The way he inveighs against troops who are fighting to secure his government in that inhospitable realm sounds very much like Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) inveighing against our troops during the Bush administration. Not only that, but now Mr. Karzai has arrogated for himself a formerly independent Afghan commission whose duty it was to monitor elections for fraud and other irregularities. Last week he signed a decree that will henceforth allow him rather than the United Nations to appoint officials to the Electoral Complaints Commission, which the United Nations had set up in the aftermath of Karzai's rigged reelection. So maybe it would be more appropriate for me to think of him as Hamid Karzai (D-Chicago).

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Public Nuisances

Public Nuisances

By From the March 2010 issue

The Lost Liberals

WASHINGTON -- With Scott Brown's election to the senatorial seat held by Edward Kennedy for 47 years, a few things are suddenly clear. Americans in large numbers fear a further government encroachment on our private healthcare system. There are other means of reforming it. Americans do not want to bear higher tax burdens, more profligate government spending, and crushing deficits to be borne by future generations. One other thing is clear. For the most part, the American press is not very informative.

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Public Nuisances

Public Nuisances

By From the February 2010 issue

War Is Hell -- Not Litigation

WASHINGTON -- The editor of the venerable conservative weekly Human Events is causing an admirable ruckus. Jed Babbin, once deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of George H.W. Bush and now the editor of the oldest conservative periodical in the land, is petitioning Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to dismiss charges against three SEALs for allegedly causing discomfort to one of the most-wanted terrorists in Iraq during his capture last September. Babbin now has over 90,000 petitioners. Count me in.

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Public Nuisances

The ACLU Talks Too Much/Chimp Change

By From the July 2009 - August 2009 issue

The ACLU Talks Too Much

WASHINGTON

It was my old friend and mentor, Luigi Barzini, who asseverated: “Americans talk too much.” He was sitting in the elegant library of his home in Rome. The year was 1978, though I cannot recall the contemporary controversy that aroused him. Luigi’s point was that we were wrangling again fortissimo con brio, and he thought our jabbering was again obscuring careful thought. He was a great friend of America. He had been partly educated here. He wrote in both Italian and superb English. In fact, at the time he was finishing one of his many fine books, The Europeans. It contains a friendly chapter on the USA full of shrewd insights. He believed we often argued garrulously about things that were not worth arguing about.

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Public Nuisances

Mencken and Me/Now That We’ve Won

By From the June 2009 issue

Mencken and Me

WASHINGTON

Can you believe it? In the public prints, I have been called a “pipsqueak,” and a “self-important pipsqueak” at that. The scene of the crime is Forbes magazine. The felon is Jonathan Yardley, an elderly book critic at the Washington Post. Yardley was asked by Forbes if any of the “current crop of right-wing pundits” is comparable to H. L. Mencken, the editor and critic best known for his work in the 1920s. I was referred to along with Ann Coulter (who apparently told CNN in 2006 that she is “the right-wing Mencken”), Mark Steyn, and P. J. O’Rourke. Yardley went on to say, “I don’t respect a single one of them, much less think that a single one of them deserves to be compared to H.L.M.”

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Public Nuisances

Missing Bill

By From the May 2009 issue

Missing Bill

WASHINGTON

Our nation’s capital is filling with nouveau New Dealers, social engineers, men and women with a glint in the eye. All are anticipating the orgies. There is a stimulus bill of $787 billion, an appropriation bill of $410 billion, a housing bailout bill of $275 billion, and the Prophet Obama’s colossal budget, promising $3.55 trillion of expenditures (including a $634 billion “down payment” on health care reform). My heart goes out to the American taxpayer, of course, but, somewhat to my surprise, I reserve a special sadness for former president Bill Clinton. In his party he is a dinosaur. Today, as the Obamaists swarm through Washington, the centrist from the 1990s must feel forlorn.

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Public Nuisances

J. Gordon Coogler Award for 2008

By From the March 2009 issue

Tis the season when prestigious institutions give their annual awards, and with no further ceremony allow us to announce that the J. Gordon Coogler Committee has conferred its Worst Book of the Year Award on Nicholson Baker for Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization (Simon & Schuster). The book's title serves as an appetizer for the stupidity that the book disgorges. As even professors of American history know, World War II saved civilization, but the brute stupidity of this book suggests what writing might decline into après civilization. Our present civilization has advanced, in part, because its leading minds were disciplined by fact, rational analysis, and good sense. The brute mind that perpetrated this book is void of all three. Baker is himself "the end of civilization." His earlier books are fictional works dealing with telephone sex and masturbation. This book is 576 pages of masturbation aroused by the lewd thought that Winston Churchill was as murderous as Hitler; though Baker is troubled that Churchill, unlike Hitler, was a heavy drinker, a smoker, and a wit.

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Public Nuisances

Back to the Wilderness

By From the February 2009 issue

On December 3, 2008, The American Spectator held its 2008 Robert L. Bartley Annual Dinner, a gala banquet held for Washington Club members who have supported the magazine over the years. During the event, Justice Samuel Alito spoke with great wit and Robert D. Novak was honored with the prestigious Barbara Olson Award. Editor in Chief R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. delivered the remarks below during the dinner.

And so the lamentable November 4 presidential election is entombed in history… and in keeping with the benevolent wishes of the mainstream moron media the American conservative movement once again enters the wilderness. In the wilderness, all we shall have to comfort us is the L.L. Bean catalogue. As you might have noted, we have distributed several versions of the renowned Bean catalogue on your tables. My personal favorite is the fishing catalogue. Regnery prefers the hunting catalogue. Pleszczynski is waiting for his very own Polish-language edition. I urge you all to take your L.L. Bean catalogues home with you tonight. Study them assiduously. Learn the bird calls.

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Public Nuisances

Morning in America/The Clown of Campaign ‘08

By From the December 2008 - January 2009 issue

Morning in America

WASHINGTON

What a wonderful morn! Campaign ’08 is a corpse. Step gently around it. Offer a gentle wave of the hand to those poor wretches over in the corner looking forlorn and lost. Those are the political junkies. They have awakened every day for almost two years eager for the electioneering fray: first the primaries, where Hillary was “inevitable” and Rudy the likely Republican candidate. Then they heaved and sweated for Senator Barack Obama or Senator John McCain. Now the election is over, and they are in withdrawal.

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