Re: Philip Klein's Learning From the Bush Legacy:
A truly thoughtful and thought provoking article. Well worth repeating. To me this President has always seemed to be bi-polar. Sometimes he behaved like a conservative, for example his emphasis on national defense and defeating the murderous rise of Islam. Then he spent like a Democrat on social programs that accomplish nothing except to increase the national debt. He seemed to be without a cohesive vision of what he wanted accomplish.
We now enter into the next era in our presidential history, the rise of socialism... or do we? Is it possible that Democrats learned during the Clinton years that if you stray too far to the left the American people will boot you out of office as they did in '92? Or was that not the work of Democrats, but of Newt and the Republicans?
The "change you can believe in" is appearing like back to the future. Mr. Obama has appointed recycled Clintonistas, sadly including Big Momma herself. Next will be the governor appointing Bubba as the junior senator from NY. If this President is a two-termer he is likely to be the last President I'll see, and I wonder what his legacy will be.
-- Jay Molyneaux
LET THEM EAT CAKE
Re: Ben Stein's Nice Work, Mr. Paulson:
Oh, Mr. Stein, it's going to get much worse!
It was bound to happen -- greedy, wasteful, self-serving corporations claiming to need bailouts from the American taxpayer -- and getting them -- have inspired greedy, wasteful, self-serving states to come begging, too.
I see no reason whatsoever why American taxpayers should contribute one dime to any state that rushed into bankruptcy through a combination of mad fiscal shortsightedness and fatally-fattened social generosity.
They over-spend, and we pay?
Let them eat cake. If there’s any left after their gleeful, self-congratulatory gluttonyfest.
-- A. C. Santore
SIMPLE PLAN, IF ONLY...
Re: W. James Antle, III's The Last Man Standing:
The GOP has bigger troubles than an ostensible 60 vote majority of Democrats in the stinkin’ Senate. They have to, in a sentence, become the “American party.” Not the “pro-American” party, or the most “constitutionally observant” party, or even produce the best, most electable candidate.
The Republican Party, if it’s interested in ever having a majority that has staying power, has to become the party of voter default. By that I mean the party must have, in any political race or policy battle, the default position of popular opinion.
How do they do that? Talk radio is a start. But Republicans have to question the premise of all that they have policy discussions about. The media is a fine place to start. But why grant the other party’s argument and debate from that point of view?
Consider that Snowe, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, or Susan Collins will cough up the majority the Dems need in the Senate. You’ve all by now seen the picture of McCain, Emanuel and Obama smiling together; you know this argument’s over.
If both Saxby Chambliss & Norm Coleman win, it’s a start. The Party still has to respect its principles, and argue for them rather than from the opposition’s viewpoint. Reject lousy and idiotic questions from the media, and leave them scrambling to fill the dead air. Reject the Democrats' premise and offer real solutions to the public at large. As it is right now, Democrats don’t have to make any case.
The problem: It takes guts. Hey GOP...got any?
-- P. Aaron Jones
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch's Pirates and the Politically Correct:
One wonders how these people manage to have any fun (but isn't that the point of censorship? To control thought and behavior?). What's next? Arrest for participating in International Talk Like A Pirate Day? (September 19th, by the way.)
The last vestiges of the society which spread to the world the vision of personal freedom and personal rights have been thoroughly trampled by Labour's reign. I lived in London from 1988 to 1991, and have been back to visit over the intervening years. The Thatcher boom has been ruthlessly crushed, despite the vision of growth and wealth presented by a recent Thames cruise from London to Greenwich. The cameras are everywhere, history has been rewritten for the PC education of Britain's children, violent crime is spiking, and, most alarmingly, the basic freedom of expression reduced to Orwellian condition.
Oh, hey; sound familiar?
-- Lee Hoffman
THREAT LEVEL ASSESSMENT
Re: George H. Wittman's Murder and Mayhem in Mumbai:
I’m always impressed when such events as have occurred in Mumbai are characterized as being highly organized or professional. Neither of those is true about the raid in Mumbai or similar events elsewhere in the past. By the nature of this type of event -- a suicide raid for the most part -- this was pretty amateur, given the number of attackers, weapons and explosives employed. Far, far worse could have occurred if the force had actually been professionally trained and used expert tactics. The fact that such attacks tend to yield relatively low kill rates for the number of weapons involved speaks to the amateur nature of the planning and training.
Some will find such a characterization disturbing but such people usually don’t know what real combat is like or what real assault weapons can do in professional hands. The lack of professional results speaks to the fatalistic nature of the movement involved. That becomes a weakness, not a strength with the execution. People who want to live well vs. die well are often times much more cunning and proficient in their actions. This has been shown time and time again throughout history. Should this movement be allowed to exist in a stable environment where proper training and resources can be spent and we’ll start seeing something more in tune with their stated objectives rather than the after math of what was shooting fish in a barrel. This was not organized combat where most of the initial deaths occurred.
On the flip side, no profession security force can operate effectively against even such an amateur force once it breaches the barrel and mixes it up with the fishes. I’m sure the Indian security forces made mistakes, just like the top rated security forces at Virginia Tech did against a lone amateur with the keys to the city. He had a better kill rate than these attackers had, and no explosives or assault weapons. I’m sure the Indian security forces will promise to do better next time just like the security forces at Virginia Tech did. When these kinds of people want to start living in the aftermath of these kinds of events we will then start to see really professional results.
The defender is always at a considerable disadvantage with this type of threat. An effective static defense consumes several times the force level used to make the attack. No nation can afford that kind of professional static defense. As long as there are large schools of fish and lots of barrels to protect the fish are going to keep getting slaughtered until they grow some teeth and fight back. That’s not likely to happen in our politically correct environment in the near term.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia
Indian navy blockades Pakistan’s ports until the Pakistani government solves the problem internally in their ruthless manner.
-- David Govett
Re: Larry Thornberry's Not So Blue in Florida:
There are seemingly many states and cities being reported as requiring bailouts by the federal government. It would be interesting to me (and, I'll wager, a majority of our readers here) to know which party runs the states with considerable deficits, bankrupt cities and the worst schools.
-- Jay Molyneaux
CLASSES WITHIN CLASSES
Re: Christopher Orlet's Mean Streets:
Terrific article. One question: at what point did bums become “homeless”? In my mind, the euphemism implies someone temporarily down on his luck. The non-mentally ill folk are where they are because of bad decisions, e.g. drug and alcohol abuse. Aggressive, doped up, and/or drunken panhandlers are just bums.
-- Terry Robb
Wealthy, white and liberal suburbanites needn’t worry: President Obama will either audaciously change the nature of America’s decrepit cities with a rousing speech (read from a teleprompter), or maybe he’ll call for withdrawal from the brutal and deadly urban killing fields in the next 16 months. It is obvious that the politicians who run the cities have utterly failed to stabilize and make them peaceful so shouldn’t we leave them to their own devices? Could it be what the decaying cities needs is a dose of law and order and less compassion? Might it be compassionate to take these people off the streets and involuntarily institutionalize them so as to protect them and us? Well it doesn’t really matter come next January President Obama will make everything ok. I have audacious hope for change because we can do it.
-- Michael Tomlinson
RIGHT HAND DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THE LEFT IS DOING
Some conservative pundits (e.g., David Brooks, Fred Barnes) are already writing to the effect that Obama will likely govern from the center. They point to supposedly moderate or centrist cabinet appointments, and to some grumbling and disappointment on the far left.
Let's not give credit where none is due. It is wishful thinking -- unnecessary and counterproductive -- for conservatives and Republicans to believe that Obama will govern from the center.
Obama's own political history and background, and the actual practice of the Carter and Clinton administrations, should lead us to expect battles and challenges on a series of key issues. Those who delude themselves into believing Obama will govern from the center will be be unprepared for the battles ahead.
The new administration -- Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Tom Daschle, Joe Biden, Janet Napolitano -- will definitely represent change -- change in a left direction to be sure, but change nonetheless.
The far left may have its quibbles, but don't misread them, don't exaggerate them, and don't be in denial. The far left and the mainstream media will be cheerleaders as Obama pushes expanded government, increased taxes and spending, government-run health care, "card check" for labor union bosses, weak border security, steps toward amnesty for illegal immigrants, and the nomination of activist judges who will thwart the will of the American people.
Two points above all:
As with Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the Obama administration will harm our foreign policy, retreat before our enemies, and weaken the military.
And regarding Obama's campaign promise to cut taxes: It was bad enough I had to listen to his lies throughout the campaign. It was bad enough that McCain was ineffective in countering this lying pledge. And it was bad enough that, in the end, on the issue of taxes, Obama lied better than McCain told the truth.
Why add insult to injury? Why give credit where none is due?
Whatever the grumblings of some on the far left, they will like the far left agenda agenda of change -- yes, change -- that Obama will seek to promote.
Obama will push for government-run health care, cap and trade, an auto bailout, and environmental policies that will harm the economy. He will have the support and enthusiasm of the mainstream media, the liberal elites, and yes even the far left of the Democratic Party.
Obama will expand government and RAISE taxes.
Let's not disarm ourselves with false optimism and head-in-the-sand denial about Obama governing pragmatically, realistically, and from the center.
-- Steve Beren