TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
Re: Philip Klein’s Don’t Obamaize Palin:
For God’s sake Klein, can’t we enjoy ourselves for a little while?!
— Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri
Mr. Klein is a fine reporter, and his caution against treating Sarah Palin as an “instant celebrity” is well advised. Both Sarah and Obama fire up their audiences, it is true, so the instant celebrity comparison is valid so far as it goes. The difference is that Obama’s appeal is based on his teleprompter-reading skills, and (if we believe the pundits) his “charisma.” Obama’s resume is thin, and that’s being charitable. He has no record of accomplishment, simply because he has never accomplished anything. He is a hologram.
Sarah is Chief Executive of a large state, and she has really shaken things up, up there in wide-open Alaska, where the buffalo may not roam, but the moose and the caribou play — until they end up in Sarah’s gun-sights and dinner menu.
Which, by the way, was also the fate of Alaska’s old-school self-serving politicians, regardless of political stripe. I like that. So do Alaskans. The lady’s approval ratings are so high they’re off the charts. Only a true leader could pull that off. She may have star quality, but she also has substance.
— Doug Roll
Mr. Klein’s warning to avoid placing Governor Palin on a pedestal is well intended and appreciated. However, to compare Sarah Palin to Barry Obama is disgusting. Ms. Palin actually believes something of substance, can articulate same without a teleprompter, and has raised a family and governed in the toughest environment in America. Obama has all the sincerity and power of a high school class president and comes across as an empty suit with no specific ideas that will work in the real world. His suggestion to properly inflate our tires was almost as good as Bush 41 telling us to telecommute 20% of the work week. An Obama Administration would be a replay of the Carter Administration, without the competence. Also, my political intuition, which has served me well for decades, tells me that I trust this woman but not that community organizer.
— David Shoup
With the selection of Sarah Palin as VP candidate there is suddenly wild enthusiasm for the McCain/Palin ticket. Let me suggest 10 good reasons why conservatives and libertarians should refrain from voting for John McCain:
(1) John McCain was the moving force behind repeal of the First Amendment in McCain Feingold. As President, what additional violations of the Constitution will he champion? He has no fixed Constitutional principles.
(2) JM will consider his election as an endorsement of his immigration policy and amnesty. While I do agree we need comprehensive reform, and that sending back millions of people will probably never happen, I do not believe that most of us support his poorly considered “solution.” He will have the enthusiastic support of the Democrat Party, probably the acquiescence of his own Republican Party, and it is unlikely that talk radio will be able to stop it after the election.
(3) JM will try to use the only administrative paradigm he has available to him in controlling the bureaucracy — his military experience. The bureaucracy will end up controlling him.
(4) JM will be desperate to do deals with the Dems to establish his “maverick” bona fides. Unlike President Bush, he will not give up and he will be rolled by the evil party.
(5) JM has a total lack of understanding of economic reality, and will be totally at sea in trying to deal with forthcoming economic challenges. In a worst case scenario, he could end up being our modern Herbert Hoover.
(6) JM’s tendency to scapegoat producers in the oil industry, the pharmaceuticals industry, and whatever industry is slandered by the MSM tomorrow will further undermine his ability to deal with economic problems on a realistic basis.
(7) As with other “moderate” Republican Presidents, JM will be able to do his damage with no opposition from the stupid party. As we all know, Republican politicians are hardly profiles in courage.
(8) JM’s lack of charisma will further diminish the Republican brand and leave him with little base of support. You can expect many stories about how he deals with problems with anger rather than with solutions (he can never give in enough to the Dems to avoid this). I think we can all agree that JM’s temperament is hardly Presidential.
(9) JM is old at 72 years and getting older by the day. He will lack the energy to fight effectively. The Dems and their allies in the MSM will carve him up and have him for appetizers.
(10) This could be the biggest reason not to vote McCain/Palin. If Sarah Palin does as well off script and in debate as she has done so far, she may be “the natural” we have all been waiting for since Ronald Reagan. Such politicians come around once in a blue moon. If McCain wins, she will be tagged with his failures and her political career will be over. If McCain loses (and she continues to perform well), she can be our candidate of the future.
Certainly neither I nor you should cast a vote for Barry Obama. However, we should blank the Presidential line. If Obama is who I think he is, he will be easy pickings in four years. Plus, he will stimulate some Republican resistance that will not exist under a McCain Presidency. Spend your time and money on down ballot contests to protect as many Republican governors and legislators as possible. Don’t sign onto the McCain “straight talk” disaster.
— Stephen Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri
Mr. Klein’s article carries a warning that it would be premature for Conservatives to too heartily embrace Sarah Palin. And while this is sound advice, it should not be taken as justification for Conservatives not to vote for a McCain/Palin ticket.
Governor Palin was brought on board to get the Republican Conservative Base to the polls. For, once there, most of them will pull the lever for John McCain, if only to thwart Comrade Obama. This strategy seems to be working. An unintended bonus is the fact that the Obama campaign and the media have now made this an Obama-Palin race. And that is a race that Obama can not win. And the tactical error of running your Presidential Candidate against your opponent’s Vice-Presidential candidate, while intriguing, is staggering.
Mr. Klein warns Conservatives that not enough is known about Governor Palin for them to assume that she will accurately reflect their values when in office. In this he is correct. Not enough is known about Sarah Palin the person or about how she would perform as President. I have to disagree with him in the case of G.W. Bush, however. His stands and feelings on issues were readily available to anyone who wished to investigate a little. He had governed Texas as a fiscal conservative and a social moderate with liberal leanings. That is how he governed from the White House. That Conservatives may have been disappointed that he was not a Conservative is understandable, but irrelevant. The choice in 2000 and 2004 was either G.W. Bush or a liberal wacko.
Now the choice is the same. And while John McCain is unpalatable to most conservatives, it is either elect him or say welcome to the People’s Republic of North America. Sarah Palin will not inhabit the Oval Office in January unless something untoward happens. So her governing ability is of a lesser importance in this contest. What Conservatives see is a woman who appears to be in step with their own values who will be a front runner for the Presidency in 2012. That is why they will go to the polls and vote for McCain/Palin in November. If she should turn out to be a disappointment in the next four years; well, we have lived with disappointment for twenty years, what matters another four. But, simply put, this Presidential election is the same as it has been since 1988; a moderate [give or take] versus a liberal socialist. The only difference is that there will be a significant Conservative turn out with Palin on the ticket.
— Michael Tobias
Philip Klein makes a fundamental mistake comparing the frenzy surrounding Barack Obama to that which surrounds Sarah Palin. To wit: Obama is popular because of the media; Sarah Palin is popular in spite of it.
In other words, Americans like Mrs. Palin because their gut instincts tell them she’s the real deal — not some media-manufactured “savior.” To paraphrase Mr. Obama’s most recent comment concerning Mrs. Palin: you can put a (media) halo on a hack, but he’s still a hack.
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
MIDDLE AMERICA EMBRACE
Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Sweetheart of the Heartland:
The Palin phenomenon makes me realize that there must be thousands of other relatively unknown politicians in America who have the interests of all Americans at heart, but who will never occupy a seat in D.C. because of the permapols who retain their sinecures at any cost to the American taxpayers.
— David Govett
Running against a political party (Dems) that want to give away stuff to voters (allegedly for free) is tough. Sarah Palin understands that. She also understands that the only stuff that the Dems can’t give away is self respect. That is something one has to earn. And one doesn’t earn it by accepting free stuff.
Middle America understands that concept. That is the foundation of this great country. Liberals don’t get it. They are the old nobility, tossing the largesse of token coins to the serfs, after having plundered the productivity of the masses. But that only works as long as the serfs are willing to pick up those tossed coins. Beware of the day they fling them back! Then run and hide. The press, handmaiden estate to the nobility, are among the first to feel the brunt of resentment. Usually with violence; with Sarah Palin it’s a smile-covered knife. Middle America cheers.
Middle Americans understand real everyday life. They are descended from European serfs who longer wanted to remain serfs. But the East Coast liberals continue to preach, “serfs you were, serfs you are, serfs you will be. Listen to your betters.” Now comes an eruption.
That is why, when push comes to shove, real Americans are against transference of wealth under the guise of taxes, affirmative action, making nice to terrorists and foreign governments. It is all a matter of self respect. When one earns that one no longer accepts condescension. Not from anyone, any group or any country.
Democrats are short on self-respect. They are the party of takers.
— Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Re: Lisa Fabrizio’s America’s Imperfect Servant:
I, too, was very touched by John McCain’s acceptance speech. I am a retired Naval officer who did not vote for McCain in the Florida presidential primary, because I felt, at that time, there was a better choice. I will be voting for him in the general election.
I disagree with him on McCain-Feingold, his failed attempt with Kennedy to pass an amnesty bill last year, his reluctance to drill in ANWR, and his recent comments about combating ‘global warming.’
However, his speech did convince me that, if elected, he is going to try to drain that fetid corrupt swamp which is Washington, DC. I believe he will also appoint truly conservative justices to the U.S. Federal Judiciary. Whether or not he can get them past the Senate, and the U.S. media is another question.
He isn’t perfect, as he humbly admits. Humility — an extremely rare trait in politicians. I hope it isn’t a pose.
In any event, he’s the only ‘conservative’ in the race who has a chance of winning against the liberal Democrat Party and their henchmen, the print/TV media.
He also gave the up-and-coming Sarah Palin a huge boost for the future. There are a number of fine conservative young leaders beginning to show up around the country.
Maybe there is hope for the future. I’m voting against Barack Obama because I want my grandchildren to live in an America which is close to what I’ve enjoyed in my lifetime.
— R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida
MANN ON THE STREET
Re: Windsor Mann’s A Summer Job for Every Kid:
Windsor Mann opines that paying kids for doing nothing “is preparing them for, if nothing else, future careers in the public sector.”
“Welfare Prep” is more like it.
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
Regarding D.C.’s Summer Youth Employment Program and City Administrator Dan Tangherlini, I offer you the words of from the Greatest Generation: “Steal a little and they throw you in jail/ Steal a lot and they make you a king,” Bob Dylan.
Could be why Marion Barry was such a popular mayor to the D.C. populace.
— Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
Mr. Mann’s article is interesting in that one of only two accomplishments that Barack Obama apparently had as a community organizer was the creation of a summer jobs program. I wonder how well they have fared.
— Jim Jackson
Great reporting! How much did each “child” “earn”?
— Kay Williams
In speaking of, er, persons like Sally Quinn, Dorothy Parker said it best:
“A goosegirl in ermine is a goosegirl still, and geese will gabble everywhere she goes.”
— Kate Shaw
Bravo! On publishing the article about “Who is Sally Quinn?” by Jeffrey Lord.
Keep it up!
I have thought for quite awhile that Dan Quayle’s most apt reply to Lloyd Bentsen’s cheeky admonition: “…and you are no John Kennedy” was: “That’s right bucko, and the more we learn about him, the happier I am.”
— J.C. Eaton
Unfortunately, somewhat forgotten in the present debacle with Sally Quinn and her husband, an idea of from whence all of this attitude emanated:
Said Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post at the Smithsonian Institute, as reported by David Brooks in the Wall Street Journal (10/5/89): “To hell with news! I’m no longer interested in news. I’m interested in causes. We don’t print the truth. We don’t pretend to print the truth. We print what people tell us. It’s up to the public to decide what’s true.”
Which, I guess, pretty much says it all.
ANGRY, ANGRY BARACK
Re: Patrick O’Hannigan’s The New Playbook:
What the Democrats have failed to realize in this campaign is that, if the Republicans can just keep angry Barack sound bites on TV, Middle America is going wake up one morning in October and say to themselves, “My gosh, the Democrats are running Al Sharpton for President.”
— John Hockert
WHO WAS THAT MAN?
Re: Peter Hannaford’s False Free Speech:
A further thought on anonymity and online behavior. When I saw footage of some of the protesters at the conventions these past couple of weeks, I noticed a lot of the most violent wore masks of one kind or other.
That, more than the violence they were committing, said what kind of people they were.
— Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
Re: David Catron’s response to Joseph Paduda’s letter (under “Bad CON-notations”) in Reader Mail’s Signed, Nobody:
It was unfortunate that Mr. Catron resorted to ad hominem attacks rather than primary source analysis in his recent rejoinder to my letter.
My point was, and remains, that CON programs constrain costs. Clearly free market competition of the type advocated by Ms. Palin and apparently Mr. Catron does not reduce costs.
Contrary to Mr. Catron’s assertion, I did cite specific sources for the Chrysler/Ford/GM data in my original post. Letters to the editor do not lend themselves to url hyperlinks, but Mr. Catron could have found the relevant links if he had googled my name or read my blog, which he has in the past.
Nowhere did I say that we should ignore an FTC paper referenced by Governor Palin because “the document was written during the present administration, one that has not been noted for an even-handed approach to science, analysis, and research.” He further indicts the FTC of an “intent to encourage” so-called consumer driven health care (CDHC). The report stated that intent unequivocally.
The other point I made pertains to quality. Mr. Catron states “I’m not sure that seven-tenths of a percent would be considered ‘significant’ by many statisticians, but I am sure that this is one of the weakest pro-CON arguments I have encountered.” Unfortunately, Mr. Catron is statistically confused. The risk of death is 16% higher in non-CON states for those undergoing bypass surgery. Somehow I don’t think that is a “weak” argument against CON regulations.
There are many sources of data, should Mr. Catron seek to truly understand the issue.
I’d conclude by noting Mr. Catron is not someone I have ever met nor spoken with. Yet he claims throughout his retort that he knows what I think, what I advocate, and why (I’m a ‘liberal’).
I did not attack Mr. Catron in my letter, but for some reason he chose to personally attack me in his response. This condescending, patronizing, and insulting behavior does neither him, nor the Spectator, credit.
— Joseph Paduda
David Catron replies:
LOL. The irony is that Paduda has leveled more than one cheap shot at me on his blog, where he has (as recently as Tuesday) made snide references to “that bastion of intellectual rigor, the American Spectator.” Somehow these people always seem to be very thin-skinned.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Re: Michael Tobias’s letter (under “Take it Back”) in Reader Mail’s Silly Sally:
Now all we need is for someone to remind Mr. Tobias that the party’s choice has rarely been the people’s choice. Occasionally we have a candidate who is pre-ordained to have it because it is “his turn” At least McCain didn’t choose someone who would have totally screwed the election. I have in mind supply-sider Jack Kemp, whose pre-occupation with his Super Bowl ring is the nearest thing to public masturbation. Recall the time a heckler yelled at Kemp’s wife and Secret Service moved in on the guy and Kemp said “Let the quarterback handle this?” (Groan) But he was Dole’s choice — and you see where that landed us. Think about it, if Bob Dole had had Sarah Palin and Sarah Palin had debated Al Gore…we might have been spared Bill Clinton. As for the age factor — there is old Bob, still kickin’ around.
Ninety percent of the electorate can’t remember the names of VP’s past Al Gore. If we win this time around, it will at least be memorable, as having the first woman.
But I do thank Mr. Tobias for the lesson in political science. My four years pursuing a degree in the subject followed by lifelong reading, was not nearly as enlightening. The only thing I did not glean from the whole riff was who Mr. Tobias thinks would have made an ideal candidate? And could he have won? For that matter, in the recent history of politics, how many People’s Choice candidates have we had and how have they fared? Eisenhower, maybe — riding the post-war wave. Not Nixon. Not our accidental president, Gerry Ford. He was just a born congressman and proved it in a debate, guaranteeing us four years of Carter.
Ronald Reagan was a political rara avis, setting an example that none have followed. I have never observed any similarity in those who call themselves Reagan Republicans. We can get used to this: We will never have another Ronald Reagan. We will never have another William F. Buckley. We should be glad we lived in a time when we did.
— Diane Smith
Re: Mike Roush’s letter (under “Maybe I’m Crazy”) in Reader Mail’s Silly Sally:
So, Governor Palin should have just left her daughter, Bristol, back in Alaska for the Republican National Convention because she’s pregnant (and barely showing?) Did you notice that she is also engaged? Just which party is living in the past where pregnant teenagers must be hidden from view or rushed to a back alley abortionist? I just can’t square Mr. Roush’s words with the cultural phenomenon of the movie “Juno.”
This generation of teenagers knows something that my generation is finally catching onto — there’s a life inside them. They’ve decided to take their right to choose and choose life. That is a good thing. That Bristol’s parents support their daughter in her decision is what was “paraded” on television. The fact that her daughter will have to grow up faster and marry younger is part of that decision. It’s their decision and if the sight of her shocked Mr. Roush then boo-hoo. We live in the real world where actions have consequences and sometimes you have to actually see them. Next time, hide your eyes in the couch pillow.
— Deborah Durkee
It was the seventh week of the Obama’s war. My Russian captors had beaten me for hours and finally threw me back into my cell. I was cold, hungry and damp. The pain was unbelievable and I found myself passing in and out of consciousness.
Five weeks after Obama was sworn into office, silver tongued Barack managed to piss Putin off 40 seconds into their first state visit. Thus the war in the Bering Sea. I thought –being so old — I wouldn’t be drafted. Little did I know. Not wanting to make Bush’s mistake, Obama called on all Americans to make sacrifices for the war. (I didn’t quite know how taking the patent for Barbie away from Mattel and giving it to Planned Parenthood or re-implementing the fairness doctrine had anything to do with it; but Obama said these were the demands of winning.) Walking down the street to my favorite watering hole, I was grabbed by a band of community organizers, taken to the nearest air force base, given ten days training, and then found myself parachuting out of a flaming B-17 over Moscow. Guess we should have spent a few more bucks on some planes.
Next time I found consciousness; I was tied in a chair and was sitting in front of a spare wooden desk. A sign saying Maj. Roush was right there in eye view. Behind the desk was a thin man with a monocle and grey uniform. “Welcome back, Mr. Dooley. No funny answers this time. Shall we?” What viewpoint do you take on something called “political wedge issues?”
“There are no such things.”
Looking disappointed, Comrade R. motioned for me to explain. “The planted axiom behind ‘wedge issues’ is that such issues don’t really matter but are cynically used to divide the public for mere political gain.”
“You can’t seriously deny your conservative countrymen don’t campaign on things they don’t really care about,” replied Comrade R.
“Of course, I do. There are issues that cut right through the crap and expose real political fault lines and differences. The Left has its issues and doesn’t think there can be any others that could possibly matter to anyone else. For a bunch of people that keep preaching and spouting off about diversity, they’re pretty narcissistic. In any event, there are things the Left just doesn’t want to talk about because it pulls their pants down.”
Comrade R scoffed and snuffed out his cigarette on the table. The next thing I knew my face was being pummeled in all different directions. After several minutes, the beating abruptly stopped. “You’re swift-boating again, Mr. Dooley. When you are going to admit you’re wrong or at least get out of our way? Well, no matter, I suppose. As we speak, your President Obama is surrounded by our forces at your so-called Camp David. Citizen Putin is graciously accepting his surrender. Like the great Roman Caesars, Putin is allowing Obama to rule the United States completely as he sees fit. “
I spit the blood out of my mouth. “Someday. Somehow. The Right will stop you and show you for what you are. A petty and self-righteous snob.”
At that, there was a sudden rushing and panicked running outside the halls. A subordinate appeared at the doorway. “Comrade R. We must leave immediately. The Polish cavalry is at our gates and is entering the city!”
Comrade R jumped up from his chair and prepared to leave the room. Before he left, he drew out is pistol, made sure there was a bullet in the chamber and then pointed it at me. “You lying hypocrite! How dare you think you’re right! I kill you now!”
Days later, I woke up in a Latvian hospital. The surgeons had operated to remove Comrade R’s bullet from my chest. As I stirred, a pretty young nurse smiled down at me a motioned for me to rest and stay still. Comrade R tried to kill me. But I live. The pretty young nurse took my right hand caressing it. Yes, I live. And things are looking up from here.
— Mike Dooley
The real Mike Roush emerges as a bunch of misleading Obama talking points. Governor Palin’s daughter came into the spotlight because various lefties printed all kinds of lies about her and her brother. The family was forced to make a statement about their daughter. Mike must remember, “There are many very interesting things being revealed about Sarah Palin and the digging has just begun. Stay tuned.” The lies are still being exposed. Maybe Mike wasn’t so sincere about keeping out of private affairs.
Senator Obama says one thing with respect to illegitimacy while he has done another his whole career. The culture of abortion, trivialized sex, and in Obama’s case infanticide will have to be rejected before this problem is manageable again. Senator Obama could make a show of good faith by giving all that Hollywood money back and giving those folks a good talking to about how they degrade our culture. I am not holding my breath. A pregnant daughter quietly standing with her family is the least of the problem. That is crazy.
With regard to health care for soldiers and veterans, Congress could write a clear bill to make improvements if they are needed but hasn’t. They just talk. The veteran’s bill that Senator McCain wouldn’t support is idiotic and his proposals for veteran’s benefits are much better. How about a debate? Mike needs to be more concerned with substance and less with politicized show legislation. His allies in congress have worked hard to make the United States lose the war in Iraq. Everything they do with respect to soldiers and veterans has this goal in mind. This is their idea of supporting the troops. When they are not calling innocent soldiers war criminals (Durbin and Murtha) they try to steal resources from the fight. They have put their party over their country. That is crazy.
Mike needs to get a hold of himself and not get over-excited. Recession has a meaning and we are not in one yet. If we adopt the energy, protectionist and high tax policies of Senator Obama, Mike needs to keep some space so he can react properly to real hard times. Calling various socialist schemes cures for what ails us is not rational. That is crazy.
Hoping for brave leadership from a guy who sat in a racist, anti-American church for twenty years so he could be successful in Chicago machine politics looks like a loser. In fact I would call it extremely crazy.
— Clifton Briner
Re: Dan Lawson’s letter (under “Roush to Silence”) in Reader Mail’s Silly Sally:
With gratitude to the editor of TAS for printing alternative views, a moratorium there shall be.
— Mike Roush
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