MISSING THE FORMER MICHELLE
Re: John Tabin’s American Girl:
Michelle Obama came off phony and rehearsed and certainly out of character. The words didn’t fit the personality we came to know early in the campaign before she was coached by her handlers and given limited TV exposure. This was clearly an attempt to undo her Angela Davis image.
— John W. Nelson
To say that Michelle Obama has been re-packaged by the Obama campaign is an understatement. Gone was the sharp tongued, sassy, America doubting, twice Ivy League-educated and highly paid multi-millionaire feminist. Instead, we got a Hillary redux of just an awe shucks ordinary “college educated” American wife standing by her man. The question is, can the Obama campaign and Michelle keep the burka she’s being forced to wear, in order to cloak her true identity, on for another 2 months? I sure hope for her sake that the weather stays cool.
— A. DiPentima
As so often happens when I try to understand what Democrats are going to do, I come away confused.
As Ms. Obama spoke last night I was glued to the TV. I was sure she would tell us how wonderful her husband is and that he would save us from the ravages of capitalism. I expected her to recount each and very one of the evils therein contained: profits; required effort; work; self-reliance, etc.
But instead she spoke eloquently about Republicans! I was mystified. Those among you who listened heard her numerous references to “hard working people looking for a job not a handout; folks who work two jobs just to make ends meet” and the like. She then mentioned military people “who love their country so much they leave the ones they love the most to serve…” and clearly that is not a Democrat value.
Democrats value sloth, lack of effort, no personal responsibility, dependency, and dishonesty. In short, none of the things she spoke of.
So why did she speak about Republicans? Maybe she is just one more Obamalamadingdong? Perhaps she is like most democrats, living in a world of her own invention? Maybe she has become mentally unhinged by the odious police state that is America?
More likely she is describing the folks from whom her husband will confiscate money to give to those who are the real democrat constituency: those people who do none of the things she mentioned.
— Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina
Who cares about Michelle Obama? She’ll have minimal impact on Barack being President (though could kill his chances if they let Michelle be Michelle). The only woman who can make or break the phony messiah is Hillary Rodham Clinton. If her loyal followers get it, they’ll stay home in November realizing McCain is a one-term President and 2012 isn’t that far off.
— Michael Tomlinson
Camp Habbaniyah, Iraq
Mr. Tabin’s take is most interesting — will it sell? One would hope not, but I really need a confidence builder from my fellow citizens.
Nevertheless, this event could inspire a scene in the next remake of “The Stepford Wives.”
— Bud Hammons
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s The Slavery Apology Backfire:
Too bad “the hard facts of political life in America” as Jeffrey Lord states isn’t compulsory reading for Social Science classes in our colleges across America. Like Ward Churchill, more of these racist-Marxists-liberal professors need to be ejected from our learning institutions.
— John Nelson
Regarding Jeffery Lord’s column, one could just as easily substitute the word “Iraq” for “race” and come up with the same reality: a well-documented history of critical misjudgments that can be rendered “non-existent” by a purposefully myopic media, a public both historically deficient and memory-challenged, and a Democratic Party willing to lie by commission or omission without a shred of remorse.
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
In naming the many permutations of the racial conflicts that the Democrats are known for creating, Jeffrey Lord missed maybe the most important: blacks against blacks. It has long been the practice of the Democrats to try to turn blacks against one another, especially when a strong black voice arises that is not a member of the Democratic victimology clique. Look at the way Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, Ward Connerly, Shelby Steele, Michael Steele, or John McWhorter have been demonized and had their “blackness” questioned for not spouting the liberal party line. Or look at how Star Parker or Bishop Harry Jackson are attacked for writing for Townhall.com. Or, and this one Mr. Cohen would appreciate, look how the CBC barred J. C. Watts from membership; his being black did not mitigate his being a Republican, and everyone knows that only black Democrats can truly represent the black populace. Or so goes the putrid argument of the left on this matter.
The Democratic Party has preached racial conciliation from one side of their mouths, while out of the other actively pitting every race against one another. They seem to fear the day that the members of these various ethnic groups wake up and realize that it is not one another they should be fighting, but a bloated government that is hell bent for leather on controlling as much of their lives as possible. But as long as the Democrats can keep the various ethnic groups locked in battles with one another, those groups will fail to realize that it is the Democrats who foster and nourish these conflicts to enhance their own power. And it is particularly sad to see my fellow blacks allowing themselves to be so easily misled and abused by these cynical Democrats. It is a crying shame to see blacks cheer as people like Justice Thomas or Secretary Rice are attacked and torn to shreds, when their lives and accomplishments should be treated as models for our young men and women to follow, and whose accomplishments should be celebrated and not denigrated.
But as long as blacks allow these types of attacks to go unanswered and unchallenged the Democrats will persist in attacking blacks for having “the wrong attitudes.” And blacks will continue to be treated worse than a mistress, because at least a mistress in an affair is given some tokens of affection by her paramour; but in this current situation blacks are treated like a “pro” who renders her services and wakes up to find a little cash on the nightstand.
— Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina
THE SMART SET
Re: James Bowman’s Much Higher IQ:
Bowman has hit the nail on the head. Liberal elitists feel that, having lowered themselves to pay any attention to common people at all, the recipients of their attention should not only vote for them but show a whole lot of gratitude. Rock star adulation, throwing flowers, naming their children after them.
— Charles Perry
I’ve always thought I was smarter, IQs and otherwise, than most of the people I run into — but, really, in living and working, it hasn’t been much use to me.
The liberal elite might have higher IQs than the “great unwashed,” but when it comes down to their governing style, really, they have some appalling lapses. They still see being labeled “liberal” as a smear. They do not understand why, but are forced to acknowledge the fact.
That the “masses” might reject someone who is called a liberal, just because he might act as a liberal, remains unknown to them.
— Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
Noah Webster — “The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their ability.”
I have long noticed that the very first thing liberals address in discussing a political figure will be his supposed intelligence. Of all the multitude of virtues, accomplishments, or the lack of them, it is intelligence that is the flame to their moth. Yet when we go to hear a musician we do not ask of his talent, or even what instrument he plays; we stay or go according to what he can present.
For the rest of us, finding truth or success is accomplished through a long process of failure. The liberal is not well acquainted with failure, and is just smart enough to pile one error on top of the last without toppling over as did the rest of us before we tired of that process. We do not doubt he is a very smart fellow.
— James Wilson
Didn’t know if you guys were aware, but I tried to get the video off of the Lynn Doyle website and they have cut off the Jeffrey Lord/Steve Cohen exchange on Slavery Apology. If that isn’t media bias, I am not sure what is.
— Isaac Wantland
Unfortunately, your definition of an elitist would also apply to John McCain. That’s why conservatives don’t trust him.
— Paul Doolittle
SEEN, NOT HEARD
Re: Philip Klein’s Carter Fades Away:
Pursuant to former President Carter’s on-stage appearance at the Democratic National Convention last night, Mr. Klein begins his article with the observation: “Poof. Just like that, he was gone,” referring to Carter’s presence on the American political scene. He then concludes by noting that “like an old soldier, Carter is fading away.” If only such things could also be said of the legacy Mr. Carter’s foreign policy leaves behind.
Some of us are old enough to remember Mr. Carter’s administration. We recall his colossal ignorance of economics, and the fiasco that ensued when federal government borrowing, largely to fund his social programs, usurped such excess capital in our society that there was little left for the private sector to borrow. Quite predictably, business then stagnated, inflation increased, interest rates skyrocketed to nearly twenty percent, and the value of the American people’s homes began dropping due to the resultant reduced demand. We also recall the Iranian revolution, and how the leaders of that fundamentalist Islamic movement, Mr. Ahmadinejad apparently among them, attacked the sovereign territory of our Iranian Embassy. They then seized possession of it and held our ambassadorial staff as hostages for over a year. Although considered an Act of War under international law, Mr. Carter, being a great humanitarian, nonetheless counseled restraint and diplomacy in effecting their release, a course of action that ultimately proved to be spectacularly unsuccessful. Ignoring the utter ridicule heaped upon both him and America almost daily by our Iranian adversaries during this period of negotiation, and largely ignoring for months the plight of the American hostages themselves, Mr. Carter, ever the humanitarian, finally launched his final solution — a “rescue mission.” In keeping with the man’s utter incompetence as a national leader, that failed even more spectacularly than his diplomacy.
There aren’t many of us left anymore, but some of us still work the land for our livelihood. Unlike our urban brethren, whose lives are largely lived indoors, we work outdoors and thus contend daily with those self-evident, unchangeable truths of the natural world which clearly govern all life on earth. As I tend my fields or cut firewood from the forested part of my farm, the first truth that governs all life is constantly in evidence around me: the truth which states that weakness invites attack. For example, each and every day, animals, insects and microbes all attack my crops. A harvest, I assure you, is only possible if one attacks them back. Likewise, I watch robins wrest earthworms from the sun-up till sun-down and, not infrequently, I see hawks kill rabbits; minks kill muskrats and coyotes kill fawns. Always, everywhere I look, the weak exist in a constant state of attack by the strong. So too is it with human beings. My customers buy my food for nourishment — to strengthen their bodies against attack by disease. In the same manner, many urban folks arm themselves against the chance of being attacked by a criminal — their fellow man. Likewise, throughout the course of human history, strong nations intent on conquest such as Hitler’s Germany or the former Soviet Union have always attacked their weaker neighbors. After the initial attack occurs, whether it be by an owl against a squirrel; a murderer against his victim; or a totalitarian dictatorship against a neighboring state, another inescapable truth can always be observed: only the strong survive the attack. Thus it is, in the conduct of affairs between nations, that “walk softly but carry a big stick” will forevermore be sound advice.
Mr. Carter’s foreign policy failing was ultimately, his refusal to conduct foreign affairs in accordance with the realities of life on this planet. He indeed walked softly, and he had as well a “big stick” in the form of American military might, but its deployment clashed with his humanitarian values. Foolishly, he communicated this reluctance to our Islamic adversaries through his failure to deploy force. At a time when the enemies of freedom all around the globe were already emboldened by the ill-advised retreat from communist expansionism counseled by Democratic Party leaders during the Vietnam era, Mr. Carter chose, through his pacifism, to also ignore natural law and thus dangerously embolden radical Islam further. Successive administrations, both Democratic and Republican, did the same, through their failure to forcefully respond to repeated Islamic attacks on American interests during the ensuing decades. One day, sadly, the inaction of our various leaders finally emboldened our Islamic adversaries enough. Instead of confining themselves to the low-risk bombing of our embassies abroad, they went for the “kill” by planning the “surgical strike” of September 11 throughout nearly the entire course of the Clinton administration. Shortly thereafter, they struck, attacking the very epicenters of American economic and military power. The fourth aircraft, which crashed in Pennsylvania, would likely have struck an epicenter of our political power as well. Had it actually reached an intended political target — Congress, for example — America may well not have survived the loss of it’s leadership. To those of us who understand the realities of the natural world, the message of 9/11 was unmistakable: because we fear you no longer, we are coming.
Many fault President Bush for his response to 9/11. Democrats criticize incessantly his subsequent conduct, faulting especially the methods used to interrogate our adversaries and the curtailment of civil liberties Bush deemed necessary to electronically spy on them. Their proposed solution? Yet again, the prominent Democrats of this generation, supposedly well-educated people like Mr. Kennedy, Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid, display their utter foolishness by counseling restraint and retreat. They do so in total disregard of the natural laws which govern all life on this planet. Mr. Obama, the socialist’s current pipe-dreamer of choice, expands even Carter’s irrational mantra by advising us that he will meet with America’s adversaries completely without precondition. Frankly, I, for one, would feel better if the preservation of American life and liberty happened to be a precondition he deemed important. Alas, a man who counsels “unity” on a planet where crows don’t flock with geese; “one-ness” on a planet where the weak, both human and otherwise, are under constant attack by the strong; and “peace” on a planet where the very history of government is written in the blood of the vanquished, is neither a “uniter” nor a “visionary.” He is, to the contrary, a dangerously ignorant man whose flowery prose invites aggression because it displays his underlying inability to understand and confront the realities of life. Mr. Obama has advised us that, given the choice, he will conduct his foreign policy by attempting to reconcile differences through negotiation. In other words, he thinks it wisest to operate from a position of weakness or, at best, parity. By doing so, history shows that he will inevitably only embolden those with whom he seeks to negotiate. He may indeed be well-educated but, unlike Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Reagan, Bush and a host of others, Mr. Obama suffers the same malady as Mr. Carter did: a lack of the plain common sense necessary to deal with our adversaries. If he had any, he would realize that the olive branch of peace is typically sincerely accepted only if it is offered from a position of strength. Human nature being what it is, if one seeks to ensure it’s acceptance, one offers it instead over the barrel of a cocked and loaded gun. Ah, if only things were different but, unfortunately, our planet has its realities.
— Thomas Donley
GO AHEAD AND TRY
Re: David N. Bass’s Carolina on His Mind:
Obama may have Carolina on his mind, but it’s a long shot he’ll win there. The black vote cannot carry the state for him and Clinton loyalist looking at 2012 are more a threat than an asset. When Carolina voters discover he’s trying to squelch free speech (his campaign is terrorizing stations running ads linking him to terrorist William Ayres) they, like the rest of the nation, will be even more turned off by the neo-fascist with ties not only to homegrown terrorists, but groups like Muslim terrorists.
Obama needs to quit inhaling and start worrying. If John McCain wins the popular vote he’ll get Maryland’s electoral votes even if he doesn’t win the state. Couple this with the fact that he’s weak in Michigan, Pennsylvania and other blue states and Obama is campaign a forlorn hope for foreign donors. Old guard liberal Joe “cheater” Biden isn’t going to help with women or blue collar Roman Catholics either.
Finally, when are conservatives going to get it — blue dog Democrats are faux conservatives who vote in lockstep with Pelosi radicals? Sometimes the ignorance on the right is as bad as that on the left.
— Michael Tomlinson
Camp Habbaniyah, Iraq
FOR THE YOUNGUN
Re: Lawrence Henry’s Old Ironsides Redux:
Have been thinking about Lawrence Henry and the task he has set for himself — that of teaching an 8-year-old energetic boy to sit still and recite Old Ironsides. And at a time when Larry, himself, has tasks more daunting to face. Perhaps that is why he has chosen it. Good luck with your project, Larry, as you wait and wait and wait for the whim of fate and your good fortune. October seems eons away, but you can do it!
For several months now, when I think of Mr. Henry, I think of the poem, “Invictus,” written by William Ernest Henley, included in “In Hospital,” a volume of poems he wrote while in a tubercular ward at the Edinburgh Infirmary in 1888. It perfectly describes Lawrence Henry’s grit and forbearance.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole.
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
Larry, teach Joe to sing Ragtime Cowboy Joe, as you go about cultivating his appreciation for the finer things. Getting your tongue around “on a horse, syncopated, western-gaited” and “there’ such a funny meter to the roar of his repeater” is good training and needs little in the way of explanation. He’s gonna need a breather after Ironsides!
Best of luck in all endeavors, Mr. Henry!
— Diane Smith
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s Joe, Mo, Bobby, and Me:
Hats off to Jeffrey Lord!
I remember the Presidential race of ’87/’88, and I clearly remember Biden stealing another man’s biography.
Until I saw this special report by Jeffrey Lord, I knew nothing of Biden stealing RFK’s words. I’m from Arizona and never spent much time reading the New York Times.
Once again The American Spectator offers information that is timely and useful. Thank you!
— Toni Monti
Interesting article describing a selfless effort for truth, justice (Bork) and the American Way.
The aspect claimed by the author reflects the popular mythology of the Republican Party which has supplied it the necessary “value votes” to succeed.
In a world where the electorate does tell a book by its cover, the GOP has unquestionably claimed the more effective cover — in more ways than one — which does a disservice to those who have had to eventually read the book.
My question centers on the way Mr. Lord claims the legacy of Robert Kennedy has ascended to today’s GOP…with requisite improvements, of course. However, the truth lies elsewhere. Bobby Kennedy was, above all, a believer in universal rights, Mr. Lord has corrupted that into a belief in the sanctity of individual rights while attempting to retain the universalist legacy…the “cover” of the aforementioned book. In his defense, he is not alone, as that appears a unifying principle of the former 1960s liberals who have evolved into hard line conservatives because they lost the dreams of the Kennedy era.
It is well known candidates do not write speeches, although they should have command of them and know where rhetoric originates. In fairness, not everyone had the author’s set of RFK platters memorized. Unless it is certain Biden wrote the speeches with that knowledge, it should have been a non-issue.
All this outrage generated by the propagation of unoriginal ideas drips irony coming from the party that routinely sends “talking points” to TV commentators, newspaper columnists (fifth columnists in essence) and retired military officers rendering “expert opinions” on war and peace (actually, just war) to an unsuspecting democratic citizenry.
Gosh, some of the GOP’s best friends are plagiarists.
— Wayne Anderson
KENT WE GET ALONG?
Re: Kate Shaw’s and Edmund Dantes’s letters (under “Innocence Redefined”) in Reader Mail’s Biden His Time:
Kate, Edmund… I’m hurt. Really, really hurt. To resort to ad hominem attacks worthy of a lib… wait, there I go with that overblown rhetoric again. Let me instead start with a mea culpa. I should not have used the word ‘children’ where I should have used the word ‘kids.’ This was totally a ‘my bad’ moment. My only defense is that it was very early, and I was barely into my first cup of coffee. And being able to look back at my own college years, with them being so recent, and knowing exactly what it is like, I feel very confident in my ability to label them ‘kids.’ And Kate, really? I figured my subtle joke on PC euphemism with ‘mature voters’ would be the kind of humor a conservative would appreciate. Again, coffee…
And also, Edmund, please accept my apologies. All though your choose of wording did lead me to conclude that you were essentially dismissing the sacrifice those kids made that day, it is clear from your response that you were not attempting to do so. Maybe I was wrong to conclude as such; please see aforementioned statement on coffee.
Now…let’s play a game of ‘pretend.’ Let’s ‘pretend’ that tomorrow we all read a story of the Russian army being called out to quell a days-long protest against Russia’s actions in Georgia at Moscow University. These protestors throw some stones and get fired upon, and four end up dead… what will be our reactions? Oh, heck, why pretend? Let’s cast our minds back to 1989, Tiananmen Square, Beijing. How about Boston, 1770? The act of having regular line army soldiers quelling protesters is a horrible act, no matter the place, time, or the reasons. I’m sorry, is that more awkward overstated rhetoric? Too much ‘absolute’ truth?
I see your reasoning, Edmund. I would like you to see mine. All too often, those who would call themselves ‘conservative’ are all too willing to justify the illegal (the Drug War), the inappropriate (Sen. Craig) or the wrong (Kent State, though my conclusions were incorrect) when these actions are taken in support of conservative ideals, or by conservatives. This is a problem, and it is costing the conservative movement as a whole. What should be a clear governing majority in this country instead has to fight and scramble and defend itself because you are too quick to close ranks when clearly incorrect action has occurred. And while I don’t really consider myself a conservative, I am very sympathetic to the movement, and I agree with you most of the time. And those kids that day did not ‘die.’ They didn’t lie down and give up. They were slaughtered by the United States military. And while I will not cast aspersions on the individuals who were in uniform that day, I will call out those who put them in that place. We have a military to protect our borders and fight our wars, not to quell unwanted protests, no matter how disruptive they were. And the whole of the conservative movement should do the same. Not so you can agree with me, but so you can be seen for the right thinking people that you are and not have to defend untenable positions. Oh, crud… more overstated rhetoric…
And let me just say, I love this country. There is nowhere else that I would rather live, and I have been to a few and have never shied away from learning about more. I come from a family with a long history of serving this country in time of need and would be doing the same myself today if it weren’t for certain, unavoidable and irreversible physical limitations. I spent my youngest years without my father as he honorably served, and my high school years were spent in the Tidewater of Virginia, soaking in revolutionary history, running around the Yorktown battlefield, and watching recreations of the debates for war and constitution. If my rhetoric is overblown, at least I come by it honestly.
Here’s some rhetoric that I’ve taken to heart: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces to reduce them [the people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is there duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” Overstated, indeed.
— Charles Campbell
THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME
Re: Michael Skaggs’s letter (under “Literacy Test”) in Reader Mail’s Biden His Time:
Now, and for the last time, we turn our attention to Mr. Michael Skaggs and his near frantic search, over these last few days, for vindication.
Mr. Skaggs: During the latter part of the 20th Century, the Peoples Republic of Cuba proudly announced that literacy among the Cuban people had reached 100 percent. That’s extremely impressive, until you learn that in Cuba literacy is defined as the ability to sign one’s own name and to recognize one’s own name when it appears in print.
By most standards, however, and certainly within the industrial democracies, literacy means more than an ability to identify most of the 26 letters of the alphabet and a few of the punctuation marks that govern their usage. By the high standards that guide civilized men, literacy includes at least a passing familiarity with history, literature and philosophy, as well as an ability to extrapolate when one confronts some thing new and unfamiliar.
My point remains what it always has been: (1) I attended a reunion of the Rainbow Division, and (2) the Rainbow Division was made famous by an old Movie called The Fighting 69th. Those two things are true, regardless of “timeframes.”
It is funny (sad, but still funny) to hear your claim that you were “‘getting it right”…”because of a lack of an included timeframe,” in my first letter, and therefore you were not splitting hairs. (For further illumination, consult a dictionary of American idiom. Look under S.)
Your desperate need for victory is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s periodic efforts to look like a statesman, or Geraldo’s demand that he be described as a journalist. When a pink toy poodle tries to chase a mountain lion up a tree, it gets high marks for valor, shrill noise and nervous energy, but that ain’t nearly enough.
This is the final time I will speak to this point; it bores everybody but you.
— Edmund Dantes