Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Big League Trouble:
Mr. McCain writes:
Recalling the hapless Bush 41 presidency that was the disastrous denouement of Dukakis’s defeat, disaffected conservatives no doubt will ask, “What’s the point of electing an ideologically unsound Republican president who is almost certain to further damage the GOP ‘brand’?”
A fair question, and it’s hard to summon a positive argument in response.
Let’s trying turning the question inside-out: Are conservatives really certain that electing an “ideologically sound Republican president” is the most important goal? That was the argument behind backing George W. Bush in the first place and that hasn’t exactly helped the GOP brand, has it?
Seriously, is it really such a good idea for political parties and ideological movements to be so tightly connected? Maybe it would be a good thing for conservatives not to have their fortunes tied to whomever sits in the Oval Office. That way they can praise the president when he is right and criticize him when he is wrong and never have to worry that his failure will also drag them down.
— Sean Higgins
The other McCain gives too much credit to the “conservative” media that destabilized the Republican Party for the demise of Hillary. Obama may not be very principled or bright, but he was shrewd enough to guess Democrats and the electorate were less than enthralled with another Clinton Presidency. He also realized that an insurgency campaign had a shot at winning thanks to the discontent in the Democrat base with Hillary’s triangulation.
While Limbaugh’s and Hannity’s listening audience is large their real influence is limited to elements of the conservative movement. Regrettably, for the last 3 years that influence has been generally detrimental to the conservative cause and Republicans — while not always the same their political fortunes inseparably linked. Conservatives who pooh pooh this are one reason Democrats control Congress and an election stealing operative of Marxist ACORN could win the Presidency.
At the outset of the conservative “crackup” a few voices presciently warned that the crescendo of negativity being aimed at President Bush (a Reagan conservative) and the Republican Congress would reap a negative political backlash. They were right and unless conservatives recognize their symbiotic relationship with Republicans then they can expect to see a continued marginalizing of their ideas and beliefs in an avalanche of liberal political victories and legislation. If this happens Limbaugh, Hannity and the “conservative” media bear responsibility for not only empowering the radical left, but destroying Ronald Reagan’s legacy.
— Chaplain Michael Tomlinson
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Throughout this political campaign for the presidency, it has not yet been mentioned that Barack Obama is the first black to have made it to the final two in any country where Blacks are not a majority of the population. Europe, with its false appearance of tolerance, is probably a century away from a similar historic achievement. Fujimori’s election in Peru was a first though not laden with our historical racial baggage.
That this is occurring in these United States is even more significant considering, our country’s legacy of slavery, segregation, and discrimination. No country in the World has moved more quickly than we have to a post-racial polity.
Though I do not intend to vote for Obama, as an immigrant, I am awed at America’s willingness to overcome its past and build on it. This youthful ability to take on each and everyone of our challenges with a “tabula rasa” spirit is uniquely American.
I hope Obama’s defeat in November does not take away from this achievement. Unfortunately it will, regardless of the fact he is the most liberal and inexperienced candidate either party has put forth as its standard bearer in over a century.
— Boris Nazaroff
Stacy McCain is dreaming — unless someone can awaken John McCain from his self-induced coma, aka running a “high-minded” campaign.
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
Obama a rookie? Please apologize to rookies. At best, he’s a benchwarmer in the sandlot leagues — maybe just a bat boy.
And hitting hanging curve balls out of the park against Hillary? Nope. She made wrong choices at bat, pretty much forfeiting the game also by fielding the wrong team. Except for a couple of early innings, whatever he hit out of the park were soft home run pitches that only required him to swing the bat and make contact.
But, then, he always had the umps on his side, didn’t he? With their DNC-we’ve-already-selected-the-winner glasses on, deciding on May 31 to throw the playoff game his way, all he ever had to do was show up and take the first couple of innings.
— C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
A LIGHTBULB COMES ON
Re: Jennifer Rubin’s McCain Power:
Ms. Rubin writes, “voters really do want solutions, both long and short term to what ails them.” President Reagan said it best, “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”
— Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
I’ll admit, I’ve never been a strong McCain supporter. I would have much rather had Thompson become the nominee, but even from the first I knew that wasn’t very likely. Romney was my distant second choice, but alas, he didn’t make it either. And yet, here we have McCain coming up strong and fast in this horse race. And while I still cannot abide the fact that he drank the Warm Kool-Aid, he’s got a serious and workable energy proposal.
Actually, the more I think about and look at McCain, the more conflicted I become. He’s way too liberal for my tastes, but then again, most people are. And I’ve never really considered him a major ‘ideas guy’ which is what the Republican party needs right now more than anything. This makes me wonder if perhaps McCain couldn’t benefit from the consideration of Gingrich. Maybe not as VP, though I think Newt could do McCain a lot of help there, but for some place inside his cabinet. Secretary of Interior, maybe? Gingrich lead the last conservative revolution, and I think we would be living with a much better government right now had he held on through the Bush presidency. Maybe we can encourage McCain to start buddying up with the former Speaker? Check out his American Solutions site and adopt a couple of policies? It might be just what McCain needs to put him over the edge come November.
With all the articles in the Spectator lately clearly describing Obama’s left-wing tendencies, you do need to remember one thing. You’re preaching to the choir, not the converted and not the masses. None of us are close to supporting this advocate of change to the past policies and tax-hikes you can believe in. What we do need is more reasons to support our man. And we need ways to make sure that he is, as Mr. Hillyer said a few days ago, our SOB and that he stays that way. My thanks to those Spectator writers such as Mr. Lord and Mrs. Rubin who are giving us these reasons. Now let’s find ways to make sure he stays by our side as we stay by his.
— Charles Campbell
Jenny Rubin is correct to suggest that unless John McCain can put behind him his “One-trick Pony” image, that his sole concern as president would be the war against Islamic terrorism, he’s toast in the general election.
The American, or any, people care far more about bread & butter issues than about a far away war that’s winding down. Or about another, also far away, very hot war, in this case, the one in Afghanistan.
Tip O’Neill was correct also to observe “All politics is local.” In other words, people care about issues that affect them directly, not abstract ones. Bin Laden has become an abstract issue, regardless John likes it or not.
Unless McCain can bring himself to become seriously concerned with domestic issues, I’m one conservative who’s about to give up on his candidacy.
— Dave Livingston
Colorado Springs, Colorado
OVER THERE, BUT NOT IN THE WHITE HOUSE
Re: Ryan L. Cole’s Vietnam Syndrome:
So far, nobody who served in Korea made it to the White House either…
— Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
With regard to war, the only “unbridgeable gulf in 200 years of American history” is the complete self-absorption of my own generation of Baby Boomers who still haven’t appropriately honored their own veterans.
The current crop of soldiers will do just fine in politics — especially as the increasingly irrelevancy of old age (another Boomer “tradition”) turns us into nothing more than political “kibbitzers.”
It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
Just one small nit to pick…
John Kerry “saw extensive combat…” In three months? Lest we forget the standard tour for sons of the middle class was 12 to 14 months depending on your branch of service.
Prince Albert’s daddy, the King of Tennessee, arranged a safe, short, tour for his baby to ensure if history was ever revised to show the sacrifices made by our soldiers, Prince Albert could say “I invented sacrifice because I was there,” thus maintaining his political viability.
King Jean Francois The Fatuous, rode around on a boat for a few months writing himself up for decorations every time someone shot at him. He then approved those decorations and awarded them to himself and went home far short of a full tour because of those awards he made to himself.
His comrades of course, we not rich sons of the democrat elite and so had to soldier (sailor) on and actually see extensive combat.
So please, do not write about either of these sons of arrogant liberal privilege in the same sentence as those brave young men who wrote that blank check to their country. It said “pay to bearer _____________.”
The payment could be as simple as a year or even simpler: eternity. Neither John Kerry or Al Gore ever wrote that check.
— Jay Molyneaux
FAR OUT THERE
Re: Peter Ferrara’s Obama’s Left-Wing Extremism:
America will not elect this scoundrel. There are too many decent and thoughtful people left in this country to allow this disaster caused by the narrow-minded spite, resentment, hatred, and misdirection of others.
But it does appear that some in America — the elite-Democrats-and-liberals-leftists-progressives coalition and anyone aiding and abetting them — no longer take seriously not just the position of the presidency, but also our very freedoms and sovereignty.
How could they, offering this arrogant, dangerous, morally anchorless, inexperienced, ignorant-in-the-things-that-matter narcissist, fascist and mercenary — and, yes, fake Christian — from Illinois?
— C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
Peter Ferrara opined:
“So the true picture of who Obama is should now be clear. His consistently extreme left policy positions are well grounded deep into his past, dating back even to the prep school Marxism of his youth.”
I know that this will make me sound like an unsophisticated heathen, but I’ve come to realize that my preferences in wine are exactly the Obamas’ preferences in societal groups: I’m very, very fond of reds — and I despise whites!
— David Gonzalez
For those who hearken back to the glory days of Ronald Reagan, but seem to know very little about the Gipper or have a warm spot in their heart for his legacy and coalition Peter Ferrara’s article should be a wake up call to do what Ronald Reagan would do — vote a straight Republican ticket this November and stop Barack Obama and stymie the ambitions of the Democrats.
Before the droning begins of why vote for RINO McCain and Republicans consider the simple truth that based on what some conservatives claim to “want” Ronald Reagan would now be a RINO. How can I make that shameful claim? Based on what some assert is “conservativism” Reagan’s record of compromising with Democrats, raising Federal taxes, deficit spending, creating a new Federal bureaucracy and the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act is a RINO legacy. The reality is that like George W. Bush, John McCain is far truer to the Reagan legacy than many self-described Reagan conservatives. In fact, in comparison to conservative turncoats exemplified by Pat Buchanan, Jim Webb, Bruce Bartlett and Bob Barr he’s nigh onto the “second coming” of Reagan.
Of course, if one’s inviolable conservative principles and/or moral superiority will not allow them to vote for the “lesser of two evils” then by all means stay home, do nothing, vote a loser third party and hope beyond reason that Obama isn’t as bad as Ferrara and Dick Morris predict. But once you’ve screwed the pooch and saddled the country with Obama and a rabidly leftist Democrat Congress have the moral integrity to accept your responsibility in creating the Obamanation, because your one of his dupe’s too.
— Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Re: Jason Vieyra-Preston’s letter (under “Who Goes Around”) in Reader Mail’s Border Voters:
I did not use quotation marks in typing in “Obama lies.” Just plain old Obama lies. Stated as fact the way our friends on the left assert Bush lies. Thirteen million is indeed the number that popped up repeatedly when I did so, as with the 213,000 for McCain lies. I had no bias as to the number that appeared. In fact, had they all been at McCain lies levels there would have been no story. Is it possible the figures could change? Sure. Hey, Al Gore is a Google adviser. Had they when the article was written and I performed this simple task five times for each man named? No. Sorry. That’s no lie. Just a fact.
— Jeffrey Lord
Re: W. James Antle, III’s McCain’s Immigration Two-Step:
I live in Tucson Arizona.
I wrote Senator McCain telling him the disastrous effects illegal immigration was having on Tucson.
First of all, the people most affected by illegal immigration are the middle to lower middle class legal American citizen. Wages get depressed (especially in the trades i.e. tile-setting, cement finishing, masonry, day-labor, roofing, asphalt work etc), social services are overwhelmed, and my property taxes get to pay for the education of illegal immigrants’ children. Arizonans were also subsidizing the costs of illegals attending our state universities and community colleges. (Did you know that every Mexican is granted a free education in the Mexican University system? Why do I have to pay for their schooling here, when it’s free for them in Mexico?)
There is only so much of the “welfare pie” to distribute, and legal Arizonans had to compete with illegals for access to social services.
Contrary to McCain’s pandering to La Raza, La raza does not speak for the legal working Americans of Hispanic descent. I bet if an unbiased poll was taken of that demographic, the result would show that legal American (Chicano) citizens do not support illegal immigration.
Thousands of Mexican citizens drive unregistered and un-insured cars in Arizona. It is estimated that 50% of drivers in Arizona do not have car insurance (and even if they could get it, why get it if you have no assets to protect?). Uninsured motorist coverage is just about mandatory, but it won’t cover the damage done to your car, it only covers injuries.
If I were caught working illegally in Mexico with false identification, they would put me in jail, and I would stay there until all the bribes and fines were paid.
Recently, a delegation of government officials from the Mexican border state of Sonora went to Phoenix to lobby for the right that the deportations stop, because Sonora could not afford the costs of educating the returning children.
I could go on and on about this problem, but the bottom line is that these illegal immigrants only came here to work. They did not come here to become American citizens. If the work was no longer available they would return to Mexico and Central America. I am all for a worker program, but no amnesty, no way.
— Fred Edwards
THE LAST WORD
Re: “frost’s” letter (under “Feel the Chill”) in Reader Mail’s Border Voters:
OK, I’ll take Mr. Frost’s word that he does not like abortion. (What is not made clear is whether his dislike stems from aesthetic or moral reasons.) Common among those who claim to not like abortion but are pro-choice, in a half a heartbeat Mr. Frost goes from defending “choice” to defending abortion itself.
In responding to Garry Greenwood’s letter, Mr. Frost takes exception to the notion “that any interruption of a conception is “killing a human life.” We the readers are then gifted with a tour through the wonderful world of embryology. Along the route to “life,” we are informed that these “babies” (little pieces of tissue, etc.) do not have this and this” and are only “this and that.” He then plows into the non sequitur that because of these facts this “thing” obviously isn’t human life. I would say that Mr. Frost gets himself lost in the forest of synthetic nomenclature when he should take a more orderly and developmental view. In other words, the entire range from conception to full gestation is human and life. Instead of taking a particular point in development and seeing if it meets some arbitrary criteria before it can be said to be human, one should look at that stage, note its characteristics, and conclude that that is what it means to be human at that stage of life.
Mr. Frost then switches his argument by claiming that abortion (or freedom to have same) can relieve suffering. The mother apparently receives some sort of stay of execution from a life of unfulfillment and privation. In addition, we would be doing these imaginary children a favor by saving them from the torture of being unwanted and knowing they are the reason Mommy drinks and cries.
Then we end with the perennial, tedious argument that one is not qualified to advocate the defense of innocent life when one does not also rush to save the guilty from the gallows at the same time. (While the “Pro-Life” must pass a number of tests to become certified as “Pro-Life” and thus possessing the right to present “Pro-Life” arguments, the “Pro-Choice” are not expected to meet any qualifications.)
Thus in one letter, Mr. Frost moves from declaration of neutrality, to factual, to utilitarian, and to charges of inconsistently/hypocrisy arguments.
It is precisely because Libertarians are caged in their self-image as people who are moved by their self-described enlightened self-interest and rational thought that Mr. Frost makes a series of misjudgments.
1.) Libertarians have not cornered the market on rationality. Yet, as anyone who has ever touched a libertarian nerve can testify, Libertarians also tend to be argumentative, superior, sarcastic, and rude. Libertarians share the conviction that they see the pure light of rationality but are catastrophically ruled by their purblind inferiors. This ends in their visible irritability in dealing with their opponents on the subject of abortion. Libertarians can imagine no other wellsprings of disagreement than ignorance, bad faith, superstition, or…worse…the totalitarian temptation.
2.) This in turn leads to failing to take the “Pro-Life” argument seriously. Abortion is a transcendent and profound moral issue. If abortion is in fact evil and murder, then we are in the midst of an ocean of horror. History will not be kind to us for this mass inhumanity and those who follow us will sing to our graves a bitter song. But Libertarians treat this moral question to the level of seriousness of dancing and playing cards
3.) Any argument which stresses the conveniences which abortion may yield is nothing more than “the ends justify the means” argumentation. At best, such justification is problematic creating more questions than it answers. More typically, appealing to the temptation for such benefits only invites contempt.
4.) Blithely implying insincerity to Pro-Lifers provides numerous lessons in how not to win friends and influence people.
Conservatives believe there is a moral order to the universe. Libertarians have serious doubts about that. Conservatives believe in ordered liberty. Libertarians not so much. Conservatives the American Revolution. Libertarians more the French in many respects.
Learn it. Love it. Live it.
— Mike Dooley
Frost, I asked you in my previous letter to give an objective justification for the pro-choice position. Instead, you persist in drawing arbitrary lines and introducing straw man arguments.
The location, at a particular point in time, of the zygote, blastocyst, fetus or whatever term you wish to assign the life created at conception has no bearing on its humanity. Neither does its shape, size, or the number of cells it contains. I hope I don’t have to enumerate for you the atrocities committed by evil men against others they deemed to be inferior and therefore subhuman using dubious distinctions like these. Dehumanization is always the first step in the process of declaring someone else undeserving of life.
The problem with drawing lines where no lines exist is that the line drawer is forever re-drawing them as his arguments are one-by-one proven fraudulent or irrelevant. Mr. Bateman’s letter today points out the difficulty of navigating our way through the moral inconsistencies we create once we begin our descent down that slippery slope. We have neither the capacity nor the moral authority to make life and death decisions based upon subjective measurements of another person’s worth.
The uniting of a sperm and egg is the event that triggered your existence as well as every other human being on this planet. This is simple biology 101. Once that union occurs, no other genetic information needs to be added or subtracted in order for that living being to achieve human status. The fertilized egg contains human DNA, not that of some different species.
As for your death penalty example, your analogy is completely spurious. The man sitting on death row had a choice not to commit the act for which he was condemned to death. An aborted baby made no such choice and is guilty of no crime. To say that some sort of moral equivalence exists between sentencing to death an innocent unborn child simply for being an inconvenience to the mother and the execution of a convicted murderer is disingenuous in the extreme.
— Rick Arand
Lee’s Summit, Missouri
July 16 letter writer frost asks, “(I)sn’t it interesting how the ‘Pro-Life’ people aren’t necessarily for ALL life — most are for the death penalty (as am I) — but, it’s ironic, ‘ay?”
I am at once pro-life and in favor of the death penalty and yet, contrary to frost’s assertion, there is no irony. Why? Simple. The unborn have not been convicted of a capital crime in a court of law by a jury of their peers.
Always a pleasure,
— Mark A. Tarnowski
Re: Quin Hillyer’s reply to Edmund Dantes’s letter (under “Homespun”) in Reader Mail’s Arrogant Nonsense:
It’s not that I disliked Mr. Hillyer’s speech. It conforms nicely to the demands of the Toastmaster’s Handbook, and is in every way appropriate for delivery in a small room full of people not given to political discourse. But it is inappropriate for inclusion in a magazine read by well informed conservatives searching for a reason to vote for John McCain.
Nor do I doubt that Hillyer believes his effort to compare McCain to Barry Goldwater was meant as “the highest of praise.” Unfortunately, McCain suffers badly in the comparison.
I doubt Goldwater would have spent much time talking about immigration “reform” as a wave of illegal immigrants, and God only knows how many terrorists, crossed an undefended American border during time of war. I don’t doubt that he would have demanded that a fence ten feet tall and fully electrified be erected along the entire length of that border, or that he would have mentioned that fence daily until it was a fact of life. Discussion of such a fence has been in progress for several years, but McCain has been significantly silent on the subject. Is he more interested in the pursuit of power than in the best interest of his constituents? Goldwater wasn’t.
I doubt Goldwater would have had many qualms about methodologies used in the interrogation of men dedicated to using suicide bombing, biological warfare and atomic weapons in an effort to make America into “a shadow of itself.” I do not doubt that if he were now president, Iran, Syria and at least one Latin American nation would know what a bad idea it is to aid and abet those inclined to use terrorism and/or extortion against the United States and its allies.
I likewise doubt that Goldwater would have appointed judges “no worse” than the loathsome Kennedy and O’Conner, or that he would preside over an administration “no worse…than a holding pattern.”
I know there would be no Goldwater-Feingold Act depriving Americans of their freedom to speak in the weeks immediately prior to a presidential election.
I am one of many people who, on the basis of promises made late in the campaign, voted for Bush against my better judgment. We were betrayed. We now seek a credible reason to vote for John McCain, but so far find none. Comparing him to one of the giants of conservative thought only lowers my opinion of the man.
— Edmund Dantes
HAPPY DAY INDEED
Re: Doug Bandow’s Do You Know What Today Is?:
I think I’m gonna be sick.
— Jim Jackson