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Fun in the Sun
by

HOPELESS CASE
Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Hope Against Hope:

I’m beginning to wonder if Obama couldn’t actually blow the nomination.
Ty Knoy
Ann Arbor, Michigan

So writer McCain (relative?) uses hundreds of words to end with the line…”But wouldn’t it be fun?” He wants us to have fun this November while we pull the lever voting.

That’s his argument for voting for McCain? Fun…for that I can visit my dentist and get a tooth fixed without the shot! Or visit the smiley people at the IRS!

Maybe Senator Schumer should write a letter telling this author his ideas are bankrupt.

Fun for me is watching a video wherein Madonna claims to not having an affair with (you fill in the name, gender, etc.) because it would interfere with her “art” as a true artiste only knows!

Where’s the humor of the late Senator Eugene McCarthy when we need it?
RJP
Bernallio, New Mexico

I take no comfort from a possible win from either of these candidates.

It is amazing to me that at a time when this country is crying out for genuine true leadership our choices were reduced to “Larry, Moe, and Curly.” Now that Larry has dropped out, we are left with “Curly Obama,” and “Moe McCain.”
Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri

Despite the brilliance of pundits out there (and I use the word brilliance most condescendingly), the presidential candidate to win the presidency will be the one with the least amount of supporters, team members, associates and family members tossed under the bus during the course of the campaign! So far Obama has the most (grandma, Powers, Wright, etc.), but McCain is doing his best to catch up (Republican Party of NC, Phil Gramm…). The ones left onboard may just be the only voters who care about these candidates!

I hope GM will be able to produce a large enough bus fleet for both campaigns. It might just help Detroit survive during these trying economic times!
Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

After W frustrated Al Gore’s coup in 2000 Democrats and their media allies believed it was inevitable that they would win big in 2002. They were wrong. In 2004 the media, polls and pundits expected a John Kerry Presidency. George W. Bush not only beat Kerry, but he had coattails that increased the Republican majority in Congress — something Ronald Regan failed to do in his landslide reelection. If it hadn’t been for the conservative crackup that has detrimentally hurt the GOP Democrats would still be in the political wilderness.

Unfortunately, punishing Republicans, “throwing away an election or two” or “taking one for the team” seems to be the motivating philosophy of self-described “principled” conservatives, “liberalterians” and paranoid paleocons. Thanks to them the country has been saddled with the Reid/Pelosi Democrat Congress whose one accomplishment is increasing earmarks (this year by 122% or $177 billion). Obviously, pork is back in style with the “principled” crowd, because there’s been nary a peep from them about irresponsible Democrat spending.

As for being intellectually exhausted “liberalterians” may be, but conservatives have more than enough ideas to combat the 1970’s liberalism that Barack Obama. In fact, McCain’s economic plan is far more conservative than the ideas of big government Obamacons characterized by odious Bruce Bartlett.

While Robert Stacy McCain may think there is no civic virtue in electing a Republican I would argue there is a patriotic one when faced with the radicalism of Barack Obama. Obama and the Democrats plan to negate the Reagan legacy and pick up where Jimmy Carter left off.

Sadly, those using similar magical thinking hoping for a Republican/conservative backlash in 2012 are just as deluded. Democrats and their radical base have learned the hard lessons of being out of power and they plan with Obama in the White House to cement their grip on the Federal government. With the help of paleocons and “liberalterians” eager to destroy the election winning Reagan/Bush coalition its possible Democrats will surpass even their haughty dreams and dominate US politics for this century.

If the prospects of an Obama Presidency weren’t so frightening I’d wish those who’ve done so much on the right to undermine the GOP and this country got what they’d deserved — Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America. Fortunately, I’m not that stupid and will do what I can with contributions and my vote to forestall liberal dominance in the US, but you could hardly expect less from someone who wants to keep the nation sailing on the course Ronald Reagan charted over a quarter century ago.
Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Robert Stacy McCain hit the nail on the head today when he penned:

“Some conservatives (not all of them young intellectuals) actually dread a John McCain victory as an unmerited ratification of the GOP’s abandonment of principle. They believe Republicans “deserve to get their [rear ends] kicked,” as the veteran communications operative told me last week.”

Therein lies the rub for conservatives; a McCain victory has the potential of finishing the job which began back in 1989 when Bush 41 was inaugurated. No one wishes for defeat; political defeat gains conservatives nothing. Yet, the GOP is represented at the top by a Senator who spent darn near a decade battling conservatives and or conservative-libertarians. As one conservative put it, “If I’m going to have a liberal as President, it might as well be a Democrat.

There are actually two elections going on: the Presidential Elections as mandated by our Constitution, and an election for the future of the GOP. The leadership at the top of the GOP has been conducting a running war with conservatives ever since Reagan left office. The GOP tide which had been rising since 1978 really didn’t peak until the 1994 mid-terms. In hindsight, one could even spot trouble back then as moderates, Beltway Insiders, and the GOP establishment set-up shop and axed many of the reforms that were percolating from the grass-roots. By 2000, the momentum was gone, and the party nominated a “Compassionate Conservative.” But President Bush wasn’t all that different from his father. The implosion came less than 6 months after his second term began. Party corruption, an unquenchable hunger for taxpayer’s money, and a lack of a governing philosophy, hollowed out a party that is now in major decline. John McCain, like President Bush, is a decent man, but he is also part and parcel of the problem. The GOP, on the national level, is still the party of centralized government. When push comes to shove, McCain as President will sit down and hammer out another No Child Left Behind Act, or another Amnesty bill, or nominate another Souter or Kennedy to the High Court. He will continue to pull the rug out from under conservatives like the current President or the President’s father.

Conservatives, in short can say: been-there, done-that. We came out in large numbers in 2002 and 2004 to give a Compassionate Conservative the political support he needed to complete the Iraqi War, and to enact a rather modest domestic agenda, Six years later, the GOP lies in tatters. We are fully cognizant of the potential mischief an Obama Presidency with a governing majority can do. We also do not believe that a replay of the 1976-1980 years are not about to happen (Where the Democratic policies lead to an unexpected GOP resurgence — there is no Gipper in the wings). A defeat would have one and only one benefit; it would give the party time to think long and hard about its core governing philosophy. Without that core, all political efforts are tactical and not strategic (something, the Democrats will soon learn). The social, political, and economic pathologies of our massive centralized government are so large as to take up several volumes. If conservatives cannot convince its own party of another road less traveled, where personal liberty is its mantle piece, then our problems are much worse than imagined.
JP
Indiana

Mr. McCain just gave me one more reason to vote for Sen. McCain. Yes, it would be fun to watch the Dems all in a huff on Nov. 5th when their charismatic leader gets shot down. I’ve long held the belief, the hope, that Obama will show his true colors and be shot down hard for the elitist liberal that he is. And while I think that Sen. McCain has a chance in this election, it is Sen. Obama’s to lose. He’s the favorite in many, many ways.

A lot of people have said the Sen. McCain was the best nominee to win for the Republicans this year. That might just be true, and with the choices we had during the primaries, he was the best choice to win. But what the Republicans need more than anything is someone who can unite the conservative and libertarian messages into a solid platform and drive the cause into the White House.
Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

The mood concerning McCain’s chance of winning is beginning to turn his way. But Republican chances in the House and Senate still appear dismal. This will change too because Democrats in Congress have revealed that they want energy prices to go higher. Their quest is to turn away from carbon and go toward alternative energy, thus slowing the pace of industrialization which would bring higher gas and energy prices and tank the economy. Democrat leaders refuse to bring the issue of new drilling off shore, on shore, Alaska (ANWR), and shale oil in the West to a vote because they know it would pass. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, went so far as to state that he wanted to save all of us ignorants from oil that makes us sick.

In the 2006 Congressional elections many Democrats in Red states ran and won as Conservatives, taking control of the House and Senate. But when they got to Congress, they voted with the Democrat liberal leadership. Many of these voters did not foresee that higher energy prices would result and that sacrifice for the many would become the Democrat’s credo.

Voters will find a clear choice, drill and conserve with Republicans or sacrifice with Democrats. For what? Jimmy Carter gave voters the same choice in 1980. The answer will be the same in 2008.
Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

R.S. McCain misapprehends the despair felt by voters like myself. It has nothing to do with some amorphous Republican ennui. It has nothing to do with Obama or McCain (the elder, not the writer). It has to do with the very nature of conservatism.

You see, Mr. Cain (the writer not the elder), there are no conservatives in evidence now. There are many Republicans scurrying around trying to hang on to the best part time job in the world — an elected official in DC. But none of them is conservative.

At best, is John McCain ( I’m not doing that again) who at best would have been to the left of Scoop Jackson and not far right from the Elder Dodd from Connecticut. Today’s Republicans are the watered down version of yesterday’s conservative democrats, NOT conservatives.

These Republicans believe in the welfare state and robbing people of the dignity of work and the pride of success. They believe in huge schemes of regulation that hinder economic growth. They lack courage to end freedom-robbing legislative schemes. In short, they talk like conservatives and vote like democrats.

So, yes, conservatives are unhappy and a win by John McCain will change that not a whit!
Jay Molyneaux
North Carolina

Actually encountering an “Obamacon” (conservative actively promoting Senator Obama) is the statistical equivalent to encountering that same “Obamacon” riding a unicorn. The term should be “Defaultacons,” conservatives such as myself who refuse to participate in the election of Senator McCain. The logic behind risking “default” (D) stems from my faith in a revived rational electorate, Democrats and Republicans combined, which (as example) revolted, denounced and derailed the “immigration reform” legislation. It’s ironic that if McCain prevails “his” centrist agenda is “real” and therefore has a greater chance of implementation. Such policy changes I feel will be far more “functionally destructive” to the conservative values I represent. My personal campaign slogan, of course, is “none of the above” but having lived through Carter I really do not fear an Obama administration. His starkly liberal credentials and the looming tax burden implied should not achieve any political traction from a Congress looking over its shoulder at its constituents who are standing in line at the hardware store buying torches and pitchforks.
Michael L. Hauschild

“Team Obama now appears convinced that the general election campaign will be a triumphant march to victory.” Indeed, they appear to be. It’s called delusion.

But if the Republicans don’t get off their hindquarters, stop whining, put some steel in their spine and stop acting like the wimps they’ve been famous for being historically, they’ll ensure that Obama’s delusion becomes reality.

What’s wrong with them? Don’t they realize how vulnerable Obama is and how dissatisfaction with him grows?
C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

THE FLAPPIEST BARR NONE
Re: Thirsty McWormwood’s How Does Barr Do It?:

One can only wonder about what past relationship “Thirsty McWormwood” must have with Bob Barr to feel the need to write such a screed.

Apparently inconsistency (supporting big government while claiming not to do so) is good and consistency in one’s political philosophy is flip-flopping. I would have thought the average intern at TAS would have graduated from a school that would have at least required reading Orwell.
Bruce Majors
Washington, District of Columbia

Christians everywhere can be glad that Thirsty McWormwood was not present to do press coverage on the conversion (flip flop?) of Paul of Tarsus as he traveled to Damascus. Sometimes a change of heart is sincere and not the shenanigans of some shiftless, self-promoting politician. But to be fair and balanced, in today’s climate of shifting alliances and slippery moral values, McWormwood is wise to be cynical.
Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

A few weeks ago I had a little back and forth with R.S. McCain about the coverage that Bob Barr was receiving here at TAS, and he pointed out that while Barr may not be a major player right now, he could be a factor in November. If I recall correctly, Mr. McCain told me it was important for all the candidates to get a fair hearing and that if Mr. Barr did become a factor I would be glad to have had a “heads up” on him by reading abut him at TAS.

Well, Mr. McCain was right, and I have used his articles, and others here at TAS, to point out to some of my disaffected conservative friends that Mr. Barr isn’t really a viable alternative. And the article by “Mr. McWormwood” is one that I will probably be passing on as well. We all thought that John Kerry was the epitome of the flip-flopping politician, but Bob Barr tops them all! I think that once people get a chance to se just how much he has changed his positions conservatives will understand why they shouldn’t be giving their votes to him. You may not like John McCain (and I don’t!), but at least he has stuck consistently to the vast majority of his positions, and when he does change his mind he will acknowledge his change and explain it.

Bob Barr makes Kerry look as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar!
Eric Edward
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

I’m not going to refute Mr. McWormwood’s main point. Perhaps Barr has flipped and flopped and changed a great deal in his quest to be the Libertarian standard bearer. But I look at his quotes from Barr (I assume they are Barr’s, please let me know if I’m wrong) and I am struck with a couple of questions.

First, is Barr wrong? Is the Constitution not under constant and consistent assault? Even the land-mark DC gun-ban case was a 5-4 ruling. And that doesn’t cover the New London and several other horrible rulings from the Supreme Court. And in Mr. Lehrer’s article today we see three Federal laws in clear violation of the Constitution that are still on the books, one recently passed. No Child Left Behind, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, Social Security, public smoking bans, the War on Drugs… All of these violate the Constitution, and no one raises a cry.

The major problem with the conservative movement, and the Republican Party, is they act from the same basic premise that the Democratic Party and liberal movement: That the government is here to advance your agenda. Conservatives won’t stand up and say that anti-drug laws are wrong because anti-drug laws aide the Conservative agenda. No one strikes down public smoking bans. No one is really willing to fight entitlement programs. Health-care mandates… I’m going to stop before this becomes a laundry-list of constitutional violations in modern America. I’ll just say that maybe Barr isn’t wrong, even if he is a late-comer.

Second, Does the Republican Party have any interest in lowering the size and scope of government? Cutting taxes isn’t enough. Until such time I see Republican’s start to talk about cutting down and cutting out unnecessary government agencies (DEA anyone?) and making serious proposals on securing our porous border I just can’t disagree with Barr’s statement.

Third, Is the FMA right? I know that Gay Marriage is such a contentious issue for the right, but I seriously got to ask this question. Why is it a question of should homosexuals be able to marry? Shouldn’t the question be why not? For that matter, by what right do states provide marriage licenses? I don’t want a justification, I want to see where a Constitution gives the state the right to say who can or cannot get married. Remember, Constitutions do not just create governments for us to live with whatever law they pass. Constitutions empower governments with certain rights, and the government such empowered cannot step outside of those listed enumerated rights given to it within the constitution that created it. Don’t get me wrong; I think marriage should be between a man and a woman, I just don’t think the State should define it as such.
Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

Dear Mr./ Mrs./ Miss McWormwood,

Better yet, how about voting for Alan Keyes?
Michael Skaggs
Murray, Kentucky

GAMBLE FREE OR DIE
Re: Eli Lehrer’s The Risks of Gambling Regulation:

Mr. Lehrer is completely correct — the attempt to ban Internet gambling begins at stupid and falls off into self-mutilation almost immediately. The Bush administration has been conducting what amounts to a private jihad against I-gaming, mainly to tranquilize conservatives at the same time it was gutting the conservative agenda.

But don’t let them con you! Despite what the Department of Justice says, the Wire Act (18 U.S.C. s. 1084) does NOT cover all gambling and certainly not all Internet gambling.

According to Professor Nelson Rose, America’s senior authority on gambling law:

“No less than three United States federal courts have been called upon to determine whether this statute does indeed cover all gambling on the Internet. They have unanimously agreed that the language “sporting event or contest” in the statute leads to the interpretation that the Wire Act is limited to wagers on sports events and races. They have held that Internet lotteries and casinos are not, repeat not, banned by this, or any other, federal law.”

The Federal case, for the curious, is In re: Mastercard International Inc., Internet Gambling Litigation, and Visa International Service Association Internet Gambling Litigation. 132 F.Supp.2d 468 (E.D.La. 2001), aff’d, 313 F.3d 257 (5th Cir. 2002).)

More importantly, the rationale for banning Internet gambling is absurd on its face. It is to say that one minute, Mr. and Mrs. Voter can be relied upon to go to polls and correctly choose the leaders and policies of the nation, but the next minute, with five dollars and a poker hand, in the privacy of their own homes, their discretion is not to be trusted.

If we want to get rid of the Nanny State, this would be a good place to start.
Martin Owens
Sacramento, California

LOST AT SEA
Re: Ben Lerner’s LOST Oil Prophets:

We all know that our government has a mental block against learning from experience. It appears to be the essence of their being.

We are the WTO punching bag for nearly everyone else in the world community, an outcome that was predicted before we joined. And now here comes the E.U., Hellbent on dominating Europe, already passing laws that punish American businesses like the airlines, and threatening more to come [revenge for the failed tanker bid, for example], yet again telling us how and what to legislate.

Apparently our history-challenged government is now ready to hang us from a chain for the LOST signatories to use us as a speed bag. On the first page of the treaty alone are several repetitions of this poison pill: “participating states, ‘shall adopt laws and regulations and take other measures necessary to implement applicable international rules and standards applied through competent international organizations.'”

As I asked once before, who decides which are “competent international organizations,” the U.N.? Spare us that!

Even more infuriating, this clause doesn’t restrict that requirement to matters relating to LOST, but to any international “rules and standards,” including international “rules and standards” yet unknown, created by international organizations yet unborn, and against U.S. interests. [Expletive deleted]

Here we are again, joining an international organization in which all of the signatories have interests in direct conflict with ours, and we will be bound not only to obey, but to legislate as instructed! Heck, even our citizens’ can’t influence our government that well.

When in the name of all that’s holy will we learn?
Anthony C. Santore

Writers at The American Spectator rightfully rail against the treaties, such as the Law of the Sea Treaty when the laws and institutions that are necessitated by these treaties undercut and undermine our national sovereignty. Mr. Lehrer’s article is consistent with the overall conservative/libertarian values of TAS: only the worst sort of hypocrites (politicians? bureaucrats?) can believe enforcing UIGEA selectively is an effective and ethical use of political power.
Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

SOME PRETTY BAD THINGS, APPARENTLY
Re: Readers’ responses to Philip Klein’s What’s the Worst That Could Happen in Reader Mail’s Why Not the Worst?:

“Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.” — Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Even the most blunt reader of today’s “Readers’ Mail: Why Not The Worst?” can attest that Mr. Klein’s overly optimistic argument raised the ire of the TAS readers, or at least those whose passions carry them to writing. But a more discerning reader will see a distinctive difference between TAS writers (responders) and the Huffington Post writers and their left wing ilk: the verbal attacks were on Klein’s position, not Klein the man. The absence of ad hominem attacks demonstrates the civility of the TAS response squads in particular and reflects well on the audience in general. Mr. Buckley, God rest his gentle soul, might very well be smiling down on us.
Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

COLD FROST
Re: frost’s letter (under “Choice Cuts”) in Reader Mail’s The Dearness of Life:

In his letter responding to Mr. Ahlert, frost labeled anyone who might disagree with him about abortion as a “fanatical zealot” and any who failed to prostrate themselves at the altar of CHOICE were demonized as “sanctimonious pontificators.” Why is it that those who beat the drum so loudly for freedom of choice do so selectively? How come the most obvious victims, the unborn children brutally killed by abortion, are afforded no such right? Ah, that’s because according to the arbitrary nomenclature of the people of CHOICE, the child in-utero has been defined as something less than human.

So, to answer your question Mr. frost, here is the part of the choice definition we on the “extreme right” have questions about. What objective standard do you and your pro-choice brethren use to justify taking a life in the name of choice? Before you tell us about viability, do you know with absolute certainty the instant an unborn baby becomes viable outside the womb? And why exactly should viability be the determining factor in deciding for an abortion in the first place? Again, we need an objective explanation not capricious sentiment. Can you provide us with a valid scientific reason to believe that a fetus is not a separate being from its mother, given the fact that the unborn child often has a blood type incompatible with that of its mother along with a host of other differing physical characteristics including gender? How can this separate entity with its own brain, heart, lungs, etc. be considered part of its mother’s body just because it temporarily resides in its mother’s womb during the gestation period? Also, unless you can demonstrate that the life inside the womb contains a non-human set of chromosomes, I don’t believe you can’t make a strong argument for CHOICE based upon genetics either.

So, what is it about abortion that you do not like other than the fact that the Supreme Court bushwhacked the Constitution in order to legalize it?
Rick Arand
Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Mr. Frost believes those of us on the (extreme) right fail to grasp the meaning of the word “choice.” Actually, it is Mr. Frost who fails to grasp the obvious. I have yet to meet anyone who claims to be pro-choice that does not also approve of and fully support abortion. Can he?

The obvious observation here is that “pro-choice” is a misnomer. The more appropriate term is “pro-abortion” because that is precisely what they subscribe to.
Garry Greenwood
Gearhart, Oregon

HOPE WITHOUT BOREDOM
Re: Lawrence Henry’sA Sprint to a Transplant and the letters under “Real Insight” in The Dearness of Life:

I have to echo other readers who wrote in earlier.

How is hope boring? How is disseminating information to others who may suffer the same malady be boring? And all without the medical gobbledygook that gets thrown around so often.

Like another reader pointed out, why is it that only three medical centers are doing this? Just wait until I get a hold of the chief of nephrology in the hospital I work in! Downstate in Brooklyn should be doing this.

Please keep us informed and up to date. This is not boring.

What better way to help others in your situation than a real, live report.

I wish you all the best and complete success in your pursuit.
Anastasia Mather
Staten Island, New York

GONZO UNCELEBRATED
Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Fear and Loathing at the Movies:

More against the human train wreck who was adored by the left. In 1987, Thompson joined the political lynch mob against Arizona Governor Evan Mecham, writing in one of his columns, “When you want to kill a king, you aim for him. Welcome to Mecham country.” A few days later, shots were fired at both Governor Mecham’s home and business.

The only way Hunter S. Thompson could have had any sort of positive influence would have been had he left a suicide note saying, “Don’t be like me. It’s not worth it!”
Michael Skaggs

LOCATION, LOCATION
Re: The Prowler’s Obama Berlin:

Obama in front of the Reichstag? Why not? That seems befitting his ideologies and personality. And that should provide yet another image, along with the New Yorker cover, that will be seen many, many times between now and Election Day.
C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

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