Disappointing Democracy | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Disappointing Democracy
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THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE
Re: Lawrence Henry’s What a Disappointment:

Look at the bright side. With McCain in the White House, he will no longer be in a position to undermine a Republican administration from the Senate.
Mike Harris
MAJ, U.S. Army

Lawrence Henry’s article about the disappointing McCain is right on target and assessment. McCain falls short for this military family whose son just left for his seventh tour as a pilot. Just because a person was a POW doesn’t make their case for anything, other than the fact we are thankful they served honorably. It is what his record has been since his military service that is considered. Yet, for us military families the only other choice that would be horrendous would be Hillary or Obama. In fact, calling Obama Commander-in-Chief, when he won’t even say the Pledge of Allegiance or place his hand on his heart symbolically and move his lips pretending to, has many of us wondering if he’d even swear in on Inauguration Day.

I suspect that if the Dems win, either Hillary or Obama, you will see a mass exodus from the military. I know droves that left after Clinton came into office in the 1990’s. They couldn’t abide him and wouldn’t falsely pretend otherwise. Still, others with commitments, like our son has, will continue to serve. And we will see these fine men and women sent to places like Rwanda, while abandoning the other places the war must be conducted.

It makes this mother shudder to see the hysterics over Obama’s worthless talk that contains nothing of substance. I hear more hope in my pastor’s sermons than you hear in Obama’s. It is clear that should he be elected we will get what we choose. And anyone that thinks this great country cannot fall is sadly mistaken. After years of debacles and senseless living we will be allowed to reap just what we sowed.

I continue to pray for my country and its leaders. Scripture commands that I do so, but now I pray with a sense of great sorrow and wonder how much longer we have. And I pray for those, like our son, who know the enemy still wants to defeat and conquer us and have the staying power, no matter how many generations it would take to win. Truly, God will be our only hope when all is said and done in November.
Beverly Gunn
East Texas Rancher

I am writing in Ann Coulter for President, and Rush for Vice President. Ann gets the top slot because she is much better looking than Rush.

No way on this earth will I vote for either of the liberals who get the nomination. The “elite” as you confirm got McCain nominated now let’s see them win with him.

Lastly these same “elites” had better have the decency not to blame us for keester kicking they are going to suffer in November, if there is fault to be found it will be at their feet.
Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri

Mr. Henry has to go back to Humphrey-Nixon? I think Dole-Clinton was pretty darn bad. Look, McCain wasn’t even my 3rd choice, but to try to make the best of a mediocre situation, which, in a democracy, one is forced to do from time to time, President McCain sounds better than President Cypher (Obama begins with a big Zero) who promises change…of some kind. McCain can woo me, just like Romney had to. Not voting for a tax cut because there weren’t spending cuts as well is some mighty sweet talk. Just think, I may get permanent tax cuts as well as a smaller government. Oh, and winning in Iraq. And a conservative Supreme Court Justice or two. Go on, McCain. I’m listening.
Andrew J. Macfadyen, M.D.
Omaha, Nebraska

Yes, another disappointing pundit letter lamenting the Republican choice probably written by a guy who laughed & referred to Ron Paul in sentences that included words like “kook, Fringe & wacko” and instead wasted their votes 4 to 1 on an unnamed Republican “poser” with a mile wide long history of non immigration enforcement and or Socialism or no position on anything over Ron Paul.

Ron Paul a guy who’s spent his life defending the Constitution was rejected & shunned by the establishment as a kook.

What’s so scary about a Constitutional government?

What do “you people” want anyway?
Smitty
West Hills, California

Personally, I will lose not a wink of sleep over the coming demise of the Republican Party in November. A party whose only recent contribution, if it can be called that, is incoherent nonsense called compassionate conservatism, does not deserve to be elected. Liberals have their own party, so they don’t need the Republican Party as it stands, and conservatives don’t need it either. Defeat is always a chance to get rid of failed policies and failed leaders and bring it new ones. Conservatives should stop wasting time, tears and misplaced hopes on leaders whose only manoeuvres are the sell-out and the retreat and rebuild their party on real convictions that appeal to ordinary voters – remember the Reagan Democrats of the 1980s? They also need to be far more articulate and competent than George W Bush at his best – remember when the Republican President was called The Great Communicator? How quickly we forget. If conservatives can start remembering the things that worked so well and forget about the things that don’t then they have a chance to win back all the Reagan Democrats they won over in the 1980s and then lost, and that is a sure path to success.
Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

I am a Vietnam Veteran and a conservative and I will NOT vote for John McCain under any circumstances. My reasons are as follows:

1) McCain is indeed a liar and his promises on taxes, the border and justices cannot be believed.

2) It will be easier to derail a far left agenda pushed by a democrat than a far left agenda pushed by John McCain.

3) My undergraduate and graduate studies in economics leads me to believe that the economy has a very rough road ahead of it. Better the democrats should get blamed for the coming economic problems than the Republicans and conservatives.

4) Conservatives have had to hold their nose and vote for a series of terrible candidates foisted on them by the Republican establishment. Gerald Ford, Bush I, Bob Dole and Bush II. Well that’s all over, I for one will not hold my nose and vote for the worse candidate against the worst candidate ever again. And a lot of conservatives agree with me on this. I for one would like to see a third party that represent conservatives and the people of this country instead of global corporations whose only loyalty is to the bottom line.

5) We need a party and a candidate that who believe in real capitalism instead of corporate monopolies and globalism. We need a party and candidate that puts the country’s welfare first instead of viewing the country and it’s people as something to be plundered and utilized for their own self indulgent ends.

The Republican establishment and their globalist masters have given us the worst possible candidate imaginable. John McCain is a disgrace and should be neither running for nor holding public office. I never thought I would have to write in a candidate for president in a national election, but that is exactly what I will be doing in November.

I will make a prediction: John McCain will suffer a loss of historic proportions this coming November. What we are witnessing may well be the end of the Republican Party.
Paul Martell

Mr. Henry: you got that right. Republicans and in particular, conservatives, have no choice in this election. However, you didn’t go far enough in your blame — it was George W Bush that allowed this to come about. He wasn’t decisive enough where it really mattered and that seems to be a genetic trait.
Pete Chagnon

Mr. Henry needs to shut up. Really. We, in the Western world, have a crisis in Foreign Policy. It requires John McCain and NOT the Democrats to handle it. At this time, you cannot afford the luxury, yes luxury, of choosing who is the better Conservative in this election. Remember, the United States of America IS the Leader of the free world.

John McCain is best equipped — for obvious reasons — to steer the West in this foreign mess; not the Democrats.

We in Australia, have a new government. One, I might add that has no real appreciation of the crisis facing the West.

You have an opportunity not to muck it up like we have. Articles like Mr. Henry’s do not help at all.
Alexandra Taylor

I share your dismay at the inexplicable rise of McCain the Insufferable.

“It is as if a starving man, set before a banquet prepared by the world’s master chefs and covering an acre in area should elect to turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies.” — H.L. Mencken, in response to the election of Calvin Coolidge.
Bob Cotton

Senator McCain is merely the tactical winner of the 2008 Republican nomination campaign. The strategic winner is the ghost of Nelson Rockefeller.

Mr. Henry, along with many other observers, believes that McCain is an unfortunate nominee, the wrong man to lead the Republicans. Respectfully, I disagree. Forty so years ago, this would have been so. But now, he is just the man to complete the Rockefeller-ization of the party. The party has come so far leftward that McCain now feels confident in telling Goldwater conservatives to go take a hike. It’s not a matter of wooing conservatives poorly, or wooing well and betraying later. This time, Barry’s ghost is explicitly being handed his eviction notice.

And we — one last time, I’ll say “we” in referring to the Republican Party — have done this to ourselves. I still respect the concept of personal responsibility. As such, I do not believe the party was pulled leftward by Democratic saboteur-voters, or by people under the hypnotic suggestion of the New York Times. What happened is that many millions of Republican-registered voters went to the polls believing that a little bit of nanny-stating is all right, as long as they are the ones who benefit. Chapter Eight of “Conscience of a Conservative” has become a dead letter, killed by our own ballots. These days, quoting Goldwater to Republicans is like quoting the Bible to Episcopalians — it just embarrasses them. We get what we vote for, and his name is Nelson Aldrich McCain.

If the Republican Party — I can’t call it the Grand Old Party any longer – survives 2008, it’ll be because the Democrats need someone to beat, like the Harlem Globetrotters needed the Washington Generals.
Byron Keith

Lawrence Henry says that you might have to go back to Nixon v. Humphrey to find a worse choice than Clinton v. McCain. I disagree. We need go no further back than Bush v. Kerry or Bush v. Gore.
R.P. Roderick

REVOLUTION STALLED
Re: W. James Antle III’s See Ron Run:

I like Ron Paul, but it’s time for him to go back practicing medicine. Texas needs another Republican in Congress.
Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

We support Ron Paul at our house. I watched his video announcement to us last week. Here are a couple of things that I consider in supporting him even now: first, to me it never was about winning the presidency. I don’t think that was realistic at any time. Second, it’s about the message of a restored republic under the Constitution, and making a statement about that at the polls. Third, I do feel, in spite of what rhetoric has to be put out there, that Ron is a realist. The issue of keeping his congressional seat is just plain realistic and he has to deal with it. I don’t think this nullifies his message or the value of his campaign for president. That campaign is about testifying to the truth about legitimate governance under the law. Win or lose, it’s the testimony on the record that matters. Sure, if you don’t get elected, you can’t do anything. But, the result will tell us something about us that we may need to know. If Ron Paul achieves nothing else in this campaign but to make the choices clear to thinking people, then he will have succeeded. We will at least know if America has given up on liberty for political advantage.

Am I disappointed that more Americans have not supported Paul? Sure. Did I expect something more? Not really. I am voting for Ron Paul in November, period. I said I would, and I will. Even if he quits. Why? Because his message is the right one. Clearly, the road we are on is not the right one.
Steve Hayes
Utah

James Antle’s piece on Ron Paul contains an error. Andy Mann, who Antle refers to as the “third candidate in the primary” did not file for the race. It’s just straight up Ron Paul vs. Chris Peden on the primary ballot. In fact, there are reports that he is now backing Peden.

Ironically, there is a third candidate in the race: Eugene Flynn, of the Libertarian Party. Flynn is an immigration lawyer and has informed that State Libertarian Party that he intends to list his name on the November ballot to oppose Paul.

Antle may be suprised to learn that even many libertarians have soured on Ron Paul. More conservative-leaning libertarians were deeply dissapointed to see him take a hard leftwing turn on foreign policy and defense issues. Peden more closely represents the libertarian-conservative Pro-Defense views of the District.

Leftwing-libertarians still passionately support Paul. But the Congressional District no longer contains those liberal Austin-San Marcos-Bastrop areas of the CD.

Paul could still win the primary. Though, it will almost certainly be very close. This will set Peden up for 2010, when Paul will be pushing 75, and has many have speculated, ready for retirement.
Eric Dondero, Publisher
MainstreamLibertarian.com

W. James Antle III replies:
I had missed the departure of minor candidate Andy Mann from the race. Mann has endorsed Chris Peden. I regret the error.

Ron Paul’s foreign policy views are essentially what they were when Dondero worked for him and when Peden praised him in early 2007, though certainly Paul’s presidential campaign has highlighted his dovishness to an extent that may have turned off many Republican voters in Texas’s 14th Congressional District. It will be an interesting race and we’ll be watching closely.

MR. KETTLE ON LINE ONE
Re: Quin Hillyer’s The False and the Absurd:

Your little article is cute if you are a partisan hack, but it is hardly quality journalism if you aren’t.

Where is your example set by asking 60 Minutes to respond to your accusation.

Pot. Kettle. Black.
Chris Sampson

Speaking of false and absurd, take out the crass commercials, and 60 Minutes is only 41 Minutes.
David Govett

THE NEW YORK McCAIN
Re: The Prowler’s Thinly Sourced:

Oh Lordy, how in the world did we get stuck with such an unsatisfactory candidate as thin skinned Johnny boy? To answer my own naive question we got him because of liberal scandal sheets such as the NYT and the other tabloids who have been building up McCain’s ego and status by favorable coverage and encouragement for liberals and independents to cross over and vote in our primaries. While I would put a clothes pin on my nose and vote for him over the other two unworthies there is still time for McCain to do the right thing and withdraw and go back to being the darling of the NYT and other troublemakers. Please Senator McCain do so and maybe Mitt Romney will be our candidate if we ask him real nice.
Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan

Something is rotten in the state of New York. And the smell is coming from the New York Times. And no, it is not wrapped fish.

Regarding the New York Times‘ broadside against Senator McCain, their own reporters, said, “That’s why it took them so long to run with the story. People critical to the reporting of the story were disputing the facts and knocking it down.” Yet, the Times did run the dubious story despite having no more proof than they had before McCain became the (statistically probable) nominee of the Republican Party. If this news (if one can call the report news) true or not, were reported in December, McCain would not have progressed nearly as far as he has. History and reason suggest that the NYT did not sit on this story because it was in dispute but because their interests were best served by having McCain to win the GOP nod. Now their interests lie in a weakened McCain. Their timing, like their story, leaves a most unpleasant odor.
Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

Congratulations to the NYT. You have done more to unite the Republican Party than Senator McCain ever could. I was definitely “NOT” a supporter of McCain until you folks at the NYT lifted the partisan lid off of your raunchy, stinking smelly septic tank that you call, ahem, “the press”! And the stench is just about gut wrenching putrid. How in God’s name can you septic tank dwellers stand your own stench? And I thought your paper had at least one useful purpose during fishing season! Boy, was I wrong. I wouldn’t insult the fish I catch.
Jim L.
Sandwich, Massachusetts

The Dan Rather school of leftist journalism is alive and well at the NY Times. Bill Keller, the national security leaker-in-chief, who, should be dressed in bright orange at the Danbury Federal Correctional Facility, stands by this thin gruel of a story. And the story, as best as I can make it out, amounts to nothing more than an unnamed source thinks that an aide to McCain was concerned about a possible relationship. So Keller, being the good hack leftist that he is, issues the now famous mantra of this new journalistic paradigm; “nobody has refuted the article”. But of course they did; but as Keller knows all to well, proving a negative is always a bit tricky. Perhaps this is why we no longer drown witches in order to prove their innocence. But that’s never stopped the Times when Republicans are involved. After all, these are the same guys who spiked all those Bill Clinton stories, despite mountains of evidence.

So, thanks to the Times, and reader Michael Tomlinson, (albeit for very different reasons) despite all my serious doubts about McCain, I’m now going to vote for him. I’ll be damned if the NY Times thinks it can set up McCain, only to tear him down for Obama or Hillary, and get away with it. Maybe this will also be a lesson for McCain and his not so swift staff; playing nice with the enemy only postpones the inevitable. So thanks Mr. Keller, you helped this conflicted conservative make up his mind.” The New York Times: The conservative’s best friend when in doubt.”
A. DiPentima

REMEMBER HILLARY?
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s A Shining City Without the “Hill”:

In listing the “accomplishments” of Hillary’s Marxist thought, Mr. Homnick has neglected certain other of her important achievements. For example:

1) When, during her 2-hour testimony in front of a grand jury, she declared “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall” 149 times – that’s about once every 48 seconds;

2) her incredible cattle futures trading smarts (that she “acquired” by reading the Wall Street Journal) whereby $1,000 investment ended up in a $100,000 nest-egg; and

3) Her orchestration of the disappearance of the evidence of the Vince Foster’s secret apartment where her alleged trysts with him were consumed, the careful staging of his “suicide”, and the disappearance of his office files under the “supervision” of the FBI agents.

One could add to this list, but why bother?
Marc Jeric
Las Vegas, Nevada

About Mr. Homnick’s premature but enjoyable eulogy to the woman now running for president:

We all have our own special memories of Mrs. Clinton. And while some love her biggest and most spectacular blunders, I most often recall the small incidents that so perfectly capture what she is and forever will be.

For my part, I won’t believe she’s gone until I see Van Helsing poised above her corpse, deploying the business end of a wooden stake. (Even if she’s squeezed out this year, there is 2012.) But even if she is elected and sworn in, these bits of history will in the days ahead remind us that she is exactly what she has always appeared to be. Let us, then, remember:

* The White House Christmas tree hung heavy with objects most often sold as marital aids or sex toys. (It is permissible, when remembering these things, to speculate about what made Bill run and chase.)

* The evenings she spent in conversation with the late Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Todd Lincoln, grand preparation for coming discussion with Tom Dewey.
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* The audacious, colossal, chiseled-in-jackal-dung lie she told in New Zealand, about being named after Sir Edmund Hillary, which she resurrected during her first presidential campaign, though no one believed it the first time.

* The way the most shameless demagogue ever to promise to soak the rich and save the poor, counted the number of tee shirts, gutchies and bras she and Bill gave to the Goodwill store so their value could be subtracted from the taxable income she secured through suspect futures trading and sale of influence.

* The way she, outspoken crusader for the dignity of all peoples and classes of people, ordered Secret Service agents to carry her baggage, and when they refused responded with bitch, blood, and thunder.

* The way she, a freshman Senator, told party leaders they must hire a new, fulltime pollster to be headquartered in her offices because she was inevitable.

Conclude now with the financial statement the Clinton campaign last presented to the FEC. That operation has been top-heavy since the keel was laid. Millions were spent upon pollsters, ad jocks and henhouse cronies, who brought forth a prolonged, operatic failure. But that didn’t keep them from collecting seven figure fees. Nor did it prevent lesser members of the yap-yap sisterhood from stiffing a small Iowa hotel and a tiny New York deli, among others.

These things are what she is. They are what have made Obama’s progress; they are the reason people are anxious to vote against her.
Edmund Dantes
Coshocton, Ohio

As is so often the case Mr. Homnick says what I would say if I could say it that way.
Richmond Trotter

SCIENTIFIC THEORY
Re: Ben Stein’s Florida’s Darwinian Interlude and letters in Reader Mail’s Why Not Goldwater?:

Regarding his Feb. 20 column, “Florida’s Darwinian Interlude” unfortunately, his conclusion is incorrect. He writes: “By an incredible miracle of good sense, at the last minute, the state of Florida changed the proposed regulations. They backed off powerfully saying that only Darwinism could possibly make sense and said they would allow discussion of differing theories about the origins of life. That’s the current proposal as I write this on the afternoon of the 19th of February.”

In fact, a “compromise” was approved by the Florida Board of Education on Feb. 19 inserting “scientific theory of” before each reference to “evolution” in new science standards for K-12 public schools in Florida. The Board, however, rejected an amendment offered by parents, teachers and others concerned about the standards’ dogmatic approach to evolution that would have permitted teachers “to engage students in a critical analysis” of Darwinian evolution.

My newspaper has covered this matter for several months now. Our articles, editorials and other commentaries on the matter can be view on our Web site.

I appreciate Mr. Stein’s exposure of “Big Science’s” opposition to views contrary to Darwinian evolution in the forthcoming movie “Expelled,” which I will be viewing at a screening in Tampa tonight.
James A. Smith Sr.
Executive Editor
Florida Baptist Witness

If you were to take the argument from arrogance away from the Darwinists who deride heretics such as Tom Bethell and Ben Stein, much of the vapor would be blown away and you’d see more clearly that what ID argues against is not science, but a set of presumptions.

Scientists who favor Intelligent Design are not arguing that evolution did not happen; they are only arguing that evolution did not happen without a guiding intelligence. Darwinists cannot prove that there must be a naturalistic explanation for life’s origins and diversity; they simply take that as a given. And since it is taken for granted, every observed fact must be seen as “evidence” of evolution’s creativity — even though you could easily turn it around and frame each fact as evidence of God’s grand design.

ID folks have the effrontery to question these presumptions. If we cannot directly observe a Designer, then why cannot we infer one, based on our knowledge of statistical odds and complex systems? Rather than presumptively rule out the involvement of a Designer, they try to calculate the odds against complex systems coming about in a random manner, and then ask us to decide whether the Darwinists’ set of presumptions is, well, presumptuous?

To me, this controversy seems like a fantastic arena for debating important questions, from biology to biochemistry to astronomy to epistemology. To others, however, it speaks only of a solemn duty to burn all heretics at the figurative stake of scientific orthodoxy.

One ought to bring arguments to a debate, not just attitude. In Professor Sepkoski’s letter, Bethell — clearly not an ignorant man — is attacked as “profoundly ignorant” and ID’s proponents are mislabeled as “creationist propagandists.” Contradicting Bethell’s statement that “fossils can’t reveal ancestry”, Sepkosky claims that there is an “abundance of evidence” to the contrary. But this begs the question. If the truth of Darwinism is presumed, taxonomical similarities do indeed appear to offer an explanatory narrative. But why presume at all? Structural similarities cannot not prove that creature A begat creature B any more than, if an evolution did in fact occur, that it had to have happened in the absence of a pro-active Designer, nudging it along. Evolution, after all, can occur inside the minds of designers, too. You can see such an evolution from a Model T Ford to a Toyota Prius and acknowledge the structural similarities, without requiring cars to have sex with each other. The evolution happened, alright, but it happened on the drawing boards before it happened in the factories and showrooms — all within the minds of the automobile designers. Who’s to say that an analogous Designer didn’t similarly guide the journey, say, from fish to amphibian?

As for Mr. Dawson’s letter, it sees Professor Sepkoski’s attitude and raises it. I don’t know where his evidence came from that “all doctors are Darwinists,” as I happen to know at least one who is not. But I can’t imagine why someone would even think that the only way to become a doctor is to believe all life came from a single cell. It’s like saying someone can’t be a good car mechanic unless he believes all vehicles descended from a single wheel. If a doctor knows how to repair a heart valve and prescribe appropriate medication, what difference does it make what he believes about the origins of species? Evolution may be what the doctor was taught in school, but does everyone always believe all the things he is taught?

At least Messrs. Bethell and Stein are willing to debate these issues. They try to answer criticisms instead of ridiculing them, or their proponents. I thank them for their willingness to engage and take the heat, and I look forward to seeing the movie.
Lee Dise
Virginia Beach

NYUK, NYUK, NYUK
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.’s Rockstar Clinton Takes a Nosedive:

I would agree with Mr. Tyrrell that Mrs. Clinton has taken a nosedive, however, I believe that she took a deep breath before she went under and that she will be back as sure as Terminator, Terminator II, and Terminator III. This is truly the thing that would not die! She will be around to assault our ears and eyes for the next several decades. As proof I offer a weekly feature in our local newspaper. It asks one question to four or five people on the street. One of the respondents today, answering the question, “What can a new president do to help you personally?” replied that universal health care and tax relief would help her. Several others agreed and some added that lowering the cost of gasoline would be helpful. This typifies the “Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you” attitude of the voters, not to mention a healthy dollop of stupidity. If I had any doubt that the page had been turned from responsibility and duty to gimme, gimme, gimme, this would have eradicated it. With voters such as these, it is no wonder that we are carefully mulling over the choice between tweedle dee and tweedle dum on the Democratic side, and tweedle x#$%@ you on the Republican side.

I remember reading a quote from P. J. O’Rourke that went something like: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it is free.” How can a working adult believe that the government could give Americans tax relief and universal health care? How observant does one have to be to see that government does virtually nothing well and that is why the founding fathers wanted it to be small and limited? How intelligent does one have to be to realize that government pays for nothing? How can anyone who files a tax return not notice that the money that government spends is actually the money belonging to citizens, voters in fact?

If we actually do get the leaders we deserve, it is a wonder that we aren’t being led by Larry, Curly, and Moe. Wait a minute, perhaps we are.
Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

Looks like its time to bring “Dandy” Don Meredith out of his retirement long enough to sing the song for Hillary that he sang so often when he, Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell were a great trio doing the Monday Night Football games.

When the game was out of reach of one team Don melodically opined, “Turn out the lights. The party’s
over.” That should shortly be the Clinton campaign theme.
Bill Challburg
Bradenton, Florida

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