Why Not Goldwater? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Why Not Goldwater?

Re: Jeffrey Lord’s Why Not Victory?:

Because John McCain is not conservative to his core. He would have to repudiate McCain/Feingold, Comprehensive Immigration Reform (he may be close) and other of his signature issues. That is too tough to do if not impossible. The man believes what he believes and has shown it, and contempt for most of us along with it. Indeed he should be himself, and perhaps his campaign will be the exception to the rule as outlined by Mr. Lord, but he can save his breath in asking for my vote and concentrate on the great Americans he seems to see everywhere across the aisle and our in the vast moderate middle of America. He doesn’t need my vote if he is so right in his thinking, one thing for sure, he can count on my general election vote NOT going to a Democrat. I’ll give him that much.
Roger Ross
Tomahawk, Wisconsin

I enjoyed the article, but thought it was somewhat myopic. Eisenhower won two terms as a “liberal or moderate” Republican. Goldwater got destroyed in 1964 while ideologically pure. I hope McCain is as conservative as can be. He shouldn’t make undo compromises with skunks like Reid & Pelosi. But, he has it all over Hillary and Obama in many areas.

Jeffrey Lord’s article, “Why Not Victory?” was an interesting, if flawed, history of Republican presidential politics since the New Deal. In tone, it reminds me of the lament of 1952’s Taft-supporting conservatives in decrying Republican establishment figures such as Thomas E. Dewey and Henry Luce as being insufficiently conservative or failing to draw a strong enough contrast with Democratic candidates. “We followed you down the road to defeat,” bellowed Senator Everett Dirksen to the establishment Republicans at the 1952 convention.

Mr. Lord gets a few points of history wrong, however. One is attributing Wendell Willkie’s loss in 1940 to the third term seeking FDR as a result of Willkie’s liberal policies. In fact, Willkie first came to prominence as a business critic of the more statist policies of the New Deal. Where he saw eye-to-eye with FDR was in recognizing the very real peril that Hitler and Imperial Japan represented to U.S. interests and to freedom everywhere. Events proved both Willkie and FDR correct on this fundamental issue, and demonstrated the shortsightedness of Senator Robert Taft and other Republican isolationists. Willkie’s run against Roosevelt began to lose steam when he became more conservative and strident in criticizing the incumbent president, not earlier when he was more moderate.

Mr. Lord also tends to elide the ascendancy of Republicans by following the moderate course set by successful candidate Dwight Eisenhower. And he perpetuates a demonstrable error in saying that President Gerald Ford shared with Democrat Jimmy Carter a disdain for President Ronald Reagan. In fact, while Ford stated in his memoirs that Reagan’s intra-party nomination fight in 1976 had undermined his race against Carter, during Carter’s presidency Mr. Ford came to view his successor as perhaps the worst post-war president. Ford strongly supported Ronald Reagan’s successful campaign against Carter in 1980, and the two Republican presidents maintained a cordial relationship for many years thereafter.
Erik Axelson
Santa Barbara, California

Jeffrey Lord hits the question that has always bothered me. Why is it always conservatives that have to compromise their principles with liberals, and never liberals who have to “reach out” to conservatives? Conservatives, time and time again, get hit with the biggest guilt trip on the planet — unless they give away the keys to the shop, all is lost and it will be their fault. I don’t buy it, rolling over and hoping that a liberal will appreciate your sacrifice and bother to scratch your tummy with their foot once in a while — well, it’s demeaning and undignified. Staying at home and refusing to support a phony like John McCain is a real option and you don’t need to feel guilty about it.

Sure, the price might be that a liberal gets elected, but that is democracy for you — sometimes the worst guy wins, but there will be another election where maybe you get to turn things around. In the meantime, you get to fight another day and fighting always comes easier if you have your convictions.

The only time conservatives are taken seriously is when the “pragmatists” realize that their principles can’t be bought. It worked fine for Margaret Thatcher; she wasn’t called the iron lady for nothing. If conservatives had stuck to their principles and never bothered with the “reaching out” nonsense, McCain would never have gotten as far as he has, he would have been stopped dead in his tracks years ago.
Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

While I agree with Mr. Lord that the GOP tends to do better in presidential elections in which its candidate represents a clear and unambiguous conservative alternative to the Democrat candidate, I find his analysis of the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debate to be flawed.

It is true that Nixon came away the loser in that debate, but only to those who viewed the debate on television. To the smaller audience of Americans who listened to the debate on radio, Nixon came away the clear winner.

This would indicate that Nixon’s misfortune in that debate was almost solely the resort of his poor optics, and not due to the messages he delivered that night. His political instincts were correct, but his pale and shifty optics distracted the television audience from what he had to say.

That does not mean I’m a fan of John McCain’s constant giving in to the Democrats, because I’m not. The world has changed since 1960, and America has changed along with it. However, I think it entirely possible that, just as America in 1960 had tired of conflict overseas and at home, as well as the constant fear of nuclear confrontation with Russia, and was looking for a candidate who was willing to reach out the other side as a means of bringing peace and stability to their lives, so America in 2008 may be just as tired of constant conflict at home and abroad, as well as the fear of becoming involved in more confrontations with Iran and Russia and China, and may well be looking for another candidate who is willing to reach out to the other side in an effort to bring peace and stability to their lives.

Though I hold a significant level of disregard for McCain, he may ironically turn out to be the strongest candidate the GOP could have nominated for this particular election year.
David Blackmon

Why vote for McCain? He is just another Democrat in RINO’s clothing. In November we will have 2 Dems running for President. McCain has always shown disdain for Conservatives, but now he needs us — why? He always has touted that he didn’t! All you have to do is take a look at who he surrounds himself with: Juan Hernandez, Kennedy, Leiberman, Grahmnesty, Clinton, the list goes on! McCain is only out for McCain — something he has done for years.

McCain was inevitable thanks to the self-inflicted crack up of the conservative movement and the fracturing of the Republican Party. Rush Limbaugh predicted this when many conservatives started bashing Republicans and cavalierly handed Congress over to Democrats in 2006. Sadly, his listeners weren’t listening and he’s forgotten his own prediction. Worse yet, some conservatives swallowed liberal propaganda saying it was ok or even better for conservatism when Republicans lost an election or two. How does handing power over to the most liberal and radical Democrat party since the 1970’s make things better for conservatives or the nation? Do some conservatives prefer being in the minority, because they’d rather gripe than govern? Does anyone still naively believe the myth that “blue dogs” are “conservative Democrats?” Learn the lesson — there are NO conservative Democrats.

The tragedy is that conservatives have won only pyrrhic victories on issues that heated them up in the last three years. This is best illustrated by the hysteria over Arab DPW owning a few US port terminals. Many conservatives, following the lead of liberal Chuck Schumer, went ballistic and stopped the deal or so they thought. The reality is DPW still owns the terminals and will for years to come. The downside is they will own them without modernizing the facilities or allowing the US to set their international standards for protecting ports against Muslim terrorism. The only victors were Muslim terrorists, their fellow travelers/Democrats and labor union felons working at U.S. ports. Pick a topic where much of the conservative base has either castigated President Bush and Republicans and I will show you a hollow victory and Democrat’s being the big winners — immigration, earmarks and Federal spending being the most obvious.

Who was it that masterfully crafted a successful big tent GOP coalition made up of Republicans (conservatives and moderates), independents and less liberal Democrats? It was none other than pragmatic Ronald Wilson Reagan. If it was good enough for Reagan might it not be good enough for McCain too? Have conservatives grown so far from Reagan that they can blow off the Gipper and his model for political victory? I know many conservatives prefer style over substance, but have they also fallen for the Democrat lie that a defeat for the GOP is a victory for conservatives? That is not only bad political strategy it is wrongheaded thinking.

Instead of focusing on the GOP as Jeffrey Lord did I would like for conservatives to think about the Democrat successes — FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Carter and Clinton. Is there a reason for conservatives to rally to John McCain despite his glaring flaws? Yes, their names are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Two potential Presidents who would make Carter look competent, brave and patriotic. To paraphrase Barry Goldwater, time to grow up conservatives, pull your heads out and defeat Democrats or acquiesce to their domination of U.S. politics again for generations. As for me and my house I’d rather fight than submit.
Michael Tomlinson

Did John McCain “reach out” to Arizona Governor Evan Mecham? No, his just put a knife in his back and cheered on the political lynch mob against him. Why not victory? To keep himself in office, McCain will never allow it.
Michael Skaggs

Re: Jeremy Lott’s Bob Lott for President:

Jeremy Lott says, “we cast those ballots (for third party candidates) to send a message but nobody listens.” Perhaps Mr. Lott is on the wrong end of the equation. Maybe he and others like him, who cast worthless ballots, are the ones who need to listen: waste your vote if you want to, but don’t expect us to follow you.
Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Mr. Lott, Jeremy that is, you ask a question that I would like to attempt to answer. I do not pretend to answer for anyone else, only myself. You point to the disdain, indeed contempt, that John McCain is held in by conservatives, and ask if we seriously believe that Mitt Romney would have been any better. My answer is a huge YES.

Let me explain. John McCain has demonstrated his disdain for conservatives over and over in no uncertain terms. Indeed, he has demonstrated a particularly vicious, and volatile, and even violent attitude toward anyone that would dare to openly disagree with any of his stated opinions, or policy decisions. His temper is, in fact, legendary.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, exhibits the classic traits of a problem solver that MBAs are trained to be. He has preferred policy positions, but he is open to being objectively shown that he is either wholly or partially wrong. We see a man that will change course, when shown the error of his ways. His detractors in the GOP universe made much of his “flip flops” on policy points, particularly on abortion. Yet, in my opinion, what we saw was a man that, when he was placed in a position of having to actually think about certain positions, actually learned from the experience and admitted that he had been wrong before. I believe that we saw a man that would have started out as a moderately conservative occupant of the Oval Office, but would have been open to being convinced to take more deeply conservative stances. I believe that he would have populated his staff with a majority of folks that were more conservative, and would have truly listened to their advice. I believe that he would have especially done this in the area of military affairs, an area where he had no real personal first hand experience. This as opposed to McCain who seems to think that he is the second coming of Clauswitz despite his ranking in his class at Canoe U and the results obtained almost as soon as he was first introduced to combat.

Finally, Mr. Lott, I would like to say that my opinion is that of one who was not a particular fan of Mr. Romney. He was not my first choice, nor my second choice. I just felt that, in the vernacular of the sports genre, he had a greater upside potential, while McCain is virtually at his ceiling and has a huge downside risk. So, yes, Jeremy, Romney would have been very much better.
Ken Shreve

Re: Tom Bethell’s No Intelligence Allowed:

Expelled! I saw the trailer on the website — an excellent project & so awesome to see the truth getting out. I will definitely be going to see the whole film & encourage others to do so. Thank God for Ben Stein and all these scientists.

Tom Bethell’s review of the anti-Darwinist film Expelled displays a staggering ignorance of science. I am aware that The American Spectator is a politically conservative publication, but since when did denying overwhelming scientific evidence become a conservative position? Expelled — a film financed and produced by creationist propagandists — merely repeats a tired litany of baseless accusations and untruths about evolutionary biology, and Bethell has swallowed them hook, line, and sinker.

Bethell’s ignorance of science is particularly reflected when he asks “What does the science show? The vast majority of species that once lived are now extinct. New animal designs and “models” appear in the fossil record without detectable precursors. But fossils can’t reveal ancestry so in the end they don’t get us very far.” These are misconceptions based on the profoundest ignorance of paleontology and molecular biology, both of which testify to the abundance of evidence for those very transitions creationists would like to pretend don’t exist. The pages of every major scientific journal in biology, genetics, and paleontology are filled with detailed, scientific evidence for the common descent of all organisms on Earth. But it is easier for creationists to pretend this evidence is part of some kind of vast conspiracy cooked up by ‘Big Science’ (to use the favored term of the producers of Expelled) than to compete in the fair marketplace of ideas by producing their own peer-reviewed refutations.

The greatest fallacy — and the clearest example of faulty logic by Bethell and opponents of science — is to argue that because some evolutionary biologists (for example, Richard Dawkins) are atheists, that therefore all Darwinian evolutionary biology is an atheist attack on religion under the disguise of science. Conservatives and liberals alike should join in repudiating baseless attacks on the very science that not only daily expands our knowledge of the natural world around us, but which has also given us the ability to combat deadly viruses, bacteria, and diseases that can only be understood in light of evolution.
David Sepkoski
Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Regarding the recent column by Tom Bethell on “No Intelligence Allowed!” the Ben Stein film on the social issue debate regarding evolution vs. creationism, or “Darwinism vs. Intelligent Design” as rephrased by him:

I’d like to ask Tom an open question. He should feel free to respond in public: “When your kids are sick, will you take them to church or to the hospital?”

Please take into consideration that all doctors are “Darwinists” and everything they do is based on the assumption that the theory of evolution is a valid one, and produces results in the real world.

Mr. Bethell, as you bash Evolution out of one side of your mouth and embrace it whenever you need the benefits, you remind me of those energy conservationists driving around in a gas guzzling SUV whenever it suits their personal needs.

Intelligent design is a non-scientific religious belief not found in the bulk of the scientific community. People who believe in astrology are also expelled from the academic community for exactly the same reasons as are the Intelligent Design proponents. They have nothing to back up their beliefs. Their science is bad, and will continue to be rejected. No movie will ever change that.
David Dawson

Re: Jennifer Rubin’s Helping Hillary:

Ms. Rubin’s sound advice to Ms. Clinton left me cold. Why on God’s Green Earth would The Spectator, even on a lark, want to provide campaign advice to Hillary Clinton? The rationale that she’ll be an easier opponent in the general election is just not borne out by experience. If memory serves, the Clinton years (’92-’00) can be characterized as one sustained political campaign, with the Democratic establishment, media, and federal bureaucracy all being manipulated to maintain and consolidate their hold on political power, with an abject disregard for the rule of law as necessary. The Leninist tactics of the Clintons are legendary (as the Spectator, of all publications, surely knows). Hillary Clinton perhaps exemplifies the “ends justifies the means” approach to politics more than her husband. Indeed, Bubba is a likely disciple of Hillary and her steely, deterministic Bolshevism. Does anyone who knows the Clintons really want them around for a general election? Anyone? I don’t, frankly, know a lot about Obama but he’s not a Clinton. You can contribute to Barack’s campaign. Give generously, while you have the chance, before it’s too late.
Peter R. McGrath
Winter Park, Florida

Mischief is afoot in the republic. McCain is the one, and Clinton or Obama will be the other one.

I still believe Obama was put in place to keep the leftmost wing of the Democrat Party loyal, and to neutralize Nader. But I take no pleasure in the fact that Hillary will face McCain. And I especially don’t enjoy the thought that Hillary is one of the “Democrats who are the doers….and may even get something done.”

One of the reasons I so dread Mrs. Clinton is that her retinue of thugs and halfwits are very good at getting things done, most of them irrational, some of them evil. Should Mr. Obama prevail, I can live with his failure to nationalize health care; I will not be hurt by the collapse of his scheme to pay reparations to everybody who wants them. But I greatly fear Mrs. Clinton’s ability to achieve these things. And I really hope her plan to hand every American infant a $5,000 “college bond” will go nowhere.

As for Obama’s batty advisors, remember that Mrs. Clinton once embraced — literally, publicly — Yassar Arafat’s wife. Remember also, that she can argue the case for seating delegates from Florida, and for not seating delegates from Florida, simultaneously, on the advice of Mr. Harold Ickkes, heir to the looniest portion of Eleanor and Franklin’s New Deal. And, crashing around in the underbrush, there will always be Bill.

We may be forced to embrace the devil we don’t know, rather than one we’ve known for way too long.
Edmund Dantes
Coshocton, Ohio

Re: Roger Kaplan’s The Best Since DeGaulle:

The merits of teaching the Holocaust is frowned upon by French intelligentsia (an oxymoron, I know), as it would shine the light of truth on France: Roundup of Jews were instituted by the gendarmerie, willing collaborators willingly rounding up Jewish children for shipment to Auschwitz. My comments, however, concerns the intolerable burden of “guilt” poor French children might feel being informed of the Holocaust that took place in France.

Well, just for the record, Jewish children have been made to carry a burden of “guilt” for the crucifixion for two millennia, thank you very much. They’ve also had to carry grieving memories of two millennia of murder, mayhem, rape, pillage, forced conversion, burnings and wanderings. Yet they survived, prospered and prevailed against all odds, and relatively intact.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere: Adversity builds character. I guess Jews truly are, as the Bible calls them, “a stiff-necked people.” The French, who haven’t won a war since Charlemagne, have developed soft-ripened Brie backbones. Maybe they should learn to eat beef instead of frogs and snails, stand and fight instead of surrendering. Maybe teaching French children the truth of French duplicity, complicity and ingratitude may help change the national character. And if that’s too much to hope for then maybe they just need a shipment of back braces.
Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

Re: Andrew Cline’s Stand by your Woman:

For even the most strident Clinton supporters & surrogates, it’s obvious Bill Clinton rejected as his wife & lover; Hillary. If she’s not good enough for Bill, what makes them think we want her?
P. Aaron Jones
Sunni Triangle, Michigan

Re: R. Andrew Newman’s Where Corn Counts:

The financial news of the day brought disturbing news. The cost of a 6 pack of beer will increase by $1. Why? Barley, hops and other grains have increased prices due to shortages caused by farmers switching acreage to subsidized corn.

I am a Conservative and I’m thinking of having a movement on your head. If you actually represent conservatism, I’m outta here. What you really are is a Farm Labor Socialist.
Ron LaCanne
Racine, Wisconsin

In espousing that Republicans should get on the ethanol-based bio-fuels bandwagon, it is obvious R. Andrew Newman is a Moderate Republican – a moderate being a person who actually believes in nothing.

If all that matters is being on the winning side, why not become a liberal Democrat? Don’t principles count for anything?

It is plain to me that the corn farmers of Nebraska are willing to trade their principles for thirty pieces of silver. Never mind that it is obscene, if not downright immoral to be burning food as fuel. Never mind that ethanol-based bio-fuels are not only bad for starving people, but are a disaster for the environment.

It has been said that a democracy is doomed as soon as a majority of the people realize that they can help themselves to the minority’s wallet. Sadly we are now at that point.

I have long felt that there was only one political party in this country — the Liberal Party. It is plain to see that R. Andrew Newman is a member of the Republican wing of the Liberal party.

So sad.
Gene Delaney
New Berlin, Wisconsin (a state that grows a lot of corn, too)

As someone who grew up in small Illinois town, (pop. 395), where incidentally, my mother still lives and I hear an ethanol plant proposal is on the drawing boards, I would much prefer to keep my principles ala the days of the wilderness of William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater and the early Reagan (or as you say in the territory of Libertarians) , than become a liberal or RINO and support such economically idiotic ideas as highly subsidized and economical and environmental wasteful boondoggles as ethanol plants. I will not give up my principles just to keep the RINO political class in office. I can have all this with no effort by just staying home and letting the Democrats win. If the Conservative or MC’s as you call them, give up their principles where will there be to turn when the time is ripe once again for the resurgence. We must keep the flame alive and no surrender.

Our job as MC’s is to win by persuasion and by having faith in our fellow citizen’s ability to understand the best ideas, not by capitulation to idiocy and sacrificing of principal, regardless of its political expediency. If Mr. Newman, my fellow Americans and my former small town neighbors want to rob their fellow citizens to purchase themselves a temporary job producing boondoggle let them at it and let them suffer the long term consequences, but don’t ask me to validate the effort with my vote or support.

For all you party loyal Republicans that keep bashing all of us so called MC’s for our presumed temerity to put principal before political expediency I have a message from a famous freedom loving patriot to you: “If ye love wealth (or political office or your personal boondoggles) greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude (paying taxes for other’s boondoggles) greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel (i.e., your boondoggle supporting arguments), nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen (or called yourself a conservative).”

Strong words I know, but I think a lot of us “MC’s are sick and tired of watching George Bush’s disastrous eight years of growing government at a much greater rate that Clinton ever did and to quote a well known movie line .”.. we just cannot take it anymore!”

Personally, I would rather wear Hillary’s Iowa groveling ethanol subsidy chains and fight to throw them off than to participate in any way in putting chains on my fellow countrymen. Supporting an ethanol plant (regardless of its insignificance in GWB’s $3 trillion budget) is doing just that. Also from my experience in the Clinton years, I think the country faired better, at least domestically, with the model of MC’s battling a real Democrats for 8 years than they did with MC’s cooperating and looking the other way while a RINO or as he called himself, a “Compassionate Conservative” spent us halfway to oblivion.

Win or lose, long live The Club for Growth, sound economic ideas, and classical liberalism.
T. Fry

How is it that I, a former far-left “Movement Liberal” became a “Movement Conservative”? First I observed what others were supporting and why. Most libs were supporting emotionally charged issues without examining the consequences. Second, I determined that I would listen to talk radio and watch the nightly news and read Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American. I observed that talk radio was filled with people trying to inform the citzenry of an impending shakeup. The nightly news was trying to coddle the citizenry afraid of any shadow of change, and the print media was trying to peddle the message that people would support with purchase dollars in the advertiser’s coffers.

My sarcasm then took a vacation as I realized that my core values and beliefs aligned more with the conservative message than the left I had espoused all of my young political life. I found myself defending anti-communists, I regrettably found myself pro-life and had to repent of my pro-choice ways that had destroyed relationships and the long-term physical health of my former “relations”. Further I found that I’d been lied to by the early purveyors of ecological doom and gloom and rediscovered the truth of carbon dioxide feeding the carbon based ecosystem that yielded the oxygen I breathe. Biofuels are only younger components of petroleum products less pressurized and aged. The fact is that there will ultimately be found a direct occurrence of more pollution with “designed” bio-fuels than with more precisely refined and formulated petrol products. Until we are producing a purely hydrogen fired economy, with a 98%+ pure water exhaust I doubt we better fuel or financially provide for the Mid American family than on a petroleum based system.

Think of it this way, if you throw a well aged dry piece of wood into a fire, it burns more cleanly and generates more heat, if however, you put an unaged and still moist (>10% moisture) log the fire uses heat to first dry the log and in the meantime the tars in the wood (saps) id not completely combusted and sticks to the flue of the fireplace instead of yielding caloric product. Likewise, oil in the ground aging, is carbon-based combustible material that has separated from the moisture in the plant material and has a much greater caloric potential per volume. With proper oxygen-fuel mix the pollutants can be minimized and I believe we’re only at the threshold of proper engineering of completed combustion.

We should be encouraging the people in the corn belt to grow corn for food and grow grass in the off season for bio fuel (higher efficiency yield per bushel). We should also be growing bamboo for air cleaning efficiency and renewable wood source, and finally funding school vouchers so kids get the education they need and teachers jobs become success based. Lets get the American inventors into situations where their ingenuity is rewarded and not quashed political cronyism. True conservatism yearns to accomplish that which God prods us to do. The Conservative movement is one of ingenuity, and true love of accomplishment and the God that encourages it.
Bill Reis

I’m a conservative. I can do simple math. There’s not enough land available in the U.S. to produce anywhere near enough biofuel feedstock to more than whet our appetite for a gasoline replacement. See the USDA/USDOE “Billion Ton” study for the basic numbers.

It’s easy to show that, even postulating the success of cellulosic ethanol, we’d have to use all current forest and ag land waste, plus put about 300 million more acres into production of grass biofuel feedstocks to replace all petroleum-based transport fuels. If the waste was not used, you would need 450 million more instead.

We currently have about 440 million acres of ag lands, almost all in use. The total land area of the lower 48 is about 2 billion acres. Putting the additional 300+ million acres into use producing cellulosic ethanol feedstocks would mean that we would be using more than 1/3 of the total land area for agriculture, or else we would be using land which is currently producing food to produce fuel instead.

Are there even that many more acres available? Wouldn’t there inevitably be competition between food and fuel?

What American, much less Conservative, would want to see his or her tax money funneled into such a counterproductive plan? What politician will want to take the heat for it when both food and fuel prices go through the roof under this plan, as they surely will?

Stop lecturing us about failing to buy votes with government smoke and mirrors. Who do you think we are, Democrats?
Bill Mosby

Re: J.P. Freire’s 2/19 appearance on C-Span’s Washington Journal:

Thanks for bringing up Ron Paul as the one candidate who understands that it’s not the President’s job to run the economy. That opened the dialogue for other positive comments and the next caller, who was in the military, to state his support for Ron Paul as the most qualified Republican Candidate.

If Ron Paul is not the nominee, I will probably write him in as a protest vote. As the military caller said, I too, would not be comfortable with a Commander in Chief who makes jokes about bombing Iran, or saying we may need to stay in Iraq for 100 years. We can’t afford it! We have no more recruits to support it. Our military has been sent back time and time again. We don’t even provide adequate protection for them. Suicides have risen 20% in the Army. No one talks about that. Being a POW is not a lifetime pass for having bad positions — i.e.: immigration — as a candidate. By the way, as far as morals, no one seems to want to acknowledge that he was an adulterer in his first marriage. He cheated on the faithful wife who waited for him to come home from the war, and from being a POW. He then got divorced and married a woman who abused pain killers and was part of the Bud. Beer money. The Budweiser family funded his political ambitions. Ron Paul has been married to the same wife for 51 years and is also a military Vet, which no one really talks about. And last but not least, let’s not forget McCain’s scandal where he was investigated by Congress as part of the infamous Keating 5 /S&L crisis, that he was implicated in very deeply. Keating was a friend of his, and supporter in Arizona, and was part of the worst financial scandals of the day.

Let’s see you bring that up in your magazine! I challenge you, let’s see some real fair and balanced reporting.
Debbie Langdon

A CSPAN viewer/caller called in to complain about fellow Republicans using “dirty tricks” in the American Spectator. I understood that your magazine published a story or some images of toilets with Democratic names over them. The caller wanted Peter to know that it makes Republicans look back to put such stuff out there and it doesn’t help. Peter’s general response was that it was just a joke.

I couldn’t find the toilet reference on your web site, but Peter confirmed that it existed, by saying it was only a joke, smiling largely. Here’s my view of this. It is wrong, as the caller noted. Peter is young and it seems that young men often engage in toilet humor. That may be his excuse, but it’s still inappropriate. If it is a joke, jokes are not often funny, but demeaning. Their intent is to demean a person or group of people. That’s what this is. Comedians do this all the time in the name of humor. But when a Republican circulates such stuff, there isn’t anything funny about it, even if it seems so at first glance. I’ve seen alot of emails which demean candidates. It’s actually very childish method of trying to win. It’s what a bully does and no one thinks well of bullies. Republicans should be able to make more intelligent arguments as to why Republicans should win. Even if it’s not a joke and it’s a strategy, it’s wrong. This style of fighting and winning extends into our private lives and it’s what makes parents bad parents when they are mean and ugly towards their children in order to get them to do something. It’s also what people do to each other, whether it’s husbands vs. wives or anyone. They also demean themselves whether they realize it or not. American society has become disrespectful everywhere because it seems so prevalent in the past 20 or so years.

The American Spectator demeans their reputation when engaging in this type of humor or reporting.
Karen Krueger

J. Peter Freire replies:
This is where you and I will have to disagree. And it wasn’t a website thing — the honorarily-titled bathrooms were located in the Indiana founding place of our great Institution. If anything, you should look at it as an honor for the liberal Democrats whose names were so appended.

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