RIGHTS AND WRONGS
Re: Lisa Fabrizio’s Rudy Redux:
Ms. Fabrizio’s argument that originalists cannot condone any restriction of the liberties listed in the Bill of Rights is mistaken. Prohibitions against public profanity are still in force in many states. This manner of speech is certainly abridged contrary to the First Amendment. A “Fabrizio” originalist (and the ACLU) would hold the right to profanity to be guaranteed. James Madison and George Mason would probably disagree with this interpretation.
The Second Amendment does contain the word “regulated.” Unfortunately this opens the door to restriction, some reasonable, many not. Most people agree (NRA included) the prohibition against convicted felons possessing firearms is a reasonable regulation for a militia to follow. Other reasonable prohibitions for firearms possession are illegal aliens, fugitives, and drug addicts. The Brady Bill was a counterproductive regulation that defies the phrase “well regulated” and should have been ruled unconstitutional on those grounds. The good news was originalist Supreme Court Justices Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas eventually ruled part of this bill unconstitutional on Tenth Amendment issues and it has since expired on it own accord. The Brady Bill did not affect the decline in crime rates in New York and I attribute the decline to Rudy Giuliani’s tenacity in fighting crime. He was mistaken to support it.
When Rudy Giuliani ran for mayor he promised to reduce crime and taxes in New York City. He did both. His track record for keeping campaign promises (AKA “his say-so”) provides a sound foundation when he promises to appoint originalist judges. When he sticks to his campaign promises to send more originalist judges to the courts, then we can rely on the judiciary to correct the occasional lapses of judgment like supporting Brady.
The media currently love Mr. Giuliani because his views are contrary to their perception of the Republican Party. He did not enjoy their love prior to 9/11. His law enforcement efforts were often described as Fascist, a favorite media insult of all good Republicans. If elected, someone should set up a pool to see how long it takes the New York Times to refer to him as Fascist again.
If the media were as clever as Ms. Fabrizio believes they are, they would be supporting John McCain. He is despised by almost every conservative I know (Phil Gramm being the lone exception.) His nomination would truly divide the party. While many of us disagree with Mr. Giuliani on certain issues, he is not despised.
The first primary is almost a year away. It is too soon to award the nomination to anyone, especially this year. Finally, those words (President Clinton) are a recurring nightmare and should be an issue to be considered, among others, when selecting a nominee.
— Donald Parnell
London, United Kingdom
Ms. Fabrizio is correct when she urges a closer look and Mr. Giuliani. Mr. Giuliani is a Democrat in Republican clothes. Take for example, his remarks on “regulating” the right to bear arms. If we move to a real estate setting one can find numerous examples of government regulations which reduce the permitted use of property to zero.
One can only imagine what a coalition of the timid might do with this gentleman in power. PETA: no animals should be hunted — gone are rifles and shotguns. Democrats: armed citizens are a government’s nightmare — pistols and knives are gone. Sure we have the right to bear arms; we’re just not allowed to buy them.
Why not Mr. Giuliani for Attorney General? That’s a job he’s well qualified, and prepared for. Perhaps Senator, Head of Homeland Security? Just not President.
— Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina
Lisa Fabrizio’s article on Rudy Giuliani hit the mark. After reading many so-called conservatives trying to sell “America’s Mayor” is the second coming of Ronald Reagan (are you listening, Deroy Murdock?), it was so refreshing to read the truth.
Rudy says that he will appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, but why should we believe him based on his past statements?
He openly embraced the homosexual agenda while mayor — even to the point of dressing as a transvestite — and now he says he opposes gay marriage. His flip-flop on this issue is almost as believable as Mitt Romney’s — which is to say, not very.
If there is anything we conservatives have learned the last 6 years, it is the importance of not compromising our principles. Yes, George Bush has done much good for us: he has kept us safe in the war on terror, appointed strict constructionists to the bench, and been the most pro-life president in our history.
But there is a flip side: namely, his reckless spending (I understand that many would include the Iraq War here, and I appreciate that concern. I even agree with some of it, to a point). How many of us looked the other way when he talked about expanding the federal role of education in 2000? I did. How many of us chose to ignore his mediocre record of defending our borders while Governor of Texas? I did. How many of us experienced cognitive dissonance when the issue of fiscal responsibility came up in the presidential campaign of 2004? I did.
And so did many of you who are reading this.
I could go on, but my point is this: President Bush was (and is) conservative on some issues, but not on others. Even the most conservative presidents have let us down: Reagan gave us O’Connor and Kennedy, Bush for the reasons I just mentioned. That’s real life. But how much more will a pretender like Rudy Giuliani lead the GOP away from conservative principles when he has only recently decided he was one himself?
As with Fabrizio, I was very impressed by Mayor Giuliani’s leadership in the hours following 9-11. Everyone knew he was in charge, and that was exactly what New York City — and America — needed that morning. (By the way, what a contrast that was with New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin following Hurricane Katrina’s landfall!)
But does this entitle Rudy Giuliani to be the conservative standard-bearer for president? I don’t think so.
— Greg Hoadley
Deerfield Beach, Florida
“Rudy Redux” by Lisa Fabrizio is a fantastic article. She has easily dismantled the liberals’ tricks to divide our ranks and assume that Rudy is our only choice. Lisa has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I look for her work when I check the Spectator. We need not assume that Rudy is all we have, there are other good contenders for our nomination and we should not become victims of the press by offering up this candidate so soon.
Thank you, Lisa.
— Adam Jones
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III’s The GOP Raises the Ante:
Maybe I am naive, but I continue to be surprised when I see politicians checking the political weather forecast by referring to polls on the war. I suppose for lower level congressmen and some senators the difference between supporting the President of the United States during war and maneuvering for maximum personal political gain is a minor one.
The suggestion in “GOP Raises the Ante” is that the national Republican Party has made a potentially significant mistake by not doing the political calculus prior to deciding to support the president. The implication is that the decision to support the president may cost the Republicans.
This is political cynicism at its worst. I can countenance politics when it comes to decisions on education, road maintenance, Senate letterhead, etc., but when it comes to supporting the nation at a time of war, I say leave politics behind. We owe this much to our brave men and women in harm’s way. What happened to leadership?
Am I a fool? Maybe so, but I can sleep at night without my conscience bothering me.
I support the surge, I support the President, I support our nation. We can achieve victory if we will it.
— Doug Santo
Mr. Mehan writes; “Discipline within the GOP is truly a site to behold.” First, someone, either Mr. Mehan or one of your editors doesn’t know the English language. The word that SHOULD have been used is “sight.” I will leave it to whoever made this mistake to look in the dictionary to determine the correct usage for each of the spellings.
Second, what is so amazing about the discipline? In my opinion, 17 Defeaticans is an unacceptably high number. The Democrats never seem to have any trouble keeping their party line vote losses to low single digits, even when the elected Dems campaigned against the stand taken by the party as little 3 months ago.
In his last paragraph, Mr. Mehan writes; “The question remains whether such unanimity will be found praiseworthy by the general electorate in 2008.” This type of unanimity does not seem to hurt the Dems one iota. Why should it hurt the GOP? I would submit that the GOP candidates hurt themselves a great deal more with their flights of fancy into solo policy directions, deserting their party. I would opine that is the exact reason that neither McCain nor Hagel will ever get the GOP nomination for a national office.
To make a long story short, Mr. Mehan attempts to apply a different standard to GOP elected politicians than to the Dems.
— Ken Shreve
I must say that it has been a long time since the title of a piece made me mad at 5 a.m. But reading the “Letting It all Ride” kicker line to the piece written by Mehan has sorely angered this mother of a serving pilot. He’s on his fourth tour now. To use a phrase found in casinos and the like to title a piece strikes me as the height of disrespect. And I’m not nearly as worried about the political party that sent him there as I am his safety and whether or not, if we give up too early and come home, the terrorists will follow us. I’ve seen that happen before.
Any author who writes a piece on the war ought to at least think about honoring those serving right now. Find another title….call it “Sticking Even When It Hurts”…or something much less undignified.
— Beverly Gunn
East Texas Rancher
Proud Mother of Serving Pilot….his 4th tour
WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH TEXAS?
Re: David Hogberg’s Spousal Benefits Abuse:
Are the Texas school districts are the only public employees to take advantage of this loophole?
I bet this practice is more widespread than just Texas.
— Geoff Bowden
Battle Creek, Michigan
David Hogberg replies: I have been told by Joe Fried that there is some evidence of this also happening in Georgia. However, I have no way of knowing the full extent. To my knowledge, no one has yet done a nationwide study to determine how widespread this practice was.
Re: Megan Basham’s Blogging With Bile:
I agree with most of Ms. Basham’s assessment of elite disdain for Christianity, but I must disagree with her comments concerning Slate‘s “Blogging the Bible” feature. For a liberal site, this is one of the few features that I feel does not “attempt to patronize Scripture,” as Ms. Basham writes. On the contrary, Mr. Plotz is just writing his impressions of the text as someone who has not read the Bible and I believe he does so as one who takes the text seriously. Anyone who takes time to read the Bible cover to cover may be shocked and appalled at some of the things that God does there. This is not a recent development. In the first century Marcion wanted to drop the Hebrew Bible entirely because he could not reconcile the acts of God there with the revelation of Christ. Even Augustine realized that there were some less flattering actions of God in the Old Testament and attempted to allegorize those passages. My own faith has been tested more through my thorough reading of Scripture than anything life as thrown at me (yet). Some of Mr. Plotz’s reactions to the text are the exact same that I had when I first sat down to read it. I don’t believe that the colloquial language Mr. Plotz uses is any different from any sermon I have heard where the pastor uses the common vernacular to interpret the text. Ms. Basham’s other examples of animosity toward Christian are accurate, but I must part company with her use of the “Blogging the Bible” feature.
— Christian Evans
CIRCUS OF THE STARS
Re: Martin Kelly’s letter (under “Learning From Anna”) in Reader Mail’s Righting Religion:
Perhaps Mr. Kelly of Scotland should look at the Anna saga in two different ways simultaneously. As a private person, Ms. Smith certainly deserves our compassion. We also should have a great measure of sorrow and hope for her small daughter — no matter what can be done she will always have this ghost in her life.
It is in her life as a public celebrity; however, Ms. Smith earns our derision. More than a fair share of young women who doff off their clothes for Playboy go on to have normal, productive lives once out of the limelight. Ms. Smith turned her Playboy escapades into a cynical series of train wrecks to keep herself in the public eye. (If “stars” truly want to be left alone, there are plenty of places in the U.S. to go where journalists and photographers will never bother them because it would cost too much gas money.) In turn, she gave herself over to a host of addictions that any person over the age of ten knows would lead to eventual disaster. Yet there are thousands of young women who would willingly follow Ms. Smith’s footsteps at the drop of their pants. Public approbation is the only way to apply anything like an equal force to dull the luster for this sort of stardom. (Yes, there are male equivalents to this dog and pony show. As many young women have learned, young men also learn that a tight set of buns doesn’t get you very far. That is why they have to turn to the bizarre to keep our attention.)
Ms. Smith put herself forward as a public personality and was more than willing to take all the positive rewards it would bring. When it all blows up, it cannot be protested too much when her memory turns into a sleazy joke. As a private person, we cannot judge Ms. Smith herself. Indeed, as a human being we can have sympathy for her. As a public celebrity, however, we are more than qualified and have every right to judge her behavior.
— Mike Dooley