Rise and Fall | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Rise and Fall
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THE LAST DAYS OF ROME?
Re: Robert D. Novak’s Republican Doldrums and Jay D. Homnick’s Hu Are We Fooling?:

Tuesday was a banner day for TAS. Quite a few really good articles to think on. The one concerning the squandered Republican majority and Bush’s political missteps was excellent. Yes, we conservatives have been let down by this gaggle of “conservatives.” You’re right: the Democrats are so full of it that even these misbegotten members of the majority party look good. What a sad state of affairs for our nation and government.

Jay Homnick had a good column today also on the Chinese visit. Bush got slapped in the face by this guy and we, as Americans, got a taste of how contemptuously the Chinese think of us. Bush’s whole tenure as president as been one of reaction to actions and we see that the Chinese are pulling the strings in the Mideast, just like the Soviets attempted in Eastern Europe. All in all, as if the gas prices aren’t depressing enough, we have come to see that the U.S., that bastion of democracy, that citadel of the Free World, is fast becoming a paper tiger. Maybe this will be a wakeup call but I’m not going to hold my breath. The ignorance and arrogance in this nation precludes any rational self-assessment by the majority. Looks like the last days of Rome are upon us.
Pete Chagnon

THE STUPID PARTY ON DISPLAY
Re: Robert D. Novak’s Republican Doldrums:

If the Republicans lose the House and/or Senate this fall, it will be because they alienated their base.

Republicans have held the Presidency and control of Congress for most of the last five years. Their accomplishments: a temporary tax cut.

Their failures: a huge new boondoggle entitlement program for oldsters’ drugs, out of control spending, failure to control the borders or deport illegal immigrants, a cowardly punt on Social Security, and no tax reform. I feel completely betrayed by the people we worked to put in power.

I could never bring myself to vote Democrat but I may not bother voting at all this fall. Maybe it’s time for a new American conservative party, because the Republican Party isn’t it.
Chris B.
New Jersey

I used to be a Bush supporter, even a defender. Now I don’t care what happens to him, and to the Republican Party. I don’t even care if the Democratic hacks censure him.

The Stupid Party never seems to realize that you can only kick your supporters in the shins so much before they get disgusted and leave. Of course, the Democrats also abuse their base — black voters, for example — but nobody does it like the GOP.

The GOP in its current incarnation loves illegal immigration just as much as the Dems do — also quotas, filibusters, gerrymandering, massive social spending that is going to break even our nation’s massive economy, so-called campaign finance reform that protects incumbents and guts the First Amendment — the list goes on and on. What difference does it make who wins?

I think my opinion of the man began to change when he sneeringly dismissed the border Minutemen as “vigilantes.” Now he claims that those who disagree him on illegals want to deport 12 million people.

And I remember his speeches in 1992 against quotas. Then he goes and supports a pro-quota Supreme Court ruling. And, as a federal employee, I guarantee that the civil service is being larded up with more quotas than ever — us “privileged” white male nobodies are “over-represented,” it seems. You know what that means.

Just like the rich Democrats, the GOP elite would never submit themselves to their own social engineering. No quotas for them. No illegals in their rich, zoned-off neighborhoods, except as underpaid maids and gardeners. No “eminent domain” for them. No social engineering, period.

It really goes to show that rich conservatives and rich liberals have far more in common with each other, than with the peons in the real world.
John Lockwood
Washington, D.C.

AMEN to this article, why even worry about a party label when I am hard pressed to tell a Republican from a Democrat. It might be a good thing for them to lose the Senate, after all the House is at least doing the right thing about ILLEGAL immigration. I voted for Bush and still think he is better than the Dem choices, but just barely.
Elaine Kyle

The singly most important column I’ve read in recent history was Bob Novak’s which pegged Dubya as an absolutely awful president, no thanks to the disastrous Karl Rove.

Novak nailed it, as he did the GOP’s miserable performance in Congress.

That said, as terrible as the Bush administration and the Republican Congress are, I’m still mighty thankful that neither Al Gore nor John Kerry got in.

Super column, Bob!

Unfortunately.
Geoff Brandt

It was not for no reason that the GOP was tagged as “The Stupid Party.” I sometime think that these folks, starting with Bush, would lose elections to “uncontested.” It may well be that only the Democrats insistence on running full fledged, extreme nasty, Socialist demigods in federal elections allows the GOP to get any votes at all.

Of course, the GOP might also be tagged as “The Jelly Fish Party” for their seeming lack of a principled spine. But then, as Mr. Novak points out, they do firmly believe in one thing — re-election.
Ken Shreve

I continually read of the impending Republican defeat in November. Other than the House and Senate Republicans’ frantic behavior, it seems the chances are better of holding on the both houses.

Four-point-seven percent unemployment. Consumer confidence at a four-year high. Iraq’s forces assuming more of the job every week.
J. Adam Wiles

The White House and the Congress are both in hot water with conservatives. The only thing saving Bush is the brilliant war against terror…. We’re winning all over the place — but not in the hearts and minds of most Americans, possibly because the Bush White House is so inept at overcoming the negative (and traitorous) shenanigans of the Democrats and their accomplices in the media. However, with the exception of the war and the economy, Bush has let conservatives down in every other area.

The House has been without a rudder since Newt left. I cannot even recall a strong Republican Senate Majority Leader. Does Goldwater sound right?

It is good to see Novak contribute to the Spectator again. Just like old times. Will we ever see alum George Will on these pages again? I guess I’d really like to know what Our Man McGurn is thinking these days.
Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

ENGINEERING ILLOGIC
Re: Christopher Orlet’s Osama U.:

Mr. Orlet’s article is very interesting, but I do wonder about some of the conclusions he’s drawing.

I have no doubt that it’s true that most college students from the Middle East study engineering or science. But what about other foreign students? British? Asian? Indian? Canadian? I suspect that if you scrutinized the other nationality groups you would find that most of them are enrolled in engineering or science also. Not because they all want to be bomb makers, but for the simple reason that if a parent is going to spend a large lump of money to send a child overseas to study then there is strong pressure on the child to choose a major that will provide a good job upon graduation.

To the chagrin of liberal arts colleges everywhere, it is a well known fact, even among teenage children, that a degree engineering or science pays better than studies in poetry or literature. So what Mr. Orlet sees as an ominous trend may in fact be a simple exercise of logic.

Also, as an engineering major myself (B.S. Chemical Engineering, ’79), I regret to inform Mr. Orlet that I can remember no courses labeled “Bomb Making 101” or anything close. In fact, if Mr. Orlet would care to inquire further into what exactly is taught in engineering schools, he would find that most class work is theoretical in nature. Very few college level engineering courses teach anything as practical as how to wire a circuit correctly or how mix up a batch of chemicals without poisoning or blowing yourself up. Ask any working engineer about the practical ability of a recent graduate and you’ll likely provoke a bout of laughter. Newly minted Engineers may think the world of their own abilities, but the cold truth is that their education really starts AFTER they graduate. A degree is just a piece of paper that admits the holder into the real training program: a career.

As far as foreign students flocking to politically correct schools like Yale, Bard or Berkeley that exert a bad influence on he students, Mr. Orlet is doubtlessly correct. But he seems to forget that Yale, Bard and Berkeley are not known for their engineering programs. Far from it. The ivory towered bastions of the liberal left are exactly the places where you find mainly American kids who are majoring in things like “Basket Weaving in Diverse Cultures” or “High Altitude Deep Breathing.” Engineers go to places like Carnegie Mellon or M.I.T.

And finally, I have a strong suspicion that if you were to conduct a survey at the next major college protest on any political subject, you would find very few engineering or science majors among the protestors. Not because engineering and science students don’t care about politics, but simply because those majors are programs where grade inflation does not run rampant. The answer to an engineering or science problem is either right or wrong. Professors cannot ‘spin’ the material. And getting it right means that students have to actually spend their time studying the material. In my experience, the little free time that engineering students have is spent in the erstwhile and traditional pursuit of beer and the opposite sex.
Robert F. Casselberry
General Attorney
United States Steel Corporation

Mr. Orlet, while I can agree with much of what you wrote in your article, I must wonder what it is that you are smoking. We can’t even get the Bush administration to obey the law that mandates a cut off of all federal funds to any university or college that denies (effectively or literally) our military access to the campus and its students. Let me see that law enforced. Then I will be ready to take up your proposal.
Ken Shreve

I think there’s a more effective mechanism for avoiding the inadvertent technical education of future terrorists. I am philosophically opposed to such rackets, but until it can be exterminated and given that we cannot but live in the real world, I proffer it as a potential solution: Have the universities be held liable for any product of their classrooms. Should an enterprising liability lawyer successfully do so, it would be tremendous entertainment to see the universities struggle to choose between endowments and diversity.
Peter Holm
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

As the elite academic industry continues the futile attempt to incorporate the Mohammedan belief system into what’s remaining of the culture of the United States, one can see the result. Academia sees Islam as developing too slowly in the U.S. Obviously, academia is following the Islamic schematic of domination by accommodating the Islamists, ostensibly to learn what they have to teach. Islam has one message: embrace Islam or pay the price. Ask the newspapers who refused to publish the cartoons; ask the Christians who must be considered non-persons in a Muslim-dominated country. The paradox of academia is that the institutions we have to establish and maintain our middle and upper classes are being transformed into Islamic sympathizers and promoters, yet what parent would not want their children to have a Yale (or Columbia, or Harvard or Georgetown or Notre Dame, et al.) degree? Once the university has embraced Islam, the bias will percolate through academia and government. Islam is the Great Deceiver. “Religion of peace,” “No compulsion in religion,” “A hijacked religion,” such propaganda.

Thanks for your website…
unsigned

THE JUDGMENT IS WRITTEN
Re: Paul Chesser’s Moussaoui’s Hot Destination:

Resounding “AMEN!” to Paul Chesser’s article. He soundly expounds the Biblical authority execution for Zacarias Moussaoui.

“He who sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” (Genesis 9:6) Rulers “bear not the sword in vain.” (Romans 13:4)

Readers may think God’s Word is “judgmental.” Of course He is! God’s only begotten Son the Word (John 1:1, 1:14) is indeed the “Judge of all the Earth,” and He “does right.” (Genesis 18:25; Hebrews 12:23) God “does right” when He grants life and righteousness to His chosen children. (see I Peter 1:3) Equally, God “does right” when He kills the wicked who He hates. (See Psalms 5:4-5; Isaiah 11:25) We may fairly say that those who disobey God’s Law and contemn His Gospel “stumble at that stumbling stone”, i.e., the Lordship of Jesus, “which is also what they were destined for.” (I Peter 2:8)

Moussaoui and all of our Mohammedan enemies plainly fit within the category of persons known to Scripture as “the wicked” and “the reprobate.” All enemies of the Father Almighty and of Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord, and of God the Holy Spirit have their place in the eternal fire of God’s wrath. (Revelation 20:15)
David Hanson
LSA Anaconda
Balad Air Base, Iraq

We’ve chatted before.

I am thinking that as a Christian in this matter I would differ from you a little.

While we both would agree that at the end of the day each soul chooses its own final destination and that we ALL deserve to go to hell, and God is certainly gracious beyond imagination to all in his provision of a substitutionary sacrifice for my sins, certainly Zacarias Moussaoui is a good example of an attitude as close to the Biblical definition of “reprobate” as can be found. Yet, I am reminded that even God said, “I take no pleasure in the death of a sinner.”

I take no pleasure whatsoever in thinking that Mr. Moussaoui will spend eternity in hell. A hell certainly of his own choosing to be sure. God did not create hell for mankind but for the Devil and his angels. Yet, as you assert, God will indeed be glorified by the exercise of His justice. As equally for the non-believer on the day of judgment as He was when judging sins on the cross.

I’d still rather trade any pleasure I may derive thinking he’ll go to hell for an opportunity for him to come to know Jesus.

I am thinking of the truth, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” I need mercy terribly and so I want to give it without measure, within the framework of the laws of God and man.
DD

A well-done, hard-hitting article, dealing with a subject many find uncomfortable to discuss.

As a Christian, I generally try not to be too cavalier when dealing with the issue of the death penalty. Even though I believe it to be a necessary tool in the deterrence of grievous crime, and the best way of providing closure for the families of those victimized, there is also the hope that God may perhaps intervene and change a wicked heart before the final curtain.

On the other hand, there are individuals like Moussaoui, whose astounding ignorance, deep-rooted hatred, and lack of any detectable remorse make it impossible to believe that there will be any benefit gained by letting him stick around one moment longer than is absolutely required. We have already provided him with more than he could have wished for by giving him a trial first. I don’t remember any semblance of fair-play given to likes of Nick Berg and others who were unceremoniously separated from their heads for doing little more than breathing the air in Iraq, let alone taking part in plotting the deaths of thousands of innocents.

And yes, there are those who believe, like Moussaoui, that we would actually be doing him a favor by taking his life and sending him off to paradise and his very own personal 72 virgins, etc, etc.

I for one, in this case at least, would be willing to grant him that very opportunity. The young women can’t remain virgins for long, and to be quite honest, it’s all I can handle dealing with merely ONE female telling me to take out the trash. Good riddance….

As an aside, I am interested in what the response of the African-American Muslim community will be, should a judgment of death be handed down for Mr. Moussaoui. To my ears, anyway, they have been curiously silent up to this point.
Mark Kalbach
Morton, Pennsylvania

Moussaoui deserves no chance at rehab. He had many chances during the penalty phase and chose instead to mock on the families and on our beliefs and said he would do it again. We can get to him and all the others of his ilk. We simply wrap him and the others in pigskin and force feed them pork rinds and then we kill them…no virgins and a greased chute into hell. How much better could it get? We won’t do it because we’re idiots and would rather sacrifice our soldiers and marines to be politically correct with these monsters. I will never believe that we are fighting Islam seriously enough, yuk.
Gene Hauber
Meshoppen, Pennsylvania

I enjoyed your article on the death penalty and was impressed by you ability to make judgments as to who should live and die.

However, what I really am wondering is, when will you lead a campaign to correct the most persistent typo in human history (which is relevant to your article)?

You see for nigh on 2000 years the Bible has been declaring that God, one of the book’s lead characters, had declared that “thou shalt not kill.”

Since you are clearly in possession of evidence that God, in fact, actually declared “thou shalt kill after all,” I really think it is your responsibility to present that evidence to the world.

After all, one so versed in making life-or-death judgments as yourself will obviously be listened, and adhered, to with greater immediacy than those who follow the presumably misquoted word of God. Thus it is your Christian duty to prove, as a professed avid believer, that you know the word of God better than those who wrote the Bible.

That must be an awesome responsibility, but judging from your previous columns, I just know you are able for it.
Paul Meade
London, United Kingdom

Paul Chesser replies:
Exodus 20:13 – “You shall not murder.” — not “kill.” I assume that if you insist on this verse being translated “kill,” that you are a vegetarian?

Romans 13: 3-4 – “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. Fore he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”

I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

COBURN ONLY SWEATS SMALL STUFF
Re: Brandon Arnold’s Tom Coburn Means Business:

Yes, it’s true that Senator Coburn is trying to rein in federal spending on domestic issues, and I think the SBA should be dismantled along with the DOE. However, my problem with Coburn is that he will rage against a few hundred million in domestic spending, while swallowing billions in foreign spending. I have tried to persuade him since he took office to kill the $1.8 billion in military aid that we have given Egypt since 1978 as part of the Camp David deal to bribe Egypt and Israel to play nice together. Israel has gotten $3 billion each year since.

I’m not opposed to foreign aid, but it should go to friends first, and those who need it. Israel is a friend but doesn’t need the money. Egypt talks like a friend to our faces, and then stabs us in the back. The Egyptian state-owned media has made the Egyptian people the most anti-American in the world. During the early days of the war in Afghanistan, they accused U.S. troops of deliberately dropping relief supplies to Afghans in the middle of mine fields in order to kill civilians. Then they accused us of poisoning the food. In Iraq, they have consistently charged US troops with committing atrocities against civilians, such as giving poisoned candy to kids, raping women and stealing property. According to the Egyptian government-controlled press, our troops intentionally target civilians because they hate Muslims.

U.S. support for Egypt has made us the laughing stock of the Arab media outside of Egypt. The consensus among Arab writers is that the dictators of the Middle East, such as Mubarak of Egypt, use their state-controlled media to stir up hatred for the US in order to blunt any movements to reform or democracy that we might suggest. The Egyptian government has succeeded so well that Egyptians think the U.S. is the most evil empire in history. As a result, thousands of young Egyptians are joining Al Qaeda; the Egyptian government doesn’t care as long as they leave Egypt to wage war against the U.S.

Had Carter not been so stupid, he would have placed a time limit on the Camp David bribes to Egypt and Israel. But that’s no excuse for Senators like Tom Coburn to continue funding Carter’s follies. 28 years is long enough, even without Egypt’s hatred of the US. But Coburn refuses to consider ending the bribe. He has swallowed the State Department’s line that Egypt is our friend and needs our support. So while I applaud Coburn’s efforts with the SBA, it’s small potatoes! The big bucks are in ending the Camp David bribes to Egypt and Israel. At the least, we should redirect the money to friends, such as Afghanistan.
Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

WHO’S AT WAR?
Re: Jed Babbin’s Jail Time

So we have members of the CIA, State Dept. and probably Defense too that actively work to bring down a sitting president during a time of war by illegal means and we get this from the administration:”…it’s hard to move against career staff,” says a current Defense Department staffer. “We have an IG looking at all kinds of things right now. Perhaps we’ll get some movement.”

How about marching these traitors in cuffs to jail and prosecuting them and, if convicted, shooting them? Too harsh you say? Well given the fact the Bush administration let Sandy Burgler off with a slap on the wrist you have nothing to worry about from these cowards.

If Bush isn’t going to defend this country against all enemies foreign AND domestic as he swore twice to do then he should resign and let better men do the job.
Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

Excellent article! However, Mr. Babbin plainly states, “We are at war.” I disagree. Some are at war, most are not. Some men, women and families are making sacrifices, most are not. Outside of contributing to the monetary costs for the war through taxes, most are bystanders. Most of us respect the troops and applaud their professionalism but not much else is required. We are not a nation at war because a nation at war must make sacrifices and we, the majority, certainly are not. Part of the proof is manifested in the overall lack of outrage regarding McCarthy and other revelations. I never believed that we the people through the U.S. government were ever really involved in the “War on Drugs” or stopping illegal immigration, not to mention the “War on Terrorism”, which in the minds of most, is different from the war in Iraq. I would also add that there is a “war” ongoing for certain people and it is the war on President Bush. These people are sacrificing their time, effort and resources to bring down the current president and are not mindful of the casualties they may inflict along the way. A sorry state of affairs, indeed.
WJM
Vienna, Austria

Oh well, Jed sure made my day. The very fact that Jed had to write such a compelling piece and actually had to expend intellectual capital on such a no-brainer issue as national security and the prohibition against CIA bureaucrats from leaking national security secrets, was just too much for me today. Couple that with the two intellectual lightweights from the Democratic Party and the media, to wit, John Kerry and Juan Williams and I’m glad that all sharp objects were removed from my presence on Sunday. Does Kerry actually believe that the leaking of “truthful facts” somehow justifies the horrific damage they can do to national security? Is he that intellectually bankrupt? Does that mean then, as Mark Levin so accurately pointed out, that the leaking of the time and date of the Normandy invasion would have been justified by a disgruntled War Department employee if the leak was accurate? Is he truly the best and the brightest of the Democratic Party? And then there was the liberal media’s poster child, clueless Juan Williams on Fox News Sunday. Yes, according to Juan, Mary McCarthy took her chances in leaking classified national secrets, but her cause was just, because Bush’s policies are wrong. Jed, care to speculate if Ms. McCarthy will be prosecuted for her crimes? Or does the Bush new tone extend to any federal government malcontent or D.C insider?
A. DiPentima

Jed Babbin replies:
Thanks. I do think Kerry meant just that. Anything that damages Bush is fair game to these guys whether classified or not. It’s a diminution in loyalty we haven’t seen here in 141 years.

DESTRUCTIVE PARTISANSHIP
Re: Jed Babbin’s Jail Time and the Prowler’s The New McCarthyism:

I hate to sound like a Johnny one-note as I recently appear to surface only with comments on treason and traitors (such as Kerry). I do read the Spectator almost every day (subscribe, too) and usually restrain myself from commenting because so many others like Elaine Kyle do it so much better. However, Jed and the Prowler are dead right. It is very frustrating to put it mildly, that our country seems to be overwhelmed by people who put party above country. What don’t they understand about “supporting and defending the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.” What do they not understand about giving aid and comfort to the enemy? Of course, why did President Bush keep so many of Willie’s totally corrupt people in his government? Willie was corrupt and he either hired corrupt people or corrupted them after they were in his government. I hope the “good guy” President has finally gotten the picture and will clean house. How can one continue to look positively when the signs are overwhelmingly negative?
Dick Lambert
Eagle Rock, Virginia

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