Re: The Prowler’s Here’s the Deal:
What’s done is done. I can understand the motivations of some of the Senators. John McCain likes the limelight and wants payback for the South Carolina 2000 primary. Lincoln Chafee, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are liberals and don’t want other liberals saying bad things about them at the dinner parties. John Warner is upset that after all his long service to the party the Junior Senator from Virginia gets all the attention from the Republican base (New York has a similar pairing on the Dem side). But Mike DeWine and Lindsey Graham? I don’t know why they did this. They seem to believe they can back out of this agreement on their own discretion if they think the Dems have broken their part of the agreement. All I can say to these two Senators is Mike and Lindsey “you’ve been punked!”
— Geoff Bowden
You say potayto and I say potahto! The deal is one that perpetuates a practice that should not be perpetuated. It was struck by people who revere themselves and their legislative body more than they revere their country. Making a majority and a minority equal destroys the fabric of democracy, and in doing so, lowers the public’s confidence in an already flawed system. The defection (I almost typed “defecation” — how about that for a Freudian slip?) of the Republican senators is, in reality, a surrender to the MSM. Knowing that they could make themselves be presented as “statesmanlike” in the major dailies was a temptation too juicy for these towering egos to resist.
Perhaps the only good to come from this debacle is the fact that Senator McCain has most likely scuttled his presidential aspirations. I for one certainly hope so. He has an enviable resume that displays his physical courage, but it also displays his massive ego. In my opinion, the latter cancels the former. As a national figure, he stands for self-aggrandizement with a capital “self.” As for the others, I am not familiar with any except Senator DeWine and Senator Voinovich, who happen, to my dismay, to be my senators.
Whether the Republican Party is able to make gold out of dross is not the issue here. Rather, unity, support for a sitting president from one’s own party, and coming down on the right side of the present conflict between those who would have our laws made by judges, and those who would have the people make them; these are the issues in play here. The seven Republican senators who offered up their majority status, whether out of honest belief that it was the right thing to do, or out of a cynical desire to curry favor with the liberal establishment, deserve to leave the Senate, either for their poor judgment or for their nihilistic cynicism. I would be willing to wager that not one of them can look me in the eye and tell me that the judicial candidates who will be dumped are unfit for the appointments to which President Bush nominated them.
Compromise is certainly a vital ingredient in politics, however, there are some things which are too important to be compromised. Whether we live in a representative democracy or a judiciocracy is much too important an issue to be compromised. And these seven should have known that!
— Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio
McCain bailed on Republicans and joined with Feingold to try to get money out of politics and silencing political speech (while making it possible for billionaires to buy time and say whatever they want about any candidate). Now he has bailed on Republicans and joined with Democrats to erode the independent power of the president. And we are so ignorant that we are going to sit around and let it happen… so it seems.
— Stu Margrey
I am greatly dismayed about the “agreement” with respect to judicial nominations that was brokered by those most view as dissidents within the Republican caucus.
When the other party held the Senate, its leaders did not allow dissident members to subvert its agenda. The present Republican caucus, by contrast, appears to be governed as much by its dissidents as it is by its leadership. This is a profound and continuing disappointment to those of us whose votes gave Republicans their current majority.
Agreements are only as good as the word of those making the agreement. Considering the past actions of the parties to this so-called “agreement,” it is worthless. I wrote my Republican Senators and strongly urged them to not support it.
The President, the nominees, and the American people deserve a recorded, up-or-down vote on every single judicial nomination without undue delay. Why can’t the GOP stand firm and insist that these votes begin immediately and continue until all nominations have been acted upon?
I am forced to consider two disheartening scenarios. Are Republicans incapable of the leadership and resolve that is required to enact a policy agenda? Or do they not care enough about the agenda to give it more than a token effort?
— Steve Fernandez
Some Democrats lose and they get even nastier. Some Republicans perceive that they lose (this session is not over yet), get in a juvenile snit, and stay home from the polls. This reaction almost lost the GOP the Congress in ’96 and ’98. Don’t blame all the Republicans, just the seven weaklings that got conned by the Dems. This conservative loathes the day Congress and the Presidency is handed to the left because 4 or 5% of the Republican base got mad and stayed home.
— Gary Cape
Grand Junction, Colorado
The definition of “extraordinary circumstances” is if you are pro-life you’re an unacceptable radical.
I’m going to love watching the Dems make an ass out of John McCain. “Trust” a Dem? — and he considers himself presidential timber. Where, in Gingerbread Cookie Land?
— Robert Auskalnis
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell’s Filibuster Busters:
Mr. Tyrrell, As much as I was looking forward to expanding your D.C. culinary repertoire, alas, our fellow Republicans spared me the expense. Our ringside seats to the long awaited battle were to a rigged match. Sonny Liston Frist was down before the bell rang. McCain sucker punched his way to the “majority leader” crown. We, the snookered public, got the promise of three rounds out of 10. And oh, by the way, the “judges” (an ironic title wouldn’t you say?), get to determine the next winner, “extraordinary circumstances” notwithstanding and after consultation with them as to who will be next in the ring. I, like you, am still an optimist. I’ll hold my ire until the next two (Supreme Court) heavy weight battles are fought. My money is still on the President.
— Anthony F. DiPentima
Re: David Holman’s A Senate Show Trial:
Would someone in the Republican leadership please show tough-questioner, continual-griper Sen. George Voinovich, RINO-Ohio, the door? Wait, that can’t happen. No one in the leadership is strong or committed enough to do that.
— C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
WHEAT FROM JESUITS
Re: The Prowler’s Another Jesuit Canning:
I personally am thankful for the move to control the U.S. Jesuits. This is the order that brought my religion the break down in the seminaries, which ultimately led to the “sex abuse” scandals. This order is actively anti-U.S. Military and pro-gay in it in its teachings. The Vatican is finally clarifying the rules of the game. If they don’t like the new direction, I suggest they might want to try the Episcopalians. I am happy with our direction. The Catholic Religion is a religion of rules. If you don’t like that you are by definition a “Protestant.”
— Ron C. La Canne
Non-orthodox teaching and practice in the American Catholic Church, including Jesuits and other orders, present many, very, very, serious problems to the Vatican and to American Catholic faithful.
Homosexuality among the diocesan clergy, and Jesuit, and other orders in the U.S. has to be effectively addressed by the Vatican. If nothing is done soon about this widespread problem, it would seem that it is only a matter of a short time before the American Catholic Church as we have known it will go the way of “The Wonderful One Hoss Shay.”
Without effective action, American Catholics, young and old, will continue to drift away from the religion that their direct ancestors have followed for 1500 or more years. Due to homosexual scandals and lawsuits, American Catholics will continue to lose churches and schools; maybe ultimately colleges and universities.
The following was told to me as a true story; I have no direct knowledge of the facts. I repeat it here as a fiction to be used as an example as to what could or might happen. A student went to a Catholic college on a scholarship. After graduation he walked the Main Street of his hometown bedecked in weird clothes, hairdo, and with gold rings in his tongue, his nose, his eyebrows, and his lips. He had to force himself on old high-school pals who could not recognize him. He told all whom he met about the Wonders of being a homosexual. All asked the same question, “What the hell happened to you?” He told them how the priest-president of his college had personally introduced him into the practice of homosexuality.
Somehow, the story got back to the Board of Directors of the prestigious school. They investigated; they asked for the president’s resignation. He duly resigned for health reasons. He left the U.S. and spent two years in Scotland. When he came back, the order appointed him Dean of Men at another college.
Lawsuits, anyone? You can own a college.
Benedict has a big, big job to do.
— Pat diFide
Canning? How about caning?
PARTS IS PARTS
Re: George Neumayr’s The Elite’s Moral Gadfly:
Since Mr. Kinsley has no qualms about using embryo’s as his personal Home Depot for parts, since in his view though human they are just going to be disposed of anyway, no doubt he would approve a law mandating that prisoners executed be used for organ donation as well. What the hell — “parts is parts,” right?
Imagine the outrage of the left if such were indeed mandated. How insane does one have to be justify the slaughter of innocents, and deplore justice for the guilty?
— Boris Berejan M.D.
I very much agree with Mr. Neumayr’s article regarding Mr. Kinsley. If I am correct the start of abortion was to get the women out of the back alleys so they could have a safe abortion. Safe for whom has always been my question! Certainly not for the baby! Then we allowed a certain trimester for partial birth abortion. That worked well. Evil doesn’t have a stopping point; it feeds and continues to destroy. Now we should develop embryos and use them for “poor adult disabled people.” Sounds like a humane thing especially if you don’t believe those “lumps” are human! So it goes — there is no stopping of the evil now it has been loosed and it will feed and continue to grow until we don’t recognize it anymore. Then of course it will be those “old people” who don’t contribute, just take from society. They are not worthwhile when the money for them could be used for young people in the bloom of life who need it more. It’s around the corner. I just hope I am dead when it happens and don’t have to see my children/grandchildren have to deal with it! Sounds very sci-fi, right? Well so did most things a decade ago!! Thank God for conservatives and godly people who stand in the way of the evil that wants to permeate our society in America. It’s already in Europe and they are reaping the benefits.
— Anita Amos
Let’s enunciate the general principle of which reader Anthony Mirvish’s brief is a particular case.
Mirvish argues for the application of performance standards as the sole criteria for selecting (and, presumably, assigning) military personnel from the pool of volunteers. His suggestion that contentious issues such as the role of women in the military would self-resolve under this simple transformation is not at all hard to swallow, assuming the performance standards applied are truly such as would select and deploy a military effective enough to accomplish the mission. Furthermore, it is the American way to process people according to their properties as individuals, not according to their group identities or other arbitrary criteria.
All right, let’s revamp all military regulations, procedures, standards and structures to reflect the principle of the individual’s capabilities determining his/ her fitness for service and assignment.
I don’t know whether this would, as Mr. Mirvish suggests, cause the female cohort in the military to dwindle, but one necessary consequence of such a policy would be the elimination of all age criteria from recruiting, assignment, promotion and retirement regulations. If a 60-year-old male can demonstrate all of the physical and mental capabilities required to meet the standards set for a given Marine combat assignment, is it not un-American to deny him that opportunity, if he desires it, because of an arbitrary regulation limiting recruits’ age?
I’m serious. We’re facing recruiting shortfalls in the Army, and are threatened with service-wide shortfalls as the war on terror continues and the domestic economy staggers toward a modest expansion with increasing job opportunities in the private sector. We’ve slyly reduced performance standards to fill the empty ranks in our military with women, and then assigned them to missions for which they are plainly unsuited. This is unfair to them — cruel, really — unfair to the fit who must carry some of the weight for the unfit, and inarguably reduces the overall effectiveness of the military.
Let’s give the full-blown Mirvish Doctrine a chance. Let’s transform the entire military to one wherein “to each according to his or her capabilities” rules. Let’s set standards which are serious and realistic, which don’t put service people in over their heads but also don’t exclude capable people on the basis of arbitrary and irrelevant criteria.
Let the chips fall where they may. If we expand the recruit pool to the entire adult population, and select on the basis of individual performance capability, our personnel shortfalls may well vanish and be replaced by waiting lines. We may have to get used to the idea of devilishly fit greyhairs going down for 50 on Parris Island, but what of it? Medical technology, improved nutrition and lifestyle changes have spread and prolonged fitness throughout our population. If gung-ho geezers can cut the mustard, why in the world would we not capitalize on this asset? A ten-minute visit to any suburban gym is convincing in this regard — our Boomer cohort, now in its 50s and 60s, is lean, mean and ready to make the scene.
Henry Ford famously analyzed his innovative factories and defined the capabilities required for each and every job. He discovered factory jobs that blind men could perform, or those with only one arm, one leg, and no legs. Reasonable military standards couldn’t go that low, of course: Mr. Mirvish’s citation of the “…ability to perform all standard combat, casualty evacuation and damage control tasks” is a good start at defining the proper standard for an effective and suitably lethal military. We are, however, far from optimizing our recruiting and assignment protocols with respect to this standard.
We are going to need more people in the military if we are to carry the war on terror through to victory, prevail in the Korean and Iranian crises and deter renascent Chinese and Russian assertiveness. Let’s open the doors to all those who wish to serve — and can demonstrate the capabilities every American warrior should and must have.
That would be the American way.
— Paul Kotik