Sticky Issues - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Sticky Issues

Re: Patrick Hynes’s Sticking It to Congress:

Mr. Hynes suggests that “a new departure” for the White House in dealing with Congress might be the application of a metaphorical stick in the form of deriding it as a do-nothing group. I suggest that a truly new departure for Mr. Bush would be to exert some domestic leadership and demonstrate some conservative principles.

It’s my belief that Mr. Bush’s electoral coattails were ridden by candidates whom the voters desperately believed might actually be able to lead him on a conservative path. Instead, Mr. Bush has persisted in his socialist agenda, pushing for alien amnesty and ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty, among other outrages. In return for Congress not pressing him to exercise some conservative leadership, he’s happy enough to sign all the bloated spending bills that find their way to his desk. It’s all very comfortable and convenient. No one can really accuse the Congress of being a “do-nothing,” after all, as it’s found creative ways to roll the pork barrel right over any disappointed voter who is left to howl in vain dismay at the betrayals.

If voter favor for a Congress person can’t be garnered by means of enacting conservative measures for lack of leadership, it can always be had by “bringing home the bacon” in time-honored fashion. Is it any wonder that the effective difference between the parties gets smaller daily? Likewise, radical leftist Democrats attract so much attention and power because the Republicans can be counted on to act like mainstream Democrats, without so much risk of runaway socialism. Would-be mainstream Democratic voters can feel safe voting Republican. Creeping socialism seems to carry the day in most of the country, and hard-core leftist enclaves still get their slice of the pie from such as Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy and their ilk.

I shudder to imagine the sort of stick that Mr. Bush might carry. It seems to me that he’d be more likely to use it in support of, say, illegal alien amnesty than Social Security reform. A recent instance I can recall offhand of his using his clout was to stump for Arlen Specter, and it’s no secret that Mr. Specter is hardly a conservative by any measure. Mr. Bush got his way, and just look at the actions taken by his shiny new Judiciary Chairman.

However, can that compare with the most recent debacle? It seems that Mr. Bush’s Justice Department, which has fought so vociferously for expanded Big Brotherism in the form of the Patriot Act, has at last “complied” with an order that it turn over documentation of Clinton Era misfeasance and malfeasance. To do so, it has produced documents utterly redacted save for the names of the writer and the recipient.

I can close my eyes and see the ghastly ghost of Janet Reno still astraddle the halls of justice. Well, one of Mr. Bush’s first public pronouncements upon his first election was that he’d “move on” from the darkness of the Clinton years. Who could have guessed that he’d do so by perpetuating that darkness? (And what’s up with his efforts to rehabilitate Clinton’s public image by naming him as “Tsunami Tsar,” or whatever it was?) Mr. Bush somehow can’t bring himself even to allow a stick to be applied to his presumptive political enemies! Who are his political enemies, really? How about Representative Tom Tancredo as a nominee? He should watch his back.

Political power in Congress is necessarily diffuse, and the Republicans have done a very ham-handed job of establishing any one charismatic and effective leader. What ever happened to Newt Gingrich, anyway? It seems to me that Republicans in Congress are in no hurry to seize the mantle of leadership and find themselves in the mainstream media crosshairs. Mr. Bush wears it by default and in support of his true agenda of creeping socialism and imperialistic adventuring. It pays off big time for the political classes, but, as usual, at the expense of the nation and especially those who long for a return to the Constitutional principles that made this a mighty nation.

I, for one, would like to see a metaphorical stick taken to Mr. Bush (and I stress the term “metaphorical,” lest some FBI e-mail scanner mistakenly suppose that I mean him any physical harm). Maybe it’s time to resurrect and remove the gag from the “Silent Majority.” Maybe it’s time for those of us who want our borders defended, for example, to amp up our communications to Congress, the White House and the media in voicing our beliefs and our desires.

It’s painfully obvious that leadership is not going to come from on high, although Mr. Tancredo is making a bold effort. Millions of squeaky wheels may get some grease and even overcome the mainstream media portrayal of America as fat, dumb, and happy; disinterested except in such things as teenagers’ unfettered right to abortions and the next episode of “Desperate Housewives.” At least, maybe we can flush out Mr. Bush and force him to show his true colors, whatever they may be. Maybe we can even empower a real conservative to dare to step up to lead the party into the next election.

Let there be a schism in the party. It’s been taken over by charlatans anyway, who show no more backbone than they do leadership. How much longer should we wait for those in office to do more than feather their own nests and protect the nests of their alleged opponents as the DOJ has done for the Clintons.
Mark Fallert

Re: Reid Collins’s Are We Broken?:

“The “Purpose-Driven Life” is hardly a “religious tract.” Your writer slants the language to make it sound like this was an elderly “widow” living out her poor last days with her old-time religion. This was a young woman, doing what a Christian lady is called upon to do.
Ann Morrill
Grove City, Ohio

DuPont has the new MLB stadium sewn up — “Better things for better living, through chemistry.” Next!

The sheer irony is that for Schiavo, Congress will gladly trample over several centuries of domestic common law in an effort to save a life. Noble in a sense, but the politics behind it take the sheen off that thought. But this very same Congress will lift nary a finger in the defense of the unborn. Go figure.
John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Yes, we are. Mr. Collins’s roundup captures the morally degenerate irony with which American society finds itself: “A people who cannot agree on life’s beginning were now engaged in debating when and how it should end. And what the individual herself would wish.”

My older and only brother died six weeks ago, in the hospice at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Hampton, Va. He had a living will, so we all knew his wishes. I spent the last week with him. Four days before he died, he stopped eating. A day later, he essentially stopped drinking water, because he could barely swallow. I was holding his hand, stroking his forehead and speaking softy to him when he died.

I cannot fathom having him and his children, my mom and our family being subjected to this macabre and very public circus in which Terry Schiavo and her family are involved.

As to trying to divine what someone wants who can’t speak and is literally on death’s bed? Through my experience with Bill and my late dad, eight years ago, I can only offer this: Much of the time, your ears and eyes seem to give you the answer you want to hear or see.

Also, the quality of life someone has may be worthless if they can neither eat nor drink nor talk nor read nor move. We the living need to get out of the way of the near-dead, serve them, not our projections, and let them die in peace, with dignity.
C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Damn right we’re broken. And there is no hope.

Reid Collins asks, and answers, “Should her feeding tube be replaced? State courts had decreed her husband’s wishes should take precedence over those of her parents and the tube was removed on Friday.”

A newspaper columnist and feminist named Maureen Dowd
was quoted supporting Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Representative Schultz, no doubt another feminist, raged: “It is particularly hypocritical when you have people who say they advocate on behalf of the defense of marriage who now insert themselves between a husband and his wife.”

Representative Wasserman, though a feminist, recognizes Michael Schiavo as the paterfamilias. The paterfamilias holds absolute authority over his wife, children, slaves and property. As such, Schiavo has not released his wife from his power. Though he has lived with another woman for over a decade, these feminists hold that Terri Schiavo is still subject to his authority, and that his word is sufficient authority to end her life.

There can be no hope when feminists take this position.
Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

So Reid Collins is upset that Congress is involved in the Schiavo affair? Let’s review and see if funeral dirges for the republic are in order:

A congressman subpoenas Terri Schiavo to testify before a congressional committee and Florida State Judge Greer says they have no authority to override his decision to remove Terri’s feeding tube. He ignores an institution that has an equal measure of power and the tube was removed.

I don’t know why he should be allowed to supercede subpoena protections, if the issue were a condemned man asked to testify about judicial impropriety in his sentencing, could the judge in question order the execution prior to testifying?

At any rate, the judge made his point and as per their paradigm the conservatives did not challenge the state’s decision to govern its affairs absent a federal law specific to the issue. Their subsequent silence reaffirms their commitment to that principle. The conservatives in Congress did what they are entitled to do under Article 3 of the Constitution, pass laws and oversee the judiciary. Meanwhile the death-cult liberals have been running about clucking that federal government had no business inserting itself into state affairs in the first place and since the law passed we have been treated to comments such as:

“I mean Congress to in — intervene on a state issue first of all the hypocrisy of this Congress to take over and make decisions for a state and — and redirect a state rule.”
–Victor Kamber, Democrat Strategist

“Republican leaders, eyeing an opportunity to appease their radical right-wing constituents, convened Congress over the weekend to shamelessly interject the federal government into the wrenching Schiavo family dispute. They brushed aside our federalist system of government, which assigns the resolution of such disputes to state law, and state judges.”
L. A. Times editorial

Did the liberals just shoot themselves in their collective left(ist) foot?

Imagine some state judge deciding abortion or welfare or denial of school vouchers for parochial schools is against the state’s constitution. That judge now has a precedent of every liberal declaring the primacy of the state government over the federal government — even in matters grave enough to guarantee the death of the subject.

It’s one of those delicious moments when liberal sacred cows are forced to eat each other, such as when they claim homosexuality is solely the work of genetics but then support abortion on demand for such things as the genetically benign cleft palate. We wait anxiously for the first news article claiming parents are using amniocentesis to screen their unborn children for the “gay gene” with the intent of aborting the child should said gene be discovered. It is then that the house of cards has begun to bend under its own weight. Although every abortion is a cause for grief, watching the liberals’ heads implode as they try to reconcile their beliefs would provide countless hours of Schadenfreudesque amusement.

This is why liberalism is waning: it is internally unsustainable. It has no new political agenda; it merely flails about in the new millennium desperately seeking to hold on to its ill-gotten gains of the decade spanning the mid-1960s and ’70s. In a time frame blinkingly brief for any political movement it arose, shot its volley and quickly found its tenets questioned as teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and crime gripped the nation.

Now we find more Americans are become pro-life. Statistically speaking, senior Americans and juveniles are more likely to be pro-life than their Baby Boomer children/parents and the younger they are the more likely they are to be pro-life. America is also questioning its heretofore blind acceptance of the gay agenda. Oh sure, we all love those irascible scamps on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” but do they really qualify as ethnic minorities and is it worth writing off 10,000 years of civilized human experience to give them the privilege of marriage? November 2nd, 2004 heard a resounding, “No” on that issue.

I don’t know Terri’s ultimate fate as of today, she may yet be put to death by her adulterous husband who appears to have used the law to sue for $1.7 million under false pretenses, but whether she lives or dies those who have rushed to cheer for her death have instead cheered the death knell of one of their most sacred dogmas: activist federal judges know best.

South Dakota passed anti-abortion laws a little over a year ago and now all they need is a state judge to uphold those laws and the liberals won’t have an intellectual leg to stand on to oppose them (not that that has stopped them in the past mind you). If and when South Dakota’s incrementalism prevails it will establish the foothold for other states to follow, and follow they will. Not all 50 states and not all right away, but one by one they will heed their constituencies and enact pro-life measures until one day, mayhap, 2/3 of the Union embraces a pro-life Constitutional amendment and/or a sole recognition of monogamous, heterosexual marriage and/or other moral issues.

In a seeming re-telling of the story of Job, good is already beginning to emerge from inscrutable evil, and we’ll all have Michael Schiavo, Judge Greer and the yammering liberal death cult to thank for it.
Rik Killeen
Sunrise, Florida

Re: Allen Nyhuis’s letter (under “Divorce is Deadly”) in Reader Mail’s Women at War:

The lesson to be learned seems to be, if you make an agreement, put it in writing or have a witness (or three). My wife knows that I don’t want any “heroic means” used to preserve my life if I become severely disabled.

Ditto with her, and I’d guess that Michael Schiavo may fall into that category too. But, contrary to Mr. Nyhuis’ claim that Schiavo’s in it “for the money,” it appears that he turned down well over a million bucks when he did not succumb to the huge amount of pressure.

He could’ve made a killing (figuratively/financially speaking) by not doing what Terri wanted. But know what’s absolutely scary? Randall Terry, certifiable nutcase, now seems to be a spokesman for the family of that tragic woman. Randall Terry, consummate opportunist — one who’d threaten abortion doctors — he of dubious “Operation Rescue” fame, who termed “the pill”/IUD “disgusting” and would outlaw them if he could? I thought he discredited himself and disappeared a few years ago. Guess not.

He and his friends are opposed to all forms of birth control and would eliminate them (if that were in his power): “Ultimately, my goal is to reform this culture. The arts, the media, the entertainment, the sciences, education, etc.” And an otherwise lucid Website (NewsMax) starts fundraising under Randall Terry’s name?

No thanks!

If in the opinion of enlightened humanists like Mr. Schiavo it would be cruel to allow his “wife” to remain alive in her present state of “suffering” then why does he advocate to “only” having her feeding tube removed? Starvation takes approx two to four weeks to “relieve” the loved one of his or her suffering. If Mr. Schiavo and his ilk are so concerned about this suffering then why not agitate to have Terry put down with a jab of the needle? When my dog was sick a few years ago I took it to the vet where I was told that the humane thing to do was to have it euthanized right there. No consideration of removing food or water. If Mr. Schiavo wants to end his wife’s alleged suffering then advocate a quick end — or is it something else?
Ron Pettengill
London, United Kingdom

Re: R. Simmons’s letter (under “Sweetheart of the Week”) in Reader Mail’s Women at War:

R. Simmons has stated that the Spectator is a joke, and seemingly done so without providing any qualifying statements whatsoever. If indeed Simmons is correct, he or she must be a tremendously enlightened individual. Perhaps this scholar-in-the-making could provide us with a more in-depth analysis of this hilarious media extravaganza, explaining the comedic timing and pointing out the punch lines. It would be a great service to feeble-minded victims of “Spectator machine” like myself.
J. Repass

How is it that Mr. Simmons, still wet behind the ears, can reach such a conclusion? Of course, his leftist professor told him; otherwise he admits he knew nothing of which he speaks. I would have thought that someone with such worldly experiences and knowledge would be widely read. How impressionable can one be? Mr. Simmons, we did not know you existed either. Indeed, had you remained quiet, we would not have known you were a fool. So, Mr. Simmons, you are the joke and we are laughing at you.
Ron Biddle
Dayton, Texas

How typical of a left winger. No attempt is made to honestly debate the issues, just disparage and insult anyone that has the audacity to hold an opinion that might be different from theirs. A fine example of the brainwashing academies that pose as institutes of higher learning.
F. Inman

Re: William Tucker’s End the Embezzlement Now!:

I thought I followed this topic as closely as a lay person could, but I was astounded and maddern’ hell when I learned these IOUs only pay an interest rate of 1%. Not exactly arm’s length.
Al Gaynor
Menlo Park, California

Re: Pat Heffernan’s letter (under “No End to the Kidding”) in Reader Mail’s Get Out of Jail Free, Michael McClone’s letter (“Big Girls Don’t Cry”) in Reader Mail’s Sinners Unrepentant, Shawn Macomber’s and Rian Watt’s letter (under “Revenge of the Howies”) in Reader Mail’s Howie Who?:

I am not sure if you have followed up on the topic, but recently you posted a reply to an email sent by a Mr. Matthew McClone regarding Mr. Rian Watt’s kids4dean website. I wish to assure you that both these boys are in fact in seventh grade and currently attend Wilmette Junior High School. It just so happens that they both have great writing skills. You said that it was impossible for them to be children because they used such great grammar, spelling, and other writing mechanics. I am sorry to tell you that you are wrong. Matthew and Rian are both in gifted programs. While it is true that most eleven-year old kids couldn’t produce a well-written letter, these two can. In two years, they will be attending New Trier High School, the most prestigious high school in the country.

I also want to point out the fact that this argument has been going on for about 3 weeks. Most adults do not hold and act on a grudge for that long. Kids, however, do. I have known kids who have held a grudge for years. But I have never met an adult who could match that record.

You also said that they are supporters of Dean, “so, irrespective of their chronological age, they are still children in terms of intellectual, moral and ethical maturity.” Personally, I find this insulting. Many intelligent adults support Dean, while many supported other candidates. I, only 12 myself, supported Bush, but did not think that my friends were stupid, immoral, or unethical. Surprising, isn’t it? A 12-year old has more sense than you. Even if you do not agree with a person’s choices, it is low, very very low, to disrespect them by criticizing their maturity.

Thank you for your time, Pat.
Julia T. Weiss

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