Re: Michael Fumento’s “Raptor Attention” in Reader Mail’s Talking Back:
I recall back in the late 1960s Senator Goldwater remarking that the navy’s new F-14 Tomcat fighter offered little in the way of improved capability over the then-supreme F-4 Phantom. As we have seen over the past decades, the Senator was very mistaken. The F-14 showed itself to be way ahead of the F-4 in electronics, avionics, fleet defense, weapons delivery and aerodynamic performance.
Today we have some observers making the same negative claims about the F-22. These objections too will prove to be nonsense. The F-22’s advances over the F-15 and F-16, despite the many upgrades to the systems of these older airplanes over the years, are clearly generational in scope. But at a more fundamental level, it is simply essential that the United States maintain a technological edge over our competitors. History has demonstrated time and again that only through continually advancing our defense technologies will we minimize the cost of victory in future conflicts, regardless as to the forms they may take.
— Paul M. DeSisto, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.)
Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Re: John Tabin’s Ditka Goes on DL:
Ditka made the right move by not running, He would have been an embarrassment of Jesse Ventura proportions. It just goes to show the coach still has some common sense, He would have went from revered to reviled overnight by the fans who loved him as a coach.
— Aftan Romanczak
“Ryan declined to seek a second term, but the Republican nominee who ran in his place was the unfortunately-named Jim Ryan — no relation, though he was George Ryan’s attorney general.
Jim Ryan was not “George Ryan’s Attorney General”; Jim Ryan was in his second term as an elected constitutional officer, Attorney General, during George Ryan’s first term and only term as Governor. Illinois Governors do not appoint the Attorney General. The Gov., the AG, the Secretary of State, the Treasurer and the Comptroller are all elected in state-wide contests — a device to spread the power around and not have it hoarded by the Governor’s party.
— Brian Dees
John Tabin replies:
Good catch. But the point remains the same: if you lived in Illinois in 2002, as I did, the connection drawn between the two Ryans was palpable, and their mutual association with the Republican powers-that-be in Springfield was at least as big a factor as the name coincidence.
Re: The Washington Prowler’s Hillary Silenced:
I can’t believe that you fell for this propaganda ! There is no way that Hillary was denied speaking time if she had wanted it. I want to know why she didn’t want to speak.
— Jeri Duggan
“Hillary Rebuffed” ? I didn’t know she was even buff!
— Kitty Myers
Painted Post, New York
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Who’s to Run the CIA?
Just a thought, but why not current VP Richard Cheney? He’s got the experience. He’s no light weight and certainly has an aggressive combative attitude towards the enemies of our country.
The Vice President could resign, be nominated to the post of DCI and anew VP candidate, i.e. Condi Rice or John McCain could replace him.
— Michael McClain
San Antonio, Texas
THE RIGHT TEMPERAMENT
Re: Paul Beston’s Goodbye, Crooked Grin?:
Paul Beston notes: “By and large, [Cheney’s] temperament belongs to an earlier time. Whatever his emotional life is like, he keeps it to himself and his family, and that is the way most Americans once preferred it.”
This American still prefers that. I think most still do, or to rephrase, I hope most still do.
— Mark Hessey
Belmar, New Jersey
Great article by Paul Beston on Cheney’s character. I have always admired Cheney’s cool-headed approach to everything he takes on. I find this current brouhaha over Cheney disturbing. He is a rock-solid public servant and, in my mind, the all-star heavy hitter on President Bush’s “A” team. The addition of Cheney to the ticket in 2000 was the deciding factor for me in that election. I find it amazing that the one time Cheney haul’s off and publicly drops the F-bomb — to obnoxious Patrick Leahy — the press just won’t get off his back. They are SHOCKED, SHOCKED, I tell you, at his lack of decorum. Oh, please, since when has decorum been important to the press? I don’t recall seeing or hearing the word “decorum” during the Clintons’ trailer trash White House departure act, did you? Cheney could never be anything but an asset to this or any other administration.
— Tracy M. Fitzgibbon
I have only one suggestion regarding Mr. Paul Beston’s excellent commentary on Vice President Cheney. Mr. Beston wrote: “He is the only man among the four national candidates who has no truck with the therapeutic culture.” In the interest of brevity and accuracy, the sentence should have read: “He is the only man among the four national candidates.”
Yours very truly,
— Patrick Burkhart
The current debate on whether Vice President Cheney should continue on the ticket has left me bemused. Maybe as a life-long Republican I don’t feel the need to elect charismatic leaders. I loved Ronald Reagan’s wit, but I voted for him based on his ideas. Ditto President George W. Bush. I admire Cheney as many Americans do. What appeals to me is his straight-dealing as detailed in your article. This seems to me to be the sort-of American ideal that is nice to see still present in a few politicians. I would be disappointed if he was replaced on the ticket.
I enjoy your site very much. I have been a regular reader since 9/11.
— M. Spano
How in the world do stories like this even get started, and why in the world do we give them credence? Well, today, in the New York Times, there was a summary of the buzz crediting DEMOCRAT sources. That’s about as credible as citing Michael Moore as the source of all political intelligence, or the New York Times itself as the paragon of accurate reporting. There is no such buzz anywhere outside the Beltway, and this is pure wishful speculation on the part of some. It may or may not be true that there is “no such thing as an indispensable man,” but if there is such a person, he is Dick Cheney.
— Warren Mowry
It is clear that given the recent pollings that the President needs to make a change. Cheney’s health alone is reason for him to be replaced, but with his approval ratings plummeting a change must be made. Should the President fail to move quickly on this and trends continue he will in effect make himself into a lame duck President.
In my opinion, John McCain is the only choice that makes sense. Since President Bush and Vice President Cheney have operated as virtual co-president’s during the first term, the President needs someone of McCain’s caliber to take Cheney’s place. Additionally, McCain’s popularity will add the necessary crossover votes from the middle.
It doesn’t make any sense to wait any longer, a change should be made quickly and decisively.
— David Taylor
El Macero, California
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Big Tent Blues:
Shawn Macomber nailed it. Why is the most conservative politician on the agenda a Democrat? RINO McCain is the guy who gave us “Reform of Campaign Finance” that was never supposed to happen. That man cannot be trusted. The Dems’ favorite RINOs are featured. We are caving the tent not expanding it, unless the purpose is to turn it in to the Big Top with all the usual performers.
While I agree with most of your comments, I do disagree with your assertion that there are no anti-spending Republicans at the convention. John McCain might be the biggest deficit hawk in the United States Senate. He truly hates wasteful spending and often get pretty upset when it does occur, which is all of the time. In addition, to say that there are no conservative speakers at the convention ignores the fact that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are closing the convention up. I think it is good that we are showcasing some of the popular people in the party, and in a closely contested election that could be the difference. After all, they have an “R” after their name for a reason.
— James Torrell
Everyone seems to forget that the two most important conservative voices of the Republican party are speaking in the two most important slots during the convention. President Bush and Vice President Cheney represent the two most important conservative voices in the Republican party. The party does need to have other voices heard to create dialogue amongst itself and remember the compassionate side of Lincoln. The media is going to portray in convention in such a horrible light, but the American public is smarter than the media and needs to see that the party brings hope to all people and not a select few who tend to be further to the right (such as myself — a devout conservative Christian) than most in the party.
— Chris Johnson
In mid year 2000, I emailed a co-respondent of mine that lived in Texas. I wanted his candid assessment of Gov. Bush and knew he would give it to me with the bark still on. I will just synopsize what he told me.
The gentleman said that, if I wanted a Conservative for President, George Bush was not it. He noted that Bush could talk a conservative game but would compromise any conservative steps away in a heartbeat. He said that the reasonable among the Texas Democrats were quite happy with Bush. He told me that Bush was closer to Bill Clinton than to Ronald Reagan. All this said, he also said that the obvious Democratic candidate, Al Gore, was so very bad that a vote for Bush would be in order. My co-respondent said that he would be staying home that November.
I already had reservations about George Bush. The whole idea of Compassionate Conservative” instead of simply “Conservative” just didn’t sit right with me. Nevertheless, I thought that my acquaintance was, perhaps, being unduly harsh in his evaluation of the then Governor. I was wrong and my acquaintance was right.
Starting on Sept. 11, 2001 and continuing until into the first quarter of this year, George Bush has done a good job with the war on terror, despite continually evoking the mythological image of a peaceful and tolerant Islam. He started on the wrong path with the stand-down of the Marines in Fallujah and the refusal to go ahead with the capture or killing of al Saadr.
Now us Conservatives have been once again told to go to the back of the bus and sit down and shut up. The only reason that I even MAY go to the polls in November is that the idea of John Kerry in the White House scares the bejeebers out of me. My country survived Bill Clinton. I don’t think we should tempt fate again so quickly.
— Ken Shreve
Shawn Macomber once again makes the case clear that Conservatives are the RINOs now. However, he neglects to propose a plan of action.
Liberals portray Bush as a right wing extremist only to combat his success in usurping their agenda. Shouldn’t Conservatives be more concerned with opposing Liberal actions than with supporting Conservative words. And before you mention the temporary Bush tax cuts, if I borrow money to give tax cuts, is it really a tax cut or merely a tax postponement? And before you mention supply side economics, with the size of the tax postponement can even Laffer save us?
And before you mention Iraq, it is too soon to tell the outcome and its consequences. And before you mention Gay Marriage Amendments, Bush has said forcefully it is the only alternative. In other words, he may be President but don’t expect him to assert the independence of that branch of our government to protect us from the Judicial branch power grabs.
Ask yourself, who has succeeded in getting more Liberal legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President, Bush or Kerry?
Even if you take the position that the best Conservatives can hope for is to slow the liberal program down, haven’t we seen that the best way to do that is to have an incompetent Democratic president and a Republican Congress?
The path to victory is clear. Send a message to Republicans, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!”
— Mike Rizzo
An excellent piece by Shawn Macomber again. But here’s his next one to write — how the conservative South could reassert itself for the conservative movement.
Consider a guy like Zell Miller. He’s a conservative-centrist and a loves this country and it shows. What would be the effect on the electoral process if Miller were to run as an independent? Something along the lines of what George Wallace attempted in 1968.
Here’s the key issue. in ’68 the states of the old Confederacy lacked the electoral college clout to be of much interest. But today! Both parties know that to win they have to court the South. It’s the sole reason Edwards is presumptive Veep. But if a guy like Miller gathered Texas and Florida and 9 of the 11 remaining southern states both parties end up sucking wind. The country would be in an electoral crisis as NO candidate reaches the magic number 271 in the EC.
And that is where the conservatives then pulls its punches and say — you want the votes you play it our way. Then list their demands. Not as far fetched as it sounds and it works by the numbers. It just takes a guy like Zell to do it. Miller won’t of course. He’s in the sunset of his career, has a wonderful record for the country and deserves the beauty that is the rest of his life. But the cards are there to be played by the right Southerner if they wish.
— John McGinnis
Re: C.D. Lueders’ letter (“One Last Round”) in Reader Mail’s Talking Back:
McCain would be eligible. If both parents are US citizens, the overseas child’s birth will be registered with the controlling US embassy so that a US certificate of birth can be issued to the parents. I would also make a presumption that at the time that McCain was born the Canal Zone was treated as US territory. The same as if he had been born in the US Virgin Islands which confers citizenship to its inhabitants today.
— John McGinnis
Mr. Lueders is dead wrong. Both of my sons were born in the Philippines while I was stationed there with the U.S. Navy. Both were born to a Filipino-born wife (although she had become a U.S. citizen by the time the second son was born) and both were issued birth certificates (Officially “Report Of Birth Abroad Of A U.S. Citizen”) by the U.S. State Department through the U.S. Embassy in Manila, stating that they were U.S. citizens at birth. As to whether or not they are constitutionally eligible to be President, that has yet to be addressed by the courts. You might remember that Henry Cabot Lodge ran for VP with Nixon in 1960 and he was born in London while his father was serving as U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s. If Nixon/Lodge had beaten Kennedy/Johnson, that issue would have most probably been settled once and for all.
— James E. Smith