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Serious Candidates

Re: The Washington Prowler’s A Losing Republican Slade:

Having watched a few Senate campaigns over the years (I was NRSC communications director in the 1982 cycle) I’ve noticed that being the preferred inside-the-Beltway candidate may not translate into victory if the anointed one lacks sufficient fire in the belly.

Senate candidates that come immediately to mind include Elliot Richardson in Massachusetts in 1984 (lost in the primary) and Dick Thornburg in the Pennsylvania special to replace John Heinz. And Democrats aren’t exempt from falling into this trap — ask Fritz Mondale.

A nice clear shot at the general helps — but it is worth even more if it is achieved by a candidate building the organization and raising the funds needed to scare off the opposition.
Bob Pipkin
Belmont, MA

Re: Jed Babbin’s Kill Ratios:

I just saw Smilin’ Al, the Syrian Ambassador, on cable last night. The only difference between him and Baghdad Bob is that Smilin’ Al is not yet able to lie about the number of dead Americans lying in the sands of Syria. But he is able to disseminate the same old lies about whether or not Syria has harbored, and fostered, terrorism. And, of course, he can’t finish a sentence without the same tired crap about how Israel has WMD’s, and why aren’t we doing anything about them. Some people just don’t get it. Arabs in the Middle East still believe that this country will lie down and take it when Americans are killed by terrorists. Bush is not Clinton. Looks to me like we may have to whup a few more butts before the message is clear.
Mike Webster
Dallas, Texas

Jeb Babbin makes an excellent case for a regime change in Syria. This moment compares to the one 12 years ago when the Iraqis had been pushed out of Kuwait and were retreating toward Baghdad. The arguments then for not finishing off Saddam are the very same now for not going into Syria. If hindsight is 20-20, let’s take advantage of the lessons.
Mark Huebner
Toronto, Canada

Jed Babbin replies:: Mr. Huebner makes a very apt analogy. I’m still hopeful that Assad can learn from Saddam’s mistakes, but the odds are very much against it.

Re: Michael Craig’s The Greatest Protest Ever:

This female Georgia native is in love with Martha Burk. How awesome was it to watch the Masters without those horrible Cadillac commercials that were everywhere during the Super Bowl. Maybe she could find something wrong with college football so I can watch the Bulldogs uninterrupted this fall as well. I would really love it if she could also make a stink about the Super Bowl to ensure no one must endure the above mentioned Cadillac commercials again — maybe could get rid of Celine Dion and Shania at the same time?
Miss Moira Dirr
Atlanta, GA

Re: George Neumayr’s French Contagion:

George Neumayr states that “No wonder their magnificent churches remain empty. You won’t even find kneelers in them. They are basically just museums. A country built by sword and cross has neither now, and is very proud of it.”

I’d be interested in seeing his sources because in my experience, his statement is not borne out by the facts. Although state-supported, the churches of France most decidedly function as houses of worship. When I visited the cathedral at Amiens, there was both a regular religious service and a wedding. Later that evening, throngs of people came out for a laser depiction of the original colorized cathedral porticos. St.-Eustache, Notre-Dame, Chartres, Strasbourg….all are great cathedrals with regular and well-attended services.
Jill McKeen

Re: The Washington Prowler’s Devil Woman:

I completely ignore any writing by Maureen Dowd. Aside from the fact that she is enamored by her own writing I find that she really doesn’t submit any news. She is very boring and really doesn’t contribute anything but entertainment for the N.Y. Times. I’m sure we can all do better than Maureen Dowd.

I take a regular look at Maureen Dowd’s screeds in the New York Times just to see how far to the left the editors have moved their goal posts. I also rather enjoy seeing just how much a clever writer (and she is one) can distort the news. But of late I’ve noticed that she is woefully lacking in liberal ammunition to throw at “The Bushies,” “Rummy,” Dick Cheney et al. As a result, what she can find (or is allowed) to write about is pretty thin soup for her.

So I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised if her true colors show up even at a funeral service for a fellow journalist. After all, Michael Kelly was a conservative, but even if not, he was accurate in what he wrote. So Mo Dowd had to damn him with faint praise.

As the scorpion said to the turtle, “It’s my nature to sting.”
Bob Johnson
Bedford, TX

I read the note on Maureen Dowd and I was not surprised to hear she would lack the class required to not speak up with comments better not said at that particular time. She reminds me of my ex-husband who always had to ask me if he was being insensitive because he really could not tell for himself, I think it a lack of the sensitivity gene, the old “when God sent out the sensitivity gene, they thought he said mean and said they already had some.”

She is a frightening woman, a up and coming Helen Thomas. She sits in her lair thinking of nasty liberal comments on whoever is on her latest hit list and then sits down to write with her quill pen, (she never has figured out the darn new type of pens) and her comments show how really vicious liberal writers can get.

She scares me, I have to take a valium before I can read her column, if I find the courage to read it at all. Her level of viciousness is really outstanding in the field of how to write vicious comments about “Wolfie,” “Shrubie,” and what is the other one? Darn, I forgot, but it is really not important …

Well, her type keep life interesting, she makes the rest of the liberal columnists look rather kind in comparison. Her anger is her problem and we have the option to read or not read her column. I would read tomorrow’s article, but I am out of valium.

Re: David Hogberg’s Harkin’s Flip-Flop Flop:

Harkin would have us believe that the quick collapse of Saddam shows that he was never a threat to world peace. If the French had attacked Hitler when he occupied the Rhineland, the Nazi regime would have collapsed just as quickly, tens of millions of deaths would have been avoided, and people like Harkin would have whined that the quick collapse of the Nazi war machine proved that Hitler had never been a threat to world peace. Woe to Harkin and others who refuse to learn history.
Samuel Mc Kee

I, in general, found Mr. Hogberg’s article on Senator Harkin rather good and more right than wrong. That in no way suggests that Mr. Harkin is other than safe for reelection from Iowa for time immemorial.

Iowa does not follow a tradition of electing conservative political leaders. Never has, never will, at least in my lifetime.

But, you say that Senator Grassley is conservative. Well, sort of. He is more conservative than not, but he is notoriously irascible and cantankerous and generally a thorn in the side of bureaucrats of all stripes. I would suggest that is the quality that most intrigues the Iowa voters and keeps him in office.

Senator Harkin will be there in the Senate gaining seniority and, thus, importance for as long as he wishes to be. Iowa is a majority liberal Democratic state and I see no reliable signs of it changing.
Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

Re: Lawrence Henry’s Most People Have Lives:

Millions of American conservatives cared very much about the Lewinsky scandal and the effort to impeach Clinton. It may have been the last time The American Spectator, National Review, and Weekly Standard were right about some issue of public consequence. As to caring about our “war,” more conservatives than you know never supported it, and now only hope that it is not extended to Syria and Iran. (Thank God for John Corry!)

You write of a “decent supper we can cook so everybody in the family … will eat.” Mrs. Lawrence Henry doesn’t do the cooking? The children are allowed to choose what they eat? Indeed, the torch has been passed to a new generation of conservatives.
William Wleklinski

Nail head, meet hammer. Excellent observations about the “appearances are everything” media.

Not only does their status game necessitate “thinking and saying the right thing,” it constantly pushes them towards “the envelope’s edge,” an ever-moving target (same phenomenon with movie violence). The media’s just engaging in a childish game of one-upmanship not unlike the currently popular MTV show and movie, “Jackass.” The parallels are obvious with Peter Arnett’s latest “I double dog dare ya” being the most abysmal.
Doc Watson

Talk about hitting the nail on the head!

Re: George Neumayr’s New Low Country France:

Bingo, George! The French have devolved into BLOWHARDS. What a sad example of a decadent culture. I was thinking that in the first Gulf War other countries ponied up money to assist the U.S. in paying to evict Saddam from Kuwait. This time around, except for the Brits and a few others, it’s the American taxpayer who’s footing the bill. Conventional wisdom seems to be true, in this case, meaning that the huge oil fields in Iraq can be modernized and start cranking out a lot more oil, so the world oil bill will go down a lot — I read where it’ll be about $100 billion a year just for the USA. All the other oil consuming people on Earth can thank the USA — as it is, they are in our debt, truly. Just like a kid who gets an allowance- — freeloaders.

Ah, but FRANCE, and RUSSIA, and GERMANY! They deserve to pay through their BLOWHARD noses! Even by forgiving the debts owed them by the dictator, Saddam, with their lower oil costs, they’ll still probably come out ahead. Plus, they get to act self-righteous and like a know-it-all. The time for talking nice is coincident with acting tough, actually straight. Hey, they like to believe Bush is a Cowboy, so why doesn’t he oblige them. By the way, wasn’t the Marquis de Sade the guy who ….
James F. Crystal

Re: Chris Edwards’ Happy Tax Day!:

Your answer to the tax problem is a flat tax. Seeing that the income tax is roughly one quarter of the total tax bite, there is a better answer. Eliminate the income tax and don’t let Congress find other revenues. Make the feds cut the size of government. After all, for years they were advertising that “If you cannot find a job, we will hire you. We now have thousands of people doing make work, and making it harder for business to survive. Many of the Departments and Agencies, I believe, are probably unconstitutional at best. It seems that when the politicians find another dollar they just have to spend it. Congress and the Senate seem to spend money like a group of drunken sailors.
Cyril Smaling
Aurora, CO

Re: To Hillary With Love, To Hillary With Love, Part Deux, and Reader Mail’s Booking Title:

I realize I am days late and dollars short for the title contest, but consider: “Medea Rising.” That’s a mouthful!
Paul Austin

Some book titles for your consideration, Senator.

“Feel This Book”
“Hillary: A Colorful Companion to Thousands of Hours of Testimony”
“Hillary: My Deposition”
“How I Learned to Love the Jews and Win an Election”
“I Still Can’t Remember!”

Sorry. All your other submissions were so clever. I had to try my two cents. Thanks,
Barry Mann
Springfield, OH

Not original, but I was able to contribute: “Hillary Clinton: A Woman’s Guide to Everything From Spin Recovery to Spot Removal”
Doc Watson

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