Strutting and fretting in an insane world.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Heads should roll
Friday, November 12, 2004
More spin, please
Daniel Henniger quotes the Pew Research Center, and comments:
"Wired Americans are more aware than non-Internet users of all kinds of arguments," Pew concluded, "even those that challenge their preferred candidates and issue positions."
Maybe the networks and big dailies should try spinning in both directions, which is what the most sophisticated political consumers seem to want. But it's probably too late for that. Rather than be spun by large, faceless networks and newspapers, people now seem to want something more akin to a political conversation with the spinners operating Web sites?
Maybe they should, but could they do it convincingly? I haven't seen a liberal argument all year. All they through out are accusations, epithets and policy wonk statistics that don't have anything to do with logic.
The election's over
The new target is Bloggers.
There must be too many of pieces like this around for journalistic comfort. A recent editorial in the Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City) is ostensibly about pollsters but it begins with a dig at bloggers, whom it blames collectively for leaking early exit polls, as if bloggers were a monolith like the mainstream media. I get most of my news from blogs, but I didn't read anything about the exit polls, until I tuned in Fox News before the polls closed and saw Brit Hume's panel looking like their dog had just died. They'd all been reading the exit polls and were muttering around without saying exactly what they said. As the evening wore on, however, the returns didn't match the exit polls, and the talk was all "why were the exit polls so wrong?"
A good day for pollsters but a bad one for bloggers? How about that Real Clear Politics website? Well, it's not really a blog, except that it's updated continuously as things develop, like a blog; it contains links to news and commentary, like a blog; and it contains original commentary by the proprietors, like a blog; and it's main thing is polls which it collects and averages. So this
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Hillary's new "Values" health care
I wonder if she's familiar with this scripture:
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (Matthew 6:2)The term Pharisee comes to mind.
So the Clintons will be talking up religious values for the next four years. Hold onto your wallet. Of course, there's another approach as noted on Best of the Web:
A post on DemocraticUnderground.com, by someone called "mgdecombe" offers one explanation:Yep, that'll show all those needy SOBs who voted for Bush! So this wasn't really about compassion after all?
Got a call from the March of Dimes today. I listened to the woman's prepared text, and said, "I'm sorry, we will no longer be donating, please take us off your list." She asked why, and I said, "Due to the election results, we have decided not to enable the Bush Administration by supporting charitable organizations who are filling the vaccuum [sic] caused by his mishandling of the country. It's all up to President Bush now."
She sounded surprised.
We will say this to all of the organizations we donated to last year, when they come a' callin' this month and next.
For the next four years, we help our own, and that is it. We contribute to political causes, and that is it.
Sic transit gloria Arafati
The reactions to Arafat's death are pretty revealing. The Axis of Weasels, including the Democrats' crazy old aunt Jimmy Carter, all honor him as a powerful leader. Yeah, in the mold of Al Capone.
Arafat last photos reminded me of a client I once represented on charges of child molesting. He was an old guy, but absolutely obsessed with little girls. When confronted with facts he would grin as if to say "Ain't I a stinker?" He made my skin crawl.
The fact that anybody treated Arafat as a legitimate national leader is a testament to their own gullibility. To his credit, Bush never met with him. The others helped enable one of the biggest con men in history. History will judge them as harshly as Arafat himself.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Apparently, the media has deceived us
Bill Clinton blames the Dems' loss on the galvanizing effect of the gay marriage issue on evangelical voters, but Pat Caddell on Special Report with Brit HumeIt's not about intolerance. It's about people don't understand are goingPeople do not understand this and they want a say in it. It's about democracy, in part. People do not believe that this can be happening--by judges and they have no say about it.. . .
I'm really concerned about my own party attacking -- every time they get up and attack bigotry and say it's discrimination, we're attacking our own voters! And it's really wrong to do this, and we need a national debate on the subject which the media has not wanted to do all year.In other words, the Democrat elites are painting their own constituents as bigots. Caddell has seen this coming and says he predicted the loss of those Senate seats in the South. That can't be good for regaining those seats, unless liberals in the media cool their portrayal of denial of gay marriage as Republican bigotry.
Will the judges take the hint? I doubt it. My own feelings about this appear to be typical. Issues that affect what society is like should be decided by democratic means not by judges. I think gays should recognize that this is a volatile issue and that demanding too much too soon could trigger a backlash. I'm not inclined to accept gay marriage as equivalent to traditional marriage, but I don't see anything wrong with civil unions, and I am offended by gay bashing. I just lost a gay nephew, to what may have been AIDS, and a number of his friends came to his funeral and were welcomed, but I can't help feeling that a society where gay relationships are equivalent to traditional marriages is a place I'd feel welcome in. I guess that makes me a supporter of Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell. I'm sure that over time traditionalists will be forced onto the defensive, but the burden has not shifted.
Talk of Secession
Tony Blankley, discussing the calls among Democrat elites for secession by the Blue States, writes that there is "a cancer in the soul of that party."
I wonder if they will also want to deport those within those states who voted for Bush. The Book of Mormon contains many warnings against contention, i.e. the angry behavior we're seeing now on the left. It's a way to lose the spirit of God, which is one of peace. There is a difference between advocacy and adverseness. One is positive and the other will tip over the game board if it's losing.
Martin Peretz in the Wall St. Journal has some observations on the anger of many liberal elites toward the electorate:
the extreme and bitter judgments against the citizenry after this election are especially tendentious. For what the electorate did on Nov. 2 was essentially (or maybe just merely) turn down John Kerry, a candidate who until very late in the Democratic primaries was almost no one's choice as the nominee, the party's last option because it could rally around no one else. What a pathetic vessel in which to have placed liberalism's hopes!
The essence of political success is when you lose figure out why and change it. The Dems nominated a stiff to run against a man they hated. Now they're mad at the people for not electing him. That bodes well for Republicans in the future.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Bush has a mandate. Religious Conservatives don't.
That's basically been the message of the past couple of days of Hugh Hewitt's radio show. I must say the number of religious right callers who want to wield political power to punish moderate to liberal Republicans was alarming. I've never thought that the way to win was to alienate your allies. That's what the French, Germans and Canadians did. This election was not the second coming. I don't think that will be mistakable, and I especially don't want to be one of those of whom Jesus said:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.. . .I trust God to judge rightly, and that should be the reason why I'm slow to get high and mighty when I achieve a minor victory. I think George Bush understands that. Faith is not politics. It helps, but you still have to work in the world.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Why would bloggers want to be journalists?
Eric Engberg is the latest journo to take a shot at bloggers by setting up the Straw Man argument that bloggers claim to be replacements for journalism. He doesn't get it. I've never seen any blogger claim that. What people like Engberg don't get, or can't gainsay, is that mainstream journalism has become so homogenized and predictable that the whole point of the First Amendment was not being served, until the emergence of right wing talk radio and blogs. It's significant that the new prominence of bloggers has not come from The Daily Kos or Talking Points Memo or any newspaper website. We already had plenty of access to liberal opinions. The market for conservative and libertarian views was the real story. It's as though MSM doesn't even want to acknowledge that the audience for Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, Instapundit and Power Line exist. Well, they do, and they made their presence felt, along with many "9/11 liberals" who realized that our media had failed to warn us of the threat of terrorism and didn't care for the reflexive "blame America" spin after the fall of the WTC.
I guess we should be grateful for the fact that journalists have been "speaking out," because it has demonstrated how cocooned old media have become, confirming years and years of complaints from conservatives. The minute there were alternatives, the unserved market for conservative opinion revealed itself with shocking speed. And not even Jame Carville has been is as much denial as the liberal media elite.
I quit listening to Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly because they have become celebritized. Americans, particularly conservatives, have highly developed BS detectors, and they don't like elitism any more in conservative pundits than they do in liberal ones.
Red, Blue and Purple -- White is too racist?
Interesting discussion at Chicago Boyz over the Red-Blue Split, with a reference to the maps here. The cartilinear map reflecting both the population and gradations of the amount of blue or red of the counties, looks a lot like how the Hollywood Left sees the country, kind of psychedelic.
Of course, we've all seen Michael Moore's "Jesusland" map with the "United States of Canada," which pretty well admits that the real difference between the left and right is that the latter still believes in the Freedom of Religion clause. Not only does the left consider all moral values to be Christian, rather than Judeo-Christian, but suggests that true Americans are atheists.
Yasser, that's our money
It was reported yesterday that Arafat's soon-to-be widow is fighting a fierce battle to prohibit access to her comatose husband to his lieutenants in the Palestinian Authority. It's not so much about his successor in power, however, but over control of the money he's accumulated during his career of good works.
Shouldn't the Palestinian people rise up in fury over the fact that Arafat has been able to squirrel away so many millions while he was supposedly fighting for the oppressed? The money ultimately came from other Muslim nations, from the U.N. and American taxpayers. So why aren't WE rising up in fury?
"the heaviest urban fighting since Vietnam."
That part of the caption of a photo on the NYTimes news site about the battle for Falluja. You'd think there were no wars before Vietnam for these people. Don't they realize that 9/11 was fought in the streets of Manhattan?
Feel the hate!
Juan Non-volokh notes a nice bit of candor from one of his fellow academicians. What a commitment to democracy!
I wonder what Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer are thinking about this election.
What will MoDo make of this?
Anybody else would feel ashamed to know that the man she hates is seen as Hope to oppressed people in Iran.
Maybe we've had too much liberty for our own good. It's the test of our time, as the harshness of life was for the pioneers in theirs.
The Battle of Falluja
We're going to see a great attack tonight as we set this country on a path to liberty.
I like that quote. I hope the Iraqis are memorizing some of their own, something along the lines of "Give me liberty or give me death!" and "I regret that I have only one life to give for my country." How about "I have not yet begun to fight."
They need stories to teach those kids in their schools about people who serve Allah by standing up for the weak and powerless, by putting their lives on the line for the ideal of freedom. I would like them to tell stories about Alawi like we tell about George Washington. And I would like them to grok that they have rights which are precious enough to defend them with your life.
Who better to teach them than Americans in whom the love of liberty is infused with their mothers' milk, and who understand that the call of duty is just a way to return thanks.
Monday, November 08, 2004
He's just pinin' for the fjords!
It's not like they're out of touch with the electorate
Best of the Web on Friday had a nice roundup of the Democrat pundits' reaction to the election. I must say I'm disappointed in E. J. Dionne, who claims that the president didn't win by enough percentage points for it to be a mandate. So you have to win by a supermajority to govern? It's a little late to unilaterally change the rules, isn't it? Or does he just mean that the Democrats shouldn't feel honor bound to follow the will of the people? When did they ever?
To those you can add this nostrum for losing from Bob Herbert, saying we need to have teach-ins to explain to the dumb voters who supported Bush why their votes this time were wrong. "Teach-in" sounds so much nicer than "re-education camp." You can't make this stuff up.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
What have the Democrats learned from this defeat?
Not much, apparently. Mark Steyn on European liberal taxonomy:
Who exactly is being self-righteous here? In Britain and Europe, there seem to be two principal strains of Bush-loathing. First, the guys who say, if you disagree with me, you must be an idiot - as in the Mirror headline "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?" Second, the guys who say, if you disagree with me, you must be a Nazi - as in Oliver James, who told The Guardian: "I was too depressed to even speak this morning. I thought of my late mother, who read Mein Kampf when it came out in the 1930s [sic] and thought, 'Why doesn't anyone see where this is leading?' "It isn't much different, then from "the stifling coercive theology of political correctness enforced by a secular episcopate" over here.
I was feeling pretty apprehensive on Monday, but I had lived through disasters before. Mostly, I was worried that Kerry would either bail on the Iraqis, which would mark us as not to be trusted, so I was relieved when the election came out for standing by this fledging democracy and our allies in the coalition.
This report however makes me feel that we dodged a bullet. Kerry is not emotionally constituted for being president. He's a whiner and every bit as self-centered and arrogant as I would have guessed. Funny that Newsweek kept this report until after the election. If it had had stuff that made Bush look this weird, it would have been out two weeks before the election.
David Broder has some good advice for Democrats, but I don't expect them to take it very soon. Bill Clinton ran as a centrist, but the first thing he tried, once in office, was pure liberal. I suspect that the lesson the Dems will learn from this is to be more like Bill, and lie about what you really believe.
I'm not done worrying. I've seen something like this before--in the pages of the Book of Mormon.