Carol Platt Liebau: February 2007

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Get Over It!

Sam Fox is a St. Louisan, and long a respected businessman and Republican. Nominated to be Ambassador to Belgium, he was raked over the coals in his nomination hearings by the lordly John F. Kerry.

Fox's crime? Having contributed to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Kerry needs to grow up. He lost, now deal with it. He can disagree with the Swift Boat veterans, but so far, no one's been able to amass any evidence of deceit or deliberate manipulation on their part. They spoke out -- as is their right under the First Amendment. Too bad if Kerry didn't like it -- he's not king (nor, thankfully, ever will be . . . except in his own mind).

Remarkably, the Boston Globe story covering the kerfuffle contains this verbiage about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:

The group of Vietnam veterans made unsubstantiated allegations against Kerry -- then the Democratic presidential nominee -- and charged that Kerry did not deserve the medals he won in the Vietnam War.

To the extent that the allegations were never "substantiated," it was due to a remarkable lack of interest in them on the part of a press that could't wait to explore every nuance of George W. Bush's military service. What's more, Kerry has continually refused to release his military records, which also might shed some light on the matter.

Finally, speaking of "unsubstantiated allegations," even as the Boston Globe serves as Kerry's mouthpiece and defender, does anyone there remember Kerry's magic hat and Christmas Eve in Cambodian caper -- possibly the biggest lie of his presidential run (and political career)?

Welcome to the Family

This morning's Boston Globe informs us:

Senator Clinton's brother Tony is battling an order to repay more than $100,000 he received from a couple pardoned by President Clinton.

Tony Rodham, who acknowledged approaching the president about a pardon for the couple, is the second of Hillary Clinton's brothers to receive money from people who were eventually pardoned by President Clinton. Hugh Rodham received $400,000 from two people, one of whom was pardoned and one whose sentence was commuted.

It's just business, Rodham-Clinton style. Although the senator had conceded that her brother Hugh had received some cash from those seeking the President's favors, she had previously denied that her other brother had likewise financially benefited.

But hey -- according to the Globe's take, all this is just coming out as a nasty attempt to hurt Hillary Clinton's presidential chances. Poor little thing.

Bad News for the Democrats

Iraqi officials are reporting that the crackdown that the Democrats have opposed is actually working. The Dems had better move fast to make sure we can grab defeat from the jaws of success.

Bad News for the Democrats

Iraqi officials are reporting that the crackdown that the Democrats have opposed is actually working. The Dems had better move fast to prevent anything else from going well . . .

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Today at the University of Missouri-Rolla, an "international" student "whose identity and nationality were not released," claimed to have a bomb and threatened "terrorist-type" activities.

How remarkable that no one knows his name or his homeland. Is there a common link with this episode and this episode and this episode?

Too Much "Self-Esteem"?

After living in a culture dominated by a liberal elite -- and a generation of "experts" warning everyone about children's "self esteem" -- is it any wonder that a new study has discovered that some of America's young people may have a "narcissism problem"?

After all, liberals have constructed a world where sports can have no winners or losers, alternate spellings are accepted by teachers who can't use red pens on students' papers lest they hurt children's feelings, and dodge ball is verboten. No matter how unfortunate their behavior or deficient their performance, young people are encouraged to think that they are simply A-OK, no matter what.

And someone's surprised at these results?

Moving in the Right Direction?

Senator Jon Kyl -- who recently returned from Iraq -- has some encouraging words.

Cutting & Running From Cutting & Running

The Democrats lack the resolve necessary even to follow through on a political campaign to cut 'n run (thankfully for the country).

The Dem ranks are in disarray because, it seems, they've gotten the clue that, although the American people are "fed up" with the war, it may be that they're primarily "fed up" -- not with fighting -- but with not winning quickly enough.

Perhaps the reality is a bit like this columnist argued in the wake of last November's defeat:

Certainly, contrary to what lefties are claiming, the election wasn’t a referendum on our presence in Iraq. Voters aren’t angry that the United States is trying to secure Iraq and establish a foothold for democracy in the Middle East. Instead, they’re frustrated at a war that, it seems, is being fought with half measures, little discernible forward progress, and an Administration that appears hesitant about presenting a thorough, sure-footed case for our continued presence there or a clear plan for victory.

The Democrats are learning that the mass of the American electorate isn't -- as they'd hoped and believed -- a bunch of faint-hearted, weak-kneed cut 'n runners. In fact, they want to win! (Poll results here and here.)

How pathetic is it that the Democrats are desperate for us to lose the war (restoring, in their minds, their political "glory days" of Vietnam) -- but they can't even agree on the terms of surrender?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Love, Marriage and Childbearing

Back on February 6, I wrote here about the poor "strategery" involved in a misguided Washington state initiatve beign propounded by gay activists.

Today, Jeff Jacoby has some excellent commentary on the initiative at issue.

Not Easy Being Green II

For someone who keeps inveighing the rest of us to conserve, Al Gore leads a pretty high-energy lifestyle.

Note to McCain

If you're trying to win over the Republican base, it's probably not a good idea to tout an endorsement by John Warner, author of a cut 'n run resolution and who -- next to Chuck Hagel -- is probably the most despised Republican politician among primary voters.

Plain Talk from Joe Lieberman

In this piece, Senator Joe Lieberman asks the question that really sums up the biggest issue facing the Congress when it comes to the Iraq war:

Will we allow our actions to be driven by the changing conditions on the ground in Iraq--or by the unchanging political and ideological positions long ago staked out in Washington? What ultimately matters more to us: the real fight over there, or the political fight over here?

By nature, I'm an optimist -- but I'm not optimistic about the way the Democrats will behave. For too long, it's seemed evident that their primary interest in the war isn't winning it -- it's finding a way to exploit it for maximum political advantage. Exhibit A? The dishonorable excuses and shifting rationales for having supported the war being bandied about by the party's presidential candidates.

Not Easy Being Green

Congratulations to Al Gore on his Oscar win for the "scare-umentary" "An Inconvenient Truth."

Perhaps the most inconvenient truth of all, however -- at least for Gore -- is that when it comes to going green, he doesn't exactly walk his talk.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

More Evidence

The recently-discovered chemical weapons factory in Iraq was Al Qaeda's.

It's another reminder that what's going on is not just a "civil war" between Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq. It's a struggle between Islamofascist terrorists and America. And that's the fight the Democrats are trying to lose through all their slick maneuvering to force a U.S. defeat in Iraq.

Murtha's Bad Week

This Washington Post story outlines the way that Jack Murtha (thankfully) bungled the roll-out of his "slow bleed" strategy for forcing a loss in the Iraq war. (As noted here, Murtha's grasp of reality when it comes to the impact of losing the war is -- to put it charitably -- tenuous.)

The panoply of Democratic reaction outlined in the story is unintentionally revealing. The left of the party is unhappy because the slow bleed strategy doesn't go far enough, fast enough. The newly elected Democrat Iraq war veterans want a straight timetable for withdrawal.

But nowhere does anyone from the party signal any concern about actually losing the war; their exclusive concern is how to orchestrate the failure most artfully. Rush Limbaugh was absolutely right when he pointed out that the Democrats own defeat.

Reaching Out to the "Fed-Ups"

Frank Luntz offers some commonsense advice to Republicans:

The path to a GOP majority must be paved with solutions to the real problems of real people. Republicans should talk about expanding health savings accounts and educating Americans about the benefits they offer. They should commit to sunsetting government programs every four years unless continuing them can be justified. They should pledge the investment necessary to develop renewable fuels and alternative energy. They should challenge Democrats to tackle the burgeoning tax code and fight for tax simplification on behalf of hardworking taxpayers.

The problem, of course, is the seductive influence of power. Over time, human nature -- Republican or Democrat -- means that elected officials become enamored of the perks and privileges of power . . . being able to insert earmarks in bills constituting a prime example. It's easy to convince oneself that such perks -- seen as part of the problem when one is seeking election as an outsider -- are A-OK once one is in a position to use them. And using them to maintain popularity and secure reelection seems a lot easier than actually struggling to get something significant done.

With too many years in power, even higher degrees of petty preoccupations take front and center. Where is one's office located? Who's winning the parliamentary maneuver game (significant, but only to the degree it's being used to advance something important)? Before long, politicians find themselves a long, long way from home.

The problem is particularly pronounced in the House, where elections tend to be less competitive and people like John Murtha can roost complacently for years. But the mentality spills over to the Senate, too, and makes it difficult for the elected officials to see beyond the internal Beltway drama of the moment -- much the way that, too often, they have trouble seeing past the blinkered view of The New York Times and Washington Post.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Thanks, Democrats

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is openly proclaiming that the United States is unable to fight a war with Iran.

Thanks, Democrats. By parading before the world the divisions and trouble that setbacks in Iraq have occasioned, they have helpfully contributed to Ahmadinjad's complacency. Is this really wise? Setting aside the issue of whether we should go to war with Iran, is it in America's national interest to lead enemy nations to bellieve we can't?

Thanks, Democrats

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is openly proclaiming that the United States is unable to fight a war with Iran.

Thanks, Democrats. By parading before the world the divisions and trouble that setbacks in Iraq have occasioned, they have helpfully contributed to Ahmadinjad's complacency. Is this really wise? Setting aside the issue of whether we should go to war with Iran, is it in America's national interest to lead enemy nations to bellieve we can't?

"Focused Targeting" in Iraq

As Democrats try to lose the war by opposing the President's troop surge, Austin Bay notes that -- more than the additional troops -- a real difference in the military situation in Iraq is due to "focused targeting" (under which Iraq and American troops target Shia and Sunni extremist organizations). The Iraqi army has also become more aggressive in countering insurgents.

Again, it's worth wondering: Why aren't the papers and the rest of the MSM covering this? These are worthy developments; they don't guarantee success, but they make it more likely.

The MSM (and the Dems) don't look for, expect or cover anything that fails to fit in to their predetermined "failure" template. And as everyone knows, when all one has is an ideological hammer, everything looks like an ideological nail.


Dean Barnett asks why Mitt Romney, whom he characterizes as a "second tier candidate," has received so much more TLC from the press (which is about the equivalent of PDA with a great white shark) than other candidates.

What's particularly worth noting is the disparity in coverage between Romney and Barack Obama. So very little has been explored about the accuracy of his autobiographical work, as well as some very controversial votes during his tenure in the Illinois State Legislature.

What's more, the articles that covered his presidency of the Harvard Law Review omitted quotes from other members of the Review who were less than complimentary of his leadership (or so I'm told by those who were contacted by The New York Times).

Dean Barnett is absolutely right in pointing out that Mitt Romney has many qualities that will make him difficult for the press to caricature in the ways typical of their treatment of Republicans (i.e. by turns stupid and evil).

Even so, in evaluating the overall fairness of the coverage of Election 2008, it's not only a matter of how easy it is (or isn't) to slime a Republican -- it's also about how much easier the press finds it to glorify a liberal Democrat than a conservative Republican.

The Real Reason for Geffen's Hospitality?

Page 6 has another explanation for David Geffen's overt hostility toward Hillary Clinton, and the Clintons generally.

Friday, February 23, 2007

"D" for Democrat / Defeat / Dishonorable

In one succinct paragraph, Charles Krauthammer illuminates the point I was trying to make here and here:

Slowly bleeding our forces by defunding what our commanders think they need to win (the House approach) or rewording the authorization of the use of force so that lawyers decide what operations are to be launched (the Senate approach) is no way to fight a war. It is no way to end a war. It is a way to complicate the war and make it inherently unwinnable -- and to shirk the political responsibility for doing so.

These days, when one sees a "D" behind a politician's name, it's harder than ever to figure out whether it stands for "Democrat" or "Defeat" or "Dishonorable."

The Truth About 'Iwo Jima'

This piece offers the real story about the despicable piece of Hollywood propaganda, "Letters from Iwo Jima." Anyone who fought WWII in the Pacific can testify to the unthinkable brutality of the Japanese soldiers -- and those who waited anxiously at home can still remember hoping that, if their loved ones had to be captured, it would be by the Germans rather than the Japanese.

Of course, that was all many years ago and the Japanese are now good friends and allies. But it's noteworthy that Hollywood -- which loves nothing better than films like "JFK" and "American Beauty," which denigrate American life and history -- can't wait to whitewash the wrongdoing of other countries, even as it consistently minimizes, downgrades and overlooks all that's wonderful about America.

In a Nutshell

Mona Charen deplores the very phenomenon I discuss at length in my upcoming book: Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!) -- namely, the "sexification" of girlhood.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dems Seeking Another Path to Defeat

Senate Democrats are trying to circumscribe the troops' mission in Iraq:

While these officials said the precise wording of the measure remains unsettled, one draft would restrict American troops in Iraq to combating al-Qaida, training Iraqi army and police forces, maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity and otherwise proceeding with the withdrawal of combat forces.

Let's understand what that means. It means that -- as long as Al Qaeda allies with Sunnis (or Shias) or any other group cleverly enough -- the United States military is rendered powerless to do what it takes to stabilize Iraq successfully.

It strikes me that Congress was given the power of the purse. If they believe the mission they authorized four and a half years ago was mistaken, let them defund it. But it's ridiculous, futile and another way to simply force defeat to require soldiers to make fine distinctions between Al Qaeda and those who share their goals, but operate under another banner.

Why McCain Won't Be the Nominee

Once again, he's more fixated on attacking fellow Republicans than in pointing out how his leadership would be superior to that of any of the Democrats.

Granted, he's in California, and he may believe that savaging the President is the way to position himself, given that liberal Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger is governor. What he doesn't understand is that the California GOP is still populated by conservatives, too -- and that those who might hold their noses and vote for a moderate Republican governor when that's their only choice won't necessarily do the same when there are other options like Giuliani and Romney.

Let's Talk Some More

Iran has defied yet another U.N. deadline. I know what will work: More negotiation!


What a Baby

Nancy Pelosi has run to the President to complain about Vice President Cheney's remark that the Democrats' plan for Iraq would "validate the AL Qaeda strategy."

This is remarkable, from the congressional head of a party that has accused the President of incompetence, malfeasance,warmongering and worse. The Democrats are behaving like the worst kind of schoolyard bullies -- able to hand out the most abusive rhetoric themselves, but then crying and complaining when a little justified criticism is directed their way.

The fact of the matter is that the Vice President is right. If the country does follow the course proposed by the Democrats, they will, indeed, validate the Al Qaeda strategy of depending on leftists in the United States to undermine national resolve and force a defeat that the Islamofascists can't achieve through their own military firepower.

American Spectator Column

Here is my piece running today in the American Spectator Online. It's about all the concern on the part of left-wing groups excited by the torture scenes in "24" -- funny how all the same entities are considerably less worried about the more numerous and more glamorous depictions of teenage sex that blanket the medium of television.

Remembering Ricky Silberman

The Washington Post has a wonderful tribute to R. Gaull Silberman, a lady who showed me many kindnesses when I lived in Washington, D.C. Her death is a great loss.

A Reminder About Comments

With the comment moderation feature enabled, readers very occasionally protest that their comments have not been published. This doesn't happen often -- maybe one in 15 or 20 comments is excluded. To reiterate: Respectful disagreement and alternative viewpoints are welcome. Comments, however, that include gratuitous insults to other readers or to me will not be posted (even if their substance is meritorious in other ways), nor will items that include crass or vulgar language.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Given all the dubious and ridiculous programs the Democrats are willing to subsidize, it's absolutely unconscionable that they've eliminated funds for a cost-effective program that prevents unborn babies from contracting AIDS when their mothers are infected.

This is the party of "compassion"? (HT: Hugh Hewitt.)

Daschle Takes Sides

Interesting. It's being reported that Tom Daschle will endorse Barack Obama -- one of the few Democratic candidates (in a field including Edwards, Clinton, Dodd and Biden) with whom he never served in the U.S. Senate.

Why "Talking" Won't Get the Job Done

So Iran is "calling" for talks with the United States. The American left, laboring under the delusion that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can be won over by the right combination of honeyed words, will no doubt be delighted.

But here, courtesy of Michael Rubin and Danielle Pletka, is a reality check:

Despite the Iranian government's unified commitment to forge ahead with the nuclear program, some Western observers persist in their belief that the Islamic Republic is searching for a graceful way back from the brink. They point to mounting economic hardship inside Iran and a backlash against President Ahmadinejad's demagoguery. Couldn't engagement empower his critics?

This makes no sense. Dialogue and the attendant relaxation of U.N. sanctions will strengthen and validate the Ahmadinejad regime.

How the "Religious Left" Reacts

For years, orthodox American Episcopalians have been increasingly dismayed at the behavior of the liberal members of the Church, but have had no option but simply to put up with it. Now, finally, after a worldwide convention, the rest of the Anglican communion has ordered the Episcopal Church of the USA to stop blessing same-sex unions. It's part of an effort to avert a schism with more orthdox branches of the Church, mainly in Africa and Asia.

So how do the liberals in America react? They reply that they'd rather have a schism than stop the ordination of gays.

Typical was the reaction of the far-left All Saints Church in Pasadena, whose rector stated that blessings of same-sex unions would continue. So much for respect for Church unity.

For that matter, so much for respect for multiculturalism. When it turns out that those in the Third Word are more conservative than American liberals, they can expect to be ignored or subtly denigrated, as this passage from the Times story indicates:

Others said the sight this week of a small group of theologically conservative African leaders giving the U.S. church what many viewed as an ultimatum raised broad and troubling questions about power and authority in the Anglican Communion.

[Note: The communique wasn't in fact, issued by a "small group of theologically conservative African leaders" but rather by the heads of the Anglican Communion's 38 national churches].

"This isn't fundamentally about sexuality or the place of gays and lesbians in the church," said the Rev. Ian T. Douglas, a professor at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass.

"It's more about questions of identity and authority in a church that has moved from a monocultural Anglo-American alliance" to a church membership and power shifting to Africa, Asia and elsewhere.

In other words, it's apparently A-OK with these liberals for a small group of white men to be the ones in charge sometimes -- and empowered to singlehandedly change centuries of church doctrine, as long as it's in a leftward direction.

How the "Religious Left" Reacts

For years, orthodox American Episcopalians have been increasingly dismayed at the behavior of the liberal members of the Church, but have had no option but simply to put up with it. Now, finally, after a worldwide convention, the rest of the Anglican communion has ordered the Episcopal Church of the USA to stop blessing same-sex unions. It's part of an effort to avert a schism with more orthdox branches of the Church, mainly in Africa and Asia.

So how do the liberals in America react? They reply that they'd rather have a schism than stop the ordination of gays.

Typical was the reaction of the far-left All Saints Church in Pasadena, whose rector stated that blessings of same-sex unions would continue. So much for respect for Church unity.

For that matter, so much for respect for multiculturalism. When it turns out that those in the Third Word are more conservative than American liberals, they can expect to be ignored or subtly denigrated, as this passage from the Times story indicates:

Others said the sight this week of a small group of theologically conservative African leaders giving the U.S. church what many viewed as an ultimatum raised broad and troubling questions about power and authority in the Anglican Communion.

"This isn't fundamentally about sexuality or the place of gays and lesbians in the church," said the Rev. Ian T. Douglas, a professor at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass.

"It's more about questions of identity and authority in a church that has moved from a monocultural Anglo-American alliance" to a church membership and power shifting to Africa, Asia and elsewhere.

In other words, it's apparently A-OK with these liberals for a small group of white men to be the ones in charge sometimes -- and empowered to singlehandedly change centuries of church doctrine, as long as it's in a leftward tradition.

The Problem with Hillary

William Saletan joins scores of others taking shots at Hillary Clinton this morning. Saletan is incensed because Hillary won't concede error in voting for the Iraq war. He writes:

According to Clinton's advisers, she has taken this position for several reasons. She believes in "responsibility" and would want congressional deference if she's president. She wants to look "firm," because that's what voters want. She thinks an apology would look like a gimmick and a flip-flop, repeating the mistakes of Al Gore and John Kerry. That's the "box" she's trying to avoid.

The preceding paragraph is all, doubtless, true -- and therein lies the problem. Sure, she "believes" in responsibility, whatever that means (although what could be more irresponsible than promising to "end the war" if elected?). But look at the other three other rationales: She wants free rein herself if she's president; she doesn't want to look irresolute; she doesn't want to look like a flip-flopper.

Therein lies the nub of Hillary's difficulties. As one Dashwood sister asked the other in the film version of "Sense and Sensibility," -- "Where is your heart?" And that's just the problem. There's no deeply held belief being vindicated -- just a pile of strategic calculation designed to angle her into what she believes is the best position to win the presidency. That's where her heart is . . . filled with no conviction deeper than the selfish desire to win.

The Fallout Begins

Rep. Bob Inglis, a South Carolina Republican who supported the Democrats' cut 'n run resolution, is a man with some very unhappy constituents.

Primary challenge, anyone?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Return the Money Now

A $15,000 donor to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has been indicted for terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and money laundering.

Yet the NRCC's spokesman says:

We are extremely concerned and disturbed by these charges, but we need to be careful not to rush to judgment as the judicial process moves forward. If the individual in question is found guilty of a crime, it is our intent to donate the money to charity.

What does this attitude convey about the Republican leadership's seriousness about terror-related charges? Nothing good -- that's for sure. That response is pathetic. Talk about out of touch!

The money should be donated to charity now.

Bad News for the Dems

The American people want to win in Iraq.

How Typical

Senator John McCain has little to say about the Democrats who are plotting to force a US failure in Iraq, but -- true to form -- he's willing and ready to criticize former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose commitment to victory in the war is undeniable.

Hopw typical of John McCain. Obviously, the tactic is an attempt to woo back the disenchanted moderate voters, whose support was supposed to be the selling point for his presidential campaign.

Instead, sadly, it look desperate, it looks crass, and it just serves to remind the Republican base of all the times that John McCain has sought to curry media and independent favor by attacking his fellow GOP'ers.

Knowing Where the Blame Lies

Brendan Miniter points out the political danger for the Democrats that's posed by their headlong rush to force a US defeat in Iraq.

And indeed, he's quite right. Given the non-binding resolution and the "slow bleed" strategy, the American people will understand exactly who is trying to win -- and who is actively trying to lose. Miniter's point is one I was attempting to make yesterday in my Townhall column:

[W]hatever their own doubts about the prosecution or ultimate outcome of the war, the American people are right to be wary of a party that – for its own political benefit – must hope for and embrace an unnecessary U.S. military defeat simply to consolidate and enhance its own power.

Not So Fast . . .

The D.C. Circuit has held that Guantanamo Bay detainees cannot challenge their detention in the US courts, in accordance with the Military Commissions Act, passed by Congress last year.

Funny how the linked CNN piece calls the Act "President Bush's anti-terrorism law" and then identifies it as legislation "Bush pushed through Congress last year," isn't it? After all, once a bipartisan majority of Congress signs onto it, is it really just President Bush's anti-terrorism law?

An Instructive Comparison

Democrats are using the combat deaths in Iraq as the basis for conceding defeat to Islamofascist terrorists and other enemies of America. But courtesy of Alicia Colon, there's a comparison that's highly relevant to this debate:

The total military dead in the Iraq war between 2003 and this month stands at about 3,133. This is tragic, as are all deaths due to war, and we are facing a cowardly enemy unlike any other in our past that hides behind innocent citizens. Each death is blazoned in the headlines of newspapers and Internet sites. What is never compared is the number of military deaths during the Clinton administration: 1,245 in 1993; 1,109 in 1994; 1,055 in 1995; 1,008 in 1996. That's 4,417 deaths in peacetime but, of course, who's counting?

That's right -- 3,133 during the Bush war, and 4,417 during the Clinton "peace."

Just something to think about, before we cut 'n run, thereby paving the way for another 9/11.

Update: Those on the left think they have found a major inconsistency in that the number reportedly rises to somewhere in the five-thousands during the Bush Administrationonce military accidents, etc., are factored in. But that's not the point. The point is that, based on a lower number of casualties in a war than the preceding administration saw during peace, the Democrats want to force a huge American defeat in the war on terror.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Does God Favor Liberty?

Certainly, the father of our country believed so. And it makes sense -- if God weren't on the side of liberty, why, exactly, would He have given us free will? Surely He didn't give us freedom just so we could be subjugated by mere men.

One more fabulous President's Day quote from George Washington:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them.

Take note, Democrats.

Which Banner -- a White Flag?

The AP has a juicy little proclamation from Hillary Clinton:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that South Carolina should remove the Confederate flag from its Statehouse grounds, in part because the nation should unite under one banner while at war. (emphasis added).

Yes, the Democrats have been all about "unity" in this struggle. The only difficulty is that they have the biggest problem -- not with the Confederate flag -- but with any banner that would stand for victory.

Could You Make This Up?

This account of what's happening with Junior ROTC at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles defies credulity.

The program had been a source of pride for its participants -- until now, when "students and teachers have launched a crusade against military recruiting and JROTC." It entails no commitment to the military, but entitles participants to higher starting pay if they do enlist. The program provides classes in useful skills like financial planning, map reading, and giving PowerPoint presentation. It also includes physical education, target practice and marching drills.

In a sign of the mentality which too often dominates teachers' lounges in high schools across the U.S., numerous teachers at the school have engaged in overt activism against the program, which seems to rise to the level of harassment and pressuring of some of the participants. Here's a revealing quote from one of these academic powerhouses:

Teacher Gillian Russom said this kind of training instills the wrong values: following orders, dressing the same and relying on rote memorization rather than critical thinking. "That's necessary for a successful military, but does it create the kind of citizens we want?"

In one of the most ironic twists imaginable, these teachers are performing so terribly that there's actually not much "danger" that any of the students are actually going to make it into the military:

Harrington said few of his Roosevelt students join the armed services. Only 5% of his cadets would even qualify to enlist, he said, because the rest are in the country illegally, couldn't pass the military aptitude test, are in trouble with the law or are overweight.

Yes, obviously -- it's the military that's the big problem here.

A Big Surprise?

Once again, the New York Times is blowing the horn of doom, claiming in this piece that Bin Laden et al. have been somewhat successful in reestablishing an Al Qaeda network.

Needless to say, there's significant disagreement about both the extent to which they're in charge of what passes for the Al Qaeda operation these days; what's more, many of the new "lieutenants" are younger and less experienced than those they have been forced to replace (because the US has killed them).

Even so, the breathless tone of the piece is noteworthy. The adults among us have always known that the war on terror is going to be a long one, with setbacks as well as victories. Do the naifs at the Times really think that warfare is just one long and unbroken march toward victory -- or else, it's a total failure?

Domestic Surrender Monkeys

Here is my Townhall column -- which points out that, with the non-binding resolution supported predominantly by Democrats -- the Dems have formally thrown all their political eggs in the surrender basket. To their shame, they now have a real incentive to make sure the U.S. fails in Iraq.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Against Intelligence "Consensus"

The invaluable Jack Kelly explains why competition in intelligence analysis (not in intelligence collection) is, in fact, a good thing.

He also provides some helpful examples of the myriad times the CIA and other intelligence agencies have been downright wrong.

Unnecessary Envelope-Pushing

Here is a story about a children's book that tried to "push the envelope" by gratuitously including the word "scrotum" on the first page of a book for children 9 years and up.

Needless to say, the inclusion wouldn't even have been noticed had the book not won the Newbery Award. And sad to say, the situation isn't unique. I've read a number of books marketed to young teen girls, and normal Americans would be absolutely appalled at the tasteless and gratuitous sex-oriented content in the books being marketed to young people -- girls having affairs with their teachers, sex parties, and much, much more.

The whole matter is discussed in detail in my upcoming book Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!).

Breathtaking Ignorance

This morning, "Fox News Sunday" played a clip of Congressman John Murtha -- he of the "slow bleed" strategy -- asserting the following about U.S. troops leaving Iraq:

People tend to say, 'Well, if we leave, there's going to be chaos.' I don't believe that. 78% of the Iraqis say that's not going to happen. 78% of the Iraqis say it'll be -- we're the ones that [sic] are causing this. And Al Qaeda is gonna be -- Al Qaeda is gonna disappear. (empahsis added)

Yes, and the sun will shine every day, the birds will sing, and children will laugh and sing as they frolic with rainbows.

What does it say about the Democratic Party that they have lionized and admired a person displaying such profound ignorance and naivete?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sanity Prevails in One House

At least for now, the Senate continues to resist predominantly Democratic efforts to pass a non-binding resolution that would embolden the enemy and dispirit our troops.

Of course, even as the Senate debated Iraq on television for most of the day, the NY Times continues with the anti-GOP spin about refusing to "debate" on Iraq. What's actually happening is that the Republicans won't agree to vote on the cut 'n run resolution until the Democrats agree to vote on a resolution expressing support for the troops.

The Truth About Troop Equipment

Even as they encourage America's enemies by passing specious non-binding resolutions -- thereby making our soldiers' mission more dangerous -- many Democrats love to complain about supposed inadequacies in the outfitting of American soldiers . . . no doubt in the hope that it will seem that they "care."

Here, the Army sets the record straight.

Don't Look Now

. . . but the Prime Minister of Iraq is calling the new security plan for Baghdad "a dazzling success."

Home State Trouble for McCain

From this NY Times article, it sounds like John McCain has some trouble even within the Republican Party of his home state, Arizona. Note that -- even as the article prints quotes depicting McCain antagonists as far-right wingers -- one of those opposing McCain would support . . . Rudy Giuliani!

Then again, it's possible that this article would have been as accurate two years ago as it is today. It's just less likely that the NY Times would have run it, as McCain was still basking in the limelight shed upon the MSM's Republican maverick darlings.

Friday, February 16, 2007

17 Republicans for Defeat

Seventeen Republicans joined all but two Democrats in a non-binding resolution for defeat in the House of Representatives this afternoon.

It's worth noting that the House Republican leadership didn't even attempt to impose any kind of party discipline -- in a signal of profound disconnect from its grassroots. Earlier in the week, a variety of Democrats and "experts" were predicting that between 20 and 40 Democrats would defect; the fact that the number was below even the low end of that spectrum suggests that the number of defecting Republicans might have been even lower had the leadership made any kind of effort.

Well, one can only hope that the 17 Republicans thought a vote that results in demoralizing American troops and emboldening our enemies was worth it. Because each and every one is going to be targeted for a primary -- and for defeat, well-deserved.

Christian Bashing on the Left

Two fine writers -- Megan Basham and Mary Eberstadt -- point out one of the most enduring lessons from l'affaire Marcotte . . . the new respectability of Christian-bashing on the left.

It will be interesting to see whether the American people are willing to empower a party that tolerates -- even welcomes -- the presence of such haters in their midst.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Just Plain Wrong

There is progress in Iraq. That's the good news.

The bad news is that Democrats aren't just against the President's surge policy -- their goal, as one advocacy group put it baldly, has to do with "undermining" the President's "foreign and national security policy." It strikes me that there's a great difference between a disagreement about strategy, tactics and even goals on the one hand -- and actively trying to ensure that the U.S. fails in whatever goals have been set out by the duly elected commander-in-chief. It's analogous to the distinction between dissent and treason.

Finally, the Democrats have apparently decided on a "slow bleed" strategy for forcing defeat in the war on Iraq. It's a clearly dishonorable tactic, as its upshot is to make it impossible for the US to prevail in Iraq, while sparing the Democrats the unpopularity that would result from them pursuing the same end more transparently -- and honorably (by, e.g., withholding funding).

Troubling Questions

Robert Spencer raises some troubling questions about the Salt Lake City attack -- and others preceding them -- that just "happened" to be perpetrated by young men with Islamofascist sympathies, who justified their behavior in terrorist terms.

An Odd (but Glowing) Endorsement

A self described ""socio-cultural leftie" sounds absolutely besotted with Mitt Romney -- against his better judgment.

Sad Sign of the Times

What does it say about the current culture on our college campuses that the College of William and Mary -- second oldest institution of higher learning in the United States -- hosted a Sex Workers Art Show?

Tuition at the college is $8490 for those instate, and a whopping $25,048 out of state (not counting $6932 more for room and board). Wonder if the parents signing the tuition checks feel like their children are receiving an unparalleled academic opportunity by being able to attend a sex workers art show?

Somehow, it doesn't seem likely that's what they had in mind when they were signing the tuition checks.

A Fitting Tribute

A statue of The Iron Lady will be unveiled in the Members' Lobby of the House of Commons.

It is a fitting tribute to the most brilliant, courageous and magnificent female elected leader of all time. Here's more on why Lady Thatcher is so outstanding.

Hall of Shame

Here is the list of weak-kneed, white flag Republicans who are supporting the shameful Democratic cut 'n run resolution in the House:

Howard Coble
Steven LaTourette
Walter Jones
Ric Keller
John Duncan
Wayne Gilchrest
Thomas Davis
Ronald Paul
Phillip English
Frederick Upton
Mark Kirk
James Ramstad

The behavior of these people is shameful. They deserve to be defeated, and the NRCC has no business supporting them. If it does, we have no business supporting the NRSC.

Paying to Play

Hillary Clinton is ready to do whatever it takes to secure African American support in her race against Barack Obama -- even if it means she has to pay for it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Crackdown Begins

God bless the soldiers who are working hard to clean up Baghdad.

Shame on the ehite flag Republicans who are making their noble work more difficult.

A Sad Phenomenon

Laura Sessions Stepp, one of the most acute observers of relationships between the sexes (especially when it comes to young people), has a sad but intriguing piece in today's Washington Post about the unwillingness of young women to fall in love.

Absent old-fashioned dating, which has virtually disappeared, the alternative for these young women is hooking up, which can happen in any semi-private place and includes anything from kissing to intercourse. The beauty of hooking up is that it carries no commitment, and this is huge, for being emotionally dependent on a lover is what scares these young women the most.

To tell a man "I need you" is like saying "I'm incomplete without you." A young man might say that and sound affectionate. But to an ambitious young woman, who has been taught to define power on her terms and defend it against all comers, need signals weakness.

The sad thing, of course, is that these young women have been sold a bill of goods. Loving someone -- really loving someone the right way -- has nothing to do with "incompleteness" . . . it has to do with wanting to share that completeness with someone else. It's an essentially selfless act.

What's more, the substitute they've been offered -- sex without commitment or emotion -- is a joke, and the "solution" least likely to meet their truest and deepest needs. Ironic that the "feminist" approach to love and romance (i.e. substituting them with what's effectively a transactional approach to sex) works incredibly well for men (at least, those of the less evolved variety) and considerably less well for women.

Redefine Conservatism?

There's a move afoot to "redefine" conservatism. I couldn't agree more with Rush Limbaugh's take on the whole matter -- I think not. Not every candidate can be Ronald Reagan; that's something we simply need to accept. But his legacy (and the essence of conservatism) shouldn't be defined away for a short-term political agenda.

What is a conservative? It's right at the top of this blog: Someone who believes in American political and religious liberty, free enterprise, limited government, military strength and traditional values. Simple as that.

Doug Feith and the CIA

Hugh Hewitt lays out all you need to know about the CIA's performance -- and Doug Feith's actions -- right here, chapter and verse . . . including letters from Feith's lawyers to the inspector general who has accused him of "inappropriate" behavior.

Sadr Heads for the Border

Probably in response to the surge that the Democrats oppose, radical cleric Moqtada el Sadr -- one of the preeminent threats to Iraqi unity -- has fled to Iran.

Imagine what other beneficial developments might come about if the Democrats could just resist the impulse to strange the surge in its crib.

The Nub of the Issue

Doug Feith is given a chance to defend himself in the pages of the WaPo today, and in doing so, he gets to the heart of the issue at hand:

At issue is a simple but critical question: whether policy officials should be free to raise questions about CIA work.

Is the CIA sacrosanct? Even in light of its overt politicization and manifold failures (e.g., asserting the existence of WMD in Iraq)?

Apparently, Carl Levin thinks so.

Hillary Freezes the Press

Could any other candidate get away with simply declining to interact with the press?

Remember how the press would count and caterwaul when, in its opinion, a (Republican) President wasn't conducting enough press conferences? Remember all the high-minded rhetoric about the press representing the people in a democratic republic?

Funny that it seems to have gone so AWOL when it comes to the "coverage" of Hillary Clinton. Once again, it seems that press outrage is selective.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Feith Speaks

Hugh Hewitt interviewed Douglas Feith. Transcript is here; audio here.

Read or listen to the whole thing. Feith makes it clear why, exactly, Americans have much to be concerned about when it comes to the professionalism and behavior of the CIA -- and dispels a number of pernicious misconceptions that have been circulated by the MSM.

Farewell, Amanda

Actually, "Farewell Amanda" is a lovely song by Cole Porter. But it also summarizes the news about Edwards blogger Amanda Marcotte, who "resigned" from the Edwards campaign. Given the continuing coverage of the story, it seemed almost inevitable that a "resignation" would come -- just to stop the bleeding.

This has been a bad and ugly deal for John Edwards. In many ways, he's positioned to emerge as a viable alternative if Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton hack each other into tiny pieces, figuratively speaking. He's in a strong position in Iowa. But all in one sordid episode, he's managed to annoy both people of faith and the leftist nutroots, and raise questions about his own judgment and readiness to lead..

Normal people who read the angry, anti-religious screeds of Miss Marcotte are left with two dubious alternatives when it comes to her hiring by the Edwards campaign: Did someone on the campaign look at her work and decide it was just fine -- or did the campaign hire a blogger without even looking at her previous work?

What About the National Interest?

Every politician in America should read Frank Gaffney's piece, which asks a question that's been overlooked in the heated reporting over the House's non-binding resolution condemning the troop surge.

Frank Gaffney is merely asking whether the debate and the resolution -- which does, indeed, undermine the military and embolden the enemy -- is in the national interest. No, not the Democrats' political interest . . . in the national interest.

Gaffney likewise offers a much-needed reminder about the controversy involving Doug Feith:

[A] wealth of evidence was available to the CIA that indicated a relationship existed between Iraqi agents and al Qaeda operatives, spanning more than a decade. This evidence was compiled by the Defense Department staff members and presented, first to their own leadership and then, as directed, to other senior policymakers, intelligence officials and legislators. Much of this material was documented in a Pentagon memo supplied to the Senate Intelligence Committee in autumn 2003.

But hey -- if you're a Democrat, none of that matters. What matters is maintaining political power, whatever the cost to America, its security, and its national interest.

The Duped Democrats

Richard Cohen makes a fair point:

So I do not condemn Clinton and other Democratic presidential candidates -- Chris Dodd, Joe Biden and John Edwards -- for voting for the war because I would have done the same. I fault them, though, for passing the blame to Bush as the guy who misled them.

In hindsight, of course, everyone conveniently sees reasons -- which were apparent to no intelligence agency on earth at the time -- to question whether Saddam actually had WMD. But by arguing that, as senators, they were simply duped by a fiendishly deceptive, manipulative president (and haven't we been told all these years that the President is dumb and inarticulate?), the senators named above disqualify themselves for higher office.

After all, it doesn't work that way. What are they going to tell us in a few years: Sorry, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fooled us into thinking that he didn't have nuclear weapons. Oops, looks like Kim Jung Il went ahead and developed nukes even when he promised he wouldn't (come to think of it, that's happened to one Clinton Administration already).

Hillary Clinton deserves special blame for taking this tack. Her husband, too, believed that Saddam had WMD. She took a tough stance on the war not only for that reason, but because she knew it was necessary to be taken seriously as a female presidential candidate.

And it doesn't speak well either for her intelligence or integrity when she claims that another man just took shameless advantage of her little 'ole trusting self.

Romney's In

Here's Mitt Romney's announcement.

Jill Lawrence discusses the impact Romney's Mormon faith might have on his campaign. It will be interesting and revealing to see how willing Americans are to look at (or past) a faith with which many may disagree.

That being said, it seems to me that it's essentially irrelevant whether one agrees theologically with every tenet of the Mormon faith. I certainly don't -- but I could happily support Romney.

Why? Look at the fruit of the tree. Whether it's his policies -- or the type of life he's led -- it seems to me that his faith has only improved Mitt Romney. Isn't that what matters most when we're evaluating, not a potential theologian in chief, but a presidential candidate?

Happy Day

It's my birthday -- a perfect time to remember all my blessings, including my husband and family, friends, health, happiness and so much more . . . as well as you, my readers, of course.

Happy day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Man With Guts

You've gotta love John Howard, Australia's Prime Minister (I've long been a fan).

He's refusing to apologize for having pointed out the obvious -- that Barack Obama's defeat 'n retreat plan for Iraq would be an unmitigated disaster.

As for Obama's heated response to the criticism -- including his willingness to deride Australia's contributions in Iraq -- one has to wonder if this is the way he intends to conduct US "diplomacy" should he win the preidency.

Vindication for Six-Party Talks?

The Democrats have been complaining that President Bush has refused to engage in one-on-one talks with North Korea, even though such a move would be foolhardy given the necessity for Chinese involvement and the ease with which North Korea could maneuver the US into difficulties with other allies.

Now, the six-party approach may have been vindicated.

Of course, verification will be key. Kim Jung Il already snookered the Clinton Administration, and we can't allow the same to happen again.h

More on Feith

The New York Sun asks some important questions about the overheated reportage on Doug Feith's efforts to check what has been both remarkably faulty and remarkably politicized work on the part of America's intelligence agencies.

As Hugh Hewitt points out, there's much to be gained by having more than one team's set of eyes analyzing intelligence information.

Indeed, what some on the left seem willing to ignore is that reading intelligence is more like unpacking a relatively complex poem than it is like reading a grocery list, where no ambiguities of meaning or interpretation exist.

Amazing that, after searching high and low for anyone who "dissented" from the received wisdom on Iraq and WMD, the Democrats are determined to smear a man who actually did try to elicit some fresh and independent analysis of Saddam/Al Qaeda links.

RIP Harriett Woods

Former Missouri Lieutenant Governor Harriett Woods has died.

I was not a particular fan, but the news elicited a real sense of loss, as Harriett Woods was Senator Bond's opponent in the 1986 US Senate race that was my introduction to politics. Senator Bond won the Senate seat vacated by Democrat Tom Eagleton -- and it was the only Democrat-to-Republican switch in the US Senate that year (a tough one for Republicans generally).

Harriett Woods was an unabashed liberal, but she was a worthy adversary who was truly committed to her beliefs. May she rest in peace.

Light Posting

As I am traveling today, posting will be light.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

(Liberal) Law of Unintended Consequences

Practically every conservative economist in America predicted that this would happen.

Forbidding Expressions of Support

So who's "cutting off debate" now (not the MSM will report it that way)? The House Democrats are refusing to allow a vote on any measure but their own non-binding expression of opposition to the "troop surge" -- a measure, which, as General Petraeus pointed out, has the effect of emboldening the enemy.

The Republicans would like to offer their own measure, which includes an expression of support for the troops and the surge. But in the Democratic House, it seems that expressions of support for the troops and the mission upon which they are embarking are, sadly, forbidden.

Are Conservatives That Unhappy?

In a glorious example of the wish being father to the thought, the New York Times' Patrick Healy offers a piece recounting the conservatives' supposed angst over the supposed dearth of "true" conservative candidates in the presidential sweepstakes.

It's always possible to find people who are unhappy with the choices before them. But there's no denying that in Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, Republicans have strong, credible candidates before them, both with proven records of achievement. That's more, frankly, than the Democrats can say: What can Hillary Clinton, John Edwards or Barack Obama cite as their achievements comparable to turning around a failing city or successfully governing a state overwhelmingly dominated by the opposition party (after a wildly successful financial career and the leadership of the USOC)?

At this point, the two parties have problems that are almost mirror opposites. The Democrats feel that they have fabulous candidates. The only problem is that the fervor of the base is pushing the party further and further to the left and out of the mainstream, which can impede a general campaign down the line. The Republicans -- if they are doubtful about their choices -- nonetheless have several prospects which, as even Healy concedes, are able to present conservative ideas in a fashion that's palatable to moderates. So it's not entirely clear that the Republicans' "problems" are really worse than the Democrats'.

And despite the MSM's wishful thinking about conservatives staying home, it's worth noting that they didn't in November of 2006, despite one of the most discouraging climates in years. Are they really more likely to do so when Hillary Clinton's at the top of the ballot?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

For Dems, America's Always the Bad Guy

Here's a small but revealing fact at the end of Bob Novak's latest column:

[Democrat Alcee ] Hastings is expected to change the commission's [that's the Helskini Commission, monitoring human rights] focus away from religious freedom in Belarus and European sex trafficking and concentrate on alleged U.S. abuses at Guantanamo.

Get it? As far as Hastings is concerned, the treatment of terrorists at Guantanamo (where most of them gain weight and are treated to a host of previously-unknown amenities) is a bigger problem than religious repression or sex trafficking.

I guess it's all a matter of where one's sympathies lie . . .

The Wrong Choice

Heather MacDonald explains why the selection of Drew Faust Gilpin as the first female president of Harvard is a mistake.

If the Overseers had been determined to name a female, why not Dean Elena Kagan of Harvard Law School -- a liberal, to be sure, but likewise a meritocrat and a fair-minded scholar?

The Audacity of Barack Obama?

Well, Barack Obama is in. Make no mistake: It takes no small amount of self-esteem to run for President, at the age of 45, with only two years in federal office -- and making explicit comparisons between oneself and one of America's greatest and best-loved presidents, Abraham Lincoln.

That self-esteem may serve Barack well, and starting today, he may need it. It's unlikely that Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are going to stand idly by and permit their presidential hopes and dreams to be stripped away by a johnny-come-lately who, so far, has declined to offer many specifics.

What's more, it will be interesting to see how popular Barack remains once he's forced to reveal more about his policy preferences. Will he really be able to keep the conversation uplifting and high-minded, or will he be forced to take some real-world policy stands that will reveal how left he is? Will the press discuss uncomfortable issues like his opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act?

And will he be able, himself, to keep his rhetoric out of the gutter? His speech this morning was sweetness and light, except for the passage where he alleged:

And when all else fails, when Katrina happens, or the death toll in Iraq mounts, we've been told that our crises are somebody else's fault. We're distracted from our real failures, and told to blame the other party, or gay people, or immigrants.

Who are these people who have tried to blame Katrina or Iraq on gays and illegals? And what does it say about Obama that, on the one hand, he would call for a new era of consensus and bipartisanship and then launch such an attack on unspecified people (carefully using the passive voice to avoid naming them)? Who, exactly, are these people -- and will anyone in the press bother to follow up?

It seems the politics of unity go only so far. This should be very, very interesting.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Different Than First Reported

This morning, the MSM went to town discussing a damning report that purported to show that Douglas Feith manipulated intelligence to bolster the case for war -- in contravention of the "consensus" of the intelligence community.

At face value, of course, the charge is silly. When one examines the pitiful record of America's intelligence agencies (including the failure to foresee the forecast of the Soviet Union and the ignorance about Saddam's nearly-successful efforts to go nuclear before the first Gulf War), the wholescale politicization of the CIA, and, of course, the obsession of the Democrats in trying to find out whether views which "dissented" from the consensus were tolerated, it's amazingly hypocritical for the Dems to target one person who really did "dissent" from the consensus, even if (in their view) in the "wrong" direction.

It quickly becomes clear that all the Dems are doing is looking for a way to try to distance themselves further from the war they approved and authorized. That's especially true given that everyone saw the same intelligence, and drew the same conclusions.

And now, at the top of the article in question is a pretty significant correction, noting that a lot of the most apocalyptic condemnation of Feith's work came not from the Inspector General's report, but from a partisan screed issued by Carl Levin in 2004.

The Way It Ought to Be

How wonderful -- and fitting -- to learn that a Soviet-era statue in Poland may be replaced by a statue of Ronald Reagan, freedom's champion.

The activists in favor of the switch called President Reagan a "symbol of liberty" for them; so he was, for all of us.

A Republican Advantage

At this point, as this piece points out, Republicans have at least one advantage in the 2008 presidential sweepstakes -- they're not being pushed toward their fringe with the same force and rapidity that the Democrats are.

That's particularly important for Republicans, given that the press coverage of the right flank of the Republican Party seems almost designed to portray it as a collection of kooks, haters and weirdos, while analogous behavior on the left fringe of the Democratic Party is often dismissed by the MSM as an aberration.

The Democrats' Problem

Gerard Baker puts it better than I have:

But the catastrophe of Vietnam, and the uneasy sense it produced that many Democrats were not really on America’s side, left a searing impression on the party and the nation. For the next 40 years, Democrats were considered unsafe. . . .

Posturing — as the party did this week in the Senate, trying to pass nonbinding resolutions that condemn the war but offer no alternatives — will end up only reminding voters what they distrusted about Democrats.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

So Much for the "Religious Left"

Given that the Edwards campaign has declined to fire two female bloggers even after the discovery of some pretty sordid religious bigotry, is it any wonder that the "religious left" feels marginalized?

Obviously, the Edwards campaign had to choose between two competing constituencies: The very left netroots and the "religious left" -- and decided that it was more central to his electoral chances not to offend the former.

Given the objectively distasteful nature of the bloggers' remarks and the campaign's muted reaction, it's easy to understand why the "religious left" would feel, on some level, that the liberal politicians like Edwards who claim a great interest in reaching out to people of faith are doing so more for political gain than for reasons of conviction.

The Obama Messiah Watch

Slate's Timothy Noah finds a highly irreverent -- but very apt -- way to characterize the media's worshipful (pun intended) coverage of Barack Obama. Latest edition is here; archives are at end of piece.

Better Speak Up Now

The Washington Post notes in an editorial that it's been having difficulty reaching Hillary Clinton to find out if her campaign will disclose the identity of big financial "bundlers" (the sort of people known as "rangers" or "pioneers" in the Bush campaign).

That's right. Not only has Clinton not released the information, she isn't even willing to respond to the Post to say whether or not she will do so in the future.

Why anyone would deem this behavior a big surprise is unfathomable. Hillary Clinton went through her Senate campaigns simply refusing to be interviewed by journalists who might be considered "unfriendlies." She routinely avoids tough questions and tough questioners. The whole point of her "listening tours" is that they eliminate the need to actually say something.

Up until now, at least, she's been able to engage in this behavior with remarkably little criticism or coverage by the press. The Washington Post is smart to speak up now.

After all, if Hillary acts like a queen when she's still vying to be elected, can any of the journalists fathom how hard it would be to extract information from her once she's elected?

Steinem's Ugly Little Truth

After a lifetime spent identifying herself as a feminist, Gloria Steinem essentially concedes that racial and gender identity has little -- and should have little -- to do with political decisionmaking.

At least, that's what she must be saying, since she justifies the left's refusal to support either Justice Thomas or Elizabeth Dole.

What remains after such a major concession? Nothing but the fact that "feminism" and other racial politics have been nothing but a tool used by the left in order to bolster liberal candidates, while being black or a woman is easily ignored when conservative (or Republican) beliefs accompany it.

We all knew it . . . it's just nice to have one of 70's feminism's founding mothers admitting that it was always less about gender than about left wing ideology.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tails Between Their Legs

According to Senator John Thune, interviewed this evening on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, Democratic senators and complicit Republicans (like Senators Hagel and Collins) have abandoned their efforts to secure a vote on the non-binding defeat 'n retreat resolution.

Why? Not because Republicans succeeded in "cutting off debate" -- as much of the MSM would have one believe. Rather, it's because Democrats wouldn't agree to a vote on the Gregg resolution(readily summarizable as a "put up or shut up" measure), which would have required senators to vote on whether to defund the war in Iraq.

Because Dems wouldn't agree to a vote on the Gregg resolution, Republicans wouldn't agree to a vote on the Warner-Levin measure. And the Dems -- who clearly were more interested in political posturing (even at the expense of American troops) than actually exerting leadership -- have effectively skulked off with their tails between their legs.

This Is Feminism?

In today's Slate, Dahlia Lithwick discusses recent comments by the former and current female Supreme Court Justices (O'Connor and Ginsburg, respectively):

First we heard sitting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently telling USA Today's Joan Biskupic that she's "lonely" on the court without Sandra Day O'Connor. Then this week, former Justice O'Connor told Newsweek that she chose to retire rather than resign because had she lost her office at the High Court and her judicial duties, "maybe then she would be a nobody. 'I'd be on my own,'." as she put it.

From this, Lithwick concludes, the female justices are "speak[ing] out so forcefully on what it means to be a woman at the high court." Say what?

It sounds to me like so much less. No doubt everyone is very sad that Justice Ginsburg feels lonesome as the only woman on the Court; no doubt that there are people who could empathize with her in the Secretary of State's office and many of the corporate boardrooms of America. But given that much of her life has been spent focused on gender issues (which often emphasize the conflicts and differences between the sexes) and feminism (which attributes to every woman "pioneer" the responsibility for representing her entire gender), perhaps it's not surprising that she would feel a disproportionate sense of self-conciousness as the sole woman on the Court. That, in itself, may make her position more difficult for her, but it doesn't render it particularly pitiable in the grand scheme of things.

As for Justice O'Connor, one does sincerely sympathize with her decision to resign in order to care for her ailing husband. But again, the problems of being a "nobody" and being "on [her] own" once a prestigious job is relinquished are certainly not specific to women -- if anything, it's manifested more frequently among men. And, it must be conceded, at least she has many of the resources that make retirement and the duties associated with responsibility for a sick spouse significantly less crushing.

Lithwick tries to pose both Justices' comments as some sort of indicia of feminism. To me, they're nothing of the sort -- in fact, they're nothing but the kind of victim-speak that is particularly jarring coming from two of the country's most powerful women. The experiences to which the Justices refer have nothing to do with feminism -- they're not even specific to females. And it's only news because it's unusual for any Justice (female or not) to share these kinds of personal and emotional revelations -- the kind of private disclosures that, too often, provide fodder for women to be stereotyped as "hyper emotional."

Does anyone hear Justice Thomas pining in the newspapers for another black counterpart on the Court? Did Chief Justice William Rehnquist ever publicly share the struggle of serving as the Court's chief officer as he died of thyroid cancer? Of course not. That's the point.

Who would want any part of this kind of feminism?

The Gratuitous Smear of Michelle Malkin

This Salon piece discusses the possible firing of two campaign bloggers by the Edwards presidential operation for bigoted comments that clearly cross the line.

What's ridiculous and disgusting about the first linked piece, however, is the gratuitous smear of Michelle Malkin, one of the most talented and effective conservative pundits working today. Malkin has, apparently, played an instrumental role in disclosing the repugnant rhetoric of the two erstwhile-Edwards bloggers. Accordingly, the Salon piece attempts to slime Malkin by noting her links to a group designated as a "hate group" by the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (to the SPLC, any conservative group is almost definitionally a "hate group").

Please. Even if it were, how does having unspecified "ties" to a group that leftists dislike somehow equates with making indubitably hate-filled comments oneself?

This, apparently, is what passes for "balance" on the left; by that standard, however, almost every prominent liberal blogger in America would be designated as having "ties" to a hate-group, given the vituperative swill that occupies the space at the most visited left-wing blogs.

Slate owes Michelle Malkin an apology.

(Full disclosure: Amanda Marcotte has criticized me in the past, although not in any way that merits the attention of serious people.)

A Full Year of Leftward Drift

Tony Blankley lays out the political dangers that confront the Democratic Party -- and especially Hillary Clinton -- because of the party's strong anti-war contingent and the extra-long presidential election season.

Overhyped Global Warming

INvestors' Business Daily points out that as science has improved, predictions about global warming have actually grown less apocalyptic -- not that one would know it from the news coverage.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Puzzling Misstep

Proponents of homosexual marriage in Washington are collecting signatures for a silly initiative that would limit marriage to couples who are physically able to procreate -- and would annul marriages that hadn't resulted in offspring after three years.

What's particularly interesting is that the initiative's proponents seem not even to really understand the basis upon which so many conservatives object to gay marriage. It isn't because they believe that "marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation," as one gay marriage activist spokesman insisted. It's because they believe that -- if procreation takes place -- children are best served by households in which there is a mother and a father. What's more, many likewise believe that homosexual behavior is simply wrong, and that the institution of marriage, as ordained by God, is based on the complementarity of the sexes.

Certainly the initiative's advocates are free to disagree, but nothing in this maneuver is going to change any minds, so it's a puzzling and silly misstep. Do the gay marriage activists really think they are going to advance their cause with such a patently offensive, unworkable and ridiculous gimmick? The homosexual rights movement has come as far as fast as it has because it has depended, not on adversarial and confrontational tactics, but on the basic decency, compassion and sense of fair play of the American people. This tactic goes the other way, and it will only damage the cause it's designed to assist.

Feminism Spawning Class Division?

In UK's Spectator, Boris Johnson argues that feminism may have had pernicious effects for class mobility and mixing -- and makes some pretty good points.

It all stems from the fact that women are far outstripping men when it comes to university and grad school enrollment. Because women, as he puts it, "will want to mate/procreate with men who are either on a par with themselves or their superior, in socio-economic and intellectual attainment" (I, for one, absolutely plead guilty), the result will be a "man shortage" for the surplus of women reaching middle or upper-middle-class status.

Men, it should be noted, are more willing to marry "down" in intellectual or financial terms, on the basis of appearance -- which, in the past, has led to "mixed class" marriages (think of the cliche of the industrialist and the bimbo). Given women's greater unwillingness to marry a man of a lower intellectual or socio-economic status, there may be fewer of these "mixed class" marriages and thus a greater class divide as a result. (It's been known for a while that brainy girls have a marriage handicap, but it's never been specified whether that's because smart women don't want to marry dumb men, or because men are threatened by women who might be smarter than they are).

Whatever the underlying reasons and however the dynamics work, might it not be argued that this phenomenon is already at play in America's African-American community, where too many young men haven't reached their socio-economic potential at the same rate as their female counterparts?

Bring on the Debate

Democrats and the MSM are intoning darkly that it's "inevitable" that senators will have to go on the record with their vote for or against the defeat 'n retreat reolution they keep pushing.

The fact is that Republicans aren't afraid of going on the record; they simply are refusing to allow a vote on a resolution that would embolden our enemies and demoralize our troops. What's more, as this piece in The Washington Times points out, they're willing even to allow a vote on the retreat 'n defeat resolution so popular with Democrats, so long as Democrats also allow debate and a vote on the Republican resolutions calling for victory in Iraq. So who's really afraid of going on the record?

As a relatively young Republican, I hope the parties will go on record with their views of the war. It will be instructive -- historically and in the short term -- for Americans to understand which party simply wants to give up in the war on terror when the going gets tough, and surrender Iraq to Al Qaeda, and which party intends to do what it takes to win.

Happy Birthday, President Reagan

President Ronald Reagan, champion of freedom, was born on this day in 1911.

Rudy's In!

It looks like Mayor Giuliani is going to run for President.

Good. As I noted here, there's much to like about Giuliani.

Here is a partial transcript of his interview with Sean Hannity last night, and although I disagree with the Mayor's stance on abortion, I very much liked what he had to say about judges:

I think the appointment of judges that I would make would be very similar to, if not exactly the same as, the last two judges that were appointed.

Chief Justice Roberts is somebody I work with, somebody I admire, Justice Alito someone I knew when he was U.S. attorney, also admire. If I had been president over the last four years, I can't think of any, you know, that I'd do anything different with that.

He went on to add:

Scalia is another former colleague of mine and somebody I consider to be a really great judge. I mean, that would be -- you're never going to get somebody exactly the same. You're never -- and I don't think you have a litmus test. But I do think you have sort of a general philosophical approach that you want from a justice, and I think a strict constructionist would be probably the way I'd describe it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Good Job, Senate Repubs

At least for now, Senate Republicans have staved off the voices of retreat 'n defeat.

Republicans Susan Collins and Norm Coleman belong in the Hall of Shame for voting to allow the retreat 'n defeat motion to go forward. And where, exactly, were Republicans John McCain and Mel Martinez, who didn't vote either way?

Truth & the UN Global Warming Report

When it comes to the UN report on global warming, it's important to keep in mind that the summaries, dutifully reported by press, contain the cataclysmic conclusions of those trying to drive a Green political agenda.

The full report, due in May, contains many more qualifications and -- not coincidentally -- is drafted by actual scientists.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

A Sign of the Times?

How sad is it that even coffee drinking has become sexualized? And what message does that send to America's young people?

This kind of pernicious silliness is an example of the overall "sexualization" of American culture that I write about in my upcoming book: Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!).

This Year's Best Super Bowl Ad

. . . was undoubtedly this one.

Even so, it's still not as good as my favorite.

And this one is, of course, in a league of its own.

The "Dhimmicrats'" Friends

Over at Powerline, there's disturbing information about the imam chosen by the Democrats to offer the invocation at the DNC's winter meeting, where he prayed that "oppression and occupation" would cease.

Seeing What He Wants To

CBS' Andrew Cohen uses the magnificent film "Judgment at Nuremberg" as a tool to attack the Bush Administration's efforts to protect the country from the threat of Islamofascist terrorism.

Perhaps the film is a little like the Roschach ink blot test -- and everyone can see what he wants to. Cohen quotes the following dialogue:

"There are those in our own country, too, who today speak of the 'protection of country' — of 'survival.' A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems, that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient — to look the other way.

Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what?' A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! Before the people of the world, let it now be noted that here, in our decision, this is what we stand for: justice, truth and the value of a single human being."

The thought that Cohen would use this dialogue to make invidious comparisons between the United States and Islamofascist terrorists is a joke (unless, somewhere, Americans are deliberately targeting innocent civilians and hacking off heads with butter knives). It likewise strikes me that the virtues of courage, perseverance and steadfastness in protecting the innocent from the predations of the hate-filled is what the war on terror stands for -- and right now, continuing to stand for it "is most difficult" given the weak-kneed defeatists among us.

And while Cohen is swooning over the concepts of "justice, truth and the value of a single human being" -- well, why do those values apply when it comes to terrorists, but not when it comes to unborn children?

The Coming Vote

As this piece from The Washington Post notes, the Senate non-binding resolution on the troop surge -- aptly named a "no-confidence" vote by John McCain -- is set for debate this week.

Often, it's important to be understanding of political necessities that force Republicans off the reservation -- but not this time. As Trent Lott (as much a politico as anyone on the Hill) said, "There are some things more important than getting reelected. This is one of them." Hope that Senators Coleman of Minnesota, Sunnunu of New Hampshire, Smith of Oregon, Alexander of Tennessee and Murkowski of Alaska were listening.

These Republican senators have to understand just how foolish -- and indefensible -- it would be to pass a non-binding resolution that has no practical effect except to embolden the enemy and dispirit American troops. They should also be aware of the fact that, in light of the Senate's unanimous confirmation of General Petraeus, it makes no sense: Give the man the job, but then deny him the tools he has said he needs for victory.

Threats about "Republican obstructionism" coming from the likes of Dianne Feinstein should fall on deaf ears -- or better yet, be dismissed with the contempt they so richly deserve.

Obstruct measures that would hurt our own soldiers, make victory more difficult, and encourage the enemy? You bet -- that's what Republicans should be doing.

Townhall Column

In my Townhall column, I point out that in the "war" they actually care about -- the "war on poverty" -- Democrats are plenty able to show tenacity and determination. Too bad there aren't votes to be harvested on the streets of Baghdad; maybe they'd show some resolution about the Iraq war, too.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Christian First, Coach Second

In accepting the Vince Lombardi trophy, Coach Tony Dungy offered one of the most important and inspiring statements ever made in such a context.

Asked about the "social significance" of his victory (i.e. the fact that he's the first black coach to win the Super Bowl), Coach Dungy acknowledged that he was proud on behalf of all African American coaches in the NFL.

But more than that, he said, he was proud to win as a Christian coach, mentioning the strong faith of Bears coach Lovie Smith, as well.

His comments were the mark of a true person of faith. For such people, their religious identity transcends race, politics, gender and every other distinguishing feature. It's clear from the way he lives his life and the kind of person he is that Coach Dungy's distinguishing feature is, indeed, the fact that he's a Christian.


Hardly a Cold Shower

It's a pretty pathetic sign of the times that the master of a Yale residential college has had to send a note to its residents asking them to refrain from having sex in the shower -- in bathrooms that are shared space.

Revealingly, the tenor of the college master's note reveals an unwillingness to be perceived as "uptight" or "prudish." Surely other violations of the common civility that's required for community living -- from unauthorized smoking to throwing up from excessive drinking in bathrooms -- would be treated with just a bit less levity.

When colleges gave up any obligation to serve in loco parentis, could they have ever foreseen a day when couples would feel no inhibitions about this kind of nappropriate -- and, frankly, wrong -- behavior?

Same Old NY Times Hypocrisy

The New York Post quite rightly takes The NY Times to task for its political commitment to defeat in Iraq and anti-Bush politics.

The erstwhile "Newspaper of Record" has become a liberal rag with non-existent credibility. No wonder its finances are deplorable.

A New Terror Strategy

According to Jules Crittenden, there's a new type of terrorism afoot in London.

As Crittenden notes, if we surrender the field in Iraq, how soon will it be before the same type of stuff comes here -- given the extra terrorist resources our defeat and retreat will free up?

Our Friends the Syrians

Apparently fully half the Sunni terrorists in Iraq are arriving via Syria.

No doubt that if we just "talk" with Syria -- as the liberals urge -- all that will stop. Clearly, the Syrians are just itching to be of help to the U.S.

The Truth About Insurgencies

Liberals propagate the myth that the Iraqi insurgency is simply too strong to overcome. But this piece makes the convincing argument that insurgencies fail more often than they succeed.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Once to Every Man & Nation

There's an old hymn from the Civil War era that goes

Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide
In the strife of truth with falsehood
For the good or evil side.

That isn't to call those who are opposing the war evil; it is to make the point that sometimes, a moment of truth arrives where people are forced to decide on which side of a great conflict they will cast their lot.

As this piece by Bill Kristol notes, such a moment is arriving for seven Republican senators: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, John Sununu of New Hampshire, and George Voinovich of Ohio.

They have the choice of whether to support the Levin-Warner defeat resolution, which -- as General Petraeus has pointed out -- will enspirit the enemy or whether to support a Republican resolution or none at all.

But as they make this calculation, they need to understand what they are doing. The United States is standing at a crucial turning point, where either our commitment to victory will be reaffirmed, or we will send a message that our resolve lasted only as long as success was easy.

What's more, in crass political terms, these senators need to know that, if they squander the national security bona fides of the GOP, they -- and the rest of the party -- won't necessarily be spared by the voters in 2008; they'll simply lose their respect and come across as "me too, but less" Democrats. And in the long run, history will treat them no better, judging that they were swept with the transient waves of public opinion, to the detriment of America's national security.