Archive for October, 2008

October 31, 2008

In defense of ignorance

Tom Fleming at Chronicles:

Dan Larison on his Eunomia blog now on AmCon has drawn attention to our old friend Stacy McCain’s defense of ignorance. Palin and her supporters are virtuous, he is arguing, precisely because what they don’t know won’t hurt them. I fear, however, that it will hurt us. This is worth an entire issue of the magazine. Since Socrates (at least) we have understood that to pilot the ship of state requires skill, not just a good heart, especially when that ship is no longer a simple republican skiff but a nuclear powered submarine armed with missiles carrying nuclear warheads. Besides, it is easier to make a judgment of someone’s experience and competence than of the soundness of his heart.

The joy of limited government is that the ordinary citizen should be able to ignore politics, and most Americans do so. They are, therefore, generally ignorant of politics — and certainly they are ignorant of the internecine disputes among conservatives. The average Republican voter in Pennsylvania sees Sean Hannity on TV and likes him. The same voter sees Pat Buchanan on TV and likes him, too. To this average voter, Hannity and Buchanan are both conservatives, allies against liberal Democrats, even though Buchanan and Hannity have very different philosophies and policy ideas.

Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska, a very popular and for all I know a very good governor. She apparently focused her attention on the job she was doing and, prior to being chosen as McCain’s running mate, had paid little attention to the national and international issues that the presidential campaigns were talking about. Very good, I say — I wouldn’t want my governor to be obsessed with presidential politics, but rather to concentrate on doing his job as governor.
Palin’s honest ignorance of presidential-level issues was held up as evidence that she is, or was, unprepared for the vice-presidency — as if years of studying such issues were in itself qualification for the office. Evidence contradicts this idea.
Sarah Palin is extraordinarily shrewd and is a natural as a politician. She figured out early on that some people on the McCain campaign are profoundly incompetent (hello, Tucker Bounds) and that other people on the McCain campaign are selfish and arrogant beyond words (you know who you are, sweetheart).
Sarah’s shortcomings on Aug. 29 have been rapidly remedied, and by 2011 could be remedied entirely. Considering that she is the strongest, most viable alternative to Jeb Bush, I would suggest that some of her conservative critics should try to befriend her, and not merely join the sneering  snobs.
Advertisements
October 31, 2008

VIDEO DEBATE: Funny vs. Funny

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been learning Final Cut Pro video editing software, and that is some fine editing.

October 31, 2008

Overcoming the anti-Palin smears

Mark Horne’s online book, Sarah Palin: New American Feminist is now available. (First chapter PDF)

October 31, 2008

‘Admiring incomprehension’

Media dreams of Barack Obama:

While journalists have swarmed to Alaska with admirable alacrity to ferret out every detail of Sarah Palin‘s energetic life, the media have drawn a curtain of admiring incomprehension in front of Obama’s own exquisitely written autobiography, Dreams from My Father. Because few have taken the trouble to appreciate Obama on his own terms, the politician functions as our national blank slate upon which we sketch out our social fantasies.

America does not know, or does not understand, who the man really is. The media has portrayed him, with his eager cooperation, as something he is not. The people who are trying to warn America about this yawning chasm between the perception and the reality of Obama are being demonized, stigmatized and marginalized. If you don’t listen to them now, Nov. 5 will be too late.

So, please, read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Having read the whole thing, I’d like to call your attention to something the author writes  about the other major-party candidate for president:

John McCain doesn’t seem to have noticed that the Grand Strategy of the Bush Administration — Invade the World, Invite the World, In Hock to the World (or as blogger Daniel Larison put it, “Imperialism, Immigration, and Insolvency”) — has driven us into the ditch.

One of the most important things for conservatives to understand about this election is that the fundamental problem of the Republican Party stems from having heeded the advice of its enemies, including some enemies who wrongly call themselves “conservative.” If John McCain loses this election, it will be a defeat for McCain and a defeat for the GOP, but it will not be a defeat for conservatism, if conservatism were understood correctly.

It is unfortunate that the term “conservatism” has been abused to describe policies of the Bush administration (hello, No Child Left Behind) that aren’t even remotely conservative. It means nothing to shout “liberal! liberal! liberal!” at the Democrats, if the conservative alternative is not clearly and accurately defined — or, even worse, if liberal policies are wrongly labeled “conservative,” as is the case with so much of what Bush and McCain have done over the years.

October 31, 2008

Hate him, he’s Canadian

Investigative reporter Matthew Vadum displays his comic genius on “The Daily Show”:

Matthew tells me he’s gotten hate mail as a result of this appearance. I should explain that Matthew is a top-notch investigative journalist whose reporting on ACORN has set the standard. He “gets” the kind of humor that they want on “The Daily Show,” and the jokes he made were jokes. The jokes were based in fact — indeed, ACORN has used crack dealers in its operations — but they were still jokes.

October 31, 2008

Attaboy, John Solomon!

I left The Washington Times in January immediately after — not necessarily because — John Solomon was named to replace Wes Pruden as editor. (Solomon is a former Washington Post editor and, as I said at the time, “If I wanted to work for a Postie, I’d have applied at the freaking Post.”). But today, Mr. Solomon earns his salary, and my admiration, after the Obama campaign kicked the Times’ Christina Bellantoni off the campaign in an act of petty vengeance:

The Washington Times, N.Y. Post and Dallas Morning News — three newspapers that recently endorsed John McCain — have been kicked off Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s plane in the final days of his campaign. . . .
The Obama campaign informed The Washington Times Thursday evening of its decision, which came two days after The Times editorial page endorsed Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama. The Times editorial page runs completely independent of the news department. . . .
“This feels like the journalistic equivalent of redistributing the wealth. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars covering Senator Obama’s campaign, traveling on his plane, and taking our turn in the reporter’s pool, only to have our seat given away to someone else in the last days of the campaign,” said Washington Times Executive Editor John Solomon. News organizations typically pay campaigns for the cost of traveling on the candidate’s planes. . . .
“I hope the candidate that promises to unite America isn’t using a litmus test to determine who gets to cover his campaign,” Mr. Solomon said.

Christina Bellantoni’s work covering this campaign cannot be faulted, and she has no bias except in favor of the truth. For the vicious monsters at Team Obama to have made her the object of their spite is entirely a reflection of the evil in their hearts, and reflects nothing on Christina. I had the honor of working with Christina and edited her stories (which never needed much editing, frankly), and can say that she is such a thorough professional that I couldn’t even tell you what her political views are — and her views never mattered, since she did excellent reporting, no matter what the assignment was.

John Solomon’s defense of Christina — and of The Times‘ integrity as a news organization — has lifted from him the otherwise indelible stain of his former association with that Other Paper.

As for Team Obama’s idiocy, I have bitched fiercely about the McCain campaign’s self-defeating hostility to the press, but Team Maverick at least has never been this stupid.

October 31, 2008

‘Experts’ vs. the Hockey Mom

One of the things I hate about the Washington elite is their knack for evading responsibility, and I take aim at a few of these slippery bastards in my latest American Spectator column:

None of her critics in the commentariat could ever draw such a crowd or generate such enthusiasm, and yet they do not hesitate to proclaim that she is “not close to being acceptable in high office” ([Ken] Adelman), that her selection as John McCain’s running mate is “irresponsible” ([Francis] Fukuyama) and even that she “represents a fatal cancer to the Republican Party” ([David] Brooks).
Popularity as a pathology? What Brooks and the others are saying is that these people who spend hours in the cold October wind for a chance to see Sarah Palin are too stupid to know what’s good for them. “Listen to us,” say the political experts.
YES, THE EXPERTS always know best. In September 2002, [George F.] Will advocated “preemptive” war with Iraq, with a nuclear “mushroom cloud” as the alternative. Now, he denounces as “carelessness” the war he once urged, lumping Palin into the same category of Republican error.
Fukuyama militated for war with Iraq much earlier, signing onto the Project for the New American Century’s 1998 letter to President Clinton calling for “a strategy for removing Saddam’s regime from power.” In the run-up to the 2003 invasion, Brooks warned that “the fog of peace” was blinding critics to the “menace” of Saddam. Among the advocates of invasion, Adelman took the cake, so to speak, by predicting a “cakewalk” in Iraq.
Experts, you see. And at nothing are they more expert than evading responsibility, a task that requires scapegoats. So the unpopularity of the Republican Party has nothing to do with the policies the experts urged and the politicians the experts supported. Rather, it’s the provincial hockey mom who is to blame.
“Cakewalk Ken” and Fukuyama have now declared their support for Obama, citing Palin prominently among their reasons. Brooks and Will have not (yet) declared themselves acolytes of Hope, but have made clear that they view Palin as an unalloyed dead weight on the GOP.
Experts in Washington think themselves infinitely more important to the Republican Party than mere voters in Pennsylvania who stand in line to see the Alaska hockey mom who sent her oldest son to fight the war the experts once urged.
Our Republican experts don’t fight wars or send their sons to fight them. They don’t make hand-lettered signs and drive 50 miles to wait in the October wind for the chance to wave their signs inside an arena in Cumberland County, Pa. . . .

Please read the whole thing.

October 31, 2008

‘Middle-class tax cut’ memories

To the tune of an old song, “We’ll Meet Again”:

Via AOSHQ

October 31, 2008

Predicted pundit spin

Just took a look at the Real Clear Politics electoral map — extraordinarily grim outlook, really. If the current map holds true, expect the pundits on Election Night and days afterwards to focus on how the Republican won only in the South. You know, in Southern states like South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming . . .

This is a favorite shtick of the MSM, to deride Republican as only winning those redneck racist cracker holy rollers down South, in Alaska, Kansas, Idaho . . .

Of course, it now looks as if Obama will win in Virginia, possibly even in North Carolina and Georgia. But when a Democrat wins in the South, this shows that these areas are becoming more enlightened and tolerant (because of an influx of superior Yankees, no doubt).

The MSM have got it into their heads that the Republican Party — the party of low taxes, limited government, traditional values and strong defense — is simply inferior, appealing only to hateful stupid people. Thus, Republican failure is evidence that America has wised up and rejected the hateful stupidity, while GOP success is bad news: A triumph of fear!

We could jeer at this tendentious spin from the MSM were it not for the fact that so many Republicans allowed themselves to be frightened away from advocating potentially popular policy because they’ve internalized the opposition spin, and fear being labeled “mean-spirited.”

UPDATE: Linked by Dave Weigel at Hit & Run and by the eternally crunchy Clark Stooksbury.

October 31, 2008

Hookers for Hope

Democrats and whores, a natural coalition:

John McCain and Barack Obama, if you’re wooing a population of registered voters who are young, female and drawn to men in suits, then Allegheny County has 675 ladies ready to pull your lever.
They’re convicted streetwalkers, escorts and brothel babes collared in 2000 and from 2003-2006, uncovered by the Trib.
Based on the prostitutes’ voter registration cards, they’re destined to become Obama girls in November. That’s because 78 percent of them registered as Democrats. . . .
The Illinois senator also has the advantage with local “johns” — 72 percent go Democratic. And convicted pimps: Four out of every five register Democratic. And for the most special of special interest groups — male transvestite hookers — they’re batting a thousand for Dems, albeit in drag.

The trannies, the truck-stop lot lizards, the whore-hoppers and pimps — they’re all about Change!