Archive for December 18th, 2008

December 18, 2008

Thank you, Glenn Greenwald

Greenwald throws me some traffic with a response:

For obvious reasons, the most blindly loyal Bush followers of the last eight years are desperate to claim that nobody cares any longer about what happened during the Bush administration, that everyone other than the most fringe, vindictive Bush-haters is eager to put it all behind us, forget about it all and, instead, look to the harmonious, sunny future.

This is amusing. Greenwald is demanding war crimes prosecution of Bush administration officials and yet I am “desperate”? Frankly, I don’t even give a damn. If I turned on the TV sometime next year to see Paul Wolfowitz in the dock at the Hague, I’d shrug in mute acceptance, and if I blogged about it, would do so in an insouciant way.

But that’s never going to happen, which is why I can merrily mock Greenwald’s frothing outrage. Nothing, not even a New York Times editorial, can turn this madness of the fanatical fringe into a “mainstream” project. The Democrats would never allow it, no more than they would allow Obama to withdraw too precipitously from Iraq.

The political winds have blown, and the system has encompassed that wind, directing it toward the recent resurgence of the Democratic Party, and smart Democrats know that the surest way to lose that favorable breeze would be to overplay their hand by pandering to the monstrous appetites of Greenwald and his ilk. Obama, Pelosi and Reid will all answer this idiotic demand in the only way it deserves to be answered: Fuck you, Glenn Greenwald.

UPDATE: Politics is about majorities. Politics is about the future. Greenwald’s idiotic crusade aims to incite a passionate few about the past. In my original response to Greenwald, I tried to make this point by comparing his latest anti-Bush jihad to the way some on the Right spent years pushing conspiracy theories about the 1993 death of Vince Foster, long after it became clear to all sensible observers that — like Oakland — there was no there there. Judging from the comment field, some of Greenwald’s readers are unaware of just how foolish they look now, let alone how foolish they’ll look six months or a year from now.

If it makes you self-styled progressives happy to howl at the moon, don’t let me stop you. Howl until dawn, sleep all day, then rise to howl again tomorrow night. The American majority has spent its fury at the Bush administration and does not share your passion for endless hindsight recrimination. The leadership of the Democratic Party understands this and — just as they refused to satisfy your bloodlust against Joe Lieberman — they will not support you in this mad effort to exhume the corpse of the Bush administration so that you may inflict posthumous injury upon the remains.

Do not, however, think for a moment that I mind being today’s proxy scapegoat. Nor should you let my mockery of your madness shake you into sanity. Go, lemmings — your cliff awaits you. And when you find yourself plunging downward, accelerating at 32 feet per second squared, remember who told you so, you damned fools.

UPDATE II: Jules Crittenden has fun at the expense of the New York Times.

UPDATE III: Just watched the end of “It’s A Wonderful Life” with my wife and kids. Remember: Every time you hear a bell ring, a blogger gets an Instalanche!

UPDATE IV: God bless ’em: “If Obama Fails to Prosecute War Crimes, Is He A Criminal Too?” High crimes and misdemeanors! We eagerly await the Left’s next bumper sticker: “Impeach Hope.”

UPDATE V: Jules Crittenden offers helpful advice on how to deal with Greenwald, if you must. I think the key factor involved is the extreme self-seriousness of the man. And this is a habit he shares with many others on the Left. A lot of lefties don’t get the self-deprecating humor of my mock braggodocio (“bon vivant and raconteur“) and will make comments suggesting that I am actually being boastful. They simply can’t conceive of someone not taking themselves seriously, because they are so very serious about their own selves.

An excessive concern with how one is perceived by others — trying to conform the perception of others to your own self-perception — is not “ego,” but rather evidence of a damaged ego seeking some sort of validation. And being unable to joke about yourself is a characteristic trait of this brittle type of personality.

UPDATE VI (Sat. 12/20): Greenwald is like the gift that keeps on giving. Today, Instapundit links Crittenden, and I get yet another cascade of traffic.

December 18, 2008

Paul Weyrich, R.I.P.

Paul Weyrich, who co-founded the Heritage Foundation and later led the Free Congress Foundation, has died at age 66. As a writer, one of Weyrich’s greatest contributions was his 1999 declaration, in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, that conservatives had lost the culture war:

In truth, I think we are caught up in a cultural collapse of historic proportions, a collapse so great that it simply overwhelms politics.

Weyrich’s courage and wisdom will be missed. Michelle Malkin is among those paying tribute to a great leader of the conservative cause.

UPDATE: I met Weyrich while I was working at The Washington Times, and referenced his “cultural collapse” thesis in a column I wrote for the newspaper in 2001. One aspect of the collapse Weyrich decried was the rise of the celebrity culture, wherein the famous people on TV exercise more influence over our attitudes than do the ordinary people in our own real lives. And one incidental encounter with Mr. Weyrich a couple years ago highlighted how celebrity culture now pervades the conservative movement.

It was at Conservative Political Action Conference in 2006, and Weyrich had just received the Ashbrook Award for his contributions to the conservative cause. Weyrich and his family were leaving the ballroom where the award had been presented, and were attempting to negotiate the wheelchair ramp, Weyrich having been rendered paraplegic by an accident several years previously. Part of the difficulty that Weyrich and his relatives had their hands full with gift bags and other encumbrances and so, when I offered to assist, my task was to carry the large award plaque.

Honored to be of such assistance, I accompanied the Weyriches upstairs, through the lobby and to their car — and returned to the banquet, shaking my head in disbelief. For you see, CPAC was crowded with College Republican kids who eagerly lined up to get autographs and have their pictures taken with conservative “superstars,” the famous faces you see on Fox News. Yet there, in the crowded corridor outside the main ballroom, was one of the true giants of the cause, utterly unrecognized by these youngsters. Any of them might have spotted Weyrich’s difficulty at the ramp and rendered assistance, but all they saw was an old man in a wheelchair.

The effects of the fame factor are strange and troubling, and since that incident with Weyrich, I’ve noticed it frequently. Ann Coulter can’t go anywhere without security and her appearances at CPAC always draw a packed house. Yet I have seen many great leaders pass through the lobby and corridors of the Omni Shoreham all but unnoticed.

Last year, for example, I had the honor of meeting Phyllis Schlafly in the hotel hallway, as scores of young activists shuffled past without paying her the slightest attention. I’m sure Coulter herself would see this as an outrage — my God, where would conservatism be had it not been for Schlafly? — and yet such is the influence of TV-created fame that because Schlafly isn’t a frequent guest on Fox, she is less known to young conservatives than, inter alia, Dick Morris.

And thus does the “cultural collapse” continue.

UPDATE: Linked at American Thinker. Thanks.

December 18, 2008

Dems scheme to raise California taxes

If it moves, tax it:

California’s Democratic leaders were planning a vote today on a brazen proposal to raise gas, sales and income taxes through a series of legal maneuvers that would bypass the Legislature’s minority Republicans.
The Democratic gambit, announced Wednesday, would raise $9.3 billion to ease the state’s fiscal crisis by increasing sales taxes by three-fourths of a cent and gas taxes by 13 cents a gallon, starting in February. The plan would add a surcharge of 2.5% to
everyone’s 2009 state income tax bill. . . .
Both the Assembly and Senate planned to vote on the package today. Late Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers were negotiating with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over items he wanted included in the proposal before he would support it.
Inside the Capitol, the strategy is considered revolutionary, because it would sideline the GOP. Though Republicans are a minority in both houses of the Legislature, they have repeatedly blocked tax increases and thwarted budgets they did not like, because California is one of only three states mandating a two-thirds vote for both budgets and tax increases.

You will see similar fights in almost every state legislature, as the slowing economy reduces revenues, leading to budget crises.

December 18, 2008

‘Slinging Sammy’ Baugh, R.I.P.

An all-time NFL great, dead at 94:

While he was noted for his passing, Baugh was one of the best all-around players of his day. One season he led the league in passing, defensive interceptions and punting. In one game, he threw four touchdown passes and intercepted four passes. He threw six touchdowns in a game — twice — and kicked an 85-yard punt.
“There’s nobody any better than Sam Baugh was in pro football,” said Don Maynard, a fellow West Texas Hall of Famer who played for Baugh, in a 2002 interview. “When I see somebody picking the greatest player around, to me, if they didn’t go both ways, they don’t really deserve to be nominated. I always ask, ‘Well, how’d he do on defense? How was his punting?”‘

What used to be called a “60-minute man.”

December 18, 2008

Ex-child star woes

Jody Sweetin, who used to be one of those annoying kids — her tag line was “How rude!” — on “Full House,” has lost custody of her child because of her booze and meth habits.

So, I guess it’s a good thing John Stamos’ plans for a “Full House” remake didn’t work out. Can’t you see the plot summary in TV Guide? Stephanie sells the Tanner family’s TV at a pawn shop in order to pay for some meth; Jesse and Joey go to pawn shop to buy back the TV before Danny finds out; hijinks ensue when Stephanie’s tattooed deadbeat ex-husband Cody shows up!

How did Sweetin spend her residuals? My guess: Paying a plastic surgeon for the super-deluxe implants:

If you need more celebrity schadenfreude to make you feel better about your pathetic existence, try “Hollywood’s Ugliest Divorces.”