- Instead of underlining his support for attacking Saddam Hussein and his endorsement of Bush's decision to add troops this year, McCain emphasized the lessons of the war.
"We all know the war in Iraq has not gone well," he said. "We have made mistakes and we have paid grievously for them. We have changed the strategy that failed us, and we have begun to make a little progress. But in the many mistakes we have made in this war, a few lessons have become clear. America should never undertake a war unless we are prepared to do everything necessary to succeed, unless we have a realistic and comprehensive plan for success, and unless all relevant agencies of government are committed to that success. We did not meet this responsibility initially. And we must never repeat that mistake again."
That statement by itself will not appease those who think McCain has been wrong in supporting the war and who deplored his quick embrace of Bush after their bitter struggle for the 2000 nomination. The picture of McCain urging Bush's election at the Republican National Convention and at dozens of other rallies will not be easily erased.
But for John McCain, there must be at least some relief now in being able to speak his own mind -- whatever the consequences. Candor, even belatedly, becomes him.
- The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble -- not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!) I have seen this anger before -- back in the Vietnam War era. That's when the antiwar wing of the Democratic Party helped elect Richard Nixon. In this way, they managed to prolong the very war they so hated.
The hatred is back. I know it's only words now appearing on my computer screen, but the words are so angry, so roiled with rage, that they are the functional equivalent of rocks once so furiously hurled during antiwar demonstrations. I can appreciate some of it. Institution after institution failed America -- the presidency, Congress and the press. They all endorsed a war to rid Iraq of what it did not have. Now, though, that gullibility is being matched by war critics who are so hyped on their own sanctimony that they will obliterate distinctions, punishing their friends for apostasy and, by so doing, aiding their enemies. If that's going to be the case, then Iraq is a war its critics will lose twice -- once because they couldn't stop it and once more at the polls.
- “That may well be true, but it’s wrong to say it.”
- Al Gore says his favorite book is The Red and the Black, and the National Review guys start going "Oh no he dih-hint" and snapping their gum. Derbyshire at least admits only that he would like to believe Gore is lying about Stendhal (though Clinton, in the Derbview, is presumed to lie about everything, especially the Tomes of the Ancients): John Podhoretz says, with no evidence whatsoever, that Gore was trying to "make it appear he is something he almost certainly isn't: A steady reader of great literature." Not like Podhoretz, who walks around the office in a toga, index finger heavenward, declaiming on lofty artistic subjects between infusions of malted milk.
You can just see them balling their tiny fists and wishing they could make Gore take a test with lots of trick questions.
Literature, like everything else in this life, means nothing to them but an opportunity to score points on the people they have been trained to hate. Were they not trusted advisors to the scum who wreck our lives, I'd pity them.
- Rudy Giuliani, whose positions on abortion and homosexuality mark him as the most socially liberal Republican presidential candidate in more than a generation, is so far winning the contest for the support of social conservatives, according to a new analysis of recent polls.
Some Christian conservative leaders acknowledge the willingness to back a candidate with opposing views on basic principles is a major moment — and for some, a traumatic one — in the history of their movement.
With the primaries a half year away, the pushback within evangelical leadership may still trickle down to the grass roots. But thirty-one percent of social conservatives have given the 2008 presidential candidates "a lot" of thought. Only 23 percent of other Republicans have given the race the same level of scrutiny.
Giuliani has tried to appeal to social conservatives, embracing their agenda by pledging to appoint "strict constructionists" to the Supreme Court, using Justices John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr. as examples. Conservatives expect "strict constructionists" to determine that the Constitution does not mandate abortion rights.
But, like Dwight Eisenhower's in 1952, Giuliani's national security stature after the Sept. 11 attacks more likely explains his continued popularity within the religious right, whose voters have long held hawkish positions on the issue.
"These voters care about moral issues, and many of them are conflicted because understandably they see the defense of Western civilization being perhaps the most important moral issue of all," [Gary] Bauer says.
- Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't John McCain, Chuck Hagel, and Colin Powell about the only Republicans (of national standing) of age who actually went to war? You can make fun of Al Gore's Mickey Spillane duty or John Kerry's Swift Boat patrols all you want, but at least they went. There is a difference, and all the pale, feckless attempts to qualify their service by the armchair generals won't change that.
And any of them that did support Vietnam, and found the usual lame excuses not to go, are utterly beneath contempt, and probably know it, deep down inside. They're cowards who were content to let someone else get forced to fight their battles for them, and cowards die a thousand deaths.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Blog Like Me
In an effort to either prove or refute the hoary critiques of the professional journamalists that anonymity and vituperative bloggerosity are ruining -- yes, motherfucker, ruining -- the scope and importance of Serious Discourse, I have slapped together a little blind taste test for you. Following will be some brief excerpts, either from a lowly, uncivil blogger shamelessly operating from his parents' basement, or from an Esteemed Professional Journalist, with a pension and gravitas and shit. It's up to you to figure out which is which. Answers when I get around to it.