Monday, December 24, 2012

"...And to All a Good Night"

You've likely noticed that my posts have been intermittent at best lately.  As I explained back in August and September, I've taken a new job and because of the travel it involves, blogging is difficult at times.

But the real truth is that after almost three years the Sage is simply out of gas.

As my family gathers around me for the holiday, I notice that I'm far more concerned about its well-being than I am the country's.  (Is that a conservative instinct or not?)

While I realize it's not yet the end of the year and, contra the Mayan calendar, certainly not the end of the world, it feels nonetheless like a good time to stop.

So, with many thanks to those of you who urged me to begin the blog, as well as encouraged me along the way, I sign off for the last time on this Yuletide Eve with a heartfelt wish for a "Happy Christmas to all..."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"There Will Be Blood"

Such were the words Democratic legislator Douglas Geiss boldly declared on the floor of the state house in response to the signing of the new law that would make Michigan the country's 24th Right-to-Work state: “There will be blood. There will be repercussions.”

And while blood did indeed flow, neither Geiss nor any other apologist for the violence and vandalism we reliably associate with the Left suffered any repercussions.  Nor will they.

Remember this when the Great Reckoning finally unfolds.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


In case you were wondering, the Sage has been on the road without a blogging-compatible computer.

Not that it mattered.

It feels, to me at least, as if all we can do now is wait and see.  The number of conservative-leaning people I have spoken with since the election who are dispirited, or at least resigned, is alarming.  There's no fight in them.  Save, that is, the kind of fight that makes them think they ought to buy guns and ammo, store canned goods and water, etc.

Anxious times.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Jump!, cont.

And here I thought even Charles Krauthammer was going wobbly as we approached the fiscal cliff.  I was wrong.

Instead, he sees exactly what Obama and the Democrats are doing:
Ronald Reagan once fell for a “tax now, cut later” deal that he later deeply regretted. Dems got the tax; he never got the cuts. Obama’s audacious new gambit is not a serious proposal to solve our fiscal problems. It’s a raw partisan maneuver meant to neuter the Republicans by getting them to cave on their signature issue as the hold-the-line party on taxes. 
The objective is to ignite exactly the kind of internecine warfare on taxes now going on among Republicans. And to bury Grover Norquist. 
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Norquistian. I don’t believe the current level of taxation is divinely ordained. Nor do I believe in pledges of any kind. But Norquist is the only guy in town to consistently resist the tax-and-spend Democrats’ stampede for ever higher taxes to fund ever more reckless spending. 
The hunt for Norquist’s scalp is a key part of the larger partisan project to make the Republicans do a George H. W. Bush and renege on their heretofore firm stand on taxes. Bush never recovered.
Bush never recovered and neither will the Republican Party if they sign on to a bad or even ambiguous deal with the Democrats.  If they do, and I don't like saying this at all, conservatives will abandon the party.

But Krauthammer is, I fear, wrong about one thing:
Why are the Republicans playing along? Because it is assumed that Obama has the upper hand. Unless Republicans acquiesce and get the best deal they can right now, tax rates will rise across the board on January 1, and the GOP will be left without any bargaining chips. 
But what about Obama? If we all cliff-dive, he gets to preside over yet another recession. It will wreck his second term. Sure, Republicans will get blamed. But Obama is never running again. He cares about his legacy. You think he wants a second term with a double-dip recession, 9 percent unemployment, and a totally gridlocked Congress? (my italics)
I agree, Obama does care about his legacy, just not in the way you might expect him to.

Remember, Obama wants not to recover or restore the country, he wants instead to "fundamentally transform the United States of America."

To that end, he reasons, a new crisis, just like the last one, shouldn't go to waste and he, for one, won't let it.  A double-dip recession, 9-plus percent unemployment, and a totally gridlocked Congress are all near perfect ingredients in a recipe to nourish the still growing Leviathan.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Please Remember This

How we are taxed is a very important issue.  There are more and less efficient and/or just ways for our government to raise the revenue it needs to perform its functions and pay its debts and, therefore, the current debate is critical.

But of far greater importance is how much we are taxed.  That figure, however it's raised, more than any other signals the size and intrusiveness of our government and ought to concern us much more than the size of the top marginal rate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jump!, cont.

If you've paid any attention at all to the debate over what to do to avoid the nation's looming "fiscal cliff", you know that the issue has been framed as essentially one between the House Republicans, who do not want to raise marginal tax rates on anyone, and the White House, the congressional Democrats, the elite liberal media (as well as a growing number of "wobbly"  Republican senators willing to dicker after all), who want to raise them on the wealthiest Americans.

There remains, to this point anyway, little to no word at all about cutting spending.  And, if history is any guide, no matter what the final deal, no spending will be cut, now or ever.

So, how about gambling on this deal instead?  A deal for the GOP and for the Democrats as well, a deal to which both parties have already agreed? 

The Republicans should grab the Democrats tightly ("Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.") and simply step off the cliff.

The Republicans will enjoy the boast of, true to their pledge, not having voted to raise taxes.

For Democrats marginal rates will indeed climb.  True, for everyone not just the rich, but in their heart of hearts, that is what they want anyway.  For liberals, nothing is ultimately yours.  Rather, as they see it, in a more efficient and just society, all wealth belongs finally to the government, to be redistributed by it as necessary.    

But also, and this is key, real spending will be cut as well.

Think of it, for the first time since the New Deal at least, real spending will be cut and smaller government will result.  To be sure, it will be cut with a very blunt instrument, but cut nonetheless.

I say jump.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


As more and more Republicans appear ready to abandon their pledge to the American people (not to Grover Norquist for heaven's sake) by at least considering raising taxes in order to reach some budget agreement with the White House and the congressionbal Democrats, Marc Thiessen offers several reasons why they should not, but should instead call the Democrats' bluff.  If we go over the the fiscal cliff with them he insists, we'll win.

 I find his arguments compelling.  How about you?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Many Thanks

Thankful for so much, it's impossible to itemize...remember even.  Shame on me.

Do consider, today at least, that without the gift of life itself, nothing else is possible.  Then pause and thank your Maker.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This is Tyranny

Hobby Lobby, the national arts and crafts supplies chain, sued the federal government for relief from that part of Obamacare that required the company to provide morning-after and week-after birth control pills as part of its employee health care plan.  The owner claimed the mandate violated his pro-life religious beliefs and thereby the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment.  U.S, Federal District Judge Joe Heat disagreed, rejecting the request and ruling that:
"Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion."
It's not coming ladies and gentlemen, it's already here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rush is Right

Since the election, more than a few of the political consultant class have been quite publicly explaining away the Romney loss by blaming it on among other things the disproportionate influence on the Republican Party of right-wing talk radio personalities, especially Rush Limbaugh.  The argument--it's more childishly petulant excuse-making than argument actually--is that Rush has made the party too conservative to win a national election.


...moderate Republicans have succeeded in getting their candidate or a candidate to their liking nominated for the last 20 years.  (Yes, even George W. eschewed direct identification with movement conservatives in 2000.  Remember "compassionate conservatism"?)  Save for the 2004 election when the same W. won their enthusiastic support for unapologetically responding to the national security challenges post 9/11, conservatives in each election have had to swallow hard in order to pull the lever for the party's eventual nominee.  But pull them they did and had it not been for Rush Limbaugh--him more than anyone else I'd argue--many if not most of those same conservatives would have either stayed home on election day, or worse, launched a third party effort that would have been a disaster for both the Republican Party and conservatism.  Ross Perot was just such a disaster in '92 and '96 because many foolishly thought him a conservative alternative to George the First and Bob Dole despite Rush's best efforts to discredit his crazy candidacy.

However many votes the party may attract by moving to the ideological center, it will lose more, many more, by alienating it's to this point still loyal conservative base.

And to think these guys make millions, win or lose. 

Rush is Wrong

The people didn't vote for Santa Clause almost two weeks ago.  Sure, Santa gives stuff away, but he doesn't take from anyone

We Shall Overcome

With the right to unrestricted military service secure, and the one for legal marriage within grasp, the next great challenge for the country's homosexuals is to win the struggle for the right to public nudity.

But when the practice is threatened in even otherwise freedom-loving San Francisco, you know reactionary forces may already have the upper hand.

Meanwhile, professional Republicans, their campaign consultants, and many pundits as well are urging the GOP to ignore the demands of the Tea Party and instead to pursue aggressively some middle way.  The very high stakes are of course the votes of the nation's election-deciding moderates.  The strategy they suggest is for the party to remain in principle opposed to public nudity, but to communicate clearly nonetheless its willingness to compromise on the issue, topless or bottomless, for example, but not both.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Where Sheepskins are Nervous

Fordham's president finds conservative gadfly Ann Coulter beyond the pale and recently convinced (coerced?) the College Republicans to withdraw her invitation to speak at the university.  But Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer, famous defender of infanticide and bestiality, apparently passed moral muster and was a most welcome participant and speaker at a panel discussion the college hosted yesterday afternoon.

Shame on Fordham!

Yea, I know, I know.  It's nigh impossible to shame Lefties.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wait Just One Minute!

It appears that FOX News is going to focus its attention on the alleged alteration of the intelligence talking points that Ambassador Rice used to dissemble on the five Sunday news shows two months ago.  (The non-FOX News doesn't care one way or the other save for the fact that it's a timely and very welcome distraction.)  This is a mistake.

I wasn't there, so I can't know what actually transpired.  But, judging from the reports of the congressmen who were, I know I would have reacted very differently to Petraeus's testimony.

What do I mean?

Had I been there, as soon as I heard the former CIA Chief say to those of us assembled that not only did he know from the beginning that it was a terrorist attack, but that he said as much at the time, I would have raised up out of my chair, and while shaking my fist at him shouted something like:  "The hell you did General!  Not only did you testify to the contrary at the time, but it was widely reported that you did so.  If indeed your initial testimony was otherwise, not only have you not seen fit to correct the record during the intervening two months, but every @#$%& representative of this feckless administration, from the President to the janitor, has used since then that very testimony to hide behind.  Now, while my aid goes to retrieve copies of the transcript from your prior visit with us, I suggest you think a little harder and perhaps remember a little more clearly exactly what it was you said back then.  And remember General, this time you're under oath."

But that probably explains why I'm not now, and probably never will be a congressman.

This Makes it Worse

General Petraeus's testimony, that is.

From what I gather, in today's closed-door hearing before Congress, General Petraeus insisted that he knew almost immediately that it was not an out-of-control response to the video, but instead a terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate that resulted in the murder of our ambassodor and three other Americans.  He said this was so despite numerous reports at the time, and ever since, that his testimony before Congresss two months ago was exactly to the contrary, i.e., that the deaths were the result of the video.

OK, it's easy enough to check the record to see if in fact he did say as much then.  (I doubt it.)

But even if he did, why did he wait two months to correct the record?

This is getting muddier, and darker, with every passing day.

Let's Review

The White House, congressional Democrats, and the elite media collectively are now accusing the Republicans of trying to politicize Benghazi-gate.  Their strategy, I'm sure, is to muddle the story with charges and counter-charges of  politicization so that the public will grow weary, lose focus, and issue a "pox on both your houses" judgment, a verdict that amounts to an acquittal for the guilty party.  Don't fall for it.

Remember that the story began on September 11 with news reports of protests at the US embassy in Cairo, Egypt over the production of an offensive-to-Muslims video.  Embassy personnel quickly issued a disclaimer for the video that sounded to many a bit too much like an apology for America itself.  The "many" included Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who said as much.

It was only later that evening and early the next morning that reports came in that the Benghazi, Libya consulate had actually been attacked, resulting in the murder of our ambassador and three others as well.  Subsequent reporting made it very clear very quickly that Benghazi was different than Cairo.  But, and this is the rub, the administration insisted nevertheless that it was not different.  Moreover, the administration continued to insist that it was just like Cairo for days and even weeks while the evidence that it was indeed different continued to grow.  Among those who perpetrated and perpetuated this falsehood were Secretary of State Clinton, CIA Chief Petraeus, Press Secretary Carney, UN Ambassador Rice, and the President himself.

Why did they do this?

Before we make important judgments about whether or not the administration adequately defended the consulate before the attack, or reacted appropriately during and after it, we must have the answer to this question.

Be Careful What You Say

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said yesterday that, "There is no fiscal cliff," and argued that the looming crisis is not real at all, but "manufactured" instead.  Presumably, he wants President Obama to hold his ground against the Republican House.

But if there's no cliff and no crisis, then not only is there no reason for the President to negotiate, there's none for the Republicans to do so either.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Until the Sun Goes Down Over Santa Monica Boulevard, cont.

Without comment:  Los Angeles City Council Backs "Meatless Mondays"

The Philly Fix

Look, the President would likely have won reelection anyway, but with reports like those of 59 precincts in Philadelphia voting 100% to 0% for Obama over Romney, not to mention others from Florida and Ohio, we're justified at least to roll our eyes the next time some liberal talking head smugly disputes any evidence of voter fraud.

The media's liberal and Democrats cheat.  Those are facts.

But we can beat'em still.

How to Throw a Party...Overboard

As a general rule, politicos in a democracy should refrain from insulting the voters.  But if insult them they must, they should at least aim their jibes at those who voted against their candidate.  It would seem that some Republican pols are finding this increasingly difficult to do.

Appearing on MSNBC (where else?), Steve Schmidt, the architect of Senator John McCain's loss to Barack Obama in 2008, spoke what has apparently long been on his mind and agreed with the Left, the Democrats, and their aiders and abettor's from the elite liberal media that the GOP is indeed being run by a bullying band of sexists and racists.  By saying so publicly, he insulted the 48% of the electorate who voted for Romney anyway, not to mention the 30% of Latinos and 44% of women so blinded by their own intolerance that they agreed with the Republicans by voting against their own interest.

I suspect Schmidt is not alone among GOP professionals.  But if his very public complaint is followed by similar ones from others like him, then look for more and more conservatives, who are already disenchanted with the Republican brand, to leave it altogether for a third party, or maybe even for the hills.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

And That!

I posted Mark Thiessen's Top Ten Consequences of a Second Obama Term a couple of days ago. (See "Take That!")    Now Matt Purple adds ten more of his own with "Ten Little-Known Consequences of Second Obama Term"  He introduces the list with a reminder of what ought to be obvious to all, but, alas, is not:
Believing in activist government means your work is never finished. You pass a new law that you think combats injustice and inefficiency. Then human nature kicks in and, with great disapprobation, you discover that injustice and inefficiency still exist. So you pass another law, then another. And with no Mitt Romney there to stop you, the Circle of Regulatory Life continues.
Anyway, here's Purple's "Little-Known" Top Ten:
1. More expensive cars 
2. Fewer stethoscopes 
3. Less access to special needs education 
4. So long, free checking accounts 
5. More children in apartment complexes 
6. More pregnant prison guards 
7. More horses at restaurants 
8. Easier miniature golf games 
9. Drier urinals 
10. No more Roll Your Own tobacco
I can almost hear you: "Huh?"

Read it!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

We Win, They Lose

In the wake of the dispiriting losses the GOP took last Tuesday, more and more Beltway Savants from both the Left and Right are insisting, yet again, that the Republican Party is simply out of touch, too conservative by half, at least.  Moderate, they counsel, or risk irrelevance.

Let's assume they're right about the disposition of the country, that it's now split about 55-45, more liberal than conservative.  They are wrong, however, about the consequences for the party if it becomes more centrist as they suggest.  The results will not be a more competitive 50-50 proposition.  Instead, the losses will be more on the order of 60-40 or worse.  Or, what's more likely, it'll be a 60-30-10 disaster with the 10% being what's left of the old GOP.

Conservatives, who remain a substantial minority in this nation (thank God!) and a large majority of the Republican Party, don't want merely to slow down the liberal advance, to better manage its predictably ruinous consequences, or to negotiate with its standard bearers some sort of domestic detente.  Rather, we want victory.  In fact, we want rollback.

Unrealistic, you say.  So was the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Read it...and Weep

I used that old line in what for me was a sad post yesterday.  I was referring you to a piece by Jonah Goldberg about the meaning of the election.  Today, for the moment feeling sadder still--what an emotional roller coaster this has been--I use it as my title.

Please take a few minutes to read Charles C.W. Cooke's reflections on the vote last Tuesday as he compares his native Great Britain's decline with what may well be our own also.  His title says it all: "Why I Despair"

Friday, November 9, 2012

Strange Affair

Is it just me, or does anyone else find the general reaction to the surprise resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus for the reason of an extra-marital affair a bit curious, curious for more than just the suspicious timing of it?

Remember that this is the same guy who just a few years ago was slandered by the Left and congressional Democrats alike with labels like General Be-Tray-Us.  But now, instead of what has happened being understood, at least in part, as something like condign punishment for his sins in the Iraq War, the response has been more on the order of viewing it as a tragic end to an otherwise exemplary career of public service.

Also, I've yet to hear anyone dare to compare these circumstances and Petraeus's fate with that of former President Bill Clinton.  If the General's resignation was necessary because the affair made him vulnerable to blackmail, a vulnerability that because of his position was extended to the security of the country as well, and this kind of irresponsible behavior from one serving in so high an office is altogether unacceptable, then what of Clinton and his indiscretions?  (Does anyone really believe his dalliances were limited to the unfortunate Ms. Lewinsky?)  I mean it's just sex, right?


The Habits of the American Heart

What happened on Tuesday?

I sincerely doubt a more reasonable, unloaded explanation than this one by the National Review's Jonah Goldberg is possible.  He contrasts our Founders' vision for the country with that of the Progressives.  On Tuesday, the Progressives won.

Please read it...and weep.

I'm only half joking.

Along with frustration and anger, another very important part of what we conservatives are experiencing in the wake of the election results is sadness.  Leave aside for a moment any debate about which vision is superior, at a much more basic level we fear we are witnessing the passing of an older understanding, the end of an old and trusted way, the death of an exceptional friend.  Our hearts are broken.

Take That!

So, it's been a few days now.  You're over your pity party.  You're feeling a little better about everything.  Life goes on.  Etc.

Not so fast.

Thank Mark Thiessen for dumping a very cold bucket of water on all of us.  Here's his Top Ten List for Obama's second term:
1. Obamacare will now become a permanent feature of the American political landscape. It will never be repealed. 
2. The unprecedented levels of spending in Obama’s first four years will become the new floor, as America sets new records for fiscal profligacy and debt. 
3. Job creators will face massive tax increases, and more Americans will come off the tax rolls—resulting in fewer citizens with a stake in keeping taxes low and more with a stake in protecting benefits. 
4. Government dependency, already at record levels, will continue to grow. 
5. Four lost years in dealing with the entitlement crisis will become eight—digging us into a hole from which we may not be able to emerge. 
6. Obama, unworried about the impact of gas and electricity prices on his reelection, will finally wage the regulatory war on fossil fuels the Left demands. 
7. He will unleash the Environmental Protection Agency to impose crushing new burdens on U.S. business. 
8. His administration’s assault on religious freedom will go on and expand to new areas. 
9. The Defense Department will be gutted, with cuts so deep that America will no longer be a superpower. 
10. Obama will almost certainly have the opportunity to appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices, possibly replacing conservatives on the high court — ending the Roberts court in all but name for a generation.
Have a nice day.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Forever Wealthier

The American Spectator's Tom Bethell has a short piece introducing or reintroducing his readers to the great thinker (I don't know what else to call him) George Gilder.  It seems there's a new edition of his 1981 best seller, the supply-side apologia Wealth and Poverty.  I remember reading the book the year after it came out and it changed forever my thinking about economics.  I highly recommend it still.

I was reminded of just how profoundly the book effected when I read this line Bethell quotes from its prologue:
The belief that wealth consists not of ideas, attitudes, moral codes, and mental disciplines but of definable and static things that can be seized and redistributed is the materialist superstition.

The Untouchables

"Anti-Islam Filmmaker Sentenced to One Year in Prison"

Like Al Capone for tax evasion, you got him Hillary, you got him.

They Stab It with Their Steely Knives

"California Voters Approve Higher Taxes"

But they just can't kill the beast.


I remember this, oh, so clearly.

After the Republicans took back the House of Representatives in 2010, it was incumbent upon them as the victors to lead, to set the example, to compromise, to reach across the aisle in order to forestall gridlock.  At least that's what the Obama administration, the Congressional Democrats, and their lackeys in the elite media said to us then, and said over and over again.

Now President Obama is again the victor and whose responsibility do you think it is to lead, to compromise, etc.?  Any guesses?

Stand firm you mighty mastodons, stand firm.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tighter Than Ever

This morning my daughter made me laugh with this one that came from either her husband or from her brother through her husband:  "I'm clinging to my guns and my religion like never before."

Another Casualty

I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt now we'll ever learn the truth about Benghazi and, as a result, no one in the Obama administration will have to pay a price for it.

The still GOP-controlled House will be accused by the elite liberal media of sour grapes if they press the issue and those that persist anyway will be dismissed as obsessive loons.  Oh, and professional Republicans, forever fearful of a backlash, can be counted on to counsel everyone to drop it as well.   

A Wise Filipina Woman

From Michelle Malkin some very wise and very sweet words for us all:
Please, do not be bitter. Do not fall prey to the Beltway blame game. Do not get mired in small things. Do not become vengeful creatures like our political opponents who voted out of spite instead of love of country. 
We still have boundless blessings to count — and to secure. 
I remain a proud, unrepentant believer in the American Dream. And I know you do, too. 
Freedom will endure because we will keep fighting for it. We can’t afford not to, friends. 
Earlier this evening, when many conservatives on Twitter started despairing, I quoted from Psalm 46:10. Elections come and go. Faith endures: 
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Chins up. Stand tall. We’ll fight again tomorrow.


Go ahead, get it off your chest.

Or, better, let Robert Stacy McCain do it for you.  DO give this a read!  You'll feel better as a result.

Wail, rend your garments, gnash your teeth, and then smile with those very same pearly whites.


For conservatives, NRO's Kevin D. Williamson has a few from yesterday's results and offers them with admirable concision:
There is not much in this to comfort conservatives. The lessons of Ohio are that Barack Obama is a skillful demagogue, that the ancients were wise to number envy among the deadly sins, and that offering Americans a check is a more fruitful political strategy than offering them the opportunity to take control of and responsibility for their own lives. This is what Oakeshott had in mind when he wrote that liberty was something that many people simply are not equipped to “enjoy as an opportunity rather than suffer as a burden.”

Which America?

There's an old joke from Northern Ireland about a bloke walking about at night who is confronted by a gang of suspicious countrymen.  "Catholic or Protestant?", they demand.  "Atheist," he replies.  Unsatisfied, they insist on an answer nevertheless, "Aye, but are ye a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?"

I fear the results of yesterday's election portend a similar fate for our own country.  We have increasingly become two peoples (at least two) who share less and less save the ground we live on.  This cannot stand.

Michael Barone, he of the Big Romney Win prediction, feels similarly and wrote as much last night even before the returns were in and the Obama victory confirmed.
We used to get along by leaving each other alone. The Founders established a limited government, neutral on religion, allowing states, localities, and voluntary associations to do much of society’s work. Even that didn’t always work: We had a Civil War. 
An enlarged federal government didn’t divide mid-20th-century Americans, except on civil-rights issues. Otherwise, there was general agreement about the values government should foster. 
Now the two Americas disagree, sharply. Government decisions enthuse one and enrage the other. The election may be over, but the two Americas are still not on speaking terms.
Leaving each other alone is no longer an option.  It was always chiefly a conservative strategy anyway.  Not leaving you alone, or anything else alone for that matter, is almost a defining part of the liberal creed.

I'm afraid yesterday neither solved nor even resolved anything.  The cultural divide will continue to grow until one day one side clearly wins and the other side clearly loses.  Let's hope we can keep a sense of humor about it in the meantime.

God help us. 

Another Day

It seems all those conservative prognosticators who predicted what would almost be a landslide victory were wrong.  The late-breaking enthusiasm we all witnessed, and perhaps even felt, for Mitt Romney turned out to be not enough after all.

Before I go any further, I should confess first that I bought it too.  Shame on me.

So, what does it all mean?

First, the professional Republicans got their moderate candidate and, as we can see, it turned out to be a strategy that fell short of the mark just the same.

But the conservative, Tea Party-types like me, and maybe you too, can take no solace in that.  Although our support for Romney may well have been more anti-Obama than pro-Romney, it could not possibly have been more enthusiastic even had our candidate been Ronald Reagan himself.

We did our very best and we simply have to face the fact that there are now more of them than there are of us.

I could describe the difference between "them" and "us" as the difference between "takers" and "makers", but on election night that would be less than appropriately gracious.  Let us say the difference is between those who continue to believe in ever Bigger Government and those who remain very suspicious of it.

That being said, if reasoned argument, coupled with the strong evidence of these past four years, could not convince "them" otherwise, then they simply could not, or would not be convinced.

Therefore, all that remains to convince "them", it would appear anyway, is the collapse altogether of our system around their very feet.  In case you haven't heard, we're broke and can no longer afford the Big Government we or, rather they just voted not only to continue, but to grow.  Although that collapse may be inevitable, it at least has the advantage of being, when it happens, undeniable.

But, and this is very important for us conservatives, the country is still very much deserving not only of our loyalty, but also of our love.  America remains the "indispensable nation".

We conservatives always were going to be the ones tasked with "picking up the pieces", now we'll be challenged with "cleaning up the mess" as well.  God help us.

But, with God's help, we can.  And we must.

Fight on!    

Monday, November 5, 2012

Compare and Contrast

So, prominent black Democrat and former Virginia Governor and Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder has chosen not to endorse Barack Obama again as he did in 2008 referring to his less than successful record as president.

Meanwhile, prominent black Republican and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State Colin Powell has endorsed Obama yet again despite that same record of performance.

Gelded Age Democrats

Just the other day I noted where Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel had resurrected the phrase the Gilded Age to attach to and thereby smear GOP policies.  Well, liberals are nothing if not a mob and now, somewhat hysterically I might add, E.J. Dionne has adopted the same phrase to warn against Republican plans for the country should Romney win tomorrow.

I suspect we'll hear it more and more often from more and more people (to test, tune in to MSNBC, if you can bear it), but they had better stop and think it through before they make it into a campaign slogan.

See my title.

One at a Tiime

Echoing Ronald Reagan, wealthy entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheldon G.Adelson concludes that,  "I Didn't Leave the Democrats. They Left Me."

One is sorely tempted to ask him, um, and why did it take you so long to figure that out?

But instead we'll just say--altogether now--Welcome Home!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Suspicious Minds

Remember the 1960's spy-spoof TV show Get Smart?  The Democrats in Orange County, Florida do as they may be playing "the old suspicious package in the polling place trick."  Successfully done, one can get a judge to extend early-voting hours.

Look for more of these kinds of "old tricks" on election day as well.

Sorry about that Chief.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Maher of the Same

Comedian and Democrat Party hack Bill Maher had this on-air warning for white people who support Mitt Romney:
"If you're thinking about voting for Mitt Romney, I would like to make this one plea: black people know who you are and they will come after you."
While he'll pay no price for the comment either way, it's not clear to me who he is insulting more, whites or blacks?

Be of Good Cheer

When conservative, but always cautious and careful number cruncher Michael Barone calls it for Romney, it's over.

So relax.


But relax.

The Stakes, cont.

How serious is next Tuesday's vote?  Mark Steyn thinks it's very serious and tells you as much with the familiar bite, but, significantly without the usual admixture of mirth.
I don’t know whether Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can fix things, but I do know that Barack Obama and Joe Biden won’t even try — and that therefore a vote for Obama is a vote for the certainty of national collapse. Look at Lower Manhattan in the dark, and try to imagine what America might look like after the rest of the planet decides it no longer needs the dollar as global reserve currency. For four years, we have had a president who can spend everything but build nothing. Nothing but debt, dependency, and decay. As I said at the beginning, in different ways the response to Hurricane Sandy and Benghazi exemplify the fundamental unseriousness of the superpower at twilight. Whether or not to get serious is the choice facing the electorate on Tuesday.
Four more years of debt, dependency, and decay?  Remember that when you vote.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Stakes

One of the things I like most about Charles Krauthammer is his roll-your-eyes realism that's almost, but not quite, cynicism about politics and politicians generally.  For a man who was reared in Quebec, it's a most American of traits.

FOX News's Brit Hume has it too, as did the late David Brinkley before him.

That being said consider the last line of today's Krauthammer column, his last before the election next Tuesday.
Every four years we are told that the coming election is the most important of one’s life. This time it might actually be true. At stake is the relation between citizen and state, the very nature of the American social contract.
He's right.  Do make sure you vote next Tuesday if not before.

Cost Counting

Need a pick-me-up this weekend before the looming election?

Then try The Weekly Standard and Jay Cost's analysis of the now long and growing importance of independents in deciding the outcome of a national election, coupled with the fact that Mitt Romney has consistently out-polled Obama for their vote.

Now, have a good weekend.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Is the Party Over?

The Tea Party, that is?  So thinks E.J. Dionne.

He's wrong.

I saw his piece a couple of days ago and just shook my head.  I should have responded.

No matter, as Jenny Beth Martin has for me, for all of us actually.
Tea Partiers have elevated the question of the proper role of government to the forefront of America’s national debate--to the point where, during America’s first national presidential debate, both candidates were asked about the proper “role of government."
And there's more, much more.

Party on!

What? No Frenzy?

Ever fair Jonah Goldberg tries to understand the mainstream media's lack of aggressive reporting about the undeniable blockbuster story that has become Benghazi-gate.
If you want to understand why conservatives have lost faith in the so-called mainstream media, you need to ponder the question: Where is the Benghazi feeding frenzy? 
Unlike some of my colleagues on the right, I don’t think there’s a conspiracy at work. Rather, I think journalists tend to act on their instincts (some even brag about this; you could look it up).  And, collectively, the mainstream media’s instincts run liberal, making groupthink inevitable.
(Feeding frenzy?  Heck, I'd take a passing interest from them.)

I think Jonah's about half right.

Ignoring these sorts of stories, i.e., stories that are harmful to the Left or helpful to the Right, does not begin as a conspiracy, but just your garden variety liberal bias.  But once liberal elite media editors and journalists are scooped by the likes of FOX News (the horror!), and worse, are then called for their poor journalism, there's a tendency on their part to dig their heels in.  "Don't tell us what is and and isn't news, we'll decide that."  That is, what begins as innocent enough (though still troubling) liberal bias, ends far too often as unprofessional ego assertion and ego protection.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Poor Little Rich Girl

If ever there was a picture of an angry, pinched, uber-liberal feminist, it's Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher the left-wing Nation magazine.  But for whatever reason, she never makes me angry in return.  On the contrary, her hypocrisy is so blatant that if I happen to listen to her opine on TV (rare) or read her column (rarer still) it always serves instead to make me giggle. 

That includes her latest salvo launched in the Washington Post against the country's conspiring cabal of rich people lead by Mitt Romney and the GOP, of course:  "Warfare Waged by the Upper Class" 

(What is it with Democrats and the "War against FILL IN THE BLANK" metaphor this year?)

The piece is altogether ridiculous, but one little gem of a phrase did catch my eye.  With a straight (but still pinched) face, she describes this first decade of the 21st Century as "an era of Gilded Age inequality."

Gilded Age inequality?  In a country where the "impoverished" have cell phones?

But again, it only made me snicker.

Take it for what it's worth, but according to Wikipedia at least, here's Katrina vanden Heuvel's early-life bio:
Vanden Heuvel was born in New York City, New York, the daughter of Jean Stein, an heiress, best-selling author, and editor of the literary journal Grand Street, and William vanden Heuvel, an attorney, former US ambassador, member of John F. Kennedy's administration, businessman, and author. She has one sister and two step-siblings. Her maternal grandparents were Music Corporation of America founder Jules C. Stein and Doris Babbette Jones (originally Jonas). Through her maternal grandmother, vanden Heuvel is a distant cousin of actor and comedian George Jessel. 
Vanden Heuvel graduated from the Trinity School in 1977.  Vanden Heuvel studied politics and history at Princeton University, writing her senior thesis on McCarthyism and serving as editor-in-chief of the Nassau Weekly.  She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in 1981.
You know, just another working-class stiff like the rest of us.

Remember this the next time you hear or read Katrina vanden Heuvel (and many others like her) rage against the "Man" and maybe you'll laugh too.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Least He Can Do

In a last-minute plea for the less than secure Catholic vote, Catholic Joe Biden appears in an Obama campaign ad laying a guilt trip on fellow communicants with among other lines this familiar one: "We call it Catholic social doctrine: what ever you do to the least of these you do for me.”

That's what ever you do Joe, not what ever you can force your neighbors to do and then take credit for yourself.

Told You So

Yesterday, save for FOX News Sundayno other major network even mentioned Benghazi during their Sunday shows.

Also, I've now heard at least two reporters answer when pressed about why they were so apparently uninterested in Benghazi that if Romney himself wasn't bothered about it enough to raise it during the third debate, then it was not reasonable to expect that they should.

This is not only bias, it's corruption.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

This is Driving Me Crazy

With a few, but still too few, exceptions, FOX News and non-FOX News media alike, along with politicians from both the Right and Left are slowly allowing Benghazi-gate to slip from the core immediate issue into a discussion about whether or not the Obama administration responsibly safeguarded the consulate.  A just assessment of that will take some time and to the extent that Democrats use that debate to charge that the issue has been politicized, they are correct to say so.  (Even though to say so is, cynically, part of their larger plan to obfuscate and/or change the subject.)

There will be plenty of time for the rest later, but at this point the central question is and must remain:  Why did the administration perpetrate initially and then perpetuate for weeks thereafter the falsehood that what happened in Libya was chiefly a consequence of a spasm of popular protest that turned violent over a purportedly anti-Islamic film?  Learn the answer to that question and the remaining questions will for the most part answer themselves.

Friday, October 26, 2012


But not surprising.

You really must read this report of the substance of the condolences received from the President and the Vice President by the father of the former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods who was slain in the Benghazi attack last month.  However, that Obama is cold and aloof, and that Biden can be counted on to say something incredibly gauche is, sadly, not news.  

Actually, it was what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to say to him that most grabbed my attention.  She said that she would "make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted."


Not only at that most private and personal moment did she still feel it necessary to repeat the lie, she repeated the lie that she, that they, that all of them, so have to believe.  That is, that what happened in Benghazi was ultimately our fault, America's fault.

Hell Hath No Fury

Please recall first that columnist and former Reagan and George H. W. Bush speechwriter Peggy Noonan enthusiastically endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008.

Now read this, and note that "this" is just the latest in a growing string:  "When Americans Saw the Real Obama: Why the Denver debate changed everything"

I'm sorry Peggy, but the real Obama was there all along to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear,

I was already suspicious, but after that 2008 endorsement, I ceased trusting Peggy Noonan's judgment and, therefore, reading her column as well.

She is of a type, however, and therefore instructive.  A beltway bigot.  David Brooks is another.  More impressed with pedigree and style than substance.  Calling themselves conservative, but embarrassed by nothing so much as a conservative who really means it.

Oh well, they usually come around and I suppose we should welcome them when they do.

But I still won't trust her judgment.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Can the Center Hold?

The Left has for generations now waged a vigorous campaign against both the reality and even the idea of the modern nation-state, the political unit within which most of the world currently lives, the political unit that came formally into being in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years War in Europe.

In this struggle, they've used every weapon at their disposal to include the promise of ever-greater physical and material security that would come with more universal forms of political identification and association.

The problem is that they over-promised.  Because those ever-more universal forms of political association have increasingly been unable to deliver the goods, they have also been increasingly discredited.

At the same time, in their determination to undermine the nation-state whatever the cost, they also foolishly took up weapons from time to time that actually served to undermine their own cause.  To wit, multiculturalism.  The success of politically correct multiculturalism has been more and more pressure toward balkanization, tribalization even.

Or, if you prefer, pressure for a return to the medieval political arrangements that immediately preceded the birth of the nation-state. Or so thinks Victor Davis Hanson and he's worth a read.

General Information

"Colin Powell Backs Obama"

And this was the guy who was going to save the Republican Party.

I'm not the first to say this, but if you are not a principled conservative, then you are a liberal.  There is no middle way

(BTW, please remember that Mitt Romney is no principled conservative either, so he will have to be kept on a very short leash.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Without Apology

As if we needed more evidence that the elite liberal media are in the tank for President Obama, now some them are coming to his defense by accusing Mitt Romney of repeating in the debate the other night the falsehood that the President engaged in his first year in office in an "Apology Tour."

The phrase, and the charge, has a familiar ring to it because IN FACT that's exactly what he did do and it was labeled as such at the time as it infuriated only conservatives, but most patriotic Americans.

But in one sense the president's, um, apologists are correct.  What he did was not so much apologize for America as indict it.  The "Blame America First Tour" would have been more apt.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Was Wrong

Last night's debate was probably neither the time nor the place to prosecute Benghazi-gate and Mitt Romney, as he wants foremost to be president, did not.  In fact, he didn't even bring it up despite the fact that moderator Bob Schieffer, to his credit, opened the evening with precisely that subject.

If this was a prize fight, Romney managed to appear more like the current champion and Obama the challenger.  (Of course, with no record to run on, to seem again, as in '08, the challenger instead of the incumbent has been Obama's strategy all along.)  For the most part, Romney kept his distance from Obama, which obviously frustrated the president at times.  Romney looked like a professional boxer without ever landing very many punches because he didn't throw very many punches.  To the extent that he engaged Obama at all, he clinched.  He would pursue more or less the same policy as Obama, only better.

The rule is, in a championship fight there are no draws.  The challenger must beat the champion.  If it's close, the champion retains the title.  So, in the reversal of rolls that Obama orchestrated and Romney accepted, Romney last night won the fight.  And, I think, the presidency as well.

But I was also right.

As a result of last night's debate, we've likely heard the last of Benghazi-gate.

If the party's standard-bearer refuses to bring the subject up, few in the Congress will have the stomach for it. (Although Issa might.  We'll see.)

And FOX News, as big and important as it's become, simply cannot do it alone.  Other reporters and pundits who are motivated to pursue the subject (conservative all, no left-wing reporter will show any interest) will increasingly be dismissed with the same derision earlier shown "birthers."

So the Obama administration will get away with it after all and the reason(s) behind the Big Libya Lie will remain a mystery.

Is the removal of Obama from office worth it?

Maybe, I dunno.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Old Reliable

The final presidential debate is tonight and while, as I have blogged before, an increasing number of pundits and pols are counseling Mitt Romney to husband his slim lead in the polls and go "wobbly" by refraining from pressing the President too stridently on Benghazi-gate, at least one sane, and very influential, voice has emerged:  The editors at National Review:
Tonight, Governor Romney and President Obama will meet for a third and final debate before November 6, and this time the exclusive subject will be foreign policy. Mr. Romney should relish the opportunity, having wound up but failed to deliver a critical blow to the president’s credibility on the miasma in Benghazi during their second debate last week. The president was spared from having to fully account for the events of September 11, 2012, by a moderator whose on-the-spot “fact check” obscured more than it illuminated, and by Romney’s own apparent confusion in pressing the issue. 
Romney cannot and should not make that mistake again. Nor should he be shy in questioning the president’s dubious record, in Benghazi or across the world.
Not to be outdone, the magazine's John O'Sullivan penned his own shot across the bow:
If, however, Romney persuades the world that the Obama administration has given a “misleading” account of the Benghazi murders to American television viewers, to the media, to the United Nations, and to the world at large, he will indict a great many people in addition to the president. 
Simply list the people who have gone out in public to repeat the video argument — and related arguments such as the claim (maintained for eight days after the president used the phrase “acts of terror” in the Rose Garden) that it couldn’t yet be said for certain that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist action. 
If this was indeed a deception, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ambassador Susan Rice, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, White House aide David Axelrod, and press spokesman Jay Carney are only six of the people who apparently cooperated in it...
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not just about politics, although there is tremendous political advantage to be had in pressing the case, this is also about justice.  Must we remind ourselves that four men died?  As Charles Krauthammer said early on about this scandal by way of comparison, "Nobody died in Watergate."

So, what did the All the President's Men and Women know, not to mention the President himself, and when did they know it.  And why, for heaven's sake, did they feel the need to lie?  What are they covering up?

In case you were wondering, day in and day out I find National Review the single best journal of conservative opinion.  (And it has many very strong competitors.)  Simply put, I trust the editors' judgment.  If I disagree with them, and I sometimes do, I feel compelled to stop and ask myself why.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just as I Suspected

Just finished watching FOX News Sunday where even conservative commentator Bill Kristol thinks Romney should refrain from bringing up the Libya Lie tomorrow night during the debate.  It will diminish him.  This comment came shortly after fellow panelist, liberal Liz Marlantes from The Christian Science Monitor somewhat coyly made the point that she'd noticed a shift in the focus on what happened in Benghazi and its aftermath from the Lie to the poor leadership shown by Obama and his administration prior to the attack.  She also added that she thought this was a much better and more effective way for Romney to frame the issue.

Of course.

Then I noticed this piece in The Daily Caller reporting on what pseudo-conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks said on NPR's All Things Considered.  His advice for Romney tomorrow night:  "Don't nitpick about Benghazi."  His counterpart on the show, the very liberal E.J. Dionne from the Washington Post was only too eager to agree.

Of course.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's over.  They are going to let the whole affair slide.


America's beloved documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, e.g.) is casting his vote in a couple of weeks for Barack Obama once again and he urges us to do the same.


Because the current state of our country reminds him very much of that great film, a favorite of his, It's a Wonderful Life.  As Burns sees it, we are faced this November with an historic choice: Either we reelect the very good George Bailey (Obama) and become/restore/remain the idyllic Bedford Falls of lore, or we fall victim to the very evil banker Mr. Potter (Romney) and watch helplessly as he proceeds to construct in his own image a poisonous Pottersville, doubtless replete with "dark satanic mills"?

If I've read a more cliched piece of writing lately I don't know where.  (You really need to read it to believe it.)

Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came

A war on women, that is.

Check out the response to contraceptively deprived Sandra Fluke's "Rubbers for Reno" tour.

The "War on Women" always was and remains still a Democrat Party and elite liberal media fabrication.

During that same Wolf Blitzer/Gloria Borger/Ryan Lizza discussion I mentioned in yesterday's post, another key topic of discussion was the "gender gap" and Romney's very real problem attracting the female vote.  Had they been discussing the news instead of continuing their narative, they would have focused on the fact that recent polls indicate a substantial narrowing of the gap.  But that's not the story they intend to tell, and tell over and over again, until we finally believe it's true, true or not.

Sadly, the Romney campaign, and most establishment Republican pols, fell (they always fall) for this story and they almost squandered their entire convention by structuring it largely around the theme that, "No, it's not true, we Republicans and conservatives do like women, really we do."  That kind of approach is always embarrassing and, if I were a women, insulting as well.

But if the polls and the actual number of people drawn to see and hear the Famous Fluke in person are any indication, then most American women, like most Americans period, are worried about far more important and very real problems.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

But Seriously Folks...

As a pleasant diversion, you might enjoy this non-partisan piece by Professor of Communications Michael Phillips-Anderson about the use of humor in politics, especially democratic politics.
The paradox of democracy is that we elect someone on the basis of being just like us and then criticize them for not being better than us. To be elected as a political leader in a democracy is to occupy three positions relative to the other citizens: they must be better than us, for they must lead us; they must be less than us because they err greatly and publicly; and they must be one of us, a citizen among their peers. Comedy can be a way of coping with such conflicting roles; rhetorical humor is a tool to help master them.

I Mean It

I was just watching Wolf Blitzer's "The Situation Room" with political reporters Gloria Borger and Ryan Lizza sizing up next Monday's presidential debate which will focus on foreign policy.  Chiefly, they talked about the tremendous advantage Obama, as the incumbent, will enjoy in this one and wondered why the Romney campaign ever agreed to make it the final debate's topic.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, they made but one very passing reference to what happened in Benghazi and the larger issues of Obama administration integrity and credibility.

Again, if Romney, Team Romney, and the entire GOP do not make this a very big issue it will simply fade away.  And with a slight, but tenuous lead in the polls, I can imagine many of the political insiders whispering, "Just don't rock the boat."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shooting Star

In the wake of the shooting of then Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, you'll remember the elite liberal media and left-wing punditry huffing and puffing about the increasingly dangerous use of martial metaphors in politics.  As a result, that ever-present threat to public order former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was herself finally brought up on charges.  The crime: a bulls-eye symbol on her web page.

Although strictly speaking I suppose Vice President Joe Biden remains innocent of a similar charge as, truth be told, he was only making the point that "Republicans...have bullets aimed at you."  Republicans, you hear, no one from his party.

But Joe, loosed from their "chains", bullets are the best we have to bag'em before election day.


Missed the debate.  On the road again, but from what I read it was more or less a draw.  Nothing really happened.


With a little (predictable) help from debate moderator and Obama groupie Candy Crowley, the President persisted in his Big Libya Lie.

While Romney at least had the guts to bring the subject up, he failed miserably to press the point after Crowley as referee, um, made the debate fair again.

If in the next debate Romney does not force Obama to own up to what he and his administration has said since the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, then he deserves to lose the election. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This is Strange

So Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, um, mans up, and takes responsibility for the security lapse in Benghazi that ended with the killing of four Americans.

Interesting, but don't be distracted:

1.  Remember, the Clintons, Bill and Hill both, take responsibility for nothing.  So, why?

2.  The attack and murders happened over a month ago.  So, why now?

3.  Assigning blame for the security breakdown is only part of the story, the second part of the story.  The first and most important part remains:  Why did the administration lie, why did it then persist in lying, and why did it then persist in lying even after it was obvious to all that the tale they were telling about what actually happened in Benghazi was false?

Answer that and all else will become clear.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

They Just Might

After watching FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace focus the lion's share of his questioning of Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod on whether or not the administration is trying to avoid responsibility by attempting to shift the blame for what happened in Benghazi to the intelligence community broadly and the State Department in particular, I'm thinking Obama and Company may get away with it after all.

While an unseemly avoidance of responsibility by the administration is certainly an interesting part of the larger story, it is not the core issue.  The issue that virtually screams for attention is why the administration first lied and then continued to lie about what it had to know almost immediately was not a spontaneous mob protest that got out of control.

If in this particular case even FOX News doesn't have the stomach to ask the tough questions, you can be sure no other major network will be prompted to investigate.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Will They Get Away With It?

The lying, that is.

At this point it's clear to everyone that President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, UN Ambassador Rice, and a growing host of spokesmen, official and not, not only have already, but continue to lie about what they knew and when they knew it with respect to the attack on the Benghazi consulate a month ago and the subsequent murder of four Americans serving there.

Where's the outrage?  When did we begin to discount so dismissively the lying of government officials in the way we similarly discount Joe Biden's buffoonery?  Sure, he's the vice president, but he's a fool too, everybody knows that.  It's just Joe bein' Joe.

Any guesses as to when the Sage thinks it began?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Keep'em Separate

As the Obama administration and campaign (are they distinguishable?) deperately try to change the subject from Benghazi-gate to, well, anything else, the Romney campaign needs to keep separate, and emphatically so, two very distinct issues.

Issue One:  Romney's and Ryan's criticisms leveled in the immediate wake off the Benghazi turmoil were not about whether the murders were a product of a spontaneous protest that got out of hand of an anti-Muslim movie or, instead, a planned, terrorist attack of the compound.  Rather they were criticisms of the apologies for America issued almost reflexively by the State Department and others.

Frankly, this is a fight the Romney campaign ought to relish.  No matter what one or two or ten Americans might say or do to upset Muslims, or even upset Americans, those few don't speak for America and America has nothing to apologize for.  (BTW, neither should America aplogize for the actions of a few soldeirs--urinating on the Koran, e.g.--as such action is routinely punished.  Ryan missed an opportunity on that one last night.)

Issue Two:  This one is very serious.  When it comes to the now undeniable truth that the Benghazi murders were in fact the product of a planned terrorist attack, did the administration lie to the American public about what they knew and when they knew it?  Are they continuing their lying?  All politics aside, for justice' sake the entire GOP must press this one to the bitter end.

Nothing's Changed

Managed to sit through the entirety of last night's VP debate.  Neither candidate moved the ball forward, although Palooka Joe may well have lost his team a yard or two.

Both men more or less lived up to their billing.  Ryan was well-informed, capable, business-like, not to say "stiff".  Biden was his usual cartoonish self, replete with that annoying capped-tooth grin.  (To attribute a "Cheshire smile" to Biden is to afford him a degree of seriousness he simply does not deserve.)

The things is if you're a Biden foe like me then his buffoonery is unsurprising.  And if you're an ally then you've already discounted it.  (No serious person from the Right or Left thinks Joe Biden is anything but a buffoon.)   

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Thought

A quick one.

Instead of arguing too often against the redistributionist code of Obama, the Democrats, and the Left, and thereby remaining mostly on defense, might Romney, the Republicans, and the Right (love the alliteration, by the way) go on offense by embracing it, insisting that in theory and practice the greatest force for genuine redistribution, of wealth and opportunity, the world has ever known is freedom and the free enterprise it by definition encompasses?

Friday, October 5, 2012


Wait until next year...for my Braves, that is.

Couldn't watch the game, but followed it over the Internet from afar.  The Braves' offense had 12 hits and 3 walks, but could only manage 3 runs.  Their pitching was solid, allowing only 6 hits and no walks, but the Cards scored 6 runs nevertheless, only 2 of'em earned as Atlanta committed 3 errors.

Can't win when you do that and, frankly, don't deserve to.

But they're still my Braves and as they say, wait until next year.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Triple Crown Maybe?

I didn't see the debate last night as I was, literally, on my way to the other side of the world.  But by all accounts, and every measure, Mitt Romney "schooled" a listless Barack Obama.  Great news for our side as even a stunned elite liberal media seemed to agree.

But there's two more debates to go and with a few days to recover the media will doubtless figure out some way to spin last night as not so bad for their guy after all .

We should enjoy the victory, but caution is warranted.  It's a series, a season actually, not a single event. 

In 1996, my Atlanta Braves, the team of the 90s and eventual winners of fourteen straight division titles, had the resurgent New York Yankees down two games to none and were enjoying a healthy lead in game three when it all fell apart.  That night a new dynasty began.

In this year of Triple Crown winners (congratulations to the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera!) is a three-peat possible?

(My Braves are back in the playoffs, so I couldn't resist the baseball analogy.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When to be Shrill

It doesn't seem to cost DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, ever, or for that matter any other Democrat Party spokesmen.  So why do Republican Party operatives avoid it so?

It's not yet clear whether the release of then Senator Barack Obama's 2007 speech to a conference of black clergy at Hampton University will make any difference in this year's election, but a larger point made by conservative blogger Dan Riehl in response to a lot of Republican shoulder shrugging in the wake of the release remains always true (do read the entire blog):
We get it. You’re smart. You’re above it all. Why you’re so damned smart, one day one or two of you may even get elevated to the level of a Joe Scarborough, so no one will bother paying any attention to you at all. 
But you’re also very wrong. You – and I for that matter – are insignificant. What matters is the fight and that some people are willing to engage it, while others are not, or worse, they love to nay say and even occasionally stab our own fighters in the back out of self-interest and a pathetic need to impress. 
Every damned day we have to fight a biased media that spreads every Obama talking point and does everything it can to mute our own. When you fight a war, you seek advantage. Some will be big, some small, but it is the mass of every little bit of ground gained that ultimately allows one to succeed for a, in this case, right and desperately needed cause – to try and save some semblance of a traditional America in the face of a relentless onslaught from an extremely progressive left. 
Meanwhile, conservatives are forced to look around the battle field and on nearly every engagement, there are these often Hill types nagging, wee weeing and nipping at our very own heels.
It's been said by many, and said many, many times, but there does seem to be a stubbornly abiding element within the GOP forever satisfied with second place.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Roots of Muslim Rage

Frankly, this column by otherwise steady Daniel Pipes surprised me.  Almost alone among observers from the Right, he argues that:
The movie really did would be a mistake to see the mob as but a tool of clashing interests (such as Salafis vs. Muslim Brothers in Egypt) or American political imperatives. Rage directed at the video was heartfelt, real, and persistent.
Are you ready for some "heartfelt, real, and persistent" political in-correctness?  Here goes:

First, the only serious rival in this world to western liberal hypocrisy is Muslim hypocrisy.  Ask any (off-duty) American soldier who has served in either Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere in the Middle East for the past 20 or so years about the real nature of the fidelity of most Muslims to the tenets of their faith and be prepared to receive an earful.

Second, while Muslim rage is real, it's a transferred rage.  In this information age, the backwardness of their culture stares them in the face, an ever-present fact they can neither escape nor deny, and it angers them.  Unable, because of corrupt and ruthless leadership, to change their lot in life, they direct their anger, they are led to direct their anger, at the West in general and the US in particular. As a result, any pretense for taking to the streets, real or imagined, is sufficient.

Third, their long-brewing outrage is boiling over now because they sense, because they are correct to sense, Western and American weakness.  Every apology proffered, every olive branch extended, every offer of aid and assistance is viewed as confirmation of their growing suspicion that the object of their outrage is ripe for direct challenge.

However, Pipes also detects, correctly, I think, three trends:
As someone who’s been watching that clash since Khomeini’s time, I ascertain three main trends. First, Muslims increasingly devote themselves to the political imperative of preserving Mohammed’s sanctity. Second, Western governments and elites (i.e., journalists, lawyers, intellectuals, artists) have become increasingly timid over time when facing Islamist fury, willing to apologize, appease, and placate; for one appalling example, see the U.S. embassy in Cairo's effusions on this September 11, as a mob raged outside. Third, Western non-elites have increasingly responded to Islamists with a you-want-to-be-insulted-well-take-this! attitude that includes Koran burnings, "Defeat Jihad" ads, belligerently offensive French cartoons, and a promised rollout of Mohammed movies.
We can still hope, it seems, that pressure from "Western non-elites"--you know, people like you and me--will serve to steel the spines of our mostly supine leaders and inspire them, in spite of themselves, to once again stand erect and fight the fight that has to be fought.

The Naked Truth

  If only we crazy, right-wing evangelicals could be more like the professoriate in East Lansing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

"The Real Debate"?

The Weekly Standard's Yuval Levin thinks he's nailed down "the real debate" in this year's election and he does make a very good case for one important difference between liberals/progressives and conservatives.
Simply put, to see our fundamental political divisions as a tug of war between the government and the individual is to accept the progressive premise that individuals and the state are all there is to society. The premise of conservatism has always been, on the contrary, that what matters most about society happens in the space between those two, and that creating, sustaining, and protecting that space is a prime purpose of government. The real debate forced upon us by the Obama years​—​the underlying disagreement to which the two parties are drawn despite themselves​—​is in fact about the nature of that intermediate space, and of the mediating institutions that occupy it: the family, civil society, and the private economy.
While he's right that at least one premise of conservatism is the significance of mediating institutions, we must be careful and clear about this.  Very importantly a premise of American conservatism is the significance of mediating institutions for the securing of liberty.

Federalism, the governing practice that best allows those mediating institutions to thrive, was foremost in the minds of the Framers a measure that would better secure liberty.  If, however, it comes to be understood chiefly as something other that that, then we must be prepared for the development of entities like a very real Peoples Republic of Massachusetts and/or Californi-stan.  That is, we must be prepared for the unraveling of the Republic.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Phoning It In

As soon as I saw the now viral "Obama Phone Video", I wondered just how long it would be before the Left played the race card in protest.

Not long it would appear.  In this Atlantic online piece by one Elspeth Reeve we're carefully schooled about why airing the unedited video is over the line nevertheless. 

Um, as a rule, if it takes eight paragraphs to explain why something is racist, it's not.

Clash of Civilizations

A headline and story that can only make you shake your head:

"Muslims in Michigan to Rally Against First Amendment"

Shake your head and load your gun.


That's what Mrs. Sage is.  After learning of the abuse Ann Coulter had to endure from the assembled viragos on "The View", from Whoopi Goldberg in particular, the Mrs. wondered aloud, and again, why it is that the conservative cause today is defended most boldly chiefly by women:  Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin, et al.  Where, she asks, are the men?

The simple answer is of course Political Correctness

Conservative women are afforded a measure at least of immunity from elite liberal media persecution because they are a women.  And that immunity is not limited to gender.  Imagine any and all politically correct categories and the same protections apply.  Race: Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Congressman Alan West.  Ethnicity:  Dinesh D'souza, Governor Nikki Haley.  Religion (other than Christianity):  Norman Podhoretz, Michael Medved.  Disability:  Charles Krauthammer (also Jewish, a two-fer)   

Which, by the way, makes Rush Limbaugh and his success an even more amazing story.

The Sage is back.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Profiles in Courage

"France to Close Embassies in Fear of Cartoon Backlash"

Oh well, it's the French after all.

But are we far behind?

They Lost it at the Movies?

From the same people who tell us time and again that it's only a movie.

Anyway, Jonah Goldberg focuses in.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Who's Responsible?

...for the tearing down of the American flag in Cairo and the murder of our ambassador and three others in Benghazi, that is?

As the elite liberal media are busy circling the wagons around the Obama administration, focusing their disparate frustrations instead on Mitt Romney for having the temerity to express a negative opinion about the American embassy's apology issued to Muslim extremists, a woman called Rush Limbaugh's show today and asked a terrific question.  (So good was it in fact that Rush rewarded her with a free IPad.)

She asked:  If the Obama administration is so worried about offending tender Muslim sensibilities, why does it, along with the Democrat Party entire and the American Left as well, brag incessantly about killing Osama bin Laden?

Don't misunderstand.  At this point for sure, I could not possibly care less about offending Muslim sensibilities.  But I do care very much about liberal hypocrisy.

And you should too, because in this case it could get people killed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Down in the lower left corner of this morning's USA Today is a color graph.  You know, the same corner the editors place interesting trivia like how many people studiously follow Snooki's escapades.

This morning's fun fact, however, was a register of the percentage of US births to unmarried females.  The figures since 1990 are:

1990:  28%
1995:  32.2%
2000:  33.2%
2005:  36.9%
2010:  40.8%

The data for 2012 are not yet available, but does anyone care to bet the trend is in the other direction?

This is not a disaster waiting to happen.  This is already a disaster.

God help us.

Monday, September 10, 2012

If You're Interested in Such Things

I hear there's a film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road in the works.  Not sure I'll go see it.  I finally got around to reading the famous book about 20 years ago.  I didn't get it.

However, maybe you did and even if you didn't you might be interested still in this short piece by Robert Dean Lurie.  He makes a case for Kerouac' essential conservatism and, to me, it rings true. 

A dear friend of the family is, like Kerouac, a French Canadian from Lowell, Massachusetts and her late husband grew up with him there, mostly playing baseball together.  It seems Kerouac was a decent athlete too.  When I first learned of this many years ago, I asked him about the famous Beat writer and I remember him smiling with a touch of sadness and saying something like, "He was a good guy, drank too much."  Unfortunately, he passed away not long thereafter and I was never able to probe any further his relationship with him.

Anyway, if you're interested.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Just So

Leave it to Charles Krauthammer to cogently capture it all.  All, that is, of the Obama presidency, his election and reelection campaigns, and of the man himself.

Lend Me Your Ears (and Four More Years while you're at it)

I listened to the President's speech last night, well, most of it.  An area thunderstorm interrupted the TV reception at the beginning.  I also watched, believe it or not, the end, a goodly portion too, of Joe Biden's.

As there was nothing essentially surprising in either man's words, I began wondering as I watched what is it that makes for a good speech anyway.  Assuming it has a theme and is sensibly organized, what makes a speech work?  Both men, and Bill Clinton too, know how to stand and speak comfortably in front of a crowd.  While that's critical, it's only the first item in the recipe.  The weight of the occasion is equally important and they each had that going for them.  The receptivity of the audience is critical too and there's no doubt the assembled were all ears.  (I'm less sure about the viewing audience.)

As I say, I watched Biden speak, I didn't, because I couldn't, really listen to him, however.  I place Biden in exactly the same camp as I do Bill Clinton, which is why I didn't watch him the night before.  They are both such transparent gasbaggers, I simply cannot take either man seriously.  Moreover, I'm forever amazed that anyone does, which serves to irritate me as well.  But then I was always amazed, and irritated, that the pretty girl at the party took the obviously BS-ing guy seriously too, but she often did.

My own taste in speechmaking tends more toward the style of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.  You can expect no rhetorical flights from either man.  Gary Cooper-like, they confidently say what they mean and then dare you to disagree with them.  I love it.  While George W. Bush had, I think, very good speechwriters and always seemed comfortable in front of a crowd, he rarely seemed comfortable delivering a speech.  Speechmaking is a subset of acting, of pretending, and I wager it always made him feel more than a bit phony.  When that happens and one becomes self-conscience, the whole thing is in danger of falling apart.

Back to last night's speech:  In a sense, Obama had everything going for him.  High expectations can be dangerous, but they also mean everyone is listening.  In the end, however, I'd have to say he failed.  While competently delivered, the speech contained no surprises and no memorable lines or phrases.  It simply reemphasized the campaign's already well-developed theme:  It's still Bush and the Republicans' fault--It was worse than I thought--I promise the same, only more--I need more time.

Time, thankfully, is running out for the President.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Clinton's Speech

Umm, I watched the Cowboys beat the Giants 24-17.

Good game.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lest Anyone Misunderstand... agreement with the editors of NRO that "Obama is no Bill Clinton" does not mean that I'm pining for the halcyon days of Clinton.

Bill Clinton moderated his positions after the 1994 elections when the GOP took control of the Congress not because he was at heart a moderate.  Rather, he moderated his positions because he was, and remains, unprincipled.  His personal political survival was at stake and for Bill Clinton and his kind the political is always personal.

"Obama is no Bil Clinton"

The editors at NRO have very succinctly reminded us all that despite the Democrats' intention with former President Bill Clinton's speech to the convention tonight to wrap the Obama administration in the heady economic times that obtained during Clinton's tenure in office, the comparison is unwarranted.
We have not seen an advance copy of President Clinton’s speech, scheduled for tonight, but we already know the message Democrats wish to convey with it. They seek to associate President Obama with the prosperity of the Clinton years. Democratic policies worked in the 1990s, they will argue, and they can work again. This story won’t sell, because the gap between Obama’s record and Clinton’s is so vast and obvious.
Clinton bucked most House Democrats to liberalize trade. He signed Republican bills to reform welfare, restrain spending, and cut taxes on investment. Obama has done none of these things. He has weakened welfare reform by telling states that the administration will waive work requirements. He has greatly increased spending. He has raised taxes on investment and wants to raise them more. Obama is no Bill Clinton: good news for the first lady, not so much for the rest of us. 
The main continuity between the two Democrats’ economic policies is that Clinton raised the top income-tax rate and Obama wants to do so as well. It is certainly true that we had both stronger economic growth and higher tax rates in the 1990s. It does not follow that the higher tax rates contributed to that growth then, or that they would do no damage now. The country enjoyed favorable circumstances in the ’90s — technological, demographic, and geopolitical — that we do not now enjoy and cannot replicate. Hiking taxes would likely lead to worse results today than it did then. 
The argument for Clintonomics was that raising taxes would lower the deficit, a lower deficit would bring down interest rates, and lower interest rates would bring economic growth. It didn’t actually work that way in the ’90s: Interest rates fell only when Republicans took control of Congress. The logic is in any case inapplicable now, because interest rates are already very low. 
Clinton knows, we suspect, that higher taxes will not bring back the economy of the 1990s. He knows too that Obama has not governed — has never had any interest in governing — as Clinton did. It will be fascinating to see how the Clintonite wing of the Democratic party will react if Obama loses. In that case we will be listening to Clinton with close attention, after the election.