Friday, February 13, 2004
John Kerry is a Democrat, too. He has been called Bill Clinton without the charm. Now, whether the allegations of infidelity are true or not, the parallels are drawing closer.
The reason that I'm so down is that I can see a pattern emerging, in the interactions between the Left and Right, that disturbs me greatly. It is based in the underlying philosophy of American Liberalism, Moral Relativism. Moral Relativism says that, "nothing is always right or always wrong," there are always circumstantial conditions which effect the rightness or wrongness of an act (read my earlier post The Decline of the Liberal Left). This manifests itself in an unwillingness to ascribe rightness or wrongness to any act, after all no act is inherently right or wrong it all depends on the situation (thus it's other name, Situational Ethics). Very few "pro-choice" advocates would like to be called "pro-abortion" because they are not, themselves, in favor of abortion. They, themselves, would never have one, but can't imagine telling someone else that it's wrong for them to have one.
In the political arena this shows itself in the Left's willingness to (I almost said,"forgive," but that would indicate that they felt there was initial wrongdoing so I will instead say...) ignore all kinds of things that would scandalize the Right. By definition the Left does not believe there is a moral position on any subject. They do not believe in morals. They do not believe in moral absolutes such as, "it is wrong to discriminate on the basis of race," but rather in situations. For example, they would say it is wrong for the government to discriminate against people of color but it is ok for them to discriminate against white people. Or, "I think killing babies is wrong but everyone has a right to choose for themselves." Moral Relativism is the root of the idea that the Constitution is a "living document" (read dependent on the situation at hand).
This leaves us in a position where things which would scandalize the Right and shake their confidence in a candidate for office (low moral fiber, marital infidelity, corruption, lying, poor military record, etc.) matter not one whit to the Left. They are free to bash away with impunity, without regard to consequences. If the Right turns the tables and says, "your guy did that, too," they just don't care. By definition scandals apply only to the Right.
Muck raking politics only works in favor of the Left. Look at just a couple of scandals. Trent Lott resigns after some nostalgic (and yes, stupid) remarks at a birthday party which Democrats reacted to with gleeful venom (never mind that the nostalgia was for the Democratic off-shoot party, the Dixiecrats) but Robert Byrd a former member of the Klu Klux Klan is still in office and is being defended by his colleagues. Why? He's a Democrat and they don't care. Can you imagine if he were a Republican? Then there would be a scandal (and he would resign in shame). Here's another: In the middle of the Clinton scandals Rebublican Bob Livingston, who was nominated un-opposed for Speaker, resigned because it was brought out that he had had an affair some years earlier. He said, "I must set the example that I hope President Clinton will follow. ... I will not stand for speaker of the House on January 6 but rather will remain as backbencher in this House I love so much." He also said he would quit in six months. Did Clinton follow his example? We all know the answer to that. Did Democrats care? No, they called Republicans hypocrites for even considering supporting Livingston, while they continued to support Clinton for much worse transgressions.
Where does this lead us? That's a difficult question. With Democratic primary voters leaving their personal beliefs on the shelf and supporting, not the candidate who believes as they do, but the candidate who is most likely to beat the Republican incumbent, whomever that may be at the time, we can't appeal to their beliefs. Because their beliefs are so mutable, we can't even figure out what they are in order to appeal to them. Even if we could figure out what their beliefs are we couldn't appeal to them, they have put them on the shelf and even candidates within their own party cannot appeal to them (witness the rise and fall of Howard Dean; principal reason - I don't think he can beat George Bush).
The only hope is people who have not declared undying fealty to a party. The vast undecided. The people who have not put their beliefs on the shelf. The people who pick the winner of this, and every, election. We must stop talking to the decideds, on the Left and on the Right, and talk to the undecideds. Help them to understand the issues from the standpoint of the facts and help them see through the hyperbole.
Thursday, February 12, 2004
The article is short so far, but Drudge smells blood and is insisting on referrals so you'll have to read it on his site.
CAMPAIGN DRAMA ROCKS DEMOCRATS: KERRY FIGHTS OFF MEDIA PROBE OF RECENT ALLEGED INFIDELITY, RIVALS PREDICT RUIN
As Matt says, "Developing."
Drudge sites ongoing investigations at TIME magazine, ABC NEWS, the WASHINGTON POST, THE HILL and the ASSOCIATED PRESS but none of them have fessed up yet.
I've been thinking about this all day (as the story proceeds to generate an amazing lack of traction) and I'm not sure I care if he had/has an affair or not. No that's not quite it - I do care whether or not he had an affair but I'm not sure that should, by itself, disqualify him as a candidate. Unfortunately it does seem to fit into a pattern of overall moral bankruptcy and deception that I do think should disqualify him. What I wish is that Democrats will see how similar Kerry is to Clinton and recoil. I harbor a secret hope that Democrats supported Clinton through his many scandals because he was one of their own, but that they didn't like doing it; that it left a bad taste in their mouths. I'm probably hoping for too much.
If you're a blogger, you can join Wictory Wednesday simply by putting up a post like this every Wednesday, asking your readers to volunteer and/or donate to the president's re-election campaign. E-mail Polipundit so that he can add you to the Wictory Wednesday blogroll, which will be part of the Wictory Wednesday post on all participating blogs.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production– with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.
Does this language sound familiar? Only the context has changed.
The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.
It does contain a grain of truth, though.
Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a mystery. "Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data," concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. "Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions."
Then they get right back to wild, baseless speculation and attempts at making political hay.
Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.
Seems like I was talking about pretty much the same thing just the other day...
The article on Rush's site is in the pay section but you can read it here.
The Senate Won't Police Itself: Justice Department Probe of Unethical Senate Conduct Sought
Leaked Memos May Identify Votes Traded for Campaign Contributions
In response to allegations of unethical conduct among U.S. senators - including the possible exchange of votes for campaign contributions - The National Center for Public Policy Research has joined other organizations in asking the U.S. Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section to begin an immediate investigation.
Also participating in the call for an official investigation are National Center programs Project 21, an African-American leadership network, and its American Criminal Justice Center, which covers judicial issues.
Manuel A. Miranda, a former counsel to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, has informed Senate Ethics Committee Chief Counsel Robert Walker that he, Miranda, read documents obtained from a once-shared section of the Senate Judiciary Committee computer network that "includes evidence of the direct influencing of the Senate's advice and consent role by the promise of campaign funding and election support in the last mid-term election."
Related documents published in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times show Committee business was profoundly influenced by the demands of special interest groups prior to the most recent mid-term elections and the change in Senate leadership. The computer hard drive containing the files cited by Miranda is now in the possession of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle.
The letter to the Justice Department calls on the Public Integrity Section to "take immediate possession" of the hard drive before the sergeant-at-arms' office "inadvertently or intentionally destroy[s] evidence of a crime." The sergeant-at-arms' office was charged with finding out how the files were obtained and not what they contain, so a Justice Department investigation would not be duplicative or obstructive.
"Manuel Miranda is a whistleblower," said Amy Ridenour, president of The National Center for Public Policy Research, "but whistleblowers are not appreciated in the exclusive club that is the U.S. Senate. That's why even powerful Republican Senators have acted against a staffer who exposed possible wrongdoing by Democrats, and why an impartial Justice Department investigation, completely beyond the reach of Senate influence, is needed in this case."
"We've investigated to death how these scandalous memos were leaked, but we've ignored their shocking content," said David Almasi, the director of the American Criminal Justice Center. "If the allegations are true, a heinous crime has been committed against our constitutional form of government. It is our duty to get to the bottom of these serious charges."
"It would be a grievous and appalling miscarriage of justice if the reportedly damning memos referenced by Mr. Miranda's were not made public," said Project 21 National Advisory Council member Mychal Massie. "For the Justice Department to not conduct a full and open investigation would be an unacceptable breach of the public trust and fiduciary responsibility."
You can find out more here:
A copy of the letter to the Department of Justice will be made available at www.nationalcenter.org/JudiciaryComplaint204.html.
The Senate Judiciary Committee memos that have been made public can be obtained at fairjudiciary.com/cfj_contents/press/collusionmemos.shtml.
The departure statement of Manuel Miranda can be read online at www.nationalcenter.org/Miranda204.html.
This is shaping up to be a major issue. Time to get educated.
Michael Kinsley at the Washington Post has hit the nail on the head with this one! You must read it. Everyone needs a laugh like this one:
Grand Old Pragmatism
Democrats are cute when they're being pragmatic. They furrow their brows and try to think like Republicans. Or as they imagine Republicans must think. They turn off their hearts and listen for signals from their brains. No swooning is allowed this presidential primary season. "I only care about one thing," they all say. "Which of these guys can beat Bush?" Secretly, they believe none of them can, which makes the amateur pragmatism especially poignant.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
I continued my liberal leanings (or so I thought) and habit of backing Democratic candidates; McGovern, Carter, Mondale (I was beginning to get bored), I did not vote for Dukakis, I just couldn't make myself, I voted Libertarian in protest, then Clinton (finally an exciting Democrat).
Clinton's first term was my last Democratic vote of any type. I voted for him because he was a Democrat and not a dolt. The idea of voting Republican had not yet even crossed my mind. Republicans were EVIL. That's what my party, the news and everyone I knew said (I am from Minnesota). That's why I didn't vote for Reagan, even though I liked him and I liked what he did for our country. I swallowed the whole trickle-down-economics-is-an-evil-plot-to-benefit-Reagan's-friends thing, hook line and sinker.
After Clinton had been in office just a short time I realized what a mistake I had made voting for him. He was such an obvious sleazball. The way Democrats rallied around him was worse than the way the Republicans had rallied around Nixon. Worse for two reasons. First, I had voted for him. He was a Democrat! They weren't supposed to do things like that. Second, his bald faced lying and manipulation of an obviously willing-to-be-manipulated press left no doubt of his moral bankruptcy (and the bankruptcy of the press). The way his party rallied around him left no doubt about their bankruptcy as well. Because of his success in beating scandals that no one had ever beaten before, his tactics were studied, improved, and implemented by other Democrats.
They got better and better at parsing the things they said so that anything they said couldn't hurt them in court. The louder they talked the less they said. They became accustomed to talking a lot and saying nothing. Their ideas disappeared. They became more and more willing to be anything it took to get and keep votes. The stopped standing for anything. They lost me completely.
In my search for a new party I began to really research the facts, something that had been difficult, if not impossible, before the internet (it's a good thing Al Gore invented it). I began to see that the Democratic party never really had stood for the things they said they stood for. Racial equality, individual liberties, civil rights, protecting the weak and poor... none of it. Their record speaks for itself. I felt cheated on a whole slough of levels. The things that I believed in, that I thought the Democrats represented, that they told me they represented, were much more in line with the Republicans. Racial equality, individual liberties, civil rights, protecting the weak and poor.
This latest primary brings it home in capitol letters. With nothing to stand for and a willingness to become whatever the moment demands, the Democratic flip-flopping on issues is unrivaled by anything short of the deck of a North Sea fishing trawler (no offence to North Sea Trawlers). Democratic voters have joined the flip-flopping and scrapped their beliefs, trading them in for a vague idea about which candidate is most likely to beat George Bush.
Democrats, the anti-war party of record, are actually trying to sell the idea that only a military man can legitimately run the country. They are trying to convince the public that Bush's service in the National Guard was not really military service and that he is not really qualified to be Commander in Chief. This after George Bush has run what is, arguably, the most successful military operation of all time. They are trying to convince the public that our economy is in trouble despite all of the evidence to the contrary (and ignoring the fact that Republicans are cleaning up after an economy that began spiraling downward on Clinton's watch and was accelerated by an unprecedented attack on our soil).
I don't think the public is that stupid.
Come on you Democrats, look at President Bush's record. Get over the fact that he's a Republican. Bush is a moderate. Why do you think moderate conservatives are frustrated with him? Because he is too right wing? No way. Look at the huge amount of money he has dedicated to fighting AIDS in Africa. Look at the healthcare initiative he has proposed. Look at his whole administration. Can you name a Democratic administration with as many people of color? Do you really think these people are just "token" appointments? People like Elaine Chao, Rod Paige, Colon Powell, Norman Mineta, Condoleezza Rice?
Wake up. Republicans are not evil. They are people a lot like you. But their party is not letting them down. Their party really stands for something. Do you think they voted for George Bush because he was the most likely candidate to beat Al Gore? Did they vote for him because of his eloquent speech-making? I hardly think so. They chose him because he stands for ideas that make the world a better place. Freedom, equality, safety, prosperity.
Don't just dismiss him out of hand because he's a Republican. LOOK at what he has done. Don't just take your candidate's point of view automatically. Look at the man. He is a good man who really cares about the people in this country. All of them.
Sunday, February 08, 2004
Leon E. Panetta appearing on C-SPAN's Washington Journal this Monday morning ( 10-28-03 8:20 AM EST ) said that he was in the White House and that President Clinton received the same intelligence information about the danger of Iraq's WMD's as President Bush did. He believes that President Clinton did what he thought was best and that President Bush did what he thought was best. Panetta was responding to a caller about the Iraq situation. He stated that either there was a massive intelligence failure or the intelligence community was lied to or both.
Panetta is a former Democratic congressman, the former Clinton White House Director of OMB, and Clinton's former Chief of Staff. He is saying that Bush was not lying and that there is no Neocon/Zionist conspiracy.
He joins many other moderate Democrats, foreign policy experts, and Nobel Peace laureates who have maintained that Iraq possessed WMD's and the potential to use them. Despite what liberal Democrats, liberal journalists, communists, anti-Americans and other Bush haters have been claiming, President Bush was not lying.
Panetta reiterated what he said in February, " I think that Saddam Hussein is a threat in that part of the world. I think that, indeed, he should be required to disarm in fulfillment of the UN resolutions and also because for years we have basically known that he's had weapons of mass destruction. (link)
He also reiterated what many people in the Clinton administration said during their term and since. People like Madeline Albright who, in November 1999, said, "Hussein has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." Or Clinton's National Security Adviser Sandy Berger who said in Feburary 1998, "He (Saddam Hussein) will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
And this about our friend John Kerry:
Panetta confirms what Democrat Senators Daschle, Levin, and current presidential candidate Kerry, who wrote, five years ago, to President Clinton, "We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U. S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs. "Five years ago... To President Clinton... "Threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs..." Hmmm...
What's more, Democrat senator Bob Graham said:
There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, and comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Tremoglie summed it up this way:
All these officials of the Democratic Party, those who should know because they were able to review the contemporaneous intelligence information presented to President Clinton and President Bush, have all said what President Bush said.
There is no conspiracy. The only lies are those told by the Bush-haters and the Hussein-lovers.
It would be hard to put it any better than that.
I found the link to this article in a blog yesterday. It opened in a new window and, though I back-tracked for over an hour, I couldn't find the original blog. Sorry. If it was your blog let me know and I'll fix the credits.