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Will Divisive Politics Continue?

I write from Cincinnati where I am sojourning briefly before driving up to Cleveland tomorrow for the Bar Mitzvah of the fourth eldest PatriotNephewWest. In a few minutes, I’ll be driving over to my brother’s to spend some time with my new niece to help her celebrate her second birthday. That’s right, the youngest PatriotNiblingWest is two weeks old today.

As I was leaving LA and wondered at the renewed possibility of a Hillary Clinton victory this November whether or not the divisive politics which began in earnest with her husband’s 1992 bid for the White House (but had their roots at least in the opposition to Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination, if not in the politics of the 1960s (LBJ) and 1970s (Nixon)) would continue with the intensity they have.

I mean, one thing I like about Barack Obama is that, while a staunch liberal, he does not arouse the resentment of his adversaries as does Ms. Hillary. Nor does he seem to harbor the partisan resentments she does.

As I look at the various candidates in our party, I wonder which one of them has the potential to transcend the politics of the last sixteen years. At first blush, John McCain seems to be the man, but then, in his attempts to curry favor with the MSM on certain issues, he has lost favor with his own party. Many of my liberal friends like Rudy Giuliani and could vote for him in November, but some social conservatives don’t like him while more doctrinaire liberals despise him.

Where is the man with the presence and convictions of Ronald Reagan?

Surely, a leader secure in his political beliefs might have the power to unite the nation.

There does seem to be one such man, at least on our side. A conservative (former) governor of a major state who could unite the GOP and lead the nation without arousing the resentment of those on the left. Well, that is, if he had a different last name.

UPDATE: Reader Peter Hughes just linked me to Camille Paglia’s latest post wherein she shows why Ms. Hillary could never be a unifying figure:

The obsessive need to keep campaigning may mean a president Hillary would go right on spewing the bitterly partisan rhetoric that has already paralyzed Washington. Even if Hillary could be elected (which I’m skeptical about), how in tarnation could she ever govern?

Don’t delay, read the whole thing.



  1. A conservative (former) governor of a major state who could unite the GOP and lead the nation without arousing the resentment of those on the left.

    I threw up in my mouth a little for a moment, thinking you were aiming at Huckabee with this one.

    But yeah, on the one hand it’s too bad that Jeb has a last name that will haunt him politically. On the other hand, it’s good in some sense that the White House dynasties die off at some point.

    Comment by DoDoGuRu — January 10, 2008 @ 9:27 am - January 10, 2008

  2. I saw an interesting study presented on CSPAN last night. The issues that polarize the parties are the issues that voters as a whole care about least. (Abortion, gay marriage, inheritence tax, etc etc) Is the country all that polarized? Not really. Back in the 70s there were still liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats and the elections were not nearly this polarizing. But activists on both sides pushed for more idealogical purity (with varying results) and the resut is the gridlock that we have now.

    Comment by Houndentenor — January 10, 2008 @ 9:42 am - January 10, 2008

  3. Since the live coverage of the assassinations of Kennedy, Kennedy, and King, television has been a key player in our daily politics. And, televison has become so much slicker over the years. But some things don’t lend themselves to presentation on the idiot box. Watergate introduced us to modern investigative journalism and a whole species of “journalists” who specialize in inferring what is under the rock they have not examined.

    Polarizing politics is a blood sport that has warped the MSM in their approach to the news. The talking heads declaim it while furthering it.

    We are the problem. We get drawn into the skirmishes and soon enough we have taken sides.

    I particularly lament the loss of thoughtful liberalism. We conservatives need to be informed and sometimes facts and ideas from the liberal perspective are important to understand. But liberal politicians have traded cogent ideas for platitudes and harpy like condemnations. In fact, many conservatives would like their representatives to hand it back at liberals and then some.

    Clinton and his war room was not the beginning of polarizing politics, but the war room concept certainly changed the way the game is played.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 10, 2008 @ 10:40 am - January 10, 2008

  4. Of course things are going to get more polarized.

    Half the country doesn’t think the country is in grave danger from being destroyed by religious throw backs from the Arabian deserts.

    The other half is somewhat congnizant of this, but due to horrible leadership by Bush, most are probably confused and at best underestimate the scale/scope of the threat.

    That’s just the division in recognizing there’s a problem.. there’s entire chasms about what to do about it… folks like me are way in the minority. The militant Politically Correct “lets blind ourselves” wing basically controls the Democrats.. so even things like the John Doe Protection bill are only won with major fights… this further alienates the people from the govt , since our govt is being used to protect our enemies , not us.

    Then there’s that whole Socialism vs Freedom thing.. Govt Mismanaged Health Service Rationing vs Free Market…. Govt Monopoly on indoctrinating kids vs School Choice…. Federalization of all internal poilitical matters vs adherance to the Federal structure and States Rights….. Minority Special Rights / Denigration of Majority Culture by Judicial fiat vs the ability of the soverign people to enact thier will via legislature. the dissolving of our borders ,language and culture vs the protection of such..

    Nope.. no polarization here …. 🙂

    Comment by Vince P — January 10, 2008 @ 12:26 pm - January 10, 2008

  5. GPW, no offense, but no one can unite people who don’t want to be united.

    The most vocal, partisan, activist left-libs do not want a united country; they simply want a country where they win. Their idea of “unity” is, THEY WIN. They rule. They gain complete power.

    When that happens, the MSM will suddenly proclaim the country “united” under the new messiah. It’ll be all we hear. But, both because the left-libs will have pursued divisive tactics to gain power and because of their divisive policies, the country in reality will be less united than ever.

    Where is the man with the presence and convictions of Ronald Reagan? Surely, a leader secure in his political beliefs might have the power to unite the nation.

    Sorry, but Reagan didn’t unite the nation. The left-lib activists hated him, and have been slandering him for 3 decades now. Tammy Bruce tells a story about activists she knew who kept champagne bottles in the fridge for years, hoping to celebrate Reagan’s death. Thus proving my point: No one can unite people who are determined that there shall be no unity, except under their (effective) dictatorship. Sorry.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 10, 2008 @ 1:22 pm - January 10, 2008

  6. I think the Republicans are stuck with a weak farm team at this time.
    – Mitt Romney did not speak in prime time at 2004 convention
    Huckabee ? never heard of him until this fall
    Republicans had Rudy speak and Zell Miller – a retired Democrat

    Dems saw Obama was a winner, he gave the keynote

    – Not a single Bush cabinet member is giving it a shot
    Dems had Wesley Clark, Richardson
    – McCain is the only current congressional player running
    ( okay we have Duncan Hunter which is the equal of Kucinich)

    If the Republicans were wise they would scour the US looking for
    their presidential candidates of the future and put them on the
    podium in Minneapolis, prime time, every night.

    Comment by Geena the Transgirl — January 10, 2008 @ 4:08 pm - January 10, 2008

  7. Congressmen/Senator rarely get elected. I think JFK was the last one.

    How does being a legislatator make one qualified to be President? The jobs are nothing alike.

    Comment by Vince P — January 10, 2008 @ 4:28 pm - January 10, 2008

  8. Congresspersons/Senators make good VP’s — Nixon, LBJ, Ford, Mondale, Bush was a congressman, Quayle, Gore, Cheney was in congress.
    We have a better than 50% chance the next oresident will be a sitting senator.

    Comment by Geena the Transgirl — January 10, 2008 @ 4:45 pm - January 10, 2008

  9. Oh, God. No more Bush’s. I just don’t have the strength.

    Comment by Robert — January 10, 2008 @ 6:07 pm - January 10, 2008

  10. We’ll be lucky if the country survives this Bush…. His throwing Israel to the wolves is a stragetic disaster of greater importance than 9/11.

    Comment by Vince P — January 10, 2008 @ 7:27 pm - January 10, 2008

  11. Regarding a uniter. It is the media that really incites us to be at each others throats. For all their preaching and hautyness, it is in their interest to keep us riled up and polarized. As a conservative I am encouraged as well GPW by Obama’s desire to break the streak of hatefull win at all costs politics. He is very liberal though. I’m reminded of how Jimmy Carter was a good man when we needed a “good man” to serve. But his administration was horribly inept. And we paid a high price for 10 years. I was so looking forward to the Clintons moving on to other careers. It would give us half a chance to bring the country together. I think it is the only reason for Huckabees success so far. A clean, regular guy, who talks nice like a real human being.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 10, 2008 @ 9:25 pm - January 10, 2008

  12. Obama’s politics are just as hateful towards those he wishes to attack as Clintons.

    Has Mr Uniter said one nice thing about Bush?

    Comment by Vince P — January 10, 2008 @ 9:42 pm - January 10, 2008

  13. Obama’s desire to break the streak of hatefull win at all costs politics

    And his idea of it, again, is:

    1) He gives a lighter-than-air, happy-sounding speech.
    2) Everyone admires him and goes along, giving him his way.

    If you don’t go along, he gets out his knives, sure enough. (Or has his left-lib surrogates do it; same difference.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 10, 2008 @ 10:03 pm - January 10, 2008

  14. Here’s a good insight into “Christian” Obama’s thinking.

    A speech he gave while in the Illinois State Capital when he was part of the Democrat Machine.

    Comment by Vince P — January 10, 2008 @ 10:13 pm - January 10, 2008

  15. I feel a “movement for Obama” coming on.

    Or was that the red beans and rice I had earlier?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 11, 2008 @ 12:19 am - January 11, 2008

  16. Where is the man with the presence and convictions of Ronald Reagan?

    Dick Morris says that McCain is the one who can bring out the Reagan Democrats.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 11, 2008 @ 12:57 am - January 11, 2008

  17. Here’s more regarding the detestible B Hussien Winfrey from the Atlas Shrugs blog:

    Obama’s Troubling Alliance

    The New York Sun picked up on my Obama/Odinga connection and ran an excellent editorial, The Kenyan Connection here (Atlas is cited as well):

    I found the comments to the oped piece heartbreaking. Mind you, they are all Kenyans. But it certainly raises more questions than it answers. The most obvious question is, why has Obama aligned himself with this murderer?

    Here is a sampling of reader comments. Note the relief that someone has brought this to light. Check this man out;

    Finally an accurate asessment of Raila Odinga coming from the West

    Sir, I am a kenyan who read your article with great relief that finally, someone in the West is seeing Raila Odinga in correct light. I would like to urge any american to take seriously the association that Raila has with a radical Islamic grouping in Kenya before it is too late. He is determined to make sure that that country is at least chaotic enough for such groupings to operate in that region without the inhibition that Kenya’s democracy and stability has so far been. I do not know what kind of relationship Obama has with Raila, politically, but you are right on about the claims of kinship that Raila himself has made.


    Obama should come out and denounce genocide

    I lived in Kenya for about 2 years and have some understanding of the beautiful country. What is happening is a shame.

    Obama has called the 2 leaders to talk about the ‘rigged’ election but he has not issued any statement on the atrocities committed by Raila Odinga’s supporters. Around new years, women and children taking refuge in a church were burned by Raila supporters. I thought this could have sparked a reaction from Obama but it did not. Instead, he called his cousin twice to show his concern about the election.

    I support Obama’s candidature but will re consider if he doesn’t come out and condemn his cousin’s crimes against innocent Kenyans.

    The majority of the writers felt the same way;

    God bless you

    Thank you for writing this story. I received the official documents that ODM leader signed with the muslim leaders in Mombasa and I could not believe it.

    Thank you, thank you the world needs to know what type of human being the ODM leader is.

    And this woman apparently has docs;

    Thank you Daniel for your article. Kenya and President Kibaki have been tarnished in this past week due to lack of facts. A document is available that shows ODMs party campaign strategy which includes the plans for the above as well as plans in case of what they call unfavourable election outcome hence the ethnic cleansing. If you provided an email I can forward them.

    The same sentiment and desperation running through these Kenyans remarks;

    The past 1 week has seen an avalanche of Kenyan blogs trying to paint what is happening in Kenya as a revolt in the masses. It is not true. These blogs were organized by ODM (raila’s party) and to be honest were very good at it.

    However your article was very correct to state that the Raila strategy was the demonizing of one tribe and the end result was the killing of women and children inside a church. One of the babies was actually taken from the mothers hands and thrown back in the fire.Over 600 people were killed in this massacre and when the police took action, ODM cried foul.

    Kenyans are very peace loving ,but the Raila group has worked systematically to displace over 250,000 people in the name of democracy. In a country where both the opposition and the ruling party can rig elections, the people who are suffering are innocent women and children who are dying .

    I ask that people note how Rwanda started. It is already happening and there is no mass movements to support Raila Odinga but there is systematic ethnic cleansing. I do not believe there is any democratic movement in this whole world that can condone burning women and children inside a church.

    pls read more on this from the victims and not from a Raila supporter

    The riots in Nairobi only happened in one slum in the city and the rest of the city was peaceful.

    Most of them read like this, some more desperate. The comments denouncing the article are from American leftards that make no real argument. Snark, ad hominem left wing drivel.

    Why is Obama backing is this horse? Very bad judgment.


    Thank you for telling the truth about raila at one and the only international press who have done his his homework kudos


    Will the lame-ass American press do anything about this? Nope.

    Comment by Vince P — January 11, 2008 @ 3:40 am - January 11, 2008

  18. This is the pathetic state of American University today.. and is one of the reasons I think the longer one stays in college the dumber one is.

    ENGLISH 317. Literature and Culture.
    Section 002 — How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation.

    Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

    Instructor(s): David M Halperin (

    Course Description:

    Just because you happen to be a gay man doesn’t mean that you don’t have to learn how to become one. Gay men do some of that learning on their own, but often we learn how to be gay from others, either because we look to them for instruction or because they simply tell us what they think we need to know, whether we ask for their advice or not.

    This course will examine the general topic of the role that initiation plays in the formation of gay male identity. We will approach it from three angles: (1) as a sub-cultural practice — subtle, complex, and difficult to theorize — which a small but significant body of work in queer studies has begun to explore; (2) as a theme in gay male writing; and (3) as a class project, since the course itself will constitute an experiment in the very process of initiation that it hopes to understand.

    In particular, we will examine a number of cultural artifacts and activities that seem to play a prominent role in learning how to be gay: Hollywood movies, grand opera, Broadway musicals, and other works of classical and popular music, as well as camp, diva-worship, drag, muscle culture, taste, style, and political activism. Are there a number of classically ‘gay’ works such that, despite changing tastes and generations, all gay men, of whatever class, race, or ethnicity, need to know them, in order to be gay? What is there about gay identity that explains the gay appropriation of these works? What do we learn about gay male identity by asking not who gay men are but what it is that gay men do or like? One aim of exploring these questions is to approach gay identity from the perspective of social practices and cultural identifications rather than from the perspective of gay sexuality itself. What can such an approach tell us about the sentimental, affective, or subjective dimensions of gay identity, including gay sexuality, that an exclusive focus on gay sexuality cannot?

    At the core of gay experience there is not only identification but disidentification. Almost as soon as I learn how to be gay, or perhaps even before, I also learn how not to be gay. I say to myself, ‘Well, I may be gay, but at least I’m not like that!’ Rather than attempting to promote one version of gay identity at the expense of others, this course will investigate the stakes in gay identifications and disidentifications, seeking ultimately to create the basis for a wider acceptance of the plurality of ways in which people determine how to be gay.

    Additional note. This course is not a basic introduction to gay male culture, but an exploration of certain issues arising from it. It assumes some background knowledge. Students wishing to inform themselves about gay men and gay culture in a preliminary way should enroll in an introductory course in lesbian/gay studies.

    Comment by Vince P — January 11, 2008 @ 5:06 pm - January 11, 2008

  19. I had to email the professor what I thought of him:

    From: Vince P
    Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 4:13 PM
    To: Subject: How to be a parasite

    I saw your class “How to be gay”… What’s your next class.. “How to be a cultural parasite, hollowing out the Academy from within.”

    Must be nice to live a life devoted to something so trivial and insignificant and get away with it.. I’m jealous.

    Vince… gay myself and don’t need to pay thousands of dollars to be indoctrinated on how to be me. Oh I just thought of a fallback job for you in case your scam is eventually resolved… Scientology.

    Comment by Vince P — January 11, 2008 @ 5:14 pm - January 11, 2008

  20. I’m so glad you linked to Camille Paglia’s article. While she and I probably have very differing viewpoints, I read her articles when Drudge links to them. I find that she is one of the few remaining Dems who do not demonize as a point of making an argument. And as a feminist, she called the Clintons on the carpet for their behavior, as well as other feminists for becoming apologists for behavior they supposedly so despise.

    Comment by Patrick — January 11, 2008 @ 8:48 pm - January 11, 2008

  21. #18 & 19

    I learned all I needed to know at Pacific Street and it only cost me my beer money. Actually, I learned how to be “gay” and avoid it.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 12, 2008 @ 2:33 am - January 12, 2008

  22. I’m with ILoveCapitalism (#5) on this one. Of all the hollow platitudes heard in speeches from both Dems and Repubs, the worst of all is the “we need a uniter, not a divider” bullsh*t. A “uniter” is just liberal-speak for the candidate most likely to abandon all principles and the trust of his constituency to capitulate to every demand of the leftists to implement their immoral, minority-rule agenda.

    And Obama has already demonstrated that he knows exactly how to use this approach to demonize not only Republicans, but even worse, people of faith. Has everyone forgotten the speech he made last year at United Church of Christ convention? (

    In his speech, he said the following:

    “Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and faith started being used to drive us apart…Faith got hijacked, partly because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, all too eager to exploit what divides us.”

    So, in Obama’s view, it’s not just “divisive” to have secular political beliefs that are inconsistent with the liberal agenda, it’s “divisive” to stubbornly cling to RELIGIOUS BELIEFS that are inconsistent with the leftists’ world view.

    Comment by Sean A — January 12, 2008 @ 6:48 am - January 12, 2008

  23. If Obama were to be the Democratic nominee and an individual does not vote for him, will the Left and MSM automatically equate voting against him to be racism and not because of ideological differences?

    Comment by ShermanStreet — January 12, 2008 @ 5:57 pm - January 12, 2008

  24. #23: “…will the Left and MSM automatically equate voting against him to be racism and not because of ideological differences?”

    Are you kidding? The Left has already cried racism–when Obama WON the Iowa primary! From the website of a ridiculous group called Afrospear (“A Think Tank For People of African Descent”):

    Obama Win Doesn’t Mean Racism Lost

    Here’s a quote:

”To make the assertion that racism is on the wane because white people voted to make Barack Obama their primary choice for the Democratic caucus in Iowa ranks right up there with the notion that racism is dead because white people like to watch Oprah. The idea that this proves that the majority of white people would support their black neighbors is rather imprudent and irresponsible.”

    So, Obama lost in NH because of racism. AND the idea that “racism is on the wane” just because Obama won in Iowa is “imprudent and irresponsible.” See a pattern? Racism if Obama loses. Racism if he wins.

    Comment by Sean A — January 12, 2008 @ 8:17 pm - January 12, 2008

  25. Vince P, someone had e-mailed me about that course and I had intended to blog it and may when I get a moment.

    I’ve been busy traveling and actually write this comment from my father’s kitchen table in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 13, 2008 @ 8:25 pm - January 13, 2008

  26. I read Camille Paglia’s blog about Hillary.

    She will still vote her anyway. No moral dilemma there! The politicians and the chattering classes are all political prostitutes.

    Comment by ShermanStreet — January 13, 2008 @ 8:49 pm - January 13, 2008

  27. I ran across a speech Camille gave in the UK that seemed to be about Hillary (the video starts at some point after the beginning of her talk, so I dont know other topics were in the talk too)…. it was SCAAAATHING but she said she’d vote for Hillary if that was the choice she had.

    Comment by Vince P — January 13, 2008 @ 8:58 pm - January 13, 2008

  28. Mike Adams wrote a slightly funny article about the college class

    Comment by Vince P — January 13, 2008 @ 9:30 pm - January 13, 2008

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