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The Passions of our Liberal Elites:
Hating Bush and Loving Obama with Similar Fervor

In his piece, “Bush Hatred and Obama Euphoria Are Two Sides of the Same Coin” in today’s Wall Street Journal, Peter Berkowitz builds on a point I made (building on a comment reader Leah made) nearly two weeks ago,  Obama Worship: Flip Side of Bush Hatred.

Finding that “Bush hatred and Obama euphoria . . . tend to reveal more about those who feel them than the men at which they are directed,” Berkowitz, like Leah, calls the two seemingly different phenomena, “opposite sides of the same coin:”

Both represent the triumph of passion over reason. Both are intolerant of dissent. Those wallowing in Bush hatred and those reveling in Obama euphoria frequently regard those who do not share their passion as contemptible and beyond the reach of civilized discussion. Bush hatred and Obama euphoria typically coexist in the same soul. And it is disproportionately members of the intellectual and political class in whose souls they flourish.

Berkowitz wonders why educated people preach and teach hatred:  “while Obama euphoria may fade as the 44th president is compelled to immerse himself in the daunting ambiguities of power, our universities will continue to educate students to believe that hatred and euphoria reflect political wisdom.”

Read the whole thing and join me in wondering why intellectuals are so enanamoured with animosity.

Leona Helmsley Democrats

If the Senate confirms Tom Daschle as Secretary of Health and Human Services, at least two members of the president’s cabinet will be tax scofflaws, leading my friend David Boaz of the Cato Institute to remark, “It’s too bad Leona Helmsley can’t be nominated as Commerce Secretary.“  Given that the president is from Chicago where dead people vote on a regular basis, I woulndn’t put it past him to tap a dead woman for the cabinet.

While David, ever a foe of big government, sympathizes “with anybody trying to hold down his tax bill,” he wonders why those  “who want to increase taxes on the rest of us — like Daschle, Geithner, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chairman Charles Rangel, Al Franken, Governor David Paterson’s top aide, Democratic National Convention staffers, Al Sharpton, and so on — pay their own taxes?”

I guess we’ll just call Geithner, Daschle et al. Leona Helmsley Decmorats, you know because, like her, they don’t pay taxes, only the little people do.

And while you’re at it, read  David’s post–and anything else he’s written for that matter.

Did Obama Campaign on a 10% Defense Cut?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:00 am - January 31, 2009.
Filed under: Liberals,Obama Watch,Post 9-11 America

Well, we’ve found one area of the federal budget President Obama doesn’t want to increase. “The Obama administration has asked the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to cut the Pentagon’s budget request for the fiscal year 2010 by more than 10 percent — about $55 billion.

Now, I’m not aware of the Democratic nominee campaigning last fall on cutting the defense budget. In the first debate, focusing on foreign policy/national security issues, he all but echoed John McCain, assuring voters that there wouldn’t be much of a difference between the two men on defense. Now, we see there is.  A huge one.  Huge.

As Environmental Republican put it, “he’s cutting the military budget…in the midst of two wars.“  Let me repeat, cutting the military budget in the midst of two wars.  Now, I’m beginning to wonder if the president understands the commander-in-chief aspects of his job.

Senate Should Reject Daschle Nomination

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:00 pm - January 30, 2009.
Filed under: Democratic Scandals,Obama Watch

Here’s one reason.

Obama’s appointment of the former Senate Democratic leader suggests that his pleas for postpartisanship were little more than a clever campaign slogan. Tom Daschle defined Democratic obstructionism during President Bush’s first term (as Eric Holder defined the Clinton Administration’s politicization of the Justice Department during the Arkansas Democrat’s White House tenure).

The Senate should reject the Daschle nomination to help the president make good on the postpartisan pledge he made in his campaign.

UPDATE (02/01/09):  Since I first posted this, we learned that “Daschle waited nearly a month after being nominated to be secretary of health and human services before informing Barack Obama that he had not paid years of back taxes for the use of a car and driver provided by a wealthy New York investor.

This leads Ed Whelan of the National Review to conclude

If President Obama were really serious about ending business as usual, he would immediately withdraw the nomination of someone who was cheating big-time on his taxes and who didn’t level with Obama about the problem at the outset.

I agree.

Will Gay Leaders Press Obama on Iran’s Treatment of Gays?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:00 pm - January 30, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,Gay Politics,Gays in Other Lands

Sometimes, it takes reading a conservative blog to wonder about the the implications for gay people of what President Obama said about our relations with the Arab and Islamic world.

In his interview Monday with Al-Arabiya television Monday, the president said he favors a return to “the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.“A generation ago, we didn’t challenge those autocratic regimes’ despotism and human rights’ violations.

So, as the president seeks high-level talks with Iran, will he prod that nation on human rights, notably its persecution of gay people?

Commenting on the president’s desire to reach out to Islamic regimes, Mark Steyn observes:

Well, you don’t have to be gay, an oppressed homosexual about to be executed. You don’t have to be a woman who’s being sold to an arranged child marriage. You just have to be a moderate, centrist Arab intellectual in, say, Cairo or Amman, and you listen to Obama sucking up to these creeps, and there’s nothing for you in it. What he’s doing is he says, he’s saying to hell with the Bush freedom agenda. We just want to get back to schmoozing the feted Arab dictatorships and the mullahs in Tehran all over again. And so if you’re a gay or a woman, you’re out of there.

I found that quote on Hugh Hewitt’s blog, you know, Hugh the conservative, friend to evangelical Christians.  At least they’re raising the issue of the persecution of gays in this Islamic world which is a far sight than our gay leaders.

To be sure, a number of left-of-center gay blogs, notably Michael Petrelis and Towleroad, have done a good job of blogging such persecution.  The point here is some conservatives do a better job of reminding us of the plight of our gay peers under Islamofascism than do the heads of leading gay organizations.

Senate Republicans Must Stand Firm Against “Stimulus”

Glenn Reynolds really has an eye for talent.  On the same day, he links not just a post on this blog, but also a column by quite possibly the best college blogger/columnist there is, my nephew Mitchell.

That smart young man joins me in commending House Republicans for standing tall on the stimulus, but warns their Senate colleagues not to break ranks:

As the bill moves on to Senate, Republican Senators must keep their backbone and vote against it. There’s going to be Democrats accusing them of hurting the economy, and they might face pressure to vote for it, but voting for it is just what will hurt the economy and hurt the Republican Party.

If Republicans in the coming months fear public backlash and begin softening their position, they face the threat the Democrats did when they voted for the Iraq War in 2002.

Exactly. Exactly.

Mitchell rightly notes that opposition to the “stimulus” has been increasing “due to Republican efforts attacking the wasteful spending included.” That’s why we need to keep debate open on this for as long as possible so people can see just what political payoffs it contains.

The more they see what’s in it, the less likely they’ll be to support it. Just read the whole thing.

My brother and sister-in-law should be proud.  They raised one smart kid.  Well, not quite a kid any more.  🙂

Michael Steele Elected RNC Chair

I see this as good news even as it prevents one of our most gifted candidates in the Free State from running for Senate in 2010.

The best news about this good man’s election is Steele’s demeanor.  He’s knows the issues and he’s right within the mainstream of the GOP.  Not just that, he was the first African-American elected statewide in Maryland.  In 2006, a very Democratic year in a very Democratic state, he ran better than his party’s presidential candidate in a year more favorable to our party.

He knows how to reach out beyond the base.

I met Steele briefly at the Republican National Convention and we chatted for about a minute before he had to go on Sean Hannity’s show.  He didn’t seem taken aback when I handed him my card (with the name of this blog) and told him about us.  I also said I wished he were RNC chair. Well, fewer than six months later, I got my wish.

While he knows how to handle the media and looks good on TV, I do have some concerns about his organizational skills.  Let’s hope he finds a good manager to help up reorganize the party apparatus.  I’m delighted that he outlined a tech plan to “compete with Democrats in the online arena of social networking, fundraising and communication.

With the election of Steele as party chairman, the nomination of Sarah Palin as our party’s Vice-Presidential candidate last year, he election of Bobby Jindal as Governor of Louisiana just over a year ago, the elevation of Eric Cantor to House Republican Whip and the runoff victory of An “Joseph” Cao as Congressman for New Orleans, we now have a whole crop of articulate Republican leaders who do not fit the media image of us as a party of white male Christians.

If the Republican Party is to rebuild its majority, we need to reach out to all Americans.  With an increasingly diverse crop of party leaders, with Steele at our helm, it looks like we’re doing just that.

UPDATE:  Jim Geraghty sums up the Steele’s strength and expresses concerns similar to mine about his organizational skills:

What will Republicans be getting in Steele? Maybe the ideal television presence, a dynamic and energetic speaker who cheerfully brings a Republican message to communities that aren’t always initially receptive. The contrast with Duncan’s seemingly invisible media presence will be clear. But Steele’s bid was hindered by questions about whether he would excel as much at the parts of the job that aren’t in front of the cameras—the day-to-day management and fundraising.

UP-UPDATE: Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon praises the selection: “Michael Steele is the right man at the right time to lead the GOP. . . . It’s a great day for our Party. Steele is an inclusive leader who will bring a new energy and a new vision to the GOP at a critical time.”

UP-UP-UPDATE: I am heartened by Steele’s reference to the Contract with America in remarks made after his election as party chief:

The bottom line was the American people had lost faith in our leadership. . . . We entered into a contract with them in 1994 and they expected us to honor it. In the way we would lead, in the way we would serve, in the way we would protect their interests. And we abrogated that contract. And that’s why that scarlet letter at that time was placed their by the people.”

Gannonization of Obama’s White House Press Corps

Welcome Instapundit Readers!  While you’re here, you may want to check out the theme song we’ve discovered for the Democrats’ stimulus, sung by one of Broadway’s great Republicans!

According to David Cay Johnson of the Columbia Journalism Review, the new president’s press team prefers questions from friendly reporters:

interviews with a dozen Washington reporters indicate that the Obama press operation tends to embrace friendly questions, while treating skeptical questions as not worth their time or, worse, as coming from an enemy.

Questions as coming from the enemy? Is that how they see criticism? Doesn’t sound like a team of post-partisan unifiers to me.

Embracing friendly questions. . . . Didn’t the left-wing blogs raise quite a ruckus over the presence of one reporter, Jeff Gannon, who asked such questions in the previous administration? Seems we have a herd of Gannons in the current president’s press corps.

Wonder if those blogs will say anything this time. . . .

(H/t Instapundit.)

Eat it, Detroit!

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 11:46 am - January 30, 2009.
Filed under: Colorado,General

What anybody who lives here knows, Denver is the best place in the world. Now, no less an authority than Pew Research has verified what we all know: You can’t get better than Denver.

Our old friend, VtheK (whose site, if you haven’t been there in a while, is still as fun as ever) recently wrote me he fears that in Denver, “the Californication has gone too far.” This should help assuage that fear:

Denver is the favorite city among Republicans

And believe me, with politics the way they’ve been going out here, we could use some more conservatives. So mount up, young Republicans, and Go West!

-Colorado Patriot (Nick), from HQ

Our Critics & the Meaning of the Word, “Finally”

Twice in my post celebrating the House Republicans’ unanimous rejection of the Democrats’ spendthrift “stimulus” package, I used the adverb “finally” to describe the GOP’s return to fiscal prudence.  For this, two readers scolded me (and/or Republicans) in the comments section.

Instead of focusing on the current vote, they preferred to dwell on the past, reminding us (and rightfully so) in one critic’s words that when in power, Republicans “spent, overspent, and way overspent.”  That critic would do well to note that they did not go on such on a binge for eight years.  For the last two years, the Democratic Party controlled Congress and increased federal domestic spending at a greater rate than had Republicans in the preceding six.

As those who actually read this blog know (as opposed to those who comment to a post after reading its title, skimming its first few lines and drawing from their ideas (usually false) of what Republicans believe), we have long been critical of President Bush and past Republican Congresses for not staying true to the party’s Reaganite principles and holding the line on government spending.  I used the word “finally” to celebrate their return to those core principles.

Maybe it takes losing power for Republicans to see what ideas helped them gain that power in the first place.   Let’s hope that finally my party has learned its lesson.   Instead of praising the GOP for what it is today, our critics remind us of what it was in the past, as if that past profligacy justifies the Democrats’ one-upmanship, way-way-way overspending when Republicans just way overspent.

And let’s hope they remember it when they win that power back again.  If Democrats succeed in passing this spendthrift “stimulus,” then the American people will see the majority party for what it is, an outfit committed to growing the size of government and limiting the arena in which individuals may operate freely.

“Blue Dogs” Tuck Tail

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 7:20 am - January 30, 2009.
Filed under: Congress (111th),Decent Democrats

Wednesday, the 111th Congress burdened future generations of Americans with the passage of an embarrassingly non-stimulative “stimulus” bill. The final tally was a strictly partisan 244 yeas to 188 nays. Not a single Republican voted in favor of this behemouth, thankfully.

More telling, however, is the way in which the supposedly moderate and fiscally responsible “Blue Dog Coalition” of Democrats almost completely caved. These representatives who were elected as middle-of-the-road moderates from mostly conservative districts boast on their Website as having “the goal of representing the center of the House of Representatives and appealing to the mainstream values of the American public.” Really?

Their votes on Wednesday? Of the 43 current members of the coalition (their roster lists 47 members, but four of them no longer serve in the House), a scant 6 voted against the pork-laden shame. Six. Of 43, six.

Those six (along with the 5 non-Blue Dog Democrats who also voted nay) deserve our congratulations and thanks as taxpayers for joining with their Republican colleagues in taking a stand against government waste and for real stimulus through responsible spending and tax relief for all Americans.

Those Blue Dogs who stood up to Peosi and BHO are:

Allen Boyd, FL-2
Jim Cooper, TN-5
Brad Ellsworth, IN-8
Collin Peterson, MN-7
Heath Shuler, NC-11
Gene Taylor, MS-4

-Colorado Patriot (Nick), From HQ

Learning Lessons in California

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 7:15 am - January 30, 2009.
Filed under: California politics

So now it seems California is having trouble meeting a pretty fundamental requirement of government: repaying its citizens who paid more than their share of taxes last year.

I especially love this nugget:

The controller’s office estimates that the delay in tax refunds will free up $1.99 billion over the next month to pay for education, debt service, and other payments that legally have first claim to state funds.

(Emphasis added; apparently, it’s not taxpayer money in California, but rather these funds belong to the state. Finders keepers, eh?)

Okay, so I’m no economist. But who thought that the right formula for fiscal success for a government would be to drive away revenue and job producing industries and businesses with burdensome regulations and confiscatory taxes while encouraging the growth of the non-productive sector by expanding hand-outs and government programs and give-aways?

-Colorado Patriot (Nick), From HQ

We’re Back!

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:32 am - January 30, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging

This has been one of those weeks, with a lot of little things going wrong, but nothing disastrous, well, except for the blog crashing at about midnight eastern time on Thursday (9 PM here in LA).  We’re still not quite sure what went wrong, but are looking into it.

And we are forever grateful to our webmaster Sean for handling the tech stuff and getting GayPatriot back online.

Sean, this Bud’s for you!

House Republicans Unite Against “Stimulus”

With the House vote on the near-trillion dollar Democratic “stimulus” package, the Republican Party has  once again (finally!) become the party of fiscal discipline. House Republicans don’t seem to have been swayed by the president’s charm offensive.  Not a single Republican voted for this budget boondoggle. Eleven Democrats joined them in voted “No.”

But to no avail.  It passed by a comfortable margin.  Guess Ethel really was singing the Democrats’ song.

While appreciating the time President Obama took to come to Capitol Hill to lobby House and Senate Republicans, GOP leaders still have concerns about the cost of the profligate package. According to the Washington Post:

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “The bill that’s on the floor of the House as we speak we don’t think will work and, frankly, are disappointed in the product that we see, a lot of wasteful spending that won’t create jobs and won’t help preserve jobs in America.”

Kudos to Boehner for calling it like it is and for holding the GOP caucus together.

By standing firm against this package, Republicans finally stood for something. Increased government spending won’t fix the economy. It didn’t work for Herbert Hoover. Nor did it work for FDR or for Jimmy Carter.

Let’s hope that the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell can hold his caucus together to filibuster the stimulus. The longer it takes Democrats to pass the “stimulus,” the more time people will have to see that it contains billions of dollars for to Democratic constituencies and interest groups.  They’ll ask their representatives whey we are increasing government spending when the federal government is running record deficits.

Even the AP notes that the package includes a tax cut for those who don’t pay taxes: “The centerpiece tax cut calls for a $500 break for single workers and $1,000 for couples, including those who don’t earn enough to owe federal income taxes.” Emphasis added.

House Republicans may have shown some spine today, but their Senate colleagues appear to be wavering. Six of the eight Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted to confirm Eric Holder for Attorney General despite his troubling record as Deputy Attorney General.

Tammy Tells Bush-Hating Liberals to Move On

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:38 am - January 28, 2009.
Filed under: Blogress Divas,Bush-hatred

Bush is Gone, but Bush-Hatred Lingers.

Endora-award winning blogess Tammy Bruce doesn’t mince words when taking to task those Democrats who want to prosecute the former president for war crimes.

Talking about those still obsessed with the former president even though he’s gone, Tammy says, “these are individuals who are obsessed and paranoid about the [former] president. . . ”

This seems to be the week when smart women don’t mince their words.

(H/t Gateway Pundit).

Ethel Anticipated Barack Obama and Today’s Democrats

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:18 am - January 28, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Divas,Economy

Imagine that George Sanders is not playing Cosmo Constantine, but Democratic interest groups (though to truly play the part, he’d have to have his hat out).  And as only she can do, Ethel plays the Democratic president and Congress all rolled into one.

The “money” segment begins at 1:50.

Except of course, if Sanders were playing those interest groups, he wouldn’t react as he does to her song.

Still, it seems this late great Republican sang what should become the theme song for the Obama Democrats.

Did Sugar Cookies Cure my Headache?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:55 am - January 28, 2009.
Filed under: Health & medical,Random Thoughts

For the better part of Tuesday, I was suffering a mild headache, but didn’t want to take a Tylenol because I’d read that the less frequently you take analgesics, the more quickly your body fights pain on its own.

Well, the pain lingered all day, without incapacitating me. When I drove downtown to have dinner with a friend, he gave me a box of cookies that I had left in a grocery bag with chips I had given him.

Even after a delicious home-cooked meal, the headache would not go away. So, on a whim (or a craving?) and against my better judgment, I dove into those sugar cookies. With each bite, my headache eased. I made it home without taking a Tylenol.

So, now I’m wondering if I’ve discovered a new method of treating headaches.

But, will eating sugar cookies make my body respond more quickly to headaches? Or will it make me crave such sweet treats all the more?

Ethel was a Republican!

Confirmed via the Kellow biography that Ethel Merman did indeed sing at the Gipper’s inaugural so that must be the source of the clip I linked on her birthday.  He and Nancy sent her a telegram to mark her seventy-fifth birthday.

According to John Kenrcik this “lifelong Republican. . .  was a frequent guest at the White House during the Eisenhower administration.

This sure makes up for Barbra’s politics.

Against the Overheated Rhetoric of Prop 8 Opponents

On Sunday, I had scribbled a note to myself that I should blog about my “emotional” vote on Prop 8, largely because I don’t think some of our gay left readers understand why I wavered.

I considered leaving Prop 8 blank in part because I didn’t want to deliver a victory to those angry activists (yes, they were angry even before the vote) who regularly decried the proponents of the proposition as haters or otherwise mean-spirited.  Few took the time to understand that legitimate objections to same-sex marriage that some social conservatives have.

In the end, it was emotion which caused me to vote against Prop 8, the warm feelings I held for a lesbian couple who had recently gotten married here in the Golden State.  In the way those two ladies related to each other, they showed that they understood the meaning of marriage.

Earlier today, a reader e-mailed me Debra Saunders’s column where she expresses an ambivalence on Prop 8 similar to my own as well as my outrage at the narrow-minded mean-spirited gay marriage advocates who so readily demonize their adversaries.

Unlike me, however, she abstained on 8:

I was so conflicted, I punted. I did not vote either way. I’m not proud of my nonvote, but as I watch the fallout from Proposition 8’s 52 percent victory, I’ve seen things that are forcing me out of my closet.

Like me, she’s bothered by the rhetoric of some of those advocates:

There has been too little recognition of the fact that marriage has been limited to unions between members of the opposite sex since about as long as there have been laws.

Activists would argue that Prop. 8 “took away” their rights — as if the five months between the George decision and Prop. 8’s passage outweigh thousands of years of human history. . . .

. . .in California, domestic partnerships provided all the benefits that came with same-sex marriage a la Ron George — except the name “marriage.” . . . .  In other words, when activists complain that Proposition 8 “took away” their rights, the only right changed was the ability to call themselves married under state law. The other benefits stand.

So, let’s have a civil discussion of gay marriage and be honest about the meaning of Proposition 8.  It all boils down to having the state calling same-sex unions marriage.

Gay marriage advocates need do a better job of making clear what that word matters so much.

Use the Conservative Model in Gay Marriage Debate

In the comments section to my first post from the “Equality Summit,” another participant chimed in, offering thoughts which help define the difference between the left and right in American today.

Addressing my observation about the absence of Republicans at the event, Stephen R. Stapleton wrote:

I don’t think we plan much outreach to conservatives. They aren’t very receptive to the outreach and I think those resources will return more if used to focus more moderate voters. I think resources put into reaching out to the religious and minority communities would return considerably more.

Note, his bias against conservatives, assuming we won’t be receptive to outreach. Has he even tried? He was not even aware of Republicans Against 8, saying, “I don’t think there was any Republican leadership active in the fight on Prop 8.”

Most (but, alas, not all) conservatives are a limited government lot. If gay activists could tweak their message, framing this as an issue of freedom rather than dwelling on equality, they would certainly get more conservatives on board. They would sway still others by doing as Catherine Thienmann did in pointing out that advocates of gay marriage understand and upload the obligations of the institution, including monogamy.

In short, they needed present unifying message based on ideas, the political idea here being freedom, the social, responsibility.

Too many on the left, however, would rather appeal to interest groups, as if the gay movement were part of some vast coalition of the oppressed. Minority groups thus become their allies, while conservatives their adversaries.

Since Ronald Reagan, however, the conservative movement has been one of ideas, crafting an inclusive, unifying message. (Republicans fail, when they lose sight of that message and resort to pandering as they did in 1992 and 2006.) By contrast, the modern left is a collection of interest groups, with the Democratic Party (as an example) pandering to each and every minority.

To reach to conservatives, gay marriage advocates need not pander, but instead make a strong case for gay marriage, making clear that state recognition of same-sex unions will not prevent private institutions for setting their own standards while defending the values undergirding this ancient institution.

The idea is not to pander, but to advocate. To promote an idea, in this case, the benefits of extending the privileges of marriage to same-sex couples.

Had conservatives been included in this weekend’s conclave, participants might better understand this strategy.