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What’s Up With Former Vice-President Dick Cheney?

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 7:30 pm - April 20, 2009.
Filed under: Conservative Introspection,Great Men,Obama Watch

I’ve been a huge fan of the former VP since I first heard of him during the first Gulf War in the early ’90s.

His steady hand and unwavering professionalism over a tremendous career of public service includes serving in both Richard Nixon’s and Gerald Ford’s White Houses, the House of Representatives, leading the Department of Defense, and of course his excellent service to George W. Bush as Vice President.

Between his duties as SecDef and Vice President, he had an incredible private-sector career serving on the American Enterprise Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations (where he had previously served as director), and of course Chairman and CEO for Halliburton.

Through all of this, the draw to him was twofold: First, he was and has since been a great mind. He is a huge thinker and very methodical in his decisions and advice he’s given as a trusted confidant for three presidents (directly, not to mention his work with Ronald Reagan while Cheney was a congressman). One of the most measured and thoughtful Vice Presidents of our Nation’s history, were it not for the inexplicably unhinged detractors’ fantasies, he’d probably go down in history as the brightest man to ever hold that office. But even Cheney-haters will have to agree that he was by far the most influential and powerful Vice President of the modern era, attributable by his admirers to his wonderful mind, and by his detractors to his devious nature.

Secondly, Cheney also combined two very admirable traits into exactly what you’d want in a confidant. He was equal parts blunt and unassuming. I have no doubt that, when asked, he gave all the great men mentioned above his most honest opinion, and because they came to expect it, they trusted and appreciated it. At the same time, the former Vice-President was never one to pipe-up and just offer his opinion. He was a serene and gentle man, a vast contrast to the caricature his adversaries tried so hard (and, unfortunately on too many occasions, thanks to the media who also had no love for him, were all too able to succeed) to portray of him.

Which is why it is so difficult to see him since he left Washington continue to openly question the current president. (more…)

How Smart Liberals Handle Unsavory (to them) Ideas

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:04 pm - April 20, 2009.
Filed under: Academia,Civil Discourse

Of the events I organized when I was an undergraduate at Williams, one lecture stands out as genuine accomplishment.  It made a difference in campus dialogue and so helped define the quality of the college U.S. News and World Report regularly names the nation’s finest liberal arts college (the tie resolved in the older school’s favor by a football game).

Offended that angry feminist Mary Daly spoke at the college, yet refused to take questions from men, I spearheaded a group of conservative students to set up the James A. Garfield Society (named in honor of the President shot on his way to his Williams reunion).  We raised money from the Political Science Department, the college’s Lecture Committee, College Council and the Young America’s Foundation to bring Phyllis Schlafly to Williamstown.  Mrs. Schlafly agreed to take questions from male as well as female students.

The Women’s Studies program refused to support the event while a number of left-wing faculty members, one since denied tenure, threw a hissy fit, upset that this leader of the movement to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment would speak at our college.

While these faculty members couldn’t bear to hear an opposing point of view, students, including many left-of-center ones, were preparing for the lecture.  My peers checked out all her books from the library.  Some searched out her articles and public statements through the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature–how we tracked down news in the days before the Internet.

They were helped out by one distinguished professor.  Rosemarie Tong, a feminist professor of Philosophy, alerted them to articles by and about Mrs. Schlafly.  Professor Tong joined conservative students at the dinner we held before the lecture.

Liberal students prepared themselves to “do battle” with this conservative icon by familiarizing themselves with Mrs. Schlafly’s ideas.  And when she spoke to a crowd of well over 1,000 (we will never know the exact number because the hall was filled beyond capacity), they listened.  There were no cat-calls, no hissing, just a polite silence.


David Axelrod to President Obama: You’re A Dud

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 6:44 pm - April 20, 2009.
Filed under: Anti-Americanism Abroad

Is David Axelrod on the outs with President Barack Obama? Witness a Washington Post article this afternoon that quotes the White House advisor as saying:

What’s happened is anti-Americanism isn’t cool anymore.

Really? Maybe someone should tell the president. After all, he’s the one on the Badmouth America World Tour.

– Nick (ColoradoPatriot) from HQ

On the “Need” to Attack Conservative Bloggers
(and other proponents of right-of-center ideas)

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:46 pm - April 20, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,LA Stories,Liberal Intolerance

The more I consider Glenn Reynolds’s comment that those gay marriage advocates “pushing the ‘bigotry’ meme are in fact more interested in calling others bigots than in accomplishing anything,” the more it appears to define more than just the attitude of politically correct “journalists” and pundits toward gay marriage opponents.  It also defines an entire mind-set of all too many left-of-center bloggers, pundits, journalists and even Democratic politicians.

And yes, there are some on the right who prefer labeling their adversaries on the left to addressing the legitimate points they do raise from time to time.

When I first start blogging, I would get regular hate mails from left-of-center gay people, lambasting me, usually with the standard refrain that I was hypocritical or otherwise self-loathing.  They rarely took the time to address specific points I had made on the blog.  When they did, they regularly misrepresented them.

They seemed to have some “need” to lash out at me, much as we Angelenos lash out at the one driver who seems to cut us off in traffic when we have been stuck on the freeway for three times as long as our journey was supposed to take.  That guy did what we probably would have done in the same situation.  And even if he was in the wrong, he wasn’t to blame for all of our traffic woes.

It doesn’t seem matter to some of our critics how we address the objections they raise to our arguments, they will never be satisfied.  We remain narrow-minded, beholden to an intolerant right wing and self-hating.  Like the frustrated man in traffic, they “need” a target for their frustration.  They “need” to vent.  They “need” to lash out.

Let me illustrate with an example.


No Wonder President Faces “Confidence Gap” on Spending

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:00 pm - April 20, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Obama Watch

When President Barack Obama ordered his Cabinet to find ways to cut spending by $100 million (as point of reference*, that’s about .01% of his “stimulus”), he told reporters, “We also have a deficit — a confidence gap — when it comes to the American people. . . . And we’ve got to earn their trust.

Mr. President, if you’d just compare your campaign rhetoric to your budgets, you might better understand why that gap exists.  Let me remind you of your words during the campaign when you made your case to the American people why you were the one to lead us:

But there is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.

Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.

Now, let’s look at how, with your budgets, we’ll live ever further beyond our means than we ever did in the Bush era:

(Created by Washington Post via Heritage Foundation.)

Mr. President, if you want to close that “confidence gap,” cut those deficits back.  And you can do that be delivering on your campaign promise of a “net spending cut.”

UPDATE: Others provide additional points of reference: “Obama’s latest budget-tightening effort hardly makes a dime’s worth of difference.” In a post which blogger Teh Resistance calls, a “brilliant way to put it,” economist Greg Mankiw puts that $100 million into perspective:

. . . imagine that the head of a household with annual spending of $100,000 called everyone in the family together to deal with a $34,000 budget shortfall. How much would he or she announce that spending had be cut? By $3 over the course of the year–approximately the cost of one latte at Starbucks.

Name-calling: the supposedly smart set’s preferred means to respond to gay marriage opponents and others offering a politically incorrect point of view

Referencing a post on the Corner where Maggie Gallagher takes New York Times columnist Frank Rich to task for calling gay marriage opponents “bigots”, Glenn Reynolds echoes a point I’ve been making about the rhetoric of some gay marriage supporters:

Unlike Maggie Gallagher, I favor gay marriage. But it seems to me that in this — as in other areas — those pushing the “bigotry” meme are in fact more interested in calling others bigots than in accomplishing anything.

Emphasis added.

This goes to something Dale Carpenter has said about how gay activists see gay marriage as a “trophy in the cultural wars.”  While gay activists see it as a trophy, liberal pundits use it as a club with which to attack social conservatives.

Why do so many refuse to acknowledge the legitimate objections some people have to state recognition of gay marriage and hesitate to challenge them on the level of ideas?  Why do they resort to name-calling as a means of discourse?

Their preference for slurring gay marriage opponents parallels the way they and their peers respond to the Tea Parties.  Instead of listening to their adversaries’ arguments and acknowledging the sincerity of their concerns, they treat them as a bully treats the defenseless kid on the playground.

They think they can get away with it because the MSM encourages their insults.  And doesn’t hold them to account for their mean-spirited attempts to demean their adversaries.

Our society could gain by a serious discussion of gay marriage.  Gay people in particular would benefit from such a conversation.  Yet, the supposed advocates of this change would rather score points in some imaginary contest with conservatives than make a point about the social benefits of extending the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.