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GayPatriot Dinner with Thatcher Honoree; Tues. 04/28 in LA

Because Dr. Nigel Ashford, a distinguished British political philosopher, whom we believe to be the only openly gay man honored by Dame Margaret Thatcher, will be paying homage to that great lady’s colleague in bringing down communism, we’ve had to reschedule his Los Angeles dinner to next Tuesday, April 28th.

The current plan is to meet in Santa Monica for dinner at 7.  If you’d like to join us, please RSVP to me for complete details.

Obama’s Choice on Prosecuting Bush’s Legal Team:
Unite the Nation or Appease the Angry Left

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:22 pm - April 22, 2009.
Filed under: Obama Watch,Post 9-11 America,War On Terror

I had planned a post last night on the President’s comments yesterday where he left the door open “to prosecuting Bush administration officials who devised the legal authority” for intensive investigations of terrorism suspects.  Yet, given that other conservative bloggers had posted on the topic–and far better than I ever could–I decided to, in the limited time available to me, focus on other topics.

Yet, in considering the first post I wrote this morning, I realize how the two topics are linked, the president’s refusal to close the door on prosecuting officials of his predecessor’s administration and his failure so far to show acknowledge the legitimacy of the Tea Party protests.  To shut the door on such prosecutions and to address citizens’ concerns about a rapidly growing federal government would allow him to rise above the fray and speak out in the national interest.

He could unite the nation by refusing to consider the demands of some of his most vindictive supporters and by acknowledging the concerns of some of his harshest critics.  Instead, he has chosen to throw a bone to the former while his minions badmouthed the latter.

These angry supporters are out for blood.  Not content that their nemesis has left the White House, they’re still seething.  They “don’t just want to defeat conservatives at the polls, they want to send them to jail.”  Should the Administration attempt this prosecution, I believe it will backfire.  While those targetted rack up huge legal bills, they will prevail a the courthouse and, should they invest in a public relations team, in the court of public opinion as well.

The Administration will appear vindictive, particularly as the Bush Administration officials defend their actions in the context of the times and their concerns for preventing another 9/11.  Not just that,  the prosecutions will exacerbate partisan differences, further dividing the nation.  Unifying presidents work to mitigate not aggravate such divisions.

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Are Professors Source of Intolerance on Campus?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:00 pm - April 22, 2009.
Filed under: Academia,Free Speech,Liberal Intolerance

In writing about the reaction to my fellow Williams students to a lecture by Phyllis Schlafly, I recalled thw while students welcomed a controversial speaker, a number of factulty members either urged me to rescind our invitation to the speaker or angrily decried her presence on campus.  Perhaps that recollection has led me to speculate that we might see less intolerance on campus were professors to do their job, promoting respect for those holding different politic viewpoints and strongly discouraging intellectual intolerance.

Yet, more often than not, professors seem to be the most intolerant people on university campi.  To be sure, many times, they are the most tolerant.  Kurt Tauber, an avowed Marxist was quite possibly the most broad-minded Political Science Professor when I was at Williams.  Every (that’s not an exaggeration) thoughtful conservative student who taken a course from him held him in high regard.

In the past week alone, I have read two stories of attempts by campus leftists to silence conservative speakers.  While they succeeded at the University of North Carolina (UNC), they failed at the University of Texas (UT).  In both cases, faculty were involved, indeed, may have spearheaded the opposition.

So, I wonder, how much different the situation might have been, had the faculty, in the true spirit of a university, encouraged the students to be civil, to listen courteously to the speakers and to ask probing questions afterwards.

When David Horowitz spoke at UT, he

was greeted — if that’s the word — by a raucous protest organized by a professor and self-styled Bolshevik, Dana Cloud. Forty protesters hoisted placards high in the air and robotically chanted “Down With Horowitz,” “Racist Go Home,” and “No More Witch-hunts.”

Emphasis added.  Fortunately, a representative of the university administration threatened “the disrupters with arrest if they continued on this course.”

Tom Tancredo, who spoke last June at the Santa Barbara retreat of Horowitz’s Freedom Center, was not so fortunate when he traveled to Chapel Hill to address students at the UNC.  There,

Hundreds of protesters converged on Bingham Hall, shouting shouting profanities and accusations of racism while Tancredo and the student who introduced him tried to speak. Minutes into the speech, a protester pounded a window of the classroom until the glass shattered, prompting Tancredo to flee and campus police to shut down the event.

During the speech, “geography professor Alpha Cravey joined protesters in chanting the names of Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus.”  She should have been quieting them down, telling them to listen and raise their objections later.

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Facts Don’t Alter Some Liberals’ Anti-Conservative Prejudices

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:40 pm - April 22, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,Liberal Intolerance

There are days when our critics do our work for us.  By their very words, they discredit their own criticism (in some cases, criticism is a euphemism for what might more accurately be called name-calling).

In reply to my post on how some on the left go through life with blinders on making it tough for them to see conservatives, one of our regular critics offered that my partial listing of our posts taking issue with then-President Bush and free-spending Republican Congress “doesn’t refute [his] point about conservatives failing to criticize George Bush, it proves it.

In Levi’s universe, we prove a point by showing it not to be true.  And that listing was hardly an exhaustive survey of conservative criticism of W.  (It didn’t even represent the complete universe of my criticism.  Like I said in the post to which he attaches his criticism, “If you take a gander at archives of any number of conservative blogs, you’ll find a great variety of posts criticizing Bush and any number of aspects of his Administration.”  (Emphasis added.)

He’ll find enough criticism to make his head swim.  It was essays by my friend libertarian friend David Boaz of the Cato Institute and editorials in the Wall Street Journal which first made me aware of W’s failure to hold the line on domestic spending.  And this before I started blogging.

But no bother to Levi.  He’ll just look at what I linked, take a stroll through our archives during a period where I was blogging less than I am at present and say, “Is that all?”  He didn’t bother to review other conservative blogs or the archives of conservative editorial pages.

For this critic his memory more accurately reflects reality than facts.  “I’ll trust my memory of the first six years of the Bush administration over yours.”  I never asked that he trust my memory, but that he, to quote my followup comment, “check the archives of any serious conservative blog.”

Recall, he contends that conservatives failed to criticize W, that we were somehow wedded to him.  Um, Levi, I refused to vote for George W. Bush in the California primary in 2004 and wrote in Rudy Giuliani which I have stated numerous times on this blog.   (more…)

Obama Takes Step in Right Direction on Trade

One of the reasons our economy enjoyed continuous economic growth throughout the 1990s was because President Clinton kept his campaign promise to get free trade agreements ratified.  In his first act of political courage and steadfastness in the White House, he dared defy part of the Democratic base by standing firm on the North American American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which he helped push through Congress in 1993.

The following year he “convened Congress to ratify” the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), an agreement which further reduced barriers to international commerce.

Now, it looks like his successor is be following in his footsteps.  While most people were paying attention to the theatrics of anti-American demagogues at the Summit of the Americas, the President made some quiet, but quite possibly significant gestures, to one of our closest allies in the hemisphere, President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia.  After listening to Uribe:

Obama then seemed to realize that the long-stalled Colombia free trade agreement should have been passed yesterday.

The president announced that his team must find a way to pass the agreement. With world trade down 80%, the pact opens new markets to the U.S. He demanded immediate action, asking Colombia’s trade minister to fly to Washington this week.

Then it got even better: Obama invited Uribe to the White House and promised to visit Colombia himself, allowing the Colombians to lay out for him their vast economic and social progress, and their desire to integrate into global trade.

Good move, Mr. President.  You’re building on the success of your two immediate predecessors, Clinton for promoting free trade and Bush for forging a strong relationship with Uribe.

(H/t Instapundit.)

The President & the “Tea Parties
Showing Respect for Them Would Increase his Stature

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:10 pm - April 22, 2009.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Credit to Democrats,Tea Party

During the better part of the transition, it seemed that then-President-elect Barack Obama would truly live up to the image he put forward during the campaign, a post-partisan figure able to transcend the divisive politics which had defined national politics for nearly twenty years.  Once in office, he would use his formidable gifts to unite us as a nation.  He appointed competent people to his cabinet (or so they appeared at the time), spoke in measured tones, was gracious in relationships with the-then incumbent Administration, refraining from criticizing George W. Bush and his team.

He reached out to his campaign rival, John McCain, inviting him to Chicago shortly after the election and hosting a dinner in his honor the day before his inauguration.

Yeah, there were a few fumbles and stumbles along the way, but on the whole, a class act.

That all changed almost from the moment he took office.  During the inauguration, he bypassed an opportunity to stand up to the hate on his side of the aisle when he failed to silence those who booed his predecessor.  What a gesture that would have been!

And then in (what I believe was) his first meeting as president with a bipartisan congressional delegation, he snapped, “I won” to defend the “stimulus” he was then pushing.  Shortly thereafter, he starting blaming his predecessor on a pretty regularly basis.  In a very short amount of time, President Obama forfeited the chance he had to truly bridge the partisan gap and unite the nation, moving us toward an era of less intense political acrimony.

Well, today, one week after nearly one half-million people rallied to protest increased government spending and the tax increases we fear will follow to pay for them, he has a chance to recover the ground he lost in the days immediately after the election.  All he need to is acknowledge the sincerity of the Tea Party protesters and fault those who would question it.

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Why Conservatives Respect Jonathan Rauch’s Arguments
for State Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:00 am - April 22, 2009.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

Those who read my posts on gay marriage can expect me to repeat what has become a constant refrain, that all too many advocates of gay marriage would rather trash opponents of state-recognition of same-sex unions than defend the social change they promote.

Whenever I discover a solid argument in favor of gay marriage, I do try to highlight it.  More often than not it is Jonathan Rauch who has made that argument.  Seemingly alone among gay marriage advocates, he has made the social case for gay marriage, primarily in the chapter, “What is Marriage For” in his book Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America.

In introducing and recommending Jonathan’s latest essay on gay marriage, Commentary‘s Pete Wehner shares my sentiments about the quality of his arguments:

Unlike other advocates of same-sex marriage, who routinely brand those with whom they disagree as bigots and worse, Rauch presents his arguments in a careful, measured, and analytically rigorous way.

Indeed, what is most impressive to me is that Rauch presents something close to a model of what public discourse should be. For example, according to Rauch, “for Burkean conservatives same-sex marriage is a particular conundrum because it presents so many competing narratives and so many uncertainties. Rauch then lays out two competing narratives — what he calls the ‘Jonathan Rauch narrative’ and the ‘Maggie Gallagher narrative.’ He does a splendid job of encapsulating both views in a single paragraph each; and having done so, he asks, ‘Confronted with these two starkly opposed narratives, what’s a Burkean to do?” He proceeds to offer his views in the remainder of the essay.

Wehner gets at one thing which distinguishes Jonathan from all too many advocates of gay marriage; he takes the time to understand the arguments he intends to refute.  He doesn’t reject them out of hand or insult those who advance them.

I’m delighted to find yet another conservative blogger/pundit show respect for Jonathan’s ideas on gay marriage and his manner of expressing them.  This indicates that smart conservatives take gay marriage more seriously when its advocates make a rational case for their cause.

As you ponder the quality of Jonathan’s arguments and the respect he has gained for the way he makes them, wonder with me why other advocates of the social change Jonathan seeks remain unwilling to recognize how significant a change it is.  Consider how they could better serve that cause by making more rational arguments.

Among gay marriage advocates, Jonathan stands out because he carefully makes the case why state recognition of same-sex marriage is a good thing.  If others follow suit, they may find the same respect that he enjoys not just in conservative intellectual circles, but also among conservative voters.

It’s Tough to See Conservatives with MSM Blinders On

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:00 am - April 22, 2009.
Filed under: Liberal Intolerance

In response to a piece of mine crossposted an another blog, a reader would like to know if there are “other conservatives that challenge the current brew of Bushism/Cheneyism/Republicanism these days“.  He’s a little bit behind the times given that Messrs. Bush and Cheney have since left office and gone into retirement.

Like all too many in the netroots and among those who use our comments section to criticize conservatives and Republicans in general and us in particular, he’s under the assumption that all conservatives fell into line and blindly followed George W. Bush over the last eight years.  Does he only get his information about conservatives from left-wing blogs and MSNBC?

How often do we hear that refrain that we blindly supported W and failed to criticize him?

If you take a gander at archives of any number of conservative blogs, you’ll find a great variety of posts criticizing Bush and any number of aspects of his Administration.  Most of us took him and congressional Republicans to task for not holding the line on spending.  (The National Review even ran a cover story on the Bush Administration’s competence problem.)

When I point this out, it falls on deaf ears.  All too many repeat their mantra about how monolithic and unquestioning we were in our support of W.  To make it easier to some of our critics, I did a piece providing a partial listing of posts where we took issue with the former president’s (and congressional Republicans’) profligacy, they remain unswayed, so strong is their conviction about conservatives.

They criticize us while remaining clueless about our ideas.  A line from the theme song from a 70s sitcom, Alice, come to mind as I consider their narrow-minded attitude toward conservatives.  “Going through life with blinders on, it’s tough to see.

They blind themselves to contemporary conservatives because they define us not by our ideas and the things we have written, but by their prejudices and things leftist bloggers and left-of-center “journalists” have written about us.

GayPatriot Blog Demands TARP Money

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 12:45 am - April 22, 2009.
Filed under: Post 9-11 America

Clearly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s former top political aide, Mark Penn, knows something that many of us don’t.

It takes about 100,000 unique visitors a month to generate an income of $75,000 a year.

REALLY?  No, REALLY?

Here at GayPatriot, where we have reached that benchmark (though not every month), we are about $69,999 short of Mr. Penn’s declaration.

I therefore plead to the Obama Administration for some TARP bailout money so this blog can continue.   Since GayPatriot is a minority voice in the gay community then, according to US Rep. Barney Frank, we represent a SEVERELY discriminated minority being preyed upon everyday by bigots and religious zealots.  We need our TARP cash now!  And perhaps a civil rights lawsuit against those eeeeeeevil bigots & zealots to boot?

PS — Read the rest of Mickey Kaus’ complete gutting of Mark Penn’s view of the blogosphere.  It is awesome.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)