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Do We REALLY Need Identity Politics To Extend To SCOTUS?

Imagine if a conservative Supreme Court Justice nominee had said the following… wouldn’t that be grounds for automatic dismissal of his appointment in the court of public opinion as well as the United States Senate?  In fact, it almost sounds like something Robert Byrd would have said at sometime in his life.

“I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Hispanic woman who hasn’t lived that life.”

Well, The Architect of “Hopeandchange” has picked a SCOTUS nominee who made this doozie of a statement of her belief system:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

As Seth & Amy would say on Saturday Night Live — “REALLY, JUDGE SOTOMAYOR?  REALLY.”

If anyone is looking for a SCOTUS nominee to follow the Constitution and not their feelings, this “borderline” racist statement the video below are enough to disqualify Sotomayor in my book.

I don’t feel as white man that she will have my feelings at heart.  And as an American, she obviously disregards 2/3 of the American system of government.

Finally, I cannot wait until a GOP Senator asks: “Do you believe marriage (straight or otherwise) is a Constitutional right?”   And I know for a fact that question is coming.   *big grin*

UPDATE: GOProud weighs in:

This morning, President Barack Obama nominated Federal Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States. In response, GOProud’s Executive Director, Jimmy LaSalvia, released the following statement:

“This morning President Obama missed an important opportunity to select a Supreme Court nominee that could enjoy wide, bi-partisan support. Instead of selecting such a nominee, President Obama instead chose to play identity politics and select a highly controversial nominee in Judge Sotomayor.

“Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals was held up in the Senate for more than a year and her nomination was eventually opposed by 29 Senators. It is clear that President Obama placed identity politics above all else in his nomination of Judge Sotomayor.

“Judge Sotomayor’s record, both on and off the bench, is troubling. GOProud will closely scrutinize the entirety of Sotomayor’s record before making a decision to endorse or oppose her candidacy.

“Let me be clear, however, GOProud will not support a nominee that fails to understand the proper and limited role of the federal judiciary, and will not support a nominee who fails to protect the rights enshrined in our Constitution.”

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

How Should the GOP Address Gay Marriage?

Last wee, the folks from Pajamas Media asked me to write a piece on one of two topics, the recent statement by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee on reframing gay marriage as an economic issue and the determination of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to press the President’s Supreme Court nominee how he (or she) plans to adjudicate the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

As I considered both articles, I realized they both addressed (in a certain manner) the dilemma facing the GOP as it seeks to rebuild–how to respond to gay marriage.  Here’s how I began my exploration of the issue:

With the California Supreme Court set to issue its ruling today on the validity of Proposition 8, a voter-approved initiative to define marriage in the Golden State as the union of one man and one woman, gay marriage will once again dominate the headlines.  This issue has proven nettlesome for both parties.  President Obama has tried to soft pedal his opposition to same-sex marriage by professing his support for “equivalent rights” (whatever that means) for gay people. Meanwhile, Scott Schmidt, a former senior strategist to the McCain campaign has urged Republican candidates to “steer clear of divisive social issues” like gay marriage and abortion in order to become more electorally “viable.”

At the same time as Schmidt advises the GOP to avoid gay marriage, citizens across the country continue to vote in favor of initiatives like Prop 8 which block states from recognizing same-sex unions as marriages.  Despite such popular opposition, courts in four states (Massachusetts, California, Connecticut and Iowa) have ruled that their jurisdictions must recognize same-sex marriages (with Prop 8 invalidating the California ruling).  State legislatures in three states (Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine) have passed legislation recognizing same-sex marriages (with New Hampshire’s Democratic Governor John Lynch vetoing the bill, “asking the legislature to include language that would protect churches and other religious institutions from prosecution if, for example, they refuse to perform same-sex marriages.“)

With gay marriage remaining at the forefront of our national consciousness, the Republican Party, seeking to rebuild after losses in two successive national elections, struggles to address the issue without alienating young voters and socially liberal urban and suburbanites who share the GOP’s fiscal and national security principles, but are wary of backing socially conservative candidates.

Now that I’ve whet your appetite, click here to read the rest.

Liberals Who Insist on Politicizing Everything

It seems some on the left, including the President of the United States, just can’t help themselves.  They seem to feel it necessary to politicize everything, including Memorial Day.  In his radio address Saturday, Obama took time off from saluting our servicemen and women to take a swipe at his predecessor:

Our fighting men and women – and the military families who love them – embody what is best in America. And we have a responsibility to serve all of them as well as they serve all of us.

And yet, all too often in recent years and decades, we, as a nation, have failed to live up to that responsibility. We have failed to give them the support they need or pay them the respect they deserve. That is a betrayal of the sacred trust that America has with all who wear – and all who have worn – the proud uniform of our country.

Even if his predecessor failed to show service members the respect they deserve (and there is no evidence he did), a Memorial Day message is not the place to make political statements.  It is the time to honor the troops.

That’s what I, like so many columnists and bloggers (on both sides of the political aisle), did yesterday.  In my post, I made no political statement, attacked no Democrat, praised no Republican (politician).  I saluted only those who sacrificed, singling out the last surviving World War I veteran for praise.  Yet, one of our perennial critics felt it incumbent upon himself to use the comment section to that post to snap at us and, like Obama, take a shot at the immediate past President of the United States.

With Obama, such cheap shots belie his rhetoric of being a post-partisan leader.  With our critics, is is the mark of a strange obsession.  Some feel they just have to attack us–and by extension all conservatives.  Others feels compelled to badmouth Bush whenever they can, bringing up the former President in comment threads attached to posts where we don’t even mention the Republican’s name nor refer to him in any manner whatsoever.

The Type of Man We Honor Today

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:40 am - May 25, 2009.
Filed under: Freedom,Great Men,Holidays

Today, Memorial Day, we honor those “who have died in our nation’s service.”  They gave their lives that we might be free.

Regretting that we do not remember military heroes as much as we once did, Peggy Noonan (showing once again her relationship to the goddess Athena who inspired courage and appreciated valor in Greek warriors) believes a correction is in order:

It’s good to remember war is hell. But when we removed the warrior, we removed something intensely human, something ancestral and stirring, something celebrated naturally throughout the long history of man. Also it was ungrateful: They put themselves in harm’s way for us.

She then detailed the deeds of three of the bravest of the brave.  Alvin York, a hero of World War I (and later, the subject of the Hollywood movie Sergeant York), Audie Murphy who served in World War II (and later a Hollywood star) and Chuck Boyd, who fought in Vietnam (“the only former POW of the era to go on to become a four-star general.“)  Those brave men, like many noble warriors, don’t talk much about their deeds or their sufferings.  For them, the doing is their duty.  And victory their reward.

Those we honor today could not savor that victory, even as they anticipated it through their accomplishments.  We who did not sacrifice as did as they, or even as much as those who return, enjoy the fruits of those accomplishments.

They cannot speak from beyond the grave, but perhaps if they could, they might sound a bit like this man, Frank Buckles, the last survivor of the supposed “War to End All Wars,” World War I:

Cassy Fiano who drew my attention to this video observes that Buckle “served because his country needed him. He didn’t want or expect anything back.” Many men fell who served as Buckles did:  because our country needed them.  Is is those great men we remember today.

Books I Want to Read (but have yet to be written):
Memoirs of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:12 am - May 25, 2009.
Filed under: Literature & Ideas,Noble Republicans

After a week in which Dick Cheney, “an unpopular former vice president” (as the Washington Times styled him) faced of in a type of debate with “a popular sitting president” (as the same paper styled Barack Obama), the less popular and more maligned (at least in the MSM) man “won, hands down.”  Even media commentators, not kindly disposed to the man they’ve dubbed “Darth  Vader,” concede the laurels to the Republican.

Cheney has increased his stature the right, with his approval rating surging.  Conservatives are looking to him again for inspiration.  If he writes a book, it is certain to sell as well as Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny, now in its Tenth Printing, only two months after its pubilcation.  (That manifesto has spent 97 days in the top 100, most of time in one of the top positions.)

Seeing the success of conservative books in the Obama age, publishers should be eager to snap up the memoir Cheney’s shopping around.

Cheney isn’t the only former Bush Administration official at work on a book.  Others scribbling away include the former President himself, his wife, the former first lady, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Karl Rove.  I think I may pass on most of those memoirs, but in addition to Cheney’s book, I’ll definitely buy Rumsfeld’s and Rove’s.  I doubt those three good men will mince words when they talk about the last eight years.

Frankly, I expect Rumsfeld to be candid about the mistakes he made; he may offer some insight into why the President delayed so long in shifiting strategies in Iraq.  It would be interesting to see if Rove explains how such a politically savvy White House could tap a tone-deaf man as Press Secretary just as the media was becoming increasingly aggressive and the President’s poll numbers were starting to tumble.

Should CA Supreme Court Uphold Prop 8 when it releases its ruling on Tuesday . . .

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:56 pm - May 24, 2009.
Filed under: California politics,Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

While my rabbi differ on the result we’d prefer* from the California Supreme Court when it hands down its ruling Tuesday on Prop 8, she holds a few nearly identical to my own on how we should react should the court uphold that popular initiative.  On Friday, she said, “we don’t need to finger point; we need to roll up our sleeves.”

Her views pretty much echo my April 1 post, “Should CA Supreme Court Uphold Prop 8 . . .

. . . should the California Supreme Court uphold that proposition, as many court watchers expect it to do, that advocates of gay marriage use that setback to their advantage.  I believe that if, in the immediate aftermath of that decision, these advocates conduct themselves responsibly, they will all but guarantee repeal, perhaps as soon as 2010, but definitely by 2012.

Simply put, they need react not angrily, but rationally, saying they understand this decision, acknowledging they need to convince many voters about the merits of the change they propose, something to the effect of “We have not done a good enough job in the past of making that case. We’ll do a better job next time.”

In short, instead of lashing out against the Court and proponents of Prop 8, acknowledge the task ahead.  Don’t blame others, do acknowledge the magnitude of the change [being proposed] and the responsibility of those pushing such a change to act responsibly and to speak intelligently.  With solid arguments and the right attitude, they can change their minds of some of those who last year voted for the successful ballot initiative.

It’s all a question of approach.  And attitude.

The important thing to remember is that with the news coverage this decision receives, people will be paying close attention to how both sides react.  Juvenile antics and name-calling will not endear proponents of gay marriage to citizens ambivalent and skeptical about changing the state definition of this ancient institution.

Let us hope that should the court uphold 8, when leaders of the movement begin strategizing on how to overturn the the constitutional provision defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, they should make sure to reach out to gay conservatives as they have not done in the post.   They will also need to replace more partisan activists who hold positions of responsibility in gay organizations with those who capability of speaking to a broader audience.

There are many Republicans who would support state recognition of same-sex marriages, but need first be convinced that such recognition is a good thing and that it preserves the freedom of religious institutions to define marriage according to their creeds.

As I’ve said so many times before, gay marriage advocates need make a civil case for gay marriage.  It accomplishes nothing, indeed, is quite counterproductive, to attack supporters of the status quo.

RELATEDHow a Reasonable Person Should Respond to Carrie Prejean

The Gay Marriage Debate and the Needed Overhaul of the Gay Leadeship

*She believes the court should overturn 8; I believe it should uphold the Proposition, but not annul the (same-sex) marriages conducted between the court’s decision last May mandating state recognition of same-sex marriage and the passage of the Proposition.

Can Democrats be Counted on to Keep their Word?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:21 pm - May 24, 2009.
Filed under: Congress (111th),Obama Watch,Pelosi Watch

In her latest (must-read) post, Jennifer Rubin comments on the President’s failure to take “personal responsibility for our current sea of red ink“, particularly n notable given the “stimulus” and the spendthrift budget he has proposed.  Instead, he blames Bush, just as his fellow Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, also blames the former President for her latest troubles.

Well, they may not hold themselves responsible for our nation’s (or their institutions’) problems which occur under their watch, but the American people, while always giving new presidents the benefit of the doubt, will soon start expecting some results.  And Democrats will be in big trouble if the measure Democrats by the standards they set for themselves.

Let’s recall Obama’s promise during the campaign:

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.

And Mrs. Pelosi’s promise in 2006 just after Democrats took control of Congress:

The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history.

ACORN: Gerrymandering a permanent Democratic majority?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:06 am - May 24, 2009.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Liberals,Media Bias

As those who read conservative blogs and watch FoxNews know, the New York Timesspiked an election eve story on the possible illegal coordination between the Obama campaign and ACORN’s canvassing arm.”  While I doubt ties between the Democrat’s campaign and that corrupt organization would have cost Obam the election, it may have shaved a point or two off his margin of victory and cost him a state.

Not just that, it would have also shown that Obama had misrepresented his campaign’s relationship (and possibly his own) to that left-wing oganization indicted or facing indictment in several states.

Now, that the Administration is including ACORN in the 2010 census, it behooves us to know what they’re up to.  An intelligent and intrepid young blogger has been sifting through their documents and finds that the organization, possibly eligible for billions in “stimulus” funding, has a plan which it dubs ““Swing Congressional District Project” to “impact the post-2010 Congressional redistricting process by building progressive electoral majorities in swing state legislative districts” with the goal of building a “long-term, targeted organizing and electoral capacity needed if we are to have a Congress with a progressive [i.e. left wing] majority.”

Now, that they have such a Congress, will ACORN succeed in helping state legislatures gerrymander incumbent Democrats into safe seats?  Those Democrats will have to first survive the 2010 elections.  And since many state legislative seats will be up next year, even with ACORN’s federally beef-up coffers allowing it to divert resources to its electioneering efforts, those seats may not flip in the direction ACORN would like; people may not be so inclined to vote for the Democrats as they become increasingly aware of the bloated budgets Democrats hath wrought.  I mean, just this past week, the forces of big government outspent opponents of the California ballot initiatives by (according to some accounts) a margin of 10 to 1 and lost by a margin of nearly 2-1.

We can only hope that ACORN’s efforts will be similarly unsuccessful.  But, at least now, thanks to a diligent blogger, we have a better idea what they’re up to.  But, I daresay the MSM will pay as little attention to this as they did to the Times‘s spiking of the story of ACORN’s ties to the Obama campaign.  So, just chck out the post.

Obama Projects his Insecurities on His Unpopular Critics:
Or How “Darth Vader” Defeated the Man on the Pink Unicorn

The contrast between the incumbent President of the United States and the immediate past Vice President was not just in their near simultaneous speeches on Thursday, but in their reasons for giving them. The President had to react to the former Vice President’s; the Vice President merely wanted to set the record straight.

Whereas Obama is “uncomfortable with dissenting voices being heard without a rebuttal,” Cheney has no interest in winning a popularity contest.  He could care less about the media warming to him.  Yet, even pundits and journalists from outlets not normally sympathetic to conservatives consider the Wyoming Republican got the better of the Chicago Democrat in their recent exchange.

In an “Analysis” piece for AP, Walter Mears offers:

In political debate, the side that keeps its arguments simple and repeats them again and again is likely to gain the advantage. It is an easier sale, especially when the topic is as scary as terrorism.

That’s how Republicans got the edge in the dispute over President Barack Obama’s planned closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison. And it put former Vice President Dick Cheney on a separate but almost equal platform with the president of the United States, which is a plus any time the party out of power can manage it.

Pointing out that even CBS News’s Bob Schieffer thought that the Republican won this “on points,” Jennifer Rubin found that picking a fight with an unpopular figure doesn’t necessarily redound to the benefit of someone with better poll numbers:

sneering at Dick Cheney’s ability to rebut the president ranks up there as some of the most misguided punditry in recent memory. This episode serves to remind us that politics is still about facts and how effectively the facts are marshaled. It is not purely a contest of personalities (although that counts for more than pundits on both sides would like to admit).

Perhaps, if Obama had not been so thin-skinned, he wouldn’t have gotten himself into this “mess.”  This president seems to have a pattern of projecting his own insecurities onto unpopular critics.  (Remember, his advisors’ attempts to smear Rush Limbaugh?)  But, just as Rubin noted people respond to more than just personalities.  Facts matter, ideas matter.

As the President should have learned this week, popularity contests can take you only so far in politics.  They may help you win elections, in the battle of ideas, they won’t suffice, especially when your adversary comes prepared.

(I want to acknowledge my blogging nephew Mitchell whose timely e-mail today on this very topic helped me frame my argument.)

Obama’s (Increasingly) Irritating Earnestness

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:32 pm - May 23, 2009.
Filed under: Obama Watch

There was something about Barack Obama I liked in the first part of last year’s presidential campaign.  Perhaps it was just the contrast between him and Hillary Clinton, his chief rival for the Democratic nomination.  He spoke well, he looked good.  For a while, it seemed that this charismatic (relatively) young man could really unite the nation.

He showed respect for conservatives and our ideas.  He appreciated the greatness of the Gipper.

But, as the campaign wore on, it became increasingly apparent that there wasn’t much novelty behind his charismatic façade.  He was the most liberal member of the Senate.  His policy proposals were little more than recycled liberal ideas of the past forty years.  The “change” he proposed merely represented a return to the pre-Bill Clinton Democratic Party.

Since he’s become president, I’ve found him far less compelling a figure than I had a year previously.  His speeches seem little more than strings of cliches.  And when he talks to us, as he does all too frequently, he smiles far less than he did during the campaign, as if he believes an air of solemnity is necessary to project an image of gravitas.  He just has to show us how important he is.

In the end, he appears just to be feigning earnestness and it’s becoming increasingly irritating.  The austerity of his expression won’t make up for the banality of his rhetoric.  As Peggy Noonan observed just over a year ago, “when you remove Mr. Obama from the words and take them on their own–you see the speech wasn’t all that interesting, and was in fact high-class boilerplate.”

That wise pundit isn’t the only one to notice that there’s nothing new or original behind the charming mask.   The Telegraph’s James Delingpole also finds there’s no there there:

Now, it’s becoming clear that this carefully worked, glacial poise is all there is to Obama. He’s just a hollow man spouting empty rhetoric. . . . (more…)

Obama’s Speech: His Need to Convince Himself He’s Not Bush?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:00 pm - May 23, 2009.
Filed under: Obama Watch,Random Thoughts

Sometimes something strikes you as a odd about a a choice someone has made.  You find it somehow defines the person making it, even if you’re not sure how, like when a friend who never particularly liked a certain genre of movie suddenly takes an interest in that genre.  Or when he stops talking about a subject that once fascinated him.

You think it means something, but you’re just not sure what.

Such was my thought when I had read that the President has scheduled his Thursday speech “shortly after news surfaced that [former Vice President Cheney was planning his. Aides scheduled it for the hour just before the former vice president’s planned appearance at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think thank.”  It struck me as oddly reactive that the President of the United States would time an address to coincide with that of a critic.

It seemed more a campaign tactic than a mark of bold or effective leadership.  As if he still feels he’s running against someone.  But, it seemed there was more to it than that.  I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

But, where I failed, Toby Harnden and William A. Jacobson succeeded.  Building on Harnden’s observation that “the very fact that Obama chose to schedule his speech (Cheney’s was announced first) at exactly the same time as the former veep was a sign of some weakness,” Jacobson offers:

I think it’s more than weakness. Rather, Obama seems uncomfortable with dissenting voices being heard without a rebuttal. The war of words is one Obama is confident he can win if only he is heard, which is why Obama constantly is holding prime time press conferences, giving major speeches, and so on. While the need to counter-schedule a speech to offset Cheney’s previously planned speech reflects weakness for sure, it also reflects a lack of faith on Obama’s part in the ability of the American people to decide important issues.

I don’t think we’ve ever seen a President so ubiquitous.  If Obama is constantly preparing for and making public speeches, he necessarily has less time to think seriously about issues and consults with advisors–and even opponents–on the matters facing the country.

There is something more to it than this.  It may be that Obama, unlike Reagan, lacks a clear political philosophy which he believes is best for the nation.  He can’t just put ideas out there and let the American people consider them on their own.  He has to put himself out there.

If he had confidence in his ideas, he would have more faith in the American people.  Or maybe he just needs to convince himself.  And that’s why, as Jacobson put it, he seems so uncomfortable with dissenting voices.  That remind him of his own uncertainty.

Athena’s Sage Advice to the GOP:
Apply Reaganesque Ideas to Contemporary Concerns

Perhaps because I used to listen regularly to Peggy Noonan’s reading of her memoir, What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era (when in law school I drove back and forth between Washington and Charlottesville), I was not surprised last night to hear her speak in the voice in which she writes.

Speaking at the Reagan Library, she offered our party sage advice in a distinctly feminine voice, much as the goddess Athena spoke to the Greek heroes.

She began by praising the Gipper, calling him the “last great gentleman,” how he spoke softly and treated his staff like equals and not the help (which, she claimed, they were).  And, as I related last night, she praised his lady, saying that Nancy is not “appreciated and celebrated enough.”  It’s the thing that strikes you when you read his writings and visit his home, how central his wife was to Ronald Reagan’s life.

Perhaps, we  all need a solid source of human affection if we’re to achieve any success in this world.  And that we men (even gay men) keenly feel the impact of a nurturing feminine presence in our lives.  The most successful of us all do seem to have developed strong friendships with women.

But, I digress.

Peggy believes we conservatives are more fortunate to have the Gipper “to look back to” than the Democrats are in having FDR.  That Democrat, she claimed, did not spend a lot of time thinking about his philosophy:  “he was in the greatness game; he wanted to run things.”  (Sounds like some other Democrats we know.)  Reagan, by contrast, spent years developing a philosophy which we all well knew:  “You don’t want more government than you need.”

And the Gipper could explain his own candidacy for the highest office in the land far better than could the man he backed in the 1964 presidential contest, Barry Goldwater.  (Sounds like another Republican presidential candidate from Arizona.)

For the GOP to rebuild, we must hold “realistically to Reaganesque principles” and apply them to the concerns of the 21st century. (more…)

Obama Blames Bush While Adopting his Policies

Sometimes, when events of the day prevent me from blogging on something in a timely manner, by the time I sit down to write, I found that other bloggers (or pundits) have pretty much said what I have to say–and often better than I could say it.  And in the case of the dueling speeches yesterday, two bloggers did just that.

As we all know, President Obama helped elevate an address of Vice President Cheney by scheduling his speech “shortly after news surfaced that Cheney was planning his.”  The contrast showed that Obama is not particularly good on defense (in the tactical rather than policy sense of the term) something that might come to haunt him should the media become less fawning and more critical.

Writing on the New York Times‘s web-page, Andrew McCarthy of the National Review, offers:

The need to castigate his predecessor, even as he substantially adopts the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policy, is especially unbecoming in a president who purports to transcend our ideological divisions.

Jennifer Rubin used Charles Krauthammer’s most recent column to make a similar point.  He has observed that the President was, by and large, adopting his predecessor’s policies, concluding, “Bush policies in the war on terror won’t have to await vindication by historians. Obama is doing it day by day. His denials mean nothing. Look at his deeds.” Building on that point, Rubin wonders why the President Doth Protest Too Much:

And that, more than anything, might explain the oddly purposeless speech yesterday. The president did indeed protest too much, suggesting how much it must pain him (and certainly his disappointed supporters) to concede how much Bush got right. (more…)

My New Favorite Republican Governor

(Who was incidently my pick for McCain’s running mate last year.)

Tim Pawlenty stands up for conservative principles the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes.  And so prevents Democrats from worsening the recession in MinnesOta.

Jennifer Rubin: How Obama Fails Leadership Test

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:18 pm - May 22, 2009.
Filed under: Leadership,Obama Watch,War On Terror

Writing about the President’s speech yesterday, Jennifer Rubin faults the Democrat for trying to “soothe all parties and charm even the most virulent foes of the United States” instead of setting a course and leading the nation:

Leadership involves setting a course, persuading others to follow, and steeling oneself against the inevitable criticism with confidence that in the end, good policy makes for good politics. Somehow that has eluded the president, who seems intent on getting the politics right and worrying about the policy later. It’s a dangerous game — and as Baker points out, likely fruitless.

Quite a contrast from the Gipper.  Read the whole thing.

Thinking Too Much about Happiness

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:25 pm - May 22, 2009.
Filed under: Random Thoughts,Sex Difference

In a wonderfully, insightful post on why woman are unhappier than ever, Ann Althouse concludes with a thought that really got me thinking:

Anyway, why are women so sad? I think it’s because we think about our feelings so much and care so much about being happy.

This applies to men as well.  When we try too hard to be happy, we don’t often find ourselves feeling any better.  It called to mind something I’ve experienced.  On those days, when I’ve had the choice to slack off or work hard.  It’s easier to slack off.  But, when I work hard, at the end of the day, I always end up feeling better.

Food for thought and commentary, perhaps.

Nancy’s Democrats Won’t Put their Money Where Her Mouth Is

Well, House Democrats aren’t very interested in backing up the woman they elected as Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi claimed the CIA lied to Congress.  In response, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, sponsored a resolution to create a bipartisan congressional panel to investigate her claims.  The House, voting largely on partisan lines, rejected that probe.

Given how much attention this story has gotten, with even liberal friends of mine saying that her explanations don’t pass the “bulls***” test, you’d think House Democrats would welcome a probe as it would exonerate their Speaker.  (That is, if they believe she’s telling the truth.)  Democrats may not want to remember this, but former President Bush did not block proposals to investigate their claims that he lied us into the Iraq War.  And the Silbermann-Robb invesigation along with the Senate Intelligence Committee probe dismissed those claims (as did Lord Butler’s Report in Britain).

My guess those is Democats don’t want to similarly investigate Mrs. Pelosi because they don’t believe her and don’t want to revisit the embarrassment of her performance last week when, a few months hence, the panel reaches its conclusion that Mrs. Pelosi slandered the CIA.

So, instead of addressing the issue of her boss’s deception, her spokesman Nadeam Elsham does what Democratic staffers do best: blame Republicans.  She claimed that the GOP was engaged in “partisan politics and an attempt . . . to distract from the real issue of creating jobs and making progress on health care, energy and education.” Well, Miss Pot, that kettle sure does look black.  What do you think Mrs. Pelosi was doing in bringing up this issue in the first place?  And what has you been doing when her credbility has been called into question?  And what are you doing now?  Blaming Republicans.   And that’s partisan politics, pure and simple.

It seems House Democrats are trying to distract from the issue of dishonesty among their leaders and growing corruption within their ranks.  And this under the helm of the Speaker who promised us “the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history.

UPDATE:  Factcheck offers a “detailed time line of Pelosi’s shifting accounts”  (Via Instapundit).

Does Dick Cheney Owe it All to Lynne?

As I was driving to the Reagan Library yesterday afternoon, listening to Hugh Hewitt while caught in traffic on the 170, I heard Hugh (or was it one of his guests?) refer to former Vice President Cheney as the left’s “favorite punching bag.”  Before leaving home, I had read snippets of that good man’s speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and thought it one of his best, one which every American should read, particularly those critical of the previous Administration..

I began to reconsider my own past criticism of his post-Bush Administration outspokenness.  It seems he was only defending himself (and that Administration) against unwarranted criticism for his successors and the MSM.  While it may be unprecedented for an immediate past Vice President to criticize the incoming Administration, it is also unprecedented for a new President and his team to lay so much blame on his predecessor and his team.

So, when I heard expression, “punching bag,”on the radio, it reminded me yet again how members of the current Administration and their media and weblog cronies blamed their predecessors, particularly Cheney, for the current “mess.”  And I wondered (and not for the first time) how the former Vice President bore with such equanimity the vitriol hurled regularly against him for the better part of the past eight years.


I thanked the Gipper’s Lady; Athena thanked me

I just returned from hearing Athena Peggy Noonan speak at the temple of her spiritual father Reagan Library.  Due to traffic, I missed the book signing, so I did not come close to the divine presence have the chance to shake her hand, but after her talk (about which more anon), I did get to ask the first question.

But, before I did, I acknowledged another divine presence great woman in the room, the lady who has no mythological counterpart because, well, no Olympian loved her husband the way Nancy Reagan loved the Gipper.  After John Heubusch, the new Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, called on me, I rose, apologized to Miss Noonan for first addressing the former First Lady.

And while I could not see Mrs. Reagan when I spoke, I told her that I had worn a red tie in her honor (it is her favorite color) and then said, “Thank you for making him great.”  It’s what I’ve have always wanted to say to the former Nancy Davis.  Ronald Wilson Reagan had always been a good man.  It took a woman, the love of his life, to make him great.

Peggy said as much in her speech; “there was,” she said, “no him without her.  She was the stable platform from which . . . his midlife career was launched.”

And just as Ronald Reagan needed Nancy to become the great man, the great president, that he became in the second half of his life, so too did the Greek heroes need the guidance of a woman, in their case, the goddess Athena to achieve success in their endeavors.

So, I began my question to Peggy Noonan by introducing myself as “the blogger who compared you to Athena.”  She had not alas previously heard this reference, but before addressing my query, offered, “I’ve never been compared to the goddess Athena.  Thank you.”

And when she concluded her response, she thanked me again.  It more that made up for being caught in traffic and losing the opportunity to have her sign the books I had brought along just for that occasion.

On Gays Who Serve Despite DADT

Bill Quick offers the best succinct defense of these patriots I have heard to date, “Gays in the military have a greater respect for the liberties America offers than do those who hate them, and refuse to extend those liberties even to those who fight and die to preserve them.

Shouldn’t we want more such soldiers serving in our armed forces?