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Archives for April 2010
I don’t much care for opportunists. When New York Mayor MIchael Bloomberg left the GOP and became an independent, I wrote:
Except for the people who are deliberately mean and hateful, seeking to harm others — and those who are inconsiderate, indifferent to the feelings of others, I find opportunists to be the most irritating sort of human being. They don’t seem to believe in anything but their own advancement.
With his announcement yesterday, Florida Governor Charlie Crist showed himself to be just an individual, putting himself above all else. His erstwhile rival for the GOP nomination (and current rival for the U.S. Senate) Marco Rubio nailed it when he told ABC’s Terry Moran that the switch
. . . has nothing to do with ideas or principles or ideology; it’s about, quite frankly, political convenience. It’s about someone who wants to continue his career in politics and doesn’t believe he can do that this year within the Republican Party.
Former Florida Jeb Bush agrees, “This decision is not about policy or principles. It is about what he believes is in his political self-interest.“
And I don’t think his opportunism is going to pay off. With video clips showing the Governor saying he has no intention of leaving the GOP, declaring to support his then-party’s nominee, he’s going to be hard pressed to justify his move as a matter of principle. Republican policy has shifted significantly in the past three weeks.
If anyone’s changed, it’s Charlie, suddenly vetoing bills he once supported, calling a political system “broken” that once nurtured him. (According to Daniel Foster that was “the one billionth time an American political candidate has used that particular phrase to justify the pursuit of a personal ambition.“) [Read more…]
. . . but this did not deter her from entering as planned. Immediately upon her exit, the protesters lunged at the diplomat, prompting security guards to whisk her back into the hall. Following a consultation on the site, it was decided to escort her out of the premises in a police car.
The deputy ambassador was removed from the hall and into the police vehicle. However, this did not block the protesters, who surrounded the car and climbed on the hood, trying to break the windshield.
Have we ever seen Tea Party protesters so gang up on a spokesman for or defender of the Obama Administration? Climbing aboard a police vehicle and trying to smash its windshield?
So, do you think we might get a media narrative about the violence of anti-Israel protesters? And hear some criticism of this angry extremists from our talking heads, you know, like the hectoring we hear about the Tea Parties?
Yesterday he had a great piece in his daily newsletter that outlined the much more moderated, level-headed, and sober criticism of Arizona’s new immigration law. (You know, the one MSNBC declared “Makes it a Crime to be [an] Illegal Immigrant”.) I’ll cut and paste at length below the jump.
Well, leave it to Connie Mack, a guy who represents the 14th CD of Florida (which includes not a border with a dangerously unstable narco-nation, but, rather Naples) to destroy the concept of a temperate and reasoned objection (of which, admittedly, there are some):
This law of ‘frontier justice’ – where law enforcement officials are required to stop anyone based on ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they may be in the country illegally – is reminiscent of a time during World War II when the Gestapo in Germany stopped people on the street and asked for their papers without probable cause
Perhaps Representative Mack should do some investigating before he opened his mouth. The part I highlighted above is completely untrue and misrepresents the law totally. It could have come from Keith Olbermann. Maybe it did.
Clearly put, the law requires law enforcement to check citizenship only while engaged in “lawful contact“, i.e., pulled over already for, say, speeding or hazardously driving. Can this law perhaps be abused by bad cops? Abso-freakin’-lutely. But so can all the laws up to now. Not that this isn’t a legitimate concern, but to characterize this as some sort of Hitler-esque Stasi move is ridiculous and below a Congressman. Espeically a Republican one. Having an issue with this and it making one feel uncomfortable is fair. I’m not totally sold on it myself. But come on, Connie.
I believe this is the first time I have even chosen to put one of my posts in a category Bruce created, “Useless Nations.” Well, today the UN seems pretty useless, given the election of “Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged ‘immodest.’”
This is the same group whose Human Rights Council includes luminaries like China and Saudi Arabia. See now why Ahmadinejad always includes a passage in his annual speech about expanding the number of permanent members in the Security Council or giving more power to the General Assembly? In the interest of “equality,” there’s no laugh test for exerting influence at the UN.
Jennifer Rubin notes one nation that didn’t object to this choice:
The U.S. couldn’t muster a word of opposition — not even call for a vote. That would be because . . . why? Because our policy is not to confront and challenge the brutal regime for which rape and discrimination are institutionalized policies. No, rather, we are in the business of trying to ingratiate ourselves, and making the U.S. as inoffensive as possible to the world’s thugocracies. We’d no sooner object to Iran on the UN Commission on the Status of Women than we would leave the UN Council on Human Rights.
Matthew is the first candidate this blog endorsed in the 2010 elections. Openly gay and fiscally conservative, this smart young man clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas and is running against Jim Moran, one of only 15 House members to vote this past Tuesday to raise his own pay.
So, instead of supporting a Congressman who wants to increase the federal debt by raising his own salary, join me in helping fill the coffers of Berry’s campaign so he can amplify his conservative message in a very blue district in Northern Virginia.
In contrast to modern American conservatism which is a movement based on an idea, modern liberalism appears more a coalition based on a series of grievances. We on the right strive to promote policies which promote freedom at home and abroad. Those on the left seek to promote policies which punish (or otherwise constrain) the “oppressors,” be they corporations, Western militaries or white men in general, particularly those of the heterosexual Christian sort.
The dilemma for the left comes when elements of their coalition of the oppressed come into conflict. In the British publication, the Standpoint, Peter Whittle offers a hypothetical about a gay man teaching “in a state school in an area with a large Muslim population“:
It throws into sharp relief the dilemma which has petrified the Left and its fellow-travellers within the social, educational and cultural establishment. When two parts of your worldview collide, when your traditional support for gay rights conflicts with your staunch and uncritical support of ethnic minority cultures, what do you do? Relativism has tied your hands. You conjure the possible intellectual somersaults you could perform to justify your reasoning. And then you stay silent.
This silence, Whittle writes,
. . .ignores the widespread intolerance of homosexuality throughout the Muslim communities, which in Britain are growing up to ten times the rate of the rest. This community can only increase in power and predominance, especially when faced with a weak, vacillating establishment which will do anything to avoid making a scene, let along stand up for Western liberal values.
And it seems that for many gays on the left, those “liberal values” only kick in when the oppressor is not an approved “victim” group as, to many, Muslim groups have become:
Gays are pretty sensitive when it comes to detecting possible future persecution, which makes the relative silence about Islam — whether from denial or simple ignorance — all the more worrying. I’ve certainly found, when bringing up the subject on my travels around gay London, that one is usually met with the response: “Ah, well: it’s those Christian fundamentalists that worry me.” [Read more…]
The outgoing Florida governor’s decision to bolt the GOP, as Nick put it yesterday, has everything to do with ambition and little to do with the best interests of the Sunshine State. Oh, well, except in the mind of Charlie Crist who somehow believes that he and he alone has the capacity to represent Florida in the United States Senate.
The one-time Republican has already, tin cup in hand, reached out for support the one of the most partisan members of this Administration. Rahm Emanuel didn’t pick up.
Expect him to lose the endorsements of prominent Republicans who have previously backed him. Expect previously fence-sitting Republicans in the state, like the popular former Governor (and future presidential contender?) Jeb Bush to come out for Marcio Rubio. Crist’s fundraising was already slowing down. It may well start drying up. And some Republicans who supported the candidate when he was making a bid for the GOP nomination will be asking for their money back.
It didn’t have to come to this; Jim Geraghty looks at all the mistakes this once-popular politician made in his bid for the U.S. Senate.
With most Florida Republicans likely to rally around Rubio, it’s hard to see where Crist will draw his support. To be sure, he may still have a reservoir of good will among certain Sunshine State voters. But, will they stay with him if Marco Rubio surges in the general election matchups as he has in the Republican primary? Charlie’s only real path to victory is to push the Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek out of the race — or somehow make him irrelevant and pick up the slack among center-left voters.
A year ago, Charlie Crist was in many ways the future of the GOP, a handsome man with a winning smile and a knack for getting things done, elected on the Republican ticket in a swing state in a Democratic year. Unless he manages to eke out a victory this fall (a possibility, to be sure, but one I wouldn’t bet on), a year hence, he’ll be little more than a footnote in Florida history, a one-term governor with little prospect for higher office or national prominence.
UPDATE: Peter Wehner doesn’t mince words when commenting on Crist’s decision:
People like Charlie Crist, consumed by personal ambition and devoid of scruples about breaking their word, make the public cynical about politics. Crist will, I suspect, pay a high price for what he has done, since his motivations are so transparent and unprincipled.
Over at GayConservative.org, Mark has a post on the declining fortunes of the Log Cabin Republicans. Interesting he doesn’t mention the last head of the organization, Patrick Sammon, who might have been able to save the group had his predecessor, Patrick Guerriero, not so depleted its coffer and destroyed its credibility among rank-and-file Republicans. Or maybe Guerriero had just done the honorable thing and stepped down immediately after, his best efforts notwithstanding, George W. Bush won reelection in 2004.
Mark contends that, “Guerriero is single-handedly responsible for igniting the fire currently burning down the log cabin.” Now, I don’t entirely agree, but agree he’s onto something. The rot had already begun to set in before Guerriero took over. He just made it worse. He bent over backwards to repair the damaged relations between Log Cabin and the various gay organizations.
He didn’t understand the difference between being civil with (and keeping open lines of communication to) those groups and carrying water for them. During the 2004 election, first the Democratic vice presidential nominee, then the presidential nominee himself gave Log Cabin leaders a chance to show that their non-endorsement of Bush really was a statement of neutrality in the presidential race.
When each candidate successively brought up the sexuality of then-Vice President’s daughter, instead of just chastising John Kerry and John Edwards, Guerriero’s Log Cabin devoted more space in their press release on the topic to trashing George W. Bush and Karl Rove. It’s as if they saw their mission as attacking their fellow Republicans. Why did they feel it incumbent upon themselves to trash their party in a release on the errors of the other party’s nominee?
It seems they were more eager to get media attention than to change the party. For we all know how the media loves stories about Republican division.
Mark, however, contends that a gay GOP should work from within:
The fact is, when you claim to be a Republican organization, you should be supporting Republicans – especially when you are the only Republican organization representing gays. Even when Republican gays and Republican candidates don’t see eye to eye on LGBT issues, it is far better to work for change from within the party, than by attacking the party.
There’s more to Mark’s piece and I recommend you just read the whole thing. [Read more…]
Back in 1996, I had a telling conversation with a liberal acquaintance over Proposition 209, then pending before the voters of California. The initiative provided that the state “state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”
When I defended the proposition, holding that the state should not discriminate on the basis of minority status, my interlocutor told me that its passage meant that public universities in the Golden State would as a result be overwhelmingly Asian. So, I replied, if that’s the demographic breakdown you get when you judge by merit, then so be it.
He was stunned, assuming that I had supported Prop 209 for racial reasons. He assumed I had wanted a mostly white student body at California public universities. (I identified one of this man’s prejudiced assumptions. See if you can spot another.)
“A bright line was crossed on the 20th [of March],” says Christina Botteri, a spokeswoman for the Tea Party Federation. “The left constantly attacks conservatives as racist, as dumb, as evil, but what happened on the 20th is a sitting congressman, with the full voice and credibility of the House of Representatives, accused a group of citizens with whom he philosophically disagrees of assault and then refused to help find the persons responsible. They need to help us find the people responsible or apologize for making it up.”
Emphasis added. It seems, as Elizabeth Scalia puts it, “strange how Democrats in power seem to be incapable of doing anything, anymore, but cry “racism” at every turn? This is not the sign of a party (or an ideology) secure in itself.”
And maybe now we’re seeing what some have called a “paradigm shift” with conservatives having gained the media clout to stand up to the oft-repeated and long inaccurate accusation. From the Monitor: [Read more…]