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So, if conservatives win, it’s because voters are stupid?

What is it about certain members of the chattering classes on our nation’s coasts that whenever conservatives do well at the ballot box, their success must be attributed to something other than their ideas?

Ann Althouse, an Obama voter who teaches law at the University of Wisconsin, comments on something on something a fellow UW professor said.  In Bill Lueders’s Isthmus article subtitled “The Triumph of Stupidity“, he asks “political science professor Charles Franklin how people could vote the way they did, and when Franklin answers ‘They’re pretty damn stupid,’ he says, ‘Thank you, professor… That’s the answer I was looking for’“:

Frankly, it’s an answer embraced by many people I know. One of my Isthmus colleagues sent me a study showing that Dane County, which bucked the trends on Election Day, is by far the most educated county in the state. “When conservatives cut support for education,” she mused, “they do so to keep people dumb and their own interests in power.”

This prompts this blogress diva to reply:

Welcome to my world: Dane County, Wisconsin, home of people who tell themselves they are the smart people and those who disagree with them must certainly be dumb. They don’t go through the exercise of putting themselves in the place of someone who thinks differently from the way they do . . . . If you short circuit that process and go right to the assumption that people who don’t agree with you are stupid, how do you maintain the belief that you are, in fact, intelligent, informed, and well-meaning?

Read the whole thing.  It is a puzzling thing how so many people who style themselves to be so superior and smart simply assume their ideological adversaries are stupid.

Chris Christie Knows How to Lead in Times of Financial Crisis

Perhaps the most defining act of responsible Republican governance this past year was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision last month to kill “a proposed train tunnel under the Hudson River between North Jersey and Manhattan because his state’s share of the construction costs was too high.

This tunnel may well be a great idea and may well facilitate commutes between the Big Apple and the Garden State, but that latter jurisdiction is strapped for funds and, like any responsible enterprise, first has to meet the cost of essential services before proceeding to other improvements.   In the near future, political leaders are going to have to make many such choices where they will have to kill potentially beneficial projects because their jurisdictions lack the resources to pay for them.

Making such choices is a primary ingredient of a successful leader.  And not just in politics.  Anyone who has ever served on the board of a company or club knows what it’s like when you’re discussing ways to improve your organization.  People will come up with suggestions which the secretary often dutifully records.  And sometimes as you weigh the merits of various projects, with this or that member suggesting means to improve on the ideas, you’ll find your enthusiasm wane when the treasurer chimes in, reminding her fellow board members of the limited resources in your group’s kitty.

So, kudos to Governor Christie for adding a dose of common sense to our budgetary debates.  No wonder he’s been so dismissive of his state’s senior Senator’s criticism of the project, telling a reporter that all that Democrat “knows how to do is blow hot air“.  And that’s basically how governors are going to have to act when politicians, their appetite like that of the Cyclops in the Odyssey never sated, keep begging for more.

Jerry, are you paying attention?

The right response to David Frum on Reagan

So, CNN is running a column by Tea Party critic and Palin agonist David Frum on how to commemorate the centennial of the greatest domestic policy president of the twentieth century. Despite Frum’s chirping against a grassroots protest movement with a political philosophy nearly identical to the Gipper’s and a candidate who has his gift for communication (and enervating the left) while lacking his extensive reading and government experience, he does have a great suggestion: build a “museum in Washington dedicated to the victims of communism.

That would be a great tribute to the Gipper as it would highlight both his strong opposition to communism and his long-term love of liberty.

In response to Frum’s post, Sissy Willis tweets that the Tea Party is the “appropriate national commemoration of this good man and great president”.

Happy Birthday, George Eliot!

On this the 191st anniversary of the birth of the greatest English novelist, let me offer, in slightly modified form, the tribute I have offered in years past.  It is also the 114th anniversary of the birth of my late, beloved Aunt Ruth.  In her life, that great lady embodied the qualities of a heroine of an Eliot novels.

A few years back in anticipation of Eliot’s birthday, I watched the BBC version of the novel (featuring Ben Kingsley).  And the story got to me as the book always does.  It’s odd I who love books so much and am moved cry so little when I read (yet tear up frequently when watching movies).  Wwhenever I hear the story of the lonely weaver of Raveloe, however, whether in print, via the spoken word (i.e., book on tape/CD) or on screen, I am always touched, always lose it, so to speak it.

Ben Kingsley’s Silas plea to keep an apparently orphaned child who had strayed into his home, “It’s a lone thing; I’m a lone thing. . . . It’s come to me,” is the plea of every human being who has ever felt cut off from his fellows.  Indeed, that line in quintessetially George Eliot who so understood human loneliness and recognized our need for the companionship of our fellows.

And she delighted in the effect of a child on an adult with an open heart:

She [that child] was perfectly quiet now, but not asleep–only soothed by sweet porridge and warmth into that wide-gazing calm which makes us older human beings, with our inward turmoil, feel a certain awe in the presence of a little child, such as we feel before some quiet majesty or beauty in the earth or sky–before a steady glowing planet, or a full-flowered eglantine, or the bending trees over a silent pathway.

I rediscovered those words just a few nights ago. When I opened the book I had just purchased, I did not quite arrive at the short story I had just begun.  I plunged instead right back into the novel, starting this time in medias res, reading well over two chapters before sleep overtook me.

Such is the power of George Eliot’s prose, the images she invokes, the ideas she presents, the emotions she expresses. She helps us find words for our deepest thoughts and shows compassion for our everyday weaknesses. She seems to see into the troubles of all our lives and finds the balm in tender relations with our fellows.

And that was how I introduced my George Eliot birthday post: (more…)

John Boehner Shows What He’s Made Of

I have been pondering a post putting forward a conviction that is gradually crystallizing that John Boehner may well become a great Speaker of the House, exceeding the accomplishments of his most recent predecessors and securing the reputation as a transformational figure in American politics, a legislator who fulfills the Reagan legacy, a leader who, because of his temperament, completes what Newt Gingrich began (but because of his temperament could not complete).

This piece would focus more on that temperament than his ideology.  The notion first started coming into focus when I read portions of his September 30 AEI speech.  Even a piece by Michael Barone where the sage pundit opined that “Boehner is not likely to become as prominent a figure as Gingrich or Pelosi” helped this idea grow.  Barone contended that the “GOP freshmen will hold Boehner to his big promises”.  Indeed, the incoming Speaker has included two, South Carolina’s Tim Scott and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem in the GOP leadership for the 112th Congress.

That he turns to the incoming freshman suggests he’s aware of the ideas which helped them secure their victories.

The latest news to increase my confidence in my fellow Ohio native comes via the indispensable Jennifer Rubin.  In his “first press conference as the GOP’s officially favored choice for Speaker“, Boehner offered this on Obamacare’s prospects in the 112th Congress:

We think that Obamacare ruined the best healthcare in the country, we believe it will bankrupt our nation, we believe it needs to be repealed and replaced with commonsense reforms to bring down the cost of health insurance and you’ll see us move quickly enough . . . .

Could there be a more succinct formulation of the problems of Republican opposition to the Democrats’ legislative overhaul?   Boehner coupled this articulation of opposition with a promise of action.  This is not exactly what he needs to say on the issue at this time.  Once he becomes Speaker, we’ll need to see more specifics.

He does seem to be aware of the task ahead of him.

In defeat, Nancy’s not finding it easy to be a good sport

Remember what a crybaby the unhappy Barney Frank was in victory, unable to graciously acknowledge his opponent’s spirited, but, alas, unsuccessful campaign?  Well, as crass as the mean-spirited man from Massachusetts was in victory, his similarly septuagenarian party leader, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is graceless in defeat.

Via JammieWearingFool, comes her commentary on her successor’s tears.

Incoming Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said incoming Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is “known to cry.”

“You know what? He is known to cry. He cries sometimes when we’re having a debate on bills. If I cry, it’s about the personal loss of a friend or something like that. But when it comes to politics — no, I don’t cry. I would never think of crying about any loss of an office, because that’s always a possibility, and if you’re professional, then you deal with it professionally,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) told the New York Times magazine.

She noted: “I have deep emotions about the American people. If I were to cry for anything, I would cry for them and the policies that they’re about to face.”

How rich is this comment.  Couldn’t she just acknowledge the humanity of the man and many of us cry at emotionally challenging — or uplifting — moments?  Why does she have to use the occasion to try to lecture her partisan adversary on her superior temperament.  Well, if she she really believes what she says, she doesn’t lead by example.  Later in the post, JWF asks, “As to her claim she never cries over politics, how does she explain this performance?”  Yep, he’s got video of Pelosi crying over politics.

And her nastiness is on full display in her comment on the tears she claims she would shed.

Yup, he’s got the San Francisco Democrat demonstrating, by her own standard, some very unprofessional behavior.

Climate Change Conference: All About Spreading the Wealth

In the “Confirming-What-We-Already-Know” Department comes an entry from German economist and IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) official Ottmar Edenhofer. (Over at the American Thinker, Marc Shepard reminds us Edenhofer is the IPCC “Co-chair of Working Group III on Mitigation of Climate Change“.)

Given that the only solutions put forward to the supposed problem of global warming have been schemes which increase the power of governments, decrease the control individuals and private enterprises have over their own affairs and operations while promoting policies in line with the statist dreams of past utopian movements, we’ve thought their repetition of the dogma of climate change had more to do with economics than the environment.

And Mr. Edenhofer spells it out in terms so simple a child could understand it:

Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. . . .

First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

Nothing to do with environmental policy? Hmm. . . . To borrow an express, it’s all about spreading the wealth.

UPDATE:   Commenting on Edendorfer’s remarks, James Delingpole calls the unelected bureaucrat and his environmental ilk, “Watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside. This is the theme of my forthcoming book on the controlling,  poisonously misanthropic and aggressively socialistic instincts of the modern environmental movement.”  (H/t:  Instapundit.)

Did D.C.-based gay groups develop strategy for action in 111th Congress? Do they have one for the 112th?

As the Pelosi Democrats prepare to yield power in the House to the Boehner Republicans, I wonder whether in the various meeting rooms of the gay groups in our nation’s capital, they are developing strategies to reach out to people whose language many of the groups’ leaders are loath to understand:  Republicans.

I wonder as well what kind of meetings these groups had two years ago, as Democrats cemented their control of Congress and were about to take control of the executive branch.  Did they just exult in the electoral successes of their preferred political party, believing that because the then-incoming majority was filled with well-meaning liberals who loved the gays that they were sure to act swiftly on their policy priorities?  Or did they develop a strategy to ensure that the Democrats kept their promises on a whole range of issues from repeal of DADT and DOMA to passage of ENDA as well as legislation recognizing same-sex civil unions.

It would seem that the smart strategy would have been to prioritize those issues so as to work on them one at a time, starting with the proverbial lowest hanging fruit, the most popular legislation.  Then, with priorities in place, they would be better prepared to reach out to their allies on the Hill and in the Administration to develop a time-frame for each.  Perhaps, they did develop such a strategy and from my perspective here on the West Coast, I was not privy to it.

But, from the various releases I received from these groups — not to mention the knowledge I gained reading their web-sites — it seemed they had adopted a scattershot approach, reminding us of the imperative of each of these issues instead of choosing to prioritize these issues and push them one at a time. (more…)

Incoming GOP governors opt for budget cuts/fiscal discipline

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:18 pm - November 18, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Big Government Follies

Catch the editorializing in the first line of this AP piece on the new crop of Republican governors:

Incoming Republican governors from Pennsylvania to New Mexico are vowing to keep campaign promises to slice already cut-to-the-bone budgets and balance them without raising taxes.

In doing so, GOP leaders intent on conservative governance signaled a desire to try to fundamentally change state government, shrinking it significantly. And they acknowledged that could mean more job losses and service cuts to already recession-hammered states anticipating more budget trouble ahead.

The article as a whole is pretty even-handed, showing that these incoming governors understand the fiscal challenges ahead of them.

That said, for AP National Political Writer Liz Sidoti to suggest that state government budgets are already “cut-to-the-bone” ignores the profligate record of many state legislatures in recent yeas, a profligacy hidden by the payments in the Democrats’ “stimulus” to fund various state services.

It would be nice if Ms. SIdoti could acknowledge that many of these incoming chief executives face the problems they do because of the profligacy of their predecessors, many of the Democrats.

Looks like Chris Christie’s got some company coming in the new crop of governors-elect.

Democratic Senator Doesn’t Like Meanies In Cable News

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:08 pm - November 18, 2010.
Filed under: Arrogance of the Liberal Elites

Speaking of the hubris of Democrats, take a listen to something the senior Senator from West Virginia said recently:

I hunger for quality news. I’m tired of the right and the left. There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC, “Out. Off. End. Goodbye.” It’d be a big favor to political discourse, our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and, more importantly, in their future.

Does the “quality news” for which he hungers mean “journalism” which only reports on the comments he makes and the policies he supports in a favorable manner?  Look, Mr. Rockefeller, you’ve been in the Senate for 26 years, using your family’s vast resources to help finance your various campaigns.

Seems this fella thinks “the reason people have lost faith in government is because of… Fox News and MSNBC.”  You know, Jay, it just might be you and your big-spending colleagues.  Ever think that the problem might be those crafting the message and not the messengers?

If ol’ Jay just can’t get his message out, then, then, well the media just has to be at fault because, well, his message is just so good and wonderful that everyone will just like it because, well, he crafted it and thinks it must be really, super good.

But, Mr. Rockefeller, the problem isn’t the messenger, it’s the message.  So, maybe he should consider another line of work in line with the advice of one one celebrated leader of his party “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Hubris of the Democrats’ Failed “Messaging” Narrative

It must have been sometime during the health care debate when the polls on Obamacare started going significantly south that the president started complaining that if only it weren’t for FoxNews, he’d be able to get his message across and people would support his health care overhaul.  It seems the comment lament on the left that when Democrats lose elections, it’s all because of messaging — and never the message.  Heck, someone even wrote a book about it.

This, Timothy Dalrymple writes, provides “a convenient narrative for the midterm slaughter“:

In a 60 Minutes interview after the midterms, Obama was asked whether the problem was that his administration had failed to sell its successes. He was only too eager to agree. It is barely a criticism.  Bravely taking responsibility for this failing, he said, “We were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn’t just legislation, that it’s a matter of persuading people.”

(Via Instapundit.)  Yet, as David Harsanyi pointed out yesterday in his Denver Post column, there are a number of problems to that bunch of health-care stuff the president and his team got done.  The Administration’s numbers don’t add up.  And despite its “fuzzy math” (to borrow an expression), Harsayni finds the The White House repeating it’s mantra of having “a ‘messaging’ problem when it comes to health care reform. As in, a’ you’re-not-buying-our-message’ problem.

Even when the evidence fails to match up with their expectations, all too many on the left refuse to believe that the problem may be one of their policies.  Obamacare can’t lead to increase costs; the policy was designed to contain costs.   Indeed, when some corporations announced that Obamacare would “will cost their companies hundreds of millions of dollars in health insurance expenses“, my Congressman who happens to chair the House Energy & Commerce Committee (but not for long) summoned their chief executives to his star chamber committee informing them that “The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern.

How arrogant to think he knows more about running business than those who actually run businesses. (more…)

Majority Leader-Elect Cantor Favors Cutting NPR Funding

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:10 am - November 18, 2010.
Filed under: Congress (111th),Media Bias,Noble Republicans

I’m liking incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor more and more every day.  Seems he’s serious about cutting funding for public broadcasting.  Just look at what he posted yesterday on his web-site:

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) released the following statement to announce this week’s YouCut winner, a proposal that would eliminate taxpayer-funded support for National Public Radio (NPR) potentially saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

“On November 2nd, Americans sent an undeniable message to Washington to end wasteful spending. In the new Republican majority, the YouCut program will be an integral part of our effort to transform the culture of spending in Washington into one of savings. Americans have cast over 2.4 million YouCut votes, and the mandate to rein in spending has never been more clear.”

“This week’s winning spending cut is a proposal developed by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) that would eliminate taxpayer funding for National Public Radio. When NPR executives made the decision to unfairly terminate Juan Williams and to then disparage him afterwards, the bias of their organization was exposed. Make no mistake, it is not the role of government to tell news organizations how to operate. What is avoidable, however, is providing taxpayer funds to news organizations that promote a partisan point of view. Eliminating taxpayer funding for NPR is precisely the kind of common sense cut that we have to begin making if we want to fundamentally alter the way business is conducted in Washington.

Emphasis added. (Love the fact that his web-site identifies him as Majority Leader-elect and not as Minority Whip, his current title.)

It seems there will be a vote on the House floor later today.  Just like MSNBC and FoxNews, NPR should not have to rely upon government funding to support its operations.

It’s nice to see a Republican leader finally have the courage to press for eliminating government support for this network, particularly in an era of trillion-dollar deficits.

On the declining power of Nancy Pelosi

About two months before the fall elections, I received a review copy of Rochelle Schweizer’s biography of the outgoing House Speaker, She’s the Boss: The Disturbing Truth About Nancy Pelosi.  I tried to finish it before those elections as I thought it would likely be remaindered soon after, but other obligations got in the way.  One thing which came clear as I read about the rise of the San Francisco Democrat was just how ruthless she can be, how determined she was as she climbed the political ladder and how much control she exercised over her caucus.

She did manage to push some pretty controversial votes through the House when she wielded the gavel.  But, with her party’s loss of over 60 seats earlier that month, her power is waning.  She will never again rule her caucus with the iron fist she exercised for the better part of the current Congress.

Yesterday, she did not receive the unanimous vote of that caucus in its leadership elections.  As Jonathan Allen and John Bresnaham wrote in Politico:

But the 43 votes against her reveal that a divided caucus — still reeling from the loss of at least 61 seats — will not be as pliable for the California Democrat as it once was.

There will be more votes in coming days on limiting Pelosi’s control of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Rules and Steering committees, but she is expected to win those fights, too. And there may be tough policy votes ahead in the new Congress, as House Republicans try to lure the anti-Pelosi forces to their side on key issues.

I daresay Minority Leader Pelosi won’t be able to hold her caucus together in the 112th Congress as she did in the 111th.  Those moderates who survived, but just barely, will want to avoid the fate of their colleagues who, through no choice of their own, won’t be returning to Capitol Hill next January.

Reid Says Vote on DADT repeal imminent

Let’s hope that this time Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reaching across the aisle to Republicans like Susan Collins who favor lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the military.  This repeal legislation wisely allows the military to craft a policy allowing for open service by gay men and lesbians:

The legislation would allow for the first time gay troops to acknowledge publicly their sexual orientation. However, the repeal of the current law would take effect after the president and his top military advisers certify that doing so would not hurt the military’s ability to fight.

The bill was considered a deal struck earlier this year between more liberal Democrats eager to change the law and the White House, under pressure by the Pentagon to give it more time to determine how to repeal the law without causing any backlash.

Therein lies the advantage of going through the legislature.  Instead of allowing a federal judge, with no military experience herself, to determine when and how the military should lift the ban, this bill gives the president’s military advisors the opportunity to ensure that lifting the ban will not compromise military effectiveness.  Military officials, not judicial ones, will make the final decision.

Fascinating how the New York Times begins its report on the article by seeing Reid’s move as a “direct challenge to Republicans who support the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell”’ policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces” as if this were all a game of one-upmanship with the GOP — and not a matter of national security.  Times “reporter” David Herzensohn doesn’t mention any Republicans who support the ban.

It does look like the Nevada Democrat is committed to repeal.  Let’s hope he doesn’t repeat the blunders the made the last time he tried to move the legislation.


Muslims sentence gays to death as part of Sharia law and America’s Gay progressives & media are silent.

Willow Palin rants on Facebook — OUTRAGE!

Would GOP have made greater gains with different RNC chair?

Writing in Politico, Jessica Taylor reminds us that when you look beyond Republican gains in Congress to the party’s victories in various state legislatures, “the bloody picture for Democrats nationwide becomes even more gruesome. Several state legislatures made historic transitions to Republican hands — some for the first time since the 19th century — and nearly an entire generation of state Democrats saw its ranks obliterated.

Yet another story in Politico causes us to wonder if that picture would have been even bloodier had the Republicans had a more effective leader at the helm of the Republican National Committee (RNC).  In resigning yesterday from his post, Republican National Committee political director Gentry Collins delivered “a stinging indictment of Chairman Michael Steele’s two-year tenure at the committee“:

In a four-page letter to Steele and the RNC’s executive committee obtained by POLITICO, Collins lays out inside details, previously only whispered, about the disorganization that plagues the party. He asserts that the RNC’s financial shortcomings limited GOP gains this year and reveals that the committee is deeply in debt entering the 2012 presidential election cycle.

“In the previous two non-presidential cycles, the RNC carried over $4.8 million and $3.1 million respectively in cash reserve balances into the presidential cycles,” Collins writes, underlining his words for emphasis. “In stark contrast, we enter the 2012 presidential cycle with 100% of the RNC’s $15 million in lines of credit tapped out, and unpaid bills likely to add millions to that debt.”

The short version of the RNC’s 2010 troubles as described by Collins: The committee couldn’t afford to run an independent expenditure ad campaign on behalf of their candidates, didn’t fund a paid voter turnout operation for Senate and gubernatorial races, left its vaunted 72-Hour turnout program effectively unfunded, offered only a fraction of the direct-to-candidate financial contributions they made four years ago and dramatically scaled back its support of state parties. . . . (more…)

Obamacare panel threatens health of people with HIV

One of the strongest criticisms leveled against Obamacare is that the Democrats’ unpopular health-care overhaul creates multitudinous panels of unelected bureaucrats to regulate decisions once made by doctors in consultation with their patients.  Now comes evidence that one such panel, Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), could make cuts which compromise the care of people living with HIV.

While supportive of the health care law, former friend of Bill (Clinton) David Mixner contends that because “nearly 100,000 people with HIV rely on Medicare for coverage“, IPAD “will disrupt the doctor-patient relationship”:

For many people with HIV, finding the right doctor is the most important decision they’ll make. But IPAB is likely to drastically cut reimbursements to physicians, prompting many to leave the Medicare system. Doctors that treat HIV/AIDS are highly trained specialists that are particularly sensitive to payment cuts.

Make no mistake: Pushing HIV specialists out of Medicare will compromise patients’ health. Treating HIV/AIDS is extremely complicated. HIV specialists fight an array of progressive, often life-threatening complications with multiple medications that require close and ongoing monitoring. And since many patients become resistant to their medication over time, treatment regimens must change frequently.

And that’s not the only problem with this unelected bureaucracy.  In addition, Mixner finds that “patients and their doctors cannot appeal IPAB’s decisions” while the program lacks adequate congressional oversight.  Not just that, “IPAB will scare away funding for medical research.”  Read the whole thing.

For all the carping against the American medical system that existed prior to Obamacare, we do know that it delivered myriad medical innovations, including many which have prolonged the lives of people with HIV, allowing them to manage the infection.  The more the government meddles, the less likely it will be that researchers find a cure.

Tommy Thompson, who served as the secretary of Health and Human Services in the Bush Administration believes the Board should be repealed. Seems like this is something House Republicans should take up in the next Congress.

Palin-haters’ panties in bundle over teenager’s off-color comment

So obsessed have our media become with promoting their narrative that Sarah Palin is an out-of-touch socially backward loon that they’re now raising a ruckus over something her teenage daughter said on her Facebook page.  Let me repeat, they’re raising a ruckus over something her teenage daughter said on her Facebook page.  No, this is not something Sarah Palin said nor something her Dancing-with-the-Stars daughter said, but something her daughter who has not yet reached the age of maturity said.

A number of lefty bloggers have gotten their panties all in a bundle over the issue while conservative bloggers chuckle from the sidelines and wonder at the lefties’ obsession.  “This,” R.S. McCain reminds us, “is just how teenagers insult each other.”  Bob Owens feigns incredulity, asking if this is news.

As usual, our pal Tammy Bruce, this time in her role as Chair of the GOProud Advisory Council, adds a dose of common sense:

Willow Palin is a 16 year old girl who, like all 16 year olds is going to make mistakes and say things she shouldn’t have. This, however, has nothing to do with Willow Palin or the substance of what she said on Facebook. The ‘slur’ used here is one you could hear on the streets of West Hollywood or Chelsea every day of the week.  Apparently, it’s only a ‘homophobic slur’ when it comes from the daughter of a conservative female leader.  Make no mistake; this is all about destroying Sarah Palin by any means necessary.

The angry misogynistic left and their accomplices in the main stream media have been unable to take down Governor Palin – no matter how hard they have tried. Unable to take her down directly they now have decided to try to hurt her by attacking the most important thing in her life – her family.

Any person, gay or straight, who participates in this cheap political smear should be ashamed of themselves.

UPDATE: Seems Jon Stewart and I are on the same page: (more…)

The political & practical limits of ignoring social issues

One of our critics and one of our staunchest defenders respectively got at the weakness in the argument GOProud and this blog have been making asking the GOP to sidestep social issues.

The critic, Tim, in a comment, contended that my “compromise of not discussing social issues” means that Congress will not move forward on DADT and DOMA repeal while “immigration reform for gays will languish. Somehow,” he adds, “the status quo doesn’t seem that great.”

In a blog post, styled as an open letter to GOProud, North Dallas Thirty looks at the status quo from a different angle and also finds it also not great:

But the key to dealing with social issues is not to ignore them completely. Indeed, by making them off-limits, you infuriate those whose support you need and leave yourself open for the Obama Party to exploit them against you. . . .

Take, for instance, abortion.

Regardless of how you feel about it, the simple fact is this: Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi rammed through a bill that not only requires you as a taxpayer to fund abortion, but for that money to be sent to organizations who are covering up statutory rape and refusing to notify parents — and then donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to that same Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.

Read the whole thing, not necessarily because I agree with it, but because I do believe he raises some valuable points.  He suggest that instead of avoiding social issues, we “grab” and “reframe them.”

NDXXX is spot on about abortion.  But, I see that not so much as a social issue, but more as a fiscal.  No government should pay for abortion.

And yes, I do acknowledge that social conservatives are part of the GOP coalition.  But, Republicans risk losing independent voters if they bend over backwards trying to appease these folks.  So, keep the focus on fiscal issues, but make clear they understand social conservatives’ concern.

The less government is involved in our lives, the greater influence private institutions will have.  The government should not mandate that social conservatives pay for a medical procedure they find abhorrent. (more…)

House Democrats vote to increase incoming Republican majority

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:47 pm - November 17, 2010.
Filed under: Congress (112th)

House Democrats keep Nancy Pelosi as their leader

UPDATE:  The Hill has more on her reelection:

Despite the party’s drubbing in the midterm elections, Speaker Nancy Pelosi will remain the Democratic leader in the next Congress.

Members of the caucus voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to make Pelosi minority leader, brushing aside a challenge by Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), a Blue Dog Democrat who says Pelosi’s controversial public image and low approval ratings are a liability to Democrats looking ahead to 2012.

The tally was 150-43.

Read the whole thing to see just how clueless is the unhappy Barney Frank.  That career politician “asserted that Pelosi had ‘virtually nothing’ to do with the poor election outcome for Democrats.”  I’m trying to figure out just why so many people think this man is so smart.  Yeah, he is pretty clever, but his comments show that he’s little more than a lickspittle for his party’s leader, basically just a hack with a reputation for smarts.

UP-UPDATE:  I’m indebted to one of our readers for reminding me of the above.  In a comment to a recent post, tom swift weighed in on the mean-spirited Massachusetts Democrat:

What I always considered most loathsome about the guy was that he was obviously pretty smart, but he never let that stand in his way. He has always been one of the most slavishly sycophantic devotees of the liberal fads of the day, even the most absurd and disastrous ones. If he’s going to act and vote the same as the stupidest person in the legislature, what’s the point? I expect – no, demand – that an intelligent man use his gifts. Barney simply doesn’t pass the test.

As always, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.