For all the Democrats who are loud champions of the gay and lesbian community whenever there is a culture battle waging, now is the opportunity to speak out against an ideology that calls for the murder of gays and lesbians. ISIS and the theocracy in Iran (supported with American taxpayer dollars) regularly murder homosexuals, throwing them from buildings and burying them under rocks. This is wrong, it is evil, and we must all stand against it. Every human being has a right to live according to his or her faith and conscience, and nobody has a right to murder someone who doesn’t share their faith or sexual orientation. If you’re a Democratic politician and you really want to stand for LGBT, show real courage and stand up against the vicious ideology that has targeted our fellow Americans for murder.
Up front, let me say that I really do admire Rep. Paul Ryan and thought he was the best decision (not that there’s a lot of competition for the title) that Mitt Romney made during his failed bid for the White House in 2012. Whatever his titular role, he is definitely a thought-leader and a Republican the party turns to on many important issues.
There’s something odd in the way his quest for the speakership has been reported in the press that makes me a little uneasy. (Okay, another caveat: It’s altogether possible that the press isn’t reporting any of this accurately, so that’s why I’m not willing to say simply No.)
Basically he’s requiring that the entire Republican caucus line up behind him before he’d take the job; no clumping together enough factions for a slim majority, he wants everybody on board.
Again, I’m not behind closed doors with Republicans, but best I can tell, that conversation likely went down one of two ways:
A) “Okay guys, here’s my vision. These are my top 3, 5, or 10 priorities, strategies on how to accomplish them, and what life will look like if we’re successful. I’ve put it all out there, and if elected, y’all should be prepared to see me work hard toward these goals. Who’s with me?”
B) “Okay guys, here’s the thing: I don’t want to hear anymore of y’all’s bullshit. And I’m not going to preside over a bunch of guys yelling at each other and not getting along. So if you want me to be your Speaker, I want to see 100% of you behind me, and a pledge that you won’t throw me over the ledge like you did with that guy from Ohio. Who’s with me?”
The concern should be pretty obvious:
If it went down (is going down) like A, that shows true leadership: Putting forward a vision and seeking support
If it went down like B, he’s saying he’ll only become the leader if the group doesn’t need one. What sort of leadership is that?
Again, I don’t know, and I’d like to think that Ryan is an upstanding dude with his head spun on straight. But if the last 20 or so years of politics has taught me anything, it’s that there are no heroes and none of these guys really do anything that isn’t in their own best interest.
What do you think?
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)
If the Westboro Baptist Street Theater Troupe shows up in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal will make sure they receive state-funded accommodations.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal threatened to “lock up” protesters from the controversial Westboro Baptist Church if they demonstrate outside the funeral of the two women who died this week in a shooting at a Lafayette theater.
“If they come here to Louisiana, if they disrupt that funeral, we are going to lock them up,” Jindal said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
I read that King Abdullah of Jordan (whom I have actually met) is going to personally lead retaliatory airstrikes against ISIS after they burned that Jordanian pilot to death. That’s a very badass contrast to how our “leadership” responds to terrorism.
Brian Williams is reporting that King Abdullah has asked him to be his wing man.
“We cannot stand by and allow our openness to be confused with a tolerance of extremism, or one that encourages different cultures to live separate lives and allows people to behave in ways that run completely counter to our values. Adhering to British values is not an option or a choice, it is a duty for those who live in these islands, and in the end, it is only by standing up for these values that we will defeat this extremism, protect our way of life, and keep all our people safe.”
“I want to say immediately that Russia is far from getting involved into any large-scale conflicts. We do not want and do not intend to do this. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words. We are strengthening our nuclear deterrence forces and our armed forces. They are getting more compact and more efficient at the same time. They are getting more modernized in terms of their supply with the latest armaments. We continue building up this potential and we’ll be doing this in the future.”
“We don’t have a strategy.”
In a country not run by moonbats, the brutal beheading of an American citizen would warrant a more significant response than Obama’s usual hashtag diplomacy. (#BringBackOurHeads)
In a country not ruled by moonbats, you would not find a state governor openly siding with the savages that are looting and burning one of his cities, demanding that a policeman be prosecuted before an investigation has taken place, and, oh, by the way, allowing the accomplice of a thug to walk free.
In a country not run by moonbats, thugs and rabble-rousers would not be permitted to block the portage of a ship engaged in legitimate lawful commerce.
In a country not run by moonbats, the media might find more important stories to cover than the name of a football team.
Canadians are so polite, mild-mannered, modest, unassuming, open-minded. Thank God my family fled that oppressive influence before it could change me.
I might add that Canadians are also extremely efficient. No red tape at all in handling my application to renounce citizenship. They had that thing approved before I even sent it in. The simple truth is that for a very brief time my family lived on the plains of Calgary. That does not make me a Canadian. Although Elizabeth Warren says that it does make me an Algonquin Indian. Of course, my family is Cuban… At first, when he got here, my dad washed dishes for 50 cents an hour. He was so low on the totem pole where he worked that even Marco Rubio’s father bossed him around.
Kind of reminds one of Reagan, don’t you think?
When I first heard that President Obama was asking Congress to vote on a resolution authorizing him to act against Syria, I thought he was doing the right thing, but then the more I considered the issue, the weaker I realized the move was. And the more political.
My gut sense is that Obama really doesn’t want to take action against the Syrian regime.
And perhaps he is hoping that this move will further divide Republicans. And a Republican Party at war with itself can’t do a good job taking the fight during in the 2014 election cycle.
And should a coalition of libertarian Republicans, partisans who put bucking Obama ahead of the national interest and dovish Democrats opposed to any flexing of American muscle manage to defeat the (unnecessary) legislative authorization, Obama will blame not his fellow Democratic, but the opposition Republicans for denying him the ability to act.
My advice to Speaker Boehner would be to ask all House Republicans to make statements similar to this one: “I don’t think the president needs our approval to act. (President Bill Clinton didn’t ask for congressional authorization before initiating airstrikes against Yugoslavia on behalf of Kosovo.) But, the president has asked for our permission. We are voting for the resolution to show we recognize his responsibility in the matter; we hope he will act in the best interest of the country.”
This at least would make it more challenging for Obama to blame Republicans. And the explanation would help prevent this from becoming a precedent, potentially hamstringing future presidents.
Obama could have delivered a speech similar to that Secretary Kerry gave. And with that, authorized our armed forces to attack Syrian airbases. Or he could have explained why it was not in our national interest to act. Instead, he has advertised his indecision on the matter. Never a good strategy for a leader.
ADDENDUM: A test of Obama’s sincerity on the matter will be how aggressively he lobbies Congress on behalf of this resolution. If he doesn’t actively lobby legislators to pass the bill, then he shouldn’t blame them for its failure. (Bear in mind my word choice; “shouldn’t” doesn’t mean “won’t.”)
Dan has written a few good posts already about Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as both someone who should be viewed as a “feminist icon,” and as a woman who who rose to power “by dint of her own striving,” in the words of Meryl Streep. In the second post, Dan asked a rhetorical question about the reception of strong, conservative women in politics: “Why is it that certain conservative leaders, particularly women who capture the public imagination, endure this ‘special hatred and ridicule’?”
Dan’s question reminded me of something I saw at the Daily Caller. On Geraldo Rivera’s radio program yesterday, Ann Coulter claimed that, according to sources allegedly close to Thatcher, Lady Thatcher wanted to meet with Sarah Palin to give her advice about presenting herself more effectively:
“One thing that I know, because I know people who know her, is when Sarah Palin first burst on the scene, she wanted to have a meeting with Palin, because she saw raw political talent, but wanted to teach Sarah Palin to do what she did,” Coulter said. “I just know it from friends of hers — to teach [Palin] to speak proper English. Sarah Palin did not meet with her. And just a year or two ago, when Sarah Palin was promoting some reality show or something, she went to England and she announced to the press that she was planning on dropping by to see Lady Thatcher. And Lady Thatcher put out the word that she would not be available.”
I have no clue as to the reliability of Coulter’s sources in this instance or the veracity of those reports, but regardless of whether the story is true or whether it is merely apocryphal, it does serve to illustrate some key differences among Thatcher, Palin, and the political environment that exists in the U.S. today as opposed to that that existed in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s.
There should be no doubt that the left in Britain hated Thatcher as much as the left in America hates Palin–and has ever since she lambasted Obama in her convention speech in September 2008. But despite that similarity and the fact that both Palin and Thatcher are strong, outspoken conservative women, it strikes me as a sort of revisionist history to suggest, as Coulter implicitly does, that Palin’s situation today might have taken a very different course had she met with Thatcher when she “first burst on the scene,” whenever, exactly, that was.
Thatcher rose to prominence in Britain over many years in the British House of Commons, a branch of parliament known for its particularly rowdy and confrontational style of debate and discussion. Thatcher did well in that environment and successfully managed to become the head of her party there. Thatcher’s history of rising to power through parliament bears some similarities to the manner in which Palin rose to become governor of Alaska and to take on the entrenched interests of her own party.
But the similarities end there. The crucial difference is that Thatcher’s rise to power occurred on a broader political stage than Palin’s did, and given the short timeframe in which Palin went from being a governor to being a national figure, it should be evident that she had few opportunities to shape the counter-narrative that the media and the left started putting out about her shortly after she “burst on the scene.”
Short of advising her not to do an interview with Katie Couric, I can’t imagine what Lady Thatcher could have said or done to help Palin navigate the treacherous waters of the 2008 presidential campaign, and that was especially the case as long as Palin’s fate was tied to that of John McCain, one of the most conciliatory candidates I have ever seen run for the presidency.
After the campaign ended, Margaret Thatcher might have been able to help Palin gain a little more polish, perhaps, but I doubt that would have done anything to change the situation in which Palin found herself, with lawsuit after lawsuit filed against her in Alaska, until she ultimately decided to resign as governor in July 2009. Although the media’s harsh attacks on Palin greatly damaged her image with a large segment of the public at large, I would argue that Palin’s decision to step down as governor had more of an impact on dampening enthusiasm for her as a candidate for the presidency in 2012 among many conservatives.
Palin’s story is still being written. Whether or not she decides to run for elective office again remains to be seen. While I have no doubt that Margaret Thatcher could have given her some excellent advice and guidance, it also seems rather like wishful thinking to suggest that Palin’s political fortunes would be dramatically different today had she met with Thatcher many years ago.
Update: Nile Gardner first reported that the Thatcher-Palin story was a hoax when he wrote about it in 2011. (Hat Tip: Professor Jacobson.) Of course, as The Right Scoop asks, that makes one wonder what Coulter is trying to accomplish by repeating it.
But to me [Margaret Thatcher] was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit. To have come up, legitimately, through the ranks of the British political system, class bound and gender phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement. To have won it, not because she inherited position as the daughter of a great man, or the widow of an important man, but by dint of her own striving. To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas– wrongheaded or misguided as we might see them now-without corruption- I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle. To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.
Why is it that certain conservative leaders, particularly women who capture the public imagination, endure this “special hatred and ridicule”?
Notable that Ms. Streep has grown to admire Mrs. Thatcher even as she hints at her own disagreement with the Iron Lady’s policies. Would it that there were more like her, individuals able to admire their ideological adversaries.