Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley, Jr., R.I.P.

By the Editors of National Review

Our revered founder, William F. Buckley Jr., died in his study this morning.

If ever an institution were the lengthened shadow of one man, this publication is his. So we hope it will not be thought immodest for us to say that Buckley has had more of an impact on the political life of this country — and a better one — than some of our presidents. He created modern conservatism as an intellectual and then a political movement. He kept it from drifting into the fever swamps. And he gave it a wit, style, and intelligence that earned the respect and friendship even of his adversaries. (To know Buckley was to be reminded that certain people have a talent for friendship.)

He inspired and incited three generations of conservatives, and counting. He retained his intellectual and literary vitality to the end; even in his final years he was capable of the arresting formulation, the unpredictable insight. He presided over NR even in his “retirement,” which was more active than most people’s careers. It has been said that great men are rarely good men. Even more rarely are they sweet and merry, as Buckley was.

When Buckley started National Review — in 1955, at the age of 29 — it was not at all obvious that anti-Communists, traditionalists, constitutionalists, and enthusiasts for free markets would all be able to take shelter under the same tent. Nor was it obvious that all of these groups, even gathered together, would be able to prevail over what seemed at the time to be an inexorable collectivist tide. When Buckley wrote that the magazine would “stand athwart history yelling, ‘Stop!’” his point was to challenge the idea that history, with a capital H, pointed left. Mounting that challenge was the first step toward changing history’s direction. Which would come in due course.

Before he was a conservative, Buckley was devoted to his family and his Church. He is survived by his son Christopher and brothers Reid and James and sisters Priscilla, Carol, and Patricia. Our sadness for them, and for us, at his passing is leavened by the hope that he is now with his beloved wife, Patricia, who died last year.

This Blog Authored By Arthur Roger Abramson III

Yep, that's my full name. A little ostentatious, no? The "III" makes it sound to some like I'm some kind of blue-blood, which is not true (I am happy that I was never saddled with "Trey," which wouldn't have worked well with "Abramson" anyway). And as for Arthur, as wonderful a name it may have been for my grandfather, it's a little dated for the 21st century. For a few years, I tried to go professionally by "A. Roger Abramson" to differentiate myself from my father, but "A" is a clumsy letter for these purposes, and I finally gave it up after the 100th half-wit made the "Is this "A Roger Abramson or THE Roger Abramson?" joke.

So, plain old "Roger Abramson" it is. And this fella's name is Barack Obama, which in itself is problematic enough without adding the "Hussein" bit.

Go after his positions, not the name he was stuck with. There's plenty there. If you can't knock him off on substance, you don't deserve to win.

P.S. This brings to mind a question I've had for a while. Where did Robin Smith come from?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Take Five

1. Matt Pulle versus one of the worst blogs in the local blogosphere.

2. I'm sure that John McCain's advisors are convening right now to consider what, if anything, they can do to win over the highly influential Mark Rose. (Hey! Glen Dean thinks people just rip on Mark Rose because he's a committed Christian. -- ed. Yeah, that's the reason.)

3. "He is essentially an honorable person, but he can be imprudent."

(By the way, The New York Times ripping John McCain hurts him how exactly? More please.)

4. It's an older post, but I have to confess to some surprise over Sarah Moore's negativity toward John McCain. She strikes me as the sort of Republican who would dig him, or at least not actively dislike him. Interesting.

5. Universal health care.

Monday, February 18, 2008

For the Record

John McCain's most significant contribution to America:

Five-and-a-half years in the Hanoi Hilton.'s most significant contribution to America:

"My Humps"

Just saying.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Take Five

1. Seeing Hillary Clinton (and, by extension, Bill) twist and sway in the wind is a thrill to behold. For this alone, I consider this election year a success.

2. Even if you don't like Barack Obama's politics how could you not like him? In that sense, he is a bit like Ronald Reagan.

3. Huh? Doesn't a "50 percent chance" mean one out of two, in other words basically a coin flip? That's actually a pretty high probability as these things go, no? What am I missing here?

4. Republican voters tend to be happier because they draw from a "happier"--or, perhaps, more content--demographic. That's one reason why they're conservative: they kind of like things the way they are, at leat partly because it's working for them. Just my opinion anyway. There are certainly other factors at work, though, and the receding is not to imply that there's something wrong with that attitude. Perhaps thing sare working for them because they're doing the right things in life which others might try emulating.

5. I'm hearing some talk about having J.C. Watts as John McCain's running mate under the theory, I suppose, that he's black, and will serve as a counterweight in that respect to an Obama-led Democratic ticket, if that happens. I think this sort of thing has a high potential for backfiring. It will look like McCain just stuck him on there because he's black, which, frankly, wouldn't be far from the truth. It would look like the worst kind of cynical tokenism and would only bolster Democratic prospects. McCain just needs a VP with whom conservatives can be happy and who doesn't otherwise weaken the ticket. Someone who could bring his or her state into the GOP column wouldn't hurt either, but I'd consider that a bonus.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Lion Speaks

Some good advice for John McCain as he seeks to unite the grumpy factions of the party, courtesy of Winston Churchill:

In War: Resolution
In Defeat: Defiance
In Victory: Magnanimity
In Peace: Good Will

It's the third one he sometimes has a hard time with.

Take Five

1. Remember all that big talk back in 2000 about how "the people" should always decide, how "every vote should count" and so forth? Well, I'm kind of wondering how that's going to go down if Obama ultimately ends up with a lead among "regular" delegates but the "super" delegates go to Hillary, thus giving the nomination to her. You wouldn't be able to blame George Bush or the Supreme Court for that one.

2. Hell, I think he should have sued. I've never been all that impressed by the Flyer and this incident didn't help. They essentially handed the guy and what there is of his coterie a giant baseball bat to whack them with any time they choose. Nice work.

3. He's obviously choosing to be gay.

Poor bastard.

4. Get a load of the Tennessee Congresspersonage on this list of stars.

5. Baptist of the Year.

And Kathryn Jean Lopez Beings Praying to the Patron Saint of Deep, Deep Depressions

Congratulations to U.S. Senator John McCain.

And, please read:

A Memorandum for Our Conservative Colleagues

Some thirty years ago, we and thousands of other grassroots conservatives helped a man then deemed a "maverick conservative" take on the established order in Washington and the Republican Party. Ronald Reagan's run for the nomination in 1976 nearly succeeded in denying a sitting president another term.

In the mid-1970s, the GOP was crippled by corruption, and betrayal of conservative principles had brought the party to its knees. Expectations of a firm and principled stand against the Soviet Union had been converted to the misty-eyed policy of "detente." The reigning Republican Establishment considered Reagan an interloper, an ill-informed and a somewhat primitive and uninformed one at that.

While the Establishment embraced "detente" with the Soviets, Reagan rejected it as unrealistic, a flawed and dangerous approach to a powerful and determined adversary. The Reagan concept, founded on the principle of peace through strength, was that the United States possessed the resources, human and financial, and the determination, ultimately to persuade the Soviet Union and its allies to give up the quest for world domination. Reagan believed that American power must be wielded cautiously but decisively in the pursuit of our national interests. That power, he believed, emanates from the American people, and not from a few powerful elites.

In short, Reagan challenged the reigning Establishment and in so doing, remade the Republican Party, at least its base, into a movement that for thirty years challenged the status quo rather than merely embrace it.

In the intervening years since the Reagan presidency, a new status quo, inconsistent with mainstream conservative principles and actions, has taken hold in the Republican Party, promoting practices, programs and principles inconsistent with the Party's character and traditions. Just as Ronald Reagan did in his time, John McCain now challenges this Establishment "orthodoxy."

The Old GOP Establishment said terrible things, untrue things, about Ronald Reagan. Some in this new Establishment are also saying terrible and untrue things about another maverick conservative, John McCain. Reagan was a threat to the Establishment; so, too, is John McCain. Reagan did not waver, holding fast to his basic principles. John McCain now soldiers on, espousing conservative principles. Some conservatives disagree.

Because the US corporate income tax rate is uncompetitive and counterproductive, and causing job loss, John McCain backs a corporate tax rate of 25 per cent, spurring investment in equipment and new technology. Lowering corporate income tax rates will strengthen the demand for dollars and fight inflation and recession simultaneously. He wants to make the Bush income and investment tax cuts permanent and repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax. John McCain’s pro-growth stimulus plan is precisely what our economy needs today.

Senator McCain knows that true conservatism is rooted in the people, which is why in the recent candidate debate at the Ronald Reagan Library, he declared himself a "Federalist." McCain knows what the Founders and Reagan knew; the ultimate goodness and dignity of American citizens is the repository of what makes America great and special.

In 1974 Ronald Reagan addressed the very first Conservative Political Action Conference held in Washington. Reagan brought as his guest someone of whom both he and Mrs. Reagan had grown very fond; a young American Vietnam War hero, Lt. Commander John McCain, who had been so terribly tortured while in captivity for six years in Vietnam.

As long-time Reaganauts, we are proud of our work over these many years, helping to advance conservative principles, and as "certified" Reaganauts, we are proud to stand with another old friend of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, John McCain, who is our best and safest choice in 2008. Some fellow conservatives find it hard forgive past positions on campaign finance or other matters. When you stop to reflect, however, with whom—among those out there—are we going to be more secure in terms of domestic security than with John McCain? Who has greater understanding of and experience with the foreign policy and national security challenges we will face than John McCain?

We urge you, fellow Reaganauts, to join in supporting a man of character, conservative temperament, a "maverick" in the Reagan tradition who has and will continue to stand up to the corrupt elites in Washington, and will not join them.

That man is John McCain.

Sincerely, yours in the cause,

Dick Allen
Frank Donatelli
Peter Hannaford
Jack Kemp
Craig Shirley

Richard V. Allen was active in all national Reagan campaigns, and from 1977-80 was Reagan's Chief Foreign Policy Advisor, then first National Security Advisor in the Reagan Administration. Awarded the Reagan Revolution Medal in 1983, He has been active in conservative circles since the early 1960s.

Frank Donatelli worked in all three of Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns and was White House political director for the last two years of the Reagan Administration. He is a former Executive Director of Young Americans for Freedom and was a founding director of the National Conservative Political Action Committee.

Peter Hannaford's association with Ronald Reagan dates from 1971 when he was appointed vice chairman of the Governor's Consumer Fraud Task Force. Pete had senior positions in the 1976 and 1980 Reagan campaigns. Five of his nine published books are about Ronald Reagan.

Jack F. Kemp was a Special Assistant to Ronald Reagan in 1967, served as a Member of Congress from 1971-89, and co-authored the Kemp-Roth legislation (Reagan's tax rate cuts). He is known as a long-time friend to Reagan in his national campaigns, and has held many leading positions in American conservative organizations. He served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 1989-93.

Craig Shirley, author of Reagan's Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All, has been President and CEO of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs. In 1980, Shirley managed a critical independent campaign in support of Reagan after he lost the Iowa Caucuses to George H. W. Bush. Shirley is now authoring Rendezvous with Destiny about Reagan’s 1980 campaign.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I Got Me a New Blog

Intorducing: The John McCain Complaint Department!

Take Five

1. Let the whining commence!

2. I'll tell you what: I had no idea there were so many mainstream journalists in this country. We all know, after all, that John McCain's candidacy is simply a media-created phenomenon, right? It's all a giant mirage. Yet he managed to win nine states last night, including such mainstream media hotbeds as Oklahoma and Missouri. They should start their own special interest group--they're more powerful than the AARP!

3. I don't think Mitt Romney did badly enough to warrant getting out quite yet. He still won a handful of states, although, as in the case of Obama, a major chunk of them were caucus states.

4. A new drinking game: take a sip every time Mike Huckabee clumsily shoehorns some sort of biblical reference into one of his (still way to long) election night speeches. David and Goliath! The widow's mite! But remember: don't try to make the accusation that the great bulk of Huck's support is basically just religious in nature.

5. I remain firm on my stance that John McCain will never share a ticket with Mike "Did-you-get-the-part-where-I'm-David-fighting-Goliath? Clever-huh?" Huckabee. There are a number of reasons for this, and I may go into them at some point if I get the notion, but Karl Rove summed it up quite nicely last night: "That would be doublin' your trouble."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Take Five

1. You know, there was a time--many years in fact--when Rush Limbaugh was a true talent to be reckoned with. Now, not so much, really.

2. You know what's really asinine about the doctoring of the picture in this "story"? It doesn't make any sense in the context of the story itself. "Confederate values"? Huh? what does have to do prohibiting the discussion of homosexuality in schools? what, the Confederacy was fighting against the imposition of gays from the North? That's what that was all about? News flash for the Flyer folks: homosexuals weren't exactly winning any popularity contests anywhere during the 19th century. I doubt a gay prode parade down the streets of New York City would have gone, shall we say, unnoticed back then

I don't get it. Forget journalistic malpractice (which this was), whoever was responsible should be canned on the basis of journalistic lameness alone.

3. The lady makes a good point, no?

4. Just a reminder: Republicans really hate John McCain. They really do.

5. Godd advice for anyone, as it happens, not just bloggers.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Take Five

1. My goodness, what to make of all this love for Bob Corker? I seem to recall being roasted on a spit by self-styled "real" conservatives for supporting the guy back in '06 (and I certainly wasn't the only one). To give any newbies an idea of what I'm talking about, compare and contrast:

David Oatney, January 31, 2008:

Senator Corker continues to pleasantly surprise me with his conservative good sense. Even when voting against a popular proposal, he gives a very sound and very conservative reason why.

David Oatney, July 31, 2006:

As Christians know, Satan is the Father of Lies. The words of Christ in John 8:44 could rightly be applied to Mr. Corker:

"You are of your father the devil: and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning: and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof."

Bob Corker has apparently chosen his means of winning and his lord. He is doing the work of his Father.

From the Son of Satan to decent fella in just 18 months. I'd call that a pretty good trajectory.

And people wonder why I sometimes give these folks a hard time.

2. I'm going to see John McCain tomorrow. Just in case you were wondering what my weekend schedule looked like.

3. You know what? A lot of the same people who hated Bob Corker two years ago are a lot of the same folks who hate John McCain now, and for many of the same reasons. Interesting, no?

4. Jonah Goldberg occasionally goes a little to into-the-tank for his National Review colleagues, but that's understandable, and he's still one of my favorites. Here's one example of why.

5. As a Republican, I'm rooting for Hillary over on the Democratic side. As an American, I'm rooting for Obama, even though I see no way he can win in November.

BONUS: James Lileks on McCain Derangement Syndrome:

Went home, slammed a few cups of coffee, did the Hewitt show. We had a semi dust-up over McCain. I do not share all his opinions on the man. I do not share all his opinions about Romney – although tonight I think I finally realized why I can’t get interested in Romney beyond a general appreciation of his skill and experience. When he talks, he doesn’t move the needle. He’s like one of those radio guys who has an absolutely consistent tone and inflection and pace; the parameters of his pitch don’t change. This is coming down to a contest of personalities, as usual, and even if you don’t like McCain’s briny persona, he has more personality than Mitt, and it’s genuine. Genuinely spiky, or genuinely engaged, or genuinely egomaniacal, or genuinely whatever you wish, but it’s real. I understand the dislike of the fellow and the distrust of his positions, but some of the vitriol splashed his way is over the top, in that snagging-your-pants-on-the-crest-of-Everest sense. This is the only election I can recall where a large portion of the grass roots seems to insist that hatred of the putative nominee is the true test of ideological fealty – and a path to success down the road. I mean, imagine you’ve just joined a group, and the leader says “We have a plan to win. The first thing we need to do is lose.”