Monday, November 20, 2006

Rudy, because he gets it

Somebody out there gets it.

First, an example of one of the people who doesn't get it:

South Carolina Republicans love Rudy Giuliani.

But will they go so far as to vote for him for president?

Probably not.

Why?

Because the former New York City mayor is a moderate Republican who supports gun control, same-sex civil unions, embryonic stem-cell research and abortion rights — stands that put him at odds with the majority of the GOP’s conservative base.

--Lee Bandy, The State (Hat tip: Rich Lowry.)

Ah, but Chuck Todd gets it, and Rich Lowry noticed that too:

Both Romney and Giuliani sense a chance at beating McCain on the right. The mainstream media mistakenly views Giuliani as another centrist, going after the same portion of the GOP electorate that McCain attracts. That's just not correct. Giuliani's strength in Republican polls is with conservatives, or more specifically, with those Republicans who have stayed the most supportive of Bush. The Diageo/Hotline poll showed evidence of this phenomenon last spring.

What's most fascinating about Giuliani's popularity with the GOP base is that his liberal stances on social issues like gay rights, abortion and guns, run diametric to the conservative rank and file. The media seem to believe these folks don't know Giuliani's stances, but that once they do they'll reject him. I'm hesitant to assume voters don't know these things about him; I think they do but are so consumed with fear for national security that they are willing to give him a pass.

(Apologies for not linking to the original source; the National Journal article will turn into a firewall-protected pumpkin at some point, and I don't link that way.)

Personally, I think the phrase "consumed with fear" is perjorative, and worse, inaccurate. (People who take the threats emmanating from Radical Islam seriously are not, generally speaking, quivering, panic-striken victim-cultists.) Rather, I think they're serious people who have seriosly assessed the current national and international situation, and decided that the threat to the country from Radical Islam is greater than the threat to the country from the NARAL.

For these voters, it won't matter how thick the southern accent, how sincere the religious beliefs, or how closely the candidate hews to the NRA position papers; anyone who doesn't have credibility on the "War on Terror" question can just skip most of Red State America.

(As to gun control, all Rudy has to do is a minor juke to the Right ("No law-abiding citizen should be denied a gun; no criminal should have access to one") to calm those potential rough waters).

The bottom line is, Rudy has a reputation of bringing law and order to the most lawless and chaotic city in America. That earned Rudy a nearly bottomless resevoir of respect. And then his actions and demeanor on and after 9/11 etched a picture of a man who had seen the enemy and learned exactly what is at stake.

People who have supported Bush through thick and thin have one thing in common, I think. They (and let me be honest, "We") believe we're in a war unlike any other in history, and that it is far from over. We could tuck tail and accept defeat in Iraq, and the War would not be over. This war came to us, and declaring it over won't keep it from coming back again.

We have the impression that Rudy gets that.

Anyone who wants to get past Rudy had better damn well start "getting that" or forget about being the 44th President.

Even if Rudy decides to give his Nomination Acceptance speech in drag.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We Willnae Be Fooled Again!*

From today's Opinion Journal:
Melanie Sloan, the liberal head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, was cheered on by Democrats six weeks ago when she helped reveal the Mark Foley scandal. Now she says that "Ms. Pelosi"s endorsement of Rep. Murtha, one of the most unethical members of Congress, show that she may have prioritized ethics reform merely to win votes with no real commitment to changing the culture of corruption." [Emphasis added.]

I for one am shocked!, shocked!, by this turn of events.

* The Nac Mac Feegle view on the role of the State looks better and better every day.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Just like old times....

Ah, I remember the heady blogging days of 2004, when John Kerry provided WhatsAPundit with so much material....

So, ust when it looks like the Republicans are stuck with talking about Republican problems (which pretty much ensured their majority status in both houses would go down in flames) John Kerry commits the cardinal sin of modern politics.

He says what he really means.

Compare and contrast:

You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you dont, you get stuck in Iraq.
--What Kerry said.
I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.
--What Kerry supposedly meant to say.

Let's disregard for a moment the Kerry v Bush educational comparison (which makes the putatively prepared joke very much a pot v. kettle proposition). Instead, let's examine why Kerry might have mangled the joke in the very particular way he did.

This is not a man who trusts the United States military, from the Commander in Chief down to the privates on patrol, to be anything other than a stupid, malicious force for evil. For Kerry, the military will always be the military as imagined by anti-Vietnam protesters, dead-end draftees led by sadistic officers led by a corrupt oligarchic power structure.

That Kerry should slip up in his delivery, going from a calculatedly specific target to what he believed to be a valid generalization, really wouldn't be a surprise.

As an aside:It's actually funny to see how indignant John Derbyshire is that the anti-troops interpretation is the one most of us came to. My only conclusion is that Derb has read the quote totally out of the greater context, and is damned proud of his ability to focus on the tree, and forget about the forrest. (BTW, I love it that Kerry is claiming people are reading his quote out of context. It's exactly his well-documented context he should be hoping people ignore....)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

266-15=251 Days to Go

Houston, we have a countdown!

Looks like at least one of the seamonkeys has decided to settle in and make a go of it.

Is now the time to start being scared stiff?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Game Over, Congressional GOP Majority

Congressional stupidity gets worse:

US Congress steps into cyberspace

The Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the US Congress has announced it is investigating the amount of commerce taking place in virtual game worlds.
...snip...
Although an economic value can be put on this trade because in-game currencies do have an equivalent real world value, committee chairman Jim Saxton said its investigation was not being carried out with a view to slapping taxes on this trade.

"There is a concern that the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) might step forward with regulations that start taxing transactions that occur within virtual economies," said Mr Saxton. "This, I believe, would be a mistake."

Instead, he said, the investigation wanted to get a better understanding of where the line falls between taxable and non-taxable trade. Studies of game activity suggest the time and effort put into these online worlds has an economic impact equivalent to the GDP of Namibia.
First they came for poker players, but I was not a poker player...

"This was strange, even for New Orleans"

From Editor & Publisher:
In one of the most bizarre stories published anywhere this year, the Times-Picayune related today the story of the tragic end of a young couple in New Orleans: the man jumped off a hotel roof in the French Quarter to his death – after killing and dismembering, then cooking, his girlfriend. This was strange, even for New Orleans, and the newspaper noted that it reminded some of the city’s "macabre" past.
What are they talking about, "past"?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

D'oh!

U.S. casino magnate gives Picasso's dream the elbow
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Picasso's famed "Dream" painting turned into a nightmare for Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn when he accidentally gave the multimillion dollar canvas an elbow.

Wynn had just finalized a $139 million sale to another collector of his painting, called "Le Reve" (The Dream), when he poked a finger-sized hole in the artwork while showing it to friends at his Las Vegas office a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Beautiful Losers

What is wrong with the Left, in a nutshell:

Ned Lamont's Concession Speech (A Speech I Never Want to Hear)
Yesterday, I asked for your help in writing a speech I never want to hear: Ned Lamont's concession speech. The response was tremendous; we received all kinds of great ideas, many of which I've used in crafting the speech below.

Far too often politicians don't speak from the heart until it's too late.

Freed from their consultants, they finally summon the passion and purpose that drove them into politics in the first place -- ironically turning into the candidates they should have been all along.
I don't know, maybe looking into your hearts and trying to find something that resonates with America might be a start, and if you don't find anything, then maybe thinking about what you're carrying around in your heart might not be such a bad thing to do.

I'm not saying the crowd is always right. Far from it. But I am saying that if you're not connecting, you have a responsibility to figure out why.

Are you being stupid? Then figure out how you're being stupid.

Is the crowd being stupid?

The bloody well figure out how to make them smarter!

Because, well, just telling them they're stupid won't cut it.

And if you think it will, revisit the question of whether you're stupid.

But hey, that's real politics, and too much of the Left would prefer to be Beautiful Losers than to stoop to that.