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Michael Ubaldi, March 14, 2003.
Virginia Democratic Congressman James Moran had his first Trent Lott moment, grabbing onto the "Blame Jews" bandwagon for a quick ride around the public arena; thanks to an admirably swift and stern reaction by Democrats, he's now had his second definitive Trent Lott moment.
Michael Ubaldi, March 12, 2003.
Stanley Kurtz delivers some troubling news on the marriage front.
Michael Ubaldi, March 4, 2003.
Deroy Murdock plays the Principled Libertarian and plays sweet, tender violin for drug users. Brace yourselves for the tragedy:
Drug warriors must recognize that some eleven million American adults enjoy getting high at least annually — to relax and endure these nerve-wracking times. Some brave this endless winter, the drooping Dow, the Columbia disaster, the Rhode Island nightclub inferno, and growing war jitters by sipping martinis. Others play Lotto or visit Vegas. Still more sleep around. In excess, these behaviors can ruin one's health, fortunes, or both. Yet only smoking grass yields jail time. This is silly, illogical, and wicked.
It's infuriating to be taken for a fool with this sham guilt trip. I may abstain, Murdock, but I know plenty of responsible adults who drink liquor for the taste - and not the drunken recklessness. Is discretion so foreign to be considered worth weight in the argument? Don't insult the intelligence or standards of Americans by preaching to them the rights of the irresponsible, pushing themselves into chemical disorientation with a substance that has no other use.
To be perfectly honest, it sounds as if the DEA has someone on the writing staff of a major political magazine worried about being busted. Sounds as if this new strategy to fight drugs is working.
Michael Ubaldi, March 3, 2003.
Byron York reports that the Democrats, offered to send Miguel Estrada questions regarding their various doubts about which he's been "stonewalling," came up empty.
Michael Ubaldi, February 26, 2003.
Megan McArdle's Asymmetrical Information presented a few questions asked by Patrick Ruffini of the Democratic presidential hopefuls, adding a few questions of her own. My comment was worthy enough to be an addendum to my "no liberals will reach the White House" argument:
Save for Clinton, Democrats have offered nothing for the White House but ostentatious, bookish liberals since 1968. Carter was lucky enough to ride GOP fatigue but like Mondale and Dukakis, was hammered in 1980 by America's traditional rejection of uncloaked liberals. Al Gore should have knocked Bush down and won by double digits - but he was quickly outed as an unattractive liberal who couldn't tell tall tales very well.
Now, the only way to remain "cloaked" is to hit the national stage obfuscating. Deny everything. Throw in a "middle class tax cut" for good measure. Few of the candidates are unknown to those with even Americans outside the politics arena; those candidates relatively unknown like Dean and Clark can't pull off a Clinton. Dean might wow the party faithful, but as the 2004 nominee he'd pop like corn in hot oil when the rest of America went to the polls.
A Clinton game, however, is like the firing of afterburners: big gain, impossible to catch - impossible to sustain. Clinton is anathema to the Democrats in public settings, and it took him less than ten years to burn himself off. What with conservative media burgeoning, it seems unlikely that a candidate even as talented as Clinton would last long with such brazen politicking and lying.
The answer is neither liberals nor shell-gamers: they're run by fringers and America is catching on quickly (read: November 2002). If lefties like Dean represent a blueprint to future Democratic architecture, I'd predict GOP majorities in Congress like those Democrats enjoyed mid-latter-20th Century. The answer is a moderate uprising from within the Democratic ranks and bringing them back to reality.
Incidentally, why would Patrick Ruffini think that the dove/appeasement left wing was stronger in 1992 than now? By what I've seen and heard from every single candidate at party gatherings, anyone who doesn't push like custard on military matters - like Gephardt - gets booed.
Michael Ubaldi, February 25, 2003.
If Alberto Gonzales were a prize figher, he'd be in the process of launching a right hook; but he's a lawyer, so he writes strong letters.
What Chuck Schumer and cohort are attempting is a complete politicization of the judicial appointments process. The Constitution is as vague as was needed in a time of relatively implicit common sense: the Senate ensures that dead men, fools, animals and other illegitimate sops are not cast into the relief of American justice.
What wasn't at all the intention of the Framers was for an adversarial Senate to block out any and all presidential nominees that may not lend aid to whatever legislation their party intended to create - and to do so on such dubious grounds as to dramatically require an ominous "Bwah-hahahahaha!" after every nominee condemnation.
Michael Ubaldi, February 20, 2003.
Bill Whalen, for National Review, salivates at the "ten little Indians" dropouts that will dot this next political year as the months pass.
Here's the Democratic Party dilemma in a nutshell: since 1968, wherein DNC riots wrenched control from old-style moderates to the painted fingernails of the leftist, radical 60s element, Democrats have managed just twelve years in the White House. Carter was the last liberal: he won in 1976 amid national dissatisfaction with a Republican administration still tainted by the thoroughly controversial, latter-tenure-obstructionist, ever-paranoid Richard Nixon. Four years, however, were quite enough for the peanut farmer's liberal bent and subsequent foreign and domestic failures to shine through, opening the door for a solid Reagan victory in 1980. Twelve years passed before the Democrats could mount another winning challenge and provided solid evidence for a new adage in American politics - liberals, when identified as liberals, do not win presidencies. In 1984, the stuffy, tax-happy Walter Mondale won only one state - his own - by 4,000 votes. In 1988, Michael Dukakis underscored a developing impression of the American Liberal: big on semantics and equivocation, scant on betrayals of emotion or the slightest visceral reaction to the hypothetical situation wherein one's wife might be raped. No machismo; no legislative ideas that transfer well from langue intelligentsia to reality; no red blood, instead flowing in the veins a sort of "caring, sensitive, well-educated gentleman" turquoise. Dukakis was hammered by the otherwise docile George H. W. Bush.
Americans, God Bless 'em, just don't equate liberalism with the White House.
When they realize they've got a liberal on the ballot, that is.
Bill Clinton represents the single interruption of liberal stock the Democratic Party has been running every four years. He's the fellow who ran, you might recall, on the virtue of not being a liberal but in fact a "New Democrat" who promised a "middle class tax cut." The tag of "liberal" or "tax-and-spend" was scrupulously avoided throughout his successful campaign. When Clinton's social experimentation in the military, medical industry coup d'état, and numerous reversals from the all-but-imaginary tax cut to Haitian boat refugees spoke to 1994's Republican-blowout repudiation, Clinton shifted significantly to the right for his 1996 reelection triumph. 1992, Clinton was exhorting a counter-culture crowd on MTV his disgust with "family values" lectures from "Washington, D.C." Before his term was through, Clinton actually spent a televised address endorsing none other than "family values." Through triangulation and outright co-opts of his adversaries' policies, he was twice elected as a moderate. Unfortunately, all of this was deception; consistent, flagrant deception - an act that neither went on long unnoticed nor had been quickly forgotten, even by an American electorate lolling in pre-9/11 complacency. As Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign demonstrated, Clinton was worth less in the hand than far away; Gore made every effort to keep the outgoing president - and his scandalous persona - well away from his White House bid.
Al Gore, unfortunately, represented a return to what the Democratic Party truly is and has to offer: boring, reactionary, old-style liberals. Not nearly the calculating liar Clinton was, the former vice-president was quickly and indelibly marked as left of center. Neither optimistic economic reports nor public misconceptions of George W. Bush could save Gore. By a hair, the heavily advantaged liberal lost.
A congenital liar who wore out his own novelty in less than ten years was the last, best hope of the liberal-run Democratic Party to win nationally. Every other man has been a practical repeat effort of the last fallen challenger; every man on the current ticket bobs and weaves as best he can but ends up looking like Mondale or Dukakis, while Carol Moseley-Braun carries about as much weight as minor-league Geraldine Ferraro. Democrats have few options left to them should they retain their current ideology. Another Clinton - assuming a man just as brazen actually exists in the political generation - would likely fail; if the 2002 midterm elections were any indication, the intellectual vacuity and cynical "Me, Too" politics offered by liberal Democrats bombed on even the Congressional level, where the center of gravity was supposed to have been "all local."
That leaves the Democrats with a handful of liberals - liberals who are quite obvious to the American people as liberals. Worse still for the flagging party, a combination of conservative media maturation and the reemergence of indisposable morality - Latin for "recognizing Good and Evil" - has engendered a political atmosphere that splits the chitin right off the likes of John Kerry, John Edwards or Joe Lieberman. After Iraq's liberation, even a so-called dark horse like Wesley Clark will sound distinctly like 1970s Jimmy Carter and his Moral Equivalent Of War.
It won't sell on the ballot, whoever bests his left-leaning peers. Liberal Democrats in the White House, we never knew ye.
Michael Ubaldi, February 12, 2003.
Donald Luskin reveals a bit of lying with statistics by none other than a group of 2% of America's economists who happen to disagree with the benefits of tax cuts. One can only wonder if this selective appraisal of numbers extends to their very platform.
Michael Ubaldi, February 12, 2003.
Byron York lays out the Democratic strategy to be played against Miguel Estrada, the man whose personal opinions Democrats have been unable to twist into daggers for repeated rhetorical stabbing. As York highlights - event by event - Democrats have had every opportunity to clarify their questioning and expedite the nomination process. But they haven't; led by Patrick Leahy and Chuck Schumer, Democrats have either remained obstinate in their stalling or have gone to such contentiously unprecedented lengths as to demand Estrada's records from his tenure at the Justice Department. The latter request has been denied and carries the damning weight of several attorneys general - and well across party lines.
So the troubling question remains: what is the origin for Democratic revulsion at a conservative hispanic man, a paragon of the hard-working American dream and of sound ability, to enter the Federal circuit?
Both thankfully and frighteningly, the Democrats appear willing to demonstrate to the country how seriously they believe in ethnic block-voting; repugnantly reminiscent of Clarence Thomas' "high-tech lynching." As if it's unthinkable for a man with dark skin or an imported accent to possibly consider either thinking conservatively or else voting Republican. This impression will speak volumes for the ever-more-exposed sham that is the immovable liberal perception of "minorities."
If they can claim the bollocks to proceed with a public denial of Estrada's entrance, Democrats will have quite a bit of 'splainin' to do, Luce-e-e-e-e!
Michael Ubaldi, February 10, 2003.
Back in my childhood, I recall asking my father about the "filibuster." I recall I'd recently learned about it in school - and then was confronted with television footage of old Robert Byrd, framed canine portrait behind him, wasting Senate time with lectures on his beloved "Billy." My father explained what he knew, then added the corollary: "nowadays, they don't usually go through with all the theatrics. They just walk up to a press conference and grimly declare, 'we're filibustering!'"
Kate O'Beirne is even less forgiving and illustrates how the mere mention of a filibuster spooks either party majority into scrambling for 60 votes, or else simply abandoning ship and debating less controversial (read: politically safer) legislation. I agree with her assessment: let the filibusterees drag every last ounce of audacity out of the filibusterers. And I mean this on an operational level, more so than an immediate political advisory. The Senate regularly provides for the Washington press corps some of the most intellectually vacuous statements capable of individuals representing this most august body. Why not invite them to deliberately work knee-deep in twaddle? Let the orations on the price of yo-yos in China begin!