Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Meanwhile, the FBI is warning of a "plausible but unsubstantiated" threat of a terrorist bombing attack on the NYC Railway System.
Monday, November 24, 2008
A jury on Monday determined that the Holy Land Foundation and five men who worked with the Muslim charity were guilty of three dozen counts related to the illegal funneling of at least $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
The unanimous verdicts are a complete victory for the government, which streamlined its case after a mistrial last year, and worked hard to carefully educate jurors on the complex, massive evidence presented in the trial. Guilty verdicts were read on 108 separate charges.
The prosecution victory is also a major one for the lame duck administration of President George Bush, whose efforts at fighting terrorism financing in court have been troubled, even though the flow of funds seems to be effectively shut down.
"The jury has handed the government a huge victory and a loud and clear message has been sent – if any group funnels money to a terrorist organization, the government will hunt you down and turn off the money spigot," said Robert Hirschhorn, a nationally known jury consultant based in Lewisville. His partner, Dallas attorney Lisa Blue, was hired by the government to help pick the jury.
It was the second trial where the government attempted to convict the men and the now defunct Richardson-based Holy Land Foundation itself. It took the jury eight days of deliberations to reach its decisions – less than half the time it took jurors to end up with an almost complete mistrial last year on the first go-around.
"My dad is not a criminal!" sobbed one courtroom observer after the verdicts were read. "He's a human!"
As one of Michelle's readers comments, "criminal and human are not mutually exclusive; most criminals are humans." Yes, and when found guilty, should be appropriately punished.
Now if President Bush would only pardon the unjustly imprisoned Ramos and Compean before leaving office, I might be willing to forgive him for his "compassionate conservatism," which apparently now also involves bailing out soap operas and ski resorts. Sigh.
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Melanie, the founder of Move America Forward, is a passionate advocate for the men and women of the United States Military. Together with Michelle Malkin, Soldiers' Angels and an impressive list of conservative voices, including Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, she raised over $1 million worth of care packages for the troops back in June. Let's hope Melanie and her PAC can work some magic for Senator Chambliss, a desperately needed voice of reason in a government that has taken a nightmarish lurch to the left.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Like Eric Scheie, I didn't think this was serious - at first, I thought it was either a few PETA types being PETA types, or some lefty goofballs trying to lay a trap to get Palin supporters to overreact. Sadly, it sure appears that the morons who find anything objectionable in this video are, in fact, serious. I don't think the English language has sufficient verbiage for me to express how ridiculous these losers are. Hey, poltroons, enjoy your turkey - it was once a living, breathing bird that had to be killed before it reached your table. I know a lot of you have a problem understanding biology, particularly as it pertains to how humans come into being, but never did I think that you didn't understand what turkeys (or chickens, or cows, or pigs) were before they became table meat.
I think perhaps the Big O does, though (or at least he doesn't let it stop him from indulging in chicken wings):
Saturday, November 22, 2008
“We have shared our daily life with two US units for quite a while - they are the first and fourth companies of a prestigious infantry battalion whose name I will withhold for the sake of military secrecy. To the common man it is a unit just like any other. But we live with them and got to know them, and we henceforth know that we have the honor to live with one of the most renowned units of the US Army - one that the movies brought to the public as series showing “ordinary soldiers thrust into extraordinary events”. Who are they, those soldiers from abroad, how is their daily life, and what support do they bring to the men of our OMLT every day ? Few of them belong to the Easy Company, the one the TV series focuses on. This one nowadays is named Echo Company, and it has become the support company.
They have a terribly strong American accent - from our point of view the language they speak is not even English. How many times did I have to write down what I wanted to say rather than waste precious minutes trying various pronunciations of a seemingly common word? Whatever state they are from, no two accents are alike and they even admit that in some crisis situations they have difficulties understanding each other.
Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins and creatine - they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them - we are wimps, even the strongest of us - and because of that they often mistake us for Afghans.
Here we discover America as it is often depicted : their values are taken to their paroxysm, often amplified by promiscuity and the loneliness of this outpost in the middle of that Afghan valley. Honor, motherland - everything here reminds of that : the American flag floating in the wind above the outpost, just like the one on the post parcels. Even if recruits often originate from the hearth of American cities and gang territory, no one here has any goal other than to hold high and proud the star spangled banner.
Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location : books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission. And that is a first shock to our preconceptions : the American soldier is no individualist. The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention.
That last paragraph reminds me of a letter I received from a British soldier this past September, in which he thanked me profusely for the care packages I'd donated via Move America Forward, Soldiers Angels and the web-a-thon-they'd put together back in June. Some of the contents had been shared with him by an American soldier, one of many who sympathizes with his British counterparts for the abject lack of support they receive from their own countrymen.
In the frenzy of election hype and politics, it is sometimes easy to forget the uniqueness of the United States of America and its citizens. The majority of Americans genuinely regard our troops as the heroes they are, and as a result, demonstrate tangible support (not merely lip service) through the donation of goods and money. And while some on the left may scoff at us "yokels" who take the work of our military very seriously, it is gratifying to know that it does not go unnoticed by allied soldiers serving on behalf of their countrymen. I only wish that the citizens of France and England would demonstrate the same high regard for their enlisted men and women.
God bless all of the allied troops, the writer of this article and everyone who understands that freedom isn't free. Particularly with Thanksgiving around the corner, it's one of the most important things to be grateful for!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
That said, it's now time for Conservatives to roll up our sleeves and work hard to help the Republican Party rediscover its soul, not to mention its long,lost electoral majority. This makeover can only occur at the state and local levels.
So here's the prescription. Get involved with your local party and find out why we were beaten. Then let's learn from our mistakes. Next, let's start supporting Conservative candidates at the local level be it school board or tax collector. Join the CRA. That's how we do it, from the bottom up. Those of us like me, keep blogging and sharing ideas.
At the state level, let your legislators know when you disagree with them and support our Republican governors. These executives are our future and out of their ranks will come the next Republican president, hopefully in 2012. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We need to start right now, if want to win back Congress in 2010.
We don't have the luxury of waiting until after the Inauguration.
We are all disheartened by the loss of the election, and being stuck with another moderate candidate who was afraid to espouse conservative principles. However, the time for mourning is over. If we act properly and with conviction, out of this defeat could rise our greatest victory. As the old Chinese proverb states "out of crisis, opportunity". We certainly have a crisis. Now let's use this opportunity to rebuild our party and save our country. Let's roll!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Michael Steele is the perfect choice to help the party rediscover its Conservative roots, and come in out of the wilderness to reclaim victory in 2010.
He stood alone after his election night victory, and shooed his wife and daughters off of the stage. He appears to be very self - infatuated. There is no warmth to the man. Not surprising when you consider his support of infanticide. Then yesterday when he arrived in Washington to meet the President, he took one plane and his wife and daughters took another. His family was then secretly whisked to an automobile where they met him at undisclosed location, so they could exit the vehicle together at the White House for the family photo - op. Upon arrival, he attempted to bully the President into bailing out the auto industry by employing his Chicago thug street tactics.
He is arrogant and narcissistic. He really does see himself as some kind of "messiah". It is ironic watching the same dinosaur media that ravaged Nixon, unfailingly adore the man who shares more Nixonian qualities than any other President we have had since 1974. You can be sure that during this upcoming Christmas season, he will be making his enemies list and checking it twice. Let the buyers beware.
Surprisingly, a majority of this well - heeled group voted for Obama! What are they thinking? I'll tell you what. It's the - I got mine, screw you - syndrome. Kind of like Communist leaders, secret capitalism for them and poverty for the masses. Who can forget Bhreznev's collection of antique cars and posh homes. Meanwhile, Russian citizens waited in line for toilet paper. The hypocrisy of it all!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Mr. Obama won the White House promising tax cuts, but he will be governing with a Democratic Congress bursting with desire for a more activist government. As he faces this challenge, he might remember the fate of another man who made taxes the central part of his campaign: the first President Bush, whose most memorable campaign line -- "Read my lips, no new taxes" -- was as central to his victory as Mr. Obama's promise to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. George H.W. Bush famously reneged on that promise. Voters rejected his bid for a second term.
Mr. Obama ran like Reagan. Will he be able to govern that way, too?
They (immigrants from Central America in DC celebrating Obama's election) grasped the real significance of this moment. They knew it meant that America had finally switched sides in a global cultural war. Forget the Cold War, or even the Iraq War. The United States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world.
Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, it was unique.
These strengths had been fading for some time, mainly due to poorly controlled mass immigration and to the march of political correctness. They had also been weakened by the failure of America’s conservative party – the Republicans – to fight on the cultural and moral fronts.
They preferred to posture on the world stage. Scared of confronting Left-wing teachers and sexual revolutionaries at home, they could order soldiers to be brave on their behalf in far-off deserts. And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World. How sad. Where now is our last best hope on Earth?
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Like most of the Palin-Drone audience (save for our resident troll), I am dismayed, worried, disgusted and frightened by the results of our election. Frankly, I am still pretty depressed about it and plan to continue fighting for freedom and America as we've known it until common sense returns to the land. Part of that effort will involve educating people about the Constitution, capitalism, the three branches of government and the real causes of the economic meltdown (which we have all repeatedly spelled out on this blog).
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The only true Conservative to run in the last thirty years was the magnificent Ronald Reagan who won two landslides with the entire media and both party establishments against him. The only conservative to lose was another great candidate, Barry Goldwater, in 1964. Moderates like to focus on that. However, lest we forget Goldwater was attacked by moderates in his own party and there was a bitter fight at the convention. The erudite, liberal fraud Bill Scranton went so far as to try to get President Eisenhower to denounce Goldwater to the convention delegates!
In addition, 1964 was only year after the tragic assassination of President Kennedy and the nation was in mourning. Many votes for Johnson were really votes for Kennedy. Add to all of that the fact that LBJ was one of sleaziest politicians of all time, and he got a free pass in media. There was no Fox News or talk radio to help Goldwater, he was all alone.
I hope you learn from this my moderate, blue blood, country club Republican friends. Our future depends on it.
Friday, November 7, 2008
If you don't think enough of your country to investigate the platforms of the two major parties and register with the one that most speaks to your beliefs and values, then you ought to just stay home. If you don't possess the conviction to pay attention to what's going on until the last second, and are uninformed enough to still be "undecided" hours before a presidential election, then please, sit it out.
Republicans lost this presidential election, and I don't blame the messenger; I blame the message. How could Republicans go after B. Hussein Obama (as he is now known) on planning to bankrupt the coal companies when McCain supports the exact same cap and trade policies and earnestly believes in global warming?
How could we go after Obama for his illegal alien aunt and for supporting driver's licenses for illegal aliens when McCain fanatically pushed amnesty along with his good friend Teddy Kennedy?
How could we go after Obama for Jeremiah Wright when McCain denounced any Republicans who did so?
How could we go after Obama for planning to hike taxes on the "rich," when McCain was the only Republican to vote against both of Bush's tax cuts on the grounds that they were tax cuts for the rich?
And why should Republican activists slave away working for McCain when he has personally, viciously attacked: John O'Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans, National Right to Life director Doug Johnson, evangelical pastors Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and John Hagee, various conservative talk radio hosts, the Tennessee Republican Party and on and on and on?
As we all knew, McCain was a weak candidate, but we rallied around him because he was the better of the two choices. In a post 9/11 world, you ought to go with the guy who at least strikes fear in the hearts of America's enemies, instead of promising to sit down to tea with them, but I digress. Then McCain did an incredibly smart thing by choosing Sarah as his running-mate, firing up an uninspired base and commanding a campaign spotlight he otherwise would never have had, given the media's fawning adulation for their chosen "messiah."
Alas, his turncoat staffers just couldn't figure out how to properly unleash the phenomenon that is Sarah until it was too late. Adding insult to injury, now they are sniping to the press about her, spouting outrageous smears that would make Jann Wenner, publisher of US Weekly, proud.
And where is John McCain to defend her? The woman who kept his campaign alive? I suppose "honor" is a selective term for the senator. Too bad Sarah's not a Democrat -- he'd defend her to his death if she were. And therein lies the problem: if it's not a member of his own party screwing up, McCain just can't bring himself to criticize. Thus, it was "hands-off" on a host of important facts, such as the real reason for the economic meltdown (the Fannie/Freddie Dems).
It would have been "honorable" had Senator McCain been forthright with the American people. Instead of offering "straight talk," he had to pander to Democrats. He could've stood with House Republicans against the bailout and truly separated himself from President Bush on a key issue. Instead, he thumbed his nose at them, forcing a "bipartisan" compromise (there's that word again!) that only exacerbated the problem. And now we've elected a Marxist to the highest office in the land!
Read the entire Coulter article. And keep praying for our country.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
There's no doubt that this was a terrible defeat, but it could have been worse. The Republicans retained enough seats to filibuster, and filibuster they must for the next two years. If we as conservatives do the right thing, we can turn this temporary defeat into long term victory.
As for now it's time for us to go, and pay the price for spending like drunken sailors just like Democrats do. Not to mention getting involved in numerous scandals, just like Democrats do. Thanks Messrs Foley, Craig, and Stevens. While I continuously rail at the double standard in the dinosaur media, there's no doubt that the public holds Republicans to a higher standard than Democrats. That's as it should be, because we are a cut above.
The first order of business is for us to get back to our conservative roots, and tell the moderates that they have cost us enough elections for one century. The 2010 race for congress begins tomorrow. We need a grass roots conservative movement to find good candidates to run in the primary and general election. We need a leader to step up like Nixon did between the 1964 Goldwater defeat and the 1966 Congressional elections, when Republican gains were made heading into the 1968 Presidential election. We need an inside leader,a John Cornyn for example, and an outside leader. I nominate Newt Gingrich for the latter.
Second, they're coming for our First Amendment rights folks. Up - chuck Schumer today compared talk radio to pornography, saying that if you regulate pornography you should be able to regulate talk radio. If they can't get the Fairness Doctrine passed in its original form, they will try to accomplish the same goal through local regulation of radio stations. We must not let them win.
Third, let the pain of this loss really sink in until you feel it in your bones. It should sting severely, because the future of our country is at stake. We are driven more by our desire to avoid pain than we are by our desire to experience pleasure. Let's learn from our mistakes for once.
Fourth, in the words of the late, great Jim "Jimmy V" Valvano " don't give up, don't ever give up." The survival of our country is at stake.
When will you learn that even if your precious Roe was overturned, the issue of abortion would go to the states, where it rightfully belongs, and citizens would actually get to vote on it, instead of unelected, activist judges? While we're on the subject, can you please explain to me why my tax dollars should fund what I believe to be murder?
Hard to fathom, just a mere seven years away from 9/11 and we're sending a radical, Palestinian-sympathizing Marxist to the White House.
May God have mercy on us all!
UPDATE: Per Gateway Pundit, Obama received 77% of the Jewish vote. And according to Catholic Vote, 54% of Catholics threw their support behind the Marxist. Appalling!
Please, no matter where you are, what time zone you live in, or whatever sensationalism you hear emanating from the media, go out and vote McCain-Palin. I don't care what anyone says, we can still win this thing!
This is our country, people...let's keep it free and prosperous!
I am working the polls in east Boca today, handing out literature and waving signs. I also plan to bring my camera along, just in case I witness anything shady. My Republican-leaning precinct is normally pretty good, so I am praying for the best.
Vote traditional values, vote freedom, vote McCain-Palin!
And may God continue to bless the USA.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Barack Obama has the kind of cocksure confidence that can only be achieved by not achieving anything else.
Anyone who has actually had to take responsibility for consequences by running any kind of enterprise-- whether economic or academic, or even just managing a sports team-- is likely at some point to be chastened by either the setbacks brought on by his own mistakes or by seeing his successes followed by negative consequences that he never anticipated.
The kind of self-righteous self-confidence that has become Obama's trademark is usually found in sophomores in Ivy League colleges-- very bright and articulate students, utterly untempered by experience in real world.
The signs of Barack Obama's self-centered immaturity are painfully obvious, though ignored by true believers who have poured their hopes into him, and by the media who just want the symbolism and the ideology that Obama represents.
The triumphal tour of world capitals and photo-op meetings with world leaders by someone who, after all, was still merely a candidate, is just one sign of this self-centered immaturity.
"This is our time!" he proclaimed. And "I will change the world." But ultimately this election is not about him, but about the fate of this nation, at a time of both domestic and international peril, with a major financial crisis still unresolved and a nuclear Iran looming on the horizon.
For someone who has actually accomplished nothing to blithely talk about taking away what has been earned by those who have accomplished something, and give it to whomever he chooses in the name of "spreading the wealth," is the kind of casual arrogance that has led to many economic catastrophes in many countries.
The equally casual ease with which Barack Obama has talked about appointing judges on the basis of their empathies with various segments of the population makes a mockery of the very concept of law.
After this man has wrecked the economy and destroyed constitutional law with his judicial appointments, what can he do for an encore? He can cripple the military and gamble America's future on his ability to sit down with enemy nations and talk them out of causing trouble.
Senator Obama's running mate, Senator Joe Biden, has for years shown the same easy-way-out mindset. Senator Biden has for decades opposed strengthening our military forces. In 1991, Biden urged relying on sanctions to get Saddam Hussein's troops out of Kuwait, instead of military force, despite the demonstrated futility of sanctions as a means of undoing an invasion.
People who think Governor Sarah Palin didn't handle some "gotcha" questions well in a couple of interviews show no interest in how she compares to the Democrats' Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Biden.
Joe Biden is much more of the kind of politician the mainstream media like. Not only is he a liberal's liberal, he answers questions far more glibly than Governor Palin-- grossly inaccurately in many cases, but glibly.
Moreover, this is a long-standing pattern with Biden. When he was running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination back in 1987, someone in the audience asked him what law school he attended and how well he did.
Flashing his special phony smile, Biden said, "I think I have a much higher IQ than you do." He added, "I went to law school on a full academic scholarship" and "ended up in the top half" of the class.
But Biden did not have a full academic scholarship. Newsweek reported: "He went on a half scholarship based on need. He didn't finish in the 'top half' of his class. He was 76th out of 85."
Add to Obama and Biden House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and you have all the ingredients for a historic meltdown.
Copyright 2008, Creators Syndicate Inc.
It's sad that we've come to the point where our military personnel who risk life and limb are denied the most basic right to vote, and the Democrats could care less.It's much more important to promote voter fraud and let voters in New York vote in Ohio so Obama can steal the election. This is absolutely rotten. You can't get much lower than this.
Stand up for America and vote McCain - Palin. Otherwise we could wake up Wednesday morning in Amerika. Perish the thought.
'Twas the night before elections
'Twas the night before elections
And all through the town
Tempers were flaring
Emotions all up and down!
I, in my bathrobe
With a cat in my lap
Had cut off the TV
Tired of political crap.
When all of a sudden
There arose such a noise
I peered out of my window
Saw Obama and his boys
They had come for my wallet
They wanted my pay
To give to the others
Who had not worked a day!
He snatched up my money
And quick as a wink
Jumped back on his bandwagon
As I gagged from the stink
He then rallied his henchmen
Who were pulling his cart
I could tell they were out
To tear my country apart!
On Fannie, on Freddie,
On Biden and Ayers!
On Acorn, On Pelosi'
He screamed at the pairs!
They took off for his cause
And as he flew out of sight
I heard him laugh at the nation
Who wouldn't stand up and fight!
So I leave you to think
On this one final note-
IF YOU DONT WANT SOCIALISM
GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
10) No elected official in American life has contributed more to the security of the nation than John McCain. Latterly, McCain was the most senior and most forceful advocate of the strategy that has saved the day in Iraq. For that reason alone, he deserves your vote.
9) Over a quarter-century in public life, John McCain has defended the interests of the taxpayer, not only speaking for lower taxes (that’s easy) but fighting for the essential precondition of lower taxes, less government spending.
8) McCain’s healthcare plan is the first and essential step toward a market-based approach. If competition is to work, individuals must buy their own care. Barack Obama praises the employer-based system. But Obama knows full well that the employer-based system is dying – he’s just propping up its carcass until the time is ripe to insert full government control in its place.
7) As a man, McCain is more pragmatic and more open to compromise in substance (and not just in verbal formulas) than Barack Obama. It’s a bad reflection on the McCain campaign that it has allowed the less ideological candidate to be depicted as the hot-head – and the more ideological Obama to position himself as the moderate. But the failures of the campaign are reasons to punish the campaign managers, not the country.
6) The combination of a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and federal control of the nation’s financial system is dangerous to prosperity and freedom. Even if I weren’t a conservative, I’d believe that this government bailout makes balanced government indispensable.
5) To borrow an argument from Mona Charen: The best thing about a president with a military background is that he has learned not to show too much deference to generals. Let’s not forget: The brass hats were against the surge!
4) This country hungers for moderate answers on social questions from abortion to stem cells to same-sex marriage. McCain’s split-the-difference instincts offer the hope of social peace. Obama’s 100% down-the-line social liberalism will provoke reactions that will aggravate and sustain these social controveries, when we need to find compromises that can allay them.
3) McCain’s victory would be the most surprising come-from-behind victory in American political history. It would prove that money and endorsements are not everything. That is healthy for American democracy.
2) McCain has never compromised on free trade. Never. Not to win a primary, not to win a vote. Never.
1) John McCain is white, the son and grandson of admirals, married to a wealthy heiress – and yet he has experienced degrees of suffering, despair, and defeat that not one in a million of us can imagine. Barack Obama wears a black skin and carries an exotic name. In the United States, people of darker color have faced oppression and discrimination for centuries. But in Barack Obama's own life, he has known nothing but an easy and welcoming path to success since he was 18 years old. Privileged John McCain has known more absolute degradation than any man ever to contest the presidency. Obama was born in adversity, but he has smoothly risen to a place where he is most comfortable with those for whom things are most easy.
I do not fear Barack Obama. I even rather like him. I certainly feel I have much more in common with him than I do with John McCain. To lead this country, though, I prefer the man who has seen more and suffered more and felt more. For all his faults, it is John McCain who is the more universal man.
I vote for John McCain.
One final comment. As readers of this space know, I have been very critical of the selection of Sarah Palin. Yet I do not regard her as a reason to cast aside the principles of my life on voting day. She may not bring much knowledge to this ticket. Yet she is obviously no fool. Indeed, using the favored metric of Joe Biden ("I think I have a higher IQ than you"), my guess is that she would probably outscore the Democratic vice presidential candidate on a standardized aptitude test. To his credit, Biden has conscientiously worked to familiarize himself with the great questions of national policy. To her discredit, Palin has not. But on Tuesday, I will trust that she can learn. She has governed a state - and she did risk her career by defying the corrupt leaders of the Alaska Republican party.
Beyond that, it says something important that so many millions of people respond to her as somebody who incarnates their beliefs and values. At a time when the great American middle often seems to be falling further and further behind, there may be a special need for a national leader who represents and symbolizes that middle. And if worse did come to worst, who doubts that the whole country - including Colin Powell and Larry Eagleburger - would rally to the aid and support of the first woman president, thrust into office by some unexpected tragedy?
This is a great and greatly enduring country. It flourishes because of the genius of its institutions and the decent and moderate instincts of its people. I look to the American future with confidence always - under a President McCain preferably, under a President Obama if it must be.
Rick Brookhiser, whom I admire, had ticked me off with his visceral negative reaction to the choice of Sarah Palin for VP. He redeems himself with his endorsement of John McCain:
What was Abraham Lincoln’s position on the Mormons? In their funky, pre-Mitt Romney days they were an issue of national importance—Lincoln’s Democratic predecessors thought of sending the army to Utah to suppress them—so it’s not surprising that Lincoln had an opinion too. In 1863, when a Mormon visited the Oval Office, Lincoln told him that when he had cleared land for farming as a young man there were often dead trees too hard to split, too wet to burn, and too heavy to move, so people plowed around them. That’s what he intended to do with the Mormons. That may have been the opinion that caused some voters to vote for or against him.
Lincoln had opinions on a number of other issues too—railroads (pro), nativism (anti), temperance (feinted pro), trade (protectionist in the tradition of Henry Clay)—and any of these opinions, or any combination of them, may have caused some voters to vote for or against him.
Yet we would treat with contempt any historian who said that the dominating issue of Lincoln’s career, from 1854 to his death, was anything other than the slave power: whether it would rule America, or failing that, ruin it. That was the question of Lincoln’s time.
There are many questions in this election: gay marriage, immigration, taxes, abortion, the financial crisis. But the question of our time is the war waged on us since the 1990s, which had its Pearl Harbor on 9/11. Charity will prevent us from feeling contempt for those who don’t realize this, but survival requires us to realize it ourselves.
The Iraq war records of the two candidates show that John McCain realizes it and Barack Obama doesn’t.
McCain joined the Bush administration and most of Congress in the war to bring down Saddam, as poisonous and low-hanging fruit. McCain continued to support the war as congressional Democrats and much of the public lost heart. He saw earlier than almost anyone that the post-war strategy the coalition was pursuing would end in failure, and urged that it be changed. The change came, and success proved him right.
As a state legislator, then a freshman senator, Barack Obama opposed the war, and resisted fighting it to win. His policies would have left Saddam in power, then let his followers murder their way back to it.
McCain owed his position to military experience; his grasp of such issues over a long career; and his character. Obama’s position shows a lack of the first two qualities. It is no bad reflection on his character—he had to buck the political climate to take his initial anti-war stand—but it shows that he was bold in a bad cause.
Obama’s failure is more conspicuous because it is the only significant public act of his life. His candidacy is not a disgrace, like those of the amateurs who have infested the process for twenty years—Jesse Jackson, Pat Robertson, Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan. Obama knows the political game from the inside, and he has held positions of responsibility. He has moved through them, however, without a trace—except for his early opposition to the Iraq war. He did one thing in his career, and he did the wrong thing.Maybe Barack Obama will change over time. It’s possible—he is shrewd, ambitious and relatively young. Let’s let him change before we reward him with the football. Tuesday I vote for the man who knows where we are.
P.S. Yes, that is a stuffed animal moose I am holding! :)