31 October 2010

Tuesday predictions...

Prediction time:

75 seats (minimum) in the House of Representatives.

Majority in the Senate.

I arrived at this conclusion about two weeks ago, and I think it's conservative. We'll see. I am working on another post about exactly how much - or how little - it will matter.

27 October 2010

Who's afraid of corporate cash?

The blogosphere was all abuzz with stories about the protester who got kicked by a Rand Paul supporter in Kentucky during an attempted publicity stunt.

Now we learn that the victim was a paid protester who has participated in various stunts across the country.

Naturally, liberals want to paint  this as an example of Tea Party types trying to prevent free speech. A few thoughts on that:

First, it wasn't, technically, "free" speech, since she got paid to do this.

Second, she was an employee of MoveOn.org, a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation. Remember back when President Obama criticized the Supreme Court's Citizen's United v. FEC decision because it would bring that dreaded corporate cash into our elections?

Citizen's United is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation, same as MoveOn.org.

Funny how that works, isn't it? In January, we needed to stop the evil influence of corporations like that. Now we have to stop the people who are stopping those corporations from buying political speech.

I shouldn't have to add this qualifier, but I suppose I do: I am not advocating tackling, beating or kicking liberal protesters. In fact, I think the best argument against them is to let them talk.

25 October 2010

"Miss me yet?" "Yes!" says...Donna Brazille???

Everybody wants to own Ronald Reagan now. Even President Obama, while campaigning for office, held up the Reagan presidency as his model. But Reagan's enduring popularity, his clear victory in the Cold War, and people's tendency to avoid speaking ill of the dead make it mush easier for even the most vicious of Reagan's contemporary detractors to have softened in retrospect.

Not so with George W. Bush. The mysterious billboards that have popped up, with a smiling, waving W asking "Miss me yet?" have not been embraced by the angry left - including the President, who stubbornly (bitterly?) clings to blaming Bush for everything bad.

Yet, in a New York Times forum this morning, Democrat strategist Donna Brazille, decrying current "extremism" in Republican politics, says:

With the departure of George W. Bush, the (Republican) party has lost its integrity. Its once principled soul is gone.

Say again? George W. Bush fondly remembered as his party's "principled soul" by a key operative of the party for which Bush hatred as been the heart, soul, and raison d'ĂȘtre for ten years now? That's a dizzying turnaround.

Somebody put a billboard up outside of Donna Brazille's office...

22 October 2010

"Partial repeal" will only make the GOP accessories after the fact

Recent reports suggest that Republican leadership is already toying with compromise half-measures as opposed to total repeal of Obamacare. Some might argue that they should get rid of whatever they can. After all, it is mathematically impossible for the GOP to win a veto-proof majority, so isn't it better to get what you can get?

How do I put this?


Very little could be more destructive. Partial repeal is partial ownership.

Imagine you've bought a house, and the day you move in, you find a dead body in the basement. What do you do? Cover it with a tarp and buy a bunch of air fresheners? Wait for the neighbors to cal the cops and then try to explain you didn't do it?

How do I put this?


Of course you wouldn't do that. Because if you did, you wouldn't be making it better.

You'd be an accessory after the fact.

Compromises and half measures, insofar as they are ever used at all, are for building legislation, not for tearing it down. Of course Obama will veto repeal. Make him do it. Make him explain to the police where the body came from.

12 October 2010

If I only had a brain - or a Harvard diploma...

Anne Applebaum takes on the topic of anti-elitism in the Washington Post today, and gets it exactly wrong. While it may be true that the view of what constitutes the elite has changed a bit over the years, the constant has been that those who wish to be part of the elite value credentials, while those who deride the idea of elitism believe in accomplishment.

Take Applebaum’s assertion that affirmative action expanded the “meritocracy.” To the contrary, the opening of Ivy League doors through affirmative action is, instead, expressive of a Wizard of Oz view that all you need to prove you are smart – indeed, to actually be smart - is a fancy piece of paper. Recall, the Scarecrow does not receive a brain at all, he only gets a diploma. Affirmative action only replaced the old legacy system with a different system, but one which still enables the elites to choose their own successors. They are the Wizards of Oz, deciding which hapless Scarecrows shall be deemed worthy of their diploma – their mark of approved intelligence.

The outcry against elitism was never against education per se, or even against particular schools. "Yale" and "Harvard" are figures of speech to the meritocrats, while "University of Idaho" and "community college" are evidence to the elites.

It is important to note that Yale and Harvard, while used as symbols of elitism to those who deride the elite, are equally marks of superiority to those who consider themselves to be the elite. The difference between the two is that meritocrats believe you go to Harvard or Yale because you are smart; the elites believe you are smart because you went to Harvard or Yale. The university names become figures of speech not to question the educational merits of the institutions themselves, but to mock the shallow credentialism that they too often represent.

Recall, as Applebaum points out, that Clarence Thomas graduated from Yale Law. Yet Tea Party activists never decry Thomas’s elitism. At the same time, the left sniffs derisively that he got there by affirmative action. In other words, he ought to be grateful to have had his empty Scarecrow head bestowed with this honor.

George W. Bush must cause the greatest distress for all. A third generation national political figure, scion of East Coast wealth and a graduate of both Yale and Harvard, he was nevertheless derided as an idiot by the elite. Because, you see, he only got in under the old rules for "legacies," not the new rules for today's favored groups.

The reason some (like Applebaum, apparently) get so confused by criticisms of the elite, is that they are so completely caught up in their own credentialism fetish. It isn’t about the school you attended. When Christine O’Donnell says “Yale” it’s just a figure of speech.

To the elites, though, there are no figures of speech, and even if there were, Yale and Harvard could not possibly be “just words.”

03 October 2010

It's fine to read between the lines. But you ought to read the actual lines, too

Over in the Washington Examiner, Byron York documents the union-driven (and funded) attendance at yesterday's "One Nation" rally in Washington.

In his report, he quotes Maida Odom (representing AFSCME) who says "I'm saddened that people haven't risen above their bigotry.  If you read the Republican Contract with America, you can see the bigotry in between every line."

Interesting. Given that she can't even get the title of the document right, you'll pardon my skepticism about whether she read any other part of it.

Maybe she figures that "between the lines" is just white space anyway, that she might just as well stare at a blank piece of paper, then spout off her preconceived notions and Democrat talking points.

For the rest of us, "reading between the lines" is just a figure of speech, and you can't read between the lines if you haven't read the actual lines.