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Friday, June 10, 2005

A simple test for Janice Rogers Brown

The Senate has said yes to sending the world's most dangerous (because conservative) African American woman a seat to the D.C. Court of Appeals. Yet the ever-vigilant senior senator from Massachusetts has his doubts about who this woman really is. An excerpt from the speech Ted might have made if he had wanted to be honest:
I welcome this opportunity to respond to the charge that in voting against an African American woman, I am somehow betraying my commitment to racial and gender equality. This allegation assumes that Janice Rogers Brown is in fact an African American woman. So say her supporters. But in this age of special effects, appearances can be deceptive. How do we know for sure?
Here's Teddy K's "speech" in its entirety...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Liberalism in a nutshell

Kudos to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome for capturing the very essence of contemporary liberalism in his recent statement declaring What Must Be Done About Pit Bulls in San Francisco: "You've got dogs that literally can kill. We've seen it demonstrated. If we can't change people's behavior and make them think what's in their best interests, then that's where government comes along and becomes a bit paternalistic" (San Francisco Examiner, June 6, print edition; for some reason not available at the Examiner's Web site). If Newsome's statement had been a touchdown or field goal, I'd gladly play the statement back several times (including slow mo) to take the full measure of the event. But we're stuck with print, so we'll have to let italics and bold type make the point. Here again is the money quote:
"If we can't change people's behavior and make them think what's in their best interests, then that's where government comes along and becomes a bit paternalistic."
Perfect, bingo, yes! The primary goal of liberal activist government is to change people's behavior by making them (read: forcing them to) think what's in their "best interests." Who's best situated to determine what's in people's best interests — the people themselves? No way. Leave it to Gavin Newsome and the crew of social(ist) engineers in San Francisco city government. Here's the scary part: Newsome's a moderate in SF politics. (Don't even ask me about Chris Daly, a city supervisor who makes Kim Jong-il seem conciliatory by comparison.) The point that matters: In the worldview of the contemporary left, the end completely justifies the means. On any given issue — say, same-sex marriage — if the mayor doesn't like existing state law, he simply violates the law and authorizes the entire mechanism of city government to do the same. (Oh, goody. Care to guess what Mayor Newsome would have to say if one of his fellow mayors — say, from south of the proverbial Mason-Dixon Line — were to declare null and void all state and federal gun control laws on Second Amendment grounds?) On another issue — violent dogs — the mayor effectively declares that a virtual epidemic of violent dogs requires a new bureaucratic infrastructure. It goes without saying: No sane person felt anything short of horror at the recent mauling of a 12-year-old child by the family's pet pit bull terrier. And reasonable people can (and do) disagree about the dangers of bred-to-fight dog species. There are already laws on the books that cover bad animals badly managed and the humans who are responsible for bad outcomes. And of course that's not the relevant point. The relevant point is in bold italics above. "We reserve the right to actively use the machinery of the state — creating any new law or voiding any existing law — to advance our vision of what's in the best interests of The People." Freedom is seldom forfeited all at once, but instead by increments. We've all heard about how to cook a live frog: If the starting water's too hot, the frog will jump right out. Begin with room temperature water and slow increase the heat, degree by degree. It's not about frogs and it's not about dogs — not even really vicious dogs. In the end it's all about what Benjamin Franklin told the Philadelphia woman in 1787 who asked him what kind of government he and his fellow delegates had just created at the Constitutional Convention. "A republic — if you can keep it," Franklin replied. Philadelphia = here. 1787 = Now. You = us.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hillary's mojo — working overtime!

New York's junior senator gave quite the stemwinder Monday to a gathering of her most hardcore partisans, a group that calls itself "Women for Hillary." Our former co-president ("Buy one, get one free" — Bill Clinton, 1992) has lately taken strong exception to what she quaintly calls "abuse of power." Given her acknowledged orchestration of the purely partisan firing of the White House travel office in 1993, it's safe to assume Mrs. Clinton's disdain for political power trips is recently acquired. Oh, but let's not scour yesterday's dumpster. Instead let's join hands and skip through the meadow of Hillary's recent musings. "There has never been an administration, I don't believe in our history, more intent upon consolidating and abusing power to further their own agenda." Smart move, linking "consolidating" with "abusing" power. Hillary's goal is obviously to equate the two. Last time I checked, the political party that controls both the White House and Congress (Clinton: 1993-94; Carter: 1977-80) typically seeks to "consolidate" its power — for instance, by appointing federal judges with views in sync with that political party. What a remarkable concept! "I know it's frustrating for many of you, it's frustrating for me. Why can't the Democrats do more to stop them [the GOP]?" Well, shucks. Here's an idea: Democrats, just win back the Senate and the House in 2006, then recover the White House in 2008! That will make it easier for you to "stop them." Dems, don't be discouraged — you've won the White House before. In the past ten presidential elections, you've won exactly three times. That's counting the two elections where Bill ran as a moderate, and then there's the election where Jimmy won a close race campaigning as a centrist against an appointed Watergate-aftermath-Republican who argued strenuously that Poland was not under the control of the Soviet Union. So, yes, Dems. You can "stop" the GOP in our time. Clue: Just keep Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi front and center. (OK, I'll admit that last part is sarcasm. I couldn't resist.) "It is very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government who don't care." Dear Senator Clinton: Our system of checks and balances appear to be in rather good repair. The president was re-elected by a vote of the people. The majority party in Congress similarly reflects the outcome of local rituals known informally as elections. The Supreme Court's current majority was shaped by presidential nominations and senatorial confirmations; please see previous reference to ten previous presidential elections, three of which were won by Democrats, which (quick math) leaves seven Republican administrations to shape the court's current consensus. Which they did. As Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Clinton also did. Hillary, here's a question. If John Kerry were president, would you want him to make the judicial nominations as George W. Bush has recently made? Or would you prefer that he nominate different individuals reflecting, oh, Kerry's judicial philosophy? Hillary — are you still with me? "I can tell you this: It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing.... It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth." Gosh. I defer to your expertise on these points. And I'm reminded of how much I look forward to visiting the Clinton Library in Little Rock. Has a date been set for the opening of the Paula Jones Exhibit? Or for the debut of the animatronic display that recreates how your Rose Law Firm billing records suddenly appeared on that White House dining table? Anyway, Hillary — great speech Monday. Just keep moving toward the center on social issues, keep your fingers crossed for a continuing shortening of the nation's collective memory, and like Mary Richards of MJM televsion in Minneapolis (Pop Culture Alert: 1970s sitcom) — you might just make it after all.