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Friday, October 21, 2005

ON LEAVING THE LEFT: In response to my essay Leaving the Left last spring I got more than a few emails from readers along these lines: "I've never been part of the left nor a liberal by any stretch, so it's hard to figure out the attraction of that ideology but I'm glad you got out." Well, what's it like to have identified with the aspirations of the liberal left and then to have second thoughts? Recently Front Page Magazine convened a symposium to explore precisely that question. Participants: Paul Kamolnick, Tammy Bruce, Phyllis Chesler, John Bradley, Michael Lopez-Calderon, and myself. It's a long piece but well worth the time. Hint: More than a few disagreements here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

VICE PRESIDENT RICE: NewsMax is trumpeting the possibility that Cheney will step aside and Bush will nominate Condi Rice for vice president. This idea made huge political sense to me long before Washington rumors began linking Cheney to the CIA leak controversy. Consider: 2008 will be the first time since 1952 — when Republicans Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon ran against Democrats Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman — that no incumbent president or vice president will be running in either party. The idea that Bush would want to forego annointing his GOP successor is implausible at best. The idea that he would want to change American history is a no brainer. Cheney's health precludes him from running, and it's easy to see him being willing to step aside so that his boss could select an accomplished black woman to be vice president. Condi would have a couple of years to make a splash and to make herself irresistable to the 2008 GOP convention as running mate to a candidate not yet chosen. In addition to bringing foreign policy expertise to the ticket, her moderate stances on social issues (pro-choice and pro-affirmative action) would certainly appeal to centrists of both parties. The voting black community would no longer be a subsidiary of the Democrats; take that, Hillary. Oh, and how I'd love to see Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters whine about Condi being inauthentically black. True, she's never shaken down a corporation for guilt money (Jesse); she's never been indicted (Al); she's never been part of the Blame America First crowd (Maxine). What Condi's done is work hard to get where she is. In short, she has learned to play the America card. Mr. Vice President, it's time to get your next physical, so you can make the announcement you need to make: that you're ready to spend time on what really matters at this point in your life, grandchildren and fishing.
PBS ASSAULTS FATHERS: On October 20, PBS stations around the country will air a one-hour documentary entitled “Breaking the Silence; Children’s Stories.” The program is an arrow aimed at the heart of the shared parenting movement, arguing that men who want to share custody of their children are generally not fit to do so. The program claims that in 75 percent of cases in which fathers seek either shared or sole custody of their children, the dads have a history of being batterers. The show also claims that two-thirds of the time mothers allege domestic violence, custody goes to the fathers anyway. The program further implies that almost all child abusers are fathers and that parental alienation is a ruse by batterers to win custody. These assertions are false. The program gives no air time to opposing points of view. Talk radio host Glenn Sachs is shining his spotlight on PBS for broadcasting blatant propaganda. Sachs was previously successful effort to drive "Boys are Stupid" products out of 3,500 stores worldwide — 95 percent of their total distribution. Last summer over 2,000 Sachs listeners bombarded California legislators with calls and letters and helped kill SB 730, a bill which would have given custodial mothers the unlimited right to move our children whenever and wherever they want to. All the Sacramento experts said Sachs would lose that campaign, and all the experts were wrong. Are there abusive fathers who make lousy parents? Of course there are. There are also abusive mothers. But the idea that men are uniquely unqualified to parent their kids represents the most virulent feminist propaganda — this time, paid for by your tax dollars. Let PBS know what you think. And keep up the pressure to cut off the taxpayer pipeline to so-called public broadcasting. As George F. Will points out, in an age of 500-channel TV the very notion of public broadcasting is a "preposterous relic."
CHERTOFF'S RHETORIC: DHS chief Michael Chertoff has promised to "deport all illegal aliens." Chris Kelly reveals the hype behind the headline.
VOTER CORRUPTION LOBBY AT WORK: Is it a gross imposition to ask citizens to prove who they are when they show up at polls to vote? Yes, according to a federal judge who blocked Georgia from enforcing a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. The judge bought into the claims of so-called civil rights leaders that the $20 cost of a valid photo I.D. presents a financial hardship to the poorest citizens, most of whom are black. They say cost represents a new "poll tax," something the civil rights movement fought against decades ago, and rightly so. If memory serves, the civil rights movement emphasized the importance of citizenship rights for all qualified Americans. With the passage of laws guaranteeing those rights, you might have thought the civil rights establishment would have advocated training programs aimed at instilling the habits of heart and mind that citizenship require, including self-reliance and enthusiasm for civic life. But wait — people who learn such skills no longer need civil rights leaders. And the civil rights leaders, no longer able to sell dependency as a virtue, would be out of a job. So the civil rights movement has to stoop to the claim that a $20 photo I.D. represents oppression. The Democratic voter corruption lobby never misses an opportunity to cry "discrimination" because theirs is increasingly a party of self-identified alienated minorities. Enough of them, elections can be won. Please. Who is taking this stuff seriously? Federal judges, that's who. That's why the stakes are so great in confirming common-sense, constitutionally-minded judges. (It goes without saying that the State of Georgia should amend its law to cover the costs of photo identification for the very poor.)