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Friday, January 13, 2006

YES, BUT: If forensics confirm that Zawahiri is dead, I'm betting that's the two-word response we'll hear from the pathological group mind that speaks through the likes of Howard Dean, John Kerry, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy. "Good news, but why did it take so long? A bad man is dead, but where is bin Laden? Why did we go to Iraq instead of finishing the job in Afghanistan?" These kinds of rhetorical question invariably come down to marginalizing and minimizing the Islamofascist threat; implicitly comparing post-911 U.S. efforts at self-defense with the 911 attacks themselves; overtly attacking the president of the United States in his role as commander-in-chief; and implicitly seeking to disspirit the brave fighting American men and women who are standing for freedom in the Middle East. We are fighting a war against religious tyranny of the worst kind and the left refuses to join the fight because that would put them on America's side.
ALITO AFTERMATH: I've been fairly single-minded about the hearings this week; it's hard to resist such a dramatic display of the fundamental paradigm wars being played out across a variety of issues across the culture. Mainly I'm struck by the extent of the Democrats' obsession with unrestricted abortion; how else to explain why they would bring in Kate Michelman of NARAL today as one of their key witnesses? Here's Michael Novak's take on the hearings:
The pompous rhetorical indignation of Kennedy has become merely pathetic. He was once a heroic figure, but he now seems like the lion of Alice in Wonderland — threadbare, tame, and roaring every so often only out of nostalgic habit. Chuck Schumer drones on like a little spoiled boy who becomes a schoolyard bully just by his superior tone of voice, boring in upon others, coercing them verbally, trying to make them feel as worthless as in his mind they are. It is painful to watch the ruin of a great party. A great party has come to this. And most of it happened because of commitment to a policy that cannot be maintained without lies and malicious euphemisms. That is, the killing of innocents in what is supposed to be the most welcoming, safest place on earth — a mother's womb. (Isn't the posture of wishing one were safe the fetal position?) This radical lie — that what is destroyed in abortion is not a human individual, endowed with human rights — has poisoned a great party, induced a great rationalization in the place of constitutional reasoning in the Supreme Court, and divided a nation unnecessarily over an issue that ought at the very least to have been left to the consent of the people in diverse jurisdictions. No lie so basic to one's own identity goes unpunished.
NOT THAT IT MATTERS: E. J. Dionne is fit to be tied over Alito's failure to give the libs the answers they wanted. Not that it matters to Kennedy, Schumer, Durbin et al, but if only for the record it seems appropriate to note what the Canons of Judicial Ethics has to say about confirmation hearings:
“[A] judge or a candidate for…appointment to judicial office shall not…with respect to cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises or commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of the office.”
Senate Democrats had no problems when Anthony Kennedy (confirmed 97-0) said this at his hearings:
“the public expects that the judge will keep an open mind, and that he is confirmed by the Senate because of his temperament and his character, and not because he has taken particular positions on the issues.”
Senate Democrats had no problems when David Souter (90-9) said this at his hearings:
“can you imagine the pressure that would be on a judge who had stated an opinion, or seemed to have given a commitment in these circumstances to the Senate of the United States?”
Senate Democrats had no problems when Ruth Bader Ginsburg (96-3) said this at her hearings:
“no hints, no forecasts, no previews.”
Senate Democrats had no problems when Stephen Breyer (87-9) said this at his hearings:
“I do not want to predict or to commit myself on an open issue that I feel is going to come up in the Court….it is so important that the clients and the lawyers understand the judges are really open-minded.”
Not that any of this matters to today's "by any means necessary" liberal left. Still, these are the kinds of observations one might make if attempting to instruct someone - say, an elementary school student - basic the basics of critical thinking and fair play.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

PROGRESSIVE EMPATHY: The ever-compassionate left has begun to register their response to Mrs. Alito's tears. Here's a sample, thanks to John Hawkins at the ever-vigilant Right Wing News:
do we want a judge who would marry such a weak-willed b*tch?
Warning: that's a mild one.
SAM HE IS: The viciousness of the Democrat inquisitors is quickly approaching farce. I've got my fingers crossed that Alito might say something like this before the hearings come to an end: "Senator Schumer, you asked my views. Here's what I think about abortions: [shifting to Hip Hop cadence]:
"I do not like them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere... I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
"That said, I would approach the issue with an open mind."
SWING VOTE SAM: Sen. Dick Durbin, passionate defender of constitutional protections (for imprisoned terrorists), is worried whether Alito might bring his personal views to bear on the sacramental issue of (what else?) abortion:
"Many people will leave this hearing with a question as to whether or not you could be the deciding vote that would eliminate the legality of abortion."
The clear implication is that Durbin would have no problem if Alito were of a mind to favor abortion rights and use his influence as a justice to keep the current 5-4 majority intact. But of course.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

CLINICAL DEMOCRATS: Speculation grows about why the Democrats are turning in such a pathetic performance in their attempt to stop the Alioto nomination. Obvious answer: they're outgunned at every level: philosophically, intellectually, politically. Seven of the last ten presidential campaigns won by the GOP, yet the Dems continue to act (and speak) as if they're the majority party temporarily sidelined because the other side has somehow gotten a series of lucky breaks. We all know the drill: Reagan got elected only because he was an actor and Carter was weak; Bush 41 won only because he wore the Reagan mantle and Dukakis is a synonym for Doofis; Gore and Kerry actually won but W. stole both elections; the beat goes on. I confess I'm having an altogether delightful time watching the Democrats fall apart in public — from Kennedy's inability to pronounce Alito's name, to Biden's duplicity about Princeton. Permit me now to introduce a bit of psychological lingo:
decompensation |dēˌkämpənˈsā sh ən| noun • Psychiatry: the failure to generate effective psychological coping mechanisms in response to stress, resulting in personality disturbance or disintegration, esp. that which causes relapse in schizophrenia.
Watch them all carefully: not just Kennedy in his perennial fog, not just Biden and his endless preening narcissism; watch Durbin and Schumer and Feinstein and Leahy. What they have in common is that their "1960s mental furniture cannot square a modern nominee, much less a conservative one." Their coping mechanisms may have worked during the early Reagan years, when it was still possible to view his presidency as a grand historic accident. But their cognitive strategies simply are no longer working; they are indeed unable to "generate effective psychological coping mechanisms." So they stammer, they back and fill, they make lame jokes, they tread water furiously while trying to look calm, they claim to be progressive yet they sound reactionary, they hector and scold while appearing to be magnanimous. What America sees is the lack of congruence, the sustained disingenousness, the garden variety duplicity. Remember Nixon's sweaty "I am not a crook" moment? Recall Clinton's pasty, pious "I did not have sex with that woman?" These snapshots in infamy have become the Dems' ongoing present-tense reality: a continuous train wreck in slow motion, the cars becoming uncoupled one by one as the engineer refuses to look back and see what's actually happening. It goes without saying: This is all very good for America.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

HAUL HIM IN: The governor of California broke the law when he rode the motorcyle that encountered a car that resulted in 14 stitches to his upper lip. Here's one of the suits who wants to replace him as chief executive next year. Here's the other. Does either have the guts to try to round up Arnold via citizens arrest? Oh, how I'd love to see them try.
KENNEDY'S DEMISE: As a matter of simple senatorial etiquette, Arlen Spector should have warned those of his colleagues who suffer allergies to be aware of the dust that would fly from the pages of Kennedy's prepared speech, the same pages he has shuffled during Supreme Court confirmation hearings going back at least to Bork. Most orators actually improve when they give the same speech repeatedly over time, but in Kennedy's case it's the opposite. He stumbles over the most simple words and clauses, even referring to Sam Alito as Alioto. Joe Alioto was a famous San Francisco mayor in the 1960s, the period when Ted Kennedy's political views took shape, the heyday of the civil rights and women's liberation movements. Increasingly it's clear Kennedy's thinking is still mired in that era, given his argument that any judicial ruling that goes against a discrimination claim by any woman or any person of color necessarily equates with culpable discrimination. Sidebar: A friend recently wondered aloud what course Robert F. Kennedy's career might have taken but for the bullets that ended his life. "Who would Bobby have become?" No less interesting: Who would Ted have become? If he had had his older brother's respect to consider, would Ted Kennedy have degenerated into the staggering, stuttering, leering buffoon that today makes him indistinguishable from a political cartoon?

Monday, January 09, 2006

HART ON HILLARY: Former Colorado Senator Gary Hart's mad at Hillary for being too much of a hawk, which surprises me but then again not really. I grew to admire Hart during the 1980s when he seemed committed to educating himself on America's need for a smart, strong, lean national defense. Though I don't have his voting record at hand, I seem to remember that he wasn't to be found in the same corner as the knee-jerk "peace through surrender" types like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry on key defense and intelligence votes. Plus, he ran as a centrist alternative to the exhausted New Deal politics of Walter Mondale. So in one sense I'm surprised that he's now lining up with the cut-and-run maniacs of his party's left wing. But let's recall precisely how Gary Hart burst on the political scene in the first place — namely as campaign manager for a presidential candidate named George McGovern. Hart of course became a laughing stock thanks to a photo associated with the memorable phrase Monkey Business, and now he's returned to the comedy circuit with this rip-roaring shtick:
"The Democrats have failed to come up with a party position on Iraq...Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have to get these people into line."
Democratic disunity? Nonsense. Democrats in Congress seem remarkably clear on their Iraq policy. Nutshell: "We shouldn't have gone into Iraq, even though at the time we unambiguously agreed with Clinton and Bush 43 that Saddam was a global menace. We should leave Iraq as soon as possible, but if the issue comes up in Congress we'll vote against leaving Iraq yet we'll continue our opposition to American presence in Iraq." Pathetic? Heavens no. The accurate word is: "progressive." (Pardon me while I wretch.)