Saturday, February 23, 2008

Life Imitates Art in Saudi Arabia

Michelle Malkin points to this story about 57 men in Saudi Arabia being investigated and prosecuted for flirting. She suggests that an appropriate soundtrack would be something like "My Sharia Amour." But that's not quite right. No, this reminds me of something....

Wait, I'll think of it...

I know! It reminds me of something that an apparently prophetic playwright wrote over one hundred and twenty years ago. His name was Sir William Gilbert, and he worked with an equally famous chap named Sir Arthur Sullivan. The resulting operetta was named "The Mikado" and the incredibly confusing plot summary can be viewed here.

Although inspired by a nascent Japanese "invasion" into British culture in the late nineteenth century, it was really meant — as were most of G & S's works — as an indictment of the pompous stupidity of British aristocracy and government. Gilbert recognized the frivolity of many laws that were passed by Parliament and found no small irony in their futility. In this operetta, flirting has been declared illegal by no less than the Emporer of Japan, as evidenced by this dialogue between Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo, the bubble-headed protagonists:
YUM. (retreating). If you please, I think your Highness
had better not come too near. The laws against flirting are
excessively severe.
NANK. But we are quite alone, and nobody can see us.
YUM. Still, that don't make it right. To flirt is capital.
NANK. It is capital!
YUM. And we must obey the law.
NANK. Deuce take the law!
YUM. I wish it would, but it won't!
To solidify this backdrop, Gilbert gives us the following terse explanation in a song that happens to be one of Sullivan's more clever compositions (note: if you can find a recording, or, better yet, attend a performance, just know that this song is my favorite, even though in three runs of doing this show I never once got to sing it!):
Our great Mikado, virtuous man,
When he to rule our land began,
Resolved to try
A plan whereby
Young men might best be steadied.
So he decreed, in words succinct,
That all who flirted, leered or winked
(Unless connubially linked),
Should forthwith be beheaded,
Beheaded, beheaded,
Should forthwith be beheaded.
And I expect you'll all agree
That he was right to so decree.
And I am right,
And you are right,
And all is right as right can be!

This stern decree, you'll understand,
Caused great dismay throughout the land!
For young and old
And shy and bold
Were equally affected.
The youth who winked a roving eye,
Or breathed a non-connubial sigh,
Was thereupon condemned to die —
He usually objected,
Objected, objected,
He usually objected.
And you'll allow, as I expect,
That he was right to so object.
And I am right,
And you are right,
And everything is quite correct!

And so we straight let out on bail
A convict from the county jail,
Whose head was next
On some pretext
Condemned to be mown off,
And made him Headsman, for we said,
"Who's next to be decapited
Cannot cut off another's head
Until he's cut his own off,
His own off, his own off,
Until he's cut his own off."
And we are right, I think you'll say,
To argue in this kind of way;
And I am right,
And you are right,
And all is right — too-loo-ral-lay!
All of this material, by the way, is hosted by the indispensable "Gilbert and Sullivan Archive," hosted at Boise State.

In truth, the only elements missing from this Saudi story are a cheap ex-tailor, Ko-Ko (whom I played all three times), who is elevated to Lord High Executioner, and the insufferably pompous Lord High Everything Else, Pooh-Bah.

Life imitates art in Saudi Arabia, but not in a good way.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Politics of Nasty

[Welcome to "" readers! My appreciation to Care2 for quoting from this post. - Woody]

One of the basic premises of politics is the need to discredit one's foe in order to further your own agenda. This has been true since George Washington announced that he would relinquish his presidency. This simple act not only established the precedent that would enable our republican form of government to thrive, but also created the politics of nasty. Once it became clear that two or more opposing points of view would have the opportunity to attain this high office, the nastiness began. Oh, it sounded much more civilized two hundred years ago, but it could get nasty enough all the same.

To think that your side isn't as nasty as the other guy's side ("side" = "poliical party of choice") is just plain naive. Every candidate pledges initially to run a clean campaign; no dirty tricks, no negative campaigning, no torpedoing the other guy's boat! In reality, from the moment they first begin exploring the possibility of even running they are putting together reams of information about their opponents — real and potential — so they can find and exploit their weaknesses.

Of especial interest to candidates and their staffs are those items that make it appear that an opponent in fact acts contrary to their stated position on any given topic. Hence the furor over McCain's apparent lack of ethical behavior in his relationship (whatever form that relationship may or may not have taken) with a D.C. lobbyist. McCain has presented himself as a fierce proponent of ethics in Washington. This means that any situation that even has the appearance of a conflict of interest is going to be exploited hard and fast. In fact, the only surprising thing about the NY Times' report is that it waited so long to publish. This, in turn, smacks of "questionable timing," and merely perpetuates the politics of nasty. (Read, by the way, this piece in regarding McCain's masterful handling of this drive-by politicking. McCain knows how this game is played.)

This is the part of the political game that only the masochistic enjoy. For all the theatrics of campaign managers and spokespersons who loudly decry such "underhanded tactics" and "smear campaigns," this is exactly the sort of thing for which they live. To them it's a tonic; the soothing rhythm of a political machine running on all cylinders. Do you think for a moment that McCain's handlers are losing sleep over this issue? If they are, it's only because they thrive on living on the edge 24x7, and the act of alternately creating or reacting to malicious politicking is what they eat at every meal. This is their breath of life. They would mount and frame their ulcers, if they could.

The only reason that similar dirt hasn't been flung at Obama or Clinton from McCain's side (I'm not talking about frivilous comments about Obama's lack of substance or past drug use, or Clinton's dangerous positions on the issues; I'm talking about hit pieces like the NYT article) so far is that we're probably waiting for the dust to settle when the Democrats are through cutting each other to shreds. Let them do the heavy lifting until one or the other drops out. Then go after them. This would be a logical strategy for McCain and his camp to follow, in my mind. But mark my words: the moment it becomes clear exactly who it is that will face McCain in November, the nastiness will appear.

Thus it becomes the burden of every voter in America to find enough truth in every story to be able to make an intelligent choice at the ballot box. Did McCain have an inappropriate (either politically or morally) relationship with a lobbyist? No idea. Can't really trust the Times if I believe (as I do) that they are nothing more than a liberal shill. Some papers wouldn't even pick up the story, with one editor in Seattle calling it "thin beer."

Likewise, I'm never sure what to believe about the Democrats. My opinions of Hillary were formed many years ago during her husband's facetious presidency, and those opinions — right or wrong — are not kind. I don't know Obama yet, except to understand that his positions on most of my key issues (border control, immigration policy, abortion, same-sex marriage, probable Supreme Court appointments) are unacceptable to me. As an individual he may very well be as charismatic and "hopeful" as his supporters claim him to be. Charisma and hope are not what I'm voting for in this election.

Don't get me wrong. It's a good thing to hope. But hope has to be tempered by reality, and the realities of today's world call for far more than just hope. A firm commitment to defend this nation against any and all comers is mandatory. A firm plan to improve the economy without increasing a normal citizen's tax burden (preferably by reducing government interference) is most desirable. Improving health care choices without socializing our medical profession is what I want. Using tax payer money to support those who refuse to reasonably assimilate into our society and pay their fair share of that tax burden is out of the question. Unequivocal support for the traditional family unit is an absolute. Those are my benchmarks. When I measure the three currently viable candidates for the presidency, McCain comes the closest. He's nowhere near perfect, but he's closer to the mark than either of the Democrats.

So that's my personal formula for dealing with the politics of nasty. Ignore (or sneer at) the hype, measure the candidates, vote for the one that comes closest to the mark. The politics of nasty is all about inflating our normal emotional responses to any given candidate. In some cases, as with Obama, those emotions may carry one away into a swooning fit. (Note: Woody would not swoon. Not for Obama. Not for McCain. Not even for Romney. I reserve my swooning, such as it is, for Mrs. Woody.) The NYT piece on McCain was a calculated move to inflame emotions against the candidate, and it will have worked for many who read it.

The rest of us have already tuned it out and are waiting for this long national nightmare to be over.

UPDATE: I gotta be careful when writing from memory. The quote from the Seattle editor was "thin beer," not "weak beer." The Woundup apologizes for Woody's random neural firings and has corrected the quote.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Woody Reponds to a Commenter

This is in response to one of my commenters. Dennis makes the case that Mormons should support Obama, and has some well-crafted and carefully thought-out reasons why. My own response exceeded Haloscan's limit of 3,000 characters, so I'm responding here. Take a look at Dennis' post if you'd like better background on his comments to me.


I will have to agree to disagree with you.

Yes, fear is a powerful principle indeed. But I reject the idea that fear-mongering is a purely Republican device. Go back to any past election and tell me, exactly, where one candidate or another did NOT engage in some sort of fear-mongering in order to keep the other fellow out of office.

Your boy Obama (and Clinton, too) can talk "hope" and "change" all he wants, but there's a very real underlying message of FEAR that McCain will mean another four years of Bush doctrine in the White House. They can spin it any ol' which way they want, but it fails the duck test.

Also, this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you or I happen to be LDS. I largely have to rely on my personal feelings and beliefs in political affairs because (news flash) the Spirit has not given Pres. Monson leave to announce from the pulpit that either McCain or Obama (or Huckabee, or Clinton II) should get the Mormon vote in this election. You and I both know it doesn't work that way. Apparently the Spirit, which should be informing our more critical decisions, has brought you into Obama's camp, while driving me into McCain's (if somewhat reluctantly). (Actually, I'd thought the Spirit had prompted me to support Romney. Apparently not.)

Or, it could just be that the Spirit is really directing me to live my life honestly, love my fellow man while hating the sin that permeates every nook and cranny of this society, raise my children to love the Lord first, and let me make my own informed decisions on who should get my vote.

Since you bring up the issue of why Mormons should support one candidate or another, let's step back a bit and take the apocryphal view: Given that the world as a whole is spiritually diseased and that the current political climate has enabled every sort of vice and contempt for eternal law imaginable, whomever we support for higher offices in this country is ultimately going to make little or no difference in how that climate evolves over the next four years. It's a joint effort, truly, and neither side can boast of supporting God's ideas over and above their own. If they were able to make that claim, there would be no law allowing abortion for any but the most serious of medical reasons, prayer would still be allowed in our schoolrooms, and the name of God would not cause shame in our courtrooms. There would be no need for universal health care proposals because we as a society would already be taking care of those less fortunate than ourselves, without need for the Government to force us to do so.

I, personally, would have preferred that Bush had waited for a Helaman-like prophet to say "thus sayeth the Lord" before marching into Baghdad. But now that we're there, I'd prefer that we do the job right and make sure that a 9/11 never happens again. As it is, I have no such confidence, whether a McCain supports the surge, or an Obama sets forth a timetable for withdrawal. Terrorists exist precisely because fear is every bit as powerful a principle as I've already alluded.

If I read the conference reports correctly, many have preached that things will only get worse before the Second Coming, and I have no expectation that either an Obama or a McCain is going to improve our lot on that score. Even Romney, inspired man that he may be, wouldn't have been able to do more than make token progress against that condition. Whether you put any credence in the "prophecy" or not, I still believe that this country is truly headed for a constitutional crisis, and that only the faith of the Church as a whole - Republican and Democrat (and Libertarian and Green Party) alike - is going to save it. I don't recall the prophecy saying anything about only Republican elders saving the constitution.

So you continue to sound the trump for Obama, and I'll continue to harangue McCain until (or unless) he gets it right. In the end, it's still a democratic - not an eternal - process in which we're engaged. We can only pray that our choices keep the Evil One at bay.

And I don't mean Clinton.

Well... maybe I do. ;-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Memo to McCain

Okay, John, you've got this pretty much in the bag now, and it looks like it'll be Obama unless Billary pulls off a miracle before the convention. I know you don't much care for the advice of conservatives (you're really starting to annoy us with your "conservative record" meme, by the way), but I'm gonna offer a bit more anyway:

This Obama kid... you gotta take him down a road he can't build on his own, John. You've made a good start of it by pointing out the difference in "experience." But this is a problem, really. Everyone on that side of the political spectrum (and most especially the MSM) is actually counting on his lack of "insider" experience to foment this "change" they all keep harping about. So you gotta do more than just point out the obvious now. You have to demonstrate exactly how this difference in experience could mean keeping this country safe from direct assault.

The Democrats have given you a wonderful gift here, John, and you need to exploit it. When the Pelosian cowards in the House refused to vote on perfectly good legislation from the Senate to extend FISA (Pelosi's disingenuous spin aside), you were given all the ammunition you need to paint Democrats as being unwilling to do whatever it takes to keep this country safe. Period. They even handed you the brush, John. All you have to do is supply the strokes.

Now's your chance. An Obama presidency means an automatic surrender to terrorist forces across the world, no protection at our own borders, and a refusal to gather whatever intelligence is vital and necessary so we can continue to thwart attacks on our home turf.

Oh, and one more thing. Obama's wife said something the other day... I know you have your head stuck on that Straight Talk Espresso thingie most days... She said, "...for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.” Even your wife picked up on this statement, and the Obama Machine is already in full spin-mode on this one. But the fact is that what she said is felt by an alarmingly large portion of our nation.

You, Mr. Candidate, need to be out there listing and selling all the reasons why, precisely, this is a country in which we should take pride. You need to be pointing out our nearly universal outreach to many, many nations in humanitarian efforts. You need to show that being ready to defend freedoms not just for our country but for those of other countries is an honorable course, rather than an embarrassing curse. You need to remind people that, if they have democracy in their country today, it's largely patterned after our constitutional form of republican government that we implemented here over two hundred years ago. You need to help them understand that advances in science and industry that were spearheaded by the United States have held benefits for nearly every nation on earth over the years. This is not a nation of which to be ashamed, John, and you need to be throwing that in the faces of our esteemed opposition. Have we made mistakes? Certainly. Is there any nation on earth today that can claim never to have made any? Absolutely not. If we have our faults, we try to learn from them.

You might even want to bring up ol' Fidel down there in Cuba. Forty-nine years later, and people have a hard time articulating how, exactly, their country is better off for his leadership. If you disagree with Cuban leadership, you risk ending up in prison or worse. In this country, if you don't like your leadership, you at least have an opportunity to vote them out every few years. Cubans have no such guarantees. You can't get a permit in Cuba to "assemble peaceably," especially if your real purpose is to storm your nation's capital and parade around half naked to make a point. Try that in Cuba and you receive a whole new understanding of what "torture" really means. (Hint: it has nothing to do with "waterboarding.")

Time to put on the ol' smock, Mr. McCain. You can't afford to waste any time between now and November.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Disingenuous MSM

Glen Johnson, writing for the Associated Press, makes this statement regarding Mitt Romney and his opinions of John McCain:
It always sounded innocuous enough, tucked into the adjectives Mitt Romney would rattle off when he described the qualities for the next president.

Wisdom, optimism and the right temperament, said the former Republican presidential candidate.
He goes on to make the case that what Romney has done, in effect, is give the Democrats ammunition in their future campaign against the presumed Republican nominee.

What complete, utter, and total nonsense. Romney has done no such thing. Not by himself, anyway. All Romney has done is his research. He used that research to make the compelling case that there were (and still are) huge differences between Romney's brand of conservatism, and McCain's claims to the conservative crown. McCain's temperament is renown, and has been widely reported by the MSM as well.

All Johnson could possibly be doing in writing this tripe is attempt to make Romney look like the great spoiler for the 2008 campaign. If McCain loses in November, it will have been because of Romney's apparent gaffes. Romney therefore becomes unappetizing to Republicans in any future contests, and the MSM has triumphed.

(Mr. Johnson may well complain that I'm reading things into his article that he never intended. Mr. Johnson would be well advised to look to his own purposes in writing the article. If this isn't an attempt to impugn an honorable man, then I've never seen one.)

All of the things mentioned in Johnson's missive have been reliably reported elsewhere. McCain's relative weakness on economic issues. Various flip-flops on critical issues, particularly on immigration reform. His decision to make strategic alliances with liberal members of Congress. His flaunting of his differences with the conservative hemisphere of the party. His temper. All of these things have been reported in various segments of the MSM, and many of them have been linked and/or quoted extensively by new media on both sides of the aisle.

The only thing one can really lay at Romney's feet is the statement that Democrats will soon make beginning with, "Even Romney knew about McCain's [insert McCain weakness here]...!" They would be fools not to.

To blame Romney for this, however, is a huge stretch and impossible to prove. I think this is really just another attempt by a mainstreamer to demonstrate that they can remain relevant to modern political discussions. They're still struggling to maintain their supremacy in this age of new media, and they resort to this sort of journalistic pouting when they realize they can't.

Let's be realistic about this: The Democrats have not been handed their "playbook" by Mtt Romney. They have been doing their research. They watch the blogs. They read the reports. Clinton and Obama both have worked directly with McCain in the Senate, and are both very well aware of his weaknesses. Romney did not enable them. He did what any candidate for office must do if they are to mount an effective campaign: you study your opponents, you understand their weaknesses, and you exploit those weaknesses. This is politics.

Nice try, Mr. Johnson, but you're not even close on this one. With or without Mitt Romney, the Democrats will have received the largest portions of their "playbook" by reading articles like yours.

This is Precisely Why...

...the church requires living prophets.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Okay, If I Hafta Support McCain...

... I'm sure not letting him off the hook. No conservative should do that. We need to be extremely bothersome flies buzzing around his head at all times. Keep the pressure on him to make some changes that will make him — if not acceptable — at least more palatable to a goodly portion of the GOP. Here's a few items off the top of my admittedly pointed head:

1. Clean House, Senator

Two names, John: Juan Hernandez and Jerry Perenchio. In politics, perception is reality, and they've gotta go if you want to be perceived as being serious about border control. They serve at such high levels in your campaign that I'm surprised you don't shut down every day at about 1:00 for a siesta. Might as well build your vacation White House in Ciudad Juarez if you're going to continue to take advice from Señor Hernandez.

You can't honestly expect conservatives to believe you really want to build that fence, John, with these guys whispering open-borders platitudes in your ears all the time.

2. You're Getting Cranky With the Wrong People

Particularly, you need to quit chewing out conservatives who happen to disagree with you, and quit being so nice to Madame Clinton. Look, we just can't tell at this point whom you will be opposing in November, but fer Pete's sake, GO AFTER 'EM. Don't yarn about how "civilized" a campaign you would run if Billary gets the Dem nod... point out her liberal stances and how dangerous they are to the progress of the nation. Don't let Obama's color fool you, either... underneath that deep tan, he's still a politician, and politicians don't become politicians because they were nice to everyone, especially their opponents. But above all, don't let them get away with surrender politics in a time of war! You wanna be the battle-tough veteran and war hero? Great. Act like one.

3. Don't Forget You're Still a Senator

Even Clinton and Obama bothered to vote on the stimulus package. Right or wrong, they voted. Where were you? Trying to solidify your nomination prospects. Yes, sir, I presume to tell you how to do your job. After all, you work for me, remember?

4. Walk the Talk (and Talk, and Talk, and Talk...)

Quit telling us about how proud you are of your conservative record. We get it. You're proud. Fine. Just do us a favor and start acting like you're proud of it, will ya? Telling us to "calm down" does you absolutely no good if we find you constantly in bed with liberals in the Senate. You might have made a case for "compromise" and "bipartisanship" in ages past, but that was before your under-the-breath comments (isn't new media a wonderful thing?) revealed the inner-liberal you appear to have. You'd "draw the line at an Alito?" Not good, John. This does not give us great hope that you will, in fact, put forward truly constructionist justices for the Supreme Court.

While you're at it, do something about that temper of yours, hm? Metaphorically speaking, we can still take presidents out back to the woodshed if we have to. Job approval ratings spring immediately to mind. And you'll be facing an increasingly impeachment-happy Congress if you happen to take office next year. May want to keep that tucked somewhere in the back of your mind.

I offer these gratis, of course. My humble gift to the presumed nominee of the Republican party for 2008. No thanks are necessary, John. I'm only doing my part. Sorry I couldn't deliver these in person, but you're a busy man these days, and I understand. Even so...

Your move, John.

Romney Takes a Bow

Well, it's all over but the inevitable shouting. Romney has officially withdrawn from the race and thrown his support to John McCain. I find it both intriguing and enjoyable that he chose his appearance at CPAC to do so. His exit speech is both forceful and elegant. While fiercely defending conservative values, he also recognizes the importance of ensuring that neither a Barack Obama or a Hillary Clinton have the opportunity to take this country in a backward direction.

Mitt Romney is a class act, the likes of which we have not seen since (dare I say it?) Ronald Reagan. If Mitt is to become the (not "a") dedicated defender of conservative values within the Republican Party — for McCain patently refuses to do so — then I hope, like Reagan, we see more and more of Romney in the years to come. I hope he returns to run in '12 or '16. By then he will have become the kind of nationally recognizable figure that, like Reagan, is able to rise above what he was (in Reagan's case, an actor) to become one of the great Presidents in the 21st century. Reagan was an actor-turned-politician who was able to rise above the perception of Hollywood flakiness to become a master communicator and uniter of the party (again, something to which McCain can only aspire). Romney has that same potential to rise above his Latter-day Saint background that has seemed so appalling to evangelicals across the country and remain an active voice of the GOP as Reagan did between the 1976 and 1980 elections.

The difference here, of course, is that Reagan did not have to fight a Republican incumbent in 1980. We don't know if Romney will be facing a Republican or a Democrat incumbent in 2012, but that person will more than likely be seeking a second term. Even if we wait until 2016, however, I still firmly believe that Romney will be a wise choice for this country to make.

In the meantime, may I just say that I begin with a slow sautée in butter, adding a dash of onion and garlic powders, over medium heat...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

On the Other Hand

Should it become absolutely necessary for me to eat my words, and ultimately vote for McCain because we need to make sure Faust, not Lucifer, makes it into the White House next year...

... at least let me cook 'em my way.

Stupor Tuesday

Well, the dust has settled and California has been counted. For interested parties (all two of you) here's how Uncle Woody fared in this primary:

President of the United States: McCain takes California. Nuts. Voted Romney.

Proposition 91: No - Good!
Proposition 92: No - Great!
Proposition 93: No - Hurrah!

Props 94 - 97: Yes - Drat.

Measure A (local issue for Yorba Linda and Placentia): Yes - Good.

Bottom line: With the results of California's gaming compacts (94 - 97) and McCain's win here, California simply has far too many gamblers living here for my taste.


The Hugh Hewitt Contradiction

All throughout this campaign, Hugh Hewitt has been one of the leading voices in support of Mitt Romney. To that end, he has tirelessly pointed out the shortcomings of John McCain who now appears poised to capture and keep the GOP front-runner status.

Disturbing as McCain's victories are, there is an even more disturbing trend among the GOP faithful to believe that the party is somehow paramount to the principles for which it once stood. Here again, Hewitt serves as one of the significant voices in arguing for the sake of the party in November. Bad as McCain is, he argues, he deserves our full support lest the Democrats capture and hold the White House in this election.

But there is a moral problem with Hugh's arguments. Hewitt has done such a good job of documenting McCain's failings that those of us who now fully understand the man cannot in good conscience support him as President of the United States. Ever.

This is not a simple matter of taking our ball and quitting the game. I do not whine about what bad fortune we Romney supporters see in the race at this stage of the game, nor do I make this decision lightly. If the election truly boils down to a choice between McCain and either Obama or Clinton this fall, I will make good on my promise to write Mitt Romney's name in when I cast my vote.

There's a reason for this: Mitt Romney today represents the last (indeed, probably the only) chance for the Republican Party to stand up for what its base believes. To vote for McCain is to vote for a complete compromise of the principles that most concern me at this point in time. John McCain represents the worst in immigration reform. He has no (repeat, NO) economic credentials. His assault on political freedom of speech is inexcusable.

By the way, his status as "war hero" — which is unimpeachable — is not the reason why we should trust him to properly prosecute the war against terrorism. There are many war heroes in public office today, and many of them do not support the effort to win the war. McCain merely has the right ideas and has been unswerving in his support. This counts, however, as the only aspect of John McCain that I do support. When balanced against the other issues, McCain does not deserve, nor has he earned the right, to be the face of the Republican Party in this election.

Now Hugh is hedging his bets. Romney is officially struggling after a somewhat lackluster performance in the Super Tuesday contests (I did my part!), and Hugh is seeing the writing on the wall. McCain may not yet be "inevitable," but he is the front-runner and a force to be reckoned with leading up to the national convention. "Whoever the nominee is," opines the silver-haired wonder, "we need to unconditionally support him in November."

This from the man who has time and again pointed out the very reasons why a vote for McCain is a vote against my own conservative principles.

McCain, whatever he is saying today, has and will continue to betray the conservative base of the GOP. He cannot be allowed to sit in the President's chair while claiming to "unite the party." That phrase will prove to be the greatest political lie of a campaign rife with political lies in nearly every camp. I refuse to live that lie, as do many others who know and understand John McCain.

No, Mr. Hewitt, your argument is false and empty. If John McCain is the Republican nominee this fall, then perhaps the Republican Party deserves to lose — and lose big — in November. Perhaps we need another four years of watching the Democrats push an agenda of entitlement, socialism, and zero national security so we can awaken the Party to the harsher realities of a bi-polar nation.

Republicans have proven in the past that merely putting them in control is not enough. They refuse to learn their lessons, even when applied with a political 2x4. They fly in the face of the very conservatives who used to give the Party its distinctive flavor. Conservatism used to be the Party's defining characteristic. Now the Republicans are only distinguishable from the Democrats in their fights against abortion and terrorism. In nearly every other aspect of conservative thinking — including over-sized government — they have shown themselves far more likely to shake hands with their buddies across the aisle and ignore the voices of those who put them in office to begin with. These are not "Reagan conservatives."

When and if the GOP gets behind their conservative base and fronts a platform that defends, rather than compromises, our conservative principles, I will give them my support. Until then, they are still a long, long way from earning my vote.

Hewitt, of all people, should understand that.

P.S. Hugh, even your SCOTUS argument is flat: McCain has already shown contempt for at least one conservative voice on the bench today. Why on earth should we trust him to continue appointing conservatives? He wouldn't recognize one if they danced naked in front of him with "I AM CONSERVATIVE" tatooed on their chests.

Or maybe he would, and that truly is the problem.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hey, California...!

Mrs. Woody and I have done our part. GO VOTE.

Monday, February 04, 2008

'Twas the Night Before (Super) Tuesday

I'm sitting here in my living room wondering what our political landscape will look like tomorrow night. I'd kind of like to stay up and see the results, as much out of a morbid fascination as of a desire to see who comes out on top. In any case, tomorrow is extremely important and, contrary to my previous thoughts on the matter, California could (finally!) be the spoiler it has always wanted to be.

California has, in essence, 54 separate presidential primary contests. Each district has a winner-take-all result, so it's still possible that any of our (so-called) Republican candidates could walk away with a hefty number of delegates from the Golden State.

For me, however, all of this is really just a numbers game. The numbers of delegates matter less to me than the ideas they represent. In other words, do the Republicans in these contests really want a "conservative" for whom to vote in November, or do they want John McCain?

More and more, as I read of McCain's duplicitous double-talk I fail to understand how any Republican can truly believe that this man will support more than 10% of the party's platform if he becomes the nominee. While McCain tells the Pavlovians what they need to hear so they'll begin salivating and throw their vote his way, his recorded history tells a vastly different story of the man who would "unite the Republican party."

He's beginning to talk as if he's "learned his lesson" on immigration. So let's assume, for a moment, that this is true. Perhaps McCain really has the seen the light on immigration and will close the borders while working toward setting appropriate caps on permanent stay visas. So tell me, PLEASE, how his buddy Juan Hernandez figures into all of this. Can anyone really believe that this "one region, no borders" panderer is advising his friend McCain to build that fence? Deport criminals who happen to be illegal aliens? Establish firm guidelines on acceptable immigration reform and enforce those guidelines?

I'm sorry, but this issue alone is dangerous and significant enough to me that I will never support McCain for president. I know Hugh Hewitt and others will be sorely disappointed with my refusal to get behind this man if he becomes the nominee, but I can't do it.

And I won't.

Romney, 2008. Even if I have to write his name on the ballot in November.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


I don't normally throw in with conspiracy theories, but more and more it seems like the political establishment really, really want to put McCain up against Obama in November.

Or is it just me? Maybe it's time to start sweeping for bugs. And I don't mean the organic variety.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

With Romney This Is Tacitly Understood

We come now to the crux of the problem that many of us on the right will have with John McCain. A seemingly insignificant thing, especially in today's society. To people of faith, however, it is an issue that should give us all pause when considering John McCain as a possible president of the nation.

The statement is the only one of its kind that I have seen attributed to McCain throughout this campaign. When asked about his chances on Super Tuesday, and whether he thinks he will capture the nomination on that day, he said:
“Do I think the race will be over on Tuesday? Not often do I ask for divine intercession, but I have asked for that. Yes,” he told reporters on a campaign flight to Chicago...
Throughout our history as a nation, presidents rise to greatness whenever they invoke the blessings of heaven. George Bush, whatever else people may think of him, has been a man of faith and recognizes the benefits of faith in the citizens of this nation. His faith has helped him weather a situation that no president should have to face — a direct attack on American soil by an implacable foreign enemy. His admittedly controversial "faith-based initiatives" have raised many eyebrows, but he has the right idea. When the people of the United States embrace the higher laws of heaven, they have an enriching influence on the nation as a whole. Not in wealth, per se, but in a higher standard of mutual welfare and respect. When we choose to ignore the higher law, we suffer accordingly.

To have McCain indicate that he doesn't "often ask for divine intercession" is a troubling thought. How will a President McCain handle the next national crisis? Will he seek for divine guidance and wisdom, or will he arrogantly assume that he and his advisors already have all the answers?

I would love to see this statement enlarged and amplified upon by the candidate. If I could somehow get a sense that he has at least some recognition of his own mortal limitations and a need for divine assistance, I might be tempted to give the man a second look.

But only if I could also see that happen without feeling that he was making such statements strictly out of political expedience. During an election year, voters can smell insincerity a mile away.