Wednesday, February 06, 2008


This is getting so painful. It appears increasingly that Republicans will have to choose between General McScrooge, the Rev. Elmer Gumtree, and a corporate C3PO [heavy on the robot data and way light on the charm]. This will be a "take your medicine -- eat your peas" election.

Or not. There's always the option of doing the rug-rat's lock-jaw thing, and flat-out refusing to take a bite of anything. Does your tummy sit and rumble? Or does it risk a big hurl?

Take your pick.

There has always been something about him that I don't "buy" -- the more I see of him, the more I realize that no amount of exposure permits you to know him in any meaningful way. Then there's this:

Or this, from a reader of one of the NRO blogs last night:
Mitt is an achingly conventional candidate...Conventional is a sure loser. Mitt Romney is the least dynamic, most programmed, and most conventional canddiate I've ever seen run for any office in any year. Therefore, he cannot win.

From Mitt's Vietnam Flip-flop: His Most Disturbing Yet by Deroy Murdock:
[He told the] Boston Globe last June 24. “I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam.” ...from May 2, 1994. “I was not planning on signing up for the military. It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam,” Romney told the Boston Herald.

...for Romney to somersault on something so personal — his own non-involvement in the Vietnam War — makes one wonder if Romney is any different from an exterior set on a Hollywood back lot: Clean and pretty in the front and all flat, plywood planks in the back.
...the man who represents the only real hope that my two military kids and all their confreres won't be left without food and ammo, running around with a giant target on their backs.

From The McCain Mirage by Andrew McCarthy at National Review Online.
Sen. McCain suggests no strategy for winning the wider war. He talks about fighting radical Islam, but he doesn’t evince much understanding of radical Islam — he seems to think, like the Bush administration, that it can be democratized into submission.

This is the strategy of the Clinton years and the second Bush term: Islam is the religion of peace, and democracy conquers all. It is not a strategy for victory, but McCain appears fully bought-in. His record conveys little indication that he grasps the inevitable connection between the dominance of Islam in a region and the sustenance of radical Islamic action in that region. Indeed, in 1999, against the tide of conservative (and much other sensible) opposition, he tried to push the Clinton administration into a ground war in Kosovo, despite the absence of any vital American interests. He thought it would enhance our image in the world to show solidarity with Muslims — never mind that these Muslims included anti-Western fundamentalists.
Domestically, watch and learn:

Not to mention that General McScrooge is notoriously vengeful and vindictive over the merest of perceived personal slights, like f'rinstance having it pointed out to him that he has changed a number of major positions (or is at least pretending to) and that he flat-out lied about Romney's alleged support of a timetable for troop withdrawal.

Like the old TV ad used to say, "I can't believe we ate the whole thing" -- I can't believe a substantial chunk of the American electorate has taken this sanctimonious, over-rehearsed, intellectual featherweight seriously for one minute. And now he's gunning for the vice-presidency. If there is a God (and I believe it, no thanks to Rev. Huckabee), please, let this little man just go away.

Still, in our culturally impoverished era, we're told that Huckabee is the candidate with "wit"--



Self-embedded reporter Michael Totten (please hit the Pay-Pal button) files from Fallujah, where peace has broken out among the rubble, and the citizens have learned to care. Do not desert them -- any of them. A Marine speaks:

“I was lucky enough three weeks ago to go back to Karmah,” he said. “And my Iraqi Police were still there. The same guys from last year. As soon as I came into the station and they saw me they started jumping around, dancing, and yelling. There are four brothers who are all Iraqi Police at the Karmah station. One of the brothers was on shift when I got there. That night he called his brothers and his father – his father is a tribal leader – and they all came in the next day. Their father wanted to meet me.”

He choked up again slightly and had to pull himself together. “So…there's a lot more to this mission,” he said. “If you go into everything with an open mind, you can take so many lessons out of this mission, not only with community policing and the mission at hand, but with human relationships in general.”

I had heard this before. Maybe the majority of Americans who work closely with Iraqis feel something like this. Despite the corruption. Despite the incompetence. Despite the fact that some of them act like a bunch of third graders. The Iraqis really are brave, even if it doesn't look that way sometimes from far away or even up close. They are fighting for their survival in ways most Americans can barely imagine. Their enemy is possibly the most ferocious group of indigenous killers in the entire history of Mesopotamia. “We’ve actually become attached to these people on a personal level,” Army Colonel John Charlton said to me in Ramadi last summer. “We feel responsible for their safety. We’re concerned about what will happen to our Iraqi friends if we don’t succeed in this country.”

Commentor and Iraq veteran John writes at
I am sorry, but after 8 years of supporting the war and saying that the War in Iraq is the most important part of the agenda, and ignoring Bush’s surrenders on immigration and his big spending, the conservative media’s McCain rage doesn’t have much credibility with me.

If being pro-immigration is that bad, why did they support Bush? If McCain Feingold is so horrible, why did they let Bush off the hook for signing it? Yes Yes I know the war. Well, if the war was so important in 2004, why isn’t it important now? Why are they now willing to sit out and elect Obama or Clinton and watch them surrender when it was so important in 2004?

Are conservatives really going to sit out and let a pro surrender candidate win the Whitehouse after claiming for the last five years that Iraq and the war on terror are the most important issues of our time? Do they really care that little about the country? Is the idea to punish the country for having the nerve not to nominate someone who meets your ideological purity test?

Given a choice between a center left McCain Presidency that wins in Iraq, versus a leftist Clinton or Obama Presidency that loses in Iraq, I will take McCain every time, even if the alternative produces right wing paradise in 2012. People every day risk and give their lives for success in Iraq. As a veteran I risked my life in Iraq. Now conservatives want even bother to vote to ensure victory there because doing so might involve voting for someone they don’t like.

Yeah, that is real culture of sacrifice for you. Were you guys just lying when you said that Iraq was so important? If conservatives are willing to sit out this election and let Clinton win and make all of the sacrifices in Iraq go for nothing, they can all go to hell as far as I am concerned.


Just to keep things in perspective, let's give an ear to David Warren's Ash Wednesday piece for the Ottawa Citizen, on the use of mentally retarded women to blow up two Baghdad markets this week. The gist:
As the father of a Down's child myself, I can tell you just how innocent they are, and how loving. God made them without guile, and utterly in need of our protection. And in return for that demand upon our decency (Down's children in Canada today are usually aborted), He made them a light in this world. O Lord.

My friend, who told me to write about this, is himself a man with long experience working for people with mental disabilities. He told me I had to write about this case, because it was the final abomination. He said, “we should have an international day of mourning.” He said, “I give up my membership in the human race if these Al Qaeda terrorists are human.”
We are about to elect the leader of the (at the moment) free world, the last remaining superpower, the last best hope, perhaps the "forlorn hope" to stem the tide of jihadist insanity now doing its best to "assimilate" (Borg-like) the infidel world. And the candidates keep talking about global warming and universal teat-access for the flabby and prosperous American public.

Spare us, O Lord.

Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Miserere nobis.