Thursday, December 09, 2004

Shrill, Yet Shrewd

In today's WSJ, Peggy Noonan makes a convincing case of the path that Hillary is charting on her way to the Democratic presidential nomination. Peggy knows the woman well, having conducted interviews over the years with Mrs. Clinton's friends and enemies alike. To me, another Clinton presidency seems highly improbable. That is, until I read this.

My favorite selection from her own Q & A on the subject:

You make it sound like a Hillary candidacy is inevitable.

She is inevitable as a candidate, but not as a president. There will be serious drawbacks and problems with her candidacy. When she speaks in a large hall she shouts and it is shrill; she sounds like some boomer wife from hell who's unpacking the grocery bags and telling you that you forgot not just the mayo but the mustard.

That's fixable, to some degree. What may not be fixable is that many voters associate her with a time of scandal and bad behavior. I mean not Monica, which the Clintons always pretend is The Scandal, but every other scandal of the Clinton era: FBI files, illegal fund-raising, sleazy pardons, the whole ugly mess. There will be some who associate her with the cultural disaster that was the Clinton presidency. There will be those who remember she and he led the country down a path both dark and merry while Osama tapped out his plans on a laptop in a cave.

Are those all the potential impediments to her plans?

No. There is still, always, with Mrs. Clinton, the question of her deepest convictions and beliefs. Also known as What She Stands For, or What She Believes. She has been finessing all this for decades and will continue to attempt to, but it may not work in a national presidential run. What she believed did not seem all that important when she was running for first lady, and was easily finessed when she ran in liberal New York. But there is an old paper trail, there is a record of radical statements and writings by Mrs. Clinton. She could disavow what she has written in the past, but never has. In this she is like John Kerry, who could not disavow his youthful, radical statements about Vietnam. Why has she not disavowed, and why can't she? That will be a question.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Anarchy in the Ukraine

Last week, I wrote about something that seperages the Left from the Right and why I am apt to describe myself a Conservative (without resorting to the "fiscal conservative, Social Democrat" label). It had to do with looking at reality and not what you THINK reality SHOULD be, having a sense of recent history with a determination not to repeat the horrors of the 20th century, and getting out of the way of oncoming traffic instead of just bitching about how crowded the 405 freeway is.

This article below is a few days old, but I just found it this morning. I also agree with the fundamental premise that the one thing that really seperates Americans from other citizens of the world is our constant sense of optimisim and the fact that we actually believe that the future can be better than the present. And then we go about working toward that future instead of just complaining about the world not being 'fair' - it's so simple yet often overlooked.

And the reaction of the Left over the historical events in the Ukraine is another indication of what seperates Conservatives from Liberals. We choose to encourage events that will lead to a better future not just of our own citizens but for people in other lands that have the rare chance to change their future for the better. Isn't it amazing at how you only hear a brooding sense of pessimistic doom about the arrival of democracy in Iraq, the disappointment that the Afghan elections went well, and now the deafening silence about the 3 week protest of fraudulent elections in the Ukraine? This is something that both sides should champion, wouldn't you think?

Yeah, but I guess since our president actually threw his support behind the idea of fair elections there, the Left can't even bring themselves to acknowledge what a progressive step forward this is for a nation that is thirsting for a chance to choose its own leaders, and therefore its future.

Here's a snippet from John Podhoretz. It's a quick article, so click hear to read the whole thing.

Down the line, on issue after issue, the arguments of both Left and Right are always couched in progressive terms (even when those arguments are disingenuous).

There's only one area in which the progressive consensus has truly broken down: On foreign policy, the Left has completely forsaken the American creed in favor of a profoundly and wrong-headedly conservative pessimism.
The last three months or so tell the bitter tale.

Right now, in Ukraine, we are witnessing a genuine democratic revolution against the post-Soviet status quo, with hundreds of thousands of ordinary people refusing to allow an election to be stolen by kleptocratic thugs.
And who is celebrating this spontaneous, powerful and entirely progressive uprising? The Right, and no one but the Right. The good news is being blasted out of Kiev by conservative bloggers (particularly the married couple "Tulipgirl" and "Discoshaman") and promoted by conservative bloggers stateside.

Bloggers on the Left largely greeted the uprising with skeptical distance and worry. Because the president offered his moral support to the uprising, obsessively anti-Bush commentators seem reflexively to be skeptical of it.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Wartime Quote of the week

"They're never going to like us," he added, echoing other Marine commanders who cautioned against raising hopes that Fallujans would warmly welcome troops when they return to ruined houses and rubble-strewn streets. The goal, Bellon said, is "mutual respect."

Hattip to Wizbangblog.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Jesus seen in patient dental X-Ray!

you're not going to believe this:
Jesus playing in dental x-ray now!!!

The patient came in for a routine exam on Tuesday. The image was revealed when the X-ray was developed.
The patient described himself as a devout Christian, but said he has never before seen Jesus in an X-ray.

The patient's dental exam was perfect.

The "American Way" proves most effecient

Whether it's Keven Tibbles with a video camera, or the left-leaning media with and their obvious agenda driven poison pens, the American military has come under some harsh criticism for their tactics in gaining the upper hand in the battle for Iraq.

But now comes a story from the LA Times of all places! It details how the conception among our friendly allies the Brits that the U.S. military is too 'heavy handed' in their approach to dealing with the Iraqi insurgents. The British media turn their nose up at that aggresiveness and have claimed for months that the "softly softly" philosophy employed by the Scotish regiment The Black Watch was far more effective and humane.

Well, maybe down in Basara fellas.... but they soon learned that the American way proves much more effective when you cross over the Baghdad county line. And it doesn't take them long to fully appreciate how the Marines are dealing with terrorists hell-bent on chaos.
Full story here.

The Black Watch tried to bring that culture north with them when they merged operations with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit based south of Baghdad in a deployment that ended Saturday. The British began the assignment patrolling in their berets. They handed out leaflets in Arabic explaining they were a "Scottish" regiment in case Iraqis mistook them for Americans, and proclaimed they had only come to help build a safe and free Iraq.

Insurgents responded with two suicide car bombings and a roadside bomb in the first week of operations, killing four British soldiers and gravely injuring two.The shooting of the Iraqi driver at the checkpoint occurred just an hour after the second car bomb had blown the legs off two of the Black Watch gunner's colleagues."The threat here is at the other end of the spectrum from what we faced in Basra," said Black Watch Capt. Stuart MacAulay, sitting on the edge of a bunker at Camp Dogwood with a map of the area spread in front of him.

"After the suicide bombings against us, I went to an American soldier I know here and put my hands up. I said, 'I confess, I was one of those who sat around in Basra criticizing your approach.'"And I'm embarrassed that I criticized American tactics without ever being here and without having met them."

Dan, We Thought We Knew Ye!

What a gift the internet is.
I don't ordinarily read the Lady's Home Journal. But thanks to my cable modem, i've run across this Rather surprising piece in LHJ that supports the theory that Dan Rather is just a dirty old hippie with too much "reporter's curiosity" for his own good.

Yes, it seems in addition to braving the rough waters of tempestuous hurricanes.... Danno has also been investigating the murky waters of LSD and smack.

Everyone mentioned his groundbreaking performance hanging onto a tree during Hurricane Carla. Not many mentioned the time he had the Houston Police Department shoot him up with heroin.

Rather talked about the incident 24 years ago in an interview in the Ladies' Home Journal, of all places.

"As a reporter -- and I don't want to say that that's the only context -- I've tried everything. I can say to you with confidence, I know a fair amount about LSD," he said. "I've never been a social user of any of these things, but my curiosity has carried me into a lot of interesting areas."

Boy I'll say. Full story here.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

When A Cowboy Isn't A Cowboy....

The always reliable Victor Davis Hanson writes this week on how the most important events that one might consider life-altering in the macro sense can quickly recede from the memory. I mean we're talking major "paradigm shift" here folks and now it seems we just kinda take history making events like free elections in Afghanastan for the first time in 5000 years for granted. Like, we never had the naysayers declaring that would be an impossible feat, and that democracy is 'never imposed through the barrel of a gun' and such.
I guess old notions don't die, it just takes strong leadership and fortitude to push them aside once gain.
Amazing, isn't it?

Do we remember all this and more when we talk nonchalantly now of elections in Afghanistan or the decency of the Karzai government? Is there a Frenchman or a German to be had at least to say in retrospect, "Yes, you were not the cowboys we slurred you as, but brought something good where there was only evil before"? Do we ponder if but for a second how improbable — indeed, how absolutely preposterous — it was at the time to even suggest that the Afghan people would soon stand in line hours to vote, freed from those who had so sorely oppressed them?

Have we forgotten what foul and cowardly folk the Taliban were — thugs who lynched women, shot homosexuals, blew up civilization's icons, destroyed a century of culture in Afghanistan, promised us death and worse, and then ran out of town in the clothes of women with what plunder they could carry? Do any of us recall the brave Afghans and Americans, both the planners in Washington who were libeled and the soldiers in the field who routed these butcherers?