Am I Missing Something?
I have now heard two NBC News reports, in the context of his interview with Tim Russert this morning, stating that Nader said that he would consider pulling out of the race if, near Election Day, he believed that his participation would tip the vote towards President Bush.
That is absolutely false. Or, am I missing something? Did Nader say such a thing to someone else at some point today? If so, NBC should have made that much clearer because he did not say that on Meet the Press. Nader did tell Russert that he could invite him back later this year to ask him if he would withdraw in the event that his participation appears likely to sink the Democrats, but he obviously said that rhetorically. Nader's obvious meaning in making such an offer was that he couldn't care less whether Kerry loses.
NBC is just trying to hype the post-game show and I think it's extraordinarily dishonest. After all, why would Nader go to the very great trouble of trying to qualify for ballots across the country and undertake a grueling campaign on the mere assumption (and the unlikelihood) that the poll numbers were correct and that he should, therefore, pull out in favor of a party he plainly detests for its lack of principles?
If I Say the Sun Will Rise Tomorrow...
...well, then don't necessarily believe it. To be honest, I wasn't really all that confident in the reports (mostly coming from the conservative media) that Nader would, in fact, announce that he's going to run. I figured that it might have just been some agitating on the part of the Republicans, easily retracted. But, I should have had more confidence in Nader's convictions which, no matter what else you might think of him, he has in abundance and with admirable substantiation behind them.
I doubt I would vote for him this time, though, for a couple of major reasons: he is hostile to Israel and he is too enamored of the welfare state. Not that these are new aspects of his political position but, on the first reason, I refuse to ever negotiate again and, on the second, I think it's economically regressive.
However, I loved Nader's remarks to Russert on the "liberal intelligentsia." They are a bunch of sell-outs. When a magazine like The Nation has the temerity to try to intimidate him out of running, you have to wonder where their writers' and readers' principles have gone. As Nader correctly pointed out, Gore's loss of Florida could have just as easily been attributed to other independent voters in that state who didn't vote for him or Gore or Bush. That's how small the official vote margin was ---a fact that the Democrats still can't deal with.
Tomorrow morning's Washington Post is running the first of a two-part article by Steve Coll on the failure of Clinton's White House and the CIA to take bin Laden when they had the chance. It's essential reading.
It's also a demonstration of why we absolutely cannot allow someone like John Kerry to be President: adhering to "the process" of "multilateralism" while we are defending ourselves and our allies against asymmetrical Islamofascist force guarantees that we will experience another catastrophic attack on our own soil. You don't stop terrorists with indictments; you stop them with slugs to their heads and daisy-cutters on their doorsteps.
Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare series on PBS has been pretty laughable, at least in terms of his story-telling. Beyond the value of seeing the old haunts, there's little to recommend this program.
There is, however, the potential for some very interesting mischief-making among the orthodoxy with this whole Shakespeare-as-Catholic issue. Not many of the professoriat are inclined to buy into it because of Shakespeare's place as a national icon of all things properly English, which doesn't include the thought of a Catholic Bard. After all, what would Elizabeth and James have thought of that?
Much is being said about it on HLAS, so do yourself a favor and drop in on the discussions.
Run, Ralph, Run!!!
It's been reported that Ralph Nader will announce whether or not he will be running for the Presidency this year on this Sunday's Meet the Press. It's just too much up in the air to know for sure, but I suspect he will dramatically announce that he will not run ---and, then, proceed to suck up to the Left like Algore at a MoveOn.org rally by ripping into the President and, thereby, further motivate the Democratic Party.
Still, one of Nader's most important theses is that there is no real difference between the two major parties. He has no regrets about being a spoiler to Gore. He said not long after the 2000 election something to the effect that, if Gore had been such a great candidate, he could have beaten Bush easily, regardless of who else had been running.
Nader's a smart guy and he can see that he has shit for support. He wouldn't come close to his 2000 totals because those on the Left who are actually going to vote are too motivated by their hatred of the President to waste their choice on their ideals. I'm pretty sure that this interview with Russert is nothing more than a high-profile opportunity to make it up to Democratic partisans (which is more important to him than he will admit) by not running and by throwing some red meat out to the anti-Bush crowd.
It should be an excellent interview. Nader's no dumbass and he will be sure to unload. Check it out.
Is it really true that Kerry won't debate Edwards in Los Angeles unless Sharpton and Kucinich are included? What a turd. Even Donna Brazile and the human bedpan Terry McAuliffe are pushing for a one-on-one debate, so what's the deal?
Obviously, Kerry doesn't want to give Edwards a way into this race. Smart politics, you might say, but not much in the way of confidence. Kerry's nomination, in fact, bears a strong resemblance to a coronation, which is basically what the liar McAuliffe pushed for with all of this front-loading of the primaries. Get everyone on board with the first non-crazy candidate to make a strong showing and make it so that his momentum isn't slowed by too much time between primaries to think about any alternatives.
Personally, I think Kucinich's and Sharpton's candidacies are a bunch of crap, but it's still funny to watch Kerry squirm. If Edwards gets him into a one-on-one, he's going to give a lot of people second thoughts and tie this thing up a little bit. Not enough to change the outcome, but enough to make it interesting.
Comrade Moyers to Leave PBS
It's been reported that the communist-New Age freak and moral relativist Bill Moyers is going to be leaving PBS after the elections in November of this year. He's apparently set to write a book about his old boss, President Johnson, whose Presidency was a period of massive socialist experimentation and a divisive foreign war, the consequences of both adversely affecting us to this day. Of course, Moyers, being a partisan hack, will find some way to put the blame for the war on Nixon or anybody but the guy who effectively started it. Equally unlikely will be any recognition that the social entitlement mentality that Johnson did so much to create with minorities has been a disaster for this culture.
I dislike Moyers. A lot. I think he's a flake and a shameless promoter of the Left. He is extraordinarily unbalanced in the presentation of political issues on his PBS program Now. That's just a fact. I can't remember ever really hearing him tear into LBJ, but it's not because there's nothing to tear into. Moyers is one of those birds that come and hang out on elephants and rhinos and whatnot to eat bugs and dead skin off of their hides. He's a whitewasher and that's what he will do for LBJ, despite the great harm that that man did to this country.
The Banalities of a Frontrunner Mood:
John Kerry, on the President's extremely well-received visit to the Daytona 500 this past weekend:
"We don't need a president who just says, `Gentlemen start your engines' [...] We need a president who says, `America, let's start our economy and put people back to work.'"
What a craphound. Begrudging the President for showing his support for an important constituency. I'll bet if Kerry had made the same visit, the crowd would have given him the collective back of their hand.
I feel a Dukakis coming on. A self-serving and humorless technocrat from Massachusetts with nothing to show for his time in office but socialist point-scoring. But, who cares? We weren't worried about stuff like that back in Nam, man.
Celibacy = Atheism Mood:
Here's an update on my online personal ad experience: it went over like a lead zeppelin. I think the primary reason for this is that I resemble a youngish Santa Claus (or, Orson Welles in his later years), only without the bag of swag (or, the movie credits) to compensate.
The other reason, which may be used ostensibly by any woman unable to admit that the first reason is the real one, is that I am not a Christian, which they very often include in their list of criteria for a mate. Not unlike a high-yellow black person in a whitebread world, I can "pass" for one, but I won't lower myself to profess a belief I do not have. My not being a Christian is a deal-breaker with a lot of women, but I think it's a goddamned crock of shit.
The deal is that I was raised as a Christian, but came down on it all at about the age of twelve. In fact, one of the last things I did as a Christian was to get baptized at the urging of a Southern Baptist friend of my older brothers. No one in my family knew about it until many years later and they were rather shocked when I confessed ---er, admitted it. That's because one does not get baptized in Mrs. Eddy's Church, nor does one get married or buried there, nor see any outward signs of Christ's passion. That would, you see, be unbecoming.
The interesting thing is that, as a non-Christian, I know more about the History, doctrines, and aesthetics of the many Churches than probably 95 percent of those who believe. I can quote Scripture for my own purposes and throw fire and brimstone with the best (or, should I say worst?) of them. I have walked every step to the cupola of St. Peter's Basilica and read Christ's message to Peter there. I have stood on the very spot where Paul witnessed to the Corinthians and I have climbed to the summit of the Acrocorinth and looked over the city there. I have meditated on the spot where Thomas a Becket was martyred and I have gazed on the fragments of St. Andrew's skull. I have read everything from Job to Revelations. I have studied Ancient Greek and Latin and have taught as many children as I could the Golden Rule. Are these the actions of an irreverent and irreligious man?
In my Father's house there are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you.
To the Christian, I am an atheist, but that is such a dirty word. The Christian has made it one. He says that no one comes to God except through Jesus and that there can be no morality without either. But, what does he know? He knows the word and the beliefs of men ---mere men. He does not accept the possibility of moral and ethical behavior in a man who is not yoked as he is. Well, that's on him. And her.
I got your shibboleth right here, mama. Come and let me hear you try to say it right.
Why Won't Kerry Stand up for Gay Marriage?
Insofar as John Kerry's position on anything can be discerned, it appears that he is basically pro-gay rights and, I think, supports civil unions. But, civil unions are somewhat amorphous legal entities, whereas marriage is not. So, if Kerry is a gay rights man, why won't he stand up and advocate the right for homosexuals to be married?
I'm not asking this rhetorically or from the perspective of a blinkered conservative. I fully support the right of homosexual couples to be married. I suspect Kerry does, too, but doesn't have the balls to support it publicly. Why? Because all the polls say that most Americans are opposed to it. And he knows that the moment he advocates it, he will lose the support of a great many swing voters. So, he is safe to not come out for gay marriage.
If Kerry opposes the proposed Federal Marriage Act or the Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as being only a union of a man and a woman, then that's just great. But, then follows two points ---and count them closely: he will try to hide behind the civil union thing as though that were enough. And the other, more monstrous, point? The Democrats will let him off the hook.
Electability is Kerry's running mate. The Democrats have no principles and, on that basis alone, deserve to lose.
By the way, on their Fox News program last week, Mort Kondracke asked Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard point blank to explain why he opposes gay marriage. Barnes sputtered a bit and said he didn't have enough time to lay it all out. Horseshit. He'd better come up with a better non-answer than that the next time the crypto-conservative Kondracke asks the question.
Like I said, those who are opposed either have no reason for it or a religious/moral one. Neither one works.
No Bimbo Eruption for Kerry
The Associated Press now reports that the woman whom it was rumored had an affair with Sen. Kerry has denied the story categorically, as has the Senator himself. As far as I'm concerned, that settles it.
I misquoted Charlie Rangel in my previous post. He did not say it was "clear" that entitled (minority) voters in Florida were not allowed to vote; he said that there was "no question" that this happened.
I also mischaracterized Rangel's remark that GWB's Presidency is the Republican's revenge for Daley's (supposed) manipulations of the Chicago vote in the 1960 election; Rangel did, in fact, couch this idea in the subjunctive mood, thereby ostensibly removing himself from its promotion.
This should demonstrate the value of waiting for the transcript or video replay of a liar's remarks.
I apologize for my inexactitude, which was the result of my incredulous reaction to Rangel's lies and the astonishing number of verbal slips he made in the space of just a few minutes.
Charlie Rangel Is Lying Mood:
Charlie Rangel, the ultraliberal Democratic U.S. Representative from New York, told Tim Russert today that it was "clear" that there were minorities in Florida who were kept from voting in the 2000 Presidential election. That is a complete and utter lie. Had Russert pressed him on the issue to produce any evidence at all of this bullshit claim, Rangel would not have been able to as he is simply repeating a well-circulated lie cooked up by an embarrassed and bitter Left-wing press.
Rangel also claimed that Bush is the first "appointed" President in our history and that his Presidency is the GOP's revenge for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's manipulations of the vote on behalf of John Kennedy in 1960. What horseshit!
It is "clear" to me that the Democratic Party is a corrupt institution that relies almost entirely upon the ignorance and stupidity of its base, which is comprised of exactly those kind of people who would send such a liar as Rangel to represent them in Congress term after term.
Caught Some of the Democratic Debate Just Then Mood:
MSNBC just carried the Wisconsin Democratic primary debate, of which I caught just a few minutes. I haven't been watching much of any of these stupid sitcoms because, for one thing, I can't. I can't stand listening to these equivocators and slapstickers, especially not without wondering whether they have any clue about our foreign policy (i.e., the war in Iraq).
Kerry is the worst of the bunch in that he can't answer a question without droning on and on, never actually making his position clear. As to the question of why he voted for the war, his bullshit response is to fixate on "the process." That's his out, see. Kerry doesn't want to accept responsibility for his vote because he can more easily blame the President for not going to war in the "right way," even though it's clear that our false allies in the UN and NATO were never amenable to doing it the "right way," any way. Kerry (and Edwards, too) think they're protected by this assinine and legalistic argument, but no one who actually thinks is going to buy that nonsense. Those who are opposed to the war aren't going to concede that there was a right way to enter into it in any event and those who are for the war already have a candidate (the President), a man decisive enough to do the job, regardless of the detractions of loser nations like Turkey and France and domestic guttersnipes like the anti-war Left.
As for the participation of wankers like Sharpton and Kucinich, why are they still allowed to be on stage with the others? They're nothing but comedic fodder. It's nauseating to hear a crowd of self-conscious and self-congratulatory yankee Democraps applaud the reckless accusations of a race-baiter like Sharpton. "Oh, how open-minded and inclusive we are to allow a colored man to entertain us! Maybe he'll do a Jolson number for us after the show." And Kucinich? This flake is clueless. Is it even conceivable that such a character could be President? Enough already! Go smoke some pot with Willie.
And Lee Harvey Dean? The guy is still toast. Even if Kerry turns out to have a scandal on his radar, you're still not going to take the nomination.
Kerry is the nominee. If he's smart, he'll pick Edwards for the Veep this summer and find new ways to work his war record into every response he gives.
Thanks to the Baseball Crank for an excellent post that puts all of the Dims in their place. I don't see how these scurrilous charges of Bush being AWOL from the Guard (McAuliffe) or a deserter (Moore-on) can be sustained.
Oh, and by the way, fuck you, John Roberts and Terry Moran.
The Fantasy Ideology Here is a brilliant essay by Lee Harris on the "fantasy ideology" of radical Islamofascism. It's a long piece, but essential reading. And thanks to the excellent blog Occam's Toothbrush for turning me on to it.
No, I don't want to have to put up with another sex scandal involving a politician and an intern. I mean, what will the French think? But, it seems to me that the issue of adultery is as indicative of a man's character as his military service. Is that not so?
I can appreciate the ideal of monogamy and I think it's great, but I have shockingly little faith in it. Which is why I think marriage should be the right of any couple (of whatever combination of genders) who are actually committed to each other. If they're not, they shouldn't be married; they should be divorced.
In my mind, a marriage in which one or both partners is being unfaithful is a sham. The only reason why these spouses would stay married is because they have rationalized the adultery and are too lazy to surrender the financial or social benefit of their union.
The kinds of "power couples" that politics produce are particularly nauseating because most of them strike us as marriages of convenience and ambition. I still laugh at Hillary Rodham Clinton's tale of her "shock" at discovering that Bill had, indeed, been getting blow jobs on the side. Of course she knew he was cheating on her! She had known what sort of rake he was from day one. But, could it have mattered less? No. She wouldn't have dared hop off of that gravy train.
I would guess that the same sort of arrangement pertains to the Heinz-Kerrys. The Senator's wife once said she wouldn't kill him if he were cheating on her ---she would maim him. Which is a politician's wife's way of saving the appearance of her self-respect when the only interest she really has is in being a politician's wife who knows that he sleeps around on her.
My only question at this early stage in the scandal is why General Clark would help to spread this story to the media ---and then endorse the candidacy of a man he said would "implode" because of his dalliance with an intern. Seller's remorse?