Thursday, November 13, 2008

All We Have to Smear is Smear Itself

So now "Martin Eisenstadt", a "senior policy advisor" to McCain who "leaked" the story that Sarah Palin could not identify whether Africa was a continent or a country, has now come forward to claim his laurels.

The trouble is that Martin Eisenstadt doesn't exist.

The AP reports that MSNBC anchor David Shuster announced Eisenstadt as the source of the Palin smear on Monday before issuing a retraction "within minutes."

Aside: if MSNBC can identify, "within minutes," presumably via a simple Google search, that Eisenstadt is a fraud, why not do the search before reporting this as news? Because really, does anyone watch MSNBC long enough to hear both story and retraction when separated by "minutes"?

My favorite line from the AP story? Apparently, members of the MSNBC newsroom "presumed the information [was] solid because it was passed along in an e-mail from a colleague."

By that token, I am pleased to offer you the following BREAKING NEWS:
  • The FCC has decided to ban all religious broadcasting.
  • Barrack Obama was sworn into office with his hand on the Koran.
  • And finally, forward this email to twenty people and Bill Gates will send you a personal check for $200.

MSNBC, the liberal hag mag Mother Jones and CBS News have all fallen victim to the fraudulent Eisenstadt identity at one time or another. This level of journalistic gullibility is not, in fact, "news" at all to anyone even remotely exposed to the MSM.

The real news is the MSM's willingness to act on the faintest rumor that casts Sarah Palin in a poor light, no matter the source, no matter the factuality — or lack thereof. This arch complicity demonstrates two very important facts:
  1. Sarah Palin is still a viable and very real threat to the soul of liberalism; and, as such
  2. She is and will continue to be targeted for destruction by the liberal smear machine.
And although I am not one who thinks we ought to be choosing our 2012 presidential candidate right now, I do believe that watching the MSM will be a likely indicator of who is to become the best conservative candidate. Who does the liberal establishment consider their greatest threat — and attacks accordingly? That's my guy! (Or gal perhaps.)

In the meantime, for the media types whose list of oxymorons never fails to include "military intelligence," I have a new oxymoron to add to their list:

"Journalistic integrity."

Monday, November 10, 2008

The World Is Watching

Perhaps I'm not the only one to have observed over the last four years all the bumper stickers, signs, t-shirts emblazoned with an image like this one:
As with the "Jesus was a community organizer/Pilate was a governor" mantra, 1/20/09 indicated a level of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) that never quite made sense. What's the point in sulking and wishing your life away just because the person sitting in the Oval Office isn't the one for whom you voted?

I don't expect BDS to magically subside on 1/20/09. My sense is people who so viscerally despise President Bush will sustain their vehemence against him even after he settles back in Crawford, Texas.

Similarly, I don't expect to see a corollary of BDS morphed into "Barack Derangement Syndrome" within conservative ranks. Again, what's the point? Barack Obama will be our President. That's the way elections work in our country.

I appreciated Steven Den Beste's cogent summation "Not the End of the World" on what the next four years could look like. The column isn't right-wing sour grapes or whining ... just one guy's musings about the "Change" our country may actually experience under Democrat control.

One sobering aspect of Den Beste's prognostications is his expectation "Iran will get nuclear weapons." Serious diplomats acknowledge the heightened possibility (see here, here, and here) Israel may launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear capabilities within the next two months. Who can blame them? Holocaust-denier Ahmadinejad has made no secret of his animosity towards the nation of Israel. Once Iran attains nuclear status, will anyone warrant Israel's survival?

Another Den Beste prediction shouldn't surprise us either, given Joe Biden's 10/19/08 pronouncement on the campaign trail in Seattle. Without apology, our Vice President-elect said: "Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking."

I imagine there are several who campaigned for the presidential nomination who are now breathing easier in the knowledge the awesome responsibilities of that job are not resting at this perilous time in history on their shoulders. Being president is surely a weighty and often thankless task. The world will be watching. How soon should we expect to see the emergence of 1/20/12 bumper stickers?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An End and The Beginning

As the media hammer the last nail into John McCain's coffin, the pounding heard round the world is, instead, a drumbeat of outrage aimed toward Washington.

Not at Barrack Obama, the first President of the United States to "self-identify" as black. Indeed, while most conservatives — at least those not in the backyard burying the family silver by candlelight — reserve plenty of ire for the man who promises his Cabinet will "look like the proletariat," the most incendiary language is targeted squarely at the political machine responsible for delivering to The Messiah the highest office in the land.

The GOP.

Truly, if the party insiders, the Republican intelligentsia, the Washington elites, and the pseudo-conservative media can't chart the missteps that handed the Presidency to a socialist autocrat, I will personally fund a multibillion dollar bailout plan to rescue them from their hopeless stupidity.

Of the many thoughts gestating in my mind tonight, one seems to take precedent. Four years — though, with luck, only two — of radical socialism lie in front of us. Frightening as that may be, conservatives have an opportunity to remold our destiny. Like Edmond Dantes, we can turn this period of unjust imprisonment to our benefit: to study, to learn, to reinvent ourselves. And, lest we forget, to engineer our escape.

The GOP may yet be finished. After the travesty of this latest campaign, I will be the last to sorrow if that, indeed, is the cost of reinvention. I have not left the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me.

There are many things to admire about John McCain but the immutable fact remains that his standing in the Republican Party is based on a mythic and carefully-cultivated personality cult. "The Maverick John McCain." Without his reputation for across-the-aisle compromise, John McCain would be seen for what he really is: a crabby war hero with a chronic case of ideological schizophrenia.

Unluckily for the GOP — and the Maverick himself — the Democrat Party countered the McCain personality cult with a personality cult of its own: one formed around a younger, hipper, unknown who happened to have a couple of well-sanitized autobiographies and a unique demographic advantage. Not to mention an adoring and complicit media.

If there is one lesson from McCain '08 that should be tattooed on the forehead of every conservative who crosses the Beltway, it should be this:

The only reason to reach across the aisle is to stab your opponent in the heart.

Figuratively speaking.

In fact, the greatest accomplishment the GOP leadership can glean from this campaign is that they have finally, finally made certain that John McCain will never again threaten to switch his party affiliation. I'm so relieved! Aren't you?

We can, perhaps, look on the Ascension of The One as our Hurricane Katrina. Like the City of New Orleans, we had plenty of time, knowledge and resources to prevent the catastrophe — or at least to minimize the damage. Instead, we let "trusted" leaders assure us that all would be well, that neglected infrastructure could weather the storm, that an iconic monolith was all the shelter we would need. And when the storm surge overwhelmed our borders, the shanty-towns of moderate-pandering and but-it's-his-turn populism were swept off the landscape in an instant.

As we begin to survey the damage, I am comforted that the bedrock of conservative principles remains. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: is there a surer footing on which to construct the future of our great nation? The rebirth of the Shining City on a Hill will be longer in coming now, and there are many storms yet to weather. Even so, I still believe that "for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."

So it begins.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sarah Palin, Grandmother

Given John McCain's previous support of amnesty, campaign finance "reform" and his notoriety as a member of the "Gang of 14," the candidacy of John McCain for President had earned only my most tepid support, far short of what can be termed enthusiasm. But, when I heard Sarah Palin's comments after John McCain introduced her as his VP choice, tears came to my eyes and I experienced a surprisingly energized hope for conservative principles.

The Palin announcement definitely boosted my confidence in John McCain's candidacy! I won't belabor this column with details of Palin's biography. That information is plentiful elsewhere, and while there will be myriad detractors (especially given her outspoken and strong pro-life stance), I'm excited in what she brings to the campaign, and after the November election, how she will enhance the office of Vice President.

Then news sources began churning with rumors of Bristol Palin's pregnancy. I read the reports and my mind hearkened back some seventeen years when my own daughter (16 years old at the time) revealed she was pregnant with our first grandchild. No, thankfully I wasn't a sitting governor nor a presumptive Republican nominee for Vice President, but no parent is eager to hear the words "Mom, Dad, I'm pregnant."

Having heard those words myself, I understand the impact on a family. One mom to another, one grandmother to another, I know the depth of potential turmoils and anguish Sarah Palin and her husband Todd must now attempt to make sense of as they assist daughter Bristol in navigating a redirected future. What they face is a trade-off of certain aspirations and dreams for the embrace of other hopes and possibilities.

It is so refreshing to reflect on the contrast of Sarah Palin's affirmation of Bristol in her news release confirming her daughter's pregnancy and Barack Obama's proposed approach to an unplanned pregnancy! On one hand, Palin unequivocally welcomes this new life. On the other, Obama (whose own parents were unmarried at the time of his conception) appears to believe being pregnant while unmarried is, in fact, "being punished with a baby."

So, bravo to and God's blessings on Sarah Palin! She is a true celebrator of LIFE, and I applaud her and her family as they deal with life issues in a candid and wholly normal manner. What a breath of fresh air in the stagnant world of politics!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Batman, The Dark Knight

This blog entry is a departure, as I wade into unfamiliar territory with a movie review. First, a disclaimer: I'm not someone who must see a film the minute its name goes up on the movieplex marquee. (Usually, we wait for movies to come out on video, and by then, our curiosity has dulled to the point we're just as likely not to rent them!) Second: I promise, no spoilers here.

In my life, I've witnessed several iterations of Batman dating from the Adam West era — when I was a teenager, Adam West and the futuristic Batmobile appeared in my home town and I attended. (Not having been a Batman fan, I can't explain why I was there, but I well remember being close enough to touch the Batmobile ... here's a drawing of it.)

For the most part though, Batman always bored me. Whether it was Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer or George Clooney, their portrayals of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego failed to draw me in. Keaton was conflicted, yes ... but not credible; Kilmer was insipid ... and unlikeable; Clooney was glib ... and about as one-dimensional as a comic book.

When I viewed Batman Begins, I became a fan at last. With Batman Begins, Christian Bale brought to the role a triumphant pathos, complex and compelling. Since that first viewing, I've watched the film several times. Whether it was just a fine script (along with Christopher Nolan's directorial vision and skill) or Bale's portrayal or a combination of the two, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

When The Dark Knight debuted this past week, I read some reviews (here, here, here) and decided to take my 16 year old grandson to a showing. Whatever expectations I had for the film, they were far exceeded. This sequel is full of action, laden with talented actors and even the holes in the script are easily forgiven because there is so much else to like.

If you watch films just to be entertained, The Dark Knight doesn't disappoint. If, like me, you enjoy films that offer more than transitory entertainment, The Dark Knight provides food for thought and discussion. In addition to a fun ride, Nolan gives us believable characters who are trying to decide what it means to be human. I will be among those eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fairy Tale World of Obama

President Ronald Reagan was known as The Great Communicator, an apt descriptor on that historic day, June 12, 1987, when he appeared at the Berlin Wall and, speaking from the heart, challenged Mr. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!"

Hence, it was jarring to hear the words of presidential hopeful Barack Obama as he attempted today in Berlin to summon the images of JFK and Ronald Reagan. The text of Obama's speech is available online (here's one site). Additionally, there will be plenty of columns devoted to the speech from commentators across the spectrum.

But I couldn't help reflect what is, to me, the significant difference between Ronald Reagan's 1987 Berlin speech and that of the current Democrat candidate. When Ronald Reagan spoke to the citizens of Berlin, he was there for them, he spoke on their behalf, he championed their liberty. (This wasn't a PR tour for him; he was at the tail end of his presidency.) In challenging Mr. Gorbachev to tear down the wall, President Reagan exhibited bold courage (audacity) on behalf of every man, woman and child living in the Eastern Bloc.

The contrast of that historic occasion to today's Obama performance is as stark as night to day!

Who would dare deny Obama embarked on his widely-hyped world tour to prop up an embarrassingly thin resumé? Five sentences into the speech, he claimed to be speaking "... not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen ... a fellow citizen of the world." Who does he think he's kidding? He was championing ... himself! He waxed eloquent with the predictable platitudes and puffery, demonstrating an "audacity" some might characterize a full-blown Messiah complex.

If it's a Savior you're looking for, Barack Obama appears eager to step up. He told the assembled Berliners: "Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands."

Floods, famines, destructive weather ... aren't these generally considered acts of God?? Even Wikipedia characterizes such events as "outside of human control." But apparently not in the fairy tale world of Obama.

With such ambition at his disposal, perhaps he'd be willing to tackle the age-old challenge of "spinning straw into gold"? Just a thought.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Goodbye, Tony Snow

I never met Tony Snow, but I always felt as if I knew him. Like Ronaldus Magnus before him, Tony Snow was bright and good-humored and self-effacing and committed to conservative principles and skilled at going toe-to-toe against those who challenged him. Whether it was on the radio or television, Tony communicated a joie de vivre that was refreshing and contagious. Even before he was diagnosed with cancer, he had adopted a pro-active strategy to his health, in light of his mother's early death.

When President Bush announced Tony Snow would fill the position of White House Press Secretary, I took the news as a mixed blessing. On the downside, it meant Tony could no longer host his radio show; the airwaves would be poorer for his absence from the dial. On the upside, it meant this newsman par excellence (unlike doltish Scott McClellan) would credibly articulate the policies of his boss, and energetically push back against the Bush Derangement Syndrome so prevalent among the MSM.

There will be tributes to his memory (here and here), but these are surely an imperfect measure of this man who was husband, father, friend, colleague and (for some) congenial but principled adversary.

In my mind's eye, I envision the moment St. Peter ushers Tony Snow through the Pearly Gates ... while the Great Communicator stands just inside the entrance waiting to offer Tony a welcoming hand.