Friday, September 21, 2007

Will the Real Fred Thompson Please Stand Up

I asked the question a couple days ago if Fred Thompson could really be as pathetic as Dick Morris claims he is. As I said I take whatever Morris says with a large grain of salt, so it comes with some satisfaction that I see Morris purposefully distorted numerous issues he took Thompson to ask for.

ay Robison at The American Thinker has a completely different take on the issues that were the focus of Morris’ attack. I would hope that conservatives would be more careful in their assessments, but it seems that some aren’t. We have plenty of time before we have to vote, so let’s let the real Fred Thompson emerge and cast our votes accordingly.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Civil Rights and Religious Liberty

To my mind, the most important question to be faced in thinking about the contours of religious liberty is not whether the Tallapoosa County Commission can put up a photocopy of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse breezeway, or whether little Johnny can say "Jesus" in his valedictory speech, but the degree to which religious organizations (churches, parachurch groups, service centers, etc.) will have their institutional autonomy protected or whether federal, staet, and local authorities will be given free reign to impose non-discrimination standards and force those organizations to hire and keep people whose views or lives do not match the organization's. Earlier this week, New Jersey revoked the tax-exempt status of a Methodist-run pavilion because it refused to allow same-sex "weddings" there. Yesterday, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals found that a Jewish Community Center was exempt from civil rights laws on the basis of Title VII exemptions. I suspect, alas, that this will be the pattern for things to come. Courts will grant exemptions for a wide range of religious organizations from civil rights laws, but state and local authorities will use their tax and regulatory powers to try and coerce those same organizations into conforming nonetheless, especially with respect to homosexuality.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Belichk as Nixon?

Now, I'm much more of a college football fan, but I've been pretty interested in the cheating scandal surrounding the NE Patriots. People may differ on how serious this is, but Greg Easterbrook, writing over at ESPN's TMQ, has to take the cake when he makes Belichik out to be a "Nixon," throwing all sorts of wild (and entirely unsubstantiated in the column) claims about "secret" information and spying and so on. And then suggesting that the Patriots' coach might not last the season because he has raised the specter of "cheating" in the NFL.

Well, excuse me if I remain unpersuaded. It's quite true that the Patriots cheated by filming the Jets' signs and it's likely they've been doing it for a while. What's more, it's likely that they have in the past tried to pump former players for information and engaged in all sorts of skullduggery. Can we ask: so what? What team doesn't try to figure out what plays their opponent will run? Is there really a difference between peering over to the their sideline to see what kooky arm signals are being used versus looking at their player packages? It's only an unfair advantage to the degree that no one else can do it? Besides, *of course* teams cheat in the NFL. Teams teach their linemen to go as far as they can (and a bit over the line) in using their hands illegally. Defensive backs grab, pull and bump so long as they think they won't get called for a penalty. C'mon, if stealing signs is going to bring down a league, then it's not much worth defending in the first place...

Is Thompson Really This Bad?

Dick Morris is annoying and clearly not a conservative or a friend of conservatives, so I take everything he says with a large grain of salt. Yet sometimes he is right on. I read his article “Thompson is Clearly in Over His Head” and wasn’t quite sure how to take it. Which Dick Morris wrote this, the one who has decent political instincts, or the one who is clearly not on the right side of the political spectrum? He makes Thompson appear completely incompetent.

I’ve read stuff like this about Thompson, and I’m wondering how much truth there is to it all. Either way, if it gets said enough, long enough, it will gain a critical mass and he’ll have no chance at the nomination. What think ye?

25 Skills Every Man Should Know

From Popular Mechanics. For the record, I'm good on all but one, bleeding brakes. But I bet I can figure it out.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Is Giuliani the Hillary Slayer?

What is it that makes Rudy Giuliani so attractive to so many conservatives despite his less than conservative stands on social issues? Last week gives us a perfect example of why. While the Democrats and their left-wing allies were slandering a four star general, Republicans and conservatives, including those on the campaign trail for president, were strongly voicing their condemnation, many in writing and on the air. But only one person took action and actually did something about it. That would be Rudy.

Philip Klein in the American Spectator has a wonderful article that nicely captures why so many conservatives love the guy, and why he just might be the only one that can take down the Clinton machine. Not only did Giuliani challenge the New York Times to give him the same ad space for the same price, he also created a Web ad slamming Clinton for her flip-flops on the war (you can find links to these in the article). Klein believes that because of his background and who he is that he has a much better chance of defeating Hillary than do the other candidates in the race.

As demoralized conservatives begin to fear that another Clinton presidency is inevitable, this episode demonstrates that Giuliani may represent the Republicans' best shot at defeating Hillary in next year's election.

Throughout his career, Giuliani has excelled at relentlessly pursuing opponents, whether in the courtroom or political arena. . . .

Giuliani's background as a prosecutor and gift for speaking plainly and with clarity makes him ideally suited to cut through the type of word parsing for which the Clintons are legendary.

While it is popular for conservatives to lament the existence of the liberal media, Giuliani understands that it is a reality. Rather than belly-ache about it, or, as the Bush administration often has done, ignore attacks by assuming people aren't paying attention and they will go away, Giuliani understands that conservatives need to simply be better at using the media to their advantage, as he did when he fought entrenched liberal interest groups as mayor.

"If I run against Hillary Clinton, I'm perfectly prepared to carry this battle, not expecting that the New York Times or the major networks…are going to give us anywhere the same kind of favorable coverage they will give her," Giuliani told Hugh Hewitt last week. "I'm a realist, I'm not saying that in any way where I have a chip on my shoulder. I've lived with this all during the time I was mayor of New York City. The reality is we just have to be better at communicating."

He also points out that he has more of the kind of experience that gets presidents elected than anybody else in the race, including Clinton and Obama, who have very weak resumes. The same goes for the two Senators in the primaries who are his closest rivals and another who was governor, Mr. Romney.

As much as I’m conflicted about Giuliani I have to say Klein is very persuasive. I have until the Illinois primary to make up my mind, but the only other candidate I would vote for is Thompson, although I could live with Romney. He’s made the right changes, be they for the wrong reasons or not. But I must say that hearing about these episodes last week and reading this piece got me all pumped up. The Clinton machine is a powerful and deceptive force, and it’s going to take a real fighter to bring it down.

While there are certainly many factors that conservatives will have to consider when choosing the Republican nominee, all they have to do is look at the reincarnated HillaryCare plan that is being unveiled today to recognize that the ability of a Republican candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton should be a major consideration.

It’s hard to argue with Giuliani’s track record in combat with elitist leftist culture, and that he relishes the battle. That is certainly something to consider.