Saturday, February 18, 2006

Rep. Manwhore (D-Truck Stop)

At least he's an EX-prostitute, AP reports:

A man running for state representative acknowledged that he once worked as a prostitute but said he's turned his life around and doesn't regret his past.
Tom Malin, who has also sold Mary Kay cosmetics and now markets electricity, conceded that his illicit past could cost him the nomination in the March 7 Democratic primary. ...
On his campaign Web page, Malin said he is "committed to giving our families a voice in Austin, with a focus on education, the economy, and restoring a 'spirit of ethics' to our State House."

LOL! He was an independent contractor of sorts, negotiating service fees on a regular basis, so I suppose Tom Manwhore -- uh, I mean, Tom Malin -- knows something about the economy. And perhaps he's just the kind of voice that the people in state House District 108 want. Who is to say that, as an ex-rentboy, Mr. Malin would be any less ethical than any other Democrat in Austin?

But obviously, this revelation will hurt Mr. Malin in the Democratic primary, because prostitution is a form of capitalism, which Democrats oppose as "greed" -- and I bet he didn't pay taxes on his tricks, either. The Dallas Morning News reports:

The Web page touts the "hot uninhibited" services of a male escort identified as Todd Sharpe, displaying a blurry beefcake photo and listing a Dallas phone number. ...

Web pages that have been used to advertise the sexual services of "Todd Sharpe" say he previously worked in the New York City and Los Angeles areas. His rates ranged from $200 to $600, according to graphically detailed reviews from men whom the pages described as satisfied customers. ...

All the "Todd Sharpe" Web sites are now defunct. The Dallas Morning News found archived versions online after receiving a tip this week that Mr. Malin might have worked in the sex industry.
The tipster, a fellow gay Democrat who knew the candidate, said he had heard rumors about Mr. Malin's past but had no direct knowledge. He said he feared that if Mr. Malin won a primary race next month and the rumors turned out to be true, their political party would be embarrassed. The tipster asked not to be identified because he didn't want to be dragged into a political fight.

I'm glad the Democrat tipped off the press, because you can imagine the screams of "homophobia" if Republicans had been the ones to "out" Mr. Malin. Not that it was hard to figure out:

New York University- Graduate Studies in Musical Theatre.

Right. Not that there's anything wrong with that. And even with the revelations of his past life as "Todd Sharpe," keeping his customers "satisfied" for as little as $200, Mr. Malin still has his supporters:
Former Dallas County Democratic chairwoman Susan Hays, a Malin supporter, said the candidate told her about his past in the buffet line of a local restaurant.
"He kind of amazed me," she said. "He's been a mess, but righted himself. He's got more honesty and energy than his Democratic opponent and [Republican incumbent state Rep.] Dan Branch."

Attagirl, Susan! That's what we love about you Democrats: You're such excellent judges of character!


UPDATE: Fearing that I might be having a "Coulter moment," my co-author called me to express concern that calling somebody a "manwhore" might be considered offensive. I explained to Lynn that Democrats wouldn't mind because they consider prostitution a constitutional right. Republicans are sometimes narrow-minded and intolerant. But in recent years, some of us "compassionate conservates" have come to take a different view of the "manwhore" profession. This is largely due to the educational work done by manwhore activist Rob Schneider, in his "Deuce Bigalow" film series.

So, let this be a lesson to everyone: Don't be too quick to judge. Even my friend and co-author, Lynn, leapt to the erroneous conclusion that when I called Tom Malin a "manwhore," that this term was meant in a negative, defamatory way -- that I was being judgmental toward this former sex-industry professional. But as a capitalist, I figure Mr. Malin and his former manwhore colleagues are being unfairly condemned because they sought to make a profit doing what Monica Lewinsky did for free. And even the Religious Right sometimes overlooks this basic distinction: The Bible doesn't judge sexual sin according to our view. Rather, according to the Bible, there are exactly two kinds of sex: (1) between husband and wife, and (b) sin.

So whether it's "straight" sin or gay sin, amateur or professional, sin is sin. Monica Lewinsky's heterosexual amateurism is therefore no more praiseworthy than Tom Malin's homosexual professionalism. There's married on the one hand and there's sin on the other, and all sin is hated by God. I don't often get up on my high preachy podium this way, but felt like this was a "teachable moment."

Anytime you have sex outside biblical marriage, you're no better than "Todd Sharpe" -- providing "hot, uninhibited" sex to his "satisfied customers" -- and at least he was willing to take his chances in the free market. Some of you guys out there screwing around are lucky to be able to give it away; if you tried the manwhore business, you'd find out real quick just how worthless you are. I mean, can you see Bill Clinton standing on a street corner?

UPDATE II: Clayton Cramer observes: "Of course, there's a difference between, 'stupid things you did a long time ago' and 'stupid things you did which had a webpage.' " True. As I recall, similar things have happened to a Republican politician in Virginia and to the unfortunate "Jeff Gannon." Cruising for action via the Internet has so many obvious hazards I'm surprised it's as popular as it is, especially among politicos.

Clayton theorizes that "at least some people end up as homosexuals" because of child abuse, and notes that Malin reportedly has such a background. Of course, I'm not an expert and can't evaluate such a theory. But if a layman can offer a theory, how about this one: Mr. Malin is a self-pitying liar and feels the need to justify himself by claiming his childhood was a nightmare. (The James Frey story comes to mind.) There are plenty of people who grew up in troubled homes and yet don't end up prostituting themselves on the Internet (or on "Oprah"). I think the common excuse that "my dysfunctional family screwed me up" is a cop-out. And Malin strikes me as just the sort of drama queen who would exaggerate the horrors of his childhood in an effort to protect his inflated ego from the cognitive dissonance produced by feedback of abundant evidence that he's a sleazy scumbag.

Did growing up in an abusive, alcoholic home make Malin gay? I don't know. Bill Clinton came from such a background and isn't gay. But Bill is a world-class liar, egomaniac and bully.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Latest rant from "Jihad Cindy" McKinney

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Palestine) goes on Bolshevik Radio to rant about Katrina:
But as a result of the work that the Katrina panel did, we at least know more now than we knew before. And what do we know? What's on the congressional record now as a result of the work of the Katrina panel is that President Bush was on vacation at the Texas ranch; Vice President Cheney was fly-fishing in Wyoming; Condoleezza Rice was in New York City where she took in a play, went shopping, and played tennis with Monica Seles; Donald Rumsfeld was at a San Diego Padres game; and Michael Chertoff, the man whose job it was to manage our country's resources and organize the response to this horrific hurricane, didn't even know he was in charge and decided to stay home. Yes, I call for his resignation, too.
And where was Cynthia McKinney that weekend? I don't know. But it's a good bet she wasn't worrying about her district. She's worried about Haiti, she's worried about Tupac Shakur, she's worried about the Palestinians, she's signing petitions for Mumia and Tookie, she's blamed Bush for 9/11 and took campaign contributions from radical Muslims, she gets 3/4 of her campaign contributions from out-of-state donors -- hey, Cynthia, have you ever thought of worrying about people in Georgia for a change?

To know her is to loathe her. The media man who knows McKinney best is long-time Atlanta talk show host Neal Boortz, who refers to her as "Jihad Cindy," "Cynthia Al-McKinney" and "the cutest little Islamic jihadist."

But ... But, dangerous crackpot though she may be, Jihad Cindy is the kind of loose cannon who occasionally fires a shot at her fellow Democrats, for instance:
Everyone knows, in actuality, that the 9/11 Commission was what was actually a sham. And yesterday, in public open session the House Armed Services committee heard testimony about Able Danger, and from three witnesses who testified, they said that if they had been allowed to do their work that that work could possibly have prevented 9/11. And this is the same team of people whose work was called historically insignificant by Dr. Zelikow and whose work Louis Freeh said that if he had had that information, could also quite possibly have saved this country the trauma of 9/11. Now, Dr. Zelikow made a judgment to bury the work of the Able Danger team. And so, for the Democrats to hold the 9/11 Commission up as a model is quite honestly ludicrous. What the American people know after the 9/11 Commission is that they can't trust that particular independent commission to tell them the truth.

McKinney is kind of steamed at the Democratic House leadership because in 2002, they pretty much turned their back on her when she got beat by Denise Majette in the Democratic primary. And after she won her seat back in 2004, the leadership refused to restore her seniority -- so now she's a "freshman" with four terms in Congress, as she complained to Bolshevik Radio's Amy Goodman:
There were three former members, who were in my returning class, sworn in in 1995. There was Dan Lundgren from California, who had been out for 16 years. When he came back, the Republican leadership gave him back his seniority as if he had not missed one day. There was Bob Inglis from South Carolina, who had been out for two years. When he came back, the Republican leadership gave him his seniority as if he had not missed one day. The Democratic leadership, Nancy Pelosi, refused to give me back my seniority, even though I asked for it, and so I returned as a returning freshman.

Nobody with any sense has ever taken McKinney seriously -- she only got a seat in Congress because her father, Billy McKinney, was a big Democratic power-broker in Atlanta -- but you get the feeling that one of these days she's bound do something that will be an even bigger embarassment for Democrats than her ties to radical Islam.


Sid Vicious, film critic

Sidney Blumenthal, who knows a thing or two about scandals, concludes an article in Der Spiegel by comparing the Cheney quail-hunting accident to a French film made 67 years ago:
The curiosities surrounding the vice president's accident have created a contemporary version of "The Rules of the Game" with a Texas twist. In Jean Renoir's 1939 film, politicians and aristocrats mingle at a country house in France over a long weekend, during which a merciless hunt ends with a tragic shooting. Appearing on the eve of World War II, "The Rules of the Game" depicted a hypocritical, ruthless and decadent ruling class that made its own rules and led a society to the edge of catastrophe.
Gee, and the Democrats wonder why they have trouble connecting with the masses: Democrats put their spin in Der Spiegel and make allusions to old French films; Republicans put their spin in Field and Stream and make allusions to "Old Yeller."

As Instapundit might say, Heh. (Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt.)


The redneck jihad is on!

We interrupt this blog to bring you the following fatwa ...


The traitor and infidel who has somehow become president of NASCAR, speaking at a Capitol Hill news conference about the race circuit's "diversity" efforts (the Charlotte Observer, with hat tip to Derb in the Corner) said:

"We believe strongly that the old Southeastern redneck heritage that we had is no longer in existence."

The streets will flow with the blood of the non-believer! This is a monstrous insult to the very people who made NASCAR great -- Junior Johnson, Richard Petty, Bill Elliot, Dale Earnhart.

If rednecks were Muslims, the offices of the Charlotte Observer would have been firebombed for printing such blasphemy to the Prophet (a/k/a No. 3). Mike Helton would now be hiding in exile somewhere (Vermont?) while mobs of Bubbas burned him in effigy in the streets of Dalton, Sylacauga and Franklin.

It's been a while since I've been to a race -- did I miss something? I mean, is the infield at Talladega now filled with yuppies sipping merlot, munching on watercress sandwiches and discussing what kind of moisturizer Jeff Gordon uses? The redneck heritage is "no longer in existence," my butt! You notice Mike Helton didn't make his prissy little "diversity" announcement in Bristol or Martinsburg.

Assuming that they're too busy at their day jobs to organize a tar-and-feathers party for Helton, real racing fans should boycott NASCAR until it fires that pretentious a--hole. What if they had a NASCAR race and the rednecks stayed home? Let Helton have his "diversity" -- an infield with nobody in it, except maybe half a dozen "Gay for Gordon" fans.

We now return you to the regularly-scheduled mean-spirited partisanship ....


You know it's bad when ...

The Washington Post does a front-page story about a Democratic scandal:
Then came the allegations last August that [Louisiana Rep. William] Jefferson had orchestrated a corruption scheme. Federal investigators are targeting the Democratic congressman, 58, for allegedly demanding cash and other favors for himself and relatives, in exchange for using his congressional clout to arrange
African business deals. A former aide recently pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson and is cooperating with authorities, and sources familiar with the case say a plea agreement with the lawmaker is being explored.
Notice, however, that the Post views this as bad news not because people (allegedly) have been scammed and hustled by a corrupt politician, but chiefly because it's bad P.R. for Democrats:
Jefferson's woes are unwelcome news for his party and have undercut the Democrats' election-year assertion that Republicans have created a "culture of corruption." If Jefferson is indicted and pleads guilty or is convicted, he will have to step down or face expulsion. But if he is indicted and decides to go to trial, he may remain in Congress and stand for reelection ...

The investigation of Jefferson and the recent guilty plea by a former aide give Republicans the chance to argue that corruption in Washington has a bipartisan tinge.
Clever, huh? A "bipartisan tinge" -- even though, as the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics has documented, Democrats got $1.1 million from Abramoff's clients in the past four election cycles -- 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 -- compared to the total of $2.6 million Republicans got from Abramoff & Co.

(By the way, both Pelosi and Reid got money from Abramoff's clients and are trying to spin it that since they didn't get contributions directly from Abramoff himself, then this doesn't count. This won't work, and I'm not going to explain yet why it won't work, because that would give them a tipoff that they need to come up with a new spin. But here's a hint, Harry: Unlike some of the media morons who've been peddling your spin, I can count.)

What the Post doesn't tell you, of course, is that Democrats are indicted, convicted or plead guilty to corruption charges on a regular basis. Even in 2006, which began as a bad year for Republicans scandal-wise, the Democrats seem to be keeping pace or pulling ahead. There's Chicago, Atlanta, Wisconsin, Philadelphia, etc., etc. -- and that's just from the past WEEK!

No matter how you slice it, dice it, or make julienne fries with it, when it comes to corruption, Democrats are the all-time champs. The media, of course, does its best to ignore Democratic corruption -- for years, everybody knew that Clinton was an adulterous horndog who couldn't keep his hands off any woman who'd hold still long enough, but it took DNA evidence before the MSM would admit it.

Like their Democratic idols, the MSM think Americans are too stupid to see the plain truth. And so while they fill their pages with stories about Scooter and the NSA and Cheney's 28-guage shotgun, they ignore all the Democrats caught in scandals at the state and local level. Meanwhile Harry and Nancy thing they can convince Americans that the way to fix the "culture of corruption" is to elect the party of Chinagate and Chappaquiddick. "Hey, your local Democratic mayor is a cheat and the Dems in your state's legislature are a bunch of lying scumbags ... but you can trust the Democrats in Congress!" Brilliant.

Dems are basing their entire political strategy for 2006 on the assumption that voters are too stupid to see through the DNC's lies. But considering that it's been more than 12 years since voters were stupid enough to elect a Democratic majority in Congress, and considering Democrats have lost ground in the past two elections, it may be that America is getting smarter every day.


DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: Another rave review
DONKEY CONS: Yet ANOTHER rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book
DONKEY CONS: On Capitol Hill

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Democratic Wonderland

I've decided to try and buy a ticket to Wonderland or Shangri-La or Never Never Land, or wherever it is that the Democratic Party hunkers before hatching its wacky edicts. Life must sweet and easy in a place where contrary facts do not constrain hubris, intrude on reality, or result in even the tiniest glimmer of self-awareness:

According to the ASSOCIATED PRESS, thirty-one Senate Democrats on Thursday asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to remove himself from the investigation into the Jack Abramoff scandal, saying the lobbyist's dealings with President Bush and others in the administration should compel Gonzales to step aside.

In Wonderland, apparently, they suspend reality at sunrise and serve umbrella drinks spiked with Rohypnol. What else can explain why no one in this moralizing little 31-member confab objected to the fact that 28 of them weren't, like Gonzales, simply on the same organizational chart as someone who might have dealt with Abramoff, but instead took hundreds of thousands of Abramoff dollars, some in situations that look an awful lot -- okay, exactly like -- quid pro quo:

Abramoff client-tribes, including the Louisiana Coushattas and Mississippi Choctaw,

were trying to block the [competing tribe] Jena's gambling hall for fear it would undercut business at their casinos. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada sent a letter to [Interior Secretary Gale] Norton on March 5, 2002, that also was signed by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. The next day, the Coushattas issued a $5,000 check to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund.

A Wonderland spokeperson said there was no connection between the Norton letter and the Coushatta donation to Reid.

A second Abramoff tribe sent an additional $5,000 to Reid's group.

The Wonderland spokeperson said there was no connection between the Norton letter and the second tribal donation.

Reid ultimately received more than $66,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004.

The Wonderland spokesperson said, "Gimme a break, will ya? That's what Reid told me to say and I just work here. Besides, there's this weird queen skulking around and screaming, 'Off with their heads or there'll be hell to pay!' I'm really creeped out and the pay here sucks."

For the blogosphere record, the following Wonderland campers also received their share of Abramoff largess:

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) - $2,000
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) - $21,765
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) - $22,500
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) - $20,250
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) - $12,950
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) - $14,792
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) - $14,000
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - $2,000
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) - $1,250
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) - $45,750
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) - $9,000
Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-VT) - $2,000
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick) - $3,300
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) - $95,550
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) - $28,000
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) - $6,000
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) - $10,550
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) - $78,991
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) - $20,168
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) - $7,500
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) - $2,300
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) - $3,500
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) - $4,000
Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) - $4,500
Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) - $4,300
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) - $29,550
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) - $6,250


Me & Cousin John

"No, we're not related."

That was my answer for years whenever I was asked if I was any kin to Sen. John McCain (R-Democrat).

My kin were all from Randolph County, Alabama, not Arizona. Besides, I knew his father and grandfather were both Navy admirals. My ancestors (including Pvt. Winston Wood Bolt, of Co. K, 13th Alabama Inf., Archer's Brigade, Heth's Division, A.P. Hill's Corps, captured at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863) were all Army enlisted men.

Still, who knows? Maybe some people in Washington returned my calls a bit quicker when they saw the name "McCain" on their while-you-were-out notes.

But then, in 2000, as the GOP primary campaign heated up, the Confederate flag became an issue in South Carolina, the question was asked, "Did John McCain's ancestors own slaves?" And I was assigned to research the question.

The Arizona senator had said that his ancestors fought for the Confederacy, but most Confederate soldiers weren't slaveowners, and John didn't say whether his ancestors did or not. I got myself a copy of his memoir, Faith of My Fathers, and to answer the big mystery: Well, it's kind of hard not to own slaves when you're talking about an antebellum plantation in the Mississippi Delta. (Duh.)

McCain self-destructed after New Hampshire, however, in part because of his mishandling of the rebel flag issue in South Carolina. Bush did the smart thing: He never addressed the rightness or wrongness of the issue, but said it was a matter for the people of South Carolina to decide for themselves. In other words: States' rights, which was what it was all about anyway. Bush's ancestors were New England Yankees, so he didn't really have a dog in the SC fight. Laura Bush, however, is a real Texan, descended from Confederate heroes on both sides of her family. (Being half-Southern, of course, explains why the First Daughters, Barbara and Jenna, are so beautiful. Especially Jenna. Especially Jenna.) McCain, like a fool, wandered into a trap of discussing the right/wrong perspective and instantly alienated every SCV member in South Carolina, among whom the word "wrong" is never used when discussing the Glorious Cause.

But while researching McCain's Confederate forebears, I discovered that, more than likely, we are indeed related. When once discussing names for my children, I'd asked my father what some of the tradition Christian names in his family were, and he'd answered "Hugh" (his grandfather's name). Later, when doing some geneaological research, I'd found that Hugh's ancestors were natives of South Carolina, and located Hugh McCain and his brother Alexander in Chambers County, Ala., at the 1840 census. And in Faith of My Fathers, John McCain explains that his own forebears were South Carolinians named Hugh and Alexander. Given the coincidence of both the Christian names and surnames, then, Cousin John and I are probably both descended from some 18th-century McCain in South Carolina. But while my ancestors ended up in a log cabin on a red-clay farm in the hills above the Little Tallapoosa River north of Wedowee, Alabama, his ancestors somehow made it to the Mississippi Delta and became wealthy cotton planters.

We do have something in common, however: Neither one of us will ever be president. Being named "McCain," I'm often asked if I support my cousin's presidential ambitions. That's irrelevant, because (a) Cousin John has spent the past 10 years urinating all over the GOP's conservative base and thus can't win the primaries; (b) his notoriously hot temper is simply unsuitable for a modern presidential campaign; and (c) he doesn't have presidential hair, which seems to be the key to winning the White House nowadays.

The McCainiacs have various motives for supporting him, mostly I suppose because of the war-hero thing. I appreciate his military service, of course, but just look at the recent history of presidential elections:

W - Clinton, draft dodger.
L - Bush 41, WWII Navy pilot

W - Clinton, draft dodger.
L - Dole, WWII Army hero.

W - Bush 43, Texas Air National Guard
L - Gore, Vietnam war veteran, Army

W - Bush 43, Texas Air National Guard
L - Kerry, Vietnam war hero, Navy (1968 "Christmas in Cambodia" campaign)

In other words, there is no evidence that today's voters, in the age of the all-volunteer armed services, gives a rat's rear end about what somebody did in a war 30 or 40 years ago. Even with his amazing coif of presidential hair, Kerry couldn't make the war hero thing pay off, so it's silly to imagine that the bald-headed John McCain could do any better. So unless Sen. George Allen has a mistress or some other nasty skeletons in his closet, he's the man to beat.

Funny thing, though. At CPAC, my sons went wandering around the exhibitors' area and -- though I'd never said a word to them about the 2008 field -- one of them picked up this button:


The political is (very) personal

Cynical Nation was kind enough to put us on his blog roll, and even though he's an anti-Coulter McCain-iac, this post about Nora Ephron is ROTFLMAO funny. (Obscene language warning!)

To add our own deconstruction, Nora Ephron is like a bad hangover from an all-night Freudian kegger: Everything is about sex. Or your mother. Or sex with your mother. Or father. Sex sex sex.

Hey, Nora: Speak for yourself, OK? Freud was wrong about almost everything. No data is available to support his theory of (drawing one out of our hat now) penis envy. Oedipus complex? No evidence. The meaning of dreams? He invented that from whole cloth and without a scintilla of scientific validation. Freudian theory is about as scientific as Haitian voodoo, and probably much more harmful.

Voltaire (French intellectual warning!) once said that mankind would never be free until the last king was strangled with the entrails of the last priest. French poppycock, that.

I wonder what Voltaire might say if confronted with a Nora Ephron column? Perhaps that mankind would never be happy until the last armchair Freudian was strangled with the entrails of the last feminist pseudo-intellectual?

But don't blame us for such thoughts. Blame France.


UPDATE: Also added ACE OF SPADES to our "Blogger Buddies" list. We met at CPAC and he spent some time talking to my twin sons. He's funny, plus the Ace kept his powder dry when some other bloggers wanted to "disown" Coulter.

"Jihad monkey" -- NOW do you get it?

With all the interruptions for applause during her CPAC speech, and without her naming the president of Iran, it was nearly impossible at the time to understand the point Ann Coulter was trying to make with her infamous "raghead" remark. Now that she's put the argument in print, it's easier to see the point -- if you're smart, which not all of her critics are.

I can see that this was basically what she said at CPAC, though she throws in a couple of jabs at her nicey-nice Republican critics. If you don't understand the argument behind her column, just e-mail me and I will explain it. But basically, what she was trying to do was to make a connection between (a) the Danish cartoon controversy, and (b) the lunatic Iranian president's boasting of his plans for nuclear weapons. The key passages here are:
The "offense to Islam" ruse is merely an excuse for Muslims to revert to their default mode: rioting and setting things on fire. These people have a serious anger management problem.
So it's not exactly a scoop that Muslims are engaging in violence. A front-page story would be "Offended Muslims Remain Calm." ...

Perhaps we could put aside our national, ongoing, post-9/11 Muslim butt-kissing contest and get on with the business at hand: Bombing Syria back to the stone age and then permanently disarming Iran.

It is Miss Coulter's long-accustomed habit to put things in strong terms. But ... but she is merely saying in her sarcastic way what many other observers of Islam have said: The Islamic world, apparently suffering from some kind of inferiority complex because of the vast wealth and power of the West, has taken to walking around with a chip on its shoulder. Some examples: Sirhan Sirhan, Munich Olympics, the 1973 oil embargo, the 1979-80 Iran hostage crisis, the Achille Lauro, the Intifada -- the list could be extended almost indefinitely, but you get the point.

As a Southerner, I can relate. The Islamic world seems to be going through a drunk redneck phase. In any honky tonk in Alabama about midnight on Saturday, you'll find some old boy whose life resembles a country music song: Lost his job, his wife left him, they repossessed his truck, etc. He's feeling like a loser with nothing left to lose, and if he's had enough whiskey, you don't want to look at him sideways, because going to jail for assault would be like a vacation to him. That seems to me the best analogy for what the "Arab street" has been up to lately.

Now, to my fellow Tuborg-buying friends in the pro-Dane blogosphere, let me ask you a question: Haven't the Muslims told you that those cartoons are an INSULT? Hint, hint. Which is more insulting to Muslims, publishing the Danish cartoons or calling them "ragheads"? Well, I haven't noticed any Islamic mobs burning any truck stops in Oklahoma where, I guarantee you, the average patron isn't interested in what Ann calls a "Muslim butt-kissing contest."

Q. What does an Oklahoma truck driver call a Muslim?
A. Anything he wants to, especially if the price of diesel is over $2.10 a gallon.

The "Arab street" is burning Scandanavian embassies because they know Scandanavian diplomats are a bunch of cowardly socialist wienies who won't fight back. If the "Arab street" decided to go after a truck stop in Oklahoma, it would be a suicide mission, because Oklahoma truckers don't take no crap, y'hear?

By insulting the Iranian president, Ann is doing nothing more offensive (according to the "Arab street," anyway) than Michelle Malkin did in posting the Danish cartoons.

In amplifying the insult from her CPAC speech as she does in her latest column, Miss Coulter is really doing the same thing as the Arab street: She's double-dog daring her nicey-nice blue-state GOP critics to do something about it. By comparison, I'd say she has more to fear from Scandanavian diplomats. And THAT, gentlemen, is her point.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Morial spews a flood of lies

"Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.' "

What Mary McCarthy famously said of the leftist writer Lillian Hellman might well be said of the speech former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial gave Tuesday at the National Press Club. While we were researching the chapter (Chapter Seven: Scene of the Crime) on urban corruption in DONKEY CONS, we were astonished at the open and blatant nature of corruption in the Big Easy. Yea, verily, compared to Morial's New Orleans, Marion Barry's DC was a model of wise, honest and frugal government.

A researcher will discover that writers strain for adjectives powerful enough to describe how crooked the government of New Orleans really is -- its corruption is "endemic" (45,900 Google hits) or "notorious" (198,000 hits) -- and yet, one imagines, no word is sufficiently strong to describe the wholesale criminality of the city's government during the eight-year reign of Marc Morial. As we note briefly in the book:

In one case, a thirty-seven-page indictment alleged that Morial cronies skimmed money from an $81 million city contract; an ex-cop was charged with pocketing $800,000; and two city officials were accused of receiving $100,000 each. Meanwhile, Morial’s uncle was accused of skimming more than $500,000 from the city transit authority, and Morial’s aunt was convicted on federal charges of paying kickbacks to a school official.
For someone who's never visited New Orleans, this was puzzling. Why? Why was this particular city under this particular mayor so blindingly corrupt? And then, a few hours ago, I caught a C-SPAN rerun of Morial's Press Club speech and discovered why: The man is a world-class liar.

Bill Clinton's best lies -- and he was one of the greatest liars in human history -- were the fumbling efforts of a rank amateur compared to the bold, smooth, shameless lies told Tuesday by Marc Morial. As soon as he began speaking about the situation in New Orleans after Katrina, I was shocked at the profound dishonesty of the man.

Not content with his own lies, Morial even enlists others to lie for him. To hear the brief biographical introduction of Morial at the Press Club, you might have thought he was Rudy Giuliani -- a two-fisted crime-fighter, etc. Certainly there was not the slightest indication that, under Morial's regime, New Orleans cops were nearly as criminal as the perps they were supposed to be chasing, and by the time he left office, as Nichole Gelinas explains:
"In 2003, New Orleans’s murder rate was nearly eight times the national average. ... In 2002 and 2003, New Orleans had the highest per capita city homicide rate in the United States, with 59 people killed per year per 100,000 citizens."
No transcript of Morial's speech is available (not for free, anyway, and I'd never pay for such a pack of lies), but it might be summarized thus: Everything that went wrong before, during and after Katrina can be blamed on (a) Republicans, or (b) white racism -- to the extent, at least, that Morial sees these two factors as separate categories.

Keep in mind, Morial was mayor of New Orleans for eight years, from 1994 to 2002, and his father "Dutch" Morial had also been mayor (1978-86), so that, for the 24 years from 1978 to 2002, there was just an eight-year interregnum between the father-and-son Morial regimes.

New Orleans has always sent Democratic representatives to Congress, Democrats retain control of Louisiana's legislature and governship, and Louisiana remains nearly the only Deep South state where Democrats are still regularly elected to statewide office, including Sen. Mary Landrieu, who owed her 1996 election (by a statewide 6,000-vote margin) to the 100,000-vote margin Morial delivered in New Orleans. Rich Lowery of National Review explains how that happened:

One teller at a bank in Coushatta, La., reports that a woman cashed a $50 check from the Democratic party on November 5 and explained that it was given "to me to haul my kind of people to vote." Two other $50 checks from the party showed up the next day. ...

Were $50 checks handed out to "volunteers" on election day? "That's not uncommon, that's not illegal," Morial says. "I call that true red-white-and-blue American politics."

So, Democrats have run Louisiana and New Orleans since time immemorial, a control maintained by a "notoriously" corrupt political machine that doesn't even blink at accusations of vote-buying, and somehow everything that went wrong during Katrina -- and every recovery problem that has occurred in the past five month -- is the fault of those evil racist Republicans?

Not once during Morial's dishonest speech to the Press Club was there any acknowledgement of individual choice or of market economics. The private sector as a force in either the poverty of some New Orleans resident or the slow pace of recovery? None existent. It needs to be pointed out that most black residents of pre-Katrina New Orleans did not live below the poverty line, as Gelinas notes:

In 2002, it had 6,696 families on cash welfare, or 3.6 percent, compared with New York City’s 98,000 families, or 3.2 percent. In 2000, 7.8 percent of New Orleans households received Supplemental Security Income, compared with 7.5 percent in New York. ... [T]he city’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent during 2004, lower than New York’s 7.1 percent.

During his lying speech Tuesday, Morial condemned the state legislature for refusing to approve a "satellite voting" scheme for New Orleans evacuees, which prompted a walkout of the legislature's black caucus Monday:

House Bill 14 would have let New Orleans evacuees vote for a new mayor, City Council and other offices in satellite locations in Baton Rouge and nine other Louisiana major metropolitan areas. Early balloting would have taken place
from April 10 to April 15. HB14 needed 53 votes for passage but received only 46.

“It was an embarrassing display of racism clouded behind some arguments that didn’t make any sense at all,” Rep. Jailia Jefferson-Bullock, D-New Orleans, sponsor of the legislation, said after the bill’s demise.

Was the Louisiana Legislature -- controlled by a Democratic majority -- displaying "racism"? No, they were quite obviously concerned about creating such an easy opportunity for vote fraud. (Apparently, there are still some honest Democrats in Louisiana.)

The "arguments that didn't make any sense at all" to Rep. Jefferson-Bullock are blindingly obvious to anyone with any knowledge of how vote fraud occurs. I'm not vote-fraud expert like John Fund but -- having just finished co-writing a book on the history of corruption in the Democratic Party -- I'm no rookie, either. So let me sketch out the problem:

Many thousands of Katrina refugee will never go back to New Orleans. They aren't "evacuees," they've escaped! They've re-settled in some other community -- perhaps with relatives -- and have no desire to return to the screwed-up mess that is New Orleans, as many of them made clear just as soon as they got out:

MONA LISA WRIGHT, NEW ORLEANS EVACUEE: I'm going to be looking at hospitals, looking at places to find a nice area for my home, and be able to get back and forth, going shopping, getting household stuff. ...

ESTELLE LEWIS, NEW ORLEANS EVACUEE: That's my goal, to make Houston my home. Live here and get an apartment which I haven't gotten because I don't have the money to get it. ...

WRIGHT: I like that. I like the atmosphere. I like the people. They're nice and kind. I think this is where my new life is going to start right here in Texas.

Yet, if Jefferson-Bullock had her way, these "evacuees" would remain on the registration rolls and be eligible to vote for anywhere in Louisiana. And because they would be complete strangers to the poll workers at these "satellite" voting places, how would election officials determine which voters were real and which ones were bogus? (There is a reason, after all, that Americans vote in neighborhood precincts.)

Corrupt elections produce corrupt governments. And corrupt governments -- such as Morial's -- tend over time to corrupt the citizenry. The view consistently expressed by Morial in his Press Club speech was that only government can ever do anything for the people; the people can never be expected to do anything for themselves. A citizenry so morally decadent as to believe such a monstrous lie deserve to be governed by dishonest demagogues like Marc Morial. Are we surprised, then, that Katrina relief efforts have been hampered by widespread fraud?

"[T]he Justice Department said yesterday that federal prosecutors have filed
fraud, theft and other charges against 212 persons accused of scams related to
Gulf Coast hurricanes. Forty persons have pleaded guilty so far, the latest
report by the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force said. Many defendants were
accused of trying to obtain emergency aid, typically a $2,000 debit card, issued
to hurricane victims by FEMA and the American Red Cross.

Are we surprised to hear of shameless abuse of taxpayer-funded relief in a FEMA investigation report?

"Waste and fraud marked the federal government's assistance programs for Hurricane Katrina victims, with 10,000 mobile homes going unused and scattered cases of evacuees spending emergency money on nude dancing in Houston, tattoos, casino gambling and a diamond engagement ring, according to an audit released Monday.
"About 5,000 of the 11,000 people who got $2,000 debit cards from the Federal Emergency Management Agency incorrectly got additional $2,000 credits after applying by telephone or the Internet, according to government findings.
"But losses from misspent debit funds -- the list of purchases also included alcoholic beverages, so-called adult erotica, condoms and a $1,300 pistol -- were peanuts compared to the amount of money FEMA wasted on contracts and housing payments, according to a report by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general, Richard Skinner.

No, we are not surprised at all. The profoundly corrupting lies that support the Welfare State -- something for nothing! you can't help yourself! let government take care of you! -- destroy the moral character of citizens. Immoral voters elect immoral politicians who implement immoral policies, and somehow we are supposed to be shocked and scandalized to learn that votes have been stolen and taxpayer dollars embezzled or wasted.

Every word that Morial spoke Tuesday, he spoke from the corrupt and corrupting perspective of the Welfare State. And every word was a lie -- including "and" and "the."


Monday, February 13, 2006

Last Coulter post

I sometimes feel like Eric Stratton: "Point of parliamentary procedure!"

There are too many corrupt Democrats slipping past while I endeavor to defend Ann Coulter who is, after all, a big girl who can defend herself.

But I just came across an online item about the CPAC uproar that I cannot allow to go unanswered. This was written by a veteran conservative researcher who has done wondrous things for the cause, so I will not identify him or link the source. It appears that this good man has reacted to a redacted media version of Coulter's remark, because he writes:
Perhaps it could have been excused had she made it clear she was referring to Islamists and not Muslims in general, but she did not. Indeed, her speech seemed to suggest that she wasn't making that distinction. It is cliche, but true: the vast majority of Muslims are not Islamists.

The claim that Ann's meaning was unclear is absolutely wrong, and I again am grateful for Matthew Vadum's partial transcript (hey, Matthew, can you do the whole thing?) of Coulter's speech:

“Iran is, is, an Iranian newspaper is holding a contest for cartoons on the Holocaust, but So far, the only submissions have been from Ted Rall, Garry Trudeau, and the New York Times. The one notable exception to the Muslims with bipolar disorder, um, is in Iraq, I note, so I guess this war for oil has some side benefits.

Muslims are the only group who kill because they’re angry people have called them violent.

"Bowing and scraping to savages, I think we’re supposed to be bombing Syria right now. And unlike the claim that the Koran prohibits depictions of Mohammed, I have documentation to back that up, the NATO treaty, um,
Syria torched and burned to the ground the Danish embassy last week, and according to everyone, according to Condoleeza Rice, according to the prime minister of Denmark, according to White House spokesman Scott McClellan, the Syrian government was behind it. McClellan said, for example, we will hold Syria responsible for such violent demonstrations since they do not take place in that country without government knowledge and support.

"I think we have to do a whole lot more than ‘hold them responsible’ for a state-sponsored attack on Danish territory, the Danish embassy. By the terms of the NATO treaty we have an obligation along with most of European nations to attack Syria right now. Or is NATO, like conventions of civilized society, inapplicable when Muslims are involved? They complain about unilateral action. Well, according to the terms of the NATO treaty, written by Dean Acheson and a bunch of Democrats, Spain, France, Germany, Greece, they all have an obligation to attack Syria right now. So saddle up, Mister Ghami." [surname spelled phonetically].

So, we see that she is referring to "Muslims with bipolar disorder" in terms of the violent response to the Danish cartoons. (One might think that advocates for the mentally ill would be next to denounce Ann Coulter: "How dare you compare us to those ... um, aggrieved victims of Western imperialism?" But perhaps Ann wasn't taking her lithium bicarbonate when she came up with that particular metaphor. Maybe she should have said, "Muslims with Howard Dean Syndrome.")

Matthew's transcription is, however, not complete, so he doesn't have the full setup for the ... er, money shot. However, he does say that Coulter was addressing the question of "whether Iran has nuclear weapons" when she then said:

“Maybe they do, maybe they don’t, but they’re certainly acting like they do. What if they start having [several words unintelligible at this point on the recording] bipolar episodes with nuclear weapons? If you don’t want to get shot by the police, don’t point a gun at them. Or, or as I think our motto should be post-9/11, 'raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'"

So, contrary to the writer who asserted that Ann failed to make "clear she was referring to Islamists and not Muslims in general," to me it was very clear and specific:

She was talking about

He is a Holocaust-denying, Jew-hating, crazy genocidal a--hole. (The hotlink on his name is to a USA Today interview with the democratically-elected genocidal a--hole.)

Q. Gee, Mr. Chamberlain, I wonder why somebody like that would want nuclear weapons?
A. Gosh, Mr. Daladier, I just don't know.

Maybe this is kind of like those guys who wanted to learn to FLY 747s but had no interest in learning to LAND 747s, huh?

But six of one (Atta & Co.) half-a-dozen of the other (Ahmadinejad) "post 9/11" what motto would you suggest? Hmmm?

Would your "post 9/11" motto be: "Let's wait and see if these hate-filled lunatics really want to kill us all, like they've been telling us for years"?

Quite frankly, I was not a hawk about this Iran-nukes thing until, oh, about 2 minutes ago when I Googled up what the genocidal a--hole told USA Today. (Dang it, that evil Ann Coulter is going to make a neocon chickenhawk warmonger out of me yet!)

In addressing the "raghead" slur controversy, then, I quite clearly disagree with Ann on the issue of terminology, personally preferring "Holocaust-denying, Jew-hating, crazy genocidal a--hole." But regardless of what insulting term anyone might prefer in discussing President Ahmcrazyhed (did I mention he was democratically-elected? hello?) I think we can all agree that it would not be a good thing if he were to become a "Holocaust-denying, Jew-hating, crazy genocidal nuclear-armed a--hole."

And maybe that was the point she was trying to make. But we are now about 60 hours before Ann's column goes online at WorldNetDaily (around 8 p.m. Wednesday), and maybe then she will make clear whether her ill-considered slur was intended for (a) all Muslims everywhere, or (b) crazy genocidal a--holes like Osama bin Laden and Iranian President Ahmcrazyhed.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bloody murderers

MICHELLE MALKIN weighs in on Ann Coulter "controversy":

I have a lot of blunt names for these jihadists who have killed our sailorsand soldiers, butchered and beheaded innocent civilians from around theworld, flown planes into buildings and incinerated babies, children, andpregnant women in the name of religion. "Ragheads" is not the word that immediately comes to my mind. Evildoers.Bloody murderers. Bastards. Yes. "Ragheads?" No.

The Left side of the blogosphere is working itself up into a lather, callingon conservatives to condemn Ann's remarks. But as I have noted many times, the Right is far more self-critical than the sanctimonious liberals whonever say a peep about the routine hatred and poisonousethnic/racial/religious identity politics exhibited by their own. We don't need your prodding.

Please explain ...

As I recently said in an e-mail to friends:
I am a member of the Rodgers-and-Hammerstein wing of the conservative movement:

"Oh, the farmer and the cowman can be friends ...."

Paleos, neos, blondes, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, rednecks: As Ben Franklin said, we must hang together, or we shall all hang separately.

Within an hour after sending that -- of course in reference to the Ann Coulter "raghead" debacle at CPAC (part 1, part 2) -- I was looking for blogospheric reaction and came across a post by Little Miss Atilla:

Had I Mentioned Lately That My Sister is Half-Syrian?
Well, it's true.
And Ann Coulter can get f-----.

I'll never buy one of her books.

But 24 hours earlier, of course, Little Miss Atilla was cheering on the restrictionists in the immigration debate:
Tom Tancredo is, of course, a pistol. He's a strong speaker, and one of the important voices right now advocating for immigration reform. His stance is uncompromising: the border must be sealed as soon as possible, he insists, using both a physical barrier and more efficient deployment of our manpower.
Atilla, please, in all sincerity: You do realize, don't you, that there a plenty of people -- including some people who call themselves conservative Republicans -- who consider the restrictionist position racist?

The last time I checked, Peter Brimelow -- author of Alien Nation, perhaps the most popular book ever written about the immigration issue -- was persona non grata at National Review, The Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal simply because he dared to ask tough questions about the impact of immigration on our nation and culture.

Atilla, do you like Michelle Malkin? Do you realize there are some "conservative Republicans" who consider Michelle "beyond the pale" because she dared to defend the World War II "internment" policy?

Go talk to some of the elders in the movement who have witnessed this sort of bloodletting for the past couple of decades. Always, over and over, these internecine disputes seem to boil down to the fact that some conservatives fall into the left's notion that "the personal is political," e.g. "My great-grandmother from Sicily came through Ellis Island, therefore anyone who wants to enforce our immigration laws is a hate-filled bigot."

"All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Heaven knows, I've been unable to resist this temptation toward identity politics. Conservative writer Christopher Caldwell once ran an article in The Atlantic Monthly that smeared the South, and I did everything but challenge him to a duel. (If I'd had his e-mail address, though ....)

Your sister is half-Syrian, and therefore Ann's ugly remark (though directed at the vicious mullahs of Tehran, I will remind you) means she should "get f-----." OK, I'll put you down as anti-Coulter. But you name any big-name conservative hero -- Bush, Condi, Bill Bennett, Limbaugh, Hannity, Liddy, Malkin, Buchanan, what the heck, even REAGAN -- and I can find you some conservatives who have the exact same "get f-----" sentiment toward them.

This infighting sickens me. I've got paleocon friends and neocon friends, and that split has been painful and damaging. The paleocons have turned negative and gloomy, while many neocons seem to have lost all sense of what Burk, Kirk and Weaver were about. (And the late Jay Nock is perhaps even more superfluous than ever!)

Meanwhile, adapting a phrase from Reagan, to say that Republicans in Congress are now spending like drunken sailors would be an insult to drunken sailors. Abroad, Bush seems determined to become a 21st-century Woodrow Wilson; at home, his policy preferences seem to fall somewhere in the range of LBJ and Nixon. It's not just me saying these things, Miss Atilla: This is a fair summary of what George Will said at CPAC on Thursday morning.

Lots of people who've supported Republicans for years are asking themselves: Is this what we voted for? If it weren't for the utter intellectual bankruptcy and political incompetence of Democrats, there could be a danger that Bush might spend his last 2 years in office facing a Democrat-controlled Congress. But given the record of the past few years -- No Child Left Behind? McCain-Feingold? The Ag bill? federalizing airport security? "guest workers"? -- I'm not entirely sure that such an outcome could be much worse.

So, with all these troubles facing conservatives -- concerns widely acknowledged by some of the movement's most loyal and venerable supporters -- I do not think that Miss Coulter's unwise choice of descriptors for the regime in Tehran, however hurtful to you or your sister, is Problem No. 1.

Along with every other person in the Regency Ballroom on Friday (probably including Ann herself), I wish she hadn't said that. But, hey, the personal is political, you see? And Ann's friend Barbara Olson (author of Hell to Pay and The Final Days) was on Flight 77 when it hit the Pentagon. So if you are now the arbiter of politically acceptable conservative discourse, and can tell Ann Coulter to "get f-----," would you please explain to the rest of us exactly what Ann Coulter is allowed to say about the Holocaust-denying president of Iran?

And while we're discussing what books we will and will not buy, let me tell you about the tattered old paperback book that's sitting on my desk right now. It's got an introduction by the Sen. Barry Goldwater and a foreword by John Dos Passos. The author spends pages 54-58 discussing "the distinctiveness of the Southern problem" in terms that no respectable Republican would today endorse, and concludes this discussion by repeating (p. 58) a joke that I don't think you would approve.

Just like Ann Coulter, this author was once a favorite of young Republicans. And just like her, he dared to defend Joe McCarthy. But if you want to run him and his kind out of the movement, there won't be much of a movement left: HERE IS THE BOOK.

Excuse me for singling you out like this, Miss Atilla -- yours was just the first link I came to in my search for Coulter-reaction. You have plenty of company in the "Ann's too mean-spirited" lobby. But if you will watch the video of Ann's appearance at CPAC, you will see her introduced by a young woman named Monique Stuart. And you will hear Monique explain that she was a liberal Democrat until the day she saw her college professor (attempt to) debate Miss Coulter: She demolished his arguments with ease, style and humor. She's done the same thing on campus after campus.

It's (still) a free country, Miss Atilla, and you are free to buy or not buy Ann's books. But until you can construct an argument more substantial than "my sister's half-Syrian ... get f-----," please don't embarass the rest of us by calling yourself a conservative.

Excuse me for being mean-spirited. Monique's a friend of mine. And, at least since quitting the Democrats, I've never been a fan of the "circular firing squad" approach to political organization.


UPDATE: To show the forgiving spirit of the Rodgers-and-Hammerstein wing of conservatism (I think I'm the only member so far), I will risk the odium of the SCV by paraphrasing William Tecumseh Sherman (!) who said of U.S. Grant, he defended me when everyone said I was crazy, and I defended him when everyone said he was drunk.

That kind of loyalty is little in evidence at Right-Wing Nuthouse, who says:
Coulter’s speech at the CPAC Conference, while well received by the audience, laid an egg with righty bloggers.
No, not so, not at all. Check my first blog on the speech: (a) Ann got off to a slow start, primarily because most of the CPAC audience already had read the columns she was re-cycling; (b) she then turned to the "cartoon jihad" topic, which kind of fell flat because most of the College Republicans had never heard of Dean Acheson and might have only the vaguest idea of what NATO is; (c) the "raghead" remarks met with a muted "oh, crap, did she really say that?" reaction.

I think Ann instantly knew she had said the wrong thing -- going too far even for the red-meat CPAC crowd -- and briefly went into "Apollo 13" mode afterwards. I don't have my notes in front of me, but if memory serves, it was only when she started hammering on Lincoln Chafee and moderate Republicans that she recovered somewhat.

The stunning impact of the "raghead" remark lingered. It was just about the only thing anyone was talking about afterward.

I was way back, and taking notes, so I didn't really watch her while she was talking. But I'll bet if you analyzed video of Ann's speech, you will see that she knew the remark was a mistake within, oh, about half a second of completing that sentence. She's too smart not to have realized it.

But it wasn't a slip of the tongue; it must have been pre-conceived. She had just started getting into some good new material -- comparing the mullahs in Tehran to someone who makes the mistake of pointing a gun at police officers -- when she said the "raghead" thing, prefacing by describing it as a "motto."


UPDATE II: If it was inevitable that every ambitious pseudocon in the blogosphere would puff up in angry outrage at Ann's breach of decorum -- treating her like a blonde distaff Dan Rather -- it was equally inevitable that certain Respectable Republicans (whom I won't bother to name) wouldn't speak a word in Coulter's defense. I hope some Kossacks and Atriosites will be astute enough to spot a variant of the classic Chickenhawk factor in all this. Respectable Republicans were happy to bask in the reflected glory of the Golden-Tressed Bad Girl, and to enjoy the benefits of belonging to a movement swollen by the addition of Coulter's young admirers. But when the bloodthirsty Left wing joins forces with the petit bloggoisie in seeking that famous blonde scalp where is the Respectable Republican who will defend her? Hmmm? Making silly non-committal noise that sounds a lot like some healthy Colllege Republican male explaining that, yes, of course, he supports the War on Terror, but can't be expected to demonstrate that support by visiting his local Armed Forces recruiting station. "Playing to type," indeed!

CPAC Report, Part III (Muslim GOP Buddy)

CPAC is a lot like real life in the sense that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I couldn’t buy, beg, borrow or steal a ticket into the Friday night dinner featuring U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. But a friend was able to find me a seat at a table in the back of the Regency Ballroom. In one of those can’t-make-this-up moments, the diner seated to my left was Thomas Frank.

Thomas “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” Frank.

Thomas “Writes for The Nation” Frank.

Actually, Thomas Frank struck me as a perfectly nice guy, though perhaps the unfortunate victim of a bizarre experiment in which a mad scientist removed his DNA and replaced it with DNC "class warfare" talking points. Such an experiment could produce disastrous results, like taking Barbara Ehrenreich seriously.

We chatted a little. I told Mr. Frank my brother is a veteran of the 101st Airborne Division and a truck driver in Georgia. Whatever’s “wrong with Kansas,” I said, it’s twice as "wrong" in Georgia. Vis-à-vis the war in Iraq, my truck-driving brother is more hawkish than Wolfowitz. On domestic policy … well, words fail. Suffice it to say I’m a “mainstream moderate” by comparison.

Mr. Frank asked me if I’d heard George Allen’s speech. I told him I had, and believed that the junior senator from Virginia will be the next president of the United States, based on three major qualifications: (a) he’s tall; (b) he’s got presidential hair; and (c) he’s got the kind of easygoing good-old-boy personality that voters have preferred in every election since 1976. Whatever Hillary’s political advantages, she is most definitely not a good old boy. (Mudcat knows what he’s talking about. He's a lumpen-Bubba like me.)

Still, it was weird: Thomas Frank.
And me.
Seated side-by-side.
(“When the mooo-oon is in the seventh house ….”)

If I had found myself at CPAC shaking hands with Ralph Neas, I could not have been more surprised. But when I turned to the other side, I got a real shock: Two young men from “Muslims for America,” including the guy who, in Q&A with Ann Coulter, criticized her “raghead” remark as a detriment to GOP minority-outreach efforts.

We got talking and I really liked the guy -- he was as nice as Thomas Frank and infinitely more American, in the sense of loving liberty and hating the soul-destroying evils of the Welfare State. I’d love to tell you my Muslim buddy’s name but (a) I’m bad with names, and (b) I lost his business card.

(Sometime between going to bed Friday night and getting home Saturday, I lost a huge stack of business cards I’d collected at CPAC. Attention Muslim buddy: Send me an e-mail. I’ve got a friend who’s in the Federalist Society; he’s a corporate lawyer, and I’m sure he can help you get into a good law school.)

We talked a while over our salads and, when the entrée was slow to appear, took the opportunity to head outside and talk at greater length. My Muslim buddy is a recent graduate of UNC-Charlotte, and he laughed when he explained how, after his go-round with Ann, he was told by an older Republican: “You need to get thicker skin.”

“Thick skin! Look at me! I go to school in North Carolina! I’ve been called [ugly anti-Arab slur] and everything else.” Of course, being a Republican, my Muslim buddy’s not into the whole liberal victimhood trip. He is an ambitious, pro-growth, pro-freedom guy, his views typical of young Republicans at CPAC.

He comes from a good family; dad’s a successful professional. And he is very much into social conservatism. In that regard -- i.e., a loathing of the sleazy Britney Spears/Howard Stern/Paris Hilton porno-culture axis -- my young Muslim Republican buddy is on the same page as Michael Medved, Phyllis Schlafly and Robert Knight. No way he’s ever going to support the party of condoms-in-kindergarten and abortion-on-demand, no matter what Ann Coulter says.

He’s just worried that some other potential targets of GOP “minority outreach” programs might not be as thick-skinned as he is. There is also, of course, the matter of personal insult. That’s understandable. If Coulter had been cutting down Southerners as a bunch of ignorant, degenerate hillbillies, I would have been offended -- even if she was just setting up a joke at James Carville’s expense.

I wonder, though, if maybe having Coulter as a high-profile figure in the conservative movement might not serve a certain SEAL-training function for the GOP. That is to say, any black, Hispanic, Muslim, etc., who “comes out” as a Republican faces a daunting prospect: accusations of being a “sellout,” etc. If you consider the vicious left-wing hate directed at Clarence Thomas, Michelle Malkin, Michael Steele, et al., you see that being a known GOP-supporter can be an especially tough row to hoe for non-WASPs. (Hey, I can relate: I come from a long line of yellow-dog Democrats and my hard-core Democratic relatives still can’t believe I’ve gone over to “the Dark Side.” And trust me when I say there are still folks down home who loathe the GOP as the Damn Yankee Party.)

So my new buddy and his Muslim Republican friends, like the guys who make it through Navy SEAL training, have to be tough. They’re committed, fearless -- they endured an Ann Coulter speech, stood up proudly to express their indignation, and survived to tell the tale. They are certainly more manly than Bill Maher could ever hope to be.

I just wish I hadn’t lost my Muslim buddy’s business card. If I still had the card, I’d have his e-mail address, and I could arrange a summit between him and Ann Coulter. Power! And you know what Henry Kissinger said about power,* right? Blessed are the peacemakers, after all.

Dude, e-mail me!


* NOTE: This is what us mean-spirited types sometimes call a "joke." It is obviously absurd to suggest that I, a happily married father of 6, would be romantically interested in Ann Coulter, and doubly absurd to suggest that I would take such shameless advantage of the opportunity to negotiate detente between Miss Coulter and my young friend from North Carolina. However, I will take advantage of this opportunity to remind both Ann and my young friend that they can get DONKEY CONS for just $16.49 (that's 34% off the cover price) at!