Saturday, April 08, 2006

The weird turn pro

A beautiful irony: Condi Rice, once hated for being black, more recently hated for being Republican, is now hated for being ... American!

"Condoleezza Rice should be sent to Iraq, tried as a war criminal and executed," an unidentified Muslim protester from Blackburn, England, said March 31 during a demonstration protesting the U.S. Secretary of State's visit to a local school.

This remark, reported on the news, prompted an American journalist living in England to observe:
Whatever liberals and Democrats may think of her, the angry protests and the surly children at the [Blackburn] school she visited simply left observers with an impression of a miserably rude and churlish British populace behaving like a medieval mob. One Muslim representative called for her execution. Small children shouting mean epithets and carrying confrontational placards, and youngsters inside the school hanging their heads and refusing to talk to Dr Rice were shameful moments in Anglo-American relations.
Let’s face it: as Dr Rice commented recently there are no Western governments who can boast of having had people of colour in their senior cabinet and Joint Chiefs for years, as has the United States. Find me a British woman who is an accomplished classical pianist, a linguist, a scholar and diplomat who also adores sport; instead of sending their little girls out to screech abuse at Condi Rice, the people of Blackburn might have considered exposing their children to this remarkable woman as a role model. ...
Exactly right. This comes from an article by Carol Gould, which was sent to me by Phyllis Chesler, a very remarkable New York feminist writer who in recent years has begun sounding the alarm about:
  • The ugly revival of anti-Semitism among the anti-war Left, in the Muslim world and, perhaps most shockingly, in certain quarters of academia. (The New Anti-Semitism)
  • The way in which political correctness has crippled the feminist movement; since 9/11, the leftist allegiance of academic feminists have put them in a de facto alliance with al-Qaeda sympathizers. (The Death of Feminism).
Dr. Chesler is one of several unlikely allies who've more or less flocked toward Republicans in recent years, especially since 9/11. Christopher Hitchens (whose brother Peter is an anti-war Tory whom I interviewed a few years ago) has increasingly turned his brilliant, boozy fury toward those who refuse to support the fight against Islamic terrorism. Tammy Bruce, the ex-NOW leader and unapologetic lesbian who nevertheless sides with Dr. Laura on social issues and with Condi Rice on foreign policy (and whom I also interviewed a few years ago).

Blair and Balint

Of course, the greatest example of this trend is Tony Blair, who came into office as a triangulating "New Labour" advocate, a trans-Atlantic carbon copy of Clinton. (Except that Blair seemed genuinely interested Mrs. Blair, in the most normal and admirable way.) Perhaps it was the influence of the historian Paul Johnson (whom I also interviewed a few years ago, but don't have that one online). But for whatever reason, after 9/11, Blair sprang to the colors manfully, and has since stood steadfast with America despite bitter criticism both from with his own party and the Tories.

This all puts me in mind of the late, great Balint Vazsonyi (yes, I interviewed him, too, though that's another one I haven't put online). On Oct. 22, 2002, at the Heritage Foundation, Vazsonyi -- a classical pianist turned pundit -- gave a remarkable lecture in which he accurately predicted that the Anglo-American alliance would hold firm. He traced this to the Magna Carta and the distinctly British idea of the rule of law, which is America's patrimony. There was, at that time, much talk of "the international community," which Balint wittily dismissed as a polite fiction:
The United Nations, as you know, has 191 members--unless you accept the other count, which is 192 members, because there is the Taiwan question. ...
What are these countries that make up the United Nations? ... Indeed, maps cannot be made quickly enough to accommodate all those countries that the
World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Kofi Annan have declared a
country.
So my question is, when we worry about the opinion of the international community, which of these countries is going to decide for the President of the United States what he should do? I think we can start narrowing the field when we are looking for allies or expecting people to stand by us. We are not expecting Chad, I think, to stand by us, or Belize.
Balint then went on to explain one of his favorite ideas, namely that Western political thought can be bifurcated into roughly two schools, the Franco-German and the Anglo-American. A good point. Whether one is reading Rousseau or Marx or Nietzsche, one finds in most of the famous French and German intellectuals a deep passion for abstractions and ideals -- Rousseau's "social contract," Marx's dialectics, Nietzsche's "superman." Whereas British-influenced political theorists (Smith, Hume, Jefferson, Madison, Burke, Adams, etc.) are more practical and mundane, showing more concern for securing the safety, property and freedom of the ordinary citizen.

From there, Balint then narrowed the candidates for dependable U.S. allies in the world, until concluding:
That leaves us with the one ally that has been proved and tested for a long time, and that is, of course, Great Britain because the thinking not only is compatible, but it came from there. It functioned very well in World War II, and I think, whatever trials are ahead of us, it will continue to function even if England has its own problems and even if Tony Blair is not always what we imagine to be the leadership. But England is England, and England and America together represents perhaps more power than ever existed on the face of this Earth.
We should think about this for a moment. There has never been this much power concentrated, but never before was such immense power threatening to none--threatening to none but the rogue, the insidious, and indeed the truly evil.
Balint was a native of Hungary who lived through the conquest of his homeland by both the Nazis and Soviets. He was an admirer of the Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, and like Hayek was a great admirer of the English common law system of government, which of course is the basis of the American political and legal order. And Balint, like Hayek, saw clearly that this ancient Anglo-American system -- which has brought prosperity, security and freedom to millions not only at home, but abroad -- is incompatible with political ideologies whose raison d'etre is the pursuit of "social justice" or some other such lofty abstraction.

What, then, does any of this have to do with Condi Rice or Phyllis Chesler? It is this: Both understand that, whatever their own experiences as women or minorities in America, whatever their particular political beliefs, it is nonetheless inarguable that America has offered more opportunity and hope to more people of every race, creed and color than any other nation that ever existed since the dawn of time.

This same understanding is shared by Tony Blair who, like any truly patriotic Brit, takes a certain familial pride in what has been accomplished by England's American cousins in a little less than four centuries. Carol Gould beholds the amazing phenomenon of a black woman U.S. secretary of state -- and is aghast that some Brits don't seem to appreciate that her rise to international eminence is a triumph of what was established at Runnymede seven centuries ago. Instead, we are told, little children were shouting "mean epithets" at Miss Rice!

The going gets weird ...

We live in a weird age, when politics seems to be caught in a bizarre flux. Some of my paleoconservative and libertarian friends have adopted a Chomsky-like stance against the war; some of the neocons who were the Iraq war's strongest advocates are now sounding like croakers and defeatists; and a certain number of decidely unconservative people have rallied to the colors, insisting on complete victory over the despicable monsters who drive car-bombs into mosques.

And then there's me. Contrary to Monsieur Kerry, I was against the war before I was for it (just like in 1991). I can produce reliable witnesses to testify that in the weeks leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, I argued that the WMD rationale for the war was weak. Why, I repeatedly asked, were we preparing to invade Iraq, and not North Korea or Cuba?

Why not Cuba? I mean, if our policy is to topple evil dictators with weapons of mass destruction -- hey, are we sure Castro got rid of all those Soviet missiles? Let's send some U.N. inspectors to check, and if Castro refuses -- welcome to the Axis of Evil, Fidel! "You're with us, or you're with the terrorists," you see? It wouldn't be a quagmire, either. Three carrier groups and a Marine division or two -- it would be over in less than a week. Cuba's an island, and Castro could neither escape nor hide for long. Our occupation forces would be stationed in a tropical paradise, and they could take their R&R in Miami discos or at Disneyworld. (Can you imagine the fun a buff and tough 20-year-old Marine lance corporal would have on R&R in Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Break?)

Cursed with Cassandra's fate! Nobody ever listens to me, of course, so instead of Caribbean breezes, quality cigars, rum cocktails and smiling senoritas, our troops are in blistering, backward Mesopotamia. But we can't undo the war, and it is unthinkable for the U.S. military to cut and run because of a relative handful of so-called "insurgents" (who are actually in large part foreign terrorists sponsored by al-Qaeda, Syria and Iran). Therefore, the only way out is complete victory. If I might use a Civil War analogy -- and a Yankee analogy, at that -- it's time to stop fighting like Hallecks and McClellans, and start fighting like Grants and Shermans.

Welcome to Rev. 20:9

But where was I? Ah, yes, the weirdness. When Phyllis Chesler recently sent me her book, The Death of Feminism, I was shocked to see that she referred in a quite flattering way to Jean Raspail's The Camp of the Saints -- a prophetic 1973 book that no bien-pensant is supposed to admit having read. (I got my copy as a gift from novelist Tito Perdue, who's always getting me into trouble.)

Chesler got Raspail's ironic point: At some point liberal tolerance becomes its own worst enemy, without the means of self-preservation. As applied to Chesler's own perspective, Raspail's insight suggests that, if you are a Jewish feminist intellectual, radical Islam is your worst nightmare: anti-Semitic, anti-intellectual, and anti-feminist. But for too many leftists, their particular causes -- environmentalism, gay rights, etc. -- are really only a political excuse for hating America.

This, then, is the providential point of intersection between Chesler's thought and Patrick J. Buchanan's thought in The Death of the West (pp. 99-100). Both the Jewish feminist and the Irish Catholic paleocon see their own distinctly different American dreams under siege; both cite Raspail's notorious novel (the title is derived from Rev. 20:9). If such divergent thinkers can find common ground in such an unlikely place, does it not seem plain that we are at a uniquely weird place in history?

In his political classic, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72, Hunter S. Thompson -- who in 1968 actually shared a car ride with Pat Buchanan, while talking football with Richard Nixon (p. 59) -- coined the famous phrase, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." And what a providential time to be turning pro.

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Friday, April 07, 2006

Ralph Reed's lips are moving

Ralph Reed continues to demonstrate himself to be completely unprincipled and untrustworthy. A pathetic spectacle, flip-flopping shamelessly on immigration in an effort to tap into the anti-amnesty sentiment he previously disdained:
  • In January of 2004, Reed told a national talk show audience that granting a blanket amnesty to all illegal aliens in the U.S. was a “responsible policy” because ” we have got eight to 12 million illegal aliens in our country right now” and “we need to know who these folks are.” (Ralph Reed, MSNBC, January 21, 2004).
  • Just a year later, Reed was telling Georgia voters that “I am opposed to amnesty in any form whatsoever.” (Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition Forum, February 19, 2005).
How Kerry-esque: "I was for amnesty before I was against it."

State Sen. Casey Cagle -- Reed's opponent in the July GOP primary for lieutenant governor of Georgia -- must be laughing himself silly, now that even Salon.com (you have to watch an ad to see the whole story) has finally figured out the transparent fraud that is the Reed campaign:
Reed has been weathering a blizzard of revelations about his partnership with the convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Prominent state Republicans have called for him to drop out of the race before the April 28 filing deadline. A recent poll showed that his candidacy might even hurt other Republicans, like Gov. Sonny Perdue, who are on the ticket in November. Matt Towery, a pollster who is a former aide to Newt Gingrich, said the Democrats could easily skewer Reed with an ad campaign. "He could just be tattooed by the Democrats with paid media," Towery explained. "Most people in this state don't know who Ralph Reed is."

In person, Reed, 44, doesn't look anything like a rock star. If it were not for his boots, his tie and the folded four-cornered handkerchief in his sport coat, the Rod Stewart of Southern politics could easily be mistaken for a gangly teenager. He stands about four-fifths the size of a full-grown man, with a doll's nose, bronzed skin and a wide smile. He can easily disappear in a crowd. But when he speaks, he can also command the room, instantly transforming himself from a choirboy to a statesman, the NASCAR fan's Bill Clinton.
(Rod Stewart's lawyers are no doubt preparing a defamation suit.)

The smart money in Georgia is on Cagle, who is free to raise lots of smart money, now that the General Assembly has ended its session.

By the way, whether you're pro-Reed or anti-Reed, Republican or Democrat, Peach Pundit is the place to go for the latest inside scoop on Georgia politics.

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Note to self: Add to blogroll

"I did not have bloggage with that pundit, Joel Miller."
-- Robert Stacy "Bubba" McCain

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Live from GWU!

Lynn and I are at George Washington University tonight (Thursday) for the Great Academic Freedom debate between David Horowitz and Ward Churchill. We had to leave a few minutes early because we've got a 9:10 p.m. West Coast show to be on. The GW College Republicans were kind enough to set us up with phones, etc.

This debate was AMAZING, chiefly to see the sophistry of Ward Churchill, master of the polysyllabic filibuster. Churchill's basic point was (I paraphrase):

A. There is no truth.
B. There is only power.
C. Therefore, all education is political.

This perspective will seem impressive only to anyone who hasn't read Allan Bloom's classic, "The Closing of the American Mind," or to those who have never heard of the Sokal Hoax.

Is there such a thing as objective truth? Of course there is. What happened on Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii? And what happened in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963?

Whatever the motivations of the Imperial Japanese Navy, or whether or not Oswald was alone responsible for JFK's death, some things can be definitely known. The aircraft carriers were real; the bullet that killed Kennedy was real. These are objective truths, which are not subject to debate.

As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan sagely observed, every man is entitled to his own opinion, but he is not entitled to his own facts.

Ward Churchill will not humble himself as inferior to the reality of objective truth. By his way of thinking, even the law of gravity is a mere opinion -- with which he may "argue" by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Churchill's argument was basically the puerile and vacuous conversation you had as a college sophomore, about two hours into the bong hits, shortly after reading a bit of Nietzsche.

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

UPDATE 4/7 (Fri. a.m.): After the debate, I spoke to some GWU students who thought Churchill was ... awesome, dude! What is it about the overprivileged children of affluent America, that they so frequently buy into Marxism?

I just checked U.S. News & World Report's site and found this about George Washington University:

Endowment: $927,199,000
Tuition and fees: $34,030
Room/board: $10,470

I believe the Anglo-American system of private property, free markets and the rule of law is the most equitable economic order in world history. My oldest daughter is a senior in high school, a National Honor Society member, and my wife and I could never afford to send her to GWU. (A free-market choice: Even if we could afford it, why spend such a huge sum to send our daughter to a school that allows its students to graduate with minds full of unexamined Marxist claptrap? George Washington would be shocked.) I am not privy to the financial status of the Vincent household, but I rather doubt they could afford to shell out $45,000 a year for their sons' college education.

Yet the kids whose parents can afford a GWU education not only hate the system that made their parents so wealthy, but also hate the system that contributed so generously to GWU's endowment -- now nearly $1 billion.

At the University of Colorado, Ward Churchill probably makes twice the combined income of my wife and I, and doesn't work any 21-hour days (like Lynn and I did the past two days while promoting the book). Churchill hates capitalism, so why don't we? After all, the Vincent family and the McCain family are the exact sort of "working families" that liberals so frequently claim to represent.

Rich liberals, poor conservatives. And the GOP is the "party of the rich." Right. Students of ancient history perhaps will appreciate why Cicero's first oration against Catiline provides the epigraph for Chapter One, and students of more recent history perhaps will see why we chose a certain passage of Burke as the epigraph for Chapter Nine.

-- McCAIN

My immigration compromise

Maybe the House can reach a "broad, bipartisan agreement" to ...

DEPORT
SENATE
REPUBLICANS

It's clear to me that the Senate Republicans have refused to assimilate to American culture. They can't even understand a plain English phrase like "NO AMNESTY" -- which is what real Americans keep saying over and over every day on every talk-radio station in the country.

But I think most real Americans would be happy to let the illegal Mexicans stay, provided we could send Arlen Specter back to whatever planet he came from. And then we'd pick 55 illegals at random and make them "Republican Senators." Policy-wise, this exchange would probably be a significant improvement, since being a Republican Senator is obviously the kind of job no American will do -- and those Mexicans have such strong "family values," si?

-- McCAIN

(NOTE: The above "joke" does not necessarily reflect the views of DONKEY CONS, the research & editing of which was outsourced to a sweatshop in Pakistan.)

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

After-action report: D+1

OK, to start with, a huge thanks to Jim Bohannon, one of the giants of the talk-radio medium. Two dog-tired authors went into Bohannon's studio at 11 p.m. Wednesday, following Gov. Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana (whose security detail is impressively muscular).

Jim is sharp, and forced both Lynn and I to think hard to deal with his tough questioning. Of course, it was only afterwards, as we walked to the car, that Lynn said, "OK, I just thought of the way to answer that question ...." Famous as a "militant moderate," Jim is a complete gentleman, and his producer Paul is a thorough professional. Easy to see why 300 stations coast-to-coast are proud to carry his program.

But ... wow. Were we wiped out, exhausted. Lynn had been bench-pressing her talking-points for weeks to get ready for her appearance on Fox "Dayside" -- a great, friendly crew at that show, she said -- then did a full hour with Michael Medved at 4 p.m. Medved totally gets the book, Lynn said, and he was doing his show remote from ... I want to say Grove City College, but I might have that wrong.

From there, Lynn hopped a train to D.C., where I met her at Union Station and drove her to her hotel. I got a cup of coffee while Lynn checked in. Then we drove over to M Street for the Bohannon appearance. But the exhaustion started kicking, and by the second half-hour of the show, we were summoning the final reserves of adrenaline just to keep our minds focused.

OTHER D+1 HIGHLIGHTS:

1. Seeing Lynn for the first time in over 20 years. How cool is that, huh?

2. Signing about a dozen copies of the book at the B. Dalton Bookseller in Union Station.

3. Reading Wednesday's Washington Times story on Tom DeLay stepping down. It's almost exactly what we predicted in Chapter 12 of Donkey Cons -- like the House Republicans had read the book. Some quotes:
"Because I care so deeply about this district and the people in it, I refuse to allow liberal Democrats an opportunity to steal this seat with a negative, personal campaign," he said. "As difficult as this decision has been for me, it's not going to be a great day for liberal Democrats, either. My loyalty to the Republican Party -- indeed, my love for the Republican Party -- has played no small part in this decision." ...

"With this decision, he has put the interests of others ahead of his own," said Rep. David Dreier, California Republican.
You just know Al Gore is thinking to himself: "If only Bill had been that smart in 1998 ...."

4. The surge of blog hits about 1 p.m. when we got a hat tip from Taranto at almost the exact same time Lynn went on Fox. You see why "providential" is one of Lynn's favorite words. We were getting over 150 visitors per hour for much of the afternoon.

5. A funny exchange between Lynn and me at Union Station, which was something (roughly) along these lines:

ME: "You know, I'm starting to feel sorry for Cynthia McKinney. ..."
SHE: "Are you off your meds again?"

Lynn's just ... so mean-spirited. LOL.

6. Watching the strong surge in the Amazon rankings. About 7 p.m., we hit #400 -- surpassing Bill Sammon's Strategery, then at #403 -- and last time I checked, we were at #134. And folks, trust me: You ain't seen nothin' yet!

7. Couple of new linkers: Reverse Spin (re: Duckworth, Emanuel and the Chicago Democrats' mess) and Relapsed Catholic (re: McKinney).

How exhausted am I? I'm drinking grape juice -- and I almost never do fruit. There won't be much time for blogging on Thursday (D+2), and it's way past my bedtime. I got up Wednesday at 2:45 a.m., and have to be up Thursday at 7 a.m. for another long day. The adrenaline reserves cannot be tapped endlessly, and I know I'm going to be grateful for a snoozy Sabbath.

We'll try to catch up the blog a good bit on Friday afternoon. And if some magazine publisher wants a nice long article on the necessary rigors of book promotion in the age of New Media ... well, maybe sometime in May, OK?

D+2 Message to TEAM DONKEY CONS
(VRWC Secret Decoder Ring Setting 7):
Guitar in a minor key. REPEAT: Guitar in a minor key.

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Good evening, San Antonio!

Big howdy to all y'all Texans! It was SO great to be on the air with the Master of the Medium, Carl Wigglesworth. Great people make great radio, and I'll be sure to tell Jimbo that all the folks in San Antonio said to come down and see you in the Lone Star State. If y'all ever want Lynn or me to come back on, you know how to get us!

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Lynn - SUPERSTAR!

Just watched Lynn on Fox News "DAYSIDE" -- GREAT!

Bob Beckel, thanks for your kind words, and I'll be glad to sign your book. (Remember: I was a Democrat my whole life until 1995.) Bob: The Dems' winning margin in Texas 1960 was 46,000 out of 2.6 million votes cast. (p. 48) You said it's impossible to steal that many votes -- but we're talking about the Democratic Party of "Landslide Lyndon" Johnson, OK?

Amity Schlaes and the Other Paper have more on the stolen 1960 election, the definitive account of which was written by Earl Mazo and Stephen Hess. Here is a great account of how LBJ became known as "Landslide Lyndon."

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

And just a little patriotic shout-out to Lynn's homies:

Good morning, San Antonio!

Wow, it's all-San Antonio, all the time these days. It was a blast to be on the air with Trey Ware and the crew at KTSA's "Morning Edge." Thanks to Molly & the KTSA gang -- love to be back with y'all anytime!

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: About the book

The REAL 'party of the rich'

Read all about it.

Democrats' poster child

The increasing tone-deafness of Democrats, who don't seem to understand why it's a bad thing to hit a cop, could have political consequences:

U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, already in the spotlight for striking a Capitol police officer, became part of the Georgia governor's race Monday.

The state Republican Party painted McKinney as "the face of the state Democratic Party," while Democrats accused the GOP of resorting to "gutter politics" for trying to use her as an issue at the outset of the campaign season.

Yes, indeed: "Gutter politics" to call attention to the national joke who is now the most famous Democratic politician in Georgia. (Bet those Texas Democrats would never resort to "gutter politics" by calling attention to Tom DeLay's problems.) Jim Tharpe of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution continues:
McKinney has had a penchant for making headlines since her election to Congress in 1992. She accused President Bush of having prior knowledge of the 9/11 terror attacks and doing nothing to stop them. She has backed the Castro regime in Cuba. And after her 2002 loss to Denise Majette, her father, a former state lawmaker, blamed "J-E-W-S" for her loss.
McKinney's DeKalb County base accounts for more than 20 percent of the total Democratic primary vote. That makes her a force to be reckoned with by Democratic leaders.
State GOP Chairman Alec Poitevint on Monday urged Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor and Secretary of State Cathy Cox — both seeking the Democratic nomination for governor — to "withdraw their support of Cynthia McKinney" and condemn her for striking a Capitol police officer who didn't recognize her.
"Mark Taylor should also publicly disavow the McKinney endorsement," Poitevint said. "Cathy Cox and her husband Mark Dehler should ask for the thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to be returned."
McKinney has endorsed Taylor, and Cox's husband contributed $1,750 to McKinney between 1997 and 2000.
So both Democratic candidates for governor of Georgia have ties to McKinney, whose political agenda reads like this:
As popular as McKinney's agenda might be in her district -- which, as the AJC observes, now contains 1/5 of all the Democrats in Georgia -- it's probably not going to play too well in Forsyth County. She is a blue politician in a red state, and a perfect symbol of why Democrats are going to have a hard time recapturing the House, even in what is clearly shaping up as a bad election year for the GOP.

Things have been hectic with the talk-radio tour kicking off this week, and I haven't been able to keep up with everything, but the DONKEY CONS Blog Roll has been hopping with McKinney updates:

At Opinion Journal, James Taranto was all over it.
Washington Times: National GOP does "gutter politics," too.
Right-Wing Howler: Mean-spirited? (We report, you decide!)
Dan Riehl: Great minds think alike? (We report, etc.)
Don Surber: It's about time!
Debbie Schlussel: Told you so!
VW: "Spring-loaded to the stupid position"
Malkin: McKinney's money, McKinney's media

Previous Donkey Cons blogs on
Cynthia McKinney:

4/2: Video fisked
3/31: Who Cynthia McKinney is
3/31: "Jihad Cindy" does it again
2/17: Latest rant from "Jihad Cindy"

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Good afternoon, San Antonio!

I am so encouraged that Jerry Johnson of KCBI will be my first radio interview for DONKEY CONS. I might be tempted to talk about Proverbs 22:29 instead of talking about the book!

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

A tale of two congressmen

Our new book, Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party, hits bookstores today (Don't believe Amazon which, last time I checked, was claiming the book hasn't yet been released. Lies, lies, all lies!)

As fate would have it, Donkey Cons' launch day coincides with a major news development that underscores a major theses in the book: That there is a glaring double-standard that governs the way mainstream media treat Democratic and Republican scandal.

To wit: Following Friday's news that his former aide, Tony Rudy, had pleaded guilty for conspiring with casino lobbyist Jack Abramoff, scandal-battered Texas Republican Tom DeLay today announced he will resign from Congress, yielding at daybreak 86 stories (and counting) on Lexis-Nexis.

Meanwhile, on March 30, the day before Rudy pleaded guilty, a federal grand jury subpoenaed six aides to Rep. William Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana. Jefferson is under investigation for allegedly demanding bribes in the form of part-ownership -- and also a job for a family member (hey, may as well spread the wealth) --- in two foreign telecommunication companies. In return, Jefferson allegedly promised to lobby the governments of Ghana and Nigeria on the companies' behalf. Jefferson's aide Brett Pfeffer in January pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and aiding and abetting the solicitation of the bribes.

You may remember Jefferson as the diva-congressman who famously demanded that Guard troops aiding Katrina victims provide him with limo service to his upscale New Orleans home in order for him to retrieve his personal belongings while his constituents drowned in their attics.

The MSM evidently thinks that's bigger news than Jefferson's alleged quid pro quo strong-arming of foreign firms: While the congressman's National Guard limo ride got lots of coverage, the news that investigators were zeroeing in Jefferson with a raft of subpoenas yielded a combined total of eight stories -- in nearly an entire week.

Three of those stories were in D.C.-based publications. Two appeared in Lousiana and Tennessee newspapers. The remaining three were wire service stories. So the depressing truth is that the vast majority of Americans have no idea that there is a Democratic congressman under investigation for a crime that is at least as serious as the crimes of which DeLay is accused.

Certainly, a former House leader's resignation is bigger news than a rank-and-file congressman's subpoenaed aides. But is it more than 10 times bigger and counting (by the end of the week there will hundreds of DeLay stories and still just a handful about Jefferson)? We don't think so, particularly since Jefferson has allegedly been busy lining his own pockets while great swaths of his constituents remain homeless and destitute.

Still, there is no great outrage over the Jefferson investigation, nor over the scandal involving John Conyers (D-Michigan) and his tax-funded tutors and babysitters, nor over Harry Reid's (D-Nevada) apparently unethical ties to Abramoff lobbyists. This is because, as we argue in Donkey Cons, there is a double standard for Republican and Democratic scandal. And these days, there's an extra wrinkle: The Jefferson scandal doesn't fit MSM's storyline which says that Republicans are the party of corruption, the scourge of the country, and must be defeated in November 2006 (this though the statistical facts are that over the past 30 years, Democrats are three times and corrupt as Republicans, though they were in power only twice as long.)

Keep your ear to the ground on Jefferson, Conyers, and Reid ... but be warned: You'll either have to listen awfully hard -- or visit this blog -- to ever find out anything new.

-- VINCENT

Previous DONKEY CONS blogs
about NEW ORLEANS:

4/1: Judge investigated
3/20: Sanity in New Orleans
3/18: Police looting OK in New Orleans
3/17: Dean screams in New Orleans
2/15: Morial spews a flood of lies
2/4: New vote-fraud opportunities
1/26: Knee-deep in the Big Muddy

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Monday, April 03, 2006

Another rave review

George Roberts of the Michigan Conservative reviews DONKEY CONS at Red State:

While no book could encyclopedically catalog all of the corruption in the Democrat party, consider this book a rough guide. More than a litany of Democratic misdeeds, Donkey Cons demonstrates the shocking disregard for the rule of law by generations of Democrats. Vincent and McCain's insightful analysis of Democratic corruption and the enabling role played by the media paints a disturbing picture. At times ridiculing but never becoming a rant, liberal readers will be gratified to see the authors are unafraid to tackle corruption in the Republican party as well.
Of particular interest to me as a Metro Detroiter, was the chapter devoted to the Democrat-enabled decline of our nation's cities -- no city was hit so hard by rioting and corruption. No intelligent individual who lived through Mayor Coleman Young's administration could question his basic incompetence and corruption.
His lowering of standards in police recruitment, openly racist rhetoric, eviction of whites by threats, harassment and eminent domain and corruption in awarding city contracts to cronies and companies with "preferred racial demographics" have had a devastating effect on Detroit, multiplying the effects of the '67 riots. All this is true, and yet the authors were too easy on hizzoner, apparently the editors did not allow them enough space to remind readers of his habit of swearing during TV interviews or the degree to which he looted the Mayoral mansion when he left office.
Ha! George, we didn't even know about Young's Clintoneseque exit. But thanks for highlighting Chapter 8, "Scene of the Crime," which illustrates how Democrats' corruption and wrong-headed policies hurt their strongest supporters, the very people they claim to help: the urban poor. And that chapter will indeed be of interest to Detroit-area readers, since it was the "textbook case" for how to destroy a city. Here's more from George's review:

The book went to press just before Abramoff was convicted, however the book does offer a fair and reasonable breakdown of the party affiliations of the members of congress who were potentially tainted by receipt of Abramoff money (more Democrats on this list than you might expect). Sadly, among them is Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who adamantly refuses to give back the tainted “dough” despite the fact that others on both sides of the aisle have already done so. ...

Incredibly well researched and footnoted - Cogent and Forceful.
Go read the whole thing.

We also got noticed by Free Republic.

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Sunday, April 02, 2006

McKinney video, fisked

Wonkette has put a video online, apparently an excerpt from a documentary, in which Cynthia McKinney supposedly demonstrates police racism. The video clip starts with McKinney on the street corner in front of a House office building, where she is greeted by a black policeman who recognizes her, shakes her hand and hugs her.
POLICEMAN: Welcome back!
McKINNEY: Thank you!
POLICEMAN: God bless you.
McKINNEY: Thank you very much.
Cut. Footage resumes after McKinney has crossed the street onto the Capitol grounds and is pointing out security measures added since the 9/11 attack.
McKINNEY: See, all of this is new. All of this concrete, and the flowers -- which are a fancy barricade -- the guard shack …
Now a white policeman comes out of the guard post and addresses McKinney and her companions.

POLICEMAN: Who are you guys with?
FRIEND: Huh?
POLICEMAN: Who are you guys with?
FRIEND: Who is she with? Congresswoman.
POLICEMAN: I’m sorry …

At this point, the policeman makes a gesture with his right hand. He may be waving them on, but look closely at his hand. For a second, he makes a gesture kind of like he’s holding a video camera. It seems to me he might have been wondering why a video crew is strolling up to the Capitol unannounced. So his question -- “Who are you guys with?” -- might have meant, “What network/production crew are you with?”

There are, believe it or not, proper channels through which news organizations and film crews are authorized to conduct their business at the Capitol. It’s one thing for a tourist to go wandering onto Capitol grounds with a video camera. But what the cop at the guard post saw was a group of people in business dress, evidently doing some kind of TV news activity, and he wanted to find out if they were part of a credentialed organization, thus: “Who are you guys with?”

Notice, however, that as soon as he hears “congresswoman” -- and we presume at this point, McKinney flashed her badge -- the policeman is totally apologetic, smiling sheepishly for having failed to recognize a “Member” (as they are called in Hill-speak). The video continues …
McKINNEY: That’s just the typical kind of treatment that I receive …
POLICEMAN: I’m sorry.
McKINNEY: It’s typical. So I’m not surprised and I’m not offended.
POLICEMAN: I’m sorry.
Cut. Now McKinney is seen approaching the Capitol.

McKINNEY: Some things never change. That’s what Tupac said.

What McKinney and the video producers would have you think is that this demonstrates how, even though she is a member of Congress, she is still a victim of racism: The black policeman greets her; the white policeman hassles her. But it proves no such thing:

1. DIFFERENCES IN SECURITY -- If you’re standing on the corner across the street from the Capitol, that’s an entirely different thing, security-wise, than when you’re on the Capitol grounds walking up the driveway past the guard post --- get it? GUARD POST? -- toward the Capitol. The cop on the corner across from the Capitol is on a different duty than the guy manning the main guard post, OK?

2. LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE -- McKinney spent two years out of office after being defeated in the 2002 Democratic primary by Denise Majette. She returned to Congress in 2004. Obviously the first cop who greeted her knew her from her previous service, while the cop at the guard gate -- he seemed kind of young, didn’t he? -- did not recognize her.

3. HOW FAMOUS IS McKINNEY? -- How many members of Congress are recognizable at a glance? You might be able to recognize Harry Reid or Tom DeLay or a handful of other prominent members of Congress, but how many of you would recognize (for example) Lynn Westmoreland, Johnny Isakson or Jack Kingston? So it’s not like failure to recognize Cynthia McKinney is some horrible sin. Besides which, if you’ll look at the video, you’ll see that when the cop first questions McKinney’s party, he is a good 50 feet or more away from them. You might be able to recognize McKinney (or Barney Frank or Nancy Pelosi) if you were standing right next to them, but would you recognize them at a range of 50 or 75 feet?

4. TOTAL APOLOGY -- As soon as he saw her “Member” badge (I’m assuming she flashed it) the white cop went into total apology mode for having failed to recognize McKinney. He had goofed up and he knew it. The cops who guard the Capitol are trained to recognize members, and he was obviously embarrassed by his mistake.

What I see here is McKinney trying to make a point of her “victimhood” -- quoting Tupac -- at the expense of some poor schlub making probably 1/3 of what she makes as a member of Congress.

Knowing what I know about police hiring procedures, I imagine the cop who questioned her was ex-military, probably just a few months out of the Army or Navy, with a great sense of duty about being chosen for the honor of manning the guard post at the Capitol. He’s there to protect McKinney and everyone else, and he sees some people who look like a film crew walking up the driveway, scrutinizing the newly-added security enhancements.

So the cop asks an obvious question: “Who are you guys with?”

And what is the response? “Oh, excuse me officer, this is Congresswoman McKinney and we’re working with her on a video documentary …”

No. The response is, “Huh?”

Let me explain why a lot of people don’t get this thing with McKinney: When a cop asks me a question, my answer never has been, and is never going to be, “Huh?”

That cop has a gun on his hip for a reason. He has a badge, a billy club and handcuffs, and he is fully authorized by the power of law to enforce public order. So when a cop asks me a question, my answer is going to be expressed in terms reflective of respect and courtesy. If I don’t understand something the cop says, I say, “Excuse me, officer?”

Whatever the situation, it is always a bad idea to adopt a confrontational stance toward the police. This would seem to be especially true when you’re at the Capitol at a time when everybody’s antsy about terrorism. I often leave work late at night, and I’ve been pulled over near the Capitol by police at 1 a.m. just because I made a wrong turn and circled back past the same cop car twice. Trust me when I say, when the cop appoached my car, I didn’t make any sudden moves with my hands, and my end of the conversation was like, “Yes, sir. … No, sir. … I’m sorry, sir. … It won’t happen again, sir. … Thank you sir.”

McKinney’s own father was once a policeman, and I find it shocking that she would make a mockery of this Capitol policeman for the benefit of a video crew. The cop was just doing his job.

3/31: Who Cynthia McKinney is
3/31: "Jihad Cindy" does it again
2/17: Latest rant from "Jihad Cindy"

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Donkey Cons blog news

1. Updated the blogroll to add back a couple links that got dropped during the re-design: Politicker and Opinion Journal. Also added Violence Worker -- the kind of sarcastic attitude this country needs more off. Also, as will be explained, we're about to incur some debts to the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, so we had to add the Federalist Society and Southern Appeal.

2. Introducing our new guest blogger, Bert. Since the Bush administration has taken office and purged the left-wingers at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, our friend Bert has gotten rid of his commie sidekick Ernie and gone solo. Bert is a card-carrying member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and an old friend from back in the day. With DONKEY CONS official publication date on Tuesday, April 4 (buy TWO!), Lynn and I will be busy boosting the ratings of various talk shows and spreading the word through live personal appearances for the next couple of weeks, so we're counting on our friend Bert to keep the blog going. We've given him instructional memos ("How to Google for News About Corrupt Democrats" and "Tonto, Tarzan and Frankenstein: Translation Guide") and will be keeping him filled-in via e-mail. So keep an eye out for Bert's spectacular law-school-trained blogging in the next few days.

3. Looking for news on Cynthia McKinney? We loathed her 15 years before you loathers-come-lately, and predicted her meltdown 6 weeks ago.

4. Looking for "donkey sex"? Site Meter records the fact that we get hits every day from people searching for donkey sex (also Anna Nichole Smith). Donkey sex seems to be popular in the Arab world, too. The publisher came up with the title, and I'm beginning to think those guys are marketing geniuses. Well, goes to show what advertising guys have said for years: Sex sells ... especially with donkeys and Anna Nicole Smith.

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book

Headline Update - April 2

Today's installment of DONKEY CONS Headline UpdateTM is brought to you, once again, by Tonto, Tarzan and Frankenstein:

CRAMER: Concealed Carry OK
WESTMORELAND: Hero (h/t Peach)
LEAHY: Moonbat
BASIL: Picnic
CLOONEY: Blog-hater
VWORKER: Alien Danger
HOWLER: Alien Danger
HOWLER: Tennis Fan
REED: Hurting GOP?
REED: Perdue Poll
REED: Keeps Campaigning
CAGLE: Keeps Leading
CAGLE: Where Was Ralph?
ALPACA: Missed Memo
WONKETTE: Media Messy
WONKETTE: Messy Media
WONKETTE: Hell Hath No Fury
McKINNEY: Violence Bad
OTHER PAPER: McKinney Mocked
BOORTZ: He Reports, You Decide

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
DONKEY CONS: Buy TWO!
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: About the book